Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Vignettes from Vermont: Synecdoche, Graffiti Vault

BENNINGTON -- Lisa and Julia were putzing around on their phones during lunch in the brew pub across the street when they stumbled upon a link for Fiddlehead at Four Corners (HERE). The cuties hit the link and loved one of the pictures -- Brian Hewitt's "Carriage Barn Gala" oil painting -- and then saw a link for the Google Street View virtual tour inside the art gallery. They took and loved the tour and decided to walk across the street to check out Fiddlehead at Four Corners in person.

At first AGD was pretty stoked to hear the cuties tell this little ditty of a tale because Fiddlehead's Street View tour went live on Google just an hour or two earlier, so he immediately thought how sweet it was that this new technology was working as intended. But the longer AGD engaged the cuties in conversation the more he wondered if they weren't in on the jig, whatever that jig might be.

Then again it didn't really matter because, well, Google Business Street View works.

Lisa and Julia are the cuties -- mom and daughter -- from outside New York City, near Nyack. Lisa looks nothing like the mom of a 23-year-old cutie. AGD thought Lisa was early to mid-30s at the latest, not the age she said she is, so she definitely has that going for her. She has a serious Jami Gertz thing going on, with a little post-Breakfast Club Ally Sheedy. 

Mom and daughter showed AGD how they got from Madison's Restaurant to Fiddlehead at Four Corners via Droid smartphone and Google technology (picture above).

They wanted to see Brian Hewitt's work that they saw on their phone. AGD sent them upstairs after telling them the 30-second "Brian Hewitt Story" that goes: Brian was a great newspaper and magazine ad director for years then retired to the Dominican Republic to be Jeff Spicoli but had to move back home to play Good Son to his aging father only to find himself unable to get a job -- so he picks up a brush for the first time in 2010 and becomes a renowned oil painter. Lisa and Julia hightailed it up the stairwell to the mezzanine ...

... Julia is in the red coat looking at "Rupert House" while Lisa is squatting in the left corner and signing Brian's guest book. They came back downstairs and chatted with AGD.

Come to find out Lisa is a registered nurse who works on film and TV sets. AGD asked if she worked on films he had heard of. Not many, she said, but Julia dropped the name Charlie Kaufman, the Oscar-winning screenwriter who wrote and directed "Synecdoche, New York" with Phillip Seymour Hoffman and wrote "Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind" and "Adaptation" and "Being John Malkovich". Like Synecdoche, they're mind trips. Unlike them, Synecdoche reviews (HERE) aren't exactly lukewarm except for Ebert, who thinks it's one of the best movies of a generation (HERE). Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote an amusing review (HERE) that pretty much aligns with AGD's feelings of the movie.

Julia intimated that her mom was an RN on the set of Synodoche, New York. For a few moments, as she tried to spell Synodoche, AG thought Julia was trying to say Schenectady as well so he was, like, What the fuck are you talking about, girl? He quickly Googled Charlie Kaufman and Schenectady and that's when AGD realized, Ohhhh, Sy-NEC-do-che. (AGD has pronounced it "sinna-DOH'SHE, so what the fuck does he know?) As it turns out, Julia was trying to verbalize Schenectady in relation to pronouncing the movie title. As an aside, AGD has a pretty funny story about Schenectady vis-a-vis his summer stock days in L.A. but he'll tell that story another time.

Lisa noticed a book for sale at Fiddlehead -- "Chalk It Up!" -- so AGD gave her the spiel about the Graffiti Vault and taking pictures of people who went nuts in the Graffiti Vault then made a book. One thing leads to another ... and Lisa and Julia are in the Graffiti Vault ...

Lisa loves Larry, with a bright little sun

Julia loves a dude by the name of Tom Porpiglia

... back at the counter after a bit of graffiti fun, Julia signs her name on a paper giving AGD permission to use the photo in volume 2 of Chalk It Up! That's when AGD notices her last name: Stallone. She said she might be related to Sylvester but isn't quite sure. The better story, however, is the one of how her childhood friend's last name was Pacino, so they always went around acting like they were related to Sty Stallone and Al Pacino. Very cute.

Remember, mom and daughter only made their way into Fiddlehead because of the Google Street View they found online using mom's phone. They also bought a framed John DeAmicis lithograph -- and so that's the real power of Google.

In sleuthing out Lisa Rosenberg's background, AGD found her LinkedIn profile and it confirms she is a registered nurse. But she's also a singer.

"I do love to take care of people as a nurse," she writes at LinkedIn, "but when I do music it takes care of me and involves others so it is more encompassing."

Lisa goes on to write "I work as a medic on Film/TV/Commercials which I love because I get to meet a lot of interesting people and be around creative individuals. I had a talk show that I hosted in Manhattan called "Here's Lisa" ... I haven't shot any episodes lately but one never knows when I start that again. I have been focusing on music, which is my first true love (one never forgets their first). I have acted off-off Broadway and in independent films. I trained with Lynette Sheldon in acting. My favorite technique is Meisner. I am a singer, songwriter and currently sing with The Magpies"

This first YouTube clip shows Lisa singing "Between You and Me" in December. The second clip shows an episode of "Here's Lisa" with New York City TV legend Joe Franklin.

Oh, Lisa also gave AGD 20 bucks for the first copy of "Chalk It Up!" volume 2.