The envelope… if you please

In the words of another funny writer I can’t remember right now… Imma let you finish Harper Lee… Because I got somethin’ good comin’! I wrote so much yesterday… Words I actually like (for a change)!

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This does not happen often–especially when writing for TV. I used to have a real beef with writers like Annie Dillard (grrr…) … getting awards for ambling around creeks and blathering on about bugs…. so I’ll avoid her whole bit about killing one’s darlings, and just say that TV writing’s a lot like skeet shooting… you can’t get too precious about your clay ducks or you are as screwed as a hot trannie hooker during Fleet Week… Mixed metaphors… weak… Aaron Sorkin would so shoot my duck. Most of my decent writing happens al fresco this time of year. E.B. White once wrote, “In summer, the city contains (except for tourists) only die-hards and authentic characters… the town has a somewhat relaxed air, and one can lie in a loincloth, gasping and remembering things.” It is so exactly that… 75, the faint scent of piss and delicious hot dog water on the breeze… My be-suited neighbor is lounging luxuriously 2 doors down on his stoop. Jacket off, cigar in hand, he still wears a bright pink bow tie from the office. He nods cordially to me… lighting up. This is his Friday ritual. I attempt a smile, but make no real concerted effort to disrupt his stinky bliss with smalltalk. Instead, I turn toward the park. Walking the Jackie O reservoir is where I do my best writing. I used to irritate the heck out of an old squeeze with these walks. He always wanted me to jog with him… and talk.  Oof… it was the worst… I could never quite explain to him that it’s not that I’m lazy… i’m really, truly not… it’s the envelope I would end up with at the end of every one of these solitary sojourns. Just clears my head like nothing else…making room for new words and it pays the bills. Sometimes. Across the street now, it is noisy and cheerful as a large-and-in-charge mama shouts to her sproinging tot… “Pull yo pants up baby boy! We don’t want yo hope and glory showin!” Just then, my dry cleaner sidles up and we exchange pleasantries… He tells me I still sound like Kirk Douglas.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 08:  Actor Kirk Douglas presents onstage at the Anti-Defamation League Centennial Entertainment Industry Awards Dinner Honoring Jeffrey Katzenberg at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on May 8, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Michael Kovac/WireImage)

I guffaw, tell him to f*ck off and hail Spartacus… and then I continue on. Happy long weekend everyone 🙂 xx – gg

Have yourself a merry Tenenbaums Christmas…

Dearest one and all,

Season greetings from Gotham… where it is yet another Royal Tenenbaums family Christmas… complete with an enduring cast of characters and archetypes… many of whom you will know from your own families…

– There’s your youngest daughter, who has confused herself with Annie Leibovitz and is stealthily stalking unwitting guests with her new Nikon 9 million… a camera so high def… even your subconscious will feel the need to smile and strike a pose… Somehow though, all the photos make people look like romance novelists.(think: Danielle Steele)

– Then, there’s your waspy drunk uncle who thinks he’s a war hero because he served in the Connecticut National Guard… during Vietnam.

– Your arsonist nephew who always hugs you just a little too long…

– Your oldest child who insists that your spirit animal is in fact a cockapoo. (and not a wolf or a hawk, like you were hoping)

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– Your cousin, the plastic surgeon, whose passive aggressive generosity shines ever-so-bright when he offers to fix that “ski jump you call a nose” and who pointedly touts the recent and dramatic cost reduction of Lipo. (all while appraising your stomach and upper thighs)

And then there’s the 2-day adventure that is cooking Julia Child’s bouef bourguignon. You chose it because 1) you were sick of turkey, 2) afraid of goose and 3) ham gives your chain-smoking sister-in-law a headache…

And here it was…

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To all of this though, there was (and is) an escape, a respite from crazy people and difficult foods… it’s a cold, clear day in Manhattan, out by the Jackie O’ reservoir amid the anonymity of obsessive joggers, dog walkers and old geezers… all of whom are silently rejoicing in the temporary freedom that is Central Park on Christmas day…

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Today at the park

From Gotham… Wishing you a very Bukowski Christmas, one in which your greatness is only handicapped by your laziness, which on a day like today seems entirely appropriate 🙂

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The writer Charles Bukowski. (Charles should go as Bukowski for Halloween. He’s a dead ringer!)

Love actually, A