Too tired to name this.

• Sunday, November 30, 2008 0 comments
Barely slept again last night, in the real "Doze off, did I just sleep? Staring at the ceiling for hours" insomniac sense. Starting to feel stretched a little thin.

Yesterday was interesting. Aaron got his driver's license, so we went to the mall, had a cup of coffee and a slice of pizza together. Got to hit the place in the food court with the sliced eggplant, which was nice. Just caught up, found out a lot I already knew [mom's pissed at me], and it was just a nice way to re-connect. Probably do it again.

Talked to Anna shortly on the phone. She's not feeling well either, and I hope she gets better. No idea why this stuff always hits around the holidays.

The test item I put on eBay didn't sell. Still got two days until the rest of the stuffs week is up.

Far beyond the point of usefulness now. Put some time in this morning scribbling away at some dialogue for "The Trendsetter," but I've yet to be able to find the steam to finish the monster off. Just too tired.

Could use some wind here [Re: "Tommy Boy"].

P.S. Oh, and not all bad news. My friend Glen just got a really cool sounding gig with a Brit. magazine. He can tell you all about it here, but I just wanted to offer him some congratulations here. These eclectic magazine jobs are the sort of things I always hoped for myself, and to see friends of mine get them is just absolutely spectacular.

What I have to be thankful for.

• Thursday, November 27, 2008 1 comments
Dehydrated all day. Faced with seemingly endless pots of coffee where ever I went, a blessing most days, but today was not a good day for it. Did manage to keep me lucid. Last night/this morning was like yesterday. Dozed off around 7, got up around 11. Four hours ain't, bad, I guess.

Ally and Hillary sent me texts. It was sweet of them, and thank you if you're reading. Otherwise, didn't feel much like a holiday. Didn't talk to dad, didn't hear from mom, Doug and Aaron are camping/hunting this week. Hit a local restaurant with my grandmother and her friend, was the youngest person there not on the waitstaff. I'm guilty too, didn't reach out to anyone. Justin invited me to his house, but couldn't leave my grandma alone today.

Guess that's one thing. Haven't been tossed aside by grandma.

Thought of someone all day. Made me laugh, having her in my life wouldn't have changed anything today. Don't know why I fixated. Some holidays are just for family, and I don't have much left. My choice, in a lot of cases, but still. And this is the way it's likely to be for... awhile? Am I starting a family any time soon? Not on purpose, that's for sure. I see why so many of my peers are getting married.

Well, at least I'm not doing that.

All of this, coupled with the fact that I haven't seen any action over on eBay, isn't painting a rosy picture for Christmas. I guess it's still early to judge. For everything.

I feel like garbage. Even the sinus infection seems to be creeping back. Head's pounding, joints ache. Nausea. Blew my nose, mostly blood. Ugh, gross as it sounds.

Stuffiness does bring a happy thought. Those Thanksgivings with Sam's family, I got three of them, and they were just nice, not playing anything up or down, they were just nice. Good food, Sam's mom was a great cook, her dad yelling about football in the living room, cartoons in her room on the bed. The smoke would cram up my head something awful, but I could still taste the food.

Also on either side of that meal there'd be comic books and John and Maria's.

Want to sleep, should be writing. Don't know if I can do either. Feel this desperate urge to make this all up to myself. No way to do it. Ah well.

Enjoy the leftovers, folks. I hope everyone else's was nice. This really isn't a bad idea for a day at all.

This post is almost entirely about women. And eBay.

• Wednesday, November 26, 2008 1 comments
Still not sleeping. Stayed up entirely too late last night, but upon getting to bed, all I found I could do was stare at the ceiling. When I finally nodded off, it was almost ten, and I barely managed to stay asleep until three. I hate sleeping through the day, but it's getting more and more normal for me. Scary thought... too much happens during the day for me to go totally nocturnal.

Haven't finished much on the short [Re: The Trendsetter]. Notes are copious for it, I would guess that what's on legal pad is about 95% of the total work, and if I'd just sit down at the computer and bang it out into Word, I'd probably be done in a couple of days. Maybe a straight 24-hour run. So tired, though, beyond the point of even being useful.

Finally got all my stuff up on eBay, my listing is here. The two big lots of comics [Dr. Strange and Swamp Thing] look expensive compared to much of the other stuff listed, but I swear I calculated those prices from the lower side of those comics' prices. I probably fucked myself, but I was trying to be fair. Here's hoping, for Christmas's sake.

Talked to Mom yesterday about Thanksgiving. The long story goes back to when I was ousted from my house, and wound up with my Grandmother again -- the reason was that my mother and step-father had decided to separate, which may not seem like a straight line to me losing my home, but in this case was. Anyway, mom has had a new boyfriend for some time now, and recently she offered for me to come over to his house for Thanksgiving, as apparently his family has a rather large gathering.

Honestly, I didn't want to do this. I never had to go through my step-father's family stuff until at least an engagement had been announced, and I don't think it's unfair that I want to skip this because I'm not sure how long this man is going to be in family's life. Mom assures me it's serious... I think at this point, I'm allowed to make the judgment as to when it's serious enough for Thanksgiving dinner. Nevertheless, I've been through this all before, and there are other reasons I didn't want have Thanksgiving -- part of which is loyalty to my step-father. Pity knows the two of us have not gotten along, and have hardly ever seen eye-to-eye, but the man supported me for the majority of my life, and moving on to the next man in my mom's life, this early in the game, doesn't square with me. And that's whether it would hurt his feelings or not -- probably not. But that loyalty still seems important.

And let's also just look at this from a practicality perspective -- my mom wants to bring some of her family to table here [which is always a show of good faith to a new family], and doesn't want to be "alone" as it were. But in turn, as the +1, I fall into the category, where I have to meet/be pleasant with these people I have never met and do not know, and I end up as the one all alone. It's smart on her part, socially, but for me, it would be a terror... and I also can't even promise I would be pleasant, with the way things have been striking me these days. I'm nasty and eccentric after all, and I can't promise I wouldn't be able to fight my better nature and not be down right disturbing to this group.

If Anna were here, of course, she would call bullshit as she knows all that waspy training and buried sensible disposition I have would likely take over, and I'd be down right amicable.

Still, yesterday, I called mom, explained [some of] this, and tried to bow out with grace. But I could tell, she was pissed, and this is going to be something that I'll have to pay for in later dealings. Ah well.

It's my own fault. I could have easily gained a pass on this, and just lied, and said I had plans with my grandmother that day. It's not entirely untrue, is a completely understandable excuse, and would have caused me far less problems than "honest" route -- explaining to my mom that I wouldn't be comfortable, and that I wanted to wait and see how long-term this relationship really turned out to be before I started meeting family. I should have lied, and have no idea why I didn't. I was aware of the two choices while on the phone with her, and could have easily gone the safe way, but...

Sabotage, I suppose. I offered to have dinner with the two of them somewhere neutral sometime, though. Maybe I'll be able to bring Ally along with me. Anything that'll make sure Mom and I behave. Or just someone to stop me when I start to lose it.

So, anyway, that's a Happy Thanksgiving.

Been thinking intently about things I've wanted to do, and actually can do, what with funds being limited and all. One of them is getting more into "Joshi puroresu," or Women's Pro Wrestling from Japan. As a wrestling fan, I'm not sure why it's been so interesting to me what happens with women's wrestling, though it had it's heyday in Japan in the 80's and 90's, its strictly a niche market now, and in America, thanks to Vince McMahon and his "Wrestling Entertainment" its almost always been a joke here. While TNA has done a fair enough trade in it, the quality isn't as high as I'd like it to be, and the Japanese indies seem like not a bad place to get started. The biggest thing that had impeded my ability to see it was probably how hard it was to find on a budget -- even the most popular Japanese men's professional wrestling is difficult to find at times, sometimes I have to slit a few throats to even find a pretty popular NOAH mid-card match, so this was all but an impossibility.

But a friend recently pushed me towards a large cache of Japanese wrestling hidden away online, and I decided to start from the beginning of this year and just download as much as possible, and see what "Joshi," as it's often called, has had to offer 2008. Coupled with youtube, and this blog ---> Joshi Puroresu Diary, I think I have a good start, and have high hopes. I'm sure part of this compulsion is due to some bridge being built between the feminist and the wrestling fan in me, but I also just expect it to be fun. Here's hoping.

Speaking of wrestling, in my few hours of sleep I dreamt Sam was dating Eddie Kingston... which was funnier when I remembered after waking up that the two of them have actually been in the same room together on two separate occasions, when Chikara Pro Wrestling came to Bennington.

Rest of the dream was strange too. I was out on a date with my ex girlfriend's friend Audrey, which is worth mentioning because usually in my dreams I find people's most striking feature is muted, that is, if you had, say, bright pink hair, then in my dream it would appear faded, or just in a more natural color. I've never met Audrey in person, but in all the pictures, she had the most striking smile, and much to my surprise that translated into my dream.

Lots of dreams about raven-haired girls these days.

Been thinking a lot lately about the way I used to be -- particularly in college. There seems to be a laundry list of regrets, mostly due to my attitude, that I sort of wish I could go back and change. Today, for some reason, I thought about these two trans students, who I wasn't close friends with, but who I knew through other people, and when I'd hang out with them, I'd mangle my pronouns terribly. A lot I could chalk up to nervousness, and just generally not being around people who were so sensitive to "he" and "she." Another part had a lot to do with meeting them in situations where they were first presented to me as female rather than male, which as time progressed just stopped happening. Still I look back on that confusion, and wish I'd been more collected and progressive about it. Kicking myself for that today.

Also, I know more people are reading -- I've already been called out a couple of times for things I've posted here [some I meant to delete -- sorry], and a few people are starting to know stuff I don't talk about out loud much, but do post here. Kind of cool. Never really thought anyone would make it past the first entry of all this.

We'll end with something Justin wrote [Re Calamity Cash and the Town with No Name]. Check that out here. Added a Stalin quote I've always been fond of, I just hope google translator didn't mangle it when I translated it back to the original Russian.

Shalom.

Why the hell am I awake?

• Monday, November 24, 2008 0 comments
Not that this is a particularly odd time for me to be up. Gave up trying to get eBay comics ready without them in arm's length. Sucked up two more days, but finally found acceptable boxes and figured out the best way to list these things. Will likely cut to close to Christmas to actually be able to use any money I make [and looking at the listings, I'm starting to doubt I'll make anything at all], but I'm trying to remain hopeful. Can't begin to describe how important all this seems to me.

Going to the old house this morning around ten. Likely why I'm still up -- sleep now would be ridiculous. I'll pick up the comics and other things I'm likely to send, then head off to the post office to get an estimate. I can't begin to tell you how ridiculous it seems to me, going to the post office, having them weigh everything and tell me how much it will cost, only to leave and not mail it that day. I guess I'm a very "get-shit-done" kind of person. Actually, not at all. Hah.

Not a good weekend work-wise. Spent a few hours spinning my wheels on "The Trendsetter." Seems like I kept getting distracted, and I'm not easy to distract -- or I am, but it's really odd for a distraction to set me off my work. I'm pretty good at writing and goofing off at the same time.

Talked to Kyle. His enthusiasm made me feel slightly better. Honestly, the writing was starting to feel a little too much like work. Might not make deadline of the beginning of December perfectly, but it still seems doable. Hope to get some done this evening, might be a pipe dream after not sleeping tonight. I can never tell if these things will motivate me, or hinder me.

Casey called this morning. By morning, I mean sometime mid-afternoon. He's really jazzed about this horror film we're working on [Re: Floaters]. I am too. As soon as "Trendsetter" is finished, I think I'm going to sit down and blast some horror films, and try and a get a feel so I can be useful to that. He also had good things to say about "The Wrestler," that Mickey Rourke picture about independent wrestlers. It's a great idea, people are talking like it might be one of the best movies in years, and all I can think of is how I had the idea first. Actually, those grapes aren't even really all that sour -- I like being proved right, a lot, and some ideas are so good, being selfish and insisting that only you can do them justice is massive hubris.

I have several writer friends like that. It's ridiculous, and screams of "writing for accolades" instead of writing something because you think it needs to be told.

Not that I'm against accolades. Priorities, though.

Bad news today. That December writing gig which would have netted me some much needed green is likely a lot farther off than December. The disappointment is heavy on this one, and my possible boss went as far to describe the project as a "long shot." This is the kind of news I feel like I should go out and get drunk over. I won't, but still.

Will admit, my first inclination was to come here, throw a pity party, and just toss out every angry and petty thought in my head. Still pretty tempting. This is a setback, one of too many lately, and again I feel sort of left behind and alone, without the slightest clue what to do next. I feel out of options... and I'm tired. I'm not looking for the world, just an opportunity, a foothold. Something to go with.

Ah well.

Had a new idea today. About straight edge kids, Peter Pan and Wendy, and this strange child culture we seem to be growing up in. Grown-up hobbyists, video game junkies, vintage geeks, and those married folks at the under 21 shows. Think there's something there. We'll see.

Here's something cool -- my old comic book [Re: SULK] partner Sam's sketch blog. She was always the talented one, and even though this is pretty new, I see big things coming from her. Right now, everything over there is just really cool. And I take a sick sort of pride in knowing that when faced with the same handful of pre-made templates for our blogs, we picked the same thing. Go check it out.

Shalom.

Happy birthday, little brother. -- Part 2

• Friday, November 21, 2008 0 comments
Occurs to me that my previous post is a little misleading. I sort of go to great lengths on the production/ranting thing, but this day is actually about my little brother, and the man deserves something. After all, he's sixteen, goddammit.

Aaron was the first baby I'd ever held -- I was seven years old, and he was barely a couple of days alive. It was... humbling. This memory exists in a strange time, all grandparents were still alive and I was still in the mindset of the divorced only child. The first of those things would change before Aaron reached his first year, the latter, to this day, may still be the case for me.

There are some memories that stand out. I remember us getting big red welts from playing with plastic swords. I remember chipping his tooth in surprisingly lighter rough housing the sword thing. And I remember vaguely wishing we didn't fight so damn much, but hey, we were brothers. I've been told that's what we do.

Been proud of the kid a lot, but we've always kept our lives our own, and I'm sure the things I'd have been most jazzed about he hasn't told me. And I'm fine with that. I always joke [and quote "The Last Crusade"], saying I had to leave the house just as he was starting to get really interesting. But, hey... he's always been interesting. I can just relate to him better now. Sometimes, I don't feel much different than I did at sixteen.

Next week, he's getting his driver's license, and we've already got some rough plans to swing round about the mall and have coffee. Which is funny to me, because while I don't know much, I'm pretty sure the kid would rather have a beer.

Teenagers.

To your Birthday, Aaron. Many happy returns.

"With mirth and laughter, let old wrinkles come."

Shalom.

Happy birthday, little brother.

1 comments
Last couple of days have been pretty unremarkable. Work on "The Trendsetter" is coming along, with only one foreseeable bump in the road ahead. Otherwise just a matter of sitting down, and getting it on the computer in real script fashion, and I'll be done.

I've been slacking on that, though, as I've been trying to prepare for Christmas. Past couple of days have been spent setting up an eBay and Paypal account, and just generally reading up on the best way to sell a shit ton of Swamp Thing comics. If Christmas comes this year for me, Santa won't be the bearded man who'll make it happen -- it'll be Alan Moore, and god love him, if anyone can save Christmas, it'll be him. Honestly, I imagine all this internet/e-commerce type stuff is supposed to come much easier to my generation than it has been for me, but it's my first time, so I'm trying to be gentle.

Justin has a new projected date for the finish on the comic [Re: Calamity Cash and the Town with No Name]. We're looking at February, most likely.

Someone I care for very deeply gave me advice a while ago, and I just got around to taking it. I told someone close to me about how I'd been feeling lately. I'm glad I did it, though its hard to call anything a success, as my friend is very action oriented, and I just don't feel like I'm ready to grab the bull by the horns yet. Sometimes I'm not even sure if my problems are really problems at all -- or if I'm just depressed and bored, and a lot of that would abate if my life could finally get in motion. It's a great secret to fiction that to characters in movement, bad memories and familial relations are only background, while it's the stationary characters that turn all that stuff into plot. I'm having very mixed feelings on the whole subject today -- thinking, not unrealistically, that the whole incident could have just been a "low" point -- and am just glad I have a few people in life who still care to listen, and will leave it to me if I want to dig all that crap up again.

Talked to Sam and Casey. Casey is picking up "Floaters," an idea I had back in college for a horror film that has a such an awesome premise I dare not speak it here. He says he did a whole first act for it, which is great, and there's a lot of promise in that little idea. I just hope he hasn't decided me working on it with him is a lost cause... I really like all the beats I came up with for it, and think it'd be fun to do. Sam, meanwhile, I tried bugging into maybe doing another comic, which she actually didn't shoot down for good, just for right now while she recoups from all this madness she's been going through as of late.

I miss them both, because they're two of my favorite people, and because of other reasons too. Casey because he's my boy, and I feel like I let him down by not being out there in LA with him right now, and I wanna make that up to him, plus I kind of want to live that dream with him.

Sam's more complicated. It's mostly because no matter what anyone else says, we made a damn good team as a artist/writer, and I honestly think that if she makes it, her work will be some of the best out there. But also, it's because after four years of a relationship, I do wish we had the chance to be friends again, and real friends, not just internet/aim, "I'll catch you when I can," kind of thing. Then again, some of my best friends I only see online, or talk to on the phone, so maybe I'm being nit picky.

Anyway, the reason for writing, even though I had nothing really to say, is that today is my kid brother Aaron's birthday. I say "kid brother" because now he's taller than me, and can drive. Pretty much rules out "little brother" in my book. Happy Birthday, Aaron. Seven years difference is getting less and less, the older you get on me. I know you're not reading this, but if you ever find my post, I love you, man.

Now I'm going to go try and catch a nap while my grandmother's cleaning lady is here. Never feel more in the way than then. Better to just be in bed.

Cheers.

P.S. And I don't think you're reading either, but if you are, it's been hard for me to restart "Mirth." Seldon and I just get too damn sad.

Means to an end.

• Friday, November 14, 2008 3 comments
I am looking at the clock, and though I don't have it exact, I think I have now been awake for 36+ hours. Understand, this is not triumphant thing for me, I outgrew this "how cool it is to never sleep" thing sometime in college, and more than anything I would like to go to bed right now. But my eyes are dry, and my lips are chapped, and I have found a reservoir of second winds I never even knew I had. I feel no more tired than I would had I awoken no more than 12 hours ago, and I see now reason why I shouldn't try and recap the past two days.

After talking to several people, Casey and John included, I've more or less decided that the reveal of "The Trendsetter" will be in the hands of the foul-mouth, Kevin Smith-inspired mailman who I'd been all but against putting in. Admittedly, every fiber of my being tells me that the mailman character has no business in this short -- but all told, when no other ideas could be conjured up among the smartest of my friends, every agreed that the mailman method sounded clever, and I should pursue it. Here, I will take off my professional hat and admit that even then, I had decided against using such a character for the reveal, until I was in bed two nights ago, and the dialogue started pouring out of the character and onto the page of nearby yellow legal pad.

Is it perfect? Not yet. But I feel like it's the best way to go.

That was most of my night Tuesday after I checked in here, short of a few extra panic attacks and hours of scribbling in the early-morning light. I fell asleep with the paper in the bed with me, and woke having not drooled on it around noon-ish. After that, Anna called, and I talked to her for a little bit about some anxiety-related issues, and she asked about my dad. I was glad I got the call... I miss hearing from her.

Around five, Justin showed up for the big plans of the day. Christmas is coming, and unless a certain freelance writing project comes through in the month of December, the holiday is likely to be very sparse... so I've decided to try my hand at eBay, and attempt to sell a lot of Swamp Thing and Dr. Strange comics, along with a few assorted collectibles that I felt I no longer needed. Not having a place for these things makes you far less attached to some objects, come to find out. And in all seriousness, I was never all that interested in 'Swamp Thing' anyway.

Most people have missed the point for me doing this -- the unlikelihood of success aside, I'm pinning the whole of my hopes for buying Christmas presents on selling these comics, which usually leads people to look at me like I'm an idiot, and tell me to keep my money for myself. And while I certainly understand that some people might not "get it," Christmas is a special holiday for me, and giving my friends and family gifts is one of the reasons. And all told, I don't think I could handle losing Christmas to this shit storm of bad luck... so this is me doing the only thing I can to try and save it. Selfishly, I suppose.

It took far longer to organize and photograph the things than I figured, but with Justin's help, it was easy enough. Afterwards we hit the IHOP, where the waitress who is way too friendly with us offered to pay me to try and fix a glitched Final Fantasy 7 game. I couldn't bring myself to do it, just because knowing my luck I'd say yes, and then not get back in to the restaurant for six-to-ten months, or something equally ridiculous.

We hit Wal-Mart after, where I saw Chris Jericho's book in paperback, and wished I'd had my food money to buy it instead. Never let anyone tell you that six dollars isn't a versatile amount of money.

Eventually, we rounded off to Justin's house, where we watched Ally's "Always Sunny in Philadelphia" DVDs and the episodes of "The A*Team" Justin has burned, and just generally wasted some time, and hung out. I think Justin appreciated the break on the comic [Re: Calamity Cash and the Town with No Name], and it was nice to see how the pages he was working on looked physically on paper. Some of the layouts he's doing are really amazing -- and again when faced with a situation where my scripting is negligent, he manages to draw something that embodies exactly what I was going for.

We didn't really sleep [Sorry Laura, I lied about getting six hours in there -- you just looked so concerned when I said I'd been up for 24 straight, I felt like I needed to cover], but had cardboard pizzas while I put back the single biggest cup of coffee I've had domestically. By that time, I was starting to feel a little sick again, especially considering my meals over the past few days have almost all included some type of hamburger.

At two we went to Staples in Cross Lanes to meet Laura on her lunch break, and used 'imminent domain' to claim empty seats in a Fazoli's across the way. Strangely, while we were sitting there, just talking, the Gin Blossoms' "Found Out About You" started playing, like it was fucking scored for the conversation we were having, and all Laura could do was laugh at me. I will admit, it unnerved me more than a little -- it's no wonder I'm superstitious. But it was also one of those little things... I may look back eventually and say that it was kind of cool. I like seeing Pixie, though I wish the circumstances had been better, but that is neither here nor there. We dropped her back off at work, and Justin and I headed out to grab him some art supplies at Michael's in Dudley Farms, and then we popped in Books-a-million, mostly just because.

Imagine my surprise. The majority of workers at the bookstore, besides our friend Staci, were people I worked with at Borders last winter, and it was nice catching up a little bit, especially with Bambi. Hopefully I will hear more from her soon... like I also got to at least wave hello to Lana, a Mohawk-sporting girl who I thought was insanely cool when I worked with her before, and who now if I saw more often I could probably nurse a pretty hardcore crush on. Of course, I'm almost 100% sure I'm not her type.

Eventually, it was home. My grandma seemed... annoyed, or agitated, though I've no way to prove that, and it was likely just the sensitivity I was feeling from the sleep deprivation. I tried making myself some leftovers for dinner, but I wound up spilling beans everywhere, and I dropped my first piece of cornbread in the the trash. Eventually, I ended up with a bowl of beans that were scorched or burned, or whatever over-heating in a microwave is called, and while eating I found a hair in them, which was absolutely mine, but come on.

If there's even the slightest question of its origin, you wish you just wouldn't have found it in the first place.

Now I'm done, I wrote a little something, and then I did this, and now I really should be sleeping. But here it is almost 3, and I feel far more lucid than I should.

Doug Hopkins watches from heaven.

0 comments
"So... what is this?"
"This? Oh, this, this is what I do. What I always do."
"Randall."
"Fine. Sorry."
"Ahem."
"Again, this is what I do. This is what I have to do, to deal, what I have to do when I can't have someone I love."
"Dramatic."
"It is. I talk to you like this, but it's not you, it's probably more me, but it's a character."
"I'm a character?"
"You were the first."
"That's a lie. I have a folder. I know that wasn't true. There were others. You had characters before me."
"Yeah, but they were just me. You were the first who wasn't. And probably the second, and the third."
"Randall."
"Well, all the ones that worked, I mean. All the characters who were real. Versions, I guess. Parts of you that would stay mine."
"That could get really dirty."
"See? I'm losing you. I don't think you'd actually say that. I hoped you would, if we'd had more time, if we'd had a moment like that. But I don't know about that. What I know is instead you'd have just turned your head slightly, raised an eyebrow. Depending on when, you'd frowned, or smiled."
"When?"
"The 'when' I was writing you. I mean, it's the 'where' too. The you of a time, and place, and my feelings towards you. Plus, you changed -- you grew up, a little."
"A short joke?"
"Sorry."
"Hmph. So, where are we?"
"Now?"
"If we were anywhere."
"We'd be outside."
"And?"
"And it'd be cold. I like the cold. On a porch, something collegiate. An old white house, badly painted, chipping, probably one too many of us living in it to begin with. A red porch, a broken swing. Some ledges to sit on. So you could smoke."
"This 'when' I smoke."
"Nowadays, you always do. And you came out to smoke. And I just came out after. I do that a lot. Enter, en media res. Interrupt your privacy. Catch you one-on-one. It's how I always like you."
"And you like me?"
"In this? No, no, not anymore. I mean, maybe a little, whatever changes, but no, right here, right now, I want this. Inside, there's a boy for you who's not me. But outside there are just two old friends, and one's having a smoke, and thinking. And the other's watching that. Probably thinking too."
"You? No."
"Mean."
"You've had that exchange with all of them."
"Yeah. Maybe that's me."
"Hm. Well, so I'm smoking, and it's cold. And it's snowing."
"Now who's the character?"
"And what do you say to me? What am I thinking, and what do you think I'm thinking, and how do you plan on making it better, before I finish smoking, and go inside?"
"Not my place to make it better."
"So... what is this?"
"This is me having something I can't have. You and me, out on the porch, in the snow, and you're smoking. And that's all. That, and it'll be okay."

Are you Slacking off in there?

• Tuesday, November 11, 2008 0 comments
I have been a bad blogger the past couple of days. I can only promise it's because real work is getting done... mostly.

"The Trendsetter" is coming along [Re: Untitled Short no more]. The opening is finally polished to what I've wanted it to be this whole time [you've no idea how many times I've written those eight pages... ten pages... fifteen pages...but roughly 8-10 now!]. I solved the problem of the protagonist's job, much thanks goes to John for that [Re: The Bathroom Monologues], and while big chunks of the script had to be tossed to fit it in, I feel so much more confidant in what I have now.

This, I think, is where I might be a negligent writer, or at least a writer that most would have trouble understanding. Most people would think something like a character's job changing could be easily fixed within the script. Even if you're writing around a character who's working a great deal, feasibly you could make the changes with Word's "Replace" feature. Then change a couple of scene settings, write a few new descriptions, and you're gravy.

But I just can't do that. I mean, in a pinch, I have, but most often what I end up with is a page that looks [to me] like it's been hacked at by a med-school reject with a rusted meat cleaver, and then sewed back together like some screenplay-Frankenstein. This could be me being OCD [hate using that, when did that get trendy?], or maybe I'm right and a trained or even untrained eye could look and see the seams of where the changes have been made. I don't know. I will admit to rarely feeling comfortable enough to submit something I think is sub par myself, especially just to see if, in the future, I might be able to get away with a few screenwriting shortcuts. But the risks of exposing the work far outweighs the time lost in re-writes.

But that's fixed now, and all that's left is one really important reveal I'm trying to figure out, and actually just sitting down and shaping the dialogue and scenes to fit the outline as it stands. The problem of the reveal is a surprisingly simple one that I should have seen coming, but didn't. Since the overall gimmick to this short is that this "writing letters about your feelings to strangers" thing that the protag. did once, randomly, in a moment of passion, has caught on as a really big self-help trend, how do you show that? How do you reveal to audience that a single letter has started something big, and do it -- cleverly -- right way?

My mistake was, in the outline, that I have the whole thing strung out gradually. You get a little bit here, and here, and here, and you put it together as you go along. But what I really need, sort of right out of the box, is the shock of recognition, and the audience wondering: "did one letter cause all this?"

Like any problem, it just needs some thought. I'll get it... I might even go looking for some help.

I'm still feeling bad. Lots of soreness in my hands and arms, probably from the typing, and the sinus infection. Sleeping patterns have just been...strange. Dreams have been distressing, too. They've had continuity, glasses got damaged in one, kept the damage from dream to dream. Its strange how much more "real" it all feels when that happens, like a second life.

Next couple of days, will be thinking about Christmas. More on what that means later.

Shalom.

Untitled no more.

• Thursday, November 6, 2008 0 comments
Well, that's not entirely true. But as of last night, I've decided the interim title for the short I've been working on with Kyle [Re: Untitled Short] is going to be "The Trendsetter." Now it's entirely likely he may want something else, and all told I've considered calling it "Typesetter" instead [what with it being about letters and all], but for the moment, Trendsetter it is.

My hope is to put my head down and muscle through this project until the finish. I watched "Rocky 3" last night, which like most of the Rocky films will get anyone excited about writing again, and I'm hoping to channel my inner eye of the tiger, and ride that momentum to a finished draft.

Shalom.


P.S. Future reference for both myself and anyone who cares, until finished, any notes on "The Trendsetter" will be tagged as both "Trendsetter" and "Untitled Short." And probably whatever new, more fitting title the piece winds up with.

P.S.S. The reason for two [technically three] notes posted so close together is just because I've decided notes about things I've been working on don't deserve to be weighed down with ramblings about my dreams and such. And now that we have the rule, I can't wait to break it.

Mirrors.

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Not that long ago I wrote, but here's some fun.

Was a having a dream this morning. Greater details of the dream were not important, though I was glad that Anna called around one to rouse me from it, if that tells you anything, but what was interesting and has stuck with me is the fact that in said dream part of it was me looking at myself in a mirror.

All right, all fairness and transparency [take note, Mr. Obama!], it was the reflective surface of the inside of an office building's air duct, but I digress.

The important thing was, while looking at myself, I didn't have the beard. Nope, not at all, same hair, same glasses, same face for the most part, but the beard was not there, just the old school Don Johnson stubble I used to rock. And I wonder, is this, in my mind, how I see myself? Really?

I'm hoping I just haven't gotten to the point where my mind registers the beard. I like it, be a shame to have to shave it.

Called it.

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I was going to write something big and outlandish and probably very like me here earlier in the day. Instead I watched some TV, and spent my time thinking about what happened yesterday with the election. I don't even know where to begin on that, but... it's a very happy time, in some ways. It is regretful that Mitch McConnell hung on, however -- it would have been nice to deliver a real deathblow to the Republican party, and splinter them into tiny, unworkable special-interest minorities, so the "God and Guns" folk aren't teaming with the "Tax the Poor" folk every single year.

Wishful thinking. But now is time for "unity"... which is actually not a bad thing right now. Long-term, I don't even want to think about. Well, maybe later.

I am incredibly tired -- during my migraine a couple of days ago my sinus problems embedded themselves and got infected. I'm coming out of it, but not quickly enough. Added to the election dysentery and general stress that comes from all that, as well as all the sleep I've been losing, I feel physically worse than I have in awhile. My joints hurt. This is just ridiculous.

I've seen my dad a few times the past couple of days. Noticeable knot on the back of his head, he can't wear his teeth [which would look rough under any circumstances], and his eye looks terrible. He's also got a broken neck. I don't even have words for how upsetting to me it is to look at him like that.

He seems in good spirits. Maybe a little stir crazy. Better for him to take it easy, but with his wife, I don't blame him for looking for reasons to get out of the house.

Shalom.

Election Dysentary

• Tuesday, November 4, 2008 0 comments
I'm sick to my stomach in a way that can only be because of the election. I rolled out of bed, and my digestive pyrotechnics made me think of Hunter, but in all fairness, I was thinking about him the night before.

This is a great day. CNN is a rare love-fest that won't likely last the night, but it is rare. I'm not saying I support the Old Man, no, not in the least, and I'm projecting high and hard victory for that Young Barack Out Kid, but either way [and lets not get into that, because there is an either way there I could go on about for lines and lines], we are having an election today that will be memorable, historic, and important. Rarely do two candidates both have striking differences, but also hold reassuring policies as its concerned to socialism and the left leaning. It seems impossible, but there is a lot of possibility in the air today, in a time of year that is all about the coming of winter... naturalistic dying, really. But none of that today.

And to all those who say it doesn't matter, it does, and again, I am thinking of him, and I doubt anyone could say it better. So to you, the apathetic and cynic, the coolier-than-thou, most of whom would normally consider myself one of your own:

"Politics is the art of controlling your environment. That is one of the key things I learned in these years, and I learned it the hard way. Anybody who thinks that 'it doesn't matter who's President' has never been Drafted and sent off to fight and die in a vicious, stupid War on the other side of the World — or been beaten and gassed by Police for trespassing on public property — or been hounded by the IRS for purely political reasons — or locked up in the Cook County Jail with a broken nose and no phone access and twelve perverts wanting to stomp your ass in the shower. That is when it matters who is President or Governor or Police Chief. That is when you will wish you had voted."

It matters. Even today.

Tonight should be fun -- either joyous uproar and the deep want to have a certain communist girl I know to kiss, or crippling despair that will me make glad to be alone.

Shalom. [To be continued.]

Reprisals.

• Sunday, November 2, 2008 1 comments
Halloween night, some drunken punk jumped my dad while he was at a friend's house -- he went to the hospital today, and I spent the majority of my day worrying and trying to calm my grandmother down. My dad's fine, "fine" being relative, and meaning he came away with only a few minor fractures, and a black eye. We're still piecing together what exactly happened, as dad hasn't been able to recall the whole thing, but the long story short is there's some twenty five year old piece of shit out there walking around right now who gets a nice laugh at beating up people twice his age for no good reason at all.

So, my evening's been nice... on the upside, things seem to have calmed down, grandma is getting some sleep, Dad's getting some painkillers, and I've gotten a whole extra hour in my night to deal with my pent-up, rolling panic attacks.

I'm taking today off. What that means when I don't really do anything anyway, I've no idea. But I'll figure something out.

Goddammit.

Here's November.

• Saturday, November 1, 2008 0 comments
I'm awake, which means there's no reason I can't post something.

I was waiting for this month. Re: Polaris.

Went out tonight. Odd for me, but it was nice to be among friends. Mostly just schmoozed with people -- Kyle, Justin were both there, but this was not the time for work. Some thought so, but not me. Also Ally, Hillary, Seth, Ian, Mike, Glen, Dave, and Carrie. I might be forgetting someone, and there were a couple of girls I've never met too... a Liz for sure... the others will come to me. No offense meant.

I'm not a Halloween guy. The highlights of this holiday usually goes no farther than a sexy Ben Franklin or a pretty girl dressed like some obscure 90's movie character. Good to have something to do, though.

It's odd feeling like this. It was fun, but I'm still not exactly happy. High? Maybe that's a better word. What is wrong with me? Not upset about it. Any good is good.

Condolences to a friend who lost someone very close to him and his family recently. And condolences to someone else for the same thing, sans the 'recently,' but no less sincere. I miss him, and I didn't even know him.

Love, to the faithfully departed.