Archive for September, 2005

Primo Weatherman
30 September, 2005

One of the reasons that Andy Carson is my favorite weatherguesser is exemplified by his comment during the weather report this morning: “Rain lovers are going to love it.”

I find it delightfully refreshing to have a weatherguesser who does not assume that everyone wants hot and sunny weather every day. I love clouds and rain, tolerate sunshine, and abhor hot temperatures. I am even quite fond of the seasons. Every other weatherguesser I have seen assumes that the definition of good weather is “hot and sunny” and gleefully reports their guesses accordingly.

My spouse also appreciates Carson, mostly because his weather reports do not induce me to shout “Move back to California!” at the tellie.

Would You Believe?
27 September, 2005

Rest in peace, Agent 86.

Coincidence?
26 September, 2005

Am I the only one that has noticed the uncanny resemblance of Joss Whedon and Brad Bird?

And Himmicanes, Too
24 September, 2005

My brother-from-another-mother who was born in India has this to say on the topic of hurricanes:


And what is up with giving these hurricanes fine christian names. How come
there is never a hurricane named Abdullah, or one named Venkatesan
Balasubramanium? (once it comes ashore, it can be called Hurricane Venky.)
Most of these hurricanes are of foreign origin anyways.

I can also see why Venkatesan Balasubramanium is a bad choice for CNN. But
c'mon, Hurricane Patel or Hurricane Kumar, or Hurricane Hussein are all very
pronouncable names, and its very likely that once they come ashore, they
will simply settle into suburban America and be good citizens, rather than
wreak havoc.

Livestock
24 September, 2005

While some like Nerdygirl call for more cowbell, I like the line from the Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf commercial for Genworth: “Release the llamas!”

Follow your Bliss
22 September, 2005

In this post a person (who curiously has not sold a screenplay) offers some advice for aspiring screenwriters. I am not a professional screenwriter nor do I consider myself an expert on the subject, but I differ with several of these assertions.

On the mechanics of becoming a better screenwriter, the author says "If your writing group doesn't leave you on the verge of tears on a regular basis, you should find a better writing group". At first blush this sounds like the perversion of Nietzsche that bullies use to justify their bullying. Or perhaps it is some form of paying one's dues. Either way, my reading on human psychology and personal experience both tell me that the best teaching, coaching, and mentoring do not involve bringing you to the verge of tears. Of course it can be difficult to accept criticism of one's work. But constructive criticism from an authentically helpful person will not bring you to the verge of tears on a regular basis.

On the motivation for becoming a better screenwriter, the author says "If you aren't serious about writing enough to move [to Los Angeles], you aren't serious enough to be a professional". This highlights a critical, fundamental problem: he is opining on screenwriting as a job, not as an art. He comments that "quite a few people [in film school] (less than half, but still a significant percentage) don't seem to know why they're there" and "several of my classmates don't seem to be all that interested in writing". Final Draft works just as well in Des Moines as it does in Los Angeles. There is nothing wrong with screenwriting as a job or wanting to build one's professional skills as a screenwriter. But why bother if you do not love writing? Why be brought to the verge of tears on a regular basis and move across the country for just a job?

This post displays a venality that saddens me. I write because I must. The stories are packed inside me, bursting to get out. If I do not write, I live less well. I do not write for a paycheck. I would gladly accept money for my writing. But if no one pays me for it, I will still write. While it might be nice to get paid to write, it might also be miserable to have my writing stop being art and start being product.

Do what you love whatever your day job may be. They can have forty of your hours per week but never let them have your passion.

Did They really Mean to Say That?
18 September, 2005

I just saw the end of an infomercial for The Cash Flow Generator Workshop, a, er, program for making money. The two hosts are twin little people, presumably to capitalize on sympathy.

The voice over actually said "take a small step".

Did they really mean to say that?

Secret Spices
16 September, 2005

I shall admit it: I prefer the Original Recipe.

Get a Mac
14 September, 2005

This article makes me giggle.

99991
11 September, 2005

I (finally) finished the first draft of the screenplay just a few minutes ago. I feel quite a sense of accomplishment. Woot!

I got bogged down for a while. I'd like to blame panic at work (changing jobs, adjusting to a new job, dealing with a defection) and at home (finances, back-to-school) but to be truthful I'm not entirely sure what caused the fugue. It was so bad that I wasn't even reading. But, following the advice of Bird by Bird, I kept reading and today I was just possessed with a desire to fill in the remaining gaps in the screenplay and some ideas on how to do so. I feel like I had writer's block and today I climbed over it.

Way cool, eh?