Monday, October 16, 2006

How I spent my weekend, or . . . What's Ted gotten us into now?

The Fridge

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Wo-o-o-ow it's been a while. Jeesh. See, I got this job that takes up 15 hours of my day and haven't had it in me to write at all. Excuses excuses.

Last Saturday, I had a humbling experience. Went to the bank to do some business during which I had the chance to people-watch a bit. The line, she crawled. As I snaked around to the second switchback in the queue (wait, do they call them switchbacks in bank lines? Whatever.), a loud, skinny, sun-wrinkled, man in a dirty black tshirt entered the lobby with his family. He yakked on the phone and laughed with whomever it was on the other end of his raucous conversation. His kid played with the hooks on the queue ropes, as kids tend to do in boring ol' bank lobbies and airport terminals, and was generally quiet. His wife stared at the flat-screen television displaying some Washington scandal in HD. As the line inched along, we ended up side-by-side for a time and the man stank. Reeked! It was as if his sweat was made of nicotene and sewage. A plumber? Who's to say. He seemed happy enough. His family was well-clothed and easygoing. I'm not going to try to figure his life out right now, I told myself. But man! does he smell. Poor guy'll probably die when he's fifty.
In a split-second, My mind pictured him at dimly-lit bars, boozing his life away. Ingesting methamphetamines and philandering. My rational side was telling me to quit thinking like that, but my imagination was wandering away too quickly to halt it. After another minute or so, I forgot about him completely and zoned on the TV myself.

I got to the teller and went through my business. It took a lot longer than I expected since the teller basically did whatever he wanted to do despite my very specific instructions. The manager had to come out and void things - rekey things - adjust numbers - cancel transactions, and the like. I began to get frustrated with the whole situation. At one point, I had a fee to pay, and rather than redo a withdrawl slip, I asked if I could pay with cash. Fine, they said. As I scrounged around in my wallet, I realized I was one dollar short.

"I'm a day late and a dollar short," I said. The idiom was lost on the teller and the manager. Umm, I don't have the four dollars I need. I only have three. I'll need to fill out another withdrawl slip, I guess. The duo looked at me strangely, as if I was asking them to stand on their heads now please and twirl. I need another withdrawl slip, please?
Just as they snapped out of their collective reverie and moved to get me a new slip, a folded-up dollar bill came flying onto the countertop from the heavens. Literally.
What the heck? I looked around . . . and who should I see standing at the next teller over but Ol' Smelly Yakker himself, with his fam. He grinned a semi-toothy grin at me and said "There you go, buddy. I'm gonna get me a new tv today."
"Wow." I said. I was flabbergasted. I felt cut to the heart. I wanted to apologize for my thoughts about him. "Thanks so much. That was very kind of you."

"Don't mention it," he said and then went back to his business at the teller.

My two tellers smiled at me and I smiled back. I felt good . . . and chastened. After I finished, I turned to say thanks again to my philanthropist but he'd gone.

I wish I could tell him thank you again. He's probably watching his favorite program on his new tv somewhere and couldn't care less, but he made a difference to me and I think that matters somehow. You never know the goodness that can come from people. You never do.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Recently, I've been having fun with a little web toy called Mr. Picassohead.

Here're a couple of my latest creations.

Misery Loves Company

Perilous Love

If any of you decide to make one of these, drop the link into the comments for this entry. I'd love to check 'em out!
Update: It's a clear day today - lots of oceany-type clouds - and yes, I realize people can have latex allergies. I'll give you your money back now.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Endless sunset.

That's what we're experiencing. Except when the sun actually sets - then it's dark. But all during the day, the sky is orange, the sun is dim, and everything around has an ochre hue to it.

"But why?" you ask.

It's the fires. "The Day Fire" to be precise - so called because it started on Labor Day. The smoke is now billowing its way up to LA county due to the changing winds, and it's thick. I drove past Hollywood proper on my way to Occidental Studios and couldn't believe my eyes as I looked out at the town from the 101.

See the color behind that fire bomber? That's what I saw drifting around the Hotel Roosevelt and engulfing the Capitol Records building - dirty orange air, the sun glowing wanly in the vague distance. Gross.

I've been working on a video today, and I kept noticing the color of the sunlight as it filtered through the window. Wow, what time is it? I'd think, but then I'd look at the clock . . . 2:40? What?! So I'd step outside and Egads! the sky be filthy. Then I'd go back to the video, forget about the sunlight for a moment, and then I'd suddenly notice it again. Wow, how long have I been sitting here? It must be late and . . . 4?! Incredible. Yuck. Incredibly yuck.

On top of the smoke and the dust, autumn in Los Angeles means new and devious allergies. Before moving here, I never had a single allergy. Not a one. Now I've come to think that the pollutants and abundant flora varieties of Southern California could make Basalt sneeze and reach for the Kleenex. In fact, I think it's made me more susceptible to developing new and interesting allergies in other areas, like medicines, por ejemplo.

See, last November I developed a bad sty in my eye and it was a tenacious nogoodnik, too. The doc prescribed some Erythromicin gel to smear on my eyeball, and it seemed to work ok, but then the sty started coming back a couple months later so I used it again. This time, my eye got worse. Much worse. It burned like the dickens, it became inflamed, and . . . ohmygosh! my eyeball's wrinkled! What's. Happening. To. Me.?
After a brief, urgent call to an optomotrist friend of mine, I found out that the human eye wrinkles when it's having an allergic reaction to something placed in it. Whew. That's it? I wasn't allergic to that medicine before! How was I to know? It must be that I'm in an allergy-causing environment. I'm becoming oversaturated with allergy-type-stuff and it's starting to manifest.

That's it: No more dairy, wheat, soy, penicillin, cat dander, wool, shellfish, ragweed pollen, bee stings, or mango skins for me, no sir. Time to live in a latex-lined cell with nothing but distilled water and boiled, free-range chicken.

Unless there's a chicken allergy I don't know about.

Friday, September 08, 2006

How do you know it's nearing autumn in LA?

When you see set-decorating stakebeds driving around with these in the back. Otherwise, you'd never know, would you? All those productions shooting stuff now that'll broadcast in October
. . . that's about close as we get to the changing of the seasons around here. Except when the rains come, and of course pilot season, but it still stays green.

I could smell the ocean from my house today, and I live in the valley. Who needs beachfront property? Actually, it's a rare day when that happens. There must be a serious onshore flow happening - helps to keep it cool.

Because Dang! it's been hot. Last weekend, I walked out of my apartment to throw some stuff out in the trash and when the sun hit my skin, I felt like an ant under a magnifying glass. And I'd imagine I scampered just as quickly as those little guys do, too. Heidi and I ended up having a lost weekend of movies as a result. Don't knock hibernation 'til you try it, is all I'm sayin'.

This weekend should be different. My weather Widget says it'll be in the low 80s and partly cloudy all weekend long. Now that's nice. We should be able to get out and about without getting our exoskeletons seared off by that mean, freckle-faced kid, The Sun.

This is also the weekend for me to start calling in for my first jury duty summons ever! Since I'm not working on anything steady at the moment, I hope I get placed on some high-profile case that lasts a couple of weeks. Maybe I'll even get to be the foreman! 12 Angry Men, here I come. So if there's an even longer span between now and my next post, you'll know why.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Personal horn-tooting session, if I may:

Today, I renewed a stranger's faith in men.

It went down like this. -ahem- As my wife and her friend attended a casual business meeting at Priscilla's in Toluca Lake, I was left in charge of said friend's 11-week-old infant. As Heidi and friend went up to the counter to get chai teas and a double espresso for me (thank you, Ted Beam), I watched the baby. She was awake and looking at me quizzically. I asked her if she wanted to play and she smiled at me so I unhooked a toy from her stroller and had him walk around on her blanket with his dangly feet and crinkly mane. She liked him. She'd smile and clasp her hands and watch him as he made his way around the stroller, sometimes stopping to sniff her feet, sometimes crinkling his mane, sometimes lying down amongst the folds of the plush, pink lamby blanket. We had fun.
Eventually, the girls returned with their drinks and asked how the baby and I were doing.

"Swell," I said, and we kept playing.

Once the girls sat down, a lady from the neighboring table stood up and leaned over to talk to them. She said, in a loud voice, that she'd been watching me with the baby and that I'd renewed her faith in men. I think she said "commend" somewhere in there as well, and she said she thought the girls ought to know that she was impressed.
I got sheepish and woulda kicked a stray rock or an empty can if it'd been in sight with a "'tweren't nothin'" muttered under my breath.

toot toot

Monday, August 28, 2006

Back in the saddle, however briefly.

Spotted this as I zipped around the net today. What an egregious spelling error, I thought, and on a major news outlet, no less. Shouldn't it be Blackberries? But then the Spectre of Branding swooped into the window and shrieked, banshee-like "ACTUALLY, THEY ARE LEGALLY OBLIGATED TO SPELL IT 'BLACKBERRYS' BECAUSE THE BLACKBERRY IS THE PRODUCT." And then it vanished into the night, the words "I'm Lovin' It" echoing distinctly off of the hills.

I guess they're not actually blackberries, which are delicious.

Instead, the word loses its heritage when it becomes a different object; this, in turn, nullifies (or nullifys) any necessary changes to the word in the plural, other than adding the obligatory 's.' This confounds me.

I'd still know what they're talking about if they said ". . . users say Blackberries improve life" because they put the object in caps. Isn't that usually the signifier betwixt the common object and the branded object, or am I missing something here?

Did a little experiment on my own to test a theory; feel free to do the same at home. It's easy - and fun!

1. Entered "blackberries" into google images. Hundreds of photos of genuine, edible fruits thumbnailed into view.


2. Entered "blackberrys" (and had to write it three times. Kept adding the "ie") into google images. And there they were, the personal communication devices - along with one photo of fruit entitled "blackberrys.jpeg"

Are we redifining our language in order to help our search engines specify what we're looking for, when in actuality, technology will change so drastically in the next decade that search engines and Blackberrys will be obsolete and we'll hire etymologists to dig back ten years to figure out why we spell blackberries with a 'y?' Or am I overreacting?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

[writing from Heidi's computer]

I have a fine ol' laptop. It handles most functions pretty . . . well . . . handily. However, it's currently exporting a ten-minute Image Sequence from Final Cut HD (this means that it's converting each frame in the project into a bitmap so that the DVD authoring house can make a glass master) and it's showing its age.

See, I started the export yesterday morning and as of this moment, it's only completed 46-fargin-percent of it! This hurts my feelings. Seriously, I take it a bit personally when my stuff doesn't come through for me. Don't we all tend to anthropomorphize our possessions just slightly? For instance, my jeep - it's old, it's got a lot of miles on it, it's rusty in the undercarriage, it jounces and bounces over every seam and crack in the road . . . I'd love to get a new, more fuel efficient car. But then, I see it sitting there by the curb, loyal and faithful like an old dog and my heart does a little flip-flop in my chest. Trading it in seems cruel. How could I have considered such a thing? Shame on me!

So it is with the Lappy. I find myself rooting for it, like a parent cheering for his uncoordinated child - "Go get 'em, sport!" And then, when the child turns over the ball to the other team (who promptly scores) or misses a goal or trips on his own shoelaces and the pack laps him as he struggles to regain his feet, the hot tingle of embarrassment rises up along with shame for feeling embarrassed and my voice cracks as I yell "You can do it!"
Well, maybe not quite that dramatic, but every time I check the progress and it hasn't budged at all, I groan and throw my hands up in the air. "You're good at so many things - why can't you do this?"

We'll see how long this takes. I hope it doesn't last until Monday.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Time flies when you're not having fun, eh? I've been sick with a summer cold/virus/thingy that I caught from my nieces and haven't felt much like doing anything except watch movies and blow my nose. So, after padding my cinema lexicon with The Matador, Inside Man, Big, and Once Upon A Time In The West, I'm feeling like my usual self again - except the nose, she runs! The energy's back, though. So I write.

Lessee, where do I begin . . . my birthday last weekend can easily be chalked up on the leader board of "Tyler's Awesomest Birthdays" right along side the Wild Mountain water park/my first Trek when I turned 11 and my twentieth in Redwoods Nat'l Forest where a perfect stranger in the neighboring camp gave me a birthday s'more.

We (Heidi, my brother, and my mom-in-law) went to Ely, MN to visit my Uncle Jeff and Aunt Carol and to enjoy northernmost MN. I hoped to see a bear. I didn't expect to do this . . .

A bear ate out of my hand!! I get goosebumps just thinking about it. A little explanation is in order: My uncle volunteers with the Bear Research Center in Ely and is quite familiar with the behaviors of said bruins. Also, most of the bears in the area know him because he's introduced himself to just about all of them. This bear in particular has known Jeff since birth so they have an understanding. Her name's "Solo" . . .

. . . because she only has one ear. She was attacked by a male bear when she was a cub and he damaged her ear so badly that it became infected and fell off. She's doing alright for herself now, though. She's currently fattening up for the winter (Jeff estimates her weight at 350). We were visited by more than one bear, too, including one that camped in front of our bedroom window during the night. It huffed and sighed and rested, and strangely enough, I felt like it was guarding the room. I got more than I bargained for on this trip.
The next day, I fished a bit - went around the whole lake, casting as I went - but I didn't really expect to catch anything since it was high noon and calm. Mostly, I just wanted to be out there, to experience the meditative cast-and-reel rhythm of fishing, to drift like a leaf on the surface of the water, to listen to the birds in the tamaracks, birches, and red pines. And I accomplished what I set out to do.
The lake's gorgeous . . .

. . . and very clear. I went swimming before and after fishing. I swam a ways out into the lake and dove to the bottom; about two feet below the surface of the water sits the thermocline where the water becomes very cold so after touching bottom, I shot to the surface, gasping. I stretched out on my back and floated in the more temperate waters, allowing the sun to do its work of warming me up.

We ate and played, visiting the bustling, rustic burb of Ely on Friday night to enjoy Walleye cakes, sweet potatoes au gratin, and strawberry rhubarb pie. Oof, I salivate just thinking about it. Yum.

On the way home on Saturday night, my mind kept going to all of the different sights and sounds of Ely.

- The Piragis Outfitters where my cousin, Jason, showed off some of his handmade coatracks and where I bought a new (and awesome) web belt.

- Going out in the dead of night,
in a down pour, with Jeff and Brad to look for moose.

- The fearless red squirrels:

- The bears:

And others I failed to take photos of, including the Northern Lights which shone and waved as we travelled south. At one point, I leaned against the window and shouted "Quit beckoning to me, North Country!! I have stuff to do!"

Like blow my nose, for starters. This cold is ridiculous.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Didn't have my trusty hand-Canon with me while Katie was playing in the playhouse, so the RAZR had to do. Pretty gosh-darn cute, eh?

Played a few holes at the local par 3 golf course today; on average, I hit two strokes over on each hole. While this may frustrate more seasoned golfers, I thought this wasn't too bad considering I haven't touched a club since 1999. Plus, a par 3 doesn't really allow me to stretch out my monster swing so I had that against me. Anyway, it was nice to be out with my dad and my brother. I don't often get the chance to spend time with them so it was a real treat.

Took a walk this evening with my niece, Rebecca. We went looking for animals. Deer materialized out of the forest almost instantly once we hit the main road; they were quickly followed by squirrels and cranky, snoozing birds. As we kept walking, Rebecca told me in a hushed, excited tone that she hoped we'd see leopards or cows next. I said, maybe we'd see turtles. She said, or maybe sheep.
Or lions.
Rarrr, she said, Big Lions.
I roared, RAAAARRR!
Or little lions.
rar, I whispered, or bears.
Yeah, or elephants!
Or chipmunks.
Or dolphins.
Or gorillas - I beat my chest and grunted.
Or monkeys, she said as she leaped and ooch ooched.
Or snakes.
Or sheep, she said again.

We didn't see any sheep, but as twilight settled over the woods, the bats began to appear. Some flew quite close and Rebecca was enamored. Lookit, Uncle Ty-yer! That's so co-o-o-ol! Lookit, there's three of them! There's more than that . . . look! W-O-W!
After watching the bats swoop and dive for some time, we turned and made our way home. As we walked, we practiced our sneezes. She performed the classic ah-ah-AH-CHOO! quite well and I enacted some lesser-known oddities to the toddler set. She laughed and said, I like you, Uncle Ty-yer.

I like you, too, Rebecca.

My mom met us at the top of her driveway with an LED headlamp on her head. It was dark enough for her to wonder what became of her youngest offspring and eldest grandkid, so she came looking for us. I love my Mom.

It's been a good day.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

"Beverly Hills" by Weezer just popped up on my iTunes playlist. That's not where I am. Not at all - and I'm so thankful for it right now.
It's nearly dark outside, the stars are starting to come out (again, not in Beverly Hills), a temperate breeze is blowing off of the lake, the lake that is dotted with the perfect reflections of a few lit cabins. Most everybody leaves the area for the week and then returns on the weekend, this being Vacationland Minnesota (tm), so there's been very little boat traffic to disturb the mirror-like surface of the lake.

Last night, Heidi and I and the Deyos laid out on the dock and watched shooting stars leave smoky streaks across the sky. I've seen dramatic meteorites before, but never in such a concentrated proliferation. It was incredible. With the Milky Way as a backdrop, the dock became my spaceship adrift in the galaxy. Beautiful.

Another nice thing about being here this time of year is the distinct lack of biting representatives of the Bug Kingdom. I'm sitting on the deck in the dark with total impunity. Nary a mozzy or tick or biting fly to be seen (or felt and swatted at). Can't beat it. These last two days have been utterly perfect.

Yesterday, Deyo and I got the bright idea to do a little target practice with the single-shot Daisy BB gun we have in the garage. It's old, and rusty, and tiny, and perfect for frittering away a lazy afternoon. After setting up a handful of empty plastic film canisters (my dad being the avid shutterbug that he is) we took aim at the doldrums of the afternoon.
Here's The Marksman at work.

Note the steely glare, the intense concentration . . . I should go pro - except I had a very difficult time hitting the targets.

Well, it was windy! and the gun fires pellets at about five degrees off-center. So factor all of that in and you pretty much have a crap shoot (har har). Others tried their hands at our rifleman's game.

Here, my brother demonstrates his uncanny ability to adjust for wind and instrument inaccuracy by hitting the majority of his targets. This ability does not run in the family, apparently.

Even Heidi, who prefers to shoot in designer-brand shooting goggles, seemed to hit most of what she aimed at. This is humiliating, to be out-shot at my own game by my wife. I guess I must be as rusty as that gun.

And now you have some BB Gun Heroes trading cards!! Print us out and trade us with your pals! Collect all three. Maybe someone'll turn us into one of those card based battle games like Yu-Gi-Oh! and I'll have +3 to Intimidation and -7 to wind susceptability . . .

. . . and +2million to good-lookin'ness.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Home Sweet Home . . .

The loons are crying, the owls are hoo-hooing, and the crickets are chirping. It's gonna be a beautiful night in Minnesota. This is our home for the next few days, a 'Prowler' parked in my folks' driveway. I like it.

More to come.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Some photos from today's adventures. Had to go to the Burbank Mall this afternoon for a garment bag when I stumbled across this scene.

Here, a mountain man plays a game of Giant-Sized chess with aloof precision. His opponent, a bald man with a band-aid on his head, lost pretty miserably. Others were waiting around in the atrium to test their skill against Grizzly Adams. His style was fun to watch. He'd keep his arms crossed as you see them in the photo, then he'd saunter over to the target piece and give it a sharp kick/scoot with his instep. Satisfied, he'd resume his place on the edge of the game board. Meanwhile, the other fellow (Mr. Clean the I.T. Night Manager) would remain on the board. I think Mr. Clean's tactics were his undoing; he failed to see the entire board like Grizzly, only seeing the five or so pieces in his immediate vision. Kind of like life, eh? Sometimes you need to take a step off the Enormous Game Board of life to see if you are in danger of checkmate or not.

Yeah, just like life . . .

Oh, and here's something new and unsettling.

My deodorant now has inspirational suggestions for me. If you can't read the blurriness, it says that I should "go all in." How soon do you think it will be before they start selling advertising space in this area? I half-expected it to say "Just Do It" or "Got Milk" or something. Is nothing safe from Madison Ave.? What if Gatorade started adding little Nike Swoosh-decorated tapioca balls to its drinks? Get a little protein and starch and consumerist subliminal messages with your thirst quencher. Nothing must be left blank without a suggestion. Maybe they could figure out a way to have Crest come out of the tube with a sentence describing the benefits of Scope. The possabilities are endless!

eesh. I don't really want to wipe "go all in" under my pits. It feels smarmy - like I'm getting ready for a night on the town in Reno.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Whoa, sorry about the delay in getting new posts up. Now that I've started on a new, less-addictive blog site, I haven't been on quite as much. Time to rectify that, and in order to do so, I'll post a brief gallery of RAZR photos documenting my somewhat quixotic modern life these last few days.

Let's start at the beginning (of the lapse):

Got a temp job at Creative Artists Agency last week. They plopped me down at an agent's assitant's desk and said "Dance, Monkey, DANCE!!" And dance I did, with rapid, staccato steps and a broad, sweaty grin. I'd never worked at an agency before, let alone handled an agent's busy schedule. I had to learn how the ins and outs of that machine worked very quickly since I was getting phone calls and emails out of the blue that made zero sense to me without context.

This is me in my monkey suit. I've never worked a job that required me to wear a tie until this moment. Last week, I learned how to tie a tie via the internet. My fav's the Pratt knot. Never quite mastered the four-in-hand, which is a less-complicated knot that comes with a far higher probability of crookedy-ness.

After work on Friday, I decided this monkey deserved a reward so I treated myself to one of my favorite treats.

Tokyo Yakitori! Udon noodles, fish cakes, tempura squash, and teriyaki chicken equals one happy monkey.

After casting my corporate accoutrements aside, Heidi and I ran for the hills . . . the hills that disappear into the ocean!

Yes, Big Sur sang its siren song and we capitulated, and no, I didn't take this picture with my RAZR. That was my other camera. We slept in the back of the jeep (aka The Beastlet) on Saturday night, which was fine except my knees cramped. This has never happened to me before, and made me think that I'm developing a "gammy" knee that'll help me tell when bad weather's a'movin' in ag'in, Maw! Unlock th' celler! The cramp-ed knees gave me strange dreams; I dreamt I was the US Secretary of State during a massive national crisis which required the entire cabinet to sleep in the Oval Office. We were forced to sleep wherever we could find room (under the desk, on a couch, in a chair, on the rug . . . anyplace that didn't already contain another sleeping member of the upper echelon. I got to sleep under the desk, and wouldn't you know it? My knees were cramping. [Live Audience: "oooooooh - hahahaha!!] This woke me up, mostly relieved that I wasn't, in fact, the secretary of state but still perplexed about my knees. As dawn cracked nearby, we finally figured out that sleeping in a pike position allowed us the most comfort.

When we finally arose, we were greeted by the sounds of gulls crying and sea lions barking in the distance. Lovely. We drove and took photos and enjoyed each other's company and the beauty of the coast. Simply gorgeous. Here's the sunset from Saturday night:

Now that's not bad for a RAZR photo, if you ask me. More to come. Always more to come.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Oh, by the way - be careful about following some of the links people have added to their comments on some of my older posts on this page. Apparently, people do comment spamming around here.

Word to the wise on wordinedgewise.
See? Isn't that so much nicer? The page is a bit boring still, and I can't add the latest tunes I'm listening to with the push of a button, BUT I don't have to deal with the loading problems OR the annoying banners for true dot com.

Or, for that matter, the banners that urge me to "race the shark, get a ringtone" or "egg superbush, get a free ringtone," but I digress.

Remember these guys?

It's the namesakes of my softball team . . . who lost AGAIN tonight. Last game of the season; we were up 11 to nothing, and we lost. This, my friends, is the very definition of choking. Maybe I've made this joke already, but we probably shouldn't have named our team after supervillains because supervillains never win. They may win battles occasionally in the comix, but they certainly never do in saturday morning cartoons. I mean, what would the children think? Be bad, get ahead in the world? This seems like a bad lesson. And so, in order to be true to the actual Legion, we must never win.

It's for the children.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I'm not really complaining. I'm not. It's just that when your alarm is set for seven, you expect it to go off at seven. The last thing you expect is to awaken with the sun in your eyes because the sun has reached an acute enough angle in the sky to beam its sunny beams directly through that crack in your shades and into your eyes. That's not the rudest awakening I've ever experiened, not by a long shot, but I had a moment of "WHO-WHAT?!" that shot adrenaline into my brain and made me forget all of my dreams. Stupid sunny beams.
Looked at the clock - no numbers. It's the end of time! That is, it was the end of time, until I heard the trucks outside and workmen yelling at each other.

Then I remembered the letter. (whispered echo: "the letter")

Burbank Water and Power sent a letter earlier in the week warning us that the power would be off, but I thought that was for Friday. My gosh . . . the food! I haven't prepared the fridge! Just as I was jumping up, the power came back on; there I stood, in my pajamas, quite rested but unsure what to do next. The urgency to act, as quickly as it came, dissipated into the ether. I shambled to the bathroom.

Waking up at the wrong time, getting your emotions jerked around: These are things that can drive a man mad. Mad, I tell you!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Another photo from my quixotic modern life. The captain was here . . . in the alley by the liquor store.
Went to bed late . . . got up early.

I'm detecting a pattern.

Saw "Nochnoi Dozor: Nightwatch" last night with my friend Brian. As he pointed out, they did an excellent job constructing an entire believable mythology within the span of about five introductory minutes. Some of the shots in the film were overly indulgent.

Imagine the following scenerio. "A man pushed on the accelerator with his foot."

You could say that he "stomped on the gas pedal" or you could say "With gritted teeth and grim eyebrows, our hero mashed his foot onto the accelerator pedal, sending a flood of vaporised gasoline into the pistons which whined in protest turning the crank which resides in the crank case in order to set the wheels and ultimately the vehicle in motion. Blue flame bursts from the exhaust pipes with an aggressive glow."

Nightwatch defaults more often to the latter version. Still fun to watch, just a little unnecessary. Definitely worth seeing if you like sci-fi and fantasy; it's not the horror movie they keep touting it to be. Sure there are vampires, but they're not really scary - just misunderstood . . . like great white sharks.

That night, I had a dream in which I was commissioned to write five skits for the Academy Awards.
"But it's one in the morning!" I protested as my boss was leaving for home.
"Get it done," he replied. "You have a team of three other people under you. Use them."
I looked at my team - three surly, petulant skater kids slouching by the door.
"You've gotta be kidding me!" I yelled, gesturing toward the skaters.
"Get it done," was all he said and then he left.
As soon as the door shut, the kids grabbed their boards and started to head outside.
"Where do you think you guys are going," I demanded.
"We'll be outside - call us if you need us."
"If?! I need you - now. We have five skits to finish!"
"Ah man, don't be so on edge. It's totally impossible. Let's just split." [editor's note: Do kids still use that phrase? "let's split"? I'm not so sure]
"How can you say that!" I screamed. "This is our job!"
. . . and on and on it went. I followed them around, yelling at them, while they did their best to either ignore me or persuade me to slack off. Ultimately, because I was spending all of my time hollering at them, I didn't get any skits written.

I awoke before I got fired - three minutes before my alarm went off.