Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Patiently waiting for the next quake...

I glanced over at my neighbor's apartment - his window is five feet from mine - and see that he has a cat peering back at me. Some light jazz is playing from the other apartment. Its rather mellow, feeling like a lazy summer evening someplace else other than L.A. Which is kind of nice.

I love Los Angeles... although the idea of moving some place else for a short time always sounds good. Would be great to be a well paid writer so I could go away for a month or more now and again to write or for research. Memphis always sounds nice. A trip to somewhere interesting that is long enough that you feel like you've blended into the culture a little... long enough that you learn the name of a local waitress or bartender or even the mailman.

But even when I leave L.A. for more than a week, to visit family anyway, I start going nuts. I love being with them, but feel antsy that I'm away from the action. When I'm not working I'm afraid I'm missing the chance to work. Or, worst of all, I'm afraid I'll miss a televised car chase, or even an earthquake. I love within months of moving to L.A. we had wildfires in Malibu, mudslides, and a major earthquake. And shortly thereafter, the whole O.J. thing. Stuff hasn't been quite as exciting since then... but I wanna be here when the shit happens.

I finally ate the last of Girl Scout Cookies today. I bought three boxes of Samoas on Saturday - had to pull my last $20 out of savings to get them. I have no regrets. Well, my stomach has a few - the belly can only take so much junk food at once. Oh, and, yeah, I regret that I didn't buy more. But there's always next year...

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

My wiener talk shows.

I recently notice that the ad banner at the top of this page, or any free blogspot page, is determined by the content of the blog. It rotates now and again... sometimes it'll be about acting classes, probably because I mention casting somewhere in my blog... or it'll bring up some political stuff, I think in part due to my link to Capitol Grilling.

Currently there's an ad for "Hot Dog". Must be because I mentioned Wienerschnitzel and Tony Packo's below. The subheader says: "Try one of over 300 delicious foods and taste the value of Schwan's." (due to my comments about Tony Packos and other hot dogs in an earlier post)

If you see anything interesting up there, or just want to respond to something I've written, click on the "comment" link at the end of any post and write a few words.
This is cool - the Mayor of Blogdom, aka Tony "Busblog" Pierce gave me a link on his site, probably since I flattered him in a comment I left on his blog.

Flower shop was mellow. Spent most of my time talking with the Boss about the shop's website, and how he'd like to add some features. In the end I tried to get him to roll all of his ideas into a Florist Blog, wherein he'd mention specials at the shop, new seasonal flowers, and also tips on how to buy and order arrangements. He mostly wanted to write about how FTD is a sham, since a consumer can save up to $10 by calling a shop directly, and then all the money they spend goes to to flower shop instead of a 25% commission going to FTD and/or the shop that call the shop that fills the order...

Did my weekly call to "The Company", this big advertising and marketing firm I interviewed with a couple months ago... actually was called in for a second interview, but never got the job - tour managing a game show type deal that would have had me circle the country, going mall to mall, in a 20' box truck. Anyway... I bug them now and again, and today they said they might have something for me. A smaller tour, but work none the less. So I'm interested. And my friend Kari sent me a job listing for another tour "coordinator" gig. I sent off my resume right away, and feel confident about that one too. Alas, the problem is never that I don't feel qualified, its just that "they" may not know that...

But who wants to read about work?

My girlfriend woke me up this morning asking about a bottle of hand lotion she found sitting out in the bathroom. "Is that what you use to masturbate with?"

I was about to grumble a humiliating yes, but then decided the gig was out and proudly said, "Yep!"

Monday, March 29, 2004

I have to give myself a goal, and log my progress here. But what goal?

I thought I could go on a job spree, taking lame jobs all over town, but only for a week at a time, just for shits and giggles and the opportunity to tell the tale. Places like McDonalds and Kinkos and Staples and other places where the workers seem depressed all the time. Places that anyone with common sense who worked there could make into better businesses... of course, being paid minimum wage is probably more of a problem than lack of common sense.

Or I could finally start writing, and just give a summary here...

Or perhaps make it a point to apply or send out resumes for five or ten places a day for about a week, and list the places here... boring, but uh...

Yeah, boring.


Flower shop again, today. Tomorrow and Thursday back at casting. I'm pulling my hair out.

Late next week heading up to Sonoma to spend Easter with Claire's grandpa and dad. My friend Big Mike invited us to see the Lakers play up in Sacramento on Easter Sunday... possibly floor seats. But the game is at noon, and would sort ruin the point of us going up there to begin with. Fortunately, I'm not a sports fan... but it would be nice to root against the Lakers with one of the rowdiest crowds in the NBA.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

I keep thinking that, as briefly as I've been keeping up with this blog thing, its quite restricting. I can't write everything I want to write, even though I rarely know what I want to write when I log on to do this.

The first mistake was in telling anyone I had this. This can't then be one of those deeply personal and honest journals. Sure, I can spatter on about the boring crap that happens in my life, but not the stuff that I'm not always so proud about. The bad thoughts, the twisted dreams, the events in my past that I would rather not share with anyone... but would be fun and oh so relieving to get out there if I knew that those who read the stuff didn't know me.

But then I couldn't post pictures of my friends and family... I'd have to give everyone a pseudonym... and I wouldn't know what types of perverts were reading my stuff.

Of course, I could have two blogs. This one, my vanilla life. And a second, with my split personality, alter ego, pseudonymous self...

But that would take too much dedication. TWO blogs? I can barely keep up with one. And what happens when I forget which one I'm logged into?

Ugh. The current boredom of life leaves me too much time to worry about nothingness like this.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Its a good thing that I didn't decide to make this blog all about bad customer service. It would probably make me even more bitter to bitch about every bad moment I have calling tech support, getting fast food, and, worst of all, visiting Kinkos. I imagine that the same reason radio talk show hosts are all bitter, arrogant assholes is the same reason I shouldn't just do a bitch session blog - it'll make me even more critical than I already am.

Todays lunch was at McDonalds. I often get upset at any flaws at McDonalds since I'm certain I'm one of the chain's best customers. But, so long as my order comes out right, they include some napkins and a straw, I don't complain too much. But, every so often, through the driveway, they screw up the order... but worst is during their Monopoly seasons when I supersize the order for bonus game pieces and they stiff me. Bastards!

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Just had Wienerschnitzel for lunch. I often forget how satisfying hot dogs can be. Especially from a fast food chain.
I had two chili dogs and a six pack of their corn dog minis. Damn tasty. Its just unfortunate that there isn't a Wienerschnitzel closer to home.
However, right down the road from my place is Pinks, a Los Angeles landmark. My friend Dina once explained that what makes Pinks dogs so good is that they have "snap", which only those who've eaten there would agree with. But, because there is ALWAYS a crowd outside, it isn't a place to go for a quick fix.
My home town of Toledo has a chain known as Rudy's, which has hot dogs that are probably better than Wienerschnitzels, but until I do a side by side comparison I'll never know. Both are good, and cheap. In Toledo, if you want sheer quality, you go to Tony Packo's... although they don't serve hot dogs - they have sausage dogs... maybe they're brotwurst. But meatier than a skinny hot dog.

So, declined the trip with my dad. Would have been an adventure, and I'm regretting it already. But, I'm looking forward to Claire's shows, and I should stay close to home in the case work or a job interview pops up...

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Dilemna of the moment. My dad called earlier and asked if I'd like to fly to Toledo, and then take a road trip with him down to Florida so he could close the sale of a house he's buying. My stepmom would use her stash of air miles to fly me back and forth.

I declined, as Claire is directing a staged reading of a play next Saturday - her directorial debut - and also acting in another staged reading later that afternoon. And we'd planned on driving up to Sonoma the following weekend to visit her grandpa and dad.

When Claire got home from rehearsal, I told her about the whole deal, and she pretty much told me I should go on the trip - that we could go up to Sonoma a week later...

Ugh. Decisions decisions!
My girl Claire was gushing over Leon, the cat, and asked me "if someone offered us 80 thousand dollars to put him in commercials to be the next Morris, but we'd never be able to see him again, would you take it?"

I said she wouldn't like my answer.

I love the cat... but that's $80,000!

(Leon and his turtle buddies.)

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Went down to check out the anti-war protests at Hollywood and Highland today. Its only a few blocks away, and since the resulting traffic would have kept me home, I knew the only other option would have been to stay at home and listen to the non-stop drone of police and media choppers all day.

I pretty quick learned that the problem with protests is that they attract the lowest common denominator of people on both sides of an issue. And the worst of these people are always the loudest.

I started by taking pictures of the Bush supporters, the pro-war camp. One woman in their ranks, who enthusiatically waved a flag from the confines of her lawn chair, asked me what side I was on. I said everyone's, not really wanting to get into a full fledged discussion. She held up in her hand and said I wasn't welcome then, and that people who don't pick a side are somehow like people who don't know how to order a pizza. She lost me quick on that assessment.

A little later I bumbed into Melrose Larry Green, who most have a dozen clones since he is everywhere I go in L.A. Larry was being stalked by a woman who kept shouting, "I am a Republican! George Bush is not a Republican!" And by shouting, I mean shouting, getting in Larry's face, and following him wherever he went. He looked to the police, possibly for help, but they didn't seem to care - this was an anti-war rally, and Larry was holding signs that were pro-Bush and pro-war. I felt bad for the guy, but also realized he was possibly relishing the attention - he's a bit of a media whore.

Also saw Ron Kovics again - this time I knew who he was, and he graciously smiled for the camera and flashed me the peace sign.

Among the costumed protesters was a guy wearing a Superman costume with an American flag as a cape. He was another pro-Bush, pro-war guy carrying a picket sign. Halfway through the march I saw him surrounded by some Hispanic protesters, who were bumping into him, and taunting him into a fight. Somehow his sign was ripped from the stick, and he was holding it up to back off the revelers. He got away from the crowd and handed the stick to some cops. In the meantime, one of the Hispanic kids was shouting that Superman was trying to beat them with a stick, and then started announcing that "Superman was an illegal immigrant!"

Not a bad day. Although, when I got home I found out that I can only post ten pictures a day to my Buzznet account. This free blog stuff has its limitations.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Ten years after living in Los Angeles I finally broke down and had some headshots made:

After the shoot, I realized why models are all anorexic. After one glance at these shots I feel like I must look like Jabba the Hutt. I never used to feel this way... but, in reality, I think I definitely am thicker than I was only a couple years ago.

The culprit?

A girlfriend.

When you're single, your a bit more concerned with your body image and - let me change that "your" to my - when I was single I bet I was self conciously more aware and concerned with how I looked. Well... not really. My diet is pretty much the same - McDonalds and Little Debbies. And I probably eat healthier now, since Claire cooks a lot and well.

Its all about comfort. I don't need to go on the hunt. I like to chill out a lot instead of seeking out hotties or other forms of entertainment. I'm content sitting in bed watching TV and surfing the net on way too many days. Not having a car was always good, since I had to walk or rollerblade everywhere. Now I'm a loaf. Its enjoyable, but after those headshots... depressing.

I may have to post pics from the nude photo shoot I did for another friend years ago... if I can get my scanner to work.

(by the way, my pics were done by Zameer - he's good and cheap)

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Was driving by the Federal Building in Westwood and saw some sort of demonstration on the lawn. Looked like a photo op, so I stopped and snapped a few.

NBC 4 - News - Protest Against U.S. Presence In Iraq Planned In Westwood: "Protesters plan to line up 550 pairs of combat boots to represent U.S. military deaths in the conflict, and thousands of men's, women's and children's shoes will be used to represent the estimated 9,000 Iraqi civilians killed in the past year, organizers said.
Members of the two organizations sponsoring the event will read aloud the names of U.S. military personnel and Iraqis who have died, and high school students will speak about their concern regarding military recruitment at their schools."

I'm not a big fan of protests (chanting and signage isn't about to change my mind on anything) - but installation art is another matter. Not much of a crowd at the hour I stopped by, and the dozen or so journalists in the crowd were the majority.

I didn't take a pic of one guy who was being interviewed by the press - some dude in a wheel chair. I later found out that it was Ron Kovics, the Vietnam vet who's story was turned into "Born on the Fourth of July". How was I to know? He didn't even remotely look like Tom Cruise.

Word is that on Friday, tomorrow, Howard Stern supporters will have some sort of pro-free speech rally to keep him on air. It'll likely draw a larger crowd than the one today.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

It's 7:30 pm and I don't know where my girlfriend is. I haven't heard from her in five hours. I think its a record. I'm somewhat glad about it - I love time alone, and we both live together, and both barely have jobs... so, this time alone is very, very nice. To be honest, I just want to know if she'll be home soon, cause if not, I'm gonna go see a movie. "Starsky & Hutch", I guess. Or maybe I'll just rev up the PS 2, connect it to the DSL, and geek out with the headset...

What's the deal with the bloggers avoiding the use of capital letters? Maybe the 'ol shift key is a ball and chain they'd rather be without so they can write quicker and more freely and... it doesn't bother me too much, until I look at my posts and they look kinda - uh - starchy compared.

Last night I heard evidence that this building we live in is, indeed, haunted. Throughout the evening I heard what sounded like a marble rolling across the floor from somewhere in the bedroom. I first thought it was the cats - but no, they were dead asleep. When it happened a second time, I figured it might be in the lobby, somebody dragging a chair around or something. I finally went to bed after 2 am. A few minutes later, I heard the sound again... twice. I grabbed a flashlight and went to the lobby - nothing. I even checked out the ever creepy basement, where homeless guys have been found napping, heronine kits found, and my storage unit busted into. Again, nothing. My last check was the roof, where, again, there was nothing. I'd probably have been to creeped out to sleep, but I don't believe in ghosts... man, I hope I get proven wrong someday.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Another day at the flower shop... or, more fairly, another partial day at the flower shop. I made a habit years ago to be late by at least half an hour each time I went to work there, and have been pretty reliable that way. Today I was over two hours late, or so I thought. I thought I was told to show up at one... but, was wrong: I wasn't scheduled til three... in the end, I was only half an hour late.

Which reminds me that I was informed during my senior year of high school that I had the highest number of tardies on record. Since I was one of the
"good kids" with only one suspension on record (for, gasp! skipping school on senior skip day), I was rather proud of this. The reality is I never was late for class, I just didn't show up for the study halls I had first period twice a week. Somehow, while I could take a nap in the library, or hang out behind the cafeteria and smoke, I decided to just show up for my first class and took the tardy.
Saw "Dawn of the Dead" tonite. Bad ass.

Since this was an advance screening, they were tight on "security" - meaning they were confiscating any camera phones. Like an idiot I brought my digital camera, and after being padded down, was told I need to check it in with the "guest services" counter (yes, the theatre has one). Anyway, handed it to a girl there and said they should take some pics... she was like, "really"? I said, yeah.

So after the film, I went for my camera. Same girl handed it back - said they took a few, and to enjoy. Alas, when I took a look there weren't any. Bummer.

Man. What a non story.

Anyway, first comment left here was by Bunny at that's inspiration, as she seems like a celeb on the blog circuit.

Tomorrow I get to sleep in, and then head for the flower shop to fill in. Need to sneak off to meet with the folks from the film fest at some point...

Thursday I'm having my buddy Zameer take my headshots. Ten years in L.A. and I don't have headshots. And to think of all things I need these to get some corporate mobile marketing gigs.

Damn. Time for me to dig into my stash of Samoas...

Monday, March 15, 2004

If you haven't been able to tell by now, I like my cat. Its unnatural for straight men to really like cats, which is strange, since they're also known as pussies.
My girl Claire, who is also owned by Leon, keeps pushing me to find an pet agent for the fluffy guy. Not my gig - but if anyone out there knows of pet agents, please let me know.

This, by the way, is Leon from a few months ago:

Was woken up by my cel phone buzzing (its always on vibrate), a little before noon. My buddy at the casting place wanted to know if I was available to help them out for a couple weeks as they work on the new Terrence Malick film about Pocahontas. I'm desperate for money, so I said yes.

Then I get a call from a woman I interviewed with over the weekend about working on a film festival. I thought I'd scared her away when I told her my rate... but she said they'd sold some big sponsorship so they might be able to afford me. I was highballing it a little - not an exaggeration, I've been paid double what I'd quoted before... but as a freelancer, pay varies signifigantly along with the job titles.

It sucks to me at a point where I'll say yes to just about anything right now.... well, so long as my soul stays intact. I was getting depressed that I'd have to apply at a local Starbucks soon, although I'm sure it would be as decent a place as any to work until better things come along. Just a feeling of defeat lately in this whole entertainment biz... alas, maybe its now turning around. A film fest isn't my idea of success, but good filler til the summer ESPN stuff.

Still haven't taken the time to write anything, like the short film that I could produce. But the master plan would be to write the script, work a ton of great jobs, and the next time I hit a lull to use the opportunity to shoot the script.

Now off to the grocery for my woman - she's having a rehearsal here tonite for a reading she's directing. In the meantime, my friend Frantz has invited me to a screening of "Dawn of the Dead"... a first come first serve thing, but free nonetheless.
This is mildly amusing: a site that creates a colored map of the states or countries you've been in.

Here's mine - I just chose states I've been to in the past five years.

create your own personalized map of the USA

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Okay... hopefully I've now spent enough time formatting this thing that I'll be happy for about, oh... two days. So now no more excuses. Besides, I read over on the busblog that its really annoying to write about not writing blogs... which seems pretty self evident, but everyone is an assclown now and then.

Now its time to find "my voice". I'd like to restrict my politicizing to the message boards. And it's hard to really confess whats going on in my head if all my friends, especially my girlfriend, reads this.

I thought I could do a blog on how much Kinkos sucks, and post every time I have a bad experience there - which is every time I visit Kinkos. Or I could expand the blog into a chronicle of bad customer service in general.

Originally the idea would have been to post the little mini adventures of living in L.A. This would consist of all the celebrity sightings and meetings and coincidences and stuff about what random MTV project I'm working on... etc... but that seems kind of shallow.

Right now, I just figure if I write enough crap, and post enough pictures, maybe this'll just take on a life of its own. I should write whatever, and just see what happens.

Again, its a start.
Gotta add this one to my favorite blogs: busblog

Lots of pics of Bunny (see below). And more importantly, the guy writes totally stream of concience, seemingly unaware he has an audience.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

From the lack of posts, anyone who's stumbled across this wouldn't be surprised to know that I've spent much more time trying to code and format my page than actually post to it.

Alas, my new inspiration to update this more often is my recent discovery that, indeed, there are a ton of other bloggers out there. I've been hooked for the past few nights browsing them.

My favorites so far:

Melting Dolls - The Bunny McIntosh blog

The Scott McJ blog

I haven't found a formula to a good blog yet. Bunny's are usually brief, but hilarious, quirky posts with a spattering of photos of the red head - I'm sure I'd like any blog with pictures of redheads, though. Scott's are longer rants, observations, or anecdotes - but he's a good writer, funny, and for some reason I give him a British accent when I read his stuff, a trick that makes anything funnier.

Other blogs are great for their location or situation - blogs from Iraq, by citizens and US soldiers alike - blogs from New York city filmmakers - blogs by pornstars, drug addicts, and just about anyone else with net access.

Of course, if you're reading this, you're way ahead of me. Wayyyy ahead of me.

But, hey, its a start.
Just a silly test.