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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Paris Day 14 - separated at birth edition


James...and the Laser cover boy?


The City Hall wedding Paul remembers...and the one he doesn't.


Laser HQ in the Marais. I can't quite figure out what these people do. They must be consultants.


The wages of sin aren’t death, they just feel like it. Tonight at 7PM I just couldn’t bear being awake anymore and a tall mug of Lady Grey tea did nothing to alleviate the pain. So I put myself down for a nap and got up five hours later. Like another local party animal, je ne regrette rien—it was a planetary celebration and worth a disruption in my sleep and work schedule. It’s also a potent reminder of how much time and energy I get back when I don’t party.

I only got half my six hours of writing done today but I reached a significant milestone in getting through the last of that onerous box of notes on paper. There are still more notes to absorb on the computer - I just discovered an infestation nested in the second-draft Word comments. But it feels good to be done with that box, and to have started a new document, the outline, which will replace the 4x6 cards I worked from last time. I am addicted to process - when I think of how much pleasure it gives me I feel like the world's biggest geek. But that is not a new feeling.

After three hours' work on the novel, another good contribution to Creation du Monde, and lunch, I struck out in search of pants. The jeans I wore to Paris had an incipient hole in the crotch, and that bike I bought in Montmartre turned it into serious problem with respect to both fashion and drafts. Paris is mostly useless for clothing men in my income bracket, and after a week of running around with too much ventilation I had made peace with the prospect of spending a chunk of my stipend at either the Levi store or American Apparel - bitter ironies both for a California boy. Fortunately, en route to American Apparel I stumbled across this place - Momo Le Moins Cher at 31 Blvd. Magenta - which had hundreds of pairs of Levis in pretty great shape and some really filthy beaded and sequined drag numbers that I could not resist for Beltane. Before walking out of there with four items, I spent a half hour chatting with the proprietor, an African from near Senegal named Bou Bou, and that will have to pass for my French practice for the day.

Bou Bou is fun - chat him up and he'll cut you a deal.


Yesterday I referred to the hockey game and the anthracite champagne sparkling on the Hotel de Ville above - here's a video clip:




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Paul Festa’s first film, Apparition of the Eternal Church (2006, 51 min), captures the responses of 31 artists to the apocalyptic music of Olivier Messiaen (with Justin Bond, John Cameron Mitchell, Harold Bloom; screenings: Grace Cathedral, Barbican Centre, Library of Congress; “Remarkable”The New Yorker; “Stunning”Chicago Sun-Times; “Sublime”Globe & Mail; numerous awards). Festa performs the Tchaikovsky violin concerto, opposite members of the San Francisco Ballet and The Cockettes, in his award-winning second film, The Glitter Emergency (2010, 20 min), a silent-film drag ballet comedy (“Enormous visual and musical inventiveness…full of pleasure and joy...Festa gives a bravura performance."—Film Threat). He produced, wrote and edited, with director Austin Forbord, and was chief archivist, for the Emmy-nominated documentary Stage Left: A Story of Theater in San Francisco (2010, 80 min: with Robin Williams, Bill Irwin, Peter Coyote; screenings: Geary Theater, KQED; “Intriguing...entertaining...a valuable record”—Variety). Performances as violinist and actor: ODC Theater, Center for Performance Research, Kunst-Stoff, TheatreFIRST, North Bay Shakespeare, Albert Fuller's Helicon Ensemble (Merkin Hall, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall). US, Boston, NYC, SF, LA and DC (Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress on the “Betts” Stradivarius) premieres of Messiaen’s Fantaisie for violin and piano. He is the author of OH MY GOD: Messiaen in the Ear of the Unbeliever, based on Apparition of the Eternal Church, and several anthologized essays, and has written for The Daily Beast, Salon, Nerve, and The New York Times Book Review. Current projects include a novel and Tie It Into My Hand (2014, ca. 80 min), a documentary feature that has screened as a work in progress at the Cannes film market and at ODC Theater in San Francisco (with Alan Cumming, Gary Graffman, Peter Coyote, Mink Stole, Robert Pinsky; "A fascinating exploration of the artistic life, as rollickingly entertaining as it is insightful and stirring."San Francisco Bay Guardian). Education: Yale (B.A.; prizes, honors, distinction), Juilliard (Cert., Adv. Cert., scholarships). Residencies: Yaddo, MacDowell, ODC Theater, Centre des R├ęcollets.

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