Mighty Casey Has Struck Out

Friday, August 17, 2007

What's not to love?

Corey Arnold, from Bering Sea Crabbing

My God, has it really been almost three weeks since I've written anything? Judging by the date of my last post, I have to assume Yes! Partly I've been busy. I mean like ass-glued-to-the-work-bench, sleeping-for-days-in-my-contacts, too-weary-to-even-run-for-breakfast/lunch/dinner busy. And partly, I've managed to piss off my family (again!) by writing something needlessly cavalier just for a cheap and probably unlikely laugh.

So, insert deep breath here, to my sister who came up to visit with her family–kids and all–for probably only the third or fourth time in her own life and definitely the first time in their lives, I apologize. It was a pleasure to watch my nephew, scared and excited, delicately hand over the doggie gift he'd been holding onto for over four hundred miles, it was my honor to escort the gang through our city's exemplary children's museum of science, perhaps even redefining the "human scare response" exhibit, and it was with great sadness I left them standing at a long line waiting for a ride on our city's famous public transport (editor's note: Casey has perhaps taken some poetic license here).

I totally appreciated the visit and the only excuse I have, is that sometimes I totally suck. The girl who learns not to put her foot in her mouth (or is it, pen in her eye?) is the girl I hope to one day meet.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Why Come?

Adam Fuss, Untitled, image from pinhole camera

We survived the wedding. We survived the in-town guests. Hell, we even survived the 70's. But let's get down to brass tacks here: the film is done! No wait, it's not really done! I may cut it down to an hour. I may cut it down to 75 minutes. But technically it's reached the length it's supposed to be and that time is 86:40.

I still have to work with the composer, which means I have to let go of my temp track, which is a lot harder than I ever imagined. How do I let go? One song at a time I suppose. But I am sure the composer is sick of me saying, can you make it sound a little more like this? Something akin to giving line readings to an actor I imagine.

There are still a few more shots I need to, well, shoot. And then there's that spot about 50 minutes in where time seems to stand still, and that's not in a good way. Plus, there's the fact that we still don't have a title. OK! Not so done! But feeling done-ish. And ready to let the editor go.

The good news is that I am finding ways to squeeze in smaller moments that I really missed, but couldn't place anywhere. Like when one schoolgirl talking to another says: puberty, I don't know whats that anyways and later, when that same schoolgirl talks about her boyfriend, explains, almost wistfully: we give each other pencils. I have fallen in love with the action in the background, the things no one would ever catch upon first viewing, and I find myself spontaneously repeating the film's lines throughout the day: c'mon all you lazy children! polyester...100% and that is so a lie! We find ways to amuse ourselves. We find ways to let go. We find ways to ignore the following question:

How will we define ourselves when this is all done?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Away from Home

Jona Frank, Siobahn, Girl Scout, CA

A packed bag! An airplane trip! A family wedding to attend with my parents! OK, scratch the exclamation point on that last one. While I am happy to get out of town for the weekend, and happier still to be typing this up at my long lost friend's house while she breast feeds the baby, I do have to admit that I am not looking forward to another family wedding. Another family wedding where the bride and groom are at least a decade younger than me, another family wedding where I have to attend stag whether it's because I'm single...or well, because in the eyes of my family not being married means technically I am still single. And another family wedding where, in lieu of attending with a date, a partner, or hell even alone, I am tagging along with my parents. On the up side, at least I know that means I will be leaving early.

In other news, I have big plans for this short weekend in the city of my birth. There are palm trees to stand beneath, traffic to sit in, and star sightings to miss–and I'm not talking about those to be found in the ursa minor. Wish me luck! I'll have my screenplay in hand and a sharpened pencil for my free personality test.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A coupla three things to say here

Christine Wong, Green Present, 2007
balsa wood and paper

I haven't written anything here because I have been obsessed with finishing the film. OBSESSED. Assessing the howmuchmorevulnerablecanIfeel feedback, setting a date to ohmygawd lock picture, taking Ihatethispart publicity stills. I simply have no more room for creative thought in my brain. And obviously nothing to write about here. Yeah, I could tell you about the pain, the suffering, the long list of minutia one has to attend to, the difficulty in trying to replace the scratch music you love with the actual music made by the composer you hire. Let alone the absolute trauma that sets in when I actually have to watch my own film. It's not that I don't like it, or that I think others won't either, it's just getting to be too much to bear. Six years my friends! I am ready to move on, know what I mean?

What I do have energy for is cooking, for organizing the wee apartment we all share, and for walking the dog. There's apricot ice-cream. There's finally getting around to watching the last Soprano's episode. And there's a night of spontaneous in-town guests and accordion playing. But, I'm not getting out much these days. And that's OK. I've hardly noticed it's summer, if it weren't for all the available fruit at the grocery store.

On the horizon. Hopefully, a trip. Optimistically speaking, a job. And one day, a larger apartment to share.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Stop Freaking Out On Me

Amy Stein, Halloween in Harlem

I am back, after a long, sweaty, and sticky weekend spent mostly in the car driving up and down our fair coast. Without air-conditioning. With one working window. And oh, including a 55-pound, panting dog squirming on my lap. Ah, the joys of owning a now-aging, gas-guzzling, pick-up truck. We arrived wilted and returned, if possible, even less unrefreshed.

All in all, it wasn't that bad. In fact, you might even say the trip was good. The boyfriend met the family. The family bought the dinner. The girlfriend, or, me, that is, felt comfortable enough to leave them alone together while she washed up. She returned to find both parties not only unharmed but actually engaging in conversation. To wit, she couldn't get a word in edgewise the rest of the night.

As for the rest of the weekend, it went smashingly well. And when I say smashingly, I do mean smashingly. The boyfriend broke the parent's shower, in addition to the side window on my truck. Though both events were, as far as he assured me, unrelated and accidental, I am considering a padded helmet and an insurance policy for any future southbound trips. Other highlights included: a pod of dolphins, a swarm of bees and a gaggle of siblings.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

oh boy oh boy oh boy

painting by Dennis McNulty

Take a deep breath. OK. OK. Did that. Now what?

Too much coffee. Too many things on my brain. Too much socializing. Too much beer. Too much homemade ice-cream (toasted coconut!) But all good for my health. The best, in fact.

The weather. Somewhat hot. The dog. Somewhat lazy. The boyfriend. Somewhat amazing. It could be worse. This order could be reversed.

¡Damas y caballeros! We could be reaching a break through here. Or maybe just a turning point. Or it could be more like the end of a really, really long journey. Like through the desert. Like being lost and then found. Like the coldest beer after the hottest car ride. Or the fizziest coca cola after unpacking all of your boxes. Do I make any sense?

I am talking about the film here. THE FILM! Other things, may be to apply as well. But THE FILM. It is nearing completion. It is nearing ohmygawd completion. Ready or not. It's done!



And then what?

A vacation.

A much needed vacation.

Monday, June 11, 2007

No one cares about me more than you do

Idris Khan, every...Bernd and Hilla Becher Gable sided Houses

The weekend. The weekend! Can you hear me, I said the weekend!! Can you d-i-g i-t?! (and I do not mean digit!)

In short, a barbecue. Strawberries that were planted. More blooming flowers that were bought and subsequently planted. A dog that was bad, very bad, and scared away the neighbor's puppy after whom we all had to run in a million different directions looking and whom was found, but not by me, and at a much earlier hour, much earlier than the hour I actually came back from looking for her.

To continue: a strenuous hike. With a view! A knowledgeable fellow hiker who pointed out a rattlesnake track on the dirt! A break! A much-needed break from the film I can't finish! Potato leek soup, even though it is by no means potato leek soup season!


Also, a day spent helping the fifteen year-old with her special final history video project for which she had done hardly any work at all! All semester! And for whom I could offer very little assistance, seeing as she hadn't done anything at all, and also who had very little to say about Nicaragua, the subject of her special final history video project which, in addition to, is the birthplace of her father.

One more thing. One more thing!

I saw an OK movie: Since Otar Left. A crier! But slow! I read some good stories, like those that were inside the last issue of McSweeney's. I continue to read that good book, Everything Is Illuminated.


Ali Farka Touré on the stereos! Mom on the telephone!


An argument with the boyfriend that was resolved amicably and quite possibly for the betterment of the relationship! Apologies accepted!


Successful annual gynecological exam at 9AM this morning! Even though I was reminded that I am past my prime for child birthing!


Friday, June 08, 2007

No one knows me better than you

Hot Knives, Tim Barber

Coffee and donuts. No wait. More like cherries and peaches. More like, more like, chocolate. And tea. Fancy tea. The kind where the leaves unfurl like fists. Baby fists. The kind in the see-through tea pots. They kind they sell at upscale markets.

The kind I don't have.

That's what today feels like. Special and not special at the same time. But right. Just right. And me. It feels like me. Which is a good feeling. It means human. It means normal. It means I can feel excited and antsy and angry and sad and bored. And I promise I won't blame anyone else for it.

Tomorrow I hang out with the fifteen year-old. The one I made a film about.


To quote Miranda July for no other reason than I just read her book and, whom, if you know me, know is both my hero and my nemesis:

I look forward to seeing you next week if you live in LA, SF, Portland or Seattle.
It will be terrific, I will bow when I see you, you will bow when you see me, we will bump heads and knock each other unconscious and when we come to we won’t remember anything, we will mumble pardon me and shuffle off in to brand new lives. I really can not wait.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Coming Through Slaughter

Buddy Bolden and Band

This weekend was all decentish (thank you to Kurt's OPE for letting me borrow one or two of his idiosyncrasies. Although technically I didn't ask, I must also assume he stole it from some where else). Though the weather gloomy and cold–despite the fact that it is now June–we managed an outing or two. One thing is that we discovered our local library. We both got cards and have become quite compulsive in scouring their DVDs, CDs, and New Materials sections. Did you know you can check out back issues of Harper's, The New York Review of Books (which modestly claims the title: the premier literary-intellectual magazine in English language) and, well, we haven't actually located a copy of Hustler yet, but we can see no reason why it shouldn't be there, too.

It feels really good to go to the library. Like riding your bike to work. Like I am a good citizen of the world! Hooray for me! Because of all the doom and gloom we spent the rest of the day browsing through our materials. I got two cookbooks; I am finally able to read Everything Is Illuminated; and here is a tip for you: do not confuse the band Django with the legendary musician, Django Reinhardt. Not all of our CDs, it seems, can be winners.

Cookies were made. No cleaning was done. Intimacy was had. And while some were out triumphantly consuming hot dogs, we were watching movies outdoors, in the park, with cute kids, all bundled up, some of the cute kids being kids I knew pretty well. And despite an expensive and alarming trip to the Vet, the days felt leisurely and long. So leisurely, in fact, I have a hard time admitting to myself that I am now supposed to be working.


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Continuing Existence of Things I Do Not Understand

All The Knives, Emily Prince

After both my mother and sister telegraphed their concern, I have decided to retract last week's blog post. I do not hate nor do I love any of you. The great influx of estrogen has finally leveled off and things are back to normal. That is, if you consider harboring fantasies of dropping everything and running to Belize normal. For whatever reason we hit a relatively rough patch and I am still hungover from all the uncontrollable sobbing.

But really, I am OK. The dog is alive and sleeping. The apartment mostly unscathed and the boyfriend still standing albeit now with a limp. The comforter is perhaps a little less downy due to all the languishing that had to happen but the pillows are finally dry. Words were said and while some of them held meaning, hindsight–and a few Motrin–now tell us that many of them, in fact, did not.

All this to say we are feeling back on trackish. There are gyms to which we must begrudgingly drag ourselves. Food stuffs to be purchased and then consumed before legal expiration dates. And a certain opus that could benefit from some attention. Namely ours.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Messages in a bottle

Ann Hamilton, Reflection

You disappoint me. All of you. Each and every one.

But you,

You alone make me happy.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


*Emily and Her Pink Things, JeongMee Yoon

The tomatoes are in the pots. The sunflower seeds in the ground. And the new boyfriend has officially moved in. I'm not sure how any of these things happened. They just did. And for the record, this time around I have decided to take a particularly lax attitude. As in, so what that we haven't gone out and actually done anything 3 weekends in a row, who cares that you eat a significant amount more of the food products than I do and that when you do the dishes you always leave all of the cutlery unwashed in the sink, and really, honey, it's endearing when the night you decide you are going to actually cook a meal, you run out and buy burritos at the last minute. At least, well, at least you're not throwing the dishes at me, eating expensive meals without me, and um, the amount of crumbs you leave behind tells me that you must really exist. Let's just say that your idea of yelling at the pundits on Fox News for hours on end or obsessively writing letters to the editor of Salon magazine, is not really my idea of having a relaxing time. No, I haven't Googled your name in the last few weeks, no, I don't feel the need to watch the O'Reilly Factor daily in order to take the pulse of middle America, and yes, my dog is now your dog, too, complete with all feedings, walkings and sheddings that may occur.

It's been awhile, folks. And we are both a little out of practice. Suffice to say we are entering that blobby, somewhat murky period often referred to by psychiatrists as transition. We know not what lies on the other side nor how long it may take to actually get the hang of it. I don't need to tell you the exact measurements of our "one-bedroom" apartment for you to understand that it will take some measure of diplomacy for the three of us to come out alive. Perhaps, like the time I sold my house because I couldn't find a roommate or the time I moved four hundred miles because I couldn't sleep at night, or when I adopted a 60 pound dog despite the fact that I had no yard, I have once-again jumped the gun. And I want you to know. Mistakes were made. But not by me.

Ethan and His Blue Things, JeongMee Yoon

*Editor's Note: Any likenesses from the above blog post to JeonMee Yoon's photographs are purely coincidental and entirely unintentional.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

No Comment

Closer, Tim Sullivan

Casey is taking a personal day. Even though she is not actually employed and only in theory works for herself, she is taking the day off from even that pretense. Casey prefers that she might have chosen a better day, say one in which the sun actually shown and the sky did not look quite so bleak, nonetheless, she realizes that the school-yard saying still holds true: beggars can't be choosers. Her plans for the day might include such exhilarating activities as: doing the dishes that have approached the dining room, buying more soil for the as-yet-unplanted cucumbers dying on her front porch, surfing the internet ad nauseum, and maybe, just maybe, twiddling her thumbs. We can only hope she accomplishes half of what she has set out to do today.

At first glance one might think that were Casey to take a day off from the utterly non-lucrative practice of pretending to be a filmmaker, she might want to engage in more productive activities, perhaps by: looking for a real job with real–and by real we mean not of the imaginary kind–benefits, applying for an art residency where, at the very least, she could be with her own delusional kind, or securing a proper mate who can better sustain her hobbies, i.e. one who doesn't need to be walked twice a day. But alas, Casey has decided to put her own self-indulgent needs above the more practical ones that society has to offer, namely the suggestion that it might just be time to grow up.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter

Andrew Moore, Red Chairs

The days are getting really long. Too long? Is summer here? I can hardly tell. What I do know is that the weeks seem to be racing by. That I have been concentrating on one really important thing for far too much time and that that really important thing is actually going to end in the not too distant future.

A lot rides on that important thing. Which happens when you put your heart into something. And because a lot rides on it, I have a hard time letting go. This runs both in favor of the important thing and against it. In favor because you will not quit until your vision is met. Against because you completely loose perspective over time and can easily get stuck in the mire. Too much simply means too much.

They say, a film is never finished, but merely abandoned. They also say a film is never finished until it meets the audience. And I suppose I would add that a film is never done until the filmmaker actually agrees to stop looking at it in front of the edit bay. Until then, my friends, the important thing remains an important thing hanging over her head.

It's going to be long. And it's going to be uncomfortable.

Sweat. Blood. And tears.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Long Day's Journey

photo by Johan Bjorkegren

I guess it's been too hot to write. Or maybe it's that I have been out doing too many activities. Or perhaps the lack of comments has forced me to seek attention and recognition elsewhere. Whatever the causes I have decided to come back. Not because I have anything really of import to say. But mostly, so that when I die there will be some kind of record for which I could posthumously receive acknowledgement, maybe an award or two, like for Most Improved Blog, or even just a coupla thank you's from my former employers. I don't know. I guess it's pointless. But yet. We persevere.

My dog got bit on the face not too long ago. Blood gushed from his nose as I watched helplessly while he shook a Rottweiler, firmly attached to his snout, across the gravel driveway. The neighbors looked on and while they weren't exactly cheering, nor where they offering any assistance. As I banged the Rottweiler on the head with the only instrument I had handy: a DVD of Casino Royale as rented from Blockbuster, the owner of the aforementioned assault weapon ran out and got his damn dog off of mine.

We survived having only lost a t-shirt and dishrag in the bargain. The five-hour vet trip was pretty exciting however what with all the swallowed fox-tails, violently shaking Chihuahuas and the unexpected entrance of a hit-by-car that took up all of the resources of the staff. For the remaining four hours, I sat in silence next to the perpetrator's owner with absolutely nothing to say save a brief exchange about our dog's ages. Thankfully there were no stitches involved and all damages were assumed by the guilty party.

And that's the extent of it. Allergies. Sweat. Ripe Fruit. And more strawberry rhubarb pie.

It's gonna be a long summer.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


MARY CONRAD, Tell Your Stories Here

This week as I left the office for a lunch break, I ran into the adult-learners' ESL class in the stairwell. Literally, ran into them. It's that time of year. The time of year when the class escalates to a frenetic climax, where exuberance is at it's apex because the adult ESL students now know enough language to be allowed to roam the halls. Yes, it's Spring and apparently that means the students can leave behind the primitive instructions of the classroom–with it's ticking clock, assigned seating and dry-erase board–for the more tangible language experience that resides in our hallways, elevators, and, yes, even the stairwell.

and then, in unison

Can I help it if I smile at the intimate class of little–and I mean all under 5 feet–old Asian ladies and a surprisingly tall and thin white lady, as they giggle and shuffle through the building, all the while apologizing profusely in a very well enunciated English? Do you blame me for finding the whole thing cute and, well, refreshing? Am I really that racist or ageist?

It's probably even worse than that.

But the good news is:
that I still find a couple scenes from my film funny
that the bike ride home only gets better
that pork chops are not only easy, but quite tasty to make
that, despite the tireless debates–about fashion, politics and who is doing a better job of listening–the man across the kitchen table
is a man I find quite worth the meal.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Ha Ha

San Francisco in Jell-O, LIz Hickok

Isn't it time to be funny? Isn't that why you come here? Isn't that the point of surfing the internet? Who wants to hear about my problems? Certainly not you. Well, not me neither. I want to laugh. Right now. Goddamnit. Someone make me laugh.
Is it too much?

Sunday, April 08, 2007


urbanirony project , wroclaw poland 2007

Last night we watched someone hang themself on television.

Close Up someone grabs a seashell off the night table
Cut to Wide Shot a man clutching his neck, a paroxysm for air, legs kicking
Cut to The Next Scene wherein life goes on but not for our man hanging from the rafters

Fade into me on the couch with a pillow over my face. Pillow soft and smothering. Quick. Access to memory banks. Retrieve new memory to replace the one of Cayce hanging himself like the man on tv. Did his legs kick? Did he grab the prayer beads like the man on the tv grabbed the seashell? Was it just suddenly the only idea possible? The only one worth having? THE LAST IDEA?

The last idea.

Imagine that.

Or was the last idea regret? Did that one make it's way before the end of life did? Would it matter? Would it matter to me? Would it make things different somehow?

It's not unpredictable that these things happens. It's the risk of watchingtelevision, openingabook, walkingoutside. It's the risk of the living.

And I am not afraid of it.

I'm sorry.


A way to be with you. To be close.


And I mean now.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

what love should mean?

If I tole you that last night's dinner was baked tofu–courtesy of Trader Joe's, microwaved popcorn, and beer from the local liquor store. If I tole you three rejection letters in 1 week. If I tole you, if I tole you, if I tole you.
Things aren't so bad.
The sky was pink last night for a real long time. And then a perfect water's blue. We sat on the wet beach. And sand got in my shoes, in my pockets, in my drawers.
There is a Foster's Freeze I walk by every day. At night they have an old neon sign they light up. The lights pop on and off and makes a nighttime sound as comforting as crickets.
We walked the beltway. We saw jackrabbits too fast for the dog to catch. We carried the dog across the brambles and still, afterwards, he stopped, paw in the air, waiting for someone to clean out the thorns.
With whipped cream except I forgot to buy the cream.

seventh grade excerpt:
what love should mean?

what love should mean?

i don't even know what the heck you are talking about.
first you don't care about anybody and then you do?

how 'bout generous? i don't know!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Squeeze. Erin V. Sotak is an installation and performance artist concerned with notions of absurdity, futility, consumption, labor, and aesthetics. Her work is best described as a moving tableau that is re-rendered through the photographic process. Sotak will fabricate a new space in the Sesnon gallery using a variety of materials including wood, wall coverings, raw silk, and pomegranates. The piece revisits ideas of constraint versus restraint, seen versus unseen, interior versus exterior, and the distinct blur of the separateness of experience that occurs in a singular shared moment.
Don't ask me why the TV is blaring in the background. Generally I hate TV. I mean I really hate it. It has a lot to do with having been a really bad cable television editor for two many years. It has a lot to do with having started my career as an editor for really bad cable television editor in broadcast news. It has to do with cringing every time I hear an audio-booth recorded voice over. Or see a Queer-Eye style animated show open. Or am manipulated to stay tuned for the next half hour by the much-repeated dangling carrot of a grand deus ex machina executed in a ten-second tease.

There. I just saw a commercial for Cotton. Cotton? Yea, cotton. Pussycat Dolls. Tyra Banks. It's been a while since I tuned in. Clare Danes and The Boyfriend Trouser™. Cheese-It Stix. I recognize none of the station bugs.

The mute button. The remote. My kingdom for the remote.

The week. In fragments. My week. Just like the TV. My friend who decided to don his Tibetan prayer beads, shortly before killing himself. The toxicology report. The Vicodin in his system. His wife. His wife. Who will never be the same. His kids. His precious kids. Who I love more than warm, straight-from-the-tap maple syrup on waffles. Nothing better than to hear them giggling. Nothing more reassuring. And thank god. There are still giggles. Thank god. Even when I don't believe.

And the leaves. How quickly they grow back on the trees. As if they were never gone. And we have forgotten what the bare tree is.

How quickly. We forget.