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Author Updates

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Nothing like a world-wide heat wave, another killer tsunami, and war in the Middle East rapidly escalating to potential global catastrophe to make one feel that writing an amusing (in best case scenario) comedy of manners is a worthwhile way to spend one’s time. Actually, in some perverse way, the worse the news gets, the more easy and appealing it is to sit around making up imaginary conversations between people who don’t exist. In early September of 2001, was reading Paying Guests by E.F Benson, a witty, frothy Edwardian thing about a bunch of lunatic guests at a little provincial inn. Somehow, it seemed the perfect reading material for the unhappy moment.

Was asked by Sam Karmann (director of French film adaptation for True Enough) if I would like to be in a scene. Agreed of course, carefully tamping down embarrassing enthusiasm for the idea. (At last, my movie career about to begin!) Sent relevant statistics yesterday to costume person. Hadn’t considered that a costume would be necessary for a .5-second appearance in a crowd, one among dozens of others. Scene films in Paris on August 31. Meaning I’d better get plane tickets in order.

French publicity trip reportedly shaping up nicely. Meaning I’d better start language lessons and try to enroll in total immersion school for at least one or two weeks before first of September. Attempting to write story for in-house magazine of Hotel de Crillon in Paris. Needless to say, have never been to Hotel de Crillon in Paris, but some kind of plush similarity in all opulent hotel rooms, whereas squalid hotel rooms have more individuality. Compensation for story is 3-night stay at hotel. Looking forward to that, assuming not too intimidated to walk in front door.

Posted by Stephen @ 11:13 PM EST

Monday, July 3, 2006

Saw the exhilaratingly awful Devil Wears Prada last night. A movie one must see with friends to discuss it afterwards: “Was that really as terrible as I thought?” “What scene did YOU find the most embarrassing?” “Have you ever seen a more witless movie?” “I counted at least three soundtrack/montage moments in the first half hour. What about YOU?” “Wasn’t that just SO unfunny when….”

The kind of movie in which, the moment a character says, “I can’t wait to get to Paris,” you know she’ll never go. Meryl (I’d-Watch-Her-Read-the-Phonebook) Streep finally overpraised for a performance. Acting ultimately upstaged by splendid hairdo and actress undone by complete lack of character development. (“She’s the boss, see, and she’s a bitch, but instead of yelling, she WHISPERS! Isn’t that amazing?”) Fashion show aspect appealing, but even that gets exhausting. (OK, I get it. Anne Hathaway looks good in black.) Woman sitting next to me text messaging throughout movie and massive comings and goings of audience to bathroom and popcorn counter. Began hoping for a thunderstorm to knock out power about 10 minutes in. No such luck.

Posted by Stephen @ 08:53 AM EST

Saturday, July 1, 2006

Enjoying solitude of Rockport cottage for holiday weekend with mosquitoes outside (mostly) the screens and bedroom full of heady, borderline repellent smell of privet. Overcome by pleasant lassitude brought on by warm weather, abundant sun, companionship of ancient dog, and two hours spent rereading To the Lighthouse in desultory fashion. Also by walk through tourist town with sun-scorched visitors eating ice cream and bored shop clerks in pastel sundresses falling asleep at cash registers and teenagers traveling with families, scowling in flip-flops in an attempt to be exonerated from association with parents.

In pathetic attempt to be charming, asked my tenant in basement apartment of nearby house if she’d tell me the name of her “beautiful perfume.” (Genuinely interested in perfume and scent, in a purely voyeuristic way.) She explained it was a room freshener she’d been spraying around to disguise the overpowering smell of mildew. Sorry I asked. No follow-up for that one.

Posted by Stephen @ 07:04 PM EST

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