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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Let’s give a warm welcome to my new partner-in-crime, Lena Webb. Lena’s new to this blog, but our shared shenanigans go WAY back (like, pre-boob). She’s smart, loves sherry, has mad photo skills, is funny as hell, and, DESPITE being awesome at basically everything, still enjoys a good terrible Lifetime movie. For her first post, Lena decided to give OmmWriter – “your own private writing room” (non-douchy translation: a word processing app) – a try. Enjoy! – Attempted Blogger

“The experience would be better with headphones?” I actually think the experience would be better if I didn’t have a crushing hangover and I wasn’t typing total bullshit on some moody gray watercolor e-paper. Oh well, here we go.

At least it’s not telling me the word “hangover” is misspelled because I might have to throw my monitor on the ground and piss on its shattered… shattered what? Am I supposed to type things like “visage” in this thing? And how am I supposed to feed my adult-onset Internet ADD with this fully-immersive writing landscape in the way? Can I tweet this? Share it somehow? Or is it just for me and me the alone– a terrifying thought. We’re supposed to immediately share everything we write now, duh OmmWriter; we get itchy if we don’t.  So far I’m feeling like I’m giving a TED Talk by typing on the walls of a padded cell that is my brain.  Time to hunker down.

Welcome to your Ommbrain.

My keyboard is so old that the pleasant and efficient little clicky sound effects are lost in all my poundings. I just put on “music option #3” and it’s the sound of a rickety locamotive passing by. I wonder how many terrible McSweeney’s submissions subconsciously involve rickety locomotives. Would you look at that; I’ve spent so much time with the spellcheck crutch stuffed under my pit that I’m not sure how to spell loca/omotive. Of course OmmWriter doesn’t have spellcheck. I could cry. We’ll call it a train.

Who decided that constant train noise helps you write, anyway?

It feels just like this, with the Shutterstock prison and everything

There seems to be a more powerful train coming now so I’m going to switch musics. #4 has such thumpy bass that I will change it soon. It shakes my desk. It is raining in the background, and there is some escalating emo crap guitar playing really simple repetitive shit– and now there are drums? Is this karaoke? Something just fell of my desk so I’m changing it now. NOT conducive to writing. To avoid describing all the womb-y music I just sampled, I’ll just lay it down: it turns out that the train is the best option. You know, for writing.

I can’t even see my clock. I have no idea when I should be getting ready for work. Is this what writers are supposed to do? Lose track of time, lose their jobs, and retreat into a mental landscape of fiction to avoid the consequences? Tempt-ing! I bet writers should also be drinking wine (check!) at 12:30 pm (check!) in their bathrobes (check!) with a cat  on their laps(check!).

Also use Ommwriter. And Don’t Forget to Capitalize All the Important Words.

OmmConfession: I just broke away from the writing landscape to make some toast (since I just realized I was drinking wine without having had any breakfast) and I saw that my backyard was alive with Life. Birds were flying this way and that, chirping up a storm. They weren’t listening to a fake train, typing nonsense! The whole thing made me regret Humanity, and deeply so.

And yet here I am, back again; drawn in by the lonesome rumble of this fake train that constantly blocks my passage over to the Internet on the other side, reminding me that my thoughts are my own and that it doesn’t matter how I spell the things I think.

It sounds like I may be softening on the whole experience, doesn’t it? Well maybe that’s just because the rumbling train is making me sleepy and I have the urge to crawl back in bed and imagine a simpler time when controlling my bowels didn’t matter. I mean, as I’m winding down with this “uncomplicated” writing experience, already I’m wondering horrible things such as “what file format will this be saved as?” (a hideous PDF!) and “what did I just spend almost an hour doing?” (nothing!) and “soon, Lena, you’ll need pants” (but I’m only 30!).

The train just came to a stop (!) and now I hear OmmBirds and perhaps an OmmHighway in the distance. Is this the end? The end of writing? Should I stop writing now?

OmmAuthor’s note: I stopped and made it to work on time.  The application’s website told me I should “reconnect with my old friends Concentration and Creativity” but didn’t mention anything about my casual acquaintances Sobriety, Spelling, Pants, and Employment. Sure, I get what it’s trying to do, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

Also, I discovered that OmmWriter quietly fails at its lofty goal of helping me “re-discover the bliss of single-tasking” as there is a distraction-riddled and completely weird social network linked from the app’s main site called “the playroom” where you can indeed tweet/tumbl/facebook/e-mail your experience in the three weird realms that the OmmWriters have chosen: re-writing a sign, soliciting random advice from OmmWriter employees, or being inspired by a stream of random sentences like “a lonely, bisexual kayak.”. You can also leave comments like this one: “There should be a space after the comma on ‘…the finest fabrics,to make you…’. I have an ocd on this kind of things.” 

And then you can go jerk off to the TED Talk I’ll be giving about my brilliant novel, The Konfused Kayak.

“A Man, a Kayak, Panama– Confusion.”

Warning: I spoil plots without remorse.

I have a tendency to assume that science fiction movies will be smarter/more creative/more interesting than your usual big box explosion-fest. While that’s true in some cases (District 9 and uh…District 9?), a lot of what’s marketed as sci-fi is really just action schlock set against the backdrop of CGI space.

Gravity is a prime example. It stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts who are tasked with some boring scientific mission involving the Hubble Telescope. Everything’s going fine until BLAMMO – some random ‘splosion disconnects them from their ship (and mission control) and they have to fend for themselves in the cruel darkness of space.

Fun fact: Being stranded in space is a recurring nightmare of mine, so we opted for the traditional showing and not the PTSD-inducing 3D version. Plus I’m old so I hate all that gimmicky crap.

Gravity reminded me a lot of the TV show ER — and not just because they had Clooney doing the whole ‘cavalier hero’ thing. It’s because ER episodes always used to involve a ton of consecutive crises – like, it wasn’t enough that the whole series was set in an emergency room, there had to be a fire on the floor, and a shooter taking hostages in the reception area, and a power outage… and then something would explode for no reason.

Gravity’s basically a combination of a bad late-season ER episode and one of those Ben Stiller movies where the protagonist can’t do anything right. The lost-in-space premise is legitimately scary, but they ruin it by throwing in too many climactic disasters. By the time you’ve witnessed 67 OMG LEVEL 11 emergencies where our hero makes mistake after mistake after mistake but STILL survives, the whole movie has lost all credibility. And it’s just not scary anymore.

Sci-fi thriller or Looney Tunes cartoon? There’s really no way of knowing…

For me, the most unforgivable moment happened at about the halfway mark. After Sandra Bullock narrowly escapes a cabin fire and succeeds in manually detaching a parachute from the escape module via improvised spacewalk, she finds out that the reentry capsule she needs to get to the other space station is out of gas. OUT OF GAS.

And then her parents walk in on her having sex. And mission control hears it all! Aaaaaah!

But enough about the plot (or lack thereof). Can we talk for a minute about the boy shorts? I think we need to.

Because I call bullshit.

A quick googling reveals just how unsexy ACTUAL astronaut underwear is:

Q. When astronauts go up into outer space, what do they wear under their spacesuits?
A. Astronauts wear special long underwear with small tubes sewn into the garments. Our suits hook into the Space Shuttle and water flows over our body to help keep us cool inside the suit. [cite]

(It could be worse. Those could have been “pee tubes.”)

Also, Mulder was doing the whole gratuitous tiny panty thing WAY before it was cool.

Dude.

Last week we wrapped up season 2 of the 2013 Epic X-Files Rewatch and – good news! – it’s waaaaay better than season 1. This season has got it all: a darker tone, slightly better acting from David Duchovny (I said slightly), and even some much-needed humor courtesy of offbeat writer Darin Morgan. Take note, my friends — this is the beginning of the show’s golden age.

Some important observations:

1. They didn’t fix the opening sequence

Lame first season openings are forgivable. New shows don’t usually have a big budget and there’s only so much you can do with footage from the pilot. You’d think the X-Files people would have taken the opportunity to snazz up the opening for season 2, but short of adding a little reverb on the score, they left it the same (i.e., BAD).

And WHAT is going on with the still images? It’s television, not a bar mitzvah slideshow.

Mr. Max still think the most egregious part is the descriptive overlaid text. Text should be used for credits, not a random word salad of related nouns. It’s like if Friends opened with this:

2. They got money for lighting but not for wardrobe
An important indicator of the show’s increased clout (and budget): moody set lighting. Money well spent because season 2 looks like a real one hour drama, not a New Zealand soap opera. Still no money for suits, though.

The costume department? Oh, you mean the dumpster behind Sears.

3. They made the aliens scary
In the pilot, Mulder described the aliens who abducted his sister as a mere “presence in the room,” which makes it sound like he’s talking about a fart or something. In Duane Barry, we learn that aliens are basically evil dentists.

Is there anything scarier?

4. Chris Carter had it bad for David Duchovny

In 99.9% of TV shows the female actress is the one who gets objectified. Even serious, well-written dramas usually have to have one scene per episode designed to showcase the sexiness of a leading lady. But The X-Files is different — instead of Gillian Anderson getting the piece of meat treatment, it’s David Duchovny. You can pretty much count on some kind of gratuitous Mulder semi-nudity in every episode.

I would love to know what Chris Carter’s justification was for setting this scene of expository dialogue between two FBI agents at a swimming pool. “I just think this would be happening poolside. Definitely.”

5. Smells like teen spirit the 90s

If you haven’t seen Humbug in the last 20 years, get ready for a major attack of 90s nostalgia. In this episode, Mulder and Scully investigate a murder in a circus community (info for young readers: in the 90s people thought circus freaks were cool and it was really counterculture to have more than one tattoo). I know this is going into a Portlandia-esque rant, but – dude. The 90s were totally a thing, amiright? Okay, now I feel old.

6. They shot their wad with the Krycek thing

Alex Krycek was introduced at the beginning of the second season as Mulder’s new partner, an energetic (and kinda dorky) young agent. Mulder treats him like an annoying gnat buzzing in his face but (natch) Krycek is actually a double agent working for the scary conspiracy guys.

The problem is that the audience learns this fact in the very first episode, and Krycek’s tenure with the FBI lasts about 3 weeks. For a show that dragged out the whole “Where is Samantha” thing for basically forever, I’m surprised they tied up Krycek’s plotline so quickly. Slow down, people. Slow down.

Full speed ahead to season 3! Here’s hoping they finally fix Mulder’s hair.

For everyone’s sake.