You Don’t Control My Life, Buzzfeed

kyle12 a.m. last night found me on my couch, eating fun-sized boxes of Milk Duds and playing Lunar: Silver Star Story on the PS2 Heather left for me after we filmed the book trailer for Amber Benson’s Witches of Echo Park.  I couldn’t sleep, partially because I come from a long line of insomniacs and partially because my husband has a cold, so he was snoring and carrying on.  I was strangely happy in this moment, wrapped up in a fuzzy blanket, having taken control of my insomnia rather than freaking out, like I normally do.

About a week ago, I decided, in my ongoing quest to become a super-productive human with an awesome house who writes a novel every single morning, I started doing Buzzfeed’s “Morning Person Challenge.”  Now I’m generally a pretty decent morning person; by 7 a.m. I have my coffee and am writing at my desk/kitchen table, but I occasionally get in these fits where I decide that my life could somehow be more awesome/pretty/productive and then throw everything into disarray and then break down crying.  There’s a Basic Bitch inside me trying to fight her way out, like a demon.

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On Writing “Rough Night in Little Toke”

61mfW7jxH8L._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_You kids, with your fancy animes and your Crackles and your CrunchyRolls, you don’t know how hard the rest of us used to have it!  Back in my day, we had to get anime from a CATALOG.  Specifically, the Viz catalog, which arrived every so often (quarterly, perhaps?) at my house on Park Place.  It was a happy day when it arrived, filled with treats from far-off Japan, Ranma 1/2 and  Akira and manga, so much manga, plus a lot of filthy stuff that came with a big fat NOT FOR KIDS bar across it.

I devoured that catalog.  This was back when anime came in clamshell VHS cases, 2, maybe 3 episodes at a time.  And that shit was NOT cheap — I think I paid about $30 for All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku-Nuku, my first anime (purchased from Tower Records).  Years later, I would buy the entire series on DVD for $6.  Times have changed.

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On Missing Girls & Why I Can’t Listen to Eric Clapton

The Back to the Future soundtrack is the sound of happiness.  If you don’t love “The Power of Love” than you are an inhuman monster and we have nothing to talk about.

But on a weirder, darker note, I can’t listen to Eric Clapton’s “Heaven is One Step Away,” on the A-side.  It’s a halfway decent song (I’m not a huge Clapton fan anyways) but it’s linked in my brain, the way that music gets, with two tragedies.  The first, knowing about Clapton’s son Conor, who died in a fall from a window and was the inspiration for “Tears in Heaven,” a song that I feel bad for deeply hating.  The second is an incident that had a fundamental impact on my life, one that has stayed with me well into adulthood.

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A Think-Piece for Future Day

Christopher Lloyd Back To The Future

About a year ago, I had to admit to myself what I always secretly knew was true — that for as much as I loved Star Wars as a kid, Back to the Future was my pick for the Greatest Trilogy of All Time.  It wasn’t an easy thing to confess; much of my teens had been devoted to obsessive Star Wars fandom.  I fell in love with my first boyfriend because he too loved Star Wars, back before Force Day, back when you had to special order Star Wars Insider and hope to find old figures at a garage sale.

But that relationship ended and he got Star Wars in the breakup.  It seemed too childish to me, too goofy when I watched it and remembered the endless scenarios my sister Hilary & I would create in our backyard.  It was a part of my life I could remember fondly, but I just don’t care to continue fawning over the same way I don’t collect Pokemon toys or dress in goth clothes.  If I do see the new one, it’ll be because friends wanted to go, and it certainly won’t be opening night.  I’m just not that fan anymore.

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The Night Belongs to Mona

As I mentioned in my last post, my crime writing notebook, Gail, is nearly full.  She had an interesting life; early character sketches became Stella and Miles in “Narc” (forthcoming in The Big Click) and “Rough Night in Little Toke” (featured in Hanzai Japan,) as well as the home for the starts of three possible novels.

Mona was an exercise in desperation and failed plans.  Initially I had planned to build her signatures out of grey-tone sketch paper, but with space running out in Gail and no time to get to a store that would have a selection of paper for me to feel and test, I went with the normal sketch paper I had on hand.  I had intended to use a French stitch, but the instructions I had in one of my books were vague at best, and by the time I had my paper punched, surprise, I realized I had to have five holes, not four as I had originally thought.  Coptic it is!

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Steely Dan, New Notebooks, and Other Dark Sarcasm

Let me start by saying that I’m listening to a lot of Steely Dan as I write this, so if it comes off as rambling, dark and sarcastic, I apologize.  Every time I put on a Steely Dan record, I find myself thinking why am I not spending every minute of every day listening to Steely Dan?  Becker/Fagen are to my 30s as Morrissey/Marr were to my 20s, a constant, reassuring soundtrack.  Every time I listen to an album, I discover something new to love about a song I’ve heard a thousand times before. (How could I forget about “Caves of Altamira?”  Was “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” always this brilliant?).

Matthew & I saw our third Dan show at the Beacon on Wednesday; last time we saw them play Gaucho in full and when they played “Josie” I thought my heart would explode.  The first time we saw them, they busted out “The Second Arrangement.”  And I’ve seen Donald Fagen play with the Dukes of September Rhythm Review, as well as seeing fellow Dukes Boz Scaggs & Michael McDonald on their own tours.  (Also, I am kind of in love with Donald Fagen and wish he would write a charmingly sleazy song about me, more “Slinky Thing” than “Cousin Dupree.”)

But Wednesday night, they opened with “Black Cow” (one of my favorites) and played “FM,” which made me so insanely happy that I screamed.  They played “Josie” too, and “Peg,” and “Black Friday.”  If they had played “What a Shame About Me,” I might have died of happiness.

In addition to the show, Matthew and I took a few days to work on some writing.  The way I’ve been barreling through notebook pages, I’m on Dutch’s last signature, and he’ll only last another week, at most.  And Gail, hale and hearty as she is, is nearing the end of her line, with only a signature left before she’s retired to the bookshelf.

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