Thursday, December 29, 2005

Coming Soon...

I know, I know... I owe you my final "award"... the Blogger Full Monty Line-Up. All I can say is, seemed like a fun idea at the time. But considering nobody has been asking about this, maybe if I just let it go noone will notice.

Did want to point out that my tiny experiment was a mild success - I had quadruple the traffic last week. Not sure if this was due to multiple postings on a daily basis, teasing it all by announcing the lineup a few days in advance, or that by giving out awards the winners were apt to link back to me, or a combination of all that. Regardless, I'm going to see if I can extend this experiment by giving all of January a theme.

January will be devoted to posts on how to break into the film industry, with some focus on becoming a director. While I can't speak from expertise on how get the brass ring of a studio deal or a million dollars to make your feature film, I think I can at least offer some degree of insight and tips. More importantly, I do think I can at least offer some solid ideas on how to get your foot in the door and start making connections.

While I've been thinking about writing about all this for some time now, I have to give credit to this post by the BankofKev for getting me more focused on the topic. My first post will address Kev's in more detail. In short, I think Kev's dismissal of the internet as a forum for new directors to be discovered as not only pointless, but wrong. More on this coming Monday.

Of course, I know the bulk of my readers are already in Hollywood with some degree of success, or have no interest whatsoever. So, I encourage any of the former to pipe in with suggestions and corrections. And for everyone else I'll still be posting whatever else I think about. However, if you've stumbled across this blog and you are one of the few who are hoping to make it the entertainment industry, drop me a line, email me for advice, and also feel free to give me suggestions or corrections.

For a kick start, I'd like to give a bonus TonyP to Pennsylvania filmmaker/musician JayV, a longtime loyal commenter who I've failed to show much love. He gets the "Most Neglected Blogger" award. He's one of the most supportive commenter/bloggers out there, so pay him a visit and give him a hello.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Innocent Bystander Shot iin Westwood Village

Innocent Bystander Is Shot, Badly Wounded in Westwood Restaurant - Los Angeles Times

The Habibi restaurant where this took place is literally across the street from the Mann Village theatre, the greatest single screen theatre in the US. Before moving to Hollywood and the opening of the Arclight, Westwood was where I spent most of my time. Home to the UCLA campus, for years Westwood has straddled the misnomers of rich shopping village or ghost town full of upscale shops, rows of empty store fronts, and countless vagrants. While the shooting isn't a shock, its the last thing Westwood Village needs.

As LA Observed points out, "It happened one block north of where student Karen Toshima was killed by gang crossfire in 1988, beginning the end of Westwood as L.A.'s hot spot for movie openings and weekend crowds."

No time left to make the donuts

Unless you grew up around a Dunkin' Donuts, you probably never get the joke when in the early morning people mutter, "Time to make the donuts", made infamous by actor Michael Vale in countless commercial spots for the donut chain.

Vale died Christmas Eve, perhaps ironically, of diabetes.

CNN.com - 'Time to make the doughnuts' actor dies - Dec 27, 2005

On a side note, two weeks ago Franklin Avenue speculated that Dunkin' Donuts may be returning to Southern California...

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

from Metroblogging Los Angeles: Carping On The El Crapitan

Will Campbell at blogging.la posts about his recent experience seeing Narnia for $22/seat at the El Capitan.

Looking for a Christmas Day tour through the magical land of Narnia, I ended up settling on the El Cap because it was the nearest theater in the area that offered online ticketing and reserved seating -- but that "VIP" option comes at a hefty premium. When the price came up on screen I mistakenly thought the $22 pricetag was for both seats. Hell no. At checkout I was about to be dinged for $44 plus a $2 per seat "service fee." That shit scared me so bad, I not only closed the browser window, but ran away from the computer like a litle girl... I ended up rationalizing it: Jesus' birthday does only come but once a year, and the price did include popcorn and a drink... But the drink was a 20-ounce screwtop and that free popcorn? Weak. Sure it came in a souvineer Narnia bucket, but it contained a super-stale kidsized portion to go with the kidsized seats we were forced to endure...

Read the whole piece here.

In short: the El Capitan blows.

I had the same exact experience seeing Finding Nemo a few years ago, although I didn't pay for the VIP seats. More of my experience in their comments section. Alas, I've kept to my vow of never returning.

Which is a shame - aestheticaly (sp?), the El Capitan is a beautiful theatre, and on occasion even features a live organist before the show. But until they correct the $22 ticket price (a little less than half the cost of a full days admission to Disneyland) I'll continue to blacklist the theatre.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Blogger I'd Most Like to See Naked (Offline Adventures 2005 Awards)

For this one, I'm stepping into the realm of celebrity bloggers. And, because its Friday and I'm tired, I'm going to be brief.

The TonyP for Blogger I'd Most Like to See Naked goes to the Wonkette, political editorialist, satirist, and most importantly, gorgeous redhead.


(The Wonkette with fellow blogger the Washintonienne)

Best Blog Post of 2005(Offline Adventures 2005 Awards)

I'll admit that some of these awards were custom titled for the recipient (like Rex Adventure, below). But a couple challenged me a little, such as blogger who most inspired me to write.

The award I wished I'd never mentioned is this one, for Best Blog Post of 2005. A couple years ago, this would have easily gone to this post about a hot wing challenge written by MIA blogger Tyranny - but this year I've been more impressed with the writers as a whole than any particular post. Shane Nickerson's multi part series on That Time We Went to Florida was definitely a contender, and had there been an award for best multi-part he'd have won (except for being disqualified for never finishing the tale). Another multi-parter that almost made it was Jessica Stover's Episode III: Revenge of the Nerds, but as it reminds too much of the heartbreak I had watching the movie I had to relent. Simpleton is immediately disqualified, since I already awarded him Best Blogger... and I'd have a hard time picking between his many posts to choose the best one (this recent post, for example).

In short, this is a difficult award to give out. What makes it even more challenging is having to think back over a whole year of posts, and trying to think of which one stood out the most.

Alas, I have to cheat on two fronts. To begin with, this award is being split between two people. The second cheat is that one of the posts used no words at all.

So, here we go....

One TonyP for Best Blog Post of 2005 goes to AJ Gentile for proving that even a day at the DMV can be fun, if only you try:

I Am the Top Nerd At the DMV is a blog post, like Tyranny's, that I found myself telling my friends to check out, and repeating aloud at parties as though I was explaining a great movie scene. AJ may have other posts which are funnier, but this one was somehow both accessible and useful; it should be mandatory reading for anyone dreading a trip to the DMV.

The second TonyP for Best Blog Post of 2005 also happens to be the best Video Blog of 2005, if not the Best Use of Video in a Blog of All Time. I'd make additional titular suggestions, but its far too annoying even for me.

Naiahdot's post "No Words" is a follow up to this one written a couple days prior:

In a fairly random semantic coincidence, both the er doc and my new doctor used the same idiom about the thyroid issue, in regard to the pain that I’ve been experiencing. Either, they think that the growth is actually a lump of fish stuck to my thyroid, or the pain issue and the thyroid/other neck lumps have nothing to do with each other. It’s the latter. I’m certain; you’ll see...

Click to watch the Best Vlog Post of 2005 by Naihdot.


final awards to be given out later of Friday:

Blogger I'd Most Like to See Naked
&
(for the ladies) Fantasy Full Monty Male Bloggers Line Up (nominations now being accepted)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Hottest Buzznetter (Offline Adventures 2005 Awards)

What the hell is a Buzznetter? some may ask... Buzznet is a site that will host your pics online and allow for people to comment on them. Pretty much a blog but with pictures instead of posts. Most people who have blogs have either a Buzznet or Flickr (another photo hosting site) account. But many people who use Buzznet don't have a blog, and a lot of hot girls like to post pictures of themselves on Buzznet that need no explanation.

But when you come to check out who the Hottest Buzznetter is, you're not here to read, so I'll let this be brief and let the photos speak for themselves...

The winner of the TonyP for Hottest Buzznetter goes to RexAdventure...



Sexiest Blogger (Offline Adventures 2005 Awards)

Sorry this is a few hours late... so many choices!

Unfortunately, I couldn't even bring myself to consider BigTanky or LorenzoBenzo, two incredibly sexy bloggers, as they've barely been blogging lately. At the very least had they kept up their Buzznet accounts they could have qualified for sexiest Buzznetter. Maybe next year?

This year's Offine Adventures award for Sexiest Blogger goes to a woman who manages to post like crazy, post passionately, and post insatiably. Her site boasts very few pictures, and while she writes infrequently about sex, each post oozes sensuality, even when she's writing about the war in Iraq. I know she'll hate this description, but I picture her as the sort of woman you'd fall in love with while trapped together in a foxhole, still looking amazing with her face smeared with dirt and spent gunpowder - of course, her gun would be bigger than yours, and she'd have a higher death toll. Ironically, this blogger's URL is paxgitmo.blogspot.com, so I don't think she'll be enlisting any time soon.

RadioHumper is the recipient of the TonyP for Sexiest Blogger of 2005.

Coming up the rest of this week...

Thursday (today)
Hottest "Buzznetter"
&
Best Blog Post of 2005

Friday
Blogger I'd Most Like to See Naked
&
(for the ladies) Fantasy Full Monty Male Bloggers Line Up (nominations now being accepted)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Best Los Angeles Themed Blog (Offline Adventures 2005 Awards)

Especially in the past year I've barely felt the need to read the LA Times, or any newspaper for that matter, as I've mostly turned to online sources for news. Especially in the case of local news and events, I've turned entirely to the blogosphere, even neglecting my old favorite LA Weekly. This isn't just due to my ready accessibility of the net so much as the fact that Los Angeles can boast a great number of fantastic blogs that keep people up to date on the city and its inhabitants in many different ways.

While I can't entitle it "Best Los Angeles Blog", blogging.la is certainly the one I frequent most often. It combines informative posts about local rumors, as well as frequent sophmoric gripes about traffic, parking, and noisy neighbors. For a while I put the LAist neck and neck with blogging.la, but in the past year it appears LAist has become less blog and more of a replacement for the Calendar section of the Times, focusing on lists of band dates, movie reviews, and advice columns that smack of corporate pandering than raw blogging (and I say this cautiously - I make my living off of corporate pandering).

Another favorite is the "open source" LAVoice.org, which allows and encourages anyone to submit a post. All posts are screened by site editor Mack Reed before posting, so while this keeps out ridiculous posts and spam, the delay means LAVoice lacks the ability to post about breaking news in "real time", which is its only drawback.

But the TonyP for Best Los Angeles Themed Blog goes to LA Observed, the most hard news oriented blog about Los Angeles. The highlight of LA Observed is the daily morning recap called "First Thing" using a variety of legitimate news sources and blogs to bullet point whats going on in the city. Best of all, Observed manages to make recaps of city council sessions interesting. Its a clean site that lacks the drama and bells and whistles of all the other local blogs, but it takes on the responsibility of being a true Los Angeles news source that is so lacking from even the professional writers he cites and links to. Bruce Feirstein from the New York Observer sums it up best (from LA Observed's sidebar): "In just a few postings a day, he gets to the flesh and blood of the city...It makes you feel as if you’re part of L.A., in the way the L.A. Times doesn’t."

Special credit to 1947 Project as the coolest local blog, as they blog about LA news, with an emphasis on crimes and misdemeanors, from the same day back in 1947... the year the Black Dahlia was murdered.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Blogger I Dreamt Most About This Year (Offline Adventures 2005 Awards)

Sometime last year I posted about having a naughty dream involving recently engaged blogger Bunny McIntosh. It was a one night stand - I've never dreamed about her again. Which is highly unfortunate, for me anyway.

Anyway, this award would probably be better titled "Blogger I Had the Naughtiest Dream About", but I don't want to creep out the recipient. Since she appeared in more than one dream of mine, I custom fit the title. I should also add that she's welcome in my dreams anytime.

The night I had my scandalous encounter with her was after reading a blog posting (another candidate for best blog post of 2005) detailing her first kiss. That, combined with some pics of her, gave me one of the sexiest dreams I'd had in a while. Of course, I never told my girlfriend about this, and fortunately she never reads this blog (so don't tell), so I can reveal this here.

The details at this point are sketchy, but feel free to make stuff up on your own. It involved being on a couch at a party, and leading elsewhere with less clothes. And yes, lots of making out...

The TonyP for Blogger I Dreamt Most About This Year/Blogger I Had the Naughtiest Dream About goes to Blood and Guts blogger Helena Lazaro, who continues to so aptly spill her blood and guts of breakups, lost loves, and fantasies to a captivated readership. I even think her mom reads the blog, poor lady. I may read the blogs from lots of gorgeous girls, but for some reason Helena is the only one to have crept in and seduced me in a dream. And for that alone she deserves mention. She's also a killer writer.

Oh, yeah... the blog posting was from her two parter called Johnny Rockstar (part one, part two)... but this post is also worth reading...

Coming the rest of this week...

Wednesday
Sexiest Blogger
&
Best Los Angeles Themed Blog

Thursday
Hottest "Buzznetter"
&
Best Blog Post of 2005

Friday
Blogger I'd Most Like to See Naked
&
(for the ladies) Fantasy Full Monty Male Bloggers Line Up (nominations now being accepted)

Blogger Who Most Inspired Me To Write (Offline Adventures 2005 Awards)

Yep, I'm gonna hold off an extra hour or so before posting the salcious award for "Blogger I Dreamt Most About This Year". On the bright side, the winner of this category can be assured they didn't win this one.

I'd also like to give an accolade to the "Blogfather" himself, Tony Pierce, by giving the Offline Adventures Award a name, and that name is The TonyP ("the Tony" award is already taken but some other awards group).

Originally, I was going to make this a dual prize for both Shane Nickerson and AJ Gentile, who deserve many accolades in their own right, but not this one.

Shane continues to post well thought, interesting posts on a daily basis, often anecdotes from his youth and college years. The consisteny and quality is amazing. After he becomes a huge famous actor he should consider becoming a creative writing teacher. (ironically, as I post this Nickerson is on a montg long sabattical from blogging.)

"Newcomer" AJ Gentile reminds me of a more sarcastic, yet white collar version of Hunter S. Thompson - I'd compare him to Martin Mull but AJ a bit more colorful and interesting and, lets face it, nobody knows who Martin Mull is. AJ is also a candidate for "Best Post of 2005" which will be announced on Thursday.

So, in retrospect, if I was to make an award for Blogger Who I Most Aspired to Write Like, it would go to those two crazy kids.

The award I'm handing out right now more realistically should go to the Blogger who actually did inspire and cause me to write - although, in this case, it wasn't to write more blog posts, but more comments on someone elses blog...

The award for Blogger Who Most Inspired Me To Write this year goes to that tattoo crazy, right winger Reverse_Vampyr. "RV" is one of the few writers with an often conservative slant who I can actually listen to - his posted opinions aren't based on following the GOP/Fox News talking points. Instead, RV regularly posts an original approach and reasoning. RV also has a regular Wednesday post called the Midweek Peek, which is a shameless excuse to post a photo of one cleavage baring woman or another - and I love him for it. While RV denies subscribing to any party line, one glance at his blog will make it clear he has no love for "liberals" as a whole, which often results on my posting a scathing critique, and posting often. Reverse_Vampyr is worthy of spending the time to debate and respect. That's why he's received Offline Adventure's TonyP for Blogger Who Most Inspired Me To Write.

Monday, December 19, 2005

2005 Offline Adventures Blog Awards This Week!

I know this is late notice, but in a little experiment to see how much original and return traffic I can drive to this blog I present a week long series of dubious honors!

As you know, I already spontaneously awarded Simpleton "Offline Adventure's Best Blogger of 2005", but there are a number of other blogs that deserve some recognition, and, as you'll figure out soon enough, I'm simply looking for a reason to post some pictures of boobies. Apologies to any underage readers, or at least their parents.

It may be safe to say that most of these awards will be given out to bloggers already in my blogroll (at left), but some surprises await. And feel free to send me suggestions - I'm not entirely decided on all the winners, and my vote can be bought. I'm cheap.

So, with no further ado, the categories are:

Tuesday
Blogger I Dreamt Most About This Year (scandalous confession awaits!)
&
Blogger Who Most Inspired Me To Write (before procrastination set in)

Wednesday
Sexiest Blogger
&
Best Los Angeles Themed Blog

Thursday
Hottest "Buzznetter"
&
Best Blog Post of 2005

Friday
Blogger I'd Most Like to See Naked
&
(for the ladies) Fantasy Full Monty Male Bloggers Line Up (nominations now being accepted)

On a sidenote, big thanks to some recent commenters who've stopped by with a kind word: Dan at Gone Mild, who I think is the only person that liked my short "Magic Wand"... Paul from the CCC who was trying to outwit Thai Transvestites... now-celebrity blogger Peggy Archer who was also intrigued by the trannies... scandalous Susan Natalie who confessed here that she's a coffee snob, but confessed elsewhere that she failed at a career in porn... and the infamous RadioHumper, who's equally a fan of the amazing Simpleton...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Arclight jumping the shark?

Saw Kong last night, which is not the point of this post... but in brief: easily one hour two long, a structural mess, but some outstanding actions sequences made it worthwhile.

Now, onto my newest critique of the Arclight. I point this out not to dissuade anyone from heading over to what I still feel is the greatest theatre ever (the Mann Village remains the greatest) so much as an open complaint letter.

Here's what happened: I'd purchased my tickets weeks ago for the midnight screening of Kong at the Arclight Cinerama Dome. The show filled up very quickly. I think it could be said that almost all of the people who purchased tickets for the event are frequent Arclight patrons.

I wanted to arrive 30 minutes early to allow time for concessions. Besides, since I was going with a group of friends if we had some time to kill and chat, I didn't think anyone would mind.

Alas, the concession line alone did take about twenty minutes. Completely unnecessary. It appeared they had an undertrained holiday staff on deck that night for a sold out show.

Thats gripe #1. Its petty, boring, and since I knew it would happen can't complain too much. Whatever. Now for #2:

On our way into our seats we see there's a line. The ushers are telling people how to find their seats, causing a backup. As I pointed out, most of the people attending that night have been to the Arclight before. Additionally, they've already seen their seat locations online or when they bought their tickets. So, another five minutes killed, waiting for everyone to be told what people at every other screening can usually figure out on their own. While I understand that its nice to have ushers on hand to help people who appear lost or have a question, I saw most people were genuinely annoyed with being directed to their seats.

Again, who cares.

#3. For the last few years, when freelancing has been particularly slow I've always considered working at the Arclight, but only if I could "present" the show. Before every screening an Arclight usher walks in front of the audience, asks everyone to turn off their cel phones, lets everyone know that they'll be standing by to make sure picture and sound quality are okay, and occassionally to mention any upcoming Arclight events. Some of these guys are brief, some guys are hilarious. But when they're longwinded and just plain annoying, thats when I figure I could do the job as well. So, the usher comes out before Kong and gives the 'ol "Welcome Ladies and Gentleman" in a deep, game show emcee voice, before introducing himself as not only an usher, but one of the guys who started KongIsKing.net. Whoop-dee-do. He also said he had a special message from Peter Jackson just for us (golly!)... after droning on about how exciting his website is, he finally shared with us the message -- that he said was straight from Peter Jacksons mouth to our ears (even though it was typed via internet chat, and repeated by this schmo)... and the messages was "Enjoy the movie!" It may as well have been, "Enjoy your Ovaltine." Nothing that the audience benefited from, such as "I shagged Naomi Watts during the shoot" or "my next project will be 'The Hobbit'". And then to end things on a low note, he finished by saying "And without further ado, here's King Kong!" Which was followed by about ten minutes of trailers for upcoming movies... and then King Kong hit the screen.

Finally, #4: I logged onto the Arclight site, always a technical disaster, to see if any other special screenings had been announced when I saw a message that, fortunately, doesn't pertain to me. It reads:

If you purchased (King Kong) tickets prior to 12/6 for a Dome show Wednesday through Sunday, 12/14 -12/18, note that due to the film's length, several show times have been changed. For each of the days, the 12noon show has been moved to 11am, the 3:30pm show to 3:00pm and the 10:30pm to 10:55pm. Your tickets and seat assignments have NOT changed (and the 7pm show time has not changed). Please just arrive according to the new show schedule and your original tickets will be honored.

I wonder how many people are showing up today, one hour after start time, who didn't get this update? Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.

---

On a happier note, I should point out that on Monday night I was able to see a screening of "Good Night, and Good Luck" at the Arclight with a Q&A afterwards with some of the cast and crew, including George Clooney, David Straitharn, and Frank Vangella. It was free. On the way I strolled past Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez as they were about to enter a press screening for "Hostel" produced by QT. And next Monday and Tuesday I'll be seeing "The New World" and "Munich"... free again, with Q&As after.

What? Huh? What?

According to Sploid! - no more journalism than, say, Drudge Report - last weeks shooting by US Air Marshalls of a man they suspected had a bomb is incredibly suspect:

...undercover agents pumped five bullets into U.S. citizen Rigoberto Alpizar, who had just had an emotional argument with his wife and wanted to get off the plane while it was still parked at the jetway... Then the air marshals methodically terrorized every passenger remaining on the jet -- especially the children -- sticking loaded guns in their faces... Alpizar not only didn't have a bomb, he never even claimed to have a bomb. Worse, his wife pleaded with the sky marshals, telling them her husband suffered from emotional problems and needed medication...

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Cleaner Dogs

A little over a year ago I asked my friend Al Kramer to read a few lines for the short, "How To Vote". I ended up using him as the bookends. If you've seen it, you may have believed Al was Tony Pierce, Age 110. In actuality, Al is a sprite 92 years old, and still quite interested in pop culture and the world at large.

After the shoot, Al gave me a dog he made out of pipe cleaners, a token he often gives to people who have either meant something to him, or he simply believed would appreciate the gift. Since then, I've talked with Al enough to know he has an incredible amount of life experiences to share (as a working actor in Hollywood, to travelling with the circus, and hanging out with Marlon Brando, as well as sharing birthday parties with Grace Kelly).

I decided to take a stab at documentary style filmmaking with my latest short, and asked Al if I could interview him about his "Cleaner Dogs." He agreed. While I may not have captured it completely, the story begins when he was 14, and continues to this day.

The resulting short is far from complete, let alone perfect, but I still thought my handful of readers might appreciate what I've been working on for the past few days.

Cleaner Dogs
6.9mb, WMV

Monday, December 12, 2005

Now that Governor Schwarzenegger has denied clemency for convicted gang killer Tookie Williams, word in the press is that there may be some rioting in protest. At least from the sanctity of my local Starbucks full of more than a dozen white folks, like myself, everything appears calm... maybe because we're all placated by the equally white iPods that isolate us from the outside world. Of course, there could be a few people listening to 2Pac in our midst, sleeper cells of rioters waiting for a signal before they storm the counter and start looting the cranberry bliss bars and holiday blend bags of coffee.

I can't say its a shame that Tookie Williams is going to be executed. What is a shame is the continued use of executions in this country, considering the inexcusably high rate of death row criminals who are found to have been wrongly prosecuted. This is a topic death penalty proponents always dismiss and ignore - they don't want to admit that a few dead innocents is worth being able to exact vengeance on others. While some people certainly don't deserve to live, the fear of the death penalty is not a deterrant - people who are desperate to kill will do so, whether they believe they could be sent to prison or the electric chair (or gas chamber, or whatever). If anything, the only benefit of the death penalty is as a threat to coerce testimonies from accomplices after the fact... and closure for the victims families. But in no way does revenge make up for state sponsored murder of people who could be, and have been, innocent.

Now, I must pay attention to the most gorgeous MILF I've ever seen who's just sat one table ahead of me. She looks ready to riot.

Best Blogger of 2005

Perhaps best blogger ever.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Politically Correct Fox News Selling "Holiday" Ornaments

Hammer of Truth ? Ironic: Fox News Sells “Holiday Tree” Ornaments

The same network that claims "the left" is attempting to attack Christianity by taking the word Christmas out of the Holiday season, was up until recently selling "Holiday Ornaments"... they've since renamed their items as being "Christmas Ornaments".

Whoops.

Principal Places Video Camera In School Bathroom To Watch Little Boys

I kid not.

Once again reminding me that youngsters have every reason to distrust their elders.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Another reason why Barack Obama should become President

Obama Calls on Bush To Admit Iraq Errors

Sen. Barack Obama said President Bush should admit mistakes in waging the Iraq war and reduce the number of troops stationed there in the next year. But the Illinois Democrat, a longtime opponent of the war, said U.S. forces remain "part of a solution" in the bitterly divided country and should not be withdrawn immediately.

Without citing specific numbers, Obama called for a "limited drawdown" of U.S. troops that would push the fragile Iraqi government to take more responsibility while deploying enough American soldiers to prevent the country from "exploding into civil war or ethnic cleansing or a haven for terrorism."

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Dr. James Dobson wants you to play with his balls

The Advocate: "Far right group?to use Macy's parade to spread antigay message"

Dr. James Dobson's organization, Focus on the Family, will be handing out 5000 "stress balls" to spectators at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to promote a Web site it operates that claims that homosexuality is a disorder that can be changed through faith. Visitors to the site, TroubledWith.com, who think they might be gay or lesbian are told, "You're not simply 'wired that way.'" In another section, visitors are told that being gay or lesbian can be prevented because "like other adult problems, homosexuality begins at home. Mom and dad are key players." Also to blame are porn, the media, and "seduction by peers."

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Magic Wand

Without revealing too much, I'll repeat my vague description of this short as a comedy about abortion. That alone should serve as a parental warning, and possibly as a convincing pitch.

I had the vague concept for this short a few months ago, but never intended to ever shoot it. But when the theme "magic wand" was given at the previous Group 101 Films meeting, it seemed to fit all too well - the short centers around a home pregnancy kit. And what better name for a home pregnancy kit than "Magic Wand"? (Actually, the theme was broader: "magic", but a short film contest for Atom Films and Intel requires films to utilize the theme "magic wand" - I have no ambitions to enter the contest, but, again, this fit perfectly).

And instead of offering up tons of excuses for whatever flaws exist in the short, I'll go right ahead and say I'm incredibly proud of how this turned out. I think one of my greater talents is casting, although I can only take half credit here. My female lead I saw in a play a few months back and was immediately impressed with her solid ability to act and fit any scene, not to mention great comic delivery and beauty on top. I was surprised when she agreed to work with me, in spite of her not knowing me, having barely two lines of dialogue written in my script draft, and the requirement that she appear in lingerie or implied nudity. Tyler Tanner, meanwhile, I've know for a couple years and have wanted to work with for some time now... however, when casting the male role in this short I never pictured him. When my first choice, confirmed actor completely flaked the night of shooting, Claire suggested Tyler. It sounded like a long shot, but the idea of him in the role immediately made me giggle, and when he said he could be on set in less than an hour I knew that this short was going to be my personal favorite.

And now, here it is - still rough, but I hope entertaining enough...



(Mac friendly version pending - again, if anyone knows the best way to convert to Quicktime without making the video quality blow and the file size manageable - under 10 megs - lemme know).

Monday, November 14, 2005

Travel Advisory: Beware of Thai Transvestites

Thai Tourists Warned Of Sedative-Spitting Transvestites

Members of a Thai transvestite gang have confessed to hiding strong sedatives in their mouths and spitting them down the throats of victims during deep kissing. Then they rob the drugged tourists.

Unsure whether or not this would make for a better porn film or thriller. Comments?

Calamine

Back in the day I'd spend hours listening to songs from struggling unsigned musicians at mp3.com. And every once in a while I'd stuble across something listenable. The cream of the crop was a band called Calamine, who actually later went on to some level of success when they recorded the main title song for Sealab 2020 on the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. Lead singer Julie Stepanek had a voice that made me instantly fall in love with her, or at the very least have a summer romance with. I liked their debut EP so much that I bought not one, but two copies off of CD Baby since I somehow lost my first copy after a few months of listening. Every once in a while I'd check their site for updates... to be repeatedly disappointed with no word on any additional upcoming releases. After a couple years, I gave up. From what I gathered, Julie had gotten hitched and abandoned her music career.

Alas, after years of silence Calamine has resurfaced with a bulk email I found in an email box I almost never check. Just as if it were kismet, destiny, whatever, Julie has announced that they have a new, full album coming out very soon and are accepting preorders.

I encourage all five of my readers to give Calamine a spin - you can listen to two songs off their new release in full, as well as most of the songs off their EP (if you want to cheat, click here for Trampoline, the song that first gave me butterflies in my stomach).

Now for enough sap - I need to polish up my newest short, "Magic Wand", so everyone can experience what I like to call "a comedy about abortion".

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Dear Mac lovers...

For those of you who missed my last short film, "Choke", because it wasn't available for viewing on Quicktime, I bring good news:



I'm also currently editing together my newest short, "Magic Wand", which I shot until the wee hours last night. It was almost a disaster - the actor I had lined up for the main role failed to show up, even after I'd postponed shooting on Thursday night with just a few hours notice to accomodate a meeting he had pop up. I had pretty much resigned myself to playing the part myself - not ideal since I'm not an actor, and I don't smoke, a trait that I'd written into the role that I didn't want to change. Surprisingly, the immensely talented Tyler Tanner was available and showed up one hour after the call (he's an even better actor than Amazon.com reviewer). Tyler, unfortunately, quit smoking a couple years back. Unfortunate for him, that is - I had him puff down nearly an entire box of Camels by the end of the night. Shooting went over schedule by only two hours, but his performance made it well worth it. You can judge for yourself on Monday when I'll post the rough cut.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Bill O'Reilly honorary member of al Qaeda

Bill O'Reilly takes aim at San Francisco - Radio - MSNBC.com: "If al-Qaida comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead."

Bill O'Reilly, supposed patriot, encourages al Qaeda to attack an American city. Why? Because of "a San Francisco ballot measure opposing the presence of military recruiters in city schools."

Even I'm opposed to such a bill. But Bill O'Reilly needs to sober up and take a falafel - er - loofah bath.

Even if San Fran bans military recruiters from schools does not mean the city is anti-military, or anti-American.

I was in San Francisco weekly and attended some of the festivities for on the city's grandest traditions: Fleet Week. The military presence around the city was huge, and the overall reception I saw was incredibly positive. Recruiters were everwhere. San Francisco certainly has some issues with glorifying war, but they certainly show respect and appreciation for our men in uniform.

O'Reilly, on the other hand, has shown that he's willing to cooperate with al Qaeda when convenient to his agenda.

His comments, by the way, were conveniently erased from the archives of his radio program where they were originally broadcast.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Results on Monday...



"Magic Wand" - the short film, now in production.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

RSS Feed!

Shane Nickerson suggested I do this months ago --- and seeing how infrequently I post this is definitely long overdue:



If you don't know what an RSS feed is, don't worry... I only figured this out recently myself. Some people can drop RSS links, like the one above, into their mail reader (like Thunderbird or Outlook) and whenever I post a new entry in this blog, it magically appears almost like new mail in their mailbox. If you read a lot of blogs but hate clicking around to them throughout the day hoping for an update you should try out RSS feeds - you'll be notified only when the blogs you choose are updated.

For readers of this blog, this should prove indispensable. No longer do you need to keep returning here to be disappointed for weeks at a time without a new entry.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Costumed Freaks on the Offensive!

It appears that Batman, Spiderman, Marilyn Monroe, and the other people in my neighborhood might be involved in some shady activities... from blogging.la:

Via SoCal-dSLR:

---on the news they arrested 3 charactyers for strong arming people taking photos of them who did not tip the characters, police have a sting going because it has become such a problem with the characters going after the photographers that will not pay for taking photos.

Also:

---Last Saturday one of the Hollywood Blvd. hangout types... demanded money or a press pass from me ... I just walked away ... but if I was there with family/children ... I would have felt uncomfortable.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Monday, October 10, 2005

"Choke" the short film - now online!

The promised Ouija board short film is now available for download and review. I may end up cutting this down to around thirty seconds, from its current one minute, fifteen second run time... but I'm waiting for critiques and suggestions before I move forward.

The challenge here was trying to replicate a low light situation, with no budget for lights. Even the best miniDV cameras aren't suited for the challenge, so I was happy that it actually looks okay. Even the digital effect I tried to do I think is pretty convincing.

Take a look, let me know what you think.

"Choke" hi res
WMV, 6.2 megs
"Choke" med res
WMV 4.7 megs


(Having trouble creating a Quicktime version of suitable quality and file size -- if anyone has experience converting to QT with Adobe Premiere Pro, please send tips my way: unsomnambulist at gmail dot com.)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Podcast!

Yes, I, the Unsomnambulist, have created my first podcast!

Enjoy the suckitude of bad recording and amateur sound mixing as I unleash a mix of songs about witches and witchcraft.

Unsomnambulist Podcast .05: "Witches and Witchcraft"
.mp3, 14mb

And go here for further notes, and to subscribe to the RSS feed for future installments.

(and if you're wondering what a "podcast" is... its simply internet slang for an audio recording made expressly for internet download... a homemade radio show you can download to your computer for listening whenever you want... named "podcast" instead of "broadcast" because these are perfect to toss onto your iPod and listen to at your leisure.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Worst Halloween Costumes Ever

Ok, so I'm even a failure at the blogging five minutes a day...

In sticking with the Halloween theme, I thought I'd direct you once again to RetroCrush - this time, their list of the worst Halloween costumes ever.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Grave Addiction - Photos of Cemeteries and Haunted Places

Grave Addiction - Photos of Cemeteries and Haunted Places

Since I'm crazy busy, but still want to fulfill Tony's challenge to blog for at least ten minutes a day (I'm committing only to five for a start), all I can offer today is this link to Grave Addiction, a cool personal site with all sorts of true stories of ghosts, ouija boards, and graveyards based in Ohio.

Friday, September 23, 2005

"Guardsmen Sense Ghostly Presence In New Orleans"

CBS 5: Guardsmen Sense Ghostly Presence In New Orleans

Ghosts of Katrina! This was inevitable: stories of hurricane and flood victims coming back to haunt New Orleans. Any where else this would be considered exploitive... but in the Big Easy, this could help with tourism by twisted folks like myself.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Yes...No...Goodbye...

I haven't mentioned this yet, but I've been excited for Halloween long before the "back to school" shelves were replaced with assorted trick or treat items and costumes. Actually, I tend to find myself getting all giddy with the holiday as early as spring. I start humming the Disney "Trick Or Treat for Halloween Song"... and as October approaches, I begin singing aloud "Its the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"... well, aloud in my car with the windows rolled up.

The nice thing about the Group 101 Films thing is that I can celebrate Halloween EVERY month by making a horror short each time. My last project was, in essence, a small pitch for a supernatural based show. My next one I think will be a small mood piece revolving around a Ouija board. I'm trying to think of a simple story revolving around a guy and a gal who are playing with the Ouija. I want some level of eroticism to it - cause there's something sexy about playing Ouija with an unfamiliar member of the opposite sex. The proximity of bodies, hands brushing against each other as they rest on the planchette, and the electrical charge of whatever supernatural charge is in the air.

Anyway, no idea what will happen in terms of plot. I'm sure it ends with some creepy moment. But, if anyone has ideas, especially a story of their own to share, please leave it in the comments. I'm not above plagiarism for these 3 minute shorts... and I may even dish out some screen credit.

More on Halloween in the coming week, including the first installment of my supernatural/occult themed podcast...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Pure Marketing Genius



Click here to watch the whole trailer, starring me and Leon.

Everyone involved would pulling this together, from the Flash designer geniuses, to the marketing execs, to the agents who allowed this to happen, deserve some sort of Oscar...

Thanks to Tony Pierce for pointing this out... you can watch him and W in the trailer here.

Monday, September 12, 2005

The Black Brad Pitt Takes on the Demons

WARNING: Video contains adult language.

I'm almost embarassed to say that I only spent 90 minutes editing yesterday's video... and then I spent close to eight on this one.

While shooting "City of Demons", AJ and I ran across an up and coming rapper on Hollywood who was eager to show us his mad skillz. I said as long as it was about ghosts and the supernatural, we might even use it.

Following is the resulting video that'll be stuck in your head for days. I wasn't able to catch the rappers name, but in one of his rhymes he refers to himself as "The Black Brad Pitt." I think you'll agree the resemblance is uncanny.

WARNING: Video contains adult language.


While waiting for the download, go back to AJ's blog to see some nice words he wrote about me and Hustons Pit BBQ.

City of Demons

For my first Group 101 project of the 2005/2006 season I waited till almost 24 hours before the film was due to begin prepping, let alone shooting.

The result is a small "teaser/mini pilot" for a Haunted Hollywood type show - this particular bite sized epidode is called City of Demons. You can click here to give it a peak.

The highlight of the piece, besides my swank new camera, is host AJ Gentile. AJ is a fellow blogger who I first found during the Nickerblog's Worf contest. On AJ's hilarious blog is the hosting reel that I checked out and drove me to reach out through cyberspace and see if he'd want to be a guinea pig for one of my Group 101 projects. I emailed him on Friday, and finally connected yesterday afternoon via. Within an hour I was driving to pick him up and head to Huston's Pit BBQ (covered in my Sept. 24, 2004 post) for lunch and to figure out what the hell we were going to shoot. None of this fazed AJ - I think he might have a side career in porn.

While indulging in pulled pork sandwiches, we worked out a rough outline of what we wanted to shoot, then spent most of the day in traffic. Somehow, I was able to pull enough footage for the video.

Let me know what you think -- I think it makes a good starting point for a few episodes of a paranormal themed show.

"City of Demons"
WMV, 9.8 megs


While you're waiting for the download visit AJ's Piece of the Web, and if you're into this paranormal type stuff check out the site for "Hometown Tales" that features one of the more entertaining podcasts in this dimension.

Friday, September 02, 2005

I should let everyone in on a little secret...

I have a secret blog. I've been writing it for the past six months.

Now, blogger's who keep "secret blogs" have various reasons, but none like mine. "Secret blogs" are often confessionals detailing parts of the bloggers life that they don't want anyone to see, or know who's writing those thoughts, but still wants to get the thoughts into cyberspace. Indeed, many of the "secret blogs" are about sex, or at the very least crushes. Others might be behind the scenes accounts of their work place... a sort of place to rant and/or gossip. The reasons go on and on...

But my secret blog could best be described as a crime fighting blog using a secret identity. My crime fighting blog has a central villain who is revealed to be more and more corrupt every day. But in spite of my secret identity, he was eventually able to reveal my name...

With that in mind, I believe its time to pull back the curtain. Coming into this blog so late in the game may require a recap, which I should post over the next few days.

In the meantime, if anyone wants a direct link to the secret blog in advance, just email me at unsomnambulist at gmail dot com.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

ANTI-WAR PROTESTERS TARGET WOUNDED AT ARMY HOSPITAL and other distortions by Matt Drudge

or so proclaimed Drudge Report yesterday. As skeptical as I was of the last post, I was even more skeptical of this one.
But there are some nutty protesters out there, and there is the even higher probablity this was/is a hoax - it doesn't seem like it would take a somewhat unheard of news source to break this. And it seems way too convenient for it be, in Drudge's words, a "conservative outlet". Here's the full details according to Drudge:

ANTI-WAR PROTESTERS TARGET WOUNDED AT ARMY HOSPITAL
Wed Aug 2005 24 21:20:05 ET

Anti-war protestors besieged wounded and disabled soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C, a new web report will claim!

CNSNews.com is planning to run an expose on Thursday featuring interviews with both protestors and veterans, as well as shots of protest signs with slogans like “Maimed for a Lie.”

The conservative outlet will post video evidence of the wounded veterans being taunted by protesters, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

Developing late...


UPDATE: Indeed, it appears this is genuine, but not as dramatic as I first imagined it to be. The article from CNSNews.com, along with a link to a video report, can be found here.

Protesting outside of a VA Hospital is downright disgusting. If these were veterans themselves leading a protest, I wouldn't have a beef - but then again, I don't think veterans would see the point of protesting to other wounded vets. They know the consequences of war better than anyone else.

But as for the reporting, to say that wounded veterans are being "taunted" is misappropriation of the word. The protestors are being callous and insulting, but there is nothing reported that would verge on being "taunted". In the video report, I don't think you see more than five anti-war protestors at a time - so whether or not this warrants a headline on Drudge is also questionable.

Drudge also tries to exploit another bad situation with the headline, "Seattle Police Look For Suspects Who Beat Iraq War Vets...". Considering its placement alongside the previous mentioned article, a reasonable person would believe the beaten vets were targeted because of their military service, yet the article doesn't infer for a moment that this is the case.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Los Angeles mystery or hoax?

NBC 4 - News - Music Producer Disappears After Bizarre Phone Call

Something about this doesn't seem right.

In abstract: Record producer disappears after calling a friend saying he was being chased behind his Topanga Canyon house. Police say he lost his glasses and shoes in a nearby creek. He recently received a $50,000 check from a shady Nigerian internet offering, got nervous and returned the money.

While its possible he lost his shoes in mud - sucked off, as many people have experienced as kids - it seems much more convenient to lose a trail by dogs, and footprints, if he were to take his shoes off and drop them, head down stream for a while, then put on new shoes and walk off.

And as pointed out by Laurie at LA.comfidential, "How the heck did he get through to anyone on a cell in Topanga Canyon? That man's not a producer, he's a magician."

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Hey look ma - ads!

Yep. Offline Adventures is selling out.

As you can see to my left is the first ad I've agreed to posting on this site... in exchange for... a copy of the book!

Yep, I'm cheap.

Actually, what sold me was being contacted by the writer of The Underdog directly along with the content of the book, which appropriately deserves a mention on a site called Offline Adventures.

According to Joshua Davis, "I just wrote a book about how I spent the past two years of my life sumo wrestling, bullfighting, and competitively running backwards. Random House is publishing it and it's given me an opportunity to shine a brighter light on sports that don't get a lot of attention but really should. I'm hoping that it will inspire people to get more involved and your website made me think that maybe you'd be open to helping me spread the message about the book."

While I'm sure he sent this same email out to scores of other fine websites like mine, when I expressed interest he replied in kind that he loved my Worf pics. So, not only do I get a free book that I'd consider buying anyway, I received some flattery.

The site for the book is pretty funny on its own, with listings of all sorts of crazy competitions and activities, from bog snorkeling to pumpkin hurling. Why Josh Davis doesn't have a blog of his own yet amazes me.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Catholic priest defends Marilyn Manson

Irish Examiner >Catholic priest defends Marilyn Manson

Click on headline for link to article.

I've been secretly researching material for my own, supernatural and occult themed podcast, and ran across this bit of news:

Priest Anton Bobas, who claims the best concert he ever attended was seeing Manson live in Germany three years ago, says: "How could Manson turn young people into Satanists and drug addicts in the two hours of his act?"

Bobas, who sings a heavy-metal band of his own called Glasnici Nade (Messengers of Hope), says most of Manson's critics have never heard his songs or even seen him perform.


I'm not the biggest fan of Manson's music, but artistically the man is a genius in the creep out category. And while I agree that a two hour concert isn't going to turn any kid into a Satanist, I wonder if the priest also saw Manson wearing a strap on, and having his band members and fans suck on it, which is what I saw when he opened for Nine Inch Nails years ago? Regardless, Rockin' Priest Bobas is right when he says that most of Manson's critics have based their opinions based only on what they've heard of Manson... but I doubt that doing so would change their mind.

F you!

A couple brain puzzlers found at reader's blogs:

from 12am:

Count every "F" in the following text:

FINISHED FILES ARE THE RESULT OF YEARS OF SCIENTIFIC STUDY COMBINED WITH THE EXPERIENCE OF YEARS...

HOW MANY ?
.
..
...
....
.....
......
....... 3?


WRONG, THERE ARE 6 -- no joke.
READ IT AGAIN !
...more here...

And reverse_vampyre provides a link to one surprisingly challenging IQ tingler...

Group 101 Films... year two begins!

Once again, I have joined Group 101 Films. Some people think its crazy to do once, let alone twice. But I've missed it terribly ever since the last wave ended six months ago. It really is my AA to combat procrastination.

In short, joining Group 101 means you're paired with ten or so other filmmakers from your neighborhood, who you meet once a month for six months to show off a short film you've made in the course of the 30 days prior to each meeting. Six months, six shorts. Obviously, the intent here is quantity over quality, but the group mantra is "get off your ass" - Group 101 offer nothing in the way of cameras, equipment, or financing... just a framework in order to motivate you to make something.

This time around my goal is actually to create some quality, narrative driven shorts. I sorta cheated the last time around and made projects that were usually done without a script or more than one actor... I wasn't challenging myself besides learning how to edit. And I definitely wasn't creating stuff that I wanted to show off beyond the Group.

The theme we were given for our first film is "sweat". I never followed the "themes" before, but fortunately, I've had an idea that might fit. Its a concept that I first had almost a decade ago, and I don't know if it remains funny now... so, I'll pitch it here and if it sucks, lemme know:

Its a trailer for Speed 3. Originally, I pictured this being an SNL spoof with Adam Sandler playing Keanu Reeves, and Chris Farley playing, essentially, Sandra Bullock (if thats any idea how old this idea is). The setup is this: a UPS man (the Farley role), is delivering packages when he's confronted by Keanu Reeves, who tells him that the very package that he's about deliver is rigged with a bomb... that will detonate if the UPS guy walks slower than 2.8 miles per hour. Suddenly, every curb, every pedestrian, and every crosswalk becomes a potential catastrophe. Walking in circles stops being an option after he becomes dizzy and nearly pukes. Keanu in the meantime is using rollerblades, skateboards, and wheelchairs to try and keep moving with the UPS guy and detonate the bomb. Lots of quick cuts, snazzy camera work, bad one liners, Hollywood in jokes, and a taught score. Of course, it won't be Sandler or Farley (bastard won't return my calls)... but I'm condident I could find a couple locals summer stock types somewhere in Los Angeles.

Anyway, I have to shoot and edit something within the next four weeks, so if you think that idea blows and have a script or story that can be done on a zero budget, lemme know.

Monday, August 15, 2005

My final entry for the Worf contest... I swear...

The Nickerblog announced that today is the last day to get submissions in for the Worf Photoshop/Coverband contest. Alas, ever the late night procrastinator, I had the need to whip one more out... The Worf Stripes. I've put my modification alongside the actual album cover for the newest White Stripes album, Get Behind Me Satan.



I'm most proud of my inclusion of the female half Klingon/half human replacing Meg White. I think it looks pretty real, although this had more to do with luck than actual "photoshopping skills".

There are some awesome and very funny entries up at the gallery, and its also a good excuse to check out some of Shane Nickerson's writing. Indeed, I'm partly sucking up because he's returned me to his blogroll, but mostly because this PhotoShop contest has provided me with more amusement than almost any other summer activity... tis sad, I know.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Two more entries...

Alas, the contest at the Nickerblog has attracted the attention of the folks at Paramount who handle merchandising for Star Trek, and they've upped the ante by offering some solid prizes for the best Worf coverband album cover...
While I'm most proud of my last submission, I made two more:



to see a photo album of all the contenders, click here.

UPDATE: One more...



Thursday, August 11, 2005

Yes, I'm a Star Wars nerd.

Just preordered this:



Whipped Worf & Other Delights

Another entry into the Nickerblog's Worf Cover Band Album Art Contest:


(click to enlarge, you pervert)

And to be honest, I'm not a Star Trek fan nor do I understand Star Trek lexicon... but searching for Klingon translations and other bits is as easy as Googling what George Bush listens to on his iPod.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Make It Equal



You can buy this shirt designed by blogger Carl Tashian who writes:

...in 1902, when the women's suffrage movement was just getting warmed up, the American flag had 45 stars... In protest, the suffragists created their own US flag with only four stars, representing the four states that allowed women to vote... The suffrage flag was my inspiration for a 2004 re-appropriation of the American flag. Unfortunately, three of the four states that were so progressive about women's suffrage in 1902 have state-wide gay marriage bans today... My flag design has only the 6th star, for Massachusetts (the 6th state), the only state which allows gay marriages.

more here.

Klingons With Attitude

Nickerblog has once again added me to his blogroll... alas, in turn I offer this image to his "Worf Coverband PhotoShop Contest":



(and yes, I'm aware that one of those isn't a Klingon)

Monday, August 08, 2005

I'm an architect...

Breaking one of Tony Pierce's rules on "How To Blog", but taking a cue from the Reverse_Vampyr I took the Jung + Enneagram Personality Test and am posting my personality results here...

INTP - "Architect". Greatest precision in thought and language. Can readily discern contradictions and inconsistencies. The world exists primarily to be understood. 3.3% of total population.
Take Free Jung Personality Test
personality tests by similarminds.com


You can also take the test by clicking here... only a 100 so multiple choice questions to take while the boss isn't looking...

Friday, August 05, 2005

Nagasaki and Hiroshima: Terrorism?

I know I risk being labeled the ultimate lefty for posting such thought... but how necessary was the use of atomic weapons at the end of World War II?
How necessary was it to drop TWO bombs?

We'd defeated Germany... and it didn't look like Japan had the upperhand by any means, nor did surrender look far off.

And considering that the intended victims of the atom bombs were civilians, and the purpose was not strategic, but to instill fear... why weren't and aren't these means considered terrorism any less than the attacks of 9/11?

The comments are open for discussion on the matter.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

X Games IX, prep day 2: Photo Gallery!

A bunch of pics taken Monday and Tuesday of the world's greatest skateboarders (Bob Burnquist and Danny Way are in some of these shots) practicing for Sunday's grand event, Skateboard Big Air.

click pic for photo gallery:


Its a more than fifty foot drop to start, and a seventy foot gap between the the jump and landing in the halfpipe. If none of these terms make sense to you, don't worry; I'm talking out of my ass. (spec here)

Pics are low res and unadjusted for brightness, but I think they give a good idea of what's going on. I'll clean up and post a full X Games wrap up sometime next week.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The problem with reinventing Offline Adventures is...

I don't know how to reinvent myself.

My orginal idea was to focus a new and improved Offline Adventures on crap going on around LA, or crap that I'm doing. Alas, I find myself wanting to write all about "PlameGate" instead.

As a result, I've written close to nothing. Part of me thinks I shouldn't care about an audience and write whatever I feel, while perhaps the overlyambitious yet procrastinator side of me wants to actually generate some solid traffic here. No offense to me five loyal readers.

Tony Pierce, I'm sure, would just say write and not give a shit about anything else. He's also encourage me to post more pictures. That is, if I merely wanted more hits. (and thanks to Mr. Pierce for featuring my pics on his daily specials a few days back).

Nickerblog, on the other hand, has dropped me from his blogroll, and I can only imagine that its from my lack of posting. Being included on his tight roll was an honor, so the drop was definitely a wakeup call.

Alas, the ironic part is that work looks like its about to get insane over the next few weeks, so this could mean more posts... meaning, I'll likely procrastinate work paperwork and post instead.

Should make for some good pics though - I'm double booked next week, working for the sports network on their annual extreme sports championships, and for the shoe company launching a new rock and roll inspired promotion.

In the meantime, thanks to Simpleton for the accolades, and Reverse_Vampyre for the debate

If you're a "Lost" fan like me...

...do NOT watch this BBC promo for the show.

Friday, July 22, 2005

The end of Halloween as we know it?

Ever since I was a kid I remember Halloween having a creep factor that was perhaps subconciously brought on by the fact that it got so much darker suddenly before the holiday. And, indeed, besides shorter days and longer shadows that always creep upon us between the summer and winter solstices, there was the manmade Daylight Savings Time to thank for that, where the clocks would make it darker one hour earlier beginning the last Sunday of October.

Now some pansies in our government want to extend Daylight Savings Time and wait a full week, after Halloween, before we get the extra hour of darkness in our evenings.

I'm sure today's soccer moms will be happy that their kids can safely trick or treat even longer in broad daylight so as not to be scared on the only day invented where you're supposed to be scared... but what they don't know is that this means the boogeyman gets to sleep in an extra hour before terrorizing the kiddies...

CNN.com - Lawmakers move to extend daylight-saving time - Jul 22, 2005

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Offline Adventures run amok!

The irony of this blog's title hasn't escaped me - that most of what I post on here is about stuff happening ONLINE, other bloggers, and news commentary.

So, I've meaning to change this, and to post more. Much more. And to post more about actual offline adventures.

To start, I've posted some pics I took Wednesday on the red carpet of the 2005 ESPN Espy Awards. My brother will kick my ass for not knowing the names of most of the people in the pics there.

Who most people won't know, but should, are two of the guys prominent in a lot of photos: Steve Levy, host of ESPN's Sports Center, and Michael Kennedy, currently floor announcer for the Sacramento Kings. Both of these guys were hosting the red carpet for the fans in the bleachers.

My gig here was "red carpet production manager", a cake walk since both Steve and Mike are pros way beyond needing my supervision, and the rest of my small crew had worked on this with me for the past few years, so everyone was dialed in. I kicked back, took some photos, and wonder sometimes why I'm paid for my job.

Oh - and you'll see the pics begin on the homepage of the new www.offlineadventures.com. More changes in days to come.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Karl Rove = Traitor?

Per the Drudge Report, its being reported that the "anonymous source" who told Robert Novak the name of undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame was none other than Bush's Brain, Karl Rove. Not even going into the reasons why Rove would reveal to a journalist top secret info, Rove's actions spell treason. Add to that perjury if he had been questioned by a grand jury investigating who leaked her name. And it gets bigger, especially if more people in the Bush Admin knew and orchestrated a cover up. Bigger than Watergate, really. For those who've followed Rove at all, nobody has a light opinion of him. Either he's a political genius or a diabolical madman using Bush as his puppet. Maybe both.

As for the motivation for leaking such a name, it goes straight to the top of the stack of "Bush lied" bullet points:

At issue is the story of a CIA-sponsored trip taken by former ambassador (and White House critic) Joseph Wilson to investigate reports that Iraq was seeking to buy uranium from the African country of Niger. "Some government officials have noted to Time in interviews... that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, is a CIA official who monitors the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," said Cooper's July 2003 Time online article... The leak to Novak, apparently intended to discredit Wilson's mission, caused a furor when it turned out that Plame was an undercover agent. It is a crime to knowingly reveal the identity of an undercover CIA official.


In short, Rove leaked Wilson's name because he knew that Wilson would return from the trip discounting claims that Iraq was trying to get uranium from Niger, one of the many fabrications the Bush Admin was relying on to gain support for the war with Iraq.

I don't think many journalists or commentators will show much shock that Rove was the leak - they will express surprise that he was actually caught.

On the Bush Admin's side right now is, conveniently, the fact that this story broke on the cusp of a three day weekend while everyone is away from the news.

On the liberal's side right now is, this broke just as Bush needs to pick a new Supreme Court Justice... and this might be the time to appease those calling for a more left leaning moderate on the bench.

take a gander at the I Love Karl Rove blog.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Distorted

My buddy Jeff Bacon just finished up on his newest short film called "Distorted". The trailer is now available online by clicking on the poster below. Watch it.



It should also be noted (for absolutely no reason) that Jeff Bacon owns the AOL screenname "StanleyKubrick".

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Coming soon: Burn a flag day.

If this passes, first thing I'm doing is burning a flag and joining a jihad, as it negates everything else this country is about:

House Approves Flag-Burning Amendment

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Wow... the courts have decided that iPods are a piece of crap

Well, sort of.

Sure, its a cool little gadget, but the battery life alone has been one of my biggest complaints about this 8 track tape deck of the 21st Century...

And now, it looks like the courts agree, and anyone with a first, second, or third generation iPod could benefit from a class action suit - anywhere from $25 cash, $50 store credit, or even a brand new iPod.

Here's the skinny:

Apple to offer $50 in iPod battery suit
Class notice says company will offer store credit or cash as part of proposed settlement.


Buyers of early generation iPods may receive $50 in store credit or cash compensation as part of a proposed class action settlement against Apple Computer, according to one of the law firms representing plaintiffs in the case.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Post Star Wars Depression...

I don't know if I'm more depressed more over the quality of the latest Star Wars film, or the mere fact, at least for now, there are no more Star Wars films to look forward to...

However, the Summer is far from over, and there's still a handful of films I'll try and see opening night... with or without my lightsaber.

Friday, June 3rd
Lords of Dogtown
I loved the documentary this was based on, Dogtown and Z Boys, more for the retro look at Venice Beach and Santa Monica only a dozen or so years before I arrived in SoCal. I have high hopes that this film further recreates the mood of what must have been an even more eclectic enviornment than it is today.

Friday, June 10th
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
I always enter a Doug Liman film with low expectations, and emerge overwhelmingly impressed. His "The Bourne Identity" earned its place alongside "Marathon Man" and "Three Days of the Condor" as the best spy action films of all time, and add that to a reel including the underrated "Go" and, of course, "Swingers", Doug Liman has had zero misses... again, the trailer for "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" leaves a lot to be desired, but its been that way with all his films.

Wednesday, June 15
Batman Begins
Finally... a serious look at the Batman genre, with the director of "Memento" to boot.

Friday, June 24
George A. Romero's Land of the Dead
The only film that continues to give me nightmares is Romero's first brain chew fest "Night of the Living Dead". Now that the zombie genre he created is back in vogue (with the help of such films as "28 Days Later", the remake of his own "Dawn of the Dead", and my fave, "Shaun of the Dead), Romero is back behind the camera with the latest chapter in his tale of worldwide undead takeovers.

Friday, July 15
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Johnny Depp and Tim Burton together again. What else needs to be added?

Friday, September 23
Roll Bounce
I know I'll get some shit for admitting this... but I'm looking forward to this movie most of all. Based on the trailer alone. While I pretty much missed the whole rollerskating craze, I remember tales of all the happenings at Ohio Skate in my youth... and this film looks like what my childhood mind was picturing. Watch the trailer by clicking the title above.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Star Wars Episode III: Two Line Review

When it was good, it was very, very good.
But when it was bad, it was horrid.



I was one of the nerds who saw it twice in the first 24 hours. At my first screening, at AMC Downtown Disney, I hated it. I had to keep from falling asleep. I caught myself groaning at bad dialogue, bad directing, bad practical stunts, and bad coincidences. Someone please explain to me how it is possible R2D2 could be a better actor than Hayden Christensen? It didn't help the AMC Downtown Disney has a crap soundsystem, so that during the opening space battle it sounded like a tranquil scene from Finding Nemo. (on the bright side, AMC Downtown Disney was having a 99 cent special on hot dogs, bottled drinks, and small popcorns... better yet, they also serve Twizzlers alongside Red Vines).

On my second viewing though, at the Arclight in Hollywood, when I knew all the dredge I was going to have to put up with, and with superior sound, I LOVED it. I allowed my film sensibilites to turn to the dark side. Ewan McGregor and Yoda both rocked, and should go on tour. And it jazzed me enough to go home and play Star Wars Battlefront again...

More on this later... maybe.

Now, back to the shoe mobile...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Flushed Koran Kills Dozens (!?)

U.S. Presses Newsweek to 'Repair' Damage From Flawed Report - New York Times

I find it somewhat, of not outrightly, hippocritical, of the Bush administration to blame Newsweek for the deaths at riots stemming from an article that claimed that American investigators at Guantanamo had tossed a Koran in a toilet.

To begin with, the problem wasn't Newsweek, or the article... it's religious fanatics who can't control themselves. And in the bigger picture, these fanatics are more upset about the invasion of Iraq, and the apparent overall American attack on Muslims, than the supposed flushing of their holy book.

That said, I'm going to Disneyland.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

A few days from now in a county far, far (30 miles) away...

Not that anyone here has asked, but yes, I am pretty excited about Episode III opening on at midnight on Wednesday (or is it midnight Thursday?). I've avoided following all the fan talk and geekdom surrounding this one... or should I say, work has kept me too occupied to be able to follow the insanity... and so I wasn't able to get the holy grail of tickets - for the midnight screening at the Arclight - but my buddy Phil had a better back up plan: Tickets to the midnight screening at AMC Disney, meaning we make a day of Disneyland on Wednesday, see the movie at midnight, and stay over at the Disneyland hotel. Our girlfriends will be with us, and I imagine they'll find something else to do when we get in line for the film at 8pm or 9pm.

Granted, its not as cool as my experience back when Episode I opened, when I got to watch the film with George Lucas himself (see pic) at Skywalker Ranch... sigh.

While I imagine dozens of Star Wars geeks will go into a deep depression, a coma, or possibly commit suicide, because the film series is "complete", I'm confident that the bofo box office will convince Lucas, if not his eventual heirs, to make another trilogy (yes, I know about the plans for a Star Wars TV series).

In the meantime, we have Batman Begins, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Chronicles of Narnia, and the season of finale of Lost to look forward to.

If you haven't been following it, Blogging LA has been following the "woe is me" tale of the Star Wars geeks waiting in the wrong line at Graumans Chinese... eagle eyed readers might notice that I'm the one who tipped them off to this revelation...

Monday, May 16, 2005

WTF?

An anonymous poster is digging into my online history, and has discovered that someone who shares my name is a sex offender!

From the Megans Law site

A black man born in 1961... weighs 220#.

He also claims that the picture here is me. I'll take credit for the swell tshirt, though!

(pic is actually of Mike Skelton, who played "the editor" in Jeff Bacon's short film "My Life Is A Movie", for which I made the poster, tshirts, and additional graphic design used in the film.)

Friday, May 13, 2005

Oh, the drama!

Welcome to all you tabloid whores who have found my blog via Shane Nickersons "Nickerblog". For my loyal readers, Shane is one of the most awesome bloggers out there, usually writing about his childhood in Londonderry, New Hampshire, and about trying to make it in Hollywood as an actor. Through a strange twist of fate, he became a story editor and producer for some MTV shows, and is can now be seen on the racks of your news stands, accused of being Cameron Diaz's new lover. No kidding. Poor guy is now being hounded by the National Enquirer... I think he's the most disappointed that its not true... second most disappointed being Shane's wife.

In other news, the king of blogging, Tony Pierce, has been layed off by E! Entertainment. I offered him a gig working for me on the shoemobile... instead, he's broken down and is now soliciting for BlogAds on his site. I'm in the camp that the layoff is the best thing that could happen to Tony Pierce, and will likely result in a better position somewhere, perhaps as a paid writer. Heck, now that Shane Nickerson is becoming a big celebrity, maybe he can hire Tony to be a writer on his next series...

In a seeming trend among bloggers, one of my other favorite posters, the Stupid Evil Bastard, has also been out of work for some time. On the other hand, the Holden Caulfied of bloggerdom, Simpleton, has been posting like crazy, in spite of an overloaded work schedule.

Future Angeleno Lorenzo Benzo has some of the best excuses for NOT blogging, including relearning to walk and being personally offered an internship by budding filmmaker Steven Spielberg. If she weren't so damned gorgeous I'd hate her... but if she doesn't post an update soon my opinion may change.

And just for sticking with me, in spite of no return love, I owe a couple mentions to Jack & Bobby fan The Ridor and bad ass filmmaker/rocker Jason Vertucio.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Lame Blogger

Nothing more exciting than visiting a blog and reading about what they guy isn't posting about.
Fortunately, my excuse isn't writers block - its work insanity. Damn shoemobile.
I still owe a recap of my drive West.
Backtracking even more, I owe a quick shout out to Lorenzo Benzo, who's party I went to back in January.
And then the shoes. Ugh.
Sadly, I've also been unable to keep up with my favorite blogs.
On the bright side, I'm hoping to have enough money to afford a swank miniDV camera in a few months, so I can spend my off time making more shorts, and possibly start earning money shooting video.
Alas, I must now run. The sounds of a swoosh are calling me back to the van...

Friday, April 08, 2005

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Day One... still in St. Louis

I'm waiting for the finishing touches to be put on my sweet ride. I'm four hours past when I was hoping to be on the road, but I'm still determined to sleep in Elvis' room tonite... even if it means arriving in Clinton, OK at 2am.

My location right now is Craftsmen Industries. This is the maternity ward of some of the most famous mobile marketing vehicles on the road today. Most famously, the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile is built here. This is a true Monster Garage, where the trained mechanics, weldsman, and overall artisans are able to make a functioning vehicle look like anything, from a tube of toothpaste to a giant, working grill.

Wondering around the shop today I saw a mobile arcade for Playstation 2, a Boeing trailer that has a mini-museum inside along with a professional flight simulator, and a vehicle for Planters Peanuts that make it appear that a Kong sized Mr. Peanut is driving the thing.

The coolest vehicle is a retrofitted 50s era Miller High Life (the champagne of beers) bus - on the inside is a vintage bar set up.

Well, not as cool as MY vehicle, with a treadmill that slides out, hi-def plasma monitor, and flying abilities. Okay, one of those is a lie, but its still cool.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Westbound and Down... Loaded Up and Trucking...

...paraphrasing "Smokey and the Bandit's" theme song...

I'm in St. Louis now, waiting for my fancy pants "mobile marketing vehicle" to be finished so I can drive it back to Los Angeles (actually, I'm heading for San Diego for the first event of the tour, but a few hours later I'll be in L.A.).

I was hoping to have a couple extra days to enjoy the drive, as the route runs along remnants of Route 66, but it looks like I'll have 2 1/2 days to make the trip.

Ugh.

Anyway, I'm hoping to set up the capacity to audio blog from the road, and to post photos in the evening... if I have any energy left.

Ten hours of driving per day will be just right.

I plan to stay here for the first night.... and have already reserved room 215...

blogging LA has a great post for those looking to rent cars on the cheap...