Rewind + Quicksand

Monday, October 10, 2005

goodbye

growing up, i was taught that we are living in a 'postfeminist' era, that things are different now and that women can do whatever we want. i was taught that rules are made to be broken, 'anything you can do i can do better', etc. i was taught that, as a young woman of the 21st century, i would be free to live my life the way i want to live it.

i guess i was taught wrong. this is the end of my blogging days. i started this blog last year in order to show that i wouldn't be silenced, that this one specific person who wanted to shut me up wouldn't be able to.

and now it turns out that said person is, in fact, able to. i'm tired of running. i'm tired of having to be careful, having to live my life in certain ways in order to avoid detection by this one person who is bound and determined to fuck with me. but more and more it turns out that i have to. i'm a woman and i guess i have to live by the rules that are forced on women in a patriarchal society. rule #1 being Shut Up.

so starting now, i will.

but don't expect me to start wearing lipstick and heels or anything anytime soon, ok?

Saturday, October 01, 2005

moving on, or: the fear of stalkers is not fun

so, um, i'm moving.

except i don't want to say much about it, because of certain people from my past who have a tendency to be better at finding me than i'd like.

i am moving to brooklyn. brooklyn is the most populous borough of new york, so i'm not too worried about being tracked down there.

i also feel safe in saying that my new place is an apartment, which i will be sharing with a good friend who shall for the time being remain nameleess (initialless, even). my new home has a bathtub, an elevator, and even windows in my bedroom. there's heat in the winter and a certain degree of AC in the summer. i feel confident that things will work out quite nicely.

this is just an update, considering that my entire identity for the past almost-two-years has been completely subsumed within flux factory. and it's not that i'm completely leaving flux behind. i just don't want to live there anymore. so i will be living in brooklyn, instead, in a nice (and cheap!) two bedroom apartment on a very pretty street, near lots of shops and cafes and the train and even a park in walking distance!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

shoot me now.

haha, puns are so great, huh?

so we have now moved into the shoot. in the beginning, there was prep, AKA pre-production. the part where everyone shows up in an office at a decent hour of the morning monday through friday (with the occasional weekend catchup) to figure out how the hell we're going to make this movie. prep is kind of boring, doesn't pay very well, and generally doesn't result in much exciting dinner table banter (because basically you just sit at a desk all day and make phone calls).

and then comes the shoot. the shoot is the part where everyone gets up at the ass crack of dawn, troops down to a location or a set somewhere, sets up all the equipment, and actually makes a movie. the shoot is the exciting part. the shoot is the part you see in the 'making of' featurette, everyone in cargo pants and the t-shirt from their last project, looking dazed and shouting a lot.

i fucking hate the shoot. actually, i don't hate the shoot at all. i hate having to be up at 5 in the morning and at work, functional, and in production mode by 6. as much as i like the knowledge that i am capable of covering anyone's ass at the last minute, in the moment, i hate having to actually do it. but mostly, these days, i think i'm just bitter about the fact that, while everyone else gets to tromp off to the set and at least feel like they're making A Movie, i have to sit in the office all day and do office-type things that, to be perfectly honest, feel pretty much the same as doing office-type things at any other job. i fax things. i fill out paperwork. i make coffee and answer the phone. i deal with the copier and make sure our bathroom is cleaned and we have enough staplers.

i could do this anywhere else, for any company almost anywhere in the world. and if that was the case, i would have a much saner work life. i would be paid at least as much as i am now to work less than half the hours i currently work. i would have about half the responsibilities i currently have. i would have time for a social life. fuck, i would have time for a shower, a decent night's sleep, and three meals a day.

and i know. i know that this is production. i know that this is the beginning of a career, whereas clerical work in most other office settings is just a job, something to pay the rent. here there is room for expansion. i'm not "just" somebody's secretary, as much as i feel that way sometimes. but still, it's really hard to be here 15 hours a day and then go home at the end of the night feeling like i'm basically an office grunt.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Through the Looking Glass

There was this morning, four years ago. My my then-boyfriend was awakened at 9 by the ringing phone. It was my grandmother, who knew more than either he or I did about what was happening in our own backyard.

Then there was today. Today I find myself in my grandmother's shoes, Burdened with knowledge I can't share, worried sick about people I can't help. The monotonous beep of the busy signal forms a kind of soundtrack to my worry, a heartbeat throbbing electronically in my ears. "All circuits are busy now. Please try your call again later."

I know what my family felt that morning, what they have felt several times over the last five years as they watched the new and wondered where I was and whether I was OK. I left home assuming it would always be thi way. That I would be the one to risk danger and have adventures in the big scary city.

For four years I belittled what I referred to as the armchair survivors of September 11. People from Alabama and Nebraska who'd never even been to New YOrk, let alone lived here or really experienced firsthand what we now euphemistically call 'the events' of that day. But of course they were the first to slap "God Bless America" bumperstickers on their SUVs, the first to boast about the need to 'blow Afghanistan back to the stone age." And they made up the bulk of the unfortunate racist dickwads who ruined the lives of whatever brown person they could get their hands on, all in the name of 'the victims of this great tragedy.'

As someone who was there, who lived in this city and fell in love with it well before we were all commanded to by the mainstream media in the fall of 2001, I've had a hard time identifying with tragedy's bystanders. How can you understand devastation if you're not physically there to experience it? How can you claim someone else's pain?

Now I think I undertand a bit. Dialing my mother, my father, all three brothers, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, etc. and getting nothing. Seeing pictures of my grandparents' neighborhood under thirty feet of water, my aunt's office buildng windows blown out and littering someone's tax papers into the floods below. Friends' hometowns presumably obliterated. The newspaper I grew up reading taking refuge in the offices of their main rival. So-called looters swimming to freedom, dragging waterlogged groceries and disposable diapers behind them in the street that is now much more aptly named "Canal."

I sit on the other side of the mirror now, silently worried, unable to piece together the reality my family is experiencing. Do they have clean water, something to eat? Are their cars safe on the road as they pick their way home, refugees? When will my brother start school gain? When will my aunt and uncle be allowed home? What do they need? How can I help them? I'm starting to understand how they felt four years ago. Connected by apart, safe but unstable. What does it mean to stand at a distance and watch everything you know fall apart? How can I claim a tragedy that isn't mine?

Friday, August 19, 2005

that song by the gogo's with the waterskiing

- Hey, Roxy: you've just slogged through a long, hard week trying to con the PAs into rearranging the production office again and doing fax machine battle with the guy at the copier rental place. What are you going to do next?

I'm going to Disneyworld!

- But Disneyworld is so bourgeois, not to mention expensive. And corporate. And for children. And they don't have any bars or good rollercoasters.

OK, I'm going to Park Slope, the broke hippie dyke version of same! Used bookstores! Teashops! Lesbian bars! Prospect Park!

- [tosses huge cooler of GatorAde over Roxy's head] w00t!!!!!!!!

WTF? Since when am I in the SuperBowl?

ok, anyway. it's true. due to all my recent hard work, Our Loving Protestant Baby Jesus has tossed me a massive break. a friend of guyface's is going away for a week and needs someone to take care of his cats. somehow i was proposed as said cat caretaker, and Friend Of Guyface is apparently ignorant of the following: A) i am immensely irresponsible, B) i am probably a heroin addict or prostitute or something, and C) that i would gladly sleep in his swank air conditioned Brooklyn apartment for a week and cuddle with his kitty cats free of charge.

so, yes, Someone I Barely Know Is Paying Me $160 To Hang Out At His House Unsupervised. it's true, sometimes i like to randomly capitalize every word when i'm excited. and i tend to get pretty excited when someone wants to pay me more than i make per week at my job to feed and pet his cats whilst enjoying the repeatedly mentioned sweet Brooklyn apartment. thanks to this random guy, i now get a week's paid vacation to Park Slope.

for non-new yorkers, who i know are the only people who read this thing anymore: Park Slope is a sublimely gentrified neighborhood in Brooklyn, right next to Prospect Park, which is famous for its brownstones, cafes, and bookstores. it's generally populated by upper-middle-class aging hipsters. basically, you live in Greenpoint or the Lower East Side until you establish a career, get married, and pop out a kid or two. Then you buy a brownstone in Park Slope, join the food co-op, and take the baby to Mommy and Me yoga class in the designer stroller. This is the hip New York version of the American dream. Also, a lot of lesbians live there, for reasons I don't really understand since the entire above paragraph goes against just about everything that good feminist dykes believe in. except for maybe the cafes and bookstores.

I will enjoy my visit greatly and send everyone a postcard (even you, guyface).

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

who's the boss?

over the past few weeks, the film i am working on has begun to crew up. the india crew is lined up already, and now we're filling things out with local hires.

starting with PAs. They're versatile, they do all the random odd jobs that need to get done at this stage of the game, and they work for practically nothing.

PA is short for Production Assistant. PAs do anything you can imagine, from ordering lunch to driving people around. they're the bottom of the totem pole, holding the whole rest of the production in place.

the especially fascinating thing about PAs is that i'm not one of them. i don't know what i am, really, but i know i'm not a PA (i think a lot of people in the film world fall into this category, which is probably the reason PAs are treated so badly). in fact, i think i'm the PAs' boss... this is the first time i've been in a supervisory position to anyone, ever, in a work environment, and it's weird.

-this entry cut short due to a combination of short attention span and busy day bossing people around-

Sunday, August 14, 2005

a new direction, or probably not

over the past month, i've been working again, this time on a bollywood film that will shoot this fall here in new york. which means that, while i have an outside life for the moment during pre-production, once shooting starts i will have to live, breathe, eat, and dream bollywood, specifically this film. in other words, i won't have much time to write here, and when i do, i won't really have anything to say other than filmi stuff.

which gives us two options.

option 1: we can say goodbye and allow our paths to diverge. i'll continue to write for the next six weeks or so, and perhaps catch up with the occasional update when my schedule allows this fall and winter. but by and large, 'Rewind + Quicksand' will die, and it probably will not be revived in future except for the occasional "Roxy Monoxide: Where Is She Now?" report.

option 2: i can radically restructure this blog into one covering the world behind the scenes of the film(s) i'm working on. 'Rewind + Quicksand' will become a topical blog, in the way that most widely read web logs are, pertaining almost exclusively to the adventures of a twenty-something emerging filmmaker/writer/artist as she wades her way into the world of Hindi-language film. i have been given permission by my superiors on this film to do so, provided i don't give away any juicy details. no spoilers or hot gossip, snarking kept to a minimum. not even a whisper of a clue of which film i'm working on or who is involved or even exactly where we are shooting. this might make for really boring writing. especially considering my role in this whole process -- i sit in the production office and cover everybody else's ass in the most horrifically mundane ways. you will hear almost nothing about the intrigues of the director and stars, and everything about that time i sweet-talked the dude at the mayor's office into giving us more parking tags. the best i can really offer is ethnography, of a sort. the indian film scene is a totally different cultural world for me, in about a thousand different ways. negotiating that has thus far been fascinating for me. hopefully writing about my adventures (mundane as they are) will make good reading.

and if not, there's still option 1.