Thursday, December 18, 2014

Status Update

Have no fear, all is fine here. I didn't even realize it's been nearly 2 months since I last blogged. Wow. Somehow I'm proud of that achievement. It means I've been busy living life! :)

And yet, despite the absence, my blog's daily tracker has exploded with new visitors in that time. Seriously! I used to get around 150 to 250 visitors per day a few months ago (twice that back when I was posting Game of Thrones reviews), but ever since the summer this site has been receiving anywhere between 900 and 1,500 unique visits per day! I guess when you've been posting since 2008, eventually you have something for everyone on your site. The majority of the visits are through Google searches, though, and around 75% of those are for various pics I post here. Especially pics about famous people or models. Go figure.

On the personal front: I'm doing well. The year is finally winding down and I can reflect on what has passed. Last year around this time I was going on and on about how 2013 was one of the worst years of my life (and it was), but I had expressed hope that 2014 would be a lot better (and it was). Still, I'm very glad that it's coming to an end. I've closed a lot of chapters in the past 23 months, and in the past 12 have opened up a few new ones in my life. There's a steady, positive progression throughout it all. And while I don't feel completely back to my old happy self quite yet, I have to say I find myself not really dwelling on the past all that much. I'm generally optimistic as I've stated on this blog before, and that hasn't changed. So in that light, 2015 is looking like it may be a great year yet!

*fingers crossed*

My one regret for 2014? Not traveling nearly as much as I had planned. For a while there, I was quite certain I would be traveling to Eastern Europe for the holidays. Specifically, to the cities of Budapest, Vienna, and Prague--in that order. And the plan was to visit each in turn via rail, something I've always dreamed of doing. But it looks like that won't be happening this year. Bummer! It's still on the books, though. The thinking is that I'll have even more saved up next year, and can therefore afford to travel for a longer stretch than what I had initially planned for this month. We'll see how that goes.

A Danube runs through it. Budapest at night. Suddenly, I'm craving goulash!

But, yeah, it would have been glorious to visit these places during Christmas and New Year's. As for 2015 travel plans ... it's all up in the air at this point. Aside from the aforementioned trip above, I may just as well end up going to Paris again at some point. I've been there twice already--and both times in March right before the Spring influx of tourists began. This time, I would love to go in the Fall. Preferably in late October or early November. I'm working on it. Other possible destinations include Morocco and even . . .  yup, the Dominican Republic! I've always said that I would never visit the island nation of my father's people, but as I grow older I'm starting to change my mind. If I do go, however, it won't be to stay at an all-inclusive resort. Gaghhhh! I hate those!!!

My, but it is a beautiful island!

Anyway, yeah ... 2014. It was a pretty fast year, no? Some minor bumps and annoyances along the way, sure, but a cake walk compared to 2013. So I'm hoping the trend continues and that the new year turns out FAB-U-LOUS!!!

How about you? How has your year been, and what are your expectations for 2015? Do tell!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My Quick(ish) iPhone 6-Plus Impression

(Insert stand-up routine here).

No, not that kind of impression.

What I'm holding up there is my newest phone, Apple's iPhone 6-Plus, which just came in the mail last Wednesday. Which is around 5 days after the phones first went on sale at stores nationwide. This was the usual upgrade after my 2-year contract commitment expired with AT&T, at which time I became eligible to replace my existing phone -- Apple's 2012 iteration, the iPhone 5.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Do You Remember . . .?

A typical September day in New York's Central Park.

. . . SEPTEMBER!!!

Yup, it's that time of year again. My favorite of them all, in fact . . . the month to beat all months. Yes, friends, my favorite time is finally here! I love September, and now I'm very happy. Happy not just because I was born in this month, but because it marks the end of that most hated season of all -- Summer!

Now, yes, we still have 3 more weeks of official Summer to go, but psychologically flipping the calendar from August is all it takes to get me in the Fall mood. For me, summer is over NOW! And thus commences one of my favorite times of the year, that stretch between Labor Day and Christmas Day. It doesn't get any better.

So where other people are starting to slow down, dress warmer, and prepare to hunker down for a long Winter ahead, my body is just waking up and starting to get the juices flowing. I'm more productive during this time of year, especially mentally. The months of July and August are just one endless foggy gap in my memory that I try to put behind me. Nothing of worth has ever happened to me in those months. Except get married, of course. And on second thought, we all know what a bad association that is for me now, so you can scratch that off the list.

So, yeah, nothing good at all happens to me in the Summer. Blech!

Although my friend Yvonne has beaten me to the punch and already put this up on Facebook -- I don't care! I have to share this video here on the blog. It's a tradition, dammit! Come celebrate with me this favorite month of mine by clicking on the video below. This song perfectly encapsulates how happy I'm feeling right now. In fact, it's seriously making me want to get up and dance:

Yes, you know you can't resist the beat, either. You just KNOW your feet are getting happy and want to move to the rhythm. So go ahead and DANCE!!! It's a joyous occasion.

Hey, hey, hey-eh ...
Ba de ya, say do you remember?
Ba de ya, dancing in September!
Ba de ya, never was a cloudy daaaaaaaaaaay . . .

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Rise of the Man-Child

In a recent op piece, acclaimed fantasy author Michelle Sagara extolls the appeal of the "alpha male" in romance novels. A genre, she admits, she doesn't have much success writing for, but in which she does have some experience reading. It's not what you might think--her championing of the male paragon in this genre, that is--and makes for some great reading. I think everyone should check it out, and then come back and chime in here in the comments section to let me know your own opinions on the subject.

You can click here to read the full article, but I wanted to excerpt this particular passage to bring to light something I've been thinking about with regards to the way contemporary men behave in the real world:

". . .Let me go one step further. He is not looking for love to define his life and give it meaning. He has a life. He has a life he’s in control of. Men who read romances looking for clues on how to approach women are taking the wrong things out of the reading if they’re focused on out-of-context behaviours. The alpha has confidence in himself. He is not looking at love as a way of bolstering a (non-existent) confidence. He has proven that he can, thank you very much, be strong without a relationship to define him. But…he is aware that something is missing.
"If you’re male and reading romance to try to understand what women want, that’s what you should take out of these books: that you need to be confident, and to have a life of your own, interests of your own, direction and motivation of your own; that you can, in fact, take care of yourself and all of the details of life and living, before you look for your life-mate. You cannot expect that these things are donated simply by having a girlfriend/wife, etc. They’re not."

The bolded portion, of course, is particularly what I wanted to discuss here today. See, I personally know a few men who *THINK* they live like this, but in fact do not. Far from it. It's something that perplexes me. Quite a few of my male acquaintances like to promote this ideal that they are "manly" men who are so independent and in charge of their lives. These men are so proud of their status as "bread winners" and family men, yet somehow never fail to speak patronizingly about women and their inferiority as a gender. These are men who are married to women who work jobs, too, and yet these women are STILL expected to come home to take care of the cleaning, the cooking, the child rearing, and the paying of the bills and balancing of the accounts. These are men who talk all day and night about how they love their wives, but how--don't get it twisted!--they could leave them tomorrow and completely take care of themselves if these women don't give them the proper due respect they deserve.

Pfft! Yeah right. I have yet to see this proven or put into practice. I meant it. Zero times have I seen men of this ilk actually live up to their boasts. Not just in my circles, but in the broader population as well. Where are these men that are independent and fully secure in their own individuality? For all they talk about women being the weaker sex, in fact they are the ones themselves who are weak.

Example A: Manly man thinks he makes a pretty decent living. He thinks he has it made. He comes home from work and expects his live-in GF (who also works) to have the house clean and dinner waiting for him. Yet the minute they get into hot water, is quick to say to me in private how easy it would be to kick her out and let her fend for herself. See how she likes it then. His GF promptly leaves on her own accord, and for weeks later it is all the man can talk about how much better off he is, and how he's living the good life. And how he didn't need her anyway. But then the laundry never gets done. The dishes start to pile up; take out cartons are everywhere. Roaches and other vermin make pilgrimages to the promise land his apartment has become. And suddenly the girlfriend is back, and all is well. And you know what? Of course she came back because he "allowed" her to. That in the end HE realized that a good man is forgiving and generous, and will always leave the door open for the woman to return because he loooooves her so. Oh yes, he's such a man.

Example B: Married manly man likes to tell me that I'm too laid back. That I give women too much respect, and that I'm living my life wrong because I take into account women's feelings and treat them as human beings owed the same respect I believe the world owes me in return. He has a lot of opinions about how I, as a single man, should be more selfish and experimental. Get out there and just try all the different fish in the sea! According to this great guy, I need to be more like him. Although he's married, he has a woman on the side. She gives him what the wife cannot. But although he's been with her on the side for 5 years, has never once used the "L" word with his mistress. She knows her place and will be thankful for it! According to this paragon of manliness, a real man never lets a woman think she is on equal footing with him. A real man never gets too attached. But when this side woman eventually tires of him and leaves, he constantly whines about how he wishes he still had her as his backup. How he can't stand his wife and wishes the side girl was still around for him to relieve all his frustrations on. But, oh yes -- I'm the one that's not being a real man for refusing to live the same way.

Is this what the modern man has become? Is it no wonder women resort to fiction to find examples of what a real man looks like?

For the record, I am proud of who I am. I don't question my manhood, because I'm not insecure about it. I don't need to put women down to prop up myself or my gender. I simply get things done. I clean for myself, cook for myself ... keep my accounts in order, my health on point, my house organized, my career on lock -- all by myself and without the need to qualify it all by the presence of a woman on my arm, or lack thereof.

I don't need a woman to appear strong next to. Or to stoke my ego and make me feel needed. I don't look for, nor do I need, a mother figure. Even when I was married I never expected to be mothered by my wife. I'm surprised by how many men do. Even those who think they don't and who later become single again are completely useless at day-to-day management of their affairs. This is not manly to me. It's actually quite pathetic. And do you know how to spot these types of baby-men out there? It's fairly easy. No, it's not just the messy bachelor pad they keep. Or the fact that they don't even know how to cook, or to put together a decent monthly personal expense plan, or to save money worth a shit!

No. You want to know how you can spot a typical man-child in the wild? It's by how quickly he needs to get right back into a relationship once he becomes single. For all his talk about manly independence and the latent submissiveness of women, he's quickly in another relationship with one before the boxes have even been unpacked at his new place.

If women are attracted to the male hero in romance novels, it's not because he's a fetishized version of the male ideal: it's because he is his own person not dependent on the women around him to bolster his ego and baby him. He's a man that has his own thing going independent of you, and as such has his own identity not built upon the foundation you laid.

I'm not a woman, but I would imagine that appears pretty damn sexy indeed. Or am I wrong?


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dancing On A Saturday Night

So, for the first time ever I went clubbing this weekend.

Yes, you read that right. I've never been clubbing before. Correction, I did go last year with my awesome friend, Jennifer Hillier, who was in town on writerly business and brought her bestie along so we could all have a fun time out on the town together. But see, that night ended up being Queer Night--or some other similarly titled event--at the club I had chosen. So we only stayed for about 20 mins, and never danced once, before getting the hell out of there with the quickness! It was a very weird vibe there that was not in the least conducive to dancing. *shudder*

But this weekend I decided to give the same club another shot. I mean, it's normally supposed to be a cool, retro, 80's themed venue called, appropriately, the "Culture Club," located in the heart of midtown Manhattan. And if you know me, that sounds right down my alley, right? I had my misgivings. It's notoriously hard to find out any information on what's going on in this place on any given Friday or Saturday night. So I had to go and pray to both the old gods and the new that I was not walking into another awkward gay-love trap.

It's not officially the 80s if it does not have Pac-Man.

Happy to say everything went off without a hitch! Culture Club is where both genuine 80s kids and wannabes alike can go for dancing and drinking while tunes from that era blast through the speakers into the wee hours of the morning. It used to be located in a much larger venue a bit farther downtown, but the new location was adequate enough, I thought.

Drinks are stupendously expensive here, even by NYC prices.

However, another first this night was me dancing. Yes, except for my school prom and my wedding reception, I've never danced in public before. Heck, I don't dance in private, either! And I've certainly never gone to a club to dance. I suck at it. But I must say I had a damn fun time trying, at least. Seriously, it was exactly what I needed. Although it got super crowded by around 11pm, no one was being an asshole on the dance floor, and at some point the entire club joined in unison to belt out the choruses for some of the most beloved and iconic songs of that era. Shouting along to "Livin' on a Prayer!" at the top of my lungs (yes, a few drinks had been imbibed at this point) will forever be one of my most cherished memories of the night. Tubular!

Tiny main dance stage is tiny. But we made it work.

I had more fun than should have been possible, and I daresay it's made me curious to try this whole club/dancing thingy again. Preferably at another location, but maybe I'll return back here again sometime soon since I had such a good time.

And if any of you blogger friends of mine are ever in town and want to hit up Culture Club, let me know. I'm totally game! Like, totally.

Monday, July 28, 2014


Up until now, the Model Spotlight series has featured beautiful women who were known in the glamour/fashion industry first, and only in the entertainment biz second. This trend changes with today's entry, a woman who has definitely graced a few photo ops and magazine covers in her time, but who's primarily known for her strong background in theater, television, and movies. Of course, like the previous entries in this series, she would invariably have to be of either Persian or Indian descent to garner my attention. And in this case, surprisingly, the subject of today's profile is a little of both! Ah, the best of all possibilities.

Name:  Nazneen Contractor
Age:  31
Profession:  Actress
Hometown:  Toronto, Canada
Accolades:  2008 Golden Nymph Award, Montecarlo Television Festival; 2012 Best Supporting Actress, WorldFest Houston; 2014 Actor of the Year, ANOKHI Magazine.
Best Known:  As Kayla Hassan on FOX's 24.
Current:  Can be seen starring in the 5th season of the USA Network series, Covert Affairs.

Born in Mumbai, India in 1982 to parents of Gujarati-Parsi heritage, Nazneen has lived, among other places, in Nigeria, London, Toronto, and L.A., where she currently resides. At age 9 when her parents settled down in Toronto for good, she took an interest in both drama and dance, going so far as to train in classical ballet for almost a decade. But it was while majoring in both psychology and sociology at the University of Toronto that Nazneen turned her attention toward theater, and the acting bug bit her hard!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Because I'm Happppppppy!!!

*Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof*

I'm overcome with a sudden feeling of, oh, I don't know what it is: happiness, euphoria, optimism ... zest for life? Whatever you want to call it, I have it. And the weird thing is, there's no specific reason for it. In fact, I've had a pretty shitty last couple of days where one bad thing after another keeps happening to me. Small things, to be sure, but small things add up to one big, steaming pile of shit-for-feelings if you're not careful. And I'm almost at my threshold!

And yet ...

And yet, I don't know why exactly, but I'm just so happy. If I could sum it up, I seem to be overjoyed just to simply be alive. That no matter what else is happening, I am alive. And being alive is GREAT! This got me to stop and think: why am I generally so optimistic? It's a mystery to me. While others have had far shittier lives than I, and continue to have them, I've had my fair share of hard knocks throughout. Some pretty horrific ones, actually. And yet I can honestly say I've never suffered from depression. Real depression, I mean. As in clinical. No, that's just not me.

But why not? I have actual real world friends and family whom I know for a fact suffer from clinical depression. And, yes, they've had shitty lives (for the most part) to perhaps justify such depression. Although, to be honest, real depression is not caused by the simple fact of bad things happening to someone, but with that someone not having the tools to cope with those shitty happenings. And by all accounts, I suppose I *should* be in that boat. And yet, I am not.

But, again, why not? Why do I love life so much? Why, despite being knocked down so often, do I pick myself up, dust off the dirt, and keep on keeping on? I think it comes from the fact that I believe in good things around the corner. That I have ... optimism that things will always be better. It's something I strive for, and I think so long as you have that drive -- that push to reach for something bright and good, whatever it may be -- despite any and all things bad happening to you at any given moment, that this is what makes for happiness. A satisfaction with oneself that things will be all right. That's called harmony, or being at peace with oneself. If one is at peace, despite being surrounded by negative forces, then one can truly be in balance with existence.

Or am I full of it?

Who knows! In the meantime, I will do as the song below says and clap along. Because I *do* feel like happiness is the truth!


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Online Dating: Oh, The Horrors I've Seen!

Okay, yes. Confession: I've dipped my toes into the dreaded online dating pool. Well, dreaded for me at least considering that, aside from my wife (oops, I keep forgetting to prefix that with "ex-"), I've never actually dated anyone else. So the prospect of getting into that whole scene at the ripe "old" age of 37--and after roughly two decades of never having to concern myself with such--the prospect of learning how to get out there and mingle was not very appealing to me. Add to that this newfangled online component all the kids are raving about these days, and it's a wonder I didn't suffer a panic attack or something.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Dear Dad (A Letter To My Father)

Dear Dad,

I know you speak very little English, and can perhaps barely read it. I wouldn't normally knock someone for that, but let's be honest: you've been in this country for over 38 years -- the fact that you cannot communicate with your sons is your fault, not ours. Perhaps someone will translate this letter for you someday.

I'm writing to let you know where you went wrong. Apparently it might be some mystery to you, and perhaps you have some misconceptions surrounding the current state of our relationship. Or rather, the lack thereof. So let me set some things straight. If it's okay with you, I'll like to start from the beginning.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting!

So, I basically have 3 television shows that have completely and utterly shaped who I am as a man today. I alluded to this fact once in a poignant post I wrote in 2008 early on in this blog's existence called: "My Three Dads." I reposted it 2 years ago on Father's Day here. Perhaps some of you might recall that.

As that article pointed out, my three all-time favorite tv shows from childhood are, in no particular order: Star Trek: The Next Generation; Kung Fu: The Legend Continues; and Highlander: The Series. With the latter receiving top billing in both my estimation and impact on who I am as both an adult and as a writer.

However, while two of these shows have been readily available on DVD and Blu-ray formats for some time, for years now I have been maligning the fact that the remaining series has never seen the light of day in North American home video release -- not even VHS tapes! I mean, ever since I first got a DVD player in 1998 I've been scouring the 'net and retail stores alike for this series to release, and to no avail. Back in 2001 I even joined online petitions and Amazon's own mail notification service in the hopes of having my dream fulfilled, and still -- bupkis!

That is, until now:

Behold, the day has finally come. The day that my beloved television show, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues has at last arrived in a professional, officially sanctioned video release. Sure, it's only a DVD release in an age where everything is inevitably switching over to the Higher Definition format afforded by Blu-ray disc, but it's better than nothing. And since HD tvs were not in existence when this show first aired way back in 1993, I can't say that I mind too much watching these episodes in Standard Definition. That's the only format I've ever seen them in!

Kung Fu: The Legend Continues was one of the flagship shows to air on the new and untested independent station, The Prime Time Entertainment Network in early 1993. It told the tale of one Kwai Chang Caine, an elderly Shaolin Buddhist monk and gong-fu master who, after 15 years of wondering the world, is reunited with his Westernized son-turned-police detective, Peter. The show was a spinoff of the original Kung Fu, which aired from 1972-75, and whose's protagonist was also named Kwai Chang Caine. Since that show took place in the American Wild West of the late 19th century, it was explained early on in the new show that this other Kwai Chang Caine was in fact the grandson of that now legendary figure. Both characters were portrayed by the late, great David Carradine.

Press play up there to watch the show's very memorable opening sequence.

The series was a wonderful attempt to blend your typical cop procedural with martial arts know-how and even some tinges of Eastern philosophy here and there, albeit sometimes in a heavy-handed, kitschy sort of way. Okay, not sometimes. Try ALL of the time! I was 16 at the time this show aired, though, and too young to know any better. But the young, unsophisticated teenage me ATE IT ALL UP! I loved it so much. For me, although it looks quite dated now, nothing like this had ever been done on television before. The themes were very adult back then, and the father-son dynamic at work really spoke to me, a kid from the Bronx who never had a father figure to look up to, let alone bond with.

In just a few short episodes, I was hooked and a die-hard fanatic of this series. It not only sparked my interest in learning gong-fu as not just a martial art, but a way of life -- it also put me firmly on the path of my lifelong love affair with all things Chinese. This interest in that far East culture always existed within me, to be sure; but Kung Fu fanned the flames into a full-blown passion! And Kwai Chang Caine was my role model.

For years the parent company which owned the rights to this show, Warner Brothers, sat on it and would not budge. No matter how many fans clamored for some sort of home video release, we were never appeased. Not even a hint that we might someday get what we wanted. Until suddenly, just a little under a month ago, word came out that the company would be releasing the entire 1st season on DVD via their manufactured on demand (MOD) endeavor exclusively from their online site. I found out about it just a few days after the series became available on the Warner Archive Collection website for just under $50. I received the set in the mail earlier this week, and I swear tears of joy nearly streamed down my face as I began watching the 90-minute pilot episode again after more than 2 decades. All the memories were back in a flash!

What a way to start off the month of June! I know it's silly, but despite my cynicism over nostalgic home video releases, I actually find myself these days with a spring in my step, humming the opening theme, and waiting to get home so that I can sit down to dinner and watch another episode of this classic action show from my youth.

That's the magic of television, folks. That right there! And if you would like to own your own copy of the show, click on that link just above. I believe this was a first-run service straight from Warner's website, with plans to allow Amazon and other online retailers a chance to sell their own stock sometime later in the month. This particular fanatic just HAD to get his hands on it as early as possible, though, so . . . NYAH!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Well, Glad That's Over With

I'm so happy May has come and gone! Or, more specifically, that June is here.

I don't quite know why, but for some reason this year I was highly annoyed at the month of May. I have no specific reason to be. Aside from barely blogging, I had a pretty decent 31 days of it. Work was okay. Personal life was okay. Even got to go to the movies once or twice, a rare return to form from back in the day when I used to go every weekend. No, all things considered, my life has been quite normal this past month.

So what gives?

I still can't figure it out. The only thing that might be the culprit as I see it, is that May 15th marked the anniversary of when I officially moved into my current apartment. Therefore, it marks the beginning of a new and (sometimes) scary chapter in my life. I remember back then wishing that I would make it to the 1-year mark and be able to look back and be proud of all I've done in that time. Mainly, to stay happy and not fall into despair. And lo and behold, I accomplished all that -- and more! I had a very good year, and am way healthier, mentally and emotionally, than I was back in May 2013.

So, then, why should I be annoyed with the month? I guess because I hate milestones, and just couldn't wait to get this particular one out of the way so that I can continue to live my life. Done. May is over and June is here to stay. For now.

But yeah, May outstayed its welcome for me. June is no peach, either, because as most of you know I hate the warmer months and, as the anti-Ned Stark would probably say: "Summer Is Coming." But as I mentioned in an earlier blog entry, I'm actually looking forward to the warmer weather this time around. Winter was exceptionally brutal here in the Northeast this year, and even I have to admit the changeover from that is feeling quite good. By the gods, I almost feel like wearing SHORTS!!!

You know I've gone off the deep end if I'm advocating wearing shorts now. Will the real David Batista please stand up?

As for other things going on in my neck of the woods . . .

I know I've been lax updating this here blog. I never seem to have the time anymore. That sucks. Or maybe I just need a new computer. Aside from writing my short stories--for which it serves just fine--using an 11-inch Dell netbook for anything else is seriously demoralizing. I come home after work and simply have no desire at all to hop on that tiny machine for anything fun anymore. Considering, too, that my iPad can pretty much cover any and all of my recreational computing just dandy (except for blogging, which is too cumbersome on it) and at a much faster pace, and it's no wonder I never even think to blog anymore.

I want to change that.

In addition to writing more regular content here on The Bimillennial Man, I'm toying with the idea of starting a series of fictional entries of the SF'nal nature on these pages as well. I don't want to go into details, but it would be an ongoing prose project written in a sort of epistle or journal format detailing the observations of a certain ... something ... on the daily lives and tribulations of humans on this planet.

Could be fun. I have to think some more on whether I have the time and energy to pull this off, though. Keep an eye on this space to see if I do!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

We're Here Again?

Happy May Day, everyone!

It's been a very cold spring here in the NYC area. Which, of course, I just love! I'm so sick of the trend that's been going on here as of late, which is winter, then spring for one month, followed by summer for the next five! This year, I think spring won't really get started until mid-May, and by then we will probably be only 4 weeks away from the brunt of intense summer. Yeah, yeah ... people are saying that all signs point to a rather mild summer, but I'm not fooled. I know better. It's in my bones!

Anyway, as to the title of this post: May is the month I moved out of my old life and apartment, and into a new one (on both accounts). Has it been a year already? Weird how insanely quick time flies, isn't it? But life moves on, and I'm feeling fairly good about things.

So, that short story I completed recently has garnered some positive early reactions. For the most part people seem to like it a lot. I've received in-depth feedback from two readers already, and their notes are very helpful and thought-provoking. I will be trying to implement some (if not most) of their suggestions over the weekend. Then I'll give the draft another once-over and final polishing. After which, I'll leave it alone and go back to an earlier story to make some tweaks and finalize as well. At some point before the month is over I should be ready to send both stories out to different markets. This will be the first time I've had more than one submission out in about 3 years. Wow, has it been that long?

I'm glad to see that there is a noticeable improvement in my writing. The stories I write might not be everyone's cup of tea, and my plotting still needs a lot of practice, but in little steps I can see the mechanics of my writing getting much better. There are people out there whom seem to believe that all the famous writers you hear about somehow got that way out of the blue. Ha, what a laugh!  I wish the average person knew just how long it takes--how many years of practicing the craft over and over and over it requires, and how many hundreds of rejections you receive during that time--to get to that point where your stuff starts to shine and really click with readers. That smooth, almost breezy prose all the best writers are known for? They had to spend sometimes decades perfecting! And that's fine for me. I've always known the rigors involved. But it's funny when non-writers try to tell me what I should be doing, or how I should be much better than I am by now.

Fuck off, you. Try it yourself first before you complain about how I'm not as good as Stephen King or J. K. Rowling yet. It takes time. And who said I wanted to be like them, anyway?

But, yeah, this is the state of my writerly pursuits right now. After a long hiatus, I'm starting to get back into the swing of things. And most importantly, it seems I haven't really lost the skills after all. I will continue to build on them, and continue to collect the rejection slips. These are the dues I will pay, and which I should pay.

In the meantime: I go on living! How 'bout you?

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Dream On

I was recently reunited with a favorite tv show from my past. Dream On was one of HBO's very first attempts at an original series back in 1990, created by the same duo that would later go on to bring NBC fame with the show Friends. It received its genesis when renowned director and writer, John Landis, asked Universal Studios if he could make use of the footage from all the old black & white tv shows the studio produced from the 1950s and 60s. Dream On would make clever use of clips from these shows at integral moments during a particular episode, usually to enhance or illustrate the thought processes, emotions, and internal dialogue of the show's protagonist to comedic effect. It was a remarkably successful formula.

Dream On follows the dating and often raunchy sexual exploits of Martin Tupper, a mid-30ish book editor and recently divorced father working and residing in New York City. Because this series appeared on HBO, a subscriber-based network here in the U.S. not bound by the same censorship and laws of more accessible tv, the show contained quite a decent amount of nudity, colorful language, and sexual situations. Tame by the standards of HBO and Starz shows today, no doubt, but quite ground-breaking back in 1990. I was only 13 at the time the series aired late at night, but I was at that age when sneaking into the living room while my guardian slept to watch something naughty I wasn't supposed to be seeing was quite appealing, to say the least. And it wasn't just because of the naked boobies that were on display most of the time (I was a newly minted teen male, after all), but the show was actually quite hilarious, too!

Monday, April 21, 2014

This Kid Is A'iight!

This month is just flying by, isn't it? I wrote that April Fool's Day post last thing I knew, and then I look up and it's already 3 weeks later! The hell? It's been busy, to say the least.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Dream Come True -- I'm An Actor Born!!!

Well ladies and gentlemen, I can finally reveal the good news I've been sitting on for all these months. Now that Season 4 of Game of Thrones has already premiered to select audiences, I've been given the go-ahead by the producers of the show to let everyone know some exciting news regarding yours truly.

Yes, you're hearing it here first . . . I'M MAKING A GUEST APPEARANCE THIS SEASON!!!

I know, right? It's fucking unbelievable--and I've known about it for almost 7 months now. I still can't believe it's real!

It all started with a phone call back in June ...

Well, actually, an e-mail. But it was from an HBO rep wishing to float me a proposal. It seems that with all my work promoting this show and writing about it right here on The Bimillennial Man, I garnered some high placed admirers over at the Home Box Office's home, er ... offices here in New York. I was told that there would be an opportunity to fly overseas and film a brief role in the upcoming 4th season, if I was interested.

Uh, excuse me? Would I be interested???? I was already out the door with bags packed before even hitting reply on my Outlook. I kid, I kid. Actually, it took a couple of phone calls back and forth, some meetings in person, and the signing of a shit ton of legal papers and disclaimers, but I had myself a booked flight sometime in early September when all was said and done.


Yes, as you might be able to tell, I still haven't come down from this adrenaline high. How the hell does something like this even happen? But, forget about that. I'm guessing you want some details, right? Well here they are:

The part was to appear as a walk-in during the Daenerys Targaryen portion of the show. I would be playing a slave hired as an assassin to get in close to the Mother of Dragons after she's already arrived at the fabled city of Mereen. The scene called for me to dress in rags and filth, and to creep into the Khaleesi's bed chambers while she slept. Something happens, of course, but I'm not at liberty to say because, well -- spoilers!! But I'll have you know -- no, not that I got to see Emilia Clarke naked in bed or anything. There's only but so much luck a Bronx boy like me can have, after all. But I'll have you know, she is so much more gracious and beautiful in person than you could ever have known from watching the show or interviews.

I *heart* you, Mother of my
bab ... I mean, dragons!

And that's all I'll say about that. I would like to keep the door open for future work on HBO shows, after all. Haha!

But, yes, I finally get to spill the beans on what has been such a terribly difficult secret to keep all these months. Especially from my closest friends and family, whom I could not even tell or risk being sent to the dungeons under the Red Keep, or to the Wall. The only clue some of you might have had was my absence from this blog and from Facebook back in September of last year. I dropped off the face of the Internets for a while there directly after returning from my brief trip to D.C. As luck would have it, I had an even bigger trip to make across the ocean to the fair country of Croatia, where Daenerys' scenes were being shot for season 4. I spent a total of 10 days, round trip, getting flown in and prepped, spending an awesome but exhausting two days rehearsing and shooting my breakout scene, meeting some of the lovely cast and crew, doing some sightseeing, and then spiriting my way back to New York.

It was AWESOME!!! A chance of a lifetime, and a dream come true. Look for my scene to appear in Episode 5, titled "First of His Name". It will air on Sunday, May 4th.

The scene I appear in takes place shortly after
this, when Daenerys retires for the night

I think I'm officially bit by the acting bug. Oh yeah! Hollywood, watch out! There's a new Batista in town!

On a side note, I spent a lot of time in the past month appearing in secret at the various premieres and events leading up to Season 4. Especially here in NYC. I also had to come in to HBO studios in Brooklyn quite a few times for some ADR work on my lines in the scene, which is longer than just a brief second of screen time. Weird having to synch up my voice to a screen playback of myself and to say the same lines again, and in just the right inflection, as I said them 6 months back. But again, can we just say: FUN? Oh yes, that would be what I had. And tons of it!

So, there you have it. I can't believe I finally get to share this with you all. I'm giddier than a schoolgirl in a candy shop! Or something like that. Pardon my lack of wit today, I must sound like a babbling fool, I'm sure.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to check the mail to see if any scripts have come in.

EDIT 4/2/2014:  Yes, as many of the more suspicious of my readers were able to point out, this is in fact an April Fool's Day post. I even left a slight clue in the second to last paragraph (hint: the curiously italicized word) to alert to this fact. The fact that some of you fell for it means that you are very good friends and only want the best for me. And I love you all for that! This one was so much fun to write, though, that now I genuinely wish it were true. I chose the subject of acting because, to be frank, I have no interest in it. So it seemed a harmless prank to play. I would have felt more like a heel if I had written about getting a novel contract or some prestigious writing-related accolade or similar news. Because, you see, that actually is a dream of mine and it would seem cruel to joke about it. I'm not saying I wouldn't kill at the chance to appear on an episode of Game of Thrones--I probably would, euphemistically speaking of course--but that the chances of that happening are so very low as to be absurd. So it felt like a good subject to base my prank around. I believe a good AFD prank should be borderline absurd with a touch of ridiculousness, edged with just a slight enough crust of verisimilitude as to make the reader scratch his or her chin and go ... hmmmm. Which I think I pulled off. So in that sense it was a success! Still, I feel bad. I'm not cut out for this pranking business.

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