Friday, March 26, 2010

Friggin' Authors and What They Owe Us


First off, I forgot to mention that this month marks fifth year of me blogging. Wow, that is crazy. Certainly longer than I expected to do it.

Anyway...I'm gonna talk about whether working authors owe us, the consumers and readers of their books, anything other than the book you pay for.

I would say that on the whole, no they don't. As long as the book tells a complete story, we're all good.

But let's talk about the other kind of book you get. The book that's part of an ongoing series.

I'm talking in particular about George R. R. Martin. This guy puts out two books in his "Game of Thrones" series pretty quickly. They are magnificent pieces of fantasy fiction. Great, great books.

Then the third book takes about two years to come out. Then the next book took five years. Five years!

And now it has been almost five years since that last book. With no word on when the next will be coming.

In this case, George owes me. You can't start a story and then not finish it--because quite honestly it's very easy to set up a story...it's the payoff that's hard.

Don't believe me? Here's one setup from an old sci-fi story:
The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door...

See how easy that is? It's a setup. If he's the last man on earth, WHO is knocking at the door? Well, if you don't tell me then it's bullshit. It's incomplete. That's a premise, not a story.

So Martin's books have all this setup, and there is some payoff, but what irks me is that this fat fuck of an author is out there doing signings and appearances, and putting stuff on his web site like, "Stop asking me when the next book will be done!"

George, we're only asking because you're old and fat, and if you die before completing the story I've invested like $60 and MANY hours in, I will come rape your corpse.

It just happened to Robert Jordan. He died before he could complete his twelve-book epic fantasy series. Luckily he knew ahead of time that he was sick, so he left some notes. Another author that he handpicked is finishing the series.

If you wanna take five years between books, go ahead. But do stand alone stories. Put a beginning, middle and end to them. Don't start massive epics unless you have a detailed outline for the entire thing.

A side note: HBO has optioned this for a series. It might be cool. The best character in the books is a very dickish midget, and they just recently cast Peter Dinklage in the role, and I already predict an Emmy for him.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Movie Watchin'

So the distractions continue. (on the good side I have been getting some story-plotting done with a buddy Luke on what MAY be my next thing...this is officially my first mention of said thing)

Saw Fourth Kind. The height of mediocre. What'd this thing cost, like $10K plus the cost of Milla Jovavich?

Saw Cop Out tonight. I think if I was 14 and saw it as a double feature with Tango & Cash I would have greatly enjoyed it. It's funny that from the get-go I was thinking that whoever was doing the music was stealing from Fletch pretty blatantly.

Turns out it's the actual guy who did the music for Fletch(and Tango & Cash, Beverly Hills Cop, and more). So that's cool.

But overall it's pretty mediocre.

Saw part of Steven Seagal's A Dangerous Man. About 15 minutes was all I could take. It's bad. Where do they get the money to pump these things out? (it didn't look particularly cheap)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Insurance & Cable

Okay, two things.

I don't care about the health insurance debate. I'm tired of it. Call me uncaring, but I don't give a shit about the uninsured, and I was one of them for 11 years. For the most part, insurance is one big scam.

You pay for years and years, and then when something happens it's a fight to get any money out of them, and then you'll probably get dropped from coverage. So if you ask me, being uninsured means saving money.

Yeah, maybe that makes me a jerk. If it doesn't, certainly there's about fifty other things to pick from that make me a jerk.

Second, I saw a news article about a Comcast worker being murdered as he left his house to go to his truck. I don't encourage the murder of Comcast workers, but I don't discourage the murder of Comcast executives. Have you seen your cable bill lately?

I mean, if that had been a Comcast executive that got murdered, I'd like to be on the jury so I could rule Justifiable Homicide. I'm just saying.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ironic

I was watching the first episode of FX's new series Justified, and who walks in toward the end of the episode? William Ragsdale! Charlie Brewster himself!

He's only on briefly, but according to IMDB he'll be in like 5 more of this year's episodes.

The ironic part is that I was about to do a blog about how part of my writer's block may be due to how many distractions I have right now, from Xbox to movies to TV. And how I was going to start cutting down the TV...

...and I started ANOTHER new TV show.

Anyway, gotta go watch the newest episode of Human Target. And man am I excited for Spartacus tonight!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Happy News

Exciting news! Reprinted below, an email I just got!

Hi there,

How are you doing today? I am Williams Barnes, a US Marine currently serving in Iraq. I am actually one of the few Marines remaining in Iraq. We are waiting for executive order for our next deployment to Afghanistan this new year. I got your email from a business directory and I believe that you will maintain the level of confidence and trust that this mission I am about to inform you of require. Several months ago, my unit discovered some abandoned cash in the mansion of a militant ruler during a covert military raid. The total cash we discovered was $11.5 Million USD. We stashed all the funds in one trunk box and moved it secretly out of Iraq to Kuwait for safekeeping. We waited for several months to ensure that nobody is on our trail. Now, we need to move the money out of Kuwait. I am contacting you because we need your assistance in receiving the box for us on our behalf, and securing the cash until we return home from service.

Please note that we cannot use any of our known relative or friend for this mission because they are listed as acquaintance on our military file and this will compromise the covertness of this mission.

In order to proceed with this mission, we need the following details from you.

1. Your Full name
2. The address where you want the box to be delivered
3. Your private telephone number where you can be reached 24 hours

If for some reasons you don't want to or can't help us, I want you to delete this message immediately and assume we never had this conversation. However, if you are going to fully cooperate with us in this transaction, we will compensate you with 25% of the total cash after the mission is accomplished. Like I said earlier, we are a GO and waiting for your response. This is a very serious deal and I wouldn't be asking for your help if I am not convinced that this is not going to bring any harm to you or your family, or put you in a risky position. We have worked the kinks out and am very convinced this is gonna be successful.

Once we get a positive response from you with the info requested, we will proceed into the next step and I will give you further instructions. I hope I can rely on your sense of discretion. Write back soon buddy.

In God we trust,

Bill

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Top Carpenter Films

There's this other blog I saw that's listing the Top 5 John Carpenter films. There's 2 guys separately listing one flick each week.

They posted their pick for the #5 and it is this:
Guy1: Escape from New York. Guy2: The Thing

Uh...say what? Further reading shows that they both consider Assault on Precinct 13 to be a superior movie to the above flicks.

I can't explain this. If you don't believe me, see for yourself.

So, as a public service, here are the ACTUAL TOP 5 John Carpenter movies ever.

The Thing
Halloween
Escape From New York
Big Trouble In Little China
Prince of Darkness
Starman

See? It was a trick question. There's actually 6.

You may switch The Thing and Halloween as the top flicks without being penalized, and the others can move slightly, but if your list differs significantly then you need an attitude adjustment.(No, the Fog does NOT belong on this list)

You're welcome.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

So...how do you follow that bleakness?

Various tidbits.

I was at the store the other day, and a man walked in with his kid who is maybe 8 years old. The kid is talking on a cell phone. The man follows the kid around as he takes a tour around the store, all the time with the phone to his ear. The kid looks like he couldn't care less about comic books.

Then he leaves. Total time in the store: maybe 60 seconds. Sign of the times when an 8 year old walks into a comic store talking on a cell phone and not giving a shit about comics...

Finished the final edit of Bounty. It's 87 minutes. The rep wants a few screeners and press kits, which may be good news. Right now, distribution is for shit.

The Oscars sucked this year. And what was with that bitch Monique? Did you hear her speech? Man...she's like, "I'm so glad the Academy acknowledge the performance and not the politics."

As if--if she didn't win--that meant the award went to the inferior performance because of politics. Because, clearly, her performance was the best.

And then the rest of her speech was spoken with the biggest chip on her shoulder...I wanted to slap her upside her head. Ho--I mean, Mo--you just won an Oscar. Try not to be such a bitch.

The rest of the Oscars was boring as shit. Ben Stiller was pretty funny, but the rest was just one big snooze.

For the record, my mother and I tied in the Oscar pool with 17 right apiece. That never happens. No bragging rights this year to either of us.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Worst Day In A Long Time


Not really sure I even want to blog about this; don't think I want to remember it. Maybe I'll delete it some day.

I finally convinced my wife this week that postponing putting our dog down was just worse for her(Shayna, the dog). So my wife made an appointment for today.

She had a hard time sleeping. She lay on the couch or on the floor next to Shayna. Called out of work.

I got three hours of sleep. The worst part of putting an animal down is that they simply don't know what's coming. They trust you to do what's right for them. They look at you like, "Hey, we going for a fun trip?"

And while Shayna's eyes had cataracts, they still looked at us the same way.

My wife took her for a walk before we left. She hasn't gone on walks in a long time, since she has a hard time walking, but she went this time, and gladly.

You'd like to think she knew it was a special day. She was a smart dog. Truth to tell, the only dog I've ever liked--including the crap dog we have now. But she's just a dog, so I'm sure she had no idea.

We took her to the animal hospital. My wife held her the whole time and she lay there no problem; that's a sign right there, since she was never a cuddly dog. Very independent.

They put us in a room, asked some questions and examined her, tried to assure us "it was time", and then they took Shayna to set up an I.V., brought her back in and gave us a few minutes.

The hardest part was my wife, who insisted on talking. To me. To the dog. It made it that much more uncomfortable.

--Did I mention this was the exact animal hospital I had to take my cat to years back when I had her put down for her kidney disease? You can read the blog about that if you can find it--

We told them we were ready. The lady vet brought in the three tubes--the macabre part of me whispered that it really was like lethal injection for criminals.

She said the first is the "medication". I don't know what that means. The second is anesthesia. The third stops the heart.

The vet injected them slowly, one after the other. Shayna lay there peacefully while my wife stroked her head. She closed her eyes and they stayed closed--the macabre part of me noticed she didn't wet herself or anything when she died; strong to the end.

My wife choked back a sob. I could lie and say I wasn't bothered. I'm tough, and cold, and uncaring like I was back when I was young. But truthfully I had to not blink to keep the tearing in my eyes from streaming out.

The vet said she was very sorry, and then the weird part--my wife and I both turned and without looking back we walked straight out to the car like nothing happened. It felt like a dream.

I can't write anything about death that hasn't been written. The sense of loss, of emptiness. The part of the day or night when you forget the loved one is dead, and you look for them.

Pet or relative, it all pretty much seems the same. Shitty.

Friday, March 05, 2010

I type the same thing 12 times...

It's like...update Facebook status. Post on Twitter. Think about(but don't) posting on Myspace.

Then go blog about whatever it is. Jesus...too much.

Anyway, long story short, saw Hot Tub Time Machine at a preview last night. Great 80's soundtrack, incredibly funny, unapologetically stupid...just a lot of fun.

Rob Corddry steals the show. There's some horrible green screen in the beginning--it's so bad you KNOW they have to be aware of it, but they don't care. And you know what? For once, neither did I, because it's pretty clear everybody involved is having a lot of fun with the film.

If you grew up in or around the 80's I'd go check this out. Perfect flick if you need a little pick-me up. (also, do yourself a favor and look up the RED BAND TRAILER) for the flick, not the all ages one below...

The Red Band will get you closer to what the flick is really like.