Thursday, September 30, 2010

Guest Blogging

Check out my contribution to Sorkin Week:

Before Felicity was Desperate or Peter was Under - Top 5 Reasons I love Sports Night

Thanks for having me, ~M!

Speech making

     I've gone back and forth as to whether or not include any workplace things in Oliver.   The overwhelming wisdom is No.   I definitely don't want to get fired, or worse, fired and then ridiculed.   As everyone knows by now, tweeting about your job is a bad idea.
     I like my job.  I'm thankful for the position, and the opportunity.  The thing I want to share doesn't have a lot to do with that aspect of the job.
     Sometimes, I am tasked with writing speeches.  My style is not always conducive to the serious level these speeches require.  Eventually I get there, but it takes a few tries.  Within these tries though, I end up with relatively amusing lines that I would love to use for speeches later, maybe a speech I have to give, or for one given about me.  So I cut and paste these lines and save them, and I refer back to them when I need a little dose of inspiration.  It is those nuggets I would like to share.  Names, and usually positions, have been removed in case I'm quite wrong about who reads this, and the level of trouble I could get in.
Good Morning Everyone. I would again like to welcome you all here on this beautiful, probably rainy, Friday morning in Washington D.C. Along with all of the other things we’re trying to cram into this event, we need to find time to honor _____________. He can now change his facebook status to retired.

Somewhere in here is probably when he got married and had kids. Usually, we say things like “he somehow found the time to get married” because that’s how we in the military view marriage: as an aside. Something you squeeze in on a weekend, like put-put, or half of a road-trip. We mention when that his wife plopped out (hopefully) his kids, while he was serving his country. He wrote to them, and sometimes he remembers their names and birthdays. They’re probably all named ____ Jr. and Katie, because those are the easiest god damn names for him to remember. But we needn’t waste any more time talking about superfluous things that don’t matter, like family. We’ll come back to it in a minute, when we force him to realize he now has to spend the rest of his days spending actual time with them. Or he can become a consultant. 
__________ entered the acquisition community in 1998 as the __________ Officer and then as _________ for the __________________, in Jacksonville, Florida. Man, that place is a shit hole, isn’t it _____?. Bet you wished you were back in Iowa. Idaho? Where ever. It had to be better than Shitsville, Florida.

Prior to coming here today, I didn’t know _________ very well. I had seen him in the hallway of building 197, but only briefly, as our turnovers were happening almost concurrently. I of course, knew of him; his name was spoken frequently, and often in that hushed tone that says “this is someone important, like a Jedi. Be respectful.” My curiosity was piqued. I googled _______. Awards, accolades, innovations, and other similar pledges of support and loyalty filled my screen. One thing was clear: this man is the shit. Remember that episode of the Simpsons where the family ended up being in some sort of cult and Homer sang “da-da-da-da-da-da Leader, Leader, Leader” to the tune of the Batman theme? He could have been singing about ____ here.  
Sometimes it's hard for me to walk the line between serious and not-so-serious.  Usually because I'm not supposed to be walking the line at all.  I belong firmly on one side of the line, but I long to be other side.  

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wristcutters: A Love Story. A Review.

    Yes, I am a little behind the times.  But sometimes I lose track of time, and I forget how much time has passed and that perhaps the movie is older than I thought it was.  I kept thinking this was a relatively new film, based on a roommate’s desire to see it when it was in theaters.  Now that I think of it though, it was back in the fall of '07, or the winter of '08; back when I was living with a great group of people in Allston, trying to be a film student.  I tend to cram that time line together and think of everything that happened in Boston as “just happening.”  Therefore, I believe most films that came out between September of 2007 and May of 2010 to be “new releases.”  And to me, some of them are.
           Regardless, I am still going to give my very short review of Wristcutters: Loved it.   There was a moment in the middle where I started getting a little drowsy and I was concerned for my like of the film.  But I’m glad I stuck it out.  By the end I thought “Good job Goran.  Way to pull it off.” 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Mr. and Mrs. Rejection

(Because I love rejection so much, I want to marry it.)

I made a movie, and I have been through a lot with it.  I want to say I love it, as I would my own child.  But I kind of hate it right now, as I would my child, were it to spill red wine on my new white couch.  (I would never actually buy a new white couch.  And I wouldn't give my child red wine.  Neither of those things are the point.)  The words good and bad have no place in this discussion.  There's no point in being self-deprecating and saying "Oh, it's not very good," or any other type of subjective statement.  The movie is out there.  I loved it once.  In little moments, I love it still.  And that's what propels me forward.  And I submit it to festivals.  I believe it to be a comedy, therefore I submit it to comedy festivals, or at least the comedy category of regular festivals.  To be honest, I've only submitted to three so far.  I assume so much that it will be rejected, I don't bother to submit.  Other days I love rejection so much, I go for it.

The first festival I submitted to is a wonderful festival.  I had little belief I would actually get in, but I still had that small glimmer of hope fluttering away in my heart, crossing its fingers and holding its breath.  And another part of hope that was built primarily on spite.  I wanted to show all the naysayers.  Of course, I didn't get in, so maybe the naysayers are right.

But the rejection letter was so nice, it didn't really even feel like a rejection.  And the way everything else has been going, it was one of the most positive things I had going for me.  As an act of good will and recognition for all the hard work that actually goes into making a film, the festival offered a complimentary festival pass. 

I'm not completely sure what I expect to happen.  I sort of feel nothing about it right now.  I'm just excited to be going to a film festival, even if its simply as an observer and not a filmmaker.  I paid the $50 for a round-trip one-day bus ticket to New York City, and I'm going.  Bring on the laughs, non-losers.  Loser here needs something to laugh at.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

How Other Peoples' Thoughts Affect My Thoughts

     If I don't like the tone of the review, I will automatically take the opposite view of the review, regardless of it's merits.  I read a recent review of Glee; it had a positive outlook for what I believe to be complete drivel.  I will now be on the lookout for anything written by that reviewer and assume I will always 100 per cent of the time disagree with them.  Similarly, yet on the opposite side of the spectrum, was a review for the new David Cross book.   The reviewer sort of sets himself up to be better than David Cross.  He believes he is better than bitterness.  He is not.  Therefore, I will never agree with Intern Rusty again.  I have an image of Intern Rusty in my head, and it is not flattering.  I am now fueled to read David Cross's book, and I am going to like it, even if I don't.  But I bet I will, because I like bitterness.  Only pansies don't like bitterness.  Pansies like Intern Rusty.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Worst Thing in the World

     I hate grocery shopping.  Loathe it.  It is my least favorite thing to do.  Ever.  Chore is right.  It's a very chorey chore.  The choriest.  And I hate it.
     It's the worst chore in the world.  And it has to be repeated frequently.  Generally weekly.  It makes me hate the world.  It's a crappy errand that requires work, and it only leads to doing more work.  How awful.  It's a horrible vicious circle.  Go to the grocery store, buy food, bring it home, cook food, eat food, go BACK to the grocery store.  Every week, the same thing, over and over.
     There's got to be an easier way.  I do like food, but there are times, if food were available in pill form, I would go for it.  If it would prevent me from having to schlep to the grocery store, battle through the people, pick out the food, pay for the food, schlep it back home, put it away, cook it, eat it, and then stare at the place where it used to be cause me to go back.  Well, if I could avoid all that, bring on the pill.  I would still support actual food still being an option, you know, for emotional eating and when you just need something to do.  And candy.  But if I could get out of grocery shopping, I'd be pretty near the top of the sign up list.
     This isn't over between us, grocery shopping.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Being Part of the Problem

     I must admit that I stole the tag of “The Decline of Civilization” from Tom. I amended it to “The Decline of Civilization, Nay,” or attempted to anyway, but it was automatically changed into two separate tags. I went with it. Moving on.
    I may be a prime example of this decline. This afternoon, when I returned home from company sponsored bowling, I decided to do a little reading. It took a few minutes to stumble to this conclusion. This was after checking email, Facebook, and then literally, standing in my room looking around for about three solid minutes.
     I considered writing. The computer was on, and a word document was open. I even wrote two sentences. One of those sentences was about a nap. I looked over to the bed and it nearly called to me. I really wanted a nap. But it was 5 in the afternoon, so a nap didn’t seem appropriate. I considered watching a DVD or something on Hulu. That gets pretty involved. I watch DVDs or Hulu on the other computer because the desktop has better speakers. I would need to turn that computer on, find a DVD or Hulu program worthy of nap time space,and there’s bending involved. Just thinking about it made me want a nap even more, so I put a pin in that idea.
     A book! I could read a book. It was possible I would drift off into nap land whilst reading the book, but it seemed like a good compromise. So I pulled out my book, lay on my bed, mostly sitting up, and started reading. Approximately two pages in my phone rang. There was a pirate party, and we needed costumes. The party wasn’t for another three hours, but this needed to be dealt with right away.
     I am not a clothes horse, so normal outfits are hard enough for me to find, let alone putting something together for a pirate party. I even attempted to go with the more topical Somali pirate outfit, but I still have no appropriate clothes for that. I ended up in a blue bandanna and snake earrings. I put on extra eye makeup and extended my r’s when I spoke. Lauri lent me an eye patch.
      Hopefully I’ll get back to reading that book. Probably tomorrow, or the next day. I’ll read a page at a time on my commute to work. I believe reading more will help the world in general. Obviously there are a lot of steps between those two things, but I think the better read we as a population are, the better place the world can become. I want to do my part. I also really wanted to dress up like a pirate.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

My favorite season

Fall.  Every year I look forward to fall.  It brings the promise of reconnecting with old friends and discovering new ones. The new fall television lineup.  I wait for it all summer.  I spend the last few weeks of August perusing the upcoming television schedule, planning out my upcoming weeks.  I set my TiVo weeks in advance to record every new sitcom premiere.  I must watch them all, and then judge from there.  I allow for one or two dramas to try to win me over.  It rarely happens, but I allow the effort.  The advent of Hulu helps feed this process even more.  A returning favorite on at the same time as a show’s premiere?  Whatever shall I do?  A few years ago I would have agonized over it.  I would have canceled all the days plans and sat anxiously with the remote, flipping, recording, rewinding.  But now, with Hulu, my heart is a little safer.  (Of course I'm also aware of the dual tuner TiVo, but these are lean times, so I work with the equipment I have.)  
       Of course, heaven help the new sitcoms that dare to go against proven favorites.  You will probably never be seen.  You may not think it’s fair, but its how my world works.  I have favorites, suck it.  If my second kid was born on my first kid’s birthday?  Too bad second kid.  Until your birthday is in syndication, mommy’s probably not going to pay attention to it.  In other words: show going against 30 Rock, just give up now.  You will never win my affection. 
       I look forward to all new shows simply because they are new.  I admit a few sound horrible, and they may be, but I still owe them their allotted 30 minutes to prove to me otherwise.  Dazzle me new show, woo me, attempt to make me your new girlfriend.  Most new shows will fail, but for the ones that make it through, we will have a wonderful warm fall relationship. 
       I’ll admit, a few make it through based solely on the luck that there was nothing else on that night.  This happens frequently to shows on Mondays nights, against Monday Night Football, or anything against a full night of <gross> reality programming </gross>.  Don’t even try to argue with me.  I shall put my fingers in my ears, shake my head, and sing “la la la” over and over.  You will not win me over, ever.  The only reality program I will watch is the News, and even then, I’m usually not thrilled about it.  But the nothing else on principle does let a few stinkers slip in, which is how I ended up with a TiVo full of Jenna Elfman sitcoms last year.  But that can be a fun distraction, especially on Saturday mornings, when I catch up on the week’s leftover television anyway.
       I’m getting ahead of myself.  The first few weeks of the fall season are precious.  Those first few weeks I examine everything, and evaluate their merits.  I start to build my weekly viewing schedule.  A few decent shows may get pushed out of the way if they’re against better ones.  The big debate this year is the Parenthood v. Detroit 1-8-7 conundrum.  I love Parenthood.  There was little doubt in my mind that I would be watching Parenthood each week.  Then I started to hear about this new show, Detroit 1-8-7.  A cop show isn’t exactly up my alley, but it’s about my hometown, and there’s a little bit of controversy around it, and the filming takes place in Detroit.  It seems worth looking in to.  Worth at least a view of the pilot.  And then, forsooth!  It airs in the same time slot as Parenthood.  I can see where the target audience for these two shows may not be the same and it makes sense to pit them against each other.  But a small piece of my heart fell as I had to choose which one to record on my TiVo.  I’m still not confident I’ve made the correct choice.  I’m hoping Detroit 1-8-7 will be mostly terrible so I can carry on with my Tuesdays with little anguish.  (UPDATE:  After watching the Parenthood season premier, I will be settling into a Tuesday night spoon-fest with the Bravermans.) 
       After the first few weeks, I settle into a television viewing schedule.  There will be a few new shows as well as the returning favorites filling up the TiVo.  It typically allows for about an average of an hour to and hour-and-a-half worth of television per night.  The average is brought down due to Mondays, but brought back up because of Thursdays.  And it doesn’t include weekends.  And then there a few guilty pleasures I succumb to on Hulu (Grey’s, Private Practice; shows that I don’t want to show up on my TiVo list lest strangers judge).  I generally reserve those for pre-empted weeks, reruns, or just lazy weekends.  All in all, a well rounded viewing schedule.
       Just when you thought that was the end of the story, and I was settled in for the season, January rears its ugly head and enters – MID-SEASON REPLACEMENTS!  A very similar process begins.  It seems exhausting, but for me, its like constantly meeting new and exciting people, but without the anxiety of actually going outside. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

A letter to a guy on the Metro

To the guy who dropped his Gatorade on the red line platform:

     You were walking by me when you dropped your bottle of yellow Gatorade on the platform.  It splattered me some in the face. Since it was only Gatorade I guess I'm not that mad.  I was going to remark, however, that I believe that is why food and drink are prohibited on the Metro. But then, you dug through your duffel bag, pulled out a T-shirt, and dropped it on the ground. You proceeded to wipe up the spilled Gatorade with that T-shirt, using your foot of course, because clearly you're no fool. You probably already know this, but you're gonna have to throw that T-shirt away. I actually feel bad about that. You finished wiping it up and put the T-shirt back in your bag. Seriously, throw it away when you get home.  It's really gross. Then you picked up the bottle and broken cap and walked them back to the trash can. The trash can you had already walked past!  You backtracked!  I couldn't believe it. Then you continued on your way, presumably out to Chinatown, perhaps to Hooters.
     Well sir, color me impressed. Few citizens care enough to behave in the exlamplary manner you did. With more citizens like you, perhaps we can turn this city around.
     It did splash me in the face a little though.

Admirably Yours,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I enjoy naming things.

    I’ve been toying with the idea for a while now.  Should I or shouldn’t I start a blog?  I polled my friends and it was pretty unanimous:  all three of them said “If you want, sure.”  So here we go!
    I took the first step and signed up for blogger.  Within those first few steps was the “name your blog” blank.  And that’s what my mind did.  It went blank.  I’ve seen blogs that are generally named after their primary focus.  It makes sense, and is a good way to go.  I currently have no primary focus.  Which many see as my primary problem.  The blog isn’t about writing, or rocket scientry, or grammar, or movies, or television.  It might be about all of those things.  But I couldn’t 
    1. Cram all of those words onto the heading, or
    2. Think of a word that would encompass all those things, but would
        a. not make me sound too pretentious, and
        b. still allow me to wander outside of those topics as well. 
I was staring at the blank for a bit and I asked my friend Mary “Can I name it Oliver?”
    “Yes.  You can.”
    So, my blog is named Oliver William Melchert.  You can call it Oli for short.  If I ever have a son, he’ll have to share his name with my blog.  I apologize in advance, future son.