Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Last Weekend

So last week was pretty lax at work as the kids are still on summer break and our program shuts down. I had a few things to do, but mostly it was mellow. My wife's friend came in from L.A. last Thursday so I used her going to the airport as an excuse to go to Dempsey's and get a ride back home safely. I hadn't been there in a while and, well, it wasn't that great. Same people doing the same stuff. Yawn. I hit some other bars too then we had dinner and I went home. But, late that night I told A.J. (my wife's friend) that I had a big plan for the next day.

Friday rolled around and I got up around 11:00 after A.J. started yelling "Donny and A.J.'s Day of Fun!!" as loud as she could. So I got up and we walked down the street and had pizza...then went next door and saw the movie ROCKET SCIENCE. It was really, really good! It's about this super competitive girls on the debate team who recruits the school stutterrer to be on the team. There's alot more to it than that and the film is pretty one of a kind. I LOVED the music most of all. It was done by Eef Barzalay of the band Clem Snide. Lots of funky guitars and toy instruments. Very cool.

Then phase two of the day went into effect. There's a bus stop 20 feet from my house that goes downtown every 20 minutes. My idea was to take the bus to Russian Rivew Brewing, hang out there till my wife got off work and at that same time, my buddy and I would be off to see WILCO. Did I mention Wilco figured into this plan too? Well, they did. So we took the BUS downtown to drink beer.

There was me and A.J. and this younger hispanic girl on the bus when we stopped around the corner and picked up a young black man on his way to work at Target. As the bus rolled on, he turned past us to the young girl and said, "So where's the parties at tonight?"

She rightfully said, in a "who the hell are you?" type of tone, "Parties? How would I know where the parties are at?" The black kid shrugged and goes, "What, are you pregnant?"

Seriously, that was the conversation. Apparently if you're a female and don't know where the parties are, you must be pregnant. She said she wasn't pregnant and then proceeded to go sit next to the guy and chat the whole way downtown. He even scored her digits! I weep for our future.

So A.J. and I got dropped off downtown and spent a good 3 hours at Russian River before our respective rides took us away. Wilco was amazing!! I know you might think I always say that, but I listened to a few live shows lately and they were dull and boring...and it felt like Tweedy was doing the same banter. And he did the same sort of banter at the show we went to, but then he opened up and had fun. They played for over 2 hours and included some songs I've never heard them do. They were tight but loose and had a kick ass wall of sound going the whole night! It was killer!

Then I came home and watched about 5 episodes of "Flight of the Conchords" and passed out in my chair.

This will be the last big weekend for a while as the baby is coming, I start the Masters Program at SF State this week, we're editing our new film AND my work restarts this week. Not cool, not fun....busy. It's almost like I'm a grownup and that's not cool.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I'm afraid of Americans

Each day that I walk my dog, we always pass these crappy, stinky, ghetto looking apartment buildings and on the balcony of one of them is a big ole American flag. I've noticed it the last 3-4 times and it always gets me thinking. Do you notice that like, 98.7% of the American flag stickers you see on a car are usually accompanied by some kind of pro-war or pro-Bush sticker? Or at best there's a "support the troops" ribbon and at worst, something creepy like...a rebel flag or Calvin pissing on a Ford logo or what have you. When did my flag become the logo for arrogant, misinformed, xenophobic dipshits? Yes, you absolutely have the right to support who you want and support the idea of "America" (which incidentally is being raped by the very same people you so rabidly support) but I can't help but feel people flying the flag don't really support "America" as much as they support bullying anyone who doesn't support right wing philosophies or war.

I will say that when I see an American flag with a peace sticker near it, that same car usually has about 50 stickers promoting all sorts of leftwing drivel which pisses me off because it's exactly the reason I can't stand lefties. Pick a POINT people...not 50 points. Look at the righties, they get the talking point and stick to it...and they're ruling the world. Figure it out!

Yesterday I finally saw the people in the shitty apartments who had the flag on their balcony. It was three fat ass early 20-somethings. They were drinking beer on their balcony and having a good ole (boy) time. Their buddy pulled up when I was there and he had some shitty raised up truck that had a rebel flag sticker next to an American flag sticker. I noticed he had pulled up next to indentically decorated shitty truck that belonged to someone in the apartment of rednecks. That's when it clicked for me.

So many people use the flag as a kind of, scare tactic. Where the flag used to stand for freedom and an open door and a better way of life, it now it stands as a kind of warning for non-whites and people who might want peace or healthcare for everyone. I realized that everytime I see an American flag sticker on someones car as I pull up next to them, I think "Oh, this guys a huge Bush supporter." Or if I see one hanging from someones door or porch it inevitably has some kind of strong right wing slogan near it. I guess what I'm saying is, when did that happen and what can be done about it?

I've never really been into bragging about my territory. Yeah, I know this blog and my films stuff say Petaluma Films, but that's an homage and not a sticking point like "Nor Cal" logos or Rebel flags are. I've just never really been into arguing about where I'm from and yelling "Wesssst Siiiiide" to random people. But I just feel like the American flag has become a badge of bullying for anyone who doesn't want to think for themselves. It's flown and shown as a warning or as a "Mess with us and we'll stick a boot in your ass" type of slogan and that sucks.

And that's my rant for the week. But seriously...what gives?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Joey, do you like...gladiator movies?

If my name were Joey and I were in the cockpit of "Airplane" and heard that question, I'd have to say "no, I don't like gladiator movies." I realized this last night while watching the movie "300." I kept meaning to see it in theaters, up on the bigscreen but something always came up and I kept missing it. I know now that secretly, I didn't really want to see it because I don't like gladiator movies.

I kind of thought I didn't about a year ago when I tried to get into HBO's "Rome." It was cool looking...had lots of blood and nudity, but something was amiss in my mind. It was just kind of "meh." Then, last week, I rented the directors cut of Oliver Stone's "Alexander" because word on the street was if the movie had been released the way it was released on the speical directors cut, it could have won some Oscars. I got about an hour into "Alexander," started dozing off, fast forwarded to the scenes where Rosario Dawson was naked and then shut it off. I didn't even feel bad, it just wasn't doing it for me. Which brings us to my renting "300."

I wanted to rent it when it came out, but all the copies were checked out. Instead I rented some "Deadwood" season one episodes because I never saw that either. (**Note** It RULES!!! and the aforementioned "Alexander." So after watching five straight season one "Deadwood" episodes, I had to get more. When I went to get more, I noticed "300" was in stock so I got it. After watching 5 more "Deadwood" episodes over two nights, last night I decided to watch "300" so I could savor the "Deadwood" tonight. And "300" was o.k. It was just....o.k.

Yeah, it looks totally awesome and unique. The battle sequences are cool and there were some shots in which I literally went "oooooh." But other than that, ho-hum. I will say (and this is without cynicism) it's nice to see a full-on right-wing Republican based movie. While I certainly don't agree with right-wing conservatism, it does deserve to be recognized and presented as art. If you think I'm overanalyzing the movie then you really must have been spacing out. The Spartans are easily Republicans of the current ilk. They go against the populace to wage a "pre-emptive" strike and this enter into an un-winable quagmire. Oh, wait. that's my interpretation. What really happens is honor and duty to country and freedom inspire 300 spartans to attack the brown skinned persians who are seeking to take over the world through their barbarism and mysticism. Yeah, no Muslim connection there. Plus there's lots of right-wing required male homo-eroticism to make any closeted gay man sweat while he watches the movie beside his Christian wife. But I digress.

My point is, "300" was o.k. and I realize now gladiator movies aint my bag baby.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Here's some weird/funny/random stuff that happened to me recently...

About a month to a month and a half ago, we started hearing this frigging rooster crowing in the park across the street at around 4:00 a.m. every morning. We live across from a huge park that has a gigantic playground and a little choo-choo train that goes by maybe twice an hour. The train whistle is kind of annoying, but it's also kind of quaint. However, the low, guttural build up to crows that comes from a rooster loose in the woods is just annoying.

Each morning my wife and I would groan and one of us would curse the bird...then we'd put a pillow on our heads and go back to sleep. But the day after my last Giants game my wife told me our neighbor came over that night. I'm not sure if I mentioned the new neighbor before...but when we moved in there was some questionable concerns about his like (or murderous hatred) of animals. So my wife tells me "__________ came over last night and he said "well, you won't have to worry about that rooster any more." Yeah, he killed it. We didn't ask how or when but the why was pretty evident.

Yesterday at work I was walking back from lunch and I crossed a bridge that has a little creek in it. I stopped and wondered if there were even any fish in the creek so I looked down. There were all sorts of little minnows and even a few bigger fish just hanging out. The I saw a turtle swimming under water! It was just cruising around and eating stuff it found on the bottom of the creekbed. I stood there and sort of revelled in the neatness of the moment. It was nature in action and not like...crows or squirrels. It was a turtle just swimming along!

As I stodd there taking in the peaceful scene I somehow wondered how turtles have sex. Well, how do turtles have sex? It struck me as odd not only that my mind went there but also that I had never really thought about it before. I mean...they're basically a shell with 4 legs, a neck and a head, right? I've even owned a few turtles in my life and the thought simply never crossed my mind. It just seems like an awkward mating ritual at best and a painful disaster at worst.

I was walking Igby in the park last night when my cell phone rang. I didn't recognize the number or area code so I didn't think it was anyone I was trying to avoid. I answered it and the womans voice on the other end said, "Oh...hiii.....this is (so and so) from the (so and so) and I'm wondering if Gilley or Glenda are there?" "Gilley or Glenda?" I asked. "Yes...either one" came the reply. "Sadly," I said, "I think you have the wrong number."

Gilley or Glenda...come on.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

other 756 $tuff...

This feels funny to post, but I have to.

So, the guy I went to the game with last night is NOT into baseball. Great guy, cool guy to hang with, great taste in music....doesn't get like...diehard freaking out about sports. That's fine. But as we were leaving, his ticket from the game kind of fell out of his pocket. This guy on the steps saw it and acted like my friends liver had fallen out. "Dude, your ticket!!! My buddy brushed it off and said, "nah, it's cool" and the guy looked like some kind of murder or ancient burial ground uprooting had happened. I saw some freaky looking guy pick it up and give it to some skater punk.

Now look, I gave up collecting comic books and baseball cards a long time ago. But I still have my stub from Greg Maddux's 300th win and I have stuff that means alot to me personally. I can admit to you, dear blog readers, that I grabbed a BUNCH of streamers from the home run celebration last night and stuck em in my pocket. I like stuff like that.

So, this skater kid ends up with my buddy's ticket and my buddy just keeps walking. So I walk over to the kid and go, "oh man, thanks for grabbing my ticket" and I swipe it from him. No one said much and we all went on our merry way (us, way, way before the end of the game because once Barry hit it, I was done for the year!) back to the car.

By the time I got home I was restless so I decided to see if people were selling ticket stubs on ebay. Sure enough, $68 for a stub. I put my extra on ebay for $50 starting bid and buy it now for $300 and I currently have TWO bids! I end within the half hour...

UPDATE......sold the stub for.....$73.00


The dog days of summer are upon me at work. As much as I love my job, I'm getting sick of the same kids for 8 hours a day. Same arguments, same jokes, same reprimands, same Uno games (although I did buy a "High School the Musical" Uno set which seems to really intrigue the kids). Zzzzz. Yesterday was one of those days too....where I didn't feel like being there but had no real excuse or reason to leave early. I grabbed some lunch (same frigging store) and returned to my closet/office to eat. I then got a phone call from an old friend who had 2 CLUB LEVEL tickets for the Giants game.

Now, I had sworn off this sorry excuse for a team upon my return from seeing them in Boston. They frigging suuuuuuuuuuck. They don't even suck in a "hey, we're young and are going to get better" way. They're flat, boring, predictable and horrible. But, Barry was tied with hammerin' Hank and hell, I've seen some pretty cool stuff in my career as a baseball fan and dammit if this crappy '07 team didn't owe me something. So I had my reason to leave eearly and off I went.

I picked up my buddy at his house. He's a union plumber and these are Union Plumbers seats. About 92% of my friends and family are plumbers for some reason. Very, very weird. As I always say, I could be a plumber....all you need to know is shit flows downhill, paydays Friday and don't bite your nails. But I digress. My friend is not a sports fan and he just wasn't grasping the true magnitude of the situation. As soon as we got there, he did. The yard was buzzing.

I hate to be one of those sketchy liar types who say "I could feel it in the air" before something happens. Kind of like people who scream "it's earthquake weather!!" in October or November, almost praying for an earthquake so they can say, "remember when I said it was earthquake weather!?!" But once we got to our (sweet, 2nd row, club level, behind home plate) seats, there was a stillness in the air. It just felt like tonight was the night and I just wanted it to be over. Let me step back for a second.

I know people hate Barry. They say he's a prick, a cheater, he didn't sign their ball, he raped their kitten, he has a recliner outside his locker, he's a showboat...blah blah. I used to feel the same way. Then I realized, the dude is who he is and he simply is not going to change. Not for you, not for me, not for anyone. I totally respect that as long as he's not hurting people. I then realized, the guy has never done anything to hurt his team. Ever. He doesn't get busted at strip clubs or break his wrist doing wheelies on his motorcycle. Hell, he's been on TWO teams his whole career. For a guy thats always been the caliber of a player that Barry is, in the era of free agency, that's nuts. A-Rod is already on his 3rd team and he'll be a Giant next year making it 4 teams. Hell, Barry's only had 4 managers his whole career! What's my point? I guess I'm saying that for a selfish asshole (as he's supposed to be) he sure has shown alot of loyalty. Anywho...

Since I know people hate him and since I have a big mouth, I always find myself defending him. I'm a Giants fan and he is our team. I'll be damned if I'll let someone badmouth the best player on my team. But, it gets tiring and frankly, kind of boring. I, and I think all Giants fans, just wanted the HR chase to be over. I know I did. And I also wanted to see it.

So back to the still of the evening, August 7, 2007. Barry was 2-2 when he came up for the 3rd AB. The Giants were tied and the at bat was a pretty good battle. Then...the swing. The hit. I seriously don't remember any sounds. I just watched the ball and prayed it would clear the fence. It did and it strangely felt like a weight was removed from me. I was so happy for Barry and so happy he became the Home Run King and I was (and am) soooooo happy it's over. Fireworks went off, streamers burst fourth and Barry rounded the bases. When hank Aaron came on the screen to congratulate Barry, I was finally moved to tears. Well, moved to misty eyes. It was a perfect night and the highlight of an otherwise miserable season coupled with what, 9 years of arguing in bars, stadiums, message boards and anywhere else where I couldn't let it go.

No matter what I say, if you think there should be an * or not or if he really is a scumbag or if he's not that bad. No one's going to change their mind this far into the game. There's no new information (although my, Kerry Wood looked slender last weekend) about who did what and all we have now are blowhards on both ends. Think what you wanna think. me and Barry and all us Giants fans don't care.

Congrats Barry. You're the best. Don't ever change.

Monday, August 06, 2007


There's a new movie coming out called SUPERBAD and it looks hillarious. The first crop of trailers they had for the film didn't do much for me, but this scene is frigging...nuts.

NOT SAFE FOR WORK...OR KIDS...OR PRUDES You've been warned.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Flight of the Conchords

I'm really liking HBO's new show, "Flight of the Conchords." I agree it's kinda of a British "Tenacious D," But I never got into Tenacioud D. I do like FOTC though. It's still finding it's feet but this song makes me crack up every time. I'm putting it here so I'll know where to find it...

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Me so sensitive...

Since I have still been working and thus, not really enjoying life as much as I'd like, I thought I'd share another side of me. My deep, sensitive side. Above is a photo of me with my new niece, Lizzy J at dinner at "The Tides" in Bodega Bay. Yeah, "The Birds." Again. OH! This time I got a mouse pad!

If I were single, in that photo you would not only see hordes of women behind me "ooh-ing" and "ahhh-ing," I'd have 20+ comments of equal "oooh-ing" and "ahhh-ing" from girls. Alas, as is evidenced by the tiny silver band that used to be a full inch-wide before I returned to Nor-Cal, land of amazing (yet not light) beer, I'm spoken for.


Today at work, I took a group of kids to mini-golf/bumper boats (ie: "LET'S GET DON!!!)/and video arcadery. If was fun although man, I'm sick of driving. Plus when the kids could only think of "Happy Birthday" as a song to sing all the way home, the day tends to go long.

That photo above is a camera phone shot of this awesome faux-gold pendant I made for my wife. If you can't see it clearly, it's me leaning on my left hand as it's folded under my chin. You pose for a few photos, pick the one you want and then the machine clinks it out on the pendant for a mere $5. Very, very romantic.

So there you go, I'm not all beer, movies, music and paranoia. I like kids and trinkets too. And beer, movies, music and being paranoid.