Thursday, May 27, 2010

dream rendering

i just woke up from the first full night's rest i've had this week. that's nothing dramatic: i did a three-day commercial and got 5-6 hours of a sleep a night during those three days. but i had a dream last night. like most dreams, it morphed from one scene to another. i was in minneapolis with my my best friend from high school (nothing weird there; that's where he lives) and we were shopping at a sort of costco-type store, where we could by four-foot tall boxes of frosted flakes for $2.59. not a bad deal.

i think president sam was also in there somewhere, but dreams are so fleeting it's no surprise i don't remember it all. the final scene was with the crew i've been working with for the past few days (love those guys) and we were driving on a sunday and had stopped at a town/outlet mall/rest stop that had a pretty good comic book store in it. i was pretty big into comics in junior high and still like to peruse them on occasion. and so i did, despite the guilt that it was sunday. i looked around the store at the different shelves, full of trade paperback editions, graphic novels, and various action figures in addition to the boxes and boxes of comic books, grouped by publisher then sorted alphabetically. i wasn't planning on buying anything and didn't even know what i was looking for, but it was fun just look through everything.

i pulled out a white cardboard box and began thumbing through the comics. as i did, it was as if my vision started to go bad. i could barely see more than a blurred image on the cover. i one out and held it closer to see better. this had the opposite effect: it became harder to see, as if my eyes had been sealed shut. i could see nothing.

there wasn't much more of the dream. i remember continuing to look around the store while my friends played catch with a football, ready to leave and waiting for me. as i searched around, the store seemed larger than i had first noticed, with dozens of shelves to look through. yet the same phenomenon persisted: like playing the original doom computer game, as i would walk closer to a shelf, it would become fuzzier, more out of focus, until i could hardly make out anything on it.

i woke up soon after that and, as i picked up my phone from my night stand to check the time, my text messages, e-mail, and facebook updates, i thought about this.
dreams are essentially like a computer-generated movie. everything in the scene has to be created. and my brain has seen enough comic book stores to have plenty of archives to research and make one pretty easily. and in a cg movie, if a character is going to walk over to a box and start rifling through it's contents, that box is going to have to have each of those comics have a different cover, designed and rendered.

for whatever reason, my brain didn't have that in place. whoever it was programming the dream (i guess that's me) didn't plan on me looking through there. or my brain just couldn't create or find in an archive a handful of comic coves to slap on there in real-time. dag; i'm 30 and my brain is already losing processing power. perhaps it had something to do with the fact that i was soon waking up. sam noted that sometimes we will try to run in a dream but not move, which i've noticed happened when i'm at the start of waking up and so my brain isn't sure if we're suppose to run in the dream or in life, leaving me motionless (to be eaten by a dinosaur or something). maybe this was similar.
whatever the case, it was an interesting insight into how dreams work (or how my brain doesn't). kind of like finding a flaw in the matrix. ....oohh.... what if....

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"can i get you anything else?"

jaime said this would make a good blog post. i suppose she's right.

my car was up in salt lake yesterday being repaired, leaving me at the mercy of others or the uta bus schedule, which required a trip to macey's for a bus pass, again leaving me dependent upon extraneous kindness. adding to my car not starting, my washing machine chose to stop performing the spin cycle, my clearplay dvd player stopped recognizing the usb filter drive, and my timer for the lights behind my tv no longer turns the lights on or off.

sam was in and out yesterday and before leaving for a job interview, he asked if i wanted to go to macey's when he got back. being that i hadn't had much need to provide my own food for the last month and a bit, there was little for me to eat other than sugar cereal and the dark chocolate brownies i had made the day before. by the time sam came back i was running only on the remainders of a sugar crash as everything i owned was going on strike.

sam asked what i needed to get a macey's and i said pretty much everything, although i tried to make it quick as we headed to the deli counter. "do you always come here?" he asked. "yeah," i told him. "the meats and cheeses are just better." i ordered some turkey and swiss, because that was what was on sale (although i usually get swiss cheese no matter what). i wanted to get some of the black forest ham, too, but they seemed to be in a hurry and there was a line queuing behind me, so i let it go.

at the end of the bread aisle sam asked me what i thought of the girl who served me. i noticed that she was kind of cute but didn't think twice about it.
"no, no, no, i saw the way that she was smiling at you."
"of course she was smiling at me," i said as i tried to find a good red bell pepper. "it's her job to sell things."
"jeff, you knew what you wanted to buy before you even got to the counter. she didn't have to sell you anything. that smile was for real."
being that just a few days ago i was offered to get setup with someone's daughter because "she likes nerdy guys like [me]", i had a hard time believing sam that some cute deli girl liked me after ordering a pound of oven roasted turkey.

by the time we were in the cereal aisle, sam had said that he was going to go back and get the black forest ham and get her number for me. i was so incredulous to it all that i told him if he came back with her number, i would buy him half a pound of the ham, too.
he walked off and i felt a little self-conscious, wondering how this had all just happened. not sure what to do until he came back, i casually continued my shopping while leaving a message with the the movie i'm working on to see if we're shooting on friday or saturday evening this weekend. just in case.

sam came back with a vanilla ice cream cone, but no sign of a phone number or even my ham. "she said she wants you to ask her yourself," he announced. "and you can do that when we go back to pick up our ham."

there was anxiety in the background as we finished our shopping and we somehow managed to come out at the end of the shampoo aisle, meaning we had a long, direct walk toward the deli counter. i was nervous, but kept it contained.
when we got to the counter, the deli girl had her back to us, working on something else, so the other girl asked us if we were here to pick up our roast beef. sam said that we had the ham, and, thankfully, the deli girl turned around. i smiled. i had no idea what to say. but i was calm. i was nice. i was funny. i got her phone number.

i've never done that before. but i have to admit, i liked the rush and the feeling of success.
now i just need to figure out a date.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

text results. may 2, 2010

work continues. we just got back from a week in moab, with plenty of amazing landscapes, overtime, and dust in everything. i'm looking forward to it being over (the number of remaining movie nights is frighteningly few!) but i'm continuing to relish the opportunity of working with some of the biggest people in the industry in the process.

i've decided now is a good time to clear out my phone's text messages. i'm rather surprised with how the numbers came out this time:
  1. shantell: 1,129
  2. jaime: 835
  3. mark: 566
  4. joel: 376
  5. emily: 322
yes, for the first time in years, there is a new champion. shantell is my favorite wardrobe girl in the industry and the only film person i'm really friends with off set (which really only started on.... oh, march 2, it looks like). the bulk of those texts are get-to-know-you questions and discussions, and it wasn't long before she closed in on first place. then, one day, it happened; the crown was transferred.
it's nice having a friend who has a similar schedule: either you're working like crazy or you've got plenty of free time. so we've done things like go to the zoo or visit the museum of art.

jaime and mark you already know.

joel determined that, after last time, he would make the list. it's been mostly legitimate conversation and not numbers padding. we generally talk about movies (because really, what else is there?) and complain about clearplay's imperfect system of editing and how we'd do it so much better.

emily is a former hometeachee (once a hometeachee, always a hometeachee), member of the hpbc, and, as i've come to learn, is very cultured in not just great movies, but also theatre, ballet, and opera (those last two i need some help on).

again, the top five texters make up 67% of my total messages (6% higher than last time for you stats people).
while i do agree that texting can be very antisocial and isolating in differing ways, it is also nice to have this record of conversations between myself and my friends.
i'm really kind of curious to see how the next round's numbers will look.