Since I got back here, I've contracted two story ideas inadvertently. I'm not actively pursuing any writing projects at the moment, though. With September through the first half of December consisting of Novel, short story, multiple aborted plays, novel, short story, I went ahead and took my vacation as a vacation from creative writing as well. In dividing 2007 in half, I have a first-half goal of getting something (or multiple somethings) ready for publication or contest submittal. I was gonna go ahead and try to devote the second half of the year to pounding out another novel or two, but nothing's really set in stone. At this point, I'm just letting ideas come to me instead of sitting down and trying to force them onto the page. So far - without trying to sound too optimistic - I'm pleased with what I'm jotting down.
So, I'm down to two credit cards that I'm paying off. The Nordstrom card is a pain in my ass something severe, but there's only $1300 left on there. I went ahead and threw another $500 on there today, knocking it down to $800; I'm hoping that'll decrease the interest I'm paying on it a little bit. I could've put more on there, but I want to leave a little extra money in my checking account Just In Case. Besides, I have three days' worth of work I haven't yet been paid for from the week before I left for Seattle. I faxed the two time sheets I had left over on Christmas day, but I was only credited with one. Including last Friday, I SHOULD be in store for $400 come Friday. If all goes well, I'll pay off that fucking Nordstrom card before the next statement rolls around. And, as for my BIG card, I have $6200 on there; but get this, with that lower APR I signed on for, I was charged less than $20 interest last month. Yeah, I think I can swing that for a bit. They're making me pay $82 a month for a minimum payment, but at the rate I'm able to save, that card won't know what hit it.
After this summer, I'll be down to just the three Must-Watch television shows. The final season of The Sopranos (or, rather, the continuation of the elongated Season 6) begins in April or May and will shoot its wad for the nine weeks thereafter. Of course, there's one show in particular that'll be ending its run after four short seasons, but that HAS to be saved for its own post later this week. Leaving, of course, 24 which I don't see dying or growing stale until Jack Bauer is forced into retirement at the ripe old age of 93 years old (which of course brings memories of an aging Charles Bronson from "Death Wish 9" lying in a hospital bed muttering to himself, "I wish I was dead"). 24 starts up this Sunday at 8pm with two action-packed hours followed the following day with another two hours at the same time. I, of course, don't have a TV, which means I'll most likely be a day late on both fronts. As for the other two Must-Watch shows, we're talking about none other than Entourage and South Park. Entourage usually accompanies The Sopranos, so hopefully I'll be downloading new episodes this spring. South Park runs seven weeks of episodes in the spring followed by another seven weeks in the fall. Other than that, I really have no use for television anymore (for reasons non-sports-related anyway). I hear I'm supposed to be watching a show called The Wire - also from HBO - but it's almost already run its course, so I can just download those too. Look, when Nowhere Man got the ax after one heart-racing season, a piece of my TV-watching soul got the ax right along with it. It's of little relief, however, with the knowledge that the guy who PLAYED Nowhere Man is going to be in a new HBO show created by the guy who made one of my other favorite HBO shows "Deadwood." There might be hope for this medium yet.
Should I just go ahead and make this my longest-ever running Journal Post? After two decently-sized ones this morning, I'm sure you've gotten to this sentence and clicked right out of this page anyway. I've got a little more than two hours to go at work and nothing left to read. Let's see if I can think of anything else to talk about.
A Night At The Museum, I'm shocked to discover, is number 1 at the box office for the third straight week now. It seems like every year there's some dumb little movie that just so happens to make WAY more money than it's worth on a comedic level. Look, I didn't HATE this movie - though I never would've seen it had I not been offered the opportunity to see it with friends in Seattle - but just knowing that it's made over $134 million already kinda sours me on the whole thing. Like I said before, there were funny PARTS, but this just speaks to the fact that there's nothing out there right now worth seeing. You've got the Will Smith movie, you've got that cliche-filled "Freedom Writers" about the female white teacher in the L.A. ghetto school, that fucking Cedric The Entertainer movie debuted at Number 11 because people realize that he's NOT FUNNY, I'm not gonna go on. You get the idea. "Children of Men" is one I'd like to see, but probably won't go out of my way to pay for; "Notes on a Scandal" didn't look too great when I saw the preview, but I'm hearing excellent things about the actresses; every fiber of my being came away from the preview I saw weeks ago for the movie "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer" told me that thing is going to suck ten ways from Sunday, but I'm intrigued by the fact that it's in French and that Dustin Hoffman is in it. But, I've got nothing coming in this week. "Alpha Dog" that Justin Timberlake movie will probably blow ass; never trust ANYTHING when you see Sharon Stone's name among the cast ... unless Arnold Schwarzenegger is casting a prominent shadow over things.
I've never been a "Comic Book Guy." I don't know if that's necessarily helped or hindered my development into the well-rounded male I've become. I suppose, looking back, I was nerdy, brainy, and socially awkward enough growing up; adding a comic book fixation into the mix probably would've ground me into social dust. But, for whatever reason, this phenomenon passed me right on by. For an outcast, I had some strange interests growing up. Never one for comic books, lest the occasional issue of Heathcliff. I liked comic STRIPS though. I can remember when both Calvin & Hobbes and The Far Side originals were still printed in newspapers; over time I purchased every C&H anthology as well as a number of Far Side and Garfield collections. I was never much into Science Fiction like some of my nerdier friends; never a Star Trek guy; didn't even really get into Star Wars until my younger brother fell in love with the movies. But, I read almost everything Stephen King has ever written - which includes TONS of Sci-Fi/Horror elements. I could, for the most part, care less about Martial Arts (movies or the real thing), but Bloodsport was my all-time favorite movie. That being said, I wasn't a Bruce Lee guy (my brother and dad are), I didn't get into Steven Segal until my later teenage years, and Jackie Chan made me want to barf. Hip Hop and I have always had an on-again/off-again relationship, ditto Pop music. I started getting into classic rock from the 60s and 70s when I was 12 years old. As a younger kid, though, I was one of few watching MTV in elementary school when they still played music videos; and I was the only kid I knew of who was allowed (and actually WANTED) to stay up and watch Saturday Night Live. You know, in the late 80s when Dennis Miller hosted the news and Jon Lovitz was still on the cast? Yeah, I got to see those live. Oh, and while everyone I knew and know now were little kids getting excited for dumb shit like Professional Wrestling, I'm happy to say I never watched a single match. Didn't appeal to me. Neither did cars/auto racing, G.I. Joes (or anything involving the war theme), The A-Team, or lots of other shit aimed at guys. But, I got into the Seahawks when I was 6 or 7, I enjoyed watching He Man, and I wouldn't miss a single episode of Transformers. My dad bought us a Nintendo in 1988 - right after we moved into the house on Westgate Boulevard - and while I spent many an hour playing all the Mario games, as well as Zelda, Metroid, and Rad Racer, by the time I hit my mid-to-late teenage years, my time spent in front of a TV playing video games reduced drastically. You could essentially boil my childhood/pre-teen interests down to Music, Seattle Sports, TV Sitcoms, Stephen King books, Mad Magazine, and Jean-Claude Van Damme.
But, thinking back now, Comic Books never really took off for me. That's too bad, because from what I understand - if I would've looked in the right places - I could've found some really amazing series and stories. One such series is the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles legacy. Back when they all had the same colored eyebands, back when it was dark and menacing, rather than the campy, cartoony TV series and later two movies. Well, they're coming back this summer, and from advanced word it's going to be as good, if not better, than the first Turtles movie. I. Loved. That. Movie. Raph was a badass, Kasey Jones was a stud, and it even had a cool Lost Boys/Peter Pan vibe going. The thing is, while I. Loved. That. Movie., I wasn't reared on the comic books (which is what this new movie's supposed to emulate a little bit more); I got most of my Turtles action FROM the Campy Cartoon Series. Krang, Bebop, Rocksteady, The Rat King, the Turtle Van, the Turtle Copter ... and how could they eat all that pizza and stay in such amazing ass-kicking shape? You'd think pizza would be difficult for the turtle body to digest. Anyway, THAT'S what I REALLY want. Man, they just need to re-release the first season of the cartoon series on DVD.
Something I was thinking about while flying back to New York: "Everyone on every flight, every time, thinks the same thing: I'm going to die today. Once this grim news is unconsciously shared among the participants of the flight through nervous stares and uncomfortable body language, they can finally move on to the business at hand: getting home." I like to consider myself a fatalist: everything that happens is inevitable and subject to fate. You have absolutely no control over how long you have to live, all you can control is how happy you are while you're here. Ergo, there's no sense sitting on the plane in a frigid, clenched-fist panic, worrying about every little bump and drop you experience while flying. The bottom line is, planes don't crash all that often; that's why they're so widely covered on the news, so get over yourself. Odds are your plane WON'T be boarded by terrorists and you WON'T be the next hero of a United 93-type picture.
Something else I was thinking about, this time while sitting on the floor at the New Years party in this Odds N' Sods Journal Post: "There used to be a time in my life when I was a huge fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. What the fuck happened? I mean, it's not like they regressed as musicians/artists. But, somewhere between John Frusciante's quitting in 1992 and his illustrious return to the band in 1999, they morphed from a jam/funk SoCal band to a Wet/Sandy Vagina band." Let me elaborate. First and foremost, let me say now that Flea always was and always will be a badass, no matter what. Now, throughout the 80s, Anthony Keidis was little more than a Punk-Rapper, and their music reflected this accordingly by being simple, rough, and funky. People, I don't think, realize that they've been around since the early 80s, releasing four studio albums before they hit it big with "Under The Bridge" from what has turned out to be their greatest album "Blood Sugar Sex Magik." However, through each of those first four albums, they steadily improved, broadening the scope of their sounds and talents. "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" was their breakout album - produced by Rick Rubin - maximizing their funk mastery and mixing it with their melodious finest. During the tour for that album, though, Frusciante left the band, let his heroin addiction nearly kill him, and left the band reeling creatively. They released one album in the next seven years - with Jane's Addiction lead guitarist Dave Navarro filling in rather poorly - that had a few singles based on the previous album's success, but was no where near the quality. When Frusciante got clean and returned, they released "Californication." A nice, breezy, well-crafted album that doesn't stand up to repeated listenings, sadly. From then on, they've adopted this ultra-poppy, wimpy style of hippie music that just makes me want to stab my brain with a Q-Tip. Three albums now, I can't stand it! First of all, none of the songs distinguish themselves as particularly interesting to listen to; they all end up as one big pile of lovey-dovey mush. Like I said, they sound Nice, but that's about as far as it goes. "By The Way" was God-awful, and the new double album isn't much better. Apparently, someone was able to distinguish singles from the other songs that don't sound particularly better or worse. Same hooks, same soft-vocals, same whimsical guitar solos. The Red Hot Chili Peppers have morphed from a funny, funky, fresh-sounding group of wide-eyed characters to a boring, adult-contemporary-meets-Generation-X group of erectile-dysfunction-inducing saps.
OK, Christ, that's about as much as I can handle right now. I'm physically exhausted and I'll probably need the rest of my workday to proofread this sumbitch.