Shaken and Stirred
bond, gwenda bond

teen angst days, married evaporation, doomed projects, good grandmothers
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Many interesting little things today. Something for everyone! Let's get to it, I have to do some writing.

From Variety (subscription required) we learn that Steve Carell (from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) and brilliant producer Judd Apatow (Freaks and Geeks) are teaming up for a comedy described as a "middle-age coming of age story." They'll write the script together. Set up at Universal; Carell will star. This seems like something to anticipate and hope desperately actually gets made. Bets? No good ones.

The Wa-Po has a nice feature on a gay marriage that was controversial many years ago, and on its break-up. Also, just an interesting discussion of the difficulties and challenges of splitting with your spouse, be it by divorce or death. And, on the lighter side of the issue, Hank Stuever visits the first gay wedding expo in D.C.

Alice Hoffman in Book World on fairy tales and the fantastic tradition in literature. A really good essay. Excerpt:

Sadly, in recent years, realism has come to be considered "better," more "serious," more "literary." How this should come to pass only the realists know for sure; the rest of us can only imagine. Even a realist, after all, is choosing what elements go into fiction, imagining, if you will, what "sort" of realism to present. Fantasists tend to be put into genres: This one writes science fiction. That one writes gothic fiction. Until, by some fluke, a writer becomes successful; or, perhaps late in life, an established author will decide to take a risk and turn his back on "the real."

She also talks movingly about her grandmother's stories, which made me very happy. Whenever I have to summarize my life as a writer, my grandmothers and their remarkable ghost stories are always in there, up front.

Booklist gives Karen's book a starred review of the month.

A.O. Scott further explores the screwball heritage of ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, which I've been too tired to talk about here so far and need to see again before I do anyway.

The Christian station has officially eaten our lovely, amazing radio station, WRVG -- of the lost song, and the station manager who bothered to write me and tell me what it was months after the fact. This means I've been tirelessly switching from Commercial Radio Hell to Commercial Radio Purgatory and back again, endlessly, like a human "scan" function, each morning and then again on the way home. We do still have a couple of decent stations, but they're either NPR newsing it or out of range (or being eclipsed by bandwidth hogging Christian stations).

This morning, it occurred that the least of all evils for a few minutes was an old Stone Temple Pilots song. Which, in turn, made me reflect on how even crap bands from the early '90s like that were a ton better than these ready-made, toothless, tuneless rock bands that get played on the major radio stations these days. (I would exclude the little retro-punk poppies from this, but they hardly ever get played here so...) Anyway, I reflected on how great mainstream radio was for that brief period after Nirvana hit - when then came The Breeders, and Sonic Youth was even getting airplay, before the parade of the less talented acts began. Or began to eclipse the good ones. This was my golden youth; I still nurse golden illusions about it.

It was into my switching off the next terrible rock band that came on when the feature about it being the tenth anniverary of Kurt Cobain's death came up on the NPR station as I passed by. Ten freaking years. And yes, I liked them, very much.

The first time I heard mention of Cobain's suicide, I thought it was a joke. Really. I was at a Second City performance and the mention came in an improv and got a huge laugh from the audience. Two days later, when I arrived back home to find the posse of younger Kurt acolytes I'd more or less adopted, fiercely wanting to protect them, they were quick with the news. They were two years younger than me, or three -- a lifetime in high school years. They had taught me a Nirvana riff ("Come As You Are" -- the only thing I ever learned) on the Fender Strat they helped me pick out. They were those same type of fragile boys, with long, unkempt hair and skinny bodies and terrible families and good brains. They were trapped in the same small town I was, and I wanted to pull open their heads and ram stuff from elsewhere into it, in the hopes they'd get out. (I have no idea, sadly, whether it happened or not. We lost touch.) He was their god. They were shattered.

I don't listen to my Nirvana albums. I'm not sure I have any, since I hadn't switched over to CD yet and all my tapes have bitten the dust one by one. But I remember them, remember the sensation of listening to each one for the first time. They created the perfect ambience for many ill-advised late night excursions and indiscretions. I'm not one of those people who think oh, how terrible he'd be now if he'd lived, how awful. I do not think it's better to burn out than fade away. And anyway, maybe his lawyers could have kept that fucking bitch he was married to in line. Huh?

Save Frances.

worm: "Miss Ohio," Gillian Welch and David Rawlings

today's fave post: Barb on the intriguing-sounding Combat Missions TV show and the disturbing deaths in Fallujah

namecheck: Sydney "In Charge" Duncan

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