Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Stalker - First Draft

Opening Scene

The main character, Jason, is getting ready for work. At various points, such as while brushing his teeth, we can view a very plain gray car out the window. When he leaves the house, we can see the car as well. Jason then walks to work, and as he walks into the office, the car is there again.

Jason goes to his desk, logs in to his computer, and reads his email, including this one from his boss:

"Jason, we need to discuss why you have missed another deadline. You seem very distracted lately, and I'm concerned about it's effect on your performance. Please come to my office once you get in this morning. Bill"

Jason then goes to the window to see the car still sitting there before walking to the bosses office.

Bill: Jason, good to see you. How's the Jaguar account going?

Jason: I should have it ready by the end of the week.

Bill: Look, Jason, this is the third deadline you've missed. Each time it gets harder to make an excuse. And you seem very distracted lately. What are you looking at?

Jason has started looking out the window. The gray car is still there.

Jason: That car has been following me.

Bill: I know the feeling. Those little box cars are everywhere. [At this point, 3 similar cars all pass by the window]. Are you worried people will no longer buy luxury cars? We've survived market changes before. As long as you can start delivering on time.

Jason: No, it's that one car there. I think someone is out to get me.

Bill: Look, I'm worried about you. Give what you've got on the Jaguar account to Tom, and I want you to take the rest of the week off. You need to take some time to make sure you still want this job.

Jason: OK. I'll do that.

Jason then walks out, goes to his desk, and types something out, while stopping twice to check if the car is still there.

Jason: [During typing] Good luck with this project, Tom.

Jason then pulls out his cell phone, and makes a call.

Jason: Hey Tina, lets do lunch. [unheard reply] Yeah, I've got plenty of time, I'll tell you all about it over lunch. [unheard reply, then hanging up the phone.]

Jason walks out of the office, and starts heading for lunch. The gray car follows behind, and every time Jason stops to look, the car stops and there appears there's no one in the car.

Jason arrives at the restaurant, and greets Tina with a hesitant hug.

Tina: So how come you suddenly has time for lunch? I was starting to think you did not want to see me anymore.

Jason: I've been so distracted by that stupid Kia following me that I can't even do my job any more. My boss placed me on leave for the rest of the week.

Tina: I can't believe you think is personal. Just because you see those cars everywhere does not mean it's something personal.

[At this point, 3 similar cars go past to prove Tina's point.]

Jason: You don't understand, it was literally following me down the street.

Tina: Look, we've talked about this before, and I have to stop you right here. If you don't go get help with this problem, I don't think we can date any more. [Tina starts to tear up.] I care about you, but I can't go on like this. Call me after you see a psychiatrist.

Tina gets up to leave. Jason gets up, leaves money for the check, and dejectedly walks home. The gray car follows him at the same pace.

Jason walks in the house, and slams the door. The phone rings.

Jason: Hello. [unheard reply] No, I gave Tom everything I had so far. [unheard angry reply] I see. [pause] No, just send my last check by direct deposit. [hangs up during an angry reply].

Jason looks out the window. The car is there as usual.

Jason: OK car, what's the story? I've lost my girlfriend and my job because of you. What do you want?

At this point, Betty pops up to be visible in the car, sees Jason looking, and hides again.

Jason: [visibly upset] What the hell? I knew it.

Jason runs out, and pounds on the car windows.

Jason: Get out here. What do you want?

Betty meekly gets out of the car, and faces Jason with her head down.

Jason: What are you doing? What do you want?

Betty: [looking up slowly] Will you go out with me?

Jason: What? Is that why you've been following me? [Betty gently nods] Oh, what the hell, I have nothing better to do. Everyone thinks I'm crazy. If I go out with you, will you stop following me. [Betty gently nods again.] OK, meet me at the coffee house at the corner at 6. And do something about your hair, I don't want to be seen in public with you looking like that.

Jason storms back in the house. Betty looks excited as she drives off.

Fade out, and transition to Jason sitting at the coffee house.

Betty walks in all dolled up, looking gorgeous, but still acting shy.

Betty: Hi.

Jason: Wow, you cleaned up well. Have a seat.

Betty: Thanks.

Jason: You look familiar. Have I seen you before?

Betty: I saw you at Tina's birthday party. You looked so good, but I didn't know what to say to you.

Jason: Wait, you were that creepy girl standing in the corner?

Betty: That's not very nice.

Jason: Well, you didn't look like you do now. You lost a lot of weight.

Betty: So you only like me now because I look better.

Jason: Well, yeah, you look great now.

Betty: I don't think I like you any more. [Gets up to leave]

Jason: Wait.

Betty: [walks out by the gray car] And I don't think I like this car anymore. TAXI!

Jason: Oh no, now what?

Fade to next scene.

Betty is walking down the street, still looking great. The gray car is now following her, and we can see Jason behind the wheel. Betty turns to look, and Jason stops the car and ducks. Betty shakes her head, and walks on. She approaches an un-named man, gives him a big hug, and they walk on, hand in hand, while the car continues to follow. Cue final music and credits.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Corporate Zombies - the first additions

In the opening, lets change the email to be from a coworker:

Hey Bob,

I hear your class today is going to be a bunch of corporate zombies. Hopefully they are not as bad as these nerds:

[link where a group of old-school IBM looking people sing a corporate song]


I need to write a few lines of a corporate song that they can be singing. The singers in the video will be dressed like the zombies, only the white shirts and ties will look normal, and no zombie makeup. The same shirts will be used ripped up for the zombies.

And, to top it off, the zombies will be doing a "zombie hum" of the same song as they enter the classroom to sit down. And it will even be the same actors as the video, only in zombie makeup this time.

Now I need to listen to some Jonathan Coulton to get inspired for the corporate song. Wish me luck.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Corporate Zombies the rough draft

Credits on screen with setting shot of modern corporate building.

Enter room, with Bob, the instructor sitting at his computer. Watch him open his email, then focus on the screen. The following email is on the screen:

From: Training Boss
To: Bob

Morning Bob,

You will be training a very important client. I know everyone says they are a bunch of corporate zombies, but they really need to learn the new computer system.

Good Luck,
The Boss

Camera moves to face the back of the room, where the corporate zombies start walking in, sit in front of the individual computers, and start making vague motions, and low grumbling sounds. Two of them wave clawed hands at each other with a zombie grunt of recognition.

Camera moves to Bob, who stands up to begin lecturing.

Bob: Good morning class. Today we are going to learn rinnco's new computer system. To begin, I'm going to ask each of you to login with the username and password I've written on the board.

The head zombie, Tom, gestures with his clawed hand to catch Bob's attention.

Bob: Is something not working Tom? Let me have a look.

Bob walks over to look at Tom's computer.

Bob: Look over here Tom, you have to click on the login prompt first.

Zombie Tom makes exaggerated 2-claw typing motions as he logs in.

Bob returns to the front of the class.

Bob: Anyone else?

Zombie #2 makes the same claw motion.

Bob walks over and points to Zombie #2's screen.

Bob: Just click right here and login.

Multiple zombies all make the same gesturing motion.

Bob: All of you? Don't you people have any brains?

Camera moves to Zombie Tom, who turns his head in the manner of a grotesque, curious dog.

Zombie Tom: Brains?

Zombie Tom then looks at the zombie next to him. They both nod their heads in agreement.

Zombie Tom and neighbor zombie in unison: Brains!

Camera moves to Bob, who is attempting to apologize.

Bob: Look, I'm sorry I lost my tempor, it's been a rough week.

Zombies converge around Bob, drowning out his apologizes.

Zombies in unison: Brains!

Bob disappears under a sea of zombies, as blood spurts out onto the crowd.

Fade to black.

Final Scene.

Opens to zombies 2 claw typing in unison. Camera moves to the back of the room, where the boss is standing in the doorway.

Boss: How's the new system working out everyone?

The zombies raise their thumbs in unison, while grunting their affirmation.

Fade to credits, while the Boss's voice is over the credits.

Boss: Where did Bob go? Did we lose another trainer?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Defending the Constitution

When I swore into the Navy, I thought it was a big deal that I swore an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States of America. To me, that means I was defending not just the people of the USA, but it's ideals. Even though my service has long been over, I still feel that obligation.

With the political news these days, I'm not sure what that obligation means. It's obvious to many, like myself, that the current administrations actions do not uphold this standard. Unwarranted wiretapping and torturing of prisoners are definitely in violation of the Constitution, and who knows what else is being done.

In 2006, I felt my obligation meant I had to work for the Democratic party. But just today I see that Senator Feinstein is supporting the nomination of Michael Mukasey for Attorney General. Despite his ridiculous position on waterboarding.

So what does my oath mean now? I wrote to both of my Senators. Should I be out protesting? I really don't know. I remember shortly after 9/11 when a former CIA official talked about how giving up our freedoms to fight terrorists would mean we are no longer truly America any more. Are we at that point yet? I don't feel hopeful at this point.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Update to Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Problem

I don't know how I missed this, but Ted Rall has taken the solution global:

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Real Rules for Happiness

OK, you are my victim. I saw the BBC's 10 rules for happiness, and it put me in a strange mood. If you find any of this funny, don't blame me.

1. Plant something and nurture it. A rumor does the trick. Financial hijinks are good, affairs are better. Affairs with accountants are perfect.

2. Count your blessings, preferably by comparing to others. Picture a younger, more attractive co-worker, and count all the ways you are better than him/her. If you get stuck, imagining horrible growths on private body parts always helps.

3. Take time to talk. Make sure to always complain about your problems to someone with worse problems. Always complain about your finances to someone who makes less than half what you do, and bitch about your sex life to a single guy who hasn't had a date in months.

4. Phone a friend you haven't seen in a while, and tell them exactly why not. No matter how small the transgression, feel free to use words like "evil bitch" or "unredeemable bastard".

5. Steal yourself a treat everyday. Stealing a candy bar from someone's lunch is good, but a joy ride in the boss's BMW is better.

6. Have a good laugh at least once a day at someone else expense. Make sure to practice looking innocent first.

7. Get physical three times a week, even if you have to pay for it. But never underestimate the power of 2am beer goggles.

8. Smile and/or say hello to a stranger at least once a day. If you can do it before making them falling face first into the mall fountain, you get bonus points for doing #6 at the same time.

9. Cut your TV viewing in half. All the good porn is free on the internet anyway.

10 . Spread kindness by letting people know exactly what they should do to be happy. Tell them to work harder, dress better, and stop doing that thing you hate. Just don't tell them these rules.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Plan to Fight Stem Cell Research

NOTE: Senator Bill Frist ruined this piece by actually agreeing to the new stem cell bill.

The current debate over stem cell research has caused many people to think hard about their beliefs concerning embryos. Some who are opposed to abortion are realizing that allowing frozen embryos to be used for research instead of being destroyed is in the greater good. Others are now realizing that those frozen embryos should be saved from destruction and adopted by others.

Those in Congress who have come to this conclusion have a new battle cry. “You, too, were an embryo once!” Representative Mike Ferguson(R-NJ) cried in Congress when a bill allowing more stem cell research was debated. Now that the bill has passed the house, it must find its way through the Senate.

Most observers have realized the Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) opposed the bill. Reports have said that Frist is not likely to allow the bill to be debated on the Senate floor. This would make it difficult, but not impossible, for a Senate bill to be passed. What the public does not know is what Frist plans to do next.

Close allies have revealed that the debate has opened the Senators eyes to the full scale of the problem. This idea of stored potential life has infuriated him. Not only does he want to see this destruction continue in any form.

“You were an egg once, too, you know. We must work to stop the wanton destruction of viable eggs in our lifetime.”

Frist has apparently been consulting medical researchers to find some way to preserve eggs before menstruation. A reproductive researcher who would not go on record stated that he thought within 3 years a safe over the counter (OTC) method could be found. The hardest parts are said to be determining ovulation accurately enough, and storing the eggs under household storage circumstances.

An anonymous source provided some details of Frist’s plans from the secret notes of a congressional aid. The first step will be to fund the research to retrieve and store eggs from young women. The Senator also plans to provide seed money for the OTC product to be sold in major pharmaceutical outlets.

Once the biological problems are solved, the Congress will have to take up the social problems. While the first few periods a young woman has are not believed to destroy viable eggs, the process will still have to be started fairly young. The plan expects that it will be possible to link federal education money to support for early education in egg harvesting.

To increase compliance, obviously legal penalties are the best options. The plan acknowledges that criminal punishment would be a hard sell, some kind of civil penalty might be an easier place to start. Perhaps it could start as a federal tax break.

Birth control pills were a possible sticking point mention in the notes. Since they stop menstruation, some might feel they are a viable alternative. The hope is that the research sponsored by the bill would also prove that birth control pills still cause long term damage to eggs.

With the right Supreme Court nominees, and these bills, the senator hopes to end all destruction of unborn life before he retires from Congress.