Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I'm not sure what happened to me, but recently I have been doing a shit load of writing. I know that I'm not doing as much as I probably should be, but for the past two weeks I'm managed to churn out a story a week. Okay, so I've written two short stories (like 30 or so pages total). But considering that I was at a zero page count since my failed attempt at a novella over winter break...I think that's pretty good. I'm trying to figure out what is behind the sudden surge of writing (so I can keep it going). Here is what I've been able to come up with:

  1. I'm reading more. Not just for class either, I've been reading at lot for pleasure too. Last semester I felt like crap for not reading more...so I started reading again (for fun) and boy did it make me feel good. I was doing really good (like two books or so a week)...but now that I'm writing my spare/free time is being used that way. I'm currently stuck in Steinbeck's TORTILLA FLAT (which I started because I thought it would be a quick read).
  2. I have more of an audience. My buddy Paul and I have been swapping stories, and well, having an audience has motivated me somewhat. I miss not being in a C.W. class sometimes because I used to be so prolific. I mean, I was constantly churning it out. Not always my best work, but at least I was writing.
  3. Contests. A couple of competitions got me back into writing, specifically the annual Wednesday Club. Even if I never win that thing, I feel like I owe it a great debt for putting a fire under my lazy ass.
  4. My support-system. They say behind every great man is an even greater woman...in this case I have several behind me. My eternal editor/cheerleader (mommy) and now Leah (who always has really good suggestions I'm finding). Terri and Amber have helped me too by saying some encouraging words (and in Amber's case reminding me of why I write in the first place...I hope you write your screenplay someday).
  5. Sly. Over the break I caught Rocky fever (the new movie was just okay)...but I read an interview with Stallone where he talked about writing the first Rocky script when he was a scrappy youth...I thought "if that guy can write something that can touch people...why not me?"

I have a few preliminary notes for my next story ("Sea Change") but I think my story a week streak is going to break. This weekend is going to be BUSY. On Friday I'm going to see The Apples In Stereo with Leah down at the Loop. Saturday is her friends birthday (and the party required by law). Sunday will be homework day/night, and I have two scary tests early next week. We'll see though, I may be able to pull off.

Minnesota Public Radio (MPR): Song of the Day Podcast

So about a week ago I subscribed to the Minnesota Public Radio Song of the Day Podcast (free on i-Tunes) and I must say that it rocks. I tend to like more indie music (I like it when someone I've watched for a few years make it big...it doesn't happen often but there is no better feeling for an indie music fan). The MPR podcast is exactly what it proclaims itself to be: one song every day. Some of the artists are local, some aren't. So far I've yet to hear a song that I didn't like. My favorite has to be "Long Before Rock and Roll" by Mando Diao. Today's track, "Die,Die,Die" by Dr. Dog is also pretty damn good too. If you're like me, and you've given up on the new i-Tune's "Free Single of the Week," the MPR podcast makes a nice alternative. Get free songs. Hear new music (of many different, random genres)...what more could a music fan ask for?

Monday, February 26, 2007

Finally some justice for THE DEPARTED

Well I woke up and what do I see on my internet? That my favorite movie of 2006 won the Oscar for Best Picture. Not only that, but Martin Scorsese finally got his Best Director Award. I usually don't give a shit about the Academy Awards, and this year was no different...however I hate it when a films that are clearly lacking in artistic and entertainment value win over better pictures. It wasn't always this way...when I was younger I would sit up late and actually watch the whole thing...now I don't even bother tunning in. I'm not sure what happened, except that mabye as I got older my bullshit detector got better.

Anyway, screw what Hollywood says, THE DEPARTED is the best film of 2006...go out and rent it if you haven't already seen it. Hell, if you're in the St. Louis area I'll let you borrow my personal copy.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Last Blast

Well I just finished a marathon writing session. I started writing this story "Last Blast" yesterday at around 2:30 and I finished it around 7:00. THEN (because I've decided to hand write all my stuff first like I used to) I had to type it up...31 pages hand written became 22 pages typed. Anyway, it took FOREVER. I think it's a good way of working though. For one thing, I tend to use smaller words when I write it out by hand (as opposed to using big, flowery words I can't spell). Also, when I type it up I tend to edit (major and minor edits) which makes my typed draft my second, rather than my first. So that cuts down on some of the editing...

Anyway, I'm tired...I wonder what won best picture? I get so wrapped up in my stuff that I lose track of time and current events....ugh...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Contests and Hoop Jumping

Well I just got back from the Post Office. I had to mail a book for Leah (http://www.paperbackswap.com/index.php) and one of my short stories for a contest. I spent about two hours correcting and editing "Death for Breakfast" and trying to figure out the complex submission process for the M. McKinney Fiction Contest. Three envalopes, put your student ID here...write your sex here...ugh...

I have two stories out there, floating around. "The Dodo Egg" for the Wednesday Club and now "Death for Breakfast." I found out about the McKinney contest a week ago today. I went to the cafeteria and sat down and wrote a story. Bang! Just like that. I usually don't do that (and wasn't intending on using it becauase it was so new). I have a terrible time getting my stuff typo free. I think I did a pretty good job, but I have to give credit where credit is due...and my friend Paul and Leah were both a big help. Leah, though herself not a writer, is able to come up with all these great content related suggestions. My writer buddy Paul is the opposite. He never gives me any content suggestions, but finds a majority of my goofs and underlines ALL of my adverbs (I still can't believe how many of those suckers I use).

I don't really have very high hopes. I struck out last year on the Wendesday Club, but I decided to try again. The McKinney contest is a very, very long shot. For one thing, my competetion is greater (all four UM schools) PLUS they website said that "while all students can enter, preference will be given to undergraduates and women." Well I meet one of those criteria. I guess it never hurts to try, and really I feel good about myself just for competing. And then there is the added benefit that someone, somewhere will actually READ something I wrote, which is always nice. The meeting of minds across distance and time. I guess that alone is worth the $15 it cost to overnight my manuscript to Columbia.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

On Standing Up

So we had a little altercation here at the dorms tonight. It was really stupid. This guy that doesn't live here (he's a visitor) starting making trouble. I happened to be out in the hall and made it be known that I was having no trouble (of the physical variety) in my dorm. It came to nothing, but yet again (this is the second time I've stood up to someone making trouble here in the dorms) people were surprised and a little amazed I think. I let people walk all over me, a lot. But for some reason, I think it's because I'm a big brother, I don't tolerate it when it's others being stepped on. People ask me where I get my courage and my eye that doesn't blink...and I tell them. My old man. Say what you will (if you won't I will) about him, my father is/was a good role model about these sort of things.

I like that I'm this way because I think sometimes that I'm not like him enough. Or at least, I don't have many of his good traits (of which there are many). When, in the heat of the moment, I tell someone "this far, no further" and mean it--really mean it, I don't feel like myself, I feel like my dad. People like my dad are the reason there are still Jews living in the world today. Or why black people can vote and not live in slavery. Speak softly, carry a big stick like Teddy Roosevelt. Living in polite society, this trait is very rarely used. I guess that's a good thing.

I wish I could tell him. But I can't. I'm not sure if he would know what I was talking about, or even like that I'm like that. I can see how it's dangerous. I'm sure it will get me into trouble (like it has once or twice in the past). My father always wanted to be a policeman. He went to school (or almost went to school) for it. That's a job in which, on a daily basis you stand up and draw that line. He would have made a good one. Sometimes, I think about doing that--becoming a cop to make him proud. He would worry about me, and maybe as a father he'd worry too much to really enjoy it. The older I get, there are fewer and fewer things that really terrify me. Not making him proud is pretty much number one on my list of things that scare the-ever-loving-shit out of me. So I think about teaching, but I don't think I have the passion (or patience) and I think there are too many people lacking in that area teaching already. I want to help people, I just don't know how.

I wrote an email to my mentor for the Community College asking her what I should do with myself. It's a hard question. My Senior English teacher in High School wrote this on one of my papers, I will never forget it:

Jason, you are a writer. I wish there was a wand I could wave that would make you believe that. But there isn't. It doesn't matter what you do, or where you go in life, you will always be a writer.

That has always stuck with me. Even though I think she was just being nice. I never thought about myself as a writer (or had any desire up to that point to write). However, every since the moment I read that I have never for one moment doubted that that's what I am. The thought of just sitting around, making money (making other people rich) sickens me (frankly). I don't know why. Living in this country, at this time...it's probably the worst feeling to have. Worse than wanting to kill. I don't know what I'm going to do, but whatever I do will always have to come second to writing. I may not do it as much as I'd like to (or should) but that's all I ever really want to do. Okay, and make my dad proud. So there is a pretty big conflict there (see my Vonnegut quote from a few days ago).

Anyway, the point of this post is that the best part of myself is what I got from my dad and I love him.

A Really Strange Thing...

A really strange thing happened to me today. I woke up and checked my email (I know, weird, huh?). I had one message, from YOUTUBE--it was a notification of a message. I went and logged in at YOUTUBE and this is the message that was waiting for me:

this video was part of a study i took part in viewing youtube videos and filling out a survey afterwords for the National Research Council of Canada

This was posted in regards to my very first video blog. Weird, huh? I sent a email to the user who made this post. I'm hoping to get some more information about this...pretty strange. Think about all those Canadians studying my video blog. Wow.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

They Should Make Tanks Out Of i-Pod Nanos

Well guess what? I'm listening to my FULLY OPERATIONAL MP3 Player!!! That sonofabitch is clean...let me tell you. For a while, the screen was dead, a blank white page, but now it's back 100% I had some issues with it's little operating system, but after a little surfing on the Apple website...BAM! It's a fucking zombie i-Pod, back from the dead. I know I'm making too big a deal out of this...but you have to understand--it's like I'm getting it all over again. Hey, guess what? It's Christmas '05 and I'm getting an i-Pod Nano! And guess what? I'm going to take real good care of it, honest injun. I won't wash it or nothing.

So the real reason I'm up (besides playing Dr. Frankenstein to my electronics) is because I finished BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS. I've only read two of Vonnegut's books, but damn if they aren't like light, puffy bags of popcorn...one minute it's full and the next...well fat ass, you just ate a ten ton bag. And you're still hungry. I could read the damn thing over again right now and still be entertained. I can't even describe the thing (I tried earlier today for Leah's benefit). It's not like it's a "difficult" book. Although the themes and messages in the book are pretty tough to wrap your head around. The idea of a book where the author is not only a character, but where discarded characters make random appearances (and try to kill the author) is really strange art friends.

Anyway, it was great and...do I need to write it? YOU SHOULD READ IT. *Sigh* I hate being an English major in a sea of business/philosophy/math/history/psych majors. No one understands the things I'm passionate about. Boo-hoo! Woe is me. Oh well. I've been thinking about starting a book club (or finding one and joining it) because I hate finishing books and only having myself to talk to.

Alright, off to bed with me...

Monday, February 19, 2007

Awesome Quote

I'm nearly finished with BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS by Kurt Vonnegut (it's fantastic by the way) and I happened upon this quote of his online (G-d bless Wikipedia) and I think it's pretty much the truth:

"If you really want to disappoint your parents, and don't have the heart to be gay, go into the arts."

The Funeral May Be Off...

So after my Spanish test tonight (Zzzz...please it was so easy) I came home and decided to plug my i-Pod into my computer. And guess what...it recognized it!!! I uplugged it and tried to turn it on--the screen is pure white (like the snow outside) but it plays!!! So I bascially have an i-Pod shuffle (no screen, plays music). I called home and my mom told me that when she dropped her phone in a lobby fountain in Nashville (at the Grand Ole Opry no less) that it took the LCD display longer to dry out. So how knows, maybe it'll be back 100% by the end of the week.

So, the Facebook arranged funeral (for Friday) may not be taking place after all. Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

I killed my i-pod

Ladies and gentlemen...I am an idiot. SO, I went to the gym with Leah today and I wore my famous, orange hoodie--after we got back we went to the library to do homework. When I got back I started doing laundry...I left my i-Pod Nano in my hoodie...it went all the way through the wash before I found it. It looks alright (why shouldn't it...after all it's clean now) but it doesn't work. I feel bad, but it did last me two years, which is a record for something that expensive.

I'm going to wait and let it dry out overnight...if it doesn't work in the morning, I'm going to have a funeral.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Friday Video Blog...on Saturday

I didn't forget...there was something wrong with YouTube. Anyway here it is:

Friday, February 16, 2007


"Operator...Get me the President of the world!!! This is an emergency!"

Thus begins one of the best new CD's I've bought in a long while. I first found out about Tokyo Police Club on MySpace. I was browsing, looking for free MP3's and I happened upon their page. They had three songs (all available for download). I tried to download them, but MySpace is a temperamental creature, and I was forced to email the band. They got back to me fairly soon, I was surprised. They congratulated me on my good taste and emailed me the three files. This sort of behavior isn't uncommon among small time bands (who know that it's the fans that will make or break them). Flash forward and they're in RollingStone!

I'm not sure how they managed to go from obscurity to less obscurity but thankfully they achieved this rare feat. Now they have a CD out--A LESSON IN CRIME (not really a full album it's only 7 tracks and clocks in at 16 minutes, however it's too long to be an EP). As some of you may no, The Strokes are no more, and I needed a jangly garage band to fill the void...Tokyo Police Club has the makings of a band that could fill this void. However, TPC is a bit more Indie than The Strokes. The third track "Citizens of Tomorrow" is very Shins-like (hands clapping, ghostly fireside camp song with surreal robot themed lyrics) however the fourth track "Shoulders and Arms" has kickin' drums and guitar lines. So they're a bit hard to peg down. I'd say they fall somewhere between The Shins and The Strokes.

As far as singles go, I'd say "Nature of the Experiment" is probably the album's best contender (with the "12:51"-ish track "Be Good" coming in a close second). The hook is strong and the guitar work is nice. The biggest problem I have, however, with the song (and the rest of the album) is that it's entirely too short. I feel like screaming the pop song mantra at them "Three minutes!!! Three minutes!!!" The longest song clocks in at a meger 2:49. Close, but no cigar (as it were). Still, what they have is divine, I just wish there was more of it. I guess that's better than overstaying their welcome (which is what artists seem to be doing more and more frequently).

I know no one that reads this blog actually listens to decent music, but if you wake up one day with taste...go on i-Tunes and listen to some song samples. You just might be impressed, I was.

Jason gives A LESSON IN CRIME an A-

"Death for Breakfast"

Well yesterday was a strange day. I got up, showered and went to class...and once again it was cancelled. I'm sort of pissed about it because this woman waits until I get all the way on the other side of campus before posting online that there is no class. Luckily for us, the room has a computer so we're able to check online when she doesn't show up...but still...try to post BEFORE class starts that there is going to be no class.

Anyway, I went with my buddy Paul to the library and printed off my ultra-revised copy of "The Dodo Egg" and turned it in to the english department for the Wednesday Club contest. I didn't win last year, and I probably won't win this year...but damn it would be nice if I did. Then I went to the lunch room and ate a waffle and chatted it up with Leah before she had to go and take a test. Some how I got started about haunted waffle irons and murderous messages being burned into waffles...and BAM!!! Just like in the old days (when I was in a creative writing class and everything became a story) I wrote "Death for Breakfast" in my head.

As soon as she left I got out a pen and paper...and wrote it (which is also like old times because I haven't hand written a story in ages). I finished it up (15 pages hand written about 9 typed) in less than two hours. I was so excited I emailed it to my editor/cheerleader back home without even reading it (which was a mistake because I just read it and found a crap load of mistakes). I just sent off a revised copy. I really hate editing, I hate reading my stuff. In my head, and at the time I'm writing it I get this impression that what I'm doing is good...then I read it and reality sets in--I'm a fucking hack. Oh well, there are lots of really happy, and really successful hacks. Hopefully I can get to join them in there Hack-dom.

Regardless of everything, I'm happy that I not only got an idea for a story...but that I wrote (and finished) it!!! So I was/am very happy about it. I also got the scoop on another writing contest (top prize $750). So I have another deadline, which always helps a lazy sod like me...

Initially, I was going to post "Death for Breakfast" online on my blog...but I decided not to because: A). It's really long and B). I can never get the spacing right on this crappy text box...all my indents and such get messed up when I try to copy and paste from Word. If anyone is interested in reading it, I can email it to you (happily).

I need to do my homework and film my Friday video blog, but I just can't seem to get the NRG to do these things. I'm not saying there won't be a Friday video blog...but I may wait and post it on Saturday. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Can you believe it's been a whole year?

I was browsing my old posts...and I've been posting on this blog for over a year (I missed my one year anniversary--it was February 5). Originally I started this blog to clear up some writer's block. In some ways it's worked, in other ways it hasn't. I'm still not writing enough. In two days the Wednesday Club contest submissions are due. I only have one thing that's anywhere close to being ready..."The Dodo Egg". It's not that the story is rubbish...I just don't think it's as good as what I handed in last year (and didn't win). So basically, I have a snowballs chance in hell of winning. Not that it's super important that I win (I'd like to). I do need to be writing more. I used to write a lot but didn't read much...now I read my @$$ off (not just for school either) and I hardly write at all. Leah wants me to finish my novel I was working on last year...ugh...my novella over break turned into one 20+ page short story (not very good). I have about a million different ideas...but I have no motivation it seems.

Last semester, when I wrote "The Dodo Egg" I said that the motivation to write came from my failures at school. Now that I'm doing better in school I don't feel the urge to write. My novel that Leah thinks has so much potential...I wrote it over the week, week and a half we spent apart when I lost my head and broke up with her. Why is it that disaster and turmoil are the only things that puts the fire under my butt? I almost want to fuck everything up just so I can make my literary dreams come true.

Tonight is Valentine's Day, me and Leah are going to obviously be together tonight...but tomorrow I'm going to the library and do some serious writing. I know someday I'm going to kick myself for wasting all this time (in college) to write. I know when I have a family and a job I'm going to pine away for these lazy college days.

Anyway, last night I finished up reading TEX by S.E. Hinton. It was better than RUMBLE FISH (I thought) but again, it wasn't nearly as good as THE OUTSIDERS. In fact, both RUMBLE FISH and TEX are very similar Hinton's first book. Hinton wrote THE OUTSIDERS when she was 16 years old, and I think every since then she's been haunted by it. Tom Buchanan, a character in THE GREAT GATSBY, was this hot shot football player who "peaked" in his 20's and spent the rest of his life coming down from that high. There's only one way to go once you reach the top I guess. So, in that regard, I'm glad I haven't peaked or whatever. I'd like to think that I have many, many years ahead of me. How depressing would it be if I was at the height of my prowess now?

My next read is BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS by Kurt Vonnegut. I read SLAUGHTER HOUSE FIVE last semester and really enjoyed it. I picked up BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS over the break, and well, it's on the top of my "to read" pile.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Monday, February 12, 2007

Baby's first Wiki-page

Just a quick little note...I've decided to share my knowledge with the world. Tonight I took the first baby step in contributing to the infamous, online encyclopedia Wikipedia. I put together a simple little page for a greatest hits album I (very recently) aquired for a forgotten '90s power pop band Jellyfish. Not that anyone really needs this information...but I wanted to experiment with posting on Wiki (which, by the way you aren't supposed to do...they say you're supposed to use their "sandbox" if you want to expieriment...but whatever). If you are curious you can see my little (and I mean little) blurb here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Best_%28compilation%29.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Dog Parade

Today me and Leah went to this big dog parade down at Soulard Market. It was crazy, there were a crap load of dogs. Since it was a dog parade/Mardi Gras thing...let's just say that the FREAKS were out. I actually had a pretty okay time (Rusty was very well behaved I thought). The only bad thing that happened was that I was stung on the neck by a rogue bee!!! In Febuary no less!!! Here are some pictures of the event:

The fuzz (both for people and pooches) were out in force...

There were lots of really cool costumes, ranging from comincal to cruel...

This guy had a really cool bike that was made up to look like a camel (not sure if he ever road it but he did have a helmet on):

What St. Louis event doesn't have Beatle Bob? I snagged this picture as we were walking by a bar...I looked up and was surprised to see him rocking out, doing his thing...

Yes, the Bacon hat was free...and yes, that is a Jew you see wearing it (too funny, I think...there is so much wrong with this picture).

A random old bike that I saw...(lots of bikes)...

It was weird being in a parade, I had never walked in one before (watched yes, walked no):

This creepy ass thing made all of us (me and Rusty) nervous...

I thought this was a fake dog, but it was just a really elaborate costume:

Friday, February 09, 2007

Video Blog--The Taste Test Episode (Parts 1 and 2)

Hello, this week I'm splitting my video blog up into two parts (YOUTUBE won't let you post over 10 minutes or 100MB). This week me and Leah are taste testing two non-alcoholic bubby drinks for our wedding toast. Enjoy.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Today I spent about five hours on a marathon reading session finishing up VINELAND (that Pynchon book I kept forgetting I had). What a long, strange trip I have been on. During my lengthy time reading I wandered to and fro about my campus...I hit the library (three times), the cafeteria (for two meals: a light lunch and dinner), two different "quiet" lounges, and one men's room (a guys gotta go). I must have looked like a shuffling zombie to those I passed on my periodic moves and relocations. I certainly felt like a zombie. I won't bore you with more of my obsession with Pynchon...however I will say that VINELAND is hands down one of the strangest/bizarre/unexplainable reads I've ever had in my sweaty mitts. I'll skip the plot (read it and find out what it's about), instead here is a rundown of some of the things in VINELAND: hippies, cops, prostitutes, female ninjas, a Star Trek parody, a mysterious touch of death, a city of living dead, a rock band called The Vomitones, and brief trip to the gates of hell. Oh yeah, and Godzilla makes a cameo appearance.

Needless to say, my brain is mush right now. There are about a million things I should/want/need to be do...however I can't seem to find the will to do any of it (I get that way when I make up my mind to finish a book...I sacrifice my entire day doing it and any time left over is merely unused). I'm sure everyone is too busy reading THE GREAT GATSBY to go and pick VINELAND up (ha!) but next time you have nothing to read go pick it up...and take a trip down the rabbit hole/crossword puzzle/rat-in-the-maze novel that is VINELAND.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Le Notti Bianche

Well I finally did it...I watched that Netflix that has haunted me for (Leah says) nearly a month. I love Netflix because frankly, I'm a lazy bastard. Okay, maybe it's not like that...I just have to be "in the mood" to sit down and watch TV. Lately (the past two or three years) I've become unable to tie myself down in front of the tube. Movies are worse, because they are an even longer commitment. I know there are people who can start a movie and then stop--push pause and come back later...but I have never been able to do that. I either start a movie and finish it...or I don't (start it).

Anyway, over the summer I did some serious reading. I had a lot of free time at work. I mean a lot. Though I worked day shift, my post was very high security (meaning we didn't get many visitors). And I worked a bunch of overtime (often late at night...all I had to do was sit awake at a CCTV bank and stare). Rather than read a bunch of trashy horror or shoot 'em up "dime novels" (that ironically enough, cost more than a dime...even though a dime would be too much to pay for their meager content) I opted to hit up the classics. Books I've heard mentioned but never read. The college/high school world is in a sad state if you ask me. The cannon has been abandoned. The argument is people other than "old, dead, white men" should be read and remembered. However, in my experience it's been more like "let's read something short and easy to understand." Even college has thus far, let me down in this department. Don't get me wrong, I've had some great non-cannon shoved down my throat (THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET for one (but then again...it's very short and pretty easy to understand)). Regardless, Professor Jason assigned me a shit-ton of classics. I read Dickens, Hawthorne, Bradbury, Melville, Homer, Salinger, and for the first time Fyodor Dostoyevsky. My sister (bless her my patron saint over the summer) bought me CRIME AND PUNISHMENT and THE BEST SHORT STORIES OF FYODOR DOSTOYEVSKY. I ate it up, really I did. I have added Dostoyevsky to my short list of favorite authors. So when I found a French adaptation of his short story "White Nights" on NetFlix I jumped it to the top of the list.

"White Nights" while written in Russian is a story that begs to be told in French. It's a love story (of sorts) that has that special tragic, gut wrenching ending that while not a satisfactory "movie" ending is nevertheless the most realistic thing that happens. Shot in a beautiful black and white (the way movies are meant to be) the film has an appropriate noir-ish feel to it. Basically, one night a guy meets a girl on a bridge, they talk and he learns that she is waiting for her lover to return (he had to leave town but promised to retrun in one year and marry her). Guess who's late? Given the fact that I told you it has a sad ending...you can see where this will go. Upon further reflection, I couldn't help but notice a few parallels between LE NOTTI BIANCHE and my all time favorite movie CASABLANCA (another noir-ish film where the guy doesn't get the girl like he's supposed to). Unlike Rick, however, Mario wears his heart on his sleeve. He's not the tough-as-nails-too-manly-to-cry type like Bogart was. Instead he gives up the girl saying "God bless you for these moments of happiness..." He goes on to say that the brief time he's been happy will last him his entire life, and that it's better to have a moment than nothing at all. And even though we don't always believe that--it's true. In fact, all of the good things we have in life are fleeting. Because everything must end, we should take the good when it comes and enjoy it. And once these precious things are gone, rather than lament them...we should be grateful for our luck and simply remember.

The DVD is one of those Criterion Collection discs...which means it comes packed with all sorts of goodies. If you ever see a film that's been "given the Criterion treatment" you need to check it out. They don't do this with every movie that comes out...only the best get the royal treatment. This disc was no exception, included on the disc was an hour long audio book of the short story. The best part is, they let you rip it right off the disc so you can listen on the MP3 player of your choice. So besides getting to see the film I know have a copy of the audio book (which of course I like to call double dipping). Too much of a good thing? Oui.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Pynchon word of the day

Liverpool Kiss = a head butt.

Source the AGAINST THE DAY WIKI (http://against-the-day.pynchonwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page).

Also, I got a really good idea for my Friday video blog (so this week won't be boring (i.e. just me talking)).

The whole Lightbright thing

So I haven't really mentioned the whole Boston bomb scare thing...but I want to get away from all the lame personal crap and focus on more interesting stuff--so that said here we go. For those of you who don't know, last week Boston had some big scare. The police there found a bunch of scary "devices" which ended up shutting down large portions of the city. Turns out these so-called "devices" we really just lightbrights wired with batteries (so they didn't have to be plugged in). The little kits were placed all over the country as part of a promotional campaign for the upcoming AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE MOVIE (based on a Cartoon Network show).

Now first off, let me say that I love the show. Love it. I think it was once the funniest thing on TV. Lately, not so much (as with all good things, the hilarity could not be sustained, and I hear the movie is God-awful). I think that the panic these things have caused is both funny and sad. Funny because hey, some 20-somethings jokey ads have managed to shut down a paranoid city. Sad because hey, some 20-somethings jokey ads have managed to shut down a paranoid city. Are the adults running the world this fucking incompetent and stupid? Seriously. For one thing, if you can't tell a lightbright from a bomb you have no business running the world. I understand that these are "dangerous" times...but is it really Al Queda's MO to put cartoon characters on Lightbrights and leave them lying around Boston? And since we're talking Lightbrights jury-rigged to work on batteries...why not pull down two and see that this is a hoax? Why let this thing drag on for hours? And why didn't the ad company notify someone in law enforcement the minute this thing was reported?

A lot of blame to go around. Should the idiots who did this thing go to jail? No. Should Uncle Ted's company foot the bill ($1 Million dollars in total cost) for dealing with this situation? No. You can me have been paying for the gross incompetence of government for decades, why should that stop all the sudden? I think it will be a waste of our good money to string these kids up in court. The cost of trying these people for such a stupid thing is going to be ridiculous. The cost of trying to sue Turner Broadcasting is going to be ridiculous. I think that it was stupid for this company to put these things up...but I think it's more stupid that trained professionals didn't know what they were sooner. I also think that the government in Massachusetts shouldn't have gone as overboard as they did. I understand that we live in a different, post 9/11 world...but in that world are we not still allowed to take a second and get more information before we act?

So what did we learn here? Some in the media are saying that this incident shows how good our security is at home. That the swift response of the law is exactly what we need to combat the very real (and not at all Lightbright made) threat that is modern terrorism. However, I take a much darker viewpoint. Here is what I've learned from this incident: all you need to bring this country to it's knees (literally) isn't a bomb or bullets...all you need is a couple of bucks to buy some wire, batteries, and a lightbright kit. Hell, go to a pawn shop and buy some old radios and sega saturns (they aren't being played anyway, right?) and smash 'em up and tape together all the little circuits and wires. And wah-la! Instant mayhem. I think this country sent a bad message with this overreaction. We're letting the terrorist win here at home. We're watching nervously over our shoulders too much. We're arresting stupid kids for their lame attempts to garner our attention (by the way, this campaign will go down in history as the greatest so far by mankind...think about it...it got CNN types to say "Moonanites" on live TV). This isn't the country I was born in 20 some years ago. We've become a nation of scared little children.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

This Weekend...

Well this weekend is over. And as I predicted, I only did 1/2 of the things I said I'd do (ah...I love me...I'm so easy to predict). I finished THE GREAT GATSBY (which is still my all time favorite book) and got about 100 or so pages into VINELAND (which is awesomely weird). I didn't work on my writing or watch the Super Bowl (screw that). I didn't go to the gym (though my knee feels better) or help Jaimie and Leah cut down trees. I DID beat the water temple in Zelda (I'm now futher in it than when I played it as a kid about 9 years ago). I DID watch a marathon of THE CLOSER on TNT (which, I'm sad to admit, is better than LAW AND ORDER). I wish the weekend was four days instead of three...tee-hee. I'm such a lazy...well...nevermind.

Here's to bein' lazy.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Math Test UPDATE

Well I justed checked the online grade book for my math class...and I didn't get 100% on my first math test. INSTEAD I GOT 103%!!! Seriously, something is wrong with the world when I do well in a math class!!!

Indian Food

I'm an asshole. Leah wanted Indian food for dinner and I was "hell no." She seems to really like it, but frankly...it gives me the shits. Indian food isn't all that great to begin with (my opinion) and the fact that it makes me physically ill doesn't help matters. We were going to a movie later (PAN'S LABYRINTH which, despite the moderate gore was actually really good) and I didn't want to be sick halfway through the movie. I never get up to go to the bathroom on airplanes and at the movies. That's right, during the LORD OF THE RINGS and the eight hour flight to Hawaii I HELD IT!!!!!!

Anyway, she has this habit (that runs in the family I've found) that whenever I say I will never do something ("I'm never eating Indian food again") she sees it as some kind of challenge ("I'm going to get him to do something he said he won't ever do"). It pisses me off because it reminds me of her sister...ugh. Anyway, I'm an asshole because I let it color the rest of the night. I feel like Jack Nicholson in AS GOOD AS IT GETS sometimes. I mean well, but I'll be damned if every other thing that comes out of my mouth is horrible.

Anyway, I'm not going to ever eat that poison known as "Indian food" ever again--but I need to figure out how to not be such a prick. I shouldn't air my dirty laundry like this, because it makes me look bad...but sometimes I think if I make my faults more known I'll try harder...that makes no sense I know. Anyway, I dissapoint myself because I sit around all day missing her and thinking about her, and the few hours I spend with her I'm an ass. Go figure.