I would like to have a band called We Have CDs and Stickers and Patches For Sale In The Back So Check It Out.
That way at our gigs between songs we could say, "We're We Have CDs and Stickers and Patches For Sale In The Back So Check It Out, and we have CDs and stickers and patches for sale in the back, so check it out."
But in order for this plan to work I am going to need to learn the guitar.
We watched Sunset Blvd. in one of my favorite teachers Mary Gallagher's class.
She was talking about being a screenwriter in LA, because the main character is a screenwriter in LA.
The inciting incident is toughs trying to repossess his car, which can't happen, because, as Mary told us, you are nothing in LA without your car. They are, as she says, cutting off his legs.
So under this duress, he goes to a meeting at a studio and begs. Begs. You can't beg. The screenwriter asks for anything, a rewrite job, and the studio guy says he would, really, but there's just nothing. There's always something, Mary says, but the guy says there isn't because the screenwriter, William Holden, has committed the cardinal sin of the movie business: he was desperate.
The truth is, though, everybody in the business is desperate. The studio heads are desperate, their jobs are constantly on the line and they don't know what's going to work, as William Goldman writes in Adventures In The Screen Trade which I just finished, NOBODY KNOWS ANYTHING.
But you and I must both keep living the lie that we don't need this, this job, this anything. Pretend so you don't remind me how I'm pretending.
Everybody is desperate, but the number one rule is, if you want a reason not to be desperate anymore, don't act desperate.
Everybody is desperate but no one is allowed to show their desperation.
I stayed in New York last summer, and there was nobody here, and it was, like, terrible!
I know, but LA is so boring. Seriously.
I know, but I think if you were out there it wouldn't be so bad.
You like run out of stuff to do.
But if you stay here, there's, like, no seperation between school and summer, y'know?
Like, but you can go home every weekend at least. Like, Luke is going to be here, and Jesse, and Caroline, like, a lot of people are staying.
When transportation wasn't so fast and so cheap we were at least allowed the pleasant fiction that the answer was somewhere else - that distance was all that seperated us from whatever would fill this void, but we'd probably never Leave This Town, so forget it-
Now we know that's not true.
Or at least we will, right around the time I invent teleportation technology, and these two rich girls sitting next to me in the park, loudly contemplating the horror of the summer to come, can be bored everywhere at once.
In my dreams people live on the subway tracks. I'm always in the subway station and they jump off platforms and walk across the forbidden tracks like it was nothing.
Tonight on my way home from writing, I was reading my book when some guy just strolled by, heading downtown, down on the tracks. On the far side of the third rail. Expensive-looking headphones on. Flashlight beams dancing on his backpack from the MTA employees thirty clumsy steps behind him, also on the tracks, in not-so-hot pursuit. I wondered why they didn't hop up on the platform, run where they had steady footing, and tackle the guy. But probably they were waiting for the cops. If a guy can walk casually through dark tunnels amid the rats, right next to imminent third death by electrocution, obscuring with headphones one sense that would tell him when a train was barrelling down on his back, he is also probably capable of seriously fucking dudes up.
The downtown train pulled in slowly, so I figured they got the guy. Then one station down the line we halted due to "an unauthorized person on the tracks," so they hadn't caught him yet, and at Bleecker St., we were told it was the last stop. Motherfucker. I walked the rest of the way, twenty, twenty five minutes I could've been sleeping, kind of hoping the guy got pasted by the train for fucking up my commute, realizing this is a callous thing to think, especially considering I'm using other time I could be sleeping, y'know, writing about it. I always have trouble summoning sympathy for crazy people.
Then, about three blocks from home, "L'Amour A 3" by Stereo Total came up on shuffle. This song is a recorded smile. It physically pulls up the corners of my mouth. I can't decide whether it's shallow or not that the tail end of the evening was redeemed solely by a song. I guess I'm hypersensitive to shallowness since I recently finished Glamorama and re-read Less Than Zero for the first time since high school, and in Bret Easton Ellis books shallowness implies eventual complicity in rape and murder and decay.
Then "Number 1 Spot" came on next, and ever feeling anything but ecstatic seemed like a choice, and one I was dumb for making.
I'm never goin' nowhere, so don't try me.
I'm going to see The Decemberists on Thursday night at their NYU concert. Then again next week at Irving Plaza. Probably The Mountain Goats next Thursday night. So clearly I am working my ass off trying to reverse that choice I made not to be happy.
I'm not sure what the thesis is here. Maybe: My dreams dictate the real world and Ludacris is awesome.
They told us what it isn't.
They told us, It isn't fame.
The told us, It isn't sex.
They told us, It isn't money.
But they never told us what it is.
And the truth is, they have no idea what it is either.
But they had to say something.
What's up, dudes.
Please watch Getting Action, a Hammerkatz short film in which I play a film student who seeks to be the first person to graduate from NYU film school with a focus in pornography. That was a lot of using the word "film" in a single sentence. It was produced as part of the Spoiler Festival. It is five minutes long, as per requirements.
You will see how my hair is way too fucking long.
The telling detail about tonight is, not even the number I dial to get my voicemail would answer.
I am not sure what the number one export of New York City is. I would say it is loneliness, but that doesn't count as an export. We make a ton of it but we keep that shit right here.
Every barfight in New York City:
BARFLY: You wanna be a fuckin' tough guy?
JERSEY DICK: I'm standin' right fuckin' here!
BARFLY: Yea, you gonna stand there all night, tough guy?
JERSEY DICK: What, you want I should come over there, faggot?
BARFLY: What did you fuckin' call--
JERSEY DICK: You fuckin'--
JERSEY DICK: Yes?
BARFLY: Let's not do this here.
JERSEY DICK: But--
BARFLY: Wait, hear me out. Let's go have this loud shouting match slash scuffle directly beneath DC Pierson's window.
JERSEY DICK: But it's many blocks away.
BARFLY: I know. But it will be worth it.
JERSEY DICK: You are correct. I will bring a bullhorn and six of my loudest boys.
BARFLY: Excellent. See you there in fifteen minutes, when DC will be trying even harder to sleep than he is right now.
JERSEY DICK: (shouting) COCKSUCKER! COCKSUCKER! COCKSUCKER!
JERSEY DICK: Sorry. Just practicing.
BARFLY: Good. Wait--
JERSEY DICK: What?
BARFLY: I forgot to fill out the paperwork for having a barfight underneath DC's window. Three weeks in advance you have to file it. There's high demand.
JERSEY DICK: Perhaps there was a cancellation.
BARFLY: You're right. Let's go.
I think the phrase I want to say more than anything else over and over again during the course of the day is, Well, you sure do have a lot of very standard opinions.
Saying "Do you really need a car that big?" as an SUV passes by or expressing distaste for McDonald's does not go towards your daily Thought Count. You are just creating more work for yourself.
I am awaiting my eighth wind.
Something you learn when directing a sketch is, moments of chaos won't bring any reaction if they're not bordered by moments of calm. White doesn't show up on white, like Owen Burke said. Throw a pebble into a pond, it ripples. Throw a pebble into a choppy sea, you just wasted a pebble.
In a month, give or take, I will lay on grass. I will have a twenty four hour period in which I have nowhere to be. I will kiss a girl. I will take my little brothers to a movie.
Someday, I will buy a gun, set my alarm clock for the end of the three day waiting period. When it goes off, I will go get my gun, then I will go to the middle of the desert and shoot my alarm clock into tiny pieces, then drive back into town and sleep some more. When I awake of my own volition, I will return the gun and use the money to buy beer for my friends. On second thoughts, maybe I'll buy beer anyway, and keep the gun to ensure that no one dares use the phrase "I can't, tomorrow I have to wake up and..." etc. as an excuse not to talk bullshit and freestyle and make gross generalizations about the opposite sex until the sun comes to shave another day off all our youths.
Last night between the eight o'clock Hammerkatz NYU show and the ten o'clock Hammerkatz NYU show I sat alone in the park across the street looking at the arch all lit up and through it, the Empire State Building, my favorite thing in the world besides a woman's neck, hip hop, and sandwiches, and I smoked a cigarette I bummed from Steve, and thought, We did it again. Goddamn us, we pulled it off again and lost the minimum amount of fingers. It was warm out, warm as night at home in August. Then I went back upstairs and when I got there it was raining out the window in big drops, and it was back to it. Fatigue be damned I would not trade my dirty room and my protruding ribs and my comedy shows for anything. Except meeting Jay Z.
In six and a half hours, it's back to it. We can pick up my eighth wind on our way to Massachusetts.
that means we still owe Biggie at least fifteen.
Outside the Chelsea Hotel on my way to UCB, I wanted to say to the woman stopped dead in the middle of the sidewalk having difficulty pulling a lime-green sweater onto her chihuahua: "It's probably time to re-evaluate."
Then the second I thought that I saw a guy standing in the doorway of a deli yelling "Fuck YOU! No, fuck YOU!" at a kid in an apron. He was wearing a velvety purple blazer, fifty-ish, sunglasses, tie, fedora. When I was a kid, I used to imagine we were hollow inside and any food we ate would drop down to the lowest point in this hollow body vessel and once our body was filled up, all the way to the top of our hollow head, we died. I imagined that for this guy, only instead of food, he was filled up with prescription drugs. Pills all the way up to maybe three inches at the crown of his head, where the fedora was. He was pointing his finger like lightning was shooting out of the tip of it.
If you are yelling at a kid in a deli with a mop at 10:30 on a Thursday night on the first nice day of a year, and you are fifty and very likely richer than God, it is probably time to re-evaluate.
An actual half of a cellphone conversation I heard in the park yesterday:
"No, Miriam's not coming. I dunno. She's been in like this depressed thing ever since she came back from Bermuda. She hates it here. Like, so much that she's thinking about going to law school in Bermuda. I know! There are no law schools in Bermuda!"
I am reading Glamorama by Brett Easton Ellis and like any Ellis book it has me in a wow-everyone-is-a-shallow-android mode. New York is a very easy place to look at the world like that. It's scary. But it's also maybe spring so nothing is, in actuality, all that bad.
Back to writing my Simpsons spec. Pages are due in an hour. I have coffee from Dunkin' Donuts, and I get to do two shows tonight. Like I said, nothing is all that bad.
My brother was named after the pope, I think (John Paul) but he is taller, funnier, and better at hockey.
If purple smoke comes out the chimney, that means they have elected a pope who does amazing guitar solos and scratches a little, too, at parties, on weekends.