Monday, March 20, 2006


Doc and I went with my parents to see Capote last Friday at the Canton Palace Theater, a spectacular place to see a show. The interior is grand and the theater itself seats about 500 people. It is in the design of an outdoor amphetheater, complete with a star-lit ceiling with clouds that float by. It's magical.

At first, I was reluctant to go see this movie because I'm faint of heart when it comes to violence and I knew this was movie focused on the murder of a family. I comforted myself in the knowledge that if I got too creeped out, I could look away from the screen to the enchanted ceiling or the many statues that line the niches surrounding the audience.

As we found our seats, we were treated to the lovely sounds of the vintage organ and the quite talented organist. Before every movie, this guy ascends with the organ from beneath the stage, plays some grand music, and then descends again right before showtime. Then, the curtains part and the movie begins, no previews, no behavior modification messages, just the movie.

As the movie started, I leaned over to Doc and asked him, "Am I going to regret seeing this film?"

"No," he said, certainly, "Capote is you, if you were a gay man."

"Well, that recommends it!" I said and began to look forward to this story unwinding. Afterall, it's quite an ego boost when someone does a biopic on your dead, gay alter ego from the past.

I must say, it was a brilliant film and Phillip Seymour Hoffman deserved an Oscar for his depiction of this amazing writer. And, yes, I did see myself on that screen. I even saw my pajama bottoms up there; Doc pointed them out. I saw what I'd like to become: a writer who can scan the newspapers or other media, pick up the phone, call the New Yorker and tell the editor: "I want to write a story on this, give me a researcher and a plane ticket."

I also saw what I don't like so much about myself: ruthlessness. But, what I most empathized with was the paralysing feeling of going too far and not wanting to see something terrible through to the end. It broke my heart, actually. My Dad felt differently, though. He despised Capote by the end, thinking him a spineless, self-absorbed bastard. To-may-to, To-mah-to.

It has inspired me, though. For the first time I really know what I want to do with my life. Too bad it happened this late in life. Oh well. Thirty-four is the new twenty-one, right?

Saturday, March 04, 2006

We're Free!

Ain't gonna need this house no longer
Ain't gonna need this house no more
Ain't got time to fix the shingles
Ain't got time to fix the floor
Ain't got time to oil the hinges
Nor to mend the window pain
Ain't gonna need this house no longer

This Old House
Brian Setzer

Well we've finally done it. We are no longer homeowners. Some might say we've ended the American Dream, but I won't say that. Big Orange and I have been arguing back and forth the merits of renting and owning a home. The bottom line, according to him, is: you're going to have to use a majority of your income towards putting a roof over your head so what does it matter whether you rent or own. At least with renting, you aren't responsible for making repairs and mowing the lawn, and that's nice when you are the parents of young children. I know Madame E is all about home ownership. There are benefits to both sides, but that's not really what this post is about.

What this is really about is that I now have possession of 75% of my income back. My house payment alone took half of it. Come the Ides of March, I will be ahead of the game for the first time since we bought that house. And for now, we're cooling our heels and our credit cards at my parents house. Some might say that's a step backwards. I know I said that at first. But it's not. Let me liken it to being in jail at the end of a game of Monopoly. You remember, don't you? It's down to the last two or three players and, most likely, one of the players is dominating the game. Maybe you're in second place; you own hotels, but you're almost out of cash and it's very expensive to go around the board. You're token is on chance between the Kentucky and Indiana Avenues. You pick up the dice and roll a nine and your token lands on Go to Jail! And you whoop with joy! Suddenly, you get to step off the risky pathways and just collect rent for three turns. That's how it feels to be staying with my parents.

My Mom and Dad are very supportive of us and they were very excited to have us back. My Mom repainted my old bedroom sage green and hung lovely curtains that have a touch of Bombay. They set up a TV/VCR/DVD player in the room. They sacrificed their garage for the overflow of our stuff that wouldn't fit in the storage unit they rented for us. They have done so much for us that I start felling shame when I begin to list them all. I feel like I don't deserve it. But then I think about my girls an I know I'd do the same for them if they asked me to.

So, by next month, we'll be on our feet again and back in the black, for the most part. We'll need to start thinking about where we want to live for good. But until then, I plan to enjoy all the time I get to spend with my Mom and Dad and the rest of my family. I'm going to soak up their company. I'm going to help out whenever I can and go along for the ride, wherever they want to take me.

P.S. I just have to say, I'm writing this post on my laptop, in my king sized bed, using wireless internet, while watching VH-1's top 20 countdown and downloading songs in 10 seconds from Itunes. I? Am in heaven.