INT. APARTMENT – AFTERNOON

Tinker gets to be the first to read my latest draft, as she is an honest critic.

My goal of a 30 page draft has ballooned to at least a 50 page one. The final act will be completed next week, as I take the rest of this week to get the other 2 just the way I like ’em. I plan on having a completely finished product by Thursday the 6th. Then I will give copies to a bunch of people, who will either lie to me about how good it is, or hurt my feelings with criticism. I will then change parts of it based on the feedback.

Tinker likes it, because there are 3 references to cats in it. The current title is “72 hours”.

And one last thing today, friends. I wrote this screenplay with filming it in mind. This means that in no time, Me and Ben will have a movie shoot on our hands. If you are at all interested in acting or doing anything else, don’t hesitate in e-mailing me at CTAKX@YAHOO.COM. We’re making magic, people!

The Wizard Needs Food Badly.

Playing Nintendo is answer #2 to the “writer’s block” question, although there has been a lot less of that lately. I haven’t ridden Mario up the flagpole in what seems like ages. The screenplay is moving smoothly now, as I make the transition from Microsoft Word to Final Draft. This is a step I could have skipped had I just done it in Final Draft in the first place, but frankly, I was scared of it. Turns out, it’s easy as hell, and fun too! Even you could crank out a beautifully formatted screenplay in less than a week. Well, probably not you. I can, though.

The job interview I had scheduled for today went better than all of my other interviews combined. I didn’t cry once, and we really hit it off. Imagine my surprise when she decides not to call me next week.

Oh, and as of this Friday, I will legally be known as Ryan Zeinert.

And finally, I saw an article online about the Government starting to look at Blogs for the purpose of National Security, concerning threats of terrorism and the like. While I suppose they can look at whatever they want to, and I don’t really care either way, I’m going to officially re-name this page “Republican Death Party” just to piss people off. I called a lawyer to make sure this was within my First Amendment rights, and it was not.

My Head A-Splode.

This is me…with screenwriter’s block.

That’s some SEXY screenwriter’s block, if you ask me!

That’s okay, though. I deserve a break. I’m just starting the final act of the first draft, after hammering out 24 pages in 3 days. I have a lot more work ahead of me though, as I have to completely reformat the script into a drafting program. (I plan on figuring out how to work that program within the next week)

As I’ve said countless times before, I’m way too busy this week to be stressing out over my little puppet show. I have 3 job interviews, 1 test, 1 court hearing, and tomorrow the guy from Charter Communications is stopping by to pick up my cable box. I found out today that I could save 10 bucks a month if I got rid of 20 channels I never watch. Deal! Take your box, jackasses! If I wanted the “Discovery Wings” channel, I would have asked for it. I bet you’re wondering how I will deal with just a hundred channels now. Well, I don’t know for sure, but me and the missus will manage.

So, I know what you’re thinking. “Ryan, what do you do when you have writer’s block?” Well, first off, thank you for asking. Secondly, I have fun with forced perspective!







“Hey! What are you guys doing?”



Gabe! Get the hell out of here!

That’s much better. As you can see, when I have nothing to write about, I become very, very gay.

Seacrest…out!

Gone Screenwriting!

No time to chat today, I’ve been busy the last few days working on a script for Benjamin. I’ll be back next week with a bunch of new stuff, and details on the screenplay. Stay busy, lord knows I’m trying.

(EDIT – SATURDAY, APRIL 24)

I’m finished with the first act, and still going strong. I took a break on Friday to read Ben’s (almost) completed first draft, and was just floored. To be completely honest, I didn’t think he could write something so good. I’m proud of you, Ben! On the other hand, it makes me want to quit mine, because it seems to pale in comparision. I suppose it’s next to impossible to compare a comedy mockumentary to a sci-fi dramedy, but hey, I just did. Talk to you again soon.

(EDIT – SUNDAY, APRIL 25)

I’m in about 20 pages, which is good considering I wanted it to be about a half hour long. I already know it’s going to be longer. I’m going to be very busy this upcoming week with job interviews and tests a-plenty, not to mention a little court hearing to change my name. What that means is I want to get as far as possible before all of those distractions take me from it for a few days. In order to get myself in the mindset of a good screenwriter, I’ve refused to shave, and have been drinking at home for motivation. This seemed to work for all the greats, including Ben, although he managed to pass out the first time he tried this method. Nevertheless, things are good, I’ve got a busy week coming up, and I’ll keep in touch.

KA-BOOM!



(for optimum enjoyment, make explosion sound with mouth)

Happy Monday! It’s another beautiful April day in Sun Prairie. The humidity is gone, the air conditioner is off, the windows are wide open and I’m on my ass in front of the computer. The “www” links to my page work fine again, Leo Laporte is coming back to host “Call For Help” tomorrow, and I’m getting married in 2 months. It’s days like this that almost make me forget how worthless I am as a human being.

No time to whine, though. This weekend was hectic and enjoyable. The family pictures back at home went as well as they could, considering I haven’t been able to smile for a picture for just short of two decades. Regardless, it was fun to see the whole family again, and try my first bottle of Guinness, which I enjoyed as much as I could enjoy any beer. I think I’ll sip down a hundred Cosmopolitans before I return to the warm embrace of British ale. Call me feminine, I couldn’t care less. I hold tight to my “3 drinks a month” rule, so it’s barely a factor. And I’m officially through rambling.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been having horrible nightmares. This is strange, because I usually dream of happy things, like cotton candy, beds with soft pillows, or a mixture of the two. Each night, my head finds a new and unusual way for me to suffer. A few nights ago I was hemorrhaging black fluid from my mouth, drowning me in my own fluids. Last night I got shot in the ankle. What the hell is wrong with me?

Talk to me in the comments section. Tell me what you dream about, or what you used to dream about. Congratulate me and Celia. I’m sick of the lack of comments. Don’t make me start with the naked pictures of myself. I’m not afraid.

We’re On Cloud Nine!

I have a very short list of things to do before I die. One of them is to go to Japan, and make a haul playing Pachinko. And while I’m there, I’m going to take a whizz in this bathroom. I AM perfeect all today! And smell too!

I had a job interview with WPS Health Insurance earlier this week. At the end of the month I also have an interview at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. This will be followed by a test for the position of Madison Police Department Clerk Typist, and a court hearing to legally change my name to Ryan Zeinert. April is a busy month for yours truly, and if I get any of these jobs, you’ll be the first to know. Besides me.

Now, with the onset of unemployment comes the onset of being broke and heavily reliant of those around you. Celia has done a masterful job of making sure we don’t get thrown out of our apartment, and my Mother has been selflessly giving me money that she doesn’t have, to pay bills that she doesn’t owe. It really makes me appreciate the sacrifices people make so their son or husband doesn’t hang himself in the bathroom by the elastic in his boxers. A huge thank you is in order.

Of course, these aren’t the only things that keep me from an early grave. To ward off insanity, I do lots of things around the house. I look at our new blender in the kitchen, and imagine when we’ll have something to blend in it. Just for kicks this morning, I pureed my breakfast, (which consisted of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a bowl of “Life” cereal), and poured it into a tumbler. This turned out to be not so good of an idea. Next time I’ll set it to “liquefy”, so I can drink it with a straw.

I also watch “Cops”. I try to take in at least 2 hours of “Cops” a day, and here’s why. No matter how bad of a day your having, the people on “Cops” constantly are having a worse one. Sure, your kid got sent home from school early because he took a swing at a janitor. Sure, your husband (or wife) doesn’t even have the common courtesy to take the syringe out of his arm before he beats the crap out of you. Big deal. People on “Cops” are the bottom of the genetic barrel. Indeed, we’ve all had things thrown at us by our spouses, but at least it wasn’t televised and replayed for 15 years.

Imagine that. You and your loved one are getting along well, happily married again for the 3rd time, the kids are all moved out, and your just about to settle in for a nice night in front of the television. That’s when you happen to catch the last few minutes of a “Cops” episode from 1991, when you 2 were both arrested for taking your knife fight into the streets. How do you casually turn the channel? You’ve got to say something, right?

(CLICK)

“Hey honey, they’re showing us fightin’ with the knives again.”

“Yup.”

“Got a little out of hand, didn’t it?”

“Sure did.”

“Things are better now, though.”

“Sure are.”

“I love you.”

“I love you, too. Let’s watch Leno.”

(CLICK)

Consider yourself lucky. But getting back to my point, I also watch “Cops” so I don’t end up like that. I always take notes on each episode, and change my life accordingly. Basically, if you keep a handle on the liquor, and try really hard not to knock your wife out, you’ll be fine.

Something else I need to do is exercise. With spring turning into summer, I really should get out more often. I’m gaining weight, have trouble with most stairs, and I’m a spoonfull of mayo away from a full-blown heart attack. It’ll be a sad day when my pacemaker keeps me from microwaves when I’m 23 years old. I think I feel great, but I usually lie to myself.

“Outta’ shape, you say? Well, let me tell ya’ something right now. The Macho Man is tellin’ you to get up offa’ your can, and meet me in the ring this July, at SUMMERSLAM! Ooooooh, yeeeeeaaaaaah!”

You know what, Randy Savage? You’re right! Thank you! That was just the motivation I needed. I’m going to get off this computer, and take control of my well-being!

“Ooooh yeeeaahhh! By the way, do you have 20 bucks that the Macho Man can borrow? He’s a little low on funds right now. Ooooh nooooo!”

Get the hell out of my house, Randy.

"Girl-Dude."



I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend. I sure did. I got to see most of my family, and meet new friendly faces. I had a job interview today, but we’ll talk about that more once I find out how I did.

Check out what Celia unearthed from the depths of the Internet! It’s a newspaper article from about 2 years ago when me and Benajmin auditioned for “The Weakest Link” in Green Bay. I remember being interviewed, but forgot I’d be in the paper. Enjoy!

July 15, 2002

Area hopefuls look to join ‘Weakest Link’

Game show seeks unusual people:

By: Sarah Wessolowski

Kaighte Orshak, James Strassburger and Ryan Olson have one common link among them: none of them left the room when they found out they would have to introduce themselves in front of more than 100 people.

That’s because they were auditioning for the syndicated game show “The Weakest Link,” Sunday at the Radisson Hotel and Convention Center in Ashwaubenon.

In January the Radisson hosted the event which turned out more than 250 people.

People at the audition ranged in age from 18 to 72 and came from as far away as Duluth, Minn. Occupations included two stay-at-home dads, an auctioneer, a criminal defense attorney, several self-proclaiming musicians, a boiler operator, a hot tub salesman and a part-time black jack dealer.

On this particular day some people came out because they were called back from the January session, some came to show off their useless fact library.

Others had their own reasons.

“I’m always looking for a unique opportunity,” Kaighte Orshak said.

Orshak is in jewelry sales but also designs tattoo art and recently chopped off four feet of hair.

Considering the show’s producers are looking for people with unusual qualities or professions, it’s no wonder she made it to the second round of screening.

After taking a short quiz, part of the application process, the names of 20 people were called for a second audition. The remaining 81 people were asked to leave the room.

Potential contestants were then strictly and specifically instructed on how to state their name, age, where they live and what they do for a living when the video camera is turned on. After a quick overview of the show’s rules, they played a mock game.

“We want to see how you play the game,” contestant coordinator Larry Frank said. “Producers are looking for bluffers.”

Frank and Segal explained that the way to advance is by bluffing if you’re stumped on an answer.

Segal made an example of bluffing during the final screening process by making Wendy Bruns ask him what two plus two equals. She did and he quickly and confidently blurted out the answer, 97. He said that was a good bluff because it was a quick answer. He also said that if he had contemplated for too long, he’d be considered the weakest link and voted off the show.

Benjamin Jenkel, 22, played the slot machines at Oneida Bingo & Casino while he waited for his friend, Ryan Olson, 20, who made it to the second round of the show’s screening. Olson was at the January casting call and said he was called back for Sunday’s screening.

“He made it and I’m stuck out here,” Jenkel said.

When asked what he would do with the money if he became a contestant and won, Olson said he’d help Jenkel out.

“I love game shows. I watch ‘The Weakest Link’ daily,” he said.

Olson, Orshak and the other second-rounders will be notified of their contestant status by phone in two days or two months — no specified time was given.

“I waited six months to get invited back, I’ll wait now,” Olson said.

(EDIT: I know that the comments aren’t working for this post. Until I figure out just why the hell it picks and chooses like that, post comments for this post in the “Celebrity Fan Mail” post. You go now!)

(EDIT AGAIN: If you go to Yahoo, and punch in “Benjamin Jenkel”, this article is the only thing that comes up. Meanwhile, there’s a disturbing amount of Ryan Olson’s egotistical enough to maintain weblogs. Losers.)

Good Eye, Sniper.

As much as I hate the idea of having to work for money, unemployment is nothing short of a padded cell. I get up around 7 with Celia as she gets ready for work, send her off on her way, and do my househusband chores. I get everything done by 8. The house is spotless, I’m fed and showered, and I’m completely out of things to do. So I stew, and walk around, and listen to crappy music and slowly lose my mind. Much like reading that horrid run-on sentence.

My only saving grace is from 11:45 to 12:30, when Celia joins me at Pogo during her lunch break for some pool. This is where we can talk about everything or nothing; For me it’s just nice to talk to someone, especially her. She’s always busy eating and typing and worrying about her afternoon, so she can only half-listen to what nonsense I have to say. I, however, am giving her my complete attention because the house is still and quiet. Her scrolling text is the only moving thing in my field of vision. I hang on her every word.

I wait for the phone to ring from potential employers for hours at a time, making trips from the living room to the kitchen to the bathroom, and back to the living room again. These are the only 3 rooms in my apartment, so insanity ensues quickly. When 5:45 rolls around, and she finally comes home, I’m no better than a chocolate lab, jumping and barking and lapping at her face. She’s annoyed and wants me to be still and quiet, and I’m back to square one for the rest of the night. I haven’t left the house in days, and I’m wearing the same clothes and beard I wore from Tuesday. Once I do get a job, I’ll be so far removed from the human rat race that I’ll be completely un-hire-able. It’s just as well, I’m not qualified for much anyways, because I choose not to be.

My only exercise is walking downstairs to get the mail that’s not addressed to me, unless they want money from me that I don’t have. I can honestly say that I’m currently bringing nothing to the table of life. I’ve tried to become a better person, but in the end nobody really gives a shit about that. Either way, the better person I’ve become is still no better than your garden variety serial killer or child molester. It’s clear that I still have some work to do. My only job right now is to make my girl happy, and I repeatedly fail. My only consolence is that I fail at a lesser rate than years past. That’s like winning your dollar back on a lottery ticket. You’re better off not buying one in the first place. It’s not worth the gamble. This needs to change.

I’m going to be someone’s husband. I may even be someone’s father. (I know who’s husband I’m going to be, I just worded it that way for dramatic effect.) I’m getting no smarter, and my life is already at least 25% over. This self-depreciation will cure a bad mood, but it won’t make tomorrow any better. That takes effort. Effort needs self-esteem, self-esteem needs self-worth, self-worth needs accomplishments, and accomplishments need effort.

Uh, oh.

"Good Morning, Dark Lord."

I’m only going to tell this story one more time. Not only does this week mark the 3rd anniversary of Mediocre At Best’s historic trip to Marquette, Michigan, it also marks the 100th time I’ve told the story of the events. So listen closely.

It was April 7, 2001. We had been invited to Marquette by a wonderful young lady named Mercedes. She was doing her best to keep the Upper Michigan punk scene alive by booking bands from further and further south. We had met her at a show in Green Bay some time back, and were more than happy to make the trip. Her folks owned a nice little roadside diner and motel, so we all got to stay there for free. This was all we needed to hear. We packed our equipment, and hit the road.

We had to take 2 seperate vehicles for the drive. Celia and Aaron rode in the van, and me, Ben and Sherry went up in the Chevy Lumina (R.I.P.) The idea of an all-day drive without Celia nearby was more than a little annoying, and I spent the whole day telling Ben and Sherry that it was so. I got over it, or eventually bitched myself to sleep, or had a ball gag put on me, I can’t remember.

The drive north was beautiful. There was still snow on the ground, lush forests, and no civilization for hours at a time. On the way up, we spotted an out-of-business drive-in with a giant chicken on the top of it. Sensing a great photo-op, we snapped the picture you now see atop this post. Once we started seeing the Canadian flags around we knew we were getting close. Having never been to Canada, I’m sure that Marquette is the closest thing to it that we have in the states. It was a really neat, surreal place.

We get to the motel, and meet Mercedes and the 2 other Wisconsin bands that were on the bill for tonight’s show. First on stage was the Green Bay ska nightmare known as the Kremlin Conspiracy. Then, Milwaukee’s Day Kepler was up, followed by yours truly. The headliners were the local heart-throbs known as Milton. We didn’t get to meet them until we got to the venue. The Kremlin Conspiracy opted to stay in a different hotel, because they wanted to swim in a pool and steal towels. This bothered me none. We chatted a bit with the Day Kepler folks, and got along as well as strangers could. After some dinner, we headed out to the Aurora Underground, deep in the heart of Marquette.

This venue was great, but a building can only do so much. It was the inhabitants of the building that we had some trouble with. First off, security wouldn’t let Sherry in early because she wasn’t in the band. We bitched and moaned for a while, but being the nice guys we are, just let them go on their power trip, and threw her out into the cold. Sort of. The kids in attendence were just as bad. They valued image over talent, and refused to be impressed by anything, not because they were critical and intelligent, but because they wanted to be jerks. Not only that, but the long drive had taken it’s toll on us too. We were all pretty much fighting with each other most of the night so far.

So with everyone mad at each other, and everyone there already being mad, the Aurora Underground was in for an interesting night. The Kremlin Conspiracy came and went, the crowd didn’t care much, and more or less booed them off the stage. Sensing animosity, Day Kepler knew what they had to do. They stepped up there, and unleashed a non-stop barrage of insults and jokes at the expense of Upper Michigan. There were boos, things were thrown, and good rock music was played. It was hilarious, and actually got most everyone there in a better mood. They were doing this thing where they would dedicate every song to Satan, as confused onlookers shrugged and flipped them off. However, people starting moving around and enjoying themselves. I was surprised that Day Kepler left without injury though.

So, when we took the stage, we also knew what we had to do. We didn’t give them a chance to dislike us, because we immediately started freaking out. We channeled a day’s worth of anger and uneasiness into the most energetic show of our short careers. People were hurt, blood was shed, things were thrown, and the crowd loved it. The set ended with me throwing my cymbal stand and myself through the drumset. We were liberated, happy, and done. We sold a few CD’s, listened to an overrated Milton play, and headed back to the motel.

The next morning, I rang up Day Kepler as Satan, wishing them a safe drive home, and thanks for playing with them and all. Mr. Bojangles, the resident cat of the motel, greeted us in our room and almost got kidnapped by us. The 5 of us went to the downstairs restaurant for breakfast before we headed home. The place was full of people, and we stuck out like a sore thumb. There were about 50 or so after-church, conservative, republican breakfast munchers there. We began talking about last night’s show, and about how funny we thought the “Satan” bit was.

Loudly.

Now, there’s some controversy about what happened next, but I can say with relative certainty that Ben was talking about Satan way too loud around these people. Some people think that it was me doing the talking, but it wasn’t. I only started talking when people started to yell at us. My friends are big babies when it comes to being assertive, so I had to take the reigns and fend off the protest. After some dirty looks and harsh words, someone came over to our table with a Bible, telling me to take it with.

Here’s where my friends are split. They think I should have just taken it, said thanks and left. But I did the right thing. This person had no idea what we were talking about, had no idea that we were totally kidding, and had no idea what kind of people we were. They were completely overstepping their boundaries, and I absolutely hate it when people do that. I slam my door on preachers, and that’s what I did here. I basically told her to go away, and to leave us alone. I was diplomatic but firm. I could have just as soon told them to go to hell, made devil horns with my fingers to the whole diner, and left, never to see any of them again. But I didn’t, yet I still come off like an ass.

Eventually, this woman’s Husband restrained her, and we all got back to finishing our breakfasts. We left Marquette, seperate cars and all, never to return. Memories.

Epilogue: 2 members of Day Kepler would go on to form a band called Chevalia Manta, whom we would play another infamous show with some time later. They then went on to a band called the New Blind Nationals, who still play around Wisconsin to this day. Check them out, they’re good.

Milton, The Kremlin Conspiracy and Mediocre at Best would eventually break up in later years. We lasted the longest though, and made the most artistic progress.

Mercedes was never seen or heard from again. We still have a picture of Mr. Bojangles on our refrigerator.