Thursday, August 19, 2004

“It’s hard to stay mad, when there’s so much beauty in the world.”

The Movie: American Beauty, 1999 (Alan Ball, screenwriter; Sam Mendes, dir.)
Who says it: Kevin Spacey as Lester Burnham, a man whose midlife crisis turns out to be an end-of-life crisis.
The context: Burnham says this in voiceover at the end of the film, which has just shown us the circumstances of his death.
How to use it: Whenever you need to remind yourself it’s a world of wonders. If I keep saying this, it'll eventually sink in.

The latest on my car is that it won't be ready until September 7. I'm officially homeless after August 31. The car sat unattended for a week before the insurance adjuster even got around to looking at it. So I keep saying "This cannot be," which has no effect on anyone or anything.

Living without a car in Los Angeles is a novelty at first, and then it's just tedious. I spent most of yesterday morning taking a variety of buses to and from Westwood. I don't really mind the bus, because it's good reading time -- yesterday I got through most of KJ Erickson's latest novel, which is excellent, and a screenplay that was so bad I couldn't believe anyone had paid money for it.

In his monologue Monster in a Box, Spalding Gray talked about trying to mount a project called "L.A.: The Other," about the people in Los Angeles who weren't part of the entertainment industry. He decided he would find these people riding the buses. The punchline of the story was that even people on the buses had screenplays to pitch (although what they really wanted to do was direct).

Mom's doing okay, at least.

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