Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January Words of Wisdom

I'll read my books, and I'll drink my coffee and I'll listen to music, and I'll bolt the door. --J.D. Salinger

You are not a mess. You are a feeling person in a messy world. --Glennon Doyle Melton

Some people only hate you because of the way other people love you. --Unknown

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better person. --Benjamin Franklin

The smallest feline is a masterpiece. --Leonardo da Vinci

Avoid the base hypocrisy of condemning in one man what you pass over in silence when committed by another. --Theodore Roosevelt

Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably. --C.S. Lewis

Sometimes he sits at you feet looking into your face with an expression so gentle and caressing that the depth of his gaze startles you. --Theophile Gautier

If you only walk on sunny days you'll never reach your destination. --Paulo Coelho

I'm learning everyday to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be, to inspire and not terrify me. --Tracee Ellis Ross

I am asking you to dream big, bold and daring things for your family and for your country. --President Donald J. Trump

I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game's winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that's why I succeed. --Michael Jordan

Being a little weird is just a natural side-effect of being totally awesome. --Unknown

If you don't leave the past in the past, it will destroy your future. Look what's in front of you, not what yesterday took away. The best is yet to come. --George Strait

Hold the door, say please, say thank you. Don't steal, don't cheat, and don't lie. I know you got mountains to climb but always stay humble and kind. --Tim McGraw

It is time to believe in the future. It is time to believe in each other. It is time to believe in America. --President Donald J. Trump

To be old and wise you must first be young and stupid. --Unknown

The horse. Nobility without conceit, friendship without envy, beauty without vanity. A willing servant, yet never a slave. --Ronald Duncan

When life throws a curve ball, say thank you for the opportunity to learn and grow. --Michelle Maros

An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one. --Charles Horton Cooley

The writer is an explorer. Every step is an advance into a new land. --Ralph Waldo Emerson

For civilization to survive, the human race has to remain civilized. --Rod Serling

The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind. --Humphrey Bogart

The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid ones are full of confidence. --Charles Bukowski

We don't always have to agree with one another but it's important that we learn to respect each other. --Rubyanne

People have to pretend you're a bad person so they don't feel guilty about the things they did to you. God forbid they be accountable for their own bullshit. --Unknown

I think celebrities should basically shut their pieholes and do what they do best: act, sing, tap dance, juggle balls and do all that kind of stuff. --Gene Simmons

Be silly. Be fun. Be different. Be crazy. Be you, because life is too short to be anything but happy. --Unknown

I knew I had matured when I realized that every situation doesn't need a reaction. Sometimes you've just got to let people get on with the lame shit that they do. --Unknown

Put your ass where your heart wants to be. By that, I simply mean if you want to paint, put your body in front of an easel. If you want to write, sit in front of a keyboard. --Steven Pressfield

Get emotionally connected to your story so you can deliver it. You know, if you can't deliver the emotions to your script there's no point to your story. --Robert Redford

The harder you work as a writer, the better you get at it. It's like anything else. It's a muscle you have to exercise. --Ron White

Do not be afraid to dream big. Work hard for what you want. Follow your passion and never give up. --Unknown

When you're a writer sometimes you have to spend time poking at part of yourself that normal, sane people leave alone. --Vikram Chandra

Life is too short to waste time on people who don't deserve to be an issue in your life. --Steve Wentworth

Always trust your gut instincts. If you genuinely feel in your heart that something is wrong, it usually is. --Unknown

A happy soul is the best shield for a cruel world. --Unknown

Never give up on your dreams. The waiting can seem painful, but the regret of not going for it will be even more painful. --Steve Aitchison

Monday, January 30, 2017

Awful news

During All-Star weekend here in Los Angeles, L.A. Kings announcer Bob Miller, who missed part of last season after undergoing quadruple bypass surgery, fell ill and was taken to the hospital. Unfortunately, it appears he suffered a minor stroke.

I hope I'm wrong, but I have a bad feeling that this will signal Miller's retirement from the broadcast booth. He's 78 years old - pushing 80 - and may decide it's in his and his family's best interest to hang them up. I wouldn't blame him, but I hope not. I'd be grateful if he just called home games in the future. If not, the guy has earned his retirement, but it's going to be a body blow to Kings Nation to lose him.

I just stumbled across this late at night and it really caught me off guard.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Best Trump parody video so far

Sorry Accordion Trump, this is the greatest Trump video so far. It's true.

This was produced by a Dutch comedy satire show and I think they knocked it out of the park. Between the catchphrases, little asides and the voice over actor doing a spot-on imitation of the President, it's just perfect. <Trump voice> It's a great video. It's absolutely fantastic. </Trump voice>

Saturday, January 28, 2017

When the PR gods smile on you

So in case you haven't heard, a Fed Ex deliveryman became very famous all of a sudden when he took exception to some assholes who thought burning the American flag would be a good way to win friends and influence people.

Fed-Ex employee Matt Uhrin used a fire extinguisher from his truck to put out the flames and it made him an instant internet star, with most people applauding his actions. Apparently a few were not impressed, but it doesn't matter: Fed-Ex has reviewed the matter and Matt will be keeping his job.

My favorite part of the linked article - that a couple of the "protestors" are being charged with violating the local public burn ordinance. I hope they make them do time. If those flags had really flared up, they could have done some serious harm or damage. I'm pretty sure these pinheads didn't think that through.

All of which led to this popping up on my Twitter feed:

What a stud.
Because yeah, you can't buy publicity like this.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Mysterious books

Bookstore humor:

H/T to Shut The Front Door on FB.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

29 hilarious truths about cats

I hate the 5,000,000 page clickbait slideshows as much as the next person, but this one is worth the time: 29 Hilarious Truths About Cats. A few of my personal favorites:


Monday, January 23, 2017

So good news on UCLA Extension front after several crappy days

It appears I've come up with a story idea for Better Call Saul after all. <-- Look at that - I'm a poet and don't know it. 😉  Just waiting to hear back from the instructor and I'll know for sure if it's going to work.

Even better - it's based on some family drama from a few years back. So it will be educational and therapeutic!

"You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better." --Anne Lamott

"As a writer, it's all grist for the mill: your friends, enemies, relatives, strangers, your fears, worries, failures and triumphs. All of it." --Mark Rubenstein

Feeling much better today...

Sunday, January 22, 2017

There are no words to describe how much I hate that I'm writing this post

My first UCLA Extension TV writing class started Wednesday. Well, it was supposed to start Wednesday, but apparently it had been live since the previous weekend and no one at UCLA Extension felt the need to communicate that. In fact, it turns out that Wednesday is completely irrelevant to this class. Let me cut and paste my Facebook bitching over the past few days to get you caught up:

So it turns out my UCLA Extension TV Writing class started last Sunday, not Wednesday as per the course description, and my first assignment is due tonight. Plus there might be a problem with the show I wanted to spec because it's in its first season, so I'm waiting for feedback from the instructor as to whether or not I need to pick another show. Either way I'm starting off in a hole, which is not how I saw this happening. Gonna have a lot of catching up to do.

Finally got a "response" this morning (after posting at 12:40 yesterday afternoon), sort of. So now the class starts on Saturday. By response I mean we were informed that new lessons post on Saturday, and those of us who haven't gotten to the first assignment need to get on it, because if we get behind we have the stress of trying to catch up, yadda yadda yadda. No shit, I already knew that thanks to lack of communication from UCLA Extension that I'm starting in a hole. And still no answer to my actual questions. Also I posted a document for feedback last night and it's still not showing up on the discussion board, although the sidebar acknowledges that it's been submitted. I'm beginning to wonder if signing up for this program was a mistake, and given how lackadasial it's been so far (only week 1) I have to wonder how respected this program really is in the entertainment industry. I have until the 24th to get my money back on this class, and I still have to eat the $200 application fee. I hate to be thinking of quitting but based on my experience so far I'm just not impressed. Really, really frustrated.

Well, the good news is I finally got a response. The bad news is I'm apparently not allowed to spec the show I planned on for the past four months since I applied to this program and have to scramble to familiarize myself with a new show enough to write a decent script for it, all while catching up on week 1 and a new assignment will be posted today. Not what I expected, plus some of my classmates are apparently being allowed to spec questionable shows, including one which will be ending this year. Really disillusioned. Wondering if I should just stick to contests.

Reread this morning's email from the instructor (which should have been sent to us a week ago) and not only are we just now being informed that new lessons post on Saturday (and not Wednesday per the course description) but she only checks the stuff we post online Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Not even daily. I'm really concerned about what I've gotten myself into.

Or I could drop this class and wait until late spring/summer and see if the show gets renewed...

OK, that's been dealt with. Picking a more acceptable show and writing the script I want to out of class using the class materials. Bingeing Better Call Saul has commenced. No idea for a script though. Also still doesn't change the fact that I should have been dealing with this almost a week ago if the school had bothered to let me know the class was live days early. Being in the hole so early on is going to kill my grade, plus the next class assignment posts tonight so I have to deal with that too. Not an auspicious start.

So I submitted a show bible for Better Call Saul (great show, zero interest in writing it) which is a no-brainer because our bibles are just cut and paste from online sites. Oh, and also because - since I've never watched the show - I can catch up on it relatively quickly because Netflix is streaming Season 1, has Season 2 on DVD, and each season is only ten episodes. What I don't have is the faintest idea for an episode, which was also supposed to be submitted last Friday night.

This morning I check my email and see this:

This is a GREAT show to spec! As you have already noticed, one of your peers is writing for the same show. She really knows this show and will be able to give you solid feedback.

No, I hadn't noticed that, but if she really knows this show, she'll be able to tell that I don't. What I have noticed is that one of my "peers" is speccing Orphan Black, a show that has already announced that its upcoming season will be its last. In addition to the "no freshman shows" rule, we were also told not to spec cancelled shows. My freshman show at least has a shot at being around this time next year. And if that student gets a pass to spec a show that's ending, I don't see why I shouldn't get a pass on speccing a new show. Unless the instructor doesn't know Orphan Black is ending, which sends up a whole new red flag. Plus, I've been told in the past that you shouldn't spec old shows (pretty much anything that's beyond Season 5 or so) for a variety of reasons, and I've got classmates speccing Supernatural and Grey's Anatomy, both of which are ancient.

I'm probably already looking at a B at most or even a C in this class if I don't magically pull something out of my ass in the next five days and get caught up, and I can't accept that. I'm not a C student. I understand that we're being taught to hit deadlines, but if I was already at that level I wouldn't be taking a beginning writing class nor would I be worried about getting a certificate, because I'd be too busy actually working. And again, if I'd been notified that the class started the previous weekend, I could have been dealing with all this prior to the deadline, all last week could have been spent on this, rather than me logging into my UCLA Extension account and only seeing a link to the class description, and not a link to the actual class itself. One more gripe? In the first lesson the material uses shows that are off the air as examples of specs. Royal Pains? Psych (which was misspelled Psyche)? Great shows, but gone. They couldn't even be bothered to update the material? 

And then there's this: for ninety bucks I can take a TV writing class from Shonda Rhimes at MasterClass.com. I've taken courses through them before and they're exceptionally well done. 

I have two more days in which I can withdraw and get my tuition refunded. I have a history of starting things and then not finishing them, so I hate to feel like I'm doing it yet again. I hate that I probably sound whiny, but I'm just so disappointed and don't feel supported at all. There's also the option of taking this class again next quarter and I'll be better prepared for what to expect. In fact, it could mean the difference between at least having a chance to get an A in the class and having no chance at all. And maybe I'll bite the bullet on dealing with traffic and parking and take the class on campus instead of online, so I can feel like I'm actually communicating with my instructor.

In the meantime I could take Shonda's course, write the script I want to write, and put it in contests. And to be honest, I just looked at the second week's assignment and and except for the inflexibility on writing a new show, so far I haven't learned anything I didn't already know coming into this class. 

I'm also just really tired of getting excited about things and then being disappointed. Remember this

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

An Olympian task

The fine folks over at Curbed L.A. have put together an interactive map of proposed locations for L.A.'s bid for the 2024 Olympic Games. And it is all over the place.

Each of those red dots represents a different location. The Coloseum, Staples Center, the Los Angeles Convention Center, Forum, Rose Bowl, Microsoft Theatre, Universal Studios, USC, UCLA, the new L.A. Rams/Chargers football stadium, and Riviera Country Club are among the venues that are actually in the Los Angeles area. Additional events would take place at the Long Beach Convention Center, Honda Center in Anaheim, and Bonelli Park in San Dimas, which is at the far east end of L.A. County (adorable little town, I lived there years ago). Another sports venue in Encino would also be used, but the winner for the most remote venue would be Lake Perris in Riverside County.

One thing I noticed is that the equestrian events would be in Encino. I think they were at Santa Anita when L.A. had the Olympics in 1984. Arcadia recently opened their Gold Line Station with a shuttle to and from Santa Anita, but it also looks like the Orange Line goes right by the Sepulveda Basin Sports Complex, so it looks like they've got public transportation covered. In fact, if we get the Olympics, Metro will have to really step up because they're gonna get slammed, especially to Downtown and Santa Monica. They're slammed now since the Expo Line to the beach opened. The company in Japan that makes their cars is cranking them out as fast as they can, but Metro is really behind in having the number of cars they need.

It will be interesting to see what happens with this bid. I'm wondering if they have backup locations in case some of the more long-distance venues prove to be a negative.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Life Accordion to Trump

The. Most. Musical. President. Ever.

Props to whoever put this together. It's freaking hilarious!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Finnair Flight 666 laughs at your superstitions

You know, I'm not superstitious, but this one just feels like you're asking for trouble:

To review:
1 - It's flight number 666.
2 - Today is Friday the 13th.
3 - The airport it's flying into is abbreviated HEL.

From the full article:

Finnair has been making the flight for many years, but it gets particularly attractive whenever it happens on Friday the 13th.

This writer's definition of "attractive" apparently differs from mine. Attractive maybe, if you're a masochist.

"It has been quite a joke among the pilots. I'm not a superstitious man. It's only a coincidence for me," pilot Juha-Pekka Keidasto said previously.

Hilarious, those Finnair pilots. Oh, and just so you know:

Flight AY666 from Copenhagen to Helsinki took off at 12:15pm GMT and landed safely at 13:31.

Finnair 666 cheats the fates again and lives to fly another day.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Could you please pray, if so inclined....?

Officer Stevenson is the son of a friend of my Mother's. He has a wife and adorable young (2-3 years old) son. He was injured in an accident while in response to a fatal hit and run.

Pomona officer in critical condition.

Updated 1/12/17: A Go Fund Me page has been set up for the officer and his family.

This one is so good I couldn't wait until the month-end Words of Wisdom post

The shallower the brook, the more it babbles. --Indonesian proverb

So, so many reasons to love that one. Mostly personal.

OK, this isn't a brook, it's a beach in Hawaii. But I needed a
pretty, peaceful picture to go with this quote, and apparently I
don't get to brooks much.

Monday, January 9, 2017

This has been a public service announcement

Couldn't help it - this made me laugh.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Open up that Golden Gate, California here he comes!

Huell Howser left us four years ago. Still wrecked about that. What a neat guy.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Kindness...making the turn from Orange Grove onto Colorado Boulevard

If - unlike me - your talents are more of the artsy than written type, you have a shot at seeing your work come to life as a Rose Parade float. From The Rose Examiner:

The theme of the 129th Tournament of Roses will not be announced until the installation of officers on Jan. 20, 2017 but the hints that 2018 Pres. Lance Tibbet has given indicate a theme that centers around kindness and the impact small acts can have. Most people have both experienced kindness and passed it on to others. Readers who have a story to share and can picture it as a design for a Rose Parade float can enter competitions run by the six self-built float associations.

All the info is here.

How cool would it be to see your work in the Rose Parade? If I was an artist I'd be all over this.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

This is just nuts!!!

"Heart shaped". Uh-huh.

H/T and LOL to Silence is Consent on FB.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Temporarily out of stock

Some musings on the deaths of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, now that we've had a whole week to adjust to the idea.

Via Amazon:

I wonder what Carrie Fisher would have thought if she'd been able to see how much her death would affect people.

There is a petition to make Princess Leia an official Disney princess. Apparently Disney has a rule in place that their princesses must be animated. Who knew? I'm thinking that Disney will make an announcement at some point waiving the rule for Leia, if for no other reason that it would buy them an incalculable amount of good will.

New Orleans paid tribute to Carrie/Princess Leia in their own unique way.

Fathom Events had scheduled theater screenings of Singin' in the Rain prior to the deaths. I tried to buy tickets for the one near me a few days ago and it was sold out.

I think the tribute that got to everyone was the one posted by Todd Fisher on Twitter after their mother had joined Carrie in death:

HBO will air its Debbie Reynolds/Carrie Fisher doc Bright Lights this Saturday evening.

So far 2017 has spared us deaths of beloved celebs, although cops are unfortunately still fair game in the minds of thugs and lowlifes. But that's another post for another day.