Friday, December 09, 2005

I don’t think I’ve seen anything so pathetic as a man eating a sandwich while crying.

Monday, December 05, 2005

A Story Idea By Sara Allsop from two years ago.

Originally posted on The Lost Lake Creative Alliance blog:

I'm not sure how this all works...geronimo

This is a short story I wrote based on a improv that Jeff, Matt, Brett, and I were in. I just thought I would throw it out there to see if Matt or Jeff remembered the skit and to see if anyone had an suggestions on improvments.

Tatonka and the Shooting Gallery
Tatonka kneeled on the ground, his hand against his lower chest. His fingers circled the arrow, a moderately small success at damming his seeping blood. It didn’t hurt, but there was a strange tightness that made breathing difficult, that made him want to remain still even as his legs grew weak and the warm, soft, ground looked more and more inviting, wobbly though it was.
Tatonka looked up from the ground to see a hazy image in front of him grow more distinct. He squinted his eyes, trying to make out the shape, it looked like a person. A person from his tribe, based on his clothing. Tatonka smiled, it must be his guide into the afterworld. The haze shimmered and solidified and placed his hand lightly on Tatonka’s shoulder. Tatonka smiled as his breathing grew steady and the ground firm. He looked up into the man’s eyes.
“Tatonka. I am your spirit guardian. My name is Runs with No Legs”
Tatonka was slightly confused. He had thought that the rattlesnake was his spirit guardian. As he suspected that one question was all he had time for he asked the most important one, “Sprit leader, please, what are we to do with the white man?”
Runs with no Legs’ eyes softened and saddened. He looked over at the white man standing ten feet away breathing hard, gripping a rifle. His eyes were wild and his legs were braced widely, ready for more carnage. He whipped from side to side jerking at every sound he made himself as he stepped on twigs and branches and the crunch of trampling a dead man’s clenched fist. Tatonka settled to his knees and remembered how they had met.

A lone coach trotting across the pains. Bouncing the fat driver up and down against the solid seat. A group of four Cherokee trailing it for lack of anything better to do for almost a full day, remaining out of sight. Just before night an attack. The coach driver easily removed, toppling comically off the seat. The husband coming out to whip the horses faster. As if two exhausted horses pulling a coach could outrun their sturdy little ponies. The third person in the coach had come as something of a surprise. She came out a whirl of silk and ruffles and flowers and fire. Holding a gun she first shot the man who was inches from scalping the husband. Reloading quickly she shot Tatonka’s horse in the leg or neck or chest, or somewhere; there was no time to analyze. His horse collapsed and he fell to the ground before being trampled by his friend’s horse behind him. The forth horse panicked, bucking off his rider and spinning to gallop away from the noise and smell of fellow animals in pain.
Tatonka laid on the ground, twisted awkwardly. He slowly rolled on his side and straightened his legs. He was able to take one deep breath of air before passing out. After a short time he woke up and was able to walk, but his head refused to work correctly. He wandered into the white couple’s camp, thinking it was his own tepee, and collapsed nearly on top of their cooking fire.
Two weeks later he had almost completely healed. Two months later he had started to pick up the rudiments of their language, as well as their customs and religion. They worked every day building a permanent house, clearing trees, planting vegetables, and other tasks that Tatonka did not fully understand. They made a strange threesome, but for some reason Tatonka felt no desire to leave them yet. If he could understand them and why they acted the way they did, he could share their reasons with his tribe. If peace could not be settled, then at least they would have a better understanding of their enemy. And so he waited and helped them to build and clear the land.
“Tatonka. Water!” Herman shouted from the field. Tatonka looked up from shoving a mixture of dirt and weeds in between the logs of the cabin to keep out the wind. He stood and as soon as he had left the shade of the cabin something made him spin around and reach instinctively for a weapon he wasn’t carrying. Too late, an arrow buried itself surprisingly deep between his bottom rib and the rib above it. Tatonka recognized the black and red feathers notching the arrow. He looked up and saw on top of the cabin his friend. He smiled, raising his hand in greeting. His friend stared at him with wide eyes.
Herman ran towards the cabin yelling. “Rachel! Get the gun! Hide Rachel! Attack!” Tatonka spread his knees wide apart for stability still locked in gaze with his friend who had shot him. Now was not a time for weakness. Herman ran outside with his rifle while Rachel pulled at his sleeves.
“Please, Herman! Stop, these are his friends, they didn’t recognize him, don’t!”
Herman pulled up his gun and shot the friend, who only had eyes for the visible half of his arrow. Tatonka turned to Herman and put up his hand, “No. Don’t shoot anymore, this will only end in disaster. Put the gun down!” His mouth moved. No sound broke the air. He couldn’t get enough air in his lungs to speak.
Two more men broke the air with their shouts. Herman had reloaded and shot them both in mid cry. The stage coach driver came running from the creek. After being left for dead, he had spent two months eating grubs and healing.
“Stop! I’ll go for help!” Herman shot him.
Rachel stood in front of him, “That was the stage coach driver! You can’t just shoot everyone!” Herman shot her.
The driver stood up, dusting off his knees, “No! It’s ok, I think I can still go for help, I’m all right!” Herman shot him.
Runs With No Legs looked at Herman, surrounded by bodies. He pulled from his ceremonial robe a bulky revolver and shot the white man. Herman looked around, all his spinning and gasping and pointing hadn’t saved him from getting shot by an invisible ghost.
“What the?” As he fell backwards he shot off his last bullet in the general direction that he felt the shot had come from.
“Oh,” Runs with no legs said. He was short of breath and spoke in a scratchy voice. “Darn it.” He gripped his stomach and tipped forward, leaning on Tatonka for support before he hazed away.
Tatonka looked around, there were five bodies on the ground surrounding him. The stage coach driver leaned up.
“I think I’m ok.” He looked around at Tatonka and stood up gingerly.
“I’ll go for help.” He limped away. Tatonka very gently laid himself down on the ground and thought about brown skin and dark eyes. He thought about coarse black hair and obsidian hooves and a tail for switching flies that would snap you in the eyes if you weren’t paying attention. She had been a pretty little thing. Very smart. Always gotten along well with all the other ponies. She really had been a pretty little delicate thing.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Sometimes We Forget...

They've joked that we all live in a bubble.
I don't know how, but I haven't thought about September 11th in a week. Remember what happened there?
That was the last time I was scared. I talked about it. I told my Mom I was scared. How could it happen?
People now make jokes about it. Who could make a joke about that? I understand jokes about serious things sometimes. We all make jokes to try and ease the pain. It makes life a little easier to know that we don't have to take it so seriously. But this is serious. Do we have any idea, living in Utah, or Idaho, most of California or where ever we might remain unaffected by nature, or terrorism, or drug violence what is going on right now? It's all happening in the south right now.
I hadn't thought about September 11th until today, when I read about Hurricane Katrina. It basically destroyed New Orleans. It washed away hundreds of people. It killed maybe well over a thousand. People won't be able to live there for a few months. This happened in the United States.
I guess it's healthy to go on living our lives.
I don't know how we could ever not think about something like this though.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Another Rant: A cliche and cautionary tale of man vs. machine.

Violent crime is down and this is a good thing.
But what price do we pay for this new found peace?
We don't talk to each other anymore. We don't say "hello" walking down the street. We don't mug or drive-by shoot each other anymore because we are listening to our Ipods, or we're on the phone.

Sure, there is still crime, but where is the common touch? Remember when nerds were thugs and they perfected stealing your wallet by bumping into you or flatout holding you at gunpoint? Now they sit at home and look for ways to steal credit card numbers on the net, or just for the heck of it they write Spyware programs to drive you crazy with the clicking of electronic mice.

And it's not just the criminals. I've lost the flare for mean spirited exhibition too people. The other day I almost got in an accident, because this guy was too busy talking on his phone to notice he was drifting into my lane. I was going to flip him off but it was too late...I was thwarted as a really good Death Cab For Cutie song came on and carried me away into the magical world of Ipod mirth. Sure, this machinery caused me to take the higher ground, but I felt robbed of the small explosion of unchecked agression.

I wonder if we'll get to the point where no one talks to each other in person anymore. We have video phones, and text messaging. Why walk a block to your friend's house down the street when you can spend 10 minutes improving your thumb callouses turning M's into O's or Q's into R's texting "How r u doing?" to Marcy whom you haven't seen in 3 weeks. She's been playing Halo2 online you see, and is now adverse to sunlight. Remember in the Matrix where machines became our masters, and we all live in little pods with white skin, and tubes scarring up our backs? Well how is it different with windows drawn and couch buttons leaving indents in our spines instead?

Soon we will live in a utopian society. There will be no crime, and there will be no war. People will be too busy taking their frustrations out on imaginary aliens on their XBOX, and listening to the latest rare out of print Grant Lee Buffalo song they downloaded for free on Limewire last night. Our relationships skills will fail too. We won't develop the need for gleaming interpersonal conversation skills because we'll have 20 seconds between instant messages to think of the next witty thing to say. It will all sound like movie dialogue.

Speaking of movies, you can see it in the Ipod zombies strut as they walk to class. They think they're the star of their own motion picture. They begin to see themselves in establishing shots, and extreme close-ups. The music fades to an underlying hum as the sound of their own coming of age ridden voice-over fills their heads...

"I'm Johnny and this is my story. It all started on my way to Art History class..."

The Ipod is like the drug in a Brave New World, but Soma becomes Sade' singing Smooth Operator and soothing jangled nerves right into oblivion.
"Forget about the stress of that upcoming trig test man. It's all good! Hey listen to this imported Dashboard song."
Wake up hippie! You're being brainwashed into a false sense of calm.

It's just like that once vicious bully in Junior High who discovered marijuana his sophomore year, and became the chillest person you know. Sure he's more laid back, and he won't pound your face in, but you don't feel that he's really himself anymore.

There is no growth without opposition. Greatness is born in strife. The backbone of this country was built on Orphanages and Juvenile Halls. A place where the youth of our future find out what they're truly made of. Why? Because they've held up a liquor store, they've beaten a kid for his lunch money. Everyone's becoming a sensitive artist trapped in the mind numbing tractor beam of their own LCD screens. We've got to think about our nations' future. We can't rely on sun starved emo kids, to write our history. So throw away your Ipods, put down your cell phones, start honking at people when they cut you off, and God bless America.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I always get hurt

Today was not a good day. I opened up a Snapple excitedly because it said on the cap in capital letters LOOK UNDER CAP! WIN INSTANTLY. Now normally I wouldn't get excited, but that exclamation point at the end broke down my defenses. It sounded like a promise! WIN INSTANTLY! Nothing waivered. No "you COULD win."

Well let me tell you something. I DIDN'T WIN (exclamation point). It said "SORRY, not a winner" and while I did appreciate the "sorry" in capital letters, it said after that "DO YOURSELF A FAVOR, TRY AGAIN!" What is that? Can you believe that? Well no Snapple! I'm not going to! You've beaten me. Are you HAPPY? I just can't trust you anymore! Using exclamation points so carelessly! No, I'm not going to try again, because that would be doing you a favor. That would be playing your game. Not me.
"Do yourself a favor"?
That is just like you to say something like that! Making it sound like I'm helping myself out when all I'm doing is serving your own selfish liquid desires.
You liar Snapple! You are a liar!

Though...
You did give me a fun "Real Fact"...under the "sorry" you told me about how "sound travels faster in water than it does in air", and this WAS after you already said sorry...so I guess I can't be too mad at you.
Geez.
Look...I've been really stressed out lately. Work has been hard and I think...well, I think I said some things I didn't mean. I didn't mean to take my frustrations out on the people and beverages that I care about. I think in the end we were both wrong. Can't we just forget the whole thing?
I said I was sorry.
I'M SORRY SNAPPLE!
Fine!
You're so STUBBORN!
And that's why I love you.
I love you so much snapple.
I was wrong, and I'm sorry.
Look...maybe this will help.
"Did you know that the tin cannister, or can, was invented in 1810 by Londoner Peter Durand?"
Are we cool now Snap?
Call me okay?
Or...I'll call you. Is your number still 1-800-Snapple?

Sept 8th 2005

Thursday, September 01, 2005

These are just some thoughts written really quickly about what's been happening lately. Sorry if I sound so serious.
Jeff

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Good News

Got out of surgery
Didn't die in sleep
Feeling better
My tummy hurts a little.

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Netflix Experience- My first movie post.

The Netflix Experience- My first movie post.

I've decided to document, (mostly for myself, because I can't see how anyone would care) how I enjoy my netflix cue over the next few months. You know Netflix(see sidebar link) the most amazing movie service since sliced-bread (sorry for the mixed cliche'). If you don't it's an internet service that allows you to go online and rent movies and have them mailed to your house. This service is great, because all I have to do is go online for two seconds when I remember a movie I've been wanting to rent, and add it to my cue. It takes like two days for it to get there, (does this sound like a commercial yet) and you can keep them as long as you want. No late fees! (now it does!) Anyway, I love it, and I currently have 80 movies in my cue. Sometimes I get a little click happy.
You can find almost anything on it though, from old school classics, (try finding "Lost Horizon" in Hollywood's 3 foot wide "classics" section, it's not at my local store at least), or TV on DVD, (ie the first three seasons of Strangers With Candy). I'm an avid purchaser of DVD's, but you gotta date before you marry, (plus I'm running out of shelf space, and some of my friends have labeled me "a nerd"...well duh!). As a practicing unrealistic, (screenwriter,director) I have to get creative inspiration wherever I can, so I'm going to write how I liked each movie and whether or not I drew any inspiration from it, or whether it just flat out sucked. Here is the list of some of the movies in my cue:

Strangers with Candy Season 1

"Upright Citizens Brigade Season 1"
My friends tell me these are good. I've seen some UCB and thought it was outright hilarious. I'm sure my friends wouldn't lead me astray, though they have a few times in the past. Man on Fire was violent for no good reason, and boring Darren.

"In the Mouth of Madness"
I can honestly say I love horror movies, which is weird, because I hate gore(both of them...) but something about the mystery of the unknown or the claustrophobia of most of these films keeps my interest. I'm not a big fan of crappy cheap ones like Friday the 13th. I like other cheap ones, that are classics, (Night of the Living Dead). As long as it's done well, a horror movie, or a good thriller can capture my attention faster than anything.
If I remember right, someone told me this was creepy, and the netflix synopsis sounds really interesting, but I am very afraid of the Clive Barker connection. Some of his stuff reeks! I thought Candyman was alright though, so I'll give him one more chance.

The Fog
I think I heard that parts of it were cheesy, but I choose to judge for myself. I kind of wish I hadn't read the synopsis, because it looked cool and the synopsis sounds a tad lame. I really wanted to see this though, because the trailer for the upcoming remake is really cool. I may get horror purists, (lucky I'm not friends with any in real life) to hate me, but I think a lot of the classic horror remakes lately have been cool. Dawn of the Dead, TCM. I thought they brought a cool aesthetic to already classic storylines. Wasn't so much a fan of Van Helsing. Shock me! Shock me! Shock me!

The Haunting-The Original
I heard this is a classic, because it doesn't need a lot of crazy special effects and images of ghosts to scare you, it scares you with the idea of what is there that you can't see. Less is more. Looking forward to it. Speaking of remakes, didn't love the new Haunting.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

"What a Maroon!"


So I'm going into surgery tomorrow, (which reminds me I better call the doctor to see if we're still on). It's not major surgery. I won't say what it's for, but let's just say that "team lifting" is more than just a novel concept.

I've had surgery before, but never "torso surgery". The last time I had it was on my nose. It hurt. I figure the farther away from your brain though, the less painful it is. Is that a medical fact? I don't know, it sounds suspiciously close to the realm of medicine that thinks "leaches make great bandaids". Ouch. Anyway, I'm trying to balance my 5 humors for tomorrow's surgery.

I'm not a big fan of hurting. I don't like the word "slicing" or the term "puncture wound". I think some cosmic force has been trying to warm me up to my impending surgical pain, because in the last few days I have hurt myself a lot.

So I was cooking chicken the other day, and I accidentally poured too much low-fat canola oil (plug for good cholesterol) in the bottom of the pan. I wanted to pour it out, but neither the sink nor the garbage was a viable option, and I didn't want to go for the old "spill oil everywhere trying to get it from the wide pan to the one inch bottle" routine. I decided to just leave it in the pan, and to turn the stove on high. That way it would heat the oil up to an evil temperature.
So after about about 3 minutes of that my chicken had defrosted in the microwave, and I decided to THROW the chicken... into the molten crucible of death from about a foot away, and it exploded grease all over my right hand. My beautiful dominant hand, the hand I had intended to make millions off of modeling with on TheShaneCompany.com, and in Swatch Catalogues across the nation. Why do you mock me fate? Well that really hurt, for a good few hours, but it also really ticked me off. Why is it, when you do something really stupid, you're mad at everyone else?
I tried to take my mind off it and earlier that day, my roommate had stolen my internet capabilities, and so I went outside in a huff,(and in barefeet mind you) to wrangle my cord back through my window, and while doing so, dropped a two by four with it's sharp corner right on my oh so tender foot. Then in hopping around like a wimpy idiot,(because that's what you do when you hurt your foot, at least in movies starring Macaulay Culkin) I bounced right onto a sharp stick, and impaled the bottom of my foot. Right then, as I was not so silently swearing, a bee flew up and landed on my ear. I swore that if he stung me, I would bold out into the street and jump in front of a garbage truck to finish me off, but the bee didn't have time, because right then I heard a whistling noise and an anvil fell from a clear sky, hit me on the head and dug me into the ground. Then the roadrunner ran by and let out a taunting "meepmeep".
I think you can decipher where the truth stops there, but it was ridiculous! I just hope that after tomorrow I don't set off airport security checkpoints, because the doctor left his Rolex in my abdomen.

It's Good to be King...of Animals

I was just thinking, it's good to know that we can eat things. Anything we want to, we can eat. I could eat a parrot if I wanted to. I was just thinking who else on this planet can claim that besides humans. Sure it would be hard for me to get one at a minutes notice, but if I wanted to I could eat a parrot...eventually, probably within the next day or so. How many sharks do you know that can say that. They would'nt have the means of communication or transportation. How many sharks could say they've eaten a parrot? None! Because sharks can't talk.

Sure alot of these animals can eat us, especially our friend the shark. But I would imagine we've eaten way more of them than they have of us. I bet the human to shark eating ratio is way higher than vise versa, and that's where you lose sharks! That's where man stands alone.
I could eat a gorilla within the next few weeks if I really put my mind to it, and a shark never could. Sure some freak zoo shipping accident might happen in the atlantic and a shark could eat a drowned gorilla (after he got him out of his cage of course), but is drowned gorilla really the same.
It's just comforting to know that I could eat anything. Come to think of it I could go for a yogurt right now. I think I will.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Movie Review - Layer Cake

Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Movie Review - Layer Cake

For some reason I have been slightly obsessed with all things UK for several years. The Office, 28 Days Later, Groundskeeper Willie. Among these I could include an entire genre of British gangster films, not least of which were directed by Guy Ritchie (Lock Stock...Snatch, though I liked the first better), so when Layer Cake came along, a film directed by the Ritchie's producer Mathew Vaughn, I knew I would like it, but I didn't know how much. Well...I like it. I like Daniel Craig alot. There's word that he will be the next James Bond. He wouldn't be my first choice, because he seems too...good. He doesn't seem to fit the one dimensional swagger of 007, and he's got real emotion behind his eyes. They're deep. Anyway, the movie revolves around the career of a mid-level drug trafficker (Craig) who is never named, whose career is successful until he starts getting reamed from all directions. The movie has a fairly non-somber feel and is kind of lighthearted at times (Craig is actually quite funny) until things take an incredibly drastic turn to the dark. It reminded me of Ocean's Eleven in the way it weaves and bobs, but with far more menace. The editing is fantastic. Vaughn is far more subtle than his friend Ritchie, and the movie glides along smoothly. One scene that was totally cool was the scene where Nameless is trying to take out the Bosnian (Serbian?) guy in the park. Neato intense. Check it out.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Origin of the Fleeces

Why am I having such a hard time with this blog? It seems that I cannot create a "first real post".
I guess the root of my problem is the term "blog". What is that term? "Blog?" People can't just say "Web Log", or even "Online Journal" or perchance you want to throw caution to the wind and say "Web Diary". What is this obsession for shortening and cute-sifying things, especially online. LoL, BrB.

We even shorten or change our names. Why do men, grown men, insist on being called Skip or Chucky.
If you're gonna go with a nickname or abbreviate something at least make it rugged or full of Chutzpah. Where are the nickname's for today's man's man. Where are the "Rockys" and "Phoenixes" for goodness sake, where are the "Vipers" or "Scorpios".

I don't know where this dislike for nicknames comes from. I don't know why I hate the adorable term "Blog". I guess it's just a remnant of my youthful disdain for things that were considered "cool". Growing up it was trendy to not be trendy. If it was popular, it was lame.

Of course there was an evolution of this "anti-trend". At first this bucking the trend of trendiness was all about clothes. It was always cool to not wear trendy clothes. In the beginning not wearing the trendy fashions, came from the simple fact that Mom bought all your clothes, and thought that button up the front, pink tucked in plaid was pretty neat. In middle school if kids were wearing Z-Cavaricci's for instance then you wore dockers, or jean shorts that were far too short for you to sit comfortably in math class across from that quaintly plain Chinese girl who you were sure was staring up your leg at your "tighty whities". I'll always remember you Grace Wang. You were the first...
It wasn't choice. It was all you got, and your tender heart didn't have the guts to tell your mother "no mom, I don't want to shop at Mervyns anymore." There was no way to be trendy even if you tried.

Then high school came along, and a minimum wage job at Cinna-bon meant YOU took control of the anti-trend. You were used to wearing alternative clothes (as geeky as they were) and not being trendy morphed into shopping at Goodwill, and paying for clothes by the pound. If it had "Fred's Steamers" on the chest or some other non-sequitor nonsense beamed down from a planet orbiting the seventies you were "in"...or "out" as the case may be (It was very confusing where you stood).
Then someone of course would argue that shopping at a thrift store was trendy, that even when you're trying to not be trendy, you were in essence still being trendy. And of course they were right.

I'm older now, and of course I'm trying to be true to myself, I have tried to maintain my anything but trendy status. Yet like a hippy turning his eyes from the earthy flames of beach bonfires and folk songs, who now sits at his cushy CPA job, gone from Berkeley to Boise crunching numbers instead of getting the munchies, I too have strayed from the path of the anti-trend.

Now, it's hard work to not be trendy. Did you ever think that large groups can sometimes be right. I watched "Lost" last night. They were right. I liked it. I have an IPOD. I don't think I could live without it. I've actually uttered the words (though it shames me nie unto death) "Did you tape 'American Idol'?". I've learned not to care as much about not being trendy, and therefore, I must surrender my "cool/hip" status. I must surrender to the power of the Blog.
Hey, even a black sheep still has to follow the flock. Baaaahhhh!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The People's Republic of Random Entry 1

Robert Louis Stevenson's famous novella "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" was based on one of his contemporaries a local politician and shoe salesman who robbed houses at night.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Real post coming soon

Guys,
I don't want to alarm anyone, but I have it from a reliable source that a real post will be up soon. Let's all just cross our fingers and pray.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The first blog is the deepest.

Not really. I just want to see if this thing works.