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The art of dialogue (or, a couple of stoners conversing).
2002.01.18
01:41 a.m.
I am always amazed at the enormous talent it requires to write *really good* dialogue. Let's face it, most movies use dialogue as a prop for the hair-frazzling special effects and product placement (Chappstiiick.)
How can someone have such a knack for the nature of conversing as to keep us in stitches while on the verge of breaking into tears? Very few rarely master the art of fully engaging a viewer simply through on-screen conversation.

What does it take to master this rare skill? Are only the most accomplished writers capable? Or do they borrow blocks of conversation from their friends and call it their own?

I happened to have a pen around and jotted down a few excerpts of conversations that happened in my home over the last few days. To me, they are funny and nuanced and with a little elaboration and fine tuning could make for some nice bits of dialogue for a screenplay.

me: I'm gonna cook us dinner tonight!
him: (Shifty eyes. Begins to fold laundry.)
me: Come on. I'll find an easy recipe online and go to the grocery and pay and everything all by myself.
me: I'll even let you buy me dinner if I screw it up.
him: Do I get to approve the menu?
me: (Shrugs.)
him: (After pregnant pause.) You are going to make bark wrapped in spinach, aren't you? With water. And sand for dessert.

This one involved a third party. We call him Goat. You can too.

me: I would never buy one of these. (Pointing to plain Hersey's chocolate bar she stole from "hiding place.")
him: No, why would you? When there's Symphony. For pure, unadulterated chocolate, Symphony is where it is at. If your choices are limited to the Circle K.
me:There's Snickers, and Whatchamacallits and Butterfingers. Butterfinger is the best bar for your buck. There is so much of it and it stays with you for two days.
goat: Yeah. In your teeth, I know.
him: But a Snickers is almost like a meal.
me: Must be the peanuts...actual protein. (Yes, this is a ridiculous statement, but if it isn't evident yet, we threw a party in Prince Harry's honor.)
goat: If you are starving, a Snickers is the only way to go.
him: It's busy. Snickers is a busy candy bar. There's a lot to it. Alot going on with it.

Is this not brilliant comedy a la Allen or Altman?

No? Not even Allen circa Celebrity or Altman circa Pret a Porter?

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Well, fancy that...
Wednesday, January 16, 2002
02:26 p.m.
While making my rounds online, I scooted on over to peterme.com for my daily fix.

Ladies and gentlemen, "when two separate events occur simultaneously pertaining to the same object of inquiry, we must always pay strict attention." (Dale Cooper, Twin Peaks)

Seems Peter and I share the taste in cinema--depraved and twisted--not to mention, curious timing.

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"It's cliche!"..."It happened!"
2002.01.16
01:14 p.m.
For many, films grounded in realism like Todd Solondz' Happiness or Welcome to the Dollhouse, are too disturbing and uncomfortable to be considered entertainment.

Not so for me. I find raw, real situations in films can only add to the myriad of emotions felt when screening a film. I mean, some would argue that the very act of viewing a movie is based entirely on feeling.

Storytelling looks to be another favorite--if it ever makes it to Nashville. I can tell that the script is a juicy one, simply from the trailer.

You see?:
"Jane pretends to be horrified by the sexuality that she in fact fetishizes."

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Mysterious
Tuesday, January 15, 2002
11:32 p.m.
Somehow, Friday's lost post has found its way to this page, albeit with every link jacked up.

Someone smarter than me: how did this happen?

Finally.  Canopy.

This getting up early business is for the birds.
Friday, January 11, 2002
03:56 p.m.

7:30 A.M.
For my sister, this is sleeping in.
"I got plenty of rest," she said, "I slept until 7:30."
"P.M.?!," I shout, thoroughly confused. It is simply inconceivable to me that 7:30 in the morning could be construed as sleeping in.
This conversation took place over a week ago.
Now, five days a week, every week, I have to get up at 7:30 A.M.

This has been an intense readjustment for my body, since I am still working that pesky, full-time night job. (Night being the operative word there.)
Not only am I still working it, I am training for a new position. I got promoted to bartender, which is terrific, except that my 3-day training coincided with my first day of class, which begins at the ungodly hour of 9:10 A.M.
Alas, let us not forget my new internship with the Nashville Independent Film Festival. Don't get me wrong, I love sitting in a metal folding chair all day looking up the likely out-of-date email addresses of filmmakers from the print sources of other festivals, but they want you to do it so early.

This really has turned into quite the bitch session, but I guess that is just a symptom of too little sleep. Guess I'm gonna have to deal, and so are you.

In other news:
All of my grandparents have passed, and so I'm gonna send somebody else's granny a birthday card.

Hooray for new episodes of Sex and the City!
Oh, don't sit there drinking your green tea and looking down your nose at me. You love that shit too, and you know it.

Moby reconsiders his vegetarianism after nasty cat bite.

Also, I got 450 of the same spam email the other day and had to spend 30 minutes deleting them all. Life's little tortures...

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I now have a crush on all these guys.
2002.01.06
02:48 a.m.
My guy Mattress is a damn rock star. Mattress (or more properly, Matt, to proper people unlike myself) and I work together slinging steaks and he's been telling me all about his new band's prolific gigging. Actually, they've all been invitations to come out for the real thang, at some cheap and nearby bar, but I never make it because I'm working or tired or whatever transparent excuses people make so they don't have to sit through two hours of their roommates' pretty-bad punk band.
But tonight I finally stumbled onto his band Aireline's webpage and happened upon this gem of a song, Shady Place.

This little ditty is right up my perverbial alley, I've got to tell you. I am a huge sucker for songs that begin with "Goodbye Love, I'll miss you" and such.
Forget a reluctant, undoubtedly drunken night at a place called Gentleman Jim's listening to your buddy's KISS cover band. This is quality material.
Bravo, Mattress!

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potholes and snowflakes
2002.01.03
01:49 p.m.
My life is mostly comprised of tiny moments.

I saw a singular snowflake hurl itself toward the earth this morning when I pulled back the curtains to see if perchance it was snowing like the weatherman promised.
It wasn't snowing, though. There was just the one flake for just a moment and then it vanished onto a blade of grass.

Yesterday, while running errands and listening to music I became so moved that tears gathered up in the lower lids of my eyes and upon hitting a pothole splashed down on my cheeks in a hot stream.

Thank God that my life is comprised of tiny moments like these.

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Well. Well. Well.
2002.01.03
12:14 p.m.
All of the N*Sync guys will be making brief appearances in the upcoming installment of the Star Wars saga, Attack of the Clones.

May I just say that I, for one, never liked the movies much in the first place.

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...and I feel fine.
2002.01.01
02:10 p.m.


This is what my resolution should have been.

But since I have already quit smoking and I particularly like living in a home and being sedentary, my resolution is to read one non-school book per week.

What's yours?

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