Monday, December 17, 2007

Now, I could be delirious from lack of sleep, but...

When I grow up, I want to be Zach Braff. The man is 32, a college graduate, a successful (and critically acclaimed) director and writer, and a fabulous actor capable of both hilarious comedy AND heart-wrenching whatever. Plus he has probably the best taste in music I've ever seen. Much of this evening has been spent chilling to William Fitzsimmons and Ingrid Michaelson, both recommended by Braff on his website. All that, and he's got those quirky good looks, which I think are a reasonable translation of the unconventional beauty to which I've lately decided I aspire.* How amazing to have accomplished so much without even going through a midlife crisis!

After I'm done being Zach Braff, I'd like to become Cate Blanchett. It's impossible for me to overstate how positively mesmerizing that woman is. And possibly Emma Thompson as well. At any rate, I should be either British or Australian by the time I'm 40 (I know Blanchett is only 38 but I'm trying to be realistic here). It might be nice to be Kate Winslet and do movies like Finding Neverland and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and not even have to starve yourself for your career, but I'm not totally sold on the idea yet. I could moonlight as Kevin Spacey and run the Old Vic in London in between brilliant, empathetic movie roles (I'd secretly be really good at impersonations, too - look it up on YouTube). I'd definitely like to spend many years as Cate Blanchett, though. Then I could finally move on to become Meryl Streep for a bit, with the option of finally ending up as Peter O'Toole and/or Vanessa Redgrave, should I choose it (hard to say; though still in excellent spirits, O'Toole tends to look like he's not totally sure where he's at these days).

How could I almost forget! Of course, given the option, I must be Sam Shepard for at least a little while. The man is a Pulitzer prize winning playwright, an Oscar nominated actor, and he was a drummer in the 60's. He's won 11 Obie Awards, been nominated for two Tonys, and he went on tour with Bob Dylan for Pete's sake!** The man knew Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac! And he's been called "the thinking woman's sex symbol", which is pretty neat (do thinking men have a sex symbol, or does Jessica Alba just work for everyone?). I'd probably only depart from his very masculine writing style (fabulous reading, but I don't think we need much more man-centered art in the world) and possibly some of the more unsavory characteristics I've heard ascribed to him. Other than that, I'd happily become him. Though I'd probably better hurry up - he began his career at 19, so I'm already two years behind.

I would love to be all of these people, flowing seamlessly from one to the next, taking experiences and attributes from each and combining them altogether. Maybe I should change my name to Julie Braff-Blanchett-Spacey-Streep-O'Toole-Redgrave-Shepard. Or I suppose I could just be the first ever Me instead of the next anybody, and then someday other college seniors could procrastinate their studying for finals writing about how they want to be me when they grow up. Awwwww.

*"...Unconventionally beautiful. They are the best kind of girls, I think." - Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
**Well actually, I think he went for his own sake; Pete probably had very little do with his decision-making process.

Bonus! Here are the lyrics to some songs I've been finding positively amazing lately:
When I Was A Boy, by Dar Williams
All Available Light, by The Paperbacks
Landlocked Blues, by Bright Eyes (fair warning: mild content issues)
The Devil Drives, by Murder by Death
Bigfoot!, by The Weakerthans

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Meaning of Life

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away." - Anonymous

Moments that take your breath away:
  • Strangulation
  • Drowning
  • Being punched in the diaphragm
  • Getting sucked into outer space
  • S.C.U.B.A. diving with empty oxygen tanks
  • Someone hitting your trachea
  • Asphyxiation
  • Asthma attacks
  • Death
Just something to think about.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Best of All Possible News

Finished, completed, accomplished, achieved, done with, ceased, closed, compassed, concluded, consummated, culminated, dispatched, effected, effectuated, ended, entire, executed, finalized, fulfilled, over, realized, resolved, satisfied, settled, stopped, terminated, through, worked out, wrapped up, finis. My rewrites are DONE. That's right, folks. There's been a miracle, a mighty miracle of great marvel and wonder, and that miracle is the completion of this ridiculous children's play. I am on cloud 9 (the best of all the clouds, I'm told). I'm over the moon. I'm the stars in your eyes and, wait. Now I'm getting confused.

This has been the longest, most difficult process for some reason, and now I just feel this weight lifting off my shoulders as I finally leave all the angst behind. The play has officially entered its "tweaking" or "polishing" phase, meaning that from here I only need to run through and reword it. I haven't brought myself to do this just yet, but it won't take long when I get to it. I'm excited! At last I feel free to pursue other projects (beyond just jotting lines in my little notebook). Scratch that; at last I feel just plain free!

It's been nearly two full years since I first laid on a couch in Oregon, coughing incessantly and dangerously sleep-deprived, and imagined Harriet and Arlo like creatures from a waking dream. Their story has become about 12 full drafts and some 3 or 4 completely different plays (or so it seems to look at them), but I've finally settled on the one that could actually be produced. I've learned a lot in that time and I've actually had a lot of fun writing them, but as the Wood Brothers sing, "'S good to see you, but I'll be glad to see you go."

And just in time for finals, too.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Best Snack Foods For Rewrites

- Chocolate
- Sugar-Free Chocolate
- Chocolate-Flavored Granola Bars
- Chocolate Chex
- Hot Chocolate
- Mexican Hot Chocolate (Hot Chocolate w/ Cinnamon)
- Chocolate Milk
- Chocolate Soymilk
- Popcorn