Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Disconcerted Hummingbird

The Hummingbird above me is disconcerted.

That's because I'm typing this from my deck, meaning - the new notebook computer is fully functional and personalized enough that work can continue, meaning - it was a long, but fun day of getting to know it, meaning - UPS delivered it without problem yesterday!

Shipping services are a pretty amazing thing. I only get more amazed when I track a package and see its progress across the country or even world.

So, I feel guilty that I'm decomissioning (more or less) the Sony. Damn Machines. Must not get attached.

I hear the distant rumblings of a bulldozer, pushing and dumping the pieces of Michael, Yoko, and Rob's now dead house. I guess those sounds will continue for a while, then the sounds of new construction, then the sounds of real estate agents, and finally, the sounds of people gasping as they realize they're mortgage payments will never stop.
Such is life in Los Angeles in July of 2005. For Sale signs are popping up everywhere. People trying to cash out as they realize that the market is or has peeked.

And now, the day stretches in front of me, full of promise. As the sun creeps towards my feet, my island of shadow vanishing, I must begin work. Soon enough, I'll be back in the dark office, but for the moment, I can enjoy the outdoors.

battery time remaining 3:05. Nice!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

This old house is going to meet the saints.

The eviction papers were served.

So, there it is...
60 days and we're somewhere else. Who knows where?

The day after the papers were put on our door, a bulldozer sat in front of what used to be Michael, Yoko and Rob's old house. I use first names only, and should elaborate.

If you've read any of this blog, maybe you remember the Thanksgiving dinners, the Fellini'esqe evenings in the backyard under the lemon tree, the gatherings of friends, the bottles of wine. No? A rich history of friends and neighbors, celebrating whatever needed celebrating frequently happened at that house.

Celebrations on the Hill

Michael and Yoko bought a house when the landlord told them he was going to raze the house and build something new. That was about a year ago, so the house sat vacant, dying. Amazing, really how a house dies when no one lives in it. They are more than lumber glass and nails, aren't they?

It was an old house that had a lot of life pass through it, beginning long before I or any of the current generation of Edendale were born.

It only took about forty minutes.

It was a perfect symbol of how we feel. The set is coming down, time to move on.

Incidentally, if you've seen Ghosts of Edendale, this house appears in it. Rachel runs past it, and we used the back of it for a scene between Julian and Rachel (where she is looking for Andrew, who has mysteriously vanished)

Some of the neighbors came out to watch and take pictures. I took pics and video. In hindsight, I wished I could have recorded it with proper mic placement and decent mics. The sounds the house made were big. Bigger than I thought. The shattering of glass and lumber combined was art unto itself.

So, there it is. The end of Edendale living is in sight. New beginnings for others.
May it be as good to them as it has been for me.

Anyone is L.A. - if you know of a two bedroom house - (not apartment) with privacy, trees, etc. for rent -- let me know.

I will announce the "Winner" of my death diarama question soon. Read the blog, give it some thought.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Getting a head in the business

It seems that a lot of my friends are making movies about the head - and no, not a one of these movies was one of 'those' movies - produced in the valley. haha.

First, Paul Tarantino's HeadHunter, then Lance Weiler's Head Trauma, and just this past week, I had a chance to go to a very secret screening of Brothers of the Head by Lou Pepe and Keith Fulton. I'm sworn to secrecy on it - the print was flown in from Britain - complete with security detail, and flown out the very next day. Okay - the security was an assistant named Abby, however, she was under threat of death to let the print out of her sight.

Suffice it to say, the movie will get into YOUR head. Bravo, Guys!

And you, fair reader will hear a lot about this movie soon enough.

Meanwhile, my head is hurting as I ponder the notes I've gotten for Diamond Road.
I'm in agreement with a lot of them, but finding it difficult to sort them into anything coherent for a re-write. UGGGH!. Maybe it's the heat. Maybe it's the sun. Maybe I'm just temporarily burned out on this script.

As I'm pondering the rewrite, I'm hitting the reload button on an order status page like a chimp trying to get peanuts: Yes, after a lot of late night searching, a lot of comparisons, a lot of reviews, user opinions, questions here on this blog, and some distant driving to the rare dealer in Soutern California, and after searching Pricegrabber for the best price, and reading reviews about said retailer, etc. etc.
- I went and ordered an Asus V6V notebook computer.
Never heard of them? Well, Asus (besides making great motherboards, etc.) are the company that makes Apple, Sony and a few other company's notebook computers. They have their own line of systems, and wow - these are the best looking notebooks on the market today. Performance is steller too.

This Sony Vaio has treated me fairly well, but it's getting funky. The (new) battery died (a victim of a bad battery board) and the hard drive makes a clicking sound every so often. It's not 'portable', since I need electricity, and the battery board replacement was for nought. If you've kept up with this blog, you'll have read about the upkeep of this computer.

I know I shouldn't get attached to machines, but as a writer, you do get attached to keyboards, computer screens, etc. Maybe even more so than the typical computer user. I'm going through the guilt pangs of replacing the system. Maybe VAIO knows - today the screen started flickering. Not a good sign. Not a good sign at all.

If any of you are tech junkies, you'll know the feeling of waiting for a really cool, new toy.
I've been hitting the reload button on the order page since its inception - Last Friday.
Let me hit that reload button again (seventh time today), to see if my order is updated in any way whatsoever...
Hey! An update!

The order has shipped from Canton Ohio - due here next Monday.

only 144 hours to go.

Friday, July 08, 2005

3 pages

Okay, to really open up for ya - - - to whet your appetite - here are the first three pages of the screenplay for the next project. I formatted this as close as possible to the actual script, but hey - it's a blog, it won't be perfect.


Diamond Road V2 2005

A gentle wind plays on the baby fresh leaves of an enormous green COTTON FIELD. A cloudless blue sky above completes the perfect dream of a day.

The quiet is broken as three bright yellow AIRPLANES (old AIR TRACTORS) SCREAM past overhead.
In unison, they release a yellow powder which drifts downward toward the field.


The cockpit of the first airplane VEERS into view - EDDIE DUNGRIN, 24 a slickback haired, James Dean with a sense of humor - flyboy at the stick.

The radio CRACKLES:
Betcha can’t.

Of course I can. I just don’t wanna.

Eddie wrestles with himself.

Dammit. Okay. Watch me.

- Piloted by SCOTTIE, 23, Eddie’s best friend. Burly with curly hair, he is slightly more responsible than Eddie. Only slightly, but it’s enough to see that trouble is on the way.

Bad idea, Eddie. Don’t do it.


It’s no big deal.

His face belies the words. Whatever it is, is a big deal.
Eddie concentrates as The GROUND races by. In the far distance, sticking from the field, a FLAG on a pole quickly approaches.

Fifty bucks.

Eddie concentrates. The bet is on.

Eddie’s airplane SCREAMS past, a yellow blur, flying low to the ground.

The flag approaches. Eddie dips lower.

WOOOMP, the propeller slices through the flag, turning it to instant confetti. The airplane buzzes past.


Yeah, baby! Fifty bucks.

A secondary WATERING POLE suddenly appears from nowhere. The landing gear slams into it, and with a SCREECHING rip, the left wheel TEARS off the bottom of the airplane!

Eddie pulls back on his flight stick, pulling the airplane to a higher altitude.

Uh, guys - what happened?

Geez, Eddie. I think you
tore up the landing gear.

Scottie pulls his airplane under Eddie’s and looks up through the glass canopy. Underneath the belly of Eddie’s airplane, the twisted landing gear vibrates in the wind.


It’s going to be a rough landing.
Your left side is gone. You’ll
have to land it on the right side.

His airplane arcs away from Eddie’s.

Damn it.

Scottie stands on the edge of the landing strip, next to his airplane. He watches as Eddie’s airplane drifts slowly toward the ground.

Eddie holds the stick tightly, guiding the airplane as best as possible to put the majority weight on the one remaining wheel.

The airplane descends timidly - in a near stall. The single wheel hits - bounces - hits again.

Dirt flies as the strut that held a missing wheel rips a ditch into the ground. The airplane travels forward on the remaining wheel.
The airplane hops off the ground and then back again.

Hopefully you can see the rest at the movies in a couple years.

Salon.com News | 450 sheep jump to their deaths in Turkey

At the risk of becoming one of those blogs that does nothing but regurgitate other news - I had to put this up. It's just too weird.
Some people mention lemmings... I was thinking more about someone trying to get to sleep counting sheep... In the cartoons, they always fly past, don't they?
Or, biblically weren't sheep always used in sacrifices? I guess you'd call this self sacrifice - hmm, how very paternal.

Or... had the sheep had enough from the shepards?

Salon.com News | 450 sheep jump to their deaths in Turkey: "450 sheep jump to their deaths in Turkey

July 8, 2005 | Istanbul, Turkey -- First one sheep jumped to its death. Then stunned Turkish shepherds, who had left the herd to graze while they had breakfast, watched as nearly 1,500 others followed, each leaping off the same cliff, Turkish media reported.

In the end, 450 dead animals lay on top of one another in a billowy white pile, the Aksam newspaper said. Those who jumped later were saved as the pile got higher and the fall more cushioned, Aksam reported.

'There's nothing we can do. They're all wasted,' Nevzat Bayhan, a member of one of 26 families whose sheep were grazing together in the herd, was quoted as saying by Aksam.

The estimated loss to families in the town of Gevas, located in Van province in eastern Turkey, tops $100,000, a significant amount of money in a country where average GDP per head is around $2,700."

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

view to a kill

Wired News: "Steel Curtain Rings Down
James Henry Smith was a zealous Pittsburgh Steelers fan in life, and even death could not keep him from his favorite spot: in a recliner, in front of a TV showing his beloved team in action. Smith, 55, of Pittsburgh, died of prostate cancer Thursday. Because his death wasn't unexpected, his family was able to plan for an unusual viewing Tuesday night. The Samuel E. Coston Funeral Home erected a small stage in a viewing room, and arranged furniture on it much as it was in Smith's home on game day Sundays. Smith's body was on the recliner, his feet crossed and a remote in his hand. He wore black and gold silk pajamas, slippers and a robe. A pack of cigarettes and a beer were at his side, while a high-definition TV played a continuous loop of Steelers highlights.
-- Associated Press"

So Basically, you got to view the lifestyle that probably killed him. Nice.

It's kinda like a death diarama. Leave a comment - come up with your own death diarama.

Winner gets a signed "The Last Broadcast" DVD.