• and now, for an airplane barbeQue...

    November 13, 2009


    i’m all about new B-B-Ques this week...  while i’m shuffling through LAX and then sprinting through ATL, here’s some light reading for youse guys.  i’ll be 30,000 feet upwards doing magic anagram squares, reading the 3rd sookie stackhouse book, listening to ryan gosling’s band DEAD MAN’S BONES, getting digits, and choosing an in-flight movie... [on my flight out here, i watched adam w. hugh dancy and rose byrne which, except for a < subplot about the dad from the o.c., i really really really enjoyed.]  


    let’s do some ?s.


    brigitte nelson (not to be confused w. bridgette nielson) asks, "what is your favorite romantic movie?"


    simple.  love, actually.  everyone loves love, actually (i bet bridgette nielson does).  and i’m a sucker for an ensemble film.  and see below...




    cry now or cry later.


    oddsbodkins (bomb nom du plume) asks, "what is your favorite southern cooking recipe?"


    as i think has been said before, i am a southern transplant, not a homegrown.  i’m also a bad cook.  that might be an untruth.  let’s say my cooking skills have yet to be revealed.  i’ve decided my offering for thanksgiving will be a butternut squash soup.  maybe i’ll also put roasted corn in it.  i’ll let you know how it goes.  really, i’d like to do a trio of soups and serve them in shot glasses like on top chef.  oddsbodkins, i realize that didn’t answer your QUE at all, so let me say i like to make drinks with maker’s mark, which is from kentucky, which is southern.


    oooh, rad.  emily has a totally apropos question for this airplane edition of the bbque - "if you could sit next to anyone on a plane, who would it be?"


    if it’s a longer flight, like my flight today from LAX to ATL, i really wouldn’t be too greedy with my selection.  someone with a pleasant odor.  someone who won’t bother me too much.  easy peasy.  [noteworthy that my seatmate from ATL to LAX was a laugher, laughing every five seconds at whatever he was watching, including commercials.  commercials.  at first endearing, later not so endearing.]  on a shorter flight, like that from ATL to ILM, i’ll get creative, but too, i’m not the kind of guy that would go bonkers over seeing a celebrity i really like.  i imagine i would actually be discomforted to sit aside someone i jones for.  [read: susan sarandon]  but that’s me, i’m nervous.  i’d be happy just to have my seatmate be someone i could learn something from.  like the real life versions of the characters from criminal minds, bones, and csi.  or someone with synesthesia or telekinesis.  or an SAT prep tutor that could invigorate my vocabulary.  


    love, actually/n.gray


  • an L.A. BarbeQUE...

    November 9, 2009


    well guys, i’ve made it to the land of los angeles, and thought i’d drop in quickly for a b-b-que of the l.a. variety.  i don’t know what one serves at an l.a. bbq, but i have to imagine the candle burns dimly next to the fried and the pickled, the sauced and the spiked...  




    jack asks, “if you could have a swimming pool full of anything, other than water, what would it be, and why?”


    well, jack, that’s easy - money $$$$$$$, and i’d do a Scrooge McDuck duck dive into that pool like nobody’s business!


    jack also wants to know, “if you had to lose one of your senses, which would it be, and why?”


    hmm.  sight and sound are linked inextricably to my writing so i couldn’t part with either of those.  i’d gladly give up smell were it not entangled with taste.  so.  i guess it’s touch, which makes me seem heartless.  no hugs.  well, i could still hug, it just wouldn’t mean anything.  what a cruel, cruel fate.  


    [as an aside, i’d like to note that hilarie was right about lucy burks.  she’s really sent us a superior list of questions.  there are a couple i’d love to answer, but fear calling on trouble like, “you can press a button that will make any one person explode.  who would you blow up?” and “you can flip a switch that will wipe any one band or musical artist off the earth.  who would you choose?”  i’d love to, love to, love to answer...}


    here’s a lucy burks question i will answer - “how much do you use ketchup?”


    well lucy burks, on a scale of 1-5, it’s about a 2.  it’s not so much that i dislike the taste or consistency of the aforementioned condiment, but the smell.  if i ever worked in a restaurant like Merlotte’s where part of my job requirement whilst not  fawning over shifters and vamps was to refill ketchup bottles, i’m not sure i could do it.  i think i’d spend to much time dry heaving.  ketchup has a very potent smell to me.  but i do use it occasionally.  and would probably use more of it were i more of a french fry person.  


    terry mccarthy queries, “if you could turn any novel or short story into a feature film, what would it be and why?”


    running the risk of sounding blasphemous and dissatisfied, i will say that i have a really phenomenal set of ideas for a current adaptation of harper lee’s to kill a mockingbird.  and if i weren’t so paranoid about those idea phenom being swiped, i’d tell you, and you’d be impressed.  there were two stories from the recent book of short stories i added to the SGP book club, tunneling to the center of the earth by kevin wilson - “grand stand-in” and “blowing up on the spot.”  as i vaguely remember saying in the vlog i did, i think “grand stand-in” would make a remarkable beth grant vehicle.  and “blowing up on the spot” is a ball of quirk, and that’s my jive.  if you still haven’t picked up that book, i highly suggest...


    okay, one last question.  abibobabi riddles, “do you have any advice for people that have a passion for the arts, but feel stuck because they don’t live close to any entertainment-oriented cities?”


    i should begin by saying i am a tad hesitant to give advice.  ever.  at all.  i will also say that when asking for advice you should seek it from as many people as possible.  and lastly, i will note that this piece of advice comes from someone who answered an earlier question about ketchup.  i think you have two oversweeping options, and probably a bunch of smaller ones too.  you can go where there is art.  i think this is what most people do.  i don’t necessarily recommend it myself, but when actor/writer/artist friends of mine seem determined to uproot their lives for a stab at new york or los angeles, i tell them to go.  i think all artist-types will want to inhabit those flagship cities at one point or another in their lives, so it’s a good idea to get it out of their system.  idid it early, and was glad to, glad to learn what i learned, and glad to get the heck out of there.  but you’ll never truly know until you experience it.  the second option, and i think the braver option is to start your own artistic community in the place where you live.  if you love where you live enough to do so.  if you love what you do enough to do so.  even if it seems so ultimately outside the realm of possibility, believe it’s possible.  i’m about to embark on a similar journey myself...more on that as it develops...


    more soon/n.gray