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Monday, January 31, 2005

Newest entry in our continuing series, Lost is gonna ruin network television: The ABC pilot Invasion, a new alien-themed drama about what happens in a small Florida town after a hurricane hits.

It's not that I'm trying to be a pessimist. I'm just worried that the suits have totally lost sight of the ingenious storytelling and unique premise that made Lost (and Desperate Housewives as well, if you were wondering; there are plenty of suburban scandal soaps in the works) so popular.

Trying to copycat shows that exploded in popularity because they weren't copycats to begin with is a new definition of irony. And like rain on your wedding day, irony rarely goes well for those involved.

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Downtown, under oath

The interesting thing about waiting a couple of days to blog about an experience is that while you do lose some details, more often than not the details you lose are the kinda boring ones. Never has this been more true than a day of jury duty.

For those who have not had the pleasure, I can tell you that the LA Superior Court really does have a good system. All that week, I called into an automated number to find out if I was needed the next day. Monday thru Wednesday, I was in the clear -- Wednesday night, the machine told me to be there at 7:30 AM the next morning and to not wear a tank top.

If I made it through Thursday without being put on a jury, I would be free of my obligations to democracy for at least a year. If I didn't, I would spend up to ten business days in a cold sunless room listening to boring people talk. Tell me that doesn't sound like a game show.

Those jury wrangling folks are pretty smart, for what it's worth. I had to be downtown at 7:30 AM, but by 9 AM the jury room was packed, all the paperwork was done, and we were ready to go. And by ready to go, I mean "ready to sit around and be told how awesome jury duty is."

There were two videos about our civic responsibility, and then a judge came in and talked to us about our civic responsibility. But she was cool, because she told the story like it was a fairy tale. "Once upon a time, around 900 AD to 1100 AD in England, there was no law. Then the lords and barons and the king came and created laws, but sometimes the lords and barons wouldn't obey it, and thus the people decided that a jury system would be the best way to maintain order. And that's how we came up with the jury system."

I'm really not kidding. "What about the Magna Carta? What about the Greeks?" I nearly asked. But then I couldn't remember what the Greeks actually did. So I just kept reading my book.

A Confederacy of Dunces, by the way? Really as good as they say. I know, because I got to read it for about two hours before I was called for a jury pool.

My pool of jurors contained three social workers, two lesbians, and the owner of a Silverlake pizza place -- "Nicky D's Wood-Fired Pizza," he said under oath at least eight times. "Best pizza in town." (My sources believe that he was not perjuring himself.) There were about thirty of us, and everyone was interviewed about their jobs, their living situation, what they liked to do "for fun," and any past experience with the legal system, as a juror or otherwise. It's quite a way to be introduced to a group of people. One of the social workers, skinny and soft-voiced, had never served on a jury before, but "my uncle and brother were arrested... I don't really want to say why."

We broke for lunch.

The head juror wrangler had said, in a voice like a TV announcer, "Downtown is so beautiful right now," before telling us about all the different things we could do on our lunch break. You get an hour and a half for lunch if you're a juror, free parking, and free admission to the nearby museums. Jury duty? Is the life.

The courthouse was on 1st St., so I headed south, surrounded by people, stopping at Grand Central Market for a spinach empanada and a diet Coke. I ate as I walked down to 5th, the great Aztec temple known as the Central Public Library in my sights.

The librarians were able to find me a reference copy of Rope Burns by FX Toole, and with the twenty minutes I had left, I read quickly through "Million $$$ Baby," making notes for the next Bookslut column.

I scurried back to the courthouse, accomplished, ready to listen.

The older, heavier lady with the thick accent, when asked about the occupation of her husband: "He's retired... He's got the bipolar." Her past experience with the law: "My husband was accused of arson." When asked what she liked to do for fun: "Sew, cook, eat, and spend time with my family."

One man specified his occupation as manufacturing plasma. There's poetry in making blood for a living.

My favorite, though, was Sister Rahde, an adorable old lady with old lady hair and an old lady cardigan with a big flaming heart pin on it. After a long string of awkward questions ("I live in a convent... I do religious work... The people I live with also do religious work...") the judge finally asked if she was a nun. Bingo.

We were all given a questionnaire earlier in the day, fifteen questions regarding our abilities to obey the law and make fair judgments about the case. Most people, when asked if they had any yes answers to the questionnaire, said they knew someone in the legal profession or had participated in a lawsuit.

Sister Rahde, when asked about her answers to the questionnaire, started rattling off numbers. "Yes to number 2, 5, 6, 8..." Sister Radhe would not be able to give a person fair judgment because of their race, creed, color, or sexual orientation. Sister Radhe would not be able to consent to agreeing with the law regarding certain issues.

I bet Sister Rahde was a big fan of the lesbians.

Where was I, in all this? I was in the audience of the courtroom, watching as one by one, potential jurors were excused and reserve jurors were called from the audience to sit in the box and answer the questions. As the lawyers decided on their second round of purges, with only eight reserve jurors left, I and the three people sitting by me formed a little gang. We tried to guess who'd be cut next. We anticipated our future freedom.

And then the lawyers excused seven of the potentials, and the clerk started calling names, breaking up my posse, then calling up the others around me...

Until I sat alone, unnecessary. "Don't worry," the same judge from that morning, the one who'd told the fairy tale about the judicial system, called back to me. "We might still need you."

They didn't. But that was all right. I just sat in the cold courtroom, reading about New Orleans in the summertime. Listening with half an ear to other peoples' stories. Trying to guess who'd be best suited to bring justice to the serfs.

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Friday, January 28, 2005

Yet another link? Crazy talk!

Jeff has been pluggin the hell out of Dinosaur Comics lately, and I have to say: yes. Genius. And this may be my favorite.

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Yet another reason not to get out of bed in the morning.

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Lisa at justifies her love of Carnivale, and I laugh and nod my head in agreement.

I'm still doing my post-day-away-from-computer web surf, as you can see. I was offline for ONE DAY, people! ONE DAY. Jeez.

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The Beat takes on that Elektra-failed-female-superhero-movies-suck myth. Sing it, sister. Sing it.

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Thursday, January 27, 2005

Panopticist has a link to the entire pilot of The Office: An American Workplace.

I'm gonna grab Mr. Bear and see what they've done to such a great show.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Got called for jury duty tomorrow. All my adolescent John Grisham fantasies are about to come true!

At the very least, I'll have some time to read.

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Portrait of the Artist as A Young Woman

Things that have claimed my attention today as I've strived to finish this stupid book review:

  • Email
  • My rubber band ball
  • TWoP
  • Email again
  • Trying to balance my Iron Giant figurine on top of my rubber band ball
  • Flipping through the book
  • Answering questions about why there's a book on my desk
  • Some actual work
  • Yet more email
  • Every single site I have bookmarked, including Craigslist (twice!)
  • Trying to figure out what was up with that soda pop douche on Carnivale this week
  • Failing to figure out what was up with that soda pop douche
  • That other email account I never check
  • The email account I do check
  • My cuticles
  • Diet Coke and unsalted dry-roasted almonds
  • Other people's tragedies
  • Other people's blogs
  • My own blog
  • This blog entry
  • Email

Doing real good. Real good at this writing thing.

God, I hate being stuck.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Oscar smoshker

The Oscar Grouch will probably have some better coverage of the nominations later in the day/week/whenever he gets off his ass, but for now, I offer you some off-the-cuff reactions:

The Good

  • All of the documentary nominees, especially Super Size Me.
  • Kate Winslet getting nominated for Eternal Sunshine.
  • Brad Bird for Best Original Screenplay.
  • Scorsese actually having a good shot at Best Director, for a movie that was by far one of the best directed movies I saw all year.
  • DEPP!
  • Finding Neverland getting nominated for Best Picture, but not Best Director. This is good for two reasons: I strongly dislike Marc Forster and everyone tangentally involved with Monster's Ball (oh, the hate I have for that movie!), and Marc Forster didn't do a particularly great job. But I did like Finding Neverland -- it was cute and sad and sappy without being too saccharine. I wish it had had edgier content, really hit the darker issues more, but my movie-going buddy and I were wiping away the tears at the exact same moment, and I only feel a little silly about that.

The Bad

  • I know that it got screwed over by the foreign film rules and a lukewarm reception, but A Very Long Engagement deserved better. I'd have loved to see it be nominated for Best Picture over Ray.
  • Or The Incredibles over Ray.
  • Or Kinsey, over Ray.
  • Really, anything but Ray woulda really been something. I have yet to see Ray, I'll admit, but that's because I'm totally burned out on biopics and little I heard about this particular one made me excited about seeing it. (Kinsey, the only biopic I really saw this year, was chock full of PORN, to which I have a deeply held allegiance.) Honestly, I'd rather listen to the music than watch the movie.
  • I'm also kinda over Jamie Foxx. Really not a fan of him getting two nominations. I liked his performance in Collateral, but I don't think it was one of the five best of the year.
  • I know it's stupid, but I really like the song Mick Jagger and Dave Stewart did for Alfie, and I was looking forward to it getting nominated. And I'd much rather sit through Mick live than "Learn to be Lonely," the dreadful over-the-credits song from Phantom of the Opera written so that an original song could be nominated.

The Whuh?

  • Thank you so fucking much, Academy. I was looking forward to writing a nice quick Bookslut column on the Best Adapted Screenplay nominations this week, and then BOOM you go and nominate Before Sunset, which means that not only do I have to watch the freakin' movie now, but I also need to see Before Sunrise -- AND figure out exactly how the hell it ended up in the Best Adapted category. Before Saturday. Yes.

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Monday, January 24, 2005

Sci-fi Solitary

So it kinda happened by accident -- I just started loaning it out on a whim. But as my efforts grew more and more calculated, targeted, it became clear that I had found my calling, that I had truly found a way to influence the minds of many:

With nothing but a pair of purloined Emmy screener DVDs, I have turned approximately ten people into Battlestar Galactica fans. I don't want to sound smug about it, I really don't. I'm just so happy that this is happening, that all my friends are excited about this fantastic science fiction show that I've loved for so long.

But I'm not used to sharing sci-fi. It's weird. When Firefly was first on, it was me alone in my room, taping it for my roommate who loved it for Joss alone. In high school, Deep Space Nine was the secret love I couldn't talk about, X-Files the slightly embarrassing fascination few understood. Even when X-Files boomed, I felt isolated -- if only because I was the one people turned to for explanations, singled out during seventh period Physics or lunch to make sense of the crack Carter was smoking.

So this is new, me and my friends and Galactica. I have to learn not to be proprietary. I have to learn not to hoard.

Which should be easy. Because clearly the difference between now and then? I have much cooler friends.

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Friday, January 21, 2005

The kids may even want to play with it

Been a busy day -- hence the lack of serious updating. But two items, before the weekend begins in all its Galactica-watching, roller-disco-ing, beach-going glory:

Item 1: Reader Robert writes in to ask: "What exactly does BOOYAH mean?"

Well, Robert, many scholars have struggled to answer this question, and many have failed. But if you were to play Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" at TOP VOLUME, as FAST AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE... Well. It might sound kinda similar.

Item 2: For my fellow pilot season junkies -- an honest-to-God excerpt from the NBC press release detailing its development slate for Fall 2005:

FATHOM -- What do naval officers in the South Antarctic Sea, a family in San Diego, the oceanographic institute in Monterey, and fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico all have in common? They're all about to be the first to meet a new form of sea life -- it's beautiful, the kids may even want to play with it, and it likes to make the water warm. But what they don't know yet is that they are on the verge of a world disaster. In fact, these sea creatures are space invaders from Venus, here to make life on earth sustainable for even more creatures to come. "Fathom" is a series full of continuously evolving twists that deliver across several long-term arcs.

Not to be confused, of course, with DARK SIDE, a new high-concept drama about a group of astronauts who go missing after tracing an s.o.s. signal to the dark side of the moon where they discover a mysterious compound.

Stay tuned for future updates in our on-going series, Why Lost Will Ruin Network Television.

And have a good weekend, y'alls.

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Thursday, January 20, 2005

I'd like to apologize to everyone I've ever met for my addiction to the word BOOYAH.

I'm sure it's a phase that will pass. At some point.


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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Samoan Toast

I finally figured out how to write a second draft of a screenplay last night. I mean, I understand the broad strokes of revision. But the mechanics of such a thing are strange and foreign to me, as I haven't written a hardcore second draft since my senior year, when my thesis advisor guided me through the motions like Rhett Butler teaching Bonnie Blue how to jump. I was pretty pleased with that second draft, I have to say, but now Thesis Dude is teaching other brats and we all remember what happened to Bonnie Blue when she tried to jump sidesaddle on her own.*

*If you don't know what happened to Bonnie Blue when she tried to jump sidesaddle on her own, the answer: nothing good.

Editing a 105-page document can be extremely daunting, is the thing, and it was a hurdle I wasn't sure I could overcome, especially given the large nature of the changes I want to make. However, last night I started copying a scene at a time into a new document, rewriting it as I did so, before moving onto the next. And that worked out pretty well.

So I'm gonna try to do another ten or fifteen pages today, before leaving this place. And then Lost, Alias, some Stitch n' Bitch reading (want a new project to try on the weekend) and a nice long run. Stupid ice cream.

The Samoan word for "Cheers!" is "manuia." Pronounced "man-ew-year."

Just thought you'd like to know.

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The Batman, he is the superfantastic

So after seeing the link to those Batman Begins pictures from THE BEAT at, I decided that my work desktop needed a makeover.

You wish your monitor looked this good.

Comment with email and screen resolution if you want a copy of your very own. It's nothing landmark. Just BATMAN. But still.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Naked Juice's Just O-J? Yes.

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50 Books? Booyah.

So the 50 Book Challenge has been buzzing around the internet for the past couple of weeks. I wasn't initially very interested, given that since starting my new job my reading time has decreased, and 50 books means at least 4 books a month, which even for a bibliophile like myself is a bit overwhelming. However, I realized something.

I read a lot of comics. Specifically, trade paperback collections. Trade paperbacks are books.


So I'm a couple of weeks late (which, in my world, means that you can include books that you started reading before the new year), but I might as well get started.

    50 Books in 2005
  1. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susannah Clarke: Strange and unsettling, rich and well-crafted, dusty and dry. These are the adjectives I use to describe this book, which I liked an awful lot, but didn't love.
  2. 999: Twenty-nine Original Tales of Horror and Suspense: Like most collections, a good mix of interesting and creepy and dry deadly dull. But totally worth the $2 I paid (gotta love those cheap tables at the used bookstore). If I end up renewing a many-years-neglected tradition of the Halloween story party, this book will be heavily involved.
  3. Superman: Secret Identity by Kurt Busiak: Lent unto me by Alex, in trade for the Battlestar Galactica miniseries on DVD. Almost totally ignored during its release (I think I saw it mentioned once or twice on LJ, which is what got me interested), but essentially a DC-sanctioned interpretation of JMS's Supreme Powers. With less hyperbole and more human drama. And post-modern. Oh sweet god. Post-modern.

So I'll see what happens with this whole reading-and-listing thing. It's a lot more regular effort than I'm used to putting into this blog. But maybe that's a good thing.

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The fifth trimester's the killer

So, I was in the bathroom just now and I was trying to remember exactly how long Scully's pregnancy on The X-Files lasted. This is one of those unanswerable questions, really, because while she made the big announcement at the very end of the 7th season, the 8th season premiere seemed to take place a few weeks later (and thinking about the 8th season premiere, btw, has just sent me into a MULDER BRAIN DISEASE flashback from which I may never recover -- I mean, he had a GRAVESTONE MADE, people, before he was ABDUCTED BY ALIENS, because he was dying of some sad sad BRAIN DISEASE, which fortunately for him seemed to be cured by being mostly dead for three months). The 7th to 8th season time compression seems like a smart idea, allowing Gillian Anderson to remain un-lumpy for the bulk of the 8th season without stretching the show's credibility (yeah, yeah, yeah) -- except that subsequent episodes proceeded to ignore said time compression and correspond to the calendar year, meaning that episodes airing in December took place in December and so forth. Until, of course, they found Mulder mostly dead, presumed he was all dead, stuck him in the ground for three months, and then JUMPED FORWARD THREE MONTHS in the course of one episode so that they could exhume Mulder's body, discover that mostly dead wasn't all dead, and bring him back to life to discover that Scully was now sporting quite the bulge. Meaning, of course, that not only did they lose the advantage of the time compression, but they added three months. So when she gave birth to William Scully-Mulder (god, I really still cannot believe that happened) at the end of Season 8, it was a year later in our Earth-time, but with the adherence to the calendar year and the additional three months...

It's kinda confusing, when you think about it. At the time, we all made jokes about her fifth trimester. But I forgot it was actually true.

Why this line of thought? Got my hair cut this weekend, and it came out pretty damn short. Cute, but short. Kinda like this. It's not that I dislike the length, but it is a little disconcerting, so I was wondering how long it'd take to grow out. And that, naturally, lead me to this.


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Friday, January 14, 2005

Writing Fever! Weekend Madness!

Totally gonna finish the short story I've been working on all week. Totally gonna enter next week's Tales From the Funhouse.

Totally gonna get started on the screenplay revisions this weekend. Totally gonna rewrite a page or two of the Hearttaker script. Totally gonna start plotting out the next screenplay. Totally gonna put a review together for the next issue of Bookslut.

Oh, I'm also totally gonna get my hair cut, go to a party, catch up on my email, watch the five hours of TV backed up on my TiVo (including this week's Alias and PRAISE JESUS, Battlestar Galactica), go to the gym, construct something resembling a filing system, and spend an hour in a comic book store reading Bendis books I don't want to buy (sure, Bendis, take the series I'm reading and make it All About that limited series you're writing, go ahead, fine, but I'm not gonna pay money to understand what the hell is happening in one of the three goddamn series I happen to read right now).

I may also go out dancing and see Elektra and figure out how to knit a hat while watching French movies.

Or maybe I'll just get some sleep.

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Thursday, January 13, 2005

Another site to add to the sidebar: THE BEAT at Been reading for a while now, really digging.

Ultimately, I'm probably gonna have to split up the sidebar links between blogs (especially blogs that are not updated frequently) and news sites that update more than once a day. This makes me a little sad, though. I've always liked jumbling them all together.

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Sometimes, I just get exhausted by how post-modern my life is.

I mean, it's hilarious, the coincidences and confabulations and so forth. But there's only so much a girl can take.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

So I'm linking to The Talent Show here, because when I revise the sidebar at some point this week I want to make sure that I remember to include it.

Talent Show's great. Y'all should read it.

Fuck, I need coffee.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Fun link of the day: The Rasterbator. Just awesome.

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Dude, she's just not that into you killing people.

That's my one line review for Phantom of the Opera. Because, dude, Phantom, the chick digs you, you got lots in common, you're smokin' hot when you make a little effort -- she's just a little weirded out by the whole crazy murderer thing you got happening. Sure, you've got some cosmetic problems, but I'm not too hot first thing in the morning either. Hell, even Christine gets bed head. So I know it seems hard, but just stop killing people, crank up the charm, get some therapy (and some of that wicked hot hair wax), and you're in like Flynn.

I'm just saying.

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Monday, January 10, 2005

Yesterday, I was thinking of walking to a cafe in order to do some writing, but the weather convinced me that that was a bad idea. However, the rain, pelting down in fat wet slaps, couldn't convince me that I wasn't addicted to caffeine. So I had to go out, a Great White Hunter in search of foamy coffee.

Thus, I put on the best outfit I could, given the circumstances (which registered on the Ark-esque scale). Cords (which would dry quicker than jeans), a sweater (because my t-shirt had some sort of weird non-breakfast-related stain on it), my supposedly water-resistant winter coat (still damp from the day before)... and plastic flip flops.

All my shoes are leather or cloth, see. All of them, except for the flip flops I bought last summer on sale, on a whim. Given the weather, flip flops seemed the best choice.

My two-block jaunt went pretty well, all things considered, except for the part where a shin-deep puddle disarmed me of one of my flip-flops, and I had to hurry downstream the river named Santa Monica Boulevard to retrieve it. The passing cars splattered me with the puddle water from which I tried to disengage my shoe, the ripping sound of churning water almost cheery, like low-volume fireworks.

I was soaked to the knees when I made it to Starbucks, dripping upon the doormat as I called my order to the dudes behind the counter, not wanting to soak the vaguely dry floor.

"Flip flops?" one of them asked, looking down at my lobster-pink feet.

"All my shoes are cloth or leather."

He shrugged. "Guess it makes sense."

That was reaffirming, I suppose. But I have this suspicion that people who are actual functioning adults own actual raingear. I don't plan to investigate said suspicion -- I'm not crazy.

But like flip-flops on a rainy day, the thought makes a strange sort of sense.

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Sunday, January 09, 2005

Dude, he's just not that into you

So my friend Emily and I were watching Return of the King before Christmas break, and while watching Eowyn throw herself at Aragorn for the fifth time in twenty minutes, I had to sigh. "Man, Eowyn, don't you get it? He's just not that into you."

As the movie continued, Eowyn proved ably that no, she did not get it. And we realized that the entire conflict of the movie can be defined by that one simple statement. For example:

"Dude, Sam, Frodo's just not that into you."

"Dude, Gandalf, Sauroman's just not that into you."

"Dude, Gollum, the ring's just not that into you."

"Dude, Pippen, Merry's just not that into you."

"Dude, Faramir, your dad's just not that into you."

"Dude, Sauron, Middle Earth's just not that into you."

"Really, Eowyn. DUDE."

In summation: If any of those characters had just read that damn book, Return of the King woulda been a whole lot shorter.

This story brought to you by RAIN. RAIN RAIN RAIN.

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Saturday, January 08, 2005

From TWoP's recap of the TNG episode Sub Rosa:

"Yeah, The Transporter's quite a good rag actually; Ensign Crusher's got his own blogspace ( there. He frequently writes about how he and his pilot troupe performed on Vega and killed there. WCDN also has a running count of many times Cpt. Picard passes him in the corridors without noticing him, and the play-acting ensign likes to muse about how he sees stars crying outside his window and he gets sad.

::dies laughing::

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Friday, January 07, 2005

Later on -- perhaps next week -- I want to write about:
  • Comic books, TV, and Stories Without Ends
  • Vietnam, Iraq, and The Prime Directive.

Actually, I think I could really get something out of that last one. Maybe I should think about pitching it somewhere.


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Quiet day. Gonna probably be a quiet weekend. Want some stuff to read?

In the new issue of Bookslut, my column took on Sideways (betcha didn't know it was a book first), while Karin reviews the comic book End of the Year Reviews.

Ostrich Ink is chock full of good. MY FIENDLY NABOR by Moira McMahon is a hoot, whereas my piece, ONLY IN L.A., is not quite as funny. But that's what happens when you don't write funny.

That's an homage to Shattered Glass, right there. You should all see that movie if you haven't yet. It's really good.

And I'm spent, which isn't good. We're shooting tonight. I've got at least six more hours to go.

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Thursday, January 06, 2005

New rule of thumb for writing dialogue:

If you can imagine Halle Berry saying it at the end of Catwoman, right before she kicks Sharon Stone out the window, then it's not particularly good.

If you can imagine Halle Berry saying it at the end of Catwoman, right before she kicks Sharon Stone out the window, and it makes sense in that context? You got a real problem.

We now return to your previously scheduled Thursday afternoon.

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Watching bad TV is hard work

And last night was exhausting. Lost definitely alternates between Episodes Where Things Happen and Episodes Where Nothing Happens, and it's sad, how underwhelming EWNHs often are. I still like decompressed storytelling. I just like it better when it uses the serialized narrative format to do things like follow through on, say, hypotheticall, pregnant chicks being abducted by Crazy Jungle Dudes. Instead, we got waterfall frolicking and a flashback sequence sans end. I have to admire a show that, right out of the gate, established a really cool structure for storytelling. But when that structure is poorly used, man does it show. I'm totally ready for next week's Boone-and-Shannon extravaganza, if only because things might actually happen. And not just the long-hoped-for reveal that Boone's Secret Gayness might actually be Actual Gayness. Fingers crossed. I can't handle any more pretty straight men on that show, anyways.

Alias was, I dunno... The reboot was cool, and I liked the all-mod offices ("That's totally how I'd decorate my spy office," I said at one point, "with everyone in black turtlenecks") but the Big Plot Reveals left me cold, and I'm kinda annoyed and kinda hopeful... In the end, it just wasn't much fun. And I don't watch Alias for the high drama.

And the more I think about it the more peeved off I get. I mean, jeez, Alias, I've gone to some effort to get a friend interested in the show and I've been watching the first season -- all those episodes I never saw -- and I want to give you the benefit of the doubt...

But sometimes you're just not very good, and sometimes I really don't want to bother with trying anymore. And I know I've been saying that since the second season. But sooner or later, I really am gonna stop.


I'll just give next week a chance first.

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So last night, in the heated moments before darting out of the office, I finished a very rough draft of the thriller screenplay I've been writing for the past month or so. It went fast because it was thoroughly outlined. It also went fast because it was short (I need to add about ten more pages before I can really consider it done).

But that'll all happen later. Today and tomorrow and possibly even Saturday, I'm taking a break from screenwriting. There's a short story I've been meaning to work on, and a couple of other things I've been kicking around. And I also have all these books to read.

Tonight I'm blowing off the gym in favor of going home and reading all night. I'm really excited about this. BOOKS. I will read them in my chair, on my couch, in my bed, and even, possibly, in the bath. BOOKS. Books books books.

God, I love books.

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Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Some comic news for y'all: Frank Miller is writing the first six issues of All-Star Batman & Robin.

For those not keeping score at home, the "All-Star" line of comics is, essentially, DC's answer to the Marvel Ultimate line -- and holy cow, they've got some great talent for it.

I mean, sure, I dislike Dark Knight Strikes Again so much that I've actually refused to acknowledge its existance at several points. But Miller's 80s Batman and Daredevil stories were a huge part of what got me into comics in the first place.

And I do love Batman so.

I might actually buy this one. Especially since, by my calculations, Astonishing will be wrapping up around then.

God, Astonishing. I still haven't bought the last issue. Or anything the last two weeks.

Maybe tonight I go for a walk.

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Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Any day involving a dead baby just plain sucks, if you ask me.

I mean, it's not technically too bad a day. But the dead baby thing just kills it.

And Will Eisner, too. Goddamn.

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Monday, January 03, 2005

Looking forward

Back at work, after what ended up being two blissful weeks off. This is gonna take some adjustment.

Some Coming Soon! writers listed their most-anticipated movies for 2005, and I was reading this going, goddamn, is it only nerd stuff coming out?

Yes, I know, it's Coming Soon! But still.

So here's my most anticipated list. I mean, I'm a nerd too. But there's more to life than Star Wars. At least, god I hope there is. And in a year with new movies from Terry Gilliam, Cameron Crowe, Woody Allen... Yeah.

Melinda and Melinda
Woody Allen listens to my prayers and makes a movie that sounds original, fun, and funny -- and DOESN'T STAR HIM. This is the first time in years, YEARS, that I've actually been excited for a Woody Allen movie. YEARS.

Sin City
Look, I don't know who you were talking to, but no, I DON'T HAVE A CRUSH on Robert Rodriguez. Really, okay? I just think he's super funny and sweet and smart and he makes all these really unique, visually interesting movies -- sure, sometimes they're kinda slapdash and not very good, but he does everything himself -- isn't that cool? And he's so nice -- he even left the DGA because they wouldn't let him share directing credit with Frank Miller! And he likes to cook and he plays the guitar and lives in this gorgeous house...

I just think he's pretty neat, okay? OKAY?

This is a total mix-up of many Secret Weaknesses. Luc Besson-produced action movies, Yuen Wo Ping action choreography, Morgan Freeman as The Wise Old Man, and oh, yeah, a really kick-ass trailer.

Rumor Has It
I like Ted Griffin's writing, it's a cool cast, and Rob Reiner can be interesting. Plus, a female version of The Graduate? Might suck. But might not.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Like the books. Love the casting. Like the directors. Like love like.

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Let's just get this over with.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
A teen girl version of Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Sounds too cute to resist.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith
This is why they invented summer movies. I like Doug Liman a lot, despite knowing better. I like Brad Pitt a lot, despite knowing better. I'm a fan of pretty silly action as a rule, and this promises to be no exception to said rule.

Batman Begins
I feel like I've been pretty clear about this.

War of the Worlds
Spielberg's all right, I guess.

The Island
So what if it's Michael Bay? It's also Ewan McGregor and the kind of cool sci-fi premise that used to get so badly bungled in the 70s. I'm in like Flynn.

Cameron Crowe? Yes.

Let me officially go on the record as saying that whether this is good or bad, does ill or well, it is nevertheless the worst-titled sci-fi action entry IN HISTORY. Seriously, Joss, Serenity? This is what you call your epic space western? I know it's the name of the ship and I know it was the name of the original pilot and it's a fine name for a ship and an all right name for two hours of television but SERENITY? That's how you plan to revitalize your beloved canceled TV show that 90% of America never gave a crap about? With a title that makes you think of British dramas about middle-aged widows coming to terms with the quiet desperation of everyday life?

I mean, I'm sure it'll be fantastic. It's Firefly reborn, after all. But seriously. SERENITY?

The Brothers Grimm
I kinda started off hating this movie, because not only was it very similar to a screenplay I was working on, it was written by Ehren Kruger, who I'm still mad at after having sat through Reindeer Games and Scream 3.

But I never finished the screenplay (story problems beyond repair) and Terry Gilliam does strange things to me. I've always liked him, but now I've moved onto active rooting. Dude needs a break, after all.

So that's what I'm really looking forward to. There's stuff I'll probably cave into watching along the line. (Ah, Elektra, you Rob Bowman-directed demon temptress.) But it looks to be a good year.

Better than 2004, fingers crossed.

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Saturday, January 01, 2005

So, as of writing this, 2005 is about four hours and forty minutes old, but I'm awake for the moment and I meant to write something to mark the passing of time, if you will.

What did 2004 bring me? I don't know. Any number of things. A number of the friendships I started back in 2003 became real cemented honest things, as I grew to be closer with people I really liked and respected. I continued to grow stronger with the support and love my family gives me freely. I started being more adult in any number of small ways, due mostly in part to my greater exposure to actual adults, who do things like write thank you notes and bake and donate and care.

I got a job I don't hate, that puts me in daily contact with a number of excellent people, and is that much closer to what I actually want to do. And say this for it -- it's rarely boring.

My mom taught me how to knit, and I picked up binding off and purling on my own, trying out new things along the way. Knitting is a big thing for me, actually, an actual hobby, something I do for pleasure, something I do for me. And it's something I can do with my hands, something active and interesting and useful, a simple skill that can be used in so many complicated ways.

I wrote. I wrote less than I wanted to and more than I'd imagined possible, and I did it under my own volition, because I wanted to. I'm developing my rhythm now, getting closer and closer to actually being good at this. The majority of three screenplays, a few short stories, the Hearttaker script, any number of Bookslut and Ostrich Ink articles...

2004 was the year I took more chances, tried more things, became more confident, less afraid. It had its flaws, but what year doesn't? What year doesn't hold the promise of improvements to come? January 1, 2005 -- a day for optimism if ever there was one.

So auld lang syne, everyone. Happy New Year.

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