Monthly Archives: October 2011

Distractions….


I’ve had a few. (Why is Frank Sinatra running through my head?)

Distractions, as a writer your life is filled with them from the time you take your first sip of caffeine, or whatever beverage you are prone to drink, until your head hits the pillow when you finally go to sleep. Sometimes, they don’t even stop then.

Case in point, for the past four or five years I was distracted by a silly MMORPG called WoW. I had to pull myself away from this thing to write, which is what I love. Now I am suffering from an acute case of WoW withdrawl . I’m sure with the right medication I will be fine.

Monday I began a new blog entry that was originally supposed to be a five to six-hundred word essay on the new Fall TV season. I started at work and typed away until either the phone rang or I had to take care of other people’s issues. By 5pm it was up to 1667 words. That was perfect; I hope I do that well in November during the National keyboard replacement month. (Or would that be December?) We have to pound out 1667 words a day. All I needed to do when I got home was a little research on the net and a few more paragraphs, then figure out where to break it up and I would be fine. The plan was to finish it the minute I got home. After all, the step son would be in his room playing a game, and since the dinner was the step daughter’s responsibility this evening I had faith that I would be able to sit on the couch with my laptop and finish it up. As I turn the corner onto our nice peaceful little cul-de-sac I see not just one car in the driveway – but three. One belongs to a friend of the boy, the other to one of the girl’s friends. J, the step son, is pretty quiet unless one of his games gets him too excited and he starts screaming at his team mates. He is also a little deaf due to the whole portable music thing so the TV is going to be loud. L, the daughter, on the other hand is very hyperacctive and so are most of her friends. This was one of them.

‘Okay,’ I say to myself, breathing deep enough to inhale all the air in my van, ‘I can do this.’

One set of kids (young adults?) sit in the family room, TV blaring, watching old TV shows. Part of the other pair sits splayed out on the couch trying to beat a PS3 game while L is making noise in the kitchen.

Courageously I sit on the couch with my laptop and open up my newest word document. I should have gone up to my office, not realizing that the whenever the little horribly drawn cartoonish character on the TV died she would scream, and L would laugh. This wasn’t working. As much as I tried, my eyes would not stay on my monitor, they kept going to the TV. My mind thought it was a lot more interesting than the white rectangle on my desktop covered with black markings.

Before I realized what time it was, dinner was ready and I had to surrender my laptop so I could ingest protein. Once dinner was done, it was time for Terra Nova. Even though I do record it for later viewing L insists on watching it when it is on. Between the two of them I might have heard one or two lines of dialogue. I have never understood why people yell at the TV, it wasn’t the TV’s fault that the football player dropped the ball or the hero made a stupid wrong turn.  We all know there is someone on the other side of that door that he is about to go tthrough.

Too late to start writing again once it is over, and we head to bed. My mind shuts off and the next thing I know, it is Tuesday morning and I have to be at work in a few hours. Tuesday‘s are not too bad, slow and quiet. If possible I may get something written done, but still the distractions occur. Work does take precedence even over my writing. I don’t know why – but it does.

I was looking forward to the afternoon though – the kids would be working until 2pm and I would be blessed with at least three hours of quiet when I got home.

Once I had Star Trek: TNG up and running, sitting comfortably in my office with my computer slowly coming to life – the dogs decided they wanted some attention or a visit outside. They settled for the visit outside and it didn’t take long for them to start barking at something. I surrendered to fate and spotted the tiny icon on my desktop, a bronze colored circle with a big gold “W” in the middle. My mouse was pulled to the dot – calling at me from afar – one right click and the screen blazed to life with the music and design of World of Warcraft – and a small webpage opened up saying “I’m sorry, your account is expired. Would you like to sign up again?”

That stopped me and I came to my senses and quickly closed it – opening up my word document again. But that wasn’t the end, my cell phone went off with a custom ringtone, music and then the voice of Billy Currington singing, “God is great, beer is good…and people are crazy.”

“Yes mom?” I calmly answered…

Three hours later I hung up the phone and now it is time for dinner, TV, and then bed. The day goes so quick!

Now it is Wednesday, I haven’t touched that blog entry since 4:30pm on Monday. But I did manage to type 1034 words in less than ten hours
while I worked had some spare time on my hands (between the distractions).

I’ll get through November, with the distractions and I’ll do it my way. Or someone else’s way –

(Oh a Bunny!!!)

Just the right time.


Just at a point where I needed a good laugh from a silly movie, Netflix came to my rescue this weekend. Luckily at a time my mom was driving me crazy and the looney bin seemed like a short walk away, help was a shorter walk to the mailbox. It was in the form a black comedy with George Segal and Ruth Gordon in the 1970 movie Where’s Poppa? (This was released in the theaters (Overseas?) as “Going Ape.” I like this title better.) For the past ten years, when ever my wife calls her dad she says, “Where’s Poppa?” Now I know where she got that.

Where's Poppa?George stars as Gordon Hocheiser, a down on his luck single lawyer living with his mom – Ruth Gordon. The first scene alone sets the pace for this little flick that my wife TOLD me I had to pay attention to. As always, I did as I was told – and was pleasantly surprised. (Her exact words were, “If you hadn’t met me, this is where you would be today.”)

Needless to say, old Gordon is not having a lot of fun with his mom living in the apartment with him; he even goes so far as fantasizing about her death /disappearance. With no help in sight – Gordon searches for a capable nurse to help take care of his forgetful mom. Instead, he ends up finding the love of his life in the form of the beautiful Louise Callen. Played by Trish Van Devere , (her movie debut) Louise is a recently divorced woman that was married for a whole thirty six hours. This starts moving once Momma scares off Louise and Gordon is forced to call his brother Sidney, played over the top by Ron Leibman.  Sidney got lucky early on and married a Gladys, played by Rae Allen. He seems to be a little henpecked but when Gordon calls and threatens to send Momma to a home – he comes running. Unfortunately he likes running though the park…a lot, even with his wife telling him not to.

The following is not an exact quote:

Gladys: You’re not going!

Sidney: But I have to, Gordon needs me. And if I don’t – she’s moving in here!

Gladys: (Pause) Okay, go – run as fast as you can! GO THROUGH THE PARK!

I think the tush scene (“I’d recognize that tush anywhere!”) is worth the eighty-two minute run time for this movie. Carl Reiner directed it so he threw his son Rob in a cameo which was fun, but luckily didn’t last too long. Paul Sorvino also had a small part for his first movie role.

Because of a scene that happens during Sidney’s second run through the park I am only leaving this with three stars – which is very generous.

During the lazy weekend we also watched a movie I can’t remember the title of, so it must only be a one star. It reminded me of “Cliffhanger” a little except the weather was nicer. We also began a triple feature of “The Transformers” (Robots in disguise) but ran out of time before we saw the latest one.

Sometime in the next week I will be throwing out my thoughts on this years Fall TV season – so far filled with nostalgic flops, flat remakes and dinosaurs, so please come back, and thanks for visiting.