Eric my chef visited his mother in Utah. She trains horses. He trains humans.
After watching Maniac Saturday there was a Q and A with the director, William Lustig. The crowd at the Coolidge Corner Theater was comprised of film buffs that night. Bill was asked about extra helicopter footage, his commentary on the DVD, what it was like to work with Bruce Campbell, and other informed, sincere questions. I raised my hand and asked why there weren’t more animals in his film. Bill’s face turned stony and he barked, “No more questions!”
A few days later, the adrenaline of that exchange finally wearing off, I rented Maniac Cop from Odd Obsession in Chicago. I told the story to the guy working the rental desk. He was a film buff himself, and actually friendly with Bill. He advanced a theory that Bill thought I was a drunk heckler. And an alternate theory that Bill was hungry. The guy’s friend and coworker asked why I asked that question, and I said that even Maniac’s pets were mannequins. He keeps a baby doll in a cage and feeds it crackerjacks.
The Odd Obsession guys commented that of all the films to take place in New York City in the late seventies, Maniac is the least populated by humans or animals. There are almost as many mannequins as total actors, and just about everyone dies, except Bill in a cameo as a clerk at a seedy hotel in Times Square. Bill got in my head (last night I had a Maniac dream). I am sorry to have come across as (at best) sincere and uninformed in that question. I heard at the Chicago screening two large women asked Bill to sign their breasts, and his excuse was he had the wrong type of pen.
4 years ago my sister in Amsterdam journeyed to BOEKIE WOEKIE, books by artists, and picked me up a card, a booklet of art, and an envelope. These are below, along with her words.
Dear Bear, for This Year 2007 I wish for you that you are the captain of your own ship that cuts through the waves and at your command explores sunny and joyful ports. I wish for you safe harbors in stormy times and strong masts to catch powerful winds, so that you can travel as you will, spreading your seeds of creativity far and wide. Love, Kate
I knocked the screw off my front license plate while shoveling. The replacement cost sixty nine cents at an auto parts store. I had a realization that if I dedicated all my money, time and energy to the task it would take basically consume me in my entirety to make that part myself, and here it was for sixty nine cents. That made me feel better about dropping out of college.
As the old-timers taught me, it was always good to see, when you opened a sewer cover, that there were rats and roaches and running water. If it was so decided that we would have to make entry, if they could live, so could us. But if they weren’t there, if they were all dead, then the likelihood would be that we shouldn’t go down there. We should test it or ventilate it. That part of the job I didn’t mind. I like to see living organisms.
A splinter entered the tip of the pointer finger on my right hand. And I cut the tip off my left pointer finger. Then my hand scraped metal and bled. The chefs got out the first aid kit. The tweezers were made of blue plastic and useless. I dug out the wood with a push pin. We wrapped my bleeding finger in bandage tape but the blood seeped through. I wore a green mitten, it made the customers nervous. Finally black duct tape did the trick. Christina applied a Hello Kitty bandaid to my scrape.
Lady in the Radiator: [singing] In Heaven, everything is fine. In Heaven, everything is fine. You’ve got your good things. And I’ve got mine.
-from David Lynch’s first feature film, Eraserhead, a midnight movie in 1976
In a column applauding Angry Birds, a physics phone game that also appeals to adults, Virigina Heffernan remembers Mike, her best friend in college, sitting cross legged on the linoleum floor of her dorm room, in the late night hours saying, “Everyone is essentially either sad, angry or afraid.”
My body responds to the winter. Patches of dry skin under my eyes, in my ears. A tooth aches. And the sun comes roaring back.
Oh no what am I gonna do? I’ll never be able to win this thing. God help me.
Quit sniveling, everything will be fine.
Dad? Is that you? You’re a horsefly!
Ooh I’m a horse fly! Ooh I didn’t notice! Why that would explain these crappy little wings, why I’ve been buzzing around piles of manure all day, and leaving little fly shit droppings everywhere I go. Thank you for solving that mystery, Sherlock.
You can do it, you’re a horse just like they are. They have hooves, you have hooves. They have legs, you have legs. Son, you have something they don’t have. A big mouth.
No offense Dad, but what’s it like to be a horsefly?
-from the 1988 film, Hot to Trot, “The Funniest Talking Horse Movie Ever,” directed by Michael Dinner, starring Bobcat Goldthwait, and John Candy as a talking horse named Don
Verna the donut woman gave me cupcakes. I have not yet told her I am moving. She is the one person I cannot tell. There is a mental block. If I just disappear she will worry that I’m dead. I have dreamed of taking a picture of myself wearing the green Verna’s donuts sweatshirt with the skyline of Chicago in the background, and mailing that to her in a few months. That would only put her through months of needless worry. I don’t know how to say goodbye. I am planning a going away party with candlepin bowling.
It takes ten years to turn a newcomer into a native, but only six years to make a friend.
An electric fireplace has its arm around my girl, an R. Kelly song on. It’s Just Like That… Oooh like winter time by the fireplace, and oooh like trapped in walls and its no escape. Oooh like a precious jewel with no price tag, and oooh like waterfalls comin’ down on me. Oooh like a tidal wave comin’ from the sea, and oooh like a favorite scene in a big movie.