Halloween! Yay! I'm all of a sudden super-pumped for this holiday -- went to the Dios de los Muertos carnival at the Hollywood Forever cemetary on Saturday, going to the WeHo Carnaval tonight. My Starbuck costume, while not tremendously impressive, is still pretty fun. And comfortable, too! Just need to get a cigar and I am set for the night.
So, some quick links before I do some writing, go for a run, and get myself and the apartment ready for some pre-Carnaval boogie-ing: Beware the Pumpkin Warrior.
You know who's terrifying? The Dreaded Atrox. I've been forgetting to plug these crazed comedy-producing dudes here, but my failures should not impede your enjoyment of fine webcomics and short films. I'd mention that I'm in one of those short films, but, see. My PARENTS read this blog. (Also, I'm wearing a cunning disguise.)
This is less fear-enducing, but the new SMRT-TV is up, and I'm really happy with it -- some great columns, commentary on the Plame investigation and its West Wing parallel, and a friggin' podcast! How cool is that?!
That's the weird thing about the Internet. First, you're finding out the story behind La Boheme, then you're looking at some German dude riding a broomstick, then you're looking up a news story about the flu vaccine company that won't sell to American corporations anymore, then Sulu's gay!
I love the guy and I'm happy that he's confident enough to step forward now. But I have to admit, it's caught me a little off-guard. I mean, look at him!
At the end of the day, you're still ripping off Shakespeare.
This NSFW window has been open in my browser for almost an hour now. I keep staring at the black box, the pale flesh beside it.
I know that it wouldn't be so very wrong to click on the image and remove the black box. I am not at work, Roomie 2.0 and guest in the other room wouldn't judge me. (Much.) And, I mean, Mr. Survivor is staring RIGHT AT the camera. He POSED. It's not like he didn't know this could happen.
So the only person this really hurts is me. I have to decide -- do I want to see what Jeff Probst looks like, beneath the khaki? Am I prepared for this image to be seared into my brain every time I "accidentally" watch an episode of Survivor (it's like tripping and falling into an abyss, see, an abyss that strangely resembles a catty grown-up version of Wild and Crazy Kids)?
The Probst is a good-looking man. I find his dry wit and no-nonsense attitude quite refreshing. But does that mean that I really want to see his wound ferret?
(That one's not mine, sadly. Kate Winslet has dibs.)
(The parentheticals, man! They're out of control!)
The answer is no, I think. No. I do not want to click the pic. I am capable of restraint. I am capable of self-control.
I don't know quite what to make of this new Albert Brooks movie. It could be challenging and controversial, but all I can think about is how much The Muse sucked.
Best thing ever happened today. My cable company called to see how I was enjoying my cable service -- and in the process of trying to hang up on them, I learned that OnDemand got added a few months ago without us knowing. Thus, I am now going to go into the living room and watch me some freakin' Extras...
Oh, crap. It's 2 AM? Maybe I'll just sleep. But I can demand Extras tomorrow. WHENEVER I WANT. Oooh, and Rome, and maybe even that last episode of Six Feet Under, the one where everyone dies...
As Roomie 2.0 said when I told him: This is so, so bad.
So I have an hour and a half left at this cafe before I should leave; there's an ab class at the gym I want to go to tonight and my abs are somewhat gelatinous. I've lost a little weight over the past few weeks, and I feel good and healthy and all that, but the abs, man! They just don't know what's good for 'em. Of course, perhaps my abs are all about Manifest Destiny and spreading out to conquer as much territory as possible. But my abs need to attain a more enlightened viewpoint. My abs need to learn to coexist with smooth flat muscle. My abs need to embrace karma.
My abs are not prone to listening to reason, however. Stupid abs. This is what blind patriotism gets you. I bet my abs vote Republican. That would be fitting.
That's a word that just keeps getting funnier, the more you type it. Like pants. Pants. Abs. Abs in my pants. Pants.
I'm trying to finish a first draft of the wacky space screenplay, and I've set myself a goal of Friday. Friday is an excellent goal, because that means I can go to Vegas on Saturday free as a bird, unencumbered but for those eight other writing projects I have going. But man, I'm so unenthused about finishing this screenplay! Even though I just reread a large chunk and while sections are clearly in Shitty First Draft form, this is one of the more fun things I've written. I certainly enjoy the hell out of it, despite the many many flaws. For one thing, my poor third act! It's so derivative of Serenity! Despite the fact that it was outlined back in dear ol' June!
I like to see this as a sign that Joss Whedon, despite being paid millions and millions of dollars for his screenplays, is really no better than the rest of us. Despite, of course, his being better than the rest of us.
I've had a pretty big cup of coffee this afternoon. Can you tell?
But it's okay, really. The bad guys will surprise our girl now, and she'll have a big teenager spat with their leader, and then get abandoned on the moon. But don't worry! She'll figure out a way to escape the moon!
Tomorrow, that is. I think tomorrow, she'll escape the moon and triumph over her foes. For today, we'll just stick with abandonment. Today is a fine time to be trapped on a moon.
Almost done putting up new issue of SMRT-TV. Taking forever. But, got five hours of sleep last night. Exciting stuff.
Cut from my editor's letter:
As I walked out of traffic school at the Improv this weekend (stop means STOP, folks), I had the good luck to catch the very last play of the USC/Notre Dame game that Alan describes in this week's column. It was a stunning moment. Me and all the guys, standing in a bar, staring up at the magic box. Waiting to see what would happen next.
Quite a thing, gasping the same breath of air as a dozen strangers. Imagining a million other people sharing that same moment.
Stupid funk. Stupid I-just-don't-want-to-do-anything-but-be-lazy funk. I'm not terribly down, mood-wise -- just in a rut. Maybe it's having to wear grown-up pants to a super-boring grown-up job every day. I'd forgotten how much I really don't like doing that.
I know what I need to do in order to get out of this funk. Exercise, balance my checkbook, make a killer to-do list, eat some sushi, write for two hours, and get eight hours of sleep. Then come in tomorrow, train a replacement for The Slowest Temp Job Ever, and take Thursday and Friday to catch up with writing and other projects.
In general, this whole temping thing I'm doing is proving to be very illuminating. I keep getting to meet all sorts of people, and between that and reading bits of Gig, this real sense of adulthood as a drifting mess arises. The guy in charge of personnel here, for example, is very much into photojournalism (there are newspapers by my desk that he stops to look at). The woman who was my supervisor at Jewish Nursery School? She won't be staying there forever. Everyone's looking for something new.
I know that there are people doing what they want to be doing with their lives. That must be pretty nice.
My boss asked if I was available to work tomorrow. Given that I don't really do anything during the work week, this is pretty funny. What does he want me to do tomorrow? Write more emails to old college friends? Surf more websites? Read more TWOP recaps?
This weekend, I think I'm going camping in Santa Barbara, leaving early-evening time. So I could maybe come in for a few hours. But still. WHY? Especially when I could go play basketball and work on my screenplay?
Well, money. Yeah. I think it'd be overtime! Still, not exactly what I want to be doing with my life.
Then again, that's a far-off thing. And really, I suppose no one's ever totally perfectly content. Which is good. Puts the pressure on.
I'm looking forward to going home, hitting the gym and seeing a movie tonight. Should do something productive here beforehand, though. As I do have the time.
It feels like forever since I've been excited about a comic, but man oh man am I excited for Loveless, this Brian Azzarello thingamajiggy. I'm not a huge fan of 100 Bullets, but this sounds like a really cool take on the Western genre. And the more I think about Westerns, the more I like 'em.
Didn't watch Veronica Mars last night due to baseball, but man, that was a great premiere and I'm very excited about this upcoming season. And, in other TV news: I've been underwhelmed by the show since the first Locke kidney episode, which is why I'm surprised by how much I loved last night's Lost. The flashbacks (again, with Locke's kidney!) were kind of forgettable, but there was the introduction of The Hanso Foundation, wacky filmstrip fun, Michelle Rodriguez giving Sawyer some Girlfight (I'm that girl who doesn't like Sawyer very much)... Great stuff that advanced the plot, added new mysteries as it solved old ones.
Lost is doing crazy things to the way we do sci-fi on TV. Grounding the genre elements with a smack of reality totally changes the way we perceive the world and the characters -- the line-straddling really gives the whole situation a deeper meaning. Not having a box to put the show in puts the viewer right in there with the characters, wondering what the hell is going on. It's much more claustrophobic. Much more intense. And it's completely turned me off shows like Invasion and Threshold, which try to do the same thing but aren't produced by JJ Abrams. Maybe's it's because those shows are just balls-out alien invasion stories. And knowing even that much just gets rid of the fun.
In our last bit of nerd commentary, if you get DirecTV, and you get Current (Al Gore's network), look out for a sweet little doc about Comic-Con called Nerds in Paradise. Produced by some friends, and starring some other friends. And I pontificate about nerd culture some. Though not as much as Jeff does. I'm not a HAM.
Last night, I went to a thing that ended up being a big huge film school reunion, and one old crony (that's a terrible phrase, but I only had coffee for breakfast and speaking in anachronisms helps keep down the nausea) let it slip that he now has a blog. And his blog is really quite good. Actual entries about subjects and issues of the day. With regular updating, to boot!
The conventional wisdom on whether or not you need to go to film school is perennially in flux. There's always some wunderkind telling rooms full of students that they're wasting their money and should just take the tuition bucks and make their own movie. But the thing that I just can't imagine surviving without is the community that comes out of being a film school alumni -- the friends you make and the business contacts you forge. There's little I find more invigorating than knowing creative people, talking to them about their projects. I did a whole bunch of that last night. And it felt GREAT. Made me excited to go home tonight and sit alone in my room, poking at stories.
It's funny, how occasionally I just feel like everything worth saying has already been said. I saw Serenity this weekend, and I liked it, and I wish that big thing X hadn't happened in such a cheap, meaningless fashion, and I wish there had been more horses, but otherwise it was fun, solid movie-making. But that's all I really have to say. Maybe it's a delayed reaction thing -- by the time I have the chance to discuss an issue, someone else I read has already done a much funnier/wiser/longer response. I can't top the dubbing of Harriet Miers as Dr. Pulaski.
My new temp job this week is pretty cool; lots of money per hour for very little work, and a fast internet connection, to boot. Dream job! Today, I've had to do some actual things, which was an interesting change from the utter lethargy of earlier in the week. But I managed to read for about an hour this morning, and I think most major tasks of the day are taken care of. Maybe now I will go to lunch. And by "go to lunch," I mean "walk to Ralph's and buy a sandwich and some cereal so that tomorrow morning I can EAT BREAKFAST before coming into work."