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Friday Afternoon Confessional: Dignity, Always Dignity

I confess that for the past couple weeks, I have been fixated on somehow “clearing my accounts” before the end of the year. I’ve returned my library books, renewed my magazine subscriptions, done my dry cleaning, done the laundry, cleared out my folder of e-mails to follow up on, etc., etc. I confess that it feels strange to take the arbitrary turning of the calendar page so seriously, and I’m not sure what I’m trying to accomplish — what it would mean or even if it’s possible.

I confess that I have travelled a great deal in the last two months and that I find the process degrading. Airport security — and new Amtrak security measures that didn’t exist when I was taking it regularly — is a humiliating ordeal, and I confess that I get a little angry every time I have to take off my shoes. In response to this, I’ve decided that I need to supply my own human dignity for the trip, which I do by dressing nicely and, thanks to a Christmas gift from The Girlfriend, carrying nice luggage. I confess that I find the standard cheap black suitcases depressing, all the moreso the larger they are. The variations that are commonly seen remind one of nothing so much as a grade school child’s backpack. When people dress like slobs and pull around their huge-ass suitcase on wheels, I feel like they’re effectively endorsing the dehumanizing process of modern travel.

I confess that The Girlfriend and I have started a tradition of opting out of New Year’s Eve. We stay in and go to bed well before midnight, normally after watching a few episodes of MacGyver.

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December 30, 2011 - Posted by | Friday Afternoon Confessional

6 Comments

  1. I confess that I never want to be the sort of person who can say that I’ve “done my dry cleaning.”

    Comment by Craig | December 30, 2011

  2. I confess that I too have been on an end-of-year account-clearing jag, and I too confess that I don’t exactly know why, but I’m enjoying it.

    I confess that as part of said jag, I hired an acquaintance to help me organize my living space, which mainly consisted of ordering Mrs. K-sky and me to clear out the pile of crap that has been in the living room for over a year. I confess that I paid her half in barter (for script consulting services) and half in cash. I confess that while this seemed like a great idea at the time, I’m already starting to feel something that can best be described as a feng-shui-diminishing-returns.

    I confess that Mrs. K-sky and I don’t have a New Year’s tradition, but have had a pretty great run of New Yearses, which comprise a wedding in Kentucky, a weekend with friends in a Cambria vacation rental and another in Palm Springs, and a nice dinner in Sarasota. We’re going back to Palm Springs this year. I confess that I’m a little worried that this year there will be too many people crammed in to air mattresses in corners. I think we’re like 23 people in this fricking house. At least one is sick.

    I confess that during the great pile-of-crap-clearing of 2011 I found two beloved stuffed animal bunnies that I used to make short movies with. I was going to bring them to Goodwill but the thought of doing one final movie with them was so sad that I instead took them to the dry cleaners. Maybe that means I should have made the movie and said goodbye to them.

    I confess that my favorite New Year’s ever was 1993-4, when I was party-hopping in Manhattan with some friends of friends. I saw the ball drop and a small girl barf in Times Square. I kissed a guy in front of his girlfriend, then ran into him again when I transferred schools that fall and found out that it really bothered the girlfriend. 1999-2000 was also memorable — I showed up with my sister and some friends at 6 AM in L.A.’s Chinatown to pose in a Spencer Tunick photo. They offer you a free print if you pose, but my sister and I were both shy about owning an art print of one another naked so we never sent away for it. I confess that my least favorite New Year’s was 1987-8, when I babysat for the Mann children and one of the 5-year-old twins attacked me with a kitchen knife. But that’s a tale for a different confessional.

    Comment by Josh K-sky | December 30, 2011

  3. I confess to hoping Josh’s script consulting goes thusly, “Iiiiiiiit stinks!” a la Jon Lovitz’s character on the seemingly forgotten The Critic.

    I further confess I’m still trying to get through a list of resolutions I made three years ago. The sad thing is it wasn’t terribly ambitious. I am feeling confident I will at least get my graphic novel written this year. Maybe not drawn, but written.

    Related note, anybody see any problems with writing a comic book like a novel and then transferring the story to the comic medium? I had the idea when I noticed dialog in what were supposed to be quality superhero comics still sucked.

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | December 30, 2011

  4. Will you make the art for it, or do you have an artist partner? I have a television pilot that I’ve been thinking about turning into a comic for a while now. When I told the guy at the comic book store that, he said that writers looking for artists are oversupplied, and recommended a how-to book called Drawing Words & Writing Pictures by Jessica Abel (who, by the way, drew me for a strip during the 2000 DNC protests).

    I would hesitate before writing your story “like a novel” unless you feel like writing a novel. Sounds like a lot of effort that will be as much effort again to adapt as it was to create. I think it might be more productive to outline your story like a novel, be able to tell it out loud, then do dialogue exercises to build your characters’ voices if that’s your area of focus. Have you looked at comic scripts? Brian Michael Bendis includes them in Powers collections; Alan Moore’s are possible to come by, but they’re outliers in terms of the level of graphic instruction.

    Comment by Josh K-sky | December 30, 2011

  5. Wow, thank you for the tips, Josh. My story structuring has always pretty much lived in my head, but this gives me some fuel to think a little more about how the story will be laid out. As for the art, I will be doing it myself. It won’t look like typical comic book art for a couple of reasons. The big one is I’m not that good. Also, the story is supposed to take place in a world that is basically our own, so there won’t be the ridiculous muscle tones, large breasts, etc. I always found in the comic books I grew up with.

    Thanks again for your thoughts.

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | January 2, 2012

  6. You’re very welcome, and good luck. I hope you make it!

    Comment by Josh K-sky | January 3, 2012


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