6/07/2003

There, among all the other colorful produce, is the Angry Grapefruit.

There are other grapefruits, sure, but none of them have quite the same level of personality.

As you walk by, all the other grapefruits remain yellow, round, and respectfully quiet, but the Angry Grapefruit will tell you just what it thinks.

"Hey fatty," it might say, or, "Hey, ugly," or "How 'bout you go die, you fat ugly...uh..."

Occasionally the Angry Grapefruit will lose its train of thought in the middle of a long tirade of insults and swear words.

"Aw crap," it will say, "I can't think today. I need a smoke." It is not only the Angry Grapefruit, it is also the Smoking Grapefruit, on the occasion where it can convince people to buy it cigarettes.

"Come on," the Angry Grapefruit will say, "Just a pack of Camels. That's like $3.69 with tax." Then, as you walk by, inisting to yourself that you have never bought tobacco products for a fruit and you certainly aren't about to start now, the Angry Grapefruit will scream "Where you headed? You can't spare that? Too big a chunk out of the Food Budget, fatty?"

But you'll buy it anyway, even if you don't like grapefruit. Because let's face it, the Angry Grapefruit has personality.

6/06/2003

Forgive me if this comes out muddled, I can barely see the screen. Was just watching the replay of the MTV Movie Awards, and I think there were two Russian girls screeching an obscenely bad popsong, and I'm fairly certain there were thousands of shameless wannabe actress/dancers dressed as schoolgirls making out, but I honestly couldn't tell you because there was TOO MUCH FUCKING STROBE LIGHT. I was on the ground, thumping and twiching, and I'm not even epileptic. It was bad. It's as if they realized the American public could no longer be shocked, and decided to blind us all instead.

It's true, the American public CAN no longer be shocked. But MTV hasn't gotten the memo yet, which is why this year's Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from one of Christina Aguilera's ovaries. Which one? Call our 800 number now and vote!


Alright, Blogosphere, now we're going to play a little game. It's called "I blather on and on about how you should link my friend Guillermo's blog, and then you link Guillermo's blog. Deal? Deal.

Guillermo lives in what I'll describe here for the sake of you going and looking as a haze of booze and women, although he's trying to cut down on the booze, and fend of the women with whips and chairs. He's like Hemingway with skin pigmentation. Tony Pierce with capitalization. This majestic post features Charles Dickens, drunken old ladies, rancher's daughters, and nostalgia. This one, intoxicated escapades and faded love behind the scenes on a Disney cruise. A good portion of his archives aren't working (thanks, Blogspot) but what is working is worth a read. And if you like what you see, you should link him. I know links are like your special flower: you should only give them away to someone you love, or promises you acting work. But I think you could learn to love Guillermo. Don't you?

While I'm on the begging-for-other-bloggers tip, is Grandma's medication-she-needs-to-live money burning a hole in her pocket? Why not steal it while she's sleeping and give it to Treacher? Like Grandma, he's bone-thin, but his condition is caused by poverty and starvation, as opposed to extremely advanced, logic-defying, downright repulsive old age.

Come on, people. We're all in this Internet together.

6/04/2003

Blargh.

Tengo que hacer un otro "draft" de mi obra de teatro. Que lastima.

Sorry, we were speaking bad Spanish at dinner (not like this house is bilingual, it was just fajita night) and it sort of stuck with me. If you didn't take four years of high school Spanish to reach the pinnacle of linguistic comprehension that I have, I said I have to do another draft of the play, what a shame. And it is a shame, not that I have to do another one, but that I will probably once again put it off until the deadline, and it will both suffer and be bolstered as a result.

Basically, I've gotten into the habit of doing the real meat of my playwrighting in long, caffeine-powered late night binges, more often than not the day before deadline. It's good, because it forces me to do it, and if I didn't have that gun to my head I'd fart around endlessly and produce less-than-stellar work. It doesn't matter if I don't have it all figured out yet, I have to figure it out, hopefully before sunrise. And I do. Problem is, the frantic pace sometimes makes me sloppy, and while the resulting stuff is at least COMPLETED, it's sometimes a little rough around the edges. So it's two sides of a pretentious writerly coin. It's like if you discovered heroin enhanced your creativity. The good news: for whatever reason, it seems to help. The bad: It's HEROIN, dipass.

You can see my concern.


If Pixar were a woman, I would marry it.

If Pixar were a man, it could probably talk me into things I wouldn't normally be down for.

If the Bible were about Pixar, I would follow it religiously. (HA!)

Because you see, the thing about Pixar, that differentiates it from the opposite sex, or all-powerful deities, or life in general, even, is it never disappoints. Five movies they've made, by my count, and every one of them has ranged in quality from great (A Bug's Life) to obscenely wonderful (Monsters, Inc.) And while not every one of them has been my favorite movie in history, you'd be hard-pressed to find more perfect films, both in the technical and the classical sense. They take us places we've never been, they make us care about the characters, they make us "ooh" and "ahh," they make us laugh, and if you're a girly-man like me, they occasionally make you cry.

They could easily fall back on the milquetoast Disney formula, and trust the stunning visuals to keep the audience subdued (Wachowski Brothers, I'm looking at you.) Disney tried that, in fact. The result was called Dinosaur and it was a piss-poor excuse for a movie. Why? Because it has soul. Pixar's like James Brown: It's nutty, it's eccentric, but dammit, it's got soul. (Pixar has not to my knowledge ever gotten fucked up on PCP and threatened people with a shotgun for using its bathroom, but I'd probably forgive it if it had.)

If I were a modern Hollywood actor, I would loathe Pixar. I'd drive by their offices at night with a Mercedes full of molotov cocktails, because they were threatening my career. They manage to create, with a bundle of pixels and elbow grease, a multitude of believable emotions greater than the combined abilities of all the Freddy Prinze Juniors, Paul Walkers, and recently, Ben Afflecks, all of whom can barely muster one (naked desire for a paycheck.)

Finding Nemo raked in 70.2 million dollars this past weekend, and earned every last damn one of them. Compare that to Disney's last animated effort, Treasure Planet, which opened with 12 million bucks and dropped, fast. People trust Pixar to deliver good family films, ones they won't have to praise by saying "At least I didn't want to claw my eyes out!". People trust Pixar to tell a good story, and Pixar delivers. The same can probably no longer be said about Disney, who, Lilo and Stitch being the exception, stopped being about good stories a long time ago.

So, long story short, see Finding Nemo and remember it is that makes movies wonderful, and what miracles can occur when smart people do work they enjoy.

Also...this just can't come out soon enough.

UPDATED: Spanish at the beginning fixed. "Tengo que." Yea, I knew that.

6/02/2003

Do you hang with naked dudes and blog-gods? No. Know why? 'Cause you're not my boy Brian is why. Deal with it. (Archives not working, should be the top post.

6/01/2003

To paraphrase some famous British graffiti: TREACHER IS GOD.
This is almost like Freshman year all over again, staying up all night and on into morning for no good reason, except there is a good reason: Finishing a painful rewrite, fueled by Diet Mountain Dew Code Red and a deadline. Then taking JP to hockey practice at 6:10, which my dad would usually do: There's no reason for more Pierson men to be up at this ungoldy hour than is absolutely necessary.

Aliens cruising at low altitude at 6:00 am on a Sunday morning would conclude that the human race consists solely of old people, old people's dogs, spandex-clad cycle enthusiasts, and guys in white trucks taking their little brothers to hockey practice.

That's where I am right now: the hockey rink, writing on a thick stack of "Hockey Summer Camp" flyers because this table is one of those molded plastic ones with all the holes in it, and the book I brought is too small to use for a writing surface.

I was going to write, in that annoying newspaper-feature-writer kind of way, "Taking the kids to hockey practice on a Sunday morning seems to be largely a paternal obligation," because it was just me and a bunch of dads sipping coffee, leafing through newspapers, until two moms showed up. I'll bet my dad knows all these faces by heart. Poor bastard.

Out there on the ice 27 skates back and forth, side to side, backwards, whatever the drill calls for, better at skating at 12 than I am at walking at 18.

I stole the pen I'm writing with from the table where I got the flyers. It was chained to a plastic box full of sweepstakes entries, I liberated it with every intent of bringing it back, but ten bucks and a night of missed sleep says I won't.

Ooh, a comprehensive drill...They line up at the back, behind the net, then one at a time skate down, pass to one coach, get the puck back, pass to another, get it back, then shoot on their goalie.

27 shoots...misses. Better luck next time, buddy.

This place is pretty Zen at 6:45 like it is now. Just muffled inter-dad conversation, the rustling of pages, coughs, the clattering of pucks we're two sheets of plexiglass away from.

Dig this, if you can: My girlfriend's parents are out of town this weekend and I haven't seen her since Friday, when I dismissed myself from a birthday party to go write. She's staying at her friend's house, which is a block away from our houses. I passed by it last night walking to the store to get Diet Mt. Dew and peanut butter, neither of which I needed desperately at 11:15 PM but I just had to get away from THE PLAY. I walked by on the way back, couldn't remember if the only window available for knocking on was her friend's bedroom. Cursed her lack of a cellphone, then my lack of a cellphone, then walked back home and faced down the Behemoth again.

33 is dangerous, fast, aggressive, and about three feet tall. He and my boy 27 make a hell of a team.

A lot of these kids have whole clans attending practice, three little brothers in giant sweaters accosting the switched-off arcade games. Why not leave them at home? Church after this, maybe? If at mass this morning there's a bunch of kids sitting next to you, one of them giving off the none-too-faint odor of sweaty fungal hockey ass, you'll know where they were earlier.

33 just shouldered a kid a little bit into the boards, he hit 'em and crumpled. There are coaches on this side of the rink now, surrounding the wounded. His dad's waddling out there now, birkenstocks on ice.

They're diving across the ice, now, sliding like penguins. Then push-ups. Suddenly I feel I've never exerted myself to do anything.

Practice ends at 7:30, he'll be changing 'till 7:45. Home at 8, screw the last nuts into place on this damn hell ass third draft of a play succintly titled "Skip," send it off saying I need a 2nd set of eyes to tell me if it's any good because after this long continuously with anything it's like a mouth of thoroughly chewed food, rendered flavorless by familiarity. Type this up, post it 'cause if not now, when? Bed by 9. 9:15 at the latest. Awake at 3 ideologically, 5 realistically. Dinner. Promised Dana and Nicole I'd come to game night, well, didn't promise, but said I would, and on my last day of school an embattled near-retirement wizened old Irish english teacher told me out of the blue in the hallway, "Your word has to be gold, because it's all you have."

27 shoots, scores.