Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Go West, Jethro!

So apparently The Amish are spreading out across the country.

Read this article about it!

They have experienced a 10% population increase in two years!

Let’s think about that for a second: 10% in TWO years.

That is a lot.

Apparently this population boom is encouraging them to spread out to find new places to have little Amish communities, or “Weird villages full of polite crazy people” as the experts sometimes call them.

Here is some food for thought though: population growth of 10% in two years can only be achieved one way, and that way is with a whole hell of a lot of sex. Which means that there is a whole hell of a lot of Amish sex happening. All the time, apparently. Probably because those formless, ill-fitting black dresses are just so sexy. And don’t even get me started on how good a man looks in a beard like that.

Although you’ll probably get to experience all of that sexy first-hand since there are probably Amish people moving into the house next door to you at this very moment. I feel sorry for you because that barbeque that you were planning for this weekend is totally going to get overshadowed by that barn-raising there are going to have in their backyard. Also, they are probably having WAY more sex than you are.

They’re like bunnies, those crazy Amish.

Oh, BTW, if you are Amish and this blog post happened to offend you, please just let me say, what the hell are you doing on the internet?


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My Bank is Overly Friendly.

I have been getting a lot of emails from my bank lately, about getting a better points program for my debit card, and about all kinds of other special programs that they offer and all that kind of stuff. All of it seems perfectly benign, but it makes me kind of uncomfortable.

Banks are not to be trusted, me thinks.


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Intellectual Self-flagellation.

I’m bored!

And lonely.

I am lonely and bored.

I’m banging around the apartment, talking to my cats too much.

I’ve had a really stressful past few weeks at work (though I have gotten A LOT of work done) and when I’m there, I really just want to come back to the apartment (it has come together quite well and is actually rather cool [except for my bedroom, which basically just has a bed and some books in it]).

But then when I finally do get here, I’m just like, “What the fuck am I supposed to do now?”

It is kinda like I have no idea what to do with myself.

Because I kinda don’t

I wasn’t always like this. I think when I was living in San Diego and got promoted into a C.O.O position that I was completely unprepared for, some kind of switch got flipped in my head and I became this guy thrives on stress (because I had to become that guy). After that I moved to LA and had to hustle to find a job and then hustle to keep it and then move again and then decide to go back to school and then I burned through school while working and then editing that literary journal while still working and going to school and then it school ended but then the break-up and then time to move and now work has gotten even extra stressful and on and on and on.

And I know that some of this is of my own making. I don’t have to work that hard. I don’t have to take my job that seriously.

I don’t have to spend every free second of my day thinking about how I got rejected from the country’s finest creative writing programs and I don’t have to think about all the ways in which I have failed myself and failed so many of the people who have loved me. I don’t have to do any of that.

But that is what I do.

(Typing that paragraph made me tear up a little bit just now.)

But don’t worry, I’m not depressed in like a Sylvia Plath kind of way, I’m just sort of bored and lonely right now and generally feeling unaccomplished. I got my college diploma in the mail the other day and I wasn’t even going to open it, but my roommate Fern Gully (still test driving blog names for her) made me open the thing and at least look at it. So I looked at it and then I went ahead and filed it in my little file box.

The thing is – and you armchair psychiatrists out there are going to love this – the degree makes me really sad. I never really cared that much about finishing my BA, that’s why I didn’t for so long. The thing for me was that the BA was just a stepping stone to an MFA degree and that was the thing that was going to allow me to change the direction of my life. That was going to be the ticket toward a different kind of life, not necessarily fame and fortune, but a life where I didn’t spend a third (or more) of my day crunching numbers while working in an industry that I have never respected.

(This should be qualified: I work with some people that I both respect and enjoy and the company that I work for is up-and-up, but I have just never had a lot of respect for the industries that build their millions and billions of dollars by bilking the margins of other people’s lives. But that’s a discussion for another time.)

The point is that when I looked at that degree, it just felt like another kind of failure, and it continues to.

You know, if I had gotten into Brown I would probably have been moving to Rhode Island this month, right now, this second.

But I didn’t get in. So what is only eight people did?

That means that eight people did!

Eight!

The Workshop at Iowa took something like 25 people. Sure they had more than 2,000 applications and an acceptable rate below 2%, but twenty-fricken-five people got in.

Sorry, I don’t mean to come off all rant-y, but this is what it gets like inside my head. It is thick, dark jungle in there.

So anyway, I think my point was that I don’t know what to do with myself. I have been having a hard time feeling good about myself. You would never know it if we hung out, you don’t know it to look at me. I’m not all goth-ed up and listening to loud music or reading sad poetry. The weird thing is that I do actually enjoy life quite a lot. I do enjoy the people that I know and I do enjoy the moments that feel like life, but there seem to be so many fewer of those moments when you are single.

I guess that I am still figuring everything out right now. And by “everything” I actually do mean everything.

So maybe I should go do that right now, instead of bitching and moaning so much like a little girl.

Or maybe I just need a nap.



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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

We Need More Cheese Scientists.






I think that we should get some scientists working on developing a cheese that stays melt-y and cheesy longer before it starts getting solid.

Also, they should make bread that does not go stale so quickly.


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The South China Sea is Interesting. Totally.

Chances are that it has been awhile since you brushed up on your South China Sea facts, so maybe you should check out this link to get up to speed.

South China Sea's disputed maritime borders.

There will be a quiz later.

(The sad part is that I actually did find this article fascinating.)



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Monday, July 26, 2010

A New Short Story!

I wrote a new short story! You should read it because it is about all of the things you like, like guilt and love and literary editors and psychic manuscripts!

The story is below. I have been trying to dash off little bite-sized pieces of writing like this lately to keep my brain from going into atrophy. I will give you a prize if you get to the end of this one because the language is repetitive in a way that repeats everything a lot by saying the same thing several different ways a lot.

I’m wondering if that can work to build tension. Hey, you know what makes me a bad writer? The fact that I’m giving it all away right now.

Please enjoy (or be horrified by!) The Ambidextrous Editor.



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The Ambidextrous Editor by James Bezerra.

The Ambidextrous Editor
By James Bezerra



He is called The Editor because he is merciless. And editors are merciless. Because they have no sense of beauty. And no sense of the beauty of mess. Editors hate mess. Because it’s messy.

Also, he is called The Editor because he is employed as an editor.

He is slim and always seems to be carrying something. There is always something in at least one of his hands. Sometimes a book, or a newspaper or a coffee or a set of car keys or maybe a small piece of perfect fruit. Or sometimes he is carrying a really cool leather satchel. Some people say that he always has something in at least one of his hands (especially if and when he is walking) because he doesn’t wear a wedding ring anymore and never holds anyone’s hand anymore and so his hands are always looking for something to do with themselves.

He is bald on top, but it’s that cool kind of bald because The Editor has a good shape to his head and the gray around his ears is short and trimmed and it wraps around the back of his head and makes him look like he has always been bald and was always this good at looking bald.

The Editor is merciless when it comes to editing, but also, everything else. Everyone in the whole world (and especially in the office where he works as an editor) would hate him, if it wasn’t for the fact that he was always right about everything all the time.

As enters his office this morning he is carrying a cool leather satchel in one hand and a paper cup of coffee in the other hand and he has a folder newspaper under his arm (probably so that if he dropped the satchel or the coffee cup he would immediately be able to fill his free hand with something else.

He is wearing a scarf today. And his glasses, which he always wears. He says hello to people that work in the office as he walks through the office. He is very polite. He can afford to be polite because of his reputation for mercilessness.

When he reaches his office (which has a nice big window that looks out at the window of the office directly across from his own office) he sets down the leather satchel and the newspaper but keeps the coffee in his hand because he is drinking from it occasionally.

He does morning office things like checking emails and voicemails. Then he takes a red one red pen out of a cup full of red pens on his desk and he lifts the top manuscript from a stack of manuscripts next to his desk. The manuscript is thin. He has set down his cup of coffee at this point because he has a red pen in his left hand (he is not left handed though, he is actually ambidextrous).

The Editor looks down at the cover of the manuscript and he sees that the manuscript is entitled The Ambidextrous Editor. It does not initially occur to him that it might be about him.

The Editor turns to the first page of the manuscript entitled The Ambidextrous Editor and there he sees a dedication that reads: This is about you.

The Editor sniffs a little, thinking that this is too cute of a dedication. Next to the dedication, in red ink, he writes, This dedication is too cute.

He turns to the first page of the manuscript and he reads the first sentence. This is what the first sentence says, it says:

The Ambidextrous Editor never appropriately accepted blame for his wife’s death.

The Editor sits back in his chair. The Editor looks around his office. Then The Editor leans slightly to the right and peers out through his office door. Then The Editor looks back to the manuscript and reads the first sentence again, this time followed by the second sentence. Here is what the second sentence says:

Everyone else blames him though.

Now The Editor leans very far to the right and peers very far out into the outer office. He sits back up straight and he uses his red pen to draw a straight red line through each of the first two sentences. The he reads the third sentence. The third sentence says this:

That he is guilty is undeniable.

The Editor picks up his coffee - so that he has something in each hand - and he sips from it while he leans back in his chair and looks at the third sentence. He reads it again and again, hoping that if he reads it enough the words will stop having meaning.

The words do not stop having meaning.

Remembering that he is a merciless editor, The Editor crosses out the third sentence as well.

Those were the only three sentences in the first chapter, so The Editor turns the page to the second chapter.

The second chapter begins like this:

The Ambidextrous Editor did not kill his wife so much as he let her kill herself after he stopped loving her. That she loved him with all of her heart and soul was a well known fact. In fact anyone who had ever looked at her while she was looking at him could almost see that there was a kind of thickness in the air between them, as though the love that she had for him actually changed the substance of the air between them. She loved him so much that it altered the physical state of the world.

The Ambidextrous Editor, however, had only ever loved her the normal amount.


The Editor crosses out all of these sentences too. The thin red line that he makes is almost perfectly straight and cuts right through the letters like a sharp blade might cut through the skinny black legs of animals. The Editor reads the next sentences. They say this:

The Ambidextrous Editor did not leave his wife because he had fallen in love with some younger and prettier woman or because he had fallen in love with some woman who wrote in a way that he appreciated. He did not leave his wife because his life had changed in some way or because he wanted something else out of his life. He left her because he simply did not want to be married to her anymore. He told her that in a plain way, in a flat and normal voice and with no mercy at all.

The Editor stands up now and crosses to his office door, which he closes. He sits back down in his chair at his desk and he slices a red line through all the sentences that he had just read. He reads more sentences, all of which he crosses out.

He sets his coffee cup down and switches the red pen to his right hand and he looks at his left hand. He looks at his fingers. The Editor had never liked wearing a wedding ring because he had though that it created an imbalance in his body. He had thought that it made his left hand weigh more. He had thought that the imbalance might make him lean imperceivably to the right to compensate for the extra heft of the ring. He had thought that as he walked that this might cause him to wear down the soul of his right shoe faster than the soul of his left shoe. He had thought that the tiny imbalance caused by the silver band – occurring every single moment of his every single day – might throw him off, might bend him, might disfigure his symmetry in some irreparable way.

The Editor turns to the third chapter, which explained how the wife had killed herself while she was alone. She had killed herself while she was alone and she had died alone.

The Editor strikes through all of the sentences of the third chapter with his red line. He slices through all of them quickly and mercilessly. He does this without reading most of them. The red line he makes is less perfectly straight than the lines that he had made earlier.

The fourth chapter is just a collection of things that people had whispered when they had found out that The Ambidextrous Editor’s wife had killed herself. Things that they had whispered at her funeral. Things like:

You know, she loved him so much. That’s probably why she did it.

Did you know that they didn’t find her for a week, because no one had been coming to see her because she was completely alone after he left her?

I heard that he left her for absolutely no reason. How awful is that? He could have at least had an affair, that would have been more dignified.

She loved him so much. He was all that she had in the world. Isn’t it terrible what people give up for love? She gave up her whole life just because he wouldn’t let her love him anymore.

That guy really is merciless.


The Editor slices through all of these things. He cuts through them with his hot red ink. He slashes through them at angles. His hand shakes just the tiniest little bit and so the red lines that The Editor makes seem to have the faintest peaks and valleys of a monitored heartbeat. A very small heartbeat, but a jagged one.

The fifth chapter is very short. It is about how The Ambidextrous Editor had considered not going to his wife’s funeral because he didn’t feel like it.

The sixth chapter is very long and is about how The Ambidextrous Editor decided to go to his wife’s funeral because it was an excuse to buy a new suit and have it tailored. The chapter is very long because it describes all of the different suits that The Ambidextrous Editor considered purchasing for his wife’s funeral.

The Editor severs these chapters apart, leaving wet trails of ink.

The seventh chapter describes how The Ambidextrous Editor gets a manuscript at his work that seems to be about The Ambidextrous Editor. The manuscript has an awful and destabilizing effect on The Ambidextrous Editor, whose ordered and balanced life is thrown off kilter by the manuscript that he reads. The Ambidextrous Editor tries to deny the truth of the manuscript and cross out all of the words with his red pen in order to make them go away.

The eighth chapter is about how unsuccessful this attempt is. And about how nothing that The Ambidextrous Editor ever does to try to regain his balance and his merciless detachment is ever successful and how he spends the rest of his natural life (which turns out to be quite long) walking crooked because, even though he had never realized it, his body had adjusted to the tiny weight of the wedding band that he had once worn but had since sold. The Ambidextrous Editor was never able to track the ring down and as he aged, the slight crookedness became more pronounced, until, eventually, he walked with a kind of horrible sideways hunch, like a monster who was both terrifying and pitiful all at once.

The Editor stands up from his desk and steps away from the manuscript. The Editor looks down at the manuscript. He has nearly read the whole thing and crossed the whole thing out in red. He is slightly afraid to turn to the page.

Finally The Editor wills himself to turn the page. He remains standing as he turns the page. He leans forward slightly, but does not step closer to his desk as he turns the page. The Editor turns the page.

The next page is blank.

The Editor turns that page. He sees that the next page is blank. The Editor turns all the rest of the pages. All of the rest of the pages are blank.

The Editor has the horrific realization that the story is over. The manuscript has ended. That there is nothing else. The Editor realized that there is nothing else. There is no resolution, there is no climax. There is nothing but The Ambidextrous Editor slowly growing sideways into misshapen deformity.

The Editor is enraged. He throws his red pen across the office. He rips the wet red pages out of the manuscript and he flings them around the office. He yells, out loud, as the pages flutter to the floor like broken little birds. The Editor looks around. His office is a mess now.

The Editor jerks open the door of his office, leaving behind his satchel and his news paper and his coffee cup and his pens. As he storms out, he realizes that he is walking at just the tiniest bit of an angle, that he is almost impercievably imbalanced. The Editor realizes that he has grown crooked.




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Weird, but Predictable.

Jesus Christ, don’t ever Google Image the word “weird”. It brings up a lot of weird shit.


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ROT FLAME-O!

So I was just texting with a friend of mine who we will call The Captain (because he's a former tug boat captain). He’s an English Department guy like me and we happened to agree that you should only use LOL if you actually laughed out loud and not just as text message filler to indicate good will.

Well this conversation went on to deteriorated the way that only people schooled in Deconstruction Theory can make a conversation deteriorate, until we decided that it is okay to use ROTFLMAO (Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Ass Off) in actual, face-to-face, verbal conversation as long as you mispronounce it as “Rot Flame-o!”

So the next time that someone says something really funny to you, if you’re not in the mood to actually roll on the floor and laugh your ass off, then you are allowed to scream “ROT FLAME-O!” at that person.

I think this is going to be the beginning of a meme. You heard it here first folks!

Oh, and you're welcome.

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Marie Digby's Umbrella Goes Up to 11.

Now I know that you are pretty cool and so you probably have already heard of this girl Marie Digby, but she popped up on my Pandora the other day while I was at work and so I wasn’t really paying a lot of attention, until I heard the hook of that Rihanna song “Umbrella” (the part when it gets all “ella-ella-ella”) only it was this really pretty singing voice. I read a little bit about this girl and apparently she got herself a record deal by doing acoustic versions of pop songs on Youtube. That’s kinda cool, right?

Here is her acoustic “Umbrella” (Hey! “Acoustic Umbrella” would be a good song for my band’s next album!)




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Excuse me, have you seen my lake?

So get this, it has been raining a lot in Iowa lately. Like A LOT! It rained so much that a dam on Lake Delhi broke.

What’s weird is that because it was a man-made lake, all the water just flowed away. This is funny because a whole bunch of people who had lake-front property woke up after a night of heavy rain and no longer had a lake.

THE LAKE WAS GONE! Because of all the rain! Isn’t that the craziest thing that you’ve ever heard?

I heard about this today on NPR. You can read about it (or listen to the interview I heard on the radio) here.


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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ninja Hitler, and Other Bad Ideas.

Some awful story ideas that I have had, but then rejected:

A guilt-stricken time-traveling ninja tries to travel back in time to stop the man who made his own sword so that he (the ninja) would not be able to do the terrible things that he has done with it. Is pursued by evil ninjas.

A guilt-stricken private detective discovers that the inventor of a time machine has been kidnapped (or has he?) by ninjas who plan to force him to go build more time machines so that they can all go back in time to change history to be more advantageous for evil ninjas. He attempts rescue the time machine inventor. Is pursued by evil ninjas.

A guilt-stricken, karate-loving, closeted-homosexual Mormon is hitchhiking out of Utah and is picked up by a former ninja who teaches him about life/man-love/karate/ Indie music while they drive cross country. Are pursued by evil ninjas and/or evil Mormons.

Ethan Hawke decides to write/direct another movie. Is pursued by evil ninjas.

A guilt-stricken private detective retires to the solitude of the desert where he builds a rollercoaster with the world’s steepest drop. While testing it, he discovers that the roller coaster goes so fast that it passes through the fabric of time/space. He finds himself transported to an alternate reality where the Nazis won WWII, but in this reality, all Nazis are also ninjas. He tries to assassinate Ninja Hitler. Is pursued by evil ninjas.

A time-traveling ninja assassin arrives from the future with orders to assassinate the President of the United States (who is also, secretly, a time-traveling ninja). The two have giant ninja battles at all of the famous tourist attractions in the greater D.C. area. To prevent a full-scale invasion of The United States by legions of time-traveling ninjas, The President leaps through time, meeting other US presidents along the way and recruiting them to fight the time-traveling ninjas. He teaches them all karate. Is pursued by evil ninjas.





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Since It Has Been A While:

I thought that I should remind you that Scarlett Johansson is embarrassingly in love with me.





(This "Scarlett loves me" running gag is the only way that I can think of to half-way justifiably post pictures of her on my blog. Or had you figured that out already?)


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Help Wanted.

Does anyone know an illustrator or graphic artist or just somebody who doodles good?

I would really like to work with someone like that. Or a bunch of people like that.

I’m sitting here trying to write and realizing that one of the things that I love are books with drawings in them. So I would like to make one.



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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Awesome Arboreal Living.

Holy shit! Have you seen this tree house?



Yeah, it is like made of mirrors or something! I’m so excited about this that I posted the picture without even reading this article about it!

I love tree houses!

Because I’m lame!



And now, embarrassingly bad one-liners about this tree house:

I guess T-1000 is trying to be a pinecone.

If a Swedish designer does something kooky in the woods, is anyone surprised?

I didn’t know the Borg had vacation homes.

Swedes unveil latest advance in causing-birds-to-accidently-break-their-necks technology.

Is it okay to throw stones in here?



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What's in a Name, Dick?

I was at the grocery store yesterday and I swear to go I saw Dick Cheney walking in as I was backing out of my parking spot.

At least I hope it was Dick Cheney, otherwise I ran over somebody’s perfectly innocent grandfather.

I think that it was worth the risk.



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College Girl Sound Bottle Blues.

The college girls who live in the apartment across the parking lot/courtyard from me seem to be having some kind of small party to which I was not invited.

Whatever. That’s cool.

They go to the local Christian college anyway. Or, at least I think that they do. This is based on nothing other than my understanding knowledge of the local area, the churchgoing whiteness of the people who live in my complex, and my general impression of their demeanor (they have that warm but kind of pinched aura that always seems to imply, “Jesus said to love you, but I’m not so sure.”)

I don’t so much mind that they are having a party and didn’t invite me because I simply don’t believe that it is going to get dirty enough to entertain me, but it got me thinking. See one of the things that is really hard for me to deal with is that anyone anywhere is having fun without me. I mean, really, how could they be?

(This is seriously how my brain works, BTW. It is kinda awful to live with.)

I distinctly remember being in Palm Springs several years ago, at a business conference and laying in the hotel room bed with my then-wife and listening to the sounds of people out at the pool laughing and having fun. I think that I nearly had a panic attack laying there awake and listening to people enjoying their lives with out me! (It wasn’t a real panic attack. The first real panic attack I ever had was in 2007 a few miles above Southern California on a Jet Blue flight from New York to Burbank. I remember being in the little bathroom and realizing that once the plane landed my real life was going to start again and in real life I didn’t have anything or anyone to go home to. I’d never felt that alone before, or quite so small and meaningless. It was kind of awful.)

I have since spent a lot of time trying to temper that particular sort of ego-raging, but it flares up like a rash sometimes. I have the sliding glass door open right now and I can hear the blonde laughing of those college girls coming over on the breeze and I like to think that their soft sound waves are filling up my little apartment and that if I close the door now I can bottle that inside here and make these rented rooms into an echo chamber. A little perfume bottle filled with the sound of people enjoying life.

I think it is a nice thought anyway.


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Friday, July 23, 2010

Hot Pockets!

My roommate Sunflower (still test driving blog names for her) has – apparently – never had a Hot Pocket.

That’s bizarre, right?


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P.S.
She was just surprised that it was hot.


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Lady Killer?

This week I was both called “a lady killer” and “a Dr. Suess character”. Sadly, only one of those things is true.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sexy Bread.

So I have been sitting here trying to have a good idea to write about. That didn’t happen, so what I decided to do instead was give up on good ideas entirely and just work with the bad ones.

So below is a story about bread.

Please enjoy (how lame my writing is).





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Baguettes by james bezerra.

Baguettes
By James Bezerra

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A man named Carl Leonard went to the grocery store where he bought a loaf of French bread which he took home, planning to eat some of it with dinner and maybe make a sandwich with the rest, for lunch the next day. When he got home however, he realized that he wasn’t very hungry, but was very tired, so he went to sleep on the sofa and when he woke up the next day the bread had dried out and he couldn’t make a sandwich and had to throw the whole thing away.

2.
A man named Enrico Cavasello went to the very same grocery store the very next day and ended up having the almost the very same experience with the French bread. Only somewhat different.

3.
A woman named Laura Cleo went to the grocery store and put some French Bread in her cart, but then thought about the very few other things that she needed to buy and realized that she didn’t need a whole cart and started to feel as though people would look at her – in a judging sort of way - if she had an entire cart with only a couple things in it, so she put the French bread back and put the cart back and picked up one of those plastic baskets and she filled it up with the very few things that she needed to get for her pasta dinner, but she forgot to go back to get French bread – because in her mind she had already gotten it – and she didn’t realize her mistake until she had gotten home and made her pasta and sat down at the table to eat. Laura did not usually swear, but she looked down into her bowl of pasta and said, “Fuck.”

4.
Laura’s father, who was named Carl Cleo, went to the grocery store because he needed to pick up some cheese for the wine and cheese party that was about to begin at his home. He had asked his wife – who was Laura’s stepmother and not her real mother – to go and pick up a variety of cheeses that afternoon, but she had failed to do so and so now he was in a rush. As he tossed several bricks of cheese - of varying consistencies and flavors – into his basket - he always used baskets as opposed to carts, because they were more efficient – he realized that his wife had probably not purchased any bread either. Probably also, she had neglected to get wine. He rushed around the store and loaded his basket down with bottles of wine, but he forgot to go to the bakery for bread. So when he arrived back home and realized that he had no bread for his wine and cheese party, he was enraged, but his wife – Laura’s stepmother, who had been Laura’s best friend in high school – put her hand on his shoulder and then pressed a thick baguette of bread into his hand. “This I remembered,” she said.

5.
Since he had not been able to use any of the bread that he bought, Carl Leonard went back to the grocery store the next day, after work. There was woman already at the bread area. She was wearing a little business-causal skirt that he liked and she was squeezing the French bread. She was squeezing all of it. Every long loaf. Carl admired her slender fingers as she did this; as she squeezed them all. Then – suddenly remembering that no one would ever love him - Carl said, “Could you not touch all of them?” Then he reached past her and grabbed one of the few remaining un-groped loaves. He went home, but was too upset to make dinner. He shoved the bread into his refrigerator; thinking that that might keep it fresh. He went to bed, frustrated. The refrigerator did not keep the bread fresh and so it was both cold and dry the next morning. He threw it out again.

6.
Laura had spent the day thinking about how she had made such a mistake at the grocery store the day before. She realized that she had let herself become overcome by her hurried emotions and her desire to be efficient. She decided – while eating her microwaved, left-over pasta in the breakroom at work – that she would take her time that afternoon. So when she went to the grocery store, she spent a nice, long, contemplative time standing in front of the bread. She discovered that she liked the way that it felt as she felt it. She liked that it was spongy and rigid. She liked the way that she had to squeeze down hard at first, but that then she could feel it soften under the pressure of her fingers. As Laura was there, touching the bread, a man reached roughly around her and said, “Could you not touch all of them?” The man grabbed a baguette and rushed off. Laura, who did not usually swear, turned and looked after the man as he absconded off toward the registers and she screamed, “FUCK!” after him.

7.
The man named Enrico Cavasello was in the grocery store because there were few things that he loved more than a nice big plate of bread and cheese and salami. Other things that he loved very much include dry red wine, wearing button down shirts unbuttoned down to reveal the treasure of his lustrously silken black chest hair, his own moustache, and women is business-casual dress wear. He was just placing a wedge of creamy brie into his basket when he heard a woman call to him form across the store, over near the bread, where he was planning on going anyway. “FUCK!” she called to him. When he arrived there – his cart stocked full of cheese and wine – she was staring off, incensed, toward the registers. “Miss,” he said to her, “I have no idea what has happened to you, but sometimes I find it soothing to squeeze the bread until I calm down. Do this with me.” The woman looked at him. She was ensorcelled by him, and his chest hair, which looked like a smooth and shimmering puppy. Together they chose a loaf of French bread and they went back to his apartment, but they opened the wine first and never got to the French bread. The next day he had to throw it out because it had gone stale.

8.
On the third day, the man named Carl Leonard went to the grocery store after work. He bought French bread without incident. He was so hungry that he ate it, alone, in his car in the parking lot.





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The Good Words.

Q: Does it get much better than Jenny Lewis’s voice?

A: Seldom.

Listen to it here (down on the bottom right).

Read it below:

All the Good That Won’t Come Out
By Rilo Kiley

Let's get together and talk about the modern age.
All of our friends were gathered there with their pets
just talking shit about how we're all so upset about the disappearing ground.
As we watch it melt....

It's all of the good that won't come out of us
and how eventually our hands will just turn to dust,
if we keep shaking them.
Standing here on this frozen lake.

I do this thing where I think I'm real sick
but I won't go to the doctor to find out about it
Cause they make you stay real still in a real small space
As they chart up your insides and put them on display.
They'd see all of it, all of me, all of it.

All the good that won't come out of me
and all the stupid lies I hide behind.
It's such a big mistake
lying here in your warm embrace.

Oh, you're almost home.
I've been waiting for you to come in.
Dancing around in your old suits going crazy in your room again.
I think I'll go out an embarrass myself by getting drunk and falling down in
the street.
You say I choose sadness
that it never once has chosen me.
Maybe you're right...

Let's talk about all of our friends who lost the war
And all of the novels that had yet to be written about them.

It's all the good that won't come out of them
and all the stupid lies they hide behind.
It's such a big mistake
Standing here on this frozen lake.

It's all of the good that won't come out of me
And how eventually my mouth will just turn to dust
If I don't tell you quick.
Standing here on this frozen lake.


Though this is the sexy song (the video, not so much, but suffer the first 36 seconds anyway).

Click here! Because Youtube won't embed it. Because they're lame.


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Monday, July 19, 2010

Energy and Intelligence.

You don’t need to read this entire story about the organization of the United States Intelligence community, but I have posted it here so that my sources are verifiable when I say: The U.S. Department of Energy has its own intelligence agency.

Yeah.

That’s right. Don’t screw with The Department of Energy or they will go all Jason Bourne all over your face.

It seems that in films and on television and in the paperback novels that you always buy at the airports, that the CIA and NSA get all of the fame and glory, however I bet that there is some very interesting work going on at this place.

Click here to see the Intelligence and Counterterrorism page of the Department of Energy website. It is written in that noncommittal but obfuscation-heavy bureaucratic language that reveals nothing while occupying both space and time.

And here is the Wiki page, which has more, and more clear, information on it. Though, it is a Wiki page, so most of it was probably written by Grad students who were high.

Anyway, just be more careful next time that you’re trying to sell the plans to that nuclear power plant that you work in. The Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence has probably put a tail on that Chevy Aztec that you always drive to the Chinese Embassy.


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Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Quick Movie Review: Inception.

“Inception” is a big, fun, interesting and epic summer action flick. A little too long, a little too over-complicated, but all in all, the kind of large experience that movies do better than any other medium.

It is worth seeing in the theater even if it does have Leonardo Dicaprio in it.

Oh! And Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a badass.


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A Collective Groan of Awesome.

So before “Inception” started last night there was a trailer for a movie about a bunch of people trapped in an elevator and one of them is EVIL! It was actually kind of a cool and intense trailer and the idea kind of seemed to be winking at Hitchcock’s “Lifeboat”. The theater was full of people who had been waiting for a couple of hours to see “Inception” and we were all happy to be inside and sitting and there was a lot of goodwill and you could feel (as the trailer started) that everyone was thinking, “Okay, cool. Entertain me!” and then … one thing happened.

A title card came up on the trailer that something like, “The new film from M. Night Shyamalan” and everyone in the theater actually groaned. The entire theater full of people went, “Uuuuurgh.”

It was one of the funniest moments that I have ever experienced in such a public and massive way.

Then everyone in the theater laughed out loud about everyone else having groaned. It was really a wonderful moment of life.

Sorry M. Night. Maybe if you didn’t write movies that assume the audience is dumber than you, you wouldn’t have burned up all of your credibility so fast.

Anyway, here is the trailer for “Devil”, I bet the ending is going to be lame!






Friday, July 16, 2010

C-SPAN 3 Can Suck It.

So just now I got all excited about watching a show on the C-SPAN 3 called “Writing about Historical Figures” and so I clicked on it and guess the fuck what? I don’t get C-SAN 3! WTF? Really C-SPAN? I have to pay for some sort of special package in order to get C-fricken-SPAN 3? Who the hell is going to pay extra for that? Does anyone really care that much? I mean, anybody but me? I think that maybe C-SPAN is getting a little high and mighty, a little too big for their britches, considering the generally boring nature of ALL OF THE PROGRAMING.

Man, I am so bitter right now.

There is really nothing worse than making the commitment to totally dork out only to be wholesale rejected.


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Tomorrow is Yesterday!

So it is probably not a good thing that as I’m sitting here at night trying to hash out some long story to work on, that I am becoming increasingly interested in the narrative possibilities of time travel.

This is not going to go well.

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Buy Me This!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Voices in the Dark.

So today was probably the loneliest day I have had since my breakup.

I’ll spare you all the angsty details, but I felt lonely today. Luckily I have a semi-busy few days coming up. I’m looking forward to that.

But tonight is definitely going to be one of those nights that I have to have The West Wing on as I go to sleep. Sometimes nights going to sleep alone is less lonely when you’re listening to Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue. Something about the sound of people talking when I’m laying there in the dark makes me feel a little better.

But don’t be all sad for me. I will be fine. When I come on here to write, it is a little purgation for me. So please don’t think that I am complaining on here so that you will feel all bad for me and make me a pie or something (though is has been a while since you baked me a pie).

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Star Birth.

This is a baby star being born. Pretty cool, right?



Here is the very small article.

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Those Crazy de Medicis!



So if you’re like me – and let’s face it, you totally are – then you love it when there is new news about the Medici family. You remember the Medicis, they ran Florence for a few generations and kind of helped birth the Renaissance and shape all of modern history. Some say that they also gave birth to modern accounting. They were kind of a cross between the Kennedys and the mob.

Well, scientists just cleared Ferdinando dei Medici of having poisoned his brother Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and his wife.

You’re so excited about this! Read it up.

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Sexy Manatees and Other Headlines.

It is heartening to know that I’m not the only one having a spell of weird lately, it would seem as though the entire world is a little off kilter.

Exhibit A: Workers at the World Trade Center site found that down below the old building foundations there was . . . drum roll please . . . a boat. An 18th century ship, to be exact.

That’s strange right?

You can read about that HERE.

Exhibit B: Then there was the one about the horny manatees that got stranded in Miami. That’s right, manatees!

Exhibit C: Oh yeah, did you hear the one about that UFO in China? Did you see the fricken’ pictures?



Read all about it!

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The Texas Diplomat.

I hope that you don’t mind if I proselytize for a moment.

One of my little brothers – the Texas Diplomat – was recently interviewed for some of the good works that he is doing out there in the world.

You should watch this video and check out some of the websites that he talks about. He is one of those people who is like you and me, but a little better, because he is out there in the world doing more for humanity than you and I are.

However – you should know - he was such a little shit when he was five.

Rock on little bro!



Watch live video from celebrityu on Justin.tv


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The Quietude.

The thing about singlehood that I was unprepared for were the quiet times. The lonely times. The times that engender a kind of great introspection. These are the moments when you ponder and wonder; these are the times when you think.

I am surprised that more single people don’t go absolutely out of their minds. I – thankfully – am somewhat protected and isolated, because I am a writer and can fill the empty spaces of my brain and time with writing puzzles (at the moment I am trying to figure out who this person named Clairemont is. He has taken up residency inside of my skull and he is written on a sticky 3x5 card on my wall). So I am a little more able than most to suffer through the moments of nearly insufferable quietude.

The point is, I suppose: that I am experiencing lonely moments and I’m not entirely sure how to deal with them. When you are in a relationship your lonely moments become filled with someone else’s life and someone else’s TV shows. So this is proving to be a strange time for me.

For instance, I got home from work today and sat down to watch some headline news and promptly (apparently) fell asleep. Then I phone chatted with a friend and booked tickets for Inception (which will be awesome!) for this Friday. Then I sat in front of the computer and tapped on the keys for a little while and then got tired of that and went and tried on clothes that used to not fit right. At one point I had on a whole 3-piece suit and a silky black tie with just the faintest hint of pink (I looked pretty good, BTW). Then I went with my roommate Sparkle Princess (still test driving blog names for her) and fed someone’s cat. Then came home, ate a little food and then sat on the balcony alone being all introspective.

That is not much of an evening, but I supposed that it is a nominal one. And perhaps I just need to adjust to the nominality of it.

Or maybe not.

I am desperate to live a larger life that that which is nominal, but we will see how that works out,

For now I am happy to have the beginnings of a story spreading across my wall on 3x5 cards. So maybe that will be enough to keep me happy for now (though if a busload of coeds brakes down in front of my apartment, that will be okay too).

TTFN.


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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

"Narc" by Interpol.

This song has been in my head lately. I like the dark and moody and cool. Lately.

"Narc"
Interpol

Listen to it here.



Touch your thighs, I'm the lonely one
Remember that last sweat, because that was the right one
Oh, all your mysteries are moving in the sun
I show some love and respect
Wanna get some love and respect
Baby you can see that the gazing eye won't lie
Don't give up your lover tonight
Cause it's just you, me and this wire, alright
Let's tend to the engine tonight

Oh

She found a lonely salve
She keeps on waiting for time out there
Oh love, can you love me babe?
Love, is this loving babe?
Is time turning around?

Feast your eyes, I'm the only one
Control me, console me
'Cause that's just how it should be done.
Oh, all your history's like fire from a busted gun
I show some love and respect
I don't wanna get a life of regret

But baby you can see that the gazing eye won't lie
Don't give up your lover tonight

She found a lonely salve
She keeps on waiting for time out there
Oh love, can you love me babe?
Love, is this loving babe?
Is time turning around?

We slips into the bedroom
Babe, you know me, this is alright.
Holding we'll make soon
Will sustain us through the night
Inside my bedroom baby
Touch me, oh tonight
Poses, we'll make some
Will reveal our sense of right

You should be in my space
You should be in my life
You should be in my space
You should be in my life
You could be in my space



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My Grammar is bad. Apparently.

So I was at work today with my nose to the grindstone, just type-type-typing away at an email (I type the long ones in Word and then copy/paste them across. That’s just how I roll.) and all of the sudden Word was like SQUIGGLY GREEN LINE! And so I was all, “Uhg. What?”

Word wanted me to change “Please let me know if either of you have any additional questions” to “Please let me know if either of you any additional questions has”.

I know now why that squiggly green line is green; it is the color of Yoda.


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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Idea-less.

I need an idea!

I want to start working on something long, maybe a novella length piece of writing. I have all of this writing energy to purge. But I have been in school for a couple years and a got programmed to think in short stories. That’s all fine and good because they are bite sized and easily submitted to journals and lit mags and such, but I enjoy working on something longer. I like the way that it allows you to become kind of obsessed. The working out of plot kinks and dialogue starts to happen all of the time. It keeps the back part of your brain always whirring. I like that.

I want the book to feel like the cover of Radiohead’s “Hail to the Thief” album, though I’m not sure what that means.

But the problem is that I need an idea. I have a bunch of little ideas. I have bits and pieces. I have some of the words and I can feel some of the rhythm of it, but I don’t have that spark that has to be in the center. The hot little jittery mass around which all of the rest of it is going to orbit. I don’t have that yet.

I’m sitting here with all of these notebooks with little pieces of something in them, but I can’t figure out how they all gel.

And the fact that I don’t have the idea makes me feel all unwriterly. Although at least I’m not one of those guys who is dripping is sticky ideas but with no desire to write (I’m talking to you most screenwriters. Yeah, I said it.).

Anyway. I am just going to sit here for a little while and try to tune into something. I suspect that this will end up being a frustrating evening. Good times.


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Amish Porn.

This is - verbatim - an email that I just sent, of which I am very proud:

Little known fact about the Amish: the only reason that they decided to seclude themselves so thoroughly is so that they would have more time to watch porn. True story. What do you think that they do in all of those barns?


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A Note from the Editors.

Dear LeBron James,

We don’t care.

Also, we’re not exactly sure who you are. Are you Kobe Bryant? We have heard of him, on account of the raping.

TTFN,
The Editors @ Standardkink.com

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I Have Had a Little Wine.

I keep expecting my girlfriend to come home, then I remember that this isn’t where she lives.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Information which is True.

So I am all by my lonesome at the moment and not quite in the mood to write, and it has been a very strange day, so rather than writing anything of consequence, I will make a list of some bits of information that exist in my head which I happen to know are true. Ready?

- Carson McCullers was known for hosting dinner parties that got out of control and at one she danced on a table with Marilyn Monroe.

- Bill Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar.

- George W. Bush was a cheerleader.

- Evangeline Lily used to do Live Links commercials.

- If you could fold a piece of paper 33 times it would reach from here to the moon (Malcolm Gladwell told me that).

- Jack London drank a quart of whiskey every day. He also had a fish pond in his living room from which he would fish every morning.

- Mark Twain had to move out of his fancy house in Connecticut (which was built to sorta look like a steamboat) because he didn’t have the money to keep it up.

- Alexander Hamilton was George Washington’s illegitimate son.

- Alexander the Great (who conquered the entire known world) was totally gay (how do you like them apples, Republicans!).

- Martin Luther had colon problems.

- For most of modern history, the water in Europe was so dirty that it was safer to drink beer and wine and liquor than water. So for most of European history, everybody was drunk (they should really preface European history classes with that information).

- Jon Stewart is really very bald if you see him from behind.

- You can not take a public tour of the Chrysler Building in Manhattan.

- The reason that Atlantic City has never made as much money as Las Vegas is because Las Vegas is in the middle of no where and so people have to get a hotel, but Atlantic City is close enough to high density population centers that people can make it a daytrip.

- Tom Robbins does not revise his writing. At all. Ever.

- Brandon Flowers of The Killers is a very talented douche bag from Las Vegas.

- The classic film “Casablanca” was loosely based on a play called “Everybody Comes to Rick’s”.

- The not so classic film “Barbed Wire”, staring Pamela Anderson, was loosely based on the movie “Casablanca”.

- Agatha Christie lived next door to the KGB spy who recruited the Cambridge Five (I plan to one day write musical about that KGB spy).

- A couple decades after having them executed, the FBI was able to prove that the Rosenbergs were spies.

- While he was out of the country, the Nazis confiscated Einstein’s little sail boat. Also, his house.

- Einstein married his cousin.




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Post Secret.


Postsecret, as always, the best site on the entire internet.







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The Sacrificing of Virgins.

So I have come to discover that this delightful little apartment complex that I live in is mostly populated with church-going folk. Now I have nothing against church-going folk (necessarily) but these seem to be the type that are very white and go more than once a week (always a bad sign) and so just now I was sitting on our second story balcony and listening to a conversation going on in a doorway below and I heard them say something about “I asked the church elders how long to wait before the laying on of hands” and then a bit about “I asked the Pastor how you know when to leave a church” and I do not presume to know what exactly it was that they were talking about, but - because I know little of their ways - I will just assume that it has something to do with the sacrificing of virgins.

Ummm .... sorry?

So most of the time I make sure that my better angels are in control of me before I post things on this here blog. However, occasionally I feel the need to make detours into unjustifiably adolescent territory and this – unfortunately - is going to be one of those type of posts.

Is it me, or is the red head Snorg Tee girl like unreasonably hot?






Speaking of Snorg Tees: Hey, remember Myspace?


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OMG! I Love Your Hair.

Dear woman who works in my building and says O-M-G unironically in casual conversation,

Please stop.


(Look, I’m not a language-Nazi or anything, in fact one of the things that I like about English is its changeability and the fact that it is still evolving, but whereas Blackberry Jam is funny and adds a little bit of playful cultural literacy to the discussion, saying “OMG, I love your hair” does not. In fact, I think that it is a regression, it is just laziness. But what do I know, I am just a guy with an English degree and a bunch of writing awards [that’s right, I went there. I have gad – I mean had – a little wine.])




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Manhattanhenge. The 2nd Greatest henge in the world!




So if you’re like me and you’re already acquainted with every single bit of minutia ever and it is occupying the space in your brain that is supposed to be reserved for information like your street address (which I still can not remember exactly, but I'm getting close!) then you certainly have already heard of “Manhattanhenge”.

If you haven’t, you can either read the Wiki page about it, or you can just see my bad ass description below.

So the island of Manahattan is basically laid out on a grid (with the exception of Broadway, which was build on top of a Indian hunting trail, which was originally a migratory animal path across the island). The East-West streets are all laid out at the same angle and twice a year they line up directly with the sunset. Today was one of those days.

Sadly, today was foggy. Booooooooo.

Here is a tongue-in-cheek article about what alien archeologists might be able to ascertain about us in the future when they study “Manhattanhenge”.

Big props to DKBP for sending this article over.




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Friday, July 9, 2010

New Short Story!

The short story below is not a screenplay. It is a short story.

It is not entirely linear.

But please read it anyway. I enjoyed writing it.





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Thursday, July 8, 2010

How to Steal a Heart by james bezerra

How to Steal a Heart
By James Bezerra


I have always wanted to be in love. The real kind of love, the kind that burns. The kind that eats you like acid and changes you. The kind of love that is bigger than the sun. The kind of love that you kill for, the kind of love that you do anything for. I have always thought that I would be good at that kind of love.


INTERIOR. HOSPITAL. DAY.

A long hospital hallway. Ground floor. Double doors at the end. The doors open and three men enter dressed as doctors, white coats flapping as they walk briskly. JACKSON leads them. In close up his coat flaps back and we see there is a squarish Glock 18 handgun in a nylon holster on his hip. He carefully pulls his coat closed. Buttons it at the waist. Behind him, BINGO and KRILL. KRILL is muy flaco. BINGO is thick and wearing a big backpack.

The three of them get into an elevator. An orderly steps in behind them. They shove him out. The doors close.

The doors open on the fifth floor and BINGO steps out. A sign on the wall lists the departments on the fifth floor. Close on one of them: SECURITY.

JACKSON and KRILL continue to the seventh floor where JACKSON steps out. A sign on the wall reads: SURGERY.

In the elevator - alone - KRILL presses the button for the roof.


EXTERIOR. HOSPITAL HELIPAD. DAY (Continuous).

A slim and modern MEDEVAC helicopter is coming in to land on the roof of the hospital. It looks like a locust as its gear hatches from its metal belly.


INTERIOR. HOSPITAL SURGERY WARD. DAY. (Continuous)

JACKSON is striding down another hallway. Close on his face, his jaw is tight, his eyes are focused. He is a man on a mission. Close on the badge clipped to his jacket. The badge has a picture of RICK on it.


*** FOUR HOURS AGO ***

EXTERIOR. AN UPPER WEST SIDE NEW YORK CITY STREET. DAY.

A fit young woman, CARRIE, is riding a bicycle down the street. She is riding too fast. She shoots toward an intersection. The light changes but she goes for it and is quite suddenly hit broadside by a speeding taxi.

CUT TO:
Screaming/Sirens/INTERIOR of an ambulance/Siren (Continuous)/Gurney jerked from ambulance/INTERIOR of the Emergency Room/Shouting/Dirty ceiling tiles rush by overhead/INTERIOR chaotic surgery room/CARRIE has a massive head wound/Close on the doctor. He shakes his head and pulls his gloves off as he walks away.


*** THREE HOURS AGO ***

INTERIOR. HOSPITAL. DAY.


RICK is a young resident. He puts a telephone to his ear and dials. He is trying to be sly but looks nervous. He is subtly comparing a handwritten note to a patient chart.


INTERIOR. AN APARTMENT IN ALPHABET CITY. DAY(Continuous).

A smooth and perfectly black cell phone sits on a square black coffee table in front of a red leather sofa. The flat screen lights up with a photo of RICK. A hand grabs the phone. It is JACKSON’s hand. The hand moves the phone to JACKSON’s ear as he thumbs the button to answer.

RICK
I think I have one for you.


*** TWO HOURS AGO ***

EXTERIOR. A MEDICAL UNIFORM SUPPLY STORE. DAY.


KRILL walks out of the store with two full bags.


EXTERIOR. LENOX AVENUE, HARLEM. DAY.

BINGO is walking briskly down the street. He is carrying his heavy backpack in his right hand. He has to stop at a red light. A bum named FERG sits on the curb, shakes a dirty Yankees cap at BINGO. Coins in the hat jingle. BINGO grins at the bum. The light changes to green. BINGO reaches into the bag, flips a switch and the coins fly out of the bum’s hat and stick to the backpack. The BUM screams. BINGO flips him off, but doesn’t look back.


INTERIOR. THE APARTMENT IN ALPHABET CITY (Same). DAY (Continuous).

JACKSON sits on the red leather sofa, the square black coffee table is in front on him. On the table: the phone, a bottle of water, a squarish Glock 18, an open box of 9mm ammunition. He is calmly loading rounds into the clip. This makes a clicking noise that he likes. From behind him, PENNY enters the room. She is too skinny, sunlight flows through her thin hair a little too easily, but otherwise one would barely know that she is sick. But JACKSON knows.

PENNY looks at the gun, concerned.

JACKSON smiles at her. He blows her a kiss.


*** 60 MINUTES AGO ***

INTERIOR. A SUBWAY CAR. DAY.


JACKSON, KRILL and BINGO sit next to each other as the train rumbles. They are all dressed as doctors


*** 10 MINUTES AGO ***

EXTERIOR. THE HOSPITAL. DAY.


RICK walks out a staff exit. He lights a cigarette as he crosses the street. He walks fast as he rounds a corner and then into the alley where JACKSON, KRILL and BINGO are waiting.

JACKSON tosses RICK a roll of money, which RICK catches in the air. RICK hands over his identification badge and security card.

JACKSON
Where do you want it?

RICK
In the face I guess. Makes it look real.

BINGO steps forward and punches RICK hard across the face. RICK goes over on the ground, blood sputtering out of his mouth.

JACKSON
Sorry about that. Would you put your wrists and ankles together please?

RICK does and they zip-tie his wrists and ankles.


When I met her two years ago, you wouldn’t have known that she was sick, because she isn’t exactly sick. They say that it isn’t exactly a sickness. The heart is a muscle after all, it is supposed to get stronger. But hers is withering. With every single beat it gets weaker, the tissue becomes a little thinner, a little more frayed. Every minute of her life kills her a little bit.

When I decided that I loved her, I also decided that I would find a way to fix her.

Her heart really was broken. How perfect a thing to fix was that?



*** TWO YEARS AGO***

PENNY
They can’t put me on the transplant list because I’m not as severe as other people.

JACKSON
Will they ever put you on the list?

PENNY
I would probably have to die first.

JACKSON
So you’re not actually severe until the very moment when your heart stops?

PENNY
That’s about it.

JACKSON
What about an artificial heart?

PENNY
They don’t think my body would accept it. Because my system is too weakened.

JACKSON
So you’re just supposed to wait to die?

PENNY
That’s basically what everyone who has ever been alive has done. They call it 'life'.


*** RIGHT NOW ***

INTERIOR. HOSPITAL (Same). DAY (Continuous).


SEVETH FLOOR: JACKSON is dressing into a surgical gown and gloves. He peeks into a chaotic surgery room where organs are being removed from CARRIE’s still-warm body. JACKSON pulls a surgical mask over his face and backs in through the door.


FIFTH FLOOR: BINGO knocks on a door labeled SECURITY STATION. He knocks fast and over and over. Finally the door opens and a security guard named DION pokes his head out.

DION
What?

BINGO quickly presses a nasty little hand-held tazer into the DION’s gut and forces him back into the room, kicking the door closed behind them. The tazer is loud and the man is yelling. BINGO pushes him to the floor. Inside the room, another guard - this one named ROBERT - is eating a BUDGET GOURMET microwavable dinner. His heavy leather belt and holster are on the table next to him. ROBERT goes for the gun but BINGO aims a pistol-shaped tazer and shoots. Sparking metal snakes stick into ROBERT’s chest and he goes over onto the floor.

BINGO quickly he zip-ties and gags them both.


THE ROOF: On the Roof of the hospital KRILL is watching the MEDEVAC helicopter land. His coat blowing around him in the down-draft. The helicopter touches down on its skinny insect legs and KRILL jogs over to it half bent down. He peeks in the back to see that it is empty. He darts around to the nose and opens a little metal flap and starts to disconnect something. The PILOT watches curiously from inside the helicopter.

KRILL comes around and knocks on the THE PILOT’s window. THE PILOT opens it.

THE PILOT
What the hell were you doing?

KRILL
Disconnecting your radio.

KRILL pulls a thin Beretta 92F from his pocket and points it at the PILOT’s face.


SEVETH FLOOR:
The surgery room is packed. Different teams of surgeons are harvesting different organs from CARRIE’s body. The organs are placed in hard plastic coolers and the coolers are placed in padded insulated bags for transport. One team is working on the heart. JACKSON is stranding in the corner, unnoticed.

The surgical team snips away the veins and arteries from around CARRIE’s still-beating heart.


FIFTH FLOOR: BINGO is in the hospital surveillance room. It is all surveillance monitors and computers. He sets down, and unzips, the backpack. He lifts out of it a large industrial magnet and battery. He flips it on and paper clips fly across the room toward him. He passes the buzzing magnet across the bank of servers recording all of the security video. The monitors flicker out as the servers sizzle out.

BINGO puts the magnet back in the bag. He walks calmly past DION and ROBERT on the floor.


*** ONE YEAR AGO ***

INTERIOR. THE APARTMENT IN ALPHABET CITY. NIGHT.


PENNY
I am not going to buy someone’s heart. I won’t do it.

JACKSON
It’s a solution.

PENNY
Where are you thinking that you can get a heart from anyway?

JACKSON
I found a guy who can get us one.

PENNY
He can get us a human heart? Where is this guy?

JACKSON
Mexico.

PENNY
You found a guy in Mexico who can says that he can get us a compatable human heart?

JACKSON
Yes.

PENNY
How exactly is he going to do that?

JACKSON
I don’t want to ask because I don’t want to know.

PENNY
I’m not doing it.

JACKSON
Well then what the hell are we supposed to do?


*** RIGHT NOW ***

INTERIOR. HOSPITAL (Same). DAY (Continuous).


SEVETH FLOOR: The heart is lifted out of CARRIE”S dissected chest cavity. It is carefully placed into a cooler. The cooler is carefully placed into a padded red bag.

THE SURGEON
Okay, let’s go.

THE SURGEON strips off his gloves and mask and gown and moves out into the hallway. His small team of doctors trail after him. One of them is carrying the padded red bag. JACKSON doesn’t take his mask off. He crowds into the elevator with them, they are all too excited to notice. THE SURGEON is on his cell phone.

THE SURGEON
We just got it. We are in the elevator so I might lose you. What? Yeah, it went great. We are on our way to the MEDEVAC. What? Yeah no, it is a great looking heart.

In the packed elevator JACKSON is able to snake his hand into the pouch on the side of the insulated red bag. He carefully pulls the little GPS transponder out of the bag.


*** ONE WEEK FROM NOW ***

EXTERIOR. MEXICO CITY. DAY


JACKSON walks up to a newsstand and buys a copy of the New York Times. He tosses most of it into a trash drum on the street corner and flips through it until he finds an article titled: FBI and NYPD still searching for Heart Thieves.


*** RIGHT NOW ***

INTERIOR. HOSPITAL ELEVATOR (Same). DAY (Continuous).


The elevator arrives at the roof. It dings. The doors open. BINGO is there. He has a short and ugly Ruger Speed-Six revolver in his hand and he is wearing a black ski mask.

JACKSON smoothly pulls out his Glock and holds it up for everyone to see.

JACKSON
Everyone look at me please. This is a gun. It is loaded. No screaming please. We do not have a lot of time. I need all of you to put your wrists together.

BINGO demonstrates, while still keeping the gun pointed into the elevator.

BINGO
Like this.

JACKSON zip-ties each set of wrists and then gently pushes them out of the elevator.


*** 26 MINUTES FROM NOW ***

INTERIOR. A WAREHOUSE IN JERSEY CITY. DAY (Continuous).


In the center of the warehouse there is a makeshift clean room. Sealed plastic tarps dangle from the ceiling. In the center of the clean room there is a surgical table. PENNY is laying on it, naked and already anesthetized.

JACKSON
Look Doc, you’re going to do this for two reasons. The first: you’re a world-class heart surgeon, you have your own world-class team here with you and there is a woman in there who needs a heart transplant. The second: If you don’t, I will murder you until you are quite simply dead.


*** RIGHT NOW ***

EXTERIOR. THE HOSPITAL HELIPAD. DAY (Continuous).


BINGO and JACKSON lead THE SURGEON and his zip-tied team across the roof toward the helicopter. KRILL is still standing at THE PILOT’s window, Beretta still at the ready.

BINGO pats down THE SURGEON and takes the cell phone and keys and everything else and then he loads THE SURGEON up into the helicopter. BINGO does this to each of them while JACKSON keeps his Glock calmly aimed.

When the last of them is inside, JACKSON climbs inside himself. He has the insulated red bag in his lap. He looks at the terrified team of surgeons.

JACKSON
Relax. You are all going to be fine. No body is going to get hurt. Don’t think of this as a kidnapping, think of it as a character building exercise. You are all - now - the most interesting people that any of you know.


*** TWELVE HOURS FROM NOW ***

INTERIOR. THE WAREHOUSE IN JERSEY CITY (Same). NIGHT.


THE SURGEON exits the clean room and walks to JACKSON, who is sitting in the only chair in the warehouse.

THE SURGEON
Okay. It’s done.

JACKSON
Tell me how it went.

THE SURGEON
It went smoothly, all things considered. But her recovery is going to be lengthy and difficult.

JACKSON
I have worked that out.

THE SURGERON
Is she going to have to travel?

JACKSON
I will worry about that.

THE SURGEON
I’m asking because I’m a doctor.

JACKSON
I’m not telling you because you’re also a witness.


*** RIGHT NOW ***

EXTERIOR. THE HOSPITAL HELIPAD (Same). DAY (Continuous).


BINGO puts all of the cellphones and keys and the GPS transponder into a plastic bag. He hands the plastic bag to KRILL then circles around the helicopter and climbs in next to THE PILOT.

BINGO
I’m a nice man. Do what I say and everybody will be okay.

KRILL backs away from the helicopter as it begins to lift slowly up into the air. Its skinny legs fold up and back inside its thorax. The nose of the helicopter moves left and points off toward Jersey City.

KRILL watches it dart off and then heads to the elevator. He rides it all the way down. He exits the hospital. On the street he ditches the plastic bag in a trash can.


*** ONE YEAR FROM NOW ***

INTERIOR. A BEDROOM IN THE CATEDAL DISTRITOS OF SAN JOSE, COASTA RICA. NIGHT.


PENNY and JACKSON are in bed. The room is completely dark.

PENNY
Sometimes, when I’m laying here, when I can feel it beating, I think about where it was supposed to be. Whose body is it supposed to be in. What happened to that person? Did she live? Did she die while she was there on the table waiting for it? Did I kill her?

JACKSON
No.

PENNY
Do you ever think about that?

JACKSON
No.

PENNY
Why not? How can you not?

JACKSON
Because I love you. And loving you means that I don’t have to care about anyone who isn’t you.

PENNY
Is that love? Is that really what love is?

JACKSON
Yes.

PENNY
I’m not sure if you love me, or if you love that you fixed me.

JACKSON
I fixed you because I love you.

PENNY
That’s a completely fucked up thing to say.


*** 16 MONTHS FROM NOW ***

INTERIOR. JUAN SANTAMARIA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, SAN JUAN COASTA RICA. MORNING.


PENNY
One ticket, one-way to New York. Any airport. Whatever leaves soonest.


*** RIGHT NOW ***

INTERIOR. HELICOPTER (Same). DAY (Continuous).


JACKSON peeks out the window of the helicopter as the Hudson River slips by below. He smiles and thinks of PENNY. He closes his eyes for just a moment. Beneath the thumping of the rotor blades and the palpable fear of the doctors, he can feel his own heart beating. He clutches the insulated red bag tightly. He imagines that inside of it he can feel PENNY’s heart beating too.


I have always wanted to be in love. The real kind of love that burns. The kind that eats you like acid and changes you. The kind of love that is bigger than the sun. The kind of love you kill for, the kind of love that you do anything for. I have always thought that I would be good at that kind of love.



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I Will Follow You Into The Dark.

This is one of those songs that is just about perfect. I have a lot of history invested in this song. If you have not heard Ben Gibbard sing/whisper this song then you have missed one of the small and beautiful things in the world.



"I Will Follow You Into The Dark"
Death Cab For Cutie

Love of mine some day you will die
But I'll be close behind
I'll follow you into the dark

No blinding light or tunnels to gates of white
Just our hands clasped so tight
Waiting for the hint of a spark
If Heaven and Hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the NOs on their vacancy signs

If there's no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I'll follow you into the dark

In Catholic school as vicious as Roman rule
I got my knuckles bruised by a lady in black
And I held my tongue as she told me
"Son fear is the heart of love"
So I never went back

If Heaven and Hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the NOs on their vacancy signs

If there's no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I'll follow you into the dark

You and me have seen everything to see
From Bangkok to Calgary
And the soles of your shoes are all worn down
The time for sleep is now
It's nothing to cry about
'cause we'll hold each other soon
In the blackest of rooms

If Heaven and Hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the No's on their vacancy signs

If there's no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I'll follow you into the dark
Then I'll follow you into the dark




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Songs For My Band's Next Album.

So if you frequent this blog you already know this, but I am in a completely fake band. We don’t ever get together or play music and most of us lack any musical ability whatsoever, to say nothing of musical interments (for my part, I play the variable-speed blender and have actually been getting quite good at it).

In addition to never getting together to practice, we also don’t write any songs. However, I do keep collecting good song titles for – what I believe, anyway – would be delightful and interesting songs. Below are all of the titles for my band’s next album (which will, of course, never actually be produced. How cool is that? Beat that hipsters!).

Enjoy:



Has Been Work Hard Enough

Jogging on the Beach in a Headband

Jogging on the Beach in Just a Headband

The Morse Code of Your Heartbeat

The Brail of Your Skin

Heartache in the Headlines

Naked Noir

The Ash Box (I stole this from Eggplant)

Interactive Internet TV Ruined My Marriage

The Anorexia Engine

Dirty Teenage Group Sex In the Park (I stole this from Eggplant)

It’s Not a Sin Unless You’re Seen

Friends I Don’t Remember Anymore

The Cool Jazz Jam Session in My Heart

I Can’t Stop Not Getting Over You

Njord, The North Sea Sea-God

Dentistry is a Scam


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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

You Like It When I'm Long Windy, Right?

So I know that there are a lot of people in the world who have it a lot worse than I do. If I acknowledge that, is it okay if I bitch and moan for a little while? You don’t have to read this post (and you probably shouldn’t, on account of how long it is. Sorry about that. Normally I am all about the brevity).

So it isn’t even that things are bad, I mean, I have a couch in my apartment now and everything. It is just that today was kinda rough because I had a lot of feelings converge on me from different directions. I won’t bother you with all the details, but I will instead enumerate them as bullet points:

- I am money stressed right now. I make okay money, I suppose (I mean, I could be doing much worse) and I am grateful to have a job BUT this whole year has been one large expenditure after another. Every month it seems that there have been large and mostly unanticipated expenses. I would be just fine money-wise if I had an uneventful month. I would just like to have a month where everything was normal. But that’s just life, right? This happens to everybody and maybe I should not bitch and moan so much? Okay.


- I am still breakup stressed. It has been hard as of late. When I’m at work I keep literally taking my cell phone out of my pocket to text her – we used to text a lot during the day – and then I remember that I can’t text her. Yesterday I went with some friends to The Farmers Market at The Grove (it is basically the food court at a fancy outdoor mall in Hollywood, but it is supposed to look like the kiosks and food stands of a real farmers’ market, I guess) and I started to get overcome by all the memories of being there with her and eating crepes there with her and eating fruit cups with her. It was really hard. Last night my roommate Eggplant (still test driving blog names for her) asked me why I went at all if I knew it would be like that and I told her I didn’t want to be hiding from the world. Though part of me wants to right now. But that’s how it goes, right? Everybody hates breakups? And maybe I shouldn’t bitch and moan so much? Okay.


- I am work stressed. As I said above, I am grateful to have a job, but lately (since I graduated and went back to a normal 9 to 5 schedule [actually it is 8 – 4.30]) my work has been expanding beyond the bounds of that which I can reasonably handle. Quite a lot is being asked of me lately by quite a lot of people, all of whom believe that they are my number one priority. I know that it is like that at every job (or at least every job that I have ever had) but the thing is that my primary job function is to figure out how much to pay people and then to pay them, so when I screw up or get behind or have to wait for someone else to get their shit together, then people don’t get money. The other day I was talking to one of these guys and he was stranded in Arizona and his wife in Nevada couldn’t buy milk because they were dead broke and he was begging me to find him a way to get his wife some money. Part of me is all like, “That’s your fucking fault dumbshit” (because it was), but then the bleeding-heart-liberal in me was all like, “Okay, I will find a way to help you out, you dumbshit.” (I was able to get his wife some money, BTW, because I am humanist, and awesome). But my point is that when I get behind, real people’s real lives get fucked up. But that’s how it goes, right? Everybody has shitty times at work? And maybe I shouldn’t bitch and moan so much? Okay.

- I am cat stressed. I used to have two cats, I sort of still do. One of them has been with me since San Diego and she is pitifully stupid, but very sweet. The other one I love dearly but she is ornery and kind of a little shit. My mother calls her “The Devil Cat”. Well, my Ex said that she would take her but hasn’t yet and The Devil Cat seems to enjoy antagonizing my roommate Eggplant and I feel really bad about it but I’m not sure what I can do. I would feel awful getting rid of her because we raised her from a kitten and I think that she wouldn’t understand being around other people who don’t indulge her insanity. I think that she would be all sad the rest of her life. But that’s normal, right? I should stop anthropomorphizing my pets, right? And maybe stop bitching and moaning about them so much? Okay.


- I am nostalgia stressed. Back in 2006 I went to England and France with my then-wife. It was an amazing trip and I’m now one of those people who constantly drops the fact that I have been overseas. Like, if you say, “I love French fries!” I would say, “I love the way that the French have different names for different types of restaurants, based largely on the type of food and the quantity of it that you can get there. Like a ‘cafĂ©’ is different from a ‘bistro’, that sort of thing. I learned about that when I was in Paris.” And then you would say, “Fuck I had no idea that you were such an obnoxious douche bag, you obnoxious douche bag.” Or if you were all like, “Man, English is a confusing language.” Then I would be all like, “You know people don’t realize it but there are almost no freeways across the English countryside. It is mostly two-lane – or even one lane – roads that are lined with hedgerows, so you can’t even see what you’re driving past. When we rented a Vauxhall and drove to Stonehenge on our way to Bath, it took me days to adjust to the hedgerow thing.” And then you would say, “Listen you asshole, I was just making an offhand linguistic observation, I was not inviting you to give me some dissertation on Anglophilia.” . . . . . . Wait, I have forgotten what the fuck I was writing about. Hold on, I need to go read the beginning of this paragraph. Man, I am a terrible blogger. Just hang out for a second . . . . . . . Right! So the point was that I went on this awesome trip. Well, I thought that I had lost all of the photos from that trip when my external hard drive fried. Well the other day I found a bunch of them on a random memory card. As I clicked through them I was struck by how different my life is now then it was then. I’m not saying that I was regretting anything; it was just one of those sad moments of reflecting on how strange life is. Had I stayed in San Diego and in that marriage I would probably have a mortgage and kids by now. That’s strange, right? It makes one reflect quite a lot on one’s life and it made me realize how thoroughly unaccomplished and unsuccessful I am. But a lot of people feel this way, right? We all have to deal with the harsh reality of life, right? And maybe I shouldn’t bitch and moan about it so much? Okay.

- I am height stressed. On the internet website Facebook, a girl I knew in high school randomly posted a picture that I am in. In the picture I am at my ten year high school reunion (that’s right, I am that old. Deal with it.). Well, it isn’t a posed picture or anything. It is just me and a couple of people standing around talking and none of us knew that there was a picture being taken and (honestly) I don’t even look very good in it at all. BUT! I do look extremely short in it. In the picture I am standing next to a lovely and elegant (and extremely hot) friend from high school who was wearing GIANT heels. Additionally it doesn’t help that in the picture you can’t SEE that she is wearing GIANT heels. (Funny story: the elegant and graceful friend I am standing next to is still totally awesome and I totally had a GIANT crush on her in high school and I told her so at the reunion and she has not talked to me since. I don’t blame her at all though, she got married a couple of years ago to a guy who is – by all accounts – awesome. But it was yet another moment in my life during which I should have just kept my god damn mouth shut for the sake of propriety. [Even funnier story: every couple of months I have this dream wherein she is teaching me to bowl. One time we totally beat all of the other bowling teams and we won a whale!]). So I look very short in this picture. And – listen – I know that I am, in fact, short. I have been short my whole life and I’m not generally sensitive about it (because I rock shortness as hard as anybody really can), but it just brought the point home to me at a time when I’m already feeling fairly lame and just generally short/fat/bald/old/generally undesirable/unaccomplished. But do not fret, I will not be buying lifts or a pinky ring. I will not start driving a sports car or wearing a military dress saber. I will not be doing any of those things that men do to make themselves feel less short. I will simply wait out this bout of lameness and eventually I will remember that I am awesome and that will be that. So maybe I should not bitch and moan so much about the things I don’t like about my body? Okay.

- I am stressed. A few nights ago I was out at a strange little bar in the San Fernando Valley. The bar was called The Tender Glow, which – though it was a perfectly nice dive – it was not. It did not glow at all, if you must know. The thing that you have to know about the entire San Fernando Valley is that it is where the strip mall was perfected, so it is filled with strip malls and asphalt in the way that the Yosemite Valley is filled with trees and beauty, or the way that the San Joaquin Valley is filled with dirt and disappointment. Since it is all strip malls, you can never tell what kind of place a place is until you place your foot inside the door. This place was a very cool dive. It was narrow, but had faux-leather red booths of the sort that I like in a bar. Well I met up with some school friends there (it was exactly the sort of sudden and random getting together of people that I enjoy) and a lovely friend of mine (who does not yet have a blog name) jokingly (and sadly, platonically) rubbed my shoulders and was taken aback by the fact that they feel basically like granite. I carry my stress around in my shoulders and back, but doesn’t everybody? My friend seemed curious in the way that little boys are curious when they come across a dying bird, so she worked her way down my spine and found the kind of knots usually reserved for gnarly old willow trees. She accused me of having Scoliosis. I tried to explain that I just haven’t relaxed – really relaxed - in four or five years, but I realized that that sounded kind of crazy, so I just gave up. There is some truth to the fact that I over-stress. There probably are people who could live my life and not be as stressed out as I am, but the thing is that I wanted so much more from life (this goes back to the whole ‘unaccomplished thing) that I stress about everything. I stress because I am in a constant and life-long competition with an imaginary man in my head who is taller than me and smarter than me and funnier than me and better looking than me and cooler than me. He makes more money than I do and he fucks better than I do and he writes better than I do and he’s happier than I am. This is why I am not a particularly competitive person. I have no interest in competing against real people, I have the son of a bitch in my head to deal with. And he is winning. But everybody is stressed out right? Everybody is competing against their own hopes and dreams, right? So maybe I should not bitch and moan about it so much? Okay.


So I feel kinda bad if you read this entire blog post in the hopes that you would be entertained or something. But let’s face it, you’re not reading this right now. I lost you back somewhere around the French fries thing.


Anyway. I feel better now than I did when I started writing this. I hate that this blogging thing is like therapy for me. The truth is that I’m more honest here while I am typing than I ever really am when I TALK to people. The irony being that the only people who read this blog are people I know in real life. It is hard to play it cool and unflappable in life when everybody has access to this back door into my brain. But whatever, you’re not reading this right now anyway.


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