Saturday, June 25, 2011

Two Over Easy and a Nice Chardonnay

Another entry into the Tenth Daughter of Memory.


Two Over, Easy




She was nervous. Sure, it was her first time, but with all that training she shouldn't be this unsure.


Of course they had prepared her for this. "The first one," they had said, "was always the worst. Don't be surprised if you get sick afterwards. She felt her hands shake. She knew that was not good for the position she was in, so she tried her best to steady it. Flashing back, she thought of the breathing exercises they had taught her to help her with control.


He was here. She saw him step out of his car, hand the keys to the valet, and walk towards the restaurant. The butterflies that had been fluttering in her stomach were now trying to escape and had lodged in her throat. She pushed all the fear and nervous energy away. She closed her eyes, quieted her mind, took a deep breath...


And pulled the trigger.


No one, especially the target, saw the shot coming. She was gone before his security even started looking up for a shooter.


***


The second, they told her, would be easier. "Once you've taken out your first, the rest is cake." Personally, she'd always preferred pie, but she got the gist.


This one was paranoid. She had to make it up close and personal. She decided to make a night of it. She called Grace and Elizabeth and told them to get dressed up. They were going to make night on the town.


While he was paranoid, he had a fondness for club girls. Knowing this, she picked out the slinkiest thing in her closet, her showiest heels, and tousled her hair just right. She looked the epitome of the club girl looking for an easy score. In a way, she was; just not the kind of score anyone else at the club was looking for.


The music was loud. Grace and Elizabeth staked out a good spot at the bar. She joined them. She easily spotted him in a private area set up for high-rollers. The intel said he would only be alone with the girls he picked up at the clubs, so she did one final prep and sauntered over.


He was such an easy mark. She made eyes at him and he quickly invited her in. Not wasting time, she started fondling him and kissing him like crazy. His cologne was a bit strong, she had to fight the urge to gag.


Looking deep into his eyes she said, "why don't we step out back, lover?"


He was off his feet before she even finished the last word.


In the alley, he pulled her close and fondled her. He was rough. She reached into her bag and pulled out the dagger. He froze. Did he catch a glimmer of the blade as it reflected the street light? It didn't matter now. The blade was already hilt deep by the time his eyes looked to her, confused and angry.


***


She ducked into the restroom and quickly cleaned the blade. She then altered her look by throwing on the small jacket and changing her hair and makeup. As she exited, she glanced over to the V.I.P. area where his hired muscle was flirting with a girl that looked to be fifteen. The muscle wouldn't even notice he was missing for another hour or so.


She joined Grace and Elizabeth who were shrilly implying all kinds of naughtiness to their friend. When asked for details, she just said, "you wouldn't believe the things I did to that man."


Her phone vibrated her whole bag. She pulled it out and looked at the message from Control. It read: "Status?"


She deftly typed the response: "Two over, easy."


Slipping the phone back into her bag, she raised her hand towards the bartender.


"Chardonnay," she announced.


Her nerves were completely gone.


*****


Trying something with a character I created years ago and never did anything with. Thoughts?



William the Bloody Wondering if Anyone Saw This Coming Redd

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

White Lies Belie a Darker Truth

Yet another entry for the Tenth Daughter of Memory. Decided to play a bit out of genre for this one. Let me know what you think. Also, I incorporated a current event. Look at me being all relevant.


May 21st, 2011
5:30p.m.

     It started in good fun. With this supposed Rapture, we were using it as an excuse to party. I mean, there was nobody in our group who was expecting to vanish at six. All us sinners were just thinking, "if it does happen, good reason to party harder than we ever have before."

     We'd been going strong for four hours. Jacob, my best friend since third grade, was drunk and getting overly frisky with his girlfriend, Rebecca. Usually I don't mind this, but I was a bit drunk myself and the feelings I had long harbored for Rebecca always come to the surface when I drink. Also, all the "end of the world" talk was getting to me and, if we were going to die, it looked like I was going to die single.

     Rebecca was gorgeous. She had long red hair, fair skin with a series of well-placed freckles to make her that much cuter, and her legs... OH, her legs... God seriously knew what he was doing when he crafted those fine, fine instruments of bipedal motion. And she was a nerd. The first time I ever saw her, she was wearing a Jayne hat and a 4th Doctor scarf that I later learned she knitted herself. I think that's what really killed me about the pairing of Jacob and Becca, he had absolutely no geek cred, yet she was all over him.

     Jacob was a jock, it was the one thing that made our friendship seem out of place. I was busy watching Star Wars and Lord of the Rings on Friday nights while he was getting the winning tackle and the heart of every girl in our high school. This, of course, continued into college. Then the worst thing ever happened, Jacob and Becca met.

     I was there. It was the one time that Jacob finally dragged me from the safety of the room to a party off campus. I even pulled the classic Star Wars line as we got there, "I've got a bad feeling about this." I should learn to listen to my feelings. Jake had disappeared looking for what he called a "fine piece of tail" while I just sat close to the food in the kitchen. Then, there she was.

     I had seen her around since that initial sighting one winter when she was bundled up in nerdy cuteness, but never had the guts to even introduce myself. She walked right up to me, looked me in the eye, and said "Excuse me, I think there are some cheese puffs behind you."

     I was frozen.

     We sat there looking at each other for a few moments until I heard Jake say, "You'll have to excuse him. He's socially awkward." Reaching behind me, Jacob revealed a large red bowl filled with cheese puffs and offered it to my nerd girl. She blushed and replied, "Well, I think we all have our moments."

     "Jacob," he said, "and this is Tom."

     "Rebecca," she answered, "but everyone calls me Becca. It's nice to meet you both."

     "Nice to meet you," Jake said in his "smooth" voice as he offered her his hand. She took it and blushed.

     Just like that, I was skunked. Before I could even say one word, I was out of the game.

     To be honest, I kind of hated Jake at that moment.

     From then on, she was always around. I thought for sure she would see through his shallow nature and figure out it was me she actually wanted, but no. I even tried to arrange to have geeky things to talk to her about when she came over, but as in-depth as we would get, she would always run off with Jake as soon as he called.

     I'll admit it, I was bitter. But I would never have said anything about it to Jake or Becca... if I hadn't been a little drunk.

     It was a Rapture party, world about to potentially end, why not let loose for once? I was working on my second beer, which I had switched to when the guy making mixed drinks refused to make me anymore claiming he was saving them "for the ladies," when I saw Becca in Jake's lap, trying her best to eat his face from the look of it. I sat down next to them, I might have sneered, and said, "do either of you have any regrets?"

     They stopped and looked at me.

     "No, really," I slurred. "If the world is going to end in thirty minutes, we should share our regrets."

     "But Tom," Becca said sweetly, "the world isn't going to end. This is just a laugh. I think you've had enough."

     "Yeah, man," Jake added. "Why don't you go sleep it off."

     "Fuck you, girl stealer."

      Both Becca and Jake looked at me and said, "What?"

      I continued calmly, "You stole the nerd girl of my dreams, you shit. I never even had a chance."

      Jake thought about it for a minute. "You were drowning, dude. I came in for the conversation life preserver and you still didn't say word one."

      "You know I can't talk to girls when I'm interested in them."

      Becca looked from me to Jake, then said, "Are you talking about me?"

     "OF COURSE," I shouted, making our fight all the more public.

     "Tom," she said placing her hand on my arm, "I thought we talked about this."

     "No," I said shaking my head drowsily, "you talked, I listened."

     "You also said we were friends, didn't you Tom?"

      I looked at her sheepishly. "Well, yeah. But..."

      Becca leaned in. "But what? Was that a lie?"

      I threw my beer to the ground. "Yes it was a lie!" I knew I misspoke as soon as I saw the tears in her eye.

     "Wait. I mean, yes I'm your friend. Of course I am. But I want to be more than that."

     "Finally it comes out," Jake laughed. "I fucking knew you had a thing for her. Why didn't you tell me? I could have told you you had no shot and we could have gone on with our lives. How long you been holding onto this?"

     "I've been in love with her since I first saw her, you prick!"

     "At the party?"

     "No, you idiot. That was when YOU first saw her. I'd seen her around campus for months."

     "Why didn't you say anything, Tom?" Becca looked at me with what was either pity or utter sadness.

     "I don't know. What could I say? You two were all over each other, and what shot would I have against Jake? He's every girl's dream, isn't he?"

     "Jake's nice and all, but..." she shrugged.

     "HEY!"

     "No Jake, I didn't mean it like that. Just... I mean, this isn't a forever thing between us."

     Now Jake actually looked hurt. "It's not?"

     "Oh. OH! You... but I... oh God." Becca awkwardly jumped off Jake and ran out of the room.

     "Becca, wait," Jake and I both yelled. He looked at me with a fire in his eyes.

     "You son of a bitch. What the fuck is wrong with you?" He jumped up to run after her. "Becca, babe, come back!"

     I sat there as the few people who had stopped to watch lost interest and turned back to their partying. Suddenly, one of the people throwing the party came in yelling "Six o'clock and all's well! No apocalypse, folks! We have a Rapture fail. Guess we'll have to try again next year."

     There was a mix of groans, chuckles, and "aws" of mock disappointment as the rest of the party realized the world wasn't going to end.

     Then again, I guess it was all in how you looked at it.

*****


William the Bloody Looking For His Own Nerd Girl Redd

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Neptune's Payback

Trying something a little different for the Tenth Daughter of Memory.

When I was a kid, I used to fight the waves. Literally, I remember vividly getting in the water and punching waves as they tried to push me back to shore. I think it was my attempt to play Hercules.

"A man so strong he could fight the sea!"

Yep, sounds like something I would try.

This especially became a theme as I learned about the Greek and Roman pantheon of gods. Neptune (or Poseidon to the Greeks) was god of the sea and a right nasty character at times. This is the guy who tried his hardest to kill Odysseus on his journey home.

Whether Odysseus deserved it is a discussion for another time. But, as a child who fully believed the version of a story he was given, Neptune was bad news. This is probably why I wanted to start a fight with those waves that were keeping me from the joys of the ocean. They would keep battering me back until I eventually broke free.

Looking back on it, however, I see the other side of things. Just imagine in Neptune was really out there and watching this young boy fight with his waves, challenge his authority. And what if this vengeful god answered.

Like something out of a Roland Emmerich movie I picture a scene:

A boy no more than 8 or 9 having fun and fighting against the waves. He is splashing around and having the best time. Then, the water begins to pull back. Back so far that the boy is left with nothing put wet sand at his feet and a few confused crabs scurrying for a hiding place.

While the boy does not yet realize what is happening, we see a shadow cover the beach around him. Once he notices the darkness, he glances up to see a massive tidal wave hanging overhead. His eyes would go wide, his mouth hanging open like a fish gaping for breath on dry land.

And then, SPLASH!

Neptune would laugh and go back to more important matters while the boy and all other beach-goers experienced the horrors of the deep.


Then, he sends Godzilla to finish the kid off.

Like I said, vengeful.


William the Bloody Should Try to Sell That To Hollywood Redd

Friday, April 29, 2011

Finalizing the Edit

Aww... don't tell me he's gonna talk about editing again.

Yep, he is.

Well, more specifically I'm going to talk about copyright.

Why does copyright have to be so important? I mean, I understand that it protects someone's intellectual property from being used in a way they don't like, but when mega-corporations attack harmless video makers for using a music track that they own the rights to, something seems very wrong with that.

Now, if these videos were making any kind of profit, then of course the copyright holder should get some percentage, but half the time these are twelve year olds who decide it would be fun to dance to their favorite song, or even lip-sync.

It's fun, it's a laugh, and if the big-money record companies decide they don't like it, it's criminal.

Bollocks.

The main thing that has me thinking about this is the edit on "A Battle of Wills." I'm at a loss for music because I don't have any musical ability and anyone who I have on tap couldn't possibly throw something together this quick.

It would be so much easier if I could just use amazing music properly credited and call it a day.

The same thing is true for Jersey Jones. That project would have been out long ago if I could use the music I have as a temporary soundtrack. Unfortunately, I could never afford the rights for all that.

My kingdom for a... well for a kingdom actually.

Imagine how much awesome stuff I could make if I had a budget like that.



William the Bloody Musically Inept Redd

P.S. VEDA Day 28 - Dancin' Fool:

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Still Stuck In the Edit

Still in the midst of the quagmire of editing, so this is gonna be another brilliant piece.

So, there is this guy in my education courses, he started getting on my nerves around the second week of class. He's a "traditionalist," which means that he thinks that standardized testing should be the end all, be all of academic success. He wants things put into a neat little box.

I don't like the box. In fact, I took the box, burned it, and launched it into orbit.

The box and I, we're not close.

And this guy and I, also not close.

But apparently he interprets that dislike for his opinions as some grand conspiracy against him. Here's the problem, Smallville (our nickname for him due to a striking resemblance to Brandon Routh), you are coming into a class that has seen how much the current methods do not work and have been challenged to find new and better ways to replace them. So walking in and saying "change is bad" and "I think a rigid structure is the only way to effectively teach" is the same as saying "hey guys, please argue with me."

Well, that's how I read it.

Smallville really got on my nerves one day when we were having a round-table discussion that somehow turned to the constitution and education. I don't remember what set me off, but he said something that was inane and close-minded and I just snapped. At that point, I decided to start picking apart everything he said and turning it back on him. I would play devil's advocate and attack his word choice on certain arguments.

At the end of class, one of the other students called me Lex.

This pointless rivalry continued through the semester. I did it out of boredom, honestly, and to me it was all in good fun. I could care less what this guy believes. He is of no consequence once I am out of this program (unless he winds up at the same school, which is unlikely).

However, a few weeks ago, my friend Pat and I noticed that Smallville wasn't saying much during class. Then we realized he wasn't saying anything. He wasn't even paying attention anymore. He would do something on his laptop, headphones in his ears for our back-to-back Tuesday/Thursday education courses. Again, this isn't something that really concerns me in any way, until Tuesday.

In our second class of the day, we were assigned a presentation in groups. Smallville had been assigned to work with his table, but after class talked to our professor about working individually (the project was designed to be a group project because it was all about finding a way to teach something in multiple concentrations. For example, our project was how to teach the sinking of the Titanic in Math, History, and Literature).

Last week, Smallville gave his solo presentation and it was one of the most boring things I have ever had to be present for. Seriously, he created a full lesson plan complete with pacing guide and breakdown.

This was not at all what the project was supposed to be. So much so, that the professor e-mailed the class to remind other groups that this was supposed to be a multimedia project either during or directly after Smallville's presentation.

Based on this one presentation, I can tell this guy is going to be a horrible teacher. This was further evidenced by what happened next.

This past Tuesday, the other groups presented. Our group went first. I felt it was a successful presentation even though nobody laughed at our humorous explosion edited in to the iceberg hit in the Titanic trailer. After we sat down and the next group started presenting, I noticed that Smallville was on his laptop, headphones in, not paying any attention.

What. A. Dick.

You put together one of the most boring presentations I've ever had the misfortune of witnessing and then you just shut out everyone else? Who do you think you are? Every other project was actually interesting (you know, that thing you keep forgetting about).

I wish I had seen him on his laptop during our presentation. I would have called him out in front of the whole class and embarrassed him in any way I could imagine. It annoys me that I did not catch him in the act.

Congratulations, sir. You fail the most basic part of being a good teacher. Listening.

I seriously hope that I know someone who works with this kid once he's a teacher. I want to hear that gossip.


William the Bloody Glad He Never Has To Have Class With That Jerk Again Redd

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Stuck In the Edit

Editing is my world at the moment, so this will not be long and probably won't be all that clever.

So, you know... nothing new.

Now I remember why I haven't been working on more short films recently, between school and my online efforts, not to mention my work with Research Paranormal (which had an attempted mock investigation this evening to practice some new methods we were incorporating that was cancelled early due to an uncooperative neighbor watching television too loudly) I haven't really had the time.

This, again, is where I need a Type A personality to handle scheduling and the like. I'm too scatterbrained to really be any kind of success at getting everything organized for a shoot. I typically remember to call or write to an actor or actress days before I plan to shoot instead of as soon as I make the plan in my head.

If anyone knows of any way to help me combat this issue, please let me know.

The edit for "A Battle of Wills" is coming along. As always, I notice things that I wish I had done. I keep meaning to get some form of small dolly so I can achieve interesting tracking shots. Hey, that might be a summer project.

Speaking of summer, once school is out I will finally have a chance to plan out this epic road trip I have been talking about. Wait, have I mentioned the road trip on the blog? I can't remember. Anyway, so I'm going on this epic road trip this summer with my friend Adam (Gears on Youtube). We're driving from North Carolina to Los Angeles to attend VidCon, then driving back. Plans have been tentative until I have time to really work out the details.

With the semester almost over, that time will soon be here. Just need to get through the next two weeks and I'll be able to devote the necessary time to planning and implementation.

I am very excited. This will be my first cross-country road trip.


William the Bloody Cross-Continental Redd

P.S. VEDA Day 26 - A Thank You To All the Regulars:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

As The Semester Winds Down

I realized earlier today that it was the final Tuesday of the semester. I would not have my weird, full day of classes anymore. I would only have one more session with someone I am convinced is the worst teacher ever to grace the inside of a classroom. I would not have another class with a man who I think has taught me the most this semester. I would not sit in another ASL class and be frantic trying to remember certain signs or trying to decipher what the teacher was saying.

Two of those things I will miss, the other... not so much.

This teacher, the one that makes me question the PhD program of a major institution, has never actually been outside of a college environment. This woman is supposed to be giving us insight on how to teach high school students and she has never done so herself. In fact, her concentration was middle school.

What exactly is this person supposed to teach me?

It certainly was not proper grammar, which she did not have, or the proper way to motivate students, or how to explain an assignment so that there were no questions and complete confusion.

I think one more week of this woman and things would have turned mutinous.

Last week, one of the more even-tempered students finally had enough and called her out on the current pointless assignment in a long line of pointless assignments we have been given throughout the semester, a portfolio through Blackboard (which is probably one of the most useless tools the University has ever forced upon the student body). This "portfolio" is essentially a web page using the simplified templates that Blackboard has available.

How about I just show you one of the 50 websites that I've coded in my lifetime? I guarantee any one of them would be better than whatever this piece of gosa will be, even my old Angelfire page would be a step up, and that's just sad.

The final for her class is a waste of time and energy as well. We have to put together a packet of 40 resources that we can utilize in the classroom. I understand the point of having these resources, but then she gives us this list of criteria for how to present them, and the whole assignment becomes a chore that nobody wants to do.

My main issue with this class and particularly this professor is that I feel we've taken a giant step backwards from the inspiring lessons learned last semester. This woman has single-handedly helped ruin a few students on the idea of teaching. One girl has already changed majors to save her sanity.

Last semester, we were taught to look for certain things in a bad or ineffective teacher, this woman hits every single one of them.

Congratulations, you've just taught every student in your class how NOT to be a teacher.

You must be so proud.

I wonder if Hogwarts is hiring... and if they'd consider a muggle.



William the Bloody Over It Redd

P.S. VEDA Day 25 - The Return of Mr. Jenkins:

Monday, April 25, 2011

Asleep At the Wheel

It's late, I've just finished a video for a presentation tomorrow, and I desperately need sleep.

But not before writing a very quick blog post.

Filmed the rest of "A Battle of Wills" yesterday. Haven't had a chance to edit since I was working on the video for class.

Sometimes it sucks being video savvy... everyone wants you to be the video guy. One of my professors even called me out in class as an available resource for the video project we had in that class.

Then again, I certainly wouldn't change it.

I had more fun yesterday than I have had in a while. Shooting a movie is just a blast. I'd forgotten that.

Extra special thanks to John Krevens and Kristin Mason for providing some top notch acting. I can't wait for this thing to come together.

Screening next weekend at the Cape Fear Independent Film Festival. I'll let you know how it goes.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna pass out.



William the Bloody Exhausted Redd

P.S. VEDA Day 24:

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Cat Can Look at a King

Decided to try something a bit different for this Tenth Daughter of Memory muse. Tell me what you think.


A Cat Can Look At A King

     Finding time to get away was the biggest problem. Having someone who keeps track of your every move can get annoying, especially when you're a solitary animal like myself. But, if he ever saw where I went, or even saw me leave...

     No, best not to think about that.

     "Kim?"

     Oh no, he's looking for me. Probably concerned that I ran off. From what I've gathered, I wouldn't be the first. I wonder what happened to the others. They could have planned to return, but were unable. I have been told it happens quite often.

     He is almost here, it has to be now. If not, I'll be late for the ceremony, and I do not want to think what that would mean.

     The shift is always strange. It feels like I am melting. To the outside observer, it probably looks more like I am fading away.

     By the time he enters the living room, I am already light years away.



***

     Actually, I have never been clear where this other world is. It is more of a dimensional nexus. It is everywhere and nowhere.

     The others are gathering.

     An otherworldly bell begins to chime. The ceremony begins.

     He is certainly more regal than the last. I try not to think back on that past reign. My kind was forced to placate that madman until we could find a way to rid ourselves of him at last.

     My tail twitches at the memory of the war. We eventually won, but it was a long and bloody battle.

     A holy man steps forward with a scepter. The man slowly drops to one knee in reverence as the holy man hands him the scepter.

     Another cleric steps forward holding an ornate crown. It shines with the colors of the universe. And if you look at it just right, there are both delights and horrors within.

     The man rises, our newly crowned King of Nightmares takes his rightful place upon the throne.

     We bow, to an outsider it appears not unlike a stretch, rears high in the air, front legs extended as far as they will go.

     Our king waves, and we begin to yowl in celebration.

     I will have to return soon. Dilworth will still be looking for me. Fortunately it is a big house, plenty of places for a cat to hide where a man cannot find her.



William the Bloody Cat Owning Redd

P.S. VEDA Day 23:

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Self-Realization About Youtube

So, I've been making videos for a while now, trying to unlock that partnership "magic" just so I can get to a point where I'm actually making something for the things I produce, and I've come to a realization:

It is entirely unlikely that my main channel will ever achieve partner.

Unless I change things drastically. I can't keep making these sporadic videos and expect to reach the same status as Wheezy Waiter and the Vlogbrothers. I need a regular schedule. I need a plan.

Step one of this plan involves the Media Blitzkrieg channel. I've been trying to get myself on a weekly schedule with that and am being absolutely sure that I do not have any content that I do not have express permission to use. Consider it a test case. The weekly posts start (hopefully) this week. Yesterday I posted an update video. Check it out here.

If I can prove that I have the ability to manage a partner-worthy channel, that might lead me to bigger things. And the production company is a perfect place to start this.

Step two involves figuring out exactly what to do with my other two channels. The regularguy5mb channel has always been a bit of a catch-all. I originally started on Youtube to post short films, then I got involved in the vlogging community and started making my own vlogs. Honestly, I'm not completely sure what to do with it. I'm going to start making scripted shorts of questionable video quality (since I'm often shooting and acting on my own) and see what happens.

I'm trying to create my own path on this site. Need to find my "thing."

Then there's the 5 Regular Guys channel. I really have no idea what to do with that one. It's primary function was a collab channel for vlogging with the rest of the 5RG, but they didn't really seem that interested. Jason was the only one who even tried to make videos on his own. They always talk about ideas and projects, but as yet, nothing has come of them.

Not saying that I'm any different, but it would be nice if at least one of them would say "hey, let's shoot something this weekend!" Or even "yeah, let's definitely do that tomorrow" when I mention an idea.

Since the lack of action from the others, the 5RG channel has become a concert footage channel. I have a retrospective of the 5RG project that I've been trying to film for years and haven't even been able to interview the two of the five. All attempts turn into acts of distraction.

Seeing one of them Monday night, hoping to get five minutes to just ask a few questions.

I would love to make the 5RG channel a place for skits and random video bits from myself and the rest of the five. All I can do is keep trying.

Maybe I'm stretching myself too thin. It would be great if I had someone, ANYONE who would help me with all this. At the moment, I've got nothing.

Even a Youtube partner in the "upper echelon" who I could chat with about what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong would be lovely.



William the Bloody Itching To Do Something But Can't Do It Alone Redd

P.S. VEDA Day 22 - School Project (that inadvertently started my mind on this topic):

Friday, April 22, 2011

Let's Get Saucy

I've been trying to teach myself to cook so I can avoid eating out as often as I have in the past (because it is needlessly expensive and I like having more control over what I'm actually eating).

I know the basics, but recipes sometimes are beyond me (mainly because I am lazy and don't feel like making anything until I'm really hungry, which means I don't feel like getting really involved in cooking that's going to take an hour).

One recipe I've picked up from the parents is one that I grew up with. It is unique in that I've never heard anyone else talk about it and when I explain it, I often get funny looks. But it is one of the best meat loaf recipes I have ever seen... or eaten.

The real trick to this, I think, is the sauce and the fact that the meat loaves are served in smaller sizes. It is not one massive loaf, but six individual loaves. And the sauce includes brown sugar and vinegar, making it both sweet and savory.

The ridiculous amount of onions helps there as well.

I have now made this recipe twice in the new house (making my third attempt since getting a copy) and I can definitely tell I'm getting better. One problem I have is there does not seem to be enough sauce. However, I realized that with the amount of tomato sauce left over (based on the recipe) I would just need to double the recipe and have twice as much sauce. It might be too much at first, but it will make leftovers extremely tasty.

Also, I need to work out exactly when to start the rice. I keep over-cooking it and burning the rice at the bottom. Crunchy leftovers are still tasty, but not as good as they could be.


William the Bloody Making Himself Hungry Redd



P.S. VEDA Day 21 - Saucy Meat Loaves (see what I did there?):

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I Spend Way Too Much Time Alone

I really do.  And because of this, I think too much (yes, there is such a thing).  I over-think everything that happens and often come to the wrong conclusion.  Someone will mention a medical condition and I think "oh geez, do I have that?"  I start analyzing the symptoms and find that they match... but it could also be some kind of weird hypochondria that happens BECAUSE I heard about it.

The thing is, I can't really think of a solution to this.  The easiest is of course, go out more.  However, the problem with that is I don't really have anyone to hang out with.  I would love to be more sociable, but the people I feel I could call to socialize either do not live in the same town or are constantly busy with other things (work, school, work, significant others, work, etc.).

Compounding this issue is the fact that I'm rubbish at making new friends.  Sure, I make friends easy enough when it happens, but it just sort of does.  I have no control over it.  Several times I have legitimately tried to go somewhere with the intentions of meeting people and it was an abject failure.

This whole blog post is a result of over-thinking.  I'm having one of those days where nothing is really going on and I just spend all my time in my head.  Nothing good comes of this, which is why I generally try to keep myself busy.  Hell, it's part of the reason I wanted to tackle VEDA and BEDA this month.  Figured if I could keep my mind occupied, these idiotic thoughts wouldn't clutter my head.

Yeah, we see how well that works.

A day of rendering video and slow uploading to Youtube gives me plenty of dreaded "time to think."

Normally I would use that free time to read or clean, but I haven't even felt like doing that today.  I'm behind on Script Frenzy, but do I take this free time to work on my writing?  No.  My mind is already running on this particular line of thought and nothing seems to be able to interrupt it.

I almost wish the characters I've been creating in my vlogs were really here.  At least then I could have someone to tell me to stop whining and do something constructive.

Also, I'd have someone to run the camera for me.


William the Bloody Going Out of His Mind Redd

P.S. VEDA Day 20 - Some behind the scenes fun from last weekend's shoot:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Computer Fully Obeys Murphy's Law

Whatever can go wrong, will. And it will always happen to me when I absolutely need something done.

All I want to do is use Compressor to render my video. Why won't you let me do that, computer? It's not an unreasonable request. You've done it with such ease in the past. What's different this time?

Too much open? Why are you trying to save anything to the hard drive? You're supposed to be using the external, after all.

This is a colorful way of saying: Today's video will be late. Unforeseen technical complications. Of course, had I not waited until late this evening to start editing, the problem would have become apparent much sooner.

Hindsight.


William the Bloody Fed Up With Seeing "Failed" When He Renders A Video Redd

P.S. VEDA Day 19:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Doctor Who Has Lost His Best Companion

Elisabeth Sladen, best known for playing Sarah Jane Smith on Doctor Who and later in her own spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures, passed away today. She was 63.

It is a sad day for Whovians everywhere. She was the best companion, and to many viewers, the first. A good majority of Who fans started watching during Tom Baker's run and Sarah Jane was his plucky companion for the first chunk of it. She was amazing, as was the woman who gave her such greatness.

I'm not going to start telling anecdotes or posting video tributes, there are already plenty around the web, just look them up. Professional blogger do that, and I think we all know I'm far from professional (a professional slacker, perhaps).

This news hit while I was in Randall Library, and it took everything I had not to start bawling right there in my carrel. Then there was a particular post this evening which was similar to a tweet I had posted earlier regarding K-9, and I got really choked up. Here's the image that pushed me over the edge:


This. This says it all. An impossible robotic dog with an unbelievable sadness at the loss of his mistress. I'm kind of tearing up again just thinking about it.

So my thoughts go out to Elisabeth Sladen's family tonight. I am so very sorry for your loss. She was a fantastic woman and she was loved by what I think is one of the greatest sci-fi fandoms around. She will be deeply missed.

My thoughts also go out to Sarah Jane Smith's fictional family. Luke, K-9, I'm not sure what you will do now without Sarah Jane to look after you, but it will be alright. She has gone on to another great adventure, one we will all eventually embark upon.

She has gone to seek her great perhaps, and I wish her the best of luck finding it.

Okay, I need to stop before I start blubbering like a big baby. Gonna sit down and watch some great Sarah Jane moments.

Truly, she was one of the greats. Rest in peace, ma'am.


William the Bloody Teary-Eyed Redd

P.S. VEDA Day 18:

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Absolute Insanity of Oleander Drive

Anyone who has driven in Wilmington has probably experienced the madness that is Oleander Drive. Recently, I've noticed exactly how mad it is.

On Thursday, I narrowly avoided a rear-end collision. While stopped at the Oleander/College intersection waiting t turn on College, the guy in front of me stopped short, causing a chain reaction that ended with the three cars behind me hitting each other. The car directly behind me was pushed into my bumper, but it was only a mild tap and I got away clean.

Personally, I'm still leery of any car behind me after my big wreck back in 2006. I panic whenever a car gets too close to my rear on the highway. It's not something that is going away any time soon, so I've accepted it... by vigorously cussing out anyone who gets too close and freaks me out.

Today I decided that I would try to avoid heading in to town via Oleander. That is where most of the insanity seems to be focused. I've thought about it, and there have been so many times I've driven that way only to see accident after accident in the same spot my near-miss occurred (or "near-hit" as Carlin would have said because I nearly got hit).

After getting behind one elderly driver going 25 and under on a 40 MPH road (in which most lunatics keep it around 50 MPH) and having some freak drive around another car to squeeze in between us at an uncomfortable angle for my liking, I'm done with that particular intersection.

The term "avoid like the plague" comes to mind here.

I have enough worries in my head without the added concern of moronic drivers who don't know what they're doing.

And a word of advice:

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, USE YOUR BLINKER! IT IS WITHIN EASY REACH OF THE STEERING WHEEL, SO THERE IS NO EXCUSE!

Thank you and good day.


William the Bloody Driving With A Helmet From Now On Redd

P.S. VEDA Day 17 - Evil William takes the wheel:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Production Day

There was a time when I didn't think it would ever happen. Today, I finally got back into directing a short film.

I know I talked about this yesterday, but I was fully prepared to write a fail blog today with the excuse that nothing went right and we didn't actually shoot anything.

Not to say that everything did go well, but we still got something shot.

The real issue today was the lack of an actress. I know this was totally my fault due to my poor planning abilities, so it got down to the last minute when all my potentials either neglected to get back to me (probably didn't get the message) or they were unavailable.

We shot at least a full page of the dialogue in which the actress was not needed. I'm going to review the footage this week and see what we've got. Planning on finishing up next weekend.

Still in need of an actress if anyone is interested.


William the Bloody About To Post On Craigslist Redd

P.S. VEDA Day 16:

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Return To The Director's Chair

As most of you know, I've directed a few short films in my time. For example, "Taboo" (which has just recently inspired a short film currently being shot in L.A. More on that some other time) was what I consider my best directorial work thus far.

But that, believe it or not, was way back in 2007. Certainly not the last film I have worked on, but I have been working as camera, writer, editor, etc. on all these other projects. And it's not for a lack of ideas, more a lack of time, resources, and motivation.

A few years ago, I started work on what I thought was going to be a simple short film called "Finding Maria." This project has become my "Man of LaMancha," having been through three different iterations that constantly fall through (usually due to one or more actors dropping out on me mid-production... all in the same role, ironically). The sheer annoyance of trying to put this film together caused me to take a step back and pursue other things.

But now I'm about to jump back in with both feet. Tomorrow I start production on a new short that will hopefully be ready for the Cape Fear Independent Film Festival.

For the first time in a while I'm excited about directing again.

Now, let's just hope all goes well.

What I really need is someone to help me with the scheduling, and phone calls, and all the stuff I'm just no good at handling.



William the Bloody Directing Is In My Blood Redd

P.S. VEDA Day 15:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Troy Women

Whenever I can, I try to get out to the theater. Live performances are always so much fun, and I agree with Oscar Wilde when he said:

"I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being."

The UNCW Theater Department prints this on the first page of every program they produce, and it's absolutely true. A well done live show can be both effective and affecting.

Troy Women, UNCW's current performance is most definitely one of those. It is an adaptation/modernization of Euripides' Trojan Women and it is magnificent. Especially Kate MacCallum as Hecuba.

The play takes place in the aftermath of the Trojan War. Troy lies in ruin and only its women remain. Hecuba, queen of Troy, her daughter Cassandra, and several other women wait to be handed off to Greek men like property. Their men, dead. Even the infant son of the hero of Troy (and son of Hecuba), Hector, is put to death so he will not grow up to seek vengeance. Place yourself into that kind of situation and you just start to scratch the surface of the emotions in Troy Women.

Kate McCallum performs so beautifully as Hecuba. Her torment as grieving wife, mother, grandmother, and queen of a ruined city is completely genuine, as is her anger at Helen and the Greeks.

The chorus of women left with Hecuba are all outstanding as well. Their concerns of a life of servitude to Greek masters is both humorous and tragic at points (as intended).

All around, it was an amazingly powerful play, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

One thing I love about living in a film town, there are so many talented people around to provide much needed entertainment to the masses at any given time.


William the Bloody Wishes He Could See A Live Performance Every Night Redd

P.S. VEDA Day 14:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Final Day of Tutoring

This semester I have been tutoring students every Thursday at Isaac Bear Early College.

When I first started, I was very nervous. I thought I would end up with students who did not want to be there and would, as such, not try to learn anything. They would be unwilling to listen to anything I said. Fortunately, minus one or two exceptions, that was far from the case.

Most of the students I tutored seemed very keen to learn and to figure out how to improve their writing. I was even told by one of the teacher that they had noticed a marked improvement in the student's work. This made my day.

Today was my last day. I tutored two students in grade 9, English. We worked on a Daily Grammar Practice that their teacher assigns weekly and I helped them further their argumentative essays based on the moral implications of wiping memories in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

It has to be said, I wish this school had been around when I was in high school.

I've enjoyed this semester tutoring students. Now I'm just trying to decide if that is better than actually teaching a whole class.

For the time being, the whole class will likely remain the better option.


William the Bloody Likely Gonna Be A Teacher Yet Redd

P.S. VEDA Day 13:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bandits Is Just A Good Movie

I don't know if a lot of people know about it, but it really is.

I remember watching this movie when it came out on video (I was working at Blockbuster at the time) and thoroughly enjoying it. So, a while back I saw it on sale for a cheap price and picked it up. Finally got a chance to watch it again tonight.

After watching it again, I figured out what I like about it;

Bandits is kind of like a Michael Bay movie without Michael Bay.

It should be noted that I would like more Michael Bay movies if they did not have Michael Bay there to screw them up.

But back to my point; the style of camera work, the editing, the action scenes, even the lighting all look very similar to a Michael Bay movie. I wonder if Barry Levinson saw one of Bay's movies and thought, "this crew is fantastic. I wonder what they could do without that director gumming up the works?"

There's even a love triangle, which is a long-standing tradition in Michael Bay movies (it's even in Transformers between Shia, Meghan Fox, and Bumblebee).

Also, completely in love with Cate Blanchett in this movie. She is absolutely gorgeous anyway, but with that red hair...

Wow. Just wow.

*Universal Sigh*



William the Bloody Needs To Find An Amazing Redhead Redd

P.S. VEDA Day 12:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Script Frenzy Update

So, by the numbers I'm a bit behind on my Script Frenzy script, but I already have the whole thing planned out, so I just need to take a day to get it on the page.

I think that's the point, really. That should be the slogan for Script Frenzy and NaNoWriMo:

GET IT ON THE PAGE

One of the hardest parts of writing is actually getting over any concerns in your abilities as a writer and producing something. Or, at least that's my biggest problem. I'm still trying to get things to a point where I feel like sharing what I write. That's one of the reasons I wanted to take part in the Tenth Daughter of Memory, it's a great opportunity to have other creative individuals read and critique your work.

This is also why I want to blog more. If I can get more comfortable sharing my feelings in a blog or vlog, then I can better express myself, right?

Still having issues speaking in public. Hell, tonight I had to share my family picture with my ASL class and I could feel the nerves getting to me. I didn't even have to speak. The mere act of standing in front of everyone was enough to give me the jitters.

Maybe I just psych myself out, but it seems like I'm getting worse.

Or maybe I'm just spending too much time alone. Lack of social interaction is messing with my head.

There's a happy thought.



William the Bloody Depressing Himself With This Line of Thought Redd

P.S. VEDA Day 11:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Another Day, Another Blog

Week two of April. This is when my motivation for BEDA/VEDA/Script Frenzy starts to die. I just get that lackadaisical feeling where I just want to sit on the couch and watch television.

Fortunately, I don't have cable. Unfortunately, I have several stacks of DVDs I've yet to watch.

Still managed to get my video for today done, even with the prolonged nap in the middle of the day. I think one of my main issues is not having a definite plan. Look at vloggers like Wheezy Waiter, or even my friend Gears, they script out their videos. I think about it for a while and then start shooting.

I know I need to get more focused on my vlogging, and my blogging. Look at this, for example. I'm just sitting on my couch, about to watch Up again, and I really haven't planned what I'm going to write.

Though one thing that comes to mind is the Ning. Now, there are two nings still going that I contribute to: the Nerdfighter ning, and Maureen Johnson's ning. This is primarily because they are two of the few remaining nings still around. Ever since Ning dropped their free option, only those with a source of financing could stay afloat.

Even with that, however, I have slacked off. I haven't even kept my blog posts updated. I am a severely lazy man. Just now getting to posting my February blogs.

I am trying to get better, but it's difficult. Especially when, as previously stated, I come home and nap most of the day away.

For now, I'm taking it one day at a time.



William the Bloody Surprisingly Tired for Being So Well Rested Redd

P.S. VEDA Day 10:

Sunday, April 10, 2011

From Hell to Breakfast - A 5RG Tale

At last, an entry into The Tenth Daughter of Memory! No punishment for me!!

HAHA!

Enjoy.


From Hell to Breakfast
A tale from the 5 Regular Guys Universe

      I swear all I wanted was a couple of eggs... maybe a piece of bacon... or two. I know I shouldn't eat it, and she'd kill me if she ever found out, but when death is around the corner for you at any moment, clean living tends to fly right out the window.

      Take my current predicament. I woke up thinking I'd make a quick trip to the diner down the street, have a quick breakfast of bacon, eggs, and some dry white toast and then start a full day of training. But no, I can't have that kind of day. The Powers That Be have a hell of a sense of humor...

      Ugh. Poor choice of words. Hell, I mean, not humor. I would assume that's where I am, anyway. That or one of several dimensions that most people consider Hell. At this moment, it's all I've got to go on, and the horde of demons currently trying to rip my throat out doesn't leave much room for doubt. It's either Hell or the Apocalypse. Either way, my morning just got a lot busier.

      At least I had the forethought to bring Betsy along. The benefit to having your base of operations in a bad part of town? You constantly keep a weapon on you. I don't remember where I originally came up with the idea for Betsy, back then I didn't even play the banjo. But something told me that carrying a sword inside a musical instrument would work. It has. I can't tell you the number of times I've just walked into a place with Betsy slung over my shoulder and nobody says a word... except the occasional "Do you know the Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde?" Which I do, now. Helps sell the fact that I carry Betsy with me wherever I go.

      And she is getting her workout for today. Hacking away at these demons is fairly easy work, but when there are thousands of them it can get a bit tedious. As another one rips by me, I split him nearly in two with Betsy and wonder exactly where this will end. I mean, this might be it. I've been slowly making myself number one on Evil's most wanted list. I've taken out vampire nests, werewolf packs, zombie and demon hordes, even had a fight with some kind of ham demon. That might have been the most disgusting thing ever. After all that, has something finally taken notice and decided to do away with me?

      Of course, there's also a chance that whatever sent me here is after the girl. Still not sure what it is about her. She seems to attract the supernatural. With me out of the way, the nasties have a clear shot at her. Not that she's completely defenseless, I've seen to that. We train on a daily basis, and she's a natural warrior. Hell, when I met her she taking on a nest of vampires single-handed. Strong. She says she has no idea where it came from, just that it suddenly appeared when she turned thirteen. There's a legend of a girl with power who is meant to fight evil, but I never believed it.

      There are some who do. Both good and bad alike have called her "Slayer" when they see her work. All I know, she is a young girl who can handle herself but lacked discipline. I gave her that. I've taught her almost everything I know. If this is the end, she'll at least be able to go down fighting.

      Crap, something's got a hold of my scarf. Don't know why I wear the thing, sells the ace pilot look I seem to have adopted, but it constantly gets in the way. Time to lose the albatross. Betsy once again sets me free to fight. As I turn back to the unending tide of demon, I notice a glimmer of light. That could very well be the source.

      Now that I have a destination, I begin to make my way forward. They don't make it easy. The fight starts to get tougher as soon as I step towards the glimmer, that means I'm on to something. Demons are predictable. They give themselves away as soon as you're on the right track. No poker face at all. The more I try to move towards the glimmer, the angrier they get. It definitely has something to do with this.

      Another step, and a big one jumps on top of me, knocking me down. His teeth gnash at my face as Betsy presses into his neck. If he keeps this up, he'll decapitate himself. Fine by me. He starts to go for my goggles, which means he is aiming for my eyes. That's definitely enough of that. I get my foot onto his chest and push up with everything I've got. As soon as he clears, I'm back on my feet and on him with Betsy swinging away. She makes short work of the rest of his neck and his head falls with a thud. The body stands for a moment, wavering, then follows the body knees first. A demon never looks penitent unless you take off its head.

      Getting closer now, I can almost make out what's causing the glimmer. It looks like... a book? I really hope that's not another Necronomicon. Those things are such a fucking pain in the ass to destroy. I think I've managed one complete destruction in all the years I've been doing this, and that one took about three months to completely get rid of. Almost there.

      I'm definitely on to something, they're getting organized. Ten block my way and work in concert to keep me from going any further. I've been using Betsy as she was intended, but now it's time to get creative. I take the rest of her, the makeshift scabbard that is also a working banjo, and slam it into demon skull. There is a comic "twang" as the strings vibrate from the impact. The mighty El Kabong, that's me. But no cape, the scarf is enough trouble.

      Almost there now. They seem to be spreading out. Perhaps they've realized the inevitable, but I doubt it. They're planning something. Gotta be on the...

      The giant tentacle seemed to come out of nowhere. Before I knew it, whatever owned that massive thing had me by the waist and was crushing the life out of me. It was so suffocating that I couldn't get Betsy angled properly to cut into the thing. My vision was starting to get fuzzy. I finally mustered all my strength and twisted to get the blade just right, slamming it home. The inhuman wail let me know that I hit my mark.

      As did the sudden drop that followed. I was only down a moment before I glanced up and saw that the tentacle had dropped me right next to the book. Scrambling for Betsy, I jumped up as fast as I could and made a run for the book. I had Betsy raised high, but I could also feel them all closing around me. Either way, this was it.

      Betsy hit true, the whole world went white in a bright flash of light.



***

      Slowly, I opened my eyes. The demons and the hell-world were gone. I was standing in the middle of the greasy spoon that was my original destination. Betsy was hilt-deep in a table, a book open to a rather innocuous looking page. The whole restaurant was staring at me.

      The kid at the table just looked upset that I'd speared his book. He looked to be about sixteen or seventeen. There was something in his eye that was a mixture of fear and anger. I think he knew what had just happened. I wonder what his original intent was? Love spell? Revenge? Or, maybe he was so fed up with the pain of existence that he really wanted to end it all and kick-start Armageddon.

      I'd never know, because I'd never ask. I don't really care why people do what they do, or even why evil does what it does. All I care about is keeping this rock safe for one more rotation until I can't go on anymore.

      But, to do that, I needed eggs. Eggs and bacon. Ooh, and a nice bowl of grits...


*****

This character is one I created as part of the 5 Regular Guys Universe some time ago.  Something about this muse struck me as a tale that was right up his alley.  He, along with Dilworth, Jersey, and a few other characters appear in the first NaNoWriMo novel that I finished.  Finished, but have yet to revise.



William the Bloody Sword-Wielding, Banjo Playing Redd
(not really, but that would be awesome)

P.S. VEDA Day 9:

Saturday, April 9, 2011

We Ask That You Refrain From Any Audio/Visual Recording

Seriously?

We still have that?

The folks and I went to the Alabama Theatre tonight and saw the Drifters, the Coasters, and the Platters. Great show, but I have no footage because the Alabama Theatre wants to try to sell their really crappy DVD copy of the show.

I mean, I could run out to the car, get my Canon DSLR and record the whole thing in HD and be far beyond anything the Alabama Theatre could do.

But, I digress.

The show was great. Had a lot of fun.

The rain that hit during the Drifters' set was disconcerting, and people flocked to the doors afterward, but still had a lot of fun.

EDIT 4/10/11 (early morning): On second thought, should have recorded something anyway. Damn the man.


William the Bloody In An Old School Mood Redd

P.S. VEDA Day 8 - Introducing my Mom to the Internet:

Friday, April 8, 2011

Despicable Me: A Nerdfighter Movie?

This isn't the first time the claim has been made.

My parents are currently in town and we decided to watch Despicable Me tonight (Dad told me to find something cute that Mom hadn't seen. This is what Red Box had to offer). This was my second viewing, and I noticed a few things.

Of course, there is Vector, Gru's chief rival and the new supervillain on the block. His name was chosen because, as he claims, he is "committing crimes with both direction and magnitude" (and making it incredibly obvious that he is a huge math nerd). He also refers to his real name (Victor) as his "nerd name." Although the most obvious Nerdfighter nod comes from his hand-signal, which is exactly like the Nerdfighter sign except that he is making a 'V' instead of the Vulcan salute.

Upon a second glance, I picked up on a few more similarities.

First, we return to Vector. In his "Fortress of Vector-tude" his living room sits on top of a glass floor. Beneath the glass? A giant, man-eating shark. Who do we know who has a giant tank for sea-dwelling creatures under his floor in the Nerdfighter/Youtube world?

Craig (a.k.a. Wheezy Waiter) and his whale tank.

Now, let's move on to Gru. Gru has a horde of minions at his disposal. They seem to be genetically modified beings who are a bit moronic, incredibly loyal, and easily expendable. Again, who do we know who has a seemingly endless army of clones that are a bit dense and easily expendable?

Once again we have Craig, his clones, and his necessity of feeding them to his pet alligator to keep the government from discovering their existence.

I can't be the only one to make this connection, right?

Or, maybe I'm the only who's thought about it this much.

Yeah, probably the second one.

Still, I think Evil William and I should inflict a little payback.

Ready the laser-weasels...



William the Bloody Bent on World Domination As Long As It Doesn't Cut Into His Nap Time Redd

P.S. VEDA Day 7 - Just like Arthur Dent:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Then There's Thursday

Ah yes, the other hurdle to success this month.

My schedule is strange this semester. I have one class on M-W, while everything else is T-Th, with Friday free.

However, I forgot to take into account how tired I usually am by Thursday afternoon. I've been asleep since I got home at 5p.m. (it is currently 11p.m.). I haven't filmed anything today (except for a few things first thing this morning), so I'm going to have to throw something together last minute.

Also not sure what I'm going to do about tomorrow since my parents are coming. I was supposed to clean the house this afternoon/evening.

Tonight might be a late one, folks.



William the Bloody Feeling His Age Redd

P.S. VEDA Day 6 - The worst video I will every upload to Youtube:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Oh, the Humanity

So, my first punishment video is done and posted.

The real humiliation wasn't actually the act of having a small dog lick peanut butter off my nipple, it's having the video posted to my Youtube channel knowing that everyone is going to see it.

For the first time since joining Youtube, I don't want one of my video getting views. And yet, the views come. This video already has more views than yesterday's and is about to surpass my monologue video (as I type this, it probably already has).

Now I owe only one punishment, only I'm not sure what it is. Haven't heard a final decision on that yet.

One thing is for sure, I'm definitely not doing this again.

If for no other reason than the absolute embarrassment I feel right now knowing people are watching that video.

Was originally going to write up as much of my 10thDoM post as possible today, but got caught up cleaning and writing my script for Script Frenzy.  I'm caught up on that though, so I can focus on my muse now.

For now, I'm off to wallow in my shame.



William the Bloody Thoroughly Embarrassed Redd


P.S. VEDA Day 5:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Few Kinks To Work Out

Somehow I knew Tuesdays would be a problem.

And, instead of planning ahead and having a video ready before my full day began, I spent yesterday hemming and hawing over driving to Durham and back.

Hindsight...

On the plus side, my first punishment has finally been filmed and will be uploaded tomorrow. About to throw a quick teaser video onto Youtube for tonight because I just don't have the time with an 8a.m. class tomorrow morning to get the punishment video looking good.

So, expect that one tomorrow.

I've decided at some point during this month I really want to make a question video. There have been people who've tried for speed or most questions answered, but I'm not expecting those numbers. But, if any of you wonderful people have any burning questions you're just dying to know the answer to, leave them in the comments and I'll answer them in a future video.

There is also a video site called VYou designed to be just a question and answer site. People ask you questions and you answer in a video. It's like formspring... which I probably need to log back into soon. I think I have unanswered questions there.

Anyway, that's all for today. Punishment and a full blog tomorrow.


William the Bloody Already Planning For Future Tuesday Videos Redd


P.S. VEDA Day 4 - William is as Mad as Hell, and he's not going to take it anymore:

Monday, April 4, 2011

Today Has Been Interesting

Didn't sleep well last night. Nerves.

Performed my monologue for my acting class, which is being uploaded to Youtube as I type this. It went well. Had a few moments where the lines escaped me, but I didn't let on and kept going. I felt good when I was done.

After that I met with my advisor about registration for next semester. I don't know why, but I seem to treat him as a therapist and tell him a lot more than I probably should. But it's cathartic, you know?

(Kind of like writing down your thoughts for the whole of the internet to see, you might say)

Ran some errands and had lunch with a friend. I was planning on shooting my first punishment video with his dog, but the batteries in my camera died after filming my monologue (literally right after I finished. Which I find odd). In fact, they're still charging! I'm getting a little concerned that they're going to burn out.

Had a moment of true insanity when I found out that a pair of Youtubers I've been wanting to meet were having a meet-up in Durham and actually considered driving the 3 hours there and then 3 hours back later tonight. I didn't go, but I kind of wish I had.

Spent the rest of the day waiting for video to render and all that good stuff. I need to get ahead of myself on my videos. Especially considering tomorrow is a busy day and I'm not sure how much time I'll have to shoot and edit a video. Guess we'll see.

Anyway, figured I'd go journal style today to let everyone know what is going on in the Wild World of William.

Partyin'... partyin'... yeah! Fun, fun, fun...


William the Bloody So Excited Redd

P.S. VEDA Day 3 - Footage of the super perigee moon from March 19, 2011:

Sunday, April 3, 2011

See the Man with the Stage Fright

For as long as I can remember, I've had stage fright. It's one of the main reasons I started making videos.

Thought it would be a good way to get over it. Especially since I'm planning on teaching.

However, I've noticed that I still have issues getting up in front of a group of people. Twice this semester I have had to present in front of the class on my own. Well, technically once. The second one is tomorrow. But I've practiced for tomorrow's monologue (more on that in a minute) a few times, and I was shaking like a leaf every time.

I feel this nervous energy build as I get ready to present. I'm not sure where it comes from. I have no problem speaking up in class, or making a fool of myself in public; but there is something strange about being in front of a large group of people and knowing that all eyes are on me.

Now earlier you may have noticed that I said "monologue." In an effort to try to lessen or control my stage fright, I decided to take an Acting for Non-Majors class this semester. Tomorrow we are presenting our monologues (the class midterm). I am going to perform the Howard Beale "I'm as mad as hell" scene from "Network" (the one that won Peter Finch the Oscar... so no pressure there).

My main reason for writing this is to get these thoughts out of my head so I can get over it and go in to class tomorrow morning with no reservations on my mind.

Think it will work?


William the Bloody Scared as Hell and Probably Going To Take It A Lot More Redd

P.S. VEDA Day 2:

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Moe and the Lawns

When John Green was younger he came up with a list of band names for various styles of music. One of those band names was "Moe and the Lawns."

I think about that name every time I have to mow the lawn, which I did today. As I mowed, I thought about how society forms some rather strange customs. When did people first begin the process of maintaining lawns? What was the purpose? Aside from keeping the yard from getting extraordinarily muddy, of course. But why do we spend so much time on them?

We fertilize, we weed, we groom, we spend money on gas for lawnmowers and weed whackers...

How long would grass grow if left untouched? If it was up to me, I'd just let the stuff grow. Unfortunately, our society frowns on a poorly manicured lawn. But why? Why do we care so much?

People like things neat and tidy, but I for one like a little chaos. I'm not one of those "put the rusted out car on cinder blocks in the yard" type, but I also don't feel we should be putting nature into a neat little box that fits some strange aesthetic that society has placed on it.

Managing a lawn is like forcing the entire world to get a flattop.

My yard is currently high and tight.


William the Bloody Caught Somewhere Between Individuality and Laziness Redd


Oh, and a little postscript:

I've decided to include the previous day's VEDA video at the end of my BEDA blogs.

Why? Because I can.



I look like I'm reviewing my blogroll, don't I?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Welcome to Thunderdome

Better known as BEDA 2011.

BEDA stands for Blog Every Day April, a challenge set forth by bloggers to... blog... every day... in April. Guess that really didn't need an explanation, did it?

Here's what you can expect from me this month:

Two stories for the Tenth Daughter of Memory (or possibly a story and a video depending on the muses), a few book reviews to go along with my 50 Books in 2011 challenge, write-ups for films, and possibly some ramblings on the state of education and the internet.

Also, to my fellow Tenth Daughter of Memory bloggers, when I said it wouldn't happen again?

Sorry. It happened again.

So that's two punishments owed. The first is in progress. It is surprisingly difficult to schedule a dog to lick something off one's nipple. Who knew? That video should be shot by Sunday, posted Monday or Tuesday at the latest.

The second is, as yet, undecided. Remaining punishment from the last round of comments was to eat something disgusting. Is everyone good with that, or is there another idea on the table?

Leave comments below.

Because I seem to be a glutton for punishment, I am also participating in VEDA (Vlog Every Day April on my Youtube channel. If you are so inclined, feel free to follow along there as well. My punishment videos will be posted as VEDA entries.

So with only two minutes left on the first of April, let me wrap this up and say...

Welcome to BEDA.



William the Bloody Gonna Be Crazy By The End of This Month Redd

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Better Living Through Humiliation

First, I must apologize to my fellow Tenth Daughter of Memory participants for so spectacularly bungling the "River of Mnemosyne" Challenge and for a general lack of effort in general. I have no excuse other than my extreme lack of time management skills and slack attitude.

It won't happen again.

And, to ensure that it won't happen again, JeffScape and I have come up with a plan; for the rest of the year, I will participate in every Muse posted (which means voting as well) or I will be punished.

Nothing kinky or dangerous folks, just good ol' fashioned humiliation for the internet to see.

Each punishment will be recorded and posted to my Youtube channel here.

The hope, of course, is that I am motivated enough to not actually need a punishment, but I think we all know that I will stumble at least once or twice before the end of the year.

Some of these entries will be video based. I have been trying to get myself back into the habit of making short films, so look forward to that as well.

I have already prepared my collab channel viewers for upcoming punishments in my video for this week. Check it out:


All of this will begin with the first Muse posted for March. I'm told Jeff and the rest of the 10thDoM crew are already cooking up some wicked ideas for me. Anything you'd like to see me do? Leave it in the comments right here or on my Youtube channel. So let's see what happens!


William the Bloody Preparing for Punishment Redd

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Office That Time Forgot

The Tenth Daughter of Memory is having their second annual "River of Mnemosyne" Challenge. Click the link for an explanation of what that is. This is Part 2 of my Chapter 0 entry. You really need to read Part 1 before continuing on here.





Chapter 0: I Smell Dead Guy or This Old House

Part 2: The Office That Time Forgot

      The office was pitch black. If there had been any windows, they had long been covered over or bricked up. Once I found the light switch, the light sounded like it was going to explode. Is a light bulb supposed to sizzle and crack? The bulb looked handmade, slightly malformed. Was Vernon a glass blower?

      I maneuvered through stacks of books and precariously made towers of papers. The whole room looked like a series of interrupted Jenga games. One wrong move and it would all come crashing down. Vernon had a lot of interests, all seemingly scientific. There were books on physics, chemistry, biology, botany, astrophysics, alchemy, the paranormal; I even saw what appeared to be the edge of a periodic table tacked to the wall. Beneath it was the frame of what was once a window.

      Finally, I located the desk. I moved a pile from the chair and sat there for a while. I was completely out of my element. The wooden desk chair squeaked as I leaned back. Looking up at the ceiling, which was covered in... were those star charts? I started thinking about where a man might keep his journal.

      Was Vernon left or right handed?

      Did he even write at his desk?

      Another look around the room convinced me he practically lived in this room. There were dirty dishes hidden under yellowed papers and file folders, food that was probably close to sentience clung stubbornly to those papers. Books were sitting open all over the place. It's like the man never stopped working.

      I thought about it another moment, then my hand reached out, almost on instinct, towards the many cubby holes built into the desk and the wall. Moving a few items from the cubby hole nearest my hand, I reached in and pulled out a mid-sized, leather bound notebook bulging ot the point of exploding, held together with a thick, black band.

      This thing had seen some use.

      I'll admit, I was a little scared to open it. It looked like it the diary of a madman, and who knows, maybe it was. A guy like Great-Uncle Vernon, all alone in this big house, working night and day... he might have been just a little batty.

      Eventually, my curiosity got the better of me. I carefully untied the black band that held the overstuffed journal together and started flipping through it. Here it was, Vernon's private thoughts. His secret projects revealed. The absolute truth to how mad he may or may not be.

      Most people would probably start reading at the beginning, but something tells me the early days of a journal are rather dull. You probably start out all, "Hello world," and "this is how I intend to use this book," blah, blah, blah... dull as dishwater. The meat's in the middle, so let's start there.

      The first thing to catch my eye is a photograph. The man, I would assume, is Vernon, probably around 25. He looks similar to my Grandpa when he was in his twenties. Definitely looks like he could be Granddad's brother. What was really interesting though, was what he was standing in front of. There, as big as a house, was what looked like a rocket... or possibly a submarine. Wait, no... no propellers. That's definitely a rocket. But, if Vernon was around 25 in this photo, and he was born in 1904... this photo was taken in 1929. Great-Uncle Vernon was building rockets in the 1920s?

      This can't be real. Who was trying to launch themselves into space back then? Hell, we'd only been flying airplanes for about ten years. We were decades away from making it to space. Weren't we?

      Maybe the journal had some answers.

      I turned the page and started reading with May 24, 1929.

*****


Thus ends Muse 0. Continued tomorrow (and I mean it this time) with Muse 1.


William the Bloody Back On Schedule Redd

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I Smell Dead Guy

The Tenth Daughter of Memory is having their second annual "River of Mnemosyne" Challenge. Click the link for an explanation of what that is. This is Part 1 of my Chapter 0 entry.


Chapter 0: I Smell Dead Guy or This Old House

      Oh God, the smell, the absolute stink of it. What is it about an old house? I know it's falling apart and decaying, and there's the mustiness of it, but what is it that makes it smell THAT bad? It could have something to do with death. Does death leave a smell behind? Even if the person living here didn't actually die here, would the fact that a death occurred leave some kind of smell marker? I mean, I walk into this house, and I smell dead guy.

      That's terrible to say, especially since this was family, but still...

      It's not as if I knew the guy. My great-uncle Vernon was the last member of my family still living. He was my grandfather's oldest brother, and from what I've heard he was the most ornery cuss that ever lived on God's green earth. These were my grandfather's words. Nobody knew much about him. He was a private man. Didn't even send out Christmas cards. Of course, I've never known men to be big on sending out cards anyway, that always seemed more like a woman's interest. Maybe I take after great-uncle Vernon, they say he was a dyed in the wool sexist too.

      He-Man Woman-Hater's Club, that's me!

      Of course, being the last of the family living, the house came to me. Vernon apparently didn't have a will to that effect, but his lawyer felt it should go to any family remaining. No idea how he got my number. Guess they had it on file. Or maybe his lawyer called Dad's lawyer and he had my number on file from when my parents passed. Not that it really matters, but I think about things like that sometimes.

      Great-uncle Vernon lived a long, long life. He was 107 when he died. A long life means one thing once it's over, a whole lot of clutter for someone else to clean up. Again, since I'm the only one left in the family, that falls to me. I don't know what ol' Vernon did for a living, but it involved a hell of a lot of paperwork. He had a lot of books on science too. Was it a hobby or a career?

      Where do I even start? This house is huge. It reminds me of one of those old mad scientist houses you'd see in horror movies from the fifties, the kind of place where you would open some door and find either a Frankenstien monster or a bride of Dracula. Hell, maybe both. Wouldn't that be something? Ol' Vernon was some crackpot, mad scientist who made some creepy abomination in his basement and it's still down there, just waiting for me to open the door...

      Okay, enough of that. I'll freak myself out.

      Might as well start in the office. If there's any place I'm liable to find out what Vernon did for a living, it's there.

***

Part 2 and Chapter 1 tomorrow.

William the Bloody Far Behind Everyone Else in the Challenge Redd

Monday, January 24, 2011

Another Fine Mess - Work in Progress

Finally, another entry for The Tenth Daughter of Memory. This time I went with a Jersey Jones story from the perspective of sidekick extraordinaire Dilworth K. Smith.

Enjoy.


Another Fine Mess

      "Just tell me what the map says, Dil."
      "The map doesn't say anything, it isn't real!"
      "I get that, but what does it say?"
      "Fine," I slammed the map down on the makeshift table we had created from the remains of an old freezer and a plank of wood. "You want to know what the map says? The map says we're f--"

      Perhaps I should explain.

      My name is Dilworth K. Smith. I work as a clerk in a comic book shop. Well, technically I think I'm an assistant manager or some such nonsense, but why quantify it? It's not like I work there for the prestige or some kind of long-term career goal, in fact I'm just there for the free comics.
      The guy I'm currently yelling at and am, as usual, completely exasperated with is my coworker, the inimitable (and who would want to?) Jersey Jones. I'm positive Jersey isn't his real name, but he's never given me another and that's the one listed on his time sheet. When he's not busy stocking comics, Jersey likes to spend his time as an amateur adventurer. Typically, this means that random strangers send him maps and he goes looking for some inane treasure that no one has ever heard of. Somehow, he tricked me into being his sidekick.
      Not that I'm exactly opposed to going off on some random adventure every now and again, but following Jersey is a sure way to an early grave. Take our current situation: trapped in some kind of underground structure with no way out and what smells like gas filling the room. I really need a spliff to calm myself, but I'm too shit scared that the smallest spark in here will blow us to hell.
      And frankly, I'm not ready to go just yet.
      This is not the first time I've found myself in a seemingly hopeless situation with Jersey, and if we do somehow manage to survive I'm sure it won't be the last. In fact, it seems like we find ourselves in these situations almost once a week.  I swear I'm living a bad television show. It's the Amazing Mis-Adventures of Jersey Jones! I mean, the man's even got himself an arch-nemesis. Seriously? Who do you know in the real world that has his very own villain? Jersey does.
      The villain in this case is a man named O'Halaran. As with Jersey, I'm sure he has a first name, but I have no earthly idea what it is and I've never really bothered to ask. We only seem to ever see the guy when he wants something that Jersey has found, or when he just gets it in his head to kill us. Which, again, seems to be about once a week.
      From somewhere in the room, a speaker from the 1950s comes to life, I wince at the sound of feedback filling the room.
      "Ah, Mr. Jones. We find ourselves back in that old game of cat and mouse."
      That would be O'Halaran. of course it is, who else would lock us in this Adam West cliche of a deathtrap? Ooh, no. Bad analogy. That makes me Robin and there's no way I'm wearing that girly thing Burt Ward used to wear. Nor will I quip. I simply refuse to quip. I'm not gonna come with the "Holy Gasworks, Jersey!" bull-pucky that sidekicks are known for. That's just not me.
       O'Halaran's been talking this whole time, saying who knows what; something about Jersey being the mouse to O'Halaran's cat... I swear I think this guy has a crush on Jersey or something. Half the time I don't know if he wants to kill him or kiss him. I mean, this guy surrounds himself with beautiful, deadly ninja women and he's constantly obsessed with Jersey Jones, a guy who thinks he's the nephew of imminent archaeologist Indiana Jones and has the worst Peter Pan syndrome I've ever seen. And this is coming from a guy who still plays with action figures and a lightsaber.
      What could this guy possibly want this time? We haven't even found anything! We were right in the middle of our "adventure" when Jersey got us locked in this stupid room by having me follow the fake map...
      "Oh. Of course! It's a trap. A trap, and we walked right into it.... just like we always do. It does amaze me that Jersey hasn't earned himself a Darwin award at this point. I swear he was the kid that jumped off his roof with an umbrella thinking he could fly. Admittedly, we all went up there and thought about it, but he's one of those rare few that followed through.
      While Jersey and O'Halaran keep flirting, I start looking for some way out of this mess. I should be home, reading a book. Or even out watching a movie, but no, instead I'm stuck in a basement with a wannabe adventurer while an idiot with far too much time and money on his hands waxes poetical through an old speaker box...
      As an idea and the theme from MacGuyver pop into my head, I decide to break in on O'Halaran's speech. "Hey, O'Halaran. Listen, you've got us in a really bad situation and we can appreciate that. How about you give us about five minutes of silence to say our goodbyes and make peace with our respective gods, and then you can blow us up and I can be forever in the warm embrace of His great noodely appendage. Sound good?" The speaker started to squawk back to life, which I'm sure would have lead to another very long, very dull speech from O'Halaran, so instead I interrupted saying, "Great! We'll talk to you in five then."
Jersey just gives me that questioning look he always gets when he isn't following along with the home-viewers and I ask him for his knife as he laments his well-thought quip that O'Halaran won't get to hear until the next time he has us in one of these overly-elaborate death traps. Supposing we survive this one, that is. "My knife," he replies, still not caught up.
      Not having time to explain, I grab for Jersey's ever-present satchel and start routing around for his knife. After digging through shark's teeth, bullet casings, a few indian arrow heads, a slinky, marbles, and what appears to be the head of a Barbie doll, I find his all-purpose Swiss Army knife and get to work. I find the wire leading to the old speaker box and fray the wire just enough to create a short circuit and, Flying Spaghetti Monster be willing, a spark that will ignite the gas.
      With a determination that would make Hannibal Smith proud I grabbed the old freezer and flipped it on its side. Then, before he had time to protest, I threw Jersey into it and jumped in beside him, pulling it as close to the load-bearing wall as I could.
      "Well," I said, "here's another fine mess. What's the time?"
      Just as Jersey went to check his watch, the crackle from the ancient speaker gave us the answer.



***

       The explosion was magnificent. We're lucky it didn't bring the whole building down around us. That room must have been a bomb shelter at some point. It took us a while to get out of the freezer, but once we did, I could see my half-baked plan worked. The door was completely gone. By that time, I'm sure O'Halaran was back in the comfort of his large mansion, already planning the next idiotic deathtrap for us. It was only a matter of time before we find ourselves in another basement with a bomb, or strapped to a table with a laser beam aimed at our privates, whatever action movie cliche O'Halaran thought was cool that week.
      What the hell, right? What's life without a little adventure?

       I know I normally let Ellington tell these stories, but this one felt like it should come from me. Besides, he'd probably never believe it.



For those of you unfamiliar with the Jersey Jones story, these were a series of short films put together back in 2006 and 2007. The first was an entry into the Final Cut Film Festival here in Wilmington. We decided to make an Indiana Jones parody. This was the result:



Soon after, we were contacted by Encore Magazine to create an opener for their "Best of Wilmington" awards ceremony. Several of the jokes were rehashed from the original, but we also added some new material and characters. Here is the final product, including our live entrance to open the Best of Wilmington that year:



I'm currently in the process of recutting both of these shorts into a multi-episode web series. I'll post more details here when they are released.

EDIT 1/25/11: So, forgot about that little copyright snafu on the videos. Apparently some people can't see them. My bad. Who knew Warner Music Group had any claim on a Paramount movie soundtrack? Anyway, the shorts are also located on Myspace (I know! Who knew it was still around) Here's the first:



Jersey Jones and the Treasure of Zeb

Media Blitzkrieg | Myspace Video


And here's the second:


Jersey Jones and the Quest for the Best of Mington

Media Blitzkrieg | Myspace Video


I promise this is the last time I update this post. Anything else and I'll just make a new one.

William the Bloody Never Gonna Hear The End Of This One Redd