Any car novice can tell you that it's not worth detailing a car
if you don't have the horsepower to back it up.
We got right to work.
Having the supervision of experts is a welcome luxury.
Here, I clean the dashboard as an interior design expert advises.
Some people feel that spraypainting a car
is not as good as having it done professionally.
This picture demonstrates that those people are lying.
The real fun in projects like these is that the whole family
comes together for a common goal - quality, tasteful detailing.
Though it's clear that success was never in doubt.
Tsk, dear reader. Jealousy ill becomes you.
Dark: Turn-In Script
EXT. DILAPIDATED HOUSE - NIGHT
RADU, an unshaven, rough-looking man in his late twenties, sits in a nondescript car across the street from the building. There are several cars parked outside, but all the lights appear to be out. RADU shuffles through several snapshots carefully, as if to burn each of images into his mind.
Two guards and the target. Basic hit. You’ve done it
a dozen times.
He places the pictures back in a small suitcase on the passenger seat and removes a handgun. He focuses on the gun.
One more time and you're all paid up. And this'll be over.
RADU loads the gun and slides it smoothly into a holster on his hip.
One more time, God. Please.
He opens the car door and slowly stands up.
Just in case you're listening.
RADU walks silently across the street and up to the door. He produces a lockpick.
I figure you've got to be. I’m still alive.
RADU inserts the lockpick into the lock and slowly twists it to the right until it clicks.
Though I don't know why I bother anymore.
He slides the door open, revealing a shadowed hallway.
I’m not exactly the faithful son.
RADU slips into the house.
INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT
RADU comes to a turn in the hallway and hesitates. A GUARD is walking towards the bend in the hallway from the other direction. RADU listens intently the measured footsteps coming towards him.
Just one. Slow.
RADU waits for the GUARD to reach the edge of the hallway.
I can make this quiet.
He slides a butterfly knife into his hand, but does not open it. He leans against the wall, anxious, his face a mask of tension.
I don't even know why to believe at all. Because I decide
who lives and dies. I deliver judgment on those found -
The GUARD reaches the end of the hallway. RADU flips open the knife and slips behind the guard, covering his mouth with one hand. He slashes his throat.
RADU releases the GUARD. The body crumples to the floor. RADU studies the shape.
But that’s all I do. Until –
A flicker of blanch crosses RADU’s face. He turns away, flips closed the knife, and continues down the darkened hallway.
It’s not like I expect you to be smiling down on me.
RADU whispers up a flight of cramped, narrow stairs and slowly opens a door at the top to reveal another long, empty hallway.
But who’s to say you ever were?
He enters silently.
I used to fight it, God. I used to think that you told us
not to kill because you didn’t want us to know how good
RADU reaches the end of the corridor. He seems to sense that around the corner a GUARD is coming. He withdraws a piano wire from his belt and readies it in his hands.
That surge – like every one of your veins is so alive.
The GUARD reaches the end of the corridor. RADU slips out from behind the wall and flips the piano wire around the GUARD’s throat.
Like nothing could ever hurt me again.
RADU closes his eyes tightly, as if to shut out the sight, and tightens the wire around the man’s throat.
CUT TO BLACK
We hear the GUARD strangling slowly, then RADU’s voice coming as if in a dream.
Hold on. Thick neck. Don't think about it. Don't let him pull you.
He's scared. Don't think. Just hold. One moment more.
The sounds of the GUARD’s struggle finally cease.
You're still alive.
INT. HALLWAY – NIGHT
RADU is still holding the GUARD’s body in the piano wire. He lets go, and the corpse slumps to the floor.
Oh, God - it used to hurt to watch them fall.
He hesitates over the body. He looks nervous, even scared, for a moment.
I wish it still did.
RADU moves down the hallway. He comes to another door, reaches for the handle, then withdraws his hand.
RADU waits for a moment. His breathing gets a touch heavier.
One more. Don’t think about it. It'll all be over.
RADU slips his gun out of the holster and readies it. His gaze flickers upwards plaintively for a moment, then focuses back down on the gun.
It'll all be over soon.
RADU turns and bursts through the door.
INT. OFFICE – NIGHT
RADU scans the dark office quickly. The only light comes from an open window on the other side of the room. RADU notices the open window, and relaxes slightly and lowers his gun a fraction. At that moment, a scrawny BOY of about fifteen grabs RADU around his torso and attempts to stab him in the chest. RADU lurches away and his gun skitters across the floor. The BOY charges toward him as RADU scrabbles backwards.
The BOY swings his knife at RADU, who dodges. RADU tries to pull out his butterfly knife but it slips from his grip and slides away across the floor.
The BOY takes another swing with the knife at RADU, who blocks the BOY’s forearm with his leg and twists away. RADU spies his gun a few feet away.
The BOY swings again at RADU. RADU dodges, then kicks out and connects with the BOY’s elbow with one foot, knocking the knife from the BOY's hand. The boy scrabbles backwards for the knife as RADU rolls over and comes up with the gun. He rises to his feet as the BOY begins to back up desperately until he finds himself against a wall. He stares terrified at RADU. RADU raises the gun to eye level with the BOY, but for a moment seems to reconsider. In the pause, the BOY lunges screaming towards RADU. RADU pulls the trigger, his face twisted in pain. The BOY’s body crumples to the floor. RADU contemplates the blood pattern on the wall. He looks deeply shaken.
Don’t forgive me for this, God. I can’t take it. Let me be.
RADU replaces the gun in the holster.
EXT. DILAPIDATED HOUSE – NIGHT
RADU exits the house, pauses on the front porch, and stares longingly at the sky. Then he turns away, walks to his car, and drives off.
I've finally connected to the Matrix
My cell phone number has been removed after readers expressed concern over security. If you want to get my cell number, you'll have to e-mail me (email@example.com) in order to do so. So sorry.
I gave the number to my friend Ryan, who noticed that I have the exact same cell phone number as a mutual friend of ours but cancelled it a year ago. The odds of that are pretty crazy, eh?
I'm on Verizon, so I've got free nights and weekends. However, since I'll be in LA, 9:00 there is midnight Eastern time, so if you don't have Verizon or stay up late, weekends are probably your best bet. I also don't have free text messaging or anything cool like that, so don't even try. Still, the phone was free.
I don't know if everyone else feels a deep-seated need to explain the intricacies of their cell phone service, but it's not a bad system. The ball's in someone else's court. They can call me.
Orphans? No Orphans?
This is a collection of the more "artistic" pictures I have from Romania. "Artistic" is in quotes because "artistic" may also mean "bad but endearing photography." I've always felt photography is somewhat comparable to much of modern art: if you can't be good, be memorable. I'm going to stop this tirade quickly, though, because I actually didn't take any of these pictures myself, and some of them were taken by my dear mum, to whom I owe a great deal of money as a result of a forementioned ticket fiasco. So, it's best to stay on her good side.
It's fair to note that this is my favorite page of pictures. I'm very drawn to these shots, and I don't know why.
Gabi looking happy. Emil looking very happy. Daria looking dazed. I love this picture.
Pamela looking very lovely and not evil at all, which is not the truth. The workers several times presented me with Pamela as a gift, saying "take her to America with you. Please." We were both disappointed that I didn't take her.
And on take forty, Sanda finally looking photogenic.
Budapest on a blurry night. Or it might be the camera.
This picture looks like one of those "after" pictures in those "drinking impairs your reflexes" manuals that cops use when they're trying to convince kids that drinking isn't cool by showing them blurry pictures. Let no one say that D.A.R.E. was ever a waste of taxpayers money. Heck, sold me. After seeing this picture, I'll never drink again.
I like this picture. I'm going to use it for something someday somehow sometime soon.
Because "artistic" and "sheep" go together.
Me and Adam. I really like this one.
Gabi, the world's cutest and most evil child. I wanted to take her home, too.
Unlike Gabi, Alina is this cute all the time. She's not evil at all.
Maria in bed, where the workers love to leave the kids. One of the volunteers this summer, Beth, is studying neo-natology (I might have made that up. I called her a neuro-natologist for a while, and when she confronted me on it, announced that I knew all the time that she was a neo-natologist, but that I was writing a script involving neuro-natology - the study of the brainwave patterns of infants. She didn't buy it, but it did give me one more script idea to not pan out at all) and worked with Maria this summer to teach her to walk. When Beth left, Maria started teaching herself, so that she could learn to climb out of her crib. Now, that's vivacity. The other two babies just lay there like slugs, the lazy bums.
Dora, helping put away the clothes. The workers love Dora because she helps them do their work so that they can sit around and do nothing. As a result, she's getting awfully spoiled, but her foster family told me that they're gonna make sure that stops once she leaves the orphanage. I think that's a good sign.
Emilia, the world's only living Cabbage Patch Doll.
And this is my new favorite picture.
These are mostly of the family traveling around, and some nice shots of Budapest at night. This is actually the most boring of the three links I made, so if you're in a rush, you might want to skip this one and check out Orphans!
or Orphans? No Orphans?
instead. On the other hand, it does shed some light on the John Calvin rumors, so it may be worth a glance.
Alexandra, Dre, and, Ioana. I don't know how to spell that last one, honestly, I never had to until just this second. Anyway, Alexandra and Ioana were volunteers who didn't do any work but were a lot fun anyway, and Dre is the daughter of Peter and Ana Lucaciu, who run the orphanage and the clinic and the coffeehouse, and who I lived with this summer. She's very cool, but she has terrible music taste in that it's completely different from mine.
Budapest at night. I don't know where this is.
The rumors? All true, my friend, all true.
In the back of this picture, behind the unbelivably gorgeous St. Matthias Cathedral, is my hotel room window. Yes. Be jealous.
Also, Budapest at night. I think this is the St. Matthias Cathedral at night. Again, right outside my window. Yes. Be jealous.
That's Chris in the middle, and his little sister Ina on the right, and the girl who lives with Ina on the left. I can't recall her name. It's something very Romanian, if that helps. In fact, honestly, I think it's Ioana. Huh. How about that.
And finally, Budapest at night. We took this picture while drinking champagne on the Danube. Yes. You're jealous.
I'll be honest, there are a lot
of pictures here. Perhaps too many. Fortunately, they're all done as thumbnails, so you can pick and choose which ones you'd like to enlarge (the ones featuring cute orphans) and the ones that you wouldn't (the ones featuring me).
Still, this page gives you a better idea than anything else of what my summer was like - in these assorted images, you see exactly where my heart lies; and what it is that I'm missing so badly. Enjoy their smiles and pray for them, because if the situation doesn't change in the near future, these kids will never, ever, be adopted.
By the way, in past posts featuring pictures, my grammar was embarassingly critiqued
for incorrect usage of "me," "myself," and so on. As a result, in this post, I have every intention of using those words incorrectly as many times as possible. Me might even turn off the comments, so y'all can't say a single thing to I about it.
Emil and Gabi. This pictures sums the two of them up pretty well.
Emilia and me. Normally I put the names left to right, but I figured you could guess in this case.
Sanda, who I would adopt in a heartbeat, if the Romanian government saw fit to allow the adoption of three-year-old Gypsy by an unemployed bankrupt American college student. Hey, it could happen.
Timea and I bickered throughout much of the summer, until it finally came to a head one day. I kept her in time-out for two hours until she finally apologized. From then on, we were the best of friends. I don't know how that happened, but I wish it was the case with more kids. Pamela and Gabi ran me ragged.
This is Ramona not eating, while I contribute my views on the subject.
Chris tries to play with Dora as Emil plants yet another kiss on him. He's pretty fruity for a three-year-old, I'll be honest. Cried for two hours until we let him get his nails painted with the girls. Total Liberace. I would've taken him with me in a second.
This is Geta. I met Whitney and Elliott, the parents who have trying to adopt her for two years, before adoptions closed for good. It's terrible because the two of them would be so perfect for her, exactly what she needs, and if the EU has it's way, it'll never happen. Still, keep the situation in mind: Elliott and Whitney have a hearing on September 14th in D.C. with an organization that deals with situations like this in fifty different countries. If the hearing goes well...
Me 'n Robi.
Sanda is quite determined not to be photogenic. She sometimes doesn't succeed.
Nati actually adopts this expression most of the time. When I first got there, she would sit and stare for hours on end. We decided that she would grow up to be the world's scariest goth chick.
Me, Adam, 'n Catalin check out the scene outside. This is their favorite thing to do.
Gabi's hobby is destroying cameras brought my unsuspecting short-term American missionaries.
It's been suggested that Emil will grow up to be an underwear model. This is not unlikely, since he's already got the million-dollar smile and flamboyant behavior.
Maria is not legally supposed to be at the orphanage, since the law states that no child can be in an orphanage or foster home until the age of two. The government thinks it would be better if the kids were all kept in one room at the hospital, where they can be completely neglected by government-approved personnel. This is a good idea except for the fact that it makes no logical sense whatsoever.
This is Ramona, who is almost five but can't speak yet and displays a number of autistic symptoms. A family is trying to get permission to bring her to the States to get treatment. The Romanian government, naturally, has met such a suggestion with open arms, which is why Ramona is still there.
Catalin, not looking his brightest. He's actually quite a clever little kid. Not that the workers have noticed.
These kids know no Romanian songs, but they do know all the motions to "I'm in the Lord's Army," which is more than most kids who have performed it in front of church on Youth Sunday.
Dia went through an entirely bottle of bubbles without ever really getting the knack. Still, you've got to admire her determination.
This is a pretty good indication of what Robi is like.
This is a good indication of what Gabi is like right after she's done something wicked.
Back Row: Dia and Gabi.
Front Row: Ariel, Geta, Sanda, and Sarah
This picture was taken while I was in Budapest, which is why everyone looks happy and actually got dressed up for once.
Anca dubbed Daria "the Mexican Grandma." Tell me if you can see it, too.
And finally, this is Martin, who always looks forlorn when he eats.