i think....

....we should change the classifications from "single" and "married" to "has a lot of porn spam in his/her friendster mailbox" and "is obsessed with tiling."

...i also don't understand how in the world anyone would ever buy anything called "Urine Gone."

...i know, i know, there's a civil war on. don't remind me.

R.I.P. Chris Penn

They're showing "Footloose" on HBO right now, and all I can say is....let's hear it for the boy. Let's hear it for my man.

That part where Kevin Bacon teaches him to dance is like a clean bright white T-shirt that says "I Was Gay When Gay Wasn't Cool" in big block letters.


I need a hug. those gamblers give me a headache.
I also need a little bit more money to pay for the final post-production work on TA91. Would anyone like to give me some? (My parents are disallowed from responding to this gaucheness) But really, there's a paypal button right over there ==>
The first person to respond gets a free, unopened HP photo printer. I'm serious.
This is one of those blog moments where half of me hopes to really have a readership, and the other half would be happy if no one reads this shit at all.

things i learned about people i went to high school with while searching myspace & friendster on valentine's day

* the girl with whom my best friend once went on an ill-advised date to the symphony....now apparently is a fashion designer in Italy.
* the girl who once, during a end-of-the-school-year party, might have had sex in my bathroom (not with me) is now a social worker.
* the girl whose dog i once dogsat over the summer....now a big lesbian. and by big, i mean, mentions it like three times on her myspace page, so it's not like i'm outing her or something. she was arguably the prettiest girl who went to my school at the time, now the prettiest girl on my myspace bookmark list.
* the girl who was kind of funny and crazy and dyed her hair a lot....got married, and divorced, and still seems kind of funny and crazy and dyes her hair a lot.
* that girl who i didn't know too well but thought she was fiiiiiiine, is still fiiiiiiine.
* that girl who was Rebecca Romijn is still Rebecca Romijn, and seems to be "in a relationship."

which mc was that?

A video I made for my good friend MC Frontalot is up on his site now. Most of the footage was taken with my cute little cell phone. Frontalot himself does not actually appear as a mass of indistinct blocks in person, much as he might want to. I welcome both comments and indifference.

rock musical redux

Very nearly finished the revamping of our old rock musical "Vapor Tales." It really does help to revisit scripts 10 years later (oh my god it has really been 10 years since I first wrote that shit) and the beautiful thing about plays, as opposed to films, is that you can actually fix your mistakes. And maybe get a chance to perform them again and thereby revisit your youth, except without all the bad dramatic structure, unfunny references and obscure metaphors that you thought were deep at the time. I'm really looking forward to getting this up again, somewhere, anywhere. But I do need a new title.

the neverending battle vs. evil continues, because that is what neverending battles do by definition

Disclaimer: This is another one of those Big Epiphany at Work Posts....
...I moved to Los Angeles partly to pursue filmmaking, but also because living in the Bay Area was a little too easy. Close to my parents, close to everything I knew and had grown up with, I had the easy option of falling into a comfortable, sheltered, family-and-friends-supported lifestyle. I know a lot of people would kill to have this option, but I wanted to disillusion myself of the cheese-and-sundried-tomato comfort zone. From my time in UCLA, I knew that Los Angeles felt more challenging, that the city was populated with desperation and contradiction that my upbringing had largely shielded me from. Basically, I wanted to see the evil shit that was really going on in the world.
...Call it slumming or dilletante-ishness, whatever. I didn't actually wander the streets looking for trouble, but I enjoyed living in Lala land because it felt more on the edge of things, things which would increase my catalog of experience. And as time passed, living here became mainly about the day-to-day routine and I forgot about my fetishistic fascination with whatever "human struggle" I imagined was going on here.
...Yesterday I went to a Superbowl party where I didn't know many people, which was fine. There was something strange about the party though, and I couldn't quite figure out what it was. Then it hit me: everyone was being nice to each other. Not to me, specifically, because I'm a recluse, but there was a baseline civility that permeated the party. And that is weird to me now. And I realized, then, that without really noticing it, I'd found what I had been looking for in Los Angeles.
....Because I work next to some of the most evil people on the planet and if you'd told me they existed before I had my job I would have said you were making it up.
...Now, of course, no group can qualify as "the most evil people." There's simply too many kinds of evil! But I think it can be said that within the California casino gambling community there are people who represent everything that can be wrong about people. Sort of like the credit card commercial where the football players are "metaphors" for the various levels of fraud protection? See, sitting at the table on any given night, you have a veritable color palette of human evil, weakness and stupidity. You have Greedy Guy. You have Sociopathic Wants To Punch You In The Face Guy. You have Say Anything To Take All Your Money Girl. You have Guy Who Acts All Nice And Then You Find Out He Buried His Spouse In The Backyard. You have people who can only communicate through screaming, and people who can only talk if they are lying. You have drug dealers, con artists, gangsters, and whores of all kinds (but generally not the sexual-relations kind). And, as I've found, they're mainly just insane, badly-brought-up people doing their thing, and that's cool.
...But there is another, serious kind of evil that can be plainly observed at work, one which I definitely was fortunate to NOT experience in my youth. It's hard to articulate, but I believe it is the Evil that makes the World Go Round. Basically, it is People Who Use Their Power & Privilege To Fuck You. It is not behavior exhibited by the obviously criminal types, aptly, because there's no law against it. It's mainly the shit pulled by the people who would be deemed by our society as "successful"; store owners, business men, day traders, salespeople, heirs and heiresses and trophy wives. They, in my mind, are the real problem, because they think they can get away with anything. They never ask, but demand everything they get. They scream at the weak and helpless, and take offense at everything. They make up scenarios in which they are wronged by the "help" (the working-class and whatnot) and take action to make life miserable for those people. They are always right. They never apologize for anything, because it is always someone else's fault. Any consequences of their actions, they deflect those consequences to other people who had nothing to do with it. They take stuff from you, never give it back, and never give you anything (because you, in your charming middle-class naivete, believed it maintains the social fabric to lend your jacket to one who asks for it because they are cold, not realize that this is really a sign of weakness, and a primary method of wealth/assets accumulation for the already-very-very-rich).
...So when I say these people are metaphors, I mean all of this should sound familiar. I think we've all wondered what really goes on in the corporate boardrooms and the warlord's strongholds where they make decisions that really screw over tons and tons of people. Tax Cuts for the Wealthy anyone? War to increase Oil Company Profits? Cash In on the Real Estate Market after a Hurricane? Cut Public Education and Increase Spending on New Improved Ways to Kill All The Poor People?
...Do people do these things? People do. And you can say I'm overdramatizing the situation if you want, but I now feel truthful in saying, I see those people every day.

asking for it

And then of course after blogging about how great everything is going, I got sick. No kind of deathly illness, to be sure...probably related to the difference in drinking water between the Bay Area and LA.....but anyway, I couldn't eat anything but crackers and water for about two days there. But then, somehow, I ate a bowl of oatmeal at work, and was restored. So everything is now, with cautious optimism, cool.

Have I mentioned that I love the JACK-FM format? Not only is it like an ipod for 30somethings, it's like the ipod filled with songs that myself I'm too embarassed to even have on my ipod. Yesterday they played these songs consecutively during my rush hour commute:

"Beast of Burden" - The Rolling Stones
"The Heat of the Moment" - Asia

...and one other one which I can't remember and was not so classic-rocky. But the point is, "Beast of Burden" is the song that I listened to so much in crappy bars in unrequited lovedrunk situtations that I got over it as a song, and I'd forgotten how much it kills me every time. Only thru the serendipity of a radio playlist did I again realize how great it is. And the Asia song is, of course, "The 40 Year Old Virgin" theme song, and reminds me of that, although I would never waste the 30-odd megabytes putting it on a CD for myself.

Generosity. That's what I want out of a DJ, or even a DJ-simulator playlist-selection algorithm.


....i'm in a rare, surely temporary state of having my shiznit together, so i wanted to record the moment before i find something new to complain about. a few recent little accomplishments:

- finally found a place in Alhambra that serves dim sum, eat-in and take-out, til 1 AM. this is like a dream come true.
- made it from Berkeley to LA on one tank of gas (about a 10-gallon tank). love that Prius.
- finished a cut of a video for MC Frontalot's "Which MC Was That?" also doing a promo video for my wrestler friends, the Santino Brothers.
- saw the folks over the weekend, wished Mom a happy birthday, and finally threw out three boxes of old ERP props that had been sitting in the attic doing nothing for the past five years.
- had a clever idea while driving for how to revive some of our best songs from the ERP shows; was thusly inspired to finish the overhaul of "Vapor Tales" that I've been meaning to do for a year now; am thinking that it needs a new title, as "Vapor Tales" turns out to be not only the name of a Rush album, but a newsletter for model airplane hobbyists.
- saw a good old friend at the Pub in Berkeley, had a good talk, and went out afterwards for some truly satisfying Top Dogs. Pink's can go suck eggs.
- got an LA city business tax registration for this film production company i supposedly own, and am finally gonna register those DBA names that i should've done last year. you can register 3 business names simultaneously for only a little more than it takes to register one name; i've got two names so far and am thinking about a third. this is all part of that "becoming a legitimate film/videomaking professional" thing that i've been idiotically avoiding up til now.
- have good reason to think that the new sound mixes for TA91 will actually be completed this week.
- got a rough draft of my brother's novel on my laptop; haven't read a whole book in about 3 years, so this is a little daunting.
- finally learned what "sang-froid" means. this is going to be the word of 2006, as "schadenfreude" was my word of 2005.

Happy New Year.