Chris Penn is dead and I am sad about that. I didn’t know him, maybe I met him once or twice, I can’t remember. I just know that I was a fan; I thought he was amazing in Reservoir Dogs and Short Cuts. And I know Michael, his brother, and I just love him and I’m really sad about him losing his brother. That sucks. Oh, sad, sad, sad.
Had friends over for dinner last night, friends we see all the time, and Mulan acted bratty and awful, even though we spoke about her weird, defiant, horrible behavior around these same people, who we both care about a lot, before they arrived.
Sometimes it’s hard not to strangle your kid.
I used to think: how COULD someone ever hit a child? And now I think, how do people NOT hit their child? Not hitting your child takes enormous self-control. I feel I am a self-controlled person. I am amazed – mind-boggled - at the amount of control I have to exert over myself, not to use the fact that I am four times larger than this teeny kid to my physical advantage. Luckily, for me, Mulan is pretty great 90% of the time. But oh dear, that other 10% makes me NUTS. I turn into that awful controlled-rage mother, and I feel like veins are popping out of my forehead and my eyes are bugging out across the table while I try to carry on a conversation. And then, when I take her out of the room to have a talk about her behavior and the consequences it will bring if it continues, she gets this sly smile across her face: glee! Like, she's thinking, "I won already! You had to leave the room to talk to me personally! Yippity Yah! I mean, oh yes mother I won’t act like that anymore, you’ll see."
And she does act better, but somehow it doesn’t feel like I’ve won entirely – it feels like she has. And even just phrasing it this way sounds so bad – like it’s warfare rather than guidance. Oh parenting is so unlike what I thought it was before I was a parent.
Everyone should read Jimmy Carter’s “Our Endangered Values.” That man is amazing. He’s the guy all those Christians should be reading. He is the type of Christian that made me proud to be a Christian (way back when…) it blows my mind that he even was our President. The book is really well written, well reasoned, and it will scare the shit out of you. It should be filed under “Horror.”
I wrote my screenplay version of the play all day and ended up thinking I should just shoot it the same way I did God Said Ha! Which means I may have just spent thirty hours or so, this week, on something that is moot.
I am watching Jared Diamond’s PBS National Geographic special on “Guns, Germs & Steel.” I bought it when I heard his lecture on Sunday. It’s really pretty good. I have one more segment to watch. I also bought the Skeptic Society’s Diamond lecture on his book, “Why Sex Is Fun.” Sex? Fun? WHAAAAT?
Off to Vegas today with entourage -- five hours in the car. I will be listening to Rick Moranis' "Agoraphobic Cowboy," my current favorite cd.