Sunday, February 7, 2010


I have no idea why people love Kubrick's version of The Shining. I suppose that as a movie, it's pretty good, if a little a silly. As an adaptation of the Stephen King novel by the same name, it is a total fail. And don't try to argue with me, because you won't win. As a massive King fan and someone who likes to put words together and hope they make sense, I have to side with the author of the source material, here. That book scared the hell out of me. The movie just made me sad.

Anyway, that exceptionally silly image of a frozen Jack Nicholson is there because that's how I feel right about now. I have absolutely had it with winter and want the flowers and the birds back, tout suite, maintenant! "Oh, but Prospero, the snow's so pretty when it's coming down..." Yeah, well so is the arterial spray of a half-naked co-ed being set upon by some madman or monster. Ooh! A little too dark for ya? Well, suck it up, hombre! (Hey - 3 languages in the same paragraph - that's pretty good).

You see? This is what winter does to me. It depresses me and makes me crazy and it makes me want to do bad things to stupid people... I'm at work on a new screenplay and -- my hand to God -- I've written a character based on a composite of my clients, just so I can kill him off in a particularly gruesome way. And I'm having no problems at all imagining increasingly horrible fates for most of the main characters. Truth be told, I really don't see it ending well for any of them, though my characters have been known to surprise me with unexpected and unintended (at least originally) behavior in the past. Once, an intended antagonist ended up becoming the heroine, simply by reacting to her situation in a way I never intended her to. But just between you and me -- I wouldn't count on more than one survivor, if any at all, this time... See? Winter Madness. Cabin Fever. Whatever you want to call it. I wrote a one-act play and screenplay about it (and several other unpleasant topics) called The Cow Says: "Moo!" The screen version can be read here, should you be interested. But be warned, it's grim, to say the least. And don't even tell me you're surprised...

Okay, I know. It's the weather. You can't do a thing about it except sit by and watch it happen (or in this last storm's case, sleep through most of it). And I know - the weather is one of the many reasons to wtach and support your local news programs. Uncle Prospero watches the NBC affiliate WCAU in Philadelphia, with Glen "Hurricane" Schwartz, a pleasant and slightly eccentric fellow who is deadly serious about the weather. He's usually pretty calm and matter of fact, even when being emphatic. Here's Glen, who is quite the Philly-area celebrity, at a local Scarecrow contest last fall:

Peddler's Village is about 40 minutes north of me; a place filled with quaint and unique shops and restaurants, near New Hope, southeastern PA's version of P'Town.

When a big storm is coming, the weather guys get excited, because it means more camera time. I get it. But it seems sometimes they just want to scare the crap out of you. Take this clip from weatherman Jim Kosek, last Friday:

I have a co-worker who holds a degree in meteorology and desperately wants to work as a broadcast meteorologist. I shared that clip with him via Facebook and his response was: "Oh, my God! What a wacko!" Though I certainly understand Mr. Kosek's despair (I feel your pain, bruthah!), that segment was just a little... oh, I don't know... unprofessional and way over-the-top? Yeah, that's it.

I'm tired of being cold; I'm tired of having to wear bulky, uncomfortable clothes; I'm tired of digging out my car; I'm tired of coming home every night after dark. Despite what you may have heard, Uncle P will not crumble away to dust in the sunlight. Quite the opposite, in fact. "Well, why don't you just move to Florida, like your sister did?" Because I don't want to trade snowstorms for hurricanes and I don't want to live anywhere where I can't travel to New York in less than 2 hours. Besides, who really wants to live in the country's penis? Sorry, I find myself channeling Stephen R., tonight.

So, In conclusion, while winter makes lots of people feel like this:

Winter makes Uncle P feel like this:

I don't know... Maybe I should just stop whining and buy a sunlamp...

More, anon.

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