Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Surface

Been busy. I have edited 74 of the 76 scenes in the new flick...rough cut, of course, but still.

While I edit I have been watching the US version of The Office, which I never watched. I can watch seasons 1-4 on the new Netflix on Xbox, which is awesome. I am almost done season 4 now.

Also able to watch all of a show I missed because I was watching Invasion, and thought it looked similar. It's Surface, a show about an underwater creature. Well, a lot of them actually.

And let me tell you...the lead chick in the show is named Lake Bell. I have never heard of her, but she is SMOKING. HOT. In one episode she strips to nothing but a sheer bra and underwear and dives in the water, then comes out a little later, and holy cow...

Anyway, am about halfway through the only season of the show. It's decent, and Lake makes it MUST SEE TV.

I have also added every episode of Simon & Simon to my netflix instant Q, as well as Outer Limits, some of the Masters of Horror I missed, and a plethora of other movies.

We seem to have caught a cold in this family, so nothing planned for New Year's.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Xmas Puppy


So the new puppy came. Had to go to BWI to pick it up.

My quick thoughts: Damn, I forgot how much work a puppy is. She is very cute, but she's not pure white like our other Eskie. She has very light beige spots on her back and a also has a foxish quality to her, where our other Eskie was a bit more bearish.

The wife is happy and sad. I think she's sad because she remembers the other Christmas when I got our current dog, and now that our current dog is sick it reminds her of the good times.

But happy because the dog is very cute.

And she's fearless yet cowardly. Like, she will run around outside in the dark even though she's never been in our yard, she will run at our neighbors' dog--this big ugly thing that's barking at her like it wants to eat her--she does that playful crouch and runs right up to the fence.

Yet, any loud sounds make her perk up and look all around. You know what she really reminds me of? Ever see Grizzly Man? That guy had a pet fox that followed him around, and this dog is a lot like that.

Here's a pic. This picture is a miracle on par with the pyramids, because catching this dog while somewhat still is IMPOSSIBLE.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I Wanna Die

Went to a high school xmas reunion saturday night. got really drunk. had a bad hangover.

not the worst part. my kid got the flu and was puking, and apparently i got to follow up my hangover with the flu. puking, sore, weak. details later.

it's not exaggeration but i would kill for a slurpee right now.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Heard Something

I heard something the other day that I wish I hadn't heard. Not sure that's ever happened to me before...

I can't say what it was. I can only give you an example, which has nothing to do with what I actually heard. Seriously.

Imagine that you heard your mom liked roughed sex. Or your wife had been in a gangbang. Or something like one of those. It's on the level with that.

What I learned makes me look a little differently at someone I know well.

Anyway, on the editing front, I am at scene 58. Under 20 scenes to go, and no really difficult ones left to edit.

After this I get to go back and really start working. Audio problems up the wazoo as well as color correcting/brightening issues.

But tonight I'm going to an Xmas high school mini reunion thing in Annapolis. The sort of thing I never do, but my old best friend is going so I figured why not?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Disaster

After proudly telling people how I have a billion external hard drives and none of them ever go down, well, one went down.

Only good news is that it's not one of the ones I'm editing the new flick on. It's my main storage drive for my internet computer--a big 500 gig beast that's been storing all my movies, pictures, big programs(I can no longer run the CS3 suite from my internet computer), and pretty much everything.

I pulled the drive out of its external case, and managed to get it running for a couple of minutes. Backed up some shit. Am going to try again later when I get another drive. There's valuable stuff on there that I really need.

Man, like I don't have enough to do right now...

Monday, December 08, 2008

TDTESS

Big fan of the original The Day The Earth Stood Still. I still remember the first time I saw it.

I was probably about 11 years old. It was snowing outside. I had kind of screwed myself by telling my mom I was too sick to go to school, but that meant I couldn't go out and play in the snow.

There was nothing on but soaps. My mom made me chicken noodle soup and I had stuffed so many saltines into the bowl that they had soaked up all of the juice, and I was eating the mush.

Flicking through the channels I came across the beginning of a black and white movie on a channel that played a lot of creature feature movies, so I left it on.

Man, after that movie started, I was sucked into it. My brother came home toward the end of it and I think he made fun of me for not being able to go outside and play, but I barely heard him. That giant robot was the coolest thing like ever.

Now there's a remake. I'm a little mixed on it. On the one hand the previews look pretty cool. On the other hand, it's a remake of a movie I hold very high regard for.

I'll see it and try to keep my feelings out of it.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Assorted Stuff

On the new movie front, I have 65 minutes of a rough edit done. The running time of the entire rough edit will be about 95 minutes, so I'm about 2/3 of the way done the rough edit.

There's good and there's bad. And if I had a nickel for every time I had to say that about what I've shot, I'd have the budget for my next flick.

Am writing some other stuff. The sobering reality is this: Writing is tough, lonely work. Every idea, every choice, every twist in the script that you originally have is going to be cliche, because that's the first thing that pops into your head. You have to dismiss it, look for other things, make different choices for your characters.

And even though reading is a necessity if you want to be a writer(most of the books from well-known authors will reenforce this), you can't fall into the trap of reading too much. See, reading is much easier than writing.

So today I have some time to do some writing, but it's SO much more tempting to just do some reading, and rationalize it away that hey, I'm working on my writing...

Saw Punisher War Zone on Friday. It's pretty so-so. It has some funny parts, some decent action, some WAY over-the-top acting by the villains, but that guy from Rome is easily the best Punisher out of the three.

Blazed my way through the last six episodes of The Shield. Man, am I gonna miss this show, though I am a little mixed about the ending...I'd tell you why, but it's a spoiler.

Anyway, off to do some WRITING.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Snickering

Yes, I'm snickering at you. You people who said, in that I-know-it-all kind of way, that the $4 gallon of gas was the new regular price, that it would never go back down.

I filled up my tank for under $21 tonight. Eat it, bitch.

I can't afford any Christmas presents this year, but I can still drive! Freedom! (Cue Michael McDonald's Sweet Freedom here)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Detroit

Just saw a poll on Monday Night Football that's reflected what I've been saying for like 10 years. Should the Thanksgiving Day game be taken away from Detroit? (They've played on Thanksgiving for like 60 years, but they've sucked for roughly 57 of them)

Forty-nine of fifty states said YES, take it away from them. You can probably guess which state said no. For fuck's sake, TAKE IT AWAY. They lost this year like 48-10.

On another note--nothing was on earlier, so I flicked on Sarah Connor Chronicles, which I've said is the worst-written show on TV. They seem to go out of their way to prove it. Tonight was a flash-back episode to like 1930.

Yes! A flashback to 1930...on The Terminator! wtf? Wow, they can't cancel this show fast enough...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Magnum Theft

Had a dream last night. Tom Selleck concocted a hokey plan to steal my money. I only remember vague pieces of it, but it went like this:

I guess I was friends with Tom. We were walking. A helicopter came down and someone shot a harpoon out and hit Tom in the shoulder. They pulled him into the sky.

Someone else came and tried to take my cash. I think I shot them.

Then someone ELSE showed up in a stormtrooper outfit(yeah, from Star Wars). I shot at him, but it bounced off. I was pissed.

I'm not sure what happened, but this guy takes off the helmet and it's Tom underneath. I tell him that I'm going to shoot him in the head if he tries anything else.

Then I was driving on some road and I don't know how I knew but it was Sunday. And the theft part of the dream was over.

I'm not sure why Tom Selleck needs my money. Or even what the dream means. It was a little weird though.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Blind

I told you about how our 8 year old dog was diagnosed with diabetes? Well, just about overnight she went blind.

You can see a cloudy whiteness to her eyes, but we hadn't really thought much of it. Come to find out that about 80% of dogs diagnosed with diabetes go blind.

In daytime I'd guess she's about 75% blind. At night, she's totally blind. She doesn't seem to care--she's so used to our yard and house that she can navigate by sense.

But it's very sad--watching her at night after I pull up, she stands there and waits for a voice. Otherwise, she has no idea who's there.

And if you hold a treat out for her, she has to find it with her nose.

The whole diabetes thing sucks. She has to go outside to pee like every hour.

I'm looking around for another American Eskimo puppy; I figure it will buoy her and my wife's spirits, and help ease things when the diabetes finally takes her.

Friday, November 21, 2008

F Book

It's weird. Lotta people told me to join F book(you know what I'm saying--it's like the main competition of M-Space).

So I made a company site--which I was advised to. But to do that you have to make a regular profile first. Okay, did that.

Then something weird occurs. People from my high school start hitting me up with friend requests. These are people whose names look familiar, and their faces only slightly more so.

A couple who I knew well. So I'm now "meeting" all of these people again. It's a very weird thing.

As if I don't spend enough time on the freakin' internet already...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Editing Conundrum

There are two, really.

The first: How do you come up with a good scene when everything went wrong, you may have missed a shot or not gotten what you thought you were getting(if you weren't shooting the stuff yourself), and now you have to edit it together and make it work.

The second: The opposite really. You've got all the right shots for a scene, and you've got multiple GREAT shots. Which do you use? One's never gonna see the light of day. How bad does that suck?

The third: You've edited a scene together multiple ways. You're pretty happy with it. BUT...is it the best it could be? Maybe there's an order you haven't tried--if you only put THAT clip in front of THIS clip and then moved this OTHER clip to the end...

The choices are limitless...not always a good thing...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

S&S

I don't know what triggered it, but I had a very weird notion today. I want to make a Sword & Sorcery movie.

Between the ages of 8-25 I would pretty much salivate over any movie/book about the days of high adventure. I read tons of fantasy books--most you wouldn't have heard of, but let's just call them all Conan.

So when there were movies like Conan, and Beastmaster, and Sword & The Sorceror...man, those were good times. (Not to mention the Sinbad movies, Excalibur, and a host more)

And while I still like to read the occasional fantasy novels, nothing really passes today for good sword and sorcery. (Yes, I'm looking at you Kull, Scorpion King, Pathfinder). I think Willow might be the last S&S movie I liked.

Then today...again, not sure what triggered it, but I thought: Man, I'd love to make a good Sword & Sorcery movie.

I just don't know how I'd do it with no money. But if I ever do it...you know exactly when I thought about it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

11 Scenes Rough Cut

That's about 1/8th of the whole movie. And it's 11 scenes=9.5 minutes.

Did I mention that this movie cooks? I mean, ain't NOBODY gonna be bored during this movie. I think it's gonna clock in around 75 minutes. Maybe 80 if I do a long credit sequence.

But there are some really strange editing problems. My computer on occasion reboots itself mysteriously. I believe it's a glitch in the video driver--see, this is what I get for having a separate video card...

Then, there's all the weird formats I'm working with. (We shot with 3 cameras--all hi-def, but one that is different than the others. Different frame sizes, different imported format...this is causing some BIG headaches when I need to add any kind of effect to the footage...)

So I'm gonna ignore any effect stuff until the end. Then I'll have an enormous pile to go through.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hate him I hate him I hate him

That douchebag actor. I'm viewing footage and he's just terrible. He's overacting and he can't get a fucking line right. He's the kind of actor that thinks no line of dialogue sounds right until he's changed it.

For instance. Another actor spouts this long line of scientific gibberish that ends with, "I fucked up." The douchebag actor's line is, "Did you understand a thing he said up until the fucked up part?"

The douchebag actor makes the line: "Did you understand anything he said until the I-fucked-up part..cause I didn't."

The "cause I didn't" is so redundant--so unnecessary, especially if he did the line correctly.

Anyway--we do the line a couple of times. I keep telling him to do the line the way it is in the script. He keeps insisting he is. I give him the line the exact way I hear it in my head--a line reading, which some actors find insulting.

He says okay, got it. Then goes ahead and does the line the exact same way he's been doing it.

Did I mention I was working on the movie poster, and that his name will not be on it? (which it would have been had he not been such a huge tool...)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

House

Just saw a commercial for a horror movie I haven't heard a WORD about. (And I read all the mags from Fango to Rue Morgue to all the horror web sites...)

It has Jim Caviezel in it, and it looks like every movie I've been ranting about: Innocent people find themselves stuck at a house and are then attacked by the owners in vicious ways.

BOR-RING.

But the weird part is the name. The movie is called "House".

And I'm sure you're saying what I'm saying...if you're gonna make a House movie without William Katt, we have got a big problem.

For those of you who were gonna make a Hugh Laurie joke--minus 10 points for you.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Election

Yeah, so Obama won. Can we all move on now?

For the record, I'm glad. The 'publicans needed to be punished, and the idiot milf McCan't chose as a running mate was too much to stomach.

In flick news, I've discovered we seem to be missing a few shots. It's possible that one of the cards didn't get downloaded before it got erased. I am typing this in a much calmer tone than I'm thinking it.

New netflick movies arrived: Stuck, Son of Rambow, and Hitman.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Hallow'een


Trying to get back to normal life. Am editing and logging footage. Caught some movies while I was logging.

Strangers--pretty mediocre. Watch Ils(French for Them) rather than this. Same movie really. I could have shot this movie without Speedman and Liv Tyler for like 100K.

Inside--Lotta gore. Kind of disgusting really. Me and the pregnancy stuff don't go together.

Death Sentence--fun new version of Death Wish, but with Kevin Bacon. Not half bad.

Went out tonight with the wife and her brother. Hit a bar. A lot of you won't be surprised by my costume, seen above. I'll tell you, if you want to get laid fast, wear a uniform. I could have banged twelve chicks tonight. I scared a lot of Mexicans, without even going to their apartments.

Came back and the Fly 2 is on. Don't know why but I have a soft spot for this movie. I know it's not good, but I enjoy it anyway.

Still feel like I missed most of Halloween though.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Filming Over


Today we wrapped. Shot a few more takes with Tom, but had to blow out the background because it was raining.

Went to see a local premiere with Tom and crew--Tom fell asleep in the middle of it and I was coughing in time with his snoring so people wouldn't think he was rude. Hell, the guy's been busting his ass for 2 weeks with no sleep.

And in his defense, I almost fell asleep myself(and apparently Zig also fell asleep)

It is now with some sadness that I tell you that Tom is gone from our state. He came out, gave me his all, rarely questioned me even though this guy has worked with names that you have all heard of, and for less than peanuts, and really delivered for me.

As I drove away from the airport I really felt pretty sad about it. He's like an older brother to me. People who have not made a no-or-low budget movie will not understand the incredible battle it is.

And having someone on your side like Tom is worth more than its weight in gold. He will do whatever it takes to help you get the shots done. If I said, "Tom, I can't get this shot done unless that guy is dead", well, start looking for a plot of land about six feet deep.

Not too long ago I mentioned that I remembered when making movies was fun, and that it seemed like it wasn't anymore. Well, as tough as this was, it was boatloads of fun again with Tom.

And a big thanks for Luke and Zig and Jared and Stewie and all the other people who don't know this blog exists--I could not and would not continue to subject the world to my film making education without the help of all involved.

Now to recuperate, make sure the rest of my life is working, and then dive into logging all of that footage. Not a fun part of making movies.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Over, Mostly


Last day of shooting. Today we drove around and pretended to be bounty hunters.

The actors stayed in character and we went knocking on doors, bothering people. Many people scatter when they see bounty hunters come walking toward them, especially Mexicans.

Then we drove down to Annapolis where we dragged our own Stewie out from under his bed. I must say, he was very good. Surprising how natural he played a criminal.

We ran late. It started to rain, but we got the stuff in.
Technically we owe some stuff--if it's not raining today, we'll do them. If it is...oh well. I'll try to make do.

Shot a bunch of pics. Here's one that may end up in part of the poster for the flick. (when I'm done the color and light will really pop on the badge/hand, so it really draws your attention)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Not Much Time For This Post


Okay, gotta get to bed. I got roughly 6 hours before I'm back at it for LAST DAY of shooting. Wow, I'm psyched. Need to rest.

We went into Baltimore and finished shooting with the douchebag primadonna actor who I will NEVER work with again. Christ, I hope his sound is okay, because I don't want to have to loop him.

His improv is horrible, he's got day rates, he eats CONSTANTLY--even if his call time is like 8pm he'll show up starving and try to get you to buy him "dinner". Dude, we're shooting. You should have eaten before you showed up if it's that late.

Anyway--we got some decent shots. Had a last minute actress come in, and she was okay. Decent for last minute, and she had to stand around in the cold for a while, so I give her props.

Back to L's house to film the final two scenes of the movie. Both involve very fine acting, one which I think is easily the best acting in any of my movies. I was a little worried about the scene when I wrote it, but Tom TOTALLY nailed it.

Got some decent stills, one of which is above.(nope, won't tell you what that is or what's happening or...well, anything...)

Shot home, took a quick look at the footage, but I have to go to bed...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Baltimore, Final Night


We shot some BS in Glen Burnie, but the main deal was Baltimore. Gunshots in an alley. The neighborhood had 3 killings right on the street we were shooting on, and just 3 weeks ago.

Some people were nervous. Not I.

I called the police. Took a while to get me the right section that handled it, but a Sgt. Reed took my info and said it was okay. Good deal.

We ran a little late. We tried a few takes and Tom's gun jammed. I cleared it and we tried it again. Gun jam. I reloaded it and squeezed one off to see if it would work for me. It did. Loud bang.

We did a few more tries, it kept jamming, so we got out a different gun. We shoot one of the scenes, and I'm running down one side of the alley and there's gunfire behind me--Tom firing his blanks-- and a minivan pulls up slowly. There are off duty cops there, and it turns out one has his gun right between his legs.

Scary. None of them stopped us.

We did the scene like 6 times, then another scene, and we were done with the outside--which is freezing.

We shot some other cool scenes inside. Here's a pic. Some of you may know him. He's in the flick. It's a small scene, but it's pretty important, and he did it perfect.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Baltimore, Day 2(Or How To Block A Road With No Permit By Creating A Fake Accident)

Back into Baltimore. We ran late, as me and Zig had to figure out how to cram the bent prop truck hood thatour producer John got from a junkyard into an actual truck.

We did that, got to Baltimore, and I parked in an alley near where we're staging people. I'm talking on the phone and two cops turn into our alley and walk toward us. I figure we probably look suspicious, and this is as good a time as any to talk to the police and let them know we're back, so I get out and go to them.

They're two lady officers. Not bad looking. I explain the situation. They're totally cool. No problem. I say, "I figured we looked suspicious because we're sitting in this alley."

They say, "No, we followed a Pathfinder that turned the wrong way down a one way street. On cue, producer John walks into the alley. He drives a Pathfinder.

I run the calculations. Lie, and if they see the Pathfinder(which is parked roughly 200 feet to my right, I notice), they can run the plates and if they figure how he's with me, they may think I'm lying about other stuff.

So I tell them the truth--that's John. He must have got lost. In his defense, one of the streets is not clearly marked--the DO NOT ENTER sign has been removed, so you don't realize you're going the wrong way until you turn down the street and see traffic is coming at you.

Anyway--we go driving, get that shot done. Then we get the extras--we had about 12 when I really wanted like 20--over to where we're shooting. We park the truck and create an accident.

We prop the bent hood--colored the same as the truck--on top. We scatter window glass on the ground. We scatter car parts and stuff all over. We park another car like it drove into our truck.

From the back it looks great. The final touch is a smoke machine under the bent hood--when it pumps out smoke, it looks like the car is smoking. (though we couldn't power the smoke machine at first--had to use the genny(generator).

The accident looks so good a few people stop to see if everyone's all right.

New cops stop by. We tell them what we're doing. They're so nice, I decide that this scene didn't involve any gunshots, but maybe it ought to.

Those cops leave, we ready the scene.

A second later a fire engine pulls into our road, lights blazing. Before they even jump out of their truck, those cops come back and call off the firefighters. They apologize for not informing the fire station.

We're ready again. I call action--the extras pull up, we run, my guy fires his gun.

The cops come back pretty fast, and a second later there's a CHOPPER--it's search light on us. The cops, still incredible sports, tell us that we should have let them know we were firing blanks. They said the chopper saw them immediately and called it in.

They say no harm no foul--I don't know where all these cops have been my filmic life, but it's AWESOME. They left, we did like 10 takes. It's good stuff.

Then we decide not to make it an early night--we knock out 5 scenes that we had moved to Saturday so(fingers crossed)Saturday is once again a day off. (There's a premiere of a local movie that night that I'd really like to see, but it takes a distant second to finishing this movie)

To sleep. Ambien, here I come.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

GB Return

Not much to say. We ran late. Had about 10 extras--actually wanted like 20. It never fails that 100 people ask if they can be an extra in your movie, but they're neve around when you actually do the shots.

Got some good footage. Shot a real gun in a residential neighborhood at 11pm, and nobody even turned on a light. It was kind of nice, but unexpected.

There's some good stuff tonight. It's funny how ugly this movie's going to be, but it's in service to the story. I think it will work out nicely.

btw: Did I mention here that I lost 6 pounds since I started shooting. Completely unintentional.

Back to Baltimore to stage a car accident. (no, our permit does not allow us to do that)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hello Baltimore--Day 1


First night in Baltimore. Didn't start well. I needed our exec producer's truck(it's one of the main character's vehicles), but it wouldn't start with the key he left me. (he was in San Diego)

So we went into Baltimore. Offloaded stuff. There were cops everywhere, so I went up to one in a car with my permit and told him what we were doing. He was very cool with it, said if we needed help, let him know. He'd put it out on the wire that we were shooting.

Only problem was that it seemed to bring MORE cops over when we were shooting. They acted like they didn't know what we were doing, but it was pretty apparent they just wanted to see exactly what we were shooting. I got a shot of Tom talking to one and the cop car driving off. $100 says it makes it into the movie.

Then we moved to the roof to shoot some shots. It was 38 degrees. That's not counting the GUSTING wind five stories up. I had to go down the crazy ladder/fire escape twice. We were all freezing. Not sure how that footage looks, but I can tell you how it sounds: WINDY. The picture above is my artistic interpretation of how I felt up there(I took this photo tonight up there).

Great view of Baltimore though.

We fell a little behind. We had some extras come out--they were very cool. One guy was an old man who had a limp, but he was a trouper. Had to run in the streets and stuff.

Anyway, I think we got some nice, some crappy, footage. I'm sure it'll edit together decent.

I'm not getting enough stills, I can tell you that.

Anyway, we made our day(that's what it's called when you complete all scheduled shots) and finished 9 and a quarter pages today. Back to GB tomorrow--well, Monday, which is now today.

Here's a pic of a great new actor who came up from N. Carolina. His name's John, but that's all I'll tell you now.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Day Off(ha)

Today was technically our one day off. I let the working crew go even though I shot some side stuff.

Our lead actor got assaulted today. He accidentally followed someone(he was using his GPS) to a grocery store, got out of his car in full gear, and this drugged-out guy started yelling at him about if he was going back to jail he was gonna kick my guy's ass.

This guy swung at my guy, my guy ducked and did a football tackle(lift and plant), but scraped his face in the process. Now he has a scratch on his cheek and a small red mark on his nose. Definition of a continuity nightmare.

Shot some stuff with an actual Bail Enforcement agent(Sammy)--he played a crook, and he turned out to be VERY good. He was natural, he came up with some good stuff. We're going to do it again in better lighting(we were losing sun because of the altercation earlier).

To top it off though he took us to Texas Roadhouse. It was like a 45 minute wait, but this guy says, "They know me here--I don't wait." I thought he was BS'ing, but they sat us RIGHT AWAY. Pretty much every person that worked there came up and said hi throughout our meal.

The waiter knocked our check in half, and Sammy gave him a $50 tip.

Tom and I have decided we're in the wrong business.

Tomorrow night--into Baltimore.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Crazy Fast

We've done about 59 script pages(I counted) in 5 days. That is nuts, especially given the stuff that happens in this film.

Things are moving smoother for the most part.

Day off tomorrow(Sat) for most. I think Tom and I are gonna go out and shoot some stuff, but we'll take it easy. No pressure. Then maybe go back and watch some footage.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

One For The Cheap Seats



I know, just another bloody naked lady standing around. I can't put it in context for you. Please do not pass it on or show it to anybody else.

But tonight was a bit of a nightmare. I got a couple of primadonna actors all of a sudden who have done NOTHING. They're not THAT good, and they have virtually nothing on their resume, but we fall an hour behind and they're getting agitated. One guy's suddenly got a "day rate", when I made it clear it's a flat fee.

And the greatest effing guy in the world, at least 15 years older than some of them, who has a limp because he almost had his foot blown off, and NOT TWO WEEKS AGO GOT HIT BY A CAR--this guy keeps chugging on, smiling, laughing, doing whatever you freaking want him to do because he's loving making movies.

Breaks my heart that this guy is not a superstar actor, because he deserves it. He's a great guy who's talented as hell, and he deserves a much better director than I am.

Without him and the couple of backbone crew members and friends I have(you know who you are, effers), I would be crushed right now under the weight of this beast.

To bed. I'm dead and I'm getting awfully girly in my exhausted state.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Day 3

Perspective: We just wrapped an 18 hour day and had one meal break. We've shot 30 script pages in three days. (and these aren't cake dialogue pages, as you can see from my previous post)

Yeah, you totally wanna come work on one of my sets. :)

No cops tonight. I have to download and backup the files or I'd be sleeping right now.

Tonight we could see some problems. We're firing blank guns in an apartment complex. No permission(did you have to ask?)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Okay, yeah

We're two for two.

Last night we tasered an actor. Yes, for real. A cop stopped us right beforehand, but we had a local bounty hunter with us who knew him. We told the cop we were going to taser someone.

The cop said, "That's gonna hurt like a bitch. Be safe." He drove off.

Tonight we get kicked out of the parking lot of an apartment complex because it's private property. We're doing NOTHING. We weren't even filming, we were talking about setting up.

So we moved to another apartment complex. We start shooting. Yes, one of my guys has a real shotgun. The other guys have guns and are dressed as realistic bail enforcement agents.

An unmarked car pulls up. Cop gets out. He's a friendly older guy, but he asks us to put the shotgun on the car, then he talks into his mic--"Roll me a 34". Not sure if that was the number, but whatever.

He asks us a couple of questions. Says there was a shooting nearby. Trail leads near where we are.

Then five more police cars pull in line, lights flashing. You can hear the K9 in one car barking.

We talked, we smiled, we joked. Might have lied a little. You know, it's still me.

After a while all the police left except for the first guy, who asked how much longer. I told him five minutes. He said he's watch. We finished the shots, took about 15 minutes.

Thanked him. Got his name so I can thank him in the end credits.(Thanks Office "Razor" Kazor!)

So that's two nights, both times busted by the cops, both times we got to keep shooting. Early day tomorrow.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Quick Post

Okay, 1 day away from shooting. Not near ready, really.

Through creative storytelling we somehow got a Balt Co film permit. It's pretty funny, really. Doesn't even have the name of our flick on it.

Even funnier--I'm starting to suspect we won't need. it. We've been to the Balt location a couple of times now, including twice with my guy dressed as a bounty hunter, and four times the cops have slowed down, looked at us, and sped off.

THEN tonight my lead actor cuts a cop off(without knowing it was a cop), so the cop pulls us over. I'm shooting from the passenger seat, no seatbelt, special lighting in the car. I wish I had kept shooting, but I was scared we were about to get hit with the riot act.

One cop on my side, one on the other. The cops look in, see Tom, and one goes, "Oh, bail enforcement." They take a very cursory look at my lead actor's driver's license, and the one cop goes: "So you're filming some stuff huh? You guys should go down the street, make a left on X street, then a right on Y street. You'll get some good stuff there."

Then they took off. Crazy.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Paralyzed

With too much to do. The list of things to do...man.

And I'd love nothing more than to go to the movies. Wouldn't mind seeing Eagle Eye. Flash of Genius mildly interests me. Nick and Nora's seems like harmless fun. But I really wanna go see Religulous, Bill Maher's new flick.

And my Tivo! Wow, it's got--not making this up here: 4 Episodes of The Shield, 2 Houses, 3 Heroes, 1 Entourage, 1 True Blood, 3 Supernaturals, 1 Mythbusters, 3 Cops, and a couple of others. And this is after I actually took a couple of hours and tried to catch up...

My Tivo's gonna start deleting stuff to make room soon.

Not enough time for everything.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Updates

How can there be updates when the earth is about to be consumed by a man-created black hole? Think I'm lying?

Double check me.

I'm all for it though. Has to better than that horrible Disney Black Hole, right? (at least, I think it was horrible; I was like 9 when I saw it. And now that I think about it, doesn't it end just like Event Horizon?)

Anyway, pinning down locations and whatnot. As for this flick I am going to start shooting in 12 days, there is good news and bad news. I have never been more prepared, in terms of script and shot list, than I have ever been for any movie of mine. But as for money and locations and logistics(we don't even have an FX guy yet), well, this is near the worst it's ever been.

We're gonna fall short on cash, for sure. I'm trying to figure out by just how much, and what, on my already-tiny budget, we can do without.

I need someone to remind me again why I do this...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Couple of Things

Saw some of the debate. Thought John came off as pretty smug and condescending. Barack did well and seemed to be much more of your everyman. While I'm still pretty pissed at how fast he backpedaled, he's a much better choice than John and his idiot milf VP.

--My lead actor seems to be doing pretty stellar considering he just got hit by a car a week ago and had surgery to stop the internal bleeding. I don't reveal much by showing you this, a picture of him inside a fake news article I created for the flick.



--My kid's in normal kindergarten. It's killing my schedule. But he's doing well. They got him an aid after a week. The other kids seem to like him--I kind of had fears of the kids making fun of him because, well, he's autistic and says a lot of weird stuff, but quite a few come up and say hi when they see him.

He had been taking a bag lunch, but today was pizza day and we asked him if he'd like to buy his lunch. He said, "Yumm, I love pizza!". So we asked again, did he want to buy pizza for lunch and he looked at us and said, "Yes." This sounds like no big deal, but you have no idea until you get a kid that speaks 95% TV-talk how huge it is to get direct responses.

And because Stewie sent me an email demanding more pics of my kid, here's one for you bud! Taken at St. Augustine beach.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Back

Went to Florida on a family vacation. Had mostly good weather. Only swam in the ocean once, but went to the pool quite a few times. Going to the ocean is too much hassle, as you end up chasing the kid all day long as he tries to run into said ocean because he has no fear.

Got back after the 13 hour drive. I had been getting sick the last day in Florida, and now it's hitting me hard. Hacking cough. Love it.

Get a phone call from my lead actor. He was walking out of a gas station over the weekend, and some guy fell asleep at the wheel and hit him with his car. Yeah, you read that correctly.

My guy's a stuntman too, so he tried to do the stunt hit, but he said he saw the car too late, and really got plowed. They wanted to take him to the hospital, but he said he was fine.

The next morning he woke up and was swollen all over like he was pregnant, so they went to the hospital to find out he was having internal bleeding. They performed surgery. He's in the hospital right now.

Did I mention we're shooting in 3 weeks? And his part is pretty physically-intensive.

I just can't decide whether to shoot myself in the head, or take my frustration out on the general public...

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Hansen 2008

First, this is my 400th blog post here. Wow.

Nothing on and I'm working, so I flipped on the MTV music awards. I've heard of this group called The Jonas Brothers, but never seen them or heard their music.

They played a song on the show, and I'm struck by just how dorky and plain they are. Like Hansen was when they came out. Except these guys don't even seem to have the harmony those dorks did.

I'm also struck by how cheap the award show looks this year. Normally I think it's at the Kodak theater or something. This year it looks like it was held in some auditorium, and the guests are seated in plastic chairs. Also, the host is horrible. (he's some British comedian guy who played an okay part in Forgetting Sarah Marshall)

Also, first day of the NFL. Kind of nice, except I missed most of it. Got to see my team lose in the last 15 seconds, which is always fun. And my fantasy football team got crushed because Tom Brady got hurt.

So all in all...whatever. Back to work on the shot list. It keeps getting revised every time I actually see the location we've got to shoot on.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Little Bits

That other blog I kept for a while has a couple new entries. Check it out if you remember where it was.

Also, every once in a while there's something that makes me laugh. This is it for this week:

FUNNY

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Hope

Wow, such an alien feeling all of a sudden.

We had pretty much the final audition on Sunday. I had one guy coming in that I was calling my Great Black Hope. A guy I'd seen a local flick who was decent. Just not sure whether he could fit the part.

He came in and was good. We chatted afterward, and it turns out he's ex-military. Exactly what I was looking for. He's not as built as the character I wrote, but close enough to forgive.

We probably lost the other great actor I was telling you about. Somehow he got it into his head that the movie was a union shoot, and he's that horrible guild you've heard about that rhymes with BAG. He's cool with everything I could pay him, he just doesn't want to go behind the guild's back. He has something called principles. I'm not familiar with the term.

So we'll go with my second choice if our last-ditch effort fails.

I am SO prepared for this flick it's insane. I've gone over the breakdowns 100 times, making plans behind plans behind backup plans. The only real snafu will be if we get arrested or killed, both distinct possibilities.

Frankly, I would rather be killed than arrested at this point, because if I get killed at least I won't feel bad about not being able to finish the movie.

Still a lot of details to iron out. Locations to be found. Props to be gotten/constructed. An FX guy to come work for pretty cheap.

But I've got some hope now. A little.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Brutal

Man...there was a time when making movies was fun. It was fresh. I knew a bunch of people who loved making movies, making shorts, just fucking around with cameras and acting, and making stuff.

Most of those people, well, I just don't know them anymore. They moved away, or they started a family and got a job, and they just don't have time anymore.

And I made a movie that got distribution. Then I made another movie that got a LOT of distribution, and everybody assumed I made bank on it. A totally incorrect assumption. I did okay for what we spent on the flick, but we spent peanuts on it. The deal was that I got an okay amount of money AND got distributed by a big label. The deal was NOT that I got distributed by a big label AND got a boatload of money.

But everyone that hears I'm gearing up for something assumes I have money for every position, from P.A. to extra to fluffer. (Okay, I might have money for a fluffer)

It's a battle on this next flick because we are shooting it cheap. I can't afford to pay everyone.

More problems: Found a great actor for one of the main parts, but it turns out he's SAG. He got SAG to send me a booklet with the ultra-low contract, but it's still crap. One clause in the 4 page contract says that concurrent with signing the 4-page contract, you're signing the longer contract also(which is 123 pages). I can't possibly sign it--it gives a lot of control of the movie to SAG--for just one actor.

Another problem: Can't find an excellent black actor. Sent out sides to about 30 people who had submitted headshots, and only one returned a dvd audition. He was okay. Nobody local has been any good at all for that part.

Locations: Where do I start? Who wants to let me come by their house/apartment and shoot some fake guns in the dead of night for no money? Sweet, I'm on my way.

Props/Vehicles: Gotta put all these together, and it's extensive. With a lot of money it's no problem. I don't have a lot of money.

My production manager is on another job and won't be back for a couple more weeks. We start shooting in about 5 weeks.

Pressure is building.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Extreme

It's, like, the return of every hair band from the 80's! It's great.

I already told you about Def Lepard's really great CD. Motley Crue's new CD is decent, as is Alice Cooper's "I'm a crazy serial killer" album.

I heard a couple of weeks ago that Extreme had gotten back together. A crazy thing, because there was a TV show on VH1 briefly that got old bands back together for one show, and the only band who wouldn't do it ended up being Extreme.

So I didn't think they'd ever patch things up. But I guess they did, because they're all back here.

I'd forgotten to go out and pick it up, so I checked on Amazon. And there's this new service where you can just buy the .mp3s right away. You have to install Amazon's download program, which is tiny and non-intrusive like some other sucky programs I could mention but won't. (I'm looking at you Itunes)

And after you download the songs, they are .mp3s. Period. No protection. Burn them at will. You paid for them, you get to do what you want. The way it should be. Unlike some other sucky programs I could mention but won't. (Still looking at you, Itunes)

Anyway, am listening to the songs now. Will update ya later, but so far it's pretty good. I'm not sure they'll ever recapture what they did in "3 Sides To Every Story", which you should really get--it's a phenomenal concept album with so many different sounds(a lot of orchestral stuff with the rock) that it's amazing that it was ever released.

It's cheap--go pick it up used. Anyway, back into my hole, trying to cast people.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Tired of the Olympics

Women's Beach Volleyball being the exception.

And is it me, or do they do swimming for 8 hours each night? BOOOOOOOR-RING.

Recent dvd watching: Brutal Massacre: A Comedy(Very funny, because I've lived this movie three times), Otis(It was okay...had a decent twist, and it's always funny watching Daniel Stern being Daniel Stern), and I just finished season 1 of The Wire and am 4 episodes into the 2nd season. It's okay, but I still don't know what the hype's about.

---

Posted this a couple of days ago, but as a draft, and forget to publish it. And no, it wasn't worth the wait for you. :)

Stuff

Working hard at casting and location stuff. Breaking my shooting script into a shot list.

Took time out to attend a preview screening of "Mirrors". About 30 minutes away, but I needed a break so I went. We got there, and find out the screening is canceled due to the film breaking.

I know this is B.S., because a "film breaking" is easy to fix with tape. Splice it back together. I talk to my buddy who runs these preview screenings and he tells me that's the official story. The real story is that apparently this movie is so bad that they didn't want any more bad word of mouth on the internet, so they canceled all of the final showings of the flick.

Wow. Scratch that off the list to see.

Went to H o r r o r...F i n d weekend convention today for a while. It's gotten pretty lame. I definitely don't like this hotel near as much as either other hotel it's been held in over the years. It appears VERY under-attended, but the guest list wasn't very impressive.

Other than that, it's busy in preproduction land...(and kinda boring for blogs, if you know what I mean and I think you do)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Post 9,123,932 on how this country is stupid

Ok...I know. I've beaten this into the ground. This country is full of idiots. I think we can all agree, even the idiots.

But this...I read in Entertainment Weekly that The Dark Knight was ranked as the #1 best movie of all time on imdb. I thought...nah, can't be.

It is.

Listen...WHAT THE F*CK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? Heath Ledger was good. There was some decent parts to the movie. But...

It's WAAAAY too long. The 2-Face portion is crammed in. The fight scenes are pretty laughable. Batman falls 30 stories with a woman and they hit a car and they're okay. Batman's partially retarded. (the motorcycle thing where he skids and knocks himself out...no other explanation). It's way beyond wishful thinking to think nobody on either boat would have turned that key.

There's a lot of garbage in this movie. It's not even top 10, much less #1. So, in order to combat the idiots, it is your duty to go to imdb RIGHT NOW and rate is a 1 out of 10. No, even if you don't think it was that bad. (Personally I'd give it a 6...but my duty called, so I made it a 1)

Go. Do it for your country. NOW...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Under Attack

No, not the Abba song. My web site has apparently but under hacker attack since last week. They're inserting some sort of code that make it not load--it tries to refer you to other web pages.

I don't know why they'd bother. I don't get THAT many hits. But it's pretty freakin' annoying, having to go in and change all my passwords and take out the file they kept inserting.

Really, what kind of time do these people have on their hands?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Blast From The Past


So there's a local movie playing a couple of nights at a theater near me. It's a Western. I'm still looking for decent actors for my flick, and one of the actors already IN my flick says he's going, so I decide to go.

I hear it's at Westview Theatres and my first thought is--"Hey, I shot HH at a theater in Westview, but they tore that theater down."

I drive up there. Turns out it's the EXACT theater. Apparently it wasn't torn down, it was just bought my an indy theater chain.

I park around back where Aric stalked the projectionist(I took this picture today), and the memory of it all is VERY overwhelming. I haven't been up there in about 10 years.

I meet up with Neil, an actor I wrote the part for, and we go inside and watch the flick. IN THE EXACT AUDITORIUM Aric kills all those movie-goers. It was weird to say the least.

Good news--one actor in the film is particularly strong, and it turns out Neil knows him, and he was sitting right in front of us during the screening. He said hi to Neil after the showing, and I was startled to find out he's nothing like the character he played in the movie--which was a big sign of how good an actor he was, that I actually expected him to be somewhat like his character.

I think he could play one of the main roles I've been having a hard time casting. I'm gonna set up a time to audition him.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

If You Can't Say Something Nice...

Yeah, that's pretty much why I haven't posted anything in a while. I figured you wouldn't want to hear me bitching about more shit, at least, not bitching if I wasn't going to be entertaining about it.

The battle-to-shoot-the-cheapest-movie-I've-ever-shot continues. I wish that added up to a cool acronym so I could just say it whenever I refer to it. Nope. Nothing's easy with this thing.

Our first casting call was a disaster. Smallest showing I've ever had, No A.C. at the casting studio, no phone, it was hard to find, blah blah. Only a couple of decent prospects.

Only good news is that I borrowed a rig for a test from someone who worked on my last movie, and after testing it the guy asked if I wanted him to come work on the flick. I told him I couldn't offer him much, but he was cool with it.

So he's bringing his toys, and we'll be shooting the whole flick in hi-def. That's a plus. (also a minus, as I'll have to get a new computer to edit it)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Gone Away


This past weekend I took my dad to B L O B ** F E S T(I put it this way to avoid search engines).

Apparently there's this town that every year has a celebration of that film(the old classic with Steve McQueen). The town was one of the main locations the film was shot in, and the theater that is attacked in the film still shows movies there. (It's now historic)

They show the movie The B L O B and they feature a re-enactment of everybody running out of the theater like they did in the film. It was pretty crazy--I'd say around 5000 people were there. (the pic above shows the aftermath of the running, and that's an inflatable B L O B up there glowing red)

My dad had told me a story one time about how he went to see the film when he was twelve with his sister and her girlfriend, and he thought it was one of the scariest movies he ever saw. So I thought he might think it kind of cool to watch the movie in the actual theater, especially since it was only about 2 hours away.

It was fun. The town and the people were all incredibly friendly. For $7 you got a double feature--The B L O B and the Creature From The Black Lagoon(in 3D no less!).

My dad kind of thought the whole thing was strange, and I got the impression he humored me. Like, "Well, my kid thinks I'm enjoying this, so I better act like it."

That's where I was. Got back in time to do some tests for the new flick with Zig and the new Exec Producer John. Got a lot of work to do, and we'll be filming in less than 3 months...

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Not In A Hospital...

My wife comes back from the beach this past weekend where she hung out with the family, and she says to me, "I don't want to die in a hospital."

I'm naturally confused. "Have a nice time at the beach?" I ask.

Basically, her aunt has been dying the past two months. In and out of the hospital. She's old, in bad shape. She got out of the hospital and made the trip down to the beach, and the next morning they found her unconscious on the bed, blood leaking out of her nose.

They thought it was a stroke, but it was something else relatively minor. (something about blood sugar and insulin or who knows)

But my wife has visited the aunt a number of times over the past month, so this hospital thing is on her mind. So she tells me she doesn't care if I wheel her out of the hospital and let her die in a field next to it, as long as it's not the hospital.

Then she tells me, "I told your mom so I know she won't let me die in the hospital." I act offended. She says, "I can just see you standing there while I'm dying saying, 'She'll be dead in two minutes, she won't even know if we really took her outside or not'".

She doesn't even know me...

I told her I wouldn't even be in the room while she was dying...I'd be outside hitting on nurses, looking for my second wife...

Monday, June 30, 2008

Once More, The Breach, You Know

I know I've written about it before. This fear, this tension, this anxiety that creeps up every time I'm heading into production on a new flick.

It's here again.

I guess I keep thinking I won't have it. That having three flicks under my belt would have immunized me to it. But it doesn't.

It could be that this new flick is a radical departure from what I'm used to. It could be because it's going to be the least expensive movie I've ever done.

Or it could simply be the jitters I get about releasing another creation of mine. If you've ever written something or drawn something or created something--and then shown it to a person only to have that person go, "Meh"--well, that's pretty much what you may get multiplied by 10,000 now that we've got the internet.

Because if even 80% of the people like your flick, you're only going to hear from the 20% who think it's a huge piece of shit. (believe me)

I guess it's a good thing, artistically-speaking, that what I'm trying to do is a risk. It may be hard to market. It's not full of gore, so I'm gonna hear it from the Fango crowd. It's got a little bit of nudity, so there's that going for me.

So...here I go again. Stepping off the cliff. See ya at the bottom.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Over A Week...

...since I posted. Been busy.

Went to a horror convention over the weekend. Had fun, spent money I don't have. You know, same old.

Prepping for the auditions on Saturday. Still dealing with getting FOC2 placed at LGF. Not fun.

Meanwhile I was kinda liking Obama, right up until this week when he showed his true colors. You can't campaign on how you're not a regular politician and then go back on a pledge BEFORE YOU EVEN GET IN OFFICE. Yeah, that doesn't sound like every other politician out there...

Fucker. Now I gotta go vote Libertarian. Kind of in protest, ya know?

It's called a principle, B.O.--look into it. Even if doing so would cost him the election, THAT'S WHAT A MAN WITH PRINCIPLES WOULD DO.

Is it too late to start our own country? This one's FUBAR.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Death of Another Legend

Stan Winston died on Sunday. I don't know why the media isn't covering it at all.

This guy is responsible for some of the greatest movie monster creations in history. Period. An FX legend.

This guy is more important than Heath Ledger ever will be, and he doesn't even merit a 30 second mention on any news channels. Sad.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

It's that time again...

Casting for the next flick. We got a curious email from a guy who's had small roles in big flicks(pretty much every Christopher Nolan movie). He claims he's been on a "self imposed exile" for 2 years but is now back to work.

Seemed strange, but he seems like a decent actor. I have my casting assistant(me) send an email with some sides for a videotape audition(he's from L.A.). The response arrived this morning. Here it is(Jane is my fake casting chick):



Jane.

Obviously you weren't impressed enough with his resume.
I mean, are you kidding?

You want me to show this unaddressed mass email with instructions on how
to tape one's self to my boss... (the guy's name)?...

You actually want him to audition for you?...

I'm the one who contacted you on his behalf; - he's looking for smaller,
indie projects to squeeze in between his commitments to Hollywood, that's
all.

But he surely wouldn't put himself for you, or anybody else at this stage
in his career. Sorry.

If you change your mind and see what a unique opportunity this is, and how
your film can benefit from him "trying to give something back," let me
know.

Wow...

Sincerely, ------, key assistant to -----



My--I mean Jane's--reply went like this:

Listen--he's had small roles in big movies. Then he disappears off the map for 2 years. Vacation? Heroin bender? We don't know. He could be 500 pounds for all we know.

You're doing your job, I'm doing mine. (my name) doesn't give out parts without seeing an audition. He never has--and while (name) is a bigger name than we typically deal with, you seem to be under the impression that he's Al Pacino. I'm afraid that your average moviegoer has no idea who he is, so it's not like casting him blind would afford us any great consideration from a distributor.

So I appreciate your response, and if it's not worth his trouble then that's okay.

Regards,
Jane
Casting


Jane is much more level-headed than I am. I was ready to just tell him to fuck off.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hulk Movie

Saw it last night at a packed preview showing. It's fun. Not as fun as Iron Man, but still pretty cool. (only bad news: The trailer pretty much DOES show you the entire movie)

And Ang Lee should weep for shame. This movie spends the 3 minute credit sequence showing you the Hulk's origin and does it so much better than the 45 minutes that Ang took...

Tons of nods to the TV show, many familiar things from the comics. Lou Ferrigno is still RIPPED.

And my wife even liked it, so it's woman-safe.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Moratorium

Please, for the love of God, can we stop making movies about people who go wherever and run into a crazed family of people who then systematically butcher them one by one?

So, so tired of them.

I watched Frontiere last night. It was well done, but there was NOTHING new there. NOTHING. Well okay, it was in French. (and it was better than Storm Warning, which I just saw that was the same storyline)

I don't understand how you can get an okay budget(which this must have had) and you decide to do THAT story for the umpteenth time.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Family Function

My wife's brother's kid has a birthday yesterday. I think she'd be my niece, but I'm not positive.

Anyway, I showed up late because I'm not big on family functions anyway. I certainly wasn't getting up early to hang out in the heat with the side of the family known for their gab.

I get there and of course the jokes start about how they only see me twice a year. My kid's in the pool swimming, having fun. They're cooking burgers and hot dogs on the grill, which smell great, but I'm back on the diet so it's really just torture for me.

Then my wife's father corner's me and starts one of his never-ending stories. And another old guy--a friend of his--comes over. My wife's dad(an alcoholic who's been sober for like 25 years) tells me this friend of his is 92 years old and is the only one of his friends who's still drinking it up.

Then he starts saying crude things to the guy--and the guy is so old, so drunk, that he just keeps nodding his head and laughing. Like: "Hey Glenn, I hear you're still doing the wife three times a night!"

Glenn laughs and nods in a demented kind of way.

"She told me you put it in the wrong hole a couple of times."

More laughter and nodding.

And I'm feeling so uncomfortable, not just being trapped between two old people having a weird conversation at a kid's birthday party, but also because I don't want to picture old people having sex.

Later I found out that Glenn actually has dementia. He was wandering around the party a half hour later saying, "I can't find my wooden whistle. Have you seen it?"

Turns out I had some work to get done, so I made my exit just as they were cutting into the birthday cake. Count me out of next year's party.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mail...And MURDER!

I got a letter yesterday in my company's PO box. In the interest of preserving it rather than retyping it, I've uploaded it so you can read it for yourselves. (I blacked out info to preserve some semblance of anonymity)

You should be able to zoom in on it.

LETTER

Anyway, yeah, the guy's in prison. His name looks familiar to me so I googled it. And here's a little tidbit about him:

"His statement begins with details of how Milner, then 19, lured 17-year-old Frankie Garcia to a rural Carson County barn with a promise of beer.

Once inside the barn, Milner said he hit Garcia and told him to get down on his knees. Milner then took a rifle he'd hidden in the barn and told Garcia to put the barrel of the gun in his mouth.

"He grabbed hold of the barrel and I said now put it in your mouth," Milner told the Ranger. "And we just sat and I just kind of made him beg a little bit and then I just shot him."

Mull asked Milner whether Garcia said anything before he died.

Milner's reply: "He said, 'Please, please don't do this."'

When Mull asked how many times Garcia was shot, Milner said:

"Once, I made sure it was quick. The only time he suffered was when he was scared."

After killing Garcia, Milner said he went to Lake McClellan where he knew a large birthday celebration was being held.

"My intention was to I guess rack up a body count," Milner said in his confession.


Anyway, he was to serve three life prison sentences(he wounded but didn't kill any of the people at the party) but some technicality knocked his sentence down. He'll be eligible for parole somewhere in 2012 or something.

Cool, eh? My murderer-fan club seems to grow by the day!

But then today I got a package in my company PO Box with the new Jack Reacher novel that doesn't come out for a couple of weeks. Some fans knew I love those books and sent me the hardcover! And just a little note with their names, but no email or anything so I can thank them.

Not sure how they got it early, but it's super cool.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

More on Trucker Murderer

I mentioned this once before and I'm kinda keeping loose tabs on what's going on, but I just stumbled across this. If you get bored, fast forward to around 1:30.

GO THERE

I guess it's sick of me to hope he gets linked to other murders so he's actually labeled a serial killer, but it should come as no surprise to people who know me.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Def Lepard: Still Doin' It

You might not have heard, but Def Lepard just released a new album. I downloaded it first--I wasn't all that impressed with their last album, which was covers.

But after listening to this one, I went out and bought it. It's pretty good. Nowhere near Hysteria level, but it definitely has some great tunes on it. If you like them you should pick it up. Here's one of my favorites from the album:

C'Mon C'mon

Crazy to see these guys still putting out great stuff 25 years after they really hit the scene. (Can you believe Pyromania came out in 1983?)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Indy 4 or Why I Blame Kasdan

Saw the new Indy. It's pretty bad(though I do leave open the possibility that I just can't appreciate the things I used to as a kid).

But even as a kid I scoffed at the scene in Temple of Doom where Indy and the girl use a life-raft to float to safety from a plane, landing in a river where they're washed downshore.

And in the new Indy flick there is SO much of this kind of thing it's too hard to swallow.

No spoilers--the blame falls squarely on the screenwriter's shoulders, as it's still full of Spielberg flourishes, and there are still some good moments. As I think of it though, Lawrence Kasdan has a lot to be held accountable for.

It used to be you could just blame him for writing what's head-and-shoulders the best Star Wars movie ever, "Empire Strikes Back". I mean--if that thing had never existed, you might be able to forgive the new movies. It's not like the Star Wars or Return of the Jedi were ever GREAT or anything.

But then it turns out that Kasdan wrote the screenplay for the first Raiders of the Lost Ark. So you can see where I'm going...

By comparison they all kind of suffer when compared to the movies he wrote. We gotta blame him, I guess...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Reaper

This show called Reaper started this year on the CW. I started watching from the beginning. It was okay. The lead characters are all pretty likeable, and the premise was cool.

It's about a kid whose parents sold his soul to the devil before he was born. Now that this kid's 18, the devil has shown up and demanded that the kid be his bounty hunter for souls who escape from hell.

Now, it's not a serious show. The devil, played by Ray Wise, is really funny every time he shows up. And he's incredibly likeable, which is probably how the devil would really be.

Anyway, the show was kind of hit and miss. Didn't seem to be going anywhere. I still watched it 'cause there's not much on. The episodes kept piling up on TIVO and I'd get to them whenever.

So this week I had five episodes back up, so I watched two of them. And let me tell you, this is another show(like Jericho) that may have taken its time hitting its stride, but it really is starting to pay off.

If you haven't given it a shot, you may wanna start. Go look up an episode list, watch the first episode(directed by Kevin Smith), and then fast forward to somewhere in the middle of the series if you don't wanna go the whole distance. I think you'll like it.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Wife's Birthday

It was the wife's birthday today, so last night I ditched the kid at my parents' house and gave her the option of doing whatever she wanted to.

She decided we hadn't been out in like 2 years, so we should go out. We hit the closest bar to us, Cancun Cantina. It's an oddity, because from the outside it looks like a total country bar. When you walk in the front door it still looks like that.

But if you walk through a door, there's a whole 'nother side where they play good stuff.

Anyway, the place is mobbed when we get there, so I have to park quite a distance away. And I never realized that this place must make a fortune, because they actually have a small bus with the Cantina logo painted on it that drives around and picks you up, and takes you to the bar from where you parked.

Inside I did my best not to throw up while I was on the country music side. We made it to the other side, and hey...they're actually playing good music. (I'm so used to getting to bars and hearing crap). Then the next song starts, and it's good. They actually played four in a row that were good.

We had some beers, and then a live band started. I knew nothing about them. Some late-thirties white guys with long hair, and a black lead singer about the same age.

They started singing Bon Jovi's "It's My Life". You may call me racist, but it was SOOOOO weird hearing a black guy singing Bon Jovi. He was actually very good, but still...

These guys played all the hair bands from the 80's. They played about 4 Bon Jovi, like 3 Journey, some Poison, some Ozzie, some AC/DC. They were surprisingly good. You can check them out at their myspace page(they had banners with their web site) at:
MYSPACE

In between sets the DJ played some more good songs, and me and the little woman ended up dancing, which we used to do all the time. You know, back when we were young. :)

Then when we got home I surprised her with a cake and a card--the whole ride home she was drunkenly making fun of me for not getting her a cake, and she was saying she was going to make me bake one when we got back.

I won't go into how she kept saying she wanted some candles to blow out and I told her I had one big candle she could blow. That would be juvenile, and I'm much too old for such stuff now.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

TV Update

Thanks to the wonders of something called "No Interest For 36 Month Best Buy Credit Card" I have a brand new TV coming tomorrow.

It's a good thing. I've had my head in the oven twice, and the only thing keeping me from turning on the gas is that I haven't actually finished the FOC3 trilogy and the sequel to HH.

But it was THIS close...

Friday, May 09, 2008

Worst News Ever

Two nights ago my television broke. My big 55".

It's pretty bleak. Doesn't look fixable, and it's not like I have $2K right this moment sitting around to replace it.

Suicide seems viable.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Wow...really?

I clicked off my Xbox this morning, flicked over to the regular channel and the TV was on MTV. I have no idea why.

Anyway, this dating show is on called "Next", and the first thing I see is a girl introduction herself. And I shit you not, she says:

"My name is so and so, and I love Star Wars. So if this guy looks like Han Solo, I might show him my Wookie."

Nasty. Funny. But nasty.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Baltimore City Paper Article

I'm interviewed in the article on film in Maryland. It's brief, and I'm not gonna tell you who I am but if you don't know me by now...you will never ever ever know me. (Sorry, channelling Simply Red)

City Paper

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Disturbed

I've been going through old files looking for something, and in the process ran across a lot of old writings of mine. Short story bits, little things I'd jot down.

And did I tell you how crazy I was? I mean, you read four or five of these in a row and if you were law enforcement you'd have me arrested. Did I mention I had a lot of anger issues back then?

So here's one. Stop now if you're of delicate sensibilities. You've been warned. I wrote this in 1995. Not a complete story, just something in my head. The funny thing is that I actually recited this into camera at one point, in character, and it was fairly disturbing. I wish I could find that...that would be something...

---

They think I'm a bag-boy. They think I'm just this normal high-school kid who works at the supermarket to earn spending money for his girlfriend.

If they only knew. If their prying hands could only reach inside my skull and see my rotting brain...well.

They watch me stuff their shit--their petty, stupid, normal shit--into "Paper or Plastic?" bags and give me their arrogant little I-remember-when-I-was-just-a-peasant looks.

I smile back. But in my mind I hack them apart into little pieces.

And then when I have to help the pathetic geriatric husks of long-past memories carry their bags of mothballs and geritol and Preparation H out to their cars. They give me these looks of kindness and give me money.

I'd like to stuff my dick in every one of them. In their eyes, their ears, their ass. I don't care.

Sometimes it makes me very angry. I go back in the meat section and help Carl the butcher cut the animal flesh apart. It calms me down when I picture myself wacking off into the ground beef. I think about all those assholes eating my cum and I just can't help but smile.

I'm going to make some of them pay. I feel something in me tearing loose--coming apart--and I think it's my self-control. There's some sort of...animal inside me and it's not very nice.

I've taken the classes. I've studied the material. It's my Id, that thing that tells most people that you can't do things that you want to do. But you see, mine is disintegrating, like dirt on a kid when he gets in the shower. Pretty soon, that thing underneath the dirt is going to get out.

And then we'll have some fun.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cool new group

Heard these guys first on a podcast. You can download this song for free, and yeah, it would fit into any number of 80's romance movies. Sounds like it, right? After you download it, go check their myspace page and listen to "Sex City".

Check them out--the Aussie band, "Van She".

RIGHT CLICK, SAVE THIS

Myspace Page

Monday, April 21, 2008

Prepping The New Flick

So anyway, while we've been waiting to hear what the distribution sitch is on FOC2, I have been writing like a madman. I had intentions to do WC next, but I'm just not willing to compromise it and do it for the cheap.

But there was this other script I'll call BH that was built to be done cheaply. It deals with a lot of the same themes from WC, and I'd actually started writing it at the same time as WC. I considered it a companion piece to WC.

Anyway, response to it has been pretty good from the peanut gallery. So now I'm in this uneasy zone you always get in when you're readying a flick. It's this time period where you're wondering "Is it really going to happen?"

This period happens on every movie now, because when I first tried to get a movie off the ground way back when(with my then-buddy RG), we had two false starts before we shot HH. I mean, we went all the way through the casting process on both of those flicks and they never happened.

But since then I've been 100%, and completed three films. So you might think this feeling of uncertainty would be a thing of the past...but it's not.

Anyway, I'm meeting a money guy(read: producer) this week. We're not looking for a lot of money on this one--the difficulty is going to be in getting locations.

I need to do some things on the streets of Baltimore that I think the police will frown on, since we're not going to be getting permits. (not that they cost a lot of money, but the insurance that's required does, and the off-duty police we'd have to pay also adds up)

So if I slack off here a little, it's because of that. I'm working on the shooting script and scheduling right now...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Been Slow...

So haven't had a lot to blog about.

The dog has been confirmed as having diabetes(cost of diagnosis: $500) and will need shots every day(month supply of insulin: $75) for the rest of her life.

Super.

In other news, this really cracked me up. Yes, I can be very immature, but I do believe her name rhymes with truck.



Recently watched: "The Man Who Could Work Miracles", from 1937, and is actually very good. Also "In The Valley of Elah", which I also thought was pretty good.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Kid's Band

I was thinking about how my autistic kid loves music. He plays guitars, he plays drums, he plays keyboards. None of them well, yet. But I still think about the day he's a rock star.

You know, the day he can bring home some hot groupies to share with his good ole' dad.

So I was thinking, what would this band be called? And for some reason I thought: AUTASM

I don't know whether it's horribly bad or oh so good. It's like autism meets Phantasm, or autism meets orgasm. Your choice.

Whattaya think? Should I trademark it now? :)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Bummer

So I'm rushing to get out the door this morning. I brush my teeth, wash my hands, reach across the toilet for the towel to dry my hands--

--my cel phone catches the sink and drops right in the toilet.

To my credit I went right for it. It helped that the toilet wasn't used. As I pulled it out the phone shut itself off. I thought, "Uh oh."

I dried it off as best I could. Let it sit for an hour. Then turned it on. It came on(to my surprise), but made no noise and couldn't get a signal.

So I turned it off and let it sit for another hour. Seems to be working fine now. Hard to believe...('cause it went underwater completely if only for a second)

I'm just glad it wasn't at a public restroom...

Friday, April 04, 2008

Good news, bad news

The good news is, the dog is not pregnant. The bad news is that she appears to be type 2 diabetic. We'll be getting it confirmed next week.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Weight Loss Saga Continues...

So anyway. As a refresher, here's what happened:

I got fat while I was editing FOC2. Even fatter than normal. I hit 230 at one point. I started a diet based on around some miracle shake, losing 22 pounds in the first month with zero exercise.

I scaled it back a notch, and my lowest weight was 187(achieved about 4 months after I first started). Technically I had lost 40 pounds on the diet(the morning I started the diet I weighed 227).

Fast forward to now...I haven't been keeping with the diet. I still drink a shake when I get up, and I watch what I eat a little, but I don't restrain myself much. I now weigh 197.

My original goal, way back when, was to get to 180. So I'm about to start the shake thing again and see if I can't get to 180. I mean, it's only 17 pounds away, which is a hell of a lot less than the 40 I lost.

This way I'll be in top shape for summer.

Today I started the shakes and I gotta tell you--I don't know what's in them, but they FLUSH your system like you wouldn't believe. I've had to drop the kids at the pool four times today, and that's CRAZY...

Anyway, I really wish I had taken one of those BEFORE pictures when I started the diet, but I didn't really think it was gonna work. You know, another failed diet.

However, I DO have some video from the Making Of, so when I get to 180 maybe I'll post a comparison.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Eighties

Somewhere out there in the ethos I like to think there's a version of me stuck in the eighties.

That version of me is hanging out with my brother Paul--when we're not out swimming in our pool, we're inside watching The Pirate Movie, Clash of the Titans, Fright Night, Night of the Comet, Escape From New York, V, Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back.

Sometimes we're playing videogames on our Atari 800XL. Sometimes we go down my best friend Brooks' house and play on his Commodore 64, and argue about whose computer is better.

We go out to the movies sometimes. Superman 2 is playing. Sometimes Conan or Beastmaster is playing. Our buddies Dave or Wex or Brooks go with us on occasion.

Once in a blue moon our parents take us to the last drive-in remaining in the area. This is the early eighties now. My mom will fix popcorn and put it in a brown grocery bag where the buttery oil will cause stains to appear on the outside of the bag.

They'll let us get on top of the car with pillows and blankets and we'll watch Sinbad movies.

We take vacations in Florida where we go to see our grandparents on my dad's side. We look for fresh watermelons on the sides of the train tracks that run behind their house. We walk to the McDonald's to get lunch and get out of the heat, and I'll make frequent trips to the used-book store to get comics and books.

That version of me doesn't know what I know now. That version of me isn't disillusioned yet. Hell, he doesn't even truly know what sex is because he hasn't experienced it yet.

But when I think about it I'm not sure that version of me ever existed. When I think back on it briefly it seems such a magical time.

If I dwell on it, though, I remember the alienation. The loneliness of my youth. The feeling that I didn't fit in with anybody, that I wasn't like everyone else. The time spent destroying and burning things. The time spent wishing hurt on others.

So I don't dwell on it. The eighties are long gone now...

Monday, March 31, 2008

Animal Kingdom

Fun filled couple of days. Did I tell you about the dog that keeps jumping my fence to try to hump my purebred American Eskimo when she's in heat? Well, end of January I caught him at it and chased him up the street.

I'm seriously close to shooting him. At the very least I have a blowdart gun with 6 inch steel darts that could kill it quietly so I wouldn't get in trouble.

Anyway, since then our dog has been acting funny. Looks like she's gained some weight. I did some research and if she's pregnant, she'll be having puppies this week or so. And that will piss me off bad.

Did I mention she's purebred? We haven't spayed her because we've been looking for a purebred male to breed her with, but haven't had much luck.

And now this mutt may have impregnated her with some half-breeds. At the very least I'll be finding out where it lives and getting the owner to put out some cash for taking care of the puppies until we can get rid of them.

So anyway...

My wife calls me today. We have a new pet. I think, "Shit, our dog did have puppies." But she says there's a bird on our back porch, which is enclosed. And it doesn't want to leave.

She left the door open, she put bread right outside the door, but no--it's happy to stay in our porch. It came in through the dog door.

I come home and check it out. Sure enough, looks like a perfectly healthy Oriole. And man is he friendly. I walked out to see if I couldn't scare him out.

And he starts chirping up a storm. Not like a dangerous, Hitchcock's The Bird kinda chirping. More like a friendly, "Hey how's it going, love yer pad, can I stay, do you have a daughter I can date, you're a cool guy."

And I walk over to him--he flies up onto a ceiling fan and keeps having his one-sided conversation. He's not scared of me much. And he's not flying out of the door that's now two feet away.

I close the door for the night. I figure he can spend the night, but when it's daylight again he's out the door! (no way I'm leaving my door open all night)

---

Late addition: My kid came up tonight missing his first tooth. He says to me, "Where's your tooth?" I correct him: "Where's YOUR tooth?". He smiles.

But then when we try to put him to bed he gets upset that he's missing his tooth. He wants it back, like he's going to put it back in. He gets into one of his mantras, "Where your tooth, where's your tooth?"

I tell him, "You'll grow it back." "Grow it back, grow it back," he cries.

It's kinda sad, but funny too.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Missed the Anniversary

Wow, March 11th of this year was my three-year anniversary of doing this blog.

Dunno what to make of blogs, really. It's interesting to read other people's blogs. I really only keep this as a way of keeping track of stuff that has happened, like the autobiography I started when I was 21 but really neglected after a couple of years.

I've thought about dropping it completely so many times I've lost count, but haven't ditched it yet.

And now my blog is giving me shit for forgetting our anniversary...I'll have to add it to my Proflowers special dates list.

Austin, Day 5

Couldn't sleep. I had to checkout of the hotel at noon, so I'd set my alarm for 11:30am, but I didn't fall asleep until about 9:30am. (ended up watching an episode of Reaper and then Gone, Baby, Gone. Reaper was okay. GBG was okay too, but I don't really like how much seemed missing from the book.)

So I get up--tired. I packed my stuff and got going--I checked out some of the outskirts of town, but end up eating lunch at old faithful: Burger King. It's sunny and nice outside, so I take the Pontiac GT for a spin outside of downtown.

Called and talked to my reps--they're going to another screening at SXSW, and say they'd like to meet me afterward. I tell them I'm coming in to town and should be there in a half hour or so.

In town we hook up at the Driscoll hotel for coffee. It's kind of weird because we've talked on the phone quite a bit, and of course emails, but these are the people who handle my films and get them cool places like LG.

Joe and Amy are very nice people. We chat for over an hour about everything from FOC2 to various other flicks they rep and the state of the distribution industry. Joe's very knowledgeable as he's got a couple of different companies and is trying to make inroads in distribution as well.

They made a couple of good contacts at SXSW and may have a couple of foreign sales leads on FOC1, which would be nice. At this point anything will help.

We part ways. I gotta head to the airport, but I make a quick stop for a slice of pizza at you-know-where. They should know me by name by now.

Austin has a nice airport--too bad I have to stop and get a connecting flight at Dallas. Gonna add an hour to my trip.

The trip is uneventful. Got home like 1:15am, my wife was ridiculously nice enough to come get me even though I told her a cab would be zero problem. Man, I've got her trained well!

Anyway, am thinking about going back to Austin for New Year's, because I hear it's great then and I want to introduce my wife to the town to get her warmed up to the idea of moving here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hot For Teacher

So we had what's called an IEP meeting today because my kid's going into normal kindergarten next year, even though he's autistic. He's higher-functioning, but still...

At this meeting we apparently were to make it clear to the principle that my son needs someone to be with him at all times, because otherwise he will wander around and do whatever he wants. The school doesn't want to have to provide this because it costs them money.

My wife is worried that our kid won't get the proper education if he doesn't have a teacher's assistant, or that he'll wander outside and get hit by a car.

I've told her: 1) If they don't give him an assistant, nobody in that class will learn a thing. My kid will disrupt the class so much that NOBODY'S going to get anything done, so I'm positive that even if he doesn't have an assistant on day 1, he will have one by day 2.

2) If he wanders outside and gets hit by a car, we will own the county after our big lawsuit is settled. So it's a trade-off.

Anyway, that's not why I'm posting this blog. I walk into the meeting(late) and the people are all there. And they're all women. The principle. The teachers. The speech therapists.

And all of Logan's teachers have tradionally been old, plump, homely. The way they should be.

Except today, I was introduced to one of his new teachers--she'll be at his new school next year. And she was hot. She looks a little like Liv Tyler, who I've found cute in some things, but this teacher's better looking.

Made me a little uncomfortable, I don't mind tellin' ya. Maybe I have some sort of teacher fantasy thing going that I never knew I had...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Austin, Day 4 Redux

Okay, so I forgot I'd actually kept a little running log while I was in Austin. This is the more elaborate and more accurate version of what happened on day 4, since I typed it that night.

Day 4 - Monday
I knew I was meeting my Aunt right outside of downtown for dinner. She wanted to eat somewhere called Kobe's, 'cause she said it had good steak. I didn't find out until later that it was a Japanese steakhouse. I hate Asian food.

But hey--I guess I was gonna try a lot of new things here in Austin.

I hedged my bet, though. I stopped at Roppolo's for a late lunch just in case I didn't eat anything at Kobe's. I wandered around and looked at stuff in the light of day.

Met my Aunt at Kobe's, though my GPS got a little confused and tried to get me to turn the wrong way down a one-way street. Nice try, Garmen, but I only do that when I'm drunk.

The dinner was actually pretty good--the salad was decent, the rice was...well, rice, and the stir-fry was crap besides the broccoli. But the steak was extremely great, and my Aunt even got me to try some sort of sauce with it that was very good.

The dinner for the two of us was $78. Ouch.

My Aunt filled me in on a story that happened two years ago--I had heard that while she was staying at my parents' house she got up in the middle of the night, made a wrong turn, and fell down a flight of stairs. It's a steep, 20-step, flight too. She broke her wrist.

That was all I knew.

Turns out she went to a specialist where they had to reseat the bone, which was very painful. She flew back to Texas and went back to work, but said her shoulder kept hurting her. She finally went to a doctor, who sent her immediately to a radiologist, who took a ton of X-rays.

She said the next day the radiologist called her. She works with cancer patients, and she said, "Radiologist NEVER call patients--they call the doctors and tell them what to tell the patients." So anyway, this radiologist tells her, "You have a broken neck." She has to come in immediately.

She goes in and they want to operate right away. There's like a 5% chance that she'll be paralyzed during the operation. They cut into her, remove some bone, put in a plate. She showed me scars.

Niiiiiiice.

After that we went next door to a used book shop and I bought a bunch of books I can't find in my area. I love finding out of print books in old shops.

Then back down to Sixth Street. More pictures. Went into a pool place and played a few pinball games. Talked to my producer's reps who were in town--they were at a screening, but they said let's meet up tomorrow.

Sounded good, so I called it an early night and went home about 1am.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Austin Day 4

Fresh new day. There had been a tremendous thunderstorm overnight, and it was still raining when I woke up, but it cleared pretty fast.

I plugged in the GPS and drove around some back neighborhoods checking things out. I took pictures of anything cool--this church had some neat architecture.



I found the Texas State graveyard, which has some super cool monuments and is probably the cleanest, most well-kept graveyard I've ever been at. Took some snaps of some of the cool stuff there like the Confederate graveyard(below).

Anyway, saw tons of taco places, neighborhoods, and other stuff. But finally when back toward the main part of town because I was hungry and wanted some pizza.


In case you were wondering, this is where they are

There's a lot of funny names and weird things in downtown Austin. Here's some of them.


This is right next to Mooseknuckle. Coincidence?



I was really close to buying this, for obvious reasons...



If my buddies were still in town, I totally would have gone in here...

Went out to dinner with my Aunt, who lives in Austin. She took me to Kobe's, which is an expensive Asian steakhouse. A crazy Mexican who was convinced he was Japanese was our cook--they fry the stuff right in front of you, and throw around knives and stuff, and light fires. I thought I was going to die, or at least lose an eye.

But the steak was great. And there was a giant used-book store next to it that I could have spent hours in. Bought a couple of books very quick. Then back into downtown where I wandered around, checked out bars and the scene.