Friday, July 23, 2010

Toy Story 3 and vestigial sex organs

A few days ago, I was standing in line to purchase a movie ticket. It was hot and humid and generally miserable outside. The row I fidgeted in was splintering with children and their quacking mothers, waiting for the spectacle of Toy Story 3. I watched the digital display of movies: Predators, Inception, The Last Airbender, Twilight: The Eclipse. Big budgets. Violence. Close-ups and taglines. Muscles and beautiful people. Reality. Holy shit I didn’t feel like watching any of them but I was tragically bored, experiencing writer’s block, and angry with the world. “One for Toy Story 3 please,” I husked as quietly as my voice would allow. The eyes in back of my imagination, saw women pulling their babies close. I snatched my ticket and stalked inside the theater, shoving children and suburban mothers with post-childbirthing granny haircuts out of my way.

This guy's distracted, Buzz
The movie was okay. I almost gave the introductory animated short, “Night & Day” a standing ovation. But the feature didn’t adequately whisk me away and throughout the film, I kept remembering that my savings are just about out and I still haven’t found a second job; my car is still going to cost 1,200 dollars to fix; my girlfriend still needs a new kidney; I’ll never be able to support her medical needs ever; and leg-breakers are calling me. Money. What a fucking bastard. In Toy Story 3 I was hoping to mentally regress to simpler times and with any luck get stuck there but it didn’t happen. Maybe I need to be kicked by a horse or something for that.

In other news, I’ve been working on a screenplay for several weeks now. I know what you’re thinking, “What happened to the last screenplay you said you were working on, Handsome Carlos? Or the books? Or the short stories? Or the comic book?” Well my answer to you is shut your stinking mouthhole! Those things are shelved but within reach, and I’ll get to them once I finish this screenplay. I won’t discuss the details because I’m a paranoid shut-in, jealously holding my creativity to my breast, and I don’t want any of you e-trolls stealing my stuff. *narrowing eyes and shifting them from side to side* I will say that it’s science fiction, the first of the genre I’ve ever attempted, but as an audience, you’ll only have to suspend disbelief for the premise. Everything else is within familiarity. Anyway, the story’s original and, like everything I create, awesome, but I’ll admit I’m concerned with the actual script. You know how some people are exceedingly sexy when you’re naked and panting over them but once the lights are on and your steel resolve has weakened to a vestigial noodle, you realize that that sexy object of your affection has bigger hands than you and was probably once a man? That’s my concern with this screenplay. I still feel like it’s the most relevant thing I’ve ever conceived. We’ll see.

Last and most certainly least, I’ve added a “Testimonial” page to further waste your time. Scroll to the top of this screen and you’ll see “Home/About the Genius/Networks” and now “Testimonials.” It’s a list of “quotes” (how’s that for irony?) about this masterful blog that I’ll be updating each Wednesday. You’re welcome to email me your thoughts. If they meet my elitist standards of wit, I’ll quote you and link to your page. Just don’t get all sensitive and stop visiting my blog if I tell you that you’re more of an asshole than funny.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chat acronyms and general discontent

Despite my . . . distaste for text and chat acronyms, I recognize that they’re here to stay, probably the same way writers a century ago surrendered to written contractions like “they’re” or the more locally cringing “y’all.” So, I’ve decided to create a menu of e-acronyms that I’d be more comfortable using in an email to, say, my sister who sends messages via an alien technology known as “Blackberries.” Feel free to submit more but remember, folks, this is a family blog:

1. LOF – a play on the traditional “Laugh(ing) Out Loud” or LOL, LOF is the more humanizing “Laughed Out a Fart.”
2. LOS – may be regarded as a continuation of LOF but with a far more sobering meaning: “Laughed Out a Shart.”* LOS has no equivalent in current electronic abbreviations and must not be associated in any way with the second syllable of my first name.
3. LMPO – is the culmination of the “Laugh” trilogy that unlike the vulgar and child-unfriendly “Laughing My Ass Off” or LMAO, describes a post-sharting situation “Laughing My Pants Off.”
4. TLLIF – replaces the most rasping and misappreciated of acronyms, “Thank God It’s Friday,” or TGIF, to “Thank Labor Laws It’s Friday.” “Thank God” it’s Sunday, okay? Leave the business week to raging atheists. And thanking “Gosh” won’t solve the problem either. Have you ever met a Gosh? You haven't because it’s an informal part of speech, and you can’t thank it. Disney’s Goofy said it a lot, if we’re making connections; thank Goofy it’s Friday. It seems he’s only two degrees from divinity.
4.5. TGIF – “Thank Goofy It’s Friday.” See “TLLIF.
5. GSM – following the dismantling of TGIF, “Great Scott, Marty!” pounds the melodramatically tweener “OMG!” to a gurgling death and simultaneously appeases my sense of 80s popular culture/love and devotion for Dr. Emmitt Brown.
6. BTW – stays. I like and use BTW. Writing it out involves hyphens and my fingers don’t have the muscle memory for hyphens.
7. FYI – at first glace appears identical to its original “For Your Information” (which I hate, btw), but it’s not. The new FYI stands for “For Your Indoctrination” because what is information if not ideological “mind bullets” of war? The beauty of the FYI is its paradoxical divisiveness, for all information has its opposition, FYI. I am chaos manifested.

On second thought, if we’re going for recognizables, why not just embrace it? I maen, witrten lgnaugae is jsut sbmolys aynawy, rgiht? Deos Aemracin Egnlsih relaly need phnotecis? It mhgit hvae tkaen you a soencd but I’ll wgear y’roue raendig tihs jsut fnie, and ayntinhg you mhgit hvae terid sunodnig out wulod hvae wrkeod aigasnt you. In raletiy, porunnaicotin cnoecnrs iseltf wtih new wrdos olny and to be hnoset, my vcaoblaruy is arelday petrty mxead out. I gesus yu’od need the funodtoian, tohguh.
Phrepas I suhlod try wirtnig my rsémué lkie tihs sncie apraplteny no one is rdaineg the dman tinhg aynawy. Jerks.

*A “shart,” as defined by, is “When one farts and a little shit comes out.”

Addendum: I also hate smiley faces and winks but admittedly, things don’t always translate electronically so I’ll concede their necessity. I will, however, introduce a personalized variation that a creative ex-girlfriend once assigned to my physical features and personality:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

This is the coolest thing since the time I met Martin Sheen at McDonald's

So, I had an interesting email exchange with my best friend Danny Rubin the other day when—who’s Danny Rubin? Oh, he’s just the screenwriter for the modern classic Groundhog Day. You see, I was recently listening to the special features of my Groundhog Day DVD (I usually listen to special features while I’m choring around or otherwise dividing my attention) when I heard Rubin talking about the original draft for the movie, the one before Director Harold Ramis inserted his dirty ghostbusting fingers and stirred his two cents into a writer’s credit. The original was described as something that transcends a tired storytelling formula to become literary. I wanted to read it.

Now don’t get me wrong. I bought and have enjoyed Groundhog Day for twenty years, but the movie is just that: a movie. As I understand the themes of what both Rubin and Ramis were describing on the DVD, I’m not even sure it would fly as a family story. It sounds existential and very lonely. I love those things, so I emailed Danny Rubin and asked if and where I could get my hands on a copy of the original. I was quite certain it was an unpublished work and was silently hoping (if he wrote back at all) that he’d email me a PDF or something. And guess what? WRONG! I didn’t get a copy of the script, but Rubin did write me back. As it turns out, other geeks have been just as interested in the first draft, so much so that “I started making notes to accompany it, sort of explaining why some things changed and which things I had to fight to keep. In the end it became a kind of interesting document about script development that got a publisher’s attention.”

In short, I missed my window of getting an exclusively annotated copy because understandably, he couldn’t send out something that’s going to be published. D’oh! Either way, I’ve just added a warmer degree of Kevin Bacon to Bill Murray and Harold Ramis, which makes me a winner.

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