Sunday, December 31, 2006
The year in review:
Culture and I haven't been getting along all that well this year, so despite my fondness for lists, we won't be doing top anythings this year.
I will say that I was pleased with The Illusionist and The Departed and distressed and dissatisfied with Pirates of the Carribean 2 and Happy Feet. I did not see a lot else in the theaters. The music that made my day this year was Maritime and Maps and Atlases and Regina Spektor (again). I read Mysteries of Pittsburgh and Bee Season and And you Shall Know Our Velocity. For those seeking recommendations, those are in reverse order of quality.
It was a bad year for snow and a good year for rain.
It was an excellent year for the midwest and for midwestern girls and for getting out of college.
It is impossible to judge if it was a good year for summer school or not. I imagine it never is.
The year will end with Champagne.
The new year will start with sleeping late.
Who could ask for anything more?
MUSIC: ben lee: begin
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Early rise and in to work. christmas party, drive west, stop for a while, drive east, stop for a while, drive east, stop for a while, drive west, stop for longer than twelve hours (which will be great).
I keep listening to two songs: Scrooge from Muppet Christmas Carol ('don't ask him for a favor 'cause his nastiness increases' etc...) and, oddly enough, if I had a boat by Lyle Lovett. Just take a look at those lyrics and tell me it isn't amazing.
I quote: "If I had a boat, I'd go out on the ocean; and if I had a pony, I'd ride him on my boat."
I finally know what Julia Roberts saw in him.
Also, Holly... I've a favor. Can you see if you can't talk to people out there and get them to stop saying "Winner of (insert number) Golden Globe nominations" in advertisements. My ability to make analogies has abandoned me, but you know what's wrong with this.
If I had more energy I might do something clever here like throw together some kind of matching game where you try and figure out what insane book I bought goes to which brother... but I am conserving my energy for a day of rainslicked driving and possible caffeine highs and lows like nobody's business.
"Me up on my pony on my boat."
MUSIC: muppets: it feels like christmas
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Saturday, December 16, 2006
A: consider giving someone the Frank Capra box set. If they don't like it, they don't know what they're talking about.
B: watch santa claus is coming to town and learn all the words to "first toymaker to the king."
C: Wash the rankin bass taste out of your mouth with the version of A Christmas Carol starting George C. Scott. (Or better yet, read it.)
D: Watch santa claus conquers the martians, but only if it's the mst3k version. Learn all the words to 'hooray for santa claus' (which is easy because they put the words on the screen over the odd series of colors and squiggles).
E: wash the terrible flavor of boppo's comic timing out of your mouth by caroling with 'a patrick swayze christmas' and 'father christmas' and 'marley and marley' and any of the sufjan stevens original christmas songs.
F: read this. it's festive in that it makes you smile. or laugh out loud at work and get odd looks from the secretaries.
G: watch at least one special christmas episode of futurama.
H: hear 'christmastime' by the smashing pumpkins and try not to shudder or blush. also, try not to let anyone see you smile.
MUSIC: smashing pumpkins: christmastime
Monday, December 11, 2006
In lieu of that picture, which I attempted on a beautiful sunday afternoon after meeting Louisville, I have supplied a less sunny image.
Flurries in Cincinnati? Hot damn, we'd better drive slower than reason.
Also, it has been brought to my attention that at some point in the tenacious D picture, Jack Black prays to Ronnie James Dio. You may not be sold, but I am.
MUSIC: run dmc: christmas in hollis
Friday, December 01, 2006
Cincinnati was utterly friendly when first I made her my home. She had sunshine and unseasonably warm temperature and I didn't hurt for the fact that I had no coat.
Today started 60 degrees and cloudy and windy and ominous. The clouds whipped across the sky like the future in Terminator 2 and it looked dangerous and the leaves could not sit still.
I sat down at my desk and stowed my apple and got coffee and worked. I wrote questions about Asia and the Middle East between 1300 and 1800 for hours. I ate my apple. I reminisced about how poorly my first lasagna in the new place turned out. I started planning the new World War II maps. I had more coffee. I dug through the trash at one point (don't ask).
Outside my window the sky got darker and darker and by noon some sort of cruel almost-snow was tumbling from the sky. The temperature dropped 10 degrees an hour for those first 3 hours I was at work. The windows of the office fogged up as though everyone inside was up to something inappropriate.
Now I am thrilled that my father saw fit to get me a coat over thanksgiving.
A train on the B and O railroad held up my commute home by a bit. Today was the first day of December and the first day I've been paid for my labor.
I will eat more of my subpar lasagna.
MUSIC: regina spektor: december
Monday, November 06, 2006
I'm staying here long enough to vote and pack and then I'm gone.
I would write more but I have, as you can imagine, things to do.
"ain't no city like Cincinnati. Here we are in Utopia"
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Still no job, and the fair I wasted time at today will manage to keep me from seeing the decemberists in atlanta.
On the plus side....
MUSIC: calexico: accordian waltz
Saturday, October 14, 2006
As the sun was starting to go down in asheville, dozens of these clever zombies made their way out from the Montford Park graveyard and made their way through downtown Asheville. Among them were at least two who inexplicably supported Charles Taylor (R. NC), possibly in a confused effort to weed out brainless people based on their political affiliations.
Luckily, the hearty immune systems of Jef Johnson and Peter Lorenz proved too much for the zombitude to fully conquer, and it seems that after some beer and vegetarian pizza and lots of french fries, the two young men got over their 'bout of the deads.'
Incidentally, Jef seems convinced that when he gets his film developed he will have far more and far better pictures of the carnage that ensued.
MUSIC: built to spill: traces
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Pasadena is apparently not happening, but tomorrow could bring a summons from Cincinnati. Barring that, I start monday at an unpleasant hotel position.
(Interview excerpt: "How do you feel about plunging toilets?")
Flickr is loaded with fresh new trespassing adventures starring Pete Lorenz which were accompanied by a recurring chorus of "The Cheat is not dead!" I am writing and keeping fingers crossed.
I accidentally bleached many things I should not have. Don't tell 50 cent that I ruined a pair of his jeans.
MUSIC: mountain goats: oceanographer's choice
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Friday, September 08, 2006
Thursday, September 07, 2006
I could not find it.
I did find what I had initially imagined to be the bent knees of a napping, plastic-pantsed giant. On further consideration it proved to resemble a pair of oversized gravestones, possibly for novelty purposes or serious, serious mourning.
I also found an odd sense of nostalgia walking by my old high school and recalling, years before I actually attended, how it felt to walk around what I now laughingly call 'the campus.' I remember the awe of separate buildings and the majesty and tranquility of a little gravel footpath around behind the gym. I remember more recently and, I fear, more accurately, how that path was actually as close to a skid row or hell's kitchen as rural North Carolina high school's get.
I also found a strong and growing desire for an excuse to wear one of my shiny new suits.
MUSIC: badly drawn boy: easy love
Monday, September 04, 2006
Here're the rules
Step 1: Get your playlist together, put it on random, and play.
Step 2: Pick your favorite lines from the first 15 songs that play.
Step 3: Post and let everyone you know guess what song the lines come from.
Step 4: Underline the songs when someone guesses correctly. Mine have ***.
1 - "he thought an Albertson's Stir Fry Dinner would make his apartment a home."
***Built to Spill - Big Dipper***
2 - "coincidence makes sense only with you."
***Bjork - Joga***
3 - "and do I really have a hand in my forgetting?"
***Nico - Fairest of the Season***
4 - "it's amazing to be alive, to see the words that you said..."
***Tilly and the Wall - In Bed All Day***
5 - "tell my mother, my dog, and clowns"
***David Bowie - Life on Mars*** Andrew
6 - "I've got no sense of direction... I guess I've got no sense at all"
***Magnetic Fields - All the Umbrellas in London***
7 - "I'm watching from your wall as in the streets we fight..."
***PJ Harvey - One Line***
8 - "The freaks who suspect they could never love anyone 'cept the freaks who suspect they could never love anyone..."
***Aimee Mann - Save Me***
9 - "In the middle of a worm on a fish hook you're the wave (you're the wave you're the wave)"
***Bush - Swallowed***
10 - "And not a single soul in these woods ever saw a jaw drop so low as is mine at the moment"
***Architecture in Helsinki - Imaginary/Ordinary***
11 - "I hear in my mind all this music and it breaks my heart."
***Regina Spektor - Fidelity***
12 - "I lay down with the southern range. Swallows drop in and dash the sky, tracing lines of cursive on the horizon."
***Ugly Cassanova - Cat Faces***
13 - "Their voices are bringing the trees to their knees with nothing to say when they're speaking..."
***Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Brute Choir***
14 - "drive my car into the ocean. You'll think I'm dead..."
***Pixies - Wave of Mutilation***
15 - "There's nothing you could never do to ever let me down, and remember that I'll always love you."
***Badly Drawn Boy - A Minor Incident***
The rain falls hard on this humdrum town, incidentally.
MUSIC: archers of loaf: chumming the ocean
Sunday, September 03, 2006
In fact, this is probably all I need.
Despite the allergic reaction I seem to have every time Malcolm cooks, my evening of tacos and x-files seems to have taken care of my foot pain. And at least, my mildly feverish, broken-out days have been accompanied by plenty of Labour Day-inspired Sci Fi Channel Originals Marathons.
Fight the future.
MUSIC: wilco: hummingbird
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
INT. ROGER’S BEDROOM -- MORNING
ROGER is lying in bed, sprawled out, diagonal, alone. He’s a narrow late twenties guy, and by the look of the place he’s single. A blanket blocks the light from spilling in through the curtainless window. The clock by the bed reads 7:36 a.m.
Clothes and food containers decorate the room in lieu of knickknacks. Draped across a chair in front of a closed laptop is a white button down, tie still knotted loosely, hanging from the collar.
The clock changes to 7:37. An imperceptible whine starts to issue from it. The whine grows louder slowly and Roger turns on his side.
The whine grows louder and Roger, eyes still closed, wraps a pillow around his head.
The clock is screeching now and Roger sits up slow and awkward. He rolls over toward it and flails toward the button that will make the noise stop.
He misses and leans up more, stretching out over the divide between bedside table and mattress. He reaches for the clock, slaps clumsily out at it. He misses.
The momentum takes him, with a cry, tumbling out of bed. All the sheets come off with him as he falls off the side of the bed, the alarm still screeching away.
Beside the bed, where Roger and his sheet ought to be, there is nothing but dirty floor.
EXT. OCEAN -- DAY
Waves lap against the hull of a ship. Despite the fact that the material comprising it resembles nothing so much as cast iron, the ship is, otherwise, a pirate vessel. It sails effortlessly on a gentle wind over the calm seas and under the clear blue sky.
The Iron Boat is sailing alone on the open ocean, no land in sight.
Suddenly, from far up in the sky, something falls.
The object is too far to be clearly discerned as it falls, though it falls from a great, great height. It does look to be human-shaped, though. And it appears to be trailing bed sheets.
It stop abruptly as the silhouette of falling object is intercepted by the Iron Boat. A thud is heard.
MUSIC: the decemberists: california one/youth and beauty brigade
(P.S. the preceeding is the beginning, finally, of what I've been getting ready to write for two months.)
(P.P.S. "We're lining up the light-loafered and the bored bench warmers, castaways and cutouts, fill it up. Come join the youth and beauty brigade.")
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
I hope they can wait, because otherwise we've a trite horror movie on our hands.
And speaking of trite horror movies, is it wrong to be purposefully derivative if it's in a lauditory, self-aware, original way? Can you be derivative in an original way, you ask? And in response I direct you to numerous episodes of the X-Files as well as The Man Who Wasn't There and the script I intend to start outlining once I get my hands on a copy of Shadow of A Doubt.
I spent one dollar on a local paper today which has given me absolutely no leads in the hunt for work. I spent five dollars today on lottery tickets. It's either a waste of money five times as great or a fantastic investment. Though I believe it to be the former, clearly my money, literally, is on it being the latter.
Adventures ought to happen for free.
MUSIC: Godspeed you black emperor: providence
Monday, August 28, 2006
This song is for the soil that's toxic clear down to the bedrock, where no thing of consequence can grow. Drop your seeds there, let them go. Let them go.
Let them all go.
Let 'em all go.
This song is for the people who tell their families that they're sorry for things they can't and won't feel sorry for.
And once there was a desk, and now it's in a storage locker somewhere, and this song is for the stick pins and the cottons I left in the top drawer.
Let 'em all go.
Let 'em all go.
I wanna sing one for the cars that are right now headed silent down the highway, and it's dark and there is nobody driving, and something has got to give.
I saw you waiting by the roadside. You didn't know that I was watching.
Now you know.
Let it all go.
Let 'em all go.
Let it all go."
-The Mountain Goats
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Thanks, old navy.
though your inexpensive clearance shorts are grand.
In other news: the heatwave has broken, at least for the moment. Dramatically, the heat wave shattered over 36 hours of downpour, and now it's not even 65.
"Spidoors are go!" -Joel Robinson.
MUSIC: lambchop: something's going on
Monday, August 07, 2006
but what if I were to tell you that Jef hasn't eaten in three days?
You see, without proper nutrition and a reasonable caloric intake, Jef here is as weak as a kitten. The way it works is, each night when Jef is asleep, his body takes what it needs to repair itself, not from the food he's eaten, but from itself. So when he wakes up and should feel refreshed and ready for the day, he is actually sluggish and weak as a kitten.
Oh! Good job, Jef... you nearly lost it there.
Let's hope Jef gets a good meal tonight... and let's not watch him try to get the refrigerator.
(and such was the inner monologue during my move out.)
MUSIC: the cure: the end of the world
(note: college accomplished)
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Mealcard spent, the eating isn't happening too often, and every waking moment is spent with either reading or writing. There is no significant difference between being 23 years, 11 months and 29 days old and being 24 years and two days old, but somewhere between there I lost enough sleep and got enough work to feel like an old man.
old old old old old.
You kids turn down that damned rock and/or roll, I'm trying to write a research paper on the Plastic People in the form of a script for an after school special. Back in my day we had respect for people who took slightly less than six years to finish a bachelor's degree.
Just wait until your father gets home.
MUSIC: regina spektor: oedipus
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Factual errors: People do not turn into vampires when bitten by skeletons.
Factual errors: Napoleon was not a centaur.
Factual errors: District attorneys do not have the power to commandeer airplanes.
Factual errors: Alex fires his Colt Python revolver 167 times without reloading. This gun holds fewer than 100 bullets.
Factual errors: Winston Churchill was not killed by a swinging log trap; he died of a stroke in 1965 (although he was twice gravely injured by swinging log traps in his home).
MUSIC: the new pornographers: streets of fire
(EDIT: I saw a werewolf drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic's. His hair was perfect.)
Monday, July 10, 2006
The families inside the airport were slowly coming to grips with the impending fate of their loved ones. Signs made to greet the arrivals sat foot-printed and forgotten on the linoleum. It seemed clear that the anticipated arrival which they were heralding would never come.
Just then, an idea struck -- so simple and yet so elusive. Running onto the airstrip, a hand clutching sticks, the other holding a lighter, was Shleeve.
Grief, everyone assumed.
He'd gone mad with grief. Running onto the tarmac through the mist and the shadows, unable to cope with the imminent disaster.
Then a glimmer.
Then a flame.
They cut the fog. The landing was perfect.
The rabbi sued, but the case was dismissed. "Don't be a dick," the judge said.
Shleeve got a parade.
MUSIC: clinic: the second line
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
So the fourth is here and gone France is going to win a world cup and my little sister's in Italy for the last game and Pete and Shleeve and my dad are older.
I will never have to take a math class again for the rest of my life.
Michael Collins' girlfriend was real, I have learned to my chagrin.
"She said she loved me like fireworks...
MUSIC: ben lee: catch my disease
...and that's the way I like it"
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
"Martin calls to say he's sending old electrical equipment.
That's good we can always use some more electrical equipment.
In the cold clear light of day down here
Everyone's a monster
That's cool with all of us
We've been past the point of help since early April
Susan and her notebook
Freehand drawings of Lon Chaney
Blueprints for geodesic domes
Recipes for cake
Yeah we're all here
Chewing our tongues off
Waiting for the fever to break
When we walk out in the sunlight we tell every we know it hurts our eyes
When the real reason we don't like it is that it makes us wonder if we're dying
And Martin's found an old trunk full of stage makeup in the basement
And he's sending it along
We can always use more makeup
Yeah more creams and powders
And Carrie's got the feeling
That the people next door
Will close in like a wolf pack
Should we make one small mistake
Yeah we're all here
Chewing our tongues off
Waiting for the fever to break."
-the mountain goats
Monday, June 12, 2006
Except that I was driving down the road and there was a fucking volkswagen completely ingulfed in flames in a bank parking lot.
Walmart, it turns out, does not have hummus. I searched high and low. I asked. No, Walmart does not have hummus. So I bought my bagels and orange juice and drove down to ingles for hummus. As I neared ingles, I noticed that there was a particularly horrible odor in the air, even for papermill country. And there was an awful lot of smoke blowing across the road.
Some crazy hillbilly no doubt burning trash, I thought, and turned into the parking lot at ingles and fucking christ is that a car on fire?! I parked sideways and ran to cross the street, but the one fireman there wouldn't let that happen.
He couldn't do anything except watch, the fire was uncontainable. The red VW bus was flaming bumper to bumper and just sitting there. There was a tiny car-sized fire extinguisher sitting in the parking lot, obviously used up to no avail. I tried to zoom in, but my camera was shitty. I'd have killed for my canon, but at least I had something.
I called Pete... I had to tell someone. There is a goddamn car on fire! I am watching it!
Glass and metal fell burning to the asphalt spreading debris and making the firemen jump back. I couldn't feel the heat in a physical sense.
How in hell does this even happen?
Finally a truck showed up, and there was more attention paid to extinguishing the van than to a kid running across traffic.
Perhaps I am a horrible person, I didn't even think to ask if there'd been anyone inside until after it was well out. There had been, but they had, after exhausting their fire extinguisher, gotten the hell out and watched it burn.
Go to flickr.
MUSIC: guided by voices: the finest joke is upon us
Friday, June 09, 2006
...and I'd give the world to know..." why I signed up for statistics five days a week.
Writing until way past four then getting up at nine for an exam... I took my first nap in at least a decade and woke up hungry and with the odd feeling that I'd dreamt of an easy statistics exam.
That's the first full week behind me, and it only gets better. I get to start eating somewhere other than Brown (though this is the name of the cafeteria, it also describes all the food served in it) and my history class starts up.
My advisor miscounted, so I was set to be ONE HOUR short of graduating this august. The head of the department has given agreed to give me the hour credit for an 8+ page paper in which I assault the historical accuracy of the film Michael Collins and discuss the pitfalls and compromises of history as film.
This is, of course, the Michael Collins who bribed and blew up English people and not the Michael Collins who flew around the moon while Neil and Buzz quipped about stepping on mankind.
(or for... who knows?)
On my deadman's walk to Brown today I saw that the ground had been... colored. I suspect it's fertilizer, but the color suggests it could also be actual paint. Someone did a bad job of matching the colors, but the idea, I surmise, is to cover all those bald patches on the lawn like some giant Ron Popeil commercial. This bottle has also been fertilized.
I was carrying my camera because yesterday the sewer lid had been open and I wanted to get a ninja-turtles-esque picture of that. Alas, it was sealed today.
Everyone and their mom should go to youtube and seach for 'quiet as a mouse.' Find the video for said song by Margot and the Nuclear So and So's and watch it. Oil painting animation has never made cats look like such bastards.
Neil Gaiman's Smoke and Mirrors is probably the best book to keep by your bed, ever.
MUSIC: coco rosie: terrible angels
Thursday, May 25, 2006
-Death of Peter Sellers
-Feast day for Christina the Astonishing, patron saint of insanity and mental disorders
-Vanuatu children's day
-Martin Van Buren's death
-Birth of Alexander Dumas, Alfons Mucha, and Gus Van Sant
-first successful treatment with insulin
Last night, as if in communion with Andrew Malcovsky on the eve of his voyage, I decided that half a gallon of Chianti wasn't that much. Perhaps some of my lethargy today is the fault of this decision.
MUSIC: joan of arc: excitement is exciting
Sunday, May 07, 2006
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
On a vaguely related note, I really like this little scene for which I stole my stepbrother's name.
INT. BEDROOM -- LATE MORNING
The alarm clock is going off, analog and a decade old and sounding furious. PETER LORENZ -- early 20’s and apparantly lacking in the sleep department -- rolls over and strikes uselessly at his alarm clock.
Opening his eyes he finds a little more success in getting the alarm to shut off, and with a groan he mobilizes. He rolls off the bed and seems to land on his feet only by luck. He drags his sheets behind him for several feet as he makes his way to the door, rubbing his eyes.
INT. KITCHEN -- MOMENTS LATER
Peter walks into the kitchen, yawning and looking scarcely alive. He walks over to the counter and grabs the carafe from the coffee pot. His movements all inertia, really, as if he has no energy of his own, he manages to get the carafe under the faucet in the sink and turns it on.
Once the carafe fills, he fills the coffee pot from it, getting most of it into the machine while making sure the counter top gets a bit of a wash, too.
He opens the filter tray and takes out the removable filter-holder. Taking a step and pivoting, showing an amazing economy of motion, he upends it into the trash can and empties it of grounds and old filter.
Without rinsing, he puts a new filter in and opens the lid of the coffee can.
With the lid off, A WHOLE LOT OF JOKE SPRING SNAKES, shoot out into the air and hit him in the face. Peter falls back.
What the fuck?!
He lands on the floor amid a spray of spring snakes, trying not to smile, still looking a little shaken. He stands up slowly, a lot more awake, and looks into the can.
Inside is no coffee, but there is a note. The camera zooms in past his shoulder to show what it reads. “Pete, Since we’re out of coffee, I thought I’d try to help you wake up. I’ll pick some up after work. Love, Calvin.”
Peter takes the note out and crumbles it, throwing it at the trashcan, missing, and kicking a spring snake.
MUSIC: tom waits: grapfruit moon
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
There is no more break, gang.
Exams end on the first friday in May, and I'll have finished my chemistry class by the fourth friday of the month.
I will have a degree in August and I will not know what to do with it.
For the second week in a row I have been given virtually no feedback on my scene for screenwriting class. "This is so good, I had to read it twice before realizing how much information I was getting" is certainly a gratifying thing to hear. Especially from a professional in the field. I hope it indicates that I can make this thing happen.
In the down time in my own little room when I'm not in my two hours of classes a day, I will try to do the actual work that will tell me if that response was a fluke.
"I'm learning to hunt for you."
MUSIC: guided by voices: learning to hunt
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
This picture is the first day of spring in Asheville, NC. It was taken at one p.m. The white spot there in the middle of the windshield... that is ice.
It's supposed to snow friday.
Thanks for nothin', spring.
On another topic all together, the quote is from a Small 23 song called 'empty room' from their Cakes ep. I own this ep, and if I leant it to you, give it back. I really want to hear this song.
Does anyone remember that episode of the critic (I know you do) in which Jay Sherman sets out to win another Pulitzer? Remember the advice that wins it for him?
Let me remind you: "If the movie stinks, just don't go."
I bring this up because of Larry the Cable Guy.
This guy knows what I'm talkin' about.
Seriously though, when you pay money to see a movie, be it in a theater or to rent it and watch it at home, you are voting. You are voting on the kinds of movies that make money and thereby you are voting for the kinds of movies that will get made.
And there's no mispunched ballots or thrown out votes in the world of cold hard cash. So let's see if we can all do our part, resist the temptation to see Resident Evil 3 or Snakes on a Plane. If you have to see shit, sneak in. Or rent it and watch it with lots of friends. The rental costs the same whether you watch it with a dozen friends or all alone, in the dark, with your shades pulled down, eating hagen dazs.
Encourage Spike Lee and discourage (or kill) Larry the Cable Guy. Choose wisely.
MUSIC: the microphones: the glow