19 noviembre 2003

NaNo, NaNo and Other Stories

Last year, I didn't really have much of a problem at all. The words came off the fingers with relative ease and the end result was this quirky tale. I started writing on the 4th of the month. I finished on the 27th and I didn't write on weekends, which means it took me about 17 days to finish the whole thing.

This year, I'm getting fought every step of the way. My characters don't want to develop. The plot, while strong, refuses to reveal itself without sounding trite and ridiculous. The idea of the deadline is to get you to forget about how ridiculous everything sounds. Write first, ask questions later. This year, it's not even close to working.

To do this project, you need to write approximately 1,700 words a day. (50,000 words divided by 30 days hath November). Today is the 19th of November, meaning that I should have about 32,000 words today. I actually have just a hair under 6,000, which means one of two things. I'm either going to have to haul ass or I'm not going to finish. Being the eternal optimist I am (read sarcasm), I'm going to hedge toward the latter.

In other news, YPR has officially been ripped off. The discriminating connoisseur with a sharp eye for detail will recall getting bludgeoned over the head by our "B-shirt" over the summer. It seems that some jerk knock-off artist has commandeered our idea to turn a quick buck by producing this piece of shit on a site that claims to have been"effing the ineffable since 1991." Have you been stealing other people's ideas since then too? I'm not bitter. Seriously.

I finally caught Kill Bill Vol. 1 the other night and I must say that for the first time in a long time, I was in agreement (or "agreeance" depending on your level of literacy) with the hype surrounding the film. It was action packed and exciting. I really enjoy the integration of the Japanese anime with the actual film, as well as the turning on and off of the color. It's good to see Tarantino producing good work after this egg that he laid a few years back. I can take a lot of things but when you soil the good name of Pam Grier with a piece of shit like that, you're in hot water with me.


18 noviembre 2003

California Will Break From The Mainland Shortly

Now that he's been sworn in as governor of "Cah-lee-for-knee-ya", please read this important campaign speech that Arnold gave back in August.


14 noviembre 2003

Footloose and Fancy Free

College Holding First Dance in 143 Years

I find this more amusing than anything, but I will never understand it. This is an institution that prohibited watching movies, even off-campus, until the 1960's?? Students and faculty weren't even allowed to dance with their spouses until the 1990's! Granted on my college campus, I don't even allow people to talk to each other, so focused should they be on their studies and reverence to me. However, I don't have an enrollment of 1,200 students, aged 18-21. I only have the one guy, Crazy Jerry. He's like 40 and I'm not even sure he knows that he's attending my college. Different story for a different time.

Hats off to the current Wheaton College administration for seeing the light and allowing the students to frolic like children of the night! Dance, young ones, and thou shalt be merry! For students of Wheaton College, even King David "danced before the Lord, leaping and dancing before the Lord!" (Samuel 2:6)

OK, I swiped that from Footloose.


12 noviembre 2003

Pictures of You

I wasn't too familiar with the work of photographer Diane Arbus until about a month ago when I stumbled across a piece in the New Yorker (Sadly, I cannot supply a link. The New Yorker doesn't give easy access to past issues) reviewing a new bookof her work compiled by Arbus' daughter. The book contains journal entries, photographs never released and other assorted goodies from the apparently endless trove of artifacts that Arbus left behind. The New Yorker's review provieded some details as to the specifics of her life (Arbus commited suicide in 1971 at age 48) and well as some quick analysis of her body of work.

Arbus' dealt mostly with subjects that were untouched by other photographers, mainly the mentally challenged and "freaks" such as transvestites and circus performers, but her camera had a way of exposing the freak in everyone. Her work was naked, in the sense that she could probe your inner thoughts with her camera and bare them for all to see. Norman Mailer once quipped that "giving a camera to Diane Arbus is like giving a hand grenade to a baby." She had a singular talent to make even the most benign subject seem pale and disturbing, as she did one of her well-known works Identical Twins, Roselle, NJ 1967. The picture is simply two young girls, identical twins standing side-by-side. The picture exposes their sameness, at the same time stripping them of their individuality. Two girls with the same dress, the same hair band and the same face.

The Arbus' omnibus of work is set to be displayed in the first new retrospective of the photographer's work in nearly three decades. It will premiere at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art before embarking on a three-year tour of the United States. There's an excellent article in November's Vanity Fair (again, link is not online) detailing the retrospective and giving some background on Arbus' life and work.


07 noviembre 2003

Homeland Insecurity

An article in this month's Vanity Fair is the second I've seen in the last three weeks about the deplorable security conditions at our country's nuclear facilities. Unfortunately, the Vanity Fair piece cannot be accessed online (you'll have to purchase the offensively long issue yourself). Last week's New Yorker will have to be borrowed as well. But both investigative pieces did a remarkable job exposing the shortfalls in security.

Hey Uncle George, there's enriched uranium in this country also. We might want to lock it up, so that bad people can't get to it, like Louie Anderson or something.


NBA: It's Fan-tastic!

The good Señor defers to Bill Simmons of ESPN's Page 2:

"Scott Layden shouldn't just be fired, he should be facing a civil suit filed against him by Knicks fans. Seriously. Shouldn't you be able to sue someone for doing this to your favorite team? Has that ever happened before? At the very least, he should be forced to live in a reality-TV house with Grady Little, Bob Whitsitt, Jim Haslett and Gregg Williams, where they have no electricity, no bathrooms and no food for six weeks."

Well said, Bill. Scott, go fuck yourself.


05 noviembre 2003

My Trip To Puerto Rico, A Diary (Part I)

[Editor's Note: My company sent the entire sales force to Puerto Rico for a conference. I am not a part of the sales force, though I report into its structure. As such, I was extended an invitation (and by "invitation," I mean "ultimatum") to go. Sounds like fun, right? See below.]


10:30 PM – We’re at a sales conference. Nothing like inviting 400 Type-A personalities to a place where the main activities involve alcohol and gambling. I haven’t seen this kind of rush to lose money since I invested in AOL. I mean, what kind of lunatic would put that much money on something that they have no control ov …. THREE KINGS?!? How the fuck did you pull three kings? Hey, lemme borrow $20.


6:30 AM – Did the phone just ring? What the fuck?

6:40 AM – Seriously, what’s up with the phone?

6:50 AM – OK, hello? Wake-up call? Who put this call in? I did? I see. No, no, that’ll be all.

7:30 AM – It’s breakfast time now. Salespeople are too goddamn chipper at this time of day. I’m crying into my Rice Krispies, these guys are slapping each other on the back and talking about their fucking accounts.

9:00 AM – In response to the recently concluded presentation entitled, “Why? Why Not!” I’ve written a one-act play:

“Why? Why Not!” a play in one-act
by Geoff Wolinetz


Why? Why not!

Because I want to jam this fork in my eye.



9:30 AM – Further proof that I have the mentality of a 5-year-old: When speaking of a communications giant in the industry, someone off-handedly said, “Think Cox,” and I had to leave the room because I was laughing so hard.

10:00 AM – Break time

I have to say that the most devastating part of this whole thing is the weather. While we sit in here slowly having the life sucked out of us by the absurd rhetoric of various executives who likely didn’t even write the words they speak, outside the sun soaks the island. The suffocating humidity that greeted us yesterday has, for now, disappeared. San Juan reminds me a lot of Miami visually, which is not a good thing, but out here at this resort with the gorgeous golf course, the neatly manicured palm trees and seductive island women greeting you at every turn, inside is the last place you want to be. Unless, of course, by “inside” you are speaking in thinly veiled sexual metaphor, in which case “inside” is exactly where you want to be.

10:15 AM – The meetings continue. We’ve just finished listening to a man afflicted with voice immodulation disorder ramble through an interminable presentation. I think I heard Hamlet ask him to wrap it up. If I weren’t sure that driving this fork through my hand would cause scarring and permanent nerve damage, I’d have pierced skin a long time ago, mostly for a change of pace. There’s the sound of a train running over the speakers now, presumably as some sort of metaphor for the company and the marketplace’s inability to stop its inevitable ascent to the top. If I could find the tracks, I’d lay down on them.

10:45 AM – Someone just referred to Anderson Cooper as “cool” and I actually fell out of my chair.

11:15 AM –
Person next to me: When did I develop the bladder of an 80-year-old man?
Me: Are you 80?
Person next to me: No.
Me: Then, I’m stumped. But a more pressing issue might be to explore the need you felt to share that with me.

11:25 AM – Oh good. They’re taking questions from the audience. My question: How can men who rise to the top of a profession noted for its need of sharp presentation skills, the ability to engage a client and above all charisma possibly be as boring as you? Holy shit. No, don’t come over here. My hand wasn’t up. I was stretching. Oh, him.

(To Be Continued)


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