Thursday, June 27, 2013

Movie Treatment: Planet Revenge

I came up with this treatment a couple months ago, but haven't been able to flush it out completely. Perhaps if Mr. Bruckheimer just blessed me with some of his pocket change -cough, cough- I could turn this is into the Michael Bay Blockbuster it is meant to be!

Tagline: When something is under attack, what does it do? Fight back.

Summary: Five! No, six! Wait, 7! Or 8 or 9!! Interconnected stories about the least expected ways that the world ‘ends’.               

A couple vacationing in Hawaii suffers a freak allergic reaction!

A pod of great white sharks is found trolling off the coast of Scotland (where such sharks have never before been found).

Kamikaze birds in Hong Kong pock out people's eyes!!

Insects turn in hoards and overwhelm towns in the Midwest, eating people alive!

Ants attacking in Bombay!

Food shrinking on the vine instead of growing!

Ground water tables suddenly disappearing, as if the earth opened up and swilled them whole!

These different scenarios 8 scenarios play out against a back-drop of actual environmental disasters -droughts, famines, hurricanes and tornadoes, etc.

To paraphrase Pat Buchanan: “humans have declared war on nature, and now nature is exacting an awful retribution”.

Planet Revenge, coming soon to a blog near you!

Planet Revenge: Scene 1


A montage of farming and agriculture footage, ending with boring sprinklers in action, bees buzzing from crop to crop, and a wheat farmer harvesting his grain in Maddoc, Montana.

SCENE 1 (Plot A, Honolulu, beach at sunset) [allergies]

It's a beautiful sunset at Waikiki, the kind that you've seen on plenty of postcards.

Frolicking in the calm waves are you sexy, young lovers, let's call them Monkey and Kitty, nicknames that they've given themselves. Viewers don't know this but the nicknames reflect their sexual proclivities.

In an ideal world, Kitty would be played by Megan Fox -sexy, cute, unrealistic- but by the time this script comes to film, Megan Fox will be obscure, aged, and saggy. Likewise, Monkey is a handsome yet nondescript fellow, let's say Joseph Gordon Levitt.

They're playing in the water, Kitty more confident in the water than Monkey.

"Come on over to the deep end, Monkey!" Kitty sweetly asks.

"C'mon, you know I'm not a good swimmer." True, Monkey, as his name might suggest to anyone who has witnessed monkeys in the ocean, lacks confidence in the water and is slightly struggling, not quite panicking.

"Then let’s play…," says Kitty, flirtatious ferocity -like that of a kitten on the verge of mischief- growing in her eyes, "Shark attack!" And she lurches in the water after Monkey.

"Argh!" Monkey shrieks skittishly! "You know how I feel about sharks!" As he stops shrieking die down, he starts a mild cough.

"Aw, Monkey, you're so cute when you're afraid!" Kitty says lovingly, pulling herself closer to him. Luckily, most of their bodies are submerged, otherwise the action underwater would threaten the film's PG-13 rating.

However, Monkey's coughing hasn't stopped. In fact, it's getting worse. He's standing chest-high, so he's not choking on water. It's something else. The coughing intensifies. This is serious.

"Are you ok?" Asks Briana, her face suddenly flashing to anxiety. Monkey looks up at her, his face is deep blue and swollen. "Help!" is barely audible from his cracking lips.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Stories, oh stories...

I've posted a couple of my stories online.
It's all been a bit of a strategic dilemma. I wrote heavily for several years, and tried hard to get published.
I think I was successful with a couple "online lit journals" that soon thereafter went invalid IP address-up.

My best stories, though never got anywhere. I tried and tried and tried, heavily, regularly, and often between 2006 and 2010 with nary a suggestion of acceptance.

So I sat on them. Did some work as a journalist (more difficult, and more pointless), went to grad school (ditto) and now... I'm here.

And what?

I've been batting about ideas on how to publish my stories. There have been significant developments in the literary world between 2006 and 2013. Among them, I'd think that if I just posted the stories online and marketed them somehow, I would be "successful". I just have to market them, right?

So now I'm flirting with it, but can't decide which story is more worthy of being put online: Hitchhiking with the creepy German? Stuck in the northern-most city in the world? Held up at gun point in Mexico? Mugged in Cuba? Meeting Fidel?

Which? Which story do I post?

I wrote this poem a long time ago

early august, 1995
Hopefully Instead of Reason, Our Salvation Happens Instantly, without Meaningless Anticipation

first sit from the heavy sauce and think
out the window down ten feet, over twenty meters lies a radio
htz and hundreds numbered 
from its monomouth echos shantily a pop song
huey lewis and the news/heart of gold/sports
1984 was a shitty year 
Der Tag Dann Nach arrived in the wee hours in faded blue irredescent brightness staining white eyes of the village sleeping in quiet somberance
the hooligans all left hannover with hangovers and handcuffburns
something left the rest of us

from this window i can see four cement poles, tin corrigated 
yellow fields browned from harvest
white walls
red roofs made from rock that appear unindigeanous to the area 
nothing asthetic or athiestic and apealing to the eye
[like a nice model with curves and burning red lips
selling soft drinks
auto marks branded on her brests
oil and beer brands tattoo attractively around the navel
if she has a sweet mouth she can talk intellectually
in circles about tampons
the real raw meat, none of that bullshit
salesmen show you wankers [branleurs
and wächslers] giggle about, this is
 Blood, the stuff that spouts from your
throats when we slit them in the
 revolution, trample your bodies into fertilizer,
spread it across the fields and hope that none
of your demon seed infects the crops
for the forthcoming liberated generations....]

i want to hit the masses with Red anger in the nose
give them a complex about facial features because
they dont look like the whore on the billboard
with insurance premiums and blowjobs imprinted in the fineprint along the ridges that curve along her lower Red pouting lip
paint the world Red 
spread communism sex and the national blood
spilled for our freedom
all over the world the blood spilled
the hungry communistic freedom blood
spilled in a rampant orgy
with pepsi cola
a flood of chinamen running red
spilling over the Yalu river
for our freedom
red paint spilled over maps of old europe
dilluted with champaign, smeared with stinky fingers
(the Party's raging!)
in the wee hours as the smoke settles
her buttocks flatten the prussians.
the blood of a hundred million almond eyes spilled in mass
irreverance for freedom and coca cola
tHe IrRelevant blOod Stains of
one          [second]
Hundred       percent
fIfty years ago to the thought
two   many    times
tHousAnd     still
nine     [05]
tHIrty frozen moments unfold before us 
one more is me
evaporated by irredescendent brightness
[agaIn and agaIn]
into deserts of glass
staining white eyes
mouths dropped in a half circle upwards
mumbling along the daily routine
singing lullabies
white blood staining wallls
it must be their souls

Now we can stand glowing glad
and wave flags of red white and blue
blood streamed from their eyes in tears
our hunger raged us blind to oblivion
the communists froze god in silverchromatic landscapes
he lusted into the virgin with hollow eyes

A computer impaled on a billboard bright lights highlighting
breasts and the auto marks and beer stains branded
sexy like a well-used spitoon
In the new world they sell computers
in the ideal world they shoot up computers

in the real world they will shoot computers.

Friday, June 21, 2013

“An introduction to my future collection of travel writing as a review of my hometown”

Billings, Montana, May 2007

My cousin's haircut makes him look like Kevin Nealon, a forgotten face of Saturday Night Live, but not the healthy Kevin Nealon.  It's a greasy, stringy mop-top that would include bangs, except he's balding, resulting in a conspicuous gap where the bangs should be.  Kind of like anti-bangs.  He has the physique of a father of five who spends too much time on the phone, driving, or running around managing three pawn shops, a real estate company, and a video distribution center.  His diet is horrible and eaten usually standing, driving, or on the phone.  His stress is contagious.  He's going to have a heart attack before he's forty-five.

It cost him ninety dollars to fill up his SUV, a figure that will only rise, but he still thinks nothing of driving around pointlessly, windows open, air con blasting, the radio alternating between car dealer advertisements and eighties crotch-rock.  We end up on the Rims two hundred feet above the city and walk along the edge to where the Mormons built their temple.  All the gossip we spread was about people two or three times removed from us personally.

My dad wimped out. I'm not upset, I took a calculated risk –buying the tickets a week beforehand and sprung them on him as a birthday surprise- and had a backup plan, but still, he predictably wimped out on Leon Redbone due to a vaguely sore back. It was the first concert I’d seen in my hometown since Def Leppard at the Metra in 1987. I want to tell him about the time I stepped on a nail in Thailand while recovering from Dengue fever, or fending off drunken Russian soldiers on trains to the edge of the earth, or wondering if I was molested while hitchhiking in Germany, or being held up at gunpoint in Baja and mugged like a puppy in Havana. Where the hell did my adventurous travel genes come from? The answer is my mother's side and I think this means for sure I'm going to Panama this summer.

I took his colleague Kurt –a fuzzy-faced guy from NoDak– to the show instead. Leon was fun, the place was a converted train depot. He does tiny tricks with his hat and slowly sips his brandy and never leaves his seat. He played for an hour and fifteen minutes. Afterwards, Kurt, whom I've known for over twenty years, took me to a bar across the street, Montana Avenue, infamous in my childhood for prostitutes and porn shops. Now they have art galleries and a semi-decent cafe. (Hell, for the hell of it I'm gonna google “Billings Swingers” right now.)  We went to the Rainbow, probably the only bar in America named “the Rainbow” that isn't gay. (Though I did notice one apparent homosexual.  You could tell he was a homo cause he was wearing a gold necklace instead of a baseball cap and was talking to a woman in complete sentences.)  

The bar was full of frat boys and ranked high in the BCR –Baseball Cap Ratio, my way of measuring a bar’s stature.  Like one would expect in a Montana bar, even a bar on a street full of galleries on art night with a high ratio of baseball caps, a fight broke out.  Several fights, in spurts and stops.  Kurt hypothesized it was a rugby team celebrating a victory, or two rugby teams disputing a victory, or a rugby camp practicing a scrum (isn’t that the thing they do in rugby?  It sounds too much like "scrotum", but then again it is a very homo-erotic sport, just as it is a very homo-erotic crowd in an old Montana bar selling Konakee for a buck twenty-five a pint).  I'm instantly spotted as a fag for ordering a rum and coke, and I have to think of the notorious sexual prowess of Cubans to reaffirm that I'm not; a thought that is immediately followed by recalling how Cubans, like their Montanan counterparts, are notoriously latent homosexuals. I suspect it's the root cause of all the anal sex that's ubiquitous in Latin America.

So there were some fights, which resembled a rugby scrum, and a guy in a baseball cap told us they were roughnecks –which isn't a derogatory term and an actual title for an oil worker– from Sidney, where my cousin's parents are from.  Then some big guys busted through the huddle –big, serious guys, as opposed to the big drunken guys who were able to initiate/quell the scrum/fight with one arm while balancing their dollar twenty-five beer in the other.  The big guys busted through the melee like a cattle-hand through a mulling herd. All the guys were huge, and I found myself feeling very effeminate and small, except that the big bouncer was very, very tall and very, very obese and not at all muscular. He resembled a bowling pin, though much larger and vastly softer with a tire-like ribbon of blubber protruding from underneath his belt. The bar had recently been re-done to match the deco of the neighboring art galleries, the acoustic-tile ceiling removed and the antique wood carved ceiling revealed, though the colors –evergreen and sandy brown– didn't help with the whole sexual identity issue thing. 

The night concluded with me back at my father's house, sneaking brandy from the back from the cabinet and constantly recalling my adolescence, before I ran away and circled the globe.

(The google of “Billings swingers” has resulted in a plethora of possibilities, all of them wielding moustaches or two.) 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Postcard from Villa Clara, Cuba, 2002

from the archives...

We are staying with a distant uncle of a friend.

He's from Laos, as is my friend, though while the Commies took over and her parents fled, taking her four year old self in tow, he stayed, said the right things, and became a good Commie.

Years later, after sending him to Thailand to study engineering, the Commies sent him to Cuba. There, he met a fifteen year old campesina, got married, got her pregnant, and settled down. 

Now twenty years later, he juggles jobs: one for the Cuban government, surveying farms and planning the harvest; one for the Laos government, translating for officials, for which he gets a car and pass to the embassy store (where he buys such items as VCRs and rice cookers and sells them for a slight profit) and the other job that all Cubans obsess about all the time -whatever it takes. 

He's one of four Laos in the entire country, seven if you count the embassy staff, and if you count the Cambodians and Vietnamese, fifty or so Buddhists.

My girlfriend and I have landed here as an opportunity to experience the Cuban life, though it's getting to be a bit much.  They live in a house on the outskirts of Villa Clara, near where Che sabotaged a train load of Batista soldiers, crippling the army and paving the way to victory for the revolution.

In the house live Chamsy and his wife, both short, round and portly, his handsome teenage son, beautiful teenage daughter and a younger, squirming child.

They give us one bedroom and everyone else sleeps in another.  When they're not sleeping, they're cooking. And they don't sleep very much.   

Behind the kitchen, a pig constantly grovels.  We never see it except for it's massive shadow -three feet high and five feet long and enclosed in a cage roughly the same size. It spends it's entire short life wallowing in it's own filth, as pigs often do, as soon it will be the feast at a celebration, or at least sold for hard currency. 

Behind the pig, in a slightly larger space but also unseen is a pregnant doberman.  Every day is drama with the doberman, until she unleashes a flood of blood across the patio, mixing with the pig's shit and filth. 

The smell is unbearable to us and unnoticeable to them and the cooking continues obsessively.

Their insistence is intolerable.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fwd: FW: Unusual photographs....................

The beautiful strange-eyed kitten, taken in  Lovech ,  Bulgaria
There are glass igloos for rent in  Finland  where you can sleep under the Northern Lights!
This is Glaucus atlanticus, a sea slug found in tropical and temperate waters throughout the world. This photograph makes the rounds on Facebook every few months simply because it's so strangely beautiful.
Einstein - The World's Smallest Horse.
Zakynthos Island,  Greece.  The water is so clear, it looks like the boat is floating in the air.
This horse breed, Akhal-Teke from  Turkmenistan  was announced the most beautiful horse in the world.
This is what an Ocean Sand looks like when it is magnified 250 times
Unbelievable Camouflage by Satanic leaf-tailed gecko.  The satanic leaf-tailed gecko from  Madagascar  is a master of disguise, but that's not the only way it avoids an attack from predators. It flattens its body against the leaves to reduce its shadow, and opens its jaws wide to show an intimidating, bright red mouth. Like many other lizards, it can also shed its own tail to distract a predator.
The Inside of an Oyster, growing Pearls..
California Red-Sided Garter Snake.
During the mating season, the female sits on a nesting ring while the males searches the entire beach for the pebbles looking for the smoothest one to present to their chosen female. Once a pebble has been selected, the male penguins presents the pebble as a token of love to the chosen female and if she takes the pebble and places it on her nest then she has accepted that penguin as her mate.
This is what happens to human skin when it's struck by lightning! It's called a Lichtenberg figure — the branching pattern made by electricity as seen on the arm of Winston Kemp who was struck by lightning
The incredible story of one woman's loyalty to her horse - she spent three hours holding its head above the tide after it got stuck in the mud on a beach in Australia. A horse gets stuck up to his neck in mud on a beach as the tide rises. His owner, Nicole Graham, who was enjoying an afternoon ride, stayed with him as rescuers struggled for three hours to pull him out. With moments to spare, the 500kg horse, named Astro, was freed with the help of a tractor and harness at  Avalon   Beach  in  Geelong ,  Victoria ,  Australia .
It's an amazing natural sight at Abraham lake with the Frozen bubbles under the ice.
Zanjeer, The Golden  Labrador  Who Saved Thousands Of Lives. In March 1993, a series of 12 bombs went off across  Mumbai ,  India . The serial blasts left 257 dead and 713 injured. But in the aftermath, an unlikely hero emerged. According to Reuters, a golden Labrador named Zanjeer worked with the bomb squad and saved thousands of lives by detecting "more than 3,329 kgs of the explosive RDX, 600 detonate...tors, 249 hand grenades and 6406 rounds of live ammunition." He helped avert three more bombs in the days following the blasts.  The dog died of bone cancer in 2000. He was eight years old. In the photo, a senior police officer lays a wreath of flowers on Zanjeer as he was buried with full police honors at a widely-attended ceremony.
This Is What An Underwater Gunshot Looks Like