bologna rhombus

I’m sitting in a coffee shop right now, reading the news and trying to rest my brain a bit before jumping back into work. I’ve spent about ten hours here over the course of the past few days, writing frantically, trying to make my deadlines … Do you remember a month or so ago when I mentioned that I’d been writing little scripts for an on-line math and science course? Well, it turns out that the first batch was so well received that the group I’m working for got a lot more funding. As a result, I’ve been asked to write a whole lot more. What that means for me is that, in addition to getting a few more tickets in the aneurism lottery, I get to pay off the hybrid and start a college fund for Clementine. What it means for you is that you might see a little less of me around here. (How about a reality television series where I travel the globe auditioning other Mark Maynards to take my place?)… Right now, it looks like I’ll be writing four two-minutes scripts a week for the next ten months. That, in case you didn’t know, is a shit-load. (It’s going to be really stressful. My professional prediction is four eyes full of blood. (I need to create a little “eye-full-of-blood-o-meter” for the site so that you can instantly know my stress level at any given time.))

From what I’m told, there are now about nine full-time employees somewhere in the United States doing the animation and creating the math and science content that accompany my odd little contextual cartoons. It’s weird to think that people’s livelihoods rely on my being able to get away from the baby and my other responsibilities long enough on weekends and evenings to churn these things out. That’s a lot of responsibility when you think about it… “Mark, you’d better continue to write stuff that kids and prisoners (the two audiences I’m simultaneously writing for) find funny and compelling, or nine more families enter the ranks of the poor.”

Right now, I’m working on a series that has our four young protagonists using geometry to decipher the hidden message in an ancient rug. The hope is that the kids and prisoners watching get involved enough in these little stories I’m writing that they stay engaged for the work that follows.

OK, I need to get back to work now. I’ll try to tell you more about this project later. Hopefully, one of these days I’ll even be able to link to a finished piece.

Before I go, I should add that I’m incredibly thankful that I’ve been given this opportunity. (I don’t want to just complain about what is really a great opportunity.) It’s very cool to think that I can dream things up and then a team of voice actors and animators will bring them to life, and that our collective efforts might really motivate kids to learn. It’s great to be a part of that, and it’s great experience for me. It makes me think that I could actually even write longer scripts, either for animation or live action. I’d always been a bit apprehensive about tackling dialogue, but now I realize that it’s not that difficult.

One last thing before I turn my mind back over to middle-school geometry.

Things overheard by Mark while at the coffee shop:

“I can get us a room full of special-ed kids to do the work.”

“I have a recipe for dogs, but I think it would be good for people – meat cupcakes with mashed potato frosting.”

“I’m not even a feminist and I work.”

I should add that that I wasn’t eavesdropping. It just so happened that I had the misfortune of sitting near a few very loud individuals.

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11 Comments

  1. Qjolly
    Posted October 17, 2004 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    MARK, WILL you post these animations online or your website or are they only available to schoolchildren and drug addicts in prison??? Will you copy onto CD and sell on EBAY? I am easily amused.

  2. Tony Buttons
    Posted October 18, 2004 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    I paid my way through college dancing under the name The Bologna Rhombus.

  3. Posted October 18, 2004 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    It’s no secret that Mark is a creative genius. His script writing is stellar, and I expect that he will soon be tempted to move to Hollywood to become a prostitute–D.B. Caulfield style–if we don’t protect this Ypsilanti treasure from the evil influence of Disney.

    Mark, I encourage you to make movies. A Mark Maynard film would make the world a better place and have an entertaining, life-changing, unsettling-yet-soothing affect on those who view it. Damn, I’m already writing a blurb for the movie poster (sorry for the crappy writing, but I could work on it). Can you imagine the soundtrack? Make it so, Mark–that is, when you have time. I’ll invest money (not a lot, but maybe enough to buy some film or donuts or second-hand props or something).

  4. Let's kiss Mark's ass for Hollywood jobs.
    Posted October 18, 2004 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Yes, I second Dirtgrain’s comment. That is if he gets his nose away from Mark’s ass long enough for the rest of us to shmooze. Let’s make martini’s and line up to kiss the king’s bottom half.

  5. mark
    Posted October 18, 2004 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    The name of this post, “Bologna Rhombus,” was taken from the most recent script. One of the characters, the owner of the 7th Avenue Dairy Frog, builds a bologna extruder that can poop out chunks of processed meat in different geometric shapes. He then drops these chunks into ice cream sandwiches, making them something that he calls Meaty Creams… So, for those of you that thought that I might have a shot in Hollywood, you can stop the ass kissing. As you can see, there is no future. There will be no Meety Creams on the big screen, no product tie-ins with Burger Queen.

  6. mark
    Posted October 18, 2004 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Kiss my “bottom half”?

    That encompasses a lot of stuff.

    Are you sure?

  7. Posted October 18, 2004 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    What do you mean? You have to be a real big wig to get close to Mark’s ass. At least we have our dreams of what it’s like there. What’s that? I didn’t mean to imply this. Maybe there is a better song to express it. Don’t trust his butt, though. For his sake, I hope Mark never gets locked up. As for the fact that I bothered to write this, well. . .

  8. kez
    Posted October 18, 2004 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Jesus, this thread is funny. I had a crap of a day and just reading this had me laughing out loud…. and “Meaty Creams” ice creamed processed meat sandwiches reminds me of those good American “meatshakes”…

    http://www.meatshake.com/mobile.html

    mmmm! so good!

  9. mark
    Posted October 18, 2004 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    And when I say “a lot of stuff,” I mean “a lot of stuff.”

  10. Posted October 19, 2004 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Man I don’t know… Meaty Creams and prisoners probably go together like hotdogs and buns, but kids? That just seems wrong.

  11. mark
    Posted October 19, 2004 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Meaty Cream was my nickname in high school.

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