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Not the water sports you’re thinking of…

Marine Biologist’s blog, seadate: 130226:08

When my cat got older, I considered getting another cat to keep her company many times. But I was afraid that if they didn’t like each other and wouldn’t eventually get along,  her last years would be filled with aggravation and possibly fights. I didn’t want to put her thru that.

I also wanted to be her best friend and masseuse since I assumed her muscles were getting sore. I could see it in those last months when her grooming habits decreased more and more. And I was able to spend a lot more time playing with her, being home every night.

So, I decided to refurbish the lizard tank I hadn’t used in at least a decade. I took it from apartment to storage areas. The lizard supplies are now rounded up in a box, I’d hope to get more money selling it as a lot on eBay or the flea market, given transpo and a weekend (off) to do it.

I bought 4 skirted tetras (silver with black stripes) and one of them promptly died. I have 4 gallon jugs that I refill with down to uv filtered from the front of the supermarket. Tap water smells of chlorine. So they get the best water for their 10 gallon tank. Sometimes I buy a gallon of spring water to rotate in for the minerals.

The ornaments I chose were basically lizard things, the same multi-colored gravel, a rock with a hole in it that the lizard crawled thru and the fish swim thru. They even hang out in it once in a while.

At the pet store, they had live plants, so I got a few, one is a “moss ball,” that looks like a ball of styrofoam anchored with fishing string to a fishing weight. It’s covered with some kinda planting soil and the moss has grown out nicely to a huge messed up fro.

This is getting to be a lot, I know, but I bought a pump and lid for the tank with lights. I also have accumulated about 8-10 chemicals and medicines for the water, and of course feeding flakes.

I put them on a milk crate so it would be on a lower level near my cat’s bed so she could watch them, like kitty tv. She didn’t react as enthused as I’d hoped, but I did catch her staring at them once in a while.

After my cat died, I decided to get 4 red platys, the fish I wanted to get while she was alive because they were brighter. Same thing happened, 1 fish passed away within hours of putting them in the tank. I don’t like that.

And eventually, I wanted an algae cleaner and found a mini catfish, an albino bristlenose pleco. It’s cool, it’s thorough on going around the tank suckering residue I can’t see on the glass, plants, rock and arch that I have. I read online that it likes wood, so I cut a piece of the driftwood from the lizard structure and Hoover likes it. While I was cleaning the tank once, Hoover let me PET it. Pictures online show people holding them, they seem to accept and like it! Maybe its skin salt?

It’s a surprisingly cold winter for me, and I’m in California climates, still conditioned to no humidity. So I bought a cheap heater (pad) for the fish, too.

There will be a part 2, I crammed a lot of expo in my one page typing.

Whenever I stare at my fish now, I’m happy and sad at the same time that my cat got to have her fish.

2013/02/26 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

20130220:15 Let’s write a story, part 1 of 10

Writer’s Blog, blank screen date: 130220:15

Of TEN, how’s that for commitment? Really, the segments I’ve studied break down to 8 parts, but I need this entry to explain my dilemmas and a thing at the end for the inevitable things I’d forget and or updates with situations therein.

I have read about and studied screenwriting and play writing. I have taken courses in college and have more film books than I can read. Honestly, history gets a little dry, which makes no sense. By definition history should be interesting if not exciting.

Currently I’m reading about just that, making every sentence exciting, losing those participals I keep dangling and extraneous prepositions.

Most films and plays follow a 3 act structure, but that’s odd to me. It’s too brief, too simple, but every act has a ton of elements in them. Tv is structured like that, half hour and hour shows, but none of them are formatted that way. They’re formatted to commercial breaks.

A half hour show has a lead in, opening credits, 3 commercials and closing credits. That’s at least 4-5 segments of story, each of which has to have a “teaser” to keep you from changing the channel while those annoying commercials come on. It’s similar for hour-long shows, they theoretically have more time to concentrate on a “b” story and even a C, if they have a lot of characters and they each have things to do.

Scrubs is kinda genius with this, since they developed by the 3rd season to mastering the 3 simultaneous story theme going on. Coincidentally, they’re made to parallel each other which is smart, coincidental or even dumb depending on how all 3 stories are executed.

I have also read short story writing books and read short stories. I like short stories because you quickly cover all the senses and all the w’s, all the character development, even mystery to your story. It’s why a lot of writers like me are super fans of things like Twilight Zone. There are horribly outdated things in those shows (small towns, imagine leaving your front door and car unlocked). But the concepts and feelings of a characters eventual desperation or situation develops.

Twilight zone is a forerunner to Star Trek on it’s best episodes. Those are the episodes that look at humanity from the outside as alien research. There’s things trying to be science fiction right now that are ridiculous, characters shouldn’t be invented based on their costumes or weapons to sell action figures. Sci fi lost its way with the whole dark, grim obsession. They want to be noir without the tragic ending.

So, I’m starting this for a few reasons: 1) to take you in and eventually by the end you should see the problems I’m having and hopefully have recommendations; 2) I want to write this to unlearn what I’m learning, even though that term is getting blurred with it’s over use; 3) if I can teach what I know, I’ll have to remind myself of the back corners of details that may spark something I have been overlooking. 4) If you’ve never taken a writing course, you’re about to save thousands of hours and dollars and commute to USC.

Weather I/ we write a story via blog entry, vlog, telling one at a bar, you tube video, short story in an anthology or film and tv, it can be broken down to the items to the following 8 stages. It’s true there are exceptions, but to those like me trying to “make it,” this format has to remain true. Those that get to break the pattern have made millions and can finance it themselves. We can’t.

If you think this is familiar, it’s a mishmash from a bunch of different screenwriters whose names reappear if you have studied writing format:

1. There’s a status quo, a place where the story starts off at.
2. There are characters, and their needs or wants will be presented.
3. There’s a “call to action,” the characters will be faced with having to deal with a threat and they will have to decide to do something about it. They will have to leave their comfort zone to do something about it.
4. They will have to adapt and “face trials” on learning how to combat the threat. Trial and error. Research, learning from others. Making more allies and enemies.
5. They will get the thing they want, but of course there are annoying strings attached that will screw other things up.
6. The characters, good and or bad will have to make sacrifices and take some big losses once the “thing” is obtained or achieved.
7. The characters will have to return to status quo land and they will have to decide to do this.
8. They will be back to another day similar to the beginning, but they will have knowledge and experience to deal with a threat that will be reoccurring or developing somewhere else.


2013/02/20 Posted by | Writing course in 10 sessions | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lentmowrimo Mardi Gras, Ash Williams and Easter pool party

Motivator’s blog, Celebration date: 130212:15

There’s a few people I follow on the net that post vlogs every day or amazing videos at least 3 times/ week. I’m amazed that they can edit and find some public domain music to use and have it up by the end of the day.

It’s no excuse but an admission that I don’t write when I’m busy. But when I’m not, I get in a funk because I’m a lazy ass and don’t write, which is as logical as someone eating junk food because they’re not losing weight.

For over 2 years I’ve been beating myself up, analyzing, researching, reading, figuring out not only where things went wrong but how I can not do it again. At the same time, I was also looking for a job to get me back in the game of life so I can save up to move where I can be that ever elusive “happy” concept.

Admittedly, it’s tough to write a blog when I don’t see my hits going up. I don’t write this expecting leagues of fans, but I thought I at least wanted the following I had when I blogged on myspace in it’s heyday years. I hate myself for checking the stats, but when I’m logged in there’s a damn monitor right there that I can’t block out, mentally or literally removing the function from the tool bar.

But that’s wrong. In my heart of hearts, I have to do this for me. I have to do this for the therapy. Putting myself out here, exposing my “weaknesses” is very risky, since I’ve seen celebrities overdo this and lose a lot of people with TMI. And we usually call these people comedians or musicians. I fall in the comedian category, since my life doesn’t go like a True Hollywood Story, with the drugs and the rehab, and ditched women with children. Truth be known the only thing keeping me from pursuing a career in stand up is the TSA. I hate airlines more than Indy hates the Nazis. In less than a century, terrorists and airline share holders fucked up the gift of flight.

This is a- thee HUGE month for me. Brick by brick I have built a ramp for let’s see… At least 139 weeks for the opportunity that’s coming. I have a countdown on my desktop counting the days down. And the number is pleasantly less than a year, less than a season now.

Spring is amazing, sans allergies. And colony collapse disorder can’t be helping. Oh, I’ve read about insecticides to cell towers and all that doom of where we’re heading. Everything becomes a documentary on how humans fuck the earth up. It’s why I love animals more than humans (at least it’s “leaders”).

Last year, I chose to make Earth my religion. I had to make hearing god and jesus bearable, so whenever I hear god, I mentally plug in the word Earth. When I hear jesus I mentally switch in Mother Nature. For some reason it’s a stigma to be thought of as a hippy. I’m shifting towards a more organic, less manufactured consumer and recycler.

Mardi Gras is supposed to be a night of celebration before taking on Lent, a month of sacrifice towards a good path. I’ve had the opposite problem. I’ve suffered. I’m the first to criticism myself and I have imploded on a regular basis. My lent is to try to celebrate the good things in life again. stop being a Charlie Brown and be Snoopy.

Cover of "Evil Dead II"

Ash Wednesday marathon!

There are people who recycle. There are people who buy local. There are people who don’t shop at the big box store, don’t live off fast food and don’t waste their hours on mindless tv. They go out, ride bikes and play games with their friends, not some program on a screen. I have to enjoy time with these people and stop being the battered shield for all that shit at the end of the documentaries.

I have analyzed all the times in my life when I was at my best and came up with similar conclusions. I have read many political, business, Buddhist, humor, sociology and psychological books to gain understanding.

This is the month where I take more action, face my biggest fears until I can laugh at them and do things the way I should have when I had the income.

2013/02/12 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment