Willy-Nilly Wednesday

February 29, 2012

Things have definitely picked up this week.

So, this post (and possibly the next) will be short because my creative brain power will be siphoned off to be used in other creative contexts. Sorry in advance.

I have been given a special assignment. And a pretty strange one at that. I will be helping a friend do his job. H’e’s a pastor.

This job includes writing a funny sketch for a churchy thingy…

This isn’t the first time I will be collaborating with my buddy on making a silly video/sketch. As a matter of fact we have made a number of them together in the past. All of them were terribly funny to us. And to us alone.

Still, we like doing it so much that we will be working together again despite our strong unpopularity in this particular form of media.

Now in the few years since we’ve done this I think our comedic ideas have grown and matured like a fine wine.

And since I can’t really think of anything original to write about today…you get to hear my ideas I will be pitching tomorrow.

You want a peek inside my brain? 

You’ve been warned.

My first idea involves two sadist sock puppets that delight in tormenting the host of a children’s show with sheer stupidity and a complete infatuation with causing him torment in some regard. They mostly just repeat his name over and over again and end up vomiting confetti everywhere. One of the puppets is even trying blow the host up with dynamite. He actually believes this to be the equivalent of a big hug.

We slowly see the host go insane.

I’m not sure how this will tie is with any lesson/sermon…but we can make it happen.

I still think I could make it fly….even for church. But more than likely this idea will be shot down and I’ll have to think up of something else.

Maybe this will be the time for me to bring out my big idea.

I have had this wonderful idea for a video that I just KNOW would be a major Youtube hit. (And please don’t steal this idea from me. I consider it precious.)

It involves a guy working up the nerve to ask a girl to dance at a party/mixer. His friends are encouraging even though the fella has his serious reservations. As the camera catches glimpses of her, you start to question the boy’s hesitation.

Finally, after the ultimatium from his friends, he walks over, and taps her on the shoulder. She turns around locks eyes with our man, and they both instantly fall in love the moment the music starts.

Oh… She has a gigantic mustache that is revealed in the end. She even mouths the words to the song that is playing in the background.

This is that song.

No lie. I have thought of this video for over 3 years. Maybe today it will come to fruition.

And yes, I do think this will fly at church… I’m pretty sure… Almost certain.

..

.

.

.

:::sigh:::

Okay…I guess you’re right.

Back to the drawing board.

D.A.

P.S. Really…I’m not kidding…None of the words you read above are a lie. If I really end up making one of these videos you can bet your kiester that I’ll be posting it.

Terrible Tuesday

February 28, 2012

So…

I’ve been avoiding this.

The Oscars were awarded Sunday night. I made a few predictions in this post a few weeks ago. I made a few claims about my prowess to pick the winners. Well. I certainly did pick some very highly contested categories.

I checked my picks…

Annnnnnnnnd….I didn’t do so hot. So let’s go ahead and get this out of the way.

Let’s go ahead and look at what I got wrong.

Best Picture: I said Hugo. The real winner: The Artist. 

Best Actor: I said George Clooney. The real winner: Jean Dujardin

Best Actress: I said Viola Davis. The real winner: Meryl Streep

Best Supporting Actress: I said Bérénice Bejo. The real winner: Octavia Spencer

Best Director: I said Martin Scorsese. The real winner: Michel Hazanavicius

Best Writing for Adapted Screenplay: I said Moneyball. The real winner: The Descendants.

Best Writing for Original Screenplay: I said Bridesmaids. The real winner: Midnight in Paris

Best Score (music): I said John Williams. The real winner: Ludovic Bource

Best Foreign Film: I said In Darkness. The real winner: A Separation

Best Visual Effects: I said Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The real winner: Hugo

Now let’s look at what I got right…(By the way, i’m sure almost everybody expected these categories as a given.)

Best Editing: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Best Supporting ActorChristopher Plummer.

Best Animated Film: Rango.

Best Cinematography: Hugo.

Wow….

A real poor showing on my part.

And The Artist? Who even knew?

And how can you possibly snub John “The Big Man” Williams, especially when he was nominated for two awards in the same category for two different movies? And Meryl Streep? Oh come on! I know this is only her  third Oscar, but she’s been nominated 17 times… We all know she’s good. So good that she doesn’t really need an award to prove something.

Better luck next year I suppose?

D.A.

Mundy Monday

February 27, 2012

Goal for this week: WRITE A POST FOR EACH DAY OF THE WEEK.

Secondary goal for this week: GIVE ALL THOSE POSTS ALLITERATIVE TITLES.

So I found out something about myself today. I’m like a pickle jar.

Now here comes the very complicated explanation of what that actually means. I’ll also be sure to not directly tell you, but only provide you with a short story and follow that up with me freaking out about the story in a fairly scatterbrained manner. Okay?

Here’s the scene. I’m playing a game on the internet (using my time wisely) and I get a call on the phone from my father. He’s just wanting to ask me a few things on some random topics. He also mentions to me that I have a cousin that has a blog.

I tense as I hear the word. NO I think to myself. THERE CAN’T BE ANOTHER. WHAT IF THEY FIND ME?

“Oh yeah?” I said, acting like I didn’t really understand these foreign words. “That’s nice.” I tried to make sure my voice was level.

“Yeah, it is,” he said. “She writes very well. You should check it out.”

I commented that I would check it out sometime. We said our goodbyes and he went off think everything was all hunky-dory.

As I hung up I immediately typed it in and checked it out.

I hawked down every pixel on that blog. Every. Single. One.

And to be fair, it really was a nice little thing she had made. I hope the best for her. But it’s one of those fancy upgraded WordPress blogs that you pay so much for a domain name and other features.

Oh no…

Not only is she blogging…she’s in my neighborhood. Us Bancrofts seem to have similar taste in our blogging preferences.

Now I feel a little…cooped up.

Why?

Well that’s because I keep this blog a secret from every person I actually know. I don’t want them to know. I don’t even want them to suspect that I may or may not have an online affiliated hobby. I don’t even want them to know I know what a blog is….

This is the point where you start to question my sanity, and rightfully so. A normal person should not feel weird at all right now. Oh, somebody I know has a blog. No biggie. Those are normal thoughts.

But for me this is different. For me this little splotch on the interwebs is my person sanctuary. It’s a relief from the world. It’s a place where I can put my thoughts on electronic paper and file them away. Hey, I might even get some people to comment on those ideas I share.

I can practice writing  and feel safe…

So, in my own messed up way, this is almost an attack on my safe place.

I’m imagining a field of full of colorful wildflowers and a great big oak tree with branches so low you can hop up and sit on them. The summer breeze would ruffle your clothes and weave throughout your bare toes as you relax. life is good.

Now imagine a Transformers battle taking place while you rest. Yeah, that’s what i’m talking about.

So, how am I like a pickle jar? 

Well, this place is still a secret. STILL. Despite everything my ego wants from me.

I kind of secretly want recognition for my kind-of-sort-of-mildly-entertaining-place-of-residence-on-the-internet. I have a fantasy of building this place up into some very popular internet page and some of my friends and family stumble across it and find themselves very amused. Then they read more and more and realize that this D.A. fellow sounds a lot like …

:::gasp:::

Then they immediately phone me and I try to act all casual. “Nah, it’s not me, but i’ve seen that site before.” I say, hoping to blow off their suspicions.  “Yeah, I read some of his books. They’re pretty funny/thoughtful/well written.”

Then they begin a compulsive investigation of myself and how I get my money. Since my blog and susequent writings have become so popular and I’ve been published many times I will no longer need to work, they will start to wonder why I stopped teaching. All I seem to do is sit in my house all day and play video games. (Maybe I’ll claim I made some good investments in some major companies on the stock market.)

Then one day they will provide me with the documented evidence of my workings. They will point the finger at me and say “Your are D.A. Bancroft!” I will lower my head as if in defeat. The game has been lost.

But I still won.

Yes, a big dichotomy. I want recognition. I want invisibility. Kind of reminds me of this guy…

I guess I should explain who this is…

This the The Grand Galactic Inquisitor. He is a giant humanoid that seemingly has a mastery over time and space, but he is also trying to observe things while hoping people just ignore him. Maybe simply can’t do such a thing…so he screams at the top of his voice box “IGNORE ME!”.

Okay, okay. Maybe I’m blowing this whole thing out of perspective a little bit…

I guess if people found out who I am…it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. And I’m sure my family would give about zero and a half craps about what I write on here. My friends my give three fourths of a crap.

My point still stands. This is a place for me. Just me trying to do my thing… whatever that may be.

And I’m not going to apologize for blowing that whole thing up…

Didn’t you want to read something dramatic and entertaining? I’m trying to do that for you. Don’t you kind of wish you could watch my words as I slip into a mental breakdown? That would be outrageously entertaining.

Maybe I would start to really believe I AM D.A. Bancroft. I start becoming… a new person. I speak with more certainty. I use bigger words. I start wearing a sweater all the time. Creepy stuff.

I mean…that would be entertaining… right?

But for now…I’ll just keep the lid on this whole thing. Just like that pickle jar.

D.A.

P.S. Just realized that jars of jelly are much more difficult to open. So…reread this entire thing, but substitute the word pickle with jelly.

Busy Bee

February 22, 2012

I AM BUSY BEE! (And yes, I meant that in a singular sense. As in, I am the one and only, The Mighty, Busy Bee)

Okay, I’m sort of busy. And I’m not a bee at all. (Though I do sometimes hum…which is almost like buzzing)

I have been writing…

Wow. Seems weird to write that.

I have been writing…

Yup, still strange.

Anyway, like I mentioned previously, I have begun writing what will become my first novel. The first chapter (which is where I am) is going to be all chock full of crazy little things that will, hopefully, interest my reader enough to continue. Still, I’m having concerns about the whole “first line” issue.

In my previous attempts at writing (as seen here on my little blog here) I have always tried to open up with an interesting sentence. But I feel like this is a little bit much. Like a gimmick or something. Maybe it should only be used in a short story setting?

Yes, I know I shouldn’t worry about it too much because, hey, that’s what editing is for. Knowing this, I hold the opinion that this kind of thing really shapes what the opening scene of my novel will be about. If I do a “cold” open, that could really drop the reader into an exciting place, or it could put them in a place and leave them confused. If I open with some exposition, it could be pretty boring.

Decisions, decisions…

Oh, you have an opinion to share here? Then please do so at the bottom.

And another thing.

So, you know how you read a novel and sometimes you get one of these neat little… I dunno what to call it… “bonus chapter”?

Let me explain.

You’re reading about your main character all the time. And if not, most of the time. Maybe you give your other minor characters some perspective in your story and it keeps the flow interesting. But have you ever read one of those chapters that seems to… not fit…but totally fits?

IF YOU DON”T WANT TO RUIN A COOL LITTLE PART OF THE BOOK “THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH” THEN DO NOT READ THE NEXT PARAGRAPH!!!

:::SPOILERS!:::

Let’s look at the Ransom Trilogy for a second here…In the book “That Hideous Strength” you are always following Ransom himself or the antagonist(s). But there is one really strange exception. You get to read as the elephant/rhino/beast (it’s been a while since I’ve last read this) as it stomps and destroys everything in it’s path. It’s completely awesome and completely unnecessary. But it was this wonderful change of pace in the book.

Are things like this safe to put in a book? Are the only useful in the skilled hands of an experienced writer? Are they necessary to keep people interested in the overall plot of a book?

You tell me…

D.A.

Tell Me What To Do!

February 16, 2012

This weekend will be my first full weekend in 3 weeks. It will also be a long one.

I’m looking at the precious 72 hours as a real opportunity to do something special. I would come up with a cool plan myself, but I’ve already used up all my good ideas and inspiration this week. So YOU need to tell me what to do.

What would you recommend? Should I…

  1. Go camping?
  2. explore a city I’ve never been to before?
  3. Eat a two pound BBQ pulled pork sandwich?
  4. Begin a Pez collection?
  5. Workout to the song “You’re the Best Around” by Joe Esposito?
  6. Shave my head?
  7. Clean out a neighbors gutters?
  8. Go see a doctor to receive a full colonic irrigation?
  9. Go rent a car and tell everybody about my disdain for the company because they “only had a compact”?
  10. Finish my lamp?
  11. Go bowling and bowl 3 consecutive games of exactly 156?
  12. Try out for a professional soccer team?
  13. Perform my own rendition of ‘One Flew Over the Cockoo’s Nest’ in a city park?
  14. Learn to weave baskets?
  15. Grow a beard overnight and then enter a beard contest?
  16. Flash mob in a mall?
  17. Buy a new towel?
  18. Rent a tent for a large outdoor event?
  19. Clean the undercarriage of my car?
  20. Sleep?

Yeah, those are just a few things I thought up but I’m positive you can come up with better.

So help me out. What should I do?

D.A.

I Feel Slightly Guilty

February 10, 2012

Why?

Because I’m going to go see Star Wars Episode I in 3D tonight.

I should say that I am a big Star Wars fan, but my attitudes toward the films have changed a little bit with time. I may have already posted on this topic before, and if so, just skip it and I’ll talk to you again later. But for now… allow me to explain my guilt.

I still love them (episode I is the one movie that I love like I would love a distant cousin). But I have really jumped onto the idea that these movies deserve a good reboot.

That’s blasphemy in geekspeak but just hear me out.

Yes, the movies were great. But they will always be a classic. Why not try changing things up a little?

Let’s get rid of that creepy sexual tension between Luke and Leia in episodes 4 and 5.

Let’s snip out all those ewoks and jar-jars. Let’s look at this great big universe and allow the older movies to be as open as we had wished they were. Let’s get a little more clarification of Darth Vader/Anakin’s motivations. Why not have a little bit more Boba Fett? Why not deepen the relationship between Leia and Han earlier? Why not let Chewie become a really valuable character on film?

Why not more space battles? Why not even cooler lightsaber battles?

In short, let’s just get a little more mature with these movies.

Let George hand over the reins and see what happens. It really couldn’t be much worse that the prequels. (Which I mostly enjoyed).

And this little seed of hope for the series has brought me to tonight. Maybe tonight will be the last time these movies ever touch the big screen. Maybe George will wise up and allow somebody else to give it a chance.

Or maybe this is just the stepping stone before the movies get upgraded again and are redone in super HD quality.

D.A.

I have begun work on what will be my first novel.

Mind you, this is only the very beginning stages of writing this novel. I am going to try and implement some of the strategies I have learned over the last year. So far this is what I’ve done and this is the order in which it has occurred.

1. Come up with an idea. I can’t believe it, but I settled on an idea. It’s taken some time (several months) but at least it’s happened.

This also includes the design of the characters that are going to be running around doing this whole thing.

2. Write a plot “skeleton”. I’m not sure of how else to describe this. I am writing, sort of a time line, that includes all the events that are going to occur in this story. Plot line? Order of Events? I don’t know what to call this. But I have done this.

3. Adding meat onto this skeleton. I am going to build scenes around each of these events (or maybe have multiple events occurs in single scenes. This is where I currently am in terms of getting things done.

I still have to pick locations/minor characters/quirks/arguments/dialogue/small dilemmas for the scenes and the real fun details that would make this whole thing interesting to read. This is probably going to take a lot of time and after I start writing I may not even following these details.

This is one thing I’ve learned. No matter how much you plan, it’s still not writing. You will never be able to plan ever detail to a story before you write it. At least I will get a pretty good idea for where I want to go.

After I pack all this meat onto the skeleton, I will judge if it is a deformed malnourished creature build only to survive in the depths, or if it is a well built and hearty beast that can flourish in the rain forest. Only time will tell.

So, I haven’t been wasting my time completely while I’m not blogging. At least I’ve begun working on one of my life’s biggest goals.

This is just a quick little update to let you know about it. As I progress I will end up actually telling you more about my thought process as I’m going through everything.

D.A.

 

Groundhog Day

February 2, 2012

Just some things. IN LIST FORM!

1. Today was Groundhog Day. You know what I did?

Watched the movie Groundhog Day. I don’t think you can find any fault in me for that.

I think I love this movie more than somebody should. I actually enjoy every aspect of it. It’s just funny. It’s serious. It’s romantic. And it’s kind of depressing in parts.

All around it’s a pretty solid movie.

2. I’m a lazy blogger. I’m an ever lazier writer. I think I’ve made plans to write something near 3 stories that I’ve never gotten around to doing.

I make no apologies. This is my nature. I am a procrastinator.

Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t like that word all that much. “Procrastinator” seems like a bad word. I’m going to use another phrase. I would like to define myself as a “pusher”.

I push things off. It doesn’t mean I’m never going to do them. I just gently push them out of the way in order to make room for other things.

Like lamps. I love them. I really want to build that steampunk lamp (still in progress by the way). But it has been “pushed” off to the side so I can work on other things.

Mostly work, comics, and wasting time on Reddit.

And I think I’m okay with this for right now. I’m usually pretty worn out by the end of the day. Sometimes I need to make sure that I can take that deep breath so I’m ready for the next day.

I have been “pushing” this blog. And that’s okay. This blog is for me and I’m not trying to prove anything.

Wait a second….

Aren’t I?

Am I not supposed to be working toward becoming a writer? This blog was created so I could write. And I’m not doing it!

Holy Crap!

What have I become?

I am a wretch! I am a fiend! I am despair incarnate.

Sorry… That”s a little heavier than the truth. Still, I should be more committed.

3. That last number was pretty long… This one is pretty short.

4. I think I’m going to be pretty happy with my bunch of kids for this term.

I’ve had them for about two weeks. So far, my class average is up and it seems more like they are really paying attention than my last group.

I actually have a little bit of a conspiracy running through my head because of this sudden group of “behaved” children entering my doors. But that is another post for another day.

5. I now have a retirement plan…

This is a strange thought for me. I am planning for the day when I will no longer work. I have only worked for a few months.

Seems poetic in a way.

Seems mature in a way.

Seems like a lot of money that I may never see again.

6. Today I was in one of those moods that makes you feel like you are just about getting business done.

I woke up late and had a reaaaaallllly slow start, but let me tell you this. When I started going, I didn’t stop. I kept chugging.

This same chugging motion is was is motivating me to write this whole thing out tonight.

I’ve even gotten some stuff done for next week.

These days are rare for me. So I’ve enjoyed it quite a bit.

7. I just ordered a lot of golf pencils. What of it?

8. In my last post I used the word “tinnitus”. This is apparently the code word for crazy spam-bots to bombard my blog with adcomments. It think it’s rather funny. So this is what I’ll do. I’ll use another medical condition here in my blog and see what pops up.

I’m going to use an ailment that seems common to the elderly.

Gout. 

Yes. The trap is set.

Now it’s your job to predict how many searches/spam messages/views I will receive due to my usage of this word.

Winner will win a one way paid trip to the middle of a car lot in east New Jersey. A grade total price of nearly $6.75 (cost of bus ride from airport to car lot).

The ball is in your court now

D.A.