Things I Am Looking Forward To In 2009 (In Chronological Order)

January 20: The Barack Obama Inauguration Address.

Someone once told me there are two kinds of politicians: those who are corrupt and exploit the people and those who care, witness the apathy of the people, and are then corrupted.  I am not one of those people that believes Obama is the Chosen One but you hope for that politician that actually believes what they say.  Right now I am filled with hope and promise and I after watching worldwide reaction to the election I had forgotten what it was like to see other countries wave our flag and it not be on fire.  Seldom do you know when history will be made.  Forty years from now after an Asian woman is the President and my grandchildren are shown holoclips of the first African-American to be inaugurated President of the United States I can tell them their grandmother and I were there, at the mall, amidst several million people that all felt the same way.  Hopefully, I’ll be proud of it.

March 6: Watchmen.

Lately, in comic nerd-dom, we get an event, if not several, every year.  Watchmen actually deserves it.  I’ll quote the standard lines: it’s considered the Moby Dick of of comic books… the only only comic to be included in Time magazine’s 100 Best English Language Novels of All Time.  To me, more importantly, it’s been in development hell for the better part of two decades.  I have a copy of Batman screenwriter Sam Hamm’s draft from 1990.  I remember when producer Joel Silver (Predator, Die Hard, Lethal Weapon) was going to make it with blue naked Arnold Schwarzenegger as Dr Manhattan.  I still have regret that Terry Gilliam (Brazil, The Fisher King, Twelve Monkeys) never got the project off the ground.  This is one of those things like a new Star Wars trilogy or Indiana Jones movie that nerds tell you is being made but I believe it when I see it… and that will be March 6.

April 18: Kiss The Bride.

Okay, this is a gimme but I am that rare guy who’d wanted to be married since he was ten.  If left to my own devices I am a complete mess.  The fact that it gets to be Natalie and not one of the other psychos I have been involved with (you know who you are) just makes it better.  It’s Christmas, my birthday, tax refund day and the release of a new Xbox and a Star Wars movie, a good Star Wars movie, all at the same time.  I won’t waste your time gushing over why Natalie is as great as she is.  I have another blog for that: www.maxwellford.wordpress.com.

April 19: My Caribbean Cruise Honeymoon.

I have never been on a cruise.  I have essentially never been out of the country.  Natalie has pushed my limits of comfort and by the end of the week I am sure I will have had the best vacation of my entire life.

May 8: Star Trek.

I like remakes.  That doesn’t mean they’re all good.  I just like watching how things are reinterpreted for new audiences.  Even better, I like watching nerds freak out.  Star Trek has been dead to me for almost twenty years.  It’s about time someone stopped clinging to the past and did something new with it.  This was supposed to be out this past Christmas and Paramount pushed the date back to a summer release (smart move).  I immediately went to eBay and bought a dozen posters with the incorrect date.  I did the same thing when Titanic was moved from a summer to winter date.

June 16: Splinter Cell Conviction.

I own an Xbox 360.  I refer to it as my Tom Clancy Machine since it’s mostly used for Rainbow Six and Splinter Cell.  The latter is a game where you play a spy who sneaks around in shadows, hangs upside down and breaks dude’s necks.  They’re terrorists and they shouldn’t have come to work anyway.  When a new Splinter Cell game is released I am pretty much useless for a week.  For Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, I would set my alarm clock to get an hour in before work.  Come home and power up the Xbox as I was changing clothes, play until 8:00p.  Watch my shows (pre-Tivo) and then from 10:00p until 2:00a play some more.  I can honestly say when the last game, Splinter Cell: Double Agent, was released, I had subsided on Hot Pockets and Diet Coke and have little recollection of showering most of those days.  I bought the regular Xbox version of Double Agent for the multiplayer and found there was an entirely different game there and the same thing happened.  I love this game so much I want to take behind a high school and get it pregnant.  Luckily this only happens for slightly less than a week.  There hasn’t been a new game since 2006.  Natalie can catch up on her ever-increasing email.

December 18: Avatar.

What is Avatar?  I honestly wish I could tell you but I don’t know.  I can tell you it’s a science-fiction movie starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana and Sigorney Weaver.  It’s shot in some kind of revolutionary 3D and it’s directed by James Cameron.  Yes, James Cameron.  For those of you who don’t know for my money he’s the best action director working in Hollywood and responsible for The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, True Lies and of what am I forgetting, oh yeah, the highest grossing film of all time and winner of eleven Academy Awards, Titanic.  The fact that he hasn’t had a movie in a theatre in twelve years only makes it sweeter (and Avatar opens twelve years and one day after his last film).

Winter 2009: Undebted.

I was at the bank and Jessica Jones was on the phone with her contractor arranging financing for her home and when they asked, “What kind of debt do you carry?” her response was, “None.”  She hung up the phone and I said, “That feels pretty good to say,” and she responded, “You have no fucking idea.”  After a lot of hard work two years later I could say the same thing.  Stuff happens.  College costs money.  Weddings cost money.  Hopefully by the end of the year we’ll be in that place again which leads me to…

Winter 2009: Our New House.

The key word there is “our.”  I own a condo now and it’s okay for one person but when you combine two households you end up jamming stuff into corners and living with the bare essentials.  Natalie is a lawyer and by nature I have yet to meet one that knows how to throw anything away.  She claimed she would only unpack her books she needed as reference (because of course, she’s going to need her copy of Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker for reference).  I have two seven foot towers of boxes that haunt me like Minas Morgul and Orthanc.  We’re preparing to take some of it and stash it in my old room at my mom’s house.  It’ll be the first place she’s ever lived that wasn’t a condo or an apartment.  I’m going to have to hide the Pier 1 and Ikea catalogs.

Winter 2009: My Fighting Weight.

I am a rippling 170 pounds of muscle that I keep under a sixty pound protective layer of fat.  I had lost thirty pounds when I met Natalie (courtesy of NurtiSystem) and then made the mistake of going on vacation.  I found I can’t take days off.  Meals, yes.  A week, no.  Lesson learned.  I fell of the wagon but fortunately had a large pile of food to break my fall.  Natalie has me going to the gym and eating better (something about wanting me to live longer which is probably for the best because I have been treating my body like a rental property).  Baby steps, people, it’s all about baby steps.

And A Bonus One: Mortal Saints And The Agents Who Love Them.

Tony Lipari and I wrote a screenplay.  His first, my ninth.  I consider them practice.  I send them to a small handful of people.  After Finding Chicago (1991) an agent in New York told me he couldn’t sell what I had but liked my writing and if I ever had anything send it to him first.  He told me he was representing two brothers who had sold a screenplay called Assassins and had directed their first movie and were prepping their second.  He was talking about the Wachowski Brothers who had finished directing Bound and were prepping what would be The Matrix.  Apparently getting people to read your screenplays is a big deal.  I was too young to know that then.  Anyway, the new screenplay is called Mortal Saints and it’ll probably go out the end of February.

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