Video

Videography Final Project–Voodoo Lady

Hello, gang. Long time no see. After a lot of soul searching I made the call and went back to school. As of the beginning of the year I’ve been enrolled in RISD’s Digital Video Production continuing education program. This video is my first video. Please enjoy, share your thoughts, and stick around for more videos in the near future. And explanations.
I feel like I have a lot of explaining to do. I always feel that way…
Shut up, Tony, let them watch the movie!
Fine! Enjoy, folks.
-T

I sense I presence I’ve not felt since…

After not saying peep here for nearly a year it’s nice to know that Jeri Ryan’s breasts have been keeping me relevant…okay, fine, they’ve been keeping this blog afloat. Happy internet?!

Top searches while I’ve been away:
startrek voyager nude fakes, hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy tattoo, pacitti, tony., star trek voyager jeri ryan big tits

I play third banana to “startrek voyager nude fakes.”

Milking a picture for more than a thousand words

It’s stupid how many different directions your mind goes running in after seeing something cool.

Late into the process of writing a first draft I had an idea that my main character would be interested in/drawn to abandoned places in her city. I put the idea on the back burner because as my original outline went there wasn’t much room for it. But here I am going through a finished draft and working on revisions at a snail’s pace. The more I look at what I have the more it feels like an expanded outline with plenty of room for all the ideas I thought of too late the first time around. Thankfully my main character’s city is my city, so I went looking for some hidden, urban ruins. And I found one. And it was terrifying.

From anything I read online this was supposed to be sealed, so when I turned the corner of the concrete wall that ran down a steep, bramble covered slope I almost had a heart attack. I’m not too courageous. I honestly expected some deranged hobgoblin to come screaming out of that small opening waving a couple of rusty daggers over head while he pooped his pants and made a run at me. Thankfully he didn’t, but one probably will in the book. (No it won’t).

Over the forty-five minutes I was there I got more and more comfortable. Not comfortable enough to go in (I was alone and had no light and that shit was death dark) but comfortable enough to snap some photos and sneak around the grounds, which were very wet and very cool. I’d like to go back with a small group of people to pop our heads in and take some interior photos but in the mean time it’s more than jump started my slow moving–when its moving at all–revision process. Characters and situations I’ve only ever give half-thoughts to at best started to come to life here. The trick will be making room for them.

One of the toughest hurdles, I’ve found, is parting with words that I’ve already written. I sit down and look at the fat stack of paper that is my first draft and hate myself for even thinking of getting rid of large parts of it. I slaved over it for months, how can I justify destroying thousands of words and weeks worth of progress after a few hours or at most days of thinking of something I’d rather do. The trick is talking myself into believing that its okay to do that. None of it was a waste of time. Committing mediocre ideas to paper and then scrapping them for something better isn’t a bad thing. It’s progress.

I’m very excited about Tunnel Town. It’s not one of Providence’s more well known neighborhoods, but it’s got some cool shit going on. Visitors beware.

Also: tentative title for the new book is Lady Jackalope.

NOOOOOOOO!!!

This pretty much speaks for itself, but here’s how I feel: It’s been more than 12 years since someone was born BEFORE The Phantom Menace was released. It’s been more than 14 years since someone was born before the Special Editions came out. Fan who grew up with and desperately want a proper OT release will die first, and after they are gone things like Han shooting first, Sebastian Shaw’s ghost and a world where Episode I, II and III were wonderful “What if?” scenarios acted out in school yards and fan fiction will be but memories, kept alive in only the darkest, most paranoid corners of pop culture.

It’s been over 6 years since someone was born before Darth Vader yelled “NOOOOO!” in Revenge of the Sith.

As of September 17, 2011, no one else who is born will know a world where he didn’t yell it in Return of the Jedi.

 

 

Ever Playing Catch Up

So no Voyager write up this week. For those of you who have been watching along or throwing in your two cents after each post, my apologies. I appreciate that you guys are as passionately nerdy about this as I am and I’ll be back to form next week.

The snag in the schedule came up because I had hit a point a couple of weeks ago where I found myself banging my head against the wall whenever I sat down to work on the new novel. So instead of wasting time staring at my screen cursing the lack of words pouring out of me I decided to take some time off. I didn’t touch the project for a solid week and it was wonderful!

I finally finished China Mieville’s The City and The City, which I liked a lot more than I had expected. I love Mieville’s work but going into it I was expecting this to be a bit of a black sheep, which I guess it sort of is, but I found it really refreshing. It was different for him and quite different for me as a reader. 10 thumbs+ ! I also started The Hobbit, which I had read so long ago that I may as well have not read it at all. Lots more reading on the horizon, including the second and third books in William Gibson’s SPrawl Trilogy, Game of Thrones (shut up, I like bandwagons!) and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens.

Beyond reading the week was just very stress free. I tried not to think too hard about the novel. When an idea came up I’d think it over and write it down, but I wasn’t constantly carrying my notebook around and forcing myself to think about it. The gamble paid off. Instead of completely losing steam I came back to work yesterday and busted out a chapter that I’m pretty happy with. Little to no forehead slapping involved.

Here’s to keeping that ball rolling. And I swear, Voyager next Monday.

Voyager–Phage/The Cloud

Well I’ll say this for this week’s homework assignment; at least there wasn’t any time travel or time loop hooey to keep things stale. Instead we get a couple of episodes that start off dealing with the issue of limited and quickly depleting resources before spinning off into something else entirely. Through it all we get to know some of our characters a bit better, some gross aliens and meta-commentary about how the Voyager crew just keeps doing it to themselves.

PHAGE

To answer a hanging question I had last week, Neelix does in fact seem to know what he’s talking about…for the most part. This episode finds him directing the Voyager to a lone planetoid rich in dilithium so that they can, in layman’s terms, fill up on gas. Of course nothing is as it seems and when they’re investigating, Neelix’s lungs get stolen. Yup.

The Voyager and Co. are in uncharted waters and as such you would think that they’d be a little more cautious, after all, you never know when something is going to steal your cook’s lungs. Granted if they were able to scope out the organ harvesting uglies there would be no conflict and there in lies an issue that Battlestar Galactica handled so well. Conflict is just as common within as it is from without, if not more so given just how big space is. While Neelix’s missing air-bags did bring us to some conflict on the ship–whether or not saving him only to live forever strapped to a hospital bed, Janeway’s dilemma when it came to capturing the aliens who stole and already used his lungs, etc–it all felt like going through the motions. The stakes weren’t that big. Star Trek, of all things, wouldn’t let a main character die at the hands of two lame aliens four episodes into its run. You never really buy that Neelix might kick the bucket, but we do get some more nice moments between Kes and The Doctor. It’s hard to ignore how much fun the writers had with The Doctor. He and Paris really steal the screen whenever they’re on it.

THE CLOUD

Finally! This is the kind of episode I’ve been waiting for. Opening with a classic “Captains Log” we find Janeway walking the corridors of Voyager while her diary narrates the new issues her predicament raises for a captain. When you and your crew are the only representatives of a few cultures for light years upon light years how does her job description change? How does she balance the role of captain with her new found role of matriarch? The crew doesn’t quite know what to think of her either. As she walks through engineering a frantic B’Elanna apologizes for not knowing about an inspection “Not an inspection, Lieutenant. A Stroll.” Similarly she stops to talk to Paris and Kim about Neelix’s cooking and afterward Kim feels bad about not asking her to sit. “Ensigns don’t ask captains to sit,” Paris tells him. Dopey Kim wants to be a nice guy, but Paris–the very model of a modern Starfleet gentleman?–knows how that shit works. Hence prison.

As Janeway ponders over these questions she runs head first into several characters who are also showing off their “who we are” muscle this week. We get Neelix remodelling Janeway’s private dining room into a galley. Paris and Kim are elbowing up to the felt in a swanky holodeck recreation of a French pool hall. Then there’s Chakotay trying to introduce Janeway to her animal spirit guide, a move that both tries to establish the Captain/Commander relationship that is such a Star Trek staple as well as build on Chakotay’s own character. These are all great character moments that all ultimately get sidelined for most of the episode because that ol’ Star Trek standby–a nebula/gas/sentient cloud–has some omicron do-dads they need for…something… Naturally it all goes wrong and they end up wasting more energy than they collect. In an awesome bit of meta-commentary on how foolish these adventures tend to be, both Neelix and The Doctor, independently of one another, voice their concern over the need to dive head first into so many anomalies. Too bad Kes is the only one who listens to either of them.

The cloud turns out to actually be a living life form–natch–and after they blast their way out of its belly they go to great lengths to fix it. Janeway’s such a bleeding heart. Kirk would have left without even so much as “Oh…sure I’ll call you sometime…”

The episode ends on a scene very reminiscent of the TNG crew’s poker games.

Janeway sets up a hustle (Is this pool or billiards? Hand me that stick) and shows that she not only knows her way around a pool table, but that in the right setting she can take off her captain hat and just be one of the gang.

This episode was a step in the right direction for me. It finally took some time to show how its characters are coping with their new situation. I would have preferred more of that and less space cloud, but I guess I’ll take it.

Closing thoughts:

-Chakotay said they had less than 40 photon torpedoes. I’ll double check the number, but they used one. I WILL keep track of that, because something tells me they’ll use way more than they got.

-B’Elanna tried to kill her spirit animal. Classic B’Elanna!

-I hope we see more of Paris’ holodeck pool hall.

-Oh yeah, the aliens–whose medical tech was WAY more advanced than Voyager’s–that stole Neelix’s lungs were infected with a two millennium old disease that was destroying their people. Feel free to walk around a bit. Nothing bad could possibly happen.

Work Update, or: I swear I’m not JUST watching TV

So after months of the rare blog about video games or doodles of guys eating hamburgers made from a machine powered by his own poop I show up here with two consecutive weeks of posts about TV. Though Netflix truly is the water to productivity’s fire (shitloads of John Carpenter stuff on instant watch drooooool…) I swear I’ve been actually busy.

With my doodle post–not a post of my doodle, pervs!–I dropped a hint about a new project. At the time I was forcing myself to take it slow and work out a rough outline, something that I was able to hammer out quickly with My Best Friend is a Wookiee. Not that I didn’t take it seriously, it’s just, you know…memoir. The outline was there already, the tricky part was working out how to take those memories and work them into a story that flowed nicely over the course of nearly twenty years which I sort of did as I went. But I’m not writing a memoir this time, or even non-fiction.

This is my first serious crack at fiction and the prospects that come with that are both exciting and terrifying. On the one hand I have free reign, within the context of the world I’m creating, to do whatever the eff I want! On the flip side is the daunting, overwhelming sense of not knowing what the eff to do! I was eager to start writing but kept wanting to put it off until I had worked out some sort of concrete guideline. Knowing myself too well, I knew that without an proper outline I would come charging out of the gate only to find myself written into a dead end, get frustrated and put the whole project on the back burner, which is now so cluttered that it’s choked out any actual burning. It’s really more of a back heap now.

So I gave myself a deadline. I gave myself until June 1 to work out an outline I was happy with and on May 30–I jumped the gun JUST a little–I stared writing. Progress has been going slow but steady. Something always manages to come up but I’m working through that. I find myself making fewer and fewer excuses to not sit down and bust out 2000 words–my goal for any time I commit to the desk. When I’m in the zone I can’t be distracted. When I’m not in the zone I check Facebook, Twitter and The AV Club every five minutes. But I’m getting there, slowly but surely.

Right now I’m at 34,655 words and have just started chapter 13 out of 29. My Best Friend is a Wookiee was around 60,000 words and had 20 chapters. Comparing the two doesn’t mean much. They will be apples and oranges when this new project is done. That figure is really more of a personal motivator. I’m shooting for at least 80k and if progress so far has been any indication I’m on the right track.