Writing Assignment #1: The Mentor

Each week I'll be doing writing exercises with a couple friends here in Seoul. This week's assignment was to write about a mentor. It can be fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or whatever a person wants to bring to the table.

My submission was definitely fiction. For some reason, I entered the strange world of Haru Musaki. I enjoyed writing in extremely long, calculated sentences. I might write some more with Mr. Musaki in the coming weeks. I am definitely intrigued by characters who are robots in one sense or another.

Next Week's Assignment: The Proposal

Haru Musaki worked as a Molecular Geneticist for the Tamatsu Corporation in Tokyo City Proper. His job mainly involved shifting molecules. This may sound particularly scientific, but it was actually firmly rooted in the marvels of modern technologies’ ability to disguise the most complex operations into pushing a sequence of buttons in a particular order to make them flash an appropriate color and designate that molecules had been shifted properly, until another shift in color required a new sequence to be inputted into the system. This complex organization of gears and pulleys was tucked safely away in the mechanism chamber in the room beneath him. The only visible mathematical quotients to acknowledge his work and years of research were a series of numbers that jut out from an oblong box on the left corner of his desk. These numbers appeared in a sequential order and were currently flashing a red and blue pattern whose hue in the darkened room gave Mr. Musaki’s somewhat gaunt face a menacing intensity. Occasionally, Mr. Musaki would notice his reflection in the large convex mirror that was placed in the upper right corner of his office to allow him to see the chemical stores that were kept behind him and helped prevent potential theft. If he happened to glance upwards during a haunting red and blue fanfare, he would often fail to recognize that he was menacing because his acuity was on the task of inputting numbers and he rarely looked at his reflection with any interest. Mr. Musaki’s motivation to peer past his menacing guise and see the dark circles that had become a fixture on his mother’s face in old age now begin to deepen within the lines of his own face was prompted by a comment made by a singularly attractive female colleague to whom he had made his passions known in a drunken and unattractive fashion over mandatory company Karaoke two weeks prior. Ayaka Hana, the woman with whom he had exchanged words, took the incident as flattering, and did not view it as harassment or incendiary, since drunkenness was the culprit behind the tearful confession. Additionally, she decided to make an extra effort to assuage the situation with small talk in the company break room out of a hidden fear that her position might be jeopardized should Mr. Musaki’s affections be declined with too much vigor.

“Mr. Musaki,” she had said. “You look fairly miserable. It might be a day for a bath and massage.”

“Yes,” Mr. Musaki agreed. “It might.” He tipped his plastic hardhat and walked quickly through the metallic doors to the lab, letting the hinged flaps come together in his absence with such force that the black rubber flaps at its ends ricocheted off one another with a high-pitched thud.

Ayaka Hana was startled by the relatively cold regard for which Mr. Musaki had offered in his rushed exit. She thought his behavior could have had something to do with the new cancer outpourings from Tokyo City Former that had recently been brought to the attention of the Cytogenetics Teams of several leading firms in molecular research at the Tamatsu Corporation. Mr. Musaki could have been in charge of a lead team, although Ayaka did know that his days as a leading geneticist had dwindled since recent technological advances in genetic implants allowed politically-favored individuals to be implanted with new processing components, which made non-implanted employees like Mr. Musaki overseers for lower levels of process operations. Still, this was Ayaka’s only formation of reasoning, unless she was to access unhappier possibilities that Mr. Musaki was now holding her in contempt. Such a potentiality was not one that Ayaka hoped to contain while completing menial tasks, so she allowed such thoughts to drop from her consciousness.

“Download mutated sequence for chromosomes 12 to 63,” she said aloud to the virtual component above her. The alloy-based cube spun quickly, giving off a gentle hum that rattled a series of test tubes that lined the back shelves of her dimly lit office.


Mr. Musaki’s need to move with celerity was not an indication of effrontery at Ayaka’s comments. He was rather pleased at the gesture that Ayaka had taken the time to notice his condition, and was contemplating her intentions simultaneously with his thoughts of getting plastic surgery for his wrinkles, as he stared past the red and now, green and purple hues that cascaded off his face.

Reza Nader's "Ugly, Beautiful"

Reza Nader has a portfolio of his work up at Tiny Voices. I admire how he is able to catch the extremes of city life. I especially like his shots with snow in New York City. Although my favorite photos are the ones of Los Angeles in all its grime and beauty.

James Franco's PhD in Creative Writing?


Mar 29, 2010, 8:03 PM

Post #1868 of 1870 (87 views)
Re: [TC3] Florida State [In reply to]Can't Post

I don't know how good my info is on where James Franco got in, but I have heard that he got into Utah, Denver, and FSU, offering to pay his way at all of them (seriously, do you think he's going to teach freshman comp? I'm not sure it's exactly an insult that he's not funded since from what I've heard he's offered to pay.) Also, I'm not a huge fan of his Esquire story, but the guy has an MFA from Columbia in CW, an MFA in Film from NYU, possibly a low-res MFA, and graduated from UCLA, so clearly the guy is interested in learning, so I'm not sure it's fair to say that he only got into these schools because of his fame. There's also this, which suggests that he's made the decision to get a lit PhD at Yale: http://yaleherald.com/thebullblog/james-franco-at-yale-from-pineapple-express-to-english-phd/

(This post was edited by owenj on Mar 29, 2010, 8:06 PM)

Wrongful Conviction Overturned 16 Years Later

Greg Taylor was released from prison after serving 16 years of a wrongful conviction. Upon release, he was given a $45 check to make good on the mistake made by the American judicial system. Many are outraged by his wrongful conviction. The former prisoner says he will take life "a month at a time."

Loren Goodman's Top 500 Songs: 61-70







67. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sI6r6APUwK0&feature=fvst


69. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VZhSkREYBc


Happy Nowruz!

I celebrated Nowruz by myself. I was in a subway with my mother-in-law. A man was falling asleep against my shoulder. I looked at him as if to make him wake up magically. My mother-in-law caught my gaze. She giggled. I smiled back at her and looked at my watch. The spring equinox had arrived. The intercom on the subway system began in Korean, moved into Chinese, and finally English: "Next stop is Dondaemun History and Cultural Center. Please exit to your right."

Funding & Latest News

(Tom Henwood previews assembly footage via video chat of a scene from The Human War, featuring Gil Mantera's Party Dream)

Latest Update: The film is being edited as we speak. Tom and I are doing meetings and watching assembly footage, while I'm here trying to raise funds and tie loose ends in South Korea.

Youngstown Visit: Tom will be arriving on March 18th with a small crew to get the last couple shots of the film. If you are willing to offer help or intern for the day, please e-mail th@sanghafilms.com.

20K More To Go: I am busy trying to come up with inventive ways to raise finishing funds for our enterprise. We are so close now, but we've got to come up with money quickly. If you're interested in helping us raise the final 20k we need to complete the film, please make a donation however small to the donation button below.

$100 from 100 Friends: My hope is to get $100 from 100 friends. That would be the easiest way to indie film paradise at the moment. If you've got a bit of cash, please pay it forward. Please also be sure to save your paypal confirmation, as you can write off this donation on your taxes.

Other News: Sangha Films is proud to announce that the next feature slated for filming in 2012 will be Tao Lin's "Shoplifting from American Apparel." Of course, we will chat more about the second film shortly. Now we're busy with getting THE HUMAN WAR ready for next year's premiere.

Please help our movie come into being.

Zach Kim

I really enjoy watching Zach Kim's videos. I think I will go hang out with him.

Bullshit Happening

I would like to see sequels to this video that take on other genres of television.

7 Paths to Highly Effective Oscar Watching Online

Here are a few sites that offer live streams of the event. Some of these will only work if you are in the United States. Others will work worldwide.*

1. Watch Oscars online for Free on AP livestream – Livestream have teamed up with AP to live stream Oscars 2010 online for free.


2. Watch Oscar awards 2010 live online for free on Livestream – The Official Academy Awards Livestream Page


3. Watch the Oscars 2010 live streaming for free on Associated Press channel – another livestream link which would cover Oscar red carpet event as well.


4. Watch the 82nd Academy awards live online for free on Oscar.com – the official website of the official broadcaster- ABC


5. Watch the Oscar awards 2010 live online for free on atdhe – ABC live streaming link


6. Watch Oscar Awards 2010 live streaming online for free on UStream TV – a great resource for live streaming links


7. Watch the 82nd Academy awards 2010 online for free on


My predictions:

Best Supporting Actress - Monique
Best Supporting Actor - Christoph Waltz
Best Actor - Jeff Bridges
Best Actress - Meryl Streep
Best Picture - Avatar
Best Director - James Cameron

*I retrieved links from http://vimeo.com/groups/lanlarr/forumthread:13409 They have more links there, but I didn't feel like making url's for all 17 of the links they have. I think seven is a much better number.

A Good Place to Be Buried

My aunts took me to see the natural beauty of Korea yesterday. We drove around looking for the perfect setting for us to take photos.

They preferred having a range of mountains in the background with water in front. Funnily enough, this is the best scenario for someone to be buried in Korea.

"It is also the best place for a home," Sohee explained.

"Would you get a home here," I asked my mother, pointing to a pink- bricked place all alone on our right.

"No," my mother said. "It's too lonely."

"I agree," Sohee nodded.

I looked at the house. It did seem like a pretty lonely existence. At the same time, it would be fun if I was a fisherman.

It wasn't that bad of a view to wake up to in your backyard.

One of my uncles stayed behind while we went on this trip. As it was explained to me, the men in the family did not interrupt "sister time." That seemed pretty cool to me. I hope my brothers and I got "brother time" when we get older.

"You might," Sohee thought aloud.

"Yeah, it would be nice," I agreed.

"Yeah," she nodded.

This random photo is a picture I took in a movie theater in Korea. I had time to kill between meetings and decided to catch a flick. The movie wasn't worth mentioning, but I was taken by the new menu items in Korea. They now have garlic popcorn, potato wedges, and two drinks for $9 (9,000 won). That's pretty impressive. It's also a shame. I have given up this kind of food. I think the only time I'll have fries again is if I'm at the beach.

Now it's back to the kim chi on my plate.