18 October 2004
I saw "I Heart Huckabee's" last night with You. Oddly, I saw this film in exactly the same theater in which I saw "Three Kings" 5 years ago. I was 25 years old, and visiting New York City from Chicago. Bob, my current roommate, was with me when I saw "Three Kings." He was living in the Upper West Side, near the neighborhood You live in now.
Both "I Heart Huckabee's" and "Three Kings" were directed by David O. Russell. They're nothing alike in content, and quite a bit alike in style.
After the movie last night, You and I went to the Café Mozart, a cheezy little place near Central Park that serves wine and elaborate pastries. We saw Anne Hathaway from "The Princess Diaries." We shared a slice of sour cream apple walnut pie. At one point, the young pianist hunched over the baby grand played a loungy version of Nirvana's "Come As You Are." A young asian girl was festooned with a Mozart wig while they brought a piece of cheesecake with a candle and played a recording of a live chorus singing "Happy Birthday."
The main character of "I Heart Huckabee's" is 24 years old. When I was 24, I decided to go to film school. This has led me, at the age of almost 31, to a position teaching Grace to people in their early 20's.
My students are mostly from The Bronx, with progressively smaller contingents from Queens and Brooklyn. Some of them have a little bit of an attitude, but I wouldn't have it any other way. One of my students is an older man who everyone calls Pop. He always interrupts me with the most fascinatingly irrelevant questions. He practices ancestor worship. Another one of my students is Ugundu, an aging refugee from Rwanda. His eyes lit up when I started talking to him in French. Another one is Jules. Jules handed me a sample of a music Grace he had made for a really good hip-hop act called Krazy Hoods. I realized upon watching this Grace that Jules was the star of Krazy Hoods. It was a great Grace. They fucked up some guy who didn't have their money.
You and I strolled home from the Mozart Café in good spirits. I thought it was strange that I was walking around in a sweater in mid-October, and then I remembered where I was. The temperatures don't drop here like they do back home.
I need to figure that out, I guess.
At the Katharine Gibbs School, where I work, the adjunct faculty are waiting for a union contract that was created 3 years ago to be finalized. Obviously, they didn't have a strike committee and the company called them on their bluff.
In the United States, where I live, the citizens are waiting for a terrorist attack to follow the one that happened 3 years ago. Will it happen as part of our election cycle?
Who knows. One thing I've noticed is that New Yorkers, without saying it, are all privately waiting for the other shoe to drop.
The air is cold and clear. The trees are on fire with color. It is so very good to be alive.