07 June 2007

Random Quizzilla

1) Do you have any odd rituals or customs?
I don’t know if it’s a ritual so much as it’s random, but it’s definitely "odd" and has been going on for more than 7 years. James clipped this freakish looking monkey/ape/gorilla head thing from a brochure for the Boo Boo Zoo in Maui during our Maui/Kauai honeymoon in 1999. Knowing I get up for at least three bathroom breaks a night, he taped the monkey/ape/gorilla head thing to the bathroom mirror at the hotel -- which completely freaked me out, especially at 3 a.m. with a fuzzy Mai Tai buzz. Since then, the monkey/ape/gorilla head thing has been passed back and forth – with neither warning nor comment -- showing up in places like the driver’s license window of a wallet or the inside of a book; it's been taped to the side of a Diet Coke can and to the middle of a steering wheel; it’s arrived in the mail, etc.

2) Have you been craving any particular food(s) lately?
Yes. Lobster. And I still can’t bring myself to eat it. While I’ve enjoyed lobster in some frutti di mare dishes from time to time, I have not indulged in a straight up, hard core boiled lobster with tons of melted butter and lemon since summer 2005. And, believe me, this is no small task when you’re part of a family with a multitude of lobster traps bobbing around in the waters off Scituate and Cohasset. I place the blame squarely on David Foster Wallace, whose fantastic book of essays “Consider the Lobster” may have turned me off the aragosta for good. The title track essay, originally published in Gourmet Magazine, began as a piece on the Maine Lobster Festival but ended up a discourse on the ethics of boiling lobsters alive – “Is it all right to boil a sentient creature alive just for our gustatory pleasure?” The essay is quite graphic and could make even the saltiest among us squirm and cry. Wallace admits that his own way of dealing with this conflict has been to avoid thinking about the whole unpleasant thing. Me too. I’ve always made it a point not to be present for the lowering of the lobster into the pot and I’ve actually only done it once: Goy and I were making a birthday dinner for one of our roommates in Brighton. We hyperventilated over the stock pot with the writhing lobsters, trying to rise to the occasion like big girls: “Ok , ready...on the count of three... 1-2-3!” We dropped them into the pot and ran screaming from the kitchen. We stood quivering in the living room for a solid 15 minutes until we could compose ourselves enough to make some side dishes. That said, I’m trying to not to think about it and hope to indulge soon. It’s killing the old fish wife in me.

3) What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
“Stop signing up for the fucking LSATS!” --- courtesy of an editor/friend.

4) Go to the Shuffle feature on your iPod. What are the first five songs that come up (no cheating)?
1. Porchlight - Buffalo Tom 2. Hey, Delilah - Plain White Ts. 3. Does Everyone Stare – The Police 4. Midnight Blue - Lou Gramm (yeah!) 5. I’m So Tired - The Beatles. Not bad at all. It could've been so worse as my pod has been polluted with SSDs (secret shitty downloads) courtesy of my brother P who downloaded a good chunk of the Back Street Boys catalogue without my knowledge during one of his visits. Not funny. Also, this random showing lends credence to LPD's theory that the iPod may have artificial intelligence. She noticed that all of her Christmas music started popping up on Party Shuffle last December. My pod has been busting out an abnormally large number of Police tunes lately. Maybe it senses our anticipation about the upcoming show at Fenway. Ok -- a huge stretch, but how cool would that be? Even freakier: The 6th song on Shuffle was "Read my Mind" by the Killers.

5) Tony Soprano: Alive or dead in this Sunday's finale?

You know it's going to be a total bloodbath, but I think Tony will end up alive. It seems too easy to just kill him off. I think some or all of his family will end up dead and he'll linger in the witness protection program, living out the remainder of his days alone and miserable, perpetually looking over his shoulder. Maybe in the final scene, he and Paulie Walnuts (who I hope has not betrayed Tony despite credible suspicion to the contrary) will walk off into the sunset together, Casablanca-style.


Anonymous said...

1. I run the faucet...even when I'm home alone.
2. Chinese Food, and more specifically: Egg Foo Yung with the thick brown gravy, not that soy sauce-like gravy some places use. And I submit to the PU: Massachusetts has the best American Chinese Food in all our great land. From Tyngsboro to Truro #1A means a mound of pork fried rice, chicken chow mein and a thick egg roll. God Bless.
3. "Invent nothing. Deny nothing. Tell the truth. And think well of yourself while learning to do it better."
4. "Rifles"-Black Rebel Motorcycle; "Graveyard Dream Blues"-Bessie Smith; "Message to Rudy"-The Specials; "Long Gone Lonesome Blues"-Hank Williams; "Widow's Walk"-Suzanne Vega.
5. Man, tough...okay, Alive. Though, Dr. Melfi's proverbial whacking hints at something darker.

Alex said...

1. I'm mildly OCD without all the handwashing

2. Lobsterfest this year is July 28th, we'll be taking it to the park again to boil them up in the turkey frier. If you want one let me know before the 21st

3. "Unless it involves surgery, I'm sure you'll figure it out"

4. "Christmas at the Zoo" -Flaming Lips; "Viet Nam" -Jimmy Cliff; "Who By Fire" -Phish; "Early Reflection/Bach/The Ballad of Jed Clampett -Bela Fleck & the Flecktones"; "Down Syndrome" -De La Soul

KJ said...

Alex-If you’re ever in the C-town Navy Yard with lobsters and a turkey fryer..I'll be there. Any trips planned back here?

Anon-If you’re ever on the South Shore, check out Asian C. www.asiancgourmet.com (I’ll split a Pu Pu Platter with you) Fantastic Egg Fu Young, pork fried rice, egg rolls, and everything in between. If you go: Be sure to ask the crazy-skinny chinese bartender what team he's got money on. He's clearly got a gambling problem and is paranoid about it: “HOW’D YOU KNOW I HAD MONEY ON GAME!!!” He’ll chew your ear off but it’s worth it...he's hilarious and fantastic. I'm thinking of inviting him to dinner.

KJ said...

Also, with regard to Melfi's kibosh: Perhaps suicide for Tony?

Alex said...

oops. Tony gets hit by a golf ball fleeing an ambush and wakes up in the bathroom of the seedy motel next to Patricia Arquette and says: "you know Alabama, you should really try the gabagool".

Anonymous said...

Does AsianC's egg foo yung have gravy that looks like turkey gravy? That's how it has to be, like "The Hong Kong".

A moment of amateur psychoanalysis: Dr Melfi questions the validity of her work in her own therapy and personal life. She encourages Tony to move on from his mother. He has a moment of undeniable epiphany and makes that break. She dumps him the next week.???? Because Elliot's insistence and the mention of the study? Since when did she listen to Elliot? Her abrupt and, I might add, unethical abandonment was done not because she feared the therapy hadn't worked but because she feared it had.

The theme runs throughout the show: Tony insists Janice get anger management, she does, it works, and he incites her about her "deserted child", she runs after him with a fork (just like his mom). As well, Ralph is in the midst of turning over a new leaf ( vows to give 20K/ yr to charity) and, now no longer a "shitbag", Tony kills him.

I think A.J.'s suicide atttempt takes its psychological import/drama away from Tony. It's also sort of a moment of stark mortality, like Yorick's skull.I think like Hamlet, Tony is awakened to life and the battle.

KJ said...

See...now this analysis makes me think he might die.

It reminds me of Lost, once you've resolved your issues, you die. Or at least that's what the writers want you to think.

I found Dr. Melfi's timing strange too. Why NOW. She'll only blame herself if Tony goes on a rampage and kills a bunch of people in response. To your point, though, Tony definitely appears to be "waking up" to something -- maybe to the fact that he's a complete sociopath and wants to change. That's the first thing I thought when he put the recipe back in the mag in the waiting room: It showed that he, on some level, "gets it" -- or is trying to behave like someone who does.

Can Tony really save himself, though? I'm not sure he's capable of contrition. Suicide, perhaps? I still leaning towards him staying alive -- miserable and alone -- a greater punishment than death for a sociopath.

***Getting Asian C for lunch. I'll do some gravy re-con. I think I know what you're talking about.

KJ said...

Alex-and Patricia Arquette will have gun where her leg should be and she'll shoot Tony in the face.

lpd said...

1. Odd rituals: For years, Cameo and I have been trading David Copperfield photos back and forth in exactly the same manner you described. He sometimes appears in the mail, sometimes in a suitcase or hanging in the closet on a suit hanger. I haven't seen him in a while, but it's time...

2. Food cravings: Ice cream. All the time. Any kind. Any topping. Soft-serve or hard-packed, it doesn't matter. My colleagues and I are talking about having fro-yo "blizzards" delivered to the office today from Broadway Pizza in Southie.

3. Best career advice: Use your head when it comes to your career, save your heart for yourself, your friends and your family.

4. iPod Shuffle: Awesome. (1) Your'e Gonna Lose that Girl - Beatles (2) Confess - Mad Larry (3) Maneater - Hall & Oates (4) Kick Drum - G.Love & Special Sauce (5) Writing to Reach You - Travis

5) Tony Soprano: Alive

Anonymous said...

I think having faced the particulars of suicide (the cinder block, plastic bag, his son), it takes something away from it for Tony, psychologically. He knows enough about psychology that if he did, how much more likely his son would as some point in his life. Perhaps, that's been Tony's Jungian purpose: To outlive the depression of his family.

I think he put the recipe back because it was petty. It was the first time he's done something like that with Dr. Melfi that I thought was appropriate and not histrionics. I don't think she cares about the recipe or any doctor cares that much about those things. She was that manager who intends at the beginning of the day to fire an employee and waits for the slightest infraction.
And so, if he is a sociopath, why now? Why not, as recommended over a month for every year of therapy? His behavior wasn't volatile.
No, this was about Jennifer.Remember episode 2 of this season, they cut quickly to Elliot ogling the TV watching the mob coverage on the nightly news. Fixated. Professional, personal jealousy.

Every therapist is concerned that their work doesn't help, the advances too slight. Tony and the "bus" (by the way, the greatest writing ever on tv, Chekovian)? That's career breakthrough!

If Melfi does appear, she'll say something to the effect of that they were making progress and she was afraid.
Or, it's possible we've seen the last, and she's picked up a mobster's perspective on confronting conflict:when things get tough, you whack 'em.

Please find out about that gravy!!!

KJ said...

My head hurts. You should be a TV writer, if you aren't all ready. If I had to guess, I'd say Melfi picked up the mobster's perspective and whacked him. Do you think the therapy has worked?
He's still a very bad man.

30 minutes til gravy

james said...

1)See Kates
2)Been pretty spoiled lately with food at home and work. Lets say Mike D.'s Gravey. Awesome.
3) "Don't mess with Happy".
4) have to pass.
5) Alive - I hope. Cancelled HBO recently so have not seen Sapronos for awhile. May rent the last season as everyone says its been pretty good.

Anonymous said...

Not sure. With chronic problems, it's easy to answer if therapy works.
A justification the mob has always had is that it only kills its own (not true); people are bad and at least they confine it. Not sure I buy it.
The show is not about the mob any more than the Cherry Orchard is about cherries.
It's about confronting mother and spiritual search for father.
Yes. I do write and I've just really got into the hour-long dramas of the BBC (get Robbie Coltrane's "Cracker" Brilliant). Love the format. Hopefully, the powers that be love my attempt at it.

Anonymous said...


I swear to you: I'm a struggling writer, my spouse is Lebanese/Italian ( I nearly shat myself when I read earlier PU blog entries) and my mother taught English.
God help us both.

KJ said...

1-Gravy verdict: Hell, YAY-uh. And in the biggest WTF moment of my week, I took a photo of it for you. I didn’t think to take a picture until I’d already done some damage to it, however. Have a look-see: http://img512.imageshack.us/img512/6366/img0922ux8.jpg

2-That is UNbelieveable. Both writers/both love the swarthies/both English teacher mothers. You’re from Boston too, right? If you’re a repressed Irish-Italian Catholic as well, I’m going to have to have a drink. And you somehow found the PU? This is fate. How DID you find the PU, anyway? You have to tell me – I photographed gravy for you.

3-BBC script? Tell more please. That’s HUGE. I’m so proud and I don’t even know you (right, right?)

Anonymous said...

1. God bless your sonnet-loving soul! AsianC it is!

2. About a year ago, in passing someone referred me to an Asheville,NC (a writer's haven, by the way)musician to possibly to do work for something I was working on. Angelo Gianni. After several drinks, I went home and played with spelling, googling and was led to the PU. Red Sox shirts, drinking and literary references (truth be told, it was around the time of "Apryl's mamma boob" blog, also...). Also, I liked the fact that you described your husband as a "healing man". Yes, New England native.

3. BBC format. I did two one- hour long pilots, and initially someone said it'd be too expensive as an hour. Cut it to 22 minutes with: a one minute teaser at the beginning, commercial, etc. I spent the next six weeks pulling my hair imagining my baby as a friday night network show with a paunchy guy (Jim Belushi). I grass-rootsed it, and connected through some musician friends with some actors who expressed interest. I never spoke to the guy who recommended the half-hour pilot again. The business of it is so boring. No matter the mythological story (i.e. "I sent the script in with a pizza delivery guy..."), it's yawn. I just hope I can write something that I'd watch. Remember the scene in Hoosiers where the walks into the giant gym with jaws dropped, and Gene Hackman takes out the tape measure and shows the team that the nets are still only 10 ft. high like the ones in their dumpy gym. The good stuff is usually done through inglorious tapping of keys.

Anonymous said...

No, not a repressed Irish-Catholic. Sadly, just an overly-emoting Armenian.

KJ said...

Wow-that is so random. Gotta love the Internets. So, basically, my friend Giana who lives in Seattle has a name that resembles a musician's in Asheville, NC and worlds collide. Hilarious that it coincided with Apryl's mama boobs -- they were quite impressive.

Anyway -- That is so cool about the pilot! Would love to hear more about the story and the business behind it at some point. Let the PU know when we can tune in.