Thursday, December 28, 2006

Happy B-Day Movies

Today is December 28th the official Birthday of movies.

On this day in 1895 Auguste and Louis Lumiere sold tickets to a bunch of French folk and used a magic box to project an image on a screen.

Some of the riveting films displayed held such titles as “Train leaving the Station” and “Workers leaving the Factory”. They pretty much write themselves.

These were single take shorts that lasted no more than a minute each. Rumor has it that several people ran out when the train was pulling out of the station because they thought a train was coming straight at them. This does not dissuade the theory that the French are cowards.

This night was declared the birth of movies because it was the first time that tickets were sold and money was made. The actual birth of the moving image is fuzzy to say the least. Did it start with Muybridge? The zoetrope? Maybe Plato’s philosophy about life being a shadow play was the fist reference to a moving image. Even old cave paintings made illusions of the images moving, so we could date it back as far as our troglodyte ancestors.

My favorite story is about Louis Le Prince who had invented a magic box that recorded moving images in 1890. He got on a train to go show off his device in Paris and disappeared on the way there. He was never heard from again. At the next years World Fair, Thomas Edison had shown up with a device very similar to Le Prince’s. A cinematic conspiracy is born.

The progress of movies, to me, seems to be pushed further and further on a yearly basis. Editing, color, sound, smaller cameras, video, CGI, it just keeps building and growing. The tools that are available today all started with those little wooden boxes with hand cranks and a brass lens case.

Just remember folks, don’t let the technology get in the way of trying to tell good stories. That seems to be the biggest drawback of all of the nifty toys that exist today.

I’ll end with a quote form Louis Lumiere who said, “The Cinema is an invention without a future.”

Whoops.
















Louis Le Prince (Image from 1890 milk carton)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Holiday Hoopla

Just dropping in a little note to wish all readers a happy holiday.

I guess I celebrate Christmas since that’s how I was raised.

I met up with a couple of friends from college and had dinner at one of their parents. A fun time was had by all. Actually I had a really good time and seem to feel that there is some sort of turning point taking place for me.

That tight clinched up feeling I used to have around social events seems to have dissipated. From the company party to last night, I seem to be very comfortable in my own skin.

It seems to be a pretty good note to end the year with. Given all that has taken place this year, I’d have to say it has been 75-80% positive and only 10% negative. That’s pretty damned good.

Next year may turn out to be worth while. Stuff is brewing and it’ll be time to step up and see about dusting off the A game. I may not be as much of a burn out as I anticipated. My apologies to those I am disappointing by not going down in flames by the end of this year. Time to start the betting pool for next year. I’ve got ten bucks says I make it through.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Ashton

I haven’t seen Ash in about 7 years.

For those playing catch up, Ashton is my son from a relationship that took place a long time ago.

I’m really only the biological father since the man who raised him would be classified as his father both in spirit and on paper. I was asked to allow him to adopt Ash several years ago. I was so deep into my own shit I agreed. It was probably for the best. He needs a real family and Drunk/Junkie dad doesn’t really look good on life’s resume.

Anyway, I decided to Google his name tonight for the hell of it and this picture came up. It was in an Arizona paper and it may not be him, but the odds of there being two Ashton Quintero’s in Arizona seems slim to none.



Plus he’s got my stick legs. So that must be him. He’s ten years old in this picture; he turned 11 back in October.

Anyway, there we have it.

Together by The Raconteurs

Sometimes a song just sticks in your craw.

For the cutie who doesn't know I'm crushing on her. I'm a sap.

Here are the lyrics:

You and me forever
We belong together
And we'll always endeavor
Throughout any type of weather

You want everything to be just like
The stories that you read but never write
You gotta learn to live and live and learn
You gotta learn to give and wait your turn
Or you'll get burned

You wrote our names down on the sidewalk
The rain came and washed 'em off
So we should write 'em again on wet cement
So maybe people a long time from now will know what we meant

You want every morning to be just like
The stories that you read but never write
You gotta learn to live and live and learn
You gotta learn to give and wait your turn
I'm only concerned

I'm adding something new to the mixture
So there's a different hue to your picture
A different ending to this fairytale
When the sunsets into which we sail

You want everything to be just like
The stories that you read but you can't write
You gotta learn to live and live and learn
You gotta learn to give and wait your turn
Or you'll get burned

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Christmas Party Story

I’d forgotten about this one since it happened as I was leaving and thinking more about getting somewhere quiet with friends than the chaos around me.

Let me start off by bragging a little bit. I’m a big fucking star. Fine, I’m not a star, but everyone on the show knows me. I’ve done that Buster Keaton thing so many times that everyone knows who I am and always say, “Hey, John. Great job the other day” even though we’ve never met. I say, ”Thanks…uh, yeah thanks.” And keep walking.

So, Friday night, Christmas party, packed club, sweating dancing sardines. I’m squeezing sideways between a very large female ass and a thick-shouldered guy with a flailing cigarette. (I decided crotch towards the ass, for anyone wondering.) Then out comes the cry of the banshee…

“There he is. There’s my guy!” A fist comes into my peripheral and there is that quick flash that I should duck to avoid it. But it’s one of those bonding, let’s touch knuckles, type of handshakes. The fist belongs to this incredibly tall skinny guy in a cowboy hat. I think he works in the art department. I saw him earlier and I swear he changed hats sometime during the party. This was not the same one he had coming in. I made a fist and knuckled back to show I’m a, “with it” kind of guy. (Anyone who uses the phrase, “with it” is not with it.)

He howls: “What’s going on with my identical twin?”

I am very confused. This guy is skinny as a rail and has a good six to eight inches on me. His features have some Slavic influence to them. Sharp skinny nose, eyes close together, hallow cheeks and again this fuckin’ guy is tall. I’m the Herve Villechaize to this guys Ricardo Montalban.


I have to find out what this guy is talking about. “Twins? I don’t get it?”

He pulls off his cowboy hat, “Check it!” The guy has a shaved head like me. He points between our two craniums a couple of times, “We’re both losin’ our hair man! Let's get a drink.”

Now evidently this guy has issues with his thinning pate. I understand, I wish I had more hair than I do. But it’s the twin thing that is really getting to me. Even if I were shit-faced, high and squinting into a funhouse mirror, I couldn’t see how the phrase twins would come into play.

I get it though, he’s drunk, having a good time and everyone is his friend. I’ve been there, now I’m on the other side and wonder about all of the tremendously stupid shit I’ve said when under the influence. Then again there is a ton of stupid shit I say sober.

I tell him thanks, but I’m on my way out. “No problem, Happy holidays, man. See you in two weeks. Oh and great job today, it was hysterical!”

“Thanks…uh, yeah thanks.” And I’m out of there.

p.s. being short does have an upside. don't think I'm bagging on it.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Hangover By Proxy

It’s Saturday morning and the shows Christmas party was last night. It took place at one of those clubs that you always see huge lines outside of and you wonder what kind of hip cool people are hanging inside with there twenty dollar drinks and designer clothes. I can now stop wondering.

It was fun for a while because it was a private party and the show staff was busty getting lit and dancing up a storm. I got to watch people make fools of themselves and hit on anything that roved into view. I myself wandered around from group to group engaging in conversation and idle chitchat. I ended up being invited to join the writers and our shows host at a table back in the corner. There were some good laughs and it was a really good time…until the club opened up to the public.

The paying crowd in one of these places seems like all of the depressed drunks I used to see in the bars I hung out at. A lot of them looked miserable in their expensive clothes as they drank and screamed to be heard over the music. Maybe I’m getting old (which I am), but it all seemed silly.

The place made awful drinks. They watered down everything. I’d order a cranberry juice and soda water; I’d get a glass of soda water with a splash of cranberry juice. Cheap fucks.

Yesterday was also the Secret Santa shtick. I didn’t really know what to do for my guy, so I got him a gift certificate to Amoeba (awesome in it’s own right) and I wrapped his desk. I figured I’m around late waiting on stuff anyway, so I might as well have some fun.


It went over quite well. I received a lot of high fives and backslapping. You’ll notice I ran out of paper and couldn’t do the inside. A true bummer, but no one seemed to mind. The one comment I kept getting was how hysterical it was that I even wrapped his stapler. I thought wrapping the staple remover was the funniest part, but apparently I misjudged my audience.

We’re now on hiatus, which means I get to twiddle my thumbs and play catch up on movies. Yea for movies!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Hack, Sniff And Relationship Musing

So I’ve got a cold. Damnit!

It started off as one of those sore throats that I had been feeling for a good week and a half. I originally thought it was because I’d fallen off the smoker’s wagon for about a week and was paying the price. Nope, it’s a cold. The head stuff broke out last night and I’ve been controlling it with Dayquil and Airborne. Basically big fat placebos!

I remember a time when Dayquil actually had an effect on me. My history of drug abuse has made any side effects of that stuff null and void. I can feel it it dry up my sinuses for a while, but that unbalanced-slightly spinning-fishbowl feeling that was such a fun part of that stuff is no where to be found. Oh well, it looks like I’ll have to stick with life being clear headed and realistic.

I was talking to a group of folks at work the other day about how good looking our staff is. I’m not saying that as some kind of bullshit L.A. ego thing, our staff is actually kind of hot. There are a variety of women, but if you look at them for the type they are, they’re really good looking. That is comparing them to the staff of “Hannah Montana” located in the office next door. Ugly, I mean beaten with a stick ugly. Not even a looker in the bunch. There are probably some really nice, intelligent and thoughtful people there, but damn it ain’t fun to look at. This is me being clear headed and realistic. I’m such a prick.

The whole good-looking staff thing brings me around to one of the nice things about being single. I can have crushes that change on a minute-by-minute basis and I can feel no guilt. I can flirt endlessly and I am free to do so. It almost makes me not want to have a girlfriend. Which brings up my next point.

What do I want? Would I like to get laid? Of course, let’s not be silly. A decent wind blows and I’m chubbing. Some sex would be good, but I’m curious about the price tag. Could I do the friendly fuck thing? I have no idea. Also, I have that weird fear thing of getting laid. It may sound odd, but it would be the first woman I’d be having sex with since I sobered up. There was Shea, but you can see how that doesn’t count. We were in a relationship and had already been intimate for quite a while before I cleaned up. So in some ways, this will be the first time I’ve had sex with someone since cleaning up. An odd thought and it’s a little scary. I’m over thinking it. I should simply look forward to another potentially emotionally crippling misadventure and enjoy the ride.


I would like to have a girlfriend to take to India with me next summer. (Yes AG, I am goin’ to goa) Adventures are always more fun when there is someone to share it with. But I’m not going to force the issue. I’m not going to get into something because I want a relationship and become cloudy of mind for the person I’m going after. I want to get a real feeling about who they are and not who they say they are. I’ve fallen for that one quite a bit too. Silly rabbit.

Someone I can relate too and enjoy the adventure of life with would be nice. I don’t think I’m asking for a lot. I’m not going to push it or force it. I’m just along for the ride. A wild night of crazy monkey sex would be good though. I’m just saying.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Jus’ Chattin’

On the weather:

It’s a sunny day here in the city of angels. That’s because it is almost always sunny. The bullshit thing about it never raining is so far proving true. Actually, it has rained, but it only seems to happen when people aren’t looking. You go to the gym in the morning and as you walk back outside, everything is wet. You ask a couple of people if it rained and they look around just as perplexed. Then, as a group, you make a decision. Yes, it rained.

I woke up a couple of mornings ago to clouds and wind and rain. I jumped in the shower excited because I could finally pull out a coat to wear to work. Put on the coat, step outside, sunny. Fuck!


Smitten:

There is this really cute woman who works at the comic book store I shop at. She became even cuter when she started flirting with me as I was buying some books. I thought that was nice. That was about two weeks ago.

So I was back there yesterday and she’s there. She sees me, smiles and goes back to work. I start my geek quest for Conan, Ghost in the Shell, Ex Machina, and other assorted items that have come out this week. I catch her looking in my direction once. I couldn’t tell if it was at me, or just seeing if something in that general direction.

I go to the main counter to buy my books. She’s located at a side counter where they deal with gift-wrapping and overflow. She calls out from the side counter, “If they’re busy over there I can help you over here.” The mouth breather at my counter already has my books in his hand. “I’ve got it.” He calls back. The next few moments played out like this:

Him: Was there anything else I could help you find?

Me: I’m not sure if there is anything else I’m looking for, so I think I’m set.

(Female giggle behind me)

Him: You just have that determined look on your face.

Me: Ah, my father looks temperamental and my mom looks perplexed. Mix it up and I’m born with determined features.

(A giant chuckle from behind me. It’s her straightening books on a table about three feet away.)

Me: You like that one?

Her: That was really good.

Me: When I’m on, I’m on.

Her: I don’t doubt it.

Him: Credit or debit.

That’s pretty much word for word. I was thrown by her response and my payment option, so it went back to business a usual for the next bit. I get my bag of stuff and start leaving as I’m walking by where she’s straightening books, I get a lovely look at her left hand and the damned band on the finger. My fucking luck. She’s married, or going to be married or whatever. Either way, ego is shot and my tail is tucked.

Her: See you soon?

Me: I’ll be around.

At this moment I know a couple of friends of mine who would say, “Fucking go for it! Are you stupid? Fuck her and move on. She wants to too.”

My latest rule in life is no more married women. There is a reason they are going after you/me. It’s too much trouble and depending on how things go there is too much pain. Plus I keep chipping my tooth on the ring.


Ink update:

I’m in the middle of my second peel and if it doesn’t itch like crazy. I’ve been told to slap the itchy area. See, scratching will pull the flesh and extra ink off, so the work looks patchy and ugly. You’ve got to let it flake off naturally. So I’m slapping my shoulder and back like mad. I’m starting to see some of the benefits of having a dominatrix as a friend.

Also my left nipple below the tat has been going bat shit crazy. It’s super sensitive and has decided to stay erect for the past day and a half. A crazy nerve must have been hit.

TMI, right? Let’s move on.


Place your bets:

The sushi place around the corner from me serves monkey brains and monkey balls. I’m not sure if balls means testicles, or monkey meat rolled into balls. Either way, we have some wagering to do.

Anyone up for meeting and having a prearranged bet as to how much brains or balls an individual can eat, let’s talk about setting up a date. Be forewarned that the place is not that good to begin with, so it may not be the best example of how tasty a decent primate sack can be.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Inked and Armored

Well, it’s done; my left side has been completed. Here’s a quick breakdown.

I spent a total of seventeen hours in the chair. I thought the area by the front of my neck was going to be the most painful, but it wasn’t. It happened to be the area of my chest near the armpit. The reason I am told was the ink lines followed the line of the muscle. It actually felt like my flesh was being pulled and lifted off of my chest. It was the one time during the entire process where I actually had to make some bizarre noise just to physically signify that it hurt. The rest of it hurt, but I found it bearable.


It took three sittings to complete the project, one last Friday, then last Sunday and the final one yesterday.

I bled about a quarter pint by the time it was all over, maybe a little less, maybe a little more.

Was it worth it? Hell yes. I have an original piece and it has texture and detailing that it pretty damn nice.

On Tuesday, my back and arm decided to shed the first layer of skin and the entire base of the shower was filled with dead black skin. I thought of a penguin molting as I cleaned out the drain. Tasty image, isn’t it.

But now it’s all done and I get to move onto the next project, whatever that may be. Any ideas?


Here’s Daniel’s web site so you can check out some of the work he’s done. He’s a great guy and very with it. We got to talk a lot about art, music, movies and comics. I’d recommend him if you’re looking to have some work done. Just don’t go in wanting Mickey Mouse on you ass. Let him help you design something that’s personal and a part of you. After all, you’ll be living with it for quite a while.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Crap Television

I’ve been assigned to help on a segment for the show. Pretty exciting, right?

Well as the title of this entry hints at, it’s not. I have to pour though tons of photos and find people who look like their pets. This is a tried and true segment that always gets a chuckle form the troglodytes.

I’ve seen this bit done on every show and I never even though about the poor schmuck who had to find ones that worked. So take a moment to think about this schmuck.

Done? Let’s move on.

As I’m sure you can well imagine, a criteria needs to be established in selecting these photos. Her is the criterion that I created in case you feel like sending in a photo of your pet that bares a striking resemblance to you.

1. You can’t make a face so you look more like your pet.
2. If you look like your cat, we’ll take it. It’s very hard for a person to look like a cat.
3. If you look like your lizard, it’s time to consider moisturizing.
4. We will not put up a picture of a guy with his rat if the guy looks Jewish. It’s a political decision.
5. Just because you put glasses on your pet (and you wear glasses) does not guarantee a spot.
6. Putting glasses, pasting sideburns and putting a bow tie on your pet will guarantee a spot. (It’s a tricky rule that falls to a vote by committee as far as props are concerned.)
7. If you dress up like Luke Skywalker and you dress your dog up like Yoda, odds are you just need to get laid. Plus you and your pet do not look alike. You look like a morbidly obese Luke Skywalker and your bulldog looks like he’s wearing your mom’s bathrobe.
8. I can’t stress this enough: We need more cats people!
9. Nobody looks like his or her horse from head on. Maybe in profile, but never head on.
10. Children are not pets…and if they don’t look like you start taking a closer look at whom your wife has been hanging out with. (I learned that last part from watching too much Maury Povitch.)

That’s about it. Now if you’ll excuse me I need to see if James L. from Wisconsin looks like his Golden Retriever named Butterlump…nope, next.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

R.I.P.’s

These are a little late, but I figured I should comment on them since both of these gentlemen have had an impact on my life.

Robert Altman passed away. There was and is no one else that can make a movie like Robert Altman. He was hit or miss as far as his success rate, but you can’t deny that every film he made held his stamp. From the long lens to the overlapping dialog, he could make something special out of just being a witness to life.


When I was around fifteen, I rented M.A.S.H and watched it at least seven times that weekend. I’d finish it, rewind the tape and start right over again. I was rewinding scenes to pay attention to what each character was saying as dialog overlapped and the jokes were several layers deep. It is an incredible experience and still one of the best anti-war movies that exist today. It ranks up there with Duck Soup, it’s that good.

He has plenty of other classics: The Long Goodbye, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, California Split, Streamers, The Player, Short Cuts, Nashville. Hell even Popeye is one of those movies I saw repeatedly as a kid.

Even if you don’t like Robert Altman movies, he has a couple that anyone could enjoy like Cookies Fortune or Prairie Home Companion. If you don’t like those flicks, you have no heart.

He enjoyed a good drink, a good joint and was always able to make films he wanted to make. He directed theater, opera and I believe painted as well. I could be wrong on that last one; it’s been a while since I read his bio. He did love him the good weed though, that’s a fact.

I am glad that he was here to give use/me so many great films and I will honestly miss the fact that there will be no more…Except fro Dr. T and the Women, that could be buried with him.

The second great loss this week is Philippe Noiret. You will remember him as the projectionist from Cinema Paradiso. He also played Pablo Neruda in The Postman.


He was an excellent actor that always seemed to bring a certain sense of life to any character he portrayed. I can’t really say more about him, because I don’t know that much about him or his life.

A couple of movies you could check out are Coup De Torchon, Life and Nothing But and La Grande Bouffe. I probably spelled all of those wrong.

Anyway. Two men who really added something to that thing we call cinema.

I will miss you both. Thank you for all you’ve given me

Friday, November 24, 2006

Hollywood Moment

I keep forgetting to write about this, but remembered yesterday when I was asked about some of the things that have happened at work.

I was at the studio about a week ago taking a break and catching some fresh air outside. A truck was unloading some set pieces and a couple of guys were hauling set pieces into a stage. Two stagehands were hauling a backdrop across my point of view and from the left hand side comes a PA, clipboard held close to the chest and a headset planted firmly on her head. Walking a step behind her was a midget, dwarf, little person, (wait for it)…in a leprechaun costume.

I did a true double take. I glanced around quickly to see if a couple of showgirls or Superman would be walking about. Maybe Pee Wee Herman trucking by on his bicycle being chased by security guards, but no go.

I did notice that the stagehands had stopped to watch the leprechaun walk through the studio and disappear into a stage where the red light of cameras rolling quietly blinked. One of the stagehands looked over at me and we shared a quick moment of, “Hey, we’re in showbiz!”

A classic clichéd moment that we never really expected to ever see, but did.

Only in Hollywood.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

100th Post

Yesterday's post was my 100th.

In celebration of ths monumental event I'd like to recap for the new readers (of which there are 0) so they don't need to go back and mull through all my ramblings.

In order of time.

1. Moved to L.A. and feelin' freaked out.

2. Unemployed and feelin' freaked out.

3. Single and feelin' freaked out.

4. Employed and feelin' freaked out.

5. 2 years clean and sober, not freaked out that day.

6. On television and stone faced.

7. Inked and feelin' fine

8. Not getting laid and frustrated.



Welcome to the next 100 posts. 99 to go.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Shoot Me…Please

I have not been social with the folks at work much. I’ve never been asked to go out and I’ve never asked anyone if I could join in. This is mostly due to the fact that I feel shy and awkward in social situations and second because of the clicks at work.

Clicks you ask. Didn’t those things end after high school? Yeah, I though so too, but they form mostly due to the different departments having their own in jokes and basically their own language.

So here’s the rundown using the Krasmokinov high school comparison chart created in 1862 by Ivanovitch Krasmokinov who was the first to study the formation of clicks.

Production = Cool Kids (Jocks, Cheerleaders, etc.)

Post = Nerds & Geeks

Script = Punks & Freaks

Marketing/P.R. = The Smart kids who everyone talked to.

Execs = Principal, Vice Principal and other staff members.

So where does that put the web department? Well according to the people I asked, they said we were the kids who were always in detention. That made a lot of sense to me, that's what it feels like. The executives always are checking in to see if we’re behaving properly, but leave us alone as long as we are quiet. People from every other department end up stopping in for a few minutes like they were sent to detention for an afternoon, but knew they were leaving. And finally, I’m stuck at work until all hours while everyone else has headed down to the corner store for a phosphate. So that’s where I fit in, permanent detention. I’ve gotten off point.

So yesterday I’m hearing all of the Friday night plans being made. All of the different clicks deciding which bar they are going to hit that night and as usual I’ll be at work until midnight, quietly serving out my detention and cleaning erasers.

Then the unthinkable happens. One of the Cool kids asks if I want to join her and some of the others for drinks. (At this point she did that little back arch thing so her boobs stood out. My dick jerked, so I know I’m still functioning properly.) I explained my situation and she looked a little disappointed. I suddenly felt very frustrated as she walked away, heels clicking on the tile, well shaped hips swaying underneath a black skirt. She has that long wavy hair that imitates a rolling sea, awesome reigns in moments of animalistic behavior. Aw, fuck!

Not ten minutes later, I’m asked to go hang out with a different group from the Cool kids. This time she’s a blonde, thicker curves, but those blue eyes that are just wicked with electricity. (A.G. think Kath’s eyes.) Again I explain that I’m stuck at work until all hours. Her response, “Well, think about it. We’ll be there a while.” She walks away, tight plaid skirt black tights and boots. What the fuck?

So there I am stuck in detention until 11:00 last night, my only company being Howie Mandel trying to give away one million dollars on one of the most inane game shows ever.

I burned off a bunch of sexual frustration with knee crunches and pushups, a prisoner in television industry jail. I still can’t do a cock push up. Give me time.

This has never happened before, why now? Maybe it’s a holiday spirit thing. Maybe it’s because I’m one of the few straight guys around the office. All I know is I’ve got to find a way to start sneaking out of detention.

Monday, November 13, 2006

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Enjoy.

Slice Tease

Here's a taste of my latest emmy nominated performance.


Who seems more excited, me or Cheryl Hines?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Body Armor

Well, my right side was completed today.

The left side is still being designed and will be started in a few weeks. If you do too much at once, it takes its toll on the immune system and I don’t want to be out of commission.

Will I post pictures? That just takes the surprise out of seeing me, right?

I will say I’m very satisfied with the work and it feels very natural to me. Like it was there all the time and only I could see it.

Daniel, my artist is also very happy with the results and thinks it’s some of the best work and most challenging that he’s had to do for a while. Most of the time it’s for cartoon characters or other such drivel.

He’s very excited about the left side as we continue to discuss it. It’s a very original piece and not something he has done before. Does that mean there is more of a risk to screw it up? Nope, he just finds the concept and visual style new. Drawing is drawing and as long as he feels comfortable with what he’s doing, I feel comfortable. I trust him and that’s the most important thing that you need when working with anyone.



Oh and here’s an inside secret. Those tattoos that you see on the small of a woman’s back. The one that Vince Vaughn comments that, "it might as well be a bulls-eye" in Wedding Crashers. Well, among serious tattoo artists they have labeled them as “tramp stamps”.



And knowing is half the battle.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Pretty, Pretty, Pretty Good

So I was in another comedy piece today, but instead of being opposite Megan, I was opposite Cheryl Hines.

For those of you who don’t know her, see the picture below.



Yep, she plays Larry David’s wife Cheryl on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Best of all, I got to dress up like a slice of pizza. I was used throughout the piece and we’ll see what makes it and what hits the cutting room floor, but it was cool to meet her. She’s a real sweet lady, incredibly funny and sharp with improv. She was whipping stuff out that was just great. It’s no wonder she holds her own on Curb.

She’s also very skinny and did a quick pelvic thrust into me and I could actually feel her pelvic bone smash my hip. I mean beanpole skinny.

Hopefully the piece will come out well and I’ll post it next week when it’s played.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

So Logy

I can't believe how much of an effect this little guy has had on me.



Actually, since I know how much other types of molecules have had on me I guess I can.

I want a Diet Dew reeaaaal bad.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Fax This

Have I said how much I love my job?

I’ll clarify so no one will think I’ve been sipping at the kool-aid and starting to like it.

The job takes about as much skill as putting on velcro shoes. I’ve been praying that no one has been training a monkey in the back office to save money. It’s the opportunity of extras that I get to perform that really excites me.

I’ve just finished my second employee “profile” webisode and it turned out pretty good. The most important part was I really got to stretch my skills, put them to practice and find solutions to questions that most people gave up on.

Here’s a still image from it. The page comes out of the fax and then her image starts to talk. It’s a little cheesy and fake looking, but it does the job and most people are surprised when it happens.




I’m slowly getting a very solid reel together. It is varied and shows lots of technique and skill. It is really exciting to me. I dig the fact that I’ve created two pieces that are very different in tone and style. Plus they look pretty pro for being shot on a consumer camera, no scripts, no sound equipment and no light.


Dating note:

Eve, the writer who I had mentioned before, was doing some major flirting with me last Friday. She was fired that night. Not because of the flirting, a bunch of the writers were fired. That’s just my luck (because it's about me not getting laid and not a poor woman who's out of a job). Ironic, funny in a sick way and I’m sure there is a little karma thrown in for flavor.

God, I'm a selfish prick.

Body Armor:

Tomorrow is day one, then another appointment next Sunday and I’ll have completed my right side. That’s the smaller pieces of work. The big one on my left side is going to take several weeks and I have been told will cause a type of pain that I have not yet experienced in life. So I’ve got that to look forward to. What’s life without pain?

I’m not allowed to drink caffeine for 24 hours before or after. So I’m ass dragging like a hippo right now. I’m amazed at how much I depend on caffeine to keep me going. This may be the beginning of no caffeine for a while. I don’t like the feeling of being so dependant on it. Then again, take away that, what else have I got to be addicted to?

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

It's Halloween... Right?

A quick note. It's a funny thing about Hollywood and I mean the real Hollywood, not the mythic dream like town that society envisions.

In the real Hollywood, everyday is Halloween. It's a big night tonight and Sunset was crowded with partygoers as I was driving home around 10:30. The funny thing was no one really looked much different than the freaks I normally see prowling at this hour. There were more of them and a few had funny costumes, but most looked like your garden variety Hollywoodite. Or is it Hoolywoodian? Whack jobs with hair sticking in all directions and too much makeup on.

I'll need to go into the real city versus the myth sometime soon, it is more and more interesting the deeper I look at it, but for now you'll get nothing and like it.

Happy Halloween.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Chicken Nachos+5 Mile Jog=Bad News

I think I've boiled down to its essence with that formula.



I can't really make it clearer and I don't think you'd want me too. I know I don't.

So that's that.

Our Zombie World

It’s an interesting sociological view when you run a website that is geared towards daytime television viewers.

See, on the site we have some viewer participation sections. People can send in creative photos and artwork, or send in five pictures and a description about who you are as a person. Sure, whatever. What is interesting is the response. Everyone is, “weird or kind of crazy.” Those quotes indicate the way they describe themselves. They feel they are so original and offbeat, just a wacky fun original person, unlike anyone else. But they are all the same. There is the picture of them making a funny face and there is always a picture of their cat looking out the window as if it’s a true artistic expression.

“See how deep I am, I notice my cat pondering the universe and have caught it with a camera.”

I bet the cat is really saying, “Why the fuck am I a prisoner in this schmucks life. I used to roam the wild and fend for myself. Now I shit in a scented sandbox.”

Maybe I’m sounding bitter, but I feel that humanity has cheated itself out of really finding what is original in its life. People have taken what they think is original and creative, boxed it up and marketed it as individualism. A new form of the walking dead. The zombies who don’t know they are zombies.

Admittedly, these people are crucial to our society. They are a litmus test for true originality, but it also poses a problem. When someone really groundbreaking and original comes along, this person are usually pushed down and punished for it. If it doesn’t fit within the parameters of the group idea of originality then it’s alien and rejected. There are those that break through, but they are to few and too far between.

Listen, I am not one of these originals, I am more a part of the problem then the solution, but I’m aware of the problem so it’s a step in the right direction.



Really I just want people to stop sending pictures of their cats in. I think they are stupid and show no artistic merit. I give more credit to the fat girl that keeps sending in the photo of her Cheetos stained mouth smiling like an idiot with a two liter bottle of soda in her hand. Her message is simple, “I’m a fat chic who ain’t gonna stop. Pass the onion dip.”

She sends the picture once a week and my boss refuses to put it up on the site. She says it’s disturbing. It is, that’s what makes it so great, it’s real and encapsulates who we are today: Cheetos grinding, soda swilling, fat fucking zombies. Rock on humanity!

(Don’t take this as me feeling bad. I actually feel great and I love life right now. I just wanted to bitch a bit.)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Return Of Stoneface

This is my third Emmy worthy apperance.

Enjoy.



They are saving my fourth, the one that will rocket me to stardom, for sweeps. So keep your eyes peeled lightning bugs. This mad talent is goin' places, like the unemployment office.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Time Change=Bad Sign

Well, the show I’m working on has been moved to a new time slot. In the industry, this is a bad sign. Our ratings have never been that good, and this is one of those desperate attempts by the network to try and improve them. It very rarely works. What usually happens is the audience doesn’t follow the time change and the ratings sink even lower. It has worked on occasion, but very rarely. We’ll see.

So what does this mean for you humble narrator? Well, it could mean nothing, it could mean we’re cancelled in December, it could mean cancelled in May. I was banking on May so I could make friends and contacts to land me a gig next season, but who knows.

It’s funny how this works. It’s just the business I’m in. This show ends and off I go to find the next one. I think it’s a really good experience about living in the moment. I need to get all I can out of this now and enjoy it.

The future is always unpredictable and in the industry it is doubly so.

Stay tuned lightning bugs. This may take a wacky turn soon.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Just Droppin’ A Note

1. Sat in a VW tour bus and was pulled along with 18 other co-workers by the strongest man in the world.

2. Turned in a project that received a note that I didn’t agree with. I was pissed off and took it personally at first, then decided it was their show even though it was my project and made the necessary change. I was told one note is great news. Most projects are severely re-cut or dumped all together, so I should be happy. I’ll post my cut on the site in the near future.

3. I was asked to be in another comedy sketch. Due to union rules I can’t say anything, so I’m always just the guy sitting there with a Buster Keaton face while the host bounces around me acting like an idiot. This is the 4th one I’ve done and have been told they look for ways to use me. I’m flattered. Since I’m not a fan of my looks, I’ll just take it as a compliment. In my head I keep hearing the line from the Simpson’s, “I want T.V. ugly, not ugly ugly.” Which is a plus, right?

The Host is a lot cooler than I expected. She’s a comic book geek, which is always a plus, but off camera she’s very crude with her humor. She discussed the idea of letting her bush grow out and shaving the shows logo into it. I must have laughed for two minutes; it took me so off guard. We chat and have a good time playing off each other and her husband is a crack up. Good people are nice to come by. There are actually a lot of good people on the show, I’m just now starting to warm up to them and get in the groove. Hopefully we’ll make it a full season so I can get to know them better.

I also think one of the writers is flirting with me. I’ve lucked out in this case, since it is a woman and she is cute. She has stopped by the office out of the blue just to chit-chat and has started asking all of the questions about my back ground, relationship status, etcetera. She used to write on Will & Grace and is working on a sitcom idea, which I’ll ask more about soon and maybe get a chance to read some of her other projects. It could be fun to explore.

I’m going in today for my first body armor consultation. More on this as it develops.

I need to get over my poor self-image so I can live a little more. I’m moving in the direction I want and need to acknowledge that. I’m doing well, growing emotionally, getting in shape, saving money (for once), creating and have realistic goals. That’s more than a lot of people can say.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Walking With Purpose

So I was part of the AIDS Walk this morning with a group from work. I met a few interesting people.

The first was a group called Atheists United. I chatted with a couple of the members to see what a group like theirs does. It was exactly what you’d think. They meet and talk about how there is no God. But once a month they do have a free brunch. Apparently membership has been shrinking since the early 80’s. This is due to fewer recruits and other members dying off. Makes sense. They were nice, but not exactly the sharpest tools in the shed.

If you have pondered the way of the atheist, you can learn more at their web site: www.atheistsunited.org, or call them at 866-GODLESS. That’s the real phone number; swear to god, it says so right on the card the guy gave me.

Next I helped hold the banner up for the Latino Business Association. I found out that I don’t need to be a Latino to join. I just have to be willing to join. This kind of turned me off. If I’m going to be part of the LBA I want to know there is another Latino who’s got my back and not some pasty Irish guy who just wants to be invited to all the cool parties.

Then I met “The King”. This was an 80, year old homosexual who dresses up in a giant King outfit. It’s a real crazy lavish get up with feathers and a velvet cape, just insane. He said he does it because he had a friend who passed away from AIDS and never got the chance to go to Mardi Gras. The King dresses up and raises money for AIDS in honor of that friend. So guess how much this guy raised for this walk. $14,000! That’s some serious fund raising shit right there.

There were a few protesters who held signs that declared Homosexuality was a danger to out national security, something I never thought of and would be curious to hear the argument. I doubt they could get me to agree, but I find the thinking interesting. It’s like you find two things detestable, so you package them in a peanut butter cup of hate. Why rail against one thing when you can rail against two in the same sentence.

Here is mine: Stop cats from spreading country music!

Yeah, that one sucks.

We ending the walk by being greeted by transvestites who wanted to know if our boss was with us because they all think she’s great. They were disappointed to hear she wasn’t but were glad we were there to help out.

It was fun. I got to hang out with good people and get a six-mile walk out of it too. Plus I cured AIDS. Who knew it would be so easy.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Note Of Interest

I'm a person who suffers from kidney stones.

that means every so often I feel some pains in my side and lower back, then some time later I shoot a rock about the size of a small diamond out of my dick. It's fun. I recommend that everyone try it at least once.

Anyway, I had my first weight training session where we concentrated on the core yesterday. I've never really worked this area of my body before, but when I woke up today, I felt like my kidneys had shut down. The muscles in my lower back were so worked, my first though was I was working a brick through my kidneys.

So for those of you out there who have always wondered what core training is like, or the first stages of kidney stones are like, it's simple.

Core training feels like you're going into kidney failure or kidney failure feels like you've had a really good core workout.

It just depends on if you're a glass half empty or half full type of person.

Monday, October 09, 2006

T.V. Debut...Sort Of

Because I was on a game show as a child, this counts as my second television appearance, but my first network appearance.

Here I am being pushed around by my boss.

Enjoy.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

Four This Time

Four things that caught my attention over the past three days.

The first two are quotes from work.

1. "Forget the dog, make it Christina Aguilera"- A producer shouting across the compound at work.

2. "So, tell me again why I'm paying for your friends to go to Disneyland?"- The second time this P.A. has had an issue with his girlfriend going to Disneyland. I'm beginning to wonder if it is actually drug code.

3. I saw Britney Spears and K. Fed in the drive through of Wendy's. What first caught my attention was a brand new Rolls Royce in the drive through. That is a sight that makes you check out who the hell is in a Rolls at a Wendy's. Then the Blonde pigtails in the passenger seat and the wigger behind the wheel helped seal the deal when I started taking a closer look. You can take the girl out of the trash, but you can't take the trash out of the girl. I myself was walking down to the highbrow eatery El Pollo Loco.

4. On my way back from The Crazy Chicken, I was stopped by a homeless guy asking for money. When I told him I had no cash he asked, "Could you get me some soap or deodorant?" I did take a moment to process this because a bum worried about his hygiene is worth taking a moment to consider. I then thought about my lunch beginning to coagulate and told him I couldn't help today, sorry.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Two Things

(If your Shea, skip #1)

One:

So I decided to stop talking to my ex for now. I had a couple of dreams last week and when I mentioned some of the things to her they said, she told me they were accurate. Things like that don’t happen to me. I’ve never had dreams that relate to actual life, they have always linked more to what is going on in my subconscious, you know like a real dream.

This has caused some odd fear in me especially the second dream, which was incredibly sad, and I knew there was nothing I could do for her. She has to learn about herself in her own way. She’s always been a forgetful person and self -analysis has been a challenge for her. So if the second dream is as accurate as the first one was, she’s going to be bad news for anyone she’s involved with unless she makes a drastic shift soon.

Two:

Apparently my good looks and on screen charisma has captured the hearts of the producers at work. I will appear in yet another skit on the show. They asked for that same style of stunning performance I gave last time. I had to reach deep inside to convey the true emotion of a guy who didn’t give a shit.

I think this one will be on later in the month. My first appearance takes place Monday and I’ll post a Youtube link later that day for your viewing pleasure.

Fine, three things.

Three:

Also I cut a piece that the EP’s (executive producers) really liked. Supposedly one of them stopped by to thank and congratulate me on it, but I was off acting. It was another one of those, here’s a bunch of footage what can you do with it assignments. So I did all right and have been given permission to start looking at putting together my own projects so I can have more control over the footage and content of the piece. My boss titled me “The Predator”. I didn’t know if I was supposed to be offended or not when she told me it stands for Producer-Editor. So hey, that’s pretty fucking cool. Now all I need is one of those invisible camouflage suits and Schwarzenegger’s head on a stake.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Happy B-Day

It's an hour early, but at 11:52 I'll have finished my last drink two years ago.

Two years clean and sober. Smoke that!

I had written this huge entry, but realized it was pretentious and silly. I'm not one to talk and lecture. We all learn in our own time what we need to learn.

I will say one thing though. This is something I've been using a lot recently just to keep myself straight.

"If I think I have it figured out, I know I'm on the wrong track."

It's not my place to know. It's my place to be. Stay on top of learning and life will happen on it's own. These are things I try to remember. I don't live by them yet, because I always want to be the know it all smart guy, but I'm working on it.

I don't want to be the smart guy, I just don't want to be stupid. Does that make sense? If not, ask me and I'll explain it.

Anyway. Here I am, still standing on my own two feet and still being carried forward by a strength that is not mine, but one I have faith in.

I am not a praying man, but this is the one that we say in A.A. and I believe in it.

"Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
Courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference."

Can't ask for more than that...Well you could, but I'm trying not to push too hard.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Another Day In The Factory

Two things of note that took place today. The first is a quote. A woman in the office was gossiping on the phone with a friend and this is what she said.

“She’s getting married to some bigwig. He’s like John Tesh’s assistant or something.”

Wow! All I need is a gig as Mary Hart or Judge Judy’s assistant and I can be considered a bigwig amongst all the ladies.

The second thing that happened is my possible network debut. I was chosen by the host to be a part of one of those pre-taped skits. An assistant (bigwig) came into the office and asked if I wouldn’t mind being pushed around in a chair by the shows host while she sang, “For he’s a jolly good fellow” to me. I’d have to pull a Buster Keaton face while she did it. They also wanted me to wear a birthday hat.

My boss was ecstatic and said yes for me. She was excited. I was not. The host came in and we chatted. She seems like a nice gal and would probably be a hoot at a dinner party. We shot the routine and afterwards Dave who works with me came in and said the Host had picked me personally for the bit. She had seen me in the office and pointed to the bigwig (assistant) and said she wanted me. You’re thinking It’s because my rugged good looks hit it off well on camera, but you’re wrong.

The real reason she asked for me was because I’m a bit of a minority in the office. I’m one of the few guys who are straight and pushing around a gay guy in a chair seemed a little…gay.

I have a feeling I’ll be edited out, or it’ll be condensed so you get about one second of me, but we’ll see. It was goofy nonetheless and got me out of my regular job for a few minutes.

Another day closes in tinsel town.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A Little L.A. Love

There are plenty of things to dislike about this town; the biggest being is it’s just not that attractive. Instead I’d like to point out three things that I’ve seen recently that make this a real stand out place.

1. Back stage at work, I got to see a monkey outside of his cage just sit there on the ground looking bored. It was like he worked a hard day and just wanted to go home and get drunk. No looking around like, “Isn’t this crazy?” Just a bored monkey who would have lit up if he smoked. He did take time to scratch his balls through his diaper, proving that teamsters are descendants of monkeys.


2. I was walking home from the gym and passed Spiderman and Darth Vader drinking Big Gulps and debating about who owed what part of the cable bill. I never would have thought that good and evil could cohabitate the same domicile. Darth had his mask up so he could drink his soda easier, but Spidey was drinking his through the mask, so this wet stain slowly grew around his mask. Everything you want in a hero.



3. This is the one that I just put together today. The teenage female tourist. A family will come to check out Hollywood and it’s a very standard scene. Dad is in shorts and a t-shirt displaying where they have already visited (Disney Land, Universal Studios, etc.). He’ll have a camera; sunglasses, a baseball cap and a disgruntled look on his face. Mom wears shorts, a white blouse, a gigantic sun hat and a smaller camera to catch the moments that dad refuses to photograph. The son comes in two varieties. The little kid who is decked out in all sorts of Hollywood memorabilia has a ring of chocolate and assorted sweets around his mouth and looks like a speed freak from all of the sugar. Or he is the disenfranchised teenager who acts like he doesn’t want to be there, wears a Metallica shirt for a concert he never went to and jeans that hang low to show off his underwear. Now the daughter. Always in her mid-teens and is dressed to the hilt. The tight dress, makeup in full glamour mode, the latest in sunglasses and foot ware. They also walk like their ass is a metronome. It clicked this morning that they are thinking “Discovery” . They want to be ready in case some agent or movie star sees them at The Hamburger Hamlet and thinks, “Who is that girl? She’s a star in the making!” It’s cute, because they don’t know you’ll never see anyone famous on the boulevard. All right, that’s not entirely true, you can frequently catch Martin Short polishing his star on the walk of fame. That guy has celebrity disease like no one else.

This is the stuff that, in one week, you'd only see in Los Angeles

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Update

I wanted to work they put me to work. Twelve-hour days, fifteen yesterday, I’m being run ragged. Editing is going well. I wouldn’t call it the most creative work I’ve done, but it’s great to practice cutting.

I wish I had a lot to say right now, but it’s all business. Nothing much going on in my life. I’ve been doing the dreams of stuff I want to buy, places I’d like to move to all that crap. I’m not going to jump too fast this time though. I need to set money aside and pay off some bills. I’ll be finding a new place with Gabe in the near future and taking care of some small things, but I’ve decided to wait to make sure the show is renewed before buying a car. But the plans for now are enough to keep me busy and moving towards what and who I want to be.

Oh…

A legendary cinematographer has passed away.

Sven Nykvist who is most famous for being Ingmar Bergman’s Director of Photography passed away.

I hate to say I’ve seen very few Bergman films, but it’s true. Due to my low self-esteem, I’m afraid they’d intimidate me. Silly to a fault, but that’s how I’ve always looked at it.

Nykvist did shoot one of my favorite Woody Allen movies, Crimes and Misdemeanors. It is an all around incredible movie, but its look is something to behold.

I just wanted to a moment to a man who is looked at as one of the finest. I am glad that he was around to contribute to an art form that I love and respect.

It looks like I have some Bergman films to start watching.

I’ll try to find some fun work stories, but I’m a deck jockey way too often to get out and explore much. I haven’t even seen the stage.

So I’ll work on digging up some dirt.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Emotional Conundrum

Three months ago I sent a letter to Margaret. She’s the mother of Ash. He’s my biological son. I haven’t seen him in seven years. He’ll turn 10 on October 1st.

I received a response today and it simply said that Ash could possibly see me in October. It would have to be on a weekend, it would have to take place in Tucson; Ash determines when our meeting is over and my mother and or stepfather must be present.

All of this out of left field and suddenly I’m scared shitless about this thing. Can I go through with this? I was hoping for a positive response, but I was thinking a letter, or a phone call first. This seems very sudden and frightening.

Am I behaving like a coward? I sent the email, shouldn't I be thankful?

I can't take it all in tright now.

Friday, September 15, 2006

No More Food Stamps

Just kidding, i was never on food stamps.

But I am now gainfully employed and it looks like another chapter of my life is starting.

It also seems that I'm good at my job so far. I've made a few good moves and impressed a couple of the higher-ups.

So, it's all good news for now my little golden doughnuts.

Have a good weekend.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Dysfunction Junction

I used the title because I thought it was cute. This event is definitely not in the dysfunction arena.

If you’re not into “Too Much Info” skip this one now.

So I wake up around two in the morning last night and I’ve got to pee like a race horse, but I’ve also got a huge erection. It’s one of those where you can actually feel the muscles around your dick straining. The kind that if you move it in any direction that isn’t perpendicular to your body you wince in pain.

Guys will get it. Girls will wonder what was turning me on so much.



(Erection side note for women: Since guys first hit puberty, there is not always a sexual reason for an erection. It just happens. Like our buddy just needs to stretch. I’m sure there is some scientific blood pressure, oxygenated, too much nitrogen sort of explanation for it. I have no idea what it is. Just understand however much you want to think that we get hard because we want to fuck, it’s not always the case. We simply don’t want to spoil an opportunity if it does get hard around you. See how it works?)


Now it is extremely complex for a guy to take a leak when he’s hard. Certain valves shut down and others open up for reproductive, pearl necklace purposes. So with pressure on my bladder and boner muscles working overtime, I’m in a decent level of discomfort.

I do the bend forward 45-degree shift hips to keep it from hurting too much. At this point it is important not too touch it for fear of a sexual response and remain hard. So I start thinking of things to bring it down. Since I’m not a sports fan I try to think of bad movie experiences, unattractive people having sex, my financial situation. The things that could cause a temporary depression and slow blood flow to my nether regions.

Well, it ain’t working. I’m standing in front of the toilet bent over and this thing is pulsing and straining like it’s going to jump off my body. My bladder, sensing there is a toilet near by has gone into over time and is tightening up wanting to relieve itself of all fluids. So basically, ”IT FUCKING HURTS!!!”

I reach in and pull it out of the fly in my boxers, so now I’ve got my dick jutting out, I’m pacing back and forth waiting for it to go down. I’m trying not to look in the mirror to see how ridiculous I look, but can’t help checking every so often so I can think, “Not bad.” This goes on for about three, maybe four minutes. I’m humming to myself and getting frustrated and the bladder pressure is getting so tense that I know when I will finally be able to piss, my body won’t do it.

Finally, I feel some declination. Is it enough? At this point I don’t care, I’ve got to pee. Again, I bend over doing basic physics in my head of angle versus projection rate to make sure I’m not going to hit anything but water and wait.

Waiting.

Still waiting.

Anytime.

It’s all you bladder. Do your thing.

Green means go. So go ahead.

I left my room at 2:03 to hit the bathroom. I lay back down at 2:17. Do the math.

My stomach muscles felt like some abusive Shaolin monk had pounded them with bricks. I couldn’t move. At some point, I drifted off to sleep.

So how did you start off your 9/11?


This has been brought to you by Moxie.









Moxie, guaranteed to keep you limp.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I Dunno

I was looking for an image for a banner I'm making and came across this. It has nothing to do with what I'm designing, it just made me laugh.



That's one happy looking cat.

I'm still trying to decide if it's supposed to be a helmet, or more like a punk rock version of Louise Brooks hair style.


Yeah, I'm probably tired.

Random Entry

Haven’t posted in a few days and I always fell a little foolish leaving up one of my more negative posts for too long.

So here’s one of those not even worth reading posts.

The weather has cooled off a bit. I hear we are supposed to have one more wave of heat before the real cooling down starts, but it’s nice to have a bit of a break.

I’ve been studying up on HTML so who knows, maybe in a month or two I’ll create my own design for the blog and it’ll be all fancy schmancy. Don’t cross any fingers though.

It’s interesting how much a life depends on income. I’d love to start going out more and maybe meeting some people, but it’s a lot harder to do when you can’t pay for gas, drinks, impulse trips and all that jazz. Yes, a job will be nice to have not only for the monetary reasons, but also just to boost my confidence with some sort of purpose.

I started my photo blog and have barely gone out to take any photos. I need to do more of that. It’s free after all.

My two years of being clean and sober is just around the corner. I’m trying to think of a way to celebrate.

This is going to sound a little odd, but I have pondered starting drinking again. It happens to most alcoholics. We get to a point where we are curious if we could handle it again. If maybe we aren’t really alcoholics and just needed time to get our heads together. It’s a nice fantasy, but the bottom line is I am an alcoholic and addict and even if it seems that I could keep my shit together for a while, it would slowly grow back to the old ways and I’d be fucked again. Starting over from day one does not seem like a lot of fun to me. So for now, I’ll stay on my path.

It’s officially two weeks since I quit smoking. Not too bad. I did have a dream the other night that doctors found flecks of cancer in my lungs, so I started smoking again because I figured it was too late anyway. The “flecks” thing is exactly how it was described to me. In my dream state I kept imagining the cancer to be like the flakes in a snow globe, just drifting around inside my lungs. I was more scared by the fact that I was smoking again than I was about the cancer.

I have a lot of private things I’d like to discuss, but can’t because I know who reads this. Is that a bummer or what? I have to self-sensor. I could start a private blog, or a journal, but that defeats the purpose of why I started this one in the first place. Maybe I’ll just stop caring about who reads it and let it all hang out. We’ll see.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Move Along

So I went and did the whole temp company thing yesterday.

It was a lot different than when I did it the first time up in Oakland. Then, they sat me down and we had a real interview. They asked about my background and things I should remember when dealing with employers, the whole job searching shebang.

Yesterday was like an assembly line process. Fill out paperwork, check. Sit down with a representative and hand over you resume, check. Take some skill tests, check. Call us tomorrow and we’ll see if anything is available. It was so impersonal that I felt like they didn’t even want me there.

I had dressed nice, too nice. All the other applicants were in jeans and t-shirts. I had a tie, dress shirt, pressed pants, the complete package and felt like I was being pushed aside because of it. Like I wasn’t serious because I wasn’t looking desperate enough.

I know I’ve been scared in the past over this whole thing, and I knew I felt like giving up. But after yesterday, I really wonder if I am going to make it. Not even make it, just survive. I’m starting to realize my skill set isn’t really made to survive in the real world. I’m not trying to sound negative, I’m just trying to really look at what I have and how I can use it to bring in money to live. Working towards being a better person doesn’t really look good on a resume.

Never give up, never surrender.

I wish I could get a job and move on to other things, because I’m getting really fucking tired about talking about this stuff and I’m sure your sick of reading it.

Move Along

So I went and did the whole temp company thing yesterday.

It was a lot different than when I did it the first time up in Oakland. Then, they sat me down and we had a real interview. They asked about my background and things I should remember when dealing with employers, the whole job searching shebang.

Yesterday was like an assembly line process. Fill out paperwork, check. Sit down with a representative and hand over you resume, check. Take some skill tests, check. Call us tomorrow and we’ll see if anything is available. It was so impersonal that I felt like they didn’t even want me there.

I had dressed nice, too nice. All the other applicants were in jeans and t-shirts. I had a tie, dress shirt, pressed pants, the complete package and felt like I was being pushed aside because of it. Like I wasn’t serious because I wasn’t looking desperate enough.

I know I’ve been scared in the past over this whole thing, and I knew I felt like giving up. But after yesterday, I really wonder if I am going to make it. Not even make it, just survive. I’m starting to realize my skill set isn’t really made to survive in the real world. I’m not trying to sound negative, I’m just trying to really look at what I have and how I can use it to bring in money to live. Working towards being a better person doesn’t really look good on a resume.

Never give up, never surrender.

I wish I could get a job and move on to other things, because I’m getting really fucking tired about talking about this stuff and I’m sure your sick of reading it.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Staying Positive

These are some things that I have written out to keep me positive.

They are written in the active tense, because that's what ya gotta do to make it real.

Emotional Goals.

1. I trust other people and I am not afraid that they are against me. (yeah, I have some paranoid issues)

2. I am patient when it comes to dealing with other people.

3. I listen deeply and compassionately.

4. I am intelligent.

5. I ask questions when I don’t understand something.

6. I communicate my feelings without anger or fear of being ridiculed.

7. I enjoy my life.


8. I continue to works towards my goals no matter what barriers are in my way.

9. I take time to understand my feelings before reacting (see #6).

10. I believe in my creativity.

11. I continue to grow in Body, Mind, and Spirit.

12 I am not ugly on the outside or inside.

Here's the best part. When I was making the list, I misspelled intelligent. It seems I have a long way to go. Stop laughing at me ;)

The Head Doth Spinith

So Aaron and Barabra had the baby. Last night near midnight. They had to cut her open because that kid refused to come out.

He weighed 9 pounds 2 ounces. That’s a big fucking kid. This kid was so large, that the infant diapers the hospital provides were actually stretched to the limit. He’s a large child, end of story.

So I drove down to the hospital and sat in the waiting room for several hours. I saw Aaron once who showed me some digital photos that had been taken. He was cute, even with the baby gooey stuff and red splotches all over him.

Aaron had changed. There was instantly something different about him. His gait, the way he moved, it was a proud father thing. I haven’t seen him look that happy… ever? Well, I’ve seen him really happy, but this had all sorts of other things going on, so it was the only time I’ve ever seen him looking like that.

I’ll post a picture if I ever get one.

Enough about being happy for other people. This is my blog, so lets get back to important stuff. Me!

I have a lot going through my head right now and I know there are several factors. The baby being one of them: It is a reminder of my own shortcomings and how I’ve screwed up in the past. It brought up a lot of issues that made me feel like a failure in several departments. Part of me looks to Aaron to be that redemptive part. I screwed up, but I can take joy in the fact that he won’t. Living through other people, nothing better.

I came off the Wellbutrin yesterday and I’m starting to feel the effects wearing off today. It is a general splitting of the mind where all parts want to fight with each other. I have had several fictional fights with people in my head. No reason, just wanted to argue with them. The best part is I never won. I always saw the error in my own argument and had to back down. I can’t even win a fight in my own head. That may be a good thing. It shows I’m not delusional enough to forgo logic, right? Or I’m just a push over, you decide.

The third thing that has made an impact is lack of sleep. I have actually slept less over the last three days than Aaron or Barabra. They actually got to fall asleep late last night where as I didn’t. I napped from about 5 to 7 this morning, but that was it. So I’m really loopy. Don’t know why I haven’t slept, just toss and turn for a bit then say, “Screw it!” and watch a movie.

My phone just rang and it was yet another job rejection. So that’s helpful to my mood. This too shall pass.

The good news is I haven’t started smoking yet, I’ve reached my initial goal of 165 pounds and I feel really good physically. It’s a start and that’s all you need to get going.

Peace out y'all.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Sympathy Pains

If you dream of having kids, how do you visualize it?

The very pregnant wife walking through the kitchen, when her water breaks. The dutiful husband acting goofy as he gets the suitcases and helps her out to the wood paneled station wagon. Contractions in the car, the doctor at the hospital looking over a chart and saying, "All right, we’re ready, lets push."

That’d be great wouldn’t it?

Well, for my friend Aaron and his wife Barabra, it’s just not going that way. I’m sure that Barabra (Babs) wanted it to be something like the above stated dream, but reality decided to intrude.

First: She was huge and the baby was ready so the doctors decided to induce labor. An appointment was made for 10 o’clock last night for them to go in. They were probably thinking, “Hey we could have a kid by three or four in the morning.” I know I was.

Second: They were not informed that when she was given the injection to induce labor that the process for labor to begin would be in about 12 to 24 hours. Then you have to go through labor and birth. Plus she couldn’t walk around during any of this time, aka bed ridden. Shit! That’s a long time. Bab’s was visibly upset and who wouldn’t be.

Third: She hadn’t eaten since 10 in the morning and they weren’t going to let her eat until the kid was born. In case they had to deliver the baby by cesarean (is that spelled right?).



So I popped in last night around 10:30 to be given the news about this now lengthy process. I hung out until 1 am with Aaron and watched Bab’s sister Stephanie sing old camp songs and goofy routines to cheer her up. Real families are cute aren’t they?

I went home and couldn’t sleep. I nodded off around 5 and woke up at 7. I decided to work out, shower and pick up some reading materials for Babs and headed to the hospital. About half way there I got a call from Aaron asking o not stop by. Neither of them had slept and the going into labor thing just wasn’t happening and Babs was just not handling anything well at that moment. No problem, I hung a louie and went home.

So about ten minutes ago I called Aaron for the latest update. Literally nothing has happened. Nothing. They are waiting for contractions to get painful and it’s not happening. They are waiting for her female parts to dilate and it’s not happening. The prediction is now going around that the kid won’t come until tomorrow sometime and they can’t say when tomorrow, just tomorrow.

God that has got to suck! They won’t let her walk, they won’t let her eat, the best they can do is maybe, and I say maybe, find her a more comfortable room. I have nothing but the deepest sympathy for the frustration they must be feeling.

Is this a sign of what the kid will be like? I have no idea, but if you had the chance to look around and see what the world is like today before being born, you may not want to come out either.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Smoke Signals

So, I quit smoking, again. I’m making it stick this time. My last cigarette was at 8:00am on Saturday morning. It’s now noon on Tuesday. Not too shabby of a start.

Am I going nuts? Yeah, a little. Not because I’m having major cravings or withdrawal symptoms, I was almost at a pack and a half a day, but because of the way I’m quitting.

I’ve gone back to the Wellbutrin, which not only curbs cravings and takes the edge off, but is also a heavy anti-depressant. What does this mean? Well, my brain has basically split into several different universes. I can’t think straight and feel like I’m slurring when I talk (I’ve been told I don’t slur.) Over all, I feel like I’m high without any of the fun benefits of being high.

Oh, I forgot to mention the dizzy spells. The bottle has a red tag that read, “MAY CAUSE DIZZINESS”. May is not the word to use here. The warning should read something like, “MAY CAUSE EXISTENTIAL CRISIS.” Too many big words to fit on a small tag I guess. I’ve been fortunate that I stayed indoors most of yesterday. But I did have one hit as I was driving into the Valley yesterday. Luckily I was on a side road and was able to pull over. But man, it hit fast, hard, and wouldn’t let up. I felt totally out of control in my existence.


The effects seem to be less today than they were yesterday, but I still feel clouds circling my brain. I’ll stay on the stuff for two more days, (the recommended is ten. Fuck that,) then go off it. I know what happens after that.

As the Wellbutrin leaves my system, I will go into an ugly depression for about one to two days. I’m arranging it so it happens over the weekend. I’ll set a schedule to go see movies and work out and basically not be alone. This will keep me from going to my dark places. I’m not saying anything bad will happen, I just might get depressed enough to start smoking again. Ain’t that a bitch! The same thing that’ll get me off could very easily get me back on.

Fingers crossed.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Breaking Up With The Beau

I’ve been talking to Todd about my script. He brought up a point that has plagued me from the first day I decided to start working on it. I’ll try to sum it up here.

I’d say the genre I’m working within is a romantic comedy. There are rules and parameters to a romantic comedy that need to be adhered to. Clichés and emotional responses that have to ring true, otherwise it seems phony. I have the female protagonist leaving her boyfriend. So here is the big question that I can’t seem to get around.

Why do couples break up? Is there reasoning beyond the things that you have seen in every other movie before?

There are usually three types of boyfriends that the girl breaks up with:

1. He’d a dick, the audience sees that he’s a dick from the first scene they are together and you route for her to find a reason to finally come to her senses and leave him.
2. He’s just not the type of guy she wants to be with anymore. They have grown in separate directions and it’s just not going to work.
3. A little bit of #1 and #2 lead to the relationship ending.


Is that it? What are other reasons why people break up? When I think about my past relationships that’s how it’s gone down. I was a dick, she grew out of me or I grew out of her. Is there something else that I am missing and can’t see it? I’m a guy, so I can only speak from a guy’s point of view. If you are a woman and you read this, maybe you can enlighten me. I’d appreciate the point of view.

I was watching A Personal Journey With Martin Scorsese today and he discussed what it is like to be saddled within a genre and that you have to learn to play within those codes. Good enough, I can accept that. Should I just accept the above reasons and try to create a boyfriend that at least has some originality to him? That seems to make the most sense, but is a lot harder than it looks. Make the boyfriend to nice and the audience will not sympathize with our female lead. Make him too much of a prick and we can’t wait to see how he fucks up so he can feel the doorknob up his ass.

A conundrum. HELP!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Quote

It's tragic that extremists co-opt the
notion of God, and that hipsters and
artists reject spirituality out of hand.
I don't have a fixed idea of God. But
I feel that it's us -the messed-up, the
half crazy, the burning, the questioning-
that need God, a lot more than the
goody-two-shoes do.

- Mike Doughty


A fellow recovering addict. I love his music and this is a quote on the side of a Starbucks cup. Ironic beacuse one of his songs is titled, "Busting Up A Starbucks."

Monday, August 21, 2006

Not My Usual Day

So I had sent a script I had written to a friend of mine, Todd, a couple of months ago. He wanted to read something I wrote and I sent him a piece I’d written a few years ago. I figured it was something he might enjoy.

I hadn’t heard anything from him until last week when he called to apologize for not reading it sooner. His feedback was very positive and his suggestions were well thought out and very concise to what I was trying to say with the characters and story. I basically left it at that.

Last night I was at Aaron’s and we were outside having a smoke (don’t tell his wife.) He’d mentioned that he and Todd had spoken and they had a plan to encourage me to go back and do some work on the script. They both feel it has some real potential and just needs some work. I responded saying I’d think about it and maybe I’d give it a read.


So for the hell of it, I pulled it out this morning and gave it a read. It wasn’t half bad. Having not read it for so long it was interesting to go back and read about these characters I’d created. Not only was it interesting, it wasn’t half as bad or in need of work as I remembered it being. So for the first time in three years, I opened the file on my computer and started working in some of the ideas Todd had mentioned and made a few changes I felt were necessary.

It was the best day I’d had in forever. I really enjoyed working on it and figuring out how to solve the problems at hand. I felt really good being with me. For the first time in a long time I liked being me and it had nothing to do with having someone else in my life or depending on other people to keep me entertained. None of that stuff that can distract me from my own reality. It was me, spending time with me in my own world. A world I enjoyed being in. I felt comfortable in my own skin and that I was, in a very private way, preparing to put something out there in the world that was mine.

To put it simply, I felt alive and it was me doing it.

I want to thank Todd and Aaron for urging me to go there. For stepping up and saying that basically, I’m a good guy and I do good work. So thanks guys. You’ve helped me get back in touch with a part of me that has been missing for a very long time.

Let's see how long I can keep it going.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

From The Lens: The Blog

At the suggestion from a friend, I’ve decided to start a new blog that is strictly photo based. I’m what you would call an amateur shutterbug and as you can see, I’m just getting started. Hopefully there will be improvement as I learn more about framing, the way my camera works, subject matter, etc.

The first three postings are from past Mifune’s Ghost entries and I am hoping that by having a photo only blog, it will force me to go out and shoot more.

So you can link to it from here:

From The Lens

Enjoy.

John

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Just Call Me John Merrick

I was out walking yesterday and was told I was ugly. That’s nice. It was a real morale booster. It was some girl with her friends and she stopped me by the arm as I was passing by and she said, “Damn, you are ugly. What’s anyone going to see in you?” They all laughed and went about their walk as I went about mine.

Was the universe trying to tell me something, or was it just a person having a bad day deciding to be mean? Or maybe it’s just the way of Los Angeles? Doesn’t matter, it still stings. When I went to the gym, I made sure to walk next to the fat guy so I could feel a little better about it. This is also a mean thing to do, but I needed some kind of ego boost, if a shallow one at that.


I was reminded the other day that I don’t smile. It’s not that I don’t want to smile, it’s just one of those things that is hard for me to do. I always think about Buster Keaton and when he was growing up his father would smack him if he smiled on stage. He needed a stone face for comedy and that’s what he ended up with. I’m curious if he ever thought about that. Would he have been willing to trade his success to be able to genuinely be able to smile again? Maybe he smiled a lot in his private and I just don’t remember reading about it

Hell, would being able to smile actually help me? I’m still stuck with the same mug.

I’ve had relationships and they’ve all gone south. I bet they would look at me and find me ugly too. That’s the way relationships go. One day, they think you’re hot, the next day you make them want to vomit. Yep, I’m a real catch.

Sorry, I don’t mean to sound negative about myself, I’m just venting. Please don’t lay any pity on me. It’s beneath us.

Anyway, I’m going to go for a walk again today, I’ll stick to side streets and away from the general populace for now. If someone comes to close, I’ll drag my left leg behind me, chanting, “I am not an animal, I am a human being!”

I know more negative thinking. I’m just trying to make light of an ugly situation (get it).













This post brought to you by, Moxie.
Moxie, it tastes like John looks.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Night Shoot

I went walking last night with ye olde camera and popped a couple.

Here ya go.


The apartments behind my place.


An apartment sign that I thought was kind of fun.


This looks much better as a large photo. You can make out the mist at the end of the street.


The Coyote from Michael Mann's Collateral decided to stop by for a quick shot.


I really liked this one. It's an odd fountain in a yard. I had to add a brush filter to try and hide the fact it was out of focus. Now it's an out of focus fountain with a filter. Much better in large format. I'll have to go back and try it again.


Self Portrait. Don't know if you can make me out in the left hand corner, but I'm there.


I really dig going out to take photos at night. Instead of looking like a tourist, I look like a freak. The lesser of two evils in my humble opinion.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

+/-

I tend to look at the negative aspects of myself. This is a big surprise, right? Anyone who knows me or has spent an hour with me gets it. I’m not saying I’m an Eeyore (I used to be), but if a situation comes up that could easily go fifty/fifty, I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that it goes against me.

It could just be the way life has been treating me recently. I’m hearing a lot of “no’s” and very few, “yes’s”. That can have an effect on me. It can tend to make me feel like it’ll always be a “no.”

Impossible. Plain and simple, it’s impossible.

But lets get back to what the no’s can do to my mindset. Since all I hear in my head is the next no coming, I tend to worry and rack my brain over what it is I’ve done to warrant a no that hasn’t even been pronounced yet.

This latest yet to be pronounced no is in the form of an email. I wrote a friend asking if they were available to hang out. I wrote in the note, “no biggie if they want to or not”, but at the same time it is.

So I get no response. This has come after a long day of “no’s” including another job rejection. Now I’m wondering to myself, what did I do to them? What did I do to warrant no response? Did I write something that could have been taken the wrong way? I’m known to do that. (What’s the email version of foot in mouth? Other than asshole that is.)

Notice that I haven’t even stopped to think of the myriad of things that could be happening on their end. From something as a server being down to previous plans that has kept them from checking email, to being arrested in Bangkok on murder charges. The list is endless.

Part of it is pure selfishness. It’s all about me. This is a trademark of alcoholics and flight attendants. It’s always about us. We are never considering what is going on in the other person’s life. How busy they could be. They might very well want to hang out, would love to hang out, want nothing more than to hang out.

So how do I remedy this thinking? How do I take what is in my head and look at it from the other person’s perspective? I guess I’m doing that right now, but need to practice in the real world a little more often.

I just need to shrug it off and not take it so damned personally. Everyone has a life (except me) and they need to live it. Accept it and move on John. Not everyone is here for me.

So if anyone hears from Bruno Kirby, let him know I’m still waiting for a damned response to me email.

(Bad joke. Rest in peace Mr. Kirby. You brought a lot to this world and know that you will be missed.)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Some Notes On Links

I’ve added a couple of links to the side bar of notice.

The first is Sunset Gun. This is Kim Morgan’s site. She’s a film critic who I’ve been reading for a while. She’s pretty fun and has great taste in film. The fact that she wants to reincarnate Warren Oates so he can be her boyfriend is just brilliant. She usually posts one or twice a week and you can find out about some interesting titles that may have slipped by. If you haven’t seen Electra Glide In Blue, see it! Both Kim and myself implore you to do it tonight.

Aaron’s Blog is my friend Aaron Graff. He is a funny and insightful guy. He’s good at reminding you that elevators are scary and neurosis is infectious. I’m quite surprised that he hasn’t gone off about his latest fears of tics. After explaining it to me I have expanded that fear to leaches whom, as I have discovered, usually don’t hang out on plant leaves. He’ll be a father (by choice) in the next few weeks and I’m sure new blogs on fatherhood won’t be far behind. (Oh yeah, don’t remind his wife she’s pregnant, it scares the shit out of her.)

You’ll also find a link to my Myspace page. There is nothing of real interest on it and the only blog entry is a link for this blog. I thought I’d plug it in there though to add an extra little graphic to my sidebar.

I’m trying to figure out ways of expanding my online universe. So I’m looking into audio bloging. I figure my audience deserves to hear my dulcet tones. Plus you may enjoy the sounds of a man melting down before your very ears. We’ll see what crops up in the near future.