Thursday, July 24, 2008

Higher learning.

Since I'm almost done with my Masters Degree in Cinema studies (just gotta write my thesis and take one last jump-through-our-hoop class) I've been actively searching for a nice 'n easy teaching gig to ease me into a new career without having to quit my real job. There's not alot right now and I haven't been looking *that* hard since I'm technically not qualified yet. But one "local" school caught my eye and I emailed the person in charge to see if I might stand a chance to teach an "Intro to Film _____" class 2 days a week.

To be honest, the commute would have been a drag and it seemed kind of last minute of them to post it and I was frankly baffled at the section they had it under. But, whatever. It's an entry level thing, so I emailed and asked. And got no reply for over a week.

So the other day I followed up and said "look, I don't want to waste my or your time applying if I'm not qualified so let me know if I should bother." I mean, I said it more professionally than that, then name dropped Chris Gore and Roger Ebert as supporters (I keed).

Today I got a response! Yay! Here's what it said. From a college. A real college people pay money to go to and learn. They sent this email:

Hi Don,

Thanks for your email; unfortunately, I will the Theatre position late last week.

Have a good day,


That was it, cut and pasted to the tee. Wow.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Like watching a dog play piano.

For as big a pop culture/music/movie nerd as I am, I'm realllly bad about TV shows. For instance, I've NEVER seen an episode of THE SOPRANOS or ever THE WIRE. I've never seen ANY popular sitcom on ABC or CBS (the only current sitcom I like is THE OFFICE) and I simply do not like 30 ROCK. Overall, I'm just not that into TV. However, last spring I did dive heavily into DEADWOOD and it's awesome and now that we have on-demand, the wife and I have been headlong into MAD MEN on AMC and it's freeking awesome.

We're trying to do the whole first season before Sunday nights season 2 premiere and it's been a real pleasure watching 2-3 episodes a night. For those who have no clue what the show is about, dig...

MAD MEN is about ad execs in Manhattan in 1960. There's a whole slew of them: misogynistic, arrogant, slick pricks who think their shit doesn't stink and that they can do anything they want. And, they do. The show is centered on Don Draper who's played by Jon Hamm and his character is incredible. He's the shining star of his ad agency, yet he's hiding so much, you're never sure what's going on in his mind. I don't want to give too much away as you all need to see the show, but his past is hazy and vague (to say the least). While he's almost always calm, cool and put together on the outside, the machinations in his mind play out with some of the best camera work, directing, writing and acting you're ever gonna see on TV.

In fact every character is extremely well rounded and developed and you're never quite sure what's going to happen next. But the star is Hamm. He's the kind of actor in this character where you just go, "dude...who IS this guy? He's charismatic and witty and handsome. Then dark, brooding, conniving and sad. Then, you look at his IMDB page and he's like, a nobody so far. He's done some bit parts and some roles in comedy shows...but overall, not much. If you want to catch a guy breaking big, watch Jon Hamm now. Also-mark my words- he'll be like David Caruso and make some shitty choices in movies and never be any bigger then MAD MEN. Hate to be a dick, but it's gonna happen. But dude, look at this guy...he's got it dialed for this show:

Also outstanding on the show is Vincent Kartheiser as Pete Campbell-the quintessential youngster who will stop at nothing to move up the ranks, january Jones as Draper's wife Betsy (hint: smoking hott) and John Slattery as Drapers drunk ass boss Roger. Oh! There's also a smoking hot redhead on the show named Christina Hendricks who is not only really good, she's really sexy. But the thing I like best is how careful the directors and producers are to make things look *right*. Be it the 1960's set design and lingo and language, it always seems spot-on. There's also some amazing nods to Hitchcock, Wilder and other favorite directors that make me smile everytime.

So to summarize: hot chicks, arrogant guys who booze and smoke incessantly and plot lines that are never, ever going where you think they are. It's just an awesome show.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It never ends

So after getting back from vacation I've been fuilly swamped. We bought a small house back in P-Town (that's Petaluma for all you who don't know)so we've been trying to move and it's not easy. The new pad is VERY small and we have a ton of crap. Well, I have a ton of small, knicky-knacky stuff that I like having around. But it's been packed up and in our garage at the rental and now, our new place has an office for me (read: a closet on the patio) so I want to get the stuff I want to add to the decor.

People think I'm always trying to be a child because I keep lots of childish things around. Wind-up toys, fast food figures, posters, action figures, models, etc. Truth be told, that stuff makes me feel comfortable and inspired to work. I don't know why, but it does. I want my office to be a place where I can actually get off my ass and get back to work on some things I want to pursue.

Plus I have tons of books I need to keep handy for school (and for more inspiration) and a bunch of equipment. The dirty little secret is, we never really unpacked from the last move. So, we're having a garage sale this weekend and need to prepare plus, clean the old house and in order to do that, we kind of need to unpack, pick through and repack. Then UNPACK this time. Fun stuff.

I frigging HATE moving so I've been bitchy. But we're getting settled and soon I hope to get back to the blog and 3-4 reviews, etc. Just wanted to do a lil update....

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Primitive as can be.

I just got home from 6 days in lovely Lake Tahoe with my family. It's pretty much our first family vacation since the baby arrived and although I'm not much for hanging out pool or lakeside, I was excited to just get away. Normally when I travel, I bring the laptop but this time, I didn't. I wanted to get away from "interacting" on the internet for a week and see what it was like. By interacting, I mean my habit of websurfing and chiming in on several film related blogs and message boards. None of that for a week. Nada.

I did have my iPhone so I could get email and check the main pages on Film Threat, ESPN and some sites that aggregate movie news. Other than that, I was Robinson Crusoe on Wi-Fi Island. Wanna know what I missed out on? Not a f-ing thing. I swear, I've been home and settled for 3 hours and have now checked all my regular sites and realized I missed NOTHING. Seriously. Not a thing. After the first 2 days where I had to remind myself I couldn't go tune out on the net, I was fine.

Instead over the course of the vacation I swam once and drank alot of beer. I also read a 600 page book (Stephen King's "Duma Key"...more on that some other time) and slept intermittently throughout the day. The one drawback of the house was that there was 3 kids counting mine and they were all up early. Somehow the house had absolutely nothing between the floor boards upstairs and the ceiling downstairs. It was frigging loud. Plus I was placed in a single bed the first 3 nights then a single air-bed the last 4. Nighttime sleeping wasn't happening.

Plus I had tons of crazy dreams which always happens when I get creatively backed up. My mind starts letting out these insane plots and dreams like the pressure gauge on a steamer. While I enjoyed the dreams, I realize I need to get to work on something again. I also realized I am incredibly...lazy. I wasn't always and I refuse to let the "I have a kid now" excuse slip in because that's not an excuse or even a reason. I'm just downright lazy and I don't know why. Ever since I took that monster load of classes, worked, commuted and awaited the baby, I've been toast. But dude, that was like, 6 months ago. It is now officially time to get my ass in gear. I have a new screenplay I want to write and an adaptation of a short story I want to make a film out of. Plus, there's an awesome idea for a new five a.m. video just sitting there.

Time to get to work.