Nine months today.
Nine months today.
Canteloupe? Cantaloupe? As God is my witness I will trample a chihuahua for cantaloupe !
I started a freelance gig two weeks ago and am just catching my breath. It's short term, but full time. I write early mornings or late afternoons, so my morning routine with the dog is now an evening routine. Yesterday we did our usual out early dog run and were both the better for it.
Thursday morning she came into the bedroom as I was getting dressed and put her paw on my foot and rested her head on my knee with big sad eyes. I can't even look at her when I leave.
Hot weekend. Lots of swimming.
She likes to enter a bench from behind. She's a dog, so I don't ask.
Balls in the pool. It's how we get her in.
The last photo is chasing dragonflies.
It's hot. We take her to the dog run early, before the sun gets too high so we can get her home by 9:30 a.m. Other dog owners think the same thing so it was crowded this morning. Twenty dogs running from one end to the other, stopping only for a run through a fountain. Mine chases or gets chased for an hour and a half, then we walk home. She'll chew a toy and sleep for a few hours, and the rest of the day she's mellow from her morning romp. Except for this morning. She came home and slept like a cute little bunny, then woke up, stretched, and from nowhere she grabs my camisole off a chair and rrrrrip - she splits it down the middle.
I'm out of my chair as she grabs the socks out of my sneakers and then she does a drive by where she grazes my knee and waves the sock as she runs across the room. I get the sock from her and she runs down the hall and half leaps onto the bed to grab something off there. I manage to block her and bam! She's back down the hall and swipes a Netflix envelope off the table. It's shredded in four seconds and as I wrestle it away she's back in the kitchen grabbing a sock. Shirt, sock, pants, sock, shirt - we both got a workout. I finally took her outside for a walk around the block and that seemed to do it.
(photo by and miniature set by Charles Brogdon, On the Set)
When I was 22 I had my first revelation that I might have a drug problem. At the time I was trying to kick a coke habit, so I tried crack. After that first hit - I had never felt anything like it - something deep down said this is the drug that will kill me. I made a deal with myself: if I never smoke crack again I can keep snorting cocaine. I never smoked crack again, but a piece of me knew that negotiating one for the other probably wasn't good thinking.
Some time later I went to a party and a friend was there with his girlfriend. Someone offered her a drink and she took water. When someone handed her a mirror with a line on it she casually passed. She didn't smoke cigarettes either; though I had told everyone I quit I was sneaking onto roofs and hanging out windows to steal puffs off a Marlboro Light when I thought I could get away with it. I was intrigued by this girl and tried to imagine what it would be like to not drink or do drugs or smoke cigarettes. I couldn't imagine it, but wanted to.
Over the years if someone mentioned 'spiritual life' or 'higher power' the words would catch in my ear. Same with 'meditation.' For all of it I pictured gurus with long beards and people chanting so I'd cancel the idea of it out. The last ten years of using I was a pothead and every night (and eventually every day) I'd get high and trace figure-eights around my apartment. I'd listen to music and have moments of awareness of how I was getting in my own way, or what patterns I was repeating and how they weren't working for me. Then the next morning would come and the button would reset and I'd start all over again doing what I was doing.
My mind is like a wood chipper in that it takes everything in and frantically chews the shit out of it. I used to grind life up to try to make sense of it. I'm curious about the world around me, so a sense of wonder would pepper the sawdust, too. When I got clean I tried to meditate but my head was a pinball. After a couple years I started going to a once a week meditation group a friend led. It took a year before I could actually quiet my mind for a few minutes out of 20. Now I try to meditate regularly and when I do my head might still monkey around, but I'm sitting.
This morning I was meditating and suddenly realized how powerless I am over what's going on right now. A few months back I wrote about how it doesn't go the way I think it's gonna and at the end that of the post I mentioned that I wrote a new pilot and it had changed everything. It's true - I got the pilot to a production co., a studio came on board and they took the project to a premium cable network. Premium cable loved it, then passed and everyone dropped out. I got the project back and got it to a writer/producer who at the time was with the tv show JUSTIFIED. He loved it, and though he couldn't take it to FX he wanted to help me get a manager, which he did. I love my manager. And the writer/producer.
When I create a show I write the pilot and also create a whole platform for it including ways to maximize the business end of it. The shows I create become very real for me - I see that world in 3D and see how it fits into this one. When I get a pass I get blue and frustrated and pissed, but passes have no effect on how I feel about the project. If anything it makes me more ambitious. Going through that process showed me it isn't personal when I get a pass. Plus, new people read my work and all want to read what I do next.
Recently I finished a new project, a half-hour comedy (the other pilot is a one-hour comedic drama) and my manager is just starting to take it out. I wrote the best pilot I could and I'm so ready to get a show on the air, yet I'm powerless over what happens next. I've done everything I can to try to make this happen, and what I do now is start a new project. Writer/producers keep telling me that's how it's done. Faith tells me the same. So that's what I'm doing.
The dog goes down for her first walk around 6:30 a.m. and for the last 2 months or so we've noticed a line forming outside the Dominique Ansel bakery on Spring Street. It's mostly a corporate crowd, suits and ties and dresses and heels and they don't look like interns. The bakery opens at 8:00 and what these people are on line for are Cronuts.
We don't take the dog to the basketball court anymore but we spun through there early Friday morning. It was her second walk, the one where she goes and romps for a bit around 7:45. The Cronut line now wraps around the court; it used to wrap the other way and I'm guessing neighbors complained. At a party Saturday someone brought Cronuts for the hosts and I got the lowdown: you're allowed 2 per person; if you're not waiting by 7:30 they'll sell out before you make it inside; the bakery workers don't think they're the best thing they make.
I love donuts from just about anywhere and my favorite croissants come from Francois Payard on West Houston, though I've eaten one from a roadside stand in Ecuador and that was pretty perfect, too. The idea of a mash-up has no appeal. Any Cronut fans out there who say tasting is believing?
We joined a neighborhood dog run. I was on the fence about having to pay for my dog to play, but it's very clean and they have a pool. No towel service yet or grilled cheese sandwiches with a Hoodsie for dessert, but we're working on it.
Growth spurts are tough on her. Mixed with today's humidity she's barely moving. Kitchen to eat, living room to sleep, downstairs to pee, back up to conk out.
This morning was hectic hectic hectic
by eight a.m. we hit the greenmarket and I wrap
three birthday presents for a seven year old who I love very much and
then we have to cook and eat and clean up what we ate and shower
shower you're getting bread and I'll shower first before we head out
Okay Joe says but be quick since I don't want to be late and I thought
if I had an axe an axe an axe had a nice sharp axe I
might swing it am I ever late?
We drive over the Williamsburg Bridge
Joe is driving and I am in the passenger seat not aware I'm --
How's your brake? he asks Your brake brake brake?
I'm slamming my foot on my imaginary brake every time a
motherfuuuu-oh my God - the truck the taxi it's veering into our -
I'm going to die
close my eye
s oh my
I see a sign
it says Take Turns Meandering
that's a weird sign for the Long Island Expressway
and I realize it says Take Turns Merging
a sign a sign a sign!
I swing my feet and pfffft I'm good
One of my favorite Saturday Night Live skits was when John Larroquette played a recently deceased guy and Dana Carvey played the angel he meets when he goes to heaven. The angel asks the deceased guy "Anything you want to know?" and after a bit of conversation the deceased guy asks "What's the grossest thing I ever ate?" The angel quickly says "You don't want to know." The deceased guy says, "Okay, what's the 200th grossest thing?" and the angel replies "That would be some butterscotch pudding that had a dead earwig in it."
The dog has gotten so much better with vacuuming the street, but occasionally she'll grab something off the sidewalk before I can kick it out of the way. Sometimes I don't know what I'm fishing out of her mouth and last week I wrangled a flattened and stiff bird part from between her teeth. (There was a beak, a head and a bit of something else.) A fellow dog owner referred to it as a 'bird chip' and for the record that bird chip barely makes the top ten things I've fished out of the dog's mouth. The week before she got her jaws around a massive cockroach, also dead, and that makes the bottom of the top ten because a cockroach beats a bird chip any day in terms of not wanting to touch.
After 9/11 our neighborhood changed in many ways and one that's been long lasting is the kind of wildlife and vermin we now have. One of my close high school friends was a flight attendant on the first plane through the towers and ten days after they fell, when I was packing to go to her memorial, my phone rang with "Has the infestation reached you yet?" The caller lived eleven blocks south of me and they were being overrun with cockroaches. Right as they asked a giant waterbug lumbered across my living room floor and I panicked. It made sense - the vermin had to go somewhere. Bizarrely, I had crickets right after the towers fell, the most beautiful, sleek black crickets that tweeted comfort for two days then went silent. Crickets were okay, but cockroaches weren't and I left for my friend's memorial unsure of what I'd come back to.
What I came back to was getting mugged at knifepoint by a transvestite who was better dressed than me, but no cockroaches. Seagulls, rats the size of cats, doves, a hawk and a praying mantis moved onto the block and stayed. Praying mantis look like floating fairies when they fly and though they're the rarest thing I still occasionally see one. Last night the dog ate a ladybug, which I love, so I'll have to keep my eyes out for Tinkerbell, should she fly by.