Monday, October 30, 2006

Picture Pages, Picture Pages, Time to Get Your Picture Pages

Your crayons and your pencils are optional.

I thought that I had a dentist appointment this morning. Turns out that I actually have one this afternoon. I should really learn to read those little cards they give you so that you can keep track of your appointments.

Anyway, I now have time to post some pictures from the episode 2 shoot of Life From the Inside. The photos were taken by our incomparable set photographer David Beall. He gave me a couple disks full of pictures yesterday, so I thought I would go ahead and post some of them here (don’t worry, the other producers said it was okay…were you really worried about that? If you were, you’re probably a publicist of some sort.)

So, without any further ado, here are David’s Pictures of the second episode of Life From the Inside. Enjoy.

Oh, and just so you know, there are a couple pictures of one of our rehearsals in here.

Tanya and Kathy directed this one. Good friend, Kevin Sage, did our camera work for the first weekend. Even better friend, me, did the camera work for the second weekend (the outdoor stuff). Kathy had the joy of running the boom for the second weekend, but what you can’t see is that on-set photographer, David, did the boom work for the first weekend (evidently David isn’t “skilled” enough to run boom and take pictures of himself doing it, and – yes – we were a bit shorthanded on this episode, but don’t let that discourage you, it’s really funny – if I do say so myself).

Man, this is a lot of pictures.

And if you ever wanted to know what it’s like to direct an episode of LFTI…

Fun Fact: Working on a project like this can be exhausting.

And showering with your clothes on is an unnatural feeling.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Root, Root, Root for the Home Team

I was watching the Presidential Press conference this morning, learning the subtle differences between benchmarks and timetables when I realized that not only was I extremely frustrated with political semantics, but I was also really, really…bored.

Yes, press conferences bore me. Especially now. Sure, every once in a while someone will stand up and ask the President a “hard” question (“hard” meaning that the President can’t answer it without looking like a complete boob). But the President doesn’t answer the hard questions. He dances around them. He changes the subject. He argues semantics, thus my education began on benchmarks and timetables.

(Okay, I do know that there’s a difference between timetables and benchmarks. I know what those differences are. I understand what the President is saying when he makes the distinction, but really, who cares. Doesn’t it seem a little late in the game to finally come up with goals? Shouldn’t we have had benchmarks in place from the beginning? Am I alone in this?)

Sorry, I’m getting off topic.

As I was watching the conference on ABC, rolling my eyes and hoping that things would get interesting and informative, Jessica Yellin stood up to ask a question. I don’t remember what the question was exactly, but it wasn’t the point. Jessica Yellin is a correspondent for the ABC network.

I don’t know why, but I always get a little excited when I’m watching a press conference and a correspondent from the network that I’m watching the conference on gets up to ask a question. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel like one of the “home” guys is making a score. The networks don’t have any control over who the President calls on for questions. Theoretically, the entire press conference could be broadcast on ABC without the local kids getting to ask anything. So, when it happens, it must be a big deal.

I imagine the newsroom getting very excited when one of their own gets the mic and stands up in front of the Pres. And for some reason, that makes me happy. “Roll Jessica’s Graphic! Roll Graphic!” they shout. There’s a buzz. And then, after the impressive screen-bottom graphic (better than the ones they use for “the other guys”) a satisfied silence at a job well done.

I spent the rest of the press conference hoping that another correspondent from ABC would be called on. I don’t know if they’re allowed more than one. But I had high hopes. It made the press conference much more interesting to me. It was like a sporting event.

Does this make me super-lame?

Probably. But try it some time. It could be a fun early-morning reason to have a celebratory beer.

Drink responsibly.

Fun Fact: The workers left their radio on next door when they went home. It was blasting out Mexican Easy Listening all evening. Someone was forced to break in and turn it off so that they could get a decent night’s sleep. Someone had to trespass, Indiana Jones style, to find that damned radio, hidden on the second floor of one of the unfinished condos, and try turn the freaking thing off without stting loose a giant boulder. Someone ended up just unplugging it because they couldn’t find the power button. Someone took the opportunity to explore a little. Someone thinks that the condos will be pretty cool, but not as large as they had envisioned.

Someone also thinks that the construction site’s scaffolding that surrounds the building is pretty damned rickety. The construction company is lucky that someone didn’t fall.

Someone would have been pissed.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Okay, in lieu of anything interesting to say today, I’ve decided to post some screen captures from “the project.” Yeah! Isn’t this fun! I would have posted nice and clean-looking pictures taken by our on-set photographer (yes, we actually have one), but the pictures are still “in the lab” (i.e. on his computer waiting to be tweaked). So, screen captures are what you get. Stop complaining.

As you know, “the project” will hit the Internet in January (or at least that’s what we’re planning).

And here are some pictures from “the Project; Part Two.” We just shot the first half of “Part Two” last weekend; we’ll finish it up on Sunday. I’m looking forward to it.

Fun Fact: I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but “the Project” has name. It’s actually titled “Life From the Inside.” That’s a fact.

And it’s very time consuming…

Friday, October 13, 2006

Mexican Easy Listening Isn’t So Easy to Listen To

Most easy listening is actually hard on the ears. I don’t generally listen to it so it’s not a problem. But lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Mexican Light Hits. I listen to them most of the day.

Oh, not because I choose to. Lately, the soundtrack to my life is being provided by the workers at the construction site next door. They decided that the perfect place for their communal – and surprisingly loud – stereo is right outside my kitchen window. Of course it’s the one window that doesn’t really close all the way. A typical California slatted-glass number.

The workers have constructed a scaffolding around their building so that they can finish the outside of it which means that their work site is now about three feet closer to my kitchen. Of course, they set their stereo on the scaffolding. What good is blaring your horrible music if you can’t do it from your neighbor’s lap? If I could get my arm out the slatted window, I could just reach out and turn the stereo down myself. But I can’t. (Well…I could, but that would require removing some of the glass slats and then I’d have to clean them and the point is not to add aggravation to my life.)

Also, I can’t seem to figure out which idiot over there is the foreman. The guy I usually talk to isn’t in charge of this particular crew…

Anyway, getting back to the smooth hits of Mexico. I don’t have a lot of experience with this type of music. Mariachi music I’m familiar with. Mariachi music I like. But this stuff is in a class by itself. It’s not that different from the “American” stuff. Just as insipid. Just as uninspired. Just as horrible. Only the Mexican brand is in a fun language that I don’t understand which means that I don’t have to endure the trite lyrics that I’m sure the songs have.

But I am a little curious. See, I took French in high school (very useful) so there’s no real hope of my being able to translate any of the sounds that are blasting from my kitchen. Not that I really want to, mind you. But, like I said, I’m curious and I’m sure that I missing the nuance of just how bad this music is. I’ll pick up a word or two here and there. I know that “amor” means “love” and crap like that. But for the most part, I’m in the dark.

I’ve had to guess at the translation. Here’s what I’ve inferred:

Smooth hits for your construction site; you’re listening to KSMX. Smooth Mexican hits from yesterday…and today! KSMX-X-X-X-X-X-X. And don’t forget the KSMX music festival this weekend at the Palms Amphitheater. Bring a hammer! KSMX-X-X-X-X-X-X-X.

You’re my everything
My life’s reward
I learned to play guitar
Because I was bored

Now I get the ladies
But I really dig the guys
Last week I caught scabies
On my inner thighs

Please buy my records
Play them once or twice
You can annoy the neighbors
Wouldn’t that be nice

Love to make your ears bleed

Should learn how to read

Court ordered to say that last line

Part of my public service sentence

Pay homeless men for sex in a park restroom

Trust me
Baby I love you


I hate Mexican Easy Listening.

Fun Fact: All Mexican easy listening includes the lyric “o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o.”

That’s a fact. I know. I’ve done the research.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Damn You, Bill Clinton

Damn you, Ramadan. Damn you, liberal pussies. Damn you, Democrats.

Damn you, everybody but President Bush. Why have you screwed up things so badly?

The president just wants to be flexible in his Iraq policy by not changing it one iota. He wouldn’t have to look so hypocritical if former administrations hadn’t turned everything into such a debacle. It’s been a long time since Bill Clinton was the leader of our country and it’s still his fault that things are all fucked up.

I hope the next administration can find a way to blame Bill Clinton as much as George HW Bush does. Bill deserves it for keeping us relatively safe from terrorists, nurturing a booming economy, making the United States a greener place and putting more money in the pockets of average Americans. Screw you, Bill Clinton.

That’s what you get for receiving a BJ in the Oval Office.

Fun Fact: On a much lighter note Jared and Tosha have had their first baby! Congrats to them! It’s a boy named Luca A Woods-V (I’ve abbreviated that a little to protect the kid’s identity).

I’ve already asked and, yes, the baby does live on the second floor, but unless you live in a very specific place, he probably doesn’t live upstairs from you and, no, you probably haven’t seen him before.

No word yet on whether the new baby will betray the Corleone family.

Congratulations again to Jared and Tosha, I hope to see the kid next month. I can’t believe that you two are parents! You’ll be great ones, but damn you’re making me feel old!


Friday, October 06, 2006

Don’t Mess With My Mouth

You don’t want to, you say? Well, my friend, there are those who would. I’m not just being paranoid here because I’ve been to the dentist every Monday for the past month and I have to keep going back every week until the end of time.

I was watching the news this morning and amid the Amish funerals, stupid weddings, stories about local FOX news-teams being harassed by protesters and Republican Congressional page scandals (seriously though, the Republicans have built their entire political platform on lies, exclusion, greed and denial of civil liberties and the thing that might bring them down is a bunch of lame-ass “sexy” emails?! We care more about who knew the truth about this stupid crap than we do about who knew the truth about Iraq’s WMD program…my god, we’re all doomed) I saw something truly frightening.

That’s right, look at that image above. Look closely. It’s not a joke. The people at Oscar Meyer actually want kids to sprinkle “Sour Tongue Teasing Fizz” on their little Ritz pizzas. That “fizz” is pretty much like powdered Pop Rocks. They also want kids to put it on their mini tacos and hamburgers (not pictured…you’re welcome).

Now I could be crazy and I haven’t been a kid for a long time now so it’s hard to remember, but I don’t believe that there was ever a time when I was younger – not ever – that took a bite of a hamburger, taco or pizza and thought to myself “golly, if only this was a little more SOUR…!”

And the sad thing is that we adults looks at stuff like this and think “damn, kids will eat ANYTHING!” but the fact of the matter is that kids aren’t coming up with these products. Oscar Meyer doesn’t have a 10-year-old in charge of research and development. It’s some jerk in a suit. And he’s surrounded by other jerks in suits who sit around a table somewhere and say things like “kids like hot dogs, kids like Snickers bars, lets make an all beef hot dog with a caramel center!”

“Peanuts too?!”

“Hell yeah peanuts! Wouldn’t be a Snickers Dog without the peanuts!”


What has happened?

Are we so starved for stimulus nowadays that we have to market nauseating “food” for kicks? Aren’t Lunchables disgusting enough? I’ve actually eaten the tacos and the hamburgers. They already taste like vomit. Is sour vomit really an improvement? I don’t know. I haven’t tried the “Mess With Your Mouth” variety yet. Chances are, I won’t. Ipecac is cheaper.

And while we’re at it, let’s discuss that Air Heads “Mystery” flavored treat that’s included in the meal. Is it really a mystery? I’ve had it, it’s good. It’s not a mystery what flavor it is though.

It’s sugar.

Actually, I believe that it’s a mixture of every flavor Air Heads makes. That’s my theory anyway. But if they wanted it to really be a mystery they’d make it some inexplicable flavor.

I say make it bacon flavored!

Bacon flavored Air Heads. Why not? Kids would go crazy trying to figure it out. They would never suspect bacon…or maybe they would. They eat some crazy shit these days. But as for the Lunchables, bacon flavored taffy is the perfect end-of-the-meal compliment. I mean, what do you eat for dessert when your meal is covered in candy?

Bacon flavored taffy, that’s what.

Oscar Meyer, you’re messing with more than my mouth here. Damn you.

Fun Fact: I’ve been neglecting this blog lately because I’ve been busy working on “the Project.” We started rehearsals for the second part of it and they are great fun. I can’t wait for you to see the finished product.

Here are some new labels I’ve had to make. Think of them as a really lame “preview.” Enjoy.