Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Near, Far, Wherever You Are... assured that the blog will go on! I hope you'll all be comforted to know that I am recuperating just fine after last Friday, when Dick Cheney, in a perfectly innocent jousting accident, jabbed a rapier right into my lung, and then accidentally trampled me beneath his horse when he rode back to notch his kill help me up. My vital signs then dipped to their most critical levels when Laura Bush came to read to me in the hospital, but came very close to boring me to death. It was all very trying, and very accidental, absolutely.

Actually, I've just been busy. Beginning-of-semester stuff. Recommendation letters up the wazoo. Learning how to balance three classes at the same time. Considerable planning re: a piece of Very Good News that I'm not allowed to broadcast yet, but, if you've been following this blog of late, you'll be able to suss out. Taking advantage of Oscar-prompted theatrical re-releases so that I could revisit Munich and The New World, take a second hike up and down Brokeback Mountain, and, earlier this afternoon, flip back through the pages of Capote. On which, more later. But none of this is really satisfying as an explanation is it? Here are some more specific explanations, since the Comments on my previous post reveal that some of you (understandably) thought I was dead.

Why I Didn't Blog All Weekend: I was in NYC, sharing some of that Valentine's Day lovin'. Some things (though only a few of them) are better than the internet.

Why I Didn't Blog Sunday Night: Blizzard. Whole Northeast. Me. Penn Station. Hours. Hartford, at 4am. No taxis. 14°. So damn unpretty.

Where Else I Was Blogging While Away: Over at the Oscar Symposium at The Film Experience, where I'm one of a Magnificent Seven of Oscar obsessives who are poring over the nominees, fessing up to our biases, stumping for our favorites, wondering why we all care so much, and why other people, crazy people, don't. Nathaniel, our gracious host, looking swell in Elie Saab, posted the first installment of our discussion yesterday: a Valentine to Oscar. More will follow all week. Read it!

A Short P.S. About the Film Experience, Because It's All About Nathaniel: I have, for the first time in my life, been linked to celebrity. One of my students this semester e-mails me and goes, "Wait!! You're the "Nick" who posts on Nathaniel R.'s website??! I've been reading it every day for years!" Nathaniel, you are the polestar of fame, the Tom Hanks to my Rita Wilson (except that you aren't boring, and I don't embarrass myself... quite that much).

Where I'll Be Blogging When I'm Not Blogging Here: The archangel Gabriel and his readers at Modern Fabulousity have tapped me as one of the ModFab Six, an ongoing coffeeklatsch of cultural issues (pop- and otherwise), a harem of what's hot and what's not, a coterie of tastemakers. At least that's what he tells us. Really, we're just going to spread some lox on some bagels every week, chat up how tragic Tom Cruise and K.Ho and K.Fed continue to be, and congratulate ourselves. Seriously, unless you read, we're not going to make it interesting. But if you do read, for EVERY SINGLE HIT registered on the MF6 articles, we will add ONE MORE DOLLOP of fabulousness to our dialogue. Do you hear me? For six seconds a day, you could elevate us, the ModFab Six, into the pinnacle of wagdom, make us the Reservoir Dogs of all things rad, the aurora borealis of the blogosphere. We are your willing Galateas, as you are ours. This is your mission. Choose to accept it! It is a beautiful thing. (With such schmoove personalities around the table as the sweet-toothed Melissa, the witness-protected par3182, the trend-setting and aforementioned Nathaniel, the don't-I-recognize-that-fragrance StinkyLulu, and the bass-thrumming, ass-kicking, mad hot Me'shell of blogotopia, Dr. S, the sky is truly the limit... as long as Dick Cheney doesn't shoot any of us.)

Why I Didn't Blog Tuesday, the One Day I Don't Teach: I was still catching up on work and on reading that I should have finished on Monday.

Why I Didn't Blog on Monday: If you were anywhere in the Northeast on Monday, and you were looking anxiously toward the heavens and wondering if more snow was going to fall, or if Dick Cheney was going to fly over in a helicopter and litter your neighborhood in a spray of bullets, and you sighed your relief that none of this was happening (yet), but you did happen to notice with your naked eye an enormous, undulating plume of smoke rising from the eastern horizon, or from wherever Hartford is in relation to where you live.... I apologize for this enormous, undulating plume of smoke. It was pouring forth from my crackpipe, and the name of my crackpipe is the DVD of Season One of Project Runway.

You guys.

I am so addicted to this show that Liza Minnelli, Marion Barry, and Winona Ryder are all worried about me. I picked up the phone (but not till Tuesday), and Courtney Love gave me a lecture about strength through moderation. Snoop Dogg even came to my house on Monday and was peering at me through the window and imploring me to Just Say No. But I couldn't. I watched the entire season in one sitting, and I'll just save you the trouble of clicking here and confess upfront that I'm talking about 509 minutes of material. But not just any material. Leather. Silk. Organza. Morganza. Wine-dyed roses. Headphones. Rope candy. Elasticized rubber, as borrowed from a lawn chair. Corn husks. You guys, corn husks. Cotton, the official material of Project Runway, as well as the fabric of our lives. Envy. Champagne. Despair. Confidence, as distilled by Kara Saun into some sort of pure, periodic-table element which, somehow, you still don't begrudge her (until the McTeague-style twist at the end! Beware of the diamond-encrusted shoe! "All that glisters...," Kara Saun!)

I'm sorry to be that bloviating windbag at the party who won't stop talking about what everyone else already recognized and observed first-hand almost a year ago, but a) you did ask me to tell you what I've been up to, and b) you guys. This show is the Berlin Alexanderplatz of Bravo TV, the Mill on the Floss of modern fashion, and I repeat, I don't even care about fashion. What invisible hand from beyond the literary pale is guiding this show? How did the runway mavens of New York City know, all those years ago, to title their annual runway gala "Olympus," as if prescient of the mythological resonances of Mario's feeble arrogance, Vanessa's fatal error of so disastrously expressing consummate tact (I don't want to savage anyone else!) in the rhetoric of total idiocy (You should fire me!), and therefore wizening before our eyes from a Dionysian dame of constant good humor into such a bitter mound of sozzle and spite? How can you root for someone for months in a row, only to realize in the final instants before victory is pronounced that you don't want her to win?

For Wendy Pepper, I have invented the word, Clytemnestric. I say no more.

So now that I'm really all caught up, you all know Why I Won't Be Blogging Tonight Between 10 and 11pm EST. But do catch me later. Eventually, Project Runway's season will end, and I'll be back to business as usual. Unless, between now and then, Dick Cheney shoots me in the face. At which point, I dunno, I guess we wait and see?

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Blogger Dr. S said...

Despite the fact that I have not one but TWO six-foot windows in my office, one facing east and one facing west, and thus am entirely likely to be espied by any number of people passing in the night, I am laughing like a fiendish thing at this entry. Welcome back, and thank you for making me laugh harder than I have since the pageant. Nice, nice, nice work with the running joke, if joke it is, about our collective impending doom. Every time I thought it was gone, you went and punched it up another notch. Reading Jane Eyre is going to feel like mad letdown after this, I have to say. And yet I don't regret a gasp.

6:30 PM, February 15, 2006  
Blogger ryan said...

oh darling, haute couture gets us all in the end. welcome to the tribe!

10:38 PM, February 15, 2006  
Blogger NATHANIEL R said...


i hurt. i hurt.

stop. who knew that laughter could hurt this badly.

10:41 PM, February 15, 2006  
Blogger ryan said...

um, I think I should clarify that I'm not actually the boyfriend of Nick - I'm the boyfriend of Nathaniel. Damn blogger login thing is making me look like some sort of homo-bigamist.

10:45 PM, February 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. But mainly (stage whisper) CONGRATS! You should be able to figure out who this is. I´m in Berlin and the keyboardås going all funny. See? I´ll blog too, soon. Maybe. Thereøs an incredibly beautiful person manning the computer room here who has no idea how detrimental he is to e-concentration or indeed typing. No idea at all. He is painfully, tragically beautiful. Itøs really making it very hard to get any work done. Frankly, I think he should be fired and employed as a press liaison officer. Oh shit. Now they´re turfing us out. Does this mean our man is free for a drink? Tune in next time... And email me!

2:59 PM, February 16, 2006  
Blogger Dr. S said...

This one goes out to "the boyfriend": Sweetie, don't worry: we all (me included) secretly want to be Nick's boyfriend. There's no shame in that, even if you're already someone else's boyfriend.

3:14 PM, February 16, 2006  
Blogger matt said...

congratulations re: NU! i heard that you gave a fantastic job talk, and i'm sure the college will be quite lucky to have you. jeff especially must be v. proud.

9:37 PM, February 19, 2006  

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