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Bad Habit episode 1: “Loose Canon”

31 Jul


So a couple weeks ago I wrote a stupid tweet about a “new spec idea” that I had.

As you might have guessed, I was a lot more enamoured of my dumb wordplay than I was of the actual idea. At first. 

But for whatever reason, this was one of those shower thoughts that sticks around, and I kept getting ideas for scenes and characters that would make me laugh to myself at inopportune moments. So eventually I just threw my hands into the air, yelled “fine!” and wrote the stupid thing as a ten page comic script. Minus the heroin bit, which was a little too hard to work in with the page restriction I set myself. Hope you like it anyway.

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Mormon Jeopardy

1 May

Mormon Jeopardy

I originally read this essay at Shelf Life Books’ Happy Endings reading series, which, if you live in Calgary, you should go to because it is the best.

I’ve tagged it as nonfiction. And while I’d never suggest it would hold up to any kind of journalistic standard, I would say it’s “true enough.” I changed the names of everyone but my girlfriend and myself.

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Le Grande Deception, or; That Time I Lied To My Best Friend For Ten Years About Pooping On His Van

7 Apr

Originally performed at Happy Endings, a Shelf Life Books reading series. Essay version below, for those who would not rather listen to my dumb voice.

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The Martian Doctor’s Daughter

25 Feb


So this is my entry into the final round of NYC Midnight’s Short Screenplay Competition. I get to find out on March 12th if the judges actually thought it was any good. Here are entries one, two and three.

For this one, the criteria was:

  • Genre: Open
  • Object: Birthday Cake
  • Location: Morgue

That first bit was intimidating, but exciting. On one hand, one less choice to make when building an outline is acutally pretty comforting, but this time the choice was all mine. On the other, I didn’t really get the opportunity to do either of my favourite genres yet–namely “science fiction” and “hardboiled”–so this was basically a chance to grab my action figures and smush them together for five pages.

So, uh, yeah. Here’s what that looks like.

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Sherlock Dog and the Adventure of the Peg-Legged Duchess

30 Jan


This is the second script I wrote for the NYC Midnight shorts festival, and the third in the series of short screenplays I’m throwing up here to get them off my C drive. Here are entries one and two. Oh, and if you want to dress your dog up like the one in the picture, I shamelessly lifted that off of this pet costume website. If you are associated with that pet costume website and would rather your business not be associated with a script this deeply stupid, please let me know and I’ll switch it out with a picture of a Benedict Cumberbatch otter or whatever. 

If you missed the last post, the NYC Midnight competition works like this: All the writers who enter are placed into “heats” of about thirty. Each of those thirty heats are assigned an object, a genre and a location that they then have 48 hours to produce a five page script around. For this one, I was assigned:

Genre: Mystery

Object: Prosthetic leg

Location: Dog park

And while my initial thought was to try something Lebowski-esque, where a slacker has to find his rich brother’s dog in a park full of yuppies, I thought that might confuse me with a writer who had any idea what he was doing. And thus, we have a dog detective and a flailing attempt to write characters with British accents. Hope you enjoy.

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The ways I was scammed in Asia

9 Sep


Up until last Friday, I was traveling in Southeast Asia with my friend Donovan. We were backpacking, I guess, but I don’t think either of us are the type of fart-sommeliers who think that makes us Karouac and Burroughs. It was a vacation. And we had a great time, too. The food was great. The people were great. Even waking up at four AM because I ate Cambodian BBQ and Pho in a 24 hour period and open war broke out between them was great because at least that way I had some time to get back into my book. In other words, it was pretty typical of most trips to Asia.

Another way it was typical is that some of the locals looked at us like big, stupid sacks of money with legs. They were entirely right to do so.

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Vietnam Post 2: Ho Chi Minh Nights: Vietnam Harder With a Vengeance

27 Aug

Alright, so, a couple new things to write down before bed. Perhaps when this is all over I will try to wrap everything up into something resembling a narrative, and not the half-formed thoughts of a sleep-deprived, mildly sun-stroked idiot suffering from an electric-chair level of culture shock.

As per the last post, Donovan and I just arrived in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), and repeated our behaviour from the last city we arrived in by drinking a bunch of beer named after it. This is a necessary measure to dull the sensory overload of this country.

Getting here. The flight to get here was on a hilariously small plane. Later, I will post a picture of Donovan (imagine a Ginger Hagrid) doing his best to order a coffee from a menu that is longer than the space between his chest and the seat in front of him. He’s like Gulliver, if Gulliver spent less time being a disquieting metaphor for colonialism, and more time being friendly to people and worrying about offending them.

The City. If Hanoi is a mad, beautiful, inky scribble of a city, Ho Chi Minh is practiced, formal illustration. Traffic is still a lunatic rush, but there are more traffic lights, wider roads, less obligatory honking. Even outside of the “backpacker’s district” where we’re staying, which more Western than a can of baked beans with Clint Eastwood’s face on the label, the architecture and patterns of urban design all seem much more familiar. But different. More thoughts when we explore tomorrow, I’m sure.

Oh right, before we left we played pool in a sketchy Hanoian billiards club we found by wandering down a back alley. The attendant was trying to learn English, and was pumped to have a couple sweaty foreigners to practice on. Pretty sure we got bilked on the price, but whatever, it was fun. Don’t tell my mom.

Our new friend! Donovan struck up a conversation with a random person at the airport who turned out to be a very fun puppet designer from Spain. She’s here building Vietnamese Water puppets, which sounds like an incredibly intricate process. In a half-remembered approximation of her words, “the puppet is based on a person who is based on a puppet.” In practice, this means that she travels around the rural areas, taking pictures of people who fit certain archetypes from the plays, and building puppets based on their portraits. She was also carrying around a mysterious, cellophane-wrapped package with her. When I asked what it was, she told me that she found a “puppet cemetery” behind one of the theatres in Hanoi and it made her sad so she took one. It was her birthday at the time, so I think that’s legit. I’m trying to get my hands on some of her photos, which she showed us on her camera. If she says it’s alright, I’ll share them.

Agg! It’s so late now! No time to go back and add more dumb jokes. Sorry! I need to be able to get up early to do dumb tourist stuff. I will start making sense of all this later.