Wednesday, November 30, 2005

My New Love...



So a couple of people had told me I should watch this show "Veronica Mars". I ordered the first couple of discs from season 1 through Netflix. It was pretty slow going for 2 of the discs, but...

...the lead girl was VERY cute. Very likeable. It wasn't love at first sight, mind you. When she dressed up in the little schoolgirl outfit I had the first flutterings.

Then, in a recent episode, she went to an 80's-themed dance dressed like one of those Madonna-wannabes. Very short skirt, permed hair, black lace outfit. That's when I knew it was love.

And when I meet her she'll be mine, oh yes. {cue maniacal, love-crazed laughter with rubbing of the hands here}--and before you accuse me of cradle-robbing, know this: She may look 18, but she's 25. Perrrrrrrrrrrrfect.

btw: Veronica Mars, the tv show, has gotten better. The cool theme song(by the Dandy Warhols, who have a couple of other cool songs) is catchy, and once you get invested in the characters it does get better. Give it a shot if you've got Netflix and some time.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Loving It...

November 28th. Eight thirty PM at night. Maryland. It's 64 degrees outside.

It's not some freak anomaly. This November has to be one of the warmest in the record book. We've had quite a few 60+ days this month.

It's wonderful.

If this is Global Warming, I say WELCOME. Pull up a chair and stay a while.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Simon & Simon

So I've been thinking lately about Simon & Simon. You know, the OTHER detective show from the 80's. The one that doesn't have a single season dvd set yet, even though it ran for eight(yes, EIGHT) seasons on television.

You can get Magnum PI on dvd. You can can Remington Steele on dvd. You can get Moonlighting on dvd. No love for Simon and Simon though.

Which led me to thinking about the show. How I liked Rick better than A.J.--heck, I'm sure everyone did.

But I'm betting that without A.J., Rick gets a lot less interesting. Which led me to thinking about how the straight character never gets the recognition he deserves.

Riggs without Murtaugh. The Scooby Gang minus Giles(though to a lesser extent--as Giles developed a backstory he became interesting, and eventually even developed a sense of humor). David Addison minus Maddy.

I don't think the second fiddle gets the appreciation he or she deserves.

But that's all stream of thought stuff that boils out of me wanting the Simon & Simon dvds. Once we get those put out we can get down to the obscure stuff like Riptide.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving, you lurkers...

And in that spirit, here's a great Thanksgiving spam email I got today. NOTE: DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK IF SEXUALLY EXPLICIT MATERIAL OFFENDS YOU--it will not take you to a site, but I saved the picture that was in the email and uploaded it to my own server so you could see.

It's HERE

Happy T-Day

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

What to do with them?

I don't know what to do with those nifty carboard sleeves a lot of the new releases are coming with, you know? They're highly reflective, very pretty and sometimes the picture is different from the actual picture on the dvd case, so I'd feel bad about throwing them away.

But they're also kind of a pain. If you forget to slide the dvd package back in, you'll later find the cardboard sleeve and then have to hunt down the dvd. They also make the dvd slightly thicker, and my dvd shelf is getting pretty full as it is. I can use the extra space.

Today I got the new "War of the Worlds" and it's got one. I think the first one I ever got one on was "The Chronicles of Riddick". The coolest one was for "Resident Evil: Apolcalypse"--it wasn't cardboard, it was plastic with an image that stood out against the actual dvd background. Very cool.

But the cardboard ones...To throw away or not to throw away, that is the question...

Monday, November 21, 2005

Repressed Anger

I've been talking about past fights, and I guess it's because I kind of miss them. Weird, I know.

But I haven't been in a fight in maybe eight-ten years. I don't think there was anything particularly cathartic about them. The release of anger as I punched someone felt good, but in the end--even when I won--I typically had some bruises and tender places.

So the other day I'm in the parking lot where I own a store. I was chatting with my employee behind my car, so we were technically in one of the parking lot's drive lanes. But it was a Sunday and the lot was empty. You could have done donuts without hitting anyone.

Like I said, we're chatting. I hear a car coming up behind me from the liquor store and it pulls up pretty close to me and whoever it is LAYS on the horn. I think it's someone I know trying to be funny.

Imagine my surprise when I turn and see some older guy shaking his fists at me and telling me to get out of the way. I can only imagine my face. I leaned down so he could get a good look...then very clearly gave him the finger.

He got even more mad, like a monkey you're tormenting. He grabbed his steering wheel and pulled on it, yelling something at me. Then he drove around us and stopped twenty feet in front of us.

Then he turned in his seat and started giving me the finger. I'll admit--I lost it. This irrational, boiling anger came over. I stormed toward his car yelling "Get out of the car!"

I fully intended to pummel this guy if he got out. He was a smart guy though. He took off before I was even close.

I went back to my employee--who's a smartass. He says, "So...you know that guy?" I laughed, but you could see he was kind of surprised at my blowup.

I think I mentioned in one of my earliest blogs that I used to be an angry guy, but not so much now. I think I just repressed it, and it's all sitting there waiting for the right moment.

I can't explain why.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Uh...Cute Animal?

What cute animal are you like? I admit, as it got toward the end I was pretty sure it was going to say: "You're not cute at all, sorry!"

But I guess it HAS to tell you you're something cute. This is me, according to this site:

You Are A: Bear Cub!

bear cubBears are strong and independent creatures who roam in the forest in search of food. Bears are usually gentle, but anger one and be prepared for their full fury! You're big, you're tough, you won't back down from a fight, you have a bit of a temper -- classic attributes of a bear. Intelligent and resourceful, though lazy at times, you are a fascinating creature of the wild.

You were almost a: Kitten or a Turtle
You are least like a: Chipmunk or a DucklingWhat Cute Animal Are You?

THIRTEEN!

Holy crap. If you're not watching Rome, it's probably too late to start.

But...for those fans of the gore, you should check out the repeat of last week's episode. It will show at 9pm I think(they normally show it before the new episode).

You will see one of the cooler fights in recent television--and it's gotta be the bloodiest. Stabs, chopped limbs, blood everywhere!

Check it out! Then rent the entire season 1 when it comes out so you can see just what the circumstances are.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

FIGHT! (2)

I was a junior in high school. It was Friday night--and we knew where a big party was going to be. So my friend Brooks and I started drinking early. We did a bunch of beer bongs and a short time later went over to the party.

Background: Paul I. was known as something of a legend around our school. He was too old for high school, but on occasion you'd see him at the parties. He had joined the military years earlier, and the story goes that one day he didn't report for duty and they found him huddled naked in the corner of his room. They discharged him.

That was the story. The only thing anyone knew for sure was that he went into the military and came out faster than he was supposed to. But everybody gave him wide berth. He was MENTAL.

I'd had a brief run-in with him a year earlier, but was bailed out of actually fighting him by Matt Luck(story to follow), who was THE scariest mofo in our school. Matt came over and got in Paul's face, and Paul backed off. I have no idea why Matt did this for me--we have a cloudy past, to say the least.

So anyway, Friday comes and we're at the party. I'm wasted. I am more wasted than I have ever been(at that point).

I remember being downstairs in the middle of all those people and I was showing Brooks that I couldn't feel my face. I hit myself in the face to demonstrate.

I came up with the brilliant plan to bet a guy $20 that he couldn't knock me out with one punch. The guy--and most of the people at the party--thought I was nuts. They tried to talk the guy out of it. The guy asked me if I was gonna punch him back.

I said no, he gets one punch and if he doesn't knock me out he gives me $20. If he does, I give him $20.

We went back and forth and finally--I can remember this perfectly--He pulled that fist WAAAAAAY back and hit me in the jaw.

Even through my stupor I felt it. It shocked my entire head. But I stayed on my feet. The guy gave me $20, and people laughed at the crazy guy(me).

Then I see Paul I. come strolling over, mister cocky. He says "How about you give me $20 bucks if I punch you?"

I said "You punch me and I'm gonna kick your ass". He punched me in the face.

I don't remember this part. Brooks later told me I dropped to one knee and was looking down, so he couldn't see my face. He thought maybe I was going to start crying.

But then I raised my head slowly and he said I was smiling. He said he was thinking "Oh shit..."

I don't remember tackling him on the coffee table. We were going at it for only a minute before we were pulled apart and people told us to take it outside.

I remember walking out of the party and waiting for him in the front yard. He came out the door and his shirt was unbuttoned. He threw it off--I'll admit that he was in much better shape than I--and said "I'm gonna beat your ass".

He came at me--I bent down and grabbed him around the legs. I lifted and SLAMMED him into the concrete steps, and then I just punched him in the face about 100 times, screaming "Beat my ass now!"

I remember that. Someone pulled me off of him after a second--so I'm sure I only hit him about 10 times, but it felt like 100. Someone took him to his car.

The next day both my eyes turned black from where he first hit me in the nose. My nose was pretty swollen. My mom wanted to know what happened and I told her I got elbowed in a basketball game. I wasn't a narc.

But my brother told her later, I found out. But that was actually the last fight I got into until late in my senior year. Most people went out of their way to NOT fight me after that. Brooks told me people started saying I was MENTAL.

Hey, I'd been called worse. But I looked like hell for a couple of weeks after that.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Bad News

I was just informed by the company that's putting the dvd together that there's no way they can include the "Making Of" I created for the dvd. It's 67 minutes long and pretty comprehensive, but given how many other extras there are and the quality of compression that LG requires of the film, it just won't fit.

They want me to cut it down to 25 minutes. Youch.

So, some lucky people I won't name could be the only people to ever see it in its full form.

Dunno. Maybe I'll put it online someday. That's a lotta bandwidth though...

Monday, November 14, 2005

Woah, two blogs in one day...

It's like, a record. Few quick things.

It's 9:51am(I haven't gone to sleep yet) and I just finished another pass on FOC2's script. And I wrote the line. It gave me chills to write it. I can see it clearly. If Frank(who may be reading this so--hey Frank) nails this line, people in the audience will cheer out loud.

Also, a character named Hot Rod may steal the whole show. He seems to have taken on a life of his own.

Just wanted to tell you that. Also:

Norman--your new music or whatever you got on your blog completely locks up my computer. Freezes it so I gotta reboot. I don't know why, 'cause I don't know how you setup the thing to play(is it an .mpeg or .wav or what?) Whatever application it's trying to make my computer launch ain't working(and I'll bet it's real player, since I've had similar problems lately)--though I can hear the music play.

Right up until I hit the reset button on my computer--CTRL-ALT-DEL doesn't even do anything.

Annapolis Film Festival

So, Friday night my wife and I went to the fest and watched the opening night movie, "Alchemy". It starred the lead actor from that television show "Ed", plus the lead girl from that television show "Scrubs". I could look their names up for you but what fun would that be?

The film was okay. A little slow--and the sound mix was all messed up--but it had some entertaining parts.

After the show we went to the party. Pretty packed, and I'm not sure why they do it but they hire a band that plays incredibly loud. So all these people who want to network and chat end up screaming to be heard over the music.

To my surprise, the festival director brought the director of "Alchemy" over to meet me, and we chatted for five or ten minutes. He got real interested when I mentioned that Lion's Gate picked up the film.

We left early--not really any need to be there.

Saturday we arrived for the showing of "FOC"--met that goofball Stewie out front and gave him one of my free tickets. When we got to the place they were showing the flick everybody was leaving--some other movie had just ended.

For five minutes there I thought no one would be at my showing. For once, I didn't really mind. Then people started showing up. All told, about forty of them came.

The flick started and I watched where the audience couldn't see me watching THEM. After a couple of minutes I went upstairs to see how many people were watching the movie that had been put in the main auditorium.

Seven. Niiiiice. But I'm glad we weren't there--my film would have blown the speakers out of the water there.

The crowd was weird. Not laughing in places that normally got a laugh, and laughing at other times I'd never heard one. Of course, there's still one line in the film that always gets the big laugh, and it didn't fail here either.

They'll probably inscribe it on my headstone.

The movie ended and I got up to answer questions. This fat New Yorker says "I got 2 questions for you: First, is the rumor true that Lion's Gate picked up your film, and question 2: How do you justify the way you cheated the audience with the fake ending and then the other ending?"

Nice, easy opening question. It was nice to be able to start: "Yes, Lion's Gate picked it up". I think I was pretty gracious with the second part of the answer.

Anyway, got a bunch more questions which I answered in a more or less intelligent fashion. A lot of the questions were easy because I've gotten them in interviews I've already done.

The fat guy turns out to be the guy who made the only other movie at the festival that I wanted to see. He wouldn't stop asking me questions and talking to me, even though other people wanted to chat and have me sign posters.

Sunday I got up early(for me) and went to see fat guy's film. He was playing at 2:30 in the big auditorium, and he was terrified no one would show. He got about 30 people in his showing, which honestly isn't bad considering football's on television and the weather was really nice.

His film was pretty interesting too, though it bogged down about an hour in.

I jetted home and got ready to go back for the awards reception. For once they had some nice food. I skipped the champagne and had a water, then took some pics as they gave the awards to movies I've never heard of, and ones you'll probably never hear of.

Someone asked me if it bothered me that I didn't win. I said I'd rather have the money than the awards.

It reminded me of a cartoon I saw shortly after Spielberg once again wasn't nominated for an Academy Award(before he won one). It had ET walking away from the Oscar statue holding two big bags of money. My feeling exactly.

But I'm serious in saying that every filmmaker who heard I had a deal with Lion's Gate was all over me. They wouldn't leave me alone, asking me questions, saying we should get together and do a project.

The New York guys want me to swing by their place if I get to New York. Interesting factoid: They know Keith David very well(he was the producer of and also narrator of their movie), and being a massive John Carpenter fan, I'd love to put him in one of my flicks. If you don't know, he's the black guy in "The Thing", the guy Rowdy Roddy Piper fights over sunglasses in "They Live" and he was one of the guys in "Prince of Darkness".

So, an interesting festival but I'm glad I'm done with them for this movie. On to the rest.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The excuses...

Yeah, been busy attending the Annapolis Film Festival this week(end), so haven't done anything with the blog.

I'll do a blog on the fest when I get back from the "Champagne Awards Ceremony" tonight. And no, I don't expect to win anything.

But getting my ass kissed by all the filmmakers who don't have a distribution deal is kind of an award all by itself, isn't it?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Bloggin' and Thanksgiving Surprise...

So it's tough for me to keep a blog. There's a lot of stuff that goes on in my life that I can't actually talk about. Then there's the stuff I don't wanna talk about.

Somewhere in between I gotta find the stuff that's not either of those. I figure I have so many bizarre stories in my past that it should last me a while.

About fifteen years ago(wow...cliche alert...was it really that long ago?...end cliche) I spent Thansgiving with my girlfriend(Jen) of three years. We were pretty serious. At that point my previous relationship-record was five months.

I drove to the Eastern Shore and met her at her apartment, and we met her stepfather and mom, then all drove over to Jen's grandmother's house. Her grandmother was a very, very old lady. Nice as could be, but very old, and she insisted on making everything herself.

I think you know how big a task making Thanksgiving dinner is. A lot of work. I'm not sure how she even picked up the turkey.

The atmosphere was a little weird. I didn't really know Jen's stepfather or her mother. I had probably said a total of about thirty words to either of them. I had met Jen in college, and then she moved back to the Eastern Shore but she had her own place. So no need to chat the parents up.

The dinner was surprisingly good. The turkey was moist, the gravy wasn't too bad considering it wasn't my mom's, and the potatoes were almost smooth.

Then Jen's grandma brought out some crystal glasses with Jello in them, covered with whipped cream. The kind of glass with a thin stem and a bowl-like cup.

I dunk my spoon in and take a bite. Not too bad. A couple more bites. Then I'm getting to the end. I drag my spoon along the bottom--not paying attention--and plop it in my mouth.

Instantly I know something's wrong. How? You ever put metal in your mouth when you have fillings? There's a sweet, terrible taste right away. I take moment to probe with my tongue.

Then I grab a napkin and spit it out, trying not to be too overt about it. But they all notice and ask what's wrong. My first thought is to hold the napkin out to show them, but that would be gross.

So I dip my spoon into the cup and scrape out some more jello. I show them what's in it.

Rusty nails and screws. I kid you not. It's funny now, but at the time it was pretty disgusting.

The grandmother was embarrassed. She'd had those glasses on her shelf for a while and apparently had forgotten that she'd started using them as one of those screw/nail dishes. You know, we all have a dish of odd screws and nails lying around somewhere.

And since she's old and her sight's not too good, apparently she just grabbed the glasses and dumped jello in them. And I got the lucky glass.

I laughed along with them--the whole time thinking what a crazy family they were. That was(coincidentally) the last Thanksgiving I spent with Jen.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Fight!

I used to get in fights a lot. From elementary school to high school to college. I was an angry angry guy. I'm not sure of the exact reason--okay, I'm lying. I probably do know the reason.

People love to hear about fights, so I figured every once in a while I'd regale you with tales of pummeling. Consider this Chapter 1.

First day of middle school. Middle school was this thing between elementary school and high school. Everyone was assigned a lunch period--A, B or C. So if you only had four friends it was very possible you'd be eating alone.

That was me. I went to the cafeteria, got some food on a white styrofoam plate and looked around for my friends. Nobody. So I sat at an empty table.

A couple of minutes later five guys came over. The lead guy was shorter than me by about 6 inches and he had a big nose. He says to me "Get up." I say "Huh?" He says it's his table and I can't sit there.

I tell him to fuck off. He and his crew put their plates on the table. The guy says "Meet me in the bathroom" and walks off in that direction. The bathroom and the lockerbanks were always the place fights took place.

The guy's buddies are looking at me with grins like "You're gonna get your ass whipped."

So I headed for the bathroom.

I was a little apprehensive, I'll give you that. I figured that a guy that short must have something going for him--karate? Kung Fu?--or he wouldn't be calling out guys half a foot taller than them.

The bathroom is empty other than Shorty. Then the dance began. "Start it." "No, you start it." "Go ahead and punch me." Back and forth. Everyone was under the impression that whoever threw the first punch was the one who got in trouble.

Finally, he hit me. Punched me right in the jaw. And it didn't hurt.

I punched him in his big nose. He slipped and grabbed the urinal by the metal pole on top.

I waited for a moment to see if he wanted another one, but he was busy crying and holding his nose with the other hand. So I went back to the table.

His friends saw me coming and lost their grins. I sat back down and finished my meal. A few minutes later I saw the principal helping the kid to the office.

I never saw Shorty again, though I found out like 3 years later that his brother knew my brother--guy said, "Yeah, I think your brother beat mine up."

That was one of the fights that ended the good way. Wait'll you hear the ones that didn't...

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Pissing Me Off

I could easily call my blog "Things That Piss Me Off", and probably update once every day with something new for a good year or two.

Today's culprit is probably familiar to you.

You buy a DVD. You take an hour to unwrap it and cut off those stupid plastic sticky things on the edges. You pop it into your dvd and hit play.

An FBI Warning comes up. It tells you that copying this dvd is a crime. It's the exact same warning you've seen on every goddamn dvd you've ever bought. And you can't fast forward through it. It lasts about 10 seconds. That's 10 seconds for every dvd you watch. That time adds up.

That screen fades and the same warning comes up--in Spanish. And you can't fast forward through that one either. Another 10 seconds. All I can think of is "Chupa mi coulo", which someone taught me when I used to work at Chi Chi's.

Let's figure out how much sense this FBI warning makes. First off, if I WAS gonna pirate the dvd then there is no way some stupid warning at the beginning of the dvd is going to scare me. Especially when it's worded that you "MAY be subject to fines/imprisonment". I mean, what it's really saying is that there's a chance you MAY NOT be subject to it also. They don't even have the balls to say "WILL be subject to fines/imprisonment".

So the warning isn't going to scare off dvd pirates. All it's going to do is piss off the people who are legally buying and watching them. It makes me want to pirate the movie out of spite.

What reason can they have for not letting you fast forward past these things? It boggles the mind.

Now don't get me started on the commercials you're forced to see when you've paid to go to a theater and see a movie...