Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Jennifer Lawrence Admires a Conch

I guess you think I "blogged" an awful lot in May for somebody who stopped "blogging" in April. Shows how much you know! There was so much stuff I didn't "blog" about in May! You wouldn't even believe it. Here is some of it. 1. Stopped by Square Books and bought a notebook. Katelyn said, "Don't you like ______?" (She named another brand.) I said I found the binding inferior. "You should write a letter to the company!" said Katelyn. "I love writing letters to companies." I asked her, "What are you, a ninety-year-old man at heart?" "She does it after she eats her liver and onions," said Slade. Katelyn guilelessly confirmed that she loves liver and onions and wishes she knew how to cook it for herself. 2. Ace wasn't in his office, where I was supposed to meet him, so I sat in the anteroom (?) and looked at a magazine with this caption on the cover: "With a team of wildlife experts, Uma Thurman moves a white rhino threatened by poachers to safety." But you don't see any wildlife experts; you just see Uma Thurman hugging a rhinoceros's head. I like how scrupulous they are not to give us the false impression that Uma Thurman was out there wrangling rhinos by herself. 3. I started reading the new Don DeLillo novel, which is about cryogenics, I guess. That made me recall all of a sudden that McNeil and I tried writing a screenplay called BLUE PERIOD back when we were in our twenties. The plot was that two guys (?) got trapped in an industrial walk-in freezer and told each other stories while they waited and hoped for help to arrive. One story was about a war with Antarctica, maybe? All the stories were about being cold. I remember that McNeil invented a weapon called the ICBM (Icy Cold Banana Malted instead of Intercontinental Ballistic Missile). Another story was about a scam artist with a cryogenics lab. He froze celebrities and thawed them out on a desert island, where they were forced to act in a movie he had written. That's all I remember about the screenplay. McNeil, confirming that such an attempted screenplay existed, said it featured a character named Dean running for office with the slogan "Dean Is Clean." 4. I met with Julia via computer monitor. I thought she said, "You look great!" She actually said, "You look gray!" 5. My doctor's waiting room suddenly has all of Richard Howorth's old NEW YORKER magazines in it - with his home address on the mailing labels and everything! 6. Dr. Theresa went to lunch at Handy Andy and I had pangs of jealousy, traces of which I allowed to cross my face. I had been craving Handy Andy, having recently written about it for publication (details forthcoming, surely, though I am not "blogging" anymore): I feared I had misremembered the condiments with which the Handy Andy double cheeseburger is dressed! Fact checking! Dr. Theresa even offered to bring me one home to examine and consume, but then we remembered that I had a doctor's appointment shortly (different doctor; never mind why I have so many doctors!) and a double cheeseburger might not sit well at a doctor's appointment. 7. This other doctor had more standard waiting room fare: in PEOPLE I read about how Tennille of The Captain and Tennille was embarrassed by a damaged finger she suffered in a wheelbarrow accident as a child. That's why she always turned down movie offers! Meanwhile, "The Captain" wore his famous captain's hat even to bed, humiliated by a failed hair transplant. They struck me as... tragic? "Jennifer Lawrence admires a conch" was a phrase I read in US magazine. 8. In an ADVENTURE TIME meeting I was trying to say the title of the TV show THE BIG BANG THEORY but I accidentally said "8 1/2 MEN." Sadly, I was not trying to be esoteric or funny. My brain had simply fizzled out and died. A good laugh was had by most. 9. We drove past Tom Franklin's place and there was a chicken pecking in his yard. I don't think he owns chickens! (See also.) This was a fluffy chicken with black feathers, salted with white. 10. I realized that I didn't give you a truly complete picture of everything I learned from THE ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLY. I kept a bunch of it off the "blog" and crammed it instead into a novel that will probably never be published, but here's the epigraph, anyway: "Bees indeed make neat and curious works, and many other creatures besides; but when they have done, they cannot judge of them." 11. McNeil's apple tree (below) is producing again. 12. Megan Abbott and I emailed back and forth about what Lady MacBeth meant by "spirits that tend on mortal thoughts" and I sent her a chapter about demonology in Shakespeare from some old book. Only afterward did I realize that the old book was by T.F. Thistelton Dyer, who provided the epigraph for my new book of short stories MOVIE STARS! Yes, that is just one more example of the meaningless junk I didn't "blog" about this month. "Posting" this a week early I do hereby vanquish May's tyranny over my troubled and searching mind.