SWD: What Dreams May Come

Having almost ground the movie to a dusty halt over the past half hour, Lucas and Co. throw in a fight scene and a chase-through-asteroids scene in a bid to regain some momentum and probably wake up the audience. I think it is certainly better than Anakin and Padme trying to have an adult conversation.

Star Wars Episode Two: Attack of the Clones (00.58.59-01.11.18)

The scene opens with Anakin in bed, having a nightmare. After the rough, emotion filled evening he just experienced, it is hardly surprising that he is not sleeping well. I wish that Lucas showed the dream rather than Anakin dreaming, but only because watching someone have a bad dream feels awkward and voyeuristic. Also, seeing the dream requires additional thought and creativity which Lucas apparently didn’t feel like exerting. Furthermore, I strongly feel that this scene is supposed to mirror Luke’s vision in Empire Strikes Back, but in that scene, there were other things happening because Luke wasn’t, strictly speaking, dreaming and that gave much more depth to the scene. As this is part of a larger point I want to make, I will come back to it in a few moments.

Anakin, it seems, doesn’t return to sleep but spends the rest of the night meditating. When Padme wakes up and stumbles outside, she seems him, but turns to go. Anakin requests that she stay because her “presence is soothing” whatever that means (00.59.54). Padme merely comments on Anakin’s obvious bad night, trying to get him to talk about what is bothering him, but Anakin reverts to a twelve year old state when he tries to deny his bad night by snarling “Jedi don’t have nightmares”; a statement that is as inhuman as it is false (00.59.52). Padme patiently points out that she heard him having the bad dream, but it still takes Anakin a few moments before he admits the truth. Why? Because Anakin possesses unrealistic ideas about what it means to be a Jedi. Padme’s cold dose of reality breaks through his feeble defenses, and he confides in her. Given half an inch of freedom Anakin runs to find his mother, which I believe he would have done eventually, even without the bad dreams, but the premonitions give him a good excuse.

And there endeth the plot development for this part of the film. Obi-Wan brawls with Jango on Kamino, and then chases him through an asteroid belt in orbit over Geonosis. Meanwhile Anakin tracks down his mother through Watto, who sold her years ago, business being business.

One amusing tidbit: when Obi-Wan flies over Geonosis before landing to check things out, he mentions that there is “an unusual concentration of Federation ships” but what he means by this I have no idea (01.10.45). Is there some sort of galactic rule that says there should only be four Federation ships at one place or something? This line, I think, is supposed to be a clue to audience that something sinister is going on, but it actually is quite meaningless and makes one scratch their head while trying to figure out what in the galaxy Obi-Wan means.

But, on to a more troubling matter: Lucas copies himself way too much. In the behind the scenes material for the Phantom Menace, Lucas discusses Anakin blowing up the droid control ship as a future echo of Luke blowing up the Death Star and says that such tropes are “like poetry…they rhyme; every stanza rhymes with the one after it. Hopefully it will work” (3.29 “A Beginning…”). Unfortunately for Lucas, I don’t think it works. Because…

Lucas is not a poet. He is not a writer. He is a special effects wizard who had a great story idea. What he doesn’t realize is that rhyming is a very subtle thing, used too obviously or too liberally and it disgusts rather than delights. Poetry is about seducing language in order to seduce, delight, and tantalize the reader. Lucas’s poetry is not tantalizing: it is a kick in the face. Almost every single thing in the prequels is an echo of the future: you cannot escape it, you cannot excuse it, and you cannot ignore it. Consider Attack of the Clones: First, a love story is a strong secondary story, just like in the Empire Strikes Back. Second, a dangerous bounty hunter is introduced, and it is even the same bounty hunter. There is a chase through some asteroids. Obi-Wan hides out on the back of rock with all systems shut down to confuse his pursuer just like Han does with the Imperials. Anakin has dreams while Luke had visions. There is a big battle at the end instead of the beginning. There is a wampa and there is an acklay/reek/lexu. There is even a father figure revealed: “Watto never told you about your step-father. I am your step-father!!” And Cliegg is even missing a leg like Anakin will be soon. You get the picture? (Honestly, it is hard not too).

Lucas’s problem is not that he mirrors the original trilogy. I have said before that it is a very good thing to do. People see sequels for the express purpose of seeing a film like unto the original film, in fact it tends to be the major draw to a sequel. But, what makes a successful sequel is not a carbon copy of the original: that is, by definition, a failure. (To be fair, people disagree with me about this.) For instance, I believe the endless horror sagas that are popular today are failures because, while the first film might be an innovation, every successive sequel uses the exact same setup and tells pretty much the same story. Lucas does manage to weave new material into the prequels, but not much, which is why I think the Star Wars sequels are better than they otherwise would be.

My point is that one or two major references to the original trilogy would have been expected, needed, and perfectly ok, but mirroring each film so closely just shows a lack of imagination and finesse. Yes, Anakin and Padme are fated to fall in love and produce Luke and Leia, but making that a hard-to-get I-admit-I-love-you-because-we-are-about-to-die love story (a la Han and Leia) was a bad idea: it should have just been a classic fall-in-love romance. Jango Fett’s entire role is unnecessary, and even if it were, forget the whole idea of a clone son, just have it be Boba Fett and get it over with. No asteroid chase, no bad dream, and no step-father, either. Write new chase locations, new ideas to drive the story, and forget awkward psuedo-family encounters.

Futhermore, how exactly was Kenobi going to get Jango back to Coruscant for a Jedi interrogation? I submit that a plot device that is impossible to achieve, even one that never is achieved, is badly written. I find the whole fighting/chasing Jango thing to be an obvious sham because 1) there is no physical way Kenobi could have taken Jango into custody (there is no back seat to Kenobi’s ship, or was he supposed to hope Jango had a suitable ship to “borrow”?) and 2) he forgets about that mission just as quickly as Lucas forgot that Jango was supposed to be trying to kill Amidala, not whatever it is he was doing instead. Jango’s escape is nothing more than an elaborate plot device to get Kenobi to Geonosis, a place he otherwise would not end up.

Anyway, Kenobi explores Geonosis while Watto hunts for Shmi’s bill of sale. The plot thins…

(01.11.18).

SWD: The Mystery of Sifo-Dyas

I’ll say this about the next nine minutes: George Lucas finally got his whale. His air whale, that is, a creature he has been trying to fit into a Star Wars film since the first Star Wars film. I give him that achievement, because in terms of story, Attack of the Clones keeps failing.

Star Wars Episode Two: Attack of the Clones (00.50.21-00.58.58)

The next section of Clones begins with the best scene since Dex’s Diner: Obi-Wan Kenobi finally finds his assassin.

First he meets the notorious Boba Fett, who in a few quick moments is de-mystified from uber-bad galactic bounty hunter to extravagant wish-fulfillment payment. Boba Fett is an astoundingly popular figure from the original Star Wars mythos, despite having doing very little in the films except collect Han Solo from Darth Vader and get his butt kicked by a blind Han Solo over the Pit of Carkoon in Return of the Jedi. Instead of being the son of a notorious bounty hunter who becomes a great bounty hunter himself, Boba is now one clone among many who no doubt has serious identity issues and a weird relationship with himself/his “father”.

Besides all this, Jango strikes me as the type who has a girl in every spaceport and probably about 10 kids he knows or cares nothing about. Why would he want a son, and why choose an unaltered clone as a son surrogate? Is the man just that narcissistic or is he trying to make up for a life full of mistakes by having a little him to grow up and make new ones? Either way, the origins of Boba Fett are shrouded in confusion and serious psychological issues that makes me wonder just what Lucas was thinking. My opinion: Boba should have been the reason Jango is such a badass. Boba should have been the son of Jango’s wife, who was tragically murdered, and Jango’s first bounty was the murderer. That is so cliche, but is actually so much more compelling than, “well, son, there was a special on me at the supermarket: buy a million, get one free!”. Seriously.

The short meeting between Jango Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the best person-to-person interactions in the prequel trilogy (a sad commentary, in that this is perhaps the quickest confrontation). Jango, if not initially, then certainly very quickly, recognizes Obi-Wan and it is clear Kenobi comes to the correct conclusion that Jango is the bounty hunter he has been hunting. The two men circle each other (literally) like panthers, testing their enemy for weakness. Each probes, and deflects. Each says more with their eyes than their words. There is an air of mutual respect. These are two warriors, each a cut above the rest.

The really bad part of this interaction is the fact that once again the ethereal Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas is mentioned, but nothing ever comes of his mysterious involvement in the mysterious clone army which is tied to a mysterious bounty hunter who is trying to kill Senator Amidala for an as yet unknown employer for unknown reasons. His name is mentioned by the Kaminoans as the one who placed the order for the army ten years ago. Jango reveals that he was recruited by Tyranus (spoiler: that is, Darth Tyranus aka Count Dooku). Sifo-Dyas and Tyranus seem to be separate people. Were they working together? Did Dooku kill and then impersonate Sifo-Dyas or perhaps impersonate him and then kill him? I don’t really care, but it is sloppy to mention this character so prominently and then do nothing whatsoever about it. Later in this segment, when Kenobi discusses what he has learned with Yoda and Mace Windu, they deny that any Jedi representative had anything to do with the whole affair, and then Sifo-Dyas is never mentioned again. In fact, Yoda wants to question Jango Fett, but given the nature of the investigation, wouldn’t it also make sense to examine minutely the last days of Sifo-Dyas? He could be a red herring thrown out by the Kaminoans, but they seem to be innocent of any plot, as Kenobi says “there appears to be no motive” for them to be involved in assassination plots or political intrigue (00.57.50). Politically neutral arms dealing is a classic world, and it seems galactic, business. But, the lack of interest in a Jedi that seems to be at the heart of this alarming development in galactic affairs seems criminal. Either the Jedi Council are astounding idiots, or Lucas is a bad writer, introducing characters and plot tangents completely randomly without any thought to a cohesive story.

The action breaks from Kenobi’s boring walk back to his starfighter to a meaningless dinner at the Amidala estate. Anakin is telling a pointless story and using the Force casually. He says that Obi-Wan would be “grumpy” because he is floating fruit around a room, but I think, rather, that Obi-Wan would be grumpier that Anakin is about to break a central pillar in the Jedi Code (00.53.31). The acting is horrible (Portman seems to be in pain) and the dialogue is awkward. Anakin alternates between creepy and pouty. And things get worse when the uneasy couple moves into a dark, fire lit room. Padme is inexplicably wearing what can only be described as a seduction outfit. She is literally bulging out of her choker dress. No wonder the 19 year old hormonal Anakin can only think about this passionate feelings toward her, and is in “agony” and is “tormented” in his “very soul” while being “haunted by the kiss [Padme] should never have given” (00.55.05).

Padme will spend the next few minutes trying to resist Anakin’s advances, but her words are meaningless when she is dressed as she is. I really would rather not mention wardrobe, but what a character is wearing is hugely important, because in life we choose our clothes deliberately. I have watched the behind the scenes, and it appears that Lucas has no clue about wardrobe because he seems to make directorial decisions completely at random, and without considering what clothes say. He has been very clear that during the Original Trilogy he “studiously avoided fashion” and he was better for it, because he chose the simplest, most direct costumes for each character and it worked so much better. Even if he chose Padme’s slinky black dress deliberately, then he deliberately made Padme a complete jerk, because she entices Anakin while denying his advances.

Anakin then does the only thing he knows to do: he says everything that he has been thinking with raw honesty, and to add to Padme’s douchiness, she says absolutely nothing until Anakin practically begs her for a response, and then she makes him out to be the unreasonable one. “We live in a real world…come back to it” she reprimands, when it is she who is living in a fantasy world: hiding from Senatorial responsibilities, whining about votes and motives, while at the same time she cavorts and preens before a teenage boy dealing with his very first crush without any thought to what is proper or decent. She is at least six years older than he is, and knows about such things as personal relationships, which makes it her responsibility to be the mature one. Perhaps she was playing the temptress and indulging a little fling, but that was irresponsible and wrong of her. At night in the red room wearing the black choker is exactly the wrong time to think about the “real world” and the wrong place to lecture Anakin about it (00.55.29). She then tries to put the focus back on Anakin, trying to say that she won’t “let [him] give up his future for her” making a lame excuse about being a senator (as if it were forbidden for her to have a relationship) (00.55.48).

What is really happening here is this: Lucas tried his hardest to write a scene in which it should appear that Anakin is being irrational, headstrong, overly passionate, and a little dark while Padme is trying to be righteous, moral, clear and level headed. What is actually being communicated is this: Anakin has endured several days of constant flirtation and enticement from the woman that he is madly in love with, and finally works up the nerve to tell her what is clearly obvious, and that woman denies all responsibility, culpability, or knowledge of the same in self-righteous fervor, instead blaming Anakin for his “faults”. Anakin acts naturally and, to some degree reasonably, despite all attempts by his writer to make him act differently. Padme comes off as a complete jerk and Anakin is the straight man who struggles honestly and mightily with his forbidden feelings. Right here Anakin is a hero because he stays true to himself while honestly acknowledging his flaws, even if his words are badly written. “You are asking me to be rational; that is something that I know I cannot do” because love is the most irrational human affliction (00.55.53). It is as if Lucas needed their love to be forbidden when that was hardly the case. I refuse to believe that in a “thousand generations” there was never a single Jedi that got married and managed to still fulfill his Jedi duties and that exceptions could not be made. Such an assertion just makes no sense in a galaxy comprised mostly of humans.

Padme’s parting shot is that she “could not live a lie” as if she didn’t do that readily and frequently as the Queen pretending to be a handmaiden, which was the beginning of her relationship with Anakin: a lie (00.56.32).

Back on Kamino, Kenobi contacts the Jedi Council (having learned from Phantom Menace the value of encrypted communications). During the exchange, Yoda reminds Kenobi to “not assume anything…clear your mind must be” when in fact Yoda, and the rest of the council, does almost nothing but jump to conclusions (00.58.00). No wonder they were conned into fighting a null-war and were easily wiped out. Yoda and Windu assume the following in this minute of dialogue: A) the Jedi should have been able to see the creation the clone army, B) the Dark Lord of the Sith knows that their ability to use the Force is diminished, and C) if they inform the Senate, general lawlessness would ensue. Of the three, only the third seems at all likely. Even a group of supernaturally aware beings should not expect to be magically aware of every business transaction in a vast galaxy, and there really is no reason to assume that Darth Sidious knows that the Jedi are Force-impaired. In fact, the only reason I can think of that this is true is because Yoda inadvertently told Sidious himself in the beginning of the film, and that Lucas forgot that just because the author knows something, it does not follow that his characters know that thing. To afflict the deceased equine: this is further evidence of bad writing.

But on that “da-da-duumm” the scene ends.

(00.58.58).

SWD: All Work and No Play

Welcome to a new year, and a new Star Wars: Deconstructed post. I apologize for the great length of time between these posts. When I began this series, I was posting much more frequently and with greater enthusiasm. My enthusiasm waned, and with it the frequency, however, I have resolved to write at least one of these a week. Hence…

Star Wars Episode Two: Attack of the Clones (00.40.57-00.50.20)

Having received a wealth of good intel from his good friend Dexter, and some guiding wisdom from Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi finally set out to find the mysterious planet Kamino where he hopes to find the bounty hunter who killed the assassin who failed to kill Senator Amidala twice and find out just why she is wanted dead and by whom the bounty was set. He arrives, predictably, exactly where he expected the planet to be (00.41.14). Why he didn’t just head out there in the first place is a little mystifying, but perhaps the Jedi Council is stingy with their Jedi starfighters, and I suppose it is good to be sure of a destination before setting off on a journey many lightyears long.

Kamino appears to be like most of the other planets in the Star Wars galaxy: comprised of only one topography (perpetually stormy ocean) and one city. Either that or it has a really long rainy day and Kenobi found the right city purely by accident.

Once he lands, he is immediately greeted, and is “expected” (00.41.58). This is surprising to me. I know Dexter said that the cloners keep to themselves, but really, they wouldn’t have tried to check in with the Jedi Council about their order of clones at least once in over ten years? That seems really unlikely. I order something insignificant, and I get at least one email about it within hours, and I can check the progress of the order online. I can’t believe nothing like this exists in a galaxy as technologically sophisticated as this one is supposed to be, what with faster than light travel and lightsabers and all. In any case, the Kaminoan immediately assumes that Kenobi is A) a Jedi, and B) supposed to be there, and C) authorized to have any and all information about the cloning project. This also seems unlikely, but who knows what the privacy agreement is with an organization that is willing to go ten years without checking in with their clients. Kenobi manages not to give away that all of this ready information is completely and shockingly new to him, but I doubt his subterfuge is even necessary as the Kaminoans hardly seem to notice or care.

Lama Su, prime minister of Kamino, gets right down to business, even though there wasn’t anything else going on. At any rate, he wishes to immediately make up for lost time and tries to update his client on the status of his order. “Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas is still a leading member of the Jedi Council, is he not?” he asks and Kenobi gives him the bad news that “Sifo-Dyas was killed almost ten years ago” (00.43.18). See? that is why you check in with clients: they might die before the order is placed, or, in this case, right after it is placed. After all, why bother “building” a million clones (and spending the money to do so) if you don’t have to? I am assuming that Sifo-Dyas paid for the order in full ten years earlier, otherwise the Kaminoans are very stupid. Still, I suppose the way the Council operates, the order was at the behest of the Council, and not any one Jedi. Collective possessions and all, I guess.

But, after divulging all of his information, Lama Su assumes Kenobi would like to inspect the clones. Kenobi lamely covers his surprise with a “that’s why I’m here” even though he is actually there to find a bounty hunter (00.43.55). However, I give Kenobi the benefit of the doubt here because sometimes the best way to find what you are looking for is to look for (or at) something else and let the situation unfold before you.

Anyway, the movie shifts back to Naboo and Anakin and Padme. The film is now following two separate story lines with intercut scenes, but for the past ten minutes, and for most of the rest of the movie, the two plots have nothing whatsoever to do with each other. In fact, the Anakin/Padme storyline is completely useless. It barely advances the arc of either character, and it divulges no useful information by way of exposition. The only action of any consequence comes when Anakin murders an entire tribe of Tuskens, but that only reveals what is already inside of him: pure evil. This film is all about Kenobi and the plot to…create clones. There is no reason for any particular scene break, and to be perfectly honest, this part of the movie is really boring. The only reason it does get interesting is because a few fights break out, but they are short lived.

Anyway, the movie shifts back to Naboo and Anakin and Padme. They are arriving in their clever hideout at a favorite vacation spot of Padme’s. I find it necessary to remind my readers that Anakin and Padme are in fact supposed to be hiding from a deadly bounty hunter who has already tried to kill her twice. Each attack came when Padme was exactly where she was supposed to be: her landing pad or her apartment. It is absolute lunacy to expect that going to a third place she is supposed to be (her home planet and places very familiar to her, ie the Palace and Vacation Spot #1) would be a safe or even remotely advisable course of action. When there is an attempt to take the life of the President of the United States, he is immediately moved to an underground bunker at an undisclosed location, or is kept flying around in the sky somewhere in a jumbo jet surrounded by fighter jets. He isn’t kept at the White House, or Camp David, or his Chicago home. Because that would be stupid. Padme isn’t that important, but if someone is trying to kill you, the best option is to hide somewhere you aren’t supposed to be.

I belabor this point, but the easier thing to do is to state what is really going on here: Padme is perfectly safe. Why? Because Lucas is done with the assassination part of the story and has moved on to the love part of the story. Jango Fett has retreated to Kamino, and won’t bother trying to kill Padme ever again. Even Nute Gunray is waiting on Geonosis for Padme to arrive and then he lets Dooku try to kill her, and then he gives up trying. Padme is in absolutely no danger whatsoever because the writer of the story simply dismissed that part of the plot without resolving it, and acts for the rest of the movie as if it never existed. This is bad writing. This is excruciatingly bad writing. Every single bit of tension has drained from the movie.

Anyway…Anakin continues to be creepy. He creepily touches Padme, creepily tries to kiss her, there is an awkward half-completed kiss, and right as people are being weirded out, the scene shifts back to Kenobi looking at clones (even the music is awkward here). I wasn’t going to mention this, but if Padme is conflicted about her growing affection for Anakin and his obvious lust for her, she chooses odd raiment for a few days: very revealing come-jump-on-me clothes. Just saying.

Back on Kamino, Kenobi finally learns that a bounty hunter is in fact on Kamino and that his name is Jango Fett. I want to mention that the use of “host” to describe Fett is incorrect. Fett is host to nothing. Host is not a term used in cloning terminology.

Of note here: the scene where Kenobi emerges onto a balcony to see massive amounts of clones marching in unison is really the first scene of the Empire: helmeted, white armored soldiers. John Williams should have been allowed to use the Imperial March here, and not later at the end of the movie when this scene is repeated almost exactly when the awe of it is diminished.

Anyway, back on Naboo, Anakin and Padme take a picnic lunch in the middle of a massively open field during the middle of the day. See? I told you no one cares about an assassination attempt anymore. What follows is a bit of painful dialogue about Padme’s past lovers (something no guy wants to talk about), politics (something few lovers talk about on dates), and a ride on some sort of tick looking animal (which sort of falls into the “stupidly trying to impress the girl” category), and some rolling in the hay which just makes me go “what?”. Padme’s actions are completely incongruous to her words. No wonder Anakin is very “tormented” and sadly confused about her intentions. She is either supposed to be a bit of a sanctimonious jerk who leads him on maliciously, or she is badly written. I choose the second because it fits the emergent pattern in the Star Wars prequels.

And the scene ends with nothing much having been accomplished. Maybe the next ten minutes will be more…something. I really wish I could be more positive here, but even the special effects are bland and unconvincing (especially the tick animal on Naboo). There isn’t too much to hate, but there is nothing to love.

(00.50.20).

2.11

I’ve never really made New Year’s Resolutions because I know myself well enough to know that I would never actually have the discipline to carry out some radical new change in my standard operating procedure. But, this past year, 2.10, I achieved a radical new change in status: I am a college graduate and a married man. I thought that perhaps this should signify a change in the way I think about each new year.

For the past 18 consecutive years, my life has primarily been centred around one thing: school. Since I was five I have been in school every year for most of the year. Summer was the part of the year, like Christmas and Spring Break, that I wasn’t in school. I defined my life by my various scholastic incarcerations. This was true through homeschooling, a year abroad in Papua New Guinea, two years at Bible school in New York, and three years at college in Pennsylvania. This past September was the first September since I was five that I was not enrolled at any sort of academic institution.

One would think that a wedding day would be a defining, pivotal moment in their life (and in many ways, it is) but for me, it really wasn’t. My pivotal, life changing day was my graduation day. I had been hanging out with my girlfriend for three years, and had been practically living with my fiancee for a year, and then we got married and made it official and moved all the way in together, so for five years my wife was a constant part of my life even if she wasn’t my wife. Having Hannah around won’t ever change, and so, like having brothers and a sister I can’t ever get away from, Hannah is a part of normal life.

But school is not normal life, it is, in point of fact, quite abnormal, and for me, quite over. I plan on going to grad school at some point, but even if I do return to some sort of educational institute, it won’t be full time like it was before. I won’t live there; I won’t centre my whole life around it. It will become something I am doing, not something that I am.

And so, as I look outwards on the 6th of January in the year 2011, I feel out of place. This past September I was aware that my still enrolled friends were heading back to school and were hitting the books as hard as ever while I was out of the game. On my graduation day, and before, and after, many people asked me the third most hated question ever: “what are you going to do after you graduate?” (For the record, the other two most hated questions are: “What college will you go to after you graduate from high school?” and “What can you do with an English degree? Can you even get a job with one of those?” – the answer to the second is “No”.)

I knew what the right answer to the third most hated question was supposed to be: “I will get a job and become a happy, productive member of society” but my real answer was “Sleep. Lots of sleep.” I had been going to school for 18 years straight and the bottom line was exhaustion. I was very tired. I know that in the “real world” (whatever the hell that is) most people do not have the luxury of graduating and immediately falling into a sweet slumber. Most people have to take whatever job they can find, finagle, or steal and work hard to earn enough money to buy pizza, beer, and a monthly cell phone contract. Most people can’t sleep, unless they want to do it on the street in a cardboard box or something. For some reason, my situation allows me the luxury of taking the time off.

Six months Post Graduation, I am finally starting to feel a little of the weariness fade from my bones. I struggled until a few weeks ago with actually keeping to any consistent sleeping schedule. I would often stay up until 4am and sleep until noon or 1pm. But now I am actually in bed by 11pm and up by 0730. I would see my wife for only a few hours each evening between when she got home for work and when she went to bed. Now, I see her for those hours, fall asleep with her, and wake up with her. My wife-time has doubled (not really, but it feels like it).

And now I have about 9 hours during the day to fill. I could get a job, but honestly, I can’t face that prospect quite yet. I haven’t the mental energy or the psychological stamina. A job may be surmounting the horizon, but it is still many miles away.

But, I want to do something. I want to have some sort of structure to my day. Right now it looks like this:

Wake Up
See Wife Off to Work
Make Bed
Watch Colbert Report with Breakfast
Empty
Turn on Lights Around House
Welcome Wife Home
Make Dinner
Hang Out with Wife
Got to Bed

Rinse and Repeat

I want to turn that “Empty” part of my day into something, and be conscious about it. Sure, mostly I still struggle with staying awake all day long and fighting an overwhelming sense of fatigue, but sometimes I am fascinatingly lucid and I write blog posts like this one. So, with it being a new year and all, I want to (not make resolutions) set some goals for myself and blogging about them makes them more real to me. I think that my brother reads this blog and I know my wife does, but I imagine that some other people might, and in any case having the sense that other people read about what I say means that making such a decision is more binding than simply speaking into the empty air of my apartment.

[I just got distracted by this: http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/features/watch-scrats-continental-crack-up.php You can check it out if you promise to come back.]

Now that I have lost my audience, my goals for 2.11 are as follows:

1. Blog at least twice a week.

2. One blog must be a Star Wars: Deconstructed blog. These will be available here on my blog.

3. Write one poem a week. Learn and try new forms. These will be available here on my blog.

4. Take one creative picture a day, preferably with Instagram [link], an awesome creative picture taking app for my iPhone. These will be available on my flickr! [link] and on my twitter @PhilipJoelM

5. Write a publishable work, either memoir or short story. Submit for publishing.

6. Prepare for grad school (this might actually entail applying).

They aren’t many, but they are good, and (for the most part) are centred around what I put myself into massive debt to learn: writing. It figures that whatever I do with my life ought to include that in some aspect or other.

So, I am hereby resolved. I do hope it works out.