Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I just saw TINY FURNITURE and I know that all the cool people are all over it and Lena Dunham is already a superstar Judd Apatow prodigy, and all that, so I am not going to pile on and say how great it was, even though it was totally great.

I just want to say that this guy on the right (picture), both the actor and the character is perhaps the greatest douchebag in all of the recent cinema. This character was so perfectly slimy and hilarious and brilliant and dead on, he was worth twice the price of admission.

In my head, I am still hearing him whine and smarm his way into poor Aura's life. I am having dreams about him wanting to hang out. He's the WORST. Oh my god, and so fitting that he's reading Woody Allen. Remember Paul Simon's portrayal of the music producer in Annie Hall? That's the level this is on.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


So what do you do when it's late November and an actual cold snap hits LA and everyone is shivering and hiding in their houses? You bust out Sergie Bondarchuk's 6-hour Soviet era film adaptation of WAR AND PEACE. Winner of the Academy Award for foreign film in 1968.

It's amazing! And beautiful and so shockingly sophisticated and well made and worthy of it's source, you have that thing of "WTF? Someone made a classic film in the Soviet Union?" It's their GONE WITH THE WIND. And just as good.

This sent me back to my own ideas of what exactly the Soviet Union was. Who were these horrible Communists that put artists and other free thinkers into prisons? Was it possible that some of those Party Members were artists themselves? All the "Communists" really were was a class of people who were smart enough or rich enough to weasel their way into "The Party" and who then got to live like all the other elite classes throughout Russian History.

I remember meeting an East German couple, in their early twenties, in Greece a few months after the Berlin Wall had fallen. They were good looking, they had plenty of money, they were having a great time. I couldn't figure them out. They were East Germans? Weren't they terribly oppressed? Weren't they broke? Wasn't their currency worthless in the west?

No. Because they were probably Communists. Or the sons and daughters of. I was uncouth enough to ask them point blank: "Were you Communists?" They got this horrified look on their faces and said, "No, no, not Communists!"

But they could have been. Somebody was. And that would explain their lifestyle.

So who was this guy Sergie Bondarchuk who made this amazing movie? Was he an oppressed artist, or maybe he was himself a member of the party?

It just shows how all the propaganda we absorbed during the 70s and 80s warped our minds to the point we can't picture accurately how the Soviet Union actually functioned. We just think "evil" and dismiss the whole thing.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


DREAM SCHOOL, the GIRL sequel is up. Very excited. The Figment people did an awesome job!

This is another picture we almost used for the front page. Funny where we had to go as we looked for good images. Googling "hipster college girls" doesn't really get you where you want to go.

Thanks to everyone for checking out DREAM SCHOOL. And if you know any GIRL fans who might want to see it. Pass it on to them!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


So I've been re-reading the sequel to my first book GIRL. It's called DREAM SCHOOL. It's basically "Andrea Goes to College". At a fancy East Coast college.

I'm getting it ready for Figment.com who are going to serialize it when they launch their teen reading/writing site.

I have resisted re-reading DREAM SCHOOL for a while now, knowing myself and that I would want to fiddle with it and change things and get all perfectionistic on it. The novel already had a weird time problem being written five years after the first book ended, but having to start basically right from that same point the first book left off. Which would be like the mid nineties.

And now of course the time thing is even weirder, since it's seven more years, etc. etc.

But so then I did have to go through it anyway, so I did, and I made some super light little changes for technological reasons. Not really updating it just getting rid of things that won't make sense to Figment readers, but leaving it kind of vaguely around the 1997-2003 era. But not really being specific about it.

Anyway, the surprising thing was, it hardly matters. It's just fun classic college fun. And it's really fun to remember it and discover all these characters I'd forgotten about. I totally enjoyed reading it again. It's like more GIRL. which is exactly what it's supposed to be. Except now she's in this new scary environment. Which she does not always find easy to adjust to.

Friday, November 5, 2010


I once heard Billie Joe Armstrong of GREEN DAY use the phrase, "Here today, gone later today" and I always think of it as the never ending streams of new bands, new writers, new films, new everything goes pouring across my computer and TV screens.

But for the moment there are two cultural figures I have bought into and am not going to buy out of anytime soon. The seemingly over-hyped TAVI (pictured), always seems to be doing something simple and interesting on her blog, no matter how "hot" she gets, and OBAMA, our poor beleaguered President, (my beleaguered President, since I actually voted for him), who no matter what happens to him, or what setbacks he must deal with, always seems crisp, calm, reasonable, rational, solid and good.

I am grateful for their poise under pressure.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Being a writer all this time, you'd think I would know more about John Cheever than what everyone else knows. The terrible truth is, I know what "Cheever Country" is. It's Westchester and upper middle class people riding the commuter train back and forth to work in Manhattan.

I also knew he wrote FALCONER, which I read in college, in a literature class, and therefor read with almost zero comprehension, and probably never finished and came away from it knowing it was about a guy in prison who comes to love another guy. And it was boring.

But I did remember the huge THE STORIES OF JOHN CHEEVER, which showed up in my parent's house back in the 70s and how this book was a big deal. Partly because it was so large, and had such an elegant cover but also because it had one of those magic buzzes about it. It seemed to glow. Like THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP and BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS or, out west where I lived SEVEN ARROWS and a few other things. It was one of those books the grownups handled reverently ... you knew it was important and awesome ... and I must have read that first story, "O My Brother", once a decade my whole life ...but probably never read another story ...

Anyway, so now I am reading BLAKE BAILEY's bio of John Cheever and am sort of having my mind blown. John Cheever isn't some upper class Westchester stuffed shirt, like I thought. He was sort of a wild child. He didn't graduate from high school. He lived on people's couches for years. He was wildly and pretty openly gay. He was a good old fashioned liar. All the great luminaries of his day were all over him. They adored and protected him. It's really an amazing story and it totally changes my thoughts on him.

I always thought he was one of those boring writers that kind of overachieve because they were in the Ivy League crowd. And the critics like them. In fact, he is a chronic underachiever, he was constantly told that HE was the voice of his generation and he needed to write his great first novel that would define his group and make him famous. But he couldn't! he kept writing New Yorker stories for the money.

I won't say anything more because I am only up to age 30 in the bio. But it's great fun. And a great biography, giving all sorts of fun tidbits and giving you a good blast of the feel of the times, which of course make us look like a bunch of new age wusses, which of course we are....