Punch Drunk

#37. They moved to LA and settled in Venice. Paul Thomas Anderson loved Jeremy’s work. He asked him to do the colorful transitions in between scenes for “Punch Drunk Love.”

"Punch Drunk Love" credits by Jeremy Blake

Episode IV

#36. I visited New York that spring and we met at Cafe Colonial in Nolita. She told me she’d felt abandoned when I left NYC. I was so incredibly grateful to have her back in my life. She started to treat me differently - less like a little brother and more like an equal. I was flattered to have graduated to that level.

Theresa and her new friend Tuesday at her new Valentine Media offices, NYC the day we reconnected in 2000.

False Alarm

#35. A day later came a second email, and it was like nothing had happened; we were back to being friends again. It was such a relief, but I felt like I was being taught a lesson. I’d seen what had happened to people on the wrong side of her loyalty before and I didn’t want that to happen to me.

Suddenly we were cool again. 

Oprah

#34. Then one day I finally got a reply. It wasn’t very friendly.

I wish I could remember what I’d written to her that prompted this reply. I think she’d sent me a link with a link to a photo of her in Vogue and I replied. But where Oprah figures in this will need to remain a mystery.

Scene Missing

#33. So began a year during which I went about my life while Theresa ignored my efforts to reach her. I’m bad at that, on being on the receiving end of the silent treatment. It works; it makes you wonder what you did. It’s also totally not fair.

She bought this for me at Olsson’s Books on Wisconsin one day in 1995. 

Frozen Out

#32. But then I moved to San Francisco, and she stopped returning my calls and emails. 

Paris, 1995.

Rising Star

#31. She was getting the recognition she deserved, and became rather well known in the Silicon Alley community. I was so proud.

Silicon Alley Reporter Top 100, 1999

The History of Glamour

#30. The two of them together burned with ambition, worked tirelessly and  began to get recognized. Theresa wrote a movie called “The History of Glamour” for which Jeremy did the art. It was more-than-slightly loosely based on themselves, but it was also a hilarious spoof of celebrity and art stardom (right down to the title’s pretentious British spelling). It showed on VH1 and was in the 2000 Whitney Biennial. It was inspiring to see their work paying off, and proof that it was possible to lead a creative life.

The History of Glamour, 1999.

Smarty

#29. Their relationship seemed so natural, as if they’d already been together for years. They moved in almost immediately, and Jeremy started working on Theresa’s next CD-ROM “Smarty”, side by side with her (and Raymond!) at the Nicholson offices. 

Conversationally, it was intimidating enough trying to keep up with Theresa alone. But the two of them together was the ultimate test of verbal speed, intellectual depth and cultural breadth. It really forced me to up my game, like in that movie about the French people where they hella harsh on each other, like, all the time and stuff.

Soon they became like an older brother and sister to me. I even dumped the girlfriends they didn’t like. (Not you, R____! But yeah: sorry, M____!)

"Mimi Smartypants Takes On The Assassins" - NY Times, May 25 1997

The Ice Melts

#28. Jeremy didn’t like me at first. I was out with Theresa one night and she told me the two of them had walked past my apartment on Christopher Street the night before. When Theresa had pointed out that I lived there, Jeremy had said “so what’s the deal with that guy?” and got really pissy. And I can understand why. I mean, who the hell was this younger dude hanging out with his love interest? What was our deal?

But I was pleased that he’d perceived me as some kind of threat.

Then one night Jeremy and I talked Man Talk and drank Jack Daniels at their Nolita apartment until quite late. We both began to understand who we both were to her. 

There was this really cute, tiny Italian place in the Bowery, around 1st Avenue and maybe 2nd or 3rd Street. Near Mars bar, I think? I used to take a lot of first dates there, it was pretty sure-fire. Now there’s a giant condo complex where my friend Gabe lives. This photo is from the sadly-forgotten-name Italian first date place, circa 1999.

Enter: Mr. Blake

#27. We met Jeremy at a Blonde Redhead show at The Knitting Factory. Technically they had met at a party or two when we all lived in D.C., but Theresa wouldn’t give him the time of day at the time (see also entry #21). At the show he was hanging out with this long haired blonde dude named James, who was a super aggro, skater surfer macho model actor type. I guess Jeremy dropped him because I never heard about him again.

Still from “The History of Glamour”, about which I have not posted quite yet. Patience, all five of you reading this!

Manhattan Transfer

#26. We moved to NYC at the same time. She lived with Raymond. I introduced her to Tom Nicholson, who hired her to make CD-ROM games. Her star was rising and I was fiercely proud.

Puck Building Poseurs, NYC 1997

Bons Mots

#25. I wanted to talk like she did: her references, her confidence, her wit.  I stole many of her expressions outright. She said “like a deer in headlights” perhaps once, but to this day I use that phrase whenever possible because it makes me think of her. 

New Yorker parody, “Midwesterner” from her CD-ROM “Smarty.”

Paris

#24. We went to Paris together and stayed in the Marais. We smoked cigarettes and took pictures at the Pompidou, Pere Lachaise, and the Eiffel Tower.

It Wasn’t Like That

#23. Let’s address the elephant in the room here. Can’t a guy just be friends with a gorgeous, brilliant blonde and not need to sleep with her? I mean, sort of yes and sort of no but mostly yes. But mostly: thank God I was too intimidated by her to try something. It would not have ended like a Judd Apatow movie.

Paris, 1995