Monthly Archives: March 2018

Today is strange…

Today is the twenty-third anniversary of our daughter’s death. She died in her sleep two weeks short of her fifth birthday. This leaves a hole in our lives that in spite of all reason seems to get larger with the passing of time. I’ve taken the day off work to spend time with my wife. We’re going to the conservatory to smell flowers and think of Alyssa.

While we were upstairs, my computer started playing “The Hamilton Polka” for no reason. I came downstairs and shut it off with a click. The system wasn’t up on Itunes, so the cats couldn’t have set it off by stepping on the keyboard. If this was a sign from the afterlife, it is the  weirdest one I could imagine.

Today is strange…

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under True Life Misadventure

The Gleisser-Matulich Obtusity Scale, v. 0.9

My literary wing-man, Sheldon Gleisser, felt compelled to create a scaled for the obtusity of movies after seeing Annihilation. Not that it was a bad movie, but even if you had read the book which shared a title and few other points with it, you still had no idea what was going on when the credits rolled. It may have been artistic, but it was definitely obtuse. Perhaps not as mind-numbingly obtuse as 2001, but way more than the Andromeda Strain that made sure to explain the scientific process through-out and wrapped up with a voice-over. Voice-overs are Kryptonite for obtuse movies.

So, sitting down at the local B&N with hot beverages, we hammered out a ten point scaled for Movie Obtusity: The Gleisser-Matulich Obtusity Scale, or GMO. You really don’t want this GMO in your popcorn.

In considering if a movie is Obtuse, there are three primary factors we looked at. The first is Accessibility. If the film is set in a milieu that is recognizable to the audience, like a contemporary drama or  frequently seen historical era like the Western or WWII, the audience will be able to grasp the context without too much effort. A thriller set in Pre-Columbian Central America without English dialogue risks being Obtuse.

The second factor is Plot Clarity. If everything on the screen does not need explanation, or is explained in grueling detail, the film is not Obtuse. If the hero of the film moves from a vehicle in space to a prolonged special-effects sequence to a French Provincial bedroom, this is Obtuse.

The final consideration is Interior Logic. If every single event in a film comes from a previously seen event and extends to the next event, it is a least less Obtuse. If the teenage hero is haunted by the dead man in the rabbit suit he will accidentally kill in the third reel, not so much.

So here is the initial version of the Gleisser-Matulich Obtusity Scale. Feel free to suggest additions or changes of point value. Just, please don’t be obtuse about it.

Level 1: Where the Hero is always right & no-body thinks too much.

The Andromeda Strain

any Steve Reeves gladiator movie

most John Wayne movies

Level 2: Well, That’s Something New.

Billy Jack

El Dorado

Star Wars

Level  3: Yeah, I Guess That Makes Sense

Gojira

The Legend of Hell House

The Towering Inferno

Level 4: Whatever…

Robocop

Unforgiven

The Poseidon Adventure

Level 5: Here be Anti-Heroes & Ambivalence

Kong: Skull Island

any of the Clint Eastwood Man with No Name films

Pacific Rim

Level 6: I’ll Watch This Again Later

Star Trek: the Motion Picture

Tron: Legacy

Excalibur

Level 7:  I Think This Might Be Bad

Alien

Monsters

The Shape of Water

The Manchurian Candidate

Starship Troopers

Level 8:  Everything You Know is Wrong

The Matrix

Annihilation

Buckaroo Banzai.

Level 9: Would Someone Care to Explain This?

The Innocents

The Others

Inception

The Sender

The Cell

Level 10: WTF Did I Just Watch?

Shutter Island

Shin Godzilla

Mother!

Jodorowski’s Magic Mountain

Zardoz

2001

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Silly stuff, Writer stuff

Cleveland Concoction

I am honored to be appearing at Cleveland Concoction this March 9-11th, Bertram Inn & Conference Center in Aurora OH. Check me out for my Perfectly Respectable Author Persona and Outlandish Costuming gleaned from the Alley. Here is a link for further details:

http://www.clevelandconcoction.org/

The schedule goes like this:

Friday,  12 pm:  Time Management for Authors

How do you write with a full time job, school, kids, house, parents, siblings, and everything else that can take up your time? Our panelists discuss tips and strategies for making time to write even with plenty of distractions

Friday, 11 pm:  The Executions Begin at Midnight

Authors discuss their favorite bizarre and violent end of one of their characters. Conversation may segue into Poetic Justice punishments for modern day social crimes, such as using their cell phone in a theater, leaving the toilet seat up, or purchasing 32 items in the express lane.

Saturday, 1 pm:  Influencing Culture Through Fiction

How has fantasy been able to influence our culture and perceptions? How can we continue to push the boundaries?

Saturday, 2 pm: Author Showcase (Session 3)

Listen to your favorite authors read excerpts from released and soon to be released works. Find your next great read. Ask questions, and discover the new worlds.

Wherein I intend to read a selection from RFEW that allows Eleazar to channel Aragorn.

Saturday,  9 pm: Flash Fiction

Flash and micro fiction is perfect for our fast-paced society. Mastering the art of writing the super-short story can be a new author’s avenue into the business, or a seasoned writer’s best mode of advertising current novels.

Leave a comment

Filed under Writer stuff

Floor Show, No Extra Charge.

My blog was taken over by a stranger, a crazy man, who thought that this might be a place for serious social intercourse without lubrication. That individual has been captured and locked away in a basement room in Omelas.

You won’t be hearing from him soon.

#

The Matulich clan, like most families, has its own series of family in-jokes and schtick. When two or more of us spend time together, it’s the return of vaudeville.

#

An inanimate object falls to the floor, for whatever reason:

“It was depressed.”

Since every member of the family is under treatment for depression, or should be, this shouldn’t be a recurring gag. But, Hell, we all take our meds or engage in art therapy, it can take care of itself, too. Besides, we’re always there to pick the object back up.

#

“C’est la vie.”

“LA VEE.”

“Thank you.”

#

The ultimate press conference gotcha moment, usually performed by two to amplify the weirdness:

“Senator, how long have you been ripping the nipples off baby ducks?”

“Baby ducks don’t have nipples.”

“YOU GOT THEM ALL?”

#

Thank you, thank you! We’ll be here all week. Remember to tip your wait staff, and then return them to their original upright position.

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Silly stuff, True Life Misadventure