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Nolan's Newsstand
My personal headlines and those of the crazed fan communtity!
All the news and views of my damn self and nutty friends too.
Vol. 1, No. 11.  This special edition for the 2-week period of May 29--June 11, 2000.
What happened with me last week and why this issue covers two weeks!  Status reports and updates.
"Clerks" cartoon
 partly successful.
  Hello everyone, Nolan here. I'm glad to be back, but all is still not settled in Paradise....
  As loyal readers no doubt noticed, I put a "warning label" on the Newsstand index (where the "new issue" link usually is) to the effect that there would be no new issue coming out until I had my new computer installed--among other things. The "other things" included the unbelievable stress of having a new roof put on my home. Lest you think that's "no big deal", permit me to elaborate.
  Altho I am the first to admit the repair and/or replacement of my roof was waaaaay past due, I plead guilty only to the delay caused by fear that things would go about the way they did: nearly disastrous. So, I waited, oh, TEN YEARS past when it should have been done.
  Please keep in mind, before I go on, one EXTREMELY important thing: I work nights and sleep days. Any noisy daytime work has to be handled carefully if I'm to continue living normally. I thought about moving out for a couple of days, perhaps sleeping over at my brother's or some friend's house. The roofers called a week ago Sunday night to say they'd begin work the next morning--Memorial Day! Not much notice. My brother went out-of-town, figuring who'd work on Memorial Day? I decided to stay and tough it out for the "2 days" they'd be here. After all, I had Memorial Day off and I could take off Tuesday, right? Well...
  Memorial Day went according to schedule, with the old roofing (gravel-type...anybody remember those?) coming off and an assesment of the damage. It was damaged further than they thought, but still within parameters. They kept wanting to use the phone to ask the contractor something, but I have a thing about strangers in the house, so I told them to use the pay-phone at the corner store. They did. OK, fine, see you tomorrow...
  Tuesday.  I gave up completely thinking I could sleep thru the terrifying racket of explosive hammering and sawing. Foolish to think I could. So I got up and wandered around. Again, there's some decision they need the phone for; again I send them to the corner. So, now they've been at the job but about an hour when the top completely comes off my kitchen and bathroom. I mean, they were open to the sky!! The ceilings had caved in. Pure sunlight pouring in and roasting the place, to say nothing of strangers looking down in on me! Well, that was uncomfortable, so I decided to walk out to the sidewalk for a while. I had been out about 5 minutes, maybe less, when I heard a nauseating sound: wood and plaster breaking and the thump of a human body hitting the ground. Yep, a crewman fell thru the gaping hole in my kitchen and landed flat on his back. I rushed in, as did his comrades, and he was lying in a sort of fetal position, barely conscious. I asked him if he was alright, did he want me to call 911? (I noticed his arm was bleeding from a gash.) He said no, he just needed to get up and get a "second wind." He never quite seemed to recover, so his buddies to him to a hospital--or so I was told. (Even then, I struggled to avoid the obvious "strangers dropping in unannounced" joke.) Much later the contractor told me the crewman had been drinking on the job and he had serious doubts that anyone went to the hospital. I am glad the man was OK, don't get me wrong, but we lost nearly a whole day's production. The rest of the day was spent covering the roof with a tarp in case it rained. (We're still in a drought, but it did get cloudy.)
  Wednesday.  Some confusion as a new crew comes out and has to take up where the old one left off--and nothing makes sense to them. More phone talk (nope--go to corner). With reluctant first steps (and much profanity) the second crew starts to pick up speed. Starts to look good, but it's obvious they won't be finished today. Somewhere in the afternoon, guess what? That nauseating sound came back as wood and plaster rend under human weight as another man has a very close call in the room I'm standing in now. Up to his torso. No, he didn't fall (thank God), but he would have crushed my computer and a few of his ribs if he had. As it is the entire room got sprayed with a generous dose of roof debris (I'm still cleaning up that mess) and that pure sunlight I referred to earlier. Fortunately, the plywood was ready to go, so the hole was covered quickly. I was told the roof would be completed Thursday; Friday at the latest. I have to work that night.
  Thursday. No sleep at all before the crew arrives.  However, the "learning curve" of the second crew accelerates exponentially as new wood and new framing gets custom-made and hammered into place. It won't be done today, but there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Won't be but around lunchtime on Friday, they say. I tell them I have an appointment Friday at 2:00pm and will have to leave (editing at Public Access actually). "Oh, we'll be gone way before that!" I go to work all night.
  Friday. Little to no sleep all week. Last day. Thank God. They come out early enough, I figure, and start the "kettle" to boiling. (You know, that big smelly machine that roasts the roof topping--elastometric, I think they call it.) It takes fully one hour longer than expected to reach the critical temperature. BUT, at least we're on the home stretch. As it gets closer to 2:00pm, I see it's going to run over and I don't want to leave them. I call Public Access to say I'll be an hour late. It's OK. Good. By 2:45pm the crew has finished and is pulling out. After a shakey start, the crew has done a GREAT job. Roof looks good and is solid. I go to P.A. to edit my movie, but I'm barely conscious. Friday night, I go to work and experience dry heaves from exhaustion. Can't stand it, leave a little early to go to bed. I sleep 11 hours Saturday.
  POSTSCRIPT: I actually got a mild sunburn from so much exposure to the sun inside AND outside the house.
  POSTSCRIPT 2: I've already lost 2 cats to the drought. During all this commotion, with a half-dozen trucks on and off the property and dozens of strangers, the remaining cat, Patches, managed to guard and move her babies (about 4-5 weeks old) all over the property and kept all 4 of them safe. I thought it was neat enough to mention.
        New Computer Almost Here!
  I loved "Clerks", the movie. A B&W riot made for about 60 grand.
  A couple I'm very close to has a split opinion: he, like I, loves its irreverence and its dead-on take of the worst-nightmare-imaginable kind of day WE might've experienced as clerks. She, on the other hand, holds it in contempt for being one of the movies branding and defining their generation (X) as "slackers".
  The cartoon version, which debuted last week (June 1), manages to capture the madcap relentless pacing of the movie, but I found it lacking in that satisfaction that came with the original. I hate to be one of that crowd that defends profanity in the movies, but DAMMIT, without Jay's constant foul-mouthing and run-on expletives, his character is bereft of...well, character!
  They managed also to snag some of the original voices, altho I don't recognize the video store clerk's. Shame, because his was a central, nay, pivotal character to this whole episode. Basically, like in the original, he tries to get his friend Dante (the Quik-Stop clerk) in trouble for no other reason than to see if he can get him out. The beauty of it is we know he doesn't care if he is successful at it or not; he just likes being in the middle of shit.
  HOWEVER...gigantic points go to a courtroom scene where the vid-clerk (I can't remember his name right now) calls George Lucas to the stand to demand an explanation for why Ben Kenobi says Yoda was his teacher in "Empire", but in "Episode 1" it's Qui-Jonn or whatever. Lucas stammers for a second before his accuser demands his eight bucks back! And Lucas hands it over! Too much. Same happens with Spielberg ("what was the deal with 'Hook'? I want my eight bucks back!")
  None of this had anything to do with Dante's predicament (I'll spare you the details), but we never hear a verdict because the episode ends in a delirious montage I can barely describe (or remember), except its purpose was to render the verdict irrelevant.
  I know I implied before that the major delay in getting out this issue of the Newsstand was a failing hard-drive. While that's true, I wouldn't have been able to write anything last week under the stress I was under as, I hope, you can now understand.
  Having said that, I'm pleased to announce with greater confidence that the new computer will arrive Thursday, barring any further catastrophes. The problem, I'm told by my computer expert, Corey Castellano, is that the new system refused to "recognize" the video capture card that is to be the heart of my new endeavor: to edit video on the computer. Well, that's not good, so he's had to switch out processors to one that WILL work. And, he told me this afternoon (Tuesday, June 6) that the new system is operating. Now then, I have to vacuum some more roof debris and we'll be in bidness!
All contents this page are 2000 by Nolan B. Canova


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