09 August 2010

John Waters' routines

"Oh, I have such a routine it’s ludicrous. Monday to Friday, I get up everyday at six AM, read about six or seven newspapers, look at my emails, and at exactly eight o’clock: write. Every day. I have to think up something, even if I’m not writing a book. Today I’m working on my next draft of a spoken-word act I do. So I write every day at eight. If I’m thinking something up, plot-wise, I can only go for two hours. If I’m writing, I can go until twelve. And then in the afternoon with my assistants, we sell it. I think it up in the morning and sell it in the afternoon. Friday night I drink, Saturday night and Sunday I don’t work. But sometimes I have to work if it’s a personal appearance and they’re paying me. If they’re paying me, I take the job. My other ritual is that I write in longhand. On this one kind of legal pad called AMPAD Evidence. I like BIC pens, the clear black ones. And I have to use an exact kind of scotch tape when I cut things up—Scotch Magic Finish Tape. And I have to use the same style scissors."

Don DeLillo talks to Robert McCrum

Words from an infrequent interviews subject, in the Observer, Don DeLillo, by editor Robert McCrum: "Face to face, DeLillo talks like a man who could imagine many lives and who has certainly run the gamut of the American dream. Confronted with a lifetime of experience, he confesses that his age "doesn't seem quite real. It's not meaningful. I can't quite imagine myself being 73. That's the age my father was!" He laughs. "How can I be his age? It's weird." So how old does he feel? "Well, I'm still in my 20s for sure. I'm pretty fit. I used to go for a daily run, but now I exercise at home to avoid the weather. I stick to a routine. But when I'm between work, I don't panic. I suppose I have the Italian element of enjoying a certain amount of leisure." [More at the link.]

08 August 2010

There will be cows: the FT's Lunch with Lydia Davis

The Weekend Financial Times often does wonders with their Weekend "Lunch with the FT" interviews. Here's the end of a nicely quirky piece on writer Lydia Davis: "As we walk to the car, she tells me about a recent project, based on dreams and dream-like experiences, inspired in part, she says, by French surrealist Michel Leiris, whose work she has translated. A thunderstorm is brewing outside and Davis drives me to the train station. As we draw up outside it starts to pour but Davis hops out of the car to stand under an awning for a moment so she can show me two pictures from her wallet. The first is her home – a large redbrick schoolhouse covered in ivy with large windows. The second is a photograph of two cows – standing in the snow like black cut-outs on white paper, staring flatly at the camera. Something about the picture is irresistibly funny.

"She sent the photo, she tells me, to her friend Rae Armantrout, a poet, who called her afterwards. “She asked me why I had sent her a picture of two pigs strung up on a spit,” says Davis – and then turns the picture upside down.

"I can see what she means; the line of horizon does resemble a wire, and the cows do look a bit like pigs. “It was just one of those confusions,” she says, shrugging.

"Then she bids me farewell, and drives away."

01 August 2010

Cap'n Jazz, "Take On Me," Chicago

A sloppy Flip video shot between taking stills.