"Last Weekend"

February 20, 2001

Mark and I watched "The Big Chill" last night. I hadn't seen it, but I know the soundtrack pretty much by heart. I still like the soundtrack better, but the best of it is when Jeff Goldblum and Glenn Close are talking about this phenomenal weekend they've been having, and Jeff Goldblum says, "I'm going back to my novel. I'm going to write about this weekend." And Glenn Close says, "What were you going to write about before?" And Goldblum says, "Last weekend."

Yeah. Writing is like that. When we're lucky, we have these fabulous epiphanies that change what we're going to write and how we're going to write it. But before then, we still have stuff to write.

Plus, I really like Jeff Goldblum. He's one of those actors who you can just tell is a smart guy. Even when he's a smart jerk, he's a smart guy. There are enough dizzy people in Hollywood that I really appreciate that. (Like casting Elizabeth Shue as a physicist. What the hell were they thinking??? No nuclear physicist ever had a voice like hers. Trust me on this. "And there would be, like, unlimited energy!" I shudder.) So I'll watch a Jeff Goldblum movie fully anticipating that it can be horrible, but it'll have Jeff Goldblum, so I don't mind so much. Same goes for Val Kilmer and Jodie Foster. Get the three of them together to read the phone book - give Jeff the names, Val the addresses, and Jodie the phone numbers - and I may very well show up at the theatre to watch. Especially if Morgan Freeman shows up in a cameo to read the ads in the Yellow Pages or something.

For awhile, Scott and I were casting the ultimate movie. I don't think it had any of those people in it except Morgan Freeman. We were young and foolish then. But the people we had were pretty cool, too. I seem to remember a certain amount of Harrison Ford and Sean Connery. What we wanted, I think, was a multiracial Indiana Jones movie. Actually, I still want that. Or even another one with mostly white good guys. I'm okay with that, too. Even though Harrison Ford is getting old. (Really old. Like, older than my parents.) I think he still has plenty of swashes to buckle. I also think that Sean Connery should be starring opposite Judi Dench instead of Catherine Zeta-Jones, in order not to be creepy, but they almost never consult me on these things.

Ah, but now they can! They can search through Morphisms, hoping against hope that I will have told them how to run their movies. See, the problem before was probably that they were trying to catch me at home.

I've been reading Tim's friend Karen's online journal, back entries, because Karen is an evil being who sucked me in to reading her back entries. This has only happened once before, and that turned out to be Tim. But what I'm noticing is that Karen's husband comes off looking really awesome. And maybe it's just that he is really awesome. (I'm avoiding using his name until I can get this stupid American program to spell it right, with the double-dot over the a. It's a Swedish name. I ought to be able to have the right characters - I, of all American-type people.) I think a big chunk of it, though, is that she isn't going to go running around saying, "Oh, look what a clever and insightful wife I am, look at how fabulous I am with our kid!" So her lovely husband (with the lovely Swedish name I can't type on this stupid program) comes off looking fabulous. Often her friends do as well. But she's a little more subtle expressing her own fabulousness.

To heck with that. I'm just as clever and witty and fabulous as the people I hang out with. Well, most of the time.

Although Mark was pretty funny about the subject of childbirth as pertains to me. No, I'm not pregnant. No, I'm not intending to become pregnant any time soon. I've just been having these dreams of being pregnant. For the last three weeks, I've had maybe ten or eleven different dreams wherein I am pregnant or have just given birth. I'm told this is totally normal for young women, but I'm not sure I buy it.

So the topic was on my mind, and I was asking Mark what kinds of things he was comfortable with as far as alternatives - because you can do a lot of different stuff to have your baby. Home birth, labor in a small pool, all sorts of things. I wanted to know if he had any preconceptions.

He says, "I think it should be at a hospital."

Me: Why?

Him: They have stuff there.

Me: Stuff?

Him: Important stuff. For in case something goes wrong.

Me: In case what goes wrong?

Him: I don't know! If I knew, we'd get the stuff, and it'd be okay, but I don't, so I really think when the time comes….

Whatever. I have no strong opinions about all this right now. I just like Mark and his obsession with stuff.

So in writer news, I got another rejection letter today. Yay, me! Goin' for another five-rejection week. So I'm probably going to get that sent out tomorrow. Hopefully. Depending on how I hear from my query to Would That It Were. I sent them a slightly long story right before they changed their guidelines to firmly not accept slightly long stories. So it was in before that, but…. So anyway. We'll try again, and again, and again.

I finished the second draft of the story formerly known as "Angels Ever Bright and Fair" and re-titled it "Prototype." Given that the aria in question no longer appeared anywhere in the plot, and there never were any angels, it seemed best. I also got some stuff done on the New Novel. Yay, New Novel!

And, most lucrative of all (or at least most definitively lucrative), I got the contracts for my latest freelance deal. I'm writing books for a series on immigration to North America. The books are aimed at fourth through sixth graders, and mine are The Jewish Americans and The Chinese Americans. The research should be moderately interesting, not too strenuous. The editor seems clear that I don't have to talk down to kids, which is always a plus for me. I hate it when people treat kids like they were stupid just because they haven't had that much time to get data on this whole world-thing yet. I feel like our culture separates out "kids" and "real people," which sucks for everybody. Actually, it separates out "kids," "real people," and "old folks," which sucks at least as much. Some people I know will say that they like kids, or that they like old people. Not me. I don't like anybody in that big a group. I like some kids and some old people, and some of them are just jerks. Anybody who doesn't know kids who are jerks doesn't know enough kids, and is probably repressing grade school memories.

So there.

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