Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Fame and Fortune: the pursuit

So I've had this blog since last January and I haven't done this yet so I hope you'll forgive me. I promise this blog will not turn into a "John is so cool and amazing" type of blog dedicated to all things cool about me (even though it kind of already is).

I met my friend Cameron Daley while serving in England on a mission for my church. Our first meeting went something like this: I was not serving with Elder Daley, but I had heard of him. For a conference my compainion and I had to sleep over at he and his companions flat (thats british for apartment) When Cameron came home he saw me sitting on his couch reading a movie magazine. He looked at me and said "Were did you get that?" I said, "Uh Tesco's." The look on his face made me think he was really kind of upset with me. Sure, the "Total Film" mag I was reading was what some might term "unapproved" reading, but from what I'd heard Elder Daley wasn't the type to be bothered by that. He took a closer look at my magazine and laughed. He explained that he had an "Empire" magazine upstairs in his room. (Empire and Total Film are competeing magazines and this particular month their covers were almost identical) He thought for a minute that I had gone into his room, gone through his things and then started reading his magazine. The truth was even more unlikely, that even without meeting each other, Cameron and I were pretty much the same person.

If you have known Cameron and I for any length of time we've always "joked" about how we want to be famous. In fact, the line I still use is "In seven years you're going to need a VIP pass just to see me." We came up with that line on our missions later, when we eventually served together, which is another funny story that I wont go into here. Unfortunately, as you know, you do not currently, in fact, need any sort of special permission and/or paperwork to see either of us.

Cameron and I both knew that we wanted to be famous and we felt the best way to achieve our goal was to be extremely entertaining. This started with us using scripted dialogue on group dates. Then shortly after I returned home from my mission we made our first Short film in a week. It was called "Wonka Willow Wankers" and to the limited audience who saw it, it was, I'm sure a life changing experience.

It was this taste of fame that made us want it even more. We decided to make a full length movie titled Out of the Blue: Based on Actual Events. This film was loosely based on me and Cam's dating exploits. A lot of people thought that we only made this movie to make out with cute girls. Though that was a nice side effect, even the best make-out doesn't compare to sitting in the balcony of a sold out theater watching and listening to a couple hundred people laugh at something you made.

In the meantime we paid $4000 to Century 16 movie theatre in Salt Lake so we could put up an advertisement on the big screen (pictured throughout this post) prior to movies. There were three adverts which ran for the entire year 2000.
After a couple more shorts films, some script ideas, and a few casting sessions which never came to fruition we decided to change our focus. We moved on to drawing a comic strip called "Out of the Blue". This comic ran in several college newspapers all across the country for free. We didn't want money. (but we wouldn't turn it down) We started hearing people talking about our comic on campus. We received emails about our comic and we even had a few people write letters to campus newspapers trashing on our comics. It was awesome.
When we didn't get offered millions of dollars to be in syndication next to "Marvin" and the "Family Circus", we again changed directions. A new radio station had just kicked off and they didn't have a morning show... it was just a regular DJ. So one day we went to the station, uninvited, and told the receptionist that we were their new DJ's for a morning show and that we were starting monday. It didn't work, and the radio station finally got a morning show... and they suck.

Cameron stumbled across a lame "movie review" show on the cable government access channel 17 in Weber County. It was pitiful. Cameron forced me to watch a few episodes and we just shook our heads in thinking "How are these two imbeciles on TV talking about movies and we aren't?" We knew we could do better. We called the owner of the station. We told him we wanted our own show. He wouldn't let us do a movie review show since he already had one (bummer ) so we pitched him a show called Odd Jobs, starring us. He was hesitant, but told us to film a few episodes and give them to him... so we did. He loved it. He loved it a lot. We couldn't get episodes to him fast enough. Literally. He wanted a new episode every week, but it took us at least a month to film and edit each episode. For that reason, Odd Jobs eventually died.
Now on to the point of this post. Recently Cameron and I discovered that the movie review show that we coveted is no longer on the air. We immediately called Channel 17 and secured our spot as the new movie reviewers. One of the conditions of doing our movie review show was... get this... the owner wants us to film at least 4 episodes of Odd Jobs a year. That's how much he loves that show.

So, Cam and I are in the process of getting our movie review show, The Cinematic Experience, on TV. The process is tedious, but in the meantime, I was hoping that YOU, my blog readers would do me a solid*. The Cinematic Experience is currently on You Tube and we're uploading new reviews every week. Would you be so kind as to log on and watch some of them. The more hits we get and the more subscriptions we get to our channel the higher it will show up on the search engine! If that Cambodian guy who sings for Journey now can be discovered, so can we.
We try to keep our reviews under 5 minutes. We are also extremely interested in any type of feedback you may have. We've received some good and some bad and I can assure you that ALL OF IT is extremely helpful. We've already started incorporating some suggestions we've received into the show. We have a facebook group you should join if you're not a member already. (search for "cinematic experience" in "groups" to find it and join.) And we are currently in talks with comcast about getting our reviews OnDemand. The only reason we do this stuff is because you guys think we're funny. You laughter is appreciated.

John Maxim

*solid = Pop Culture lingo meaning "big favor".

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Perilous Party Planning

John Maxim's birthday is this week. To celebrate he & his friend Kate are planning a bonfire for this weekend, the big kind where you burn furniture and stuff. Due to housing development over the years the old location that John used to go for this activity now had a few stucco ramblers sitting on it.

John Called his friend the fireman to find out where a good location would be to have his celebratory fire. He said, "Go somewhere in the west desert out past Toole. You got any hick Toole friends? They would probably know of a good spot."

John's friend Beau is from Toole, he wasn't a hick, but John decided to try him anyway, so he texted him.

JOHN: Hey, you're from Toole right?
BEAU: Yeah, Why?
JOHN: I'm looking for somewhere to have a huge bonfire. My fireman buddy told me to find someone from Toole, that they would know somewhere in the west desert where I could do it... do you fit this stereotype, and know of somewhere?
BEAU: I don't know what it says about me, but I know a few spots. When are you planning on it?
JOHN: Awesome! Next weekend. It's my Bday. Got a couple couches to burn, need a secluded spot.
BEAU: What's your email I'll send you a google map shot.

John checked his email moments later.
Beau noted in the email: Notice the rock formation next to the spot. It keeps the fire from being visible from I-80.

John told Kate of the location and the invitations went out. On tuesday John was looking at the directions, and he noticed that they were pretty vague. He decided to drive out there and make sure people wouldn't get lost.

It didn't take long to drive out there, about 35 minutes, but he was glad he did. He saw easily that he could have gotten lost on the drive if he would have made it in the dark for the first time. So John took special notes to make the directions more in depth for those who would follow.
The sun went down really fast, and John ended up lost, he missed a turn and headed south without really being aware of it. He tried to double back, but with the narrow dirt roads he was on it made maneuvering difficult. After nearly an hour in the dark John started to think all he could do was park his car and sleep till morning. Luckily his car's GPS, even though it didn't show any roads, let him know which direction he was going. He was able to follow it east till he found a road, which he eventually did.

Scared and alone John called his friend Cameron to calm him. As he pulled up to the road, there sat a pickup facing him. The pickup had a spotlight and shined it right in Johns face for about 5 minutes. John thought, "that must be a cop" explained the situation to Cameron, and concurred. Then the spotlight turned off and the truck began reversing on the road. This was weird, but John took this as his queue to turn onto the road. Maybe it was just a pickup with a spotlight, a farmer or a rancher? If it was a cop wouldn't it have hit it's lights by now? As John started down the road the truck continued to reverse, matching Johns speed.

John explained over the phone to Cameron how another car was coming up behind him. He couldn't believe it, the truck was driving 35 miles an hour in reverse! Once the car to the rear of him got close John decided enough was enough and sped past the truck. Thats when the car that was coming up behind him flipped on its overhead lights. The truck that had been masterfully reversing did the same and turned around. Then they were joined by a 3rd police car.

John pulled over and thought to himself "If this is what happens just from driving around at night then there's no way we can do the bonfire here." Cameron asked him to put the phone on the seat so that he could hear the experience. A siren went of loudly for a split second, so John rolled his window down.

Over an intercom a female VOICE said: driver put your hands outside of the window.

John complied.

VOICE: Driver if there is a passenger with you please stick your thumbs up.
John didn't know what to do there was no passenger, so he just left his hands there.

VOICE: Driver stick your thumbs up if there is a passenger in your car.

John thought for a second and then slowly put both of his thumbs down.

VOICE: Driver exit the vehicle slowly with your hands up.

John complied. and he started to think about what he was going to say when they asked him what he was doing out here at 10 at night in the middle of nowhere. He concocted a good little yarn he hoped would do the trick.

VOICE: Driver walk around to the back of your vehicle and face the trunk.

VOICE: Now walk backwards towards my vehicle.

VOICE: Kneel down. Interlace your fingers behind your head and remain kneeling.

John can hear someone exit the car to the side of him. It was a male officer.

COP: (yelling) Is there a passenger in your car.
COP: (yelling louder) Is there another person in your car

The man comes up behind John and grabs one of his arms.

JOHN: Am I under arrest?

The man handcuffs John and then steps firmly on the bottom of his foot making certian he is as immoble as possible, and ignores his question.

COP: I am going to ask you one more time, is there a passenger in your car.
COP: What about a gun. Got a gun on you or in your car.

At this point John decided that when they asked him what he was doing out here that he would just tell the truth. The female cop walks up and asks John if she can search his car. John said yes and notices that she is hot! Not hot-for-a-chick-cop hot, but hot no-matter-what-she-is hot. She searched his car while the other officer grabbs his wallet and starts interrogating him.

COP: What are you doing out here this time of night?
JOHN: This girl sent me an invitation to a campfire and the directions were all crazy and didn't make any sense, so I decided to drive out here and see if I could find the spot she described... I couldn't find anything - got lost and feared I'd have to sleep in my car till morning to find my way home. I was just trying to be prepared you know.
CHICK COP: Can I search your trunk.
JOHN: Sure, yes.

John was glad the hot sherrif was searching his car right infront of him. It was the only silver lining he could think of during the situation. Especially since he knew better than anybody that the fact that he didn't do it had never helped him when he was in handcuffs before. The cop standing on his foot reads his information to dispatch. The female cop finishes searching his car and then walks around in the grass shining her light on the ground as if to look for the supposed gun John had thrown out his window.

JOHN: Who was driving in reverse 35 miles an hour?
COP: That was me, and it was 40.

John wondered how he knew this, because he didn't think speedometers worked in reverse, but didn't bother questioning the guy since he only started this line of questioning to lighten things up.

JOHN: That was pretty impressive, but I couldn't tell if you were a murderer or a policeman.
COP: I had to wait for back up, and you were playing along...

John notices his knees are starting to hurt from kneeling on the asphault.

JOHN: Um, can I kneel back and rest on my heels?
COP: Hold on.

John hears dispatch repeat his license number, name, and address.

COP: You can stand up.

John stands and the lady cop walks towards him as the other Cop undoes his handcuffs.

CHICK COP: We had a domestic assult with a gun. Witnesses reported that the suspect drove off with a passenger in this direction in a white Ford Taurus. Someone could have mistaken your car for a Taurus. We are sorry for the inconvienence.
JOHN: No problem, you guys are just doing your jobs.
John wished he had said something like "does this mean I don't get to ride back to the station with you." but he was too much of a coward and knew it of course wouldn't result in anything but some laughter.As John walked towards his car they asked him one more question.

COP: So what about this party, whats going on?
JOHN: Oh, it's in like 3 weeks and its just a campfire with some friends.
COP: Oh that sounds fun, just be safe.

John grinned as he walked back to his car... that almosted sounded like permission.

Johnny Metropolis

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Self Diagnosis

Many of you have seen me limping around or sporting a pair of very stylish crutches. When asked what happened I have thus far responded with two answers depending on the time I feel I have to respond.

Answer 1: Oh nothing, I just use these crutches/walk-with -this limp so that girls will notice me.

Answer 2: There was this orphaned baby in the middle of the street and in order to save it from a speeding Volvo driven by a hooligan youth I ran and kicked the baby across the street out of harms way! Thus injuring my foot.

The real answer is so lame I am embarrassed to even be injured. I was playing football (not soccer) and as I charged the quarterback he broke left, I attempted to give chase, but when I started to turn a sharp excruciating pain affected the bottom left side of my left foot. So strong was the pain, that I collapsed to the ground with out being touched by anyone and then limped home. I have been limping ever since.

I don't have health insurance, however it was clear within the first few hours that this was not the type of injury which I could just "walk off." I was not going to go see the doctor. Two years ago I broke my ankle. I went to the doctor, they took an X-ray, told me it was broken, gave me a walking cast a pair of crutches and told me to stay off of it "till it doesn't hurt anymore." Then they sent me a bill for $1800!

As I lay on my couch nearly in tears I decided I would take an ibuprofen and follow the same advice for this injury. Crutches cost $40 at Wal-mart, and it wasn't my ankle so I didn't need an ankle brace. It was my foot, so I wrapped it in an ace bandage and called it good.

A week later The pain had not gone down much and I started to think perhaps something drastic was amiss. So I did what any other prudent uninsured American would do, I consulted Google.

I soon found out about people all over who had suffered almost identical symptoms as I was experiencing. I learned about the Peronius Brevis Tendon. It is located where that yellow arrow is pointing on this diagram. Whoever created us really wasn't thinking about where they put this tendon on our body. Or at least they really weren't thinking that we humans were ever going to be wearing shoes or running on cement. Here is what can often happen because of it's location in our foot.

A lot of athletic cleats have soles which are smaller than the soles of our feet. This is especially true for those of us with extra wide feet... like me. As pictured here you can see what I am talking about.

While running and turning left all of my bodies weight (approx 200 lbs) was resting on this tendon... well it tore, or was severely strained. The treatment for such an injury is to stay off of it for a couple months, and keep it wrapped tightly - get this - "until it doesn't hurt anymore."

Another week went by and the pain was still pretty strong. I'll admit that even though I felt pretty confident in my diagnosis, I started to be concerned, thinking that perhaps I had gotten it wrong and that there was something worse going on, or something that I was making worse by not having some doctor suggested treatment I couldn't find via Google. I knew however that I definately didn't want to go to the doctor and pay them a couple of G's to tell me what I probably already knew.

A friend of mine had mentioned to me how there are free clinics all over the place... with all the hullabaloo about universal health care I thought this was a fallacy! I was surprised to discover that the rumor is completely true. I discovered the 4th Street Clinic. It's website advertises free health care for homeless individuals. I called the clinic and found out that they help everyone for free, homeless or not. They also gave me the number of several other free health clinics around the state. I ended up going to a clinic in Park City which sees people on Tuesdays and Thursdays for free.

The Doctor who saw me, Doctor J. Staples, works at a regular health care location, but volunteers one Tuesday a month to come to the free clinic. He looked at my foot, and before long gave me some familiar sounding advice. I was exactly right in my self diagnoses, including my determination of treatment. He told me to stay off it for a couple months and keep it wrapped! I donated $100 to the clinic for the trouble and crutched my way out to my car with a grin!

"Lot's of people go to college for 7 years!."
"Yeah, their called Doctors."

Hmph, Doctors.

John Maxim

Friday, November 14, 2008

up or down?

So I go to dinner with my friend Scott. He is a male cheerleader, weird I know. Anyway, I am always telling him that he should get his cheer girls to come hang out with us, which I know is a stretch because they are between the ages of 18-22 and why would they want to hang with a geezer right?

Anyway Scott finally delivers and we go get something to eat with these girls. I try not to be "ageist" but the experience I had needs to be shared. Meet Ann, she is a cheerleader at Salt Lake Community College, she is almost 21 years old. She seemed to think I was pretty funny, and I thought, I might have a chance with this chick, sure, when she was getting baptised I was graduating High School, but really whats the difference between 20 and 30? Ann had a friend who was cuter and seemed a little more mature for her age, so I wasn't really eager to go after her initially, she was just paying me more attention. I found out it wasn't cause she was into me.

Ann begins telling me about her Mom, her name is Nicole. Nicole is 39, she had Ann when she was 19, she has since been divorced and is always on the lookout for eligible bachelors. I mention of course to Ann that I am the most eligible bachelor I know. Ann tells me she wants to set me up with her Mom! I could have been offended, but Ann is 20, that's really young, and she has a boyfriend, and we know what relationships are like when you're 20. When I was 21 I dated a 27 year old, and that was awesome, and I have never been out with someone older than 33, so 39 would be new, however I doubt any different. I thought about it and was amazed at the similar rationale... sure, when I was getting baptised she was graduating high school, but really whats the difference between 30 and 40?

30 dating 20 - not weird. 39 dating 30 - not weird. The fact that 39 and 20 are Mom and Daughter... well that would only be weird if I dated both of them, right? ...and that would have nothing to do with age.
John Maxim

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Honest Answer

Traversing the world of dating for a second time really sucks. I still have a lot to learn and will undoubtedly be given lessons this harsh in the futrue. I'm starting to think I'm not very good at it. I am going to post an actual text conversation that I had. I will leave the pre-convo and post-convo circumstances to you, the readers, imaginations.

GIRL at 11:00 AM:
Hey... so... i didn't want to bring this up and make things awkward, but... i can't really tell if you are interested in me or not, which leads me to think you aren't, but i kinda would like to know. I would be interested. But if not, i don't see why you would mind me going out with Roger. Not that he asked, I am just wondering.

GIRL at 2:29 PM:
No thoughts on that huh?

JOHN at 2:57 PM:
I should be and infact I want to be interested, but I'm not. I'm still too messed up from my divorce & emotionally unavailable. I still want to be friends though & hope this doesn't make it awkward. I'm sorry on the Roger thing, I didn't mean to communicate not to go out with him, I was just warning you about who he is. You're a big girl though, you can take care of yourself. I want things to be cool with us & hope they are. Thanks.

GIRL at 2:58 PM:
This is why i told you weeks ago that i didn't want to make out with you, to avoid this situation. Yes it is awkward. No we cannot still be friends.

JOHN at 3:00 PM:
I'm really sorry to hear that. I think you're being unfair. I hope you will reconsider.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

First Date Questions

I will often ask some of the same questions on a first date to try and determine if the lady I am with is qualified to be in my company. It's amazing how most all of them are. They always ask me the same questions back, so I have jotted down my pat answers to uh, a few of my pat questions:

Do you like soccer?
JOHN: I love soccer. A lot. I didn’t start playing till I was 24, and the only regret I have in life is that I didn’t start playing earlier. When I was in High school, I played Baseball, and thought soccer was gay. Then when I was 24 I only started playing to try and impress a girl… the girl thing didn’t pan out, but I found soccer. We were made for each other. If soccer was a chick, I’d marry her.

Do you have any pets?
JOHN: Yep, two dogs. My Dogo Argentino (that’s is a breed) is named Vodka and he is 7, and my Border collie/rat terrier mix is is named Movie and he is 7 also, I baby them pretty badly, but instead of talking baby talk, I usually pick them up a cheeseburger anytime I get fast food.

Which character do you think is sexier? Indiana Jones or James Bond.
JOHN: I think Indiana is a little sexier. Both are sexy, but when I compare the sweaty, hairy chest, getting dirty, sun baked skin, and whip versus the slick, tuxedo clad, PPK wielding, champagne connoisseur. I like my men a little more manly and not so emotionally calloused as Mr. Bond.

Which do you like better, if at all? The Simpson’s, Family Guy, South Park
JOHN: I love the Simpson’s. I think the Family guy is okay. I didn’t used to like Southpark much, but recently I have been watching it and finding it very funny so I am changing my mind.

What's your favorite season, and why?
JOHN: I love summer. I can have more fun, walks, picnics, skateboarding, yard work, beach, hiking, biking. All kinds of really fun things that I can do in the summer. Give me a beautiful sunny day where I can wear shorts and it’s pretty hard for me to have a bad day.

What is something embarrassing that has happened to you?
JOHN: I was on a date when I was 18. It was a group date, and I crapped my pants. Really crapped them, not like - I thought I was farting and a little turd popped out, I crapped my pants, and they all knew it. Since then I don’t get embarrassed. Bad as it sounds, it is a pretty funny story, but it's better told with hand gestures than typed.

Do you prefer hot dogs or hamburgers?
JOHN: I love hot dogs, but only under certain conditions. I have to have either sauerkraut or Dill relish, not hotdog relish or sweet relish. I also love tomato’s on my wiener. If I don’t have those, then I would rather take a burger any day, but usually when presented with the choice I eat both if I can.

What female celebrity (or male, if that's what you're into) do you find most attractive, and why?
JOHN: My top three female actresses are Jessica Alba, Kristen Bell, and Kate Beckinsale. I don’t know why exactly, but I catch my mouth open more often when they are on screen then others.

In the freezing cold do you start your car & run back in the house till it’s warm, or do you just jump in and go, shivering till it warms up?
JOHN: I freeze the arse. I am never prepared enough to warm up the car.

What is a question I would never ask you? and what is the answer?
JOHN: You would never ask me: "Describe the sensation one feels when they put toothpaste on their nipples?" However, if you did, I would furrow my brow thinking of the experience and then go on to regale you with a description of pain, awful burning pain. The kind you feel for a couple of days. I do not recommend it.