Friday, August 26, 2011

You're Welcome Hollywood

On a recent episode of Louie, Louie CK had to pitch a movie idea to a high-powered movie studio executive at an impromptu lunch meeting. He described a film premise where the main character's life starts out crappy and then through a series of poor choices and failed ventures his situation ends up becoming even worse than when the movie started (which apparently is a fairly common theme in independent films ... which also explains why I didn't know that since I'm not exactly a film buff). About half-way through Louie's pitch (it really wasn't a pitch .. more like a "well, I have this idea" thing) I realized that I have a similar movie idea that's been rattling around in my head for a while. I also understand that I will most likely never get an opportunity to actually pitch this idea to anyone who would be in a position to green light it so I figured I'd tell all you fine folks. Not to say that you are not all high-powered executives of your own fucking amazing lives or whatever but, well, you probably don't run a movie studio right? Or do you? Holy shit you've done well for yourself.

Here goes ... now please keep in mind that this is just an outline. I don't have all the details fleshed out yet:

The movie starts with a guy on his lunch hour in the city (maybe Boston? New York?). He's sitting on a stone wall that surrounds a water fountain, eating what appears to be a reuben sandwich. It's clearly difficult for him to keep it from becoming a big mess. He eventually gets some on his shirt and in a spastic move to avoid getting some on his pants he accidentally flings his cell phone into the fountain. He then has to take his shoes and socks off, roll up his pants and wade into the fountain to retrieve his phone. He gets it back and it seems to still be working until he tries to actually use it and it dies. He wades back over to where he left his shoes and socks and they are gone. Someone stole them.

He then has to walk back into the office building barefooted. Maybe he gets some static from the security guard about having no shoes on? I dunno...I'm spitballin' here. Eventually they let him in and he gets back to his sad, grey cube where he has a spare pair of socks and his running shoes. He goes to a big meeting with his boss. There is an opportunity for him to take ownership of a major project that the would have lots of visibility and would probably mean a promotion if he were successful. He balks at the chance and one of his co-workers (whom he trained maybe?) steps up and takes the reins. We see the boss looking disappointed and somewhat irritated that our guy did not take on the project. After the meeting, the boss takes him aside to tell him that he's concerned that our guy is not committed to the job and maybe he should re-evaluate whether or not he wants to work at this firm. As the boss is talking, he notices the sneakers the guy is wearing and just walks away from him in mid-sentence.

Our guy starts to make his way home and as he does, the camera pans up and we see what appears to be the silhouette of an angel sitting on the edge of the office building where our guy works (ok, that's cheesy and a bit of a rip off...needs work). The angel seems to be upset that the situation for our guy is going so poorly. We then get to review the office scene again from his perspective and we see that he influenced our guy to not take the lead role on the big project. The angel is so convincing in his efforts to make sure the guy does not work on the project that when the guy opts out, it is a choice that he feels really strongly about. When the choice turns out to be the wrong one (again), both he and the angel are genuinely stunned by this.

The angel sees the guy leaving for home and decides to let him go alone and meets up with his other guardian angel friends in a shitty dive bar in a bad part of the city. The bar itself if dark and dirty and there are a number of angels milling about and sitting either at tables or the bar. The angel sees a friend of his at the bar and makes his way over to him. He orders up a whiskey and his friend asks him what's going on. He mentions the guy from this morning (whom he calls a "client") and how the path that he lead this client to turned out to be the bad choice. He looks really bothered by this. His friend says "Well, yeah. I mean, that's what you do right?" The friend then goes on to reveal that they are not guardian angels at all but are, in fact, demons who's sole purpose is to ruin people's lives. "As a matter of fact, you're like the best demon in our whole organization!", the other demon tells him. "Your clients are by far the most miserable failures in this sector. You totally dominate the client's actual guardian angels that you've effectively rendered them useless." There could be a discussion on quotas and how his numbers are better than every other demon...again, needs work here.

The former self-described angel, now fully realized demon, is crushed by this news. His friend simply thought he was stating the obvious and didn't understand that this demon believed he was doing good. Our demon excuses himself, assuring his friend that's he's fine and that he just needs to go out for a walk. He walks around the city reflecting on his past clients and how every last one of them over the years has become a complete failure (perhaps some of them even becoming criminals or worse). He gets really depressed and decides to not go into work for a couple of days (side note: maybe we then get to see some of his clients' lives improving as they start to make better decisions?) while he tries to get his head around this new notion of being evil.

This is where I lose my train of thought: What direction to go? Does the angel/demon character then try to redeem himself and truly try to become "good"? He could then struggle to go against his own base instincts (à la George Costanza in that Seinfeld episode where he does the opposite of whatever he normally would do) and in the process of doing that, alienate his fellow demons to the point of getting exiled. But unfortunately, even though he's "reformed" and is now doing "good", the guardian angels reject him based on his past (I mean, he was their sworn enemy for eons). Because he is not part of either the angels or the demons (sounds like 1960's street gang names), he becomes lost and broken. He is stripped of his powers and becomes a mortal man with no knowledge of his history and is then assigned a guardian angel and a demon (perhaps his old friend from the bar? And maybe this is considered a punishment by the other demons because technically he was responsible for them losing their best employee?). 


He then embraces the fact that he is evil and totally ramps up his game. Maybe he becomes such a workaholic (I hate that term by the way...why is "aholic" used as a suffix to describe obsessive behavior?), rising through the demon ranks to become the head demon for all of the northeast territory. I don't know why I have this vision of them breaking up all the client people that they have to watch over into quadrants or whatever. I just see them as salesmen y'know? Like their whole job is to "sell" the choices that people are presented with on a daily basis. The angels are selling the "right" choices and the demons the "bad" choices. And the better they are at this, the more people or "clients" they get assigned to them. Am I blathering again? Sorry.

So, yeah, I don't have an ending and the 2nd act is pretty weak at the moment but like I stated earlier, this is only a draft outline. The gist is there I think. The concept is fairly straightforward but I just don't know all the details yet. Uh...that's my idea in a nutshell. Whattaya think? Vote below! Hooray! Voting with no real outcome!

Would You Watch That Movie? free polls 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Guest Blogger: Oliver the Cat

This post is going to be a little different. Oliver, the boy cat in our house has a wealth of knowledge about living in the modern world as a housecat and he has asked to address the world (or at least the 3 people who read this). I wasn't on board with the idea but he promised a cease fire on the daily hairball bombings for the near future if he could do this. That's a pretty sweet deal if you ask me and you didn't. And so without further ado, I present the hacky premise of a cat blogging about cat stuff:

Oliver's House Cat Survival Tips

Barfing: One should barf only in convenient places. If you happen to be sitting on the couch when the urge to hurl comes on, it will take far too much effort to run downstairs and "deposit the item" shall we say, in one of the lovely piddle palaces that the people have provided. Why not just barf right there? It's a pretty big couch so you do not have to worry about ruining a favorite place to sleep. Only one small area will be affected and the people will certainly clean it up once they get home. Just pretend you have no idea what's going on if they seem upset at you.

Scratching: It really feels wonderful to come out of one of your multiple naps, arch your back while stretching out exaggeratedly and then get a really good scratch going on a lovely, textured surface. The people have insisted that this activity should only be carried out on the S-shaped scratching post thingie in the living room. Now this surface is quite wonderful and I must admit it is a pleasure to use but again, it becomes a question of convenience. As a cat, one cannot be expected to have to commute to the "designated scratching area" just to satisfy the humans when the intoxicating, delicious urge to scratch on something is swimming all through your head and clouding your thoughts. What if you find yourself upstairs? Are you just supposed to ignore all those record albums sitting there on the bottom shelf? I mean why else did they put them there if they didn't want you to use them? What of that bass amp? Wouldn't it be better to use it for something as noble as a scratching post rather than just let it sit there idly for years? It has this fantastic black felty stuff on it that I must say hits the pads on my paws juuuuust right when I tear into it. And I can't say enough about the area rugs. There is one in the kitchen that gets all my bullet points. I highly recommend it.

Fur and its many uses: Fur is amazing stuff. It keeps us warm, it looks sweet, you can shed any extra at will, and it fuels the barfing that we all enjoy so much. The shedding part is one of my favorites. I like to leave deposits on the stairs that lead from the first to the second floor. I especially like to do this after the human has just swept the stairs clean. It's hilarious. Also, rolling around on furniture and rugs will help slough off a whole shit-ton of fur onto said surfaces. Again, I recommend doing this after the fat one has put away the loud sucking machine with the tiny wheels. Fur can be used to mess up the people's clothes too. The most effective strategy for this ploy is to wait until they are ready to leave for the day (I have often wondered where do they go? Why don't they just stay here with us and nap in the sunlight all day? They are silly), and then rub up against their legs. I believe they think I'm just being affectionate or something so it works like a charm every time. Oh! I almost forgot to mention the fact that fur can absorb smells really efficiently. What I like to do is to hang out all day in the musty basement and then later, when the people are asleep, I walk across their faces. Oh man! That NEVER gets old.

Constant vigilance: This is critical. As a cat you are under nearly ceaseless threats of death from all sides. These emergencies can come at any time from any place. I cannot stress this point enough. ANYTHING can kill you instantly no matter how harmless it may seem. Luckily we have been blessed with excellent hearing which is one of the best early-warning systems one can have. Here is a short list of sounds that WILL foreshadow your death. When you hear these sounds you must bolt immediately out of the room and hide either in the basement or under the bed in the large room upstairs. These are the only safe places in the house.

  • The doorbell
  • A sneeze
  • A car door closing
  • The garbage disposal
  • Any human's voice other than the two that feed us

This is not by any means a complete list and it may be advisable to become nervous and tense at the slightest sound or perceived threat. When you hear these sounds you must react and not think. You must be ready at any second to launch yourself into the air and skitter away like a lunatic. There can be no hesitation. You must be steadfast in your determination to escape. I recommend practice runs at random intervals during the day to keep your reflexes sharp. Remember, the thing can't get you if you hiss and growl loud enough.

Humans: Look, I don't like to admit it any more than you do but they seem to be necessary to have in one's life. They provide food, water and maintenance of the poopy boxes and bonus! they can be very comfortable to sleep on and/or against. The biggest complaints I hear most often is that they are quite loud (I mean they have no respect for a cat trying to get a nap in after being awake for nearly an hour) and that they always want to touch the fur that you just groomed. What's up with that anyway? I JUST fixed that side of my coat and here comes Chubby with his sausage fingers to mess it all up again. Soooo frustrating (Incidentally, by what names do you call your humans? Ah, I guess it doesn't really matter does it? They never come when you call them anyway). What I have determined is that one can keep the humans quite happy with minimal effort. Here's a few things you can do to entertain your human that won't cause you to lose respect for yourself:

  1. Play fetch for a bit with them using a favorite toy and then abandon the practice completely. This will keep them confused and may even have them buy you other toys in a sad attempt to recreate that "special moment" you both shared. Refuse to play with all of the toys when the human is around and then shove them all under the refrigerator when no one is looking.
  2. "Adopt" a sock (or dish towel) as a representative of either a fresh kill or perhaps an imaginary baby kitten. This one is a classic that never fails to get the humans to either feel sad for you or completely charmed. Simply go to the laundry basket grab an item and walk around with it in your mouth while making loud vocalizations. You might get the human to pet you sympathetically in hopes of soothing your long-suppressed "animal instincts". The humans have weird guilt about "forcing" us to stay in the house for our entire lives. I'm pretty sure that's what's going on. Use this opportunity to shed on them.
  3. Lick them. I know, that sounds gross but stay with me on this one. I'm telling you, cat to cat, humans taste great. I can't speak to actually eating one or even taking a chunk out of their arms but the surface of their skin is just the right amount of salty. Seriously, try it. Tonight when you are using them as a pillow, give their arm a couple of quick licks and see if you don't love it. What I like to do is to wait until they are about to fall asleep and then I crawl up and lick the tender inside of their arms. If they're sleepy enough you can get a few minutes in before they get all fussy and roll over. No problem. Most likely they've exposed a leg or something else that you can lick. Thank me later.

That's some of the helpful survival tips you need to know in order to live a long and nap-filled life with your human pets. These are certainly not all the things you will need to master but I simply do not have the time to list all of my feline knowledge here on this pathetic website. I hope to return as a guest blogger from time to time and maybe answer questions from the readers. If you do have a question for me, Oliver the House Cat, please leave them below in the comments area and I will do my bestest to answer them next time. Right now I gotta jet cuz I just noticed that the sun has moved onto the dining room table and god I love sleeping on so-called forbidden places. Peace out.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Need a Little Tenderness

I know that I'm a cranky person, hell, I even put it right in the "About Me" thingie on this site. I am the opposite of a people person. I'm not actively looking to complain about my fellow humans, it's just that I happen to notice that most people (I said "most" ok? I wanted to say "all" but I held back) are self-absorbed, selfish jackasses who live in a bubble of their own making. And this is coming from a guy who has a blog where I write about me me me me me. I'm also a hypocrite so I think we can agree that it works out awesomely.

This morning I was witness to some behaviors that technically aren't a large affront but I think they are symptomatic of a much larger problem within our society. People are super rude and forget that there are other people around who may not want to deal with them. I had gone up to the cafeteria (Cafe Fail) and grabbed an orange juice (dunno why but I had a major craving for orange juice with all kinds of pulpy goodness this morning). I paid for m'juice and then went over to the elevators and pressed the button to go back down to the 1st floor. I was waiting for the elevator to come when some guy came up and stood next to me. He then proceeded to hit the down button (we are on the top floor of a 4-story building). Hey dick? Yea, see how that button is all lit up and shit? That means that I've already hit said button to call the elevator. I know I look dumb and all but I'm pretty sure I did it correctly. Your tapping it again isn't going to make it come any quicker. That's Strike One. The elevator finally came and we filed on. I hit the 1st floor button and settled back into the "don't talk to me" stance (for me that's basically any stance). He leans over and hits the 3rd floor button. Hey dick? You're going down ONE floor? Unacceptable. That's Strike Two.

He must have either noticed that I was irritated by his singular floor ride or perhaps he just felt guilty (both options are unlikely) so he said, "I really tweaked my knee playing basketball" to me. Hey dick? I don't care. Don't talk to me. Can you not see my personal barrier? It's pretty obvious I'm not a chatter. Keep your banter to yourself 'kay? 'Kay. I'm-a-gonna let that one slide though and let you go with a warning. And then, not quite content with the now 2.5 offenses that I have silently charged him with he decides to up the ante by opening up his breakfast sandwich and taking a HUGE slobbering bite out of it. It sounded like this: krinkle krinkle krinkle..."mmmfff CHOMP! scmuSNNmmffPHH! smack! smack! smack!" Holy shit dude. You do realize that you are only going to be on this elevator for like 15-20 seconds right? You couldn't fucking hold off on tearing into that egg and sausage shitstorm for less than half a minute? No? Awesome. Thanks for letting me hear you chew. All this before 8 am too. Lucky me.

The doors open and he slowly wanders out onto his floor while taking yet another huge bite from his sandwich. Holy fuck. Did he even get to swallow the first bite yet? Gah! The elevator doors closed and I was left to go down the remainder of the floors with the stink of his breakfast hanging in the air threatening to permeate my clothes. I looked over and there was a glob of melted cheese and a halo of bread crumbs where he was standing. "God, it stinks in here," I thought to myself as the elevator arrived at my floor. The doors opened and of course there was like three people standing RIGHT IN FRONT of the door as if there was absolutely no way that there could possibly be another person on the planet who might just happen to want to get the fuck off the elevator. I mean, c'mon people. Fucking spread out and let me pass. My only consolation was the knowledge that they are now standing in that guy's sandwich funk. I don't even care if they suspect that it was me. Ok, I care a little.