About Me

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I love music, books, movies, blah, blah, blah! I love people, learning new things, and always progressing to be a better person.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Why Make Facebook More Melodramatic Than It Already Is?

The Internet is a strange beast. While it connects us together with a simple click of the mouse, it also distances us greatly from one another. You may be asking yourself, "How can it connect us together while separating us at the same time?"

The answer is simple: anonymity.

If you've ever seen a comments page on YouTube, or a Facebook wall post, you would quickly notice how social tact and a general proclivity for civility is thrown out the window. . . much like the toasters in my friend Brad Taylor's recent art piece.

Brad Taylor's "Toaster Defenestration"

Because the Internet allows us to state opinions from the comfort and safety of our homes, we tend to say things that we normally wouldn't say to a person face to face. In some cases the Internet allows us to say these things completely anonymously, and that is when all hell breaks loose.

In my opinion, arguing on Facebook is akin to shouting into the darkness and is pretty sad when you take a step back and look at the situation. It comes as no shock that the two subjects that stoke the flames the most are politics and religion. Now I am fine with conversations and civil discussions about both of these topics. But, it's the extremist political parroting, ad hominem, and useless trash talk that inevitably follows that really bothers me.


From the Right: "Obama is a Socialist."
From the Left: "Republicans are Fascists."
"Gays are abominations!", "Christians are nut-jobs!" etc., etc., etc.

So my plan is that if anyone posts extremist political or religious fluff on Facebook I will just remove him or her from my friend list. (Note: Remember, only extremists get deleted; if you are civil and just keep an open mind, I will only hide you from my wall feed.)

Let's face it, and you can quote me on this,
"Posting extremist political and religious views on Facebook is like masturbating in public. While it might feel good to the person doing it, everyone else around you is uncomfortable and annoyed!" - Neil Hiatt
See, I even quoted myself (how humble of me).

Here is a song my friend Brad Taylor wrote on the aforementioned subject...
I have to say no one has put the subject in such an eloquent manner.
(Warning: Explicit Content - Not Safe For Work)

"Facebook" By: Brad Taylor

Monday, September 13, 2010

It's Just RUBBER BANDS!!!!

Trends are a strange thing.
We all follow them (even if you think you haven't, you have), we all notice them, and we even come to despise them.

At my current age I am not naive enough to believe that trends won't surpass my understanding. But that doesn't keep the understanding of their popularity out of my reach.

For example:

Wacky Rubber Bands

These are a cultural phenomenon. They cost anywhere between $1.00 a package to $1,250 on ebay.

What are Wacky Bandz (or the more popular Sillybandz), exactly?
They are just regular rubber bands in the shapes of animals...seriously.

In typical fashion they are FLYING OFF THE SHELVES! We have had kids and
teenagers come into my work who literally have been dragged out of the store screaming and crying because their parents didn't buy them a rubber band in the shape of a Plesiosaur.
But the more I scratch my head as to why these animal-shaped pieces of rubber were so popular, the more I realize my generation had dozens of trends that were just as stupid.

Here are some of them:

Stupid Trends From My Generation:

1. Slap Bracelets

Slap bracelets were huge when I was in elementary school. It's basically a piece of flexible tin wrapped in fabric but that didn't stop every kid from wearing them when I was in elementary. It also didn't stop children from removing the fabric and weaponizing the bracelets like a prison shiv. Not to mention the whole idea was to take that piece of tin and slap it as hard as you can on your wrist.

2. Pogs

The idea behind Pogs (other than being circular pieces of cardboard with pictures on them) was that you would stack up your Pogs upside down against an equal amount of your opponent's Pogs, and then use a heavy "slammer" to knock over as many Pogs as possible. Any Pogs that turned over face up now belonged to you. These bad boys were banned from my school because it was "gambling." They even created a student-run Big Brother organization to rat out the children who were playing with Pogs. They were called, and I'm not joking here, "Red Shirts" because they would wear red t-shirts. We got around the Pog Prohibition by staging fights on the other end of the school yard so that while the adults and newly appointed "Pog Gestapo" were busy breaking up the quarrel, we would play pogs. That's right, I was the Al Capone of Pog bootlegging.

3. Pokemon

I never really got into this one, but my little brother Glen did. He had all the cards and Nintendo Gameboy games, and watched the T.V. show after school. You have to hand it to Japanese marketers though: the idea was brilliant. Have all facets of industry devised around a system whose slogan is "Gotta catch'em all!" Like adult neuroses, it creates a basis that one's self-esteem is reliant on how many fictional monsters it can collect. Either way, it was really stupid.

P.S. - To anyone who read this section and said, "But Neil, those are Yu-Gi0-Oh cards in that picture; not Pokemon!" You should be ashamed of yourself.

4. Reebok Pumps & Air Jordans

Remember Michale Jordan (at least before he grew a Hitler mustache)? Remember shoes that you pumped up so they would cut off circulation to your feet? Well, they were all the rage in the '90s. I remember getting a pair of Reebok Pumps when I was a kid in the actual belief that they would make me jump higher...yes, I was a sucker for marketing when I was seven.

5. Boy Bands

Remember when the only music coming out was manufactured bands filled with sexually ambiguous boys who looked like sexually ambiguous girls with auto-tuned vocals to songs they didn't write? You do? Then stick an ice pick into your eye.

6. TY Beanie Babies

One day my newly married step-brother will have to explain to his wife why he has a storage closet stuffed to the rafters with TY Beanie Babies. My step-mom, step-sister, and step-brother collected these like they were rarities akin to the Shroud of Turin or the Mona Lisa.

People at school would claim that in several years their Beanie Baby would be worth "tons of money." Not sure if the Beanie Babies have become as popular as the lost Charlie Chaplin film but I'm not holding my breath.

As you can see, no matter how stupid some current trends are, we have to admit that ours were just as stupid.

Maybe worse...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Things I Have Accomplished or That Have Been Accomplished In The Amount of Time It Took Me To Find A Parking Space

Eighty dollars!

I'll say it again,
That is how much it costs for a yearly parking pass at UVU.

Fifty minutes!

Once more,

That is how long it took me to find a parking space today! The only parking available was the "Free Parking Lot" that is so far away from the school it requires an airport-style shuttle.

To demonstrate the distance between where there was parking left and where my classes are held, I have made a diagram.


I arrived at school like I always do, twenty minutes early. I didn't find a parking space until thirty minutes after classes had started. This is not beneficial to my education, my finances, or my faith in the new university status my college has been given.

Here are a few things that I could have accomplished (or that have been accomplished) in the span of 50 minutes or, in some cases, less.

50 Minute List

1. I could sand and mask the entire front end of a mid-sized sedan. (Approximately 50 minutes)
2. I could have gotten to class on time, taken notes, and not missed a quiz. (30 minutes)
3. I could have avoided the lecture about punctuality that followed. (At least 5 minutes)
4. The Anglo-Zanzibar War. An entire war that was over in less time than it took for me to find parking at a university in Orem, Utah! (A little over in 45 minutes)
5. I could have gone through the McDonald's drive-thru 5 times. (10 minutes each time)
6. I could have jogged off the fat from the McDonald's meal at the gym. (30 minutes on a treadmill...but who am I kidding?)
7. I could have watched all of the first act and most of the second act of The Departed. (50 minutes)
8. I Photoshopped Thomas The Tank Engine into a hoopty in less than fifty minutes. (Less than 50 minutes)
9. I wrote a letter of complaint that will never be read by school administration. Yeah, I'm that guy. (50 minutes)
10. I could have loaded 16 individual bullets into a 9 mm clip and blown out the back of my skull. (50 m...BLAM!)

Now here is the list of things I could have bought with eighty dollars.

$80 Dollar List

1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 for the PS3. ($59.99)
2. One pair of jeans from The Buckle. ($72.50)
3. 8,000 penny candies. ($80)
4. Sauteed duck in Port reduction sauce, a Gulf Shrimp cocktail appetizer, and a whole bottle of Cabernet. ($65 for the meal $15 for the tip)
5. I could have paid for a massage for both Erin and me. ($40)
6. I could have paid for one massage with a happy ending for me. ($80)
7. I could have bought twenty previously owned DVDs. ($80)
8. Donated $80 to a charity of my choice. ($80)
9. Taken Erin out on a nice...ish date. ($5, no tip)
10. Bought the gun and bullets (see list item #10 on 50 minute list above). ($80)

Either way I was screwed out of almost an hour of my day and $80 from my bank account.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

MY Production Blog

Hey everyone. As you know I am studying film at UVU now and for one of my classes (and for myself) I am making a production blog. So, hopefully, I will be posting my work on there for the next few months. You can check it out (Nothing really posted on there yet) at:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

25 Years...More Than I Expected. (Written on My Birthday)

This morning I woke up and said to myself, "Happy Birthday, Neil. You're a quarter of a century old today." Then I thought of all the new freedoms that surviving this extra year brings. Like the ability to rent a car...and that's about it.

So in honor of my 25 years of existence I will toot my own proverbial horn and list 25 things I have accomplished so far. Then, I will list 25 things I want to accomplish in the next 25 years.

25 Accomplishments

1. I survived to 25 (Honestly, I really thought I would be dead by now.)
2. I went on tour of the western United States with a punk band when I was 17.
3. I've written at least 25 songs in my life (how's that for serendipitous?)
4. I've recorded 5 CDs with three different bands. (Here are two of them: 1 & 2)
5. I've learned how to play 2 different instruments (Guitar and Bass)
6. In the eighth grade I had a one-act play published in a writing magazine.
7. I've performed in at least 8 stage plays in starring roles (one of them Shakespearean.)
8. I was in a seminary video.
9. I've been in 4 commercials (2 Smith's, 1 nutrition, and a Utah Starzz commercial.)
10. I was in an English as a second language video.
11. When I was 14 I modeled for a mobile basketball stand box.
12. I graduated from high school.
13. I was in a Feature Films For Families Movie (For Sale Online here...warning, I was 14 when I made it and I overacted like HELL! So cut me some slack please.) ;oP
14. I am a stand-up comic.
15. I headlined a comedy club when I was 18.
16. I've participated in 3 comedy competitions and have won 2 of them.
17. When I was 19 I went on a small comedy tour of the western United States.
18. I have opened for Lewis Black, Jamie Kennedy, Big Jay Okerson, and other great comics.
19. My friends and I won a short film competition with this video (Note that video is three years old, so the quality isn't that great...sorry.)
20. I was a soccer referee for 3 years.
21. I met David Sedaris.
22. When I was 15 I bought a wrecked car with my own money and fixed it up (and I have done that with the last 3 cars I have owned.)
23. I booked comics for dances and parties thrown by utahparties.com
24. Last summer I went to New York City!
25. I've been accepted into UVU's film program.

25 Goals/Hopes For Before I Turn 50:

1. Graduate from college.
2. Move out of Utah.
3. Get Married.
4. Write 25 more songs.
5. Write a feature film length screenplay.
6. Get a film produced.
7. Direct a film. Non-Pornographic only.
8. Write a novel.
9. Lose 50 Pounds!!!!
10. Work on a real film crew.
11. Buy a house.
12. Own a miniature goat as a pet.
13. Travel to France.
14. Travel to Germany.
15. Travel to Ireland.
16. Travel to England. Or to a lesser extent...Canada.
17. Build houses and schools in Africa.
18. Start the Chelsea Anderson Memorial Scholarship.
19. Meet Quentin Tarantino.
20. Meet Christopher Nolan.
21. Get a film submitted or work on a film that gets into Sundance or Cannes.
22. Learn to speak another language fluently. Learn how to speak English too.
23. Go skydiving.
24. Write a musical.
25. Master Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, and all other Apple/Adobe products!

So in closing...Happy Birthday to Me.

Thank You,

Neil Hiatt, Age 25

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Things I Never Thought I Would Hear...Until I Worked At Blockbuster

Have you ever had or overheard a conversation and immediately thought, "What the Fu#K was that all about?" Ever since I started working part time at Blockbuster I've had several of those moments. Here are a few that I will share with you.

1. A conversation between two women talking in line about a bachelor party her husband was throwing that night:
Lady #1: "So, are you mad about your husband's party?"

Lady #2: "No, I don't even care about the strippers. I just want the house clean for the baby blessing tomorrow. You know how it is though, party hard Saturday because Church is on Sunday."

2. My co-worker's sister was having a baby. Mind you, I had only known this person for a few hours when she yelled the following statement to me from across the room:
My Co-worker: "Neil, my sister is dilated 7 centimeters right now."

My Brain: "GAAAAAHHHHH!!!!"

My Mouth: "...oh."

3. While I was stocking shelves I heard a woman say the following about why she didn't want to rent a certain movie:
Woman: "I love Meryl Streep, but she is just SOOOO liberal!"

4. A little boy, around 8 or 9 said this while looking for a movie with his babysitter:
Babysitter: "How about Tommy Boy? You love Tommy Boy."

Non P.C. Boy: "That's Gay. All of these movies are gay, and you are gay for liking them."

5. A random statement I could never agree with:
Man with Bad Taste in Comedians: "That Larry the Cable Guy sure is funny! Get-er-done!"

6. All DVD and Blu-Ray rentals are $4.00 for four days. It has been that way for over a year now, but this woman decided to complain about it to me anyway:
Cheapskate Woman: "Four dollars for a movie rental?"

Me: "Yes, it's $4.00 for four days. So really only a dollar a day."

Cheapskate Woman: "Fine! I will do it this once but I am NEVER coming back here again."
(Cut to a week later, when the same woman is renting her third movie for that week.)

Cheapskate (and now unable to follow through with a threat) Woman: "Four dollars for a rental? Are you serious? I am NEVER coming back here again!"

7. If you don't have your Blockbuster Card we can use your driver's licence to pull up your account. If you don't have either a Blockbuster Card or driver's licence, I can't pull your account up. But some people are wary of giving me their driver's licences for some reason...:
Me: "Hello, do you have your Blockbuster Card or driver's license with you today?"

Afraid I Will Steal His Identity Man: "Why do you need my drivers licence?"

Me: "Well, if you don't have your blockbuster card I need it to pull up your account."

Still Afraid I Will Steal His Identity Man: "I've never heard of that."

Me: "It's just store policy, sir."

Continually Afraid I Will Steal His Identity Man: "I will just take my business elsewhere."

8. This one gets "The Most Awkward Award." I was standing at the register when two men from the same ward ran into each other. Note - I was standing literally in the middle of this conversation:
Guy #1: "Holy crap, (Guy #2's Name Deleted) how are you?"

Guy #2: "Oh, (Guy #1's Name Deleted) I didn't see you there. I'm good! What's new?"

Guy #1: "Just returning some movies. Where is (Guy #2 wife's name deleted)? We haven't seen her around this week."

Guy #2: "She is visiting her father."

Guy #1: "(Gasp) Is he sick?"

Guy #2: "No."

Guy #1: "Is it a family function?"

Guy #2: "No."

Guy #1: "When will she be back?"

Guy #2: "...Never. She's not coming back."

(There was an excruciating pause here, I am talking about a half a minute of silence as Guy #1's eyes looked as if they would pop out of his head. For some reason this is where I decided to contribute to the conversation...)

Me: "For only $3.00 more you can get a 20 oz. soda, a box of candy, and a popcorn."

(In my panic, I decided the best thing to do while these two men and myself were trapped in what might possibly be the most awkward conversation of my life, was to up-sell candy, popcorn, and soda to Guy #2...classy...always classy.)

9. A woman had just moved into a new ward and was having trouble, so a fellow member was giving her counsel (it was sweet, really...but the word choice was poor.)
Helpful Man From Ward: "There are a lot of good people in this ward. People desperate to reach out and touch you...so please, let them touch you."

10. Finally, my personal favorite, there was a customer leaving the store who had just rented a movie...this movie...
Zalman King's Body Language

From what I can gather on IMDB and from the gratuitous box cover, Body Language is a series revolving around a strip club aptly named, "Body Language." One review about the show says, "It features some really good nudity and simulated sex...shows full female genitalia..."
I only mention this because while the man who rented Body Language was about to exit the building, another customer from across the room called out to him:
Man Calling Out: "Hey Bishop! It's good to see you!"
Bishop Who Just Rented Soft-Core Porn: (Turns around) "Good to see you too..." (abruptly leaves the store)
(I could see someone not knowing what they just rented and mistakenly picking up something like that on accident...but, with the picture on the movie's cover, the name of the film, and the distinct description on the back of the box...I'm going to skip giving this guy the benefit of the doubt.)
So, in closing, please be aware of what you say in public settings. Because you never know who might be listening, watching, and wringing their hands together in anticipation to post your insane lack of people skills on the web.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Things In My Life I Hope I NEVER Say...

Neil Hiatt's List Of Phrases He Hopes Will Never Be Said By Him:

1. Wow, Twilight was an awesome movie! Hey guys!
2. I really enjoyed reading Twilight! Congratulations on finding the hidden message in my blog!
3. I'm team Jacob & team Edward! I wanted to tell you all how much I dislike Glenn Beck.
4. I'd love to join your multi-level-marketing team! I know a lot of you like him and that's okay.
5. I can't wait for the Republican National Convention this year or the Democratic National Convention for that matter. But I find his views to be unfounded, divisive, and fear mongering.
6. The way Stephanie Myer writes is just so poignant and in no way loathsome.
7. I love reality TV! Plus, he seems to flip flop on issues based on who is paying him.
8. LOL! Once again, it's okay for you to like him, just like it is okay for me to dislike him.
9. Every time I watch American Idol I feel a sense of pride for my country. I just feel....
10. You know, after a while, I hardly even notice my colostomy bag anymore.
11. When I think of open minded and tolerant people, I think of Utah. that a lot of people here...
12. Twilight is in no way misogynistic. Also, the main characters have a healthy man dominates female relationship. in Utah like him because he is Mormon and that just isn't enough for me.
13. That Arizona sure does have the right idea. Just MY opinion and if it offends you I'm sorry.
14. I've got tickets to Hannah Montana and YOU are invited! But not too sorry.
15. Who wants to go see a spoof movie? Thanks for reading, love you all, Neil Hiatt.
All in good fun no harm intended!

Good Night,

Neil Hiatt

Friday, July 2, 2010

"What are you going to do with that?"

The Greek philosopher Epictetus once said, "Only the educated are free."
If that's so, then who are the educated?

It seems that no matter how much I learn or by what means I learn it, there will always be someone there to tell me it's not enough.

At the moment, I am a mere stone's throw away from receiving my bachelor's degree, debt free, might I add, and have considered attending graduate school afterwards.

When friends, family, or acquaintances ask me what I am studying, I tell them, "Digital Media with an emphasis in film production," and their reactions have varied in some disturbing ways, ranging from smug self-righteousness to outright rudeness.

Here are a few choice remarks I have received and in the way I received them.

1. Their noses crinkle up as if they have just smelled a fart and say, "Oh...that's..." and then move on to talk to someone else.

2. They just roll their eyes and say, "So it's, some kind of art degree or whatever?"

3. They scoff and say, "So, what are you going to do with that?"

4. "Can you even make money with that?"

5. "Well that's stupid. But if you wanna walk that line..."

Let me take some time to answer a few of the questions posted.

First, no, it's not an "art degree." It's a bachelor of computer science. But even if it were "just an art degree" what the f$ck would that matter to you? Have you taken the time to search for the thousands of jobs in that field? Well, then shut the hell up.

Second, to the question, "What are you going to do with that?" Well, since it is a film degree, the goal would be to MAKE FILMS!

Third, as for money, whether or not I end up actually making films, my degree has trained me in several other fields including, but not limited to, graphic design, web design, audio, and overall digital production.
So, while I thank you for your pseudo-concern, I think I will be just fine...moving on.

It's upsetting to me that the choices I make concerning my education can illicit such a negative response from some people.

What's even more upsetting is that the people who have a smug attitude toward my choices are really in no position to judge me.

For example, in the last two weeks I have had some of these smug comments and judgments passed on me by:

1. A 30-year-old jr. high school teacher who has to have roommates live with him and his wife just so he can pay bills.

2. A massage therapy school graduate who never got her licence. (Not dissing massage school here, just if you are going to go...why not finish?)

3. A freaking migrant worker who gets paid half of what I made in high school!

Look, I don't care if these people don't make good money or if they didn't finish school, or if they can't pronounce my name correctly in English...but are they really in any position to talk down to me about my life? I think not. It's akin to that old adage about people in glass houses and not throwing rocks.

I'm sorry if the world crushed you and your dreams...or if not, I'm sorry you never tried because you were, and probably still are, afraid to fail.
I myself am afraid of failure just as much as the next person, but I'd rather fail a thousand times than ever live my life thinking "what if."
And just because you can't wrap your head around why I would study a field that I love and connect with on an emotional level, that doesn't mean you have to transfer your insecurities onto me. Because let me tell you, I am bullet proof, and it only makes me want to prove you wrong more than ever.

So, regardless of whether or not I succeed, and whether or not you believe in my abilities, I will continue to chase my dream until my legs give out.

And as for the naysayers...

With Love,

Neil Spencer Hiatt

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Payson Poof

I want to talk to you about a strange phenomenon I have noticed while living in Utah.

If you have ever taken a drive southward from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas you might notice a cultural change...especially in hairstyles!

For example, let's say you were in Salt Lake City. This might be the typical hairstyle you would see there...
Salt Lake

Notice how the hair is neatly cut and styled. Not at all poofy and contains very little hair spray.

Now, here is a Provo Hairstyle.

Okay, the hair is a little bigger and has a some more hairspray. Also, the hair seems a tad-bit self-righteous...

Here is a Spanish Fork hair style
Spanish Fork

Big difference here. Notice how the height has increased exponentially as well as the amount of hairspray and angst.

Now onto the Payson example

WOW, the height of the hair has reached epic proportions, and hairspray levels can now be picked up on most Geiger counters.

Finally, Nephi

Oh my God! Run! Run for your lives! It has become self aware and is feeding!

So, as you can tell, there is a pattern here: The farther south you go in Utah, the higher the hair poof gets and the more hairspray is applied.

And, it follows a Bell curve. As you approach Nevada the hair begins to descend again as shown on this graph...

For Example, here is a photograph of a hairstyle in Las Vegas, c/o Ryan Reason Photography
Las Vegas

Notice how the hair has rested back into a regular size with less hairspray. Also, you should notice that this hair is a naughty girl.

So in conclusion, much like Stonehenge, the statues at Easter Island, and Bigfoot the "Payson Poof" is one of those wonders of the world that neither science or logic will ever figure out.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Why A.D.D Can Kiss My A...S...S!

"You have A.D.D."

She just came out and said it as if she were stating a fact and not an assumption. My mother might as well have said, "Neil, 2+2 = 4, and you have A.D.D."

I cocked my head to the side, my face slowly collapsing on itself from the mere weight of her words, which were still drifting back and forth in the air as if they had been hanged for treason...and rightfully so.

"Excuse me?" I asked.

We were driving to Kohler's Food Store in Highland. I was invited under the pretense that a movie rental would be involved only to find out this was one of my mother's classic "bait and switch" methods. She would invite you for something fun or interesting but end up giving you bad news or take you to a secret family therapy meeting instead, much like one would dupe a drug addict into an intervention...only I was fourteen and the hardest drug I had tried at that time was Advil.

She continued, "I read somewhere that people who have A.D.D. argue, and you argue, so you have A.D.D." It's this kind of logical fallacy and circular reasoning that has started wars and crusades, yet she blames me for starting arguments.

(Note: At this point in time I would like to point out my mother's credentials. Her name has never had a prefix like Dr. or a suffix like M.D. attached to it. She has a bachelors degree in office management and at best has worked in different secretarial and administrative assistant jobs most of her life. Which is fine when paying for groceries but fails to qualify her to make a professional medical diagnosis.)

"You're going in next week to get tested."
And that was it, at least for the moment. I was sent in to get tested for A.D.D.

The doctor diagnosed, "He does not have A.D.D., nor does he need to be on medication."

This, apparently, was not a good enough answer for my mother. She then called my school and demanded I be accommodated for A.D.D. (Note: I had a 3.0 average at this time and was getting along with all of my teachers.) They held an accommodation meeting at the school which included the school board, all of my teachers, my mother, my father, and step-mother...pretty much everyone but me. At this point I didn't even know there was a meeting.

It was here that she took a turn from parenting into "Oh my God, she did what?" territory.

My mother showed up to the accommodation hearing, fresh from having plastic surgery, with a letter from the doctor, you know the one who said I DIDN'T HAVE A.D.D.? Saying I needed to be accommodated for A.D.D.

This came as a shock to my teachers, all of which had nothing but good things to say about me, the school board, who have the records of my G.P.A., and my father, who was in the office with me when the doctor said I didn't have A.D.D.

So, as in typical fashion, they put the issue to a vote. The entire room voted AGAINST accommodating me because they all believed, and quite correctly, that I didn't have a learning disability or A.D.D...did I say the entire room voted against it? I'm sorry, I am forgetting one person...my mother was the only vote in favor.

(Note: immediately after the accommodation hearing my father and step-mother went to the Dr. who wrote the notes' office and asked him why he had written it. Come to find out, my mother had called his office every day for the last month and held him on the phone. And I quote, "That woman held me on the phone for 50 minutes, 50 minutes...so, finally I just gave her what she wanted so the school would accommodate him." Malpractice issues aside...what a douchebag!)

Still not satisfied, my mother took me to yet another therapist, where, without getting tested she said, "My son has A.D.D. and needs to be medicated," to which the doctor insanely replied, "Okay."

I was placed on a moderate dose of Ritalin, God's gift to lazy parenting. After three months there was NO CHANGE, except I couldn't stop my teeth from chattering, and it kept me from sleeping...ever!

It was during a routine doctor's appointment that my father had driven me to when it came out I was on Ritalin. My father, who didn't know about the new doctor or the Ritalin, then told me about the accommodation hearing...and it was here that I stopped taking my pills. I asked the new therapist the next week to test me for A.D.D. and informed him of the accommodation hearing and the previous doctor's diagnosis. He tested me...and concluded that I DID NOT HAVE A.D.D. AND DIDN'T HAVE TO BE MEDICATED!

(Note: so what's the count here? Two Doctors, a school board, my teachers, my father and step-mother all saying I don't have A.D.D...My mother still says I do. They have a word for this in the English language: it's called crazy.)

Anyway, I only bring this up because aside from graduating from high school with a 3.0 I have, for the last THREE SEMESTERS in college, acquired a 4.0 and am one semester away from being on the DEAN'S LIST at UVU!

This should put the proverbial nail in the coffin to the notion of me EVER having a learning disability and should shed a strong light on the negative effects of using drugs as a last ditch effort to control someone's personality for selfish reasons.

But as with time I move on now, a damn-fine student, a good person, and with the weight-lifting reassurance that right is on my side.

Love always,

Neil Spencer Hiatt

P.S. A new and interesting fact about Ritalin...It stunts growth. Thanks, Mom.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fun With Photoshop 2

"The creative person is both more primitive and more cultivated, more destructive, a lot madder and a lot saner, than the average person."

One of these days my moral compass will set itself right, and I will no longer have this damnable need to say, write, film, or post every idea that pops into my head.
Hopefully, by the time I find myself in a right state of mind I will have long been dead.

So, without further interruption,

Neil Hiatt's Latest Photoshop Playground (All Originals)

1. Mein Kitten, by Adolf Hitler

For me, when hatred and evil block all roads ahead, I find the best thing to do is laugh. It takes away the evil-doers' power over you and makes their ridiculous presence as meaningless as it should be.

2. In His Own Words

The term "puppet-regime" has been thrown around a lot for this fellow.
So I created a fake book for him.

3. Vamp-Balls

A website I frequent with great joy is Cracked.com.
Every month they hold a Photoshop contest,
and this is an entry I created for next month's "If you could create anything in pill form" contest.

4. Optimus Purim

Purim is one of the most joyous and fun holidays on the Jewish calendar.
It commemorates a time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination...Optimus Prime is a Transformer.

5. Anti-Smoking Ad For School

For anyone who doesn't know me, I HATE anti-smoking ads. But since this was a required assignment for my photography class I reluctantly played along.

6. Panoramic (Click On Photo To See Full Size)

This was a panoramic picture assignment in my photography class. I compiled six different photos in Photoshop to make this one of the Spanish Fork valley.

8. Gay Transformers: "Robots Into Guys"

The old Transformers cartoon theme song went, "Transformers: Robots in Disguise."
Like so:
Robots in disguise sound bite

But my friends Devin, Kyle, Brad, and I started saying, "Gay Transformers: Robots into Guys."
So I made this one to go along with that.

9. Cheer Up Keanu Day (My Contribution)

A little while ago a picture was taken of Keanu Reeves looking sad on a bench. So, someone on the internet decided to make it "Cheer Up Keanu Day." This was my contribution.

Anyways, these were fun to make and I hope you enjoyed looking at them.

Thank you!

Neil Spencer Hiatt

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Few Flix I Am Excited For...NOT TWILIGHT!

"A film is never really good unless the camera is an eye in the head of a poet."
- Orson Welles (Director of Citizen Kane)

Ladies and Gentlemen...the summer movies have officially kicked off (girlish scream!)

We've had a pretty slow start this summer--with the exception of Iron Man 2, which rocked my socks--with a paltry June lineup of duds (which saddens me because I expected more out of Shrek 4 and The A-Team), but with Toy Story 3's release, and its positive box office draw and stellar reviews, Summer, (at least for me), has officially started.

But with the summer movies well on their way, here are a few that I am really excited for...

Neil Hiatt's List Of Movies He Is Jacked About

1. Inception (July 16th)

Inception is the highly anticipated new film from writer/director Christopher Nolan (director of The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, Memento, The Prestige, Insomnia, and Following). Christopher Nolan has become a rock star of the cinema in recent years with his deeply visual and character-driven films. With his knack for incredible storytelling, he has rarely in his career given a movie that he hasn't poured his whole heart into, and it definitely shows on screen.

As for Inception, Warner Brothers has kept a pretty tight lid on the overall plot of this mind-bending thriller. As much as I can piece together, Inception is about a team of thieves, but not your typical kind. These criminals steal ideas from the subconscious of people in a dream state. It looks like the kind of movie for which you will have to put your thinking caps on and NOT TALK IN THE THEATER. Inception stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, and Michael Caine.

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is about Scott Pilgrim, played by Michael Cera (Arrested Development, Juno), who must defeat his new girlfriend's seven evil ex-boyfriends to win her heart. I know that doesn't sound very awesome...but here is the kicker. First, it's based off a very successful and entertaining comic book that fuses video game style fight sequences, pop culture, music, and interesting characters into a fun story. Second, the movie has been directed and co-written by Edgar Wright of Shawn of The Dead and Hot Fuzz fame. Not to mention that Edgar Wright held a private screening of the film for the holy trinity of writer/directors Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Inglourious Basterds, Kill Bill 1 & 2), Jason Reitman (Up In The Air, Juno, Thank You For Smoking), and Kevin Smith (Clerks), all of whom gave the film glowing reviews.

3. Predators (July 9th)

Predators is about a group of trained warriors and killers who wake up on a strange planet only to find out they are being hunted by something dangerous.
Predators, a sequel in the Predator franchise, is produced by Robert Rodriguez (Once Upon A Time In Mexico & Sin City) and directed by Nimrod Antal (Kontroll).

4. The Expendables (August 13th)

This one is a guilty pleasure for me. The Expendables is a balls-to-the-wall action movie written by, directed by, and starring Sylvester Stallone (Rocky). Oh yeah, did I mention it also stars Jet Li (Unleashed), Dolph Lundgren (Rocky IV), and Jason Statham (Snatch), with appearances by Bruce Willis (Die Hard) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (EVERY ACTION MOVIE EVER!)? Is there a plot to this movie? Probably...but who cares; it's a freaking action movie!

5. Tron Legacy (December 17th...I know December is not Summer but I AM excited for this movie).

Tron: Legacy is the sequel to the movie Tron. It's funny to see how far special effects have come from the first film, considering how groundbreaking they were originally. But with original cast members returning, Oscars in tow, might I add, this one looks like it just might blow some minds.

6. The Green Hornet (January 14th - Shut up about these months not being in Summer already)

The Green Hornet is based off of the 1966 television series that launched Bruce Lee's career. It is about a young, wealthy newspaper owner Brit Reid and his assistant, Kato, who masquerade as crime fighters by night.
The most interesting thing about this reboot is that it is written by and starring Seth Rogen...the originally overweight, dick and fart joke telling, king of blue humor movies such as Knocked Up, Zac and Miri Make A Porno, and The 40 Year Old Virgin. But, he has lost a ton of weight to play this role and odd casting should never sway you from seeing a movie (e.g. Heath Ledger as the Joker.) So, odd casting aside, what does this movie have going for it? Well, three things: 1. The main villain is played by none other than Oscar winner Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) who played the downright evil Col. Hans Landa last year. 2. The director of the film is Michel Gondry, the visually stunning director of Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind. 3. Just look at that trailer. It might just be awesome.

7. Red (October 15th - I was using Summer as a framing device for hell's sake!)

RED stands for Retired & Extremely Dangerous. It's based off of the DC comic book series of the same name. In Red a group of former black-ops badasses reassemble to take on a high-tech assassin. For a comic book flick, it sure does boast an A-list cast, including Bruce Willis (Die Hard), Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption), John Malkovich (Burn After Reading), and recent Oscar winner Helen Mirren (The Last Station). That's right, Ms. High Society herself, Helen Mirren, is going to play a badass...if that doesn't put your butt into the theatre, then I don't know what will, and may God have mercy on you.

Well, in the upcoming months ahead I hope that none of these films will disappoint...But, only time, and my movie snobbery, will tell.