Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Television Roundup

I love me some TV.

So I thought I would do a quick roundup of some of the shows I'm currently watching.

Entourage: The mother of all shows. It really is my favorite. Ari Gold has got to be the best character ever created - kudos to Jeremy Piven for bringing him to life. I love that I don't need to turn on my brain to watch it, and that these cats act just like I do with my friends. VICTORY!

House MD: Gregory House. How I love thee - let me count the ways. House is me, but with a bum leg. He has some of the best one-liners on television. "Maybe Ashton Kutcher did it." I really hope he hooks up with Cuddy soon - that shit has been a long time coming.

Kyle XY: It's true, I also love me some Kyle XY. Just something about that kids adorable dimples that gets me every time. Yes, Kyle - this is how you pee. And that confused look on his face - "So this is how you pee." Exactly, Kyle. This is how we pee.

Greek: A newcomer to the Tivo Season Pass. And it's awesome. Spitter is such a great nickname. And the guy who plays Cappie is just fantastic in the role. Being a new show that I'm not having to catch up on, unfortunately means that I have to wait an entire week between episodes.

The Riches: Eddie Izzard. They really didn't need to say any more to get me to watch the show. But they did a really good job of keeping me watching it. It does lull occasionally, but I loved the season finale and am quite disappointed I have to wait forever for season two to start.

Heroes: Everyone knows it, everyone loves it. The Zero to Hero concept done literally. I love this show so much - it appeals to my inner (and outer) geek like none other. I want to be Peter Patrelli. I want to kick some Sylar ass. Season two can't start soon enough.

There's more on the list, but I think that's quite enough for one day.

What are you watching?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Foiled Plan

Every group of friends usually has that one guy nobody likes.

Ours was named Gary.

Gary had been my arch-nemesis ever since the sixth grade when he ratted me out to a teacher.

I had vowed my revenge upon him from that young age, and needed only wait for the perfect opportunity to exact it upon him. Like a ninja.

Such an opportunity presented itself when we were sixteen. Revenge was to be mine.

See, we had a fellow in our group named Mike. Everybody liked Mike. He was flamboyant and funny. A real riot. He was also very gay.

Mike would insist on teaching us the intricacies of the gay scene, even though none of us were particularly interested. We listened, mostly because Mike was in the closet and I'm sure it was nice for him to have a group of friends who knew and didn't care.

One day, Mike taught us about the homosexual romps that took place in Griffith Park.

It was truly fascinating.

He even showed us the places.

Guys would hang out in certain areas of the park, and just randomly hook up to go do naughty things in the bushes. If I were ever teetering on being gay, this facet of the lifestyle would surely have pushed me over the edge. Purely anonymous, no-attachment frolicking.

If only women were into such things.

Anyway, the day Mike showed us these places - the idea came to me. It was brilliant.

We'd strand Gary there.

Oh, the joy we would have watching a clueless Gary try and thwart off sexual advances from strange, eager men. It would be one for the record books. And I'd have my revenge.

Now don't feel bad for Gary - I assure you, he deserved it. Plus, we were teenagers. I can barely justify the shit I pull now, let alone the stuff I pulled over ten years ago.

So, the day came and the plan went off without a hitch.

Gary stood around, alone, waiting for us to get back from our quick fifteen minute run. Men circled him like vultures. Mike pouted that he was in hiding with us instead of being out there.

Then, it happened. The first man approached him...

We giggled in the shadows. What would happen next? What if Gary was into it? How long until he caught on? This was going to be great.

Except it wasn't great.

Gary made himself a fucking friend.

For twenty minutes we watched as Gary and this strange man just talked. Nothing more. Just talking. No angry fist-waving, no being dragged into the bushes - nothing. Just conversation.

How could our plan have gone so wrong? We had to go see.

We pulled up just in time to catch Gary and the guy exchanging numbers - and he hopped into the car. All smiles.

"Hey guys, that was Ted."

That was Ted?

"Yeah. We talked while you guys went to the store."

And he gave you his number?

"He was a really cool guy. We should call him to hang out with us some time."

He had foiled my brilliant plan with the cunning use of stupid.

I fucking hated Gary.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Why I Write What I Write

Time for a quick break from my usual crass antics.

Underneath all the boorish stories and in between all the crude jokes, I live with two constant struggles in my life.

The first is staying clean.

I have to turn my head anytime a scene involving drug use comes on during a movie or television show, because no matter how gruesome they may be trying to portray the act as - I can only see the romance in it.

That gentle dance between your mind and the drug.

It's like the most intimate, whirlwind relationship you've ever experienced. Love, hate - empowerment, failure. All wrapped into one.

There are nights I have trouble falling asleep because it's all I can think about.

But, I manage.

I know if I ever fall off the wagon it'll be the death of me. And I'm not quite ready to die yet.

The second, is my son.

I dream about him constantly.

Sometimes it's that he's sick, other times it's that his mother has given up on raising him and dropped him off at my doorstep, and sometimes it's her calling me to tell me he's dead.

Last night I dreamt he was sitting next to me on the bed while I slept.

Nothing more. Just him sitting next to me on the bed, playing and smiling in his blue jammies, as I quietly slept through the night.

I try to manage with this struggle as well, but I can't help but tear up a little whenever I see a beautiful baby with pudgy little legs run across the television.

So, maybe these are the reasons why I am the way I am. Why I write what I write.

I've seen enough serious times and dark alleys to last me a lifetime. I don't need to write about it too.

I'd rather use the time I have left to talk about things that are mundane and obscene.

Whip out your dicks, fellas. Fuck while you can.

Life's too short.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

8 Random Facts

Nick, the world's greatest writerist, has tagged me to list eight random facts about myself.

Here goes.

  • I'll only have seven of these.

I couldn't come up with an eighth answer. So I decided to come back up here and add this in as my first entry. There will only be seven random facts.

Shit happens.

  • I wish I were smarter.

I'm not exactly a ten dollar word kind of guy, never have been. Give me a good looking girl and a vice or two - and I'm pretty much a happy man.

But there are days when I look upon those who use words like esoteric and ubiquitous in regular conversation with envy. Would I be a better writer if I were smarter? I've always been a life-experiencing type over a book-learning one, so I guess we'll never know.

  • I'm not black.

Much to the surprise and chagrin of people who try to bum a cigarette off me, I smoke menthols. Kools, to be exact. Most smokers who read this blog are making an uneasy face right now. Menthols just aren't very popular. Unless you're black. Then you smoke Newports or Kool. But contrary to what my smoking habits may tell you - I'm not black.

  • I used to be a Republican.

It's true. I was a South Park Republican - fiscally conservative, socially liberal. I used to vote party line every single year until the last presidential election - at which point I abstained from voting for the first time since I turned 18. Now days, I don't have a political party.

  • I fuck in strange places.

My first experience with this strange habit was on the log ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain. You know the one, right? A big log with a bench in the middle that twists and turns through water. Well, I fucked on that once. Before I knew they had installed those spiffy little cameras that take your picture on one of the drops. Needless to say, neither the guy operating the booth nor the parents in line waiting to buy said pictures were very pleased with what they saw on the screen above.

It did trigger a long line of weird sexual escapades, though - encompassing such interesting locales as a hotel balcony facing a busy city street, the parking lot outside the gym, and multiple public bathrooms - to name a few.

  • My jokes sometimes lead to uncomfortable situations.

I talk a lot of shit. You know this. One of my long-standing schticks is to go on and on about getting a hummer from a tranny. Don't ask me to explain why I do these things, I barely understand it myself.

So one day we're with a group of friends and I jump right into my tranny routine when one of the guys in the group says, "Are you serious? Because I found a bunch of shemale porn on my dad's computer when I was a kid and I'd love to hear your thoughts on it."

Nobody really picked on him for being a 30 year old virgin after that.

  • A tattoo on your dick is as good as spanish fly.

Nothing makes a woman want to pull out and see your schmeckel more than telling her you have a tattoo on it. It's literally a carte blanche to sleep with whomever you want - because, well, once it's out you gotta do something with it, right?

My only regret is not having discovered this phenomena sooner - because I would have gotten it done ages ago.

  • I got my sex-ed from the 80's.

The first bush I ever saw was in the movie Revenge of the Nerds. Where they install cameras in the girls dormitory and Booger shouts, "We've got bush!" We've got bush, indeed, Booger.

The first movie I ever rubbed one out to was Hamburger: The Motion Picture. It was a teen sex flick like Porky's, except at Hamburger University. Don't look at me, I just tugged one out to it - I didn't write it.

My first Playboy was given to me by my father. It was the Suzanne Somers issue. Thank you, Chrissy Snow.

Thank you for everything.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I'm a Potty Mouth

Everyone seems to be doing this blog rating thing now, so who am I to argue with the mob. The mob is Rome.

Free Online Dating

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

  • asshole (14x)
  • fuck (13x)
  • shit (8x)
  • cock (7x)
  • suck (6x)
  • sex (4x)
  • grope (3x)
  • piss (2x)
  • rape (1x)
Who knew?

I knew.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Stressed Out

Been a pretty ugly couple days.

The script was coming along great - and I mean really great - and then when we started the scene-by-scene outline, suddenly an end of Act 1 problem cropped up.

Acts 2 and 3 are great. The concept drove both acts home. But this end of Act 1 problem has had me frustrated for a couple days now.

I compromised on a solution that isn't perfect, which I think has me even more stressed out.

Everything else came together so nicely, that maybe I'm just expecting too much.

Or maybe it's because writing is hard.

Or maybe it's because the concept is flawed.

I don't know, and I'm trying to figure it out.

In the meantime, I'm stressed over it. And while I'm usually the most easy-going guy you'll ever meet, I've been a bit on edge the last couple days worrying about it.

I hate being stressed.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Pitfalls of Boredom

I don't know if I've mentioned this before or not, but I have ADD pretty bad.

Like really bad.

And thanks to my history with amphetamines, I can't really risk taking my medicine for it anymore.

If I happen to get into "the zone" then I'm golden. Nothing can stop me, and I can crank through pages and pages of writing without breaking a sweat.

Unfortunately, these "zones" don't come very often.

What this basically means is that I go through various stages of absolute boredom throughout any given day.

When it's mild, I can just turn on some music and keep writing.

When it's bad, I can watch a movie or turn on the music really loud and read a script.

But when it's abysmal, I get sucked into doing god knows what.

Sometimes I find myself lost on Wikipedia for hours and hours. Other days I lose myself in YouTube. If I'm lucky, I use my distraction for something positive.

Like making a video.

One day I got bored and made a House video. Another time, I made a Taxi Driver video.

This morning, I made this:

And I'm pretty sure it means I'm a racist.

Breaking The Story

If you remember, on July 6th I had a breakthrough.

I was being haunted by two simple little words for weeks: High Concept.

Then it came to me.

An idea that I not only loved, but genuinely felt was high concept. I was rock hard to jump into characters, arcs, plot, and outlining. I was stoked.

But that excitement was short-lived.

For the past ten days I've been struggling with a new demon - breaking the story.

I had a great concept, a great theme, a great title - and nowhere to go with it. I can't even begin to tell you how frustrating this was.

The first outline felt contrived. Forced.

So much so, that I tried to move on to outlining another idea that had been on the back burner.

As much as I tried, though - I kept circling back to the high concept one.

I knew there was a story there - a great story - I just had to find it.

Once again, I took a couple days off to let my brain cool off and watched movies and read scripts.

Then all of a sudden, last night, it happened.

We broke the story.

You should have seen it. It was amazing.

"This this happens. Oh god, then this! What about this? That's hilarious! Jesus, this is great..."

Until yesterday, the phrase "the comedy should come from the concept" didn't really mean anything to me. It was just a mantra used by the professionals.

I was wrong.

Something special happens when that light bulb flickers on, and concept starts driving your story. That inherent comedy that comes from a concept is one you just can't reproduce with gags and characters.

Concept is king.

Anyway, I don't want to get too ahead of myself here - and risk incurring the wrath of the Hubris gods - but I really feel like this is the one.

The script that's going to bring me to my goal ahead of schedule.

I really hope I'm right.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Movie Snobs

I've never understood movie snobs.

People who seem to find faults with almost every movie ever made, and couldn't suspend their disbelief if their life depended on it.

But, some of the most intelligent and funniest people I've ever met happen to be movie snobs - so I've learned to just agree to disagree with them on the issue.

Aspiring screenwriters who happen to be movie snobs, though?

That's just suicide.

MovieQuill recently brought it up, and I wanted to expand on the subject.

For someone to say they want to write movies for a living, then turn around and publicly criticize working screenwriters and produced movies baffles the living fuck out of me.

Coincidentally, most of these same guys who are aspiring screenwriters/movie snobs have been writing specs for over ten years and all they have to show for it, if they're lucky, is making the quarterfinals in Nicholl.

Don't be that guy.

I'm not saying blindly follow and love every film ever made, but instead of looking for all the bad in movies, try and look for the good. Every movie usually has at least one redeeming quality - even if you have to try real hard to find it.

You're supposed to be doing this because you love movies - or at least that's why you should be doing it.

Leave the bashing to the critics, that's their job. Your job is to love film and absorb all they have to offer.

If you can't turn on your television, or pop in a DVD, and immediately be transported into a different world, where things don't always have to make sense - then maybe you should rethink this whole screenwriting thing.

Oh, and if you haven't seen Transformers yet - go buy your ticket now. It's the best action movie to hit the big screen in years.

This blog entry brought to you by Michael Bay and General Motors.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

My First MILF

Every young man should go through a MILF phase.

Right around when a guy is in his late teens and a woman is in her mid-thirties - something magical happens. This period is what I like to call The Sweet Spot.

It's when the sex drive of a guy is directly proportional to that of a womans.

It's a magical time, indeed. It's also one of mutual benefit, for the MILF is our teacher.

You may think I'm kidding, but this period determines what sort of lover a guy ends up being for the rest of his life. Not an opportunity you want to squander.

Not to mention, the sex is great.

You'll have plenty of time to fuck clueless young girls later when you're rich and successful (and usually even if you become a complete fuck-up, but that's a blog for a different day).

Ladies, if you're in your thirties, find yourself a young man to ride. Do it for the sisterhood. They're going to end up dating and marrying these guys one day.

I remember my first MILF fondly.

I was 17, she was 36. And married.

A firecracker of a redhead that rocked my world like no woman had before her.

Of course, I wasn't armed with the knowledge I'm giving you here today, so I just thought I was in love. Very, very in love.

I also had no idea she was married.

One day we're in the middle of a 12 hour marathon session when my phone rings. It's a man - demanding to speak to his wife.

His wife?

So I hand her the phone, and she takes the call outside. I didn't really think much of it - I just wanted her to come back inside so we could finish. Blue balls suck.

Anyway, she comes back inside and gives me some business about it being her ex-husband, and how the divorce wasn't final yet. I believed her - mostly because I really wanted to get back to fucking.

We dated for about three months, until one night she invited me over to her house.

I'd never been there before.

So there we are, going at it on the couch - when I start looking around her living room. I start to notice pictures of a happy family everywhere. And I mean everywhere.

I was in the Brady Bunch's living room.

I fling her off me mid-stroke to go and take a closer look at the pictures.

She starts crying.

I'm rock hard, staring at pictures of a happy family, while the chick I was just fucking is balling behind me.

She starts to let it all out...

She's not divorced.

Her husband's at work.

She has three kids.

They're asleep upstairs.


So, I did the only honorable thing someone could do in that situation.

I made sure I got off, and I never spoke to her again.

The moral of the story is, guys, if you're under 21 - find yourself a hot MILF - every woman you fuck later in life will thank you for it.

And if she's married, top her off and move on to the next.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Turning Thirty

How did this happen to me?

When did this happen?

One minute I'm a jubilant youth without a care in the world, and before I know it, I'm getting old.

Really fucking old.

I've briefly mentioned my fear of turning thirty in previous blogs, but now that the big day looms closer and closer - my fear is blossoming into a full-on panic.

I never thought I'd be thirty.

Even now, I consider thirty to be old.

I still feel the same way I did when I was eighteen. Most days, I act like it too.

There's something charming about the reckless abandon of youth. I don't want to lose that. That carefree attitude, that feeling of invincibility - that's who I am, it's who I've always been.

Goonies Never Say Die. Thirty year olds do.

I was still screwing up my life just a couple years ago - how can I be a thirty year old yet?

Hell, some would say I'm still screwing my life up now by giving up my career to take a shot at screenwriting.

I see people all around me, friends of mine, who have their act together. Wife, kids, a job they love - things that I don't even really think about most days.

Responsibility is just a word to me.

I'm not ready to be thirty.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Don't Call It A Comeback

Mother fuck me have I been blocked for like two weeks now.

And I mean seriously blocked.

I couldn't complete a thought if my life depended on it. And when a couple people approached me to possibly work with them on a cool idea, I was bound by other obligations and couldn't do it.

I was seriously doubting myself.

So, I decided to do something about it.

First, I went out and picked up the game Overlord. Before I found out how much I liked getting laid, I used to really enjoy gaming (so much so that I made a career out of it for many years) - so I thought what better way to clear my mind than to pick up an old friend and forget about writing for a while.

This did wonders for me.

Then, I decided to hold a small exercise on the Artful Writer forums. I'd never written a short before, and I thought it'd be fun (and distracting) to write one for the first time with a group of others and let the community offer some anonymous feedback.

So as I was sitting at my desk practically jerking off to the really flattering feedback I was getting over my short - I had a breakthrough.

A real, honest to goodness breakthrough.

When I finished writing my first feature, I was fortunate enough to have a few professional screenwriters offer to read it for me. It was quite flattering, especially considering they made a living doing this - and I was just some guy who in February decided to write for a living.

One of these wise, awesome individuals (yes, I'm kissing your ass right now) said something to me in his feedback that has stuck with me. It was just one sentence, but it has haunted me.

He said, while he thought my script was well-written, confident, and funny...

"I think it's missing that twist that makes it high concept."

And even though he suggested it was good enough to shop, that one comment has been on the back of my mind ever since.

But today. Oh glorious day.

I had my breakthrough.

I came up with the high concept story I'm going to love telling.

It's a beautiful thing, and I'm balls out excited to get working on it.

Let's get to work.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Feedback Vs Criticism

There's a distinct difference between feedback and criticism.

Some people know how to give feedback. Others, well, they just criticize.

Sadly, I think I'm one of the people who dishes out criticism instead of feedback.

Over the past few months, I've learned that you need to look for someone who can offer you feedback on your work, and not criticism.

It's a very fine line, and most people are unable to differentiate between the two - so it's up to you to decide which one you're getting, and to make sure to have the right people read your work.

Let me make it clear that feedback does not mean someone who will just give you positive notes - feedback can also be negative, but it serves a purpose - to elevate your work.

Criticism, on the other hand - never elevates your work. It only serves to tear you down and build on your insecurities (of which most writers have many).

So don't mistake my suggestion of seeking feedback to mean only let those who cup your balls and blow in your ear read your work.

Go through the notes you've gotten from your friends on some of your past work. Read them again. See which notes made you feel positive and ready to jump into rewrites, and which ones made you feel like seeing how many licks it takes to slip into a Tylenol coma.

I think you'll be able to separate the feedback from the criticism pretty easily.

Those are the people you want to read your future work.

Those are the ones you should build a relationship with - offering to read their work whenever they have something for you to look at.

The ones who criticize, on the other hand, you should probably excuse from reading your work again. They're not helping you get better.

And like I said, most people don't even know which camp they fall into - but you should be able to distinguish between the two.

Know the difference.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Where's My Hook?

This is like the third or fourth screenwriting entry in a row. I don't know about you guys - but I, for one, will not tolerate this sort of bullshit out of this blog for much longer.

I object to my own blog.

Now that I have that out of the way - I want to let you all know that I'm washed up.

Creatively bankrupt.

Not even relegated to the life of a has-been.

I'm a never-was.

I've been outlining several story ideas for a couple weeks now, and I hadn't been able to find a hook I loved - until last night.

It seemed as if I'd done it - cracked the case. Finally stumbled upon the hook I needed for on one of my stories.

I was excited.

Then, I got up this morning.

I hated my hook.

Hate is too strong. I liked it - it was funny - but I didn't love it. You know?

I don't know what I want to write next, and I feel like every day I don't find a story I love, is a day wasted. Especially with my short schedule.

I'm washed up.


Sans Hook.

What I'm trying to say is--

Someone find me a hook(er).