Friday, January 26, 2007

Bawlmer Boobs


It's nice to get a little blurb in the hometown paper:,0,5445580.story?coll=bal-artslife-movies

I've now worked on 2 films (The Diversion & Two Hands) in my birthplace, Baltimore, MD, and I'd like nothing more than to shoot my latest feature script "To Do:" there. It's Bawlmer to the core, hon. Set in Roland Park (Anne Tyler country), @ Friends School (my alma mater), Johns Hopkins (my father's long-time workplace), Harbor Place (which was inaugurated on my 10th birthday), O'Brycki's (bang-bang crabs of choice), The Lacrosse Hall of Fame (Ravens, who?), the Visionary Arts Museum (overlooking the Inner/Outer Harbor with inspiration from within), and a whole host of Baltimorons (my favorite geographical designation), complete with a custom-created role for Charm City native John Astin.

Odd/ironic that I had to move all the way across the country to try and get this film made. Folks at the OutFest Screenwriters Lab this summer convinced me that L.A. was the place to be to get this project off the ground, so here I am. Now all I need is $1 million to get everything/everyone else in place. The trick? Funding a romantic dramedy staring relative unknowns. Oh, and the lead character's dying of breast cancer. And they're lesbians. Piece of cake, right?

I guess I have Baltimore and breasts on the brain today. First the Sun article, then my very first mammogram. I count it as good preventive medicine and great research for the script. Nothing says commitment to my writing like having my boobs smashed in between 2 panes of glass. Definitely suffering for my art, here...


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Oscar Pose

Leon + Nathaniel = Oscar?


I was all set to write about how California-fied I've become since starting Yoga this week, but the true earmarker of Angeleno-cation is that our little film has been nominated for an OSCAR. That's right, "Two Hands" is up for Best Documentary Short at the 79th annual Academy Awards. All I can say is: Bravissimo! That and, maybe this'll help me get a job here?

And, of course: How can I finagle a seat @ the Oscars? Anyone? I already signed up to be a seatfiller, but I'm sure there's several thousand folks ahead of me in line. Oh yeah, and how does a documentary short go about campaigning for a win? Too bad we don't have Harvey Weinstein or Bill Clinton to back us, just some very devoted classical music, Baltimore and Nathaniel Kahn fans who've gotten us this far. I like our pedigree and odds. Is there a special meditation or yoga pose to help me vibrate on the Oscar frequency? You know there's gotta' be one in this town...

Friday, January 12, 2007

R.I.P. Esmerelda


Esmerelda Snyder
Beloved Red Eared Slider
1994 - 2007

From Bonnie & Gay, Emerelda's original Mommies:
"It was at a street fair on Broadway when I saw her, cradled in a tiny paper
cup by two young boys who were holding her for ransom. I took her home and set her up in a tank which she quickly outgrew. She ate out of my hand by climbing up on rocks, although as she grew and grew I thought she might mistake my fingers for fish, and I lay the offerings of food down on the rocks instead. Then you (Dasha) kindly offered to give her a better home, deluxe real estate with spa plumbing, etc. Thanks to you. Dasha, for her care all these years."

From Dara, another turtle Mommy:
"Esmie was so much more than just a turtle. She was social and interactive, fun and intriguing. I remember coming home from work when you were out and hearing her splash around until I would come in and talk to her. I remember buying her gold fish and having to place them directly in front of her or she would tear apart her tank trying to catch them until they died of starvation a week or so later.
I miss her."

From Sonora, recent turtle Mommy:
"I have loved her for what seems like forever. She was my favorite
turtle in the world. Her favorite basking spot was the windowsill
overlooking Amsterdam Avenue at 11am. She took note of each bird that
flew past and each voice that spoke to her."

From Dasha, the longest Mommy:
Esmerelda was a unique presence in my life. She was with me almost the entire time I've been in my current NYC apartment. I watched her grow out of many tanks, presenting me with the challenge to accommodate her comfortably for years to come. The common thinking that turtles are slow and boring was always debunked when folks met Esme. OK, she wasn't lightning fast, but she could really move in the water, and was incredibly sociable, much to everyone's surprise and delight.

In her early years, my cat Aesop would lie on top of the mesh lid to her tank and bat at the sides, while Esme would chomp at his paws at the glass, or they'd peacefully co-exist, both napping in those same positions. She was cat-television and he was turtle-playstation. They could stare at each other for hours.

Always eager for some conversation whenever I got home, she also loved to play "finger" (where she followed your finger on the glass), especially with my nieces and nephew. When planning the renovation of my apartment, I insisted we include her tank placement in the plans. My architect was skeptical at first, conceding it was important to have electrical outlets nearby, but prominent placement for a turtle? Then he met Esmerelda. She worked her charm on him, and made him a Red Eared Slider believer, her tank placed where she had a view of the kitchen, living & dining rooms for maximum sociability.

I'm proud to say that her legacy lives on, as my niece adopted a Red Eared Slider named Harry. Esme was always a hoot, but Harry had to be coaxed and nurtured out of his shell. He now swims happily in Esmerelda's old tank. Just hours after Esme passed, my niece offered: "You can always come visit Harry. I can share him with you."

I'm glad I was there (in NYC) at the end. As awful as an all-nighter at the Animal Medical Center can be, I know we did all we could for her. My sweetie thinks she died of a broken heart, with me away in L.A., that she hung on until I came back. That analysis would break my heart. Of course, it's already broken.

You were entertained, entertaining, and loved. Rest in peace, Esme.

Esmerelda Overlooking Amsterdam Ave.

Monday, January 8, 2007


party leftovers

Simmering Tunisian Eggplant Appetizer, smoky Sundried Tomato & White Bean dip and the aromas of a whole host of other goodies have been wafting through my bungalow for the past few days. That, and the smell of blood (hammered my thumb), sweat (it ain't easy hanging curtains), and tears (did I mention the thumb?) have filled this humble abode in preparation for a little shindig last night. Apparently it smells a lot better here, than in my NYC 'hood at the moment. I hope the stink is gone by the time I'm "wheels down" @ JFK tomorrow night. At least everyone's OK back East, noses crinkled. And my party didn't stink, either...