What a weekend

It was my first weekend in Atlanta and I thought it was going to be full of chilling in my bed doing absolutely nothing. Well, I checked out an area called Little Five Points on Friday night. I had heard it was the indie area of town. I was on the phone with my dad as I drove into the area and got way excited. After walking and enjoying the sights I meandered into a pub called the Corner Tavern. Once I found out there was cheap PBR, I was fixed.

I sat at the bar and eventually just jumped into the bartender’s (Sarah) conversation with a patron about film-making and script writing. It was nice because I would never normally do that back in AZ. This led to two fellows on the other side of the writer jumping in. After a rousing game of “Kill, Fuck, Marry” (which had a lot of male choices i.e. Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan, Han Solo, or Indiana Jones) the two guys offered to show me the town on Saturday and invited me to a house party.

Dustin ended up showing me all the places to go and more importantly not to go. I’m going to go back and take photos by myself another day, so I won’t go into the awesome places I saw until photos can be posted.

I went back to his place and met back up with Cooper and their other roommate Lizzy (birthday girl, sorta). The party was super epic and involved going to another neighbors party (all black, by the way) and Dustin and I battle rapped some of them.

So needless to say, things are looking up after a not so fun first day and a half. I start at Paste tomorrow. Super stoked. Also looking for part time jobs. Not super stoked.

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Touristy time

I could talk about my place. Or I could show you some photographs I took today.

Places visited: Turner Field, Centennial Olympic Park, CNN Center, and a little bit of downtown Atlanta.

Enjoy:

Welcome to Atlanta

Last night I felt rushed, cranky, worried, and hot. Tonight I only feel cranky and hot.

A recap? A RECAP!

I left OKC and five minutes down the highway I saw the same motel brand for a cheaper price. I was so angry; then I found super cheap gas and was happy again. I was super worried about whether or not I was going to have to pay for a motel or if my landlord would figure something out (spoiler: flea-bag!).

As I was leaving Oklahoma, I was pulled over for going three miles over the speed limit. I think it had to do with the fact it was drizzling and I passed the Trooper. Got a warning. I thought it was going to slow my day up, but I made it to Little Rock in good time and had McDonald’s, got free WiFi, and enjoyed a good conversation with my dad.

After LR, I had to go through Memphis to Birmingham. From LR to Memphis this cute girl in an SUV used my cruise control and my ability to pass semis to her advantage. I wasn’t hatin’. Come Memphis when I was going south and she was going into downtown, she caught up, gave me a smile, and a wave. I love friendliness on the road.

If you Google map my trip, I was on I-40 the entire way. Until Memphis. I transferred highways like four times in a matter of ten minutes. It was crazy. There was a quick stop in Birmingham, a lot of construction, and a little bit in Georgia, and I made it to ATL. I bumped Ludacris’ “Welcome to Atlanta.” It felt so right. I found my place, but realized I needed a motel…I won’t go into details because a) I hate these recap type of posts and b) I’m tired.

What I will say is that I’m excited to be in Decatur and can’t wait for this internship to start. I’m going to explore my area and the real ATL this weekend. Some good posts ahead.

Two downpours and one epic traffic delay

After making my way up the mountain to Flagstaff, which kicked my MPG butt, the drive went extremely smooth. Once I left Flagstaff, I finally woke up 100% and was making great time. There was singing, dancing, checking facebook and twitter updates. Then the first ominous sign: my phone died.

Not too big of a deal, but you know, just in case something happened. It also stunk that I couldn’t update the google map on my phone. Which meant I had to figure it all out in my head.

I stopped in Gallup, NM and then felt immediately refreshed and decided against my plan to just go to Amarillo. I knew once I drove straight through Albuquerque that I was going to  push it to OKC.

Amarillo was going to be a pit stop: gas, and try to charge phone. If you saw my facebook post from BN in Amarillo (thanks to my laptop) you saw that I couldn’t charge my phone. But what I didn’t share was that I was in the worst storm I’ve ever driven in. I don’t think I’ve ever used my windshield wipers at such a high speed. It was epic. I teamed up with this bright yellow Penski truck and followed them to safety. That’s when I was in BN and complaining about the lack of outlets. What was even crazier was that it was (semi) perfectly clear in town, but once I was back on the 40, the storm picked up. This time people sucked and I ended up losing some time, before deciding to brave the elements and threw on my highbeams and led the way. Lots of people followed and I felt like the Fellowship of the Ring.

After that, everything went well…until I was 10 miles away from where I wanted to stop. Three lanes on a major highway went down to one. No big deal, right? People can merge. That’s what I thought, until I realized a lot of those semis ahead of me were delivering equipment or something and each one took forever. Forty-five minutes later and I found the motel I wanted to stay at, but it’s…eh. Was a little more expensive I wanted to spend, but that’s not a big deal because:

I’m going to beastmode it and make it to Decatur tomorrow. Screw cutting it into thirds, I’m already halfway through.

Next time I blog, I’ll be at my destination! Sorry this was a boring one. And sorry for pointing it out.

The drive

Forget John Elway’s epic 4th quarter drive. This one is going to be one for the ages. I leave tomorrow; in less that 24 hours. It’ll take me three days and I’ll be in Decatur for a good four days getting adjusted and preparing for my first day next Monday. I couldn’t be more excited.

Now, I’ve driven long distances, but never this long, never by myself, and never back-to-back-to-back. Perhaps the closest thing I could think of was when I went to Salt Lake City to see the MLS All-Star game and drove 9 hours one day and then 9 hours back two days later (or was it the next day? I think so). Whatever the case was, this drive is a little different. When I was on the phone with my landlord, she thought I was crazy for driving out there. Well, at least she was shocked.

Why?

Three days of driving through New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, (the southwestern tip of) Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and finally Georgia. Not too shabby, eh? So how does it all break down? I’m glad you asked. The times are rounded from Google Maps.

Day One (to Amarillo, TX – 11h 45m)

Tonight I’ll be staying at my father’s place up in Scottsdale so when I leave in the AM I won’t have to drive north in rush hour from Chandler. Hopefully I’ll be able to bypass most of it from leaving further north. I’ll go north and get to the 40, which will take me all the way across the south. By the time I hit Albuquerque, It’ll be the halfway point for day one, so I’ll try and get out and relax. Maybe post a photo real quick. Then I’ll make what will probably be the most boring stretch of my drive. As of right now, I haven’t booked a motel. Usually I do, and probably will. The only reason I didn’t was because I didn’t know if I’d be leaving tomorrow or Wednesday. However, if I keep pushing back  my leave date I would feel super rushed. I’ll look for a super cheap motel right after this.

Day Two (to Little Rock, AR – 9h 30m)

Another boring drive? Maybe. But I’m looking forward to stopping over in OKC to see the memorial for the bombing. I remember when my family was first moving to AZ and we drove to see the site. It was so heart wrenching. I was back there years later, and would like to make another stop. It’s also a logistical stopping point because it’s the halfway marker for day two. Of course I’ll be taking the 40 all the way across. My dad said last time he was driving back from Maine that there was construction on the interstate around Little Rock. I’m pretty sure it will either be not as terrible or completely gone. It’s just still something I have to keep in mind.

Day Three (to Decatur, GA – 9h)

Finally! This will be the shortest and most exciting drive. Memphis is only a short ways away from Little Rock, but I’m thinking I’ll stop there just to make an early, quick stop and post a photo here. I’ll finally get off of the 40 and take the 22 t the 20. It’ll probably be a straight drive to Decatur. Definitely the easiest of the drives. Because I haven’t contacted my landlord to pick up my key yet (I’ll probably do it when I’m in OKC) I might stop in Hotlanta for a bit and do some touristy stuff.

That’s pretty much it. Sorry it was boring, but it helps me to think things through better when I write them down. Now everyone will know where I am and I won’t end up like one of those Investigative Discovery shows that my ma loves to watch. Look out for photo updates!

5 films I wish were novels first

In a world where novels are constantly being made into films, I often think about what would happen if some of my favorite films were actually adaptions instead of original films. I thought of five off of the top of my head, and I know there would be better options, but these are the ones that instantly came to mind.

  1. American Beauty – Alan Ball’s script tackles multiple themes rather poignantly. Critics have been split on how to interpret the work, leading many to argue if it’s about finding yourself, the meaning of life, or an existentialist view towards humanity. Just think about what the passage describing the floating plastic bag could read like. Mmm. Intersting note: the film was released in 1999, which was the same year as novel-turned-film Fight Club; just saying.
  2. Inception – Christopher Nolan’s launch to super-director came with 2000’s Memento, which incedentally was an adaptaion of a short story. The reason I think this would have been a fabulous novel is because of the simple fact that most people complain that the novel to film conversion leaves out the meat of a story. I just feel that the world Nolan created could have been explored with so much more depth if it was fleshed out in a novel. Think about how interesting it would have been to see Cobb’s and Arthur’s relationship, or the development of Ariadne’s skills. Of course the abrupt ending would be hard to depict on page.
  3. The Royal Tenenbaums – I’ve always said that Wes Anderson was the JD Salinger of film. In fact the Tenenbaums were greatly influenced by Salinger’s Glass family. The film itself uses a novel narrative format, which could easily have lent the film to a great story. The relationships that Anderson created with the immediate and extended family could have easily been expanded. Perhaps the most interesting aspect I would have enjoyed to have read was the disbursement of flashbacks. Structually the novel could have been set up in a way where it told two stories a la “Grapes of Wrath.”
  4. The Usual Suspects – The epitome of an unreliable narrator. But would have been interesting is that it would be an unreliable narrator of a story-within-a-story. Screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie wrote an amazing cast of usual suspects and lets those characters drive the story. The most frustrating thing about the film is many feel the ending comes out of nowhere. Perhaps that was McQuarrie’s intention, but I feel that subtle clues in a longer novel would make this story that much better.
  5. (500) Days of Summer – The fact that the writing duo (Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber) started the story off with an author’s note made me laugh. “AUTHOR’S NOTE: The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any persons living or dead is purely coincidental. /// Especially you Jenny Beckman. /// Bitch.” I just think it sets up the humor that goes along with the story. Even the structure of this film could have been easily translated as a novel. Each day is a chapter. I mean, during the first time I watched this film I was thinking, “Damn, this is just like a story I’m writing.” It’s a classic tale with a modern twist.