Sunday, August 29, 2004

A short conversation.


Oh, hi. Welcome back.


It's good to see you again.

Yeah. Thanks.

So you...uh...been keeping busy?

No, not so much really.


Well, you know, work. Work is work, right?


But nothing, you know, nothing that would really exhaust me, exactly.

Nothing that would keep you away from other things...

Right. your blog, say.


Still, you haven't been around much.

No. Well, you know what I'm like. Often very up and down. Excited about something one day, bored by it the next. I'm like those annoying kids who can't focus on one game for any longer than about a half an hour. In fact, I was quite a lot like that as a kid...

You're getting sidetracked.

Right. Sorry.

So...what else is new?

Um...I've done a few more cartoons, desperately need to get those posted here. I can't even remember what the last issue of Stick Figure Drama was, but the print version has now seen up to issue #13.

Three months...

There's no stopping me. Heh. Although I'll be taking a short break after this current "story arc" is done (what a brilliantly pompous phrase -- "story arc") to let some guest artists do some work in the Stick Figure Drama world. Although, really, that's more just to fuck with people's heads than anything else. It's not like I need a break from drawing stick people. Although, sometime around week nine or ten, I actually started looking at the art, and trying to take little, tiny, talentless baby-steps towards improving it. God knows why.

Anything else?

We shot the first scene of the movie about...oh, about ten days ago, I guess. Shot it from late afternoon into early evening, just a couple of hours, to get a two minute scene. Three set-ups, about two to three takes each.

How'd it turn out?

I'm still working on that. I spent two evenings putting together a rough edit of it that still needs some tweaking. The video looks a little cold. And it looks like video, as opposed to film. I haven't gone through yet to try out any of the little "tricks" I've read about online to make stuff shot on video look more like film. And the sound is terrible. Really bass-y, and echo-y, and just kind of...thick sounding for lack of a better word. But I think this rough edit of a single two-minute scene looks better than the entirety of the Clockwatcher short that I filmed two years ago, so that's something. Although that might just be because I'm shooting in widescreen.

Anything else worth mentioning?, not really. Um. I bumped into an old friend who was passing through town. We met for coffee. Chatted. He's a writer as well, so there was some mutual comiseration or...does comiserating imply mutuality?

I think it might.

Did I even spell those words right?

Just leave it alone and move on.

Right. Anyway, it was a nice chat. I don't get out very often anymore, so it's nice to have any excuse to get out. And seeing old friends just makes that excuse a little nicer.

So did chatting with a fellow writer help get your off your ass and back onto the blog?

Ah, not so much.

So what was it?

Pink Floyd, I think.

Pink...what are you talking about?

Well, I was listening to...well, actually it was more old Roger Waters stuff -- Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking, particularly. It just reminded me of my adolescence, when I'd be locked in my bedroom with my music cranked and I'd just write constantly. Oh, the crap that I would write. Terrible, terrible, unreadable, make your eyes bleed and fall out of your head crap. But I did it all the fucking time. And I just started remembering that, and how important it was, and how it'd been a couple of weeks since I'd written anything -- longer than that since I'd written anything substantial -- besides my column, which after ten years I can almost do in my sleep, sad to say.

And so, with the burning urge to write, you headed to and started to work?

Ah, no, actually, I went and read some old Roger Waters interviews.


But I knew I was only stalling, so in the end, yeah, I came over to Obviously.

Do you think anyone really cares about this?

No. But I'm kind of having fun doing it, so fuck 'em.

Are you ripping off Tony Pierce right now?

I don't know what you're talking about.

With the whole "conversation with your blog" thing which he does often and, I might add, so, so well.

Is that what I'm doing? Talking to my blog?

You tell me.

I haven't said you're my blog. Neither have you.


I could be talking to...I could be talking to anyone, really. I could be talking to my computer. Or some random person online. Or some fictional creation. Or even, I mean, I could just be talking to myself right now.


As schizophrenic as it might seem.


Because, I guess, really, at the end of the day, that's exactly what I'm doing right now. Right?

Pretty much, yes. So if you're not stealing from Tony...


And this is, essentially...would you say this whole conversation thing is meant to allow you to talk a bit about what's been happening in your life without making a boring post out if?


Sort of a literary trick, I guess, creating a fake interview kind of situation...


...which is, I think I should point out, very similar to some stylistic tricks used in "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius"...

Oh, for Christ's sake...

...which is a book that you have, on more than one occasion, claimed a fondness for.

Will you shut the fuck up?

I'm just looking out for you.

How's that?

I thought I'd point out all the places where you could be stealing this style from, and acknolwedge them publicly, to disarm those that might accuse you of ripping off those other sources.


Like I said, just looking out for you.

Yeah. Thanks.

I must confess, though, this is nearing a point where it will cease to be entertaining.


Any final words?

Well...I noticed in my StatCounter logs that someone on August 23 decided to poke through my entire archives to get all caught up on everything. So, Hi to whoever you are. Anything that makes my statcounter counter spike like it did that day is welcome. Drop me a line and tell me how miserably boring I am. Whoever you are, strange mystery person.

Anything else?

I really, really want a cigarette right now?

How many days since you've had one?


Good boy.

Shut up.

Anything else?

Only that this wasn't a very short conversation after all, was it.

No. No it wasn't.

Monday, August 16, 2004


I feel better now.


I suddenly feel as if I am on the verge of an anxiety attack.

I have no idea why.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Misery and Company

I've discovered something lately, about my blog reading habits, which has come as a bit of a surprise.

I have a think for well-written blogs that are authored by unhappy people.

Now, these aren't the only kinds of blogs I read. I also like tech-blogs and hollywood-gossip blogs and entertainingly well-written blogs. But I noticed this taste for blogs written by unhappy people recently one of those blog writers suddenly had their life take a turn for the better.

Now, I don't know this woman, I could certainly not begrudge her her happiness, in fact I'm thrilled she's happy, given some of the things she had talked about in her blog in the past.

But the funny thing is this: I just don't find her blog quite as compelling anymore.

She had a great way with words when she was depressed or when she was angry. And she still has that great way with words, but the words just don't resonate with me in the way they used to.

I guess that's because I'm still looking for the moment in my life when the sun breaks through the clouds.

On that topic, I've decided to finally give in and fire up a second blog -- an anonymous blog -- where I can talk about anything that crosses my mind. But, most specifically, the kinds of embarassing things that could be reognized by people who know me and read this little ol' blog.

I'm not sure what that'll mean for this blog. It's had some peaks and valleys since I started it, and my initial cause for concern in starting a new anonymous blog was that this one might take second place and see fewer updates.

Of course, I've done significantly fewer updates in the last month, so that's less of a concern now. And on the bright side, writing two blogs, if the second doesn't take too much out of me, might even inspire to me write even more often, meaning even more updates over here too.

Oh, and as for the blog I mentioned earlier -- Bellow -- it's officially added to my linkage section. Give it a read. It's still terrifically well written, even if, somehow, I don't find happiness quite as compelling.

Saturday, August 14, 2004


Main Entry: uber-
Function: prefix
Definition: the highest or most extreme of its kind: ubernerd; to an extreme degree: ubercool; also spelled über-
Etymology: German über: over, beyond; related to English

Thursday, August 12, 2004


I turned 31 today. Figured that was a good excuse as any to blog -- given that I don't seem to have any other excuses to blog lately.

Had a script-reading / scheduling meeting tonight with the principal actors. One part had finally, after months, been cast. The other part had just been recast after my original pick moved to Kamloops. After the reading, I think I'm going to recast that part again. Nothing against the fine fellow who read tonight -- he's a good friend of mine -- but he's just not right for the part. Besides, there's another part he's desperate for, so he'd be perfectly happy if he got to return to doing that part.

The female part which I finally cast after months of stressing...well, I'm super happy with my choice. She read the part cold today, having never even so much as looked at the script, and she was great. And surely she'll only get better as she actually learns her lines.

Oh, and when she had to read her lines as a phone sex operator...super hot.

After the meeting I went for a few drinks with my actors and miscellaneous others, and had a bunch of laughs. Nothing over the top, but I think that's what I'm most comfortable with. Just a few drinks with friends, some laughs, and then home to have a few more drinks before bed.

First day of shooting is Tuesday. We're shooting about three pages of script. It's a small shoot, but there's lots of coverage to be done. It's one of those funny scenes were nothing much happens, but there's a lot of editing, a lot of jumping around from shot to shot -- a need to establish a degree of urgency, a sense of panic.

The scenes were chosen because A) they didn't require anyone but the one actor, and B) because they didn't require any of the other extravagant props that will come up later. Like stacks and stacks of porno mags.

Just a guy and his telephone.

It should be an easy shoot. And it's officially the first shoot of the film.

I wanted to start with the first few scenes of the film -- they're bigger and require actual location work, but they're also the only shots that the lead female are in, and I thought it would be best if we could get her involvement over with as quickly as possible, so she could return to her regular life. Unfortunately, we're waiting on the arrival of a microphone / portable power supply for microphone, before we can do those scenes, so until it arrives, we're stuck shooting in locations with power outlets.

Like my house. Where the majority of the film will be shot.

I'm excited. I'm nervous. I hope I don't botch it.

The difficult thing about this scene is this: It's not supposed to be shot in this house. It's supposed to be shot in the house I lived in six years ago.

When I've written scripts that I intend to actually shoot myself, I tend to write for locations I know. It's easiest that way. If you let your imagination wander into any and every possibility, you very quickly write yourself out of scenes that you can actually shoot with a limited budget and ability. So, knowing that going in, I try to restrict myself to scenes that can be shot in locations that I have access to.

Unfortunately, this scene -- thought written years later -- was conceived to take place in a house that I no longer live in. So, even now, as I run the blocking over in my head and think about the framing of the shot, I'm seeing the geography of a house I no longer inhabit. And that's going to be a problem.

It's unfortunate, because it would have been so nicely framed in the other house.

Although the other house would have created some ugly back-lighting issues, with its massive windows right where I would have shot the scene.

So maybe everything's going to work out for the best.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Stickage #9

Much later than it needed to be, here's the next installment of Stick Figure Drama.

Sunday, August 01, 2004


Was out drinking with a friend tonight. At the end of the eve, as I was chatting with another party, I handed $10 to the previously mentioned friend and asked her to grab me some off-sales. She asked what I wanted, and I said "Molson Dry" for reasons I can't even begin to guess -- I don't think anyplace has offered Molson Dry in off-sales in the last three years.

So of course she didn't get Molson Dry -- I don't think that was even remotely an option. Instead she came back with Budweiser: The most contemptuous liquor in all the free world.

Fuck, I hate Americans, if only because they invented this swill.'s all I got. So...



this Bud's for. I guess.