New Year’s Resolutions
Holy shit. That’s such an unbelievable number to me. Not just the fact that I’m fast approaching the dreaded thirty, but because a lifetime of comics, movies, and video games have taught me that beyond 2010 is when shit goes down.
Killer robots, alien invasions, killer robots fighting aliens, vampires rising up and taking over, everything happens in the 21st century. This was the message relayed to our caveman ancestors in the 1980’s and 90’s via action movies and NES beat-em-ups.
To paraphrase a great book, “2011. It’s like living in a piece of science fiction.”
It’s a brand new year. A blank slate for all of us to put our own unique mark on, usually through the medium of resolutions which we promptly abandon about a month and half in to the new year.
I certainly fell off from the “Giant Robot Explosion Dance Party” thing I started. For those of you just joining us, the Dance Party was a collective for creative types to create something new and original every month. I was going to pound out a screenplay every thirty days, aaaaaaaaaaaand that didn’t happen.
I did get two real screenplays, 3 bad on purpose ones (2 finished, one halfway there), a TV series bible, a comic book story bible, and an outline out of it, so not a complete failure, but not a success either.
This year I’m aiming a bit broader. Less specificity, and more of a grander plan (grand in the sense of size and scope, not quality) to become the best possible Matt I can be without the use of steroids, mind-altering drugs, radioactive spiders, or gamma radiation.
1.) Get Excited – I live in one of the world’s great cultural epicenters. Now the quality of that culture is debatable, but I’m surrounded by giant, world class museums, the largest ethnic food enclaves outside of their actual countries of origin, access to some of the most exciting up-and-coming musical and comedic acts, and am in a position to catch established acts testing new material on a daily basis.
I’ve yet to truly take advantage of that, and it’s going to stop. Concerts, stand-up, museum exhibits, er’reybody watch out, because I’ma be up in you.
Along with being absolutely spoiled by choice, I’m far too young/inexperienced/naive to be this cynical and burnt out on a town I’ve barely experienced. You don’t get to be the tortured and unappreciated artist until you let them torture you for trying to be appreciated. Wary, certainly, but I’m going to cut back on the go-to cynicism and vitriol for Los Angeles.
Until, you know, it fucks with me. Then our shit’s no longer on pause.
2.) Get Out of My Own Way – A while ago, I tweeted that I had just had a breakthrough thanks to talking through a story with someone at work. I mentioned that I usually avoid doing that because I’m equal parts raving egomaniac and over-thinking weenie.
My brain, when preparing to discuss something of mine with someone else bounces back and forth between thoughts like, “I have to be careful, they might steal my idea/this could be a little over their head, so they may not get it,” and “no one wants to steal let alone hear your garbage because it sucks/they do get it, and it does suck.”
Not that I’m going to start showing all my ideas and scripts to everyone (or anyone. Hey, that shit’s scary) but I do want to work on talking myself out of things for a bunch of different reasons.
Epicetus once said, “if you want to be a writer…write.”
Were it only so simple.
What if it’s bad and you waste all that time working on something that sucks?
Well, I need to take advice I’d hand out to new kids when they joined the comedy group I was a part of in college, “write as much as you can. It’s the only way to get the bad ones out of your system.” So what if it sucks? At least you spent that time writing and not sitting on your ass not writing. Just because you made something that’s not good, it doesn’t mean you’re not getting better.
I’ve talked my way out of many, many, many ideas that I didn’t have the guts, or the discipline, or the ideas to start, let alone try and finish.
So I’ll write more, lose the weight, get a better job, and get the hell back on stage. What are they going to do? Throw me in comedy jail? Report me to the script police? The worst that can happen is that people may not like my work, and that’s going to happen anyway. No one bats a thousand.
So why the hell should I be so special?
3.) Fuck Bitches. Get Paid – Let’s all get real for a moment. All of us, whether we want to admit it or not; whether we are even aware of it; we all are here busting our asses at every bustable level so that we can one day live our lives like a rap video. It’s the entire reason for civilization.
Money’s not an issue. Our posse is loyal and rolls deep. The booze never runs out. Attractive members of whatever sex attracts you are running around in costumes/minimal clothing/both. Helicopters fly us to our jets, which land on an airfield, where the sports car’s waiting for us to blow through the roadblocks the police set up to try and stop us because we’re just so fucking baller.
We all want it. The difference is, I’m admitting it.
Fuck bitches. Get Paid. 2011.
Let it be the chant upon our lips as we proudly march to glory or doom in the blighted hellscape that is the future.
4.) Fight My Way Out of This – I’m not entirely sure what “this” is but I’m going to insert myself into a scenario and leave myself no other option than to start swinging.
It’d be a great story, and I think surviving something like that was necessary to be elected as President of these United States until Teddy Roosevelt ran for the position. No one wanted to fight the man, possibly because he was so dangerous, or maybe because he showed up to the Presidential Doom Box naked except for a still wet lion skin tied around his shoulders in the Ivy League Style. Maybe it was combination of the two.
Actually is was because he was naked, but insisted he had several guns secreted away on his person.
Anyway, I’ve always wanted to get into a giant bar brawl, and do two things:
- a.) kick someone through a support banister
- b.) Throw someone on the bar, grab them by the collar and the belt, and then use them to wipe everything and everyone off the bar.
It’s just something I’ve always wanted to do, and I’m not entirely sure why.
5.) Find Out Why I Want to Start Fights – One of my favorite books is Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash. It’s very entertaining book filled with vivid, likable characters, good science fiction, really interesting religious stuff, sex, violence, and a seemingly psychic look at the future of American government and culture.
It also has one of my favorite quotes:
“Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world.”
Then I turned 25. Then 26. Then 27. I still think if I applied myself I could become Batman or the Punisher.
This is not a natural way to go about one’s life, and I’m worried about why I spend so much time thinking about it. It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to find someone willing to let me sex them. Maybe that’s it.
Regardless, I’m going to get to the bottom of this psychological quirk of mine provided it doesn’t cost money or is hard.
Then, fuck it. And bitches. Then get paid.
5.) Protect John Connor – Guys, he’s seriously our only hope.
6.) Defeat all of Ramona’s Nine Evil Exes – Confession time: I have it bad for Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
I’ve had it bad for Ms. Winstead since Sky High. There’s exactly one reason why I own Sky High, Kurt Russell.
If there were two reasons I own it, it’d be Kurt Russell and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
If there were three reasons I owned Sky High, they’d be Kurt Russell, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and the fact that the movie examines the tropes of the high school coming-of-age story through the lens of superheroes, playfully embracing and trumping subgenre cliches without ever taking itself too seriously.
However I just need the one. Kurt Russell.
But, we’re not here to talk about Kurt Russell. That’s a later blog. We’re here to talk about Mary Elizabeth Winstead and how I’m going to destroy all nine of her evil exes.
Patel’s not a problem, because I hate hipsters and I can summon a jet black berzerker rage to overcome his magics.
Lucas Lee I feel would become my best friend, but if not, I’ll be his greatest enemy. He seems easy enough to trick. If push comes to shove, I’ll just run over his stunt team with a car.
Todd Ingram does have superpowers, but apparently I’ll have Tom Jane covering my back with finger lasers, so that’s pretty cool.
Roxy, while fast, is also Egg from Arrested Development so she has low center of gravity. I’m not sure I can take her in one on one combat, so in celebration of her ninja skills, I’m going to hire a sexy lesbian to get in close and get up in that knee. Then I’ll drop a rock on her head or something. I’m good on my feet. And with rocks.
The Katayanagi twins are DJ Asians because they’re not smart enough to be Dr. Asians and too weak to be Combat Asians. Probably due to brittle bones because they get no calcium since Asians largely have a problem processing dairy. Glad I’m a hybrid *high-fives self.*
Gideon poses no real threat because most of his bravado and mystique comes from his persona as a super producer, taste maker, and psychological mastermind. I have never in my life been afraid of Jason Schwartzman. I will never be afraid of Jason Schwartzman. Him fighting me is going to be like a Pomeranian making a run on a Rottweiler.
Scott Pilgrim won’t be a problem. For one, he’s Michael Cera. Two, I know all his moves. Three, he’s still Michael Cera. Four, I know his weakness: bitchy blonds who hate him. Five, he continues to be Michael Cera.
The Guy Mary Elizabeth Winstead is Actually Dating, may prove to give me the most trouble, as he actually has something to lose. I guess they’ve been dating for something like over five years.
But what are love and history going to do in the face of a broke, fat guy with no car?
Exactly. I got this one sewn up.
7.) Invent Humanity’s Last Three Great Inventions – Humanity in it’s present state is only three inventions away from achieving perfection:
b.) reverse microwave
c.) time travel
Now, I know all you nerds want faster than light travel and teleportation, and those are incredible inventions to be sure, but we’re not among the stars, and it doesn’t look like we’re really going to make a go of it anytime soon. So while we’d like them, we don’t really need them like we do the three I listed.
Anti-salt is kind of explanatory. It’s something you put on your food that negates the salt on it. This isn’t for me. I love salt. I handle my sodium like a boss. This is for everyone else. Apparently I have a tendency to go salt nuts when I cook and when I get popcorn at the movie theaters. Now everyone wins, which, I’ll remind you pussies, is against the natural order, but fuck it.
And bitches. Get Paid. 2011.
Reverse microwave makes hot stuff cold, but you know, quickly. Beer, ice cream, pets, what ever needs to be cold in a hurry, reverse microwave it.
I came upon this invention when a burger joint by my grandfather’s house kept giving me hot milkshakes. I don’t know if the mixer was warm from use, or if they just pulled the glasses right from the washing machine, but they were hot. Just make the shake, and reverse microwave it.
Time travel is kind of self-explanatory, but we must, must, must save John Lennon, Elvis Presley, and prevent the levees in New Orleans from becoming overrun and stop the Saints from beating the Colts in the Super Bowl.
C’mon, guys. John Lennon.
8.) Actually Show My Writing to Someone Who Can Help Me – I desperately need to sack the fuck up and show people who know a thing or two about writing for money my stuff and see if my scripts are worthy of having money given to them.
They won’t be, but this is how we learn.
9.) Get My Earthquake/Riot Kit Together – California experiences earthquakes a lot. Apparently. I’ve maybe felt two of the six or so that have occurred while I’ve been out here, but there’s no reason to be caught unaware. So lots of bottled water, strike anywhere matches, knives, flares, water purification tablets, MREs, flashlights, crowbar, first aid kit, etc, in a safe place I can easily get to during an emergency.
Now rioting in LA happens much more frequently and can be somehow tied to the fortunes of the Lakers.
Here’s the break-down: if they lose, we riot. If they win, we riot.
My riot kit is basically stuff that can fit into a small book bag. Again, crowbar, flares, matches, giant knife to defend the homestead, and gas mask for when the police inevitably show up.
Someone pointed out that my kit sounds less like I’m trying to stop a riot, and more like I’m trying to join in and get some.
It’s a fine, fine line.
10) Make These Shorter – This is not a cliched and attempted self-aware way to end this column, but a serious call for self-editing. Whatever spills out of my head generally makes it into the blog with me only editing spelling and grammar errors (HA!). I need to learn to cut back for not only clarity’s sake, but to make sure people finish what I write.
I’ve bailed on plenty of blogs, columns, and articles because they just looked long. I’m really bad about this with the Onion. If the joke’s made, the joke’s made, there’s no reason to drag it out.
Learn to walk away, Matt.
And that’s it. Chad’ll see you through Friday, and I’ll see you guys Monday.
Posted on January 13, 2011, in Lists, Matt Loman and tagged john connor, kind of serious but not really, mary elizabeth winstead, new years resolutions, resolutions, rioting, Scott Pilgrim. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.