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June 27, 2003

california dreamin'

I'm going to actually try and write an entry using those pretentious boldfaces for the names... here goes.


Right now it's 5:30pm on Friday, June 27th, and I'm writing from San Francisco. On Tuesday I arrived in LA, spent some time with my great pals Eryk Casemiro and Bryce Lowery in their swanky new Hollywood home, and had dinner & went cd shopping at the unbelievably gigantic Amoeba Records with Gregg Araki. Yesterday morning, Prince Gomolvilas and I drove a bronze rental car upstate to San Francisco to see the last couple of nights of the Mysterious Skin play. I was even more blown away by the way the show has intensified and improved--I didn't think it could improve, actually, but the actors have done all these terrific subtle things, and all of 'em work. People in the audience were sobbing at the end. I couldn't be happier about it. After the show, everyone in the cast (Megan Towle, Joseph Parks, Taylor Valentine, Rich Dymer, and Rebecca Fisher) joined us at the local dive bar, where I had three beers and an unfortunate shot of Jagermeister (bad idea, Rich) which seemed to put a horribly blurry spin on the rest of the evening. Prince swears I was involved in something rather embarrassing involving Taylor's nipples and bologna, but I don't believe a word of it.


I also got to see my friend Waleed Anbar again, so that was great.


The weather here is hot hot hot. Today Prince and I spent most of the time at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. I was a bit underwhelmed overall, but I did see a wonderful Judith Joy Ross photograph I loved, and their collection of Mexican painters was pretty great.


Tomorrow's the last night of the MSkin play. Should be a little sad... the last time to see those five great actors on the stage together.


The boldfacing seems to have worked! Now I can shamelessly namedrop namedrop namedrop and the names will appear more distinctly.


On Tuesday, I'll be off to Kansas, so I'll try and report more from there.

Posted by at 08:49 PM

June 24, 2003

off to LA

Tomorrow morning I leave for LA. I haven't packed, and I have to wake in 4 hours, so I'll make this short. I'll just say that things are going quickly and smoothly with the Mysterious Skin film; casting is almost completed, and I couldn't be happier with the choices made so far. More details when everything is official.


Today I saw SPELLBOUND, the documentary about spelling bees, and it's the best movie I've seen this year so far. I was biting my nails the entire time, and I wound up practically sobbing during the last 30 minutes. If you're reading this, RUSH OUT AND SEE THIS FILM IMMEDIATELY.


I'll report more from LA and/or San Francisco. On July 1st, I'll also be taking a quick trip to Kansas with the actor who's playing Neil in the film... he wants to get a feel for the scenery, the atmosphere, the Kansans' speech patterns, and so on, as well as see the locations I wrote about (the softball complex, the abandoned drive-in theater, the cow pastures, the houses on which I based the characters' homes, etc). It should be interesting to see all the smalltown Midwest locals recognizing "one o' them Hollywood types" at the local mall or greasy spoon diner.


Did I mention that SPELLBOUND is absolutely terrific?


Alrighty... bedtime.

Posted by at 01:51 AM

June 19, 2003

zzzzz

Bedtime... almost midnight on the 18th of June. I'm still in New York, here until Tuesday, when I fly to LA for a few days and then SF to see the last couple of nights of the Mysterious Skin play. It will be great to see Prince Gomolvilas (the playwright) and the cast of the show again. I'm also starting to feel the overload of excitement about the film; today I spoke with Gregg Araki, and casting is going really well, and it seems they're securing some really wonderful actors for the parts. Still no specifics yet, as I fear I'll jinx it all... but soon.


I've been doing a bundle of freelance copyediting jobs lately, and as I need to pay bills etc etc, the novel has been on hiatus. But it's constantly on my mind. I need to rewrite the opening chapter, and once I do that, I'll be speeding through toward the end. Hopefully. I'm still setting my goal for the end of 2003.


Early Xmas wish list: if anyone out there knows where I can get my grubby hands on the old Broadway poster for the Graduate of the huge, more-than-lifesize poster of Jason Biggs's face, PLEASE let me know. I would chop off at least three fingers to have this on my wall.


Shout out to the wondrous fiction writer Dodie Bellamy... I just read her terrific book CUNT-UPS, which came out from small press Tender Buttons. It's so great. And that fabulous title!!! There are so many terrific writers living in San Francisco-- Dodie, Kevin Killian, Stephen Beachy, Robert Gluck, just to name a handful. If you're reading this, and you want to read something immensely exciting and sexy and weird and brilliant and 180 degrees different than what most of the big book presses are publishing, I urge you to check out any of these writers.


Tomorrow is Thursday, which means in the evening I'll be pasted in front of the television to watch the Amazing Race. Since I'm housesitting for Mary Jane right now, I've once again become a hopeless TV addict, as she has limitless cable channels. Judge Judy... CRAM on Game Show Network... Unsolved Mysteries reruns (Robert Stack RIP).... And I can't decide if the new boy on Blue's Clues is as cute as the old one.

Posted by at 12:01 AM

June 13, 2003

nyc

I'm writing from New York City now. As I write, there's an extremely loud FDNY fire truck parked just outside the window, as it seems there's smoke coming from the apartment 4-5 doors away. It's been gray and drizzly since I arrived yesterday; I've gotta give thanks to the great Michael Kozuch, who drove me through hellish traffic jams to get to the apartment (thanks to the equally great Mary Jane Skalski) where I'm housesitting.


Currently I'm reading DISTURBING THE PEACE by Richard Yates. It's terrific and filled with his typical brutal realism. I'm trying to get all of Yates's first edition hardcovers, and I recently found a good copy of this one online from a bookstore in Providence. Now I need REVOLUTIONARY ROAD (his greatest), ELEVEN KINDS OF LONELINESS, and COLD SPRING HARBOR and I've got 'em all.


For people who have asked me this question: on the biography page of this site, yes, the second picture on the top row is me with William S. Burroughs on the left and James Grauerholz on the right. It was taken in the fall of 1994, when I visited Lawrence, where my sister lives and where he was living. The bottom row, far right picture, is me with my boyfriend Michael Lowenthal. Most of the other pictures are shots from my book jackets or different magazines (the New York Times Magazine, OUT, the Advocate, and the James White Review, and Art and Understanding).


I've been fighting a cold, and I'm going to try and take a nap now, despite the fire truck outside.

Posted by at 06:48 PM

June 10, 2003

ta-da!!!

My official website is officially finished. Here it is. I can't give enough thanks to the wonderful Michael Borum of etherweave communications, who has done virtually all the design, input, and guidance of the site... (for more of his excellent stuff, check out the sites he's done for authors like Christopher Castellani, Michael Lowenthal, and Mike Ford, and bands like the wondrous Cocteau Twins. Oh, just go ahead and slip over to www.etherweave.com to find out more).

I'm totally elated with how all of this looks. I'll be updating periodically for news about the ongoing Mysterious Skin stage adaptation, written by Prince Gomolvilas and currently running in San Francisco; and, too, the upcoming Mysterious Skin film, now in pre-production with Antidote and Fortissimo, and directed by Gregg Araki.

On June 12, I'm off to New York to housesit for part of the summer, and on July 5, I'm finally moving in to my new apartment (half a beautiful Victorian house with my pals David and Jeanne) in Roslindale, MA... not too far from my boyfriend Michael, and just a hop & a skip from the gorgeous Arnold Arboretum. And I'll be in LA and SF at various times, too.

In the meantime, I'll be working on my freelance copyediting/proofreading stuff, playing softball with the Rookies, reading the rest of Richard Yates's novels, listening to the new Radiohead and Ulrich Schnauss cds a lot, and watching the Amazing Race every Thursday night. But most important: during these next few summer months, my main goal remains to work steadily and grindingly on the homestretch of We Disappear. I'm praying that by the end of 2003, I'll be writing a weblog entry that announces I'm finished with the f@#$ing thing at last.

Posted by at 03:25 PM