Monday, April 30, 2007

Mobility

Ah, what a sweet thing to be able to hop in the car with minimum possessions and go across the world to wherever it is you want to live. Very sweet.

And very, very difficult.

I was mobile once. After high school, I think. I had few real possessions, if any. When I joined the Army, I took a suitcase full of clothes with some movies and some books; maybe some CDs. I lived that way for a while. I had nothing, I needed nothing, and I wanted (figuratively) nothing. And then it happened... I started buying "stuff."

I seriously got away without having a car for a couple of years. I left my old, semi-classic '67 Chrysler in the possession of my sister back in Nevada, and arrived at Fort Bragg with two feet and cab fare. That was early 1996. And despite living off-post, I didn't buy another vehicle until 1998. And it all rolled from there.

Some furniture, a home theater system that seriously rocked the apartment complex, kitchenware. Everything that someone planting so-called permanent roots would need (though I didn't buy a bed until 1999; sleeping just fine on the floor). Only I wasn't planting roots of any kind. I was just accumulating stuff. Large, heavy, volume-filling stuff.

When I went to Korea I enjoyed a "return to mobility" of sorts, only taking my laptop computer and some clothes to the East Asian country. It was nice. For an entire year, I didn't have to worry about anything. No stuff, no moving stuff, no keeping stuff safe. Nothing.

Last year, as some of you know, I embarked on my long-awaited move from North Carolina to California. Regardless, I had to move a ton of stuff. Lots of furniture. Lots of large, heavy, volume-filling stuff. And let me tell you, it wasn't cheap to do. My mobility was limited by cost, weight, and pets. And, to add insult to injury, I got stuck in Nevada.

Okay, on to the point... in a couple of days, I will be leaving Nevada for whereabouts unknown. In all likelihood, it will be a temporary return to North Carolina, but I really don't have a clue as to my final resting point. And the first thing I did (or rather, am doing)? Getting rid of all of my heavy shit. Gone will be the furniture. Gone will be the crap I don't need or want. Gone will be everything that limits my mobility. I will not, until I'm filthy rich, be anchored to a place due to money, weight, space, animals, or people ever again. Sounds simple, doesn't it? I assure you, overcoming the mental realization of not "having stuff" in such a materialistic society is anything but.

I, quite literally, am taking nothing but clothes, a cot, a chair, my cell phone, and a laptop. Okay, yes, I have my animals, but unlike last year's insane 2-people, 3-dog, 6-cat move I undertook, I'm only undertaking a 1 person, 3-dog, 2-cat move. And by the end of my journey, there will only be 2 dogs.

My intent for the rest of the year is to be cheap, lightweight, a completely and spontaneously mobile. Of course, this means the lack of any kind of social life, but I don't care... I've got a goal and I need to make it.

And if you don't think I can do it, ask anybody who knew me when I slept on the floor or when I dated my ex. I'll put up with a ton of shit before I start to cave. A ton. Literally.

I'm wired, I'm excited. Pardon the staccato formlessness of this blog entry.

Have a nice day.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Random Musings Amid Mental Chaos

Good cause or not, last night's American Idol special, "Idol Gives Back," had to have been the most bloated two hours of television since, well, the last two-hour episode of American Idol.

Scientists believe they found a planet similar to Earth, located in the Libra constellation. Religious fundamentalists believe that those scientists pointed their telescopes back at Earth, in a ruse worthy of the "moonscape in a garage" ploy apparently used to fake the moon landings.

The Army is attempting to transform itself in order to better facilitate an expeditionary role. Unfortunately, the other three services (especially the Air Force) are severely limiting the Army in doing so, to point of actually hobbling the Army. More to come on this, I assure you.

I'm once again at a crossroads: California, or Carolina? Both have pros, both have cons. But I'm strangely attracted to a short-term Carolina trip for some obvious reason (obvious only to those who know, however).

The season three finale of Battlestar Galactica continues to awe and bewilder fans and critics alike, and it was aired a month ago. Outdoing the horrific writing of the season two finale wasn't easy, but it damn sure happened.

Jake Peavy, resident San Diego Padres ace, struck out nine in a row (one short of the record) in a surprising loss to the Diamondbacks. Regardless, the Padres are still 12-9, and in good shape to defend their NL West title. That being said, if those bastards don't win a World Series soon, I'm going to be pissed.

And that being said, if the Chargers don't win a Super Bowl (or three) soon, I'm going to be pissed.

Floyd Landis is still fighting his 7,283 positive tests for synthetic testosterone in his Tour de France win last year. Give it up, dude... take the hit, admit that you embarrassed yourself and your country, and disappear already.

A friend of mine is donating one of his kidneys to his friend's 17 year-old daughter. He claims he's just impulsive, but I stand by my claim that he's a better man than most men I know, including myself.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is threatening to sue the Federal Environmental Protection Agency unless they allow him to enforce cleaner air acts. Say what you will about the Governator, but I think he's pretty serious about saving Planet Earth (which is a great television series on Discovery Channel, by the way). No, I don't think we should change the Constitution to allow him to run for President, but I have to say that he's doing a decent job with California.

As many of you know, Nevada moved up its primaries in order to be one of the first states to vote in the election year. This was done in order to make Nevada more of a "force" in national politics. Um, you have five electoral votes (out of a possible minimum of four)... I don't think anyone really gives a shit.

The brother of former Arizona Cardinal safety and Army Ranger Pat Tillman is claiming that the Army covered up the fratricide in order to avoid another public relations blunder. Oops, that didn't work. Similarly, former "super POW" Jessica Lynch claimed her story was "heroically exaggerated" for the same reason. While Pat Tillman's brother is certainly in the right, I have a fundamental problem with Ms. Lynch. As in, why did she wait until AFTER the book and movie-of-the-week deals to come forward with this? Hmm...

Toyota surpassed General Motors as the global king of automobiles last fiscal quarter. Honestly, I've owned two GM vehicles, and I'm thinking their fall has more to do with a decline in quality than any other reason.

I've recently noticed how science fiction almost always refers to its space-borne infantry as Marines, but almost never refers to its space-borne crew as Sailors. Why is this? Both are direct references to water, so why is one passé and the other not?

I'm done for now.

Monday, April 23, 2007

I'm a Dork

I had a lovely conversation with a lovely person today, and part of it focused on the definition of a dork. You see, this lovely person claimed dorkhood, but I just didn't see it. So we broke down the dorky things that we both did, and I'm pretty sure I won the dork race, so to speak.

Why am I a dork? Well, some of the things that were brought up included:

I like science fiction. Yes, I dig it. Battlestar Galactica, when it isn't ignoring its own continuity and/or breaking the laws of physics, is my favorite show on television. And while I can't claim to have liked Babylon 5 (despite knowing and working with Peter Jurasik), I do like the first two incarnations of Star Trek (but most definitely not Deep Space Nine, Voyager, or Enterprise). Also, like most people my age, I absolutely dig Star Wars... well, old Star Wars.

And did I mention that I can name the 28 original Transformers toys from memory? And the 13 original G.I. Joes. And I like fantasy almost as much as I like science fiction. Especially erotic fantasy... I mean, er... never mind.

Take that, you non-dork people.

Dork clue number two is that I would rather, honestly and seriously, do dinner, a movie, and a walk on the beach for a date than I would bar or club hopping. Of course, that could just be because I'm getting old and lazy, leaving those drunk days behind... but no, I'm using it as a dork excuse.

Ooh, how about this? I'd rather go see ruins, museums, and natural landmarks when I'm in a foreign country rather than experience its nightlife. Yes, I'll go out at night just to say, "I got drunk in ______," but that's not the point. Give me the Parthenon or the Colosseum over a party in Paris any day. Let me see Mona Lisa in person. Take me to The Phantom of the Opera or The Producers on Broadway. Hell, I think I could have a blast at an archaeological site excavating stegosaurus bones.

Other evidence that I'm a dork? I love art and foreign film. I salivate over NFL cheerleaders. I alphabetize my DVD collection. I read... for fun. And, oh, yeah, I have a blog on MySpace.

Anyway, I think I've proven my dorkhood. But just in case, if you can think of anything else that would further my case, please post said evidence in a blog comment.

Have a nice day. Dorks.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Writer's Mood Block

Writer's block doesn't exist. I've said this before; I'm saying it again. I might just be saying it again in order to convince myself of that, but I'm saying it again regardless. Writer's block doesn't exist.

Basically, if your hands haven't been cut off, or your voice box and/or tongue ripped out, you can write. It might not be good, but it's writing nonetheless. Which is why writer's block doesn't exist.

What does exist, however, is writer's mood. A writer has to be in the mood to write. Sure, he or she can type random dreck, hoping for the infinite monkey syndrome to get lucky and produce the next great American novel, but for the most part, a writer wants to know where he or she is going with whatever it is he or she is writing.

Side note: Why isn't "they" an acceptable substitution for "he or she?" I think it's completely ridiculous that grammarians don't recognize the utility of having such an option. And I really, really hate that "s/he" crap those liberal writers tend to use. Fucking Hell. If you're still reading this, I'm just going to use "he" to represent "he or she" from here on out, so don't be offended if I leave your gender out of a sentence.

Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah... writer's mood. So here I am, getting ready to rewrite a script that has been languishing for about 20 months. The new outline is ready, the characters have been improved and streamlined, the plot is more linear and less predictable, and I'm sitting in front of computer ready to rock and roll. Only I don't feel like writing anything.

It's not that I can't write anything, or that I don't know what I'm going to write, because I do. The new version of the story is in my head. It's there. The modified characterizations are there. So is the dialogue. I just have to kick-start my lazy ass and put it on paper, so to speak. But I don't want to. Why? Fuck, I don't know, but I know I'm not in a writer's mood.

You name it, and I'm letting myself be distracted by it.

I'm following the NFL draft preparations, wondering what San Diego Chargers GM A.J. Smith is going to do. Is he going to trade Michael Turner to move up? Or is he going to pull another rabbit out of another hat? I'm keeping an eye on the fledgling baseball season, happy that the Padres are off to a decent start, but upset that they're not dominating. Jake Peavy and Chris Young be damned, sign me a fucking slugger.

I'm watching more television now than I have at any point in the previous six years. On my schedules are House, Lost, 24, Prison Break, Battlestar Galactica, Bullrun, Planet Earth, Heroes, and The Black Donnellys. House because its namesake is the best character on television. Lost because it's the best mystery on television. 24 because it's the best action. Prison Break because it's the best plot. Battlestar Galactica, best science fiction. Bullrun, I worked on it. Planet Earth, I'm a nature freak and it's just a limited series. Heroes, I'm a comic book freak, even though I think the show is overrated. The Black Donnellys, the best show on television, and it's cancelled.

I'm reading books. Lots of books. Screenwriting books (Linda Seger rocks). Filmmaking books. Military books. Art books (got a Gil Elvgren coffee table book that kicks ass). Fiction. Non-fiction. Comic books. You name it.

Oh, and "her." Yeah, I had "her" under wraps for a while, but now I'm definitely letting her distract me again. Willfully, blissfully, and (unfortunately) futilely. What can I say? Despite my best intentions and judgment, I can't help but let her do it for me. Argh.

The point. You probably want the point. THIS IS THE POINT. I'm doing everything BUT writing my damned script. And why? Because right now, I don't really fucking want to.

That's a horrible attitude for an aspiring writer, I know, but I can't fucking help it. I don't have writer's block (it doesn't exist anyway), but I'm just not in the writer's mood. It's like when your girlfriend is lying in the nude next to you, but claims she has a headache. She can, but won't. Well, that's where I'm at: I can, but won't.

Anybody have any suggestions?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Things You Thought You Knew... But Didn't

Lemmings do not commit suicide. This was a wives tale further perpetuated by Disney filmmakers who forced some lemmings to jump off a cliff in order to catch the "natural phenomenon" on film.

"When the Stars Go Blue" is not a Tim McGraw song. Like most country "stars," McGraw had to resort to singing a cover song in order to prove he still had talent. In fact, name me a popular country song that isn't a cover.

The "Dark Side" of the Moon isn't always dark.

Ensign was originally an Army rank. Modern navies adopted the rank when they needed an equivalent to army Second Lieutenants (which, ironically, were originally called Ensigns).

Henry Ford neither invented the car nor the assembly line. The modern car is attributed to Karl Benz (of Mercedes Benz fame) and the assembly line was the work of Ransom Olds (of Oldsmobile).

The Sahara Desert is not the largest desert in the world. Antarctica is.

Christopher Columbus was not the only person who thought the world was round. Most people did during his time, actually. Christopher Columbus simply thought the East Indies were much closer "the other way around the globe" than they actually were. Ironically, Columbus' opponents were the ones who claimed the East Indies were a long way away, making Columbus ultimately wrong, but very, very lucky.

The acronym DVD did not originally stand for "Digital Video Disc." It originally stood for "Digital Versatile Disc" (due to its multiple capabilities), but has since devolved into also standing for "Digital Video Disc" thanks to the ignorant stupidity of the public.

The term "Immaculate Conception" has little to do with Jesus. It refers to Mary's lack of original sin at her conception.

George Lucas did not write the novelization of Star Wars. Alan Dean Foster did. Mr. Lucas simply took credit for it for the last couple decades. Mr. Lucas also did not write the screenplays for The Empire Strikes Back nor Return of the Jedi. Makes one wonder how those two films wound up being the best two of the six, eh?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Greed and Vanity

Strange thing about people is that we all claim to know that vanity and greed are "wrong," yet we are all guilty of it.

Greed is the obvious one. Just about everyone wants money, things, the "easy" life, and most people will do whatever they feel they can get away with to get them. Keeping up with the Jones' isn't the exception, it's the norm. I'm not a typically jealous person, but I sometimes find myself wondering how to "catch up" to someone else, or how to "stay ahead" of others. I don't usually act on such instincts, but I do find myself experiencing them. As do you. As do your friends. As does your family.

Today I was reading about the poaching of rare and endangered one-horned rhinos. My first thought was, "why?" I'll give you one guess.

It's no accident that the saying is "money is the root of all evil." While that's fundamentally untrue, it's theoretically close enough. Were it not for money, there would be something else worth fucking others over. It's also no accident that the saying is "money makes the world go 'round," because it does. And put to good use, it can make the world go 'round pretty smoothly. Unfortunately, we're all, by our very natures, greedy.

A far worse crime to me, however, is vanity. Oh, fucking vanity. If greed makes people do evil things, vanity makes people hypocrites. Too many people want to be the best, to be noticed. Not enough people just want to get along, work together, and worry more about the end result instead of the headlines.

Some examples (and please keep in mind that I'm not pointing fingers, laying blame, or even trying insult the people involved... I'm guilty of it, too):

This totally fucked up event at Virginia Tech. Fucking crazy. Insane. Completely and utterly horrifying. A person contacted me yesterday, not to express concern over what happened, not to vent horror, not to cry, but to tell me that she knew people that knew people that were killed. Her instinct wasn't to wail despair, but to place herself as close to an infamous situation as possible. To make herself the talk of the massacre. Why? Vanity. More concerned with being linked to an undoubtedly historical event than being horrified by it.

I was working on a short film. I told the director from the get-go that I don't like doing "vanity projects," and I needed to be convinced that this particular film was anything but. And I was convinced. But after a few weeks of working with the director, it became utterly clear that this film wasn't anything but... it fucking was. I had to hear about how "artistic" the director and the director's ideas were, how "fucking cool" it would be to be a member of the three most powerful guilds in Hollywood, how everyone is going to fall at the director's feet and give him the money and talent that he needs because he's so damned artistic. Why? Vanity. More concerned with developing ego than developing the actual art.

The irony of the above examples? The first person is a so-called "devout" and fundamental Christian. The second person has a lot of genuine potential. But vanity gets in their way, making them believe they've already "got it."

Vanity gets in my way, too. Anyone who's been reading this blog for a while knows this. Vanity almost fucking killed me last year. And I learned my damn lesson.

Which is my point. Greed sucks. Vanity sucks. We're human, though, and we'll always have some level of both, but if we don't learn and adjust those levels so we can flourish not as individuals but as a society, we're fucked.

Think about political parties. Religions. Even when people are arguing points that they know are completely wrong, their vanities won't let them stop. Religion is the most heinous offender. There's nothing wrong with keeping your faith, but so much so to argue that other faiths are wrong (or even evil)... well, that's just the type of rhetoric I'm suggesting we get rid of. The fact is, that's what faith is... knowing you might be wrong, but believing anyway. Vanity makes people think that faith is knowing that they are right. And that's bullshit. There's only one answer, and that waits for you when you die... no book, no belief, no idea propagated by man knows what it is. You find out when you die.

But that's faith; let's get back to vanity. So, what about it? Well, vanity doesn't work.

You'll find out when you fail.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Following People Can Kiss My Ass:

People who feel their phone conversation is more important than the traffic they're in.

Minorities who throw "exclusive" parties, proms, etc., but cry "racist" every time whites do the same.

Raiders fans.

Rich and famous people who feel their fame and fortune is deserved, and not earned. Yes, this is a not-so-subtle jab at certain actors and athletes.

Actors in general.

Dodgers fans.

People who don't like dogs.

Late teenagers in college debating politics like they know something about it.

Members of al-Qaida (al Qai'da; al-Qaeda; al-Queera; al-a-I'm-a-moron).

The writers of Battlestar Galactica, who took a great premise and a great show, and turned it into a inconsistent soap opera not even worth of being called a soap opera.

Religions fundamentalists (any religion).

Extreme leftists.

Extreme rightists.

Al Sharpton, Don Imus, Jesse Jackson, Rush Limbaugh. Bet you never thought you'd see those four in the same sentence in your lifetime...

Bad drivers with those "what would Jesus do?" fish on their cars. Not sure, but I'm guessing he wouldn't be breaking any traffic laws.

Homosexuals who think that everyone who doesn't like gays is a homophobe.

People who don't like gays, including homophobes.

Natalie Portman, for not seeking me out and falling irresistably in love with me.

Helen Mirren, for not seeking me out and falling irresistably in love with me, and for being born 33 years before me.

Jessica Simpson, for playing Daisy Duke when you cleary didn't cut it.

Marge Simpson, for not seeking me out and falling irresistably in love with me, and for not being real.

Wannabe "artists" who think they're already good enough at their art; it's everyone else who doesn't "get it." Oh, yes, you know who I'm talking to.

Those door-to-door college-aged magazine salespeople. Seriously, how long do you think we're going to believe that you're "barely beating your competitors" (ususally guys versus girls), and that you're "this close" to winning a trip to Costa Rica. Word of advice, if you're going to lie about being a communications student from USC, make sure you know the name of the communications program there.

Military "lifers" who think that people who get out to pursue other things are losers.

People who get out of the military to pursue other things who think that military lifers are losers.

The execs at NBC who cancelled The Black Donnellys after hurting its chances by "skipping" an episode. Seriously, how did Jimmy get out of jail?

Anti-war, pro-soldier people. As if that's not oxymoronic at all.

People who quit reading this blog entry before now.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

How About That?

Scientists have just determined that the closest known living relative to the Tyrannosaurus Rex is the chicken. I'd plug in a "but what did they taste like" joke, but some asshole reporter who thinks he's more clever than me beat me to it.

The Duke lacrosse players have been proclaimed innocent and the charges have been dropped by the North Carolina Attorney General. Did anybody really find this as a surprise? I mean, to find a "victim" less credible would require listening to Imus on the radio. Oops... did I just write that? Hey, nappy-headed hos have feelings, too.

People are walking out of Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's double feature, Grindhouse, supposedly because they're not realizing that it's a double feature. That, or Robert Rodriguez' entry is worse than anybody is admitting.

I got dumped for a psychopath who writes what is undeniably the worst poetry on the planet. Can you believe that? And his eyes don't even point the same direction. And he's a closet homosexual. Which is really odd... but at least it explains his blatantly homoerotic narcissism.

The Black Donnellys, arguably the best new show on television, got ditched by NBC due to low ratings, thereby once again proving the stupidity of the American audience. But, rejoice, for Survivor is still on the air, and Sanjaya is still irritating the fuck out of me on American Idol. Way to go, American public. Way to go.

The San Diego Padres are off to a good start. Lets just hope they don't succumb to a head coach (whoops, manager) who repeatedly chokes in the playoffs despite having regular season records to be envious of. Wait a sec... wrong team.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended moronic Tennessee Titan Pacman Jones a full year for his moronic behavior stemming from the fact that he's a moron. And, presumably, because the pink ghost kept nabbing him before he could get to the bouncing cherries.

Recording artist Pink is apparently being censored for her controversial views concerning President George Bush. I think the bigger controversy lies in the fact that she most likely has no idea who the current President is. NBC, please get rid of her Sunday Night Football intro. Please. It's fucking painful.

Overuse of a cell phone and/or laptop can cause the following health problems: sore thumbs, acne and rashes, carpal tunnel syndrome, computer vision syndrome, addiction, lower sperm count. Now, honestly, doesn't that sound more like the symptoms that our closet gay, no-talent poet gets when he surfs the internet for naked Elton John photos? Seriously, doesn't it?

Women who are ovulating are discovered to prefer "manly" and "high-testosterone" men. Um, we needed a study to discover that?

The UN recently issued a report that we are, in fact, in a state of global warming. Why do I get the feeling that Dick Cheney still doesn't believe it? No, let me rephrase that: why do I get the feeling that Dick Cheney still doesn't give a shit?

How about that?

Monday, April 9, 2007

10 Movies Everybody Loves... That I Hate

I watched Curse of the Golden Flower for the first time last night and was thoroughly unimpressed. I had heard that the film was the box office record holder in China, so I figured it must be great. Not good. Great.

Only, it wasn't even okay. It stunk.

Curious as to why so many purported Chinese would love this movie, I decided to research the story. To see, like several popular Chinese action films, if it was based at all in truth. So far, I've found squat. It's just a chaotic mess of a movie that seems to have "Asian is cool" fanboys in an uproar over what amounts to an exercise in futility and ridiculousness. Ah, well.

At any rate, I decided to write about 10 movies that most people I know tend to love, and that I actually hate. How unlike me, right?

1. Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace. George Lucas' really bad version of the Bible, with Anakin Skywalker as Jesus Christ. Absolute crap.

2. Star Wars Episode Two: Attack of the Clones. The film with what had to be the single most retarded scene ever to grace the silver screen: Yoda bouncing around the screen like a pinball. Star Wars fanboys loved it. And you all know what I think of Star Wars fanboys.

3. Star Wars Episode Three: Revenge of the Sith. Ugh, why bother?

4. Anchorman. I've written about this before. It was dumb. I fell asleep. Will Farrell is hit or miss, and he definitely missed with this one.

5. Charlie's Angels. Sue me. I can't sit through this all the way. Next to George Lucas, Drew Barrymore deserves the "kill childhood fantasy" award. Not only was the script stupid, the acting sucked, none of the actresses (even Lucy Liu) could hold a candle to any of the original Angels (Farrah, Jacklyn, Kate, and Cheryl). I have no fucking clue how a sequel got greenlit. Praise Allah that McG lost out on directing the Superman film.

6. The Searchers. Oh, yes... John Ford and John Wayne's staple of film school. Even Spielberg claims he watches it just before he directs a new movie. My question is: why? It feels a bit sloppy. Most of the acting is subpar. And the climax is, quite simply, a letdown. I guess I should watch it again, but I seriously don't get it. Maybe I missed something.

7. The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Up until this film, I would have claimed that Steven Spielberg had never directed a truly bad film (even 1941, which makes me chuckle). But this... this wretched followup to the uber-great Jurassic Park... left me scratching my head. Ian Malcolm's daughter doing gymnastics in the middle of a jungle to knock out a velociraptor? Um, no. And let's not bring up the horrible casting behind that particular character.

8. The Matrix Reloaded. That's right, the second film in the trilogy. Nearly every person I know is in agreement that the third film was horrid, but I lay claim that the second was pretty fucking bad, too. Admittedly, it was better during a second (forced) viewing, but then again, I didn't pay $7 to see it. Any society who throws a rave while their doom is impending deserves to lose any rights to a sequel.

9. The Da Vinci Code. Boring. Great plot. Bad story. Very boring. I've written about how overrated I think Dan Brown, the book's author, is, but even I figured the near-great Ron Howard could make a kick ass movie out of the plot he was handed. I was wrong. I never thought I'd say this, but I'd be very glad should Tom Hanks not do the sequel should it be made. Until this film, I thought he could pull any role off. I was wrong.

10. Mission: Impossible 2. The unofficial Tom Cruise as James Bond film, complete with Anthony Hopkins as M. Seriously. How derivative can a film be? Let me rephrase that: how unoriginal, uninspired, campy, and crappy can a film be? And this was before Tom Cruise turned insane...

Anybody feel like adding to this list, feel free.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

10 Reasons to be my Roommate in Los Angeles

1. It's Los Angeles.

2. I'll pay for a slightly larger percentage of the rent and utilities, as I have three dogs and two cats (I may have fewer by the time I get there, however).

3. I'm so quiet, you won't even know you have a roommate.

4. Las Vegas and San Diego, two of the greatest places on Earth, are not very far away.

5. If you're afraid of Los Angeles because you "don't know anybody," I can help change that literally overnight.

6. I travel a lot, so you'll have the house to yourself fairly often.

7. Cruises to Mexico, Alaska, and Hawaii leave from the L.A. area damn near every week.

8. If you're interested in breaking into the film industry, my friends and contacts will immediately be available to you.

9. I'm reliable, on-time, and generally don't let people down.

10. It's Los Angeles.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Stagnant

For the last year now, I have been stagnant. Stuck in one place, building up residue from not moving, accumulating a stench that comes from an object remaining in one place for too long.

It wasn't meant to be this way. I had a plan to move forward, start on my career, continue my education, all the good things that I knew were waiting for me in life.

And then it happened. A crevice appeared in the path of my rolling stone. And my stone got stuck.

Initially, I tried to fight my way out of it, but that only made things worse. Adding insult to injury, the more I fought the cause of that crevice, the more success that crevice achieved. Soon, I was on the wrong side of the looking glass. Instead of being where I wanted to be, on equal ground (or higher), I was looking up at my then-adversary.

In life, I can safely say that I had never, up to that point, lost a fight when it mattered. All obstacles had been overcome, and believe me, there were some tall ones. But this one... well, it stopped me dead in my tracks, and even pushed me back quite a bit.

This obstacle blamed me for everything that had happened to it. And I do mean everything. It overlooked the fact that it was now towering over me because of how I supported its rise, its development, and its new attitude of seizing what it wanted. To this day, it even ignores the fact that it is the sole reason that my progress was halted. Well, I guess I, myself, am also a reason for that... but I take the blame only because I trusted something when I clearly shouldn't have.

Despite the tone of what I just wrote, I really have no desire to fight that obstacle. In fact, regardless of the lack of parity with it, the obstacle and I are sort of progressing through life together. No, we are not helping each other... it was and likely always will remain an obstacle. But, we are both stagnant. Stuck on the side of the mountain, moving nowhere. The difference being that the obstacle could have, at any time, moved. It even had the choice of allowing me movement as well. But it hasn't. It's still there, waiting for some sort of bullshit sign that will never come.

That was then. This is now. I once again, thanks to the assistance of people who actually do give a shit about me, have the ability to resume my roll. All I need now is a bit more help in the form of a roommate or two, and to shed some of the baggage that my initial obstacle left me with.

The problem is that seemingly everyone I know is comfortable being stagnant. They all claim to want to take the jump, the large risk into the next stages of their lives, but none of them do. They all wait, taking refuge in the familiar stench that signals their lack of motion. And, still because of that perilous obstacle, I am unable to do anything about it.

I've come to find that the only thing worse than having to stay still is having the ability to move, but being forced to stay still. Seriously, what is it with people? I'm guessing that it must be fear. People don't like to be afraid, but shit, that's what life is all about.

Everything I've ever done has come with fear, prepackaged for my whim and will to deal with. Joining the Army at 17. Jumping out of an airplane at 18. Moving to a new place, a new country. Hell, even returning to a place that I had previously left. Entering a new relationship? I'm sure you all agree... that can be downright terrifying. Have children? I don't, but I know that is probably the scariest thing a person faces in life, short of death. But when does the fear stop? When should it?

The answer is easy... it never does, and it never should. Life is all about moving forward, being a rolling stone, stopping for nothing. I've often said that people should be confident in life, but never comfortable. Frankly, I've been comfortable for too long now, and not by my own accord. I had, quite simply, lost my confidence. But it's back now, and I'm ready to get the waters flowing.

I hate being stagnant. It smells bad. I'm ready for another jump.

If anyone actually has the guts to take the leap with me, let me know. Now is the time for me. Not next month, not next week, not tomorrow, but yesterday.

Let's do this shit.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

As of Right Now...

... my top five favorite films are Road to Perdition, followed by (in no particular order) Beautiful Girls, Children of Men, Good Will Hunting, and Heat.

... I'm reading a book called The Short Screenplay by Dan Gurskis.

... I have yet to convince my hopefully-future roommate to move to Los Angeles NOW.

... the San Diego Padres are undefeated (2-0).

... grooming creme has replaced mousse as my hair product of choice.

... my latest script, Clandestine's Daughter, has yet to go out to my reader, despite my having promised it to her by last December (and I had intended to get it to her last May or so).

... I haven't worked on an actual set in 156 days.

... I am very upset that one of the good-looking girls on American Idol went home instead of that Sanjaya fruitcake.

... I'm really, really hungry.

... I'm officially excited for the new Transformers movie.

... the 15 Britons taken by Iran are on their way home.

... she has a boyfriend.

... ridiculously oversized "bunny slippers" are keeping my feet warm.

... my Boston Terrier/Pointer mix is trying to keep warm by sleeping under my German Shepherd.

... snow still caps the Sierra Nevadas.

... Charger Girl tryouts are underway.

... DC comics generally suck.

... I'm trying to figure out where I'll be tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year.

... I'm bored off of my ass, but not tired enough to go to sleep.

... I could use a backrub... and a pedicure.

... my pickup truck needs an oil change.

... you're probably wondering why the Hell you're reading this.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Baseball Musings

In honor of the first weekend of the baseball season, I've decided to bless you with my totally pointless thoughts concerning baseball, America's former favorite pastime.

162 regular season games is way too many. They should drop the season back to 154 games, or maybe even fewer.

As baseball is set up to support smaller stadiums than football, they should add two expansion teams. Portland, Oregon, and Indianapolis, Indiana are my suggestions, but it doesn't really matter.

With 32 teams, MLB could mirror the NFL and have four divisions of four teams each in each league.

Which would allow eight playoff teams, instead of six, theoretically ending "playoff droughts" for more teams much more quickly than the current system is capable of. I mean, seriously, we're talking parity, aren't we?

Side note... I personally hate parity, but that's just me. That being said, baseball still needs a salary cap.

They should get rid of, or at least severely reduce, the number of inter-league games. 15 is too many, and inter-league sucks anyway.

They should amp the number of divisional games played. Right now, they only play 75, which isn't even half the season. Division games should, I don't know, have more weight in determining division winners. Makes sense to me.

Put the Brewers back in the American League. The realignment has clearly been aborted. Bud Selig is now the commissioner. Seriously, put them back.

Go Padres!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Revelations

Given the nature of some conversations I've had with many of you lately, I've decided to reveal some things about myself. Of course, I'm going to maintain many of my so-called secrets, but the following are some of which I no longer deem "necessary for national security," if you follow my logic.

Yes, you know who you are, I was once in the CIA. I will reveal nothing else pertaining to that, so please quit asking.

I was once a devout Christian, and my vehemently agnostic point-of-view is a result of certain "indiscretions" forced upon me by members of my former church.

I've never lived in California. I only said that so non-Californians would think I was cool. Clearly, it didn't work.

I don't have a girlfriend because I'm a little gay.

I never actually quit smoking. I'm just better at hiding it now.

I don't pick up stray animals because I "feel sorry them." I pick up stray animals because they make a nice meal. Freshly killed meat always tastes better than butchered, processed, shipped, and stored meat. I only kept my last few animals because I had a suspicious girlfriend at the time. However, notice that I have four fewer cats than when I was still with said girlfriend.

My favorite movie is really Gone With the Wind, not Road to Perdition. And Scarlett O'Hara is my hero (although I'm still not a huge Vivien Leigh fan).

Ellen DeGeneres turns me on. Don't know why.

I feel that George Bush has been America's finest President since George Washington. He has brought America back to being the shining light of civilization.

If you're reading this, and you believe any of it, keep in mind that it's April Fools' Day, you fucking moron.

Irreview, Book Review: The Nutshell Technique

I have, to date, read well over two dozen books on screenwriting and its related mediums (theatre, specifically).  While most - if not all -...