Surprise, surprise, everyone.
Here I am. With another long and mostly useless entry for your reading pleasures.
I recently found that Dan McKenzie regularly updates his LiveJournal. I had no idea that this was the case, and I just now got around to reading it and adding him to my friends list. Sorry for the delay.
Currently, I'm in California. I came here to visit my Grandmother and her husband (and am currently at their house in Hayward), and also to visit a friend of mine whom I've not seen for almost four years: Lise Johnson. Nobody answered her phone when I called it last night; hopefully I'll be able to get a hold of her today. Hopefully. I'd hate to think I came all of this way to see her only to not see her, but with a little luck, all will be well.
This computer is infinitely faster than my computer, which, incidentally, has a currently non-working modem. Bummer, I know, but that's why I've been somewhat absent from the AIM and otherwise online community lately, except for when I've been using my brother's computer. Give me some time, I'll find out what's wrong and fix it right up.
Apparently, my car broke down on the way home from the airport last night (with my father driving). This is funny, cuz it was a matter of minutes before this happened that I had been telling my father that he could use my car this weekend in my absence under the condition that he take it in to get looked at, cuz recently all sorts of bizarre lights have been going on in the dashboard. He kept trying to convince me that it was fine, and that I should wait a bit longer before getting it serviced, you know, save my money. Well, I don't know about any of you, but I'm willing to pay top dollar to make sure that my car is in regular working order. My father is one of the biggest tightwads ever, and while I follow suit after him in that respect to some degree, when it comes to something as vital as a car that I spent a huge chunk of my life savings on, I can spare a few bucks here 'n' there. That'll teach him. I hope it isn't too expensive to fix, or even worse; irreparable. He took it to a nearby Volvo dealer, though.
Yesterday, I talked to Angie on the phone; that was rad. Too bad I don't get to see her before she goes back to Phoenix. Soon, though, I hope.
I've realized recently that I make up a lot of things that go unnoticed--sometimes for a long time--until someone else thinks of them, or even steals them from me, and then that someone else gets the credit for originality. What a frustrating thought.
Samir Belaidi is one hilarious dude. For those who wondered, the subject line of this entry is a variation on a command he often issues to his co-workers at Wild Horse Taco Bell. The command is this:
"Chill on my cheese, Homer!"
Terrie Vaughan is getting married, finally. She has lived with this dude named Ron forever, and who-knows-why, but now she's gettin' married. Good for her, I say. Speaking of guys named Ron having to do something with people with whom I work, there's a somewhat new manager dude who works at the Wild Horse Three Sevens location named Ron, and at first, I thought he'd be all right, but now, I think otherwise. I mean, he never tells me (or anyone else, really) what to do, given that he prob'ly thinks I'm some sort of managerial figure (which isn't far from the truth), and also given that this dude prob'ly couldn't effectively give an order to someone else to save his life. He has been working in the food service industry for upwards of 20 years, and though he's worked with us for several weeks now, he still doesn't have a handle on Taco Bell. He's a 35-year-old dude with a head that's far too large for his skinny body, nasty teeth, and a cold fish handshake. When he has something to say to you, he gets right up close to your ear, and it's as obnoxious as anything. Everyone is getting sick of him, and fast. He continually says "Okay" in this twisted and nerdy way that makes you want to slap him, especially when you're trying to teach him something new. I have a feeling that when all of the good ol' boys come back for Winter Break, they're going to have a heyday with this dude. I certainly hope they manage to drive him off in one way or another--this guy is so pathetic that, after he moves in a few months, to a location 45 minutes away from the store, he's still going to work there, because he doesn't think he can do any better, apparently. I doubt he could, either.
Furthermore, speaking of Winter Break and the return of what I just deemed the "good ol' boys" (namely, Bob Sullivan, Jeff Bauche, Jason Young, Ben Kumming [these last two may not be returning for Winter Break], Adam Kinney, Christian Balzer, et c.), I think it's gonna be a pain in the neck for me. Granted, it's gonna be great to have 'em back, but since I make the schedules now at that place, it's gonna be hard to fit 'em all in, especially since we're over-staffed even now (and still hiring various people, for who-knows-what reason). I had fun working with Ben Kumming for the past few days, as he was back for some semblance of Fall Break (on which I am currently, only I get a week-long version of it).
Writing fiction is a lot of fun. I recently started to write a short story based on a mental story that I thought up several months or even over a year ago; a story for which I initially tried writing a screenplay. Screenplays are not easy things to write; I find short stories a lot more friendly.
Speaking of screenplays (I know, this entry seems to be nothing more than a string of ideas all connected by "speaking of...", but at least I'm making an entry, foo'), I have decided to change my scholastic major. Wait a sec, and you'll see why this has to do with screenplays. Some of you, indeed, a lot of you, already know about this. After taking a psychology class this semester which has turned out to be my least fav'rite class, and one of which I even dread my own attendance, I've decided that psychology is more of a subjective passion of mine, rather than a scholastic passion. Moreover, while literature remains both a subjective and a scholastic passion of mine, I don't believe I'll be majoring in it, either. At least, not in the purest form. You see, I'm changing my major to film production, film being something that I (and many would agree) believe to be a literary medium. Still, since I have taken so many literature courses, I'll prob'ly just take the one more course necessary to minor in literature and, you guessed it, minor in literature. You see, I was always impressed with film as an aesthetic medium, but was never very interested in the technical production aspects thereof, and they turned me off of becoming a film major to begin with. However, supressing my life-long dream to be a filmmaker for that first year and a half of college pretty much just made the passion grow, so that now, I have no qualms about going through technical training to meet an artistic end. Hopefully, this will be as fun as I hope it is. I have wanted to be a filmmaker ever since I can remember, really, but the reality of that as a fulfilled dream always seemed rather remote. Perhaps not so much, now. Another reason for my choice of film as opposed to some other art such as, say, art, music, literature, theatre, et c., is because in my mind (and again; in the minds of anyone else who has half a brain), film is a synthesis of all of these. That's enough elaboration for now, I think.
My parents have not followed through on their threats. While living at home still sucks, at least it's not as bad as it could be if they had carried them out. I have some ideas as to how I may avert such carryings out, anyway. Living at home until next school year starts seems like a reality, and at best a tolerable one. I'm gonna have to start working slightly longer hours and spending slightly less on entertainment goods, however (like the $250 I just spent on a Dean acoustic/electric bass guitar and stand). This traffic ticket has really taken some outta me, too...as has just about everything else. You know how it is. With a little luck, though, I save like a madman, I work like hell through Winter, Spring, and Summer Breaks, and I make a crapload of dough...that's the way I hope it shall be; I'm still in a handful of relatively large debts, but by next summer's end, I hope to have them all paid off with enough in reserve that I can live on campus.
Another thing about living on campus: I think I'm gonna have to find three other people with whom to do it. This seems like a relative impossibility at the present. Maybe I could somehow get into one of the on-campus houses, rather than the on-campus apartments which, unlike the houses, are not an actual part of Webster University. Those houses are awfully nice, too. I think so, anyway.
MapQuest is an awesome site. I mean, what a great idea. I'm using it now to find directions from here to Lise's place.
I have recently found pleasure in reading Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker books. I owned the first two, and read them, and after that, I wanted to keep reading, of course, so I went to Waldenbooks and found this Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide, or whatever it's called. It's all five books in the "trilogy," plus a short story that falls between the fourth and fifth books, and an introduction by the author. So, I picked up reading the third in the series, and have finished that, the fourth, the aforementioned short story, and several chapters out of the fifth and (currently, anwyay) final book. It's a great read, though sometimes confusingly so. Hilarious and intelligent and satirical and any number of other great qualities could be used to describe it. What's more, the entire thing (The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide, that is) costs a whopping fifteen bucks pretty much wherever you go. Well worth it, considering any given one of the included novels on its own is about seven bucks. Prob'ly one of the best buys (new bookwise) that I've ever encountered, let alone taken part in. Ben Kumming and I had the idea to make the series into a series of motion pictures (we're fully aware that the first was made into a motion picture several years ago, but apparently, according to Ben, who owns it, it blows), and we chose the following people as a cast:
-Bill Murray and Jon Lovitz as Zaphod Beeblebrox
-Hugh Grant as Arthur Dent
-Janeane Garofalo as Trillian
-John Cleese as Slartibartfast
-Kevin Bacon as Ford Prefect
-Woody Allen as Marvin, the (original)Paranoid Android
We chose several other people to play several other parts (like Max Quordlepleen, Hotblack Desiato, Gag Halfrunt, Zarniwoop, various Vogons, et c.), but I can't remember who we picked to play them, and we have the core cast picked out anyway. Granted, Garofalo would have to come up with an English accent, but I'm sure it could be done. Besides, it's not like this is ever going to come to fruition anyway; it's just a fun idea. Read the books; you might find yourself agreeing.
I saw Ran recently, as some of you may have read on Jason's Journal commentary, and for that reason, I may have to update my "Top 100" list. Also, I recently saw a film from 1999 called Cradle Will Rock, and it was fantastic. I'm thinking about putting it on there, too. The cast includes both John & Joan Cusack, Bill Murray, Jack Black, Bob Balaban, Susan Sarandon, Cary Elwes, Hank Azaria, John Turturro, Vanessa Redgrave, Philip Baker Hall, Rubén Blades, Cherry Jones, Emily Watson, Angus MacFadyen, Jamey Sheridan, and to top it all off, it's directed by Tim Robbins. Really fantastically done, I thought--it's the true story about the making and original production of Marc Blitzstein's 1936 musical The Cradle Will Rock. That's all I'll say about it; check it out. Another I recently saw was This Is Spinal Tap, but the fact that that rocked was no surprise; not only had I seen it before, but Rob Reiner rocks anyway.
Also in movie news, I recently saw both The Contender and Pay It Forward before they came out at advance screenings. Both were good, especially Pay It Forward (with casts consisting of Jeff Bridges, Sam Elliot, Joan Allen, Gary Oldman, Philip Baker Hall, William L. Petersen, & Christian Slater; and Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, Angie Dickinson, Haley Joel Osment, & Jay Mohr, respectively, I don't reckon they could have helped it).
You know who blows? Nelly. Yes, Nelly. His songs are not very good whatsoever, whether lyrically or musically. It's sad, really, that people listen to this tripe just because the guy is from St. Louis...it's like "hey, he talked about the LOOP in his song, and I've been there...that's awesome; I'm gonna buy this!"...get a grip, people. I mean, I'm not judging musical tastes here, but when it comes right down to it, like a music for the music, not cuz the performer's from your hometown. I'd venture to say that the last thing really worth listening to that came out of St. Louis was Chuck Berry.
Kyle Mayer is a really cool guy, and I enjoy spending time with him. I think we get along well; I wish I'd gotten to know him sooner than within the last week of school last year. Oh, well, let's let bygones be themselves and move on.
The other Saturday night, I was headed for Webster University to see the school play (Female Transport) with Kyle and Hannah, and on the ramp between 270 and 44, I hit a curb and blew my tire out. I went for quite a distance before I was finally forced to stop, though. I did, however, have to pull over, and did so. Wondering what on earth I was gonna do, I tried to change the tire. Now, when I pulled over, it was about 6:50PM, so I was on schedule to meet up with Hannah and Kyle by 7:00PM, easy. The play was to start at 7:30PM, so I was making great time. However, by the time I realized that it was too cold, too dark, and too hard to change my tire (I do know how to do it, though), and had walked to a Mobil station on Big Bend to call Kyle to let him know what was up, it was about 8:00PM. He was home, though, which meant that he hadn't (though Hannah had) gone to the play. Well, he had been drinking, and so he couldn't come pick me up. I then proceeded to call Ron, who picked me up, and we went back to my car to move it further away from the road, turn the hazard lights off to preserve the battery, remove all of the valuables therefrom, and to leave a note for any policeperson who might get the idea to have it towed. Ron took me to Webster, I left said valuables at his place, and I went to Kyle's (we were to go to a party after the play anyway) while Ron drove off to some other party. Well, we went to the party, but I was ultra-worried, cuz I had no way of getting home; it's a stretch to ask someone to drive you half an hour both ways just to get home, and especially hard to find a designated driver in the first place, who's got a car handy. I just kinda sulked and sat around, doing nothing and being antisocial, until I found out that Al Younger had arrived at the party. Come to find out, he was driving, and therefore not drinking, and he said he could take me home, if worse came to worst. Well, I told him that worse had already pretty much come to worst, relaxed a bit (not without liquid help), and we all went to Uncle Bill's at three in the morning...it was PACKED. I'd never been to this Uncle Bill's (on Kingshighway) before; it was somethin' else. 3:00AM, and it's packed, even on a Saturday night. The Uncle Bill's that I frequent doesn't have that kind of thing going on, and being inebriated in public was also a new experience. As it turned out, I didn't go home that night; I crashed at Al & Immanuel's, and called my parents the next morning to explain my problematic situation. I ended up getting to see the play that day (the last day it was showing, so lucky for me), missing church (an ultra-cool thing), and Al and I tried once more to replace my tire with the spare, this time being successful. I later got it fixed to the tune of $91.00.
It's funny that all of this happened, cuz Al and I had had an adventure only four nights before, on Tuesday. We went to see The Scarlet Pimpernel on opening night at the Fox Theatre. Well, that day had been really busy for me; I was supposed to go to the bank (which I did), and class (which I did), and Barnes & Noble (which I did), and to get gas (which I did...psych), and a number of other things, I'm sure. However, getting gas was the killer, cuz my car basically started shuddering as we pulled into the lot of the Fox. We saw the show (it was cool, I thought), and when we returned to the car thereafter, it wouldn't start. We therefore had to walk several blocks down Grand (not a particularly nice part of the city, especially at 11:00PM) to its intersection with Forest Park Drive, and the Shell Station there, hoping we could purchase a gas can and some gas to fill it. They had no such cans, but instead sold us a bottle of Sprite which the lady working the counter said we could use for gas, fortunately. We went over to the side of the station and drank the Sprite between us, then filled the sucker up. Some dudes were pestering us at the Gas Station, and later, as we were walking back to the Fox, continued to do so. I was rather scared, as the phrase "you never know" kept coming to mind, and still comes to mind when I think about that night. For all we knew, they had knives, or guns, or whatever else. It was scary; but eventually we escaped, got to the car, and returned to Webster so I could drop Al off. We were both shaken up a bit about the incident, me more than Al, I think; he played it real cool, anyway. Now, I can't think of any person I'd rather have been with at the time. Ahh, the adventures of RØB 'n' Al. Fun times. Good ol' Al. I love that guy. I mean, who else would just willingly and without apparent reason give me a Simpsons 3-D Chess set? Combining two things I love, Chess and the Simpsons...what could be cooler? Good ol' Al.
Lise just called, and we now have plans. I'm psyched. Got all the maps and whatnot printed out now. Maybe it's time to get started on the day; I woke up over three hours ago, and haven't been doing anything but making this entry. It's now about 12:15PM, and as you can see, I started this entry over two hours ago. However, I've been occupied with other stuff as well, so satisfy yourself by responding to this journal for now. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it. Who knows, maybe I'll do this more regularly now? Well, actually, prob'ly not.
'Til next time....