Posts categorized “Misc”.

Come on

Uh, yes I want butter on my bagel. That is the entire reason I am ordering a bagel. If it was socially acceptable to order a tub of whipped butter and have it tablespooned directly into my mouth, I would be doing that instead.

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Nostalgia

Remember when we thought that the world’s problems could be solved by dropping acid?

Actually, I never thought that. I thought Fred Schneider of the B-52s was growing out of my face like whiskers.

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E-Sheep

I’ve been entering CAPTCHAs on a website and receiving nothing but errors.

My assumption, after the third failure, was that the CAPTCHA system was screwy. But now, after 10, I’m in the midst of a full-blown existential crisis. Like, maybe I can’t read CAPTCHAs. Maybe this is a Rachael-in-Blade-Runner scenario.

Hahaha, but that’s ridiculous. I mean, some of you have memories of me as a child. Right? Memories of me as a child? Anyone?

Also, have you ever listened to an mp3 CAPTCHA? It sounds like The Ring: The Novelization: The Audiobook.

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Accentuate the Positive

Nice try, Katy Perry’s publicist …

Discovered while trying to locate the source of this gif:

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November™ Update!

Have you heard of Movember? It’s an annual event, organized by the Movember Foundation, during which men from around the world grow mustaches over the course of the month to raise awareness of men’s health issues.

Honestly I only recently learned of Movember myself, several days after its kickoff this year. And I kind of thought that disqualified me. But then, a week in, I remembered that I had shaved on October 31 as part of my Sexy Technical Writer costume, and had not done so again since. Still in the game! “Neglect to engage in basic grooming … for charity!” doesn’t have the same ring as “Movember”, granted, but stubble is stubble yo.

Anyway, here we are at the mid-way point, and I thought you’d like a status report. My progress so far:

Uhhhhhhhhmm …

Yeah, there’s been some setbacks. Specifically the one yesterday where I kind of spaced out and shaved. Crap! Not being a self-absorbed bastard for a month is hard.

Well, truth be told, my having shaving is more extraordinary than my having facial hair. So if you see me fresh-faced this month and have any awareness of men’s health issues laying around, be sure to raise it. Because I’m participating in “No-Mustache Movember” or, as I like to call it, November™.

Unfortunately I didn’t get around to setting up a corresponding non-profit or registering november.com or implementing a series of webscripts that would allow me to build a profile page and solicit donations. Seriously I was going to do that, but it was like 9:45. 9:45 PM, even. And after coming up with “November” I was pretty much exhausted.

So if you want to toss some funds into the pot, please do so for my buddy John (West Coast!) or arch-nemesis Sean (East Coast!), both of whom have the steel will and lack of ADD necessary to mo the whole vember long.

Update: Whoa, “november.com” is already registered. I can’t believe someone else had this same idea.

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The Office – Personas

Just for kicks I wrote a script for The Office. You can read the whole thing at http://www.defectiveyeti.com/theoffice/TheOffice-Personas.pdf.

I was inspired by two events, both of which took place in March. The first was an eight-hour Project Management seminar that I attended for work. At the end of the day I was reviewing my notes and realized I’d been handed an Office storyline.

The second was the series finale of Battlestar Galactica. As followers of The Office know, Dwight is a huge Battlestar fan, mentioning the program often.



I half-expected a subsequent episode of The Office to note the end of Battlestar, but it hasn’t happened yet. Thus, I decided to write my own.

“Personas” is set around the time in season five of The Office when BSG ended. Specifically, it falls between “Golden Ticket” (S05E17) and “New Boss” (S05E18). In other words:

  • Andy is on staff.
  • Toby is back.
  • Ryan is missing (supposedly in Thailand).
  • No one in the office is in a relationship, except Jim / Pam (engaged) and Andy / Dwight (mortal enemies).
  • The Charles Miner / “Michael Scott Paper Company” storyline has not yet begun.

One last thing. Forty pages struck me as pretty long for a 30 minute show, but “E-Mail Surveillance” and “The Carpet”–the two scripts of The Office I could find online (at http://www.dailyscript.com/tv.html)–clock in at 44 and 43 pages respectively, so I used those as a guide. Having never before written a script for an existing show, I figured I’d stick to precedent.

Anyway, here’s the teaser. I don’t really plan to do anything with this (it was more of an exercise than anything else), but if you have any feedback I’d love to hear it. You can email me at matthewbaldwin@gmail.com.

Update: Someone asked if this contains BSG finale spoilers. Actually, it contains no BSG spoilers whatsoever, so go nuts.


The Office
"Personas"

              COLD OPEN

      INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - MORNING

      Michael is at the front of the room and the rest of the staff
      is paired up. Each group has a flipchart, on which they have
      jotted down descriptions of fictional people: names, ages,
      sexes, occupations, etc.

      PHYLLIS, paired with MEREDITH, is standing, addressing the
      room, wrapping up her presentation.

                     PHYLLIS
                Gerald's primary paper needs are
                eight by eleven white bond for the
                printer and number 10 security
                envelopes.

                     MICHAEL
                Excellent. Good work Phyllis.

                     MICHAEL (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                Personas are a top-level project
                management tool used by business
                experts around the world. 

      MICHAEL TALKING HEAD

                     MICHAEL
                What you do is you make up
                characters and pretend that they
                are your customers. And then you
                ask them for advice on how to
                improve. And that way you don't
                have to talk to real customers.

      INT. CONFERENCE ROOM  

      Dwight is completing his presentation. The flipchart looks
      like a Dungeon and Dragons character sheet, complete with
      stats on the left-hand side and a sketch of a barbarian.

      STANLEY, his partner, sits nearby, engrossed in his puzzle
      book.

                     DWIGHT
                ... when in a beserker rage,
                Rivenheart can attack twice per
                round but is unable to defend.

                     MICHAEL
                    (exasperated)
                Dwight, you -- Missing the point.
                Why does your persona need paper? 

                     DWIGHT
                He doesn't need paper. His history
                is written in the lamentation of
                his enemies.

                     MICHAEL
                Okay sit down. Just-- Sit down.

      Dwight does so as Michael wrestles with his irritation.

                     MICHAEL (CONT'D)
                Who's next? Jim and Kevin.

      KEVIN looks at JIM with a giddy smile; Jim nods confidently.

      Kevin stands and gestures at his flipchart, on which he has
      written a series of bulletpoints describing his persona.

                     KEVIN
                Our persona is "Mark L."

      His pronunciation of "Mark L." is almost identical to
      "Michael", and he pauses expectantly. When there's no
      reaction, he continues, struggling to maintain a straight
      face.

                     KEVIN (CONT'D)
                Mark L. is in his mid-40's. Single,
                no family, no girlfriend. Dead-end
                job as regional manager in a dying
                industry. This guy is going
                nowhere.

      Titters around the room as people recognize the gag. They are
      laughing with Michael, assuming he'll catch on at any moment. 

                     KEVIN (CONT'D)
                He tells a lot of bad jokes. His
                favorite is short, but he knows how
                to use it. 

      Jim hears his prearranged cue. 

                     JIM
                That's what she said!

      Michael laughs.

                     MICHAEL
                Good one, Jim! Nicely done. Okay
                Kevin, let's keep this moving.

      Kevin looks uncertain. 

                     KEVIN
                He's always walking around the
                office interrupting people's work
                with pointless stories. Or
                insensitive remarks. About their
                weight. And baldness ...

                     MICHAEL
                Ugch. Why would you even invent
                this guy?

      Kevin at a loss. Desperately trying to clue Michael in, he
      deviates from the flipchart.

                     KEVIN 
                Owns a "World's Best Boss" mug?
                Drives a Sebring? His birthday is
                March 15th? No, nothing?

      In a burst of inspiration, Jim leaps to his feet.

                     JIM
                I think Mark L.'s worst trait is
                his utter lack of self-awareness.
                He wouldn't even recognize a
                description of himself.
                    (beat; then slowly)
                Wouldn't even recognize a
                description ... of himself.

      Michael looks pensive for a moment, on the verge of
      realization. But then he shudders at his mental image of Mark
      and says:

                     MICHAEL
                And what are his paper needs?

                     KEVIN
                    (to Jim; accusatory)
                You said this would be funny.

                      END COLD OPEN


You can read the whole thing as either a PDF (best) or as HTML (with some lost of formatting). An .fdr files is also available upon request. Enjoy.

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Afternoon Sealight

Two things of interest I discovered while searching the Internet to craft the Darwinian language in the previous post:

1. The Coolidge effect is the tendency of males of every tested mammalian species to perform at their sexual peak when introduced to a new receptive female. The term comes from this old joke:

President Calvin Coolidge and his wife visited a poultry farm one day, and, during the tour, asked the farmer how he managed to produce so many fertile eggs with such a small number of roosters

The farmer explained that his roosters performed their duty dozens of times each day.

"Perhaps you could point that out to Mr. Coolidge," replied the First Lady in a pointedly loud voice.

The President, overhearing the remark, asked the farmer, "Does each rooster service the same hen each time?"

"No," replied the farmer, "there are many hens for each rooster."

"Perhaps you could point that out to Mrs. Coolidge," replied the President.

2. This photograph:

You can go here to see what the actual caption is. I prefer to think it reads “A mated elephant seal pair, having consulted the Kama Sealta, decides to give the missionary position a whirl.”

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Bit of Free Verse That Popped Into My Head At Three O’Clock This Morning

Somewhere in the annals
of European history
Is a man by the name
Of Al Dente.

Who served to his guests
Plates of undercooked pasta
And then stubbornly insisted
He had done so by choice.

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Still Swamped, But …

… if you have time to kill, you could read this short story I am working on for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and give with the constructive criticism. You could totally do that. It would be swell.

At 6,500 words its of a print-out-and-read-on-the-bus length, but y’all provided such great feedback last time that I thought I’d return to the well.

Update: Ha! Yeah, okay: the New York Times Sunday paper doesn’t have a comics section. You got me there. See, this is why I run things past you guys first.

A big thanks to everyone who provided feedback. Those who missed it–well, with any luck it will be in print someday …

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Odds and Ends

I’m busy working on a thing for a guy, so I’m going to fall behind the reading schedule for a few days. Will get caught up over the Thanksgiving break.

In the meantime, here’s a fascinating article about why Heller’s original title for the novel, Catch-18, was changed. A warning for those participating in NaNoReMo–it looks like there might be some spoilers in there. I don’t know for certain, because, at the first hint of them, I skipped ahead to the origins of The Postman Always Rings Twice and My Man Jeeves. Thanks to Zan and David for passing the article along.

Also, you may recall that I recently urged Democrats to please oh please not vote for Clinton. Now Eric Berlin explains why Republicans should steer clear of Gulliani. Seriously, Dems and Repubs should just make an agreement in advance: we won’t nominate our New Yorker if you won’t nominate yours. I don’t know how, in a time when the United States desperately needs unity, we wound up with the nation’s two most polarizing figures as front runners in a Presidential election.

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