Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tree Clearing

I took the above photo during a bike ride around the Central Park loop last September, because I felt some kinship with the trees.

During the previous year-plus

Monday, August 16, 2010

You Can't Always Get What You Want

Having shlepped from Colorado to New York to Maine to see my kids in camp plays over the weekend, I wrote off today as a lost work day, knowing I would be driving back to New York from a friend's house on Boston's South Shore and would be too bushed to to anything productive. My plan was simple, and yet it turned into One Of Those Lost Days.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Parental Disaster Movies

Tonight I rewatched Greg Mottola's neglected coming-of-age tale Adventureland, and I enjoyed it, but as the characters kept lighting up joints, making "boner" jokes, and depicting casual sex, I kept thinking, Oh my god, I showed this to my daughters 18 months ago, when they were 14 and 11.  

In retrospect, it probably deserves to join the ranks of what I call Parental Disaster Movies. Or, as my kids like to chant at me, "Inappropriate!"

When you have kids, you're really excited to show them the world

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Moments of Revelation

There's a certain kind of horrifying moment that I love/dread in movies and TV shows, and was reminded of this seeing a great one in the Swedish movie of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. (Don't worry -- it's not pictured here -- and I won't give the plot away.)

It comes during a calm, silent close-up of journalist Mikael Blomkvist as he realizes everything he thought he'd figured out was wrong. It's subtle, sublime work by the actor (confusingly named Michael Nyqvist) and it reminded me of some of my favorite other moments of realization, when a character catches up with the audience (or they realize something simultaneously.)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

"This Interview Is Over" or, how sausage is sometimes made.

After writing about some of the stories that got away, I remembered a harrowing experience that is probably more revealing about the job of celebrity journalism, though it's not much fun to relive it.

After stints as writer/editor at Rolling Stone and editor/writer at Vogue, I became a full-time freelancer -- and a father of two small children. One big difference about a staff job versus freelancing: freelancers get paid by the word.

Which means, you get paid the same for a two-hour sit-down with Alicia Silverstone and a couple of phone calls to people she worked with, as you do tracking down dozens of subjects for a long piece about, say, Mississippi flood victims (which I did for Vogue with photographer Mary Ellen Mark). You do the math.

So as much as I liked

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