Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Gimmie some credit

After the admittedly fuzzy details of Saturday, I called the peeps I was with (and the people I drunk dialed after being 86-ed) to try and piece the night together. According to sources.....I was in the show an hour and 20 minutes tops. Probably closer to an hour. Afterwards (and during phone calls) I had the same story as I remembered it Sunday. I felt I had been overcharged, asked about it, got rebuffed...starting being an a-hole about it, got booted. Sometimes I'll dream things that happened when they really didn't so at least my story stacks up for myself.

I did discover that I didn't just "knock down" the podium outside the club, I destroyed it. As soon as Jed mentioned that, I remember clotheslining it on my way by. So, I'm fairly certain they're trying to charge me for that. However I can't imagine a cheesy wooden podium costs $160.00. If so, I want a receipt.

Plus, my credit card charge was one lump sum of $231.00. That means after I left, they threw extra money on there for whatever reason. There wasn't one charge for $71.00 and then another for $160.00.

All in all I now feel bad for my behavior. I always kind of did. I support that club because they aren't owned and operated by Clear Channel, then I go and wreak havoc. BUUUUUT.....seeing now that they tried to add a charge without my consent makes me think they're shady and that I was in fact right the first time when I thought I was getting overcharged. Anyway...the credit card co is working on it and I'll be sure to let you all know how it comes out as I'm sure it's keeping you awake at night.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Saturday Disaster: UPDATE

So upon the advice of my mom, wife and Cossacks, I called my credit card company to make sure I wasn't getting raked over the coals. When I got through to an operator I gave a truncated version of what happenned. Basically that I felt I had been overcharged, complained to them and then was removed from the premisis without signing anything. The operator looked up my charges and....

$231.00!!!!! Those assholes!! I can't believe this. I mean, they should've known I'd look after the charge, especially after the way the situation went down. But to go out an just slap an extra $160.00 on there is ridiculous. As if I wouldn't notice. The credit card company was really nice and they said they're going to call and find out what the deal is and then call me back.

Story in progress.....

Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Rookie

I'm 34 years old and I got thrown out of a concert last night. I definitely feel stupid today, but not as bad as I thought I would when I went to sleep. Here's what happened...

Me and some friends were going to go see Marah. I was PSYCHED! Around 5:30, I went down to Dempseys for dinner and some beers. I had 3 beers in like, an hour and 45 minutes. And dinner. Yet still, I felt kind of loopy. Probably due to a screwy sleep schedule and general exhaustion. But rather than tone it down I, like always, decided to try and power through. I came home to wait for my ride and had 2 more beers over an hour. We drove down to the City (San Francisco) and went to the show. I drank a beer and a half on the walk up to the show. For those of you counting (and for my personal recollectioning) that's 6 beers with food over 3 hours. Still, I admit I was feeling weird and kind of wasted.

Before I left for the show I took out $100 for the show because we didn't have tickets. We got to the show and I bought 2 tickets ($24.00) and I bought everyone a round of drinks with the cash. 2 white russians, a red bull/vodka and a beer for me. I also got another beer or maybe 2 after that with the cash. I remember feeling goofy and like I was being annoying. I'm sure I was, I don't dispute that. However, I'm ALWAYS kind and considerate to bartenders. I don't want to be that annoying a-hole you remember that night when you go to sleep. I'm polite and I tip well. So after beer #2, I decided that I should get a red bull because I was feeling off. I've recently started a Diet Rockstar addiction and it usually sets me straight. So, I ordered a red bull and another vodka red bull for my friend. I then gave them a credit card and asked if they could run me a tab. Those 2 drinks went on that tab. What happenned next is fuzzy.

I was watching the show, but I was feeling weird. I also wasn't digging it all that much. I got another beer or maybe 2. I decided to close my tab and go outside to get some fresh air. I get my tab and it's $71.00! What the hell? I paid cash for the first half of the night and at BEST I had one mixed drink, 1 red bull and (for the sake of argument) 4 beers on the tab I was running. I tell the bartender I don't see how I could have put $71.00 on the tab and she gets all bitchy. I say, "calm down, I just want to see what I ordered" because the tab just said $71.00. No itemized list or anything. I understand she was super busy and didn't want to deal with a drunk "jerk," but c'mon. I wasn't asking for the world. Even if there were six drinks on there, it couldn't possibly be that expensive.

Before I know it, she signals some short hairy douche bag to "deal" with me. I hate guys like this guy. They keep them around because they love situations like this one. They simply cannot wait to make a scene. Yet, and I was admittedly drunk, I just wanted to see what I was charged for. Well this walking short guy complex gets all up in my face and starts saying stuff like "you gotta a problem? You talk to ME...I settle problems around here!" or "don't give my girls any shit, I give out the shit around here." It was like a bad movie. Those of you that know me know I can be obnoxious, but I'm rarely confrontational...anymore. So this guy is literally in my face and I'm being cool as a cucumber. I just keep explaining, "look, I started a tab a half hour ago and it's up to $70.00. It doesn't make sense and I just want to see what's on the tab." That's all I kept saying even as he kept trying to bait me into a fight. Finally he goes, "you cheap fuck, you need to leave...NOW" Fine, I say. But I'm not signing that tab. He grabs me by the arm and throws me out. I'm still not sure if I got charged or not and I have a big ole bruise on my arm today.

So out I go into the drizzly San Francisco night. My friends had missed this whole thing so I had to wait for them. The door guy made me wait down the block too....a-hole. I was so mad, I couldn't be embarrassed...and it was embarrassing. I still don't feel embarrassed today, just confused. So my friends finally came out and I told them what happened. Then, as we walked past the front of the club to the car, I knocked over the big podium that was out front. Veddy mature. But it felt good. The worst part is, I'm not going to be drinking at all until March....my gut, my pocketbook and my mental state need a break. Last night was my big hurrah, yet it was more like a big horrific.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

A Little Bit Ironic? Yeah, I really do think.

Usually when I go to Sundance, I miss all the big winners. I'll admit, I'm a sucker for big name actors and big name directors showing up to their films. It's the only chance I get to be close to those who inspire me. Sad but true. As such, I usually only see the PREMIERE catagory which is films that already have exhibition. They are rarely great. All last week I thought about how I always see movies that aren't indie. They're films with huge actors and newbie, maybe someday, great directors.

Well, this year I saw a lil bit of everything for better or for worse. The only premeires I saw were DARWIN AWARDS, A GUIDE TO KNOWING YOUR SAINTS (both RAD!) and THE NIGHT LISTENER (stupid). I saw alot of the in between and hated most of it. Then I see that 2 docs I thought were trite and far, far away from thought provoking WON something! Maybe I was way too tired and maybe (and most likely) I was SICK AND TIRED of seeing doc's about illegal immigrants.....

Firstly, DeNADIE won the World Documentary Audience Award. Do people feel so bad about themselves they have to vote this rinky dink, poorly made film a winner?? It's about Honduran refugees braving Mexico to get to the U.S. Their plight is truly admirable and the things they face are horrific...but this is not a good film. The stats they put up seem like freaky, overdramatic left wing stats that could easily be proven false and the main characters never fully explain why they need to leave so bad. This films is so impartial, I felt the main people they were documenting should've stayed home! Ugh. Hats off though (seriously) for these super indie people telling their story. As a film though, no way.

"In the Pit," an utterly forgettable film about people building a freeway overpass in Mexico City won World Cinema Jury Prize Documentary. Whaaaat?? Lame movie. Great topic, great ideas.....not a movie though, See my review: here.

Again, I'm not a heartless bastard and I feel for these people...but these doc's sucked.

Then, I see that 2 of my festival faves "A Guide to Knowing Your Saints" and "Quinceanera." won big time!! I think Quinceanera is going to be a minor league HIT and that feels nice to not only see it, but give it support.

My point is thus...
I usually see stuff that is either not seen again or you gotta search for it. This year, I saw stuff that won....for better or worse. I've also been reading reviews of "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints" that are negative. Actually, I've read they were negative, I haven't read em. BUT....it's a great movie. The kind that needs Sundance creds to get people to see it. I guess in all it was a good Sundance, I was just too tired to appreciate it.

Back Home

Whew. As you may have guessed from my many audio blog entires, that was quite a week. I think I saw 24 films in 7 days. Sadly, I only went to ONE party, only hit Main Street once (maybe twice) and I got no swag except for some CD's I'll be exchanging locally and a t-shirt that I have no idea what it says or means.

I also saw mostly crappy movies. The main aesthetic for this years festival seemed to be long takes of naturalistic shots. ZZZZzzzzzz. Even though you can take long shots that you think are pretty, doesn't mean you should take long shots you thin are pretty. Most of these people seem to love Terrence Malick or David Gordon Green yet they seem to forget those guys incorporate actualy storylines into their films. On the other hand, I'm thinking of making a film that captures things in life known to be slow. Mollasses trickling down a fence pole in January, snails crossing grass, paint drying...water boiling. Hell, I saw 3-4 movies that has less plot than that in the last week! I'll get in next year for sure.

I did have fun though. I really enjoy hanging out with the Film Threat guys. We all get along really well and that makes things fun. I think we all got run ragged and I suspect next year we'll have some more writers or cover less films. Part of the fun of Sundance is being social and partying and we hardly did any of that. SXSW should be a treat for working so hard last week.

I'm also a total woosy and get really tired easily. I used to be able to drink and party the night away and get up the next day with all kinds of pep. Now...no way. I was so tired I slept 4 hours yesterday and then slept 12 hours last night. It's all good though because in 5 hours, I'm off to see MARAH.!!

Friday, January 27, 2006

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

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Monday, January 23, 2006

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The longest 3 days ever

I've seen something like 9 films in three days and nothing that's really blown me away. Luckily I haven't seen anything as crappy as the first film I saw, but I'd sure like to see something that kicks ass. I have 3 screenings today as well so here's hoping something good crosses my field of vision.

I got to sleep in yesterday and today so that's cool....I was feeling pretty ragged. I'm not sure how I'm liking this whole press thing, to be honest. I LOVE FT and all these guys and it's fun being able to hang with them more while I'm here. But the last few years, as a volunteer, I would just go see whatever I wanted and if they needed a review, I'd do one. I also got to go out at night. I haven't even walked the madness of Main Street yet. Hopefully the reigns will loosen later in the week. We're all itching to party.

Today I'm going to a private party with Todd Snider! Should be awesome! It's at an art gallery on Main Street. I'm also going to try and take that time to get some decent photos rolling.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

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Saturday, January 21, 2006

On a roll...

Here's some more photos for your viewing pleasure.

This "Brokeback Bedroom" as you can see by the note on the door placed by illustrious prankster Chris Gore. Last night he put bubble wrap over our toilet. Har de har.

You can see the bunkbeds in the background. Sooo hot.

Here's me and the rad Mark Bell:


Oh yeah!

It snowed today! It's such cool snow...it's like little cotton puffs falling all over the place. It doesn't even make you sopping wet either...just floats off you. Here's a crappy photo to prove it:

I want to start using my regular digital camera, but the port here is messed up so I can't access the net trhough my mac. All my reviews are on there too so hopefully we'll get it worked out.


Me tired...as was evidenced by the last audio blog. Here's me on the bus this morning after posting that:

I saw FRIENDS WITH MONEY at 8:30 a.m. and it was O.K. It had Jennifer Aniston (in a sexy french maid outfit), Catherine Keener, Frances McDormand and Joan Cusack. It was a chick flick and I'm not sure what the message was...but it was O.K. Last night I also saw WIDE AWAKE which was so-so. It was about a guy who can't sleep...it was a doc. Actually, it kind of sucked. Then I saw a adoc on eating disorders called THIN. It was really, really awesome and is going to be on HBO in the fall.

I just saw OPEN WINDOW and it was o.k. as well. Nothing special. Next I'm seeing a doc on illegal immigration so that should be interesting. No rest for the weary!
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Friday, January 20, 2006

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006


This is what I've been assigned. I'm going to do my best to stick to it but parties, hangovers and a private party with Todd Snider on Monday may alter things. Here goes:

10:00 THIN


9:30 a.m. Battle in Heaven
10:00 KZ






MARAH at Cafe du Nord (no rest for the wicked!!!!!)

Sundance...you better take care...

"if I find you been sneaking down on the stair...." Yeah, it was "Sundown," I know. And I don't think there was stair sneaking going on. Anyway...

Tomorrow is going to be a personal disaster as I have yet to pack for my trip to the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. I am the ultimate OVER packer but I don't feel too bad about that when I go to Sundance because it's cold, snowy and chock full of Mormons. You just can't pack enough to defend against those things. However all week I've felt antsy and nervous and already sweating that I've "forgot something." I won't be able to sleep tomorrow night, I guarantee.

I made a list of the films I've been assigned so feel free to check them out and go to Sundance.org and see what I'm in for. I'll post it aboce this post. Mark Bell over at Film Threat did a really nice job assigning us screenings. If he kept us out late on one night, the next day usually doesn't have a screening until Noon. Very cool. However, I've never "had" to see films at Sundance. I always volunteered (for 9 years!) and then saw what I wanted and wrote a review if it was a movie they didn't have. now I've got 3-4 screenings A DAY and alot of it is, well, stuff that doesn't sound all that great.

Plus the screenings I've always gone to have been the ones with the regular crowd and the stars and the filmmakers. My screenings are thus far all press screenings so it'll be me and fellow sweaty film journos. I'm certainly not complaining, I'm just not sure what to expect whereas before I've had it all timed out down to the inevitable crash in day 10. That's another cool thing, I'm only there for 7 days instead of the usual 12-14. 7 days at that madhouse is juuuust enough.

Anyway, please feel free to comment on my blog (now and anytime) and be sure t check out Film Threat as well. Thanks for reading....

The good, the bad and the stinky

Working backwards from my title...

Yesterday at work, I was in my itty-bitty "office." It's like....7 feet long and 4 feet across....pathetic. I'm typing something and this really cute little girl comes in, one of my favorite kids. She starts launching into this rant about how she needs to use my stapler and because 6 year old girls ranting is never not funny, I kept asking dumb questions to get her more pissed. Suddenly, mid-rant...a little "shwerrrrp" comes out of nowhere. She totally ripped one in my office! It STUNK too. Needless to say, I gave her the stapler and evacuated the area immediately.

Lesson: Don't mess with gassy 6 year old girls.

Last night for work I had to attend a Planning Commission Meeting. We're trying to get a new building built and the citizens are being bastards about it. So to show support, myself and some staff and a bunch of parents went. At these meetings, the commision and the people debate over whether or not certain projects are a "go" for the town and they deal with dividing property, who pays for what, etc. Well, there's this development group that wants to build three houses near a creek and all boring hell broke loose. This environmental guy did a whole independent study on the impact of the creek and this other old man (who I have a feeling attends EVERY city meeting) had some really neat drawings (not) on how these houses would affect the view. Long story long, these two jackasses took over an HOUR to get their point across. This was upsetting on 2 levels.

The first, because it was fucking boring. Downright excrutiating.

Second....I hate urban sprawl. I hate the way people simply must build on every spot of vacant land in Northern California. It's about greed, not proper housing. So, in my heart, I was proud of these people for fighting for their hometown and this really pretty creek that "might" be affected. But, on my ass and in my pounding headache, I was wishing they would start coughing and just stop. Not only that, but their complaints were all for naught because the project was a go.

Lesson: Never try to do anything.

And finally...
I leave Friday morning at like 5:30 for SUNDANCE!!! I'm excited because I'm going solely as a writer for Film Threat. I get to see my FT buddies Chris, Mark, Eric and Pete and it's going to be super fun. Stay tuned to this blog and to Film Threat because I'm bringing the camera and plan to do alot of blogging. Also, Film Threat is going all out and are doing video blogs, reviews, interviews and podcasts (I think). Should be a blast!

Lesson: Getting away can't ever come soon enough.

Friday, January 13, 2006

DING DONG the Wicked Witch is....MOVING!

When we moved here, I was happy to have a house with a yard. I loooove to barbecue! I like to do it alone in my backyard, some beers, some CD's and some sunshine. It's my little vacation from life. We have a super cool little yard and I was psyched. That was until about 9:00 p.m. on the night we started moving in. A bunch of us were sitting in our vacant living room, talking and having some drinks when suddenly, there's the doorbell. My wife answers it and it's a raggy looking red headed chick in a bathrobe. "Yay," we both thought...."the neighbors want to say Hi!"

But the lady just stood there with a look on her face kind of like when you smell sour milk. "Uhhh...yeah," she says, "ummm...it's 9:00 and we have children so, we're going to sleep." No "hello," no "welcome to the neighborhood." That was more or less the greeting. Furthermore, we were talking in our house. Not partying, or screaming....sitting around chatting. So, that was crappy. We kind of laughed it off until...it kept happening.

Cut to a few days later. 9:15 p.m., TV is on, front door is open because it's 90 degrees and we don't have AC. *knock* *knock* *knock* "Hiii...yeah, can you close your door? We're going to sleep"....on and on this went on.

A few days later the redhead and her cuckolded hubby and their 2 doomed kids went out of town leaving the house in the capable hands of her 18 year old Eminem wannabe son. What did that mean? Parties 4 straight nights until 4:30 a.m. We didn't say a word because hey, sometimes neighbors make noise. And, we wanted to have ammo for the next time she griped. When they got home, the teen was kicked out of the house, evidently some other neighbor decided to shoot their ammo prematurely. However, a week or 2 later, we were fully stocked.

I had been at Hooters in San Francisco ALL DAY and was "asleep" by 11:00 p.m. It was around that time my wife heard a melee next door. Apparently the redhead and her hubby were having it out and she started screaming at him "I've been a whore....I've been a jezebelle....I fucked other men....I squealed like a pig for you!!!" and on and on. My wife sat on the back porch taking notes on the whole thing. A few days later, our cousin was over with her fiance and we were again, talking in the house with the door open cuz it was hot. Here she comes....pig squealing jezebelle herself....*knock* *knock* *knock*. Well, my wife (bless her) was prepared and told this beeotch off. She told her that her son ahd a party, we didn't complain, she fights with her husband at midnight, we don't complain..."live and let live" is what my wife said.

Well, the "fight with your husband" comment knocked her for a loop and she tried to backpeddle saying it wasn't her. But strangely, she never came over again. Well, one time we were having a Hootenanny in our backyard and I think she was going to bitch, then she saw 15 people and our neighbor from the other side and let it slide.

Lately they've been doing a bunch of work on their house and in this sellers market, that can mean only one thing. We waited and spied and prayed and then, Wednesday morning, a moving truck pulled up next door. They started bringing in boxes! Boxes came out full! The neighbors stayed the night somewhere else!!! In short....'BUH BYE!!! Parties at our house all summer!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Where I come from isn't all that great...

I've basically lived my whole life in Petaluma. We moved here when I was like, 8 and I've been here ever since. I had 2 stints in a town North of here called Santa Rosa, but Petaluma has always been home. That was until 2001 when I moved to Los Angeles to pursue my true love....film. Technically, *we* (my wife and I) moved to Sherman Oaks, CA which is in "The Valley."

I liked Sherman Oaks because when I was in High School, there was a cheesy T&A comedy show on Showtime called "Sherman Oaks." Just kidding (sorta). I liked it because it was 20 mins from Northridge (my school) and 20 minutes to basically anywhere else in LA.....depending on traffic. Plus our neighborhood was nice. Palm trees, pleasant people and good restaurants. Once we moved in though, I realized that it was where I was supposed to be...if that makes sense. I'm about to go all spacey and kismetty and philosophical on yo asses....you've been warned.

As I said, I moved South to pursue film...more specifically, filmmaking. 3 days after we moved in, we saw our neighbor on "Law and Order" in a recurring role. Not like....a random neighbor....I'm talking the guy who shared our wall. This simply amazed me. The guy was a total douche bag and I hated him, but the fact that we had just moved in and your a-typical dick next door is on "Law and Order" blew me away. Sometime later that week I went for a walk. I rounded the corner and saw 2 kids with their dad telling them "hey, slow down...wait up." That dad was John Fogerty. JOHN FOGERTY was around the block from me! And so it went....Kato Kaelin in the Baha Fresh by our house (I'll never forget seeing him, realizing who it was then hearing "fish tacos for Kato....Kato...fish tacos"), Alec Baldwin at the coffee shop around the corner...on and on. I'm not a celebrity seeker, but I love being around celebs...or more importantly, film people. And that's what it was like in L.A. Once I was having a rough time in my life and was lucky enough to get tickets to see Bruce Springsteen at Dodger Stadium. I went to get a beer and recognized Mark Pellington, a director I truly admire. His video for Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" made me look at film aesthetics for the first time and his film "Going All The Way" was one of my first Sundance experiences.

I saw him in the beer line as I went to the restroom and I told myself, "If he's there when you come out, go ask him for an internship." I whizzed, came out and met Mark Pellington. He was so gracious and blown away I knew who he was. He gave me his card! THAT, in a nutshell, is what I loved about my time in L.A. Opportunity (or John fucking Fogerty) around any corner. When we decided to move back to Petaluma, I was less than thrilled. About 4 months into moving back, I went to the Sonoma Valley Film Festival and saw a movie called "My Date With Drew." It was great! It's a doc about a guy trying to get a date with Drew Barrymore. When they showed his apartment, it looked familiar. After about 10 seconds it donned on me, he lived DIRECTLY next door to me in Sherman Oaks. And he made this great movie! It was crazy.

Since then, I've seen my old neighborhood on TV or movies (like "40 Year Old Virgin") about 5 times. That's why I'm writing about this now. I was just watching "Iconoclasts" on Sundance Channel and Sumner Redstone , 9 time billionaire and owner of Viacom went to buy fish at the shitty tropical fish shop around the corner from my old apartment. I always thought it was a mafia front and not a real fish store. I miss L.A. but am grateful for my job and for my hometown. However, I can’t help but think that little spot in Sherman Oaks is trying to lure me back….

Monday, January 09, 2006

Thank God I'm (not) A Country Boy

On some random radio station this morning, the media dude on the air was talking about the PBS "Frontline" movie entitled COUNTRY BOYS. The way they made it sound pretty much sounded like a white trash version of HOOP DREAMS....so I figured I'd give it a shot. Turns out COUNTRY BOYS, at least the first part, is outstanding!

it is, indeed, a white trash HOOP DREAMS of sorts in that we follow two Kentucky high school boys named Chris and Cody through their final 3 years of high school. Cody is a kid whose been bounced around alot. His mother killed herself when he was like, 5 months old and when he was 12, his dad killed his stripper stepmom and then himself. He now lives with a distant relative he calls his grandma. He's pretty messed up but has found Jesus, a girlfriend and the guitar. But the kid named Chris is simply heartbreaking.

Chris lives in a trailer in a "holler" (more or less an anti-neighborhood waaay down a dirt road) with his little sister, his unemployed mom and his unemployable, alcoholic dad. This kid is soooo smart and just has negative 10 confidence. It's laughable they way he articulately explains how "slow" he is. Like, he volunteers to make a school newspaper for his (and Cody's) continuation school. However, he says he needs help because he's slow. He says this in front of the school and seconds later laments how bad he is in front of people. It's just...crushing. You see this bright, funny, witty, articulate kid who just has no idea how great he is.

I can't wait for parts two and three....they're on tomorrow (Tuesday) and Wednesday on PBS. What I like best is how well you know these kids and also, how easy it would be to make fun of their many misfortunes or to be condescending and call them rednecks, but the movie does neither. I highly recommend you check the show out....you won't be sorry. You can also watch them or buy them here.
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Sunday, January 08, 2006

Yet, I regress...

Just went with the wife to see MATCH POINT and it was really awesome! Hopefully more on that later. After the movie we had to go to Home Depot to get some stuff for my father-in-law to fix the window on the door I broke. I was sober when I broke it too, just stuck my hand through it when I reached back to catch it before it shut. Anyway...the following conversation took place at the paint counter as we waited for help.....

MAN IN HOME DEPOT: Hey....I need some heat resistant caulk (only he said it without the "L")
ME (nasal clearing): SKOFF
STORE CLERK 1: Caulk? (again, no "L")
ME: Oh man....classic!
MAN IN HOME DEPOT: Yeah, caulking for a hot area (again, and forever more....no "L" is being used)
ME: (eyes watering) I gotta go...
STORE CLERK 1: Hey, Joey....can you show this gentleman where the caulk is?
JOEY: Sure...we keep all the caulk right over here...

At this point, I notice the 2 gals at the counter are either lesbians or just two older, single women in Home Depot together on a Sunday night. I choose to believe they were lesbians because of the following...

STORE CLERK:(to the gals) I don't know where the caulk is....
LESBIANS: (look at each other, perplexed)
STORE CLERK: You 2 might have better luck finding the caulk than me at this point...
ME: (Look at my wife, shocked she's not hearing this) I'll be in the hot tub area....

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Hey, you can't steal my words!

I was just ego surfing (in an attempt to avoid shooting a project I want to shoot for a contest...it's due Wednesday) and came across here. Apparently I mixed up the Catholic church with Christians in a review of the movie "Saved!" Oopsy. This op-ed piece doesn't really make alot of sense, but I kind of agree with what the author says about the film fitting into "the smug stereotypes about religion...especially the non- Buddhist ones." Well, I agree with the part about the stereotyping.

Anyway, I saw the piece and wondered if there was some Christian coalition out against me, but I think I'm safe. I also need to be more careful getting my facts straight on reviews. I've done that before (catholic/Christian, motown/be bop) type of thing before and it wreaks havoc on your credibility. Ten seconds of clarification isn't too much time to save yourself the embarrassment of sounding smart when you're really being dumb.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Get Your Hands Off Me You Damn, Dirty Corporation

From the office of WHOOPSY comes news that Walmart has discontinued their online DVD system because people searching for movies about Martin Luther King Jr. were being given PLANET OF THE APES as a good option. Duuuude. Classic. The Walmart people must be suffering from the same bad karma as our fearless leader, G.W.B. Both have been catching a ton of heat for various malfeasons and both just keep getting it piled on. Couldn't happen to a nicer group of corporate bastards.

Read the whole story here.

Welll...isn't that special

I live around the corner from a HUGE Catholic Church. Since I live in California, Catholic Churches mean droves of hispanic attendees. I say that only because from Friday night until Sunday night, our street is a madhouse. People parking all over, families walking to and from church, people selling ice cream, corn on the cob and other yummy items....it's crazy. There's plenty of white folks too....I'm not discriminating or cursing hispanics. It's just that by and large, the hispanic community comes out for all the Church services...not just holidays like the whiteys do.

Anyway, it's a really beautiful Church and I especially dig the towers, pictured here. There's also amazing stained glass windows and a fountain that's closed this week because someone put soap in it. It probably needed a good cleaning anyway because one of my wife's friends peed in it a little while back. Her friend is a girl too! Sadly, no photos of that.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

When the devil came, he was not red.....

I was sorting my laundry today like a good boy when something I've always known but never really thought about dawned on me. That is, I might have a Wilco problem. Those of you who know me personally and especially those who know me from the internets probably already knew this, but just like an alcoholic or an over eater or a druggie....everyone knows it before you know it yourself. How did I stumble into this self-relization via laundry sorting, you ask?

As I "folded" my various items, I realized I had just washed 5 seperate Wilco t-shirts in that load. A sort of sick feeling hit me and I wandered over to the dresser and peered in. There, after poking around for quite a bit due to my bass-ackward version of "folding," I saw 3 more Wilco t-shirts. This made me think and I put my hands in my brand new Wilco track jacket. I'm not kidding....I have that many WIlco shirts and TWO Wilco track jackets and I was wearing one at the time this story takes place. I also have about 10 bootleg live CD's, all their albums (6....or 8 if you count each CD in a double album seperately) plus the bands the 2 comps with Billy Bragg and the one with the Minus 5, 2 Jeff Tweedy solo CD bootlegs, 2 Wilco books, 2 Wilco DVD documentaries and about 6 Wilco concert posters. Jesus, I'm sick with this!

However, like any good addict unwilling to take the first step in healing, I simply didn't, and still don't, care. I finished burning a double bootleg CD for a friend then burned myself some new live Jeff Tweedy downloads to a CD and drove to work listening to it. Bartender....Wilco! Wilco for all my friends!!!

Heyyyy! That was MY Idea!!

I've stolen what I think is a GREAT idea from my friend Neil. On his myspace page (which I will not post out of fear my stalkers will begin stalking him...and he's in Virginia) he said he likes to try and take at least one photo every day. That's a freeking great idea! I feel like it would keep me always looking at the amazing, funny and interesting things around me and also might keep my head going in a creative direction. So, starting today with the above picture, I intend to take and post a photo a day....if they're decent. In much the same way as I don't like looking at someone else's baby book, I'm sure you don't want to see crap on my page. (This coming from the guy who just posted about his laundry!) I'll try and keep it to interesting stuff in and around my 'Hood. That way, all my friends across the U.S. can see what it's like to live in MY world. Mwoo-ah-hah-hah-hah-hah.

The above photo makes wine aficionados go all wet and gooey inside. But for me, it means I'm on my way to work. It's the sign between Calistoga and St. Helena CA., the "Gateway to the Napa Valley Wineries." The vines are all dead and twisted now but a few months ago there were chock full 'o grapes. My favorite time of the year is September/October because they wineries are making tons of wine and the whole valley smells like a wino. During that time, I'm not so self conscious about my stale beer/7-11 nacho smell.

I took the photo on my brand new camera phone (black RAZR, baby!) and it's so-so. I need to start carrying my regular digital camera around.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Someone kick my ass

Awake ot 5:45 a.m. on a holiday? Ugh. I can't help it, I couldn't sleep. I had a weird dream that I lost my front tooth and couldn't find it anywhere, then I realized I totally left A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE off my Top Ten. Even worse (aside from the fact this woke me up) was that I saw this movie twice and got more out of it the second time through.

A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE belongs in my top 5 and we'll just put it at say......3.5. It's such an exciting and complex movie...you really do need to see it twice. That's not to say it's not great the first time through, because it is. One major thing I noticed about the movie (MINOR SPOLIERS HERE) is that it's really two 45 minute movies that act as a whole. The first half is before the Viggo character is driven to act violently, and the second half is life after that. How it affects his family and him. In fact, the film kind of repeats itself in a darker, more busted up way in the second half. Many of the same events happen again (the son gets bullied, an intense sex scene, etc) but they play out much differently once violence is introduced.

Anyway, an awesome film and I can't believe I left it off. Enjoy your day....I should crash around 3:00 p.m. and then screw up my sleep pattern for the rest of the week. Wheee......

Sunday, January 01, 2006


Before I list my top 5, I want to list some movies I really liked this year, but there just wasn't enough room for. Those are: ELIZABETHTOWN, NINE LIVES, OFF THE MAP, PALINDROMES, MYSTERIOUS SKIN, SIN CITY, GREENSTREET HOOLIGANS and BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN.

Now, onto our regularly scheduled program...

Yeah, yeah….cheesy heavy handed dialogue does suck…but Episode Three is still a really good movie. I feel like the Star Wars films are going to be the last group of movies that sort of fit into some kind of American mythos. I love the Lord of the Rings, but those were books first. The 6 Star Wars movies are all George Lucas….for better or for worse. Seeing Annakin become Darth Vader was like finding a hidden treasure after years of looking. Then, they almost ruin it as he yells “NOOOooooo.” But still, a great end to a great group of films that have been with me my whole life. We finally see what happened to Darth Vader and how an epic trilogy started many years ago.

Awesome! Disturbing! Sad! Frustrating! Ridiculous! Those are just a few words to describe this incredible doc by one of my favorite filmmakers, Werner Herzog. GRIZZLY MAN is part an assembly of videos left behind by Grizzly bear enthusiast, Timothy Treadwell. This nut job would spend summer living and documenting Grizzly bears until one finally ate him and his girlfriend. Herzog compiles this footage with more current interviews with friends and colleagues of Treadwell and it’s just an amazing movie.

Plus, I love the way the film is totally a Werner Herzog movie! Herzog makes fiction films about men who are completely obsessed with achieving their goal. They stop at nothing…just like Treadwell. My favorite Herzog movie is AGUIRRE: THE WRATH OF GOD. Check out this picture and then rent the movie. It’s sooo weird and amazing!

This is where my list gets dicey. I genuinely LOVED this movie and thought it was my number one. Then I saw my #2 movie again and saw #1 and thus, THE WEATHER MAN got dropped. Still I loved this movie and it totally tanked. I don’t think the movie studios knew how to market this dark comedy. Ironic because a major theme of the film is about how contrite and lame the media can be.

Anyway, Nicolas Cage is a (you guessed it) weather man who has serious dad issues and even more serious identity issues. The movie is so funny and touching….I hope people rediscover it on DVD. I need to see it again because throughout the whole things I just kept thinking to myself how great I thought it was and I think I missed a few things.

I saw this again on Friday at the super duper movie theater George Lucas put together and man, what a great movie. I still haven’t been able to piece together the racial things that I touched on before, but even the second time through, KING KONG is just a blast! It still takes too long to get going, but once they hit Skull Island, it’s ON. And it doesn’t stop. Bar none one of the most fun popcorn movies of all time.

When I saw this, I really liked it and it made me think. Then I found myself thinking about it more…and more…and then some more. Then scenes from the movie were playing in my head and more thinking ensued. As the days went on, a movie I felt strongly about had really become much…better as it sank in.

I won’t get into the obvious message of the film (which is an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind) but DAMN Steven Spielberg can still bring it when he wants to. I need to see this again because there’s a lot going on on a lot of levels and nothing is too laid out. Great movie…great director.

So there ya go…my Top 10 for the year. I hope 2006 brings more excitement in the movies and I hope you get to see some great stuff.


I’ll tell ya what…..I just can’t make up my mind on my top 10 movies for the year. I’ve been chewing it over and over in my head and, I have a group of movies I really like, but I’m having a hard time placing them 1-10. I’m just going to go for it though because it’s silly to waste time thinking about it any longer. Just know that the top 3 ones are fairly interchangeable depending on my mood that day. So….with no more slacking off….I present my Top Ten Movies for 2005!!

I had originally ranked this film in my top 5 then made the mistake of reading Armond White’s piece about how “smug” a movie it is. While I think Armond White is an insane genius….he got me thinking and he was right. The movie is kind of too smug for it’s own good. However, I really, really like Noah Baumbach (the writer/director) and it is a really good movie. Note to self: Don’t read what critics write…ever.

Such a good movie that people just didn’t “get.” I think people though that a Bill Murray movie with Jessica Lange and Sharon Stone would be some ha-ha funny movie about middle aged people coming to grips with life. Well, BROKEN FLOWERS is actually an art film mixed with film noir mixed with comedy and drama. Good stuff.

Yay!! Someone got it RIGHT! Perfect casting (aside from Katie Holmes), awesome story and great direction from Christopher Nolan. Just a fun, intense, interesting, action packed movie. Can’t wait for the next one….rumor has it Phillip Seymore Hoffman might play the Penguin!

Yes, I took the easy way out and tied these 2 for #7. Sue me. JESUS IS MAGIC was one of the most offensive and funny movies I’ve ever seen. Plus I have a major crush on Sarah Silverman. She’s so hot and funny…sigh. I heart her.

THE COMEDIANS OF COMEDY is another kind of stand-up act/documentary and it’s hysterical. The movie follows comedians Patton Oswalt, Maria Bamford, Brian Posehn and the (brilliant) Zach Galifinakis on a comedy tour. The stand up stuff is really funny but just seeing these people play off one another is more funny. It’s out on DVD so check it out!

Such a great movie. Not only does it cover one of the nastiest incidents the U.S. government has ever done to our people (the communist witch hunt) it also seems incredibly relevant today. Our news media has become entertainment and that’s not what it’s supposed to do. I hope people catch this film on DVD and demand our media ask the tough questions….they simply have to.

Coming next...the Top 5....