Wednesday, June 30, 2010

That Left English

(Summer School: Day Seven)

I want to transfer out of Cypress College, and graduate from a University, before the sun burns out of the sky. Before the cold earth gets cracked open by the freezing grip of the void. Before the rest of the stars fade from all memory. And before the whole solar system collapses into oblivion.

Hopefully before I turn 30, at least.

I have found that this depends a great deal on actually choosing a major. So to do this, I grabbed a whole bunch of papers on transfer majors: English, Business, Sociology, Film, Communication, and Journalism. Business was the early loser as I realized that it would add nearly an entire year to my school time to actually graduate. Film was too impacted. Communication and Journalism were nearly the same thing. And Sociology stayed in the running, even if it looked a tad unappetizing.

That left English.

English had always been my strongest subject. I understood it a lot more, and it really went together very well with the fact that I wanted to write as part of, or all of, my career. I suppose I avoided it because it was the major that got the rep of being somewhat arrogant and sad at the same time.

For all you English majors, I mean you no harm, but really, having a math or science degree would make you a hell of a lot more money in the long run. You know this. I know this. So calm the heck down.

The good news was that CSULB offered an English major with a special option of Creative Writing. An English major is looking better and better every time I look at it…

Also, after work, I watched Doctor Who at home. Great episode!

Topics of Conversation: Tumor story, gas money, Cal States, cats behaving badly, fake water, being Plutoic, honesty and being mean, kabobs, links to cool stuff, special broke, Fridays, etc.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

And On the Sixth Day There Was Quiz

(Summer School: Day Six)

Had my first Quiz in Physical Anthropology. Yeah. Look at the words in parentheses above. It says “Summer School: Day Six.” Freakin’ DAY SIX. I’m not sure how I did. I didn’t feel that good about it. Neither did I feel that terrible about it. I’m just not a big fan of quizzes and tests. I never feel like all the facts get organized in my brain. Its just a messy warehouse up here.

Headed to Norwalk, and spent the rest of day trying to make sure I got both my work done and read up on my next essay.

Topics of Conversation: The dreaming of a strange dream, blackmail for friendship, AX is ruining everything, Science Noir, fun with taxes, cat in Arizona, the meaning behind a map, Fullerton is for the cool kids, etc.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Half-Assed Journal Entry #08

(Summer School: Day Five)

Today was completely sacrificed to school and work. Doing an overview for the upcoming Quiz, and updating the public bulletin page for work.

Topics of Conversation: Out of ink, the wrong color of T-shirt, Fullerton is better, the math of evolution, Inspector Gadget, chili addiction, James Bond = martinis and womanizing, smiling Aang, walking away, etc.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Improbable Essay

Wanna know how you can know you’re completely, utterly, miserably, hopelessly, terribly, awfully, desperately out of practice writing papers for school?

By taking nearly six hours writing a two-page essay for an actually interesting class. It’s a strong indicator.

This sucker just didn’t want to be written. I mean, the subject was about something as small and easy as moths changing colors due to the environment changing around them. That’s it. The essay was double-spaced, too. But for some evil reason, the paper decided to not be written. I had the facts down, the sources cited, and the angle I would approach it from, and yet still the paper dripped out of my brain at a glacial pace.

But I finished the bugger! Yes I did.

After the madness of the essay, I went over to hang out with Jamal. We talked about his work and one of the stranger and more complex issues he was having. It may be more than either of us expected it to be. Hopefully it won’t turn into anything crazy.

Topics of Conversation: Germany needs support, a tall glass of friendship, a great adventure, the worst enemy is the best friend, being Watson, the third lesson, ethics of a corporation, life for later, etc.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Cut of the Jib Assistant

For this morning, the parents made French Toast, and it was too good to describe in mere blog words.

So I won’t try. Just take my word that they were awesome.

I had a shoot at Lakewood for their annual Block Party. This is the event that the City of Lakewood shuts down an entire block of the street of Clark Avenue, and gets a band to play live music. Its pretty fun.

Or so I’ve heard. I’m too busy working it to know. Whine, whine, bitch, bitch.

After we were done setting up, I found out what I would be doing during the shoot. My job turned out to be pretty simple. I would be jib assistant for Shawn, the jib operator. This mostly consisted of making the sure the jib didn’t clip anyone in the head. That, and to make sure that no one got in the way of the jib.

This, I have to admit, was quite easy.

The band was pretty good, though I totally forgot their name. Huh. Maybe they weren’t that
good if I can’t even remember their name. Sorry, nameless band, but you just play covers, so really, the only band I have to try and remember the name are the bands you’re covering.

Topics of Conversation: Easy driving, the Greatest Dominatrix, USA defeated, panning motors, Nathan the Musical Fairy, stills, shiny silver, parasite twins, crows, Caution Man, jib staring, strut, etc.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Yoda Soda

I promised I would meet with Carissa for breakfast so we could catch up on stuff that had been going on in her life. She wasn’t particularly crazy about the month of June, having had some rough Junes in the past. June Gloom squared. And so I listened to whatever she needed to talk about, as we ate cheap food at Denny’s. It was a nice morning, all said and done.

Afterwards, I headed to Gerdes Park in Norwalk to shoot a party being thrown for a Summer Preschool program for young children. It was pretty fun, and the kids got a lot of attention and activities. And you can’t beat free food.

Today was my friend Bobby’s birthday, and he had an excellent plan for the festivities: Star Wars and alcohol. I’m pretty sure that’s way up there in the good ideas department. I had a great night hanging out at their apartment, and even found out that I missed out on other nights of madness and great stories.

Bobby and his girlfriend Gina concocted a mix drink called “Yoda Soda,” which was sparkling wine and some other mad spirits. It was actually delicious, even though it looked like swamp water from Dagobah. And you’ll get that reference if you’ve ever seen The Empire Strikes Back, which we did that night.

I need to have a Back To The Future and alcohol night myself.

Topics of Conversation: Drunk and belligerent elementary kids, MORE PANCAKES!, how the International trailer has changed minds, chicken nuggets, nights full of regrets, cheesiness, Star Wars food, etc.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

They Couldn't Hit The High Notes

(Summer School: Day Four)

I got out of school a little earlier than I thought I would. I studied a little, but I mostly found myself trying to figure out what my Major was going to be. Its been on my mind as of late. I was considering a Business Major, but it doesn’t seem to feel right. And from what I’ve heard, it would nearly double my time in school.

So perhaps a Creative Writing major? Or something film related that isn’t as insanely impacted as the entire Film department.

I headed to a shoot I picked up from Lakewood. It was going to be a concert in the park, which is the cool thing to do this summer season. The good news, for me at least, was that it was a Beatle’s cover band. They called themselves Hard Day’s Night, and as it turned out, they weren’t half bad. Since it was the Beatles, I found myself singing along the entire show.

Unfortunately, nobody on the band could quite hit the high notes. They tried, bless their un-English souls. But it was just not to be. But other than that, they were really good.

Topics of Conversation: Where the hell are the scholarships?, Rolling Stone, free concert, missing keys, bubble weather,, kettle corn, sun bathing, late night gym, avatars, etc.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Less Mess

(Summer School: Day Three)

For the sake of brevity, and the very good chance that it will get old to pretend that anything of real note happened, I will mostly mention that I went to school this morning. We were talking about genetics and Natural Selection, and it was enchanting.

After school, I had time before work, so I headed to Comics Unlimited. Mark was working, and seemed to be running the store solo. Victor and Justin met up with me later. We grabbed some food at a Thai restaurant, which was pretty damn good actually. I had a half chicken meal, and it was awesome, but the skewers that Justin got looked just as delicious, with less mess.

When it comes to food like rotisserie chicken and ribs, I am usually an unrepentant slob. But this comes with the side effect that my hands are enveloped in sauce. And the crappy napkins that seem to follow me everywhere are always ready at hand to fail me.

Doesn’t it cost the same, if not more, for restaurants to supply these napkins? I have to use five of them to feel like I have the kind of cleaning firepower that is equal to one good dinner napkin. These suckers practically shrivel up at the SIGHT of liquid. And they shred to pieces as though I’m grinding razor blades into them, when in fact all I’m doing is dabbing some errant Thousand Island dressing with them.

Freakin’ crappy napkins need to stop being so damn crappy.

After the Thai restaurant, I headed to work for a Planning Commission Meeting that just would not quit. It was only two items, but everyone and their mom, and their mom’s former college roommate, felt like flapping their gums over these two items. And it was stupid stuff. Like how a cell phone tower should look and something that I pretty much don’t even care enough to remember.

I was there late, and then headed home. I wanted to catch the recent two episodes of Doctor Who that I missed… but OnDemand didn’t have Episode #08, and I needed it to watch Episode #09, because they were a two-parter. But they did have Episode #09. Argh. I went to sleep instead of being bothered by it.

Topics of Conversation: Remastered, I’m Top Dog, cute hipster girls, true evil via text, more respect, dreaming about being awake, Canadian trivia, Old Worlde, a mutual annoyance, walking stick bugs, 3 years of waiting for the Red Hulk, etc.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Sweet Embrace of Knowledge

(Summer School: Day Two)

It was the second day of school and already I wanted to sleep in. These are the moments I know that I’m truly a student again. Ah, the sweet embrace of knowledge!

I find myself starting to slide right back into the swing of Jr. College. The feeling of High School continued. The halls filled with people that just woke up. The professors desperately grabbing for tenure. The scantrons. The cute girls I have nothing in common with and the bitter guys who didn’t get into the universities they wanted. The solitary squeak of a shoe on brand-new, tax-paid-for floor tiles. The endless note-taking. The constant fighting to keep daydreams from taking root.

The only difference is that this time, I’m not killing time or wandering around aimlessly. This time, I plan to put my GenEd in the ground and progress. That’s what seems to be making the entire summer school session more palatable. I fully intend to make some progress with this whole education thing this time around.

I also forgot to mention in the last entry, that I bought a $100 text book. I nearly wept I’m so broke. Curse these text book gods!

After school, I met up with Sarah for some lunch at Del Taco. Her life has been a bit rocky as of late, but she seemed to be taking it all in stride. But I can’t really tell either way with her. She’s hard to read, which just adds to her feminine wiles I suppose. She’s so honest all the time, that its tricky to tell when she’s kidding. But she wanted to eat lunch with me and talk about the random stuff I like to talk about, so hey, no complaints.

After lunch, I headed to work and contemplated a strange cast of characters for a strange idea, while simultaneously organizing all the on-air video content in my office/nook. I got home and considered lasagna for dinner. Lasagna won, and sleep soon followed. School was going to be early yet again, as it would the next day.

The student life was taking hold.

Topics of Conversation: College dude, tortoises, bad violin, brimming with sleep, jobs, foofy, what VISA means in Italian, how not to hide big feet, Roller Derby names, Happy Feet, tongue piercing, suspenders, etc.


Monday, June 21, 2010

A Scholarly Interview With Myself

Day One of Summer School

I’ve hinted at it in passing. I’ve let slip a secret or two. But here I shall be clear and straight-forward on the subject. This Q&A shall clear up any questions:

Q: Nathan, are you attending summer school?
A: Yes, I am attending Summer School! In fact today is the first day!
Q: What made you decide to finally attend academia again?
A: Wanting to better my life and gain more knowledge!
Q: Is it true you’ve been going to college off and on, for, like a zillion friggin’ years?
A: Uh, well, I wouldn’t put it like that…
Q: But its been way long, right? Like, STUPID long?
A: Okay, seriously, I don’t like this line of questioning…
Q: Why? Because you’re a whiny little bitch?
A: ….
Q: Oh no, did I make baby cry?
A: …No, shut up!
Q: C’mon, how long, man? Just be honest and I’ll leave you alone!
A: Okay! Since 2002.
Q: …Wow. That’s so sad.
A: Its not that sad…
Q: Naw, its pretty sad. I’m the question thingy and I can’t come up with a question to ask to pinpoint the sadness that is you.
A: How did this all go so wrong?
Q: Oh! Good one!
A: I didn’t mean about my life, dammit!
Q: Wait, I got one!
A: Can we just stop this now?
Q: Did you know that if you had a baby in 2002, that it would be nearly 9-years-old now?
A: I hate you.

Huh. That… that interview went very badly for me…

Anyways, yes, I am attending Summer School. I’m taking Biological Anthropology and have yet to take a Science class in about 2 to 3 years. And I haven’t written an essay since Spring of last year. After all that, I was still able to wake up bright and early and get to the class, eager to soak up some knowledge. The class itself is taught by a woman who does teaching as a side gig, while she’s busy being an actual Anthropologist. That’s pretty cool.

After the class, I hung out with Aaron and Amy for a bit to chill out before I had to head to work. They downloaded “The Passing” for Left 4 Dead 2, and I was in zombie nirvana for a good solid hour. I don’t know if I’ll ever get tired of this game. I definitely will never get tired of the company.

Work was work.

Topics of Conversation: An unremarkable passing, learning how to be a human being, celebrations gone wrong, too many Tanks, flat water, monkeys and primates, etc.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Dad and America

Today was Father’s Day, and I deliberately had nothing else going on except to hang with my ol’ man.

It was a later start, but it was okay because we were playing it by ear. I decided on seeing a movie that he had been interested in called Winter’s Bone. The quick synopsis of this flick is that it’s a noir about a young girl desperately searching for her father, dead or alive, so that she can keep her family from losing their home.

We went to the Irvine campus theater, and soon discovered that a lot of other people wanted to watch this movie at the same time we wanted to. There was an impressive line almost going up the sidewalk. I’m not sure if all of them were getting tickets for Winter’s Bone, but the theater was packed. Luckily, we still found some decent spots and were soon watching the movie with rapt attention.

Winter’s Bone is mentioned as a film noir. And this is quickly apparent by the first scenes. The story is set in Missouri, in poor, poor America. The people that live here don’t have very much money, and even fewer options or opportunities. To live here, you have to be hard, cold, and a little desperate. Many people make a living making and selling drugs. And they barely make a living, at that.

The main character, Ree, is 17-years-old and raising her brother and sister. Not only is she doing that, but at the same time, she’s taking care of their nearly catatonic mother. Her dad is a dubious character that has been in and out of prison for selling drugs. Bad news starts when the Sheriff informs Ree that not only is her father missing, but that he has put up the family house and property to post bail. If he doesn’t show up for his court date, the family loses everything.

The suspects are limitless, the enemies legion, the secrets are dark, and even the best of outcomes are cold comforts. And the story and acting is superb. Watch this movie for Jennifer Lawrence, the actress that plays Ree, and John Hawkes who plays her uncle “Teardrop.” These two know how to boil and rage and agonize without saying a word or moving a muscle. Watch this movie if you like film noir or stories of moral complexity in bleak landscapes.

After this excellent movie, my dad and I headed to The Counter, a burger place in Irvine. This place makes great burgers with a huge selection of sauces and additions, from pesto sauce to garlic aoli and mushrooms to red bell pepper. And a pleasant surprise! Dads get free burgers on Father’s Day! That was pretty cool, especially considering I was buying him lunch.

We got home and watched an episode of Real Time with Bill Maher and talked about politics for a few hours. They’re aren’t many people I can talk about the big scary “P” word with, but my dad is one of the best to talk about that stuff with. Israel, Oliver Stone, embargos, religion, Canada, mixing economic systems, and all this and more. That’s me and my pop.

Happy Father’s Day, dad!

Topics of Conversation: Jeff Beck, cover songs, Israel, America in general, Summer’s Bone, the definition of “Film Noir,” no response to urgency, being bearded for others, etc.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Our Coveted Fire Pit

Its strange when you have too much to do. Case in point, I had been invited to literally FOUR different parties. Pretty much every one of them were going on at the same time. In four different cities. Los Angeles, Huntington Beach, Fullerton, and Los Alamitos. I decided on going to the Huntington Beach party, because it was the Ninth(?) Annual Starbuxian Summer Solstice Beach Party. I promised to go to it nearly 6 months earlier.

That doesn’t necessarily mean I got to it at the time that I had meant to.

I woke up with a hankering for the new Black Keys album “Brothers.” But the stores were still a ways off from being open, so I spent some time watching old episodes of Angel. It was a lazy Saturday so I was pretty relaxed when suddenly I woke up. I had fallen asleep! I looked at my cell phone for what time it was. Nearly five hours had gone by. Geez, that changed the entire pace of the day for me.

I headed to Best Buy and bought the album and proceeded to listen to the album nearly twice before I got to the beach. I kept listening to track 3, “Tighten Up,” on repeat. I couldn’t seem to get enough of that song. I found myself humming the song for the rest of the day.

I got to the beach roughly around 3:00 and found Victor, Justin, Quincy, Shinar, Ken, and Janey were kicking back and enjoying the day. The wind was relentless, and we had to hold off on starting a fire in the pit till sunset. Problems were added by the wind, since it blew out nearly every match we struck. Thankfully, a group next to us had lighter fluid to help us with. They
actually needed matches, too. So were able to help each other out. Its funny how life can be.

The beach party itself was very relaxing. We had some BBQ, and talked about the usual random assortment of topics on your minds. I walked on the beach for a while, looking for treasure. Not in any serious way, but I did keep my eyes open. Ken and Janey took off around 7:00 or so, and the beach closed at 9:00. Shinar took off around the time the it closed, and Victor, Quincy, Justin, and myself headed to Justin’s place.

We talked at Justin’s for a bit, before he had to turn in. He had work early in the morning. Quincy, Victor, and myself headed to Norm’s for dinner and keep the socializing going for a little longer. But after I was done eating, I could tell my stamina for the day was done. We all left for our respective homes, and I took a shower to get the ocean off of me.

The ocean doesn’t smell that great.

Topics of Conversation: Smores, Awesome-O, Tower 23, Tesla, those that we actually expect, Sweet Magazine, cooking oil, green flame, seaweed whip, sandy burgers, manipulative tactics to get our fire pit, etc.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Quick Water Slayage

I got a call the day before to cover a special meeting of the Central Basin water board. I was available, and would have no problem covering it. But this would be a little extra busy because I would be showing a co-worker, Joe, around the shoot. This was because since I would be starting school, I would not be available to shoot Central Basin meeting coming up on the 28th.

I met up with Joe at the Central Basin building and showed him all the stuff he would have to do to get in the building, sign up on the guest sheet, which rooms were used for meetings, and how to set up the new microphone on the camera. This wasn’t difficult since Joe is a pro, and would be able to figure out all in no time.

Though a funny reveal about the shoot came up while we were setting up. One of the secretaries came up to us and mentioned that there was only one item on the agenda for today. One item usually means maybe 15 minutes of talking about it. Max. All this work, and I would be done practically before I started. Joe took off back to Lakewood. I stayed and shot the Special Central Basin Meeting. I was wrong about the 15 minutes.

It took 10 minutes.

And like that I was done. The item had been about a grant, and wasn’t even close to being a controversial issue. Heh. Well, them’s the breaks. I put the equipment away, got in the work van, took off for Lakewood, and put all the equipment away. I was done with the shoot in just a few hours. I talked with Joe a little more before I took off. He had been feeling antsy (similar to myself) about not having a project to shoot that he could call his own.

We started talking about an idea I had for a TV show. We started cracking each other up as we came up with more and more ideas for it. I can’t say too much about it, but I think the idea has wings and could take off. I just got to be sure about the story structure I want it in.

I took off and picked up Amy to meet up with Patrick at Taco Surf for lunch. Patrick seems to be in a better place creatively, doing some work at an FX shop in Orange County, of all places. But the movie is still wallowing in Purgatory, but hopefully for not much longer. After lunch, Patrick went back to work, while Amy and I went and picked up Aaron from his work. We went to Amy’s place to watch some more Buffy.

And not just any Buffy, but the final three episodes of Season 3: The Prom and Graduation Day (Parts 1 & 2). After finally completing Season 3, we watched my bootlegs of the Angel pilot/pitch and both the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer pilot episode AND Buffy the Animated Series pilot. It was quite funny to watch them, knowing where it was all going know AND surprising Amy with the existence of an cartoon pilot.

We broke for lunch at a pho restaurant, and then came back to watch my grand finale for the evening: the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie from 1992, starring Kristy Swanson and Luke Perry! I had completely forgotten how campy this movie was. But watching it, I could still hear Joss Whedon’s voice in the script. I wonder if he wanted to direct it back then, or if he still felt like too new a writer to even dare to dream that.

I really do love Buffy. I have a bit of an obsessive collection. I’m aware of that.

Topics of Conversation: Alan Moore, Homeless Mafia, Sarcasmo, facial expressions, movies that make no sense as to why we like them so much, taco greed, tour buses, lying as usual, etc.


Thursday, June 17, 2010


Getting a paycheck is awesome, isn’t it?

Its just… its money that’s yours. You earned it. It ain’t addressed to you for no reason. You should be able to have each dollar to spend as you see fit. To invest and throw away to your heart’s content.

Too bad it just isn’t like that.

You got the bills. They get first crack at all your money, and they always want more of it. You always want to give them less of it. Really, if all your debt had a face, you’d kick it’s ass. Friggin’ bills, man…

I’m not sure why I went all second-person on you. For all I know, you hate when people assume what you’ll do. But I’m thinking you’re a creature of empathy, and that we’re on the same page, right? OF COURSE I’M RIGHT.

So anyways, I got a paycheck, which I would spend a majority of on bills, and then went out to catch up with Carissa. She was getting her car smogged, and I figured I could help her out in dealing with this big ol’ scary world. After doing that, I would run out to a bank and deposit my paycheck.

And that’s pretty much how the day went. She got her car smogged, saw how easy it was, we got my check to the bank, which actually took longer than it was supposed to. It was much more harder to find the bank branch in question than I had originally thought. But found it we did, and then food was acquired with said money.

After that, Carissa headed home, and I headed to Lainey’s place to watch yet more Lost. I’m officially getting WAY into it. The 2nd Season isn’t quite as good as the first, but its still better written than a lot of the crap on TV right now. I think the other thing I like about it is the sheer ambition. This is a very unconventional show. And its creating its own mythology with each episode.

Lainey fell asleep. I guess she’s not into the show as much.

(I’m kidding, Lainey! She actually already watched almost the entire season).

Topics of Conversation: Dinosaur people, visual learning, hummus for the day, mangoes, diary shovers, banks, sometimes I think too damn hard about stuff, drinking to anything, 3-second memory, cold show, dreams of repeat importance, getting some good anger going, etc.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

1 Gig of Memory

I went to the comic shop today and hung out with Mark and Lainey, talking about random things. Nancy joined up a bit later, as did Victor and Josh. It was nice to be able to go to the shop, especially with how much harder it might be next week. School will definitely take a bite out of my time at the shop.

I tried the Bagel Thin sandwich at Noah’s Bakery. Its worth the $1 I paid, thanks to the coupon I received from Mark, but I would never pay the $4.75 they had it marked down as for “normal” price. Its small, and the bacon I had on it was tortilla chips at best. Don’t waste your money on it. Go for the regular sandwiches.

After the shop, I headed to Norwalk. It was uneventful, but I learned about an app from Bill for my parents’ Droid cell phone. Its called “Vignette,” and it can add different, cool effects to the pictures that the camera on the phone takes. I can’t wait to try it out, though I’m not sure if my parents will want it for very long.

Lately, my laptop has been lagging in memory. Heh. “Lately.” Lately by the past three years or so. I looked at it and realized that I only had one gig of memory left. What? How is that possible? I don’t download movies, and I only write on it. Were my stories and notes really taking up so much room? I had deleted a few programs that I wasn’t using anymore…

So I started checking.

As it turns out, I hadn’t deleted a single picture I had taken and uploaded to my computer since
2006. 2006. That is madness. At the same time, I thought it didn’t take up that much room. So I started to transfer all my pictures to CDs. I didn’t think it would take that long.

FIVE CD’s later and I’m only a quarter of the way done. Holy cow. This is insane I never thought I had that many pictures, or that it took up that much memory. Looks like I win the Dumb Award this year. I’ve already cleared up 3 gigs of memory just doing this first run at cleaning up the memory. I wonder what number of CD’s I’ll stop at?

Topics of Conversation: Fundraisers, all the crazy people in our lives, concert prostitute, Turok scene explanations, bagel thins and smoothies, Hannah Montana, 1000 hot dogs a day, In Edgar Wright We Trust, security cameras, green Solomon Grundy, stress headaches, etc.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Another Day

This morning, I worked for PCTA on a City Works video. This time they were talking about Emergency Preparedness. Its been odd how this has been coming up so consistently in my life. I think I should take it as a sign that I better get ready for some unfortunate turn of events. Well, at least I know how to crib debris off someone.

I headed to Norwalk, with yet another shoot awaiting me. It was another City Council Meeting. It was an uneventful one, at that. These past days have been same old, same old. Sorry that they’re not more action packed. Hopefully the next days start getting more intriguing.

Topics of Conversation: Terrorist hunters, small town robbery, reporter gigs, working the Jib, flues to avoid, when you’re actually looking for a Starbucks, the same story about dismemberment, old timey, etc.


Monday, June 14, 2010


I took a walk today, and I got an idea in my head. I wanted to convert an old idea that I had been working on nearly four years ago into a new idea. I went digging through some old notes, slowly compiling the scattered pieces of the big story arches that I had been devising way back then. I eventually came up with what might be a really fun idea, and some really strong characters. And the overall story can really pay off, especially the big moments I’m planning.

I went to Norwalk as well, and since it was a slow day, I worked on the idea some more. I basically have seven characters that are pretty different, though two might be a little too similar. And the first three story arches build upon each other nicely. And the end result is a world that has supernatural elements, but melds humor enough that having evil, demonic girl scouts fighting the heroes isn’t a stretch.

I know. That’s what I think about when I go on walks?

Topics of Conversation: Russian workout, the environment, busted elevator, hidden lists, art, The Hitchhiker, refrigerators, Neanderthals, bad luck, googling goggles, pasta love, etc.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Half-Assed Journal Entry #07

I was sunburnt and tired from yesterday, so I stayed home and contemplated the movies I could watch.

I also cleaned my car a little more.

And I changed my Summer school class from Environmental Science to Biological Anthropology. Mostly because it would give me even more chance to work on my homework.

Mostly I recovered.

Topics of Conversation: Pandora, the damn Celtics, True Blood’s amazing ability to be both ridiculous and interesting, lasagna, etc.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Quick History of a Different "Love Buggy"

And so we come to Saturday the 12th of June. This day was going to be a long one. It was also going to be a fun day, luckily. But it started at 7:00 am and had a big ol’ question mark at its end point. I had a shoot for PCTA in the morning till somewhere in the afternoon, followed up by a Birthday party for Patrick in the evening. Great times, just a little too much of it.

The shoot for PCTA was at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley. It was a Summer Festival/Car Show. It was a two camera set-up with me as one of the cameramen, one other cameraman, a Producer, and a host. We started off the day with some B-roll of all the cars and early morning festivities, which were made up mostly of a Pancake Breakfast and, oddly enough, some Hooters girls promoting their restaurant. At 8:00 in the morning. That seemed wrong, some how. It was as though, at this hour and with this much sunlight, judgment seemed more easy to come up with. Like Hooters girls should only be allowed out in the late afternoon and in the evenings.

The cars were a pretty cool assortment. You had your usual newer models and older muscle cars, but there were some really awesome custom cars, and even an Amphibious Sports Car. That was actually really impressive. There was even a DeLorean, and I am a complete sucker for DeLoreans.

But the cars that usually make my “favorites” list are the ones with stories. And no story beat that of the “Love Buggy” van. It was a beautifully restored green van that had a sex doll in the passenger seat that the owner affectionately named “Tonya.” The interior had nothing but shag carpeting, a TV, and all wood paneling. The owner was a guy that, if you listened long enough, you could tell had been around. Seen a story or two, and survived double that many. He had even lost ownership of the van more than once, but always found a way to get it back, if just to live in it when he was down and out.

He apparently used the van in his youth for one thing: “To pick up girls,” he said happily. And when I mean “pick up,” I mean literally pick up hitchhikers (predominantly women), and they would be his company for the day… “and the night, sometimes.” Wow. You heard that right. Women just can’t seem to pass up an opportunity to get a ride in a strange van with almost no windows, by a guy of questionable moral fiber.

But he seemed like a nice guy, even if he had only one thing on his mind. At least he was honest about it.

The Festival finally kicked into full gear, and we shot some of the different rides. We tried to get the host onto a kiddy roller coaster, but that was a no go. But we did get on a Ferris Wheel, a Haunted House, a Bumble Bee ride. We all each of us failed to ring the bell on what I feel was a rigged hammer game. I figured it was rigged because I lost. I think my logic is sound.

We tried some of the food from the vendors. And I have to say that the food was outstanding. There was a fried Halibut with French fries that was phenomenal, and a strawberry short cake that had to have had cocaine in it. And some teriyaki beef that was both tangy and sweet. I have never hated working and not having money at the same time as I did at this point.

The entire shoot started at 8:30 am and didn’t end till 4:30 pm. I was sunburnt, tired, sweaty, and ready to sleep for the rest of the day. Oh yeah, and my glasses decided to break some more. Just like that, the lens fell out of the right side. Argh. That’s when I got a text asking if I was on my way to Patrick’s party. Heh. Yeah, I was going. But I was going to take my time.

I got to Patrick’s party, which was a BBQ/Wolfman movie watching affair, sat down with a plate of food and some gaffer’s tape and got to work on my glasses. After they were fixed enough, I started eating and zoning out to the movie. For at least an hour, I was in a complete fog. If the movie hadn’t been playing, I would have just been staring at a wall, drooling. I literally couldn’t conceive of doing anything. I finally shook out of it after Aaron and Amy arrived.

Patrick wanted to play croquet, to which none of us had ever played. So we half read the rules, and half made them up as we went along. Not bad times, even if I felt like I was shaking off a drunken stupor induced by too much sunlight. We eventually started playing a game called (and I think spelled) “Ping Pon Pan.” Basically, it’s a dare/punishment game. An okay game, but in the state I was in, nothing could surpass “okay,” because I was so out of it.

We finished up the game, and started watching Borat, and that’s when I really started hitting the wall. I bided Patrick a good night and a Happy Birthday, said good bye to all and headed home to recover and try to feel human again. This mostly consisted of a cool shower and spacing out till I fell asleep completely.

I made no plans for tomorrow, and I think that’s exactly what I will need.

Topics of Conversation: DeLoreans, sunshine so deadly, the Love Buggy, spines, a Beach Boys cover band, audio shenanigans, a Japanese Crime Dog that cries by saying “wan,” Schlongers the male restaurant equivalent of Hooters, that damn hammer, itchy grass, annoying the neighbors, Korean burritos, art pieces I‘m glad I was present for, too many songs, arrogance that is unlikely, a Pope joke that will never be aired, etc.


Friday, June 11, 2010

My Friend Has a Manga and You Should Buy It

Two good things for me today. First, I had lunch with Sam(antha) at a ramen place in the Marukai Marketplace. And second, I had a solo shoot for Norwalk that was to cover a pep rally for the Special Olympics. Both were good, uplifting activities to participate in. Though I the food was WAY better at the Sam lunch.

To start off, for the lunch with Sam, I punched in the destination into my GPS, Sheila… and was led down a direction that got me to the place, but took way longer than was necessary. Sheila has rarely led me astray, so it was troubling to have such an obvious betrayal of my trust. We will have to talk about it at some point…

I met up with Sam at Book-Off, a used bookstore next to the Marukai Marketplace, and we headed out to get some ramen. Once we got our food, I was presented with Sam’s self-published manga, The Piper’s Promise. She had worked for two months, from writing to drawing to printing, and had just received the copies a few days previously. And she gave me a copy! I gave her all the money I had at the time (three sad, measly little dollars), but figured I would blackmail her into having lunch with me again by promising to give her the other $3 when we meet up again.

Quick Plug for Sam’s Manga!:
Have you ever read the Pied Piper? Have you ever wondered as to the background of this mysterious figure? Who was he? Was he the bad guy? Was he the good guy? Was he human at all? In The Piper’s Promise, the prologue to the much anticipated follow up, all these questions will begun to be answered. But like any fairy tale, Once Upon a Time is only the beginning…

Sam (Sammi G. for print), is only asking for $6 for these little one-of-a-kind babies! The art is completely original, and all the money goes to paying off her publishers (i.e. PARENTS). And it does not get any more Independent then this gal. Hand-made manga, what else do you want? She’s also going to be at Anime Expo, so hit up her table!

So yeah, my friend has a manga and you should buy it.

The ramen at the place was pretty good, but I confess that I still like Santouka more. No place has beaten it for me, yet. But who knows, the future is big and wide and unknown. That’s why it’s the future. After the ramen, we hung out and talked, catching up on all the different people and events in our lives. I eventually had to head to work, and we said our farewells.

Norwalk was a little intimidating, because I would have to shoot everything by myself. No backup. Nobody to ask for advice on a shot. Yes, this is good for me, and it helps me grow and learn. But it still kind of sucks. Especially when the damn white balance changes so damn much!

(“White Balance” pertains to the balance of light and color in a shot, and is a film/video term, NOT a racial one).

The Special Olympics Pep Rally was pretty cool, after all was said and done and video taped. The athletes were happy, as were the parents, and the staff involved seemed to be having a ball. There was a slideshow of all the pictures from past events, and the training that the athletes had undergone. And then there was a big dance party after the Pep Rally was over. I didn’t dance, but everybody danced for the video camera.

After I stressed out if I shot the entire event wrong, or hadn’t recorded enough (I actually recorded too much, but it didn’t hurt to have too much footage), I dropped off the equipment and headed home and caught the Doctor Who episode, Amy’s Choice. Britain was now three episodes ahead of us. But at least I was this far along. The episode was really good, with a great threat and even better character moments. I can’t wait till the next episode. Maybe I’ll charm Vic or Justin into letting me catch the next two episodes before I have to die from old age waiting for America to catch up.

Topics of Conversation: Self publishing, Diet Milk Tea, first autograph, Greased Lightning, AX, music videos you can’t say no to, mango flavored, Free Radar, new Aunts, happy noise, sandals for stilettos, those that we can’t forget, turning green, camera hogs, gentlemen, etc.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Burning Playgrounds of Armageddon

I was invited to Maureen’s Graduation in Moreno Valley. I figured it has been a while since I had seen her and Kristin and the gang, and it seemed like a good reason to visit. Though it does seem that I only get down there for big events. I should just visit for visiting sake. I’ll make a note of that, when I’m not so very broke.

I met up with Kristin ahead of time, and we grabbed some lunch. We hadn’t talked face to face since March(?), and it was just like old times. She’s got a lot of stuff coming up, so it would be interesting to see how all that turns out for her.

We picked up Maureen and headed to her school. After she got processed, Kristin and I found seats for everyone. “Everyone” included pretty much all of Maureen’s family, which is quite the gathering. I’m an only child, so its always like an Anthropology experiment to see how so many different people can be assembled into a living unit. And some of the siblings could not be more different, while some are mirrors of each other. They always love each other, but they don’t always like each other. That’s how family is, folks. I guess we just have to deal with that.

The Graduation was out in the open. Now, I’m not sure if you’ve been to Moreno Valley, but its in Riverside. Riverside is where you go when you want to cook eggs on your belt buckle. The place can get hot. I do not like heat. This is problematic, since I live in California. I really should move to Oregon. Not because it never gets hot there, but because its not miles and miles of raging desert.

The speakers were your usual assortment of Professors that have to speak, former students, and FBI guys that are decently funny. Okay, maybe the FBI part is a little different, but the decently funny part shows up at least once in every Graduation. You have people that don’t like to speak in public, and people who tell speeches that they photocopied from a dictionary.

And then there’s the occasional person that tell a speech that doesn’t make a lick of sense. (I like these the most).

In this case, it was a dude who used to teach at the school. His speech was… baffling, really. He started with a audio sound bite from a movie that, for the life of me, I couldn’t place where it came from. And the audio clip itself was distorted just enough for the words to not make any sense. He then started talking about trains, and how many accidents occurred. As to why, it was never clear.

And then the main theme from Terminator 2 started playing.

It was subtle at first. But it steadily grew to where it was unmistakable. It was in fact the driving drum beat and bass of Terminator 2. You know the song? It played at the opening credits. With the burning playgrounds. THAT’S the friggin’ image that came to my mind as he talked about his inspirational speech. Burning playgrounds of Armageddon.

And then from the subject of trains, he jumped right to “sexting.” Yes. The use of cell phone texts to send words and images of strong sexual content. He even went out of his way to describe what “sexting” was to the audience. He said it was “the use of cell phone texts to send words and images of strong sexual content.” Oh, wait, I said that already, didn’t I? Well, he made sure a crowd full of parents, grandparents, and children now know what sexting is. All this in a Graduation speech. Did this guy just google random things and make a Mad Lib speech?

Anyways, awesome Graduation!

After Maureen was diploma’d and took all the pictures with her family, we headed to a Thai restaurant for dinner. The food was pretty good, and I liked the Pad Thai that I bought. Maureen got a Sweet and Sour Soup that wasn’t half bad, though it had more herbs than vegetables. Kristin got a chicken dish that was really good. So good, that I didn’t like my Pad Thai as much. Oh well, such is life.

We headed back to Maureen’s parent’s place and played Red Dead Redemption. I was soon betrayed by my teammates (Alex and Maureen), but only long enough to laugh at my dead horse. Red Dead Redemption is a crazy game. Think Grand Theft Auto meets The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. You’re a badass cowboy that can do whatever you feel like you can get away with. You keep all the guns you earn. And the map is amazing and completely open to explore. It was really fun.

After a while, everyone was starting to hit the wall (at least, I was and two others were a little tired). I took my leave and listened to SModcast all the way home. Again, I must make a note to hang out when I’m not so darn broke.

Topics of Conversation: Jellyfish song, dancing birds, keeping the genetics strong, grad dust, running to Mexico, pad Thai, Red Dead Graduation, glasses, oleanders, Utah, stealing women, full-time jobs that make you want to commit full-time suicide, CSU Fullerton, uncomfortable choir songs, wacky animes, Misc. Women, soft hugs, where is the beacon?, using the stairs as a zombie chokepoint, writing critique, summoning a donkey, etc.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Longing For The Very Recent Past

I did my comic run nice and prompt this time around. It was a really good one, because nearly the entire band was back together! Victor, Justin, Lainey, Mark, (no) Nancy, and myself kicking it and talking comics. Just like the good ol’ days. Which were about two months ago. I can’t believe I’m getting nostalgic for only two months in the past.

As for comics I bought Secret Six (#22) and Demo (#05). Secret Six was as good as it usually is. Gail Simone has so much more talent than she gets credit for. The simple fact that she can make a character as lame as Catman into an actually interesting and multi-layered person is an achievement in of itself. But the rest of her characters are so well written, too. Each of them have a voice of their own, which is hard for a lot of writers to pull off.

Demo was pretty decent, but this second volume has been a little wobbly. I really liked Stranded (#05), though. I little time travel piece that would have lost steam if it was a series, but as a one-shot, easily entertained and had a great moral that its never too late to make yourself a better, stronger person. ESPECIALLY if you’ve got a nifty time travel power.

I headed to Norwalk for my usual work time. We had a Planning Commission Meeting that, for some reason, started nearly half an hour late. No one really knows why. And the Meeting itself went on for over an hour. Just a long night, I guess.

Topics of Conversation: Hemlock cupcakes, Ruby Quartz, cheap Baseball seats, the other F-word, Pretzel M&M’s, a true Poker face, new cell phones, documentation without informing the subject, Baconaise, Beat Box, etc.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Capable of Being Useful

Today started early for me because of yet another SEAACA video taping. I would, once again, be taping a 6-pack of cats and dogs. 3 cats and 3 dogs. And they would be adorable and wanting a home. So get down to SEAACA, people!

Every shoot I do seems to make me feel a little more capable of being useful. It’s a very gradual thing. Mostly consisting of cussing in my head, and staring at a shot till my eyes bleed. But I’ve had to do less and less of this ritual over the two or so years. Will I ever feel 100% comfortable?
Not bloody likely, but who knows, right?

After the SEAACA shoot, I had lunch with Bill and Musse at Burger Basket. I just really felt like a Greek owned burger joint. And this place hit the spot nicely. While there, Bill told me of a lady who, after picking up food from the very same restaurant, got into her car and was completely oblivious to the fact that the car was heavily leaking gasoline. Her car was running the entire time. Bill said he warned her… from a safe distance. Wow, that lady nearly received a Darwin Award.

I met up with Justin after work and we headed out to the Long Beach Town Center to hang out with Aaron and Amy. I had meant to watch Buffy Season 3 with them, but had forgotten it in my car. The problem was that I had carpooled with Justin in his car. Brilliant, Nate. Still a good night was had.

Topics of Conversation: Moron drivers, leaks, rich Canadian ladies, chili cheese fries, Palpians, free babies with every purchase, 22-year-old cat, the absolute ecstasy of Selling Out, Kenneth Shwartz, job hunting for the kill, the Human Centipede, how to not win fans, etc.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Muthertruckin' Car Wax!

My car is filthy. It’s a fact. And now, because of this very blog, it is a DOCUMENTED fact. I never really think about it until it practically has the little cartoon stink lines and flies around it. I just put it out of my mind.

But today was different. For some reason I looked at my car and saw how dirty it was. It bugged me. So I asked my dad where all our car cleaning stuff was, grabbed it, and went to the nearest $5 automated car wash. After washing the outside, I vacuumed all the little accumulated debris, for lack of a better word. All the pebbles, dried grass and leaves, crumbs, tiny bits of paper, etc. that gathers on the floor of a car.

And then I upped the ante on the car cleaning.

I drove to a nearby parking lot with lots of room and shade. I parked under a tree and busted out the car wax. And yeah, you heard me. The Muthertruckin’ CAR WAX. I wasn’t playing around anymore. I was going to make my car sparkle like a gay ol’ Twilight vampire, or die trying.

Long story short, waxing your car takes a ton of time.

But my car was looking better than it had in a year. On the flip side, the little scratches and dings that had accumulated over its years on the road were now more pronounced. Oh well, the stink lines were gone, and I was feeling accomplished. I got home, cleaned myself up, and headed for work.

Something very quick and strange happened while I was waiting at a light.

Some guy on a bike was booking it and, apparently not paying any attention to the red light, CROSSED THE STREET. And yes, he got hit by a car that was pulling up. Luckily, the car was slowing down to turn, so he didn’t get hit as hard as he could have. The guy got knocked off the bike, and rolled up onto the hood of the car. Before the driver can react, the guy jumps off the hood, flips off the driver, gets on his bike, and high tails it down the street. This was all in the span of no more than five seconds. Insane.

Work, by contrast, was very sane and relaxed.

Topics of Conversation: Fancy apps, digitizing, wax, 0.3 pixels, new accessories, a Slurpee by any other name, waking up, Mozart, etc.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Crepe Tasting Tomfoolery

Way back in the yesteryear of 2006, I went to England. Yes, yes, it was pretty awesome. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I came back to America with amazing memories, DVDs of the TV show “Spaced,” and a seriously depleted bank account.

And a taste for crepes.

A crepe is like a cross between a pancake and a tortilla. In England, they had street crepes that would range from sweet fillings like ice cream or fruit to savory fillings like ham or mushrooms. Each time I had one, the vendor would make it right in front of me, and the end product was always satisfying. I have yet to see many of these delightful eats since coming back to the States.

So imagine my happiness when I found a place right across from Cypress College that makes them. Take a second… Yeah, I look pretty happy right? Wait… why are you picturing me wearing that shirt in your head? Just because I like comic books doesn’t mean I’m going to wear a Wolverine T-shirt! Especially yellow spandex Wolverine. I’m so much more a fan of Wolverine in his 80’s dark brown costume.

How could you not know that? I thought we were friends…

Anyways, imaginary betrayals aside, I decided to grab my friend Katie along for the crepe tasting tomfoolery. She had yet to ever try out a crepe, and I figured the best thing to do would be to let her try it out with me, so I could be the cool guy for the day. I picked her up from her place, and we hit the road with adventure in front of us, and a devil may care attitude to carry us through the miles.

The name of the crepe/sorbet place was Frostbite’s, across from Cypress College. The first thing I had ever tried there was sorbet. This was with Justin after I had some crappy car problems. The sorbet actually cheered me up for a moment or two, it was so good. And now I returned in much better spirits and equally awesome company in tow, I would see if the crepes could put me in an even better mood than I was at the moment.

We got a sweet crepe to share between us. It had Nutella, bananas, strawberries, whipped cream, and cinnamon. It was pretty good. I don’t usually go for sweet crepes. I prefer savory. But this was a tasty little bugger! And we also had some strawberry sorbet. Right now, the best thing there is the sorbet, but the sweet crepes are really good. I can’t wait to try savory next. There’s a chicken crepe on the menu that I think will be as good, if not better, than the sweet crepe.

After Frostbite’s, Katie and I walked around the Cypress College Swap Meet for a bit. Most of the stalls were closing down for the day, but I did spot a little statue that I wanted way more than I should have. It was a dog dressed up as a butler. He was standing up straight, holding a tray next to his shoulder, and was wearing little eye glasses. I named him Owen after a quiet discussion with Katie, though she was more taken with the name Otis. If he didn’t have the little eye glasses, I would agree with her, but I think Owen is more upper crust.

We left the Swap Meet and headed back to her neck of the woods. We hung out in La Mirada Park, and watched various geese. This park was pretty impressive. It had a water park, tennis courts, a duck pond (though more of a GEESE pond by the sheer volume and swagger of the geese), and little posts for something called “Frisbee golf.” What is Frisbee golf, you might ask? Good question. By the power of deduction and plain lazy imagination, I would say that it’s a cross between Frisbee and golf.


After the park, I dropped Katie off at her place and headed back home. I got a text from Lainey letting me know that it was game on for Lost tonight. Sweetness. I had been jonesing for some more episodes of Season 2. I don’t think I would like the show that much if I had to watch it from week to week, but as little blocks of episodes at a good friend’s place? The enjoyment factor is astonishing.

I watched Lost, as Lainey worked on cutting out the fabric she would need for a dress she was making. Hemlock, Lainey’s black cat of mischief, was being equal parts adorable and troublemaker. A good night, after all’s said and done.

Topics of Conversation: Nutella, how to fall, Owen the Butler Dog, trusting with caution, butt muscles, frozen custard, little clones, fabric playing, the little mohawk, The Gnome, blackmail, geeky glasses, dubious compliments, improbably games, the number 22, etc.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Now I'm Ready For Any Emergency

I had to get up early today. Its always one of those decisions I need to plan ahead for. Like going on vacation. I have to make sure my accommodations are seen to. That the transportation is ready to go. That my clothes are ready to be thrown on. But most especially, I need to make sure I wake up in time for it.

And holy cow! I was woke up in time for it.

I was up at 5:30 and out the door by 6:20. I even had enough time to feel almost human. That’s not usually the case when it comes to these morning shifts. And the best part? I beat everybody that was I was meeting up with for the shoot. Shawn drove up ten minutes after me. And Eileen fifteen minutes after that. I was made of victory.

After loading up the gear, we headed out to Cerritos. We were to shoot a Earthquake Disaster preparedness simulation. CERT (California Emergency Response Training) was using an abandoned Medical Center that was normally used by the Police as a training course and had set up six different training scenarios. It was actually interesting, and used a lot of hands on demonstrations by professional firefighters and police officers.

CERT Roll Call!:

1. SEARCH & RESCUE: In the building they had set up obstacles and victims for CERT trainees to find and deal with. There were some overturned desks and “debris” that the they would have to navigate through. And for the “victims,” a bunch of High School students had volunteered to pretend to be the victims, and each one had a different injury. CERT even brought in a makeup artist to apply different injuries, from burns to broken bones to cuts, etc. All the victims were given a card that explained the injury and how badly they were hurt.

2. TRIAGE: Outside the building, CERT set up a place for all the victims to be taken out of the building and sent to, so the CERT trainees could deal with the different “injuries.” So they had blankets, bandages, and other medical items they had to use correctly. At the same time, the supplies were limited, and the Triage people had to figure out who could wait, and who needed immediate attention. All the while, the “victims” had to wail and react to their “injuries.” It was a little funny at times, but did a decent job of stressing out the Triage trainees.

3. STRETCHERS: Trainees were shown how to properly move a victim onto a stretcher and how to transport them. They just used a dummy as a “victim,” but it was interesting to see all the different factors that went into moving someone safely.

4. FIRE EXTINGUISHER USE: CERT had set up some controlled fires that trainees could use fire extinguishers on. So all throughout the day there were clouds of smoke and fire suppressants. But it was cool to see the extinguishers at work.

5. CRIBBING: What the hell is cribbing? Well, it’s the technique that firefighters use to properly lift things off of victims. First, you have someone use some sort of bar and leverage to SLOWLY lift the object up. Then others put whatever they have at hand to “crib” a support under the object so that it both keeps the object from falling on the victim, but also makes the progress of the person lifting the object easier. “Lift an inch, crib on inch.” You don’t have to do a ton of cribbing, just enough to get the victim out from under the object.

6. NOAH: “Noah” is a term for rescuing animals that are in the same disaster situations. It taught the trainees how to deal with terrified animals, and how to care for them in Emergency situations.

The CERT training was actually very well done. I think I even accidentally learned a thing or two. Hopefully I won’t need it.

While at the shoot, I ran into Mike, who is a fellow employee from my job at Norwalk That was pretty funny. It almost seemed like I was cheating on Norwalk with Lakewood. Hey, they weren’t giving me enough of what I needed, baby…

After the shoot for Lakewood, I met up with Victor for lunch. We grabbed some Mongolian BBQ at the Cerritos Mall. I had forgotten how much I loved Mongolian BBQ! I need to find a decent restaurant more closer to where I live. We caught up and talked about the life, school, and art. I gave him a pep talk that I hoped helped. The dude is talented, but his greatest enemy is himself.

Argh. I know the feeling.

After lunch, I got a hold of Carissa for some ice cream. I got a Sour Grape Icee-Thingy-Whatever that I really didn’t like that much. They didn’t have Peach, and I paid for my adventurous decision. Luckily, Carissa wasn’t digging the Snozzberry Icee-Thingy-Whatever she had, so we switched. I now will never buy Sour Grape anything ever again. See? Now I’m ready for any emergency.

We ended the night by catching The Losers at the Brookhurst Theater near my house. Wow. I’ve actually seen this movie THREE times. I’m not even sure how that happened. But I’ve liked it each time, so no harm, no foul. After the movie, I dropped off Carissa at her house, and headed home.

Tomorrow I will have crepes!

Topics of Conversation: Hans and Franz, the lightning bolt, rice fried chicken things, shell casings, purple tongue, the sudden appearance of an unexpected individual, white cheddar popcorn, realizing you are actually pretty awesome, Jonah Hex, Sour Grape vs. Snozzberry, punk girl in a zombie movie, Cinegear, Filipino food, etc.


Friday, June 4, 2010

The Charm of Corn

Because of Memorial Day, new comics did not come in on Wednesday, and were pushed to Thursday. Because of my work schedule on Thursday, I was not able to go to Comics Unlimited until today. AND I had work tonight at Norwalk to shoot a TAP (Teen Awareness Program) dinner. That’s just the way life is, but today could work out fairly well. I could go to Comics Unlimited in the day, and then head to work.

I got to Comics Unlimited and found that Lainey was running the store solo, which always struck me as both cool and crappy at the same time. On one hand, Lainey gets to run the store the way she’d like to. Listen to the music she wants to. Dance in place. Jump up and down. Doodle. Stare at the ceiling. Whatever. She’s a responsible person, so she won’t do anything that could hurt the store. I would love to run a comic shop on my own.

But what about going to the bathroom? What about lunch? What about being alone with strangers through out the day? Besides the occasional Regular (Ex.: ME), she’s got to be professional person AND run to the bathroom. I can see the downside to flying solo in a comic shop.

Moving on

So I got my comics, Invincible (#72) and Demo (#04), and chatted with Lainey about everything and nothing. Mon (another Comics Unlimited worker bee) came in around 2:00 which is about the time I left for work.

I got to Norwalk and found that I was going to do some more Inventory. Mostly the stuff that hadn’t been found in the first two passes. I only found five or so things that weren’t already accounted for. I found just as many things that hadn’t already been on the Inventory list. Looks like we’ll need more tags made up, as well as some updating of the list.

My boss and I headed to the TAP dinner and found that we were nearly an hour earlier than we needed to be there by. It was odd, but I didn’t mind. We went over to a burger place nearby and grabbed some lunch/dinner. I had a chocolate shake as well that wasn’t too bad.

Finally the TAP dinner was ready and we shot all the festivities. The theme for this year was a Hollywood party. Corny, but it’s a teen program designed with all the passion of a Saturday Afternoon Special. These kinds of programs are forever cursed to be corny. But that’s its charm. The charm of corn. Don’t underestimate it.

All the kids seemed to be having fun, and the free food was pretty darn tasty. All in all a good night.

Topics of Conversation: Razors, kitten tattoos, writing, apprenticeships in questionable locales, sign language for “powerful,” girl smelly isn’t as bad as boy smelly, recent confidence, roast beef, Anime Wonder Woman, standing in front of calendars, the new breed of customers, chocolate covered licorice, etc.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Art Recycling Werewolf

I picked up a shoot for Norwalk today. Basically, they needed me to document interviews with two different artists. A committee was assembled to get an art piece for the City of Norwalk. And when I say “art piece,” I’m talking a big ol’ hunk of art that they could show off and point to and say “Yo, we’re an artsy city. Word!”

I can’t go into the details, so I will use this sentence to artfully gloss over the details.
After Norwalk, I headed to Cypress College to check on the status of my class and college fee payments. Success! The class fee waiver had gone into effect, and the remains of scholarship were still active. I pretty much paid for all my school needs without having to sell my kidneys!

For another year, at least…

Patrick called me up to see what I was up to. I told him I needed to run to the Recycling Center, and then I could hang for a bit. I headed to his place, ate a couple tamales, and we were off to save the environment and make a few bucks.

After that, we lounged around his place and watched nearly all the special features on An American Werewolf In London. John Landis is one kooky cat, but deeply likeable. The documentaries were really interesting, and it was amazing what they pulled off with just some imagination and ingenuity. It really inspired me to write something, anything.

I can only hope it’s half as decent a script as Werewolf in London.

Topics of Conversation: Italy, bar codes, metaphors for other things, John Landis, microwave tamales, marble, expenses, flying to Japan, FX, grapes, Masters, names not used, etc.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Olde World Authentic Twittering

I’ve been on Twitter for a bit. Its not something I go out of my way to mention, because honestly, haven’t you heard enough from me on the web as is? I mean, you’re reading this blog, so you might be one of the few that can’t get enough of my weird thoughts on life and stuff and all the things in between. You might actually look forward to this little daily exercise of words I’ve thrust upon myself.

God help you. :-D

Anyways, I kind of just realized that I don’t receive any notifications from twitter. Which is mostly the way I want it, but I’ve come to enjoy some of the twitter feeds that I’m signed up to. And I would like to twitter in the authentic capacity. From my phone. So I recently but my number on twitter, and will receive updates from a select number of feeds. If this fills up my inbox too fast, then I will change it if I have to, but for now this is a fun little experiment.

I better not start getting too much spam. Grrr…

With the invention of blogs, twittering, and the myriad of other ways to communicate instantly, I can’t help but wonder if humans were always this gabby. Did we just never have an outlet before? Would we have gotten just as many tweets if it was possible to do so in 1780? Or 1882? Or 1943?

These are random years I’m throwing out, but picture Benjamin Franklin on a cell phone, twittering “Gonna fly a kite with a key on it for lols. OMG its fukin rainy!”

Or Albert Einstein writing a blog about how much he friggin’ hates math? Or a status update about how crazy a Project in Manhattan is getting?

Have we gotten more impractical and talkative in these recent decades, or was it just more quiet because there was no way to express one’s self in decades and centuries past? And now that blogs and tweets DO exist, will our grandchildren and great grandchildren look upon them as if they were etchings in stone? Anyways, my brain wanders…

Patrick wanted to meet up today, but I had so many things going on, that it just didn’t happen. Hopefully I can get a hold of him later and figure out a better day. I ran around to figure out ways to stretch out my finances till Friday, and went to Cypress College to pay for some side fees that my BOGG waiver doesn’t cover.

I had almost forgotten about the remnants of a scholarship I had received way the heck back in High School. I had been slowly picking it apart over the years, but I still had a few hundred dollars in it to use for the parking pass and Health fee. I found myself quietly pumped to get back into school. I knew that the only thing that had held me back before was my mindset, which was negative to say the least.

But this time around…? I’m ready to learn and surpass my own expectations.

I headed to Norwalk. It turned out I was in for a quiet evening this Wednesday, but tomorrow morning I would have to shoot coverage for a string of artist interviews. What they’re for, I do not know. But I’m happy to have some work tomorrow, on top of the work I have Friday night!

Topics of Conversation: The Story, koalas, Mary Elizabeth Winestead, nails, This American Life, audio coverage, hanging out with cats, E3, school money, dogs eating peanut butter, cheap noodles, etc.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

After Rebate

As of the past month or so, my cell phone had been giving me trouble. It couldn’t hold a charge to save its life. For example, the battery could be fully charged, and I would send out three text messages. And then the battery would be dead. Just like that. And forget having a decent conversation on it! It would just cut out right in the middle of a phone call.

The good news was that I’ve had my cell phone for two years. Which meant that the “New In Two” plan was in affect. I went to a Verizon store on Lincoln, and after looking around for a bit, and avoiding some Hard Sale to get a Droid, I ended up getting a new cell phone that actually was a better upgrade from my old phone, but didn’t end up actually costing me anything more.

After rebate, of course.

Okay, RANT TIME! What is the friggin’ deal with this “Rebate” bull crap?! They keep throwing the damn price around like you already got a rebate, which is a lie, since it hasn’t happened yet. But I still have to pay the money now and there. Isn’t there a sneaky law suit just waiting in the wings for that loop hole of false advertisement?

If the thing costs $100 AFTER REBATE, then that means I end up having to pay over $100 right then and there! Rebate just annoys me, because I always have to figure out the math just that much longer. And I don’t like math, so stop it with this rebate shenanigans!

Okay, moving on…

I checked my e-mail and found that a seat had opened up in Environmental Biology! I hungrily grabbed it and am now waiting for my BOGG fee waiver to take effect. I will probably have to go in tomorrow to pay for the incidental fees. It will be interesting how I pull off paying for them, what with no money in my account…

I held off on charging my new phone till I got to work. Since I would be at Norwalk for over four hours, I figured that I could let it sit and juice up while I earned the money to support my cell addiction. We had a City Council Meeting that mostly consisted of Senior Citizens getting angry at the bus system. Just another day. Just another Council Meeting.

After getting off work, I met up with Victor at In-N-Out. In retrospect, I probably should have bowed out from going. My brain was pretty fried, and I don’t think I was the most attentive of company. But it was a decent hang out, if one that would have been better if I had some more sleep in me. Hopefully I can pull out a higher quality hang-out later in the week.

Topics of Conversation: Droid, eyebrow threading, more talk about cell phones than I’ve done in years, insomnia of a different sort, forgetting to bring the Noise, drunk dancing as a last resort, my poison is Solitude, “That’s What She Didn’t Say,” party dog, two-step to home, etc.