Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kids Aren't All Right

Some of these "test responses" are funny, a bunch of them are totally fake. Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Patrice O'Neal Has a Posse

Patrice O'Neal
December 7, 1969 - November 28, 2011

Patrice O'Neal has a posse.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Importance of Being Hungry

The popular notion is that it's good to be hungry. In life, in careers. When you're hungry, you really want it. You really need it. Being hungry means you're determined to do whatever you need to do to eat.

I would humbly suggest that the danger is when hunger crosses over to famine and resignation. Desperation doesn't always yield the best work or results. Sometimes, hunger is just another obstacle to overcome.

The old man called on Thanksgiving, wanted me to come visit him in Maine for Christmas. Some of you know, I haven't seen him since 2003. And he's invited me up there just about every year and I have not taken him up on it. I've done the trip maybe twice before and it's just completely fucking unpleasant. It's crazy awkward. I don't enjoy it. I guess he enjoys it on some father level but even he has got to understand that it is super fucking awkward... but no, he doesn't. He doesn't get it in the slightest. He doesn't get that we don't have a relationship. He doesn't get how different I am from the person he failed to raise. I've become what I am in spite of him.

People will say, "Oh, but it's your father..." These people don't get it. And I feel pity for him now but I feel less pity when I reflect upon all the shit I dealt with growing up in that household. With those people. And yes, I'll include the lot of them. The entire dysfunctional family circus.

If the career were on a firmer stretch of road right now, I might consider seeing the old man again. That's the thing: I don't want to see him if I haven't got my shit together. He does not offer comfort. If you've got problems, he will make you feel worse. If you're doing well, he will still make you feel worse. What is the fucking point aside from some guilty sense of filial duty?

Sometimes I feel completely cold-blooded. I've become what I've needed to become. This did not happen overnight.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Magnificent Stanley Kubrick Interview

I find Kubrick utterly fascinating. These videos feature random picture slideshows from his entire career but this is all about listening to Kubrick talk.
On November 27, 1966, two years before the release of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Jeremy Bernstein of Look Magazine interviews Stanley Kubrick as he talks about how he started and how he works.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey Burster Day

Hope your cooking goes smoothly today. Incidentally, my product's 99% pure but I'm *certain* that your 96% batch will be good enough. (I'm being sarcastic: it won't.)


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Turkey Burster Eve

Oh, the day before Thanksgiving. You office-workers getting out early today? The simple joys of the 9-5, I do miss these. Seriously.

Meeting with the indie film production exec went well Tuesday eve. Folks behind THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT. People want to work with me, it's all about *matching* with the right project. I had zero expectations going in because it was a general meeting, but it was actually pretty cool.

Some ingredients-gathering and cooking prep to do in anticipation of t-day...

It's a holiday week. Nobody is reading this. I spent way too much time making this stupid animated gif. Maybe I'll repost it tomorrow just to be cheap.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Death Prone

What's 'great' is waking up sick and feeling that *impact* -- the full impact of your body's betrayal.

I Am Malice's Mucus-Filled Lungs. I exist primarily to offer Malice a preview of death.

And then there's the arduous process of trying to pull yourself together so that you can step out the door and get on with your day.

Could be the drugs I'm taking (crack and crystal meth) but I'm really starting to lose it. Hope that I'm feeling a bit more myself by Halloween Thanksgiving. I get to do a little cooking for the holiday. I've missed cooking for other people. There's something... comforting there.

If I die this week... avenge me.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Postcards from the Far Side

After a few days of denial, I am officially, legitimately under the weather. Entering extreme detox mode a few days before Thanksgiving. Not cool.

Sorry I've been away from all this. I've been tied up and preoccupied.

Some randomness. I had a strange dream last night, which is to say that all I ever have are strange dreams lately. Can't remember most of it anymore. Just fragments. In one bit, I met up with my college buddy Nick Gaffney in the city. He made some joke about how he was in the city because his old Washington Square News editor called him up and wanted him to cover the Occupy Wall Street protests. (That wasn't even the joke; it wasn't about Occupy Wall Street, I can't recall what he said he was asked to cover... I think it probably involved whatever the hell the dream concerned.)

I'm supposed to have a "general meet" with a producer at a film production company tomorrow night. I might have to load up on over-the-counter drugs. General Meets are a bit of a drag ("Hi, how are you doing?, what's your deal?, nice to meet you, bye!) , but at least this one's in person. Not that I'm currently in the best state to meet in person but you know... it's better than the phone thing.

You ever notice, people generally feel more open about talking about their hard times when it's in the past tense. Celebrities will talk about addictions and arrests and infidelities when all those things are behind them. Once they've bounced back from far side and are on the rise again. Along those lines, one day I will write about everything I've been dealing with right now. One day, when the world's a little more sorted out.

I hate that it's already Thanksgiving this week...

Hey, movie-fans. An interesting profile of adult film star James Deen. (On what it's like to be one of the handful of guys working in modern heterosexual pornography; basically, the men are referred to as "props".)

More soon.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Damn Skippy I'm With It!

Friday, November 11, 2011

All Elevens: Part 2

11:11:11 PM

All Elevens: Part 1

11:11:11 AM

Thursday, November 10, 2011

"The Lo Mein Incident?"

I have an obsession with things I loved from childhood. Part of it is wanting to remember what excited me as a child. Before I became tired and old and jaded. Remembering things I was passionate about as a child helps to inform what I do as an adult.

Do you have a favorite dish from childhood that you haven't been able to find or replicate in the years since? For one reason or another, I had this discussion with a few different friends over the past few weeks.

For me, it's this very specific Chinese fast-food Lo Mein. Yes, NYC has an embarrassment of quickie Chinese joints, and high end Chinese joints, and everything in between... but there was a unique balance to this version of the Chinese fast-food staple that I have not been able to find everywhere. The egg noodles weren't too thick. The sauce wasn't too overbearing. All the other usual components—pork, cabbage, onions, carrots—fell in line just right. Words fail me slightly in trying to describe this dish but it was simply perfect to my child palate. It introduced me to Lo Mein and all other versions I've had since—no matter how technically "superior"—have paled in comparison.

In the early 80s, when my family lived in the boondocks of Brooklyn ("Starrett City"), we used to go to the Kings Plaza Mall...

Back then, they had little moving window displays beneath the escalators—whimsical scenes, like the kind people line up to see at the 34th Street MACY*S around the holidays. There was an Orange Julius and a little place that served sweet crepes. And an arcade where Kung-Fu Master became an instant sensation. This was before malls became completely homogenized. No food court. Eateries were scattershot all over the place. This is where my sister and I were introduced to "Chinese food". At this cheap little joint right next to the arcade.

It was always the same. My sis ordered the Egg Foo Young (a monstrous-looking abomination that I steered clear of) and I ordered the Lo Mein. It was always just the way I wanted it be.

We moved up to Rockland eventually. A few years passed and I ended up finding that specific Lo Mein again in the food court of the Paramus Park Mall. Again, hard to put into words, but I just knew that it was the same dish that I remembered fondly from the Kings Plaza Mall.

Then I went to college. My family broke up and moved as far away from each other as possible. Rarely went to Rockland anymore, or Paramus, and forget about Kings Plaza.

What was it about that dish, though? It was a mystery.

Since I got to thinking about it again recently, I figured that nothing solves a mystery like the internet.

I did a GOOGLE search on the Kings Plaza Mall and the Paramus Park Mall...

According to YELP, the Kings Plaza Mall has seriously gone to pot in the years since my childhood. And there's no easy way to reach it via public transportation. On the other hand, the Paramus Park Mall is accessible via NJ Transit Bus. But what were the odds that they'd still be serving the same Lo Mein dish I remembered from childhood...?

The other thing I found through the searches was that both places had a Chinese fast-food joint. And they were both called the same thing:

"Master Wok"

They had to be connected.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011. After the morning routine at the gym, I hopped a bus at Port Authority...

An hour and a half later, I had returned to childhood.

Unlike some other malls that have gone downhill over the years, Paramus Park seemed remarkably well-preserved. Filled with some new chains and attractions, of course, but the dimensions and look and layout reminded me of all the times I'd gone there as a kid.

Even the restrooms were immaculate. Can't speak for the women's room, but the men's room at least. They even had these separate "Family Restrooms" set aside—I assume for the Mormons.

Anticipation built as I approached the crappy looking "Master Wok" in the food court. I was shocked that there weren't long, snaking lines like you'd find at SHAKE SHACK. Were people not aware that this was my Chinese fast-food mecca? How I'd suffered the circuitous bus route from New York City to get to this pile of dirt in New Jersey, with the dim hope of recapturing some elusive sense-memory from my sad, sad childhood...??

I waited behind a mall security guard as he ordered his meal. There was no sense of excitement as he placed his order of fried rice and BBQ chicken. For him, this was not an event. He had certainly not traveled out of his way to visit this shitty Chinese food outfit. This was merely the cheapest, least offensive alternative that was available to him on his lunch break.

Unaffected by approximately EVERYONE'S APATHY, I placed my order for the Lo Mein...

A plain vegetable Lo Mein. In my memory, this was a traditional pork Lo Mein. And the noodles didn't look the same. Oh, but petty details...

I had the woman throw some chicken on top of it. An eggroll for good measure.

As I paid for the meal and carried my tray to one of many vacant tables in the food court, the smell of the dish was already bringing me back like a time machine. This was it. This had to be it. The thing from my childhood that I hadn't been able to find for years. The thing your aunt gave you which you don't know what it is.

I dove into it...

And it was...




... close.

Christ, it was so close. It just wasn't quite *it*. Certainly wasn't a dish I would hop another bus to Jersey for in the future.

How could this be? If it had been something else entirely I might understand it, but it was more peculiar because it was close. As if they had gradually, incrementally altered and cheapened the recipe in the intervening years.

It was close but not it. Goodbye, childhood memory. Goodbye to that thing that you may never find again.

The bus back to Manhattan arrived late and traffic turned the trip home into a 2+ hour odyssey. I caught up on some THIS AMERICAN LIFE podcasts and reflected on how profoundly unproductive the day had been. What a long way to go for so little payoff. Seems like a theme for me.

At least I'd get a blog entry out of it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011


I made this animated gif a while back, as a goof on a friend I had at the time. Funny how prescient it was.

An updated version:

We tried. We gave up.

Bobby Boblick has a new posse. Because his old one officially got fed up with him.

Some might think it's harsh to sever a friendship so dispassionately. People will pat poor Bobby on the back and commiserate with things such as, "You were all such good friends, why can't they just forgive you?"

For those in the know, or half in the know, or for the Constant Readers who know nothing about Bobby Boblick except for the silly jabs I've posted here...

... if I were to graphically detail all the shitty things he's actually done in the past year, you'd be amazed the guy has ANY friends left. Amazed that the ones who've just cut him off stayed with him as long as they did. Amazed that the girl who's currently dating him is still dating him.

Why can't we just forgive him?

Because he's done nothing to earn forgiveness.

In fact, it seems like he's spent just about all of 2011 proving that he SHOULD NOT BE FORGIVEN.

He will spin the truth, bend the truth, flat out lie. He will make a thousand excuses for not responding to you. (Work's busy! My phone's fucked up! My head's fucked up!) If and when he does respond to you, he will respond... *poorly*... defensively... rationalizing away his reprehensible actions, blaming SOMEONE ELSE for creating some vast, imaginary anti-Bobby conspiracy.

Or he'll just ignore you because he knows you've got him nailed to the wall. He knows, deep down inside, that you're right and he's wrong. More and more people dislike him NOT because SOMEONE ELSE is talking trash about him in another language—but because HE HAS DONE BAD THINGS. And he doesn't want to face that.

At the beginning of the year, I kicked Bobby Boblick out of my life for being a world-class dick-hole.

A few months later—and not so cavalierly—I tentatively started hanging out with him again. The friendship was downgraded. There were trust issues that were never resolved and I remained guarded. My newly realized disrespect for his character meant that I was meaner toward him than I was before. He never completely regained my trust, though I had a better sense of when he was lying or trying to hide something. Still, hanging out with him again made it easier to hang out with other friends who were part of the same circle. He was a drinking buddy. I didn't expect a lot out of him.

And in the end, he still managed to disappoint me.

A new circle of friends has offered him sanctuary. (For the time being.) It's a good deal for him because he doesn't actually have to deal with the fallout from his other ruined relationships. His new friends and remaining friends are doing him no favors because they are just enabling him to hide.

I'm not even angry. I'm just sick of it all.

This past year, more people started to learn the true nature of Bobby Boblick. All the shady things he's done have come back to haunt him. Watching other friends get angry made me realize that I never really forgave him for what he did to me. I just sort of accepted that he was incapable of being a better human being. Eventually, I had to question how low I could set the bar for a friend. Even just a drinking buddy.

If someone disrespects you and then disrespects good friends of yours, and does NOTHING to make amends... then how can you, in good conscience, remain friends with that person?

Actions have consequences.

I feel cold about the whole affair.

I have more important things to worry about.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

How to End a Friendship

Did I say that I was going back to updating this blog regularly? Is it too soon to take that back?

I've been busy writing and trying to catch up with things I've let fall by the wayside.

I've acquired a few good friends in the past month.

I've watched another friend turn into a completely unreliable asshole.

This has turned into a really difficult year for me and time is too precious to squander on toxic idiots. I could get a lot meaner and more truthful here... and I am reserving that option... but for right now, I don't feel like tapping into that venom. I know it makes for good blog entries. I know that some of you Constant Readers are fans of the bloodshed. It's just not happening today.

I'd like to focus on the new friends. And the old friends who remain true. Not the shady lying liars with absolutely zero respect for other people.

Okay. I'm not going to get into it. This is me not wanting to get into it, here and now.

Maybe later this week? Or before the year is out? We'll see what happens and how I feel. Lest we forget the brutal levels of cruelty I'm capable of doling out.

Here are a bunch of random links I've been holding onto, worth clicking through in case you've missed them:

Incredibly depressing picture of Kirk Cameron celebrating his birthday.

Horrific Disney Cosplay from the 1930s.

10 Spooky (Real?) Ghost Stories.

Ye Animated Git.

Monday, November 07, 2011

The Horrors of Harrowgate Academy for Boys

Hello, Constant Readers. I am endeavoring to return to this. This oddly kept writing exercise to satisfy your morbid curiosity.

The new script clocks in at a whopping 78 pages. Yes, it's anorexic. That's a scant 12 pages from being a full-length feature film, for those keeping score. The producer's giving it a look-over now, so I'm expecting the feedback should help me take it past the 90 page mark. I'm just glad the main thrust of the story is out of my brain and on the page. The hardest part is getting it out. And then making it better... well, that's hard, too. None of it is particularly easy. I wish my first drafts could be perfect. Then it would be an easier case of, "On to the next one..."

Daylight savings happened on Sunday and I missed it. Oh, it's not that I forgot to set my clocks back -- I didn't have to set my clocks back. We've reached a technological point where ALL my clocks adjust themselves. Except the one on the microwave. If I'd glanced at that, I would have realized the gift of an extra hour. As it is, the transition happened without my knowledge or participation.

It's fucking November.

I have such mixed emotions about it being November right now.


Sunday, November 06, 2011

Tim Burton's THE JAR

For a short slice of time in the 1980s, they resurrected ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS. Inserting colorized intros and outros of Hitchcock that he filmed for the original anthology series, the show featured a number of updates of old AHP episodes. (Much like newer iterations of THE TWILIGHT ZONE remade old stories.)

THE JAR was one of those remakes. When I saw it as a kid, I didn't know that. All I knew was that there was something deeply unsettling about it.

The basic story involves a man who finds a mysterious jar filled with some unknown curiosity. People become fascinated with the jar, each projecting their own desires, fears, revulsion onto it.

It's the ending that really struck me. It's never entirely clear what's in the jar -- but at the end, there's something more grisly that's implied.

Did not know that Tim Burton directed this episode.

Seeing it again... it's clearly a Tim Burton piece. Not as unsettling as I remembered. But really, what ever is...?

Friday, November 04, 2011

67 pages.

Let's get this straight. 67 pages is NOT a full-length screenplay.

Oh sure, I have a few scenes left. Pad some of that dialogue and where will that land me? 75 pages?

This isn't a fucking animated movie, goddammit.

Jesus titty-fucking Christ.

It's Friday. I had a feeling this one was going to run short. It was heading in that direction weeks ago. I mean, there's plenty of room to flesh out and refine and build up along the way. It's just that the story's fucking short.

Okay, back up. Put my thing down, flip it and reverse it.

NOTE TO SELF: Finish up those final scenes. Go through the whole thing again from page 1, fixing and fleshing out as well as you can in one day.

Then. Perhaps as a sign of faith. Share it with the producer with a preface/disclaimer/explanation email cover. Then it becomes a discussion about what to focus on instead of just, "Where the hell is this script...??"

You can do this, Malice.