Mine was pretty damn good! We went to Austin on Friday, and spent the weekend with my cousin. There was much video game playing and eating. However the reason for the trip was to make some musical appearances on Monday. As many of you may know, I’ve been playing with Craig Davis, a musician out of Austin. Monday morning I woke up at the ungodly hour of 5:30 am (an hour which just shouldn’t even exist, honestly), to go perform on the Fox-7 morning show. It was quite cool being in a TV studio watching them do the live show and preparing for our appearance. We did 2 little 15 second teasers as they went to commercial, then performed one full song. We then played about 30 seconds at the end of the show too. It was quite a cool experience indeed. That night we did a 4 song set at a club where there they were doing an open mic night combined with featured artists (which we were one of the 3). I think we blew the roof off the joint. up until that point it had been a very folky, coffee house type vibe with performers to match. We got up and did some rockin’ pop songs with strong harmonies. It was quite a contrast, but we were very well received and it took me a while to actually get out of the place since I was stopped by someone every 10 feet to tell us we were great. I also had many inquiries as to my kick ass new guitar which stunned several people since it looks like an electric guitar but yet was producing perfect acoustic guitar sounds. All in all it was a cool weekend, and I think things with Craig are really starting to get rolling. I’m going back in 2 weeks for another set at the same club during “South by Southwest” a HUGE music festival that takes place annually in Austin. Check out some clips of Craig’s music on www.cdbaby.com
I realize that I am extremely erratic at blogging, and that because of this the tiny group of people who may occasionally grace me with their presence here, probably get tired of not having new content, and thus quit coming here at all. This entry probably won’t help because it’s just random ramblings. Well, hey, look at the title of this page. You can’t say I didn’t warn you. 😉
I feel like I am naturally a very distant person, I have decided. With this whole, WD, internet friends/community thing, etc., I feel very much like a distant observer. Take my wife for instance (well don’t TAKE her, but you know…), I feel like people genuinely like her, miss her, want to see her, be friends with her, etc. I always feel like I’m kind of a fringe or periphery entity. Most people generally like me, or think I’m ok, or when I’m mentioned they think “Yeah, he’s pretty cool”, but I don’t feel like most people have or desire a connection of any real depth with me. People don’t generally “wish I was there” when I’m not. I basically feel like I’m slightly on the positive side of “neither here nor there” for the vast majority of people who are aware of my existence. Although I am very self conscious and worried that people think I’m creepy or make them uncomfortable sometimes, even though I’m usually pretty sure that’s just my own mind being goofy.
I think part of this distance is self perpetuating, because since I always generally doubt that someone likes me (in all instances not just internet related ones), I kind of create my own distance too because I really don’t want to bother people. I realized today that I’m much more comfortable with e-mail than with chat IM programs because when you send an e-mail, that person can reply at their leisure or not as they choose, while when I IM someone I always feel like I’ve put them on the spot.
This brings to me to a related tangent. I can’t remember if I’ve bitched about it before in this medium, but never the less I’m going to bitch about it anyway. Many times throughout the years I have made many efforts to find old friends or people who used to be a part of my life in some way. Old high school friends and such. I get in touch with them, and there’s the usual exchange of “Oh wow!”s and greetings, and then almost without fail that person makes no real effort to stay in touch. They’ll respond to my emails (usually) but never really make any effort of their own, thus contributing to the ongoing neurosis my life, the “I always like people much more than they like me” syndrome. It’s such a let down because I’m always so absolutely thrilled to be back in touch with these people. I’m someone who values my friendships dearly, and while I never really have tons of close friends (usually I have tons of acquaintances, with a handful of really close friends), I treasure my relationships dearly. Everyone I’ve ever met or known is at least partially responsible for shaping me into who I am today, and I’m always so thrilled to rekindle old friendships, but then it always leads to that inevitable crestfallen moment when you realize that apparently the other party must not have been nearly as thrilled as you were. Perhaps I’m just a nostalgic romantic dreamer at heart, (ok, well not perhaps, pretty definitely), but it never fails to leave me with that feeling that a little bit of the starry eyed magic of my youth has died. Like I’ve lost some of my kindred to the listless zombie like template of “growing up”, while I remain one of the last champions of the child-at-heart, anything’s-possible, keep-hope-alive, fairytale-dreamers faction. If anyone needs me I’ll be staring off into the sky, soaking up the energy to combat the weariness and continue fighting for the cause and fending off the weight of the world. Hmm, reminds me of a song… “You can’t take the sky from me…” heh heh. 😉
So yes, my wife and I are addicts. We’re addicted to “Earth and Beyond”, an online roleplaying game. We jet around the universe together in our ships, taking missions, running trade routes, fighting baddies. This is almost exclusively all we’ve done every waking hour for the last week. The evolving storyline is extremely intriguing, and the game is just plain fun. Even though you spend a large amount of time “warping” through space, it still holds my interest. We downloaded the 5 day free demo with the intention of playing it for 5 days just for something different to do. After a couple of days we were hooked and had upgraded to the full game and paid the monthly subscription fee. The downside is that we are definitely only playing until April 15 when Star Wars Galaxies comes out, and at that time it will be kind of a bummer to let go of our characters we’ve developed so far and just forget about this universe and the storyline. Oh well, I’m sure we’ll very quickly become far more addicted to SWG than to this game. In fact, the review I read specifically said that this game was cool but loses interest after a couple of months, which made me think “perfect!”. It’s probably the only time that a trait like that could actually be positive. Anyway, we’re actually restraining ourselves tonight to try and catch up on some watching of stuff. We have 3 DVD’s from Netflix, 2 that we never got to from last week, and a new Buffy episode to watch, my country’s five hundredth anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder, and Guilder to frame for it. I’m swamped.
*side note: I’m so anal retentive that I had to look up that princess bride reference to make sure I had it exactly right. I think this trait was instilled in me by all the even more anal retentive nerds who insist on correcting your quotes even when you are paraphrasing and perfectly aware that you’re not quoting word for word.*
So I got my new guitar in last week. It’s the Variax by Line 6. It has electronics within it that digitally model 28 different classic vintage guitars. Electrics, acoustics, 12-strings, banjo, sitar and more. It’s absolutely phenomenal. Add that to the fact that I also use a Line 6 amplifier which digitally models tons of different guitar amps and effects, and you’ll see that I now have the power to invade small planets. So now with one amp, and one guitar, it’s as if I have a room full of amps and wall full of guitars, all of which are classic, very expensive, often rare, and very high end. I love technology. My bandmates were particularly tickled with my banjo playing this weekend.
Now for the pain. I had 2 gigs this weekend. My brand new guitar made it through a grand total of…1 of them before getting a ding in it. Sometime at our gig today I acquired a small little dent in the face of my brand new guitar. It hurt me. I hurt. I feel pain. I obsess. It totally soured my mood which was already not that great since we got 4 hours of sleep before having to go to this all 8-4 gig for the Bridal Show, where we pay them to set up a booth and ply our wares along with caterers, photographers, florists and such, trying to get all the future brides, who pay to get in, to hire us for their wedding reception. For the rest of the day my eyes were just magnetically attracted to that tiny ding in my guitar. On the slight upside, I was planning on having a sticker made up of my musical yin-yang logo to put on my guitar right over where the ding is. Still it stresses me. Silly, I know, but waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
Why is it impossible to go to a movie theatre these days without being in the company of people who incessantly talk, or kick the back of your seat? My own personal theory is because all traces of movie etiquette have been killed by the home video/ DVD generation. Now don’t get me wrong, I am a part of this generation and a card carrying renter. Hell I belong to Netflix (which totally kicks ass by the way; I encourage you to go check it out now) and the wife and I watch an average of 3-4 DVD’s a week. However we realize that a movie theatre is a different environment. Apparently many other people do not. They’ve been so spoiled by watching movies in the comfort of their own home that they think they can just carry on conversations as if we were all in their living room (not that it would be any less annoying there). I’m surprised they don’t shout at the projectionist “Hey! Could you pause the film? I need to pee!”. If I feel the need to make a comment to the person I’m with then I whisper it in their ear. In fact I whisper it so quietly that sometimes they have to ask me to repeat it.
Then there’s the seat kicking. This isn’t always actual kicking of the seat. Sometimes it’s that very subtle nudging. They have their legs crossed, which results in one of their feet pressing against the back of your seat, thus causing you to feel every shift of their annoying flesh vessel. Sadly I find the majority of my theatre trips involve one if not both of these annoyances. Sometimes I shoot angry glances in their direction hoping they’ll get the hint. They never do. If only I had laser beams I could shoot out of my eyes, that would solve much.
I often see those signs for “Laser Vision Correction” and wonder if these are clinics for super heroes to come and have their laser vision corrected. You know, maybe it’s out of alignment or something.
My goal is to eventually start my own chain of theatres with a very strict regime. There will be ushers/bouncers in every theatre at all times. If you talk, you’re out. If someone is kicking your seat or annoying you, you can push a silent alarm button on your hand rest and the ushers will remove that person. It will be a theatre where you know you can go and have a pleasant cinema experience, unless you’re one of the offenders. Perhaps I’ll call it “Cinemarcus Aurelius”. I don’t know if that’s really appropriate, but it was the only pun I could think of that might possibly work.
So yesterday, Jess and I were planning to go see “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”. While looking at movie times, I noticed there was a “sneak” of “Chicago”, which we wanted to see, but it hadn’t come here yet. There was also a “sneak” of “Shanghai Knights” which we also wanted to see. The times just happened to coincide perfectly so we decided to have a marathon. We saw all three in a row. We were in the cinema from 2:00 to 9:30. All three were very good. “Confessions” was very well done with some real original artistic style. “Chicago” was very entertaining also. “Shanghai Knights” was pretty much more of the same as “Shanghai Noon” so if you liked the first one, you’ll probably like this one.
However all this movie going obviously messed with my head. I had a dream that me, my cousin, and my friend Andy were going to a 3 movie marathon. We went home after the second movie and just watched some TV, napped a bit and just generally lazed about. I realized that it was 8:00 and the movie started at 8 so I was suddenly rushing everyone around saying “Hurry up! If we leave now we can get there at 8:15, and with all the previews and stuff we’ll be fine!” Everyone kind of took their time waffling about whether to go and such and by the time we finally left we were now going to be 30 minutes late and I was annoyed. For some reason it was really important to me to get in the third movie of the marathon because I’d already seen 2 movies in a day before and I wanted to break my record (that fact was true in real life too). When we got there I was waiting to use the little kiosk where you can just swipe your credit card and buy tickets quickly (which I also use in real life) but there was a huge line. Since we were already way late I was annoyed again. Then I bought like 10 tickets because I was confused and thought I was buying tickets for everyone. Strangely the tickets were square crackers that were slightly convex and about 3 inches square, and I now had a stack of 10. Well it turns out they had bought their own tickets so now I had like 9 tickets too many. I decided to go to the ticket window and see if I could explain that I had messed up and pushed the wrong key or some other excuse to get my money back, when real life crept into my dream and I realized Jess and I had indeed already seen 3 movies in a row, so getting to this one in the dream was no big deal.Then I woke up. Crazy.
So I seem to have gotten back into writing my screenplay. It’s only been a year or 2 of laziness. I feel a lot better since I’ve been writing. I feel like I’m doing something. Making some kind of progress in at least a small way towards getting somewhere. I’ve already started entertaining fantastical thoughts such as some Hollywood studio being interested my script, and what I will do then. I’m definitely writing it for me to star in and direct, but what if some studio offers to buy it for scads of money, but doesn’t want me to star or direct? Do I stick by my guns and say “nope, that’s part of the deal” or take the money and be happy that I just got paid for a screenplay and get to see it made? Yes, I’m way ahead of myself, but like I said, I’m a dreamer. I was going through a conversation in my head yesterday, pitching this to a studio executive. I figure it’s a good deal for both sides. I would get to have my movie made, and they could make the movie for far less money since I am an unknown star/director. They would save millions, or tens of millions even by letting me star and direct. Yes I often have imaginary conversations in my head. This is one of the reasons I think I’m a good writer. My brain is constant inventing imaginary scenes and such.
When I’m done with the first draft I will need feedback on it. The first draft will need lots of re-working I’m sure, but if anyone would like to read the first rough draft when I’m done (which won’t be for a while yet, I’m only a little under 2/3 done) let me know and I’ll be happy to let you critique it. I’d like as wide a range of feedback as possible since 10 people can give 10 different opinions of the same movie.
However, on an up note, I started working on my screenplay again. The one I started in 2000, quickly wrote half of, then got lazy. I have so many dreams and such, but I’m a dreamer at heart, and not someone who does everything they should or could be doing to get where they want to go. I often feel guilty that I’m not recording my songs, or writing on my screenplay. It’s a vicious circle too. Everyday, I think “I should write on my screenplay”, but just don’t feel like it, then I feel guilty, and then I feel even less like doing it. I was thinking about this the other day, and realized that I think acting is the most suited to me. Writing (screenplays or songs or whatever), getting a band together, recording songs, all these things take much more motivation, at least for me. Acting is something that comes naturally to me, and seems more suited to my lazy nature. Sure you have to prepare, have headshots, find and go to auditions and such, but somehow this all seems easy to me. You get handed something written by someone else, and then you just do it. You act. You emote. I’m not saying it actually IS easier than anything else, but for me personally it is. It’s what I think I’m best suited for since it *seems* so easy to me, while the rest feel like effort (though very rewarding effort when I actually do them). I feel like I have so much potential, and yet do nothing with it. I feel age creeping up on me everyday, and wonder if I’ve wasted too much of my life already. I think about all the years I had when I was younger that I could have really been busting my ass for what I want with much more ease than I can now. Yet, I can’t go down that road mentally. The doubt road. I have to believe that I can achieve my dreams. The dreams I’ve had for as long as I can remember. The dreams that make me feel like I have a purpose, and drive the very being of my soul. I can’t believe that it’s too late, or that what I want to do is impossible, or else suddenly everything seems very gray, lifeless, and zombie-like, like the world stops in a color snapshot and all the color slowly drains from it. Sometimes what I want seems so unattainable, and yet I must. I can see my destination, I just have no idea how to reach it. It as if I can see the start (me) and the finish but can’t see anything in between. It sucks to be a dreamer. I’ve always been an “idea” person who needs to work with others who are better at the actual getting stuff done portion. Well, enough rambling for the moment.
Overall this movie didn’t do a whole lot for me, but yet I feel a strange dichotomy towards it because it definitely scores points for originality, brilliance and bravery. Bravery because I think a great majority of people who see it probably won’t “get it” and will think it’s just a waffling, struggling, boring movie that cops out and goes Hollywood in the end. Those people are missing the entire brilliance, and point of this movie, and yet even though I tout it’s great concept and originality, it still was just kind of ok to me. Not something I would want to see again. I’m not sure how to reconcile these two feelings, but that’s just how it is. For a full and detailed analysis of this movie (which naturally is nothing but big nasty spoilers, so don’t go here until you’ve seen it if you don’t care about being spoiled) check out this site.