Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Wow, January went by FAST. One twelfth of 2007 is already gone! I am already a month closer to death! (Maybe that one goes too far.)

I have to take one more random non-film elective, so I'm taking History of Greece, and boy oh boy, am I not enjoying it. There were no prerequisites listed for this course, but the professor is teaching with a lot of assumed knowledge, plus skipping over stuff that was explained in the reading. Like, hello, I DO NOT DO THE READING BEFORE THE LECTURE, BECAUSE I AM NORMAL. I'm annoyed at this stupid undergrad class, and that I have to actually do any work for it (something not true for my previous two random non-film electives), especially when I'm not overburdened with time these days.

Me and UT Laura and Screenwriting Guy went to lunch today, at just a regular pizza joint next to campus, and I kid you not, we waited an hour for our food. AN HOUR. I even went up and was like, "Oh hey, are you assembling the food atom by atom with cosmic tweezers or something?" One wildly hopes for the food to be taken off one's check at this point (which didn't happen), but rightly assumes that one will get an apology (which also didn't happen). So, laters, pizza joint, in the future I will go to places that don't make me forget what the hell I even ordered before they bring it out.

But then we were talking and I was like, I kind of like complaining about things, and it's always better when I have legitimate things to complain about. You know.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Dear Austin: it's 50 degrees outside. There's no reason to set your thermostats to Grandma.

My life has been deeply boring since I've come back to school. The only exciting thing that's happened in the last two weeks is finding out that the Polish professor from last semester (who never read anyone's pages, hated genre stuff, didn't give us a syllabus, etc.) quit. Although unfortunately, I guess since he was no longer an employee of the university he felt he had the right to write this totally unprofessional, rude, mean email to one of the screenwriters telling him how horrible his script was, and how he didn't know anything about the craft. Three pages of that! This guy and me both got A-s in the class, which is crap, and we both challenged him on it, like...why didn't we get As? What the hell is your grading criteria? I guess the other guy hit a nerve that I didn't, because I didn't get a mean e-mail (although I was secretly kind of hoping for one, just to be able to bitch about it). But anyways, the prof. also said in his email that he only gave the other writer an A- because he worked hard in class, and if he'd based it on his script and his knowledge of screenwriting, it would have been "considerably lower."

What the hell kind of thing is that to write to a student? It makes me wonder, after the student evaluations came in, and after a semester of us telling the top dogs in the department what a joke this guy was, if there wasn't some pressure for him to leave. It would certainly explain the totally ridiculous amount of animosity in that email. Like, he told him that his plot was totally confusing and no one could understand it in class (not true), and that his characters were completely one-dimensional and no one in class cared about them (also not true). Like, such hyperbolic nonsense intentionally designed to wound as much as possible; one couldn't possibly take what he wrote as constructive criticism. I hope UT won't give him a recommendation any where else, should he decide to teach again. I hope we broke him, the bastard.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

I was kind of hoping for just one spoiler tonight at the SAG awards, and although LMS winning ensemble is another good shot in the arm for its Best Pic chances, it looks like the acting categories are set in stone. And I know, I haven't seen Dreamgirls, there's no reason for me to have so much antipathy for Murphy and Hudson winning...but damn it, I don't want them to win Oscars. And they're going to. I mean, watching the clips for supporting actress, and you have the women from Babel just being heartbreaking and wonderful, and Abigail Breslin just holding her entire film together, and Cate Blanchett being no less magnetic and amazing than you'd expect from her, even in just 15 seconds, Hudson was clearly not as charismatic and filmic and riveting. And I know that the response will be, it was a clip where she wasn't singing; when she's singing, that's when she's great. But...that's not acting. Singing, and communicating emotions while singing, is an entirely different craft. One that's very closely tied to acting, sure, but just having it captured on film doesn't make it film acting.

I don't know. I think that the last few years, with the shorter Oscar season, there's just no room for buzz to build and ebb and wax and wane, and whoever starts the season as the frontrunner just barrels all the way through to the end, and it just ends up being very boring and anticlimactic. I get this sense that people are afraid that if they vote for anyone other than the frontrunner, they'll be wasting their votes; what difference does that make?

Yeah, I just was very bitchy after the show tonight, which is dumb, but there you have it. Thankfully, Battlestar was gorgeous and wonderful and I just want to marry Laura Roslin, so I'm in a better mood heading to bed.
Survey wot I got from my mom (!) in the emails. From the Wide, Wide World of Web.

1. What time is it: 6:05pm
2. Name: Shannon
3. What are you most afraid of? The sun (exploding!) (turning into a red giant!) (flaring!)
4. What do you drive? Ahahahaha...*weeps*
5. Have you ever seen a ghost? No, unfortunately. Although at a seance in high school we convinced ourselves we'd heard a ghost. Alas, it was probably a coyote.
6. Where were you born? Kansas City, KS.
7. Ever been to Alaska? I haven't been to New England.
8. Ever been toilet paper rolling? No; I wasn't cool in high school? People know this, yes?
9. Croutons or Bacon bits? Croutons.
10. Favorite day of the week? Constantly changing, and dependent on when my current favorite TV show is on; right now, Sunday.
11. Favorite restaurant: Johnny's (barbeque).
12. Favorite Flower: Daisy.
13. Favorite sport to watch: College basketball.
14. Favorite Drink: Non-alcoholic would probably be regular Coke (mmm, sugar...); alcoholic would probably be a strawberry dacqueri (mmm, girly...).
15. Favorite Ice cream: Mint chocolate chip.
16. Disney or Warner Brothers: If we're talking features, Disney. The old animated shorts? Totally WB.
17. Favorite fast food restaurant: Wendy's. 99 cent chili in the house.
18. What color is your bedroom carpet? Last I checked, drab wasn't a color, so I'll go with gray.
19. How many times you failed your driver's test? Zero times.
23. Who will respond to this email the quickest? Where did the missing numbers go? It is hard to say. But I cheat you, question, as I post this on the WWWoW.
24. Who is the person you sent this to that is least likely to
respond? Laura. Heh.
25. Who is the person that you are most curious to see their
response? Honestly, I could guess most folks' responses, so...
26. Favorite TV show: Battlestar Galactica
27. Ford or Chevy? Ford (I go with my mom's answer here, as...I don't know?)
28. What are you listening to right now? Fellowship of the Ring full recordings.
29. What are your favorite colors? Green, white and yellow, green and pink.
30. How many tattoos do you have? None. Shocker!
31. Do you have any pets? Two cats: Phoenix and Jack. I miss them. Sad face.
32. What is your favorite Movie? Young Frankenstein.
33. What would you like to accomplish before you die? Sell a script. (When/if this happens, I will upgrade to, "Have a script produced.")

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Laura has a link on her blog to Bruce Campbell's new Old Spice commercial. It's just...beautiful. And perfect. And reminds me once again how empty my life is that I'm not somehow married to Bruce Campbell.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Oscar nominations! The season's been a little bittersweet the last couple of weeks, after I saw Children of Men and knew that it wouldn't get nominated for Best Pic and Clive wouldn't get in for Actor (Alfonso did get in for adapted screenplay, though!). However, there were plenty of other people and movies to pull for (and yet others to pull against...)

First of all, I knew it wouldn't actually happen, but the Globes gave me a passing moment of icy fear-thank the gods that Beyonce didn't get nominated for actress. It's nice to see Kate Winslet sneak in there even though she'll be number five in that list, but Kate, Meryl, Helen, and Dame Judi are pretty much my favorite, and the best, female actors working today. If Cate had somehow managed a leading nod instead of supporting, I'd have just thrown up my hands and been done with it. In actor, I was surprised LeoDiCap got in for Blood Diamond instead of Departed, but it probably is a stronger leading performance for him. Moo point, as Forest Whitaker is going to win. I haven't seen Half Nelson, but people have told me that Gosling is great, so I'm glad he was able to pull a nomination as he seems a nice sort.

Mark Wahlberg for the Departed in supporting! I know Eddie Murphy's going to win, but I'm glad Marky-Mark got in over Jack. Now, I think plenty of people are aware of my seething dislike of Jennifer Hudson and her apparent shoo-in for supporting actress, but I squealed out loud when I saw Abagail Breslin on the list, and squealed even more as I moved on down the list, for reasons I'll explain later.

Plenty of things to pull for in techs; Children of Men, Pan's Labyrinth, The Prestige, even Pirates. And then...the first big gasp and giggle of schadenfredualicious joy! Bill Condon didn't make it in for director! Now, Dreamgirls has been touted since October at least as the frontrunner; Oscarwatch has talked of little else best pic-wise for months now, and anyone who dared defy that proclamation was shouted down. But Condon didn't get in for director? That's going to hurt their BP chances, I told myself...

Back to techs. More of those other movies this year that were just as challenging and deep and interesting and about the human condition as those other movies, but the ones that did so with a veneer of fantasy or a dusting of science fiction. Yay for techs! Am definitely pulling for Philip Glass in score, as I discovered him this year, and The Illusionist's soundtrack is just gorgeous. I haven't had the chance to see the movie yet, it's next in my Netflix queue, but I've heard it's good, so I'm excited.

Dreamgirls didn't get nominated for Best Picture! Ahahaha! See, this weekend, Little Miss Sunshine won the PGA, and that was a big, big deal, as everyone assumed that it was between Dreamgirls, Departed, and the Queen. Did that mean that Little Miss Sunshine's stock was taking an uptick right before the end? Yes, yes it did. Which brings me to my retrospective musings on supporting actress. JHud has been rolling this category all season, and sometimes Oscar goes along with that momentum (Jamie Foxx, Hilary Swank), and sometimes they don't (Cate Blanchett, Adrien Brody). If Dreamgirls is cooling off just as Little Miss Sunshine is heating back up...I don't know. For the first time in this race, I'm getting a little bit of hope here. Because for no other reason than that I didn't like her on AI, and that I don't like season-long frontrunners unless I already really like the person (Helen Mirren and Forest Whitaker fit into this very hypocritical position), I just do not want Hudson to win. It's bad enough she got nominated for an Oscar, but I can allow that since Beyonce didn't and that makes me laugh at Beyonce. But I just really, really don't want her to win, and Abagail would be so cute walking up there and everything, so this'll be my big hope/fear category of the night. Thankfully it's early, so I don't have to wait too long for it in the ceremony, but sadly Hudson's still probably going to win, so I'm going to try to not let that sour the night for me.

(As I was typing this up, I was also opening up Marie Chantal and saw Lindsay Lohan's thread, and laughed that last year, as she was filming PHC with Altman, and Bobby with Emilio, she probably thought she'd get a nomination. And now she's in "rehab" and can't even get her stripper movie made. Oh, how I laughed.)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

I'm finally remembering to do that New Years meme where you post the first line of each month's post throughout the year. Hopefully, this will be less lame than last year's.

January: I am back in Austin.
February: I said it a couple years ago and I'm saying it again tonight, "I love Aaron Pierce"! Next to Jack Bauer, he's the man I'd want watching my back. When I grow up and become POTUS, Aaron's going to be the first man to ever simultaneously hold the number one positions at the CIA, FBI and Homefuckingland Security.
March: Dear Guy Who Uses the Weight Machine When I Am There: Just lift the weights already.
April: Someday I want a pet who also has a pet.
May: A while back, my Grandpa gave me a pocket watch he got when he left his old work.
June: TV! First things first, remember when I posted that if Aaron got his own freeze-frame, name to the side, previously, that it would make my life?
July: I want to marry Brandon Routh.
August: Right now, my family is out eating someplace nice for Marshall's birthday. I am eating braunschweiger on Saltines and a pile of dill pickle slices.
September: As far as I can tell based only on the schedule for the film lab class (which I did get into, even though the professor ended up not reading my second draft wot I wrote in a day before hand), not even my other two writing classes and the TA position, this was pretty much the only weekend I'd have time to really mess around in Photoshop and make new banners and such.
October: I'm working on a new scene outline for my revision, which has been a weeklong process.
November: This is Gaius Baltar. He is pretty.
December: Oh frabjous day!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Back in Austin, which was more trouble than I would have thought. Originally I was to fly in on Saturday, but KCI cancelled flights. They didn't have the decency to do so while I was still at home, but waited until I was in line to board, so that I then had to wait to get my bags back. I spent three hours at the airport to not fly.

Tuesday, made it into Dallas okay on my rescheduled flight, but then my flight to Austin was cancelled; I luckily made it onto the next flight, but everything else that evening was also cancelled, so I spent a fun hour contemplating my overnight stay at the Dallas airport. When I did make it back, it was icy in Austin but certainly not the terrifying frosty nightmare they were making it out to be. I get that they're not used to the ice and such, but I had to laugh when the weather guy commented on the BITTER COLD, when it was a full thirty degrees warmer than it was in KC. And there, we went ahead and drove on the snow-ice mix to go sledding, by God.

Christmas break itself was good, although Laura and I were trying to figure out how exactly we managed to stay occupied for a month when in retrospect we didn't seem to actually have done anything. But it was a nice break, and I'm rested and ready to start writing again (although not today, heh).