Tuesday, November 1, 2016

I got a car and a lawyer.

HAPPY HALLOWS EVE.  To the Halloween babes - like my sister - I hope it is a happy birthday for you!

Since the last Broke Bridget blog, it's been a whirlwind 29 days, so tonight let's do a general update:

[1]  I had to finance a car for work.  Last summer while I was job searching, I was lucky to have three decent offers, but I went with my current employer because they were requiring me to get a vehicle.  I haven't written about the car before now because it was (ahem) definitely a process, and during that process I was never sure I'd pull it off.  Faking it til making it, surprisingly I made it.  I got a Kia, which I've named Sosie, and I love driving at night!  This isn't my first car.  Once upon a time, I had a life in Maine, and I had a car up there - roaming around snowy, unmarked roads lit bright by stars and moonshine was one of my favorite things to do - some things have not changed...

[2]  My film has a securities attorney.  I've continued to work on the movie's budget and, only a quarter of the way through, I have already surpassed the one million dollar mark.  To me, to many people, that's a lot of money.  So I'm thinking it's wise to somehow regulate the film's finances, ensuring nobody gets screwed.  The legal function of a securities attorney is to be the middleman between a creative entity and the entity's investors.  That may sound boring and complicated, but here's why it's actually cool and exciting:  By the end of the year, I will have established my film company (the creative entity) and then comes the investors (money for cast, crew, and etceteras).

[3]  We come to the wild card of the evening.  The moment when you might roll your eyes and sigh "Oh Bishop, reaching for the stars."  Well yes, reaching for one star in particular:  Hayley Mills.  I want to speak with Hayley Mills about my movie.  I don't know why, it's a feeling and I just want this (shrug). Maybe because, at heart, I'm a 33-year-old Baby Boomer.  I grew up watching Hayley Mills, and I've seen most of her movies.  Summer Magic remains my favorite, and I am hoping that she might be interested in Virginia Woolf, Virginia's novel, and adapting it - maybe as a producer, maybe in a supporting role.  I've been sending out emails to producers and theatres who have worked with Hayley Mills in the past, and I'm hoping to communicate with this actress sometime in the near future.  Fingers crossed.

THIS is the Parent Trap I grew up watching!
(And now you know why I'm the way I am...)

[4]  On Wednesday night, I'm meeting with the Managing Director of another local playhouse.  We're going to discuss the possibility of me producing Little Women next spring.  Producer cred, woot woot!!

Okay, I've gotta end.  Tuesdays are a ten-hour workday, so I really need to turn in soon.  To me, this blog feels more rushed and less fleshed out than other posts.  But I wanted to say hello, sleep tight, and thanks for being YOU.  Thanks for being here now on Earth in 2016 reading our Broke Bridget blog.

Let's get together again soon, yeah yeah yeah!


Sunday, October 2, 2016

calling italy and los angeles

It has been two months since I've shared an update on creative preoccupations, so let's do it today!

[1]  I blogged about an initiative called Open Doors that funds films.  I followed up with them, inquiring about their Filmmakers Academy which takes place the first two weeks of August.  I asked them to send their packet of info, which hopefully includes an application.  It's a bit early to expect any real answer regarding next summer, so I'll follow up once more - at the start of 2017, in the beginning of January.  However, I need to meet executive producers who can connect me to seriously substantial funding for my feature film, so follow up I definitely shall do (hands on my hips).

[2]  Why, you may ask, do I need such substantial funding?  One reason is that I have the interest of a super talented, established, and experienced production designer.  I contacted her at the beginning of August, and her response was immediate - I think because she is a huge fan of Virginia Woolf.  She gave a preliminary thumbs up, but then promptly and responsibly said that the next step was to speak with her agent in Los Angeles...  Let me pause for a few seconds to briefly write about agents in Los Angeles, who are downright intimidating.  And I'm saying that, an intimidating person myself.

quick digression:  AGENTS IN LOS ANGELES

I've begun to always notify the talent agent of the day and time when I'll be calling them about their client.  When that time comes for me call the agency in Los Angeles, there are several hurdles, and the first one is a hip and breezy receptionist.  Specifically the hurdle is their question, "And who may I ask is calling?"  I respond with my name, and then there is a very long momentary pause...  If - and this is the most significant condition - if the agent is interested in me and my film project, the very hip and breezy receptionist responds with, "Alright please hold for one second while I connect you."

Once connected with an agent, Ihavetospeakreallyreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeallyfasttokeeptheirinterest!

The second hurdle is the talent agent remaining interested in my spiel for more then one minute, and I am not exaggerating.  Agents instinctively size up within ten seconds, so keeping an agent on the telephone for one minute ... even for five minutes ... is a small success.  And ultimately, an agent interested in moving forward with their client wants two sets of numbers - dates and money.

End of digression, but lastly one lesson I've learned about agents in L.A.: I've enjoyed speaking with all (but one) of the agents.  They are representing clients whose work they genuinely respect, and that's something they and I have in common.  I'm very excited about the artists I may work with.

SO I'm on the telephone with the agent of this super talented, established, experienced production designer.  We wind up at the place of dates and money.  My dates for principal shooting seem okay, but the agent questions if I can compensate the set designer at her going rate.  I have a short fuse with vagueness.  Vagueness annoys me.  Talk straight to me, and this is what I request of the agent, who responds that the production designer's rate is $43K per week.  This time the long momentary pause is on my end of the telephone line, but I quickly grab hold of myself and say "Sure okay yeah!" 

My mental wiring is shifting during this film production process.  A few weeks ago my therapist paused our conversation, looked down at his notes, looked back up at me, then gingerly asked what it feels like to be making this movie.  I bring myself to therapy because I'm introverted, and things in daily life can be very stressful for me.  I wish I could stay home all the time in my bathrobe.  (Close friends are laughing, because I basically say that everyday.  :)  But I don't stay home all the time.  I'm a turtle who is intrigued by the rat's race, even when the rat's race feels super jarring to me.  So I bring myself to therapeutic spaces for support, as often as possible.  In response to my analyst's question, I answered that making this film feels like stepping into a room which I never imagined existed.  A room where someone can seriously state a quote of $43K per week, to which I'll agree.

This agent and I have a phone meeting scheduled for the end of the year, after Christmas when I'll update her on source(s) of funding for the production designer's compensation.  Consequently, my attention has turned to Open Doors and other financiers.  When I approach them, at this point I'm inquiring about funding for this set designer - nothing and nobody else, not the music licenses, not legal protection, not travel and transportation, not catering, nothing and nobody else.  I'm focused on securing funds for this designer, starting with her and hoping that additional funding will follow.

Creative preoccupations always pulse through my life.  I could dotingly write about the wonderful script consultant I'm working with, or how I'm preparing my digital camera for a winter of novice photo projects.  However, those two things are likely to feature in future blogspots.  So thank you for reading, and I hope you'll return.  Broke Bridget totally hearts YOU.  Please stay wonderful xoxo.

this is all for Virginia and a small book she wrote

Sunday, September 18, 2016


Some of you know that I have been working on a play.  Some nights, I've been lucky enough to attend run-throughs as Rehearsal Assistant.  The entire time, I have been honored to be Associate Producer, supporting a director I admire very much.  Our play is titled Stop Kiss and, in order to advertise on the Broke Bridget blog, I asked to publish an interview with the play's director - Andrea Humez who was born, raised, and educated in our beloved Somerville / Cambridge, MA.

Please enjoy the interview and please come to our theatrical production, which opens this Friday!

Q1:  What is your hometown?
I have lived in Somerville since I was 4, except for a year in Chicago and a few years of college across the border in Cambridge.

Q2:  Was theatre a part of your childhood?
I fell in love with theatre early.  My parents took me to plays as a child, and I spent a lot of time memorizing the complete works of Gilbert & Sullivan, reading Noel Coward, and putting on plays with my friends at school or for our parents at home.   I went on to go to theatre day camp at Tufts University and Emerson College, and theatre has been one of my primary hobbies from high school onwards.

Q3:  When and why did you move into the role of director?
I joke it was a natural progression from plays I organized with friends in elementary school, but there is actually some truth in that.  I've always been the person who says "hey kids, let's put on a show!"  In 1997, I gathered a group of fellow MIT students and community members to perform Tom Stoppard's Arcadia in a lecture hall, which I ended up directing because I couldn't convince anyone else to volunteer for the job.  I enjoyed it so much that since then, I've directed as much as I've performed.

Directing for Theatre@First means taking on that "hey kids, let's put on a show!" role.  Unlike many other local community theatre groups, which choose a season of shows to perform and then recruit a director for each show, Theatre@First chooses shows based on proposals from prospective directors (or sometimes producers).  This means that every show is dear to the director's heart, and that each season represents the tastes and passions of T@F's core membership.  It also means that, more than in some groups, a T@F director is an organizer and administrator as well as an artist.

Q4:  How long have you been affiliated with Theatre@First?
I first got involved with Theatre@First as one of the directors for the 2006 summer one-acts festival.  That fall, I was cast as Margaret Fuller in The Margaret Ghost, and in 2007, I directed my first mainstage production for T@F, Arms and the Man.  Since then, I've participated regularly in T@F productions, both onstage and off.

Q5:  Why did you choose the play Stop Kiss?
Stop Kiss falls squarely into the sweet spot of my taste in plays: drama-with-humor, where the humor comes out of the characters' personalities and is often the characters themselves having a sense of humor; characters who are flawed but sympathetic; and a worldview that is hopeful without being cloying.  

The story focuses on two queer female characters, which is rarer to find in a published play than it should be, even in 2016.  Anyone [participating] in community theatre is aware the actor pool is heavily dominated by women, while there are many more roles available for male actors.  I feel strongly that it is important for community theatre groups to produce more plays that are women-centric, have a lot of roles for women, or are written by female playwrights.  (This very gender-binary description is merely the tip of the iceberg where issues of gender representation in theatre are concerned -- but that's a topic that deserves a separate interview/essay of its own!)

Finally, Stop Kiss makes a nice contrast to the three historical plays Theatre@First is producing this season: The Spanish Tragedy (August), Love's Labour's Lost (in Space!) (November), and Tartuffe (February).

Q6:  Can you share your vision for this production of Stop Kiss?
I see Stop Kiss as a love story, first and foremost.  I've actually struggled with the publicity for it, in that any story that contains a hate crime (as this one does) tends to get labeled in people's minds as an Issue Play or a Hate Crime Play.  I feel that the real focus of this story is the development of Callie and Sara's relationship and the decisions they make about their own lives and identities; the hate crime is a catalyst, but it isn't the main point of the story.

Stop Kiss is an intimate play that shines in its details, and I'm fortunate to have Anna and Jenny bringing Callie and Sara to life in their own, specific ways.  It's a pleasure to watch them navigating together through hopes, insecurities, false starts, and connections -- which is the true core of the story.

Q7:  What projects might you direct after Stop Kiss?
[No] specific next project planned, but I'm always on the lookout!  I'm on a permanent quest for my dream play with lots of female characters, strong narrative arc, and characters that are flawed but sympathetic.  If you have a favorite, send it my way!

My list of plays to direct before I die (but probably not in the next couple of years), includes: Water by the Spoonful (by Quiara Alegria Hudes), Burning (by Ginger Lazarus), Noises Off, Democracy (both by Michael Frayn), Talley's Folly (by Lanford Wilson), In the Next Room (by Sarah Ruhl), *something* by Gilbert & Sullivan, a cross-dressed version of Guys and Dolls...

Q8:  Plugs please!?
Audition for T@F's next show,  Love's Labour's Lost (in Space!), Monday August 29/Thursday Sept 1.  See www.theatreatfirst.org for details.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Thanks, Jimmy Carter

OH it's you!  Yay hi hi, and I hope the rabbits have helped your August to begin with a bouncy start.

Last week I wrote a blog post sharing the scary amount of my school loan debt -- more than $70K.

Providentially, two days later, I received an email from the U.S. Department of Education with an application I should fill out and return, so it can be determined if I'm on a track for loan forgiveness.

I'd never considered loan forgiveness because I thought that was an option only for those who volunteered with Americorp and PeaceCorp but, after reading the info sent to me, it seems the field I'm in may also fall under the umbrella of Public Service.  So I'm going to submit the application this next workweek and find out if I won't have to live with school loan debt for the rest of my life.

The U.S. Dept of ED has always had my file.  They have always known what I owe, as well as my work history.  If the opportune timing of this recent email from the DoED has anything to do with a Broke Bridget reader, then I say again:  thank YOU.  I'll keep you updated, and I hope you have a fun wknd!

(P.S.  Prior to 1979, there was a government agency dedicated to education, but President Carter upgraded the agency to cabinet level, giving it more money and human resources.  Thanks, Jimmy.)

former president Jimmy Carter

Sunday, July 31, 2016

calling london and italy

HEY honey bunnies.  I probably won't blog this next week so let me say it now:  RABBIT RABBIT RABBIT.  

I hope that August 2016 will offer you very hoppy, summertime memories.  Early bday wishes to J. Lis, M. Gleason, T. Worth, M. Gammon, and B. Obama.

I don't feel like I have much news today, so I'll share more about the production of my feature film.

[1]  I have mentioned my roommate moving and, as we orchestrate this transition, changes sweep through my household.  Over the next month, we'll choose a new cable and phone pkg, and I want to add a long-distance option to our landline - because I need to call the UK, France, and Italy. With Virginia being British and the film set in Scotland, I need to call folks abroad.  I'm excited to speak with staff at an organization called Open Doors, which is an initiative that funds film development.

Open Doors is an initiative launched by the Locarno Film Festival, based in Rome.

[2]  I mentioned that I'm trying to organize a table reading of my completed screenplay.  Not making progress with venues in Boston, I've continued to turn to New York City. Drawing Board sent an email, confirming that they have received my materials and that they will get back to me later this year.  Also, this next wk I'm going to speak with a manager at the 58th Street Library in Manhattan about the branch's book club table reading the entire script and then discussing it / sharing feedback.

[3]  After polling pals on names for a production company, I have finally settled on Nutmeg+Mustard:
Nutmeg +

With the rest of 2016 dedicated to putting $10K toward school debt, I must wait til 2017 before I'm able to trademark the name of my filmmaking company.  With a registration process costing up to $500, I'm going to cut that cost as much as I can, esp because I will probably be paying out of pocket.

And that is today's update on my film adaptation.  Please feel free to follow me on Twitter, where I will singularly focus on this slow but exciting filmmaking journey: www.twitter.com/bishopcknight.


Friday, July 29, 2016

student loan debt


That is the grand total of my student loan debt, which I currently owe to Navient Corporations.

I've meant to write this particular blog for months, but I got distracted - with preparing for a new housemate and with other transitions that have occupied my muggy summer days. However, Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton's historic acceptance of the Democratic presidential nomination has emboldened me to finally share this overwhelming debt that I have lived with for over a decade.

I have been with her, all along.  Hillary Rodham Clinton first announced her 2016 presidential bid last year in April, but I was waiting for that announcement even before then.  I was on the edge of my seat, waiting for Hillary's bid back in 2014 - as were some others.  And here's a primary reason why I am her supporter:  Last night while laying out her political agenda, Hillary Clinton promised to make higher education tuition and debt free (in collaboration with Bernie Sanders).  She promised to absolve some school debt that many Americans, like myself, already shoulder.

In the meantime, til the federal government of the United States gets around to absolving some of my enormous student debt, it is important I become much more responsible about repaying it.

I am setting a financial goal for myself:  By the end of 2016, I will bring this debt down to $60K.

There are sacrifices I need to make, in order to meet my financial goal, and those sacrifices are:

[1]  No books.  I splurge on about 15 books per year, usu bought on Amazon, but over the next few months I'll finish Jonahthan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close... In fact, I should read that soon-ish, because the adaptation with Tom Hanks is on Netflix!  And I'll read other books already in my collection - like Richard F. Burton's translation of Arabian Nights.  There are plenty of books I wanna buy and mark up with my blue marvy pen, but not this year.

[2]  For the rest of this year, all of the food that I eat shall be prepared in my kitchen.  No more tasty falafal sandwiches from the Amsterdam Falafal only one block away from my apartment (which is waaaay too close to be soooo darn tasty).  No more coffee shops at breakfast time.  For the rest of the year, I'll make food at home and in bulk, saving hundreds of dollars by doing so.

i love this shop!  small falafal sandwich on wheat pita, please!

Maybe most significant, I might make the most progress with this goal to put $10K toward my school debt, if I am completely open with others that I'm staying home yet another weekend because ninety percent of my expendable income is put toward a school debt.  Or I cannot meet at a restaurant because I'm trying to be financially responsible.  Or I am a nerd who reads not only because books make me happy, but also because reading is a free.  Like with my cell phone that's been given to me by the state of Massachusetts, I need to begin to be open about my school debt and how it is priority for me to repay it - so other indulgences are more easily sacrificed.

On Monday I'll begin a full-time job.  It's a salaried position with benefits and approved overtime, and it is a good move for me, but I don't want to write about it on the blog - at least not yet. So I will have the income to actually achieve this hefty $10K goal - if I really really put my mind to it.

For the rest of this year, I am going to use the Broke Bridget blog to stay focused on my school debt, and last night I set up a Twitter account for my film adaptation - victorious hands in the air - so over there I'll be focused on producing my feature.  That way these two foci don't compete.  Broke Bridget can remain about finances (most of the time), while Twitter is about filmmaking.

these sort of happy hands in the air ... yaaaay twitter!

My goal is to put $10K toward my school debt by the last day of 2016.  Let's do this, Rocky style!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Appreciating Ellen

Last night around 11:30pm, No Country for Old Men came on Showtime.  I'd seen this film only once before, and I think Tommy Lee's acting is perfect - especially at the end.  To prep for my midnight movie, I popped a pot of corn and, while making this snack, my roommate Ellen came home and said to me: "I think that I want popcorn too.  (pause, while she got her stash of corn kernels from our pantry)  It's all your fault."  To which I yelped: "YAAAY popcorn."  Late night kitchen time with Ellen.

the final scene in No Country for Old Men

For three years, I've really enjoyed living with Ellen Who Sneezes Loudly.  Her room's on the second floor, while mine is on the third, and it's always been a pleasant surprise when I'm sitting at my desk typing - like I'm doing at this very moment - and I hear Ellen's loud whisper from the foot of the stairs.  "bishop.  ...  Bishop?  ...  BISHOP!"  So I'll poke my head around the corner.  "Oh, hi Bishop. Can I ask you a question?"  There are other roommate routines that amuse me; that have made Ellen become the homiest and the most comfortable roommate I can remember living with in a long time.

Last summer it wasn't uncommon for me to write a blog post reporting that I had about a dollar to budget out over the next two weeks, until my next payday.  Last summer was financially brutal, and I remember once Ellen lent me $20 for a weekly MBTA pass (which is public transit, for those who do not reside in Boston).  Ellen lets me use her drying rack for my wet laundry.  She turns off the lights when I fall asleep while reading.  All the plants making our apartment beautiful belong to her.

the red line of Boston's MBTA

Ellen is a generous and stupendous roommate and, after 14 years in the apartment, Ellen is moving.

There's a group of loyal Broke Bridget readers, and Ellen's always been in this group - from the very first blog post.  While I usually thank all readers, tonight I'm gonna thank Ellen Who Sneezes Loudly:

Thanks for having the cable bill in your name, Ellen, and patiently waiting to be repaid.  In many ways, you transform our apt into a home.  It hasn't always been easy.  We had that squabble about the dying plant in the kitchen and, although I don't think it was really about the plant, our squabble was still nasty.  But we got past that, and over these last three years I think we've synced up to be really compatible housemates.  When I'm out with friends and giving an update, I typically recount something funny you've done.  I speak about you and everything you do around the house with great gratitude as well as sincere affection.  Good luck in your new home, and thank YOU for everything.

A loud sneeze.  A high five.  The warmest wishes xoxo.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Appreciating Ernest

Ernest Miller Hemingway, whom I'm finally coming to appreciate and understand, once said:

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and [you] bleed.

I realized that I have not shared many specifics about the screenplay I adapted from a novel.  Part of my hesitation is that, in the filmmaking industry, you typically keep hush hush about "projects in development" - a term that means the script is prone to rewrites, an agent hasn't been picked up to represent the screenplay, and cast plus crew are still being collected.  Also scriptwriters keep quiet to protect work - if it is a good idea, sometimes it gets stolen, even when the script is copyrighted.

Virginia Woolf by artist Sarah Maycock

I am a writer who focuses on paragraphs.  I cannot move on from a paragraph til it's as perfect as I can make it in that moment.  Last year I read Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, which is a beautiful novel, and her paragraphs astonished me.  Not only a reader and a writer, I'm a cineaste also.  I AM DEVOTED TO CINEMA and, after finishing Virginia's book, I wanted to watch a modern adaptation of To the Lighthouse.  Except there is not a modern adaptation, and so I wrote my own.

I've come to feel comfortable sharing this info, which is precious to me, because writing my adapted screenplay was the hardest thing I've ever written.  I used up most of my brain juice, and here's what I mean:  I used to have a great memory, like 90% recall - like Truman Capote good - like I remembered exact wording a week after the conversation, and the other person would respond with something like "Holy crap that's cool as much as it's unnerving."  My memory was terrific.  But it's not anymore.  My brain basically died when I was writing the script.  Because Virginia's writing is so unearthly.  It's detailed.  It's complicated in the way emotions are complicated, in the way that usually we're holding at least three different perspectives about one thing.  (For ex, thoughts in a head:  "I really like clean floors!  Oh groan, but the cleaning process.  Oh smile, but the cleanliness. Oh shrug, but we're gonna make them dirty by the end of the day - again."  Multiple and conflicting perspectives.)  Embracing the challenge, I worked hard to translate this classic piece of literature about a large British family into a screenplay.  I got migraines, and now I can't remember shit.  I have poop for brains.  Swiss cheese inside the noggin.  Why am I comfortable sharing specifics about the screenplay now?  Because I know / hope nobody is foolish enough to turn their brain into poop too.

And because it's not much fun to make a film.  I am committed, and I want modern audiences to love Virginia.  With substantial financial backing, an ensemble cast, and a crew, I know this can happen. However, bringing all these pieces together is tedious and administrative.  Right now I'm doing several things with the script, none of which are especially exciting, and those things are as follows:

[1]  A theatre director has the script, and she's going to give me feedback.  Ultimately I am going to be the director of my movie, but over these next few months I am workshopping and possibly rewriting the script whenever a reader presents his or herself.  So now I'm waiting for this (busy) director's responses and remaining alert for any other filmmakers interested in reading the script.

[2]  It's time to host a table reading of the script, which falls under the workshopping umbrella.  A table reading is a group of actors sitting around a table, reading the script.  Since To the Lighthouse is an ensemble cast, a table reading would let me hear (for the first time) all of the characters' voice (and perspectives!) coming together.  There are movie houses and theatres that produce table readings of scriptwriters' works.  A few nights ago I submitted an application plus the script to a NYC-based group called The Drawing Board.  And just to re-emphasize how exciting this development stage is not, I now wait for The Drawing Board to let me know if they like and select my script for their monthly table reading.  Waiting. Waiting. But waiting with devotion to Virginia.

[3]  Several months ago I mentioned I was communicating with a publishing company called Boosey & Hawkes (B&H).  Their headquarters are in London, and they have the rights to a song that'll hopefully feature throughout the movie.  Before granting any music license, the publishers sort of interview an applicant on how the music will be handled, to ensure B&H agree with the song's usage.  Also the duration of usage affects the price of the license - longer duration, larger price.  I think last week (because I have no memory anymore) I completed their survey, which required a detailed description of the film project.  Their processing speed is slow.  I'll hear back from them about the next stage of this licensing procedure by the end of the year, in a few months.  However - and this is interesting - that's typical.  Did you know Paul and Ringo meet only once a year to discuss all the requests for Beatles songs?  Only once a year!  ...  To continue our theme, I continue to wait.

Waiting is a large part of the independent filmmaking game, and I'm glad to be in the game, so I'm not complaining.  In fact, I actually prefer how I feel now over the high level of excitement I felt several months ago.  The honeymoon period is over, and still I remain committed.  I've actually done alot of inner prep to bring myself to this place of networking.  You know bellows, for fireplaces?

I needed to gird my homebody loins with a whopping dose of extroversion.  I've spent time bellowing my inner fire so it's less mellow.  Because how do I get any director to read my screenplay?  I have to talk to them and ask them.  How do I feel about a table of actors reading my script?  I feel nervous and shy, but I gotta shake that.  Day by day, step by step, application by application, over the next few years there are alot of folks who are gonna help bring Virginia's Lighthouse to modern audiences. It was exhilarating to complete my script, and I couldn't have pushed thru such challenging writing without endorphins galore, but I welcome this downshift to a steadier autocruise. Being an introvert accustomed to lounging at home, all the networking I've written about has been a steep learning curve for me.  I might be waiting, but I'm doing so actively.

Ernest Miller Hemingway, whom I'm finally coming to appreciate and understand, also said:

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.

Postscript:  Becca Bear, I'm having an Ernest Hemingway sort of summer.  I'll write when the storm settles, but you're on my mind xoxo.  Second postscript:  Thanks to YOU for being wonderful YOU !!!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Belvedere Castle

Anyone catch yesterday's Arts section of The New York Times?  I really like the Times.  It's the only newspaper I set aside an hr to read.  I love reading the Arts section because I'm reminded of the fact that I should be living in New York City.  I should be living on the West Side or in Brooklyn.  I should be going to vegan diners and writing in that amazing City, but it's expensive.  If I'm almost financially dead in Boston, sheesh, I don't want to imagine what my monetary status would be in the Big Apple.

On the cover of yesterday's Arts section, there was an article titled "A $300 Million Quest To Restore Central Park," with an emphasis on the restoration of Belvedere Castle.  Each time I visit NYC, I stroll Central Park - except I had never been to Belvedere Castle.  UNTIL earlier this year.  A dream came true:  As I leapt up the stone steps to the Castle, for the first time, I was ecstatic. This landmark had been on my bucket list for a very very very long time.  (I try to keep the bucket list simple and attainable.  I try...)  I think Central Park's important, and I clearly remember that happy day when I got to roam about the Castle - smiling at the walls as my hands ran over cold stone bricks.  I liked this article being on the cover page of the Arts section and, when Belvedere Castle is restored after the ten-year campaign, I am going to return to this urban gemstone within the amazing New York City.

"hey there, belvedere castle.  the restoration doctors are coming soon."

That's it for today.  I just appreciated the Times' journalism.  I'm glad this 144-year-old monument is going to receive some overdue attention from the Central Park Conservancy and other advocates.  

Long live cities.  Long live YOU xoxo.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

purchasing new underwear for my broken heart

Hiii...  (sheepish wave)  It's been a such a very long time, dear reader, and I hope you've been well.

Definitely a wild - and special - few months.  Finances have slowly stabilized.  I'm no longer living off of 25¢ per wk.  Maybe regular readers remember my very first blog, when I ranted about wanting a pair of sheets.  I didn't even have the expendable income to purchase a new pair of sheets (beating my flat chest)!!!  Well, I was finally able to buy a new pair of sheets ... and ... wait for it (a sly Jeff Goldblum smile) ... and a comforter too.  HUZZAH the joy of bedding bliss.  I've been able to afford things I spent alot of time daydreaming about.  Little things; nothing extravagant.  I'm still not able to afford a month in France practicing the language.  Drooling dreaming more drooling because je veux parler français so bad.  Nothing like that, but I've been able to afford day-to-day items like new bedding, new shoes, new dresses for work, and lightbulbs (which featured in another blog).

Here's one of the best Jeff Goldblum quotes:
I, uh, don't think I'm, y'know, so different than your average, y'know, average.

I've written before that I never create an outline for my blogs.  I sit and let a post flow from my fingers.  So unexpectedly, I suppose that paragraph above Jeff is the most therapeutic update I can write during a month that's been emotionally rough.  I suppose I should remember progress I've made; trust that I can continue to make progress.  But, more than anything, I've felt bogged down by everyday minutia - groceries, more laundry, another email, finishing another book, rewatching a favorite movie.  It may be a bit of a depression because, when I watch a favorite film, I feel nothing.

My boyfriend dumped me.  He started breaking up with me in early May, and the rest of that month turned out to be us attempting to negotiate the terms of our relationship, but the last time I saw him was 2 June...  Before I say anything more about this breakup, let me mention something significant:

I've dated.  There was the friend in high school I was passionately attached to, and looking back now, in quite a dramatic and overwhelming way - he's The Orchestra Conductor.  There was my college boyfriend of five yrs, who is now meditating on a mountain in California - The Buddhist Monk. There was the lesbian lover - Stepharoni - whom I hear is well with a kiddo, which is great. There were also people I didn't click with and whom I left quickly and ruthlessly - fittingly, in my memory those folks are grouped together, their faces are fuzzy, and I cannot remember half of their names.  So I've dated.  I've done it casually.  I've done it seriously, investing buckets of hope and time.  I've done it with love and without.  Being 33 and single once again, I certainly know how to move on.

Over the past twenty-three days of grieving the loss of my boyfriend (not ready for the ex yet), I haven't held my sadness in a black hole.  Against the mirror of my past, I know this was a serious relationship for me.  No, he wasn't a rocket scientist.  Yes I do know one or two of this smarty pants type, and everyone thinks I should be with a big brain.  (shaking my head no)  I was very happy with my sportsy boyfriend going off for a day of golfing while I read Kaitlyn Greenidge's debut novel. There was a night when I handed my heart to this man, and I enjoyed investing buckets of hope and time into us.  I want him to be happy.  I want to be happy.  I wish that we could be happy together.

The paragraph above is stage four of grieving.  I'm stepping into the final phase, stage five, "accepting the departed partner will not return" - or so I've read on several sites...  I'm beginning to move on, even if I'm doing so reluctantly.  If only because my life is moving on, and I've got to keep up.  There are more day-to-day items to purchase like new underwear, long socks, my first iPhone.

Last weekend I saw The Lobster with two friends, and it's ridiculously dark - and I'M saying that, the woman who revels in all matters dark.  But there were funny moments, and there isn't much that delights me more than dark deathly humor - I die laughing.  In The Lobster, which was so over the top I absolutely couldn't take it seriously, there's a scene when hermits who live in woods enter into the city for a shopping spree. The camera motion slows during this scene, and the music waltzes, as us viewers watch the actors' faces stare at price tags and compare items that are basically identical expect for varying brand names.  Similarly, my life has become about money and buying things - in a very real way, I'm a walking example of capitalism. How am I choosing to get over my boyfriend:  I'm planning to go out and buy undies - preferably from Gap, since their clothes fit me best.  Jesus.

Now that we're on the subject of movies, I've been picked up by a community theatre to produce for them.  On this blog I've lamented before that I don't have any producer cred.  Well, that's about to change, and this brings me one step closer to producing my screenplays.  The play I'll be producing is Shakespeare's comedy Love's Labour's Lost (set in space), and I'll keep you updated about this portion of my creative path where I learn to produce a play.  Like I said, life is moving on.    I just wish it were moving forward with my handsome babycakes.

wrapping up with an oldie dedicated to the incredible DPV

Undies!  New bedding!  And a summer of unimagined possibilities.  Thanks to YOU for reading xo.

Monday, January 25, 2016

falling in love + redrafting history

I'm not thinking marriage - really, I'm not - but there will always be a parallel universe 
where this is my future.  There will always be a spinster cat lady within me.

Regular and perceptive readers have intuited that I've not only had bad luck with money.  I've also had atrocious luck with love.  Because I've spent the past decade as a single woman - and yes, it's been ten years since I've had real and deeply rooted affection for another person within a scenario where there was long term potential - I was coming to believe ... to put it better, I was becoming comfortably acclimated to the housebound existence of an eccentric spinster.  Possibly for eternity.

I know the 181 guises of a seasonal fling.  I can spot a wally before they open their mouths and begin vomiting obnoxious pick-up lines.  Deflecting - with grace yet lightning speed - bored spouses who'd play with my emotions (or more) for mere entertainment has sadly become one of my superpowers.

So I share this quiet but soul satisfying event that is happening in my life at a point when I was turning my back to that ideal called many things - romance, courtship, raised plasma nerve growth, etcs.  This is the event:  I'm falling in love with Super Handsome Man - slowly, cautiously, but most definitely completely.  From his silly singing, his spot-on impersonations of Javier Bardem, to his trooping out into a storm to buy me throat lozenges, I know who is going to make my 2016 special.

Regular and perceptive readers - if you look back at older posts - will intuit that I've removed some (not all) excerpts from the Broke Bridget blog, which refer to any previous flings.  Just out of respect for this new person who is a priority for me.  And that is the primary message of tonight's blog:  I have redrafted a few of my rants, revising them so that unimportant numbskulls have less of a presence in the chronicles of a poor girl named Broke Bridget. (happy meow)  BEAR HUG FOR YOU!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

applying for federal food stamps

AHOY from a rainy day here in the urbanized wilds of North Cambridge / West Somerville.  I love rainy days, esp rainy Sundays.  Everyone is home, hibernating in their private chambers - just to gratuitously use an antiquated term for bedroom.  It feels like that Bechdel image in Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, my #1 favorite book by the way.  As I would chirp to my mum when I was a little chatty girl, none of the ants are leaving the anthill today!  Everyone is content within their most familiar four walls and, once more in my attic with my space heater churning, I've spent today working remotely on a company laptop whilst thinking about the sweet date I went on yesterday.

Years ago I wrote to Alison Bechdel and she actually responded to my short note.
That remains a special event in my teensy life - because her books have saved me.

...returning focus to projects that define my hours, last month I met a super handsome man.  We shall call him Super Handsome Man.  He's a private person.  He wouldn't appreciate being extensively rambled about.  I'll just say this is an ultra earthy connection that I am appreciating alot. He looks into my eyes, and corn begins popping in my belly.  Now zipping my lips!  Mumbles and gestures movie this week trying to smile underneath zipper with the super blushing handsome ooh gosh man golly.

Not much film news.  I moved toward securing music licenses and, to be honest, this part of production is tedious and boring.  Each song has two licenses that must be bought, and it hasn't been easy to locate the publisher of certain tunes or publishing houses for certain composers. But once I find this information, there is usually an online form and, after submitting this license application, I'll get a confirmation promising a response in a month.  One month, argh!?!  However, the helpful result of these license applications should be a list of music costs that I can put into the slowly evolving film business plan.  Painfully tedious because it's not my thing, I emit many sighs during these late night work sessions.  ...I also whisper to myself that, if I can secure rights to a Benjamin Britten composition or Beach House song, I will be more satisfied than I could ever begin to imagine.

Beach House, my favorite dreampop band
I guess the biggest news of tonight's blog is that I decided to apply for federal food stamps.  Heavens knows I should have done this years ago, when I was much much much worse off...  If I had started the blog then, uff!  I can never ever be poorer than I was from 2001 to 2005 - super duper dark days.  In fact, I did attempt to begin the food stamps app - around 2011 - but the process can be downright humiliating.  The woman I spoke to on the phone seemed heartless as she asked for every piece of my personal information, as if I didn't already feel exposed and mortified.  I hung up the phone quickly and just resigned myself to being hungry.  At this wizened point in my life (sarcasm), I suppose I've learned how to take care of myself - emotionally speaking - I suppose my loins are sufficiently girded, and recently I've been thinking alot about something my tough aunt Pattie once told me.  When I was a teenager, she said very seriously to me "BooBoo.  Never.  Never.  Apologize. Never."  It's been difficult for me to purchase as much food as I need.  I suspect that's one reason I got sick so often during 2014 and 2015.  But on Friday afternoon, Jan 22nd, I have an appointment with a community center in Cambridge, and this year I'm finally going to get food stamps.  Just like with my cell phone, I will glare at anybody who wants me to feel bad about my SNAP card.  Hellooo to more cold orange juice, boxes of teas, beautiful eggplants, packages of udon noodles, and kale!

Not surprisingly, because any regular reader knows how badly I yearn to speak French and how high I hold up French culture, so not surprisingly the Frenchies chose my most favorite illustration from Fun Home to be the cover of their translated edition.  I think I was 23 yrs old when I first read Alison's masterpiece.  It had not become SO SUPER WORLDWIDE OMG famous yet and, yes, I feel proud that I recognized Alison's quiet (socially anxious) genius before it became mainstream. That was when her home address could still be found on the internet and she'd respond to her fans' letters - I doubt this would happen now, since the MacArthur Foundation has officially coronated (and compensated) Ailson's genius and usually during an interview she'll mention how busy she's become. Anyway anyway, when I first read Fun Home, it was during a troubling spell of sadness and insomnia. I'd stay up late reading, and after Fun Home I cried.  I cuddled the book.  That night I fell in love with the book - because I understand Alison's childhood nostalgia.  I understand loving and equally missing the first clan of people who molded you as a young short person.  I understand things they told you becoming soundbites in your head that you live by and rely on during difficult times. And this is a whole 'nother blog, but I really understood Alison's urge to explore the genetic propagation of one's inherent sexuality ... like I said, a whole other blog, way beyond super handsome people ... 

Here is the point of that ramble:  In my adult years, après l'adolescence, no other aunt of mine - and I have many aunts - has hurt me as much as tough Auntie Pattie.  Yet it is because of the lesson she bore into my brain hard drive - NEVER. APOLOGIZE. - that I finally have gumption to say, Uncle Sam, I need those food stamps.  I no longer want to struggle to keep fresh and healthy food in my kitchen.

I end to chat with Super Handsome Man on the house's landline, while watching Dirty Dancing...

"Nobody puts Baby in the corner."  My housemate Ellen and I like to recite this classic line, haha.

I totally heart YOU, cupcake, and I am wishing you a supremely cozy evening.  Affectionately, B