Monday, October 31, 2005

Halloween 05

Remember when Halloween was this fun? I do. That's my kid. He's a ninja, but he didn't want to wear his hood. He did really enjoy his numchucks(that's nunchaka to you purists)

Below is my pumpkin. I carved it myself, but if I had any idea how much work it would end up being I would have skipped it. I think that's what being old is all about. That feeling.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

My House

This is my house.

Okay, not actually. What it really is is the house I'd like to have. The only problem is that it's in Austin Texas and I can't actually move just this minute.

It's not a big secret that I hate Maryland. The humid summers, the arctic winters. The horrible traffic, the massive taxes, the worst politician in any state(Michael Busch, who just happens to be Maryland House Speaker and has never met a tax hike he didn't approve of).

So I've been looking to move for five years. It's hard because we have a lot of family here.

I've been looking toward Texas. It's big, it's warm, and Austin has a huge film community.

It's a Republican state(don't get me wrong--I hate both major parties, but when it comes to taxes you can't beat a Republican state)

So back to the house. It's about four times the size of my current house. It has 3 more bathrooms. It has twice the land. It is only about $100,000 more than my current house.

I need more room than I have now. That house up there, were it in Maryland, would go for $800,000 - $1,000,000 easy. It's $375,000 in Austin.

But I won't realistically be able to move until I can pretty much buy that house outright--cash up front. My wife has had the same job for about twenty years here, so she has huge job stability. Our health insurance is through her job.

Anyway, if you live in Texas, drop me an email at and remove the TAKEOUT from the address. I've got some questions about Texas that maybe you could help me out with.

So I figure maybe in five years I'll be out of here. I just wonder if my house will still be there.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The transit crash update

If you didn't read Friday's post, do so now.

Anyway, the sum up--I went back and forth in emails to Marty Bass. He said the news desk would contact me about the video. That was about 7am.

They continued to run my pictures(I had sent them an additional photo) as they summed up what had happened.

I sent a final email to them saying if they wanted the video they'd have to contact me shortly 'cause I was going to bed. Most people are getting up at 7am, I'm going to bed.

They didn't call, so I went to sleep. I woke up about 2pm--my phone was beeping because they'd called a couple of times. They were in a big hurry to get the video for the noon news. Whoops.

I called them back, but they were the morning crew and were now off. They suggested I call the news desk now.

To me it seemed like more trouble than it was worth. Even if they wanted the video they wouldn't have paid more than $100 and I'd have had to run up to Baltimore with it. So...nah.

I had TIVO'd the noon news and they used my pic again. Pretty funny.

Non-busy weekend. Carved pumpkins last night and caught up on some shows--the TIVO is rapidly filling up. We watched a couple of Mythbusters and then Supernatural from last week.

I'm just wondering what Supernatural's going to do when they're run out of movies to rip off. This week was Urban Legends rip-off. Last week was The Ring--and if I'd been the director I would have been embarrassed to shoot that scene where a hair-in-front-of-the-face girl crawls out of a mirror.

What was he thinking? Oh, this is different than The Ring because she's crawling out of a mirror, not a TV!

Finished up the script to FOC2. The first half is pretty polished and now I have to do some more passes on the second half. I figure I'll have a pretty good draft in three weeks.

Then the tough work begins...

Friday, October 28, 2005

What a morning...

Okay, this is gonna be like a big FU almost--Imagine someone saying "Wow, you'll never believe what happened to me!" and you go "What?" and he goes, "Tell ya later, I gotta go."

So stop reading now if you don't want me to piss you off.

'Cause the only reason I'm putting it here is 'cause it's 6:32am and I can't tell anyone else.


I'm coming home from seeing a private showing of the new Zorro movie(if you liked the first one, you'll like this one--I liked both of them, but I'm a Zorro fan from the old days). It's like 3:30am and I hit B&A Blvd--and I'm not sure I've ever seen this many police lights in one place.

The road is blocked completely. I can't see why, but it's a sea of glittering red and blues.

I bolt home-grab my super nice pro digital video camera and figure I'll go shoot some footage. Yes, it's freezing and almost 4am. I am strange, to say the least.

I head to the scene. People see me and my camera. A cop comes over and asks who I'm with. I tell him I shoot freelance for WJZ13--a half truth. I mean, I WATCH WJZ13 so that's pretty much the same thing, right?

Another cop comes over. He says there are no other news guys there yet. What happened was, two pinheads in a pickup truck drove onto the light rail(a train) tracks and the maintenance train PLOWED them.

I see the truck. It's flipped. Bloody seats and the thing is DESTROYED.

This cop wants me to take some video so I can get them some stills. He says I can go ANYWHERE I want near the wreck if I do it. Suuuuuure. So I'm all over it. I'm out there for over an hour freezing my testicles off. The Shock Trauma comes to take the people away--if they live it'll be a freakin' miracle.

Here's a picture of the wreck(I've left them large so you can see them well):

So I run home and email WJZ(the news station)--they're talking about it but they have no footage. I send them a still and they email me back almost instantly. They wanna talk to me. They call me. We talk. They want info and the picture. I tell them to go ahead and use it, but if they want the video they're going to have to pay for it.

They'll get back to me. Ten minutes later my picture runs on TV. So if you were watching WJZ13 this morning and you saw that pic--that's mine. It's the picture you just looked at.

Here's another pic:

And then! Then I check my biz email and you know what? The release date is firming up for FOC and my reps tell me--and they reiterate that NO ONE CAN KNOW--the trailer for FOC is going to run on a VERY prominent DVD from LGF when it's released on DVD.

I can't say which one it is yet, but I'll give ya a hint if you promise not to tell anyone! It's a LGF movie that is opening big in theaters this weekend.

Yeah, that's a little more than a hint, huh? I just wanted to make sure you SAW it, eh? I didn't want my loyal readers all pissed, but you're sworn to secrecy!

Holy shit, am I excited. I'm just not going to sleep today.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Unknown User or Incorrect Password

You know what chaps my ass? I mean, besides the wind when my ass is wet?

Web sites that require a username and password. Well, not just that, but that's where it begins.

You see, if you're as justifiably paranoid as I am then you use multiple emails and therefore multiple usernames. Now, if you're not a total moron(see: HH) then you also use different passwords, so if any one of your passwords is ever compromised it's not a total loss.

Soooooo...when you have a ton of usernames and a ton of passwords--and you can't write them down, because that's an easy thing for other people to get to--sometimes you forget what password and username you used.

So here's the part that chaps my ass. I'll get to one of these sites, let's say, a message board. I put in the username I think I used and the password. It gives me:
Unknown User or Incorrect Password.

Hey, which one is it? At least give me that! Do you understand how many combinations I'll have to try? Every possible combo of username and password--if I knew which of the two was incorrect it's a doable thing. But without's just frustrating.

That's it. No real point. I just felt the need to rant today.


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Halloween, Part II

So we got a ride to "The Calvert Street Mansion". We get onto Calvert Street and it's pretty obvious there's no mansions there. It's kind of like a cleaner version of Brooklyn Park.

I get an uneasy feeling.

We walk up to the address--it's just one of the homes in a long row of homes, you know the kind you see in Baltimore. Granted, it's big--three huge stories with some old architecture, but hardly a mansion.

Two guys outside say "What's up?", so I give them the benefit of a greeting. We--it's my wife and I, in case I didn't mention it--head in. Not many people. A large empty room in front is dark and decorated with all sort of Halloween props. A television is playing the director's cut of "Blade Runner".

The next room has a few more people. A projector has been set up and is playing the new "Dawn of the Dead" on the wall. Kinda cool.

A hallway led into the kitchen where there was like five people. Kinda lame. But hey, there was beer and snacks and the people were friendly. I started drinking and figured we'd bolt after an hour.

But then people started showing up. I met a lot of people. The assistant director of "Chainsaw Sally", who says he'll be co-directing the sequel. He spilled some trash about some of the people he worked with.

A guy who's done some art for DC Comics and is now working on a book with Mark Millar, one of comics' most popular writers. He pitched me a script and I had to cut him off and walk away. That gets SOOOOO tiresome.

I really don't know how someone like Kevin Smith--who must get 1000 times the number of "Hey, I wrote a script you should look at"--I don't know how they deal with it graciously because it really is maddening.

We stayed pretty late. I had a decent buzz, but I wasn't that drunk. We got my wife's parents to pick us up--we didn't want to wait for or spring the money for a cab from Baltimore.

I'd like to say I slept like a baby, but for some reason I woke up at 6am and had to puke. Weird, 'cause I didn't drink THAT much.

Not sure if we're going to go out again this weekend, since technically it's the actual Halloween weekend.

The Glen Burnie Halloween Festival is going on Sunday--if you drive by the town center you can see the sign I shot and used in FOC. Hey--swipe it, it'll probably be worth a fortune since it's technically a prop. Course, you'll need to bring a ladder 'cause it's twenty feet up on a building.

Monday, October 24, 2005

So I went to a Halloween Party...

Dressed like this:

You can't see the details, but believe me when I say I looked like a cop. A real cop. The gun I'm holding is a replica Glock 17--identical to a Glock except the barrel is sealed and the gun ejects blanks on its own(a real gun uses the gas in the bullet to eject itself).

The badge is a very authentic badge I had made as a prop in my next flick. The vest is a loaner from a cop buddy of mine, so it's authentic.

This is my fallback costume. The one I use when I don't want to go get painted up with makeup. In the past couple of years I've been a vampire, Lobo(many times), and a clown(go figure).

So we left for the party, which was in Baltimore. We needed to stop for beer. We get to the liquor store and there's a cop parked in his car in the parking lot. So I'm thinking: Great--he's gonna see me and not recognize me, and come over to check me out.

I do what I always do when I'm doing something I shouldn't be. I act like I belong. Like I'm above questioning. I just walk into the liquor store. I grab a twelve of Coors Light long necks and head up to the register.

I say "How's it going?" to the guy behind the counter. "Not bad," he replies. "Been busy tonight?"

I realize instantly that he believes I'm a cop. He wants to know if the criminals are out in force tonight. So I reply back just as fast: "Nah, not too bad." He charges me $6.98 for the twelve pack, which I think could be too cheap but I don't say anything.

I head out to the party, which the invitation says is being held at "The Calvert County Mansion".

More to come...

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Why Is It Allowed?

Let's say I've decided that I want to create a massive database. I'm going to get as much information about every person in the country as I can and compile this database. It's going to have all sorts of stuff--social security number, place of employment, where you live, what credit cards you own and how much you owe on each, what court cases are pending against you...

I think most people would agree that this should be illegal. Especially if I also add that I'm going to let other people check out my database by paying a fee.

Yet it's now the norm, via the credit bureaus. And somehow this massive invasion of privacy is legal.

Have you checked your credit report lately? Something that always cracks me up is my "aliases". Sure, I've used MANY aliases. And some of those show up on the credit report. Some don't.

But the neat part is seeing aliases I've never used. Where are they coming from?

The whole credit bureau thing really chaps my ass though. How did these people get the power to collect all of this info? Why didn't the government step in and say: "You know what--no independent business should be allowed to collect this kind of personal information, and especially shouldn't be able to provide it to other people for a fee."

So when people ask why I'm so paranoid, and why all the information I fill out on everything(including my driver's license) is fake--that's one of the reasons. No telling what's gonna end up on my credit report, and no telling who can access that.

I sleep better at night knowing that anyone trying to hunt me down isn't going to get the correct address from my credit report. Call me paranoid. I don't care. I'm looking at your credit report as we speak...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

October Darkness

There's something that happens in October as the leaves turn brown and the air becomes crisp. I don't know the actual explanation for it, but I know it's true.

The nights are darker. If you walk outside at night in October it's almost like all of the streetlights have been dimmed. The moon can be full and bright, yet its light doesn't seem to cast a glow on anything.

Everything seems more sinister in October darkness. I love it. It lets me know Halloween is coming.

You might have guessed. Halloween is Christmas for me. I've always loved it. Hell, it was a twofer back in my hoodlum days. Mischief Night, then you get rewarded with all the candy you could eat the next night.

Of course everything changes as you get older. It's not as much fun. It's harder to hide as an adult when you're egging your neighbor's house. Still possible, mind you, but harder.

If you're over 30 but under 40 go to eBay and search for "Ben Cooper costume"--I'll bet you owned one of those, didn't you? That's the guy(his company) that made ALL those nifty costumes we all wore with the plastic masks.

Want some more Halloween fun? This was an offshoot of a site I threw together for my comic store many years ago--some links may not work anymore, but it's got some cool stories.

Halloween Site

I'll leave you with this quote from what's gotta be one of the tougher guys to ever live. This is what he said to the hangman as he was standing at the gallows waiting to be hanged:
"Hurry it up, you Hoosier bastard. I could hang a dozen men while you're fooling around."

You can find out who it is at the web site. Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

The Army of AR

No, not Alien Redrum. I'm talking Arrested Development.

This show is so goddamn funny that were I a much better writer than I am, I still would not be able to communicate it.

Think of the funniest television show you ever saw. Got it? Arrested Development is at least ten times funnier.

And you're not watching it, are you?

It can't be that you laugh enough in your life. There's always room in life for more laughter(we'll make an exception for the bedroom). So there has to be some other reason you're not watching AR.

It's on opposite some other show you watch? Well, AR is 100 times better than that show. Trust me, I've seen the show's competition.

Here's what you should do: Run out immediately and buy season 1 and 2 of AR. Watch. As an alternate, if you have bit torrent software and a lot of time, download the first two seasons(this is actually what I did).

You will thank me. I'm not kidding.

Let's do more of that thinking: I want you to think of your favorite food. Got it? Now imagine if you had never tasted that food. For some reason or other, you have never even tried a bite of it.

And here I am attempting to get you to try that food. Knowing--with absolute conviction--that you are gonna love it if only I can get you to try it.

The reason for this plea is that this could be the last season of AR unless they get some more viewers. It's a miracle that it's lasted 3 seasons given how low the ratings are, but it's received so many critical raves and been nominated for buckets of Emmys.

So I'm drafting you into the army of AR. Snap to it, soldier.

Monday, October 10, 2005

KMFDM Returns

I've been a major fan of KMFDM for years. I even saw them in concert at the new 9:30 Club about five years ago. You probably haven't heard of them, unless you remember their name mentioned as one of the groups those Columbine kids listened to before they went postal.

Their music is hateful and angry, and in my college years that's exactly what I was so it was a perfect fit.

Now I'm not quite so hateful and angry--too old to muster up the enthusiasm for it--but I still dig a massive bass guitar and pounding drums.

The last couple of KMFDM albums were let downs. A good song here and there, but the albums weren't great.

But last week they released their new album--Hau Ruck. And it effin' rocks. Sure, some of the songs aren't even in English(they're a German band), and sure the guy's voice is nothing to write home about. But damn does this album rock.

If you like Rammstein, then KMFDM will floor you. I present now probably the best song from the new album, Mini Mini Mini--though "Professional Killer" is so cool I'm going to attempt to license it if I ever do HH2.

The whole album's great--only 2 songs I'm not a fan of. If you like this, you might want to go buy the album. That's right, I said BUY--not download. It's in mp3 format.

Mini Mini Mini

Sunday, October 09, 2005

So I ran over a Mexican...

Everyone loves this story, so I'm gonna go ahead and blog it. Let's say it happened just a little over seven years ago.

I pulled up at a red light, wanting to turn right. I looked left and saw traffic just beginning to come my way, so I pulled out quickly. WHUMP. I hit the brakes. All I could see sticking up at the front of my car was a Mexican's head--the rest of him was under my car.

I jumped out--"You okay?" I asked. He looked pissed more than anything. He yanked his bike from under my car--I was thinking--"Jesus, there's a bike under there too?"

He wobbled it over to the sidewalk--the bike was mangled, the front wheel no longer anything resembling a circle. He started talking in fast Spanish. I took tres anos of Spanish and still couldn't catch anything except rojo--he was pointing at the light. Telling me I had a red light, so I shouldn't have gone.

I tried telling him "Right turn on red is okay". He didn't understand.

People are now behind my car honking at me to move my car. I'm pointing at the Mexican like that explains it. My cel phone rings.

It's my brother. He says "Hey, did you hit somebody with your car or something?" I look around, thinking this must be some candid camera thing or something. Maybe Scare Tactics. I ask him how he knows that. He said his wife was just driving by and saw me.

I tell him I'm in the middle of dealing with it right then and I'd call him back.

So the guy's wearing a Burger King uniform. I ask him if he wants to put the bike in the back of my car and I'll take him to work. He doesn't understand. Now he's hitting his leg like it won't work and I'm thinking: "No way am I getting sued for this."

I hustle to my car--got three cars behind me honking for me to move. I give them the finger. To hold a second. What are you thinking?

I grab a pen and a scrap paper that has nothing on the back that can identify me. I write "Mike" and then make up a phone number. I grab $20 out of my wallet and run back to the Mexican.

Holding the money out, I point to his bike. "Use this to get that fixed." I hand him the piece of paper with the phone number on it. "If that's not enough, call me". I put my pinky and thumb to the side of my head like a phone. "Call me."

He wants my pen. Uh uh, Pepe. Not gonna write down my license plate. "I gotta go," I tell him. I point at the cars, and they honk obligingly. One last "Call me" and I'm in my car.

Outta there. I almost feel bad, but then I remember that I've only ever been in two car accidents--neither my fault, and both were Mexicans. Rear-ended by one, and backed into by another.

It's like...racial karma!

Monday, October 03, 2005

For those interested...

You can find the first 17 pages of FOC2 on the M message board. It will only be up for about a week.

I don't include a link on purpose...

Saturday, October 01, 2005

A question thingee

Saw this on that Norman(it's a girl--weird, eh?), and I'm always up for a round of question and answer.

I am not: a pariah. I mean, I could have said "A banana". What kind of ridiculous question is that? It's got, like, 92,000 answers.
I love: Sbarro's pizza, reheated
I fear: old age
I hope: to die before I get there
I hear: what? Huh? I hear noises.
I crave: the Bahamas
I regret: not sleeping with Anne Marie when I had the chance. Long story.
I cry: rarely
I care: Put "Like" before that question and you're on the right track.
I always: get a slurpee on the way home. EVERY DAY.
I believe: religion is a crutch for the weak. I smell an upcoming blog!
I feel alone: Is there a question there?
I listen: to non-stop 80's--Sirius and XM--gotta love those channels!
I hide: my incredible disgust
I drive: a chevy cavalier. Who needs a sweet car when you're married?
I sing: in my mind
I dance: the funky chicken
I write: You know what I write.
I play: Xbox Live. Like, three or four hours a day.
I miss: my youth
I search: for a reason to not kill people
I learn: there is no reason
I feel: tired
I know: I should spend more time writing and less time on Xbox
I saw: dead people. Okay, I'm drawing a blank here.
I succeed: sooner or later.
I dream: of going back to the Bahamas
I wonder: if this country's ever gonna get any smarter
I want: to go back to the Bahamas--duh!
i have: not enough time in the day
i give: up--okay, not quite yet
i fight: Hey, the first rule of fight club...
i need: a bigger house