Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Is Smaller Better?

April 29, 2009

I am typing this post on my latest purchase — a brand new netbook. I used part of my tax refund to treat myself to a new bit of technology and got myself an Acer Aspire One netbook. I’ve been mulling over the prospect of getting a netbook for quite sometime. While I have a laptop it is soon to be an antique, quite hefty to lug around, and is prone to lapse into comas requiring me to completely reboot my hard drive from scratch and losing files.

I’ve been wanting to get myself something that was a lot lighter and smaller that I could use to basically surf the ‘net and write — or write and occasionally surf the ‘net. A netbook seemed like an ideal option. I’m already getting used to the smaller keyboard, and with any luck and burst of inspiration I’ll give the keyboard a worthwhile workout over the next few nights as I work on a few scripts and outines.

I’m looking forward to finally having a notebook/netbook that I can carry around with me and write when muse strikes me over the head with an inspiration-filled sap or blackjack.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll even blog more often.

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To Sleep, Perchance To Dream

April 15, 2009

Enough already! Last weekend I was feeling under the weather and some sort of cold/flu bug kicked my ass and knocked me out. I slept for a majority of the weekend. I think I was awake for a total of four hours on Saturday, and just a handful on Sunday. Monday, I of course woke up feeling well enough to start my work week (couldn’t even pull a sick day out of the ordeal). During my weekend of sleep I had many complicated, involved, and downright weird dreams. And, though my fever broke Sunday and I’m feeling fine the weird dreams continue. That and I find myself up before 4:40 in the AM — a solid two and a half hours before I have to get up for work.

But, rather than toss and turn in an unsuccessful attempt to fall back asleep — only to have to endure more involving whacked-out dreams that would just leave me more exhausted — I gave up and got out of bed.

Wild Reason That I Wish I Had A Kid Thing

April 11, 2009

wherethewildthingsare200x200My all-time three favorite books from my childhood are Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, Maurice Sendak’s In the Night Kitchen, and Where the Wild Things Are — also by Maurice Sendak.

In October a live-action motion picture adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are is being released. The film is directed by Spike Jonze (who early in his career directed the brilliant Beastie Boys music video for “Sabotage”). From what I’ve seen in the trailer, I am already sold. The Wild Things look fantastically real — with an emphasis on the “fantastic.” Whenever one of your beloved aspects of your childhood emerges into your adult life as a “remake” or “adaptation” or “re-imaging” you can’t help but have at least a slight sense of dread that it’s just not going to turn out as well as you remember it. I strongly believe that this will not be the case with the Jonze directed Where the Wild Things Are.

The Where the Wild Things film has a vibe to it that has me feeling that if I had a kid, this would be the movie that we would share the experience of seeing together. Sure, I’ll be certain to introduce my kid to the other classic films — such as the Original Star Wars, Trilogy (IV, V, VI), King Kong (1933), To Kill A Mockingbird, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (with Gene Wilder, not Johnny Depp), The Iron Giant, and the movies by Pixar (except maybe Cars). But, dammit, if Where the Wild Things Are doesn’t look like the perfect movie for a parent and kid to hit the cineplex for.

Of course, my kid would already have a familiar knowledge of the works of Maurice Sendak, having owned dogeared copies of much read and much loved Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen books.

This is one time that I’m truly jealous of my friends that are parents who have kids that they can take to go see this film. I’m sure I can talk at least one set of parents to loan or rent me their kid to take to go see Where the Wild Things Are — but it won’t be the same.

And, my kid will definitely wear Max’s footie/hoodie wolf type pajamas. If not, dad will — so damn cool.

Nick Adenhart 1986-2009

April 10, 2009

adenhartAs I begin to type this post the Angels/Red Sox game is about to get underway. This is the first game after the tragic loss of the Angels’ rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart.

I was at the Angels/As game on Tuesday night, the second in the four game home opener series. On Wednesday night I watched the third game of the series against Oakland with 22-year old Adenhart pitching. He pitched a helluva six innings. Sure, he got himself into a couple of tight positions with loaded bases, but when he was done for the night he had pitched six shutout innings. The Angels lost that night, but I was already looking forward to the next night’s game — I had tickets for Thursday night.

Then I heard Thursday morning that the young rookie pitcher who had just pitched six shutout innings the night before was gone — a victim of car accident claiming not only his life, but those of two others and leaving a third in critical condition. Thursday’s night game was understandably postponed.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am an Angels fan. There’s an official MLB home plate at my bedroom door with the Angels logo on it. I have a number of baseballs signed by various Angels players over the last number of years. An official Angels batting helmet rests on a high shelf. I’m the kind of fan that wears the jersey of the team’s manager, Mike Scioscia to the game.

Even though I wasn’t at the game tonight, but watching it on television at home, it was emotional. I’m an emotional fan as it is. I cried when they one the World Series in 2002. When I’m at a game I cry almost every time they show the pre-game video on the diamond-vision showcasing great moments in Angels history. So, it wasn’t surprising when I cried during the tribute and moment of silence for Nick Adenhart tonight.

adenhartpitching

Deal Me Outta Here

April 1, 2009

jokercardsWell, that’s it. I’m folding. I’m walking away from the table. And, I’m cashing in all of my chips.

It’s time for a change. I’ve given this whole writing thing a try for quite awhile, and sometimes you just “got to know when to hold’em, and know when to fold’em” — so to speak.

I’ve decided to ho ahead and join the rest of my family and move to Carson Valley in Nevada. I will be enrolling in the Reno Tahoe Dealers Academy and Bartenders School. I already have an interview scheduled to “evaluate my background, career goals, and motivation.” I’m packing up my truck and driving up on Easter Sunday.

If you know me, then you know that I dig casinos and I’m a huge fan of Blackjack. So, why not? Sure, I’ll be back in a school type environment — technical school — for awhile. I’m going for the big program — Casino Dealing Level III. This’ll provide me with the knowledge and skills necessary to not only pursue a career with a casino as a Twenty-One, Roulette, Pai-gow Dealer, Craps, Poker, and Mini-Baccarat, but also advance in the casino industry in pit supervision. How cool would that be? Me… a pit boss.

The tuition is kind of steep — almost $4,000, but I’ve managed some financial aid to cover some of the tuition, and my folks are willing to help me out until I get settled.

It should be an interesting change. Let’s just hope I finally hit the jackpot.

Comic-Con Registration, Check!

March 17, 2009

comicconlogoHow did I spend my St. Patrick’s Day (well, night actually)? I took care of my 2009 San Diego Comic-Con International Professional Online Registration. The letter showed up over the weekend and registration opened up on Sunday. Friends and colleagues have mentioned that they’ve begun the process of getting ready for the “big show” — a process that does take four months to get prepped for.

If there is one thing that always rings true in regards to the San Diego Comic-Con, it’s that it somehow shows up before you know it. Like many other “professionals” I’ve spent the months before previous Comic-Cons getting ready to promote and pitch. When I’ve had a table or booth in the past months of preparation would take place in regards to the look and function of the set up — including building an authentic-looking mini-bar with a bank of four beer taps in order to promote Hero Happy Hour. I’ve had t-shirts and stickers printed to offer as giveaways. There are the countless printings of mini-comics — both constructing xeroxed copies of ash-cans as well as keeping your fingers crossed that your print-on-demand order shows up on time. And, of course, there are the business cards — do not forget the business cards.

But, this year I’m doing things a bit different. Although, I’m all signed up as a “professional” I’m going more as a fan, as well as using the opportunity to see old friends. The last couple of years I’ve prepped to promote myself, armed myself with pitches, and busted my ass to arrange meetings with editors and publishers. Then there were the years that I worked at IDW Publishing and had a booth to attend to. The three years before that, I had my own table/booth to manage to promote GeekPunk and Hero Happy Hour. Now, while those may have been the most rewarding years, I’m looking forward to going to this year’s con with more of a vacation state of mind.

And, let’s not forget about the hotel room. Any regular attendee that has made the pilgrimageto San Diego for the Con know that securing one’s lodging for the show can often be more challenging to obtain than the most exclusive of convention-only exclusives. You think getting your hands on that ultra-rare, limited only to 500, repaint action figure that you have to enter a raffle for and get your pass punched is a challenge? Luckily, this will be the third year that I’ve arranged to bunk with friends at a condo, as opposed to a hotel room.

Odds are San Diego will be the only comic book convention that I’ll be attending this year. And, now that I’ve got my lodging taken care of, my professional registration done, and not having to worry about all that prep work in order to promote myself to publishers and/or editors that would have a cigarette outside or be in their own pitch meeting trying to sell their latest property to Hollywood.

Looking forward to seeing everyone in San Diego in July. And, of course… There will be drinks.

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda… Writing Possibilities

March 12, 2009

So, last night I was thinking about a couple of pitches that I sent to an editor at a comic book publisher. In fact, it was a couple of pitches that I thought were pretty damn good that I never heard back on. This got me started on a blog post about one of the pitches in particular, and I thought that I’d share it with my vast readership. After I typed it up I read it over and I felt that I’d sort of came across as if I had just come off of binging on sour grapes.

That’s not what I was going for. I just wanted to share what I thought was a good idea that I was proud of. The other writers out there know what I’m about to type — especially the comic book writers… We come up with ideas all of the time — some good, some bad, and some ugly. But, we put a lot into these ideas and many of them turn into pitches for screenplays, comic books, short stories for anthology collections, etc… You throw up against the wall in the hopes that they’ll stick like a perfectly cooked piece of spaghetti. It seems that lately I’ve got quite a pyramid of pasta piling on the floor.

So, I figured that rather than just sweep ’em away I’d share them here — my somewhat soapbox of self-promotion. Am I going to share them all? Probably not. But, I’ve got plenty of ideas and pitches that I’ve formulated enough that I want to share rather than let them rust on an external hard drive that I’ll end up crashing on me anyway. (Yeah, that happened to me just the other night.) But, I wanted to throw this introduction to my plan out there first. Warn those editors that passed on said pitches that might happen to find themselves reading my blog — not that they’re flocking here after passing on my pitches — that it’s nothing personal. I don’t have an objective. I’m just sharing ideas that would have, could have, or (in my mom’s opinion) should have gestated into a final product.

They’re not all gems — I know that. I’m not fooling myself and claiming that everything I write or pitch is pure gold and that the powers-that-be who make the decisions don’t know a future Pulitzer Prize winner when they read one. But, I feel like throwing some of these ideas and pitches of mine out there. At the very least, they can serve as filler material for my blog. At the very best, maybe one of those powers-that-be that make the decisions will spot that perfect piece of pasta pasted to the wall.

Stay tuned…

Writing/Blogging From Bed

March 11, 2009

Weird… As I crawled into bed to write the Seinfeld rerun “The Cheever Letters” begins on television where Jerry and George sit down to finally write the pilot script for the show they’ve sold to NBC. Of course, through the entire episode they get very little writing done. Much like I’m doing know. Sure, I’m kind of writing — I’m at least blogging — but, I’m not working on the comic book script I should be dedicating my time to, or the screenplay idea I’ve been tossing around for awhile, or any of the other gazillion idas and projects I’ve got bouncing around in my head.

But, here’s the deal… I’m just thrilled to be writing/blogging while I’m in bed. You see, my laptop crashed on me the other night. While not completely giving up the ghost, it did fall into a deep coma. I thought I was going to have to give my laptop its last rights. But, I pulled off some sort of miracle and managed to resesitate it back to life. Of course, when it regained conciousness it had complete amnesia and I had lost everything. But, I got my laptop back, and here I am typing in bed. Not exactly writing, but at least blogging — avoiding writing.

Alright, enough with the blogging and time to get some serious writing done. Or… maybe surf the internet for awhile — I can do that from bed now, too.

Return The Call Home — U2: No Line On The Horizon

March 3, 2009

nolineonthehorizoncoverIt’s been about five years since U2 released a new album — How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. Back then I was in a weird point in my life — a lot of things were changing in my world and I found myself having a connection with most of the songs from that album. Well, half a decade later U2 has released No Line On The Horizon, and once again I’m apparently at another point in my life where I’ve got some thinking to do and some choices to make. Apparently, I’ve got another “soundtrack album” for my current situation and point in my life.

Having listened to all of the songs on No Line On The Horizon a few times now there a few songs that really click with me — Magnificent, I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight, and Cedars Of Lebanon. But, the album isn’t without a few missteps… Get On Your Boots just seems to be out of place with the collection of songs offered on this album. That’s not to say that it’s bad, just may have been better suited on one of their earlier albuma — like Zooropa or Pop. Moment Of Surrender may seem to run a little long at 7 minutes and 42 seconds, but once you’re into the heart of the song you don’t notice the length so much. But, of the 11 tracks on the album, it’s the song Breathe that probably doesn’t connect as well with me as much as the rest of the album.

In a way, No Line On The Horizon — to me, anyway — sounds as if it could be the second album of a double album effort if you were to combine it with How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. Combining the two efforts onto a single playlist and hitting shuffle on iTunes works out quite well. Overall, I’d say for the most part that I dig this album.

Shout Out To My Peeps ’09

February 18, 2009

peeps09To know me is to know that I love yellow Marshmallow Peeps. My favorite thing about this time of the year (other than the fact that Spring Training is underway and the start of the official Major League Baseball season is just around the next month and a half) is that store shelves are stocked with the delicious and succulent sugar and corn syrup treat known as the Marshmallow Peep.

After work tonight I walked over to the neighborhood grocery store to stock my recently cleaned fridge. I headed over to the store’s ATM to check my fund level (pleasantly better off than I had expected), and I was greeted by the vision of seeing the grocery clerk stocking the shelves with this season’s Easter candy — which of course, includes Peeps. The first thing to go into my basket was my first Peep purchase of Spring (I also threw in some Top Raman, Gatorade, hot dogs, and other bachelor necessities).

So, if you’re looking to bribe me, reward me, seduce me, or just want to get on my good side, nothing will work better for the next seven and a half weeks or so than yellow (they got to be yellow — pink, purple, green, etc… don’t cut it) Marshmallow Peeps — or even Bunnies.