I need help! Help me. I’m taking off work for the entire week of Christmas, right. I was thinking of going on a road trip but I have no idea where to go. Someone suggested Boston. Thought I’d go to Scullers Jazz Club there but … no. I was seriously considering going to Chicago to see Kurt Elling at the Green Mill, but according to the schedule he’s not going to be there. Not surprising considering that it’s two days after Christmas. I was thinking that I could go to the beach again. But the beach in December? And the location … doubt I could afford a good spot, a spot on the ocean, on my own. I looked at Residence Inns in various locations thinking that maye I’d just pick one. But they’re, like, $130/ night. Ouch.
Or, if you have any ideas of what to do in the DC metro area. I wouldn’t mind it if I stayed here and cleaned up my apartment. As long as I’m not just doing the same ol’ thing. I need a change of scenery one way or another.
Thanks, America. Have a good night.
So I finished “American Gods”. Good book. Neil Gaiman is the man. I’m reading “Angels and Demons” now and even though it does make use of a few subjects that intrigue me most in life — religion and quantum physics — it’s a bit formulaic. Michael Crichton, Dan Brown, Eric Lustbader (at least “The Testament”) and a few others, all of their books read like screenplays. Gaiman writes very visually, maybe because he has a background in graphic novels. He has striking imagery. And what I like is that you rarely know what’s going to happen next. The story unwinds. Those other guys and their ilk seem like they’re writing a book straight from a template. Exactly the same story with (maybe) different characters and archetypal villains and/or treasures.
I’ve bought and skimmed a few books on how to write novels (I’ve even purchased creative writing software) and they basically tell you that in order for a story to be popular/successful you have to write the same story that’s been told for thousands of years. Okay, that’s my slightly cynical take on it. Every Sci-Fi original movie is the same dang movie but with a different monster and possibly filmed in a different part of eastern Europe or maybe Canada depending on the budget. I mean, I think that’s one way to do it.
But look at Pulp Fiction, Sin City, Napolean Dynamite, Donnie Darko, Forrest Gump. The archetypes are there — the characters’ journeys — like always but the stories have unique arcs to them. The characters are complex and ambiguous. Granted, these weren’t necessarily the mega blockbuster movies but they’re good movies that have followings and reached a lot of people. They’re classics.
Anyway, my point is that the idea I was playing with in the last blog entry — a dead man who is essentially alive but not, the idea came from “American Gods”, right. I read further in the book and found that I had used some of the same words and phrases that he did (even before I got to that part of the book). I can see what they mean when authors say that once they get going the characters write themselves and it makes me have even more respect for good, original authors who let their characters grow and their stories develop without falling back on cliches.
Man, I have got to lose some weight. Ever since I stopped playing tennis due to the change in seasons, it’s been a one way trip to Fat City. Like every winter. Time to get into that fitness room or something. This is ridiculous. Every time I go outside wearing red the kids call me Black Santa.
“Get outta here, I don’t got no presents for you, kid.”
Na na na na naaaa. I’m the reindeer boss.
For some reason that reminds me that I watched “Superman Returns” the other weekend. All I could think of after a certain point — once I notice it in a movie I have trouble not noticing it for the rest of the movie — was “there are no black people in this movie”. It was a very white movie. I think there were one or two shots of people on the streets of Metropolis, possibly in danger, where there some brown faces scattered about.
You know, in movies nothing happens by accident. There’s an army of people making sure that every little detail and every big detail is in place. If something does happen by accident someone decides whether or not to let it remain in the movie. So when I see a movie with no black people in it that’s a conscious decision or oversight. Same way that one token black person in a movie is a conscious effort to maybe reflect the fact that there are people in the world that are not caucasian. Or so we’re told by liberal media. It just goes to show you. There are still two Americas. At least two.
Anyway, I’m digressing. Well, it’s not really digressing since I’m all over the place to begin with. Oh! I remember what I wanted to say. I’d better do this at the beginning, though.
Currently reading :
Angels & Demons, Special Illustrated Edition
By Dan Brown
Release date: By 03 May, 2005