Friday, November 30, 2007

Capitalizing on the Writer's Strike

Here's an interesting tidbit of Kevin information for you: I know the birth date of every famous person. Ever. That is 100% true. Go ahead and quiz me.
Martin Luther King Jr.? Born: MLK Day.
Abraham Lincoln? Born: Lincoln's birthday.
Cinco de Mayo? Born: Fifth of Mayo.
I could do this forever.

However, when I was reviewing all this knowledge that's in my head, making sure that I'm still the smartest man alive, I came across what could be considered a sign from god, and that is this my friends: Winston Churchill, Mark Twain and Jonathan Swift were all born on November 30th. Get out of town!

New Year's Resolution #3 - Figure out how to make money off this completely arbitrary piece of information

Ok, so here's my new idea for a screenplay, since progress on the old idea for a screenplay is moving along at a less than speedy pace, due to its lack of being good. The year is 1881, the swingin 80s, and Winston Churchill is celebrating his sixth birthday by smoking stogies and punching Welsh whores in the mouth. Suddenly, he is greeted by the ghost of Mark Twain and Zombie Swift. Hilarity ensues! I see it as sort of a Three Men and a Baby (with Zombie Swift as the baby) meets American Werewolf in London meets Churchill, Twain and Zombie Swift punching Welsh whores in the mouth. I already have parts of the script planned out in my head.

Churchill: Oh hey Mark Twain, look! Ugly naked guy is putting his stuff in boxes!
(Mark Twain joins him at the window)
Churchill: I'd say from the look of it, our naked buddy is moving.
Twain: Ironically, most of the boxes seemed to be marked 'clothes'.
(Zombie Swift enters, eating redheaded baby)
Churchill: Zombie Swift! Are you modestly proposing things again?
Twain: A man's character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.

Now here's the twist: One of the Welsh whores that Churchill punches in the mouth moves to America and gives birth to a baby boy. His name: Woody Allen. His birth date: December 1st. Just one day off, but man, that would've been weird huh?

Ok, I know there are some kinks to be worked out here, but I would like to point out, Hollywood (I know you're listening), that I will not ask for four goddamn cents for every time you sell this DVD. Where do I sign?

Pre-emptive Strike

New Year's Resolution #2 - Make sure my blog is filled with nothing but ridiculous articles concerning my penis and the things it enters.

This ensures that any family member who googles my name will un-invite me to celebrate Christmas with them.

Check.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Man of Exactly 34 Passions

Let me tell you something that you probably didn't know about me -- I am a young go-getter. That's right. If there are things that are meant to be had, I will go and get them. That's called ambition, bitches. And so with this mind, I've decided to begin formulating my new year's resolution list a full month early. Oh yes, this is really happening.

But not only will I start making my list this very second, but I will also add on a new item every day until the new year begins, creating a 34 Point Plan for 2008. This also means that I will only do exactly one thing every 10.8 days. Why? Because I'm a go-getter.

So let's get it started:
#1 - Have sex with a cosplayer while she's still in costume

"Kevin," you may be vocalizing to your computer screen like a crazy person, "why would something as ridiculous as this top the list of your new year's resolutions? I thought you were a go-getter?"

First off, fuck you. Don't question me.
And secondly, I can actually give you a full list of reasons as to why this a good idea.
1) HOT. hot. hot. hot. hot. hot. hot.
Exhibit A
Exhibit B
Exhibit C

2) Next, I would really like to have sex with a girl in full cosplay attire so I can brag about it to my fellow man. Can any males out there honestly say that they wouldn't kill to have sex with a girl dressed as Princess Leia? No, you fucking can't.

3) Cosplayers top the list of Things That Confuse Me But I Should Still Be Inside Of. A list that includes Ripley's Believe It Or Not museums, MC Esther paintings, algebra and Teddy Bear Junction (where do all those teddy bears come from?)
Here's a good example. I don't know what the fuck is going on, but I like it.

4) Deep down, I would totally love to actually dress up like my favorite movie character, if I wasn't so concerned with looking like a complete idiot.

5) And finally, because I like discovering a state's statutory rape laws the hard way.

I have already begun progress on fulfilling this quest. Sometime next year I plan on attending something called "Yaoi-Con". Now, I don't know what a "Yaoi" is, but I can only guess it means "lots of sexy women" in that weird Asian scribbly language.

One more for good measure.

Monday, November 26, 2007

High School Kids are Making Fun of Me

So, front page of the Lynnwood newspaper featured a story about a hunger awareness group started by high-schoolers. The group recently hosted a hunger awareness dinner, with three different meals representing the different economic classes. Guess what the low-income meal was?

(Hint: If you guessed "Ramen" or "Nothing", you'd be wrong. Funny, but wrong.)

(Hint: "Other poor people" is also wrong.)

Monday, November 19, 2007

You Know Nothing of the Classics, Knave

Doing a little research for work, I stumbled about an audiobook for Beowulf, which at first made me think, "Hey, neat. I'm a big fan of that guy's work." However, I was quickly disheartened to see that it was being advertised as "The book that inspired the movie".

What the hell?

Yes, that's exactly what the epic poem Beowulf is most known for, not for being one of the oldest, most cherished pieces of written literature ever, but for inspiring a shitty Robert Zemekis film.

"Hey guys, have you heard about this Shakespeare fellow?"
"Oh, you mean the guy that was in Shakespeare in Love? Yeah dude, he's tits."

Also, the version of the audiobook they're selling is being described as "unabridged selections" and not the entire thing. I don't think iTunes knows what "unabridged" actually means.

5 Second Music Reviews

As always, clicking on a band and album title will take you straight to my multiply page so you can listen to it.

Seether - Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces

I mean, it's Seether. They are the exact same band they were when they first cleft their mother's loins in twain. They will not change. Ever.

Serj Tankian - Elect the Dead
It's always interesting when you see a band member go solo, until you realize that he sounds exactly the same by himself as he does with a band. Ever wonder where all of SOTD's politically charged lyrics come from? Yeah, it's this guy. I will admit though, for a good week, the phrase "clearing the way for the oil brigade" was pleasantly stuck in my head.

Asian Kung-Fu Generation
YATTTTAAAAAAAA!!!

Coheed and Cambria - Good Apollo
I won't claim competency with Coheed and Cambria. However, even though they're not my thing, I can say that I easily enjoyed two tracks from here. I wonder if their lead singer ever dressed up as Alvin for Halloween...

Say Anything - In Defense of the Genre
Another band I really know nothing about it. When I asked two friends of mine who are familiar with their music, "Hey, is this guy serious about being a whiny bitch or is he joking?" one replied, "I think they're just playing to their fan base," and the other, "No man, he's making fun of all the other emo bands." Do I think my misguided idiot friends are just fooling themselves? Yes, yes I do.

Avenged Sevenfold - Avenged Sevenfold

I would love to say something interesting about this album, because I know that there's at least a decent number of Avenged Sevenfold fans in the world at this point, and they were all probably looking forward to this quite a bit. I'll be brief : Avenged Sevenfold is a band that makes only one or two good tracks per year, that get old within two weeks, and that's about all there is to them.

Demon Hunter - Storm the Gates of Hell
ALBUM OF THE YEAR! I can easily say that I was a fan of Le Huntre Demon before, and with all the repeat performances of bands that have been sucking lately (Atreyu, The Used, hed p.e. and so many more,) that I really wasn't expecting much from this. However, I think that even if I had raised expectations, this album would've met them. For me, this will be become one of few mythical albums where every track on there is amazing.

Nonpoint - Vengence
Remember in the last paragraph where I talked about bands that used to be good but now suck?

God Forbid - Sickness and Misery

If a band sucks in the woods and nobody's around to hear it, does anybody care? (I've been saving that line for years.)

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Mount Shasta Blues

Michael saw the old woman walking alongside the interstate with her back to the oncoming traffic. Her ratty brown hair hung down over a faded green shawl and her long white skirt was blowing in the wind. He had first noticed her shoes – bright orange crocs – from a distance. She had no thumb sticking out.

“How can these people be so heartless?” he said aloud, to no one, a mile down the road after his brain had processed what he just saw. He drove to the next exit and decided to turn around.
He wasn’t well-informed about the topography of Northern California, having never been there at any time but now, but he was aware of the hilly terrain all around them, and the thought of this old woman traipsing up and down through the evergreen shadow of Mt. Shasta – the beautiful grandfather though he may be – was unbearable to him.

And even though, in his heart, he felt the great, moving spirit of the cross-country trip – the urge that had drawn wagon-covered men towards the western shore – there was little to break the monotony of the road. The only break he saw was in diners or rest areas off the interstate. The diners were his chance to stop and breathe and write everything down in his journal. Not a moment escaped his transcription. He wrote about the wind farms in the dark of Oklahoma and how for several miles, all he could see was blinking red lights. The day that he drove through New Mexico, he had counted six clouds, total, spread throughout the entire state, and each one rained on him for 12 seconds each. He compared the smells of Amarillo (“smokey, dry and with the lingering effect of a burned marshmallow”) with the smells of Fresno (“precise, dripping like cough syrup and red”). He didn’t have the time to touch the ocean, but he drove several hundred miles out of the way just to see it, travel alongside it. That night he wrote about his daydreams. There was not a thing worth forgetting.

The rest areas were for sleeping. He would lean his seat back as far as it would go, which was not very far, and lie horizontally across the front seats, legs spread over the boxes and bags in the passenger seat. The windows were cracked and the humid summer air would blow across the tips of his feet. On the morning that he woke up outside of Flagstaff, two elk were fighting outside his front window. It was the cold desert air and the sunrise that had woken him up that morning. He made sure this made it into the journal.

After two 180-degree turns and four extra miles of driving, her colors began to appear down the road. Brown, green, white, orange – hair, shawl, skirt, crocs. He stopped the car a great deal of distance ahead of her, so as not to frighten her.

He stepped out of the car for the first time since San Jose and breathed the surprisingly chilly September air. The overcast sky did nothing to help the lack of warmth and his sympathy for the old woman increased.

“Would you like a ride?” he shouted over the rush of unfeeling drivers.

She yelled something back but he couldn’t hear her, so, after closing the car door, he made his way to her, noticing the miles of arbor beyond the guardrail. Although he was a stranger here – more familiar with flat sand than with mountains and forests – he considered staying here, just at the base of the mountain, inside the trees. He pictured himself in a cabin, hunched over a kerosene lamp and a notebook on an old wooden desk, writing the great American novel. He would fish for his dinner during the day or gather berries and mushrooms, keep a large supply of toilet paper handy to minimize trips into town, and sleep with a deerskin blanket.

He would miss the smell of the city though, the grime and the methane. The city held bigger dreams than the woods, bookstores and skyscrapers and teriyaki on every corner. He knew once he got there his life would be a nonstop whirlwind of writing and art and coffeehouses. There would be writers of all kinds wanting to be his friend. Some of them would be from the city and dress like they were in a band. They would always have a latte in their hands and they would always say something smart. They would be entranced with his small-town charm and see the writer’s fire inside him and would love every word he put on paper.

Michael’s attention refocused to the old woman on the road again and he stopped, surprised. She wasn’t old. She was young and she was beautiful. Her sleepy hair fell down over the shawl and a white blouse that did not cover all of her stomach. She had sleepwalker eyes that were afraid to meet his. The bright orange crocs looked ridiculous and inside his head, Michael was thanking the stars for the flaws that make beautiful women accessible to mortal men.

As she made her way to him, he, standing without a shred of balance, was embarrassed to find himself gawking at the skin between her skirt and her blouse.

“Uh, would you,” he began, much softer than before and motioning towards the car with his head, “like a ride? I mean, I don’t want to make uncomfortable or anything, and it’s alright to say no,” he emphasized, “but I saw you walking and thought...” he trailed off, motioning with his hands that she should complete the thought for him.

She smiled, “Well, I’m only going to the next exit. Where are you headed?”

“North. All the way north.” He motioned with an awkward wave of his arm towards a direction he would later realize was West. “Seattle, I think.” He was suddenly acutely aware of the fact that he’d been wearing the same clothes for three days straight. “Why are you out here walking all by yourself?”

She smiled again, effortlessly and towards the ground in front of his shoes. “I like to walk.” She looked at his dirty Ford Thunderbird, with the windows blocked from the stacks of boxes. “Do you even have room for me?” She asked.

He looked back at the tired old car. “Uh, yeah. I can make room. You might have to sit on a box or something, but we can make this work.” He opened the passanger door and got a smell of the odor he had been baking in for the past five days. Throwing as much as he could into the back window, he hoped she wouldn’t see the empty bottles of iced tea and Mountain Dew or notice the trail mix crumbs on the floor.

He gathered what he couldn’t fit in the back window and made his way to the trunk. “So you’re just out for a walk? In this weather?” he said, balancing two boxes in one hand while ungracefully opening the trunk with the other.

“Yeah, it’s nice outside and it’s not as far as you think. It’s only two miles on the interstate and about seven legally.” She laughed at her own joke and he nodded, smiling, trying to fit more boxes in a trunk already filled to capacity.

“You look like you’re having an adventure,” she said.

Michael looked at the boxes of books and momentos of friends that had taken up space in his trunk. “Yeah, something like that,” he said, slamming the lid down.

“It’ll be fine, Ma,” he had told his mother three days ago, when he was leaving. “This kind of thing happens all the time. They practically give away jobs to writers all the time. Plus, I’m good, Mom. I’m really good.” It was the first time he saw his mother cry.

He stood near the driver’s side door while with cars rushing past him and the woman in the shawl looked in the passenger door. “It doesn’t look like I can fit,” she said.

It was true. There was still a box of dishes on the floor that he could not relocate. A few of his dress clothes hung over the passenger seat and his pillow rested on the gearshift. He imagined she could smell the five-day funk and see the food particles on the seat and floor.

“I might just keep walking,” she said, with an apologetic smile.

“Are you sure?” he asked. “I’d feel bad.”

“Yeah,” she said, closing the door. “Thanks anyway. It’s only half a mile left into town. And who knows, you might see a friend of mine down the road.”

He gave her a confused look.

“Maybe,” she said, smiling that easy smile, “an angel.”

He was still confused, but couldn’t help the dopey grin across his face.

“Good luck on your adventure,” she said, starting to walk again.

“Thanks,” he said, meekly. “You too.”

The next morning when he crossed the border into Washington, with its rain and “No Hitchhikers” signs, Michael was still angry with himself. He had stopped believing in angels a long time ago, but why didn’t he ask for her name?




I wrote this a short while after arriving in Washington. After producing a few more short stories and starting on other projects since then, I decided that it's not my favorite work thus far. I figured it couldn't hurt to share with all you fine people though.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

How I Feel About Things and Junk and Stuff - Why "Lions for Lambs" Will Suck and Suck Hard

I don't claim to be some bigshot writer or that I know everything there is to know about writing a good movie, but I'd like to think that I have at least "Day One" under my belt. Lions for Lambs will suck; this I know. For a second there, I was really looking forward to this movie. "Finally!" I declared aloud, to no one in particular, "an intelligent-looking film about the war on terror with an outstanding cast and an accomplished director! Surely, this is the answer to my prayers." Not that I'm necessarily pro- or anti-war, but I find the lack of movies that tackle this subject matter oddly disturbing (save one, and I'll get to that in a moment).

Some movies are made with the intention of drawing their audience towards a conclusion they reach themselves. You may have to read that sentence again to understand it, but yes, it makes sense. When you want to take a neutral observer and sway his or her opinion in any direction, you do not come out and say what it is you want to say, especially in any kind of art. In literature, you will never be greeted to a sentence that says "Call me Ismael (by the way, I am the good guy)." A writer's job, of any medium, is to present a scenario and then wait for the audience to draw their own conclusion, never to spell it out completely.

There are, of course, mediums that do this anyway, with absolutely no success whatsoever. I'm thinking specifically of documentaries such as those by Micheal Moore and Al Gore. There were only two types of people that walked into that theater, those that agreed with the filmmakers and those that disagreed. That's it. I don't believe that anyone's mind was changed by watching any of these movies, and if it was, then it probably means they were radically under-informed from the beginning.

There have been movies in the past that will present information and opinions, but under the clever guise of fiction. Think about the movie 300, which is to the best of my knowledge, the only successful movie based on the war on terror to date. At the end of 300, I felt pumped. I was ready to kick ass. I kept kicking people and yelling, "This is Sparta!" But moreover, it made me think just a little bit. The movie was a little too obvious in its pro-war stance, but that still doesn't mean that it can't inspire thought. Anyone who came out of that theater not feeling at least a little changed in their attitude toward the war (in either direction) could easily be considered close-minded.

Now, there have been other "war on terror movies" such as...oh god, what where the names of those pieces of crap? I don't know. World Trade Center? Uh, Flight 93? Muslims Are Scary? I know that myself and my circle of friends initially shrugged these movies off because there were just too obvious, and anyone who went to see these films had already formulated an opinion on the events surrounding them. The same will apply to Lions for Lambs. If I made a movie called Kevin Warzala is Awesome, the only people wanting to attend will be those who already agree I'm awesome (one) or people who are ardently opposed to believing I'm awesome (many).

Anyway, my point is this: If you want to make a movie about a war, make it about something besides the war. People will get the point. I promise. And what's better still, it's worked in the past. While on the surface, Invasion of the Body Snatchers might appear to a movie about aliens taking over our country from the inside, it actually reflected the paranoid fear that people had over communism at the time. It works in other mediums too. Picasso called it "Guernica", not "Spanish Civil War is teh gayzors, lolz". Hemingway's novel The Sun Also Rises appears to be a book about a bunch of losers obsessing over some chick, but really is almost entirely about the first World War. Don't believe me? Wiki some of the names of the cafes they eat at and check it out.

So in a roundabout way, I have to pose a very important question: How the fuck can Hollywood writers justify going on strike when they apparently don't know shit about writing. You dumb assholes deserve to get paid $5 for every idiotic movie that we pay $9 to see, and you deserve every penny. The world is better now that you're not working.

Comics

So in my free time lately, I've been downloading and reading a few comics, not your typical Spiderman/Superman affair, but more artsy, independent works. I wanted to get a feel for some of the more unique things that are happening in the comics industry, in preparation for my upcoming project with Santamaria, still nameless.

One of the one's that I felt like deserved at least a small plug is Craig Thompson's Blankets. I actually read some of Thompson's work before and thought it was lacking any kind of feeling. It seemed like he was more interested in coming up with crazy panels then telling a story. I think with Blankets he gets it right though. He has a talent for knowing when the moment requires detail and when the moment requires simplicity. The main character, which, oh yeah, by the way, is him, is awkward and shy, especially around groups, so whenever the setting takes place in any kind of social environment (school, parties, etc.) you feel claustrophobic, like the detail in it is suffocating you. But when he needs to make a punctuated statement, he knows how to clear everything up and focus on that one thing.

I've included a few pages here to give you an idea of his storytelling technique and his surreal style. I don't think the scene needs to be set up, so I'll just have at it.




BURN
Ok, so I realize this might give off the wrong impression that this book is some sappy nonsense, so I included this page to hopefully balance it out. This is the protagonist and his brother at an early age.



Action-packed!

Someday soon I want to talk about We3 and Blacksad, both of which were absolutely amazing. Until next time, true believers (holy shit I am a nerd).

Friday, November 9, 2007

Brilliant Ideas - Severely Flawed Logic


If Hillary Clinton is unattractive and assertive, she is therefore a lesbian.

If Huma Abedin is attractive and around Hillary often, she is therefore a lesbian, vicariously.

If Huma Abedin is Muslim, attractive and around Hillary often, Hillary is therefore a terrorist lesbian, vicariously.

If right-wing bloggers jerk themselves off, they are therefore their own penises, vicariously.




PS - Dear Huma Abedin, please be straight and please go out with me. I can do things Clinton can't (either one).


UPDATE - If Pat Robertson endorses Rudy Guiliani, Kevin will not be voting for Guiliani, logically.

How I Feel About Things and Junk and Stuff Part Four - Regret

One thing that I hate more than anything is this cliched idea about not having regrets because we learn from them. This is bullshit. If you need to be spanked before you know you did bad, you're an idiot. Here, let me illustrate in five short plays:

Option 1 - "I regret things."
"Wow, I regret touching that hot skillet because it burned me. Ouch."

Option 2 - "I don't regret things."
"Wow, that skillet is hot. Ouch. I bet it won't be hot twice though. Ouch."

Option 3 - "I don't regret things because I learned from them."
"Wow, that skillet is hot. Ouch. But at least I learned that things that are glowing red and placed over a crackling fire are hot. Thank god I'm so smart."

Option 4 - "I regret other things."
"Ok, so the red hot skillet placed over a fire is hot, but I don't regret touching it, because I have learned from it. I sure do regret being an idiot though."

Option 5 - "I do nothing."
"Why are you retards touching a hot skillet? Read a book."

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A Moroccan Interlude

Kevin: "Your internet good?"
Simo: "Yes. Your?"
Kevin: "No, and I don't know what's wrong."
Simo: "I fix. Refish."
Kevin: "Fish?...Oh, refresh."
Simo: "Yes. See? Internet good, my friend."
Kevin: "Hamdu Lilah!"
Simo: "Hamdu Lilah!"

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Dating Site Observations

Women are bitter people. They only get on dating sites after they leave a relationship ("because he didn't treat me right") or when they're "done with the drama".

Also, it's getting weird whenever I see people that I know, including, but not limited to : goth girl that works at Denny's, girl I went to high school with and Mariann (yes, that Mariann, the engaged one. Awwwwwwkward.)