Feb 4 2009

Born Free

How cute are we together.

Good times on the road.

Well, I did it. I released the mancub from captivity. It hurt a little. But it was time. And it was a fun — and mother of God was it long — drive. But that’s what you get when you borrow a nearly 20 year-old car that feels like it’s going to explode if you go above 65. With no CD player or satellite radio. Oh, and no AC, which is normally not a problem in February. But this is the Soutwest, and these are times of global warming… I’m sorry, I meant to say Climate Change. And even though I was in the best of company, I WAS DYING. We were both dying. It was the longest motherfucking drive ever. Ever.

But an important journey it was. For the thought of him running free in his natural habitat, the impossibly beautiful desert of the southwest, fills my heart and my head with indescribable joy. And titillation. There goes one tough act to follow.

Mainly because I love the desert of the southwest so much. It’s also where I grew up (though in a neighboring state). No place feels more holy to me that the desert.

Nonetheless, this gives me an excellent excuse to visit the desert more often, and a cozy place to stay while I’m there. I’m liking this new arrangement already.

Eagerly filling my tank. I don't even have to ask him to pump.

Filling my tank.

I should really aim to find a new mancub with roots somewhere really exotic, someplace I’ve always wanted to visit. A destination location. So that next time I set him free… well, you get the picture. Venice. Barcelona. Hawaii (been there, but I’ll go again).

Door close, window open. Door close, window open.

Jan 5 2009

Only One Thing Can Come Between A Man And His Destiny: BACK ISSUES.

Isn’t that a catchy little logline? Thank you. I wrote it.

Sorry if I’m gloating. I’m just UBER EXCITED about the San Francisco premiere of the short film I produced 2 years ago (shot here in San Francisco), “Back Issues“.

And it’s finally making its San Francisco big-screen debut as part of SF Indie Fest, after touring the world on the festival circuit. Screening dates are February 8 & 15 at The Roxie Cinema. Visit the link above for more information. Okay, here’s the synopsis:

It’s Friday morning. A proposal has been made. The clock is ticking. A decision must be reached.

Do you put an expiration date on your dream? That is the question Peter, an aspiring comic book letterer, must face after his proposal to his girlfriend, Felicia, is met with an ultimatum: “Either give up comics and get a real job, or we’re through.” Come Monday, Peter must decide. And all on the day he decided to quit smoking.

As if Peter isn’t under enough pressure, there are still more surprises awaiting him at Al’s Comics, where he works. Al weighs in on Peter’s dilemma – and Al’s opinion is usually not what Peter wants to hear. There’s also Foggy, a regular who paints a picture of love too impossibly perfect (he met his wife at Comicon) to be true. And of course, the annoying customer who just. won’t. go. away. ever.

Things go from bad to worse when the world’s most inept thieves show up to rob the store. Luckily for Peter, he has an ally in Diana, a new customer (and fellow comic book artist) who is much more than she appears. It all leads to a moment of reckoning when Peter realizes that only one thing stands between him and his destiny:

Back Issues.

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! Also in February, Back Issues is screening in LA as part of the Show Off Your Shorts Festival! It’s also the first 2 weeks in February, and as soon as I have screening dates, I’ll put the word out. Word.

To learn more, please visit the official site at www.backissuesmovie.com. Or watch the trailer here at back_issues_teaser_mpeg_4_300kbps

Sep 17 2008

That there traveler looks an awful lot like me.

I had a conversation recently with a complete stranger. Some of my favorite conversations are with complete strangers. You’re starting with a clean slate and can be the you that you want to be — for as long as you’re able to keep up the act. Admit it, you do it too. Not lying, no not at all. Just omitting all the whiney crap with which we pepper our conversations with friends.

Back to the conversation: The subject was travel, for the most part. Drive vs. fly; solo vs. others, 5-star vs. backpacking. etc. etc. etc. And the fact of the matter is, we decided, travel is travel. It’s all good, it’s all relative.

And then he said, “it’s as though you shed some of the identities you’ve taken on with each step away from home, the world seems sharper and vivid.” And long after the conversation ended, I couldn’t stop thinking about what he said.

Why do our identities bring us down so much that the world improves when we shed them? Shouldn’t these identities — since the are after all a part of us — enhance our daily experience here (and during travel) that much more, giving us an enriched perspective?  It’s as if we send someone else out there, the part of ourselves we like, the part that can relax, “just be myself”. So are we not ourselves at home? Sure there’s work, family, obligations, etc. But that is all part of one’s “self”. I mean, I get that travel is freeing and liberating and fantasy-filled and not a realistic existence for which most of us could trade in our “real lives”. But it’s that state of mind, that here-and-now, that we can keep.

Then why don’t we? Why not make that one of our many identities, in addition to offspring, spouse, parent, employee, home decorator, carpooler, choc-o-holic, sex-goddess, etc.?  Why not approach every step away from our front door as an adventure, a journey, a trip in and of itself? Actually, it is when you think about it. You don’t know what’s going to happen. You know what will probably happen — probably what happened yesterday. And the day before. Wake, shower, coffee, drive to work, banter with colleagues, work, bathroom, coffee, email, work lunch masturbate etc etc etc blah blah blah.

But you don’t know for certain; this may be the day your CPR skills are put to the test when you pull over to help an accident victim. Or the day when you find a complete stranger at the gas station is so intriguing that you make up some lame excuse to be “…going to the mall too! Gee, what a coincidence!” Or any number of scenarios that definitely did not happen yesterday. I think it’s called living in the present. I think we’re supposed to do that while planning for the future and learning from the past. Something like that.

Back to travel & the whole identity thing. I think about this a lot lately because as you know (if you’ve read any of this blog before), I blew up my life as I knew it over a year ago. And in the explosion, I lost some identities. Your dad dies: you’re no longer a daughter. You and your husband part: you’re no longer a wife. You leave your job: you’re no longer a bartender. You put your filmmaking on hiatus: you’re no longer a filmmaker (and no longer call that community your own — and that was my community). All I know: I’m a writer. I’m a yogi. I’m an athlete. I like my wine and I love to cook and there’s a few more things that are a little personal that I’ll just keep to myself. I want to feel alive, even if it hurts sometimes. And these days, I throw stuff at the walls. A lot of stuff. See what sticks. See what my new Identity is going to entail. It’s interesting to say the least.

Which is why I like traveling. I don’t just like it; I feel most calm,  most “myself” then: Because people may ask out of curiosity “what do you do?”, which is shorthand for “what do you do when you’re not standing in that spot talking to me for the first time?” But they don’t really care. Think about it. When you’re at home, if you go to a party or a bar or meet a friend of a friend, that’s the inevitable question. And one I honestly don’t know how to answer right now. But when you meet someone when you’re traveling, no one cares about what you do, your past, your plans when the trip’s over. It’s all right here. It’s all right now. We’re interested in the person before us at that moment. That moment is all that matters. Sure, it could change our futures. Don’t bet on it, but you never know.

The hell with all this existential crap. I want to talk about travel some more. The above-mentioned stranger asked me where I’d like to go next. Here’s what I came up with off the top of my head.

1. Copenhagen (at Christmas): Saw it on a billboard when I was living in London and I fell in love. Hans Christian Anderson stuff.

2. Barcelona: Spaniards are HOT! Plus it was my daddy’s favorite country when he lived in Europe for 6 months after WWII. He said the people in Spain were the nicest. Plus, Spaniards are HOT!

3. Greek Isles: I did the National Geographic mainlands-in-the-off-season-tracking-down-the-village-where-my-grandparents-were-from thing. Now I want the sexy beach experience. And Greek food… oh, the food.

4. Venice: Just look at it, that’s why.

5. Tokyo: Never been anywhere in Asia. Tokyo just seems to have this incredible, one-of-a-kind energy. And the surrounding countryside.

6. Safari in Africa: I imagine that would be like stepping back in time. Plus then I’d get to wear a cute little safari outfit.

7. Desert of Arizona and Utah. Actually, I’ve already been to both. I grew up in Vegas and the only redeeming quality of Vegas in my opinion is the surrounding desert. That said, it pales in comparison to the deserts of Arizona and Utah. I don’t know if I believe in God, but I do believe in the desert.