Mental Flotsam, Mental Jetsam

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

Sunday, January 27, 2008

On Drawing

I can't. Don't have the skill for it. Lord knows I tried. Let me establish something: My brother is a gifted artist. He can put anything on paper his mind's eye can come up with... in more than a few styles. He got a degree in graphic design, and now works for the department of Education. He's good.

I'm not. I took drawing lessons from a family friend in middle school; we traded drawing lessons from their mom for piano lessons from my mom. It was sweet of them to give me the opportunity; but the best I ever did was... not very good.

To wit: My brother is the reason I took up writing. There we were, both sitting in a restaurant with paper placemats and writing implements, and my brother was just doodling away. Jealous and thinking "Well, there's more than one thing to do with a pencil, isn't there" I started writing a short story.

The story was rubbish, of course, but it catalyzed something for me. Fast forward a decade or two, and I'm writing my first comic book miniseries, I edit books into transcripts for an audiobook company and if I'm very lucky might become the editor for a magazine both my brother and I have freelanced for; for some time now. That would be, in a word, awesome.

I owe my brother a lot. He's been one hell of a role model. Now he's a career man and a loving husband and father. I'm barely dating. Still have a long way to go...

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Substance of Trust

I'm watching Moulin Rouge, great flick, and I'm seeing the other side of something for once. Satine's words and actions completely belie one another. She confesses her love, nevertheless she stumbles into the Duke's bedchamber.

It's dramatic and poetic that the writer become jealous. It moves the story forward. It is also, frankly, impossible to envision the fabric of the story unfolding any other way.

Her words, which are welcome; contradict her actions, which are untenable. Trust in the face of such chaotic logic doesn't stand a chance. (Wow, personal-history-subtext much...)

Anyway. Worth the five minutes it took to expound upon. Cheers.

Friday, January 25, 2008


I have to admit, I've been a bit down of late. Temping is decent money but what I need is a full-time job.

I have friends up here that never seem to be down, or overwrought. I envy their outlook. Lately it feels like I've done nothing but complain. GAH. Maybe it has to do with patience; or my complete lack of it. There's a potential job interview next week. There's a potential voice-over job. A potential date.

I can't help wishing that any of these 'potentials' would actually just become whatever it is they're going to become; pass or fail. Will I get the job? Will I get the VO gig? I hate waiting. Absolutely hate it.

How do you just lighten up? I'd love to feel more positive but it would help if I had more things to be positive about. Right now I'm swimming in maybes.

Bitch, bitch, bitch...


Thursday, January 24, 2008


It has been a long week. The novelty of going to the same office every day has not worn off-- too bad tomorrow's the last day of the job. Oh well... I am still hopeful about the magazine editor job. It would be terrific to have regular writing work; despite the commute.

I helped a friend last night record the material for his first commercial VO demo. It's going to be good. I like doing this stuff, not to mention getting paid for it. It all runs along a notion I once pondered about people enjoying the activities they're good at. I mean, come on, are there folks out there that get a kick out of sucking at things? "Time to go shoot some hoops. I am terrible at this! Shazam!!"

In other news; I've started talking with a particular girl on eHarmony. We seem to have a lot in common-- like looking forward to the "If Today Is Your Birthday" horoscopes. Just a quirky little thing but nice to know in any case. The fact that she takes a very nice picture only enhances things. *cough*

Okay. Enough out of me. For now. Sweet dreams, folks.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Subway Antics

My current commute has been at the peak of subway rush hour. The cars have been packed like sardines at 8 and 5. On the way home today, a rude woman pushed ahead of me to squeeze-- well, cram-- into the last few inches of the N train. The doors attempted to shut behind her, and caught momentarily on her backpack.

Obligingly, I pushed her backpack until it was entirely inside the train, not unlike smooshing a marshmallow into... okay, a subway car. That simile died en route. Mea culpa.

My efforts to streamline transportation earned a few laughs from some observers behind me. Pity none of it qualifies for, as none of us actually said anything.

C'est la vie.

That Seemed To Go Well

The phone interview went fine; the woman I spoke with is going to contact me next week about the possibility of setting up an in-house interview. I was nervous on the phone, I'll admit, but I didn't scare her off.

I'm already over-thinking this. It would be a fun job, but the commute will be a bear. Still. Healthcare, 401k, travel to all the big comic and toy conventions... a dork's dream come true, right? Working in that kind of environment could only sharpen my writing...

Is this what I want? Granted, any position that'd put my writing skills to use would be a welcome one. And I'd have a genuinely 'cool' job. Huh. Go figure.

I'm still in the running here, folks. I'm going for it.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Wish Me Luck

Folks, I have (potential) good news. Tomorrow I have a job interview by phone, for an editing position with a mazine for which I've been doing freelance work, for the past few years. I really want this job.

I've had concerns that the office's location (Congers) would be a problem; but since the interview is being conducted by phone it leads me to believe in the possibility of working from home. Who knows-- I could be so lucky!

Anyway: Please keep your fingers crossed, and I will keep you apprised of any new information. WOOT.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008


Folks, it's been an interesting 24 hours. Yesterday afternoon I had a last-minute audition for a Japanese-slasher-flick-English-dub. They record next week. I would love the gig, I'd be playing a teenager that's killed by the Yakuza. Woot.

Other news in the realm of VOs, I have an audition on Saturday for an animated fairy tale. It's been a while since I've auditioned for anything musical; I'm looking forward to it. I've been practicing the songs they supplied; and any opportunity to get back into cartoons would be a welcome one.

Last but not least; I'm in the running for an Editing position at a magazine that my brother and I have been writing for in a freelance capacity. If I get the job... well, that would be fantastic. Keep your fingers crossed on all these seedlings.

Maybe one'll grow.

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One For The Record Books

Last night, I dreamt of my own wedding. In my Dad's old church. To a woman I've never seen before. Can't recall doing that one before. Very surreal.

This was the full-on experience. Waiting for her at the altar, holding her hand, saying "I do", the whole creepy nine yards. Not that the idea of getting married is creepy. The idea of getting married when I'm not even dating anyone at the moment, that's creepy.

Details were incredibly vivid. I recognized people in the congregation. I'm not sure but I think Andy was my Best Man. What's more, the bride-to-be and I had a tacit understanding that the wedding was more for convenience or other exterior consideration; over our own lukewarm feelings. So it was a nice sham-wedding, I guess., the online answer to all your nocturnal vision explicating needs; had the following to say:

To see a wedding in your dream, symbolizes a new beginning or transition in your current life. Dreams involving weddings are often negative and highlight some anxiety or fear. It often refers to feelings of bitterness, sorrow, or death. Alternatively, wedding dreams reflect your issues about commitment and independence.

To dream that you are planning your own wedding to someone you never met, is a metaphor symbolizing the union of your masculine and feminine side. It represents a transitional phase where you are seeking some sort of balance between your aggressive side and emotional side.

To dream that you are a groom, represents your commitment to a relationship or situation. Alternatively, it suggests that your strong assertive side is getting ready to merge with your intuitive nurturing side.

To see a bride in your dream, signifies the most feminine qualities about you. A bride may also symbolize a union or partnership or some sort.

Any thoughts...


Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I recently picked up another Hitchcock title at Blockbuster, namely Frenzy. I was looking forward to it. It's Hitchcock's penultimate film, and it was written by Anthony Schaffer, playwright behind my favorite script of all time; Sleuth.

It wasn't very good. At all.

The dialogue was so-so, the lead protagonist unsympathetic; despite his 'innocent man suspected of murder' status. I'm not giving anything away, here. Some of Hitchcock's best films revolve around a man in nearly the same circumstances. Frenzy isn't one of them.

What I did enjoy was spotting an actress in a small role that would later play the "Hag" hotel keeper in Hot Fuzz. That was fun.

So. There's that. I've been heading for a 'classics' kick in my movie-watching for a while now; and am looking forward to revisiting movies like Casablanca and Vertigo when I have the time. Just giving you a heads' up, people. Steer clear o' Frenzy.


Friday, January 11, 2008

The Week Is Looking Up

*Yawn!* Goodness. Last night was a late one, but for entirely good reasons. Since I started this temp job, piece after piece of All Fall Down has clicked soundly into place. Scribbling notes on my lunch break, jotting down ideas between assignments; it's good to have the creative part of the brain going on all cylinders. It's been a while since that's been the case.

Last night, I was in the zone. I'd planned a scene for the start of issue seven (of twelve), and my fingers had barely touched the keys when I realized the same scene would be dramatically stronger at the start of issue six.

This led to issue six getting an overhaul; trimming a scene that can wait until later; as well as sharpening up a formerly-okay-but-now-quite-good exchange between my heroine and her best friend.

I don't know how it is for other writers; but that moment of clarity where the rest of the room disappears and it's just you and your hands and the keyboard and the screen... last night was the first time I've been able to develop material that wasn't just plodding along, one page after another. This stuff was practically pounding on the inside of my head to get out and onto a page where it could do some good. And it will, boy howdy.

I'm looking forward to what my friend Bill has to say about the new issue six. He's a fair and honest editor, and he 'gets' this stuff implicitly. I think he's gonna be pleased.

I have to attribute this new surge in productivity to finding a (temporary) day job. Having a set schedule, having my time sliced neatly up into compartments between work and home and whatever else has redefined my week. The last month, scrambling around looking for work; I hardly got any writing of substance done. And even when I did, it didn't flow anything like what came out last night.

I'm still looking for permanent work; but this will do fine for now. I'm not saying everything is fine and dandy; but at least my creative juices aren't going to waste. So there's that.

Ciao for now, folks.

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Monday, January 07, 2008

Another Year.

Another year's begun. Chance for a fresh start, right? Right.

I've been living in the Big Apple for a year. I want to stay positive. It's vital to do exactly that. Never the less, it's incredibly frustrating. One year down. What's to show for it?

No regular job. Yet. Next to no money. No voiceover work in the last two months. No cartoon work in the last six. I feel like Sisyphus-- only instead of pushing a rock uphill, I'm trying to get time with a damn agent.

The comic is inching along. It's going to be another year at least before we publish, at this rate.

I need work. I need a job. I need something to budge, already.

"If it were easy, everyone would do it." Blah blah blah, insert another cliche' of your choice here. One year down.

I'm writing. I have a temp job that starts Tuesday. Beyond that gig, I'm lost. No idea what's coming next.

Damn it.