Friday, September 18, 2009

Mid-Month Puzzle: Be the Iguana

I just realized how unbelievably overdue we are for a mid-month puzzle!

Things have been stressful here at wedding planning central, and so for this month's puzzle, I chose a sort of "serenity now" image. Imagine you are this iguana, basking in the sun near the beach on Isla Mujeres, Mexico. You hear the surf pounding onto the shore, then receding in rhythmic tides. There are no clouds, but the sun is not oppressively warm. There is a light ocean breeze. You are full from your lunch and feel the light effects of the margarita you stole from some poor tourist that was only trying to take a picture of you. You smile your tiny little iguana smile, remembering how they jumped. Sighing, you sink into more of an iguana stillness and drift into a trance-like state where you are half asleep, half awake. Life is good, and today is a beautiful day.

Click to Mix and Solve

Friday, September 11, 2009

Shades of Badness

My fiancee and I just watched "Shades of Darkness."

Before you view the trailer, please, read the reviews here or here. Do rent it on Netflix or, more likely, from your local run down video store in upstate NY, where the movie was filmed. It's definitely worth it. Without further delay, the trailer:

This horror movie, that Jess was actually in (sort of, but not really--she's on the cutting room floor, dressed as not a "zombie," but a "person filled with hate"...but her friends are in it, and so is her dance teacher[as the main character]), was so bad that it was good. By that I mean that I laughed so hard at the special effects and such that it became more like Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (here's an example) than an actual movie of its own merits. I loved it. It brought me back to the reason I started making fun of low-budge horror movies in the first place.

But then, in the haze of a post-laughter sigh, I started thinking: If this movie was actually made, the director/writer/producer/whatever had to have thought it was good. It had to have passed the screen of his family and close friends, who all told him it was wonderful. He had to have still thought it was good (or, at the very least, passable) through the making of the movie and through the special showing at "some random theater in Endicott, NY" (according to my fiancee). Through it all, there were people by his side saying, "yeah man, I'd wanna buy this DVD" and the like.

Such comments make a person actually believe their work is great. Then I wondered -- if for just the briefest of the boxer briefy moments -- if my writing, my book, was actually any good. If I would someday self-publish the novel equivalent of "Shades of Darkness." I shuddered.

Then I looked at the trailer again.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My non-marketable skills

I was just hanging out with some friends, eating a delicious Moosewood recipe pound cake, when I realized I make a lot of sound effects. This was brought to my attention by one of my friends with the 'just observing' statement, "you're always ready with the sound effects." I have always secretly wished that I could market my sound effects skills. I could attend your family gathering, and, as someone asks you to pass the gravy, I could either give the play by play ("the gravy is crossing the middle of the table, and OOP! Aunt Cathy spilled a little!") or I could just add some nice, ambient, interpretive sounds (insert airplane noises or futuristic space zooming noise). Somewhere out there, there is someone who will pay for this. And I'm a top notch sound effects-ian, so I will accept no less than $20/hr. I'm worth it!

Another skill this made me think of that I wish was worth some money: My ability to communicate via nonverbals, such as the nod, the slight head cock, the puzzled look, the look of complete astonishment - I've got them all mastered. In college, my roommate and I would be eating dinner (often I would be eating one of my three rotating dishes- pasta, grilled chicken, or steak- and she would be dining on the disgusting mac and cheese with ketchup. I swear, you can tell a lot about a person by their culinary plans for ketchup... I digress). We'd be eating dinner and she would be telling me about her day or her most recent crew practice or what have you, and I would be interacting with her nonverbals. The best part? She would understand me! Never did she ask me for clarification on my look of complete outrage or my famous look that signaled, "tell me more about that." There are people that communicate in words that can't guarantee that kind of understanding! Someone out there would purchase this skill. Maybe I could teach a class on it or something. "How to communicate without saying anything in words but by using your face." I like it. $20/hr please. I'm giving you a look right now that says, "fork it over!" in a nice, non-threatening but meaningful kind of way. You'd know this if you took my class.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Box Head

Pretty sure I overheard Jess say to her sister over the phone last night: "Remember when we painted the basement purple?" I've been searching all day for such a memory. It troubles me that I wasn't naughtier. I was an only child, though, so if I had been more disobedient, I wouldn't have been able to blame anyone else. Plus, even if I did remember some mischievous deed of yesteryear, to whom would I turn and say, "remember when?"; my stuffed animals?

So instead, I remembered all the strange little things I used to do to amuse myself (and the occasional others). My favorite one that I conjured up from the past? Box Head. One of my more famous deeds, I would put an empty happy meal box on my head and prance around with a baton announcing that I was Box Head. Supplement your visual with the fact that I would usually only wear my blue Mickey Mouse crew neck sweatshirt, white socks, and underpants. Nope, no pants. You're welcome.