Monday, May 21, 2012

New Frontier

One thing I've always liked about this blog is how it can act as my own personal news source in my own little ego orbit. It allows for more than just a Facebook status update or the 140 characters of a tweet for those times when I feel like getting on a digital soapbox to rant and rave.

Or when I want to make a big deal of something.

And that's what I'm looking to do today. Now, don't worry it's not THAT big a deal, but it's a little something related to my time writing on this blog.

I know what you're thinking: "But, Mark, you've been SO prolific on this blog!"

Of course it has...I mean, just look at all the activity and posts these past 8 months!

By the way, the whole "animated gifs" thing seemed to break just as I was in post-grad panic mode (a mode that has lasted some 372 days so far...?) but I must say its a shame I wasn't quite aware of them when I was blogging so much more prolifically.

ANYWAY, this is off-topic. What I'm getting to is that I'm going to be putting any future blogging on hiatus as I gear up and shift my attention towards a new online adventure.

Now, since I haven't really blogged much at all the past year this isn't THAT big a deal, but I'm a sucker for closure and making a thing out of things so I wanted to at least leave this blog in a place where I'm happy with it as a cohesive work. Like, if some sad porn-blocked kid in a Midwestern state stumbled upon it one night, they'd be able to find a cohesive narrative if they wanted.

(Wow, such ego I still have! This from a star office PA on America's Kidz Got Singing)

But it has pissed me off that I haven't kept up on this a whole lot because I always liked having a forum and being able to bring stuff up and comment on things. Once out of film school though, its been harder to fill the blog because there's kind of sensitive info going on. Not top secret Deadline: Hollywood shit (well, maybe once), but I'm not the type who is going to blog and post every time I have a job interview or a potential opportunity arises.

Obviously I'm not opposed to self-promotion, but I'm also not too crazy about it either. That's why I've never really pimped this blog a whole lot. I like that the audience is almost exclusively made up of past residents of the western suburbs or Loyola University Alumni, it allows me to make obscure jokes about pulling a foul ball (?) over the Markese's house in tennis baseball or "respecting the pool rules".

But now I've decided to move on to something a bit bigger. Something that I can pimp out and talk to people about and grow and so on.

With that, I'd like to introduce y'all to GUST.

GUST is kind of the culmination of my years on this blog, spent complaining and commenting on my experience as a Chicagoan who has been enamored and angered by the City of Los Angeles, and packaged as an inclusive and expansive place to share what I've learned from the experience.

It's a website / blog made with the hope of brining together these two places I've called home in my life: Chicago and L.A.

Specifically, it's really a place for Chicagoans who--like me--have relocated to L.A, temporarily or permanently, and still pine for a stronger connection to the amazing sense of community that you often take for granted in Chicago.

One thing I want to make clear is that GUST is not anti-L.A. I mean, it might skew that way sometime but it's really about the intersection of these two great American cities. It's about creating a place and a community for people who may sometimes feel disconnected from this parking lot and smog tester-filled town.

It's ALSO about opening up Los Angeles to both newly landed Chicago folk or lifelong Los Angelinos. It's a website that I hope is just as informative as it is entertaining. A place that can link people together who live two thousand miles or two blocks away. A forum that will still allow me to spout off about Italian Beef or being new in town while hopefully reaching beyond those who can easily point to Galena, IL on a map.

And so to focus on GUST, I'll have no immediate plans to be blogging again on MGH anytime soon. This blog has been a great precursor and made me realize how much I like venting about stuff like Carmaggedon or McDonald's ad campaigns. Now I'll feel free to push GUST in people's faces without having to make them sit through a description of my latest short film or more retrospectives on USC.

Hopefully I can return to this blog, in one way or another, at some point because it has been an important way for me to stay connected to folks back home ever since I moved out here.

But it's been tricky enough to keep up on this blog with my post-grad adventures and I am ready to move on and move forward to something different. Something that I hope can become...something someday.

I'm not sure. I do know that it will be a way for me to keep writing, which is always a good thing.

It's always nice to have this or any blog as a free spirited break from the scenes and structures and spec scripts that I seem to fill up so much of my time with these days.

So the good news is that I will still be writing.

Just not at anymore.

I do hope that you all take a long tour of GUST and let me know what you think, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and please PLEASE feel free to hit me up with any suggestions and constructive (or destructive) criticisms you might have.

That address, just so everyone can scribble it into their trapper-keepers, is

Anyway, I'll sign off here for now with the intrepid image that pushes me and hangs above my monthly calendar from one of my all time favorite shows, "The West Wing" -

It's a commonly uttered phrase by President Bartlett and his staff and it calls to mind that we are always best in motion, looking forward, and ready to jump into the next thing right away, whatever that may be. Also nicely typified by Sam Seaborn in this clip.

So thanks, family and friends, for stopping by this blog o' mine.

Hope to see you around the next thing as well.

- MK

Time to go out with a bang with some inspirational and vaguely phallic imagery!

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