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Thank you all for the birthday wishes. Much appreciated. I am only now catching up with emails and LJ and whatnot. I didn't have much time or web access during the past ten days. Wendy and I were down in Anaheim at Disneyland, which was lovely. I hadn't been there in an unconscionably long time and I had a great time riding rides and prattling on and on to poor Wendy about all the Imagineering trivia stored in my throbbing melon-like skull. And grumbling loudly about various minor changes I disliked. Though I did enjoy the Johnny Depp animatronics in Pirates Of The Caribbean. Every girl should have one, really.

I'm 39 now, which, famously, was Jack Benny's eternal fake age in his radio and television shows. Also, Jack and I were both born on February 14, so I may just stay 39 for the duration, depending on the vagaries of the plastic surgery budget. Which at present is modest.

During the week, we spent some time with my ex-brother-in-law and his ex-wife and their lovely daughter. Somehow, despite all the complications, we're all still family, and that's a very nice thing. We also got to spend a few good hours with [ profile] explosivo on my usual mad incompetent dash to the airport. On my birthday, I was given a huge "happy birthday" button, which contained a hidden mind-control chip causing all the Disney cast members to respond cheerfully with preferential treatment across-the-board. Free food, premium ride seating, frighteningly obsessive birthday greetings, you name it. A good day for the ol' broad.

All of this was not, alas, enough to fend off the exotic collection of Flus From Many Lands to which I was exposed, so I've been sick since I got back. Last night I had a fevered dream where I was filming a Pennebaker-style documentary of a low-key concert starring my dad and Rick Danko from The Band; on the flight home the pilot intentionally crashed the 747 into a group of protesters who for some reason were picketing the flight; the pilot's last words were "Everyone get your cameras out and on the count of three, everybody smile and say DIE!. One---two---three!" and the plane smashed into the ground. Somehow I survived, rescued my recalcitrant ex as well as Melanie Lynskey, and tried to save Shelly Long, who was in steerage with what looked like the pool boy. Ms. Long declined my generous offer of rescue. "Nah," she said, groping the pool boy, "We're gonna stay here and fuck."

Then the plane exploded in a horrible, cheesy, Manimalesque video overlay.

Probably I need antibiotics. I have an insane fever. Also, among countless other similarities, my dad and Rick Danko were the same age when they died. I did not know that.

I don't know much else. I'll try and get caught up on LJ when lucidity permits. Hope you are safe and well.
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Last night I fell into a deep sleep, and I dreamed I was on a rickety old San Francisco MUNI train from the 80s that took me far from the city, over hill and dale to a different, bigger city that seemed strange yet so familiar, with a giant "WELCOME" sculpture I remembered from my childhood. And on the train was Mel Tormé, and I introduced myself and told him how much I enjoyed seeing him at Seattle's Bumbershoot festival in 1995, when he was on a triple-bill with the Ramones and Mudhoney. (That part is actually true.) We talked about that for a while (the Ramones were "nice boys," said Mel), and chatted about the Mel-Tones and whatnot. In our realm, Mel has been dead for several years, but this fact did not seem to be at play on the dream train. A few rows back, I spotted Hal Hartley who was cornered by a chatty woman who had no idea who he was but "loved the movie biz". I wanted to introduce myself to Hal (who was literally 8-9 feet tall) but he already seemed quite annoyed by the chatty lady. Hartley got off the train at this big college arts amphitheatre, and I tried to get off the train there in order to strike up a casual conversation with Hal, but I forgot my bag, got back on the train to grab it and before I knew it we were miles away, down a steep embankment and on a long, seemingly abandoned highway. I got off the train there, hoping to catch one going back the way I came, but the trains that came were headed every which way, to places I'd never heard of, and I couldn't find the stop and for that matter had no money for the fare.

Later I somehow ended up in Colorado at a Bob Newhart celebrity-charity kids' ski-lodge (in July!) where Diddy and Jamie Foxx entertained needy children who were advised not to touch anything or go anywhere. Eventually I grew bored of this lameness and caught a ride back to this big theatre where I inadvertently offended Tom Smothers (who was giving a sparsely-attended talk entitled "Ronald Reagan and the current crisis in the Middle East", delivered entirely in Hebrew.) In the wings I also bumped in to Marcia Wallace who asked me and [ profile] shoombala "Do you two have a kid in this play?" I said 'not yet'. Marcia and I chatted, and I was about to walk away when I realized how great she'd be as the school secretary in my movie, so I offered her the part on the spot. She accepted. Then I woke up.

Also, and this is neither here nor there, it occurs to me that "Prince Rogers Nelson" is not just a proper name but a pivotal private moment in British naval history.
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I had a dream I was short of cash. (Bravo, subconscious, for your wild flights of fancy.) And it turned out that lots of people owed me money (again, kudos...) and in fact had sent me various checks in the mail. And my grandma had opened all my mail and hidden the checks. Eventually I found the checks and filled out a deposit slip, and all was well until I noticed that one of the checks was made out to Juliette Lewis. It was a $100 rebate check from Levi Strauss. And for a second I considered depositing it anyway but decided no, that would be wrong. My friends made fun of me for being so honest and said Juliette would never miss it "because she made all that money on Family Ties." But I ran it over to her house (the check had her address on it...she lived near 17th and Castro in San Francisco) along with one of my scripts I thought she'd be good in. (Ever the opportunist...)

She wasn't home, by the way.

Now I believe I have a plane to catch. Good day, sir or madam.
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Just woke up from a hilarious dream. I was at a big party/reception at Skywalker Ranch, where a bunch of us (including [ profile] toddalcott) had just sat through not one, not two, but all three Star Wars prequels. Consecutively. And Alcott and I were discussing the matter in the lobby. I was much less pleased with the films than he was (which is not to say he was wild about them), and we were discussing what I called "the lack of mystery" and the "pointlessly byzantine story arc" when a bearded older gentleman joined our group and asked "So, what did you think?"

I didn't miss a beat. "I admire what you were trying to do," said I. "But I don't think it worked. Oh, visually they're masterpieces, moviemaking will never be the same, but the story really fell apart. And those racist caricatures, God. And long? Hoo boy. And don't even get me started on the love story--"

Mr. Lucas was angrier than I expected. Much, much angrier. Started asking me what I'd done careerwise to make me such an expert on cinema, how many millions of devoted cosplay fans I had. Ranting and raving, veins bulging in his neck, rattling off his successes (amusingly enough, loudly proclaiming the unheralded creative merits of Ewoks). "Wait, stop-- I love your work!" I stammered. "You've made some of the best and most important films of my life, I just don't feel like this was one of them, I--"

But it was too late. Still swearing like a sailor, Lucas had stormed off. Probably to summon the Rancor.

"What the hell are you doing?" asked Alcott.

"Speaking truth to power?" I shrugged. "I thought you liked that about me."

"There's a time and a place," said Alcott. "Insulting George Lucas at his own party isn't my idea of courage, kid. More like--career suicide."

The area around us had cleared, the other partygoers retreating to a safe distance, presumably out of the blast zone. To paraphrase Dr. Orpheus, the whole room smelt it, but verily, everyone knew I dealt it. I pictured the Alcott children's college fund going up in smoke merely because he'd had the disastrous misfortune to be standing next to me in that moment. I couldn't have that on my conscience.

"Maybe you'd better pretend you don't know me--"

Alcott nodded. "I think I'll go mingle."

I nodded. "Probably a good idea." I slouched towards the exit just as Lucas rounded the corner with his guards.


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August 2009

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