Oscar picks '07

::UPDATE - Midnight, 2/26/07::

Click here for a complete list of the evening's nominees and winners.


Some were chosen by my head, some by my heart. As promised, here (in bold) are my picks for this year's Academy Awards:

Best Picture
The Departed
Letters From Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen

It's possible that Sunshine could play spoiler here, but I honestly believe that The Departed is one of Marty Scorsese's best pictures, and it's way past time the Academy recognized his work.

Best Director
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Babel
Martin Scorsese, The Departed
Clint Eastwood, Letters From Iwo Jima
Stephen Frears, The Queen
Paul Greengrass, United 93

Like I said above, (I sure hope) this is Marty's year.

Best Actor
Leonardo DiCaprio, Blood Diamond
Ryan Gosling, Half Nelson
Peter O'Toole, Venus
Will Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness
Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland

I've always enjoyed Whitaker's work, but this is the first time he's ever truly given himself over to a character. He was absolutely brilliant as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. He earned this award.

Best Actress
Penélope Cruz, Volver
Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal
Helen Mirren, The Queen
Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada
Kate Winslet, Little Children

I haven't seen any of these films yet, and it appears unlikely that I will prior to Sunday night's awards ceremony, so I'm going with my head here and picking the woman who's already taken home something like two dozen awards for her role as England's Queen Elizabeth II.

Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine
Jackie Earle Haley, Little Children
Djimon Hounsou, Blood Diamond
Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls
Mark Wahlberg, The Departed

Going with my head once again here. Everyone has been raving about Murphy's performance in Dreamgirls, it'd be a surprise if he didn't win. Personally, I loved Alan Arkin as the heroin-addicted grandfather in Sunshine.

Best Supporting Actress
Adriana Barraza, Babel
Cate Blanchett, Notes on a Scandal
Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine
Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls
Rinko Kikuchi, Babel

See above. Hudson has seemed like a lock for this award since before the film even opened.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Peter Baynham, Dan Mazer and Todd Phillips, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Alfonso Cuarón, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, Children of Men
William Monahan, The Departed
Todd Field and Tom Perrotta, Little Children
Patrick Marber, Notes on a Scandal

While my heart wants to vote for Borat, I can't overlook Bill Monahan's gritty, brutal script. He wrote The Departed like 21st century Shakespeare. I mean, c'mon, everybody freakin' dies.

Best Original Screenplay
Guillermo Arriaga, Babel
Iris Yamashita and Paul Haggis, Letters From Iwo Jima
Michael Arndt, Little Miss Sunshine
Guillermo del Toro, Pan's Labyrinth
Peter Morgan, The Queen

I so want Pan's Labyrinth to win this award, because I just love del Toro's work, but this might be the only big award Sunshine has a real chance to win.

Best Editing
Blood Diamond
Children of Men
The Departed
United 93

What can I say? The Departed was one of my favorite movies of 2006.

Best Cinematography
The Black Dahlia
Children of Men
The Illusionist
Pan's Labyrinth
The Prestige

Watch the movie. It's nothing less than stunning to look at.

Best Art Direction
The Good Shepherd
Pan's Labyrinth
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
The Prestige

I don't know what looked more spectacular, the bright, vibrant fantasy world or the harsh, somber real one. Both are a real treat for the eye.

Best Foreign Language Film
After the Wedding, Denmark
Days of Glory (Indigenes), Algeria
The Lives of Others, Germany
Pan's Labyrinth, Mexico
Water, Canada

Labyrinth is such a grim(m), beautiful and touching movie, in any language. I can't wait to see what del Toro gives us next. (Hellboy 2, I think.)

Best Animated Feature
Happy Feet
Monster House

C'mon, it's Pixar.



I really dislike people worrying about me and fussing over me, taking care of me. It makes me feel helpless, like I'm a child again. This past week has not been easy for me.

It's the job of the nurses at the hospital to prep you for surgery, to make sure you're comfortable and doing all right afterwards, but it really just drove me nuts. Whenever I needed to take a piss, I needed to call for a nurse to come in so she could unhook me from the various monitoring devices, then when I was done, I'd call them again to hook me back up to the machines.

Being practically bedridden, even if only for a day, is one of the worst feelings I've ever had, worse than the pain I began feeling a month ago that led to all this. It's ... I don't know if humiliating is the right word, but it's certainly something like that. Frustrating, I guess.

I hated that my parents were by my side the whole time, before and after the surgery. I know they were there out of love and concern and they wanted me to feel comfortable, but really, they were there to make themselves feel comfortable. They were there because they felt they had to be, that it was their responsibility as parents or something, because they certainly didn't want to be there. No one wants to spend a day at the hospital. I just ... I felt like they were wasting their time. There had to have been better things to do than just sit by my bedside.

Of course, like I said, I hate it when people worry about me.

I just wanted to get the whole thing over with. We got to the hospital at 10:30 Tuesday morning and I almost immediately went for my CAT scan. Then back to the waiting room for all of five minutes before being ushered to my pre-op room, where I got to strip and put on one of those lovely, all-concealing hospital gowns. I then spent about four hours lying in bed, my parents by my side (and my sister for a little bit), waiting for the results of the CAT scan and my doctor to show up.

I read a little, watched some TV, so, really, it was a lot like being at home. Except for the nudie-gown and the nurses who kept coming in to give me meds or get information or explain what was going to be happening. My doctor eventually arrived a bit late and gave us the quick rundown regarding the CAT scan and the surgery, then he went off to perform a similar surgery on someone else before it was my turn.

Turns out that the kidney stone hadn't really moved at all since the first CAT scan, which is why I hadn't been feeling any pain for nearly a week prior to arriving at the hospital. It was just kinda sitting there, nestled against my kidney, 4-5 mm of ... something. After it was taken out, they took it to be analyzed. I guess that takes a couple weeks.

Finally, a little after three, they were ready for my surgery. I don't remember much after they gave me the sleepy meds. I remember being rolled from the room I was in across the hall to the OR. I remember scooching off my roller bed onto the operating table. I think I said something about how I normally would have wanted this to be over before eight, because of House, but House wasn't on due to a two-hour American Idol. And then ... I woke up in the recovery room.

It must have been about 5:30 or so when I woke up. I remember being disappointed that I had missed PTI, which is on at 4:30. I hadn't eaten since about seven the night before, and my stomach was flipping between queasiness from the meds and the surgery, and rumbling due to hunger.

My parents were there, and they stuck around 'til around seven, I guess, before they went for dinner. It appeared that I was in the good hands of some cute nurses, which, after all, are the best kind of nurses. Except when, you know, they need to check on where you were operated on, which for me meant taking a look at a sort of shrunken (because of the pain, people) penis with bits of string sticking out of the hole, which, you know, isn't the sort of thing one normally shows off.

The doctor had put a stent in, between my kidney and bladder, to make sure the ... urethra, I guess, didn't close up after he pulled the kidney stone out (boy, am I glad I was unconscious for that). And the stent is still there, waiting to be pulled out by these strings that are dangling from my tip. To be honest, I feel perfectly fine right now, except for the irritation and discomfort of having bits of string coming out of my penis. And I have to wait 'til Monday morning before I get this thing yanked out, and believe me, I'll be popping a few pain meds before that happens.

So I've just been hanging around the house the past couple days, watching TV, reading comics. I try not to move too much, because it just feels kinda weird when the strings move around or rub up against my underwear, though I did go to class last night. And the dentist yesterday morning (only one more visit to go!). I tried working on this paper for class on Thursday, but my mind was a bit muddled still, by the pain meds, I guess. I got an extension, anyway, so I can hand it in on Tuesday. I also have a midterm on Tuesday, for which the professor was kind enough to email me the review sheet. I'm not too concerned about it, even though I missed all of this past week's classes. It's the Interviewing class, and I think I have a pretty good handle on what he told us in class before we began our first round of mock interviews.

The final episode of The O.C. was Thursday night, but I was watching Grey's Anatomy instead, so I'm currently downloading a torrent of the episode. That show, The O.C., was really good for two seasons, because of all the wonderful Jewish and comic book references (the very best kind of references, I might add), then they completely jumped the shark in the third. I'm still trying to figure out why. I guess the Schwartz (series creator Josh Schwartz) wasn't working on it as much as he had the first two years, and they lost one of their key writers/producers, the Heinberg (Allan Heinberg), who now, coincidentally, writes and produces for Grey's Anatomy.

Anyway, this year had been better than last, but really, once Grey's had switched to the same time slot, it was only a matter of time before The O.C. got the ax.

The Oscar awards are Sunday night. I'll probably write up a quick ballot later today with my picks. I entered this contest that the Omaha World-Herald was having, where you picked your winners and then, depending on how well you guessed compared to the Herald's film critic, you win ... stuff. I'm not entirely sure, actually. So I entered and then Tuesday morning, as I was getting ready to head to the hospital, the film critic calls my cell phone for some quick quotes concerning the Oscars. I guess there's going to be an article in the Sunday paper.

I suppose it's time to head upstairs and hop in the shower. Then lunch. Then ... I dunno, I've been watching the Buffy DVDs, because I finally got the final five seasons (Amazon was having such a great sale around the holidays, with all the seasons for $20 each. I should have gotten Angel at the same time), so I'm working my way through them. Nearly done with season 2 right now. Four more episodes to go.

I'm also in the middle of season 3 of Homicide, which I need to start watching again.

And maybe I'll do some writing and/or studying sometime today, too.

For the screenwriting class, I decided that I needed to take the short story I wrote for my fiction class last semester and work on turning that into a screenplay. I tried to work on some other stuff, but this story just won't leave me alone. It wants to be finished, though I think I might need to speak with my ... inspiration to get a few facts straight. It was all so long ago, y'know?

Incidentally, I changed the name of the girl in the story. I figured, you know, since I used my middle name, it was only right that I use hers, too.



I'm home. I hurt. Oxycodone kicks ass.

More later ...


Under the knife

I haven't felt any pain in my back for nearly a week now. At least, not the kind of pain that I came to associate with a bloody kidney stone. Sure, I've felt the normal kind of back pain that I've grown accustomed to over the past however many years, but not the soul-crushing, cringe-inducing pain that makes one pray for death that I had been feeling.

I can't help but wonder if I pissed the damn thing out and never noticed. I mean, it's supposed to be pretty painful, right? And despite the rampant rumors, I have not been hopped up on Oxycodone for the past week. I haven't even taken one in a couple days, and the last time I took one was because of a headache. I swear, the pain went away the very day I got the prescription for the meds. I guess they really do work.

So I have a CAT scan scheduled at noon and then, if the kidney stone really is still there and simply laying low at the moment, I'll have the surgery, I dunno, sometime in the afternoon. My doctor has a similar procedure scheduled at 2-something, he said, so I can only assume I'd be after that. Which means, if I do have to have this surgery, I'm going to be at the hospital for maybe eight to 10 hours. Wheee.

Unless I croak on the operating table, I'll be back tomorrow night (if I do, indeed, have the surgery, cause if not then I'll be home probably around 1) with details. And maybe pictures. Show of hands, who wants to see a photo of my kidney?


Hooray for dentists!

I have the first of three appointments with my a dentist (my dentist got a staph infection in his hand or something and won't be back for a month or so) tomorrow morning at 10.

I feel like I'm falling apart, which is silly, I know, but with the whole kidney stone thing, and all these cavities (I know, I know, my own fault for not going to the dentist for nine years), it's kinda hard not to. I haven't been in the best of moods for the past couple weeks.

I was invited out to a thing at a bar tonight, a piano bar? Dueling pianos, if I remember correctly. A friend's birthday was today (Happy Birthday, Kris!) and a bunch of people were gonna be at the bar, but I just didn't feel up to it. I haven't been feeling very sociable ever since I first noticed blood in my piss. And then the dentist thing happened last week, and all I've felt like doing is sitting around the house reading or watchin' TV or movies. (I'm sure the weather is partly to blame, too, what with the single digit temps and still-too-early sunset.)

I'd like to go out and see my friends, but I don't imagine I'd be very good company right now. Just ask my parents, and they have to live with me. I'm hopeful that once this kidney stone is taken care of, I'll start to get my shit together again.

Regardless, it's nothing that will be getting fixed in one night, and I should get to bed so I can be up early enough to start laundry before heading over to get my teeth drilled, or however it is they fix cavities.

Incidentally, I watched The Departed tonight, after Grey's Anatomy, and it's still a great movie. I hope it wins oodles of Oscar awards.

However, there's one part that bugs me, and has bugged me since I saw it in the theatre: when Sullivan and Costello meet in the porno theatre, Costigan is there, because he tailed Costello from Costello's meeting with the Feds. And Costigan is sending and receiving text messages on his cell phone, which is understandably on silent. But then when Costigan follows Sullivan out of the theatre, to get a good look at him, his phone rings, alerting Sullivan to his presence.

So my problem is, when did Costigan switch the phone from silent to really-fucking-loud-ring? And why? Wouldn't he have kept it on silent? This is going to bother me until I get a chance to ask Scorsese or Bill Monahan (the writer) about it.


Happy Horny Werewolf Day!

Thanks, Warren:

Always remember: Valentine's Day is a Christian corruption of a pagan festival involving werewolves, blood and fucking.

From Wikipedia:

On the ancient Athens calendar, the period between mid-January and mid-February was the month of Gamelion, dedicated to the sacred marriage of Zeus and Hera.

In Ancient Rome, February 15 was Lupercalia. Plutarch wrote:

Lupercalia, of which many write that it was anciently celebrated by shepherds, and has also some connection with the Arcadian Lycaea. At this time many of the noble youths and of the magistrates run up and down through the city naked, for sport and laughter striking those they meet with shaggy thongs. And many women of rank also purposely get in their way, and like children at school present their hands to be struck, believing that the pregnant will thus be helped in delivery, and the barren to pregnancy.

The word Lupercalia comes from lupus, or wolf, so the holiday may be connected with the legendary wolf that suckled Romulus and Remus. Priests of this cult, luperci would travel to the lupercal, the cave where the she-wolf who reared Romulus and Remus allegedly lived, and sacrifice animals (two goats and a dog). The blood would then be scattered in the streets, to bring fertility and keep the wolves away from the fields.


On St. Valentine's Day in 1349, roughly 2,000 Jews were burned to death by Christian mobs in Strasbourg. These mobs, led by nobles who owed large sums to Jewish moneylenders (usury being a sin for Christians), blamed the Jews for poisoning the city's wells and causing the bubonic plague.

Ah, what a holiday.



I popped an Oxycodone early this afternoon, before my first class, and for a few hours there, I felt like I was bobbleheading my way through the day.

Also, I am now scheduled for surgery next Tuesday to get this damned kidney stone removed, unless, of course, I piss it out before then.

Weather and things

So I wake up this morning and my father says, "Y'know, a lot of schools are closed today, maybe UNO is, too," and I stifled a hearty guffaw. UNO never closes. The world could be ending, fire and lava erupting from cracks in the pavement as winged demons rend non-believers limb from limb ... and UNO would still hold classes.

The weather isn't even bad. I don't understand why people get all freaked out over a little snow. It's not like we're buried under 140 inches like upstate New York. This is the Midwest, people. It snows here. Get over it. Stop driving like my grandmother.

There were at least two accidents on Dodge this morning. One looked to be just a simple fender bender in front of Westroads, so that slowed traffic a bit, and then there must have been another one further east, because an ambulance was trying to get through after I got past 90th. I didn't see the particulars of that one, however, because I was smart enough to just hop onto Cass and take it to Crossroads, where I park my car and take a shuttle to campus from.

People just wig out in so-called bad weather and forget how to drive. There's no other explanation. The roads aren't even that bad, for cryin' out loud (though I admit they probably could've been better and I don't understand why the salt trucks and snow plows weren't out in force this morning).

In other news, I'm sitting here in the chem dept. computer lab, which doesn't always get the best cell phone service, so I just missed a call from my urologist. I called back and he's in with a patient, so hopefully when he tries to call again, my phone will actually ring (not that it rings so much as it plays the Super Mario Bros. theme song).


Kidney update

I apparently have a 4-5 mm size kidney stone, but my doctor wasn't sure what he wanted to do with it yet because the X-rays from the CAT scan from last week weren't sent over to his other office where I saw him this morning, so he hasn't actually taken a look at where it is yet. He did, however, head over to Lakeside after he saw me to do a surgery on someone who he said had a stone about the same size as mine, so right now I'm putting my money on surgery being the eventual outcome of all this, which is fine. I just want to get it all over and done with. I would really rather not miss any more of my classes due to tests or whatever. More than anything else, this has just become a big nuisance.

I don't care what has to be done to get rid of this thing, I just want whatever has to be done to be done already.

On the bright side, I have a prescription now for Oxycodone, so, y'know, that'll be nice.


More good news

In addition to my situation blogged about here, I learned, upon going to the dentist for the first time in nearly nine years, that I have a few cavities throughout my mouth, which really came as no surprise given my lapse in visits, including my wisdom teeth, so those will be coming out in a couple months, after the other teeth are taken care of.

I will be spending portions of the next three Fridays getting my teeth fixed.

Also, I received confirmation regarding yesterday's CAT scan that I do, indeed, have kidney stones. At least one, anyway. I have an appointment on Monday to see what my options are for getting rid of it. Most likely it will boil down to, "Drink lots of water and push it out," but we shall see.

This is turning out to be quite the semester for me. I can only wait with baited breath for the third shoe to drop.


Hooray for ... kidney stones?

I just got home from having a CAT scan done on my abdomen. After I spoke with my doctor this morning, he got to thinking that I had kidney stones, so he made a call to the urology center, who then called me and set me up with an appointment to see a urologist up at Lakeside ... Lakeview ... whatever it's called, the med center up near 168th and Center.

I swear, during the past couple weeks, I've had more men poking and prodding around my junk than I had during my bris.

The doc at Lake-whatever pretty much confirmed my doctor's suspicions, referring to my problem as a "textbook case of kidney stones." The only thing left to figure out was the size of the stone, hence the CAT scan. I should be getting a call about it sometime tomorrow.

In the meantime, I figured out that the intense, excruciating pain I've been having has a name: renal colic. Doesn't that sound lovely? And it's going to be moving from my abdomen to my penis as I attempt to piss out the stone. Oh joy!

Damned crystallization of calcium ... or whatever.

To quote the Minnesota Twins catcher, Joe Mauer, who has also suffered from kidney stones (thanks, Wikipedia), "I don't wish that on anyone."

RAmen to that.

Bloody hell

I woke up at 3:30 this morning with some mild discomfort in my back, which quickly turned into out-and-out pain, the same kind of pain I was feeling a couple weeks back, although this time it was located only on my right side instead of my entire lower back.

I popped a couple Aleve at 3:35, writhed around in pain for about a half hour while waiting for the meds to kick in, and finally was able to get back to sleep at 4:20ish. Then I woke up at 7:12, three minutes before my alarm was set to go off, and the pain was back. I made my way downstairs for another couple Aleve before hopping into the shower.

Since this pain felt so similar to the agony of a couple weeks ago, I sort of knew what to expect as I stood before the toilet for my morning piss, and I was not disappointed: bloody urine again. Wheeee!

Obviously, there's something screwy with my kidneys, but when I went to my doctor last week, he couldn't find anything. There was nothing in the urine sample I gave him except urine and blood. Nothing in the blood that would indicate any sort of problem ... other than the fact that there was blood in my urine, of course.

So, I dunno. The pain has become sort of a dull background noise, but I know it might flare up at any time. My doctor isn't in his office today, but I'll call anyway, and leave a message, and he should get back to me in short order. At least I have nothing pressing happening in my classes today. People are presenting their case studies in media ethics and we're in the first round of our mock interviews in, you guessed it, the interviewing class, and I already went on Tuesday, so I'd just be a spectator today if I make it that far.

Right now, I don't know if I can sit in the car on the drive down to the parking garage. I don't know if I can make it with my back feeling like this. Might as well give it a shot, though. What else am I supposed to do, right?


Something that bugs me

This will be rather quick, but I just read this quote this morning and I feel the need to vent.

After winning the Super Bowl on Sunday, Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy said the following:

"The Lord gave me the opportunity, Lovie [Smith] and I, and we're certainly not the best, certainly not the most qualified, and I know there's some other guys that could have done it if given the chance."

Dungy is referring to his being crowned The-First-Black-Coach-to-Win-the-Super-Bowl and the lack of black coaches employed by the league when he first started in 1981. And I'm afraid I must take umbrage (ha, that was even my word-of-the-day today) with his statement that the "Lord" had something to do with him winning the Super Bowl.

I'm all for people having faith and spirituality. Believe whatever you want to believe. However, the "Lord" did not give Tony Dungy (or anybody else) an opportunity to be a head coach, to win a big game, whatever. You know where that opportunity comes from? The owner.

The "Lord" didn't hire you. The "Lord" isn't signing your paychecks. The owner of your team is.

Did you win the Super Bowl because the "Lord" wanted you to? So that means the "Lord" wanted the Bears to lose, right?

The new Pittsburgh Steelers head coach, Mike Tomlin, said something similar the day he was hired, something about "the Lord" bringing him to Pittsburgh. Excuse me, but the Rooney family brought you to Pittsburgh. They interviewed you. They hired you. If it was the "Lord's" doing, then you're working for free, right? The "Lord" will pay you if "He's" the one that brought you to Pittsburgh.

And before anyone gets their undies in a bunch, this isn't a rant against "God" or a belief in "God." It's more a rant against, well, against people deferring responsibility. If the "Lord" brought you to Pittsburgh, if the "Lord" gave you the opportunity to win the Super Bowl, then that also means the "Lord" can make your life miserable. If Mike Tomlin doesn't do well in Pittsburgh, whose fault is it? His or his "Lord's"?

I guess it's all part of this idea of being humble, right? Humbling yourself before "God" or whatever, but you know what, taking pride in yourself and in your work isn't a sin, all right? (Because there really isn't any such thing as sin, just like there isn't any such thing as virtue.) It's OK to stand there and say, "I deserve this opportunity based on my past successes. I've earned this." Take some responsibility for your situation in life.

Crediting "God" is the same as blaming "God." It means that you're not in control of your life, which is total bullshit. It's your life. You are in charge. I know some people may not be able to handle that sort of responsibility, but tough shit. That's life. Deal with it.


Much too cold

Some putz (or two) left two different comments on my Links blog, on this post, which includes a link to an article about a community near Seattle that has decided not to allow Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth to be shown in their schools due to the idiotic religion-based objections of some evangelical wacko.

The comments, however, were left anonymously, so I'm afraid I couldn't allow them, though I do recall seeing the word "fascist" as I skimmed them. I'm afraid I didn't actually read the comments all the way through, because, as I said, they were anonymous and I couldn't care less about someone's opinion if they don't have the balls to attach their name to it.

So ... the Super Bowl was last night. Pretty boring game, in my opinion, but maybe I just think that because I didn't really care who won. It was quite the sloppy game, too, which I'm sure didn't help hold my interest. Eight turnovers? In the Super Bowl? Are you kidding me?

And the commercials were no better. I can't think of a single great commercial except the Letterman one where Dave is sitting on the couch with Oprah. That was pretty funny, but probably only if you know the history between those two.

(I didn't watch the halftime show because I was playing a Playstation game with my nephew during it, so I have no thoughts or opinions on Prince's performance.)

Pitchers & catchers report in 10 days!

I'm running a fantasy baseball team with my brother-in-law this season. Let's see if I can't use this worthless baseball knowledge rattling around inside my skull to win some money, eh? I've never done fantasy baseball before, just football and hockey, so this should be interesting. I just hope I don't, you know, get so wrapped up in the team that I neglect my other responsibilities, like school. I don't think I need to worry about that, though. Since I'm not running the team by myself, I can't make unilateral decisions, so there's no reason to worry about it 24/7.

The first story on the NBC Nightly News is about the frigid temps across much of the country. I'm actually pretty okay with our teen temps here compared to, say, the subzero weather in Chicago the past few days. I think it's supposed to get up into the 20s tomorrow before it dips back into the upper teens for the rest of the week.

It's this time of year that makes me want to flee this part of the country and head back out west. I am not a fan of the cold.

I really should swing by the chiropractor's sometime this week. Ever since my insane pain last weekend, my back and neck just haven't felt right. But at least I haven't again felt the kind of pain that I felt that Saturday morning. My doctor thought it might have been a kidney stone, but, as I said to him, I would have felt that coming out, wouldn't I? And I think I'd have remembered if that sort of pain had worked its way below the belt, so to speak.

School's going well so far, as far as I know. I haven't had too many graded assignments yet, and my first test was last week, in Media Ethics. I'll find out how I did tomorrow. It was a fairly easy test except that a lot of it was essay questions. We only had an hour and 15 minutes to complete the test, so it was kind of cutting it close toward the end of the class period. My handwriting, which sucks anyway, got noticeably worse as time went by. My hand was cramping pretty good by the time I finished. But, if the instructor can read my handwriting, I should get a pretty decent grade.

And I dunno nothin' else. I feel as though I've been having a dearth of "important" or "relevant" thoughts these days. All I think about is school, really. I guess deep thinkin' can wait 'til classes are over.

Anyone have any ideas about what I should write about in my screenwriting class?