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  • March 2004



    Monday, March 31, 2003

    Oh yeah!

    I remember now.

    Did anyone else see the premier of "The Pitts" on FOX, following after "Malcolm In The Middle"? If not, you should DEFINATELY tune in next week. I don't think it's going to be on much longer, and everyone should definately get the chance to see the WORST SITCOM IN THE HISTORY OF TELEVISION.

    In all my life, I have never seen a show so unfunny, so horribly shot, so overacted, or so nonsensical (in a bad way). And it's got a relentless laugh track that chimes in after nearly every syllable of dialogue. Ugh. It was absolutely atrocious. And "Oliver Beene" is pretty bad, too, despite having a really good cast. And where the hell is "Andy Richter"? What up, FOX? You used to have such an awesome Sunday-night lineup, and now it's all gone to shit.

    Please buy my pilot.
    posted at 3:04 PM

    Capra Meets the Marx Brothers

    So my writing professor just described my sitcom pilot as "a smart, Capra-esque piece, with some Marx Brothers slapstick thrown in." He later added that I should try to tone down some of the Marx Brothers slapstick, but still ... I think that's a pretty cool way to describe my script.

    The meeting was pretty fruitful, and I think my second draft will be a bit tighter than my first one. But I'll keep the first draft hanging around just in case I start to miss the Marx Brothers a bit. I'm still really happy with it.

    In other writing news, I have yet to start my outline for my potential Commencement Speech. I also have yet to start reading books for either of the two papers I have due in the next few weeks. I blame this solely on the game "The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker." Seriously. It's so good. It's like crack. I can't stop playing it. Someone has to help me fight this addiction. Or do all my work for me. Enh? Enh? Who wants to write a paper on Crusade popes?

    The SlowKids show (April 25th. April 25th. April 25th.) seems to be shaping up pretty nicely. Our script is just about finalized, and we're going to get the setlist nailed down this week. We will also hopefully get some flyers ready to go. You all better be there. Seriously, you guys -- if you have the ability to come to the show, and I find out you didn't ... you're in for a world of pain -- the pain caused by an absence of comedy! Also, by my foot in your ass.

    This weekend, Aimee and Christinia squatted in Aimee's apartment -- newly vacated by her cheese-stealing roommate -- and we had a nice little party, where I got to see a sizable portion of my freshman floormates again. I also spent like 30 minutes on my cell phone talking to a slightly inebriated Chris, calling from Spain at 5 AM, when he was still walking home, because he thought he missed my brithday. My friends rule. And that includes you, Matt Kaszanek!

    I think I had something else to say, but I can't remember what it was ... so let me just say that I am so pissed that it turned into Winter again here in Boston. After like 4 days of beautiful Spring-like weather, it snowed this morning and the winds were back in their "I'm going to freeze the top four layers of your skin today" mode. So please remind me whenever I tell you that I love the city of Boston that what I actually mean is "I love the city of Boston from April-May and September-October."
    posted at 2:47 PM

    Friday, March 28, 2003

    Vermont, Sitcoms, Speech Anxiety, Queen Latifah, The War. All In One Post.

    Oh, where to begin?

    It's been a long time, has it not? How are you doing? Good to see you. That's a nice shirt.

    Well, way back in Spring Break, I had a pretty good time in Vermont, the Green Mountain State. The last time I had been to Vermont was when I was probably 10 or 11, and I didn't remember much aside from Lake Champlain being really nice, and the Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory Tour being awesome. So when we were driving though Vermont, I was genuinely struck at just how gorgeous the natural landscape is.

    You always get those postcards and see tourism board pictures of Vermont landscapes, but it's just not the same as seeing the sharp valley the Connecticut River cuts alongside the interstate while sizable mountains rise along each side of you. And all the little villages along the way, where the church steeple is the tallest building? Very New England.

    We stopped in Montpelier on the way up, which was interesting because it's the freakin' State Capitol, but when you get off the highway, you still see absolutely no signs of a city anywhere in sight. You have to drive across a few bridges and through another valley before you come upon this absolutely beautiful condensed mini-city straddling a few streams and a pretty imposing and impressive granite state house. We walked around the Main Street area for a while, which was nice not only because it was a really picturesque little area, but also because it's pretty much exactly what I want my setting to look like for my sitcom pilot ... but more on that, later.

    So, in quick summary of the other great stuff we did in Vermont, I went to the Magic Hat Brewery in South Burlington and bought a jug of beer. Yes -- a jug. I went back to the Ben & Jerry's factory, got some delicious ice cream, sampled some Cabot cheeses, homemade apple cider and maple syrup, snowshoed to the top of a small mountain, and sang karaoke with a bunch of drunk skiiers. As much as I disparage my hometown, I will miss a lot of things about New England when I get out of here. But Montpelier might be a nice place to retire or something.

    Ignoring the inherant sadness of a 21 year old already thinking of where he wants to retire, let us move on to the other major thing I was worrying about -- my sitcom pilot script. Well, the "first draft" just got finished (in reality, probably the sixth draft), and with a lot of great suggestions -- particularly from Dov and the ever-helpful Aimee -- I'm extremely happy with it. I know it still needs a bit of polishing, and some of the first act needs to be cut out, but when I go in with my professor on Monday to see what he thinks about it, I will now go with the conviction to protect MY vision for the work, and not let him convince me to take things out unless they're seriously warranted. If you'd like to see a draft, let me know, and I'll see what I can do for you. As I mentioned before, I really like it a lot, and I can already see the whole thing playing out in my head. With any luck, maybe someday you'll see it on TV ... probably for three weeks before it gets replaced by "Friends 2010: Older, Fatter, Still Not Funny."

    I've still got to write an "outline" for my proposed comments for the COM Commencement Speech. I think I know what I want my theme to be, I just need to sit my ass down and write everything out and see if I can get 10 minutes (!) of quality material out of it. They're due next Friday. I still could take it or leave it, but I think I can come up with a pretty entertaining speech, and I'd hate to sit through a speech by one of my more staid (read: boring-ass) colleagues. Could be cool. Keep your fingers crossed.

    Hey, has anyone noticed the deluge of faked-identity "wacky" "comedies" coming out in theatres recently? First, we had the Queen Latifah-Steve Martin "Bringing Down The House," now we've also got Chris Rock-Bernie Mac "Head of State" and the ever-downward spiralling Cuba Gooding, Jr. "Boat Trip." All of them feature pretty prominant stars and all of them look borderline offensive. Also, they all look really shitty. Coincidence?!? You decide.

    And now, just because I'm on a roll, how about this war thing, huh? I dunno, man. As usual, my inability to take a decisive stance without seeing the good points of the opposite side has left me hating both the FOX News-fed warmongers and the granola-munching leftist protesters, and stuck floating somewhere in the middle. Personally, I think it's probably for the best that Saddam Hussein be removed from power, but it's impossible to ignore that Bush fucked up diplomacy SO MUCH that now pretty much everyone hates us, and people can claim Bush is waging a religious war without stretching the truth all that much (just keep on Bible-quoting, asshole.)

    I watched the Bush and Blair press conference at Camp David the other day, and a few things struck me. First off, I wish Tony Blair were heading up this effort. Seriously, I think there would be a lot less people protesting, and a lot more effort given to diplomacy with him at the helm. Not to mention he's infinately more articulate and intellegent than Bush, and he never comes across as having an alterior motive for the war, like Bush and his permasmirk always do. I wish Tony Blair were our President.

    Also, I am waiting, patiently, for a reporter ... ANY reporter ... to stand up and call Bush on his failure to answer anything about what's going on. At this conference, someone asked Bush if he had a timetable for the war -- a fairly reasonable question to ask. After mumbling some sort of insult to the reporter, Bush trailed off into this rambling Crusade-era propaganda about Saddam's regime nailing a dissident to a post by his tongue before stuttering, smirking, and saying the phrase "It will take as long as it takes" four times. I am DYING for someone to just stand up and say, "Mr. President, would you mind answering the question, please?" PLEASE WON'T SOME JOURNALIST BE A JOURNALIST FOR ONCE?!? "Liberal media bias" my ass.
    posted at 9:14 AM

    Wednesday, March 05, 2003

    Libations, Nominations

    Spring Break is oh so soon. And it can't come fast enough. Seriously, I'm ready to get out of here. Things just haven't been as fun as they used to be lately, and I don't know why that is. The inevitable life-dividing moment of graduation? Hypercriticism of myself and those around me? Crack cocaine? Who knows? What I do know is that Spring Break will be a nice respite from all this. And instead of buying alcohol for the Freshman Field Hockey Team, I'll be buying it for my brother and his friends. At least some things remain constant.

    But first, I must get through two more days of class, punctuated by a hockey game at the Fleet Center, a midterm, a trip to the BU Pub, packing, etc. I think I can make it. I have faith in myself.

    My sitcom pilot is getting the final kinks worked out of it. Mad props to Aimee Jones. Not just for helping me out with the outline, but just in general, too. That's how great she is.

    In other writing news, the good folks at COM have been coming out of the woodwork lately. I'm applying for the Blue Chip Award (given to top seniors in each discipline), got asked to be in the 2003-2004 COM Bulletin as a "Featured Student" for television and got nominated to be a student speaker at graduation. Could have some interesting developments come out of this. We'll see what happens.

    In other non-writing news, I've been spending a lot of time at the BU Pub lately. Mainly because I don't want to do schoolwork, you see. I'm having trouble finding a beer that I like, though. The Magic Hat Ravell they had a while ago was amazing (even though Grant doesn't like it), but then they took it away. I had some Sam Adam's Double Bock today, and that was pretty good, but it looks like that's a seasonal beer, too. Maybe I'm just not a beer person. Does anyone know if there's a wine bar around here? Or maybe you could offer me some venture capital to open one up? Hmm?

    OK, enough with the procrastinating. I gotta get back to studying for my Crusdades midterm. Learning confusing-sounding Muslim names is a pain in the ass.
    posted at 8:08 PM

    Sunday, March 02, 2003

    How Much Longer?

    Just letting you know, as I hope does not become a trend, that I have not disappeared. It's been a bit hectic.

    A few weeks ago, my Great Grandmother died at the ripe old age of 103, so I had to go home for the funeral. Of course, this was right in the middle of a very busy class schedule, but hey -- what's more important? Seeing family come together to mourn the passing of our matriarch, or going to a lecture on industrial unrest in late 19th century Britain. Exactly.

    But, when I was home, having a generally good time with my siblings and family, my plans to return to Boston in time to get some work done were foiled by the "Blizzard of 2003," which dumped 2 feet of show in central Connecticut, trapping me there for another two days. Thankfully, BU did the sensible thing (for once) and closed school, so I didn't miss my day full of class.

    Other than that, I've just been hangin out, working on my sitcom pilot (which my professor told me reminded him of the style of film legend and subconscious personal hero Billy Wilder), writing stuff with SlowKids, maintaining the minimum amount of effort required to pass my other classes, and noticing how much things have changed since I went away. That said, I am very much looking forward to moving out of here and to Los Angeles.

    I met some of the cooler people from the BU LA trip at the BU Pub last Friday, and we all agreed that coming back to Boston feels like a major step backward. Isn't there some colloquial phrase like "how do you expect them to work on the farm after they've seen the city?" That's how I felt about Berlin, CT after I went to Boston. Now it's how I feel about Boston after being in Los Angeles. Maybe I just always need to be moving.

    Next week is Spring Break for us, and I can't wait. I'll get to hang out with my siblings, play video games on my giant TV, and go to Vermont at the end of the week to take in some New England-ness. Hopefully, I'll be able to use some for my pilot. If not, I'll have fun visiting the Magic Hat Brewery, at least.

    And one more thing before I pry myself away from the computer to go read the boring Qur'an -- Los Amigos Invisibles just might be the best live band ever. I saw them for the third time last night, and seriously -- the entire crowd was smiling, laughing and dancing for four hours. My feet still hurt. I'm looking forward to their new CD, whenever they decide to release it.
    posted at 12:10 PM