Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Welcome to the Twilight Zone

Things have been going awry here in the space/time continuum. For one, October was a lot shorter than a month. I feel like I went to bed one night and woke up and it was Halloween - and I don't even sleep that much! Not only that, but the physical area of this town has been slowly stretching. It now takes me 1.5x the amount of time to get to the USB as it did at the beginning of the year. If I didn't have to walk there so ridiculously much it wouldn't be such a big deal... *grumblegrumblegrumble*

So, apparently, what I've heard is, where I go to school, well, it's kind of a big deal. In the top twenty five in the nation or something. So how is it that Monday night I can collapse exhausted on my bed, get a power nap at midnight, drag myself up again at 1:30 to wrangle together a response essay for a lit class on John Milton's freakin Paradise Lost, and get a response back from my professor the next day that it was an "excellent response" and that it's good enough for me to consider turning into my term paper.

Shouldn't people be expecting more of me than this??

Why Our Brilliant B-School is the Fault of High School English Classes Everywhere

I knew this trend existed, I did, but I feel like I've seen it manifested a little bit more recently. People picking majors based on what careers will get them the six figures, figuring out specialties based not on what they enjoy but on which has the slightly bigger paycheck. Really? Really, people?

Don't your high school English teachers make you read Death of a Salesman?

My esteemed friend H. D. Martin said once that she wants to write for the "middle class crap." And if you're carefully watching, you can see exactly what she means. Most of your friends are probably missing out on their lives, and they don't even know it. Art is one of those things that tries to wake people up, point out questions and problems, study dilemmas, not often give answers but at least gets you thinking. The thing is, I'm not sure many people have spent time thinking about their lives in relation to their careers. And just why is it so important to be making the most amount of money in your field as possible. Everybody's chasing the American Dream now but maybe someone's forgotten to get some real sleep on it.

I am not a huge fan of Death of a Salesman. I find it long and tedious. It really hits you over the head. Which is why high school counselors should make everyone of their students read it as part of the college application process. And then write a two page response paper about it.

I've been ruminating on this because I had an idea for a screenplay about a young man who has the commendable middle class lifestyle but goes through several life changes about how that's not enough (cheesy in one sentence like that, yes, and without half the plot). It's a "coming of age" story in a different sense, in a sense when someone realizes that their B-school diploma is just a plaque on the wall. As I was thinking about this, realizing that it has so many themes of the tedious Death of a Salesman, I had to wonder if we needed another, reinvented Death.

The sad thing? I think we do. Maybe the B-school does need another prerequisite course in their major: "Your Career and how Art has deconstructed the myth that it will lead you to Happiness." A cumbersome course title? Maybe. But appropriate? I think so.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Luck of the Irish

My computer has managed to finally die, even though I was trusting it to last for another year so I could put the money for a new computer towards tuition instead.

It's just in time for NaNo.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Plan B

I was walking with a friend the other day, talking about our (collective) futures, and he was referencing me and another friend, saying, "Honestly, I just don't see you two going in the same direction."

In the past year or so I've found this both a frustrating and amusing comment. Frustrating because I think to say it, people have to make huge assumptions that most people are really not qualified to make about another person. Amused because if they know where my life is heading, I do wish they'd tell me.

I've learned that while long term plans are a good idea and practical, it's also very practical to make sure that you're aware they will probably change. So when people ask me about my post graduation plans, they go somewhat along the lines of "Well, I think I'll probably move to California... and we'll see what happens..." (After a friend A. laughed at me, I've stopped including the preceding "If I fall in love and get married and have a reason to not go to California...") To be honest, California is my Plan B. In my chosen career path, that's a bit frowned upon. People expect you to sell your soul for a chance in this industry. Screenwriter Billy Ray (Shattered Glass, Breach) came by the other week and talked with us, and he talked about getting an Oscar, how badly he wanted one, and not just one but several, and his intensity was riveting and a little disturbing. That's the passion expected of people in the film industry. But do you really want to spend your life chasing after a little golden man? I mean, I will definitely want one, and strive to produce work deserving of one, but it's all part of Plan B, you know?

What's Plan A? I don't know. I'm leaving it open. Because moving to California and becoming a struggling filmmaker who lives in a cardboard box on the beach, that can't be it, you know? It's not a bad, plan, really, and I can definitely see components of it in the ambiguous Plan A. But I'm just being cautious. I've already had the opportunity to learn, at age 20, that your career isn't everything. And so I can't make it Plan A.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Jack's Mannequin is my new favourite already favourite band

Two to one
Static to the sound of you and I
Undone for the last time
And there this was
Hiding at the bottom of your
Swimming pool some September
And don't you think
I wish that I could stay

Your lips give you away
I can hear it, a jet engine
Through the center of the storm
And I'm thinking I'd
Prefer not to be rescued

Two to none
Roads that lead away from this
I'm following myself just this once
And I got spun
It appears you're spun as well
It happens when you pay attention
This could take all year, but

When it's quiet, does she hear me?
A jet is sent to the
Center of the storm
And I'm thinking I'd
Prefer not to be rescued

And ohh-oh, I can feel her, she's dying
Just to keep me cool
I'm finally numb, so please
Don't get me rescued... rescued...

And it's unclear
But this may be my last song
Ohh-Oh, I, I can tell
She's raising hell to give to me
But she got me warm
So please don't get me rescued

And ohhh-oh, say you'll miss me one last time
I'll be strong, but whatever you do
Please don't get me rescued...

Cause I'm feeling like
I might need to be near you
And I feel alright, so please
Don't get me rescued...

- "Rescued" by Jack's Mannequin

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I Missed What Might Have Been the Greatest Moment in My Life

Hayden Christensen was in town on Friday filming for his movie "Jumper." I was on my way to a wedding in Illinois. : (

I'll Slice Your Life

It's weird the way your first impressions change - or don't.

I've had the privilege of making "home" a place where I had previously had only a handful of isolated memories. When I first moved here, most places were associated with my previous memories of them. But things change, and I can remember how I used to view certain aspects of campus - I even remember things that were gone before I made this campus home, like the tree stump with the brick wall in it they tore out to make room for the museum addition - and sometimes it makes me smile, how different my perspective was. Campus used to see so big and intricate - and it still is, but now it's familiar too. It's funny the way memories are retained and yet perspective can change, almost like there are two versions of a place, and the way sometimes you can see both of them at once. Some places don't change, though. Places I don't visit frequently, even a couple I do, still have the exact same impression on me as they did three years ago. I don't mind, necessarily. With a memory as bad as mine, it's nice to have some strong memories. It's just weird and interesting, at least to me, the way people's perspectives can shift and change.

Sounds like a great theme to build a story on to me. : P

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

To the Typewriter

It's that time of year again.

I had forgotten, to be honest. My fifth year, and it might have slipped by me if I hadn't gotten that email from Chris, making my heart pound and my mind go temporarily blank as I realized -

National Novel Writing Month is just a month away.

It seems so soon again (I think that's because of Script Frenzy), and it's great, I'm excited. I love November for this reason (well, there are other good things too). I'm sorta at a dilemma about what to write, however. Last year, after finishing a rather dark novel, I was determined to have more fun. I wrote a space opera in 2005 and all the characters were named after Shakespearean characters, and I had a blast. I wanted to have just as much fun in 2007, so last year I vowed to return to my roots and write a bit in a sillier genre that I used to dabble in when I was younger.

Some of you may know what I'm talking about.

However, over the past few months this idea has been percolating in my head, and I think it might be really good. But it's more dramatic, darker, and could just be sorta a downer to write. And really, it would be nice to write a novel that I felt actually has potential. This will be my *fourth finished one* after all.

When I was putting up my participation icon, I found out I can put polls on my blog! So if you'd like to advise me on what to write, I'd appreciate it. You'll have to read about it for a month or so, after all.

Is anyone else planning on staying up late on Halloween, not trick or treating, but tapping their fingers against the keyboard, waiting to start?

Monday, October 08, 2007

"Brighter than Sunshine" is my new favourite song

I'll slice your life...

One week up at camp this summer, we got into a discussion about difficult times during Bible Ex. My kids would pretty much unanimously agree that God would allow hard times to happen to a person, but they would say that He would *cause* a person to go through bad times. I tried to point out the flaw in this logic. If God knew that going through hard times would make a person better, and so allowed them, why would He not cause them if He knew the result would be good? When I asked another staff members what they thought, I found they would initial take the same position as my campers, though sometimes discussion would show they thought God might cause difficult times, though not trials that were the result of sin because God couldn't associate with evil.

In C.S. Lewis's book "The Problem of Pain," he talks a lot about God's love and how He can and will use pain to make us become more Christlike. And part of me just wants to accept an image of God who doesn't force us to go through hard times, but who simply uses the hard times we put ourselves in or the trials we are pressed with to create good in our lives. But really, I can't believe that. It doesn't make logical sense, for one. I would hope that a God who would allow a difficulty to happen to make me a better person would also cause it if He needed to. But more importantly, I can look back in my life and see how He dismantled it just to put it back together again. I think if God hadn't intervened, things would have gotten even worse in my life. It's like, some people think of how parents will have "tough love" for their children. But it's more perfect than that. Hard times are ok as long as you choose to believe that.

It's not necessarily an easy choice to make.

Two bars of music from this song have been torturing me for the past two days. Now I've got it. : )

I never understood before
I never knew what love was for
My heart was broke, my head was sore
What a feeling

Tied up in ancient history
I didn't believe in destiny
I look up you're standing next to me
What a feeling

What a feeling in my soul
Love burns brighter than sunshine
Brighter than sunshine
Let the rain fall, i don't care
I'm yours and suddenly you're mine
Suddenly you're mine
And it's brighter than sunshine

I never saw it happening
I'd given up and given in
I just couldn't take the hurt again
What a feeling

I didn't have the strength to fight
Suddenly you seemed so right
Me and you
What a feeling

What a feeling in my soul
Love burns brighter than sunshine
It's brighter than sunshine
Let the rain fall, I don't care
I'm yours and suddenly you're mine
Suddenly you're mine

It's brighter than the sun
It's brighter than the sun
It's brighter than the sun, sun, shine.

Love will remain a mystery
But give me your hand and you will see
Your heart is keeping time with me

What a feeling in my soul
Love burns brighter than sunshine
It's brighter than sunshine
Let the rain fall, I don't care
I'm yours and suddenly you're mine
Suddenly you're mine

I got a feeling in my soul ...

- "Brighter than Sunshine" by Aqualung

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I've decided that the people who ask what my scripts are about are a tad silly. If I could explain it to you in a few simple sentences, I wouldn't have needed to write a movie about it, would I have? : P

Monday, October 01, 2007

My Friends are too Cool

Today I got car splashed twice. Before last winter, when I got snow splashed, I thought that only happened in movies.

I got some pretty cool news today. Not quite like winning the Nicholl, but it's still pretty thrilling for me!

Last night I learned not to rummage around in the dark in your duffel in the pockets you know contain razors, even if you think they're capped. They probably aren't anymore.

Do you ever get scared about losing people before they're gone?

Someday I'm going to make a film on how Facebook has changed social relationships. It's going to go on the festival circuit and win a massive number of awards.