i seem to be at a point in my life where all of the pieces that have been set up over the past few years are lining themselves up and falling in place where they belong.

Tomorrow ends my last day at my current job and Monday I begin my new job… Which. Happens to be in the same location, but it is better money and actually working for the company I work at, rather than being a contractor providing services to said company.

With my three year divorce behind me, my life at home is looking up and forward. There is a great pressure that dissipates once the legal bullshit is done and over with.

The house that I live in, we are finally in the process of purchasing the property, as opposed to renting it like we have for the past year.

And, in my professional life, that of my dream job, the pieces are all lining up for the big break. I have finished the novel, which has been three years in the making. I have studied it and broken it apart page by page so many times that I can’t even look at it anymore. But, the one thing that stands out while working on this novel is that, yes, I can’t get away from my filmmaker’s roots. I originally tackled The Seven Isaacs with the concept that I was going to write something that couldn’t be filmed. I knew that there were going to be kids involved and I knew that some of those kids were going to get killed as the story progressed. No one wants to watch kids get killed on screen.

What I didn’t realize was that during that process, I was writing the most exciting, the most human and best story I had ever written. What i didn’t realize is that I was writing from the perspective of a director, an editor, a filmmaker. I wrote something that is ripe to be told on screen, more than anything I have ever written.

Today marks a slightly important day. Today, I submitted my Japanese screenplay Ashio to the trade market in Tokyo. It is the same even I attended last year, but this year, I am hoping to be accepted to make a pitch to all sorts of producers and filmmaker’s in order to sell that script and story idea.

What I didn’t plan odoing was submitting The Seven Isaacs as a film project… But I did anyway. I made up a short promo package for the story and sent it off to be examined by those on the selection committee for TIFFCOM. The story is universal. It is by no means inherently American or Japanese for that matter, but it does have a very Japanese sensibility to it. It is honest. It is human. It is bleak at it’s worst and bright and promising at it’s peak.

It would also make for a badass anime project. Probably more than a live action feature.

Life is falling in to place. I always knew, deep in my heart that nothing was going to happen in my life until my divorce was done and over with. Well, here I am. The divorce is final. The universe is hovering above me and everything is dropping. The tetris blocks are all lined up. I just need that one long piece to drop and make this puzzle complete.

Adventures in Editing – The Seven Isaacs

(sorry for the long post… iPad won’t let me “Read More”)

A couple days ago, I posted a photo of the recently finished up corrections draft of my novel, THE SEVEN ISAACS. it boasted a nice, staggering number of 100,000 words. It boggles my mind that I actually wrote something that big. It clocked in somewhere around 550 pages. Yes, I tend to be wordy. I like to write. I also like to write here and tend to get wordy here. In my mind, a blog should be filled wi the written word of it’s owner to really open up that avenue into that bogger’s mind. So that’s what I do here.

My novel has been a long time coming and I really am busting my ass to get it truly finished and all the typos corrected and all the formatting stuff fixed so that I can get it on the market in October. It’s a rush, but it’s the best time of year to release my book. I try and deny the science fiction aspects of my novel, because to me it’s not about science or fantasy at all. It’s about humanity. It’s about being human and learning to be human. That being said, it is science fiction and the best time of year to release a scifi and horror book is Halloween. So, there, we have a goal. Goal is set.

Each and every day I am spending reading my novel aloud to myself to find the mistakes that need to be corrected. I have sent the book out to a few friends and family and acquaintances as well as gotten it into the hands of a couple agents and publishers (who declined btw) I know friends and family aren’t always the most objective when reviewing and there can tend to be some bias there, but I do trust the people that I have handed the book over to. I trust them to not hold back and to play it straight for me.

I’ve been a writer for a long time. Never a novel, but I’ve been writing for a very long time. I wrote my first script in 1998 and self produced my first film based on that script in 2001. Then, I was off. I was a writing machine. My early work is CRAP. Utter garbage. Some of it got better with time. Two Days with Juliet, my feature from 2003, garnered itself a couple small awards that wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t written so much shit. Juliet was a story about a cutter who was dealing with the sudden loss of her parents. It was a very tightly wound story that I wrote around one location. The characters were great. Deep and well thought out real people. That was the first time characters appeared in my writing and not caricatures.

That script had zero editing involved. I wrote what I shot and shot what I wrote. It was the perfect script. There was no room anywhere to cut anything. I thought it was the Same thing with Cold Winter. My backyard, again, award-winning, WWII spaghetti western. The script was tight, but this, I ending up learning a valuable lesson about editing. When you film something and one shot Is completely fucked and you have to rewrite the final film around that missing scene, can get interesting. You learn how much can be said and not shown and shown and not said with missing scenes. I ended up cutting ten minutes of scenes from the film, because we couldn’t keep them for various continuity reasons.

With a book, I have a tough time editing. It’s difficult for me to know what and where to cut scenes. So, I have to go with my gut. My gut tells me. My instincts let me know how much is too much and what is good and not good and what pushes the story forward and what is just filler.

About three years ago I started the novel. Then it got put aside for many months after a few chapters had been written. Then life got in the way and writer’s block got in the way. I’ve always hated that chapter. The transitionary chapter between the old me and the new me was a mess. I wrote it when my life was a mess. I didn’t truly become a writer until I got an iPad and I was able to write with the flick of a finger.

So. I the process of the third read through… I completely cut out chapter six. It’s gone. I went from 100,000 words down to 97,000 words with that flick and swipe of a finger. A short rewrite at the intro of chapter seven…. And poof. Fixed.

This morning I get an email from a friend who has been somewhat of a creative sounding board with me for the last few years. She doesn’t pull any punches and lays everything down straight. She’s always the first to tell me stuff is too wordy. Me… I just see the movie in my head.

This is what she had to say about my novel, which she hasn’t finished yet:

” I was enjoying what I was reading, but, as you know, there is a lot of editing down I think that can help.  But it is unique and, in a word, visonary.”


To me, that’s not a word I take lightly.

Thank you for the compliment. Hopefully I can get the book out to a few more readers and start getting some feedback before I decide to develop this into a tv series or something!

The Seven Isaacs – synopsis

The Seven Isaacs – Synopsis

When Eight awoke he never suspected it would be the last time he would see Father.  He also never suspected that he, along with his brothers and sisters would suddenly be thrust into the wild, hunted by an elite and specially trained military task force.

Eight and his six siblings are by-products of an underground, illegal human cloning experiment.  Born and raised in a laboratory under constant scrutiny, observation and experimentation, they’ve rarely, if ever seen the blue skies of the world outside. 

One day, the alarm sounds and the man they call Father ushers them toward safe passage, as the laboratory is seized and shut down by a government task force. The seven aptly named and numbered children are forced into a world unknown and unseen by their senses to experience the vivid realities that we consider day to day living.  While struggling with the rising emotions of anger, greed, love, loss and religion, they quickly learn of their delicate place in this world along with the frailty of their bodies and minds as they cope with medical side-effects of their condition as only Father could explain.
Oh, and lest we forget, the task force that is set upon their capture and if necessary, extermination of this inhuman and abnormal breed of humanity.

The Seven Isaacs spans 100,000 words and dissects the journey of the seven children as they discover the modern world for the first time, for better and for worse, while fighting for their lives against a military that is hunting them and the secrets in their past that haunt them.  Bordering on a science fiction modern reality and medical discovery, the story unfolds and gently touches on the philosophical effects that human cloning can have on the minds of children when faced with the harsh realities of their differences in this world.

Hit me up if you want to give it a read.

100,110 words!!!! Free book anyone?

I just finished up the first REAL run through of making corrections on my novel, THE SEVEN ISAACS. Now, I feel it is ready for people to read.

I have been blogging here for the better part of a year and have done it more of a personal release than anything else, and have never truly embraced the depth of the social connections in tumblr. After the last few weeks I have begun to expand my tumblr horizons.

I have seventeen followers at the moment.

I know the easiest way to gather followers is to show some post a few tags and nipple piercings for a couple days and I’ll have all sorts of followers, but damn me… That’s not going to garner me readers. It’s going to find me lurkers and titmongers. so… I have no idea what to do…

But, if you are one of my seventeen followers And would like to read my novel, hit my box and I will get you an ebook version for your enjoyment.

I will reblog the synopsis shortly

Illiteracy in the modern age.

Hello world.  I have survived a week with very limited internet connections.  Sure.  I have my iPhone and can do some general browsing and shit, but, when I sit down to write.  I need at least a keyboard.

My week has been interesting to say the least.  I was away training for a change in my work stuff and had to put up with four days of review on stuff I already know as well as the occasional new thing.  Somehow I had the every so glorious luck to wind up in a room full of guys.  fifteen of us training.  Not a single girl in the place.  That made for an awkward session of almost locker room mentality, which thoroughly boggled my mind.  Especially since most of us at this point are supposed to be adults.

One thing that got me going in the room, was illiteracy. 

I had stumbled across an old acquaintance the day prior to my trip.  This man is a few years older than me.  I was at a gas station and headed to a photography gig where I was to take some photos for a wedding of a friend of a neighbor kind of thing.  He was interested, because he knew someone else who was having a wedding and were looking for a photographer.  I don’t normally do these things, but it’s great side cash to pay for some trips and some new toys and stuff.  So, I gave him my info.  He searched around his truck for a pen and a paper and he began to write.

The first thing that caught my eye was that he spelled my name wrong.  Completely wrong.  I thought to myself, well, maybe he just doesn’t remember my name.  FYI, dear reader, I have 4 letters in my abbreviated name.  He also stumbled and thought on the word Wedding.  He abbreviated it and asked me how to spell my chick’s name… because she does cakes.  I spelled it and then he couldn’t spell cake.  Kake.  He played it off as if he was just having a brain fart, which we’ve all done.

I’m not here to poke fun at him.  It was truly sad.  This was a man approaching his forties… and couldn’t spell.  I know what he does.  He is a business owner and has a fleet of trucks.  It was heartbreaking to know that this stuff still goes on.  People fall through the cracks.  Yes.  He is successful at what he does, but think how much easier it would have been to get that business off the ground had he been able to read.

Fast forward two days.  I am now three hours away in a corporate training facility.  it’s your standard corporate training.  Here is the projector screen.  Here is your workbook.  Here is your trainer standing at the front of the room and pointing at people to tell them to read.  Around the room we go.  Wouldn’t you know it.  There was a a gentleman in his late twenties that couldn’t read a simple paragraph in the workbook. 

I was stunned.  And really, just … well, just stunned!  How does something like this happen?  How does someone get this far in their life and not be able to read.  I know that people have to do it all the time.  But this was ridiculous.  I had two experiences int two days with two different fully grown illiterate men.  It was

There are no words for it.

My brush with Charlie Sheen

This was 2001, when I took said trip to LA for my first film festival… Again, from my old blog»»>   This was WAY before he turned into the douchiest winning loser that he is today.  he was actually pretty damn cool while we talked to him.  But, this was also buried in the denise richards years

EXT. Film Fest, Day Four – Morning

Today, so far, has been an amazing day. I’m hoping I haven’t burned my karma for my screening.

Larry, Ryan and Darcy and I all wake up and get our shit together then head out to our morning coffee shop. The Coffee Bean on Beverly Drive, right here in Downtown Beverly Hills. It’s been our morning wake up place all week. Only today, we got there, about an hour later than normal. And sho-nuff… we catch another celebrity sighting. Actually, there was even a little interaction. We’re waiting for Darcy to get her coffee and This man whisks by us.

LARRY:Holy shit.

MIKE: What?

LARRY:That was Charlie Sheen.

MIKE: It was not.

LARRY: As sure as I am fucking standing here it was.

Larry enters the Coffee Bean. He exits with Darcy.

LARRY: Yup it’s him.

Anyway, he comes out, and it was him. He stood around out in front of the place, next to us. He was waiting for someone. We get up from our table, and he briefly chats with Darcy… Asks her if he can have her table.

I know, no big deal, but it was a surprise. We didn’t expect it. See, we expected to see Scott Baio at the premiere for his film. We did not expect to see Charlie Sheen at the coffee place.

The Tale of Bartlebus Jones – a lost fable

I came across this while checking out my ancient xanga blog.  it’s a short story I wrote in 2001.

….reading it here… it doesn’t look so short.


I’ll tell you the tale of Bartlebus Jones.

Bartlebus Jones was a fisherman. Not the big outrigger deep sea fisherman, but a home town creek, or “crick” as he would say, fisherman. He didn’t do it for profit. he did it to get away from his wife. As in most fairy tales. It is the wife and her mother who drive men to do strange and unusual things. This one is no different. Only… Bartlebus wasn’t driven to do anything. Everything just sort of happened to him. It wasn’t his fault. He really wasn’t in control of his life and that never bothered him. The only thing that bothered him… was his wife, and her mother.

Bartlebus never contemplated fate, or destiny or anything too complex like that. As a matter of fact, Bartlebus never really thought at all. Fishing is one of those things you can do without putting forth too much thought. Bartelbus didn’t want to cloud his mind with complicated matters of politics and business. He didn’t know much about science or philosophy. What he did know was fish. He knew the fish before they would bite. He knew where they were. He knew exactly how big they were. He knew if they were male or female. It’s almost as if he had a sixth sense about fish. He sure as hell couldn’t smell them. Fish stink, but only out of water.

Bartlebus grew quite a reputation as a fisherman from the back woods. Every season a new crop of “yunguns” would creep up the crick behind him. Wherever Bartelbus would go, the yungus soon traveled. This didn’t bother Bartelbus, he simply moved on to the next bend in the crick and found better and deeper holes with bigger and better fish. at the end off the day, as the sun would set, Bartelbus would bring his fair share of catch out to the roadside and the yunguns would always ask, “Where’d you catch those, Bartlebus?” His answer was always simple. “Up around the bend” He’d say.

“Up around the bend.” That’s how he was known. Somewhere in the middle of rural America, that is where he was… but now, he’s up around the bend. This is exactly the sort of thing that got him into trouble.

Early one morning, he awoke with a smile. The sun wasn’t quite up yet and the fish were dying to be caught. What a great day this was. He slipped out of bed, before his wife, Honey, would even stir for her morning pot of coffee. He tip-toed into the kithcen to brew a thermos full for himself… but was caught by surprise. There, standing half naked in the kitchen, was his mother-in-law. Bathsheba. A ninety-pound, ninety-year old witch of a woman. Her nose was as crooked as her arthritic fingers. Her hair was tattered and thinning white, slicked back to her scalp so tight that it seemed as if little white bits of her skull was showing through. The mole above her lips began to speak.

“Ther’ll be no fishin’ today! You gots to take me to Doc for an ‘appirtnment’” She spoke in a tone that no one would question. Even though her words droned in his ears, Bartlebus knew he was trapped. When Bathsheba spoke the little tiny hairy mole quivered. Bartlebus shivered in fear. All was lost. Unless…

“There WILL be fishing today.” His voice boomed in the tiny kitchen. A deep growl unlike anything he had ever spoken. Bathsheba stepped back in shock. Then her mole twisted a little and it was anger on her face, not shock. Bartlebus had never stood up to her in his entire life.

“You WILL take me up to Doc you no good sonofa-”

Just then, Honey stepped into the room. Despite her cranky mother’s size, Honey filled the room. She was so large it was almost as if she had eaten any siblings she may or may not have had.

“What in THE hell is going on out ‘ere?! Caint you see that people are tryin to sleep out here?” Suddenly both Bartlebus and Bathsheba stepped back in shock. (and fear)

“It’s all right, Honey. I was just tellin’ yer mother that I was goin’ fishin’ for the day.”

“He was sayin that he airn’t taken me to see Doc, that’s what her weres sayin” Bathsheba rebutted before Bartlebus even closed his mouth.

“I am going to get some beauty sleep…” Honey started.

“You’re gonna need it” Bartlebus whispered.

Bathsheba slapped him hard across his fuzzy face. “I heard that you fat sonofa good fer nothin whore. Nobody talks to my honey that way.”

Honey grabbed them both by the scruff of their collars. “You WILL take my momma to see Doc. And then you can go fishin. If you aint takin momma fishin then don’t bother comin back at all.”

Wait a minute, Bartlebus thought. In her apocalyptic rage she mispoke. She said take momma fishin. She really said “Take Momma fishin.” He tried to tell her. “But, Honey…”

“Shut yer trap and get outta here. You take momma outta here and then bring back some dinner.”

He smiled to himself. Bathsheba hadn’t heard the slip up either. This was turning out to be a wonderful day after all. All he had to do now was get rid of Bathsheba so he could spend his day in peace. It wouldn’t be hard. After all, he was “Up around the bend Bart” Once he got his feet under him. No crick could keep him down. He could lose Bathseba in that forest so fast, she wouldn’t know what to do.

As he loaded the truck, he did nothing but grin. What a perfect day. Losing his mother-in-law in the woods, and having a nice peaceful day of fishing, up around the bend.

“What the hell are you grinnin fer?!” Bathsheba shouted as Bartlebus loaded her into his beat up pickup truck. He just smiled behind his ratty beard and went on to load his gear. Today, he put two fishing poles in the guun rack of his truck. After all, that was the best way to carry them.

“You don’t needs two fishin poles! I sher as hail ain’t gonna be caught dead fishin some crick with you by my side.”

“Shut up momma. Of course you won’t be caught dead fishin with me, but yer goin anyways.” Again, Bartlebus smiled.

the truck fired it’s way out of the trailer park and down the dusty dirt road. Before long Bartlebus wheeled into his favorite crick. Only this time, something wasn’t right. He knew it right away.

“What’s goin on here? What are all these cars doin in my hole?” He said.

“Keep on drivin sonny. Don’t even think about stopping. You gotta get me over ta Doc’s.” He didn’t hear her. His eyes were fancied on the circle of cars all along the roadside. All along the crickside. “Are you listenin ta me?” She started in again. Her voice shook him like fingers across a cheese grater.

“Shhh…” was all he answered. He slowly pulled the truck forward to see what all the commotion was about. There were cars everywhere. Half of the entire town had wheeled themselves into his favorite fishin hole. Then he saw it. Two men on high ladders strung a banner between two trees.

“First Annual Fishing Derby” He said aloud.

Bathseba slapped him. “Don’t even think about it.” it was too late. He had already grabbed his pole and was out the door. The truck instinctively rolled into a rutted parking spot. She knew where to go. Bathsheba huffed, crossed her arms, and sat there, her eyes darting back a
nd forth as she muttered swear words under her breath.

Bartlebus ran into the midst of the entire town. “What is all this? What are you doing here?”

A smarmy young boy turned to him. “It’s the first annual fishhing derby. This is the best place to have it after all. Everyone knows this is where you catch all yer fish”

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Bartlebus was a little saddened by his lack of invite. His entire life he had dreamed of winning the trophy fish in a fishing derby.

The boy had a very simple answer. “We knew you’d be along early this morning. You are here everyday. We didn’t have to invite you. You are the reason the fishing derby is here.”

“You expect me to win?” He asked challengingly.

“No, we expect you to point everyone in the right direction. We don’t want too many people filling up all the good holes. You know this crick inside and out. Spread everyone out so they don’t take too many fish.” The boy spoke, as if he knew what Bartlebus’ response would be.

“You actually have a job for me?” That was one thought that hadn’t really crossed Bart’s mind… although, very few thoughts ever did.

“The thought had crossed my mind.” The boy answered. It appeared that many thoughts crossed this young man’s mind. Most of them seemed to be settled on Mrs. Bennigan’s cleavage, but, Bart didn’t mind. Hell he even caught a glimpse himself.

“I’ll do it.”

In a matter of moments. Bartlebus was commanding his army of fishermen to various locations. Each one was up around the bend from the last. It wasn’t long before he ran out of spots. There was one person left as he turned over his shoulder. One person and no more spots.

“Well,” He called back, “that’s the last one. I guess you’ll have to come with me and we’ll explore a little bit. I don’t know where to go, but there’s got to be something bigger up around the bend.” He kept walking and he heard the footsteps behind him.

The forest and underbrush grew unusually thick threw here. Bartlebus had to bend over and nearly crawl to get through. Ever so often he would call back, “Just a bit farther”. The voice behind him would grumble… but it was still there. “I’ll find you the best spot. I promise.” More grumbling.

That’s when the forest opened up around him. There were huge cliffs of shale sprouting from the ground and severing the sky hundreds of feet overhead. Water trickled down the shale and the slightest rumble of a voice would send tiny stones dropping to the water from hih in the sky. Bartlebus knew shale was very loose, especially in areas like this. When they were wet, and it overhung the way it did… the slightest slip up would sent the rock wall into the water and all fishing would be lost there for weeks.

And boy oh boy, was this spot sweet. Beneath a tiny waterfall, a giant pool filled this entire valley. Bartlebus had never been here before, but he knew. He knew this was his favorite fishing spot. He could see the fish in the water. He could sense every minnow as they struggled their way out of a stagnant pool of riverbed. He knew this spot. And he knew it was his. He could NEVER give it up to a stranger for a fishing derby. And then he heard the voice.

“I can’t believe you dragged me all the way out here for this.”

“Momma?” Batlebus turned around. His heart sank. His words got stuck in his throat. There she was. In a dirty raincoat, with his backup pole in her hand.

“What the hell is wrong with you? Where in God’s name are you takin me?”

“Please. Please be quiet. Do you see these walls of rock around you? If you speak too loud, they will collapse.”

“Don’t you tell me what to good you no good piece of…!” She shouted. A few rocks trickled down from the ceiling overhead.

“Momma don’t” A few more rocks fell from above. She looked around.

“If we’re gonna win this contest, we may as well do it here. its as good a place as any.” Bartlebus wasn’t quite sure what to make of this.

“Ok.” he was a little surprised. Bathsheba pulled the hook from the eye ring on the pole and was readying herself for her cast.

“Just give me a worm, and let’s fish.” She was ready to go. That little light clicked on inside Bart’s head again. It didn’t happen too often and this was proof. He looked in his little belt puch for his bait and found it nearly empty. There was one worm left. He reluctantly pulled it from his pouch and stabbed the little guy theough the abdomen with Momma’s hook. Then he sat down. Defeated. Again.

Momma stepped out to a tiny little penninsula in the middle of the pool.

“You shouldn’t stand there” Bartlebus warned. The ground was soft on that little outcropping. He could see it from where he sat. Even her tiny frame caused the dirt and stone to separate with every footstep.

“Shhhh.” She answered and went back about her business. Bartlebus closed his eyes and rested. There was nothing else to do. Bathsheba fished quietly… which was a surprise, because she did nothing quietly. She’ll probably even be noisy when she’s dead, Bartlebus thought. Bathsheba was very intent and surprisingly adept at what she was doing. She knew how to fish and could have probably taught Bart a thing or two if this next little piece of nastiness hadn’t happened.

A small shadow appeared in the depths of the waters beneath the falls. It was a fish. Bartlebus snapped awake from his siesta just in time to see the shadow move just beneath the surface.

“Hey, Momma,” He whispered. She turned and put her finger to her crusty old lips. Her mole shook at him.

As the mole shook, the water crashed alive as a giant fish slashed it’s way through the water. It was the biggest mogmouth bass Bartlebus had ever seen. It moved at the speed of lightning and cut across the still water. Momma never had a chance.

The giant fish sprang from the water, over the penninsula and taking Momma with it. It scooped her right into his mouth. Apparently from below, Momma’s crotchety withered old body looked like a super-sized worm. The fish found her particularly yummy. He came back up and smiled at Barltebus before heading back underground.

Bartlebus sat there in awe. In shock. In disbelief for a long time. Then it kicked in. A giant fish ahd just eaten his mother-in-law. There was no way Honey was going to believe that. There was no way the entire town was going to believe that. Hell, everyone had seen him lead her all the way out into the middle of nowhere, then not return with her. Not a good sign. There’s no fishing when you’re in jail. That was one thing Bartlebus was pretty sure of.

He had to go after her. That was when he heard the clacking of a ratchet from a fishing rod. Momma dropped her rod before she was swallowed!

The rod quickly began to slide across the little rocks and Bartlebus dove after it. It quickly dragged him in. The shale and tiny stones were no match for his weight. He just sank right in. It’s a good thing too. If it weren’t for his beer belly, he would have been pulled right into the water. Instead… he was pulled waist deep into the mud. This gave him a good strong foothold. He began to crank on the reel.

This is what fishing is all abou
t he thought to himself.

Three hours later… the sun was beginning to set. The town was wrapping up the derby. The prize was about to be awarded when Bartlebus stepped from the underbrush with a fish the size of his truck slung over his shoulder. Bathsheba was nowhere to be found.

The town was in awe and Bartlebus took home the trophy. Both the fish and the trophy. His truck did groan quite a bit as he drove home, the fish weighing down the back. But, not a sound was heard from Bartlebus. He was covered from head to toe in mud but still you could see his smile. Ear to ear.

The rickety truck pulled into the rickety lot. Honey was waiting for him on the porch swing, which rested in the front yard.

“Where’s momma? Doc called today wonderin why she ain’t at her appoinment”

Bartlebus put a finger to her lips.

“Shhh.” he whispered. “I’m going to get some sleep. I’ve had a very long day. He walked inside the trailer. It shifted with his weight. You could hear him groan a very loud and exhausted sigh from outside.

“But where’s MOMMA!” Honey screamed at the top of her lungs.

The air was silent for a minute… then from inside the trailer and annoyed groan followed by a shout unlike any heard in this neighborhood since the last big argument these folks had. “She’s in the fish!”

I knew it was coming.

I have been on vacation this week and just haven’t felt the need to sit down and plop down some words.

A few years ago, my son was diagnosed with pseudoachondroplasia. 

That is a GIANT word.  Essentially what it is, is a bone disease where the joints at the end of all of your bones that connect you from the hip bone to the leg bone to the anklebone and ALL of every other joint in your body… they don’t develop properly.  Where a normal person has a ball and socket, in the case of some instances of Pseudoachondroplasia, the ball and sockets just don’t grow there.  A lot of times it’s like a nub in a pocket kinda deal. 

He has dealt with it for a few years now.  Before his mother and I split up, we noticed it as a baby, but the doctors didn’t see any reason for alarm, until it came time to go to school and the physical didn’t go so well.  Since then, it’s been tests and xrays and all sorts of bullshit just trying to figure out exactly what it is that he has.

Now that it has a name, it has it’s consequences.  At the most recent checkup, where they have been tracking some slight scoliosis caused by this, I brought up the fact that he’s been struggling a lot the past few months.  Stairs are almost impossible for him and his legs hurt a lot.

I give the kid credit, because I think he has developed a tolerance for pain that we will never know.  One of the common side effects of pseudoacondroplasia is an early onset of arthritis, as early as age ten in some cases.  My son hasn’t hit that yet, but I can sometimes see the early signs lingering there.  He’s in pain.  One trip to the mall and he is wiped before you can make a loop, let alone get him back to the parking lot. 

Those consequences developed as a bowing of the legs.  To picture it, when he walks he looks like the cowboys in the old cartoons.  Just picture that on a real person and with a shitload of pain involved.  Yeah.  Not fun anymore, is it?  So the little guy struggles and he has pain reliever just about every day half due to growing pains and the other half due to his situation.

At the most recent visit that I almost write about and keep avoiding subconsciously here… the doctor got a little spooked after he excused us to leave and I pointed his legs out.  The doctor panicked when he quickly examined him and told us right then and there that we were looking at surgery options.  Because the hips haven’t developed right, it has caused the bowing in his legs.  The underdeveloped hips led to misshapen knee joints which caused the bowing to begin with. 

My son immediately broke down and collapsed in horror and melted into tears.  I don’t blame him.  I was right there with him.  I was pretty damn close myself.

The doctor immediately referred us to the best orthopedic surgeon in the area and we were on our way.  The doctor must have been scared, because the appointment was mere days away and getting in that quickly with the surgeon can’t be easy. 

My son is strong.  He takes it better than any adult would.  A few days have passed and he is nothing but an ox.  He is ready to take on the world and understands that this could help him walk better. 

…just don’t tell him what the procedure is going to be.

…we are most likely looking at the breaking of some bones in order to reconstruct them to where they need to be.  There’s going to be casts and wheelchairs and physical therapy… it’s gonna make his summer really blow. 

And for that, I can’t contain the pain I feel for him.

Super 8 review

I’m not much on doing movie reviews on my blog, but from time to time I will sneak one in. I like the fact that we have a second wave of masters in the making. I don’t know if I would qualify J.J. Abrahms as a cinematic master as of yet, but he is slowly building his resume and in this day and age at least with some certain names attached you can expect at least a certain level of quality.

I think the modern masters, much in the way of Spielberg, have their blockbuster paycheck projects and then the smaller master projects can be funded. I like that hierarchy. I like that Christopher Nolan can work on his Dark Knight trilogy and yet still do high budget yet thought provoking films like Inception. Granted, Inception isn’t the end all be all, but you get the idea.

I love that Darren Aronofsky can put out Black Swan and make a shit ton of money from an obscure movie about a dancer who goes a little too deep into her role. It was a low budget art film. It just happened to have the right amount of “what the fuck” in it. Aronofsky is on his way to becoming a modern master. With a small handful of mistakes… (The Fountain) his resume is strong.

Danny Boyle is possibly my favorite modern master. Of course, I grew up in the Shallow Grave and Trainspotting era and that’s what I remember. But his recent resume has just been fantastic. I loved Millions. It was so subtle and understated and yet touching. Sunshine was a fantastic sci fi movie. A true science fiction movie. I loved ever moment of it. Even the obscure and weird ending. What really converted me was Slumdog Millionaire. We all saw it. It was amazing. And 127 Hours… It is such a fantastic resume.

There is no doubt that David Fincher is THE modern master right now. His resume is unstoppable and each film, even the duds, like Panic Room are still precision pieces of art and stand so far above all of the other product out there. In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m looking forward to Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, not just for the nudity on the poster.

Now, in the case of J.J. Abrahms, he is straight up blockbuster guy. He has yet to do something that completely blows me away, but he is at least making some noise in creating original product… Even when handed a franchise reboot. I am not a fan of the Star Trek series but truly enjoyed the Star Trek reboot as a summer popcorn movie. It was a ride and that’s what I want of my summer movies.

Super 8 is no different.

Super 8 was built as a nostalgic throwback to the early 80s. What I didn’t get from it was the magical and endearing nostalgia that makes us yearn for those movies of days gone by. While watching the movie I enjoyed it. I didn’t have any problems with it. The kids were cool and each character was where they were supposed to be, but to me, they lacked the overall chemistry as the Goonies or the gang in Stand By Me which this film intended to reference so much. There wasn’t that magic in those relationships. The children as actors were fantastic. I particularly enjoyed Joe as an actor. I liked the kid. He was obviously molded after Mikey in the Goonies.

As the film progressed, I had to laugh at myself that J.J. simply remade Cloverfield, only different. Did he not like his early produced film? So much that he had to start form scratch with the same monster in a different town?
The references to Jaws and such were cool I suppose, but didn’t have that gusto that a Kevin Smith Jaws reference would have. I fact most of the movie just sort of borrowed parts from all of those earlier films without really paying tribute to them. Over all to me, the nostalgia fell short.

I did enjoy the movie. I thought it thoroughly did it’s job of keeping me entertained for two hours without wincing at every scene. …until the ending. At a point as we are nearing the climax, the boys run back into town which suddenly has become a war zone. That made absolutely no sense to me and seemed so out of place. So did the evacuation of the town.

What made Goonies and Gremlins and Critters great and memorable kid movies was that despite the evil and goriness of all the killing and death stuff, a kid could still watch them and get excited by them. At some points I view movies now through my nine year old’s eyes. A movie like this should be designed for my kid. He loves making movies. He loves military stuff. As i watched, Super 8 would be too scary for him. I know him. The monster itself is too scary. Gremlins and Critters as monsters were still adorable and lovable, which is what made them so awesome… And made me as a child of that age at that time want to watch those movies over and over again.

I don’t see my son wanting to watch this movie over and over again. And that, is what these nostalgic films are supposed to be about. It’s a good movie. It’s watchable. It is enjoyable. But it’s going to disappear and fade away. It, unfortunately is not going to be the long lost Amblin film.