Question for the group mind: Tip Jars.

Okay, here’s the skinny.
If you’ve clicked on the WePay tip jar link, you have seen the following message.

WePay Donations have been discontinued. If you were trying to make a payment, please contact the person you’re trying to pay directly. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Which means the only working Tip Jar I have left is Dwolla. And I would like an option that takes Credit Cards AND would prefer it not to be PayPal.

So my question is this. Is there a company I can use in lieu of WePay for a CC friendly tip jar or should I just bite the bullet and open a PayPay account?

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“Captain America: The Winter Solder.” The first ten minutes.

Marvel has them in spades!
Hell, I bet they keep them in a warehouse just outside of Pasadena. And on special occasions, slap them on a flatbed truck and drive them to the DC offices in Los Angeles. Just so they can put them on a winch and teabag their lobby, cackling like maniacs the whole time.
Now I’m not bringing up the idea of a multinational media company having a house sized set of testicles lying around just to be silly and juvenile. (Although, honestly, it’s kind of partially the reason.) But to point out that yesterday, Marvel Studios unleashed the first ten minutes of ‘Captain America: The Winter Solider” upon the Internet. And just as quickly, un-unleashed.  The link to the footage I was going to post expired. However, I did find an excellent summary of the footage on Movieweb from an earlier Marvel press event.

The movie opens with a bit of levity, a serene morning in Washington D.C., with two men out for a run around the National Mall. Although one of these men does not appear to be slow at all, the other is just monumentally faster. At first, we can’t see these men in detail, since the camera is following them from afar, but the speedy man is readily identifiable as Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) when he keeps saying “On your left” to the same man over and over again, who we come to learn is Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie).
After their run, Rogers has barely broken a sweat when he casually goes to introduce himself to a winded Wilson, a fellow soldier himself. As they chat about Rogers’ acclimation to modern-day society (Rogers talks about the Internet and how it’s great they don’t have to worry about polio anymore), Wilson suggests the 1972 Marvin Gaye album “Trouble Man,” which he claims has “everything you’ve missed on one album.” Rogers literally takes note of this suggestion, adding it to a list of things he needs to catch up on, that includes entries such as Steve Jobs, the Rocky movies, Star Wars movies and many others that I couldn’t catch, because it wasn’t on screen long enough.
Their encounter is cut short when “duty calls,” as Rogers gets an alert on his phone. Moments later, Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) pulls up in a pristine Corvettte, while joking that she needs to know where the Smithsonian is so she can find a “fossil,” as Sam looks on. Before they speed off, Rogers tells Wilson, “You can’t run everywhere.”

This first part does a lot right.  It re-establishes Rogers’ psychical prowess and basic decency.  It shows him still struggling with modern society without resorting to “Frozen Caveman Lawyer” like gags. And it establishes the easy rapport that he’s going to have with the man who will become “The Falcon”.
Also, Wilson’s reccomendation of Marvin Gaye’s “Trouble Man’ is specific enough that you get the sense that it’s going to have  thematic resonance down the line. (Either that or The Russo Brothers are just big Martin Gaye fans.)
(Oh, and by the way, that album is on Spotify. And it is tasty.)

And it looks like the second half of the footage is still on line.

There is a brief moment missing from this clip where it’s revealed that it’s a S.H.I.E.L.D. ship and Rogers expresses his displeasure at being Nick Fury’s janitor. But other than that, it’s the same.
And again, it does a lot right. It shows Rogers coninued pining for Peggy Carter through wisecracks and avoidence.
The glimpse of Agent Stillwell (From “Item 43″ fame.) helps connect the film with the larger Marvel Universe. And it reminds us all that you never, EVER, fuck with a man with a throwable shield.
Seriously, that looked painful.

This is not the act of a studio braying desperatly for your dollars.  They know they have the goods.  Hell, they already hired The Russo’s for “CAIII”. And while DC continues to flounder trying to create a Wonder Woman movie, Marvel’s next film has a talking raccoon and Andy Dryer from “Parks and Recreation” as Han Solo 2.0. And they’re not even breaking a sweat.
Make no mistake. Marvel has balls.
And they’re slapping them on DC’s drum kit.

EDIT: 03/19.  Tagged with categories and fixed  a spelling error.

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Sick and tired of being sick and tired!

I’ve had it!
I’ve been wrestling with this writer’s block for the last couple of months and it’s still been sticking to me like a bad summer cold. And all that’s come from me trying to wait it out is a case of self loathing that would make Dan Harmon grab me by the shoulders and yell, “SNAP OUT OF IT!”.
So the new plan is this. In lieu of not writing, I’m going to try writing.
One post a day for the next month.
Needless to say, at this point, I’m not making any promises about quality or length. Hell, if I can actually throw down a post that has words as opposed to random keystrokes, I’m calling it a win.
So bear with me here. The next month is going to get very, very bumpy.

Posted in Personal Stuff, Writing | Leave a comment

Not drowning…but not quite waving.

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.

“Not Waving but Drowning” by Stevie Smith. (1957.)

I could say the lack of updates are because of other other projects but I’d be lying.
I could say it’s because there’s nothing to write about but with nine different kinds of holy hell going on, that would be a lie posing as a sick joke.
There’s a reason that updates haven’t been forthcoming and it’s this.
I haven’t felt like writing.
It’s that simple…and not that simple.

Anyone who’s followed this blog regulary knows that I’ve had periods of inactivity. But I’ve always managed to pull my shit together and get back on the grind.
But this year,  that just hasn’t been happening.
And when I say I haven’t felt like writing, I don’t mean I haven’t tried.
I mean that when I sit down and try to write…I can’t.
It’s not just that nothing has been coming. It’s more like when I try, my brain calcifies and nothing moves.
And I’ve been dealing with this for the past month.  And it’s beginning to feel like it’s not going to pass.  It’s like when you get the flu and it feels like you’ve always been sick and you will always be sick.
Except there’s no vomiting.
But at this point vomiting would be welcome because at least there would be some sort of cathartic purge that would signal an end to this.
(And to everyone saying “Well, you’re writing this so you must be getting better”, this post has been sitting in my draft box for about a week.)

This is starting to scare me.
Whatever else has gone wrong in my life, I have always had writing to fall back on.
If I lose this, I don’t know what I have left.

I can’t tell you when this will pass.  I can only tell you that I want it to pass.
Please be patient with me.
Hopefully, I am not drowning.

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A LULU of a situation.

-It appears that I have a profile on a dating app called Lulu.
I did not ask for one.  I received no notice that there was one. It just seemed to appear out of the ether. Not unlike the Candyman when you speak his name five times.
For those not in the know, I should explain. Lulu is an app that allows women to post reviews of men who they believe might make either good or bad boyfriend material. Kind of a Yelp for Men.
And apparently, if you have a Facebook profile, you’re on it.
And by the time I discovered the existence of this thing, I had been viewed by nine women and liked by three. (The count is now Eleven and Four.)
Now, upon learning about this, I was presented with two options.  I could either contact Lulu and ask them to delete me from their app. Or I could just roll with it.
I chose the latter.
I’m no idiot. Anything that increases my chance to engage in some adult style hand holding, I’m going to take a crack at it.
And before you start in how how undignified an app where women rate men in, let me remind you of two things.
One: Men have been rating women for years. In locker rooms, men’s magazines and the staging of beauty pageants. I say, what’s good for the goose is sauce for the gander. Or words to that effect.
Two: Screw dignity! I use Tinder.
Dignity is for men who’s amount of intercourse exceeds once every six months.

-So, I download the App and proceeded to fill out my profile.  I added a couple of extra photos and clicked on all the proper hashtags. Apparently, I cannot add my own text so I need to choose from a number of pre-written hashtags to the profile.

#Holdsdoor. #Cancook. #WillsSeeRomComs. #CleanBillOfHealth.

As you can see, I’m clearly playing to my strengths.

As far as using hashtags to describe what I’m looking for in a woman, I think I did a reasonable job of balancing my desire for a woman who has a strong, Independent streak….

#SpeaksHerMind. #CouldKickMyAss. #ScarySmart. #FreeSpirit. #Confident.

With my equal desire for a woman who likes the sexy time.

#FreakySide. #DirtyTalk. #GivesMassages. #Bi.

And yes, I am aware the last hashtag is pushing my luck. But honestly, I’m in the mood to push it.  (However, I am relived that I did not choose #LikesToGiveBJs which I believe is code for #BewareHereYeBeDouchebags. Not that I have anything against Blow jobs.  But that sets up an expectation for blow jobs that smacks of Male Entitlement and that doesn’t sit well with me. It’s one thing to hope for a blow job, it’s an entirely different matter to except them as your birthright.)

And as yet another chapter of “Middle Aged Nerd Tries to Find Love or a Reasonable Facsimile Therein” begins to be written.
Personally, I’m hoping for a happy ending.

Posted in cry for help, Personal Stuff, Sex, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment


I’ve been sitting on this news for about a weekend a half.  I already posted a brief note on my Facebook page but I do need to pass it on to my non-FB friends.
I got the word from The Ashland Independent Film Festival. “GLENGARRY GLEN STYX: REDUX” was not accepted.
I won’t lie.  I wasn’t all that surprised.
As I’ve said before, I’m happy about how it came out given both the then level of my expertise and the one day shooting schedule.
However, looked at with a cold and clinical eye, I can understand why it wasn’t accepted. There are flaws baked into the filmmaking that may have knocked it out of consideration. (I shot the short with the camera on Automatic and I can tell you that there were overexposure issues that led to a lot of color correction. Because of my actor’s schedules, rehearsals weren’t possible. Etc.)
The good news is that I know how to fix these problems for the next short.
The bad news is that as of right now, I have no new short.

Long time followers of this blog may have noticed that my output since the beginning of this year has been…to use the most polite term…spotty.
That’s because I have been wrestling with a case of writer’s block that would make Barton Fink blanch.
It’s not even that I haven’t even gotten any new ideas.  It’s just that the ideas seem to die inside my head every time I try to put fingers to keyboard.
And honestly, I don’t know when it’s going to break.

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Daddy has been woolgathering…

Yeah.  I know. No posting.
The truth is that all the insane crap that’s been happening this month, (Rumblings of another Debt Limit fight. Net Neutrality getting kicked it the nuts. Hedge fund guy comparing the fight against income inequality to Kristallnacht. Huckabee Vs. Libidos. Etc.) has caused my brain to freeze up something fierce.
I think I’ve reached peak outrage.
Seriously, after years of blogging about the various outrages that pass my eyeballs, I can safely say that I am burned out on writing about politics.
That’s not to say I’m burned out on politics.  I still keep up on the news via various sources (BBC. NPR. MSNBC. TheKos. Etc.) I still throw money at causes I believe in and sign petitions whenever possible.
But writing about politics…
Honestly, I Don’t want to say Never Again because that never works out.  (Not to mention the State of the Union is tomorrow and this is an election year and so it’s all hands on deck.) But I also have other parts of my garden that needs tending.  I need to finish the script for my next short. (And when I say “Finish” I mean “Start”.) I need to tend to the other blog.  You know the one at the place where I’m flogging my book. Not mention a half a dozen other things of a personal nature.
So, I’m not saying “Never”, I’m just saying “Be Patient”.
(It should be noted that I’m not the only one who’s feeling the burn. In response to someone asking about whether he intends to blog about politics again, John Rogers responded that every political blog post he started for the last five years could be boiled down to the phrase “Fuck you, Johnny Reb”.)

So bear with me. Please.

Posted in E-Book, Hope, Lifestyle adjustment, Personal Stuff, Politics | Tagged , | Leave a comment