writing

Return Of The Post.

To say that I’ve been absent from posting on this site may be an understatement. Seems like I stopped writing posts and transitioned solely into occasionally posting videos. Then the videos tailored off, and now I’m left as the guy who used to write a blog. Arguably it’s bad enough having a blog, let alone a blog you don’t use. However, it’s been for good reason. I’ve been held up writing (excuses!!!). I’m going to do my best to get back on here, as a matter of fact I’m going to cheat and have another post following this one… a video about writing… which, is a paradox of this joshford website.

I’m stepping away to contemplate story ideas and life. Trying not to overthink life more than I already do.  Also, I’m off to watch the Packers VS Patriots, I’m already stressed.

The TSA Is Clueless

When I was in high school living in Greendale, Wisconsin my friends and I used to get harassed by small town cops with nothing to do. The cops were the most two-faced humans on the face of the planet, wait, not all, but most of them. The majority would put on a facade of “hey, we’re your friends” but what they were really saying is, “hey shitbag, please sneeze so I can arrest you.” It was from my high school encounters that a subconscious hatred-seed was planted in my head and as time went on I grew to actually distain police officers. I never trusted them. I feel like I saw more officers walk with an air of entitlement rather than officers actually trying to help the public. It took longer than I care to admit to say that I respect police officers. As I’ve gotten older some of the best men I’ve met are officers. Solid guys sacrificing themselves for others. It took time for me to see that and I wish it didn’t, but my small town asshole cop named Officer Daniels ruined it for everyone.

Flash forward to current day: I’m now having the same adverse reaction to the airport TSA people as I did to cops and I don’t see this changing at any point in the future. The way that the TSA “structure” is supposed to be is the biggest load of bullshit that I can imagine. It’s nonsense. Literally, nonsense. Let me breakdown what happened today at LAX:

- Arrive to security.

- See the big magnetic new age body scanning machine and directly next to it is a traditional metal detector.

- See some people walk through the traditional metal detector with shoes and a belt on.

- Unload my belongings on the conveyor belt, take off my shoes and belt, approach the new age magnetic body scanning machine.

- I say to the TSA guy “hey, I want to walk through the other one.”

TSA guy says, “no, you have to go through this one (magnetic new age monster)."

Me: “Come on man, I see all these people going through that one, what’s the difference? And why do they have their shoes on?”

TSA guy: “You either walk through this one (fuck you magnetic one) or you opt out and do the pat down.”

Me: “Seriously?”

TSA guy: “Seriously.”

Me: “Why?”

TSA guy: “You opting out?”

Me: “Can I just walk through that other one? What exactly is the problem?”

TSA guy: “We’re only letting adults with children walk through there.”

Me: “Dude, I literally just saw a bunch of people walk through there without kids.”

TSA guy: “They had kids”

I’m now starting to get angry. I should note that I have this dark side that only comes out when an authoritative person like this starts bullshitting me. Oh, also, there were no kids walking through the traditional one. But it begs the questions, why the fuck aren’t kids walking through the new age machines? Are they harmful to kids? If so, aren’t they harmful to adults?

Me: “Seriously man, you’re going to tell me they had kids? There were no kids!”

My voice, slightly raised.

TSA guy: “So you’re opting out?”

Me: “Yes, fine.”

TSA dude calls someone over and says I’m opting out. I wait about 30 seconds and guess what, the new age magnetic machine stops working, someone yells that it needs to be re-calibrated, and then suddenly they direct everyone to the traditional machine.

I asked the guy if I could just go through the traditional machine, he said no, it was too late. I lost my shit. My arms were failing, I was literally on the verge of a breakdown. I started to bitch about how this doesn’t make sense and why can people suddenly walk through here?

I saw the look on this TSA guy’s face, and it was a look of total enjoyment. A look of knowing full well what he was doing. A look of entitlement. A look of unwarranted power as though he was actually doing something good. We all know the look. We’ve been there.

While I was ranting and yelling another TSA woman yelled from somewhere “Whats wrong?” I pleaded my case, trying to tell her I just want to walk through the machine. Why can’t I walk through the machine!? 

As I was making a fool of myself they just let me stand there until the woman came over and told TSA guy to pat me down. As he took me over I asked him why some people were able to wear shoes and a belt and others couldn’t. He said

“If you pay $85.00 per year you can get a back ground check done and it will give you an express pass through security so you can keep your clothing on.”

Wow. You fucking kidding me? 

He patted me down, I was angry, my fiancé just looked at me like I was nuts, knowing full well my problem with these guys. When it was all said and done I took one final glance at the smug assholes who actually thought they were doing something beneficial… And just like that, current day TSA people entered into the realm of the high school cops.

The thing is, I know that the TSA is meant for good but the reality is — It’s a total cluster fuck. There is no rhyme or reason, which is as much scary as it is frustrating. Everything about it makes no sense and I feel like we all know it, I even think the TSA knows it. It makes no sense to have a new magnetic body scanning machine and a traditional metal detector next to each other yet not allow someone to walk through whichever they choose. It makes no sense to allow someone to pay $85.00 per year to keep their shoes and a belt on. These are both just a big slap in the face.

It’s infuriating.

So, that’s my vent while flying on an airplane. My attempt to not sound like an asshole when talking about such a sensitive subject. I want to note that while I fully acknowledge the good that is intended, it’s a faulty system, it just is. We’ve been scrambling for years to stop people from harming others at airports and keep out the “bad guys” and while we haven’t perfected that system we have perfected the art of frustrating travelers.

Last thing - Fuck you, Officer Daniels.

 

Predicting The Future: Screenwriting

Welcome to the first ever installment of Predicting The Future. I imagine these posts will be random and sporadic… Like the future!

I had a conversation with my friend about screenwriting. I said, “Remember when people didn’t have the internet or computers to write screenplays? 

I proceeded to think about the time and effort that once went into researching screenplays. I bitch and moan when my internet is running slow or the batteries to my keyboard are low. After that I poured a little out for the trailblazers who used pen to paper or fingers to typewriter. 

A second after that I started to think about the future. There will probably be a future-ish me thinking, “Man, remember when they had computers and had to type everything out to write screenplays?” (Hopefully future-ish me will pour a little out). I got to thinking about how I think screenwriting may evolve, and this is what I got… 

Future screenwriting programs will be able to understand what is being typed, and based off of just the little bit that is typed, an algorithm will kick in and the program will generate thousands of options regarding where a story can go. Meaning, I write my first act and my program will then say: 

“Josh here is the options for the next 10 pages…15 pages…. 30 pages….” 

Essentially the computer becomes the writer in some regards. I imagine there will be different options as to how far this could go. Does the computer generate the entire story? Does it get a sense of how you write and then take over? Does it tell you what is most marketable? Does it tell you what is least obvious? The possibilities are scary.

Also, the other obvious prediction for writing screenplays is eliminating the writing altogether so you’re speaking screenplays. I wonder if this period of time is the last hurrah before “writing” is actually eliminated? The machines are taking over. I just poured a little out. 

Packers VS 49ers: The Aftermath

NFL: NOV 01 Vikings at Packers Well, that was painful. Not sure I want to go through that every again. I started the game telling myself that I’d do a liveblog because I wanted to document my ups and downs. It only took about half of the first quarter to realize there was not a fucking chance I’d be able to multi task and things weren’t looking great for my Packers. I turned my computer off (grabbed my phone) and stared at my TV screen while pacing and being a fan from the Midwest. Wait. Shit. This feeling sucks.

I can’t think. I don’t want to write. I don’t want to think about Jim Harbough on the sideline, Colin Kapernick running, that dude Hyde who dropped a 4th quarter interception, Colin Kapernick running, Packers injuries, Colin Kapernick running, dropped balls, the entire first quarter, and Colin Kapernick.

Damn. This one stings. Fortunately I’m a *tad bit older and wiser and I won’t go into a shit fit like I would've done a few years ago. The Packers took one on the chin, again. Kapernick owns the Packers and it kills me to say it, but I won’t hide from the truth! I can’t. I’m about to cry.

Fuck it. It’s just football. Onward 2014.

—————————————————————————————————————————

Actually, just one final thing: I had a text thread going with a few people. Specifically my good friend, DJ. This was his final text to me:

Bad play calling in the first quarter came back to haunt us. Dumb, stupid, conservative McCarthy play calling. 

Can’t say I disagree with that. Honorable mention for his text that came an hour earlier:

There is something to be said about pre-mixing Micheladas for Packers games. 

Can’t say I disagree with that either.

Packer Playoffs and the return of Lost Hope.

Coffee (check), Packers socks on (check), plopped down on my couch (check), attempt to figure out how to Live Blog on wordpress but couldn’t successfully do it (check), lucky Twitter picture ready to be reposted if need be (check), nervous (sort of check), anxious (check check check). 

Packers game starts in about 30 minutes and I couldn’t be more excited. All of my irrational thoughts throughout the season lead to this game, I love it. That’s the beauty of sports. The fact that we can get a “winner” and “loser” is always the best kind of conclusion. There is definitely a finality to the world of sports, and I’m okay with that. 

I’m not totally sure if it’s the coffee or my nerves but I’m having trouble focusing on this post. Maybe a combination of both. However, I’d like to just express and come clean that there was one point in the season where I lost hope. It happened right after the Lions blew out the Pack on Thanksgiving. I specifically remember telling my friend they should rest Aaron Rodgers and call it a day, there is no way they’re making it to the playoffs. Well, shit. Here we are. I feel like a loser, a man that for a moment became the emotional sports fan that I am. 

I wanted to admit that. Clear my soul of all impurities pre game. I wanted to acknowledge that the hope I once lost has returned and I can't be a stupid fickle loser fan who leaves his team when they're down. I should have never doubted life. 

I feel good about this game. Oddly. Whatever the outcome of this game… I really hope Colin Kapernick doesn’t go berserk on the Packers. I don’t know if I can live through that again. 

Go Packers.

London Adventure: Need Advice

http://youtu.be/Zgt3C9IT3mo If my blog post yesterday wasn't enough I went ahead and followed it up with a video. Heading to London, any advice on what to see would be appreciated. I also became "ask-for-help-on-Twitter-guy" in this post. Not something I'm totally proud out, but something I'm coming around to.

Off to London...

Image I’m going to London to meet up with a group of friends. I’ve never been, but I think it’s safe to say that I’m looking forward to it. Aside from the fact that I like to see people close to me, I also like to get out of the house and explore new territory, and truthfully, I don’t do it enough.

I’m going to cut the shit and get to the chase here because I’m on the verge of walking down a road reflecting on friendship and how life takes us in a new direction and blah blah.

I’m writing this is because I’d like some advice on what to see and where to go in London. I’m not talking about the basic things, i.e.: Big Ben, London bridge, London eye, Windsor castle…  or really anything I can find on the internet in 30 seconds. I’m talking about off the road hole in the wall historic landmarks that I wouldn’t be able to find unless I pleaded for help on the Internet.

Also, and I mean this – If you’re reading this and will be in London over the next few days please don’t hesitate to connect. The best way is to email me: Josh@thebigshoe.tv or twitter: @JoshuaHallman

(Just became that dude asking people to tweet me)

Only reach out if you want to have a drink and talk about life, movies, sports, adventures, conspiracies, travel, and writing. Hope to talk with someone somewhere, it would be cool to connect... I think.

The Beauty Of Creation

Right off the bat we should establish that this is in no way a religious thing so lets not let the title of this post mislead you. I just let my mind drift as it normally does and I got to thinking about the creation of art, entertainment, stories, basically anything that has a human at the helm. It’s incredible for me to think that something doesn’t exist and then a person brings it into existence, possibly altering the mind of someone observing whatever it is. The impact that creation can have on someone is hard to comprehend. Many times we see a work of art or a quote, and it alters our thinking - Literally changing our lives. It makes me wonder about creations that exists in the world that I’ve never seen, or creations that almost never were.

I’m not sure if creation is as appreciated as it should be, especially now. We live in a time where we’re spoiled with information and content. We’re in a microwave attention span time-period so I feel that much of the things we see we take for granted simply because we’re trained to look and move on.

Also, we have access to the greatest site in the world, YouTube, and it allows us to watch an auteur create a five minute story that took him three months along with blood, sweat, and tears, but on the flip side you can also watch a cat jump on a hamster but was filmed by a ten year old in sixty seconds.  Does watching cat on hamster pull us from appreciation of good calculated creation? Also, who's to say what is “good” and what isn’t? But really, that’s the beauty of creation! We don’t know what’s good or bad until we see it. You may be reading this post and thinking it’s the biggest piece of shit of all time, you may be right, but it wasn’t in your life five minutes ago… so wrap your mind around that.

Shall we dig a little deeper and talk about the creation of human life? I don’t think that’s the best idea at this current moment. My mind is overloaded right now just thinking about this subject, when I pull back and try to relax I’m left with one solid conclusion: Creation is amazing, and what you create says more about you than what you’ve probably ever intended, but that’s the beauty of it. As long as people create then people will keep thinking of newer things to create… It’s essentially evolving the world.

Inevitable Wisconsin Reflection.

As I sit in my bed at my mom’s house in Greendale, Wisconsin I realize that I haven’t lived in this state for nearly ten years. I almost can’t comprehend that. Wow, time flies, it really does. People always told me things would go fast, I sort of believed it, but “sort of” is now 100% gone, there is no doubt. The reflection of how fast time moves opens up a waterfall of thought about how I should utilize time, how I should be living life, treating others, treating myself, if I’m living the right way, if I’m happy, and what kind of strides I’m making in my life.

Uh oh, the obvious life-reflection-when-I-come-home moment is in full force. Well, it’s necessary. Sometimes you need to take stock of your life and how you’re growing as a person…or not growing. On the flip, maybe it isn’t normal to reflect as much as I am? Sometimes too much reflection can lead to doubt, for me at least.  The ideal case is that reflection leads to growth, but that isn’t always the case.

The beauty of having a small town like Greendale is that it’s always a reminder of where I’m from. It’s a simple reminder of who I was, and to an even larger extent, how I got to be who I am. I wonder if that’s the case for everyone when they return to their hometown?

The things written above is a stream of thought that I’ve had many times in past. My personal conclusion inevitable. However, now I tell myself to get there faster. I try to avoid the rabbit hole of emotion that comes with reflection. Also, time is flying, life is short, lets just conclude…

Live often, and live fast but do it slowly because life is short. And to echo a mantra that isn’t mine: “seek and find.” 

Sportscenter and Breaking Bad.

I sort of feel brain dead right now. It was a long weekend. Maybe it was because my lady was out of town and I proceeded to eat frozen pizza, drink beer, watch TV, and eat more pizza. Maybe it was because I was anticipating the Breaking Bad finale and felt emotionally drained. Maybe it’s because I’ve been staring at a computer screen all day and my emotions were poltergeisted from me and sucked into my laptop. Or, maybe it’s all of the above. It’s all of the above.

Somewhere in the fog and pizza I managed to come to two very important conclusions this weekend that (I think) have an impact on any human who likes either sports or watching narrative programs. I’m banking on one of these two things appealing to you.

Conclusion 1: I was really trying to avoid being the guy who talks about Breaking Bad. I’m not going to get into how great Breaking Bad is, we already know that, the finale was great. The show was great, it’s storytelling at its finest.  What I am going to get into is how great Breaking Bad was at marketing to its fans. I kind of think it may have been a game changer.

Breaking Bad knew exactly what it was as a show and fed into it. It knew that we as fans loved Heisenberg saying, “Say My Name” or “Tread Lightly” and Pinkman saying, “Bitch.” It was so aware of what it was doing that it didn’t over think itself. But rather, it fed itself, and in turn, fed us. It created hashtags that weren’t generic, and created novelty items (meth lab Lego set).

I don’t think there’s ever been a show of this caliber that played to its strengths in regard to communicating with fans. There was no forcing the Breaking Bad slogans, they saw what was trending and moved with it… Which is a great lesson for just about everything in the entire world.

 

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Conclusion 2: Sportscenter is never not on.

What. The. Fuck. Seriously, Sportscenter is always on. I have Time Warner which has 3 ESPN channels – ESPN, ESPN2, and some 3rd ESPN station that I literally have no clue about… ESPNews maybe?

I was staring at my cable guide and noticed that as one Sportscenter would end on ESPN it begin on ESPN2 then end and then begin on the 3rd station - and continue, over and over and over and over. The weird part is, is that these were all different Sportcenters talking about the same thing, sort of, but with different people. Then when a certain time came, ESPN just looped the original Sportcenter!

In my slumped over fat guy weekend mode I searched forward to find out if this was just a weekend thing, it isn’t! ESPN legitimately loops Sportscenter.  This is horrible. I love Sportscenter as much as anyone but this is not right. The main reason being is because Sportscenter now releases so much content they’re talking about non-stories and bullshit that shouldn’t warrant a conversation. I don’t give a flying fuck what LeBron said on Twitter or the Instagram of him and his wife, I don’t need you to tell me, that’s why I have Twitter and a Instagram account.

Sportscenter talked about Dwayne Wade and Kevin Durant’s minor words back and forth like they had a KG / Carmelo exchange.  The ironic part is, having this oversaturation of Sportscenter being there 24.5 hours a day makes me tune out and allows me to appreciate the Internet’s a la carte style along with good writing from sites like Grantland.

Eh, bitter old man talking. Whatever, Breaking Bad was great. I’m off to read about sports. 

The Greg Jennings Fall From Grace.

Image Ahhhhh, yes, football season, welcome back. I feel good about things. I’m ready to overly engage in minute details and look at everything as absolutes. This is the life of a football fan. I’m not proud of it, but it’s just the way it is. Oh, in case anyone has forgotten I’m a Green Bay Packers fan. Lets just jump right into this…

Greg Jennings recently signed with the Vikings. Cool. Happy for the guy, I’d take more money too. Then he started to talk about Aaron Rodgers and that he’s basically unapproachable due to his stigma and the Packer organization is basically afraid to point at him when things go wrong. Okay, fine, that’s cool. But now this —

A quote from an article I read on NBC:

“When I came over here, I was kind of brainwashed, there’s no ‘kind of’ to it. Being over in Green Bay, you’re brainwashed to think anyone in the division is tiers below. And so coming over here I meet the people within the organization and I’m like, ‘Wow, these are really great people.’”

And —

“It’s like everything that you know in Green Bay is like the best, the best, the best, the best, the best,” Jennings said. “And it’s like total brainwashing. And I think you don’t open your eyes to see what other teams have to offer unless you are in that position.”

Dude, what? What happened to this guy? How much did he hate being in Green Bay?

First off, this quote about meeting great people in another organization and seeming like he’s surprised. Huh? You’re a grown man that travels to play football for a living; you never met cool people in other places?

Secondly, I’ve been to Green Bay just once for a Packers game. The place is small as shit and I feel that being in the smallest market in the NFL an organization needs to implement some form of mindset like “win win win.” The Packers (fortunately) have been good or fun to watch for the last 18 years (give or take a few years). If you’ve ever been Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin, which is a suburb of Green Bay, and also the location of Lambeau field then you’d know that the Packers are the pride and glory. That mindset Greg Jennings is cutting down is crucial.

I still like the guy, he seems like a good dude and is a good football player. But come on, let it go. He’s starting to seem desperate.

-Enter girlfriend analogy about having remorse so you keep cutting her down because you secretly love her still-

I love Football season.

Art and Adventure.

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As I’m writing an outline for a script I’m drifting off and thinking about adventure. It’s underrated.

On a personal writing level I like to put a relatable individual in a highly unlikely situation and thrust him/her off into some form of an adventure. More times than not it’s usually a very exaggerated situation. But it always comes back to the adventure. Part of me thinks that most writers kind of follow this idea, especially if you’ve ever read Joseph Campbell.

However, the great thing about adventure is that it doesn’t have to be something exaggerated and I think people forget that. Adventures can be small and contained. They can be a night. They can be a drive. They can be quick. They can be a day. If you learn something new from an experience and it takes you mentally to some place you’ve never been then I’d chalk that up to an (mini) adventure.

The great thing about adventure is that it feeds into what’s amazing about life. The majority of us live pretty standard lives in the sense that we know how our days are going to unfold – coffee, work, work, work, home, dinner, TV, internet, sleep - Rise, lather, repeat. But adventure changes that. Adventure allows our brains to respond to something it doesn’t expect - it keeps us fresh.

I like to think that our minds and bodies need new experiences to keep us new and young. Adventure offers us that. AND I’m not even touching on the amazing stories created, new people we meet, and many regrets we secrets don’t regret that adventure offers. Underrated right?

BUT… As amazing as small adventures are how great are the ones where you take a monumental trip to Italy, sleep with a foreign diplomat and find yourself in the middle of a terrorist plot.

Adventure.

"I’ve always sa...

"I’ve always said there are – to oversimplify it – two kinds of writers. There are architects and gardeners. The architects do blueprints before they drive the first nail, they design the entire house, where the pipes are running, and how many rooms there are going to be, how high the roof will be. But the gardeners just dig a hole and plant the seed and see what comes up. I think all writers are partly architects and partly gardeners, but they tend to one side or another, and I am definitely more of a gardener. In my Hollywood years when everything does work on outlines, I had to put on my architect’s clothes and pretend to be an architect. But my natural inclinations, the way I work, is to give my characters the head and to follow them.”

R.R. Martin

A really great quote...