5.05.2008

Sunday's List of Grievances (well, they're not all greviances)


1. Sundays suck ass. And that’s not the way it should be. I always feel like I’m cramming more and more into my Sundays. There’s so much that needs to get done, and Sunday night just ends up feeling like It’s All Much Too Late.

P and have talked about the wonders of fulfilling employment. When you’re at that point where what you’re doing for your job is also your work. Where you work your ass off, and then when you do have those moments of downtime, like possibly a Sunday, it’s just downtime. It’s not 24 hours of compensation for the previous week.

And I’m sure that once you get to a place like that, something will just march on up and take the place of your job. So you’re always burning the candle at both ends in one way or another. But that idea of one’s job being one’s work, one and the same, that spells bliss for me right now. It’s obvious, and I’m preaching to the damn choir on that one, but still – it merits being said.

Sundays suck ass.

2. Even though I’m not particularly all that eager to see Iron Man – though I do enjoy Mr. Downey, Jr. – I really am glad to see a movie bank some serious cash about now. It’s great to see people flocking to something. The theaters were full this weekend – who isn’t excited about that? I’m gonna hold out for Indy IV, and The Dark Knight and his return. But that was exciting to read about. And I hear it’s a fun flick. Something good, these days, is always something good.

3. Josh can be very persuasive with his sound reasoning and his thematic jpegs. So I'm going to suck it up (it being the $375) and take the UCLA Extension course for one hour drama Story & Outlining. Josh actually has me excited about it. Outlining was something that they never really went over in school. And I'm talking both for my English degree and my film degree. Nada. What's up with that? In retrospect, that's really puzzling. So this glass should be good. Going back to school. Look at me, I'm Rodney Dangerfield.

4. ***Battlestar chit-chat, skip to #5 if you haven’t watched Friday’s episode***

As it’s my only real TV fix right now, I’m really hoping that Battlestar isn’t slipping into its tendency to start UP UP UP, then slip down to some questionable and unappealing lows, and then finish with the UP UP UP’s. That happened big time in Season 3. And I’m hoping Season 4.1 isn’t going to succumb to those troublesome middles. Last Friday’s episode was the first in the season to leave me wanting – where I wasn’t racing through the commercials to find out what was going to happen. Instead it was more of, “God, why did they send Kara off on her pity-party mission?” She was great when she was all a mess and screaming bloody murder and facing off against Roslin and Adama. But playing grade school cutesies with Leoben and facing off against Anders and a bunch of C-listers? Even Helo was given an act break facing off against someone I couldn’t even recall the name of – why do they insist on plunking Helo in the middle of horrible and predictable scenes? And are they really stripping Baltar of all of his beautiful inner conflict? I can take Six trying to sell Baltar as the Wheaties Box Messiah of the fleet, but Baltar himself? He actually seems… sincere.

5. I’m eager to see the first smart, story-driven web series. My friend Jill is currently in preproduction on a fun, quirky web series of her very own. What gumption. But with all signs pointing to the internet and the death of the boob tube, I get nervous looking at all the web series that people actually watch. I mean, have you seen Roommates? It’s like staring into the mouth of the apocalypse. It’s scary to think that there might be a period where the Internet will reign, and it will do so by pandering to the lowest common denominator. But I don’t think that’ll happen. I think it’s just a matter of someone putting that first, smart and story-driven web series out there, and getting people to watch it. I didn’t like Quarterlife, and I haven’t liked much else I’ve seen. But who knows what I haven’t seen? But I will be looking out for Jill’s series. And I ponder the medium as I sit at my desk, staring at my Dexter board and looking for a Repunzel story thread to get me the hell out of this impasse.

6. Further Evidence that I need to get out of my day job: I just feel done. There are certain moments of clarity where you can just feel that something’s time has come and gone. It’s over. The bottom falls out, and even that teeny, tiny shred of your heart that was invested in something (even something you hated or had to do), just isn’t there anymore. A switch was flipped, and now things feel different. Now you’re not so concerned anymore, you feel removed, because it’s already a part of the past. It’s pretty similar to those last days of the school year in highschool, when you were just cleaning out your locker and feeling antsy, when it was getting hot out and you were trapped in stale air conditioning. It was all rote, just phoning it in until the bell rings. That’s now. My locker’s all cleaned out. I’m done. I just need to find the next step so I can reflect that fact from 9-to-5.

7. Even Further Evidence: On Friday, V-to-the-L totally wouldn't air-high-five me. She just wouldn't do it. I managed to work strike babies into the conversation, alley oop'd a lobbed zinger, and nothing. Totally left me hanging. How can someone turn like the cog they are in an environment like that? Not cool, V-to-the-L. Not cool. If that doesn't say "outta here," I don't know what does.

8. I’m slipping back into Graham Greene recently. I cracked open The Comedians a few nights ago and it felt good. I LOVE me some Graham Greene. It’s nourishing. It’s been lubricating the hinges. It makes me want to write. And it has me thinking about pleasure. Greene’s books are very smart and though-provoking, and usually very dark and morose. But they’re also fun. He never misses the pleasure of the story. Whether it’s an archetypical romance triangle, a genre convention, or the amazing characters and dialogue – the pleasure of his stories are front and center, and obvious. They’re a joy to read. I’m trying to keep that in mind as this pilot idea flickers away in the back of my mind. I want to make sure that the original spark, the pleasure of the idea that drew me into it, doesn’t get muddle in the whole process of making it work.

9. I’m having issues digging myself out of my B-story (Deb/BHB) hole with my Dexter spec. And I’m starting to get some serious cabin fever. I smoothed over my thematic issues, and inserted some new fun, complicating layers via some notes from P – but that damn B-story. It’s driving me batty. But I do feel like there’s something there, just around the corner. So ‘tonight’s the night,’ people. Me in one corner. That B story in the other. Two men enter. One man leave.

10. As soon as I do back up that B-story against the ropes, I’m going to finalize my outline and starting writing like it’s my mission in life. Maggie talked about aiming for things, about keeping a little reminder of what you’re shooting for in your spec so those things that got you excited don’t get lost in the translation. I’m going to do that, write out a short, concise list of the things I want this Dexter spec to do, and tape that write to the wall in front of my desk so it’ll burn right into my retinas. I’m going to fight for a beautiful, if flawed, first draft. I’m gonna come out of that fight ravaged and bloody, but with a beautiful stack of 50-some pages clamped in my fists.

To steal from Jesse Sykes, some things in life are still worth a good brawl.


ps. The Light Does Shine Through: The Celtics told the league what’s what with a whomping 34 point victory on Sunday. That game was a message – this thing’s not over yet. So, not only does the dream of a Celtics/Lakers retro Finals live on, but it was a nice positive reminder from an otherwise acidic Sunday: it’s not over till it’s over, and you always have one more chance to put them in their place. For them, it’s the court, and for us, it’s the page.

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