This is Epth Nation

Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

NBA Preview

Sports Ignorant NBA Preview 2004

This NBA season looks to be the wildest in recent memory. All the player movement – and superstar player movement, at that – has created a situation where we really have no idea what’s going to end up happening this year. In the East, there are 3 really good teams, just like last year. But the Heat have replaced the Nets in that Triumverate because of Shaq going to Miami and the Nets deciding to lose from now on. In the West, the Spurs looks like the best but there are 11 other teams potentially breathing down their necks. Only 8 teams will make the playoffs, so that conference will be interesting indeed, and somebody’s fans (read: Jack Nicholson) are going to be pissed that their superstar-laden team isn’t in the East, where bad basketball is encouraged.

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division (Number is place in the conference, teams are listed in divisional order)

6. New York

8. Boston

10. Toronto

11. New Joisey

12. Philadelphia

Hardest division to pick. Knicks have the most talent but also the most baggage. Boston is reliant on Gary “ingrate” Payton, who is done. They have the 2nd most talent though. These teams could theoretically end up in reverse order in the end, easy. NJ doesn’t want to win, so they will fall further than any other team this year.

Central Division

1. Detroit

3. Indiana

5. Milwaukee

9. Cleveland

13. Chicago

Chicago will never be good again as punishment for winning all those titles. That, and their best player’s a midget. Detroit and Indiana will slug it out again this year. I’m extremely skeptical of Stephen Jackson, Indiana Pacer. Milwaukee, my team, will again overachieve in this crappy conference. They would be the 12 best team or so in the West. Equation: Lebron + nobody else = 9th.

(Brand-New Craptacular) Southeast Division

2. Miami

4. Orlando

7. Washington

14. Atlanta

15. Charlotte

Okafor and Gerald Wallace do not equal Kobe and Shaq, and make Charlotte the worst team ever. Atlanta’s the most selfish team ever. Everyone knows Shaq will save Miami, but Orlando will make a huge turnaround thanks to Western talent (Francis/Mobely), a draft pick (Howard), and a returning Grant Hill. Washington has a lot of good big guys and should make the playoffs in this conference.

Western Conference

(Brand-New Fun) Southwest Division

1. San Antonio

3. Memphis

5. Dallas

7. Houston

15. New Orleans

SA is by far the best potential team in the conference, though there are wolves at the door. Literally. Memphis may seem high, but that’s just because I am. Dallas finally has a center and a revamped team – 5th is an accomplishment in this bunch, believe me. Will Tracy/Yao be a friendlier Kobe/Shaq? Maybe. Will New Orleans win a game without Mashburn in this division? Again, maybe.

Northwest Division

2. Minnesota

6. Portland

9. Denver

10. Utah

12. Seattle

Puzzling division. Could have as many as 5 playoff participants or as few as 1. Portland is 6th because they have as much talent as anybody in the league. Denver and Utah will just miss the playoffs, and Ray Allen will go crazy as lack of big people will force Seattle to “worst of the good teams” status. But it’s better than being the best of the bad teams, right? Minnesota could beat San Antonio if they are healthy and happy at the end of the year.

Pacific Division

4. Sacramento

8. Phoenix

11. LA Lakers

13. LA Clippers

14. Golden State

The chasm between 11 and 13 is huge here, don’t get too excited. The Lakers will fail because their 3rd best player is Chris Mihm. Unless Kobe/Odom = Jordan/Pippen, it’s all over. The Clippers and State are horrible. Phoenix will score a bunch of points and become Dallas of the past few seasons. The Freshmkers are still alive and well, and possibly a threat. Is this their year? No, but don’t tell them that.

Playoffs: (Note the new system whereby the winners of each division get the top three seeds in the conference, regardless of how much they suck.

Detroit over Boston

Indiana over Orlando

Miami over Washington

Milwaukee over New York

Detroit over Indiana

Miami over Milwaukee

Detroit over Miami

San Antonio over Phoenix

Memphis over Dallas

Sacramento over Portland

Minnesota over Houston

San Antonio over Memphis

Minnesota over Sacramento

San Antonio over Minnesota

San Antonio over Detroit. Ooo dang.

Decision Novelology

I've decided that the winner in the contest of what novel I'm going to write will be...

Violent Parodies Director!

Thank you all for voting. I'm outlining it all right now. I think it'll be fun. Needs a new title tho.

Just watched the first 6 episodes of "Arrested Development" on DVD this week, thanks to Netflix. It's a real giggle-fest. I like the guy who rides the Segway.

I've got 2 huge posts to make before my novel -- my NBA Preview and my Haloween Rant. Prepare thyselves.

BTW -- My wife's also doing this novel writing thing, and I'm convinced her book's just going to be a shot at me. More details as I get them.

Friday, October 29, 2004

More novel issues

I think the only way I'll be able to finish this 1700-words/day project I'm coming upon here is if I write a funny or satirical or in some way non-serious novel. Those ideas I had were solid, but unless I just totally rid myself of editorial impulses completely and write total crap with nothing to even hold it together, I will fail to get the novel done. And nobody wants that.

My wife likes 9) "The Problem" best, and she says it sounds like "Left Behind", which is basically exactly what it is. But it's too serious, man. I mean, I could make it funny, but that could be disastrous. But not as disastrous as not completing it. All your moms. I'll figure it out. Stop pressuring me.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

'bout dang time!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

10 Possible Novel Choices

Since I am doing this NaNoWriMo (stupid name), I thought I should let you, my fans, in on some of my possible ideas for novels and the hurdles I face in composing them:

1) Indians with Machineguns -- Crazy man goes back in time and give Indians machine guns, therefore changing history forever.

First of all, Machine Guns is 2 words. But I like how "Machineguns" flows. That might be enough to derail it. Also, I know virtually nothing about Native American culture. That could be a problem, unless I make them somehow metaphorical or euphamistic "Indians." Oh, and the title's bound to offend, which is never good.

2) The Scouts -- A secret society dedicated to bringing evil creatures to earth...well...lots of stuff happens that makes this idea original and interesting.

This idea, when written out, is unorginal and uninteresting. Also could offend some actual Scouts (Boy, Eagle, or whatever).

3) Your Mama's Green -- The semi-autobiographical story of a 12-and-under softball team that has many madcap misadventures, like softball games.

Hits too close to home. Potential copyright issues with kids who grew up in my neighborhood. Can you incorporate people you know into a novel? Any similarity between characters and persons living or dead would not be coincidental, at any rate.

4) Something Bureau of Something -- The story of a pizza delivery man who is really a government spy whose semi-partner goes missing, and he has to find her but he doesn't know what she looks like (it's a long story).

This story writes itself, but has too much of a living-my-life-vicariously-through-my-writing feel to it. Possibly pathetic. Includes lots of dialogue, which I hate.

5) Adventures of Yagow -- ripped from role-playing games I played in high school, it's the story of a Space Viking who gets involved in a web of things he doesn't understand.

This might be too big a story to write in a month. Also has potential copyright issues with people I knew in High School and characters they created. I would have to get their permission, and that takes time and too much explaining to really be feasable.

6) Cross Country -- Story that does for cross country running what Vision Quest did for wrestling and The Fast and the Furious did for street racing.

Running is boring. And I don't know if I'm ready to write a teen drama right now.

7) Violent Parodies Director -- The title character is interesting, and we follow his biggest fan on a quest to meet his idol.

This novel also writes itself, but may be more of a short story than a novel. Needs a new title, too.

8) Number 8 -- The people of earth discover what causing millions of children to go missing: Another planet is stealing them. They send 8 ships on an exploratory mission to this other planet.

This really works best as two (2) novels in one, which may be outside the scope of my current talent. Also, this is technically the 8th in a 9-novel series, and I would start with Number 1 but I don't know what that is yet. Furthermore, the ending s-u-c-k-s sucks. sucks.

9) The Problem -- A little boy may hold the key to the Problem -- which is an undescribable feeling that's slowly growing in all people, that is the destruction of the world.

This is a screenplay, not a novel. An incredible challenge that I don't have the walnuts for right now -- how do you describe the undescribable? Also, it has a character named "Flower".

10) Allie -- A dog that fights crime still poops and pees on the carpet in thunderstorms.

Less of a book than me venting my frustrations with my current dog.

Those are my 10 choices for now. I'd better pick soon, November is nigh upon us!


Ashleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Simpson, if you haven't heard, was caught using backing tracks using her performance on "Saturday Night Live". Her spin: Irony. To paraphrase, the one time her voice goes out and he has to use backing tracks, she gets caught. How ironic. And she's, like, so against backing vocals. These other artists you love use backing vocals all the time. Give Ashleeeee a break. A person with that little talent has to work haaaaaard to make it in that business. And she's what, 15 years old?

The great thing about all this (and Elton John's calling out Madonna for lip-synching on an awards show recently) is that these artists that use canned stuff are being exposed to the harsh light of disapproval. Now, the question is: Do the 12-year-old white girls, the "Teeny Boppers", boppin' around from dumb thought to dumb thought, Ashleeeeeeee's core audience, care that she's a fraud? If they did, they wouldn't be listening to her, or any of her ilk, in the first place. But ripping "Teeny Boppers" is too easy and too pointless. The thing I'm really uncomfortable with is 12-year-old girls watching MTV and seeing Ashleeeeeee one minute and The Real World the next. It's one thing to emulate a dumb but mostly benign pop star; It's quite another to emulate a morally bankrupt 22-year-old with a drinking problem and deep emotional issues. For this reason, MTV is a problem with no solution. Except Jesus, of course. I always forget about Him.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Cary Elwes: The new Sarah Michelle Gellar?

Ok, I can think of "Something there is that doesn't love a wall", but nothing else. Is that all Robert Frost wrote? I hate poetry.

I don't consider myself a movie buff, and certainly not a movie critic, and here's why: I won't see any movie I even suspect I might not like. My wife was talking about us seeing the movie Saw, you know, the horror movie starring Cary Elwes? I suspect I won't like it because he's Cary Elwes, and it's a horror movie. The only thing remotely thrilling things I've seen that guy in, The Crush and Kiss the Girls, sucked more than a suckerfish during sucking season, and he was horrible in them. So I'm skeptical of the merits of this to say the least. Plus, I think The Onion panned it, and I would never admit this to my wife but I really do let their reviewers influence what movies I do and don't see.

The real issue here is I don't have enough time in my life for bad movies. I got stuff to do, gotta find a job, gotta update this blog, gotta do stuff around the house, gotta watch this Netflix movie, gotta sit down and have some quiet time, gotta eat, gotta sleep or I'll be dead tomorrow, gotta go to voter's meetings, gotta go to meetings at work, gotta deliver more pizzas, gotta find more jobs, gotta learn a trade, gotta make the bed. And there's more. I don't have time to see an unoriginal mess or a boring cliche'-ridden movie or a sci-fi lack-of-continuity fest or a poorly filmed hack product or a poorly conceived and multiple-times-rewritten action movie with a tacked-on studio-friendly ending or a chick movie with unrealistic male characters that I'm going to have to live up to later on or a comedy with no laughs and too many fluids or a scary movie that just tries to throw CGI at the audience with big booming noises in lieu of actual scares or something I just don't like, for any reason I can think of.

That's why I'm not interested in seeing Saw, or that other horror film The Grudge, because they aren't The Ring, dang it. And I don't want to see Friday Night Lights because they changed a bunch of stuff from the book, the boring potential is off the charts, even though signs are pointing to it being good. And I refuse to see Surviving Christmas because it's October and its concept is repellent to me. And I don't want to see Shall We Dance because I have brain cells. And I don't want to see Ladder 49 because I hated Backdraft, which probably isn't a good reason but shut up. And I don't want to see Shark Tale because, well, The Onion said it wasn't good. And I refuse to see Taxi because shouldn't that be about something else and include guest appearances by Tony Danza and Danny Devito? And I would see The Forgotten, except now most people who've seen it didn't like it, so the suck potential is too high. And I would see What the (Bleep) Do We Know, except Farenheit 911 and spending last weekend in a swing state (Wisconsin) has depleted my propaganda allowance for the year. Plus, it would frustrate me to no end with the jumping to inappropriate scientific conclusions.

Was this post too much information? Yes. Did you love it? Yes.

Problems at Mike's Church

Church voter's meetings are always a frustrating mess of people arguing past each other, but I went to one yesterday that made me very sad. I won't tell you what it was about, because that's not important. And that's not really what made me sad. What made me sad was sitting in the back, right in front of the "Transition Pastor" and the Church Organist, and listening to their snide comments during the whole thing. It was ridiculous, these 2 middle-aged men acting like they were better than everyone else there. And the points they were saying too softly for the group but loud enough for my wife and I to hear were stupid. Again, I won't be specific, but let's just call the comments Theologically Indifferent. They were personal attacks on the subject of the meeting, personal attacks on those who spoke at the meeting, personal attacks on those voting at the meeting, etc.

Now, you could say that I should have confronted them, and I might at a later time. I'm already kicking myself about not making a point that needed to be made, that I thought of during the meeting and refined last night while delivering pizzas. I'm sure I'll get my opportunity, though.

So, I'm sad about my church. But don't worry, we cannot lose.