Saturday, May 31, 2003
I was discussing my screenplay idea with a girl at work this week. I'd rather not post it here, since it's just that good, and you WILL steal it, because it will revolutionize entertainment as we know it. I know what you're thinking, its a sitcom about a back-sassing robot, but you are wrong...though that would be sweet. I've actually been joking about this screenplay for a long time, and it just this week occured to me, I really should write it. It's absurd enough that I should really be able to let myself loose and have a lot of fun with it. So I've decided, this Summer, I'm writing my screenplay. Mostly as an writing exercise for myself--when I write, I seem to manage to strip the joy and humor out of about any topic--though if Roger Corman should someday choose to direct it, that would be fine, too.
Wednesday, May 28, 2003
Some might say that the World Poker Tour is an overly-produced, ultra-slick commercialization of ESPN's poker coverage. And they would be right. But at least unlike ESPN's World Series of Poker coverage, it doesn't bore me to death. Though from what I've heard about this year's World Series, it should be fun to watch.
Tanner is enjoying the aviary adventures in his back yard, though. It seems like our back yard is a beacon to sick or injured birds. Today it was a crow with a bad leg. Fortunately I had stopped to watch Tanner stalk it, or Tanner would have probably caught it, but I stopped him. Eventually, the crow got airborne fairly well (I don't understand why a bum leg would interfere with flight), and flew away, though he didn't gain enough altitute to clear my neighbor's satellite dish. We've found two dead birds in the last two months, and we also rescued a little brown bird, literally in Tanner's maw, and let him recuperate before placing him in a pet-less neighbor's yard. Tanner enjoyed that bird's company, he didn't try to hurt it, just enjoyed hauling him around.
Got my econ midterm back. 75 (out of 100), which is a B+ (which speaks volumes for how the class as a whole scored). The professor seemed displeased. I actually got virtually 100% on the short answer section, which shocked the hell out of me. If I had the proper CD-ROM and had studied the practice multiple-choice questions, I probably would now be coasting to an easy A.
I have just about finished reading the first issue of The Believer. Haven't had a whole lot of time to read it, so of course now, with a presentation to give on Monday and finals right after that, I figured now was a good time to get caught up on my non-academic reading. (I almost spent the day re-reading Double Down: Reflections on Gambling and Loss, but decided better of it--better to wait until school was out and I could take my time revisiting it in the light of recent events). It is an interesting publication, nothing too gripping in the first issue so far, but I did just read a conversation between Terry Gilliam and Salman Rushdie, and enjoyed it immensely. Gilliam speaks a bit about the fight over Brazil, and in talking about his aborted version of Don Quixote has some interesting points about the novel. And in another article I learned that Daniel Handler is still working on the Lemony Sickett books, I had thought the series was completed. I'm looking forward to finishing the issue tomorrow at work; the interview with The Royal Tenenbaum's Kumar Pallana should make the long, agonizing days go faster.
Work is fine, I've just been there a lot. Actually only worked one extra shift, but when you only get one free day between work and school, one extra work day can be draining.
Tuesday, May 27, 2003
Monday, May 26, 2003
I did get home in time to see some of Adult Swim, new episodes of Home Movies and Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law. Neither was particularly exciting, though Home Movies had its moments. I taped the rest, so I'll have to watch Sealab: 2021 and Aqua Teen Hunger Force tonight.
Sunday, May 25, 2003
Friday, May 23, 2003
I had my last mid-term in econ today. I tried to study for it using the study guide CD-ROM last night, but it turns out the bookstore gave me the wrong disc with my book, I got the macroeconomics disc, but its the microeconomics textbook. Sad thing is, I used the CD-ROM to study for the first mid-term, and didn't notice the problem. Anyway, don't think I did particularly well, but sure I did well enough to squeak by.
I finished reading Wigfield, and must say I was disappointed. As much as I love both Amy Sedaris and Stephen Colbert, the book was rather boring. It keeps beating the same points over and over, and it never amounts to much. Basically, its the story of a collection of squatters, trying to create a town so they can get relocation funds when the dam which towers over them is destroyed. Or more accurately, its the story of a literary fraud, trying to document the plight of these shit-kickers in order to produce the opus on the death of small-town America he promised his editor. The town, with its wide array of strip clubs and random murders, seems to have been derived from a Daily Show sketch regarding a tax-shelter of a town, whose very existence was threatened by a mayor who wished to dissolve it. It's hard for this work of fiction to live up to the reality of that town, though.
The book is largely made up of profiles of the town's residents, telling their story in their own words. Some of these are hilarious (Burchal Sawyer, one of the three men who claims to be mayor, is a personal favorite of mine), but they all seem to fall into one of two or three types, and they get repetitive. The photos that accompany these testimonials, however, help give the characters some gravity, a white-trash charisma that is compelling; Todd Oldham's photography (with the three authors posing as all the characters) is the one aspect of the book I can recommend whole-heartedly. I think the main problem is, the book doesn't work as a book. As the photographs imply, the characters might be more compelling if the brilliant Sedaris, Colbert, and Paul Dinello were bringing them to life. In fact, their wonderful web site has sound clips of their characters, and lists a schedule for a stage version of the book, which I can only imagine will be much better than the book itself. The book has some great moments, but I can't really recommend it.
Did you see Conan yesterday? Jim Carrey and Stephen Hawking doing an act together, a sight to behold.
Wednesday, May 21, 2003
I see the ads for new episodes of my favorite Adult Swim programs this Sunday. Should be exciting. Haven't seen Home Movies in awhile. I'll have to tape it, though, since I won't be home.
I won tickets to see Fishbone Sunday. I didn't even know Fishbone still was around. Should be interesting. They're apparently playing with some metal groups, which seems somewhat an odd combination.
I missed the final episode of Dawson's Creek. Jen dies, apparently. I would have liked to see that.
Tuesday, May 20, 2003
Sunday, May 18, 2003
I got invited to Spago's of Beverly Hills by a Vegas casino. I'm a little unclear what it is, a cocktail party, apparently. But I don't understand if I'll just be mingling, or if there is some sort of presentation, or what. It'll be interesting to see, though, and it'll be a blast to go to Spago's and feel like an A-list person. I think I'm going alone, a few people have expressed interest in being my guest, but I figure it'll be easier to pretend I belong their alone, than with some low-class friend of mine. Of course, a designated driver would be nice. But I'm more interested in the food than the drinks, anyway. And building up a relationship with my casino host...I'd rather not divulge the casino sponsoring the event, but it is a very, very nice casino I have stayed at twice, really enjoying my stay both times. I'll be sure to recommend it here on another occasion.
I purchased my tickets to see Weird Al Yankovich at the Fair. I went ahead and got the dinner package, since once you pay for parking and fair admission, its not that much more to get a nice meal and the best seats (second row, slightly off-center). I don't know how excited I should really be to see Weird Al, but I've heard from many people he puts on quite a show. And being friends with an ex-girlfriend of the man (as featured on VH-1's "Driven"), I would feel wrong not catching the kick-off show of his new tour (and seeing him perform the Eminem song he has been prohibited from making a video for).
Sunday, May 11, 2003
Tuesday, May 06, 2003
I watched the first two episodes of The Singing Detective on Saturday. I'll comment more on it once I've watched the whole thing, but I must say I was blown away. Not what I was expecting, I thought the writer in the hospital was more a sub-plot to the film-noir murder mystery, but in fact the film, or at least the first part, is much more a psychological profile of the writer, struggling with a debilitating and humiliating skin disease, with the mystery story and Tin Pan Alley songs being utilized bizzarly but effectively. A scene in the first episode, when Marlowe opens up to his doctors in a profoundly moving act of honesty and vulnerability, to be met with a rendition of "Dem Bones," is powerfully stunning. I don't know when I'll be able to make enough time to see it all (let alone listen to the audio commentary and watch the accompanying documentary), but I'll post more comments once I have. Suffice it to say, I highly recommend it.
Sunday, May 04, 2003
Saturday, May 03, 2003
In other CD comments, I'm currently listening to Ry Cooder's Paradise and Lunch, and would recommend it highly. In preperation for Lyle Lovett's upcoming show, The Road to Ensenada has been getting a lot of play in my car's stereo. When I first heard it, I thought Ensenada was a sub-par album, I thought it was too full of throw-away novelty songs, but there is a lot more depth to it than I first acknowledged.
Of course, now that I got my tickets to Randy Newman, I should finally listen to the bonus disc in the re-release of Randy Newman's Faust. I'm going up to my sister's in San Jose, and seeing him while I'm there. I'm planning on making a week of it, but I haven't decided what I'll be doing after the concert. Yosemite was my first thought, but in August, it might be a bit too crowded. I was thinking of going to San Francisco or Santa Cruz, where I know people, but I wanted to do something outdoorsy, camping and hiking. Whatever I come up with, though, it should be fun; it will be nice to have a non-Vegas vacation.
School is going well. Got 100% on my econ mid-term. I think my lit midterm went well; maybe I'll find out Monday. Work is uneventful. They hired a parking attendant, which should make parking more bearable for us as a business. I'm concerned my days of free parking may be numbered, if they change the way they deal with member permits. But that's okay. I'm beginning to get back into the swing of things with my running; tomorrow is the Dr. Seuss Race for Literacy, it should be a good indication of how I'm doing. As long as I can complete the 8K course, I'll be happy. I figure my goal is simply to beat my 45 minute time from my last 10K, that should be eminently doable.
I'm thinking back on the last week, and there really wasn't much worth mentioning here. I'll try to post more regularly, before I forget what I've been up to. Tonight, I'm just staying in, taking it easy before tomorrow's race. My plan is to either read, or watch The Singing Detective, which I recently received after pre-ordering months ago.