Thursday, October 31, 2013

NightMare on Halloween

It was a really stressful dream. 
Lynn and Nancy drove me to a school a very long way out the 101 Freeway. 
At this point I am beginning to panic.  What will I do? I need to call someone to come and get me. That is when someone says I can use their cell phone. It is an old flip phone and I politely ask, if they have had this the  entire time why haven't we used it before. They said they thought that I could only use Mac products.  
I use the old cell phone to call home.  An unfamiliar voice answers.  I ask who it is and the voice says, "You know who this is."   I ask him to explain my situation to my son and have him come and get me.  In my mind I am wondering where I tell him I am because I do not know the area, city or  I realize that Mel is dressed as the Scarecrow.
We all three make it to the jeep. They are not worried about the mess that the mud will make on the interior.  We are finally off.  
I keep asking if they know where Encino is and they are vague. I keep saying Encino hoping they won't forget.  We end up at yet another crowded apartment, I realize they are not taking me to Encino. We crest a hill and below us is a scene covered in snow. The roofs are thick with snow and the road below looks nearly impossible.  Although I remark how beautiful it is I also question where such a landscape would exist in Southern California on the way to Encino.  The word reminds the driver and Mel that is our destination. They seem reluctant to continue, if they can't drive though it they will have to drive around the snow and there seems little interest in doing that.  I look at my watch, add thirty minutes and say that I really have to be home by then. They do not care. However, when I tell them I will fill the jeep with gas I get a positive reaction. 
It now becomes a hunt for a service station.  We pass several and I have the feeling we are no longer heading in the direction of Encino.
It takes me several minutes to realize that I am waking in St. Croix on the Adventure of the Seas. Daylight is creeping though my drawn shades. My iPhone and my iPad are exactly where I left them to charge. Mel and the other mobsters have vanished along with the snow and the jeep. I have a great sense of relief.  I really want to go home to Encino, but I can't walk, I don't know where I am and everyone on the ship looks like Mel and the others.  So far no tin-woodsman costume, but the day is early. 
Hal O'Ween 
Knight Mare 

Halloween

This is my new novel "Stalked by the Haunted".  So far it is a four word story. I like to skip the writing and editing and go right for the cover art. The models worked for free and never underestimate the quality of photo that you can get with a "selfy."
Happy Halloween... kiddies.
As you were,
Jay




Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Movie Trailer

More Halloween digital decorations and tomorrow is not only my Sister-In-lust's birthday, but also my dog Boo.  The two events could not be more diverse but tempered with the same love for each birthday girl.  But... back to Halloween
 This is a spoof trailer for a horror movie. Two more days till spook time.

video
As you were,
Jay

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Hallow Weekend

I am posting this on Black Friday. The Blog calendar may say differently... but who are you going to believe.
I've always celebrated Black Friday, as the last Friday night before Halloween. Black Friday may be a tradition I invented myself, but I celebrate it none the less.  This year I celebrate the holiday in the social media world. Consider the following a form of digital Halloween decorations.

BELOW IS A FILM DEPICTING
THE PARANORMAL AND UNEXPLAINABLE
 NO CLAIM IS MADE AS TO THE AUTHENTICITY OF THIS VIDEO.
IT IS PRESENTED AS THANKS AND APPRECIATION
TO THE  16 TWIAS REGULAR READERS ASSOCIATION.
AND ESPECIALLY... WHENDOVESCRY.
WARNING: THIS HALLOWEEN FILM IS PRESENTED FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT ONLY. IT HAS NOT BEEN EDITED OR ENHANCED IN ANY WAY.
VIEW WITH CAUTION. 

Nothing jumps at you and there are no screams in the sound track. I don't care for video's like that. They get you watching a car commercial and a zombie screams at you. That is not this film... or is it... This is not that film. Either way, this is an art film not a parlor trick.
SECONDARY WARNING: if my sister is reading this, DO NOT WATCH THIS FILM. Just so you know, FBFF, this film is my interpretation of the "Old Man with a Beard" game we used to play.  I think you remember. I thought it was a game, you thought there was an old man in a beard outside trying to get in the house and kill us. What a fun brother I must have been for you. I am told you were but the first of many children who didn't understand the nature of my spook show mentality.
For me this brings back memories of making Halloween Scarecrows in the back yard of  our house in Abernathy, Texas. We might agree as to the memories, but I don't think we would agree on the "type" of memories they are. I can see how you and I might share different views on the value of the following film.
For the rest of the 16  TWIAS regulars, this is an illusion I normally display at Halloween, seasonally like the Christmas tree. The ghost's menacing gaze seems to follow you around the room. It is more frightening when you see it live.

More Halloween film to come... For now...
As you were,
Jay

Friday, October 25, 2013

Collaboration

One might think that working with a partner is a roll in the hay for a ventriloquist. That is true if your partner lives in a box. In real life there are other issues involved.
Recently I returned from a working session with my writing/producing partner on the East coast. We basically locked ourselves in a small office/apartment and decided not to come out till we finished a script we have been crafting long distance. 
We have collaborated on countless projects both realized and unrealized.  The effort and work is the same whether the project is sold or not which means we have arm wrestled over countless plot points during our decades old relationship. The thing that keeps us going is the fun we have in fleshing out the idea and writing it. If the audience was certain to have as much fun watching the show as we do creating it, I would be living next to Bill Gates.
This does not mean that the collaboration process is free of conflict.  It's amazing how passionate one can become when discussing the lives and fate of imaginary people in a script. To an outsider watching the process it would almost seem like we are ready to kill each other over what a character might say or reveal during a plot twist. 
During one such session for another project we hit an fork in plot-world.  There were two ways to go in revealing  crucial information in the story. It involved a set of twins, Effie and Ellie. My partner felt like the plot would be stronger if at an early point in the story Effie over heard vital information about our villain but Ellie did not. Later in a dramatic moment Effie would reveal to her twin sister that she has known a certain fact all the time. I had to admit that it was a very strong way to advance the story, but thought it had a problem.
I began to pitch a way for both twins to hear the information at the same time.  My partner strongly disagreed.  I held firm and tried to rephrase the direction I had in mind.  He would not budge. I would not budge.  He got passionate, I got passionate. His way was stronger, my way was weaker. I argued that his way would not be logically possible, he argued that it was the best dramatic way to go. Soon we are not so much trying to resolve the issue as win the argument. We began yelling over each other thinking that volume was the key to winning. My partner was never going to compromise. 
The rule is when you come to this point in the process, the partner who is currently typing wins, he just writes it his way. My partner had control of the keyboard. He began to structure it his way.
Passions cool and we are back to the process. In a calmer moment my partner said, "This is much better. Effie finds out in act one and Ellie doesn't find out until late in the second act." 
I said, "I don't think that is going to work. We have to find a way for Effie and Ellie to hear it at the same time."
He continues to type.  "Trust me this will work!" I can hear in the tone of his voice he will not listen to any logical reason I can come up with... except one.
I said, "I think you have forgotten that Effie and Ellie are conjoined twins."
When we stopped laughing it was time for lunch.
As you were,
Jay

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Halloween Preparedness

        
One  stormy Halloween night,
Two dead boys stared a fight,
A deaf policeman heard the noise,
Came and shot those two dead boys

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Symphony of the Road Warrior

I've been flying commercially for most of my life. Certainly for all of my professional life. I remember when there was not even such a thing as a smoking section on an airplane. The guy next to you would light up as soon as the no smoking light had been turned off.  That distinctive seat belt indicator tone would ding when altitude was reached and suddenly smoke signals would rise from various parts of the plane like camp fires at a cub scout jamboree.
Then came the "smoking" and "non smoking" sections. For a while they tried putting the sections on either side of the plane as if the aisle, not even big enough to walk comfortably, created any barrier to air borne particulates. Later they put the smokers in the back of the plane. This was based on the scientific fact that the air in the front part of a pressurized tin can is completely separate from the air at the back of the can. 
There were times when the only seat left on the only flight available was a center seat of a three person row in the dead middle of the smoking section. In those cases you might as well buy a pack of unfiltered Camels and puff away it wouldn't matter.
Of course if a smoker was faced with the same problem of having to sit in a non-smoking section it was not impossible. They could just excuse themselves to the back of the plane and lite up.  In some cases if the aisles were too crowded the bathroom offered privacy. For the next person who needed to pee in that same booth, it could become a jet powered gas chamber. 
Then of course in the 80's Northwest Airlines established the first smoke free plane. On stage I used to say the rule was not about clean air, but anti-terrorism. The tag line, "No terrorist would risk high-jacking a plane when he knew there was a bunch of smokers who hadn't had a cigarette in a couple of hours." 
Yesterday I flew back from the east coast. The no smoking indicator light has been replaced by "turn off your electronic devices" light. The moment we landed a cacophony of ring tones, alert messages, push notifications and start up sounds filled the plane like a looney tunes sound track. It appears to me there is a similarity to the old days. Like the smokers who had trouble going a couple of hours without a cigarette, in modern times it seems that people have a hard time going a couple of hours without checking their Face Book page. The only difference is after being around a bunch of habitual tweeters and Face Book up daters your jacket doesn't smell like you survived a Forrest fire. If they allow the use of cell phones on a plane  during the flight like they are contemplating, I will start demanding the airlines provide "tweeting" and non- tweeting sections. 
When will the Surgeon General announce that tweeting is causing secondary mind numbing to those near the tweeter?  There would be a warning label on the back of every smart phone that says, "The Surgeon General has determined that tweeting and Face booking can cause mind rot."  I can already see the affect it is having not only on a plane but in the car beside you.  There is nothing more frightening than glancing over at a car in the next lane of the Ventura Freeway going 70 miles an hour... noticing that the driver is laughing at the funny picture of a dog that someone just posted and shared on his iPhone.  I feel a little safer when I see the guy only has a burning Marlboro between his lips.  And while we're at it, can come hacker more skilled than me create a green light app?  Coordinating the GPS and traffic cameras it would notify the driver in front of me that the light has turned green and he should stop surfing YouTube and drive the frickin' car. 
The raving of a new generation of old man has changed from "you kids get off my lawn" to "you kids get off the smart phone and drive."
As you were,
Jay


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Last Political Rant

Yesterday a FaceBook friend commented, after he read my blog, "I humbly suggest sticking to vent and entertaining my dear friends and colleagues." He is right... no I mean really, he sounds very RIGHT.
But I get it. I need to get back to my entertaining job. So here goes.
They say that comedy is the civilized way of avoiding aggression between people.  Animals don't laugh their way out of a fight... they just fight. A smile for a human is the barring of teeth to an animal and animals don't laugh they sheik for others to come join the fight.
The late Michael Price, comedy writer and friend, once told me.  "If you can't think of something funny, think of something that irritates  you, and make fun of that." If comedy does not have the element of surprise or masked aggression it is probably not funny.
What's irritating most of the country right now is the Government. You would think that we would be laughing out heads off with that kind of material.
Not so.  The country can't seem to come together and laugh right now.  They can't even come together enough to agree not to fight.  Mostly, because nobody is willing to let anyone else finish a thought, or maybe even a sentence before they comment.
This is my take on a comic trying to tell a joke while being interviewed by a television political commentator... your choice of talking heads and networks:
COMMENTATOR
Welcome Shecky Bevaerman from Las Vegas.  

SHECKY
Thanks.. Nice to be here.

COMMENTATOR
Shecky you make your living as a comic.

SHECKY
Yes... here’s a joke for you...

COMMENTATOR
Let me ask you, don’t you find it tough working
as a comic right now with the recession and all...
less corporate shows...  the middle class with
less money to spend on an evening out?

SHECKY
Sometimes, but Speaking of going out...
This guy walks into a bar...

COMMENTATOR
Now when you say bar you mean a place
to buy an alcoholic beverage..

SHECKY
Yeah, This guy walks into a bar and sees a gorilla...

COMMENTATOR
Because you certainly wouldn’t find a gorilla standing at the bar
of say the Supreme Court, Right?

SHECKY
Yeah... this ain’t the Supreme Court. So the guy walks up the
gorilla and starts a conversation... the...

COMMENTATOR
Is it the same conversation that 54%
 of the American people are
having about the debt ceiling?

SHECKY
No, the gorilla don’t care..
So as the guy is talking to the gorilla
the bartender comes up to them..

COMMENTATOR
Just so our viewers understand,
is the gorilla in this country legally
 or is he taking zoo jobs away
from gorilla’s who are here legally?

SHECKY
The gorilla don’t have no job, Okay?
The bartender looks at the guy
and then back to the gorilla.

COMMENTATOR
Now Mr. Beaverman if the gorilla is
unemployed how can he afford drinks at a bar?

SHECKY
It doesn’t matter if the gorilla ain’t got no job...
you see, the guy is offering to buy the gorilla a drink. 

COMMENTATOR
So basically this gorilla is unemployed
and taking hand outs from tax payers who
 are there just to have a drink for themselves?

SHECKY
This ain’t about the gorilla... the bartender over hears
the guy ask the gorilla if he can buy her a drink and says,
“Hey buddy... We don’t serve your kind here.

COMMENTATOR
The bartender certainly has the right to run his business as
 he sees fit without any governmental interference...

SHECKY
So the guy says, “What do you mean you don’t serve my kind?
I thought this was a....

COMMENTATOR
We are out of time, Thank you Mr. Shecky Beaverman...
And now we go to Katie Flippy with news from
the cloak room of the Senate House Chamber
where nothing seems to be happening...
Katie why isn't there something going on?

As you were,
Jay

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Senators McCarthy and Cruz

Sen. Joe McCarthy 
Sen. Ted Cruz 
Back in 1953 a lone wolf Senator ruined the lives of countless people and ushered into the United States an era of fear and hatred that still marks the country like a bad scar. He was Senator Joe McCarthy and he has come back from the grave to try again.  This time his name is Ted Cruz.
If you are younger than 60, Google Senator Joe McCarthy and catch up. 
McCarthy was a Republican Senator during a the second term of democratic president Harry Truman. Single handedly he tried to bring down the administration by "outing" homosexuals publicly and calling government officials communists. His crusade was filled with lies and half truths presented as fact. His goal seemed to be tearing down the government and building it back up to his own right wing, witch hunt standards.  He created the black list and destroyed the careers of many artists, actors, musicians and other liberals he hated.

The term McCarthyism,is a reference to McCarthy's practices. The term is used today generally in reference to demagogic, reckless, and unsubstantiated accusations, as well as public attacks on the character or patriotism of political opponents.  Sound familiar.
While they bear a striking similarity physically, and are the same age, it is the "holier than thou" attitude and thoughtless disregard for the country that truly connects them.  
McCarthy preached that he was saving the country from take over by communism as he was destroying the lives of innocent people in his sites. 
Ted Cruz now preaches that he is saving the country from take over by Obama Care as he destroys our recovery, our economic system and spreads hatred destroying the lives of innocent people. Both Senators are narcissistic crusaders basking in the glory of 15 minutes of infamy. 
Eventually the Senate and the country grew tired of McCarthy and his bullying style of public ambush and censured him in 1954.  He died at the age of 48 three years later.
Ted Cruz... a Canadian by birth so he is not eligible to run for president, but it seems he doesn't need to be president to F... up the country for the rest of us. Stop listening to this megalomaniac before we  have to coin another word for insensitive and dangerous politics... Cruzism.
As you were,
Jay





Monday, October 14, 2013

Columbus Day

There is a museum in Cuba where it is said they have two human skulls.  One is of Christopher Columbus when he was a very old man and the other when he was a small child.  Why not?  Does everything we know about Columbus make complete sense? 
Today we celebrate the arrival of Columbus who in 1492 happened upon a new land. Obviously the land was up for grabs because the people living here said they didn't own it. Owning the earth was a concept that made them laugh. How could you own the dirt and the sky and the trees?  So even though there is ample reason to believe that Vikings had already discovered America, Columbus annexed it for the Queen of Spain. Since he thought he had found a passage to India he called the native people living in here, Indians.
Although these Native people had been here for hundreds of years living peacefully with nature, they were not white Europeans so they didn't count.  We rounded them up and marginalized their influence, and even thought of them as vermin which needed to be eradicated from our new homeland.  We placed them in ghettos called reservations and told them that would be their land.  When new raw material and resources were found in the ghetto we moved the squatting Indians to another place... several times.
But all that was done by a bunch of ignorant people who also allowed slavery in this new country.  We are not like that today.  Are we?
With all the talk about Immigration laws there is one that strikes me as odd.  Rule says if you are born in America you are American.  If your parents immigrated from Oggleyland and you were born here in America... you are not an Oggleylander you are American. This holds true for every race and nationality except one.  Native Americans. 
Although they are called Native Americans, were born here and have lived here for centuries, they are not American by birth.  They belong to a national tribe. Even though they were originally here when we arrived... they are not naturalized citizens.  They are native Americans in name only.
So to the guy who started this entitlement and holier than thou thinking in this hemisphere... How about a national holiday in your name?  We will give government workers the day off and celebrate your Americanism.  Unfortunately... most of the people who would get the day off were fired two weeks ago by a the spawn of your idiocy called Congress.
As you were,
Jay



Friday, October 11, 2013

Apologies to René Magritte...

 It is Friday and I got no comment for what is going on in the world today. I am trying to live by the chestnut, "if you can't say something nice about someone... don't say anything." So this is a place holder for all the things I could say but shouldn't.   
Although a certain mentor- director -friend (the real Jay) is not a fan of the pictures I post on this blog, I do so to avoid having to write something today.
My Gritte
I have gone classical with my interpretation of a famous painting by René Magritte. Although it could be titled, US Congressman... I just call it MY GRITTE. 


As you were,
Jay

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Telephone Marketing

I got one of those random marketing calls the other day.  We have been getting a rash of them recently even though I have continued to register all my numbers with the National "Do Not Call" registry.  If I don't recognize the number as someone I want to talk to I won't answer.  Sometimes however they can catch me when I'm not looking.
Recently I told one of the faceless voices that I wanted them to take my number off their list... I was not now nor would I ever use the services of a company that "cold called" me.  In this case the person quickly said they would and hung up.  I have no faith in the idea that he left his calling station to find someone who could immediately erase my number from the data base.  But it quickly ended a conversation that I didn't want to have.
I thought I had come up with a technique that worked. However the next time I got one of those irritating calls it didn't work.  When I asked the guy to take my number off he said, "When can we schedule you for an estimate".  At first I thought he did not hear what I said, then I realized he was  screwing with me.  Obviously he has heard my answer before and this is his way of responding. 
It reminded me of my all time favorite prank call involving one of those telemarketers. It is several years old now but here it is... still a classic. Fortunately it was saved for posterity by a morning drive time radio team.

Don't you wish life always worked out like this?
As you were,
Jay

Friday, October 04, 2013

Shut Down - Shut Up

It used to be that I was proud to say I was from Texas. When I grew up there, Texas was one of the nation's highest ranking states in public education.  Now it is one of the lowest. 
It used to be that the schools were modern and up to date. Now days about the only school funding that gets authorized are massive athletic stadiums for football games.
It used to be that the politics were gentlemanly. Now they are radicalized and condescending. It used to be that a guy like Ted Cruz would be laughed at as a self serving rabble rouser. Now he and his ilk are hailed as some sort of Davey Crockett heroes. 
Although I am trying to avoid venting about the current "Government Fail" my friend Phil Grecian posted a link to a video that has me mad as a "Texas Horny Toad."  Now there is yet another Texas politician soiling my heritage.  
His name is  Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) who unfortunately represents the 19th District including my birthplace, Lubbock, Texas. 
It seems that Neugebauer got in the face of a National Park Ranger who informed a group of veterans that they could not visit the World War II memorial because of the Government shut down. It was a disappointment for the vets who had come to pay tribute to their fallen friends, but for Rep. Neugebauer it was a photo op that turned ugly. Not because the National Park Ranger, a woman doing her job, was anything but polite; it turned ugly because of the Congressman's myopic, reactionary stupidity. If you haven't already seen the exchange you can watch it here.
Randy Neugebauer tried to place blame on the National Park Ranger for denying access to the memorial. It was her fault that the vets were not granted admittance. HER FAULT?  If a man is that clueless about how the government works then he should not be a Congressman... he should return to Lubbock and work at a slaughter house feed lot. 
When a man in the crowd points out that it is NOT the Ranger's fault but that it was Rep Randy and his cronies who are at the root of the problem, Rep Randy immediately blames Harry Reid and walks away.
My question to him is: Why were you there confronting a Park Ranger about her job? Why weren't you back at the House of Representatives confronting the real problem?  Getting the vets into the memorial can NOT be accomplished by Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) "getting all up in the face" of a Ranger at the Capital Mall. The problem can only be solved by Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) going back to the House floor and doing his job, funding the Government. 
The problem with the radicalized GOP is that they have no sense of where they are going.  When George HW Bush (George the 1st ) was asked why America did not continue into Iraq and finish Saddam's regime during the Gulf War he stated... "There was no exit strategy." He might have been the last Republican to understand the term "exit strategy" his son certainly didn't grasp the concept. And now a couple of decades later I am wondering if the GOP  has a strategy of any kind except stubborn elitism and greedy capitalism.  
To me it is not a matter of being Democrat, Republican or Tea Bagger. Stupid is stupid and incompetency is incompetency and I would feel the same if a Rep. from California had berated a Park Ranger like Rep. Randy did this week. It is just more disappointing when it is an elected leader from my home state. 
I love Texas but there are a few idiots that are making me ashamed to be a Texan.  If this political fight continues I could become ashamed to be an American.  None of us can let that happen.
As you were,
Jay


Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Return of the Season


My muse has returned, clothed in drag. It might have been my review of MAGIC that put me in this dark mood.  It really has no attachment to what is NOT happening in Washington and the current government closure. 
It has everything to do with October.  It could be my favorite month. It most certainly contains my favorite holiday, Halloween. Halloween is a holiday that is of equal importance to me as Thanksgiving or even Christmas. I love Halloween, but there are some rules that people seem to disregard when celebrating this ancient rite.   
I am totally against a Hallmark holiday with Casper type ghosts and princess costumes at Halloween. I also don't like "gag" costumes. You know the ones.  A guy comes to your Black Friday party in a pink hooded leotard with a shoe glued to his head. When you ask him what he is he says, "I'm bubble gum stuck to the bottom of a shoe."   No offense to anyone who celebrates Halloween that way. But that is not the way I celebrate the occasion. Halloween is Horror and for me Horror is Gothic. 
I am a traditionalist and Halloween is an ancient pagan celebration ritual. It is supposed to be dark and scary. Halloween is all about horror and ghost stories. One night a year when the restless undead can walk the earth causing the living to hide in fear.  Modern capitalism has turned Halloween into a costume party to push sugar products.  Don't get me wrong.. I think a few modern concessions are necessary to any ancient ritual, I do not draw the line on Halloween candy, especially if it is Junior Mints, Milky Way, or Almond Joy.
So take heart fellow Druids forget politics because our season in upon us.
As you were,
Jay




Tuesday, October 01, 2013

American Film Institute

I was wondering what to write about today when I got a link that an article/review I did for my AFI was published. Since I spent more time on that piece than the average blog, it bears linking to it here.
Thanks to Abby T. for his encouragement and the editing of this story.
Happy Halloween month...
Here it is... be sure you "like" it or comment or whatever you can do to show the AFI people that you at visited my article.
Reader Review of the movie "Magic" 

Hope you enjoy.
As you were,
Jay