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 don’t give good back support at all.
I have found my own private hell.
I’m going to pass out now anyway. We haven’t 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 “Genealogy and Minerals” exhibit than anywhere else (well, the sidewalk was full of ‘em; it was well up in the 80’s). 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 1.5” shark’s tooth. I think I’ll 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. I’ve 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 cabin—no, make that berth—I was pleasantly surprised to find the two seats facing each other had been made into a bed, something I hadn’t been able to accomplish. I’m 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. I’m pretty sure I got the snakc with the least amount of health quotient available—yogurt-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). They’re tiny, of course, and they smell. No—actually, they don’t smell. You smell. I smell. These STINK. Dad pointed out another disadvantage as well. When you’re 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 smell—a combination of human waste and cleaning agent.
This train apparently has a name: the California Zephyr. Thing is, we’re not going anywhere near California, and I don’t think that the final destination is anywhere in California…maybe somebody just likes California. I don’t know why; people are weird. In any case, they’re very definite about smoking here on the Zephyr. I like how the captain put it: “Please do not jeopardize your ability to continue your journey aboard the California Zephr by smoking.”
Train travel has it’s advantages. You’ve 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. I’m in the lounge car hoping to meet somebody, but as I’m typing away at this blog for future posting I’m not having much luck. Nobody my age anyway, and a low quotient of babes. I’m not talking about infants here.
Then the disadvantages. Besides the bathrooms, there’s the lurching. Let me talk more about the lurching. Well, of course you’re going to let me talk more about it; you the future readership (however many readers I may have, there’s nothing for them to read right now because this ain’t 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? …Nah, that wouldn’t have been a big bump at all. Maybe branches across the tracks? I’ve never seen any. Must be irregularities in the machinery translating to the cars. Not comforting. Oh well, we’ve been a few hundred miles and we ain’t 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. “Young professionals” 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 off—talked for hours. Apparently the only thing he lacks in his personal projects is a writer. That’s 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, also—she made fun of me a lot. Either I’m 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 I’ll 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. That’s not what he was kicked off the train for, though—he 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 I’m efficient.
Today was a fucking eternity. It was kind of enjoyable, but it seemed to go on forever. I’ve gotten no work done on the scripts. We should be pulling into Salt Lake City in about twenty minutes. I’ll be glad to be back in a somewhat controlled enviroment. I’ve 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 they’re more like old buddies. Both have done jail time, for what I don’t know. Probably got drunk and did something stupid, the both of ‘em—they’re party animals. I’ve spent more time talking to Case. He’s 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. He’ll 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 “colorful backgrounds.”

Friday, 3:00 PM 5/14/04

We’ve debarked the train and regained the SUV. It’s like a piece of home. Still not quite the same, but I feel a bit more in control. Indirectly anyway—I’m 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 doesn’t get jokes, and he doesn’t get puns, the traditional starting point of a young humorist. He absolutely doesn’t grasp the concept—he thinks you can make up knock-knock jokes on the spot.


“There’s nobody home—Ow! Shit, Dad, did you have to kick so hard? –Who’s there?”


“Donkey who?”

“…Donkey you wanna ride me?”

That’s a James joke. Either that, or anything containing the words having to do with human functions and organs. They don’t have to really do anything, they can just be there. Rather like that one painting, “Black Box On White Canvas.”

He’s sort of an abstract humorist.

Monday, 10:00 PM 5/17/04

After an eventful weekend at the Sundance Resort, we’re leaving for home tomorrow morning.

Signing off.

No, really, here’s 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 Spielburg’s screenwriters had moved to Ohio or some damn thing and were making Christian films because of all the garbage he’s been putting out. This she heard from a screenwriter who had solicited her services and was supposedly one of the defectors—nay, traitors, I say.
OK: What the fuck is a “Christian film?” Does Mel Gibson’s recent flick count? That would probably be the only one I’ve ever seen. What about “Powder?” Seriously, what the fuck qualifies a film as “Christian?” Maybe it has to be arrogant and hypocritical.
“Garbage?” GARBAGE? What garbage? Oh, garbage like “Catch Me If You Can,” and “Minority Report?” 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 I’ve 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. I’ll tell ya, from the lift it looks like a piece of cake but there are lot of goddamn rocks you can’t see. I spent most of my time braking. I never fell off, or flipped over—I 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 today—we 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 he’s doing, the little bastard. I had my brother with me. The “kayaks” were self-bailing, which meant that as soon as you sat down in ‘em you received a nice cold dose of mountain water, about like I had to shower with the first morning. I’d 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, we’re heading home tomorrow. And according to Dad, it’s “Bookin’ it” time. That means I’ll get behind the wheel and stare at the road for hours at a time with Mom sitting beside me going “Both hands on the wheel” “slow down” “pass” “speed up”… But no matter. We’re seriously going home. No more of this vacation shit. I could be at home getting stuff done, but instead I’m reduced to window shopping? Torture!

On Sante Fe: there’s lots of adobe in the arcitecture. There’s a fair amount of nice resturaunts. The weather is pleasant. I bought “The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook,” a honkin’ 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 doesn’t like it, I like it, so bonus either way I guess. I wasn’t quite sure what she’d like, so I purchased something pretty that I liked. I’d 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, it’s a good gift.
On the Southwest in general: The sky is “EE-NOUR-MOUS” as Dad keeps telling people on the phone. What he seems to mean by this is that there’s nothing to obstruct your view of it.

Eh. You get used to it.

What I don’t get used to is how many babes there are in the area. Maybe there are just as many back home, but since I’m out of my element I’m not as confident and I’m 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 I’m 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 (“Oh, you little sniper BITCH! You’re gonna pay. …HAH! Eat my motherfuckin’ rocket!” etc). Then the power goes out. Of course it’s 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 others—or 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. “Pardon, can you direct me to Elm Street?”

It’s perfect because it could take placce in an hour-long time span, it has comedic potential, the costumes wouldn’t 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.


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