So, after zoho writer erased my work and I transitioned from denial to hysteria, I called my then-girlfriend, who told me about this short story she'd written that got erased and how when she re-wrote it, it was the best story she'd ever written. I believe my reaction to that was a high-pitched wail or something like "No, I'm not re-writing it, it'll never be good again." Mostly because I'd done a lot of research for some inane reason. Sometimes I get on these research kicks. It's weird/awesome/wastes my life away.
The funny thing is, actually, she ended up being right, but in a roundabout kind of way: the story I ended up re-writing was kinda [cue violin swell, then transition into Tegan & Sara "Dark Come Soon"] the story of MY LIFE. I solicited my readers to tell me their worst computer-crash stories to make me feel better, even/especially if they never ever usually commented, and I'd make it into a Top Ten, and then all these readers came out of the woodwork and most of them stuck around, which's awesome/AWESOME. AND one of them was my now writing partner, Carly, with whom I just finished (a possibly final) draft of the pilot. It is really good now. I mean, we thought it was good before, but we were wrong, NOW it is good.
Anyhow: I told myself, one day, when I don't know what to write about, I'll attempt to re-create that post. But I still don't really want to do that.
Howevs, I decided to unearth it and see what I could gleam. I have a printout of an early draft of the blog from about 12 hours before it was destructed forever, which I'd brought to the ex-GF during visiting hours for her copy-edits. I'm looking at that now. It's peppered by her handwriting, red ink: circles around misspellings, carrots removing unnecessary hyphens, corrections of it's/its, #s, the scribbled words "suspension of disbelief," "disconnect," "allusions," "Thomas Pynchon (bag over head)." What did we talk about that day? (I remember, of course: it was one of the best conversations we've ever had. Sometimes, I am still sad. Sometimes it is not as easy as I say it is to be happy.)
Anyhow Part Two: This all relates. Carly and I are writing a TV show. I was watching a montage of L Word clips on a friend's myspace the other day and thinking how these characters are a part of my life and how magic it'd be if one day our characters were a part of your lives. Then I thought about how I have learned things from television, every now and then, and I'm not just talking about Sesame Street, Square One or Loveline.
I think the best television writers are also artists/educators, not just comedians/entertainers. Usually they're smarter than their shows imply [unless it is Alan Ball, Aaron Sorkin or Jim Henson, they have smart shows]. That's why TV writers're always dropping allusions to high art, to remind us of their literacy. Nietzsche must've done a triple-somersault in his grave, Mary Lou Retton style, when Jenny Schecter announced on The L Word that her story, "Thus Spoke Sara Schuster" had been published in The Best American Short Stories [Totally impossible, unless the guest editor was Ryan Seacrest or a chimpanzee.] Later, this became just one element of the glory which is Jenny's on-screen literary career, which is one of many reasons why I heart The L Word and it's strange little world of magic and make-believe.
There was a great "This American Life" called "What I Learned from TV." In it, Ira Glass referenced an episode of The O.C. [which was basically, in terms of learning things from TV, American Bandstand for Young Male Musicians with Faux Bed Head and Feelings] which referenced This American Life! I think it was when Seth had that girl over, the snotty one, and Summer was like "Who's there, I hear a voice," and Seth says it's "This American Life" and Summer says: "Is that that show by those hipster know-it-alls who talk about how fascinating ordinary people are?"
How super-duper-meta, right? Anyhow Ira loves that show. I love Ira. See how I did that? See how I brought that back around? To LOVE?
These are some of the things I've garnered from the Evil Box. This might be a regular feature, which I will return to frequently, like I do with the "Carousel of Progress" (which I will return to, seriously). Because I've learned a lot of things, obvs. Usually I learn better without commercials, or watching shows on DVDs. I find promos to be a bit frightening sometimes. Like when they're like "Kathy Griffin hits HARD TIMES!" and she's crying like her Dad is dying? And then all these graphics are like bang bang bang "Seee what happens when life isn't SO FUNNY ANYMORE!" boom-boom-bup-bop-ding! Kathy Griffin! Like, whoa. Not cool! [I love her show though, sidenote. Carly you should edit their promos so that kinda stuff doesn't happen.]
"You need to watch The L Word," Becky told me. Becky wore $80 sweatpants and had a waterfall in the backyard of her Westchester home; she was a brilliant photographer and an A-E-Phi and my best friend at University of Michigan and she was really into television and was one of the only girls I knew that'd never kissed another girl. She was the one who told me to watch Six Feet Under, so when she recommended The L Word--which I'd heard of, vaguely, but hadn't really considered watching, because I generally avoided anything that might make me want to be a lesbian, I knew it was: 1) probs a good recommendation, 2) appealing to heterosexuals as well as homosexuals.
So fast forward to December of 2004, New York City: I'd just joined Netflix. I ordered the Season One DVDs. I watched. I had a boyfriend. I kept rewinding to the scene where they try to figure out if Lara is gay, and the one where Shane's wearing the hoodie and talking to Tammie Lynn and says "You have a lot of feelings." I kept rewinding. I called Krista: "You have to come home right now. There is this girl on this television show, and I think I'm in love with her. It feels very real. She is unlike anyone I've seen before, male or female, she is perfect human, we are in love, we have a lot of feelings, you must come home and watch." And I showed her and she sat down on the ground in a heap of scarf and skirt and said "Oh, Ris, you're right." (She spelled it "Ris," and was the first person to call me that. It's pronounced "Riese" though.) "Ris, she's beautiful. Okay, rewind that scene again." (Krista is straight.)
And for a week we put red envelopes in the mail, received new ones, watched the whole season in four days, thanks to a speedy Netflix turnaround. When Shane told Cherie: You know...my entire life, people have said that...I would become a psychopath if I don't learn how to feel. But I wanna know, Cherie, what the fuck is so great about feeling? Because I finally let myself. And I feel like my heart's been completely ripped out. I remember feeling specific and sad and I realized a good first step towards learning how to feel would probably be to admit I like girls, or something. I don't mean as a lesbian, though that's a part of it: that I liked spending time with other girls, something I'd forgotten in my string of boyfriends and co-workers and my boyfriends' friends, always against girls in some way rather than with them/for them. Anyway. Yeah, it was just part of a lot of thoughts I was having then.
I just looked through my old livejournal to find this conversation I had with Jeremiah [I'd give him a code name to protect him, but, as a member of the NYPD who had no interest in helping me when I was being threatened, I'm not really into protecting him right now, I mean, hello, totes paradox!] when I made my screensaver entirely pictures of Shane. [Sidenote: There's so many LJ entries right when we broke up when I talk about how I think relationships are "bunk" and how I have no feelings and how I was sorry that I'd broken his heart: "He wants to have babies. I want to be a baby. Well, a 23 year old baby," and that "no man is an island. except me," and "I'm bloody Ibiza!" I've totally matured like, not at all since then.] Anyhow:
Him (points to screensaver): Who's that?
Me: Shane, from The L Word. she's hot.
Him: The L Word is about lesbians, right?
Me: Yeah. She's hot.
Him: You're attracted to her?
Him: I don't find her attractive at all.
Me: You really should see her in the show. You need to see her talk.
Him: You mean "hear" her talk. You can't see someone talk.
Me: You need to see her while she is talking. it's like--the way she moves, and acts, it's like--everything. It's like pure sex.
Him: Would you have sex with her?
Me: Oh yeah.
Him: So are you like, totally bisexual?
Me: Haven't we discussed this already?
Him: Yeah, well, i know you've been with girls, but i thought you said you liked men better.
Me: I do like men better. [UPDATE, 7/19/06: I was lying.]
Him: Do you think you could go the rest of your life without having sex with another woman?
Me: What exactly do you mean by 'having sex'?
Him: Never mind. I got my answer. Let's talk about something else.
The West Wing:
When I've been writing for too long and my brain hurts, I turn out all the lights and lie on my bed and listen to Ave Maria over and over. Time slows down and G-d feels tangible and my body cools. Then I can sit back down, turn on Firefox, go to my google home page, see the CNN headlines, and remember that George W. Bush is president, not Josiah Bartlett. Then I go stick my head in the oven.
Also: On steamy afternoons when New York's beat me senseless and I feel I've spent my entire life transversing subway tunnels, one station to another, walking to transfer, transfer, beaten by crowds/smoke and instead of touching people I love [Once I believed if I held on to her tightly enough for long enough, we'd become the same person], I am feeling strangers and their big purses and beer breath and tampons/cosmetics/mass-market paperbacks and so I listen to "Ave Maria" on repeat on my ipod, and then everything slows down and I can step away a little.
The first time that song struck me as something I needed in my earbuds a lot was when I heard it on The West Wing. I actually learned a lot about world politics from that show. Seriously.
"I was watching a television program before, with a kind of roving moderator who spoke to a seated panel of young women who were having some sort of problem with their boyfriends -- apparently, because the boyfriends had all slept with the girlfriends' mothers. And they brought the boyfriends out, and they fought, right there on television. Toby, tell me: these people don't vote, do they?"
-Josiah Bartlett, The West Wing
The 'Issac and Ishmael' episode after 9-11? Amazing. So many things amazing on that show. I can't even begin.
Krista introduced me to West Wing. I didn't expect to love it. But I loved it! I came home once and Krista was crying on her bed, on the tiny screen Bartlett was accepting his second term of election and Krista said: "Why can't we have a president like that?" and I thought, "What?!" You're crying over an inauguration on television? But then when I watched it, and I got to that scene, I felt the same way. Dark and wondering why.
Jed Bartlet is both passionately religious and spiritual as well as politically liberal and entirely logical. He's memorized the Bible, so he can go head-to-head with Conservative Bible-Beaters and win every time. Also, he's not real. But who is? Jenny Schecter? Zarathustra? Me? Auto-Win? Auto-Straddle?
I can't answer those questions.
Okay, just two for now 'cause it's 3:48 AM and I am tired and need some sleep, for real. Also, I should say some other things. These are those things:
1. We had a Blogger Meet-Up thing outside.
We took a train to Brooklyn to go to Cattyshack for this Weenie Roast thing. I knew Caroline was gonna be there [who we met on the cruise], because she works there, and also I'd invited Carly (before I met her) and Jamie (who's not actually gay) via Curly, the organizer, when she asked me if I knew anyone who'd wanna be invited. We also brought Carly's friend Roy and my friend Haviland.
So yeah, we took a train and then it was so hot and humid and it was taking forevers.
Me: "Dude, this is taking so long, I'm like, not even gay anymore."
Roy: "I left my gay back at Jay Street."
But then eventually we got there, still gay. It was so hot though! Like, the weather! When I'm hot, it's hard to think of other things. But I did, a little bit. I also ran into a girl I knew from Sarah Lawrence. It was so weird.
Check out Haviland's poses. Also, I look just like A MUPPET.
UPDATE: Unfortunately, Carly doesn't like the photo of her that was taken at the Weenie Roast, and offered to send me a replacement photograph. I thought "I don't remember Carly having a camera," but who knows, I was tired and leaking intelligence from my pores, maybe she did have a camera and I just didn't notice.
This is what she sent me:
Unfortunately, The First Rule of Auto-Win Club dictates that if you don't like your photo, I get to choose whatever photo I want from your myspace and use that instead. Unless you are ethically opposed to photos in general, which Carlytron is DEF. NOT., she loves photos.
That's her on the right with the shark head.
I don't know what I'm going for here. But it's probably pretty hot.
2. I am sleepy. I have more things to write, but I don't think I can write them. In fact, I can't promise this post included correct spellages of any words of the English persuasion. I'm just saying, that's all.
3. Also related to teevees, the Emmys were announced tonight. I don't watch the teevee really so I hadn't seen very many of the shows, but seriously, Carly was IMing me about it and she is and I also am weirded out by this Two and a Half Men thing. It's like the new Everybody Loves Raymond. Sometimes I feel like I live on an island. No man is an island, except me. I am Ibiza! I am Bloody Ibiza! Also just to be sure I was paying attention, she stuck "Curl Girls" and "The L Word" into her list of nominations for best television drama. I was like "WAIT! Curl Girls is a reality show, right?"