Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Agony and The Ecstacy of a New Computer

Well, that didn't take too long.  OK, it seemed an interminable wait, but now it's over, and now beings the arduous task of getting the new computer up to snuff.  This won't be too difficulty, as we back up regularly at Quill Studios.  In fact, as I was composing this post, it's pretty much been completed.  Except for iTunes.  Grrrr....iTunes.

The songs were all backed up and easy enough to restore, but the many playlists that are so very depended upon for creative inspiration did not import.  So before connecting the iPod to sync with iTunes, we must jot down the songs in each playlist and reconstruct them in iTunes, which is a serious bummer, right?

Also too, 13 songs seem to have disappeared into the ether, and I'm not sure which ones they are.  On the plus side, my iTunes account inexplicably has an extra $7 on it, so it more or less balances out.  At least it is balanced out to the point where bitching about seems pretty shallow.

And just to show that I was just goofing off the whole time that the Quill Studios computer was lost, read here this short work of fiction.  As always, typos are free of charge.


Sometimes I laugh to myself in the dark - you know, those nights that for whatever reason, sleep just won't come - anyway, I laugh into the darkness about the naivete of my younger self when I would lie awake all night before a competition.  I'd toss and turn, chasing random itches all across my skin, unable to find a comfortable position, uneasy in my own body.  The more I thought about it, especially with regards to the rest my eyes would necessarily need, the more awake I became.  So what keeps me up now?  Good question.

It is not, I'm for certain, the competition; I'm at the top of my field, an unquestioned favorite.  The competition is so far behind me as to justify being held in my contempt.  No one can touch me.  I stride into an arena and, for just a moment, all is silent, reverent.  Then the applause erupts.  I used to find it disorientating, now it is just like the air I breathe.  I am, I can say with no false modesty, a colossus.  And, outside of my sphere, no one even knows my name. 


So, yes, the entrance and the energy from the masses in the seats - I've describe all that already.  I feel no reason to elaborate further; if you haven't experienced it first hand, I don't think you really deserve to know what it feels like anyway.

My opponent is already seated, per custom, his hands are on the small table, white, no bigger than a standard card table you might find in any average home in the country.  The table cannot be too big; it just cuts down the drama too much.  Plus it's in the bylaws - too far away from the face of your opponent and fans will invariably attempt to get with with flashbulbs and laser pointers.  Of course, you don't lose if a purposefully distracting light is shone, but it can really throw you off your game.

I enter the ring, set on an elevated platform so everyone can see, and approach the table.  The chair is as highly regulated as the rest of the environs here, a standard desk chair, made of oak, impeccably engineered so there are no wobbles or creaks.


What is the secret of my success, I am often asked.  I'm no chump, so of course I just give a bullshit answer of getting myself in "The Zone" or some variation of that claptrap.  Lesser competitors will try to distract you, or to draw you in with a feigned expression, even squint to try to look intimidating.  No, my secret is more esoteric; I try to figure the other guy out.  Not his strategy or anything, figure *him* out - stare into his eyes, past his eyes, into the essence of his being, try to mine the depths of him, see if I can make out any experiences that have shaped him leading up to this moment, into who he is right now, twitching and sweating. 

The thing about this sport is the end is never sudden or instantaneous.  The man or woman who will lose knows for agonizingly long seconds before they surrender.  And the best thing, for me, is seeing it on their face.  These are dangerous waters, though; more than one champion has had the title snatched from him or her even as they observe the panic, the floundering hopelessness in the underdog's eyes.  Cockiness is a gravedigger in our sport.


I reach the chair and spin it around, crossing my arms over the top of the chair back.  I'm cautioned, as usual, by the ref.  I turn my head to one side and then the other, my gaze asking plaintively of the audience whether they can believe the gall of this guy or what.  With a show of dramatic but good-natured reluctance, I reset the chair to its proper position and sit down, mirroring the stature and position of the man across the table, so close I could slap him now if I wanted to.  I do my best to have an expression cross my face to indicate the sentiment.

The ref checks both of our eyes and asks if we are ready.  A lack of response is tantamount of consent, and when neither of us objects, the contest begins, signaled by a small electronic gong-like sound, very soft so as not to startle and cause an involuntary reaction.  He opens with a small throat clearing coinciding with an awkward twitch of one half of his mouth.  Child's play that I'm tempted to roll my eyes at; in fact, I could probably do that and win it right here and now.  But I don't like to win on tricks.  I don't like my opponent to walk away, shoulders hunched but with a buzzing in his head that he ever had a chance to beat me, if only he had done this or avoided that.  I want - no, need, on a very basic level, my opponents to sulk away utterly defeated, no doubt in their mind they've been bested by the best there is.

Anyway, as should be obvious, I am not drawn in by his games.  In truth, they barely even register on my consciousness.  I am already deep inside his head, through the dark pools and entering his soul, or so it must feel to him.  He's already sweating...

And there it is, the look; the surrender to inevitability.  Even as his eyelids begin to contract, he cast his eyes sideways.  And how did I win?  Again, as I've mentioned, people always want to know the secret, but there is no secret; that would imply some sort of trick.  No, I won simply because I saw through him, into him.  Did he blink because I had gotten through his defenses and held his psyche, figuratively, by the balls? Again, no; I he was done when I saw in his eyes that he was on the edge of beating himself.  I beat him because the mind abhors a dichotomy (at least the feeble, or common, mind does).  I had two spirits yanking on his subconscious (or psyche or whatever label you want wish to address it by) like it was a tug-of-war.  Because deep down, everyone longs to be understood, but - importantly - everyone likes to imagine that there is a part of them, something inside of them, that they can keep from the world.  Everyone needs to be understood, but everyone fears the prospect of being truly known.


I stand up so abruptly that the chair beneath me tipped backwards, by the time it hits the stage you can't hear the impact from all of the raucous from the crowd.  But, like most crowds, they are not cheering because they have a victor, but because they have seen someone defeated.  No one cares that I won except for me.  I walk off the stage a smouldering bad-ass, like all the great champions do.  Everyone loves the callousness, lack of mercy.  I don't look back.  I don't look at anything, my eyes are running water from the exposure.

I win. No one knows me.  It will be an interminable night.

Listening to: Radar - Morphine
Reading: The Demon Haunted World - Carl Sagan

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Life without internet - no so great

Grrrr...the Quill Studios computer has finally given up the ghost.  Not a bad run, really, considering it was purchased in 2006.  Regardless, blogging and other creative endeavors have been temporarily sidetracked.  ScriptFrenzy project looks to be in dire straits.  Hopefully, a new computer will be acquired in one to two weeks.  Until then, we haz a sad.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Going rouge, in a nerdy kind of way

April is here, the treacherous first day in the rear view mirror, and the time is right for Script Frenzy, brought to you by the good people over at NaNoWriMo.  And let's face it, you don't want to one day end up in New York or LA without a script to had whoever lets it drop that they are a producer. 

If you don't have a plot for a script, no worries.  They have a random plot generator right on the home page.  The following plot was just suggested for my use:  "While undergoing an existential crisis, an over-caffeinated kangaroo breeder discovers a shocking use for spray cheese".  Sure, this plot is good, but is it "Springtime For Hitler" good? 

In a word: I'm not sure.

So I've decided to try a little something different.  I mentioned earlier about the idea of a Twitter novel; I've decided to try it as a - I'm not sure, I guess you could call it a Twitter event?  Stay tuned for further explanation of important details, such as how I figure out how the hell I'm going to pull this off, or if any Script Frenzy goon come after me and take my thumbs.