Sunday, May 31, 2015

The End of My "Vacation"

Well, my two week suspension is over.  I didn't exactly meet all of my expectations.  In fairness to myself, I did set my goals pretty high.  I was able to finish recording 2 songs and begin 3 others.  Those 3 I will hopefully finish by the end of summer.  I'll keep you posted.  I also made some good progress on the treatment for my cartoon idea.

All in all it was a pretty productive time off.  Now I have to suck it up and go back to work slightly fatter.  I ate so much ice cream over the last two weeks...  I have a problem.

Here is a song I posted on YouTube tonight.  I wrote it a good while ago, but for some reason I never put it on YouTube.  Over the next 6 months I hope to put a lot more of my music up.  I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


I know that my opinion is important to one person only (me).  But what is the Internet for if not for spouting your opinions to the uncaring masses while attempting to be simultaneously brilliant, endearing and funny in the hopes of finding like minds who will want to follow your every utterance, adopt your opinions and comment about how brilliant, endearing and funny you are.

So I do these reviews.  Mostly I review books I've recently read, albums I've recently purchased or movies/shows I've recently seen.  I will, however, venture to other topics if they affect me deeply enough and if I remember them thoroughly.

I'd love to review my repressed love affair with this buxom blonde yeti... but it's buried too deep in the subconscious.  I'm sure it was beautiful, but it also might have been planted in my brain by my cousin while we were experimenting with hypnosis.

I want very much - as do the Lone Gunmen - to review my numerous abductions by probable alien visitors.  But no matter how hard I concentrate I can only see flashes of light and tentacles.

So for now I'll stick to things I can remember.

If you have a suggestion for a review, let me know.  I might not review it, but who knows?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Review: Tomorrowland

Ok, I made a terrible mistake today.  I was looking for times that Tomorrowland was playing in my area and I saw a piece of a review in the Google search.  It looked pretty bad so I went to the review and read it.  It wasn't good.  So I read another.  And another.

Pretty much everyone said the same thing; that the film, while visually interesting, was not overly exciting.  One critic went so far as to say that the story had been told before.

So I broke a rule and read a review before seeing a movie I was actually interested in. 

What good can come of it?  None.
Why?  Because most reviewers are dumbshits.  Further, you are already planning to see it.  If the review is good then no harm no foul.  If the review is bad then it will either color your feelings about the movie negatively or it won't make a difference in your opinion toward the movie and you will have wasted whatever time it took for you to read the review and/or trouble over whether you're going to like the movie.

I troubled over it.  I don't want to see a bad movie.
But I DID want to see Tomorrowland.  Further, so did my kids.  So I couldn't back out.

We saw the movie.

Tomorrowland          A
Story                         B
Special Effects          A
Disney Magic           A
Message                   A
Acting                      A
Heart                        B

Ok, so I'm making up a lot of these categories.  But who cares?
Hugh Laurie did a sub par job.  But I honestly think he can only play a pissy doctor.  Maybe I'm wrong.
George Clooney, Thomas Robinson, Britt Robertson and Raffie Cassidy were awesome.

Did the story drag at parts?  Sure.  Did it make some weird jumps?  Sure.  Did I really notice it while I was watching the movie?  No.

The story is basically this:  A futuristic world for dreamers to create and improve upon the things of Earth separate from the confines of business and political interests was created in another dimension. There a machine that could "predict" the future was created.  It saw the Earth self destructing due to war, hunger, climate change, etc. with no possible salvation.  But Casey Newton (Robertson), an optimistic teenage girl, is discovered by Athena (Cassidy), a young girl of Tomorrowland as a possible cure.  They need Frank Walker (Clooney) to get them into Tomorrowland so they can stop the doom clock and bring possibility back into Earth's future.

I thought the message was beautiful.  Has it been told before?  Yes.  But who the crap cares?  Should we EVER get tired of hearing people remind us that life is full of possibilities and only when we give up on fixing something is it truly broken?  (The answer is no).  And if they can remind us of this simple truth in such a beautiful way, shouldn't we be all the more grateful?   (yes)

Possible Spoilers below:
One of my favorite parts of the movie was when they returned to Tomorrowland and found it in a state of disrepair.  I visited Disney World Orlando about 10 times in my youth.  When I was very young (mid 80s) it was shiny and beautiful, and the future it spoke of was still in the future and still possible.  When I went for my honeymoon (late 90s) Tomorrowland was somewhat shabby.  The vinyl seats had holes in them.  The magnet powered People Mover was much less impressive, and the science they spoke of for the future seemed simultaneously far fetched and archaic. 

It was as though our future had become tarnished before we even got to visit it.

On the one hand I wanted Disney to immediately remodel the whole attraction with new and up to date versions of the future.  But on the other, I wanted Disney to keep the park as it was to remind us not just of a time when people dreamed so big that they inspired a whole nation to send people to the moon!  But also to stand as proof of what we have actually accomplished.  Everyone loves to point out that we don't have jet packs or flying cars.  I lament this sober truth at least once a month.  But we have some pretty awesome things that weren't predicted.  And many of the ideas that seemed the most far fetched now are looking more realistic.

But I digress.  The run down Tomorrowland was like seeing the honeymoon Tomorrowland.  And I have to admit, I've felt that run down Tomorrowland in my heart.  But maybe that is on me.  Maybe I'm to blame for failing to continue to dream like I did when I was a kid.  Tomorrowland reminded me to be a dreamer.  I like the dreamer in me.  The dreamer in me believes.  He believes in me, in you and in possibilities.

I hope Disney revamps the whole of Tomorrowland.  I hope it looks like the Tomorrowland at the end of the movie.  Or even better.  I can dream of a wonderful Tomorrowland.  And that is the point of the movie.

Still True

Look, you can't just assume that because I go on personal vacations for two full, but separate weeks in the summer to different popular spots in Florida and/or California and that I spending enough for a large family but have no souvenirs to show for it or because I have to visit sick and contagious friends or family every other Thanksgiving or Christmas in rotation or that because I go on business trips every Thursday through Saturday of every week to the same city where I have a car, a separate home, a separate bank account, a separate wardrobe and a handful of random children that refer to me as "daddy" and are followed around by a woman that seems to know my name and bear a strong resemblance to my high school girlfriend and who sounds like that inquisitive woman on the phone last month that I am cheating on you.

There's a logical explanation.

I'll explain it to you when you're a little less grumpy.

So, I'm not cheating on the blog.  I've just been busy.  Believe it or not I've been getting real work done towards a few of my goals; finishing another music album and finishing my treatment for my animated cartoon pitch.

This is why I have been absent of late.

I cannot explain why I haven't been funny yet.  Perhaps I'm still not comfortable with you.  I tend to be overly formal in the beginnings of my relationships.  I have trust issues.  If I open up took quickly and get attached to readily you'll just hurt me.  Don't act like you won't.  I read your text messages when you were in the bathroom.  I saw what you told your sister.

And don't pretend that you can unbutton your top blouse to distract me.  I know what I'm talking...

I can pretty think with fine just boobs top the bottom sweater.  Just all over the second button down and what.

No, wait... don't button it back up.  We don't have to go crazy.


Look.  You be you and I'll be me.  If we hit it off, great.  If not, I promise to keep your secrets and your pictures to myself.  I trust you will do the same.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Full Disclosure

So, I need to let you know, I will cheat on you.

I have a kind of ADHD (in addition to a pretty normal ADHD) in which I cannot focus on a single given project for very long without being distracted by another project.  It has been the bane of almost every project I have ever attempted, save a scant few that I could probably count on one hand.

I start off with great and noble intent.  But, once the project I am work on becomes difficult or tedious, I'll move on to something else.

The truth is, you, dear blog, are a distraction from another project.

Currently I am on forced leave from my job for a reason I will probably reveal before the close of the solar system.  Whether I deserve said suspension depends largely on whether you believe that employees should do work while they are on the job or whether you side with me.  (Incidentally, I don't side with me, so if you did side with me in the last parting of opinions you are probably alone.)  ANYWAY, the reasons for why I did what I did that got me suspended notwithstanding, I took my suspension as a clear sign that I am tired of my current job and I need to move on.  I promised myself that during my forced vacation I would work diligently on my music, my art and my cartoon concept.

I have about 4 different fictional bands for which I write music.  The bands, of course, are all me, but I write the music from the perspective of fictional characters - like the Beatles did with Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.  It's still my music.  It's still me singing, but it affords me the opportunity to write in very different styles without offended my legion of follower.

My goal for my leave of absence was to finish recording at least 4 songs.  To show how low I've set the bar on this, two of the songs are pretty much done with the recording phase and are now in the mixing phase.  I should have been done with them a month ago.

I have a couple of favorite things I like to draw.  I wanted to draw a single picture of "the Soft Ninja" an over weight, middle aged ninja that sort of never does anything right, and I wanted to finish a picture of a robot uprising that is almost finished except for the coloring process.  Again, low bar.

Concept Cartoon:
I have created a cartoon concept that I want to eventually finish and pitch to Cartoon Network/Nickelodeon/Disney.  I have already completed 4 episodes (written not animated) and drawn many of the characters.  I just need to finish writing up the treatment of the pitch bible.  This is a big task, but I didn't expect to finish this one by the end of my two weeks.

So here I sit, typing a blog that prior to my suspension I had no intention of writing.  And all I can think about doing when I go back downstairs is watching Adventure Time and drawing pictures of goblin bombardiers - which seems to be on my mind tonight.  But if I am a good boy I'll go directly to my music room and begin the process of mixing down one of my songs.

I'll keep you posted.  :)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

ex. blog, etc - my wildest dream

Background, history, purpose, whatever...

So a thousand years ago I started my first blog.  In that blog I wanted to document my efforts to become a writer of animated cartoons.  I'd post my letters of intent, various musings on the difficulties of writing, meager attempts at poetry and other bits of hilarity as they spouted from my brilliant, fecund creativity.

Did I think it would work?  In my wildest dreams I thought it possible that some animation executive from Cartoon Network or [adult swim] or Disney or wherever might stumble across my blog and think I was hilarious.  S/he would comment to one of my posts and suggest that s/he wanted to work with me.  I would agree and begin writing scripts for his/her animated cartoon and thus become a household name.

But realistically I thought I would be lucky to capture a few followers and maybe once a week have someone comment on how I made their day or made them laugh.  Then perhaps, over time, I would develop a style and maybe get a short story or an article published in a magazine.  Then, if I was diligent and true, I would eventually hammer out a writing career.

What happened was something of a mix.  Very early in the life of my blog an animator from Austria, Florian Satzinger, commented to one of my posts that he thought we might work well together.  I wrote a script for a concept cartoon he was creating.  He liked it and asked me for another.  So I wrote another!  And thus my wildest dream of being an animation writer became a crazy reality.

But then the recession hit and Florian's concept cartoon got put on a shelf where it remains to this day.  I continued to post almost daily to my blog, but I only ever managed to attract about 3 to 5 followers and I'm pretty sure that at least two of those were my wife trying to bolster my fragile ego.

After several years of relatively diligent blogging I stepped away from the practice to focus on my other endeavors.  In addition to writing for cartoons I write articles, poems and short stories.  I also draw and animate my own cartoons as well as write and record music.  But recently I submitted an article that I thought was pretty well written to The Write Place at the Write Time, an on-line magazine and I received an unusual denial letter which included the following (poorly written) excerpt:

"Though this piece isn't quite a fit with the nature of our non-fiction section, it has a distinct 'un-average' voice. Hitting upon common concerns, you might develop your reflections in a personal format (ex. blog, etc.) to directly converse with readers in the accessible style the material is written.We wish all our submitting writers to find the right home to showcase their work in. We wish you the best of luck in all your writing endeavors."

At first I thought this was an awful idea.  Then I thought, well, maybe it's only a kind of bad idea with some merit.  Then, after pondering the idea for a month, I was convinced that there was no question that it was an awful idea.

But then I remembered my wildest dream and how it almost came true.

Lime Sunglasses

I lost my favorite pair of sunglasses today.
I had them on the bus, but when I got to work I realized they were no longer with me.
It's ok, I guess.  They do not define me.  Not anymore.
I have resolved that this change will not alter the course of my course altering, life changing resolution...
to alter the course of my life and change my destiny.  Or at least get out of my parent's basement.
I'd love to find a home on the beach.  I'll need a new pair of sunglasses.