Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Books I'm Excited for in 2009

Dates are subject to change...

"Red Carpet Suicide" by Perez Hilton - Honestly, I'm just excited (hoping) to see it do bad.

"Andre the Giant" by Michael Krugman - This guy was the hero of every kid on my block, when I was little; I even had the action figure. Coincidentally, there is also slated to be a movie about him this year.

"Losing My Religion" by William Lobdell - Spiritual memoir by former Los Angeles Times religion writer.

"Fool: A Novel" by Christopher Moore - Maybe now I can finally understand King Lear.

"Mental Floss Presents Be Amazing" by the Editors of Mental Floss - This book looks like it will be the ultimate "how-to" guide to doing things you never knew you wanted to know how to do.

"Pygmy" by Chuck Palahniuk - I'm not really a Palahniuk fan, but this description alone intrigues me: "The Manchurian Candidate meets South Park"

"Let Story Guide You" by Donald Miller - One of the few Christian writers out there worth reading.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Movies I'm Excited About

Dates are subject to change...

Watchman - This movies either going to be really great or really horrible; there's no need to explain what it's about--if you have never heard of the comic book, I'm pretty sure you won't want to see the movie.

The Lovely Bones - Peter Jackson directed it possible it can be bad? Everything he does is great (unless you count "Meet the Feebles" about we just forget about that movie?)

Star Trek - I was never a Star Trek fan, but after seeing the preview, I'm ready to give it a shot.

Up - Pixars yearly movie; it's also the first feature that Pete Docter has directed since Monsters, Inc in 2001...

2012 - Every summer needs a brainless action movie, and it looks like this summer "2012" will take that spot; basically, it's about a bunch of natural disasters occurring at the end of 2012 (the same year that the Mayan calender mysteriously ends); I predict a big opening weekend, followed by a bunch of people at the library asking for books on the Mayan calender. Also, I predict this movie will make a lot of people nervous about 2012.

G.I. Joe - I confess, this is the movie I am most excited t see; the movie was my childhood. I had the toys, I saw the movies, and I raced home every day after school to see the cartoon.

Toy Story in 3-D - I'm more excited about the 2010 release of "Toy Story 3" but this will have to do for now.

Where the Wild Things Are - After all the controversy surrounding the delays and rewrites, the question on most people's minds is will it actually be good? I think Spike Jonze can pull it off. Plus Dave Eggers helped penned the script...

A Christmas Carol - Jim Carrey voices Scrooges in this CGI movie by Robert Zemeckis. I liked Zemeckis last Christmas movie, "The Polar Express"...but hopefully, his crew has learned how to draw humans, because the CGI in that movie was creepy!

The Fantastic Mr. Fox - Wes Anderson takes on the classic Roald Dahl story.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Interview with a Christian Porn Star

A few years back I did the below interview. It was published at Opium Magazine's website (; over the years Opium has gone through a lot of changes, and their archives don't date back very far anymore. I think it's a funny bit, and I hate to see it vanish entirely, so I'm posting it here...enjoy:

Editor's Note: the Christian porn star in question has asked to remain nameless, and thus, does.

Douglas: I'm confused at the term. To say you're a "Christian Porn Star"-isn't that a bit of an oxymoron? Christian Porn star.

Christian Porn Star (CP): There are Christian rock stars, Christian actors, and Christian athletes. Why should being a Christian porn star be any different?

Douglas: Well the very nature of your profession is--well, not very Christian.

CP: (nodding) I've thought about that quite a bit in the past.

Douglas: And?

CP: Well, the films my production company makes aren't targeted towards Christians. They're targeted to men who have, by and large, not thought much of religion. I think there needs to be a Christian in the industry helping to promote the name of Christ.

Douglas: And how exactly do you go about doing this?

CP: Well the movies I do are what industry experts call "Art House Porno."

Douglas: Art house porno?

CP: (nodding) It's an experimental form of pornography. What we do in the films is really push the boundaries of what porno is. They're films that combine sex with morals.

Douglas: Sex and morals?

CP: Right.

Douglas: So are you trying to say that godless sex is wrong in your films?

CP: By all means, no.

Douglas: Then what are you trying to do?

CP: The films are moral tales of sorts. They have themes like 'don't steal' or 'don't do drugs' or 'don't lie.' Very moral things. But to get the men to come see the moral message, we throw in all kinds of sex--raunchier and more experimental then what you would see in most porn. Like we're doing one right now about the poet Jane West. It's about West and her desire to be a female poet at any cost.

Douglas: Was West a sex addict, then?

CP: In this movie she is. It's just your typical pornographic period piece.

Douglas: Interesting. But, back to the question at hand--you don't see any of this as disregarding one immoral act as a way of condemning another one?

CP: Not at all.

Douglas: And where does Christ come in?

CP: Christ?

Douglas: Christ. You are a Christian porn star, after all. Aren't you supposed to be promoting Christ?

CP: We live in a godless world. I believe people need to see that they are doing immoral acts before they are able to see why they need Jesus Christ.

Douglas: And what about you? What about the acts you perform in the movies? Isn't having sex with multiple partners, and sometimes men, a little immoral?

CP: It's done in the name of art.

Douglas: And this makes it right?

CP: If I got pleasure out of having sex with several women at the same time, then I would say it was wrong. But I don't. I merely do it to promote morals.

Douglas: But the audience doesn't know your acting. They see a man on screen whose having sex with several women. Aren't you afraid they'll walk away believing that this kind of thing in society is okay?

CP: They're just movies. If they can't see the difference between fiction and reality, then they have other problems.

Douglas: Like addiction to porn, low self-esteem, inability to commit they're love to one person?

CP: Exactly.

Douglas: And you don't feel like you contribute to they're feelings and addictions?

CP: Absolutely not. I'm just here to entertain.

Douglas: Fair enough. Then onto other questions. Why don't you want your name to be identified?

CP: If people knew I was a Christian and a porn star, then they wouldn't see my movies.

Douglas: Doesn't the gospel say you should not be ashamed to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ?

CP: I'm not ashamed.

Douglas: You just don't want people to know you're a Christian.

CP: Exactly. Maybe one day I'll write a tell--all autobiography of my life, but not until I feel my calling is finished.

Douglas: Speaking of autobiographies, can you tell me your testimony, how you came to Christ.

CP: That's a really great story. We were filming a love scene in a church, and I overheard the pastor telling the director all about Jesus. The director blew him off, but I wanted to hear more. So after the love scene was over, I found the pastor and asked to hear more. He told me how Jesus died for my sins and that accepting him would let me have a personal, one on one, relationship with God.

Douglas: Did the minister tell you, after you accepted Christ, that you needed to stop living your current life and start living for Christ?

CP: He's the one who encouraged me to be a Christian porn star.

Douglas: What kind of minister was this?

CP: Methodist.

Douglas: I see. So how did your life change after you accepted Christ? Is this when you started doing the moral porno?

CP: My life didn't change. I was already doing moral porno. Ever since I entered the industry, I felt a very passionate need to change the system and put in moral films.

Douglas: So nothing changed?

CP: Well I was a Christian porn star after that. I had only been a porn star before.

Douglas: Then what would you say the difference is between a Christian porn star and a regular porn star?

CP: I'm asked that a lot, although I'm not sure why. It's pretty obvious. A Christian porn star believes in Christ. A regular porn star does not.

Douglas: But they're attitudes and lifestyles are the same?

CP: In many cases, yes.

Douglas: Then why would you tell someone they need to be a Christian if everything can be identical when you believe in nothing?

CP: On Earth, they're really is no point in being a Christian. It's in heaven where not being a Christian can be tricky.

Douglas: So one day you'll die and meet God. What do you think he'll say about your life?

CP: Well, seeing is how I haven't did anything to make me ungodly, I think he'll be well pleased.

Douglas: You have no concerns that he won't see you doing porno as ungodly.

CP: No I don't--not compared to what other people have did.

Douglas: And what about the rest of your life. Your life outside the industry. Do you go to church? Read the Bible? Pray?

CP: Some days I'm more spiritual then others, but yeah I try and do all of those things.

Douglas: Does anyone in your church know?

CP: No one. I think people would judge me if they knew.

Douglas: Even though you don't think your job is wrong?

CP: Look at you. You seem to have a bias towards me.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I'm On Twitter You Twit

When I started a blog, I figured most people couldn't handle the occasional ramblings from me and my day to day life; my wife has convinced me, however, that people want to know more about my personal life then just occasional ramblings; she claims there are people with such voyeuristic tendencies that they actually get excited to know you had a veggie burger for lunch or spend ten minutes in the bathroom. Actually, I wouldn't say she convinced me; I've been convinced of this for a long time--she just took the initiative of creating a Twitter page for me because I was too lazy to do it myself. Now that it's up, she says it's rude if I ignore her efforts, so I guess you can say I've been quilted into it. She even put a pretty background on my profile…FYI it’s the apartment that we live in.

If you are a voyeurist by trade, maybe you simply are a little too into Twitter, or maybe you just aren’t yet convinced that writers/librarians are basically the most boring people on Earth…if that’s the case then my info is below. If nothing else I’ll update it much more then my blog…for about a month, by which time I’ll probably be bored with it and stop doing it altogether.

My wife, Diana, says it's great because I can Twitter I'm at Disneyland or the mall and meet people there...I told her this isn't great, this is stalking. Perhaps we are just confused about the definition of word?

My Twitter info:

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Weekend Funnies

Friday, December 19, 2008

Seven Pounds of Spoilers (SPOILER ALERT)


What's happened to Will Smith? He used to be a good actor, then he pulled a Hancock, and it's all been downhill; I had a feeling his newest movie would be doomed when I saw the previews for his newest movie "Seven Pounds"; it just seemed to have a plot that they were hiding the details to because it was so horribly bad...I was right. Apparently, Will Smith has decided to be the M. Night Shyamalan of acting, and now only does movies that have bizarre twist.

Instead of paying ten bucks to see a bizarre twist, I decided to just read it for free, so I scurried the Web for spoilers. The best I found was at New York Magazine. If you are like me, and don't want to pay ten bucks to see a bad movie only to find out the a bizarre twist, then I'll make it simple for you by saying it here. So turn away if you don't want to know, and don't complain because I spoiled the movie....ready? Will Smith plays a man who is using his Blackberry while driving and crashes his car killing seven people (including his fiance); he decides he is going to kill himself in a bathtub with a deadly jellyfish (yes, you read that right--a jellyfish!). So here's the redeem his life, he is donating body parts to seven different people. Basically the movie is about him making sure those seven people are deserving, because he can only give it to good people.

I'm not sure at what point he "Pulls a Hancock" but I'm sure it's in there somewhere. If you find that scene, then comment here.

Things You Won't Be Seeing on Google Maps Anytime Soon

If you like Google Maps as much as me, you'll get a kick out of this page about things that they censor or blur out:

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Environmentally Friendly Font

Everyone wants to be environmentally friendly these in point: a Dutch company has figured out a way to create an eco-friendly computer font. According to the company they added holes to the font so it uses less ink to print.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Refurbished Kindles for Sale!

Just in time for Christmas, Amazon has started selling refurbished Kindles for $329...get them while they last.

Even Hitler Gets the Blues...

A child in New Jersey was a little disappointed when his birthday cake came and it didn't have his name: Adolf Hitler.

Do Your Laundry & Check Out a Book Too!

I've seen and heard of a lot of weird libraries...the library below which combines doing laundry with reading books is definitely going to the top of that list! Thanks to Alex for sharing it...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Wii Fit Christmas Blues?

Are you depressed that you can't seem to find a Wii Fit anywhere for Christmas? Now you don't have to be, thanks to the Wu Fit! Everything about the board seems shady, so if buying bootleg is your thing, click the above link and it's yours for only $92.00. Apparenly, it doesn't ship with the actual game, which is odd. Read a full review of it here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Future of the Internet

A new study came out today that shows what experts believe the Internet will be. Some findings are below...a more detailed report is available here. Any report that says the primary Internet connection tool will be a cell phone and not a computer has flaws in my opinion. If anything, I think by 2020 the primary connection tool will be will be in our cars, our TVs, our kitchens, and yes, our cell phones...actually it's already in all these places.


The mobile device will be the primary connection tool to the internet for most people in the world in 2020.

The transparency of people and organizations will increase, but that will not necessarily yield more personal integrity, social tolerance, or forgiveness.

Voice recognition and touch user-interfaces with the internet will be more prevalent and accepted by 2020.

Those working to enforce intellectual property law and copyright protection will remain in a continuing arms race, with the crackers who will find ways to copy and share content without payment.

The divisions between personal time and work time and between physical and virtual reality will be further erased for everyone who is connected, and the results will be mixed in their impact on basic social relations.

Next-generation engineering of the network to improve the current internet architecture is more likely than an effort to rebuild the architecture from scratch.

Google Does It Again...

If you are a fan of Gmail, you might already know this, but in case you haven't, Google has added the ability to send a SMS text to a phone from Gmail. Read the whole story here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Books on Nintendo DS

Apparently iPhones aren't the only place we might see books in the future. Nintendo might soon be testing it out on their handheld devide, the Nintendo DS. The first test will cost 30 books and contain 100 classic works.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Is iTunes the New Kindle?

A new story is out saying Apple may consider putting books on iTunes; I'd hardly consider this a story—I'd consider it a fact. The technology is there, and people are already putting books on their iPod touch and iPhones; I predict a new touch will come out sometime next year (followed soon after by a new iPhone) that has better resolution that can handle books.

Publisher's are struggling to figure out how to make profit in a digital age; I've been saying for years that they'd soon have to go through what the music industry went through several years ago with MP3's, and I think the time has arrived.

Two things are on my mind, however. One is what format Apple would use; one can only hope they don't use their own; and two, what will happen to the authors? Musicians simply learned to tour if they wanted to make money, but what about authors? Maybe Stephanie Meyer can sellout the Nokia, but the average author can't even get a handful of people to show up for a signing at Barnes & Noble. What happens when people start putting books up on bit torrent and publishers go from making $50,000 to $100,000 on a mid-list author to making less than $10,000—my guess is they cut back the number of authors they sign, which is already low.

My longstanding idea for putting advertisements in an eBook might start looking like a better idea to them. And FYI, here are the two blogs I've mentioned advertising in the past:

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Weekend Funnies

Friday, December 5, 2008

And Another Thing...

The cover story of L.A. City Beat is a nice story about the death (more importantly the importance) of David Foster Wallace.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Brother Can You Spare a Dime?

It's not a good time to be a writer. It's not really a good time to be in any position, but in recent days I've found the news increasingly discouraging. It started last week when Houghton Mifflin announced that it is no longer considering manuscripts of any kind from any writer, and, for the time, is sticking with contracts they've already made; the publisher of that press is now resigning.

Random House, the papa bear of all publishing, announced it is cutting two of its imprints. While no job cuts were announced, one can only imagine that they are coming.

Simon & Schuster, another NYC publishing big gun, is laying off part of their staff.

Some writers have already been quoted basically saying it's no big deal--it just means more quality writing being published, and less crap--but that's simply not true. What it means is established crap writers with a following will continue to get paid to write, while new, fresh writers will get left out.

Their will be exceptions, of course; there's always exceptions, and that's what every writer hopes to be--the exception. 

And this news doesn't just hurt writers; if that was the case, it wouldn't be so grim--writers have never made money doing what they do. There are literally hundreds (perhaps thousands) of agents out there that have no idea if they will be able to continue with their job next year; while there are some big literary agencies out their, most agents work for small boutique firms, and they will be hurt. Independent bookstores have been hurting for years, and this is not going to help the problem; locally, two independent bookstores that were landmarks to SoCal (Acres of Books and The Book Baron) closed up shop; while Borders and B&N stock up on Grisham and King, these little guys are one of the few kind enough to sell the unknown writers of the world--the writers who actually write quality, but don't sell millions of copies each book.

So this Christmas, if you can spare a dime, support the publishing industry by buying a few books as gifts. And if you really want to be saintly about it, go to a small bookstore to buy it.

Buy books for relatives that hate reading--just tell them if it wasn't for little unknown books, Hollywood would have nothing to adapt come Oscar time.  Movies like Revolutionary Road were never bestsellers.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Teacher Sells Ads on Test

Desperate times calls for desperate measure, and this teachers idea of putting small ads on his quizes and test might be a great idea for libraries! The teacher sells ad space to local business and's a win-win idea, in my opinion--the teacher gets a little extra money to buy supplies for the class, and the local business gets a bit of advertising. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Should the Internet Be Free?

If lawmakers have it their way, it might very well be the case...I doubt it would happen anytime soon, because of the filtering issue (some want pornography blocked, some think it violates free speech).

Monday, December 1, 2008

A 200 dollar laptop? An Apple Netbook?

When Apple starts thinking about jumping on the netbook wagon, you know it's more then just a trendy little phase; in 2009, the company is rumored to release a netbook version of the Mac. It's said they might actually compete with others by setting the price in the 500 dollar range, but one has to wonder if that's really competing...a new $200 netbook is also rumored to be coming out next year from Eee PC; granted the Eee PC is a Linux model, but you really can't beat the price if all you want to do is type and surf the net.

As the economy continues to hit sour notes, it's easy to see these computers completely taking over the laptop market...they kind of already have. It's hard to justify paying 1,000 dollars a for a laptop when these will do just fine.