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.”


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


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!


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.