Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Is it healthy to pee day-glow green?

I started taking vitamin B-complex and C supplements, and suddenly my piss could light up a room, it's so bright green. Almost fluorescent. Makes me wonder what's happening to my kidney and liver. But I feel maybe I'm overly concerned...or just not used to the whole thing. Or maybe I'm inputting too much of that crap into me and need to stop, already. I don't know. No matter which way you turn, you get different answers. So I guess I'll keep going, for now...and drink more water.

Of course, this chatter is my way of avoidance. Tomorrow I begin working on my book -- "Inherent Flaws" -- which is a weak title but I haven't come up with one that's better, yet. another form of avoidance, I made a cake. And HATED it. One of those Red Velvet things with white frosting. It was almost tasteless, and I've never had that happen with Duncan Hines, before. Their chocolate is usually CHOCOLATE, and I once made a yellow cake with fudge frosting for a co-worker at Heritage that vanished off the plate. But this thing...meh. My only thought after sampling it was, "That's a waste of a great omelet."

Well, I have 3 eggs left from the half-dozen I bought; guess I know what I'm having for din-din tomorrow. Build up my stamina to start in.

I don't know what the opening is, yet. I've got ideas but nothing's gelled. I do have a couple of moments worked up, like when my lead (currently Pete but soon to be renamed because it just doesn't work, as is) is walking through the Little Italy off Mulberry in Manhattan and imagines a musical number set to something like "Volare" as he's off to deliver a bribe to a judge...for his boss; he's 14 years old, which is too soon to be handing out bribes of his own.

I'm remembering this one odd moment in a very lumpy, awkward movie starring Robert Downey, Jr. -- "Heart and Soul". It's about four people who die in a bus crash the instant a baby is born in another part of the city. They're stuck as guardian angels of that baby until they finish some business on Earth and he has to help them. Well, after successfully completing one bit of business, as they're walking down the street they break into a neat rendition of "Walk Like A Man", along with the "Wooooh-OOOOH-OOooh-OOOoh-ooooh-Ooooh-OOOoh-OOOOH" chorus. And it was so charming and sweet and right, it felt like it was from another film. Damn, that was nearly 20 years ago, and I still remember it. And wished they'd kept that jaunty emotion through the whole damn movie instead of becoming this preachy bit of Live-Your-Life-Right twaddle.

Hm...I should start another blog -- movies that messed with my mind and made me mad (in every sense of the word).

So..."Voooooooooooooooooooooolaaaaaaareh....woooooooooho! Cannnntaaaarrrrre, whohoho-oh." Here we go.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


I was working on prepping for NaNoWriMo and have a goodly amount of stuff together...then this popped up.
Another plan for a painting to do. I had a problem with another shipment, so needed to open PhotoShop to make corrections to some paperwork needed for customs (I was working off PDFs and had no other way to change them), and once I was done, I suddenly found this image.

Okay, that's not exactly true. I'd opened one of my thumb drives to save my work and take it to the office to download into my desktop PC, and an unknown jpeg was on the drive. I opened it to see what it was...and things exploded. The initial image is a torso in full color with some nice shading. But I didn't even try to enhance that; I cropped it, shifted it to monochrome, intensified the contrast and stripped it down to three layers then returned it to RGB and painted in the red. And now I plan to put it on canvas.

I'm not sure how I feel about this image. It's almost violent, even though the model is in a form of repose. But I couldn't stop until it was done. It's been while since I've zoned like that with a piece. I wonder if it has something to do with this story I'm prepping?

There will be some vicious violence in this book...and yet I'm approaching the whole thing like it's a farce. Or very black comedy. Which I don't usually like. I wasn't fond of "Prizzi's Honor", for instance, which is expremely dark humor and at which I did not laugh once. That said, I do like the work of Bertold Brecht and Kurt Weil, whose "Three-Penny Opera" is a classic musical of the purest cynicism. (This is where "Mack the Knife" came from, thirty years before Bobby Darin made it a classic pop tune.) And "The Rules of the Game" is hysterically funny in parts but has an ending that is breathtakingly tragic.

And I think I'm going to pull off something like that? Merde.

Okay...I'm getting into freak-out mode, now. Time to STFU and just let the story tell itself like it wants to. And if it gets me killed by pissed off mobsters, I'll be able to say I died for my art.

Ha! Talk about a lack of reality.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

47 directions to take

Today was one of those odd times where every five minutes I wanted to head in a different direction -- write, paint, go for a walk, prepare for NaNoWriMo, clean my desk off, plan to shoot a short film (I've got a tight script but it's 14 pages and pretty damned intense) with the idea of posting it in 3 minute increments on YouTube. Major lack of focus.

It didn't help that I had to do some work for the money-paying job -- coaxing a book dealer into correcting errors on their paperwork in time to get it to our foreign broker so it could be imported into another country. It seems even if you give some people exact instructions AND provide examples, they won't do what you tell them they need to do. Or they only do it halfway. And it's driving me nuts.

I finally broke the cycle by walking to a nearby Indian restaurant and having some decent lamb curry and a couple of Samosas. And a beer. And then I was able to hone in on prepping for NaNoWriMo. I still need to clear my desk for working on, but now at least I'm back on track. Dunno why I was so ditzy, I just was. Maybe it's because I was up too soon, today. I'm sleeping in, tomorrow; naps just make me draggy.

November's going to be a trip -- working all day and writing all night. And I have a packing job in NYC to handle, as well. Nothing big; maybe 3 days, depending. But it'll still be intense...and is probably all I'll be talking about. Tomorrow's a short get-together of Buffalo peeps at a downtown coffee shop. I may go, I may not. Don't want the distractions...or to be reminded I'm the oldest person in the local group.

Looks like I'm telling this story in first person, again. It's the easiest way to write and puts the reader straight into what the main character's thinking, feeling and fearful of. And it's going to be a crazy-assed novel. The guy whose story I'm using has Mafia connections; I've already asked him not to hire any hit men when he finally reads it and he swears he won't. But I wouldn't be surprised if he changes his mind. That's how far out I'm going to take it.

So...anybody know some good, obscure Sinatra tunes? Or Dean Martin. I'm already planning to use "Come Fly With Me" and "Ain't That A Kick In The Head?" during some rather...oh...bloody moments.

Hm...I think I saw a bit of the devil in me.

Friday, October 28, 2011


While the cops and officials in most cities have held back on doing anything to the Occupy Wall Street protesters encamped in their parks, other cities have begun forcing the issue by having their police forces arrest some and trash their camps. One decorated marine (Scott Olsen, who served two tours in Iraq supposedly protecting our freedom of assembly) was just standing still between the Oakland cops and protesters...until he shot point blank by a canister of tear gas and seriously wounded. Then when people went to help him, another Oakland cop tossed a flash grenade at them, forcing them away from him. It's not propaganda from the left; it was caught on tape...and it shows a nation on the bring of fascism.

I suppose it was only a matter of time before the Power Elite started demanding these protesters be attacked, and cops usually identify with the Power Elite...even when the people they are attacking are supporting things the cops ought to care about. In Wisconsin, people protesting the legislature ending collective bargaining rights were treated roughly by the cops there, even though their own rights were being threatened (and don't tell me the police were exempted by the GOP from that bill; once the teachers got done being screwed, the cops would be next). In NYC, they're protesting the pillaging of our country and how billionaires are paying zero taxes, thus cutting funding to all departments, including the police; but people doing nothing more than chanting were deliberately pepper-sprayed by NYPD supervisors in white shirts and others were lured into being arrested for fake reasons.

There's nothing new about this, not even in the US. In the 60s, demonstrators for civil rights and against the Vietnam War were brutalized by the cops and soldiers, right up to the point where 4 kids were shot dead by out-of-control National Guardsmen (whose conduct was then whitewashed). In Derry, 13 peaceful protesters marching against internment were shot dead by rampaging British Paratroopers (whose conduct was then whitewashed). In Hungary and Czechoslovakia, peaceful attempts to bring democracy to those countries were crushed by Russian tanks, and in Poland they had a military coup to keep it from happening. In Iran, student protests grew to the extent that even killing people wasn't enough to save the Shah, but then his brutal regime was replaced by one just as brutal and even more vicious and they have no problems killing and "vanishing" protesters, even today. And consider South America in the 70s and 80s, with all the desaparcidos (people who just vanished thanks to the brutal regimes in power in so many of those countries).

So why should the US be any different? We like to think of ourselves as exceptional and a beacon of Democracy, but that's only for the Democracy we like. If someone dares disagree or criticize our government, we can become just as vicious as any other country where the elite are trying to maintain their power. And now it's starting, again.

I'm rambling, half because I'm tired and half because I just can't believe this crap. The actions of the cops in Oakland are more in line with the actions by Mubarak's cops against those protesting for democracy than anything else. It's more like Tianamen Square, where the Chinese crushed a push for Democracy by students and the death toll still is not known, for certain. We are no longer "the shining city on a hill" or whatever that fucked-up phrase was. We have descended into the gutter and that so many people support the attacks on the protesters only proves how debased we've become.

No rewrite or polish; I may decide not to post this because it make no consistent sense.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My world itches

To get back to writing. I haven't done much outside of semi-blogging and journals over the last two weeks. Some notes, here and there. It's like I'm waiting for something. I can't even seem to focus on my artwork. I've got one painting half done and just feel "meh" about it.

I'm in Toronto, now, and will head back to Buffalo tomorrow about noon, if all goes well. I'm helping load in some clients for a book fair. I like the city, for the most part. It seems livable and is relatively easy to get around in. I still haven't gotten used to them calling access roads "collectors" and all the signs being in both French and English, but I do like how I happened to find a massive grocery store in the middle of Mississauga's high-rise condo city that is solely Asian food. Nothing Western in it, at all. There's even a separate room where you can pick out your own crabs to kill and eat. I saw a woman picking them up with bread pinchers and dropping them into a brown bag. I don't now if that's cool or cruel...but it was the first time I've seen it. I left the store, right then.

I don't know if I could kill my food in order to eat it. I guess I would if I was hungry enough, but the idea makes me itch. I was with some friends who brought home live lobsters and cooked them in a massive pot of boiling water...and I couldn't eat it. To be fair -- I'm not big on lobster or crab or even shrimp, so that may have had as much to do with it as anything. But it still bugged me. guess I'm a wuss at heart. Better for me not to see where my burgers come from. I'd probably wind up a vegan, and they get sick all the time.

Now off to bed. I have to get up at 6:30 am and I HATE getting up that early. I'd almost rather that be my bedtime. I'm the kind of guy who likes to have bacon and eggs at 1 in the morning and go to bed about 3. I've always been that way. My best writing times is between 4 pm and 8 pm, even on weekends.

Maybe I'll play the Canadian lottery and see if that will wind up paying for my preferred life.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The beauty in truth

This was written by people who'd risked their lives to topple the corrupt regime in Egypt. Seeing the images of cops attacking OWS people in Oakland and Seattle and Boston, I can't help but remember the images of cops attacking people in Cairo and Tehran and Tunisia, and is still going on in Syria.

Solidarity Statement From Cairo

To all those in the United States currently occupying parks, squares and other spaces, your comrades in Cairo are watching you in solidarity. Having received so much advice from you about transitioning to democracy, we thought it's our turn to pass on some advice.

Indeed, we are now in many ways involved in the same struggle. What most pundits call “The Arab Spring” has its roots in the demonstrations, riots, strikes and occupations taking place all around the world, its foundations lie in years-long struggles by people and popular movements. The moment that we find ourselves in is nothing new, as we in Egypt and others have been fighting against systems of repression, disenfranchisement and the unchecked ravages of global capitalism (yes, we said it, capitalism): a System that has made a world that is dangerous and cruel to its inhabitants. As the interests of government increasingly cater to the interests and comforts of private, transnational capital, our cities and homes have become progressively more abstract and violent places, subject to the casual ravages of the next economic development or urban renewal scheme.

An entire generation across the globe has grown up realizing, rationally and emotionally, that we have no future in the current order of things. Living under structural adjustment policies and the supposed expertise of international organizations like the World Bank and IMF, we watched as our resources, industries and public services were sold off and dismantled as the “free market” pushed an addiction to foreign goods, to foreign food even. The profits and benefits of those freed markets went elsewhere, while Egypt and other countries in the South found their immiseration reinforced by a massive increase in police repression and torture.

The current crisis in America and Western Europe has begun to bring this reality home to you as well: that as things stand we will all work ourselves raw, our backs broken by personal debt and public austerity. Not content with carving out the remnants of the public sphere and the welfare state, capitalism and the austerity-state now even attack the private realm and people's right to decent dwelling as thousands of foreclosed-upon homeowners find themselves both homeless and indebted to the banks who have forced them on to the streets.

So we stand with you not just in your attempts to bring down the old but to experiment with the new. We are not protesting. Who is there to protest to? What could we ask them for that they could grant? We are occupying. We are reclaiming those same spaces of public practice that have been commodified, privatized and locked into the hands of faceless bureaucracy , real estate portfolios, and police ‘protection’. Hold on to these spaces, nurture them, and let the boundaries of your occupations grow. After all, who built these parks, these plazas, these buildings? Whose labor made them real and livable? Why should it seem so natural that they should be withheld from us, policed and disciplined? Reclaiming these spaces and managing them justly and collectively is proof enough of our legitimacy.

In our own occupations of Tahrir, we encountered people entering the Square every day in tears because it was the first time they had walked through those streets and spaces without being harassed by police; it is not just the ideas that are important, these spaces are fundamental to the possibility of a new world. These are public spaces. Spaces forgathering, leisure, meeting, and interacting – these spaces should be the reason we live in cities. Where the state and the interests of owners have made them inaccessible, exclusive or dangerous, it is up to us to make sure that they are safe, inclusive and just. We have and must continue to open them to anyone that wants to build a better world, particularly for the marginalized, excluded and for those groups who have suffered the worst .

What you do in these spaces is neither as grandiose and abstract nor as quotidian as “real democracy”; the nascent forms of praxis and social engagement being made in the occupations avoid the empty ideals and stale parliamentarianism that the term democracy has come to represent. And so the occupations must continue, because there is no one left to ask for reform. They must continue because we are creating what we can no longer wait for.

But the ideologies of property and propriety will manifest themselves again. Whether through the overt opposition of property owners or municipalities to your encampments or the more subtle attempts to control space through traffic regulations, anti-camping laws or health and safety rules. There is a direct conflict between what we seek to make of our cities and our spaces and what the law and the systems of policing standing behind it would have us do.

We faced such direct and indirect violence , and continue to face it . Those who said that the Egyptian revolution was peaceful did not see the horrors that police visited upon us, nor did they see the resistance and even force that revolutionaries used against the police to defend their tentative occupations and spaces: by the government's own admission; 99 police stations were put to the torch, thousands of police cars were destroyed, and all of the ruling party's offices around Egypt were burned down. Barricades were erected, officers were beaten back and pelted with rocks even as they fired tear gas and live ammunition on us. But at the end of the day on the 28 th of January they retreated, and we had won our cities.

fetishizing nonviolence; if the state had given up immediately we would have been overjoyed, but as they sought to abuse us, beat us, kill us, we knew that there was no other option than to fight back. Had we laid down and allowed ourselves to be arrested, tortured, and martyred to “make a point”, we would be no less bloodied, beaten and dead. Be prepared to defend these things you have occupied, that you are building, because, after everything else has been taken from us, these reclaimed spaces are so very precious.

By way of concluding then, our only real advice to you is to continue, keep going and do not stop. Occupy more, find each other, build larger and larger networks and keep discovering new ways to experiment with social life, consensus, and democracy. Discover new ways to use these spaces, discover new ways to hold on to them and never givethem up again. Resist fiercely when you are under attack, but otherwise take pleasure in what you are doing, let it be easy, fun even. We are all watching one another now, and from Cairo we want to say that we are in solidarity with you, and we love you all for what you are doing.

Comrades from Cairo.
24th of October, 2011.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

NaNoWriMo 2011

I'm preparing to dive into my fifth National Novel Writing Month competition and see if I can get a first draft of this book I've been circling around done. It's the story of a cop who found out NYPD detectives were stealing drugs from the evidence room and replacing them with powdered sugar or something like that, and when he tried to do something about it, he was driven crazy from paranoia and possibly being slipped some hallucinogenic stuff. I initially did a non-linear rewrite on it for the man whose life it's based on and he liked what I did, but no one was interested because the same story was basically told in Serpico.

Well, after a lot of work, he's asked me to make it into a book. I can't say no because I told him it probably should be one, and I'm already vested in it. But here it is, eight months after I said I'd work on it and I haven't done much, at all. Plus it's interfered with POS on more than one occasion. So now I'm going to get the damn thing out of the way and do it in as obnoxious a manner as I can.

Well...maybe not obnoxious. Just irreverent. I'll stick to the original story as much as I can, but I want to add this layer of chaotic comedy to it to give it its own edge. After all, the guy I'm writing it for is as straight as they come (all puns intended) so I'm sticking to the whole world of boy chases girl, they get married, move to "Lon-G-Island", have a kid and he goes nuts cause he's a cop and they're after him. They really are. We'll see how that goes. Anyway, beginning November 1st, I'll be hot onto it.

I may start it out with a musical number. In a book. Just for the hell of it, to show how nuts the whole enterprise it. By the time I'm done, that cop'll probably hire a hit man...and for some reason, I honestly do think he knows some. I have this wild notion of him imagining a capo offing some dude who needed offing then cutting him up as he whistles "Come Fly With Me", moving the hacksaw in time with the melody. Does that put me in "Sweeney Todd" territory?

Hm...maybe It's time for me to write this because I'm slipping into my psychosis period, again. Just like when a woman has hers, I have mine...just not quite as bloody and often more internal, except when I get pissy with my characters.

Ah, chaos.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Betty Rushing

She was the mother of two very good friends of mine, and she died just a little while ago. She was a very sweet lady who was kind to everyone she knew. She will be missed.

My heart goes out to both Brad and Sharon and the rest of her family.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Image and Steve Jobs

When Steve Jobs died, I was sorry but it wasn't unexpected. He'd been looking very ill for some time, obviously from cancer. I did wonder how Apple would be able to keep going without him, since he seemed to be the driving force behind the company. Other than that, I knew little about him except he was an attractive man when he was younger, seemed like a really cool guy, and was into Zen Buddhism.

Well...since his death I've been learning he was anything BUT an honest Buddhist. He was really a Tea Partier  hiding behind this image of a calm, clear-headed, far-thinking dude whose sole interest was in making terrific products people didn't know they needed till they'd been developed. He was a miserly, conniving, anti-union, anti-government jerk who even told Obama he'd be a one-term president if he didn't end all the regulations on businesses, because it was strangling the economy. Seriously?!

Now I'd already heard about the sweat-shops accusations...and nine times out of ten they're nonsense. What passes for a sweat-shop in the US is above average working conditions in the Third World. And what we consider to be slave wages are a decent standard of living in countries like Vietnam and Thailand and Bangladesh because the relative cost of living is so low. I even understand why cheap-assed companies send their manufacturing over there -- it cuts costs by a huge amount, and the bottom line is all that matters to some of these businesses. But to find even Apple has the same business philosophy as WalMart and GE is disconcerting.

Because these companies are starting to find out you get what you pay for...if you're lucky. Boeing's learned outsourcing some of the workings for the 787 Dreamliner wound up costing them delays and massive amounts of extra money because the quality control was slapdash at the sub-companies. Parts wouldn't fit or wouldn't do what they were supposed to do half the time. So this great and glorious airplane, which was supposed to be in service years ago, is just now being delivered to clients.

But it's not just Boeing; it's places like Target, too, even though all they do is buy things from companies that have their clothes and appliances built in China and India. If you purchse even something as simple as underwear from them, there's no guarantee the size on the package is the honest size of the article of clothing. I've bought 3 packs and 5 packs of briefs at Target, and every time there are one or two pair that are off -- either smaller than the others, or larger. And I no longer will buy t-shirts from Penney's because the cotton they're made from is not absorbent and they don't feel (or smell) right.

Still, the Macs I've had have been excellent machines and lasted me a long time. And I was happy to pay extra for them because I liked them and I liked supporting a Zen guy like Steve Jobs, who seemed like the underdog against big bad Microsoft. But now Bill Gates has given away most of his fortune and Steve Jobs is accused of not helping charities in any way, form or fashion. And I'm conflicted. I feel like I've been shopping at WalMart, now, a company I refuse to do business with because of how they treat their employees and the right-wing causes they espouse. Have I been sending my money to a guy who actually wanted to decimate unions in this country? Who's attitude was you let business do as it wants without interference? Even though it was government regulations that ended child labor in American sweatshops and unions that built the greatest middle class ever in the history of the world?

If this is true, that is not cool. And so totally NOT Zen. It's just craven and avaricious. And now I'm almost not sorry he's gone.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I'm so sick of the GOP

Here they go, again, preferring to support billionaires and the hell with teachers, cops and firemen. Check this out.

And there are Americans who still support the bastard Republicans. Our country has a sickness and it needs to be healed.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Work, work, work

Busy with another short script for an advertising company so can't do much chat except to say...I LOVE writing scripts. Even when I hate it. Even when I disparage it. And I do that a lot. But the fact is, this is my method of writing, even when I'm writing a novel. Very fast, visual and intense (at least, I think so).

I create in audio and visuals, and write in the same. Trying to be logical in my thinking processes has never really worked for I'm finding out in my current job. It requires extreme attention to detail and multiple layers of thought going on at one time, all from one side of the brain, whereas my writing shoots all over the place and comes back to one point in ways I cannot explain...except by osmosis.

I hear a song and it becomes part of my story. I see people on the street and they become part of my story. I hear of things that happened to others and it becomes part of my story. Over and over this occurs in my existence, even while writing narrative fiction...and even though I can't really add much of it in except intellectually.

I'm a cat trying to make myself into a monkey. It ain't gonna work.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ohio is an evil place

Ohio apparently has some of the laxest laws in the US concerning owning exotic animals, so this one nutcase was able to build a menagerie of lions and tigers and bears (no pun intended for you fans of Dorothy) along with monkeys and baboons and such. Then he got pissed off, released them all and killed himself. Well, when sheriff's deputies arrived to figure out what was going on, they were faced with a literal wild kingdom of scared, angry they started shooting, as cops are wont to do when faced with uncomfortable situations.

By the time the carnage was over, 49 animals had been slaughtered, including 18 rare Bengal tigers. Seriously, there are only 1400 of them in the entire world...and Ohio helped wipe more than 1% of the population, all on its own. I hope the assholes feel proud. Three leopards (including one that was black) and a bear managed to be saved by the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. How, I don't know, but I want to send them a check and a note of thanks.

The man who did this was sick in so many ways and so well-known for not caring properly for these creatures, he should never have been allowed to have them, but the grand and glorious state of Ohio let him. And for that reason alone, they should be censured and spat upon. That they're finally passing laws to keep this from happening again, while good, is still not enough to put aside the hate they are due. That sick bastard had these animals for years, was cited over and over and over again for neglect and cruelty...but he still got to keep them. And now everyone's shocked that this happened. Jesus, why wouldn't it?

Some people are so fucking stupid, they ought not to be allowed to live. Disgusting.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Zachary Quinto

Zachary Quinto has publicly acknowledged what just about every gay man already knew -- that he's gay. And he did it in just the right manner, too -- making an off-hand reference to it in an article about him and how appearing in "Angels In America" affected him. I'm glad he's free and open now, and I'm even gladder that he saw the official presentation of who he is as no big deal. That one is gay or straight shouldn't matter to anyone but that person, and for others to think they have the right to dictate how someone else should live their life is the height of arrogance and evil. That he came out with a shrug instead of a banner screaming, "Look how brave I am!", to me, is the most important aspect of this while thing.

That and the elegant manner in which he referenced on his blog not only bullying but how a young boy's suicide was brought on by vicious taunts about his sexuality. Initially, he was still one of those "I've never been hidden" types who feigns surprise that everyone doesn't know about them, to me. But with the comment "...when i found out that jamey rodemeyer killed himself - i felt deeply troubled. but when i found out that jamey rodemeyer had made an it gets better video only months before taking his own life - i felt indescribable despair ... it became clear to me in an instant that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it - is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality..." he turned completely from another basically closeted actor into a real man. One whom one can admire.

Y'know, I used his image in the "Star Trek" re-boot to bring two characters together in "The Lyons' Den". Daniel, the lead, dressed up as the new Spock for his Halloween/birthday party and Tad (Little Lord Perfect) revealed he has this fantasy about Quinto's take on the character. That's one of the thousand reasons why Tad approached Daniel, and when they got back to his apartment, Tad all but tore the Star Trek tunic off him moments after saying, "Leave the ears on, okay?"

Well, with or without the ears, I think Zachary's a hero (no pun intended concerning that TV show he was on since I never watched it).

Oh, and if you ever happen to read this, Zachary...I'll be Tad if you'll bring the ears. (Not that I'm hitting on you or anything so crass as that...even though I am.)

Leonard Nimoy's gotta be proud the torch is now carried by one so worthy of it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Laziness becomes me

I've been hit with one of my lackadaisical moods, where no matter how much I might want to, mentally, I can't get the heart going to do anything creative. I flit from this to that to something else and tell myself I really do need to buckle down and get to work on either a painting or a book or, once again, a script...and hours later I'm still telling myself. I make all sorts of excuses but the truth is I've done so much over the last few years, I'm a bit burned out.

Since Heritage Book Shop closed in August of 2007...just a little over four years ago? Wow. It seems like so much time has passed. Damn...I have done a lot. I wrote three scripts; rewrote four others; got 7 books published, with another one about to come out (and not a penny from royalties, yet); had a novella added to an anthology (which I was actually PAID for); moved huge distances, twice; prepped a magazine (with articles and interviews by me) that never made publication; did editing on 28 books (that I've only been partially paid for); written 60% of another novel...well, maybe 50% of it; and am having a short story printed in a literary journal. I even have fans! And that's on TOP of me working as a book packer for libraries and collections and book fairs AND learning a whole new freight forwarding job that's taken me all over the country...and having my mother die and taking on the support of my youngest brother. wonder I'm brain dead. I need to do some serious re-fragging or dumping of files to clear out the memory base.

Still...I feel like I ought to be working harder. Maybe I'm a workaholic, of a sort. Or maybe I'm just tired of having two full-time jobs (writing being the one I'd rather keep, if I could make a living at it). I keep telling myself something's going to happen, soon. What, I don't know. I'd like to think it's a case of where I'll be discovered as the next Hemingway or Proust or even Jay McInerney (even though he's younger than me), or I'll win the lottery and never have to work, again. But I've had too much reality in my life to let those dreams get carried away. And yet...

What did someone say, once? Something like, "A young man sees life as opportunity, a middle-aged man sees it as tragedy, an old man sees it as farce." Looks like I'm reaching the farcical stage of my existence.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I stole this but it's really my thinking

It's good to know I'm not the only person out there who believes this --
You know what? It's time to Reboot and Remake Hollywood!

This weekend co-signed on the reality everybody knows... REMAKES DON'T TURN A PROFIT! If you take a look at the last 5 years most the remakes don't amount to much. Yeah, 'Clash of the Titans' did well, but it got by through the 'curiosity factor'. And once folks saw the mess, they hated it.

I don't know if the Execs are just foolish or lazy; but this remake-prequel-poor plot plan ain't working. Hollywood movies are not turning out huge profits like the 80s and 90s. In fact, there only handfuls of movies that are making real money. Why is that? Because folks are tired of this foolishness!

If anything needs to rebooted or remade, it's Hollywood. They need to get these folks outta there! These are examples of what could help:

  • We need moguls and execs to move beyond this horrid phase and start making great movies again.
  • Stop remaking films, just re-release them. Think of the money and time saved!
  • Don't make any of these fresh faced movie makers more than what they are. They need at lease a Golden Globe nomination, not a MTV Movie award.
  • Get better writers with a lot of life experiences. The experiences some these writers have are blacking out at a frat parties and bisexual flings. Find better writers, Hollywood!
  • Read scripts and stop passing them to college interns to read. That's why we get the mess that we do.
  • Let writers write!
  • Be open to new ideas. We are tired of the books-comics-board games styled flicks. Let's try something else.
We deserve better and it's time we get better. Hopefully, I can be a part of this change someday.

Read more:

I got nothin' to add...especially since I spent some of the evening trying to blot out the past on my used canvasses so do not have much of a linear thought process going. White paint on Norwegian skin is rather odd looking.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I AM NOT MOVING! a video record.

The hypocrisy of Obama and his administration concerning the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators and protests in Lybia, Syria, Egypt and Iran is breathtaking. This video should be seen, even if fucking YouTube won't let me embed it.

Hypocrisy has its own symmetry. 

Old habits die hard

I was given a lead for someone seeking horror-thriller scripts so I spent today prepping and polishing one that's done pretty well in competitions -- "Blood Angel." Its tagline is -- Would you sell your soul to be with an angel? That’s the question Tristan Lee must face when he meets Gabrielle Bayeux in this erotic-horror-thriller.

The synopsis is as follows --

Tristan Lee is a brilliant trumpet-player in post-Katrina New Orleans who leads a college-street band that includes his girlfriend, Alyssa. While he may seem happy enough, he’s one of those people who’ve had too much hell in their life. His mother, Nola, was a singer who wrote him a song titled “The Only One”, and her recording of it haunts anyone who hears it. But she fell into drugs and, while hallucinating about “l’ange de sang” (the blood angel), nearly murdered the boy. She was taken away and Tristan, his father and his stepmother, Ann Marie, believe she died in the storm. Wracked by guilt for hating her, he takes late-night rides on his motorcycle deep into the devastation left behind and plays his trumpet as a requiem to her.

During one of those trips, he and Gabrielle meet. She is rich, beautiful, and takes elegant photographs of the devastation, using her own artistic ability to gain his trust. What he does not realize is, she is the Blood Angel, a vampire queen searching for a man known only as Le Seul. She thinks Tristan is he but a ritual must be followed before she can be certain. First, he must make love to Gabrielle, then at the height of passion be fed upon by her to the brink of death, then drink her blood, then feed upon someone innocent. All of it without the least bit of hesitation. It would seem impossible to pull off, since Tristan is decent and caring, but not for Gabrielle; she can sense the way to his soul.

Problem is, Gabrielle’s current companion, Dmitriy, knows he will be cast aside once Tristan has turned, so he jealously plays havoc with them both. At the same time, Ann Marie sees Gabrielle for what she is and does her best to protect her stepson. She realized long ago that Nola was having visions of Gabrielle coming for Tristan, and that her song was meant as a warning to him.

But that realization may be too late. For there is an ever-growing bond between Tristan and Gabrielle, and despite everyone’s best efforts, he seems determined to join with the Blood Angel and leave his life behind in the ruins of New Orleans.

It got as good as Second Place in one screenwriting contest so who knows if they'll go for it. But it gave me an excuse to read through the script, again, and find more typos that need correcting. I'm a mess when it comes to that crap. Such is life in the big city.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Torn and confused

I just watched "The Ghost Writer", which was directed by Roman Polanski and stars Ewan McGregor...and I am just plain stunned. It was boring, which is the one thing I was not expecting. The story was trite in that 70s paranoia kind of way, the characters did stupid things and trusted people they'd just met despite suspecting deviousness on the part of others they've just met and trusted. Plot points were telegraphed so bluntly, it's like you were being told the story in advance. And what's most unforgivable? Ewan McGregor was bland.

I did not think that was possible. I've seen him play all sorts of characters -- from Victorian lads to modern day cads to a gay man who could fall in love with Ace Ventura, of all people -- and not once did I not believe him and follow him happily. Even as he's servicing Jim Carrey and getting nothing in return (hardly what I'd call a functional relationship in either the gay or straight world). He's a dynamic actor, but he was nearly dead in this thing. This has rocked my world.

What's worse is, Roman Polanski has made some phenomenal films -- "Chinatown", "Rosemary's Baby", "Knife in the Water", "Tess", "The Piano Player" to name a few -- but this will not be anywhere near the top of his list. It held none of the menace he can find in everyday objects or places, and seriously -- some of the actions of the bad guys were just plain dumb. It's a sad commentary on his current work.

I guess I should cut the guy a break; he has been making movies for 50 years and there's sure to be an occasional misfire. Even Hitchcock turned out some duds, as did Howard Hawks, John Ford and Orson Wells. It's just, I had great expectations from the guy who directed "The Tenant" and I'm sad to see them let down. Plus I'd like to know how the hell he bottled up Ewan's natural charisma?

That last question is one for the ages.

Friday, October 14, 2011

I got issues with Stephen Sondheim

I'm finally back to reading "Finishing the Hat" (which is like taking a class in writing musicals, albeit taught by a crotchety professor) and am at the point where he's discussing "A Little Night Music." His initial idea was to use a play by Jean Anouilh ("L'Invitation au Chateau", which I'm not familiar with) but he got turned down. So he and his collaborators decided to use either Ingmar Bergman's "Smiles of a Summer Night" or Jean Renoir's "Rules of the Game"...and here is where the problem lies.

I think "Rules of the Game" is one of the best movies ever made. Period. It's in my top 5, along with "The 400 Blows", "Late Spring", "La Dolce Vita" and "Sunrise". Its mixture of comedy, farce, romance and tragedy is breathtaking, and the only American filmmaker to even begin to approach Renoir's abilities was Charlie Chaplin (the ending of "City Lights" rips me apart). And what does Sondheim have to say about this masterpiece? He shrugs it off as "heavy handed in its satirical commentary on the French social system." I nearly threw the book across the room.

Don't get me wrong -- "Smiles of a Summer Night" is an excellent film, but it's cold and brittle at its heart, not warm and loving (as the story demands and as Renoir's film most definitely is). I love Bergman's works and the sense of humanity in his characters, but all of them have an icy layer on them that keeps you one-step removed from full involvement. And...that said...I can see why Sondheim liked it more. He's a rather cold writer. Even "Sweeney Todd", his most overwrought work, has a clinical aspect to it that I found more disturbing than the subject matter (I saw it on Broadway in 1979, with Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou). But don't diss Renoir. Period.

Stephen, get your head out of your ass. Okay?

Most of today was spent on artwork. I've got the urge to create something I can hang on my wall. And something to give me a break from writing. I'm finding my ideas are coming out third-rate and boring, even as filler between the stuff I like. So I worked up a few ideas for acrylics on canvas and may paint a couple of them over the weekend. Here are some --
This is about as stark as I've ever gone. I'm tempted to do it on heavy paper or board with India ink.
This one has a nice layered feel to it, with slices of hair and shadows to contrast with the large, flat areas of black, gray and white.
Color is good...and I like the emotion behind it, even if it does seem a bit evil.

I processed all of these through photoshop to try them out, first. I don't think I'll make the lines quite as ragged as they are, now...but you never know.

Now comes brain-dead time.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

This is who we need in the White House

Instead of that kiss-ass that's in there now.

And just to emphasize what's going on with OWS, here's what a guy named Brendan Burke said:

(We're) not anti-anybody. We’re pro-American citizen. Millions of Americans are getting kicked out of their house. They’re losing their education, their health care. They can’t take care of their parents. This is about people. Republicans are opening their bills. Democrats are opening their bills. I’ll go all the way to $250,000 if you want. Everybody’s opening their bills and they’re thinking, ‘Who’s protecting me from people stealing from me?’ This isn’t what I agreed on when I signed this agreement with this company. You add all these hassles up in your life — your hospital, your credit card, your education, your mortgage — and you’re getting nailed. And there are a couple of banks who created the instruments that made that happen. This is not a physical war. This is an oppression that’s quiet, and through money, and through services, and through small print. They want you to be afraid, and not to know, and they want to bewilder you. Between you and me, I shouldn’t get a credit card. But I got one. I didn’t even apply for it. Why am I getting a credit card?

This is not Tahrir Square. This is not Tompkins Square Park. This is not Yuppies against squatters. This is about minds. We need help from people who know. We need help from people in the financial industry who know. They should be here, too. He should want to see a better community. I want to see change in a systematic and legislative way. We’re looking for real results. We’re looking for protection for people. We’re down here trying to play bills. It’s serious out there, but it’s quiet, because it happens at everyone’s kitchen table. It’s happening household-by-household. There’s a sense out there, which I hope what’s going on here will dissipate, that there’s something wrong with me. I’m a jerk because I can’t pay that bill. There are working men who will march tomorrow. It’s all about people, who feel they got duped. There needs to be a systematic legislative change, so that this cannot happen any more.

I can't imagine it being summed up any more perfectly.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Off to Hong Kong

But not till November 30th. I bought my ticket and hotel in a package and am flying out of Toronto. That is the only way I can get a non-stop flight. Even if I do JFK in NYC, I have to change planes in Tokyo, which makes no sense to me. But digging through Expedia and Travelocity and even American and United, I was changing planes more than once. Not cool. So I'm flying Cathay Pacific and will only be in the air 15 hours instead of damn near 24 in total travel time.

I'm ambivalent about the trip. I sort of want to see Hong Kong, but Tokyo and Sydney were higher on my list of Pacific Rim cities to see. Maybe when I'm rich and famous and can spend some time just traveling for the hell of it instead of being on a 5 day whirlwind trip.

But I'm handling the load in and load out of the Hong Kong Book Fair, and apparently it's a hard one, logistically. It'll be in a small exhibition center about a block from Hong Kong's new exhibition hall on the waterfront, in Wan Chai. What the heck; it's an adventure.

My old guy script is coming together,more quickly than I thought it would. I'm using a massive nature reserve -- the "Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge" -- down by the Florida Keys as part of it. I just need to find the humorous angle to it, and that's proving to be elusive. BUT...I have young romance as well as old farts and second chances. It's threatening to become a fun project for me. Maybe I'll write it en route to Hong Kong.

It's not like I'll have much else to do while I'm in the air. I guess I better find out if they have power adapters for the flight, so I can plug in my laptop. I'll be on a 777.

Ah, World Traveler Me.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cross-eyed and furry-tailed

I took a redeye from Seattle to DC then changed planes for Buffalo and got home dead beat and a little out of it...and couldn't sleep for a bit. It took me fifteen minutes to realize I was hungry. I hadn't eaten in 16 hours...aside from a couple of Dr. Peppers and crackers. Once belly was filled and I'd had a shower, I sacked out for 4 hours with Pandora playing some New Age music in the background. I'm now back to being cross-eyed, but mainly because I'm trying to finish up my paperwork and clear my table.

My apartment is a mess, and it's all because I'm lazy. I pile papers up to sort through and file, later...and later keeps getting later and later. I've got a couple of bookshelves so packed with books, the shelves are bowing. I have shredding to do that's been needing to be done for weeks. And let's not get started on bill-paying. Ugh! But it's deadening work and all I want to do is write...and draw, lately. I've also been itching to get back to sketching and painting. Another reason for me to win the lottery -- so I can leave my job and spend the rest of my life doing my own little thing.

But I can't quit. My little brother is now my dependent. So until such time as I sell a script or "The Lyons' Den" winds up on the NYT Bestseller list and brings me in some decent coin, I'm stuck working at a decent enough job and using my spare time to write and ignoring all the other stuff I need to do till it becomes too demanding.

That said, I've got it good in comparison to a lot of people. I've been following the "I am the 99%" blog and most of those stories are heartbreaking. Then in their usual "screw you" fashion, the right wing's started up this "I am the 53%" blog to showcase people who are willing to settle for being spat upon by the rich so long as they can still watch cable and have a beer after working 12 hour days, but by god they pay their taxes, right?

NOT exactly. One woman posted her situation and bitched about the OWS crowd and those "people who don't pay taxes" (which is bullshit; EVERYONE pays taxes but not everyone has to pay income tax). What she revealed was she was actually in the percentile that would not have to pay income tax because she had dependents and made under the minimum. There were others like that on the site.

Things like this scare me, because they show just how delusional those people are. They're protecting the tax breaks of billionaire polluters like the Koch Brothers and GE while denigrating those trying to just get the rich to pay their fair share. It makes no sense to me...unless they're self-destructive. Which is possible. But then again, when I went to the Museum of Tolerance in LA, it made no bones about pointing out that some Jews helped the Nazis during the Holocaust, probably thinking it would protect them from the same fate. It didn't, and any fool could have seen that...but there are a lot of serious fools in the world.

What a ramble. I guess I'm still tired and unfocused. No writing done, today, except for this...and I don't think I'll rework it. Let's see how it reads tomorrow. After work.


Okay, I gotta kill this mood. Here's something to make me feel less freaky.
This was photographed by David Vance, and the angel is Levi Poulter, whom I used as the physical model for Tad/Ace in "The Lyons' Den." He comes across as a nice, smart, easy to like kind of guy (though for all I know he may be the polar opposite to that) so I played him against type, so to speak. Too bad we couldn't use him on the cover of the book, but buying use of his photograph is not cheap.

What's really fun is, the model I used for Van comes across in his photos as someone with a major amount of attitude, so I played him against type, too. At least, in my mind. And that's what counts, right?

(The guy Levi's holding is Paul Francis...I think.)

Monday, October 10, 2011

I should travel more often

Something about being in a plane going a long distance makes me start working on stories. I have one, now, that has possibilities. The logline -- Three old Army buddies decide to take their recently deceased pal on one last adventure, even if it kills them. I've got the characters basically mapped out (retired men, mainly) and some of the angles figured, know who the bad guys are, and even have the grandson of one of the guys coming along for the ride. I'm setting part f it in Buffalo and part in the Caribbean...but I have to be careful to use only US islands. There are major restrictions on a non-parent taking an underage kid into and out of most countries. Initially I was going to set it in Brazil, but their Visa requirements killed that.

It's a very commercial story -- old men on one last adventure, learning about themselves and growing even though they've grown old, a boy learning about life, all that crap. I've seen "Grumpy Old Men" and "Waking Ned Devine" but now I guess I'll have to watch "The Bucket List" too.

(I had to post this before I was done with it, because if you don't have activity on the WiFi here, it kicks you off. And apparently just writing on my blog is not considered activity.)

I'm sitting in Seattle's Airport -- SeaTac -- which is one of the most livable I've ever been in. JetBlue's terminal at JFK is nice enough, but it's a terminal. All seats and concrete and low windows. SeaTac has an atrium to die for, where you can watch the planes land and take off. I've gotten to where just watching them is fun unto itself...especially when I compare them.

For example -- Southwest's little 737s actually look sneaky when taxiing behind an Airbus 320. The Airbus stands taller and stiffer, while the 737 scoots along like it's about to pull a trick on the other plane. There's also a group of regional propeller jobs run by Alaska and Horizon Air that look more like ferret pups feeding at mom's teats, the way they're congregated around the walkways to the terminal. And the occasional 757 from Delta or Icelandair passes by like a hall monitor or mom walking around to make certain everyone's behaving. It's cute.

I've never felt about any other airport like I have this one. It's my fifth time here, and I can't wait to come back, again.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I like Seattle...

At least, I like the areas I've been in -- mainly downtown and by the Space Needle, the airport (which is massive but still amazingly user friendly) and the ferries crossing Puget Sound. This is my fourth trip here and I'm beginning to feel like I know the city enough to get around.

I especially enjoy taking the Link train from the airport to downtown. It passes through a whole array of communities -- industrial, along the 5 Freeway, past declining as well as gentrified residential areas, a sports complex, an Asian grouping and then it hits the tunnel to bring you to Westlake, which is the main shopping area, downtown. I even enjoy the transit cops who come on to check to make certain you have a ticket; one of them is amazingly buff and beautiful (though his partner's not exactly ugly). From Westlake I can take the Monorail to the Exposition area and then it's just a couple blocks walk to my hotel. And no matter where I go there are people everywhere.

It also has the same ethos as me. In the underground bus terminal I saw a middle-aged couple with signs decrying Wall Street Greed and proclaiming that there's too much money in the political system, both of which I agree. Looks like OWS is settling in to this town too.

Of course, there are those who don't like making a city livable because it interferes with their plans to use up the land so they can make as much cash off it as possible then head on. That happened in Austin. When I lived there, the mayor was kicked out for getting too chummy with developers and the city passed restrictive zoning laws. The Legislature stepped in and stripped the city of many of the laws meant to keep it a decent place to live, and now they have massive traffic jams, the water they use to drink is fouled from runoff due to the parking lots and construction everywhere, and many of their hilltops are ruined by apartment and condo complexes that look like Tibetan monasteries. On top of it, with the ongoing drought threatening to get worse, there isn't enough water for the people who live there, so they're under water restrictions. Some communities can't even get water and have to buy bottled to do everything from drinking to bathing to flushing the toilet. Talk about killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

Seattle seems to have that under far. But never underestimate the greed and determination of those cockroaches that call themselves human. They're getting to where they don't even fear a light being shined on them. Witness this new woman on CNN -- Erin Burnett. Her husband's a Citibank executive so you know where she's coming from when she attacks the kids protesting down on Wall Street. And other right wing scum are posting dismissive and threatening attacks on OWS, too. The backlash has started and the roaches give no quarter. I wonder if this civil war will be one of internet attacks and commentaries, only, with the cops doing their brutality thing till they see that people are taping them and showing it off? Maybe it will be relatively bloodless.

But that's not probably. More than likely, we'll devolve into a version of Syria, with the government slaughtering the protesters, or Lybia, with outright civil war, than Egypt. I have no idea which way is better to effect real change.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Is it just me?

On the Chicago to Seattle leg of my trip, the airline played "Captain America." It was pan-and-scan so I decided not to watch it...but they had these very 1990s TV screens that pop down from the overhead bins so I couldn't turn it off...and I caught a glimpse of Chris Evans pre-Captain. Man...they did a damn good job of making him seem very small and slim. The rest of it's the usual crap of last-minute saves and near-death moments and on and I only half noticed the rest of the movie. I'll watch it sometime on DVD in letterbox to get a better idea of what it's like.

But here's the weird part. Now I already think Chris Evans is gorgeous, especially when he hasn't shaved his chest (like he did in this movie). What startled me was how attractive he was even as the scrawny guy who gets sand kicked in his face. Yes, he's got a great body...but he has that something more that is needed to make it on film -- the camera likes him.

It's funny how unforgiving and absolute that is. I've seen people who are just plain gorgeous in person -- both male and female -- but you seen them in a movie and they all but do not exist as a real person. Whereas people like Ben Affleck and Matt Damon (I saw both of them at Heritage Book Shop years ago) look like nothing in person but the camera makes them beautiful. An even better example? Me and my brother, Kelly. In my photos I look 10 years older and suddenly have an extra 20 pounds. Kelly (when he's cleaned up) looks sharp and intense.

I don't get it...but having seen these other people who did or didn't work in front of the lens helped me accept it's just the way the camera wants to see you. And sometimes all it likes is one angle of you. I've seen both male and female models who look beautiful from the left and just plain wrong from the right.

Dunno why this is rattling around in my head, except I'm back to working on a script and I'm thinking about things like that, again. Guess the camera also can make you superficial.

Yeah, like I need help for that.

Friday, October 7, 2011

More of "We-Come"

Danny kills the roll and lets his sled fly off. He slides to a halt. Catherine rushes over to him.


I’m fine. Fine!

He stands. Shakes off everyone’s help.

Nussed, again.

Danny forces a smile and a nod then turns to Chill.

‘Bro -- you own the Tricktionary.

C’mon, dude, that Kick Flip you did was diamonds.

But your Vert was ill.

Ripped it from you. Playa Domingo. Sorry you’re not still gaming. Be fun to go up.

Be a real chase.

Chill quietly beams, bumps knuckles with Danny and rolls off with his crew. Catherine watches. Mario strolls up with Danny’s board.

You’re way better than he is.

Not anymore.

He takes his skateboard and heads for the car -- walking.

In the background, Randall leads the Hare Krishnas out of the park, just like The Pied Piper of Hamlin, all chanting and singing. Skye watches, bemused.

The SUV roars down the road. The Hare Krishnas are inside, singing. Randall sings with them.

They reach the motel. The SUV stops and Randall hops out, followed by the Hare Krishnas, all singing and chanting. He leads them to Unit One and opens the door.

Your converts await.

The Hare Krishnas jaunt inside. He closes the door.

The singing and chanting keep going. SKITTERING noises come from within. The singing and chanting slow down. Then comes the WHISPERY CHUCKLE. The singing and chanting stop.

Randall sighs, relieved.

SCREAMS burst from within the room, followed by the sounds of CRASHING FURNITURE and someone POUNDING on the walls.

Randall backs away. Waits.

Two BLOOD-COVERED DEVOTEES yank the door open! One is instantly caught; the other bolts outside! She crashes to the ground. A tentacle whips out and drags her back in by her ponytail, SCREAMING. The door slams shut.

Randall waits. The screams end. Unit One is silent. Then comes the WHISPERY CHUCKLE.

Randall nods. Looks at the moon. It’s full and high in the sky.

He slides into the pool. It is clean enough to be filled with water. He stands in the center of the lowest part and extends his arms. The stars are brilliant.

The pool begins to glow. Randall slips into a trance as he slowly looks skyward. The glow in the pool throbs. A light whispers through him and into the sky. A quick burst. The glow stops throbbing. Subsides. He collapses, exhausted.

The OLD MAN IS BACK! Drawn and weary.

The WHISPERY CHUCKLE comes from Unit One.

Tomorrow. Get more. Tomorrow.

He rises, weakly. Slowly climbs out of the pool. Looks around at the endless desert.

Not a light can be seen.

He sighs and returns to the office.

That of a neat film student. Danny, Catherine, Skye and Mario watch the skateboarders on her desktop computer.

Four hours of footage! My project’s just twenty minutes! I’ll never cut this down.

Most of it’s crap; I’ll help you dig out the weeds.
(off Catherine’s look)
No class, Monday.

I thought you had a project due.

All taken care of.

I say none it’s top-gun. Typical bullshit shredder moves in a world of control.

What d’you mean?

You need a true pipe, not something designed to keep the head-bangs down. Like this place my dad took me, in Death Valley.

You got a dad?

She flips him off.

It’s an abandoned motel. It’s got a killer pool for sessions. And great rocks for background.

Yeah, right, I need MORE footage of skateboard freaks doing tricks.


Shredder freaks.

He nods. She kiss-kisses him.

Be an interesting angle. Contrast the purity of skateboarding in the great wilderness versus society’s need to control it in the cities.

With The Art Man doin’ his thing in the purest of nothin’. Even Mario can show off, there.

Hey, ch-oh-duh!

He swats her. She laughs.

Why not? Drive up, early. Come back that night. Use Sunday to go through what you got.

Ninety-five, from what I saw.

(to Danny)
If you promise not to push it.

-- I’ll crank it down to fifty.

She eyes him, wary.

Danny's convertible zooms along, Danny and Catherine in the front, Skye and Mario in the back seat, a huge cooler between them. MUSIC like Yanni’s “Aria” BLARES. Catherine tapes as they drive and drive and through the never-ending desert. The MUSIC ENDS.

Okay, here’s a fun little item off the news wires. Seems a group of Hare Krishna devotees have run away from home.

Bro’, you still do satellite?

Danny just grins.

They went out chanting in Puesta del Sol Park, yesterday. Didn’t get back in time for their evening yoga, or some such thing. Their mission made a police report, this morning.

That’s where we were, yesterday.

Seems Krishna boys and girls aren’t supposed to go wandering without the okay of mission control.

A tricked out pickup truck zooms up behind them -- and we see Chill and Powell inside.

What the -- who told them?

Me. More the merrier.
(to Chill)
Hey, bro’! Bein’ our shadow?

Powell pops a beer at Danny's car. It spews. Danny howls!

Can’t let good pipe go to waste!

Hey, Art Man! Up for a real session?

Did you bring an E-R?!

It’s in the back!

The pickup speeds up. Three ice chests are in the back of the truck, strapped in.

Those guys’re trippy.

Let ‘em go. They’ll never find the place on their own.

Skye stands, waves and WHISTLES. The pickup slows and lets them catch up to it.

Better stick. It’s hard to find!

You want us to follow you? How gnarly is that?

(motions to Skye)
She’s the navigator.

Chill shrugs -- but slips behind them to drive on, in tandem.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

If you don't blog, you're not a bloggie

I've been told that by more than one fellow blogger. Do it every day or else you're not really blogging, you're just spitting shit. Well, I think I can spit and fiddle with the best of them, even though half the time I'm just whining about crap that means nothing to anyone but me.

So...I will, instead, crow a little. I just heard from "Writers' Digest" and my play, "Cyber-Tribes", came in 77th in their competition. They say that's a big deal, since they received thousands of entries and they only select the top 100 to be noticed. Of course, they don't bother mentioning that you only send in the first 15 pages of the script. So this is more of a choke-a-doodle-doo than anything else...but what the heck; I'll take it where I can get it.

I've decided it's time for me to figure out how to make some real cash, preferably from my writing but in just about any other way possible (that's legal...sort of). Let's see...there's playing the lottery on a steady basis. There's selling off the rest of my DVDs. I've got a decent selection of Hitchcock's movies and a few that can't be found anywhere else. If only Amazon didn't take so damned much in the way of a commission for doing nothing but providing the database and access to clients. There's selling a script, if I can get mine back into the pool. That's all I've been able to come up with.

But I'm tired of dealing with a company that niggles over nothing. I'm tired of dealing with a town where I know next to no one. I miss LA, but I can't afford to move for a dozen different reasons, not all of them financial. I'm owed money by several people but the only way I'll see any of it is to take them to court...and even if I get a judgement, there's still no guarantee I'll see a dime and I'll be out the court costs.

So...I'm proving myself to be as lacking in brilliance when it comes the finances as I am sometimes when it comes to my stories. Anybody got any ideas? And no robbing of banks, please; I already thought about that one and had to toss it aside. My looks are too distinctive for me to get away with it.

Of course, I could just fake a fall in Macy's and sue for pain and suffering. But is there anyplace in Macy's that doesn't have cameras watching you?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

And Look What Came To Spit In My Face

I happened upon this on a blog I follow (referring to the scum on Wall Street). The bastard. I have to make a chocolate cake with white frosting. I know, I'm weak. Story of my life.

Unthinking twits

Whoever coined the phrase, "Stay Hungry," in regards to getting fit or losing weight (or whatever the hell it was about) obviously never woke up at 3:30 in the morning craving a tuna fish sandwich and not being able to get back to sleep till one had been made and eaten. Which, of course, brought on a nice hint of heartburn at about 6:30. But damn, it was good while it lasted.

I'm pretty sure my dreams, lately, have been taken up partially by food. I don't recall them, exactly; I just wake up thinking, "Tonight I'm making cheese soup (my way)." Or a Sloppy Joe, to the max...except when you don't have peppers and carrots and onion and such, you make do with whatever's at hand to flesh it Piccalilli relish. It came out a bit sweet but damn tasty when sprinkled with shredded cheddar on a heated bun.

Tonight I made the mistake of giving in to a whim and having the Teriyaki Medallions at Outback Steakhouse. Pricey but damned good...usually. Not this time. I get them done medium well; this batch was medium rare. I can't eat beef like that, but I also learned (the hard way, more than once) that if you send it back all they do is toss the same piece of meat on the grill to cook it more and it comes out tough enough to beat the shit out of you. So I ate what I could, brought the rest home to cook with some potatoes and onions in my own little hash, and got a free slice of cheesecake out of it for complaining. Not good for my new direction in weight reduction...but I didn't care. I was friggin' hungry.

And it was raspberry cheesecake. Sigh.

This is what happens when you try to change your eating habits -- your body rebels if you go too far. I've been cutting down on how much I eat at a time and over the course of a day, and it's been telling. I'm below 230 for the first time in a few years and trending downward...but every now and then my gut takes over and screams, "Feed me or I will make your life hell, believe me." And I do believe it. Maybe it's stupid...but today I felt a lot better even after only eating half the meal I'd ordered.

Suddenly I can understand how pregnant women get so cranky, even though there's no way in hell I'll ever be one of those without some major miracle-doing on behalf of God and the whole damn Universe. People have learned that those cravings they're so famous for are actually for minerals or vitamins their body needs for the creature growing inside them, so they should be let have what they want. And god forbid coming between some soon-to-be-momma and her combination of pickles and peppermint ice cream.

Now if I could only figure out how to apply that to overweight me.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


My situation isn't bad in comparison to others' I only wish to pass this along.

I do think this country's politics (Democrat as well as Republican) has become too skewed towards helping the rich at the expense of the rest of us -- the 99%who don't have their resources. It's time to take back our country and end this pandering to those sociopaths who nearly destroyed our economy.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


I never left my apartment, today. Just stayed in and reworked a screenplay so that it was wilder and crazier than before. Hopefully. Then as it printed out, I watched Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck in "Ball of Fire", from 1941. The story is an updating of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves", but with a showgirl and seven cloistered professors along with one more professor who's the stand in for Prince Charming.

It's a lovely film. Gary Cooper plays a professor of etymology, who's writing a section of an encyclopedia dealing with slang. He realizes his knowledge of slang is outdated do goes out into the real world to learn more about it and runs headlong in Barbara Stanwyck, who's a walking dictionary of it. She's a nightclub singer (her intro is singing a goofy song called "Drum Boogie" while dressed in nothing but spangles and a couple strips of cloth). He invites her back to the foundation where he and his fellows live and work to discuss slang. She winds up having ti hide from the DA for a while so takes him up on it...and fireworks ensue.

It's a real joy to watch Gary Cooper pull off a truly comedic performance. He plays a sheltered, anal-retentive goof so neatly, he doesn't have to do anything but read his lines to make them funny. While Stanwyck rocks her roll as she goes from being hard as nails to made over by love.

This is the moment when she shows him what "yum-yum" means, and it is priceless, but it's his actions afterwards make it classic (catch his expressions when the housekeeper tells him the taxi has come to take the girl away).

Of course, I did some ironing as I watched it. Can't be too much of a wastrel.