This is the fourth time that I have posted on Sept. 21. That means it's the fourth time I've posted on my birthday. I remember when I started this blog a little over three-and-a-half years ago how I felt I was joining the party late. There were all these people who had already been writing in various forms on the web for one, two, three, even five years or more. And yet, when it came time for the indieWIRE film blogger panel nearly two years ago, Eugene Hernandez (who was moderating) introduced Andrew Grant and I as some of the first film bloggers about whom he, at least, had become aware. We were the old fogeys of the panel, and not just cause we were somewhere close to old.
I haven't exactly been the most consistent blogger or writer or whatever-I-should-be-called since I staked claim to this little corner of the webiverse in February 2004. I don't know if it's because of a weird degree of over-ambition -- always wanting to do more, but often not sitting down to do it -- or the fact that some days, I love to write, and others, there is absolutely nothing I would like to do less. I do know, however, that as I look upon this birthday, I think this blog is, in fact, somewhat representative of the last four years of my life. For better or (more often) worse. It's had its ups and downs. I've sometimes ignored it due to busy-ness; other times out of pure laziness. I've occasionally worked very hard on it and been quite conscientious covering and writing everything I've intended; other times, I've let things slide until they're so old, I just give-up on them. Some of the time, this blog has been exactly the way I've wanted it to be; others ... not so much, and in fact, exactly the opposite.
Today I'm 36 years old. That is utterly unimaginable. If I didn't know it was true, I would say it was also completely impossible. I've been in New York for nearly 11 years. I've had lots of ups and downs while here. So I take solace in reminding everyone that I share date-and-year with Alfonso Ribeiro! come on and admit it ... you're jealous! Me and Carlton! I wonder who's actually older. That's even cooler than the fact that I also share date-and-year birthday with Luke Wilson! Yes it is. Stop it. Yes. OK ... maybe not. But yes it is!
As I type, I'm actually procrastinating packing up all my stuff so I can move again: hopefully for the last time until I either can afford to buy a place or because I've entered into an amazing relationship and we move into some place new together. I'm hoping it's the end of an (unfortunately) circular cycle I began close to eight years ago when I made a certain career choice that I wouldn't say was a mistake but certainly led me in a somewhat different direction than I had always anticipated.
Regardless, if I've learned anything in these 36 years -- and as pessimistic, jaded, bitter and melancholy as I may often seem, I'm not stupid enough to ignore that I've learned a lot, have a lot to learn and keep learning every day -- it's to stop talking and start doing. I don't always follow my own advice or lessons, but I keep working on it, and that's probably the biggest. I stop trying to make promises to myself because I'm a big planner, but I don't always treat myself well enough to follow-through on all those plans that don't really affect anyone but me. I admire people with the tenacity to not only strive for their dreams, but to actually complete certain things that could lead absolutely nowhere. That's why, as I get ready to spend a lot of time in front of my television watching Tribeca submissions, many of which, unfortunately I must say, will be virtually unwatchable, I still give major props to all those people who finish that screenplay; shoot that film; make it through post-production; and try to get it out there. No matter how bad some of those films may be, it's a tremendous accomplishment, and it sure as hell is one that I have not achieved as yet.
People tell me 36 should be a good year. Numerically, it's full of threes and its multiples -- you've got a three and a six (two threes) and combined they make nine (three threes). Personally, I have a hard time seeing it as anything other than the wrong side of one's mid-30s, but maybe something over the next 12 months will finally change my mind. It certainly won't be my birthday itself. For weeks, people have been asking me how I plan to celebrate. For a brief moment last weekend, while celebrating another friend's 30th, I thought about organizing a big trip to Six Flags on Saturday. But between it being Yom Kippur -- and I may not be observant, but riding roller coasters would create an untenable feeling of natural guilt -- and all that I must do to move during the next week while still also dealing with work and an abundance of New York Film Festival press screenings, I realized that I'll likely be celebrating by packing.
That's OK. I'm giving myself an awesome present. I have a horrible 14-year-old television that makes me want to cry almost any time I watch a movie. Now that I'm moving and know my new space, I'm buying my first flat screen. (Unless there's anyone out there who wants to buy it for me. 42" please! If you're cheap, I could use a 27-30" for the bedroom. Thanks in advance.)
So, that's how I'm celebrating. I'm sure that Luke, Alfonso and many of the others celebrating today will actually be celebrating. And what a list of kinda cool peeps: Happy Birthday Stephen King, Cheryl Hines, Ricki Lake, Larry Hagman, Leonard Cohen, Jerry Bruckheimer, Jane Rosenthal (a/k/a, my boss!), Ethan Coen, Rob Morrow, Angus Macfadyen, Cecil Fielder, Faith Hill, Bridget Moynahan. (And, even though it didn't "last," Happy Anniversary Jack White and Meg White!)
And the FIlm Society of Lincoln Center was nice enough to be very conscientious when it came to scheduling their New York Film Festival press screenings, because at 2 PM today is Blade Runner: The Final Cut. It's like they were thinking of me.