Please answer the following using complete sentences. Show your work.
Why was last night's episode of Alias called "Tuesday"? Did all that hilarity seriously happen in one 24-hour period?
Why did I wake up, for the third morning straight, an hour and a half before my alarms go off? And why did I spend the rest of the morning Especially since I went to bed only five hours earlier?
Is Daily Show in reruns all week, or were they just out Monday?
What would be a fun book to read out loud to a group of 3-6 year olds?
My fortune cookie fortune says "You'll accomplish more later if you have a little fun this weekend." True or false?
Please allow your answer to reflect the fact that SMRT Vol. 1 comes out on April 4th. Yes it does. YES IT DOES.
Should I wear my strappy black sandals, my shiny gold ballet flats, my black heeled boots, or an ENTIRELY NEW PAIR OF SHOES (to be purchased) to the fancy Hollywood party I'm going to on Saturday night?
Does wine-colored lip gloss make me look like
All of the above
Why did I think we were shooting today until 6:30, when in truth we're supposed to be done by 4:15?
Will I have time to go running tonight?
2nd cup of coffee -- yes or no?
Please begin the exam now. Double-check your work for accuracy.
Let's dwell on that one, shall we? For David Duchovny mystifies me, these days. I always liked the episodes of X-Files he wrote and directed, to the point of wishing that his post-XF career would be spent behind the camera, not in front of it (Evolution being a particularly horrifying experience on many levels). So it appears he ALMOST decided to answer my hopes and dreams. Then he decided to be the main character of his feature and cast his wife as his flashback mother. And now I cringe every time I think about this movie. EVERY TIME. Robin William's performance not even the main reason, though it looks really bad.
Fortunately, it appears that I'm having a helluva time going to the movies these days -- the last thing I paid to see was Inside Deep Throat, which was really great, but at least three weeks ago. Three weeks! Unheard of.
Back to work. SMRT is going well. It's at that point where I haven't really figured out yet how much work is left to do. So I feel fine about it. Great, even. Dandy.
That was what the drive to Arizona was like on Friday. I left at exactly the wrong time, in exactly the wrong direction... Eight and a half hours to get to Tempe. Oy vey.
A nice long weekend, though, and seeing Nicky was nice, and coming back and going for a run and going for a burger and then working on the SMRT website? The perfect Sunday evening. Hell, Desperate Housewives was even kinda fun. A rare event, these days.
I'm behind on writing, and flooded with emails. Projects! Exciting times. Keeping up with these exciting times, though? Exhausting.
Been forgetting to mention it, but hey, pseudo-Friday (we have tomorrow off, so we're shooting tonight) is a great time for some self-promotion, so here: I talk about TV pilots for fall 2005 on this week's Mosquito Circus, which is hilarity and good times in the form of a podcast. Y'all should listen. Someone should.
I sound way more Southern recorded than I do in my head, for the record. It's an oddness.
And before you ask, he was my PROM DATE, okay? It's what prom dates do!
For those who are wondering how that at all relates to the state of network TV, well, join the club.
Like a kid who just can't stop picking at that wicked awesome scab on his knee, I keep watching the trailer for The Island, over and over. I just don't understand how this movie exists and is happening and is happening this summer. Does. Not. Compute.
As a right-thinking young lass who still shakes with anger over Pearl Harbor, I know better than to hope for anything truly great. But as a right-thinking young lass who's watched nearly every 70s sci-fi dystopian movie ever made, I have to say that nothing quite addresses my major complaint with these movies -- "God, why does this have to look like crap? And is ANYTHING going to happen at some point?" -- like Michael Bay directing.
So, here it is, 2005, and we've got this bizarre hybrid of two genres to make sense of. I mean, the plot is a 100% genuine 70s sci-fi dystopian tale -- but PRETTY! Have you watched the trailer? Gorgeous. Gorgeous! Ocean! Helicopters! Canted angles! BOOM! And there are people in white pajamas running to freedom against an orange-soaked sky! Just like THX-1138, but with Ewan instead of Duvall! Steve Buscemi instead of that old guy! Scarlett Johannssen instead of that naked chick!
THX 2.0: Louder, Faster, Better. A THX I'll be able to torture MY children with.
Of course, they'll probably think it's boring and slow and looks like crap. My children of the future. They'll pity the feeble sci-fi of the 00's. Then run away to play with their robo-clones.
Hilariously, Karin posted about DeVotchKa the day after one of the guys in the office brought the CD in -- I am now listening to a burned copy of "How it ends." Great stuff. I shall totally seek it out at a money-taking place like Amoeba, and you should too.
Been busy with work-related work all morning. May now have time to do other things.
Write a poem about grilled cheese and read it out loud at the Invitational, within the space of about fifteen minutes
Wear THE MOST SCANDALOUS outfit to Rocky Horror
Enjoy Rocky Horror quite a bit, as always.
Record a thing on TV for the radio -- specifically, this week's podcast of the hit Mosquito Circus
Buy a whole bunch of comic books, some of which I totally get to keep
Rewrite Hearttaker some, hopefully for the better
This week is a bit crazy, especially since I'm thinking about going to Arizona this weekend and thus have to get MANY THINGS done. But it should go okay. Tonight, there'll be yoga (hopefully I'll get out of here in time to go to the free class down the street from me, though my hopes may be in vain), laundry, comics, and some brushing up on CSS. Maybe even an episode of Carnivale. I'm like five weeks behind at this point.
Mastodon City is going to town over Congress deciding that Terry Schiavo should continue to live, and man those boys have tasty brains when it comes to debating the role of government in private life and the political implications of this issue. See Example A,Example B,Example C, and Example D.
In addressing the cause of this whole kerfuffle, my buddy Jood posted a link to the Advance Directive Forms website. If you're like me, and the thought of you or your family being put through what Terry Schiavo and her family are going through makes your skin crawl and your eyes tear up, you know what to do.
I'm actually more conservative on this issue than most, though, mainly because a week of slow starvation sounds like the least merciful death I could come up with, and I can totally understand her parents not being comfortable with that, ESPECIALLY if there's no clear documentation of her needs (please, see above). If this woman has to die, I don't personally think the feeding tube shut-off is okay. Not that my opinion means anything to the people in her life -- and not that it SHOULD. I'm just saying.
And, as a result of all this, I've been mentally debating the morality of shutting off the feeding tube vs. direct euthanasia. Because the act of shutting the machines down is deliberate, an act that will end her life -- so what's the difference between that and an injection that will bring her a much more peaceful and quick death? In a moral sense, that is. After all, the intention of the action isn't different. One is simply more proactive than the other. And maybe that's the sticking point. But I wonder if people would react differently if that was the issue -- living off machine, or quick painless death (not a long drawn-out one).
This is all beyond the political football that has now completely consumed this woman's life. But I'm still interested. Because we've got such marvelous machines these days. It's hard to imagine that they won't directly affect all our lives at some point. Hopefully, though, not like this. Nothing like it.
Last night, at a sports bar in Burbank (surprisingly uncrowded for St. Patty's), a guy tried to pick up on me by asking me what I was going to play on the jukebox. When I told him that I wanted to play the Scissor Sisters, he said, "You know, they're not Elton John."
"Yes, but that's okay, because the Scissor Sisters are AWESOME."
"There are only two good songs on that album, though."
Das Roomie opined later that a traditionally accepted form of flirting is ribbing the party of interest regarding his or her preferences in media. But having just met this gentlemen, and having just heard this gentlemen dismiss one of my current favorite bands, I was a little put off. So here is the advice I offer you, dudes. If a lady says she likes a band, and you think they've only done two good songs, then SAY HOW MUCH YOU LIKE THOSE SONGS.
Easter. Yes. After a lifetime's worth of irreligiousness, this year marks the first time I've decided to make the effort to go to Easter services. I mean, the Easter services in question will be held in an IRC channel -- it's for the Lady Sisyphus's preachin' class -- but I'm gonna count it...
I don't know what I'm doing tonight, but I think craic-hunting is a good term for it.
I've missed NPR, for the record. I've been listening only off and on recently, but today I also learned about Einstein and the X chromosone and the money-making scheme of Charles Ponzi. As long as they take it easy on the shipping tarriff stories, I think we'll be good to go.
I am now going to sit down, right now, and make a list of all the different things I have going on. Stuff I've promised to do, stuff I've already done, stuff that may happen in the future. All the stuff. All of it.
If the phone will do me the courtesy of NOT RINGING while I attempt to do this, that'd be swell. Swell.
So I figured out why I've felt so oddly dull the past couple of days. Typically, my conscious thoughts are divided as follows:
Writing projects: 28% Plans for the evening/weekend: 20% Books, movies, TV, comics, and other media: 18% News and current events: 12% Actual job stuff: 10% Hygeine, exercise and appearance: 5% Boys: 5% When the hell is Veronica Mars back on the air, anyways?: 2%
But since I laid down my credit card for the SMRT-TV domain name, my thoughts break down pretty much like this:
So last night I tried to watch Hero, the 2002/2003/2004 film directed by Zhang Yimou and starring Jet Li. Now, I like Jet Li, and I like Zhang Yimou, and I like martial arts and action. But maybe the timing was bad, maybe I was exhausted -- all I know is, I could not stay awake. And I was all right with that.
I mean, it's gorgeous -- Christopher Doyle is genius with a camera, and I still can't believe some of those colors. But after about half an hour, the only thought I'd really had was "wow, if they took out all the slow-mo, this movie would be fifteen minutes long." The fighting was dull, I just couldn't get invested in the story, and while the acting was great I didn't find myself really sympathizing with any one character. I might have liked it more in the theater, but...
Wuxia is a beautiful genre deeply rooted in Chinese culture. I acknowledge and respect that. But I'm finding it harder and harder to believe in flying people. All it does is make me want to watch the original Matrix again, because while I just love the way Yuen Wo Ping and others craft those elaborate fight scenes, I need there to be justification built into the story for the crazier moves.
I imagine that if I'd made it through more of the film, I'd be able to talk about the potential themes of fascism and communism -- which do deeply interest me. In fact, the whole political situation of the film seems more interesting than the film itself. Though the politics don't feature sulking Maggie Cheung, skulking through the calligraphy school. I don't know why she looked so awesome doing that. She just did.
For a counterpoint, read Alison's review. Me? I think I'll go watch Carrie-Anne Moss kick some ass. It's been too long.
So I just posted the below to Neil Gaiman's FAQ line, but in case he doesn't post it I thought it'd be good to have around for posterity.
So I know that you're very busy, Neil, but I thought you should know that you almost won an Eppie last night at Epic-con, an e-book convention with a full-on, Oscar-esque award ceremony. I was there because my mom was nominated for an award as well (and I'd always wanted to see the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA), but it was exciting to see two names I knew among the nominees.
You should know that you missed a nice night -- the fish was a little dry and the apple-raspberry tart was of questionable character, but the potatoes au gratin were of a perfect consistency and I heard marvelous things about the prime rib. Plus, the magic tricks performed by our eager MC very nearly worked, and on the back wall of the ceremony hall, a giant mural depicted two unicorns in battle. The mural was in fact entited "Unicorns in Battle." I got my picture taken with it.
The anthology you were nominated for, FANTASY READERS WANTED -- APPLY WITHIN, was my pick to win, but it was up against an anthology edited by one of the conference organizers and featuring a contribution from the MC. Scandal! The winners got shiny medals. I'm sure they would have looked lovely next to your Hugo.
My mom also didn't win her award, which was pretty sad. But at least I was able to tell her, "Well, Mom, even Neil Gaiman doesn't win them all."
And so hey, Neil Gaiman? Don't feel bad. Even my mom doesn't win them all.
Today has been vaguely productive. I mean, I haven't actually gotten anything done. But people have been called. Ideas proposed. Progress!
May get to leave early today. That totally means I'll be able to have a wild and crazy Friday night! A wild and crazy Friday night consisting of getting my oil changed, my pants hemmed, my hair cut. Adulthood is stupid.
So this morning, in a hurry, I decided to wear the new jeans I bought last Friday. This has caused two separate problems:
When you tell people that you're wearing new jeans, they immediately stare at your ass. And then they tell you how good the jeans make your ass look. I'm flattered, certainly, but this still makes me slightly uncomfortable.
These new jeans? They ride a little low. At least I wore the shiny red underwear. I figure that if it's gonna peek out, it oughta look cute
I am currently trying to fill out a form that I will then attach to my one-act apocalypse play before sending the whole mess to Santa Monica. This involves me answering questions like "What is the artistic purpose of production?" and "What draws you to this particular piece?"
My answer to the latter: "It's life-affirming. Even though half the cast is technically dead."
They will probably have the good sense to reject me. Even if I do know someone who can do the zombie make-up for free.
There's other writing stuff I should follow up on. People I should nag, inquiries to send out. Plus some actual work!
But there is also Part II of the TWoP Rob Thomas interview.
For the hell of it, just did a cursory Google search on 5k training. The first couple of links were along the lines of "Well, if you want to finish a 5k in twenty or thirty minutes, you should be running about 40 miles a week," so color me relieved when I found The Couch-to-5K Running Plan.
But... Wow. Coincidences are awesome.
Their plan is 9 weeks long, and I just did some counting. The Revlon Run/Walk 5k is on May 7. Exactly nine weeks from now.
Warning: Lack of Good TV Reduces Blogger to Heavyhanded Food Metaphors
I'm not dealing well with this whole no-new-Veronica Mars thing. Even though the show's airing of new episodes has never been consistent, this latest hiatus gnaws unfairly at me. Maybe it's because of the last episode's cliffhanger ending. Maybe it's the promise that after this long stretch of bleakness, the show will run undisturbed through the end of the season. Maybe I'm just bitter about FOUR WEEKS of reruns. Pick a number.
But I'm coping, as best I can. It helps that I discovered, via the TWOP interview with creator Rob Thomas, that while Rob Thomas is not the same Rob Thomas who headlines Matchbox 20, he IS the same Rob Thomas who wrote one of my all-time favorite young adult novels, Rats Saw God, which I reread this weekend in search of that deeply savvy high school insight. It also helps that there's another book by Thomas that I was able to order used and cheap. And that TWOP interview did me some good, too.
But that doesn't make this part, the waiting for new episodes, any easier. I can often describe TV in terms of food metaphors: Alias tastes great because it's so trashy and bad; West Wing is solid and heavy -- you can't watch it all at once.
But Mars is solid, intriguing, a delight for the palate and deeply satisfying for the gut. I always have fun, and I never feel guilty about it. It's such great television. It's delicious.
I finished my one-act play this weekend -- the second draft, at least. It's short, it's fun, it's a bit inconclusive, it needs to be rewritten by Thursday. Das Roomie read it and declared it to be play-like, but as she's largely ignorant of the format I've asked someone who actually knows something about plays to read it. Hopefully, he'll agree about its play-like status. Then all I have to worry about is the characters, dialogue, and story.
Playwriting is an incredibly different way of using your writing brain. I quite enjoy it, but man it kicked my ass for a while. Aaron Sorkin's TV writing is a favorite of mine, and he has a strong theater influence, but the simple fact is that when you have two people in a room and have nothing but their interactions to drive the story forward, it becomes incredibly intense. Every line has to be weighed in terms of the scene and the moment; the balance of power, who wants what, why they want it... You can't escape such tough questions in play format, can't bow out with a smash cut. It was a really great challenge. I wrote and rewrote pages over and over again, cut pages of dialogue and then reedited and reinserted them and then ended up throwing it all away. It was hardcore, and I felt great after doing it. A real workout.
I'm in a weird writing lull right now, though -- all revising and retreading old ideas rather than developing new ones. I'm getting notes on things tonight and tomorrow; I have plenty to work on. But I'm starting to think eagerly about starting something new. A short story, the second Hearttaker story, my next Bookslut column.
Not that I have a lot of time. But it's still nice to think about. The next new things. Words unwritten.
I'm gonna scan through the screenplay that needs a third draft now. No rest for the weary.
Not counting my own, of course. Man, yesterday was weird.
This Week of Minor Hell is almost over. ALMOST OVER. The production schedule for today says we'll be done at 5. FIVE. Sure, I'll be trapped in the office an additional hour or so, but who cares? I get to have a Friday night. I may even get to go SHOPPING.
I've been on the wagon for the past month or so, in order to drop some weight and detox a little, and while I feel great about this I can't help but feel that if I don't have a drink or two tonight, I'm gonna wake up in a cold sweating panic tomorrow morning at 9:01 AM, convinced that it's a weekday, I'm running late, and that the universe is falling apart around me.
So in my morning blogging, I saw someone mention that Laura is out/will be coming out on DVD -- as I've always wanted to see this movie, I went to Netflix and did a search. The movie I wanted was hit #1, but item #4:
So blogging will be light this week, as I'm having to fill in for my boss at work and thus will be herding cats -- or, specifically, one cat -- most of the day. This isn't terribly time-consuming, but freaking out about it is. Hence, the inability to string thoughts together in a blog-like fashion.
Had to locate a copy of Air Bud: Golden Receiver today. Harder than you'd expect, especially on DVD. Ended up settling for a tape from a Blockbuster on Ventura.