Monday, February 25, 2008

Books, and crotch rockets

I finished "The Road" in three days. For me that is very fast. It took me three days to read my last book "Things Fall Apart", but that was because I had to for a class. It takes me about 2 to 3 weeks to read a book I really like. Even that is a rare case. For example it took me about 2 to 3 months to read "The Lovely Bones" and "Heartbreaking Work..." which are both books I totally loved, and was compelled by. Why did it take SO long? I don't know. But "The Road", to totally use a cliche' phrase was hard to put down. I'm done. His style was amazing. It was so good that I can't give a proper review for it.

When I finished. I just wanted to write. I found myself pouring phrases from my subconscious into the roof above my mouth, stored there to yell out.

I want to write so bad; write now. It's as if someone pulled the cork out of my chest to let words spill out like grain from a silo. I haven't written in so long, but a great book can inspire you.

I'm still reading "Gangs of New York", but my interest is waining. It's like the same thing over and over. The "Dead Rabbit Gang fought The Bowery Boys fought the...blah blahs." Maybe I need to push through. Some books are like rigorous mountain hikes. Also still reading "I Am Legend". Some of the stories are amazing and ahead of their time, but others are a tad cheesy.

Today two days after finishing, I wanted to be utterly pretentious and soak in the atmosphere of fine book smell so I went to Barnes and Noble. But it smelled like burning tires. There were kids everywhere yelling in different languages! When did Barnes and Noble become such a kid's clubhouse? I am not opposed to the learning of children, but these kids weren't learning and then the lady on the loudspeaker announced that they'd just finished baking oatmeal raisin cookies in the coffee clatch (or whatever you call it) and then all the children turned to ravenous drooling autobots (forgive the mixed metaphor). "Mom I want cookies!" "Why can't have I cookies?" It's like some twisted cartoon character threw an alarm clock in a den of lions, awakening them from their cookie-less slumber, and I in the middle. I nearly sustained two or three "crotch runnings into". You know the blind direction-less crotch level battering rams of cranium to groin?

The real reason I went to the bookstore however was to buy "No Country For Old Men" and another book called "Twilight" (no not the book about vampires by that Mormon author lady). It's by William Gay and I've heard it's cool. Well, they didn't have it. "No Country..." was a must after reading "The Road" and I couldn't stop thinking about it after it won the Oscar last night. I'm downloading it right now.
I will probably finish it in about 2 days.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

This hurts me...

Not quite because he broke it, but more importantly because somehow he had the money to buy it which allowed it to be broken in the future.

Anyway..."An almost tragic story."

What is it with Murphy's Law anyway?

It must be fate this week that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. But when you drive and try and eat nachos at the same time I guess that's what happens.

Friday, February 15, 2008


My friend Matt describes my blog in the past as self-indulgent...I think he might be replying to the more self-serious entries I've made. Come back Matt. I'm a changed man. Though still totally self-indulgent. What do you think?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

More Video-Madness

UFC commercials

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These are unmixed versions,(i.e the sound sucks) But I think they had potential in their day.

"Today's Pain" brought to you by Doritos!

So I've had an interesting two days. I don't spend much time in cemeteries, but I spend even less time in them eating copious amounts of Doritos.
I came home from California early, to film a "spec" commercial on Tuesday for this huge nationwide contest. It was a funny script about a guy who is mourning the loss of someone he loves, (actually when I write that it doesn't seem all that funny) and his grief is intermittently disrupted by his eating of Doritos (okay now it is).

It's dark comedy I know.

Anyway to accomplish this feat me and the other guy in the commercial had to eat about three bags (full size mind you) of Doritos. At least for the first two and a half bags they were "Cool Ranch" as opposed to the last half bag which was all "Salsa Verde". Usually I'm a big fan of the spicy but not at that particular moment. By the time we were done our mouths were raw, and there were half-eaten Dorito bits strewn about the cemetery(we cleaned almost all of them up out of respect for the departed). It didn't help matters that we were constantly glared at by those who were visiting driving by in their cars. It was perhaps in the top five of my most awkward moments. Anyway, as I stood atop the graves of pioneers and other long lost relatives eating snack foods, I couldn't help but become pensive about life and its' meaning. My mind thought about two things:

1) There's nothing scary about a cemetery (rhyme's unintended, though cute). These people are all happy in heaven, or unhappy in hell(or spirit prison depending on your beliefs). They're not here! It reminded me of a poem.

2) If the above isn't true, and ghosts do exist, I'm going to be haunted by angry corn chip hating spirits for the next 40 years.

I'll post the commercials when they're done. In the meantime I'll be sleeping with a Holy Bible clutched to my chest.

PS. Also, yesterday I was on a commercial shoot in Miller Park in Salt Lake City helping film a nearly naked man who had eaten a house cat. I love the diversity of this business.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Hear this...The Bird and the Bee

Okay so watch this. I'm used to being scooped on music selection, by my hipper 'East Coastier' friends, and this is probably no exception. Just watch this video though. It's directed by Eric Wareheim one of the guys who makes "Tim and Eric: Awesome Show, Great Job!" which is a delightfully weird, and often "too disturbing to turn away from" show.

This band though is to use a critic word "hypnotic" (but neither "tense" nor "gripping"), and this video is like an exciting car wreck.

I'm pretty sure I'm in love with the lead singer. Look how deadpan she is in this video! If she were that way all the time, I would be turned off, but I did my research, and luckily it's just this video.

Also, after you've watched the video three or four times, download the album (legally, of course through Itunes) and just listen to the words. They make me laugh. She's discussing "getting down!", but at the same time she's so cordial about it. I get it!

I think from 2:54 on is my favorite!

This song is also quite cool

"Things Fall Apart"

I've been wanting to write about stuff I've been reading, watching and listening to lately.

I recently finished reading a book for a history class I'm taking called "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe. It disturbed me. It's about a tribe in turn of the century Nigeria, and the changes they go through as they are invaded by Christian missionaries. I say "invaded" because that is essentially what they do. Just real aggressive.
It made me feel judgmental at first because all I was doing was judging how horrible a lot of the practices and customs of the tribe in the book were. I guess the thing I didn't like was how the author seemed not to condemn or condone their behavior.

What kind of a dummy am I?

What good would an author be if he commented on his own book?

I guess the practices, things like throwing away twins when they're born, and convincing children that they are "zombies", were so disturbing that I was looking for a friend to agree with me, and the author was committed to his storytelling technique so he was no help. Then midway through the book I realized that I'm glad he was so committed, and did not show bias, because when all of their customs and rituals are
corrupted by the white missionaries, you feel a part of your own world has been destroyed.

I didn't know how to feel at the end. I was angry and sad. I think Achebe accomplished what he set out to do.

It certainly changed my outlook, which I believe good books are supposed to do.

I would recommend it. Just press through passed the scary stuff at the beginning.

'The Road' By Cormac McCarthy.
I chose this at the airport today instead of 'No Country For Old Men', which I'd been previously set on buying, because I wanted to read a new story that I had no preconceived notions about. Lately I've had trouble reading books based on movies, most of which I bought on the spur of the moment, because I liked the films they were based on so much (See 'The Prestige' by Christopher Priest). Something about going over the same territory again. I'll buy No Country in a few weeks when I finish 'Road". I'm surprised I bought this one, because I know it's post-apocalyptic, and today I was feeling gloomy about returning to frozen tundra land (i.e. Utah), and it doesn't seem like to much of a "sunny story" we'll see. What's my obsession with depressing stories? I'm sure all my artsy and Oprah loving friends already read this after it won the Pulitzer, and the tenfold more coveted prize "THE Book Club Recommendation". Sad. Let's just hope James Frey isn't involved.

OTHER BOOKS I'M CURRENTLY READING - 'I Am Legend', a collection of Short Stories by Richard Matheson, including the novella for the recent film. I picked up this book because I loved how creepy and yet delightfully campy 'The Omega Man' was for me growing up, (Andy you know!) and I'd heard good things about Matheson. I'm pleased to say that some of his stories are delightfully messed up.(See "Dress of White Silk" or something along those lines.) Reminds me of Bradbury only on bad mushrooms, which is kind of cool if you think about it. Don't do drugs kids!

Also reading 'Gangs of New York', which I've owned for about 4 years now, and finally got bored and started reading one night. I love 19th and early 20th century city history, so it's right up my alley. I'm pleased to say it's nothing like the movie.