Since I’m a writer, I want my brain to full of questions and wonder, problems and solutions, but if I’m being real, especially when I’m busy, it’s usually equal parts where my next food is coming from and what that food is, what clothes I will put on myself for the next thing, and that scene from Newsies when Christian Bale sings Santa Fe. Occasionally there is a large philosophical question and that scene from Sound of Music when Captain Von Trapp tilts Maria’s chin up to him in the gazebo, but that’s basically the extent of my imagination.
Remember that time I wrote for American Gods, the epic Starz show based on the Neil Gaiman novel? The premiere date has finally been set, and lovable nerds and mythology buffs and religious scholars all across the globe lept simultaneously into the air. Given that each episode has the scope of a movie, it took longer than anticipated to make, but its finally HERRRREEEE! Starz / April 30th. I can’t wait to watch. BELIEVE (In Gods, in that ominous White Buffalo, in me when I say, this show is going to be the best kind of weird, and in my episode, Kristen Chenoweth plays the Easter Goddess, so just….wait for THAT.)
I can remove myself from my involvement with This is Us and say with confidence that this week’s episode, Memphis, is the one of the top saddest, most beautiful episodes I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen at least ten to fifteen episodes of television. Morrison and I cried so much that Cracker literally came over just to see if we were okay. You have to watch it to get the significance of these Ducks, which are heartbreaking and breathtaking when they appear at the end, in a way that regular old ducks never quite have been. Clearly it has gone to these ducks’ heads, as they now have a TWITTER PAGE.
There are plays you read in undergrad and grad school and watch scenes from and do scenes from, to the point where watching the play actually staged feels like a very long, hazy moment of deja vu. O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night is definitely one of those plays, and I even though I spent a summer at the O’Neill conference, did a three-night long, all playwright reading of it, visited the very house in which the play was set — I did not actually see the play until last night, at the Geffen (staring Alfred Molina and Jane Kaczmarek, who were both magnificent.) Even though I’ve read it so many times, last night it revealed itself to me as something new — not a play about brothers, about fathers, about grudges you can’t let go of — but a play about a very poetic addiction. It’s really Mary Tyrone’s play, the mother’s play. It’s actually about her withdrawing from and indulging in morphine, hiding it from her family. When she’s on morphine, she just talks and talks and talks, and says the saddest and most beautiful things:
None of us can help the things life has done to us. They’re done before you realize it, and once they’re done they make you do other things until at last everything comes between you and what you’d like to be, and you’ve lost your true self forever.
The past is the present. It’s the future, too.
Her addiction allows the playwright to speak through her. We have things we want our characters to say. They are the things that we want to say, but can’t. But you can’t just insert the things into the mouth of a character. You have to give them some profound reason to say them, a reason that ideally creates a story. This is something I already knew, but must be reminded of, every time I write a scene. A character is not a robot for your poetry. A character is a human being who must be cared for, who must be motivated, who is usually based on your mom (not really.) (but sometimes.) (HI MOM!)
Very pleased to announce that we have graduated from crappy, flammable Ikea furniture to sturdy, maybe slightly less flammable, moderately priced CB2 furniture. I am also proud to announce that the bookshelf contains a great many old issues of the Babysitter’s Club, and that Morrison plays video games on the TV. ARE WE GROWN UPS YET?
Once a year, there’s an awards show that’s actually not for the famous people, but for the people who write the words for the famous people to say — The Writer’s Guild Awards, which honors excellence in TV, Film, Video game writing and New Media. (This is Us was nommed for Best new show / we lost to Atlanta / truly an honor to lose to them.) Both writers and famous people gather at the illustrious Beverly Hills hotel. The writers, unaccustomed to wearing things other than the jeans they never wash, dust off their finery and get their hairs did, and are fetched by fancy car services sent by their various TV studios:
The writers, who are actually responsible for 92% of the world’s consumption of Trader Joe’s Olive Oil popcorn, and basically all of the different types of popcorns, are greeted immediately with a banquet.
The famous people are also in attendance, mostly to remind the writers why they are writers and not the face of Loreal, but also to give out awards. There is, in fact, a red carpet, for the writers to walk, where photographers scream their name because a nice man next to them has written their name on a piece of paper so that the photographers know which name to scream. The writer feels, just for the tiniest of moments, like a glamorous person, and can be heard saying things like I’m going to come at the camera from an angle, am I doing it? AM I COMING AT THE CAMERA FROM AN ANGLE? and also WHAT’S AN ANGLE?
It’s that time of year in which my brain that exists outside of my body in a sea of zeros and ones by which I mean Facebook reminds me that this time, three years ago, Julien and I were gallivanting around Costa Rica without a care in the world except for Julien’s allergies.
Every time these memories pop up, either in my actual head because of actual human memory feelings, or on Facebook, I am overjoyed that we got to go do what we did. I will relive its moments forever, and I will never forget it, as FACEBOOK WILL NOT EVEN ALLOW ME TO.
Morrison and I are working on our own version of a feel good sports movie, (the sports part NOT brought to you by me.) And so, as ‘research’ (read: reasons to not go anywhere on a Friday night when it’s raining 11 inches in a city with basically no gutters) we watched COOL RUNNINGS. REMEMBER IT? It’s hilarious, and so weird, and so colorful, and even poignant. And it’s not even about winning, per se. ‘A gold medal is a wonderful thing, but if you’re not enough without the medal, you’ll never be enough with it.’ JOHN CANDY YOU’RE SO RIGHT. We must first make peace with ourselves before receiving medals, if we are to receive medals at all. THANKS JAMAICAN BOBSLED TEAM!
This is Us had its Season 1 wrap party last night. It was a beautiful celebration for the best cast and crew there EVER WAS. A wrap party is basically a chance for everyone to come together and celebrate months of crazy hours and hard work, and to, nine times out of ten, eat dessert with the show’s names written all over it, and / or inside food jokes thematically related to episodes. My head is currently full of vodka soda and frosting and fondness and tears, so I will just leave all of these here.
Looking at my schedule for next week, I realize I’m meeting with four different people so that they might ‘pick my brain.’ As a classic Gemini, I’m of two minds about this. Mind Pt. 1: I am happy to do it, especially in honor of those who did it for me when I was just starting out. If I can offer any insight that might help a person get to where they want to be, then good on me, good on them, and good on kindness. Mind. Pt. 2: my brain is currently in a million places. It’s held together by frayed bits of old friendship bracelet and sour punch straws and the subpar bobby pins that really don’t hold any hair in place at all. If anyone were to, at this point, ‘pick my brain,’ it actually might lose its structure entirely.