Archive for the 'Personal' Category

My Hypertime

Apparently, I tell my stories in hypertime. I’m not sure what that means exactly, but it may have something to do with my pacing. Maybe how I don’t let one thing sink in before throwing in another. It’s the equivalent of force-feeding a patient on a hospital bed; you might get the job done alright, but at the end of the day, the process isn’t exciting for either of you.

Don’t rush, just because it’s not exciting, doesn’t mean it’s not interesting. That statement just keeps playing back in my head, over and over. I should read it one more time, just in case the one in my head scratches, gets grainy or worse, starts skipping and driving me crazy.

Don’t rush, just because it’s not exciting, doesn’t mean it’s not interesting.

This is my shot at not rushing. This is me writing not exciting, hoping it turns out interesting, even if just a little. Come to think of it, what is interesting? What does it mean when someone says something is “interesting”? I intend to find out.

But first things first, I need to slowdown time.

Monday Morning Madness

So the idea is that I will write every morning, for an hour, about whatever. It was something I picked up on the “tips” section of a writers’ blog in the vastness of the Internet. That being said, not everything I write will end up here. And not everything that ends up here was… Well, you get the point.

Today however, is one of those days, when what I write will end up here, like it already has.

So what is on your mind today, Al?

That sounds like something my shrink would ask me. Not that I have a shrink, but if I had, that sounds like something he’d ask.

I would reply with something like, “Nothing at the moment, but I can make something up.”

At which point, he would say “Fine, then make something up.”

From there on, we would get into a long and complex, but strangely familiar dialogue, before realizing halfway that my shrink is in fact Dr. Jeffrey Squires, and I am still asleep, and dreaming like my life depended on it.

But come to think of it, dreams make life worth living. I mean, why exist if you have nothing to achieve? You might as well just die and make space for the dreaming humans, after all, resources are very scarce.

But right now, it is not the scarcity of the resources in the world that is on my mind; it is the Maths class I’m having in an hour that bothers me.

One morning, I woke up to find myself studying Artificial Intelligence. Funny thing is that I’m not particularly bright at Maths. Sure, I like computers (who doesn’t?), and have experimented with a few programming languages, but Calculus just isn’t my thing.

I want to be a filmmaker. No, not in a Hollywood sort of way, although I have to admit that’ll be quite good. But small scale, Indie, so to say. And not only direct my own films, but work on other people’s. Help and teach others in non-formal ways and just live in the filmmaking. Live in the filmmaking: That’s my dream.

But I have a problem. Maybe not a problem in the I-owe-the-mob-a-shit-load-of-money-and-they-want-it-by-tomorrow sort of way, but a problem nonetheless.

None of my close friends is really into film. Sure, we often have great times at the movies, and even talk about said movies afterwards. But there’s a way moviegoers talk about a movie, and there’s a way moviemakers talk about a movie. Not one of my friends talk like the latter.

I’m not saying they should. I like pizza, and If it’s hot and smells nice, I’m game. I don’t really care how it came to be.

But I have my artsy friends, only not as easily accessible as I’d have wanted, but what the hell. They are the kind of friends that you’ll need a computer with a pathway to the interweb just to say Hi to. But take my word for it, it’s worth it.

I mean, take when I wanted to get my DSLR for example. Sure, I could have thrown the problem at Google, and gotten a thousand fucking answers which I would spend the whole day checking. But no, I asked Sean, and he gave me his honest to God opinion, straight up. It is refreshing.

Or when I so much like to talk about a film related something, and none of my friends seem to be paying any attention. Then on, she comes and we argue for an hour. No, it’s not the kind of argument that frustrates; it’s the kind that liberates. There is just something relaxing about having a deep, but meaningless conversation about something you care about with someone you know knows their shit, even if they don’t agree with you. In fact it’s more fun when they don’t always agree. Thank you Nadira for being there, even if so rarely.

This is turning into some kind of love letter to my online artsy friends, which is fine. They keep me alive, fuel my dreams and give me a reason to live. I love them all.

I would probably die if I didn’t have such friends. Not a physical death of course, but what’s a body without a soul? I’ll tell you, a vessel for the body snatchers to invade!

The Random 25

In the spirit of the Facebook tagging craze, I decided to repost my list on the blog as sort of an intro.

So here goes:

1. I think ripped-jeans are a sign of a psychological cry for help by the wearer.

2. I have an 8 year old daughter named Peyton.

3. I think Painting, more than anything, is the most “arty” of all art forms.

4. I can’t carry a decent 5-minute conversation with a stranger that is not film related.

5. From the balcony on the 10th floor of an apartment building, I’m not scared of falling; I’m scared of jumping!

6. Peyton lives with my paternal grandparents in a farm house down in Onirdap Li.

7. Ripped jeans are my favorite item of clothing.

8. I have a shitty hairline, and my favorite color is dirty-green.

9. I think Filmmaking is the ultimate art form because it encompasses writing, theater (acting), music and Cinematography which is derived from Photography which in turn was derived from Painting.

10. I don’t consider myself an intellectual, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I don’t think I’m smarter than you.

11. Both my Paternal grandparent passed away before I was 7.

12. The movie I’ve watched the most is “Fight Club”. I’ve seen it over 30 times and it’s a different experience every time.

13. I’m attracted to highly dysfunctional women, just thought I should throw that in here.

14. I’m a filmmaker, or at least I’d like to think of myself as one.

15. “Onirdap Li” is actually “”il Padrino” written backwards.

16. I don’t like sneakers, trainers, chucks or dress shoes. I think the greatest footwear ever invented are the flip-flops.

17. I hate to be a walking cliche, but it was Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction that made me realize I wanted to be a filmmaker.

18. “il Padrino” is The Godfather, which happens to be the only movie poster on my bedroom wall.

19. The only music album I can listen to from beginning to end and love every moment of it without skipping a single track, is Linkin’ Park’s Meteora.

20. If I ever get a daughter, I’m going to name her Peyton. And no, not after that one character from that one shitty show on TV with the tree, although I think she’s pretty hot.

21. Linkin’ Park are not in my Top 10 favorite bands.

23. I don’t have a favorite movie director, but I like any director that can stretch a dollar. That being said, I think Rian Johnson is pretty amazing!

24. My favorite name on this dying Blue Planet of ours is “Zainab”, but in the galaxy, I think “Obi-Wan Kenobi” is a pretty cool name.

25. I’d like to think of myself as a misanthrope, but deep down, I’m actually the nicest, funniest and most interesting person you’ll ever meet… If only you’ll talk to me first.

My Demons

In a place far away from life, the night was very dark. The moon was trying so hard to shine, but the big black clouds did an excellent job at making sure that didn’t happen. No one was even talking about the twinkle little stars, because they were nowhere in sight.

There was silence in the night, not dead silence; A family of frogs were croaking and a couple of crickets were making noises, not because they had to, but because they wanted to live up to a stereotype. Goddamn crickets! Anyway apart from that, it was quiet; total silence.

The grass was soft and moist from the drizzle of earlier that night. The slides & see-saws were wet; the monkey bars were dripping; but it was the swings that were the point of interest. One of the swings in particular – the one I was on.

It was 12 Midnight and there I was on a swing in a dark, creepy kids playground far away from any form of life, why?

Swing

Moments before that, I was in the comfort of my room, for lack of a better word, chilling.

So what makes a good moment bad?

For some reason, out of the blue, I asked myself where I see myself in five years, like I was on a fucking job interview. And when I couldn’t give myself a decent answer, I freaked the hell out.

There’s this theory that I didn’t play on the swing enough as a kid, and that is why I love the swing so much. I don’t know the degree of truth to that story. What I know though is that there is no place in the world I’d rather sit and think, than this particular dark creepy playground in the late hours of the night, almost bordering on early morning. And my seat of choice is always the swing.

That was why I was on the swing.

Have you ever heard of The Stamford Prison Experiment?

In 1971 a crazy psychologist, not very much unlike the rest of them, decided out of the blue to get 70 students and psycho-analyze them. He selected the 24 he thought were most stable, and with a coin-toss, divided them into two groups, the prisoners and the guards.

The idea was that they will be monitored and observed for the experiment as they stay in a mock prison for two weeks.

Six days later, the experiment was shutdown for getting out of control.

Over the course of those six days, the guards became abusive, the prisoners notorious and all hell broke loose. Mind you, none of these students has ever set foot in a prison cell before, and the only thing they knew about prisons were the things they heard about and saw on TV. Those were the stereotypes they were trying to live up to, and the sad thing was that the fuckers didn’t even know they were doing it… It was all subconscious!

Now why do I care about some lowlifes and an experiment that was conducted back in the 70s?

Because I think maybe, like the noisy crickets and the abusive guards of Stamford, I too am trying to live up to a stereotype – The Artist.

Artists are not exactly the most historically stable group, being that more than a handful of them took their own lives for whatever reasons… and that is what scares the crap out of me!

There goes my moment!

I don’t know what I’m writing or why I’m writing it. I just know I should, because I’ve got something in me that needs to leave.

You know that feeling, that moment you feel – “This is the time... This is it”. But just when you’re about to go down on one knee and propose, some jackass does something real stupid that spoils the entire moment. Your jaw hits the floor, you’re in shock and all you’re left thinking is –

“Fuck! There goes my moment!”

Or that one time you’re on the queue to ride the Roller Coaster. Full of energy, and every single cell in your body, dead and alive, is excited and looking forward to it. BAM! Comes the mean ol’ rain spraying everything aggressively. What are you thinking?

“Fuck! There goes my moment!”

And that time you’re so excited about sharing some great news with your parents about an achievement in your life. They don’t really need to know, but you feel they should be part that memory; because it is special and means a lot to you. And what do they do? They ignore the news and by pass all the excitement and go straight to telling you what you should do on something totally unrelated which quite frankly, you don’t give a crap about.

It’s moments like this that cripple you emotionally and make you loose faith in people. You get disappointed and just don’t give a fuck anymore. Moments like this, you do much more than just keep your head down and say –

“FUCK! THERE GOES MY MOMENT”

Those Old Little Memories or “What have you got today?”

It was probably the bare empty taste of the cold left-over French fries that triggered those old little memories.

Sure, back then there was a lot of food involved, and yes, fries too. But I’m still not sure Why; Why cold left-over fries?

We were very very little then and we’ll join our desks in a rectangle and put our little chairs around it. We formed a mini dinning table. And everyone put their pretty little lunch box on it. I had a red square one, one of the guys’ was round and sky blue.

It was a tradition we had for many many years, and many more years after that.

“What have you got today?”

That was always the first question.

Everyone around the table will open their lunch box and announce what they’ve brought to the table.

I sometimes bring cold noodles, which was very delicious once you get used to it. One of the guys, had some nice crispy fries with scrambled eggs. Another guy some great sardine sandwiches.

We were four.

The last guy brings the most amazing macaroni known to man, and we usually ate that first, before moving on to the other delicacies.

Most of the time, another guy would join us. Other times, we’d get in a fight with one of the girls for no particular reason.

We were all very different, yet very close.

There was the quite short one, who was kind of smart. The tough brilliant one, who was the top of the class. The handsome cool one, who all the girls liked. And the tall serious one, who was well… pretty bad-ass!

Occasionally, we hung out with a crazy talkative one, but his energy was a little higher than ours. We parted ways with him, but still remained friends.

I don’t exactly remember how I met all, or any of them. There’s this bullshit story I and one of them tell people about meeting when our families stopped to get gas at the fuel station. Maybe that was how it happened…

I’m still not sure how the taste of cold left-over French fries triggered this memory. We’ve all changed now, but still pretty close with all but one of the guys. Even our crazy talkative friend is back in the loop. But the loop isn’t all circular desks and lunch boxes now. In fact we’re spread across countries that we barely see each other these days.

But who knows, maybe one of them will have a slice of a cold left-over sardine sandwich one day, and all those old little memories will come flooding back…

Hard-to-Explain Situation

Have you ever found yourself in a hard-to-explain situation?

What is that?

Lucky for you, this isn’t one of such situations, so let me explain:

It was a long frustrating day; especially frustrating because I had the flu. I retired back home early, took a hot relaxing shower, put on my boxer shorts and got into bed.

I didn’t sleep immediately; partly because every few minutes I had to stretch to the other side of my queen sized bed to get tissue paper from the other bedside cabinet (to clear my ever flowing nasal cavity) and then got out of bed to dispose the used tissue in the bathroom waste bin. But mainly, I couldn’t sleep immediately because there just wasn’t any sleep in me!

So after a few of my toilet-waste-bin “errands”, I moved the waste bin (which was already half full with tissue) to my bedside and the tissue box to the cabinet beside me for easier access.

Since I wasn’t sleeping, I put on my favorite indie feel-good movie (The Boys and Girls guide to getting down) to pass time. I don’t know why, but I fuckin’ love that movie!

Halfway through the movie, I got a call from my classmate who wanted help with a paper; I told her to come over, and not wanting to get interrupted, I unlocked the front door to the apartment before going back to watching my movie.

Few minutes later, I heard someone twist the knob on my bedroom door. Startled, because I didn’t hear anyone come into the apartment, I quickly hit the space-bar on my wireless keyboard (which I brought into bed with me as a remote control) and turned to see who was at the door. Three girls were standing there staring at me, and then the one who called earlier said,

“Is this a wrong time? We can come back later if you want”

At first I didn’t understand what she meant by that, but then fate had me take a look at my huge dressing mirror which was at an angle adjacent to the bed, and what I saw:

A guy in his underwear with a box of tissue and a waste bin half filled with white, watching an extreme close-up of a guy and a girl frozen in a deep passionate kiss on the screen…

Ah… I see… Hmmm… What should I say?”, I thought. What could I possibly say???

So… Let me ask you again…

Have you ever found yourself in a hard-to-explain situation?