The Reel Deal and Other Bad Jokes
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
"Greetings from The Humungus! The Lord Humungus! The Warrior of the Wasteland! The Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla!"
The quote is relevant, I'll have you know. I present: The TravelBlog. Little did I know I could have audioblogged over the cell phone until I was already home. Whoops.
Teusday, 4:10 AM 5/11/04
The Utah odyssy is off to an eventful start. I was conversing with a few online friends when I checked the outside drive for the shuttle that was going to take us to the train. I checked and looked again. A limo! Dad doesn't do things small. The ride was a first time experience for all of us. The driver, Flynt, was a genial, easy-going fellow. He was of the opinion that the Amtraks are short trains, which is why they get places fast. Short trains...Anything like the short bus?
The train itelf is hell. It sways and things inside vibrrate and rattle. The seats donÂt give good back support at all.
I have found my own private hell.
IÂm going to pass out now anyway. We havenÂt even reached our first stop yet. Our last stop will be DC, where we will take a nine-hour stopover to see the mueseums and perhaps meet a few muggers. Snore.
Teusday, 9:55 PM 5/11/04
I got approximately two and a haalf hours of sleep. My effort was encumbered by my seat, which was superficially comfortable but ultimately the passive-aggressive version of an Iron Maiden.
We got off the train, put our bags in a holding area, and went off to see The Museum of Natural History. Fun, fun! Interestingly enough, I saaw more hot babes in the ÂGenealogy and MineralsÂ exhibit than anywhere else (well, the sidewalk was full of Âem; it was well up in the 80Âs). Maybe it had something to do with all the huge diamonds on display. I suspect the display specimens are fakes though. No use giving a larcenous induvidual ideas. As a side note, I saw some blue caterpillars as long as my finger and about as round. Dad wanted us to go see the exibit at the Museum of American History that had one of his pieces in it, but the exhibit was closed.
As a souvenier of my visit to the Natural History, I bought a 1.5Â sharkÂs tooth. I think IÂll use it as a countering talisman against lawyers.
After much tromping about, we finally got back to the train station (with the help of a cabbie). We boarded a huge double-decker train and I inspected my accomadations. IÂve had larger closets, but it had a reclining seat so I plopped down to rest my weary dogs. After a bit of staring out the window and eating of snack food, I dozed off. I awoke to a dinner call. Pretty good, for a transportation service, and a damn sight better than airplane food. When I came back to my room-no, make that cabinÂno, make that berthÂI was pleasantly surprised to find the two seats facing each other had been made into a bed, something I hadnÂt been able to accomplish. IÂm going to take advantage of it now and make up for what I lost.
Wenesday, 3:00 PM 5/12/04
We switched trains in Chicago. We hadd enough time to take a minivan cab out to the local Whole Foods and get some nice healthy snacks. IÂm pretty sure I got the snakc with the least amount of health quotient availableÂyogurt-covered pretzels (a wonderful salt/sweet combo) sugared dried papaya, dried pinapple. Tasty but gas inducing, no doubt.
The train bathrooms are absolute shit (think of the potential vodka ad there). TheyÂre tiny, of course, and they smell. NoÂactually, they donÂt smell. You smell. I smell. These STINK. Dad pointed out another disadvantage as well. When youÂre attempting to piss in a small hole a foot wide, sudden lurches are extremely incondusive to your aim.Luckily I chose the correct moment, namely a stop, to use the facilities and thus had to deal only with the smellÂa combination of human waste and cleaning agent.
This train apparently has a name: the California Zephyr. Thing is, weÂre not going anywhere near California, and I donÂt think that the final destination is anywhere in CaliforniaÂ maybe somebody just likes California. I donÂt know why; people are weird. In any case, theyÂre very definite about smoking here on the Zephyr. I like how the captain put it: ÂPlease do not jeopardize your ability to continue your journey aboard the California Zephr by smoking.Â
Train travel has itÂs advantages. YouÂve got foot room, a lounge car, a dining car, and if you paid a little more for a sleeper berth, a nice place to sleep. IÂm in the lounge car hoping to meet somebody, but as IÂm typing away at this blog for future posting IÂm not having much luck. Nobody my age anyway, and a low quotient of babes. IÂm not talking about infants here.
Then the disadvantages. Besides the bathrooms, thereÂs the lurching. Let me talk more about the lurching. Well, of course youÂre going to let me talk more about it; you the future readership (however many readers I may have, thereÂs nothing for them to read right now because this ainÂt posted yet) are a rather silent member of this particular conversation.
Now, the lurching. Sea legs are required, at least if you want to look cool and walk through the train without leaning on stuff. Since I spent a little time on a small ship, I have sea legs and thus look cool. Of course, I always do. The lurching is tolerable, and you get used to it after a while. It woke me up a few times during the night. The troubling thing is, what causes all this bumping and lurching? Was that great big one in the night some wiseguys throwing bodies in front of the train? Â Nah, that wouldnÂt have been a big bump at all. Maybe branches across the tracks? IÂve never seen any. Must be irregularities in the machinery translating to the cars. Not comforting. Oh well, weÂve been a few hundred miles and we ainÂt crashed yet. Signing off.
Thursday, 1:25 AM 5/13/04
An eventful day. I went back to the lounge car after a bit and met a couple of computer engineers. ÂYoung professionalsÂ as the phrase goes. One of them had a frequency scanner, so he could listen to what the guys on the train were saying. Ooooh, espionage.
I also met an animator. We hit it offÂtalked for hours. Apparently the only thing he lacks in his personal projects is a writer. ThatÂs a funny thing, because the only thing I lack is an artist. We exchanged e-mail addresses. There was a cute chick that we were talking to, alsoÂshe made fun of me a lot. Either IÂm just inherently an easy target for comedy, or that means she likes me. I get a lot of chicks making fun of me. I think IÂll go with the second hypothesis.
There was a guy who got kicked off of the train. He was in coach, naturally. He wore a wifebeater, it was probably appropriate, and a yellow shirt. Both were too short for him. I heard later that he was in an argument with somebody outside in the train station. This is evidently what he was referring to when he smacked his fist into his palm so hard his watch came off, I shit you not. ThatÂs not what he was kicked off the train for, thoughÂhe got kicked off because of his baggie of coke.
Thursday, 11:25 AM 5/13/04
It should be Fridday right now but because we entered the west coast time zone, we lost an hour. So IÂm efficient.
Today was a fucking eternity. It was kind of enjoyable, but it seemed to go on forever. IÂve gotten no work done on the scripts. We should be pulling into Salt Lake City in about twenty minutes. IÂll be glad to be back in a somewhat controlled enviroment. IÂve met some more interesting people, though. Byron and Case, a couple of unique induviduals if there ever were. Father and son, but they met up later in life so theyÂre more like old buddies. Both have done jail time, for what I donÂt know. Probably got drunk and did something stupid, the both of ÂemÂtheyÂre party animals. IÂve spent more time talking to Case. HeÂs a smoker, by which I mean that he smokes, but he also smokes, if you know what I mean. Not so much a pothead, but a smoker. HeÂll come out with a bit of profoundity every now and again, but I have yet to discern a point. Nice guy, anyway. Has one of those Âcolorful backgrounds.Â
Friday, 3:00 PM 5/14/04
WeÂve debarked the train and regained the SUV. ItÂs like a piece of home. Still not quite the same, but I feel a bit more in control. Indirectly anywayÂIÂm not driving, or even in shotgun.
My brother has the absolute worst sense of humor, the sense of humor of a seven-year-old. He doesnÂt get jokes, and he doesnÂt get puns, the traditional starting point of a young humorist. He absolutely doesnÂt grasp the conceptÂhe thinks you can make up knock-knock jokes on the spot.
ÂThereÂs nobody homeÂOw! Shit, Dad, did you have to kick so hard? ÂWhoÂs there?Â
ÂÂ Donkey you wanna ride me?Â
ThatÂs a James joke. Either that, or anything containing the words having to do with human functions and organs. They donÂt have to really do anything, they can just be there. Rather like that one painting, ÂBlack Box On White Canvas.Â
HeÂs sort of an abstract humorist.
Monday, 10:00 PM 5/17/04
After an eventful weekend at the Sundance Resort, weÂre leaving for home tomorrow morning.
No, really, hereÂs what we did. First off, we went to the therapist. She seemed to know what she was talking about, but the whole thing kinda creeped me out. She was in a wheelchair because of some nerve damage, and she had a German accent. The really creepy part was that she was a bit heavy on the religion thing. The screensaver on her computer was a series of pastoral scenes with bible quotes. This was annoying. The part that really got my goat was when she said that three or four of Steven SpielburgÂs screenwriters had moved to Ohio or some damn thing and were making Christian films because of all the garbage heÂs been putting out. This she heard from a screenwriter who had solicited her services and was supposedly one of the defectorsÂnay, traitors, I say.
OK: What the fuck is a ÂChristian film?Â Does Mel GibsonÂs recent flick count? That would probably be the only one IÂve ever seen. What about ÂPowder?Â Seriously, what the fuck qualifies a film as ÂChristian?Â Maybe it has to be arrogant and hypocritical.
ÂGarbage?Â GARBAGE? What garbage? Oh, garbage like ÂCatch Me If You Can,Â and ÂMinority Report?Â Yeah. That Speilburg has really gone down the tubes recently.
Anyway, far as I can tell, she was blowing smoke. Like a lot of religious people IÂve met. Sam excepted.
Now the good stuff. We rode the ski lift up and down the mountain at he Sundance Resort. That was good, clean, pants-shitting fun. The next day my family went horseback-riding while I went down to the deli for a sandwich and some alone time. That afternoon I went mountain biking. This entailed riding the lift up the mountain, grabbing my bike off the next lift, and riding down the mountain. IÂll tell ya, from the lift it looks like a piece of cake but there are lot of goddamn rocks you canÂt see. I spent most of my time braking. I never fell off, or flipped overÂI just dismounted awkwardly a few times. The next day my sit bones gave me twinges every time I sat down.
Speaking of the next day (which was todayÂwe wasted away a day I think) the men of te family went kayaking. This entailed getting in inflatable tourist watercraft and steering down the Provo River while trying to deal with someone in front who thinks he knows what heÂs doing, the little bastard. I had my brother with me. The ÂkayaksÂ were self-bailing, which meant that as soon as you sat down in Âem you received a nice cold dose of mountain water, about like I had to shower with the first morning. IÂd come prepared in swim trunks, but my dad was wearing jeans, underwear, thick socks and leather shoes. He got a bit damp.
The kicker was that mom was fifty minutes late picking us up. Dad was very biting when she finally got there, and I had a few things to say as well. I enjoyed getting back into some warmer clothes though.
Friday, 10:30 PM 5/22/04
After a leisurly stop in Sante Fe, New Mexico, weÂre heading home tomorrow. And according to Dad, itÂs ÂBookinÂ itÂ time. That means IÂll get behind the wheel and stare at the road for hours at a time with Mom sitting beside me going ÂBoth hands on the wheelÂ Âslow downÂ ÂpassÂ Âspeed upÂÂ But no matter. WeÂre seriously going home. No more of this vacation shit. I could be at home getting stuff done, but instead IÂm reduced to window shopping? Torture!
On Sante Fe: thereÂs lots of adobe in the arcitecture. ThereÂs a fair amount of nice resturaunts. The weather is pleasant. I bought ÂThe Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook,Â a honkinÂ big square buffalo-hide wallet that comfortably holds all my one dollar bills, business cards, and assorted bullshit, and a gift for a girl back home. If she doesnÂt like it, I like it, so bonus either way I guess. I wasnÂt quite sure what sheÂd like, so I purchased something pretty that I liked. IÂd be a bit more specific, but since I put a link to The Reel Deal in my AIM profile, she may know of the existence of the blog already. In any case, itÂs a good gift.
On the Southwest in general: The sky is ÂEE-NOUR-MOUSÂ as Dad keeps telling people on the phone. What he seems to mean by this is that thereÂs nothing to obstruct your view of it.
Eh. You get used to it.
What I donÂt get used to is how many babes there are in the area. Maybe there are just as many back home, but since IÂm out of my element IÂm not as confident and IÂm therefore more acutely aware of them?
What makes more sense is that there were a lot of them at Sundance because they weere hoping to be in a movie.
What makes even more sense is that IÂm merely starved of female attention. How pathetic. How possible.
Perfect movie idea: a group of friends are holed up in the basement of a suburban house, consuming junk food, playing video games, and cursing each other (ÂOh, you little sniper BITCH! YouÂre gonna pay. Â HAH! Eat my motherfuckinÂ rocket!Â etc). Then the power goes out. Of course itÂs nighttime. They decide to go for a walk in the neighborhood. There they begin having encounters with soome characters we all know and love: Frankenstein, Dracula, zombies, the creature from the black lagoon, the Mummy, and othersÂor at least their descendents. The monster kids are of the opinion that suburbia is the area to terrorize, since suburban monsters like Freddy Kruger, Jason, and people in cheap halloween masks are all the rage now. The protaginists help the monsters solve their problem and all is well, but not before some comedy, of course. ÂPardon, can you direct me to Elm Street?Â
ItÂs perfect because it could take placce in an hour-long time span, it has comedic potential, the costumes wouldnÂt be hard to do, the location would be easy, and the lighting would be easy and fun as well. Not necessarily the epitome of everything a film should be, merely the perfect movie idea for my purposes. Should be pretty good though.