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Showing posts from December, 2010

Third attempt at a second try

If I'm remembering everything correctly, I'm on my third attempt at a second draft of When We Were the Kids . How is that possible? I think it's when tinkering leads to more tinkering at a later date. I'm happy there have been no overhauls where entire plotlines and characters get zapped. Chapters that were lean now have more meat in them. There are still many, many speaking parts and I don't plan to change this. If you read a quote from someone that either sounds like someone you knew in high school (or was you), then I've made a connection. Spending a few days in the suburb this is kind-of based on was great. Things came into my head driving around looking at Christmas lights and businesses that are still there. I aim not to mock the suburbs; I'd rather look at the good and the bad. What also helped was playing guitar through my new amp. Since all of these bands in the book are fictional, I've often wondered what their sound might be like. Reminded of

Dog park

Something I've wanted to do for months was take Victory back to a dog park. While there is a fancy, large, indoor/outdoor place about fifteen minutes away via a car ride, I prefer the smaller outdoor one about eight blocks away from home. Yesterday was a perfect day to go (and introduce Diana to the place as well), so we went. For as long as I've owned Victory, I've wanted her to have a place where she can roam around without a leash on. She's still a fast little one at six years old, so I've been hesitant to let her run around with other dogs surrounded by a small fence. I threw all caution away yesterday and let her roam. The thing was, she was incredibly obedient like she went to dog training school or something. Many other owners brought their dogs out, but there was still plenty of room to run around. All the dogs wanted to do was sniff Victory's butt and move along. She wanted to do the same. Gotta love dog handshakes. Victory stayed close to me the entire


I hate the term, "staycation." Yes, you have the week off from work but you don't go anywhere. Hopefully that means you take your mind off of the things you think about during the other 51 weeks of the year. Myself, I have the whole week off and have no plans to leave town. I went to Houston for Christmas, but now I'm back. Diana has to work, as does Matt. Instead of making definite plans for the week, I'm merely taking things hour by hour. A goal I have in mind for this week is to do another pass on When We Were the Kids . I've found my time to devote to writing and editing is much looser since I have 40 extra hours freed up this week. Some of that time will be devoted to sleep. Others will be to anything else I want to do, like watch movies and read books. (I know I normally do that during the week, but I don't have to schedule anything this week.) The key for me is to be productive. I've had a very long year with certain things in my life, but also

My first show

Roughly ten years ago, I did my first band interview. The band was Slowride, a pop-punk trio from Dallas. Even though I wasn't impressed by the first time I saw them play (opening for Strung Out at the Galaxy Club), I was glad to have them on my radio show on KTCU. All these years later, and many interviews later, I interviewed Dan from Slowride again, only this time, talking about his current band, True Widow, and the first show he saw. My piece is here .

You've been in my life so long, I can't remember anything else

Whenever I get the flak about never seeing a popular movie, I usually have at least a few minutes of explanation. I try not to be testy, but not every person has seen every popular movie since the silent era. In the case of Alien 3 , I think it was worth waiting until this year to see. The original version came out in 1992. Only now can the proper director's cut be viewed in the Alien Anthology Blu-ray box set. Meaning, the original vision David Fincher had for the film as well as the all of the scenes properly restored, visually and sound-wise. Any prior version just doesn't cut the mustard. When I was in college, Alien and Aliens were paramount in terms of the four films. Yet when I would talk to fans of the franchise, I was advised to stay away from the third and fourth installments. So I did, until now. I recently watched all four in sequence (not in one night, mind you), and while I'm not really compelled to watch Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection again right away, I

Breaking Bad

Technological failures can lead to great surprises. As I watched the credits roll for the last episode of The Walking Dead , a promo teased a weekly marathon of Breaking Bad . Every Wednesday, two episodes from the show's three-season run would be aired, in order. This would have been perfect for me, since I've never seen the show and have heard only positive things about it. Praise has come from from a slightly-drunk friend at a summer barbeque to my friends Donna and Noel (who have covered the show for the A.V. Club), so curiosity has been knocking at my door for a while. I set my DVR last week and plopped myself on the couch on Thursday, all ready to watch. Alas, I look through my DVR menu and there are plenty of episodes of The Walking Dead , The Office , 30 Rock , Community , and Mad Men , but no Breaking Bad . I checked again and again. Still nothing. I distinctly remember confirming the taping. Something must have happened, so I blame technical error. Luck would have it

Winter's Bone (to pick)

I don't like to play the "I just don't get this" card every day (or every week on this blog), but a movie has come into many people's orbit and I'm rather lost about its appeal. Winter's Bone is a film I heard raves about from critics that I trust. While I still trust these critics, I wonder if we saw the same film. The film that I saw was a drama with a noir sort of bent and a very authentic depiction of backwoods life. That's about where my opinion and other people's opinions stop. Beyond that description, I found the film to be sorely lacking in terms of drawing me in. There's a slight (and I mean slight ) mystery element and there's a sorta-climax, and then it's over. I was curious about the main character's "journey" and that's why I kept watching. When the credits hit, I was very frustrated. I read glowing reviews online afterwards, and I'm afraid I have to admit that this film is raved about because of what

2010 in music

If I had to choose my absolute favorite record of the year, from start to finish, it would be this one Spoon, Transference This record came out early into the year, and by my third listen, I was sure this would be my favorite record of the year. Something clicked in me that didn't when I heard Girls Can Tell and Kill the Moonlight . I got a sense of things with Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga , and all things fell into place with Transference . A number of lyrics from the album also strongly registered with me, like certain lines from "Mystery Zone," "Trouble Comes Running," and "Got Nuffin'." Simply, it's a record that sounds like my year. Not as great as their last record, but still a great record The Dillinger Escape Plan, Option Paralysis One of the best show experiences I had this year was seeing Dillinger at the Granada and walking out to fluffy snow coming onto the ground. Snow is rare here in Dallas, but when it comes, there's always a sen

Rock Action

After not listening to them since college, I'm happy to let Mogwai back into my life. There was never a point where I didn't like the Scottish five-piece -- I've merely spent a lot of time in the interim years listening to bands that were influenced by them. Whether it was Explosions in the Sky or This Will Destroy You, I somehow decided to not rope back around to the elder statesmen. Now that Ryan, Diana, and I have something cooking music-wise that's in the vein of moving post-rock, bring on the Happy Songs for Happy People and so on. I wouldn't say I burned out on hearing Rock Action or Come On Die Young . Given the choice of listening to Sigur Ros at any of time of day over Mogwai at night (a time perfect to listen to them), I went for the stuff that I didn't have to be in a particular mood for. I still find Mogwai's music to particular sort of mood, yet I find myself in more of a mood for their stuff as of late. The band is coming to town in May. A ne