Saturday, June 30, 2012

Summer Reads

There seems to be a new trend of self published books turning into huge best sellers.  Take the new Scott Free (Ridley Scott/Gladiator/Prometheus) purchased rights/option of the run away hit "Wool" by Hugh Howley.  Amazon has opened the door to a great deal of hidden talents and er.. a few that should have stayed under the rug.  I'll give most books a try (Wool one of the few on my list), but Fifty Shades of Grey has to be one of the few that I bluntly refuse to waste my precious life on.  After reading the first excerpt from a magazine, a slow blanket of depression enveloped me... because this piece of tripe has slithered its way into millions of ebook readers and nightstands.

Many people have touted Amazon as the new haven for novice writers to become noticed, but lately I've become an advocate for elitism.  As a mediocre, subpar writer, I blog for free, without ads, without anything but nerdy-love of great culture and stupid silly shit.  But like any person, when I fork out a twenty bucks, I want a well-edited, piece of literature with a nice fancy cover on top. My paid daily job took me fifteen years of intensive training to accomplish, so dammit, I want a writer who has been painstakingly working on their craft for a decade.  Whether it's an epic work of fiction, graphic novel, or textbook, we all deserve a bit of effort, not to mention a great editor.

Good reads:

Stephen King: On Writing

The 80 hour week

Remember medical care, holidays, retirement, and all the other benefits that were expected from employment?  That has not been part of my life since graduation more than a decade ago.  Over the years I've seen a lot of my colleagues slowly become bitter and jaded as the stretches of unemployment between contracts stretch into uncertainty.

Will next generation have to sharpen their claws? Contract work has become the norm, and even the once "cushy-government" positions are downsizing.  With RIM's 5000 employee pink-slip handout, and shrinking job opportunities, more of us have to "double" or "triple" our abilities, return to school, or work overtime.. all to beat out the next guy.

Does management even care?  Do they realize they are squeezing the middle class dry?

Last year, a gem.. Margin Call, loosely based on the modelled on the Lehman Brothers actions before the financial crisis of 2008 showcased the divide between the boardroom and the common bee-hive worker.  Similar to the Boiler Room and Glengary Glenross, Margin Call keeps the audience engaged and perhaps enraged, as we watch their greed warp their actions.

If you loved Wallstreet and are salivating for Scorcese's upcoming Wolf on Wallstreet,
try this brutal but honest documentary.. Wall Street Warriors Season 1

Monday, June 4, 2012


I haven't watched television for a few months now.  Unplugged, without a pulse on the news, the media, gossip ads, magazines, or even common everyday conversation with others.  I can't complain, work is far better than unemployment, but there's a breaking point.  When you feel entrapped in your own projects, when small problems become over inflated, exaggerated calamities.  

All around me I can feel "the hustle", those people who are salivating for the new project even before they've finished the last one. And that attitude is contagious.  Your heart rate starts to beat a bit quicker, and part of your brain begins to filter insecurities that slowly weigh down your fleeting sanity. 

A new solution?  I walk.  I walk for at least an hour a day, not the best remedy, and certainly not "forest bathing" like the Japanese tout as the best cure for stress... but it helps.  Sort of.  Perhaps it's best to stop thinking... to always know that things will work out and not worry about tomorrow... until then.