It was only inevitable, after all…


Well dear readers, it seems we have reached yet another milestone.  I’ve finally gotten a blog award.

Uh-oh! Party Spock’s back! Looks like we’ll be tearin’ up the clubs with our cold, unfeeling logic tonight!

I have, this very weekend in fact, been nominated for two blogger awards, first from the estimable sued51 of http://sued51.wordpress.com/, and secondly from the incomparable Exceeding the Speed Limit, of http://exceedingspeed.wordpress.com/ .  Congratulations.  Your loyalty has been duly noted…

As for the rest of you…

Behold, your punishment!

Anyway, I encourage you to go a visit their blogs.  Sued51 gave me the sunshine award, I suppose for bing luminous, though more likely because I somehow brightened her day.

Here’s what it looks like

I’m glad I could help.  Exceedingspeed gave me the one lovely blog award, for having a lovely blog.  Again, I say thank you.

And this is that one.

Now, Down to Business

Reports have reached me that there are certain… requirements one must fulfill in order to fully receive an award.  Many bothans died to bring me this information, and so I thought it only fair that I would act on it as soon as possible.  Apparently, I have to answer some questions about myself, though the intelligence the bothans had stolen was damaged and incomplete.  I would have gotten quite upset with them, but they managed to let me know that the new death star isn’t fully manned or fully operational yet.

Excellent! Commence the attack!

Plus, they’re all dead anyway, and you can only beat a corpse so many times before your arm gets tired, so what’s the point in being mad?

Some Facts About Me

  1. My favorite time of year: is fall.  I wrote a post about it in a drunken fit of ecstasy  the likes of which I won’t see for quite some time.  I’m broke and out of booze.  Alas, such is life.  You can read it here.
  2. My Theme Song: Fear of the Dark by Iron Maiden.  Not only is it one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite bands, but I both am afraid of the dark and enjoying scaring people when I hide in the dark.
  3. What would you like to change about yourself?  I would like to not have allergies.  That would be awesome.  Also, if I could shoot lasers out of my eyes…
  4. What is it that you do, anyway? I am currently a graduate film student at the FSU college of motion picture arts.  I’m in the screenwriting program.  When I’m not doing that, I’m usually plotting with pinky on how best to take over the world.
  5. Whats your favorite time of day? Morning.  Easy.  I love coffee, breakfast food (bacon, donuts and CHICKEN BISCUITS) , and the sunrise.  These things all go hand in hand, and each one is complimented by the other, so that when all three are combined, this happens:
  6. What would possess someone to draw this?  Coffee, sunrise, bacon.  EVERY.  TIME.

    What is your favorite day:  Thursday.  It has both the knowledge that the week is now more than half over, and the tangible anticipation of the fun the weekend will bring.  It’s much like Christmas.  I enjoy it’s build up much more than the actual day.  Therefore the penultimate christmas experience is Christmas Eve.  I still have trouble getting to sleep on Christmas Eve.

    7. What is your favorite physical activity? Pillaging.  Second?  Ultimate Frisbee.

    8.What is your favorite DnD class?  Wizard, easy.  What’s not to like?

    9. What is your favorite monster?  Cthulhu, though he is more of an ancient one, a being from the stars, and an old god than a “monster,” though he is most certainly “monstrous.  H. P. Lovecraft is one of my favorite writers, and Cthulhu is one of his greatest creations.  There’s even a Metallica song about it.

    10. Favorite Clint Eastwood Movie?  This is a tough one.  I think I’d have to go with “Fistful of Dollars.”  The good, the bad, and the Ugly is awesome, but it’s so long.  I just watch it for the shootout at the end, which is one of my favorite scenes in anything ever.

    11. What is your Ideal Villain Lair?  An inactive volcano, that is secretly active, so that when the hero’s army invades, you can flood the complex with lava and be done with his pitiful attempts to foil you forever.

    12. What is your favorite movie that takes place in Bruges? …In Bruges.

    13. Who is your favorite author? Sir Terry Pratchett.  He is absolutely fabulous.  Go read all of his books, now!

    14. What is your favorite foreign language?  German, because I know it.

    Well, thats quite enough of that.  Now I suppose I have to nominate some other blogs.  Let’s see…

    1. http://movealongblog.blogspot.com/ writes about karate, philosophy, and everything in between.  Who cares if she is on blogspot and not wordpress?  That’s her challenge, not mine.

    2. http://giddysap.wordpress.com/  has fun pictures and interesting musings.  Giver her a read.

    3. http://doesthishappentoyou.wordpress.com/ blogs about funny everyday stories, and occasionally reblogs/narrates some of my own.

    4.http://jacquedhoward.wordpress.com/ is a fellow writer who has a very organized, interesting, and delightful blog.  I am jealous of it’s ease of use and scroll bar thing on the homepage.

    5.http://somethingfathappened.wordpress.com/ writes about… um wow… everything and everything, and everything in between the two.

    6. http://darkofficehumour.wordpress.com/ writes humorous things, and has a book too.  Lucky.  I wish I had a book.  Though I dont have one due to lack of trying.  Maybe one day…

    Well, thats about it.  I’m glad i’ve finally gotten a blog award.  I’ve been waiting a long time.  As the title states, though, it was only inevitable, and so to anyone waiting for their first one who may happen to read this, I have one thing to say to you.  It’ll happen eventually.  It is only inevitable, after all.

Job and the Burger


Here’s a scene that I wrote for my screenwriting class.  The prompt was that we needed to write a scene that reveals the flaw in the main character.  It could be no longer than 3 pages and had to have dialogue.  Can you guess who my protagonist is and what is his flaw?

(Note: the formatting is less than desirable here.  The first two caps (A BURGER and A MAN) are scene introductions.  The rest are dialogue, which i have painstakingly formated in the center.)

JOB AND THE BURGER

———————————-

A BURGER
…Sits on a food tray. There are some fries and a drink next to it.

A MAN
…Glares at the burger on the counter of the fast food restaurant, incredulous. The fools! 34 years old, JOB is a nuclear bomb, anger barely contained by the paper thin veil of society, ready to go of at any moment.

JOB
What’s this?

BRITTANY, 19, looks up from filing her nails. For Brittany, life is perpetually dull, and each day always proves more boring than the last.

BRITTANY
You’re food, sir.

Job continues to glare at the burger, like it had just slapped him. He lifts up the bun. Lettuce. Lettuce.

JOB
This isn’t what I ordered.

BRITTANY
You asked for lettuce.

Job screws up his face, and forces the red back down.

JOB
No, I didn’t. I hate lettuce. I asked for a burger without lettuce.

Brittany rolls her eyes and dramatically punches some keys on her computer like she was playing whack-a-mole. She turns her screen around so Job can see.

BRITTANY
One burger. Ketchup, tomato, cheese. With lettuce.

Brittany goes back to filing her nails. Job stares at the screen.

JOB
Can you just make me another one?

Brittany pauses her filing.

BRITTANY
No.

Job’s hands begin to shake visibly. He breathes deeply. It isn’t working. A man behind Job taps him on the shoulder. Job turns to see fat, middle aged man with his equally fat family standing behind him.

MAN
Sir, just take your damn burger. We’re hungry too.

Job roars like a lion. He grabs the food tray and smashes it on the counter, fries flying like shrapnel from an IED.
He lifts the tray up and smashes the man in the side of his face. The man goes down among the raining fries.

The man’s family cries in fright and his wife tries to tend to him.

Job throws the tray like a frisbee and pegs the man at the drive-through window in the back of the head.

JOB
BULLSHIT! I DIDN’T WANT LETTUCE!

Job pulls a revolver from a pocket inside his jacket and fires a round into the air. The bullet strikes the ceiling and chalky dust covers Job’s face, making him even more terrifying.

The other patrons make a mad dash for the exits. Job hears them running and spins around. He does his best to point his gun at all of the dozen patrons.

JOB (CONT’D)
NOBODY’S LEAVING. IM GONNA GET MY BURGER, AND WE’RE ALL GONNA SIT DOWN AND HAVE A NICE FUCKING MEAL. YOU GOT THAT

Job points his gun at a frightened, college aged woman by the door.  Not so fast!

JOB (CONT’D)
YOU GOT THAT?

WOMAN
Y-y-y-yes?

JOB
GOOD!

Job spins back around to Brittany, who has dropped her nail file and is staring at Job like a deer in headlights. This is the best day of her life.

BRITTANY
Ok. Ok! Here!

She reaches behind her and grabs a new burger. She opens it up and removes the lettuce, and then hands it to Job.
Job puts it back on the tray.

JOB
SOME FRIES TOO!

Brittany gives him some fries. Job glances quickly between his food and Brittany, and then nods.
He holds the food to his chest like a bag of money from a bank heist, and slowly backs away, randomly pointing his gun at people behind the counter.

JOB (CONT’D)
Good, thank you. Good.

Job sits down at a table and places his food in front of him. Everyone is eyeing him nervously.

JOB (CONT’D)
It’s ok. We’ll all be alright. Sit down and eat. I got my burger.

Everyone hesitantly sits down and eats. Job smiles happily at his food and takes a bite. We can hear sirens in the distance, steadily approaching, like a distant storm.

The Harvest Moon


It hangs, large and imposing, overseeing the crops and fields below.  In the distance, a demented cackle echoes across the twilight, flitting over the gently rolling hills on the wings of a raven.  See how it circles; upwards, ever upwards, and outwards, too, but never down.  Feel the chill tiptoe down your spine on toes of ice, subtly belying the pleasant atmospheric conditions and almost making you wonder if winter has come early.

It hasn’t.  It is autumn, my favorite time of year.  A time of candy and mysteries, preparations and celebrations, witches and family, pumpkins and poltergeists, and most of all, the bizarre juxtaposition of the harvest and the looming winter.  This is autumn, and the harvest moon looms, some would say wickedly, and yet others would say like a mother, over the pageant of the season.

And so we come full circle again to the demented cackle we had heard previously, and to the point of the story wherein we meet our protagonist, namely me.  I have always had a penchant for having bizarre things happen to me.  It’s a talent really, but not the sort you could use to impress your schoolmates in a talent show or something.  I can see it now…

“Behold!” I would say to the crowd, who would appear as amorphous blobs from my vantage point of the stage, “and tremble, as bizarre things happen to me”  The crowd would grow silent, and there we would wait as the excruciating minutes clawed by, until at last Dr. Amico, the assistant principle, would quietly shoo me offstage.

No, this talent can not be demonstrated with any sort of predictability, but anyone who has been around me for a long enough time understands the bizarre coincidences and terrifying persons that assail me weekly.

And so it seems less odd, even par for the course, that on that cool autumn evening I found myself in the clutches of three witches, as wicked as they were warty, and as stinky as they were ancient.  I was floating in a pot, if memory serves, over a small campfire that one of the witches, let’s call her Hild, was desperately trying to light.  Hild was a tall and slender creature with a hooked nose one could use to open beer bottles, or perhaps even un-cork wine.  The possibilities were endless.

“Poo and fiddlesticks!” she swore, wasting yet another match that had singed her fingers.  She dropped it to the forest floor.

“You might want to be careful with that.”  I said.  She stared at me quizzically, and I nodded my head toward the match that was smoldering contentedly on the forest floor.  “That’s how forest fires get started.”

“What do you care, human?”  She hissed back at me, spittle flying from her crooked teeth, “You’ll be cooked soon anyway.”

“Well,” I continued, repositioning myself so I could hang on the side of the pot.  It was a very big pot.  “I wouldn’t want your ladies’ evening to be ruined by an inattention to fire prevention”  I chuckled at my little rhyme, and then continued “furthermore, I would be out of the frying pan and into the fire,” I paused and thought for a moment, “…or out of the pot and into the forest fire, as it were.  I’ve always held that it would be better to be cooked alive than burned alive.  You ladies struck me as being excellent cooks, and I doubt you’ll let me burn during your meal preparation, so it would really be a shame if I was roasted by an uncaring forest fire, you see.”

The witch narrowed her eyes and stomped viciously on the match.  It was about that time, at least I think it was, when her sisters returned.  One of them, let’s call her Froggy, was a squat and rotund creature, with a palled yellow tone to her skin that appeared absolutely horrific in the moonlight.  She must have had a gastro intestinal issue of some sort, the poor dear, for she would sporadically emit tremendous burps, somewhat like a horrific bull frog’s croak, that would echoe across the grove where I was currently stewing.  It would set off all the other amphibians in the area, a chorus of grunts and croaks that would have been amusing if it wasn’t so damn loud.

The last witch, let’s call her Bella, was dubbed the “beautiful one” by her sisters, though in truth she would have been dubbed “the lest ugly one” by almost anyone else.  She was of average height, neither short nor tall, thin nor fat, and had the long, flowing silver hair of a Targaryen.  It was undoubtably her best feature, and she knew it, and kept her hair in a near immaculate condition.

Behind the two witches stalked their scarecrow,  a fearful construct of straw and wood, with a leering pumpkin head and burlap clothes.  A faint fire burned in it’s eyes, which, besides locomotion, was the only indication that it was alive.

I have to admit I was afraid of this golem, despite the fact that I am not a crow.  Perhaps it would be better suited if it were called a “scare-human,” or maybe even a “scare-everything.”  The creatures of the forest hated the thing, and would attack it on sight, more out of fear than anything else, so that it’s once picturesque pumpkin head was now peppered with the marks of a thousand tiny teeth.

It was hauling a bundle of kindling in it’s straw arms, which it set under my pot.

“Well, here you go, Hild”, spat Froggy, after emitting yet another belch.  Dear god she was foul.  “Some fresh kindling for ickle baby, since you can’t manage to light a simple camp fire.”

“She’s got a point Hild,” I chimed in, happily, “could we get a move on here?  This water’s really cold.  I’m afraid i might catch pneumonia, or maybe even SARS.  Hey…” I turned to Bella, “Do people even get SARS anymore?”  Bella looked at me confusedly, and then shrugged.  “Pfft, some witch you are.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”  Bella said, defensive.  The thrust an accusatory finger at me and stalked towards my pot.  “I’ll have you know, young man, that I have been witching since before you were born-”

“And yet you don’t even know if people get SARS anymore.  I thought witches knew all about that sort of thing.  All the good ones, at least.”  Bella’s mouth opened and closed, searching for something to say.  Froggy pushed in front of here and glared at me.

“Witches don’t know that sort of thing.  Doctors know about diseases.  Witches know about spells and magic and dancing naked in the moonlight.”  I raised an accusatory eyebrow and looked from the hideous Froggy to the marginally more attractive Bella to the Pelican like Hild.  The witches became incredibly uncomfortable.

“Well,” I stated haughtily, “I certainly hope we’ll be having none of that tonight”  The witches were dumbstruck, and took a moment to gain their composure.  Bella was the first to rally and gave me her best impression of a wicked smile.

“You probably wont be so loquacious when your boiling in the pot… to death!  Hild, light the fire!”  Hild cackled wickedly and lit another match and tossed it onto the kindling, which briefly hissed and smoked and then sputtered out.  I let go of the pot and began to float and spin in lazy circles.

“Why don’t you just light it with magic?” I asked.  The witches all shuffled their feet uncomfortably.  Bella coughed quietly into her hand.

“You’ve got to be kidding me.”  I chided, rolling my eyes.  “You can’t do magic, can you?”

“Well, that’s why we’re cooking you!”

“We have to!”

“It’s a sacrifice to mother earth!”

“Then she will grant us powers and potent spells!”

“Puh-LEASE.”  I contemptuously said as I floated back over to the side of the pot.  “If I knew this was going to be so ‘amateur hour,’ I would have just stayed at home and cooked me myself”  The witches were flabbergasted.  The night was not going as they had originally planned

“Hey man.”  Hild finally said.  “Who do you think you are?  Talkin’ all this shit to us, acting so blasé.  What’s your deal?”

“This is nothing.”  I said, climbing out of the pot.  “Nothing.  One time, I had to fight the anthropomorphic personification of the GRE in a nightmare world.  I think I can manage a few tyro witches.”

“Hey… stop!”  Froggy weakly protested.

“Or what?  You’ll bore me to death?”  I mocked, putting on my shirt.  “I remember when there used to be proper witches.  Menacing witches.  Those were the days.  Now all we get are a bunch of try hards.”  I finished putting on my clothes and walked up to the witches, who were looking a little hurt.  “I think I’ll stick to wolfmen, or maybe vampires for the rest of fall.  Come back and kidnap me when you’ve had some experience…”  The witches stared at me as I walked away, silhouetted by the gigantic harvest moon.

“You can’t just go!” Bella pleaded.  “Our…um…oh!  Our scarecrow will stop you!”  I stopped and turned around to face them.

“There!  Much better!  But you should have said that earlier, when I was just getting out of the pot.  Better yet, you should have ordered him to guard me and make sure I didn’t escape.  Then you could have gone and had a secret meeting while I had the chance to try and convince to scarecrow to let me go, only to find out how truly lifeless and unfeeling it really is!”  The witches were amazed.  I continued.  “Then I would have truly been scared.  Plus, you could have used that time to go down to a store and buy a lighter or something.  That would have solved your fire problem.  With a little showmanship, you could have made me think that you were , oh I dunno, summoning the fire from the depths of hell or something, and I would have been really scared.  I would have never dreamed of getting out of the pot at that point.”

Hild and Bella were staring at me, mouths agape.  Froggy was hurridly taking notes.

“Okay,” Hild said slowly, “what about if we threw in an ol’ “and you better not leave… or we’ll curse you!” or something?”

“Yeah, that’d be a nice touch, but I only think it’d work after you demonstrated that you actually are able to curse people, or at least do magic, and only after your scarecrow had menaced me for a bit.  Then it’d be plausible to think that you could do curses, though you in fact can’t.  Any more questions?”  Froggy raised her hand.  “Yes… Froggy is it?”

“Yes Mr. Brock.  I was just wondering if maybe having some sort of props would help in the beginning.  You know, like a vat of boiling blood, or some candles and such.”

“I should say so!  But we can do better than that, can’t we?  Your goal is to engage the audience, and be really compelling villains.  Right now you’re just sort of one dimensional stock characters.  You know, “evil witches with scarecrow monster”.  We need to give you some depth.  Here’s an idea, what if one of you had a husband-”

“I do!” Bella excitedly interrupted.

“That’s great Bella, but please don’t interupt.  Let’s say Bella brought her husband along, and he sort of helps out around the place, as like a slave or something, but you demonstrate that Bella actually cares deeply for him.  This will give her character some depth, and possibly open a door for me, the protagonist, to maybe kidnap the husband and threaten to kill him or something unless you let me go.”

“Or you could try to convince him to help you!”  Hild added, “He’s a very nice man.”

“Yeah, that’s good, that’s good, but I’ve already asked the scarecrow to help me, haven’t I?  Hypothetically, I mean.  It would work really well if you all went away, and I had some alone time with…”

“Peter”

“Peter, yeah great, some alone time with Peter, and I was about to convince him, and then you guys came back, and saw what I was doing.  Hild, you could get really mad and be like “Damn it Bella I told you not to bring him along!” and then hit him or something.  Then Bella will be kind of upset at you, which is another weakness I can exploit.  You can then order the scarecrow to guard me and I can learn about it’s evilness!”

The witches applauded.  I took a small bow, with a flourish of my hand.

“So, do you wanna try it again from the top?”  Bella asked, like an excited 12 year old kid.  I glanced at my watch.  2 A.M.

“Sorry gals, but I gotta run.”  They were disappointed, but they had a look of awe on their faces that made me feel all warm inside, as if I had drunk a whole jug of hard cider.

“Who are you?”  They asked.

“Me?”  I said, dusting my fingers off on my shirt in what I thought was a very nonchalant manner.  “I’m just a film student.”

A faint breeze rustled the browning leaves of the trees as I made my exit.  It carried on it’s gusts hints of pumpkin spice, ciders and candy; an everlasting promise of what is to come.  Of what’s always to come with autumn.

As I walked down the hill, dry leaves crackling beneath my feet, I pulled my collar up tighter around my neck and smiled.  This is why I love autumn.  Its a time of magic and tradition, a time when the druids of old felt the spirit world connect with the material one, and when the wild hunt races madly through the woods.  It’s Halloween and thanksgiving, it’s horror films and sit com specials.  It’s football.  It’s a harvest moon, orange as a pumpkin, baffling and grand, hanging austerely over the spectacle of change; the pageant of the seasons.

A farewell to life -or- Why I can’t talk to you during film school


As far as suicide notes go, the experts would consider this a bad one.  Their main complaint would be that I am not planning on killing myself, which I have been told is a key factor in having a successful suicide note.  If one writes a suicide note and does not commit to killing oneself, then the “suicide note” merely becomes a “note,” and no one cares about “notes,” unless of course someone wrote the note to you.  If this is the case, then a state of puzzled bemusement is generally the emotional status quo.  “Dear me!” people normally begin with, “A note!  How lovely!  And yet it’s written on paper, with ink.  How peculiar!  A simple text message, or even an e-mail would have sufficed, I’m sure, but still, how very nice!”  They would then puzzle over the bizarre looping script the note had been written in, before shrugging and casually tossing the thing in the garbage or, if they are particularly environmentally conscious, the recycling bin. This is of course assuming the note had been written with pen and paper, rather than typed on a heartless computing machine and penned by an equally heartless printer.  If I were ever going to kill myself, I would most certainly write my suicide note with a pen on stationary paper.  It adds that personal touch to the taking of one’s own life that would sooth your loved ones as they tearfully stepped over your swollen corpse and picked up the letter, riddled as it was with spelling errors and horrible grammar.  Things like syntax are hard to keep up with without spell check.

“What’s that say?” Your dad would ask, squinting at a word.  He would then glance down at your body and shake his head. “Lazy kid never did figure out cursive!  Why the hell would we write his damn suicide note in cursive?”

“Robert, please!” You mother would chide, blotting a tear from her eye with your carefully crafted note that you worked so hard on, smearing some of the ink.  “He was trying to be creative!  He was always so creative.  At least he didn’t type it on a computer.  At least he cared.”

As the title states, this blog post is a farewell to life, and I suppose that in a sense it is a suicide note, albeit a temporary one.  My life, however, is not being taken or snuffed out, but rather carefully packaged and set upon a high shelf, where it will gather dust in the coming months until it becomes nothing more than another unpacked box from my move.  On the shelf it will remain until the end of my first semester at film school, when I move out of my dorm.  I’ll discover it once I have packed everything else up in my car, after I have said goodbye to my room mate and I’m doing a last inspection of the room, a last check for anything I’ve forgotten.  My eyes will stop at a small, coffee mug sized box, dusty and alone.

“What’s this?” I’ll ask, picking it up and turing it over in my hands.  It will tinkle slightly, like a wind chime in a light breeze, or maybe broken glass being swept up from a stained linoleum floor.  “Ah!” I’ll remember, setting it carefully down and cutting the box open with a knife, given to me by the man from Aurora, Alabama who had rescued me from a roadside disaster an eternity ago.  The lid swings open, and  a glow comes from inside.  I grab it, and press it gently to my chest, whereupon it permeates skin and diffuses throughout me.  At that moment my phone will buzz with a thousand texts and ring with a hundred phone calls.  There will be time to answer them when I get home, but as things will stand I’d still have 300 miles to go.

But that’s almost four months in the future, and so I sit here in the waning hours of a saturday morning writing my not so suicidey suicide note to let my friends and family know that I’ll be busy nearly all of autumn.  You shouldn’t take it personally, because it’s my fault, not yours.  I was the one that signed up for this intensive film program, and I’m the one giving them money that the bank was nice enough to give me. I sure hope they don’t want it back.

So if you don’t hear from me for a while, don’t worry.  I’m not dead, I’m just sitting up a shelf until winter, when I’ll be taken down, dusted off, and set loose once again, to wreak havoc on the world.

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