Saturday, April 25, 2009

How I Broke My Back And Learned To Let A Bomb Go Off

Thursday, April 14th, 2009. Roughly 3:30PM.

This will seem like some Harvey Pekar-type shit - and maybe, really, I should do matter-of-fact semi-boring comics rather than blogs - but it's a story with enough sad/funny/pathetic life in it that it was worth putting up - kind of like telling the world about losing my virginity to a condom with a hot older chick watching. But here it is:

I am home, as has been the case of late, what with the lack of work I've been subjected to. With me is the Lady Of the House, and her best friend, Alternate Lady Of The House. I'm in my (home) office, working - writing. They're talking, and come to a question I have the answer to. I get up from my chair with the clear intention of providing valuable input that, admittedly, I could have screamed across three rooms, but I decided to deliver the message in person. I'm polite and gallant that way.

Except I don't make it all the way up. When I reach the second-model of the evolutionary chart, caveman-like 45-degree angle (or so it seems), my back locks in, the bottom of it turning all matter into excruciating pain. So I never make it all the way up. And as each step forward takes longer to achieve, my body also gradually fails to rise; two steps in I scream, three steps in I crouch and scream again; fourth step is a knee on the floor, a loud FUCK! and finally there I lay, flat on my stomach, immobile.

The beltway in my pants happens to be right at the junction between my office and the dining room, meaning my torso is in the dining room, and my legs are in my office. It looks silly, but it feels ridiculous. Both Ladies Of The House laugh, as they fail to comprehend the level of pain I'm in.

I can take pain. I've played injured in macho sports like hockey and football. I've walked 45 minutes home from school on a broken foot and ankle at age 9. I've had a broken foot for the past two years. I've had toothaches and tooth nerve pain. I've had regular back pain for the past 15 years, usually for a couple of days at a time, every two or three months. I know pain, and I tolerate it well. But never had I felt this particular level of pain.

I was, for all intents and purposes, paralyzed. I couldn't move my legs without provoking my back to ache, and it was worse with the left leg, which I felt still existed but didn't want to respond to my orders. Worse still, when I tried moving it, be it with my arm or my other leg, the pain was killing me.

So both Ladies, experts at ridiculing others, started making fun of me and my predicament, but even laughing brings pain, which only makes it funnier to them. Soon enough, they are next to me - well, my torso part anyway - rolling on the floor, crying of laughter.

Alternate Lady, being a professional dancer and dance teacher, also often has back injuries and back pain, and tried to help me out by using team stretching techniques, namely on my left leg. But the laughter had brought air into my body, and as soon as she lifted my bent leg up towards my ass, I passed gas. And it was one of those noisy farts, too, right in her face. Of course, First Lady starts cracking up again, so do I (and pain ensues), Alternate Lady drops my left leg in shock and awe - and that hurts even more. And apparently, that level of pain is just fucking hilarious to obdurate women, and the Funny Fest lives onwards.

Fifteen minutes pass by with little to less action action to recount, so Alternate Lady decides to leave and head to her own place. I'll still be on the floor for another hour before I can even attempt to move, when the Lady and I unite our forces and manage to get my ass in bed, where I'll lay for at least another hour without moving so much as a finger.

Throughout the course of the evening, I will attempt bold maneuvers like trying to go to the washroom to take a leak, but the first couple of times I can't even manage to get there at all and have to retreat to bed, while the third time is a semi-charm, one in which when I get there, helped, my penis seems to have stage fright. Just what I fucking need.

My head feels dizzy from the constant pain, and I can't stand upright for more than a few minutes. And on the few chairs I do try to sit on, the pain comes to warn me that it isn't a good idea to stay there. Eventually I find out the living room couch is a relatively comfortable place where I can sit in a tolerable amount of discomfort, with the added bonus of entertainment - TV, cable, DVD player, Playstation 3, Blue-Ray discs... it's where I'll spend the next week, give or take. Sleeping sitting down, in just about the same position for a week, my back is getting better - the meds are helping, gotta love those painkillers - but my ass is starting to hurt and my legs often get numb. But I'm up-to-date on Weeds and saw every movie nominated for this year's Oscars. And I finished my season of NHL 09.

So I got my pop culture done, had an excuse to be a couch potato and to neglect my blog for a week, and even got to a level of intimacy with Alternate Lady that only anal sex could have achieved or matched, but she doesn't believe in that shit anyway.

As Ice Cube said:
All in all, I gotta say, it was a good day

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

It's Evolution, Baby...

So, according to this BBC article, research shows that male chimpanzees are into the habit of exchanging meat with female chimps... for sex. That's right, some people still believe Evolution doesn't exist (and it also seems there are more of these people now than there were 10 or 20 years ago, dpesite science advancing and not regressing in that time span...) yet chimps are now where humans were in the Stone Age, which isn't so bad, considering.

Chimpanzees have found out that if you feed a woman her daily protein need, she will be more inclined to give you sex - even later in the course of your relationship with her.

Now I'm not saying I advocate ''keeping the woman in the kitchen'' at all, just that we, as a species, also started out coupling with one another out of a certain survival instinct - and because for some reason or another we stopped being nomads.

And since those monkeys aren't going anywhere either, nature dictated some common sense into them. The next step is giving her the right to hunt herself, then the right to have her say in how the tribe handles itself.

Chances are that won't take 2000 years and countless wars, so, in the end, which species will have made the most significant progress?

NHL Hardware Season

It's that time of year again, where sportcasters cast their votes for the NHL's best players. Again this year, my choices will differ greatly from others', especially those in the mass media.

Here's a look:

HART TROPHY (MVP award, to the player judged most valuable to his team)
1-Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
2-Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
3-Zach Parise, New Jersey Devils
4-Steve Mason, Columbus Blue Jackets
5-Mike Richards, Philadelphia Flyers

VÉZINA TROPHY (best goalie)
1-Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins
2-Niklas Backstrom, Minnesota Wild
3-Steve Mason, Columbus Blue Jackets
4-Evgeny Nabokov, San Jose Sharks
5-Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks

NORRIS TROPHY (best defenseman)
1-Niklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings
2-Dan Boyle, San Jose Sharks
3-Andrei Markov, Montréal Canadiens
4-Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins
5-Mike Green, Washington Capitals

CALDER TROPHY (best rookie)
1-Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators
2-Bobby Ryan, Anaheim Ducks
3-Steve Mason, Columbus Blue Jackets
4-Patrick Berglund, St.Louis Blues
5-Luke Schenn, Toronto Maple Leafs

JACK ADAMS TROPHY (best coach)
1-Claude Julien, Boston Bruins
2-Todd McLellan, San Jose Sharks
3-Andy Murray, St.Louis Blues
4-Paul Maurice, Carolina Hurricanes
5-Jacques Lemaire, Minnesota Wild

FRANK SELKE TROPHY (best defensive forward)
1-Mike Richards, Philadelphia Flyers
2-Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
3-Samuel Pahlsson, Chicago Black Hawks
4-Maxim Lapierre, Montréal Canadiens
5-Sergei Fedorov, Washington Capitals

LADY BING TROPHY (most gentlemanly, least penalized)
1-Zach Parise, New Jersey Devils
2-Andrew Ladd, Chicago Black Hawks
3-Chris Drury, New York Rangers
4-Simon Gagné, Philadelphia Flyers
5-Loui Eriksson, Dallas Stars

What are yours?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Writing Screenplays

It seems easy enough a concept, really. Especially when writing is just about the only thing you can do and you studied in film to boot. It combines regular writing with regular storytelling, but it's never just so a reader can take it and imagine it their way in their heads and more about having a specific type of reader get a better idea on how to make it look better than it already does so it can sound like a regular situation and less like something you read.

So, really, it's all about being vague enough in your details so that others can set it better than you, but with enough natural flash to elicit that same person, who reads half a dozen screenplays a day, to keep reading yours until the end.

And that's where it gets tricky, because the stupidest or most mundane story with barely a couple of good dialogue lines can look really cool on screen (see Shoot Em Up or Get Shorty), while very well written films can fall into near obscurity because a big-name director (Charlie Bartlett) or big-name producer didn't take care of it (The Chumscrubber), or a bigwig executive didn't have the balls to release it properly (The Dangerous Lives Of Altar Boys).

So, in my opinion, there is a fine line that must absolutely be crossed depending on where you want your idea to be headed: smart and little chance of commercial success but likely international recognition, or typical formulaic fare that could make you rich if you know the right people to sell it to. But most people aren't plugged in with the Hollywood bigwigs, so I'm left to wonder why there aren't too many potentially amazing ideas running around in recent film releases, and I'm stupefied at the rate of remakes, sequels and adaptations hitting the big screens and video store shelves in recent years. It's downright scary.

Which leads me to what I'm writing now. Two screenplays dealing with customer service - an issue that hits home in more ways than one in my case. It's not like it's a new subject,a nd it's not like my take on it is revolutionary. So I have absolutely no idea how it would fit with the categories I've described in the previous paragraph.

Maybe I'm just fucked.