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    Wednesday, August 30, 2006

    It's the clickkkkkkking

    Ah, another day in LA. Went to start the car to go to the grocery store and what do I get but the clicking again. Since I'd already been jumped off once and had "recharged" the battery once, I decided it wasn't likely to be the alternator, but the battery unwilling to hold a charge. So I called the trusty AAA which transferred me to Sonoma and then to LA and then to East Tennessee who had to get on the line with an LA rep to explain the fact that while I might be an ETAAA member, I was actually at the moment in LA. After this was worked out they sent around the "Battery" squad. I nice Latino fella’ by the name of Willy, I kid you not, which made me feel right at home. He checked the battery and yep, it was Kaput. So, he replaced it and the final charge was only $108.20, which doesn't seem so bad. It'll hurt later when I'm waiting for invoices to be paid, but right now I feel OK with it.

    It’s now to late to go to the grocery store, unless I want to take and hour and a half to so it, so I’ll got tomorrow.

    Tuesday, August 29, 2006

    Evolution of a work space

    First Half Hour

    I finally finished the first half hour of CA. I even went back a did a quick edit. Next step is the second half of the first hour. It's a bit different than I originally planned it, but it seems to be working out. I'm getting to know everyone, and I have to say I don't like a couple of the characters. They're shifty, possibly even dangerous. But with that being said, I already know where it's headed so it's just a matter of knocking it out, and hoping the breaks fall where they're supposed to. The first half came in at exactly 30 pages, which makes me worried I'm a little too technical about it. But since it's a good mixture of description and dialogue it should be OK.

    Other than that, things are relatively quiet here. They did show off my particular apartment today to some insurance people, I assume they're getting a new policy or need theirs updated. It was a bit of surprise, but I had enough time to do the dishes before they got here. I did however find out that mine is the largest of the studios, which makes me feel better about my choice.

    I've run desperately low on incoming TV, so I've taken to rewatching FIREFLY to keep my brain from attacking me at night. It still holds up as well as it did on the first and second viewings. I think I'm looking at it with a more critical eye toward how the stories were crafted this time around. They really did some nice stuff on that show. The only episode I skipped was the train robbery one because I've seen it more than the rest and actually find it to be one of the weakest episodes.

    Oh well, back to 1889. It's warm here and the steam makes me happy.

    Monday, August 28, 2006

    Used Books

    It’s not easy to survive out here, but if you can find a book, and it’s the right kind, you can get a square meal and a place to stay. Sometime after the world went to shit, this crazy guy the call The General took to the ground in an abandoned missile silo. He spent years making the underground space into a replica of a small town, each building crafted by hand from what he could scrounge. It’s got streets and everything. They’re named after writers: Lord Dunsany Lane, Lester Dent Alley, Arthur Conan Doyle Place.

    There’s a story about a kid who lucked onto an impossibly near fine first edition of “Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant” and got a years unlimited pass to the Bunker, even if he didn’t find anything else. Then again, there’s also the story of the kid who tried to bring in a perfect spine PB of some Nora Robert’s titled and left with a full 410 salt load in his ass. The General is picky. He says there ain’t enough room for vomited type.

    I try and stick to what I know he likes. Last winter I got a full week stay for a handful of fine Doc Savage PBs. All I could eat and a bunk with a light. I spent most of the time in the “reading room” snorting Morrcock’s Cornelius Trilogy through my eyes and drinking honeywine.

    It isn’t easy finding books these days. Fire took care of most of them, whether from the clashes, or from people just trying to stay warm. It can take five months to find enough just to get a day or a week inside. But there isn’t much else to do. I need a few more before I head back. I found a near fine first of Bradbury’s “The October Country” and some early Farmer PBs, but I’m bettin’ on the copy of “Winesburg, Ohio” to get me an extra day. It used to be my mom’s, but she doesn’t need it anymore, hasn’t for years. I hate to part with it, but it’ll be safer there anyway, and I can visit it when I’m there.

    I’ve got a few more similar things stashed in dark arid places around the country. I don’t even turn in everything I find. I dole them out as I need to. Others’ll just blow their wad right away, but it’s getting harder and I want to know there’s always something out there I can count on to keep me going. I’m two days outside of St. Louis, where I’ve heard rumors of a secret library in a series of shipping containers near the port. They say it’s well guarded, but I’m small and quiet and still have a sharp razor and half box of .38s for my peacemaker. Like I said, it’s not easy to survive out here.

    [©2006 Greg Bunch]

    Viral Meat - It's only a phage

    The FDA-approved bacteria eaters work on deli meats and other ready-to-eat foods.
    By Hilary E. MacGregor, Times Staff Writer
    August 28, 2006
    If you want to get rid of a pest, why not use a littler pest to plague it? That's the tack OKd last week by the Food and Drug Administration, which has for the first time approved the use of bacteria-eating viruses as an additive to foods.

    New advice on how-to wash your dishes while camping. Mabe they should just come up with a "phage" spray to clean your camping dishes with too.

    Oldest living person is NOW Elizabeth Bolden of Memphis, Tennessee. YES!

    Making Comics

    Scott McCloud's new book is out Sept 5th.

    Scott McCloud Official Site

    50 State Tour Locations
    Trip Blog

    Saturday, August 26, 2006

    Page 25

    Almost done with the first half hour of CA. Wanted to be near the end of the first hour by now, but it's going a bit slow. I replaced the inflatable chair with a low price folding camp chair, which within two days has broken as well. There is evidently a monetary:durability threshold ratio and it lies somewhere above $20. I'll need to start gearing up to work in Sept. All money will be gone by the end of that month, so I need to secure work by the second week of Sept. at the latest. Feelers from current regular employer, but nothing concrete yet. Hopefully it'll all time out as usual, otherwise it's the temp agency.

    And I wonder sometimes why the world makes me weary.

    Wednesday, August 23, 2006

    One of those days

    Well, it's one of those days. The inflatable chair suffered injuries that I was unable to patch and when I went to take a drive to Target to replace it, the car made that ominous "clicking" noise of a dead battery, or other electrical malfunction. Joy!

    [NOTE: Luckily I live right above the access gate to the parking lot, so when I heard the door go up I raced down stairs and convinced a nice young man in a suit, with a pristing convertible Saab, to give me a battery jump. I then drove in large rectangles around the area for 20 mins. All seems fine for now.]

    Monday, August 21, 2006

    An enjoyable evening

    Tonight was a nice change of pace for me. My friend Jessica and her husband Joel invited me to a play reading. The play was "Don't Blame Me I Voted For Helen Gahagan Douglas." It was a small affair of about 50 people in a small black box theatre in Santa Monica, oddly enough on Main street and I place I'd often walked by and wondered exactly what it was that went on there. The play was co-written by a friend of his. I hadn't been to a play reading or a table reading of any sort in a long time. If the material is accessible and interesting, which this was, they can be quite enjoyable. It's primarily a performance given by actors seated in chairs with stands for the script. While the direction is limited and no one is truly off book, they give a wonderful feeling for how the dialogue and breaks work, and can act as a showcase for possible improvement as well as possible investment interest to mount actual staged versions of the work.

    The play was written by Wendy Kout and Michelle Willens about the life of Helen Gahagan Douglas. Though I had heard the name or read it at some point on some list of famous American women, I truly didn't know the story or historical aspect, let alone the importance, of her life and activities. Though there were more than four parts, the actors were kept to four and all of them did a wonderful job, with what I can only assume was very little time for rehearsal and preparation. It was directed by Michael Pressman. The cast included:

    Wendie Malick - Helen Gahagan Douglas
    Charles Shaughnessy - Melvyn Douglas
    Charle Adler - Everyone Else
    And an actor whose name I have unfortunately forgotten playing Nixon. The only reason I've forgotten his name is that he was added last minute since the original actor had gotten a Pilot and was unable to make the performance. The actor who portrayed Nixon had done so before in a reading of the same play in NY and so had been brought out to fill in. He did an uncanny visual mimicry of Nixon as well as lent a fine performance to the evening.

    The play itself, while informative and entertaining often felt as though the humor overpowered the importance of the information. I understand why it was used; it makes the digestion of the facts of Mrs. Douglas’s life easier and doesn’t allow for things such as The Great Depression, WWII, McCarthyism to overshadow her and her achievements as the primary focal point. I can also say it only lagged in a very few places and that I’d have to see it or read it one more time to be more constructive in my thoughts about it. I do however now believe that Helen Gahagan Douglas is someone for whom we should all be aware.

    After the play we came back to Westwood and wandered around a bit until we found a place to eat. LA has a bit of a problem with restaurants staying open after 9:30 PM. But as luck would have it, we wound up at a perfectly enjoyable place called Shamshiri Grill that wasn't going to close for another 15 minutes.

    All in all it was one of the more enjoyable evenings that I've had since I've been here.

    Sunday, August 20, 2006

    ACT 1

    Finished the first act of CA today. I'm really enjoying it. It comes in where it should. I don't know if I've built enough tension surrounding a single character that his simple, repeated appearance constitutes a strong enough act out, but I kind of think it does. It isn't the sort of act out where say a gun goes off, but more the type where you know what's coming and don't need to see it and since the show cuts out at that moment the act out is more along the lines of allowing the audience to fill in something, an exchange say, that they are never going to see. So I guess it's more of an audience imagination participation act out than a WTF one. Since I've been thinking on this thing for so long, I know exactly where it is going. What I don't know if the audience will sit through the first half with just the major characters being introduced in a PULP kind of conceit. Each introduction starts in the future and then opens in the past. However, with the second act I'm hoping that I've set-up enough frame work that this will diminish a bit each time a character is introduced. So the introduction of the fourth main character at the beginning of the second act may simply be a half page of future and more past or simply the appearance of the unifying character and then a straight jump to the past. So what I'm poorly laying out here right now is that as the language of the thing is more firmly established, shortcuts with the language can then be utilized. Oh well, I think I've confused myself now.

    Friday, August 18, 2006

    Coming Along Nicely

    I just finished writing the teaser for CA; the teaser being that first four or five minuets before the opening titles of a show where the audience is drawn in to hopefully such a point that they won't flip away to another show. I can't be sure about this, well I could google it I guess, but I believe the original STAR TREK was the first show to use this technique or at least the first to utilize it continuously and with the same effect it is used today. I'm pretty sure it works in mine. It only runs about 4 1/2 pages, but I think that's enough for this story. It has a transition between two time periods 109 years apart and I think I found a perfectly good transition for it. So, basically I'm kind of excited and delighted right now in a way I should have been more times since I arrived in L.A. but really have not. Maybe when I was working on THE BORDER, and slightly while editing bits of PL, but not so wonderfully and to such an extent as I get when something very new begins to take shape.

    Bar Induced Brain Gas

    Who knew it would come to this, except for a few raving televangelists that people had stopped hearing years ago and a handful of disparate theological pundits. I hate to admit it now, but they were right, possibly for the first time in their lives. Seven months and a few days have passed since the first one was born in a hospital somewhere outside Bangladesh in India. Since then thousands more have been born, not counting the ones aborted both professionally and in places where only the devil would feel at home.

    They’re all the same. They don’t cry and rarely move. The people who have seen and cared for them say there is an eerie stillness about them and a discomforting similarity at how they stare at you without seeing you. They say they look right through you as though something just beyond you is too bright for them to take their eyes off of.

    It’s been reported that at the same time they all begin to coo, or sing in a low almost imperceptible way, some kind of echolocation is the theory, but, if that were the case then why all at once, seemingly oblivious to distance and time zones? It may be echolocation, but it isn’t about finding their proximity to a wall, it’s about finding their proximity to each other.

    While all of these things have started to form a sort of zeitgeist of discomfort and fear, everyone seems in agreement that the most disturbing thing is their lack of smell. They give off no odor at all, even when they defecate. The first person to notice this was the mother of the first child born. When they brought the child to her, her first instinct was to smell it, to know it; a deeply entrenched instinct from back in the days of foraging. The moment she realized it had no smell she began to scream and practically threw the child back at the nurse who proffered it. The mother never recovered and later committed suicide with aid of her bed sheets and a handful of laxatives she’d been squirreling away.

    A new file on postpartum depression was opened of course and her condition was debated and crossed referenced with a hundred well-known psychology texts. But as the days passed and more of them were born, the debate quickly slid from psychology toward sociology and finally came to an inevitable stop at theology.

    That’s where we are now, debating in ever growing circles what had been predicted years before. While not everyone believes the main hypothesis, most in the know do. We’ve run out of Souls.

    [© 2006 Greg Bunch - Scribbled at the bar for no real good reason.]

    Thursday, August 17, 2006


    I knew there was a reason I was numb, and I'm not even Italian.

    Watching television may act as a natural painkiller for children, Italian research indicates.

    On an unrelated note, It's about time the Chinese started getting fat.

    Working on it

    Not that it matters, but I've temporarily put aside PROMISED LAND and turned my attention to CLOCKWORK AIRSHIP. PL just seemed to be like something rattling around in the bottom of a can that I couldn't get out through the small opening in the top, so I'm going to try and stop thinking about it for a while. Wrote the first two pages or so of Clockwork today but I'm not really sure yet if this is where it begins or not. As usual I've probably bitten off more than I can chew by making it take place in two separate time periods and finding fluid shifts back and forth may be a problem. I'll just have to wait and see. I'm more than sure that as soon as I get rolling on this I'll have to go do another job. Thus is the life of an un-produced writer. Hopefully I can get enough of it down before then that it won't be too hard to get back into it later. This idea has been brewing since 08.19.03 at 17:37 EST according to the time stamp on my notes, so I think it's time I give it a fair shake. The poor thing has been sittin' around in the dark closet of my mind for so long, even I had to try and figure out where I'd put it. I'm writing it like a TV show for now because it will be easier to get it out this way. I have a feeling though it'll have to become something else like a comic script later.

    As usual, the hardest part has been coming up with names. Coming up with believable late Victorian Era names is even harder. I just need to get them down right now. I can do a batch replace later if something else comes to me.

    I've also been reading Scott Smith's new novel RUINS. Scott Smith has only written two books, RUINS being one of them. Thirteen years ago he wrote on of the best noir/mystery/suspense novels of the 90s called A SIMPLE PLAN, which was also made into an excellent movie. What was great about the book and the movie was they had different third acts, but each worked wonderfully in their own way. RUINS is definitely a departure. It's creeping menace and claustrophobia tearing apart six people in the Mexican jungle. It's a wonderful read so far and maybe when I'm done I'll give it a quick review.

    Wednesday, August 16, 2006

    Spam Name Generator

    My friend Alan, over at WHAT'S THE RUMPUS?, posted a while back about starting a list of character names taken from spam e-mails he was getting. I thought it was a great idea and am now addicted to it. One of these days I should write short character bios for all of these people. A great deal of my spam is all in Asian character forms from one language or another, but occasionally I do get names I can grasp and here is a list of them so far:

    Bautista Law
    Efrain Curran
    Goodman Blankenship
    Grover Lancaster
    Gustavo Horn
    Guthrie Wiseman
    Latricia Season
    Mercer Strong
    Nakesha Robbi
    Odessa Slaughter
    Parthenia Eloise
    Rosalinda Vargas
    Saul Coulte
    Seema Tiara

    Of course I have a soft spot for Odessa Slaughter. I'm not sure, but I think she might be a private investigator living in a techno-punk future world where she gets the information she wants from people by whispering neural hacks into their ears with a sultry voice that makes them feel like having they're brain hacked is as good as Sex.

    [Note: After a quick google, it would seem "Odessa Slaughter" is ocassionally used to describe the Odessa massacre of the Jewish population of Odessa, Russia in 1941-42. I don't know if that makes appropriating the name better or worse.]

    Tuesday, August 15, 2006

    Getting to know...

    Well, whether a bad choice or not, I've spent the last couple, or four, evenings at the only thing that passes for a bar in the general area. As is usually the case there is a small but wonderfully eclectic regular set that I'm slowly getting to know. This is of course in the effort to not only understand the neighborhood better, but also see if this will be the place I hang my hat over the remainder of my stay in this neighborhood. As usual, I have made people laugh as well as I think put one or two of them against me. This is inevitable and more rewarding than simply being accepted wholesale. I'd say it'll take quite a few more visits and more money than I dare think of before I decide if this is somewhere I’d like to hang out on a regular basis. It would seem that I still have a knack for ruffling the feathers of ex-military types. I’m not sure I’ll even completely rid my self of this characteristic since it isn’t always for the same reason that they don’t take to me. Not that it matters really for I never tire of veiled threats of the nimble possibilities of C4.

    Monday, August 14, 2006

    Booker Prize Longlist

    I doubt I'll ever read any of these, I'm afraid I'm too much of a literary fishmonger. But, you never know. It was just released today to invigorate the seasonal book sales.

    The novels 2006

    Peter Carey - Theft: A Love Story

    Kiran Desai - The Inheritance of Loss

    Robert Edric - Gathering the Water

    Nadine Gordimer - Get a Life

    Kate Grenville - The Secret River

    MJ Hyland - Carry Me Down

    Howard Jacobson - Kalooki Nights

    James Lasdun - Seven Lies

    Mary Lawson - The Other Side of the Bridge

    Jon McGregor - So Many Ways to Begin

    Hisham Matar - In the Country of Men

    Claire Messud - The Emperor's Children

    David Mitchell - Black Swan Green

    Naeem Murr - The Perfect Man

    Andrew O'Hagan - Be Near Me

    James Robertson - The Testament of Gideon Mack

    Edward St Aubyn - Mother's Milk

    Barry Unsworth - The Ruby in Her Navel

    Sarah Waters - The Night Watch

    Saturday, August 12, 2006

    Shortage of souls

    Hindu demographers at the Kharagpur Institute of Technology warn that the expected increase in world population will lead to a shortage of souls by the year 2045.

    To be fair, we greatly simplified some of the conclusions and discussion in the original report: "Bayesian meta-analysis of incipient population pressures on the availability of souls", by D.S. Nanda et al.

    The main conclusion is that the median recycling period, as measured from death to rebirth, has become increasingly rapid-- down from a historical average of approximately 191.4 yrs to only 7.3 months today, as the ratio of living beings to eternal souls has increased. It is expected that by the year 2045, demand will reach a critical threshold, and all existing souls will be simultaneously incarnate.

    One of the most interesting sections of the paper discusses that the impending shortage of souls may not directly be due to the increase in the number of living human beings. Rather human population increases have led to the degradation of ecosystems worldwide; in turn, this leads to a smaller population of large animals of all kinds (the extinction of large species of mammals; the loss of fully mature fish stock). Yet the overall biomass of animal populations is remaining constant, or perhaps increasing: there has been a dramatic increase in the number of small animals. In short, though the overall number of eternal souls remains constant, the number of living animals of all kinds is increasing dramatically, a most frightening development.

    Another section of the paper discusses the implications of a post-soul era.
    Will some children be born without souls? Will a soul-less child behave outwardly the same as a child that does possess a soul?

    In fact, it is not clear that there is any test to discern whether a child does or does not have a soul-- not even the child will know. Some researchers believe that the shortage of souls is already upon us, and that many of us, me, you, all of us perhaps, are soul-less zombies.


    Unfortunately the paper mentioned no longer seems to be available on the internet, which made me a bit said since I'd hoped to read it after finding this.

    Friday, August 11, 2006


    Here is an almost complete list of the 2006 tv show premiere dates. I don't have a tv yet, and probably won't by the time most of this starts showing, but you can enjoy.

    Monday, Aug. 21
    8 pm Prison Break (Fox)
    9 pm Vanished (Fox)

    Wednesday, Aug. 30
    8 pm Bones (Fox)
    9 pm Justice (Fox)

    Tuesday, Sept. 5
    8 pm Standoff (Fox)
    9 pm House (Fox)

    Thursday, Sept. 7
    8 pm 'Til Death (Fox)
    8:30 pm Happy Hour (Fox)

    Sunday, Sept. 10
    8 pm The Simpsons (Fox)
    8:30 pm American Dad (Fox)
    9 pm Family Guy (Fox)
    9:30 pm The War at Home (Fox)

    Tuesday, Sept. 12
    8 pm Dancing With the Stars (ABC)

    Thursday, Sept. 14
    8 pm Survivor: Cook Islands (CBS)

    Sunday, Sept. 17
    8:30 pm The Amazing Race 10 (CBS)

    Monday, Sept. 18
    8 pm The Class (CBS)
    8:30 pm How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
    9 pm Two And A Half Men (CBS)
    9:30 pm The New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS)
    10 pm CSI: Miami (CBS)

    Tuesday, Sept. 19
    8 pm NCIS (CBS)
    9 pm Law & Order CI (NBC)
    9 pm The Unit (CBS)
    10 pm Smith (CBS)
    10 pm Law & Order SVU (NBC)

    Wednesday, Sept. 20
    8 pm Jericho (CBS)
    8 pm America's Next Top Model (CW)
    9 pm Criminal Minds (CBS)
    10 pm Kidnapped (NBC)
    10 pm CSI: NY (CBS)

    Thursday, Sept. 21
    8 pm My Name Is Earl (NBC)
    8:30 pm The Office (NBC)
    9 pm Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
    10 pm Six Degrees (ABC)
    9 pm CSI (CBS)
    10 pm Shark (CBS)
    10 pm ER (NBC)

    Friday, Sept. 22
    8 pm Ghost Whisperer (CBS)
    9 pm Close To Home (CBS)
    9 pm Men In Trees (ABC)
    10 pm Numb3rs (CBS)
    10 pm Law & Order (NBC)

    Sunday, Sept. 24
    7 pm Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC)
    9 pm Desperate Housewives (ABC)
    9 pm Cold Case (CBS)
    10 pm Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
    10 pm Without a Trace (CBS)

    Monday, Sept. 25
    8 pm 7th Heaven (CW)
    9 pm Runaway (CW)
    9 pm Heroes (NBC)

    Tuesday, Sept. 26
    8 pm Gilmore Girls (CW)
    9:30 pm Help Me Help You (ABC)
    10 pm Boston Legal (ABC)

    Wednesday, Sept. 27
    9 pm One Tree Hill (CW)

    Thursday, Sept. 28
    8 pm Ugly Betty (ABC)
    8 pm Smallville (CW)
    9 pm Supernatural (CW)

    Sunday, Oct. 1
    7 pm Everybody Hate's Chris (CW)
    7:30 pm All of Us (CW)
    8 pm Girlfriends (CW)
    8:30 pm The Game (CW)

    Monday, Oct. 2
    The Bachelor: Rome (ABC)

    Tuesday, Oct. 3
    8 pm Friday Night Lights (NBC)
    9 pm Veronica Mars (CW)

    Wednesday, Oct. 4
    8 pm 20 Good Years (NBC)
    9 pm Lost (ABC)
    10 pm The Nine (ABC)

    Thursday, Oct. 5
    8 pm Big Day (ABC)
    8:30 pm Notes From The Underbelly (ABC)

    Monday, Oct. 9
    10 pm What About Brian (ABC)

    Wednesday, Oct. 11
    8:30 pm 30 Rock (NBC)

    Tuesday, Oct. 17
    9 pm The Knights of Prosperity (ABC)

    Friday, Oct. 20
    8 pm Crossing Jordan (NBC)
    9 pm Las Vegas (NBC)

    Thursday, Nov. 2
    9 pm The OC (Fox)

    Wednesday, Nov. 15
    9 pm Day Break (ABC)

    Amorphophallus titanum

    For the first time since 1939 a cultivated specimen of the CORPSE FLOWER is blooming in NY at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. This is a once in a lifetime event. If you're in NY I suggest you go have a look and a smell. If not, you can watch the webcam HERE.

    Thursday, August 10, 2006

    Flying Naked

    Well, thanks to a bunch of radical ramrods, it looks like we'll all eventually be flying naked. I suggest everyone start working out if you have plans to fly anytime in the near future. They should rework that groundbreaking Saturday Night Live penis skit and replace the setting with a departure lounge at JFK. This is going to add a new dimension to those flights where you have to sit next to the fat guy.

    Britain says it foils "mass murder" plane bomb plot

    New Security Rules Prompt Confusion

    Soda, hair gel targeted in new flight security

    It's time to ditch the transportation stocks.

    Wednesday, August 09, 2006

    Worst Movie Ever

    I just lost an hour and half of my life watching what is arguably the single worst movie ever made, ULTRAVIOLET. Yes, I rented it because it had Milla Jovovich in it, and yes Milla in leather and bared mid riff is of great interest to me. However, this film makes the entire cannon of Roger Corman films look like French New Wave. There is no story, and if anyone out there was as naive as I, and can explain how and why the swords at the end are on fire, please let me know. I also rented Aeon Flux, knowing it too would be bad, but have not yet watched it since ULTRACVIOLET was more awful than anticipated. I long for the day when you could rent bad movies and actually enjoy them for being bad, but not un-watchable. The female action star is dead. Long live Sigourney Weaver. I shall now slink away and remember Milla as she once was.

    The Border

    Just after I first arrived here, I was asked to come up with an idea for a production company with ties to one of the major networks. I tailored it to what I thought the company's primary owner would connect to most specifically. It never got out of the rough idea stage for many reasons, most of them possibly because while I pushed it, I didn't push it hard enough, and maybe because they were just being nice in asking. I'm not sure I'll ever know. But, I now know for certain that they're passing on it this time around, so I thought I'd post it and let people have a gander. The idea is pretty straight forward and for a lark I even reworked it slightly to have a supernatural bent. As I said, it never really got further than initial idea so the treatments are incomplete.


    THE BORDER 2.0 (Supernatural version)

    Enjoy. If nothing else, it gave me something to work on early on that kept me going those first few weeks of not really feeling like I belonged here.

    It's sad really

    My light and my sprinkler have been like this all week. The just don't seem to be getting along at all.

    Tuesday, August 08, 2006

    Turn Here

    Ran across a mention of this site on It's really quite nice. It's called Turn Here and is a collection, ever expanding, of short films about aspects of towns that make them interesting. None about Knoxville, so get cracking Kurt and Chad.

    From the site:
    "TurnHere, Inc. is a digital media company with a unique mission. TurnHere produces professional digital videos, accessible on the Internet, which convey authentic experiences of places and leisure activities in cities and neighborhoods around the world. Each TurnHere digital film is driven by an individual filmmaker’s vision, translated into compelling storytelling, engaging narrators, insider perspective and high entertainment value. Every film that carries the TurnHere brand has met rigorous content, production and technical standards."

    Office Updated

    As you can see, I've updated my office to include a chair, which I think is quite more dignified than sitting on the floor. I chose the clear one so that visitors to my office would think I was floating in the air and possibly mistake me for a God. I also got a $19.99 bookshelf that sags slightly under the weight of paperbacks.

    Sunday, August 06, 2006

    A few links etc.

    The Chemistry Set goes live tomorrow with online comics updated each week.

    Warren Ellis is set to start up an online comics site as well. They're currently accepting submissions at Rocket Pirates.

    A nice scathing profile of Joe Francis, founder of GIRLS GONE WILD, at the LA TIMES website.

    Also, I watched THE FANTASTIC FOUR last night and almost went comatose. It is the most hideous comic adaptation in recent years. The dialogue was for 5 yr olds and the performances were so blatantly bad that I longed for the Roger Corman version which very few have seen since it was made as a contractual obligation by the studio holding the rights and not for distribution.

    After TFF, I cleansed my palette with THE DEVIL'S REJECTS which I quite enjoyed and THE CORPSE BRIDE, which was pretty but not as full bodied as THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS.

    Saturday, August 05, 2006


    Well, this is going to be short as I tied a mighty one on last evening. I used the bus for the first time and went back to the scene of the previous months crimes, Rick's. There I drank too much and had enjoyable conversations. Met a nice fellow by the name of Thom who drove myself and The Mailman, that's how he is addressed, back to our respective places. Of course we had to stop off for one more at the only place that passes for a bar in my general area. I now feel as though a small rodent has crawled inside my brain and laid a nest of insulation where it has chosen to slumber heavily and scratch at the inside of my skull as it struggles with fitful dreams. I've posted the new calendar on the closet and plan to fill it with daily page counts. As per the movies I've recently watched, they are as follows sans review for it is well beyond me at this point.

    UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION - Not bad, but just for the genre enthusiast.
    SHOPGIRL - Quite lovely and languid.
    ME & YOU & EVERYONE E KNOW - Unique and true in a generally introspective way.
    THEY CAME BACK - A French avant-garde "Zombie" movie with just the emotional bits Zombie movies leave out. No actual Zombies, just the dead returning to emotionally stagnate the living.

    Sine I don't have an e-mail for you Thom, if you are reading this, the CREATIVE COMMONS stuff I told you about can be found HERE.

    Thursday, August 03, 2006

    I'm Watching

    I watched LORD OF WAR last night. Though the movie came out in 2005, I never got the chance to see it. I highly recommend you do. What Andrew Niccol has accomplished is quit phenomenal. He’s made a mainstream movie that makes the watching of gun running both enjoyable and informative and leaves you with a feeling that you want to know more about the machinations that drive the gun trade in the world today. It is witty and erudite while also thought provoking. Nicholas Cage is at his most reserved best and I truly could have watched this for hours more. By utilizing the format of narrative first person reflection of films such as GOOD FELLAS and BLOW, he has crafted a film that allows the viewer to sympathize with the protagonist and environment in which the protagonist is allowed to thrive.

    After that I watched THE libertine; a slice of life biopic about John Wilmot, the Second Earl of Rochester. It would seem that I completely disagree with most of the critics who panned this. I don't know if it was the wanton debauchery of the times or the character that put them off, or the fact that the visual style employed gives rise to the urine brown muck filled reality of the period. Personally I couldn't take my eyes off Depp. Think of it as a semi pornographic bodice ripper with a fatalistic ending and enjoy with a goblet of wine and a giddy perverse sense of fulfillment. Or maybe not, if you have no stomach for watching images such as a midget riding around on large a penis attached to cart wheels.

    Still have SHOPGIRL to go. I have high hopes for this being that it is based on one of my favorite novellas written by Steve Martin. I do wish he'd come out with a new one.

    Wednesday, August 02, 2006

    Finally Comics

    So, I finally got to a comic shop today. It's the well known Meltdown Comics in LA on Sunset Blvd. I'd tried to walk to a different one yesterday, but it must have gone out of business since the address never materialized in the form of a comic shop. I picked up a hefty load in an effort to catch-up on some things. I picked up singles of WORMWOOD GENTLEMAN CORPSE by Ben Templesmith, who also does the art on the Warren Ellis book FELL of which I picked up issues 4 and 5. I also grabbed issue 6 of SHAOLIN COWBOY by Geofrey Darrow although I'm pretty sure I missed out on issue 5. Also in the mix were the first two issue of Neil Gaiman's ETERNALS story for Marvel and issue 4 of LOCAL by Brian Wood whose DMZ I mentioned a while back. Along the way I grabbed a few Graphic novels/collections as follows:

    I also finally joined a Hollywood Video that's within walking distance and am trying to catch-up on movies as well. Last night and this morning I watched NIGHT WATCH, THE SQUID AND THE WHALE and TRISTRAM SHANDY: A COCK & BULL STORY. I highly recommend the later two. Unfortunately I was a bit disappointed in NIGHT WATCH. The first problem is that it was dubbed into English and then the second was that it was just a set-up for the two later films in the trilogy. The story itself is a bit muddled and it's hard to tell from the performances, both the actors and the voice actors, exactly what the real tone of the whole thing was supposed to be. I kept feeling like the voice actors were told to play it up more comically than it had been, turning possible black humor into Jerry Lewis farce. I'll still check out the rest of the trilogy when they come out, but I won't be in any rush.

    Oh well, of to spend the second day of my break catching up, then I'll start working on writing some things tomorrow. Still have all of my laundry to do as well.

    Tuesday, August 01, 2006

    GAS & OIL

    So, here's a few stata on Gas consumption for the job I just finished. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone how interesting you find this.

    27.82 AVG MPG
    334.00 AVG MPT
    $797.53 TOTAL SPENT
    6310.90 MILES TRAVELED

    $57.5 COST OF OIL

    Which of course means that I think it costs a pretty penny to do this sort of work. Lucky for me the car is still in relatively good condition. It does need new wiper blades though, and a nice washing once my next invoice is paid.


    It's odd. For the first time in 28 days I have nowhere to drive so I'm just sitting here like a lump in front of the computer doing absolutely nothing and feeling absolutely nothing about doing it. It's like my purpose was suddenly taken away. It'll pass I'm sure, but until then I guess I'll just not do anything until such a time as I decide to do something. I'm pretty much waiting for them to QC the work I did and let me know if I missed a location or screwed one up. I made 4 mistakes out of 582, which cost me about 300 miles in fixes. Lets hope I didn't mess any more up, because the thought of doing even one more makes me want to cry. I do need to find a way to get enough quarters to do laundry. Banks don't just give you change anymore unless you have an account. I'm thinking of going to the Laundromat down the street and using their change machine, then scurrying away. I also need to pay my rent and get a copy of my lease which was never given to me.