Thursday, January 26, 2006

Oprah Pwns Back

Some people have heard and expressed interest in the non-fiction memoir A Million Little Pieces by author James Frey, though I am not one of them. Mainly because a book about the horrors of drug addiction and incarceration isn't something I'm interested in. A good thing as it turns out because The Smoking Gun recently published a multi-page expose that basically pointed out that the author was a liar.

As it turns out, he originally shopped it around as fiction but switched to non-fiction because he and the publisher felt it would sell better as a memoir. Oprah then picked it up, read it, gave it to everyone at Harpo and forced them to read it, then had the author on and praised him and the book to high heaven.

All of which bit her in the butt in a big way once the truth came out. To her credit, Oprah kicked his ass on live tv and for that alone I have to give her credit. I also don't know why I'm writing about The Big O on my blog, but hey I was thinking about it and figured I'd write up something this afternoon.

Oh My God....

I've now found the greatest exploitation film title ever. Virgins From Hell. But it gets better. Here's the description:
A chaste all-girl biker gang vows vengeance on the drug lord that did them wrong in this kinky Asian exploitation film. The gang goes after Mr. Tiger for selling drugs to kids, but instead, he gains the upper hand and holds the biker chicks captive, using them as guinea pigs in his aphrodisiac experiments conducted with the help of his sadistic lesbian associate. But Mr. Tiger soon learns he's no match for the virginal vigilantes.
Imagine me laughing my head off and you'll know what's happening in my office right now. I'm also adding this to my Netflix queue because any movie with a title like that and hailing from 1987 must be genius. Throw in god-awful dubbing, and I've found a flick that must be seen as soon as it hits on Jan. 31.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Calm Before/After the Storm

It is amazing to me what can be done when management drives the train straight into a wall, but insists on plowing forward anyway. The short version is pulling the kind of days I've had for the last two weeks has resulted in severe burnout both physically and mentally. It is not a good sign when you walk into the office before 8 a.m. Monday morning and the only thing you're looking forward to is possibly getting off before 5 p.m. on Friday.

A whole lot can happen in the meantime, and it's to the point now where I flat don't care. Ah well, at least I can point to five posts on the DeLorean story and count that as a victory, even if #5 was mine.

In the mean time, I'm content that my day at the office was, by comparison to the last two weeks, calm. The recent storm that blew through managed to drive everyone crazy with so many impending deadlines compounded by the install of a server system for our video editors that flat doesn't work. It also took management until today to realize that it didn't work, and to pull the plug on it and get something in that would. The joy on everyone's faces at hearing the good news immediately vanished when we all realized that those impending deadlines are only getting closer and our technology, in short, sucks.

It also doesn't help that we have enough work for 15 full time editors, but only have five (I'm also counting our two production coordinators as one-half an editor). Our lead editor is also soon to depart these shores for the sunny climes of hurricane-friendly Miami, which leaves a big damn void of talent in the office. "Interesting" is one way of describing the environment there, with "absolute anarchy" being a better way.

And the best part is that this massive show that is going on in a few weeks hasn't been cut yet. Oh no, that starts tomorrow with the final pieces of the puzzle not being dropped in until next weekend at the earliest. The spot airs the week after that.

Oh what fun it is to ride this one horse careening-out-of-control sleigh.

The plus side is I have a new outlook on life and my own projects this year. I find it frankly stunning that someone like me who was once obsessed with dreary now actually has a hopeful outlook on the future. Burning through almost 20 pages of script this past weekend helped keep my sanity better than I could have imagined. But the real key has been My Fair Lady's unwavering support and love. Without her I honestly would not be the guy I've become in the last few years and I don't think I've ever said thank you publicly.

Thank you, My Fair Lady, for everything you do and for being the wonderous woman you are.

In less romantic news, I've found a space sim everyone simply has to play. It's called Space Rangers 2 and it's utterly brilliant. The downside is that it will install the infamous Starforce protection software on your machine, but I've not had a lick of difficulty or system instability with it. If you can get past that, there is a dazzling turn-based game here that recalls the space sims of yesteryear brilliantly. I'm not that far into it, but this game is monstrously huge and terrifically fun to play. I'll write up more later when I get further into it.

As far as movies and TV go, I just finished The Shield season 2 and Vic Mackey owns my weak ass. I've heard people complain that seasons two and three weren't as solid as the first, but I disagree. While the first season was full throttle fury and energy start to finish, season two actually did what a second season should - it built on the existing characters and relationships while furthering the story of dirty cops walking the line between good and evil.

As outstanding as the second season was, I was floored by the final shot of Mackey and the Strike Team looking at the results of their ill-gotten gains. What should have been a joyous moment for them and the viewer was instantly turned heart-wrenching by the looks of shame on their faces. They knew that they could no longer look themselves in the mirrors and call themselves solid cops, and it made for a riveting finish to a stellar season. The only thing that knocks it down a notch is the focus on Julian being gay. We see it time and again that he's constantly fighting against being gay, going so far as to join a sexual rehabilitation group in his church.

I'm sorry, but who cares? He's a great cop, a stand-up individual to boot, but whenever his "temptation" shows up in the form of Thomas the show grinds to a screeching halt. I'm talking dead stop here. I want to see where they go with it considering how they left his character at the end of season two, but his arc is royally boring.

Right now I have Godzilla: Final Wars courtesy of Netflix and I'm dying to check it out. That may have to wait until tomorrow though, but as a long-time Gojira fan I'm aching to crank up the sound and listen to that roar. Watching him bitchslap the Godzilla-In-Name-Only from the Roland Emmerich remake is the type of bonus that comes along only so often in a man's lifetime. Expect a full report once I've seen Tokyo smashed for the upmteenth time.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Doc Brown Reads This Site!

CDS readers are apparently more varied than I gave credit to. Somehow my DeLorean post the other day was noticed by CDS reader Mark Shields who was kind enough to send over a link to his website. Which I'm going to blatantly pimp out right here because clicking that link will take you to pictures of his car.

Mark, if you're ever in town again then I'd love to get a closer look at that beauty. Its good to know that Mr. Fusion is helping keep America clean.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Ultimate Showdown for Ultimate Destiny

Click this to see your geekiest childhood fantasy come true - every geek hero/villain you can think of, except Bruce Campbell, fighting it out to the death in Flash animation. All to an insanely catchy tune. Brilliant is how best to describe this.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

For All You Gamers Out There...

... a video that will make you laugh.

In shame, I might add, for all those times when you just had to beat that level or hit that save point. High comedy is found within.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

What the Hell is a Giga-Watt?!?!

Yesterday I was on my way home for lunch when I saw it. On the streets of Dallas, TX, I saw it.

THE DeLorean. If you have to ask why "the" is in bold, then you are not a child of the 1980's. The short version is a guy who left GM by the last name of DeLorean started building his own line of cars, one of which was used by the makers of a little film trilogy called Back to the Future.

Someone in Dallas has either the original or a replica, complete with vents and wires hanging off the back of it, and me wantsss it. There is literally no way in hell that I wouldn't get that thing on the freeway and crank it up to 88 mph within 10 seconds of owning it.

Sunday, January 8, 2006

Young Hooked by NFL

In a surprise to absolutely no one, Vince Young has declared for the NFL Draft thus bypassing his senior year at UT.
"I thank God for the opportunity to be in this position," Young said at a news conference. "Hard work has paid off a whole lot."
If only he weren't such a pompous ass about his abilities, I might care. Then I remember that he went to UT, which is one of the most overblown institutions of higher learning around. Then I also remember that he basically won the Rose Bowl single-handedly, which means Texas may have quite the fall from grace next season. Good luck to Young on his career, which will hopefully include learning how to take a hit from a 250-lbs linebacker looking to make a name for himself as the guy who killed Vince Young.

And Now, a Flaming Mouse

CNN sometimes posts funny stories like this one about a man bested by a mouse he tried to burn to death. This story strikes home for those of us who have fought off vermin before.

Friday, January 6, 2006

My First Guitar Hero Post

No, I don't have what has been hailed as one of the greatest games ever. Thanks to Bill Harris of Dubious Quality fame for pointing out what is hands-down one of the best televised reports on gaming to ever hit your television. Were I living in Sacramento, I would so be tuned into this station all the time just to catch fun like what's going on here. Check it out, laugh it up, and rock on.

My curiosity on this game has gone through the roof of late, but the slightly higher price tag isn't what's holding me back. It's the fact that my game and DVD backlogs are so huge that I absolutely have to whittle those down before surrendering to the rock gods.

Thursday, January 5, 2006

My Christmas Present for '06

There is nothing that I want more right this second than this prototype 103" plasma TV from Matsushita. It doesn't matter that I'd need a forklift everytime I needed to move it, and that the walls of my house would in no way support the weight.

That sucker would rule when combined with a surround sound setup. And it would rule me for the rest of my life as I tried to pay off the $130,000 price tag. Such is the price for glorious bragging rights, but it remains a small price to pay for a new toy of that size.

Bunny-Hopping for Your Art

What better way to kick off the New Year than with an epic struggle of a man against the forces of nature? I'd love to read about that too, but in the meantime here is the story of an idiot who wrapped his legs in chains for a self-portrait only to lose the key, all out in the middle of the desert.

And 2006 rolls in

I didn't think it had been this long since I actually wrote anything but apparently time has a funny way of slipping out from under me. The Christmas holidays were particularly nice to me and My Fair Lady, and New Year's was equally enjoyable. We went to Lubbock for several days to spend Christmas with her family, then had a nice dinner at home before driving around looking at Christmas lights to celebrate New Year's.

It is now time to discuss the 2006 promises that I intend to keep. Here's hoping I actually do so. :)

1) Write more. This is hands-down the goal I am most focused on for this coming year. Last year I got back into writing more with my stories, ideas, scripts, and blogs, but this year will be the year I focus on them and turn them into more than a few pages of scrambled notes. My Fair Lady gave me a year's subscription to Writer's Digest for Christmas and that combined with her gift of the PC game The Movies and my parents' giving me a top of the line screenwriting program means I have all the motiviation and tools in the world to finally shut up and do it. Consider it done.

So what exactly does that mean, you might ask?

It means more of me here, and on my machine at home. I'm currently wrapping up the holidays at the house, and addicted to Ratchet: Deadlocked, but my plan for cranking out writing projects is simple. It's all a matter of focus, which is something I've lacked from birth. I figure that I may as well learn it now that I'm staring down 29. Once again I have to point at my gaming addiction as a turning point in my life last year.

In 2004, I actually completed seven games. Probably played close to 100, but actually finished seven. In 2005 I completed 25 games total, with one of those being completed twice. The difference was focus. I would start up one game and play through the entire thing before I even touched another one. That way my extensive backlog slowly, but surely, was whittled down.

I'll confess to being on the verge of exploding the backlog again, but I have a different view on both gaming and writing this year. My focus is on one thing at a time now, and thus far the results have been amazing. Since my attention span is roughly that of a gnat, anything shiny tends to draw my attention away from what I was working on. With my writing projects, I'll write on something for a while before another idea pops into my head and then I follow that for a while. The way to end the cycle and actually get something completed is to set, and adhere to, deadlines.

Trust me when I say this scriptwriting program is nine kinds of kick-ass. It goes on my machine tonight. A few other things have to be done first before I will really focus on it, but you better believe that this weekend my focus is on writing. Gaming and movie watching will occur as well, but a 48-page script I'm working on goes back onto the front burner this weekend. My due date for that is by my birthday which is towards the end of next month.

I intend to hit it.

I also intend to crank out more movie and TV show thoughts here. I know I said as much last year, but this year is again about the focus to complete things. It's high time I actually lived up to my own abilities and desires so here goes. Hopefully you guys will enjoy it as much as I do.