Friday, June 30, 2006

All The Italian You Need To Know

"Forza Azurrro!"

(Go "Blue!")

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Dogs Vs. Cats, Round One

Katie Schwartz put this up first...

Then Nicole Criona came up with this in response...

Steg Beetle said what I was going to say on Nicole's blog, only better. Curse those hair-pulling World Cup Brits
I'm kidding, Steg. I snoozed and I lost...wait, that doesn't rhyme in the past tense.

I'm not partial, I've always been a dog person though contrary to the appearances of my previous posts, I don't dislike cats. I just don't warm up to all of them, though they love me because of my allergies.

Hey, hey, try this! Go over to that one over there...yeah that one. Walk figure eights under his legs for about thirty seconds, then watch him sneeze for five minutes! I'm telling you man, it never gets old!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Pegggg It Will Come Back To You

Five-hundred and forty-four words into a 4,000 word short story and all the momentum went out of it like Newt Gingrich and Janet Reno showing up at the Playboy Mansion...crap.

So I'm web surfing and trying not to blog hop, but I hit up Peggy Archer's and along with her excellent perspective of life on the other side of the camera, she's still posting up pics of halfway decent couches. I figured that she would've run out of fair-to-middling sofas (as there should be a finite supply, right) and moved onto other furniture, yet she's still going.

Angelenos, WTF? Y'all don't have Goodwill down there? Yesterday I ran across two printers and a monitor. All circa late 90's and none were photo-worthy.

It will come back to you
Then the shutter falls
You see it all in 3-D
It's your favorite foreign movie

Saturday, June 24, 2006

"Edge Of Outside"

A friend sent a link to a friend of mine on this documentary called "Edge Of Outside."
Turner Classic Movies is showing it on July 5th and it features footage and interviews on some of all time greatest filmmakers: Kubrick, Cassavettes, Fuller, and Peckinpah. The documentary not only shows their struggles and triumphs, but how they tie into much of what cats like Scorsese, Sayles and Spike Lee do now.

Hell, I'd watch it just for the interview with Thelma Schoonmaker
Scorsese's long time editor and the best film editor ever. The woman literally and figuratively changed the way I dream.

Unfortunately, thanks to what Viacom hath wrought and Comcast will not make right, our side of San Francisco cannot get TCM without paying a small fortune every month. Fine, I'll wait for it come out on video like I do with "The Sopranos," I'm Job with a DVD player. But to all of you who have TCM on your basic cable? Enjoy and let me know.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Stewie In Your Pocket

After lunch today, Procrastinator Jr. and I hit Tutti Frutti, a gift shop
that has some of the funniest cards in San Francisco. As well as Simpson's merchandise, novelties, and books like this one

I felt bad because 95% of the time, I only go in there to browse. So I bought this

It features the following sayings:

Damn you, vile woman!
Who the hell do you think you are?
Stop mocking me!
You shall rue this day. Well go on, start ruing!
I come bearing a gift. It's in my diaper and it's not a toaster.
Put me through to the Pentagon!

It's too damn big for my pants pocket, so it will only be brought for special occasions and to drive the Missus nuts.

F.F.F. #42 Or "The Best That Daiquiris Can Do?"

“How did my underwear wind up on pillow?” she mumbled. She blinked hard in an effort to recall just what happened, then it came to her hard and ugly like a bull before he's about to finish off a matador.

He could feel her eyes on him before he even woke up and he knew as soon as he opened his eyes that she would be the farthest thing from happy as possible. He tried a smile to diffuse her anger, but he wound up looking like a nervous gazelle that accidentally stumbled onto a lioness. She looked at her panties that lay between them, then at him.

Heavy weight boxers that went the distance in a fight, with their blood and teeth on the canvas, have gone out on better terms than this couple did. Still, like alcoholics and addicts, they had a bad tendency to lapse into convenience and the safety of familiarity. This was the second time that they’ve both somehow managed to take the same ravaged, pothole-filled road instead of the one less-traveled.

Why does this keep happening to me?

Why doesn’t this happen more often?

I swear he’s going to blame this on me, he’s got the worst Eve complex this side of the medieval Catholic Church.

She’s going to blame this on me, even though she’s the one that called me up because she needed a shoulder to cry on.

Did I call him yesterday afternoon?

Midori daiquiris never fail…I think.

I don’t remember drinking that much…certainly not enough to ever wind up in bed with him again.

I mean, I’m not hung over or anything...except for the intermittent tympani symphony between my ears.

We were okay together, but not to the point that I would wind up doing even considering going down this road again.

I don’t get it, she couldn’t stand me half the time…yet here we are.

Here I am…with this pretentious prick.

Look at her glaring at me, did somebody drop a house on her sister and take the slippers?

I feel good, almost like I’m liquid.

That’s funny, I don’t feel good like I usually do, after we…did we? If we did…

Is he just going to stare at me all day?

Is she just going to glare at me all day?



“Is that all that you have to say?”

“I, uh, no, I guess, no. Last night was nice…wasn’t it?”

She finally allowed herself a smile, “…A little too, you know? It‘s kind of like you outdid yourself.”

“Yeah, guess I did.”

A torrent of laughter came from behind the bathroom door near his side of the bed and the door opened. They both covered themselves with the sheet and blankets as the door opened. The laughter flowed from a gorgeous woman wearing nothing but the towel she that she was using to dry her hair.

“Oh, you pick now to be modest?” she said to the surprised woman on the bed as she flipped her wet hair down and back up. She worked her fingers through her glistening locks like a brush and shook her head at him. “As far as you go, you don’t know the definition of ‘modesty.’ Unless passing out as soon as any part of you touches the bed, counts as ‘outdoing’ yourself.”

Up high, JJ sets the flash fiction bar…
No matter where you go, there you are.

Such Is Parenthood

There are certain things that you have give up when you become a parent and rightfully so. For example, if you have two mouths to feed, you shouldn't go running with the bulls in Pamplona. Conversely, you should make it a point to eat better and healthy food if you want to live to see your grandkids, let alone survive to see your kid graduate high school.

So I realize that there are some things that I wanted to do when I was younger that I pretty much have to give up for life. Things like hang gliding, base jumping, running through the Bronx with nothing on but a Red Sox cap, and wrestling in Tel Aviv under the moniker, "The Buck Wild Gentile."

Such is parenthood.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I'm Out Of Things To Blog...

I'm out of things to blog, although I have five incomplete posts that most likely will stay that way. So, if anyone could please kindly tell me how to convert a film script into something that could be read on Blogger, I would appreciate it.

In the meantime, a here's a post that was in response to a question asked by Lola of

She reposted it on

I’ve had alcohol at various stages before then, but fourteen was the first time I got full-on lit up. A friend of mine was in a juvenile halfway house, out towards the beach and I would go visit him after school.This was in 1979, before drug & alcohol testing was so prevalent, so I doubt the same could take place today. A couple of the older residents scored some Ranier Ale, a.k.a. “Green Death” and they invited over the residents of a nearby female juvenile half-way house.

I was crushing on the gal closest to my age, though I doubt she felt the same. She opened a 16 oz. can of Ranier and proceeded to drink the whole thing in three gulps, then she crushed the can.

Of course my young macho ass was not going to have a “girl” out drink me, much less one that was smaller than me. I never drunk more than a few sips of any alcoholic beverage before that day, nor have I ever in my life, developed a skill for speed drinking.
I don’t remember a lot beyond that stage, other than that:

A) All the girls drank and ran, literally. They knew how to put it away and not even have to dole out five lines of conversation. Much less, a goodnight hug or kiss.

B) I have no talent for drinking. Not then, not now.

C) They call Ranier Ale “Green Death” for a very good reason, because that’s the way it makes you feel after a couple of cans.

D) When the couch wants to, it can spin like one of those centrifuges that the astronauts train in to withstand G-forces.

E) When the room wants to, it can spin like one of those centrifuges that the astronauts train in to withstand G-forces.

F) Call me “Days Of Our Lives” because I knew just what “the sands of time” felt like when they went “through the hourglass.” I didn’t want to “fall” into the ceiling.

G) That was the first time, but it took me another three times to figure out that carpets everywhere fear me when raw tomatoes and alcohol are involved.

Now you have a pretty good impression of why I only drink once in a blue moon.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Random Procrastination

These lyrics...

Living here in Jersey, fighting villains from a far.
You've gotta find first gear in your giant robot car.

You dig giant robots.
I dig giant robots.
We dig giant robots.
Chicks dig giant robots.


...belong to the theme to what show?

Answer: "Megas XLR"

Sunday, June 18, 2006

A Cry Went Up

A cry went up in the middle of the crowd, then the crowd of concertgoers dispersed like the lower tier of an atomic bomb explosion. At the center of the human explosion stood Amar Flay over the body of Roddrick Leaf, brandishing a gun and a smile. I say "body" because Roddrick took one to the head and his eyes were empty.

For whatever reason, I'm always the last one to hear a gunshot. Though I always recognize what happened a split second later because of the screams and the look of panic in every other person's face. There wasn't anyone within ten feet of Amar except for a woman that was on one knee and glaring at Amare. I recognized her from around the way as someone who was always on the periphery because of the red that she used to dye her hair never occurred in nature.

From high school on, we'd run across each other everywhere the video store, to restaurants, to the movies, and even parties around my neighborhood. We never said as much as "hello," much less one word to each other. But Amar? I knew that little pendejo better than I knew half of my family. I kicked his ass way back in the fourth grade when he tried to steal my lunch, and he's had in for me ever since.

Every time we crossed paths, he'd make it a point to raise his voice or knock something over to let me know he was there. He reminded me of this little mutt that my step-mother had that used to come running down her driveway, barking and snarling. You'd clap once and stomp your feet to send the mutt scampering away. Then for the rest of the night, the mutt would be under the couch or under the table, wishing he was a pit bull or Saint Bernard so he could take a chunk out of your throat.

So here was this chickenshit who made it a point to come to a concert where everybody from every neighborhood was represented and kill one the toughest men around in cold blood. Because a dude like Roddrick wouldn't bother to feign a backhand, much less spit on a low level rat like Amar.

Amar brought the gun around to her until he noticed something out of the corner of his eye, me...the idiot who wasn't smart enough to run and was now sticking out like a tree in this receding flood of people. Who could pass up an opportunity like this? Kill a guy that you've had a grudge against for thirteen years and is now served up to you on a platter. I could see that greater than a decade of hate in his eyes as he tilted his head and aimed for me.

I closed my eyes and it wasn't my life that was flashing in front of me, but whether to charge him or run.

"You motherfu-"

There's the gunshot again and this time I heard it loud and clear. I opened my eyes and saw red spurting out of Amar's neck and he slid down like something that wasn't properly placed against a wall. "Ms. Too Redhead" was holding a gun that I guessed belonged to Roddrick and she was ready to shoot him again. Amar was as gone as Roddrick and if he did get as far as Saint Peter, I don't think those last two choked off words were going to help Amar get past the pearly gates.

Ms. Too Redhead looked back at me and I finally said "hi" to her...and no more. I turned without waiting for a reply or saying so much as a "thank you." I didn't want to give her the impression that I recognized her or that I was going to testify. As a matter of fact, my only concern was getting out of there so I wouldn't be put in the position of saying anything.

On my way through the crowd and to home, I didn't contemplate how they got the guns past the metal detectors and what passed for security, nor did I wonder if Amar had a legitimate beef with Roddrick. I was just happy to be in one piece and alive, and I was wondering just what did Ms. Too Redhead's voice sound like.

If you come here, you've gotta go there
Where the best in improvisational flash fiction resides


Thursday, June 15, 2006

Screenwriter By Day, Blogger By Night

Only one screenwriter comes by this blog a week, but if they haven't heard already, Script Weaver has a new slogan at

It's "screenwriter by day, blogger by night."

Click the link for the above sticker and note the caption, "I tried to make this a scratch-n-sniff sticker, but 'screenwriter essence' wasn't available."

Damn, that slogan is so kick ass, I wish I thought of that. "Screenwriter essence??" Well S.W is going places, but I wouldn't use the scent of a screenwriter to sell a slogan that sells itself. That's more like Robert Duvall with a look of contemplation of his face on the shores of Malibu, "I hate the smell of screenwriter in the morning, it smells like unwashed parking valet. Now keep my Ferrari near the front and don't get any scratches on it."

Labels: ,

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Someone Actually Paid For This Slogan?

I heard a slogan in a TV commercial and I thought it was one of those fake SNL ads. Nope, it was on again today and I just went to their site to verify the idiocy

"Like always. Like never before."

Someone actually paid good money for that and not only that, more than one person approved that as this company's campaign. Now you see, either somebody gave David Byrne a concussion and decided to write down whatever came out of his mouth, or someone was in the haze of a concussion while someone else was playing the song "Once In A Lifetime," and wrote down the results.

Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was
Like always. Like never before.
And you may ask yourself, what the hell is Saturn thinking?


I Am David Lee, Minus The Spandex...

I haven't blogged or responded to comments because I'm a little down. It was entirely my fault...I won't go into details.

Metaphorically, let's say I have a friendship that has the same dynamic as Van Halen, Version One. I am David Lee Roth so to speak, without the outlandish wardrobe and not as coordinated...but just as flaky and mercurial. My friend of almost thirty years is like Eddie Van Halen in that she is more talented and not as tolerant of my verbal excesses and moods.

So if our friendship tracks just like band's career did, it is just like 1996 when they were on ther verge of announcing a tour and it looked like everything was going right and was about to gel. As sure as the sun rises and Dave being Dave, I automatically said the wrong thing. I cannot say or do anything right to save the reunion.

There is no "i" in team. "Pariah" is a whole 'nother matter.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Arms Aching...

Arms aching...and if they fail? The best I can hope for is a token trial, followed by a hanging in the town square of San Jose de Oruna. I am one of the few Courlanders that venture onto this island, outside of tradesmen and merchants. The Duchy of Courland is a fiefdom of Poland and Lithuania. Neither of the home countries nor the Duchy itself was willing to fund my ambitions, and the Spanish have repelled both secret and overt Courland opportunism to expand out of Tobago.

I am a "privateer," or at least, that's what the British call it and they have provided some of my means, but I have provided my own methods. They started me out with my first crew of fifteen men. The original crew were mostly Irish men, but all of them were people that the British wanted to be as far away from England as possible and all of them were granted their freedom on the condition that they never return to Europe. All that serve under me do so of their own free will or I won't have them on my ship, I will not be betrayed by my own for the wrong reasons.

Unlike true "privateers," we weren't granted a "Letter of Marque and Reprisal." It is a commission that would've allowed us to seize everything and anything of any merchant ship that wasn't British, on behalf of England. I had convinced a British go-between, Nathaniel, that I knew every square inch of Trinidad well and that I could wreck enough economic havoc in two years that the entire Spanish Armada would have to shift their attention southward.

My short term goal was to plunder every non-war Spanish ship that came within eighty square miles of Trinidad. My long term goal was to free the Amerindian Natives who were enslaved by the Spanish and have them rise against their Latin masters. I would trade their lives, freedom and land back to them in exchange for the vast amounts of gold that the Spanish kept on the island for trading and commerce.

Nathaniel questioned the soundness of my plan, but he said that England would invest in me, simply because they couldn't afford to concentrate as much of their fleet this far south as they wanted to and any campaign however successful, could help turn the tides.

My crew fought hard and they fought well during their first battle, using nothing but a few row boats to seize a three-masted merchant galleon unawares. We took the same galleon (which we renamed "Wilhelmina") to Tortola, where we were to be out-fitted with cannons. We were given cannons so that this dog of a ship would have a bark, but no shot or powder to give the dog a bite. So many of our earlier campaigns were carried out with guile rather than brute force and barring that, we had to flee like a dog with her tail between her legs.

This left a taste in my mouth worse than the rations that remained after twelve days at sea, including the mold and the maggots that accompanied them. In a small tavern outside of San Jose de Oruna, I complained to Nathaniel about our weaponry being a mere decoration over the strongest rum in the Caribbean, though it seemed that his mind was made up before we even sat down to parlay. He claimed that they would not provide powder because we had become too successful and due to the fact that most of my crew held grudges agains the British, they were worried that we might branch off into raiding British ships.

The three crewmen that I brought to this meeting and me said nothing as we simply stood and turned to go, but we were ambushed. The British Navy sealed both doors and the four windows with every available sailor in the area, almost two score. I had anticipated that Nathaniel would attempt some treachery, but not until we were under way. So my crew were at the ready, but anchored out of range of the British guns and of no use to me now.

The one thing working in the favor of we four in the tavern was that the British had only twelve rifles between them and that my father had taught me well in dealing with being outnumbered. He always said to go after the tallest and if they're all the same size, the strongest. If not the strongest, then do your worst to their leader.

I raised my flagon of rum to Nathaniel and motioned for a toast. He stood at the ready, his hand on his scimitar. "Would you not grant a man in my position, the courtesy of a toast and a drink to women?"

His face twitched, unsure if I would be as duplicitous as him. I thought it over...he wouldn't partake of women...or of men. His pleasure in life came from doing his absolute worst, to as many people as possible. "Well then, if not to the fair company of women, how about to the British Empire?"

He relented his grip on his sword, reached for his flagon and our cups met. I took a shallow sip, then flung the rum at my advesary. I heard the hammers of a dozen rifles cock back as I reached for the candle on the table and threw it at Nathaniel. I knew that initial fiery scream would provide a good distraction, having seen the same thing done to someone else in Kingston some five years before.

As he spun like the embers from a burning sail and let out a chilling cry, my men and me did what we could to take advantage of the confusion, sending eight of them to the cracked British teapot in the sky. We dispatched another two before the fusillade began, the British getting the worst of it as Nathaniel and three of his own men were killed by their own, compared to one of mine.

The surviving rifle men were at us with their bayonets and one of my men took one of their rifles and became like a hurricane unto them. Steel upon steel, until it was ringing like wedding bells from a church. The screams of the dying and the screams of fear disguised as howls of intimidation, it was deafening.

All of this raged until there were ten of them and I was alone, except death and the devil in my corner...which is where I stand now. Arms aching, wanting to feel the sea breeze caress my face just one last time. They toy with me, they're too scared to come closer and seem content to just wear me down.

A cutlass in each hand, my shoulders and arms are cramped and stiff. My will to live is all that's left to fuel my limbs...

I can tell by my sitemeter that you're still not listening, some of the best Flash Fiction in America is inspired and written by JJ!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Feedback From The "Writers On A Storm Contest"

I've brought up a few posts ago that I'd entered the Writers On The Storm contest and didn't make the quarter finals, with a script that made the quarter finals in another contest a couple years ago. It was laziness on my part because I figured that rather than tuning it up and modernizing it, that it would be good enough as is.

For example, I made references to sword and sandal films because I thought that the whole "Gladiator" would still be going when it sold. How fast did "Troy" and "Alexander" die out? The timing was perfect then, but as they say, "never writer for what you think will be popular later on."

G.L, my friend and a writing role model since I was fifteen, says that I should always put forth my best effort and submit my best material. Sound advice that I never seem to entirely take to heart as the opus I covet so much will never be submitted to any screenplay contest or by itself to a production company. It will only appear as a novel or as a screenplay after I've sold a few others, period. That's just me, I don't want the thing diluted into something that's it's not, just because "I'm sorry that we had to go in a different direction with your story because Hungarian laser-wielding lesbian vampires are testing through the roof!"

Not that they shouldn't test through the roof or that their stories shouldn't be told, I would rather tell their stories in a script other than the one I poured my heart and soul into.

So yes, I will tune "Dinner At Your Place" up. In the meantime, the good folks at the WOTS contest gave everybody a little feedback (or was it just for me? Don't email me if they didn't do it for you) on the script that they submitted. You don't get that with every contest and you're lucky to get a form email-letter telling you whether you made the quarter finals or not.

So "PJ" wrote the feedback to "Dinner" and I agreed with most of it, though some of the feedback stuck me odd. Let's glance over this together...

"A well-written story with a suspensful premise." I don't know about those last two words, it was a rom-com, how much suspense could there possibly be? Somebody is getting somebody and somebody might wind up lonely by the time the credits roll. After the credits, there might be a suprise or two. I should take part of that back, there is a question that isn't answered until the very end.

"Many of the characters are engaging, especially Linda." Linda was not meant to be sympathetic or the most engaging. She's a quasi-villain, as much as a victim of her own delusions. Either "PJ" didn't read the script or I did an incredibly bad job as a writer of getting that across, and neither bodes well. Or "PJ" relates to Linda's character a little too much and I can't really say that because I don't know "PJ" from Eve or Adam.

"The author has a good ear for dialogue. The tone and flow to the story is good." Damn "PJ," dinner's on me if you're up here and I don't mean McDonald's. "Many of the scenes have a good amount of conflict." Good, that's just what I wanted to get across... "But there needs to be conflict in every single scene." I thought that there was a tad too much and that it would alienate the reader, just goes to show and I mean that sincerely.

"So, make sure to put in conflict in each scene and cut out any chitchat or small talk." This script was written as dialogue-heavy. I wrote this right after I took Dov S. Simens Two Day Film School and this was meant to be a script that could be shot on the cheap with a minimum of locations. Basically, it was to be more stage play than film. So the small talk was as essential to me as it would be to Woody Allen or Jim Jarmusch, but I can see how that would've alienated a reader.

"The author does a nice job pulling the reader into the story right away and sustaining the reader's interest throughout." You want flowers with that dinner, PJ?

"There are a few minor formatting mistakes. Check out Jim Cirile's 'Format and Style Guide 2006' for examples of how to format a basic screenplay or buy some professional scripts from a place like and read them over for further study." More laziness on my part, that's all I'll say about that other than it wasn't very professional on my part.

The scripts are graded with the following system: "Excellent," "Very Good," "Good," "So-so," and "Not Good." I received "Good" on premise, characters and structure. "Very Good" on dialogue and one would think that one "Very Good" more, might have vaulted me into the quarter finals. There was also this...

Since the author obviously has a lot of potential as a writer, we highly recommend checking out Writer's Boot Camp ( ." Which I cannot distinguish if this is genuine or a pitch...

and speaking of which, check out my store at

Because my accountant says that I need to make more of an effort than I have in the past of selling it. Of course, she doesn't mean in the blog. She means actual advertising and sending products to highly visible clients.

More laziness on my part.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

One BMW, Well-done

You didn't believe me when I said, "I am the King of Take Out. The Tsar of Take Away, bow to my greatness."

How would I quantify or qualify for this? Because every restaurant I go to, the people know me like Norm. Because every restaurant I go to, they offer me a glass of water or the occasional appetizer, unlike everybody else who places a take out order.

No one has offered to name their firstborn after me, but this is as inevitable as the Brad-gelina breakup. Though I do understand the hesitation on their part as "Write Nguyen," "Procrastinator Chomanan," or "Write Del Escritor" does not exactly roll off the tongue.

Tonight, Procrastinator Jr. and myself stopped off first Mihn Tri Vietnamese Restaurant
and ordered some:

A) Bi Cuon-Vietnamese spring rolls with shredded pork, mint leaves, lettuce and rice noodles. The outer skin is like a soft tortilla and is made out of rice paper. The outer skin is not deep-fried.
B) Tasty Beef-The one and only reason why I go exclusively to this restaurant for a Vietnamese dinner. Eggplant, beef, garlic, onions, and (scrambled) eggs sauteed.
C) Ginger Chicken-Succulent chicken and a few green beans sauteed with a jullianed ginger sauce.
D) Broccoli Beef-Beef and broccoli sauteed in a fermented bean sauce, though it tastes more like oyster sauce to me.

Then it was off to the ATM and Jamba Juice because the kid eats none of the above and he needs his fiber. While we're waiting for two Mango-a-go-go's and a Peach Pleasure, a BMW five-series (a 1986 535, if I had to guess) that was diagonally across the street, started to smoke. I pointed this out to Procrastinator Jr. who was fidgeting with his cell phone. To all parents and future parents, smoking cars beat out video games and just about anything else when it comes to grabbing attetion.

A couple of people in the Jamba Juice shop noticed it and then, the people behind the counter did too. The smoke increased and intensified, then the engine bay caught fire. First it was a small rolling fire, then it started to spill over the upturned-hood and finally, it spilled out of the opened right passenger door.

The cashier at Jamba rightfully asked if anyone had called 911, since it seems that all of us were stuck in rubberneck mode. A couple of us surmised that someone must have and they did, as the firetruck arrived some three minutes after she said that. In the meantime, the guy that was busiest behind the counter finally looked up and noticed the BMW. He said, "hey...that car is on fire!" Most of the customers and help laughed at his tardiness with a nervous edge, because there was the possibility that someone was hurt.

Procrastinator Jr. and I exited the shop as the fire truck arrived. I told him to pull his shirt up and cover his mouth as the acrid smell and burnt plastic smoke were a bit overwhelming. I called the Missus and told her about what happened, all the while the streets are black and grey.

We sought refuge in Mihn Tri and the owner's wife thought it was some overzealous idiot with too much lighter-fluid in the barbecue, since only so much of the smoke made it into the restaurant.

I explained to her that it was the fire causing that and she and one of the cooks went outside. Most of the fire was out by then, but the smell lingered. So much so that the Missus could smell it once she got off the phone with me and our house is some ten blocks away. I don't know if anyone was hurt, but kudos to the San Francisco Fire Department for so quickly dispatching the fire.


Monday, June 05, 2006

To Balance Out The Negative Post Below

This will balance out the negative post below and it's courtesy of TVgasm

Not as funny as the Giada DeLaur-bit, but pretty good if you're a foodie or Food Network fan. Listen to the audio clip that accompanies it and tell me that Paula Deen ain't a scream...

Labels: , ,

My Back Is Tight... I'm ducking work and calling in sick. Though, I would've anyway, because everybody there is acting like something that rhymes with "ducking work." I know you got the first reference right away, but the second word begins with a "j," capisce?

I did get into particulars, work politics, artificial glass ceilings and the like, then I thought better of posting it. HIGHLIGHT, BACKSPACE, ENTER.

I don't want to get sued, because...where I work? They would file one on me if I acquired a modest amount of success or wealth. I still might get hit with one just for the hell of it. That's part of the reason for the pen name and why I don't go shouting my real name all over the Internet.

So I might have toughed it out tonight, but "I wasn't feelin' it" as the kids say. Last Thursday night, my iPod froze as I pulled it out of the iHome clock radio. The screen says "Charged" and the big battery icon is stuck there. I tried to reset it like both the manual and help page said, but no dice.

I've become complete dependent upon the thing. Going to work and the stress involved in it, is like diving and my iPod is the decompression chamber that keeps me from getting the bends:

plural but singular or plural in construction : a sometimes fatal disorder that is marked by neuralgic pains and paralysis, distress in breathing, and often collapse and that is caused by the release of gas bubbles (as of nitrogen) in tissue upon too rapid decrease in air pressure after a stay in a compressed atmosphere
No Brubeck or Coltrane to restrain the inner postal worker in me, no Steely Dan to soothe the savage Procrastinator.
Sure, my back aches from overexertion, but from stress as well. Not to mention that even though the calendar says June 5, the Ides of March are upon me. Wrap me in a toga, place an olive wreath upon my head and call me "Scrib-ius Caesar."

Sunday, June 04, 2006

He Said Little As They Paddled Their Way Along The Sunken Streets

Oppure, "La Venezia Appassionata"

He said little as they paddled their way along the sunken streets, only the top floors and roofs of the taller buildings were still above water. What centuries of rising tides could not accomplish, an earthquake did in one day as the foundations of Venice, Italy gave way and the entire city collapsed like an elephant standing on a pallet of eggs.

Archaeologists owned the city by day, looters and pirates by night. His hired-on partner and he wouldn't risk any kind of motor, gas or electric, because that meant that they would surely be discovered. Their night vision goggles seem to pick up the signature of the pirates more often than the houses, their paddling slow and methodical to match the gentle lapping waves against the buildings.

Not many knew of her whereabouts, yet their window was shrinking and it was only a matter of time before she was discovered.

The levees, sea walls and breaks yielded to the Adriatic, and the sea helped the lagoon reclaim all. The once magnificent buildings and homes when they weren't doing their impression of a certain tower in Pisa, collapsed onto each other like a house of cards to a sudden gust of wind. He lived there off and on for about five years, and he believed that he knew the city by heart. But that was from a street level that no longer existed and once he left what was once the Grand Canal, all bets were off just like his favorite reference points.

Sure, he'd recognize a church steeple here, or balcony where he held a woman there, like a Romeo and Juliet that had finally consummated their passion. But now? It was one huge green slime-covered crap shoot. He had tried to triangulate using satellite photos from the Internet in comparison with known archeologicall digs, but all that went out the window in the darkness.

GPS did absolutely no good here, the pirates had figured out ways to manipulate or jam the signals so that everyone who relied on it would become disoriented, and thus become, the easiest of prey. So they rowed onward, silently and for the most part, aimlessly.

His partner's head whipped around at him in askance as stopped them in the water by grabbing onto an eave, despite the algae compromising his grip. A boat of looters glided some fifty yards away and the looters had on night-vision goggles too. One of the looters deliberately took his time in aiming a rifle at them when the spotlight of a pirate speedboat blinded the looter.

The looter screamed at the intensity of the light and at being discovered. He blindly fired at the pirates. The pirates returned fire and cut the looters down in a hail of red tracers. He and his partner slowly rowed backward as the pirates descended on the looter's boat like nocturnal vultures.

It's said that "it is always darkest before the dawn" and in this case, no truer words were spoken. He had to give up on her, someone else would find her, though they wouldn’t appreciate half as much as he did and they wouldn't take care of her as tenderly as he had.

She was the truest of loves, she gave all and asked nothing in return. And all he wanted to do was bask in her warm beauty just for another moment, but it seemed that only memories would do from here on out. Or would it? Because in the pitch black of the four A.M. darkness with only a quarter moon to light the way, he saw a white fin on a nearby roof.

The fin was actually a rudder from a radio-controlled P-51 Mustang replica airplane that one of the neighborhood kids used to buzz everybody in the piazza (plaza) with. He and the next-to-last girlfriend that he had went for a romantic walk when the kid pushed things too far and the plane nearly hit them. The girlfriend waited until the kid turned his back to them and she jostled the punk, sending his remote to the ground and the plane up on a roof.

Here was the perfect reference point, faintly glowing in the night. He rowed over to the building that the plane was perched on and brought it back to the boat, after an incredible amount of effort. If he couldn't find her, the plane would be the consolation prize and proof to himself that he at least came close. They then rowed due west across what he subconsciously knew to be the piazza boundaries.

He know recognized his grandfather's mansion, though without the aid of the plane, he wouldn't have known it at all. Someone had repainted the building and changed the tiles on the roof from terracotta to blue. Though the house looked like no one had lived there for centuries, something greater than hope told him that she was still waiting there for his return.

The window of his grandfather's office was still intact, somehow. He used a glass cutter and suction cup to open it as quietly as possible, then he climbed in.

As the sun rose over Verona, some one-hundred and twenty miles east of Venice, his partner gave him a warm tap on the back.

"She's-eh-prettier than you deescribed," his partner sung in that strange British English that always sounds odd coming from Italians. He nodded and beamed. Taking that beauty in again and reveling in the role of both lover and savior.

"My grandfather would broker deals and ransoms between art thieves and the authorities. But that doesn't mean that he always gave the authentic artifact or art work back to them. Whatever sits in the Mauritshuis, in the Hague, is not the real Vermeer. This is the real Girl With A Pearl Earring."

Random House is just that, while JJ's Flash Fiction Friday has direction, content and is phat

A License To Drive You Nuts...

I've just added a Creative Commons License and it's not because I think so much about my posting and short stories that I belive that someone will help themselves. It's actually because I would like to publish an excerpt or two of my lesser screenplays here and there.

They are not up to snuff and should be snuffed out, if anything. Still, there are some redeeming cuts of dialogue and I would like to share them down the line. This is the only way that they will ever be viewed by someone else other than the Missus, Mr. C and his clique, or me. And the only way they will be posted is if I hit a blog posting dry spell.

You are forewarned so don't come crying to me about your eyes never being the same again or that I've blinded you with second-rate dialogue science.


Friday, June 02, 2006

Someone Who Always Makes Me Laugh

Somebody that makes me laugh is unfortunately going through a difficult and trying time with Graves disease...
Please, say a prayer for her or do a get well post. I would appreciate that very much and thank you.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Break Out The Tiny Violins

Last night was a particularly taxing and vexing night, my usual work load was quadrupled. My exception was not with the amount of work itself, but the way it was abdicated and foisted upon a coworker and me. A mace in the face kind of day, followed by a sucker punch to the plexus, if you will.

So I was looking for a little pick-me-up this morning and that just ain't happening.
Do you see "Dinner At Your Place" here?

Me neither. It was good enough to make the quarter-finals in the last contest I entered it in, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it was a top-flight script and it might also suggest that the competition in this contest is that much better.

Regardless, a big congratulations to all who entered and especially to the quarter-finalists. Here's to the best for you all and all the success that will hopefully come with it. I'm not bitter or angry, I'm just sad and I wish I could be up there too.