Mental Flotsam, Mental Jetsam

Because the only thing that beats going crazy is going crazy with somebody else

Friday, September 29, 2006

For The Love of God, Make The Good News Stop!

Great unholy buckets of hell.

Two rejection letters inside of 72 hours. One has to admire the promptness. For a little salt on the wound, the second letter (from the same label, a year previous) contains exactly what its predecessor did. Verbatim.


Can this crap. I'm goin' for a walk.

... Shit.

Writing In The Land of Negligible Outcomes

I received a rejection notice from a comic publisher the other day; for my latest series pitch. This one's a miniseries, and although I can't divulge details here (as I still want to see it published someday) I will say this much: in the story, some bad things happen to super-power types.

The main remark from the publisher's editors (who I'm grateful gave it their due consideration) was that it was "too sad".

A comment was made that a revision of the story might, might garner more positive results. (The premise is solid enough.) While I do want to be flexible and agree that some aspects of the story could be altered, I really don't want to touch the ending.


I love comic books. I do. I got hooked on 'em young and I've been a fan ever since. My sole complaint with the whole franchise is that it is far too easy to alter what's already been written, and flat-out undo significant events. I'm talking about character deaths.

Superman? Died. Got better. Batman? Had his back broken. Got better. Green Lantern? Went batshit first, then died. He got better. I'm not even going to touch on the Marvel Heroes. Let's just cough the word "Phoenix" and move on.

It's not that I dislike the notion of characters coming back from the dead. Worked great for Jesus, and J.R.R. Tolkien used it to great effect as well. And he used it sparingly.

Nothing lasts in comics, so the stories lose their impact. The whole point of my story idea is to explore how heroes (and villains) deal with life-altering events that they can't change.

Maybe it's a bad idea to mix fantasy and reality like that; putting impossible characters in more realistic situations. (Seemed to work great for Spider-Man's early career.) I honestly don't know.

Something to think on, though.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

S Is For Sorkin

After only two episodes, I've fallen in love with Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. The writing's fabulous, the cast is superb, the pacing is pure Aaron Sorkin. Love it. I awoke this morning with the most bizarre idea I've had in a while, but it tickled me so what the heck.

For your enjoyment below is Sesame Street, as written by Aaron Sorkin.



(The following takes place between the Director and a PA of Sesame Street, walking through the sets.)

Robin: Good morning, ma’am.
Nadine: Good morning. What sort of disasters do we have lined up for today?
Robin: Well, Bert’s pigeons have caught some sort of bug, they’ve been bombarding his Brownstone with droppings since midnight. One of Ernie’s eyes is—
Nadine: Robin?
Robin: Yes?
Nadine: When I asked you for disasters, I hope you realize I wasn’t literally asking for them.
Robin: Disasters?
Nadine: Yes.
Robin: From your lips to God’s ear, ma’am, because we’ve got ‘em.
Nadine: Fantastic. You mentioned something about Ernie?
Robin: His eye. It’s missing.
Nadine: Ernie’s eye is missing.
Robin: Yes.
Nadine: Any idea where it went?
Robin: No ma’am. That’s pretty much the definition of ‘missing’.
Nadine: I see.
Robin: Twice as well as Ernie, in any case.
Nadine: Suggestions?
Robin: We could adjust his eyebrow to suggest that he’s winking?
Nadine: And how long is the Bert & Ernie Segment this morning…
Robin: Seven minutes.
Nadine: Have you ever seen someone wink for seven minutes?
Robin: Ernie’s a professional, ma’am. I’m sure he would give it his level best.
Nadine: Uh-huh. Don’t we keep spares around? Lots of Muppet spares?
Robin: Ordinarily yes, but as fortune would frown on it we’re fresh out.
Nadine: What about sunglasses?
Robin: Muppet sunglasses.
Nadine: Yes. What about them?
Robin: Ma’am, Muppet eyes are somewhat more three-dimensional than conventional eyeballs, it would still be noticeable from any side-shot that Ernie had become a Cyclops.
Nadine: Eyepatch?
Robin: Hm. There’s a thought.
Nadine: We slap an eyepatch on him, give him a funny hat and Velcro a parrot to his shoulder, we’ve got Ernie acting like a Pirate.
Robin: Why would Ernie act like a pirate?
Nadine: He’s Ernie, Robin. He doesn’t need a reason.
Robin: Fair enough.
Nadine: Have the writers whip up a counting song, something along the lines of “Pieces of 8, 9, 10.”
Robin: Aye aye, captain.
Nadine: Please, let’s be respectful of Ernie’s handicap.
Robin: …Aye.
Nadine: What else.
Robin: We’ve been getting some negative polling recently on Oscar--
Nadine: You’ve got to be kidding.
Robin: On Oscar the Grouch. Parents disapprove of his attitude, as well as the fact that he lives in a garbage can.
Nadine: He’s Oscar the Grouch.
Robin: The irony is staggering, ma’am.
Nadine: He’s been living in that trashcan for decades!
Robin: Polls suggest they’d like an explanation for his choosing to live in a garbage can on the side of the street.
Nadine: Fine. Tell them it’s rent controlled. What else.
Robin: Only that we’re approaching Bert & Ernie’s apartment building,
(Robin hands Nadine an umbrella without missing a beat.)
Robin: and the pigeons are still treating the place like their own Pearl Harbor.
(Nadine opens the umbrella, saved from any number of pigeon droppings.)
Nadine: That’s just swell. Get me animal control, tell him we need healthier birds. Have Facilities over here cleaning up the mess on the double. And Robin?
Robin: Yes ma’am?
Nadine: The next time I ask you for disasters, try not to, you know. Have any.
Robin: Yes ma’am.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Coarse language has its place. One such place it belongs is on cable; on fine programs like Deadwood. The masterminds at McSweeney's Internet Tendency have offered up the following little pomegranate.

It made me laugh out loud; although not so loud as to draw undue attention.


Jose', Can You See...

This is something that's been popping up recently: Our National Anthem is being sung in Spanish. Not a verbatim translation, but Nuestro Himno.

A friend of mine forwarded me a passionate email which boils down to "If you're going to live here, learn the language." I agree that it makes sense to adopt the local lingo, but I'm also well aware that if Americans actually cleaved to this rote, we'd all be speaking the language of Chief Powhatan.

Every time I walk into a Bank of America, I note the signs for various promotions sitting side-by-side with Spanish ones. This isn't a bad thing.

I think that folks who get overzealous about The Star-Spangled Banner should pause to reflect that it was written to the tune of a drinking song. From Great Britain. There are other things more worthy of patriotic vitriol, in my opinion.

My dad and I are planning to see a ballgame on Sunday. I plan to sing the anthem in English; but if they play the song twice to accomodate Spanish fans of the great American pasttime as well, I personally won't take offense.

We've got bigger things to worry about, mi amigo.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

In Other News, A Dork Acquires His Holy Grail

About a month ago, I saw something on a cursory pass at Ebay that dropped my jaw. Namely, Kryptonite. The stuff looks like it came right off the screen of Superman Returns.

My brother's the real collector, my own menagerie of action figures notwithstanding. Movie-oriented props and the like have never had an overwhelming draw.

When I laid eyes on the rock to the left, though? I had a Wayne's World moment akin to "It will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine."

It's so shiny! The comic book geek within is well-sated.

I actually lost the auction in question, but the seller also makes the pretty green crystals himself, so we were able to broker a deal. He's even going to get an article on my brother's website, so everyone's coming out a winner.

Not going to shave my head anytime soon, but were I to play Lex Luthor, I'd have the prop angle covered. Such a dork.

Well *That's* A Pleasant Surprise

I've learned that a movie was made of an exceptional book, Way of the Peaceful Warrior, by Dan Millman. The movie is called simply Peaceful Warrior. It spent very little time in theatres in a limited release, so it's no wonder I never heard about it. Never the less, it's one I'll keep my eyes peeled for when the DVD comes out.

The book is a fictionalized account of Millman's life. My friend Mikiah introduced the book to me during my stretch with Theatre IV, and it's a book I've never forgotten. Definitely worth checking out.

I have no idea on the quality of the movie. I'm not going to make pre-emptive guesses. But if the flick inspires people to pick up the novel, more power to 'em.

I highly, highly recommend the book. Do check it out, if you feel you're looking for something; or even if you've got things pretty much figured out. Either way I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Yar, Mateys. Avast!!

It's that magical once-a-year day, ye bilge rats. Talk Like a Pirate Day!!

Call yer wife a scurvy sea-hag (aye, and look forwerd ta sleepin' on the couch). Tell yer brats ta keep it down or you'll keel-haul the lot of 'em.

Keep yer peepers peeled on yer gold dubloons, and death to those that craves yer booty!


Monday, September 18, 2006

The Times, They Are A-Changin'

I'm awake-- at 1 AM on a Sunday, I'm awake. This is not new. It should, however, be dealt with.

The car accident and subsequent rental have thrown a prodigious kink in my financial plans for moving to New York. With certain deals coming together, as well as upcoming promisary gigs, all should be well. By the skin of my teeth; but all should be well.

I make no claim to be good with money. However, the same instinct that says 'move North' dictates the bare minimum amount to travel with; so I'm going with my gut. I have faith that it's the right move, and the right time to make it.

A few friends of mine are having relationship issues. One is striving to keep a relationship together, while another is doing everything they can to sever said ties. In both cases, I think it's the right move. So said the single man.

I'm looking forward to this fresh start. I'm looking forward to 'going out with a bang'. At least, as far as my Maryland theatrical career is concerned. I'm looking forward to not knowing what the hell is coming next. I do like that prospect.

I'll strive in the future not to use Bob Dylan songs as titles to Blog entries, but it was the most appropriate thing I could come up with for the moment. Mea culpa.

Sweet dreams, folks. Sweet dreams.


A Cigar Story

I was out at Clyde's on Saturday, (awaiting a table for two) having a smoke with a fairly cheap, deliciously mild cigar before dinner. Seemed every guy going in or leaving the restaurant was saying "Man, that smells good."

A well-dressed gent was heading out, and remarked the same. His wife, stepping out a moment later, said ditto. I had two, and offered him my spare. He accepted it, and handed me one of his own.

A Cuban. Um.

That there's a good trade. A darn good trade. Gonna have to save that for a special occasion.


Friday, September 15, 2006

Brings Tears To Your Eyes

In the latest Onion, there's an article that just cracked me up. Writers, take a looksee. Non-writers, take a looksee too. Hi-friggin-larious.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

And Now For Something Completely Different

I've said more than once that I knew (or felt) early on that this year would largely be one of change. Turns out I've been right. The lastest evidence of which; my car collided with at about 50 miles an hour on Sunday. I'll never see my car, lovingly named Claudia, in working order again. I'm getting over it.

The majority of other changes this year have been positive. Some of the best of them haven't been mine: Friends have graduated from college with Master's degrees, gotten married and some have even started (or continued) having children. The good changes don't come much bigger than that.

So, why this year? What makes it so fertile for things shaken up? In an abstract way, it does feel connected; even between friends of mine who have never met. They're taking similar steps at similar times; somewhere along the line my brain developed a knack for spotting patterns (significant or imaginary).

Two months from now, I'm moving: New town, old friends, and I'm chasing down some opportunities I've been drooling over for years. Why now. Whether I'll be moving on or not remains to be seen, but I've nothing better to do than find out.

I have the vaguest sense of the bigger picture. Despite the setbacks of the last five days, I still believe it to be the right move, regardless of the buzzing in my lungs that denotes panic.

It'll keep. More than enough to take care of in the meantime.

More to follow.


Monday, September 11, 2006

Yo Ho Ho & A Bottle Of Rum

It's official, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest has earned over $1 Billion. Whoah. It is only the third movie in history to bring in that kind of booty. Let's take a look at its predecessors, shall we?

Titanic. A movie in which a ship sinks.

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. A movie with (among other things) sword fighting and no shortage of monsters.

PotC: A movie with sword fighting monsters; after which... a ship sinks.

Coincidence??? I think not. (I have been waiting for the opportune moment to use that cliche' for quite some time now. Glad to have that out of my system, boy howdy.)

So, filmmakers of the world: Want to make a guaranteed billion-dollar blockbuster? Sword fighting and sinking ships. Monsters would be icing on the cake. Nevertheless, folks can't seem to get enough of 'em. If you can manage to have monsters fighing w/ the aforementioned swords on a sinking ship? Hat trick.

Like taking candy from a baby...

Twenty-Four Hours Later

Well. It's a day later, and I have a car again. It's a rental (a sporty little red number), and it's already paid for through the month.

Pedro came by and drove me to the car rental place. Nor was the day a total loss; I managed to get some decent transcription work done. And there was other good news; to be expounded upon later...

Anyone looking to buy some scrap metal (sniff), let me know. In the meantime I'm heading for the body shop on Wendesday to see if they're interested in buying what's left of Claudia. Somethin' will come of it. By hook or by crook.

So. It's a day later and I'm back on my feet. I appreciate the well-wishes, folks. Ciao for now.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I've Had Better Days.

I was in a car accident today. I am fine, not a scratch on me, nor the other guy. My car is likely totalled.

His car, made of manly Toyota pieces, is fine. One less thing to worry about.

I'm a bit rattled, but otherwise okay. Going to find out tomorrow what my options are when the body shop/Geico store opens.

I am aware and grateful that it's a damned miracle that I'm physically unharmed. Could have been much worse.

In the mean time? Shit.

More to follow, once I have an idea on my choices. Ciao for now.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I Helped! I Helped!

At rehearsal this morning, I saw Jaclyn scouring the ground outside KAT for something.

"Whatcha lookin' for?"

Jaclyn had lost her passcard, which allowed her into her apartment building. She was due to head inside to learn some choreography, but she described the card and I said I'd take a look for it.

The card ended up being in the parking lot; which for once was the first place I looked for something. That felt good. I went in to the Armory, brandishing the card.

When she saw it, Jaclyn literally broke formation from the dancing and tackled me in a bearhug. I had a water bottle in one hand that got knocked away, but it ended up pinned between us anyway.

When this girl smiles, she lights up the room. Outstanding grin, here. Two hugs later, I scooted out and they got back to dancing. I do like chipping in. Bearhugs notwithstanding.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Get 'Em While They're Hot!!

Well. I found a note in my DeviantArt account tonight; to the effect that one of my fake motivational posters was removed for copyright violation.

The picture in question included a bottle of Maker's Mark (real shocker, that). I don't know why that particular one pinged on their radar. It's definitely the only brand name that appears in a poster.

Here's the thing: Technically-- Okay, screw Technically. Flat out, virtually every last motivational poster I've made is copyright infringement. They largely use movie stills, pieces of beautiful artwork, etc. Of course, I'm not trying to make any money off them, I'm just trying to make somethin' funny. The response from other DeviantArtists has been positive, so it's been workin'.

The note went on to threaten that if such behavior continues, they may delete the lot of it, or ban me. Heh heh. Oops.

I'm not particularly worried, because it's not like I don't still have copies of all the posters for my own amusement, but the webpage may rapidly be going the way of the dodo.

So! Feel free to check out while it still exists.

Ciao for now. So much for freedom of expression...

In Other News, Don't See The Wicker Man

I went out with my friend Jack, last night. Much needed 'guy' time. Drinks were had, stories traded, and somewhere along the line he mentioned he was going to see The Wicker Man this weekend. I asserted my position that he should, in fact, not.

The bartender's ears pricked up, confessing he and his wife were planning to see it as well.

"Don't," I said. "Rent the original. Heck, buy it, it's cheaper than tickets and popcorn for a Friday night."

"Okay," said the bartender.

Don't see The Wicker Man. It's bad. By the end it's funny-bad; and not in a good way.

This may very well be my calling for the next few weeks; spreading the good word about not seeing that god-awful remake.

Don't see it. Don't.

Check back later, for more warnings not to see it. 'Cause you shouldn't. See it, that is.


Little Bugger Doesn't Even Need An ID Card

I'm sitting here at my desk when I notice a three-inch lizard scampering across the carpeted floor. A lizard. At Lockheed Martin. Scampering as only a mini-gecko (or whatever the heck it is) can. I haven't heard any screams of suprise, so I don't think anyone else has seen it yet.

What the little guy wants with LM is beyond me. They don't really cater to the cold-blooded crowd... at least those not wearing three-piece suits.

BAM!! Oh, he went there. Plenty more where that came from.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Trying Not To Get *Too* Deep Here

Today is as good a day as any to get a bit existential-- Why the hell not. The year is approaching its final quarter, some birthdays (mine as well as a few loved ones) are just around the corner... and things are the way they are.

Since January and before, I felt that this was going to be a year of change. It largely has been; and if plans don't change suddenly, it will continue to be so.

I caught myself wondering today about how things could have turned out differently. Alternate paths taken. Different interests fostered. Other choices made. A whole lot of pondering and guessing about things that is, ultimately, pointless.

Things are exactly the way they're supposed to be. 'Cause check it out, this is the way things are.

If I'd gone to a different college, if I'd been interested in pursuing other careers, if I'd done this that and the other thing some other way; I wouldn't be who I am. "That's logic." There's something more than a little comforting about that; and I'm not entirely sure why.

To wit, go figure. More to follow, folks. Whatever the hell that's gonna be.


In Lieu Of Anything Important:

Right then. Anyone else see something wrong with this picture? No?

Personally, I was unaware that Laurence Fishburne was a 12 year old girl. Or that Angela Bassett had started sporting a goatee. And Keke Palmer should think about changing make-up stylists if she's looking three times or more her own age. (Of course, that could be the 'in' thing nowadays... Kids.)

Just how hard is it to put a person's name over their face on a poster? I know I didn't major in Graphic Design at college, but that seems like something kind of important, not to mention fairly easy to align: It's text. Over a picture.

I mean, the movie in question is promoting literacy and good spelling, for cryin' out loud. Way to stick to the theme.

As to why this irks me so, it can't be a complete mystery-- I'm an actor, I'd be somewhat ticked if I saw a poster with someone else's name over my face, or vice versa. Now granted, if it was just one person's noggin on the poster with more than one name overhead, that'd be different. I'm aware that spacing, aesthetic and prominence all play a part in advertising in print.

But to have one, two, three faces in a row at the top with one, two, three names hanging over them; and not a one is where it belongs? Someone looks pretty darn stupid. Namely, whoever put the images together... or yours truly for spending 254 words pointing it out. Take your pick.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Well, *That* Sucked

Biting the bullet, I went out to see The Wicker Man with Heather today.

It sucked. Big time.

*sigh* Imagine a favorite meal of yours. It's one of your favorites because it is the way it is: fantastic recipe, good ingredients, quality-- um, meat. Then, along comes a chef of some repute who takes that meal; doesn't bother to change the name and decides he's going to edit the crap out of the recipe, change half the ingredients, and substitute beef boullion cubes with chicken necks.

I really do like some remakes. The Thing is at the top of that list, and on a technicality so is The Wizard of Oz. In my opinion (not popular among some friends o' mine) the SciFi Channel's Frank Herbert's Dune blows away the 80's version of same.

Books like Wicked never could have been written if someone with vision wasn't able to look at established material and take it in a new, exciting direction.

That's just not what happened this time.

Honestly? The next time someone wants to remake a classic (which Wicker Man is hailed as, in certain circles) I hope the powers that be think long and hard about it... and then spend half the budget of a remake on promoting the theatrical re-release of the original for the next generation. Untouched by digital modifications like walky-talkies-for-guns or other freakin' nonsense. Enough is enough.

So, enough.

Friday, September 01, 2006

It's The First Of The Month

Bunny, Bunny.