Sunday, February 28, 2010

Insert "lol" Here

About a week ago, my parents had asked if any of my friends had need of a vacuum cleaner. The only taker was Jamal, since he had just moved into his own place. As I was cleaning the vacuum, I found evidence of how old it was. The settings on the vacuum were LOW, MED, HIGH, and SHAG.


I couldn't help but wonder at the age of the machine. Was this vacuum cleaner new when shag carpeting was getting started? Were my parents given the vacuum as a Wedding Gift? Good gravy, was the vacuum cleaner older than me?

Meh. I'll let Jamal deal with it.

I dropped off the vacuum at his mom's place while he was there "visiting" (which is code for "doing laundry"). I ate pizza with them as they talked about their family and how crazy they all are. Turns out they are as crazy as any family.

Topics of Conversation @ Mama Jamal's: Speeding tickets, kids, choking while multi-tasking, Adventure City, the pros and cons of your child becoming a bully, mysterious friends, pending karaoke, New York, the FDA, etc.

Afterwords, I headed to Cerritos to hang out with Aaron, Amy, and Patrick M. Ever since the debacle of democracy last movie night (RoboCop was awesome though), they felt it was necessary to watch The Thing to even the scales. This, of course, is absolutely true. (Insert "lol" here).

As we sat around chatting, we came to the realization that Amy had seen very few movies. In fact, she had not seen any of the Rocky movies. Granted, you only NEED to see I and IV, but it was a gaping wound in an already tarnished record. (Nothing but love, Ams!) We have now been compiling a lit of Must-Sees to combat this lack of proper education.

The Thing is an example of a "Must-See." Kurt Russel is at his best. The pacing is suffocating. The directing is spot on. The location is beautiful and isolating. And the special effects... These set the bar for other movies for years after. They were scary, intense, intricate, and crafted by ARTISTS. Very few creatures were as disturbing as the Thing. And very few movies captured paranoia as well as this movie did.

So yeah, The Thing wasn't half bad.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Double Negatives Be Damned

So Friday was crazy busy. Ridiculous situation with an assortment of wacky times. How did Saturday do in comparison? Not bad, actually.

I had to wake up early again. 4:30 am. But I didn't have to wake up THAT early. I had accidently set the alarm to the same time as yesterday. Genius. Knowing myself, if I went back to sleep, I'd sleep right through work. So I stayed awake and listened to the rain that would possibly cancel the shoot for that morning.

The shoot was for Fountain Valley, and it was a 5K "Fun Run." Fun Run. Right. I ain't never had fun on a run, double negatives be damned. But we only needed to capture the Start and the Finish of the run. The other essential B-Roll footage was the Pancake Breakfast, booths that had been set up in the Gymnasium, and, the cherry on top of the shoot, the "Pet Prance."

Th Pet Prance was any dog and owner combo. Costumes were encouraged, especially if the owner and dog matched. Only one pair did matching costumes, a little girl and her dog "Raichu." Yes, as in the Pokemon. They dressed as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. The costumes mostly consisted of wacky plastic wigs, hats, and paint splattered overalls. But hey, no one else did even THAT much.

My personal favorite was a little dog (shitzu?) wearing a mini leather jacket and a mohawk. The dog could not be less wrong for that look. Shitzus(?) should all be wearing bad sweaters, ugh boots, and sipping frappacinos. Its just not a badass dog like Lassie or that All Dogs Go To Heaven dog. After the shoot, I had morning/lunch with Joe, the dude I shot the 5K with. I owed him lunch from a previous work day. We went to Carl's Jr.

Topics of Conversation @ Carl's Jr.: Orange Sunshine, P.A. war stories, Barbara Streisand, The '60's, famous people, ponchos, using picnic tables to ski, other people's dads, etc.

Afterwards, I headed to Comics Unlimited to get my sweet, sweet fix of comic book ink. I had been getting shaky for a while there. That all sounded really intense, yet I ended up only buying two comics: The Walking Dead (#70) and Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island. I grabbed a late lunch with Lainey while I was there. (Two lunches, WTF? The first meal had been like breakfast, while this one was like "lunch" lunch and I'm just digging a hole). It was at a Chinese place that I want to call "Wok the Wok," but that might just be because I want a Chinese place to be called that.

Topics of Conversation @ Wok the Wok (?): Greedy people, singing deadites, the smell of eggs, everybody lies, a-hole photographers, variety hours, etc.

I headed to Buena Park to catch up with Justin, after picking up Patrick M. We wanted to watch Cop Out, and decided for a 7:35 screening at the Krikorian. Cop Out was not bad. It didn't knock me out laughing, but there were some good, honest laughs to be had. Willis and Morgan worked off each other a lot better than I had thought they would. I was really happy that they had decided to make Morgan's character an actual cop, instead of a moron that couldn't do anything right, which is usually par for the course when it comes to funny cop/buddy flicks. Sean William Scott was a a bit tiresome, but they stopped having him around when I was about to hit my limit. Kevin Smith can direct. The action was pretty well put together, and all the talking bits were perfect, since that's his specialty. All in all, I think Smith needed this movie more than I needed to see it, but well done, none the less.


Friday, February 26, 2010

No-No From The Get-Go

A few days ago, Justin asked me if I could help him on any days of the shoot he was on. It was a movie I shall call "Strippers' Revenge" and I couldn't find any days to help him except for Friday (today). He called me up to give me information on the shoot.

"Thanks again for helping, Nate," said Justin, "And it would be cool to work with you on a movie set again."
"No problem," I said, "I've been wanting to get back on a set."
Justin paused for a moment, "The shoot is at a strip club."
"...what?" I replied, "Seriously? The only day I'm available and it was the day they shoot at a Strip Club? That's crazy!"
"Yeah," laughed Justin, "I'll get the info to you. Where and when and all that."

The shoot was on Friday, and the call time was 6:00 am. It was at a "Gentleman's Club" called Rio. I was up at 4:00 am (staring off into space for most of the time that I got ready), and hit the road around 5:00. I got to Rio, parked, and met up with Justin. We walked around a bit as the crew started setting up.

The Rio was classy in a way that upscale prostitutes are classy. It just costs more, and the upkeep is better. All the walls, booths, and chairs were black. But the floor was entirely carpeted in tiger print. Each wall had a blown up picture of naked women, or at least a version of what Playboy must consider a woman, though they all looked like photoshop facsimiles. Like if Harry Flynt was able to mass produce Frankenstein brides. In the middle of the entire establishment was the Pole. From this pole sprang forth 90% of the money this place made every night. A ring of lights circled the stage, and I couldn't help but be amused at the thought that money was magically summoned forth by the ritual of naked women spinning around it. It was like a Pagan ritual to bring about good fortune. Except instead of pagan drums, they danced to Yin Yang Twins and Katy Perry.

Carissa, the Producer, was finally settled enough to go over our duties for the day, with Justin and Sean, another friend of ours. And as luck would have it, the place she decided to do a rundown was at the front desk of the Rio. And right above this desk is the blown up picture of a very naked woman. And Carissa is a very small woman, so she wasn't hiding ANY of the picture. I try not to be a typical male, but it was distracting.

"Okay, Nathan," explained Carissa, "The first thing we'll need is a food run. We need snacks, drinks, and fruit, to start off with."
"No problem," I said, feeling my eyes slowly drift up towards the picture.
"I'll have Justin do the coffee run," continued Carissa, "And Sean will keep an eye out for the extras."
"Sounds good," I confirmed, curious if that was a birth mark or a scar. No, it was definitely a birth mark...
NATHAN! EYES FORWARD! yelled my brain.

My higher mind and my basic mind were having an argument, all the while Carissa was telling me to pick up donuts and pita chips. The rest of the information was written down, which gave me a chance to focus. I then took off to pick up the supplies.
As I walked through Smart & Final, gradually picking off items on the grocery list, I got a call that Michelle Ryan needed Half & Half for her tea.

Oh, yeah, who's Michelle Ryan you may be asking? She was in a recent Doctor Who special called "Planet of the Dead" (I wrote about it already, woot), and she had been the new Bionic Woman on the recently short-lived show. Lovely lady with an English accent. What else do you need?

It would take me nearly a half an hour to get back, so it was quickly decided that it would better if I just picked her up a new tea from Starbucks as well as the Half & Half. This is an adventure in its own right, because the nearest Starbucks was in Downtown LA. More specifically, the unofficial 10th Ring of Hell. As I circled around TWICE, I finally stumbled upon a parking spot right next to the coffee shop, got the tea, and headed off to the shoot. Michelle Ryan was pleased with the tea and cream, and the food was dropped off with no problems.

As we got situated, the extras started coming in. We sent them to their designated spots, and I went to work setting up the craft services (food tables). Eventually, the crew was done setting up for one of the first shots. And it turned out they would need another couple of extras, which, as luck would have it, would be Sean and I. So we sat down in the spots we would need to be for the next hour or so.

It turned out we would be audience members for Michelle Ryan's pole dance scene.

If I hadn't been assigned as an audience member for this particular scene, I probably would have snuck a few peeks at the performance, but mostly have been a gentleman and not stare for very long. But now it was my job to stare right at her. Like I had payed to see her gyrate on stage. It was surreal, and be only one such moment in a string of similar strange moments. Over 5 takes later, I was impressed with her abilities. She was doing stuff that honestly made me wonder how much she had had to practice to pull off the routine she had put together. Either way, I am now in the movie. I'm hard to see, but I would be able to point myself out during a viewing.

The day didn't stop being odd.

Lunch eventually arrived, which were awesome (if overpriced) sandwiches. I didn't have to pay for my lunch, since it was kind of my compensation in the first place. It was during lunch that concerns about the quality of character that some of the extras were exhibiting started to come to light. A beer disappeared from the bar of the Rio. An actual beer that was not even close to being okay for anyone to take. The crew was clean, because there just was no point to taking it, especially since they knew they would probably get fired if they tried to pull something like that. The main actors could have a beer if they really wanted one, but they were too professional for that.

That left the extras.

And a man in a fedora in particular was showing signs of d-bagism. He tried to chat up a lot of the scantily clad actresses, which was a no-no from the get-go. And he kept trying to take food that wasn't his. Basically, the guy was unprofessional as hell, and the Prop Master did not like him at all. But the whole day was not bad. Far from it, in fact. I got a Porn star's sandwich order (tuna), I found out that Michelle Ryan drives a bad car (Kia), and saw two grown men gently embrace (wha?).

Allow me to elaborate.

As I was at the bar/craft services, I was looking at the next shot being set up. Emmanuelle Chriqui was doing her scene, which involved a fantasy/dream sequence where she interacted with the audience members that were watching her perform. This involved two very muscular guys in the front row, one was white, and the other was black. I didn't know what their bit was going to be.

"Okay guys, get ready for your scene," said the director.
"On it," they replied.

So they started taking off their clothes.


Yep, the two guys stripped down to their underwear. And the scene involved them freezing in different positions. Yeah, doesn't that sound like the recipe for something really creepy? As it turned out, they started with the white guy holding the black guy in his arms, and both of them staring lovingly into each other's eyes. Then they were frozen in a spanking position. And then in an almost kissing pose. It went all like that for a while. The whole time I was refilling a bowl with pretzels and thinking to myself "This is actually happening."

And the show went on. Shoot a scene. Set up. Shoot a scene. Set up. So on and so forth. Lather, rinse, repeat. It was a blur after a while. One of the most disorienting aspects of film shoots is the repetition of moments. Over and over again, I would have deja vu. The waitress would walk by just like so. The main character would then leave the bathroom. And an extra would sit down at their mark exactly the same way each time. Its exhausting, methodical, and incredibly important for editing. We were making good time.

Or so I thought.

The very last shot for the day was being set up, exactly on the deadline for the day. We needed to be out by 6:00 pm. We hadn't even moved anything by 5:45 pm. If we went over, it could cost the production $1000 for an additional hour at the location. Nerves were getting frayed, time was being burned, and takes were being flubbed.

We didn't get out till 6:20.

At 6:00 all the shots were finally done, and so we undertook the agonizing ordeal of cleaning nearly every square inch of a Strip Club, and to remove each piece of film equipment. And somehow... some amazing way we did it in 20 minutes. I had never seen anything like it. Everybody, absolutely everybody lit a fire under their rears, and cleaned that place up. We moved so fast, that the owner changed his mind on charging us a grand, and settled for $300. We were hoping to not be charged, but a $700 discount was better than nothing.

I said goodbye to everybody and took one last glance at the Rio. "This actually happened" I thought to myself. When I got home, I fell asleep as soon as I hit the pillow. Because I had to wake up at 4:30 the next day for an entirely different shoot.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fanboy Joy

I didn't mention beforehand, but I've been unable to go to the shop, thanks to a combination of work and lack of money reserves. I had to play it careful till Friday. So cheap eats and chill peeps, buckaroos! But the lack of comic book stimulation was starting to get to me.

I would like to take this opportunity to let you know what the heck I'm reading these days.

List of Nate's Comic Book Faves - 2010!:


The Walking Dead

Green Lantern

Green Lantern Corps

Secret Six

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 8)

Guardians of the Galaxy

Blackest Night

Demo (Vol. 2)


House of Mystery

-Invincible is great because it takes all the cliches of superhero books and puts a fresh spin on it. And the action is awesome.
-The Walking Dead is like a continuous zombie movie, showing you what its like to live/survive in a world overrun by the dead. And sometimes, the worst enemy is the live ones.
-Green Lantern took a turn that works incredibly well for me. But it doesn't always work for everyone else, which is fine. But the action and scope is massive.
-Green Lantern Corps has my favorite of the four human Green Lantern characters: Kyle Rayner. And they paired him up with a spot on Guy Gardner. Its like a Superhero/Cosmic Buddy Cop movie.
-Secret Six just has great down-and-dirty fights and dialogue and situations. Characters that shouldn't work together at all end up interacting in very interesting ways.
-Buffy the Vampire Slayer is referred to as "Season 8" because Joss Whedon, the creator, is fully involved with this comic, having written issues himself, and then delegating to former series writers and huge comic talent. This is THE comic book for Buffy fans.
-Guardians of the Galaxy was not a book that I thought that I would like. But its pace, action, and dialogue continually win me over.
-Blackest Night is the only comic event that I'm reading.
-Demo (Vol. 2) is the second coming of one of my favorite "indy" duos. Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan tell some of the best stories this side of comicdom.
-Criminal is crime noir at its absolute best. You need to read this comic with a glass of whiskey in one hand and a dame with legs up to here walking through your door.
-House of Mystery just keeps dishing out variety and style aplenty. Check it out if you want to know who is the best students in the School of Moore and Gaiman.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Eye By Four

I had a shoot in the morning at Lakewood, a Business Forecast, and then headed to Norwalk to finish the night. Not a thrilling day, but it did bring up a good question:

"Can anyone get a small business loan?"

Now for you who read my little meanderings, you'll have to bear with me as I am about to write completely from the hip, with no research, and absolutely no right to write about concepts that are out of reach of my little comic geek mind. But didn't the government stimulus go to the top of the executive elite, and then stop dead? It was supposed to go to banks, which were then supposed to give them to us. That hasn't seemed to happen. If fact, it seems as though they decided to stockpile the money, in case one of their yachts need a new coat of paint.

Say I own a small business. The name of the business is "The Infinite Imporium of Incredible Items". "Imporium" is spelled wrong because it would catch any potential customers' eye, also it implies magic, due to the "Imp" in Imporium. I will even have business cards that call it as "Ix4" (pronounced "Eye By Four") for the cool kids in the Know. It has been doing well. Not great, but I've made ends meet. I've even been able to pay off my original debt, and SHOULD have been in good standing, credit wise. But ever since the recession, the credit companies have been putting the screws to a lot of small businesses, mine included. Cutting back on credit limits, increasing interest rates, and generally being D-bags.

I don't owe money, but the credit companies have lowered my line of credit, making it impossible for me to have any form of financial cushion. But I still have funployees (they would even have to refer to themselves as "funployees") to pay, and expenses to be met. In what way am I supposed to turn to before I consider the exciting field of bank robbery? Steps need to be taken to make it so people can not only attempt to make new businesses exist, but that others have an equal chance to maintain their businesses.

Aw forget it. Just Eat the Rich.


On a complete side note, Ix4 would sell mostly comic books, french fries, and dreams. Also, it would have movie screenings and community film development deals. If interested in opening a franchise near you, please contact Nathan Schulz and give him a ridiculous amount of money.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I was woken by a call on my cell phone.

"Hey, Nate," said Joe, one of my co-workers from PCTA and Lakewood.
"What's up, Joe," I mumbled, shaking the sleep from my head.
"Where are you at?" he asked.
"Uh," I hesitated (I actually hesitated), "Home."
"Are you going to be on your way?" he asked.
Am I doing to be on my what? I thought to myself.
"What? Why?" I asked, "Is there a shoot today?"
"Yeah," he answered, "Wait, are you scheduled?"
"I... don't know," I stated. At this point I was racking my brain for any memory of a shoot today.
"Hold on, I'm gonna call Louis," said Joe. (Louis is my boss at PCTA).
"Okay," I said, still not sure if I was dreaming.
While Joe called our boss, I checked my e-mail for any mention of a shoot for the 23rd of February.

Yep. There was. And I was scheduled.


I got another call from Joe.

"Yeah, Louis says you were scheduled," confirmed Joe, "Can you come in?"
"Yes," I said, not even close to being ready to go to work.

I practically only looked at the water in the shower, before I was out the door and heading to Westminster. The shoot was something about Business Excellence and Citizens of the Year. Honestly, I was too busy to really think about it. This feels like its the case for me more often than not. I'm usually so busy trying to get ready, and then too busy focusing on the shot, to have a chance for my brain to register what I'm shooting. Especially this morning.

The shoot went off without a hitch, and I got free lunch to boot. (Thanks to LaVeda and some cool Westminster official like people). We were barely half-way through breaking down the equipment before I had to take off to get going to Norwalk. Again, let me reiterate... Hectic Day.

I'm just glad to be done with it...

....because tomorrow is more of the same. :-O


Give 'Em Soul, Schulz

February 22, 2010:

I had to light a fire under my behind cuz I was already starting late and would barely get to work on time. No time to waste time, folks! As I got to Lakewood, I had to grab all the stuff I would need, including the new handy dandy phantom powered audio equipment. I rushed over to the City of Commerce to shoot the latest Central Basin water whatchyacallit, and was quick to be reminded of the saying "Hurry Up and Wait."

Its strange to be in such a rush to get to a place, so that when I get there, I feel I'm in a rush to not be at that place.
After that barrel of fun, I was out and on my way to Norwalk. This week was looking to be the most hectic I've had in a long time. Monday was a double work day. As was Wednesday. (So would Tuesday, surprise!). And I came to realization that I'm working everyday this week except for Sunday. Feast or famine, and it looks like I'm going to be having seconds.

As I got out of Norwalk I got double information regarding what I'd be doing tonight.

a. Justin called me up and wanted to hang out and watch Give 'Em Hell Malone.


b. Lainey informed me that karaoke was happening later that night.
I headed over to Justin's and we watched the movie he had rented:

Give 'Em Hell Malone is a Noir inspired movie starring Thomas Jane. Its a movie that barely gives an excuse for a badass anti-hero being badass. And you barely ask for one. But in the end, if you mull the story around in your head, you end up asking for that excuse. This is due to the fact that some of the motivations are a little muddy. Why does that dude do that, when the other dude does this? Malone is the kind of flick that if you think about it for more than a minute, than it could get ruined. But the opening is fun, and the movie never tried to say it was more than a gleeful romp o' babes, bullets, and badasses.

After the movie, I headed out, picked up Lainey, and headed to a night of:

The place we went to is a Steak House named Harvey's in Huntington Beach. (Yes, the irony that Lainey, a Vegan, wanted to go to a Steak House was not lost on me). The quick rundown is that Lainey goes to support a friend of hers that hosts a Karaoke night, at least when she can. But she doesn't want to be the only one, so she asked me to add my warble to the din. I agreed, because she asked. And also because I have discovered that I might have a karaoke addiction.
Its more of a recent discovery in the last 5 to 6 years. I never thought that I could get so feverish in my interest to butcher classic songs. But its hard to find places that don't suck, and that I don't need 20 people to come along with me. Its funny how in this week alone I went to two different karaoke bars. Though I ended up only singing in this particular joint. I didn't really sing many songs by myself, but I sang along to almost all of them.
Songs Sung @ Harvey's: [SOLO] "Mr. Blue Sky" by Electric Light Orchestra and "What's So Funny (About Peace, Love, and Understandin'?)" by Elvis Costello. [GROUP] "Buttercup" and "Friends in Low Places."
There were A LOT of other songs that were thrown around by other people, and Lainey sang a few (which I will leave a mystery, because I think she'd like you to guess) but eventually there was an impromptu dance segment. All I know is that I heard "Soul Bossa Nova" and I knew I couldn't just sit back and NOT relive all my ridiculous Austin Powers dancing fantasies. I dragged Lainey up and we busted a groove with a bunch of people I didn't know. I was trying my best to do Conan O'Brien's puppet dance, with a smattering of the Robot, and after "Twist & Shout", I had to sit down and try not become the first fatality from overdoing the testimonial.
All that wackiness and not a drop of alcohol to fuel it. I usually need at least one shotgunned beer to put out the energy I did. Luckily the place wasn't very packed, or I might have chickened out. Either way, at the end of the night, I had that high feeling I get when I sing too hard and am properly embarrassed. It was a good night. Who's available for some more karaoke?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Oh No I'm Blogging About Blogging

In this episode, I struggle to come up with something to write about.

I've written over 50 blogs. I don't even.... whoa. And I'm feeling it. I'm feeling the number drag on me. I've really tried damn hard to not be boring, but really, what chance do I have of pulling that off? Because that's probably a statistical impossibility. For example: I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But I would be the first to tell you that not every episode was astounding. Some episodes honestly sucked.

And now that's the case with my blogs.

This feels like one of those filler episodes from Buffy. Like for no real reason, there's an episode with a Frankenstein-like monster. There might be a theme, but in all honesty, its just letting the intern take a crack at writing, so that the main writers can think up the episodes that should win Emmys. Maybe I should add some sad Afternoon special energy to this entry.

But, really, this is the first time I've ever tried to write down my thoughts or events from my day in an organized and controlled structure. I have some friends who have written in a journal for years, but maybe that's the difference. If I was just writing strictly for myself, then would I ever try to be funny or to spice up my writing at all? Maybe that's the whole experiment then. For me to try, win or lose, to entertain someone other than myself for a consistent amount of time for as long as possible. And to have some actual output.

That was therapeutic.


Time Teeth Between Pineapples

February 20, 2010:

Jamal called me up and I went over to his place to hang out. I had to be careful today because I was very broke. I needed to be sure that whatever went down, that I had enough money to drive to and from work for the week. Everything else could be figured out on the fly, but gas was not one of those items. Luckily, hanging out with Jamal need not be expensive. In fact, we are both movie buffs and the line-up was going to be sporadic, especially with Ben joining us later. The first movie we saw was:

Time Crimes. Justin lent this movie to me a while back. I had yet to see it, and decided today was the day to watch it. Okay, I'm not going to wrap up my thoughts in mystery: I ended up being very annoyed with this movie. The concept is pretty strong, and how it was shot was very well done, but the overall story and lead character were f**king stupid. The main character is named Hector, and that's about the limit of personality or charisma that you will get out him. He has a name and he has never, ever, under any mutherf**king circumstances seen a time travel movie, nor heard of the concept. It was annoying how he didn't understand the danger he was in, even when a friggin' scientist explained it to him. And then one questionable moral decision after another and I'm not sure what I'm supposed to think about Hector.
I don't want to say anymore for fear that I give away the movie. But I do want to give the concession that this movie wasn't awful, because it comes down the viewer. If you (as I did) don't go along with some of the first steps of the movie, then Time Crimes will not gel with you. Check it out, if you feel like it.

Next up was Two Front Teeth. Ben brought it, and I was intrigued by the potentially awesome ideas that were listed to be in this movie: Vampire Santa Clause, little monster elves, ninja nuns, silly gore, and C-grade acting.

And amazingly enough, Two Front Teeth failed.

I watched the whole movie in shock. There was awful acting, but it was too awful. There were little leather clad monster elves, which were cool. There was a black cowboy that is never explained. The two leads couldn't have been more annoying or hateful. The ninja nuns (called the "Silent Knights" ho ho ho) would have been cool, but were gone in minutes. How the hell could a Vampire Santa movie not be an epic victory for me? I'm friggin' easy, damn it! I watched this movie with the mind set that it was a B-movie wacky fest, and I was still angry after the credits rolled.


Watch this movie if you want, but... I don't know. Watch it and let me know if I love for bad movies is slipping. Maybe I'm just not the sad little movie geek I used to be.

The next thing we watched was six episodes of a BBC show called The InBetweeners. The concept really couldn't be easier to explain. Basically, its an English version of American Pie, but as a TV show. Four horny teen aged guys looking for love/lust who are friends because they're the only ones that can stand each other. Okay, I'll be the first to cite them for going for the easy laughs, and its a concept older than the four lead actors cumulative age. But the writing pulls out some surprises. Nearly every episode ends the way that real moments in actual teenage life ends: awkward and pointless. But not in a dumb way, mind you. It just points out how High School issues are never neatly resolved or logical at all, and are funny because we were all that stupid once, or at least stupid enough to listen to stupid friends.

And the show did something that I thought was nearly impossible at this point. In fact, its one of my favorite bits in all of the six eps that I saw. The InBetweeners was able to capture a difficult moment. And that special moment is the retarded teasing that goes on in friendships. Not really hurtful, just stupid and funny because it was in the moment, and is ridiculously silly. One of the four lead characters refers to a guy that the others don't know as a "friend" and even goes so far as to give the unknown guy a double thumbs up. And for almost no reason at all, the other three start making fun of him for it. And its not really clever teasing. In fact, its the kind of bored, unnecessary teasing that friends give to each other. This struck me as the most amazing, funniest, and human moment in all the episodes. The thread goes further, but I'll leave that to you to watch.

After that, Jamal, Ben, and I headed to a bar called the "Pineapple Grill Tavern." (I might be wrong about the name). I wasn't sure what to think when I got to the front door. It was nestled between a Chinese fast-food restaurant and a Nail Salon, and couldn't look less impressive. But when we opened the door...

It was a friggin' TARDIS!

The place was surprisingly big on the inside, and looked really homey and well lit. Not at all the dive bar of broken dreams and lifetimes of horrid decisions that I had in mind. And even better? Karaoke. That's right, karaoke, comfortable chairs, and a full kitchen. How the hell was I not already three sheets to the wind and half-way through the song list? (It might have something to do with that being broke business).

Topics of Conversation @ Pineapple Grill Tavern(?): Questionable first impressions, mysterious friends, dating imaginary sisters, High School shenanigans, detention dodging, bad karaoke singing, hipster hatred, Evil Dead the Musical, putting things on Front St., etc.

So the night was winding down when one of the last karaoke singers sang a song that I didn't know existed. Its called "Strokin'" by a fellow named Clarence Carter. This song is every bit as bad as it sounds, and it doesn't take much clarity of mind to figure out the point of the tune. But what killed me, and I mean ripped me up with laughter, was the guy that was singing it. It was this black guy wearing a "TAPOUT" T-shirt, and this dude was feeling this song. He was humping tables, grooving to the lyrics, and asking the audience questions. He was the king of the karaoke hour, and we were his entertained subjects. I was almost crying from laughing by the time he was done. Best thing I've seen in a long damn time!


Friday, February 19, 2010

Phantom Power

I worked for about two hours at the City of Lakewood, and it was mostly to learn how to work the new equipment. Something called "Phantom power" was the main focus. For new sound equipment that they had just bought. I've deal with this odd idea once before back in my Proud Father days. (My god, I can refer to those days in past tense). Phantom power is just a slick way of saying "It needs more than one power source."

After that, I would have work for the PCTA shooting a musical play in Westminster. But that wouldn't be for another three hours, so I made a dumb move and went to Comics Unlimited. This was a dumb move because they were working, while I was merely killing time. I made an attempt to get a pointless conversation going with Lainey and Nancy, to reenact the wonderful random talk of Wednesdays.


You see, Wednesdays are a little more easier for them to participate in random convos. Too many people to do anything but talk and sell, so its not as much a hindrance. But Friday is when they have to do nitty-gritty real work stuff, not the little dream that I have in my head. Here's how it went today:

ME- "Wow, can you believe there's a Beatles Trade Paperback?"
LAINEY- "Yeah, crazy."
NANCY- "Huh."
ME- "Yep. Oh, check it out. John Lennon got killed in this panel a lot like Batman's parents did."
LAINEY- "I love John Lennon. Why would you say that? I hate you." (I added the last bit for dramatic effect).
ME- "Wow, look at the time! I need to be going to something."

So I got the hell out of there before I truly killed my welcome. (Yes, Lainey was just teasing. But I figured I'd get out before I wasn't being teased anymore). I headed over to Panera to buy a free water and write ideas down for a skit. Finally, 3:30 rolled around and I headed to Westminster to shoot the musical play. I found out the title when I got there:

Murder On The High C's!

Oh you know wackiness is afoot with a title like that. We had to set up cameras and audio. We actually set up in rapid order, feeling pretty awesome about ourselves. We had time grab lunch and talk about nothing in particular.

Topics of Conversation @ Rose Center Theater: My co-worker's Ron Jeremy story, furrys, dumpster treasure, Halo 3 documentaries, camera work for the sake of redemption, Tommy's Burger and the guilt it brings, zombie fortification, etc.

Murder On the High C's was actually pretty good. A self-aware musical that got a kick out of breaking the fourth wall. The singing was pretty spot on, and the entire plot wasn't too bad, if a little by the numbers. The only problem was that the head on the tripod that I was using for my camera was massively off balance. It was my fault for not double checking whoever set it up in the first place, but it was so front heavy that the camera CONSTANTLY leaned forward with almost the entire weight of the camera. This is bad because that guarantees that smooth shots are nearly impossible, especially if you need to follow someone. I had to hold the camera perfectly still for over an hour, at the same time, making sure that I kept the subtle vibration, from the shaking of my tired arms, from affecting each shot.

Good times.

I was later able to fix the head to a point that I was able to actually relax for most of the second half of the show. The shoot went off without any obvious hitches, and we broke down everything with minimal effort.

Blah blah production assistant blah.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Moody Brooding

Not all job fairs are created equal. In fact, some want to make you consider the quick thrill of suicide. In point of fact, I submit to you the Job Fair I went to in Garden Grove. I woke up early, for me anyways, and headed out wearing a buttoned-up shirt, nice pants, a tie, a smile, and the hopes and dreams of a young, jaded American male. I also brought along 20 resumes.

None of the 20 were used.

Instead of finding jobs that seemed solid, with the coveted upward potential of being able to move out of my parents' house, I found possible scams and shady occupations. And law enforcement. There's always law enforcement. In all honesty, I didn't find any job opportunities that CraigsList didn't already beat them to the punch and post. And as we all know, CraigsList is a hive of scum and villainy.

Dejected, I headed home, laid in bed, put on my headphones, and set my iPod to "moody brooding." (This consists almost entirely of the album "Sea Change" by Beck). One of my favorite lines is "Let the weight of the world drift away, instead." You said it, Mr. Hanson. I also listened to a morose mothertrucker that goes by the nom de plume "Big Phony." Big Phony has confessed that he may not know how to write happy music.

I looked at the clock and realized that I'd better hurry or I'd miss out on lunch with Lainey. She accused me of only wanting to hang out with Hemlock, her kitten. I laughed it off and assured her that that was wrong.

All lies, of course. Have you seen that kitten? KEWT. (And I even misspelled "cute" on purpose. I am so incredibly gay right now).

As I got to her place I realized that we probably would not know where to go for lunch. Friggin' what is the deal with that? No matter who, what, where, when, why, fuggin' HOW, I always have this problem with every one of my friends:

ME- "What do you want to get to eat?"
THEM- "I dunno. What do you want?"
ME- "Ummm... I'm. Not. Sure..."
THEM- "Oh."
ME- "What about you?"
THEM- "Oh..."
ME- "I don't want Indian."
THEM- "Uh. Burger?"
ME- "Cool. What place?"
THEM- "I dunno. What do you want?"

And its annoying, because I'm always down for Italian, but there is never an Italian place nearby. I have dubbed this the "Italian Restaurant Conundrum." I haven't done any real research on this phenomenon, but I'll get to the bottom of it. Lainey mentioned sushi and I agreed. Crisis averted... this time. I already forgot the name of the restaurant, but they had a cool deal of Buy An Order, Get One Free for sushi. You essentially double whatever you order. I got Crunchy rolls, and Lainey got Cucumber and Avocado rolls. I bought her lunch for her, so now she owes me. FRIENDSHIP: An intricate system of debt, whereby one or both parties constantly owe each other time and money.

Not bad sushi, by the by.

Topics of Conversation @ the Sushi Place I Can't Remember the Name Of: Photo shoots, hobo dirt, octopus and calamari, paychecks, a cat named Lux, methods of procuring money, Big In Japan, replacing the letter "i" with the letter "y", the fact that blood from 1980's Germany is no good in America, bicycling at night, cat videos, etc.

By the time we were done, I had to hit the dusty trails and head to work. (I was only able to hang out with Hemlock for a scant few minutes. Curses!) Norwalk was going to be a long day because I had to log tapes. Logging tapes... how do I put this eloquently? It sucks donkey eggs. Logging tapes entails writing down the info of each individual tape, put a sticker on each, and write a number for each. And I had to look through each tape that had cryptic titles. (For example- "Construction" 2009, or "Events" July, 2009). It took about five hours. By the time I was done, I couldn't look at a Mini DV without flinching.

Victor called me up and wanted to hang out. I picked him up from CSULB and headed to a place called the 49er Tavern. It was your basic tavern next to a college campus. The burgers were pretty good. But its probably not a place I'll be coming back to any time soon. We then headed to Yogurtland to chill out and actually talk comfortably, without having to yell over "Fuel" by Metallica.

Topics of Coversation @ Yogurtland: Victor of Zur-En-Arh, unexpected combinations, tests that you fail just by taking, tough lovin', Kevin Conroy, acid painting, "Silent Night, Robot Sex Night", editorials, how guys can't take pictures of girls on campus, FDA, etc.

I took off for home, feeling tired yet content. Busy day.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Half-Assed Journal Entry #03

Woke up in time to head out to Comics Unlimited.

Topics of Conversation @ Comics Unlimited: The Lobster King, tube technology, Birthdays, cooking scars, hulk paraphanalia, delivering other people's stuff, etc.

You know what? Things always come in threes. Even (especially) Half-Assed Journal Entries.

Don't worry. The next blog will make up for this fart of a blog.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

FBI Warning

Twiddling my thumbs and shaking my head as I send out resume after resume into the void that is the job application process. I've never been one to have a great memory when it comes to addresses and phone numbers. Especially concerning jobs I had years ago. My reference sections always seem thin on information, and I have no doubt that very few employers are liking the part of the section where I state that I am still currently employed at my job in Norwalk.

So this morning was spent looking for, and applying to, various jobs in the restaurant, customer service, film, non-profit, for-profit, my-profit, etc., etc. fields. I was pretty bored with my own resume at this point, and ready to go to the sweet occupation I already have. Thank you, City of Norwalk, for employing my nearly-depressed butt. But as I was still on my computer, wasting other people's time on facebook, I noticed that little ad on the side bar about the FBI hiring.

What? Really? Can I be Mulder? What about Scully?

There was a time in High School that I honestly considered being an FBI agent. Special Agent Nathan Schulz. That doesn't sound awful, right? And I had watched enough X-Files to think that I might even have a shot getting the weird cases. Cuz, I'll be honest... I ain't into going undercover, or busting people on weed rings, or the awful things that are out there. I was down for two possible assignments:

1. The X-Files (or any equivalent). I would love to get involved in the weird cases. I'm not concerned with other FBI Agents thinking I'm cool or someone they want to drag along on some cocaine bust. No thanks. I want the unsolved/strange case of "The Reptile Man of Santa Barbara" or "Weather Balloon Crash of '88." That would be awesome.

2. The FBI Warning Agent. I wanted to be the agent that is directly involved with whoever has to deal with this. Not as a career, or anything. Just to say I was one of the Agents that you were warned about in the beginning of every movie I had ever seen. That would be funny, and would have to offer up at least one awesome story.

At Norwalk, we had to shoot a Council meeting. And for those that are fans of continuity and re-occurring characters, Sam Darling was there. No crazy long night this time, but just a pleasant reminder of a ridiculous night. But after the shoot, I had a fun talk with co-workers Mike and Karmin.

Topics of Conversation @ Norwalk: Tuxedo T-shirts, tattoos, Sam Darling, In-N-Out flirting, thumb caressing, moving out, Peace-Love-Death Metal, Star Wars clips, fake heads, fat flying, Buddy Holly, The Whitest Kids U Know, dancing like muppets and Peanuts characters, pausing in thought, awkward pantomiming, etc.

New Comics tomorrow! Commence happy jig.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Move It Along (Rant #01)

All I want to do is change the subject. Is that too much to ask?

I really don't care about the subject anymore than the amount of oxygen I utilized to bring it up. Is there a way that I can avoid being a jerk to just say "I'm over it"? To avoid having a back and forth with someone over a topic that had exhausted my interest in the span of a few sentences. But they wanted me to come up with new thoughts and ideas on it. I wanted to move on, but the game was afoot, I suppose.

Don't mistake my attitude with anything more than casual apathy. It exists because there are a few subjects that we don't find ourselves informed upon or engrossed in enough to actually continue anything but the most cursory mentioning. Our attention spans aren't that great anymore, thanks to TV and too much candy, or whatever is the next hip excuse. But I just don't want to talk about the thing anymore. Thanks. Its been great, he says sarcastically. This blog is a monument to my own lack of interest in writing anything more on the subject.

And no, I didn't mention the subject. I'm just ranting. Sorry.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

I'm Not Going to Blog About Valentine's Day

I woke up to soup.

Apparently my parents felt like making a "Cabbage Patch" Soup. Now I was uncomfortable with this name, because all I could picture was little children with cabbage leaves boiling in a pot. But I tried out the soup and was really impressed with the flavor. Turns out, those kids taste delicious!

I meandered a bit through the day because I didn't know what to do. I kind of didn't want to think about any particular events that are usually focused on every 14th of February. I struck upon some luck when Jamal called me and invited me over to his place to watch the All-Star Basketball Game for later that day. In the meantime, I offered my help to move his couch into his apartment, followed by listening to some Patton Oswalt stand-up.

As the All-Star game started up, more of Jamal's family came by, and they started cooking up a chicken dinner with mashed potatoes and asparagus. This was delicious food, which we needed to help counter the bitter taste of defeat as the West lost the All-Stars game. It was a close game though, so at least it wasn't a fiasco.

I've been writing these blogs later and later at night. This is a bad idea, mostly due to the fact that I've nearly fallen asleep during the writing of more than 5 already. The only time I've been able to come up with time to write these bad boys is late. Nearly clocking in at 2:00 am each time. I can't come up with really good material when I feel my mind drifting off into reverie. Reverie which usually consists of sweet oblivion.

I've actually considered locking myself away from the world tomorrow and just writing. Just damn the world to its usual antics, and let me finish something. That's what writers are supposed to do. But I've found some of the best stuff I come up with is while I hang out and goof off with friends. When I'm trying to impress someone or make them laugh is when I actually come up with stuff worth writing. But when I get around to sitting down and writing it, I don't know if its bouncing off the insides of my noggin' all that well.

Oh fiddlesticks! I'm just going to go ahead and dig myself into a hole. I'm going to write a poem, a short story, and outline a story tomorrow. There. I'm going to save and post this blog and blackmail myself with the fact that I just promised to write three different things tomorrow.

So here I go diggin' myself a hole.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Even the Monsters Were Sharp Dressed

I hung out with Patrick M. today and we watched The Wolfman. Holy crap there is some good monstering in that flick! Not only was the acting, writing, and camera work beautiful, but the action was intense, actually going out of its way to earn the "R" they were rated. People get messed up man, limbs sliced, and heads roll. The movie reminds us why Werewolves are badass, and have a great, emphatic "F**k you, Twilight/New Moon!" Those lame sauce excuses for monsters needed to be challenged. Edward can kiss his sparkly ass good-bye if he ever wanted to mess with THESE Werewolves. (Jacob, you're a pansy). I fully intend to see this movie again.

After the movie, Patrick and I went to Pizza Hut for lunch. After which, he had to head home.

Topics of Conversation @ Pizza Hut: Rick Baker, buffalo wings, diverging siblings, financial scams, the very first steps of the creation of martial arts, the stripper's boyfriend's dilemma, why maniacal laughter should be kept on the inside, stuffed crust, weak arguments, Iron Body exercises, etc.

After watching Sherlock Holmes and The Wolfman back to back, almost, I have come to the conclusion that we just don't dress as well anymore. I mean, the clothes and fashion sense of those days made everybody look amazing. I would love to have a huge trench coat with a perfectly taylored suit to match it. Not to mention that attitude. I guess it comes down to money and ease. Its a lot cheaper and convenient to grab a T-shirt and pair of pants from Target and call it an outfit. But those days, a lot of thought and effort was put into what one was wearing for the day. Even the monsters were sharp dressed.

Though I have to admit that getting a suit taylor made is almost completely out of the question for me. For many people, for that matter. Who has that kind of money? Especially if you want to have multiple suits/outfits? The answer is hoping that you can luck out at the Thrift Store. Otherwise, the outlook is a bit grim.

I need to update my wardrobe to start accepting some full out suits,


Friday, February 12, 2010

Holmes Smash!

I had something of a Jewish morning. I'm not Jewish (I'm not religious, to be honest). But I had a breakfast of bagels and watched A Serious Man, which may be one of the most Jewish movies that I have ever seen. It wasn't badly made or acted by any means, but I just did not connect to this movie. The whole movie felt like it was excluding me. A giant in-joke that almost went out of its' way to make sure that no goi (non-Jewish person) would be included in the movie, or in most of the punchlines.

My biggest problem with the movie was the seemingly unconnected opening and ending of the movie. They belong to two entirely different movies and I can't for the life of me see why they were in the movie. If that's the whole point (and I suspect that IS the point), that not everything is connected, than okay. Not funny or particularly insightful, but okay.

I later met up with Aaron and Justin to watch Sherlock Holmes at the Long Beach Town Center. We still had two or so hours before the movie started, so we went to eat at Chick-Fil-A and loiter at Barnes and Noble.

Topics of Conversation @ Chick-Fil-A: Unnecessary explanations, kickass dreams, angsty superhero movies with no action, Elvis's weird last days, X-Men manga, LA friends that need to plan ahead of time for OC friends, Krypton, spiteful movie employees, etc.

The movie was great! I really loved just about everything about it. The dialogue was sharp, the acting was sharp, and the writing was solid. I remember seeing the trailer, with all its fighting and action, and being really worried that it would be all "HOLMES SMASH!" instead of him being intelligent and witty. The action was well-done, but not the focus of the story. The focus was Holmes and Watson solving mysteries and saving Lond0n. Probably my favorite part of the whole movie was Holmes and Watson's friendship. It felt really natural, and it was an absolute a blast to watch them play off each other.

And thank god they went back to the original badass Dr. Watson, instead of the stupid, bumbling Watson that has been the only version we've had for forever.

To top off an awesome day, I watched the first three episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 with Amy, Aaron, and Justin. I've always remembered Season 2 being great, and so far have had my faith rewarded with truth. I love this show so damn much. Until the next Buffy night...


Alter Ego

February 11, 2010:

My Thursday's dance card was filled.

I had to run down to Lakewood to pick up a check so that I could stop being poor for a day. I was coming out of the building after receiving my check, and was going to wander around Best Buy for a bit, when I noticed that an old man's station wagon had broke down in the middle of the street. Traffic wasn't heavy, so I hustled over to help him push the car. And by "help" him, I mean that I pushed and he steered.

It was a bitch of an ordeal.

The guy's station wagon was one of those classics made out of steel and American can-do spirit. But mostly steel. And he had just loaded the trunk with fertilizer from Home Depot. The car was not moving without a fight. And I was just wearing sandals. The first day out of 2010 that I decide to wear sandals, and I have to push a car that apparently was made out of everything heavy that the factory had at hand.

So as I cuss under my breath, which eventually stops after I run out of breath, but the car is not budging. I make a joke to the old fellow:

"Oh man, is the parking brake on?" I joke.
"Ha ha ha," he laughs... and then goes quiet, "Oops, it is."

Son of a-!

The pushing of the metal torture box goes a little easier (and by easier, it actually moves) after he take the parking brake off. I recite a mantra in my head that is roughly about not killing people cuz its illegal. After we move his car out of street, the old man thanks me for my kindness and offers me five dollars. I say no thanks and ask him if he needs anymore help. He says Triple-A will be on their way in no time. I take off for the bank to deposit the check, and while there I call up Lainey to see if she'd like to grab lunch before I have to go to work. She's down and says to meet up at the Bella Terra area.

On my way to meeting up with her, I realize that I probably should have went home first to clean up after moving the station wagon. I decide that I will just stay upwind from her and hope she doesn't notice the mix of sweat, station wagon, fertilizer, and sandals. Anyways, I got her a kitten! She owes me enough to pretend I don't stank.

We met up at PetSmart and then checked out Michael's. Michael's is an interesting place in that's its full of pieces of soon-to-be finished arts and crafts projects. I always like to look around and compare it to a autoshop. Just replace radiators with cotton stuffing, fenders with washable finger paint, and rims with an assortment of colored beads. There's the lace that will totally finish up my kickass macaroni picture frame. Oh these googly eyes will punch up my homemade teddy bear! And I am so totally going to supe up my tote bag with iron-on fabric transfers!

I had been cool with anything to eat for lunch, so when Lainey said Johnny Rocket's, and I said hell yes. We headed over, and I was surprised to find the Bella Terra so busy. I thought it being a Thursday would mean less people getting in my way and stealing all the convenient parking spaces. Darn it. But we got to Johnny Rocket's none the less, and burgers were eaten. (And Lainey had the non-meated variety. Duh).

Topics of Conversation @ Johnny Rocket's: Bruce Campbell tattoos, El Paso, ten phone calls that could have waited, European sandwiches, how to not sound cool when scolding a cat, Easter egg hunts, soap, how Perrier might be French toilet water, music and how good it is, bake sales, something about Jerry sailors (I'm not sure), etc.

After lunch, I dropped Lainey off at her car and I headed home to clean up and get ready for work. As I was on the road to work, I realized that my iPod didn't have much power left, which made me very sad. Work at Norwalk mostly consisted of organizing old tapes from now all the way back to the 80's. Many tapes were mysteriously labeled, with absolutely no other information, and sometimes even more baffling information attached. Some of my favorites were:

1. Who Moved My Cheese?
2. Teddie V. "You Can Do It!"
3. the final day
4. Tommy Lu (raw footage)
5. Moving Wall

Yeah, these 5 specifically made my day at Norwalk.

After work I headed out to have dinner with my friends Justin, Deron, and Deron's girlfriend Ashleigh (I think I spelled that right). We went to a place called Luigi's out near Orange. It was Italian food (which is some of my favorite food on the planet Earth), decently priced, and tasted really good. I now have a place to drag others to for some Italian food. BEWARE.

Topics of Conversation @ Luigi's: Who Moved My Cheese?, birthdays, D&D dating, how people that are warm and amazing still make your skin crawl, girls that are addicted to dating a**holes, revenge for stolen photo equipment, canollis, the magic of karaoke duets, comedians, etc.

After Luigi's I visited the place Deron was staying at. It was a beautiful home that he sharing with a married couple that were old friends of his. I then headed home, secure that my day had been very full.

...but it wasn't done. I needed a movie to finish it up.

I stopped at the Block and watched Youth In Revolt. It had been a movie that I wanted to check out for a while, and it probably didn't have much time left in theaters. Apparently Michael Cera plays an awkward teen named Nick who is in love with a girl... Wait? Wasn't that Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist? Almost, but stick around for a bit.

In this movie, Cera is playing a character named Nick Twisp that decides that he needs to become a bad guy to get with the girl he loves. Not because she only likes bad boys, but because the situation he's thrown in calls for some behaviour that is alien to him. So to help himself along, Nick devises an alternate "persona" named Francois Dillinger, who is just the kind of bastard he needs to be to achieve his goals. In a way, this movie is like Fight Club and Superbad mixed together.

The movie is pretty good. But it gets a little pretentious at times, and needs just two more scenes with Francois Dillinger to even it out a little more. I liked the movie, and would suggest it to anybody that doesn't hate Michael Cera (is there anyone left? I hope so) and for people who like a really quirky take on teen sex/romance movies.

The best part is I started to think about all the great personas/identities that have been designed to help people be, or get, what they want:

Tyler Durden
Bruce Wayne/Batman (but who's the alter ego?)
Mr. Hyde
Stefan Urquelle
Raoul Duke
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

And like any freakin' dork such as myself, I have (already had, how sad) devised an alter ego. Three, in fact, god help me:

Freddie Stans - Freddie is the guy that can perform in front of anybody. He can put on a show just by being fearless and witty. He's the showman in my head.

Ethan Shwartz - Evil Nate. One day we will have a throwdown. He's everything I'm not, and all his good points are mired in awful deeds. He's funny as hell, but only when insulting others. He would be a charismatic despot.

Wolfgang "Wolf" Jordan - Bad ass mother- SHUT YER MOUTH! I'm only talking about Wolfgang! Yeah, he's the badass I wish I was. I mean, his name is ridiculous. Its a combination of a german name I always thought was cool, and Michael Jordan. Yeah.

I think I've embarrassed myself enough. What about you?


Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I started off busy this morning because of the Hero Initiative Bake Sale at Comics Unlimited. My contribution was two-fold because not only did I donate cookies, but I also offered to man the table for the morning till about 2:30 pm. Running the table was funny, because I could literally feel myself slipping into Server/Waiter mode. This is the mode where I get overly enthusiastic and try to soft-sell everything. Also, my voice gets really warm and inviting. Evil Nate would be one step removed from sitting in the back of a van and waving candy at kids. But enough about that, let me tell you about Hero Initiative!

Hero Initiative is a non-profit organization that collects donations to help pay the medical and living expenses of former comic creators that are too old to work. Many creators were freelance and didn't have any savings for retirement or health care. Hero Initiative makes sure these artists aren't left out in the cold.

I was one of many people contributing to this noble cause, and the end result was an intimidating amount of baked goods. Approximately enough desserts to put an adult elephant into a diabetic coma. The cookies that I brought were Oatmeal Chocolate Chip w/ Walnuts made from the recipe that my mom has used since I was a kid. Basically, these are the cookies that are associated with each and every one of my happiest moments as a kid. I... am a bit biased towards them.

I had asked my mom specifically to help me make these cookies. She was game, since it had been a little over two years since she had last made them. I got my lazy ass in gear to get all the ingredients, but would have to work most of the night of baking. I asked her to at least get the dough made beforehand, but that I would be more than willing to break speeding laws to get home in time to help. It turned out it wasn't necessary, and that I would have time to finish an entire batch.

But not before my Dad had decided to change the first batch's recipe.

As of the past few years, my Dad has gotten into cooking in a big, bad way. And he is good at it. Even my Mom thinks so. Too bad my Dad thinks that he's invented cooking. He'll make suggestions to my Mom, and modify her own cooking. My Mom has been cooking since she was 9. I'm not sure if my Dad is getting that fact. I mean he used to. But now that he's discovered cooking, he has to make sure Mom knows how its done. I shake my head at him sometimes. He's a good cook, and getting better. My Mom is already great cook. He should be asking for pointers, but that's my Dad.

I came home from work to find a whole batch of cookies already done. They were flat and perfectly round. They looked like the ones you would buy at the store. Excellent, and baked with precision and a sharp eye for detail.

Basically, they weren't even close to what I had wanted.

The cookies that I remembered were lumpy and thick. They were chewy, but had just enough crunch that the texture would always change. My Dad decided that a cookie recipe that I have actively and vocally loved for 23 or so years needs to be changed now that he's invented cooking. They weren't bad cookies by any stretch of the imagination. But they were not the cookies that I wanted. They were... by the book. We made another batch that turned out like the cookies from when I was a kid. Two spiritually different cookies made from the exact same ingredients. Anyways, my parents rock no matter what. And my Dad's cookies were good, too.

I'm done whining.

Topics of Conversation @ Comics Unlimited: Cookies, pushy salesmen, wet money, the folly of relying on California to have cool weather, my mom's cooking, the mysterious old lady, getting hands stuck in jars, sweaters, etc.

I had to leave at around 2:00 because I had left my work shirt at home. I needed it because I had to shoot a Planning Commission Meeting that night, and would possibly be on camera, so I had to look the part of a studious P.A. (The Planning Commission barely lasted for more than half an hour, by the by). Work was spent with me coming down from a sugar high, so of course I nearly fell asleep twice at work. Tsk tsk.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Gone Before We Knew They Could Exist

Spent the day at work, but thinking about cookies. And once I got home, I started making cookies. Then I ate a few cookies. They are so damn good! I capped off the night watching Young Victoria with my parents at the GardenWalk in Anaheim. Very good movie, but that's not what ended up stuck in my head on the way back home. Because I had looked up at the clouds and smattering of weak stars in the sky, and thought, with surprising clarity:

"I just want to see the stars again."

The last time I had a decent view of the air right above our heads was at my granddad's home in Arizona. I haven't been out to Arizona for so long, I sometimes forget that we have constellations of stars. Just surrounding us. An entire ocean of distant light enveloping us, dancing across our horizons. Each point of light could be the last remnants of worlds gone before we knew they could exist.

My granddad lived in Arizona from when I was 12 all the way into my 20's. He was an odd man that could go from warm and welcoming to cold and distant in a blink of an eye, and my mom felt ambivalent towards him at times. She loved him, as did her brothers, but they had bad history with him as well as good. Like any family, right? Despite all this, I loved to visit. He had this little piece of property that stretched out for miles in nearly every direction, which was an entirely different friggin' reality for a kid that lived in Anaheim. You can't spit without hitting another person, and then they start chasing you and that's a whole different story.

But when I was at granddad's, it felt like Arizona was mine. Like, it was my own personal property that I could explore and chart and battle forgotten foes of my imagination in. I had a BB Gun, a bike, an oversized army jacket, and a burning desire find lizards and hidden treasure. And I'd be damned before I'd ever fail in my mission.

Quick List of Firsts @ Granddad's: First BB Gun shot. First handgun shot. First rifle shot. First time to ever see a rattlesnake. First time to see a rattlesnake eat a toad. First army jeep ride. First abandoned car to destroy as I see fit. First dune buggy ride. First mysteriously abandoned house. First boarded up mine shaft. First satellite dish. First coyote that looked right at me. First real life roadrunner. First sleep under the stars.

When I slept under the stars, it was on a deck that my granddad and my uncles had built that was at the same height as the garage roof. This was the safest place to sleep outside because you didn't want to wake up to scorpions, rattlesnakes, or coyotes on you. It was pretty high up, and the nights in Arizona can get really, really cold. But the stars, man...

The stars were amazing.

It was almost absurd how the sky was almost as bright at night as it was during the day, the moon was full and brilliant. I couldn't stop staring up. I was on my back, nestled inside a sleeping bag, looking up at infinity. It was everything. The entire galaxy was on display, and I thought to myself how I would gladly give up my BB Gun, my bike, my oversized army jacket, and any lizard or treasure I found for just one chance to dive into the stars.

I still feel that way.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Restless at 8:21 pm

Its a strange feeling to be restless.
Its not an easy feeling to quantify. You don't want to end the day, but you don't really know what will give you that satisfaction. I was hoping that I was not the only one that had that little brain-burner running around in their head, so I called a few people. Not many, though. I know how many have early morning work or school. I know that most didn't have that taste on their tongue. That toes-a-tapping need to not be right where you are.

If I had the money, I would have just kept driving till midnight. Burn the gas. But I need that gas to get to and from work. So my sensible self just patted me on the head and said to move along to a financially sound approach. I had some free tickets to the Krik in Buena Park, so my final destination was looking an awful lot like a movie. But what movie?

The choices are limited at 8:21 pm. Especially if you don't want to watch half the movies offered. I wanted something with explosions. Blow 'em up popcorn flick. The kind of movie that you watch some guy do maneuvers that would rightfully get him killed in any other reality. The guy that ended up with those probability defying moves would ultimately be John Travolta. The movie in question? From Paris With Love.

Right off the bat, this movie is better than I thought it would be. Its not great, but Travolta is enjoyable, and his interaction with Jonathan Rhys-Meyers is surprisingly natural. What surprised me was the fact that Rhys-Meyers throws on an America accent the entire movie. This was a surprise mostly due to the fact that the whole movie is set in Europe. I figured it would be easier for him to have his regular Irish accent or something. Oh well, its not like American accents aren't easy to come up with. Even we don't know how the hell we're supposed to sound.

I would suggest this movie to anyone that would like to see a Buddy Spy flick, with a surprise ending to the "You Don't Have to Do This, There's a Better Way" speech. The resolutions are a bit quick and easy to come by, but once you come to terms with the fact that this is a European shoot 'em up flick, you feel much better. And really, the differences in Travolta's character and Rhys-Meyers' character give a fun chemistry to each performance.

So... see it if you feel like it, but I won't be hurt if you don't. Believe me.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Nate's Big Scheme in the Event of World Collapse

Super Bowl! Whoa, Nelly! SUPER BOWL XLIV!!! Oh dang, coolness!
The Saints won. I was hoping they'd win. And that sums up that.

Moving on.

I want to make a pact with you. Yes, you. The Reader of this blog. Don't turn around. I'm not talking to whoever is reading this over your shoulder. I'm talking to YOU.

I think we need to organize an Omega Objective.

No, not just "an" Omega Objective. THE Omega Objective. The plan and course of action that will come into play when/if the world goes tits up. We got to have the Omega Objective so that we are ready to swing into action while everyone else is still in shock or trying to figure out their next step. We'll be focused and determined to complete our mission.

I'll explain what our Omega Objective is after I give you some back story on why I had this sudden realization that we need said Objective. My Dad is something of a realist/pessimist. He feels that many of the decisions we make have already been chosen for us by our genetics. He doesn't trust any religions. And mostly finds that a flip of the coin is probably going to decide the fate of mankind. I must admit, that I have come to these same conclusions myself, though I like to temper my realism with optimism. My parents and I were having breakfast this morning, when, out of curiosity, I asked my Dad what his prediction for the future is.

And it was dire.

If the Republicans get back into full control, he feels that they will drag us right into more unnecessary wars, and spend America right into another Depression. Because of America's fear of anything that slightly resembles socialism, the need to convert the bank system into a more government controlled design will be refused. Our credit will be shot, and then I and my generation will have to struggle and fight harder then almost any generation before us. All the time, Bin Laden will play against our weaknesses till we bleed ourselves dry trying to destroy "terror." Which begs the question... If we do go into a Depression with a capital "D", what can I possibly do? Thus was born:

The Omega Objective.

In the event of national, if not world-wide, Depression, I devise a scheme to hunt down each and every CEO and politician that profited from the Stimulus package and take the money back. That money does belong to the people after all, and no CEO should ever have received a bonus from it. No politician should have utilized it for more than the good of the general public. That kind of greed needs to be punished.

Okay, that's the serious part, but the fun part is the fact that it will be a kick ass movie plot. Like Ocean's Eleven meets The A-Team meets Escape From New York. I can't do this alone. Nor would I. We're on mission for justice, purpose, and money. We are the last vestiges of an American Dream that had been wronged. We are the People... do not f**k with us.

Of course we will only act upon the Omega Objective in the event of economic collapse or other such horrific event. But if we have to, I need to have an idea what my crew will consist of, and what they're jobs are. So...

The Omega Objective Sign-Up List:

1. The Idea Man/Leader: NATE
2. Second-In-Command: ???
3. The Insider: ???
4. The Wheelman: ???
5. The Eye In The Sky: ???
6. Demolitions: ???
7. Martial Arts Expert: ???
8. Weapons Expert: ???
9. The Wild Card: ???

Applications will be accepted on an As-Needed basis. Thank you for your interest in joining my Omega Objective.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

High on Life

I went through my clothes and got rid of a lot of stuff. This entire endeavor was almost negated by the fact that Jamal had given me two boxes of clothes. But either way I made at least a small amount of headway, and nobody can take that away from me, darn it!

The main event for this Saturday was Victor's After-Birthday party. I headed over at around 5:30 to help him set up. Justin was already there, and he and I headed out to get Birthday Pie, drinks, snacks, and pizza. The pie was from Polly's, and one was Strawberry and Banana Cream, and the other was Custard. We also picked up a Dutch Apple Pie from the Freazy, where all the other snacks and food items came from. Little Caesar's was the source of the pizza. After this, we were pretty much set.

Vic's place is interesting. Over the past year(s), it has changed considerably, mostly due to Joe, Victor's brother. I could bore you with the descriptions of the rooms and house, how each room has its own primary color, and how more windows have been added, etc. or I could tell you about the Karaoke Machine.

Karaoke wins again!

The machine is a subtle design. It fits right into your entertainment center without sticking out at all. You have a remote and two microphones, and a book of music (with a an extra copy). it has an English, Filipino, Chinese, and I believe Japanese selections of songs. Each selection is pretty impressive, but since I only speak English, I never really became acquainted with the other sections.

Quick List of Songs I Sang: That Thing You Do by The Wonders, Island In The Sun by Weezer, Ebony and Ivory by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, Brick by Ben Folds Five, Take On Me by A-Ha, Always by Blink-182, The Boxer by Simon & Garfunkel, I Want You Back by the Jackson 5, Bizarre Love Triangle by Frente cover, Imagine by John Lennon, The Man Who Sold the World by Nirvana cover, Sailor Moon theme (sang along to it), Big Me by Foo Fighters, etc.

The night was filled with music, pizza, and friends. Some people came by that I didn't know very well, but that was fine. It gave me a chance to sing with, and sometimes TO, them. And one of the best ways to get to know someone is to sing karaoke with them. I felt a little drunk, and I hadn't even had a sip of alcohol. Now THAT'S a good party when I feel like that. High on life, baby!

Topics of Conversation @ Victor's: Failed taquitos, Riot cola, Pulp fiction art (the books, not the movie), creating a wiki page of Bullshit & Lies, Fu-Kang Comin' Atchya!, Mariah Carey songs, Justin and Patricks's creepily spot-on singing of Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way," Back To The Naked Gun, Ken Cho's Trophy Room, why two white people can't sing "Ebony & Ivory," Karaoke Challenges, how placing two hands on some one's shoulders can be creepy, etc.

But my favorite part of the night was finding out about "The RZA is The Man With Iron Fists." I won't say who, just in case people can get in trouble. The internet may be in involved. Anyways, this is a movie script that is sheer wacky. Apparently, the RZA (of the Wu-Tang Clan), has a movie in the works. But this isn't just any movie, its a Kung-Fu exploitation flick. RZA plays "The Blacksmith," a man that makes weapons. These weapons are so good, that rival gangs "The Lion Clan" and "The Hyena Clan" each want him to work specifically for them, and not the other.

Stuff happens, but eventually The Blacksmith ends up with his hands cut off. Yeah, you can see where the title is going to come into play. But the absolute best part of this movie is that The Blacksmith works/lives in a strip joint. In what capacity isn't clear, but he has a forge in the back where he can make weapons. Your standard set up, right? The best thing that I heard about this movie is this description of a scene at the strip joint:

"As the hoes were getting hosed down for the day..."

Like they were horses or something! WTF. And its almost a side note. Just whatever. A bunch of women being sprayed with water. Apparently the "hoes" in question even giggle because its fun. Nothing sexist here, don't mind us. This script is insane. So naturally, I need to get a copy so I can read it for myself.


Friday, February 5, 2010

I'd Buy That For a Dollar

I started the day job-hunting all over the internet. Just like a myriad of my friends, I am in search of a supplementary job. Extra money is the goal, with the hours hopefully being flexible so that I can keep my current occupation. I even dusted off a resume that showcased a skill of mine that I haven't used in 3 odd years. Since my days working for the Maus, at Disney: Server/Waiter.

I came upon an open call for Servers at the Alcatraz Brewing Company at the Block of Orange. I've only eaten at the resteraunt twice before, and each time had been okay. They were accepting applications for the position, Monday thru Friday between 2 pm and 4 pm. I had just barely heard about the job at 3:00 pm. I debated just waiting till Monday to get to it, but I figured that this job would have a lot of applicants.

And I was right.

I got there at 3:54, and there was a table of about seven people filling out applications. I had hoped that all I would have to do is drop off my resume, but of course that wouldn't be the case. They had a four page application, and I had 5 and a half minutes to finish it. As it turned out, since it was raining, the resteraunt was slow enough that it was okay for me to take my time.

The first two pages were your basic info. Name, address, work experience, contacts, etc. The third page was the racial profiling page (cuz that's what it is, people). The fourth page was a survey made of odd questions. I did really good on all the beer and food questions. "What's calamari?" Squid. "What's in pesto sauce?" Basil, olive oil, pine nuts, etc. "What's a prawn?" A type of shellfish. "What are two ingredients in beer?" Hops, malt, (water, duh). Easy.

Then they started asking me about hard liquor, and my confidense wavered.

"What are three 'calls' for tequila?" Oh crap. Um... Jose Cuervo? Okay. Uh, Budweiser? F**k, no, that's beer, Nate! Gold? Does that count? Or is that just a category? Agave? That's the type of cactus they harvest, but is that also a 'call'? Oh, that's just fantastic... Okay, so: 1-Jose Cuervo, 2-bulls**t answer, and 3-....Gold.

"What are three 'calls' for vodka?" Shazbot! Russian, russian, and Russian? Wait, wait... Greygoose! Hell yeah! Two more? Damn! The one time I needed to have a drinking problem! I would have had 15 answers at least... Bacardi! Or is that rum? No, definetly Bacardi. And Beefeater. I don't even know what it is, just that it has that English dude with the spear/halbred. To sum up: 1-Greygoose, 2-Bacardi, and 3-Beefeater(?).

I turned in the application and considered a part-time gig at McDonalds followed by a large helping of suicide. I instead decided on going to Borders and reading any graphic novels I hadn't already read yet. This mostly consisted of Criminal Vol. 2 and 3, written by Ed Brubaker. This book is a fantastic read. Brubaker knows how to flesh out characters and craft a story of blacks and greys, where the "good guys" are wherever you can find them, and the "bad guys" get harder and harder to tell apart. Stories of people trying to get the big score. Of people trying get revenge. Of people trying to turn their broken lives around. All in a world that's out to get them. Like any good read, it made me want to right a good crime story.

I highly recommend Criminal.

I later got a call, almost simultaneously, from Patrick M. and Amy about a movie night at her place. The choice was between RoboCop and The Thing. My vote was for The Thing, since I hadn't seen the entire movie in years. When I got there, we had some pizza delivered and they were watching The Karate Kid II, but the weird thing was that it was playing on the Gospel Music Channel. Huh?

Patrick arrived a little later. We ended up watching RoboCop, mostly because we forgot to have a vote. Oh well. I like RoboCop, especially how great its satire was at the time and still to this day. One of the weirdest motiffs was this bizarre sitcom where a small guy with a mustache would constantly put whip cream on women and shout "I'd buy that for a dollar!" Everybody in the RoboCop universe that it was hilarious.

As I get older, I find it very strange what I notice or react to. When I was a kid, I didn't give a single crap about the weird show. But at 26, it was one of the most noticeable things of the movie. I've periodically watched stuff that I had seen when I was a kid, just to see what I pay attention to now.
And I have to be honest... Kid-Me would not understand what I was laughing about, or why I was commenting on the coolest parts of the movie. He'd think I should just go with it. Kid-Me would think I'm not getting the point. Which was action and awesomeness. Which was the moment of going "Oh, Cool!" Or looking at monsters and not caring about whether or not a story was well-crafted. Or that character motivation made sense from scene to scene. I still love the movies that I've always loved. But now I sort of mock them. Even I have to admit that's kind of sad.

I guess I have gotten older.


Friends Make The World Go Round

February 4, 2010:

Its 9:something in the morning, and I got a text from Lainey to get my lazy ass out of bed. Though the text was more informative, rather than threatening. Apparently, Lainey doesn't need to sleep, needing only kittens and sarcasm in place of food and rest. I cleverly hid the fact that I was only technically conscious by sending this genius text back to her:

"M up now. Whn u want meet?"


Honestly, that was one of the worst texts I've ever sent. And I've drunk-texted, folks. To people that had done nothing to deserve that freak show. Perhaps I shouldn't pull the curtain back from all my diabolical secrets, but drunk-texting is fun because its the only time I don't give a damn about grammar and punctuation. Proper sentence structure can suck it. Though I'm only a English class rebel when the whiskey flows freely.

Moving on.

Lainey had a mission today. She wanted to get Hemlock a little frame painted for him. It was at this place called "Color Me Mine" in Long Beach. Interesting store just nestled between the Shore House and a coffee shop, I think. The kind of store that looks like some one's retirement business. Like they retired from being a high-powered who's-it, and can finally focus on their life's passion: Painting pottery. I'm not mocking the store in the least. Its actually very tidy and inviting.

Lainey's scheme involved putting a dab of paint on Hemlock's paw. Yeah, paint on a hyper-active, nervous kitten. Easy. It became apparent why my presence was needed. I was the muscle. Lainey was the brains. And the kitten was very indignant. We finished up and headed back to her house to watch Spaced, eat Del Taco, talk, and pet Hemlock. I eventually got rolling, leaving Lainey to painting, and Hemi to napping.

For the next few hours I made plans with Mike, Colin, and The Anime Club Alumni to have dinner at Colin's home. It wasn't going down till around 7:00, so I headed home and I would like to say I was productive, but mostly I slept. I woke up already late for the party by 15 minutes or so and headed over to Colin's. It worked out either way. The food hadn't been procured nor cooked yet. I ended up getting some drinks and, for hell-if-I-know reasons, bought Twinkies and Sno-balls. I'm under the impression that Zombieland inspired me to do so. That's good, Nathan, blame the movie.

We made CostCo steak and salad. I also made a contribution of meh garlic bread from Food 4 Less. The garlic bread... well, it tasted like it was from Food 4 Less. Take that as you wish. But what is important is that I do not underscore the sheer deliciousness of rest of the food. The steak was marinated with a delicious sauce, and cooked perfectly. The meal was so good that Mike broke into giggles after saying "I'm so happy" at least four times. One more bite and one more Fresca, and I wasn't very far behind him.

I mean, really, what's better than good food and good friends? Not much.

Topics of Conversation @ Colin's: Renting costs at the Block, never looking up when you hear birds, Blue Barry Flash, prepping cast iron skillets, Kevin Smith, Swap Meets, when "the Look" is actually a signal for beer, dead men's bed frames, false Victor Cambas, visible heart beats, murder for matresses, nuts, etc.

We ended the night with a viewing of Wet Hot American Summer. This movie is pretty funny, but can get really random at times. I've already seen this movie twice before, but I didn't mind checking it out again. If you want a movie that is quirky and has a sketch comedy energy to it, then pop this little DVD in and get ready to watch Bradley Cooper like you've never seen him before, a talking can of vegetables, and a man hump a refrigerator. Its THAT kind of movie.

We called it a night, and I'm already chomping at the bit for another night like this.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Get More Reckless

As I went to Comics Unlimited today, I sang in my car all the way. I've been really curious if I can sing at all. As in singing in a band. Forget American Idol. No interest in being a First episode burnout, thank you very much. I know my limits THAT far, at least. But if I can carry a tune in a band setting, lead singer or not, just curious.

Well, perhaps more than curious, to be honest. I've had a friend converting some of my poems into songs, and it got me wondering about how well I'd do in an actual band. For fun, really, which would piss off an actual musician to no end. But its always been a casual interest of mine. (Right, who DOESN'T have this casual interest?) I wouldn't expect any actual success from this venture. Not musical or professional success, but perhaps some success in fun, hi jinks, and stories.

I have a ton of band Names. Let me know what you think:

Phantom Zone Criminals
Saddest Factory
Gunna Be A Princess
Titanic Mechanic
Hong Kong Tabloids
The W0okiees
Secret Origin
Squirrel Girl
The Mad Monk Mandolin
Quiet Robert

(I just love coming up with band names for the hell of it. Its amusing).

I think I want to get more reckless. The way I've been living doesn't lend for much in the story department. But isn't that always the way? The nice, dependable guy decides "excitement" and "spice" is either using more swear words and paying a bill late or taking a metric ton of crack and stealing a firetruck. The middle ground doesn't get much company. Either they don't change anything, or they flush their life down the toilet.

But the kind of reckless I'm talking about is more honest reactions and bold decisions. I'm still going to help awesome people find kittens (which I'll recklessly say is adorable). I'm still going to be just as nice to people as I've ever been. I'm still going to stop short of actually becoming an a-hole that deserves to have his head stomped in. What I'm going to aim for is seeking things out a little more. Ask the stupid question that I'm worried about asking. Talk my way out of stuff more. I once heard that its easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission.

I always get these little bursts of wanting to change something about my personality. It usually comes down to not taking that chance that I should have. I kind of want to get into more trouble. But by trouble, I mean the kind that is funny and thought-provoking. Like a good episode of Saved By The Bell. Harmless and ultimately an in-joke.

I think I'm on to something here. Think back on your own life. Didn't the funniest, best times come out of doing something stupid or out-of-the-ordinary? Some of my favorite stories are from bizarre shoots I was on when I was randomly P.A.'ing in LA. And when I shot Proud Father. All the times that I was out of my comfort zone. Sometimes alcohol was involved, but most of the time, just being high on life. The kind of actions that you can only get away with via quick wit, dumb luck, and charm.

I will have to see how this develops.

In the meantime, for your enjoyment:

Topics of Conversation @ Comics Unlimited: Cats being mistaken for boyfriends, Lois Lane's spellcheck function, dangling bits, Scooby Doo: Criminal Intent, Buffy Season 6, proper kitten handling techniques, the Law & Order formula, Code H, how reading sealed comics is a bad idea, Hemlock Ramirez: Danger Kitty, 3 stories about being Lost and Found, Disneyland groping, etc.