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Old 11-07-2019, 08:14 AM   #151
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

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Originally Posted by Sheep86 View Post
The fashion model seems to be a dead end and I think you should stop seeing her, but maybe that's just me.
I agree. But there's one last thing I have to do and then it's finished. Not that my heart is into it anymore.

I was shook because things had been building between us, and then one night we were chilling and her mom came and sat next to us, and must have seen me sizing up her daughter, because she gave me a look and smiled and rubbed my back for a few seconds. Seemed like encouragement. And then the next time the note was in my pocket, and she had a ****ing dream about exactly what the poem was about the night before.

I guess I'm a fool to believe there is any meaning in things like that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheep86 View Post
On a positive note: "Be My Baby" is a lovely song. In fact, I was listening to a few 60s songs myself while reading your post, such as "I Get Around" (The Beach Boys) and "The Young Ones" (Cliff Richard & The Shadows). What a decade for music!

"Be My Baby" was Brian Wilson's favorite song. I guess he's quoted as saying he became obsessed with it and listened to the song 100 times per day. Probably some hyperbole there, but yeah 60s music is great.
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:18 AM   #152
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

I've made some decisions tonight. After listening to "Be My Baby" for the last couple of days, I suddenly had an urge to listen to a different song tonight.





More to come in the next few weeks.
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Old 11-07-2019, 12:13 PM   #153
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Your post reminded me of a short story I heard the other day. It’s from a buddhist Sutra:


A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.

Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted.
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:51 PM   #154
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Well here is the sweetest strawberry of all. Screen savers and happy thoughts for everyone tonight, wherever you are.






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Old 12-01-2019, 06:11 PM   #155
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Min-cashed a circuit tournament at the Bike. Played all day and then they posted the payouts:

1st: $21,600
2nd: $13,340
3rd: $9,460
4th: $6,830
5th: $5,020
6th: $3,760
7th: $2,865
8th: $2,230
9th: $1,765

I was sitting with final table money in front of me playing 5/5 later that night. Forgot what a waste of time playing in these smaller tournaments can be. At least it was a good warm-up since I hadn't played any tournament since July. Maybe I'll play the multi-day quantum event this week if I think the prize pool will be big enough, otherwise there is the circuit main event next weekend.

Won +$1,330 @ 5/5

Played a few sessions this fall for drinks and fun at the private home game:

+$100
+$230
-$65

Quote:
$3k to $300k Challenge:

Bankroll $6,205
I'm not going to count the tournament since this is just a cash game challenge.
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Old 12-10-2019, 03:06 AM   #156
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

I played the circuit main at the Bike on Sunday. Ran extremely negative EV and almost advanced to Day 2. Started with 30k and doubled up to 60k by level 4 or 5, small pot at a time
Then:

Very specific spot with loose bad player opening, some calls, and me 3b BTN with T7. BB comes along with JJ and one other player calls.

Flop: 986r

So I flop the nuts, and BB is weak passive and slow playing a monster. I've watched the first few levels, and this is the kind of player who stacks off with an over pair early in a tournament. He donks, other player calls, and I raise and both players call. Turn is a Q and when I bet, both players fold. Without telling villain my hand, I learn through chat that he would have stacked off on any non-Q,K,A turn, and he would have super over jammed flop if the other player hadn't come along. Horrible break.

Very next hand, I get 4b and hold JJ on a JT6r flop. Villain spaz c/r jams on me with AQo and gets there on K turn. I'm having flashbacks to this summer and Vegas and the ****ing Mirage.

Well, after that, I chipped up nice and steady, but by level 14, after playing 10 hours without AA,QQ, JJ again, TT, or even AK a single time all day and night (I got KK once and won a small pot), I wound up getting it in on the last level of the night, AQ vs. AK on A-high flop, right after a 3out bad beat, in a spot where I should have got away.

I have progressed a lot from when I first started poker, don't donk off buyins very often anymore even when on tilt, but yesterday was the difference between a player who makes millions of dollars, and a good but frustrated grinder. Super suck way to end the night.

I was going to rebuy today, but decided not to. This isn't really what I want to do with my life
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Old 12-15-2019, 08:30 PM   #157
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

-565 and +1,310

Quote:
$3k to $300k Challenge:

Bankroll $6,950
This weekend's session was interesting.

Hand #1:

Watching villain for awhile, friendly middle-age Asian guy but terrible or new player. I start with $600-700 and he covers. Villain opens $15 from C/O and I call BTN with K3hh. Don't remember but I think we were heads up.

Flop ($40): KJ3r
Villain bets $20. Hero raises to $60. Villain 3b to $120. Hero calls $120.

Turn ($280): 5
Villain bets $100. Hero calls $100.

River: ($480): 7
Villain bets $150. Hero moves all-in. Villain calls all-in with KTo and I get the full double up. I missed the early 2000s poker boom, but I imagine this kind of hand is what it was like.

----------

A bit later, I was scooping a pot and most of the table limped around to me in the BB. I'm still collecting my chips and look at my cards as an afterthought, but what do you know?

Hero: KK makes it $55.

Older Asian woman who is sometimes half asleep and tight passive very quickly limp/re-raises $255 UTG with ~$1,000 behind. Everyone folds and while I have never played with this woman before, I fold my hand instantly face up. On the one hand, she did not show her hand, and I find that in spots like these the other player usually shows when they have it.

(I folded KK to AA all-in on a KQ7A board in a tournament last year in a spot where JT was not possible, and villain showed.)

On the other hand, she never showed a single hand the rest of the night, did not start limp/re-raising again until many hours later when she had a much shorter stack, and in another 4b pot where a player showed AA after the hand was over, I watched her like a hawk and her eyes went straight to me as soon as the Aces were displayed. So I guess I feel as confident as I can that I made the correct fold, though maybe I should have thought about it a little longer. My kings almost beat the SB's cards into the muck.

-----------

Well, I am not exactly one who plays weak tight. So here are a couple other hands from the night:

Hand #3:

There is a small early open and a ton of calls, and I call J9 on the BTN.
Villain is in the SB.

Flop ($90): J75ss
Villain bets $50. Everyone else folds. Hero calls $50.

Turn ($190): A
Villain bets $100. Hero calls $100.

River ($390): 5
Villain bets $700 all-in. Hero calls $700.

J9 vs. J9 chop it up.


Hand #4


Hero 3b A3hh to $60. Gamble Asian guy playing every hand calls $60. Original opener and everyone else folds.

Flop ($150): 653dd
Hero checks. Villain checks behind.

Turn ($150): 10
Hero checks. Villain bets $100. Hero c/c $100.

River ($350): 5
Hero checks. Villain bets $450 all-in. Hero calls $450.

Villain shows A9o and Hero wins the pot.
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Old 12-16-2019, 10:23 AM   #158
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

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I fold my hand instantly face up.
Why did you fold face up?
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Old 12-16-2019, 11:01 AM   #159
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

I expected her to show me her cards, which failed.
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Old 12-20-2019, 09:51 AM   #160
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Went out to Thai dinner Thursday night, then played poker at Commerce. Started at 2/5 max buy-in = $500.

1. Lose half stack with AA vs. JT on 987 flop
2. Lose other half with TTh vs. AA on QJ9hhh
-$500

3.
Raise A2 on JT6 flop.
Get there(?) with A turn. Villain c/c.
River Villain c/c with ATo and I value own myself against splashy player.

Then my table breaks, I get moved to another table. Sitting next to me is the older Asian woman who I folded KK preflop to last weekend. I ask her again what she had that hand, she says AA. Who knows.

4.
Everyone limps. I'm BB with A6 I make it $55. BTN calls.
Flop: JTx. I cbet and Villain calls.
Turn: A ... I c/c 25% pot bet.
River: blank ... I c/c 50% pot bet. Villain has AJ.

-$500 more

5.
Same villain opens UTG. I 3bet QQ and he calls.
Flop: T62ss ... I bet and he calls.
Turn: T ... check check.
River: blank ... he checks I bet $125 and he c/r to $325 and shows T7o.

Got it in short with A-top pair vs. turned two pair T7hh.

-$500 more.

Lose another buy-in after that, I'm down -$2,000 and just decide to go gamble with one buy-in at 5/10. You'll never guess how I ran!

1.
Hero 3b AK $105.
Spaz player on my left 4b $350 all-in with 73o. BTN calls $350.
Hero moves all-in and BTN folds.

AK < 37o

2.
Not much later, Hero raises AA UTG. Spaz calls again. MP 3b to $160.
Hero 4b to $425. Spaz player 5b all-in $800 with 52cc. MP folds.
Hero calls.

AA < 52 (trip 5's)

Somehow managed to win $495 at 5/10 NL anyway.

Premium hands tonight:
AA (lost), AA (lost), KK (won 1 buy-in), KK (won small pot), QQ (lost)
QQ (lost), TT (lost), TT (lost), 99 (lost), AK (lost)

-$1,505

The only good thing about the night was drinking Thai whiskey. If anyone is ever interested, I suggest trying this:


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Old 12-27-2019, 08:36 AM   #161
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. Hope you all had a special day with your family and friends wherever you are. Feel free to share any stories if you'd like.

My Christmas:

As you all know, I've been living in Los Angeles for a few months now. I'm acquaintances with the occasional person here, have a few drinking buddies, but nobody well enough that I would spend the holidays with them, except Fashion Model's family. Well, I politely accepted her mom's invitation to stop by for a couple hours on Thanksgiving, but I didn't want to go back there again.

My family asked if I might visit home, but I declined.





Already last month, I decided I would take a road trip to San Jose for the holiday. The drive was 5-6 hours and I had never been there before, but there were a few residences I wanted to visit which hold sentimental value for me. My car shifted into gear and I departed in the evening, maybe around 6-7 p.m. on Christmas Eve, with a brief stop at the liquor store where I purchased a bottle of bourbon, Woodford (Double Oaked).

After midnight, I arrived in San Jose.





The idea for this trip came from a scene in one of the last Harry Potter movies, when Harry and Hermione visit Godric's Hollow, the village where he was born. They need something there, but they have been in hiding for months without any clue what is going on in the world; Hermione hears Christmas music coming from the church, so she deduces it must be Christmas Eve.

The song is Alexandre Desplat's My Love is Always Here.





When Harry spots the cemetery, he figures his parents might be buried there. He had never visited their graves before.

Well, there would be no graveyards on this night, but I also didn't have a friend to support me. I was all alone. The first place I visited was a rundown apartment building in a working class neighborhood in San Jose.

The type of place where a young couple with a baby might start out in life.









Decades have passed, and I don't know what this place looked like in the 1980s, but it looked similar to the apartment where I first lived when I was a baby in Indianapolis around the same time. Two places linked together in my mind.

None of the current residents were awake at that hour, so I assume they weren't bothered when I took a few pictures and left a discreet record behind of my visit. After a few moments, I returned to my car, sat there for two hours, looking at this apartment building from across the street, drinking my bottle of whiskey, listening to Alexandre Desplat's My Love is Always Here on Christmas Eve, consumed by my thoughts.





Couple hours later, I drove to the next place on my list, this small house (or perhaps duplex) with the Christmas lights, in a cramped and poor neighborhood in South San Jose, but perhaps an upgrade compared to the apartment I had just visited. Again, this was very similar in size and status to the small house my family moved into in Indianapolis around the same time. There were half a dozen cars curbside and in the driveways of every single house in this neighborhood; it was like a giant parking lot with homes in it.

Well I couldn't find any space, so I just parked there in the middle of the street. After awhile I walked up towards the white picket fence in that picture and left behind another record of my visit -- a small little message that probably nobody would understand except for me.


Quote:
Just hush, dear babe,
There is nothing you should fear,
For my love is always here.
So no evil can touch you,
You can come to no harm.
Wake now, dear babe,
Now the night is nearly through,
Wake now, sweet babe,
There's a world that's waiting here for you.

An hour later I drove to the third and final destination on my list, a house in a nicer middle-class neighborhood, one or two miles away, and repeated the same routine: drinking, listening to the music, thinking about life and what might have been.

Of course I know the family who used to live in these dwellings, or at least I used to know them, a long time ago. Still, there was something familiar about this place. It felt like home. There was a Japanese-styled lantern or something near the sidewalk in front of the house next-door, situated in my eyeline, between the home I was looking at, and longing for, and where my car was parked at down the street.





Regretfully, I forgot to take a picture of that stone lantern, and at first I couldn't put my finger on why the scene felt so familiar, like I had been there before. Then it occurred to me -- besides the significance of the house I had come to visit, the lantern reminded me of the one seen in the foreground of that shot in Tokyo Story, next to Papa and Noriko. Ozu was a master of placing just the right images in the foreground of any shot. My gaze kept fixating on the lantern, then the house, then back to the lantern again.

It was a beautiful scene.


Christmas Morning:

Around 7 a.m. it was daylight and I was getting tired and wanted to sleep in my car, but Christmas Mass was scheduled to start in just two hours. I decided to drive to the cathedral early, but when I pulled up the navigation system in my Audi, one of the nearby streets/thoroughfares highlighted was called Pearl Avenue. What a coincidence ... I lived on a street called Pearl Avenue in Warren, MI when I was in elementary school, around the same time the family I knew lived in this house here in San Jose.

I decided to check it out.

The streets, the homes, the shops, everything reminded me of where I grew up, in a strange kinda California way. There were scenic mountains in the background, and no snow on the ground, but San Jose felt like home away from home. Honestly I thought about moving there when I was in Las Vegas this past summer-- it came down to the Bay Area or L.A. I would be lying if I said I don't regret my choice, the people here are so fake and I felt a connection while I was in San Jose, but at the same time I realize there would be nothing to do for me there, nobody to meet. It was the same reason why I left the Midwest, that lost feeling you get when you are out of place in life.







Christmas Mass was at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph in downtown San Jose. I arrived early and took a seat at the outside end of one of the pews in the middle of the church. Only a few other people were present at first, then gradually more and more started to arrive. There was an older couple in their 60s or 70s, a white man with white hair and his Asian wife, she had dyed hers some combination of orange and blonde. Another couple sat behind me, some single women here and there, and a large group that occupied two rows at the front of the congregation. They must have been some prominent local family, and it's impossible for me to know whether their constant smiles and elevated activity were the result of a happy and successful life being shared with family and friends, or whether that was just an image they were cultivating, in the same way those types of people always feel the need to sit in the seats where everyone else will see them and know who they are.

Regardless, there were a lot of other people who all blended together. Nobody else stood out, except one family seated in the row in front of me. They had two small boys, and one of them was rambunctious and liked to make noise and mess around. Occasionally he cried out, or made a fuss, or threw one of his toys on the ground against the wall. An old man turned around and gave the family a dirty look, but bless their hearts. That's why the service was being held, why God gives His grace to all those who love Him, so that a young family can celebrate Christmas together with their community, not holed up at home or asking someone else to babysit their kids.

The service itself was typically Catholic. Some things I agree with, some things I don't, prayers, singing, readings from the Bible, and the priest's sermon. He spoke about how Jesus's birth and teachings brought light into the world, a world that is full of darkness, and how the light overcame the darkness (John 1:5). How we celebrate Christmas right after the winter solstice, the darkest time of the year, when we need the most light.


Quote:
Wake now, dear babe,
Now the night is nearly through.

At the bottom of the night, when it was the darkest hour in my life, I traveled to San Jose for Christmas, and received the Light, Holy Communion, and made a donation to the poor. Afterward I walked around downtown, then returned to the houses and apartment I had come to see.







The last house was cute, and it had that Ozu-like stone lantern framing my view from next-door. A picture I found online (dated 2010) shows that the house used to have a more yellow color, but it looks blue or gray now.







Sure, I once knew the family that used to live in these places, but that was a long time ago. I might go back one day and take a picture of the stone lantern or carve something into that willow tree. Who knows. But I felt something there, some kind of connection. I was not looking forward to returning to L.A.


Made It Through the Grapevine

Later that afternoon I departed San Jose, and started the 5-6 hour drive back towards Los Angeles. I hadn't slept all night, so exhausted, eventually I pulled off the highway and took a nap. There I ate Christmas dinner by myself at Denny's, but at least they had turkey and mashed potatoes and stuffing, and corn. It was a decent meal, I can't complain.

If this story has a happy ending, it's that I caught my first lucky break in over a year ... just as I was approaching the final stretch of the drive north of L.A., the weather turned bad in a treacherous section of I-5 called "The Grapevine". It's a mountain pass through the shaded area of the Los Padres National Forest in the map above. The lower elevations experienced a lot of rain, including here in the city, but up in the mountains it was all snow. Two feet of snow. California Highway Patrol were escorting cars up and down the mountain, and then they closed the interstate in both directions. I saw the escorts and then the road closure and traffic jam in the northbound lanes, so I must have been in the last half hour of traffic that made it through the pass. Close call, because everyone who didn't had to take a 5-10 hour detour around the coast or through the Mojave Desert, and that's if their car wasn't one of the ones who got stuck in the snow or was blocked by all of the vehicles behind them.

That was Wednesday night and it's now Friday morning ... the mountain pass is still closed.

Besides all of that, I think I also found a translator for my Setsuko Hara films. I've been slacking on my guitar practice lately, but I'll start that again tomorrow. And in two weeks, after New Year's, I will start writing my screenplay.

Quote:
And the light shined in the darkness, and the darkness did not prevail.
Some things to look forward to. I'll just finish by saying this was a sad but necessary trip.

In that spirit, play a sad one for me, Joe. Play At the Bottom of the Night.



Last edited by Shuffle; 12-27-2019 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 12-27-2019, 03:49 PM   #162
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Ha, no long post will be posted in this thread without mentioning Setsuko at least once. You didn't mention Ohio State Girl this time though.

I wonder what the story could be with those houses you visited. If you left a hint somewhere in your post, then I missed it.

Can you tell us a bit more about that screenplay?
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Old 12-28-2019, 04:14 PM   #163
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Sheep, I was typing up my reply to you, but I fell asleep first and when I woke up I wanted to share this story.

Most people don't know this about me, but when I was 15 I was run over by a car on my way to school. The guy was running late and ran a red light in a school zone at 50 mph. I dented his hood and shattered his windshield, and then his automobile launched my body 50 feet down the road where I'm sure I landed on my head or something.

I woke up 20 minutes later in an ambulance, checked to make sure I had all my bits, and then I was released from the hospital with post-concussion syndrome later that day. Besides being a stubborn left-handed person and getting brain damage from carbon monoxide poisoning many years later, my head has never been quite right since. Specifically, if/when I tilt my head back and to the right at a certain angle, I always get temporary vertigo. If/when I fall asleep that way, with some kind of pressure on my head back and to the right, I always have the most vivid, horrible nightmares. People being murdered, filleted alive, Bibles burning on fire in microwaves, demons trying to possess me, etc. etc.

At least in one way, I can very much relate to athletes with CTE.

Today was different though. I was typing up my reply, drinking, and got tired and fell asleep, and when I woke up now, I have this tremendous sensitivity and feeling of pressure on the back-right side of my head. But this time there were no nightmares, no bad dreams. Instead I was watching and cheering Yuna Kim win another gold medal, and then I was sitting rinkside at a hockey game, where I had been elected (and re-elected) a senator, deftly settling a dispute between other senators on different sides of the aisle, to the point where senators from the other party went out of their way to smile and thank me for my efforts and the way I handled the situation. Then I was playing goalie for team U.S.A. (I used to be a goalie), and I made every save against the Russians and then started taunting them: "Get out! Get out!" Eventually banking a shot off the boards and scoring the winning goal from the other side of the rink.

That has literally never happened before. Every time I wake up, for over 20 years, with this horrible feeling of sensitivity and pressure on the back-right side of my head, 100% of the the time I've had horrible nightmares-- until today.

That was the most fun I've had in a long time. That's the power of Holy Communion!

Spoiler:
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Old 12-30-2019, 05:48 PM   #164
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

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Originally Posted by Sheep86 View Post
Can you tell us a bit more about that screenplay?
I'm working on two screenplays right now:

The Great Awakening
Late Everything

The Great Awakening is a sociopolitical epic that I started writing back in 2008. It's really a story about the reconciliation of two long lost childhood friends. The process of healing, discovering one's faith, confronting secrets from their past and figuring out who they are and what they stand for and represent in the world. The first draft was half finished when writer's block set in because I didn't know my story. I didn't know anything about screenwriting, really. I just created two characters and their special bond and started writing, but without a blueprint, without structure, the effort failed.

So after that, I spent about a year educating myself in a self-taught crash course on screenwriting. I dropped out of college my senior year. Eventually I completed a second draft, but I was not happy with it. The writing was imitative, not authorial; in hindsight I was lacking a voice. Also I was a younger man in my 20s, at that age it's more about style. You just don't have the same insights into human nature and life experience as you do when you get older.


Late Everything

Late Everything ... I guess it's been almost 10 years now, focused on my poker career, letting life pass me by. I don't want to say it's autobiographical, because it's not, but now that I'm getting back to my writing, I definitely want to draw on some of my life experiences to write this one. The title is a reference to Ozu's classic films Late Autumn and Late Spring.

I want to write a story about an unmarried man rushing to find love and start a family just before middle age starts in life.


----------


They say all great writers are great readers, but I don't read too many books, just once in awhile. I have read screenplays, but it's not my favorite thing. What I do like to read, however, are movie reviews. I have a voracious appetite for reading reviews. I don't care if it's famous critics or random people on social media, I just love reading other people's takes on movies, because none of them are wrong! You can read dozens of different movie reviews on the same film and get dozens of different perspectives, and it's like a multiplier effect.

Roger Ebert once said "it's always too early or too late for love in a Wong Kar Wai film." Paul Schrader once stated Ozu "essentially made the same movie over and over again." I feel like all great writers, all great filmmakers, all great storytellers, they each have their own common themes that speak to them individually, and usually they keep returning to those themes repeatedly.

For me, I'm really interested in stories that explore loss and reconciliation. Stories about people who are out of place in life. I have two other outlines for scripts that I want to write after The Great Awakening and Late Everything, but just as an example, one day I would really like to write a story about a family torn apart and separated on opposite sides of the DMZ. Imagine being a young man or woman, and getting separated in two different countries from your wife or husband and kids, and never being able to see them again. Are they dead? Are they alive? Do you keep looking for them? Keep trying to reach them? Do you start over and try to have another family? If they are alive, years and decades go by and maybe they are indoctrinated into the enemy culture. Will they ever be reunited and see each other again?

So that's really a story that I want to write one day, and I've been thinking about it a lot lately, but I need to finish these two first.

Spoiler:

Last edited by Shuffle; 12-30-2019 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 01-04-2020, 12:37 PM   #165
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

nice OPs and blog, I'm looking forward to catching up. GL and hope your 2020 is off to a good start
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Old 01-05-2020, 01:56 PM   #166
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Hi Bob, welcome to the thread and I hope you enjoy your stay.

Thank you and best of luck to you in 2020 as well.
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Old 01-05-2020, 01:57 PM   #167
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Walked down the street to the bar at 4 p.m. Friday. Took with me my notebook and pen.

Four old-fashioneds, sweet
Double hot toddy, sour
Shot of whiskey, nice smokey finish


Along with a forgettable chicken sandwich dinner and french fries, and shrimp salad to-go, 3-4 hours later I had produced pages and pages of writing exercises. Many of them were annotated scene and sequence breakdowns of Late Spring.





I organized everything into that concise, 1-page bullet-point outline so I could focus on my story construction and progression. Look closely and you'll see the ink smudges that we left-handed people have to deal with. Smudged ink is still on my left pinky finger today.

Well after that, I was more or less able to produce a rough outline for my story. The goal wasn't simply to copy Ozu and Kogo Noda's screenplay, which they already wrote, but rather I wanted to understand analytically how they turned the beats in Late Spring. There is no melodrama; the story progresses elliptically:

1. Characters are introduced, perfectly happy in their day-to-day life.

2. Then the topic of marriage (conflict) is introduced.
a) first someone else's marriage, which Noriko considers 'filthy'
b) then Noriko's unmarried status, discussed in passing between her father and his friend
c) then the idea of Noriko needing to marry soon, discussed between her father and her aunt

3. Then Ozu pairs her up with a perfectly eligible suitor, only for this to happen:


***WARNING*** ***SPOILERS BELOW***




She makes a subtle joke at the guy, through a Japanese saying about jealousy, and intentionally uses the word 'knife' warning him to back off. That's the very same guy she just went on a romantic bike ride with. And the very same guy she described to her father:

Quote:
I like his type.
Clearly, Ozu and Kogo Noda went out of their way to point out that if Noriko isn't interested in dating or marrying this guy, then she's not interested in dating or marrying anyone at all.

4. Progression
Thirty-five minutes into the movie, all of these parameters have been established, and people start to wonder why doesn't Noriko want to get married? What's wrong with her? Isn't that abnormal?

a) her friend asks her, but Noriko laughs off the conversation
b) her aunt asks her more directly; but Noriko only seems bemused, maybe slightly annoyed
c) her aunt mentions that her widower father might remarry soon ... uh oh

The Inciting Incident

There's a concept in screenwriting called The Inciting Incident, which is a major story event that disturbs the ordinary, day-to-day life of the protagonist(s). The inciting incident sets the conflict in motion. In the typical Hollywood movie, the inciting incident will occur 15-30 minutes into the film, although in recent years, there is more pressure to speed that up because of the reduced attention span of modern audiences.

Ozu movies may seem slow, and they are, but sure enough, 46 minutes into Late Spring, Aunt Masa tells Noriko:

Quote:
Say...what do you think about your dad and that Mrs. Miwa woman? I think they'd be a good match together. He seemed to like the idea.
Noriko doesn't want to get married. She doesn't want her father to get remarried. She wants things to stay as they are. You can see how the conflict might move forward from there.


Late Everything

My goal isn't to copy someone else's screenplay or story construction, however. My script is about a man who actually wants to get married, just the opposite. What I really wanted to do was create a reference template, something that I can throw ideas against and see what sticks, something that I can play with and change as needed. This is an homage to Ozu after all.

Pacing comparison:

Quote:
Typical Hollywood movie:

Introduction-- 15 minutes or less
Inciting Incident-- 15-30 minutes
Mid-Act Climax-- 1 hour
Start of the Final Act-- 1 hour 30 minutes
Climax-- 1 hour 45 minutes
Denouement-- 1 hour 55 minutes
Quote:
Late Spring:

Introduction-- 35 minutes
Inciting Incident-- 46 minutes
Mid-Act Climax-- 52 minutes
Start of the Final Act-- 1 hour 13 minutes
Climax-- 1 hour 30 minutes
Denouement-- 1 hour 37 minutes
So you can see that Late Spring takes much longer to get going than the average movie, but once it does, the pacing accelerates rapidly. I've found that's often the case with Ozu-- the plot just kind of hums along, nuanced beat progressions, perhaps imperceptible to some ... and then, BOOM BOOM BOOM. Hits you right in the feels.

Right now I'm thinking my story will have a more typical first act and introduction, with standard inciting incident around 15-30 minutes, because I'm not interested in setting up a nuanced interpersonal relationship that will be broken up by force in the latter part of the script.

Instead, my two main characters meet later in the story, after the conflict gets going, and I will need my more careful beat progressions to happen there.
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Old 01-06-2020, 01:46 AM   #168
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

We need to catch up to Late Spring in your Ozu thread, we're almost there (1949) if I remember correctly. There are a lot of fantastic movies made in Japan soon after the war and Late Spring is one of my favorites.
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:31 PM   #169
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

I know I've really been slacking off. Late Spring is one of the finest films I've ever seen, can't wait.

Right now I'm picking up where I left off and watching The Daughter of the Samurai on my new 60" TV. Notwithstanding the propaganda and ridiculous portrayal of Japanese people, it's always something else to see Setsuko Hara attempt to immolate herself in the molten lava of a fiery volcano, and the cinematography and special effects are truly spectacular, especially for a 1937 movie.





First movie I've watched since I bought the TV. Up next: The Saga of the Beautiful Women of Tokai.





https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/6...-hara-1709100/
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Old 01-11-2020, 06:26 AM   #170
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Well it's Friday night and I'm typing up another blog post.

I think anyone who reads this thread or knows me understands that I spend a lot of time alternately playing poker, drinking, and carousing with friends and strangers and young women alike; or sitting at home like a loner ... reading, writing, listening to music, watching old foreign films, making sure that my anti-social behavior occurs behind closed doors.

Some weeks there are nights when I've got a very nice, friendly gay producer from a TV series you all know, trying to hit on me at a bar, scrolling through his phone, showing me party pictures of his socialite billionaire girlfriend -- and then oops, accidental pictures of his junk and other naked dudes he knows-- followed by another night of friendly drinking with a rich middle-aged Asian guy I almost got into a fight with a few months ago. He ended up inviting me to break my lease and move to Australia with him to chase women and party, then had his driver give me a ride home.

It's a different kind of life here in L.A.

But this week I've been hitting the mattresses, holed up in my apartment, sometimes on the Donald Trump diet, eating Carl's hamburgers, potato chips and fries; sometimes on the I-feel-fat-and-need-to-lose-weight diet, making myself salads, spaghetti, and the like.

Either way, there's always music playing, and if I'm not writing, then I'm pacing around, holding a bottle of whiskey in my hand, thinking, plotting, drinking way too much. Or as Shakespeare might say:

Quote:
I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw.

The reason I wanted to post tonight was because I wanted to talk more about screenwriting. There are many great texts and resources available on this topic, but I recommend the following three:

Poetics (Aristotle)
Story (Robert McKee)
The Art of Dramatic Writing (Lajos Egri)

Writers always seem to debate which is more important, characters or plot? The Art of Dramatic Writing, written by Lajos Egri, favors the former, but in his ancient Poetics, Aristotle argues the latter. Robert McKee's Story states that plot and character are inextricable, one and the same.

So which one is correct?

I agree with all of them, actually. I think it's important to have a thorough understanding about any topic from multiple points of view. Lajos Egri thinks characters are primary in story? Great, I'll let him teach me about characters. Aristotle thinks that plot matters the most? OK...I'll let Aristotle teach me about plot. Robert McKee can teach me a thing or two about melodrama, and how they work together.

Sounds good to me.

Now some people might wonder why I spend so much time living in the worlds of Ozu and Setsuko Hara, but there's actually a point to all of this. They give me something to write about. Something to care about. Something to practice on and hone my craft. It's really a perfect arrangement. I had a discussion with them and they both agreed.

Well I don't know anything about hawks or handsaws, but tonight I was going to type up a post in my Ozu thread, but instead I wound up reading hundreds of pages from a doctoral thesis on post-war Japanese film history. Most of it centered around the construction of an actor or actress's star persona and the types of roles they might play and how the audience might perceive them. None of it pertains to my own characters or my own writing, but it did remind me! Sometimes you can lose the plot. The outline is already finished for my new screenplay Late Everything, and index cards are spread across the table in my living room, waiting to be filled in with scene descriptions and placed in order.

But characters are just as important!

It's no good dreaming up plots where your actors just pantomime the story like you are mother-****ing Gepetto. And it's also no good imo writing about character-based comedies or dramas that don't add up to anything. Give me some damn meaning. Give me some three-dimensional characters that speak their own mind and sometimes tell your plot to **** off.

Just don't give me any more Carl's hamburgers for a few weeks. I switched to the baby carrot snack diet. Bon appétit.

Last edited by Shuffle; 01-11-2020 at 06:40 AM.
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Old 01-15-2020, 08:34 AM   #171
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Reading The Cinema of Ozu Yasujiro: Histories of the Everyday tonight by Woojeong Joo.





Making a personal note to myself about Ozu's expression of more complex sentiments (glory overlapping sorrow) in comparison to lesser filmmakers and writers, who may often be more didactic and hit one note. Just me thinking out loud here, but ... this kind of complexity would likely be reserved for key emotional scenes.
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Old 01-21-2020, 01:40 AM   #172
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Won $3,200 @ 5/5 NL this weekend. Played this hand:

Villain 1 (UTG): Somewhat splashy white guy, mid-late 20s. Not a maniac or anything though.
Villain 2 (BTN): Asian guy about the same age. Seemed demoralized and frustrated.

UTG and one other player limp.
Hero dealt KQ-suited and raises to $30.
BTN calls $30. UTG calls $30. Other player folds.

Flop ($105): QQ2
UTG checks. Hero bets $30. BTN calls $30. UTG calls $30.

Turn ($195): 2
UTG checks. Hero checks. BTN bets $100. UTG calls $100.
Hero c/r to $200.

My thoughts on this line ... I checked the turn hoping BTN might stab or UTG might take a shot on the last card. If nothing happens, I'll just put in a small value bet on the river and hope to get called by worse.

But then both players stick in more money ... hmm.

The 3-way dynamic changed everything. UTG's range can be narrowed down to nutted hands, bottom boats, and sticky, weirdly played hands like AA or JJ. I don't expect to make any more money from UTG at this point unless I make a K.

BTN's range should mostly be air here and, maybe once in awhile, a very strong hand.

I decided to c/r turn because just calling against two villains and then pouring money in on the river seemed like playing my hand face up. I would never expect UTG to have air in this spot nor spaz out and lead river with nothing. If BTN was out-of-line, now he's likely to shut it down. Raising turn seemed like the only chance to represent a bluff, plus if some drooler feels committed to chasing his flush draw, better get in the money now. Maybe UTG has AA once in a million years and he can still chase his card.

Anyway:
Hero c/r $200. BTN goes all-in $250. UTG calls $250. Hero calls $250.

River ($945): 3
UTG checks and he has $1,000 behind. Hero?

Do you check or bet here, and if you bet, how much?

Last edited by Shuffle; 01-21-2020 at 02:00 AM.
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Old 01-21-2020, 10:33 AM   #173
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

My advice on live-game hands is worthless without my being there, but I almost always bet here -- usually the most I think he'll call with a strong but losing hand. Maybe $330...
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Old 01-23-2020, 01:37 PM   #174
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

I checked back the river. C/R with a Q on a QQ22 board, another player shoves, and villain calls anyway. I don't know seemed ambitious to get more value from worse, and villain should be very strong here, even 22 rarely.

Anyway, villain flips over 52 and BTN mucks before I'm even able to table my hand.

Obviously I felt like an idiot and asked for my betting turn back.
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Old 01-23-2020, 03:54 PM   #175
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

From a "poker hand" read, I think you have to bet. From a "It's a 2+2 Post" read, I thought he might have been on tilt, had Q3, and spiked -- so it's OK to check.

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