Monthly Archives: August 2002

Everywhere A Sign

Just got back from seeing Signs. Go see it!

It has been a long time since I actually screamed watching a scary movie. The
best part was that as I watched I kept thinking about one particularly scary
moment where I imagine my sister ripping off her boyfriend’s thumb in the movie
theatre (handholding has had to be downgraded to thumb-holding to spare his
limb) or when mom and dad watch it on video at home in a few months and mom
will gasp and dad will say, ‘Oh, Diane!’

Signs was an expertly crafted film – it had the great sense of building
doom – sort of like The Birds or in the early half of The Blair Witch
(before it descended into running through the woods screaming ‘Josh!
Josh! What the fuck was that? What the fuck was that?!’). It’s a careful equation
of slowly amping up the dread and letting the situation the characters are in
fester and worsen… and the delay in letting the audience know what was really
going on. I will never forget all the theory on suspense that I read when I
was in my Hitchcock fiend days… that suspense is infinitely more powerful
than shock – especially with repeated viewings.

But yes, at a certain point in the film I actually jumped about a foot high
and yelled, ‘Oh my God!’ I still get chills thinking about the film. It’s been
a long time since a movie has chilled me like that – sort of like when you got
out of The Silence of the Lambs and you perceived the world differently
for a few hours (this happened to me for weeks when I first saw The Matrix). Or after Leland throws Maddy through a mirror in Twin Peaks (I couldn’t look in a mirror for week). It definitely goes between Alien and The Others as top scare-your-nuts-off

My scalp is still tingling.

‘O’ as in All The World

Sitting here on the red line stuck at Addison. Evidently last night’s rains caused a lot of flooding so all of the trains are running on just one track – what a crapfest… oh well – at least I’ll be late for the meeting that I don’t want to go to. Tomorrow I go to O’Hare to alternately pick up Ron flying back from Milwaukee and also get the Dodge Caravan we’re driving down to Indiana. I need to remember to print out a map as well. I know that once I’m on 65 it’s a straight shot but I don’t remember if there’s any un-obviousness on the way there.

“This is ride 809 and from what I can see all of the trains are using the same track and one side of the platform.”

The best part of Crossroads was when the glamgirl goes to see her boyfriend and as we all know – it will be revealed that he has another girlfriend – but a second and better revelation cause Brigitte to utter: ‘the pregnant chick is gonna fall down the stairs and lose her baby.’ And sure enough within 30 seconds there she goes… Mimi tumbles down the stairs – along with a slo-mo shot of her symbolic globe keychain bouncing down the stairs. “Andy, there goes her world! There goes her world!” We are howling with laughter by now.

Next Monday we have the meeting to decide what my part-time hours are going to be. Unfortunately ________ gets to have a say – so I’m sure she’ll want something unreasonable like coming in and working every other hour at my desk and then every other hour on my own stuff in a conference room. I’m going to lobby for Tuesday through Thursday. Monday-Wednesday-Friday is gonna do nothing different for me. Monday is always triage and Friday nobody is ever here. And they’re just going to expect me to check my email and voicemail on Tuesday and Thursday. I’m not going to do that. There’s a certain amount of obnoxiousness I’m going to have to put forth in this effort to ensure that part-time really does mean part-time. Mike, one of our vendors, took me out to lunch yesterday and he asked me what was the best and the worst part of the department where I worked. I have decided that if I ever go full-time again that I’m not going to reveal so early on the breadth of abilities I have. Becsue people will continue to push the boundaries bit by bit and before you know it you’re admin for 8 different systems, doing user testing and running a help desk and receiving the bile of disgruntled employees on a daily basis.

Let’s Go Girls

As I write this Brigitte and I are subjecting ourselves to Crossroads.
Yes, starring Britney Spears. And yes, it’s bad. I wish I was recording our comments
as we watch it because it would be hysterical as we alternately enjoy and deride
the movie. Aw, shit – now she’s reading poetry now. Yikes.

From earlier:

Today is Ron’s birthday – he’s 29. Or as he says, ‘I’m turning 27 for the third time.’ Had dinner with another couple at a guy’s house – we all workout at the same time at the gym. A doctor, a lawyer, a student and Ron and I. The host had an amazing house – absolutely stunning. The food was very good – starting with appetizers of a meatball pizza and then one with scallops and then tomato-mozarella and basil salad and the main meal was barbecue pork with wasabi mashed potatoes and steamed snow peapods. Very good. Dessert was grilled peaches with cinnamon a la mode. Constant references to people I don’t know and places I”ve never been and things that I don’t do left me socially flustered. I didn’t feel like I belonged in this upwardly mobile group. When you consider the economic potential of my close close friends – that pales in comparison to the income these guys pull in each year. Tales of wild vacations and circuit parties and afterhours parties left me feeling very out-of-water. It always feeds into this nagging feeling that maybe I’m just not very much fun. They’re all talking about their favorite province and I really don’t have anything to add. And I dno’t even know if I care all tat much – I mean I must have some sort of investment if I feel all hemmed and hawed about it but maybe I just don’t feel like that’s a good time. “Oh, you have to go up to Sawgatauk sometime.” Why? That just makes no practical sense to me. The boys are all so hot. So what? Big deal. That’s something that always stumps me is the constant measuring of attractiveness. Oh my God, did you see so-and-so at such-and-such – he’s so sexy! Big deal. So what. What’s my reaction supposed to be?

And then I turn to my rigth and on the side panel of the bus I’m on there’s a little sticker: You have everything when you have Christ – Colossians 2:10. I can’t even remember who the Colossians are. It’s like how a pearl is formed – I have this irritant and then I keep laying layers of perspective and complexity over it until it’s not a pearl – but a lumpen nut. I just felt like I was back in high school and all the rich kids had all of their trips and toys and I’m simultaneously envious and dismissive – and apathetic.


One thing about having depression from time to time is that you are always
questioning the validity and source of your emotions. Am I down because I didn’t
take my anti-deps today? Or is it sleep? Or diet? Or my job? Am I just over-thinking
it? You are constantly questioning the magnitude and accuracy of your blues.

Ron and I watched Charlies Angels last nigh – what a fun movie… I still
contend that the best line is Flip. Your. God-damn. Hair. We also rented
The Royal Tennanbaums
which was good – though overlong.


On the bus this morning there was an advertisement with no brand or company. Simply black type on white cardstock saying:


Shit like that makes me love living in this city.

I had an audition last week for a Hanes Underwear commercial – no call yet so I’m assuming they went with some other guys. But it was nice to audition – I hadn’t done one in long long time. I have one on Friday for the Army. I’m supposed to wear workout clothes and be all athletic. That means I have to workout before hand so I’m all pumped up (insert Hans and Franz shtcik here). Work is getting slightly calmer lately as we slowly whittle down this major technical isue that is derailing the entire corporate training initiative. One chick in a business unit went nuts and started emailing the higher-ups saying that we hadn’t tested the course and hadn’t done a pilot and blah blah blah. The problem is that the pilot audience was not told they were a pilot and to expect difficulties and you don’t make a state-mandated compliance course a pilot, diba? Plus, they didn’t properly define the pilot audience (they wouldn’t! Who is your course for – um, everybody, um). Then you’ve got regional learning consultants going ape-shit – actually just 2 are. The rest have no idea there is a problem. Then tere is the email we sent out and then retracted the very next day – seems to me this is where the shit started. And not everybody on our side is being communicated to whenever anything happens. What a crap-fest. But the smug delight of Mark and I as yes, we were right, yes we were, it was/is/and will probably be next time – operator error, user fatigue, ignorant users… whatever you want to call it. And poor course design – these e-courses cost upwards of $100,000 each and they didn’t do interface testing with them? CHRIST. It blows my little Indiana mind.

Got two more calls on my creativity workshops and scheduled two more free teleclasses. And then this guy calls from the LA Chapter of COachU and would I be interested in doing a teleclass with them about getting a website together since someone heard me on another call and marveled at how informal and humorous I was and that I (get this) ‘could be a breath of fresh air to the coaching community.’ I immediately pressed ‘1’ on the voicemail to hear that one again.

Last night the show has it’s gala opening – we had some very good reviews so far – very exciting. Karen’s play – the serial drama – opens tonight. Please please please let us break even so we can do my play in late winter. Please!

Of course no call from the goddamn doctor’s office about my bone scan I had on Monday. Kiss my ass. I gotta razz the nurse this morning. Red hot Chili Peppers ‘Give It Away’ always puts everything back in perspective: “What I got I gotta give it to your mama, What I got I gotta give it to your poppa, What I got I gotta give it toyour dog and then you do a little dance and then you drink a little water. Love is free, love me say hell yes. Drinika my juice, chug love, chug-a-lug me.” I can’t wait to cut my hours at work – it’s gonna be wonderful!

Ah… the 1940s

Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft’s announced desire for camps for U.S. citizens he deems to be “enemy combatants” has moved him from merely being a political embarrassment to being a constitutional menace.

Ashcroft’s plan, disclosed last week but little publicized, would allow him to order the indefinite incarceration of U.S. citizens and summarily strip them of their constitutional rights and access to the courts by declaring them enemy combatants.


There is something hypnotic about Suze Orman’s voice. Yes, she can be
grating and abrasive but at the same time strangely compelling… I think it is
part of the lure of Dr. Laura – of seeing her lay into people that call up and ask
her about a variable life insurance policy (for God’s sake never ask her
about this). I saw her talk at the ICF conference last year and thought her
delivery was great with the monotone battering-ram kind of machine gun talking
cracks me up – I got her to sign a copy of her book and told her I thought she
was a total fuckin’ badass.