Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 in hindsight / things I learned in 2007

2007 is over. Get over it. I mean, we always talk about how years seem to go by quicker and quicker, (and they totally do) but it doesn't really do anything to talk about this. I mean, get used to it. I don't think that time's going to suddenly slow down for us again . . .

Things I learned in 2007 -

  • Sometimes, there is no reason or rhyme to why teachers do the things they do.
  • People care a heck of a lot more than I ever thought they did.
  • The 4th Degree "racing stripe" looks just as cool as I thought it would.
  • It is completely within the realm of possibility for me to suck at predicting the Oscars.
  • Sometimes, the hardest thing in the world is making that phone call, much less getting everything you wanted to say out of your mouth.
  • Being a manager is LOTS better than being an ordinary staff member.
  • When sparring Wilbert Moore, blocking is not the best way to defend oneself. It's best to just get out of the way.
  • Jordan Slomovitz will never lose a sparring round at a tournament, at least until he arrives in the next division.
  • Being part of a wedding party is an incredible experience.
  • Some of the best conversations take place pacing around my living room after 10 o'clock. (and then having to stop and stay in a smaller area because my phone needs to be plugged in)
  • Radiohead is still the only band in the world that can completely engage your mind and soul at the same time.
  • Radiohead is almost incapable of making bad music.
  • Radiohead's "In Rainbows" is one of the year's greatest records.
  • I still love Radiohead.
  • People that don't "get" Bob Dylan are majorly missing out and should be pitied.
  • I can actually write decent material.
  • After knowing each other since high school, David and I make a great songwriting team. We just never knew it until last summer.
  • It is entirely possible for a summer movie season to look so good and then suck so bad. Good heavens, that was ghastly.
  • The Police are an amazing band.
  • The Foo Fighters are not.
  • I enjoy writing poetry. Really long-winded poetry.
  • Not drinking alcohol can provide for some really interesting situations and nicknames.
  • There is nothing between Los Angeles and Sacramento except for large trucks carrying tomatoes.
  • You don't have to know some people for a really long time to count them among your closest friends.
  • Nothing hurts more than having someone close to you die. And it never completely goes away.
  • Sometimes, there is no logical reason for why we don't like some people.
  • Sometimes, family life makes no sense whatsoever.
  • There are few things worse than someone who uses religious faith as a crutch and refuse to think for themselves.
  • White Castle hamburgers have their exalted reputation for a reason.
  • Dr. Perebinossoff is the MAN.
  • I despise pretentious talk, particularly pretentious religious talk.
  • Just because I may be really nervous about asking a question doesn't mean that the answer will be no.
  • Watching "The Godfather" with people who have never seen it is one of the BEST ways to experience the film. Oh, the looks of shock on their faces . . .
  • Sometimes, just sometimes, things work out the way you want them to, and life is sweetly, blissfully, wonderful.

Here's to a happy 2008 filled with joy and surprises.

Peace, Love, & Understanding,


Saturday, December 22, 2007

This is something you would probably never guess about me, but . . .

. . . I feel really awkward in social situations. I think I just try too hard. I mean, sometimes, I know I should just shut up and sit there, but I can't seem to help talking/spouting off. Then, I tend to screw up doing simple things, which makes me feel really dumb. I know that this probably comes as a shock to many of you, since I seem to be a VERY social creature. But, so many times, I come away feeling like a failure, and like no one really likes me. I know that this is lame, and not really true. (at least, I certainly hope not. Those of you with a penchant for making biting remarks toward me, please restrain yourselves. :-) But, at the same time, that's just how I feel. I really don't want it to continue. I'm not saying that I want to turn into a cocky person who has a too high an opinion of himself, but this really low self-esteem is just not healthy.

How do you think I can make it better? Any words of wisdom?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Martha, my dear, though I spend my days in conversation, please remember me . . .

I haven't posted in a while. So, how are you? Things been going well?

School's finally out. As you can imagine, this has made me quite happy. It felt like a REALLY long semester. Now, for the most part, it was a pretty good experience. But, as is often the case, there were a few different things that tended to make it a bit more difficult than it needed to be.

One of my teachers was a strange cross between a rather nice person and a complete jerk. I would have preferred that she had chosen one or the other, personally. Another one of my teachers was all right, for the most part, until the final exam. See, we turned in this paper before Thanksgiving, and we didn't get it back until the day of the final exam. On top of that, after writing no negative comments in the paper, he proceeds to give me a B. Now, if I deserved a B, fine, but at least tell me why, for heaven's sake. Personally, I don't think that I deserved a B. I know that I'm hardly objective here, but I followed the directions and wrote a pretty good paper.

In my production class, my teacher was awesome, except when it came to grading. She tends to be a bit too harsh, although this is offset by the fact that she's one of the coolest people I know. I got the chance to shoot a 4 minute "drama" live in-studio. Based on our strengths/preferences, my partner (for the assignment) and I made a deal: I wrote the thing, and he designed all of the shots. So, we ended up with a little comedy sketch set in an Italian restaurant. I had never tried my hand at writing comedy before, but I think it ended up pretty good. (again, I'm hardly objective here) It was pretty awesome knowing that we were taking something that I had written and actually shooting it. Unfortunately, while we got a pretty good score, I felt that we deserved better. Our talent (that's geekspeak for "actors") was awesome, and I thought that my partner and I did a really good job directing the piece. My partner was awesome too. You know those times when you get assigned to be a partner with someone that doesn't pull their weight? This was absolutely nothing like that. We worked together great and both shared the weight equally. Although we both kind of got stuck with each other originally, as everyone else already had a partner, I couldn't have asked for a better one. Oh, I almost forgot to tell you something else. I actually acted in another team's drama. It was a LOT of fun! Now, I hadn't acted since middle school, but this was great. It was a "dramatic" piece that my co-star and I were instructed to play like a soap opera. As you can imagine, the results were hilarious. Let's just say that that piece will probably be shown to a select audience. . .

But, despite all of that, the crown jewel of the semester was my Screenwriting class. In this class, I actually wrote a full-length screenplay. It's 91 pages, and it's called In Search of Puccini. By this, I mean the following: I wrote a blinkin' movie! What's more, I got an A on the sucker, which, as I'm sure you can imagine, made me very happy. My teacher was the man! I've had him for 5 classes now, and, to be honest, I wasn't sure how he would teach this class, considering the fact that it didn't seem to play to his background and strengths. But, in the end, I thought that he did an awesome job. At school, we have an awards banquet at the end of the year put on by the TV Film Society (which is the club for our major). I'm going to enter my screenplay in the writing category. We'll see how that goes. I already know what I want to write next. I'm hoping to get started during the break . . .

Now, I have a question for you. I tend to be somewhat random in terms of what I post here. Sometimes, it's poetry, other times, it's a rant based on something that's bugging me, other times, it's an update on my life, or a movie review, or the link to a video . . . et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Is there anything in particular that you'd like to see on Visions of Johanna? Is there something that you particularly liked that I posted previously? Maybe there's something in particular that you'd like me to comment on? I don't know. What I'm trying to say is this: if there's something you'd like to see here, let me know, and I'll try to accomodate.

Peace, Love, and Understanding,

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Response to a Response

Walking in circles is an uncertain occupation
It tends to leave either sorrow or a certain adulation.

But if you ask me . . .

It's best when done with not one but two
I'd be glad to walk in circles anytime with you.

-Adam G.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Small minds

I am upset. What's worse is that I'm not entirely sure how I should best formulate this in order to help you understand exactly why. Well, I should start somewhere, so here goes.

I am so tired of small-minded people. For the most part, I refer to small-minded religious people. I think you know of whom I refer to. Currently, these people are up in arms over a film called The Golden Compass. These people, I think, are the same people who started campaigns against the Harry Potter books/films and The Da Vinci Code. What bothers me is not necessarily that these people have the opinion that they do. What bothers me is that they refuse to listen to other opinions that differ from their own.

OK, Let's review some of the facts. 1. Phillip Pullman is an atheist. Big deal. Is there some kind of a rule that states that people of religious faith have a monopoly on having their voices heard? Is there a rule that states that atheists are incapable of creating meaningful art? 2. Pullman, apparently, wasn't too big of a fan of The Chronicles of Narnia. Who cares? Personally, I think that they do tend to be venerated a bit much. This isn't to say that I didn't like them. On the contrary, I quite enjoyed them. I'm just not sure that they're as good as some people think. (just my humble opinion) 3. He wrote the His Dark Materials trilogy as a response to Lewis' books. I think that it's actually kind of cool that someone would create an entirely new series as a response to an existing one.

Now, tonight, my brother mentioned the film and a few of the people that we were with went off on how it supposedly preaches atheism. Perhaps these people ought to do their reading. If they had, they would have learned that, ever since the film was first adapted for the screen, (the current screenplay is actually the second version that's been written) the "anti-religious" aspects of Pullman's novel have, apparently, been dialed down to focus more on the heroine, Lyra, and her journey. Besides, as an intelligent moviegoer, (and a total film geek) I think that I have the mental capacity to differentiate between what is real and what is just a story. I don't watch a Star Wars film and then try to make a flying leap to cross the street because I saw it in one of the movies.

Furthermore, what about the notion of the questioning of organized religion? Why is this a bad thing? In addition to that, I think that art that makes people think about what they believe is a positive thing. If you don't know why you believe what you do, isn't that really a very shallow place to be in? What does that really say about you?

Now, I've seen the trailer for The Golden Compass and it looks interesting. A friend and I have talked about going to see it with some other people. Now, with all of this hoopla over it, I only want to see it more. I think, in some way, I don't want to let these small-minded people win. Maybe that's childish of me to be so rebelliously idealistic. But, maybe, just maybe, I might be right.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


Sometimes I
Sometimes you
Sometimes we
Sometimes I want to know why I don't like people that I should
Sometimes I wonder why I like people that I shouldn't
Sometimes I wonder if things that I've been taught are just stories
Sometimes I think that they're not
Sometimes I realize how fast I'm actually driving on the freeway
Sometimes I don't
Sometimes I'm sad when I should be happy
Sometimes I'm ok when I should be sad
Sometimes I just want to know what's going through her mind
Sometimes I think that I am the only one left who is sane in this world
Sometimes I think that I am the only one who is confused
Sometimes I am entirely too trusting
Sometimes I am entirely too cynical
Sometimes I want to know what he's thinking
Sometimes I want to know why they're acting that way
Sometimes I think that no one understands
Sometimes I am glad to see that some people do
Sometimes I think that no one cares
Sometimes I'm amazed at how much some people do
Sometimes I wish that I understood what was going to happen
Sometimes I'm glad I don't
Sometimes I am glad to be who I am
Sometimes I think that I'm not anyone special
Sometimes I talk too much
Sometimes I wish that I understood anything at all
Sometimes I think that there is a grand purpose to everything hiding just out of view
Sometimes I think that that's a dumb idea

Most times I move along, trying desparately to get somewhere, anywhere
Doing something, anything

Sometimes I write long-winded, semi-pretentious things to put out into the void

Well, just


. .

. . .