Top Movies of the Decade

Here's my list...subject to change as I think about it more...

First Tier
1. Lord of the Rings Trilogy (YES, IT COUNTS AS ONE)
2. Children of Men
3. Almost Famous
4. No Country For Old Men
5. Dark Knight
6. Kill Bill   (ALSO COUNTS AS ONE)
7. Traffic
8. Moulin Rouge!
9. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
10. 3:10 To Yuma

Second Tier
11. Memento
12. 500 Days of Summer
13. Star Trek (2009)
14. High Fidelity
15. Y Tu Mamá También
16. Lost in Translation
17. Man on Wire
18. Sideways
19. Bad Santa
20. Coraline

Contenders INPO:
Being John Malkovich
Hotel Rwanda
History of Violence
Finding Nemo
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Iron Man
The Incredibles
Dogtown and Z-Boys
The Departed
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Pan's Labyrinth
King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
The Hangover
The Wrestler
Bourne Ultimatum


Instant Children's Classic?

Waiting for the Brendan Hines and Felicia Day "Elementary Morals" tour...


On the 1st day of christmas an ugly statue fell...

There's some debate as to if this was rude or not...

I'm pushing my cart through the Vons grocery store minding my own business on a brief trip to pick up some steaks for dinner and wood for the fireplace.

As I roll it past a table with a Christmas display, the tablecloth catches the wheel of the cart and pulls this horribly ugly nutcracker statue off the table.


It breaks into a ton of pieces that spread across the floor. I totally did it, but at the same time not really my fault because the tablecloth was hanging onto the ground just asking to be pulled by my vagrant shopping cart.

I had pushed my cart around an older man who was standing next to the table talking on his cell phone and when the fugly statue met its demise he turns to me with a disgusted glare and proceeds to make a very exaggerated effort to step over the mess and walk away.

Really?  You can't even acknowledge what happened.
Acceptable human responses would be: "Are you OK?"  "Need some help?" "Want me to tell someone?"
Or in the very least walk away without the glare followed by the over-the-top stepping-by-the-mess show.

I was kinda stunned.  Yeah,  it's a little embarrassing to cause a $10 hideous gnome elf to explode on the floor of a grocery store...but is the old dude's judgment of me needed too?  Have you never dropped something!?

Of course being the ass that I am I yelled to him, "Walk away, sir!  Walk away!"

I picked up some of the pieces and a few seconds later a friendly store employee walked over and told me he'd take care of the rest.

As I later pushed my cart to the checkout I passed him again--he was still on his phone--glaring at me some more.  Overheard as I passed:  "...and then he yelled, walk away..."

Damn right, I did.

So...rude or not rude?


Preparing for the heart of the beast...

After ten years in LA, I'm about to do something I've never done since moving here--a trek back east for Thanksgiving. 

And to make it even more interesting I fly in a few hours in the midst of the travel hell that is the day before Thanksgiving.

Here's to hoping the travel gods are on my side. (and if they're not, that the bar is well stocked AND well staffed) *Wood squarely knocked*

The adventure begins as soon as I get away from this fantastic, awesome, lovely job.  (Seriously, it's 5:30....this must be the only office in LA that didn't have a half day today)

And off I go...


So if one day you have a kid who grows up and sets the rug on fire...

I had a nice productive weekend.  I started with a solo hike on Saturday morning. Then spent the afternoon editing with Darrin to bring this re-hash phase of our little project to a near end point. Sunday I cleaned up the house and got a good amount of writing done in the afternoon.

As the sun set it started to get cool fast so I picked up a little pack of wood and a bottle of wine at Vons on my way home where I planned to settle in to watch Dexter and the Curb finale.

I started the fire. I opened the wine. I grilled a burger. I turned on the TV.  Nice end to the weekend...

A bit later when the fire begins to die down I throw on another log which unfortunately didn't seem to catch the flame.  I take the fire tongs, open the chain mail curtain and grab a mostly burned glowing log on one end.  As I lift it up it snaps in half causing one end to crash back into the fire and toss a handful of glowing chunks out into the room.  OH NO!

I'm frozen for a few seconds.  What do I do!?

I actually started to reach for one...but reason stopped me before I scar my hand.

I take the tongs and attempt to grab each little piece.  But the problem is fire tongs are hardly precise machinery so it takes forever to get a decent enough grip on the golf ball sized chunks.  After I FINALLY get them all safely back into the fireplace I look down at the rug to find three two-inch dark, crushed spots of charred, melted rug with a few other smaller spots from the tinier embers.


We got this rug new when we moved into our new place.

It really tied the room together, man.  And the scarring totally throws the feng shui of our interior design out the window.

Stupid fire.  Stupid, stupid fire.


12 Angry Men--*does not include those who have a vacation planned

I've reported for Jury Duty four times.

My first experience was during school in Boston where I sat in a massive room with no book for three hours before we were all declared unnecessary for the day and released.

The second time I had to venture to Long Beach.  Again, I sat in a jury room--although I remembered a book. I lasted past lunch. Unlike in Boston, I watched as others were called to be potential jurists on various cases. My name was never read. I went home.

Two years ago, I reported for my third stint. This time a local case in Torrance. Experience taught me well. I brought my laptop to do some work--set everything up...and right after the day began I was immediately called to a courtroom.  After they released me on that case, I went back to the jury room, set myself up again....and they sent me to another courtroom. This time I ended up in the jury box. Selection continued to a second day (I earned fifteen whole dollars for returning!), but this was a  medical malpractice case so after a squirly attorney learned during questioning that I knew someone in the midst of some major healthcare issues, I was axed.

So here I was on Thursday...back at the Torrance Courthouse. This time I was backed by a company that pays 10 days of jury duty. I went in wanting to get picked just for the experience of it all.

I find a spot at a table with two older guys and some punky looking artist kid.  I setup my laptop. (The jury room now has wifi!)  Plugged in to my music and waited...and waited...and waited.  At some point they read about 80 names to report to a courtroom. My tablemates and I were spared.

Lunch break.  2 hours!  Nice.  I ordered a beer with my sandwich just because I could.

Get back.  More waiting. More waiting.  At 3:30 they start reading more names.  Off we go. (Off everyone goes...)

We pile in to the crowded room. I wonder what could await us.

Murder case.  At least 20 court days.

Just my luck. The average case is only six days and the one time I've ever had a situation where work could cover it, the case is three times longer. The guy next to me says 15 years ago he was on a case that lasted 95 days.  Yikes.

As it turns out they're not very hardass about cases that go longer than a several days.  We were the fourth group of 80 people brought in and more were coming on Friday. The judge asked if the schedule would be a conflict for anyone and half the hands in the room went up. We each had to stand and explain our situation.  I answered honestly that I had a nonrefundable plane ticket for holiday travel. Most of the other excuses were related to financial hardship from missing work.  A handful of older hispanic women claimed they didn't understand English very well. ...yet they spoke and answered clearly. Hmmm. One said she's been living here for 32 years.  I wonder what the statute of limitations are on 'don't speak the language'.  Towards the end of the survey a woman started crying that her meth addicted husband was home alone with her daughter and she needed to get there fast. After a sidebar she was released.  Someone else went into a long explanation about being the sole caregiver for a parent that had some pretty gross bathroom requirements.  Ugh with the TMI.

At ten minutes to five most of those who had an issue were sent home and that was the end of it.  Another day of jury duty and another day of avoiding the jury.

I don't know how the judge had patience after one single panel of excuses and we were but one of many. Yikes.  

My mother recently told me she's never been called for jury duty.  How is that possible!?  I have no doubt I'll be back in that room yet again in two or three years.


Yins and Yangs of the Creative Mind

We've been busy.  Really busy.

Since I've last written...

Saw The Sounds--great show and far better at the Wiltern than the Key Club last summer... although that could entirely be because we had a place to stand. I don't really know why I enjoy this Swedish new wave  band so much. I guess it's the "catchy" part.

Attended a friend's 40th birthday party. My friends are getting old!

Attended a different friend's 30th birthday party the next night.  Even my younger friends are getting old!

As a fantastic gift for MY birthday from Darrin--saw U2 at the Rose Bowl. Unfortunate events kept him from getting in though...UGH.  See the whole show here 

Celebrated the birthday very low key style by locally having dinner and drinks with just Liz. When you have friends turning 40 and 30 the same weekend you turn 33, you cede the parties...  NEXT YEAR will be a BLOW OUT!

Waffled an entire week about what to do for Halloween.  At the end we had options ranging from a house party in Tarzana to a club event to a party bus traveling the West Side.  But we couldn't settle on an idea and because of that never sorted a costume.  Ended up keeping things easy and went to an outdoor screening of Halloween in a cemetery.  We were home just after midnight.  We've been doing something big every other year so I guess that means next year is going to be--as the kids say--"off the hook."

But despite all of that...it's not why I've been neglecting the blog.

I've been writing. A LOT.  The last two weeks have been quite productive. It seems productivity in one area has been at the expense of another. As goes the yins and yangs of a creative mind. And the weird catalyst for it all was a suggestion from a co-worker who also moonlights on her own creative projects to work out of the house at coffee shops and the like.

A few years ago when I was unemployed, I hit the shops all the time for the change in scenery. And it DID help. But since then I figure after slogging all day at the office, why go out again?  Problem is at home there are endless distractions, and even though we have an office space, I'm not surrounded by others pounding away on keyboards productively.  So I heeded by co-worker/writer/friend's advice and found a late night coffee shop. Next thing I know, the words are just flowing...I'm working out story problems...I'm fleshing out my character arcs.  AND...I'm ignoring THIS outlet.

I like this outlet--so here I am. I think I can work this yin-yang thing out. But I had general lack of inspiration and writer's block for the entire summer, so if this doesn't work and I can't do it all, you'll understand why I disappear.


Me and my T-Rex arms

I hadn't heard the term before.

But it's true.

I woke up this morning with Tyrannosaurus arms.  Or as the cool kids say, "T-Rex Arms".

How I came to have these mutant useless stubs on each side of my body is far less intriguing than the label may imply.

It began with everything in my life...procrastination.

You see, I've been putting off the inevitable need to get myself into a strength training routine for months now. I don't really know why. It's not like I wasn't going to the gym for cardio or otherwise working out.

I guess I perceive hitting the weights as requiring more planning and more time than a quick 30-40 minutes on a tread mill or elliptical . But you never really lose weight in a healthy way without building some muscle to increase metabolism so the endless claims of "I'll start tomorrow" had to end. And with that it was time to bring strength back into my workout. And yesterday morning was the day.

BUT--I've had the same thing happen almost every time I've started a new workout--I push it too hard and I'm sore for a week.  So I was extra cautious.  I stretched extensively before and after. I didn't try to get that extra rep or pounds in. I did everything I could think to do to ease back.

It wasn't enough.

I opened my eyes this morning and OWWWWWWW! What is this?  My two useless arms are locked into stiff right angles. Again...OWWWWW!  Not a great way to start the day. As the hours pass, I keep stretching and massaging but it's not getting much better.  There's a very slight bit more motion in my right arm now. Can't come within a foot of touching my nose with the left though.  But it all hurts like hell.  Now I remember why I kept putting this off.

I better never have these damn T-Rex arms again.  Stiff arms are not conducive to the writer work flow.  This just means I need to keep up the weight training routine!  FOREVER!   (I remember telling myself this last time it happened.  To be fair I think I kept it up for a few months though.  Not bad.)

Although if my right arm continues to improve faster than my left, I may have to say I have John Silber arms tomorrow.  (give yourself a cookie if you got the reference without clicking.)


U2 LIVE on YouTube - October 25

For anyone who won't be in Pasadena on Sunday...

(Pardon the format squashing bigness that is YouTube HD)



Why do we always get screwed when it comes to live sports on the west coast.  The latest our post-season baseball starts here is 5PM.

Sure we're known in LA for having more than our share of freelancers, actors, models and trust fund kids who have the free time to head up to a game at 4PM on any given day.--and it remains a goal of mine to get back to that absolutely fabulous freelance lifestyle. But that crowd isn't the base for the Dodgers.  The majority of fans in Chavez Ravine this afternoon will be working class stiffs who had to struggle to get out of work to attend or watch--and this is only game one.

I know...I know.  It's TELEVISION (he says with flair)!  It just seems silly that New York or Philadelphia can't play a single game that airs at 9 or 9:30 locally.  Of course ratings for east coat teams are higher!  No one on the west coast gets home early enough to watch.  And if the world series ends up being Anaheim vs. Dodgers in a freeway matchup that's most appealing to those who live in the west.....we STILL play ALL the games at 5PM.   God forbid a Dodgers fan in New York needs to stay up late.

But ranting aside....

Thanks to some kindness from a certain friend--I'll be one of those stiffs leaving early to attend the game tonight!   GO BLUE!


STORMWATCH 2010!!!: an epilogue

Got up this morning and dressed up for an early gym workout.  As I walked across the street under cover of darkness to the local 24-Hour Fitness a light rain was falling from the sky--it would have been unremarkable most other places on Earth.  It felt nice and refreshing in the crisp morning air.

I climbed up on a stairmaster to start my cardio. In the mood for morning news, I plugged into the audio jack and looked up at the televisions.  You would think the apocalypse had begun last night from the coverage. 

They had reporters in the notorious "burn areas"...yet no mud slides and no destruction.

"It could still happen so homeowners are being vigilant!"     Suuuure it could

They had reporters in low lying areas that often flood in bad storms...yet no floods today.

"I think we lucked out this time," the reporter said only to have the anchor add with concern, "We may not be so lucky next time."  Lame.

But in one area all the predictions come true.  They always come true.  Every.  Single.  Time.


Between midnight and 6AM this morning there had been a total of nearly 200 accidents on the local freeways.  That's up from a whopping 16 the same period last week.  Ridiculous!  They cut to a traffic screen and the highway grid was painted red with a couple dashes of yellow.  There was certainly no green.  What is wrong with people? 

I drove my daily 0.9 miles (jealous?) to work and sat in traffic the entire way.  When I tried to hop on a side street that was backed up too.  What the drizzly eff?   No I'm not complaining that my short drive took an extra five minutes!  It's just so absurd that even down by the beach, traffic was completely gridlocked this morning.

I like the rain. I like the change. I like the hint of seasons. 

Unfortunately the hype/traffic/hysteria is unavoidable.

And yes, I know ranting about it doesn't help. 


STORM WATCH!!! 2010 arrives early

It's an early Christmas in LA with the mid-October arrival of STORMWATCH!!! across the entire spectrum of local TV news.

Usually we don't get to be this worked up about rain until the end of December so it's really a treat to see all the stations pull out their hype-driving screen graphics and dire doomsday predictions so early in the season.

It seriously gets beyond the level of east coast blizzard crazy in the lead up.  And then what usually happens is reporters stationed all throughout the city "southland" will report on drizzle when the super-hyped event fails to meet the sky-high expectations of destruction.  It's hard to blame them.  For most of the year our weather is entirely pleasant yet wholly  unremarkable.  We don't get hurricanes. There are no tornadoes.  And there isn't usually much rain at all for 9 months each year.

But we do have fires...and fires lead to burn areas...and burn areas lead to mud slides...and mud slides lead to something for the news to obsess over.  "Will the burn areas survive!?"   "How to protect your house from mudslides!"  "How to talk to your kids about mudslides!"  "Send us your mudslide pictures and video!"  It's like a little cottage industry.

And then on top of that there will literally be a billion accidents on the freeways.  It doesn't matter if there's drizzle or a foot of rain.  People will crash their cars--everywhere.  Gotta love it.  But that's not because of the storm--that's because people are idiots.  It's like driving in snow with someone from Georgia.

I've lived here for ten years and I can count the number of storms that were legitimately over the top destructive on one hand.  Sure, the bad one's are bad...but we get the STORMTRACK hype four or five times a year--kinda makes one numb to it all.  We'll see if this new hell storm makes the list or duds out like most of the rest.

Here's the official word from the National Weather Service.  Even they hype it up here...

Issued by The National Weather Service
Los Angeles, CA
3:12 pm PDT, Mon., Oct. 12, 2009








Yo no quiero Taco Bell, pero de todos modos me lo como

There are seven restaurants within very short walking distance of the office.  If I want to take a short lunch as I did today, my options are even more limited.

Option 1:  Big Wok Mongolian BBQ.
Nah, kinda gross and takes forever. I've seen people sneeze then grab things out of the buffet with bare hands.

Option 2: Farm House
Fantastic tri-tip sandwich and bbq but kind of pricey for every day. Needed to save some cash.

Option 3:  Rinaldi's Deli
Very tasty massive sandwiches.  Already went there twice this week.  Big sandwiches = big calories and I'm trying to lose pounds!

Option 4: Panda Express
By the time I take a lunch the food has been sitting under the warmers for about three hours. ...and it's terrible.

Option 5: El Tarasco
Local mexican mini-chain that's quite tasty.  Takes more time than I had today.

Option 6:  ???? Mexican
I've walked by this very old Mexican sit-down restaurant that's connected to a roach motel many times.  This is not charming old--it's dirty, grim, how-is-it-open old.  I don't even know the name.

Option 7:  Taco Bell  (yes, nearly half the options are Mexican)
Yup, it's gross.  But it's cheap and I didn't want a deli sandwich.  As gross as it is I can order something that does less calorie damage than anything at El Tarasco.  So that's where I went today.

2.5 hours later and I am regretting the taco supreme and blackjack taco (a taco supreme in a black shell with blackjack instead of cheddar cheese).  I could go on a rant about the need to invent weird variations on the taco every other month--do we really need a taco with cheese sandwiched between BOTH soft and hard shells?-- but my stomach hurts too much....

What the hell was I thinking, again?  I should have driven somewhere.  What ever I saved in calories I gained in meat bacteria.



Again and again and again and again....

Life would be easier if I was a robot.  And I don't mean so I could get more done in this world -- (you'd need a clone for that, duh.  HELLO Multiplicity?!)  I just find myself at work completing the same inane pointless task or similar task over and over and over. Yes, task. That's all I do is tasks.

Don't I exist to create?  To do work that requires actual thought?  To bring life experiences into my work and my product?  To make things better through idea?

Yes, I do.  And on those rare occasions when I feel like I'm accomplishing those things, I am exceptionally happy that I'm not a robot.  Last night I broke through some self-inflicted neurosis and got some ideas on paper. Ideas that can help bring progress to a project that I've been frankly afraid to move into new territory. Robot me couldn't do that. Of course robot me would have never begun a creative endeavor to begin with. 

So why the drive to drop the emotion and process like a motherboarder?

It's my day job. My 9-5.  My creative vacuum.  I spend so much energy processing with dry cold detachment that I begin to forget how to be creative by the time each day ends.  It's draining to process...to JUST process something in a way that's designed not to be good or interesting or relevant, but instead only meet the needs of gaining singular approval.  It's exhausting to grind out material below capability because the best isn't what anyone in a position to decide actually wants.  The lowest common denominator is easy to find, but it drains your soul every time you give it a treat.

Anyway...the goal isn't to fall into a pit of despair. That's not where I am. I accept that things are what they are for as long as they are.  Change can come, but until it gets here, it'd be nice to be a robot during the day so I didn't have to fight and struggle to relight that creative fire each and every night.  Go to bed excited. Wake up a robot and go to work. Then at the end of the day I become a human again with the drive just as strong.

But no, I've got the up and down... Sometimes it's easy.  Often it's hard.   Occasionally it's impossible.  Only option right now so got to keep the neurotic concern at a minimum.  I need to find a better way.

I'm sure if I became a robot my programming would get corrupted and I'd turn evil and take over the world.  That wouldn't leave much time for writing. 

But I would be a robot king.  That'd be kinda cool.


We DO have seasons in Los Angeles

Last night the temperature hit about 50 degrees at the beach.  Yeah that might not be all that chilly to most people but it's downright cold for LA at this time of year.

The weekend had been gorgeous. Rode my bike at the beach on Saturday and Sunday was spent inside watching football and movies with friends in Hollywood. 

It wasn't until I was almost home Sunday night that the changing weather made itself known.  As I stood outside filling up the gas in Liz's G35, a brisk evening breeze gave me goosebumps for the first time since Spring.

Back at the house I could hear the wind blowing the blinds back and forth before I opened the door.  I closed the windows (again for the first time in over three months) and pulled out the comforter to put on the bed.  I thought about turning on the heat for maaaaaybe 5 seconds then thought better of it.

After a busy weekend I got warm under a blanket and caught up on Dexter and Mad Men.  Then I crawled into the cool bed and fell asleep as ocean wind whistled through the tree branches outside the bedroom window.

Today the temps will hit the low sixties but the air will be clean and clear. It won't be long before the distant mountain peaks will be covered in snow--visible only during the months when the shifting seasonable breezes push out the summer smog. We'll undoubtedly have a few more hot streaks before December, but they'll become distant memories of August as we move closer and closer to the holidays.  I adore a SoCal summer at the beach, but there's something to be said for fall and the subtle change in season that even a hardened Eastcoster can appreciate.

It's a time for long-sleaved shirts, sweaters and sweatshirts.  It's a time for thin scarves and fashionable boots.  It's a time before the rains of winter begin to take the sun away. 

It's autumn in southern California.  And it's perfect.


So this is how it happened according to Grandpa...

Nearly two years ago I attended a work Christmas party at a place I'm no longer employed.  Let's just say I got a little smashed and the night ended with me wandering lost along the streets of downtown LA...

I flew home for the holidays and shared the story. Later that day, my grandfather decided to retell it.  He didn't exactly get everything right.  Here's his version:

And here's what really happened:
(Remember--this was TWO years ago--I'm all grows up now!)

While it's not true that women were banned, it IS true that the party didn't allow significant others-something Liz likes to remind me of consistently.  Truth be told my current company doesn't allow significant others at the holiday party either.  In fact the only time I've ever worked somewhere that allows you to bring a guest, Liz went back to visit the fam early for the holidays and missed the party.  (I won an iPod Mini at that party and gave it to her as a bonus xmas gift).  ANYWAY...

The party was a friday night and began after work.  There was plenty of free booze and dancing.  It was a lot of fun.  When it ended around 10 everyone hopped to at least three more downtown bars.  The Library Bar, Seven Grand, and The Golden Gopher.  I remember things clearly through the second one.  After that point there's a lot haze and holes filled with the words of others.

Apparently I walked outside Golden Gopher to get a cheeseburger from the roach coach parked in front just before the bar closed (this predated the recent age of gourmet food trucks in LA) and something happened to make me want to walk away.  So I walked.  And walked and walked.  My memory clicks back in about nine blocks from the Golden Gopher in downtown LA.  It was around 230AM at this point and I really am in the middle of nowhere.  Abandoned warehouses all around.  There weren't even any cars.  It was very very sketchy.  So I start calling Liz.  I'm leaving messages.  I'm panicked.  At some point I tell her, "If you don't pick me up NOW, you will find me dead!" I never tell her where exactly I am because I don't know where I am.

Then a cab drives by...AND it stops!  I hang up on Liz.

Not really sure 1. why a cab was driving by and 2. why it picked me up.  But of course I'm getting in!

A brief bit of backstory...

At the start of the office party, everyone who needed it was handed a cab voucher.  So the entire night I'm thinking I have this cab voucher that can get me home.  With a tip it's over $80 to get from downtown to my house in Hermosa Beach.

So I get into the cab--voucher in hand--and ask the driver to take me to Hermosa Beach.  Off we go!  About ten seconds after we start moving I see the sign in a 500 point helvetica font attached to the back of the seat in front of me....



I look at my Voucher.


I look at the signs in front of me again.



I check my wallet.   Twelve dollars.

Uh oh.

My phone rings.  I can't get the phone to work so I hang up.  It rings again.  I answer. It's Darrin. OK, this is weird...it's after 230.  Why's he calling me?

Turns out Liz had been playing Rock Band with him online before she got my lost husband call so he was still up.  And after I accidentally hung up on her four or five times, she asked him to make an attempt.  I start ranting about the voucher.  I'm very loud about the fact that I have far below the needed cash and only a voucher.  The driver glances at me in the rear view but keeps going. I hang up on her again midrant.

This whole time Liz had been a worried wreck speeding in her car towards downtown to find my lost ass.  Darrin gives her word that I'm alive and "well"...so she turns around and heads back to the abode.

I'm sitting in the back of the cab silently until we're nearing my house.  I tell the driver that I only have a voucher.  "No vouchers!" he says and pulls the car into a parking lot at a McDonalds near my car.  He locks the doors and we sit there.

I now get a little WEEEEEE bit belligerent.

"I'm going to call the police and tell them you're holding me hostage!"

"OK. You should do that."

So I call....yes...911.  Fortunately at 3AM in Hermosa Beach the cops have already forced out all the bar drunks so I don't think I was disrupting any more important calls.  (They showed up in less than two minutes too!)

Their car pulls up next to the cab and two guys in uniform get out.  The cab's rear doors unlock right before one of the cops pulls a door open.  I get out and he frisks me. I'm sure I argued about that but didn't resist when he said it's normal procedure.  After the frisk I show him the voucher and explain the situation.  I added a bit about doing the right thing by taking a cab rather than drive.

It's clear at this point that they don't think I did anything wrong and they release holding me.  One of the cops finds the 12 dollars in my wallet and asks the cab driver, "Will you accept this $12 for the fare?"  The total on the meter at this time was over $70 at this point.  Now we're across the street from an ATM machine so the cab driver could have insisted, but instead he says OK, gets my $12 and drives off.

I thank the cops for their help but they insist on driving me home--it's only two blocks away.  I live at the bottom of a steep street and right when the cop car rounded the corner to my street something incredible happened.  Just as they let me out, a pickup truck sped backwards up the hill and hit a parked car in front of the police cruiser.  We're all just shocked for a second.  Both cops and I don't move.  Wow...THAT was random.

They send me away and investigate this bizarre car crash.  I walk down the street and Liz is standing on the porch waiting. Half her face says 'glad your alive' while the other half says 'what did you do!?"

As I walk up the stairs she asks, "What is that all over your shirt?"

I look down and my entire shirt is covered in mustard.  Like so much mustard that I had to have poured it all over myself.  "Oh that, that's the mustard."  And I walk by her straight to bed.

The cops investigated the car accident for over an hour eventually hauling off the driver.  I'm sure that wasn't a friendly ride like mine.  Turns out the dude was drinking at a party on our street and was going to drive home to a house only a few blocks away.  His night ended with a DUI on a barely travelled quiet street.  Talk about bad timing.  I think he could have cabbed it for less than twelve bucks too.

And the mustard?  I learned on Monday morning when I ordered that cheeseburger at the roach coach, I almost immediately dropped it and it slid right down my shirt--covering me in mustard.  My embarrassment set off the chain of events that followed.

So lessons learned:
1. Make sure the cab takes your voucher
2. Don't back up a street after you've been drinking
3. Use mustard sparingly after 2AM

Oh and...
4. Always have grandpa tell the story.


A lovely afternoon UPDATE

My car is out of jail.

Found my moleskine.

Going to try and actually get some writing done.

That is all.

A lovely afternoon

I wanted to get into work early yesterday so that I could take off a bit early for an end-of-day haircut appointment.

So I park on Sepulveda--the main highway in front of the building.  Now NORMALLY when I do that, I move my car at lunch and park elsewhere, but on this day I walked to lunch and completely spaced on the parking situation.

At about 5PM, Liz sent me an IM confirming that I'd be home a little late.  Immediately a light goes off above my head. I ran outside.  No car.  It was probably towed 2 hours earlier when the rush hour restrictions began.

I've never felt more stupid in my life.  100% my fault for being an idiot.  Best part is I have a lot where I can park, I was just running late and it can be a long walk with a slow street crossing light. I've never had my car towed before.  I don't even get a cool story filled with excess and adventure to go with it. Just plain old worthless dumb crap.  Not a mistake I'll ever make again.

Call the police.  Get the lot number.  Call the lot.  I can get the car anytime but since it's after 5, it'll be an extra fifty bucks for "afterhours".  I'll wait.

Get a ride over there this morning and when I go to hand over the insurance info the guy says it's expired.  UGH.  I ask if I can put someone on the phone for him to talk to.

"We need something to photocopy"


So I call the insurance company and for some reason that exists just to make my day worse, they tell me it'll take at least 2 hours to fax it over.  Seriously!?

Now I'm back at work with no car.  Not really sure if I'll make it over there again before 5 and that's assuming my rock star insurance company actually pulls through with faxing the updated card.  Just to be safe I tried to login to my account and print a new card.  OK...I can't seem to do that, so I select the option to email documents and get this message:

Thank you for requesting documents.  We will email you confirmation of your request within one day and then your updated printed documents will be sent via mail.
Fuck my life.

(Oh and as a bonus my writing journal filled with notes, etc...is now missing)


Rock says get off those stairs

Liz and I joined Darrin on Friday night for a live performance of the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia musical episode, "The Nightman Cometh" The entire regular and guest cast of the show were slated to appear and perform the fan favorite on stage at the Palladium in Hollywood.  We love Always Sunny, so when Darrin asked us to join, we couldn't answer 'yes' fast enough.

I've never been to the Palladium before but most of the other nights on the six city tour were in seated theatres so were were expecting something fairly intimate going in.

Didn't quite work out that way.

Seems the Palladium holds over 3,000 people in wide oval shaped general admission room that's perfect for bands but not really all that well suited for the kind of event where seeing the stage is key.  The night started with a band we couldn't have cared less about so we spent time waiting in a very long beer line twice. Then we wandered the theatre looking for a place to stand and well...it didn't exist.  Tall Steve, who was also with us, had no problem seeing over the masses but I couldn't see a thing and Liz couldn't less than a thing. This was not going to do.

We tried going upstairs.  That was worse.  Went back down and they started screening a future episode before the cast took the stage.  We couldn't see anything.  Liz took off to find a new location while Darrin and Steve, tired of wandering, decided to just stay planted at the back.  I'm certain Darrin couldn't see either but maybe Steve was going to narrate like one of those dvd audio tracks for the blind.

I went looking for Liz just as a woman was letting her go upstairs to the VIP balcony.  OK, this seemed cool...but we got up there and it was even worse.  Now we were behind people looking down on the stage vs. up.  I think I got a glimmer of a corner of the screen.  I think Liz just saw the backs of many many people.  There WAS an entire seated area with tables...but that was the real VIP and as far as we knew.... we weren't getting access.

So we go back downstairs and decide to stand on the steps along the wall with the many other people who were doing the same.  We could now see perfectly.  But...event venues don't particularly like it when people stand on stairs--that whole fire escape thing and all--so it took less than 60 seconds for the original woman who let us go upstairs to ask us to move.

Liz responded first.   "There's nowhere for us to go!"

"Well you can't stand here!"

Arguing ensued.  Liz and I both got loud and refused to leave.  We accused them of overselling the venue. (Which they clearly had).  She didn't seem to care.  Problem for this poor woman is she didn't carry much authority because no one else moved either.  And at least two more people argued that they couldn't see.  It probably didn't help that I encouraged people not to leave when she asked them to move.

We watched a minute or two of the screened episode before the Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson-type (seriously this dude could have been his stunt double) security manager walked up.  He worked his way walking up the stairs telling people to move and having them do exactly what he asked.  Uh oh.  Moments later we were the only two holdouts on our prime viewing perch.

"You can't stand here"

We gave the same arguments and didn't budge.  At this point I thought we were going to be thrown out. And if that were the case we would have argued our way to a refund and waited til the show ended for Darrin and Steve at the bar across the street.  We couldn't see anyway so what was the loss?

"Your whole posse is gone.  You're still not moving?"

My posse?  Oh, all those other poor saps who couldn't see?  That's cool that I earned a reputation as a rebel rouser in the five minutes we were standing there.  Fight the power!

We argued some more.  Oversold...yadda yadda yadda.  He suggested a few places for us to go and we answered that there was nowhere to stand after each one.

"When the fire marshal shuts this event down all the people in this theater will blame you."

Ah the guilt attempt.  Except for the fact that we'd just get thrown out way before that could ever happen.

"No they won't," I yelled said. "They'll blame you for selling too many tickets.  This isn't a concert. It's a stage show"

He asked Liz if she'd want him showing up at her job and giving him a hard time.  Faux-Rock doesn't know Liz.  "Parents do that to me EVERY DAY!" she snapped back.

"OK. Hold on a minute." He said holding his hand up a bit and clearly thinking.

Was he figuring out in his head how to throw us out?  Liz and I looked at each other, confused.

Suddenly he grabbed the arm of this long haired dude hurrying up the stairs.  "Can you help my friends here find a place to see?"

Next thing we know we're lead up to that seated VIP area and given a 4 person table.  Almost immediately after we sit a waitress comes over to take a drink order.  The preview episode ended just after we sat down (we didn't really see any of it), but the table was a perfect spot from which to watch the main show.  After we caught our breath Liz and I looked at each other and I said, "How did we not get thrown out just then?"   "And how did we get a table instead?" she added.

We tried to text Darrin to meet us, but he never got the messages until after the show.  I never got the name of Not-Rock.  I know we thanked him right before being whisked away, but I'm sure he just thought it was an easy way to shut-up a couple of loudmouths.  Not as easy as showing us the door though--and for that I wish I knew how to send the venue sober positive accolades about him.

And how was the show?  Awesome and hilarious.  But it's Always Sunny...live...in person.   How could it be anything but?


Please like me

Think about this.

Microsoft paid...
-a consultant to say this was a good idea.
-a marketing executive to agree
-a writer
-those four very diverse actors
-a wardrobe stylist  (check out those shirts!)
-a set decorator
-a cameraman
-sound person
-grips and other crew
-an editor
-an entire team to design and create the party kits  (YES, they are real)

Now think...can you imagine a SINGLE person who would actually get excited about this?
0 for 2 on the long form videos now, Microsoft.  

If Windows 7 showed up at my party, I'd douse with gasoline and toss a lit match on him.


To Do that don't Get Done



Stuck in that place where I have too many different things that I COULD be working on so I end up not putting any real focus on any.  Why am I trying to work my way through an After Effects book again?  Oh, that's right, so I can be distracted from working on completing a new script. I make my to do list but it's filled with so much 'to do' that I find myself never really getting deep enough into the things that matter most. 

Yes, complete the script.  Seems pretty obvious. 

But then I get a piece of new creative from a friend volunteering to help on DJ GIRL (yes, it's NOT dead!) and my head goes back to that.

And THEN it will be back to the new script.

At least until I get a short term freelance gig.  Obviously that has to take priority.

THEN it will be back to the new script.

But if I just learned after effects and final cut fully I wouldn't need help and I could get DJ GIRL completely done and out in the world and then fully focus on the new script.

That sounds like a plan!

But I don't really have very much talent for editing (and I REALLY don't know what I'm doing for motion graphics) so the time spent there is probably in vain because nothing good will come of it.  And I constantly remind myself of this when I get distracted from the new script.  Getting by in the software is one thing--but it's not really my skill set, right!


I complain too much.  If I didn't complain so much I'd have 10 new scripts in the last two years. 

So less complaining.  Single task goals.  Only new writing.

Sounds good.   ANNNNNND go team!  I can't wait to get my head back into the project that needs it after work tonight!

Except I just got a freelance revision request, so the script will need to wait.  Seriously I did.  Minutes ago.



Sydney goes Mad Max...

A few years ago on our way back from a wine weekend in Santa Barbara county, Liz and I drove through a very thick fire smoke haze in Ventura that looked this bad.  It was seriously one of the spookiest things I've ever experienced.  Went from bright sunny daylight to hellish Mordor in minutes. Half an hour down the freeway we were back to gorgeous sunshine.

We didn't have that scary face staring back at us though...

More pix of Sydney here


Electric Jealousy

Continued from yesterday...

It's one thing when the power is out in such a widespread way that everyone is in the same boat. It's another thing when I can walk two blocks in any direction and find people blasting football games.

As I sat there playing around with my phone in silence, tired from our San Diego visit, I could hear the distant sounds of people who had modern convenience of electricity. Lame.  Unfair, I say!

With frustration and light disappearing, I decided to investigate--and maybe pick up a cold six pack on the way. (Opening the fridge was obviously a no-no).  At the end of the street I discovered four massive repair trucks setting up in two closed lanes on the Pacific Coast Highway.  On the back of one sat a drill bit double my size.  Not good.

Got to Vons and....closed. No power.  Great.  They even had a refrigeration truck parked out front.  Vons doesn't have an emergency generator?  That's not comforting.  Remind me where not to buy produce for a couple days.  Fortunately, with the limited scope of this power problem, the Ralphs across the street was open--albeit VERY crowded--so I picked up my beer and a few other little things and walked back. By now, it's starting to get quite dark so Liz and I light all the candles we can find.  Neither of us recalls buying at least half of them--but light is light so no matter.

It's not until we're about to eat a late dinner that I remember we have battery powered ipod speakers. I blast something loud to make all the nearby idiots who weren't prepared jealous of our brightly glowing, jubilant apartment. The neighbors were already jealous of the tvs and stereos from two blocks away--now maybe they'd hear it enough to enjoy instead of the dull hum of distant noise. At least that's what I tell myself. We talk about playing a game of scrabble, but Liz decides to head to bed early for recovery from the tailgate sun earlier in the day.

Then...less than an hour after I started playing music and right about when I feel good that we've conquered the great Hermosa Beach 15th and 16th street blackout of 2009, all the power returns.  It's 9:55PM.  Six hours since we got home and about 12 hours after it first went out. Yeah I know.  Not much to complain about, but we don't get power-stopping bad weather otherwise.  Half a day is a big deal for us!   They say the power could be out for two weeks after a bad earthquake.  I have no idea how we'll make it...  

At least I got to see Mad Men.  A John Deere riding lawnmower inside a Manhattan ad agency!?  Of course that's not going to end well!


Chargers to Powerless

My parents flew out to San Diego to watch their Baltimore Ravens challenge the San Diego Chargers. As is custom when they visit my aunt and uncle down south and can't make it up to LA, Liz and I drove down to see everyone. As also is often custom, we ended up drinking a lot of wine.

As a hangover headache ripped through my skull on Sunday morning, I was reminded that at some point several glasses into wine the night before, I challenged my father to an underwater breath-holding contest in the waterfall hot tub.

It was a sorry, painful loss, as I--a non-smoker my entire life--gasped for air while the chain-smoking old fella stayed under.  Such was the shock of losing, that I went ahead and challenged two more times--losing again and again.  I've never much liked to be in the water anyway.  I can probably count the number of times I've been fully submerged in a pool during the last decade on a single hand.  But that's no excuse. It was a terrible embarrassing loss.

So at 7AM, with that biting headache, I'm reminded that I agreed we would join everyone at their tailgate party in the parking lot of Qualcomm Stadium where we would share in some revelry and I would declare to the crowd how awesome dad is.  Less than two-and-a-half hours later, there we were...drinking mimosas...under the sun.  The very, very bright and hot sun.

It was admittedly nice to see everyone for a bit longer. (Including my cousin--briefly at home from Army training all summer before shipping off to Kansas in a few days)  And the headache eventually went away.   By 1PM, the football fans made a run for the gates and Liz and I made a drive for the exit--navigating an ocean of lightning bolts along the way.

Unfortunately, after nearly four hours in the sun with little shade we weren't feeling all that well and it's quite possible Liz had sun poisoning.  The temps read about 85 when we left--but that sun felt as hot as the desert sun on a coachella afternoon.  (Of course this is a complaint coming from the guy who couldn't stay underwater a few seconds longer than his father.)

We stop for lunch (BJs sucks, btw) and got back to the house quicker than our traffic-slowed trek to San Diego 24-hours earlier.  Turn down the street and this workman in a orange vest is setting up a "road closed ahead" sign.  Strange. Never seen them start construction on a Sunday before.  Pull up to the garage and hit the button on the rearview.  Nothing.. Doesn't open.   OK...   I get out and turn the key at door.  Nothing.  Hmmm.  Power must be out.

Head inside and suspicions are proven correct.  No power.  With a little investigation, we track down details...by the time we got home at 4, it had already been off about eight hours and restoration wasn't expected until some time early Monday morning.  Liz passed out in the bed almost immediately--still exhausted from the night before and sun drenched morning.

I'm too tired to go visit friends and too sun drained to hit the beach. So I grab my laptop and collapse into a chair. Maybe I can do some writing.  Open it and...the battery is dead.  OK...this is going to suck.  More to come...


Step away!

At Chipotle for lunch and took a pic of this sign (Excuse the crappy iPhone image) moments after seeing a woman literally reach entirely over the glass to point to the ingredients she wanted in her burrito.

There are four salsas, ma'am.  If you can't explain to the worker which one you want without swinging your grimy hands above all the food, then you don't deserve to eat outside of home.

If I worked there I'd probably chop off the hand of the fifth person that did that with a big chicken-cutting knife.  It's rude, it's annoying, and it's disgusting.  That's why we're all getting sick, people!


Go away. We're closed.

I thought this economy was turning around.

Leave work at lunch all excited to get another tasty chicken and brie panini at the Chef Hannes Cafe right down the street from the office.  It's a very tasty little sandwich.  This is the kind of satisfying work day lunch to look anticipate as the morning drones along.

As I wait to cross the street I plan out in my head if I'll get the side salad or a little bag of chips--Chips it is!  And a bottled iced tea will be the perfect beverage.

The little walking man appears and I strut across the busy boulevard. This is going to be fantastic!  I approach the front door and pull...but...it's locked. There's someone inside dismantling decor who pretends not to notice me.  They didn't even put the obligatory closed sign.   THIS SUCKS.  I've been craving that sandwich ALL FUCKING DAY! 


I make do with an overpriced, less healthy, and less good steak sandwich at the farmhouse deli a few doors up. It wasn't even that bad.  But chicken with drippy brie between pressed bread.....mmmmmmmm.....that's what I wanted.  That's what I needed.  I'd say next time--but next time is impossible when IT NO LONGER EXISTS!

side note...I googlesearched for "closed sign" to find the image above.  It wasn't until after I clicked on it that I realized the origin of the image was www.restoreforeskin.org.  There's a voice for everything, I guess. 


The Audacity of Illness in the Office

While my thoughts yesterday made it quite clear that I have difficulty focusing when sitting at home full of snot and sniffles, it certainly wasn't meant to be an endorsement of the alternative.

I returned to work today. And yes, I'm feeling a bit better. Hopefully, I'm on my way to feeling 100% in a couple days. Plans originally called for me to join Liz at a Killers concert at the Hollywood Bowl tonight. But I've reluctantly decided that's not a good idea. The thought of feeling worse again on Thursday isn't remotely worth it to me. Yet here I am, back at work telling people the very thing I despise hearing from others, "Well, I'm no longer contagious."

It's a lie. Well, actually it could be true. It's entirely possible that I'm no longer an infectious threat to those around me. Truth be told, I do feel a bit better. But I say it with such authority, with such confident vigor, so to ensure that others take it as fact. Why am I such a hypocrite?  I don't know, I guess I just don't want to be "that guy" who comes to work when they clearly shouldn't.

But why do I care?  Why should I feel uncomfortable saying that I have to come to work because the shitty benefits combined with my insanely undervalued salary means I can't afford to stay home another day? It's not like I'm the only one that feels this way. And if I try to Columbo-solve the mystery of how I got sick, there are several suspects in this very office.

There's a lot of talk on the news, from the government, and through memos passed around work that when you're sick, you MUST stay home. We have that whole swine flu  H1N1 thing to worry about!  HR even handed out mini hand sanitizer bottles for our desks. (Well... the cheap generic kind that's thick and smells like a chemical plant. It's the thought that counts, right?) Is the faux-Purell an admission of defeat?  Do they just expect us to bring the virus to work--as long as we wipe the germs off our hands before touching the door knob?  I don't know. 

All I know is that I DO feel a little better. And if declaring I'm not contagious means I don't have to over-explain myself, than so be it.  I made the effort. I went home when at my worst.  Hypocrite or not, I'll continue to be weary of those who claim they're germ-free without spending a bit of time healing up at home.  Wouldn't you?


Activity list for the infirmed

For some people a sick day is just a work day with different colored walls and a sloppy outfit.

Not me.

As any regular reader of my disjointed words knows, I have a hard enough time concentrating when I'm going full strength.  I derail easily.  Sure, it's a lot of excuses, but lets be honest with the facts.  A minor change in plans can throw off my rhythm, this whole sick thing...it just messes with me across the board.

OK, I'm being too hard on myself. I've completed work when home sick before--and not just once.  Working at an ad agency it wasn't a big challenge because deadlines are deadlines and you gotta do what you..well...you get the point.  And yes, my distracted mind has survived the formless existence of a freelance life.

But these last two days...I don't know what it is.  I could have used them to write. ...but why write when you can play a video game?   I could have done a few After Effects lessons.   But why focus on a book when you can watch people argue on CNN?   When you have a day job that's so very much boring, it's seems strange as to take the time away to do something even more so.  ...to enter a veg-state that's just unplugged from the corporate mainline.

Well this isn't a personal day.  I am frakking sick.  And now I'm writing this now.  I stepped away from the television long enough to do it.  Maybe that means I'm getting better.  Could I possibly get in another scene of writing before Liz comes home from work?  That's a fantastic idea.  Let's do it.


My head hurts.  I'm sweating.  I think I need to lay down.

If I make it to work tomorrow, I'll write a scene then.   That's the way things are supposed to work, right?  For now I'm sick.  I'm eating food that's bad for me.  And I'm not going to care.  And any of you voices in my head that want to bitch about it need to shut the eff up.

Liz was home for a bit earlier and told me I look and sound worse than any point since this sick hit me a few days ago.  ...and I'm worried that my To Do list isn't long enough.  In the least, it's a nice distraction.

Words like productivity and exercise don't belong in my vocabulary today.  And for all those workahaulics who, well, work through sick days...suck it.


How I feel...

This about sums it up.


Had some tasty sushi on Saturday night with Steve and then headed home to play Beatles Rock Band with Liz.  Almost immediately after I got home I started feeling the sick.  Ugh.

Yesterday sucked.

Thought I was doing a little better this morning but after half a day was feeling overwhelmed.

I hate the sick.

Not sure where this one originated. There were sick co-workers. I've had sick friends. And apparently there was a sick going around to people frequenting the final NIN shows.  Who knows?  Who cares?  I just want to be better.

I want to be working out.  I want to be writing.  Can't do either of those now. I think I'll go play some Little Big Planet and hope for the best.



I'm exhausted today.  They played for just under 3.5 hrs.  Fantastic show...


1. Home
2. Somewhat Damaged
3. The Collector
4. Discipline
5. March of The Pigs
6. Something I Can Never Have
7. The Frail
8. The Wretched
9. Ruiner
10. Head Down
11. Burn
12. Just Like You Imagined (w Mike Garson)
13. La Mer (w Mike Garson)
14. Eraser (w Mike Garson)
15. The Becoming (Still) (w Mike Garson)
16. Down In The Park (w Gary Numan & Mike Garson intro)
17. Metal (w Gary Numan)
18. I Die: You Die (w Gary Numan)

19. 1,000,000
20. Letting You
21. Survivalism
22. Suck
23. Down In It
24. The Hand That Feeds
25. Head Like A Hole

26. Me, I'm Not (w Atticus Ross)
27. The Warning (w Atticus Ross & Dave Navarro)
28. Piggy (Nothing Can Stop Me Now) (w Dave Navarro)
29. Gave Up (w Dave Navarro)

30. Mr. Self Destruct (w The Dillinger Escape Plan)
31. Wish (w The Dillinger Escape Plan)
32. Atmosphere (cover - Joy Division)
33. Dead Souls (cover - Joy Division)
34. The Good Soldier
35. The Day The World Went Away
36. Hurt
37. In This Twilight


The longest day

I keep looking at the clock and it's as if time is moving in slow motion. After what seems like a half hour, the minute hand clicks to the right a single notch via close-up with a massive bass-like drone.


Making things worse is the fact that I got to work almost 90 minutes early--throwing off my entire schedule. You see tonight is the final Nine Inch Nails show. Yes, the last one ever. Ever. NIN frontman, creator and essentially sole proprietor, Trent Reznor has said he's done with the days of heavy touring with a band and speaks of other projects coming soon. While we all know that the concept of finality in the music industry doesn't exactly carry much weight--it's fairly certain that if Nine Inch Nails tours again in a similar way it's going to be a very, very long time.But hey, 20+ years isn't a bad run.


Since this last stretch of shows was announced in July, it's been nothing short of a struggle trying to find tickets. Very strict anti-scalper measures have made finding extras nearly impossible and with a 2-ticket limit per person, NIN superfan Darrin was only able to originally secure one extra--which went to Liz after her summer back east.  After some options involving complicated coordination seemed to gel last week, I was able to purchase a ticket last night when a handful of extras were released online. Excitement!  We're going to the final show!


This is all made possible thanks to an unfortunate turn of events for some that became a blessing others.  Originally there were to be four shows in various venues throughout LA with the last to be played at the Echo--a tiny 500 person venue in Silver Lake.  Pretty incredible for a band that sells out arenas.  Unsurprisingly, the Echo show was IMPOSSIBLE to get tickets for.  Even superfan Darrin didn't have one.

Turns out Trent Reznor caught himself a flu leading up to the last touring week.  At the dismay of many people who flew into town from all across the country and couldn't stay an extra few days, two shows were postponed a week. All the jackasses were mad... the travellers were pissed that they'd see no show. And those who paid $2,000 to go to the Echo were annoyed that their investment was no longer for THE final show.   Whatever.  Now THE final show is at The Wiltern--an art deco theatre that holds 2200.   And as one fan is saddened, another gets the ticket.


So I've been at work since 7:45--counting the minutes until I can head out at 4, pick up Liz and zip up to the venue.  This will be my 9th (I think) and very possibly last time seeing Nine Inch Nails. That includes a shared show with David Bowie in the 90s, a sold out Hollywood Bowl a few years ago, and a secret practice show Darrin found the tickets in a scavenger hunt that lead to the head of the cougar at the LaBrea tar pits.  I credit Brigitta Kral for introducing me...long, long ago. Thing is back then she was much more likely to track down shows and events.  I guess the roles have reversed.  I never imagined at the time they'd be around this long.


All this exposition and only five minutes of time has passed!?     END DAY!   END!


Cold vs. Allergy

I don't think I'm sick.

*knocks on wood*

Well, I hope I'm not sick.

I have a stuffy nose and bit of a sore throat.  But I'm at that stage where things could go either way.  Is it allergy or is it a full blown cold?

I think I'll just stick to my plan for the evening and go jogging.  Maybe I'll run it out of my system.

Let's hope that works.

*knocks on wood* again.

There's been a lot of shit in the air lately with the fires and whatnot. So that's one in the allergy column.

But, it's been hot and I seem to always get colds at the most inopportune times.  Ugh, one down for cold.

I'm pulling for allergy.  It's my oversensitive white blood cells I'm sure.

That MUST be it.

*knocks on wood* for the third time.

Three time's the charm, right?


A busy labor weekend

It's been a busy couple days.

After celebrating the end to yet another work week, Liz and I ventured to The Landmark to see Extract--the new comedy from Mike Judge.  I thought it pretty much met what one would expect from him, both good and bad.  It was enjoyable but probably better seen on a TV in a couple months.

Liz posted this review to facebook:

Elizabeth Beirne

Saw Extract tonight. Pretty funny (+1), but nothing memorable (-1). Mike Judge has done better (-1). On the other hand, Jason Bateman (+3). Ben Affleck (-4) with a beard that masks his repugnant "aw shucks" permagrin (+1). Kristin Wiig (+0.5) and David Koechner (+0.5). Total: Meh + 0= enjoyable but disposableon Friday
Can't argue with that.

On Saturday morning I took the same hike I've been embarking on solo for most of the summer. ...and I was solo yet again.  I do go fast and it was very hot.  ...but that wouldn't have been the case if she was with me.  Although perhaps she knows me well enough to realize that my trying-to-go-slower speed is probably still too fast for someone who hasn't been walking 5 miles with 1000+ ft of elev gain for the last four months.  Hopefully we'll be on even ground again soon. (And it'll cool down...she doesn't like this heat...)

On Saturday afternoon I headed down to Fiesta Hermosa and picked up a tasty tri tip sandwich.  Thinking about it right now I kinda wish I walked back down there again to have another one.  Dammit. Now I'll have to wait until May.

That night, a couple refuges from the postponed Nine Inch Nails show stopped by for an unplanned gathering with drinks and food at our house.  Some pretty low key discussions about everything ranging from cameras and thai massage parlors ensued.  Fun times.

I woke up with a TERRIBLE hangover on sunday morning from all the beer drank the night before.  It was strange because I don't usually drink a lot of beer if I'm drinking for long.  I think maybe I was just overly full.  A few advils and LOTS of water helped and Liz and I were able to join Kelly for some lunch by the beach in the midst of the fiesta chaos.  (We went sit down--so no sunday tri tip for me).   Liz and I are pretty certain that Kristen Bell was at a table over from us wearing a blue wig. (Disguise or fashion--I don't know).  Sadly I have no photographic evidence of this.  Yes, I'm fully aware of the "pix or stfu" mantra so I guess it never happened.
I tried to find a picture of her in the wig.  With the number of cameras around these parts, stranger things have popped up online in shorter time. Couldn't find anything. But seeing this picture on left--I'm 99.5% sure it was her.  Just imagine she's wearing this wig on the right...

Liz claimed she had on expensive shoes.  I can't speak to that as I wasn't paying much attention.  But expensive shoes in the town with the richest single people in the entire country--probably isn't the end-all indicator.  

Our little Kristen Bell diatribe aside, Sunday wrapped up at Cinespia where we watched Ferris Beuller's Day Off with a couple people in a cemetery.  Liz finally met some folks from work who happened to be right behind us in line.  Strange coincidence that after 15 months at the gig, introductions happen during a big event 45 minutes away from the office.  Whatever the reason, I was glad to finally have people I've talked about meet each other.  Edie McClug, who plays Roony's secretary, introduced the movie after rambling on for waaaaay too long.  It's never good when someone with a microphone says, "Sorry, they gave me all this champagne back there!"  By the end, much wine was consumed by many within the packed crowd.  Liz and I closed the night at home watching Mad Men.

And that takes us to today.  It's been a lazy Labor Day almost by definition.  I got us some breakfast in the morning and we've been relaxing around the house all afternoon--which is nice considering all the running around (and drinking) we've been doing on this holiday wkd.  Making a nice plan for the week and we begin it all again soon...  way too soon...

Today's labels will be brought to you by Actresses of the Weekend, a new show on Bravo....