Monthly Archives: February 2004

February 14, 2004

Yesterday evening, I realized all of a sudden that I needed to get E.S. a card for Valentine’s Day. We’d already decided that we weren’t going to make a big deal of the holiday, but for me to let it go by unremarked didn’t seem like the right choice, either. At the same time, it would be perilously easy to take, according to the card I’d give, any number of emotional steps I feel completely unprepared to take.

Do you have any idea how fucking impossible it is to find a Valentine’s Day card on which the word “love” is not printed anywhere?

Correction: do you have any idea how fucking impossible it is to find a Valentine’s Day card on which the word “love” is not printed anywhere but that also doesn’t have the words “to the best grandparents in the world” on the cover?

I was on the verge of going to the drugstore, buying red construction paper and rubber cement, cutting out a heart shape, and making my own valentine for E.S. The only thing that prevented me was the memory of the valentines I used to make in school, all of which were so lopsided and deformed that they clearly represented hearts in advanced stages of atherosclerosis. So I kept hunting and came up with this:

The artsily-torn pink paper with the embedded leaves indicates that someone has put some effort into making this card, even if that someone wasn’t me. In point of fact, that someone is apparently named Ronin; he, she, or it lives in Wales and, if the information on the back of the card is to be believed, built the thing by hand using recycled materials. The red heart–far more symmetrical than anything I’d be able to manufacture–is a nod to tradition that allows the card to imply an appropriate degree of romantic feeling.

The difficulty of selecting the card was, however, nothing compared to coming up with what to write inside it.

And that, I’m afraid, I’m not going to post here.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 9 Comments

February 13, 2004

Herewith, the lyric of the song I wrote for and performed at Worst. Sex. Ever. It’s not the best thing I’ve ever done, but the audience did seem to enjoy it. Words in italics are spoken.

Saturday night,
Home all alone.
Nothing worth watching on television,
So I log on,
Find someone hot,
Write him an e-mail with swift precision.
He says he can host,
I hop on the train,
Hoping he’s not a gnome–
Should have trusted my gut
And stayed at home.

I should have known.
What kind of freak
Chooses “Jim Jones” as his username? He
Opens the door,
Stereo on,
Playing on high all the songs from Fame. He
Says, “Let’s sit and chat.”
Hey, I didn’t join
Men4talknow dot com.
Wish I’d taken the chance
And left for Guam,

‘Cause now he’s
Sawing, sawing, in and out,
With bad technique and no panache.
He doesn’t know what he’s about.
I realize that he doesn’t wash
Behind his ears.
He’s taking years–
Years I could be spending with Jane Austen,
Instead of being lost ‘n’
On a search for love.

He starts to strip,
Showing his flab,
And his tattoo–oh, boy, it’s a bad one.
Then dirty talk.
Gee, this is fun.
He wants my pussy–who knew I had one?
On the dresser, I
See displayed a Log
Cabin membership card.
I am shocked enough
To let down my guard,

So now he’s
Shoving, shoving, out and in,
He grunts, he groans, he’s on a roll.
A drop of sweat hangs from his chin.
I start to translate Billy Joel
Songs into French–
Ignore the stench–
“For The Longest Time” was just prophetic.
I feel so damn pathetic on this search for–

Venez, Virginie, n’hésitez pas.
Vous filles catholiques commencez trop tard.
Ah, mais enfin, cela dépendra du destin.
‘Quoi pas commencer avec moi?
My God, if only the good died young!

What am I doing wrong?
I just want to share a one-bedroom
(In the West Village,
‘Cause I’m retro,
And I think gays should live there)
With a Maltese or two
And a lover who has a real job.
He comes home and kisses me softly,
As I ruffle his hair–

No. That’s okay. Just . . . just put it back in.

And now he’s
Poking, poking, left and right.
God, why have you forsaken me?
That’s it: I won’t put up a fight.
I’ll just accept my misery.
I wasn’t meant
To be content.
Macho here can keep on sweat and straining;
I’ll lie back, uncomplaining
While my will to live is draining
But I won’t give up my search for–

I don’t give a flying fuck if you’re tired! You make me come or I’m gonna rip your fucking head off!


I was actually reluctant to post this simply because the French, while grammatically correct, is completely unidiomatic. But then I figured, you only live once unless you’re John Travolta, and I’m not, so what the hell.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 15 Comments

February 12, 2004

So my meeting with Hal Prince on Tuesday was among the most nerve-wracking experiences I’ve ever had, partially because, of the three of us writing the show, one of us (the bookwriter) knew him and had worked with him before, so of course it was the bookwriter whose wife’s water broke fifteen minutes before the meeting, so he had to go back home to, you know, have a baby or something stupid like that (some people clearly need to get their priorities straight), and the lyricist and I, who didn’t know Mr. Prince and had never worked with him before, had to have the meeting alone.

I won’t describe the meeting in detail, mostly because I was in such a state of nervous terror the whole time that I can’t really remember any details, but the upshot is that, though he doesn’t want to work on this musical, he does want us to send him some more material in different styles to see if he might be interested in working on something else with us.

Of course, since this is the first show the lyricist and I have ever written, having met each other for the first time when we were paired on this project, we have virtually no other material, in this style or any other.

It’s going to be a busy month.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 6 Comments

February 11, 2004

Tomorrow I will blog about my meeting with Mr. Prince.

Tonight I will be performing at Worst. Sex. Ever., curated by this lovely woman, and you should come if you possibly can.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 7 Comments

February 9, 2004

Tomorrow is my meeting with Hal Prince. It is also my two-year blogiversary.

Lately, I’ve been seriously considering giving up this enterprise. It’s not that I figure there’s no point in writing it now that I actually have a boyfriend–first of all, we are a long ways away from using the L-word; and second of all, it has become obvious to me and probably to most of you that I am on a search not for the love of somebody else but for self-love, which I am also a long ways away from, except of course in the most carnal sense. And that kind of self-love I am as intimately acquainted with as anybody.

No, it’s more a combination of other things. Prosaically, now that I’m spending most of my free time with E.S., it’s difficult to find the time I need to craft a post well. When I didn’t have a boyfriend, I could just be amusing about the misery of being single; now that I have one, however, I find myself wondering how much of what I feel about him really belongs on this web site and how much should stay in my psyche. There’s also the very real tension that I feel when life with him intersects with the blogiverse, given how we reconnected and how badly I hurt him last time. There’s also of course the force of entropy working on me: there are actually a lot of things I’m considering giving up, and it’s difficult to tell whether it’s the mood disorders talking or common sense.

Perhaps it’s this last uncertainty that’s keeping me from stopping yet–the not knowing whether I really want to stop or whether this is just one more of the things I’m finding overwhelming for no good reason at the moment.

That, and the burning desire to turn this damn thing into a best-selling novel, which I can’t do unless I actually finish it, rather than just stopping.

So you’re not shut of me quite yet.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 12 Comments

February 8, 2004

N.B.: I am still guest blogging over here, though I believe the proprietor intends to return soon.

How is it possible that I’ve been blogging for as long as I have and only just now managed to come across the screamingly funny Dullest Blog in the World?

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 2 Comments

February 5, 2004

N.B.: This week, in addition to posts here, I’m also guest blogging for this sweetheart of a man.

Oh my God oh my God oh my God on Tuesday I am meeting with Hal Prince about my show oh my God oh my God oh my God oh my God the producer of West Side Story and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Fiddler on the Roof and Cabaret and A Little Night Music and a gajillion other things and director of Candide and Sweeney Todd and Kiss of the Spider Woman and a gajillion other things and oh my God oh my God winner of 22 Tony Awards oh my God and what do you think I should wear?

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 16 Comments

February 4, 2004

I don’t know what I’m going to do.

E.S. taped American Idol for me tonight (since it overlapped with Angel) but I’m not going to get to see it until Friday.

How will I live without knowing if Scooter Girl is one of the final 32? Or the hateful Kira? (By the way–if you tell me in the comments, I’ll hunt you down and rip your head off.)

I’d never seen the show in my life before this season, and already I’m reacting to missing it like a heroin addict who showed up five minutes after the methadone treatment center closed for the weekend.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 5 Comments

February 3, 2004

I realize I should have said something about this before, but E.S. and I have been on the South Beach Diet for a week (as of this morning).

I’ve lost four and a half pounds and 2% body fat.

I wish I could write a post about how difficult it is to keep to the diet, but the truth is, I’m so used to eating compulsively that I hardly notice.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 7 Comments

February 2, 2004

N.B.: This week I will be guest blogging–though probably not every day–at Judgment Call, a delightful blog written by a delightful man.

The other night, E.S. asked me, “So, when are we going to have our first fight?”

“I thought we already did,” I said.


“Last night, when we were talking about my mood disorders and I snapped at you and said, ‘Don’t psychoanalyze me,’ and you snapped back, ‘I’m not psychoanalyzing you, I’m just trying to figure out what the fuck is going on.'”

He pointed out that, objectively speaking, it wasn’t much of a fight, especially as we were in bed and so tired that we fell asleep right after this exchange.

But the thing is this: I’ve gotten in exactly one fight in my entire life, a knock-down, drag-out affair with my next-door neighbor D.T. when we were both eleven years old. There was hair-pulling involved. I don’t think E.S. was referring to hair-pulling. He was referring to the kind of argument that people who care about each other have when they get mad and raise their voices and stomp instead of tiptoing and generally rebalance the emotional equilibrium of their relationship.

In other words, something I have never, ever done and secretly believe I’m constitutionally incapable of doing.

I mean, I’ve raised my voice three times in my life, and two of those times I managed to attenuate what came out before I let it go anyway. One of the attenuated times was when I was five and my mother, three minutes after telling me to pick up my things in one room, asked me why my things were still lying around in another room. I yelled, “I’m not an octopus! I don’t have eight arms!”

Except I didn’t yell it. I was about to, but right when I opened my mouth I thought she’d get mad if I yelled. So I just sort of said it loudly and then burst into tears.

So, clearly, one snarky exchange is a step in the right direction.

But it scares me how far I have left to go.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 11 Comments