This would be that "career" thing I've heard so much about...

Thursday, July 29, 2004

I Am A Big Sucker

How do you get me to work on a project?  Here are some clues:

1) Make it a Sci-Fi Project
2) Offer me the chance to sew a pattern I've wanted to make for 2 years but haven't found an excuse for
3) Oh, and it helps if you're a good friend whom I don't see a lot

So now I'm costuming another Sci-Fi short.  And I tried so hard to say "no."

First Black President Of The United States

I have a recommendation: Barack Obama, 2012 

Here's the text of his speech at the DNC (oh, by the way, there's some stuff in there about some guy named "John Kerry" but it's towards the end):

On behalf of the great state of Illinois, crossroads of a nation, land of Lincoln, let me express my deepest gratitude for the privilege of addressing this convention. Tonight is a particular honor for me because, let's face it, my presence on this stage is pretty unlikely.

My father was a foreign student, born and raised in a small village in Kenya. He grew up herding goats, went to school in a tin-roof shack. His father, my grandfather, was a cook, a domestic servant to the British.But my grandfather had larger dreams for his son. Through hard work and perseverance my father got a scholarship to study in a magical place, America, that stood as a beacon of freedom and opportunity to so many who had come before.

While studying here, my father met my mother. She was born in a town on the other side of the world, in Kansas.Her father worked on oil rigs and farms through most of the Depression. The day after Pearl Harbor my grandfather signed up for duty, joined Patton's army and marched across Europe. Back home, my grandmother raised their baby and went to work on a bomber assembly line. After the war, they studied on the GI Bill, bought a house through FHA, and moved west, all the way to Hawaii, in search of opportunity.

And they, too, had big dreams for their daughter, a common dream, born of two continents.My parents shared not only an improbable love; they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name, Barack, or "blessed," believing that in a tolerant America your name is no barrier to success.

They imagined me going to the best schools in the land, even though they weren't rich, because in a generous America you don't have to be rich to achieve your potential.

They're both passed away now. And yet, I know that, on this night, they look down on me with pride.

And I stand here today, grateful for the diversity of my heritage, aware that my parents' dreams live on in my two precious daughters.

I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that, in no other country on Earth, is my story even possible.

Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation, not because of the height of our skyscrapers, or the power of our military, or the size of our economy. Our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

That is the true genius of America, a faith in the simple dreams, an insistence on small miracles. That we can tuck in our children at night and know they are fed and clothed and safe from harm. That we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door. That we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe. That we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution, and that our votes will be counted -- or at least, most of the time.

This year, in this election, we are called to reaffirm our values and commitments, to hold them against a hard reality and see how we are measuring up, to the legacy of our forbearers and the promise of future generations.

And fellow Americans -- Democrats, Republicans, Independents -- I say to you tonight: we have more work to do. More work to do for the workers I met in Galesburg, Illinois, who are losing their union jobs at the Maytag plant that's moving to Mexico, and now are having to compete with their own children for jobs that pay seven bucks an hour. More to do for the father I met who was losing his job and choking back tears, wondering how he would pay $4,500 a month for the drugs his son needs without the health benefits that he counted on. More to do for the young woman in East St. Louis, and thousands more like her, who has the grades, has the drive, has the will, but doesn't have the money to go to college.

Now don't get me wrong. The people I meet in small towns and big cities, in diners and office parks, they don't expect government to solve all their problems. They know they have to work hard to get ahead and they want to.

Go into the collar counties around Chicago, and people will tell you they don't want their tax money wasted by a welfare agency or the Pentagon.

Go into any inner city neighborhood, and folks will tell you that government alone can't teach our kids to learn. They know that parents have to parent, that children can't achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white. They know those things.

People don't expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life, and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all. They know we can do better. And they want that choice.

In this election, we offer that choice. Our party has chosen a man to lead us who embodies the best this country has to offer. And that man is John Kerry.

John Kerry understands the ideals of community, faith, and service, because they've defined his life. From his heroic service in Vietnam to his years as prosecutor and lieutenant governor, through two decades in the United States Senate, he has devoted himself to this country. Again and again, we've seen him make tough choices when easier ones were available. His values and his record affirm what is best in us. John Kerry believes in an America where hard work is rewarded. So instead of offering tax breaks to companies shipping jobs overseas, he'll offer them to companies creating jobs here at home. John Kerry believes in an America where all Americans can afford the same health coverage our politicians in Washington have for themselves. John Kerry believes in energy independence, so we aren't held hostage to the profits of oil companies or the sabotage of foreign oil fields. John Kerry believes in the constitutional freedoms that have made our country the envy of the world, and he will never sacrifice our basic liberties nor use faith as a wedge to divide us. And John Kerry believes that in a dangerous world, war must be an option sometimes, but it should never be the first option.

You know, a while back, I met a young man named Shamus at the VFW Hall in East Moline, Illinois. He was a good-looking kid, 6-2 or 6-3, clear eyed, with an easy smile. He told me he'd joined the Marines and was heading to Iraq the following week.

And as I listened to him explain why he'd enlisted, his absolute faith in our country and its leaders, his devotion to duty and service, I thought this young man was all that any of us might hope for in a child. But then I asked myself: Are we serving Shamus as well as he was serving us?

I thought of the 900 men and women, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors, who will not be returning to their hometowns. I thought of families I had met who were struggling to get by without a loved one's full income, or whose loved ones had returned with a limb missing or nerves shattered, but who still lacked long-term health benefits because they were reservists.

When we send our young men and women into harm's way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they're going, to care for their families while they're gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world.

Now let me be clear. Let me be clear. We have real enemies in the world. These enemies must be found. They must be pursued and they must be defeated.

John Kerry knows this. And just as Lieutenant Kerry did not hesitate to risk his life to protect the men who served with him in Vietnam, President Kerry will not hesitate one moment to use our military might to keep America safe and secure. John Kerry believes in America. And he knows that it's not enough for just some of us to prosper. For alongside our famous individualism, there's another ingredient in the American saga. A belief that we are all connected as one people.

If there's a child on the South Side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child.

If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for their prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandparent.

If there's an Arab-American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.

It is that fundamental belief -- it is that fundamental belief -- I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper -- that makes this country work.

It's what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family. "E pluribus unum." Out of many, one.

Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes.

Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America -- there is the United States of America.

There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America -- there is the United States of America.

The pundits, the pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue states; red states for Republicans, blue states for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states.

We coach Little League in the blue states and have gay friends in the red states.

There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it.

We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

In the end, that's what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or do we participate in a politics of hope?

John Kerry calls on us to hope. John Edwards calls on us to hope. I'm not talking about blind optimism here-the almost willful ignorance that thinks unemployment will go away if we just don't talk about it, or the health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it.

That's not what I'm talking [about]. I'm talking about something more substantial. It's the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a mill worker's son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too.

Hope in the face of difficulty, hope in the face of uncertainty, the audacity of hope.

In the end, that is God's greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation; a belief in things not seen; a belief that there are better days ahead.

I believe we can give our middle class relief and provide working families with a road to opportunity.

I believe we can provide jobs to the jobless, homes to the homeless, and reclaim young people in cities across America from violence and despair.

I believe that we have a righteous wind at our backs, and that as we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices and meet the challenges that face us.

America, tonight, if you feel the same energy that I do, if you feel the same urgency that I do, if you feel the same passion that I do, if you feel the same hopefulness that I do, if we do what we must do, then I have no doubt that all across the country, from Florida to Oregon, from Washington to Maine, the people will rise up in November, and John Kerry will be sworn in as president. And John Edwards will be sworn in as vice president. And this country will reclaim its promise. And out of this long political darkness a brighter day will come.

Thank you very much, everybody. God bless you. Thank you.

Friday, July 23, 2004

The John Titor Question

Since I keep hearing about this guy:

John Titor: PRO

John Titor: CON

Maybe it's because I grew up on a diet of excellent science-fiction books (and some fun sci-fi movies), but reading stuff like this always sets my imagination running.  This is not to say I believe John Titor is anything other than some author's experiment.  But I've been in a depressed political mood lately what with the past 3 years, the war, and the rumors that certain people are looking for legal reasons why a national election could be delayed.  Some days it's easier to imagine our country fractured in a horrible civil war than other days.  All that having been said, I come down firmly on the side of "let's avoid nuclear conflict at all cost." 

I remember growing up, all the elementary kids thought there were missiles in our mountains that would shoot up through a mile of rock to go soaring over the ocean towards Russia as their missiles came for us.  I also believed that the missiles launching out of our mountains would trigger a volcanic eruption and we'd all be burned up by lava before the nuclear missiles got us.  I tried to figure out how far away we'd have to be from the mountain when the eruption happened so we could out run the by-this-time-cooling lava.  I don't know if I had a contingency plan for when the nuclear weapons arrived.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

I Love My Job (Occasionally)

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

1) Get to watch Buffy at work.

Dry Spells, etc...

So after ranting about not being able to write after 7:59 pm, I worked 3 hours late last night, then got home at 9:30 pm and wrote until passing out.  (I ate dinner at work, so when I went home I just got ready for bed and wrote until I fell asleep.  Maybe it's the "eating" thing that's throwing a monkey-wrench in my evening writing.  Maybe I should just not eat.  Mm.)  So then I got up this morning and did some more writing (though this morning was for a new story - let's call this one A script, last night was K script.)

As you can probably tell, I don't have much to say at the moment.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Lonely Procrastination Depression

I have this specific kind of depression that hits when I have a deadline looming on a writing project and JB isn't going to be around.  It used to be that when he was around, we'd pick up and go to a coffe shop after the J.O.B. job and write until 10 PM or so.  That's how I'd circumvent the Ancy Exhausted Depression I used to face when attempting to write after a 9-6 working day.  But without JB, I get too chicken to go to the coffee shop myself.  So the logical-me makes a deal with the writer-me about how we'll eat dinner, unwind a little bit, and then write at home for a good solid stretch of hours before going to sleep (because JB gets home after I've passed out most nights lately).  But writer-me is a wiley and slippery trickster.  And writer-me knows that logical-me is only likely to start writing if it's before 7:59 PM.  Once she sees that "8", logical-me feels the weight of the day-job crushing the spirit out of her and cannot face "the blank page."
Let's see how tonight goes.

Proper Care And Feeding Of Your Bachelorette

Here are some tasks to keep your Bachelorette occupied.  Keep in mind, the higher the number, the more alcohol will have been consumed.  Also, it's good to do these sorts of things in a gigantic, packed, restaurant / bar / dance club.  Preferably one with the male to female ratio of 3/1.
1) Find a man with the same name as your fella.
2) Find a man wearing white socks and kiss him on the cheek. (Look, there have to be some "easy" ones.)
3) Find a man with the same shoe size as your fella.
4) Pick out a cute guy and guess "boxers" or "briefs" - extra points if he shows 'em!
5) Get a man to buy you a drink.
6) Get a man to serenade you (and if you're extremely gifted at this you'll have half the restaurant / bar singing "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" at the top of their lungs)
7) Wearing BRIGHT RED LIPSTICK, kiss 15 men on the cheek (must leave your mark) in 5 minutes!
8) Get down and dirty on a bottle of beer (or Smirnoff Ice, whatever's your pleasure) (best if most of the restaurant is watching this).
9) Find a guy willing to let you do a "blow job" shot.
10) Find a guy willing to give you the condom from his wallet.  Blow it up at the table.
11) Find a divorced man willing to tell you three things not to do while having sex (not as easy as you might think).
12) Find 3 cute guys, get them to write down the size of their (ahems) and sign their names (be prepared for some creative answers) (warning - as this is into the later part of the evening you might get a show-and-tell)
13) Give a guy a lap dance (at least 45 seconds) and get him to pay you a dollar.
It's also nice to give your bachelorette a little "gift" after each of her tasks is successfully completed.  It's even nicer when these gifts can add to the evening by helping make your bachelorette more distinctive.  Once again, it helps to start off with the easier items so she has something to "graduate" to when the time is right:
"Princess" Hat
Garter (fits nicely over jeans - and becomes a handy place for dollar bills to be earned later)
Pacifier (you must look closely to notice its special difference)
Lacy tie-on bra (fits nicely over tank top)
Lacy tie-on undies (fits nicely over jeans)
Devin Horns (to replace "Princess")

One more tip, don't have anything major planned for the following day.


Monday, July 19, 2004

Bachelorette Party

Planning a bachelorette party is not as easy as one might imagine.  Let's say the planner doesn't know many of the guests who will be attending - and knows that some are more "conservative" than others.  Standard rule of thumb is, of course, to provide the bride-to-be with a memorable, naughty, but not permanently-scarring evening.  Humiliation on some level is required.    Now I'm not naming names, but I know one bachelorette who proved rather fearless (with a few shots of Citron in her).  So bravo and good luck!!!
(Now I have to write a toast.  There will be a "toast rant" momentarily). 

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Job News

So I'm getting "hired" by the company that I've worked for for 18 months now. For less than I'm making as an independent consultant. Go figure. But as an IC, I wasn't getting any raises, or benefits, or any paid vacations or sick leave. And counting all of that - I'm getting paid less for doing the same work. Assuming they give me an annual raise, however, the year after next I should be making what I'm making now. So, really, what's to complain about?

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The...

Just got back from Washington DC, where we attended a wedding and visited the nation's capital. We were actually seated in the Senate when Diane Feinstein (possibly the only democrat present) told the three republicans present-

(seriously, I thought senators actually sat in the senate and debated things. Apparently they either wait until television prime time or they only show up for a vote. There were literally 3 pages per senator when I counted, and, if you're wondering, no, those pages didn't have anything to do that I could tell. I briefly - once again waiving the flag for nerds everywhere - fantasized about being a Congressional Page, and these fantasies always involved me running extremely important papers to and fro between senators. Yeah, these kids were parked on a carpeted ledge chewing gum and giggling quietly amongst themselves.)

-to stop pursuing the "constitutional amendment for a ban of gay-marriage" issue when there are many more serious issues facing our country. (Sorry, dad, I'm still a democrat - but I love you!)

There were three (and I say this with no judgment - it is the factual truth, and if CSPAN had tilted up about 30 degrees you could buy the tape and check this for yourselves) fat white southerners on the bench in front of us who were fit to be tied by the hint of a suggestion that all the people in this country should be able to join into a legal, life long commitment with a beloved partner. I say a "hint of a suggestion", because that was not want DF was arguing. She was basically saying that this whole debate on a constitutional amendment was a waste of the Senate's precious time since it didn't have anywhere near the votes (as was evidenced today: Washington Post) to make it into serious discussion.

How do I know they were Southern, you ask? Well, despite the clearly printed NOTICE TO VISITORS in the Senate handbook that guests are prohibited from making displays of agreement or disagreement, these folks were hemming and hawing and rocking back and forth and (to say "foaming at the mouth" would be taking it a step too far, but not by much) generally making it known to the entire visitors' balcony that they believed, as the two Republican Senators who followed testified, that allowing gays to marry would destroy the fabric of American Society.

If anyone reading this can offer a translation - all I want to understand is how the two Republican senators figure that allowing a woman and a woman to marry is going to destroy the fabric of America. I don't care if YOU believe it - I just want someone to explain to me what this means. I honestly can't wrap my head around it. Seriously - so Lisa and Betty get married... and suddenly the economy tanks? Or we are seen as weak and are bombed by other countries? Or cows stop giving milk and the land dries up?

Is it just me or does anyone else feel this desperate dread when listening to a religious crusader pushing for the government to amend the Constitution of the United States to restrict privileges to one section of the population while banning a whole group of people from the right to a legally recognized life-long partnership? Isn't this one of the most fundamental tenants of our country? The separation of church and state?

Okay - sorry. My dad is never going to read my blog again.

Friday, July 09, 2004

My Sista Kicks Ass

So my sister has ascended to the Green Sash in Kung Fu. I used to sit on her and tickle her and she couldn't do anything about it becasue she was the LITTLE sister. Yeah, I won't be doing that anymore.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Doe, Another Deer, Two baby deer...

I was driving to work yesterday, on the lot, and four deer were calmly walking along my street. Two does and two fawns, with the spots and everything.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Dolphins in Southern California

I guess I always expected dolphins to steer clear of southern California beaches, what with the pollution and the Los Angelinos. This weekend we were graciously invited up to visit a friend's beach house and as I was walking down the beach towards the ocean when I saw a whole family of dolphins jumping in the waves. I ran straight out into the ocean to watch them - they were so close. It was amazing. Does this mean I can say I've been swimming with wild dolphins? I don't care - I'm saying it. They looked so incredibly happy, jumping up out of the water over waves that were just beginning to break. So close to the shore.

Writing News: Nothing to report. Except that I met a lovely development lady at this party who strongly suggested I pursue getting an agent.

Friday, July 02, 2004


And so it begins. Last night (JB's FIRST DAY on this new film) he gets home at 3:00 AM. Day one, folks. I know he's tired, but still excited about this opportunity. Plus, he gets to spend all day recording antique cars and stuff. Which beats the crap out of what I do!

Writing News: nothing to report, except that I need to kick it into gear with regards to the K script. I need to have something for mr. manager. So maybe that's what I can do with my 4th of July weekend sans JB.

Thursday, July 01, 2004


Today is JB's first day of work on his new sound editing job, which means he's not going to work with me anymore. Excited for him. And a little sad. Hope all goes well at the new office!

Universe Comes Into Alignment

Okay, this is MUCH BETTER. Due to public outcry (read: two people thought I ought to try once more) I retook the quiz and got:

Lord of the Rings!

Try it for yourself.

Now that's what I'm saying. I especially agree with the "your friends are probably all as talented as you are" bit. Because it's true. You know who you are.

Writing News: Have submitted the B script to 6 screenwriting contests so far.