Sunday, April 30, 2006

It's a Film!

I went into labor at about 10:30 this morning and finally, tonight at 7:32, I gave birth to a beautiful baby film. She was about 43 minutes long and weighed about as much as a standard DV tape.

Unfortunately, she was born premature so there were a few imperfections when she came into this world, but after a few more hours of minor surgery, I couldn't be more proud of her.

Her aunts showed up today to celebrate and were on hand to experience the miracle of cinematic life. It seems like only yesterday we were clamoring over the storyboarded sonograms that depicted what our little girl might look like upon entering the universe, but we never could have imagined her blossoming into something so wonderful.

Now she is nestled in comfortably on the corner of my desk, taking in the air and the light around her (but not too much light--I'm carefully regulating the temperature that her sensitive little film is exposed to.

In two days I will be ready to share her with everyone who supported me during my pregnancy over these past nine weeks (give or take.) I'm also very thankful to those people who were there during her conception--from now on, I'm calling Cassie, Kirsten, and Katy my sperm donors.

Enough of this ridiculous extended metaphor. I'm going to do other work.

Friday, April 28, 2006

The Cast Breaks a Leg

So I'm almost completely finished with my first attempt at a feature-length film. Of course, it's not actually a feature-length film anymore, now that I've spent hours upon hours in the editing suite, slaving over 8 DV tapes or more of footage. It will probably be an hour long. But we're calling it feature length because you can't expect too much more in a period of only six weeks.

The film is titled "Everybody Else is Everybody Else" and in many ways it sort of defies any sort of explanation but I'll try, dammit:

A mockumentary-style character study that examines the hypocrisy of countercultural behavior amongst college-age Americans.

There it is. The nickel tour of my film. And now I'm going to post bios of all the folks who helped make it happen:


This is me, Cassie Averell, Kirsten Paine, and Katy Taylor. The four of us engaged in a communal writing process while developing our screenplay. I did the majority of the writing with the help of their brilliance. To create this film with only four people in control was quite a feat--especially when all of us are engaged in a lot of other stuff. Our schedules were insane during this past month.


THE CAST:

Shawn Gaines as CRAIG MILES HUFFINGTON III. Craig is a whiny rich boy who fakes being poor.

Alyssa Weldon as ANA. Ana is anti-everything. She'll protest anything that moves and most things that don't.

Gary Thobaben as GARY. Gary is a pretentious intellectual. He smokes more than he reads.


NOT PICTURED: Marissa DeSantis as PEGGY SUE, the audiophile who seeks out bands that nobody will ever hear..ever.


David Magnus as CRAIG MILES HUFFINGTON II. Yea, this is CRAIG's overbearing father. With the help of stage makeup, facial hair, and low camera angles, he looks a lot older on film.


Steel Burkhardt as STARBUCKS BARISTA. In a climactic scene, this barista's cheerful demeanor becomes intolerable to angsty ANA.

Scott Ramage as RECORD STORE LOYALIST. In the third of four black and white vignettes, this character holds a candlelight vigil in front of his favorite record store, now out of business.

Adam King as GOTH BOY. A well-mannered suburban teen goes through a frightening transformation one morning in the first of four interlaced vignettes, shot in black and white.

NOT PICTURED: Cassie Averell as WAL-MART PROTESTOR. Self-explanatory, only in the style of a southern baptist minister. (Vignette 2)

NOT PICTURED: A. Boe as LITERATURE ELITIST. She knows her stuff...and you're an idiot for not knowing it as well. (Vignette 4)


Jack Winget as HOMELESS VETERAN. Poor old bum gets in the way of CRAIG's master plan. You'll understand when you see the film.

LP Colodangelo as TENURE PROFESSOR. In a beautifully executed lecture on The Great Gatsby, this professor gets sassy and proves that GARY doesn't really have it all figured out.

Kirsten Paine as THRIFT STORE CLERK. She doesn't quite understand CRAIG'S need for dirty clothes, but she tries.

Joey Scale as GARY'S FRIEND. He's truly loyal, despite his obvious disinterest in GARY's endless philosophical rants.

Gus Curry as TAVERN MUSICIAN. In a particularly sexy scene, my character PEGGY SUE, gets a little hot and bothered by his acoustic set and ends up getting in a really uncomfortable situation.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Clairvoyant Roommate OR The Day I Outgrew MTV

This afternoon my lovely roommate and I were reclined on the futon watching a bit of the ol' Vh-1 Classic, as is customary for us. We often enjoy taking brief little breaks together to reconnect during the day betwixt our normally stressful schedules.

After a few forgettable videos, a new one hit the screen and suddenly there was a long establishing shot of a dreary and rocky coastline. Before the name of the artist came on the screen, my roommate said, "I hope it's Wilson Phillips!" I laughed, thinking that this was a completely hysterical yet totally unlikely notion. Indeed, it was not Wilson Phillips at all, dear reader, but a ridiculous new-wave balladeer who wanted to be Robert Smith at times but who ultimately ended up looking more like Rick Astley (I attribute this to his high-flying poof of a hairdo--it looked like a squirrel made of steel wool was perched on his head.)

The video was ridiculous. There were women standing on the shore in these strange cheesecloth shrouds that looked like beekeepers' helmets. We were so disturbed by the image that we quickly switched the channel and ended up on MTV-2, the next channel down.

In this video, there was a band of screaming young men dressed in dark button-down shirts getting tangled up in microphone cords and getting hit with pieces of glass being blown at them by a fan in a white room with black arrows painted on the walls. I think this was the concept of the video. There were, however, additional flashes of various animals getting eaten by other animals and then warping (I use the term "warping" generously here--they really just used jump-cuts) into people doing everyday activities. The first time this happened, we saw a lion pouncing on a running gazelle and then a girl was jumping through a sprinkler in the gazelle's place. I hoped that the lion would eat the girl as well, but alas, I was sorely disappointed.

My roommate and I were not familiar with the band. We kept looking at each other, feeling very confused and frustrated. Then suddenly, on the screen, the words "The Elite 8" were printed on the screen. "Oh," I said, "This band must be called The Elite 8." Roommate seemed satisfied with this statement, however, later we would both divulge our confusion regarding the discrepancy between the name of the band and the number of members in it (4.)

So the video ended and all of a sudden on the screen it said that this was a new video from Taking Back Sunday. Yea, that was the actual band. Not "The Elite 8" which was apparently the name of the show that it was on. Roommate and I gave each other high 5s because obviously we're ready to be moms now that we have no idea what the kids are watching on the MTV.

We switched back to our comfort zone on Vh-1 Classic where Julian Lennon was just wrapping up and all of a sudden something miraculous happened:

Again, there was a shot of a rocky coastline in the early evening and all of a sudden the first strains of "Hold On" by Wilson Phillips resonated boldly from the television set. Yes, there they were in all their glory, rolling around on the beach with their breezy beachwear and their matching bowl cuts. And Carnie Wilson before the stomach stapling! It was all there! Roommate and I celebrated to the max.

It was all very "That's So Raven."

Monday, April 17, 2006

The book of my life.

I'm getting dangerously close to filling another journal.

I began keeping a journal during my senior year of high school. My aunt Noreen bought me a small notebook covered in maps and drawings of the moon during different phases when I was in a play a few years prior. I finally bit the bullet and wrote my name on the inside cover the day I found out that I needed to keep one for my creative writing class. Then I covered it with some favorite quotes of mine.

I ended up using the journal three or four times for actual assignments. It became a lot more personal in the end. I filled it with song lyrics, poetry, prose, and a few sketches. I never really used it as a typical "journal" like you'd see in the movies. I wasn't asking, "Are you there, God? It's me, Marissa," in slanted cursive. My journaling was a form of spontaneous artistic expression. It became a part of my arm. My right fist closed around it so that my knuckle whitened as I moved through the hallways between classes.

Eventually I had to get another journal. It so happened that a teacher of mine gave me one as a graduation present. It took me longer to fill that one, as it had more pages which were larger as well. I'm seven pages away from filling it. It's bound by a spiral, which is great for songwriting because it won't close up if I need to look at it whilst I hold my guitar. The cover is rustic-looking with pictures of pineapples and other things you'd find on an island. I wrote "I can think of nothing but love and fresh coffee," a quote by the poet Fred Chappell from his poem "Recovery of Sexual Desire After a Bad Cold." On the inside cover, for whatever reason, I wrote in capital letters "THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT TO:" and then wrote my name and address beneath it.

Although the writing in the first journal is pound-for-pound a lot less respectable than some of the things from my second journal, I've noticed that in the second one I give up a lot on things that I can't finish right away. It's full of a lot of concepts, whereas the writing in my first journal was complete. And even if it wasn't the best, it was something concrete and resolute.

My third journal started getting filled simultaneously with my second; I needed to keep a journal for my stress management class last semester. My professor encouraged me to use that journal for daily recollections and musings--not necessarily for art's sake, but more for my sake so I would have something concrete to look at and reflect on weekly in regards to my personal life. Now that journal is almost full. The notebook that I used was also from my aunt Noreen. It has mosaic coi on it in pastel colors.

I realize now that I've never bought a journal for myself that went to any practical use. I've bought little notebooks for myself and a few friends have bought them for me but there are some notebooks that I just cannot write in for some reason. My second notebook was one of them--for some reason it felt like there was some miscommunication between my pen and the lined paper. It was heartbreaking for a while before I found a muse who helped me get over that block.

So now I'm in the market for a new journal. Today I must have opened and re-opened and felt and fondled and smelled about forty different notebooks. None of them seemed right. I guess my physical criteria are as follows:

  • Must be portable
  • Must have subtle cover art
  • If the cover art is not subtle, I am often taken with classic-looking or antiquarian designs, especially those of an Asian, Indian, or even European persuasion
  • Must have a good texture
  • Must have darkly lined pages
  • Must be tall enough/wide enough so that I can write a poem comfortably on one page
  • The little ribbon marker is a plus, but not necessary
  • No magnetic covers--those things are hard to open
  • Simplicity always wins over extravagance. After all, it's what's inside the notebook that's important
  • No multi-colored pages. White or off-white
  • Printed on recycled paper
  • No obnoxious or distracting watermarks. If they're on the upper or lower corner of the page, that's fine.
  • No specially printed spaces for writing the date or anything like that.



See? I'm not picky. Not picky at all. Buy me a journal. I dare you.

Kiss on my List

I haven't made a good list in a long time. I think I need to. I was watching "The Wedding Singer" today and I watched the Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore kiss for the first time with the sound off. Yea, take your mind out of the gutter--the only reason I turned the sound off was so I could see if the kiss had the same brevity without the swelling orchestral strain of "Grow Old With You" in the background. And it totally did! So today, for all of my [4] readers, a list of my favorite screen kisses:



1) Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore in "The Wedding Singer." (1998) What made their kiss in the doorway of Julia's house so incredible was because there was no immediate release or resolution. You knew they were perfect for each other and the looks on their faces showed that they finally knew it too, but then Glen walked in and suddenly you realized that there were still a good forty minutes left in the movie. That sounds so unromantic, but that's what made the kiss so great. It started out as an experiment "for educational purposes" and turned into something more. And Drew Barrymore smiles during the entire thing. This movie is one of my favorites, so naturally it has a lot of clout with me. Also, I like the 80s very much.



2) Bill Murray/Scarlet Johansson in "Lost in Translation." (2003) I hear a lot of people complaining about this film not going anywhere and every time I see Bill and Scarlet kiss and finally find each other in the streets of Tokyo, I couldn't disagree with these fools more. There is so much implied in this tender, innocent kiss. And not knowing what he whispers in her ear makes their last moment together even more tantalizing. It also fuels my "older man/younger girl" fantasy.


3) Lady/Tramp in "Lady & the Tramp." (1955) Seriously, this is classic. I don't really feel that I need to justify its place on the list. It's actually creepy to think of all of the couples who actually imitate this scene in life though.


4) Maggie Gyllenhaal/James Spader in "Secretary." (2002) After Lee's hunger strike, it's so satisfying to see her finally win the affection of her boss and dominant partner, Edward. Their courtship preceding the kiss is quite an anomaly. It all started with a strange over-the-desk spanking incident that we thought would turn into nothing more than some good old-fashioned S&M office nookie. But when Edward stops giving Lee the business and kisses her with such gentle conviction, "Secretary" stops being creepy and gets romantic...without losing its edge.

5) Clark Gable/Vivien Leigh "Gone With the Wind." (1939) So what if it's a likely addition to the list? There's a reason some things are considered "classic." The way Rhett ravages Scarlett during the violently passionate kiss at the bottom of the stairs borders on disturbing, which is why I like it so much. I like the danger in it. I like the power that they have over each other and the struggle that they both go through to exert that power. It's strong! "You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how."

6) Kevin Spacey/Mena Suvari "American Beauty." (1999) We keep waiting for Lester to wake up as he pulls Angela in and finds himself dangerously close to living out his feverish fantasy. Even with all of the mounting tension and the subtle fear in Angela's eyes, the kiss seems so deserved. It's like watching the Trix rabbit finally get his cereal. The rain in the background and the streetlight glow across their faces provides the perfect setting.


7) John Travolta/Uma Thurman "Pulp Fiction." (1994) It's never a good idea to try anything funny with Marsellus Wallace's wife. But after that hot twist sequence at Jackrabbit Slim's, I'm so glad that Vincent Vega moved in on the lovely miss Mia. Their kiss in the doorway of the Wallace home is dangerously romantic, and sexy as Steve Buscemi dressed as Buddy Holly asking if you want it burnt to a crisp or bloody as hell.

8) Eugene Levy/Catherine O'Hara "A Mighty Wind." (2003) The only thing mightier than the wind in this movie is the tension between Mitch and Mickey at the reunion concert at the end of the film. When you're a movie and a huge chunk of your plot emphasizes the importance of one little kiss, it better be a good one. And nobody is disappointed. Well, actually, we are disappointed a little, but in a good way. Seeing the has-been Mitch and Mickey kiss again is heartbreaking and fulfilling at the same time.

9) Marlon Brando/Kim Hunter "A Streetcar Named Desire." (1951) So how do you follow a soaking wet Marlon Brando screaming "Stellllaaaaaaaaa!" in one of the most legendary moments in cinematic history? Seal it with a kiss, dude. And make it a hardcore, disturbingly rough and sensual one. The fact that Marlon Brando exudes sex in this film doesn't hurt at all. Not one bit. Mmm Brando.


10) Molly Ringwald/Michael Schoeffling "Sixteen Candles." (1984) Honestly, the thing that really gets me soft about this kiss is the whole presentation of it. I didn't really believe that Jake and Sam had the potential to be a long-term couple in the harsh environment of a public high school in the 80s. But the two of them leaning over a birthday cake while sitting comfortably on a hardwood floor--it's just so precious. It's how every sixteen-year-old girl should get to celebrate her birthday. I think I actually went sledding. But there weren't any guys as cute as Jake Ryan at my school anyway.

11) Tobey Maguire/Kirsten Dunst "Spiderman." (2002) This kiss really raised the bar. Not only is it the best kiss in any superhero film ever, but it may be one of the most creative and unusual screen kisses of all time. I actually think it was a bit overrated but I can't really ignore its significance. And I really appreciate the trust that exists between Mary Jane and Peter Parker here. Even though she doesn't know who she is kissing at the moment, Mary Jane respects the webslinger enough to protect his identity. She only pulls the mask down only enough to expose his lips. To see a superhero that vulnerable (in costume!) is incredibly sexy.

12) Winona Ryder/Angelina Jolie "Girl, Interrupted." (1999) Finally traveling together outside of the confines of the mad world of Claymoore, two beautiful women share an innocent kiss that seems to seal their already understood bond. You can see the admiration and awe in Susanna's eyes. Lisa no longer seems dangerous at this point in the film, which only makes it more powerful when she turns on Susanna. Of course, the weed sort of mellows things out a bit. But really, it is a beautiful moment.

13) Ralph Fiennes/Julianne Moore "The End of the Affair." (1999) We know that the love affair between Bendrix and Sarah is doomed from the beginning of the film, but there is certainly an intense glimmer of hope when he catches her in the rain and pulls her under his coat to kiss her. It is such a heavy dose of old-fashioned romance that for a minute you forgive both of them for their infidelities. A few moments later, he throws her passionately against the hard wall of an alley and you beg for more infidelity.

14) Geena Davis/Bill Pullman "A League of Their Own." (1992) Bob returns home from the war to Dottie just as she's given up hope. His name might be boring, but the kiss that he shares with his lady is anything but. Here, we see a new side of the headstrong, independent Dottie Henson. They're both sobbing and kissing and it's such a great cathartic moment of bliss and gratefulness.

15) James Caan/Marlon Brando "The Godfather." (1972) This man/man moment carries a lot more weight than any kiss shared by the cowboys on Brokeback Mountain. Actually, any one of the kisses of betrayal in the Godfather series could have made this list, but just seeing Sonny bent so low, the look of disgust on Don Vito's face...it's such a powerful still. Not a kiss that I'd want to receive, but it sure made for great cinema. Actually, Michael kissing Fredo in Part II might be a better choice here now that I think about it. "I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart."



The 15th Slot is pretty open for now. I'd like to keep it that way until I can think of one that really belongs there. Of course, I've considered the famous kisses from "Casablanca," "On the Waterfront," "Rear Window," "Titanic," etc. I'm trying to keep this list free from too many clichés but I guess I can't deny what is already accepted as being great.

Suggestions are always welcome...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Fast Fish--or--a Brief History.

It was a slow burn. Steven Spielberg reached into my head and tugged a beaded chain inside my brain when I was four years old. I was watching "Jaws" and my mind lit up so fast and hard that my ears burned. I wasn't afraid of his black eyes or his giant teeth which were bigger than my hands at the time. I kept taking baths and I learned how to swim with the other kids who were scared of being eaten. I learned the scientific name--Carcharadon Carcarius. I learned about the great white shark with the fervor of a mad scientist ten times my age. And then I learned about other sharks.

Two years later my ears still burned. I was six years old and I would still beg my mother to rent a different movie from the "Jaws" series every time she took my big brother and sister to the video store. There were no other movies. My reality was Mr. Quint's crassness and Chief Brody's reluctant heroism. I had thought Hooper was cute. He may have been one of the first celebrities that I was attracted to. Richard Dreyfuss. Strange, I know. But I knew the characters and I loved them. I knew every single line without exception. And there's nothing more precious than hearing a six-year-old little girl say, "Smile, you son of a bitch!" at family gatherings. I'm sure I had no idea what I was saying.

When I was ten I was still actively immersed in an obsessive world of shark-mania. I wanted to be a marine biologist. I participated in the Swim for Diabetes event every year and swam 200 laps each time so I could obtain a free pass to Sea World of Aurora. That Sea World is closed now but while it was here, I anxiously awaited its spring opening every year.

I liked boys but I wasn't the kind of girl who needed to like boys. I didn't matter. I was unattractive and awkward and I cared too much about strange things like sharks so that I scared most of the boys my age away. Older men thought it was cute that I was so clever and precocious. So I developed an interest in them as well but without the same enthusiasm that I gave to my finned friends of the sea.

It was during those years that I could feel most like myself in this one particular place. Each summer I would take trips to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo with my family or with my cousins or with the boys next door and their mother. And each time I would look forward to the sweaty climb up the twisted wooden ramps that led to the Primate, Cat, and Aquatic Building at the zoo's highest point, and my favorite place on Earth. I would start slowly, then begin to skip, and then I would sprint up in the shade of the towering trees, feeling my young calves burn while my hands flailed around in nervous anticipation. I was on my way to the shark building.

I always waited to see the sharks. I'd save them for last. And each time I would plop down on the carpeted stairs to catch my breath and watch them swim around their deep, circular tank in the green glow of the saltwater. The tank was special, but nothing too spectacular. The walls were brown and ancient-looking and there wasn't a whole lot of room to swim, compared to other tanks I'd seen. Still, this place was sacred. I was attracted to it, enamored even.

There was a huge ugly purple grouper, bigger than me for most of my youth. And there were the sharks. Always two blacktip reef sharks, smooth and fierce-looking with intense, wide white eyes and catlike black slits. The whitetip reef shark was the king of the tank, long and fast, prone to napping on the bottom and then being stirred by the movement of the large nurse shark, a docile, monk-like bottom-feeder. There was always that stout-looking horn shark with his beady starless eyes and rounded fins.

Sometimes I would step forward and lean against the glass, trying to think myself into the tank, tracing their straight and sleek, wakeless paths with my fingers. I saw the water spiraling steadily above them and dreamed of diving in. Sometimes to get a closer look I would kneel beside the tank and peer at them through one or all of the four portholes, about a foot and a half in diameter, cut in the sides for viewing from different angles.

During my adolescence I started feeling lonely. At times I was depressed. I gained weight, I grew more awkward and uncomfortable in my own skin. And while the other girls were getting their first kisses and more, I felt unworthy of such affection. And I felt unlikely too. It was unlikely that I would be kissed or hugged or accepted by the boys my age.

So I sat, alone, and dreamed in front of the shark tank, of a boy who might come up to me right there and kiss me. In front of the blacktips, the whitetip, the nurse shark, the horn shark. He'd pull me close and I'd feel safe. I wasn't afraid of the sharks, of course, but he'd still protect me.

I came close a few years ago. I was in love with my best friend and I had an opportunity. We were standing there, stupidly, parallel. And I didn't kiss him. I feared that the fantasy had built up dangerously in my mind and that I would be disappointed. So much depended on this kiss because it would be our first. So I waited. I waited for another two years.

I often dreamed after that day that I was being proposed to in front of the sharks. I dreamed that a faceless lover of mine was diving with me at the bottom, stroking the nurse shark. I dreamed that this same lover might actually want to stroke me. The fantasies grew more lascivious and seemed less attainable.

Could I really find a man who would love me and want to touch me and want to kiss me and still know about this bizarre obsession that grew in my mind from childhood? Would he know to hold me in front of the shark tank?

And he did.

He let me wait a little longer, even. We walked around the building, casually observing the other lesser animals. The rising tension within me bubbled and burned within my ears. I felt varied degrees of frustration as we took circuitous routes around my shark tank. There were moments when I could see it from the corner of my eye but I averted my gaze. It was a game. A sexy, quiet little game within me. And it felt good to share with this man--this perfect, indescribably wonderful man.

We finally approached the sharks and I was struck by how changeless the tank seemed. There was another female blacktip shark. The grouper's once bright purple color was faded. But he was just as large--maybe larger, because usually these things seem bigger when you're younger, but he looked the same to me. My lover asked me to tell him about the sharks and I did. I don't remember what I said. I was hypnotized again by the glow of the tank, the serenity that overtook my body. I was reconnecting. I was dreaming a little too.

When he grabbed my hand and led me around the corner, my heart sank. I feared that I wouldn't get my kiss. I couldn't understand why he hadn't done it. My feet felt heavy and I was scared until I had the nerve to ask him where he was taking me. He thought there were more sharks. I wish there were, dear, but there weren't.

I led him back to the other side of the tank to look through the portholes and he knelt down beside me to peer into the clear green water. I knelt down and saw the nurse shark and the horn shark and the whitetip reef shark. I projected myself along with him into the water. I felt light. I felt as if I was floating until I became aware again of the weight I was placing on the toes of my tennis shoes. I turned to see him looking at me and I felt instantly as if the ground beneath me dissolved--as if the intensity of his gaze were suspending me over a dangerous abyss beneath my feet. We were breathing underwater. And then he kissed me. And I felt everything. I had eight senses.

After the kiss we stared at each other and I felt faint. I imagine that this is what it might feel like to time-travel or to fall suddenly in an anti-gravity chamber at the pull of a lever, or to break the sound barrier. I did not know where I was in relation to the universe anymore. Because this was a new universe. It consumed me. It wasn't until two days later that I wondered if the kids on the other side of the tank could see us through the glass of the portholes on the opposite side.

I don't know what I did to deserve this. I sustained that dream for so long. I thought it might have gone the way of everything else from childhood--I would never be a marine biologist, Sea World closed, I stopped talking to the boys next door. This one lingered though.

And it will linger in my memory. The best kiss of my life. The only lasting dream of mine that finally found fruition. I'm still glowing. It's as though the green water is surrounding me, glistening and wetting my eyes so that I must blink to rid them of the tears, to make sure that I am not merely dreaming once again. When I close my eyes at night the inside of my eyelids remind me to keep my waking reverie alive. It's real, they say. It's real. It's real.

Later in the evening he nibbled on my neck and I woke up this morning with the mark that he left. I smiled at myself in the mirror, imagining the scar story I'd tell to Quint and Brody and Hooper in the belly of the Orca. I hummed "Show Me the Way to Go Home" as I brushed my teeth, smirking all the while.

Saturday, April 8, 2006

The Golden Age of Musical Chupacabra

"Chupacabra"
Sing to the tune of "Oklahoma" from the Broadway show, "Oklahoma."

Chuuuuu-pacabra, see the blood go seeping from the vein!
When you use your teeth you bite so sweet
That your victim can scarcely feel the paaaain.
Chuuuuu-pacabra, Every hombre down in Mexico
Has a pitchfork set in case you get
a craving for sangre or for bone!

There aren't any goats in the land
So now it's human blood you demand
And when we say, "¡Ojó! ¡Qué lástima y mál!"
We're only sayin'
You're pretty mean, chupacabra! ¿Chupacabra, qué tál?

Chuuuuuu-pacabra he's got wings so he can fly up high
And then swoop down low just when he knows
there's a victim who's caught his rabid eye.
Chuuuuu-pacabra doesn't care if you're type A or B
And if you have AIDS it's a-okay
because the cells inside his bones are t!

There aren't any sheep in the land
So now it's human blood you demand
And when we say, "¡Ojó! ¡Qué lástima y mál!"
We're only sayin'
You're pretty mean, chupacabra. ¿Chupacabra, qué tál?

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

A Cow Tale

I wasn't feeling well today so I closed my blinds and retreated into a heap of blankets with some looseleaf paper and a pen in the fashion of a true poet. I put on a pair of sweatpants which is notable because I never wear sweatpants. If you've seen me in sweatpants, then you know me on a very intimate level. Then I put on one of my favorite t-shirts. It's brown and it has a Rubik's Cube on it and it says "ADDICT" in bold letters next to the Cube. Anyway, nobody cares what I was wearing.

I wrote a letter to my boyfriend because I couldn't think about doing anything else at the time. Then I found a poem that I wanted to share with him so I crossed the street to buy a stamp and make a photocopy. While I was there I grabbed a bottle of grapefruit juice which I've never had in my life, and an apple. I figured I could use some vitamin c since I'm pretty sure I'm getting a cold.

When I came up to the copier, an attractive young man was standing at the candy counter across from me and he said to the lady:

"Do you have any Cow Tails? For some reason I really feel like eating a Cow Tail." The lady told him that they were sold out. Poor kid. However, being the great observer that I am, I was able to help this young man get some Tail.

Earlier in the day I passed a table where some students were selling tickets to a campus concert. The musician who is coming is named Josh Gracin. So needless to say, I won't be attending. Still, I noticed on my way past the table that there were three Cow Tales lined up along the edge of it along with some flyers advertising the concert.

"There are some Cow Tales on that table over there. They aren't tied down. You should just take one." I suggested to the kid, nodding in the direction of the three individually wrapped chewy, milky caramel treats. At first he seemed reluctant. "I don't want to steal somebody's Cow Tales," he said.

That's when the lady behind the counter stepped things up. She trotted right up to the table and picked up the three treats, reading a little label that was printed on the back of one. It was an advertisement for the concert!

"See? They want us to take the Cow Tales!" I exclaimed excitedly. So I sat down with the kid and we ate Cow Tales together. So did the lady from the candy counter. Eventually, the young lad introduced himself to me. I told him that I had seen him around and he said something like, "Yea, I have a tendency to hobble around here," and gestured towards his left leg.

Now, of course I noticed this man's walk. I notice everything. I knew that he always wore a leather jacket and that he had those glasses that turn to sunglasses in the light. He also had blonde hair that he slicked back in spite of its natural curl. This isn't creepy. I just see things. A lot of things. Still, I told him that I hadn't noticed his hobble. I wanted to see what he would say. "Well, I'm glad I pointed it out then," he said in a self-deprecating tone.

We talked for a bit longer and then bid each other good evening. And it was a good evening.