Saturday, March 31, 2018

March Words of Wisdom

It's okay to live a life others do not understand. --Unknown

I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery. --Thomas Jefferson

A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it. --Edgar Allen Poe

Switch your mentality from "I'm broken and helpless" to "I'm growing and healing" and watch how fast your life changes for the better. --Unknown

The nameless longing in every soul does not always know for what it hungers. When a dream does take shape, the person is blessed who can find the tangible object of the dream. --Al-Marah Arabians founder Bazy Tankersley, speaking of her foundation stallion Indraff (*Raffles x *Indara)

You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself. --Ethel Barrymore

The light is what guides you home. The warmth is what keeps you there. --Ellie Rodriguez

It was a good time to start something new. We have two lives, and the second starts when you realize that you have only one. --Isabell Dubois-Dumee

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. --Melody Beattie

Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working. --Pablo Picasso

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle. --Albert Einstein

Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. --Marcel Proust

If the path be beautiful, let us not ask where it leads. --Anatole France

Once writing has become your major vice and greatest pleasure, only death can stop it. --Ernest Hemingway

Just let go. Let go of how you thought your life would be, and embrace the life that is trying to work its way into your consciousness. --Caroline Myss

I'm learning to love the sound of my feet walking away from things not meant for me. --A.G.

The past is no longer here unless I bring it to the table. --Nathalie Sader

I'm not saying it's going to be easy. Nothing in life is easy. But that's no reason to give up. You'll be surprised what you can accomplish if you set your mind to it. --Louis Sachar

The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination, and brings eternal joy to the soul. --Robert Wyland

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Everybody feeds them and all the other animals there too (*ducks*)

Just don't be blatant about it, because it is officially against the rules. And yes, they are wild animals. So only approach and feed them if they're cool with it. Or if they approach you, which a lot of them will. 

Also, they're absolutely gorgeous in real life, so have your camera ready.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Welcome back, "L.A. Confidential"

James Ellroy's L.A. Confidential has lived many lives. First as Ellroy's behemoth novel, a complicated, sordid tale of corruption in the City of Angels where the LAPD, the DA's office, Hollywood, the Mob, drugs, plastic surgery, a popular amusement park, and high-priced prostitution intersect. Among other things.

Despite their belief that the novel was unadaptable to film or TV, Ellroy and his agent sold the rights to Warner Bros. Warners first shopped it unsuccessfully as a potential miniseries before it became the Academy Award winning film by Curtis Hanson*. There is also an HBO pilot version featuring a pre-24 Keifer Sutherland as Jack Vincennes. The sumptuous episode appears on a special edition DVD of the film.

Recently CBS ordered an L.A. Confidential pilot. Besides the actual news itself, one of the more striking aspects is the casting of Walt Goggins as Trashcan Jack Vincennes, apparently with plans on keeping the character more loyal to the damaged original version in the novel than the slick Hollywood player portrayed by Kevin Spacey in the film, plus the intention of sticking closer to the original source material overall than the film did (as did the HBO pilot).

As a huge L.A. Confidential fan over the years (I own the novel, screenplay, film, soundtrack, and movie poster) I was intrigued by the idea of bringing it to broadcast television after all these years. If done right, it could really stand out from the usual CBS cop shows. No offense to those shows and the people involved with them - they've been wildly successful - but L.A. Confidential is a completely different cat and if CBS is able to nail Ellroy's sensibility about corruption in 1950's Los Angeles and Hollywood this could set a new standard for the normally staid network. I'm actually looking forward to it and for some reason feel really hopeful about it, rather than dreading it.

*I learned a lot about the optioning and eventually successful adaptation of L.A. Confidential while writing a report about it called "Adapting the Unadaptable" for a film class I took in the early 2000's. While my notes and the report are long gone, I do remember the details vividly. Despite initially believing his novel couldn't be adapted due to its length and breadth, Ellroy stated at the time that the film stood on its own as an excellent work related to but separate from his book and actively promoted it. Years, dozens of characters and multiple subplots had to be condensed or eliminated entirely to make it work as a film. It earned, in my opinion, one of the most well-deserved Adapted Screenplay Oscars.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Dear "Customer"

Got a highly suspicious email today from "Apple":

Check out that "Apple" email address.

Here's what they wanted:

Yeah, the link actually says "Verification My Account".


Oh, and just for kicks, this was at the bottom of the email:

If like me, you want to know more about phishing and email scams from jackasses claiming to be from Apple, go here.

As instructed, I forwarded the email to Apple with this message:

I don't know what they would get out of being able to hack someone's Apple account, unless they're looking to hack Apple Pay accounts (which I don't have) but let's face it, email scams and phishing have been around for a while and apparently aren't going away. The sad thing is they may actually sucker people and rip them off.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

So how did the brutally honest Oscars insider do?

You know, the guy from the previous post. Let's see how he fared:

Best Picture
Insider: The Shape of Water
And the Oscar goes to: The Shape of Water

Best Director
Insider: Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
And the Oscar goes to: Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

Best Actor
Insider: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
And the Oscar goes to: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

Best Actress
Insider: Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
And the Oscar goes to: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Supporting Actor
Insider: Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
And the Oscar goes to: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Supporting Actress
Insider: Allison Janney, I, Tonya
And the Oscar goes to: Allison Janney, I, Tonya

Best Adapted Screenplay
Insider: Aaron Sorkin, Molly's Game
And the Oscar goes to: James Ivory, Call Me By Your Name

Best Original Screenplay
Insider: Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor, The Shape of Water
And the Oscar goes to: Jordan Peele, Get Out

Best Animated Feature:
Insider: Coco
And the Oscar goes to: Coco

Best Documentary Feature:
Insider: Icarus
And the Oscar goes to: Icarus

Best Foreign Language Film
Insider: A Fantastic Woman (Chile)
And the Oscar goes to: A Fantastic Woman (Chile)

Best Cinematography
Insider: Blade Runner 2049
And the Oscar goes to: Blade Runner 2049

Best Costume Design
Insider: Phantom Thread
And the Oscar goes to: Phantom Thread

Best Film Editing
Insider: I, Tonya
And the Oscar goes to: Dunkirk

Best Makeup & Hair Styling
Insider: Darkest Hour
And the Oscar goes to: Darkest Hour

Best Original Score
Insider: The Shape of Water
And the Oscar goes to: The Shape of Water

Best Original Song:
Insider: "Remember Me", Coco
And the Oscar goes to: "Remember Me", Coco

Best Production Design
Insider: Blade Runner 2049
And the Oscar goes to: The Shape of Water

Best Sound Editing
Insider: The Shape of Water
And the Oscar goes to: Dunkirk

Best Sound Mixing
Insider: The Shape of Water
And the Oscar goes to: Dunkirk

Best Visual Effects
Insider: Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
And the Oscar goes to: Blade Runner 2049

Best Animated Short
Insider: Revolting Rhymes
And the Oscar goes to: Dear Basketball

Best Documentary Short
Insider: Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405
And the Oscar goes to: Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405

Best Live-Action Short
Insider: The Silent Child
And the Oscar goes to: The Silent Child

By my always suspect calculations, fourteen of the Insider's choices won, while ten lost. And in a way, it's even more interesting to go back and read why he didn't choose some of the eventual winners.