August 4th, 2011

Songs for The Big Dream

The Big Dream has music in it, but no lyrics. Music is ubiquitous in our culture–with the advent of iPods, less and less of our lives is unsoundtracked, and if you’re going to write real life, you need at least some ambient music popping up sometime. When I wrote Once, there were occasional snatches of whatever the characters were listening to. When I was finished, someone told me that you can’t use song lyrics, even just a few, even if they’re diegetic, even for atmosphere, without paying the artist who wrote them, and the licensing company and whatever-expensive-nightmare.

So I went through the whole book and took out all the direct quotations. I left some vague references and titles in–surely they can’t sue for that, and I guess most readers would be at least slightly familiar with the sorts of music I was writing about, so they’d be able to tune in inside their brains. And it’s not as if music is a huge aspect of my work–it’s just there, a part of things, a thread in the fabric… It was just frustrating, is all, to have to leave things out, even little things.

But since I found out the rules, I’ve been writing with them in mind. In Road Trips, when I wanted to show a character flipping through the radio stations and hearing a little snatch of rap, I wrote the lyrics myself (the joke was how bad it was, so it was ok that I that; I’m not planning an alternative career as a rap lyricist). And in *The Big Dream* I found other ways of describing music besides direct quotations. Sometimes it works better than others, but I think I was largely successful in creating the impression of certain music without using the lyrics. Again, this is a really small part of the book, but I worked hard on it.

Except…somehow I didn’t think all these rules applied to epigraphs. I have no idea why I believed this–probably just because I wanted to, as none of the fair use exceptions of study, review, criticism, etc. applied. I just found this really really perfect epigraph for TBD, and I wanted it and I couldn’t write my way around it–an epigraph is a direct quotation and only that.

So I’ve come to my senses, looked into the matter further, and finally deleted the epigraph. I am sad, because the song and the quotation I picked said the perfect thing, I felt, to introduce the book. So I’ll write this post, I figure, reviewing and critiquing all the music that meant a lot to me and the process of writing TBD, and then I’ll have an excuse to include the quotation here–not in the book, where I feel it belongs, but at least somewhere where people can read it and make the connection. And there’s actually a lot of other music to give credit to, here. I think a lot of writers have music they keep in mind as they write or think about their work, whether or not it’s on in the room where we’re actually tapping at the keys–see Dani Couture’s playlists series or Large Heart Boy’s Book Notes. So it’s a proud tradition of us song-listing authors that I join now–onwards.

Believe it or not, I had never ever heard Dolly Parton’s working-girl classic 9 to 5 until less than a year ago, when my friend K played a dance mix of it in the aerobics class she teaches. True! I don’t generally like the “they let you dream just to watch’em shatter” type of song–too reductive, too whingy. But this song is *very* catch, great for aerobics, and it has two great lines: “there’s a better life and you think about it / dontcha?” and “in the same boat with a lot of your friends / waiting for the day your ship will come in / the tide’s gonna turn and it’s all gonna roll you away.” Have *you* heard a better extended metaphor in a pop-song? A nice bit of solidarity, too! And I like “pour myself a cup of ambition,” too. Someday, I may write a story called, “A Cup of Ambition”–or is that not fair use? Oh, probably not. Sigh. (Query: I’ve still not seen the movie nor the stage show; should I?)

My background in songs about work is, well, work songs. I’m from that sort of family. So I was pleased to find a collection of our old favourites in Bruce Springsteen’s Seeger Sessions. A bit more modern than the original Seeger, and also easier to find on CD (oh, sigh, sacrilege), this album is delightful. I certainly realize that a lot of these songs are about work done by slaves, and that it’s grossly offensive to align office work with that history. I don’t do so–I just like songs about work in any form. My favourites are “Jacob’s Ladder,” (that’s actually a really wonderful video there, which I hadn’t seen before now), for the incredible line, “Every new rock just makes us stronger,”  and “John Henry”, about the strongest man in the world. But no kidding, there’s everybody else and then there is Mr. Seeger–a singer for us all.

I’m a literalist, and I always felt that The New Pornographers’ The Crash Year is actually about a market crash–no idea if that’s true or not, although the album being released in 2010 would indicates so, as do lines like “you’re ruined like the rest of us” and “oh my child you’re not safe here.” And there’s a whistle-chorus!

You know you’re a serious Simon and Garfunkel fan when you are into the B sides–the tracks with a horn section, and more ribaldry, less tender reflection. One of my favourite all-time S&G works is Keep the Customer Satisfied. This is essentially a barstool plaint by a travelling salesman, exuberantly sung even when the lyrics are, “And I’m sooo tired / I’m oh-oh-oh so tired/I’m just trying to keep the customer satisfied.” You just don’t hear that line in rock’n’roll very often, and it makes me feel like these guys really know what it’s like to have a not-too-great job–though, as far as I know, they mainly didn’t. I mean, quirky musical icon isn’t a bad gig, right?

Of course, I like lots of music by folks who don’t work at job-jobs or write about them. In fact, I spent most of my time while writing this book listening to music by Vampire Weekend and The National, with a little Neil Diamond and Arcade Fire thrown in. And none of those artists give the impression of having done their time in the salt mine, but that’s ok–I really don’t theme my life by what I’m writing, I just shape it for posts like this.

And there’s Weezer. Silly, irreverent, possibly outdated Weezer, whose music is mainly about flirting and being awkward at parties–not that isn’t awesome, because it totally is. But sometimes, especially this one time, they manage to get right at the heart of things, and write the line that encapsulates not only my book but a chunk of my life’s philosophy. It was in the song Keep Fishin’ (yes, it’s the video with the Muppets–watch it if you haven’t, it’s brilliant). Note that throughout this post I have offered an evaluative judgement on all directly quoted material–it’s criticism, people, and therefore fair use. That *wonderful* line, which really should be my epigraph–fie on the greedy music industry and their selfish need to keep all their good lines for themselves, is:

You’ll never do
The things you want
If you don’t move
And get a job

July 27th, 2011

Rose-coloured reviews Some Summer Comedies

A lot of the problems with Bad Teacher could have been eliminated if Cameron Diaz hadn’t been the star. The deepest problem, that this film is dead at its core, obviously could not have been helped by anyone but the scriptwriters, but getting a pretty young unknown to star would’ve alleviated some of the surface nonsense.

This is not to say Diaz does a bad job–she’s even fairly funny as a sexy cynical snob who has evaluated her beauty as her best feature and wants to sell it to the highest bidder, ie., richest husband. When her fiance divines her golddigging ways and cancels the wedding, Elizabeth Halsey has no choice to return to what she had thought was an extremely temporary job, teaching junior high. There, she bides her time, trolling for men, saving money for a breast-enhancement to up her market value even more, and doing as little work as humanly possible teaching, or even speaking to, seventh graders.

One reason I wish that a young unknown had gotten this roles is that Diaz is 39 years old, and while she is far more stunning than most other humans who have ever lived, in my opinion she looks like a stunning 39 year old. Or maybe it’s just because I know how old she is that it always occurs to me when I look at her. Elizabeth’s age is not alluded to–ever–in the film, but it was on my mind, because, yeah, if she were 22 she’d kind of be shallow loser, but with time ahead of her to get it together and find something more useful to do than shoving her boobs at boys. But if you’re 39 and all that’s occurred to you career-wise is to sleep around until you get your hooks into a rich dude… I think this made the movie far more depressing than was intended.

If the filmmakers had given Elizabeth a clear past, and insisted that she was very young, I could’ve believed that she was 22–it’s not inconceivable. But Elizabeth has no past–no friends, no parents, no memories of things that happened before the director said, “Action!” on the first scene. Always the mark of a bad movie, in my book–the script just doesn’t bother with a whole character–a few characteristics will do.

The flip side–a fully imagined character– works wonders on the admittedly simple but enjoyable film Bridesmaids. Star Kristen Wiig is 38 and, again, looks an attractive 38. Here, it works, though, because the character has a history that coincides with her looks. Pretty Annie is a sweet loser, with a failed bakery behind her and only annoying roommates, a dead-end job in a jewellery store, and business-like sex with her unfriendly friend-with-benefits. She also has a mom, a hometown, memories of her ex, and she wears her life on her face. As played by Wiig, whom I’ve never encountered before but will be seeking out in the future, Annie’s hilarious resignation at say, being forced to climb over a gate when she can’t work the controls to open it, and then at the gate starting to move when she’s halfway over, is based on an imagined long history of similar issues.

I hate to say it, but a big part of the reason that *Bridesmaids* suceeds where *Bad Teacher* fails is that Annie is likeable, and Elizabeth is the worst person in the world. I am *not* saying that female protagonists all have to be likeable, but maybe they do in light-hearted romps about falling in love. Or at least have some redeeming qualities. The best we ever get from Elizabeth is that when finally gives a test to her class, she herself knows the right answers–apparently, she’s not dumb. But that’s all she’s got–she’s viciously mean to almost everyone, throws a basketball at kids heads, steals answers for a test to cheat for her students, and humiliates and eventually destroys a fellow teacher whose only crime is being really annoying and self-righteous. (That would be someone named Lucy Punch, doing some of the only genuine comic acting in the movie, as the manic Lucy Squirrel.)

Annie, on the other hand, tries her best, but life–job problems, man problems, and a bitchy fellow-bridesmaid in her best friend’s wedding party–push her towards the edge. When Annie does bad things–like screaming at everything at her friend’s bridal shower, then attaching a chocolate fountain and wrestling with a giant cookie–you kinda sorta get where she’s coming from. And it’s also way funnier than sleeping with a rival’s boyfriend, then planting drugs on her and seeing her dragged off to jail!

Reviews have been mixed about the gross-out moments in *Bridesmaids*–everyone knows the big puke-n-diarrhea scene was a late-stage addition by studio powers. It’s not all that funny–it’s *really* gross–but it’s a little funny, and it also has a great moment where Annie, grey-faced and sweating with the effort not to vomit, is forced to consume a Jordan almond by the evil bridesmaid.

This is the other reason it would’ve been great had Diaz’s role gone to someone else–she’s less funny than she could be because she’s a big stahhhhr, and she has to look good in every damn scene. She would *never* have done grey-faced and sweating–she doesn’t even do pasty or pale when Elizabeth is allegedly hitting rock bottom. I don’t know if the director’s decision or Ms. Diaz’s to insist that she always be perfectly lit and made-up, that Elizabeth’s day-to-day clothing be pinup worthy, and that she do a big sexy carwash scene that’s basically looks like a prelude to soft porn. Who doesn’t know that Cameron Diaz is pretty, seriously? Did we need a whole movie to prove that point?

It’s what we get–Elizabeth never really does anything undignified, certainly no real physical comedy. It bugs me that she gave away her big gross-out moment to Justin Timberlake. Remember *There’s Something about Mary*, semen in her hair? This time Mr. Timberlake gets all the semen, all the “Oh, no, really? In a *movie*?” So much for equality of the sexes–the implication here is that Timberlake has so much dignity he can spare some, whereas Diaz can’t (Justin is pretty funny in this movie, btw. But I wish he’d quit movies and get *NSYNC back together. There, I said it.)

The big crazy moment in *Bridesmaids* is also given to a co-star, but the star is a woman too–Maya Rudolph is hilarious giving the news (in a whisper) about what she’s doing inside her wedding dress. (Why Rudolph is not in every movie ever is a strange problem–she’s so great, and so *weird*!) So I love humour that resides in semen and shit? No, not really–but if you’re going to do it, but your heart into it.

In the end, I loved *Bridesmaids* but felt it could’ve done lots more–it’s supposed to be a movie about female friendship, but the whole central conceit is about catty rivalry between women. The friendship between Wiig’s and Rudolph’s characters starts out wonderfully, with an improvised-looking chat about how a lady might indicate she was not eager to offer fellatio right at that moment. But it peters out, until it’s all Wilson Philips gags, and Annie is saved by the love of a good (but not particularly funny) man in the end.

*Bad Teacher* too, is based on the idea that women hate each other more than they like each other, and in the end all problems are solved with a kiss and promise of romance (that would be Jason Segel, playing the pleasant schlub he always plays). These two films were promised as daring, original movies about women messing up, but the plot lines are pure romantic comedy, with a little poop and semen on the side.

It’s kind of devastating to me that one of the low-key, low-marketing, goof-off movies of the summer, a buddy-caper picture you might not even have heard of called Horrible Bosses, is so much better than both these movies put together. What is this movie about? Friendship, male friendship, and how dudes pull together in the face of adversity. The specific adversity in this film is the title–three friends from high-school having their lives ruined by their vicious and insane bosses. So they decide to kill them, as you do–the hire a murder consultant (weirdly good, played by Jamie Foxx) and go on a series of hijinx-y reconnaissance and later murderous adventures.

It’s so so so funny, because the screenwriters put their money where it matters–the plot barely makes any sense, I haven’t heard of two of the three lead guys, but the chemistry between them is perfect. Most of the movie, and all of the best parts, is just them bickering in a car or a bar or in front of the tv, sounding exactly like dudes that have been friends from high school, who love each other and are sick of each other in equal measures.

There are no love interests. Of course not: it’s a buddy caper, not a rom-com, so there’s no room for that. One of the main 3 is engaged, to a woman who has about 7 lines, all of them idiotic. But the guy she’s engaged to is an idiot too, so that’s supposed to be ok. You can’t help but notice that his idiocy gets laughs and hers doesn’t, though.

The only other female speaking role in this film is Jennifer Aniston, playing one of the horrible bosses. And, shock of a lifetime, she’s really really funny. I always thought she and Ross were tied for most boring characters on *Friends* and in *Marley and Me* her main characteristics were a) nice and b) tanned (that’s a surprisingly ok movie, actually, if you are into watching movies where a dog gets all the good lines). But in *Horrible Bosses,* playing a completely deranged psycho maneater, Aniston is balls-out funny. Prowling around in her panties pretending to be fully dressed, proposing to have sex on top of unconscious dental patients, grabbing and snatching fistfuls of flesh whenever she can–she’s a terror, and one who’s not worried about her “image.”

Jennifer Aniston is 42, and I admit that the cougar-type is a poor substitute for good roles for women. But Aniston makes the most of it, and some good gags come from the fact that some guys think she’s too hot to sexually harass anyone–why doesn’t the guy just sleep with her?

I chortled through most of *Horrible Bosses*–our boys accidentally sound racist, accidentally take cocaine, shove things up their bums, and whack each other on the head thousands of times. The actors aren’t afraid to goof around–the characters *are* goofs, so they’re just acting. I think there are no risks at all in this movie–it’s safe, because it’s about dudes being morons. It’s only risky when girls do it.

I wish *Bridesmaids* creators had been able to take more risks, and that *Bad Teacher*’s had been willing to take *any,* but I’m not entirely sure whom to blame. Maybe it’s the dudes who want the ladies laughing at the jokes and not making them, but maybe it’s the ladies who are afraid to look like idiots. Real empowerment, I would think, would be realizing we have dignity to spare.

March 23rd, 2010


Remember a few weeks ago this meme went around Facebook about how you were supposed to post a picture of the celebrity you look most like? Well, you probably can’t remember, because you have better things to do, but I don’t, and was really amazed at how many of my friends bear a shocking resemblance to people I haven’t heard of (but are famous, and attractive [natch, because I have attractive friends]).

Anyway, I wanted to play, too, but couldn’t, because I don’t look like anybody. Well, I look like my mother, who is a delightful person to look like (it makes me very happy when I introduce her as my mom and people say, “Well, obviously!”) but she is sadly not (yet) famous for anything. So I didn’t to do the meme.

Then, this afternoon, I was at the gym in my ponytail and sweaty t-shirt, trying really hard to do a good clean and jerk (I can do it, too, but I just can’t admit what’s on the barbell) and it came to me! It’s not the comparison I’ve always dreamed of (which is: perhaps someday someone will tell me I look like Winona Ryder in *Heathers*, pretty much my standard of female beauty).

I had to take this picture myself, so I’m not sure it really captures the striking similarities, but I still find it spooky:

Do you see it? Not, like, twins, but some definite correspondences!


September 28th, 2009

Matching Quote Game

Everyone’s been just so quotable lately that I was going to just provide you with a list of highlights, but then I thought it would be even more fun to let readers match the quotations with their attributions–that’s the level of interactivity the internet is famous for, no? So here’s what they said:

a) I’m starting to feel just a little abused–like a coffee machine in an office.

b) She liked me as well as the next person, anyway, and the next person hadn’t come along yet.

c) This is like the confused leading the blind, leading a bunch of shrews. Don’t look so calm: you’re blind and you’ve got shrews on your tail!

d) The status is not quo.

e) Montreal metalheads are hardcore. At shows, they throw the skeletons of the people they’ve eaten onto the stage.

So who said what?

1) Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog

2) My friend J.

3) Leon Rooke

4) Shakira

5) Teenagers on subway

No links, to discourage you from looking this stuff up. Answers can go in the comments section, and I think the prize is only eternal glory, though I’ll try to think of something better than that. I’ll post right answers at the end of the week, to give time for the two or three people who actually ever play my reindeer games to play.

That’s amore

January 28th, 2008

No particular war

So last night I saw Charlie Wilson’s War and liked it very much. This was not a surprise, as it was written by Aaron Sorkin the writer of my most-loved tv shows. And indeed, the film did contain Sorkin’s much-beloved banter, walk’n’talks, long-shots and high-flown political wonkery. And, as with much of Sorkin’s work, he faltered on the ladies, who were condescendingly drawn on occasion, and also saddled with awkward religious hypocrisy, as if that were just the lot of he fairer sex.

But Julia Roberts fares better than most of Sorkin’s recent lady-stars, in part because he downplays his personal issues to give her some of the best lines in the flick, and in part because she’s Julia Roberts and, dammit, she can make the best of anything, even having her gorgeous hair bleached and sprayed in a seemingly desperate attempt to make it look like a wig. And she’s opposite Tom Hanks, which is such a wonderful pairing of easy charm that I don’t know why no one thought of it before. And how great, too, that a movie that concerns events of the twenty years ago would star people so seminal at that time. Big came out in 1988, one of the first films I saw in theatres, and it filled me with joy to see that maturity and the ability to feed and clothe oneself didn’t matter one whit if you had honesty and enthusiasm. There was hope for me, apparently, to take on the world, as soon as I could get myself to Manhattan.

Julia’s big break, in Pretty Woman didn’t come until a few years later, which is just as well, since even my oblivious parents noticed taglines like, “Who knew it was so much fun to be a hooker?” I did eventually see it, and love it. Even then, I knew there was something wrong with the conceit that the way to a man’s heart was to sell him your body and hope he noticed your soul, and something wrong with a country where a girl could really find herself forced by financial circumstances to do so. Still, even now, if you were to somehow break into the feminist enclave that is my apartment, fix the DVD player and put on *Pretty Woman*, I’d sit down and watch, and swoon. I’d feel dirty about it at first, but then I’d block out the real circumstances presented and just enjoy the banter.

As I did in *Charlie Wilson’s War.* With the office hijinx and even fairly serious arguments, the movie could’ve been about almost anything, because the conversations focused on strategic alliances, media, and money–the necessities of war, of course, but also the necessities of anything. Perhaps because of Sorkin’s history on the small-screen, coupled director Mike Nichols’ reputation as a “poet of the living room (I read that somewhere, possibly The New Yorker), they seemed to want to prove something with the battle scenes. I think they could’ve done the whole thing with radar-screen blips and intense conversations, as Sorkin did on West Wing, as I’ve seen in several deeply unsettling low-budget *Hamlet*s, but they had to show the guns, and that was pretty wretched, half video game, half propaganda film.

It was one thing to show refugee camps, and mangled children’s bodies–eliciting pity, showing the evil that must be stopped (who were those child actors, I wonder). But it could’ve been almost any war, or an informercial with Sally Struthers: the only political message of those scenes was: children good, people who hurt children bad. Then there was a scene, and I still don’t know what I was meant to feel during it, that showed young Russian soldiers piloting planes and strafing villages, killing women and children while talking in Russian over their walkie-talkies about their girlfriends. This is late in the movie, when the Afghan villagers had finally been given shoulder-mounted missile launchers. They are able to destroy the planes before they can do as much damage as they meant to. We get to see the panic on the Russian soldiers’ faces before they are engulfed in flames.

Of course, the villagers had no choice, if in fact it happened that way. I wasn’t rooting for the kids on the ground to die, but I wasn’t particularly rooting for the kids in the air to die, either. Is that a happy moment? Nichols and Sorkin play it as wild celebration for all the good guys.

The only militaristic footage that looked real was actually real–taken from news reports of the time period. And here’s where we get the third star of the period, and the first one of my youth. Before Julia, before Tom, pretty much concurrent with The Muppets, I loved Dan Rather and the CBS Evening News. Every evening at 6:30, since long before I was born, my parents watched “Rather”, and then they had dinner and talked about what they had seen. When I was small, and eagerly awaiting my spaghetti, I watched too, or at least sat around and listened to words I didn’t understand. Years later than excusable, I actually thought Dan Rather was President of the United States, and that every evening they wheeled the cameras into the Oval Office so he could bring anyone who was interested up to date.

Dan’s is one of the first faces we see in this film, and it set me right at ease. I probably haven’t heard his voice since I moved out of my folks’ place, and it was tremendously soothing. I probably actually sat through some of the news reports from the film, though I remembered nothing. And the movie didn’t explain much–the news was for exposition, but precious little of it. I had to come home and google to find out what was going on with the Russians in Afghanistan. Sorkin wasn’t going to explain, make the war weird and particular and complicated, and not just a generic Good v. Evil, with all that stuff. Not that the Russians were so far off the mark of evil in that war, as far as I can tell, but they had some motives, they weren’t just psycotic baby-bombers. For the purposes of the picture though, they could’ve been just any bad dudes in history, or James Bond films.

And it’s funny, because for a movie that so ignores and generalizes the history here, at the end there is an alarming about-face, as the final scenes set the movie up as the history of our present tense, showing the Americans as over-confident in victory and setting in motion the terrible events that are even now occuring in Afghanistan. This takes place a while after the worst of the battle scenes, after a lot more joyful triumph and Roberts-Hanks banter and silly smooches. I was enjoying myself again, I’d been lulled by the semi-facts, that good things had happened in some war somewhere, and that everything was now fine. The end of the film was astounding in that it pointed out the lie of it’s own Hollywood-ishness, and yet I wasn’t sure as I left the theatre that I had really wanted that. I was sort of happy, for a while, to go back to the days when the News wasn’t news of any particular war, it was just the noise in the background before you sat down to supper with the people you loved best.

The body says no

November 16th, 2007

Blindsided by Celebrity Gossip

So last week I was all abuzz about how good the film Michael Clayton was, and how very talented (ok, ok, and dreamy) George Clooney is. I thought I would like to see some other films with him in them, and happily the internet obliged with the above-linked filmography…which I found staggeringly bereft of any film I particularly wanted to see. I’m sure lots of those are quite good, he won an Oscar after all, and maybe I’ll get round to seeing something eventually, but not as exciting as I hoped.

*Anyway*, my Googling led me not only to lists of professional accomplishments but to crazed fan sites (man, a lot of people loved ER a lot) and to news stories concerning the Googlage subject. As a matter of fact, just moments before my search (I love how they rank recently posted stories, usually pointless given what I’m searching for, but I imagine useful if you read the actual news), there was an real, seemingly true news story that Clooney got into a fight with Fabio in a restaurant over, conservative estimate, nothing, but it was so funny I kept searching.

I think I need to be banned from the internet, because I now know a *lot* about George Clooney, and none of it is information that I need…or, I’ve discovered , information that anybody wants to be told (cue you to close the page!) But wait, because George seems to be sort of a decent guy, with a good sense of humour (but not about Fabio) and lots of right-headed political opinions. Also, and this is the point in the search when I got upset, he has a lot of problems that you can feel really bad about: he did a torture scene for a movie and fell and hit his head, tore the envelope thingy of his spinal cord and wound up with spinal fluid *dripping out his nose*. Is that not the worst thing you ever heard? He said the pain was so bad he considered killing himself–even if it wasn’t, gosh, it would still seem possible. Poor guy.

So I was horrorstruck and fascinated, and on I foraged, hoping to find the “George Clooney Regains Will to Live, Control of Nostrils” *Us Weekly* story or something. Such a story is not to be found, but eventually as the years pass (this was in 2005) you find the focus in interview shifts away from brain damage and on towards swearing off marriage, Oscar speeches, Darfur, etc. Which is nice to see.

I thought I had it licked. George Clooney is all right, I don’t need to see any of his movies, I’m moving on. Only there I was in the grocery store lineup, and I turned my head to be confronted my Owen Wilson and *his* woes. Outside the store, I demanded of my friend P–“Why is Jessica Simpson trying to help Owen Wilson get over his woes?”

“I don’t know, Becky.”

“Are they friends? I didn’t know they were friends.”

“Um, I don’t know, Becky.”

“Because if she’s just some chick, I don’t think that will help much. Do you think she knows him?”

“Um, I have a job.”

I might very well get into this, possibly after I finish this post. I have never before known the joys of famous people and what they might be doing, thinking and feeling. I have never thought it might be fun to know, and now I do. Why? I’ve been theorizing, trying to feel less like salon lady with lips full of Botox and a fist full of tabloids. Here’s what I’ve got: I love a good story, and I really don’t like endings. If I like anything–a book, a movie, a relationship, a sandwich–I don’t see why it can’t go on forever. I hate having to give up on characters i’ve grown attached to, having to admit that once the credits role they aren’t my friends anymore. That they were never my friends in the first place doesn’t enter the picture–I related, we got involved.

Michael Clayton, the fictional character, is not coming back–the movie is over, my DVD player is broken, and there’s unlikely to be a sequel (although–I could sorta see it). George Clooney, on the other hand, is likely to be back next week, making fun of Bush, doing something complicated with a motorcycle and that girl who ate a scorpion on tv. And thank goodness, because narrative arc be damned, I just like the story to keep going. Maybe this is why people get so histrionic when famous people die…?

My love she throws me like a rubber ball

So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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