Welcome Gentle Readers

This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Amore, Oysters and Updates

Warning: If you find yourself here via a google search for such things as TV shows or films, recipes or cities, this blog has some facts. However, this blog is one author’s very twisted musing on many weird things. It is sometimes graphic in content. If you read on, don’t write to yell at me.

This will be shorter than the norm. I have a lot on my plate this week and many chores and deadlines for today.

Magic Moments

I wait all week for that one moment of weirdness that makes the beginning of the blog something fun and reflects the strangeness that informs my life. Sitting in a restaurant full of people singing That's Amore while toasting the wait staff certainly qualifies. There were even laminated lyric sheets to encourage singing along. Tracey genuinely looked horrified. Jon never broke stride making some point about money laundering (that really had something to do with the writing we were discussing) and I sang along without needing the lyric sheet. What can I say? I've seen Moonstruck about a billion times and the film opens with that song in its entirety. I was having dinner with Temple Alum and playwrite extraordinaire, Tracey Wilson, in one of my favorite Italian Restaurants in the neighborhood. It's also quite the spot for tourists visiting Venice and Marina del Rey. We hadn't been to the C&O Trattoria in quite a while. We tend to avoid the touristy areas nearby especially on a Friday night. But the restaurant was really good and fairly cheap with these incredible garlic knots steeped in olive oil and dusted with salt and herbs. And of course, Tracey was in town. We hadn't seen her since our last trip to Philadelphia three years ago. She was having all sorts of exciting meetings that we wanted to hear about. And she's always writing something very interesting. I really miss conversations about writing that doesn't involve budgets and funding and packaging. It was just about themes and characters. We were having a deep, esoteric discussion while the restaurant and the servers were singing That's Amore. It was a blast. More on writing later.

Deb vs The Oysters

We were off on Friday, so I finally had made the purchases for the seafood extravaganza. Fortunately, Alton Brown had an episode of Good Eats on oysters the night before. I figured out that I needed to buy small oysters that were sweeter and easier to handle. That was good to know, because I knew nothing. I found myself really nervous about this whole situation. I am a hedonist, and my creds were on the line here. But as I looked at these things that seem to be exotic rocks, I couldn't help but wonder why anyone would ever get the idea of cracking that open and having a swallow. Primitive man probably saw primitive birds smashing these things on rocks and feasting on the innards. But what else did primitive man have to eat? I was dubious. With that in mind, I also bought some lovely lump crab meat along with the oysters at the fabulous Santa Monica Seafood and some shrimp and crab legs (they were on sale at my regular market). Since the oyster prep was very simple, I decided to finally tackle the elusive shrimp bisque recipe and make some crab cakes. If I hated the oysters, I could still enjoy some seafood. Next, came trying to opening the tightly closed rock. I am not the most graceful person I know. As far as I know, my father is still leery of me coming at him with hot food. You trip once going across a diningroom and no one forgets. Shucking these things involves holding the oyster in the palm of the hand while leveraging a sharp implement pointed toward my hand and shoving it into this rock. As I was doing that for the first time, I realized that we could be mere centimeters from a visit to the ER. However, that didn't happen. I opened them. It was inelegant, but I shucked a half dozen without losing any of the liquor. I had three on the half shell with a squirt of lemon and three with a Mignonette sauce. They are delicious. It was clean and sweet and a little salty. I got the attraction. I will definitely have them again. My hedonist creds remain in tact. The bisque and crab cakes were great as well. My Month of Fun is complete!

Writing and Other Updates

I'm making slow progress on all fronts in my writings. This week really wiped me out physically. The slight shift in schedule made for commuting anomalies that were frustrating and draining more often than not. I just had nothing left by the end of the day. Thus, all of my work saw only incremental progress. I'm hoping for more today, but I also have a lot of getting ready for the week chores to get through. Mind you, I'm juggling three major pieces from the same number of genres and a cookbook. They are all making progress. It's just slow going. Talking with Tracey and then then with one of my other favorite writer chicks, Sarah always lights a fire under me. I'll likely get many more pages done this week than last. That's a good thing.

On the film front, the count down to pre-production is winding down toward the mid-August. We've been doing a little prep in advance of that but not very much. We've contacted most of the actors we've talked to and making sure they still want to work the shows. We've touched base with the location mangers to make sure rates hadn't changed. Everyone is eager for work, so that's good news. The pre-production mayhem should be limited to the normal disasters.

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