who dat? contest.

(yo stee. i know
who dat?)

last game:

sharon osbourne

first correct answer:

dawn jesseph

final approach

continued from yesterday... on a big plane to Los Angeles...

So I sat down and Variety took a photo and I just smiled, watching the rest of the awards and the tribute awards and then it was over. We headed to the bar and drank and chatted and smoked and people talked to us. The head of the whole festival told me the script was one of the best she's ever read and urged this big producer to whom she was talking to come to the reading that was being held in a few hours. (He did come, and apparently is very interested in the thing. I know! Go figure.) Anyway, after the head of the festival vowed to set me up with a hotel room that night (I didn't want to book one until I knew I'd won and would be reimbursed) we ducked out and drove out to the lake and talked. I called a few people like my family and let them know, and then we headed back to the other hotel to see the reading. I guess this is the first year, but they organized staged readings of the three winning scripts using local Austin actors. I was very wary, but the thing was actually really good. Some of the actors were so-so, but I'd never heard it read aloud and I was pleased to hear the laugher and to conversely discover certain lines that didn't work as well as I'd hoped. The producer was sitting in front of me, so much of the time I was just watching him laugh and turn back to me and such. The reading ended and I thanked the cast -- and they all shyly asked me to sign their scripts. It was really a bit much -- they were sweet and nervous and all for me. Weird. I'm telling you people, it was very very weird.

So we headed next over to a invite-only party given by Variety (the trade paper) where we drank and saw people like Harry Knowles. The whole weekend was very interesting, in that we'd sit back somewhere, and people would come up to us -- half for me, and half for Pam, local mini-celebrity that she is. So we both got to take turns being the smiling supporter. So we sat on the balcony and drank and talked about people and took numbers of more producers and managers and stuff. (I would quickly lose this list, like the dumbass that I am.) We ended up sitting and talking until the bars closed and the lights went off. So we just headed down to the hotel bar, which was the social focal point for the festival, and sat in a leather couch and drank wine and talked to people. Eventually having enough of the surreal attention, we checked into the room they found for me. Bills paid! Crazy-nice fucking room. I grew up staying, on rare instances that we went anywhere, in shitty little motels. This was a whole new world. Basically, we went up to the room, opened the door, and freaked out. We both threw on the plush bathrobes they'd left for us and hugged the pillows and stared at the high ceilings. All plans were out the window at that moment and we had a wonderful night of ordering room service, drinking from the mini-bar, and watching SNL with Radiohead (they were on the show, not in the room with us, unfortunately. Thom could have borrowed my robe and looked glum). Time sadly ticked down and we headed out to get my stuff from the P's car; it was late, I had a crazy-early flight. Final smoke. Got my bags. Goodbye. I put my shit in the room, grabbed a beer, and went down to the lobby for a second. I was cornered by a drunk writer/director after talking to the crazy-drunk assistant to the head of the festival, who had found me the room and who's breast was hanging out of her sundress. I love Texas. The writer/director had read the script also and was urging me never to sell out and to keep growing and writing and blah blah blah. Nice guy. Drunk guy. At one point he told me that his friend -- the woman who has written the last two Robert Altman films -- read the thing and has some notes for me. I barely resisted telling him that I, ironically, had notes for her on Dr. T and the Women. I got away and went up to the room and slept for 3 hours. Did not sleep through the alarm this time! I sadly left the room in the still-dark, heartbroken, especially, that I had the room another night and couldn't use it, and also because I had such a great time and that I was leaving a town that for a few days, in the way Los Angeles doesn't seem to, loved me.

Plane to Chicago. Car to Madison. Sister to her house. I spent Sunday night to today, Wednesday, doing what I always do when I'm in Madison -- hanging with my sister, seeing her friends, going to bars, reading, writing, talking. My sister is wonderful. I met her new pug. He's insane. I took lots of walks and saw movies and saw friends of hers that I've seen now all four times I've been in town. The leaves were turning and the weather was cool and the town was welcoming. I bought CD's. I marveled at the ladybug infestation they have going right now. (Really. It's surreal.) I have such few family members left that I hold the time I get to see my sister, precious. She's a wonder.

And so I fly home. Naturally, I arrive, get taken out for congratulatory drinks tonight as soon as I land. I go to sleep at some point tonight, after getting yelled at by the cat. Clean up the mess my week-long absence has certainly caused. Return the piles of email. Run out and look for costume pieces. Go to rehearsal from 8 to 2am. Work on Friday. Dress rehearsal all night. Rehearsal the next day. Then we open our last show on Saturday night. I think some of the wonderful MBTV people are in town and coming to the show. That should be a blast. (Go read Pamela's Road Rules on which she graciously pinch-hit for me while I was with my sister.) Then I think I have a couple down days to unpack and check out the wreckage of my finances. (The money I won will barely cover all I spent.)

I don't know what comes next, people. I'm scared. And excited. Things are happening, hopefully. Things are moving. I don't know where I'll be in a month. Or in six months. I'm not sure who I'll be. My life is constantly changing, and I see big changes coming -- some certain, some just hover there. Threatening, promising. I don't know. I always get a bit bummed when I have some success like this. It is the people in my life who keep me out of that retarded reaction to Good -- that need to have drama, whatever it is. And I love them for it. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again. My friends have been leaving messages and y'all have been sending emails, the word of winning Austin having slipped out. Thank you. It means more than you know.

So whatever happens nextů I still have Beck and the Foo Fighters to see next week! (I know that's not exactly deep shit, but to me this is a rock in the middle of a storm.)

So I'm very happy. And sad that I can't see my sister right now, and the great people I've met over the last week. I thank Pamela to no end for showing me around and for being such a great friend. And I'm excited for what comes next. I'm not just convincing myself of this. I truly am. While I am sad for the inevitable ending of things, the closing of avenues before open, what comes next will certainly be fun and challenging and, we hope, right.

And on that note, I order another MGD and turn up the Kid A. Thanks for everything, my bitches. I missed you.

And I will leave you with this little quiz. Guess who sat at a bar next to us the other night in LA and was overheard saying the following three sentences:

"No no no. Not fucking Alan Alda!"
"Russell Crowe is very funny. Seriously!"
"Brian Fucking Dennehy...Asshole."

1-Alan Alda
2-Russell Crowe
3-Brian Dennehy

DAY 32.


...and cushionless and wet.

The Anna Nicole Smith Happy Song Corner

I've wasted all my years. Been chasin' all my fears, for another. Brighter than you. I gave in long ago. To make it to the show. It's not easy, when you're alone. All your prayers. In my ears. Don't you care? Whir yourself around. Just to fall back down. Whir yourself around. My honey, little girl. C'mon let's go for a whirl. It's still early. Sun is sleeping. She says she wants to marry me. She says she wants a baby. It's not easy. When you're scared. Whir yourself around. Just to fall back down. Whir yourself around. All your prayers. In my ears. Don't you care?... speaking of which. Hey, y'all. Look. I'm not on drugs or nothin'. I'm not. I'm not. I know that's what everyone is saying, and that's why I'm in a hospital and all, but I swear to y'all, I did hurt my arm weightlifting. I did. That's why I'm holed up in this stupid room detoxi- I mean, recuperatin' and shit. Fuckin' hospital food tastes like ass. Someone get me a Big Mac. Someone? Hello. Fuckers.
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