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December 20th, 1999

No Sugar For The Kid
Today started slowly, lulling me into complacence and lowering my guard. I should have understood the way things were going when I went across the street to drop off a roll of film and picked up a bagel with cream cheese on the way back. And bought a 20 oz. bottle of Coke from the Coke machine in the company lounge. Sugar. It was ugly. The Y2K peanut brittle and marzipan that showed up on my desk. The package from the supplier. The chocolate CD's from IBM. The cookies on the legal admin's counter. The burrito at Happy Burrito #2 next to the post office. The sugar rush, the red eyes, the hopeless vacant slack mouthed expression as the afternoon rolled inexorably toward 5 o'clock. Clearly it is Christmas at the office. God save us, every one.

A brief thought on Being John Malkovich last night. I know the movie has been around for a while, but it is still playing at the Grand Lake Theater in my neighborhood and I've watched the trailer twice now with interest. The puppet master who takes a filing job on the 7 1/2th floor of an office building, the tunnel behind the filing cabinet that leads into John Malkovich's brain. How could I not see it? A filing clerk on a floor with five foot ceilings? Finding an entrance into John Malkovich's brain, whoever the hell this fellow Malkovich might be? Was he a real actor? I thought so. Probably.

An interesting idea. John Cusack as the puppeteer who gets the job, who finds the tunnel, who enters the brain, who's disbelieving wife enters the brain, who's wife falls for the woman her Cusack character husband has been hustling since his first day at the office, who (the lusted after girl at the office played by Catherine Keener) fucks John Malcovich while the wife is inside his head going ape shit over all these first time around for her sensations, who (Catherine Keener) gurgles out the name of the wife played by Cameron Diaz while they're all three mixed together doing it on the couch/coffee table/bed/rug. Does all this sound, um, complicated? Well, it isn't. It's kind of cute, actually, kind of snappy, maybe even clever. The only problem is who gives a fuck about any of these people? Cusack with beard, mustache, pony tail and puppets is something of a dickhead. His wife keeps a Chimpanzee. The girl friend coworker is slutty and arty and hard at the edges. Malkovich is Malkovich (Whom you recognize immediately, but can't quite place. Whom I can't quite place, but then, you see, that could be the age thing. Hard to tell these days.)

I dunno. I'm happy to have seen it, the story line is clever clever, the idea is fine fine, Charlie Sheen has a nice piece of dialogue and the entire cast after some bustle and tussle lives happily ever after with the possible exception of Malkovich himself. (By the way, you often read references to journalers who are trusted and famous for their movie reviews. I am not one of them. Those of you who are supposed to see Being John Malkovich already know this. I'm just here enjoying the ride.)

That sugar rush bit was real, by the way. I think I drank too much coffee last night before the movie and didn't get a good night's sleep, so I'm going to bed right after Ally McBeal at 10:00. No sugar for the kid.

The banner photograph was taken on the train to Seattle. I think I had a light orange filter on the lens as I had been using black and white film and forgot to change it. This is considered an error in the photographer's trade. Sometimes mistakes make interesting pictures. Most times they don't. The second photograph was taken in the normal manner.