And another thing…

The SF Indie Fest has posted their schedule!

Is anyone interested in getting together a posse to see either of the following?

MAYBE LOGIC: The Lives and Ideas of Robert Anton WilsonDocumentary on Robert Anton Wilson (“raconteur, gadfly, libertarian, former Playboy editor, conspiracist, stand-up comedian, best-selling author of Cosmic Trigger: The Final Secret of the Illuminati and the Illuminatus trilogy, Discordian Pope, Crowleyan Occultist, telepathic alien contactee, permanent occupant of the Chapel Perilous, poet, prankster, mystic and madman”) with music by Boards of Canada! From what I hear, some nerds are interested in going on Feb. 7th.

and a bio-pic about Bettie Page:
Dark Angel
Feb. 11th? Feb. 15th?

Through a mixture of obsessing over films lately (and also due to the fact that just the other day I was trying to explain to someone that I actually wrote “Dude, Where’s My Car” for a Fresno State screen writing class with professor Ed Emanuel years before Philip Stark wrote the screen play) a story I never published (written years ago mind you) called “God Forgot: The Files of Warner Herzelberger” has been on my mind…well actually just this part, where a bombastic psychiatrist publishes his analysis of Warner’s suicide:

Document 5
Psychiatric assessment of Warner Herzelberger, Dr. Romulus Scarf:

I took special interest in the case of Warner Herzelberger (or “Chef” to which he is now commonly referred) because there is something intrinsically different, yet extremely relevant about his suicide. All of the suicides reported in the past twenty years in America can be divided into four groups: the bridge-jumpers, the rope-hangers, the wrist-slitters (sometimes referred to as “bleeders” by us industry folk), and the fatal-overdosers. [For further information on this subject, see Adams’ Complete Guide to Patterns in Modern Suicide: Averages and Means by L. Ron Adams.]
Warner Herzelberger can be categorized in none of these groups. His suicide is completely other. He killed himself by jumping off a clock tower. Such a disturbing image prompts me to ask if his suicide is nostalgic in its style or completely and utterly post-modern. In this assessment of the psychosis of Warner Herzelberger, I will examine and dissect the duality of his suicide and put forth my theory of an entirely new mental illness.
I believe that Warner Herzelberger did not intentionally put himself in danger by climbing to the top of the AltGeld International building, but was mislead my his delusions of immortality. Growing up in a generation completely saturated by film and television, he had no realistic concept of the actual world (or more exactly, what Sartre called the “synthetic totality which one calls world”). Subconsciously he felt that his actions were without any serious consequence and was driven to act cinematically, for this is the only medium in which he could think. We live in a culture that is reliant on images and ideas that are already articulated for us. One could say that every member of our society born after the great invention of the brothers Lumiere must undoubtedly suffer from this film-tinged form of perception. Warner Herzelberger suffered acutely from this shaded perception, which I am the first to identify and name cinematosis. [For further reading on my theory of cinematosis, see Cinematosis: My New Theory, which appeared in the January 1998 issue of Modern Illness, also see How To Detect Cinematosis in Your Patients, an hour-long documentary that I produced in part with Steven Spielberg. This video can be ordered directly through me in NTSC, PAL, or SECAM standards, or can be rented at your neighborhood Blockbuster.]
Warner Herzelberger’s suicide is therefore both post-modern and nostalgic. The suicide is post-modern in that it was cinematically inspired, but also nostalgic in that the choreography of the suicide was solely derived from silent cinema. He hung suspended from the hands of a clock as Harold Lloyd did in his 1923 film "Safety Last" – an image that has become an icon for early film itself. A true societal conduit in death, Warner Herzelberger chose a suicide most reflexive of cinematic history.
Some say that Herzelberger might have been a social critic and his suicide demonstrated his dissatisfaction with modern society. I see him more as a helpless victim of our cinematic culture. I believe there will be an increase in this type of suicide in the near future, or at least a lot of movies will be made about the topic.

Ok, now that that is out of my system...
Today's Meditation:
This Book Belongs to XXX: Beautiful x-rated bookplates from an SF Library exhibit. Thanks Rob!

I worked late. The bus didn’t come until 7:30. I just got home and I need to maintain the great American blog, write the great anti-American novel, compose some cabaret acts for Tingle Tangle, do my laundry, read everything Josef Roth wrote (“Das bin ich wirklich - böse, besoffen, aber gescheit” – “That’s how I am, really, -- Nasty, Drunk and Clever”), fill the Sci Fi gap in my education with Gibson, I really don’t know enough about the Grand Guignol either, I have to assure my parents that I’m still alive, I need to figure out why everyone is so excited about that Outkast album, I have to watch “Funny Face” and eat chocolate, and then there’s taxes, I owe 50 of my best friends emails and letters and phone calls, I’ve forgotten all of my tarot card reading skills, I should probably eat dinner eventually, I need to hurry up and relax and maybe take some cough syrup and zone out, I still haven’t finished Journey to the End of the Night, I need to do my physical therapy exercises, my mother’s birthday is coming up, Maggie needs quality time…how am I going to do all of this? Why is there never enough time? When is it ok to stare out of the window and think about last night and “The Strange Love of Martha Ivers”?


Three words: Codeine Cough Syrup.

A few more words...

It seems that the Comments should be coming back via HaloScan sometime this weekend. I've missed the snarky remarks. I eagerly await our reunion.

I've been wandering around in a sick haze for two weeks, but on the bright side...I've started so many writing projects I don't know what to work on first. This is a great feeling. But on the other hand, maybe I'll just go watch "Satan's Sadists" instead. I hope it's as good as "Psychomania". Next on my list is "Girl on a Motorcycle"!

Rob pointed out this interesting NYT article on Dennis Miller. This is his rather unfortunate take on Lenny Bruce, whom he really has to thank for the freedom he enjoys as an annoying media critic/comedian:
"Lenny was a heroin addict, and I could care less about heroin addicts," Mr. Miller said. "Once I hear a guy is a heroin addict, and they tell me he's a genius, I think, really? I'm not trying to be judgmental. But anybody whose last vision is of a tile pattern on a bathroom floor, I don't know what kind of genius they are."

and here are...

Cat games: Now your cat can space out infront of the monitor for hours on end just like you.

Not Fooling Anybody: It's about time someone came up with a way of documenting the phenomenon or poorly rehabilitated fast-food joints.


The Soulmate Calculator: discovered that I'd have to meet 2,517,861,184 American single males who are between 26 and 40 years old who are living in your city or willing to move there. But they also said: "Don't worry. In the near future, dating will be solved.
Finding your soulmate will be a lot easier."


The SF Indie Fest will begin February 5th and we all know what that means...another Mark Atkins SF Indie Fest trailer! In about a week and a half the advertisement/trailer (starring ME, Tessa Swigart, Jennifer Ren Terry, and awesome original score by Nanos Operetta)will show before all films in all SF Landmark theaters and also at the Castro theater. For those of you unable to see it on the large screen, it can be seen on the incredibly small screen here.


Where did my COMMENTS go? BlogSpeak says:
BlogSpeak is currently down because the bastards that host it decided to suspend my account. I do not know as of yet when this situation will be resolved. If you don't want any JavaScript errors on your pages, take the code off for the time being. If you're pissed off because your comments don't work, I would be too. Believe me, I'm not too happy about my account being suspended either. I do have a backup of the DB from an hour before the suspension occurred. So if the server comes back up, or I have to get a new server, of even pass the duties of maintaining BlogSpeak off to someone else, everything will be in tact.”


Tomorrow night is the all-girl-writing-workshop-action-squad or the wine-and-pizza-review, depending on how motivated we all are. Lisa sent out an assignment for this week's meeting: Scars. Here's my scar story...don't read it if you're showing up tomorrow as you'll be bored and boo me off the leather couch.

The Scar that Keeps on Giving

Choosing just one scar on my body to wax nostalgic over is a pretty tall order. From the microscopic to the conspicuous, from the accidental to the surgical, I’m covered in them and, of course, they are all as inspiring to me as the Madeleine and the cup of tea were to Proust.
There’s the hole in my leg from when Anshuman mistook my knee for an ashtray in a dark bar. He didn’t mean it, right?
There’s the fat slug of a reminder of where a potentially cancerous birthmark once lived above my right hip. At least that procedure got me out of 7th grade PE for three weeks. This raised lump of tissue is made most memorable by the ironic fact that it was created by a cosmetic surgeon. Remind me not to visit him for any major facial restructuring.
Then of course there is the i-shaped scar on the top of my right hand, carved by the fingernail of Daniel Somethingorother, a fourteen year-old member of Bullard High School’s Christian Student Union. But I was asking for that one really. Drunk on the realization that I was considered “out-spoken” and “irreverent” by my peers, I approached Daniel Somethingorother and asked innocently, “In what position do you accept Christ?” I’m pretty sure that I must have picked that up from some of the Church of the Subgenus materials I was reading at the time, or I was just really precocious when it came to offending people. Either way, the effect was even better than I could have hoped for; a shouting match ensued and that little bitch actually scratched me with his nails when he came to the end of his patience. I wore the “i” scar with pride. I drew a “D” to the left of it and an “E” on the right of it with a Magic Marker, flaunting the battle scar in an empty attempt to reassure myself that Daniel Somethingorother was the villain of that situation, that he was the culturally insensitive one and not me. Did I mention that he was also wearing a JESUS RULES t-shirt?
The exterior scars do tell stories, but they are just fragmented anecdotes. My true disfiguring pride and joy is a scar that I have been working on my entire life, and it has in turn been working on me. I am in possession of a corporeal scar that portrays the over-arching thematic schema of my life. It is the leitmotif of my internal structure. It’s on my heart. I’m not trying to be melodramatic here or anything (even though I did have a great aunt whose death certificate supposedly says that she died of a "broken heart"), I’m just referring to my floppy valve. It’s a flap of skin -- a lingering sign of congenital damage hanging off the mitral valve.
A mitral valve, located between the heart's left atrium and left ventricle,
has two flaps. In the case of Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) the flaps are enlarged (or floppy, as my doctor said) and they don’t close properly when the heart pumps. Sometimes the flaps will get caught in the valve, causing blood to leak backward through the valve. That’s what causes the murmurs (or what feels like missed beats). It’s a relatively common disfigurement of the heart, especially in women, and it is not dangerous unless you allow lots of foreign bacteria into your blood stream. For a while I had to take antibiotics before I went to the dentist, but that seems to be out of fashion with the American Heart Association these days. It’s not life threatening under most conditions, just annoying as I tend to have murmurs with the presence of any stress, illness, or stimulants.
Another fun fact is that most people with MVP will experience Dysautonomia along with the murmurs. Dysautonomia is when the autonomic nervous system suddenly decides to send out a burst of signals to speed up all body processes…also known as a panic attack. Experts say that they don’t know why these two things occur together. It’s an Ouroboros (“snake head eating the head on the opposite side”) situation. Which came first, the stress or the panic? The panic or the stress? Am I crazy or just sick? Aha…herein lies the true question of my adult life and perhaps the key to my personality.
I consider my floppy valve to be my most representative scar because it’s the scar that keeps on giving. It’s the embarrassing blemish that nobody can see. It is the reason that I feel weak and feeble some days. It’s the reason why I take Calcium Channel Blockers like someone’s grandma. When a cigarette sears my knee, a surgeon sends my birthmark to a lab, or some Daniel Somethingorother gives me new scars, the floppy valve reverberates to remind me which one is really in charge of the ship.


"It was like those experimental monkeys with the wire-monkey moms. What did the baby monkeys know? The wire mother was all they had, all they knew in their hearts, and so they clung to it, even if it was only a coat hanger. Mom. So much easier to carve the word into your arm." -- "Debarking" by Lorrie Moore. This is an excellent story in the Dec. 22nd issue of The New Yorker. They are certainly doing good work in the fiction department lately.

So, I've just taken a dose of NyQuil so it's just a matter of minutes before I pass out from the Dextromethorphan. Supposedly some people use Dextromethorphan for recreational purposes, but at this point I'd just be happy to sleep without sneezing.

I just need to point out some STUFF of merit:

Mike is holding film trivia contests on his blog and is awarding DVDs.

Pete and Pete (unofficial) DVDs are available now! (Also learned this from Mike's blog.)

Drum Machine: Jason P. Recommends this animation. It's pretty fucking cute.
Mark A. is still in my living room editing the SF Indie Fest trailer on his laptop editing suite. I am his San Francisco office for tonight. Around nine-o-clock tonight we both realized that we were starving. I searched around for edible stuff in my car-hole apartment. It’s a particularly lean time of the month for me financially, but I was able to come up with the ingredients to make turkey pizza quesadillas. I hadn’t heard of it before either. Mark looked really encouraging and supportive as I served them to him. But after biting into it, he said, “This tastes like a kid made it.” It did.
(Last year's trailer.)