Saturday, April 29, 2006

F.F.F. #34 or "It Was Either A Pill Or A Piece Of Candy..."

It was a pill or a piece of candy. I get lethargic from time to time, to which my cousin invariably says, "did someone mix Prozac up with your M & M's?" Only this time, I really did feel off and I wondered if someone accidentally, or intentionally dropped something into the candy batter at the Mars candy factory.

It wasn't a lighter than air feeling nor was it a sensation of being heavy. More like I could just slowly melt away or dissolve into the leather couch that I had just made the first of twenty-five payments on, and straight down. Down through the apartment that it takes two jobs to pay for and through the decrepit building that the landlord is too cheap to repair, even though he more than has the means.

Even further past the neighborhood that is no better than the sewer below it and even further still, until I would reach the Earth's core. Where the heat would consume whatever was left of
me and the hell below would reflect my personal hell above.

I felt myself rush upward, twice as fast as the speed of light as she came out of the bathroom.

"Well?" was what I wanted to say, but the only parts of my body or sensations that I could control were my eyes and my ears, though both seemed like they could fail me at any moment.

"It's a minus," she spat out. In my mind I shrugged, but the expression on her face told me that I did nothing of the kind. Her irritation was all too evident as she gathered up her coat and purse.

"A plus would mean that I was pregnant," she managed before she slammed the door and left my life.

I realized that for better or for worse, the only thing "off" was me.

For JJ's Flash Fiction Friday @

Friday, April 28, 2006

Write Angry Part II

I downloaded the "firmware update" and the "mass storage driver" Monday evening, of course to no avail.

Wednesday, I went to Circuit City and exchanged the MP3 player for another of the same model. I loaded it up this morning and this time the player works for four whole seconds as opposed to three. The Missus said that if time was money, I've negated any savings that over purchasing an Ipod Nano. An intelligent lady, that woman, but not too much because she married my stubborn a**.

I called up their tech support and the support person said it was a "synchronization problem" and that the player wasn't recognizing it because it wasn't "a protected file." So I synchronize the files like a watch in a B-movie and I...nevermind, I'll get in trouble with the authorities if I complete that thought.

Let's just say that I will never buy anything made by Creative, ever, again. And I'll leave it at that.


Every blogger dangles their feet off of that precipice and contemplates it. For some, it's hard to come up with material. For others it's a question of finding the time, especially when they have kids.

Everybody and I mean everybody that blogs, wants to hang it up at one time or another. Or dial it down to a post a month. Especially when the novelty or the newness of it wears off.

I understand. That doesn't mean I wish she wouldn't reconsider.

On a lighter note, I've found another blog in the same morning

The circle of blog life, I guess. Cue that insidious Disney song.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Women And The Dugout

According to my site meter, this is the third most popular subject, hit-wise

World-wide, people are searching for information on either the Just For Men Ad or in specific, Keith Hernandez.

Apparently he got in trouble for saying, "I won't say that women belong in the kitchen, but they don't belong in the dugout," he said. Hernandez, a former Mets star, then laughed and said: "You know I am only teasing. I love you gals out there — always have."

Idiot. Still, I don't have a lot of room to talk myself as I have blogged about several times. I too, have a propensity to put my foot in my mouth. If there's one thing I do know is that a woman's place is definitely not in the kitchen.

It's in the bedroom.

Honey, I'll bring you your dinner in a minute, I'm blogging. No, I'll, be there...I'm blogging. No, I'm sorry, I won't take that tone you ever again. Just let me log off, no, your dinner didn't get cold. Honest...

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Stylin' & Profilin'

Well, it looks like it's time to change the profile because the one I had was a little too cumbersome and while it captured my humor, it didn't capture the essence of the blog.

So how about something more concise and precise?

Well now, they often call me Write Procrastinator
But my real name is Mr. Earl

Yeah, only Chris Berman got that and I doubt he found that funny. So, Fun Joel asked the scribosphere, "who you b 2?"

A sequel to "who you b?" Which I missed out on because the house was between computers and I had only faintest knowledge of what a blog was back then. I answered the merry read-ster with this...

My pen name is Cormac Brown. I'm married to the most wonderful and patient woman in the world, and I have a son that just turned ten. I'm far too old to be a beginning screenwriter and make the move to the City of Angels. So I'm trying to find other ways to establish myself as a writer and hopefully open other avenues for my screenplays.
Right now I'm trying to find the balance between the satirical and satorial, gourmet and gourmand.

And, you don't have to call me "Mr. Earl."

Monday, April 24, 2006

I'm On Blogebrity...Not Really

Kyle Bunch was kind enough to let this comment through on Blogebrity. Of course big genius Procrastinator mentions this on a February blog that will only be accessed by people doing searches for:

Chuck Norris and Spreadshirts
Creating your own Tartan line
Boing Boing Zen
or Fashion Zen

Because it's off of the two main pages. Timing is everything and mine is running on California caveman's.

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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Write Angry

At the moment, I'm "Write Angry" as opposed to the normal handle. I bought an MP3 player for next to nothing at Circuit City yesterday. I haven't had time to install it until today, as I was working overtime and it threw my whole body clock out of whack.

I installed the drivers tonight and burned some songs on the laptop to go on the thing. Then, the inevitable shenanigans with Windows...and the Windows Media Player which wouldn't download the songs, or the song list directly into the MP3, no matter how hard I tried. They should rename the "Windows Media Help" feature to "Adventures In High Blood Pressure."

So I smartened up only just a little more than last time when I tried to deal with Procrastinator Junior's Ipod Nano and Windows Media, by downloading each song onto the ******** Media Source organizer. Although the word "organizer" implies that it would put things in "order," as opposed to a state of "indifference." So after an hour of two including the song downloads, I tried to
play a song and bppp. That was the sound of the player cutting out after three seconds.

Maybe there was just something wrong with that particular song. Okay, I cued up another song and it was a slice of the same, on moldy whole wheat toast. Sure, the little wave file that thanks you for choosing this player and lists the site for accessories and tech support worked just fine, but the music wouldn't.

I went to MP3 company's tech support page. Their FAQ or "self-help knowledge base" covers nothing and I think it's pretty clear what they want their customers to "do" with "themselves" or they wouldn't call it that. Strike One.

They suggested that you email their tech support if your problem isn't covered in the self-abuse, excuse me, the "self-help knowledge base." That I did and they said to wait for an email response back. Fine Jim Dandy, swell, goody, ter-riff.

I killed time by going over to Warren Hsu Leonard's page His latest post had a link to which was just enough to put a smile on my face, but only for the moment and by the time I bookmarked the latter site, as well as cut-and-pasted the two sites to put up here, they responded with an email. That was fairly quick, but it was an automated response...

Dear Valued Customer,
"Valued," as in, you serve some purpose other than giving us money and we're sure we'll figure it out, eventually.
Thank you for contacting ******** ****.
I wasn't given a choice as you could not provide a product that will not work for more than three seconds at a time.
You will receive a response from our Technical Support Team as soon as possible. Our current average response time is 1 to 2 working days. Please note that sending multiple requests may cause a delay in receiving a response.
Yeah, "I got your one or two days" right here, pal.
Please note that sending multiple requests may cause a delay in receiving a response.
Which translates to, "we will get to you when we feel like it and if you send a follow-up email, we will shift into Ultra-Uber-Ignore Mode. You've been warned."
Strike Two.

Then they had the audacity to put this in the email...

In the meantime, here are some additional resources that can help you get the most from your ******** experience.

Get ******* Customer Support Online! ******** Customer Support Services has an extensive online support option. With a Knowledge Base that helps you to quickly answer your questions, product documentation downloads, plus driver and firmware updates. This easy to use online support will help you get the most from your product. Just go to...

The "just go to," lists their site again, but they really mean is "just go to hell."

Now, mind you, I did my research on Cnet and all of the MP3 players in this price range had more or less, the same amount of complaints and caveats. A mother of a former classmate of Procrastinator Junior had recommend this player, as opposed to the Ipod Nano and Circuit City is dumping them for next to nothing. I reasoned it was because this is the end of the model year, so-to-speak.

Still, you get what you pay for and I can hardly wait for the day that I get an MP3 player that will load and work as easily as my archaic software has worked with Windows XP. The only reason why they don't get that big *ss Strike Three is because I don't want to exchange the damn thing. Only to have to re-register, re-download...and who the hell am I re-kidding?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

(Dis)Respect Your Elders

So today is the Centennial of the Great San Francisco Earthquake and they had a big shindig at Lotta's Fountain down by Montgomery Street.

This was adjacent to one of my work sites, so I peeked at the behind the scenes from time to time and I got to see several news crews set up. I also had to dodge the hundreds upon hundreds of celebrants (for lack of a better word) as they surged forward like salmon spawning upstream.

The majority were dressed like twenty-first century tourists, though there were people in period costumes, bowler hats and the like. There were one too many gals dressed like Rose from "Titannic" which is interesting considering the ship's sinking was 1912, but, hey. Several firemen and firewomen in firemen costumes of that era. The concept of firewomen in pants would've caused an uproar and might've caused a few heart attacks back in 1906.

There were some sweet rides and I do mean swweeeet. There were some cars that I'm almost certain came after 1906, but to see such magnificent machines overwhelmed my urge to heckle what seemed like obvious anachronisms (same for the gals dressed up like Rose). And, who am I to try and gauge what is historically accurate if I don't have a text book right in front of me to directly compare to them? Not to mention that I'm counting the authors of such books to be thorough and not lazy when researching the photos and sketches of that era.

The driver of one car even lit his headlights, literally. They were candle-powered! There were also fire wagons, drawn by teams of horses and two portable Jumbotron screens to show the whole festivity. Two hours before the festivity commenced, one of the Jumbotrons was showing "Tin Cup." What this had to with the Great Earthquake, I have no idea. I think this was more to annoy the bums and junkies who were being forced either up or down Market Street, to as far away from the ceremony as possible.

The Mayor has rebounded well from my father-in-law's
Brooklyn-style greeting
and the sheen has been restored to his Honor's hair, though it seemed about two quarts low. Just like his concern over gang killings in the Western Addition and our public schools.

He did have a great rapport with the survivors of the Quake and his Pomade-ness was a good emcee. He would make a great talk show host and I think he would make a fairly good mayor in any city or town that was only half as complicated to run as San Francisco. I wonder if he is a man of constant sorrow or if he uses Dapper Dan?

On the way home I stopped off at a Starbucks, not for coffee but because my blood sugar was running low. One barrista was refilling the scones, muffins and coffee cakes. He left the doors to the glass case open and in a moment of work-related fatigue mixed with the sensory overload from the Quake celebration, I almost reached for a coffee cake.

The only thing that stopped me was concern over handling the food as there were no tongs or wax paper to pick up the food and in a blonde moment, I asked another barrista if I was to help myself or were they to get them for me. David Spade and your evil English Teacher from the eighth grade would turn green with jealousy at the look of condescension this barrista dealt me, mixed with a smile that would make a cobra uneasy.

"No sir, we will get one for you" she said with malevolent mirth, "what would you like?"The "sir" had the same tone that I've heard dished countless times to the elderly by my co-workers when I worked at Safeway. The "don't bother me you waste of oxygen, I'm talking to Diana about hairspray and lipgloss" brushoff. Swell, remember this moment well, Miss Barrista when you are forty-one and my grandson won't even wait 'til you're out of earshot to say, "did you get a load of that dinosaur? What was she thinking? Oh no, that's right, she wasn't!"

I looked over and for some odd reason, the apple fritter appealed to me, thus setting me up for the knockout barb. I asked if the apple fritter had apple in it, because I hate it when it is all dough, cinnamon, and absolutely no apple whatsoever. Because then, realistically, why not just get cinnamon coffee cake instead?

"Oh, yes, sir. The apple fritter tastes just like a doughnut." With "doughnut" delivered with the same intonation that David Spade did for the air steward "buh-bye."

That's right wench, mess with the bear and you'll get mauled.

And I don't mean that in a "Steven Segal wants to read lines with you in his trailer-kind of way," but in a "I'm-tired-cranky-I've-forgotten-more-than-you'll-ever-know-don't-mess-with-me-smarmy-wench-I'll-leap-over-the-counter-and-rend-you-with-my-claws-way."

Eh. I tipped her $1.17 because they share the tips at the end of the day and the other two barristas are going to go broke with her brand of courtesy, if they're not all set upon by an angry mob, first.


Saturday, April 15, 2006

Serious, Serious Profession

Friday morning started off with chocolate crumb cake and orange juice, and ended with a nap. Yes, it was my birthday or the middle age equivalent of going out with a whimper. *Cough*

Yes, if it wasn't here before, middle-age is certainly here now. It's no longer's fully out of the shadows and it's staring at me in the sunlight. Middle-age is tainting everything I do like an ancient unwrapped onion in refrigerator.

The day started out nice enough. The Missus had balloons delivered to the house and one of them even gives you a birthday greeting if you squeeze it. It is scary where they can put voice chips nowadays and it's only a matter of time before the jerk at work that nobody can stand, finally figures out a way to talk out of his...never mind.

Chocolate crumb cake and orange juice were the first course, followed by various collectible cars from Procrastinator Jr, then the Missus gave me "Chef, The Complete Series" on DVD because, don't you wish your woman rocked it like that?

This is impressive because no other woman has managed put up with me for more than a year and if they did, they would probably give me a pallet of coal, instead.

So I was going to start on the novelization of my second screenplay, but I f*cked around. Watched "Chef's" first two episodes of Season One and I tried to make up for the sleep I didn't get the night before. Wishful thinking on my part as NASCAR has unofficially opened a race track on my street and everyone was either speeding or honking at everyone else for not speeding.

A dozen aborted attempts at sleep later and I finally fell asleep. Only, I couldn't snap out of my nap, so I go under for another twenty-eight minutes and wind up late for everything. Late putting in the dress shirts in the laundry for Procrastinator Junior and myself, late shaving the beard that grows everywhere except below my lips, and late picking Procrastinator Jr. from spring camp.

The Kid and I had to be at Izzy's at 6:45 to meet the Missus for dinner and when you really have to be some place, that's when everybody in front of you spaces out at the traffic light. That, or they're waiting for it to change to another shade of green. This tends to add up timewise, after seven space cadets spend twenty or thirty seconds apiece vegetating at the signal.

Not to mention that they can only find the pedal on the right when the light at the next intersection turns yellow, but you wind up getting left behind like that weird anti-non-Christian book series.

So I calls up the Missus and ask her to ask them to move the reservations up to 7PM, then I do my best Nicholas Cage in "The Rock" by soaring over the hills at 60 MPH and doing handbrake turns. No geographically challenged cable cars managed to blow up but I did send a couple of yuppies jumping over their cars for cover, here and there.

We managed to make it there at 7:02 and we got a booth upstairs. Dinner was excellent as usual and the service was impeccable as always, despite the misguided ravings of this lunatic

I've been there over a dozen times over the past sixteen years, in a suit at times and casual attire at others, yet I've always experienced some of the best service that any restaurant has to offer. The courses have always been properly spaced and we've never been kept waiting once we were seated.

I've never understood the allure that some people have in going to a restaurant where the employees treat you like something that they've stepped in on their way to work nor have I ever understood why people want to be celebrities, so that they can receive lavish attention when they dine. If you ever hear me recommend a restaurant, you can be assured that every time I've eaten there, the service is at least two steps above decent. I wouldn't stand for less and I could not understand why you wouldn't either.

Right before dessert (and the least favorite part of my birthday with that accursed song), I related to Procrastinator Jr. that when he celebrates the very same birthday I had just endured, I will be seventy. That got me nice and depressed, I don't even want to blog about it the day after. We got home and I laid down for a nap that somehow extended into three in the morning. That's me, Mr. Romance.

How prophetic Mick and even you didn't see it coming when you put it down on vinyl, "what a drag it is, getting old."


Thursday, April 13, 2006

Improve My Screenwriting...Why?

So I've been going over my scripts that I've sent out to contests with a microscope and I've drafted up some new ideas, but rewriting is hard work and damn if one of these projects isn't like an ex-girlfriend in that I would rather jump into the Artic Ocean, than ever have to deal with it again.

Why am I even going through this? My scripts were tight and marketable! I should be talking camera angles and backstories with Spielberg if not for those gobsh*te contest readers! They wouldn't know greatness if walked right up to their doors and p*mp-slapped them for a good half an hour! These miscreants, these maladjusted fiends, these...

no, my screenwriting wasn't at the level it was supposed to be. Anyway, back to square one would a major studio go about it? I can't afford to hire John Sayles or William Goldman. Hell, I can't afford to hire the guy that cuts Andy Sidaris's lawn.

But in San Francisco, money isn't everything, though you sure as hell better make more than $30,000 if you want to eat. So I went to the next progression on the major studio's list of problem solving and I went with marketing. You say, "jeez, Procrastinator, how can you afford marketing, when you just said that you can't afford a fifth-rate screenwriter?"

Easy, the dot-com bust. There are marketing people literally everywhere in the City. I mean you can just shake almost any tree and they will fall out. They camp up there because the bums chase them away with sharp sticks. They ruin the bum's panhandling action with their "will market for a meal" signs, ya know.

For the price of dozen Krispy Kreme, I can get the demographics, cross-sampling, in-depth analysis, and insight into almost any subject under the sun. And they're just as accurate as any news or election you really don't believe that some cat in Fresno just doesn't call up ten people, makes up the rest and pockets the money.

So I go to my go-to guy, my clutch-hitter, the man who "fights the good fight for the insight," Nebuchadnezzar. Or "Necky" as his friends call him and don't call him "Knee-butch" or "Chad," or he'll bite your ear like Mike Tyson after a two-week fast. A thermos of Peet's coffee and dozen chocolate-glazed later, Necky comes across with the hard facts like a stood-up woman catching up with her dejector.

"The original
'Ice Age' brought in over $176 million in the theaters and the sequel is sure to eclipse the $200 million mark. 'Hoodwinked' has brought in over $51 million so far and I'll bet that 'The Wild' will bring in over $100 million even though it appears to be a shameless rip-off of 'Madagascar.' Don't be surprised if 'Over The Hedge' is not in the box-office top three for 2006."

Okay, fine, so what does that have to do with the loglines that I had you run across the general public?

He tried to coax a bucket of Kentucky Fried in return for the answer, but like a studio that pays a marginal actor some $15 million while giving the screenwriter $26,000 and monkey points, I talked him down to the green sandwich that was sitting in the back of my refrigerator (that ain't lettuce or pesto).

In his best Walter Brooke from "The Graduate," Necky said, "squirrels."

Necky, you're like a circle, you have no point.

"No, all of the movies that I've just mentioned, they are all the rage and they all tested through the roof. I know, I have a cousin Becky who does test screenings for the studios down in Canoga Park."

There you go folks, "squirrels." People apparently cannot get enough of squirrels in comedies and he told me that I have to recycle the same coffee gag from "Iron Giant," as well.

In between bites of the moldy panino, he grunted, "pepper your scripts with caffeinated kids and squirrels, because they are apparently tracking better than Vin Diesel right now with the 12-24 demographic (and we all know that they are the only ones that the studios are concerned with right now)."

Necky also explained to me that one squirrel in particular has the highest "Q" rating ever and is due to be the next breakthrough star

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

It's Alive

So around the last weekend of March, I spent the better part of that Friday night and Saturday morning culling old scripts and stories from "Old Faithful Ver. 2.0" I can barely stand to reexamine most of my early work, but I'm a verbal pack rat in the sense that I've kept everything that has worked. A sentence, a paragraph, a situation or plot point that stood out or that merely worked sufficiently enough that it could be retooled at a later date.

Then I had to convert those files into Wordpad and then download them on to a floppy disk. Stop laughing. Seriously, 20th Century technology works, especially when all you the free income you had at the time you bought said equipment, was at an early 20th Century rate.

I do have all of my screenplays on the archaic Imation SuperDisk and I've bought two of these portable SuperDisks off of eBay so that I can import them directly I had to buy two because I couldn't find a suitable plug for the first.

I've already mentioned that the Missus gave me the new laptop and I've been too chicken to see if the Movie Magic Screenwriter 2000 will work on it. The last incarnation of Windows compatible to this screenwriting program is Windows ME.

My mistrust of downloading drivers and patches is not a fear of technology or unfounded, I have yet to experience anything less than a cyber-kick in the crotch. The modem line has always disconnected at some point and either the company involved has tried to charge me twice for the same driver/software, or the driver/software wouldn't work correctly, even after being downloaded twice.

Still, this morning, it all worked flawlessly. So far this latest version XP on the laptop has been almost crash-proof and all the drivers are all there! Built-in! No need to be at the mercy of the Internet, indifferent tech support and drivers that only drive the user crazy.

The screenwriting career can now resume on a lesser level and this time I will paper the walls with rejection notices ala Hemingway.


Monday, April 10, 2006

Mmmm (choke), Um, Cranberries?

If this doesn't make you laugh, you're either Giada De Laurlentiis, a die-hard fan of hers or you're dead.

Courtesy of TVgasm

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Sunday, April 09, 2006

F.F.F. #32 or "The Sound It Made When It Broke..."

The sound it made when it broke was kvetch...clomp! No, that's the sound that mayn Tanta (my Aunt) Beth makes coming down the stairs. She complains, then her prosthetic leg thumps the stairs.

Complaint, thump, crappy weather, thump, told you not to date her, thump.

I swear she takes the thirty-odd stairs we have and drags her descent out like she's coming down the Empire State Building.

You asked for it, thump, you're shiksa-outta-luck, thump.

I wasn't alone when I thought Kiki was the one. All of my friends felt the same way, complete strangers thought we were a perfect couple and all of my family (save one) thought she would be an ideal wife. It's not like we go to temple but twice-a-year outside of the Holy Days, but my mom was so enamored of Kiki, that she was even willing to look past the fact that she was a gentile.

Yes, everyone thought she was perfect for me, save for my Aunt Beth. My parents and sister believe that Aunt Beth is either in the early stages of Alzheimer's or that she's going senile, but I know that she forgets the minutiae to in order to remember the important things. I also know that her intuition is sharper than a dozen butcher's knives and I was hoping that she would be wrong for a change.

I mean, I gave up school for Kiki and in my family, education is life. Yet, after I put aside the most important aspect of my life for our so-called "love," she runs off with a guy named "Horst." What the f*ck kind of name is that, anyway? Horst! Is that rancid chicken soup taking the "up" express elevator out of your stomach? Or is that a contraction of "horse" and "sh*t?"

So the sound my heart made when it broke, sounds just like mayn Tanta Beth when she comes down the stairs and I can still feel it sink, with each echoing step.

Are you okay, Boytchik?

Yes, I'll be fine.

Good, it's over, it's done. You've got it out of your system. Now, are you going back to school?

No, Tanta Beth, I still need to give school a rest. I thought it over and I would like to take up painting again...maybe a little sculpting too, and pick up my writing where I left off. Maybe even play the piano, again. You know...I want to be a Renaissance man.

What, "Renaissance?" Butter women up with poetry, then keep them locked up all day? Eat undercooked meat and wear tights? Your cousin Herschel already does all that.

For Jj's Flash Fiction Friday

Here Comes The Wife...

Here comes the wife, blogging about her life...

Though I don't know what's up with that choice for a blog name. She does work in a law firm, but she does the whip-cracking...or at least in this household. Note that AlbGlinka's blog is listed first on her links and had she not sired me a great child, gave me good lovin' and a laptop, I would feel like a red-headed stepchild ; )

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Word Evil-fication

Excuse me if I've touched upon this before

I understand that the "word verification" feature of blogger is a necessary evil or everyone's comment section would be plagued by those that want to show everyone else how they got rich at home in three easy steps. As well as cures for nail fungus, impotency, problem flatulance, and bad driving...or any combination thereof. And...I do appreciate the fact that the words are less Cyrillic-like than before, unlike last year when an "i" could be an "l" or "t." Or any combination thereof stuck together.

Word verification can sometimes be a source of amusement. I've stated this on other people's blogs that half of the words resemble to my American eyes, a Croatian or Hungarian obscenity. I'd repeat what I've seen, but I imagine it will manage to piss of somebody who was born east of Germany.

At other times, the words resemble the imagined barkings of Lassie trying to warn us of some impending danger. "Bshllyed!" "Wtchfrpcbs!" "Slyntgrnzpple!"*

Yet the red means stop phenomenon is still in effect. If the letters are red, the percentage of the word verification denying the post is still over fifty percent. It keeps saying, "type the charactes you see in the picture above." But it might as well say "enter the letters as we astrally project them!" I have to "ctrl+a" and "ctrl+c" and disconnect, then reconnect and "ctrl+v" just to post a response.

Which is not convenient when you're trying to post a response and you have to leave for work in three minutes or less.

*"Slyntgrnzpple" means "Soylent Green is people.." Clean your minds up readers, clean your minds.

Or maybe I'm wrong and you can keep them dirty. Maybe word verification is one big Rorschach test.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

San Francisco Confidential

There’s not enough crime in San Francisco for James Ellroy, imagine that.

According to Leah Garchik’s column...

Noir writer James Ellroy, who made an experimental move to San Francisco in early February, is said to be moving back to Los Angeles. Noir City impresario Eddie Muller, who was at Enrico's with him the other night, says crime and boxing were what they talked about. San Francisco "apparently offers neither in sufficient measure,'' says Muller.

Yeah, Jimmy Boy, enjoy your daily bowl of smog in the morning. Along with a nice heaping helping of traffic for lunch, followed by seconds, thirds, and if you haven’t had enough? Some more traffic for dinner. Mmm-mmm, tasty ground level ozone.

The back of the last James Ellroy book that I’ve read claimed that he moved to Kansas, but there you go. Anyway, time to get my rant on. We have crime, Jimmy Boy, we have crime. Last year, we had the highest homicide rate in over a decade...

If you say that ninety-six murders are not a lot? Well, that’s a bunch considering that we’re just one small city of 46.7 square miles. Plus, we have fun incidents like this...
Believe you, me, Mr. Ellroy, callous and cold-blooded are not unique to the southern part of the state. That’s just one story of the senseless variety, but there are at least four of these type of incidents a week.

Yet, why confine ourselves to inopportune violence? How about the drug-dealing corridor on Sixth Street, between Market Street and Mission Street? Or as our own police call it, “Sixth and Mayhem.” We’ve got Bloods, Crips, Norteños, Sureños, Chinese gangs, Vietnamese gangs, Russian gangs, MS-13’s, etc...
Don't get me started on the street life in the aptly named "Tenderloin," or the shootings in the Mission and on Third Street.

Why stop there? Take our police. We got your Rampart Division right here, Jimmy Boy...

So, why would I take umbrage when someone says that there is not enough crime in San Francisco? Because nothing could be further from the truth. Every city in America has crime, but for you to say that you cannot find crime in San Francisco is like saying that you couldn’t find any fog either.

Do I think he was being serious when he allegedly made that statement or do I think that the superb Eddie Muller didn’t have his tongue in cheek when he related this to Ms. Garchick? No, and I think Eddie was half-pulling her chain.

What I do believe, was that James Ellroy was saying that San Francisco couldn’t inspire him as a writer. This was the same city that did just fine by Dashiell Hammett, whom Ellroy has cited as one of his greatest influences.

This little city has not been short of inspiration for Jack Kerouac, David Eggers, Amy Tan, Daniel Handler, and the aforementioned Eddie Muller. It has been said that Anne Rice wrote some of her best material here, as well as Mark Twain. John Steinbeck wrote newspaper articles here that would eventually become “The Grapes of Wrath.”

So Mr. Ellroy, go on back to Kansas or Los Angeles, but don't bother coming to San Francisco anymore. We have no use for you and apparently you've lost the ability to recognize crime, even if it bit you on the “hush-hush, on the q-t.”

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Quote And/Nor Inspiration

When the in-laws and I went to Green Apple Books a few weeks ago, I saw a refrigerator magnet that summed up my prevailing sentiment of writing at the time and I bought it. It's a quote from a painter who earned very little and he didn't get to enjoy the fruits of his labor nor the recognition he deserved...

I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process.

Vincent Van Gough
Not that I'm comparing my writing to Van Gough's artistry, I'm only talking about the sentiment.
It's time to find inspiration and I rely on a verse from one of my favorite bands that probably only 2,000 people has even heard of, the Sea Hags.
A band that took the glam rock sound to its next to last incarnation, but drugs and a fickle record company brought them down before they could even contend with the grunge phenomena.
There's two wenches
Looking for fuse
And there's nobody dancing
They've got the burnout blues
Tyner's whiners are draggin' their tales
As the crowd keeps 'A yawnin' for more
So I'm...
Tossin' some words
Into the brew
And I'm stirrin' the music
Into Riff Rock Stew
I'm gettin' back to the grind
I'm gettin' back to the grind
Back to the grind
I'm gettin'
to the grind...ow
"Back To The Grind"- Sea Hags