Immortality

I’m sort of playing catch up on some of the post topics for the Post a Day 2011, so I get to pick and choose from some of the topics from before.  I’ve decided to go with the one about immortality, and whether I would want it and why.

"Nah. Sometimes I kinda wanna die."

Immortality is one of those things that sound good on paper, but I’m guessing that like every other “awesome” concept, it sucks out loud.

Beyond the obvious bummer of outliving all my friends, and having to make new ones every lifetime that I live through… not that I couldn’t.  I like to think of myself as a person that meets people pretty easily and is outgoing enough to make transition between relationships.  I think the problem for me would be having to suffer the mourning of those that I grew closest to all the time.  Eventually, I think you’d lock yourself into a cycle of a friend dying, meeting someone new, spending a lot of time and getting to know them and then just waiting around until their funeral.  Though, I’m sure in between you’d have a lot of fun times together.

I think a person would eventually callous over and start greeting friendly people with a cold “Fuck you” and a backhand, rather than a warm “Hello” and a handshake.  Get away from me, you’ll eventually become someone I care for and then have to lose forever.  Of course, that sounds an awful lot like the end of any relationship.  It doesn’t have to be death.  It could be a break-up or a divorce, right?

I lived through a divorce and while I remember the pain of it, I learned a lot about myself during that time.  But having to endure that level of pain on a regular basis would be too much for anyone to bear.

So, I’m going to choose to be happy with what I have and play out the hand I’m dealt.  After all, if the great Carl Brutananadilewski wouldn’t want it, then why would I?

Introducing Myself to Holidailies 2010

Welcome to another year of Holidailies!  You don’t know what Holidailies is?  It’s kind of like NaNoWriMo, but with blogging.  You blog every day for 31 days and hope to make it to the end of the month without missing a day.  I did it in 2006 (8 days before losing the momentum) and 2007 (32 entries in 31 days, and managed a trip to Anaheim in there, too!).  This year, in an attempt to get back on track with blogging, I’m going to write a post every day and hopefully make it to January 7th with at least 31 entries.

I know what you’re thinking: Holy crap, man.  You just won NaNoWriMo with 92,000 words and now you’re going to blog every day?  Are you crazy?  Uh, yes.  Yes, I am.  If you didn’t know that I was already crazy, then you don’t know me as well as you think you do.

For those on Holidailies: Who am I?  Well, I’m nothing more than a simple support engineer trying to make his way into the world of creative writing.  I don’t know if I’ll ever make it, but that’s not going to keep me from trying!  I live in Silicon Valley with my wife and our two cats.  I love baseball to such a degree that it has displaced organized religion in my life; I worship at AT&T Park in San Francisco starting every April and ending most Octobers (except this year! World Series Champions, baby!).  I typically rant and rave about stuff going on in my life, so hang on to your hat if it’s especially blustery. I’ll be sure to mark my posts accordingly.

Anyway, thanks for reading and I hope to read everyone’s posts this year and get to know this awesome community.

On the Writing Front

Before I begin: Look!  New header graphic!  I decided that since I’m restarting things a little bit, I’d spruce up the place with a change in the header.  It’s subdued, isn’t it?  I was going for something a little low-key, in light of the previous graphic, which was white on black, with a pixelated graphic of Jet Black from Cowboy Bebop.  This time, it’s a colorful graphic of the man, leaning against the wall.  Took me forever to do the neon graphic on the right-hand side, though.

Also: Facebook peeps can now auto-connect to this blog, using their login information.  I don’t save any information for commenting.  It’s all handled by the Facebook API.  The only way I save your info is if you register for an account here on the WordPress site.  Oh, and LJ folks will have to come to WordPress to comment, as I have disabled comments on LJ.  I’m trying to drive traffic here to my WP site.  But don’t worry, OpenID is here to save the day!  It’s all good here at jetblack’s place!

Now, on to the original topic of this post…

So most or some of you are aware that I write.  Relative to the beginning of this year, I managed to finish a lingering short story from the previous year (2009), and I’m actually in the middle of another short story I’m submitting to an archive for free, public consumption (ie: I’m not selling it).  It’s a romance piece, written under a pseudonym I will not mention on this blog.  But I wanted to talk about how I’m enjoying this forward momentum and I hope to use that momentum into writing another piece and then one more after that.  After all, one of my new year’s resolutions (see previous post) is to write 10 shorts and 2 novels by my next birthday.

My writing blog has quite a bit of dust covering it, and I’ll be honest… I only use it for the original science-fiction stuff.  But with the current pieces I’m writing, there’s no real outlet for me to detail my progress and kind of keep some sort of openly visible accountability.  Here’s as good as any place, so I’ve installed some progress meters and Works in Progress updates on the sidebar to the left.  I’m using Untitled #55 as a code name for my current paranormal story… because the title isn’t set, yet.  Kind of scary that I have had that many writing projects started (not all of them finished, either) in my untitleds directory.  I’ll write more about why I number the new stories in such a fashion in a later post.  Some of you have already heard it.

If you’re reading this on Livejournal, you’re probably noticing that all of a sudden, I’m posting there.  Well, it’s really because of exposure, but also, I kind of miss connecting with my friends on LJ.  Since I moved off, I haven’t had much in the way of people commenting (and also, I lost my drive to actually post, which precludes commenting in the first place, right?), and I felt like I was shouting into this void with no one listening.  Of course, in the end, it’s more about writing and just thinking out loud sometimes.  So, here I am.

We Live Here Now

Did you know that I’ve never seen all of Studio 60?  This is because toward the end of the season, I wanted to hold off from experiencing the letdown of a series being canceled just as it was getting good.  And this isn’t the first time that I’ve experienced this kind of entertainment pain.  I endured it with Sports Night, although having to endure the abysmal middle of the second season (which I forgave Aaron Sorkin for because he was getting the West Wing off the ground at the same time), I’m dreading getting to What Kind of Day Has it Been for the same reason I dreaded getting to Quo Vadimus [Sports Night’s finale] and Tomorrow [West Wing finale]). Anyone else feel this way?

At least I got seven seasons of the West Wing… well, six and a half, not counting the crappy fifth season post-Sorkin, where John Wells tried to do a stupid-ass meld of ER and West Wing by removing pretty much all the great dramatic themes that Sorkin and Schlamme put together for the first four seasons.  I was kind of hoping to find out that Sorkin would return to the show at some point, especially when they announced that it was going to be the last one…

But, I digress.

I know some don’t really like Studio 60, but there’s more to it than simply being a show-within-a-show.  Sports Night was similar but it wasn’t until they found their groove in the second season that I thought Sports Night could run with a heavy like the West Wing, with the multiple episode arcs and the threat of cancellation (plot, not reality) of the show.  I even liked the parting shot from the guy who buys the network, “If someone can’t make money off of Sports Night, they need to get out of the money-making business.”  Great line.  I miss Natalie and Natalie World.

Studio 60 didn’t really get much of a chance to show us what it could do in the long-term.  I haven’t quite completed the whole season, yet, as I’m slowly making my way back through the episodes I’ve already watched… to kind of try and get back into that mood of buildup, y’know?  I want to savor the very first time I see these episodes so I don’t take it for granted, given that eventually I will reach the end and look back with regret, wishing I could watch them all again for the first time.

Oh well.  I hope this isn’t the last we see of Shoe Money Productions.  I hope we get another opportunity to enjoy Sorkin’s wit on the small screen.

Netflix’ing the Night away…

Like most new toys, one plays with them pretty incessantly upon arrival.  Christmas morning growing up, I think once all the presents were opened, the rest of the day was battle between parent and child, over getting ready for the family dinner and playing with the new toys.  Well shit, folks, you gave me the damned things to play with.  It’s pretty cruel to just say, “Here you go, now put them away and don’t play with them.”  Christ… kick me, too, while you’re at it.

Uh, anyway, Netflix I’ve had for a while now (the new toy), and lately I’ve sort of gotten into a cool cycle here on the graveyard shift at work, where it’s really quiet during the night.  I have DVDs I take with me into work and listen to them in the background while I’m taking care of business.  Recently, I’ve cycled through a couple of gems that I wanted to bring to your attention…

The first is Cashback, a British film starring Bionic Woman’s Michelle Ryan and Harry Potter’s Sean Biggerstaff.  It’s about an art student who suffers from insomnia following the break-up of his relationship and ends up taking a night job at a local supermarket, where he meets a group of varied personalities and an attractive girl named Sharon who’s caught his attention.  I picked it up at a Netflix suggestion, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to take a chance on it, but hey… what the hell, right?  I wasn’t disappointed and thoroughly enjoyed it.

The second is the Academy Award-winning Juno, starring X-Men 3’s Ellen Page as the eponymous protagonist.  A girl has sex with her best friend and it results in her pregnancy.  Since the abortion clinic scared the shit out of her, she decides to keep it and put it up for adoption.  She meets a couple that suits her unborn child’s needs (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner) and befriends them, all the while having to suffer the social inequities of high school life as a pregnant student.  In spite of all that potential morose drama, it was smartly written and the performance of Page as Juno was amazing.  I was laughing my ass off at this movie, because the character of Juno is nothing short of an amalgam of most of the women in my life.  Sharp wit, acerbic sense of humor and blunt force trauma when asking questions.  Not to say that you all are bad, but there were times when Juno spoke that I remarked to myself that she reminded me of Tap or Julia or one of my sisters…  It made the movie more enjoyable, although the ending was a little out there.  Plus, it was an Arrested Development reunion, pretty much, with Michael Cera and Jason Bateman, although they never had a scene together.  And surprise, Allison Janney and Rainn Wilson’s in it, too!  Highly recommended, if you haven’t already seen it.

What’s next on my list?  Since I’m now an Ellen Page fan, next up is Hard Candy.  Check my queue on the sidebar for more information about my list.