Thursday, April 26, 2018

Web Site Designing For Phones Can Suck My Dick



Man, I swear to Christ that if I could go back in time and kill either Hitler or Steve Jobs as a baby, it would be Steve Jobs. Sure, a lot of people died because of Hitler, but the world ended up changing in a better way because of it.

Can't say the same for Jobs, can you? People are more anti-social. They can't put the fucking phones down, whether it's while they're watching a movie in a theater or even driving, for fuck's sake.

And now, on top of it all, I have to design my web site so it looks fine no matter if their phone is an old iphone(small) or a new Samsung(large). It's fucking insane.

After looking into a while, I figure I'm going to do the "easier" thing, which is to simply check what the person hitting my site is using, and if it's a mobile device, I'll direct them to a SUPER simple version of my site that will work on any mobile device. It's gonna basically suck, but I don't have time to fuck with this.

(and yeah, Stewie, I looked into Wordpress, and I guess the biggest problem with it is that they want to charge me a monthly fee to use it--$18 a month. I'm not paying a monthly fee--I already do that for my domain space)

I would love to just, you know, make movies. Write/direct. But instead I gotta be a web designer, a dvd/blu ray designer, a social media guru, a gigolo(okay, that's on me), a graphic designer, and more.

It's tiring. I am literally too old for this shit.

---

My wife's aunt died a couple of days ago, and because there are so few of them left in decent shape, I not only had to go to the funeral but I had to be a pall bearer also.

I don't do funerals. I don't do churches, period. The insanity of people all pretending that their made-up deity is real, while scoffing at the absurdity of the other people's deities...man, the hypocritical nature of it all gets to me.

The people that wrote their holy book would have shit their pants and bowed down to me if I showed them a stun gun. Hell, maybe even just a cigarette lighter.

So I'm there amidst a bunch of religious people as they do their prayers--responsive prayers, which just feels cult-like. You know, the pastor's like "The Lord Keep You" and all of a sudden the rest of the people in church are like "AND ALSO YOU". It's hard to keep a straight face.

I liked the lady(her aunt). She was a bit talky, like most of that family, but she was nice enough. But hey, she was 98 years old. Even her son was ready for her to go--she was in rough shape the last year.

I dunno. Can you tell my mood is just not fucking good?

Not helping--tonight I drink my last Coke Zero. Yes, the 100+ two-liters are now gone. I'm not gonna drink that new shit they put out; it tastes like ass. I'm also not going to buy any Coke products any more(except the Slurpee, but that can't be helped)

Gotta find a replacement. I drink so much water that I just NEED something different around 2am at night. Something fizzy.

---

Was going to continue work on the 2nd Halloween book, but then I'm like, "Why bother?" I make so little money on them that I'm not sure it's worth it. The first one I did because I wanted to, and it was fun to immerse myself in Halloween all year long.

But now that I've been working on the new one a bit, I remember just HOW MUCH work it was. And I can do all that work while Amazon collects 80% of the money that comes in? Fuck, man.

I gotta go out and blow off some steam somehow. At this point it's not going to take much to finally push me over the edge.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Bored of This


btw--why can't we get a good Critters 1&2 Blu Ray? Shout Factory keeps releasing mostly garbage--how about hit this up?

So anyway, I'm kinda tired of doing the blog. It's been a fuckton of year, but it gets to the point where it just seems like I'm saying the same thing. On occasion I got something to put up, but really this was always just sort of a journal I was keeping for myself.

It helps me keep dates clear, cuz if I don't remember what year something happened, I just search the blog for whatever it is and I can find when it happened.

Not much lately. Pushed Fountain again. The weather won't get above 49 at night. My next shot will be May 12th. If it's still fucking cold then, I may just say fuck it. I've already spent around $500 on it and not shot a frame.

Got some music from the wrap. Putting music on a movie is always a highlight for me, because really--until that movie has music, it never REALLY feels like a movie. Once there's music going...yeah, man.

It's sounding good. It's just the opening titles and the next 3 minutes, but it sets the mood well. Goes nicely with the picture. Terry's doing this and one other section.

I sent the Pumpkin Trail to Ben, the other composer. He'll be doing the synth stuff. Called him a couple of days later to chat. I didn't want to give him an inkling of my feelings until I'd spoken to him. I asked him what he thought. He seemed to enjoy it, and had some ideas about it.

So I said, "Hey, I'm open to hear whatever you think works", and then I told him how campy I thought it was. I said I didn't want to steer him one way or the other as far as campy vs serious/scary stuff. I think he's going to go with serious/scary stuff with some slightly lighter stuff when there's joking.

----

The DP from FOC1 and 2 was in town doing some work for my DP on GOH. (that's a lot of acronyms) I went up to visit him since they'd be wrapped by 7pm. (these slackers finish on time)

Watched them shoot some PSAs and then went over to watch a gigantic bonfire that can't be legal in Jared's backyard. Saw some footage and chatted for a while. I don't get to hang out with the people I actually like all that much, so it was nice.

This was our mini FOC2 reunion pic:

Mun's finger doesn't seem to be growing back very fast. I mentioned it to him and he said he was noticing that.

The best part was Jared telling me if I needed someone to get weed from, give him a call. I laughed and showed him my card. I'm like, "I'm okay..."

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

FML



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Friday, April 06, 2018

A Special Little Treat For Ya



I'm gonna let ya see some un-color corrected, not final footage from Ttory 2. So you can feel my pain too.

First off is this clip. I'd like you to Full Screen it and watch it, and let me know if you notice the problem. Watch it a second time if you don't spot it. If you still don't spot it, good.


The problem, which I really can't fix at this point, is that the guy in the rear is wearing glasses in two of these shots when he's not supposed to be wearing them at all. The actor has a hard time seeing without them, and kept putting them on between takes, and forgetting to take them back off.

Without a continuity person on set--cuz seriously, we had a crew of two if you don't count me--it was hard to catch on long shots. I'm shooting, and with a small monitor, so I didn't notice sometimes. On the 2nd shot, where they're coming toward us, I DID notice--and we did it again, but the takes aren't as good.

I sent the clip to Zig a while back to see if he noticed, and he didn't. I figure when it's on the big screen for the premiere you'll see it, but otherwise it should be passable. Fuck it.

Also take a look at that first shot of Phil's face--did I mention that he had a staph infection that day? (unknown to everyone at the time) His face is FUCKED, and day two looks kinda swollen.

It's all part of my luck.

Next up--this is one of the pieces I've been bitching about working on in AE. I think it's about as good as I can make it. The first shot looks WAY better than it used to, I can tell you that. Still looks very CGI-ish, but what are you gonna do?


----

In other news, Premiere got an update that's pretty cool. They used to have this thing in speed grade where you could color match clips. But speed grade was a piece of shit designed by a madman.

They've now got it integrated into the color system built into the program under color wheels. And it's SWEET. I have a couple of shots in the film that don't match that great, and I've done my best to match them by eye--but I went ahead and tried their color match and it looks WAY better than my try. And you can tweak the settings after it takes its shot too.

-----------

Fuck sake, the last segment is SOOOOOO cursed. No matter what I do, nobody can work the same days. The weather continues to be fucked. Also, I need some dead birds.

I know, right? I've been contemplating going out and shooting some with a bb gun like I used to do in high school. I'm sure some people will find that barbaric and blah blah blah, but I would reply back with "ART".

I need them for a scene. Technically I could composite some in for far-off shots, but I definitely need a couple for reals to sell it. I've seen some fake birds I could MAYBE make work. MAYBE. But it would be a lot more work than, you know, just shooting some.

:)


Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Yeah, Still Cold



Okay, technically we're 17 days out from shooting the last segment of Ttory 2. The weather's not warming up much. My forecast for next week still shows the 40s at night. I'm prolly gonna have to push it at least another week.

We found an actress for the naked role. She's got a pretty big following--over 30,000 on FB. She wanted to talk to me before she took the role, so I let her call me. She seems nice, seems eager, but managed to call herself a "scream queen" which made me shake my head.

Not that she "wanted to be", but that she WAS. She's done like 4 shorts and two features you never heard of. No biggie. She's done nudity in film and photo.

But she's asking questions like "So is if full nudity, or just breast and butt?" after I've told her all the details. I explain it again on the phone, and she seems cool with it.

Then I speak to someone who knows her that said she'd been signed up for a photographer workshop, where photogs pay to take pictures of naked women. She got flown in, then decided not to do any naked photos.

So you can see why all of a sudden I'm getting queasy.

She's also vegan, which is a pain in the dick on having food on set, and she apparently keeps her hair very short and just wears wigs. That means we're gonna have to soak a wig in fake blood, which will probably ruin it.

Did I mention I was gonna replace the one actor with Frank, from FOC1 and FOC2? As a sheriff, would be a cool little return role for him. Well, his job has him now working that weekend. So I recast AGAIN.

Still gotta get the main guy role replaced. Had a local actor in mind, FB chatted him up and he said he's interested, call him in the evening. I did, left a message. Heard nothing. Called again, got his machine again. It's been a week. Not sure what the fuck goes on with people around here who pretend they're looking for roles.

And still have a lot of little props to get, gotta go to one of the locations to double check my shooting script since it was set at the old location before the guy sold it and moved.

I CAN NOT WAIT to be done this segment.  It's dangerous, cuz parts of me wanna half-ass this whole thing to get it done, but I really want the segment to be good. Must push the inner half ass back inside.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Can winter just fucking give up now. Please?



This is some fucking bullshit. First day of spring and we get like 6 inches of snow on the ground. I took the drone out and got some footage just for fun. Took the kid with me too.

Parked in an empty parking lot, put the drone down and launched it about 4 feet in the air. Started fiddling with the controls on the remote to get the settings I want, and some fucking tool in a car almost drives right into the drone.

I barely had time to lift the drone into the air to dodge the car. The fucking douchebag looks at me as he drives by me--he's talking on the fucking phone to his ear. He's got all this fucking space in the parking lot, but he's decided to drive right next to me.

Seriously, people are just the fucking worst.

Here's a random clip of me taking it up over near my house.


I FINALLY made some headway into the AE work on the scene I've been fucking with. It's now to the point where I am not completely embarrassed by it. Took a lot of trial and error, and like 18 individual streams of particle-effects.

Rendering times are LONG.

-----------

The A-zon stats have sunk back to their terrible lows. Part of it is that I took our best-watched flick at the moment--the making of GOH--and made it pay-only. The interesting part is that over 100 people have now paid for that, which translates into probably about the same as it would have earned if it had been free, but with far less people watching it.

A-zon has frozen their earning metrics though, so you can't see just how much you're getting paid for the minutes at this point. They still show you the actual minutes, but you'll have to do the math yourself for now. All of March is blank for earnings.

----------

If all goes right, a month from now I'll have the final segment for Ttory 2 shot. Of course, why should all go right when nothing's gone right yet, concerning that segment?



Monday, March 19, 2018

Back From FL



Went to Florida for an auction. NICE weather, man. Like 80's, mid 70's at night. It was at a nice resort, too. Here's some pics I took.


 This one was the flattened panorama shot from my balcony. I took the kindle out there one evening and read. Man, fuck winter in its fucking face.

The auction was pretty easy, which was nice. Only issue was the major fog when we were supposed to leave. The plane was already there, but the pilots who were flying in got diverted to another airport. Our flight was pushed back, then pushed back again, then AGAIN to 10:20am(originally scheduled to leave at 8:35am).

Luke, who is neurotic, was like--there's another flight to Baltimore that leaves at 10:15am. He wants to get on that, because he thinks our flight is going to continue to get pushed.

So I say--sure, let's see how much it is to get on. It's no charge, but we'd get C53 and C54 so we'd have shitty seats. Luke says fuck it, and charges us so we can A10 and A11--it's $40 apiece, but I think Luke likes our system--which is he takes a window seat and I take the aisle, and we puff out like puffer fish so nobody sits between us.

It worked on the way out, but this flight was fuller--apparently only two seats not sold. Well, nobody took our middle seat. Worked again.

------

Time for the serious Ttory 2 push. I have to go foley the entire final scene as soon as I can. I'm not sure if I can do it at the actual location, as it's close to a road PLUS has so many lookie-loos, which is why we didn't get the audio when we originally shot the scene--people chatting, wandering in constantly.

If I can't make it work there then I have to find a backup location.

I took an afternoon nap and then went back to work on the AE work. I'm getting somewhere, but man is it slow work. Lot of trial and error.

Took some more whacks at the Mad Gathering segment. I'm going to export it for the composer soon and get it to him soon.

-----

My kid's not going to school tomorrow.

Shit--lemme back up. I just looked and I guess I didn't mention this on the blog. (Did I mention my 14 year old son has gotten way more interested in girls lately?)

I walked in on my kid and he's on his ipad. He clicks it off with what can only be described as a mortified look on his face. Normally he acts all weird and never wants us to see what he's looking at--when I check it's always some music video.

This time I pull it away from him--and he STRUGGLES with me--but I take a look. He's google image searched "naked women". There are a lot of pictures of naked women, cuz I never turned on safesearch.

This.
Is.
Awkward.

I don't shame him. I just tell him--"Hey bud, it's normal to be curious about this at your age, but you shouldn't be looking at this stuff right now." He sort of blamed it on google, which I found funny but after he left...

I checked out his browser history. The whole thing started about a week earlier with him searching for "girls in underwear". So who knows? Maybe google started suggesting stuff to him after that. The funny part is that at one point he googled "two girls naked kissing".

Now I'm stuck with trying to figure out how to explain sex to an autistic kid who isn't really all that communicative. (I also turned safesearch on)

Anyway, last night--since he's not going to school tomorrow due to some ridiculous testing that makes most students come in 3.5 hours late so we're just not sending him in--I was like, wanna watch a movie? He's always up for that.

So I opened up my Shout Factory Teen Wolf and we watched it. He REALLY liked it. You can never tell what he's going to like, but he was super excited for the van surfing and then that scene comes up where the girl drops her towel and she's only wearing a bra and underwear, and then she drops the bra so you see her naked back.

I think he liked that part too.

When the movie was over he wanted to know if the movie was "ours", meaning--can he take it and watch it? I said no, it's a blu ray(which he doesn't have a player) and besides that--he ain't taking any of my Shout Factory discs.

Movie's still a lot of fun.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Neighbor Issues Again


Bad news...I'm gonna get a new neighbor again.

This is all about the drunk neighbor that would come over at night and knock on our door, or sometimes wait for us to come home, then come out and slur at us. He was funny, mildly annoying at times, but perfectly decent as a neighbor.

I mentioned before how his wife just left one day, taking his two kids. He told us, at the time, that she was going to Pennsylvania to stay with her sick mom for a while.

That while turned into years, so it wasn't hard to figure out that they were done. Eventually he started bringing girls home--and that was the last story I told, about his girlfriend asked me for a ride home.

Last week he tells my wife some story about how his (now) ex-wife hasn't been paying the mortgage, even though he's been sending her money for it and child support. He has to be out in a couple of days.

Also, he suddenly has no electricity and asks if he can run an extension cord from our house just for a small heater. (He asked this of my wife, and she said yes. I think we know what I would have said)

The whole story is nonsense. The only reason your power would be off is if you didn't pay the bill. And there's no way he didn't get a notice about the mortgage not being paid, even if she WAS still paying for it from PA, which is bullshit I'm sure anyway.

Well, he emptied out the house, putting so much garbage on the curb that I'm surprised they took it all. Last night he stopped by to say see ya later--he's moving into an apartment not that far away.

And the new waiting begins. Will the new neighbors, whenever the house is sold, suck? Will they be nosy, or noisy? Will they have a shitty dog that barks non-stop, and forces me to consider options to kill it covertly?

Man...
----------
We went over to continue watching that new Star Trek TV show with my dad. We'd watched the first four very-mediocre episodes a couple of months ago, but never had time to continue.

I took another three over there. My dad kept making faces, because the show is just not getting better. I'm not sure how its RT score is so high(82%)--though the audience score is only 56%.

There's really NO characters you give much of a shit about. The character they keep trying to paint as the hero is pretty crappy--they keep disobeying orders non-stop, which strains credulity as why the fuck would Starfleet continue to put up with it? (she is literally court-martialed in the first episode for mutiny)

The Orville is so much a better Trek show that it's insane.

My dad doing rehab, but his speech is still pretty bad. The more concerning thing is some personality changes that we're not sure what to make of.

For instance, he seems cranky a lot. He was always pretty mellow. We could chalk this up to maybe being frustrated at not being able to speak right, but my mom says he's also not doing things he used to do--like, he made coffee every day before the stroke. Now he doesn't, even though he's fully capable.

He used to eat certain things, but now he's not interested in them, and when my mom says, "You used to love so and so", he frowns like she's crazy.

Dunno. Gave me an idea for a story about a person who has a stroke and turns into a completely different person, but then I'm wondering if that's what that movie Regarding Henry was about. I can't remember.

---------
Back at AE for the Ttory 2 segment. I'm ready to commit suicide.

So, I mean, it's going great.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Happy Anniversary


I always forget to pay myself on the back, but tomorrow is the 13th year of me doing this blog. Nutty, right? Like, on a regular basis, even...

Like always, I refuse to quit anything.

You can send me cake and flowers if you want.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Could I Be Busier?



Wow--you know, I have this folder full of funny/sexy pics that I add to whenever I see one that amuses me or is hot. I post them in this blog, and then move them to another POSTED folder so I don't re-use them.

Apparently I'm not great at that. I just saw that I used the same photo twice in the span of 2 weeks...I'm gonna blame the pot.

Been slammed the past couple of weeks. Did I mention that I'm re-doing my biz web site? It hasn't been updated(other than the News section) since roughly 2003. It looks like it...so I mean if you're missing the early 2000's, just go visit my site and it'll take you BACK, man.

I'm not much of a designer though. The "look" and whatnot isn't something I'm great at. Like, if I saw a web site I liked, I could totally reproduce it--the programming isn't a problem.

So I looked at that company that everybody is using. Rhymes with the band Kix.

I took its "design a site" for a spin, and actually came up with a decent-looking site. I mean, it's fairly routine in how many sites look nowadays, but it certainly looks more modern. But then I looked at what they charge to simply put this site on MY web server--it's like $15 a month!

That's more than I fucking pay for the actual domain AND web space that I have. It's insane.

I thought...fuck, man. I have the entire Adobe Suite at my disposal. I can just re-create the site with Dreamweaver. Then I took a look, and oddly enough Adobe has TWO programs that create web sites. Muse is the other one.

I don't know why they both exist. Muse is newer, so I went ahead and learned how it works. It's powerful, but fuck is it retarded in many respects. For instance--no backup saving. None. Not available.

Is that a problem? Let me tell you--if you're clicking in elements on the page, and you're not on the element you THINK you're on(and it's REAL easy for this to happen if you're not watching the Layers menu on the right)), you may hit the delete key and nothing happens.

You THOUGHT.

Then later you figure out you deleted an entire layer of shit from a different page in the web site, and you ain't getting it back. And there's no backup to load up.

This happened to me. Pretty fucking irritating. But I re-created the page almost exactly after a couple of days of work. Then I export as an html, and get some crazy CSS missing shit when I try to load it in a web page.

Apparently this is a known issue--people are talking about it.

Fucking pisses me off. Get your shit together, Adobe. I'm paying for this stuff.

Doesn't make a huge deal YET, as I'm not ready to debut the site because it has the poster for Ttory2 on it, and I don't want to show that until I'm ready to reveal it.

---------

Continuing work on the adaptation. On page 37. Chapter 11 in the book. Condensing a little bit, but continuing on the "include everything" plan. If I get to page 90 and I'm not near the end though, I'm gonna start really figuring out what can go.

I still plan to do a 2nd version. That version will have a little more of "me" in it. This version is mostly straight out of the book, only veering when I need to figure out a way to include backstory.

It will be VERY challenging to do all this with $250K. There's a lot of locations. And we gotta find some run-down towns that we can sort of make look subtle apocalyptic. Like, not Mad Max kind of apocalyptic--what I love about the book is how realistic this end-of-the-world seems to be. Frankly, it could be happening right now with the way the world and people's health problems are. (hell, I HAVE some of the symptoms of the disease killing people off...)

---

Had a paid video to shoot and edit. They hit me up last minute on it, but I don't turn down money jobs. So I went, shot it, edited it and uploaded them within 2 days.

Next week we go to Florida for an auction. Not looking forward to it. These things are pretty physically draining for me.

-----

Ttory 2 work continues. My brother, who's working on the most complicated CGI effect sent me a rough test, and now I'm worried. It's okay, but it defiintely looks CGI and isn't exactly the way I envisioned it.

I'm not blaming him--frankly, this is some ILM level shit I need for it to really work.

So I'm back to doing some tests on my own--basically trying to use actual physical elements instead of whole-sale Cinema 4D stuff. The problem is that I had to shoot those elements(which are dozens of pieces of paper falling to the ground) on location. No green screen.

Which means I now have to rotoscope them one by one, frame by frame.It took me 4 hours to do THREE pieces of paper falling. And I'm not even sure this is gonna work.

Composer has the wrap minus the end. I guess he's working on stuff. Haven't heard back after the first couple of emails. Not sure what that means. Like, does he not like it? He has no questions? Or--because I told him he has plenty of time--maybe he's just fooling around with themes and sounds.

I may have gotten the end-credit music. I'm excited about that. It's a fucking GREAT song by a great synth group who does a ton of great stuff. It's actually hard to pick which song by them that I wanted.

They said yes, I've sent them the contract, so if they sign then we're all good. I really wish I could make Turbokid kind of movie so I could just fill it with all the great synth shit out there now. There are some incredible amateurs working out there now, mostly in Europe.

----

Watching Absentia on Am-zon. It's NOT the movie and it has nothing to do with it. It's got the chick from Castle in it, and it's pretty good. Probably could have been 8 episodes rather than 10, but worth a watch.

Also got out to see Annihilation. Decent. Not Ex Machina great, but still entertaining with some neat stuff in it.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Doings


Took two solid days and re-read the book I'm gonna try to adapt, making chapter summaries. I told Malfi I'm going to write a script too, just to get even more familiar with the story, and we can compare scripts and mash the best parts of both.

He's like fuck it, you write the script. I think he wanted me to anyway, so no biggie.

There's some serious challenges in it--namely all the exposition that comes courtesy of our main character thinking about things that have happened or things he knows.

For instance, there's something called "Worlders" in the book. The first time it's brought up, the invisible narrator tells us what they are. About 100 pages later someone else also explains it. So my choices are, when it's asked the first time, ignore it and leave the audience wondering for 30 minutes. Or have someone else ask "What's a Worlder?", and then it gets answered there for the audience.

The other option is to go with voice-over narration. I know, calm down.You've seen Adaptation or read a book that told you that it's a lazy story-telling device.

I assure you that is only so if you do it in a boring way. Frankly, there are some stories that can't be told without it.

And if you wanna name some lazy, bad movies that have it then I guess you'd be talking Shawshank Redemption, Goodfellas, Big Lebowski, Citizen Kane, Fight Club, and more. Trash movies, right?

Last night I started working on the script. The non-voiceover way. It's running long already. I'm 11 pages in, and only on chapter 4(of 66 chapters). I don't want this script coming in over 100 pages, so things have to start getting streamlined soon, or I may just put it all in and then start going in and chopping.

Then I'll probably do another draft with the voice-over instead, and give 'em both to Malfi and see which one he likes best.

------

My dad's getting set up with a speech therapist this week. He had the added problem that the week of his stroke, he had a temporary crown put in one of his front teeth. It was bothering him the night before his stroke--he told my mom on the phone that he was calling the dentist in the morning to have them take a look.

One of the ways we know what time my dad had the stroke that Friday morning is because he called the dentist that morning about 8:15am to set up an appointment that afternoon--an appointment he never kept.

Well, the tooth came out a couple of days ago. Now when he smiles, he looks goofy and he knows it.

He's still having issues saying things right. Like, on occasion he'll get a lot of a sentence out but there will be one or two words that just don't make sense, so it's hard to parse the whole sentence.

He'll get it.

------

Hey, the wife is taking the kid to Disney because his high school band is going to play there. They'll be gone from Wednesday to Saturday, so vacation time for me!

------

The diet continues, though slowly, and with lots of cheating. I've only lost about 12 pounds in a month or so. But I'm not killing myself. As long as it keeps going, I can keep this up no problem.


Friday, February 23, 2018

A Post. Crazy Times.



They brought my dad home on Monday evening. (or was it Tuesday? It's all a blur)

Went over to see him. It's nothing short of amazing how much progress he's made in only a couple of days. He's dressed normally and walking very close to regular. The only time you can really tell that something has happened is if he tries to talk. It's mumbled words that don't make sense.

And when he tries to do something with his hands, it gets dicey. But face it--this was him on Friday:
And then this is him at home on (checking) Tuesday at home with one of his newest grandkids:
It's insane, in a good way. They're working on getting a speech therapist for him, so we're all hoping that within 6 months this can all be just a very bad memory.

--------

Sent the Ttory2 wrap to the composer. I keep second-guessing myself. Even after watching it with Zig, I keep seeing things I feel like maybe I should cut a little tighter.

-------

Maybe I buried the lead a bit. Tonight I went out with Malfi again. Met him at a restaurant he knows the owner of not that far from me. Super nice guy(the owner, not that sonuvabitch Malfi)--says he owns like 3 acres of land, all woods, if we wanna shoot something there, or shoot in the restaurant if we want.

Malfi had asked me if I was interested in shooting the music video for his band's first release, which would be cool, but nowhere near as cool as the next thing he dropped later.

He's like, "Hey, remember we talked about (name of my favorite book he's written)?" and I'm like, "Yeah." He's says, "Not sure if you were serious, but what do you think if I write the script and we try to raise the money, and you direct it?"

And I'm like, Fuck. Yeah.

So he's gonna write it in the next couple of weeks and shoot it to me. I'll make any little changes I think are necessary, then break it down so we can figure out if we can possibly do it justice on a budget of around $250K.

By far my largest budget, but right in the ballpark where I think we have a shot at making real money.

It'll be a lot of pressure on me, because as much as I don't like to fail on my own stuff, I DEFINITELY don't wanna let him down, and turn his great story into a piece of shit.

I think I'll go into fully believing--and not just cuz it may be true--that this will be the last film I direct, so I'm gonna put everything I have into it. Leave it all on the field, as they say.

Pretty exciting, though.


Monday, February 19, 2018

Bad Couple of Days

Not looking forward to this post, and I'm foregoing the usual T&A meme because I don't want to make light of it.

My wife never shakes me awake. She just calls out my name and I'll wake up eventually.

Only time she'd ever woke me up by shaking me was on 9/11.

Until Friday afternoon. I awoke to her shaking me, still groggy from a few hours of sleep, and said, "What?"

"Your dad's had a massive stroke!" she said in a panicked voice. "You have to get to the hospital now."

Quick backstory cuz I just searched, and I guess I never went into it, but about 10 years ago my dad had a heart attack. They had to do a quadruple bi-pass on him. When I went to the hospital to see him, it was insane how old and frail he suddenly looked.

He was taking something for his high blood pressure, but had stopped because when he smoked(which he wasn't supposed to be doing) it made him sick...so naturally he stopped taking the drug rather than stop the smoking.

Swore up and down he was done with smoking, that this was the wake up call, that he'd almost died and that was it.

Anyway, months later he took up the smoking again in secret, but if you're a non-smoker then you know how easy it is to tell when a smoker gets near you. He regained his strength and look for the most part, and you'd never know he had the heart attack.

Back to me waking up groggy. I throw clothes on and bolt to the emergency room--which luckily is the nearest hospital to me. I get there, get a visitor bracelet and head in and here's the fucked up part. I honestly don't remember who in my family was in the room with my dad at the time, or what was said, or anything.

Other than how my dad looked again. Not only old and frail, but the right part of his face sagged unnaturally, very disturbingly. A doctor or nurse or somebody asked him if he knew where he was, and gibberish came out. Like, actual words, but none of them made sense, and all with only half a mouth because the right side of his face just drooped.

(and my thought is along the lines, "Oh Jesus, he's like insanely smart, the smartest person I know, please don't tell me he's brain damaged now...")

They asked him the date. More nonsense. They asked him his name. More nonsense, and a desperate look in his eye because he couldn't say what he wanted to say. They started asking him if his name was Bob--he shook his head. Was his name Mary? He shook his head. Was his name Paul? He nodded.

At some point my memory comes back. They'd only let two of us in the room at a time, but it's not like you really wanted to stay there. He couldn't communicate with you, and it was hard to put on a brave face and smile.

I went out in the hall to talk with my sister in law, then found out the scoop from my younger brother.

My mom is out of town visiting my sisters in Wisconsin, and helping one of them out because they have a new baby.  My aunt--the one with cancer who's been living at the house for a couple years now while my dad basically takes care of her--she was admitted to the hospital a few days earlier because she's having pain and mind-addled issues.

That's a whole other story(and she's literally in the same hospital a few floors up from him when he's brought in. Someone went upstairs and told her, "Your brother in law had a massive stroke and is on the way to the hospital", and she says, "Can you tell him to bring my pajamas?"  And this is the fucked up part about how she's been since my parents took her in--we're not sure if she said that because her brain is addled, or that's just how self-obsessed she is)

Friday morning--coincidentally my mother's birthday--she gets a call from my dad, but he hangs up immediately. She calls him back, and the phone just rings and rings, and finally he picks up. But he's making no sense talking to her.

She hangs up and calls my brother Mike who lives 5 minutes away. "Call an ambulance and get over to the house--your dad's in trouble."

He calls an ambulance and jumps in his car, and is surprised to find the ambulance at his house BEFORE him.(nobody else had called them) The paramedics are outside looking for a way in, so Mike lets them in.

My dad is sitting on the floor, his back against the wall behind his recliner. The two dogs are standing in front of him, barking ferociously at the paramedics, who wouldn't approach my dad until the dogs were gone. Apparently they even growled and snapped at my brother, who they know because he's always over there.

My brother got the dogs away and the paramedics checked him and rushed him off. My mom booked the first flight home, which wouldn't arrive until 9pm that night, and she was bringing my sisters.

Back to hospital time. The doctor comes out to talk to all of us. My dad has had a massive stroke, and there's a clot in his brain. They think he's a candidate for a procedure they do at the university in Baltimore where they will insert some sort of device into his crotch, take it all the way up into the brain, grab the clot, and pull it out.

Sounds insane to me, but the doctor says it's actually a procedure with an extremely high success rate, and on top he tells us that a high percentage of the patients will literally walk out of the hospital the next day, and you might not even know they had a stroke.

Sounds too good to be true, right?

The doctor says they're just waiting for the university to approve him as a patient for the procedure, and if so, they'll rush him off in an ambulance to Baltimore.

He gets approved. We're all going to meet at the university. I go home and grab a shower and a bite to eat, figuring I'm probably going to be up there for a while and I literally haven't eaten anything in ten hours. I get to the hospital pretty quick to find my brothers in the waiting room eating pizza.

My older brother says that he went in when they originally got there and there was a doctor testing my dad. He said that the doctor tested my dad's right hand and it moved some, which they found strange.

There's no word on what's going on yet. The doctor's going to come out soon and tell us something, and damn if he doesn't. He's Indian, and looks like he's twenty. He purses his lips oddly.

He says the clot has been breaking up on its own, and it's now too small to operate on--this is bad news. Because again--if they could get it out, perhaps 100% recovery. The doctor also says they can definitely see the stroke damage on the left side of his brain--hence, the sagging and non-movement on the right side of his body.

He gives us this news in a peculiar way. Like, if you took your dying mother to the hospital and the doctor came out and said, "Well, she's not dead but we had to cut off both legs and both arms. But she's not dead." Like, I guess we should be happy?

He says right now they're going to try to get him in a room a few floors lower(we were in the ICU but we'd be going to MICU which is medium intensive care unit I think).

We wait. And wait. We exchange turns going in the room to hang out with our dad, who mostly just sleeps. On the occasions he opens his eyes and stares at you, it's bad. You can see the frustration behind his eyes. He tries to say something and out comes nonsense, and he just grimaces and shakes his head.

They keep telling us the room is getting ready, and soon they'll take him up. Mike tells me the ambulance driver on the way over said that they would tell us that he'd be moved to a room, and they'd keep saying it, but they'd never move him. They said be prepared for that.

Dudes weren't far off. They moved my dad into a room on the fourth floor around 9pm that night. Weird part is that the sag in his face wasn't as noticeable by that point. He also had surprised the doctors by moving his right arm, holding it up for 10 seconds, and also moving his right leg.

My older brother told the story of this other Indian doctor who came in, thinking my dad couldn't move the right side of his body. He said to my dad, "Hold your right arm up." and my dad would hold his right arm up.

The doctor spun his head to my brother with an astonished look. Back to my dad. "Raise your right leg." and my dad did it, and the doctor spun to my brother again, like, "See what I did! I told him to do it, and he was suddenly able to!"

Anyway, my dad can't stand so they keep having to put a catheter in him to drain his bladder. He also can't swallow, so they tried to put a feeding tube into him twice. They failed both times, and I watched one of them, and let me tell you--you do not want a feeding tube put in you while you're awake. The sight, and the sound of him choking as they tried to jam a plastic tube down his throat is not something you're getting out of your head any time soon.

My mom eventually showed up. They were finishing up a catheter, and they pulled the curtain aside, and she strolled in and started singing, "Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me." My dad looked at her and grimaced, and I said, "Want me to put her back on the plane for you?"

He smiled on one side of his face then shook his head, so that was good to see. But then my mom starts whispering to him about what happened that morning, and she says, "I don't know how you answered the phone. God was with you that morning. That was God working."

Now don't get me started on that fucking notion. Like, you're saying God was there to push the answer button on his phone? Man, fucking shame he couldn't have been there when, you know, my dad had a fucking stroke. I mean, obviously God GAVE him the stroke in the first place, right?

But all I say is, in a half-kidding voice, "Or it was a triumph of the human spirit. You know, an amazing will to live."

She got pissed at me.

I left around 10:30pm. My mom was spending the night. I said I'd be back the next day.

----

Saturday

Got to the hospital in the afternoon. I go into the room and am instantly surprised--pleasantly--at how my dad looks. There's definitely more life in him. He's sitting up, for one. (he didn't have the strength for that the previous day) His face isn't sagging as much. If his mouth didn't bend down on the right side, you wouldn't know anything was different.

Still nothing but gibberish for the most part, but at one point that night Paul(my older brother) asked him if he could go the bathroom on his own or if the nurse helped him, and he said, "I can't go the bathroom on my own."

We were both like, "Woah..."

Paul said he was trying to see what my dad could understand. He held up the remote control for the TV and said, "What's this?" My dad said, "Phone." So my brother held up his phone and said, "What's this?" My dad said, "Phone." My brother held both of them out and said, "This is a phone?" and my dad nodded. He held up the remote again. "And this is a phone?" My dad nodded.

But then he held up the remote and asked my dad, "What's this do?" and my dad pointed at the TV. It was weird, he said.

We took shifts. Paul left after a while and I stayed with him by myself until Mike showed up. I had my laptop, so I streamed some Netflix for him. We watched a couple of original Star Treks(he's the one who got me into it when I was like 6). Watched a couple Flash episodes. (he's never seen the show, but loved the comic as a kid)

He can answer yes and no questions. Everything else he simply can't reply to correctly.

My mom spends the night again.

--------

Sunday

Went back today. My sisters were there, and they're a whole 'nother brand of ridiculousness. They'd been there for hours, so they took off after I got there. My dad looked about the same, but apparently he'd gone to the bathroom on his own. Standing and walking already(though the walking is with assistance) was a good thing.

My brother Mike showed up, so we watched another two Star Treks. During the break, my dad stood up and shuffled into the bathroom to piss. Shuffled back out and got in bed on his own, though really slowly.

The nurses don't know much, and there are no doctors around. (they come in every couple of hours to test him or inject him with something or take a blood sample, and he's attached to one of those machines by like 8 wires.

What we hear is that the doctors come in tomorrow, and they're hopeful that my dad can get into rehab by Tuesday or Wednesday. Though we don't know if that's a place he stays all the time, or he goes home and we take him there during the week. We think probably the first, since he's still in very rough shape.

But it's encouraging to see how much progress he's made in only two days. I told him my AC unit is going to need some work done on it soon, so he needs to get better, and he chuckled and shook his head.

More later. But if I go MIA for a while, this is why.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Another Week



Man, was a busy week. Got another hard drive. Formatted it. Partitioned it. Started copying everything from my current hard drive to it.

Then started installing all the programs I use on a daily basis. Chrome, Firefox, Opera. Office. Adobe Suite. (the old CS5 one--I really only use photoshop on this computer) Moviemagic.

Then logging into the million emails/web sites I log in to, figuring out which password I used, and saving it to my computer.

Had a boatload of stuff to pack for eBay. I've been selling actual LOTS of comics to try to get some of them out of my house, and they've actually been selling.

Went back to looking at the Ttory 2 stuff. Tweaking. I'm gonna deliver the wrap to the composer late this week or early next week so he can get started. Then I may send the Pump Trail to the other composer as soon as I'm okay with that. (and the short section with Stewie, since that style fits here better than the other, classical composer)

Saturday went over and watched the fights, and then Molly's Game. A pretty solid feature--very entertaining and well written. Hell, it's Sorkin so you'd expect it.

Tonight I went up and saw Malfi playing guitar, then also singing, in a studio as the mixer worked. It was pretty interesting. My kid would love it there.

Then after we went and drank some beers at some place called Hellas.

Gotta figure out when I'm getting out for V-Day with the wife. We never go ON the day, cuz it's insane. I usually like going the Monday or Tuesday either before it or right after it.

Things I've seen recently:
Tragedy Girls--finally a movie on everybody's best-of list that's not bad. It's not GREAT, but certainly entertaining and well done. With some weird parts for semi-big actors that you wouldn't expect to see in a movie this low budget.

Most of Phillip K. Dick's Electric Dreams--Most of them are pretty good. A couple are definitely in the Black Mirror league.

The current season of Vikings--well, the big question was would this show survive the death of one of its main characters, and the answer is a definite yes. This year was excellent. Was sad to see the final episode, because I would have kept watching. Now I have to wait until next year.

The new Cloverfield movie. It was okay. Interesting enough, but pretty clear that all the monster stuff was jammed in just to make it a Cfield movie.




Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Great News! (He said sarcastically)



I have mentioned that I use two computers regularly, besides my edit computer, right?

I have my old internet computer that's mostly used to log into my business A-zon accounts, and to print labels from eBay(because it has the printer attached), and I stream stuff to my Xbox from this computer.

Tonight, that computer's hard drive died. Whole computer froze, and when I rebooted it...there's no boot disk any more.

For me to use this computer again, I had to re-install Windows, then all the drivers for everything on the computer...but I can't remember which one of these CDs goes to this computer. (I've built three of the machines I have)

And the ethernet is one of the things no working right off the bat, so I can't even use the internet to find drivers for stuff.

Then I have to try to re-install all the programs I use on a daily basis--Photoshop, VLC, winzip, winrar, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, etc. Then try to revisit all my sites and enter in the passwords.

Lot of fucking work.

I'm hoping I didn't lose much on the actual hard drive that went down. It was the old, original Bounty edit hard drive. I had backed it up on another hard drive, so I think the only thing I probably lost were some Word files because Word would always naturally save to the documents folder on the boot drive.

It lasted about 10 years, so I can't complain about the HD life. But now I have to waste what's left of my A-zon credit on another hard drive. (when one goes down, you always order another and start backing up the hard drive you backed the collapsed hard drive on. Always have two copies somewhere...)

But it's really time consuming too. (and I really wanted to order some of the horror blu's that have been on my wish list for a year or more...)

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Asylum Trip 2



My brother Mike and I went back to the abandoned asylum, and this time we took our other brother, who also is getting back into photography. You can find some pics plus some of the details at this blog entry of mine:

http://indyfilmmakeradvs.blogspot.com/

We spent about five hours total, because I'd made plans with my dad to go see Hostiles at 3:45pm.

We showed my older brother the building you go through to get to the main building. It's big, and has lots of shit to photograph. Then we took him to the main building(and we located the morgue this time, but it's pretty unimpressive--VERY small, and there's just one cadaver table.)

Then we made our way to the church, which none of us had been to. It's interesting, but not as much cool shit to shoot.

Then we made a bit of a hike to the furthest building. There was a bus there, so I climbed in for some pics:

On the way--which I didn't mention in the other blog post--we came across a building with barbed wire running fencing all around it, and big tunnels of it on the ground around it. And the barb wire looked BRAND SPANKING NEW. Like, shiny silver.

But the building's door were all busted out, so it's not like they'd be using it for anything. It looked like this:

I looked into it when I got home, and apparently they tried to retro-fit this as one building to house troubled girls or something. This was like 15 years ago or so. It didn't work out, obviously.

I wanted to go look, as I figure there might be stuff in there not as busted up, but we just didn't have time.

I didn't mention, but I also took my drone this time. Not to fly, but I wanted to walk it through one of the hallways to see if I could get anything interesting. (Because the drone, even without flying, has its gimbal--so it's basically a steadicam. Here, this is what I shot, and I didn't try to be steady--and the floor was very rough, with shit on it, so I actually stumbled during this:)


https://youtu.be/xRR_TeclBwo

----

On the Ttory front, have been testing different coloring schemes on the wrap to see what my starting basis will be. (Once I see a "look" I like, I can tweak everything from there for all the scenes. I've found one that I kind of like, so I'll probably go with it.)

---

Met up with my local author buddy again for beers and chat. I think we offended some of the people near us with some of our talk. (apparently loud talk about masturbation isn't acceptable in today's society. To think.)

We also brainstormed some ideas. I may have talked him into letting me adapt Night Parade into a film. I wouldn't wanna try it unless I could get a six figure budget(even if if was $100K). It's a great book, with a great story--and an AMAZING scene.

But he's definitely open to it. Like I told him--really the only reason he's not selling the massive books of the horror giants is lack of exposure. He's definitely getting out there, but he should be much bigger than he is. He's that talented.

He told me the story of the year he was nominated for the Stoker, and how he lost to a book that was a little less worthy than his.

We talked about a way to get Dante some money to direct another flick, but more importantly, we'd be able to drink beers and hang out with Dante since we'd be producers.

Talked about a lot of stuff. He really wants me to come split a table with him at STC--that convention I used to go to before the drive back through traffic drove me insane. I know it would be hella fun, and I'd probably meet up with some of the other authors he hangs out with.

I gotta keep my eye on this Ttory 2 ball. GET. IT. DONE.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

When it Rains It Pours Acid



A-zon has reduced their pay rates to moviemakers by 60%.

I wrote a blog about it here so feel free to check that out first:
http://indyfilmmakeradvs.blogspot.com/

So it appears that my having to push Ttory 2 back is going to hurt me very significantly in the wallet. To think that if I duplicate the performance of the first film--which is certainly not guaranteed--then I'm going to make 40% of what we made there?

I could very easily lose money on the movie, which is hard to believe when we made it as cheap as we did.

It's gratifying yet sour that my instincts regarding A-zon sooner-or-later changing were true. Hence my rush to get Ttory 2 done within a year of the first film.

I am very reactionary, and always looking forward so I'm considering my options. The one I'm thinking about most seriously is getting an aggregator and trying to get the flick out to other venues like Netflix.

Problem is, you're not guaranteed to get accepted there, and they can take up to 90 days to make that decision after you've delivered the film to the aggregator. This means that I need to deliver the film to the aggregator by mid-June. That way if they decline, I'm still ready to launch on A-zon on October 1st.

See, Netflix won't take it if it's playing on Prime, so I can't do both.

Other slight problem is that it'll cost me a grand just to submit to Netflix, and more if I want to submit to other venues.

All this means I have to really push forward to finish the film ASAP. I need to film the remaining segment as soon as the weather is okay outside. Get the pieces to the composers. Work on the trailer. Work on all the art. (you have to deliver 3 different sizes to the aggregator, so I have to fix the poster so it fits those.

Lot of work to do. Lot. Of. Work.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

TMI Part 2


Did you check out yesterday's post? If not, click here to go right to it. Then come back here if you're interested in seeing an even grosser pic.

So today I went in for the surgery. Appointment was at 4pm, but they didn't take me back until 4:30pm. Doc brings me in, takes a look at the growth and winces.

Gets me up on the table and says "Can't numb it well--I'll put some freezing stuff on it but you'll still feel it." He sprays it--and I'm thinking, weird, shouldn't there be a nurse or something with him?--and then he cuts me open.

And says, "Ewww..."

He squeezes, which hurts A LOT, and says, "Aw, that's disgusting." And "Jesus."


I laughed. You expect a doctor to be very objective, very professional. Like, they've seen it all, right?

But what he was doing was basically being a stewardess who hit turbulence, and suddenly screams, "Oh my God we're gonna die!"

I've known him for a long time, so I'm used to it. He kept pushing and squeezing, and man did it hurt. Took a while to get all the pus out. He told me he can't take out the cyst now, because due to the skin stretching and how much swelling, if he took it out it would leave a big hole in me.

Then he crams a bunch of antiseptic tape(I think he said) into the wound and says, "You can come back tomorrow and we'll take it out, or you can take it out yourself if you feel like it. It'll be gross, so you can freak someone out." (should I videotape it and put it up here for you amusement?)

Wanna see the wound afterward? That's a piece of tape you see hanging out. Nice, huh?

It's still bleeding a bit, and hurts. Plus, changing the bandage is painful because it rips out my hair every time.


Monday, January 22, 2018

TMI Picture


Not that one. I'll get to it, but if you don't like gross bodily things, you may wanna bail now.

Here's the deal. For my whole life I've had this bump under the skin at my sternum. And sometimes it would get kind of hard underneath, and then pus would come out.

I would of course ignore it. Because it didn't hurt, and it wasn't that big so I barely noticed it.

About 10 years ago it got pretty big though, so I went to the doctors and said, "What is this?"

Doc gave me some antibiotics and told me it was a sebaceous cyst. Said it was no big deal. He's like, "If you want, schedule surgery with us and we'll remove it in office."

Who's got time for that? I took the antibiotics, the bump went away, and I ignored it.

About six months ago, the bump started hardening and getting bigger(that's what she said). Slowly but surely.

About a month ago it started to get painful. I tried to lance it. No luck. I called my doctor and scheduled surgery, telling them it was pretty painful right now, but they only do the in-office surgery once a month, and that wasn't until today.

So I'd have to wait two and a half weeks. Meanwhile, this thing is getting REAL painful. Couple of days ago I texted my doctor(I have his text number because he used to be a customer at my comic store) with this picture, and said "Coming in for surgery in a week, but I need some antibiotics now."

He got me the antibiotics, and today I go in to get it removed.

Looks good, right? I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, but this is really pushing it.

-----------

Forgot to mention in the previous post that when we went to see Shape of Water, we went to the movie theater I used to go to ALL the time. The one my buddy worked at in Columbia, which is also the one we shot the first FOC in.

Man, do I miss that theater. So many good times there. And I was surprised by the flashes of memory as I entered the bathroom. (it was a pretty traumatic night when we shot that bathroom scene)

This is what it looks like now:

Hasn't changed a whole lot, at least the lobby hasn't. The seats are all recliner seats now.

-------------

The diet's going well. Sticking to it, but got a giant salmon steak from Costco and have been eating pieces of it for dinner every day. Lost six pounds in the first week. Weird part is that I'm not really starving like I was the last time I went on this diet.

Biggest question will be at what weight will I hit the plateau--that place where it will be nearly impossible to lose weight for a while. It gets frustrating when you're not eating much, but your body refuses to shed pounds.

Always happens though.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Picture Proof


Was going through some old stuff and ran into this well-time picture. This was a pic of me around 2007 when I was a guest at Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors promoting FOC2, and then a pic of me after the diet that I lost nearly 40 pounds on.

Here's hoping I can recreate that. (Been a decent three days on the diet--no major cheating. I had popcorn at the movie theater, but not that much. And popcorn's not a big cheat because it doesn't have the dreaded sugar.)


Man, look at that fat face. Holy crap. Hashtag never again.

----

Today went to a dispensary in MD. Not a ton to choose from, and no edibles, which is my thing. They say they'll get more stuff in February, so I should check back.

Then we went to see Shape of Water. Pretty amazing visually. I liked it, but it was REALLY hard to get away from the fact that it's basically Splash. Like, girl falls in love with merman(there's your reversal) who's held captive by the government. She makes with a big escape, even going off of a pier with him.

There's other similarities. I just think the writers of Splash should get a co-writing credit, ya know?



Monday, January 15, 2018

Today's The Day


After months and months of gaining weight, I've decided that today's the day to go backward.

It's been a long time coming. I knew there was a problem when shirts and pants started getting tighter. Then I could see the return of the slight double-chin when I look down.

I finally got on a scale. 218.

That's only 12 pounds away from my all-time high of 230.

I ordered some more of the shakes that I haven't had in years. The ones I used to lose 23 pounds in 4 weeks. You can find that post here: https://maykillyou.blogspot.com/2007/03/too-good-to-be-true-2.html

Hard to believe it's been over ten years since then, so I managed to keep the weight off for quite some time. Those people who say "If you lose it fast, you'll gain it back fast" are full of shit.

Bad news is, I was a lot younger than. Can I kickstart the metabolism again?

That's why I'm posting this, and telling people. I figure the more people that know about it, the more incentive there is for me to not fail. I don't like failing at shit, and failing at shit in public? Forget it.

Now, the shakes haven't arrived yet so I'm starting with a lot of small foods like granola bars, chicken noodle soup, pretzels. Going to eat about 1600 calories a day, like 10 "meals" a day. A meal could be as little as a 50 calorie bag of pretzels, or a 90 calorie granola bar.

The big things that stop now are NACHOS and SLURPEES. They're my Kryptonite. Cheese and sugar are the first big things that have to go, and that reminds me--I still eat a bite of brownie every night to go to sleep(the magic kind, ya know?)...I hope that doesn't screw me up too bad.

First couple of days are HARD. You feel like you're starving. But I know if I push that then it gets tolerable.

---

Saw Jumanji. It's fun. Certainly more fun than the new Star Wars movie.

Also saw The Big Sick. It was okay. Not sure why people think it belongs on the "best of" list.

In other news, I can't get rid of this goddamn cough. I got sick on January 2nd, it got worse and worse but then I started feeling better last Tuesday. Now almost a week later and my throat is still scratchy, and I'm coughing up phlegm like I'm getting paid for it. It's weird.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

In A Plane. Struck By Lightning.



You know, I guess I forgot to talk about this because this didn't happen on THIS last trip, but the one before it.

We're on our flight home and I'm looking up from my book, my neck sore. It's the perfect time, too, as I see a bright flash outside of the window behind Luke, then sparks fly everywhere. I'm not sure whether it was simply my mind playing tricks on me, but I could have sworn the engine sputtered a little.

Everybody looked up. Luke looked over, then looked to me.

There's this tense moment where we wait to see if the plane is going to suddenly plummet from the sky, because I'm not sure just then if it was lightning or the engine blowing up for whatever reason. Nothing happens though.

"Did you see that?" I ask Luke.

"Yeah," he says. And continues to look around.

The captain comes on the intercom to tell us that the plane just had a "small lightning strike", but it's no big deal. I figure that's what he'd probably say if he'd lost all power and we were gonna die, so I don't believe him.

But there's no issue on the flight home, and as you can see, I forgot about it until now.

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The L.A. auction went well. The company I do work for set a record for the most ever paid for a doll. This is soul-crushing to those of us who don't have this kind of money, but it sold for $290,000. That's before taxes and a premium added to every sale, so the person probably will end up paying around $350,000 when all is said and done.

In-sane. But at least this time it was a museum.

My brother was at the auction where we sold the PREVIOUS record, and he tells the story of this couple that bought the $250,000 doll. He wrapped it up all nice and tight in tissue paper and packing material, and the lady came to pick it up.

She unwraps all the wrapping, takes a look at it, and then tosses it in her bag and strolls off like it's a GI Joe doll.

These fucking people, man, they just aren't human.

----

Booted up the Ttory computer. Took another look at the new trailer I'm working on. Staying away from the actual movie stuff for a while longer.

Took another whack at the opening credits. Man, was I an idiot when I did the first one. Trying to tweak THAT to work with the II symbols for this one just made me TWICE the idiot.

Without going into details, I went ass-backwards at it and failed miserably, then just deleted a bunch of layers and started mostly clear. Now I'm getting somewhere on it.

Originally I was just going to have the Ttory logo like before, then the II symbols dissolve in behind them and zoom out a bit, and then they all explode into that heat-blaze that was in the first one.

But I don't love it. The II doesn't stand out enough, and sort of blends in unless I add a stroke to the II, and that just looks like dogshit. I changed the color of the II to red, and that's slightly better, but still not great.

Then I changed it so the symbols come in separately from each side, eliminating the Ttory word until they're all that's left. Then THEY blaze out like the first title. I think it's better, but still not there.

I was also going to leave the map background behind the title the same, but then I figured that was way lazy and changed it up.

---

Bonus post because today...I went.

Lemme backup just a smidge. When we were in Cali, we went to the place where anybody can buy legal weed. We bought a few things to amuse ourselves and make sleep easy. Expensive, but interesting.

I'd already made an appointment to go to the doctor the following week in my state, as it's legal for medicinal reason in my state, and I gots the problems that calls for it.

First off, the place is SECRETIVE as fuck. I signed up to get an appointment, and they called me and got all my info. Then they say "Where do you want to go for your appointment?" I say..."It says you have an office in Annapolis." They say "Yes, is that where you want to go?" and I say yep.

"Okay," they tell me, "your appointment is for Wednesday at 5:10. See you then."

I'm like, "Woah, I need an address." They say it will be in the email they send me with the confirmation.

I get it, and show up at the place. It's in an office complex that I've been to, which is weird, but you follow these paper signs taped to the walls inside, through a weird door to ANOTHER door on which is printed the name of the company. Like it's some fly-by-night place.

I walk inside and it's completely undecorated, with about 30 folding chairs in the room, and it's PACKED with people. Only two open seats. I grab a clipboard and fill out the info, and sit down.

It takes AN HOUR past my appointment time to get in to see the doctor. And here's where it gets REALLY weird.

The doctor looks at my papers--he's clearly already looked at them--and says, "I don't know that you have DISEASE(I'm not typing it in here)". I frown. I'm confused. "What do you mean?"

"From these papers, I don't know that you have DISEASE. Maybe you do, maybe you don't. But these papers don't show that you do."

Granted, none of the papers actual have the term on them. For some reason that always struck me as odd, my doctor had never put it on any of the records he'd had. He'd told me on the phone that I had it, and what to take and do. It required no prescription unless it got much worse.

So I say, "Well, those are the lab results that the doctor used to tell me I have it, so if he can tell from them that I have it, how come you can't?"

He says, "DISEASE has a number of factors, five or six, that are used to determine if you have it. These results show that you clearly have an auto-immune disease, and the other papers show that you've gotten uveitis, which is indicative of it, but without more tests I can't tell for sure that you have it. Have you seen a rheumatologist?"

I say no. He tells me I should. He says they could tell me for sure if it's DISEASE or not. He asks me what the main symptoms I'm there for are, and I tell him--pain in my forearms, but mostly to get and stay asleep. He asks if I use the MJ currently, and I say yes.

He says, "Well I'll approve you because you're already using it anyway, but if you really want to know what you have for sure, you should go see a rheumatologist." Then he adds, "There you go, you got a free consult too."

So I got the certificate, but all of a sudden I'm left thinking that maybe this DISEASE I've had for 6 years might not be the disease I thought it was. It's crazy.

Also crazy is how much this doctor has to make. See, it's $200 but that $150 for the place and $50 for the doctor--all cash. I was there for an hour and he must have seen 20 people in that hour. That's $1000 per hour. The place is open only Wednesdays for like 10 hours, so let's say he sees 150 people a day(I rounded down for lunch, and maybe he has slow times)--that's $15,000 cash for one day's work.

So if he quit his job and only did this four times a month, he'd net around $60K a month in cash. Not too shabby.

Also a side note--you can't legally buy a gun if you have a MJ license, even if it's legal. Not really a problem for me, if you know what I mean.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

2017: The Year Popular Opinion And My Opinion REALLY split

So I was gonna do a Best Of list, but I honestly didn't see too many movies that really excited me this year. I definitely can't do a Best Of horror, cuz none of them really blew me away.

And don't get me started on how over-rated I think Get Out is. This movie was over-hyped to death, and when I saw it(the first week it came out so there'd be no spoilers), I was like..."That's it?"

It's basically Stepford Wives but with an even more ludicrous setup. Yes, more ludicrous than robot wives.

And I'm looking at these lists thinking...when did I diverge so much from what the masses think? A Ghost Story? So boring I only gave it 30 minutes. Kong: Skull Island? Wanted to like it, but it's just so...mediocre. Blackguard's Daughter? Boooooooo-ring.

Super Dark Times. Super drawn-out snooze fest. (another triumph of style over substance--this year's "It Follows")

Logan didn't blow my skirt up, cuz I was hoping for a movie-version of Old Man Logan. Plus, passing-the-torch movies always suck for me.

I mean, honestly, the best movie I saw in the theater this year was Terminator 2: 3D...

So here's my unofficial list of the movies I saw that I enjoyed, in no order:

  • Spider-man Homecoming - Spider-man and Wolverine are my two favorite superheroes, so seeing Spidey return to cinematic greatness was nice. Adding in Michael Keaton was a great touch too.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - Didn't like it as much as the first, but still a lot of fun. And the de-aging of Kurt Russell deserves an Oscar
  • Thor Ragnarok - a little TOO jokey, but most of them hit. It was really strange to watch Thor be fun...
  • It - NOWHERE near as good as the books. Let's get that out of the way. Frankly, not even as faithful as the miniseries from the 80's. But still...stylish, set in the greatest decade of all, and Pennywise was pretty well done. I did enjoy it, but definitely not how much everyone else did.
  • The Babysitter - This has to be the biggest surprise on the list. Had NO expectation for this, as it's a Netflix movie. Didn't know anything about it going in, and it starts like an 80's teen-in-love-with-his-babysitter movie, then takes a great twist. Saw it, and a couple of nights later watched it again with my wife.
  • 47 Meters Down - I saw the original version of this when it was called  "In The Deep", so I don't know if the final version was changed. But it made my wife scream, which doesn't happen often if I'm not inside of her. Thank you, please tip your waitresses.
  • Split - It's nice to see Shyamalan making a come-back. Another solid flick.
  • War For the Planet of the Apes - A good way to finish off the trilogy.
  • John Wick 2 - Man, this picks up where the first left off, and just DOESN'T. STOP. 
  • Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing Missouri - This guy has to be one of the most interesting writer/director currently working. Loved In Bruges. Loved 7 Psychopaths. Loved this(though not as much as those). It goes places you don't see coming, and the characters are ALWAYS three-dimensional in ways you don't expect. Highly recommend.
  • The Disaster Artist - Not only funny, but interesting.
A cool "It" poster I saw today...

And here's the list of "Okay" movies I saw.
  • Annabelle Creation
  • American Made
  • Baby Driver
  • The Belko Experiment
  • Blade Runner 2049(if they'd cut this down by 25 minutes, would have been a solid "enjoy" flick)
  • Happy Death Day
  • Better Watch Out
  • The Shallows
  • Cult of Chucky
  • Life
  • Creep 2
  • 1922
  • Gerald's Game
Fair Warning: Haven't seen Raw, It Came From The Desert, Tragedy Girls, Mayhem, Brawl in Cell Block 99, the Big Sick or Shape of Water yet. (all movies that were on best-of lists)

So there you go. If you don't see a movie on those lists, I either didn't see it, or didn't like it. I did just see the new Insidious yesterday, and it's pretty weak. Certainly the worst of the bunch. If I'd seen it on cable then I'd probably say it was okay.

But it's not worth going to the movies for...

Maybe I'll do a Best Of TV list... TV is definitely where the best writing currently is...