Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Grove St. Families fo' life

Each summer I try and come up with a small laundry list of things that make each day feel like more than just 8 hours of work buffered by television and sleep. Last summer's list went something like this:

1. Learn Japanese
2. Write a screenplay

Well, despite the best of intentions, the first one went nowhere. (Though I did eat a lot of sushi this year, so at least that's something.) The second item I was more pleased with. I devoted a lot of time to studying the art of screenwriting, and yes, despite the wealth of crap flooding cinemas, there are some vestiges of creativity to the practice.

I got about 50 pages into a feature-length screenplay, when I hit that famous impasse writers often arrive at. So I decided that maybe it was best to refocus on a smaller scale project. It was then I recalled a conversation I had with a former roommate about how CSI sucks so bad (that's right, deal with it) and what could be done, and thus began work on a television project. Which is where this summer's list begins:

1. Finish off the teleplay. As most of it is written, the majority of this time will be editing and re-editing it to a slick product I can be proud of - plus, of course, potential viewers. I'm sure a lot of summer bloggage will be spent on this, so I won't dwell on it too much now.

2. Play guitar every day. I'm now in my fourth year of playing this thing, and despite having no teaching, I know I'm making some sort of progress. I just recently learned all the songs off Jack Johnson's last album, which on a scale of technical proficiency going to 10, 10 being Hendrix, ranks about a 4. Among the songs I want to learn: Joel Plaskett's "Absentminded Melody" and Elliott Smith's "Memory Lane." Download the latter for evidence of the mad skills of that late legend. (He's an 8.)

3. Learn harmonica. I always gravitate towards songs that have some element of harmonica, and because I can't sing to save my life, this would help up my stage presence when I play guitar in front of crowd someday. I'm not talking about John Popper-levels of playing, just some simple interludes like in Ryan Adams' "Desire" or the Shins' "Pink Bullets." That there's some sexy harmonica.

4. Read more. I've already got Roddy Doyle and Jared Diamond on deck, but I've been hearing good things about this new Johnathan Safran Foer book, and also I want to check out some Malcolm Gladwell. Plus, I always like to sneak in a classic-ish sort of novel, and this time round I'm angling for some Graham Greene. And of course, if you haven't pre-ordered the new H.Po book, then you haven't discovered the full potential of the internet.

5. Start some regular form of exercise. I'm partial to jogging, mostly because it allows me to incorporate my love of music into an otherwise torturous experience. This will be one of the toughest items on the list, so I'll have to start off easy. I'll see if I can just first last the length of a Hives album, or one Mars Volta song (roughly 26 minutes).

Ok, this list is starting to get out of hand. I'm not unforgiving about this kind of thing anyway, I just want to make sure I don't spend all my time on the couch violently annexing all the gangland territories of San Andreas. Oh wait... I already did that.


Thomas said...

1. Goddamn you update a lot. I don't check for a week and suddenly I have more reading to do than when we were in school. Which is over by the way. Fo life.

2. Everything is Illuminated is on my list of highly recommended books I haven't read. Tell me when you're reading it and I'll start at the same time as you.

3. We get our grades back on May 13th. That's a month before I turn 29, and as such is the perfect lead in to what will probably be my most angst ridden year.


5. Take care young Ryan. Also - Dickson, CJ anyone? I smell a law review skit....

Anonymous said...

You know what else sucks? Spiderman.