Friday, July 23, 2010

It All Comes Back to Liza.

I was thinking today about the period of time when I was logging and editing Life in a Box and all my living expenses were covered by the film’s budget, a period of about 2 1/2 years that I spent in front of a computer in Jersey City, Nashville, and San Francisco, when not only did I make a feature film that I’m extremely proud of, I wrote several short stories and a screenplay. It was a really fruitful period of art-making for me. I think what made that possible was that I didn’t worry about money during that time. I knew the bills were paid, rent, and I’d have a little left for cheap entertainment and a few beers on the weekend. I literally had no worries. My life was basically perfect.

Now I have all this idle time. I do a little writing every few days, but it’s slow-going and it’s a struggle to stay focused. Worrying about money occupies way too much of my brain. I hate it.

Which reminds me of this bitter, hilarious op-ed in Huffington Post that a facebook friend posted. I sort of in my head substituted “artist” when she wrote “writer,” and it’s all still true. Nothing is supposed to be about money, but everything is about money.

And that, because I'm gay, reminds me, of course, of this. My favorite movie ever.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I just now successfully resisted the urge to have a second beer. Though I’m temperamentally and philosophically opposed to abstinence of almost any kind, I’m also not at all in support of my beer gut.

I had a wicked cold that started late last week and just today started waning. I always get whatever nasty shit virus that’s going around, without fail. I just had a cold (though that one wasn’t as severe) when was that? when I was getting out of the drug study, a couple months ago I guess. Time is so compressed this summer. I don’t even have a clear sense of how long it’s been since M and I were together.

Speaking of that, I don’t know if it’s obvious how I stumble over language when I refer to that relationship. I have this obsession, ever since the complicated unraveling of my relationships with J and R, with precision, which I think mostly has to do with a desire to be scrupulously honest. For instance, I don’t think it is accurate to say, “When M and I broke up…” We didn’t break up. He rejected, or maybe more accurately, sent me away. By the same token, when I’m talking about the end of my relationship with B, the man I was involved with for 6 years in my twenties, I don’t say, “When B and I broke up…” I say, “When I left B…”

But does the expression “to break up” necessarily mean a reciprocal action? I always thought it did. Breaking up is something 2 people do, not something one person does to another. But then, I guess most separations are to some extent 1-sided. Am I making a meaningful distinction?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Dream Life.

So, as an addendum to the previous post about goals, here’s the life I simultaneously aspire to and struggle to let go of wanting. My dream life has acquired detail along the way, but this is basically the life I’ve wanted since I was about 13, when I first started thinking about New York and a life in theater:

I live in Manhattan, somewhere below 14th Street, in a small apartment. I like small spaces. I make a living from my creative work, writing, performing, etc. I can afford to eat in decent restaurants, and to go see plays and movies and live music, take cabs every once in a while. I prefer to cook and eat most of my meals at home, and sometimes to have friends over for dinner, but when there are shows I want to see I don’t want to have to worry about whether I can spend the money, even if it’s Broadway.

Schedules vary from project to project, but I might spend my mornings writing, and go to rehearsals in the afternoons. Evenings, I might be at the theater if I have a show running, or I might have friends over for dinner, or just spend the evening at home, alone.

I can afford to travel a bit, nothing too extravagant. I prefer travel on a modest budget; modes of transit and choices of lodging are more interesting. Some travel might be built into my theater work, when shows tour, etc., which is even better. I never enjoyed traveling more than when J and I traveled with Y’all, such amazing generosity and hospitality we always received.

If there’s one luxury I would be tempted to indulge in, it’s to hire a personal trainer. I feel old and out of shape. I want to be stronger, to look and feel better.

That’s really about it. It looks very humble now that I write it down. I just want to make a decent living doing what I love, what I’m good at, what I feel compelled to do. I’ve never had a taste for fancy stuff, cars, clothes. I don’t particularly like dressing up, and I don’t like expensive furniture because you have to worry about messing it up or breaking it.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summer Cold.

It's cool outside this evening. I just checked the temperature and it's 79 degrees, which is undeniably wonderful, but a little eerie in July.

Rough day. I have a nasty cold, I feel trapped in my room, and I was hungry all day because nothing in the house looked tasty to me and I didn't feel like going to the store. MP brought me a cheeseburger from P. Terry's for breakfast which cheered me up, and finally about an hour ago, I drove to El Chilito and had two fish tacos and a beer.

We're in the thick of the initial planning and preparation for the Lizzie Borden festival performance: casting, hiring a director and musical director, cutting the show down to a 45-minute presentation. All these crucial decisions at a time when my confidence is so battered, and now I'm sick. I know I'm a big whiny baby, but I just ... that's how I feel. Sad and lonely and overwhelmed.

I did a lot of reading today, anyway.