Do you even blog, bro?
Okay, so it's been a few weeks since I've updated this blog. I didn't mean to abandon it for so long but I honestly haven't had any fun, pithy blog ideas and my time has been split between trying to edit the scripts for WHERE WOLF, obsessively watching the election and its prolonged afterbirth, watching comfort movies, and taking long walks. But, because I was afraid that if I didn't post some kind of update to this blog, I would forget my password, here's a brief check-in:
I have spent the majority of the year working on WHERE WOLF, a werewolf story. It started as a serialized novel. When I finished that, I took a few months off and then began transforming it into scripts for a fiction podcast. I experimented with the format a lot before settling on twelve half-hour episodes. I finished the scripts for the twelve episodes back in October and have spent the last month editing them. I've found that hitting the right tone on these podcast scripts has been difficult. The first few episodes are joke-heavy, plot-light. The last few episodes are all-plot, with little humor. Trying to achieve a more consistent style and tone between all the episodes has been difficult. I took a break from the editing for the last week to recharge my creative batteries by watching some of my favorite movies but now I'm ready to dig back into the scripts. I'm hoping to finish the second draft by the end of the year. From there? Who knows - one step at a time, baby. But hopefully, I'll have more WHERE WOLF news to share soon.
I have dedicated a lot of my time during 2020 towards getting into shape. In total, I have lost a little over seventy pounds since the beginning of the year. I gained about ten of those pounds back at the tail end of October and have been unable to lose them this first half of November. I'm trying not to beat up on myself and am instead focusing on re-engaging my diet and exercise routines. The election was rough - I stress ate an entire pizza on Tuesday, November 3. Since then, I have found myself fighting a newly remembered sweet tooth and letting what was previously a cheat day on Saturdays become cheat weekends. Gaining ten pounds is not the end of the world - but I'm about to come up to the holiday season which historically brings about big meals, baked goods, and early sunsets which put a hamper on my daily walks and often lead to me just skipping exercising for the day. I still feel good about my progress, though, and I realize that my journey is a marathon. It's about setting better lifetime habits rather than trying to lose a bunch of weight as quickly as I can. I'll get to my weight goal and it'll happen when it happens.
GENERAL STATE OF MIND
I've tiptoed my way around depression since I was a teenager. This past summer, I've experienced waves of manic depression - with an emphasis on the manic. I enjoyed this rush and used it to accomplish a lot of stuff I'm proud of. In the last few weeks, though, the depression has really caught up with me. It's sucked. A lot. I'm anxious about a lot of stuff that I'm not comfortable talking about in public and I'm worried all the time. All the confidence, drive, and motivation that I enjoyed over the summer leaked out of me once I hit that October wall. I spent a good chunk of the last few weeks feeling empty and I'm trying to take all of this one day at a time. I'm not punishing myself for going to bed early without working on WHERE WOLF or skipping a day's workout or cheating on my diet. I'm trying not to give in to my addictions (food, films, spending money) and I'm trying not to dwell on the bad stuff. 2020 has sucked and it's been a cesspool of temptation for self-destructive behavior. Hope has slowly ebbed out of me but walks help and friends help and movies and books (in moderation) help. It has gotten better in the last week and it will continue to get better. Life is a pendulum and I believe with all my heart that the pendulum is on the cusp of swinging back in the right direction. All of us just have to stick it out for a big longer.
WHAT I'M WATCHING
THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS (2001)
My favorite Wes Anderson film. It's the perfect balance of carefully constructed whimsy and lived-in familiarity. Every performance is perfection. I've watched the film every five years or so since it was released and I'll do so for as long as I'm able to.
THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS (1942)
First-time watch. Maybe not as visually iconic as CITIZEN KANE but Orson Welles’ morality tale about a spoiled Motherboy who stands in the way of his mom’s romantic happiness only to get his comeuppance is a damn swell picture. Funny, stirring, and beautifully shot. I would make a deal with a sea witch to have Orson Welles’ speaking voice. Also, it’s usually damning with faint praise to complement a film’s credits but ... those end credits, though. Damn, Welles. Forever a baller.
FANTASTIC MR. FOX (2009)
I watched this movie last week for the first time since 2009 and ... guys, I think this might be my third favorite Wes Anderson movie. I remember digging the film a lot when I first saw it but I had forgotten how cussing funny of a movie it is. I think it might be the funniest film Anderson has made. It's beautiful to look at, of course, but the script just sings. I am tempted to rip the audio from the film as an MP3 track so I can study it on my daily walks. I want to speak the language of the film.
A funny FANTASTIC MR. FOX story. A few years back - when MOONRISE KINGDOM was coming out, I think - the Drafthouse was doing a Wes Anderson retrospective. We were showing all of his films - this was back when we could still screen the movies he made for Disney and Fox. FANTASTIC MR. FOX was included but I wanted to do something special for the film. I planned a FANTASTIC MR. FOX Family Party where audience members would get fun props and we could do activities before the film. I ordered what I thought were 85 foxtails that we could give all the attendees. Folks, I'm here to tell you that I accidentally ordered 85 fox tail butt plugs. When they arrived and I realized what I had ordered, I was luckily able to return the product for a refund but that Amazon order cussed up my shopping algorithm for years and I would get the weirdest recommendations for all sorts of outrageous sex toys.
Cheers to pure wild animal craziness.
PAPER MOON (1973)
First-time watch. This film has so many things I look for in cinema: bad dad relationships, con games, gorgeous black and white photography, cool as shit kids, Ryan O’Neal rasslin’ Randy Quaid. I loved PAPER MOON so dang much and am glad I finally watched it.
WHAT I'M READING
SISTERS by Daisy Johnson
A young woman struggles to form a self-identity under the shadow of a co-dependent relationship with her just slightly older sister. Smart, sad, brutal in its execution - this is the kind of book that haunts you like a ghost. At the risk of reducing the book's unique voice but in the interest of getting some of you to read it, it's GINGER SNAPS without the werewolves.
WHAT I'M LISTENING TO
I made a playlist a few weeks back. Enjoy!