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The Undiscovered Gate Which Leads Towards Galileo's Celestial Garden

A Place For Opinions, Parodies, Wild Accusations, Plus Cinematic And Worldly Reflections.

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Whip It Good! Indy's Back In Action

5/23/2008 7:18:02 PM permalink

The movie fan in me says "go ahead, write your review of Indiana Jones 4."

The other movie fan in me says "don't do it, keep the secrets, preserve the integrity of the first viewing."

I'll listen to the latter.

So, here's the (albeit) brief view on "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull."

A -, and that's only because of George Lucas' "out there" plot devices considering the nature of WHERE the crystal skulls come from, and WHAT they originally are. (Who the hell do you think you are, Lucas?* Chris Carter?")

When you go, be sure to enjoy the latest gag making use of Indy's fear of snakes.

I'd also have liked a bit more swashbuckling with the whip, okay a lot more. It was used, just not nearly enough for my taste.

Go see it. You'll love it. (Except for the bits where Lucas went WAY off balance, but this is pretty tame considering what he originally wanted.)

(*It's a shame when those who conceive of the original story, as Lucas did with Indy and Star Wars, can't even properly tell those stories they themselves create. Get the project out of Georgie's hands, and you've actually got a better movie than he could come up. Sad, really.)

Tags: indiana jones

Wanna Write For Comics? Here's How! (Kinda)

5/19/2008 6:17:25 PM permalink

As I still, very slowly, attempt to assemble "The Life and Times of Igor" into the comic book format, I feel I should share The Secret with you.

No, not that hokey bit of over glorified self esteem book.

The format is here:

It's only 4 pages long, and in the .pdf format (as you can plainly see by the web address), and it doesn't specify # of pagespanels like I'd hoped, but it doesn't seem to really be that important.

At least I hope not.

As a side note to those who've left comments and I never replied, let me apologize -- I never really looked at the past entries and, apparently, message notifications either are not working, or are simply non existent on mania. Not sure which.

As for me, it's back to the tv and my nightly dose of "Futurama."

Tags: comics, comic formatting

Assembling The Guard: Igor, Sweet Dreams, And Stephen King

5/13/2008 5:54:01 PM permalink

Well, as I am a newcomer to the comic format, I'd hoped somebody might've given me some general thoughts on the number of pages or panels per page in the average issue. The intent of that request was to, shall we say, "learn from the best." I'm the amateur in this field, so I should ask around.

I'll still leave that request open, should anyone wish to relate some helpful information.

Meanwhile, as I (slowly) rework "The Life and Times of Igor," I've been silently considering that, if this were to be my future, be it short term or long term, I might as well find my niche and settle in.

I've talked here about promoting "Sweet Dreams: A Sandman's Story" here, and there is a plot device I could use to keep me in the first act of the story, back in the 1950's. It's there I introduce the Starlight Guard, the group of individuals who assist the Sandmen on the nights when the town of Twilight Place is overrun by the mares. (Nightmare demons, not horses.)

If I ever wanted to revisit "Sweet Dreams," the best way to do it (without doing a sequel or a prequel) would be to go into the missing areas and have the main characters attempt to learn how the Starlight Guard was formed. We know WHY, but not HOW.

Then I put that thought away, and this morning was devoted to trying to find an agent that handled both comic books AND screenplays. Some did, but didn't accept submissions with a fantasy or science fiction element. As the Meat Loaf song goes, two out of three isn't bad. But it's still not good in my opinion.

I don't know how long it will take to rework Igor, I have "Sweet Dreams," and so I thought about just skipping these picky agents and going straight to the source: Marvel.
So today I read their submission guidelines, printed up a letter, and I sent it off today. It'll be about a week until it gets there, and hopefully they'll want to read a sample of the work.

And they may not want to. It's not exactly a sure thing here, so I'm keeping that in mind.
As a side note, in case anyone's still wondering about Stephen King, I still haven't gotten the rights from him for one of his short stories. I haven't even heard back yet, but given there were at least three different addresses for an S. King up in Bangor, Maine then it shouldn't surprise me he'd be hard to reach.

There are other ways around this. His wife is still on the board of the local public library -- that's an avenue I hope to explore as well.

In case you're wondering, I was aiming for the rights to "Everything's Eventual." It's the only story of his I've identified with in any way. And that's why I chose it.

And life goes on...

PS - If anyone ever wants to make a comment, please feel free to call me self deluded or a madman. It's a free forum, so say what's on your mind.

Tags: stephen king, life and times of igor, sweet dreams

Can Any Fellow Maniacs Help Me Out Here?

5/11/2008 11:49:05 AM permalink

I've stated it before, my knowledge of comic books is very limited.

And now, here I am converting a 120 page script into the comic format.  I'm considering breaking the 120 page script down into either three or four seperate issues.

But there's, so far, two things I need to know: how many pages is the average issue, and, on average, how many panels are there per page?

Please, feel free to drop a line. You guys certainly know more than I do, so let's hear what you've got to say.

Oh, and if there's anything else I may need to know, feel free to add it.

Tags: comics

The Life And Times Of Igor

5/9/2008 3:30:20 PM permalink

Well the news had broken that a movie about Igor will be appearing this fall.

Damn it all.

And I've spent the last three years of my life writing, rewriting, and promoting my own "Life and Times of Igor" out in Hollywood and New York.

They can have their Igor, and I've got mine. Trouble is, they got theirs out and mine is sitting in my filing cabinet, with about eight or nine other projects that haven't yet seen the light of day.

So, on this unfortunate day, I'll just slap on my promotional letter from two years ago, and a scene or two from the most recent version of the script.

What follows is the very same letter I sent out to countless agents on both the East and West coast. It gives you the general idea of what goes on in the movie, without giving away the real secrets.

He has long played second fiddle to his notorious employer, and his life has been
overshadowed by the outrage induced over his employer’s careless flirtations with science. Now his story shall be known.

The Life And Times Of Igor, a “mockumentary,” explores the hunchback’s earliest days, uncovers why he was denied a position in the government’s employment, and reveals the details of that fateful night when the ladies from the Clean Environment Coalition came and shut down Dr. Frankenstein for dumping radioactive material in Salt Lake City.

Now unemployed, Igor attempts to fit into day to day life by serving as a dog walker for The Wolfman, who is part Jack Russell terrier. The hunchback also attempts being a tour guide at the local museum, but ends up on the street after reanimating The Mummy in an attempt to discover the time and cause of the former Egyptian’s death.

Igor must also endure the heated stares from his rival and distant cousin Quasimodo, be a chick magnet, and make the transition to accounting while Frankenstein whiles away his time mutating dandelions in a maximum security prison.

Interviews with friends, family, and associates help to reveal the long held mysteries of Igor’s past, and we ultimately catch up with Igor, Dr. Frankenstein, and The Monster as they relax on a Southern California beach in quiet retirement when they discover anonymity by means of extensive plastic surgery.

The truth can’t be hidden forever. Igor’s is just now coming to the surface.

This scene comes at the transition between Acts I and II, where we have to divide Frankenstein and Igor, putting the bad doctor in jail and Igor out on the street. I should note my Transylvania is out in rural Arizona, where the zealots live and play. I oughta to change it to Texas to make it even creepier, considering recent news developments.


A large group of news vans wait outside. An armored police vehicle arrives, and an ARMED OFFICER escorts the orange jump suited and chained Dr. Frankenstein from the vehicle to the building.


Igor looks very unusual, as he’s dressed up in a very sharp suit, but he looks like an emotional train wreck. A group of JOURNALISTS asks Igor for an interview.

Mr. Igor! Mr. Igor! A few words, if you

Dr. Frankenstein has been a good friend
and mentor to you for several years now.
How do you feel about the charges made
against him?

Master not guilty. Master not harm
environment. Master good to Igor. Igor
believe Clean Environment Coalition
conducting witch hunt.

But how do you respond to the recent
environmental tests showing conclusively
that radioactive waste is present in the

Igor have nothing else to say. Excuse


The JUDGE sits behind his bench. The ladies from the Clean Environment Coalition are making their case. The PROSECUTION
is making a grand show of things.

Not only did this foul, villainous man
pollute Mother Nature herself, he did
knowingly, and willfully, make fun of

Gasps from all those in the room. Igor looks around at these idiots.

I rest my case, your honor.

(to Defense Attorney)
Do you have any final statements in this

No, your honor. I believe our case was
made quite explicitly, although I would
like to add that the Prosecution added
an irrelevant argument to his case
concerning Mr. Frankenstein’s views on
religion. This was a dirty, under handed
tactic and I ask it be stricken from the


The judge slams down the gavel.

Now, normally I would deliberate on such
a case in my chambers, but I feel this
is an open and shut case.
(to Frankenstein)
Please stand, sir, for I am about to
pronounce my judgment.
(to all)
Having heard both sides I am forced to
conclude that Dr. Victor Frankenstein is
sinfully guilty of being a secularist
and a proponent of all things
As for this notion of polluting the
environment, I find it to be a non
issue. The messiah’s going to be here
any day now, so screw the planet!
(to Frankenstein)
As for you, there’s a little rhyme I
like to invoke in special situations:
First you’ll rot in jail, then you’ll
burn in hell!

This final scene is an "interview" where Igor's mom and dad discuss what Igor could now do with his life. Igor is a momma's boy, whether he likes that title or not.


Momma and Poppa Igor reflect.

Igor need new job. Igor could be male

Igor not be male stripper!

Igor be good stripper! Nothing wrong
with being stripper! Igor make lots of
money being stripper!


Igor, in his pajamas, settles into bed. He places his eyes on the table next to him, claps his hands, and the lights go out.



A MALE STRIPPER is finishing up his act. The ladies in attendance ooh and ahh and anxiously await the next performer.

(on intercom)
Now, ladies, put your hands together
for a very special treat. Officer Igor!

Igor is pushed out on stage, reluctantly, dressed as a police man. Then an instrumental version of “I’m Too Sexy” plays. Igor, stunned, looks at all the women before him. A YOUNG WOMAN stands up.

Take it off!

Igor starts getting into the act. He dances about. And then he starts to sing along.

Igor too sexy for his hand. Too sexy for
his hand. Too sexy…

He then removes his right hand and tosses it into the crowd. All the women scream and leave.

What wrong?



Igor reflects.

Igor love momma. But she dumb. Igor no
want be stripper. It scare Igor. Igor
have bad dreams about being stripper.

What would you like to be?

Igor not know. Actually, Igor know. But
it embarrass Igor.

Go on. If you could do anything in the
world, besides being Dr. Frankenstein’s
assistant, what would it be?

Well, Igor probably shouldn’t tell, but
Igor like to be…Scarlet Pimpernel. Igor
like capes. Igor like swords. Igor would
be Scarlet Pimpernel if Igor could.


Tags: life and times of igor

Morons, Beware (A Look At Digital TV Converters In Arkansas)

4/30/2008 5:34:20 AM permalink

I love reading the Letters to the Editor in my local paper. I find it quite hilarious, highly horrifying, and above all else, absolutely inspiring.

I live in an area of ignorant, angry jackasses. From my old high school banning "Harry Potter" to decrying the adult book shop that opened here last year, you can find plenty to talk about, and none of it intelligent.

Today's topic: my digital converter doesn't work.

My first response is to write my own letter to the editor (which I don't do) and accuse this person of being old, then asking them if they know anyone under the age of 40 to help them with this problem.

The problem of being old, not the bit about the converter.

They woefully decry how they got their coupons, went out, bought two converters and SURPRISE! they don't work. They also bawl about how no one mentions the converters don't work with rabbit ears.

If anyone here hasn't gotten a converter yet, let me tell you this: it works perfectly with rabbit ears, and the old style rooftop antennas. How do I know? I've set up at least 4, each with different methods of receiving a signal.

They also moan about how you have to be 30 miles (or less) to the tower to get the signal.

Wrong again.

Then they cry about how Arkansas is full of hills and HD is of no use in this area. Well, this is partially correct. Stuff gets in the way, be it limbs, hills, and so on. Digital signals are all too easy to block. As Scotty put it in Star Trek 3, "the more they overtake the drain, the easier it is to stop up the plumbing." (Well it's a rough quote, it's early and I haven't seen that scene in quite a while. You get the point, unless you're just waking up too.)

The key, as always, to go reception has always been HEIGHT. Get a big ass antenna, hook it up, and prepare to turn it when necessary. Very little has changed, with the exceptions I can actually SEE my channels now, and more of them. In fact, I'll actually be able to witness a first run broadcast episode of Smallville tomorrow night.

I still really want to write a letter to the editor replying to today's nonsense and accuse that lady of being old.

Tags: my life

Trying To Reason With The Summer Movie Season

4/28/2008 5:14:04 AM permalink

Although I'm 30, Summer is still my favorite time of year.

I always have that snarky feeling in the back of my head that says, when in summer, I should be on vacation. It must be a holdover from high school.

I love summer, but I hate the heat. I also am increasingly restless when it comes to the "summer blockbusters," which are, shall we say, terrible.

I first started noticing that the big popular movies were also the worst back in the late 90's. There was "Independence Day." I laugh at it today. There was "Armageddon." Groan inducing it is. I was also dragged by a group of friends to see our version of "Godzilla," and couldn't help but laugh at it in the damned theater.

The trend of bad movies, it seems, is just getting more popular: "Transformers," "Spiderman," "X-Men," (pretty much any comic book movie) "Iron Man," "Speed Racer," and let's not forget anything Judd Apatow releases. And "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" was the worst of them all.

We should also include J.J. Abram's version of "Star Trek," seeing as how he's got a summer blockbuster mentality as well.

Douglas Adams once remarked about his book, "Dirk Gentley's Holistic Detective Agency," that it was so complicated to disguise the fact that there's really nothing much going on. That's precisely the same thing going on with these movies that depend on fast movement, loud sounds, and lots of colors.

There's nothing going on. And you realize that when you step outside of the theater, and realize you can't remember anything about the movie you just watched. Or, in other words, you wish you had the last 90 minutes of your life back.

Sure I sound bitter. I demand more from my entertainment. It has to last more than one viewing, or at least one viewing in some cases. The shelf life of summer movies is very, very short.

But there's always hope: "Indiana Jones" will be here soon. "Wall-E" will be here in late June. "Prince Caspian" is pretty much knocking on my door as we speak.

And, so far, that's pretty much it.

As far as the summer movie season is concerned, things could only get better. And if it doesn't, there's always the new Mario Kart game.


Hell (As Defined By A Chemistry Student)

4/23/2008 4:59:46 AM permalink

This seems to have been floating around the Internet, and the message itself proclaims it to be true.

Now we know when the net is just another way of  spreading urban legends and such, so take it with that attitude.

But if it is real, then I'd certainly like to meet this guy. We need more smartasses in the world.

Hell Explained By A Chemistry Student

The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term exam.

The answer by one student was so 'profound' that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today.

Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given me by Lisa during my Freshman year that, 'It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you,' and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is
exothermic and has already frozen over.

The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is, therefore, extinct... leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Lisa kept
shouting 'Oh my God.'



Another Side Of The Line Drawn Through My Life And Times

4/11/2008 3:00:37 PM permalink

Those that know me from myspace were able to follow me here.

There I've usually ranted about bad and non communicative agents, various lyrics to Jimmy Buffett tunes, bemoaned how my cats are shedding all over the place, posted various examples of various screenplays.

A movie recommendation or two has even appeared, not to mention some philosophical discourse here and there on pop culture and history, and it's all placed alongside theories, experiences, and stories of the paranormal.

Here my photo is of Galileo, who is still officially a kitten, even though at six months he was much bigger than his 2 year old uncle Phantom, who died just about this time last year when Galileo was born to his sister Spooky.

There is my picture, with an example of how I try to manipulate and enhance images to a certain degree.

But a brief example of all the things I've written (and will eventually write) will be listed here:

Summertime Blues (comedy)
Summertime Blues II: Cruel Summer

The Life And Times Of Igor (mockumentary)

Interesting Times
Part I: The Fountain of Light
Part II: Almost Unreal
Part III: Amazing Things
Part IV: What The Devil Made Me Do
Part V: Time Shall Unfold...
Part VI: ...What Plighted Cunning Hides (working title only)

Sweet Dreams: A Sandman's Story

And, if I'm fortunate, this line will no longer read "As Yet Unmentioned Stephen King Adaptation."

But only if I'm fortunate. If so, then pour the wine. If not, oh well. I won't lose sleep over it.


Misadventures Part II: How To Upset Someone Without Really Trying

4/9/2008 5:03:08 PM permalink

The general idea of life is you get out what you put in. If you're nice, nice will come back to you. If you're gonna be an arrogant bastard, you'll get that in return.

So I mentioned how the local guy wanted me to help adapt his novel to script form. I told him my (reduced) fee 10 grand for the adaptation, plus 5 for the new material I'd have to add. I also slashed both those in half to accommodate the economic situations of the day and location.

So last week I get a reply back saying how he wasn't looking for a ghost writer (but he needs one badly, and I'm not the only one that is of this opinion.)

He's looking for someone to work FOR HIM with him. He'd allow this mere mortal 40 percent of the work, and 40 percent of the sale.

Oh how generous.

That's not how things work in Hollywood, and the W.G.A. would likely eat him alive for thinking such a thing.

Here's what I'm assuming: he'll provide the story, and I just figure out the spacing, the margins, and so on. It isn't a stretch to say "he needs me," because you can count the number of competent screenwriters in the western half of Arkansas on one hand, most likely. I sure as hell don't know anyone else.

I've proven that I do have a mental filter, cause I certainly didn't tell him what I truly thought. When those 60/40 figures came in I nearly screamed and laughed at the same time.

"He's got to be kidding," was the main thought bouncing around inside my skull. Apparently he wasn't, and then the giggles took over. Oh how I wanted to do to him what I've done to Cathie The Fat And Evil.

I haven't though. Come to think of it, I never really got to do it to Cathie. As Kathy Griffin put it, I was raised right: I talk about people behind their backs.

But this local guy suffers from ignorance (which is fine, we all do. I certainly do, and I'm not ashamed to say so.) But I've been examining Hollywood politics for a long time too. This project of his would be laughed out of California, and then he'd truly know the lash and poison of the serpent's tongue.

So I finally sent my reply: here it is.

I'm sorry but I'm going to decline your offer.

I will offer some advice though: go to the nearest bookshop, and pick up a copy of Stephen King's "On Writing," and read it. It's arguably the best ally you'll ever have, if you wish to continue your literary aspirations. There are also lots of books that teach screenwriting, if you're still on intent on following through on this project.

I'd also recommend you take another class or two to help sharpen your senses.

I feel your work would be best served if I was completely honest: for the most part, the novel I read was, more or less, an okay piece of work. If I was an instructor, I'd possibly give it around 75% out of a hundred, truth be told.

Some of it, especially the prologue, was right up there in the 90 % range. It needs just a hint of polishing, but really not very much.

On the whole, the book reads as if its genesis came from a Creative Writing course. I truly feel the book was published possibly a year too early. Rewriting is key, and polishing does makes perfection.

If you still fancy the idea of adapting said novel into a script, you should be aware that the Writer's Guild of America strictly monitors WHO wrote WHAT, and HOW MUCH. You cannot just proclaim X person will write This Much, and Y person will write That Much. If it's 2 people, it's 50-50 even.

And even then, it will likely be rewritten because the studios are bastards, and will give you notes out the wazoo about what They Want, and this is why I'm going to recommend you hold off trying to write a script. You're not ready for it. And writer's out in Hollywood are a dime a dozen, which means any one of them can easily (and will be) replaced.

Take the time and hone your craft. That's the best advice I can give anyone.


It may seem harsh, but then I don't think so. If my work was good, I was told it was good. If okay, it was deemed okay. If it really didn't amount to much, well the that was mentioned in some fashion.

That was 1999. In the fall of 2001, I had another teacher who literally handed an assignment back to me one day, and said there's nothing I can teach you.

That was a happy day. I can be humbled by people I respect, and I respected that man a lot, a long time before he ever read much of my work. There was another time I'd overheard a moment of his praise, quite by accident.
It was half an hour before class change, and the door was left open. The second level of that building was essentially empty anyways.

I go down the hallway, and sit down out of sight, just five feet away from the door, and I hear him talking. He mentions how, in the very next class (the one I was waiting for) that there were two people that he would just "set loose upon the world," because they were among the best he's seen.

I was one of those two. I never told him I overheard him, and no one knew I was out there either.

Another bit of praise came when I asked him to read a draft of a script I and a friend of mine had constructed. He came in maybe a week or so later, just as class was starting up, and was talking about how he should use it as an example to the entire class as a wonderful piece of work.

He never did -- thankfully. I am capable of great embarrassment, and that would've done it.

I also know, that no matter how great I was viewed, that I'm not as good as I want to be. In fact I fall short of the grandeur I wish I could create. I will never be That Good, which does disappoint me.

I once handed my friend a copy of the first 110 pages of "Sweet Dreams: A Sandman's Story." It was the first draft, an unpolished draft, and I gave it to my friend one afternoon to read.

She sat down, read it, and I went away for an hour or so. When I came back, I asked my usual question: "what'd you think?"

She proclaimed it was, by far, the best work I'd ever done. And it was just a first draft, and it was nowhere near complete.

No, there's got to be something wrong. I asked over and over, she said there was nothing wrong. In disbelief, I kept pestering her until I got a confession of what was wrong with it -- I wasted my breath, cause she never once changed her position.

Then I took about a month off and didn't write anymore. Part of that was because I didn't know how to finish the damned thing. I tried maybe 5 variations, and they were all trash. Then one day it just appeared and off I went. Those last 30 pages or so got revised more than the previous 110 or so.

I like praise, but I tend not to trust it.

I like criticism, cause I know it's important.
And I ask those around me to find what's wrong with the script, not what's right. Get rid of all that's wrong with it and you're done.

Then you can type The End, and mean it.

Tags: my life

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Date Joined: March 17, 2008