Friday, January 21, 2005

abbreviated history

My friends and I used to drive to downtown Jonesboro on the weekends and make the loop, as I'm sure those of you from a small town understand. Basically, you drive in long circles all night long and pretend you aren't pathetic. Once, we made our way there on a cloudy night and found that, though it was raining, people were still hanging out. We laughed uproariously and vowed never to be those losers. A year or two went by, and it came to pass that we were standing around on Main Street, and the heavens opened. Not a downpour exactly, but rain nonetheless, and we all just looked at each other. And we stayed. On my way home that night I determined never to repeat that mistake. My friend Rod lived at the end of Main as fate would have it, and the next weekend I made a right instead of a left and drove to see him. This was 1992 or so. Soon after we formulated a plan to make an adventure game...

I bring this up not only to celebrate how chance has played a part in our enduring friendship, but to point out to both of us that thirteen years have gone by and we still don't have that damn game made. This will be the year. Oh, yes. This is it.

[Listening to: One of Our Submarines - Thomas Dolby - Forty]

Thursday, January 13, 2005

What a great idea!

My friend Rod has decided to view the First 100 of the Top 250 Rated Films at IMDB as of 1/12/05. He has already seen 39 of them, so he just might make it. Looking over the list, I had already seen 54 of them, which made me curious about the remaining 150. A check of the list tells me that I have seen at least 114 of the 250, so I think I will attempt the remainder this year. The only one that I am not remotely interested in is Before Sunset, so it shall be last. Blech. I have been looking for a reason to sign up for Netflix, so thanks, Rod, for giving me a fun one.

The list:

The Godfather (1972)

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

The Shawshank Redemption (1994) SEEN

The Godfather: Part II (1974)

Shichinin no samurai (1954) SEEN

Schindler's List (1993) SEEN

Casablanca (1942) SEEN

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) SEEN

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

Star Wars (1977) SEEN

Citizen Kane (1941)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) SEEN

Pulp Fiction (1994) SEEN

Rear Window (1954) SEEN

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) SEEN

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) SEEN

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) SEEN

The Usual Suspects (1995) SEEN

Buono, il brutto, il cattivo, Il (1966) SEEN

Memento (2000) SEEN

12 Angry Men (1957) SEEN

Cidade de Deus (2002)

North by Northwest (1959)

Psycho (1960) SEEN

It's a Wonderful Life (1946) SEEN

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain, Le (2001) SEEN

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) SEEN

Goodfellas (1990)

C'era una volta il West (1968)

Sunset Blvd. (1950) SEEN

American Beauty (1999) SEEN

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) SEEN

Vertigo (1958)

The Matrix (1999) SEEN

Apocalypse Now (1979)

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Paths of Glory (1957)

Fight Club (1999) SEEN

The Third Man (1949)

The Pianist (2002)

Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (2001) SEEN

Taxi Driver (1976) SEEN

Singin' in the Rain (1952)

Double Indemnity (1944) SEEN

Boot, Das (1981)

Some Like It Hot (1959)

Chinatown (1974)

M (1931)(SEEN)

Rashômon (1950) SEEN

L.A. Confidential (1997) SEEN

Se7en (1995) SEEN

All About Eve (1950) SEEN

The Maltese Falcon (1941)

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

Requiem for a Dream (2000) SEEN

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) SEEN

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) SEEN

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Raging Bull (1980)

Alien (1979) SEEN

Léon (1994)

American History X (1998)

Modern Times (1936)

The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

The Wizard of Oz (1939) SEEN

The Sting (1973)

A Clockwork Orange (1971) SEEN

Ran (1985) SEEN

On the Waterfront (1954)

Vita è bella, La (1997)

Touch of Evil (1958) SEEN

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) SEEN

Amadeus (1984) SEEN

The Great Escape (1963)

The Apartment (1960)

Finding Nemo (2003) SEEN

City Lights (1931)

Metropolis (1927) SEEN

Annie Hall (1977) SEEN

Jaws (1975)

High Noon (1952)

Aliens (1986) SEEN

The Shining (1980) SEEN(

Sjunde inseglet, Det (1957)

Braveheart (1995) SEEN

Strangers on a Train (1951)

Fargo (1996) SEEN

The General (1927)

Wo hu cang long (2000) SEEN

The Great Dictator (1940)

Donnie Darko (2001) SEEN

Nuovo cinema Paradiso (1989)

Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)

Blade Runner (1982) SEEN

Mononoke-hime (1997) SEEN

The Sixth Sense (1999) SEEN

Ladri di biciclette (1948)

The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Yojimbo (1961) SEEN

Duck Soup (1933)

Rebecca (1940)

Full Metal Jacket (1987) SEEN

Oldboy (2003)

The Princess Bride (1987) SEEN

The Big Sleep (1946)

Forrest Gump (1994) SEEN

Notorious (1946)

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) SEEN

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

The Incredibles (2004) SEEN

It Happened One Night (1934)

Patton (1970) SEEN

The Graduate (1967) SEEN

Lola rennt (1998) SEEN

Toy Story 2 (1999) SEEN

Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

The Deer Hunter (1978)

Cool Hand Luke (1967) SEEN

Unforgiven (1992) SEEN

Ying xiong (2002)

The Elephant Man (1980)

Manhattan (1979)

Glory (1989)

The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Before Sunset (2004)

Ben-Hur (1959)

The African Queen (1951)

The Searchers (1956)

The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

The Green Mile (1999)

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) SEEN

Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Amores perros (2000)

Mystic River (2003)

Smultronstället (1957)

Stalag 17 (1953)

Big Fish (2003) SEEN

Back to the Future (1985) SEEN

Hable con ella (2002)

Platoon (1986) SEEN

Gone with the Wind (1939) SEEN

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

A Christmas Story (1983) SEEN

The Night of the Hunter (1955)

The Hustler (1961) SEEN

The Wild Bunch (1969)

The Gold Rush (1925)

Shrek (2001) SEEN

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) SEEN

The Straight Story (1999)

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) SEEN

Quatre cents coups, Les (1959)

Bronenosets Potyomkin (1925)

Dogville (2003)

Life of Brian (1979) SEEN

Young Frankenstein (1974) SEEN

Die Hard (1988) SEEN

Grande illusion, La (1937)

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

His Girl Friday (1940) SEEN

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

Lost in Translation (2003) SEEN

Garden State (2004) SEEN

Witness for the Prosecution (1957)

Spartacus (1960)

Ikiru (1952)

Hotaru no haka (1988) SEEN

Roman Holiday (1953)

Gladiator (2000)

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

Festen (1998)

Charade (1963)

The Conversation (1974)

Trois couleurs: Rouge (1994)

Sling Blade (1996)

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

Magnolia (1999) SEEN

Monsters, Inc. (2001) SEEN

The Killing (1956)

All the President's Men (1976) SEEN

Toy Story (1995) SEEN

Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922) SEEN

To Be or Not to Be (1942)

Gandhi (1982)

The Insider (1999) SEEN

Almost Famous (2000) SEEN

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

Brazil (1985) SEEN

Ed Wood (1994) SEEN

A Night at the Opera (1935)

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

Passion de Jeanne d'Arc, La (1928)

Trainspotting (1996) SEEN

Groundhog Day (1993) SEEN

Harvey (1950)

Twelve Monkeys (1995) SEEN

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)

In America (2002) SEEN

21 Grams (2003)

Stand by Me (1986) SEEN

The Terminator (1984) SEEN

The Exorcist (1973) SEEN

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) SEEN

Finding Neverland (2004)

Strada, La (1954)

Mulholland Dr. (2001) SEEN

Being John Malkovich (1999) SEEN

Miller's Crossing (1990)


The Lion in Winter (1968) SEEN

This Is Spinal Tap (1984) SEEN

Network (1976)

Rain Man (1988) SEEN

The Station Agent (2003) SEEN

The Big Lebowski (1998)

Laura (1944)

Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

Midnight Cowboy (1969) SEEN

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

The Right Stuff (1983)

King Kong (1933)

Snatch. (2000)

The 39 Steps (1935)

Persona (1966)

Stagecoach (1939)

Whale Rider (2002) SEEN

Rio Bravo (1959)

Fanny och Alexander (1982)

The Thin Man (1934)

The Untouchables (1987) SEEN

Bride of Frankenstein (1935) SEEN

In the Heat of the Night (1967)

Sullivan's Travels (1941)

Being There (1979)

Planet of the Apes (1968) SEEN

Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

The Last Samurai (2003)

Sideways (2004) SEEN

Adaptation. (2002) SEEN

Heat (1995)

Die xue shuang xiong (1989)

Barry Lyndon (1975)

Fa yeung nin wa (2000)

Diarios de motocicleta (2004)

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

New Year

Well, I'm going to adapt a rule that Robert X. Cringely uses for his yearly predictions for my resolutions this year: I will revisit this record in a year's time, and see what percentage I accomplished. This will be the first time I have actually kept more than mental record of this stuff, so it should be interesting.

1. Complete an adventure game with Rod.

We have begun, in earnest this time, the project we first talked about at least 12 years ago. We have our game engine picked out, and we have our deadlines established. This has to be the year.

2. Complete and record at least five songs.

Last year, this began as "join a band," but in August morphed into "write and record ten songs before the end of the year." Considering I play only drums well, this was ridiculous to say the least, but I have two strong pieces that I really like, and am getting better at expressing my ideas on keyboard and guitar. Thank God for Acid Music, which lets me take the tiny snippets of my ideas and sculpt them into songs. Lyrics remain the hard part, which leads me to number 3.

3. Write.

This page is the first example of my writing I have steadily worked on in over a decade, and it is only a journal. I want to complete at least one short story that pleases me in 2005. It may not sound like much, but it would be an enormous personal achievement.

4. Draw.

In particular, ANIMATE. Where's that quote... *checks Chuck Amuck, the autobiography of Chuck Jones* Ah, yes. According to his first art instructor, we all have " hundred thousand bad drawings in you. The sooner you get rid of them, the better it will be for everyone." Upon hearing that, he notes that he was on his third hundred thousand. I am probably a quarter or so into my first, but every drawing brings me closer to being GOOD. Animation, aside from being an honest love, is a great way to bring that number up by leaps and bounds, since every second of a project involves so DAMN MANY.

Well, those are the biggies. It is pretty much the same list I always have, and none of those will increase my ability to support my family in the least. But these remain the things I am motivated to accomplish. Maybe this time I will.