Nov 27, 2006

An Armor of Hugs and a Sword of Magic Faery Wings

It's wonderful to see how short the journey is from despair to hope. It can happen in a touch, in a word, in a glance. It's almost enough to make one forget how quickly the return trip could be made.

Today I got to work late. Alli got a flat tire last week, and her car was in the shop today. She borrowed my car in the morning, to run a few errands, and then intended to take me to work. Of course, somewhere in Century City or Studio City or some other Well Outta Walking Range City -- she locked her keys in the car. I couldn't come and pick her up, because, after all, it was my car. Jared drove out to pick me up, and so, my work day was cut an hour short. Too much time when I look at my bank account, but too little time when I evaluate my mood just prior to that 7:00 PM whistle time.

There are new floors at work. They're black tile and already scuffed. It all smells of adhesive and melted plastic. It's hideous and inorganic.

And today was frigid and damp -- which was a pleasant change of pace. I got to wear my winter coat, which I haven't done in two years, not since I was in Las Vegas, hanging Christmas decorations. It felt nice to wear layers. I like that feeling. Like an armor of hugs. Which, I think, would ALSO be a good name for my Memoirs.

Sort of like the note I saw scribbled on my coworker's pad today... "The boy who pooped rainbows."

I'm looking forward to painting a few walls in my apartment, for Zaniness Ensues. I'm hoping that Barb will help me do so. And Alli's birthday is Thursday. I'm hoping her gift arrives in time; otherwise, I will have to postpone her birthday until Friday.

Nov 22, 2006

With Your Bugle and Your Drum

Drastic reinvention is not necessary. That's throwing the baby out with the bath water, tearing down a house because the paint is faded, trashing a car because the windshield's smeared. My problem isn't that there's something wrong with my life. It's quite the opposite. I like my life, I like myself, and so, I'm ready for more. I'm ready to launch. Bring on the next phase. Open the doors and let the bull fight.

I've come thousands of miles, have had more jobs in the last five years than most of my father's generation had through their entire lives, I've lived more places than my parents have lived, combined, and I dated more women in NYC than I knew throughout highschool and college. I'm a poor kid from a small town and I'm doing just fine in Los Angeles, even better than I did in Manhattan. Fuck yeah. That's a big deal.

I am, for the first time, confident that I can handle whatever life throws me.

So, I'm not going anywhere. This is where I want to be, this is where I'm going to stay, until I'm rich enough to figure out another dream. I can learn street-names, I can find favorite places, I can buy furniture -- it won't be a waste. I know who I am, I have my friends. I'm ready to get a good car. I'm ready to get my career going, ready to spend my days doing something I care about. I'm ready for more.

I've put down the roots, I'm not about to tear them up.

The problem is, I've plateaued in two places. Love and career. I'm hit by a double whammy. I know exactly what I want to do for a living, what I want to care about, what I want to do with my time: I know it in my bones. But getting there is a waiting game. It requires SOMEONE ELSE to take a chance on me. And so, all I can do is keep on pulling the lever, trying different ways, until I win. Somedays, like yesterday, it will seem hopeless, seem buisness-like and lonesome... but that's why everyone can't play til they win. The winner is the one who stands up one more time than the rest.

And that's not waiting for someone to save me. That's waiting for someone to be won over.

Then, add to that, just the same -- my love life. I want someone to care about. I want a framed picture on my desk at work, like other desks around me. For two years, I've given up looking for someone, but in the last few months, I've started scratching at the binds, seeing through the blinders. There are empty places, no longer filled by the fight to find a home, or myself, or a job, or friends. A natural feeling, a healthy feeling. The feeling -- that I want someone to share my time with. But for me to have someone in my life, it requires SOMEONE ELSE to take a chance on me.

That's not waiting for someone to save me. That's waiting for someone to be won over.

In both cases, once someone cracks open the door, the race is on, the fire is lit. It's time to earn it, to prove it, to make it work. To go whole hog. I've been crouched at the starting line for a long time, and I'm ready to sprint. I want to run. I'm ready for the big challenges. I'm ready for the danger. Fire the fucking gun! Someone! Let's go! The rollercoaster's been clicking up the incline forever.

Let's roll!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- it's like trying to jump off the planet. All it takes is a lot of persistance -- and a little miracle. In my career, in my art, in my love-life.

Until then, the only way to embrace the day, I suppose, is to NOT GIVE IN. To not invent problems to fill the holes, but instead, to keep the holes open, ready to accept the good things I'm waiting for. Another day that I've not given up, not invented a disaster to distract myself, is another day embraced.

Another day that I kept jumping.

Nov 21, 2006

Addictive Thinking

I have an addiction to thinking about people. Beautiful and bizarre, fascinating and unusual women -- they're particularly good subjects. It's no surprise. I am heterosexual and male.

I once wrote about a dream I had. In the dream, there was an Orwellian "Empire" that hunted people by collecting details, collecting secrets, about them. If the Empire collected enough personal information about an individual, they could eliminate that person. Mothers bundled up their children and sent them out into the world, warning them to keep their secrets, warning them to keep their silence, because "agents of the Empire are everywhere."

At the time I wrote it, I thought the dream was about how we'd closed ourselves off to one another, how, for fear of giving others a weapon to use against us, we'd constructed walls against affection, how tactics and weaponry became necessary, simply to break through the defenses of others.

But recently, I increasingly see myself as the Empire, hungrily uncovering details about people -- first, to feed the hunger of my addictive curiosity -- but increasingly, in some hope of exploding their walls, of being close to someone again. I terribly miss having someone close. Someone whose thoughts, now and then, eagerly pieces together the puzzle of me. I don't want to hide emotion and affection anymore. I want someone googling me.

And yet, as I type this, I am horrified that expressing it, those who hear it will only build stronger walls against me. No one wants more danger in their lives. Affection, closeness, and openness are danger, and no one wants that.

Meanwhile, my mind should be on Zaniness Ensues. The movie is spiraling toward real. The storyboards are tip-toeing along, trying to catch up with the ideas I've already fully formed. The graphics and logos are being developed. The casting and the primary rehearsals are pretty much done. Locations need to be locked. Costumes need to be bought. Props need to be constructed.

But this week, perhaps only because everyone is away on Thanksgiving vacations, it feels like a rather lonesome pursuit. A business-like pursuit, chugging along automatically, without passion or hope for miracles. So, here I am, smoking too many cigarettes, drinking a few fingers of alcohol every night before bed, waisting away hours watching downloaded episodes of Battlestar Galactica, listening to NPR, reading books I've read before... and hoping for the big, cosmic change to light a fire under my ass.

Life is such a waiting game. Seizing the day seems impossible alone.

Nov 20, 2006

Ways to Trouble Oneself

I find myself often wishing that people around me would get out of their own way, take down the defenses and allow themselves to be happy. And today I wonder where I'm standing in my own way. What defense, what fear, must I drop, to make the things I desire materialize. I need a psychiatrist to point it out, because there's no one left to see except me.

I'm thinking of you/
And think you're/
Not thinking of me/

Nov 14, 2006

Consession Speech

Thank you all for your support, your votes, and your continuing efforts to drum up votes and support for Misplaced Planet's little $300.00, New Jersey movie, Signal Decay, recently up for consideration on the Sci-Fi Channel / Sundance Channel Exposure Competition, missioned with discovering new filmmaking talent.

Unfortunately, despite all your gracious help, we did NOT move forward to the next round. Instead, the prize went to another film. The winning nominee was produced in 2001, by an undiscovered professional television director, and prominently features a well-established entertainment personality, absolutely unknown for his starring rolls in small, unnoticed series like M*A*S*H,as well as The Dead Zone, which aired on an unrelated, fly-by-night network called The Sci-Fi Channel.

The judges of this competition should be very proud of their selection of nominees. One must admire their strict adherence to the noble goal of seeking out new talent. We can only hope that the Grammy Music Award judges will achieve a similar clarity of purpose, and will award The Best New Artist Award to either Buddy Holly or Chuck Barry.

I must say, it is comforting to know that one of the votes made against us was likely from Alan Alda.
We were beaten by the best.

On a happier note, I am very proud to announce that I have won the Misplaced Planet Sulking Award by spending my lunch hour (or so) in a sports bar, drinking several beers and not eating. Without the support of my friends, my family, my coworkers, and particularly, my waitress, I could not have earned this glorious afternoon of despondent sleepiness, throbbing headaches, blurred vision, and slurred speech. It should also be noted that Barb Beaser was awarded the second-place Silver Sulking Award for having boldly swallowed a lithium battery.

Now, having put this debacle behind us, it's time to SELL SOME DVDS, GET SOME DONATIONS, and make ourselves a movie called Zaniness Ensues, so that someday soon, we'll be as unknown and undiscovered as this round's winners!

Thank you again! And I mean it!

Nov 8, 2006


My little movie Signal Decay is amongst this week's finalists at the SciFi / Sundance Channel Exposure Competition, and YOUR VOTE decides if we move on!

You can vote once on Sci-Fi, and EVERY DAY on Sundance.

Please, check it out, vote for Signal Decay if you like Signal Decay the best, and also, tell every human you know to do the same. Family, co-workers, delivery people, numbers randomly selected from a phone book.

This is a chance to make a big difference for me and my friends, and it doesn't cost a penny.

I'll only be bugging you until FRIDAY NIGHT, when it will be TOO LATE.

Go here and vote for SIGNAL DECAY!


Nov 7, 2006

Better Than Having a Sex!

Here's another vote you should be getting on top of this election day -- if you vote for our movie in the Sundance Channel / Sci-Fi Channel Exposure Contest, you will go to Heaven when you die. Promise. And while you're alive -- it's better than having a sex. Which I very much enjoying having. (I have male.)

Go here and vote for Signal Decay. It's a big deal!


And go here EVERDAY and vote for Signal Decay:




Repost this message! Send it to friends and family! If you do, you will be kissed by the object you desire the most at some point in the future. If you do not, your favorite television show will go off the air (eventually). And then you'll be SKINNED ALIVE AND HUNG IN A CLOSET BY A MAN WITH A HOOK.


Wilder, Shaun, Benni, Alli, Stirling, Karl, Gabe, Amy, and all of Misplaced Planet from now until forever.

Oct 23, 2006

A Physical Thing at Last

The physical DVD arrived in the mail this morning. I watched it all through. What a thrilling and terrifying experience. It's so amazing to see it all, but also terrifying to think that people will be seeing it and judging it.

I took a few copies over to the bar where I have lunch everyday. Alli was going to stop by to pick them up, but the waitress, Shelly, bought one for herself, and then proceeded to sell three more to regular customers. People I barely know, but see almost everyday at lunch. Industry professionals with long histories. Very nerve wracking. I am horrified at the thought of disappointing them, or looking like a fool. I am not subject to personal embarrassment, but my creative pursuits are always on fragile footing. I want to be doing well, to deserve better, so badly.

Anyway, I'll say it again: it's worth the money. It'll make you laugh at least once, or there's something seriously wrong with you. It's something to explore over and nice evening or two, maybe with friends and family. Maybe by yourself on a lonesome night. And it will help make my dream project a reality. So, shuffle on over and buy one up.


I want this to be a sign of great things becoming real. Of pleasures that I can hold in my hands.

Oct 21, 2006

Another Weekend

It's been a week.  A week of strange changes and vaguely forming possibilities.  There is much that could unfold, or fold back into stagnation.  As such, I appreciate the quiet right now.  I appreciate the time to rest and reflect.  I need a real recharging if I'm to move forward into the months ahead without terror.  So much to do, and so much riding on it.  I depend on a miracle or two.

Meanwhile, get your butt a DVD. 

Oct 18, 2006

Big Exciting Newness Abounds!!

If you haven't heard from me lately, it's probably because I've been locked away in the lab, putting together something special.  And now it's ready.  It's called Transmission from Sedna, and it's a two-disc DVD set, featuring all the short-films I've been working on over the last three years.

They're professionally packaged, and the main disc is pressed from a glass master – not burned – which means it's an investment that will last, and last, and last, something you'll hand down generation after generation.  Because DVDs will never go out of style.  Never.

On it, you'll find full-resolution versions of all our best shorts, Momentary Engineering, Antebellum, Home Team, Brains!!!, Signal Decay, Just Us League, Home Front, Home Movie, and more. There's over 90 minutes of stuff on the first disc alone, and it's all short and sweet enough to watch while you eat a midnight snack.  There's commentary on most of the films, which is almost as thrilling as actually talking to me. You'll get deleted scenes, alternate scenes, and trailers – all presented with beautiful animated menus. Plus, you'll find detailed Behind the Scenes documentaries for Signal Decay, Just Us League, Antebellum, The Men You've Killed, and Helicopter Theory, which means you'll actually see my smiling face, something unlikely to happen any other way this holiday season.

To top it all off, you'll find the world premiere of Anniversary Dinner, which I wrote and directed, a wicked, twisted short, and Misplaced Planet's first official production, shot in 2003, recovered and re-edited for this collection. You can't see it any other way. 

And, best of all, every thin-dime earned goes directly into the coffers for our next major production: Zaniness Ensues, written and directed by me, starring Jess Temple and Matt McNutt, and filming this January.

Go here to order it online: http://www.misplacedplanet.com/shop

PS: If you buy the full set, you don't have to get me anything for Christmas.

Oct 16, 2006

Wasting Major Time

I apparently have a strange idea of what's a good way to relax. And I'm not usually a computer nerd, but I'm about to sound like one.

I left work a little early today and stopped at Best Buy to get a 120 gig hard drive that they had on sale. Despite a migraine that kept peeking through the clouds of medication, I installed the hard drive and then installed the free beta release candidate of Windows Vista, which won't be available to the general public until first quarter next year.

In short, I was quite impressed. It was attractive, responsive, and had a sturdy, quick-footed feeling that Windows usually lacks. It also had a lot of nice new features, and a sidebar full of gadgets that actually beats out the Google sidebar, of which I'm an regular user. I can also say that the integrated search really made finding things easy -- especially programs. No more trying to remember which folder I put the program icon in. Just type a few letters of the program I'm looking for, and there it is. Very nice. Windows Internet Explorer 7, which is a little clunky on XP, flies along in 64bit mode on Vista. Very fast.

Unfortunately, it doesn't have a full set of device drivers yet, so my sound-card and secondary video-card didn't work. Nor did my scanner. This is to be expected from a beta release, and I'm sure that the companies who made these items will produce Windows Vista drivers, once it's actually released.

And I'll tell you what -- if sound and my second monitor had worked -- I'd probably be re-installing all my programs to Vista right now -- I'd probably be writing this on Vista. I haven't been at all impressed by a new Microsoft release since Windows 95, back before I knew anything at all. This one looks pretty solid, and makes me happy that I got myself a next-generation 64bit PC, instead of a low-end Macintosh (for the same price). But don't quote me on that.

Alas, without sound and my second monitor, I'm back on XP for now. However, it only takes a reboot to switch between the two, so I might be playing with it more in the future. And when the upgrade finally comes out, I will certainly be making the switch.

That is the end of my computer-nerdery for a few years.

And so, now, I sleep.

Oct 7, 2006

Above Average

I need to stop reading horoscopes. They make too many promises. Or join an astrological sign that gets a daily dose of "nothing much is gonna happen today."

Oct 6, 2006

On Second Thought...

I will probably just lay in bed and play with my cell phone. Which is not a euphemism for anything.

Forcast for Tonight, Likely Continuing Through Tomorrow

I am going to get rip-roaring, riotously, ridiculously drunk. I am going to get vengefully drunk. I am going to drink until my ancestors pass out.

I have sent out invitations to everyone I know -- join me in a night of old-fashioned, flagrant irresponsibility -- right after I finish work and walk the dog. But they're, to the last, afraid to follow me off this masochistic precipice. I will repel alone into the mouth of the cavern.

Tonight, I plan to post the words, "Don't jump! It's not worth it!" on absolutely all the Myspace profiles I can find. It should really confuse people.

Oct 2, 2006

Semi-Annual Exorcism

I hate to give the impression that I spend my days sulking, but this ridiculous journal has become the place for me when I have some woe to spew. So many of my complaints about life are summarized by that: I have no one to share my troubles with, and that is the whole of my troubles. However, writing has always been soothing to me, and every writer scribbles in hope that it will someday be read by the right person.

Another potential companion (the one I mentioned earlier) jumped ship on me this past weekend. I must have done something wrong during the conversation, failed to amuse, because she begged off the call by saying she was going "away." And that was the last I heard of her, despite e-mails and contact attempts.

Immediately following that, my closest female friend expressed long-hidden romantic intentions for me, intentions I did not share. If I do not draw a line, I will be stringing her along. I must separate, cause myself pain, in order to avoid her continued long-term suffering. Now, one of my closest friendships is in a mess, and I remain mockingly without prospects for love.

I am left calling my mother at three in the morning.

Immediately following that, my good friend at work received a $40,000 check for his screenplay. He will be going to part-time. I will lose one more reason to go to work, and will add one more set of duties to steal writing time. And still, no raise to speak of, nothing to ease the sting of the lengthening days and increasing stress. When your screenwriting friend gets a check for $40,000, you cannot help but wonder what the hell you're doing with your life as a screenwriter.

Well, what I've been doing is, I've been spending every waking minute working on the compilation DVD that we're having professionally pressed, "Transmission from Sedna." It will have all of our (Misplaced Planet's) short films on it. A two disc set. Aside from the documentaries, I wrote them all. And we'll be pushing those to raise money for the short film we're shooting in January, Zaniness Ensues, which I wrote, which I'm directing, which is based on a feature length screenplay of mine, which will be again rehearsed this weekend.

I think all these things are the right moves to make. I think they're all good career choices. They're all things to be proud of. But day after day, getting up, going to the office, waiting to get home, then going to my room, working until bedtime... it's a lonely life. That's the truth of it. It's lonely. And I've been living it for so, so, so long. Four years now. Four years.

And in those four years, I've done the dating thing from every angle. Online, through friends, trying to resurrect old crushes, going to parties, going to bars, approaching people at work... God, I played the game to exhaustion in New York, and it's only gotten harder in LA. In New York, I was always having the heartbreak of ending a relationship with someone far more into me than I was into them. Here, I can't get beyond the first phone call.

It's not wonder that I'm most happy when my creative pursuits block out these harsh things. I've become something I pity: someone who needs to keep busy to keep from reflecting. I don't do it by watching TV or playing video games, I do it by writing and drawing and making websites and films. I've given up on dating a thousand times, I've become an expert at putting it out of my head, at cherishing the pleasures of independence and solitude. But now and then, the loneliness bubbles to the surface and demands attention. It seems to be frequently this time of year, as my birthday nears.

Around this time of year, I want a lap to lay my head in, to rest in until the spinning plates come softly to rest. Someone drawn closer to me when I admit my troubles, not driven away. Someone who doesn't demand entertainment of me. Someone warm and comforting and beautiful. I've been alone for a long, long, UNINTERRUPTED time, and I feel like the "best years of my life" are slipping through my fingers. This is not melodrama. The fact is, I will remember nothing but a fog of motion, devoid of emotional touchstones to tack them to memory. When days are all the same, differentiated by only the project at hand, the days are forgotten. And so much of my life is forgotten.

And I feel rage and desperation building up. I demand that someone to save me. I need an old friend to swoop in. A couple to set me up. A mad woman to force me into something dangerous. A magic girl to think I'm special and worth pursuit. I'm tired of being the motivator, the doer, the leader, the driving force. I'm tired of making the decisions. That is how I got here: I'm everyone's respected collaborator and leader, and no one's vulnerable, human, special connection. Everyone expects distant heroism of me -- I want someone who will be a hero FOR me, at least in this one avenue.

My friends are all getting married, or living in long-term, stable relationships. I'm serious. All of them (except the friend with a crush on me). They don't remember what it's like to face emptiness at the end of every day, to begin each day wondering why nothing seems to happen for you. And I don't know ANYONE, mark my word, ANYONE, who's been single and celibate as long as I have been. I'm stronger than most, but I'm pretty sure I'm corroding from the inside. This beam looks massive, but in a year's time, a sharp strike with crumble it, revealing dry rot and termites.

Love just seems to happen for so many people, and the truth is, I can't even find anyone to be interested in. There's not even a prospect to hang a false crush on. My life is empty of women, year after year after year after year. How many places must I live, how many friends must I make, projects must I start, groups must I join, jobs must I have -- before I brush up against one possible candidate to capture my imagination? To add a little comfort and fulfillment to my life? Do I really have to dive into endless debt, and apply to grad school, just to end the solitude? And why should it work any better than college?

And that... is my exorcism.

I'm sure it's too long for anyone to read. So be it. Let my pitiable predicament hide in clear view, blurred in a quick scroll by. And if you read this, thanks. Now go recruit a woman for Wilder.

Sep 27, 2006

Oh my god.

Here comes the heartache and drama.

Sep 22, 2006

Pizza and Beer

The Misplaced Planet DVD has gone off to be professionally duplicated. It has six of our short-films on it, along with behind-the-scenes documentaries and commentaries. This fist disc will represent the best of the stuff we've done in the last two years, and I really can't wait to see it. You can check out some samples at the forum.

If you haven't already, you should be Misplaced Planet's friend on Myspace. Because that's me.

Now, we need to polish off Disc 2 of the set, which will be a bonus for the real fans, and for ourselves. Hopefully, we'll be able to sell enough of these to partially fund the filming of Zaniness Ensues. Anything that reduces the amount of credit-spending is good.

As for me, I haven't been getting a lot of writing done, since the design work for the DVD has consumed my time.

But I have made a lot of progress on the Zaniness Ensues production. We have Jess Temple ready to play the lead female role of Meredith, and Matt McNutt ready to play the lead male role of Elliot. There will be a read-through this Sunday, 10:30 to 1:30, and I am really nervous and pumped. I can't wait to watch this thing become reality. I can't wait to talk about it and really dig-in. Make plans. This is the part I love: when it gets in the hands of more and more people, and they get engaged and excited.

I'm hoping that I can get Barb to play one of the smaller roles, since they'll be difficult to cast, and it'd be a lot of fun. She invited me to Thanksgiving at her place, which is radical. Wish it were Christmas, but I suspect she'll be back on the East Coast for that. I won't be.  I'd also like to get Tai to help out in anyway she can. Production, finding actresses, conning people out of money.  After all, I still have two small female roles to cast, and I want to avoid cattle-calls.

Lastly, I've been talking with a nice woman online, and I'm trying to maintain cool indifference while avoiding cynical retreat. You have to get excited enough to enjoy it, to push it forward, but you want to protect yourself from looking like a fool. But, as they say, everybody plays the fool sometimes. It might be my turn again. Ah well. She seems wonderful so far. Begin countdown to me blowing it.

Sep 11, 2006

Let Me Put This to You Simple...

I want to know where you get those friends that people have in romantic comedies. You know, the single-lead's happy-couple-friends, the ones that see their romantic happiness, paired with their sense of friendship, as an imperative to set the single up with someone special. You know, the couple that quietly gets ready for bed, actually thinking about the loneliness of their good friend.

I am about to throw a fit. Hold on tight!

Jul 10, 2006

It has just begun...

My first two years out of college, I wrote five feature-length screenplays. I'd written endless skits, I'd written 21 episodes of television, but I'd never written a feature-length screenplay before. I started writing the first, Intelligence in the last months of college. I finished writing the fifth, A Darkling Plane, in my first months back from Harlem. I thought, if it didn't do the trick, I was probably done.

It didn't do the trick.

In my third year out of college, I was back home. I traveled around hanging Christmas decorations. I moved to California. And I finished one screenplay, Storybook Park. I felt, if it didn't do the trick, I was probably done.

It didn't do the trick.

This time, I hit a bump. For two years, I haven't written any new features. For two years, I didn't even start one. I kept tearing up the old scripts, starting on vast revisions that lost steam half-way through. I failed to fix Storybook Park, then I failed to fix A Darkling Plane, then I failed to fix Ladies and Gentlemen, even after recruiting Caroline as a writing partner. I couldn't get fixing off my mind. I wrote short scripts, more than I've ever written. Writing became a desperate struggle to fix what was wrong. The joy of creation had become the suffering of second-guessing and facing possible faults. Gordy Hoffman disliked Storybook Park, told me to stop wasting time on shorts, told me to stop fucking around, told me to write something commercial that I could live with.

Two years, almost. I'm nearly five years out of college. But I think I'm almost at "end bump." Perhaps it's only the full moon, but I feel a slow shift. My friendships at work seem to matter; they slowly become something. Who knows what's to come. I'm starting to settle into the long-term battle that writing will be, undoing how spoiled I'd become by having everything I wrote instantly produced.

I've been working pretty steadily on (code-name) Zaniness Ensues, my seventh feature-length screenplay, an expansion of a short that I wrote to be a crowd-pleaser, a short I wrote to be my calling card as a director, a commercial romantic comedy that I can live with, that I enjoy living with. If it doesn't do the trick, so be it, I'm just starting, and there's more where that coming from.

I've been writing a few pages of it every day. Can you imagine? I haven't done anything like that in two or three years. Sitting down, starting because I have to, but continuing because I love to. I'm remembering what it's like to be a writer every, every day.

I wanted to put these thoughts down. Maybe the magic of text will make it stick. Maybe facing this entry will force my pride to keep it true. Maybe it's just the thrill of two LCD flatscreen monitors. But suddenly, writing at my desk, in Los Angeles, feels like the place I should be.

Jun 29, 2006

Wonderous Discovery

I recently find that I am frequently talking to myself, just slightly aloud, just slightly under my breath. Sometimes, I just mouth the words. This is clearly the beginning of my unraveling. I'm a really, really excited about it.

Jun 28, 2006

Too Much in the Midst of It

I wonder if I'd be happier if I wrote more. I wonder if I'd write more if I ate more. I wonder if I'd weigh less if I exercised more. I wonder if I'd have more energy if I exercised more. I wonder if I'd write more if I had more energy. I wonder if I'd be happier if I wrote more.

The boredom of work is exhausting me. I can't focus in the face of all that tedium and distraction, mixed in such perfect balance.

I went to the free 11:00PM improv comedy jam at the UCB Theater on Monday. Mel, from work, was there, and he got called on stage to perform. Robin Williams was also there, and he was on stage, improvising ridiculously with folks from the neighborhood. It was the most fun I've had in a long time.

Jun 25, 2006


I am worn down to the nub. And shortly, it will be two years since I've been in a romantic relationship.

Jun 21, 2006

What Makes People Change?

I've been thinking about the moment in every story when the hero makes either a life-altering decision, or has a life-altering realization, or both. The epiphany that allows the hero to change, or motivates them to remain steadfast against the temptation to surrender.

Again and again, I find myself dissatisfied with these moments in the stories I tell (and elsewhere). Again and again, I find myself working and reworking and reworking this moment. And I've been thinking, I've been realizing: the more real I am able to make the characters, the more alive, the more difficult it becomes to believe that they'd change, or have a realization that strong, all in a fictionalized, focused moment. Perhaps I do not believe that people have these realizations. Perhaps I too often doubt that people make these hard choices while the time is still ripe.

Yet, I refuse to be that cynical. It does not sit well with me, and not only because it would trap my work in art houses, at best, and I want to reach a wide range of people, not just intellectuals and movie buffs. I want to believe that people can, and do, make these decisions, do have these realizations, can have these moments where they take charge of fate. I want to believe that I have them myself, and may have another someday. I want to believe that I am here because of such moments. But they are so hard to recognize, so hard to dramatize -- without falling back on formula, without simply fullfilling accepted plot expectations.

I beleive my mind will be focused on these moments for some time. Perhaps from now on. They are the atoms. It is obvious. It is no revelation. All must come from them. I feel it. I feel it like a thorn in my mind. A nagging problem to be solved. A place to find another piece of myself as a storyteller and a person. What is my answer to the question: "What Makes People Change?"

What will make people change? What will motivate people question their reality and answer their dreams, or question their dreams and answer to reality? Where do these realizations come from? Where does the bravery to change come from? How can those small moments be condensed, focused, and dramatized into a single, powerful movement? A moment with a hero, an inspiration. A moment with a real person, doing the extraordinary? How do I believe that happens?

I don't have the answer. But having seized on the question is exciting.

Jun 18, 2006

Between Gears, But Still Moving

I've gotten a good bit done over the last week or so.

I finished a revision of Zaniness Ensues, my blog codename for the short that I intend to film, my big plan to break in as a writer/director, and I'm pretty happy with it. The old crew seems to approve, and the guys at work also approved, which was a surprise and a relief. I feel very good about it, and as a thank-you, I spent too much time today working on a "Paul Giamatti War Machine" animation.

I also finished another segment of the Just Us League Behind the Scenes, though I'm still waiting on interview footage of Benni and Shaun, and also Shaun's brother's video footage. I'm hoping it will fill out the early parts of the day, where I have gaps.

While laying around, I worked out a few kinks in my mental outline for the feature-length version of Zaniness Ensues. It will tap into some experiences of my own, and give the story a nice twist.

Structurally, I've been thinking a lot about ten-minute segments...

Since it will be part of a plan to get myself an agent, I hope I'll have the will and motivation to actually complete this feature, the first I've started from scratch in more than a year. My progress on Ladies & Gentlemen has been stalled by a sense of futility, which may be accurate. The same sense stopped Burying Amelia Waverly about six months ago, immediately following the failed revision of Storybook Park, whose failure had Gordy Hoffman telling me to make something marketable, which gave birth to Zaniness Ensues.

It seems that my productivity relies on the project fitting into some sort of larger plan. This is not romantic, but probably for the best.

I could have gotten more done this weekend, and more done today in particular, but have felt rather sluggish. I saw Nacho Libre yesterday, which wasn't bad, but hasn't left much of a lasting impression on me. I spent the rest of the day on Behind the Scenes editing and uploading. I await feedback. I also bought a new set of speakers for my computer, so that I can finally hear what I'm listening to. Thus, I spent too much of today listening to "News from Lake Wobegon." Laying around. Feeling stuck between gears.

I should have started work on the Just Us League website, but didn't want to get caught up in that big of a project. Such things swallow me whole, make a day vanish in a snap, and I needed rest. Thinking room. Being productive means getting sick of sitting at the computer. So, I made several visits to my bed. I had pleasant, dirty dreams. I failed to do my laundry. I ate hamburgers and hot-dogs, smoked cloves and drank beer. I trimmed my bangs and walked the dog. I reflected in my live journal, dreaded going to work, took a benedryl, and went to bed.

Jun 9, 2006

Time and Thought

Our new short film (J.U.L) is up and running at the dvxuser.com contest, HeroFest. Embarrassingly, the forum discussion about it has been consuming more of my time and thought than it should. Which is to say, it's gotten some time and thought. It doesn't deserve any at all.

Meanwhile, I've been editing the Behind the Scenes footage for the same, and it's been going slowly. Yes, it's all digitized, which is an achievement. But I've only got about a minute of edited footage, and I'm still waiting on a tape from Shaun's brother. I must be patient. I don't want to go too far before I've seen the footage available on that tape. My method doesn't easily allow for last-minute entries. Things get too tightly interwoven to easily revise.

Which is similar to the problem with Zaniness Ensues. Apparently, an inherent problem of the fast-moving, interwoven style that I like so much. A problem I'm going to have to teach myself to solve.

And that's where most of my time and thought has gone of late. Struggling unsuccessfully with the script for our next short, the one I'll direct, Zaniness Ensues. I think it's quite good, and it has the potential to be a real crowd pleaser. Plus, it's well without our budgetary constraints. We can do it right.

But I'm just not satisified with the ending. I've been writing, tinkering, stressing, pondering, relaxing, but still no real breakthrough. The final movement just doesn't live up to the rest of the script, and it's got to exceed it. I need it to go somewhere unexpected. I need it to hit home. I've got to nail it. And I haven't yet.

So that will be my weekend. Editing footage and rewriting against a vast unsolved problem.

Jun 3, 2006

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

All I can say about today is: it's hot. And tomorrow it might get up several degrees above 100. And, in no way unrelated, I saw "An Unconvenient Truth" today. If you haven't seen it, go. Take everyone you know. Where there justice, this movie would be number one in the world. Then again, if there were justice, the movie would be unnecessary, stating facts that everyone already knows.

Despite the heat, I was able to capture more than two-thirds of the Behind the Scenes footage for Just Us League. Unfortunately, it's going to need more to make something coherent. But that's something to worry about tomorrow.

Tonight, I see if I can sleep without turning on the A/C.

May 30, 2006

Likes Buses and Subway Cars

I'm feeling a little bit better today, mostly because I managed to write a full scene of Ladies & Gentlemen. I did a little at work, a lot at home. I don't know what the cause was, but I hope it had nothing to do with smoking several clove cigarettes on Sunday night. More likely, it has to do with confessing to myself, to the internet, and to my roommate, that things weren't going well with my writing career or private hopes, which I did at the same time I smoked and drank.

I guess sometimes, one needs to come to the edge, look over, and be reminded what it looks like over there. Or at least, remember that the brink is always there, and if you really want to, you've given yourself permission to visit it again, without branding yourself a permenant resident.

Whatever it may be, I hope I can sustain some energy for at least a few weeks. I hate the 24-hour flu version of productivity, and I seem to be prone to it of late. I need to stop letting days slip away, simply because another will be coming along soon.

May 28, 2006

I. Just. Can't. Engage. So. I. Complain.

I have a terribly virulent strain of writer's block, and it seems like I've had it for months. It seems that way because I have. Since at least December. I'd be willing to start smoking again to crack it open. It's reached its roots and shoots into every nook of my life.

For me, the block is never caused by a problem I can't solve. Writer's block is always an inability to find a problem I care to solve. It's always a question of care. A problem of passion. And this year, this year, this year so far, I can't seem to care about writing another screenplay, or another short, or another contest runner-up-ship, or another disappointment. I don't care to meet people, I don't care to date, I don't care to write. I only get excited about paying off my debt.

"When you get old, your heart dies."

I was fooling with my picture phone and took some photos of myself, quite similar to some I took in Harlem three years ago. I loaded them onto the computer, and there I saw them side-by-side with the pictures of three years ago. I look so much older now. Both fatter here and thinner there. More crooked. Graying.

I have these fictional lives in my hands, and that used to really excite me, but now, for such a long time, I couldn't care less what they do. These toys no longer amuse me. I'd rather just sleep. That's where Ralph and I are vikings.

I keep having dreams about everyone I used to know. It seems my subconscious enjoys making them take a few turns round the stage, even as it tires at making fictional folks dance. It's good to see them respond to calls for encore. They don't respond to calls on the phone.

And now I sound like a massive mope, with symptoms of depression.

But. It's better than writing nothing.

May 26, 2006


For we are many.

May 23, 2006

Better than Being Fired, Almost as Good as Quitting

Quite out of the blue today, my manager told me I'm under consideration for a promotion, hopefully a raise. And I hope, a substantial one, since I'm still at starter pay for a QC.

Of course, the catch is I'll have to learn to open work orders, and thereby, I'll know how to open jobs, assign jobs to transcriptionists in-house and out, (both of which I recruit, test, and interview), and then process, print, and delivery finished jobs. Meaning, I'll have a hand in every step of the process, excluding sales and billing, the bookends. However, if that could mean a dollar or two more an hour (hoping for too much, I know), it'd be worth extending my stay there.

I'm getting so close to paying off my credit-card debts, I feel it in my bones.

Barring a tragedy, November or December, my car will be paid off, this laptop and my desktop will be paid off, and my other credit debts will be memories. Sitting on the balcony on break, eyes shut to the sun, I sometimes obsess with thoughts of it, like a vacation or a sexual fantasy. If my car can make it through the year, I'm thinking of leasing or buying something lightly used. I've never had anything nearly new. Maybe a Mini Cooper convertible with stick shift. Something stick shift. Something fuel efficient and nimble. Something I can park in my own armpit.

I cannot imagine the money I could save, and the things I could do, if I weren't paying the same to my debts as I am to my rent, bills, and groceries! I am nauseated with the fear of failing to get there.

May 11, 2006

And Feel That Way Forever

I have to bite my tongue so that I don't accidentally quit work today. If this almost-week off doesn't reset the system, I'm not long for this position.

Meanwhile, I was reading about alcoholics last night, and determined that I'm not an alcoholic. I am, however, a sleep-a-holic. How could anyone sleep only the amount that they need? Who wouldn't want that feeling to just go on, and on, and on?

May 10, 2006

I Am an Adult, I'm Told

I have the mood swings and cravings of a pregnant woman. Today I want pretzels for dinner. Thin pretzels. And I'm an "adult," so I'm going to have some.

May 9, 2006

Weebles Wobble

"Weebles wobble and then, with a subtle sigh, resign themselves to gravity, and sadly, slowly, fall to the ground."

I had another vivid dream last night, but I can remember only small bits of it. Jason Schwartzman and I were trying to pitch a film to a producer. It was Schwartzman's idea, and he was bringing me in to back him up.

It had something to do with a guy whose dog used to scratch the hardwood floors with his nails. After the dog finally died, the man replaced the floor with ceramic tiles. And yet, the man kept hearing dog sounds. And then, one fateful day, the tiles were scratched. This was very high concept horror, I suppose. This is what Schwartzman wanted me to punch up.

The producer got furious with us. His investor, a doctor, had just lost his temper at him and thrown a tantrum in the middle of the hospital. The movie was a no-go. Homosexuality was involved, as were crayons, but I'm not clear on the details. Either way, he was blaming our poorly-presented concept, and particularly, my lack of experience in the field.

I tried to defend my industry cred, but I could only think of my time at Niad Management, which I blew way out of proportion. I couldn't remember the Steel Company, not that it would have helped. The Transcription Stuff didn't come up.

Afterward, Jason Schwartzman said he was going to leave New York and go back home to become an architect or something, and his mom was there to pick him up. I was going to have to find a new roommate for myself. I was very sad. I would no longer have a screenwriter friend, and I hugged him, and tried to convince him to stay. But he left, and I woke up in Los Angeles.

Jason Schwartzman is not a screenwriter. He is an actor and a boyfriend to Zooey Deschanel, my favorite actress. I want to cast her in something. Sometimes thinking about how badly I want to cast her in something, I actually get some writing done on somethings.

Anyway, I woke up feeling that I'd accomplished very little in the year+plus that I've been in Los Angeles, thinking that maybe I should go back to school and become a lawyer. I'd be a very good lawyer, and a better judge. I like to argue. Shouting is one of my favorite things. Perhaps, someday, I could be a supreme court justice. Or a professional shouter.

May 6, 2006

William Saroyan

"Good people are good because they've come to wisdom through failure."

May 4, 2006

Torture by Dream Report

I had a dream last night that I was getting married. The ceremony was in a big empty auditorium, something like a converted gymnasium, full of long tables and plastic chairs, like a school cafeteria. I'd been there before, but only in dreams, it seems.

Everything about the ceremony was half-assed and tossed together. The organist, on a casio keyboard mounted to a portable boom box, kept playing the opening notes of "Here Comes the Bride," over and over and over, but never got to the part where the bride comes. The march went down between tables and chairs. There was no bridal party, and no one gave anyone away.

I was marrying Melissa, my girlfriend from high school. She had a white dress. The priest was a young dark-haried woman, and she read her lines from a pamphlet mounted to the podeum for show, and she couldn't quite angle her head enough to read them right.

Afterward I sat at the table with Melissa's relatives, two sisters, aunts perhaps, and they mocked the wedding, and criticized everything I'd felt ashamed about. Suddenly, I raged against them and decided the wedding was fine, and I went out in search of my family. I found them at another table, and soon woke up.

And yet, I rather liked the dream. I've been having a lot of dreams that I rather prefer to waking up.

May 1, 2006

W. Somerset Maugham

"Life isn't long enough for love and art."

Apr 4, 2006


I had a very nice date. She probably didn't.

Hi, have we met? I'm an idiot.

I felt very cloudy. I'm not sure what I said. I felt like I was losing her attention. I couldn't get her to open up more than once or twice, and yet, I felt rather comfortable with her, looking in her eyes, which is rare. Very rare. I do so much better with women I'm not interested in.

When I first got there, the restaurant she'd suggested was closed. So very closed, I imagined it was out of business. This was a prank. I walked up and down the street, in the rain, with my duck-head umbrella, hoping I wasn't getting stood up, almost certain I was. This was a mean prank. I sat in the car listening to NPR. At 8PM, Talk of the Nation started -- the show whose transcripts I spend two hours a day checking for errors. I got out to check for her one last time, and there she was. I closed the door, and locked my keys in the car.

Alli earned her keep and brought me the spare set of keys. In the middle of the date. You might imagine this could be very award - and it was.

It turns out that my date once randomly hooked up with someone from Hampshire college, in New York, in her senior year of highschool. It was Henry. I felt very cloudy. I couldn't remember his last name. Stirling and Keely could, via text message.

I botched a chance to get her cellphone number, and I botched the goodbye, never pressing for more than a hug. I felt very cloudy, and I was surprised it was ending so quickly.

When I came home, very cloudy turned into desperate to vomit. Not nerves. Illness. I spent the next three hours praying to puke. Trying so hard to throw up. About twenty minutes ago, I finally did it. A lot. And I feel so much better. Yes, I puked in utter joy.

I'm calling in sick tomorrow. It'll be my first time since arriving in LA.

 And right now, I'm gonna go puke a little more. I hope.

Apr 2, 2006

Paper and Pencil

I have an image in my mind. It is me, writing. It's strange. I have glasses in it. I'm at a desk, turning over sheets of paper. I think I'm writing in pencil, and the paper has a thick tooth, almost as rough as denim in my mind. I wrote an episode of Darwin's Kids, in college, in a single night, all on paper like that, with a pencil. It was the Jan Term episode.

In the vision, I'm not sure what I'm wearing. I don't know what time of day it is, the light is neither blue nor bronze. Not sure where I am. The camera's looking up at such an angle, I can't see the chair or the desk, or anything but the colorlessness of an out-of-focus ceiling. But what's so romantic about this image is... I'm totally absorbed. I'm just writing.

How can I get there? How can I shut up the stress, the expectations, the commercial/success imperative? How can I write something passionately, freely, without the critics and the critiques hovering and editing? You can't get lost -- truly, gleefully lost -- when always hear the chatter of the highway so nearby. Where are the dark woods I used to get lost in?

Sometimes I think, I need someone I can trust, someone to get lost with, someone beautiful, and difficult, and inspiring. But that's foolish, a deflection of responsibility. Even though it would be nice, in that image, to have someone come up and look over my shoulder, I am the only one capable of getting lost in those pages, instead of lost in the worry of ticking clocks and closing chances, graying hair and mounting debt.

So, clearly, the solution is -- paper and pencil. Right?

Mar 31, 2006

Getting some Potato Chips

Today I'm very excited about getting some potato chips.

Here's my plan. One big bag of kettle cooked, hopefully BBQ or jalepeno. Another big bag, Ruffles, ridges, Cheddar Cheese and Sour Cream. I want to eat these with a frosty can of Coke. Sit on my bed and watch West Wing DVDs.

I have successfully gotten up before 7:00 AM for three days now. The mornings have been pretty productive, but right now, I'm in agony. I'm staying awake by will power alone. I move by the power of prayer. It seems, just as in high school, my body simply doesn't give a damn how many hours of sleep I got, if I make it move before 9AM, it's not cooperating. It will have its revenge.

There's some promise on the dating front, or at least, there's someone who perhaps accidentally got my hopes up. This is promising -- promising to be very disappointing in a slow, sinking disappointment way.

Meanwhile, the producer didn't like my proposal for Hell Froze Over, but liked the writing in the sample enough that he wants to meet with me once he gets back from Cannes, so he can explain what he wants for the project more thoroughly, and have me write another sample.

Yippie! I get to do more free work!

I haven't told you anything about this project, but if course, I think he's wrong about Hell Froze Over, and will tell you about it soon. Maybe I'll even link the proposal, since it's now officially mine again. Rejected!

Maybe tomorrow I'll go see Brick. I hear it was done for half a million, because they filmed without lights, mostly in daylight. I also hear it's playing at the Arclight and in some place called "Manhattan."

Mar 28, 2006

Give Morning a Try

After four years of intensive study, I have concluded that all day jobs are bad for me. Once again, this one is killing me. Quickly.

 But I cannot escape it, because there aren't going to be any better day jobs than this. There's no place else to explore. Aside from the pay, which could be improved, this is as good as I'm gonna find. Thus, I either slowly tighten until I snap, or I find a way around this immovable object.

Each day, I go to work, and by the end of my stay there, my spirit is 100% broken; I just want to go home, drink a few beers, and curl up for sleep. Even when I'm not physically drained, I'm soul tired, uninspired, angry, hopeless, and lonely.

So, my plan is this: I'm going to get up early, and try to work for three or four hours every morning, before going to work and having my soul crushed. This is a terrible idea, but terrible ideas are the only ones that seem to materialize in this world, aren't they?

We all know, this will never work. I am as far from a morning person as possible. I'm more Republican than I am morning person. Yet, it's in the morning shower that I feel closest to maybe, maybe, maybe being able to write something again, maybe, maybe, maybe and enjoy my existance again. It's not until work beats the hope out of me that I rage at my solitude and my powerlessness. So. We'll try this. My alarm clock is set for 6:05 AM. I'm gonna give it a shot.

Hell, I can't get any grumpier.

Mar 23, 2006

Harder and Harder to Breathe

I've been spending a lot of time with old Darwin's Kids raw footage this week, searching for stuff for our reunion in May, getting ready to patch together some treats for the DVD. And I return to an old state of mind.

Four years later? I am quite a pitiful thing.

I do not like what I'm doing with my life. I preferred life then. And I don't know how the fuck I can get life to be anything better than this, anything even vaguely similar to what it was then. There is a shortage of resources for doing the things I love, and the jobs that would allow me access to those resources are snatched up by the children of those who have it already, by the connected and well-born. And of course, by the lucky. And of course, by the charming.

One of which, I am not.

I don't know how to get there from here. I'm out of tricks and schemes. I'm out of ideas. I can't think of anything I want to write, because I have faith in none of it. None of it will get me out of this cage.

I'm poor, and I'll always be poor. I'll always work a lousy job to pay the bills, and I'll always get tired and bored and frustrated with it, I will never love or even tolerate it. I will not get ahead in that job, and the disappointment and frustration with it will be added to my disappointment and frustration with life, adding frustration and disappointment to frustration and disappointment. I will be forever frustrated and disappointed. What kind of person is that? One whose company will never be desired, one who will enjoy the company of no-one.

I have no desire to speak, because all I know of desire, is terrible how it feels when it is frustrated. In my profession. In my affections.

I just want to catch a break, so I can breathe.

Feb 5, 2006

Perversity & Whine

Possibly the most ridiculous thing that Gordy said keeps rattling around in my brain. "You really could make it, but you know ... you really could not make it too." 

I don't know why it haunts me, depresses me, frustrates me. Perhaps because it frames it as a choice. I could keep writing these dark, risky things that come from my heart, and "be sitting here, in this office - well not this office, I'll have a better office - in that suit ten years from now," or I could fucking figure out some light and fluffy high-concept product to sell...

I really feel sick.

I finished the short script "The Dead Samaritan" today, and it doesn't work. Which proves a point. A month or more wasted. No one is into it. And for some reason, I'm not even getting e-mail that people are sending to be polite, say something pleasant, and pass on.

Feb 3, 2006

Kick in the Pants

I met with Gordy Hoffman concerning Storybook Park. Despite his assertion that the present engine of the story (that is, Baron), needs to be fully excised with a thick rim of healthy skin, he didn't believe that should be my next move. Quite literally, he said I needed to drop all the bullshit, fuck all the short-films, ignore the people who want me to make sci-fi or thrillers, and write a high concept romantic comedy, and get it out there.

Which means, drop all the crap...

He wasn't overly excited by the Cusp of Aquarius pitch, though I don't believe I did a very good job of pitching it. Frankly, I did a terrible job, because, as always, I haven't yet figured out how to explain it, since I haven't yet figured out how to write it. I sent him an e-mail yesterday with a stripped down pitch for The Jumpers, and I've been allowing myself to think it's a brilliant idea, when boiled down to the core. I hope I'll hear back from him soon, so he can pop my bubble before I get too involved in the build up.

"You can do your friends a lot more good by getting a screenplay sold than by fucking around in these dumb little projects they want to do."

Meanwhile, I have terrible pimples and a canker sore unlike any I've had in years.

A kick in the pants can often be mistaken for a kick in the nuts.

Jan 23, 2006

Most Depressing Day of the Year

Welcome to January 23rd. I hope today's not your birthday.
So says Cliff Arnall, a British psychologist who made headlines last year when he unveiled the results of a formula that used weather, debt, time since the holidays and a few other factors to determine the most melancholy day. In Britain, and places like the U.S. Northeast that have roughly similar climates, it's the Monday closest to January 24, Arnall says.
I'm starting to feel it too.

I thought it was just because I was doing so well at becoming an alcoholic (and becoming an alcoholic has been my most successful goal in years), but it seems that I'm not the only one feeling like a loser this time of year.

I wanted to write more, but it's all either perverse or self-pitying. I try to restrain the amount of self-pity I write, and I'd hate to waste perversity on a livejournal entry, when it's much preferred in my actual writing.

I am putting in an official request for a woman in my life. Even a bad idea woman.

Thanks. Get on that.

Jan 4, 2006

Bring it on, Calendar.

I think, instead of a writer, I'm going to become an alcoholic.

I know, I know. It's not as easy as all that. Hell, I've tried before, and failed. The headaches. The expense. But now that I've quit smoking, I somehow learned to like beer. I can drink one rather fast. I can drink two rather fast too. And that's gotta be the first step. I can get myself a little tipsy every night. Easy. I'm watching a lot of Burt Reynolds movies. If I watch enough, soon I'll be able to listen to football on the radio. Eventually, baseball. Then I'll be up to a six pack a night. And I can switch over to the hard stuff without noticing much.

I think I'll be better at being an alcoholic than being a writer. I seem to enjoy it more. And it's natural. Failing as a writer leads to a life of disappointing solitude. Disappointing solitude leads to drinking yourself to sleep. And so, the circle of life.

My calendar, it says on Friday, "Epiphany." It came with that, you know, typed there. Officially. Right above "First Quarter" with the little moon slice. I don't know what it's doing there, but it's damn good timing. I could use some fucking epiphany. Bring it on, calendar.