Monday, March 31, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Notes from the beach:
TUES. We have a room at the beach, right on the Promendade in Seaside, view of the ocean, no traffic sounds, nice. Be here for R&R until Friday. Early anniversary present to ourselves. H brought her laptop, there's wireless here, but if I check my email, I think I'll use the Internet Cafe up the way, more of an adventure. Been raining hard, a little break now, but the forecasts is for lots of rain, which is fine. Nothing wrong with staring out at the bad weather from a warm room.
WED. Sketkch, our rat terrier, got me up at 3 a.m. for a pleasant walk on the beach while he searched for a place to do his business. It wasn't raining, wasn't even too cold, actually a nice moment. Then we repeated the game at 730 and I went on to get a cup of coffee at a local cafe. Nothing planned for today, which is great! A little writing and reading and walking and brooding. I'm not completely unwired: I found an Internet cafe where I can check email. I waiting for a room change from the university, need to check in in case there's a hassle.
Back from a walk. I love beach towns. At various times, I've lived in Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades and Monterey, all in California. I've always wanted to live in Venice, right on the boardwalk. On any beach town boardwalk, for that matter, smack in the middle of its summer people-watching splendor and winter ghostliness. When I was going to UCLA, I knew the owner of a Santa Monica bar on the beach and spent many "after hours" there, sometimes until sunrise. Ah, the wildness of our youth.
I spent a great week in Benidorm, Spain, in the early 60s before it became part of the Spanish riviera. Construction going on everywhere at the time.
There's something about living next to the ocean that focuses my perspective on our cosmic smallness. Not a bad thing to rememberj.
Wild weather at the beach! Earlier this afternoon it snowed. Didn't stick long. Now the wind is blowing like hell.
The temperature here has dropped into the 30s. Not Spring break weather at all.
THURS. In a hail storm and sunshine simultaneously this morning. This strange coastal spring weather.
I think this afternoon I'll try and do a complete sequence outline of the NEXT screenplay. I took notes on the current one, the bigger ending, so I can get right on it when we return. I am eager to return, actually. I am happiest in my routine, to my wife's chagrin. I'm not the best traveling partner as a result.
UCLA plays Western Kentucky tonight. Something to look forward to! I worry about the SI jinx and the inconsistent Bruins.
No word on whether I get a room change. Be a big hassle if I don't.
I have music buzzing in my head. This summer I'll see if I can become a composer.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
The Woolfs and the Press
Saturday, March 22, 2008
OK, seeing High Definition video on a large screen is the next best thing to being there -- and even has advantages. It was great to see the singers close. I never realized, from watching live opera "from a distance," what good actors so many of them are. Also, during intermissions there were interviews with major singers, the conductor, the videographer, tech people, casting people (who said there are only 10 men in the world today who can sing Tristan!). This gave an inside view of something of a production challenge: rampant illnesses in the cast. For example, in the last four performances, Isolde sang opposite four different men playing Tristan. She had no rehearsal time with any but the scheduled lead. The one this afternoon had just flown in from Berlin. The Isolde actress talked about playing a love scene with a man with whom you not only never rehearsed but never even met! Well, everything went off flawlessly. The only criticism I have of this magnificent production and experience is that the video director got carried away with her split screens now and again, letting form conquer content and getting too artsy-fartsy for her own good.
If you get a chance to see opera on HD, don't pass up the opportunity.
Something else I love about this opera: no breaks in the action. No music breaks where an enthusiastic audience can interrupt the narrative with applause and "Bravos." No opportunity to turn the opera into a social event. Just continuous, unrelenting, accumulating, devastating music!
I did my UCLA English honors thesis on E. A. Robinson's "Arthurian Cycle," three book-length poems (Lancelot, Merlin, Tristram). Time to read his version of Tristan/Tristram again, and I just ordered it via inter-university loan.
But I highly, highly recommend the Met's HD simulcasts. And this opera, well, I wept at the end as I always do. ("Wouldn't it be nice if ...")
Friday, March 21, 2008
Tomorrow is the opera. I've never seen an opera this long; listening to Tristan and Isolde, I've done it in segments. After the opera, I arranged to have coffee with my Idaho friends in town. Not sure what effect an almost six-hour opera will have on me, but we'll find out.
Sunday is the shoot. I have a full morning of prep work, then the shoot itself.
Monday I take a breather!
Today my Band In the Box is scheduled for delivery. Maybe I'll have time to play a little with it tonight. First chore with it is to create music themes for the hyperdrama characters (I have two from net sources).
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Well, this is a little embarrassing. One of the most significant electronics products of the year slipped into the market, became a mega-hit, changed its industry -- and I haven't reviewed it yet.
It's the Flip: a tiny, stripped-down video recorder the size of a digital camera (but you hold it vertically). And in the year since its invention, it has taken 13 percent of the camcorder market, according to its maker, Pure Digital. The latest model, called the Flip Ultra, had its debut six months ago with slightly improved video quality, greater capacity, a tripod mount and better looks (available in white, black, orange, pink and green). It's been the best-selling camcorder on Amazon.com since the day of its debut.
The video I'm making about the Portland State game is to enter in a two-minute contest, so it's a real editing challenge. Doing it for the experience, don't really expect to win anything. The contest is at a video forum where I hang out. I have a forty-second start that is pretty effective, I think, leaving me 80 seconds to cover the game. I'll be at the campus showing, where I expect to get lots of fan shots and noise; and I'm taping the game here, where I hope to get some game shots. I found a great sound track, the PSU fight song (which is to the same tune as an Ohio State one, which is far easier to find) performed by the Air Force band. Have good headlines and stills. Now to get good video.
After that, back home to watch afternoon games and finish grading finals. I'll wrap the latter up tomorrow and hopefully get my grades in then. Also tomorrow, Band In A Box is scheduled to arrive, giving me a great tool for my video hyperdrama. An opera on Saturday, a shoot on Sunday. How did I get so goddamn busy?
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Got a notice that my Band In A Box is in the mail. I'll be using it a lot for the hyperdrama and also this summer. Eager to get it and get up to speed.
Busy, busy, busy. Friends in town from Idaho on a tight schedule, not sure we'll even find common time to have coffee.
Not So Great Gatsby Titles
Did some more editing this morning. Now it's time to look at the finals.
Harvard over Stanford! No less improbable.
- He likes the rewrite. Wants more "whiplash" in the ending, will be sending suggestions.
- The agency has been in contact with a producer wanting a role for a 15 y/o actor, and we are suggesting my script, The Brazen Wing. I agreed to do any revisions they might want. Man, I hope this shakes out.
All this a good kick in the pants to get back on the new splay. I have the one after this in mind now, too, back to what I stalled on at midpoint some time back. Despite all my other projects, can't forget my fine agent and giving him stuff to work with.
Wednesday is read finals day. I actually look forward to it. An essay question.
Might get my grades in tomorrow. That would be something.
Then I'll try to make a short video about the Vikings trip to the Big Dance. There's a two-minute contest I could enter with a March 31 deadline.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
In a couple hours, pick up finals and go home. I'll catch the end of the first NCAA game, to see which team gets the 64th spot and gets to play NC ha ha.
The more i think about it, the more I want to see the PSU game here. I think I'll shoot a video about the experience.
Off to campus to pick up final exams. I always give a take-home.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Next week we celebrate our tenth anniversary, conveniently during Spring break, with a few days at the coast. Looking forward to it.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
I got a start yesterday on reading student projects. I need to return them Tuesday, so there's much to do yet -- a full day tomorrow on it.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
characterized either by mania or by depression or by alternating mania and depression
Sure describes a lot of writers I know, including myself. An immediate example: after good feedback from my agent, I rewrote the current splay in a week and zipped it back. Then nothing. Did he hate it so much he was hesitant to reply? Or just busy? Well, the latter, exhale exhale. Rec'd an apology note this morning for being late with it.
To think I go through this crap after half a century in the biz! It's cheering from the rooftops or hiding under the covers.
I expect it to be an improvement. It doesn't have to be ready but it has to be better. He says he'll get it done this weekend.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
I had hoped to edit part 3 by now but I've been too busy. Maybe I can start it Saturday, too.
Power, a 37-year-old Pulitzer Prize winner, had been serving as Barack Obama's top foreign policy adviser, an unpaid position, for the past 14 months. But she immediately resigned from the Democratic candidate's staff and offered profuse apologies to Clinton and Obama about her intemperate comments.
But the lesson of Sergio's life is: It's not a question of whether to engage but how to engage.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
But the big basketball news is Colorado State's women's team, 0-16 in conference, beating 16-0 Utah. Great stuff!
I think this comment hits the heart of a gigantic cultural misunderstanding and problem. The gov's problem, and the serial killer's, and your next door neighbor's, is at root a failure of the imagination, just as Norman O. Brown has it in his classic and brilliant work, Love's Body. The disease is literalness. The gov's problem is not that he feels he must stick his dick into a woman, or whatever the hell he's up to (one never knows!); it is that he believes the only way to do this is literally to do it. He misses what Brown calls "the true war," the mental war, "the Fiery Chariot of his Contemplative Thought." In other words, he's playing out his frustrations on the wrong battlefield. This cultural addiction to literal events over imaginative events is everywhere (I recently blogged about the "true story" bias in Hollywood). The culture has lost its imagination, it's ability to experience real, true events imaginatively. Once you learn how to do this, of course, literal action not only is unnecessary but less satisfying. "Doing nothing, if properly understood, is the supreme action," writes Brown. In this frantic, noisy culture, nothing could sound more un-American.
Portland State Vikings to Play for Championship; NCAA Berth
Portland State defeated Idaho State during the semifinal round of the Intel Big Sky Men's Basketball Championship last night at the Rose Garden Arena!
The Vikings are back in action tonight (3/12) at 6:00 pm (PST) at the Rose Garden for their chance to dance. Tonight's contest determines the tournament champion with the winner receiving an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
Don't miss a minute of the action! Great seats are still available http://www.rosequarter.com or http://www.comcasttix.com or watch the game on ESPN2 at 6:00 pm TONIGHT!
For being a little Div I program a few years ago, this is a pretty big deal here. If we make the Big Dance, the icing on the cake would be to upset someone. Surely we'll have such a low seed that the first game would have us an underdog.
Citadel of the Spirit: A Literary Compendium Commemorating Oregon’s Sesquicentennial
Due out in Feb. 2009—Edited by Matt Love
List of writers contributing original essays:
Matt Love (introduction, epilogue, essay, editorial notes on previously published materials, epilogue) My essay is on Tom McCall Era
Monica Drake (gentrification)
Kassten Alonso (livability)
Kathleen Dean Moore (rain)
Charles Deemer (Portland theater in late 1970s)
David Horowitz (Runquist Brothers)
Evelyn Sharenov (9-11 in Oregon)
Cheryl Strayed (Oregon’s Strip club culture)
Bart King (Powells)
Michael Strelow (Wildflowers)
Joanna Rose (Paisely, Oregon)
Melissa Madenski (hatchery salmon)
Tom Webb (When Oregon turned into a Blue State)
Billy Hults (Mayor’s Ball)
Erin Ergenbright (Oregon food)
Gina Ochsner (Land use)
Brian Doyle (Beer)
Carla Perry (The War in Iraq Comes to Newport)
Dorthy Blackcrow Mack (St. Mary’s Peak)
Walt Curtis (Salmon on Clackamas River)
Katrine Barber (Camp Angel CO camp)
Thomas Edwards (WW 2 on the Oregon Coast)
Eckard Toy (KKK in Oregon)
Jeff Baker (Mac Court)
Joanna Miller (An update of Oregon official things)
David Milholland (The Steens Mts)
Ken Babbs (Ken Kesey)
Kim Stafford (Oregon’s first hippie, Glen Coffield)
Peter Wong (initiative and referendum process)
David Kohl (Portland Metropolitan Church)
David Hedges (Victory Over Development)
Kathy Pape (Weird marching bands in Portland)
Bobby Armstrong (Profile on Oregonian named Earl Snell)
Erick Mertz (baseball in Oregon)
Barbara Drake (Oregon’s Centennial)
Steve Anderson (rafting Clackamas River)
Haley Church (Motorcycling Columbia Gorge)
Brandon Lieberman (Satyricon rock club)
Kaia Sand (Vanport)
Shelly Washburne (Columbus Day Storm)
Alicia Williamson (marijuana)
Joe Kurmaske (Biking to Mt. Hood)
Amber Nortness (logging road culture)
Travis Champ (walking Mt. Neahkahnie)
Brianna Kent (a friend dying in Iraq)
Karl Love (coming to Oregon on train as a result of the Dust Bowl)
Ellen Waterson (Bend’s last mill)
Niki Price (coming to Oregon)
Bill Robbins (working in the woods)
Bill Rhoades (the sporting life in Oregon)
Shannon Carson (Moving from California to Oregon)
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
So I turned down a gig because I feel too old to do it. Ah, me. (But also because I'd rather do what I'm doing musically -- my studies, building to starting a chamber opera this summer -- than bring back the Guthrie self.)
Found an online piano: I can do ear training during office hours.
Deemer !!!!! Holy Shit. I love this play. Incredible ! ... It is a remarkable plot; so timely and introduces, as I see it, the tip of the iceberg of gender identification. Wow !!! You have really nailed it on many levels not the least of which is it is so damn fun and funny. Congratulations !!!
Very gratifying to get a response like this. I told him to direct it after I pass.
P.S. LATER. He said he didn't know whether he wanted to direct it or play the male lead ("What a role!"). That's the secret: write roles that actors want to do. Playwriting is the art of writing for actors.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Nice feedback ("just excellent") from the Hypertext 08 conference guy on my intro video. I hope this project goes over well. Hell of a lot of work ha ha.
I installed my ear-training software and it's really fun to use. Do it in ten and fifteen minute spurts throughout the day.
Reading scripts mainly today ... two more to go. Busy tomorrow, lunch appointment and then meeting with a student after class.
[Obama] told the audience that it made no sense for Clinton to suggest he is not ready to be president and then hint that she might hand him the job that could make him president at a moment's notice.
"If I'm not ready, how is it that you think I should be such a great vice president?" he said, as the crowd laughed and cheered loudly.
I must be a die-hard cynic. I see all this ending in a disaster for the Democrats. It goes all the way to the convention, Obama leads in elected delegates, number of states, and popular vote -- but Clinton won the large "important" states, so the party honchos meet behind closed doors and super-delegates give her the nomination, the party splits as Obama supporters are outraged, and McCain beats Clinton in a landslide. He dies in office of natural causes and his VP, whoever that may be, is president through most of the term.
Well, maybe this is the screenwriter as much as the cynic speaking ha ha.
Many writers have experienced this. Perhaps my greatest example was my labor play, "1934: Blood and Roses." being banned from a scheduled performance at the Oregon State Fair -- on Labor Day, no less! Well, this administrative decision caused a huge stink, including a story on NPR, and finally the powers that be had to reverse themselves and let the play be performed. The national press we got over this incident gave the play far more recognition than it would have garnered otherwise.
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Still grunt work to do before the afternoon read-through, primarily regarding the shooting schedule. Tomorrow, then, it's back to teaching responsibilities. What a great class! This actually may be the best screenwriting class I've ever had, in terms of having the largest number of skilled screenwriters in it. It's really been fun working with so many good writers. Just a week to go! Tempus fugit and all that.
Our 10th anniversary is coming up. We have a little trip planned.
My latest attention goes to CamStudio, a screen video capture program I learned about at muvipix.com, the most useful video resource site I've found. I suspect I'll have uses for CamStudio in my Nuts & Bolts section of the video project.
Saturday, March 08, 2008
There's always something, ALWAYS, that throws a wrench into your careful plans, and you end up changing things around and winging it. I do want time to pick up shots and otherwise cover my ass at the end. I really think I've scheduled more time than I actually will need. We'll see.
Each Sunday, 2 or 3 of the actors aren't needed. There is no scene with all of them, only 1 scene with 5. So it's not a great time commitment for anyone.
I think this will work. (P.S. It's harder to write a shooting schedule than to write the script!)
I'm thinking I may shoot on two Sundays, one and two weeks hence. I think I could cover everything then. In fact, I should work out a tentative shooting schedule to present at the reading tomorrow.
The last section of this video project, on nuts and bolts stuff, stumps me thus far. I don't know how to make it visually interesting.
Wolfe, Perkins, Time and the River
Friday, March 07, 2008
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Catch my breath and go to Music Theory. A life-saver that I did the homework for this class yesterday or I'd be in a panic about now. Not used to homework ha ha.
Anticipate the weekend and hope the weather is good so I can get the push mower out for its maiden voyage this year.
And a week from Sunday is the selection show for March Madness! Then some real fun begins.
always want to read stories
about working life
Cameron Diaz' Breasts
squirm in satiny confines
netted jelly fish
the sound of a saw
wakes me and I look to see
an old tree is gone
we sit at tables
drink bottles of greasy wine
and talk about men
line around the block
they all come here to forget
lives lived through others
For the next three months, April through June, I won't be hosting because my music composition class conflicts. I'll arrive for the last half of First Wednesdays for those months, and our non-fiction editor will host.
I am a walking, talking corpse.
I am a card-carrying member of the corps
of "senior citizens," "honored citizens,"
who without honor shuffle through the halls
like passengers whose train is always late.
I am a man who does not like his fate.
The cock no longer crows at dawn.
Obsession for the perfect curve is gone.
The slightest gesture that once fed
the rush of blood, the flood of lust,
now dangles like a phantom limb.
I am the singer with no hymn.
In memory, I was once alive, with heart
that thrived and met a kindred kind
to beat together, flesh on flesh.
When young, I never saw this mess
that's now my life of sad adagios,
these veins where blood no longer flows.
I am a walking, talking corpse.
I am a card-carrying member of the corps.
I am a man who does not like his fate.
There is nothing left to vindicate.
And so it goes, and so it goes,
boring laments, adagios.
Wednesday, March 05, 2008