Saturday, March 29, 2008


Tonight I ate coconut chicken with soba noodles and broccoli and watched Wings of Desire by Wim Wenders which I'd never seen and holy beautiful movie. Gorgeous. Poetic. Funny. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds! (I'm not going to tell you about a girl, I'm not going to tell you about a girl..."Let me tellya about a girl!"). And I loved all the scenes in the big library...all the angels hanging around, hovering over all the learning. And of course Marion on the trapeze. I came late to this movie--have heard about it for years--but glad I finally parked myself on my couch and gave it my attention.

Ate a killer meal (made by J-Dawg) in Albany last night and then danced the funky-funk to sax player Sam Kenninger & amazing co.

Bought Aveda shampoo and conditioner, and a book of poems by Chase Twitchell that I'm not sure I'll read, but I felt like buying something and it was used and under $5 so I bought it.

Cheated on a crossword puzzle with J-D. (Was it "romper" or "jumper" in the end? I can't remember...).

Now I'm tired. And will do my new nightly de-cluttering routine. . . . then to sleep and wake up for ritual Sunday morning gathering down south.

And all I can think is: this must be SO BORING to read.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Really Creepy...

So I had this dream last night, long and involved. One part is that my landlord, who lives upstairs with his family in real life, is making a movie and he's hiring me to be in it. I am sitting at a table with his son (he doesn't have a son in real life, but two daughters), and for some reason he is worried that their might be some weird hanky-panky going on between me and his son on the set.

As a way to discuss it, my landlord has created this thick binder with all these print outs of Biblical passages, so the three of us are at their dining room table with the binder. (They are religious in real life; i.e., once when I lost my wallet, and I was looking for it outside in my car, my landlord came up and took my hands and said, "Let's pray," and proceeded to invoke Jesus' name and ask for his guidance and all that.)

In the dream, my landlord starts quoting passages from the Bible. His son totally understands the underlying messages (keeps saying, "I know, Dad," and "Okay, fine. I get it"). I'm totally not following but I also understand they are more for his son than for me.

Each time before my landlord reads a passage he says the name of the book from the Bible; one of the passages is from John.

When I woke up, I could remember "John" and then something that was conceptually about "following the Father," and I'd been trying to remember it all morning.

A not-so-side side note here: I do not know the Bible at all. I have never read it, and I couldn't quote it if you put a million dollars in front of me, except maybe some stuff from Genesis that you'd have to have been born and raised in a cave to not know (let there be light, etc). So I googled "book of John, famous quotes." And I f*cking found it! Consciously, I do not know this quote, couldn't recall it, etc.

But this is IT, without doubt: "And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father."

I'm so creeped out! What is this doing in my subconscious? Maybe my subconscious hooked into Jung's concept of the collective unconscious last night.

There were many other parts to the dream. Another one included a really strange but really nice hotel clerk named Birdie who recommended that my father and I try a restaurant up the street called Delray's which had shrimp and burgers and "frozen cheese!" She said, "I mean frozen cheese. I just love that stuff!" Clearly, she didn't understand that my dad and I were not the Delray type.

The dream life is some of the most bizarre supernatural stuff around.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Some Small Things

I still can't seem to get on the regular blogging path, but here's some things from this week:

*I memorized a new poem I wrote called "I'm wearing that blue dress I hardly ever wear"

*I cleaned my kitchen on Sunday and I've kept it clean ever since. Those who know me know this is a huge event.

*A friend of mine just finished making me a Pogues mix and is sending it in the mail tomorrow, and I'm excited because feels about the (former?) Pogues the way I do about Gogol Bordello, and I am game for any such exposure.

*I took a sick day today for reasons I'll keep to myself.

*I found $40 in cash that I forgot about behind an envelope on a stand near my desk.

*I kept forgetting that April is National Poetry Month, and then remembering, and then forgetting, and then today, remembered again. Click here to sign up to receive a-poem-a-day in your e-mail inbox for the month of April. (*I've just decided that I will, in honor of NPM, post a poem, well, mmmh, I was going to say every day but don't know if that's realistic. I'll do something daily. Maybe favorite poems. Maybe short-spontaneous-created-right-here poems. I'll think about it. Tidbits that I write in my purse-notebook when I'm out and about. I will strive for regularity!)

*I braved Wal-Mart. I feel like I should go to confession. I hate going in there. I really hate it. Despite the fact that it pushes my politically incorrect button (which is, surprisingly and relatively, small), it's one of the few places in the world where I just can't bear to reach out and connect with the rest of humanity. It feels like the supermarket for the miserable people, and while I don't consider myself psychic, I do consider myself sensitive and I go in there and it's thick with something I can't name--it makes me feel hopeless. The only way I could be in there for more than an hour is if I brought in a huge boom box and placed it on the floor (maybe in the purse section) and blasted Gogol Bordello, and started a really fun celebratory riot with shit flying everywhere. All to say, when I do go in, I don't look at anyone. I just follow the red lines of the main trail and head toward the fabric department (no short cuts, too dangerous) where I buy my cheap yarn and then I get the hell out of there. On this particular visit, I went from the smell of kitty litter to the aroma of French fries to the pukey smell of fruity hair conditioner within a span of three feet. God bless America.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Having Blog Guilt and Dating Angst (Sort of)

I have been feeling like a big fat abandoner. Sure, it's only been a week, but when I read a certain friend's blog (M.'s), I am so envious of her ability to write something, almost daily, and still manage to be funny and engaging and provide good blog-reading material.

I saw The Bank Job last night. If you're not a fan of British crime capers that involve pasties, lots of boobs and butts, loud indoor jack hammering, angry black power men, a few corrupt politicians in women's underwear getting whipped (and whole-heartedly enjoying it), or disturbing torture and beatings by slimy men who make pornography, then skip it.

Worst date movie ever.

I was literally nauseous by the closing credits. Granted, my date was as disturbed as I (well not quite, but close).

I'm trying to think how I can get him back. What do you subject a kind, sensitive, artistic fellow to? Runaway Bride? Horton Hears a Who? Blades of Glory? Mmmmh... I'm open to suggestions.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

At Sea

[If you're looking for the Gogol Bordello video story, scroll down.]

So I think this is the first time I'll be posting poetry on here. Maybe because I feel like there's so much of it out there on the web and some of it not great and I'd hate to be lumped with the "not great." Here's one, tho, that just came out in print, and I kind of enjoy it for its provocativeness. I wrote it for a class in grad school and it was picked up by Painted Bride Quarterly in Philly, THREE years ago (not to say that I'm not grateful; they're picky and have a good rep...but for the love of God, 3 years?!). It's just now out in their Print Annual 4--which is a hefty collection that includes 4 issues bound together. Mine appears in #78, the "Pirate" issue. I'm in good company from what I can tell so far.

At Sea

My lover naps below
while I sun on the stern
in my sundress and dream

myself a woman born
for building ships. In the
cushion of sleep I build

this one as I tarry on our
Alaskan island more than a century ago.
My lover is taken at sea

by a striking pirate
who is, underneath it all,
kind and soft and has

adorned my berth
in silk and jewels from the hold.
He touches me evenly

with kid gloves (twenty-two days at sea
and my thighs are much fleshier stories).
The blue woman and the red woman

etched on his forearms steer
the small of my back. This dreamed
vessel, its handsome

mate, immaculate sails,
the worldly character of the sun looming above,
are all my doing. I make myself

the only woman aboard
my bandit gets to win--a bottle
of port at my hip. What I pity most is the untravelled

stationary woman who at night
falls into blank sleep, and awake
veers from this world's distant climes

and men. The breast is a solemn
and familiar place, frightened of setting out--
but the bones, dearheart, the bones want motion.

Map the body's route then the love you plan
to steal and hoard. If nothing else
stay shoreless. The land

husbands your power.
O serious traveler, ready yourself
to dream, to snatch the sabled yawl

from the hulled body of the harbored boat
and row. In your berth with your pirate
when the aged ship rocks

fore and aft, there is no other region
you'll want more than this. Nothing
as delicious as this old salt in your bed.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

American Wedding Video: The Cast

Now it's time to introduce the main players in this thing
(again, photos, except for #3, were taken by Nathan Jones).

The story of the video is thus: The worst of the worst in American wedding receptions. Boring company. God-awful music. People doing the chicken dance (few enough to make it feel pretty sad). Bad food--the cheese balls are congealed on the plates with the salad dressing and there are questionable finger sandwiches.

Enter gypsy punk catering company.

Enter Gogol Bordello to teach us what it means to celebrate the betrothed, Bordello-style:

Bartender and ringleader played by GB's frontman Eugene Hutz

Catering gals Elizabeth Sun (cymbal player) and Pamela Racine (drummer) carting out the drink and the replacement food, including best of all, the really thick, really phallic kielbasa (sausage).

Note: The food (real stuffed birds, roasted hocks of stuff, the truly aromatic sausage) sat out on the snack table (directly behind my table) for TWO DAYS without refrigeration. By the end of Day 2, us Table 2 residents had watery eyes and took leave in between takes to get away from the smell.

More of the catering staff
(L to R, Pedro Erazo, bongo player, general on-stage rabble-rouser, and enthusiastic stage-diver, from Ecuador; Oren Kaplan, guitar player, he's amazing on that thing!, from Israel; Yuri Lemeshev, resident clown and master accordionist, from Russia; Tommy Gobena, bass player who hales from Ethiopia, a sweet, sweet man; and Eliot Ferguson, drum-kit player, the one who Eugene says is "the only sane member of the band," from the wilds of California)

and, we can't forget ...

The guy who starts all the musical trouble at this particular reception (Sergey Rjabtzev, violinist and former theater director in Moscow)

Stay tuned for more....

photos by

Sunday, March 09, 2008

American Wedding Video: Behind the Scenes, Part I

[photos by Bob Jones,]

The filming of the Gogol Bordello video, "American Wedding," all took place in the basement of this church...

the Holy Ghost Ukrainian Church in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

My father and stepmother were featured extras, as the parents of the bride, while I played a regular extra, a guest at the reception. (Truth be told: if you are going to refer to us as such, please use the term "background artists," out of respect.)

Introducing the Dandy Dwarves

The video was shot by a production company called the Dandy Dwarves (watch their reel on You Tube). From what I can gather, they met as students at the Savannah College of Art and Design (or "SCAD"). While they never learned our names for how absorbed they were in video making, we came to know them in a certain way over a period of 2 days. We watched them work, 32 hours straight, hard (and that was just the hours we witnessed, there were other hours, more of them, later ones).

This is Ian, the Assistant Director:

He was one of my favorite people on the shoot. He was the one who yelled "quiet on the set, please!" and "rolling film," and "action!". He was very strict, very funny, and clearly dedicated (it was his job to keep things moving). We came to know his voice, we came to fear it, and then we came to respect and love it. At least I did. This was a rare moment, him sitting, not standing holding his clipboard, yelling.

This is the Director, Grant.

Yes, ladies, he was dreamy, soft-spoken, nice. He mostly gave suggestions to Kevin (pictured below); only rarely did I hear an actual order. And I watched him try and deal diplomatically with Eugene (who does NOT like to be told what to do). Grant knelt down a lot, made his hands into a makeshift frame, and always had a to-go coffee cup in hand. He and Kevin were amazing to watch. They'd talk quietly, then suddenly Kevin would stand up and go, "Okay, battery, I need a battery!"

And this, my friends, is Kevin, the DP (Director of Photography):

Kevin, Kevin, Kevin.
Kevin is a real life superhero, in my book. A slight man from the waist down, but his arms are BUFF, dude-- from hauling a camera, running with it on his shoulder, weaving in and out of wedding guests on the dance floor at top speed, spinning, and turning. I swear, at any moment, I expected him to take flight, for little wings to sprout from his back, and glitter to leak out of his shoes. Peter Pan-ish you could say. If you watched him for 10 minutes, you'd know he's brilliant. Not because of his buff arms, but because of how focused he is, how so completely committed to the task at hand, whatever was right in front of him. He was fast and un-self-consciously inspired, and never once stopped moving. When another guy had to strap on a steady-cam (see Chris below), while Kevin watched from the side, he'd jump up and down while the scene played out, up and down for how absorbed he'd be in watching it all go down.

There was also Josh, who worked camera 2:

and Steady-Cam Chris (super-nice guy):

There were many others--producer, art department, food folks, electric and lighting, grips, etc, some who are part of the DD core, and others who came in just for this particular project (make-up, casting, and wardrobe).

"American Wedding Video: Behind the Scenes, Part II" will introduce...(drum roll please)...the super-ultimate reason for this whole shoot: Gogol Bordello.

Important note: Again, all of the above photos were taken by Nathan Jones, another Dandy Dwarf, I believe. I did take my own pictures, and a few of them will appear in the slide show to come, but this guy took A LOT of pictures and they are beautiful, high-quality photos. So most images that will appear on this blog about the video are his.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

In the Meantime, Falling Objects

I am still sifting through the thousand plus photos passed along by the Dandy Dwarves, the video production company. I'm about half-way through them. Soon, soon! It'll be worth the wait!

In the meantime, I read an article this morning in the Times about a metal disc that fell from the ceiling of a theater and hit an audience member in the head (she turned out okay), and the writer of the article invited readers to send in their stories of their encounters with random falling objects. Here are some of my favorites:

"While waiting to cross the street at 54th and Broadway a few years back a quart of milk hit me in the head--weird stuff happens." --T. Meyers

"A pigeon flew into my head at 59th & 3rd once when I was eating a hot dog...Part of a gargoyle fell & hit a friend of mine..." --J. Timms

"Walking along the street with my husband and friends a few summers ago, a large praying mantis about 8 inches long landed on my head in a strong wind. Talk about freaking out!!! I’m sure he wasn’t aiming for my hair…it landed on me with a thud. I was dancing like a crazy woman until my husband pulled it off of me and put it on a tree. We’d never seen such a large one. I hear it’s good luck to have that experience, but I could have done without it..." --Kim

"About 6 years ago my coworker and I were walking on 9th Avenue in the 50s and a ceramic flowerpot fell off a third floor balcony and hit her on the head...She had a concussion for a week." --Carolyn

"Just a direct hit of seagull doo into my beer at a baseball game, during the pre-game 'toss a ball into the little hole' event. The seagull and I should have won the car." --ap

"During The Mystery of Edwin Drood, the actors in one scene started throwing around stale bread, and I got conked in the head with a stale bagel..." --S. Katz

"I’ve lived in South Florida for years, and have had a number of experiences of large palm fronds dropping from trees near me. They are very heavy, and can do a lot of damage if they hit you." --Sally

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Some pics from American Wedding video shoot

Here's one pic of me and Pam as a preview... both she and Elizabeth were so gracious and sweet.

And below is a link to some photos taken by Joe Holmes, a fellow who was one table over from me with his beautiful daughter Sophia (you'll see one of her with Eugene sitting at a table). He's an incredible photographer. None of me or my dad and Ann in his collection, but they give a really great and accurate feel of the shoot, and there's some great photos of the crew--they were up there as a highlight of the whole experience for me:

Joe Holmes' photos on Flicker of American Wedding video shoot

I will post a slide show of the rest of my pics very soon...have some re-sizing of files to do. Enjoy these in the meantime!