Friday, August 29, 2008

I find myself short on patience with those who don't know where they're going but know the way to their destination.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A short, yet poignant posting. This is sad news for all B and blaxploitation fans. What with Bernie Mac, Bernie Brillstein, Isaac Hayes, and this, it's not a good month to be an underappreciated member of the entertainment community.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I have fasted for 39 hours to purify and prepare myself for the journey today. I took to the hills of Topanga that house Eagle Rock to seek enlightenment and, perhaps, a vision. I sought dreams.

My friends the birds sang my path as the breath of the spirits of this place whispered wisdom in my ears. I walked along shaded and exposed paths, following the song of my friends. There was one who followed me, harrowing my steps with his hook, ensuring I did not turn back.

The slight hint of mint flowed on the spirits' breath as I found revelations. I sought new dreams and found only what was. Flowers I had not seen before now bloom along my path. That does not mean they were not there all along, only that they were not ready for me before, or I for them, or both.

There is beauty in the simplicity of what I dream now. It takes time to discover this, and wisdom to rediscover it is more difficult to do something simple and well, to approach perfection in that small thing, than it is to do something grand yet gross.

My friends the birds and the spirits of this place helped enlightenment to find me. They sang me along the path and whispered me what I needed to find.

Dreams need not be grand, and we should not lament not seeing them. Like the flowers, they are always there. There is only for them to be ready for me, me for them, for both.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Horribly Ridiculous

With emphasis on both the words horrible and ridicule. I am a few months behind on this one, but due to my work schedule, I do not get the chance to catch up on my reading as often as I would like.

My attention was drawn to the story through my subscription to Cryptogram, a very good security monthly newsletter from a very insightful, knowledgeable person. Anyhow, this New York Times article details a case study in how entirely ridiculous is the current culture of fear in the U.S.A. A man who has been a naturalized citizen of the United States since infancy had a very cool idea when his mother suggested he do something with his stamp collection. He decided to visit all fifty state capitols, do some research on the state, design a postcard, take photos to make that postcard, and mail it to himself in the next city on his list using the stamps he had collected throughout childhood. That sounds really cool, actually.

However, some woman who has bought into the message that we must always be fearful was sitting next to him on a flight to Hawaii. He told her of his plan, and she became so dismayed she took his photo while he slept and reported him to authorities as suspicious. This was half-way through his trip to the fifty capitols, and at every successive capitol he was at the very least harassed by authorities or barred from entering the capitol buildings.

He persevered, making it to 49 capitols (running out of money before he could get to Alaska), and his work was displayed, but it is a horrible example of the state of our national consciousness that something so celebratory of America draws such suspicion and poor behaivour. Perhaps it would have been a good idea to take into account the inspiration for his actions rather than thinking, "This guy's parents were Iranian, and he lives in Italy working as a freelance photographer. He must be a terrorist!"

Living in fear is bad for your health and really cool art projects.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Because I Feel the Need to tell Everyone

I just saw a beautiful print of Song of the South! It was awesome! The only people with desirable qualities are the black people and those who listen to them (the young, rich, white boy and the poor, white girl). The rest of the rich, white folks are worthless (Well, the poor, white parents seem ok, what little we see of them). Anyway, it was super and raised my mood a bit. Now I have to find my own copy.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Back to L.A.

It's been a while, fans, but here's another post. Being unemployed, I figured it wouldn't be any worse to be unemployed back home, visiting family for Christmas than being unemployed here. I had a great time visiting my family and some friends for thirteen days. I always seem to be happier around Christmas. That could just be my perception, though. At any rate, it was really good to see everyone, and I was more reluctant than usual to return to my regular world of a minimally furnished apartment and rapidly diminishing capital.

I flew back into town on New Year's Eve because flying any other day around it would have raised the cost of airfare by thirty percent. I read most of the way, but took to looking out the plane window as we neared LAX to notice a good number of Christmas decorations still up and running, which helped continue the feeling of wellbeing I was rapidly losing on the journey by refreshing memories of the recent past.

The plane arrived early, and all of the cabin and reading lights were out while we waited on the tarmac for our gate to be open. Of course, everyone had to turn on their mobile phones at the first opportunity, but my initial annoyance at this observation of the artificial necessity to be constantly connected was abated when I noticed the aesthetic effect these phones had on the environment inside the plane.

Red and green indicator lights were reflected on the ceiling in a manner that I found still festive. Then, the soft blue glow of small LCD screens springing to life flickered across the panels above the seats and the aisle. Differing intensities and the subtle variations in color from the myriad devices and their brightening and dimming of their screens created a play of light over everything that I found to be quite beautiful.

The feeling of wonder fled quickly when I failed in my attempts to tune out the inane conversation a passenger behind and to the right of me was having. Childish complaints of an approximately five minute wait for our gate to open up and how airlines can't get things done efficiently (completely ignoring that we arrived more than five minutes early). This and other inanities, because I found them impossible to fully ignore, brought a lovely waiting experience to an early end.

Now, I'm back. I have entirely too much time on my hands until I find work, so maybe I'll actually post items of greater substance. That and start reading for pleasure and enlightenment again. I never can do that while in school.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

By Popular Demand

I suppose I will give a bit of detail on what's been taking up much of my time until lately. As for the length, I make no promises. Anyhow, I'm taking three classes in this BU L.A. Internship Program. They just wouldn't let me out of them. They are useful classes, but after successfully completing my degree requirements, it is annoying to have superfluous (so far as grades are concerned) classes have an influence on whether I receive my degree. Though they are three in number, the classes are not taking up all that much of my time right now because I've been neglecting the work I should be doing for them.

My internship at Muse Productions was the biggest time draw. It involves faxing, taking calls, making calls, printing and copying screenplays, and many other general office tasks, including reading material that is in development. That last bit is what got me involved with Mama Black Widow.

Mama Black Widow is an adaptation of a novel of the same name written by the notorious pimp, Iceberg Slim. It essentially tells the tale of a sharecropping black family that moves to Chicago in the 1930s, believing it to be a promised land. Things are not as the family imagines, and they are faced with tragedy of many kinds by their tale's end. The book has its faults, but the underlying story is sound, and the roles have great potential for actors to showcase their emotional range.

I logged 72 hours (there could have been and probably were more that I neglected to log) of work outside of my regularly scheduled internship time preparing reference books for the screenplay adaptation. For this, I broke down the screenplay by scene, which characters appear in that scene, a brief description of what transpires in the scene, and in which chapter and on what page said events appear in the book. I, then, pulled pages from a copy of the book's manuscript and highlighted the portions of each page to show what was used in the screenplay. The collections of pages were labeled with screenplay scene heading and screenplay page number and collected with the breakdown table, highlighted pages, and a copy of the screenplay into a binder for reference.

It was a good bit of work, but I do know the story very well now. All I have left to do is figure out how to list this on my résumé.