Thursday, December 23, 2004

Whee! I had thought briefly about doing a Christmas-themed template for a while at the beginning of this month, but I knew I'd never get it done until, well, about now, and that would leave about 2.7 days where it was relevant. I like this one, anyways.

Laura and I were in the supermarket the other day, and the Charlie Brown Christmas music came on, and we just could not help ourselves but to walk around a bit slowly, with our heads hanging. I will never, ever be able to listen to that music again without thinking of that episode.

Alyssa, I got your box. Eee! Christmas-y type presents. Very cool. The cookies did not go funky, and were tasty. Loved the Lipsmackers, which I haven't bought in years. I had to remind myself to not revert to first grade and eat my chap stick. Also, nice work on the music videos. I've seen my share, and yours were among the best I've ever seen done. No, seriously. Most people out there can't edit for anything.

Which made me kind of miss editing, and wish I could figure out how to use Windows Movie Maker here at home. I always enjoyed editing to a certain extent, although whenever I did it I was using my own footage which wasn't always that great. My first project would be to take the opening credits sequences to my favorite shows, past and present, and play them all to "The Final Countdown." Just the thought right now makes me giggle.

Has anyone seen the video for Snow Patrol's "Run?" ASOME. Very simple, very evocative, and proof that you don't need a crazy-ass treatment, CGI, a $1 million budget, dozens of extras, and a wet set. Gwen Stefani, I'm looking at you. Her video for "Rich Girl," which I both saw for the first time today, and heard the song for the first time today, made me weep inside. I told Laura I think all of this, her new album, the Harujuku girls she has following her around, the videos, the fashion, all of it, is all designed as a kind of social experiment. Will the public accept this? If we keep telling them it's cool, if we keep playing the videos, and playing the songs, if we have the album in the top ten lists in major magazines, even though it's totally crap, will the public just swallow it? That theory is more feasible than the idea that anyone thought taking one of Tevye's songs from Fiddler on the Roof and making it a dance hall song, then shooting a video on a pirate ship, was a good idea.

Monday, December 20, 2004

I finally mailed my Christmas cards. Huzzah!

I can't find my Civilization CD. Anti-huzzah. :(

Our basement, which is where our computer is, is so cold I think my nose is going to break off. Normally I would get a blanket and a space heater working while I was down here, but I'm lazy and don't want to go shlepp about finding them. I mean, they're right here, I can see the, so I don't actually have to find them, per se, but I'd have to get up, and walk over, and plug things in, and wrap things about my shoulders, and it's just too much work when I can sit here and shiver instead.

Oh my God, Arrested Development was so funny last night. The brief glimpse we saw into Ann's family's Christmas celebration was probably the funniest thing I have ever seen on the show, especially following George Michael's facial expression and the narrator saying, "The word George Michael was searching for was creepy." I missed, like, the next five minutes of the show, I swear. That episode was a master class in set-up and pay-off. Truly brilliant.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Has anyone seen this years Christmas card photo of Charles, William and Harry? I used to think when I was younger that Prince Charles was, like, totally ugly, and I don't know if it's because I've grown up, or that he just looks better now that he's older, but I find him quite attractive in a very regal way, which is of course entirely appropriate. I would totally date him. Any of them, really. Harry's only two years younger than me, which is completely all right, y'know. Call me, guys!

I can't remember now if I blogged circa-Turkey Day about the opossum that was on our back deck eating the cat's food. Anyways, he was back last night, and we shooed him off, and it was still light enough for us to see him run into the cat's outdoor house. And we've been wondering why we've seen Laura's cat sleeping in the neighbor's dog house. That is why. There's been a mangy opossum in her house. Stupid thing. So I guess we're going to call Animal Control or something. (Although last night my grandpa demonstrated a great way to use a broom handle to break the opossum's neck. We're not going that route.)

Project Runway will be re-airing the first three episodes again this Wednesday, the 22nd, starting at 8pm Eastern. It's so good, and you must watch. And then tell me how much (not if, because you will) you love Austin. I love him this much. (See below.)

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That's a lot.

People are taking naps so now I can't play darts. Bah. We have an electronic dart board that keeps track of your score so you don't have to do any mathing. It's quite fun.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Ugh. I asked my parents, who went to the grocery store tonight, to get a lot of fruits and vegetables, because I feel like all I've eaten recently is meat and starch and Christmas cookies, and it's just too much. I miss buying my own groceries, even though sometimes I didn't have a lot of money and ate, like, cans of green beans for dinner.

Three more days of school and then it's my Christmas break. Working is hard. I never imagined as a kid that it was just as tiresome and monotonous for my teachers as it was for me. And I haven't even been doing it all school year. The Man truly does bring you down.

Oh, I am so sick of the drama in this house. Sarah's freaking out upstairs right now because Laura and I won't just cater to her every whim and pick up after her and do all her chores for her. She is so spoiled. She won't even put away her clothes, she just throws them on the floor. So Laura told her to pick up, and she's just screaming inarticulately upstairs. Fantastic.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

-- What did you do in 2004 that you'd never done before?
Um…watched Lost? Already, I feel dumb.

-- Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I never make any New Year’s resolutions. I make Sunday night “Goddamn it I’m losing weight and starting a diet tomorrow morning!” resolutions that usually last till Wednesday.

-- Did anyone close to you give birth?
My cousin, well, technically his wife, had a baby almost a full year ago they named Torin, which is Irish for chieftain. That’s about it.

-- Did anyone close to you die?
No, thankfully. We haven’t had a death in the immediate family since my freshman year of college.

-- What countries did you visit?
None. Because I am TEH POVERTY.

-- What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?
A social life. Direction. Something. Anything.

-- What dates from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Goddamn May 1st, when USC finally deigned to tell me that they hadn’t accepted me into grad school. Because they suck ass. Ass suckers.

-- What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finishing my screenplay. Which totally is a huge deal, and the first script I’ve finished, and it’s feature length, and I’m very proud of it. And now I know I can do it.

-- What was your biggest failure?
See: Suckers, Ass.

-- Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had Death Cold 2004 earlier this spring, and the Flu of Turkey Day Time that I have finally gotten over three weeks later.

-- What was the best thing you bought?
This wasn’t in 2004, but I don’t care. My cloak is ASOME. And now I can actually wear it, as it’s cold outside.

-- Whose behavior merited celebration?
I don’t understand this question, and I refuse to respond to it.

-- Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I’ve been really upset with how my brother treats everyone else in the family, moreso than usual since school started again. I don’t know if it’s a high school thing or not, but he’s becoming insufferable, people.

-- Where did most of your money go?
Storage payments, credit card payments, and now I have loan payments to worry about, too.

-- What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The Oscars, because I knew we were going to take it home. Finally getting to see the finale of Arrested Development. DVD releases of Prisoner of Azkaban and ROTK. Not having to fly home for Turkey Day.

-- What song will always remind you of 2004?
“Float On” by Modest Mouse, “Take Me Out” by Franz Ferdinand, “Run” by Snow Patrol, and “Silent All These Years” by Tori Amos, which I think is an older song, but which I only heard the first time this year.

-- Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
Well, probably sadder, because I’ve done a lot of thinking about careers and where I’m headed and this is really the first time that something hasn’t worked out for me. But I am glad to be out of school, so it might balance out. I don’t know.
b) thinner or fatter?
Shut up you stupid question I hate you.
c) richer or poorer?
Oh, so poorer.

-- What do you wish you'd done more of?
Doing anything at all besides sitting at home and watching TV. My social life has ground to a halt since I came home, because I just don’t feel like any of my HS friends are still my friends, and I don’t know what we’d do. And it’s not like there’s anything to do in KC to make friends, so I just sit at home. Which is mostly okay, but I occasionally get depressed.

-- What do you wish you'd done less of?
Eh, I can’t think of anything.

-- How will you be spending Christmas?
At home, in the PJs. We do stuff Christmas Eve or on Sarah’s birthday on the 28th, nothing on the 25th itself.

-- Did you fall in love in 2004?
That would be no.

-- How many one-night stands?
See: No.

-- What was your favorite TV program?
Arrested Development, which brings me a religious-type joy. Like, praise Hurwitz, yo.

-- Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Not really. I probably hate Nicole Kidman more now than last year, but I don’t think that’s what they meant.

-- What was the best book you read?
Oh, Christ. I have no idea. As far as new book this year…Bernard Cornwell is writing historical fiction on the Hundred Years War that I read the first book of, and it was excellent. (He also wrote an amazing trilogy on King Arthur, and a fantastic book on Stonehenge, if you’re into historical fic.)

-- What was your greatest musical discovery?
Haven’t had much this year, because I can’t download music anymore. Probably Keane, whom I love. Very pretty and melodic, and I love that it seems at least a segment of popular music is going that way.

-- What did you want and get?
Heh. Free time? Oh yeah, I got lots of free time.

-- What did you want and not get?
See: Suckers, Ass.

-- What was your favorite film of this year?
ROTK doesn’t count, I would imagine, so as much as I loved Prisoner of Azkaban, I’m going to have to go with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which touched me. In special places.

--What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
22, and we went to…Mexican food? Yes, I think Jenny and I went to El Cholo this year. Good times. 

--What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
See: Suckers, Ass.

-- How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?
Heh. Jeans and comfortable shirts? That’s pretty much it.

-- What kept you sane?
Laura, since we’ve finished becoming the same person. Last night, we were making fun of Marshall, and I said, “Oh, isn’t he just the rarified gentlemen?” And just as I was getting ready to say, “Let’s get him a brandy sniffer.” Laura totally said, “Drinking from a brandy sniffer.” Which isn’t even, like, the obvious next thing to say, but that’s how it is. So it’s been nice being able to hang out with her more.

-- Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
2004: The Year of Boyd.

-- What political issue stirred you the most?
Amnesty to illegal aliens working in the US. Just…no. I don’t want to get into it, but I was not pleased.

--Who did you miss?
Definitely miss Caroline and Jenny, who were the most awesome of roommates.

-- Who was the best new person you met?
Yeah. See: Social Life, Lack of.

--Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004:
Apply to more than one grad school.

-- Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
I can never think of song lyrics off the top of my head. Eh.

So it should be clear from this what the seminal event for me was this past year. I'm mostly over it, but I was totally traumatized until, like, September.

Also, aw, Liv Tyler finally had her baby. Milo William Langdon. I bet he's cuter than anything, people. And finally, a celebrity baby name that isn't just awful in its stupidity and pretentiousness. I'm looking at you, Roberts.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

I finally got my paycheck for the month of October. Although I am very sad when I see what my gross pay was ($1300) and then I look at the actual number on the check ($1000). Actually, less sad, more fall-to-my-knees-shake-my-fists-at-the-sky-cry-blinding-tears-of-rage, but same diff.

TAR was kind of scary to watch last night. For those who haven't been following, one of the married couples is a completely abusive relationship. He yells at her constantly, and a few episodes ago they were arguing in the back of a taxi and he raised an elbow at her face and stopped just short. She flinched, and it was so obvious that had there not been cameras there he would have popped her one to the jaw, and that he's done so before. Anyways, last night, they were in a footrace to finish first (although at this point in the race it doesn't matter if you come in first or not, as long as you don't come in last). He is a total baby wuss, and dropped his bag because he said he couldn't run with it. She stopped and picked it up, and ran with both their bags. And she was just hysterical, like she knew what was going to happen. He just kept running, and the other team passed her. She is totally freaking out, and what does he do? He shoves the bag on her back as hard as he can and knocks her to the ground. Then they step on to the mat, and Phil has this look on his face, and she just walks off, sobbing. And Phil is like, maybe you should talk to her? And the guy is just like, I told her to leave the bag! And goes over and says this to her. It was unbelievable. On the one hand, I wish they hadn't shown it, as it just made me feel awful watching it knowing it was real, but on the other hand, maybe this woman's family will see it and realize what she's going through (since so many abusers isolate their spouse), or maybe someone else watching will decide they don't need to put up with it. I just can't believe they weren't eliminated. I would think there's a rule against laying hands on your partner.

Anyways, it was just as creepy as hell to watch, and yet oddly fascinating, so that I felt dirty afterwards.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

"Let me take a look at that. Oh, that's balls."

When I get a cell phone, it's totally going to ring 'The Final Countdown.'
Page count: 114. Screenplay status: Completed. Amount of Relief: 9.7.

I’ve been sitting in the basement writing for three straight days, and I have finally finished. I have the actual application forms to fill out, a 2-5 page essay on Why I Want to Go to Grad School, and then I just have to mail everything. It’s an exciting time, people.

There are still some people who have not emailed me their addresses. DO IT. My address book is buried in some pile of crap somewhere, either here or in a box in LA, and I don’t have anything. Yeah.

Cat called me last night, and we talked about many different things (including how crazy the Frenchies are on Haven). She was telling me this story about how she accidentally went to this nude beach in Spain, and there were naked men everywhere, surfing and jogging and such, naked naked naked, and I replied, “Dude, I could never hang out at a beach with gay…” And I stopped, because where the hell did the word “gay” come from? I meant to say “naked,” and my brain supplied “gay” instead. It was totally bizarre.

Anyhoo, Cat, here’s a link to a picture of me. (I'm in the blue sweater.) It’s a couple of years old, but I picked it because it is flattering. And, I guess, anyone else who doesn’t know what I look like, and wants to know, may click. Please, don’t look directly at the scales and the snake hair. You’re my friends, and I don’t want you to turn to stone.

Saw the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory trailer this weekend. So very, very bizarre. It’s just a teaser, which I usually am not a fan of, since they’re almost always a random editing of quick images thrown together under music, and this was the case with this trailer. I didn’t really get a sense of the film at all, except that Johnny Depp looks very scary, kind of gay, and yet strangely attractive. Which was basically what I thought after seeing the first poster, so my view on this film remains unchanged.

Two days until ROTK extended edition! Squee!

Friday, December 10, 2004

I just updated ur all foozes. Eight months in between posts isn't too bad, heh.
Page count: 84. Eek. It's getting down to the wire (it has to be mailed on Tuesday). I think I can get it done, but it'll be cutting it close. Stupid screenplay.

Lost made me cry this week. It was very traumatic. What I like about this show, I guess, is that even though it has plot things that don't really make sense, and over-the-top writing at times, I want to know what happens next, and that's compelling storytelling. I also think that most of the main characters (except KATE OMG) are well-written, and almost all helmed by great actors (except KATE OMG), so when two characters from the ensemble are stuck together, it's going to be interesting, because there's been such a great backdrop already put together for those kinds of interactions.

Arrested Development this week was hilarious. Definitely the best episode of the season so far. Buster and GOB together continue to be pure comedy gold. Just the two of them standing in a room together is funny.

I have been fighting off this horrible case of the flu, or bronchitis, or tonsilitis, or whatever. Today, my left tonsil is finally smaller than a golf ball. It's an exciting time for me. Stupid...no health insurance.

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Okay, first things first. People who have the time, watch Project Runway tonight on Bravo. I just happened to start watching the premiere last week, and was totally hooked. It was very nice to watch a reality show that for once awarded merit and not stupid alliances and boys vs. girls or whatever. I don’t know anything about fashion (other than that Uggs are fug), but it was still really fascinating. My favorite so far is Austin, who looks like the beautiful, gay lovechild of Andy Warhol and Yves Saint Laurent. Love him.

I am so sick of all these news reports about schools freaking out about Christmas carols or Christmas trees. I am all for religious tolerance and the separation of church and state, but no one is going to explode if they sing “Silent Night” during a Holiday pageant. We had a concert once where we sang a Hannukah song, even though there was not a single Jewish kid in the entire school at that time. We all managed. Hell, I’m pretty much approaching atheism anymore, and I love religious carols not because I think the lyrics are one hundred percent the truth, but because they’re pretty and shiny and traditional. If you, or your kid, is so offended by saying “God” or whatever, pull them out, but don’t force the rest of the school to change what they do.

So, Merry Christmas everyone. That’s right. Not “Happy Holidays.” Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 6, 2004

I can’t find my address book, so if everyone could email me their addresses (specifically the Christmas-circa ones) at kungfuwaynewho@juno.com, I’d appreciate it.

I just went through one of those periods where I don’t want to post because I have nothing to post about. My life is boring. I get up, go substitute, come home, work on applications, watch TV. I know that no one actually cares what I thought about this week’s Lost, and that’s all I have to talk about. Anyway. That’s why I’ve been incommunicado.

Two grad applications mailed, two to go. I have 60 pages done on my screenplay. I need 40-60 more finished by this time next week. NaScreeWriMo didn’t work as well as I had hoped (of course, the week I spent half dying from an awful case of the flu didn’t help). I don’t know if I’m going to get done, or if I do, how good a job it’s going to be. These are the times when my self-loathing just about chokes me. Freaking…six months I could have been working on this, and I wait till the last goddamn minute again. Stupid.

Okay, so this is a cautionary tale for those of you in the workforce: make sure payroll knows you’re working. I started substituting three days a week at the middle school library the last week of October. I get paid once a month, and when my paycheck showed up last week…I was missing about 900 dollars. Because no one told payroll I was working in the library three days a week, and I only got paid for the other subbing I did. And when I called, I was told that I could turn in those days, but they’d be put on the next paycheck. So it’s going to be cutting it close, paying for applications, storage and my first student loan payment. It’s just unbelievable to me that no one turned my work into payroll. (And no, it was not my responsibility to do this. Although in the future, I’ll make sure everyone knows. Oh, yes.)

It’s not all bad, though. Lost was really good this week. Aha.