he grew up under stars suspended in black aspic, no city illuminated in any direction. there weren't really roads in his part of morocco; during the day cars could follow ruts in the sand, but at night their headlights would strain at the darkness. who could see tire tracks? he and his friends would follow those golden threads across the desert and aid the foundering travelers they found at the end of them. that was how N began to do what he does.


ten minutes after the last stragglers had trotted into the press and industry screening, the film students and i flopped against the carpeted wall in the theater lobby. the one from staten island showed me smartphone photos of the lighting gels he'd used for a friend's music video. "sylvester stallone sold his dog when he was making rocky, he was so poor,"* he said. "the studio wanted to use a different director and actor, and he sold the dog so he could do things the way he wanted." "geez," i said. "how much do you think he got for it?" "i don't know, but when he finally made some money and tried to buy it back, the guy said no!** and the dog had been his best friend!" "uncompromising," i nodded.

*true, per a 2013 interview.
**false; per stallone, the guy sold the dog back for $3,000 and had a cameo in the movie.





american crow
american robin
blue jay
canada goose
herring gull
house sparrow
laughing gull
mourning dove
muscovy duck
mute swan
northern cardinal*
red-breasted merganser
ring-billed gull
rock pigeon
ruddy duck
snow goose
wild turkey

*a permanent resident at the wild bird fund, ben deserves special recognition for having inflicted more bites than the rest of the list combined. do what you do, dragonbird. i love you madly.


in half an hour or so, i'll head across town to pick up my fourth tribeca crew tee. it's nearly film festival time, internets! i fantasized about taking shifts every day for two weeks and retiring with my earnings, but i can only work 32 hours over the course of the whole extravaganza for what i presume are weird-local-income-tax-related reasons. guess i'll have to continue to spend most of my time pitching and writing and running to avoid pitching and writing.

on pitching and writing, i've been wooing new outlets with something like success; i'm in no danger of being able to retire with these earnings, either, but i enjoy visiting slick magazine websites and growling MORE! as evidence of strangers' approval accumulates. it's a little like faux-casually breezing past a dish you've prepared and deposited at a potluck to see if it's being eaten. you take that casserole and you come back for seconds, mister. (i recently made a pretty great casserole, by the way. the broccoli should have gone in raw and it could have used a little cayenne, but i must say, recreating canned cream of mushroom soup at ten times the price is actually rather justified in that context.)