Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Hercules! Hero of song and story! Hercules, winner of ancient glory! Fighting for the right, fighting with his might with the strength of ten ordinary men! Hercules, people are safe when near him! Hercules, only the evil fear him! Softness in his eyes, iron in his thighs, virtue in his heart, fire in every part of the Mighty Hercules!
Anyway, it is the both the blessing and the curse of such manly men, men such as myself, that there is never a shortage of ladies around and today I wondered: Do they appreciate Le sexy ladies the same way I do? Some may, it's true, but then, if pressed would I characterize the majority of my female readership as most likely lesbian or at the very least, lesbian leaning? (Lesbian leaning? Must be quittin' time. Who's up for a brewski?) Hmmm.... maybe not, but still, even if it were true that my blog catered almost exclusively to the tastes shared by both myself and the lesbian community, I would still assume that there would be at least a few non-lesbian readers. That's not too much to ask for is it? Just a FEW non-lesbians? And far be it from me to alienate any of my readership, no matter how small or ultimately powerless to affect any kind of change on this blog one way or another (because it's mine... hence the title)
So then another thought occurred to me: Jon, this thought went, it is obvious that you possess a deep, deep well of love for Le sexy ladies, a well who's depths plunge far past your testicles, it is much deeper then an ocean of violets so blue and is as immeasurable as Space itself... This is NOT a mystery. No, the true mystery is: Who is your Man Crush?
And that is an easy one!
The answer? Nathan Fillion.
Duh! Duh-duh-DUH! Duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh!
He is dreamy...
I don’t think that’s gay.
So who is this Nathan Fillion, you ask? Well, if I have to tell you, I honestly don’t think we are friends. Nathan Fillion? Captain Malcolm Reynolds? Captain Hammer: Corporate Tool? Caleb the Evil Preacher? Sheriff Bill Pardy? The wrong Private Ryan in Saving Private Ryan?
(… a dim light bulb of recognition kicks on: “…oh yeah… that guy…”)
Basically, Nathan Fillion is awesomeness in (usually) brown pants. (Coincidence? Hmmm... a question for a later day...) Anyway, if you see something with Nathan Fillion in it, you should definitely watch it, as everything goes better with a little Fillion.
He’s the new Han Solo.
Monday, March 30, 2009
I managed to get a good amount of work done on Sunday. Mostly it was work on my comic book and not the novels, but I also read and reviewed Senor Fancy Pants’ first few pages of his initial comic book effort. I also had time to watch Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog and Venture Bros Season Three, both are highly recommended. But back to the comic, I’d guess that I am about 2/3rds done, not counting the part where I try to sketch in the figures and environment for the sake of panel blocking, so that aside, that means that my book should end up as about 22 pages, which is full size. So, if I should ever try to publish it or pitch it somewhere someday to someone then atleast it will be a regular sized effort, so there's a nice little benefit of my Loft class.
Hooray for me and my regular sized effort!
The other upside of the class is that now that I’m well into writing the comic, I actually feel pretty confident with the format, which is what I was looking for. The comic book format is now no longer my enemy, but my friend, its subtle languages and gentle nuances have become clear to me. Now I feel like I can write and block my own comic, on my own time, for my own reasons, which is good, so the class already has a thumbs up from me and its not even done yet! AND if its done all that, already, just imagine the possible surprises that may lay ahead. Personally, I’m hoping for an ice cream party, but don’t tell Little Ms. Supercute Girlfriend should that beautiful dream come true, as I’m not supposed to eat ice cream, because she is a fascist. Ssssssssssh!
But I digress…
I’ll be honest though, folks, and if you'll let me, I gotta bring the room down for a moment, and get a little real with y’all… the idea of sketching out the rough panels for the book is intimidating, even if it is just stick figures. Maybe I just won’t do that part and instead just consider the shapes and placement of the panels and the script itself, together, as guide enough for whomever the future imaginary artist of my book may be... maybe...
Some cool news on the horizon though is that Zander Cannon (he’s my instructor and I should probably just call him Zander, but Zander Cannon sounds like a superhero name.) is planning to have a bunch of local artists draw a one page comic written by each one of us students, so I’m planning on using a page out of the comic I'm working on now, natch... If it looks good (fingers crossed) I’ll scan it and post it up here where we can ALL enjoy it. If it doesn’t… I’ll feign ignorance of the entire situation despite any evidence pruduced to the contrary.
So that’s a little something for you all to look forward to in the next week or so, you lucky ducks.
Other than that, there’s nothing new to talk about. It was a work weekend… Oh! Little Ms. Supercute Girlfriend and I went on a date on Saturday. It started out as a hunt for new linens (her current obsession), which took us to the Mall of America. (I know…ugh...) There we ate at Famous Dave’s, which is admittedly a low point in the evening, but beggars can’t be choosers…
Sidebar: Now, I may not be a professional child-raiser, hell, I’m not even a parent as far as I’m aware of, but it seems too me that it might be…hmmm… a SLIGHTLY poor parenting choice to be feeding a half dozen 8 year olds a garbage can lid full of ribs, bbq chicken, corn on the cob, fried potatoes, cornbread, coleslaw and giant cokes at 9:30 at night, wouldn't you say? Perhaps something lighter might be a better choice…
ANYWAY, after Famous Dave’s shot through our systems like a run-away poop train on a collision course with toilet bowl station, we went to a movie and guess what we tried out?
The VIP ticket!
For a mere $11.50 per ticket (sounds like a too much, but wait) we saw I Love You, Man (good) without a single person under 21 in the theatre AND they bring you food, candy, pop, beer… whatever you want, all the colors of the rainbow, and all at your seat! I can not tell you how great this was, as I’m sure you are all aware of how much I despise the children of strangers, especially when they’re loose and moving around in public! You’re not even allowed to throw things at their heads AND if you should come across a pack of them in a dark and desolate place some late night far from home? They will eat you… True Story, saw it on Buffy once. Anyway, again, if you have the chance to see a moviee VIP style… You should do it, it is totally choice.
Okay, so tonight is my double work night, so I’m cutting this off here.
See you tomorrow, kids!
Friday, March 27, 2009
I guess it had to happen sooner or later. My only regret is that it had to happen to me, that it would come down to this. Looking back, I have to say, honestly, I gave it one hell of an effort there, I mean most days I was in there and giving one hundred and ten percent of myself, easy. Easy! On other days, one hundred and twenty. Hell, I’ll even go so far as to say, that occasionally… occasionally, I was up in there with one hundred and twenty-five percent. Swinging for the fences! One hundred and twenty five percent! Easy! Where else do you see that kind of commitment? No where, that’s where. OK, maybe from Man U fans… maybe… but come on, this is America, no one gives a shit about soccer.
But I digress…
Anyway, it was inevitable, I guess what I’m saying is, eventually I was going to miss a day. It was gonna happen, the pace was just too grueling, even for me. Even steel has a breaking point, folks. I mean, every week? Monday through Friday for a month and a half straight? Twenty six separate blogs, each one randomly yanked from my ass, untold amounts of code utilized, endless insights expounded upon, multiple examples of Le sexy ladies ogled… It was a hell of a run, people, a hell of a run… but it had to end sometime…
But fear not, gentle reader! I am not done. Nay! I am not defeated. A new day dawns, my friends, a new era begins. Before you know it, we’ll be capping off my twenty-seventh blog in a row and you’ll all be like: “Twenty-six? Fuck Twenty-six! Twenty-six is for douchebag losers and Creed fans.” And I’ll be like: “Oh yeah!” Then crash through a wall like the Kool-Aid Man.
So… what does the future hold for me, you ask? More of the same, to be honest. I will continue my efforts, same as I ever was, ever forward, ever upward, ever onward, miles to go before I sleep and all that, yadda, yadda, yadda...
The book progresses as it does, slow or fast depending, with more done pages currently gathering strength on the horizon, my bad ass twin star copy editor Sukiyaki Death Squad girls standing there in the quickly drawing twilight like dark harbingers of a new and terrible grammatical storm ready to break over my head without guilt or mercy at any moment… (probably early next week…)
In the meantime, I have begun work on Chapter Two of Book Two. This will be the chapter where the story actually gets started, where the stage is set and the players are placed... The previous chapter was mostly just for the re-establishing of the situation and the tone, not to mention to remind folks of the hero and to maybe provide a little bit of action to hook any and all unsure readers, so it’ll be fun to actually start cutting into the meat of the thing now and begin shaping it as a story.
Also, I have begun work on my comic book for the class I’m taking. You’ll probably hear a lot more about this little side thing of mine off and on for the next few weeks or so, but the gist of it is: I am attempting to write and to roughly sketch the lay outs for my first ever comic book and as a novelist, I gotta tell you, I have found it to be a very interesting and foreign process.
In a book, you use a block of text to describe a moment and place and the emotional response that your words are supposed to invoke. With comics, you are choosing specific static imagery to convey the same things, to tell your story, to illicit a certain emotional response, etc… HOWEVER, as the writer, you have to use a block of text to describe that image, in order for it to be drawn. It’s a weird circle and an odd thought process involved, especially when you start to consider panel size and their placement in regards to how best to tell your story and at what pace it should progress. Its very interesting and actually pretty challenging as far as writing goes. I think I’m doing pretty well, so far, I’m definitely eager to get some feedback next class. The first five pages certainly seemed to flow from my fingers like a mighty river!
As for the story itself… Have I mentioned this already…? Who cares, its my blog… Anyway, basically, its about people who illegally scavenge scrap metal from military live fire ranges in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic near future. There’s also huge sandstorms and black market arms deals and a character with no pants on… and super powers…. Its fun. I’ll keep you updated.
Also, work blows… This whole working for a living thing? Its for the birds. Tonight, I’m buying a Lotto ticket.
Speaking of fit birds….
Oh my God! Megan Fox, I am sorry, I didn't mean to walk in on you while you were in the bath. You should have told me... What was that? Dry your back? Well... I live to serve, m'lady. So... your skin is so smooth... so tell me... Brian Austin Greene? What was up with that? Blinded by love, I bet. Sister, I have been there, I have been there. Why did you two crazy kids break up anyway? Was it because you're actually a sophisticated Sex-bot, mostly likely built by a bunch of Japanese guys? If so, let me tell you... his loss, honey. So... how much do one of you Megan Fox Sex-bot things go for anyway? Its gotta be more than an X-box 360, I bet. Right? Those things aren't cheap, but still... Neither are you, little lady...
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
It was a short search, as I present to you....
A Very Special Dream of a potential Residential Project from Blue Sky
These types of properties are aimed at individuals who are seeking the ultimate in home security, personal space and personal security in a way never before achievable.
This designed to be built at a declassified ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) launch facility buried two hundred feet into the Kansas (USA) countryside. Built for the American military to withstand a direct nuclear attack, this facility originally cost the US Government tens of millions of dollars to construct and fit out. De-commissioning of these sites followed the end of the cold war hostilities to conform to Treaty Agreement with the former Soviet Union which continues to up the present day. The World’s End facility has remained unused and in mothballs until now.
With an innovative approach, this once unusable space can become an appealing and attractive proposition for use as a home for those people who are keen and interested in their personal safety and security. Equally the facility can be used for commercial purposes, research or storage of valuable items, company files, records, art treasures etc in this hermetically sealed environment.
As can be imagined, gaining entrance into is practically impossible with walls up to fifteen feet thick of heavily re-enforced concrete and steel, blast doors up to six feet thick and up to 150 tonnes in weight buried up to 200ft deep underground into the surrounding countryside.
Here is a small taste of what lays beneath Terra-firma……
The silo itself runs 200ft directly into the earth with a 50 foot diameter allowing for up to fourteen floor levels of varying height in the complex. More than enough room for entertaining space, personal gym, private cinema, swimming pool, additional accommodation space and vast amounts of secure, private and hermetically sealed areas for your own enjoyment or commercial use.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Look out, mother fucker! I'm coming up on your ass!
Now normally, I’m not into the whole car thing beyond just general aesthetics and bikini models and what not, but man, check out the 2009 Dodge Challenger…
Its a God damn road rocket!
425 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 420 pound of torque at 4,800 rpm all of it thumping out of a 6.1-liter Hemi engine, this car can do a quarter-mile in 13.2 seconds at 107.5 mph and go 0-60 in 5.1 seconds (4.8 seconds with a foot of drag strip roll out ) or as Wooderson would say.... "fucking muscle, man..."
Of course all of this quite naturally means that the 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 (pictured below) is not exactly the most environmentally friendly of cars with a meager 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway. She's a go-er... just not for long...
But then... that's not really the point of a car like this, is it? In the end, long distance or short, this car is fucking bad ass. And I really only use that phrase in reference to kung fu and Eliza Dushku, so that ought to tell you something. Look at those lines, man... that's design from an era of cars long gone. Awesome. I wish it had been around a few years ago, because I would have put it in the book. I'm using the classic 1970 version, of course, which was the General Lee car and that's most definitely a cool car in its own right, but still...
Monday, March 23, 2009
I managed to finish Chapter 1 on Book 2 (Yay!) That felt good. I also put in the latest batch of edits for Gunslingers of the Apocalypse from one of my Twin Star Copy Editor Sukiyaki Death Squad Girls (Woooo!) and I managed to draw a blood oath of renewed effort from her as well, so I have that going for me. And after that, I was able to half-finish my: Things That Have To Happen list for Bastard Out of Minnesota. (Huzzah!) Unfortunately though, I was unable to read and respond to all the things that I had planned to, nor was I able to get started on the comic, so all of that is on the list for the next few days, however, at this point, I don’t expect to have the comic done by next class. (Boooo!)
So, I was mildly productive, but still a little disappointed. The good news is that next weekend I have no plans and I intend to keep it that way. Nothing but work, work, work, hump a little, then work, work, work. Wish me luck. Anyway, thats it for today. I got shit to do still, kids, not to mention that tonight is my double shift, so I gotta make like a tree and get outta here.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Now, this list will not include the stuff like going to happy hour tonight with Little Ms Supercute Girlfriend and her friends or having to go to a charity Bingo event on Saturday. (where hopefully I will win $1000) It also will not include any of the mundane usual household chore stuff like laundry or dishes or my weekend shift at the store. No, this is a list mostly for my own benefit, to be honest, and mainly concerned with only my writing.
1. I need to finish dicking around with Chapter One. Its going to get a last pass through and then it is time for me to move on the next chapter and kick my writing ass back into high gear. Before that happens though, I will need to hammer out a bit of an outline or, more appropriately, a list of things that have to happen for the first six or seven chapters or so. Nothing set in stone, just a guide so that I can keep it all straight and on target.
2. I need to read the article one of the Twin Star Copy Editor Sukiyaki Death Squad Girls wrote and sent me. I also need to read and respond to the first draft of what will eventually become the first episode of the new on-line comic currently being created by my friend and yours, the number one helper himself, The Dandy Prussian Officer: Monsieur Fancy-pants. Always a pleasure. I also need to read and respond to the current These Preceeds Knees submissions in preparation for our next meeting coming up on the 9th.
3. I also intend to write my own comic, a 22 page one-shot complete with visual guide, by the next meeting of my class on Wednesday. It’s a tad ambitious, I know, but I think I can pull it off since the story is pretty well formed in my head. Its inspired by an article I read awhile back about people who illegally blitz those big desert military artillery ranges in a wild hunt for all the spent casings and bomb fragments that litter the sand, in order to sell the scrap metal. Then I’ll add in some superpowers, a fascist corporate power structure and a dystopian near-future setting and WHAM! Stick. Fork. Done. Baby.
4. Have sex. A To-Do list mainstay.
And that’s about it. Thats all the news that’s fit to print from me this week. I have a generally busy weekend ahead, but I remain optimistic and focused. See you all Monday!
Wish me luck!
Ah… what the hell….
Man... you are cute! Whats the matter? Are you kind of sad? Or maybe just a bit put out is all? No? You hanging out? Chilling? You look relaxed, thats for sure. Looks like you got your bra stuck in your finger there, sweetie. Was that on purpose or was it just a happy accident? I'd like to think it was an accident that we can all enjoy, but in my heart I think I know better.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
I promise to try to blog about something with a little more substance tomorrow. In the interim, here's a little sexy to brighten your day... I know, I know, I usually try to keep Le Sexy Ladies down to just once a week. This is something I do on Fridays mostly due to the undeniable mind-burn that is a direct result of a week long stint in the day-prison system. Well today is a day for half efforts, it would seem. At least, that's certainly how I approached my cube-work... slow and low, that is my tempo. I've been feeling truculent and rebellious all the sudden, I'm feeling like a dangerous man in the mean and dirty city... Need some proof? I'm wearing jeans today despite the fact that it has clearly not been declared as a casual day! A direct corporate violation! And guess who doesn't care? Not me, that's for sure! I'm loner, an outlaw... a rebel....
Hit it, ladies!
He's a rebel and he'll never ever be any good!
He's a rebel 'cause he never ever does what he should!
But just because he doesn't do what everybody else does,
That's no reason why I can't give him all my love
He's always good to me,
Always treats me tenderly
'Cause he's not a rebel, no no no
He's not a rebel, no no no, to meeeeeeeeeeee-eeeeee!
Ahhhhh.... yeah. Anyway, Suicide girls? Hot!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I’m looking forward to it for a couple of reasons. Mostly, its due to the fact that I really enjoyed the first class last week and I’m interested to see what lies ahead. I also enjoy taking Loft classes in general. A good class is always somewhat invigorating creatively for me, as there are all sorts of possibilities and ideas flying everywhere, both from love and from hate, and all of it really gives me a boost writing wise, which might be the main thing I’m looking for from the new class as I’m attempting to kick start Book 2.
Also, you should never underestimate the enjoyment that comes from a good opportunity to talk comics, whether it be with a fellow geek over something we love, or if its when schooling some stupid moron who likes something dumb. Ask any true geek and I’m sure they’ll agree, both possibilities are always a good time.
And between you and me… I suspect there might be some people in this class who like dumb stuff…
Anyway, the saddest part of the class is that the requisite over-achiever has already, very helpfully, volunteered his status to all of us by taking the initiative and setting up a private message board for the class to congregate on and exchange ideas and banter and petty insults and maybe nurse a few seething grudges and what not, you know, all that new fangled-dangled internet stuff that the kids do.
So I get the e-mail from the guy, you know, basically saying: “Hey come join the message board!” So I do. I sign up. I log on.
No one there.
Its just the guy, the instructor and me. So I figure I’m early, that’s cool. (First to a nerd party? Decidedly NOT cool… oh well…) Anyway, I post a few things, getting to know you, getting to know all about you, and figure stuff will pick up and blah, blah, blah…Comic book talk.
No one else has signed up.
Is this a reflection of the class? Was everyone else displeased? Are these people not going to stay? Or, as it just occurred to me, in my complaining about the comic book elitist snob element last week, did I miss the obvious?
Are they not really comic geeks, but something darker and more foul, something once believed to be nothing more than fanciful rumor and TV legend? Are they, in fact, true blue, dyed in the wool, basement dwelling Comic Book Nerds? (GASP!)
If that were true, then they’d be even more misanthropic than me and the most common trait shared by such vicious beasts is their bitchy message board squatting. You see, most comic nerds are quiet and unassuming in real life and can only be found displaying their true ass-holery on-line. Granted freedom from their corpulent corporeal forms by cyberspace, they seek out and find some message board somewhere out there in some dark corner of the Internet and they then proceed to pee all over it, claiming it as their own and chasing off any and all who do not acknowledge their obvious genius, as shown by their phenomenally high post counts. Could that be it? Maybe? But if so, then why didn’t they flock to these virgin boards and squat down and feverishly start threads and post and post and post again and then flame the infidels?
Their anonymity is gone. Their faces have been shown and will continue to be shown in class for the next five weeks or so and as a result, they are gagged. By having revealed their true names to us, they are now prevented from unleashing their bestial nature by the simple fact that their butt can not cash the type of checks they prefer to write.
Or maybe its just that they are, like all comic geeks, extremely lazy.
Hmmm… time will tell…
Sidebar: Do you know why I heart Tina Fey big time? The Captain Needa reference in 30Rock. Just, you know… in case you wondered… a little FYI about me.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
St. Patrick’s day originates in Ireland, where one rainy day not so long ago and despite a complete lack of previously arranged planning, the entire country ended up drunk at the same time, and I mean a complete falling down, puking, brawling, whoops-she’s-pregnant again, stupid ass drunk. Meanwhile, the British, sensing a sudden advantage, promptly took over half the country. Of course, once the British were in charge, this automatically placed all public works under crown rule and the Irish, in a wave of passive-aggressive behavior not seen before or since, decided as one to drink like they’d never drank before! The result? They all puked….all over the street. It was disgusting. A veritable sea of vomit festered in the gutters. Well, rest assured, the newly hired British street cleaners learned early the next day the true meaning of Irish vengeance! And thus, St. Patty’s day was born!
Unfortunately, the world has lost sight of that wonderful example of cultural beauty and sensitivity and the holiday has been reduced to little more than the day where my only hope is to make it home alive. It is the day when the suburbs traditionally open their gates and sluice into the city, purging Pleasant Valley of all the usually reserved, home-bound alcoholics and button down ne’er-do-wells who then proceed to partake in a ludicrously bacchanalian public spectacle, an orgiastic release of usually frowned upon behavior that would make the Romans blush. Needless to say, the yellowed stain of regret that hangs in a low, greasy pall over the city the next morning is palpable.
St. Patty’s day… ugh.
And, of course, as a general misanthrope now well past the age of 23, (I’m 23 and a half… ish…) St. Patty’s day has become a day of dread. From the rash of inappropriate touching should you forget to wear green, (Ow! A pinch! All because I’m not wearing green… how festive….STAB!) to insane levels of general stupidity on display, (although my personal favorite are the guys who climb the light poles and then fall.) St. Patty’s day, in a word… Sucks Donkey Balls. Plus, there’s a God damn parade running right through my bus route. This will most likely mean that I’m going to be stuck downtown extra long as the Outer Ring Retards tromp down the street, woo-hooing and tooting their plastic horns and all the while wearing gaudy-idiot gear in Kelly Green head to toe.
Pray for me…
Monday, March 16, 2009
In short: I am dreading it.
Now this could probably be due to 2 reasons.
1. I’m old and my legs hurt.
2. I am a misanthrope.
Really, I’d just like to get home and do some more work on the book. Sunday was a good writing day for me, but I didn’t get nearly as much accomplished as I had intended. The latest batch of copy edits were dealt with and applied as necessary. I also entered and/or addressed the responses I received for Book 2, Chapter 1 from the writing group, which I am happy to report were positive. A few of them had trouble with the chronology jump between two of the sections, but that was expected. And really, my thoughts on that are: It’s the beginning of the book, its okay to be a little confused at first and honestly, I promise, I intend and expect it all to become clear… eventually. Now some people go: “But what about losing your readers? What if they put the book down?”
Oh well, I guess.
I mean, you can’t please everyone and besides, its far enough into the first chapter that, if they’re still reading, then they have probably already paid for the book, so if they put it down at that point… oh well.
Sometimes all you can do is write it your way.
Also, honestly, its still sooooo early in the first draft that who knows how much it will change between now and "The End". Its no where near a finished product, not yet, so I’m not going to worry about it, not yet. I’m not going to be one of those writers who just keeps spinning their wheels, covering the same ground, over and over, over and over, over and over until finally what was once rough potential has now morphed into something muddied and unreadable. No, forward progress is always the answer. Keep moving, keep writing, light edits here and there, sure, but keep moving, keep writing, you can fix it all later.
You can fix it all later.
That should be the number one rule of writing, surpassing all those oft-quoted, doddering and flawed idioms like: “Write what you know” and “A writer writes everyday.”
You can fix it all later.
Remember that. It takes the pressure off a bit.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
What’d I think?
Not bad, not bad, we’ll see… It’s not only the Instructor’s first class at the Loft, its his first class teaching ever, so he’s a bit fast and loose and kind of unsure, but I’m alright with that. There was some good discussion and some script format/terminology break downs, which is what I’m looking for, so that’s alright. And its only 6 weeks for $100, so its not like I was expecting something incredibly in-depth or will have lost much should it fall a bit short of expectations. All together, there seemed like a lot of good stuff and some real potential. I think it’ll be fine.
There is some bad though…
There were no less than three of my least favorite writing class types present and at least a half dozen of my least favorite type of comic geek... which is... hurmmmm...
The writing class types:
I know I've mentioned some of these people before, but oh well, there’s always the potential for new examples every time I take a continuing ed/art type class.
1. The Butt-talker: This is the guy with irons in the fire, multiple irons in the fire, all the time, 24/7, he is a mover and a shaker, baby. He’s always got an ass load of projects going on, he’s showing them to this person, he’s showing them to that person, oh how well received it all is… and yet… What? Nothing. Ever. These guys are always raising their hand and telling some generic anecdote from out of nowhere that goes nowhere. “Oh yeah, years ago I was at this convention and I pitched this Editor and he was pretty big at the time, I forget his name, and he really wanted me to send him my stuff, but then I was so busy at the time I never did.” …Yeah, right, I totally believe you. But this guy isn't even the worst…
2. The Writing-for-Therapy guy: Oh god, I hate this guy. These guys are the worst. They are nothing, NOTHING but some kind of in-class stupid drama waiting to happen. They are a flood gate that opens at the slightest opportunity to spew a diarrhetic stream of self-deprecating jokes upon anyone unlucky enough to be in their path and all the while it is painfully obvious that all that shit is, is nothing but a lame, tedious and very thinly disguised attempt to hide their near constant need for reassurance. So they are always fishing for compliments. As soon as I recognize one of these fuckers, its like: “great…” Le sigh... These are the people who immediately bark laughter at the end of each of their incredibly uncomfortable and stuttering writing anecdotes, “We were just having… SO MUCH FUN… that we… you know… we… who cares if it comes out good, right? HA! Hahahah!” They are constantly red faced and on the verge of blowing, so handle with care, kids, because these half-wit hacks will turn on you at the slightest whiff of a perceived slight, they will turn and lunge, claws out, spitting and screaming at even the slightest hint of criticism on their work. Its best to avoid these Writing-for-Therapy douchebags completely. DO NOT attempt to critique them or allow yourself to be roped into any kind of group work with them, do whatever you have to avoid this. Believe me, you are better off without that experience and this particular guy in my class, I can tell, he is one of the worst types too. He crosses his legs at the knees, he’s blonde and ruddy with little wireless glasses. He’s jittery as a three day meth head, but lacks the cool to ever try drugs in the first place. He’s the worst of the worst types of dill holes you could be unlucky enough to get in a classmate. so great, but even worse, the most annoying award goes to…
3. The-Constant-Participator Lady: Its like her arm is spring-loaded and her mouth is powered by the Energizer bunny, she's always ready to jump in... unfortuantly, her mind is a rusty bear-trap. She’s long winded, she’s usually wrong and she usually has the most incredibly annoying voice you could imagine. You see her come mincing in on the first day and you just know right away, you know on sight, she might as well have a puffy paint sweatshirt on that says: Brown-Noser. This is the type of person who reminds you why bullying happens among children. I’m sure you’re all the same as me, bullies are bad, kids are vicious little packs of monsters, but then… but then you get an annoying little fucking kiss-ass idiot like this and you find yourself thinking: “Man, I so want to push you down by the big kid swings, detention be damned!” I mean, its not like I don’t appreciate her enthusiasm and her passion, hooray for you, lady, but her contributions are just so universally dumb and so off base and lost that she drags the class to a screeching halt every time, derailing any and all discussion and all while driving a ice-pick into your brain with that terrible voice of hers. And its constant! CONSTANT! Plus... plus, this particular lady in my class, wants to make sure, at every available oppurtunity, that we are all aware of the fact that she pronounces MANG-ga the correct way: MON-ga, drawing out the "ON". Oh, how Asian-phile of you...
Man, its gonna be a long six weeks...
Then, to top off that shit? I was surrounded by self loathing comic book elitist snobs. Holy fuck, what did I wander into… A bunch of smelly, fat-beards who claim to only read artistic comics. (rolls eyes) These are the same type who go: “I don’t watch TV,” or “I only watch foreign films.” Whatever fuckstick, as if that makes it any LESS of a geeky hobby or waste of time… The way I look at it, if you can’t appreciate a piece of art that successfully accomplishes what it intended to do and say, then you are NOT a true fan. Is the Rock the same as Breathless? No, of course not, but both are shiny examples of their respective genres.
Besides, every single last one of them looked like hand drawn comic book fanboy clichés. Who you fooling, man? No one, thats who. Fat-beards, man, fat-beards.
I guess, looking back on this particular little missive, it looks and sounds like the class was pretty bad, but you know, it wasn't at all. Honestly, the class seems like its going to be fun and informative, at least for what I’m looking for. Also, there were a couple of people there who did seem kind of interesting, so that could be cool, AND it was nice to see a pretty much even man/woman split, that was cool... but shit, man… fucking douchebag alert, you know?
We'll see... stay tuned, true believer.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Secondly, tonight is the first night of the latest class that I'm taking at the Loft. This one is called: Writing for Comic Books & Graphic Novels. Its a six week course taught by a guy named Zander Cannon. He's written a few comics, most notably the sequel to Alan Moore's Top Ten.
I don't think I've read any of his work in particular (maybe I shouldn't start out with that addmission), but I knew about its existance long before this class appeared, so... we'll see. I'm looking forward to it. I'm hoping that it mostly revovles around the techniques of writing a comic script, which from the course description, sounds like it does.
The Loft is a good orginization with a lot of support for writers, not too mention its a focal point as far as local hopefuls and wanna-bes go. If you're a local writer, or if you aspire to be one, then I would highly recommend it and not just because of the classes themselves, even though my experience with them have all been great so far, but more so because you can't create in a vacuum.
I mean, initially, sure you can do your thing on your own, but at a certain point you just can't "see" it anymore, not critiqually, at least, no matter how far you step back. At a certain point, you need fresh eyes upon it and frankly, friends and family NEVER count for anything but a nice little ego boost. Eventually you need other writers and readers to take an in-depth gander and the Loft is the quickest place to find them.
So, I'll update you this week on the class and let you know what I think. Also, I can't forget about "Great Balls of Fire!" God damn, that is a stupid movie. Seriously, go rent it and be amazed that at one point people lauded it and the performances within. Its insane to even think about.
Until next time!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Slow down, you're doing fine. You can't be everything you want to be before your time, although it's so romantic on the borderline tonight. Tonight,... too bad but it's the life you lead... You're so ahead of yourself that you forgot what you need, though you can see when you're wrong, you know you can't always see when you're right. You're riiiiiiiii-iiiiiiiiiight! You've got your passion, you've got your pride, but don't you know that only fools get satisfied? Dream on! But don't imagine they'll all come true...ooooo.... When will you realize, Vienna waits for you?
Slow down, you crazy child and take the phone off the hook and disappear for awhile, it's all right, you can afford to lose a day or two...oooo... When will you realize,..Vienna waits for you?
And you know that when the truth is told that you can get what you want or you can just get old. You're gonna kick off before you even get half through...ooooo... Why don't you realize, Vienna waits for you? When will you realize, Vienna waits for you?
Monday, March 9, 2009
And it was great.
But was it unfilmable?
No... but it might be unmarketable.
I predict that this the film will have a very hard time making budget. Come on now, a $55 million opening weekend for a nearly three hour movie that has to make $300 before it even begins to turn a profit and all the while saddled with a 30-40% negative rating on rotten tomatoes? Shit, if it makes that mark, it will be limping, crawling.
That doesn’t matter to me though, not at this point, why would it?
Watchmen is done, its out, its released.
Will many consider it slow? Yes.
Will others have trouble with it being so dark? Yes.
Will some have trouble with its graphic nature? Yes.
Will the closeted homos in their backwards baseball caps have trouble with a continually shown big, blue penis? Yes.
Frankly, this film is the anti-formula when it comes to superhero movie success: Its a long, talky movie with an unknown cast of basically powerless superheroes in a dense story without a clean victory or resolution, if any, (just like the book) and very little in the way of flashy special effects. Its all set in an ugly world, it focuses on a Cold War history that now seems to have lost some of its bite in people’s memories. (A scary thought in itself.) Nite Owl still can’t get it up outside of costume. Laurie is kind of stocky with a muscular butt and small tits, Rorschach is a paranoid, violent, right-wing nut-job, the Comedian happily tries to rape a woman and then guns down one that is pregnant and Dr. Manhattan’s aforementioned big blue cock is flopping all over the place. All and all, this film is as an un-Hollywood a blockbuster as you can get and one that ultimately, I expect, will fail…
But like I said: who cares?
I mean, fuck those people. I don’t care if they like it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think you’re stupid for not liking it. If its not your cup of tea, then its not your cup of tea, fine then, go on with your bad self. I mean, people seemed to love 300 and I thought it was terrible and its by the same guy, so I might say: “fuck those people”, because that’s how I am, but its not like I care about their opinion of the film. Why would I? At this point… its all too late. Like it, love it or lump it, the film is in the can and nothing changes that. Hell, when Alexander came out waaaaaaay too gay for the hack and slash movie loving public, the studios, in a panic and for the first time ever, released a director’s cut on DVD that was actually 20 minutes shorter, (Now with less Gay!) but that didn’t mean that the original wasn’t released as well.
Now, sure, if the studios had been able to predict these opening numbers before now, numbers that while yes, may be considered semi-respectable for a March opening, but are definitely not gang-busters, then we would have had a chopped up and wretched looking cut shoved on us, but thankfully, that was not the case. Somehow Snyder was able to hold off the studio jackals and we got only a slightly cut up version with the promise of a longer, darker director’s cut on the horizon. AND with no sequel dependant upon the box office returns in order to avoid any studio marketing hindsight fuck-withs, the only thing hanging in the balance here is the budget of whatever Snyder’s next project is.
And that ain’t my problem either…
Not only that, but I’m really tickled to see the same issues coming up now as when the comic first came out. The sex, the violence, the human failings, the grit and grime and horror, the vicious deconstruction of the superhero myth and the completely unromantic presentation of the fucked up type of people who would find it reasonable to go out in a fancy costume and fight crime. I guess I have a higher tolerance or something, because I had heard a lot of talk before hand about the blood and sex being really, really graphic, but I just didn’t agree, I mean, doesn’t anyone remember the sex scene in 300? And what about Mel Gibson’s Lets beat the fuck outta Jesus, (or whatever it was called…) way more violent. What I love, though, is when you look at the comic, all the sex and the violence? By today’s standards its almost non-existent, but during the time and within the context of superhero comic book world? Fucking shocking. And I love how the same thing is happening now. Gooooood stuff.
Also, I really enjoyed the fact that they were bad asses… That was actually pretty cool.
Sure, there were a few choices (little, insignificant ones mostly) that I questioned and sometimes I wondered if aping Dave Gibbons’ style on screen so faithfully was ALWAYS the best choice, but ultimately… that’s all personal, no big deal type of stuff, different strokes for different folks, kind of like how I felt that the Horn of Gondor should have sounded much more heroically in the film… its a nothing complaint, a quibble.
I think the thing that bothers me the most are all the fake comic book fans coming out of the wood work, the ones who claim reverence for the book and whine how the movie missed the mark, how it didn’t realize the book’s moving message… and I’m like: Moving message?!... BULLSHIT! “Moved” by Watchmen…? You fucking liar! Nobody is “moved” by Watchmen. The story in Watchmen is not moving, its just a superhero story, that’s it! The thing that makes Watchmen important, the thing that makes it remembered is HOW that story was told and the book’s resulting context within the industry. The revolutionary part of Watchmen is not the story, man, but the width and breadth of the narrative tools that were used to realize it!
“Moved” by Watchmen… those fucking assholes… I’d like to stab them in the butthole with a fork.
Anyway… Watchmen? I loved it! Give it a shot, give it a chance, hopefully you’ll like it. I know I will be buying the long version of the DVD.
So that’s it for today. Tonights my writer’s group. I’m getting feedback on the first chapter of Book Two, so I’ll tell you about that tomorrow. Also, remind me… I plan to blog about two other films I saw this weekend.
One great one: Let the Right one in.
And one ri-god-damn-diculous one: Great Balls of Fire.
See you tomorrow, kids!
Also, here's Silk Spectre with her weird head and wearing red panties!
Friday, March 6, 2009
“Going anywhere special tonight?”
“Any big plans for the weekend?”
Now, usually my answer is no and for basically two reasons: 1. Small talk… no thank you. And 2. Little Ms. Supercute Girlfriend and I live a fairly slow and unremarkable life now. Since the two of us are now connected at the head, hip and heart, the main reason for going to the bar (fresh vagina or in her case: penis) has been removed and while I do love my beer, I just don’t go out to get blitzed like I used to. I’m not 23 anymore, you know?
Also, Minneapolis has seemed to have entered a bit of a downward turn as of late as to the quality of the local bands playing out on the scene, meaning: Everyone and their brother seems to be in a band and yet few are anything more than a slight variation on the worn out post-punk, ironic emo, aging hipster four piece where musical talent and/or innovation takes a back seat to vintage tees, white belts and the fairly offensive reek of body odor. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love D4 and Birthday suits, but… you know… been there, get me?
So, as a result of all that and a general lack of funds, we stay home, we squish the kitties, we work on the house, hang out, watch some TV on DVD, maybe a movie or two, make out, blah, blah, blah. Personally, I find it very nice, as I am a bit of a misanthrope in general and I relish the quiet time so that I can work on the book, not to mention I love hanging out with my girl, we talk and talk and talk, BUT admittedly none of that is very remarkable as far as Monday morning water cooler anecdotes go:
“Yeah, we hung out Friday, did some housework Saturday and went out to Grumpy’s for a quick beer or three, then the chickie and I got up late Sunday, let me tell you… stellar hand job… then we had a lazy breakfast, did some laundry and she talked about paint samples at me for awhile, we went to Target and got some toothpaste. Oh! I beat the next level on Force Unleashed and then sat down and wrote 12-15 pages or so rough… all in all… pretty good weekend….”
I mean, I love my weekends, we have fun… just not really any kind of specific fun… HOWEVER... this weekend, I do have plans, geek plans, my friends, which are, of course, the BEST kind of plans…
Oh yeah! Its Watchmen weekend, baby!
Hoo-ray! I’m going Sunday.
Now, my one regret with not going earlier? There will probably not be any nerds in costume in attendance, and while I’m not specifically looking forward to seeing a fat guy painted blue and (hopefully) clad in only a speed-o, I do love to gawk at them and their oh-so undeniable love for their “thing” which drove them to venture out in public dressed as a giant goon. (Which, on a little side note is why Trekkies is AWESOME and Trekkies 2 sucks balls. One is filled with people who genuinely and completely love something and want nothing more than to share it with you, while the other is a bunch of creatively bankrupt, lame ass, “ironic” hipster douche bags… but I digress…)
ANYWAY… This film has been a long time coming, its the comic geek holy grail, and despite the fact that I don’t expect it to be good, (because how could it compare) I can’t help but be excited. I mean, the Director did do the re-imagining of Dawn of the Dead, which I love, but on the other hand, he also did the uber-ridiculous 300, but maybe that’s not entirely his fault because the source material was dumb.
Watchmen, on the other hand, is one of comic’s fabled pair. It is one of the two books that changed the comic book world, that rescued it from a stagnant swamp of constrained creativity languishing in the kiddie corral. Watchmen (and its co-revolutionizer The Dark Knight Returns) turned comics adult and I don’t just mean sex, although I guess that’s part of it, no, Watchmen showed everyone that you can tell real stories, stories with real motivation and real characters and creative innovation, that comics don’t have to be dumbed down and written for the enjoyment of “special” kids only. Watchmen was complex and gritty, and yes, true, the father of many “grim and gritty comic book” idiot children, but you can’t blame the sins of the future solely on its progenitor or Tolkien has a lot to fucking answer for…Regardless, the book opened people’s eyes to a world of possibilities and the comic book industry is only the better for it.
But Terry Gilliam is famous for claiming that Watchmen was unfilmable…
On Sunday, I will find out.
And I’ll tell you all about it on Monday…
Tune in and find out, True Believer!
Thursday, March 5, 2009
So, in lieu of actual content….
MY TO-DO LIST!
Lets see… Tonight I need to:
1. I need to put out the trash. For the past few weeks I’ve been forgetting to set it out and Little Ms. Supercute Girlfriend is absolutely zero help EVER when it comes to remembering this particular chore. I think she believes that a “whoever-mentions-it-first-has-to-do-it" rule exists in our house, which to the best of my knowledge does NOT in fact exist as I never mention chores ever, but always have to do them. Either way, as a result of our negligence, our garbage can is REALLY full. And heavy. This happens a lot. I bet our Garbage man hates us. I must remember to set it out.
2. Recycling. There’s a massive, teetering pile of crap in the garage and on the back porch too. All winter long it has been too cold to deal with it and now it all needs to be separated and set out and then stubbornly ignored until the garbage man relents and finally drags it off. Sometimes I wonder if they actually do recycle my cardboard and plastic jugs and whatnot or if they just say they do and then throw it in the dump with the rest of the trash. Honestly though, after I’ve gone to all the effort of separating them into their little green boxes, I feel like my part is done… so I don’t ask.
3. I have to do a last run through and then post my chapter for my writing group to review on Monday at our group site and I also have to download, print out and begin critiquing the other two submissions myself. Easy-peesy, I’m ahead of schedule there.
4. Taxes. The man is into me for $600, suspiciously the same amount the former (isn’t that wonderful to finally say?) President Bush gave me last year… However, Little Ms. Supercute Girlfriend is convinced that I somehow added my two numbers wrong and then subtracted them from a third number incorrectly as well, so she wants me to take my meager tax info to her accountant. I won’t actually do that tonight, but I should begin preparations in order to give thought to possibly doing just that at some point soon.
5. I need a haircut pretty bad. The ‘do is starting to get a bit helmety. I just hate sitting in the chair though, ugh… small talk… barf.
6. I need to swing by the comic store. YAY! New comics… my favorite day.
7. Have sex. This is pretty much always on my to-do list.
Hmmm… busy night for yours truly… I might not have enough time for the whole list… maybe I should just jump to the end.
Hugs and kisses and better blogs tomorrow,
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
It sucks… being at work and actually working? It totally sucks.
I'll blog something real tomorrow, pinkie swear.
Oh my, Scarlett, look at you, all sexy and stuff... what are you doing there? Are you stretching? Are you working the kinks out, maybe? Going for a run a little later, maybe? A little exercise? No? Maybe just showing off a little, huh? yeah... yeah, you are... you naughty girl you... you are sassy!
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Sleepy time tired. I could nap right now. I bet I fall asleep on the bus home tonight, which is always awkward because I don’t want to wake up with my pants unbuttoned and for the rest of my life have to wonder: “Did I unbutton those BEFORE I fell asleep… I can’t remember?”
And no body wants to be in that position…
But why am I tired, you ask? (Or probably didn’t, but who asked you?) Anyway… well, I completed the first chapter last night. YAY! I’ll pass through and polish it up a bit a few times or two and then I’ll post it, most likely on Thursday, but all that aside… the first chapter of Bastard out of Minnesota is done…. Rough, early first draft done, but done all the same.
I’m very excited to hand it out to my writing group for Monday because this chapter marks a couple of firsts for me.
1. It’s the first thing I’ve ever written after having finished a manuscript of my own.
2. In fact, it’s the first new thing I've written in quite awhile, period, so that was daunting.
3. It’s also the first sequel I’ve ever attempted to write. So, this will be interesting, because not only am I faced with all the usual difficulties that come with writing a complete novel, but I’m also hampered by the character’s and story’s history. Maybe “hampered” isn’t the correct word, but whatever… the point is, even if it was created by me, parts of this new book are now pre-existing, they’re established, they’re known qualities.
So, we shall see…
Thank God, this day is almost over. I am so going to take a nap when I get home.
Monday, March 2, 2009
So, with Natalie’s butt firmly behind us, let us return the focus to me. My weekend was really good. I am pleased to report that I’ve made excellent progress on the first chapter of Book Two: Bastard out of Minnesota. (Thank you, thank you, thank you)
Sunday turned out to be a very productive day for me, writing wise. I was able to get a full seven hour plus work day in and polish off about 20-ish pages and now, on the far side of that particularly daunting, beginning hump, I can honestly say that the end of the first chapter is well within a very attainable reach. The first two sections came out really nice and the last section is only supposed to be a few pages long anyway and I expect that to go pretty smoothly, since I know the exact ending I want, so… barring a few after-effort run-throughs and a polish or two, I should have a rough “completed” first chapter first draft by Tuesday. Especially since I’ll have plenty of work time tonight, what with Little Ms. Supercute Girlfriend busy with her own work, and that even includes the factoring in of some edit time with one of the Twin Star Copy Editor Sukiyaki Death Squad Girls on Gunslingers of the Apocalypse.
This is a relief, because I was beginning to fear that I wouldn’t actually have a finished chapter to send out to the writing group before this weekend so that they’d have time to review it for next Monday, but now… well… things are definitely looking up.
This is also good, because it leaves me plenty of time to read the other two submissions that are due for the next meeting as well, the completion of which I was feeling a little panicky about, my dreams plagued with visions of me showing up and not only NOT having my own submission done, but having been so wrapped up in the failed effort, that I hadn’t taken the time to read anyone else’s thing either AND having to deal with a angry Chimpanzee Abraham Lincoln… all of which, I’m pretty sure, is the definition of a bad group member…
But like I said, never fear, dear readers, I am now brimming with confidence that I will be able to accomplish both tasks.
So I feel pretty good.
Which is not a bad feeling to have on a Monday…