10.31.2008

What happens after nov. 4

so....

doesn't matter who you support.

would you consider flying to DC for the inauguration if your guy wins?


The last time I went was when my grandfather and I went to Clinton's first inaugural in 1992. It was a very amazing experience on many levels. I was a senior in highschool and took the day off and just had a fantastic day with grandpa. We pushed our way up to the closest we could get without tickets. We were still far away but there were far more people behind us than in front of us.. With the big TV screens it was fine.

I couldn't vote that year and it was the most I've been excited about an election before 2008.

My grandmother died earlier this year and I don't have the chance to see my grandfather as often as I'd like since we live so far apart.

Grandpa lives in Hanover, PA...right across the border from where my parents live in Carroll County, MD. If Obama wins, I'm seriously considering flying back and this time taking my gramps. He's a little slower 16 years later but he's still fully mobile and I think he'd have a fantastic time.

THe thing that's great is that while I've always known he's not at all a bad person...he grew up in a different time. When I was growing up, he would say nigger or other words that have a lot of pain behind them today...but he'd be oblivious to that. He doesn't use those words today. None of us really ever asked him stop, he just did. And for the last four months, every time I talk to him on the phone, he talks to me about how excited he is about Obama and how much he can't stand McCain and "That Palin Woman". I usually have to make up an excuse to hang up because he'd go on for hours if I didn't.

I love grandpa and I visit far less than I should. The chance for us to have a second bonding experience in DC 16 years later is beyond exciting to me. Even if Obama wins, it's no certainty because he's getting up there in years....but I think it's a very likely possibility and it would make me quite happy. We'll see what happens. Let's get him elected first....

10.20.2008

Horrible Halloween

So I had a grand plan to go as Dr. Horrible for Halloween.  I found places to get the goggles, gloves and boots relatively cheaply but unfortunately I can't find a lab coat thats in this style without paying an arm and a leg for it.  

We were going to take my picture with the goggles and put it on the shirt for Liz to go as one of the fans.  Yeah I know it's not super original for the comic convention types but we weren't going to roll with that crowd on the 31st.

Hmmm...what to do what to do....


10.14.2008

Fall TV is too much

I don't know exactly why I'm taking notice more than before.  Am I sucked in more? Am I actually watching more TV? Did I care less before?  Whatever the case may be, about a week into the new season of fall TV I started to feel like a lazybones ass.  (I'm sure the fact that I spent most of the summer having trouble moving forward on a new script was a contributing factor.) 

Here are the shows that our DVR currently records that I at least intended to watch:
Monday: Heroes, Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles
Tuesday:  -
Wednesday: Project: Runway, South Park, Pushing Daisies
Thursday: The Office, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Sarah Silverman Program, 30 Rock
Friday: Real Time with Bill Maher
Saturday: Saturday Night Live
Sunday:  Dexter, Californication, Entourage, True Blood, Amazing Race, Mad Men
Monday-Thursday:  Daily Show, Colbert Report

True Blood sucks so I axed that after a single week.  Heroes is on the cusp of being cut right now.  SNL is great on DVR because you can skip all the crappy sketches.  Is it not as bad as I think it is?  I actually haven't watched the last three eps of Terminator so maybe that will be cut as well, only to catch up in some sort of marathon online viewing in the future.

I've actually been writing a bit lately...so maybe my little effort to cut back is working.  Or maybe the writing is making me want to cut back.  I'm not exactly sure.

Oh yeah...and there's that editing thing.  I got a book.  We'll see how far I get.  Probably just far enough that I shouldn't be wasting time watching the Amazing Race.

10.10.2008

All isn't lost in babylon

It's funny how time just goes on and on while you have to wait to get stuff done.  

I don't even know who is looking at this thing these days but I want to make sure all my billions of fans are aware that I'm not giving up. I'm not losing interest.  And I'm not becoming distracted with this or that.

The problem is that the people I have helping me make this happen are so riduncuously awesome at what they do that they're busy with day jobs and paid work that puts their talent to real actually compensated use.  

To pass the time I'm going to play around with Final Cut Pro myself.  Pretty crazy, huh?  Now if I were a better man, I'd bet a lot of money that I'll accomplish absolutely nothing until Trailer Editor guru darrin is available to hold my hand, but who knows...maybe I have some sort of hidden away natural talent that I didn't know existed.  (seriously, I don't think I do).  But at worst I can make some sort of kindergarten-level rough cut that gets the idea out on ... well it's not paper...hmmm...disk?  Yeah, disk.

See it's all about fast.  It's all about flashy.   It's all about style now.  Well, it's not ALL about that, but the purpose of this little project is.  I have someone who is ready to do some sick motion graphics (we had none in the first trailer.)  And I have a designer that's going to do some fantastic work as well.  Plus there's Darrin's expertise editing. It will rule.  Just need to get there. And once we do, we have the biz plan ready to go.  

Time, time, time.  You always hear about those people who say it took them 10 years to get their first project off the ground.  That used to sound over the top to me.  I now 100% understand what they mean.  

Oh, and that little picture above.  I found it on google.  Our footage obviously has no kids on bikes...and even if it did.  I have no idea how to do that video in two windows thing.  ...  Oh wait... I'm told that's the normal way it works.  I'm screwed.

9.23.2008

Only Bangkok

Only Banghok! travel videos from about a year ago!





8.15.2008

I have an announcement to make

I know it's been a while since I've updated the site. What better reason than this:

6.20.2008

Give me the cash or I'll slap you with my palm frond!

Check it out...

Bleu Reigh

After entering the HD era on the wrong side of the format war 7 months ago, we broke down and got a PS3 today so that we could watch more than the than the 8 HD-DVD movies we own.

Damn you, HD-DVD for losing!

Fortunately it was $200 off after a couple special offers. Not bad.

This is a reluctant step into the age of Blu-Ray for us. Didn't really get it for gaming, although it is a bit strange because I don't think I've owned three current video game systems since...well...ever.

Nutty.

In any case it's a nice distraction from this terrible cold I started today. Ugh...summer colds SUUUUCK.

I just told Liz her favorite miniseries ever--Lonesome Dove--comes out on BluRay in August. Looks like I'll be watching it for the first time when it does.


6.18.2008

A long time coming update.....

...of our audio experience...

Coming soon to 832 15th Place:


1. A playstation 3 I'm more of an xbox and handheld guy myself so I dont' see us using it to play a lot of games. That said it's competely futureproofed for new bluray technology. Six months ago we bought HDDVD players and were on the wrong side of that war. Now it's time to do the right thing. Shift to take the winner's side and take it big.




2. The stereo and speakers we have are on loan and they need to be returned soon so that the curator can loan them to a new freind. Because of this, we'll need to pick up a receiver (ONKYO 606) and some speakers. You can go crazy with a speaker budget.


We're keeping things fairly tame by picking up a 5.1 set from Harman/Kardon called HT-18 or something. I'd upgrade the fronts when we move to a house, but reviews make me think they're perfectly reasonable for our needs in an apartment.

I think that's it...pretty simple. So now you know!

Speaking of gear...don't forget we're only about seven months away from the shut down of all analogue television. If you get your tv with a wire over the air--it will no longer work. If you get your tv from a cable providor but you don't use a cable box--it may not work either. I think sales on flatscreens will be massive this fall with the shutoff around the bend. Or...you can check this site for more oh so helpful information....
http://www.dtv.gov/

6.04.2008

Alice remixed

I've seen these kinds of things before, but this one seems to blow the others away. Fantastic video/music remix almost entire created with samples from Alice in Wonderland.



Download the track

POTUS #44

5.24.2008

My Mii is fat.

I've been rolling into my job writing for a shoe company at around 9 lately so it was an early morning for me on Wednesday when I headed to Target at 730 to beat the rush and pick up the latest popular fad from Nintendo--Wii Fit.  There were a few cars in the parking lot, so I walked up to the door when I got there.  As if I triggered an alarm by reaching the door, every person waiting in their car got out and into a line that formed behind me.  

When the door opened at 8 there were about 50 people in line behind me.  They walked us in and I picked up my new accessory.  I was back in my car and heading to work (5 minutes away) at 8:05.  35 minutes very painless minutes isn't bad considering they sold out by the time the last person walked through the doors and they've been sold out since.

So I come home and set it all up, sync it to our Wii, and pop in the disk.  I go through a series of tests that involve me stepping on the balance board, trying to stand still on the high tech "balance board" and entering details about my non-Wii based exercise and at end of it all I learn that I could use to lose a few.  (not a shocker there).  But by the time it was all over my Mii expanded in size to illustrate my larger girth. (Fortunately, I'm far from the obese level in the game so my Mii was chunky rather than rotund) There was even a skinny guy getting fat BLOOOOP sound that went with the animation.

After playing around with this new living room toy for a while I've come to see why reviews say that few people will actually lose weight by using Wii Fit.  BUT, where it works great is in the way it helps you keep track of your progress with constant reminders and fun little mini games.  If anything, Wii Fit has made me more glad that I ordered a bike a few days ago. I want my Mii to be skinny again. That bike can't get here soon enough.

5.18.2008

A lot has been happening...so here's a couple bikes

Between my grandmother passing away last month to the new job I started the day I got back to LA, it's been a busy few weeks.  At some point in the midst of it all, Liz and I decided that we wanted to buy ourselves beach bikes.  After living within walking distance of the beach for 8 years, I have no logical answer for why we never decided this before.

Just to make sure it was a good idea, we rented bikes by the beach and took an afternoon ride.  We only went a few miles along the 22-mile long bike path known as The Strand, but it was enough to confirm that this was a fantastic idea that we needed to move forward on immediately. Little did we know how extensive the world of beach cruisers would be.  You can go from a basic run of the mill bike to over-the-top custom motorcycle-inspired low rider bikes.  Walk by the local pier on a summer afternoon and you'll see hundreds of them--crossing the entire spectrum. We looked at catalogues, we visited bike shops, and we got recommendations from friends.  And of course we couldn't find exactly what we wanted. Some of the cooler looking bikes are made for only a few months and then discontinued.  So Liz kept seeing pictures of bikes she loved only to discover they were no longer available.   

Eventually, we decided on the two bikes below after test driving them in different colors--both made by Electra--people say that's a good beach cruiser brand, but I dunno...they look cool and were fun to ride.  The local shop is ordering them for us with their next order for the store this week, so we won't pay anything extra like shipping which is nice.  Pictures of the bikes in use will be coming when we actually have them next week (Unfortunately, I don't think they'll be here in time for the holiday wkd).  

A fun summer awaits!

4.26.2008

Eulogy

Below is the full text for the eulogy I gave for my grandmother on Wednesday.



Good morning. On behalf of my grandfather, Michael, and our entire family, I want to thank you for coming today.

I was introduced to my grandmother on my birthday, October 26, 1976….well, I should probably say she was introduced to me. Those first couple years were—as I’m sure you can understand—a little fuzzy for me. But I definitely remember all the birthdays that followed because as I was growing up, she was there for every single one. For most of my childhood, my grandparents lived in Rhode Island, and they would always time their visits to coincide with my birthday. I think I looked forward to it more than anything else all year. I would stare out our window hoping to catch a glimpse of their car cresting the hill in the distance as a sign that they were about to arrive. It made me feel truly special. She always went out of her way to do anything possible in the world to make each of us feel special.

My sister, Courtney, has a birthday a few short weeks after Christmas. Grandma started a tradition called the “pretend birthday.” This way Courtney could have her own special birthday celebration when Grandma was visiting for Christmas. But it was always about more than just feelings. She made it her job to always remind us that we could do anything with our lives and find success. And anytime I doubted that, a talk with grandma would always put my worries at ease. That mentality was the core of who she was. And it was something she developed a long time before the two of us were introduced on that first birthday of mine.

She was born on March 18, 1932 in Providence, Rhode Island—the youngest of 9 children in an Irish Catholic family of very limited means. Hand me down clothes and charity assistance was a fact of daily life. Eventually, she entered a 28-year career with the Providence Housing Authority. Here, she helped elderly tenants find the services essential to their survival.
Every day she surpassed her job description. If someone needed anything that wasn’t her responsibility, she would go out of her way to help. The tenants loved her.—not something you hear often in the beaurocratic world of public housing.

Talk to her and topics of conversation would always shift to those she cared about. Her tenants knew so much about my mother, Ann, that they chartered a bus to attend my parents wedding as a group. They weren’t going to miss the marriage Helen’s daughter!

She was the most selfless person I’ve ever known. During 57 years of marriage with my grandfather, she took care of him and always worried that he was OK. From making his favorite food for dinner to ensuring the garage light was on for when he returned, she always put her needs second. In the last few months, my grandfather was able to return that care to her when she needed it most. It’s always been clear how much they loved each other.

As I got older, the October birthday visits started to take on a different kind of importance. It was a chance to become closer, to discover and to understand. Our conversations grew more complicated and I started to realize how smart, wise and progressively minded she was. From politics to current world events, she enjoyed discussing it all.

But it’s the unending support that always meant the most to me. In high school, I had this crazy idea to become a marine biologist and train dolphins. “You can do it. You should do it!” she said. Of course, it took freshman year of college to discover how much I despised organic chemistry—and hate swimming! But I had to try to figure it out. Then, I had an even crazier idea. I’d always dreamed of making movies professionally. Why not transfer to film school and enter a job field that’s nearly impossible to crack? “You can do it! You should do it!”

After I graduated, I thought it might require a move to California to break into the film industry. And even though she wished I would stay close, “You can do it! You should do it!” Things didn’t work out exactly according to plan and my career took a few detours, but every time we spoke, she would always slip in—don’t forget, you can still make the movies. And one day about a year ago when I told her I was thinking about self-producing my first feature film—almost ten years after graduating film school—she said, “you can do it. You MUST do it. It’s what you’ve always wanted to do.” And because of her support, I’m in the midst of making it happen now. She taught me to believe that even the biggest dreams can become reality.…and that’s the piece of her that I’ll carry with me always in everything I do.

I’m confident that anyone who truly knew her could tell his or her own version of this story. Because that is what she did…she pushed us each to find happiness. And in doing so, found happiness herself.

Thank you, grandma, for showing us the way.

We love you.


4.14.2008

Wine, Malibu Style

We had heard that there were a couple places to go wine tasting in Malibu, but never made the effort because it's one of those very closeby things that you never think to actually do. Last Friday, Liz and I both had a weekday to do whatever so we decided to venture up the coast and check it out. We've been to Napa a few times and we go up to Santa Ynez a couple times a year, so while we're FAR from being any sort of experts on the subject we do enjoy our good wine. We always get suckered into joining the wine club of a vineyard we enjoy. I can't keep track of how many places send us vino currently.

ANYWAY...so we set out to Malibu on a gorgeous Friday afternoon.  It's only about 30 miles away so we stopped at the Malibu Kitchen for a tasty deli lunch before venturing on to taste some vino. I had a really great Turkey reuben. (Am I the only one that thinks turkey is soooo much better on a reuben than the traditional corned beef?) Liz had a really bland salad. Oh well, can't win em all.

Our first stop was the Rosenthal Vineyards tasting room. Their tasting room is on the PCH right outside of Malibu...unfortunately not on the actual vineyard property which is up in the hills a couple miles away. After being accosted in the parking lot by some old dude named Joe that claimed to manage the property and vented about the coastal commission for 15 minutes, we stepped into the tasting room.  When we walked in, the two guys pouring asked if Joe scared us and also implied that he bothers many people. I'm left a little unclear as to if he actually had a reason to be there.  After tasting their wines and buying a couple bottles that benefit the Surfrider Foundation, we left the place and ventured five miles up into the mountains to Malibu Family Wines.  

The Malibu Family Wines tasting room is on a vineyard up high in the Santa Monica Mountains.  The tasting room itself was outdoors.  We liked the Rosenthal wines a bit better but still ending up picking up a bottle before heading home.  For some reason we couldn't quite figure out, the guy pouring at Malibu Family was dressed like an extra in Newsies.  Was it a uniform?  Or did he choose to go that route?  We may never know.  

We drove back on the very scenic Mulholland Highway.  By this time it was evening rush hour and our GPS was directing us to the traffic clogged freeway which we smartly avoided.  Stupid GPS.  A third tasting room called will be opening soon in the hills above Malibu called the Cornell Winery. (It's to be located very near the famous Rock Store biker stop on Mulholland Hwy) It'll make for a nice afternoon wine drive without the trek all the way to Santa Ynez.  Liz and I love going up to Santa Ynez--the wine is obviously much better and it's fantastic for a weekend away--but you can't complain about a nearby inexpensive 30 mile trek when you don't want to devote the time and expense for that much more involved journey.   

4.08.2008

Googly Eye Gardner

Stupid TV

So today the TV is on and I'm watching some news while eating lunch and suddenly....BOOM.  There's a bright flash, a very loud explosive sound, and it all goes dark.  

It smells terrible too. Like burnt electronics.

Dammit.

Why couldn't flatscreens have been as competitively priced 18 months ago when we got our DLP tv?  

And replacements are $200!   A new one has been ordered but this pretty much blows.

Oh well.

4.04.2008

Yay, economy!

The stories you've been hearing are true. The economy sucks. It's a great time to buy a house here in LA. Prices have tanked over what they were only two years ago and now all I see are sign after sign for open houses--something that wasn't even needed when we moved here.

So the crappy economy put me into the unemployment line a few weeks ago. I'm holding to the "maybe it was for the best idea"...and despite things being generally bad, there ARE prospects, so we'll see what happens. But for now, I've been updating my portfolio with work from the last year. Take a look if you want!

it's easy to find:
www.jamesbeirne.com

4.02.2008

A little preview...

It's been a while since I last gave this the attention it needs, so what better way to return than with this...











^-press play

2.27.2008

Neglect...

...is what I've been doing to my blog.

Four word updates for you:

-New car is cool.

-Miss the convertible though.

-Recording trailer narration saturday.

-Movie website almost done.

-Promoting begins in weeks.

-Work has been busy.

-Liz was very sick.

-She's much better now.

-Unexpected travels next week.

-Seeing Brendan's show tonight.

-Must get to gym.

-Seriously, need to workout.

2.13.2008

Mini No More



In less than 24 hours my car of the last three years will be replaced by a sensible hybrid made by Nissan. I will very much miss the convertible. Unfortunately this car has been in the shop more than any three year old car ever should and I certainly won't miss that. With the too short warranty coming to an end and repairs very costly it's not worth it any longer. Plus something a wee bit bigger will be OK with me. Did I say I'll miss the convertible though? I mean really, I will. Now onward to the realm of the everyday normal car...at least until someone makes a mass market hybrid convertible. Are you listening automakers? Do it.

God, I love robots

2.10.2008

©MURAKAMI

We spent yesterday visiting the final weekend of the Murakami exhibit at MOCA.  The show was packed as expected but lots of fun.  You do kind of get sick of smiling flowers after a while though, but there's enough other work on his display to keep things interesting.

If you're not familiar with him, you may know Murakami's work from the Louis Vitton bags he's designed or his work with Kanye West.  (Kanye played at the members opening party back in October.)  The gallery has a real working Louis Vitton store right in the middle which has been a point of controversy among the art snobs of the world.

With the new Broad Contemporary Building that opened this weekend at LACMA, it's going to be an art-filled month for us.  If it's good enough for Tom and Katie, it's good enough for me.

1.27.2008

Derby Dolls

A bunch of us ventured out to the hipster mecca that is Roller derby for the first time last night. I know I'm well behind the times on this when compared to friends back east. (Despite my distance I actually know two veteran Gotham Girls!)   

A few notes on my first experience at the Derby...

-After seeing this crowd, every coffee house in Silver Lake must shutter it's doors once a month. I think the ironic mustache stops becoming ironic when there's a couple hundred of them in one room.

-Alexis Arquette still has the manly voice when it comes to singing. (s/he "sang" the natl anthem) 

-I rooted for (but didn't bet on) the Tough Cookies and they won.  Porter betted on the Fight Crew and they lost.  The streak of my team winning when I don't gamble continues. (I won't be betting on the Superbowl because of this)

-I won the raffle.  (It was just tickets to the Derby Dolls movie screening, bleh)

-Pilsner Urquell in a tall can is much better than Tecate.

-Apparently banked track Roller Derby isn't the norm these days.  But seeing how it's all I know now I can't imagine it any other way.

-It's some operation this thing.  There must have been 2000 people there...filling this huge warehouse space.  At $20 for GA and $35 for the VIP bleachers (+beer/food/etc) they clearly made bank.  Who ever was the adwizard that thought to bring back all-girl Roller Derby a couple years ago is a frackin' genius.

-Before it began not one of us could figure out the rules even after reading the explanation in the program.  After it began it only took about two minutes before we all knew exactly what was going on.  

-One team's mascot was a guy in a lobster suit.  I'm not exactly sure why.

-We'll probably go back again next month.

Some pix and vids...












1.23.2008

Trailer Tunes

The first full edit completed on Sunday has eight music cues...

Love at First Sight (Scumfrog Remix) - Kylie Minogue
Song 4 Mutya (Sunset Strippers Remix) - Groove Armada
Want Love - Hoxton Whores
D.A.N.C.E. - Justice
The Girl You Lost to Cocaine - Sia
Long Time - Static Revenger featuring Boston
Beautiful Liar (Freemasons remix) - Beyonce featuring Shakira
Make You a Star - Hoxton Whores

We got some fresh eyes on it and some great suggestions so we're taking another pass. It's mostly a rearranging of a couple scenes and a new approach on the opening. Hopefully we'll get it sorted in two weeks.

Onward...

1.15.2008

The last post from my old phone

No more holes

We finally got all the holes filled in the trailer on Saturday. It actually feels like...well...a trailer (albeit a slightly long one at 5 and a half minutes, but that's why we call it a "promo reel", right?) We also somehow worked in a clip from a Sia song--not that you'd recognize it as the vocals are stripped. Couldn't have done any of it without the help of the man with the edit...Mr. Darrin McKie.

We're going to bring in a new set of eyes this Saturday and see where we go from there.

Todd continues to crank away at the website. If all goes according to plan, we could have both ready for launching in February we hoped for a few weeks ago.

Onward...

1.05.2008

A week in the life as a new year begins

So we arrived safely in Los Angeles last Sunday a full five hours after our scheduled arrival time. I know that travel delays and problems seem to be the expected norm these days but I was fighting one horrible cold so that five hours felt like fifteen. Bleh.

On monday we went back and forth about fifty times about whether or not to go out for NYE. We had plans to attend a party at the Roosevelt hotel with some friends. At the last second I decided to drink away my sickness and we went. It was fun hangin' with people...nothing spectacular, but fun. I didn't wake up feeling worse the next morning, so I suppose it wasn't a terrible choice to go.

Three fairly slow days of work later I thought I was feeling better...but then I had a friday where some crazy allergy attacked me and I went through an entire box of tissues. Random.

The monsoon rains came yesterday afternoon and Liz was to pick me up at work for our plans that evening. (I got a ride with someone so we wouldn't need two cars.) She was running super late so I ventured taking the subway. As is usually the case with me I had no umbrella or coat but I found a dude selling umbrellas for five bucks on a corner two blocks from workso I didn't get supersoaked. The LA Metro is a strange beast but it's nice if you're going the limited places it runs. 20 minutes later I was walking up the steps in Hollywood and met Darrin and Mike Ochs for dinner exactly on time. (The rain traffic caused liz to arrive much later).

Dinner was followed with seeing Sweeney Todd with director Tim Burton speaking after. It was at the Arclight Cineramadome and I swear they took out a wall in the back just to build the seats we were in so they'd be worse than previously thought possible. Good movie though and he had some interesting things to say in the 45 mins or so after that he spoke...but man do some people ask STUPID questions. Maybe it's just being in LA, but at least half of them began with "I'm an actor" or "I'm in film school" Shut up! Someone actually asked what his favorite color was and with the annoyingly suckup intro from some AFI guy, it felt like I was in the audience for the Actor's Studio show with James Lipton for a bit. One pompous self-admitted broadway freak dared to ask him what he'd do differently (she was upset at the cut songs). Burton took a minute or two being nice and then just said, "you know...nothing." Good for him. Liz wanted to ask him why his hair is so crazy....we were too far back to get picked though.

Then we braved the rains and headed home. If Darrin isn't feeling too sick, DJ Girl editing continues this afternoon.

And that's my week.