Monday, December 31, 2007
*Video interviews with blues musicians Mary Flower and Brad Crooks.
*Video readings by poets Dorianne Laux, Joseph Millar, Naomi Shihab Nye and others.
*Audio readings by poets from New Zealand and Palestine.
*Poets of Eastern Washington University Press.
*Paintings by women from the Oregon chapter of Women's Caucus for Art.
*Fiction by Alison Ruch and others.
*Claymation by Virginia Shank.
*Video by Andrew Klaus, David Bryant and others.
*Essays by Floyd Skloot, Sheri Reda and others.
*An interview with Dennis Stovall, Ooligan Press.
*Plays by Terence Kuch and others.
*"Alt-Everything," a book of essays by Terry Simons.
On First Wednesday, January 2, 2008, contributors and staff will be among those reading at the first in a series of readings-wine tasting at Blackbird Wineshop, 3519 NE 44th off Fremont, in Portland, from 7-9pm. Readings are free, $5 cover to participate in the wine tasting. To be considered for future readings, send work to editor Charles Deemer at email@example.com.
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Five minutes in, I was sure I would hate this film. I hated the artsy-fartsy credits, I disliked the sound track, and everything was coming off far too cute for my tastes. If I'd been alone, I would have walked out. But I was with my wife, so I settled in to spend two hours reciting musical scales and chords in my head.
To my shock and delight, half an hour later I was captivated by the charm and wit of this movie. It's a damn smart script communicated with stellar performances across the board. A really nice little indie film.
And earlier in the week, I was disappointed with No Country For Old Men but delighted with Charlie Wilson's War (if I have the name right).
We had T. from my piano class and his wife D. over for dinner. I made cassoulet, bought a good Petite Sirah wine (I would have bought it at the Blackbird Wineshop if I'd had time to drive so far -- I need to stock up), H. made salad and dessert. We made a bet about whether they'd be early or late. H. said late, assuming they'd get lost since our little house is off the street and not the easiest to find, especially at night. I said no way, T. struck me as a guy like myself, who might even make a dry run a few days before to make sure he knew how to get there. A guy who was habitually early. I was right.
D. and H. hit it off right away, so did she and I, and it was just a great evening of learning about one another. T., five years younger than I, is a Vietnam vet, who had a stroke a few years ago and took early retirement as a computer programmer. He also is recovering from a wild past. (I find folks with wild pasts a hell of a lot more interesting than clean upstanding types.) They're from D.C. originally.
I'm an early to bed guy, so when T. started yawning at 9, his bed time, I had to grin. We sent them home at 930 and expect to see them again. I had a terrific time, as I almost never do in social gatherings.
Meanwhile, I zillion things to catch up on, and I hope to make some headway today. First Wednesday is coming up, and my singer has a sore throat, so I've got to cover her in case she can't sing.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Sketch welcomes B., who recuperates after a hospital visit.
Sketch, a rat terrier, is an aggressively loving dog. He will express his affection whether you want to receive it or not. He's over his unfortunate puppy habit of showing this by peeing on your leg (he did this regularly to the mailman), but he still will jump on your lap and try to lick your face at every opening. We haven't done a good job of calming him down.
I took my AlphaSmart to the hospital yesterday and did manage to get some writing done. I'm hoping to finish a new play by Feb. 1 for a competition but no biggie if I don't make it. It's fun to be writing for the stage after so long but I have no energy, none whatever, to enter the marketplace, so what I have in mind is putting together a collection of plays that can't be performed while I am alive. I also like the freedom this gives me to raise more hell than I would want to deal with if here ha ha. A collection of posthumous plays, perfect. Last words and all that. I was, after all, a playwright through most of my working career, even if I've called myself a retired playwright in recent years. It's probably what I'm best at. So I can let out all stops, write for my favorite audience (me), and define going in that these are "posthumous" plays, not to be performed in the years remaining to me. Which means that I shouldn't enter that contest, just in case I get lucky, although this one is a little tamer than what I have in mind.
But I need to get back to the new screenplay, and the novel ... oh my, so damn much to do. I've also fallen behind in piano studies and must catch up before classes start again. Where does time go?
I'm reading an extraordinary book, FAUST IN COPENHAGEN: THE STRUGGLE FOR THE SOUL OF PHYSICS, setting the early years of Quantum Mechanics, focusing on the personalities involved. Fell in love with Schrodinger so much I'm seriously thinking of writing something based on two weeks of his life when he combined erotic renewal with formulating his famous equations. A remarkable period in his life, about which little is know, leaving it open to dramatic invention and interpretation.
It was good spending time with B. He is his father's son, including embracing a number of Dick's vices. I fear, however, I'm going to outlive him, despite the guarded better news at the hospital yesterday than the news from the day before. His family line has paid dearly for their hard-drinking Idaho logging roots.
Friday, December 28, 2007
I have a few hours to kill, hence bringing the AlphaSmart. See if I can get some scriptwriting done.
B. has been telling me his drinking stories. He was much worse off than I imangined, which of course is par for the course in this particular extracurricular vice. No one knows how bad it is until it gets completely unmanageable. We all have our stories of subterfuge.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz, December 14, 2007 - Piano Jazz swings in the holiday season. Host Marian McPartland and her guests from seasons past, present and future share their favorite memories, as well as unique musical performances of Christmas classics and original holiday tunes.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Merry Christmas, 1914
Monday, December 24, 2007
Wilde in America
In case you missed Santa telling the Christmas story when I posted it a few weeks ago, here it is again. He does a fine job, I think. The actor is the late B. Joe Medley, who died still in costume after a performance (not this play, another some years later).
Sunday, December 23, 2007
The Irving Berlin classic, best performed by Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters (yes!) in the 1950s.
I'm dreaming of a White Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten
and children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow.
I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white.
(words & music by billy hayes - jay johnson)
I'll have a blue Christmas without you
I'll be so blue just thinking about you
Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree
Wont be the same dear, if you're not here with me
And when those blue snowflakes start falling
Thats when those blue memories start calling
You'll be doin' all right, with your Christmas of white
But I'll have a blue, blue blue blue Christmas
Run Rudolph Run
Out of all the reindeers you know you’re the mastermind
Run, run Rudolph, Randalph ain’t too far behind
Run, run Rudolph, Santa’s got to make it to town
Santa make him hurry, tell him he can take the freeway down
Run, run Rudolph ‘cause I’m reelin’ like a merry-go-round
Said Santa to a boy child “What have you been longing for?”
“All I want for Christmas is a Rock and Roll electric guitar”
And then away went Rudolph a whizzing like a shooting star
Run, run Rudolph, Santa’s got to make it to town, come on
Santa make him hurry, tell him he can take the freeway down
Run, run Rudolph, reeling like a merry-go-round
Said Santa to a girl child “What would please you most to get?”
“A little baby doll that can cry, sleep, and wet”
And then away went Rudolph a whizzing like a Saber jet
Run, run Rudolph, Santa’s got to make it to town
Santa make him hurry, tell him he can take the freeway down
Run, run Rudolph ‘cause I’m reelin’ like a merry-go-round
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower
who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly
i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don't be afraid
look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,
put up your little arms
and i'll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won't a single place dark or unhappy
then when you're quite dressed
you'll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they'll stare!
oh but you'll be very proud
and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we'll dance and sing
-- E. E. Cummings
Tomorrow I have presents to wrap and such ... then Christmas ... so I hope to begin on December 26th.
Later, I'll link to some highlights here.
I think I'll catch a movie today and relax.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Next week B., my late soul brother's son, is coming to see a specialist about his pancreas problems and will stay here. I'll drive him where he needs to go. He is not at all happy with his treatment locally, which for him is Moscow, Idaho. Dick died from pancreatic cancer, so this is troubling. He's too young for this shit.
I still have a lot of work on the review but the difficult poetry section is just about done. The rest shouldn't be as time consuming to put together. It's a fine issue, except for music. My music editor disappeared on me. An unfortunate situation. I suppose I need to find a new editor for the summer issue.
Monday, December 17, 2007
- Jury duty is a great people-watching environment. This morning there was a very strange fellow among us: long white hair and long white beard, coke spectacles, tall and skinny, who kept fidgeting and walking in place. Couldn't keep still. Well, as soon as we were seated in the jury room, he went up to the honcho and told her he was a psychotic schizophrenic. Man, did the lady honcho do a double take! He looked like he was telling the truth, so she excused him. And I began to wonder: did he exit the courthouse, pull off his fake hair and beard, take off his coke glasses, and grin as he walked to Starbucks up the street?
- In the waiting room, I was sitting next to a talkative, rugged individualist, anti-government, right wing fellow, one of my favorite conversation companions in small doses. We found some common ground and I ignored all our uncommon ground, which meant we talked about sports, where we BOTH were conservatives. Then, tah dah!, I got called to report to a courtroom.
- I was one of six selected to serve on a jury in a criminal case. Go back to finish tomorrow, so I can't talk about it now, but it's a fascinating case, and better, my five colleagues are fun to hang with, another professor like myself, a real estate guy, a computer geek, and two students. The waiting time isn't boring but hilarious because we all have similar senses of humor, it appears. So I'm having a lot of fun and actually look forward to returning tomorrow to decide our case.
So even though I didn't get any editing done today, I had a terrific time.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
All in all, you have to applaud any film that gets finished for no other reason than that they actually did it. No talking about it. Action. I'm glad I went.
He Do the Police in Different Voices
We strive for hand-crafted, small production (5000 cases or less) to insure higher quality.
Reasonably priced, most wines seem to be in the $15-20 range. A really nice wineshop.
So the adventure begins January 2nd! We're excited, they're excited. I've got the Jan. 2nd program set and am working on Feb. 6th. I plan to schedule a few months ahead. Also, Andy has video expertise and a projector, which means we should be able to add to our program a short video now and again, the sort of thing we publish.
The January 2nd program:
Readers: Evelyn Sharenov (nonfiction editor), Joshua Weber (fiction editor), Paul Pintarich, Charles Deemer (editor), folksinger Judith Richmond.
Blackbird is at 3519 NE 44th in Portland, just north of Fremont. If you're coming east out Fremont, 44th is split, the north branch to the left coming before the southern branch. Turn north/left on 44th at the bank, and Blackbird is the next building on the left. Lots of parking along the street.
The first First Wednesday is Jan. 2, 2008, 7-9pm. Be there or be square.
P.S. In less than an hour, I found this posting on Google! Man, they have the world's fastest spider.
Friday, December 14, 2007
From time to time, a large body of writing drops into my lap that impresses me by its energy, iconoclasm and seriousness. Such is the case with the following book of essays by Terry Simons. These essays are radical, idiosyncratic, revisionist -- and I cannot think of an academic publisher who would look at them with favor. However, I think they deserve an audience and so am publishing them. This is a work in progress. CD
What else can be said with a book of essays with titles like "The Essential Spirituality of the Communist Manifesto"? and "Teachers As First Responders." I'm delighted to make this unusual and challenging book available. Its wonderful title is Alt-Everything: Notes on History, Cinema & Education.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
HOLLYWOOD FOREIGN PRESS ASSOCIATION 2008 GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2007
12. BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE
1. DIABLO CODY – JUNO
2. ETHAN COEN & JOEL COEN – NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
3. CHRISTOPHER HAMPTON – ATONEMENT
4. RONALD HARWOOD – THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY
5. AARON SORKIN – CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR
1. BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
1. AMERICAN GANGSTER
Imagine Entertainment/Scott Free Productions; Universal Pictures
Working Title Productions; Focus Features
3. EASTERN PROMISES
Kudos Pictures – UK Serendipity Point Films – Canada A UK/Canada Co-Production; Focus Features
4. THE GREAT DEBATERS
Harpo Films; The Weinstein Company/MGM
5. MICHAEL CLAYTON
Clayton Productions LLC; Warner Bros. Pictures
6. NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
A Scott Rudin/Mike Zoss Production; Miramax/Paramount Vantage
7. THERE WILL BE BLOOD
A Joanne Sellar/Ghoulardi Film Company Production; Paramount Vantage and Miramax Films
2. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
1. CATE BLANCHETT – ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE
2. JULIE CHRISTIE – AWAY FROM HER
3. JODIE FOSTER – THE BRAVE ONE
4. ANGELINA JOLIE – A MIGHTY HEART
5. KEIRA KNIGHTLEY – ATONEMENT
3. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
1. GEORGE CLOONEY – MICHAEL CLAYTON
2. DANIEL DAY-LEWIS – THERE WILL BE BLOOD
3. JAMES MCAVOY – ATONEMENT
4. VIGGO MORTENSEN – EASTERN PROMISES
5. DENZEL WASHINGTON – AMERICAN GANGSTER
4. BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
1. ACROSS THE UNIVERSE
Revolution Studios International; Sony Pictures Releasing
2. CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR
Universal Pictures/Relativity Media/Participant Productions/Playtone; Universal Pictures
New Line Cinema in association with Ingenious Film Partners; New Line Cinema
Mandate Pictures/Mr. Mudd Production; Fox Searchlight Pictures
5. SWEENEY TODD
Parkes/Mac Donald and Zanuck Company; Warner Bros. Pictures
5.BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
1. AMY ADAMS – ENCHANTED
2. NIKKI BLONSKY – HAIRSPRAY
3. HELENA BONHAM CARTER – SWEENEY TODD
4. MARION COTILLARD – LA VIE EN ROSE
5. ELLEN PAGE – JUNO
6. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
1. JOHNNY DEPP – SWEENEY TODD
2. RYAN GOSLING – LARS AND THE REAL GIRL
3. TOM HANKS – CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR
4. PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN – THE SAVAGES
5. JOHN C. REILLY – WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY
7. BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
1. BEE MOVIE
DreamWorks Animation; DreamWorks Animation
Pixar; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Distribution
3. THE SIMPSONS MOVIE
Gracie Films; Twentieth Century Fox
8. BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
1. 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS (ROMANIA)
Mobra Films; IFC First Take
2. THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY (FRANCE AND USA)
A Kennedy/Marshall Company and Jon Kilik Production; Miramax/Paramount Vantage
3. THE KITE RUNNER (USA)
DreamWorks Pictures Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Paramount Classics Participant Productions Present a Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Parkes/Macdonald Production Distributed by Paramount Classics
4. LUST, CAUTION (TAIWAN)
Haishang Films; Focus Features
5. PERSEPOLIS (FRANCE)
247 Films; Sony Pictures Classics
9. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
1. CATE BLANCHETT – I’M NOT THERE
2. JULIA ROBERTS – CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR
3. SAOIRSE RONAN –ATONEMENT
4. AMY RYAN – GONE BABY GONE
5. TILDA SWINTON – MICHAEL CLAYTON
10. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
1. CASEY AFFLECK – THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD
2. JAVIER BARDEM –NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
3. PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN – CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR
4. JOHN TRAVOLTA – HAIRSPRAY
5. TOM WILKINSON – MICHAEL CLAYTON
11. BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE
1. TIM BURTON – SWEENEY TODD
2. ETHAN COEN & JOEL COEN – NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
3. JULIAN SCHNABEL – THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY
4. RIDLEY SCOTT – AMERICAN GANGSTER
5. JOE WRIGHT – ATONEMENT
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Saul Bellow's Human Comedy
Wednesday of each month. We are interested in hearing not only from poets and fiction
writers but from essayists, playwrights, screenwriters, song writers, etc.
Check out Blackbird Wineshop.
Check out Oregon Literary Review.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
12/11/2007 4:30PM EST
One Avenue Networks we have backed out of the Avid Hosting Deal
We wish the best for all those affected. Any questions regarding domains or Websites should be directed to Avid Hosting.
One Avenue Networks LLC
Easier said than done -- I've yet to figure out how to contact the vanished Avid.
Monday, December 10, 2007
UPDATE 12/10/2007: Avid Hosting Servers with Customer Records and Web Data were delivered by FedEx at 9:30 AM EST, we are in the process of unpacking and sorting the servers in order to restore service.
One likes to be hopeful that this gigantic mess might actually be resolved, but I'll believe it when I see it. I think we're losing about 20 or 30 visitors a day because of the screw up. Not the end of the world.
This is all very disconcerting, IMO. Originally there was a form at Avidhosting.com. Then that page was forwarded to http://avidhosting.oneavenue.com and One Avenue Networks mentioned they had "obtained control of all active avidhosting clients....etc.. I can't quote that because the link is no longer on the server!!!! Why is IT gone too?? What is going on here?
The above is quoted from avidhosting.org, a site put up by another avidhosting.com victim who is documenting this continuing mess. I have no idea how many websites have been screwed up by them. Fortunately, I was able to upload everything to a different host quickly ... but the problem remains that the avid URL, which alas is what most folks bookmarked, now goes nowhere and will continue to until I can get control of the domain, which after all I own, but to do this, to transfer it, I need the cooperation of avid, which doesn't exist. Catch-22.
I'm on an Edward Albee kick. Have a tall stack of books, mainly interviews and prose pieces but also the last volume of his collected plays.
When winter term begins, I hope to have drafts of a new screenplay and new stage play. Once I do this, I bring fiction front burner and finish the novel draft, hopefully before summer.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
It makes no sense that he should suffer more than I. So many things in life make no sense to the rational mind. I call it luck of the draw; others would say God's will. But my friend, with a kid starting college and his own business he now has little energy to run, is in a personal and financial crisis. He gets very down on himself for "wasting his life drinking," as he puts it. If he gets through this, however, he may be able to come to his past with a different perspective.
I have as many good memories of drinking as bad ones, which is not the sort of thing alcohol counselors like to hear. But I was never a very good "treatment student." Try suggesting the exchange of the Lord's Prayer with a Buddhist chant in an AA meeting ha ha. I'm an existentialist, which means I take full responsibility for bad behavior and don't take the excuse of being powerless or a victim. I know how addiction works: a little like gravity. But you don't have to throw yourself off the cliff in the first place.
At any rate, it's sad to see my friend suffering so much. He's got a lot to live for and I hope the gods of fate cut him a break.
Here is a recent book that articulates this logic much better than I can.
The Suicide of Reason: Radical Islam's Threat to the West
Basic Books, NY, 2007
This is not a pleasant book to read because the news is bad. But I believe it's an important book and that Harris' insights are mostly true. Excerpts:
The approach this book will take is that there is no guarantee of inevitable progress because the law of the jungle can never be abolished, though it can be, and has been, ameliorated by various cultural traditions including our own. There can be no hope of an end of history or of a golden age in which men will no longer be driven to conflict and struggle. Furthermore, there can be no guarantee that these struggles will be merely inconclusive "clashes" between civilizations. On the contrary, there is every reason to assume that future struggles will end in the triumph of one civilization and the demise of another. The first Arab conquerors did not clash with the Sassanian Empire_they absorbed and transformed it. The Ottomans did not clash with the Byzantine Empire_they conquered it and remade it in their own image. The Spanish did not clash with the Aztec civilization_they annihilated it. The Anglo-Saxons in North America did not clash with the native American cultures_they wiped them out.
If the modern liberal West is to survive, it must begin by recognizing the laws of power that govern the jungle. Even if it does not wish to obey these laws, it must know them. For example, it must clearly understand that our own liberal and popular cultures of reason are serendipitous exceptions to these laws; they must not be taken as evidence that the laws of the jungle are destined to wither away. Where the tribe is a person's only guarantee of security and defense, men will continue to rely on their tribes, and they will act as tribal actors because it is the rational thing for them to do. On the other hand, the rational actor cannot exist unless his whole society has managed somehow to escape the laws of the jungle; hence, the rational actor must recognize that if he is to remain a rational actor, he must be willing to defend at all cost the traditions and institutions of the society that permits him this option. If he is deluded into believing that all men are rational actors by nature, then he will be clueless when confronted with the tribal actor, whose conduct and behavior will make no sense to him. Worse, because the rational actor will be tempted to dismiss the tribal actor as behaving irrationally, the rational actor will fail to see that it is the tribal actor, and not himself, who is acting rationally in terms of the universal struggle for survival and supremacy.
Poetry, Ford in Head-On Crash
What they got was "Anticipator," "Thunder Crester," "Pastelogram," "Intelligent Whale," "The Resilient Bullet," "Mongoose Civique," "Andante con Moto," "Varsity Stroke" and then, as her very last try for the name magic, "Utopian Turtletop."
Saturday, December 08, 2007
As of 12/8/2007 One Avenue Networks Obtained Control of all Active Avid Hosting Clients
On 12/10/2007 all the Web Servers previously owned and Managed by Avid Hosting will be in the One Avenue Networks Tampa, Florida Data Center.
Our plans are to have all the Servers and Websites online no later than Friday 12/14/2007, this is a wide estimate in order to compensate for all that can go wrong during a large scale migration.
This will be interesting. I just want to get control of the domain so I can change its redirection.
She wants to see I'M NOT THERE. This sounds too cute for me. Besides, I recently saw an excellent documentary about Dylan at the Newport Folk Festivals and don't want to spoil the memory of it.
I want to see NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. This sounds too dark for her. Heavy dramas and dark comedies, my favorite two genres, are not her thing.
Also in the taste department: got a phone call from H's brother-in-law, who loved Juniper Tavern. What's nice about this is that he's lived on the east coast all his life and doesn't know or remember squat about the Rajneeshi. Around here, folks still put the story in the context of our local history, which reduces its reach. Here we have someone who appreciates it for its broader appeal. I like that.
I thank the gods of serendipity for the two major accidents that make it even available to watch today: the young director who got it done in the first place, which never would have happened if a. he weren't in Portland to see his girlfriend while the play was running and b. he didn't have the personal connections to get it to Oregon Public Television on very short notice; and a writer friend finding a VHS tape of the television premier and giving it to me so I could make a DVD and get it on the web. So easily none of this could have happened, and JT would be another play that comes and goes without dynamic visual record.
Indeed, just about everything that's happened in my career to a significant positive degree has been accidental. You have to have the right material -- but you also have to be in the right place at the right time with it. You only control the former. And "right material" is defined by something YOU value. Alas, my dramatic and entertainment values are in a small minority in this culture.
Along the same lines, my agent recently shared that film executives are asking him all the time if he has anything like Little Miss Sunshine. Interesting. Maybe the commercial moral is, whenever there's an odd hit, something different, quickly clone it and send it out.
I am hoping this for THE BRAZEN WING, which my agent was marketing before the strike and will continue to market after the strike. The upcoming THE BUCKET LIST is a male-male version of the same kind of story, getting a terminal illness and doing all you can before it strikes. With Freeman-Nicholson, this may be a hit. If it is, then BW is in the same genre and of the same spirit. (And may have been there first, actually.) Interesting.
Salinger, Lennon, Browning
last week four bidders met the half-million dollar asking price for the "Double Fantasy" album which Lennon autographed for Chapman just hours before being shot. This was found on the ground at the murder scene, and as it was used in evidence at Chapman's trial, it boasts his "forensically enhanced" fingerprints.
We had a delightful night, seeing jazz pianist Jeannie Hoffman and bassist David Friesen in their 34th season of performing holiday jazz, last night with a drummer and alto sax player in the intimate "performance room" next to O'Conners restaurant in Multnomah Village. I last saw them about 20 years ago. For a decade before that, when Hoffman was the house pianist at the Left Bank saloon, I came by regularly for a pitcher of beer, a bucket of clams, and a request of "I'll Remember April," a routine with me then. The Multnomah performance space is intimate, 40 a full house, and we had dinner, both loving our orders. I'd never heard of Jambalaya Macaroni and Cheese but it was excellent.
H is so damn busy, we don't get out often for a night like this, and it was great fun. We were seated next to a couple almost our age, whose passion is doing the Argentine Tango -- he told me all the differences between it and the "inferior" American version of the dance. I didn't realize Portland was a big tango town but he said the international tango convention is often here, that you can tango any night of the week in Portland, and a typical ballroom will draw 50-100 tango dancers.
I like Multnomah Village. It hasn't changed all that much since 1967 when I briefly lived here, the year I dropped out of grad school to "become a writer" and succeeded. Left a PhD candidate, returned an MFA candidate, first in fiction, finally in playwriting.
Just a wonderful night. And later in the month we're having a fellow in my piano class and his wife over for dinner. He and I laugh a lot. Always a good sign. We have similar senses of humor and spend a lot of before class, and even in class, time cracking one another up.