I had big plans for my first blog entry of 2010 , some combination of manifesto and multipart indictment and cry for help that would dispose of 2009 with appropriate violence, but trying to write about the last year at this distance feels like tapdancing in a tarpit, so here we are. Here I am, committing what in this household is a cardinal social sin: telling a Scrabble story. "Honey, you're telling a Scrabble story..." We suspect we've lost friends letting these slip in mixed company; conversationally they inhabit a zone somewhere between Margaret Cho routine reenactment and D&D reminiscence, and betray comparable interpersonal and psychological degeneracy.
Thanks to Facebook Scrabble, I play enough these days that I dream about the game. In this morning's dream, I had both the Q and the (Q), which in this dream version of the game was like a cross between a blank and a Q - but it was very unusual and lucky to get both Q and (Q) - it was a first. I woke up with a clear memory of the dream, so I had to make sure I wasn't still asleep and dreaming an hour later after I cycled through the morning's My Turn games to find this:
The screen shot convinces me pretty thoroughly that I was awake. I'm guessing it was a Flash glitch - the second Q vanished, along with several other tiles, when I reloaded the page. It's the first bug of that kind that I've noticed in about 100 games.
I am one of the most skeptical people I know when it comes to notions of the paranormal or the extrasensory or the prophetic, but I am officially counting this as weird, in the old sense of the word, whose ultimate root is "to become" - weird which means "wayward," which means (OED) "fate, destiny...magical power, enchantment...the three goddesses supposed to determine the course of human life...one pretending or supposed to have the power to foresee and to control future events; a witch or wizard, a soothsayer...a supernatural or marvellous occurrence or tale...an omen or token significant of the nature of a future event; a prognostic..."
The larger entry about the turn of the year and decade will culminate in my pledge that 2010 will be 365 consecutive days of uninterruptible bliss, and let this be a correlative declaration, the egg custard amuse-bouche of a haruspex: in 2010, I will have both Qs.
- 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 Récollets.
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