What I want you to know. Which is everything.

Monday, July 31, 2006

ZZZZZzzzzzzzzz....... Psych.

I'm not sure how sleep works, in particular how it works with me. I've always been curious about the mystery of sleep. When I was a kid I always tried to pinpoint the moment that I fell asleep. To this day I am, of yet, unsuccessful. I once successfully, or at least believe that I successfully affected my dreams. One night as a youth I dreamed an amazing dream about only God knows and woke up in the middle of it frustrated that it hadn't continued. I guess I had to use the restroom or something. Well, as I lay back down I was determined to affect my dreams so that I started the same dream again. I'm not remembering if it started where it left off or if I had to start from the beginning, but by concentrating deeply on the dream and what it was about I was able to create the conditions of my dream again.

By the way, while I'm thinking of it, if you are interested in dreams and the subconcious mind, do yourself a favor and watch Waking Life by Richard Linklater. He directed School of Rock and Dazed and Confused but he also has some lesser known (lesser by big market standards, I mean, most people who really like indie film have seen it, but it could concievably be off most people's radar) movies. Waking Life is chronoscoping animation, much like his current film A Scanner Darkly, in which the actors are filmed but then the movie is animated using the original footage. It makes for a kind of mind trippy looking film.

Anyway, Waking Life takes a guy trying to wake from a dream from place to place in his dream, unable to wake up, and he just keeps meeting these different people who pontificate on the oddities of sleep and dreaming, and how it compares with life awake, and so on... If your only qualification for a movie is a compelling story then you might not like Waking Life but if you listen to NPR you'd probably like it.

This is all to say that I can't get to sleep and I'm confused as to how my body decided this. I've really confused my sleep clock this time.

For the last several nights I've been going to sleep late. Really late. So late it's early late. One morning Amanda woke up to go to a workshop at 8 am and I was still up, cleaning out the computer room. I was tired, but I was more interested in pictures I was finding that I hadn't looked through in awhile. And, let's face it, I wasn't that tired. I'd been sleeping late enough and couple that with the fact that I'm a night person anyway and I could stay up a long time. Saturday night it all kind of hit the fan because we had to wake up to go to church at 9 the next morning. With a new computer to play with, sure enough I had little interest in sleep until I forced my retirement at 6 am. With a 8:30 wake up and a very disappointing Astros game to look forward to I wasn't really looking forward to the next day, and even contemplated just staying up. But, I gave in and with 2+ hours of sleep went to church with bags under my eyes. Church was fine. I zoned out some, but was a lot more alert than I thought I'd be. A nail biting Astros game at Minute Maid Park kept my attention for the next few hours, but by the time the game was over I was ready to hit the hay. Amanda and I got home around 4:30 and I immediately went for the bedroom and got comfy. I wasn't ready to sleep yet, but instead watched a movie with Amanda. By the time 8 was rolling around I was ready to call it a night. I fell asleep around 8:30.

3 and a half hours later I wake up thinking that it's morning but I'm confused as to why it was so dark outside. I figured that it might be raining. I also notice Amanda's watching "Shark Week" on the Discovery Channel and not The Today show and ask "What time is it?"

"11:30 at night." She says, "you've been asleep for 3 hours." I thought it had been one of the best night's sleep I'd had in a long time.

So now after practically no sleep a three hour nap was all I needed and I'm wide the freak awake again! Why can I go to bed at midnight and sleep til noon, but if I try to go to sleep at 8:30, even after a full day, I sleep for three hours? Makes no sense.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Part 4: This one is called "Flashing...Eyes!"

As I sat buckled into my muddy grave I was left to think about my life. I went back mentally to the face of my dear mother and her sympathetic looks as my stepfather berated me with accusations of thievery and insubordination. All the while I took the abuse. Whenever I pleaded with my stepfather that it wasn't I who took his cigarettes the side of my face met headlong with his high school state championship ring. Heaven forbid that I point out to him that in his drunken stupor he had tossed the carton behind the refrigerator, and all he need would be to enlist the help of a coat hanger or such tool with which he could reach behind and retrieve the cigarettes. Surely that would have been a dire mistake. My only recourse was to accept the punish that came my way and hope that he tired himself quickly. After the tyrant was out of physical steam he resorted to the verbal before retiring to his Laz-E-Boy. "Pansy!" This was just one of many feminine epithet to which I was attributed. Would stare up blankly at my mother who would shrug, struggling to fight back tears and rage. But it wasn't sympathy that I required of the woman who bore me. As I studied the plains animals in Africa for my middle school ecology class I was envious of the lion cubs and even the prehatched snakes. The natural instinct of their mothers was to put themselves in danger for the sake of their young. A mother cheetah, when faced with a pack of hyennas would not run, as they would certainly be able to outrun the lot, but would stand her post in a show of power amid a powerful foe.

I would rise and trod past my maternal life giver, giving close attention to give eye contact. If I neglected to force my glance I would not be able to look her in the eye. With a tight clenched jaw upon my upper lip I slunk into my bedroom, resigned to face this scenario again before the week was through.

As I made my way into the upper levels of my education I slowly became all but a recluse. My routine consisted of a bus ride to school where I buried myself in the backs of classrooms wearing subdued colors as to not draw attention to myself. Not a word spoken for fear that someone might hear me and want to respond. I was on constant alert for anything that might act as the key that would unlock my chest of sorrow. In adolescence the most feared thing for a typical student is vulnerability, but for me vulnerability was more than just fears and self-doubt. It was inherit self-loathing. I was convinced that it was not so much I who was condemned to live a life of pain and anguish, but yet my entire lineage was cursed and doomed to a life of subversive meekness and low status and abilities. Generations upon generations of my family could amount to nothing and this is what had been passed on to me and I will to my children pass on even greater woe and suffering.

Just when I had convinced myself, however, that I would never know happiness she entered the classroom in which I slouched. She was wearing black clothes and did not paint her face the way that other girls did, but she had a pale face that shown through her jet black hair like a single burst of sunlight, piercing through a crack in my cell of isolation. She did not smile or look up as the teacher read from her schedule card. "We have a new student, her name is Jasmine." Jasmine! Oh, appropriate names, have thee no finer specimen! "There is a seat next to this....gentleman. I assure you, you will not be bothered here." As the others snickered at Mrs. Frank's accidental jab I sank into a new kind of despair. I was immediately smitten with Jasmine, but Mrs. Frank's inability to recall my name highlighted a major setback if I were to ever attempt to pursue her: I've never said a word in front of any of these people and before I can make the leap at courting a lady I must first speak. Such a drastic turn of events would surely cause pause in a group of misfits whom I had successfully staved off for the better part of 10 years. As we all know as soon as young man or woman notices anything out of the ordinary he or she finds that it is his or her inherit right and duty to point it out for all to see. This is customarily followed by ridicule and scoffing of said perpetrator of the unusual act. This may be a consequence that I was willing to take.

Coming soon: Part 2 of Part 4.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Romeo and Juliet Set

I don't know when I'm going to finish that story I was writing. I feel like I should even though I'm not sure it was going anywhere. Maybe someone out there (Rozie) would like to finish it for me. What happened to the fire guy? all that jazz.

The last few days I've been working on a set design for Romeo and Juliet which I'm directing in Aug.-Sept. at school. The show is already cast and we begin on August 7. So if any cast members are reading this, 3 o'clock in my room, kay?

Here's what the set is looking like so far:

Floor plan: I'm limited to some extent because I can't build anything stationary below the act curtain because the school has an open house in the auditorium early in the year with the orchestra needing to be onstage. They don't want to see my set. (Yeah, like it would just offend the eyes of the parents, or something.) Anyway, the big round thing to the right rotates so that Juliet has her balcony and then it turns around to reveal her bedroom.

This is the first drawing I did of what the front should look like. The round balcony on the right is too big and there are some other issues with the back wall, but this is basically what it will look like. I've also been thinking that I might have the whole left wall swing in using the rotating platforms fulcrum.

This is a more to scale drawing, although it's obviously not as fleshed out. I eventually plan to get this one colored and such.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Snoop Took Over Ya Blizog, Cracka!

Yo! Step up, playaz. Take a lizzook at T- to the H to the is

Part 3: "Burning Hate" (still)

After what seemed like a dream but was reality in it's most gruesome and horrific tangible authenticity, I had pseudo-unintentionally destroyed our suburban flat, and could hear the screams of horror from neighbors, whose adjoining apartments were suffering similar fates. My body covered in cracking, lapping whips of flare and flame I was struck with the sudden realization of what was happen, although I was still not entirely sure how it had happened. I was suddenly aware, however, that, whatever had happened, I was at fault and that I needed to vacate the premises with hast and without leaving my unfaithful, now deceased spouse and her deceased lover at the scene. With the sound of sirens from the impending authorities in my ears, I fled with two charred and unrecognizable corpses flung over a shoulder to my automobile. I sped away in my Geo hatchback as fast as I could to as remote an area of the country I knew of and tried desperately to make sense of what had happened.

The sensation all over my body was warm enough to make me sweat but was simultaneously causing the air from the open windows of my hatchback to chill my skin all over. It felt like the most comfortable fever I'd ever experienced. One would think that the smell from the dead, burnt bodies in the back of the car would over-power the stint's of the singed hair that once covered my own body, yet, my newly bare form was keenly apparent to me from what was the unmistakable smell of my own burnt body hair. Oddly enough, not even a sunburn or pink patch of skin could be found. Rather, my pale and tender complexion was as it had always been. Only hairless and warm. Such immunity to fire could not be said of my wife or her companion crackling in the back seat, losing more of their earthly coil with every bump and curve in the long, isolated road.

Had I really just set fire to myself, and, in doing so, to my wife and to our apartment? Was the betrayal of my only love so desperately vile to me that, in a fit of rage I had ended her life, and the life of the man who perpetrated the act along with her? I tried to recall my adolescent years, taking physical science classes, and fire safety videos in chemistry, all cataloging what was required to make a fire. One would need fuel, a spark, and oxygen to create a fire. To my knowledge my body was lacking, if not two main components, then certainly one. And why was my own flesh impervious to the heat and flame even when my hair was not? All of these questions raced inside of me, all the while gradually allowing hate to creep in to justify my actions as retribution for my lost love's transgressions. As I concentrated on my wife's callow dishonesty, and my father's absence, and my mother's weakness I felt my pores begin to whistle softly and my skin became warm and my eyes pressurize, burning as if every blood vessel was ready to burst out, crying for fresh air. Peering down as I drove, a shallow, blue wave of light cover my right hand as I allowed myself to dwell on the hate I was feeling for those that had wronged me. My mind snapped to as I violently shook my hand before the flame could spread to my upper-arm. Wavering from the road, my eyes failed to see the dark canyon of trees through which I traveled curve slightly to the left. I lost control and my vehicle careened into a large ditch, swallowing it whole and trapping my victims and me inside as both doors and open windows were blocked on either side by earth, grass and mud. My solitary wish was that the high, narrow walls of the trench would hinder the incidental passer-by from noticing my little toy car, not to be rescued until I had met the same fate of my rear passengers.

To be continued. (it might not be called "Side Show" after all)

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Electric Car

Taking a break from my weird "Top Hat Guy" story, take a look at this. I know that the idea of an electric car universe wouldn't be a popular concept in Baytown, of all places, but think about it. We gotta do something and I can't understand what the problem is. I'm looking forward to seeing this movie and any information anyone else has on this. Why did they stop making these, seemingly, great vehicles?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Part 2: "Burning Hate"

When I first realized my unique problem I was at first somewhat excited. After the initial shock I thought that there could be some sort of capital to be gained from such a talent. This would require that I alter my mood on cue as to be able to take control of the fire. You see, it only occurs when I'm angry. Being a fairly docile creature by nature I had never really reached the requisite point of anger required for combustion. That is until my 23rd birthday when it was that I discovered it. On my 23rd birthday my lovely bride of 10 months and I had plans to play miniture golf. There was a popular miniture putting course in town at the time. This was before...(clears throat)the big one. Or I guess I should say the bigger one. (Starts a week laugh but thinks better of it.) She and I played together quite a lot in those days. I can't say that we lived a high octane life, but it was ours and we were happy. I was happy. She asked what I wanted to do and I said miniture golf. It was just a birthday and I didn't feel the need to do anything too extravegant aside from maybe two glasses of wine with dinner instead of just one. My bride was obviously unhappy with our plans. I arrived home from work that day to find her in bed with another man. He was our accountant, Steve. A friend. I thought.

As you could imagine I was deeply sorrowed. I had felt sadness before. My father left my family when I was thirteen. Old enough to know exactly what was going on but still young enough to have my innocence ripped from me. My mother entered into a slew of abusive and doomed relationships. Watching my mother make poor decision, one after another, was heartbreaking. No, I'd been burned on more than one occasion...no pun intended. Perhaps that's why I'd always been seen as the quiet one.

But, when I walked into the room and saw him and...and her...I...I reached deep down and decided that it was time to unleash anger. I don't think that it was anger brought on purely from my wife's infidelity but from every person who had wronged me in my life. The anger that had been harboring for so long within the depths of me, that I'd kept hidden and sqelched, was finally allowed to show it's red face to the one person in my life that I'd allowed myself to trust beyond comprimise. It was a betrayal that could be compared with that of Brutus but my rage was that of a wild hyenna. If a wild hyenna burst into flames everytime it struck it's prey.

Coming soon, Part 3: "Side Show"

Part 1: the Apologist

(A tall man with a top hat and Mutton chops approaches a microphone which is situated directly under a bright, single spot light. He is gangly and his face is sunken in and he seems very tired and serious. He speaks.)

Good evening. I'm sure most of you know who I am by now. I'm sure that most of you are aware of why I'm here. Let me start of by thanking you for allowing me to come. I know that most of you did not want me here tonight, and for good reason. I can't say that I blame you. Thanks to efforts of my good friend Barthalomew...Barty...I stand in front of you today. I'm here to address you in all humility. I would like to ask first of all for your forgiveness. I know that many of you have been hurt. Most of you have had a loved one hurt. I would venture to guess that all of you know someone who has been hurt. Understand that this isn't easy for me. I didn't ask for this. If I knew how I would erraticate this affliction from my being but, as of yet, I have not discovered a valid means of doing so beyond...beyond ending my own life.

The burn from you eyes' glare does not go unoticed, I assure you. I feel the sting from your hatefilled and judgmental eyes deep down to my spine. The heat which I feel is tantamount to that which has been afflicted onto yourselves. I have suffered. The burden is mine.

Tomorrow, Part 2: Burning Hate

Monday, July 10, 2006

NYC Dormroom

This is a photo that I took from my dormroom where I lived the summer of 2000 when I was taking a film class at NYU. Since I was only there for the summer I didn't take anything to decorate the room with or to keep me entertained other than a CD player and my dad's old laptop for writing. I also had books, but I came to really miss TV. Sometimes I would go downstairs and watch the TV in the lobby of the building. After the first or second week I became acquainted with the girls across the hall and I would watch over there sometimes. Anyway, this post isn't about TV. It's about the photo. Most of the time I wasn't in the room because the class I was taking was Monday-Friday, 9 am-10 pm, and Saturdays from 9-5. I rarely had much time to myself in my room. As we began filming even Sundays became busy. But, on Sundays when I wasn't busy I had a lot of time to do whatever I wanted. Part of the class required some homework, but I usually finished it easily in minutes. I used the time to write screenplays and and stage scripts, but I could only do that on my Dad's old Mac which had become compatable with PCs yet. I had no way of printing what I was writing or sending it, so it was useless for the class. I tried to go to church on Sundays. I really enjoyed attending Manhattan CoC and even ran into people I knew. But, for the first three or so weeks in New York I was pretty bored and lonely. Finally, I made friends in the class, but it took some time, for whatever reason. I called a lot of people while I was there. I called my ex, my friends, my friends' parents and I even tried calling Amanda, who was in Upstate at a camp. She didn't call me back. Knowing her now, I'm not all that surprised.

Anyway, this photo kind of reminds me of how I was feeling at that time and I thought that I'd share.