All I Have To Do Is Dream

Dreams are amazing. They can take you into the most incredibly detailed, and extraordinary worlds. They can also manifest pretty much any emotion imaginable. Have you ever woken up from a dream and felt angry about something that happened in the dream? It’s hard to shake that feeling for the rest of the day. You tell yourself that it was just a dream. That it holds no weight in real life. Oh but dreams totally do. Dreams are like mind movies. But we rarely have control over their direction and production. They are still mostly a mystery but science has been cracking down on finding out the true significance and potential of dreams. I have very vivid dreams quite often. This is a side effect of the Ambien I usually take to get to sleep at night. A lot of the time I will be upset when I wake up solely because a really interesting dream has ended. It is rare that I will wake up angry, but it really sucks when I do. Like I said before, it is hard to shake negative feelings throughout the day when you wake up with them. But by the same token, when you wake up after a really great dream it makes the whole day that much easier to take on and enjoy.

Funny how the mind works. It can create such beautiful art or concepts and theories, or it can create hellish nightmares and cause terror and fear. It’s the eternal yin and yang. I’ve just woken up from an interesting dream. It involved a shape-shifting room, some video games, and driving in a car smoking a hookah while simultaneously driving over the hookahs of some skater kids. Weird is an understatement. I have no idea where these images and scenarios come from, but I’m so grateful for them. How boring would it be if you had nothing interesting to think about during the day. I know a lot of people don’t have that luxury. Jobs demand focus and attention, as does school. And during the week I will be granting them both of those things. But when I have the time, I love to think, and think, and think. I really can’t help it. So when a really interesting dream comes along I love to analyze it or think of a way to make the mind movie into a real movie.

I need to start keeping a dream journal. I’m just so damn lazy when it comes to telling myself I need to do something and actually doing it. Maybe I’ll use this blog from time to time as a dream journal. I would love to make my mental visions into real ones for people to enjoy. Because dreams are random as hell and don’t really have a plot, I think it would have to be either just a collection of dreams in one sequence or something that involves traveling between dreams. That would be pretty sweet, right? A dream-hopping movie? I think Terry Gilliam would be the best director for that. I mean, have you seen The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus? That whole film is like a Dali painting come to life. I love it. That’s what I imagine a dream movie to be like. Very surreal and trippy. The imagination is an incredible place. It’s more than a place, it is a tool. A tool that we can use to craft some amazing pieces of art. It is a terrible thing to waste. Sometimes, I’m guilty of wasting mine. But it is never totally wasted. I have half-finished lyrics and poems, and plenty of paintings that line my office walls to prove it. One of these days I’ll attempt to paint something from one of those weird dreams that I have. But for now I’m awake, blogging and drinking coffee. If anything interesting comes of this I will be sure to post about it. However, life is pretty mundane overall. The dream world, that’s whats fantastic!

Oops! I did it again.

It’s 6:02 am as of me writing this. I forgot to take an Ambien and have inadvertently  stayed up all night. Again. I need to stop doing that. It can’t be healthy. I do get three days off with my work schedule the way it is… until school starts (in 10 days!). I need to keep myself up today and not take a nap. Although I know that is an exercise in futility. As long as I remember to take my Ambien later tonight I should be okay. Reset and ready for work on Saturday. I think. We’ll just see how it goes for now. I know I need to mow the lawn, front and back. I need to clean the litter boxes, all three of them. I need to finish doing dishes, make the bed, do some laundry, and vacuum. But I will probably get like two of those things done. It’s just how I roll. Living the dream. I’m getting hungry and tired. But I also have to run to the bank when it opens in like 2 and a half hours. So maybe I’ll get three things done. Who knows. But right now I’m hungry. I think I’m going to go heat up some leftover pasta. Carbs before sunrise? I so know how to adult.

Now that my spaghetti and meat sauce is warming up in the microwave, I think I’ll begin to wrap up this shorter-than-normal post. I’ll be back at some point for another thrilling installment of “Insomniac Corner”. Sleep tight, kiddies!

Stranger Than Fiction

I sometimes think I’m more of a journalist than a narrator. Don’t get me wrong, I really love creative writing. Fiction. Creating characters out of thin air and making them say and do things. I would like to hone my writing skills in this area a bit more. I have often come up with ideas that I think would make for really original, and interesting movies or television programs. But I have no idea how to fully form the ideas and adapt them for the screen. I don’t even know how to properly plot a story. I know the terms, but don’t fully grasp what they mean or their significance in great storytelling. But I can express what I’m thinking and feeling well enough. I can talk about things. I can do the things any mediocre blogger can do. But what I want to do is blow the socks off of anyone who cares enough to read my work. More than that, however, I would love to make things that I want to read or see on the big screen. I’m a little disheartened by the trend in Hollywood of making movies to make money instead of for the sake of sharing an art form. Art is such an invaluable and priceless privilege to behold. If you are lucky enough to be able to appreciate art, then you are also free enough to create it yourself. I’ve always wanted to make movies but have always struggled with believing in myself, and still do to this day. I have very low self-esteem and confidence in many areas. The few strengths I believe I do have I would love to use in order to build up my weaknesses. That’s basically what growing up is, right? I say growing up as if I’m 6 years old. I’m 26 and going on 80. Or so I feel at times. I think I’m losing my train of thought here. I’m going off the rails on a blogging train. God, that was stupid.

So I want to write for movies and T.V. and stuff. I would also enjoy having some novels published. However, there are some problems with that plan. I’m a lazy perfectionist. I procrastinate and beat myself up at the same time when whatever it is I’m trying to do doesn’t come out the exact way I see it in my head. Be that with painting, or music, or writing. I have ideas, feelings, and things to express and I have a set idea on how I’d like to express them but when the time comes and it’s not quite right I just see shit and give up. This is not healthy, but I feel this is the same with many artists and creative types. I’m hoping that school will help me down this path to being a writer or screenwriter or what have you. But I know I will need to discipline myself just as much as schooling will. Right now I’m on the precipice of the beginning of my college years. The first 2 years are all I have planned for right now. I’m going for an associate of arts degree in general studies. Basically most of, if not all of the stuff I am required to do before I can obtain a higher degree in pretty much any field of study. I have not yet decided on what I want to get my bachelor’s degree in or where I would like to attend school for said degree. It’s looking like UCF at the moment as I still don’t drive and my current school, Valencia Community College, has a transfer plan that guarantees admission to UCF. That seems like a reasonable thing to do. But that’s still 2 years away. For now, I will be focusing the time off from my full-time job on school. I’ve mentioned on the blog before about how I will be taking all of my classes online. I also work from home. So when spring break and the winter break comes rolling in I really need to get the hell out of the house for a bit. As much as I love this place, never leaving it can drive you mad. Welcome to the Hotel Groveland… You get the picture.

Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll look back on this blog and smile knowing I didn’t give up. Maybe my readers, or fans of my movies, will treasure these pre-fame posts. Not as if fame and fortune is important. It really is not. What is important is to keep making art and expressing yourself. I want to make movies for myself and my friends and family to enjoy. If other people enjoy them and want to give me money for them, okay sure. Why not, right? But that’s not what it’s about. It’s about being true to yourself and your art. You can’t paint a million dollars but you can tell a million stories. And that is worth far more to me than any studio deal could cut a check for. So now I just need to keep my nose to the grindstone with school, work really hard, and maybe I’ll get a chance to make some wonderful art.

Daddy’s Little Psycho, and Mommy’s Little Soldier

Bang Bang” is the most recent release by Oakland punks, and my favorite band, Green Day. It is the first single off of the highly anticipated upcoming album Revolution Radiogd_rvg which is set to be released on October 7th of this year. The album, which follows 2012’s trio ¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tré!, is said to be a mix of political and personal views and expression. “Bang Bang” has been released early this morning and is available to stream on Spotify. Shortly after the song’s release the official Green Day Facebook page posted a lyric video for the track which I’ve included below. The song is sung from the perspective of a mass shooter and is quite poignant with the tragic events that have plagued 2016. I am really looking forward to the album come October. I will be pre-ordering it online later tonight. I’m getting the red vinyl, which also includes a digital download of Revolution Radio. Rolling Stone also put out an interview with Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong about the new track and its album. You can read it here. I’ve listened to the song twice now and it’s already stuck in my head. That’s surely a good sign of what we can expect off of this new album. Enjoy!

Something’s a little… strange…

strangerthings

The year? 1983. The place? Hawkins, Indiana. The things? Stranger. By now you’ve probably already heard of the Netflix original series Stranger Things. If not, how much do you pay to rent that rock you’re living under? The series is packed full of 1980’s pop culture and exudes the film making styles and story telling of the great directors and writers of that period. Mainly the style of Steven Spielberg and Stephen King. The plot revolves around the mysterious disappearance of a boy, Will Byres, and the sudden appearance of a girl who is later named Eleven, or El for short, due to a tattoo on her that reads: 011. El is somewhat of an enigma. She does not speak very much, if at all for most of the series. Oh, and she has telekinetic abilities. These come in very useful as the story progresses. There is a heavy, conspiratorial government presence throughout the show. These are the “bad men” as the young characters call them. They are very reminiscent of the government infiltration in Spielberg’s E.T. and just as intimidating. Winona Ryder plays the missing boy’s mother. Her performance is quite exquisite and really helps to drive home the feeling of despair and steadfastness of finding her youngest son. The cast in whole really work together quite well and provide excellent pacing and storytelling during the course of the marathon binge that almost always happens when people begin to watch Stranger Things. I just finished the first 8 episode season today. I cannot wait until season 2 is released. There’s some speculation that each season will tell a different story entirely, much like the hit series American Horror Story. But either way, I have total faith in the show’s creators, the Duffer Brothers. If you have not seen the show, and have a Netflix streaming account, then what are you waiting for?! Go watch Stranger Things right now. I’ve only scratched the surface of what the show is about. Things definitely get stranger, and stranger.

Trumbo – A Rave Review

trumboposterI just finished watching this wonderful film on Amazon Prime. I have the student trial. I’m certainly going to purchase a membership once my trial ends based off of this film alone. Well, this film and the free shipping. Can’t beat that shipping. Trumbo, if you weren’t aware, is a 2015 film about infamous screenwriter and novelist, Dalton Trumbo. As infamous for his brilliant works as he was controversial for his affiliation with the Communist party in the late 1940’s, Trumbo was a part of the ‘Hollywood 10’. A group of mostly screenwriters, along with a couple of directors and producers, who all became blacklisted in the industry for refusing to testify during the trials held by the House Un-American Activities Committee. They were investigated for their involvement of Communist influences in Hollywood pictures. A self-admitted Communist, Dalton Trumbo stood for equality for all. The film starts off with Trumbo, played brilliantly by Bryan Cranston, leading a strike for studio workers to earn higher wages. Set builders, assistants and various crew on the sets of big budget film projects were making very little money in comparison to the directors, actors, and screenwriters like Dalton Trumbo himself. Though Dalton was well off in the beginning, it did not always stay this way. I don’t want to get into too much of the plot because you really ought to see the film for yourselves. I will say this, Bryan Cranston is a chameleon. Not once did I picture Walter White, or Hal from Malcolm in the Middle, or any of his other iconic roles. No… Bryan did the Trumbo estate a great justice by taking on this role. Not only will I be purchasing this film on Blu-Ray, but it has inspired me to keep writing. Like one of the characters in the film mentions to Trumbo, I’d love to get paid very well for making shit up. The film also stars one of my all time favorite comedians, 48f94550-5f00-0133-4d29-0e3f8b958f63Louis C.K.. Louis’ character is Arlen Hird, another blacklistee of the HUAC. Though the film has been criticized for some dramatization of the truth, Trumbo is still a fantastic period piece that any fan of history or Hollywood would do well to have in their collection. This film is definitely one of the best I’ve seen this year. It has not only inspired me to write, but I will be ordering a copy of Dalton Trumbo’s 1939 book Johnny Got His Gun. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars. Definitely worth buying, not just watching, in my opinion. The film stars some top notch entertainers and the direction is fantastic. It gets me into the film making mood. Not many movies do that these days. They don’t make ’em like they used to. Trumbo is the exception to that rule.

Great Sh*t: An Audiobook Review

toughshitA few days ago I redeemed a free Audible.com credit for Kevin Smith’s Tough Sh*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did GoodFor those not privy to the “View Askewniverse“, Kevin “Silent Bob” Smith is a writer/director/actor/and all around nice guy from ‘The Garden State’, New Jersey. His 1994 debut film, Clerkshas inspired many young filmmakers from the time of its release and continuing to this day. I, myself, have often flirted with the idea of movie making. I used to make little, random videos with a camcorder I begged my dad to buy me when I was 12 years old. I wanted to create something that people could watch and I could devour their reactions. But this review is not about me. Tough Sh*t is just as inspiring a book as Clerks is a film. The breed of originality, humor, and creativity spewed out by the mind of Smith is a kin to one of his personal heroes George Carlin. Kevin Smith narrates this audiobook, and there literally could be no better a voice lent to the words of Smith than that of his own. Fans of Kevin’s podcast, or rather “Smodcast”, created with and co-hosted by Smith’s longtime pal and producer Scott Moiser, will love Tough Sh*t. It is very much like an extended cut of the podcast, minus the input from Moiser. The book covers many specific events in the life and career of Kevin Smith. From the time he was in his dad’s nuts, to the time Bruce Willis went nuts, Kevin covers many years of ups and downs throughout his life. He talks about meeting his beautiful bombshell of a wife and an awkward, albeit painful sexual experience that eventually followed. Smith also mentions his many successes and few failures in terms of the box office with his various films. He offers a refreshing look at critics and what they do and stand for. Ironic, as writing a book review is technically critiquing a work. But I do so with nothing but love for the man and what he does best. For someone who often plays a silent character on screen, Kevin Smith has a lot to say in Tough Sh*t and he most certainly has earned the floor. If you’re a fan of Smith’s work, or even just a fan of a humorous, vicarious walks in the footsteps of another person, I highly suggest you pick up a copy of this fantastic book. I think rating systems are an old tribe but if you were to force me to give Tough Sh*t one, I’d have to give it a 5 out of 5. I may have downloaded a digital audio copy of the tome, but I do plan on ordering one of the signed paperbacks available at the link above. Perfect gift for that fat, lazy slob in your life. You’ve done good, sir. You’ve done good.