Monday, December 29, 2003

My sister Amy and I helped my 8 year-old niece Alexis take the much-beloved personality color quiz. Here our her results:

you are lavender

Your dominant hue is blue, making you a good friend who people love and trust. You're good in social situations and want to fit in. Just be careful not to compromise who you are to make them happy.

Your saturation level is very low - you have better things to do than jump headfirst into every little project. You make sure your actions are going to really accomplish something before you start because you hate wasting energy making everyone else think you're working.

Your outlook on life is bright. You see good things in situations where others may not be able to, and it frustrates you to see them get down on everything.
the html color quiz

With the word "inventive," Alexis turned to Amy and I and informed us that she is indeed inventive. She told us, "I'm that. I came up with a new kind of leash." Then there was pause. And then she added, "... For cats."

God love Professor Alexis.

Oh, yeah... check out my new links. (to the right)
These are the results of a GENUINE, AUTHENTIC, INTERNATIONALLY-ACCEPTED personality disorder text. After all, personality disorder tests should only rely on the subject him/herself to provide the answers (without any outside insight whatsoever). Indeed, these tests could not possibly be swayed by how somebody would want to be perceived (both negatively and positively) by others in a public sphere (especially on the internet). And, of course, all professional personality tests conclude with an offer to save 92% on magazine subscriptions and misspell "describe," right? I thought so.

Keeping this in mind, here are my results:

Histrionic:Very High

-- Personality Disorder Test - Take It! --

People with histrionic personality disorder are constant attention seekers. They need to be the center of attention all the time, often interrupting others in order to dominate the conversation. They use grandiose language to discribe everyday events and seek constant praise. They may dress provacatively or exaggerate illnesses in order to gain attention. They also tend to exaggerate friendships and relationships, believing that everyone loves them. They are often manipulative.

I like the fact that I tear something down and then gleefully partake in it - for all to see.

How histrionic of me.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

I don't have to visit relatives today. I thought I was going to have to, but my ma said I didn't, so instead... me, Jake, and DJ are recording songs for a new "My Business Failed in Three Weeks" album.

We're recording them in DJ's basement. His poppa bought a whole bunch of new recording equipment within the past few months. We'll be putting it to proper use.

First order of... business (ha ha)? Re-recording our original rock opera. We were never really satisfied with the original recordings (despite the fact that we sold many copies to people over the past couple years). The mix wasn't very dynamic or interesting (i.e. it was boring as hell). Plus, there was just some really shitty songs on there as well. So... we're cutting out the fat and boosting the juices. If you're interested... here's the songs we're going to re-record (this will also be the sequencing of the album)...

1. Oh, How Those Days Draaag!
2. Office Chair
3. Love is a Flame (Where's the Fire Extinguisher?) [Somebody Help Love]
4. Tonight There's a Hurricane
5. Johnny Infomercial
6. Givin' 110%
7. (I Am A) Candy Store
8. My Business Failed in Three Weeks

Now, I know what you're thinking. An 8-track album? Talk about rip-off! Well, it is in my mind that we may record some more songs and release everything together as a sort of split-album. What new songs would I like to record? They are (in no particular order):

1. Welcome to the Show
2. Rock-and-Roll
3. Bachelor Pad
4. Drugs (Are Bad for You)
5. It's the Wednesday/Thursday Song!
6. Bubblegum Brigade
7. Why Do You Cry All The Time?
8. I Live in That Haunted House

Speaking of albums, I've been listening to Belle and Sebastian's most recent record lately. I like it. "If You Find Yourself Caught in Love" is my new "listen-to-this-song-repeatedly/once-it's-over-start-it-up-all-over-again" song.

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

you are darkviolet

Your dominant hues are blue and magenta. You're the one who goes to all the parties but doesn't quite fit in at every one... you know what you want, but are afraid of what the world might think of it. You're a little different and that's okay with them, and if you're smart it's okay with you too.

Your saturation level is very high - you are all about getting things done. The world may think you work too hard but you have a lot to show for it, and it keeps you going. You shouldn't be afraid to lead people, because if you're doing it, it'll be done right.

Your outlook on life is brighter than most people's. You like the idea of influencing things for the better and find hope in situations where others might give up. You're not exactly a bouncy sunshine but things in your world generally look up.
the html color quiz

My first inclination was to be: "Yes! That is spot-on! I am dark violet!" But then I remembered that old study with horoscopes. You know... how people would get the exact opposite of their actual horoscope and they would find a way to apply it to their lives? Well, maybe I am dark violet. It seems true.

Do you want to know something that's not true? Read this Iowa City Press Citizen article about me. The writer was a nice guy and all, but there's a lot of Miss Stakes and Miss Representations in there. They are as follows:

1) I am 22. Not 21.
2) My upcoming movie (which was discussed repeatedly during the interview) is entitled "David Mows Yards," not "Don Mows Yards." In fact, "Don Mows Yards" already exists. It featured Meg Tilly and Dennis Quad as African explorers.
3) "Paul's Imagination File" was a project that lasted for only one year when I was 9 years old. I have not kept it up into my current age. The article makes me sound like a re-tard who still draws logos for movies. I mean, honestly... I only do that now when I'm bored in class. Sheesh.
4) In terms of the "one percent" mentioned throughout the article... it was brought up in this fashion...
INTERVIEWER: So what's it like to be famous in Iowa City?
ME: Well... I'm not... really... famous. There's maybe, like, 1% of the entire student population that happen to know me. But there's 99% of people who have no idea who I am.
Unfortunately, the original intent of that statement did not make the article. Instead, its exact opposite did. Now I sound like an arrogant ass. Which maybe true, but I didn't mean it to.

Eh, maybe I shouldn't be bitching. The writer was a good guy and like it or not, being in the newspaper still excites me - no matter what the case.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Yesterday wasn't as long as I had anticipated. I took a brief nap on the way to Sioux City. In my mind, I was like, "Paul, this is a bad idea. This napping will only tease you and you'll be cranky." On the contrary! It gave me power! I was up and running for the rest of the afternoon.

After shopping... my ma, sistahs, Scott, niecey Alex-o, and me went to space opera "Stuck on You." It sucked! Bad! Whew!

The worst part? It felt like it had to "explain" for its existence. It tried to place the conjoined brothers in a realistic world and provide detailed reasons for how this has happened. What's the fun in that? Why couldn't they just exist in their own world with their own rules? This happened throughout the entire film. Seriously. Watch it. Every joke is met with an attempt at verisimilitude. Blargh.

Before the movie, I was urinating in the multiplex's bathroom. A father and his son walked in. The dad was a big, gruff guy with one of those faux-Southern accents that men like him often co-opt because they think its in their nature - although it was not in their nurture. The son was a small, 8 year-old-ish boy with a teeny-girl voice. They both went to the urinals and the son saw those one of those framed ads hanging on the wall above the urinal. The following exchange occured:

SON: Why are there posters on the wall?
DAD: So you can read 'em while you're pissin'.
SON: Did you like the movie?
DAD: It was alright.
SON: "The Haunted Mansion?"
DAD: Yeah. Was Funny.
SON: I liked the lady in the ball.
DAD: ... Huh.
SON: That was cool.

Then the door opened and a lady-voice asked for Eric. No one responded. I wanted to see what person had asked for Eric, so I quickly washed my hands and exited the bathroom. The only person I saw? A chubby, little boy with a Miami Dolphins team jacket. It was then that I suspected the "lady-voice" was just a "prepubescent-boy-voice."

But why didn't he come into the bathroom to look for Eric? Miami Dolphin Chubbs is a boy. He's allowed. Then I thought.... maybe Eric is a strict friend. Maybe Eric said, "Don't you ever come into bathroom looking for me."

If so, where was Eric then? Maybe Eric ditched Miami Chubbs. Maybe Eric had been followed into a bathroom one too many times by Miami Chubbs and decided to call it quits once and for all.

I hope Eric and Miami Chubbs get back together. They're too good of friends to throw in the towel now. Especially with the holidays and all.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

I'm struggling with splitting time between editing the movie and spending time with friends/family. The thing is... I really enjoy editing, but I also really enjoy hanging out with friends/family. For instance, my friend Matt was visiting town (and leaving tomorrow) and I rarely get to see him, so I hung out with him last night. Likewise, I love chillin' with my sister Amy and her boyfriend Scott. But they'll be outta' here within a week, so I want to be with them as much as possible.

However, I desperately need to get this movie done. I'm a little over halfway right now, but I need to focus on that alone. I've set a personal deadline. The pressure's on. So is the heat.

So, basically... my problem is... whenever I'm editing, I wish I was spending time with folks. And whenever I'm spending time with folks, I wish I was editing. A pair-of-docks in the mist.

In a couple hours, my momma, my sisters, Scott, my niece Alexis, and I are heading to the Sioux(er) City mall. I still need to buy Christmas gifts.

The thing is... I haven't gone to sleep yet. And busy, busy malls on small, small amounts of sleep mean long, long days for Li'l Pauly.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

I'm b-b-b-back in LeMars now. I rode back with my pal Ricky. His car was packed full, so I had to put all my stuff in my pal Ellen's car. And since I arrived in LeMars on Saturday night and Ellen didn't come home until Sunday afternoon, this meant that I had to...

Wear my father's underpants.

It was strange. Once I put them on, I had the uncontrollable urge to clean out the garage. And turn the TV on really loud. And fall asleep on the basement couch before my son's friends come over.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

I just completed the fourth (and hopefully, final) draft of "Bubblegum Brigade." I thought the third draft was going to be the last, but then... I saw problems that needed to be addressed and addressed they were.

It's a difficult thing, this ol' "Bubblegum Brigade" play. The last couple scenes is when stuff sort of "goes off-the-rails." I mean, it's purposely supposed to. But you don't want the writing to "go off-the-rails" either. So it's a complicated balance between writing-and-tone and execution-and-themes. Does that make sense? I don't know. I'm tired.

In the end, I may not have achieved that balance. But I've tried my hardest and now it's up to the cast and director to make sense of it all. Is that irresponsible of me as a writer? I don't know. I'm tired.

Later today, I'm heading to my hometown of LeMars, IA. What juicy rumors will I hear upon my return, I wonder? What well-regarded male citizen will be having a steamy love affair with his secretary's secretary? What young high school girl will be pregnant with twins? What deliquent adolescent boys will have vandalized such a thing and such a that?

All these questions will be answered before midnight tonight!

Perhaps YOU will be in one of these rumors!

Friday, December 19, 2003

Tonight, my friends and I watched "Rounders." They were going to play poker that night, so they decided to get amped up with a poker epic beforehand. I, with no knowledge of the game (and no interest in learning), opted out afterwards for more movie editing.

Anyway, while we were watching the movie, I realized something. "Rounders" star Matt Damon is a better-looking version of my friend Rick Herbst. Likewise, co-star Edward Norton is a better-looking version of me. I informed my other friends of this insight. Soon enough, we were planning on recreating "Rounders" scenes with me and Rick.

Fortunately, Rick's coming into town later today, so I will inform him of these plans and perhaps we can shoot it over Christmas break. I'm sure he'll be up for it. Rick's just that kind of spirited guy.

And if we do it, it's gonna' be great. The best part? We're going to do it completely straight-faced. None of this "wink-and-nod" bullshit. We'll be absolutely committed to making it an identical performance.

Except, you know...

Uglier and less cool.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

While editing my movie, I realized that for an entire scene, my crappy camera's sound dropped out. No worries though. I'll edit it as if it had sound and then have the actress (who lives in LeMars) and me loop 'em in later. I'll be in LeMars within days, so it won't be hard to track her down. Plus, it's just a few lines.

The pressure's on for me to finish editing this movie. I'd like to have it done by January 10th, so I can show it in my hometown before I head back to school on the 12th or so. That means I have 55 minutes to completely edit within three weeks. During Thanksgiving break, I got 17 minutes edited in 3 days, so maybe it can be done. We shall see. If anything, I'll just screen a better-than-rough edit. Then I can go back and make corrections as I see fit for the Iowa City screening.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

I just got back from purchasing tickets for "Return of the King" with pals Adam and Jake. The hightlight? Eating sausage bisquits from McDonald's. I love me some McDonald's breakfast.

Truth be told, I'm not really looking forward to "Return of the King." I've never really enjoyed the "Lord of the Rings" movies. In fact, this summer, when I went to "Gigli," I found myself being bored and restless - and I realized it's the same feeling I get while watching "Fellowship..." and "The Two Towers." I don't know. That sort of stuff just doesn't appeal to me. But I'm happy it makes other folks happy.

Why am I going then, you ask? Basically, I figure I should see these movies since I consider myself a "fan of the talkies" and these films are no doubt important in terms of their cultural significance and impact and whatnot. And if I am going to see them, I might as well see them at their most "culturally vibrant" (i.e. on opening day with a full house). That part excites me at least. I get the blockbuster fever.

Two other random thoughts:

1) Last night, after I completed my last bit of work for the semester, I again had one of those moments where I felt like I was wasting my youth. You know? Perhaps I've been too much of a "stuffed shirt." Perhaps I should be cutting loose and drinking and drugging and having casual sex. After all, it's only now when that sort of hedonism is socially excusable. If I did that sort of stuff around the age of 26 or whatever, then it's pretty pathetic. But right now, I'm allowed - maybe even expected. And instead, I'm concentrating on my work and acting well-and-proper and being upright. Of course, in the end, I wouldn't want it any other way. I know I'd be pretty depressed and unhappy if I did engage in drinking and drugs and casual sex, but still... there's moments where I consider other things.


2) I'm disappointed when people's political "progressiveness" is born out of a feeling of hostility - as opposed to a genuine desire for change. So many times, I feel like the people who bang their heads against institutions (or more specifically, the war on Iraq or Bush) are simply doing it because they have frustration with the world or their lives in general - and "protesting" is an acceptable avenue for extinguishing their anger. Don't get me wrong. I don't like the war. I get upset by Bush's actions. I'm passionate for the world to be a better place. But when people get so ANGERED and OUTRAGED by such things, it makes me pause and wonder where that's stemming from. I don't know. Maybe it's a sense of passion I'm unfamilar with. But I've never been able to get my head around anger in general.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

I've developed the bad habit of peeing in my dorm-room sink. You see, the few feet from my room to the floor's bathroom is too long of a distance for me to travel. I ain't no Magellan, people!

Plus, with the heavy amount of water I drink throughout the day, I'm constantly having to urinate. Simple science: lots of water = lots of pee. That equation was developed by one man in the mid-1950's. That man? Magellan!

When will I execute the comedy "rule of threes" and repeat "Magellan" one more time? Only time will tell, folks. Only... time... will... MAGELLAN!

Last night, I learned how to play Big Star's "Holocaust" on guitar.

You're a wasted face. You're a sad-eyed lie. You're a holocaust.

Monday, December 15, 2003

DJ Ruden has fixed my computer. It is now running right as rain.

Three cheers for the Dr.

I just got an email from my mom with a photo attachment. It was of my sister, my niece, and Santa Claus. The strange part? My niece looks so much older. It's crazy. She doesn't look like a "little girl" anymore, but a... well, not a "young woman" either. But somewhere in the middle. I'll be seeing her in a few days, so I'll see what she's like in person.

Last night, I was eating nachos at 5:30am and thinking, "Paul, you got to quit eating nachos." Every night, I eat, like, 3 plates. And when I'm done, I feel gross and fat and out-of-shape. And whether you believe it or not, I have "BODY IMAGE" issues (i.e. I don't want to be a fatty). Well, I'm sure, in that sense, everybody has "BODY IMAGE" issues, but whatever.

Anyway, I thought, "What would be a good way to get myself off these nachos?" Then I started thinking about aversions. You know... how if you have a bad experience with a certain type of food, you stay away from it forever? For example, for the longest time, I couldn't eat Doritos because this kid named Matt Oren once came out of a lake and stuck his lake-water hand in a bag of Doritos and grossed me out. Eventually, I got over it. Thank God. Doritos are delicious.

So I was like, "I'll force an aversion to nachos." While I eat them, I'll have somebody fart on my face or wipe their boogers on my arm. I don't know. Something. Anything.

Then I realized how similar this is to when you're with somebdoy (romantic or otherwise) and you realize you shouldn't be spending time with them (for whatever reason), so you think of them in certain, unfavorable terms as a way to extinguish the desire.

And then I realized how immature this was.

... I will continue to eat nachos.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Final project for Advanced Video is done. Final paper for Television Criticism is done.

One more thing left...

It's a super-easy take-home final for Television Criticism that's due on Wednesday through email. It's just three softball questions. The instructor said if we can answer questions in one paragraph, we should feel free to do so.

Also, I got the screening time for my final video project as well. It's 9:30-ish in Room 101 of Becker Communications Building. It'll be screening with my classmates' work. You should come.

Lately, I do this thing when I watch "Full House." I try to guess the conflict within the first minute of the show. Since their problems are so well-defined, you can figure out what the main conflict will be. Last night, within seconds, I knew Uncle Jessie didn't want to tell anyone that he was a high-school drop-out. I should keep records. And try to break them.

I should also find better stuff to do at 4am.

Goddamn loser.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

I'm in the library right now - as I wait for my "Advanced Video" final project to export into a Quicktime format.

That final project was crazy. At the last minute (or at least, the last 31 hours), I scrapped my entire project (and the 2 hours of raw footage + many days of work) and decided to embark on something new. My challenge would be to shoot and edit an entire final project into 24 hours. Plus, the subject matter was something challenging and uncomfortable for me to confront, so it had that going for it as well.

In the end, I like it. If you're interested in seeing it, I believe it will be screening Saturday night in Becker Communications Building room 101 with some of my fellow students' projects. I think it'll be around 9pm or so. Maybe 10. If I find out for sure, I'll post it.

So, now... I have a 10-12 page paper due on Friday (tomorrow) that I have not yet started. I am, of course, writing it today/tonight. It'll be three all-nighters in a row.

But I'm actually excited about the paper. I'm thinking about going "experimental" and having fun with it (i.e. more opinionated (sp?), cracking wise, all that). This is because:

1) My instructor is a pretty open-minded and equally wise-cracking guy and will probably not hate it.
2) I'm doing alright in the course and won't suffer from a less-than-stellar grade (if that should - and probably will - occur).
3) IT'S MY LAST PAPER OF MY COLLEGE CAREER (I'm pretty sure all my classes next semester do not include a paper), and...
4) I'm sick and tired of writing papers

Reason #4 is probably most at play on this one.

It's 8:30am. I'm going to throw my project on tape and get some shut-eye.

Ciao, Francisco.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

This article was written by a feller from the Writer's Workshop and sent to my town's newspaper. It's about me. Enjoy!

Monday, December 08, 2003

Early Saturday morning, my computer pooped. So now I'm using the one in the Becker computer lab. I'm editing my Advanced Video final project (the documentary "You All Have the Power to Make Change") at Becker, so I'm taking a break. And writing in my blog.

The project's due on Wednesday and I'm just capturing footage now. On Friday, I have a 10-12 page paper due for "Television Criticism." This will be my toughest week of the semester. Why am I writing in my blog then? It's probably because I want to share some...


Last night (December 7th), I once again had the wind taken out of my romantic sails. As I write this, there's a tiny pang in my tiny heart. Bleh. Shut up.

Without getting too far into details... I had my hopes up with a lady and these hopes were dashed.

The funny thing is... EXACTLY ONE YEAR AGO... on December 7th, 2002... I awoke with the promise of a new relationship that really excited me. A few days later (Dec. 10th), the lady said, "I don't want to hang out again." Since it was the first time in nearly two years where I felt the excitement of exchanging mutual sentiments with someone, it hurt pretty badly. Very badly, actually. Even worse, this news was broken to me at the very beginning of a 6-day span where I had 5 final projects due. I don't know how I got through it. No sleep and a lot of "Pet Sounds," I suppose. I was a wreck.

And here I am again... having to deal with personal, melancholy-heart bullshit right in the eye of a homework hurricane. A homework-icane.

Needless to say, I'm getting pretty fed up on making attempts for a dating relationship. I haven't had a girlfriend in two-and-a-half years and try as I might, things aren't getting better. Why do I keep trying? I'm sick of trying. It's a constant cycle of getting my hopes up and then getting them crushed. I'm worn out. I'm exhausted.

Ten bucks says... in one month, I'll have my hopes up again.

This entry is why Dr. Robert D. Blog invented blogs.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Yesterday, my friend Ellen emailed "Daily Iowan" columnist Drew Bixby. I found it amusing, so Ellen's letting me post it in my weblog. Enjoy:

Stop writing. I'm the 6477729 person to tell you so. Stop posing with
puppies. Put on a shirt. Shirts with a girl's initials are not as stupid as
your articles. I'm your BIGGEST critic. I love critics! They tell me what
I'm doing good and bad. You are bad. Stop doing what you do. Improve. Then
maybe write (that's me being constructive). You are inflamatory, but not in
the way you ever intend to be. You are NOT as attractive as you think.
Puppies do not make you cute either.

Improve or stop.

Stop angering masochistic people.

Merry Christmas.

A Reluctant reader,
Ellen Flaherty

The "masochistic people" line is a reference to our friend Adam - who continually reads Drew Bixby's columns, knowing full well that they will anger him greatly.

Afterwards, Ellen put the screw back in my glasses and fixed 'em good.

Friends are nice.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

"Surrender" by Cheap Trick is the best rock song in the world! ***

First of all, it rocks. Like an anthem should! No one writes anthems anymore. Why is that? Because they know it would pale in comparison to "Surrender" by Cheap Trick!

Second of all, it's used in the montage of army-brat teen-sex-romp classic "Up the Academy." It was the only movie that MAD Magazine put their name on (and later took off due to its shittiness). Note: This shittiness was NOT caused by the inclusion of "Surrender" by Cheap Trick because "Surrender" by Cheap Trick rocks!

Third of all... the song's message? That your parents are going through a tough time, so try to empathize with them and don't get upset. What a great message! And that's not irony on my part either, folks. I sincerely and earnestly love this message... this message in "Surrender" by Cheap Trick, which rocks!

Fourth of all... "surrender" is the most beautiful word in the English lexicon. What song predominantly uses this word "surrender?" That would be "Surrender" by Cheap Trick!

And fifth of all.... a third-verse key change. Always a sure-fire way to rock... which "Surrender" by Cheap Trick does! Seems like "Man in the Mirror" has been cribbing Cheap Trick's tests.

Surrender to "Surrender!"

Writer's Note: This entire blog was written while listening to "Surrender" by Cheap Trick.

*** for now

Monday, December 01, 2003

With the exception of a brief one-hour nap this afternoon, I've been up for 33 hours.

This'll happen again. And again. And again.

I run my body raw and tired.

And then I bitch about it like some sort of martyr.

You do it to yourself, Paul. You do.

And maybe that's why it really hurts?

No sleep 'till Brooklyn.