Saturday, March 06, 2004

I'm still at Mom and Dad's. All is well. Dad thought he lost his wallet at the convenience store where we each bought a soda. Those nice people still had it.

I need to buy batteries before I get to the airport. I didn't have any in my walkman when I got on the plane. Luckily, everyone was very quiet for the duration.
Nathan Cone is an amazing human being, radio personality and musician. He's also a major film nerd.

Nathan has posted the League's review of Comic Book: The Movie to the TPR website. Look for the film icon when you scroll down the site. The link is in the middle of the page, and the review is in there.

Friday, March 05, 2004

I fly out shortly, but I am watching Sesame Street right now. And Cookie Monster has declared "Me am glutton, not liar!"

Cookie Monster, me know the feeling.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Because there's a special tidbit for Jamie if reads through to the end.
I'm not sure if Maxwell took my post of yesterday to mean that I believed she was navel gazing. On the contrary.

I am in awe, truthfully. Maxwell may be two, three years younger than myself (what is it Laura? I'm fuzzy on the details.), but she's in NYC, making a go of it as actor/ director/ creative professional. And she appears to be in a stable marriage as well.

There's a narrow window, even for the stout hearted, in these professions. Narrow windows of opportunity, of time between college and realizing the temp job is now your real job, of getting knocked up and having kids and going back out to the suburbs. Narrow windows in which we look back and say "How did I get here?" (Thanks, David Byrne).

But she's out there. She's actually walking the streets of NYC and trying to get from being the little blonde girl in the black sweater who used to bum rides home after Drama Club meetings, to being a name that passes on the lips of folks talking about putting shows on Broadway. She's somewhere between halfway there and a million miles from the passing fancy of most high school drama kids. And she's working at it, too. She's not some producer's daughter, and she's not some indie actor's model girlfriend in a walk on role. Step by step. Bit by bit.

I wonder how that happened? We were in the same program. I remember the folks around her age from that group (anyone else remember Trucker?). Something in that dusty, yawning maw of a stage made her want to try it in college. And even those bastards in UT drama didn't break her or make her throw up her hands and give Psychology 301 a shot (and from what I hear, it's the goal of the program to shatter the undergrads, but not to build them back up again).

So yesterday I catalogued a little. And I tried to pinpoint, because there was a point at which we were all churning out screenplays, and we all had ideas for stories, and we could see them in our mind's eye from beginning to end. Some of us went so far as to cast the projects, dreamed of composers and the gracious things we'd say when they mentioned our genius in print. But that's not how it works. Not most of the time.

Maxwell's right. Read her posting. She is electric. She has to be, or she'd be back in Spring, Texas wondering whether it was Chili's or Arby's tonight for dinner. Or maybe she'd still hanging out in Austin, wondering why that Third Coast thing hasn't taken off quite yet (but maybe next year...!).

So i get to do something. I get to lean on Maxwell and I get to tell her: Hey, Maxwell. A lot of us didn't even start to give ourselves a chance to be stars of stage and screen, or rock gods or poets or writers or whatever the hell we were supposed to be. So it's up to you, kid. We don't even care if you ever get your name in lights, but you don't get to quit. Not yet. You just remember that as things come to pass, and those lights start to lose their luster, you got all of us pulling for you. Go out there and do it. We all know you're electric.
Jamie's in good company.

Jamie had a transplant from her dad in 1994 and another transplant in 2001. Four kidneys the girl to toting around (no, they do not take out your old kidneys when you get a new one. That surprised me as well).

So, folks, fill out your organ donor card. When you're six feet under and pushing up daisies, I guarantee you, you are not going to need either of your kidneys anymore. Those are two kidneys which could save the lives of two people, not just one.

But you know what's gross? They transport the kidneys in something which looks like a beer cooler, more or less packed in ice. I still remember them pointing out the cooler and asking us if we wanted to see the kidney before they put it in. I had to take a pass.
Today i am the jerk who spread the virus. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

there are no details yet, but NASA says they founs water on Mars. Good news, I think.

Stemming from a brief conversation I had with Randy via IM, I think a little clarification is in order. You may have noticed that there was no real hiatus in blogging. Goody for me.

The new editorial policy is that in order to get to your location, you must know how to get there. In order to know how to get where you are going, you must have a place you are trying to reach. The League has neither goal nor path in site, and, consequently, is not trying to bulldoze forward all willy-nilly.

I was struck by a certain quality in Maxwell's recent post. We roll on and on and get rolled over by the next wave and the next. And time goes on.

It's now been 21 months since I moved to Arizona. It's been almost 6 years since I graduated a year late from college. This summer, 11 years since high school. 14 years since I moved back to Houston to finish High School. 20 years since I moved to Austin the first time. 25 years since I moved to Texas the first time. Eight and a half years with Jamie. April 28th is our 4th anniversary. Almost two years since I left my favorite job. Three years since I received rejection letters from every grad school I wanted to attend. Two years, eleven months, three weeks and a handful of hours since I consciously gave up on all that film stuff. 17 months since I started working here. Seven months since I started grad school. Two months since I've been to Texas. Seven months since I've been back to Austin.

Perhaps subconsciously, the League forms a discernable pattern. For example, if one looks at the patterns in the tile long enough, your primordial brain will begin to make faces out of the shapes in the tile. But of course, those are really just geologically produced little blobs and bits. Or, at least, you know it's not really a real face and it's not going to wink at you.
Oh, and I can't believe I didn't mention this before.

Congratulations to Michael "The My" Young. He's been a pal since I got to college, and though he moved to the wilds of Seattle, we keep in touch. Not long after My moved up there, some girl I hear a lot about in Austin but never met, Brandi, moved up to Seattle, too. Well, seems old My and Brandi are going to go ahead and make it legal.

Congrats to My and Brandi.

Here's the link to his band's website.
In addition to the other horrors and atrocities plaguing our world, this one is particularly bizarre.
Apparently Leap Year Day was Superman's birthday. According to The

February 29, 2004: Happy Birthday Superman!
Traditionally February 29th has been celebrated as Superman's birthday.
In Action Comics #655 (July 1990) a Smallville newspaper clipping shows Jonathan and Martha Kent had a child "on or about February 28th".

DC Comics did this as a comical way of giving a reason for Superman's slow aging in the comic books. Afterall, he only has a birthday every four years. :)

Happy Birthday, Superman!!!

I promise to pay more attention as Miracle Monday approaches.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Pointless story #452

Normally I wear sunglasses when outside, but I lost my sunglasses a few weeks ago. So last week I'm walking down the street and it's middle of the afternoon and kind of warm out, and I've been in meetings for hours. And I'm walking past this bar called Dos Gringos, and I kind of look at this guy. Not stare, but look over as one always does to ensure a person heading toward you is not weilding a meat cleaver or about to kick you in the nards. And the dude looks me in the face and I involuntarily give the "what's up?" head nod. it's about half an inch up and then back again, indicating, "I see you buddy," but that's nonverbal communication usually used for folks you know, or have even seen before.

But not for this guy, because he says "Hey, what's up?" and I'm still walking. And he's not a hipster. And he doesn't look like a guy who usually casually hi-fives people on the street. Not having sunglasses on, he can clearly see I was, in fact, looking at him.

Sidenote story: A while back i was telling my co-workers how cool it was to be in Houston in the summer of 1994 when the Houston Rockets won the NBA Championship. As part of my story, I described how folks were high-fiving total strangers out on the street, and how great the feeling of community spirit was. Apparently, my co-workers mistook that I thought in civilized society, people should be high-fiving everywhere. Anyhow, it's now an office joke that my vision of utopia would involve a lot of high-fiving. Which, upon reflection, if there's no high-fiving in heaven, I don't want to go.

So anyhow, this guy stops and turns as if to talk to me, and I stop, because I suddenly think maybe I know this guy (he is wearing sunglasses and I might not have recognized him at first.) So I stop and do the head bob again.

"So what's up?" he says again. And not threateningly, but rather with a high degree of familiarity. At this moment I realize with absolute certainty that while he looks a bit like the guy who runs my local comic shop, I do not know this guy. No clue at all who he might be. And I wonder who he thinks I am.

"Not much." I shrug.

And then he looks at me for a second, and I think he begins to realize I am NOT the guy he thought I was. Or not. I do not know. But he's not going to let this go. "So what's been going on?"

"Not much," I say, and then, looking down the street in the direction I was headed, I add: "Gotta run."


And for some reason it left me completely flustered. I do remember talking to a girl I couldn't identify for half an hour one day when i worked at the Disney Store. I knew I SHOULD know who the girl was, and she clearly knew me, but the hangover which was screaming in my head, and the taste of stale cigar in my mouth was kind of making me miserable. She was also fairly good looking, so I WANTED to remember who she was, but it wasn't helping. I talked to her for a long while and I laughed and I kidded with her. Eventually she had to go, and I had to go back to making it look like I was working. Later, I thought maybe she was a girl I knew from a neighboring high school, but my dim memories of her from high-school had involved a lot of stage make-up, and my new memories were clouded by how very, very hungover I was.

But this wasn't even like my chance encounter with (possibly) Jenny S. This was just... some guy. Anyway, I wondered if he wondered who the hell I was, or if he was even aware I was the wrong guy. I mean, I'm always willing to pretend to be someone I'm not, but I need a little prep work and a few key details. And then i wondered how far that conversation could have gone before he realized I was not, in fact, the guy he thought I was. Especially if I insisted I WAS the person he was looking for.

Of course there is always the possibility I DID know this guy. I do that a lot. I think i haven't met somebody, but I have, in fact, spent hours with them. This happens a lot with faculty. I think I've never met them and then they get angry, insisting we met a year and a half ago. Or, even better, when I go to a meeting and realize in hour two that this is a different meeting than the one I thought I was attending. That used to happen a lot.

Anyway, wherever that dude is, I hope he's not soliciting the head bob from folks and then stopping them all over town. Moreover, i hope to god I didn't actually know that guy.

It's March 1st!
Watched the Oscars on and off last night. Billy Crystal still annoys me, and he had nothing to say about Seabiscuit except how Pete Rose likes to gamble? Given, i never saw Seabiscuit (movies about horses running in circles tend not to draw me out), but it WAS up for Best Picture. Surely he could admit he never saw the movie, too.

Was absolutely stunned Lord of the Rings made the sweep it did. At one point Star Wars was up for Best Picture. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

I never saw most the movies nominated. I never saw:

House of Sand and Fog
Mystic River
Cold Mountain
The Cooler
21 Grams
Pieces of April
Whale Rider
In America
City of God
The Barbarian Invasions

You know what? I did see "Broken Lizard's Club Dread" this weekend. And I'm sorry I did. Wow. Was that not good.

I could blame Tempe/ Chandler for not carrying the Oscar contenders at the megaplex, but they do carry them at the Madstone theater out by Jamie's office. I guess I just have a hard time telling what's worth seeing and what's not anymore.

I COULD go to see every movie ever produced so i could up my hip factor and have good cocktail party conversations. And I'm not suggesting that the movies on my list of "didn't see's" are bad movies. I'm just saying, when I walk into a store, I don't buy every towel they have so I can find the fluffiest towel. Nor do I go to the expensive linen store to find the "best" towel. I just buy a towel that's the right size, shape and color. Occasionally i realize this towel isn't absorbent enough, or it chafes, so i need to try another one.

Anyway, that's a crummy analogy, but hopefully it gets the point across. I used to be a 2 movie a week guy. In the theater. With a box of candy and a coke everytime. Now it's once every month, maybe less. Funny how things change.

Speaking of movies, Jim D. is fretting over the latest draft of his screenplay. He's sent it into Project Greenlight, but it looks like Project Greenlight is targeting a horror/ thriller this go-round. Best of luck to Jim. I've read the screenplay. It's very good. It is not, however, a horror movie nor an Ashley Judd vehicle.

Jim has suggested his pal Alistair might direct this film. If this is true, I foresee Jim becoming Hollywood's next Joe Eszterhas, only without all the cocaine and hookers.

I wrote a screenplay once. It was in the neighborhood of 120 pages and the characters said the "F-Word" a lot. other than that, it's best redeeming quality was that it was also recyclable.

I've been watching a LOT of Spongebob Squarepants lately. If you haven't seen this show yet, give it a shot. I am getting on the gravy train very, very late as it is, but I like me the Spongebob.

Anyhoo, going to Houston for 4 days. It's Mummsy's birthday and she's still recuperating from her surgery. So I will be flying out Friday and returning Monday. It's going to be a hot time in Spring, Texas.