Tuesday, October 30, 2007


When I mention my writing at work, the most common assumption is that I am working on a comedy, because I crack wise a lot. So, when they find out it is a spy thing or a vampire thing, they are surprised.

Honestly, the spy thing surprised me too, but vampires make sense because while not really an obsession, the have figured in my dreams a lot, and that is where I get a lot of my ideas. This is also completely logical, because my worst fears fit in nicely with vampires.

It started with a mild phobia of being bitten that I had growing up. I was not scared of animals in general, but any time it looked like a dog was going to bite, or any animal, or even my younger sisters (it’s been a long time, but they did fight dirty back in the day), I would go into this irrational panic. It wasn’t debilitating, but it bugged me. I never mentioned it to anyone until I was in I think my junior year of high school, when I admitted it to my mother. She immediately wondered aloud whether it was because of Prince.

Prince was a dog that my family had when I was born. When I was brought home from the hospital, and laid down for a moment, he tried to eat me. No real damage was done, though we no longer had a dog after that. I had always known about the incident, but I had never made the connection. Suddenly, it made sense. I don’t really know that this was the origin, but it was logical. Probably all I saw was teeth, which could account for the fear being of bites and not dogs. In a development that would make Freud proud, that was the end of my phobia. Understanding it ended it. But the nightmares had already happened.

The first was the worst nightmare I have ever had. I was six, and I was scared of the dark. Well, I did not want to be moving around in my room in the dark. I shared a room with my older sister, and we had agreed to alternate turning off the lights at bedtime, but I would often try to get out of it on my nights by pretending to already be asleep. I had outsmarted myself this time because I went to bed without my teddy bear, Karen, and once the light was off I could not go and get her. (I was six, okay. It only gets worse if we get into Karen’s origins.)

So though I was not completely comfortable, I did fall asleep, and I dreamed that I was in the gym at school, with my sister and all the neighborhood kids, and a bunch of others, and a vampire burst in. In a move that I know came from watching Scooby Doo, I jumped into my sister’s arms. She dropped me and ran away, leaving me to face the vampire alone. (I know it was a dream, but she totally would have done that in real life too.)

This woke me up, or so I thought. I was in my bed in our dark bedroom, but the vampire was looming over me still. I screamed and dove under the covers, waiting for parental aid. No one came. I asked my mother about that the next morning. She had heard something, but she thought it was my younger sisters so she checked on them, didn’t find anything, and went back to bed. Scarred for life, I tell ya’.

Anyway, I suppose there were other thoughts and dreams, but the main notable one happened in ninth grade. I was with my family and we were driving along this mountain road near sunset and had some car trouble. Someone stopped and talked to us, and my instincts told me he was a vampire. To check, I tried looking at him using the car mirror, but I saw his reflection just fine, so okay. We went on to town, but suddenly things started getting weird and everyone was under the mind control of this guy, who was in fact a vampire, and there were burning red fingerprints where he had grabbed my arm.

This was not a wake-up screaming nightmare. I’m not sure if I have had any of those since I was six. It was just an eerie feeling all day type of nightmare, mainly because it was bugging me that I saw his reflection. Then I had my super-smart breakthrough.

The reason vampires are not supposed to have reflections is that they don’t have a soul, and the reflection was tied in with the soul. That is not how reflections work; it’s a light refraction thing. But this is not about physics.

Anyway, I toyed with this a lot, and started working on a story—not with much dedication, but it was kind of always there. It took a different shape when I was in college, and then I realized that it was kind of trite. That wasn’t good, so I made a library trip and checked out some books and read a whole slew of vampire stories. I dreamt that night, and while my dream was inspired by the stories, it was still my own thing and it fixed the story and made it much more interesting.

Other changes and adaptations have taken place. I think I pretty much have it down now. That was actually the first screenplay that I started, but I have not finished it, and if I am focusing on things to sell, I am not sure I want to hand that one off. It would be really easy to make it lurid and cheapen it, and at this point I don’t really trust anyone else with it. I mean, I have been working on it for twenty years now, in a manner of speaking. And honestly, it has changed a lot. Nothing is really left of the dream, though those images may pop up somewhere else, but the reflection thing is still important, and the story that has taken its place is more mature and intriguing.

I do have one other vampiric fear, and that is an aversion to people who suck the life out of you. Going by the nine personality type model as put forth by Daphne Rose Kingma, I am a people pleaser. I want to make people happy, and do things for them. There is another type, called the attention seeker, that really want your attention and focus and maybe praise but sometimes they will take insults just don’t ignore me. I have gotten drawn in with these people, and what happens is that you try and try to fill the hole, but you can’t. They always want more, and will suck you bone dry and then continue sucking because that is what they do. They suck. Metaphorically.

Over time I have developed an aversion to them, when I can’t barely manage to be nice because I am too busy plotting my escape route. Perhaps it is wrong of me, but all I can say is “You shall not feast on me!” (Scrubs reference.)

So vampires are always a theme for me. The twenty-year project is actually a trilogy with a spin-off television series, one of my completed short stories is vampirish, though not exactly, and there are lots of things I have never put to paper (or hard drive) but I have still thought. And there are things I prefer about them to other monsters. Zombies are just gross, but vampires leave a good-looking corpse and usually you don’t turn at once so you have a chance to fight it. I like that better than the whole werewolf one bite and you are eternally cursed thing.

I just remembered one other vampire dream. Based on who was in it, I must have already been in college, so I was already after the bite phobia. Vampires were taking over (as they do) and some of us who were out at night had scattered to hide. One guy was missing when we got back together, and when he came back I was so relieved that I gave him a hug, but it wasn’t enough, so I hugged him again harder and kissed him.

Of course, he wasn’t my boyfriend, who got mad, and was probably going to end up cooperating with the vampires, but forget that part. Just go hug someone you are glad to see, whether or not they have recently escaped from vampires.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Bleeding heart Spork

I worked eleven hours today and I am still not caught up. I am less behind, so that is something. Anyway, some of the ecstasy of finishing the first draft has been worn off, but then it comes back to me. Still, I am feeling a little more serious now, so it seemed natural to turn to politics.

I voted last week, the same day the ballot came. It was just such a beautiful thing to only have two measures, and I already knew what they were about and what I was going to do and I could just go for it. With regard to signature gatherers, I know a lot of people feel like why not sign? Just put it before the people and let them decide. I disagree.

It is not merely that people are often stupid, greedy, and shortsighted (though when you work in customer service, the stupid part keeps coming back to haunt you). I understand that human frailty is just a part of democracy. However, when you have twenty-eight ballot measures plus candidates, it is really hard to put in enough time to understand each issue and make good decisions. If the issue on the petition looks at all evil, stupid, or unnecessary, I don’t sign, and I feel good about that.

For this election we have two distinct ballot measures with strong opinions on either side, and I like the clarity. No one should be terribly surprised that I voted yes on both, but I will go over my reasons.

I think of Measure 49 as an attempt to establish some middle ground between the extremes of Measure 37. Granted, the people who wanted 37 passed are for the most part disagreeing that 49 will help them at all, but I believe that it can. First off, one thing that 37 did not take into account was that allowing one person to develop the full value of their land could reduce the value of their neighbor’s land, leading to an endless cycle of law suits. That would not be good.

Secondly, the opponents are being pretty disingenuous. There are elderly couples saying they will lose everything if 49 passes. No, you will still have your land, and I bet you can still sell it for significantly more than you paid forty years ago. There is no inherent right to become wealthy from land sales. For the ones saying that yes, they filed to build 115 homes, but they are only going to build 3, rii-iiiight. Okay, you are not lying, you were just advised to file for the maximum amount. That makes me feel so much better.

We have some amazing land in the Willamette Valley—fertile and beautiful. Once you pave it over, you can’t get that back. As oil prices continue to rise, increasing the cost of transporting everything, we are going to be increasingly grateful that we have agriculture nearby. As for the concerns about water supply, that is only going to become more of a concern in the future. This is something worth protecting.

For Measure 50, okay, I know the stereotype that a liberal never meets a tax that he doesn’t like, and that it is totally cliché to hate the tobacco industries just because they make a product that is addictive and fatal, and they market it to kids and teenagers because hey, very few people make it to adulthood without smoking and suddenly decide to start so you need to get them young, and that’s not evil—that’s just capitalism.

That being said, I think there are some very good points in favor of 50, not the least of which is that it will act as a deterrent to youth smoking because one of the things that really has an impact (and that you can control) is cost. I guess it was a cute idea to have the tobacco industry fund anti-smoking ads for youth, but oddly enough, their ads make me want to smoke (perhaps their heart wasn’t really in it), so we will have to look for other deterrents.

The arguments against it are that it is writing a tax into the constitution, and that it is not fair or sensible to put the cost of children’s health care on smokers. Well, I would totally have been for the expansion of SCHIP, or probably even for socialized health care (that’s a more complicated topic), but this is what we have to work with, and it still makes sense. Smoking has a deleterious effect on the health of the general population, so putting the tax here provides some recompense. If the extra expense encourages some people to quit smoking—great, there won’t need to be as much health funding. It isn’t just the smokers. There is second-hand smoke too.

For the constitution part, okay, the Oregon constitution is not quite the sacred document that the United States Constitution is, nor should it be. Not only is there a long history of putting various things in there, it is absolutely necessary now. Our gutless state legislature won’t do it. The Oregonian charted it all out a while back that you can’t even get your issue on the main floor for a vote if you are not a political contributor. They ought to raise some of the alcohol taxes too, actually, because they are ridiculously low, and alcohol will see tobacco’s health problems and raise it traffic problems and domestic problems. But you know what industries donate a lot of political money? The Oregon initiative process isn’t perfect, but it is necessary, especially now.

Anyway, that’s how I voted and why. Now I have six minutes left to post and still have it count as today. See you tomorrow.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Progress at last!

Jubilation! Ecstasy! Delight! I finished the first draft of my first screenplay about 1:30 this morning.

Granted, there is a lot more work to be done, between revising it and writing other scripts and getting into the whole business of selling, but it still feels pretty good. It is too short, but I think by the time I go through and format it correctly, and do rewrites where things get added and clarified, it will end up being okay.

So yes, I feel good, but I do need to take a break from this project so when I go back for edits I can see it with clear eyes. One thing that was happening while I was in the middle (and actually, for a long time) is that I would frequently think about blogging on various topics, and then simply not get to it. My plan is to blog every day this week, and catch up on at least some of those ideas. Really, it would take quite a while to catch up on the whole once a week goal that I had in mind when I started this, but daily for one week should be possible—except for the way my work life is falling apart.

Anyway, since we have already talked about the writing, and about how stoked I am, I thought for today I would just talk about that more. The first question you may have is how do I know it is too short? Well, it is only sixty-five pages. Formatting fixes could probably add another five to ten pages. Honestly, it was only sixty pages, but then I read that you are supposed to use Courier New, 12 point, and I was in 10 point Times New Roman, so just changing that added five pages.

The reason this is important is because one page translates to roughly one minute of screen time. The standard had been 120 pages for a while, for two-hour movies. There had been some tendency more recently to have really long bloated scripts, and that may be rebounding back into some shorter movies.

Content is also a factor. For example, of the eighteen films currently showing at Movies on TV, most of the dramas and action films are closer to two hours and most of the comedies and kids films are closer to an hour and a half. There are exceptions. Game Plan (a comedy involving a kid) is almost two hours, and Resident Evil: Extinction is closer to ninety minutes.

It does have to work within the context of the film, but since my script is a spy flick, it should probably be closer to two hours. Also, since I am completely new and inexperienced, I should probably not deviate too far from the norm, lest it become more obvious that I don’t know what I’m doing. Maybe I should lengthen the car chase.

In terms of marketing itself, this should be the tricky part. Once upon a time screenplay submission was very similar to any kind of manuscript submission, but due to lawsuits nowadays you can pretty much only submit scripts through agents or entertainment lawyers. Before, it was hard to get an agent to look at you until you had sold something. Well, it probably still is hard, but now it is necessary. I think the entertainment lawyer is for people who are already in the business and know they want to work together.

Knowing somebody can help a lot. I don’t know anybody—at least I am not currently in touch with anybody that would be helpful. The best contact would probably be Ko. Ko taught three of the four workshops I took a few years back, and he has worked in the industry a lot. As you may have guessed, Ko is a nickname. I believe it is short for Kevin O’Neil, but it isn’t really enough information to track him down.

There are possibilities within the area itself. Dark Horse just produced a film, and I could always try stalking Danny Glover. Really, filming happens fairly regularly in the area, so there could always be opportunities there for finding contacts.

Several months ago I did review all of my brushes with famous people, but the only one of those who was even into entertainment was Kelly Packard, and our contact was fleeting enough and long enough ago that I wouldn’t feel right. Then there’s that other guy that I have loved hopelessly and endlessly since 1992, and then confessed my love to and didn’t hear anything back—he used to work in film. Still, I think it would be awkward. And hey, I know some people who know Henry Rollins. He acts sometimes, but they are not currently in touch with him.

Ultimately, the most practical thing might be to sign up for a screenwriting class, and make contacts that way, and that might be something that I would look into for January. For right now, I really feel like the most important thing is to keep writing. I still have a lot to work on in terms of establishing discipline and routines and consistently taking time to write. What I accomplish in terms of habits over the next two months could easily make the difference for the rest of my life. Once I really am on target with my writing, I feel like the next step will become clear.

That is one thing about me, in that I always like to have a complete plan from start to finish. It pretty much never works out that way. If nothing else, I am getting more comfortable about not having that plan.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Our hearts did not even try to stay in San Francisco

Actually, it’s kind of a relief. There are so many places that I want to go to, but have never been, and I kept going to places where I also wanted to go back, so I felt like I was getting into a real travel deficit. It is reassuring to know that there are some places where I can go and just be done.

San Francisco was not horrible, but it wasn’t charming enough to make me forget its shortcomings. Fortunately I am gifted at having a good time wherever I go, so I am not bad, and I don’t feel like the trip was wasted, I just can’t recommend how great it is.

We did start out with a few bad omens. The ground transportation layout is confusing, and we could not find the shuttle we wanted, so we just ended up taking a cab. No one so far has been as good as Super Shuttle in Anaheim, but my only basis for comparison there is San Francisco and Toronto.

Our cab driver was good, and the travel time between the airport and hotel was quite speedy both ways. However, we passed them cleaning up an apparent murder scene four blocks from our hotel (and we were in a good part of town!) and then there was a problem with our reservation when the stay ended up costing about twice what we had planned. The guy at the desk was really a jerk too. There was some temptation to just walk out on them, but it was 9:30 at night in a city we didn’t know and we were tired. Also, in that exchange we found out what the standard prices were for that hotel, and when we got to the room we could see that it those prices were ridiculous. Yes, the TV was a flat-screen, but that isn’t enough.

Our room was on the 29th floor, and the night view outside was pretty. The next disappointment was when morning came, and the day view was not pretty. I care a lot about architecture, and design, and I could see that there was planning and artistry in the buildings, and yet somehow I did not like them. Everything struck me as kind of dingy—downright tacky in some areas. I wasn’t expecting that. I mean, that’s the way I describe Springfield, but they have an excuse for it. (That is Springfield, Oregon, and their excuse would be post-timber economic depression.)

Anyway, I researched to find information on McDonalds (for cheap breakfast) and transportation routes to everywhere we were going to go, so the plan was to have breakfast and then on to the zoo. That did essentially work out. Breakfast was a little more expensive than it would be in Aloha, but still better than trying to eat at the hotel. My information on the transportation worked perfectly, so that we always knew where to go, but there were some downsides to the transportation situation.

People praise BART and MUNI quite a bit, and they are correct to a point, in that there is transportation to anywhere you want to go, it is reasonably priced, and it comes frequently. It is also very crowded, not particularly friendly, and you have to give them exact change in coins. Okay, some people do complain about not being about to get change on Tri-met, but they do take bills, and if you are a little short the driver will usually let you on anyway. Every time we wanted to go somewhere, we had to come up with $4.50 in quarters. I had decided at home that the passes cost more than made sense for the amount of riding we would do, but some of it is probably a convenience fee. Even if we take Portland out of the equation as a smaller city, I am more impressed with DC, and Seattle too if I remember correctly.

The Zoo was fine. The price was not unreasonable, the exhibits seemed good both in terms of animal comfort and visibility, and there was a good variety of animals. It is sad that the creatures of Australia, with its scorching days, are primarily nocturnal, so that the kangaroos just lounge around and the koalas sleep like grey fuzz balls in a tree, but it is still cool that they are there. The penguin exhibit was very impressive—open air and fun to watch. That is a huge improvement over Washington Park.

We spent most of the day there, heading back for dinner and to change before going to the museum. Dinner was at the Boudin Bakery Café on Market, and it was really good. I had the Bavarian Ham and Swiss sandwich, and I recommend it. It ended up being very lucky that we ate, but it put us later than intended, so even though I had a bus route planned to the De Young Museum, we ended up grabbing a cab again.

This cab driver was not good. He had never heard of it, so I gave him the address and then he drove past it. The museum is on Tea Garden Drive, so he tried to take us to the Tea Garden. Cab drivers should be familiar with tourist attractions.

The museum fit in perfectly with the city, in that there was attention paid to the design, and yet I did not like it. The tower is a cool concept, but it’s also a bit of an eyesore. I did get some good pictures from the top, though, and I did really like the way they lit the grounds. The art itself was lackluster, and live music every Friday is only cool if it is good music. Being driven outdoors to escape the caterwauling is not ideal, but hey, it’s also the reason that I know the outside lighting was cool. Also, the cafeteria was hopelessly overpriced and high brow.

We then took our night trolley tour of the city. The trolleys were cool, and it was a good way to see things. There were other problems with the ride, but the will have to wait. Golden Gate State Park is lovely, especially the Fine Arts Pavilion. The Citadel is not very scenic, but it’s cool to know that Lucasfilm is there. The Golden Gate Bridge is also pretty cool, but honestly I think the Bay Bridge is prettier. Our driver was very good, and returned several of us to our hotels.

Saturday morning we started off the same way, except that this time instead of going from McDonalds underground to catch a train, we stayed above ground and caught a street car going to the wharf. We needed to be ready to board our boat to Alcatraz at 6 PM at Pier 33, so we thought we would start out around Pier 47 (and Ghirardelli Square) and work our way back.

My expectations about Ghirardelli Square come from a drama piece my friend Danielle did in tenth grade, where we had to go into a memory invoking all five senses. She chose a visit she had made with her family there, but the memory was from her childhood, and tenth grade isn’t exactly recent, so you know what? There is no chocolate factory, and no chocolate smell in the air, not that many flowers, and so the only thing that really seemed right was the sight of the red bricks. There were two chocolate stores, one attached to an ice cream parlor where you could get the famous sundaes, and the rest was other dining and specialty shopping. We looked around, and we did buy some chocolate, but we weren’t impressed. We did not even end up getting the sundaes, as they looked overrated. We did eat lunch at a diner there, which was pretty good but too filling to leave room for sweets.

Onward to Pier 39, I could definitely have a strong sensory memory here. I heard the cry of seagulls, felt the slick pier under my feet (through my shoes), saw the throngs of people among the brightly colored buildings, and smelled fish. Everywhere. I know, you should expect to be surrounded by seafood restaurants on a pier, it’s logical. Still, it stinks.

We started out at the aquarium. It is pretty small, but not bad. The focus seems to be more ecological in nature than wowing you with variety, so most of the displays are native fish. There are really only four exhibits. You start upstairs with random tanks, take an elevator down below for the two tunnels, and when you go back up there are touch pools and the gift shop. They do seem to have some good family oriented programs.

My sisters were not interested in the touch pools, and I had already touched skates and dogfish at Huntington Beach (along with other things this one did not have), so our main interest was the tunnels. The first one represents what you would find in the bay, and the second is the deeper ocean you would find as you moved outside of the bay.

There is a certain wonder to being under water, and in the tunnels you do not need a mask or air or anything like that, so they were really cool, but you wouldn’t go to San Francisco just for the aquarium, because there are fancier ones elsewhere. We enjoyed it, and I had a coupon, so that was good.

We wandered by the shops and carousel, but were not really interested. We did like the sea lions, but you really just watch them for a few minutes and then you’re done. Maybe it was just too crowded. We sat on various secluded benches until it was time for dinner, and then went to the Boudin café for dinner. This time we had the chowder in bread bowls. It’s famous, so you need to have it.

Now, one thing that I did get from San Francisco is a greater appreciation of Disney’s California Adventure, because they copy parts of it and they do a pretty good job. They have a replica of the Fine Arts Pavilion at the entrance to Golden Dreams, and they have a wharf area, and they really captured the look. But their chowder was better. The bread bowl was fine, but the chowder was a little on the runny side, and fishier in flavor. Mo’s has much better chowder, and Steamer’s in Seattle is okay, but Boudin’s was not great. Now, there are lots of other places in San Francisco that sell chowder, so I am not saying you cannot get good chowder there, but I think I am going to need to make some of my own in a week or so to compensate.

The Alcatraz tour was awesome. You get to ride on a boat twice, which is always cool with me, but on its own the night tour is really cool. You get useful information on the boat, and during the audio tour, and from guides. Be warned, from the pier to the prison you walk up the equivalent of four uphill city blocks, and then the first thing you do in the prison is head up a flight of stairs, but its worth it. (There is a tram for the physically impaired, but we had too much pride to fake it.) I did go in one solitary confinement cell, but I didn’t go all the way in or stay long. It doesn’t feel good. Just because it should be impossible for the door to suddenly slam shut on you, well, it doesn’t matter. I could not do the time, so I will simply need to continue my crime-free lifestyle.

Because it was night, after we got back we very much needed a taxi, but there were two other groups before us, and the one cab that came by we all let the woman with the walker take. Eventually the other couple gave up and started walking towards 39, and shortly after we did too. We finally did find one on the way, who had to make a very tricky maneuver to get to us, and with all the stress and desire for speed I hit my face on the door getting in. No visible marks but I was sore for a few days.

One thing that was nice about Pier 33 is that there were recycle bins. We are fanatical about that, and will take things home rather than throw them out, so we decided to take our bottles there since we needed to go to that area anyway. We got on the street car, getting off at 33 and dropping off bottles. We then walked to the Boudin flagship store to buy fresh bread for the person who would be picking us up at the airport that night. (The other Boudin locations have the bread delivered in the morning, but at the store it is being baked every hour.) We got on the car again, and this time took it up to Ghirardelli again because that was the turnaround point to get back into town, and we could try the fancy cupcakes at Kara’s.

They were okay, but we were expecting something more special. The place was set up like a jewelry store, so shouldn’t the cupcakes be little gems? Or maybe a place where you buy baked goods should look like a bakery. I did get an idea there for a combination I want to try, but those were not three dollar cupcakes in value, regardless of the attached price. Do you see a trend?

Anyway, back in town we walked to House of Nanking, a restaurant in Chinatown that an acquaintance had recommended. We tried the famous sesame chicken and had pot stickers on the side. It was good, but I think I prefer Jin Wah right in Beaverton. We could have wondered in Chinatown more, we could have gone to the Levi flagship store, or we could have gone to the corner of Haight and Ashbury and taken a picture of the sign, but we didn’t feel a need. We were done with the city. We did have a good trip to the airport, a good dinner at the Boudin café there, and a good flight, but it was mainly good to be home.

To sum up, the zoo and the aquarium were good, Alcatraz was great, and I had an excellent sandwich that first night (none of the other Boudins had that one on the menu for some reason), but the city wasn’t that pretty or that fun. The sidewalks are wider than I have ever seen, but they are still so crowded and no one there cares about you. Maybe I am not really a city girl. A lot of people compared San Francisco to New York, and that may be accurate. I would compare it to the Pearl—the snootiest part of Portland. Also, although it was not a problem on this trip, I think if I was there for a prolonged period the large percentage of bachelors who are simply not eligible would get annoying. That being said, the straight men seem to be a lot more demonstrative with their women. Maybe they feel like they have something to prove.

Monday, October 01, 2007

From the news

As I try and become a real (paid) writer, it is clear I will need to give other things up, at least temporarily. The biggest candidate is internet browsing. This hurts, because I truly love the World Wide Web, but it is a matter of priorities. The iffier candidate is the daily newspaper. It doesn’t take up as much time as the internet, but it still may be time wasted.

Anyway, before I decide to jettison the daily Oregonian for the next five months, I am going to ruminate on a few things I have been noticing from the papers.

First off, although I gave up following the Blazers years ago (getting rid of Whitsitt wasn’t enough—I think I need Allen gone too), I do still occasionally catch something, and it is hard not to look at Greg Oden and think back to 1984 and the oft-injured Sam Bowie. Now generally what people remember is that we could have had Michael Jordan, and that it was a stupid choice. This is not necessarily true, but I am not going to get into that. There is an excellent article from Jon Scott on the subject at http://www.bigbluehistory.net/bb/bowie.html and I don’t need to add anything to that.

There are two intriguing points to be made here though. One is that there is no reason that Oden can’t go on to have a perfectly respectable career. Bowie certainly did, even if it wasn’t stellar. So far, there’s no reason to think he is the next Brian Bosworth (I know, wrong sport).

Otherwise, it really intrigues one about the future career prospects of this year’s number three pick, Al Horford. Could he be the next basketball phenomenon that makes us rethink how the game is played? Probably not, but I would still keep an eye on him.

The other thing that caught my eye was an article yesterday when they were going over the iPod playlists of different movers and shakers, and they had this quote from Governor Ted Kulongoski regarding his Rolling Stones selections:

“I have always been jealous of Mick Jagger, as he is not that good looking, but all the women are yelling at him as if he looked like George Clooney.”

True, and true. It caught my eye because this is something I have been noticing lately as I look up old music videos on www.youtube.com. It came up specifically with Survivor’s High on You and Dishwalla’s Somewhere in the Middle. I noticed that I was disproportionately attracted to the lead singers.

It’s not that they are ugly, but they are not as good looking as I am finding them. The Dishwalla guy reminds me of Ike Barinholtz (MadTV) when he is doing his Abercrombie jock character, and that would make him hard to take seriously, but he is singing. And watching the Survivor video, I am aware at the time that they are big dorks (observe the blond guitarist’s rocking—it is not cool), but it doesn’t matter because they are working the notes and I am smitten. Frankly, I find it highly manipulative.

To be fair, male attractiveness is pretty easy to upgrade anyway—give us flowers, tell us our eyes are pretty, say something interesting about a book—and they just keep turning cuter right before our eyes. Jerks.