Sunday, January 31, 2010
They were gone.
I looked around my home for a bit, but they had left somewhere. I went outside to look for them, with similar luck, and decided to pick up the mail. As I walked to the mailbox, I was quick to notice two things that really made me drift into wondering thought. The moon was still out and bright, surrounded by navy blue sky. And a significant number of people were out and about, not doing anything in particular. Just awake and moving. This made me feel as though we had all experienced this odd morning awakening. I could be wrong of course. (My parents had actually woken up early to drop one of my uncle off at the airport).
I went back to sleep and awoke around 10. My friend Patrick M. called me up around 11, and we made plans to meet up for lunch at El Torito, which was having a Sunday Brunch buffet special. After we ate, we just talked about random stuff. I told him about how I almost got scammed early this year, and he, in return, told me about the funny, odd, and alarming week he's had.
(I not only asked for his permission to tell this story, but also if I could exaggerate a bit. He said yes! I've decided on telling it like a Noir. Enjoy).
The Big Pay Off
The name's Patrick Mathews, and it can be said that I was born cursed. One of them Chinatown curses, the kind with a nod and a knowing smile. "May You Have An Interesting Life." Heh. Got that right.
2010 has been a futuristic year with the same kind of problems that plagued years with simpler math. All the equations come down to money. And I could use a few dollars, these days. What's a graduated monster-making man with a shaky job sitch to do? So I grabbed a tray of letters and had a one on one with the world wide what-have-it. If you had an appetite to give out jobs that leaned on the odd side, but also a couple of dimes to rub together, then I had a hard time saying no.
I had a word with Craig and got on his list. Its a crowded dance floor, but at least the music don't change. I ignored my momma's advice and talked to a lot of strangers. One stranger, though, had just enough candy for me to try and sweet talk him.
He talked to me on a Monday, his name was Kalinski, and he moved fast.
"Mr. Patrick," he said on the phone, "I work with orphanages. I would like to hire you for your services. You will organize my day."
"Sounds good Mr. Kalinski," I drawled, "But just call me Patrick."
"Excellent," he replied, "And you can call me Kalinski."
"Is that your first name?" I asked.
"No," he said, "I will be contacting you tomorrow. Thank you and good day to you."
Kalinski was a man of few words and even fewer names.
Tuesday was the day that Kalinski called again.
"Mr. Patrick," he greeted me, "Do you have a criminal record?"
"No, sir," I replied, "I got away with everything."
"Hmm, yes," he answered, not nearly impressed enough with that joke, "Also, are you responsible enough to handle large sums of money?"
"Yes?" what else could I say?
"Good," he stated. The connection was dead before I put the phone down.
On Wednesday, the silence was deafening.
Thursday hit with a FedEx package and an e-mail, both from Kalinski. The message was simple and worrying: "Mr. Patrick. Please take this $2000 check and deposit it into your bank account. Then transfer that to the account listed at the bottom of this e-mail. I trust you will do this well."
Well damn. Dear ol' mom always wanted me to clean my clothes, but this wasn't the kind of laundering I think she had in mind. Heh. Interesting lives ain't all that great to live in.
Yeah, that's kind of short, but what do you want? The story is only week old.
I later caught up with Aaron and Amy to finish off the First Season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was good, and I can't wait to get them into Season Two. Okay! Until next blog...
Nate Note: Holy crap, folks! One month of this mad little blog experiment of mine is down. Let's see if I can pull off 11 more months of these bad boys.
I woke up early and got ready. I was staring at my clothes, trying to remember how they work, when I got a text from Lainey. She was up and awake. I checked my e-mail to see if Lucy with the cat had sent her address yet. She had, in fact, and the final leg of the journey to get Lainey a kitten had begun.
Its the last part of this 3-parter, folks. So here it goes...
I drove over to her place, and when I got there, I found that we were both groggy. I was glad for that, because I didn't want to be the only person rattled by the early sun. The first place she wanted to head to was a Swap Meet in the Westminster area. It was at a college, and I hadn't been there for years. The place had the usual smattering of questionably procured items, and Yardsale Clearance. But it also had some impressive booths and stands, organized and stocked to the gills.
Lainey's intent was to find a cat carrier. But it was a particular one that had caught her eye the last time she had been at the Swap Meet. So we looked up and down the rows of stands, not seeming to have any luck with the search. As I got more and more distracted by the sheer random selection of the Swap Meet, I realized that we get low on time before too soon.
"Um," I started, with my usual wit, "Do we even NEED a cat carrier?
"Probably not," replied Lainey, "But didn't you say it would look better if we had one?"
"Kind of," I said, "But I meant more that we should look prepared to take in a cat."
"Really?" she asked.
"Yeah," I continued, "We can get a cardboard box if we have too."
"Huh," she thought for a moment, "Okay, let's get a churro and go."
"My kind of plan," I agreed.
We left the Swap Meet and got back to my car. I put the address into Sheila (my GPS) and set off for the mysterious horizons of Chino Hills. The initial calculation said that we would get there within a half hour. But its California, so I always add an additional half hour to everything. Fortunately, the initial calculation was almost dead on, and we soon pulled up to the house that either had within its walls a brand new kitten or some people that would be murdered via Death-by-Vegan.
By this point, Lainey was very nervous. But I felt very confident, which was very odd. I rang the doorbell and was quick to hear excited voices and kids running around on the other side of the door. Lucy answered the door, greeted us, and welcomed us inside. Its a strange thing to come into someones house searching for one particular thing. In this case, I was scanning every inch of the house for kittens. Not my normal list of: Bathroom, religious paraphernalia, chairs, and things that might trip me. We were shown to a couch and engaged in some small talk.
Topics of Conversation @ Lucy's Chino Hills Home: Cats, kittens, weird people, cats, CraigsList, moving out of houses, kittens, how crazy kids can be, cats, etc.
In the midst of this small talk, we finally met the little kitten that would be going home with Lainey. And I can't stress enough just how insanely adorable this kitten is. And I mean present tense, people. Adorable with a capital "ADORABLE." The kids had given the kitten the moniker "Mittens," and it struck me just how temporary that name felt. It was just a placeholder, and Lainey would have to come up with a real name. As of this blog, no name has been decide on. But it will no doubt be awesome.
We gave the money that Lucy had asked for the kitten, thanked her and her family for their kindness yet again, and then drove back to Lainey's home. The entire time, I was kind of in shock. The kitten had been found. The kitten had been real. The kitten was now with us, and it was going to a good home. I had actually accomplished something. But that was me and where my head was at, between the insanely adorable meows of the insanely adorable kitten. And Lainey? Well...
She held that little kitten all the way back to her home.
Friday, January 29, 2010
We headed to Comics Unlimited so that I could actually do my comic run that I had missed out on. Wednesday had been filled with work, not sweet, sweet comic nirvana like usual. Nancy and Lainey were there, and we had a more quick chat than the standard monologues we normally enjoy throwing at each other. Justin and I left a little early to catch some food and a flick.
Topics of Conversation @ Comics Unlimited: Cat carriers, "Except In Bed" add-ons, honey, Evil Lainey, C.A.T. timeshares, giving children purple hair whether they want it or not, Sherlock Holmes, etc.
The movie we ended up watching was The Fantastic Mr. Fox at the $2 theater. It was directed by Wes Anderson, and anyone that is a fan of this director would have no problem discerning that fact. The other fact that was apparent was that we were truly at a $2 Theater, because most of the movie was spent with the top of the heads of characters being cut off by the screen. We would have complained, but it didn't feel worth the effort.
I mean honestly, it didn't even seem worth the principle of the thing. I'm going to go over and yell at somebody being paid minimum wage to make a cheap theater less cheap? I'd get my $2.50 back, yet I wouldn't achieve any feeling of accomplishment. I would only accomplish looking like a feeb. Go, Nate. Ugh.
Mr. Fox was actually pretty good. I enjoyed it, especially how unique it was. The dialogue and voice acting was sharp. And I laughed out loud often enough to not care about how cramped the seats were in that poorly designed theater. My knees never stopped caring, but my mind was occupied enough to ignore my leg's cries for mercy.
But I still need to catch Sherlock Holmes, damn it!
(Oh yeah, next Journal should be Part 3 of the Kitten Saga, and hopefully the finale. Stay tuned).
I promised my friends Jamal and Jon that I would help them move out of their apartment, but before I get into that I need to tell you about the very odd conversation I overheard when I was depositing money at the bank this same morning.
I picked up my check from Lakewood the morning of the move, and headed to my bank. Once I got into the building, I could overhear an old man tersely talking to one of two tellers. The other teller was right next to them, and was available. It was hard to hear the words, but as I walked up to the other teller, I could hear the old man talking.
"I just don't get what the problem is," mumbled the old man angrily.
"Sir, its just that we can't give that much money in cash," answered the teller.
"But I'm a member! This is ridiculous," he complained.
"I'm sorry, sir, but a check or money order is all we can give you," explained the teller patiently.
"I just want $2000 in cash, damn it!" he quietly railed at her, "I'm trying to buy a car!"
"Yes, you've told me that sir," said the teller, "but we don't carry that much in cash, especially for the amount of people we have who come in to withdraw cash. I'm sure we can get our sister branch on *something* street to try and help you out."
"I just don't understand," he repeated over and over, "I'm a member, and I just need $2000 in cash. I just don't understand."
The teller that was helping me caught me almost start laughing, and shared an amused smile as she glanced over at the old man. We rolled our eyes at each other. Fellow humans sharing an experience with the bizarre. I'm pretty sure the old man did need $2000 in cash to pay off his bookie.
Anyways, that was my bank story.
I headed over to Jamal and Jon's apartment. The move had started in small bits by the point that I got there. It didn't really start until we ALL got there.
Jamal - Smart-assed Scientist with a heart of gold.
Jon - Cool-headed law student with an old soul.
Justin - A Film making Dynamo and stalwart friend.
Chris - Straight forward man of mystery.
Michael - A thinking man's man-of-action.
Ben - The original Pop Punk Cowboy.
And Nate - the legendary Bearded P.A. of Six Cities.
We stood as one against an Apartment split in two.
I feel like another ballad. I also like these because they help to sum up entire events in an amusing manner (for me, anyways).
The Pinebrook Seven
Seven friends rode out that day
To help each other in any way
And if the feat seemed too great to others
Not a word would the Seven say.
Jamal and Jon made the call
For help from those big and small
The Apartment would be defeated now
Or else the Seven would fall.
The stair steps reached into the teens
Daunting tasks with limited means
How could so few accomplish so many goals?
Bad luck hungry for grisly scenes.
Into the Apartment marched the seven
The scenario a madman's heaven
With danger eagerly waiting around ever door frame
All multiplied by a factor of eleven.
But no matter what stood in their path
Be it no handles, thirst, or bad math
The Seven would not stop in their mission
To clear out the domestic bloodbath.
The borrowed truck's ramp was broken
Breaks were needed to do some smokin'
The Seven's obstacles were many and intimidating
But not a word of quitting was ever spoken.
Steel handles of dollies were shattered
The strength of their bodies were battered
But these were all but small prices paid gladly
The Apartment's defeat was what mattered.
And fun was made with honest zest
And laughter bought with every jest
Pizza was eaten between all the sweaty work
"That's what she said," all would attest.
The first to achieve success was Jon
His furniture was the first to be gone
To the home of his childhood he would return
And law school would be his new dawn.
Finally, the last to be done was Jamal
His new home was nearly down the hall
He saved time for in Pinebrook he would stay
He lives in a one bedroom after all.
Of the Seven, none could know their fate
Save for what this humble writer could state
What can be said is that we will gather when needed
Unless we're busy with work, stuff, or a date.
Topics of Conversation @ Pinebrook: Polo shirts, Indian food, New York, lifting with your legs as opposed to lifting with your head, vegan cheese, being edgy, the Salvation Army denying perfectly disgusting sofas, unemployment checks, chucking furniture over balconies, cologne, etc.
Nate Note: Pinebrook is not the name of the apartment complex, but I just didn't want to go spilling Jamal's real digs on the net. So there.
Thanks for reading!
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
It was from a lady named Lucy, and she had posted on CraigsList about having two all black kittens for about $45 in Chino Hills. I distinctly remember when I e-mailed this listing, I had incredibly low expectations. And very little hope. I was pretty tired, and it had been one of many. I mean, since when did Chino Hills NOT let you down?
But it looks like Chino Hills is cleaning up its act.
She had e-mailed me back, and after some rapid-fire back and forth, I was able to get some pics of the kitten. And in a word, this little guy is wacky tobacky cute. You'd want to hug the computer monitor. So after I assured Lucy that the kitten was wanted, and would be paid for, I shot my cell number at her. I called Lainey, gushed about my exhausted feeling of victory, she was happy and got to see the pics of the kitten, and then I went to sleep. I had an early morning call time at the City of Lakewood, which would then lead right into my usual night shift at Norwalk.
I spent most of the morning running cables and equipment around and shooting a State of the City event/lunch. Fairly easy and laid back, really. On my lunch, I noticed that I had a voicemail from an unknown caller. I listened to message, and was quick to discover that it had been Lucy. She wanted me to call her back.
Good news? Or bad news...?
I called her back, but only got the machine. Argh. I then had to head back to work shooting cops... with video cameras. Come on, people! The whole event was informative, well run, and perfectly designed to make me wait for an entire hour before I could call Lucy again. Damn it. Finally the presentation was over, and all the equipment had been returned to whence it came.
I called Lucy again.
And this time she answered. Yes!
"Hello, is this Lucy?" I asked.
"Yes, are you Nathan?" she answered.
"Yes, how are you?!" I said.
"Good, thank you, how are you?" she said.
(It feels like social pleasantries were designed to slow us down).
"I'm good, thanks," I sped up, "I was calling regarding the kitten. Is it still available?" The gauntlet had been thrown, the moment of truth had arrived.
YES she said, making me feel me like I had accomplished the impossible. Over a kitten. That was one of a litter of 6. That she was giving away on CraigsList. Hey, I'll take any win I can get my grubby hands on.
We talked over the cost, distance, and day.
Chino Hills? One hour? Check.
Day? Uh.... wait, when is Lainey available? S**t.
I said that I had to check out my schedule, but said that it would definitely be either Friday or Saturday. I would get back to them in no time. I made sure to border-line beg them not to give the kitten away in the meantime. I asked when Lainey would be able to grab some time off to grab the cat.
In the meantime, I headed to Norwalk and had a blast going through old tapes of past events from 80's and 90's. I was looking at a tape from when I was probably 8-years-old, that cracked me up because and how corny it was, and that we were JUST as corny NOW. Our essential quality was the same, regardless of equipment. Its cool to know some things not only DON'T change, but are incapable of changing.
Lainey texted me. Saturday was GO.
I called Lucy on my break, and set the pick up date and time for the kitten to be Saturday morning. I set about marking on my calendar the date, and went about my work. I played some more old tapes and did a bit of editing. It didn't hit me until I was on the freeway headed home that I had actually accomplished something. A little kitten was going to have a home. A good person was going to get what they wanted. A shelter and Pet Store run by a-holes were successfully bypassed. And I had helped.
An all-around good Wednesday.
Its really hard to find a black kitten in this town. I mean, who knew, right? But what makes it worse is the fact that I'm trying to avoid Shelters and Pet Stores. Wow, that's a ridiculous pain in the arse.
Let me back up a tick.
So my friend Lainey is looking for a cat. Not just any cat, but an all black kitten. Seems simple enough. I figured that she would have this wrapped up and done in no time.
Except for the fact that shelters and Pet Stores are run by the criminally insane.*
*(Read "No Shelter From Stupidity" for that reasoning).**
**(Holy crap, I just referenced myself and mentioned an older post. 'Tis madness).
She goes through this, and I can see it takes a lot out of her to get shot down by these d-bags. So I start scouring the web for kittens that are being given away or sold. I tried googling for pet searching sites, which only led to more shelters and Pet Stores. Avoiding those quickly threw me into the two strangest sites that one usually quits and runs to. The Recycler and CraigsList. And the Recycler was quick to let me down.
But not CraigsList.
This site was quick to show me its abundance of kittens, puppies, water heaters, and questionable relationships with people. The kittens were many and varied, and seemed to be limitless in their quantities. The story changed drastically when I narrowed the search to black kittens. And the titles of each opportunity were strange to behold:
"kitens!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! $1 - (west covina)"
"kittenz need home, please give hom"
"kitty might die if you don't adopt DONT LET KITTY DIE!"
Yeah, none of that really helped. But I kept trying, and eventually I had a pool of possible cat providers. I contacted each one, and waited for a reply. But one cat in particular captured my imagination. It was this little cat that had one eye. Its eye had been surgically removed, but that didn't stop this little kitten from being adorable AND tough to boot. But even this little guy was up in the air.
Actually, as I went along finding more possible felines, I would send some info Lainey's way. I was just trying to make sure that she had something to look forward to. But any news can be misleading, because if you ain't got the kitten, you ain't got the kitten. So it all became a series of almosts and maybes. I'd call about a post, no replay. I'd send an e-mail, only to recieve silence. Very annoying.
Until I finally got some good news...
(What? A cliffhanger? Yep. Just trying something new)
Wait for Part 2.
Monday, January 25, 2010
A little before that, my parents called me up to tell me that we were going to my uncle's birthday NOT party. Huh? What does that even mean? It meant that we were NOT meeting up with a lot of people. And that I was NOT going to sing karaoke with friends that tonight. (Sorry, Lainey!) It was a lot of people that my uncle and my parents knew, but I was mostly there as moral support. I started going on the computer when it became apparent I was to be left to my own devices.
Yeah, I was kind of anti-social, but I'm not always in the mood for socializing. And darn it! I had really looked forward to some karaoke tonight. So I wallowed a little bit. But I was able to get away with it with none the wiser.
On a completely seperate note...
A long time ago, I let a friend borrow my copy of "An Evening With Kevin Smith." Almost a year later, I got Disc 2 back, with Disc 1 and the box lost to the ages. It has been a hole in my heart ever since. Recently I purchased a new/used copy of An Evening With Kevin Smith, AND a copy of A Threevening With Kevin Smith. Yes, I skipped the second DVD, but I really wanted to watch Threevening again. I'll buy the second DVD (Evening Harder) at some point, but I just wanted to have my favorites first.
And that's it. Today was definetly a Monday.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Monday. The most reviled and hated day of the week!
Now you can see why they are next to each other. Notice how they are the only days that rhyme together. Sunday, bloody Sunday indeed.
I spent this mutinous Sunday first with my friend Aaron, who had done me the honor of converting some of my poems into actual songs. The one that came out the strongest was "Take Heart", and it was fun to play and sing. (Though the singing part might be a tad self-indulgent). :-) I wouldn't change anything about the melody and rhythm, but, ironically, I would like to change some of the lyrics. Well, if anyone is allowed to, it would be me.
I then caught up with Captain Josh for dinner and video games. We ate at a place called Jonny's and later went to Target to browse, and as seems to always be the case when I hang out with the Captain, talked about the most random of subjects.
Topics of Conversation @ Jonny's & Target: 1998 Game Magazines, Hunter S. Thompson and his lack of editing, SMASH TV, Yo-Yos, Wingtip shoes, Whether or not Punisher: War Zone is worth more than $9.99, Hulk VS Other Movies, shoe laces, Chuck Palahniuk's dubious life, how CONTRA got harder cuz we got older, fedoras, etc.
I headed home around 9:00 pm and put the finishing touches on the time-travel script. It LIVES! There are no more alterations to make to it. There are no more modifications or trimming needed. It is ready to blow your mind, and feed your soul.
Until the day of shooting, that is. Then all bets are off.
2010 is getting packed with ambition. I intend to shoot 3 projects (or more), I intend to submit scripts to shows, I intend to find out if I'm as good as I need to be. That last one is the scariest part for me. I've never fully put myself out there for critique and analysis, except to friends. But this is the year I fully expect to receive rejection letters, while hoping to make it through the door somewhere. Time to see what I've got.
See you on the other side.
A day devoted to helping install shelves in my home and eventually working on the script I plan to shoot in the next two months. The shelf was heavy, but the script was light-hearted. HEY-YO!
Anyhoo, I made a life decision that can affect my outlook on life. Its one of those moves that you know you might regret, but at the same time, if you don't do it, you won't have a leg to stand on later in life. I've talked about it, in a disparaging way, without ever having experienced it. It was about time I earned the right to do so.
That's right, peeps, I watched Twilight!
Its interesting, because while watching it, I didn't seem to feel any particular dislike (or like, for that matter) towards the movie. After all the hype, it was... underwhelming. It wasn't a great movie, but the lofty standards of "TwiHards". It wasn't awful by the admitedly dirt low standards of the internet. It was just...
I watched the movie, and didn't have to take a shower afterwards. I did snicker and roll my eyes at the "sparkle" scene. But the entire experience seemed to just come to a shambling feeling of apathy. I felt very little towards the movie.
Until later, that is...
I suppose that's the Twilight effect, you see. Because, aftewards, when I was rolling the story and scenes through my mind, I started to dislike the movie. When I started replaying the movie in my inner theater, I began the actively mock Twilight. And when I started to voice my problems, I started to actively hate Twilight. Flaws with the characters, motivation, and plot holes just jumped out at me. I even went into it accepting that it’s the point of view of a 16-year-old girl, but it doesn’t help that I don’t really like the particular girl in question. Bella… was confounding. Yes, girls can be confounding, but Bella was Special Ed confounding.
And one of my main problems with the entire movie was the simple fact that THERE WAS NO DOWN SIDE TO BEING A VAMPIRE. None. What’s the big deal? They kept acting tortured, but it was hard to feel bad for them. If anyone ever wants to debate Twilight (and I’d be very surprised if there are any), then let me know.
Thank god Army of Darkness was available on cable, too.
Later on, I met up with Justin to work on our script. It was mostly to break down the scenes, shots, props, and locations. Its very necessary, but can be very time-consuming and confusing. We met up with Josh and Victor at Portillo's for dinner, who just happened to be in the area.
Topics of Conversation @ Portillo's: Italian beef, beer, Captain Marvel being mistaken for a pedophile, kinda-celebrities, Batman's crush on Superman, giant pennys, ornate bat notes, etc.
We walked around Wal-Mart for a bit. I was shocked by one of the action figure cases had been cut into with a razor and one item was missing. It seemed like a lot of work and unnecessary thievery for such a small thing. They didn't even steal the whole figure, so it seemed odd to me.
After that, Victor and Josh headed back home, and Justin and I headed back to his house to do a read-through of the script. And I have to say that the read-through really helped out. There were parts that were really helped out by reading it out loud. I always read my scripts out loud to myself, but having someone else reading it helped to give a more "3-Dimensional" sound to it. And we made corrections and added more of an explosive ending to it. We were cracking ourselves up, and that's probably the best judge of the final outcome.
As of this blog, I think that the script is finally done.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
The rain is slowing down, and though I'm sad to see it go, I understand that others are glad to see it's wet ass hit the bricks. But not me. Come back in the summer time, please!
My dad and I went on a Conan O'Brien binge in the afternoon. Its a surprise to me, because my dad had never shown any particular affection for Conan. I honestly didn't think that he cared about the entire stupid mess that NBC was making of the whole situation. But even he had to admit that Conan was at his absolute hilarious best dishing out some pain to the network. Though being the underdog does suit Conan quite a bit.
I then practiced a song I'm learning on the guitar, and I can say with an actual feeling of certainty that I have advanced from awful to the the level of sub-par. It takes believing in your dreams to be able to fail in them properly! I know where my fingers have to be to get the sounds I need, but they don't move with ease. But I have master the C-chord! It doesn't take the same level of concentration for my fingers to find the right spot. If I didn't know better, I could refer to it as actual muscle memory.
If I didn't know better.
Anyboo, the song is called "Blizzard of '77" by a band called Nada Surf. They had hit mainstream success in the 90's with a song called "Popular." They've still been making music since, and Blizzard of '77 is a personal favorite of mine from 2002, I believe.. It's fun to sing, and pretty easy to play on guitar. Though there are a few finger movements I'm having trouble doing smoothly. All in all, I have a strong chance of mastering this song, as long as I keep up with the practice.
I headed over to Victor's Birthday dinner at the Woodranch Grill. The food was pretty good, leaving me stuffed and lethargic. Just the right frame of mind for talking about random crap.
Topics of Conversation @ Woodranch: The Simpsons, steam, bitter entrepeneurs, creepy cloud shapes, non consentual sex cards, manly food, babies, Jay Leno's scheme to fail upwards, freebies, ribs, conning married couples, etc.
After Woodranch, Justin, Victor, Quincy, and myself all headed to Justin's place to watch Conan O'Brien's final episode as the host of the Tonight Show. To say I could feel myself getting a bit emotional would be an understatement. I was very sad to see Conan go. I had been angry with the injustice that been shown to Conan by a studio that just couldn't seem to find it in themselves to show some respect and faith in a man that had been in the business for twenty years, and was just starting to hit his stride. And I was angry at Jay Leno...
What really got to me about Conan's last episode was the speech he gave. I was slightly worried that he wouldn't say anything. Maybe just have a last episode and let his work speak for him. But I had really wanted to hear Conan just say what he felt, with all jokes aside. And the part that hit me the hardest, and made me the proudest of Conan, was the final part of his farewell speech:
"To all the people watching, I can never thank you enough for your kindness to me and I'll think about it for the rest of my life. All I ask of you is one thing: please don't be cynical. I hate cynicism -- it's my least favorite quality and it doesn't lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen."
I nearly lost it right then. That's... how can I say how much I believe that? How do I try and distill how much this spoke to me directly? It felt like he was speaking to me right then. I've always liked Conan. Now I love the guy. He said exactly what I want to believe in. And he did it in the face of the biggest disappointment in his career. (Maybe in his life?) I actually felt more inspired by that than anything else. I want to live my life like that. And its easy to do it in the middle of success, but nearly impossible in the middle of failure. And in no way is it Conan's failure. It's NBC's failure. Their total lack of comman sense and decency. But you know what? They were the ones that give Conan a show at all. They did take some chances. Who knows, maybe there's hope for them?
Not today, of course. But I'm determined not to be cynical.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
I was working for the City of Lakewood today, and my job was to shoot a Special Water Meeting Thing at the Ciy of Commerce. It took some time to get there with all the rain and people that don't know how to drive in the rain. I had to move at least $4000 worth of equipment in storm like conditions by myself, and the door to the building only unlocks from the inside, and I had to push a button to alert some person deep in the bowels of the building to unlock the door. This, also with no shelter from the elements.
I got everything inside with minimum cussing, only to discover that they weren't going to use the room they usually have for meetings. The substitute room was a generic spot with white boards on all the walls, and a Rectangle Table, probably to improve blame throwing accuracy. The acoustics were AWFUL, and I was quick to find myself exiled to an awkward corner of the room. I set up my camera, sound mixer, and shotgun mike and started testing the video, lighting, and sound.
Oh god no the sound.
To my left was a big Emergency Exit double door that was apparently out of cardboard, because I could hear every squeek of every tire in the traffic outside, and every drop of rain. And I was at the other side of the room from the main group of people who would do most of the speaking, this made it so the mike would pick up every stray bit of ambient sound as well as the muted version of the people talking.
So the meeting began, and my comprehension went downhill just as quickly. It was "recycled water" this, and "distributor" that, and "filtration system" this, that before you knew it, over 2 hours were eaten up and spit into the "draining cycle" that. I'm just saying, these meetings are for those that already work there, or those who are engineers. If you're just some bearded dude with a soft spot for comics and movies, you might just be a little out of your depth.
After I was done with that, I headed to Lakewood and returned all the equipment. I then headed out to hang with Aaron and Amy. We got some dinner at Islands (its just not the same without Justin), and conversed.
Topics of Conversation @ Islands: Dreams, idiots, coin change, ghosts, poor decisions, potato bugs, etc.
We headed back to Amy's house to watch Season One of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We watched I Robot, You Jane, The Puppet Show, and Nightmares. I have so much fun watching this show, and it was especially great to watch the Puppet Show again. After that, I bidded them good night I headed home.
Till the next blog.
I woke up to an automated Flood warning for Stanton. Which is a great way to start your morning. So I looked around the room at everything that was on the floor. It was enough to worry me. After I took a shower and got ready, I grabbed my guitar, laptop, and some books and tossed them on top of my bed. That's really all I could do in a short notice. Cuz you know what day it flippin' is? Flippin' Wednesday. My favorite day of the week!
Mother Nature could have her watery psychotic episode all she wanted, but New Comic Wednesday is New Comic Wednesday. I headed over to the bank first so that I would have some money to properly enjoy the new comic books, and got into the store. I said hello to Lainey and Mark and then found out something that really pissed me off.
Lainey had been denied the right to adopt a cat AGAIN.
Now for all of you out there in internet land, you may not know Lainey. In fact, you probably didn't know she was trying to get a cat. Or that she had been doing so from a particular shelter. You also probably didn't know that said shelter is run by people who sniff glue and are heavily inbred. Cuz that's the only reason that makes any sense why they would say no.
Important Questions That Any Cat Shelter Should Ask:
1. Do you like cats?
2. Have you ever owned a cat?
3. Was your cat ever in poor health due to negligence?
4. How many years did your last cat live?
1 should be a Yes. 2 COULD be a yes. 3 should be a No. 4 should be a number over ten.
There. Really, you don't need a whole lot more. Unfortunately, Lainey went to a Shelter that didn't believe in common sense. They're main reason they decided to say no to Lainey was because of a chance the cat might go outside. It didn't matter that she answered the common sense questions of 1-3 correctly. It apparently didn't matter to these retards that her last cat lived for 17 years. 17. That's rare for a cat to make it that long.
But common sense and basic math just aren't enough for them. So now the cat that she would have gladly taken to a loving home is going to get to stay in a cage for an indefinite amount of time. And the shelter is a no-kill shelter, which is very nice, but the down side is where are all these cats going to stay? In the magic house made of pillows and happiness? Nope. Probably in a cage packed in with other cats. The people that run this shelter sure talk big about taking care of animals, but they're obviously more concerned with maintaining their sanctimonious attitude. And its that cats that pay the price.
Okay, I needed to get that out of my system.
I only picked up two comics today: Green Lantern Corps and Shazam. Very slow week, made even slower by the fact that Shazam was an issue from last week. But that's not bad, I'll make up for it next week.
Topics of Conversation @ Comics Unlimited: Shelters, Radioactive bug bites gone wrong, "webbing," underground orchards, house cut-outs, saran wrap, blogging, Spider-Man 4, Jay Leno's poor decisions, the follies of living in Oklahoma, Asians, birthdays, cat leg warmers, the Groovy Ghoulies, Michael Bay Comics, sleeves, its business time, blogging about blogging, etc.
When I got to Norwalk, I got to watch some thunder and lightning. But I was a little concerned, mostly because all the rain could add some difficulty to the fact that I work underground, so it was more likely to get flooded. Such is life.
I talked with a friend after work about trying to stay focused on getting things done within the year. The main thing that came to mind was to stay focused on things that we can control. Things that we can actually do, instead of wish oh wish we could do. So, we decided that having three attainable goals a month is a good start.
1- Write a poem.
2- Read two books.
3- Run a mile every week.
I'm just glad I was able to get this entry and the 19th's entry finally finished. Ugh, I need to get some sleep...
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Damn it, damn it, damn it.
WAY behind the schedule here. Had a late night talk with a friend. Needed to be done. And the talk's contents are classified, so there.
So I'll just tell you, in depth, about the friggin' badass dream I had the night before.
I call this dream/movie:
(I don't know why, just feels right).
As dreams are, the chronology is sketchy, but from what I could tell, it opened with me, in a wrecked airport. I was wearing a brown leather jacket with jeans and a flannel button up shirt(which always seems to leak its way into my wardrobe). I was just walking around, when I run into a woman sleeping among the abandoned luggage. As I piece out what the heck she's doing there, I suddenly grab one of the old suitcases and spin around to block a knife that had been thrown at me. I then block another knife.
I finally see the bad guys that threw the knives. There's four of them, and they look to be wearing ragged black clothes with cheap white masks, each with a different expression molded onto the masks: Angry, Sad, Happy, and Neutral. (So for brevity's sake, that will be their names).
I turn around toward the woman and say, "You might want to high-tail it, miss." (Yeah, not my best dialogue, but believe me, it fits the character well). She looks at me, both scared and guilty, and takes off through a shattered plate glass door.
I pull both knives out of the luggage and stride over to the Emotives (again, just a name I came up with right now). As I spin the knives in my hands, the Emotives throw another knife at me...
Bad move, guys! This is MY dream!
As I deflect the knife, I take out Sad with a slash to the chest, and punch Happy so hard he spins around to face Angry. Before Happy can recover I kick him into Angry, and they both tumble to the floor. I take them out fast and have to face Neutral. Neutral is the main threat, and we fight throughout the airport in an amazing brawl. His main weapon is a cleaver, and he quickly knocks both of my knives out of my hands. I then use all the objects around me (Jackie Chan style) to weaken him and then go in for some punches that rattle him and then...
He's beaten and I'm standing over him, holding the cleaver. Its like someone hit skip on the remote and we're at the end of the fight. Kind of jarring, but oh well.
I hear chuckling. I then spin around and throw the cleaver into the nearby shadows that the chuckles came from. The chuckles stop for a moment, and then continue again, with a giant of a man walks out with the cleaver buried into his chest. He's looking down at the cleaver, and calmly reaches up and pulls the cleaver out. He then wipes his blood off the blade on his pants and then looks up at me.
His name is Chuckles, and he's a cross between the Joker from the Dark Knight and Ivan Drago from Rocky IV. War paint is mixing with blood and all over his face and chest. He has an intense stare and and never stops chuckling. He does not smile, but the corners of his lips are always twitching.
I know this is the Main Boss of the whole dream/movie. My fists clench and then I'm in a bar.
(Yeah, somebody hit the skip button in my head again).
I'm walking in and looking around. Nobody in the bar stops talking, but they are all looking at me. I have some cuts and bruises, and my jacket is gone. I see some thugs sitting at a table, but they don't notice me. I pause as I stop by some chains that are on the walls, possibly for decoration. (Semi-skip) a chain wraps around the lead thug's neck as I drag him up and over a booth wall.
"Where is she?!" I yell at him. The other four thugs are racing around the booth.
"Gg-huyck!" chokes the main thug.
"WHERE IS SHE?!" I yell again. (Apparently the woman from the beginning is missing? Apparently I'm looking for her? Apparently this movie/dream isn't heavy with dialogue?)
One of the other thugs reach for me, and I punch him in the face with a fist wrapped in chain. (I have two chains! Dig it!) He goes down unconscious. and the other three open fire with some guns they happen to have. I use the main thug as a shield AND a battering ram as I smash into the midst of them. The main thug is shot dead, but utilizing the chain still attached to him, I use him as a huge yo-yo and hit everybody with him. (I am very strong in this dream). I shake the thug I knocked out with one punch awake. He tells me where the woman is and I head out, grabbing a shotgun and a bandolier of shells from one of the dead thugs.
I'm pumping and firing my shotgun in rapid succession into a giant train/truck, and low and behold an explosion knocks the traick to its side, skidding to a halt a few yards into front of me. As I grimly reload the shotgun a door on the traick slowly opens and Chuckles lifts himself out and then sits on the edge of the traick.
He stares at me with sickening intensity, and calmly says "I'm glad to see you made it."
I pump my shotgun, "No way I'd miss this," I say with a grin.
JUMP CUT and then I wake up.
WHOA. And that was my dream.
As for the rest of the 19th, I drove to work in the biggest rainstorm that Southern California has had in years. There was a ridiculous amount of water of water coming from the sky. I'm pretty sure the Gulf of Mexico was suspended over our heads. I will be the first to admit I wanted rain. But by "rain", I meant a gentle, calm whetting of the appetite. This storm that hit is overkill. Its like all my requests over the course of four years finally reached whatever was in charge of rain, and they decided to shut me the hell up.
They failed, cuz now all I'm commenting on is the magnitude of water. Suckers.
Monday, January 18, 2010
And then the weather started getting rough, and the tiny cut was tossed.
If not for the courage of the save menu, the footage would have been lost.
The footage would have been lost.
The music was chosen from public domain, so that charges would not be filed.
He's the Editor, too.
He wishes he had a millionaire's life.
The movies are
His profession and
Little more than
An impossible trial.
So this is the tale of the blog today,
They're never written on time,
You'll have to work through the misspellings,
And things that do not rhyme.
This weird entry will have to do,
Nate tried his very best,
This journal got very unmanagable,
Its one huge goddamn mess.
No point, no insights, no clever phrases, not even a little funny,
Like Paris friggin' Hilton,
As pathetic as can be.
So join us here each day my friends,
You're sure to get a smile,
From Nathan's own Blog-A-Days,
Here on Bloggin' Isle!
Whew! That was refreshing. If you were having trouble figuring out what I was doing, just start humming the tune to "Gilligan's Island" while rereading that entry. I promise you it will be as funny as you imagine a retooling of the Gilligan's Island song to my life can be.
Which is not much.
See ya next blog!
Sunday, January 17, 2010
God, I hate episode one.
All in all a quiet day. And because of that, I think a story from my past is in order. So sit back and get a gander at this ol' blast of ear candy. Its titled:
"What Part of Australia Are You From?"
Back in 2004, I was working at Disneyland as a Server. It was a good job, and I felt pretty comfortable. I knew a lot of the people working there, and got along with just about everybody I worked with. And every now and then, I'd run into someone that worked in Disney that I had known from High School. Well, one day, I was in the cafeteria, for lack of a better term, when I again ran into someone I knew from my Magnolia days.
His name was Curtis, and we had went to Theater class together, and had even been in the same plays. He was always a bit of an oddball, but hey, all theater geeks are pretty strange, so I never thought too much about it. I was sitting at a table as I looked up and saw him.
"Hey Curtis!" I said, "Wow, man, I haven't seen you since Mr. Nap's Theater class! How have you been?"
"Oh, eye've been great, Nate!" he said, in an Australian accent.
"...uh.... Okay," I replied hesitantly, "That's, uh... how long have you been working at Disney?"
"Oh, for 'bout a few months, is all," he replied, "I'm a photographa. I take all the pictures for peepul when they want a nice picture in front of the diffrent landmarks."
"Great, man," I said, "Why-? Um, my break's over, I'll see you later?"
"Cheers, mate!" he actually said this to me.
After meeting up with Curtis, I felt really confused. There was one main reason for this.
He never had an Australian accent in High School.
I actually felt awful for a second, "Oh my god, did he speak with an Australian accent the entire two years that I knew him? Am I that much of a bastard to not have noticed that?" That, of course, was ridiculous. I knew for a fact that he had been born and raised in California, with American parents. So that left the fact that Curtis had actually gone out of his way to speak to me with a fake Australian accent. Not once did he break out of character. Not once did he let on that he was messing around. Even though he knew that I knew that the accent was fake.
Looking back, I guess Curtis was just that kind of an oddball.
Two weeks later, I ran into Curtis at the cafeteria, this time the rolls reversed, with him sitting down finishing his food, and my having just gotten my meal.
"What's up, Curtis?" I asked.
"Nothing much," he said quietly, with no accent.
Well, isn't that interesting?
"Huh," I replied, "Well, you seem kind of down."
"Yeah," he said, "I, well... I got in trouble last week."
"Really?" I answered, "What for?"
"Do you remember that I spoke with an Australian accent?" he asked.
"Yeah, uh huh," I replied, trying my hardest not to bust up laughing.
"Well..." he began, "Last week I took a picture of a couple. And we were talking and having fun. And the guy seemed to really like me. Well, the couple were from Australia..."
"Oh," I said. (Holy crap, my chest hurt from not laughing).
"Yeah," he continued, "But it didn't seem like they could tell that I, uh, it didn't seem like they were doubting my... accent."
"Go on," I said. (I was having trouble keeping my face straight).
"We were talking and laughing and everything was going pretty well, until the guy asked me if I was from Australia."
"Yep," was all I could say, cuz my lungs were bursting from contained laughter.
"So I said yes."
"What?" I asked with barely contained joy.
"Yeah," said Curtis sadly, "He said 'Oh, that's great! What part of Australia are you from?' I said Malbourne. He said 'No, you're not. I'M from Malbourne.' And then he wanted to speak to my manager. So my manager says I can't speak with fake accents anymore."
I pretty much lost it at that point. Curtis laughed a little, but looked really dejected. I don't think I was able to finish my lunch.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Actual Quote Today: "I'm just trying to figure out IF, in fact, the butler did it." -N
Okay, I spent the first hour of my day assembling an entry for yesterday. Maybe I should take that as a sign that my ass needs to get a little more organized to keep up this "Blog Entry A Day" madness that I've gotten myself into. That being said, this entry is also late.
The other day, I had spoke up about doing some editing. This led into me actually having some editing work today. Was I completely enthused at the time for a chance to edit on a Friday? I would be lying if I said yes. But I need the work, so I might as well shut my whiny friggin' mouth and get to it. I got to Norwalk at 1:00 pm, and hit the ground running.
The good news was that the thing I was going to edit was actually interesting, at least to me. It was the "Silver Gloves Boxing Championship", and it was for South-Western American kids, the age range being roughly 13 thru 17(?) years of age.
Boxing. Okay, even I have to admit that a sport that's entire point is to punch the other dude more than they get to punch you is a bit ridiculous. That being said, I love Kung Fu movies, so really, how civilized and discerning am I? As watched these kids hit each other upon the cranium and torso, I remembered that I had considered picking up boxing once in High School. I was never picked on or anything like that. I rarely got teased, and got along with most everyone, or at the very least was left alone. But I was always interested in boxing, thanks to having seen Rocky early on. At the same time, Rocky also made me change my mind. Have you seen what his face looks like after EVERY movie? Its like friggin' hamburger mixed in with oatmeal, man!
There were 15 matches, and I had to cut all the dead air and shaky camera movements out as much as possible. I honestly thought it wouldn't take that long, but 4 and a half hours (!) later I was only done with a rough edit.
W. T. F.
That was both disheartening and tiring. I asked if I could come in Monday to finish up the whole thing, totally forgetting about Martin Luther King Jr. Day. But my boss Musse (yeah, pronounced "Moose") was cool with that. I wasn't going to do anything in particular that day, and it's only going to be about 3 or so hours of work.
I left Norwalk, and headed to Santa Ana for my friend, Jon's, last-day-at-work party. Jon decided to go into Law School to pursue being a lawyer. What his specialty would be is still up in the air, but he's leaning toward Immigration laws. His party was at a place called "Crosby's", and the place was Hipster Central. You could taste it. The combination of Organic tooth paste and Buffalo Exchange hung heavy in the air. I ordered an unsatisfying Hefeweizen and a satisfying Grilled Cheese Sandwhich. I decided that I didn't need to spend all my money on alcohol and ironic food, and just got to talking to everybodyat the party.
Topics of Conversation @ Crosby's: Tattoos, Gift Certificates, Mysteries, sublimation, being buzzed, mistaken identity, moving out, sweet potato fries, etc.
The problem with the set-up was that we were all at the bar. ALL of us. Over ten, and we're mashed together. I thought Jon would try to get ahold of a large table or booth. Nope. He just had us saddle up to the bar and order as we went along. No problem if we had room, but at the bar we were so stretched out that one had to make a conscious decision to visit someone on the other side of the friend hemisphere. The expedition had to reach approval, and the provisions accounted for.
I got a little tired of this aspect of the party, and decided to leave. And now I am home, after procuring a few more tracks of music with illicet means. I am SLEEPILY trying to write this blog on time and failing. Anyways, I need some shut eye. Good night, folks.
Oops. "A day late, a blog short." Just like my grandfather always said. Of course, when he said "blog", he meant a shot of whiskey and Mountain Dew.
Oh my gad. My grandfather was an alcoholic!
Yesterday... er, "TODAY" was very packed for a Thursday. I might have stretched myself a bit thin. And there's a lot of me to stretch! Knowwaddamean? HO HO! But no, my social calendar was very busy. The day before, I had made plans with Patrick M. to have lunch with him before he went to work. I woke up, kicked ass and took names, and was ready to seize the day by the short hairs. Then I got a call from Aaron seeing if I'd like to hang out around 3:00.
I then got a call from my boss at Lakewood, Steve, and he asked if I'd like to pick up some work today, starting at 2:00 and getting done at 5:30.
Oh, that's right...
I then called Aaron back and asked if it was cool that I hang out after 6:00. He was cool with it. DRAMA AVOIDED. Very nice of him to be gracious.
I headed to lunch with Patrick, at a wonderful little place called Taco Surf. Its this cool resteraunt/cantina out in Los Alamitos. (I have an open invite any and all that would like me to take them their to try it out. Let me know). I got to Taco Surf a little ahead of Patrick, and got a table. I checked my cell, and found that Amy had called me earlier about some comic work she's doing for me, out of the kindness of her heart. I called her back, and then decided to invite her over to Taco Surf, cuz why not? She was cool with it, after a BF check with Aaron to make sure he didn't feel left out.
Patrick arrived and was looking dapper as usual.
Quick Facts About Patrick M.!: Half-Japanese, Half-White, ALL awesome. This dude is highly trained in Kendo, and could kick my ass, but he's too nice to do that. (doesn't mean I'm going to push my luck). He is working very hard at becoming a Monster SFX Make-Up artist guy. And yes, there is a much more official title, but I'm too lazy to google it. And sorry ladies, he's taken! I know, it broke my heart too.
(Maybe this "Quick Fact" thing should be a aspect of my journal/blogs...)
Amy arrived at Taco Surf, and we got our food on. After were done, I had to head to work, as did Patrick. Amy headed home to wait for Aaron to get out of work. I got to Lakewood and got to work cueing up tapes and going through them to find different shots of Lakewood cops pulling people over and writing them tickets. Yeah, that was kind of sad.
I've only ever been pulled over once. It was a block from my home, and it was when I still had my Ford Focus. I was turning, when I got hit by the LIGHTS. Now, I get the red and blue flashing lights. They make sense. But, really... is the spotlight right in my face and every mirror in and out of my car ABSOLUTELY necessary? I was so blinded, I had to literaly hunch down to find a spot to pull over. I rolled down my window, and had a heart attack when I didn't find my wallet in my pants pocket.
...it was in my jacekt pocket. Real funny one there, life. The cop came over and informed me he pulled me over because my license plate light was out. Yeah friggin' Right. My dad got pulled over just a few days THIS year. We just have a corner that is a favorite for cops to pull people over. The cop asked me for my license and proof of Insurance. I had them out in record time.
"Have you ever recieved any speeding tickets or any other type of violations?" he asked me.
"Uh... I turned on a red turn signal once," I replied.
"Is that all?" he asked.
"Yeah," I answered.
"Are you SURE?" he asked me, in that "Don't-Lie-To-Me-Boy" tone of voice.
"Yep," I stated.
He ran the information and came back with almost an entirely different attitude.
"Here you go, Mr. Schulz. I'll just let you off with a warning. Have a good night," he said, almost smiling at me.
"Thanks, Officer," I said. F**k right! I had an immaculate record at the time. I've NEVER got a speeding ticket, and not because I never got caught, but because I don't speed. It would have been bizarre to get a ticket because of a friggin' license plate light.
But everybody on this tape I was cueing up got a ticket. Just one after another. Was it because the camera was on the cop? What part of his job was he more allowed to exhibit? Apparently it wasn't mercy.
I was done a little early actually, and headed over to Amy's place to figure out what was going on that night. We played Left 4 Dead 2, which I'm becoming as bad a junkie for as the first game. I'll probably need another fix later this week, god help me.
Around 8:30 we headed to a little get-together at a friend's house. Pizza and Black Forest Cake was on the menu, and it yes, it did seem strange to have those two on the same table. Delicious none the less. There was PS3 and YouTube as entertainment, and fun was had.
Topics of Conversation @ Said Get-Together: David Tennant, Fat Princess, the old Street Fighter cartoon, Left 4 Dead 2, pizza, the difference between getting "owned" and "pwnd", why "hawaiian pineapple" is called "hawaiian pineapple," etc.
I didn't get home to 1 am, and just fell asleep when I got to bed. This is why this journal is a day friggin' late.
Nate Note: The thing that really put this night over the edge is this video on YouTube. Its every clip of sheer WTF moments and stupidity in the old USA Street Fighter cartoon. I saw a few eps once upon a time, but didn't think much of it. Apparently, this cartoon was riddled with AWFUL. Check it out...
Street Fighter WTF
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Actual Quote Today: "I bet Superman has to have a really limp handshake." -L
I woke up at 3:00 am this morning to the sound of rain. That was really nice. What wasn't nice was that I woke up at 3:00 am. I don't wake up well. Its just not a skill of mine. I wake up. I get up. I stay conscious. But I don't wake up with ease. Usually when I wake up early, I immediately go to sleep. No fuss, no muss. But I woke at 3, and found myself awake for half an hour, just staring at the shutters of my window. Thank god for the rain, cuz I probably would have stayed awake even longer. The sound of rain relaxes me like nothing else. This is very problematic, since I live in California, and these past few years, we've been in a drought. So you can imagine how often I get to listen to rain.
Anyways, I was awake and staring off into space, thinking the thoughts one does at that hour, with a brain half-stuffed with mush. I felt very alone. Its been a theme for me. But not in the boo-hoo way. More in the way that I realize that all my dreams rest on me. All my accomplishments are mine. Yes, I can have help. But help only lasts as long as drive. And that drive is mine. I want to be there for everyone of my friends, but seriously, I can't. I'm alone. So are they. Good or bad. Geez, Nate, really...?
And I felt alone in the way that I'm not sure if I can change anymore. In a way that I'm not sure if I want to change. Sometimes I don't want anything to do with anyone. And that feeling has come back again and again. Maybe I am good in social situations. (And I hope I don't bring make a pain of myself when they do invite me to stuff). But I know for a fact that I need to be left alone some days. I can almost see an older version of me somewhere in the future just living in a cabin in the Oregon woods, happily left to my thoughts and pleasantly talking to myself. (I talk to myself now, actually). Its a sea change, if anything. Right now I'm 70/30 in favor of social interaction, but the number will keep changing till its 70/30 in favor of "leave me to my devices."
Sleep came back and I woke up 6 hours later.
Sobering morning's musings lead to the warmth of my love for Wednesdays. New Comic Book Wednesday. It always cheers me up. Thanks, Comics Unlimited. You're magic is what you are. I even got a free Jamba Juice there. Though it was really Lainey that got a free Jamba Juice, I was just allowed a few sips. :-P
Topics of Conversation @ Comics Unlimited: Jamba Juice, how converting to veganism would make me cooler, acting not sick, Superman trying not to break people, Conan O'Brien, NBC's idiocy, left overs, Shrek, how "gyre" is supposed to be pronounced, Secret Clubs (AGAIN), the folly of literally sharing your heart with a girl, accents, etc.
Work was even more interesting today. The boss got some free pizza for us as a belated Holiday dinner/lunch. And while I ate, I played some Mozart on my mini-boombox. CLAZZY. And we had to shoot a Planning Commission Meeting tonight, which only had three items to discuss, but they still found a way to talk for OVER AN HOUR. Argh.
Stayed at work till almost 11:00 pm talking and waxing poetic with my co-workers Karmin and Mike. We all seem to be hitting a juncture. What this juncture is, I do not know, but its different for all of us. Change is imminent. Change is needed. Change is friggin' terrifying. We must tread wisely. Also, Mike made a kickass track of music that I've been staring off into space to. I have decided to hire him one day to not only be my cinematographer, but also make the music for my movies.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
(Click on the link above for something weird)
Okay, read the article, or just skim it.
Here, I'll even put in a quote to buy you some time: "We must laugh at man, to avoid crying for him." -Napoleon
Read it? Okay... isn't that freakin' weird? I mean, nothing new in what we expect from this world, just... it makes no sense. Thanks to Stephen Colbert, I saw this bit of news on his show. A Sex Robot... with a personality? Dah FUG?! That's just...
Really, this article is the funniest thing I've ever read. The best part is how he justifies this completely twisted logic. Okay, so the reason the robot talks to you is because:
"Sex only goes so far - then you want to be able to talk to the person," Hines said.
But... but... isn't that something you do.... WITH A REAL PERSON?? Why get a robot? Isn't that for people that don't like PEOPLE? And why is he calling a sex robot a person? This is everything that is wrong with this world. Creepy looking sex robots with speaking abilities are exactly the Terminator s**t we don't need.
But what is truly, TRULY baffling is this part:
"An engineer, Hines said he was inspired to create the robot after a friend died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks."
I don't know any friends that would like to be remembered with a Sex Robot. Is Hines using 9/11 as a excuse for being a crazy ass? Why must this world be so damn bizarre? I'm pretty sure the conversation was awesome, though:
Hines: "Linda, after all this pain, I think that I have come up with the perfect way to remember your husband."
Linda: "Thanks, Doug. Tim would really appreciate-"
Hines: "I'm going to build a Sex Robot for him."
Hines: "I'll program it with Soccer trivia."
Linda: "GET THE F**K OUT OF MY HOUSE."
Oh yeah... I woke up. Did some errands of modest note. Ate some cheap tacos. Rocked the job. I came home and watched some TNG. Uncanny, I know.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Fast forward to this year, where Justin tells me about a way to grab YouTube music. There are websites where you can actually just rip the video and convert it into an mp3. This intrigued me, and I later endeavored to give it a shot. And the result is being listened to right now. "Iceland" is really rocking my ear drums right now. I've only heard the song twice before. AND NOW ITS MINE. For every time I hate the internet for all its madness and ignorance, it turns around and gives me these wonderful gifts. :-)
I had work this morning at Huntington Beach, but was finished far more earlier than I thought I would be. Kind of annoying, cuz I gipped myself out of money with my own competance. How's that fair? Argh. I headed home and ate lunch which was cous cous, a carrot, and a ham sandwich. Not the combination I would usually aim for, but that's what I had at hand. I checked my bank account and found out I better tread carefully till Friday pay day. Ugh. If any of you have extravagently expensive ideas for haning out, you might want to hold off till the end of this week.
Work at Norwalk was quiet. No big shoots. No big plans. Though we are going to be changing channels, so I had to go through each and every page of the bulletin pages for the channel and change the number. A little tedious. But I can listen to all the ill-gotten music I want to. So not a bad deal.
Nate Note!!!: The term "b-side" is slang for songs that are more obscure, or just not played very often. As to why they are called "b-sides", that's because way back in the past before the internet and cell phones there was an invention called "records." And on these records were stored music. Now these records had two sides: The "A-Side" and the "B-Side." Now, our parents would listen to these records, but they would get too stoned to turn the record over, resulting in many of these ancient people almost never listening to the other side. So as time went on, songs that didn't have heavy rotation would be referred to as "B-sides." Isn't learning fun?
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Actual Quote from Tonight: "You're just trying to broaden your whore-izons."
Had a lazy morning that mostly consisted of anticipating the coming evening. Had lunch with the fam which consisted of steak, cous cous, and corn. VERY good, with compliments to my parents for cooking it. Watched Ricky Gervais stand-up, and a performance of the Flight of the Conchords before they were THE Flight of the Conchords. I was actually able to follow them a tiny bit on the guitar, which was gratifying. Just for a little while, though. I'm a novice on my best day.
The evening was going to consist of a game night with a friend I knew, and they're group of friends, which I did not know. Catchphrase and Cranium were the weapons of choice (though Cranium was quietly pushed aside for Apple To Apples). Now, I try my best not to be an uncomfortable dork when I interact with a group of strangers, but I do get DEEPLY self conscious in the first hour or so. I look stupid. Everything I say sounds stupid. I SMELL stupid. It's a whole thing, mostly I don't feel cool at all. I don't like it, but that's how I get. I mostly try to keep it at bay, and be as personable as possible. My most important ritual is the Test Jokes.
No, there is no particular line-up of Test Jokes, just the act of trying to be funny to complete strangers. There's an entire process, folks. It can make or break a first understanding. No, not the first impression. The first impression is purely made up of physical, gut reaction. The only thing I could do about that is showering and smiling. But the first UNDERSTANDING... now that's a whole different banana. Its the feeling you get about someone after you've hung out with them for over an hour. Your impression is whether or not they are good company. Your understanding is what kind of good company they are. So, for example, you would understand how they would be in a particular setting. Say, a game night. I wanted to come off as funny, but would settle for humorous. I wanted to come off as a good listener, but would settle for aware of others. And so on, and so forth. I wanted to come off as nice, but would settle for tolerable.
That's where the Test Jokes come in. Depending on the joke, I could come off as dirty or intelligent or dry or crude or any hundred other adjectives. My favorite is observational with a twist of self-deprecating. (Damn, sounds like a drink or something). I always keep story-telling for some other date, cuz I don't want to be long-winded. If people want to know more about you, it will probably come up on its own. I brought some snacks and drinks, which I promptly made fun of. Does all of this sound planned? Only cuz I'm looking at it with hindsight.
That's the magic of joking around. It reveals other people. Who laughs at what. Who responds with similar humor. How people respond is also some of the funnest part of interacting. Some will respond by chuckling and nodding their head. Some will laugh. And some you get a special moment with, as you get them to play along with you with some follow-up joke to compliement yours. Social interaction is a dance, folks. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Its a dance, and I don't know what music is playing, or if I'm even dressed correctly for the occassion half the time. But that's the thing about dancing. Trying is half the fun, and half he respect. Good or bad.
So the Test Jokes were going over fairly well, and I was getting a feel for the group. She liked goofy and dark. He liked self-deprecating and dry. She liked measured and droll. He liked geeky and observational. She liked risque and sharp. And finally, she liked tongue-in-cheek and forward.
And now, the next question would be for me "Nate, why do you think so f**king hard about this?" I do this, because it keeps my brain occupied away from my head. Otherwise, I would stop interacting with them, and get quiet and broody. And they didn't deserve to deal with silent, emo Nate.
Besides, I like observing everything around me. Makes me feel cool. And every little bit helps.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
All in all, I spent a solitary day. I do that a lot. Not because I don't have people I like to hang out with. Quite the opposite actually. I might just possibly have TOO many people I would like to hang out with. But being an only child really makes me prefer to go solo more often.
If I had the money, I would just pick a street or freeway and drive down it till the sun went down. I have to be conservative, which is no fun at all. But I love just sitting down somewhere I've never been to before. I've still never been to Sacramento, nor have I had a decent trip to San Francisco (which might be happening in February!) And getting lost is a lot more fun with a GPS to drag my ass out of the fire.
I ended up at my storage unit, and started inventory on all my DVDs. That killed a few hours, and left me with a pit in my stomach as I realized that I really need to get rid of some them. But also, at least half of the stuff I have sitting in there. I guess I'll have to figure that out as I go along.
Its late, and I'm tired. I messed up and forgot to get my blog/journal together.
So, rapid fire:
1- Hung out with Samantha.
2- Hung out with Aaron.
3- Hung out with Justin.
4- Saw "Where the Wild Things Are" (I liked it).
5 - Forgot to write down my blog/journal.
6- Half-assed my blog/journal.
7- Went to sleep.
Love and peace, folks.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Actual Quote of the Day: "We're all going to have a Doctor Whoot!"
Wednesdays. More specifically, New Comics Wednesdays. How may I count the ways that I love thee? In miles driven? In smiles smiled? In comics collected? Nay, it be the way Comics Unlimited opens its doors, with brand spanking new comics books filling the shelves, filling the store with the aroma of new paper and rabid joy (or at least I hope that smell is rabid joy). It is in the way that conversations just feel better inside those majestic four walls. Its the way that if I had a sleeping bag I would never leave. (Hey, I could sleep under the discount table).
That being said, I only bought one comic book today. Yeah, that entire first paragraph makes me sound like a dick now, doesn't it? I have a budget, okay? I need to conserve my resources. I. Be. POOR.
I got there earlier than usual. Mark, Lainey, and (later) Nancy were running the store, and if a more mighty trifecta of Awesome has been assembled, I have yet to see it. (Sorry Vic and Justin, if we owned a comic store I would say were equal in Awesomeness. But we do not, so we don't). And my favorite part of going there kicked in. Talking to this Trifecta! And even better, Vic and Justin showed up later to add to said good times.
Topics of Conversation @ Comics Unlimited: Doctor Who, Religion, Child discipline, Cheesecakes, Horror magazines, Frogs, Script Revisions, Secret Societys/Clubs, Nuns, Kickass horror scenes we'd like to see, Surprise punches to the face, blogs, etc.
I ended up buying Suicide Squad, which was jointly written by Gail Simone and John Ostrander. Let me gush about Gail Simone for a moment. She is an amazing writer. She has earned my special "Buy Any of Their Comics" Award. Its a very prestigious club, that I'm sure Nancy would like me to be less stringent on acceptance criteria. Anyways, Simone got labeled the "Women In Refrigerators" feminist anti-male comics crazy writer lady. This is incredibly unfair, and is an insult to her actual writing talent, which is considerable.
All right, I'm gonna go on a tangent here and explain the whole "Women In Refrigerators" phrase. To put it bluntly, women have had (or still do have) a crappy deal when it comes to representation in comic books. They're either WAY less powerful than their male counterparts, "bitchy", poorly written, ridiculous sex symbols, or all the above. Wonder Woman is probably the best representation of women in comic books, but even then, her costume is pretty much a strapless one-piece bikini. And only recently has she gotten written with a form of respect and actual characterization other than "The woman Superman would totally get with if he wasn't already with Lois." Anyway, if you weren't Wonder Woman, then awful things might happen to you. Take an issue of Green Lantern from back in 1994, where Kyle (the Green Lantern of the time) came home to find his girlfriend, Alex, dead and stuffed into a friggin' refrigerator.
Yeah, and I read that very issue when I was 12-years-old. I won't even get into the age thing, cuz, heck, that's a problem now. Heavy stuff to try and come to terms with. What Simone was bothered by was the sheer number of female characters that get maimed, violated, or killed in comic books. And the percentage of female characters this happens to is far more than male characters. Examples off the top of my head are Gwen Stacy, Karen Page, Raven, Batgirl, Elektra, Jade, Jean Loring Palmer, Susan Dibney, Ms. Marvel, etc. Bad stuff happened to them. Now, one can say bad things happened to the male characters too, which is very true. But what Simone was trying to do was make sure we were all aware of how intensely negative the treatment of female characters was getting, and had been. To at least make us think about it a little.
And really, when men are maimed, violated, or killed its a "Test of their Character." But if it happens to a woman, its a tragedy. So, really, the question of what side of this discussion, if any, you are on is up to you to answer. I personally saw it as how any character was getting written. All writers have to put their character through hell before the end of the story, otherwise the drama has no weight to it. But there IS a fine line between gritty story telling, and just plain emotional rape. Again, up to you to decide.
Gail Simone is a good writer. That's just a fact. And she has an opinion, which is a good thing, otherwise characters would just be there, and not have any depth to them. Read her stuff, especially "Secret Six" and "Birds of Prey."
As for the rest of the day... I ate at Panara, had a sandwich and soup. I then headed to work, which was very quiet. All in all, thank god for my Gail Simone rant, otherwise this blog would have been done REALLY quick.