It takes a few times to get used to it, but after that, it’s really not so bad. Tangy.
I got a pretty cool byline for a concert preview I wrote for the weekender section of the paper.
The one before it was shared with my roommate: Ryan Marr and Andrew Allingham are marginally employed English majors living the dream in Fredericksburg.
Not quite “Ryan Marr and Andrew Allingham are Fredericksburg dudes,” but it was worth it nonetheless.
There was a month last Summer that I was in between leases in Fredericksburg. I was sleeping on a couch in the basement of my parents house and painting the upstairs as a form of rent. Conveniently, they had cable television, so this is how I spent most of my time not painting.
One day, I happened upon the ending to the movie “Letters to Juliet.” I thought, “hey, that was pretty bad, but not the worst I’ve ever seen,” and it rolled off of my brain and made no impact on me as a human being whatsoever. The problem was that I saw this ending at the very beginning of my month-long stay. I’d be flipping channels and happen upon it maybe 6 more times during said month (I blame repetitive showtime movie channels). I decided that I would make an alternate ending. Then I decided that that would be a complete waste of my time and talents. Then 7 or 8 months later, after having my blogging ability crippled because I was consciously not making this content, I decided that I had nothing better to do. I would make the alternate ending.
That is to say, I instantly ran into complications with the new Windows Live Movie Maker. It is completely and utterly useless for any kind of video editing. It no longer has a timeline feature, which is found in every other audio and video editing software. It also has no ability to edit audio or really edit video. I guess it might be good for slideshows? But why not just use power point?
Luckily, I could still download a copy of the old windows movie maker, which somehow doesn’t crash anymore, but still refuses to actually export the changes I make, sometimes? Only sometimes. You sort of have to cross your fingers and hope for the best, multiple times, which I grew accustomed to during my time at DS106. Also, somehow I couldn’t get it not to glitch up the sound at the beginning during the exporting phase. It was fate.
Manipulating the clip audio was actually the easiest part. Adobe audition, and audacity for that matter, have the function of removing vocals, so overdubbing the British guy’s voice was easy… if you have a really posh English accent, which I don’t, so don’t fault me for that.
I also decided to cut it to black and white, done and done, and add a French fin ending, check. For your viewing pleasure, the alternate ending to “Letters to Juliet.” May you never have to actually see the real ending, or even have to talk to someone who has seen the movie at all.
Letters to Juliet, Alternate Ending
Things to Think About At Night:
Q: Why has this video crippled my content making ability?
A: Because you should never consciously not make content. I know it’s not particularly profound, but it had to be done, just like the fake screenplay for “SpeedOne: Airbud: Ruff Turn Ahead.” If you feel like you should make stuff, you should make stuff, because then at least you made stuff?
Q: How long until someone files a copyright claim and Youtube shuts down your account?
A: Maybe a week, could be years, maybe they’ll include my ending in the criterion collection box set.
Not even 24 hours after I posted the video, I received a copyright take down notice from Summit Entertainment.
I hope they at least watched my masterpiece.
Since 1982, the English department at San Jose State University has held a competition seeking the worst possible first sentence to a novel. From vile punnery to the most flowery wording, these are the best of the worst that’d make you throw down a novel in disgust.
Fortunately, I was lucky enough to be runner-up in the fantasy category with this entry:
Veronica, two months pregnant and attempting to get her boyfriend to notice, and Ricky, who wanted to end things with his expansive girlfriend, sat at a table-for-two around lunchtime at the Olive Garden in Columbus, Ohio, eying the bottle of house rosé which, unbeknownst to them, doubled as the portal key to Khrysandelt: The land where everything glitters slightly more than normal.
Oh, don’t worry, I didn’t win. There are many, many more sentences that deserve that illustrious honor. These are some of my favorites:
Cheryl’s mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories.
Dishonorable Mention: Purple Prose
Like a bird gliding over the surface of a Wyoming river rippled by a gentle Spring breeze, his hand passed over her stretch marks.
Grand Rapids, MI
As the dark and mysterious stranger approached, Angela bit her lip anxiously, hoping with every nerve, cell, and fiber of her being that this would be the one man who would understand—who would take her away from all this—and who would not just squeeze her boob and make a loud honking noise, as all the others had.
Winner: Sci Fi
Morgan ‘Bamboo’ Barnes, Star Pilot of the Galaxia (flagship of the Solar Brigade), accepted an hors d’oeuvre from the triangular-shaped platter offered to him from the Princess Qwillia—lavender-skinned she was and busty, with two of her four eyes what Barnes called ‘bedroom eyes’—and marveled at how on her planet, Chlamydia-5, these snacks were called ‘Hi-Dee-Hoes’ but on Earth they were simply called Ritz Crackers with Velveeta.
Sunburned and lost, Jake tightened the noose around Randy’s diaper-white neck and growled, “Any last words, varmint?” to which Randy replied, “Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb, Jake–that’s where all the fruit is!” which marked the first and last time Jake and the boys hired a life coach to lead one of their cattle drives.
San Francisco, CA
You can read the rest of the award winning entries here. Definitely be sure to check out past winners by changing the year in the url. Oh, and submit your own.
I found that I’ve been censoring myself when it comes to measuring quantities in storytelling. It’s part of growing up, I thought, it’s inappropriate to talk about buttloads of
shit in polite conversation. Not only was I wrong about what a buttload actually was, but I found that I’ve been throwing the terms around with no regard to their actual quantity. Were there boatloads or buttloads of people in line at the supermarket, or was there merely a shitload?
For arbitrary’s sake, I’ll be comparing these sizes in gallons of whiskey (not including the jug), which is less dense than water, and weighs about 7.7 lbs per gallon. I know this is problematic, what if you want to describe how many legos you used to own in terms of butt/boat/shitloads? What about abstract concepts like boatloads of fun? you’ll need to convert them yourself. This is just a mild attempt at understanding size differences.
Buttload: “A ‘butt‘ is a traditional unit of volume used for wines and other alcoholic beverages. A butt is generally defined to be two hogsheads, but the size of hogsheads varies according to the contents. In the United States a hogshead is typically 63 gallons and a butt is 126 gallons.”
I used to think buttload was just a mishearing of boatload, but nope, it is a butt distinct unit, from Middle English bote. From now on, I’ll probably start measuring things in hogsheads.
Boatload: “the cargo that a vessel carries or is capable of carrying.”
Thanks to the indefinite response from the dictionary, I guess it will depend on how big of a boat we are talking about (can be modified, huge boatload, tiny boatload). As an example, we’ll use one of the largest cargo ships, The Colombo Express.
The Colombo Express holds 8,749 Twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), and while TEUs are hardly standardized, “the maximum gross mass for a 20-foot (6.1 m) dry cargo container is 24,000 kilograms (53,000 lb). Subtracting the tare mass of the container itself, the maximum amount of cargo per TEU is reduced to approximately 21,600 kilograms (48,000 lb),” according to a Page That Cannot Be Found. Thrilling, that’s good enough for me. Math.
21,600 kg * 8,749 TEUs = 188,978,400 kg = 416,626 ,056 lbs
so, 416,626,056lbs / 7.7lbs = 54,107,280 gallons.
Shitload: After reading through a thread discussing a formula for calculating average poop size, minus the fiber and bacterial content, I’m siding with user “Dave” and agreeing that the avg poop is probably around .5 lbs, but since it varies daily with diet and health, and is messy, highly intricate and hard (or soft) to calculate, I’ll elect to use an interval of .5 ≤ x ≤ 2 lbs, so .065 ≤ x ≤ .260 gallons.
In conclusion, here is an incredibly important infographic with a shitload of dropshadow:
(Click here for a huge version)
Drawing by David Borchart
Contest #292, June 27, 2011
“This déjà vu is getting really aggressive.”
anti-caption contest: “I wonder what it would be like if our pants were a little bit longer.”
or “This is the most confusing way I could think of to show how little we actually change over time, while also commenting on the monotony of every day life. Sorry, I’m drunj.”
Drawing by John Klossner
Contest #291, June 13, 2011
My caption: “Michelangelo was so dedicated to the game that he tore off his shell in some sort of illegal bunting maneuver, despite the screams of his brothers, “No Mikey, you’ll kill yourself!”, just to beat the opposing team.”