Day 7- Chips Ahoy

I’ve officially been here a week.  This time last Friday, I was tired and stressed out about moving in after my 7 1/2 hour drive down here.  Now, the remnants of a hurricane have been sitting on top of me all day.  Tallahassee seems like it’s going to wash away… seriously.  There are rivers of water on every street.  My shirt came out of my closet crisp and ironed this morning.  All day, I was assaulted by Fay.  Now it’s a wrinkled, wilted mess.  

I’m starting to find my surroundings less disorienting than they have been.  I actually know which of the three ways off my street to take based on where I want to go.  The film Death Race came out today, and well, yeah, I went to see it.  Matt Sanders came and saw it with me.  I like Matt’s reactions to things.  Like how in the middle of conversation on G Chat I say, “Death Race is playing at 4:30.”  To which Matt says, “Well, snap.”  Boom, there we go.

I showed up during the trailers, which I never do, but for some reason I always get held up getting to the theater in time down here.  The lights here, BTW, are awful. AWFUL. I’m getting pissed just thinking about it.  They don’t have ground sensors, just these reflective, water gun looking things on the top of the post.  I seriously yelled out loud today because they took so long.  It was an unhindered moment of anger.

So I’ll talk about Death Race for a sec.  Just by the title, I’m sure some of you are already skipping to the next paragraph.  Let’s see, it’s post-2012 some time, after the “U.S. economy collapses and the prison system is run by corporations for profit.”  Terminal Prison is located on an island one mile out into a harbor somewhere off a smoldering metropolis.  One long bridge is the only way out (Awesome, I know). Joan Allen is the prison warden who started Death Race as a PPV series and has been massively successful.  Jason Statham gets framed for his wife’s murder.  He is sent to the Terminal Prison, and oh guess what, he’s a former race car driver (CONSPIRACY!).  The deal is whatever prisoner wins 5 races will earn their freedom.  The races are broadcast in three stages over three nights.  Anything goes, anyone can die.  Tyrese plays the “arch nemesis” of Statham.  The cool part was that the track is rigged with little sewer caps that activate various weapons on the prisoners cars, first come, first serve.  JUST LIKE MARIO KART!!!  

I won’t give away the plot.  The races are cool for sure, though they’re edited in that schizophrenic, frantic pace like most action movies today.  You can’t ever see what the H is going on in any of these movies.  To me, it’s sloppy filmmaking, because it’s obvious they’re just shaking the camera to create a bigger fudge factor for when they decide to cut this thing together in the editing room.  The movie is loud too, really really loud.  I was holding my ears, which isn’t saying much because I always hold me ears.  It takes on the cheeky-ness Starship Troopers  by treating you as the viewer and enticing you to subscribe to the “Death Race” PPV package.  Pretty funny.  Of course, a bus load of hot chicks from the “womens’ facility” are brought in to be the “navigators” for each of the drivers, but come one… come on.  Why are the dudes wearing jumpsuits and the chicks are wearing tank tops with hot pants?! 

89 minutes later, I came home and made some Jambalaya.  Yes, Jambalaya.  Right out of the Zataran’s box.  Browned some sausage, brought to a boil, and we have dinner.  Clay Hassler, a fellow MFA here with me, and his wife, Tiffany, invited us over to have cookies and coffee at their place.  The weather here has been getting progressively worse, so only a hand full of us showed up.  Matt Sanders had like 5 trees down in his apt complex and his power was out.  Clay and Tiffany’s place was really nice. We hung out, talked about our film school interviews, and then watched two different thesis movies.  One was good, one was pretty corny.  

Monday quickly approaches.  They finally emailed us our schedules and assigned us to one of two tracks.  The class is split in half and you take classes with whatever track you’re assigned.  I’m track 2, which I feel like is a strong one, I know a good many people in it.  I don’t think it’s really going to matter, but it’s nice that some of the people I know a little better are in mine.  The class schedule isn’t as intimidating as I had thought it would be.  It’s class and it’s definitely all day.  9AM-10PM… EVERYDAY.  Here we go.  

I do like the sound of a “cinematography” or ” acting” class more so than a Biology or Statistics.  College really did always scare me.  Academically, I’ve never been that strong.  I remember the lonely feeling I had junior year of undergrad when I took statistics by myself, or this math class that I took and didn’t do so well in.  I actually STILL have a dream once a semester or so, even when I wasn’t in school, about a random math class.  It’s always a class that I have been enrolled in all semester and, for some reason, I have never been there.  I find myself walking into class or trying to prepare for the final and realizing that it’s hopeless, that it’s inevitable that I’m going to fail.  For those of you still in undergrad who have this dream, it never goes away… trust me.

I don’t plan on film school being anything like statistics, though… oh gosh, I hope not.


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