December 20th, 2004


Hard work if you can get it, and if you get it, won't you tell me how?

There's a whole lot of stuff going on right now, so much that I'm unsure where to start.

For one thing it's looking like fakingsincerity might be coming to stay with me for a couple months while my mom is in Africa, and then we might be looking for an apartment together after that.

There are a lot of reasons not to do this. For one thing I don't know him very well. We've been communicating on the Internet for quite awhile and he did come to visit me once, but it's not like we've been spending years hanging out together. Logically I don't fully trust him, and there's a level of discomfort with that. I'll probably look into buying my mom a floor safe for her valuables. This is not because I think he'd steal, but because I don't trust my perception of him enough to KNOW that he won't. People get snookered all the time.

For another thing he's young, and while we have pretty good chemistry together as friends I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to like most of the people he'll pick up on the streets of New York. I can control it somewhat while he's in my apartment, but if and when we move in together I'm pretty sure there'll be a pretty good flow of boring and inane people going through the apartment. My hope is that we can find a place where I can get a room to shut myself up in while he's hosting his irritating friends. He currently has the mistaken notion that he's going to introduce me to a bunch of people and turn me into a social animal. I hope to disabuse him of it quickly. I'm also pretty sure that one of his friends is eventually going to steal some of my DVDs or video games and that this is going to leave me feeling violated and angry. It's happened before with workmen and my friends, and I just absolutely hate it. I don't think he'd do it (Like I've said I don't know him well enough to be sure) but I know he doesn't vet his associates terribly closely and annoying teenage kids/early 20's people tend to steal. That's part of what makes them annoying teenage kids/early 20's people.

So there are lots of reasons not to do this, some of which I haven't even listed yet (such as finances or the chance that he might distract me from my work.) The thing is, the reasons to actually go ahead with it are, in my opinion, even stronger.

For one thing I really need to get out of here. I've been fighting with my mother more and more and it's been abundantly clear for years that we can't stay under the same roof. There's too much bad blood and conflict. That's an important reason. Whatever issues I have with Matt will almost certainly be of the "You're playing your music too loud, well you left toothpaste residue in the sink" variety, and those can be dealt with rather easily. For another thing I should learn the roommate dynamic. Not just for my writing but because it's part of modern human experience. I don't intend to have a roommate forever, eventually I hope to make enough money to live on my own and in peace and solitude, but it's a phase I ought to go through and didn't in college. Matt's not the ideal roommate for me, he's not quiet and solitary, he doesn't have the background to stay up through the night discussing Proust and Aristotle, he's not a 5'7" Brunette with large breasts and a charming Russian accent. On the other hand he cooks, and I'll make him cook healthy, he is a relatively smart guy so if we can't talk Proust at least he's worth talking to, and I'm sure having him around will make me more sociable to some degree. Plus I can force him to act in my projects or at the very least use his harsh critiques as a semi-objective eye to what's being worked on. I'll hopefully gain patience and perspective, not to mention being something less of a slob and hey, if he won't be the Russian brunette he will likely lure her back to our place where she'll proceed to throw up all over the couch, from alcohol poisoning, and pass out, at which point he'll declare that he brought her "for me" and I have to deal with her. That's something, no?

I think it's the right move. It doesn't feel entirely comfortable but moving forward never does. I need to mature and fast, time is running out and life is whooshing by, I've been saying I want to get moving for years, this is an opportunity to force my own hand. Worst comes to worst it's only two months, and I'm going to get photocopies of his driver's license and pictures of him so that if he takes off with valuables we can set the dogs on his Swedish ass.

In other news I spent today eating way too much (After my birthday I'm going on a mostly salad diet that I think will work. I constantly think these things will work, but I figure if I try enough I will likely find at least one that fits well) and editing video. The video editing is for my class and went relatively well. I have two projects basically in the can, I spent a couple hours but figured out how to get my DVD burner working well enough to get at least a data DVD of the video files, and I know what I'm going to write in my paper. Tomorrow will be a somewhat frantic day but not too awful and the project is actually pretty good. There are flaws and such, but I like the conception and the execution wasn't bad given the resources at hand, and the assignment.

I have, however, learned why most film makers have editors. While the shot selection is something that a director should do himself, trimming the footage down to the usable shots, and those shots down to the proper sections, is laborious and time-consuming work. Delegating that responsibility is probably quite nice. I'd imagine walking into a room where the footage is already prepared for your evaluation is quite a bit easier than spending hours carefully selecting what frame to cut on and figuring out where you left that blasted Chrysler building shot.

I hope so.
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I'ma gonna change the channel.

Wow. I'm tired. I spent most of yesterday and today editing my films and then writing my paper. It really took a lot out of me, especially with my lack of sleep and the weight I've put back on. I'll be fine in a day or so and I'm serious about going virtually vegetarian starting tomorrow, not even waiting for my birthday. I'm still going to eat meat for protein, but my breakfasts will be fruity and my lunches full of chicken caesar salads with little dressing and the like. I need to fill up on fiber, these refined carbohydrates just aren't working for me.

The film projects themselves went pretty well. The primary one, the one that I initially conceived of and actually WANTED to shoot regardless of the assignment, turned out very nicely. I showed it to the friend I worked on it with, and he was surprised at the quality. "A lot less amateurish than I expected" were his exact comments. Keep in mind that this guy tends to be hyper critical about a lot of stuff and he seemed genuinely impressed and pleased with what we'd done. I think it was a good start, and I'm proud of it. What I imagined in my head is pretty much what we got on the screen, and I look forward to doing more complicated and interesting projects in the future. I don't know how the paper is going to do in the class, I think it'll be an A because the actual scenes are solid, but man was it worth doing. I really wanted to complete something like this in this year. It didn't have to be spectacular or salable, just solid and...complete. By the way if anyone wants to take a gander at it I can upload it to you via AIM in a pretty high res version. It's about 70 megs and takes about 25 minutes at my cable modem upload speed. This is mostly for my real life friends, of course, since they're the only ones who have actual interest in the things I do, but the offer's open to whoever wants a gander. Take heed that it's a silent film and filmed for a class though, so don't expect a laugh riot or even anything particularly dramatic and interesting. That'll come later.

It's pretty amazing to me how much TV and movies can suck when it comes to dialogue. The current promo for Alias actually has the following exchange in it.

Bad Guy: What's your name?
Jennifer Garner: I'ma
Bad Guy: I'ma what?
JG: I'ma gonna kick your ass! BOOM.

I have no idea how to take that. Is it supposed to be the ultimate in camp? Is it supposed to be clever? It's not. Who responds to I'ma with I'ma what? Is the guy in fourth grade? He looks to be in his 30's.

In the movie Torque there are a whole lot of classic lines but in the 3 minutes I watched of it I think I got to see one that couldn't be topped. Biker dude turns to bad guy who emerges from a car and says "What is it about driving cars that makes you all such assholes?"

Later in the movie, apparently (I checked the memorable quotes page for more gems) this exchange happens:

China: You messed with the wrong chick!
Shane: [Shane knocks China off her bike] Looks like you did, bitch!

I'm convinced that scripts like Torque aren't actually written. They congeal on the page from some sort of orthographic pollution out there in the universe. I think more screenwriters need John McEnroe hanging over their shoulders reading what they write and screaming "YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS" any time they put down a 'Torque' line. It would make the world a better place.
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    Jimi Hendrix