Yesterday was Luigi's last puppy school class at Petco. And we had a substitute teacher. Her name is Christine. Much, much better teacher than this guy Matt we had for the first five weeks. Way more authoritative presence and a much larger repertory. Matt had just gotten into this thing where he was repeating the same command over and over for the entire class, but Christine mixed it up, and because of her strong, commanding presence I think Luigi responded a lot more to her. At class's end she wrote him up a little diploma. Very cute.
Had the meeting with Jayson and Jayson's friend James Park. Very nice guy who seems quite serious. Also of course very practical. It got me to thinking about the whole phenomenon of film financing. And those guys you'd hear about like the Golan-Globus people (Menacham and Yorin-- the "GoGo Boys?), and of course Hemdale's John Daly. How did these guys get money for movies. How did they attract investors? I know they had this whole system figured out, and a lot of it had to so with pre-selling territories. When I was in film school I read the first edition of James Monaco's bestseller American Film Now. There was an entire section -- a basic primer -- on how films get put together. I still remember the basic paradigm. Today things are so much more complex though. All I know is that films do continue getting made (obviously). But the "circles" are smaller. There is way less chance that everybody is going out (or staying in) to see the same movie. When I first moved to New York, anybody into film would go out to see the new, say, Fassbinder movie. And everybody else would have seen it. Talked about it. There was a common experience. Those days are over.
While in the city, LG met with her radiologist. They had to run more tests, and sort of "target" places on her body where they intend to zap her with radiation. It will go on every weekday for like six weeks. They probably will not be ready to start for a couple more weeks. They have to make their calculations exact.
Before I went to bed I lied down on the kitchen floor right next to Luigi, right up against him as I heard his heavy breathing, then snoring. We just lay there, wondering about how weird life is.
I'm not going to recount exactly, blow by blow, the dream I had last night. But the really horrifying quality of it was that it was as though I was inside a movie that simply had to play itself out -- the plot was unalterable -- and I was starring in it as this guy who was going to be, more and more as the dream went on, at the mercy of a group of people, to the point where I would (I knew it -- I saw it unfolding in front of me and I couldn't do a damn thing about it) be actually physically constrained, imprisoned in some place only these people who were my fellow players in this dream would know about and control. This was the nightmarish quality. I had all these "chances" to get away. I saw them offer themselves to me. I knew that there was a quality of diminishing expectations with each of these chances to get away that I did not take. I would let one of them go by and think "ok well at least I know I have seen all my chances go by and I don't have to get depressed about there being any more chances left that I could have taken" but then I guess I hadn't remembered the "plot" exactly because then there would be another chance -- perhaps "riskier" but still a chance -- and then that one would close up too and it was total and unremitting torture, watching these chances to "get away" just go flitting by, vanishing one by one, because I was not able to in any way change the course of the plot of this dream (which involved a couple people I know including PM and even my dog Bailey, who was not a baddie thank goodness). Anyway, just singling out this very precise horrifying quality to this particular dream: the knowing that it was going to play out badly and the knowing I could have "gotten away" many times over and not being able to do anything but piss away those opportunities to escape -- oh how awful!
Josh came over today and we had a nice one-hour session on Luigi-training. Josh's energy was so great, and he was very articulate and clear about the way to envision a dog's world and how to correctly teach them stuff. Obviously it's still a matter of having extreme patience. And a matter of a great deal of repeating things. Adopting an attitude of "it's not you who tells me what to do; it's me that tells you." Rewarding good behavior, and waiting patiently for it to manifest. He did it right there in the kitchen, it was amazing.
First thing in the morning, after the morning walk and after feeding Luigi, I took him to the vet's office in Union and had that tick-and-flea repellant stuff Activyl put on him again by Annie. She told me dogs usually get neutered at around five and a half to six months -- which means now. I later scheduled an appointment at the Grand Gorge Animal Hospital to have that done a week from tomorrow, as I'll be up there.
When Josh asked me outside during our walk with Luigi if I was happy I said yes, very, the only thing is I hadn't realized how tired I would be getting from all of this. Very tired, all the time. I am so tired of being tired. I'm tired right now as a matter of fact.
Much of whatever writing I have been doing lately is in the form of notes for the more considered and engaged work-in-progress I have been interested in for the past few months. That is the writing I really care about. Sometimes -- and I have heard this voiced before -- I think that there is a problem (maybe for some but not for others) with a blog in that if one writes in the blog one may feel "ok, i have done my writing for the day" and then neglect the more considered writing one may be, hopefully, working on. There is that distinct possibility. On the other hand I have been trying to use it just to keep afloat more present-tense and contemporary reactions to things. And therefore act as a sort of annex writing place.
I don't know if this is the "Coriolus Effect" -- is that the name for it? I am not certain if that is the name for this phenomenon in which if you, say, throw a baseball from the exact south pole in the direction of, say, some point along the equator (let's say Bogota, Ecuador), but then because of the spinning of the earth, if that ball were -- for theoretical purposes -- able to keep airborne for its journey to Ecuador, it would in fact wind up hitting the equator at a completely different place. The earth turning would assure that. Well, this is a phenomenon that happens between human beings all the time. Again, I don't know if that is what the Coriolus Effect is, this phenomenon I am talking about may have a completely different name. Or no name at all.
A mish-mash of feelings. Generally, I know I have not been keeping in optimum physical shape. Not doing the bicycle machine, which has always made me feel better, stronger. It has given me more energy, and I sorely need it now. The raising of Luigi has been so incredibly tiring that I have let it falter and that's not a good thing. Now I look at the machine as I used to before I ever tried it and I'm, like, "ugh, no I don't want to go on that thing." That's gotta change.
Expecting pages back from Paris-- and of course this is a great concern of mine as well but I stupidly had told Shannon to mail them upstate after I had given her LG's address. I really thought I'd be going up by yesterday or today but because of LG's recent health crisis -- the Horner's syndrome -- I have felt I wanted to stick around Westfield. But I really want to get that package from the post office.
Out of nowhere, last night I experienced -- I kid you not -- a nocturnal emission. Wow. I can't remember the last time I had one of those! I am totally floored that at my age I would have something that generally only young teenage boys experience! Well, that was an interesting, pleasant surprise.
Anyway back to matters at hand. It was hellish being at the hospital today as I was waiting for LG to get C-scanned. The room I was waiting in had a wall mounted television on -- the volume turned up loud -- and it was tuned so the usual daytime TV crap, with loud chuckleheaded voices, very obnoxious, some game show or cooking show with all these people acting stupidly. The even louder commercials that came on dealt with contaminants, type 2 diabetes and bladder leaks. And then at one point this woman came in and she was wearing some sort of perfume that was just awful smelling, it was that "old lady" smell, like the way my grandmother on my father's side used to smell. I moved all the way over to the other side of the room but it reeked; I could still smell it strongly from all the way over there. Unpleasant, yes, but I kept telling myself I should be happy to be in the waiting room and not being administered C-scans.
While there, got a text message from Jayson about his friend, the producer, the interest in Purple America. A meeting is to be set up not for this week but for next week.
Last night, several dreams and -- in no particular order -- here goes: In one, Tom Hardy (the actor) and I are in attendance at some sort of gathering of a professional nature (had nothing to do with acting). And we were both sort of looking at each other, recognizing that there was a great deal of bullshit involved with whatever we were both being told. And oh yes the feeling in the dreams is that we were old friends. At some point I exited this "briefing" meeting or whatever it was. It's like I just couldn't take it anymore. I hid outside, in a filthy alley somewhere with a view of people passing by on the street. I waited to see Tom pass by and I called out "Tom" and he heard me. He turned, saw me, then ducked into the alley and we sat inside a car just talking.
Now, sort of intermingled with that dream was one where I was on the telephone with Mei Jun, this actual girl I knew for a little while in Los Angeles, a filmmaker. I was at this briefing or whatever it was with Tom Hardy but in the middle of it I was on the phone talking to Mei Jun about The Long Goodbye, the Robert Altman movie. Because (in real life) when I lived in Los Angeles I had asked Mei Jun to go to a screening of The Long Goodbye at the Nuart or Nu-Wilshire Cinema (I forget which one) and she loved it as I knew she would. And then a couple years later after I moved to New York and Mei Jun was visiting I had called and asked her to see the same movie at the Film Forum or the Museum of the Moving Image, and she reminded me that she had already seen it-- that in fact we had gone together in L.A. And I laughed, remembering that indeed we had. Anyway all of that was in real life but in my dream I am on the phone with her laughing now because I am about to turn someone else on to Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye and ain't that a kick in the head.
The other dream I remember is that I was in Paris with PM and we were hanging out for a long time around a not-very-interesting section of Paris (and in the dream I was familiar with Paris and its layout and PM was not -- which is not the case in real life). And at one point I said "well let me take you to a really beautiful part of Paris" and we got on the Metro and when we came up we were in the middle of this immense square that was home to many Parisian landmarks including Notre Dame and the Louvre (in other words not as it is in the actual Paris). And the light was so striking, the way it was hitting these very old buildings at that hour. And PM, astonished at all this beauty, threw out her arms and started gliding around in big circles going "Oooooooo!"
The doctor told LG that the weird thing going on with her eyes -- the thing he noticed on Thursday at Overlook during her examination -- is Horner's syndrome. One pupil is larger than the other. It is caused by a tumor in her chest pressing on a nerve. Not good news. The mood is very serious here. I myself feel very tired and depressed from all of this. She has to schedule a cat-scan and an MRI, both.