Thursday, December 23rd

::The Brak Blog::


Greetings, devoted audience.
All four of you. (Yes, I mean you)

As yet another year winds down it's time for all that introspective bullshit. And no, I'm not going to tell you about how much I cried when Star Wars came out on DVD (tons) or how happy I was when the Yankees lost the world series (tons of tons), no no, I'll leave that for the emo kids and the indie blogs.

I was reading the first entry of this year, and it was kinda funny. I talked about not going to Sadie Hawkins (didn't happen), getting a highscore of 470 in pong (now up to 530, before they took the game down), finding money around the house (that hasn't happened in a while), fetish art (a display no longer in circulation at the museum), and licking 9v batteries (haven't done that since).

It's depressing becuase my life isn't nearly as interesting as it was 348 days ago. Sure, I'm a little older, a little wiser (right...), but I just feel less interesting. I think that's what growing up is, a rapid decay towards complete bordom. I'm doing my best to combat it, but I feel it's ultimately a losing battle. This semester I did better on my final exams than I ever have. Am I any better or more interesting of a person?

Not in the slightest.
But hey, that's life.

Should I then just be expected to sit down and take it? To follow the path that's been worn down by others before me? Or do I pull that Robert Frost bullshit, and do something different to keep myself sane and safe from the drabness of everyday life? I vote Robert Frost, but I'll be the first to admit that the road less traveled is that way for a reason.

I got a roll of film developed. There's a funny one, and some actually decent pictures from when it snowed. I'll put the funny one up on the post-Christmas/NewYears entry. And speaking of film, Sean set up a section where you can view most of our films, and some of his projects independant of myself. [Check Them Out].

The other week my work had its Annual Luncheon. It's called a luncheon becuase we have lunch and the thing lasts a god damn EON. It was ok though. Katie and I both went, so it was slightly less awkward. Good food. Weird ass company though. You will meet some of the most varied people in the Dry Cleaning industry. Which I guess makes sense, becuase if they're hiring hacks like me, other weirdos are bound to slip in.

The kicker of the entire situation was this though: The lunchEon took place at The Plant. The Plant is where all of the clothing is actually cleaned. You see where I work, we just take and dispense clothing. We have to ship it out to get it cleaned. Naturally, before this point, I'd heard a lot of things about the plant, and I'd built it up to be kind of this Mecca of clean clothes and angry assembly line workers. Half the reason I went to the lunchEon was to see the damn plant for myself.

Turns out the plant is in this run down building in Westport, closer to my house than where I acutally work. It's not really much of a Mecca, and plant people didn't seem angry. They seemed happy. Then again we were all getting free food, so I can't imagine there'd be a sad face in the bunch.

A few days later occured an important date. December 18th. Last year, Lizz and I embared on a journey, a mission, a quest, if you will. Albeit it was really none of these things (for they all required a purpose, which we lacked) it was still awesome. In the spirit of that, this year we decided we needed another adventure. This one had to be better than the last though... it had to be... epic. And nothing really says 'epic' like central Missouri...

now does it?

I don't know what made me think this was a good idea, but that's what we settled on. I told my parents I was going "shopping" and left. At 7 in the morning. When nothing but the dry cleaners is open. Half an hour drive to Lizz's house. Pick up Lizz. Go to grocery store. Here we picked up supplies (Pringles, Sweet Tarts, and Coloring books to keep Lizz quiet on the drive). Gas up the car. Reset trip odometer, get onto Southbound I-435. Southbound turned into Eastbound, and Eastbound to Northbound (it's a loop, get it?). Then we got on I-70, which Lizz's mother was convinced is the most dangerous road in all the land.

It isn't. Everyone's just kinda distracted. And understandably so. There are adds for porn shops ever other 1/4th of a mile. The most noteable is obviously Passions Adult Superstore. There are a lot of these, so watch for the monopoly suit to surface in mainstream court sometime soon. [Addicted to Pr0n?] Porn aside though, rural Missouri still sucks.

Two and a half hours later, we get into Columbia. Our destination was thus because it has MU, and college towns are fun. Quickly though, we got lost, and had to stop at a gas station and buy a map. 4 dollar map too, what a scam. It helped though, and we soon found our way to the bookstore. Here I fulfilled my promise to "shop" (therefor not lying to my parents) and bought my dad's christmas gift. We then journied out of the gift shop part of the bookstore to the book part of the bookstore.

After perousing the literature we both concluded that college is way to hard. I'm joing the circus, but Lizz can't do anything cool, so we're going to trade her in for a Sega Dreamcast and some old Pokemon cards. She actually was getting all wraped up in a biochemistry book, that is until a mocked her. She looked up and I had to hide the "Advanced Topics in Mechanics and Physics" behind my back, lest I appear hypoctritical.

So yeah, the bookstore was a hit, but we got bored after a while and left. We headed towards this church-looking thing that turned out not to be a church at all. Inside was this weird meeting hall with a giant plate of half-eaten cookies. We left quickly, so as to avoid questions about our presence near the mutilated cookie display. Next we headed for a large domed structure.

Inside we climbed up to the third floor and looked out the windows at the people below. We made fun of them for a bit, and then, being bored again, decided to leave. I wanted to use the bathroom before we left though, so I did. When I got back outside, I saw Lizz standing next to an open fuse box, with this guilty look in her eye. She explained to me that she'd opened it, and that it was loud. So I closed it quickly with a jab from my elbow. The noise reverberated up and down the hallway. We bolted.

While running away from our imaginary persuers though, we ran upstairs instead of down. This was currious, seeing as how we thought we were already on the top floor. A flight of stairs and a landing later, we were faced with a suspicious set of double doors. Making sure they wouldn't lock behind us, we cautiously continued forward into the labyrinth of dusty old computer and busted chairs. The floor was creaky, and the classrooms appeared abandoned, but we ventured further. This dusty office crap was soon replaced by mixing equipment with an 80's vintage about it. As we walked around a corner I stopped and noticed a pannel of glass, its logo catching my eye. NPR! I turn to tell Lizz that I found the door to an NPR studio just to see her rushing back from around the next corner-

Hurriedly she whispers to me that we're in a boradcasting studio and she thinks someone saw her, so we take off. Back through the mixers, the old office stuff, the weird doors, the odd staircase, the main stairwell, three sets of stairs and a big heavy door. Outside. Yum. We take some pictures, then decide that food is needed.

We ended up at this little pizza place with a guy who had a british accent. He was really nice and the pizza was so so so so SO god damn good. Then we went and saw a Series of Unfortunate Events. I thought it would suck initially, and was then impressed by the trailers, and even then my expectations were surpassed. It was a pretty quality film. After that we aimlessly drove around looking for "downtown" and after coming to the conclusion that there was no such place in Columbia, we took pictures of a Waffle House and left.

On the way home my right leg felt like it was going to die. Somehow though, we made it back to Kansas City in one piece, miraculously. I-70 didn't kill us, and we resisted all the temptations of PASSIONS, and it was indeed epic, so it was a good day. Next year I think we're going to make a break for Canada. Or some comprably foreign land. Like Iowa.

(It's Always Better At Holiday)

I was a cowboy
on the dusy trail of I-70
my steed a '97 Maxima
"Next Watering Hole in 68 Miles"


As was prophesized by Tom at 11:41 PM CST
[Unique Link]

Friday, December 10th

::The Brak Blog::

Paper Thin Walls

I know it's been a really god damn long time since I've posted. Over break I'm going to do all sorts of magic and exciting things that you'll love to read about, and I'm going to go so far as to promise an entry every week during break. Hold me to it.

Today's entry will be subdivided into two categories: Content and News (About my side projects)

Starting with the content,

People search for websites, and sometimes they come across mine. This is what this month's searchers typed in, and clicked on my site for:

Search Strings:

1 191 76.71% emo
2 15 6.02% emo kid
3 13 5.22% emo kids
4 2 0.80% josh server shirtless
5 2 0.80%
6 1 0.40% %22emo%22
7 1 0.40% adam meyers kansas city
8 1 0.40% aim overloading servers
9 1 0.40% baggin saggin barry
10 1 0.40%
11 1 0.40% constitusion of the united states
12 1 0.40% danny tamberelli shirtless pictures
13 1 0.40% dinosaur
14 1 0.40% dodge magnum alignment pulls to the right
15 1 0.40% emo cartoon
16 1 0.40% emo picture
17 1 0.40% emo.
18 1 0.40% ethan struby
19 1 0.40% ferris buller quote
20 1 0.40% gigapets ordering

Dear god. I hate people. And search results for that matter. So many questions have been left unanswered:

Why do emo kids read my site? (1-3, 15-17)
Who the hell is josh server? (4)
Who's looking for Adam Meyers? (7)
Who the FUCK is baggin saggin barry? (9)
Why would ANYONE want to see Danny Tamberelli shirtless? (12)
What dick out there bought a Dodge Magnum? (14)
Who's looking for Struby? (18)
What do I know about gigapets? (20)

This is just too weird.

I got inducted into the National Honor Society a while back. Apparently it's like really presdigious and stuff. At the ceremony they made us read this pledge:

Being aware of the honor which is being bestowed upon me by my selection for membership in the National Honor Society, I hereby pledge loyalty to this organization. It shall be my earnest purpose to give unsparingly of my time and energy toward the promotion of all school activities. I will strive to be at all times a model student, and will never knowingly bring reproach upon my school. I pledge myself to uphold the high purpose of this Society for which I have been selected, striving in every way, by word and deed, to make its ideals the ideals of my school and of my family life.

That sounded just the lead bit suspect to me. Especially the little bit in bold print. (I added the formatting) I wondered if everyone had to pledge to take a bullet for their school, so I looked up other chapter's pledges:

[Here's One]
[Here's Another]

Note the fact that neither of those are remotely as binding as the Albnus Maximus Dumbledorus (No clue what the real name is) chapter's is. Which kinda makes you wonder... if they could add all that in, why didn't I have to sign in blood?

The Miege musical was showing around then too, and it was totally awesome. Not that I actually went to all three showings or anything, but... oh. Snap. It was good though. I liked [Da Doo Ron Ron], especially when that take is sung by a barbershop quartette with questionable musical talent. [*rockfist*]

My grandma's 80-something birthday was a while ago and so that entire side of the family decided to take her out to dinner and suprise her when we all showed up. My aunt and uncle casually asked her where she wanted to go for her dinner, and her answer horrified everyone. Old Country (Now 'Home Town') Buffet.

Or as Lizz's family lovingly refers to it: Old Country Barffet.

And understandably so. I'd never been to one of these places, so I was just really confused as to why everyone was so judgemental of it. I asked my mom on the way there what it was like. She said "It's just a bunch of old people. And they're all eating corn and stealing dinner rolls." On the way there as well, Laura and Becca called me and asked what I was doing, I told them where I was headed, and Laura replied, "My grandpa likes that place a lot." Oh snap.

It was everything it was built up to be and more. I started to gaze around myself in wonder at the sheer amount of white trash there was in this place. (Somewhere there's a trailer park getting robbed by the inhabitants of a less-classy trailer park) And those that weren't trashy were old. It wasn't a happy place. We had time to kill, to I started playing with the sugar packets. Writing messages on them and putting them back. I even went so far as to open one up and make snorting-lines with it, but Erin kept messing them up.

My grandma got some baloons when she came, becuase it was her birthday or whatever. Before we went to eat, she pulled two of them down in front of her and excitedly exclaimed "hooters!" before letting them go and having them float back up the ceiling. She then proceeded to tell me how her and my aunts went to Hooters one time and how it wasn't that awesome. *stabs face*

Midway through the meal, as I was realing back out of a chocolate-milk-overdose, I came to a horrific conclusion. As my head was spinning about, I saw many things: babies covered in food, lamps warming the food that belonged on top of lizard cages, and white people with cornrows. It then occured to me the awful secret Old Country Buffet was hiding... Deep in those vats of mass produced food lurks components of the primordial soup of life. Putting them under the heat lamps rapidly accellerates growth, and the babies crawl right out of the barrels of hamburger meat and fried "shrimp". They then, having no other place to go, stay in the Buffet, and grow up into adults. The mark they bear as a sign of their origin is the cornrows.

At this point, I wasn't feeling to good, so I drank another pint of chocolate milk and blacked out. I woke up covered in corn with my parents trying to pour coffee down my throat. Needless to say, I kind of ruined the evening.

Onto a different topic, like the fact that my bulk mail folder has exceeded 1000 items. This makes me want to kill several puppies so that I have something to compare the sadness of it to. Albeit, I've had my address for like... 4 years now? Feels a lot longer than it sounds. Lots of junk mail though, and I think spam should be illegal.

I was listening to the radio at work the other day and I head some add for these things called "Bling Tones". I can't find them anywhere on the internet anymore, but aparently it was yet antoher attempt for a big corportation (Sprint) to cash in on hip things stolen from african american culture (See: Bling). It just made me really mad when I heard it, becuase there aren't any ring tones for hip white people are there?

Actually... [God Damn.]

As for My Side Projects:

First off we've got [I Miss Nixon]. After the election, as you probably read in the last post, I decided to start a blog with a politically oriented vibe. It's still in the earlier phases [parts still need formatting], but we've already got a considerable amount of content, so go check it out, and please leave comments. The entire point is to generate liberally biased discussion. Or just discussion. We'll take what we can get.

Second thing being I finally finished typing up my screenplay. The finished draft ended up being around 60 pages, so it's a bit of a read. It's called [Waking Up], and when we start actually getting geared up to make this film (fingers crossed) we'll post information there.

Third: Remember a long time ago when I started a Movie Review section? I've been slowly updating portions of it. Logan's Run has been up, and now you get my brief takes on 'Throw Mamma from the Train', 'Slackers', and 'All the President's Men'. I know that's not much, but you're obviously bored if you're reading this, and they're all up for review. I just watched "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton" on cable, so I'll try and review that one for next time.

Again, sorry for not updating in like... forever.
School's been a bitch, etc.

Right now though, it's time
for this cowboy to saddle up
and hit the ol' dusty trail.

As was prophesized by Tom at 06:33 PM CST
[Unique Link]