November 30, 2006
the Optus Tennis Challenge
My grandad e-mailed me a while ago and gave me the link to this game.
I tell ya, this game is strangely addicting.
What high score can you get?
Do you think that there is strategy to such a simple game?
p.s. our myspace page now has almost 10,000 views. (9988 to be exact.)
November 22, 2006
Show in New Brusnwick Dec. 1
We are all so excited about this show. As always we will love to play with our good friends in One Win Choice. Also, Gracer is an absolutely fantastic band. We are very honored to be playing with them. It is going to be a fun night at the Abdab.
Anyone from our part of the world is welcome to come up to the show with us. We will be leaving on Friday afternoon (Dec. 1'st) from Look Machine Headquarters (the Palkovitz home). Let us know if you would like a ride up. We could try to work it out so that we caravan or take a big van up to the show.
November 21, 2006
Wear your braces kids
When I was a kid, the dentist was always telling me that I should get braces. My parents told me that they would pay for them if i wanted to get them, but for one reason or another, I just never did it. Only now am I realizing the magnitude of that mistake.
I recently went to the dentist for a "routine checkup." I religiously brush my teeth at least 2X per day, so I thought they would look around, clean my teeth, congratulate me on my fine dental hygiene, and send me out the door with a new toothbrush and a sticker that says "Smile your dentist loves you." WRONG!!!
My dentist looked in my mouth and said, "Hmmmmm.... when is the last time you had a bone probe?"
"A bone probe. It is where we measure the depth of your gum pockets and the density of the bone tissue surrounding your teeth. We take 4 measurements per tooth. I am seeing some inflammation of the gum tissue that may be indicative of some bone loss. I think that we should check it out."
Well bone loss sounds pretty scary to me so I agreed. He walked out and came back in with a little metal spike that had millimeter markings on it. He told me to lean back and open my mouth and that there might be a small bit of discomfort. For the next 20 minutes, the devil danced around my teeth reeking havoc with his fiery trident.
I'll spare you the gore, but when the probing was finished, he concluded that there is significant bone loss and i should see a specialist who could fix my teeth and curb further damage.
Yesterday, I visited the specialist. I thought I was going in for a consultation about braces. Wrong again. After another bone probing session, the dentist peeled off his bloody latex gloves and said that I should go see Carol to schedule my procedures. Thinking that Carol was the receptionist, I walked to the room where i was supposed to meet her to schedule my next appointment.
She pulled out several charts and began explaining my condition. Essentially, she said that I have begun to experience bone loss around several of my teeth. This loss is due to the fact that there is crowding in my mouth and i cannot properly reach all of the necessary parts of my teeth with a toothbrush and floss. Because the loss is occurring far beneath my gums, there is nothing I can to to clean it and prevent the situation from worsening.
At that point I began to realize that braces were not on the agenda. But I still had no idea what horrors awaited me.
The next chart she pulled out was a cross sectional representation of a tooth, jaw, and gums. She showed me what bone loss around the tooth looks like and then.... she showed me the surgery that they have to do to treat this. Yes that is right, surgery.
If I don't do the surgeries, my teeth will eventually fall out, I will double my risk of heart attack and triple my risk of stroke.
I have to go back in for a series of 6 surgeries to correct the problem before we even begin to discuss braces. These surgeries start tomorrow and will entail cutting back my gums, grinding down my jawbones, and grafting new tissue back into my mouth. Several of the procedures will involve bandages inside of my mouth for weeks at a time that will have to be cut out.
After explaining this Carol said, "So.... stock up on Jello."
This will take several months, several surgeries, and it will be very expensive. The moral of the story, Listen to your dentist and wear your braces.
November 20, 2006
Waiting for the Wii
On Saturday night, I did something very nerdy and completely insane. But it was also entirely worth it. I camped out overnight to buy a Nintendo Wii.
I was kind of hoping to avoid the complete camp out. The local Walmart was having a midnight launch and I thought if I got over there at 4 PM I could wait around for 8 hours and pick one up. After all, Nintendo was releasing a million of these little white boxes of fun, right?
Wrong, at 1:30 the Walmart already had 28 people waiting. The Walmart employee told me they only had 30 consoles. WHAT? And the party I was going to roll with was 4 people strong. When my son Ollie heard this, he said, "But Daddy, there are other big stores you can go to, right?" So, it was overnight at Target for my boy. (and maybe a little for me).
Bryan, Joe, Luke and I left my house at 4.30ish, heading for the Target on Route 202 in Brandywine. Luke had a Gamecube setup in his car, so it was quickly apparent that we made the right choice of vehicle as Joe and I played Mario Soccer on our way up I-95.
We got to Target at 5.30 PM. There were 13 people in line in front of us. One guy had been there since 8 AM. Mind you, this target wasn't going to open until 8 AM the next day. He certainly deserved his Wii.
Apparently the Brandywine Target is an extremely successful Target, so much so that it sells the most of any Target on the whole East Coast. No lie, I heard this from an older gentleman who was waiting behind us. When you sit in the cold and wait for hours upon hours you hear a lot of things. Because of this, this Target was going to get 210 consoles. Eat that, Walmart.
So, coming unprepared because I knew I was going to be outside of a Target (which closed at 10), I bought a tent and a sleeping bag. And a Nintendo DS because mine was lost. (What a horrible time to lose one, the wireless multiplayer Mario Kart games we played that night were legendary).
The people in front of us were so-so nice. One girl helped us set up our newly purchased tent, which was very nice. One guy joined our wireless DS bowling game, which was kind of nice. One tent of guys had a football and beat us in an impromptu midnight game. Not so nice.
The people waiting behind us were extremely nice. There was James, a hardcore gamer who publishes a cool magazine called Eerie Pennsylvania, all about paranormal activities around the grand state of PA. No, for some reason I didn't tell him about our short film. Too busy trying to get first place in Mario Kart I suppose.
Chris and his wife Ruth stopped by around 9 to give us some hot chocolate. Very nice of them. We cajoled Chris into staying! Such fun. Only the Wii could take Chris from a date with his beautiful wife into a tent with 4 other guys.
There was the 67 year old grandmother who was waiting in line to purchase a Wii for her 15 year old autistic grand son. Yes, think about that. She was an absolute saint, and the nicest lady. On Sunday, she left the Target and went straight to teaching special ed classes at the local Catholic school.
The group behind the people behind us were bad people. I think the one man was a rapist, or a pedophile, and most likely both. No lie. For some reason Joe talked to him for awhile around 4 am.
It's amazing how often you have to go to the bathroom when you just sit around and talk in 38 degree weather. I had to run to this special spot between bushes and trees in a median between 2 roads about 5 times through the night.
Bryan is a professional tailgater because he has season tickets to the redskins. Because of him we ruled the line with his 12 x 12 foot canopy. (not yet setup) Seriously, we looked like the absolute kings there.
As dawn broke, the sky was extremely beautiful, and I made the joke that even Jesus was coming to get a Wii. At this point, the line had stretched to many more then 210, and someone asked me if I'd give Jesus my place in line. I had to point out that Jesus spent the night in heaven, and I spent it on a cold sidewalk outside of Target. I think we know who deserves that Wii.
By 6AM, the line had grown very long indeed, and people from the back were constantly conducting censuses, counting to the front. One boy had finished the count and said to us, "I think I'm number 210, do you think I'll be ok." We knew this Target had exactly that number, and we told him to run back to his spot and pray. Bryan thinks we made him cry.
A night without sleep made us start doing loopy things, like push Luke around in a shopping cart. You wouldn't believe how many people would stop and ask what we were waiting for. One man stopped and we told him, and he proceeded to lecture us all, "Only in America, in other countries people wait in lines for a single grain of rice, and here we wait all night for a toy." He couldn't be more wrong. The Wii isn't a toy. It's a high precision instrument specially designed to allow for virtual manipulation of simulated digital environments. And really, a grain of rice is not filling, even if you're starving. That man was ridiculous. Plus he had a big dog. The money he spends on feeding that big dog could save like 15 kids in a 3rd World nation. Stuff it, hypocrite.
Finally, the Target security guards appeared and handed out the tickets needed to purchase the coveted toy. . .err. . .precision instrument. I was number 17. At this point, about 45 people went away empty-handed. One kid in front of us sold his ticket for $20. We told him he sold himself short. Sure enough, a couple people came by later saying they would pay $50 to $100 for a ticket. The kid audibly groaned. Because he was on the team that beat us in football, I didn't feel too bad for him honestly.
You wouldn't believe how badly we all had to go to the bathroom at this point. Because the sun had risen and now there were many cars driving by, all our outside hidden spots were now in such plain view that using them would only get us arrested for public indecency. We talked about leaving and going to Panera's across the street since we had our ticket, but we were afraid that Target would open early and we'd be out of Wii's. So we hopped around and waited for 8, checking our ticket every 10 seconds, afraid it might blow away or inexplicably disappear.
Finally, the appointed hour arrived, and Target handled the actually buying process very well, even giving us all a free Wii T-Shirt. Success.
Quick review of the machine itself. It's honestly all I was hoping for, and my regret is I haven't been able to play with it enough. On Sunday I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open and I went to bed at 7. Today I had a huge assignment due for my class at UCLA so I couldn't put in any major time. But already my wife is playing it, and her mother played it too, and they both enjoyed it. That has never happened before. Never.
So viva la wii! If you can snag one, get it. You won't regret it.
And long after the next generation of consoles comes and passes into the dustbin of history, I'll remember this long night hanging out with good friends. So originally I was hoping to avoid the camp out, but now I'm glad stupid Walmart only had 30 units. It was a blast.
November 16, 2006
Vote for our Insomniac Movie
Hey all, please please please vote for our film here. Thanks, that is all.
More Brett Webber Pictures (Insomnia Film Night)
Here are a few more pictures that Brett took on the night of the Insomnia film fest.
November 15, 2006
Music and Emotion. Is it Universal?
You know how if you hear a song that is slow and in a minor key it sounds really sad? You know how if you hear a song that is quiker and in a major key it sounds kind of happy?
What is with that? How has sadness become attached to certain kinds of sounds? What about happiness?
Do you think that the emotion and sound connection is universal? For instance, if I wrote an instrumental song that you thought sounded very sad would someone in Congo, Yemen, or Indonesia also think that it sounded sad?
Chime in, I'd like to hear what people think!
November 14, 2006
A Trip to the Pier
Aaron, Brett, Paul, and I went down to the fishing pier at Henlopen state park last week. We fished (and played scrabble) almost all night long. It was fun. These are some photographs that Brett Weber took.
It was a really fun trip. Usually that pier is pretty crowded. Even in the dead of winter there are people out there all night long. This trip, aside from a sea monster that kept shaking the entire structure and making aweful growling sounds, we were the only ones for most of the time.
November 13, 2006
Hi All --
We're the featured artists on The Polyphonic Revolution. Go check us out and support their site.
Just reminding you guys that you are now part of The Polyphonic Revolution's! (Mondays 6-8p.m. at kentbsr.com) featured artist section and that we should be pshowing off you work tonight on our featured bands section of the show TONIGHT. So if you could listen in, that'd be swell the AIM is kentbsrradio if u would like to talk to us or request something. Also, u are on our top friends list and if theres a spot up there on urs for us, it would be greatly appreciated :). Rock on guys.
There are 7 Jason Latshaws
In case you were wondering. How many people share your name?
November 12, 2006
The Barn Show Last Night
November 11, 2006
So we just submitted with 10 minutes to spare. This was actually harder then we expected, but we had a blast. I think our project could have been better, but considering the time it's pretty good.
We did a scary little movie. Based on a true story as told by none of then Josh Latshaw, that happened to him and his friends in the White Clay Creek Preserve.
Watch it here.
November 10, 2006
Insomniacs in action
Ps. This is ian posting this. That's why I'm in so many pictures.
November 09, 2006
Saturday Show at The Barn.
Thanks to everyone who came out. It was fun.
This is probably one of the best pictures ever
Thanks AOM Rock Magical.
November 08, 2006
The Grossest thing I ever Ate
When I was little I ate a hamster turd. I remember it all very clearly. I was playing with my hamster, a fine chap named Fuzzy, in a lincoln log town I had built. It was something like an old Japanese horror movie. Fuzzy waddled his large fuzzy self all around the town destroying every fence and building I had construced (for that very purpose of course). I had been feeding him, and I saw what I thought was a sunflower seed. I picked it up and popped it in my mouth. I knew by the way it smooshed in my teeth that it wasn't a sunflour seed. I learned by looking around that it was one of many fresh turds lying about the ruined town.
Well... that wasn't the grosest thing.
I ate my boogers until shortly after my 18th birthday. It's not that I particularly loved the way they tasted, I think I liked the shock factor of it all. I could instantly horrify almost anyone. Those I didn't gross out I formed a special bond with. Me and a few three years olds really had something deep in common. I also liked rebelling against such an established social law. I was not going to let society tell me what I could and couldn't do. Besides, I reasoned, it wasn't that gross. I was just moving something a couple of inches from the nostril to the mouth. It was inside of me in the first place, I was just moving it.
Laura didn't agree. About three years ago she put her foot down and said it had to stop. "You know your body expells those for a reason. You're eating your body's own excrement" Whe was a nursing student, a health care professional, for crying out loud! How could I argue with her. I am very proud to tell you all that I am about to celebrate my third aniversary of booger sobriety. I am a changed man.
If you're grossed out, just stop reading now. It doesn't get any prettier... or tastier.
One time on a dare I tried to eat a live grasshopper. It wasn't a small little hopper or a cricket. It was one of those giant dudes with wings and can spit orange tobacco juice. I had five dollars to win and my dignity to defend so I popped him right in my mouth. I figured one or two chews and I'd swallow him mostly whole. Everything changed when he started kicking me. He kicked my cheeks, my tongue and finally he kicked my lips and a great big, spiky leg stuck out of my mouth. I was grossed out, and horrified. I felt totally cruel, and maybe a little bit nauseous. I spat him out and let him go free.
That was way gross, but I didn't technically eat him.
I've eaten canned brains, roadkill deer, the disected heart of a cow, milk and lemon juice cocktails, fish eggs from a dirty pond, and a live minnow. I count all these as delicacies when compared to the other thing I ate.
I believe that now you have all come to recognize me as somewhat of an authority on gross things to eat. I trust that you will believe me when I tell you about what was hands down, the grossest thing that has ever crossed my lips.
I went on a family vacation to Florida a couple of years ago and we visited the everglades. It was a pretty sweet trip. Shane and I caught an aligator, we went snorkeling with my mom and a school of barracudas, ate some delicious key lime pie on Key West, and rode one of those super fast fan boats around the everglades.
One day we were hiking around some trails in the everglades when Shane and I spotted an orange tree. We climbed it and picked a fresh, wild orange right off the branch. It was beautiful! So ripe, totally organic. I peeled and bit into it... It was like somebody kicked me in the teeth. I chewed it up, it was like somebody pulled my tongue out. It was horrible!!! There are no words for how horrible this orange was. It was the most bitter, and the mos sour thing I have ever tasted. I have no explanation. It was ripe, it was fresh, it was orange... All I have to say is, if you ever find a wild orange, pass it up. Even if you are starving.
Ps. What's the grossest thing you ever ate?
November 06, 2006
When you work in a big corporation, you quickly realize that there are a group of people who take it way too seriously. . . this would be exhibit A.
This is honestly one of the saddest things I've ever seen. U2 has to be excited to hear this. He's got a pretty good voice. . . and he looks like he's actually. .. into it. Dude, you're selling credit cards. You've got to lighten up a bit here.
This is a song, set to U2's One, sung to celebrate the merger of Bank of America and MBNA.
November 02, 2006
The Insomnia Film Festival
Hey everyone. I had mentioned that Drew and I were kicking around the idea to participate in the Insomnia Film Festival, run by Apple, and it got some quick interest from a number of you.
So I think we're going to try to do it. On 11/10, Apple will send us 3 elements we must use to create a 3 minute short film. We then have 24 hours to write, film, edit, track, export, and upload that film. People vote on their favorites and the winners get Final Cut and Shake software (which I already have!) and 80 GB iPods. Each team can have 5 official members (the ones that actually win that stuff).
Now here's the problem, you have to be in college and at least 18 to be an official team member (ie, able to win the loot). I could sign up because I'm in that program with UCLA.
So here's the deal, if you are in college and older then 18 (Ian, I'm looking in your generally handicapped direction), go online and register under the team "Visual Mechanics."and then email me so I know you're part of the team. You need an Apple ID to register, so either sign up for one or use it if you already have it.
You'll also need to know:
Team Captain: Jason Latshaw
Team Captain Email: jason AT thelookmachine.com
If you aren't both of those things, you can still participate, you just can't be official. Just email me (jason at thelookmachine.com ) and we can start our planning.
(Note: I couldn't get the sign up to work on a PC, I had to use a Mac running Safari.)
November 01, 2006
An Insane Week
Many of you know that I'm trying to get into UCLA's Master of Fine Arts Program for Screenwriting. I applied last year, didn't make it, but did get invited to partake in their year-long Professional Program for Screenwriting. 19 of the people who made it into the MFA program came from the Professional Program.
So I enrolled in that program, and my thought process was this, "Oh cool, so I'll do this program and have some more strong screenplays that will help me get into the MFA program." And I put the MFA program out of my thoughts. About a month ago, I started the Professional program.
Last monday, I had this strange thought. I remembered applying for the MFA program last year around November. Huh, I thought, wonder what the deadline is for the '07 term?
I checked. It was November 1st.
And here's the kicker. I was counting on getting my new screenplays from my program. So, in other words, I didn't have a suitable writing sample. I thought the schedules would line up, and they didn't at all.
So in addition to having to get transcripts sent, put together a statement of purpose, get the letters of recommendations lined up and sent, and filling out the paperwork.. . .. I had to write a feature length screenplay this past week. In addition to celebrating my son's birthday in Baltimore, throwing a 55 person combined birthday party for my son and my daughter, AND keeping up with my weekly homework for the program I'm actually enrolled in.
And my head hurts and I don't feel like writing another word. . . but I'm done. I think it's crazy, but I wrote a 106 page screenplay in one week. I re-wrote it yesterday and sent everything off today. And I think it's a pretty good screenplay too, the best one I've written thus far. So hurray for stupidly impossible deadlines.
I have not been this stressed in quite some time though. I can't handle too many weeks like this last one.
Hey everyone. Don't forget that this saturday we are playing at the famed Frightland in Middletown,DE this saturday night at 10:00. Come on out and be frightened. We are playing a full hour set and we are really looking forward to it.