Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sometimes, Finite Is Good

I enjoy the concept of limitless possibilities. It gives a person something to hope for. The new and unknown is right around the corner. Hooray!

But I have problems with it as well. It can create, for me, a level of gluttony. This is something I do not enjoy. It limits me and creates an emotional prison. It keeps me worried about specific things and I cannot move forward because I can't let go of these nitpicks.

The biggest of these is food. This is where having blinders and keeping in a sense of tunnel vision becomes a plus. Case in point, shopping for groceries.

Back in the day, when I was very good at eating properly and keeping a decent diet going I had my pattern of shopping. I knew exactly where the items I could buy were and my path would not allow me to stray from it. Now I have strayed from that path into the unknown aisles of treats and curiosities. What is this bag of tasty things? Oh, look at that colorful package, what is in it? This looks scrumptious. SO I end up trying things that I shouldn't be.

I have been going to the gym on a regular basis (minus guest visits) and I am slowly returning to that place where I once was. What makes returning to it so different is I've seen the end of this road before. I know where I'm going to go, where as before I was searching for the road. So this time I feel a lot more comfortable straying since I know the path. Grrrr.

It's not anger I feel so much as minor pangs of regret. At my level, there are only so many different flavors. I've tasted chocolate and peppermint, so having more isn't new, it's just indulgent. I need to remind myself of that. It's not like the flavor is going to vaporize off the planet and I'll be damning myself for not having enough. As a matter of fact the York peppermint patty will probably live long after my time on this earth has passed.

On the good side, I'm writing a lot more (not here but elsewhere). So that is a plus. I feel a pattern falling into place that I enjoy as I work towards a goal. I'll need to work on keeping it in practice, but loose enough to move around in case I find a job. It's the exercise and diet  that will help keep my energy up, which is why I lay so much importance on it. It is an interesting thing when you want to complete so much in a day, but there are only so many hours. God knows ow it would fall apart if I had a family. It wouldn't, or would be moving at a much slower pace. I don't know how well I'd do with that. 

Isn't that one of my eternal questions.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Shield Down

It was the series finale of The Shield tonight. I know it's kind of shallow to feel sad about a television show ending like it was part of your life, but I am. Not that I could relate to any of the characters or like they had become a family to me. It just felt sad to watch it end. It was good, not a classic, but few are.

There is that part of me that relates it to Shea. Funny how there is a part of me that still misses her. See, the show had been on and I'm a big fan of the corrupt cop sub-genre. I have been forever. I drool over Sidney Lumet movies like Serpico and Q&A. I'll defend Prince of the City until the day I die.

Anyway, it had been on for a few seasons and I thought I'd rent the first season. I got into it quickly and was over at Shea's when she was working while I was watching. The next thing we were both glued to the set popping episodes like they were drugs. Well drugs for me jellybeans for her, we each have our addictions. It had gotten so bad that we stopped waiting for netflix and drove to the local video store, grabbed take out and watched the entire third season on a rainy Sunday. It was a good day. It was one of those things that we shared. 

I've told this story many times to people when they ask if I watch The Shield. Now it's over. No new seasons to look forward to and it will start to fade into the past just like that day has, just like the relationship did. There is nothing current that I can hold onto, only memory.

God I hate being this blubbery and cheesy.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Random Sunday

It is odd. During the week it is hotter than Jenny McCarthy circa 1993 but it cools down to paradise levels on the weekends. This is too bad for me, but great for people who have jobs.

I decided to get out a bit and walk around. Took the  lo
ng route to the comic book store, browsed a bit and started walking around. For the hell of it I decided to grab a bite at Fat Burger, home of the Fat Burger. This was a joint I went to regularly when I was sleeping on Aaron and Barb's couch when I first moved down. It would take about 15-20 minutes to get my order and it would be all I needed to eat for the day. I enjoyed the wait time because it gave me a chance to read. This is going to sound odd, but there are a few Burger joints that relate directly to movies for me. The first time I ever watched Serpico, I'd picked up a burger and fries at Rally's a chain that no longer exists in Tucson. Now every time I watch Serpico, my cued recall kicks in and my sense are filled with their burgers. Odd ain't it?

So Fat Burger reminds me of Sergio Leone. I had started, read most of and finished a biography about him at the very Fat Burger that I was venturing to today. For my mind, my history, Sergio Leone was born, made a bulk of his movies and died in that very Fat Burger. It was one of those odd Vonneghut time moments. Sergio Leone had become unstuck in a Fat Burger. Stuck really, but that doesn't sound as hip.

It reminded me of how I felt when I first moved to LA. A fresh start, a new beginning, a clean slate. As clean as a person could be shoving a giant burger and fries in their face that  is. It was a nice moment though and I felt pretty good as I started walking home. The burger was good. I recommend it if you are a burger fan.

About twenty minutes pass. 

Just down the ally from my apartment, a car drove by with a couple in it. They were fighting. I could visibly see the man yelling. I can't really classify it as "They" in a fight since all I witnessed was "Him" screaming. I had a quick flash of all of those times I had screamed and yelled and hurt while sitting behind the drivers seat. Whoever in the passengers seat dealing with it the best they could. My stomach turned. I found it odd, my body reacting that way. Then the thought of concentrating on the reaction made my stomach turn more and it compounded upon itself. I reached the dumpster a few feet away a threw up. 

I find it all to be an interesting outcome. Pleasant memories and ugly memories turning into a physical reaction on both the intake and output of food. The burger wasn't as good coming back up. I wouldn't recommend it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

R.I.P. Ken Ogata

I missed this, so it's a week late.

Ken Ogata a great Japanese actor passed away last week from cancer.

He was in some great films and even portrayed author Yukio Mishima in the biopic Mishima. Go figure. It is one of those biopics that goes outside the box and examines the man's life through recreations of his work as well as his last days before committing public suicide. It's a really interesting film and a great performance by Ogata.

He also starred in two films by Shohei Imamura who
 I'd written about when he passed away about a year or so ago. Vengeance is Mine and The Ballad of Narayama. I've only seen Vengence, which is a must. Both are available on DVD and now I have even more reason to sit down and watch Ballad.

All in all he had been in about seventy movies and he is one of those actors who was great to watch and every time you'd see his name in the credits, you knew there would be something solid going on.

My condolences to his family and his work has not gone unnoticed.

Friday, October 03, 2008


I'm walking to the bank to deposit a few bucks this morning and a guy who lost a hand at some point is walking the opposite direction. We have about 30 seconds until we cross paths and about 10 seconds until he will notice where my eyes are gazing, so I do a quick intake.

Either homeless with mental issues or just a guy wit
h mental issues who is not well cared for. This is surmised by the fact that he is taking to himself and jerking his stump around tat would signify making a point id there was a finger on said stump to point. 

He wore khaki green pants and a khaki green shirt with a red star in the middle of it. I found this confusing. If it was just the khakis, he'd give the impression of a solider who was at the wrong place at the wrong time, but the red star pushed it into head scratching territory.

The stump looked relatively fresh. Not having been around a ton of amputees in my life, let alone bare stumped ones, I'm assuming it was a relatively new situation this guy had to get used to. The end of the stump appeared to still have some scabbing and was way too red to have been there a while. Again, this is only an assumption on my part. If you are missing a hand and reading this, you might be able to let me in on some stump secrets. Also let me know how type and how many words a minute.

20 seconds left and I do that whole thing about not trying to pay attention to his stump. I'm looking at the side walk, passing cars, acting like the shrub in front of a building is the definition of sublime. Really stupid stuff. I speed up a little and pass him. he continues to mumble and replay some past debate in his head. That's when I hear the thunking. 

I turn around and the guy is running his stump across the bars of an iron fence. And not lightly. Thunk-thunk-thunk-thunk-phssssssss, as he finished the fence and started dragging it along the side of the building that owned the fence. When he finished the length of the building, he went back into his one man argument.

Now I've pretty much figured out the scabbing and the redness came from. That can't feel good, but for some reason he felt obligated to find ways to use his stump. It makes me wonder if anyone has suggested getting him a bongo drum and just letting him have at it. That way he skews more eccentric than off his rocker.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Oh, Mann

I remember when Steven Soderbergh mentioned that it was tough to grow and try new things as a filmmaker. He felt the system wants directors to spring fully formed from the head of celluloid. This sucks of course. What fun is it to watch a fully formed filmmaker, or someone who will never change? It’s boring.

History of Violence is a really impressive movie, but becomes even better if you have witnessed the progression of David Cronenberg’s films. The guy who made Shivers, The Fly, and Dead Ringers seems like such an odd choice to make History of Violence, but at the same time it fits together like a perfect puzzle. All of these carry themes of identity and sexuality. You may scratch your head a bit but trust me, I’m much smarter than you. Yes there are major differences, but that’s the point of evolution. The ability to grow and work the craft, to become a better filmmaker, and explore themes through different constructs.

Which brings me to Anthony Mann. I just finished watching The Furies on DVD. This is another one of those Criterion releases that made me wonder why they would release it. Then I witnessed its grandeur, its scope of story and human psychology. Just glancing at his resume, it looks like Mann’s breakout from Noir into the Western genre and he said, “Fuck you, the western can be as good as Shakespeare!”(My quote, not his.) He set out to prove it and did.

The Furies was his Tempest with a little bit of King Lear thrown in for good measure. An exquisite piece that demands the viewer to invest in characters that wallow in the emotional grays of life. By the end, these don’t seem like people on a screen, but Greek gods clashing over who rules the heavens. If you decide to sit down and give this a watch, you'll think I’m crazy at first. But don’t fight it, let the film take over. Roll with it and by the time all of the betrayal, revenge, and scheming is set up, you’ll be glued to the screen. Walter Huston is mesmerizing and Barbara Stanwyk has one of her best roles and one of the best lines of dialog that she’d ever get outside of Double Indemnity. To witness these two spar on screen is like standing in the eye of a tornado. You are perfectly safe and secure as the world around you is torn up from the roots.

Mann would never have achieved this if he didn’t have the time to grow and practice his craft. By working among the poverty row film companies, pumping out quickie noirs, Mann honed his storytelling style and personal voice. He came into his own with films like T-Men, Raw Deal, He Walked by Nightforming a visual style that feels like images carved in rock. Hard edges, high contrast, meaning within the composed frame itself. He’d transfer all he learned into the western and drive the genre in his own direction.

I wasn’t just waxing Mann’s car when I said his work was comparable to Shakespeare. Winchester '73 and The Naked Spur strike chords of Hamlet and Macbeth. The Man From Laramie drips the King plays from every pore. I hate to say that I have no idea what to compare The Tin Star to, but by that point, I feel Mann had stepped into his own. Exploring the myth of these characters and letting them ride off into the sunset where we’d never hear from their chorus again.

Here is what I find ironic. When Mann moves into the period epic, all of the emotions I carry from his other films disappear. All of those things that seem classic and epic in his noir and westerns, which are smaller and more intimate, go away when he gives us Fall of the Roman Empire or El Cid. It’s like the epic scale of the visual, displaced the epic quality of the characters. His visuals in these epics are amazing and just as solid as anything seen in Ben Hur or Cleopatra, they just lack in soul when compared to his other films.

If you have never taken the time to follow the evolution of a filmmaker, give Mann a shot. From small no budget noirs where he honed his skills, to the physical and psychological vistas of the old west, to the biggest budget mega-epics of the 50’s. Mann put up on screen a mosaic of humanity that very few have or will. There is reason why it is important to allow filmmakers to grow through their art and Mann is a legendary example.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Three Years

Three years clean and sober. This has been the toughest year as far as wanting to give up and start drinking goes. The funny thing is it was always when I was working at my last job. It could have been coincidence, but there were a lot of stress inducing situations there.

I even remember that at two years clean and sober, I couldn't have cared less. I was too tired and to involved in a job that meant nothing to even notice where I was in my life. It's interesting how a job effects a person.

Part of it could have been the third year trembles. It is a long talked about issue in AA that the third year is a tough one to get through. I don't think there is any specific reason, everyone has a story to tell and they are very rarely similar with the fact that it always takes place in the third year of sobriety.

Anyway, I feel pretty good. I've been working my way back to getting in shape again, slowly but there is momentum. I've also stayed off of cigarettes. I've indulged in two since I quit in May and I haven't had any urges to start back up again. Had I stayed on the exercise regiment when I quit smoking, I may not have had this extra weight I need to get rid of.

There was a two day period that was rather hard for me last year and I'd like to thank Aaron, Antonio and Gillian for helping me through it. I might have made it through without their help, but I might not have and their help and support was a big factor in lessening the blow.

I've mentioned this before, but I'll mention it again. One of the things that they pound into your brain in AA is that the life you begin to lead when you are sober may not be the life you always wanted, but it will be a better life then the one you had when you were drinking and drugging. I have to agree. Even though it may not be the dream life I've thought myself of having, there isn't one day that hasn't been better that what I once had.

So onward, forward, to battle. Let's see what the next year has to bring.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Return Of Rat Kid

I'm slowly watching the films of Busby Berekely and for those of you keeping track I had posted a piece about Rat Kid. I'm not sure if this little guy is a kid or a midget(dwarf?) but he is a little creepy and a total perv.

In the second film I've seen, Gold Diggers of 1933, Rat Kid shows up in a baby carriage! He runs around, gawks up a couple dresses, looks lasciviously at the camera and pulls up curtains on a bunch of women changing clothes. This is all done during a routine called "Pettin' in the Park." A revised song after the original title, "Blowjob on the Bench" was considered to vague.

Now these movies are pre Hays Code, so they are racy and that's a lot of fun. The dance routines are what make the films worth while, but I'm starting to notice a trend. The last routine is always this patriotic support our troops, America is great, raw-raw thing. It seems almost like a different film because this is how it ends. You have this frothy love story with wacky comedy giant dance numbers then a bunch of soldiers march through in the rain and it you're left feeling a little let down. 

But if Rat Kid keeps making cameos, I'm keeping them in the queue.

Il Trittcio

So a week after seeing the operatic version of The Fly, I go back to see a series of Puccini operas... operettas? Not sure how it ads up, but I was invited because the three pieces were directed by filmmakers William Friedkin and Woody Allen. I'm a big fan of both of them, but after The Fly, I wasn't sure how I felt about opera. Well, I have to say it was an amazing experience. There were some weaker singers, but some amazing ones and the emotional kick that was missing from last weeks endeavor, was paid back three fold in this one. Murder, suicide, greed. These were the themes that drove the pieces and the staging, production design and costuming were pitch perfect. 

Here is what I found most interesting, they actually felt like they were directed by Friedkin and Allen. The first two pieces directed by Friedkin had atmosphere and subtle strokes that create final moments that are an incredible emotional release. The Woody Allen piece had all of the fun and goof ball humor that his comedies of the 70's had. Just a blast and if you get an opportunity to check it out, I'd recommend it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Chuckled

Look at him run! 

And why the hell can't these people draw feet on these guys? I get that the hands are used for cross walk signs across our great nation, but the feet are never used for anything. Somewhere is a giant warehouse of nondescript mechanical feet drawings going to waste.

Also, and I know I'm not an expert in the field of sign design, but I would have drawn little vibration lines behind him to show how fast he's running. It would really sell the, "I'm fuckin' outa' here!" feel.

Come Fly With Me

So last night I went to see opera version of The Fly. For those of you new to this story, it's about a dude scientist who is building teleportation pods. He hops in a pod to teleport to the next one and is successful. What he doesn't catch, is a fly was in there with him and his teleportation device spliced both sets of genes together. Now our dude scientist is slowly mutating into half man/half fly. Pretty cool right?

It was a movie in the 50's (I think) and had a guy walking around with a fly head, which was hysterical. In 1986, David Cronenberg went the gore route and had Jeff Goldblum slowly mutate and ooze his way into a creature. It's a great movie with killer effects, excellent acting and a great characters. A really solid horror film that has become something of a classic.

Now Cronenberg and the composer of the movie Howard Shore have turned it into an opera. At first you scratch your head, then you think about it and say why not. Then you see it and start scratching your head again. The set was cool, the singing was good, I'm guessing here, and the story was just like the 86 version of the movie. But it doesn't work. I didn't feel any love between the main characters, the libretto (lyrics) were real wishy-washy and I never felt any drop of fear. It just seemed like a missed opportunity. Plus it seems like they added these bits that were lifted from Cronenberg's Videodrome to give it a different theme, but it all fell, flat. 

I saw the movie last week and Cronenberg was there to discuss the film and pimp the opera. He'd said the Opera was very different than the movie. He kind of lied. There were a few different things added in and an ending that allows us to, "All hail the new flesh!", but still it was way too close to the film. Ya pulled one over on me Dave and I'm kind of miffed about it.

Here's how I feel it could have been saved. As a matter of fact if this happened, I'd buy tickets for everyone I know. It could have been exactly the same in every way shape or form. 

It's nearing the end and everyone I've taken is looking at me like I'm nuts for liking this thing. Then in the last minute, Seth (The Fly) is creeping up on Veronica (Female Lead) and about to pounce and kill her. Then like a mouse trap going off, this giant fly swatter shoots down and splats him flat. Cut to black, the end. Nothing but open mouths from the audience. 

Out walks Cronenberg with a stagehand wheeling Cronenberg's giant balls in a wheel barrow.  
That's fucking art!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

What's the Busby

For those of you out there who don't know Busby Berkeley, he choreographed and directed all sorts of dance numbers in movies back in the 30's maybe into the 40's.

For those of you who know me, I wouldn't be the target audience for a Busby Berkeley movie. And for those of you who know me, I'll check out anything once. I decided to watch Footlight Parade, it stars Jimmy Cagney as a guy whose stage shows are being pushed out by talking pictures.

The film has some questionable logic when it comes to economics and they introduce several plot points that are resolved a little to quickly and conveniently at times, but it's a fun ride and I'd recommend checking it out.

The second most fascinating thing is some of the racism of the time. Cagney's character suggests a show done in black face and there are several female dancers with eye makeup that make them resemble asian hookers, but what do you expect in 1933.

Now here is the number one fascination for me. The rat kid! Or maybe rat adult of miniature proportions, I'm not entirely sure. In a sequence where all of the dancers are done up as cats for this routine, there's a bit with this dude...

It's totally surreal. There is a second routine later on that is basically about fucking at the "Honeymoon Hotel" and this kid/man shows up again and it really makes you wonder how old he is.

So rat guy was just an eye rubbing experience for me. There was also the half naked white women in an opium den, but by that point I was willing to expect and accept anything.

So if you've never seen Footlight Parade, it's well worth the time and now I've got to go see what else Mr. Berkeley has in store for me.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

This Is Brilliant

I think adding anything to the non-debate about our president and is inabilities to lead this country are moot. I was and I guess sort of still am an admirer of Oliver Stone. Yes he can pound you over the head with his ideas. Yes he has been in a slump for close to a decade. But I'm excited to see this movie and I think this poster is just artful.

I never thought I'd live to see the day when one of the Goonies got to be the president. I want Chunk as Speaker of the House and Data as the Secretary of Defense!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


So, I'm reading this fantastic book called Seagalogy. It's "A Study of the ass-kicking films of Steven Seagal". However stupid it may sound, it is an incredibly well written thought out and purposely funny book.

Since I leave the responsibility of watching crap to Schu, I haven't seen a Seagal film since the mid 90's. And even then it was bits and pieces when I was projecting at a movie theater. So for the hell of it I decided to re-watch Above The Law, Seagal's cinematic debut.

While I was watching it, I kept feeling like I'd seen one of the tertiary characters before. I wrote it off originally to having seen scads of films. Then in one scene it clicked. I think I took the guys picture!

I was out on Hollywood Blvd. snapping photos of interesting faces one day and I thought this guy was just bizarro. It was the narrow eyes and pencil mustache that did it.

Are these the same guy? Tough to say. Above the Law came out in 1988, this picture was taken in 2008. Twenty years can change a guy. You be the judge.

Monday, July 14, 2008

So What...

Yeah, I haven't written anything in a while. For those of you at home keeping score, I've been trying to get Film Geek Primer up and going as a regular web site. This is a slow and educational process. Is it successful so far? I have no idea. It doesn't seem to be. I think there is just too much to do and not enough time to do it.

I'm not even sure if it's something I want to keep pressing forward on, but I always have that, "just around the corner" attitude that is very frustrating. Sometimes a corner is just a corner and there is nothing more beyond it.  I'm not trying to sound negative if that's how it's coming off, I'm just trying to be a realist.

I am in Los Angeles. I am meeting some people. Maybe I should sit down and just start writing scripts. I've got a ton of ideas and they aren't that bad. Some are even very commercial which is odd for me. It's not even about money or living some big fancy Hollywood lifestyle. I know it's all bullshit. It's more about achieving some dream I've always had of being involved in the movies. I know the outcome won't be that illusion I used to dream about (still do sometimes) as a kid, but shit if I can't follow through with what I set out to do in the first place. What kind of person does that make me.

How many times have I said this? Is anybody keeping track? Is this a yearly thing for me? Is this a cycle or a directional spiral? I know I've written something like this before, I just don't know if there is anything different about it, or it's the same old whiny bullshit.

I guess this time I'm pondering ending a current project that is actually operational for another project that is a little more questionable. Plus if I give up on FGP, am I just proving I can't complete something I started? This does have quite a few interesting questions and facets to it, don't you think? I am one fascinating son-of-a-bitch! 

I think the most bizarre part is I could actually do both. Stop worrying about the primer and getting it going, just have fun with it and write and have fun with that as well. 

Who knows.

Maybe I'll do a list of some of the movies I've liked this year, then again, that would be something I should put up n FGP. Interesting how that works.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Until The End Of The World

It's funny... As I a writing this the world continues to pulse and move and flow.

Steel and rubber blood through asphalt veins.

Concrete synapse triggering countless actions.

Memories, unending urges, the gentle caress of key strokes beneath finger tips.

There is an ugly breeze sliding through the living room. It feels like something from my past. The memory is just out of reach and I can't pin it down.

Something about standing on a balcony. I can't tell where or when. How old I was, who was with me. Faded ink.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I am in no way a supporter of the, "Date Movie", "Epic Movie", "Scary Movie" mash-up of hit movie comedies.

But, I saw this Tom Cruise bit from "Super Hero Movie" and was really impressed by this guy impression. It's really fuckin' good.

That being said, I'm still not going to see it. Simply because they are always sad attempts at pop-culture comedy. I can't support that.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

New Blog

So here it is.

The Mabuse Diaries.

This blog will cover all of my exciting adventures while I'm out taking photos.

I also wrote most of another FGP and worked on getting some assets together for a pitch this next week.

Still no gym, which bothers me,but apparently not enough to get my ass back in there.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Again With The Right

Did court stuff this morning, long and tedious, but it's done, out of the way, moving on...yay!

I've started the new blog which will be up tomorrow or Sunda depending on how pro-active I am. It'ss fun and true and that's what I want. Plus all original pictures taht go along with the stories, so it adds that extra kick of tobasco. I actually don't know if that's true, but it was fun to write.

Also I have been working on an idea that might turn into smething. i like it, but will need the help of my crew (the crew) to help solidify it to try and sell. It has potential and that's the most important part in todays fast moving high tech society. (again more fluff to make it sound big and exciting to people who aren't me.

Still no gym. Dammit man I just gotta fuckin' go!.

And I found this quote today that Arthur C. Clarke said he wanted as his epitaph.

"He never grew up; but he never stopped growing."

That is just brilliant.

Left Foot

So I went out yesterday to play around with a new wide-angle lens I bought. It’s a 10-20mm. That means I can take some very wide shots and get some nuts-o distortion when I want. It’s pretty crazy and will make for some interesting photos. I also ordered a 75-200 telephoto, which is on the way. So we’ll see what kind of stuff I get.

Still didn’t get to the gym, but feeling more motivated.

Did go out to lunch with a friend and then caught a Bava double feature and dinner that evening with another friend. So I get bonus points for socialization, right?

I did some brainstorming on FGP ideas, but nothing solid. I’ll do more of that while I’m at court today…Oh yeah, court.

Weeeeeee. Some outstanding traffic tickets that I didn’t know about because they were sent to the old address. Now I get to go in and explain I’m an idiot and ask for a reduction. We’ll see how that goes.

So, onward! Forward! To battle!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Right Foot

I may not have gone to the gym, but I did go out this morning and take some pictures, then I went home and wrote an FGP episode. So that’s a pretty good start. And now I update the blog to let you know I’m finding some footing.

I may also have a new blog soon. It will be in addition to this one. It’s going to be the true adventures of myself when I’m out taking photos. There are some fun things that take place and I figured instead of telling them here, I’ll tell them there along with the corresponding photos. I’ll have that up soon, because I caught a fun story today from one of my…models?

So, that’s yet another project for me to get going.

Oh and I went to court to try and get copies of tickets, but had to run all over the place just to find out they have to mail me the tickets and other such bureaucratic stuff.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Now What?

I haven’t been writing a lot lately. As a matter of fact, I haven’t been doing a lot of things lately. I can blame my former job for this, but as we all know that would be silly. I am responsible for my actions, my thoughts, my well-being, my blah, blah, blah.

I’ve fallen off of several wagons apparently. Not drinking or drugs mind you. I’m still very clean and sober. But what about my writing, what about my health, what about my fuckin’ podcast?

Man I’ve slid down a very log slope and feel like I have a lot of catching up to do. Just thinking about it is exhausting. That isn’t good. It keeps me from even attempting the first step. And that’s all I have to do, take that first step and follow it up with the next step. Don’t look down the road to search for a finish line. I know there isn’t one. So I should look down at my feet and just take that first step. I don’t need an overall plan, just a single move.

That’s what I should start on, the single move. Get used to it, then add in the next one. Easy cheesy.

So a small step. Tell you tomorrow what I’ve done. Let you in on those steps and see if I get anywhere. Don’t think about failure, because there is nothing to fail at. Just movement.

See, I’ve written my first blog post. One step, no big deal.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Call Me K

In Franz Kafka’s “The Trial” a character named only K is arrested and put on trial…hence the title. The thing is he is never told what he did. He has no idea what he did. He goes through the story trying to figure out, but never discovers an answer. It sounds like an extremely frustrating situation and I can now say that it is.

I was fired, laid off, let go, from my job on Monday. The only excuse I was given was, “Business reasons.” I was in shock. So was everyone else. My superiors were not told why I was terminated. I have no idea why they got rid of me. No one has any idea except for a few higher ups. It is just odd, confusing, frustrating.

I kept asking what I did and all they’d tell me was the same thing over and over. Business reasons. Business reasons. Business reasons. I didn’t understand then, I still don’t. They said I was a great employee, I was an excellent editor, it was just…business reasons.

There were other positions that I could have moved to. They knew I wanted to produce and there were spots opening up. But they kicked me out anyway.

I can run it over and over in my head. I can let it continue to bother me. I can simply accept it was business reasons.

I know there are all sorts of things in life that never have closure. Maybe I simply need to accept things as they are and move on. I’ll just keep moving forward and see where it leads me.

Monday, February 18, 2008


So I produced a piece for the show I work for. It’s about Tom Sizemore and Heidi Fleiss. I worked on Saturday, w the footage and thought of an angle. I came in Sunday to put it together.

This morning I showed it to a couple of the higher-ups and they decided to run with it. Some changes needed to be made, so they handed it off to another producer and editor to finish it. I’m not entirely sure why. So it was in the first rundown and now I’m watching the first feed (that’s where they and it out to the east coast stations for airing) and I’m not seeing it. It may have been cut. There are a few minutes left in the show, but it is certainly not where it was during the pre-feed test. Hmmmmm. I guess that says something.

Nope, definitely not there.

Oh well. I almost had a kind of proud moment. Back to the coalmines.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Once Was Blind

So I am a successful case of Lasik surgery. It was a very interesting process and I found it a lot more educational the scary. Mybe that is the way I deal ith stress. I turn t into research to keep from beng frightened.

There were moments when I was thinking to myself, "This is how my vision may be if things go wrong." It was... I dunno, just interesting.

So here is the visual lowdown. The before picture.

The during picture. If you look at the bottom, you can se my cornea flipped off of my eye.

And after.

Not much difference. I'm still one ugly fucker, but I've got 20/20 vision

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Another Saturday Night

And I ain’t got nobody…

Yeah, we all know the story. Nuthin’ too exciting.

So lets talk about movies for a few, shall we? I’ve opted out of going to see an Otto Preminger double feature. I’m not entirely sure why. I’m just feeling like a bit of a homebody. I’d rather hang here. I’m not sure if it’s the best of ideas. I should work on getting out more. Starting some sort of life.

I need to get to the gym more. I need to start getting back in shape. I spent so much time getting somewhere; I should stay on that path. It’s important for me to do that.

I know this is considered writing, but I need to spend more time writing. I need to practice. Writing as we all know is a learned skill and like any skill, you must practice, stay in shape in order to get stronger, better at it.

Practice, practice, practice. I need to sit down and make a list of the things that I need to do an start making a schedule for it. I can’t sped as many hours a work that I do. I need to streamline my work time to include time to work on moving higher up the work ladder. I can’t get out if I don’t climb up. That’s why the hole is there in the first place.

Oh and for those of you keeping score, I’m holding off on the monkey fro now. They cost about seven grand; so it may be more of a long term, save up for kind of thing. But damnit, I really wanted one to help clean the bathroom.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


So we’re going crazy with the rain right now. We’ve got flash flood warnings, the power has gone out and we’ve got to jack up the volume on the television just to hear through the rain.

In seven days I’ll be sitting on a couch, probably laying down, with my eyes closed and waiting patiently for the hour when I can slowly open them again. Hopefully, my vision will be back to perfect and I’ll be able to see through women’s clothing. I’ve been thinking about what I’ll se first. I’m pondering having Izzy woken up so I can open my eyes to se him. An interesting fantasy, but the truth will probably be a chair or dirty coffee table. So it goes.

What I’m more curious about is the first movie I’ll watch. I’ll be staying away from television for a few days while my eyes fully heal, but I’d like to make the first film I watch something special. Yeah, I’m a geek, but it will be a movie I will have a new attachment to. I want something good. I’ve been thinking of a Kurosawa film, but I had the idea that I may watch In The Mood For Love. It is a visually stunning film and I haven’t seen it in a while. It is a brilliant film. I strongly recommend it, first time with new eyes or not.

I just had a quick flash so I’m off to look into buying a Capuchin Monkey. Wish me luck.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Makin’ Friends

So what does a guy like me with no friends do? He goes out and makes them. I of course can’t do this the conventional way. I have to walk up, ask to take there picture and start in on some conversation.

Today, my new buddy is Dennis a homeless Russian guy who is an actor. I went to do laundry at the local mat and saw him sitting against the wall outside. I thought he had a good look to him so I asked if I could take his picture. He asked why and I did my regular lie of how I’m in a photography class and I’m taking pictures as an assignment. He asked for my teachers name and I responded with a Mrs. Samson. No idea where the name came from, though I did ponder saying Samsonite originally. I shortened it for brevity sake.

So I snap a couple photos, give him the money and he asks if he can have copies. That’s when he launches into his story of being an actor and he needs headshots. Hmmm, well I can go home real quick and print a few out. He’s tickled pink about the idea. He goes to buy a bottle of vodka with the cash I gave him and I go home to print out the pictures. Now, It did strike me as very cliché that he was a Russian who went to buy vodka, but when in Moscow…

So I print out the pictures, come back and he’s watching my laundry spin around in the dryer to make sure no one decided to walk off with it. Very generous of him. I’ve got about twenty minutes until the dryer finishes so we sit outside and he talks to me about studying method acting, reading Stanislavski and such.

He then started asking me about music and what I liked. I mentioned a couple songs after thinking about it for a bit and he launches into his love of Nirvana and how incredible Kurt Cobain was. He’s bringing up all of this stuff about the CIA writing Cobain’s songs and asked which one was my favorite.

Me: I really liked the entire Nevermind album.

Him: I liked that song Lithium. Want to hear it?

Me: Yeah, sure.

He then starts playing all of the instruments with his mouth and sings the entire song to me.

Him: Good, yes?

Me: Not bad.

Him: Who do you think his influences were?

Me: I know he liked Lead Belly.

Him: Who?

Me: This old blues guitarist. Nirvana covered one of his songs on MTV Unplugged.

Him: Which one?

Me: My Girl, or Where Did You Sleep Last Night. I forget which one is the title.

Him: This song I know. Want to hear it?

Me: Sure.

So he sings the entire song. He falters a couple times, hums a bit to himself while the gears in his head turned until they came to him, but he sang the whole thing.

When it was over he decided to move on to the works of Pink Floyd and started performing Comfortably Numb. It’s not often a Russian transient sings to you, so I was digging it for a while. When my laundry was done, I politely excused myself, we shook hands, he thanked me for the photos and said it might help him get an agent. I wished Dennis the best of luck with his career and said this town can be tough, as if he didn’t already know that.

Him: Next time, we sing Zeppelin. You know any Led Zeppelin?

Me: Not really. But I’ll study up on them.

Him: Good. Next time we sing Zeppelin.

I'll have to figure out why I don't mind hanging out and chatting with homeless people, but I find it hard to talk to other people. Very odd.

Pictures of Dennis can be found here in the On The Street collection

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Bai High

SO we were standing out on the terrace at work having a cigarette when someone points down to the court, "I think Bai Ling just walked by."

So we scurry down to the Virgin Mega Store to check it out and sure enough, there she was reading magazines.

This is awsome because she is a very loopy crazy woman. She's not a half bad actress and she is continually made fun of on our site because her English is not the beast and she has a philosophy about life. She also dances like a crazed maniac. Not exactly the best reasons to make fun of her, but they still do.

So I run back upstairs to grab my camera and run back down to have my picture taken with her.

This is also the official unveiling of my rippingly cool new t-shirt that promotes the outpost from John Carpenter's masterpiece "The Thing" So you get a twofer on this one.

A couple of real badasses, eh?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Bye, Bye, Four-Eye

So here is the deal folks, I’m getting Lasik.

On January 30th my eyes will be locked open like Alex Delong and I’ll be receiving a form of Ludovico treatment. When it’s over I’ll have these goofy goggle things taped over my eyes for several hours and all I’ll be able to do is listen to podcasts. When it’s all over, my vision will be fixed and I’ll be looking at the world with new eyes.
Is this a little scary? Yes. The idea of having some laser piercing through my eye is not an image I want to concentrate on. I also hope that I don’t get sick to my stomach when I listen to Beethoven.

I’ve been wearing glass since I was 11. That’s 24 years of eye care. 24 years of waking up every morning an not being able to see he world until I reached over to my nightstand and grabbed those magnifying pieces of glass.

It’s really exciting. And a new experience to add to my collection of life’s little moments


I’ve been whining a lot recently about all of the bad crap that has been going on. So for a few minutes, I’d like to pass on some things that I am grateful for.

#1. The Job: It may not be the most satisfying gig on the planet, but it is much closer to what I am trying to do with my life. Last year at this time I was unemployed because the show I was working on was cancelled. The year before that I was unemployed and back in school to start a new career and attempt to get back into the industry. Three years ago I was in a miserable job and it had nothing to do with any goal I wanted to achieve. So now I’m actually editing (sort of) and working in Hollywood in television. It may not be making movies, but it is a hell of a lot closer than filing paperwork in a cubicle for the mental health industry.

#2. My Friends: I may not have many, but the ones I have are very supportive and are always willing to listen to my hair-brained schemes and ideas for making shows. I don’t believe that I would still be clean and sober without their help and I think they are a great group of people. Everyone should have a core group like this.

#3. AA: I may not be the most active participant in Alcoholics Anonymous, but it is always there when I need to be around people who have gone through a lot of the same shit that I have been through. It makes a person who feels a little disjointed in the world not so alone.

#4. FGP: Film Geek Primer may have slowed down (hasn’t stopped folks, it’s still moving) but it allows a creative way for me to vent about where I believe the state of film is and help educate people about why movies are such an important part of the world, not just my life. Expect more soon and we’re trying to arrange a schedule so we can pump more of them out more frequently.

#5. Women: They have caused me more paranoia, emotional duress, lack of trust, incredible moments, laughter, sex, company…All of those things that force me to look at myself and have helped me play catch-up with those very immature emotions that I’m working through. Thanks ladies.

#6. Izzy: Yeah I may be the only one that calls him that, but my non-nephew/nephew has made me feel like a family may not just be something that I want, but would really enjoy having. He makes me feel like being a parent is actually a good thing in this world.

#7. Music: I mean come o people if you can’t understand why music (any kind) is so incredible you have no souls and need to just give up the ghost right now.

#8. Movies: It may be last on this list, but is certainly not the least. It is my window to society, my art, myself. Discovering a new movie is akin to discovering a new galaxy. It opens up so much possibility. Akira Kurosawa once said, “If you subtract movies from me, the remainder would be zero.” I’m in good company.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Sometimes It Don’t Fly

Sometimes things just don’t work out right. I’ve had a couple of those moments over the past week. Walked away from a couple friendships to avoid screwing things up and hoping that some form of healing could begin. The other was having a friend let go of me because it just might be too tough.

The friend who had to walk away is Stefanie. We dated a little back in June and July. She’s a really great person. She’s a scientist and a bit of a geek, which is really cool. We had a good time together and it felt comfortable. But it just didn’t click for me. It has nothing to do with her, which is what she keeps thinking. Something just doesn’t fit right for me. I couldn’t tell you what. I really have no idea. I know a lot of people can understand this. I just feel that we work better as friends. I have too many issues and self-loathing to get into anything that might hurt her. There are lots of things that I could use as an excuse, but in the end, it just won’t work. And committing to a relationship that is just going to cause pain and suffering in the future is just plain old bad.

She had to walk away from me because she doesn’t want to have to deal with the pain of me finding someone else. It makes so much sense I can’t refute it. There is a part of me that will feel hurt when she meets the right guy. It’s not a being in love thing; it’s just that emotional realization that you’re not the one. It’s funny ain’t it.

Anyway we’re not talking right now and I understand her position. I hope that maybe we can find that friendship sometime in the future; because I really do enjoy her company and I really want her to be happy. Without me around hopeful it will help her find it.

It was a good time and I’m lucky to have been involved with such a good person.

The friendships that I had to give up are a very long and complex story. I’ll try to figure out a way to lay it down and get back to you later.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

38 Hours

I woke up a couple hours ago after staying awake for 38 hours straight. This is the first time I’ve done anything like this for a long time. It’s the first time in an even longer time that I’ve done it clean and sober. Let’s take a journey, shall we.

I woke up at 4:30 on Thursday morning. This is standard for work, so the next several hours is just business as usual. This work shift ends at 5:00, so here are the first 12 and a half hours.

At 5:00 I go down the sushi house that is also the watering hole for the work place. Meet up with a few co-workers and enjoy a few diet cokes and listen to the drunkenness begin. It’s funny to watch people get drunk. I’m a little envious at first, because booze really speeds up the ability to loosen up. I have to find it in myself to relax and just go with the flow.

About 7:00 it is decided by someone that he won’t be able to drive home and decides to get a hotel room just down the street. Since none of us did any partying for new years because of work and basic burn out, it was decided to have a bit of a party at the hotel. Since I haven’t done this in a while I say sure, it’ll be fun to get out and act like a regular person for a while. Booze is purchased, a room reservation is made and by the time we get everything to the hotel it is 8:00. I’m now at the 15 hour mark, very normal.

At the hotel it is one other guy, two girls and me. The guy is an obnoxious shit, one of the girls is a tired drunk who seems to be pretty coherent and the third is drunk out of her skull and isn’t stopping. Over the next few hours, I’ll witness an emotional breakdown, a wrestling match that turns into something that is half a step away from becoming a potential rape and basic stupidity. This was the time that I was really happy that I no longer drink, because it was just sad and all I witnessed was a bunch of bullshit posing and self-loathing. Quite a bit of fun for a person who enjoys watching how people behave, not fun when I relies that I consider some of these people friends and realize how fucked up they really are. I decide I really can’t deal with it and whatever happens is what happens. I wont be able to stop it and maybe they just need o do what they need to do. I leave at 11:15. I’ll have to be up at 4:30 for work, so I’ll get a few hors sleep, which is good. I’ve now been awake 18 and three-quarter hours. So it’s basically reached the tipping point.

I drive home and am sitting on my bed at 11:30 when the phone rings. My first though it the voice is going to be a drunken crying woman who needs me to drive her home or listen to a monolog that is going to run in circles for an hour or two. The caller ID read “Private Number”, this means it is one o two people from work. Shit. Britney spears has gone crazy, footage coming in, can I come to work? Sure. Actually I was jacked up on caffeine and nicotine, so I knew I wasn’t going to fall asleep too easily. I stop by the 7-11 to but a couple bottle of diet Mt. dew and a pack of smokes. I know I’ll be there until morning.

I’m at work at midnight and I’m waiting on footage, cutting footage and spending the next five hours digitizing and cutting all kinds of crap surrounding Britney Spears breakdown. It goes o longer of course, but this is where the extra nighttime stuff ends and my regular work shift would begin at 5:00. 24 and one half hour, I’m still going strong.

The regular shift until 5 o’clock, everything ran smoothly. The folks from the hotel room showed up a little late, but in one piece. The day was relatively normal and there was not as much craziness as I was expecting. I think around 11:30 I entered into the land of wacky. I felt it necessary to stay because they were shutting the power down to out building at 7:00 for maintenance. We were shipping equipment and people over to a different studio for Saturday and I wanted to make sure all of the editing equipment was set up properly before they took it away. Aaron was kind enough to go to the studio to help set it up. We wrapped up work and I was done at 5:00. I hit my second wind around 4:00 so I was feeling pretty good. It was an employee’s last day so I went back down to the sushi joint for the farewell party. I’m now at 36 and 1 half hours.

While at the sushi joint, I got to practice some bar tending skills. I got to get behind the bar and make drinks for folks. It’s funny that I can serve drinks and not have the desire to drink. Part of my reasoning for this is like being a bank teller. They handle money all day, but don’t take any. I was doing a job, performing a service. We got a call that Dr. Phil wanted some footage we have for a Monday taping. This means I need to go back upstairs and locate the footage to burn to DVD. So back up I go, it’s now 6:30.

I’m home by 7:10 and going crashing in a chair watching Jeopardy with Gabe. We talk about the movies he’s been watching. The best of them being “To Live And Die In LA”. He’s amazed he’s ever watched it before. We carry on about its greatness while we watch contestants fuck up on tv.

(ANSWER THIS: On the game show Jeopardy, how is it possible for a contestant who takes third place to end up with more money than the winner of the day? I look forward to your responses.)

The Simpson’s come on at 7:30. I start to fade fast. I stay awake just long enough to hear the world’s best Sydney Greenstreet impression then haul my ass to bed. I crashed approximately 7:40.

Final toll: 39 hours 10 minutes.

My math ain't too good after staying up that long.