Sunday, December 18, 2005

An open letter, in the Marowitz style.

To all the people who know me or see my apartment and think it's funny to tell me, "Joe, you're like the 40-year-old Virgin!",

Go fuck yourselves.

Sincerely,
Joe Grunenwald

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Some phrases you should learn.

I hate people that butcher the English language. Admittedly, I probably notice it more than most people, being both an English major and a snob (And if you say they're the same thing...okay, fair point), but honestly, some of these things just aren't hard.

From Newsarama (abridged, so as to get to the point): "If you thought Newsarama’s series [...] ended [...], well, you got another thing coming... Another few things, actually."

Let's follow that sentence logically, shall we? If you thought...and you were wrong...that means you have another THINK coming. Not another THING. ANOTHER THINK. With a 'k'. THINK.

While we're at it, let's go over a few things.

"I could care less" means you still care a little. "I COULDN'T care less" means you don't care at all.
"A lot" is two words. "Alot" is not a word.
"'And remember, it's a dog EAT dog world out there; not a doggie dog one.'" - Casey McCall, SPORTS NIGHT

Everyone needs to learn how to speak correctly before I end up beating them senseless with a tire iron.

That's all.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Feed a family of twelve on Christmas day!

Just buy them a King Kong-sized Whopper from Burger King!

Ladies and gentleman, I am a tall man, a large man. I have a big head. I would not want to even think about trying to eat something as large as, or larger than, my own head. Knowing how large a regular Whopper is, I'm guessing that the Kong-sized Whopper is larger than my head.

And that is just scary.

Monday, December 5, 2005

With big, pointy teeth.

In Soviet Union, squirrel eats dog!

It's only a matter of time before they rise up here. We must plant more pine cone-bearing trees if we are to survive the coming onslaught.

Thanks to Amelia for this one.

Friday, December 2, 2005

Which superhero are you?

I never take these quiz things, but I had to do this one.

Your results:
You are Superman
Superman
80%
Spider-Man
75%
Green Lantern
55%
Hulk
55%
Robin
49%
Supergirl
45%
Batman
45%
The Flash
40%
Catwoman
40%
Iron Man
40%
Wonder Woman
35%
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.
Click here to take the "Which Superhero are you?" quiz...

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Plug that hole! Plug it!

(Note: This post has nothing to do with holes.)

So I write fan fiction (yeah, I'm one of guys...) for a group called DC Anthology, which uses DC Comics characters (Superman, Batman, etc., but really, if you're reading this, you probably already know who those people are without me telling you). The site had been fairly inactive for a while, so it was decided to relaunch the site from the ground up.

The relaunch went up last night. I encourage anyone and everyone to check out the DC Anthology site (the link is also, as always, in my links list on the right). It looks great, and there's really some good writing going on there.

I write THE FLASH series, and will continue to do so until I either stop hearing the characters talk to me or I die, whichever comes first. Also, in five months, I will become the regular writer for our JLA series. So that's exciting.

That's all. Go read some fan fiction. Plugging over.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Sorkinverse expands

The best news I've had since INFINITE CRISIS #1 came out.

Is it too much to pray for cameos by Dan Rydell and Casey McCall? WHAT IF NATALIE WORKS FOR THE SHOW! I'm totally geeking out...

I know I'm going to come back to this post later today and cringe.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Toledo, OH: An Enlightenment City

The pacifists are rioting.

"How dare those hate-mongers come into our town, with their hate and their mongering!"
"We should show 'em what-for!"
"Right!"
"We're better than they are! We don't hate like they do!"
"Damn straight!"
"Let's throw rocks at them! And then, when we're done with that, let's set stuff on fire and break some windows and do some looting!"
"YEAH! TAKE THAT, HATE-MONGERS!"

On a side note, apparently on CNN you can have them e-mail you based on keywords in stories. The keywords for this story were OHIO, NATIONAL SOCIALIST MOVEMENT, and RIOTS. They will e-mail you every time there is a riot worth reporting on anywhere in the world.

Just think about it.

Thursday, October 6, 2005

Yeah, I'm here.

I have recently been in contact with a friend from high school that I had not spoken with in over four years. She made me her friend on one of those ridiculous websites where you go on and you make lists of your friends, I won't say which one because 1) I don't want to promote the site, they're already taking over the world, and 2) I am ashamed to be a part of the thing, even if it has reunited me with some people I hadn't thought about in a long time and whom I could probably have lived happily my entire life without thinking about again.

God, I hope none of them are reading this.

My friend, her name is Ashley, is one of the coolest kids I remember from being in high school. I can safely refer to her as a 'kid' because, from my point of view, she is barely taller than a twelve-year-old. I'm freakishly tall, she's fairly short, a combination of the two, or I'm just a jackass who is amused by the little people. I was fairly good friends with her, as we took part in many of the same extra-curriculars (read: band), but when I graduated, our contact ended. I would occasionally reflect on my time in high school, conjuring her name and image in my mind before I went back to playing a video game or reading a book or eating because of my depression. I'm not entirely sure all of these things are unrelated, but that's for another time and place.

Having been talking with Ashley has been a treat. We make each other laugh to the point of crying, and I look forward to seeing her in-person again soon, though I fear my sides may very well split and I will age another thirty years in one afternoon, leaving my 22-year-old face looking like that of a septuagenarian.

Our primary means of conversation has, so far, been the instant message. For those of you who live under a rock or who are just plain antisocial - I'm antisocial, too, but at least I'm sociable about it - instant messaging is a process by which two computer users have a conversation across the internet. It's very similar to a chat room, but with more privacy and less random people running age/sex checks every five minutes. But, for the record, 22/M. There, are you vultures happy?

Of course, after our first instant message exchange, I put Ashley on my buddy list. Now it is important to note that not just anyone can go on my buddy list. Oh, sure, I may put you on there all willy-nilly, but whether or not you'll stay there is another thing entirely. Once or twice a month I raze the list, widdling the list down to the people that I talk to frequently and that I really like. If you survive The Rapture of my buddy list, consider yourself lucky. Although, if I talk to you on a regular basis, how lucky are you really?

One of the things I like to do with my buddy list is, when I'm bored, I will check people's away messages. Actually, now that I am free of PCs and using iChat, I don't even have to actually do anything to check away messages - when my buddies are away, their away messages are displayed below their names. Ahh, the superiority of the Mac...

I love Ashley like the little sister I never had but always really wanted, but her away messages leave something to be desired. It could just be that I've been disconnected from her for four years, but...well, let me explain. It's usually some sort of a quote from one of her friends, followed by a recap of what she's doing. I guess this is standard for an away message, but I like to be more entertained by away messages. When I was living on-campus and had a constant internet connection, I would challenge myself to come up with an away message that would make people laugh, not just my close friends, but anyone reading it. An in-joke does not a good away message make. Maybe my away message standards are too high, though. It could just be me. I think, though, that it's everyone else.

Today, though, Ashley broke her previous pattern. Her away message was at once informative and thought-provoking. It read, as follows:

"Yeah, I'm here."

Let's think about that for a moment. What is an away message? An away message is something that one puts up when they are away. By having it up, regardless of what it says, it indicates that they are away and that, should you send them an instant message, you will not reach the actual person, because they are away. The text of Ashley's away message directly defies that definition of an away message. "Yeah, I'm here." It indicates that she is, in fact, not away, but here.

A message which, by definition, indicates that she is away, states flat out that she is not.

The paradox boggles my mind. I don't know what to believe. Is she really there? Is she away? I'm afraid to send Ashley an instant message, for fear that the automated reply of "Yeah, I'm here." will cause the fabric of the internet to implode on itself. If, at any point, your computer eats itself, I apologize in advance. I didn't know I was playing God...

In the mean time, though, if you need me, just instant message me. I'll have an away message up, but I'll be near the computer. So it'll be more of a 'near message'. I haven't decided what it should say yet. Something deep and philosophical, perhaps. Like "VOTE FOR PEDRO".

(I hate those goddamn shirts.)

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

More T-Shirt Rage

I have noticed something recently, as I've been walking around campus. There are these shirts going around - not the "Vote For Pedro" shirts, different shirts. They're monocolor, and they have, written across the chest, the words "I'M A KEEPER".

UGH. You heard me, just...UGH. I don't even really need to say anything, do I?

My favorite part, though, is ithe fact that every guy that I've seen wearing one of these shirts? NOT a keeper at all. I think, by definition, anyone wearing a shirt like that, not only are they not a keeper? THEY'RE AN ASSBAG.

(I'm watching 'Late Night with Conan O'Brien' right now, and there's a guy sitting in the audience wearing a t-shirt that says, "PEDRO LACKS POLITICAL EXPERIENCE". It was just on TV, some dumbass in the audience. Why are stupid people allowed to live?)

Friday, September 30, 2005

Listen, Stupid

Y'know what really grinds my gears?

Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail.

"But Joe, that's one of the funniest movies in the history of funny movies! All funny movies strive to be an eighth as funny as that film is! How can it grind your gears so?"

THAT MOVIE DOES NOT EXIST.

I repeat for you. THAT MOVIE DOES NOT EXIST.

The correct title of the film to which you are undoubtedly referring is Monty Python and the Holy Grail. There's no SEARCH involved. Just Monty Python, and the Holy Grail.

I hear people say this all the time and I never correct them. I see it written and I never comment on it. But I just came across it in a list of one of my friends' favorite movies.

IF IT'S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE, GET THE FUCKING TITLE RIGHT.

Friday, September 16, 2005

The Impossible Dream

When I was growing up, I had three dreams. In no particular order, they were:

1. Become an astronaut
2. Meet the President of the United States
3. Win an eBay auction and drive aimlessly around the country in a school bus with a total lunatic

Over the years, as I grew older and wiser, I gave up on those dreams. Short of a miracle or an act of God, they just seemed impossible. I never thought I would ever have the opportunity to fulfill any of them.

Ladies and gentlemen, I can tell you today that I was wrong.

The dream lives.

(I wonder where he got his tin-foil hat.)

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

A More Serious Gripe

The proliferation of 'Vote for Pedro' t-shirts makes me sick. I saw one on TV - TV! - a few days ago and I almost threw something. Just thinking about it pisses me off.

That's all.

Going too far

Atom Egoyan is a Canadian filmmaker. I've seen most of his features and enjoyed all of them (Exotica is bizarre enough to be amazing, not unlike David Lynch's Mulholland Dr., which....whoof). He's been working on his latest film, Where The Truth Lies, for a while now, and it should be out any time now. Whether I'll be able to see it or not is another issue.

The MPAA has given the film an NC-17 rating. The film features a menage รก trois scene between the three lead characters (played by Kevin Bacon, Colin Firth, and Rachel Blanchard). About the scene, Egoyan said, "It cannot be cut without compromising the central scene of the narrative and thus rendering the mystery of the film incomprehensible."

A friend of mine found this shocking that the film should receive such an "awful rating". She posed the question: has Atom Egoyan gone too far?

The first thing that struck me was the use of the word 'awful' in regards to the NC-17 rating. Why is it awful? I'm twenty-two, and I wasn't planning to take any 17-and-unders to see the film with me when it comes out, so what's the big deal? The thing is, there's a stigma around NC-17. It just looks bad, doesn't it? NC-17. We're just so used to seeing the PG or the R (and, really, R ratings mean nothing anymore - I was never carded when I was under 16) that anything different is scary. The first NC-17 film I can remember was Showgirls, which I never saw but I remember hearing a lot about. It was so scandalous, and I honestly can't remember if it was because of Elizabeth Berkeley or because of the rating. Probably a little bit of both.

I must admit that the MPAA's rating guidelines have grown looser of late, which I have no problem with - again, I'm a mature adult, I can handle whatever you want to throw at me. So I suppose for something to warrant an NC-17 rating, it'd have to be pretty graphic. Having not seen the film, I can't make a call as to whether or not the MPAA is right in their rating. This brings me back to the question of going too far. If I find something disturbing, what does that mean? I think that says something more about me than it does the thing which disturbs me.

More importantly, can an artist go too far?

In my opinion, no. If Egoyan had felt okay about cutting down the threesone scene, that's totally his call. But I have to applaud the fact that he stuck to his guns and isn't cutting anything. The minute an artist lets some committee dictate his/her art is the minute that that art is no longer their own.

I'm a writer. I suppose I would consider myself an artist. I believe that a writer's objective is to aspire to tell an entertaining and interesting story that reveals something about character and maybe about human nature. If someone tells me that I've gone too far or that I have to change something, I'll listen to their argument, of course, but ultimately, if I disagree with them, I won't change it. You do what you have to to best serve the story.

I wrote a story a few years ago, and the climax of the story is this guy strangling this woman. The story builds to this almost from the beginning, and it's pretty much the inevitable conclusion, if you ask me (what do I know, though, I wrote the thing). As he's strangling her, he's enraged and irrational and screaming and swearing at her and one of the last things he says before he snaps her wind pipe is "You....fucking....cunt...". I remember workshopping that in class, and more than a few people took issue with the use of that word. It's a harsh word, I know. I have personally never used that word, ever, I find it terribly offensive, but it served the story. He objectified her in that moment as he was crushing the life out of her, and, I feel, it had to stay in. That one little word - because really, it is just a word, but it's what's behind that word that makes it what it is - revealed so much about his character, I just couldn't change it. If an explicit threesome scene best serves the story, then that's what stays in (Explicit is another word that has a bit of a stigma around it, isn't it?).

Now I want to open it up to anyone that might read this (I know there's a few of you, at least I hope there is). I really would like to hear what other people think about this.

Can an artist go too far?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I miss living on-campus...

I'm not sure how to describe this.

I don't know how it is at other universities, but here at BGSU, you have to fill out a survey when you apply for campus housing, and they match you up with a roommate based on that survey. I think maybe they should consider revising this system.

1. I am a....
a. Smoker
b. Non-Smoker

2. I consider myself...
a. A morning person
b. A night person
c. Neither

3. I am...
a. A neat person
b. A messy person
c. Prone to psychotic rages

4. When faced with a conflict with a roommate, I...
a. Try to resolve the conflict with an open, rational dialogue
b. Report the conflict to an authority figure who can mediate the situation
c. Bludgeon my roommate with a hot iron, to the point of fracturing my roommate's skull
d. Other

5. I enjoy...
a. Reading
b. Partying
c. Buckeyes Football
d. Kicking puppies

(Honestly, I'm not sure which is worse on that last one, c or d...)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Picking Up Crap

My brother and his wife recently went out of town, leaving me to house-sit for them. I've done this for them in the past, and I've always enjoyed it. They have Direct TV, which is clearly a step up from basic cable at my parents' house and no cable in my apartment at school. I spend half my time not actually watching anything, but just scrolling down the menu screen to see what my options are. I usually don't end up watching anything different from what I would usually watch, but it's a nice feeling to know that, if I get bored with my normal programming, there are two hundred other channels to choose from.

Also included in the house-sitting duties is the care of my brother's dog, Boris. Walk him, feed him, play with him, keep him company. I had a dog as a kid, and I remember what a pain in the ass it was then, but that's just because I was thirteen and lazy. Now I am twenty-two and lazy, but the care of the dog seems like less of a pain now than it was then. I'd like to think it's the wisdom of age, but I'm pretty sure that that's bull. Maybe I'm just less lazy now.

Whenever I take the dog out on a walk, I have to carry along a plastic bag. This bag serves one purpose and one purpose only: it's what I use to pick up Boris's crap after he gets rid of it. It's a shit bag. I don't disagree with a law that says we can't leave dog crap everywhere, but it's still a little annoying. I'm not sure which is more humiliating: having your dog crap on someone's lawn while they watch, or having your dog crap on someone's lawn and then picking it up with a plastic bag while they watch. I've never actually had either of them happen to me, but every time I take Boris out, I worry that today will be the day. Someone's going to watch me pick up crap today.

Invariably, as I'm walking back to the house, full shit-bag in hand, with Boris leading the way, I get to wondering. If there is intelligent life in the universe, and they happen to be watching me at that moment, what do they see? They see a furry, four-legged animal, leading around a larger, two-legged animal, and the two-legged animal is carrying a bag of of the furry animal's shit with him. What are they going to think? 'The furry one maintains dominance over the large one! Look at how it leads the other on a leash!' Boris really does drag me along with him when we go for walks - again, I'm lazy - and, with very few exceptions, I just go where he wants to go. There would be no discernable evidence to indicate that the relationship between dog and human is anything other than master and servant.

Boris spends most of his time laying around the house, looking out the window and doing nothing. It seems like a pretty good deal for him, and I can't say I haven't wished to try it. So one day I did. Nevermind that I was sick at the time, but I replicated Boris's behavior the best I could. I took time out from sitting in my brother's recliner to take a nap in the middle of the afternoon. I watched bad sitcom reruns on TBS and struggled to stand up to get something to eat. Even once I got the food, I was too tired (or lazy, I'm not sure which) to chew it; I was thus limited to a regiment of apple sauce and bottled water. At the end of the day, I looked over at Boris, fast asleep on the couch, and wondered to myself how he could keep up the breakneck pace of his everyday life.

As much as I envied Boris, though, I had to remember that, whereas I could eat at any time, Boris had to wait to be fed. I could hit the head whenever I wanted to, but Boris was again forced to wait for someone to let him outside. It's a small price to pay, I suppose, for the sheer entertainment that must come from seeing someone pick up your feces with a plastic bag.

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Remember that time...

In the last post, I said I'd spent a lot of money on stuff I didn't really need. Well at that point I didn't know what spending money on stuff I didn't really need actually was.

It was 1:30 on Sunday when I ran into Ed Brubaker on the floor. He signed a chunk of Gotham Central for me, and I asked him if Michael Lark (the artist on GC) would be signing anywhere. He told me Lark was in Artist's Alley. If you don't know, Artist's Alley is just what it sounds like - rows and rows of artists and independant comic makers. They spend the con in the Alley, drawing and peddling their wares and trying desperately to get people to so much as acknowledge their existence. I've found that, in order to survive Artist's Alley, walk in the dead center of the aisle and make eye contact with the artists at your own risk. It's harsh, I know, but it works. I absolutely appreciate what the people in the Alley are doing, and I wish I had a book of my own so I could join them. But still, there's something sad about the desperation that is apparant in so many of them. They're trying to live their dream to the best of their ability, and a lot of them just don't have the chops to do it. It's rough.

So I ventured into Artist's Alley, Gotham Central issues in hand, and made a bee-line for where I was pretty sure Mike Lark's table was (Brubaker told me Lark was near Michael Gaydos's table, which I had passed earlier in the day). I wandered a bit until I found him. He had a portfolio of original art on the table and was signing when I arrived. He signed my books, and I discovered why he left the title (and DC Comics) to begin with. Apparantly there were issues with the colorist not doing what Lark had requested on multiple occasions. And I'm sure Marvel offered him a boatload of money, too. But anyway.

Lark signed my Gotham Centrals for me, and as he did so, I flipped through his portfolio of stuff for sale. This was my first mistake.

And then I saw it. Gotham Central #15, page 20. The climactic page to the 'Soft Targets' storyline, and a page that would set up storylines for the next two years. Nevermind all of that, this page was just plain badass. There were two copies of this page in the portfolio. The first was simply the pencils to the page, which Lark drew on what looked to be a page out of a sketchbook; the second was the page inked by Stefano Gaudiano on bristol paper. So I asked how much it was. This was my second mistake.

Lark called his art dealer, who told him the pencilled page was $150, and if I bought that, the inked page would be only $50 more. It was announced on Friday that Michael Lark would be the new artist on Daredevil once Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev finished their run. I expect that, once he takes over art chores on that book, he will take off in popularity and the price for his original art will skyrocket. It was with that in mind that I told Lark I would think about the page and walked away from his table.

Twenty minutes later I went back and bought the page. Pencils only, no inks, although I'm thinking I should've bought those, too. Here it is...



Isn't that fucking sweet? This is the first page of original sequential art that I own; the other pieces of original art that I own are a Phil Jimenez pin-up of Linda Park, and a Flash cover that I commissioned from a friend of mine, Blake Wilkie (Atomic Pop Art is the studio he's a part of, they're pretty cool themselves). I'm thinking about another piece of Lark Gotham Central art, but for now I think I need to nurse my bank account back to health...

So yeah, the trip to Chicago cost me a total of $611 (not including ticket cost and a few dinners), but it was worth every penny.

Next stop: Toronto's Canadian National Expo. August 26-28.

Saturday, August 6, 2005

They send one of yours to the hospital...

(Ten points to whoever knows what movie that's from and can identify why it's relevant)

It is now Day Two of the Wizard World convention in Chicago, IL. I had meant to blog over the last couple of days on the goings-on at the con and outside of it, but...well, I've been busy. It's my vacation, get off my back.

Last year there was all sorts of excitement with Bendis and Bob Wayne and the 'Daredevil/Batman' crossover that never got off the ground because DC Editorial hates Joe Quesada. This year? Nothing like that. Kind of disappointing, honestly, but then, I guess not every comics convention can have an incident that is akin to a professional wrestling match, even if there are actual professional wrestlers here.

There's a few things of interest, at least to me. I couldn't care less if anyone else cares.
1. Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark are the new creative team on Daredevil. As Quesada himself admitted, this has been comics worst kept secret for the past two years, but just because everyone expected it doesn't mean it isn't awesome. Brubaker and Lark are two/thirds of the original Gotham Central team, and if they can bring the same grittiness to Daredevil which they did to GC, I'll be sticking with the book.
2. Jeph Loeb has signed an exclusive contract with Marvel Comics. What this means for the future of the Supergirl title (BLEARGH but I'll read it because I am DC's bitch), I do not know. Still, while he's not one of the three chief architects of Infinite Crisis, he's still been involved since day one. Arguably everything that's taken place in the pages of Superman/Batman has something to do with IC (I really think Supergirl's return will be explained somehow by this), so...who knows.
3. Greg Rucka is a REALLY cool guy. For the kind of stuff he writes, you wouldn't think he would have such a great sense of humor. He's just a really cool guy. Well, he and Mark Waid, but I already knew that Waid was the coolest person ever.

I've spent a lot of money on stuff I didn't really need. I got some great sketches, and nearly the complete run of Gotham Central signed by its creative team. And I've had a life-changing experience, the kind you can only have on a trip away from home. Except maybe not the last part. But I've had a hell of a time anyway.

A weekend wrap-up some time next week, for all of you who read this. And you know who you are.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Good news!

Did you guys know we’re not at war anymore?

Now we’re just struggling.

Who the fuck do they think they’re fooling? ‘If we stop saying war, people won’t be mad at us anymore!’ That’s like saying ‘if I ignore the problem it’ll just go away.’

Our leaders, ladies and gentlemen.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Jim Aparo 1932-2005


At a time when I didn't even realize it took people to write and draw comics, Jim Aparo was the first artist whose name I could remember. He drew some of the first comics I ever read. His style was smooth and simple, yet dynamic and emotive. Whenever I write Batman, in my head I see Jim Aparo's pencils.

Jim Aparo died today. He was 72.

Consistently underrated, and one of my favorite artists.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

The infinite wisdom of Canon

I am an amateur filmmaker. Or at least I pretend to be. I sit around and I talk about making movies and how I have a ton of ideas for movies and how I really want to make them and then I go read comics or sleep. So I suppose I'm more an amateur filmmaker in mind than in action.

But that's all going to change. As a graduation gift, my parents purchased me the Canon GL2. The Canon GL2 is, as far as I can tell from the Canon website, the second best miniDV camera on the market. Not the top of the line, but the one right under that one. This is a nice-ass camera. With this camera I can finally become the amateur filmmaker I already consider myself to be.

So I went to my brother's tonight to play around with it. He has a Powerbook, which is a nice-ass computer and what I'm thinking about getting to go along with my nice-ass camera. My plan was to hook my camera up to his Powerbook and to screw around in iMovie with editing and other stuff. I mostly wanted to see how fast the processor on the Powerbook would react to my editing digital video.

So I hooked up the Canon GL2 to the Powerbook.
And I went into iMovie to take the footage from the camera and put it onto the computer so I could edit it.
And nothing happened.

Further investigation revealed to me the problem.

The Canon GL2 is not compatible with iMovie. Canon, in their infinite wisdom, decided one day that the GL2 should only be compatible with Final Cut Pro.

Who the fuck does this? More importantly, who the fuck does this and doesn't tell anyone at all about it? Nowhere in any literature that I read about the Canon GL2 did it say, "The Canon GL2 is only compatible with Final Cut Pro, so get ready to pony up $500 or more to buy Final Cut Pro if you want to be able to FUCKING USE YOUR CAMERA." Of course, I didn't spend the two grand for the GL2 because I wanted to use it. I thought I'd just put it in the corner and look at it and say, "Wow, that's a nice-ass camera." These fucking fucktards. iMovie is standard with all Macs, so does it NOT just make sense that the GL2 would work with it? I know it's a good camera, THAT'S THE IDEA. If anything, this camera should be compatible with EVERYTHING. That seems to make sense to me. It makes sense that, perhaps, a lesser camera wouldn't be compatible with Final Cut Pro (as Final Cut Pro is a nice-ass filmmaking program), but it simply does NOT make ANY logical sense to me that this camera, which is the second best camera you can get, does not work with a program that is standard across the board on Macs. Fucking. Fucktards.

That's all.

Friday, July 15, 2005

The __:38 Phenomenon

I have noticed recently, within the last few weeks, that I always seem to look at a clock at 38 minutes past the hour. At first I thought it was amusing to look at the clock at 11:38, for reasons that are clear to anyone who enjoys the Star Wars films. But I have noticed that I do it during the day, as well. Just twenty minutes ago, I looked at the clock and it was 12:38.

Is there some strange force which compels me to look at a clock when this combination of numbers comes up? Perhaps it's my internal clock, which I never used to believe existed but which I have come to have a great deal of respect for in times of trouble. I don't know for what reason I would have set my clock to go off consistently at __:38. It's just such an odd time to go off.

I have had similar experiences in the past with looking at clocks, but in the past, it's been the following: I always look at a clock when the numbers are in sequence. There's nothing cooler than waking up at 3:45 in the morning and being just lucid enough to recognize, 'Hey, those numbers are in order!' And it seems like when I'm at school I always go to bed at 12:34 at night (one minute before Conan starts, because I know that if I am awake to hear the theme song, I will not sleep for another hour). I would gladly take this strangeness over the current __:38 Phenomenon.

And I wonder, if I were surrounded only by analog clocks, and not the more common digital clocks (and anyone that doesn't know what an analog clock is...hit yourself on the head with a hammer), would the same thing hold true? Perhaps the simplicity of reading the digital numbers is inherent to the __:38 Phenomenon. Or, perhaps, in time, I would simply become accustomed to the position of the hands on the clock. Perhaps the phenomenon itself could even becomed finely-tuned. Instead of simply looking at the clock at __:38, I might find myself looking at the clock at __:38:21, or even at __:__:21. That second would be so fleeting, would I even realize that the phenomenon was occuring?

Who knows how many of these momentary phenomena occur (or recur) throughout the day without us even realizing it? One could be happening right now, but you missed it because you were reading this.

Maybe I'm overanalyzing. I don't know who I can blame this situation on. George Lucas. The inventor of the digital clock. Some omnipotent creator of all life in the universe. Whoever's behind this, I find myself really creeped out by the __:38 Phenomenon. It always makes me stop and take notice.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Someone has a crush on you!

I don't use my aol e-mail address all that much anymore, but every now and then I still get mail there. Mostly it's spam, and I expect that. I think it's been five years since I got a piece of meaningful mail in that box.

I got some mail there today, a grand total of two messages, and one of them was an e-mail with the subject line "Someone has a crush on you!" I used to get mail like this all the time when I was in high school, but as time went by, it came less and less frequently. I think it says something when even spammers have given up on you ever being in a relationship.

I would always open the mail and jump through the thirty hoops you have to jump through in order to find out who sent it to you and, in the end, never discover the identity of my secret admirer. I even knew, as I was doing it, that all I was doing was screwing over my other friends. You had to provide e-mail addresses of people who you thought might have sent it to you. The spam company then adds those addresses to their little list of people to spam. I knew that this was what they did, even as I was entering as many addresses as I could think of because I had to know who had a crush on me. If this person had taken the time to tell this random internet website that they had a crush on me, why shouldn't I do whatever it took to find out who they were?

I never really thought about what I would do once I found out who it was, if it was anyone at all. Perhaps I assumed I would recriprocate their feelings automatically, regardless of who the person was or how I really felt about them, and that, as I have always suspected it would, the internet would solve all of my problems. Unfortunately I never found out who sent me the original letter, and thus I will die without ever knowing who my true internet spam love is. I know who I would have wanted it to be at the time, and I know that what drove me to open the mail and to jump through the hoops was my misguided hope that it was that person, the person I cared about, that had sent me the e-mail to begin with. The odds of that ever happening are ridiculously low, and I'm sure that in the back of my mind I knew I was just on a wild goose chase, but I still hoped. It was what the spammers wanted me to do.

The thing I never thought about as I was jumping through the hoops was the fact that I had to jump through hoops to begin with. As if jumping through the hoops of finding someone to love in real life isn't hard enough, there I was, hunched over my computer at 2:30 in the morning, giving away personal information and pinning my hopes on the machinations of a computer program. If this program had had my best interests in mind, it would simply have given me the identity of my admirer. I wouldn't have had to enter any information but my name, and I would have been rewarded with my admirer's name simply for clicking on the link. Perhaps, though, the hoops of the website are meant to mirror the real world experience of finding someone who loves you. Or perhaps I'm an idiot.

Over time I got tired of the hoops, of navigating ten pages of filling in fields just to face ultimate disappointment. That's probably why the e-mails stopped coming. They realized I wasn't a sucker anymore, or that I didn't have that many friends whose e-mail addresses I could give them, and they moved on to other people, people with the same insecurities that I carried, but who had actual relationship prospects and who considered it worth their time to find out what the website knew.

I still wonder, though, who it was that initially set me up for the spam. Somewhere in the world is someone who thought enough of me to either tell a random website that they liked me or to put my name down on a list of people who they thought might like them. I wonder who that person is and what they've been doing since I was sixteen. I wonder if they even remember who I am, and if I were to see them on the street, would I have any idea of who they were. I wonder if we would shake hands or hug, and then go somewhere and get coffee or ice cream, or just sit and talk and laugh. I wonder if the spam would ever come up in conversation, and how we would react to that. I wonder what it would all feel like.

And I got one of those e-mails again today, along with a piece of mail about increasing my penis size. I clicked on one and I deleted the other. Which is which will be my little secret.

The Cave-In

Hey any/everybody.

I assume if you're reading this that you already know me, so I'm going to skip all the introductory crap that everyone else does. If you're a total stranger and you've stumbled across this somehow, then may God have mercy on your soul. I shall remain a mystery to you, and you'll get to know me as we go along. That might be fun. Probably just boring.

I feel the need to lay down some ground rules.

This is not a journal. If I wanted a journal, I'd keep that on my own time and I wouldn't make anyone else read it. As such, I will never complain here. I will rant - I promise you, I will rant - but I will never be that fifteen-year-old girl who thinks she's the most important person in the world, that her problems are the worst problems that have ever existed, that no one else has ever experienced those problems, and that everyone needs to know about them so they can pity her. I will never be that girl. (You can consider that your first little mini-rant.) So that's what this isn't. If it ever becomes that, you are fully authorized to slap the living shit out of me.

I will use this blog as a place to muse, to contemplate ideas and issues, and to write. There will be times when I just up and write an essay or a short story or a script or something here. This is the place where I can expend my energy towards something useful. From this point forward, when I have an idea, I actually have an excuse to run with it.

I've never had a blog before. I probably won't post to it every day. I probably will forget that it exists for weeks at a time. This is an experiment, basically. Bear with me. And by all means, argue with me, criticize me, make fun of me. Anything to keep it interesting.

-Joe G.