Thursday, September 20, 2007

Girl on a Stick

(image still from The Wonderful Thing)

In other news, I got this today!

"Hi Kathleen - hope you're well. I've been inspired by GoaS - on the rare occasions I'm in london I've started scribbling my ire in Metro &c. In fact - i've been scribbling "GIRL ON A STICK!" over pictures of vacant, pouting "babes". MAkes me feel better and hope this generates some buzz too - can you get your other London mates to do the same?

Big love

Em x

Serious site: |
Silly site:D"

I couldn't ask for any better tribute. I think Clementine would be proud.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Date.

I feel strangely numbed to September 11th. Everything my country has done since has been a spit in the face to those who love life, including all those who deplore the murders that occured on September 11th.

The murders of September 11th were wrong.

The resultant two invasions by the U.S. and murdering of 700,000+ Iraqi civilians was and is wrong.

The Patriot Act and tearing apart of the U.S. Consitution was and is wrong.

Extraordinary rendition and Guantanomo Bay detainments were and are wrong.

The horrific events of September 11th marked the start of a terrible period in the history of the U.S. and the rest of the world, indeed.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

I want this.

My maternal grandfather, Gerald Desmond, died four years before I was born, but his legacy lived on through his collection of Charles Addams cartoon books that lived in my grandparents' study. All three of my siblings and all ten of my first cousins on that side of the family (and I) spent many Christmas and Thanksgiving hours visiting Grandma and delighting in the pitch-dark humor of Mr. Addams. All fourteen of us grandchildren have a taste in humor that could be described gently as "dry" and less gently as "sick", though it probably evens out to "reasonably dark". My grandpa also had several photographic books of so-called "freaks", so at an early age I enjoyed looking at pictures of bearded ladies, real-life wolfmen, conjoined twins and women with three legs (a particular favorite, and even now I am not certain why). One of my cousins has a huge tattoo of the Addams family house on her leg, and was featured on one of those Wacky Weddings programs when she got married in a rather gothic ceremony. The Charles Addams cartoons, though, are always relentlessly cheerful in a way. It's gallows humor, but it's damn happy gallows humor. Reading Charles Addams cartoons always cheers me up the same way reading Douglas Adams (whoa! I didn't notice that until now, typing!) books always cheers me up.

I recently wrote a short story about that room where the Addams cartoon books were to be found and about living with my grandmother one spring and summer when I was 23 and she was recovering from a head injury (she had fallen off a ladder). My grandma died nearly two years ago, and her house was recently sold. She had one of the most beautiful persimmon trees in her garden, but it was chopped down for some reason by the new buyers. She was quite an amazing woman - an atheist (or "heathen", as she put it) who raised five children as Catholics, a librarian, a woman who studied law at Stanford way back in the 1930s, a woman of extremely sharp wit and tongue, someone who loved life, someone you'd always want at your dinner parties, but were always a little bit afraid of. She would come visit us up in Alaska and tell my mom that we four kids were getting spoiled (which would make us (the kids) seethe), and that we weren't using our "ly"-endings properly with our adverbs, a slur my mother found worse. Grandma was probably right, but at least I wrote "properly" in the sentence preceding this one. That's hardly Grandma's only legacy, and I doubt that the dark sense of humor was my grandfather's only bequest; it was only the most tangible one. We knew he had touched those glossy pages and chuckled too. I think that made us laugh louder, to prove something to him, our invisible dead grandfather, and to us, who wanted to know him better.

Here is a bridge named after my grandfather. You can follow it to the ultimate in 1950s glamor ships, the Queen Mary.

P.S. I just read that Ewan McGregor ran over the bridge in the film
The Island and I think that's pretty damn cool, mainly because Ewan is pretty damn cute.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

It was a Cool, Cool Summer

One day a skywriter flew past our house. We were sitting on the porch drinking beer and cava with our friend Stacy. I had to lie on my back to get this shot, but it was worth it.

The tall and beautiful Emma and Simone in the long grass of the sand dunes.

David and Simone appearing *very* excited about the cheese samples at the Tillamook cheese factory. (Photo courtesy of Emma Byrne)

Making drip castles the traditional Desmond way, a skill passed down to me by my mother. (Photo courtesy of Emma Byrne)

A squirrel captured on weird trunk limbs whilst we were camping.

Megan's son T goes on a treasure hunt while camping.

The female pirates of yore, post-treasure hunt. Yo-ho-ho!

20-million-year-old fossils at Beverly Beach.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

So close

Everything feels so close. The film within six-eight weeks of completion. The mainstream book deal ever hovering but with the right people at the right publishing company (c'mon, guys, give a girl a break here; you know it's brilliant and a sure-seller!). Girl on a Stick mere days from being officially released at last.

On the also-bright side, I got a job teaching screenwriting and filmmaking, starting in January.

So close. I can taste it. I can almost taste it.

Monday, September 3, 2007