Thursday, September 30, 2010

Le Fonz

Listening to a Henry Winkler interview while I do my French translation homework. Got an A- on my first ever professional writing assignment. Still have to wash a pair of underwear tonight so that I can have something clean for tomorrow. All my clothes are dirty but I am going back to Cape Cod this weekend for my Grandfather's funeral so it is a good time to do the laundry for free. The workload for my classes is getting increasingly worse and will probably be that way for the next ten weeks (which is really all I have left!). Haven't been able to do much writing (i.e. novel writing) but have done a little bit of animation for my short film (a lot less easier to do when I have my free time). The following is an exert from the novel I am working on. Just thought I would post it because, I don't know...might as well, right?
It was the first night in a long time that the air felt cool and uneasy sort of like it is on Halloween night, just not as cold. When I was little on Halloween I would make my mom drive me to school in the morning so I didn’t have to sit on the bus. A few of the bigger kids would always wear these terrifying masks and costumes. The kind that hide your eyes and smell of cheap sour plastic.
“When are you going to get Will Brautigan’s office?” I asked.
“In due time. You do know that he lives in that office with his baby right? I asked Tom about it and he said that Will makes all the counselors park at the other end of the parking lot so they don’t disturb the baby when they get back. One false move in the dark and I’m a goner. Pee makes a very distinct sound. And once that stream starts, it doesn’t stop.”
“When are you going to get another chance? Tomorrow is our last night and then Friday you’ll be too busy to pull off something like this.”
Corey stood pensively staring off into blank space, stroking his imaginary beard.
“You’ll have to move quick though. You don’t have much time.” I pulled my cell phone out from my pocket to check the clock. I pressed the red hang up button and the light from the phone illuminated my face. “Harvey will be back on boys’ side within the next five minutes or so.”
“Okay. Here’s what I’m going to do. I‘m going to try and pee on the side of the office closest to the entrance and Splinter Cell my way back before the last drop falls on the vinyl siding. Wish me luck.” Corey sprinted to the nearby fence and sprawled himself across it, sidling along the wooden planks before he broke into a run and disappeared into the night.
David and I stood in silence for a moment, watching the darkness that had swallowed Corey up in one swift and soundless gulp. The spotlight behind us made our shadows stretch far along the dirt path. David was the first to break the silence.
“And so our young Corey becomes one with nature, following the will of the wolves that have come before him. He will expel a warning from his loins, echoing a new age. Man shall make his mark on every house and let the wilderness know full well that this is no place for her. This camp is-”
A sharp screech interrupted David. The crickets stopped chirping. Immediately another loud cry filled the air, lifting goose bumps from my skin. A thump and a hard thud followed. It was coming from the staff laundry room. One last wail traveled out from behind the screen windows of the wooden shack. It sounded like a woman maybe but I couldn’t be sure. I looked over at David, his gaze firmly transfixed towards the flickering light above the door of the building. A clank sounded. Metal against metal. A door opened on the other side of the building. And then footsteps. They were loud at first but softened as they traveled farther away.
“Whuh…?” I started to mumble something but couldn’t find the words.
“I don’t know.” David whispered. “I don’t know.”
He took individual steps. Slowly. One after another. I found myself following his tracks. The air was still. My body was chattering.

Speak Easy,

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Films and that

Not last night but the night before I woke up to a very pungent and horrible lingering outside my door and subsequently under the cracks of my door and in my room. This was 3 in the morning. I lost sleep because my flatmates room smelled so bad. I tried to wrap my head in an unwashed sweater to drown out the smell but that didn't work. Woke up yesterday morning to go to the rest room and nearly threw up. Lev and I went to the building supervisor after trying to knock on the guys door a few times. The supervisor came up with us and banged on his door. Eventually he responded and said that he had thrown up a few times and had neglected to clean it up because he was sick. I'm not sure what the problem is because he wasn't acting sick at all a little while later when he did come out of his room. He remarked that he didn't realize how bad it smelled and that someone should have febreezed a little bit. It's not bad anymore though. I actually got back from class this afternoon and was glad that my eyes didn't itch from the smell of the apartment. Internet works fine too. It took them almost a week to realize that we were set up with a bad hub. Way to go OIT.

Got inspired to work on an animated short film. I don't know if I talked about it on the blog or not but it's sort of a mix between this, this, this, and this. It focuses on different films and how they sort of weave into what's going on in your life. Like how I consider Batman Begins to be an important film but only because I saw it with my friend Paul before he went off to the Marines for the first time. The one I am doing chronicles about a span of ten years and really doesn't even scratch the surface of what I would like to do with it if I were to make more. There is a complete first draft but I have only sent it to my little brother.

I'm doing a little stop animation with it too. Trying to get the feel of something from the mid-90's. Like that Clerks-style grainy black and white high contrast production that stopped as soon as film when digital. Very little animation and more squiggly Dr. Katz stuff so that I can actually finish it (animated short films take a looooooong time to produce if you have to completely redraw the object in a different position every single frame).

Speak Easy,

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Fifth Sense

One of my flatmates is peeing in jars in his room and won't come out during the day. The only times he does leave his room are around 3 of 4 in the morning. Saw him twice in the last week. The smell is overwhelming when you enter our apartment. First it started as a sort of faint hamster cage smell which evolved into what I imagine a ferret nest smells like. It's gross. We have tried to complain to our RA and our building advisor. Also my internet doesn't work to well. Hopefully OIT will sort that out in the next few days. Until then, Beowulf.

Speak Easy,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Some photos I dumped off my phone.

Actually got the chance to sit in on a game of Dungeons and Dragons this summer. I wouldn't mind having a weekly campaign to look forward to but alas the group that invited me to play is miles upon miles away so for now I'll have to wait.

The other day I cut my finger on the lid to a Fanta bottle. It bled for about 10 minutes. Did you know Coke invented Fanta to appease the Nazi's? Not only did they want to incinerate all the Jews but they also strived to have their own soft drink. I suppose 1 out of 2 ain't too bad.

Last week UMass got a bunch of people together to make the worlds longest California roll. I don't know if they actually succeeded but I did hear that they had so much sushi left over, they didn't know what to do with it. Pretty pointless if you ask me. I was there for about half an hour but left because they wouldn't stop playing California Girls by The Beach Boys (hideously redone to be sushi themes - "I wish we could all eat California Rolls.").

Had my first successful week of Technical Writing class. I'm not too bad at it either.

Speak easy,

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Trying to figure out if I'm going over a speed bump or a cliff. They both feel the same with a blindfold on.

Here's an exert from the book I'm working on right now...

Sean was sitting at the bench with Corey. They were in the middle of a conversation about Aquaman and whether or not he had any sort of political ties with Poseidon, which quickly turned into a conversation about whether or not it would be considered bestiality if Aquaman were to have his way with a mermaid. More specifically Ariel from The Little Mermaid. It was still early, around 8:30 in the morning so only a few of the day campers had been dropped off. I was sitting at the end of the bench looking at the note that I’d found at the overnight sight. A lot of the symbols looked like letters from the Alphabet but even with that information most of it didn’t make any sense.
“She’s got the intelligence of a human. She talks like a human. She wears that sea shell brassier. You think that thing’s covering up fish breasts? I don’t think so.” Corey said.
“Dolphins are one of the most intelligent beings on the planet but that doesn’t make it alright to fuck a dolphin. And believe me, people do. Just look it up on the internet.”
“Mermaids, though. I know that they’re not the same as humans but they are still pretty close sans the tail. Did people say Spock was the product of bestiality? No, no one ever said that. His father was a Vulcan, his mother was an Earthling.”
“That’s more of a race issue.”
Everyday Sean either wore a pair of worn-out black Crocs or shoes with old gray socks hiked high half way up to his knees. His shirts, always loose and wrinkled like how peoples’ skin gets once they’re old enough to get the early bird special at Ruby Tuesdays. Corey was sporting his ‘Got Capitalism?’ shirt and a fairly unkempt head of thick black hair hanging just above his eyebrows. Deacon had left his clipboard nearby so I picked it up and wrote Deacon smells! across the top of it, dotting the exclamation point with a heart.
“What do you think Tsuf? I’d like to get your input. Talk some sense into our good friend Sean over here.”
I put Deacon’s clipboard back where I’d found it.
“I don’t know. I guess if they like each other then-”
“Oh. My dear sweet young Tsuf. This is not a matter of affection. It is a matter of biology and sociology.”
“Besides, Aquaman shouldn’t be falling in love anyway. He’s got a whole ocean to protect from Black Manta and Kordax. A guy like him with no secret identity shouldn’t be making a love nest outside the hallowed walls of Atlantis. Save the heartbreak for Spiderman.”
“Well, I don’t know much about Aquaman but I have seen The Little Mermaid like a hundred times. In the movie she started as a mermaid and really wanted to be with that guy Eric-” I said.
“Right. Typical female behavior. Falling head over heels for the handsome rich athletic type without even taking the time to get to know him.”
“Head over heels, Corey? Head over fin is more like it.” Sean snickered. Corey rolled his eyes.
“God, would you guys let me finish one freaking sentence?” I smiled. “So she knows she has a chance with him if she becomes human. She chooses a side and deals with the consequences.”
“That hardly supports either thesis. The question at hand: is it bestiality?”
“Bestiality? Yes if she’s part fish. No if she uses dark octopus sea magic to get legs so she can be fully human.” I said
“The parts need to line up too. Love is easy…Anatomy is difficult. They touched on the subject in an episode of Futurama.”
“Is Aquaman even human?” I asked.
“You know, she has a point.”
Corey shook his head. “That doesn’t change anything. I stand by my argument.”

Monday, September 13, 2010

s.u.p.e.r. h.e.r.o.

We made super hero masks in Arts & Crafts this summer. Here is a picture of my favorite.

Actually cleaned my room today. My procrastination has been getting the best of me. I've lived here for over a week and didn't actually officially unpack and put away all of my stuff until this afternoon. Finished watching Breaking Bad for the season and now I'm catching up on The United States of Tara. Both top notch shows. Been writing a bit towards my manuscript and might post some on the blog at some point. If not, you could ask. Always looking for insight and criticism from people I trust. I am trying to flesh out this short story I wrote last semester "Tsuf and the Two Rabbits" into a novel maybe. Got to go. Jim is outside my building.

Speak easy,

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I can give you a hard time whenever I want.

A little girl drew this picture for my room-mate. He hung it up in our cabin.

Just finished getting my classes sorted out for the semester. I reluctantly had to drop a course in Science Fiction in order to make way for an upper level English course. Almost signed up for creative writing but decided to go with professional writing instead. The whole concept of forcing myself to write something for a grade and then having that critiqued and judged by a bunch of my peers kind of freaks me out. I'll let people read my work but I'd rather keep it out of the classroom.

I have two new flatmates this semester. They're both pretty cool guys but one of them hasn't really left his room at all in the five days that we've lived here. I've actually only talked to him twice. Once on move in day and the other when he came to my room to ask if I could hear his computer speakers from my room. Yesterday the outside of his room kind of smelled of urine and I was afraid that maybe he had died or something. A few hours later we heard him playing some war themed video game so I guess he's all right. I'm convinced that he pees in a container in his room because I am right across the hall from the restroom and I never see him use it.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

We can try to predict the weather but can't make any promises

Staff Board for Camp Farley 2010 conceived, drawn and painted primarily by Neil Everett Johnson and Taylor Rose Marvin.

Hurricane Earl was nothing. It was all hype. Nothing more than a Glenn Beck hissy fit.

My grandfather is at some local Hospice care center and most of my family is there with him. We are visiting in shifts for now so at the moment I have some time to my self to pack for school and what not. Tomorrow I move in and come December I should be all done with college (knock on wood). From there I will get a temporary job then another summer at overnight camp and then find a job more permanent.

I turned 23 this summer. It seems to me that by your mid-20s you should probably have your priorities together and have a good solid plan for the future but at the same time the whole [college>marriage>family] seems so 1950's post World War II America. I think that the 90's slacker era has paved the way for a little more wiggle room for those in Generation Y (which I think is what they are calling it). After college and before settling down I think I should be able to pull of some kind of lazy professional lifestyle until I decide to put down a mortgage and get a basement and a dog and a family health care package. I think it is a reasonable expectation for someone who is ready to start paying back their student loans but not quite ready to use their degree to its full potential.

Here are some songs I've been listening to this summer...
Foxy Shazam - Oh Lord

Some stuff I've watched recently...
American Movie (Saw it years ago but worth seeing again)
Inception (Slow at times and a little more action for the sake of action than I am used to but still a really cool and thought provoking film none the less. Also, movie theaters are way colder in the summer than they should be. Turn down the air conditioning and charge less!)
Scott Pilgrim vs The World (One of the coolest movies I've seen since I can remember but definitely not for everyone. Worth seeing if you are a male between the ages of 15 and 26 who enjoys video games, indie rock music and possibly comic books)
An Education (Meant to see this when it came out but didn't end up watching it until I got really sick. Not the best movie I've ever seen but still pretty solid.)
The Invention of Lying (Some good jokes but too preachy for it's own good with little to no payoff. If you want a Ricky Gervais film, watch Cemetery Junction. It's ten times better.)

Speak easy,

Thursday, September 2, 2010


It's been a long summer. Lot's of fun but lot's of stress as well. Part of it has to do with the fact that summer camp does not allow for a lot of free time. Sometimes you just need a few hours to sit around by yourself and drink some coffee and watch a movie. Haven't had any time to write but definitely stockpiled a lot to write about. Should be going back to Amherst on Sunday where I'll be movie into North D, the most posh dorms on campus. I recorded a few demos including the song I posted on my last blog entry. Will probably host them on myspace when I get my laptop hooked up to the internet.

Speak easy,