07/2/15
dorothyranier

clap along if you feel that it’s perfectly reasonable for rooms to have roofs.

So much has happened since January that we might as well not even talk about it. Jobs, am I right? I spent four months in a basement for broken families and then another month chained to a desk in a terrible brain sucking factory. I don’t think it’s wrong to always hate your job so long as your job is always awful, and what job besides “revered author” isn’t awful? Eventually you just have to throw up your hands and go back to dog walking.

The merciless disaster of a relationship. My precious woof and our many homes. The moon, the sun, the moon, the sun, again and again and again.

What’s the expression? Working hard, hardly working. But things have improved. My big head is back, which you need to be a successful writer, I’m pretty sure. Last week I went to Missoula and hung out with my old friend Alice Bolin. She is so regal now, like a statue you leave gifts for on a silly superstition of good luck. I couldn’t stop laughing at her jokes, it was pretty embarrassing. Tim and I lost our hands at the Oxford’s poker table. Never mind who is Tim. We floated the river four times and saw one of every animal. I talked to Skylar about a new feature at the indy, although I wouldn’t hold my breath. Don’t Tell Mom The Flat Tire On the Way Home Overdrew My Account.

In July we work on tans and letters. When I hear my name I think Irish-German, but when I look at my red-brown arms from the sun reflected off of last week’s river, it’s German-Irish. It doesn’t matter where your parent’s parent’s parent’s came from, of course.

I am excited and eager to make new art. Here’s some of the things I’ve shared lately.

1. Doghatesfilm.com

dorothyranier

Hark the dog and the films she hates. The site is in beta but what can I say, you get busy. This piece about 50 Shades of Grey is probably the best literature to date.

2. After the Rose Podcast 

My friend Megan and I made a podcast about ABC’s hit romantic reality series “The Bachelorette.” Many wonder: Do you have to watch the show in order to understand/enjoy the podcast? At least one source besides myself says no. You may find that a good podcast feels very much in the brain like finding great new friends.

3. Choose Wisely: 35 Women Up to No Good 

I have a story in this collection with Joyce Carol Oates and Aimee Bender, no big deal.

4. David Gates interview

I read his book with my mouth hanging open. All other writing is made of garbage. When I finished the last story in the collection I sat in one place and stared at a wall for two straight days.

5. Oh, Canada

A 3,000 word personal essay about an okay time I had with a girl.

6. okey-panky

A 1,400 word personal essay about a fun date with a cool guy, and an interview from the aforementioned editor Alice Bolin to follow.

7. Twitter @MollyL  

 

11/26/14

top ten thanksgiving horror films

There’s no such thing as a thanksgiving horror film. Here are the ten “best” of the 12 or 13 spooky movies I watched this October and beyond. The Halloween season spans from January 2nd to the day before Thanksgiving. This is a time when corpses rise from their graves and all murder is legal. A lot of people don’t know that. Thanksgiving through New Years is the Lord’s time.

The order’s been thought through a little but not too much. I include the movie’s taglines when they exist. What an art. I hope to someday get a job writing horror movie taglines.

10. Devil (2010)

Bad things happen for a reason

The PG-13 makes me not want to put Devil on the list. Murder is rated R. Any life worth dying in gets an R rating—whatever. All these bad people get trapped in an elevator. The lights flicker and then there’s a dead person, on and on until one or two are left. It’s an Agatha Christie-esque whodunit. One of them’s the devil. The devil is in the elevator. Mindy Kaling’s TV boyfriend Chris Messina plays the detective tasked with bringing the lord of darkness to justice. You can’t tell that he’s too short for me when everybody’s shrunk down inside the television. [Netflix streaming]

gurl, look dem lips.

gurl, look dem lips.

9. Buried Alive (1990) 

One of them put an end to the marriage, until the other came back for revenge

The worst tagline of all of them. I’d blame it on an unpaid intern but I don’t think they had those in 1990 for made for TV movies. Frank Darabont fucking directed this, the guy who wrote The Shawshank Redemption. The creator of TVs “The Walking Dead.” I remember seeing this movie on TV in my apparently unsupervised childhood. Jennifer Jason Leigh wears shoulder pads. Good dog acting by the Rottweiler; holy fuck I want my own Rottweiler. Movie’s a classic noir setup. The wife hates her husband, plots her death with her lover, people are betrayed, he’s “buried alive,” there’s a lot of woodworking. If Buried Alive were in black and white and starred Humphrey Bogart, we’d be talking about it in college. If you’re looking for this movie, beware: there are about 10,000 other films with the same title. [I can't tell you how I found this film.] 

 

If the widow looks like this at the funeral, she did it.

If the widow looks like this at the funeral, she did it.

8. Resolution (2012)

Why is this a horror movie? The horror elements of this are not even. I can’t even. Michael’s friend Chris loves crack so much and who can blame him, but drugs ruin your life and turn you into a bad friend, so Michael chains him to the wall to force him through withdrawals. Then some stupid supernatural shit happens, I don’t recall exactly, a haunted video tape or witch or something. But in between all of that, they manage to say poignant shit to each other about what drives a man to the pipe and the human response. What’s Michael’s true motivation and is life really so precious, really? This movie is a documentary about what I would like to do to my friend Will, but who has the time. [Netflix streaming]

Dick move not having a tagline but really good poster.

Dick move not having a tagline but really good poster.

7. Hider in the House (1989)

You can’t lock him out. He’s already in.

 Made for TV movies from the golden era of cinema are nothing to fuck with. Gary Busey doesn’t exactly play against type as the recently released mental patient who builds himself a room in the attic of a nice family’s new home. The new family has a dog. Do you guys think the dog is going to be okay? Busey wants to be normal so bad. He just wants the Dad to be gone and to marry the Mom but he’s Lenny Of Mice and Men and people in his way are frightened girls squashed dead under his thumb. This is a buy-the-numbers horror story but suspiciously well written and acted. The characters are 3D and smart. Everybody Hates Busey. Good body count. [In full on Youtube.]

 

6. Ravenous (1999)

You are who you eat 

Hey, this one’s about food and it’s set in Civil War era America so it’s basically a legit thanksgiving horror movie. The turkey’s made out of people, though; everybody running around with their mind’s lost. The best thing about the film, unequivocally: the score. What instrument even makes those sounds. How tonally inappropriate. And yet. Check out these idiots arguing about it on the imdb message boards, subject: What an Annoying Soundtrack… Comments include, but are not limited to:
“Halfway in I wanted to stab my already-busted eardrums, it was SOOO loud and annoying. :(
“I find the music utterly unfitting for a movie set in the 19th century”
“Sorry, I actually like interesting soundtracks in my favorite movies.” [Netflix streaming]

The next three films are directed by Ti West, a hip new filmmaker that people may very well be talking about.

5. The Innkeepers (2011) 

Some guests never check out 

A film about a couple of hip young people with sexual tension. The hotel is haunted. Not particularly scary or memorable; I don’t know why I included this. [Netflix streaming]

Creepy basement, second only to creaky houses.

Creepy basement, second only to creaky houses.

4. The House of the Devil (2009)

Talk on the phone. Finish your homework. Watch TV. Die. 

This, on the other hand, is a legit 1980s horror film throwback. Shot in digital I’m sure but they threw on an instagram-style old school film filter. [correction: turns out I was exactly wrong; film is legit shot on 16mm. That makes me want to put this at like 1 or 2.] Tom Noonan needs a babysitter for his mom. Girl wears a walkman and Greta Gerwig plays her friend. The babysitter eats pizza for two straight meals. Things start off one way, then shit gets dark as fuck. [Netflix streaming]

The pizza's out of frame.

The pizza’s out of frame.

3. The Sacrament (2013)

Live as one. Die as one. 

Sometimes it pays to be stupid, but for this example I’m about to deprive you of that luxury. I didn’t know this film was basically a modern adaptation of the Jim Jones, everybody drinks kool-aid and dies cult story. So when everybody in the cult got together and drank poison kool-aid, I was horrified and surprised. (I clearly did not read the tagline, either.) It’s a palpable series of scenes. They scared the shit out of me; I dreamed about it for days. Beyond that, meh. It’s a “found footage” movie which is just unfortunate. Bunch of Vice journalists visit the cult, they get camera access that they would never ever get in real life—such a dumb conceit, I hate found footage, why they gotta do that for a film that could have been so, so good. Instead it’s pretty good. Awesome Gene Jones performance as “the father,” just an unfortunate coincidence he has the same last name as the real guy. This movie’s proof that liberals can be scary and batshit, too! The box says “Eli Roth presents.” Not a compliment. [Netflix streaming]

a real People's Temple cult member.

a real People’s Temple cult member.

2. You’re Next (2011)

Forgive me for being so mainstream. Of all my pics you’re most likely to have already seen this one. Maybe you’re one of those people who takes pride in not having seen any movies; go fuck yourself. I appreciate the savage simplicity: A rich, grown up family get together for a dinner party and people outside are trying to kill them with arrows. At first you don’t know why, and then a motive’s revealed and it makes perfect sense. It’s not some ridiculous bullshit. They hear bumping around upstairs and somebody says a line about this being an old creaky house. I know that sounds terrible but in fact it felt like a breathing organism of a wink. [Netflix streaming]

animal masks frighten dogs, try it if you don't believe me.

animal masks frighten dogs—try it if you don’t believe me.

1. The Signal (2007)

This is not a test 

It doesn’t get any weirder. A psychotic poet I know, a man who’s one dirty look away from killing everyone recommended this film to me. We might as well have met in an underground tunnel at night. He handed me an envelope with a slip inside that said “The Signal” on it, followed by, “the 2007 version. Not the new one from 2014.” Anyway, TV’s are sending out a signal that’s making everyone go on a murderous rampage. Never mind the why, it’s the how it plays out that matters. The film stars AJ Bowen, who irrelevantly enough is in four out of the ten movies on this list. (He’s the cutie pie with the beard.) It’s hard to make a movie with a slippery reality whose puzzle doesn’t also bore you. I decided this film was number one under the influence of ambien. Now I’m just like. I don’t remember, but probably I mean it. [I can't tell you how I found this film.]

Dead person at a birthday party.

Dead person at a birthday party.

There’s the list. That’s it. Do you like it? Why don’t you like it. Be my facebook friend if you aren’t already! Creepers creep me out. 

09/4/14

I’ll gaze your navel.

It’s starting to become a problem. (“Your looks have become a problem!” #namethatfilm) I get in these funks where I wait too long in between blog posts, and pretty soon every day I just feel sick and sad that I haven’t posted anything. It really gnaws at me! It causes a lot of undue suffering. Like one week of not writing equals one dead cat in my backpack, and then one day I wake up and find I’m carting around 5 or 6 dead cats. Then I try to write and I’m hypercritical and self-conscious about what I’ve written, I throw everything in the garbage—anyway, it’s this whole gross, boring cycle.

Long story short, I solved the problem by finding this inexplicable list of free interview questions on the internet. For a change of pace, I tried to answer these questions as plainly, honestly, and un-sarcastically as possible. Next week: My novel, in its entirety. ha ha ha. l o l. It turned out really long! All free! Enjoy!

GENERAL QUESTIONS

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR PROFESSION?

Walking dogs is mind numbingly easy. I’m good at it. I like animals. My job burns calories. The pay is okay.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE LEAST?

I have a fucking master’s degree; this shit is humiliating. Particularly when I see my friends publishing their books and/or talking about writing their class syllabuses. It makes me feel sick. Every day I feel like I’m wasting my life.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DOING THIS?

A little over a year.

SHOULD YOUR PARENTS HAVE BEEN MORE OR LESS STRICT?

I chose my parents before I was born. They got divorced when I was 4 which I don’t think is good or bad, contrary to what we’ve been brainwashed to believe. My mom wasn’t strict at all and I turned out okay. I do wish somebody had told me to brush my teeth and sit farther away from the television, cuz now my eyes and teeth are fucked up.

HOW WAS YOUR CHILDHOOD?

My hair was snarled; I was always covered in dirt. We took the boat out to the lake. I played a lot of soccer at my best friend Dylan’s house. I used to stay up late at night and write fake reports from topics in our world encyclopedias. I idolized my brother and was mystified by my sister. I had the feeling that everybody thought I was special, in both the good and bad way. We rode our bikes to the woods. In my memory it was good, but I'm sure at the time it felt like the present moment, which usually feels bad, or at the very least, uncomfortable and incomplete. I know that as I got older I had more and more social problems in school. I was often sullen and at night I would make myself sick with worrying about why there was something instead of nothing. It scared me and still does. 

ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?

If I’m happy, then the word happy has no meaning.

IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?

I’d be more careful with men’s hearts. And I'd try to not be an obese teen.

IF YOU HADN'T BEEN BORN IN THIS CENTURY, WHEN AND WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE LIVED?

I’m a woman, so anytime before say, 1968, no thank you.

WHO ARE YOUR HEROES?

Any artist who overcomes their depression enough to make good art. No specific names come to mind. I see a person who’s smart and kind and cool and I think: I want to be like you.

WHO DO YOU HAVE NO RESPECT FOR?

I think everyone is doing the best they can with what they have.

WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME?

Beat myself up.

ARE YOU POLITICALLY ACTIVE?

Nah. I think the best thing anybody can do is to develop her spiritual self/moral compass. Policy is actually very nerdy and complicated. People imagine there are malevolent forces out to get us when in reality I think it’s just a big dumb machine and the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. I’m resigned to just keep my head down, stay out of trouble and try to carve out the best life given what I have.

DO YOU DO ANY VOLUNTEER WORK?

Not unless you count this circle jerk of a website. You’re welcome.

HOW HAS AMERICA CHANGED IN THE LAST TEN YEARS?

We’ve pretty much come around on the gays; that’s nice to see. Looks like video games and computers keep getting better. Good job, America.

HOW HAVE YOU CHANGED?

I haven’t that much.

WHAT'S THE SIDE OF YOU THAT THE PUBLIC NEVER SEES?

I think in real life I can be very sweet. I don't know if that comes across as much on the internet. And maybe it's not even true.

DO YOU SOMETIMES FEEL THAT THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT

________________? (SUBJECT'S NAME, PLURALIZED)

Yeah. There’s the Molly that is me and the Molly that is a dumb ass drug people say dumb shit about that my brain won’t let me do anymore.

DO YOU WISH YOU HAD MORE PRIVACY?

If I did, that wish could come true.

If you haven't figured out by now, these questions are written with celebrity in mind, so. I will say that I don't think I would mind if my tits got leaked on the internet. (See Morgan Murphy's hilarious stand up on this topic.) But of course, it's also totally okay to mind.

DO YOU THINK THE PUBLIC AND CRITICS EXPECT TOO MUCH FROM YOU?

No. I’m flattered whenever anyone expects anything of me at all. It’s a compliment.

HOW HARD DO YOU PUSH YOURSELF?

Not very hard.

WHEN ARE YOU COMPLETELY SATISFIED WITH YOUR WORK?

Never really. I come close when people compliment me a lot.

WHY HAVE YOU SUCCEEDED IN A FIELD WHERE SO MANY OTHERS HAVE FAILED?

I genuinely consider myself a failure. As for my few piddly successes: They were because the work was really good. That’s the only explanation. It’s not because I’m good with people or networking or any of that shit.

WHAT'S THE MAGIC FORMULA FOR SUCCESS?

Work really hard + be really talented + know the right people.

I don’t know if that’s the right order or not. It’s more like a circle than a linear line.

GENERAL QUESTIONS, PART 2

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT REINCARNATION?

I totally believe in it. I feel it in my bones and I’ve seen it in my dreams.

HOW ABOUT ASTROLOGY?

Bullshit. Or even if it's not, most people don't know how to decode it. The enneagram rules!

WHAT ABOUT LIFE ON OTHER PLANETS?

Lots but far away.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX?

Weed.

IS THERE A BATTLE OF THE SEXES?

Only in people’s heads.

WHO'S WINNING?

Depends on the head.

ARE WE RETURNING TO A MORE ROMANTIC TIME?

I don’t know about this “we” business. I know I’m not. The older I get, the less romantic.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE MACHO?

Anybody who can carry me on his or her back is macho.

DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE TRADITIONAL ROLES FOR MEN AND WOMEN?

Nah but there’s something to be said for division of labor. One person chops the wood, the other peels the carrots. Shouldn’t matter who does what of course.

IF YOU WERE A MAN (WOMAN) HOW DIFFERENT DO YOU THINK YOUR CAREER WOULD HAVE GONE?

It’s hard to get hired in this city as a dog walker if you’re a man. People think women are more trustworthy, which in my case is hilarious. If I were a man I’d probably be some sort of day laborer. Maybe somebody would have taught me a goddamn marketable trade when I was a kid.

If we’re talking about writing, I don’t know. I think it bodes well for me that I’m a woman because I don’t think I write like most women. I think people give me a harder time for navel-gazing because I’m a woman, but I mean. I can’t really deny that I do that. I’m interviewing myself on mollylaich.com right now, for example.

WHAT'S THE MOST UNBELIEVABLE RUMOR EVER PRINTED ABOUT YOU?

I wish. Closest thing I can think of: Somebody once wrote in a comment section on one of my indy articles something like “Molly must be sleeping with the editor in order to keep getting work” which I found, you know, incredibly insulting (and really untrue, I should add, if anyone was wondering. Robert and I are great friends but we don't fuck, christ.) That same person left a comment on another article. They were all…wait, let me get this verbatim: “Great interview? I don't think so. The interviewer insinuated herself nearly a dozen times in this brief dialogue with the words I or me.” I often jerk off at night to an image of this person hunched over their free weekly paper counting the number of times I used the words I or me.

WHAT WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY OF YOUR LIFE?

I don't know.

DO YOU WORRY ABOUT WHETHER PEOPLE LIKE YOU FOR THE REAL YOU, OR BECAUSE YOU'RE A CELEBRITY?

Haha. No.

DO YOU MAKE FRIENDS EASILY?

Also no. I don’t think I’ve ever successfully pursued a friendship on my own. If we’re friends, you did the work. Thank you. It means a lot. Unless we’re talking about the internet, in which case, I consider myself wildly popular.

WHICH DO YOU ENJOY MOST: A NIGHT ON THE TOWN OR STAYING IN WITH THAT SOMEONE SPECIAL?

To answer this question would imply that life is one way or the other when we all know it’s always both and neither. Side note: I'm enjoying the inverse of "special someone" here.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PIG-OUT FOOD?

Gross.

WHAT DO YOU DO FOR EXERCISE?

All kinds of boring stuff.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE SPORTS TEAM?

My fantasy football team “The Detroit Lions.”

DO YOU THINK AMERICANS PUT TOO MUCH EMPHASIS ON COMPETITION?

Every American is different.

IF YOU WERE PRESIDENT, WHAT'S THE FIRST THING YOU'D DO?

Resign.

SOME PEOPLE THINK THAT __________________(SUBJECT'S NAME) HAS IT ALL. WHAT DON'T YOU HAVE?

It all.

QUESTIONS FOR AUTHORS

HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU STARTED WRITING?

I was really little. In first grade I wrote this thing about how I wanted to be God. Everybody thought it was cute and wise. I remember filing that away under “This is a way to get attention and love.”

WHEN DID YOU KNOW THAT THIS WOULD BE YOUR PROFESSION?

First of all, I don’t “know” anything. But I decided to make a go of it and take it seriously around the end of undergrad when I realized I thought I was better than everyone else in my workshop. So far I’d say I’ve pretty much failed.

WHO'S YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR?

David Gates.

WHY?

I worked with him in grad school. He helped me publish several stories. He called me shallow once. His writing is really smart and good. On the sentence level: calm, poised and true. Funny but not annoyingly witty. It's like every line winks at you under the surface with the knowledge that the world is bullshit but we still need to carry on and try to love one another anyway. His writing is like if David Foster Wallace understood the virtue of brevity. Seriously, read one of his books if you haven't yet. I'm mucking it up trying to explain it.

ARE THERE ANY WRITERS WHOSE SUCCESS MYSTIFIES YOU?

It would be unwise of me to name names in a town this small, but a lot of people seriously bore me.

DO YOU READ MORE FICTION, OR NON-FICTION?

I used to read way more non-fiction but that flipped once my heart died and I decided I knew all I cared to know.

WHAT ARE YOU READING LATELY?

Wild by Cheryl Strayed and some garbage novel I won’t mention by name.

WHAT ARE A COUPLE OF YOUR ALL-TIME FAVORITE BOOKS?

The Road to Los Angeles by John Fante, Jernigan by David Gates, Jesus’ Son by Denis Johnson, Bad Behavior by Mary Gaitskill, The Catcher in the Rye by you know who, and so on.

CAN AN AUTHOR WRITE FOR THE PULITZER AND THE PUBLIC AT THE SAME TIME?

Any author “writing for the Pulitzer” can fuck right the fuck off. I know people like that. They’re gross.

PUBLISHING HAS BECOME BIG BUSINESS. HAS THAT HURT?

It has? Oh god yes, it hurts. It burns.

WHAT INSPIRED YOUR LATEST BOOK?

I’m going to cry.

DO YOU THINK TELEVISION IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ILLITERACY?

I’m not a doctor, but I think literacy rates are at pretty much an all time high. I just looked it up; the internet says literacy rates in America haven’t changed in 10 years. It also says Seattle is the most literate city in the US. I thought it was Boston. Anyway, that would explain why everybody here is a smug fuck.

WHEN YOU GO TO SEE A MOVIE, DO YOU TRY TO READ THE BOOK FIRST?

You know, sometimes. Particularly if I think I might be assigned to review the movie.

MANY SCHOOLS HAVE BANNED CERTAIN BOOKS FOR VARIOUS REASONS. WHERE DO YOU THINK THE LINE SHOULD BE DRAWN?

No line. Leave it up to the librarians. They’re some of the raddest people on earth.

HOW DO YOU OVERCOME WRITER'S BLOCK?

I look up bullshit interview questions on the internet and answer them.

HAVE YOU EVER WRITTEN ABOUT YOUR OWN BAD HABITS?

Oh lord, yes.

DO YOU EVER FEEL FORCED TO WRITE?

Like there’s a fucking gun to my head pretty much all the time.

HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF A PUBLISHER WANTED TO CONDENSE YOUR WORK?

Good.

11/7/12

sorry for all the caps/swears + an exciting opportunity.

This blog is the dumbest fucking idea in the world. What was I thinking? Here’s my impression of me: “Ooh, my name’s Molly Laich. I’m going to post my feelings on the internet all day every day from 1997 to 2012 and beyond. I’m going to use my real first and last name so any swinging dick can read about my misfortune and blame me for it. la la la.” Friendships will be lost, feelings hurt, intentions misunderstood, lives shattered, animals kidnapped and that’s just the way it is. No one can change it. The little boy who lives inside my mouth has got a gun to my head. I know, it’s weird, right?

What else? Yippee, America pulled together and just barely didn’t elect the cruelest, blandest, most out of touch and soulless man I’ve ever seen. I’m so proud of us.

Just got three texts from my roommate. In order, they are:

  1. Fuck Off
  2. Fuck Off
  3. Im going to buy you yak trax

There’s been some new animals. There’s a big yellow lab mix named Roy, and he loves the orange stick. So there. We’re in love, but I don’t get to keep him; he goes back to his Dad on November 20th. We also got four chickens, and these are for good. I named the chickens Sylvia, Anne, Dorothy and Virginia, so that if/when Jesse decides to eat them it will be sad, sure, but also a tragic and beautiful inevitability. TRIVIA QUESTION: Who are the chickens named after BONUS SUB QUESTION: Which one of these unlucky ladies never actually killed herself but just thought about it a lot? Leave your answers in the comments field. DON’T ANSWER THE GODDAMN TRIVIA QUESTIONS ON FACEBOOK, YOU LAZY MOTHERFUCKERS.

in case you don't know what chickens look like.

only known picture of the orange stick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the exciting opportunity:  I had this idea that I wanted to run by you. I love writing blog posts and I hate writing everything else. So I thought I would trick myself by starting a novel and posting it in a serial, blog format with sort of a bloggish voice. Now, it’s a FUCKING NOVEL, which means that even if you think it’s based on shit in my real life, it’s not, or if it is, you still can’t hold me accountable for it. THOSE ARE THE RULES OF FICTION, I did not write them.  I don’t want everybody in the goddamn world to read my novel. I just want some people to read it, so that’s how come the subscription thing.

So that’s that. Email me here at mollylaich (at) gmail (dot) com if you’re interested in subscribing to my novel blog. I plan to get started sometime early next week. Be sure to use whatever email it is you want to use as your login name to email me with.

And please, only sign up if you genuinely want to read this shit. Don’t do it out of politeness cuz you think I’ll be mad at you if you don’t. I totally don’t care. My goal will be to update the blog around 3 days a week with around 1,000 words per post, but really I have no idea. You have to do it this way because I’m not going to promote it on Facebook. This is an exclusive, private club you’re entering into.

To review:

1. This blog is a terrible idea, I’m an idiot, why do I keep doing this, somebody put a bullet in my head. 2. Mitt Romney does not care about black people. 3. When Jesse and I are not together, we’re texting, but it’s dark. There’s dark things you don’t know about. 4. We’ve got a dog on loan and four chickens for keeps. 5. Email me to sign up for my experimental novel blog.

10/11/12

don’t send help.

Yesterday morning we were out of coffee, which I hate. It took everything I had to power my body down to the Safeway. I thought I’d take just one of the dogs with me, so I took Edward, the handsome beagle. I tied him to the bike rack as if he were the horse I rode in on. He barked louder than I’ve ever heard an animal bark in my life, and then I paid $2.25 for the world’s worst coffee. (Safeway, what the fuck? You burn your coffee every single time. It’s not an anomale at this point, you just serve burnt coffee.) A man loomed by the bike racks.

“That dog’s got some anxiety issues,” he said.
“I know that.”
“Looks like he’s got some coon hound in him.”
“He’s a beagle.”
“And some pitbull.” the Man added. “You can see it in his face.”
“No. He’s just a beagle.”

Mind you, I’m not inordinately attached to the idea that my dog is a purebred animal, and he doesn’t have fucking papers or anything, but for some reason I found it incredibly irritating that this guy didn’t know what a beagle was. He persisted again:

“I’d say he’s part coon hound, part pitbull.”
“Sir, you’re just describing what the parts of two dogs add up to, which is a beagle.”

I tried to look up dog training videos on how to train your dog to be tied outside of a business without crying, but the searches just came back with “Don’t tie your dog up outside of a business.” You can’t win.

The dogs love me. They follow me from room to room; they whine and cry when I leave. I am the new love of their life. I take them for lots of walks. Earlier, the smoke had cleared and the wheat colored hills to the north had no cows on them, but now the smoke is back and there are cows. I think they’re cows, anyway. They could be black mounds with legs, but who would go to such trouble.

The dogs love me, but they fear and respect my roommate. The beagles got out and wouldn’t listen when I told them to come in. I said, “Jesse, call your dogs.” And Jesse said, “Get in the house” and it’s like they understood English; they just ran inside single file. Jesse said to me, “Here’s the difference between you and me: You ask them to do things, and I tell them.”

I hate that, but he’s right, and I don’t understand the difference. There’s a finality inside of Jesse that doesn’t exist in me, and I don’t know how to find it. I read about dog training all day long, and Jesse just does it. It pisses me off.

I might have to stop writing about my roommate so much, for a lot of different reasons.

1. It’s weird to make an art project out of your relationship. It’s just plain weird.
2. He said in the beginning that he wanted me to write about him, but that always has its limits. He was a little sore the other day. He said “I just wish you wouldn’t write about me with your emotions” to which I said, “What the fuck are you talking about? That’s how I write everything.”
3. I can never get to the heart of the matter. The really good stuff is classified. To really get to the heart of Jesse, you have to rip him open, and then he’d be dead and it would be too serious.
4. My roommate is damaged goods. He’s an abused pitbull who snarls and bites people who try to get close to him. He’s misunderstood and he’s been hurt in the past. It sounds condescending, but I don’t mean it that way. Jesse is smarter than me, and he knows how to take care of himself, and it’s thrilling to watch him navigate the world. I love him exactly how he is, but there’s something wrong with him. He’s not like normal people. I think he might be the three-legged dog I’ve been dreaming about.
5. I should save him for the book.

One of the mini poodles escaped today. Two hours of unmitigated anxiety, plus imagining that phone call: “Funny story, I killed your dog…” But he came back. After that I had lunch with an author in town who invited me out specifically to remind me of my potential. He said, “You could write anything you put your mind to.” Being reminded of your potential is fine when you’re using it, but when you’re just sitting around not writing, it cuts like a knife. I’m not mad at anybody, I’m just anxious. Not writing feels like your dog ran away and you don’t know if he’s ever coming back. I should put an ad on craigslist. My beloved book has gone missing! Send help.

Casey Hannan and I did this story exchange thing for Story Tapes. Watch it! I am robotic and my eyes are all wrong, but I think look pretty.

09/27/12

On Not Writing

Writers will say, “There’s no such thing as writer’s block,” or “I don’t believe in writer’s block.” Okay. Well. What’s it called when every time I write a sentence it’s the worst sentence I’ve ever written, and this happens so consistently that soon I become afraid of the page itself, until the doubt gives way to fear and anxiety as I watch the month of September slip pitifully through my fingers with nothing to show for it? But what can be done? Another day, another dollar. Just go grimly on.

I thought getting out of my house on Phillips Street would help, so I took a greyhound to Seattle to write and hang out with my friend Laura’s dog. I did one out of two of those things. The greyhound driver out of Montana went ahead and told us all sorts of facts about the 1913 fire that apparently ravaged St. Regis and the surrounding wilderness. Her facts were morbid and came in unpredictable spurts. Just when I thought I could relax, she’d get on the horn and say, “Just past that tree line you’ll find a cave that collapsed in the 1913 fire, killing 13 men and all six of their horses.” People on the bus were really into her and who could blame them. The driver on the way home was boring. He didn’t have any wildfire facts. All he did was remind us after every single stop that there was no smoking on the bus. Dude, does anyone in the year 2012 think that it’s okay to smoke anywhere at any time? What a dumb, boring bus driver.

Here are some things that I’ve been doing instead of writing:

  • Craigslist is the new Submittable; all told I’d say I spend around 2-4 hours a day perusing it. I look in the jobs section and weep. I look for open apartments, sublets and roomshares (as if lightning is going to strike twice and I’ll find a roommate with an even BIGGER picture of his face hanging from the wall). Mostly, I look in the pet section where I mourn all the lost dogs and dream of buying all the puppies. Somebody advertised that they found a 3-legged dog near Russell Street. I wrote them to explain that no, it was not my dog, but if they didn’t find its owner than surely I am destined to step in, because I have reoccurring dreams of owning a 3-legged dog. They did not reply. It makes me mad to think about it. I should have found that dog. I never find any dogs.
  • My roommate Jesse and I continue to play house, but is it really a game? I do the dishes and think, “Ha ha, pretending to be in a domestic partnership, doing the dishes.” I think if I get married and have children it will be the same in my head. “Ha ha, brushing my daughter’s hair. Ha ha, second mortgage.” Back when I delivered pizzas I used to pretend that I was a serf in feudal times, working for pennies. I asked my coworkers if they ever did anything similar, and they were like, “What? No.”
  • Jesse asked me to marry him on facebook chat while I was in Seattle, making him the second man in 2012 to propose to me on the Internet. This is what happens when you get older. You can’t just casually date anymore. Everything is a fucking catastrophe. Men are all, “You’re going to rip my fucking heart out of my chest!” It’s grave. To his marriage proposal I said, “Probably,” and that made him mad, so I said, “Sure.” Then we walked around a table holding hands backwards  and now we’re “married.” My roommate is like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman in that he doesn’t like to kiss on the mouth.
  • We are so poor. Every day I ride my bike across town to my post office box. I put my key in the lock and pray, and every day, there’s no check waiting for me and I ride home defeated. It’s always a dreary bike ride for some reason; I have terrible thoughts.
  • The smoke that lingers in the hills of Missoula is disconcerting, definitely, and sure, it hurts to breathe, but the truth is that I like it. It seems like nothing affects me anymore. I used to cry when the music swelled in movies and now I feel nothing. For awhile there, the busses were free, but I had to pay this morning, which. What the fuck. Riding the bus should be free. Everything in the world should be free.
  • And to think, just a couple of weeks ago I quit smoking. Here’s the classic joke: “Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop smoking!” That’s not funny at all.
  • Reading books, watching films, listening to music. Just trying to get through this thing. Trying to remember how to write again. Trying not to panic. The world is a just and orderly place, right? And to die is different from what anyone supposed? And luckier?
07/9/12

My Top 42 Favorite Woody Allen Films

Here’s every Woody Allen feature film (not including some shorts, made for tv stuff, things he wrote but didn’t direct, etc.) ranked in the order I most like them. At some point in a young girl’s life, you simply say to yourself, “God damnit, I’m going to watch every Woody Allen film ever made.” And then you do. Here’s the result of my pointless scholarship.
  1. Husbands and Wives
  2. Crimes and Misdemeanors
  3. Hannah and Her Sisters
  4. Annie Hall
  5. Deconstructing Harry
  6. Everyone Says I Love You
  7. Manhattan
  8. Vicky Cristina Barcelona
  9. Bullets Over Broadway
  10. Midnight in Paris
  11. Anything Else
  12. Match Point
  13. Mighty Aphrodite
  14. Radio Days
  15. Whatever Works
  16. Stardust Memories
  17. The Purple Rose of Cairo
  18. Alice
  19. You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger
  20. Celebrity
  21. Take The Money and Run
  22. Small Time Crooks
  23. Broadway Danny Rose
  24. Sweet and Lowdown
  25. Another Woman
  26. Sleeper
  27. Bananas
  28. Manhattan Murder Mystery
  29. A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy
  30. Don’t Drink the Water
  31. Melinda and Melinda
  32. Shadows and Fog
  33. Cassandra’s dream
  34. Curse of the Jade Scorpion
  35. Zelig
  36. Scoop
  37. To Rome with Love
  38. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex…
  39. Love and Death
  40. Interiors
  41. What’s Up, Tiger Lily?
  42. Hollywood Ending

Why is Husbands and Wives my favorite Woody Allen film? It’s probably not. Crimes and Misdemeanors is the better movie. Watching Martin Landeau go back in time and listen to his Jewish family debate moral relativism at the dinner table = the best shit I’ve ever seen. I just think Husband and Wives deserves to be remembered. It’s smart about men and women to an unsettling degree. My favorite line, regarding Mia Farrow’s character: “She always gets what she wants.” Girrrl. You know you know women like that.

Deconstructing Harry is a hot mess of weirdness. It’s filled with the fuck word. Billy Crystal plays the devil. What I like about it is that Woody Allen’s character plays a writer, and you get to watch his short stories come to life. Robin Williams plays a guy who is “out of focus.” Such heart! Such whimsy!

Everyone Says I Love You is a fucking musical!

Anything Else is weirdly high on my list. I don’t know why.

Hollywood Ending might not actually be literally the worst Woody Allen film, but I sure do fucking hate it! I’m a better actress than Tiffany Theissen, and I have no acting skills.

So there you have it! What do you think.

03/20/12

shit I can’t get over right now, part 1.

1. Paul the Octopus picked all the winners in the 2010 World Cup!

Of the final games, Paul the octopus picked 8 of 8 winners correctly. I had to look up how to do probabilities to figure out how likely that would be by random chance. .5 is the probability that the team he guesses is correct, right? he has a 50% chance of guessing right for every matchup. So .5 to the power of 8, and, ta da! Paul the Octopus has a .3% chance. Is that enough to make you believe in magic? I’ve made the leap from a lot less!

Germans are weird.

More incredible than that is how Paul’s soccer loving handlers came to this discovery in the first place. How many Octopi did they consult before they found Paul? Do you know that an octopus is as smart as a dog? They are clever, affectionate weirdos. Paul’s dead, incidentally. He had a good run.

This reminds me of a similar phenomenon I can’t get over right now: Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon really does sync up with the Wizard of Oz. I have actually done this back in high school, more than once. (On weed.) You start the album on the MGM lion’s third roar. “Great gig in the sky” plays during the tornado, it’s like they’re fucking dancing. The soundtrack goes “Cha-ching!” during “Money” at the precise moment the film switches from black and white to color.

Again, with both of these instances, it’s not just the phenomenon, but the sheer improbability that the phenomenon was ever discovered.

2. Separate Drinking Fountains? Are you fucking kidding me?

That’s so racist! I know that we’ve already done the scholarship on the history of institutionalized racism in America, but HOLY FUCK. The 1950s weren’t that long ago, you guys. It wasn’t some crazy time before we knew about germs or Jesus or electricity. How did a plumber install the pipes without stopping and saying, “What the fuck am I doing? Oh my god. This makes no sense! We’re all God’s children!” I can’t get over separate drinking fountains right now.

Look at this asshole.

These are stills from the film Mississippi Burning.

3. Oh my God, how is Michaelangelo’s statue of David so good?

Look at what a good job Michael did carving this marble into a statue! It looks so much like a human. Look how much his abs are just like a very fit man’s abs. People were probably very fit back then, and especially a mythical man. Look how vulnerable the genitals. You have to imagine that he has black hair, isn’t that weird? The statue was made in 1504! That’s only 12 years after they didn’t even know America existed. Think about how old it is and how lucky that it didn’t get broken. I read on the wikipedia that in 1991, a deranged man went at the statue with a hammer and broke off a couple of its toes. Why would he do that? Further, why don’t deranged men run at beautiful things with weapons more often?

Stay tuned for more shit I can’t get over in the next couple of days. Unless I get over it by the time I post again.

01/4/12

let’s not make a big deal about the new year, 2012 edition.

Here’s some lists for 2012!

Social lessons I learned in 2011:

1. You know, I don’t think men like it when you are very blunt and autistic about sexual things. Like, say you’re hanging out and it seems as though things are moving towards pants coming off… I used to think they would find it very refreshing if you made an abrupt announcement like, “It’s about time for the pants to come off,” but now I think maybe they don’t like that! I think it has something to do with romance or something.

2. Regarding the art of small talk: Now, I find that people are very boring and are always saying boring things to me, and yet, when I try to reciprocate with more boring, the other person looks bored! I will start talking about how I saw a series of books from my childhood at a Salvation Army. I will tell them how it reminded me of being young and that I considered buying some of the books, but the plot thickens when the books turn out to be pretty expensive, like two dollars a book or something, at the Salvation Army! And the person’s eyes glaze over and they start interrupting you or talking to someone else in the area. The lesson is that even though other people are boring all the time, you still have to not be boring. It doesn’t seem fair but we learned a long time ago that life wasn’t fair, right?

3. People don’t like self deprecating humor as much as I thought they did. It makes them uncomfortable. Jokes should be situational, or maybe based on manipulating language or exposing basic truths in new and pleasant ways. Turns out nobody wants to hear how fat I think I am.

4. This list is silly. I learned a lot of other more important things but I don’t want to talk about it anymore.

Books I read at the MacDowell Colony from Nov-Dec of 2011:

1. Smashing Laptops, by Josh Wagner
2. Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen
3. Blueprints of the Afterlife, by Ryan Boudinot
4. Preston Falls, by David Gates
5. The Heart Beneath the Heart, (long essay) by Rick Bass
6. Ray, by Barry Hannah
7. The Devil All the Time, by Donald Ray Pollock

Books I started but didn’t finish:

8. In Persuasion Nation, by George Saunders
9. Moby Dick, by Herman Melville
10. Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace
11. The Savage Detectives, by Roberto Bolano

Movies I saw in theaters in 2011, listed here without comment or Ceremony:

Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, Another Earth, Take Shelter, What’s Your Number?, Conan the Barbarian, The Muppet Movie, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, 50/50

There might be more, but that’s all I can remember.

My top 3 Favorite Blog Posts from 2011, written for me, about me, and chosen by me.

1. Whatever, about depression and the animal kingdom.

2. Sorry For Being Weird, a post about being sorry for being weird. (Honorable mention, its followup: Sorry for Being Sorry about Being Weird.)

3. how I spent my writer’s vacation, authored drunk alone in a cabin in the woods.

2012, yo. Let’s do something cooler!

Happy Time Music Playlist for 2012, affectionately titled: Bring Me a Higher Love. These songs are handpicked to bring me a higher love in both romantic and divine realms of existence.

1. “Higher Love” by Steve Winwood

2. “Something” by the Beatles

3. “You Are the Sunshine of my life” by Stevie Wonder

Talking Book is a concept album that begins with idealized love, goes on a detour into the black man’s experience, dabbles in the loss of idealized love and heartbreak and then finally ends on a note of “try, try again.”

4. “It’s Boring/You Can Live Anywhere you Want” by YACHT

5. “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves

Fry always sings this in the shower. It’s adorable every time.

6. “My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison

7. “Roll Away Your Stone” by Mumford & Sons

Sigh No More is a concept album about rejecting romantic love for something more heavenly and divine, and that’s why it’s my favorite album of the last decade. In case you were wondering what I thought about it.

8. “Foxglove” by Murder By Death

9. “Everything’s Alright” by Jesus Christ Superstar

10. “Wildflowers” by Tom Petty

11. “Once In A Lifetime” by Talking Heads

12. “This is the Day” by The The

13. “The Greatest” by Cat Power

This song is probably about suicide or something, knowing Ms. Marshall. I haven’t bothered to listen closely to the lyrics. Let’s just say it’s about me being the greatest.

14. “I’m the Man Who Loves You” by Wilco

15. “Happy Man” by Sparklehorse

Yeah, I know he fucking killed himself. Whatever.

16. “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher” Jackie Wilson

04/20/11

Best Adapted Screenplay

Back, baby. Back to not wanting to read all of these student stories and so blogging instead. I couldn’t help but feel a bruising of my ego when everyone’s comments on the last post amounted to, “you should see this film,” as though I were a cinematic idiot. There are 100 films on both of these lists. I’ve seen 79% of the best original screenplays from the last 20 years, and 72% of best adapted. Yeah. I guess that is only a C. But with grade inflation/a curve I give myself an A-. Anyway, feel free to comment and tell me which of the films in asterisks I must see.

One last thing. I’ve streamlined the listing process. I neglected to include author’s names this time, because this shit takes forever to type out. Forgive. Secondly, the winner is always listed first, my choices are in bold, and as before, films I have not seen are thus.*

1990
Dances with Wolves
Awakenings
Goodfellas
The Grifters*
Reversal of Fortune

1991
The Silence of the Lambs
Europa Europa*
Fried Green Tomatoes
JFK
The Prince of Tides*

1992
Howards End*
Enchanted April*
The Player
A River Runs Through It
Scent of a Woman*

Sorry, Montana! I thought A River Runs Through It was way boring.

1993
Schindler’s List
The Age of Innocence
In the Name of the Father*
The Remains of the Day*
Shadowlands*

1994
Forrest Gump
The Madness of King George
Nobody’s Fool*
Quiz Show
The Shawshank Redemption

See also the Murder by Death song, “Holy Lord, Shawshank Redemption is such a good movie!”

1995
Sense and Sensibility*
Apollo 13
Babe
Leaving Las Vegas
Il Postino*

RIP Nicholas Cage.

1996
Sling Blade
The Crucible
The English Patient
Hamlet
Trainspotting

Um… don’t get me wrong, I love this version of Hamlet, but you shouldn’t get a fucking Oscar nomination for adapting a Shakespeare play for the screen. “Look at all the artful cuts I made.” Wow. Not.

1997
L.A. Confidential
Donnie Brasco
The Sweet Hereafter
Wag the Dog
The Wings of the Dove*

This was tough. All these movies were wonderful, except the one I haven’t seen, which I’m sure sucks.

1998
Gods and Monsters
Out of Sight
Primary Colors*
A Simple Plan
The Thin Red Line

Elmore Leonard = Detroit hero.

1999
The Cider House Rules*
Election
The Green Mile
The Insider
The Talented Mr. Ripley

2000
Traffic
Chocolat*
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Wonder Boys

There’s no such thing as a writing program student who doesn’t love the film Wonderboys. It would be like being an 80′s guy who doesn’t love Wall Street.

2001
A Beautiful Mind
Ghost World
In the Bedroom
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Shrek

Enid in Ghost World is one of my favorite literary/film characters of all time. Although I will say that the book version of A Beautiful Mind is wonderful and graceful and nothing at all like the film. Nash is much more fascinating and complicated IRL. Also give me a break, schizophrenia doesn’t work that way.

2002
The Pianist*
About a Boy
Adaptation
Chicago
The Hours

I always go with Kaufman as a general policy.

2003
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
American Splendor
City of God
Mystic River
Seabiscuit

2004
Sideways
Before Sunset
Finding Neverland*
Million Dollar Baby
The Motorcycle Diaries*

2005
Brokeback Mountain
Capote
The Constant Gardener*
A History of Violence
Munich*

I couldn’t choose just one; both these films are devastating. Capote is even better than you remember it being. Rent it today!

2006
The Departed
Borat
Children of Men
Little Children
Notes on a Scandal*

The first time I went off on a buddhist retreat, I had a two hour session where I watched the entirety of “The Departed” in my mind, with crystal focus, and it was surreal. Also it’s just a really good movie.

2007
No Country for Old Men
Atonement
Away from Her*
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly*
There Will Be Blood

Again, I can’t choose. Both of these films are stuck in my brain. Atonement is so lame and shut up, I know the Divine Bell movie is supposed to be good but I’m afraid of it; it looks depressing.

2008
Slumdog Millionare
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Doubt
Frost/Nixon
The Reader

Most of these movies suck. 2008 was the worst year on record, both for the cinema and life. Seriously, check your records and think about it. The year of the mortgage crisis, the year the banks failed, the year GM went under, the year The Detroit Lions failed to win a single game, the year I graduated college, the year of personal domestic horrors I can’t go into right now, the year Benjamin Button was made…

2009
Precious
District 9
An Education*
In the Loop*
Up in the Air

2010
The Social Network
127 Hours*
Toy Story 3*
True Grit
Winter’s Bone

Discuss.