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april-foolIn the short life of the internet, April 1st has quickly become the most tiresome day of the year.  So much so that a picture of me in Las Vegas,  passing out crappy chocolate coins to a room full of drunk nurses, actually represents a step up from the usual April Fool’s fare.  And yes, those are beads…and you know what happens with those. With this crowd, however, I tossed them two strings if they kept their tops on.

Anyway, sorry I couldn’t pull it together in time…can I make it up to you with a delicious, totally not stale and melted chocolate coin?

Real post tomorrow, I swear.

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My sister found yesterday’s Photoshop masterpiece vaguely disturbing, and I had to agree. Neither one of us could quite put a finger on why, though.  Then, it came to me…as through a thick fog of distant yesterdays (you know, the kind they always had in the basement on That 70s Show?)

album-weasels-ripped-my-flesh

Frank Zappa: Subconciously inspiring blog illustrations from beyond the grave!

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Would THIS cheer you up?  Stay tuned!

b52b

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Thankful

beamsI spent the morning of 9/11 on the loading dock of the medical supply company where I worked at the time.  All regular business had ceased. Trailers packed with that week’s shipments were unloaded and refilled with stretchers, gurneys, IV accessories…anything from our stock that might be of use in an emergency room. By the end of the morning a convoy had blasted off for Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan.

In the end, none of it was needed. As we now know, there weren’t thousands and thousands of injured to attend to. You either made it out or you didn’t.

There is so much to recall about that day, and the days after. And a lot of nostalgia about the way things used to be…most of it misplaced. I’m convinced now that the time before seems so idyllic because we simply weren’t paying attention.

I am thankful that, seven years on, it hasn’t happened again. I’m thankful for the people, from the president to the soldiers to the lowest-paid airport security people, who have made that possible.

And I am thankful for the insight, wisdom and comfort God gave me in those following weeks. I came to a lot of conclusions about life…what and where I wanted to be, and with whom. It took time to make all of that happen, and I had to break a lot of eggs. But I made it.

So, this my unbidden advice for 9/11/08: take a moment to say a prayer for the families. Then take the rest of the day to appreciate what you have, and the One who made it possible.

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One thing I learned from writing 14 blog posts a day is that…I have the capacity to write 14 blog posts a day. This particular blog is not about important things like “A Strong Dollar will Solve the Oil Crisis,” or even “Fitting into Your Wedding Dress through Bulimia.” However, I plan to mitigate this blog’s uselessness by providing more of it. As Bart Simpson said about his internet stock portfolio: “Quick! What’s 2 million times zero? And please don’t say zero!”

To that end, I have made a home for my ill-fated screenplay, Bomb Pops. The synopsis, at least. It’s a coming-of-age period (mid-80s) piece set in Cincinnati. It involves a 30-year-old ice cream truck driver who has an existential freak out when the ice cream company switches from classic soft-serve to pre-packaged treats, e.g. Bomb Pops. Certainly we all remember the moment when we heard this news?

So, read the synopsis, and ask yourself how in the world a multi-million dollar bidding war did NOT ensue! Bomb Pops is a mildy autobiographic, deeply personal labor of love that I will change completely for the right price. Take out the swear words? Change the setting? Add a wise-cracking robot? Done!

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Patience…

Take heart, fans of world weary cynicism. A new day approaches. More later.

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I don’t know what put the idea in my head, but one day I sat down to write a screenplay.

I had spent an entire five (!) days at an AFI workshop in fabulous Hollywood a few years earlier, so I knew everything about character arcs and the three-act structure. Best of all, I was certain that I had a story to tell.

Six months later, it was finished (see, this is already less depressing than the novel story!)

I copyrighted it and entered it into a few competitions, and then sort of forgot about it. A few months later, on the same day I left my Big Corporate Job of 12 years (with all the mixed emotions that entailed) I got word that I was a finalist in one of the competitions.

The big prize was a listing on their screenplay service. And I got a lot of nibbles. I was sending copies to a bunch of readers who (get this) read the screenplay for whichever producer they work for, and then either “pass” (as in no thanks) or recommend.

Frankly, after the first few thrilling nibbles, the buzz began to wear off. I was running out of the photocopies I had misappropriated from the Big Corporate Job so, with Kinko’s and postage, each copy was costing me at least ten bucks. And this was in the desperate days of freelancing in the post-9/11 economy. Why couldn’t I email the damn thing? Because these readers read, like, 50 scripts a week. Seriously. So they need hard copies so they can read at the office, on the bus, in the crapper, what have you. It also got old because I never got the idea that they were seriously considering my script.

And then it happened…real interest. Cliffhanger!

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