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.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hold On

I'll get back to my story, but first--this is gotta be one of the most funny/amazing things I've seen. Who had the time to teach a walrus to do this?

Check It Here

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Austin, Night

It's a very nice city.

There's about 8 blocks of bars, and the place was packed with people--like a cleaner, more polite, much larger Fell's Point(if you're from MD). I called Josh, who some of you might remember is the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of AHOV. I call him that not to remind you that he's been nominated for that award, but because he makes us all do that now. (just kidding--he's still a down to earth guy)

I got his answering machine. He was in town to support H. Ellison, one of the best sci-fi writers ever, who had a documentary about him screening at the fest. (I use initials so a search engine won't accidentally find this post through his name; I mean, if I say sci-fi writer Ellison and you don't instantly know who I'm talking about, you don't know science fiction).

So I shot some pictures. I had a slice of pizza from some place called Roppolo's that smelled great. Never heard of the place, but the slice was larger than the ones Sbarro's gives you, and about 4 times as thick, and it was great. I ended up eating there every day that I was in Austin.


My favorite place to eat in Austin(during the day)

I had decided to call it a night. I was walking back to my car and saw a cool-looking alley. I started snapping some pictures when I get a call from Josh. "Hey," he says. "You know I'm leaving tomorrow, right?

I said no, I thought he would be there longer--I figured I'd meet up with him Monday afternoon. So he asks where I am, and this is where it gets freaky.


I love alleys...


I look for a sign--"Sixth and something", I say. "Sixth and what?" he asks.

I look around for the other cross street--I can barely make it out. "San Jacinto I think."

"No you are not," he says, and I instantly think: "I guess those two streets don't actually connect. Man, he knows this city."

"Where are you again?" he asks.

I tell him I'm in an alley on Sixth and I start walking down the road to see what street that really is--and who's standing there on the corner looking around but Josh and an attractive young lady named Vanessa.

It's weird--yeah, the area around six street is relatively small(like 8 blocks), but still--the fact that he's right on the exact block I am at the same time was weird.

We go to a rooftop deck bar called the Blind Pig and get some drinks, chat for a while. I almost kill myself when I head for refills, miss a step and just about fall on my ass. Good fun. Josh tells me all the crazy stuff he gets to do now and I secretly plot how to kill him and assume his identity. But then he lets drop that he actually reads my blog, so I set up my alibi ala Basic Instinct by writing this post.

We part ways around 1am, and I use my GPS to get me back to my hotel. I watch some Bill Maher before going to sleep, and man, did I sleep. From about 3am to 2pm. Had some major catching up to do.


Me and Josh(look who's got a pass...)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Austin, Day 3

Halfway through the day and we rolled into Austin. They drop me off at the airport so I can get a rental car. I get in line for Budget rent-a-car.

After 15 minutes I get to a person who tells me that because I have no reservation, they literally only have 1 car left: A Kia. And it's $150 a day.

I'm floored. That's a lot of money for a rental, least where I come from.

So I move over to Thrifty. They're out of compact cars, but I can get a mid-size. Guy says it will cost me $150 for 2 days. That's still steep, but I wanna get out of there and find a hotel.

I take it. Turns out, after taxes and all that, it's $250 for 2 days. Wow. I now am definitely gonna get a cheap hotel room. Either that, or sleep in my car.

I meet the boys at a BarBQ joint that a local Austin-ite recommended. He's going to show up with his wife too.

Here's the thing: I don't like BarBQ stuff, unless you count Bullseye Sauce that I put on my chicken nuggets. But hey, they wanna do it, so we do it.

The place was busy. The service sucked. The food was pretty lame. We still had a good time. The local guy, named Chuck, told me the good and the bad about Austin. (Good: Nice town, nice people, good weather. Bad: Out of towners and traffic)

Chuck's wife hated me--par for the course, really. I either rub the ladies the right way or the wrong way, but rarely do you find a woman with ambiguous feelings about me.


From left to right: Chuck, Zig, Me and Stewie. You can tell that Chuck's been eating too many hot peppers


Anyway, I said bye to the guys in a touching manly farewell.

Then I did what any independent, alpha male would do in a foreign city. I called my mom.

"Hey ma, can you jump online and find me a cheap hotel within a mile of downtown?"

She did--it's actually .3 miles from Sixth Street and only $60 a night. I'll take it.

I unpack my stuff at the hotel--it's about 9:30pm at this point. I'm trying to decide what to do. The SXSW Film Festival is going on and the only movie I wanted to see is showing at midnight. But if you haven't bought a pass to the festival, the chances of getting a ticket are slim.

And I'm REAL tired. I debate things with myself. But then I remind myself that I'm only in town for 2 nights. Screw it, I have a GPS, I'm going downtown!

So I drove into town. Austin's not like Baltimore; there are really only around four big buildings in the city, and the one below is the tallest. It kind of looks like the owl from Clash of The Titans. Somebody told me it's the Frost Bank Building.


The other building is the Capital building, which is on Congress Avenue. It's a road you end up driving on a lot for some reason.


More to come.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Dallas/Austin Day 3 More

So we rolled toward this cemetary in the middle of nowhere. I'm not the TCM fan that my buddies are, so I didn't even remember the cemetary. They told me it's at the very beginning of the movie and there's a dead body hanging from one of the monuments.

Okay then.

We stopped at a Sonic for some lunch, and this defunct restaurant was right near it. Very weird to see a Starship in the middle of nowhere, Texas. Can't imagine why it wasn't a huge hit.



We continued on, went down some old back roads and then saw the cemetary in the distance. Oooooh, creepy!



We pulled in--yes, it's called Bagdad Cemetary. We didn't see anyone else there, not even a caretaker.


It started raining, and we were technically trespassing, but we snapped some pics of the monument in question. I won't show any of my buddies hanging off of the monument--we all thought it was fairly poor taste, but that's why we were there, man! What, we weren't gonna do it?

It's the tall one to the right.

Anyway, we only stayed like 5 minutes, and took off. Headed toward the Austin airport to get me a rental car, then to a BBQ joint to meet a local that we know from the horror boards.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Dallas/Austin, Day 3


Packing up to go...


Up early--9:00am, and we lost an hour of sleep to Daylight Savings. We loaded up our considerable amount of stuff and crammed into the rental car--off to Dealey Plaza.

Yep, the place where JFK was shot. We've all seen it in pictures and in movies.



You've seen this place, right?


And let me now break the news to you: Oswald shot JFK by himself, no doubt about it. All I've seen about the "miracle" shots and all that...the thing is, Dealey Plaza is TINY. The distance from the Book Conservatory window to the place where JFK was first hit(it's marked by an X on the road) is about 200 feet.



The distance to the place where the second shot hit is about 300 feet. It would have been a miracle if JFK had NOT been hit, with how slow he was going versus the distance.

The Book Conservatory is now the Dallas administration building, and we laughed at the sign on the door. I mean, no duh.



We didn't spend much time there. We headed off toward Austin, but first we were gonna find the cemetary from the beginning of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre...

Me, in Dealey Plaza

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dallas, Day 2


Yes, they DO all look alike...



We got up early--the room opened for VIPs at 10am, so we had to be there to set up at like 9:30.

The show was a little bit of a clusterfuck for the customers--apparently if you bought a Gold pass you were supposed to be let in at 10am, and a Silver pass would let you in at 10:30am. You would get stuff signed by Robert Englund and others before the rest of the world had to wait in line.

Only, the line was GIANT for the Gold members. No one let them in until around 11am. And they let the Silvers in at the same time. So a lot of people were grousing.

It was kind of cool for me though, as the line went right past our table, so all day people had to stare at me and my flick. Basically I was a Point Of Sale item on the way to Freddy Krueger's table.

I was exhausted. Due to a number of factors I won't explain here, I got about a half an hour of sleep the previous night. So I actually took a 2.5 hour break to sleep; if I didn't, I knew I'd be worthless for partying that night.

I got back to the table and found out a number of people had stopped by to see me--it was very cool to find out I had some fans this far away from my home base.

Anyway, we sold some dvds, some glossies, took a few pics but not that many. After that we started drinking--watched some videos as we drank, bullshitted.

Finally we went downstairs to see what was going on. At the bar is Gunnar Hansen(Leatherface). A number of people are around--the mother from the 1st Nightmare on Elm Street is there looking pretty large.

They're about to do some Black Devil Doll preview or something, and the guys I'm with wanna see it, so we head there just in time to see the ending of the 2001 Maniacs preview. Robert Englund grabs his crotch for some reason and Lin Shaye is there to laugh at it.

Then Black Devil Doll starts. I dunno--it looks like something a 12 year old would make if that 12 year old had access to lots of naked women. It's about a doll that has sex with chicks and kills people. The drunken, standing-room-only crowd seemed to love it.

Obviously I'm officially old. After that we wandered around for a while but it seemed like there really weren't any big parties. Went to bed to get a little more sleep, because we were leaving to head into Austin in the morning.


The Motley Crew that was with me

Dallas, Day 1


Dallas, Texas


The plane ride was bumpy and late. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to check-in at the show since they said VIP check-in ended at 5pm and my plane landed at 4:40pm--and the airport was 22 miles away.

Zig and the boys picked me up at the airport and we drove to the hotel and checked in to our rooms, then high-tailed it downstairs. Apparently everybody was running late. The helpful guy behind the counter got me two VIP passes and told me they were starting the first movie of the night.

Almost two hours late.

See, I wanted to see the third movie, "Fright Night", which was supposed to be introduced by the director Tom Holland. So we figured, what the heck, let's go get something to eat. Oh, and some liquor.

We hit a Burger King(my first time in nearly 6 months, I think), and they loaded my burger with pickles just the way I like it. We passed an entire store devoted to selling nothing more than condoms and got to the liquor store, bought some stuff, and drove back to the hotel.

Made some drinks and headed down. It was like 10pm-ish. The second movie was still going. Zig and crew have been up since early morning, and had driven 10 hours, so they were struggling to stay awake.

Then I see someone standing off to the side that I recognize, and it turns out to be none other than Tom Holland himself. Then I luck out and see Rob G, who runs a big horror site and who also happens to know Tom very well. They start chatting.

I pick that moment to mosey over and say hi, and Rob introduces me to Tom. Says Hey, his new movie has two new clowns and one of them is named Tom Holland. Tom laughed. Seemed like a genial older guy with no ego.

Anyway, after I rejoined the guys, we decided to go back to the room for another drink and to watch a little bit of the Making of FOC2--we end up watching all of it. Zig and Dave decide to crash, but me and Stewie go downstairs to see if Fright Night had started.

It had--it was about 15 minutes in when we slid into the pitch-black room. We picked some seats and sat down to watch.

I quickly noticed that directly in front of us was William Ragsdale(the star of FN), Rob G, and Tom Holland himself. I'll be posting a public blog on Myspace about the experience of watching GN with Tom in front of me, so I won't go into it here, but it was a lot of fun.

After that they were going to show Troll 2, so we called it a night. I was pretty tired and wanted to get some sleep so I wasn't out of it at the table the next day.


The view out our window.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Slow Stuff

Yeah, been a little busy, and I'm probably not gonna blog much 'til next week. Today I'm off to Texas to a horror show.

When I get back, hopefully I'll have something for you.