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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Running Myself Down?

Ive really been feeling run down. I don’t know if its stress, too much work, or the spinach flu.

I have been working long hours, to the detriment of what I call a social life. I also have been kinda stressed on getting My Brother ready for distribution.

Went to work out last weekend, and lifted weights last Saturday. I normally just swim or do cardio, and I think I am also feeling effects from this, still, five days later.

So what do I do, I pick up another project for my company with John Gallagher. This one is about the four young men, on their way to basketball camp in North Carolina, who got pulled over in New Jersey in a case of racial profiling. The state troopers shot them thirteen times, ending their careers and bringing on one of the most famous lawsuits (with Johnny Cochrane prosecuting the case) in the history of race relations. (spelling to follow screwy on purpose). David Anspagh (Hoosiers, Rudy) is supposed to direct, and Laurence Fishburn, Bill Zane and Danny Ayiello, among others, are aboard.

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But I am still so exhausted. Ive had a lot of fatigue, even some chest pain (though I cant tell whether it is pectoral pain from the weight-lifting, and that’s my suspicion). I have been eating healthy, getting plenty of sleep, not drinking too much, so I don’t know why Im not feeling well.

I think I need a vacation, I just don’t think I have time to take one right now, with everything that’s going on and with the NYC Home Film Festival looming. Oops, the NYC PictureStart Film Festival, formerly the NYC Home Film Festival. That’s coming up in late November.

Also supposed to head out to California. I’ve been invited to attend the Black Film Awards October 15th, which I would like to do. Also just have so much else going on, most of which is pending so I can’t really mention it.

Good news is that I have taken on one assistant (unpaid) and a second I am meeting with tomorrow. The first, Rene, is really efficient and she’ll be a producer in no time. She is smart and connected – met her when she interned on Hot Baby, and immediately promoted her to Asst. Production Office Coordinator.

Anyway, Im hanging in there. Anyone have any pointers for pick-me-ups. Maybe dietary changes? I definitely need a massage or three, but I hate going places for massages. They kinda skeeve me out, and who wants to have to jump in a taxi or on the subway after a massage. Kinda kills the relaxation.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I always feel like somebody's watching me

So I went out last nite. Went to Michael Mosley’s birthday party at Bar Nine. He starred in the film I did, The Insurgents, in the lead role. He also has a TV show on right now, Kidnapped (which I haven’t seen yet but want to catch up on – already missed the first one).

Anyway, Michael and I were talking about my blog and I mentioned that I was getting hits from people finding me from within the industry. Now, my blog is completely public. In fact, if you look me up on Myspace you can find it. Its right there. So anyone who looks for me on MySpace has access. Also, because I mention movies I produce on the blog, by name, and some actors as well (I misspell occasionally but not all the time) anyone involved with the films googling the film to see where it pops up may pop onto this blog.

In fact, this did just happen recently in a way that came back to me. An actor called me for some personal advice on something he’s dealing with and in doing so, mentioned to me that he saw that I mentioned a film on the blog. And he didn’t like the way that I listed him. His BLOG Billing. And he wasn’t all hot an bothered about it, in fact he may have been half kidding. But the other half was serious, I think, and I guess in some way, he’s not completely wrong. I don’t think the way I described his participation was particularly different than the way the film will be marketed, and I don’t want him to be upset about it. But he does raise a question.

So I am at this party with Michael Mosley for his birthday, and we’re talking about the blog. And he mentions that he thinks its kinda tricky the way I write, because I have to flirt with self-censorship and there is always a question about how much I should give away when I am writing about specific people or projects.

It is tricky, but I guess its no more tricky than trying to communicate in the entertainment business, which is not a very straight-forward type of communication in a not very straight-forward business. So I am used to communicating, as necessary (I don’t try to be sly), in this way, and now, because the blog is public, I am doing the same thing with anyone who reads this. Its aimed at a common denominator, the most influential common denominator, and contains only that level of information that wouldn’t be a disclosure problem with the people at that level. Those who wouldn’t look at it as transgression. Which is why I declined ultimately the idea of doing weekly Entourage reviews and probably wont do reviews on this blog of anything contemporary here.

To all the rest of you? Who has a public blog and who doesn’t? And what do you disclose? Is someone reading your blog with whom you aren’t able to be completely candid?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Tops from TV

Top 25 TV characters, from Steph
There are some rules to this.

* Does not have to be a show currently airing
* No puppets or cartoons
* No reality show people
* All characters must be regulars on the show
* No mini-series

And so, here they are, my top 25 television characters...not really in order except the top two...

25. Hot Lips Houlihan (MASH) - Invented the term HateFuck
24. Ed Norton (Honeymooners) - The most quoted dumbass of all time, pre-Homer.
23. Janice (Sopranos) - Finally an accurate portrayal of women?
22 Shane Vendrell (The Shield) - Great foil for Vic Mackey on the best 1HR show on TV.
21 Doug Ross (ER) - Training for millions of men on how women want to be treated by handsome doctors.
20 Winnie Cooper (Wonder Years) - not just cuz I know her (or want to hit it), a gasp for all teenage boys whenever she appeared
19 Ralphie (Sopranos) - A great, if short lived turn. Best season when he was on.
18 Scottie/Spock (Pick your fave) (Star Trek) - Someone from Star Trek had to make it.
17 Norm (Cheers) - One liners to live by, every episode.
16 Harvey Korman - Various Characters (Carol Burnett Show) - Watching him watching Dorf and trying not to laugh was comic genius.
15 Newman (Seinfeld) - NEWMAN
14. Alex P. Keaton (Family Ties) - Tough to be this annoying and charismatic at the same time, no?
13. Laverne (Laverne and Shirley) - Not just for pepsi and milk
12 Andy Sipowicz (NYPD Blue) - Ugly becomes hip
11 Sonny Crockett (Miami Vice) - the best character on the best show from the early eighties
10 Oscar Madison (Odd Couple) - Taught men how to live on their own
9,8 Chrissy and Jack, Threes Company - Cause you know they were getting it on
7 Mork from Ork (Mork and Mindy) - Robin Williams on TV
6 Vic Mackey (The Shield) - the best character on current TV, machiavellian, engaging, cant get enough.
5. Pauley Walnuts (Sopranos) - Fugghediboudit. Comic relief on monster hit.
4. Al Swearingen (Deadwood)) - Acting shouldnt be this good on TV
3 Donnie Most/Schneider (Happy Days/One Day At A Time) - Choose your own comic supporting character.
2. Archie Bunker (All in the Family) - How could a fat old bigot, from Queens, be this likeable.
1. Hawkeye Pierce (MASH) - The Standard Wiseass, by which all other wiseasses are measured, setting the stage for Seinfeld, Chandler Bing and so many others.

honorable mention- Woody Boyd (Cheers), Fish (Barney Miller), Chandler Bing (Friends), Vinnie Barbarino (Welcome Back Kotter, Fred Sanford (Sanford and Son), and of course, Niles Crane (Frasier)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Kiss and Tell

What Kind of Kiss Do you Like?

I’ve kissed some girls. I don’t know how many. I couldn’t even guess.

I don’t remember all the girls I’ve kissed. I don’t think, at this point, at the ripening age of 36, I’d be able to remember half of them. A quarter? Maybe not. A tenth. Yeah, if you showed me their pictures and you didn’t count Mardi Gras kissing.

There really is nothing like a good kiss. And there is nothing like a bad kiss.

A good kiss stands on its own. It doesn’t really require a physical progression beyond the kiss, because the kissing is so good, its great just on its own At the same time, there is an implicit irony because the kiss, being so good, makes it desirable that you more on. Down the line. That whole denim/cotton/woolen waterfall of clothing.

Now a bad kisser can be like running into a brick wall. Or at least like running around one. I am a kissing snob, and if the kiss isn’t good, it is a real problem for me. Not only does it take away a very enjoyable part of the interaction between me and you, it also makes me wonder whether you won’t be quite so facile in some other related endeavours. And that’s a bad thing.

What’s a bad kiss? That whats on your mind now?

Well, I don’t like…

The Hard mouth, like women whose lips feel like rigor mortis. Ease up, why doncha.
The Baby Eagle, this is not sustenance, do not try to reach your tongue and lips into my throat, I am not regurgitating animal flesh for your consumption.
Bad breath. Enough said.
The Eyes open. Like kissing a mannequin. Think Im going somewhere. Wanna make sure? Keep your eyes open.
The Distracted peck. Come back later when your mind is on it.
Hard Biters. Please, get a life.
The Saint Bernanrd. You wanna slobber, get a dog.

Why am I talking about all this? Maybe I am just trying to increase my female readership. Maybe Isabella Snow inspired me.

What about you?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Somethings Gotta Give

Every week seems so busy these days (or weeks) I guess.

One week flies into another, one month to the next. Always working on the next deal, trying to put together the next opportunity. Trying to make the next picture happen.

In the short minutes in between this crazy work schedule, which has just seemed to get more crazy recently, with the advent of the new WB deal and with the Brooks company to do moderately budgeted movies.

I had four back to back things to do yesterday, and even though one of them was cancelled and rescheduled for Monday, it was an incredibly full day.

As a producer, you try to follow all good leads. The goal is to get movies made. Good movies, hopefully, movies that make money, of course. Get em made. So when an opportunity presents itself, you have to do your diligence. You take the meeting (and this business is all about meetings, face to faces) and you see if there are synergies, opportunities. And by my estimate, I am full on pursuing bunches of seemingly viable opportunities through this process on a weekly basis, plus reading scripts, doing a bit of legal work here and there, the film festival I run, and trying to have a social life. Did I mention a vacation? (If you recall, I was in florida for the American Black Film Festival – most certainly not a vacation, rather a collection of 18 hour days in the hot sun).

Oh, BTW, I went to see the new Scorcese movie, starring Jack Nicholson, Leo DiCaprio, and Matt Damon, and its really good. It seemed like it might be formula, but its incredibly complicated plotwise but one of our best directors keeps it totally straight. DiCaprio is great in the movie. He and Damon and Vera Farmigia (and Graham King, Scorcese’s producer from IEG on his last three Pics) were at the screening and were very gracious. Damon is a bit of a wise-mouth, but in a charming way.

Anyway, I always preach (me, preach?) balance. And now I have none. Zero, Zilch. Nunca. Nyet. You know what I mean.

And I don’t see how its gonna happen. I get calls and emails all week long for people looking for my time. I schedule them in. I pur them in my calendar. I probably reschedule 20 percent of them, because I just can’t keep up. And with respect to this constant rescheduling, I am becoming one of those Hollywood types that keeps pushing back meetings.

I could get up earlier in the morning than I do, but that means I would just be working longer days, because I know that my days aren’t going to end any earlier. So is that really an answer, or is that insult for injury.

I am truly at a loss. I like what I do, I just need to find a way to do it a little less. Maybe 10 percent; And cuz I cannot afford a paid assistant without an ongoing project, well, you get it. Dont you?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

How I Got Here, Five Years Later.

I used to work in law, in finance. These are jobs that may be exciting for some, a thrill for some. Others may fancy that they do these jobs for the good of the economy, of the world, in some way.

I did my jobs for the money, and for the freedom that the money would eventually, supposedly, purchase for me.

I was working for Deloitte & Touche, which is one of the largest consulting firms in the world. I sold and developed tax product for companies. Basically, I used my knowledge as a tax lawyer to design and implement tax strategies whose primary aim was to lower the world tax burden of some of the world’s richest companies and families. I’d previously done similar jobs at Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft, a white-shoe firm that is the oldest in the U.S.A, and at Ernst and Young, another monster-sized multinational consulting firm. I’d also worked a year in banking for Barclay’s Capital, the investment banking arm of one of Europe’s most venerable banks. Working for Barclay’s, I had made almost 400,000 dollars in one year. That year was perhaps the least happy year of my life.

My rise since graduation from law school at Albany Law School and Union (for an MBA) had been nothing short of meteoric. I spent two years in Boston at EY, before moving to New York. I was doubling my income every two years of so. I was following a path towards what I had originally set out to do.

A few years before, when I was attending Wesleyan University in Connecticut, I had an epiphany. I was following a course of only liberal arts: history, film, language, etc. I had no real career path, I was studying liberal arts. And my realization was that I should, at the age of 19, follow a path that would allow me to use what talents I had to make as much money as possible in as short a period of time as possible, which would allow me to do whatever I wanted to do with the rest of my life, on my own terms.

And what I wanted to do with the rest of my life was make movies. What I had wanted to do, from childhood, was make movies.

I left Wesleyan without even having applied to another school. I saw no point in wasting my parents money continuing to study things that wouldn’t pay off when I graduated (I thought – whether that assumption is right I don’t know, but I met an awful lot of people who went to liberal arts schools on Wall Street). I had to sit out a semester but transferred to SUNY Albany and began to pursue a path towards becoming a lawyer. I skipped through college, law school and business school and had completed the first step towards my eventual freedom.

Now, years later, working for D&T, a job I absolutely hated, a worthless job in my opinion, one that made no mark in the world, I was collecting money for my freedom. Of course, I was so bored with my existence that I often spent almost as fast as I earned. But that was just part of making my existence livable until I was free, could go and make movies.

On September 11th, 2001, I had an early conference call with London. Some project we were doing with a law firm over in London, and because of the time difference, the call was scheduled for 8AM. I normally got to my office right about nine AM more or less, which put me on the train from my then Chelsea apt. at 8:30 or so, and in the basement of the WTC (on the 2/3 train) at about 8:50 AM. I’d go up the escalators, and walk across the platform, and cross the walking bridge to 2 World Financial Center. It was a trip I made every weekday (unless I was on the road, which I was maybe a quarter of the time).

If I had done this at this time, on this particular morning, I would be dead right now, crushed by falling debris like the others who made the commute at the time that I always did.

But that morning I grudgingly made the trip an hour early, got to WTC around 7:50AM, up the escalators, and across the bridge to my office in time for the 8AM conference call.

The call was rather short, and was finished by eight thirty. I was probably hitting baseball scores on the Net when my phone rang. A friend from work, Elizabeth, was calling, which I thought was funny cuz she was always late for work and since she was calling me after 9AM, I thought she was just late again.

She asked me – Whats going on down there?

Me: What do you mean?

Her: A plane just crashed into the WTC?

Me: (incredulous) – What?

As I spoke to her, the second plane crashed into the WTC. It just looked like an explosion on the television I was watching, nothing but a fireball. You didn’t see the plane at all (until they replayed it later at low speed).

We left en masse from the building, and were basically herded out to the harbor that sits behind the World Financial Center. Huge crowds of people were standing, looking up at the burning towers, watching, stunned. Talking in disbelief.

I looked up and saw a piece of lumber falling from near the tops of one of the towers. It tumbled, thousands of feet. I asked someone about it. They told me that it was the tenth person they’d seen jump from the top of the tower.

Not eager to see anymore, to have these images recorded in my memory, I headed north. My best friend Drew lived on Chambers then and I thought I would try to get to his building, give my parents a call from his place to let them know I was OK. I’d spoken to them very briefly as I walked out of the building, but now my cel wasn’t working because the networks were overcrowded.

I got to Chambers St. and Drew wasn’t home. A neigjhbor of his let me into his apartment but the phone lines were busy and I couldn’t get my parents. A bunch of people were milling around in his lobby, including a young woman and her child. She was looking for her husband. He was in Midtown, she thought, but had been trying to get down to find her in the chaos. As we were talking, swapping rumors about more airplanes, we hear the first tower go down. But because we couldn’t see the towers from where we stood, we could only hear what sounded exactly like another airplane flying low in the sky. The sonic boom of the tower coming down exactly, cruelly, mimicked the sound of an airplane overhead. And because of the rumors of more unaccounted-for jets in the air, that’s exactly what we thought it was.

This young woman, I don’t even remember her name, grabbed her son from his stroller and we all took off north up the bike path which fronts the west side highway. The sound of the tower stopped and my heart stopped beating like it had been, in a way that I thought was going to give me a heart attack.

We walked north along the highway. We had nothing else to do. I carried the little boy, as he was too big for his mother to carry too far. We walked for ten minutes, until the first miracle I witnessed that day occurred. Walking perhaps a hundred yards away, in the opposite direction, on the other side of the highway, was this woman’s husband. And somehow, out of thousands of people, they spotted each other and were reunited. Everyone in our group stopped and stared. Seeing these people reunite under these circumstances was simply an event I will never forget for the rest of my life. I don’t remember her name, her face. But I will never, ever forget that moment. Its clear in my mind, five years later.

I got home perhaps an hour later. I lived on 29th street. I think I put the film Animal House on video. I needed something light, I thought, but I couldn’t really watch it.

I never really went back to work in the same way. My heart was never really in it after that. I worked from home, with disinterest. My firm relocated to a hotel in Times Square, but I hated going there, working in a hotel room. I hated most of my bosses, most of the unhappy people for whom I worked. I started looking for something else to do- a friend had opened a restaurant, and that was a business I had always found interesting. As I lost interest in D&T, I spent more and more time at the restaurant, until I began to manage the restaurant. It was merely a temporary thing, but in some very important ways it represented a huge step for me. It was a step away from living for tomorrow, a tomorrow that 9/11 made me realize might never come, and towards living for today.

While I was running the restaurant, a few things significant to my life’s journey happened. My relationship with my then-girlfriend, someone I thought I would spend my life with, fell apart. We were going in different directions, and the relationship shattered into pieces under the strain of these changes. It isn’t about fault, it just happened.

Another thing that happened that day was that I started a film festival. It was my first step into anything film related. The first festival was three films, none very good. About twenty people or so showed up. It has developed into a festival that receives perhaps six hundred entrants a year now.

But what really happened, what really started from the events of 9/11 in my life, was that I decided that all the things that I had put off for later in life, I began to do. I started looking for work in the film business. I started the festival. I got a motorcyle. I CHANGED MY LIFE. Because I realized that you can’t always count on tomorrow and, because of that, today is very, very precious.

I was very fortunate to survive that day. I've been fortunate to have a little bit of wisdom in following the path I probably should have followed from the beginning, one that isnt about financial gain, but about gaining everything else for myself. And I've been fortunate for the support of my true friends and family in making the transition in my life.

Thanks for your time.

Insurgents Takes Audience Award at Oldenburg Film Festival

News Flash

At its first festival and international premiere, The Insurgents has captured the Audience Award at the Oldenburg Film Festival. The Insurgents stars Mike Mosley, Johnny Shea, Henry Simmons, Juliette Marquis and Mary Stuart Masterson.

Its obviously great news for this little movie to start the festival circuit with a top prize, especially beating out much more high profile films with much larger budgets. Also, apparently, the Q&A sessions for the film went on for an hour or so after each screening and people were very captivated by the issues raised by the film.

I am disappointed that I wasn't there to share in the excitement, but John G. and Juliette both made the trip with Scott. I feel like I have as much to do with the win as anyone (other than Scott, the director, who wrote the script) so its a little bittersweet not taking the stage with the gang to take the award.

Hopefully, I'll be doing some other festivals with The Insurgents. Slamdance is the biggest target in our sites.


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Dinner With A Legend

What a tumultuous day. Started early.

9AM Still sleeping, you crazy.

930 AM Ok, now I am kinda waking up. Hit the shower, put on my best pair of sneakers (skateboards sneaks, ultra-comfy) and I am out the door with my helmet.

10:30 Sitting at work (only takes 10 minutes or so to get there,even on my slow ass cruiser of a motorcycle) drinking coffee. Prepping for a call with Jess Jackson’s people about his participation in the movie marketing for My Brother.

12:00 Working with a director producer (both complete novices) team working on a documentary about domestic violence and using hip hop music to educate people against it. Nice idea, two total novices. They are in a throw-down argument over rights and nonsense, and most likely, the project wont be profitable, so they are fighting over nothing. I step in to mediate. I was asked to direct (yeah, my debut, I think I’ll pass).

2PM Talk to this young director about his project. Oh, by the way, those people he mentioned, those are just people he would like in the project not people who actually have read the script, but he can get them. OK.

Go get em, buddy.

5PM Jump up to a Company I’ve been working with a bunch. On the way up, I call my parents, to say hi. Hi.

Get to this company’s office, and we pitch a slate of projects which they agree to finance half of, and distribute under their WB deal. Fuckin huge, that’s a career right there. And I think the deal is going to go. Very good news. Plus, may be able to put some titles through the output deal as well, titles like the Insurgents and Hot Baby.

8PM Get back to Liberty in time for a conference call with the distributor of My Brother. They tell me, due to MPAA requirements, that the movie probably cannot be tested on the agreed upon date. They want to test in January before the release, again a change of plans. I tell Tony this, and we have the argument I predicted we’d have. Except for I am just the messenger, We argue.

10PM I go to French Roast. I meet the legend, Ml Brooks for dinner with his son and our banker. Ml tells me that he is all on board for the slate we’re discussing with Nick and he’ll help however he can. Zowee. More great news, after bad news after good news. Look out for me in Variety. BTW, Ml loves the Mother May I concept (a project we’re developing with Nick)

1230. God I am tired, and tomorrow is more of the same. But its an entertaining rollercoaster ride.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Candidate Number Four?

Not really.

Someone sent me this pic. The reason Im posting it, well, I dont have any good reason for posting it. I find it bizarre, unsightly, but oddly compelling. Not.

We (me and this "friend") were exchanging disgusting pics by email, and this somewhat gross one came back. Actually, Curly started it, because she had linked some dude's link on her site to perhaps the most disgusting picture I'd ever seen (Curly, it was the ass-waterfall, I dont know what else to call it, and I dont want to know how you found it).

Anyway, it is a strange picture, but the question is, what is this person doing? What activity was she going about when this photo was snapped?

In other news, I got my credit on the 10 today. Production executive (whatever the hell that means, I def do not look like a production executive). Not great, but better than associate producer. Dont think anything better could be done, but hell, i got paid and its a credit on a movie with a huge cast, jess alba, p. rudd, famke janson, greetchen mol, winona, etc (all mispelled on purpose).

Ya may not know it, but producer credits are a matter of a good deal of negotiation. They are a display of wealth, of power, and of knowing people who are wealthy and powerful. And sometimes, but just sometimes, actually relate to the people who are actually responsible for putting a movie together, for making it happen. Which is what I am most of the time (Hot Baby, My Brother, Insurgents, etc) but which I was not on the 10. So I guess I can't complain.

Franky, if you want her number, send me an email. I think she's single.


Monday, September 04, 2006

Layer Cake

Stolen from IsabellaSnow

Layer one:

• Name: Grumpy O. Selznick

• Birth date: May 1970

• Birthplace: New York City (Queens if that counts)

• Current location: Battery Park

• Eyes: Blue

• Hair colour: Brown. (Spot of gray now)

• Height: 6’1 (yes really)

• Righty

• Gemini and it fits.

Layer two

• Heritage: Danish Romanian Jew

• Shoes: Tennis, Skateboard, Motorcycle Boots, in no particular order

• Weakness: Brunettes who could care less.

• Fears: Flops. Loud airplane sounding noises in NYC (thought it was gone, still here)

• Perfect Pizza: Pepperoni

• Goal: Winning

Layer 3

• Most overused phrase on IM: "Just leaving, I’ll call you....I will"

• First waking thought: Shut the fuck up (about whatever woke me).

• Best physical feature: Eyes and hands, my girl, eyes and hands.

Layer 4

• Pepsi or Coke: Diet Coke.

• McDonald's or Burger king: Pass.

• Single or group dates: Single

• Adidas or Nike: Adidas

• Chocolate or Vanilla: Vanilla

• Cappucino or Coffee: Coffee

Layer 5

• Smoke? Only Camel No-Filters, for a month during law school. Never since.

• Cuss? Either all the time or never, totally schizophrenic.

• Sing: Absolutely a karaoke whore.

• Do you think you've been in love? I have been, yes.

• Want to go to college? A little late.

• Liked high school? Not so much

• Believe in yourself? Absof*ckinglutely (perfect answer adopted)

• Get motion sickness? Not even a little bit.

• Think you're attractive? I can get it done.

• Health freak? As if.

• Get along with parents? Very well.

• Like thunderstorms? Love em.

• Play an instrument? You could call it that.

Layer 6

In the past month:

• Drank alcohol? Hahaha.

• Smoked? Not cigs

• Done a drug? Yes

• Made out? No

• Eaten sushi? Sushi ho.

• Been dumped? No

• Gone skating No

• Gone skinny dipping? No

• Dyed your hair? No

• Stolen anything? Im a hardworking producer, whaddya think?

Layer 7


• Played a game that required removal of clothing? Uh huh..

• Been intoxicated and can't remember? I can’t remember.

• Been caught doing something? Y’all are reading this, aren’t you.

• Been called a tease? Yes.

• Got beaten up? Why not.

• Changed who you are to fit in? I don’t believe anyone can say 100 percent no. I change the branches, never the roots. .

Layer 8

• Describe your dream wedding? Having enough trouble with dream dates

• How do you want to die? I don’t want to die. Duh?

• What do you want to do when you grow up? I think I’ve found it.

• What country would you like to visit? Elisha Dushku

Layer 9

• Number of people I trust with my life: Over five

• Number of CD's I own: too many to count.

• Number of piercings: Two, closed up now

• Number of tattoos: Nope

• Number of times name has been in newspaper: No clue.

• Number of scars: Only two of any consequence, on the outside, plenty on the inside.

• Number of regrets: Many, but I don’t remember them.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Some Enchanted Evening

Gowodoweee (say it out loud, you’ll understand). Here it goes.

I take the bus up to Jill’s place. Because she’s a successful litigator and I am a lowly independent movie producer (used to be a successful lawyer), I live in Battery Park, and she lives in a tony new building in Murray Hill. Its just the right distance to her office so that she can jazzer-cize to a workout tape all the way to work.

So I get off the M-90 a few blocks from her place, so I can stop by the Duane Reade on the corner of 37th and 3rd Avenue. They have a great selection of Fanny Farmer individually wrapped chocolate candies (the kind with stuff in the middle) and more greeting cards for a romantic good start than you can shake a stick at. And trust me, I’ve shaken some sticks.

Before I go any further, let me tell you how I’ve dressed for this very special occasion. I cleaned and polished up my sneakers to make sure that I look my best, and I have my best sweater tucked neatly into a pair of acid washed jeans (people say that I don’t know style, but I know the eighties are BACK).

As you all can tell, I am feeling pretty jazzy myself and I am pretty excited. I picked up some tums and a side of Gas-X in the drug store to deal with that excitement – I always try to be a gentleman.

I get to Jill’s house fifteen minutes early, because women don’t like guys who are tardy. And besides, I am so excited to be there, I have to use her bathroom as soon as I get there, and I can’t wait any longer.

After using the restroom, we’re on our way (yes, I washed my hands, and by the way, what an interesting collection of pharmaceuticals in her medicine cabinet).

She’s in heels and a skirt, and looks quite comely, and my palms begin to sweat a bit. I guess we wont be holding hands. I haven’t really had much of an idea of what we’ll do after I pick her up. I thought the card (inscribed with the message, “Glad you decided to come after all” and with a picture of a woman smiling) and the chocolates would buy me some time after picking her up, but it didn’t work out that way. She laughed at the card, though, maybe it meant something I didn’t think of.

On a spur of the moment, I think that it would be great to head out to Shea Stadium to see the Mets play. It is raining, and maybe the game wont be totally sold out.

Now, I know Jill isn’t the biggest sports fan, and I know that we aren’t going to get the greatest seats, but I figure, it would be worth the trip for the hot dogs alone. Jill doesn’t seem to disagree, so we hoof it up to Grand Central Station. It’ll be faster than taking a taxi to Shea, and save at least eight or nine dollars against a metro card swipe for two people. And her heels don’t seem too high to walk in.

We walk by a few construction sites in her neighborhood on the way up town. I cannot believe how many construction workers that Jill seems to know. They all seem to call out to her to say “Hi.” She’s really popular, and if I had known, I probably would have been more nervous about taking her out. I am glad I didn’t know.

We get to Shea, and the game is almost a sell-out, despite a light drizzle. Even so, we’re able to get two seats, pretty close to each other. And when we get in, we actually are able to arrange to sit one in front of the other. As a gentleman, of course I let Jill sit in front for the first four and a half innings. And this lets me smell her hair every once in a while when she isn’t paying attention. It smells like some kind of shampoo.

The game quickly turns into a blowout by the visiting team and Jill doesn’t see the point in staying. However, I’ve been to enough baseball games to know that fortunes can change, and one of the reasons to bring a non-sports fan to a sporting event is because you want to inform them about something they might not know about (like dramatic comebacks). And while the Mets didn’t come back, not even close, that’s besides the point.

Jill didn’t seem too miffed about the Mets not making the comeback, and she sure did seem to enjoy the Italian Sausages they sell at the Stadium. You’d think that it was her favorite part of the game.

She seemed to really lose steam after the seventh inning stretch. I’d had a six pack of beer in my backpack that I bought at a package store across the street from the stadium, and we were able to get away with drinking it by pouring it into cups that we got from buying a couple of Pepsis from the vendor. But beer makes me tired, too, and Jill’s not much of a beer drinker, and I think the climb to the upper deck, in heels, and the beer and the sausage made her cranky. She was very popular, though, with the bleacher bums in the upper deck. I don’t think they get her type in Flushing’s cheap seats too often.

Anyway, we didn’t talk much on the ride back to the city. The train was really crowded and we were bunched up together for most of the ride, which was exciting. But because of the noise, or her being tired, we didn’t do much talking. We just hung on.

I walked her back to her place, even though she said I didn’t have to. Again, I always try to be a gentleman. And when she kissed me goodnite outside her building and thanked me for the game, it was a good thing it was on the cheek, because my breath probably smelled like beer and hot dogs, Then she was gone.

I was tired so I took a cab home, and I called her on the way home to ask her out for next Wednesday. There is a comic book show at Madison Square Garden.

I hope she says yes.