Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The best day ever, huh.

Not quite. Maybe that horoscope was off by day? But at least I didn't get any rejections; just no acceptances. Sometimes when I submit a lot of work I feel like it's all going into a giant black hole. I check my e-mail seventeen times a day...argh...but that's it; today I am limiting my on line time altogether and sitting upstairs with my fountain pen and Neil Gaiman autographed Moleskin journal (ha ha - how many days did you think would pass before I brought that up again) and I'm going to work like a demon on my more procrastinating with short stories, instant messaging, or the obsessive e-mail thing. As of today, I am through thinking about anything other than finishing my book and sending it off.

But it's been an awfully good week for my friend Myfanwy Collins. She's the author I gave a teaser about a few days ago but now that she's announced it in her own blog, I can do the same: One of her incredible, incredible stories has been accepted for publication in the Kenyon Review and will appear in the summer 2007 issue. If you're not familiar with Myfanwy's stories, Google her and prepare to be mesmerized.

And here's something else that made me smile:

That's my handsome son, Eric, and his beautiful girlfriend, Carolyn, posing for me in my living room prior to their Valentine dinner out last night at Bistro St. Tropez. Don't they look awesome? Anyway, if you are in the Philadelphia area and have never eaten there, you really need to pay a visit, preferrably at night when it's dark, because the view of the river is spectacular and inside is all done up in high tech colored lights and chrome. But it's the food that's really incredible -- have a look at the menus and take the virtual tour on the site. What's really fun about this restaurant is that unless you live in Philadelphia or have a friend who knows about it, you'll never find it and it's one of our best kept secrets. It's hidden on the fourth floor of the Marketplace Design Center in a basically deserted part of town -- in between Center City and University City right before you approach the bridge over the river which will take you to said University City -- at 2400 Market Street. So in essence, if you go at night, you walk into what looks like a closed office building, but once inside, because it is the design center, you are treated to many (closed) stores -- it's like the world's most upscale mall -- full of the most beautiful and obscenely expensive furniture, rugs, artwork -- because this is a place only open during the day to interior designers. I could window shop in there for hours and we all know I hate shopping, but the stuff in there is to die for. I once spent a half hour with my face pressed to a window, coveting a bed. (Okay, keep your smutty thoughts to yourself...ha ha...or not, whatever). Anyway, you walk past a few of these stores, make a right to go on what is just one fairly hidden elevator, take it to the fourth floor, and there is this jewel of a restaurant.

So they had a blast -- and they got to both eat the filet mignon I mentioned yesterday I wished I was going to eat -- Eric had an appetizer of wild mushrooms with truffle oil (he's come a long way since potato chip and ketchup sandwiches on white bread) and I think Carolyn had tuna tartare but she didn't know it was raw fish...I'm gonna have to check with Eric on that...I don't remember if she actually ordered it or not but she was grossed out talking about it...oh wait, now I remember, she ordered prawns which she loved, and then they had this molten chocolate dessert with homemade banana ice cream -- it was one of those hot chocolate flourless cakes and when you stuck your fork in, all this warm runny imported chocolate poured out.

Ah, nice to be young, beautiful and in love, huh.

Speaking of Eric, he has a new gig which is really cool. He's going to be working at New York City Rock School every Thursday as assistant director of their Frank Zappa program. What's nice about this is that New York Rock School Zappa is going to open for Project Object when they play New York City, so Eric will not only be running the opening act, he'll be drumming for the headliner.

By the way, Paul is quoted, with photos, in the current issue of Rolling Stone. I posted a link to the on-line version, but the actual hard copy has photos. I heard it's the cover story but I haven't seen the mag yet so I can't say for sure...I'm gonna pick it up today or tomorrow.

Yeah yeah, it's hard for me to disconnect and move on -- while I'm thrilled for Paul, I'm sad my kids are graduates; especially with all the exciting stuff going on, like the recent tour with Adrian Belew. But hey, as I posted here a few days ago, in the article which was published in the Washington Post they do mention that Paul brought in his graduates (Julie, Eric, Louie Graff, etc.) to jam with Adrian to show him the magnitude of talent coming out of his school, and who knows, maybe some of them will have the chance to work with Adrian in the future in the studio or on tour. Hey, stranger things have happened!

But on the other hand, we were there at the beginning, when Paul had seventeen students whom he taught in his apartment and he used to call me the day of a show, begging me to bake brownies to sell so we could break even on the rent he had to pay for the venue. And the Memorial Day barbecues, Saturday morning Rock School baseball/basketball/football games where all the kids and parents bonded (though I do remember a miserable Eric who hated all sports and just wanted to hang out on the sidelines with the grown-ups and an overly competitive Julie who was actually booted out of games by Paul (and rightfully so) and forced to go sit with the parents when she threw tantrums on the field when other players on her team didn't live up to her expectations -- heh -- some things never change), and the insane Christmas parties where we had to use toilet paper as napkins because we were all so disorganized. Now, with thousands of students nationwide, a CEO, an ambitious franchise plan, it's a whole different ballgame. So we got the best of Rock School as it was growing; the kids today are getting the fruits of Paul's (and the original seventeen families') hard work and dedication. It all evens out in the end.

Just like life.

Hopefully, that is.

Okay, this time I mean it. Upstairs I go, journal and fountain pen in hand.