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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Paris Day 15 - me talk pretty Sunday

My conversation date was even prettier than this Marc Younan building in the Villeman Gardens behind the monastery

The work hours flew today. The work I'm doing is comparatively easy although increasingly demoralizing as I read through the second draft. Part III is the oldest, longest and worst of the four parts of the novel. This is the advantage of putting the novel away to mold for 18 months - when you pull it out you really know what stinks.

Fixing it will be a bitch, but for now all I have to do is criticize, analyze and outline. Karenin could do this work in his sleep. I intend to get working on the hard part in my sleep, mulling intractable problems before bed and waking up to find beautiful solutions drooling peacefully at my side.

Relief from all of this came in the form of a conversation date with a 23-year-old Parisian named Marc whose photo had to be inaccurate - nobody is that good looking. Actually it was inaccurate for a different reason - he was even cuter in person. I had to wait five hours to discover this, as he was late to our two-thirty rendezvous and at two-fifty I gave up and exorcised my disappointment at the nearest boulangerie. I'm cell phone-free and loving it! By email we reset the date for after dinner, met at le Chat Noir in the Eleventh and spent at least six minutes speaking French - his English, learned from American TV, makes him sound like he was born and raised in Cleveland but maybe had some dental work two or three days ago. This devoted subject of the Empire seemed to think in American English - twice he had to struggle to remember how to say something in French, but not once in the language of Jerry Seinfeld. In any case it was painful to look at Marc for 90 minutes (think Ryan Philippe's much cuter younger brother), and while we left the door open for a second date I would feel guilty if anything developed with him. James specifically said I should find a Parisian boyfriend to help improve my French.

Sunday I see the judge around lunchtime, and will speak French whether I like it or not.

1 comment:

Mr. Moses said...

and Ryan Philippe is DAMN cute! Keep us informed on what happens....

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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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