i am fundamentally incapable of giving instructions, which is why i order the pre-made salad at lunch, our intern thinks he's supposed to watch the o.c. before team meetings, and my prom hair always ended up looking like '70s macrame. this is probably also why it has taken two years to get my mobile's voice mail straightened out; fortunately joe does not have this problem and ended the cellular silliness on my behalf. woo joe! if only he could talk to the intern.

i'm told that i'll get an official yea or nay this week on the magazine job to which i've been applying for, oh, the last month and a half. i'm telling you this because i want to jinx myself; it's uncomfortable to nurse a silent hope that i might finally get paid to use my college degree. now we all know, then, and can be disappointed together.


thwarted! i've been planning what i consider a perfect valentine's day gift for joe - equal parts wheezy sentiment and icky eccentricity - but it is not to be. i've been donating platelets, you see, and i noticed a flyer at the cookie station:
If you'd like to save a life...

and send roses to someone you love,

make 3 platelet donations between December 1, 2004 and January 31, 2005 and you can send a half dozen "speaking roses" to your special someone for Valentine's Day or any special occasion through July 31, 2005.
bingo! speaking roses' petals are embossed, cheesily, with the message of one's choice; i wasn't going to spring for customization, but something like "we appreciate your business" sounded lovely. i'd tell joe that i earned them with pints of my innards, and it would be thoughtful and gross and just right. then my work buddy (hi) pointed out that the deadline for donation #3 is next week; naturally i can't carve out the time to make another appointment on monday, so there goes that. execrable reading comprehension skills strike again.

on 'love,' dad and donna were on oprah this tuesday to promote her book. in the interest of avoiding emotional nuclear winter in my family, i'll pass on discussing the publication and press efforts; i will say, however, that it was deeply bizarre to see a picture of myself - blonde, prepubescent and wearing mickey mouse ears - on network television. toss that in that with judd's american idol debut the same day and chloe's sister's ongoing role as mischa barton's girlie-squeeze, and it's been an odd week.

How the arms moved
throwing the poet's
ashes out of the boat
how it all comes back

How the whole story
form of telling curves
the story around
these cosmic corners

How the stars swarm
how the moon
was dying down
out over the water

To loosen out into
those big quiet waters
little pieces of
us all are floating on

(tom clark, "for robert duncan," from exquisite corpse)

has david lee roth saved your life, literally or figuratively? there's a site for that:
And in the Bronx, former Van Halen singer David Lee Roth continued his noble work as a city ambulance paramedic, while a new site, savedbyroth.blogspot.com, was set up to field first-person stories from those he rescued.

(new york, 1/24-1/31)

their logo is pretty sweet.


mischa barton quote of the day:
"It kind of irritates me that I'm seen as this pretty face. People also say I'm too thin. The truth is, pretty people aren't as accepted as other people. It comes with all these stigmas. It's like, 'She's pretty and she's thin so she's got to have problems. She must be anorexic or depressed or bitchy.' It doesn't help that my 'O.C.' character is a pretty girl next door who looks like she has everything but is totally messed up."

(women's wear daily, 1.19.05)
first in a series.

look, it's manhattan's version of it's a wonderful life! every time you hear "tsunami," a publicist gets fired:
THE celebrity magazines were in full battle mode in the scramble to cover the Jennifer Aniston/Brad Pitt marital bustup.

"For a celebrity weekly, this is our tsunami," said Kent Brownridge, general manager of Us Weekly parent company Wenner Media. "I can't think of anything bigger than the king and queen of Hollywood breaking up."

(new york post, 01.12.05)

dear diary,

slowly adjusting to freelancing at The Bad Place, though it's still touch and go: nearly burst into tears at the st. regis when the concierges wouldn't accept my package for a documentary shoot. that may have had more to do with my fear of nutcrackers, especially big ones who curl their lips at my sneakers.

ps: revenge of questionable haiku.


oh, and the adventure continues (re posts 06.28.03, 09.12.04):
From: Howard Junker (editor[at]zyzzyva.org)
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2005 05:40:16 -0800
Subject: you bet
To: cuttlefish[at]gmail.com

truth to tell i don't follow your career as carefully as i should.
but i do, on occasion, google myself.
and find myself in your blog.
perhaps if you actually bought a zyzzyva you wouldn't feel that i
felt you'd been Bad.

best, howard
if you're out there, howard, my apologies for the treacly response i sent this afternoon. it was perfectly accurate, but my nose gets a bit brown when i write from work.

in unrelated news, i will never see the phantom of the opera. i am, however, its reviews' biggest fan.

a.o. scott in the new york times:
...Joel Schumacher, the director, does his best to find a visual style to match the vulgarity and pretentiousness of the soundtrack. He succeeds admirably, drawing on his long-ago experience designing department-store window displays to produce nearly two and a half hours' worth of overstuffed tableaux, the cumulative effect of which is likely to be a state of headachy nervous exhaustion.


Lord Lloyd Webber's thorough acquaintance with the canon of 18th- and 19th-century classical music is not in doubt, but his attempt to force a marriage between that tradition and modern musical theater represents a victory of pseudo-populist grandiosity over taste -- an act of cultural butchery akin to turning an aviary of graceful swans and brilliant peacocks into an order of Chicken McNuggets.


For that [sense of mystery or strangenss], I suppose, you will have to go back to Rupert Julian's 1925 version, which starred Lon Chaney as the phantom. That film, long regarded as a classic, has a great many virtues, two of which seem especially relevant at the moment: it is 93 minutes long, and it is silent.
anthony lane in the new yorker:
Christine, who in other respects seems perfectly sane, believes that she has been taught to sing by the ghost of her father. In fact, her tutor is a nice lad in half a hockey mask who lives under the floorboards. He is the Phantom (Gerard Butler), his career ambitions include theatre management, and to get to his lair you have to go through the looking glass, along the creepy corridor, down the spiral staircase, take the first horse on your right (what the hell is a horse doing down there?), hop into the punt, drift under the dripping portcullis, past the multiple mirrors, and bang, you're there, right in the middle of a bed shaped like a giant eagle.


...Schumacher's principal debt is to the higher reaches of the textile industry, and if you ever longed to know what it feels like to be asphyxiated by brocade, here is your chance. The irony is that, as visual habits go, there is none more threadbare than this brand of subterranean gothic, at once fussy and lumpen, with its frankly unhygienic mixture of lingerie and dungeons. It reminds us that "The Phantom of the Opera" is a period piece, and that the period in question is not 1870 but 1986, when Lloyd Webber first presented his producton to the world.


None of the effects will be hailed as special by the average moviegoer, and there is something hoary and semaphoric in the actors' gestures, as if they were meant to be viewed from a distance; the Phantom, for example, keeps swishing his cloak to the side at random intervals, like Batman getting rid of a bad smell.

1: nearly sentient coffee machine, i feel so alone.


1: the mail guys and receptionists seem glad i'm back at the office, but the assistants' looks say wasn't i vaccinated against you?


1: i'm out of clothes that will make me look like i'm more successful now. i want to wear my shirt with the monkey in the business suit.


1: i've had to read like 23 articles about jessica simpson's tits since yesterday.


1: i should have been a pair of ragged claws -



happy new year, cats and kittens. our evening wasn't terribly sexy, as our flight back from california was scheduled to land at midnight. we arrived early enough that the clock struck twelve in the jfk baggage claim - woo! - but there were duffel issues and we didn't roll into the apartment until 1:45. given the state of our street - and the state of the pedestrians at that hour - i'm not broken up about missing the party.

arrived to find a stupendous christmas present: judd, ever one of the greatest men alive, fixed our toilet and left a festive bow on the tank. here's to a year, then, of feats of kindness and effortless flushes.