Thursday, April 27, 2006

Good God! Where Have You Been?!

I logged on tonight thinking I would just give a brief update of where the hell I've been all month. My three or four readers have been desperate to know my whereabouts (thanking you for writing Ken in Witchita). Before I could get online, though, I spoke with Matt's brother, Elliott (who will no longer be identified as Matt's brother and will simply be known as Elliott). Whenever Elliott calls, I know it's going to be emotional. That's fine with me, because Elliott slowly reveals more about my deceased friend that I didn't know, nor would I have ever known if Elliott didn't want to include me in his life. It started as a fun call, bullshitting about the Twilight Zone (still one of the most influential shows in my life) and evolved into an intense discussion about our relationships with Matt.

Then Elliott did something truly heart warming and unexpected. He changed the course and asked me about Jacob and what he has to go through. He wanted to know about the struggles that I (and we) have. And I thought this was so remarkable considering the wedged that kind of got pushed between Matt and me was about CF. As I heard myself describing Jacob's daily routine, it didn't feel real to me. I felt like I was just reiterating some facts to someone. I hate when that happens. I want people to understand the first time. I don't want people to think we have a handle on it. I want them to feel the pain.

That's where I've been. I've been dealing with stress from the upcoming Great Strides. Each year as it approaches, I bury the stress and pain of gathering with other CF families. It brings me to tears. I sometimes hate it. CF has been on my mind in my writing too. I have been completing a new script that has a character who has CF.

I'm not trying to get on my soapbox with the script. It isn't a message film. But an opportunity was presented to me in which I would be allowed to write about the disease that effects my family... to try and put it in a realistic and positive light. Can I pass up an opportunity like that? What if that opportunity never comes again? Isn't it my responsibility to use whatever skills I have to raise awareness and help find a cure? That's the way I am looking at it.

I didn't start this blog for it to become a daily diatribe about Matt's death or cystic fibrosis. But those seem to be the only topics I'm not hesitant to open up about. Well, not anymore. What have I to lose if I don't criticize the bad films I've seen or give reviews of the great music or websites I've discovered.

Today is technically May 2, but I'm making this entry for May 1. A new month. A time to refresh myself and look inward.

Aloha.

Friday, April 07, 2006

You are...you are a good looking guy.

I hereby nominate "The Sure Thing" as one of the best movies of the 80's and one of the greatest romantic comedies of all time. I am one of the few who actually saw it in the theater (with my church group, no less) and I've loved it ever since. When I worked at American Video my last year of high school, I some how came to purchase the store's copy. We must have watched that movie a hundred times during the paint crew summers. Steve and I had so many lines memorized. Besides Boon and Otter from "Animal House," we wanted to be John Cusack's Walter "Gib" Gibson. While those "Animal house" guys were someone we aspired to be, but would never be cool enough to be, Gib was like us. He was one of us. He was a failure in love, but an optimist.

And then my copy got lost.

I believe it was Dillon, a guy we worked with, who borrowed it after one of the Malchus parties (one of the bigger one's). Though he claims to have never had it, for some reason I think he harbors that old VHS copy f "The Sure Ting" and pulls it out every so often. Just kidding Jeff.

Last Christmas I was given an Amazon gift certificate and I decided, what the hell, I'll buy "The Sure Thing". I was always reluctant top buy it because so many of the movies (and albums and books) that I treasured in college really don't hold up. Still, I was feeling nostalgic...

Last night I popped it in for some inspiration. I'm working on a script that will involve some acerbic banter between the male and female characters and I knew that Cusack and co-star Daphne Zuniga really had a spark. My intention of watching a few minutes turned into the first 20 and I was quickly reminded why I loved this movie. It's not because of the humor or the accurate college feel that Rob Reiner brought to the movie. And it's not for the cool music or even the great performance of Cusack (in one of his first starring roles... and best starring roles... and age appropriate starring roles). It's the heart, baby. This film has more heart than most of the romantic comedy feel good mushy love story lift yourself up by the boots underdog stories that come out every year. It rules!

So, if you have some down time, and want to check out some future stars of their generation (Anthony Edwards is hilarious, and keep a watch out for Tim Robbins), you MUST MUST MUST rent "The Sure Thing."

WHMP 4-7-06


From:Scott
Date: Fri, 07 Apr 2006
To: Steve
Subject: WHMP 4-7-06

Got your message this week. Sorry I missed you. Your call actually lifted my spirits a lot that day. It's been a topsy turvey week emotionally, mostly work related and, of course, money stress. Everything seems cool now, though. Did I tell you I'm getting to write a second episode for the series I'm working on? I'm stoked. And a little nervous. They want it a lot sooner (and quicker) than the first one. But, what's that quote I keep repeating from the Springsteen boot in Cleveland?

"Have faith in your abilities."

That's what I'm trying to do.

You'll be happy to know that I'm working on an new feature script as well. It has nothing to do with the horror genre. In fact, it's an attempt at a high school romantic comedy. Someone actually asked me to write this one, so I'm not flying solo.

I didn't think of it until this morning, but I'm really enjoying the whole process of writing this script. I'm actually being given the opportunity to a) write a story I've wanted to tell for years b) incorororate awareness of CF [but not making this a "message" film] and c) write on my own without anyone giving me criteria to write. It's pretty sweet.

I'm sure the revision process will be full of surprises, but for now, I'm having fun.

Here's a little something' to commemorate Opening Day at Jacob's Field. Loser that I am, I don't have "Centerfield" on hand, but then I remembered I had this little gem by Miss Jett. What's better than a Springsteen song recorded by Joan Jett for a movie shot in, yes, Cleveland, Ohio.

After a miserable week, I can see the light, bro. It's just around the corner.

SScott (CNS)"
Date: Fri, 07 Apr 2006 09:53:56 -0700
To: Steve
Conversation: WHMP 4-7-06
Subject: WHMP 4-7-06

Got your message this week. Sorry I missed you. Your call actually lifted my spirits a lot that day. It's been a topsy turvey week emotionally, mostly work related and, of course, money stress. Everything seems cool now, though. Did I tell you I'm getting to write a second episode for the series I'm working on? I'm stoked. And a little nervous. They want it a lot sooner (and quicker) than the first one. But, what's that quote I keep repeating from the Springsteen boot in Cleveland?

"Have faith in your abilities."

That's what I'm trying to do.

You'll be happy to know that I'm working on an new feature script as well. It has nothing to do with the horror genre. In fact, it's an attempt at a high school romantic comedy. Someone actually asked me to write this one, so I'm not flying solo.

I didn't think of it until this morning, but I'm really enjoying the whole process of writing this script. I'm actually being given the opportunity to a) write a story I've wanted to tell for years b) incorororate awareness of CF [but not making this a "message" film] and c) write on my own without anyone giving me criteria to write. It's pretty sweet.

I'm sure the revision process will be full of surprises, but for now, I'm having fun.

Here's a little something' to commemorate Opening Day at Jacob's Field. Loser that I am, I don't have "Centerfield" on hand, but then I remembered I had this little gem by Miss Jett. What's better than a Springsteen song recorded by Joan Jett for a movie shot in, yes, Cleveland, Ohio.

After a miserable week, I can see the light, bro. It's just around the corner.

S

From: Steve
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2006
To:Scott
Subject: RE: WHMP 4-7-06

Thanks -- as always -- for the music. Unfortunately -- as always -- I'm
buried at the moment and so unable to respond appropriately.

I can't help but observe, though, that to an uninformed, non-industry
guy, it sure seems like your writing career has moved from crawling to
cruising to, toddling to, now, walking confidently and starting to run.
It's good to see you on your feet again.

I will try to call you this weekend. Marianne's grandmother took a bad
health turn this week, and there's a chance we will spend our time in
and out of a Richmond hospital. If that doesn't happen, I hope we can
talk.

Please give my best to your family.

Steve

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Blue Sky Mining musings

Can a hard rocking protest song make you cry? It can if it's done by Midnight Oil. Driving in through a pouring rain this morning, I dug out my old copy of "Blue Sky Mining" to give it a listen and possibly put some tracks on my MP3 player. I have always loved the title track, but today was the first time I seemed to listened to how well crafted the song is constructed. It opens with just a guitar and gradually builds as each band member joins along. Then, it erupts with so much passion and anger, I was close to tears. It's not just the relevant lyrics (written back in 1990), but the beautiful harmonies, and the fact that each instrument plays a different role in the song. Both guitars are playing variations on lead guitar which reminds me of the kind song structure Pearl Jam often uses. In fact, the song "Forgotten Years" off the same Midnight Oil album would be a great song for P Jam to cover. And Peter Garrett performs with such conviction that anything he sings couldn't ring as false. This is one of the overlooked gems of the early alternative rock era. For some reason, the band fell through the cracks when the big MOVEMENT came to be. That's too bad, because we could use more bands like them today. With all of the crap going on in the world, we need more popular artists to speak up and rally the youth (and youthful) of the world.

Aloha

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The old ballgame is Back!

It's that time of the year again. The sun is shining. The sweet smell of freshly cut grass. Birds chirp in the background. The crack of a bat and the "thunk" of a ball smacking the leather of a mitt.

It's baseball season, my friends. I don't realize how much I miss the day to day activities of this sport until mid November, when the chill of winter settles in and my bones begin to ache. There is something about this game that fills me with excitement and joy. Despite the public problems the game is having at the moment with the whole steroid debate, I still feel this is the best family sporting event there is. I can't wait to take the kids to a Dodgers game this year. Or even a Jayhawks game out in Lancaster. And you can bet that when we visit Ohio sometime this summer, we'll be at Jacobs Field at least once.

Let the game begin. Go Indians.

Aloha