The Last Great American Whale: Part Two

“Feet on the ground, head in the sky.”

One year ago today, I was coloring with my niece Rylan at my sister’s when she (my sister) got the dreadful phone call that our dad passed away unexpectedly. I still feel that numbing shock. I still feel like vomiting.

I have had one year to reflect on my dad’s life and my own. One year to sleep a lot and have an excuse. One year to let go and learn how to reform.

Breathe.

This last year was filled with memories of the good times my sister and I had with our dad. We learned so much about him, and it’s such a joy to hear the stories shared. I cried during every anecdote told. I miss him so dearly my heart often literally hurts.

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Gary "Dad' Whale Obituary and Eulogy.

I had the honor to write my dad's obituary and eulogy. While terrifying in the short amount of time given, I had so much fun learning things about him that I never knew prior -- what a guy. Star athlete, prankster, good human being.

For his obituary, I sprinkled in the humor he passed on to me. I hope it gives you a smile.

People who couldn't make the funeral have asked me to share the eulogy, and here it is (obituary is also attached). I am very proud of what I wrote, and it is the perfect bookend to my writing career. I love you Hollie -- thank you for being such an inspiring sister and reminding me that it's OK to hurt.

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What Screams Were Made Of

"Horror films don't create fear. They release it."
— Wes Craven

In 1996, my mom dropped my best friend, Matt Orwig and I off at the local multiplex so we could sneak in and see a horror movie that would redefine getting the hell scared out of you at the cinema called SCREAM. This film gave second wind and brought back the hyper-popularity to the seemingly retired slasher sub-genre, and SCREAM opened the floodgates for copycat movies that still follow its formula to this very day.

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Interviewed for Variety Magazine

When studios hit Comic-Con next month to talk up “Justice League” movies, “Avengers” spinoffs and “Star Wars” sequels, they won’t be pitching their wares just to the costumed fans in Hall-H. They’ll be dissecting how their presentations play with blogs like Slashfilm, CinemaBlend and Film School Rejects.

This story first appeared in the June 22, 2015 issue of Variety. Subscribe today.
How times have changed, both for Comic-Con and the people who cover it obsessively. The San Diego gathering was once viewed as a safe space for nerddom, at a time when geeking out over Captain America and Superman was viewed as a sign of arrested development. Over the past decade, though, comicbook culture has become the dominant form of popular entertainment, and like Comic-Con itself, film blogs have gone mainstream.

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Goodbye My Friend, See You in Another Life in Another Funny Story

Last night when I was lying in bed, catching up on the news, I saw an article that acclaimed author Ned Vizzini had committed suicide. Hoping it was a hoax, I rushed to his Facebook and what I currently feared most was true: Ned had died. 

Let’s rewind a few years back. 

In 2010, I was stuck in an abyss of loss. I was surrounded by many friends and family, but I never felt so alone in the world. I was depressed, anxious, angry, and scared -- dying sounded better than living in a constant wretched state. To keep my mind busy, my mom gave me a book called It's Kind of a Funny Story, a memoir written by Ned Vizzini. It's a pseudo-memoir about Ned's teenage life. 

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