Wednesday, October 29, 2008

final update

OK, this is my last post about this, I promise. Just wanted to give you the update.

Ryan and I have been doing some IMDB experiments and have come to the conclusion that IMDB doesn't count votes from users who have only voted for one (or not many more than one) film because they want to prevent vote stuffing (as I have been encouraging you to do in my last two posts.)

You see here where five votes moved the weighted average five tenths of a point:

Whereas before twenty votes only moved the weighted average two tenths of a point.

In conclusion -- if you are just sitting on your couch watching Pushing Daisies tonight and you want to help me out during the commercial breaks, delete your vote for Driftwood, vote for a hundred movies you've seen, and then go back and vote for Driftwood again.

I realize this is a much bigger favor than the first request, but I'm just putting it out there. Thanks to everyone who voted so far. I won't ask for anything else, not even for Christmas.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

three point four

Thanks SO MUCH to the twenty of you who voted for Driftwood. It did raise the "weighted average"... one fifth of a point.

Clearly I'm going to have to come up with some new strategery.

Monday, October 20, 2008

a plea for those with two extra minutes today

Dear friends and others who have just stumbled on this blog and want to do a good deed,

I applied for a little writing job today (nothing big, don't get excited, Mom) and was going to include a link to the trailer for my short film Driftwood on the movie information website

But... this is the Driftwood page on

This is a little picture of what this page looks like at this exact moment, which is 9:48 am on Monday morning:

That's right. It says 3.2 stars. Three point two. Out of ten. And if you click on the little link next to the stars, you will see that it's a WEIGHTED average, meaning they use whatever math they want to, because the actual average is nowhere near 3.2 stars. PLUS there are eight "one star" votes from non-US users. Even though it essentially hasn't been screened or released outside of the US.

So here's what I'm asking: if you've seen the movie, and you liked it (more than say, three point two stars worth,) please do me a big favor and complete a free IMDB registration and vote for Driftwood. Or maybe even if you haven't seen it and you just think it might be better than three point two stars. Or even if you just like me better than three point two stars.

Here's a trailer for the movie, in case you don't want to judge just based on my blog/face/taste in poetry:

You know what... if you saw it and thought it was only a three point two stars movie, please go ahead and vote that way. At least I will know that people who have actually seen the movie are hating it.

And that is so much better.

Friday, October 17, 2008

fade in

Today it's time to start writing actual pages for the thriller idea I was researching in Louisiana. Usually I like to take nine years to write a screenplay (see: Lucidity, writing of) but with this one I'm thinking maybe we should try to keep it down to about five. And since I thought of the idea in approximately 2003, I really have to get going.

"But, Michelle," you say in disbelief, "don't you and Tim the Lawyer first need to make note cards and outline the idea while sitting on an uncomfortably hard sofa in a blue-lit coffeeshop where East LA hipsters play pool and listen to loud music?"

"Done," I say.

"But don't you guys then have to map out your three-act structure using the dry erase board that you bought in Plano, Texas and proceeded to cart around the country for no reason?" you continue.

"Done," I reply.

"But if you're so ready to start the screenplay, why are you sitting here writing a blog?" you ask in a kind of annoying voice. "Are you afraid? Just start, already. Stop writing this blog entry. Why are you still typ

Thursday, October 16, 2008

no, denny's doesn't have the right feel

As previously mentioned, yesterday I was in San Francisco and stopped by City Lights Bookstore, where apparently various members of the Beat Generation used to meet.

Today I've been thinking: all those cool artist gangs had a special hangout. The Beats had City Lights, the Inklings had The Eagle and Child, the Romantics had Villa Diodati.

We (and by we, I mean you and me) are a cool artist gang, and therefore should have a cool artist hangout. How else are we supposed to come up with the artistic ideas that will define our generation?

I'm open to suggestions.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

this morning i sat in the corner of a bookstore on columbus avenue and read a poem

This was the corner:

And this was the poem:
Bedcovers thrown back,
Tangled sheets,
Lustrous in moonlight.

Image of delight,
Or longing,
Or torment,

Depending on who's
Doing the imagining.

(I know: you are the one
Pierced through, I'm the one
Bent low beside you, trying
To peer into your eyes.)

"The Distribution of Happiness"
~ Robert Hass

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

bwessed awangements

I've always really liked weddings. They're like a party, but with meaning. A holy ritual that includes the Electric Slide. I especially like it when weddings are very specific to the couple getting weddinged.

For example, the weekend before last I flew to Ohio to attend the wedding of my friends Ben and Rene. (Who, incidentally, created this spectacular film, galloping soon to film festival theaters near you.) The wedding was in October, for one thing, which was perfect, because in Ben's ideal universe it would never be any month but October. And the rehearsal dinner had a movie theme, complete with a larger than life sized cardboard cutout of Ben and Rene, which I think embarrassed Ben pretty badly. And then the entire wedding was set to soundtrack music, which was very cool and made it seem like something extremely dramatic was going to happen at any second. There was music from Cider House Rules and Joss Whedon's movie Serenity, and Rene walked down the aisle to music from Battlestar Galactica. And then these were the wedding favors:

Last weekend, I went down to Anaheim to attend the wedding of my friends Joel and Kate (who as of yet do not have a joint project that I can plug.) The music for their wedding was also appropriate (especially the recessional, which was the Linus and Lucy rag) and their favors (Jones soda bottles with their picture on them) were very cute.

But my favorite just-right bit was the fact that the groomsmen were dressed exactly how Joel dresses, from the argyle sweater vests down to the flip flops, which unfortunately can't be seen in this picture:

Congratulations, Bays(es) and Millers. I am so happy for you. And only a tiny bit jealous.

Monday, October 13, 2008

personality crisis

I had to take a personality test the other day as part of some training that I'm doing.

This test gives you sets of four personality traits and asks you to rank each set from 1 to 4, from "most like you" to "least like you." For example:


So you have to go, like, "OK, I'm very cheerful, so that's a 4, I'm not courageous, so that's a 1, I'm pretty precise, so that's a 3, and I'm not so merciful, so that's a 2."

Except - and correct me if I'm wrong here - couldn't one person be very courageous, very cheerful, very precise, and very merciful? Or very cowardly, very morose, very vague, and very cruel? But you can't put all 4s or all 1s. You have to pick one number for each trait.

So I had a lot of trouble with the test. I think in one answer I said I was 4, very detailed, and then two questions later, said I was 1, not at all meticulous.

My results were outside of the range of any of the personality types. It said something along the lines of, "You have no personality. Come back and try again when you know who you are."

Sunday, October 12, 2008

justice is what love looks like in public

Tonight Heidi, Brie, and I went to see the "rockumentary" Call + Response, which is a look at slavery and human trafficking, directed and produced by singer/songwriter Justin Dillon. The musical segments were directed by our pastor, Brandon Dickerson.

The movie is heart-wrenching, and it's impossible to watch it and not want to do something. In one scene, five or six-year-old girls in a Cambodian brothel proposition a man with a video camera posing as a client, telling him they "do good yum yum," the brothel's word for oral sex.

CallGary Haugen, the head of International Justice Mission, says in the movie that it's easy to be caught in either apathy or the paralysis of despair. To be so overwhelmed by the pain of the world that you shut it out.

This is one small thing I can do today: I can tell you that if you live in one of the following cities...

Los Angeles
Redwood City
Washington DC
San Diego
San Francisco
Orange County
San Jose should go see Call + Response. (100% of the profits from theatrical release, DVD sales, and soundtrack are going directly to efforts to stop human trafficking. The website is

I promise you will not regret it.
This is not my voice
This is not my choice
This is somebody's baby
They don't know my age
They don't know my name
They just call me

~"Baby Blue"
Lyrics by Justin Dillon

Thursday, October 9, 2008

things i learned last sunday night

1. Babies do make cute accessories. (This particular piece is called "Avery" and is available on loan from Josh and Erin.)

2. If you want a do right all day woman, you apparently have to be a do right all night man.

3a. You should check the lyrics of karaoke songs before you get on stage; and...

3b. The lyrics for "Wait" by Huffamoose are dirty.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

babies are the new black

One accomplishment I didn't mention in my list was the creation of life. This particular achievement is no less spectacular for its (increasing and worrisome) popularity in my group of friends.

Today I met Haven, daughter of Karla and Aaron, six and a half pounds of finger sucking adorableness. I like babies. But I'm a little scared of them. I think when Bethany was small my parents spent an inordinate amount of time warning me about her "soft spot" and telling me I was "going to pull her arm out of the socket." I used to have a recurring nightmare that I went to pick her up and ended up with just a little baby arm in my hand.

I made Aaron hand Haven over very slowly and explain to me what to do, like I was a little kid who had never held a baby before.

I didn't get any pictures, which is too bad, because I look good with babies. I'm thinking of carrying one around as an accessory. Maybe with one of those cushiony tutus.