Friday, April 18, 2003

Wake up ring

I woke up this morning, groggily checked my mail, saw a letter from my friend in Jax, Ed. Pretty lengthy too.

"Odd", I thought - "Ed aint the most talkative guy.. doesnt like writing letters either.."

I opened it.

Apparently it was a missive to his friends and fam.

Ana and I went out of town together this past weekend
and I proposed!

I took her to Highlands (North Carolina) a beautiful
mountain getaway town.... and we hiked 1 mile to the top of Whiteside Mountain in
the Nantahala National Forest. Whiteside is known in
local circles as "the mother of all panoramic views"
and has the highest sheer face cliffs on the East
Coast rising up to 750 feet of the 4,930 feet summit.

As we were checking out the gorgeous view I distracted
her by telling her I was looking for a napkin to clean
my shoes (just a ploy to get down on one knee). I
dropped to one knee and whipped the ring out in its
box...I left the box closed long enough for her to
focus on it...her eyes expanded... She was stunned! I
opened the box and popped the question...she said

We'll probably wait until next March or April to tie
the knot.


Now THAT woke me up.

Heh. Put a big-ass grin on my face, as I replied and congratulated the man.

JPennant: yo clint
McClint: hey
JPennant: ed told you he proposed to his girlfriend?
McClint: nope.
McClint: didnt know he had a gf
JPennant: yeah, pretty thing (as usual)
McClint: hehe fratboy magnet
JPennant: she's not one of the usual psychos either
McClint: hahaha

(Editors note: *sigh* TRUST ME on this, the history of most Ed's past girlfriends has been.. colorful. All the poor man has ever wanted is a little peace and quiet.. )

JPennant: she's a cappy too :-) A good one.
McClint: hahaha
McClint: is she a mac user? :-)
McClint: if so, she's a keeper :-)
JPennant: Lol
JPennant: nah
McClint: i havent talked to ed in quite some time
JPennant: i'll send you the proposal story
McClint: wow he wrote a story?
JPennant: hehehe. yup, he aint the most talkative man.
McClint: his middle name is *word for pretty blue color*?
JPennant: yup
JPennant: his ma was a hippy
McClint: hehehe obviously.

Ed thinks he's a lucky guy.

I'll say with certainty, that she is a lucky woman.

Congratulations, pal.

Random reruns

Clouds over florida.

It was in Florida that I really started to notice clouds and their textures. And the clouds are all different in quality and display in the different parts of the country.

Florida's clouds are grand, majestic, organic and colored by God's own crayolas...


The pictures do NOT do them justice.


Today's horrorscope sez

You don't have to do what everyone else is doing. You don't have to show your face or make a spectacle of yourself.
Today's cosmic setup suggests that what you most want to do is spend some time by yourself and think through issues that are important to you.
You don't have to be the life and soul of the party every day of the week.

Heh. What party.

Someone has actually been keeping count...

I have turned down 11 party invites, numerous invites to hang out with folk, 3 rides up Mount Diablo..

In the last 2 months. Yup.

..oh, and 2 passover dinners. Today.



I figured out what it is Ive been looking for.

Turns out it was in a book I picked up this afternoon, Killer Instinct by Jane Hamsher.

To wit..

He once told me something that has become my most enduring mantra in Hollywood: "The sign of a good businessman is the ability to know reality."

In other words, not to let your hopes and dreams skew your vision of what is really happening.

This bit of hard advice didnt quite sink in (like trying to tell a 20something person what going past the age of 30 REALLY means), so I kept on reading thru a couple more pages until..

... on and on for three hours, I tried to educate him on the technicalities of film production. This exercise was not inspiring confidence.

People who were unprepared, who wanted to wait for the mood to strike them on the set for such decisions, often did so because they had no vision.
On the set they'd be overcome by indecision - or worse yet make decisions just to make them...


Ive been looking for a PLAN.

Right now, I dont need inspiration, travel or a great lovelife.

I need a detailed storyboard, flatplan, blueprint, project flowchart for every single effing project Im doing.


I know. Im embarrassing myself by admitting to my stupidity.

I knew I needed to do them..eventually .. having laid out everything in my head, thinking I just needed project software, a notebook to scribble layouts.. but I hadnt realized that I had come to the point, hell, gone *past* the point where I need to lay out Detailed. Effing. Plans.


Of course I cant keep all this shit in my head.


Where is my notepad?


Thursday, April 17, 2003

Tonight's Episode: Bleeding all over the keyboard

I cant say truthfully, that Im feeling uninspired. Im just looking for inspiration.

Apparently I cant find it in a cup of coffee.

So what am I waiting on?


No.. maybe..

I dunno. Something.

I look back over some of my old images, the smell of the time and day they were taken gone and forgotten.

With that funk all dissipated, they look different to mine eyes. Clearer, somehow.

I took those? Whoa.

Am I waiting on validation? In the form of money and attention?

Those pictures do look great.

They dont mean as much maybe when I took them with raggedy shoes, needing a haircut and a shave and a new wardrobe, as I do now.

But I have a feeling Id be taking different images and writing different things wearing new shooz.

And I have to admit, they are good.

Am I looking for inspiration? Or am I looking to feel inspired?

Im needing something.
Something Ive learned as an adult. Which would be recently...

Never assume someone is talking to you, about you or referring to you - unless they are talking to you.

Its tempting. But unless youre hearing them whispering in your ear, assume its the wind and ignore it.

So, let me just thank you for talking to me directly. It seems like Im a hard man to talk to. I am. For the above reason.


I may not look like Im responding, nor taking you at all seriously.. but Im listening.

I always listen.

So. Talk to me.

If youre talking to me.

Reflections on a Theme


Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Bloggers digest

Said Marn

"Your cat is leaking again," I told the spousal unit.

And then the inimitable Lemur Chica pammy put it this way

TOOK OFF my sandals in the cab on my way home and slipped on the flip flops I had stashed in my bag.

I'd like to bottle the relief that washed over me when I took off those shoes and take it with me when I leave this world.

That was priceless.

By the way, I need to reread what she writes as she adds to her initial words.

Cuz I should check my messages more often...

But Joey, I only said I'd woo Ernie if I were male and gay. Since I'm female and straight [the last time I checked, anyway], you and I have a greater chance of tying the knot.

I wouldn't make divorce difficult, I promise - as long as I get the left side of the bed.

Heheh. Thats why Dragons and the clever Lemurs are compatible.. they know how to skillfully handle us Dragons, by following the first rule of Dragons:

No dragon cares to be number 3 or 4 on anyone's list. And they will only *tolerate* being number 2...

Even if we only believe it in our own mind.

And then George (who's wife doesnt write OFTEN enough) said

Blogging for peace is like fucking for virginity. You get all worked up and sweaty and orgasmically frenzied trying to link things together in your head, not to mention elsewhere..

What what WHAT?!!!!

'Splain yerself man!

And so he tells stories..

I go to work. After an hour or so, I visit the men's room. There's a guy at the right urinal; I take up a position at the left.

I turn to see if I know the guy. He's taking care of business with his left hand, clutching a sheaf of papers with his right hand and hunched over to the right so he doesn't drop the tiny mobile phone cradled between his right shoulder and ear.

I can't help myself. Turning my eyes forward, I mutter: "Multitasker."

We both chuckle. "Yes, like I don't have enough to do," he admits, without pausing what he's doing.


And Uncle Bob talks about his new job...

During this meeting, I was assigned my first long term job.


It is my job to get in touch with "The Today Show" and Oprah Winfrey and get them to bring their shows to town during a pretty big celebration that we're going to be having in two years.

It'll be the 50th anniversary of the day when a woman named Rosa Parks decided that she wasn't going to give up her bus seat to a white man, thus setting off a chain of events which later turned into the Civil Rights Movement.

I think Oprah would be all over that Oprah all over a wheelbarrow full of barbecued pork chops.

So I'm excited.

And in the same breath, gets poetic

Star light, star bright.

First star I see tonight.

I wish I may, I wish I might.


That's a fucking airplane.

(The first poem I ever wrote)

And in the next breath, ponders the difference between him and his wife as well as the important compromise in their marriage.

Before I go any further, my wife is one of the smartest women I know. She's extremely intelligent, graduated second out of a class of 800 students, has all these college degrees and rarely makes a bad decision.

I, on the other hand, am a borderline imbecile who's prone to scratching his ass and sniffing his fingers in public.

Therefore, it was wisely decided early on in our relationship that she be the one to fill out the taxes each year.

Wise man.

And then trixi ruminated

Mmmmmm. . . we (me, houseboy, and my sister) just got home from hearing Leon Redbone.

Anyway, this man's voice is sort of like Bill Cosby, Bing Crosby, and Ray Charles rolled up into one white man sitting on a porch in the south during a muggy sunset fading into twilight.

What this man can "sing" just by EXHALING tuneful groaning sighs is delightful....

I love being in the presence of performers who are ultra comfortable and unhurried. I envy people with that understated sedate yet powerful energy. Leon Redbone has one of those pokerfaces that can break into silly expression (like a raised eyebrow or a body movement punctuating a sound or punch line), then immediately go back to relaxation.

It struck me that you can learn a lot from watching strippers dance and listening to Leon Redbonish Cowboy Junkie-ish slow languid kind of music. Seriously . . . that unhurried pulsing motion, so confident it doesn't need to rush or explode or scream for attention . . . whoah.
That shit is powerful and provocative.

And you cant read Trixi if youre under 25. Not because its so x-rated.

Its cuz her shytte is so deep that without experience, you cant swim at those depths...

I like swimming in good words.

They found the body of Laci Peterson yesterday.

Her body and a fetus had washed up by the Berkeley marina, where I take those pictures of the San Francisco Bay.

Apparently, whoever threw her into the Bay didnt think her body would be found, didnt realize that the Bay is actually a fairly shallow estuary, a closed system - not a deep ocean harbor that would swallow the evidence. Everything gets washed up sometime.

The husband had told the police that he had been fishing off the Berkeley Marina the day she disappeared.

The consensus is that he did the deed.

I think so too.

I hope he fries.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Apples and kilts, Apples and kilts, I want me some Apples and Kilts

Oh, I had plans for the machine...

A bigger hard drive, then install OS X, then unix-fy the thing.

Then it blew up. Literally.



My lil PC is waaaaay more productive.

So, why do I whimper when I see the lil CalBerkeley coed chicas flipping open their iBooks at the Au Coquelet coffee joint?

And at the Berkeley Espresso (where the wireless hookup is free, free, free Fred. The house coffee is tasty too.).

By the way, the green-eyed amazonian mulatto chica with the beguiling smile who was at the Berkeley Espresso on thursday night? Call me. And bring the iBook.

Where was I? Oh yeah, Mac envy.

I want one.

I made a G3 Powerbook allmighty recently.. (OS X Jaguar, all the bug fixes, 80 gig firewire drive and DVD burner etc etc did some DVD ripping und burning, alla dat) and, I have to admit.. the process of geeking was much fun.

I want my own lil iBook to install VirtualPC on.

Bah.. this will get me nowhere. Even with the price cuts, Macs are still soooooo expensive.

And thats why I went to the inaugural East Bay Macintosh Users Group meeting with a PC laptop in my bag...

Yeah, I crashed the party.

Arent you getting the impression by all these kooks and wackos .. iconoclasts and freethinkers, that this place is a just a touch different?

That they *enjoy* "thinking different"?

Just making sure you notice...

Yeah, if it werent for Mac users, I would be totally SOL - so I cant rag on 'em too much.

Monday, April 14, 2003

Comic Crank

This has been weighing heavily on me for several years now, and so Im driven to say what must be said:

Would someone please, with great effort and sweet prejudice, apply a ball-peen hammer to the head of the guy who does the "Garfield" comics so it can be finally brought to an end?

It hasnt generated a laff in donkey years.

Same thing with "Heathcliff" and.. oh lord... "Marmaduke". (I dont think that dude is even TRYING anymore.) Honestly, I'll give money to anyone who has laffed at that strip in the last 10 years or more.

But yeah, Garfield. Used to be HILARIOUS, y'know? It was about a cat, a cat that was smart and cynical, the way we think cats would be if they could talk. Genius.
Now? A gluttonous cat who beats up on spiders, his owner who cant get laid and some dog in there for comic relief?

Oh lord, almost as bad as "Marmaduke" and the weekly interchangeable "pull along the owner on the walk/tipping over cars/bemused neighbors" gags.

These guys, along with the steaming piles like "Mary Worth", "Mark Trail", "Rex Morgan", "Judge Parker" and the like, keep the up and comers from bringing enchantment to what USED to be called the funny papers.

(Although even "Boondocks" is starting to get on my nerves with its snide preachiness..)

There should be an expiration date on some comics. "Beetle Bailey". "Hi and Lois". "Hagar the Horrible." "The Phantom". "Shoe". "Apartment 3-G", "Cathy" et al. No one would miss 'em.

(Judge for yourself.)

Hell, even "Dilbert" is starting to renk up the place.

No one sez the job of a syndicated daily cartoonist is easy but there are auld auld one-trick ponies that still manage to keep 'em rollin in the aisles with sneaky subversiveness. "Tank Mcnamara", "Doonesbury", "Mother Goose and Grimm", "Momma" and the like.

So yeah, "Garfield" guy. Hang it up. The jokes over. Youre rich, nuthin to prove. Go.

Its not like you were doin stuff like "Calvin and Hobbes".


I miss Hobbes.


By the way.. just because I post pictures to pretty up this rag..

It is NOT a photo blog, dammit.

Jeez. I hate when people INSIST on puttin ya into a category....

No one said that being self-taught was easy

The college professor said, back in 1986..

"My advice, get the degree and get out there as quickly as you can. Youre going to forget 95 percent of what you learn here. The purpose of going to college is to learn how to learn."

Now, everytime my aspirations over-reach themselves - I wanna go take a class for whatever Im trying to learn.


However, the professor was right.. I did far more studying than I ever did in school. (I used to look at the stacks of networking, programming and certification reference books I accumulated as a tech in awe. By the time I left NY/NJ and gave them away - they filled 3 large iMac boxes. Thousands of bux worth of books.)

Its not as if Im some sorta over-achiever here.

With the things Im trying to learn, even with my background - I still feel lost and frustrated having to learn things from scratch.

But, Im famously stubborn.

My forehead is black and blue as I bang my head trying to learn seemingly SIMPLE techniques that turn out to be not so simple.

The pain makes me wanna become a rote student again.

And its simple shit too. Theyre simple questions - why arent the answers obvious, dammit?

- I want my documents in the page layout programs to .. duh.. be laid out in a certain way.
Enlightenment escapes my bruised forehead.

- I want to rotoscope my images. The resultant mess is not what I envisioned.

So, right now, I wanna take classes in page layout and art.

Yet, something tells me the professor is still right and Id be wasting even more time.

Gah, but my brain hurts.

Ah well, thats what they make libraries for, eh?

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Stormy weather

You know the weather is gonna get bad, if youre in Berkeley, and the planes start flying overhead.

Which means the cloud cover is about 100 feet and theyre using the Cal-Berkeley clock tower (which is directly across the bay from the Golden Gate) as a visual point to make their turn into Oakland and SF airports.
I was telling Mr Brian how surreal it is to have stormy weather and not hear thunder and lightning. I think Ive seen lightning once here.

It get rainy and windy and blustery, mainly.

Im used to the storms of the midwest and south.. the great plains have the rolling storms covering hundreds of miles, the lightning streaking across and down in great bursts with the resulting shaking even concrete buildings, while Florida is the lightning capital where the weather reports track lightning strikes on a second to second basis.

Brian thought about and realized he has seen thunder and lightning maybe a total of 20 times *in his life* living in SoCali.

Yes, the donut shop is about 10 blocks away - but I know Ive become a pussy if a little rain keeps me from heading out for coffee and donuts.
Getting good bagels out here is out of the question.

And as soon as i get back under the covers, the #$%^# sun comes outta hiding.


The sun came out, I took a walk sans camera, the night came down crisp and clear.

Not a bad day after all.

Like life, stormy days arent usually as bad as you fear , and rarely last as long as you think.