VIRGINS & MONKEYS: Had a very laid back weekend, recovering from a long work week and working on poetry projects. On Saturday night, I finally watched The 40 Year Old Virgin, which was one of the smartest, funniest, filthiest films I have ever seen. Steve Carell and Catherine Keener are brilliant and all the supporting cast are spot on. Carell wrote the script with director Judd Apatow and they really have an ear for dialogue and comedy.

The plot is quite simple: Carell plays Andy, a 40 year old nerd who works in the billing department of a Circuit City-type store in California. When his co-workers find out he's still a virgin, they set out to get him laid, including taking him to bars, buying him hookers and giving him porn. Then Andy meets Trish (Catherine Keener) who works across the street selling items for people on eBay who are too lazy to do it themselves (those stores are all the rage in California...seriously). That really is the plot. Along the way you get some zingy one-liners, some obvious improvisation and Jane Lynch...a regular in Christopher Guest's films...plays the electronics store manager who wants nothing more to take a vacation, get baked for a week in her apartment and watch Gandhi. She should get an Oscar! I love that Andy's character collects action figures. I spotted a Six Million Dollar Man and an Oscar Goldman doll. Not that I'd know anything about that... Anyway, rent this. You will scream your head off with laughter.

On Sunday night, I went Java Monkey Speaks and MAN...the place was on fire again. It was raining and cold and I thought the place would be dead, but it was literally standing room only. Tom Lux was there, Beth Gylys, Rupert Fike, Travis Denton (who told me that the new edition of Terminus is out in April...hooray) and Katie Chapel was the featured poet, and her stuff was fab. I read two new pieces (including Barney Rubble Saves Our Lives, which I might post a rough draft of here at some point) and there was just a good, positive vibe. The highlight of the evening, without a doubt, was mild-mannered Alan Sugar getting up and doing the most dead-on impersonation of Judy Garland I've ever seen. He had the gestures, the not-quite-sober warble and did this performance art poem around it. You would just have to see it to believe it. Rupert and I were in tears it was so hilarious.

Readings are falling into place for the release of Slow To Burn. I'm doing a reading for the Georgia Writers Association and joining other poets at Outwrite Books in April before jetting off to San Antonio and Austin for the official book release. In May, there will be a reading/reception at a local art gallery (more details soon...I'm very excited about this one), a reading at Java Monkey, one in Milledgeville, another release reading in my old hometown of Fayetteville, GA and then I'm doing a benefit for the Goethe-Institut with Tom Lux, Kodac Harrison and Holly Jones called 4 Goethe. I'm even planning to read Rilke in German...I'd better start practicing now!

More readings will be happening in the summer and fall, including NYC, Charlotte, LA and London. It's going to be a very exciting 2006!

In memoriam: Barbara Guest.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Rented this last night after seeing it on yoour blog. You are right. Its fucking hilarious.

GAV
Anonymous said…
Hi, Collin.

Just checking in. I was sitting here on a dark rainy late afternoon, trying to pick some music to listen to, picked The Sensual World by Kate Bush, and Voila! Just decided to see what you are saying since the last reading at The Portfolio Center. Please reserve me a copy of Slow To Burn. I think I will try to make your Millegeville reading - can't pass up the Flannery O'Conner connection.

I just finished a 4-week workshop with Amy Pence, entitled "Writing Our Own Mythology". Some good work by all involved. Keep doing what you're doing. Peace.

Sam Gainor
Collin said…
Thanks, Sam. Good to hear from you. Make sure you've got the March 3 Poetry at Portfolio Center on your calendar. Jonia Beqo (Gypsee-Yo) is the feature. She is brilliant.

Milledgeville should be fun. The reading will be at a coffee house near campus, and from what i've heard they have a huge crowd there every week. I'll post time and place soon.

CMK
Bookfraud said…
anything that is both funny and filthy should win an academy award. i'll have to rent it...
jenni said…
I'm so excited you'll be in Charlotte! I'm only 45 minutes away! We'll have to have coffee or chat or something afterwards.

Loved the 40-year old virgin. My mom bought it for us for x-mas. Really, really funny. The action figures were my fav part--when his friends try to hide them. And the box of favorite porn clips cracked me up.

anyways, i am so excited for your reading. Unless there is some natural disaster count me in.
Didn't know about Barbara Guest...

One of my favorite lines she wrote was "And the brokenhearted bears tumble in the leaves."

Sad.

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