Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Kong

I saw King Kong last night with my family. Every time we get together we go see one movie. I was personally leaning toward The Ringer, but my mom doesn't care for frat humor. Of course, she sleeps through every movie we see anyway. Last night she had crashed before they ever made it to Skull Island. When it was over, there were various comments made that it was just Jurrasic Park, Arachnophobia, and Gorrilas on Ice mixed up into one movie, etc. But I liked it.

Yes, the stampeding diplodicuses looked a little fake. Why do people working with green screens forget that the imaginary creatures you're going to superimpose are going to cast shadows on the characters. If there's no shadows on the characters even though they're standing underneath a dinosaur, it looks fake. But, that doesn't matter. What mattered was Ann's character. That girl played it so well. Here you have Kong, the last gorilla on the island. He's king, but he's so alone. He suddenly finds companionship in Ann. It's kind of like Koko and her kitten, but moreso since the companionship is between two intelligent creatures. Ann understands this, and it's not that she's in love with Kong in an romantic sort of sense, but she has a connection to a mystery, to a wonderment, to something supernatural, and it fills her with a sense of awe and in return makes her feel special.

Ann really couldn't have stayed on the island. Something would have killed her eventually. Kong might have even accidentally killed her after losing his temper or just not realizing his strength while playing around. So was it more sad to let Kong slowly die alone on the island or to capture him, drag him to New York, and kill him there?

Kong should have never been taken from his element, but he was doomed either way. It was so sad at the end with Ann watching Kong die. We all just want to be part of something special, something larger than life. Ann had that, but she had always felt that the moment she loved something, it was cursed. So sad.

Oh, but I can vouch that writers are that romantic and that heroic in real life -- but yes, we all have big noses.

So anyway, that was the evening with the family. My parents were planning to leave this morning to head back to El Paso, but my grandfather who had the stroke on Christmas took a turn for the worse, so they moved him to ICU, and apparently if he stops breathing again, they're not going to resuscitate. My mom flew to Amarillo at 6:15 this morning. My dad just left to drive back to El Paso by himself. I feel bad for being such a lazy child, but there's not much I can do in this situation.

The rear main seal on my car started leaking oil again. I just had it replaced when I was on vacation Dec. 6, so it's under warranty. I dropped it back off at Firestone again. It's like all I do on my vacations is wait for my car to be fixed.

Tonight's the blues jam at Howling Coyote. Hopefully someone will actually want to go with me.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Christmas 2005

Another Christmas has come and gone. My parents camed from El Paso and my brother drove down from Stillwater, and the whole family got together at my house to celebrate. It was a celebration very different from years past. For starters, there were no mornings. We haven't bothered getting up before 11 a.m. yet. We all kind of roll out of bed at 11:00, and my mom makes breakfast for us at noon. It's a schedule I like being on, and definitely a sharp contrast to Christmases of the past when we were all out of bed at 4 a.m. to see what Santa had left beneath the tree. I don't even have a tree this year. It's lame, I know, but the cost and the mess outweighed the tradition and decor values.

I scored quite a few pairs of socks and underwear this year, and I'm quite happy to have them. Of course, I think the best gift is having my family here -- especially since my mom is insisting on cooking and cleaning. I haven't eaten this well in months.

Of course, it's not all joy. The family is smaller this year. The ex is gone as are all the in-laws. At moments that still makes me sad. Also, last night my grandfather had a stroke. He's in the hospital in Amarillo, and supposedly doing OK, but now we're all wishing we'd decided to go to the Panhandle, so we could have been with him. Of course, with the stress of having all of us there, he might have had a large stroke instead of just a small stroke, so maybe it's best that we stayed home. I don't know.

Overall it's been a good Christmas. We spent today throwing the football around in the yard and grilling hamburgers. Then my brother-in-law brought over his Xbox, and we spent the whole evening fighting each other in some Star Wars game and killing each other in Halo 2. I suck so bad at that stuff. I haven't had a video game system since the Sega Genesis, and we only had two games for that -- Jurassic Park and Evander Holyfield's Boxing.

Tomorrow is my parents' last day in town, so I'm going to make sure I get up before 11 a.m. I've also got a ton of errands to run, bills to pay, etc. I want to make sure I get that done, so I can spend the rest of my precious few days off enjoying myself.

I hope everyone had a happy holiday, and to those of you whom I can no longer just call to say hello, I hope you had an extra-special Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I LOVE Holiday Traffic

So I left the house this morning at 6:30, AND I had to stop for gas. I still got to work by 7:10. Do you know what time I usually get to work when I leave at 6:30? Somewhere close to 7:50. Of course, there's commuting karma at work here. It all has to balance. Yes, I had a great commute, but for the Universe to keep from exploding, everyone in New York had a suck-ass commute due to the transit strike. Sorry New York.

I'm almost sad we're not working next week just because the traffic would be so light -- almost.

We had a production meeting about doing the next three episodes of From the Rooftop last night. It seems PBS and other stations really want a set of six shows. Apparently three shows just aren't marketable enough. Of course, there were only three Matrix movies. There were only three Indiana Jones movies. Originally there were only three Star Wars movies. Eventually, they broke down and made six, but I think we all saw how bad that turned out. I guess the Rooftop is already bad, so there's no shame in going ahead and making six.

My episode ideas didn't quite go over as well as I thought they would. I had this idea for a show about a wobbly table. I don't think everyone saw the humor of the wobbly table. I mean, just the word "wobbly," it's funny. Oh well.

My brother's showing up tonight, and my parents are showing up tomorrow night. It's going to be a crowded house. I haven't quite figured out everyone's sleeping arrangements yet since I don't think I actually have that many blankets. We may actually have to sleep in shifts. That kind of shortens the amount of family time we'll be spending together, but then again, it shortens the amount of family time we'll be spending together.

Time for work.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Christmas Party Weekend

It's been a weekend of Christmas festivities. Friday night Arick's friends were throwing a big feast/party. It sounded like fun, so I just caught a ride from him afterwork to pick up some food, Secret Santa gifts, etc. We were going to hang out and then go to the party. The catch was, he had to go to a press check at Disc Pro before we could go to the party. Then that kept getting delayed, so suddenly it's almost 10 p.m. and we're still at Disc Pro. Then T-Bone shows up for his press check, which isn't going to happen until 11:00 at the earliest because everything's running late. Well, I decide to hang with T-Bone and keep him company while Arick goes on to the party, and then T-Bone could drop me off after the press check. Well, the press check took FOR-E-VER. So I don't get to the party until close to 1:00 a.m. Everyone's walking out as I'm walking in. There's one girl left in the apartment, but she's cute and seems friendly enough, so we start talking. She teaches fourth grade and was telling me about her students and we're talking about what she does for fun, etc. Seemed like we were really clicking. Well, I really want to ask her out, so I ask if she's seeing anyone. There's silence and she looks at me like I'm completely retarded. She's like, "I live here with my fiancee who is sitting over there. We're the ones who hosted the party." I felt like an idiot. Of course, it's not like Arick bothered introducing me to anyone when I got there. Thanks a lot ass!

So the company Christmas party was last night at Hotel Derek by the Galleria. It was so swank. We had gambling, dancing, etc. I won $17,000 in fake money playing blackjack, but one guy actually made $84,000 or something like that. The door prizes were LCD TVs, iPod Nanos, and HP printers. I don't think the printers went over quite as well as the TVs and the iPods, but hey, they were free. Of course, I didn't win anything. I just had way too many Jack and Cokes and almost tripped my boss on the dance floor twice. (Sorry about that.)

I've wasted today nursing the hangover and watching episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm. This season three DVD is so much better than season one. I haven't seen season two yet.

I tried to go to Chick-Fil-A for lunch ... forgot it was Sunday. I'm an idiot.

Friday, December 16, 2005

I guess I was sleepy

So I went home last night. I passed up drunken ice skating with everyone from the office at The Galleria because I had plans to go out later. Well, I walk into my bedroom, check my e-mail, and decide to take a nap. I guess it was about 1:30 a.m. I woke up freaking out that I was late for work or something. Then I realized it was 1:30 a.m., turned off the lights, took off my shoes (which I hate falling asleep in because my feet get so freaking hot), and went back to bed.

Exciting story, I know. But here's another exciting story -- we're going to shoot three more episodes of From the Rooftop in February. I've some golden ideas for this round. GOLD, I tell YOU!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Santa might be Irish


potatoes
Originally uploaded by ffacker.
So the writer that sits next to me at work got 70 pounds of potatoes left on her desk by her Secret Santa this morning.

Being recently engaged, there was a message on her computer that said, "Now you can have an Irish wedding."

She's Jewish and her fiancee is Indian, so I don't really know what that means -- except that stereotyping Irish people is fun.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Back to the Grind

And I don't mean the dance-party show on MTV. I wonder if anybody remembers that show. It was so annoying because I only had a small window of time when I got home from school in the afternoons before my mom got home. I wasn't allowed to watch MTV, so I wanted to see as many videos as possible before she showed up. Unfortunately, The Grind would be on, and I'd just have to watch stupid people dancing. Such a waste of life. Thank goodness the camera operators at least knew enough to zoom in on the hot chicks.

Anyway, I've been writing up a storm since I got back to work. It's all about the breakfast. I was flipping through a power point presentation today about bacon, and I guess I never realized bacon was the pig's stomach. Then what I really never realized is that they leave the teats on there. I love bacon, but that slide showing the hook and the teat was really disturbing me. I don't want to eat a pig's nipples. Now I'm going to be looking for them every time I eat bacon. Plus, to make things worse, I got a BLT at lunch and there was something wrong with that bacon. It was so hard I thought I chipped my tooth. It's like, damn, I just wanted a tasty sandwich, but instead I end up crunching down on some petrified pig nipple. So upsetting.

The Notebook was on tonight. I'd seen it once before, but I'm such a sucker for movies like that. Let's just say I'm glad my roommate is working tonight because otherwise it might have been awkward when I finally cracked at the end. Something about those summer romances that will really do you in.

I'm headed to bed. It's another big day at work tomorrow, and Jace and I are planning to hit open mic night at the Howling Coyote again.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Secret Santa strikes again!!!

My office is hardcore about Secret Santa. I've been on vacation all week, so I haven't kept up with who's gotten what at all. In fact, the whole thing had kind of slipped my mind -- at least until I opened the mailbox last night. My Secret Santa mailed me a gift from the office. It's a book called, "Voodoo Child, The Illustrated Legend of JImi Hendix." It tells the story of his life in the form of a graphic novel, and it's got a C of previously unreleased music with it. I'm very impressed with my Secret Santa. However, the handwriting on this gift doesn't quite match up to the handwriting on either of the two previous books. I'm 99% certain that Santa is a guy though. All the handwriting and gifts selected were very guy-esque. (I'm the editor, and I say, yes, guy-esque is a word. And yes you ALWAYS hyphenate it.)

I spent last night hanging out at Swig. I was hoping to meet a nice girl (translated HOT) to invite to my office Christmas party since my first choice shot me down. For some reason I just kept attracting dudes. I don't know what that's about.

I picked up a new harmonica today in the key of E. The one I learned to play on back in the day is a key of C. I don't know why they even manufacture them in that key. It's utterly useless. I mean, really, who plays in key of C? Nobody. ESPECIALLY not blues. It's all in E or A or G, maybe even D. Definitely not C.

Jace had cable installed this morning. On one hand, I'm thrilled. On the other hand, I worry that I'll be even more lazy and less productive than I was before. Have I already discussed this? Seems like familiar territory.

Off to play guitar.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Blue Eyes

I never promised it would be good, but here's what my dabblings in the music room produced: Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain

My roommate's going to throw some lead guitar and fills in there. I'll repost when I update it.

Vacation: Day 6

Last night Jace and I went to The Howling Coyote for the Wednesday night open mic blues jam. Frank, the guy who hosts it, is one of the most amazing guitarists I've ever seen. Of course, the guy's been making his living playing guitar for like 30 years, so what do you expect?

Anyway, I wouldn't really call my music "blues," but I went up and played a few originals. They came off pretty well considering I'd never met the bass player or the drummer until the moment we all stepped on stage. Then after I did my songs we launched into "Ramble On" and ended with "Hey Hey What Can I Do." It was fun.

After I left the stage this old lady came over, and was like, "That was amazing." Then she hugged me. Does that count as groupie action?

Howling Coyote has a much older crowd than most of the other places in Spring, so we talked to Frank for a couple minutes after we played, and then we went over to open mic at Acadia. I've never played open mic at Acadia or Fountainhead just because the bands there are so heavy/punk. I just don't know that my melodic verses and lyrical genius would be recognized in those settings. I definitely couldn't do one of my slow songs like "She Dreams."

What cracks me up is that at all these open mic nights, there's always some nerdy friend of a band who gets up and sings one song. Like, last night three of the guys from Revolution were just jamming out and Kareem was laying down all these mean leads. Then once they'd played all these fast, hard songs. They stay on stage and play "Glycerine" by Bush, so their chubby friend can come up and sing it. Then there was another band that did some weak-ass song, so their friend could come up and sing it.

I'm so tempted to be an open-mic dick and just learn all those songs that the friends sing and play them as my own set. It would probably only be funny to me, but I'd like to look out at their faces to watch their reactions as I burn through the only songs they know. Why am I always so spiteful? I should stop spiting people.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Vacation: Day 5

Note to self: Do not accept shots from strangers no matter how large their breasts may be.

I went out to Swig last night. My friend Jinx and a bunch of the bartenders that work there were just there hanging out, so what I had planned to be just a light night turned into a heavy night. Then this girl Vanessa who is training to be a chef kept buying me shots while we talked about food. Who knew all that writing I've done for SYSCO Foodservice would ever have an application in a social context? I woke up this morning feeling like absolute crap, but completely thankful that I at least didn't have to go to work. I finally rolled out of bed about 2:00 and watched General Hospital while I ate lunch.

I'm going to go into the music room now and record something. No promises that it will be good, but I'll post whatever I end up with.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Vacation: Day 4

I still haven't been productive. I got up this morning and worked out. Then I had lunch and watched a bunch of "Curb your Enthusiam" episodes. Then I picked up my car and washed it. It's so weird washing your car in the winter. It always seems like a summer thing to do. You strip down, lather on some suncreen, turn up the garage radio and go wash the car. It was even better if your significant other was in her bikini or a little t-shirt and daisu dukes out there helping.

BUT, the car still gets dirty in the winter. I guess I just never washed my old car in the winter. I can't remember ever doing it. But today I bundled up and washed the car. It wasn't sexy at all. I didn't even bother turning on the radio. However, the car is clean now, so that's a plus.

I played some guitar after that. Then I watched Oprah. She and some panel of guests/specialist were talking about waxing sensitive areas of the female body. Anyway, this one lady claimed on a pain scale of 1 - 10, waxing the bikini area was an 8.5. The whole audience of frumpy, middle-aged soccer moms gasped and put their hands over their mouths in shock and horror. Thanks a lot Oprah. Every woman in America is going to remember what was said on your show, and I'm going to be fighting through jungles for the next five years.

Probably heading to Swig tonight, and tomorrow night it's blues night at the Howling Coyote.

Ok, seriousness start NOW

I spent another day doing nothing, but playing guitar and watching movies. I saw Blade 3. Jessica Biel is so hot in that. Except I hate the way her character had to make a new playlist on her iPod every time she wanted to fight vampires. That was pretty ridiculous. Also, a girl could never really fight like that because they're just so much inherently weaker than guys. BUT, I'll suspend my disbelief for Jessica Biel because she looked so good doing it.

So tomorrow I'm going to get serious, and I'm either going to wake up and start recording or wake up and start writing a script. Either way, I just want something to show for my time off.

Thursday I have a meeting with the From the Rooftop guys to discuss a new episode. They talked to some guy at PBS, and I think they've been advised to take it into more of a talk show format. We'll have to see what we can do with that. I've been kind of brainstorming on it all day, but have yet to have any real inspiration.

I'm going to bed.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Vacation: Day 3

I'm a little disappointed in this whole vacation thing so far. I did nothing yesterday, but run errands. I haven't even been out yet. Every night I keep thinking I'll go out. Then I fall asleep. So lame.

This morning hasn't gone so well either. I got up and took my car to Firestone for a safety inspection (which was like three months overdue) and an estimate on fixing the oil leak. Of course, there was a wait, so I decided to just leave it there and hike back home. That's cool because it's less than a mile away, and I figure the hike gives me an excuse not to work out today. However, when I got home I realized I left my keys and my garage door opener at Firestone.

Let me tell you, there's nothing like breaking into your own house at 9:30 a.m. Luckily I am fairly skilled at B&E, so I got inside.

I had some Super Golden Crisp for breakfast this morning. I haven't bought cereal in forever, but for some reason I decided to buy some yesterday. I had three bowls last night and two more this morning. It's making my pee smell funny. Asparagus also makes my pee smell funny. That makes me wonder if there's asparagus in Super Golden Crisp.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Vacation: Day Two

I actually got myself out of bed today -- not until 11:00, but still, that's better than yesterday. I had some toast and spent about 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer. Not a bad start. Then I made myself sit down and pay bills. That's two responsible things in a row today. I think I'm going to shower, go get my hair cut, and grab some groceries. Tomorrow morning I need to get a safety inspection done on the car. At that point, I think I will be completely finshed with all responsibilities for the week. Well, except for my duties as secret sants -- or have they already been done? I don't know.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

I'm on vacation!!!!

So I started my week of vacation in grand fashion by sleeping all day. Well, not ALL day, but most of it. I woke up around noon and watched "City of God." Then I went back to bed until Jace woke me up at 4:45. It was a long night and an even longer week.

I had a ton of work this week. That's the way it always goes. You can never just float into a vacation, you have struggle every last inch of the way until you get there. I feel bad for everyone at the office next week. There's a bunch of us out burning our last few days of freedom before we lose them for the year.

Last night I went to Warren's with Drew after work for happy hour, and a few people from the office joined us. Then around 8:00 we all migrated to the bar & grill next door for some burgers. Then we hit the Flying Saucer and met more people from work at 9:45 or so. I finally left around 1 a.m., and somehow I got turned around as to which door of the Flying Saucer we had come in, so I struck out for my car in the wrong direction. I think I'd walked around 10 blocks before the hustle and bustle of downtown disappeared. I realized it was just me and the homeless hanging around. I finally stopped and asked directions from a parking attendant who was ticketing a car. After walking back the opposite direction another 15 blocks or so, I finally found my car.

We had a very cute temp working the phones this week. All the single guys in the office were turning on the charm. Too bad she was lesbian. She came out to the Flying Saucer and brought her partner. It was a good time. I'm wondering if she and her girlfriend might become part of the normal hang out crowd. Who knows?

I've got some options as to what to do with my week off. The first is to pack up and go camping or something. Camping alone isn't very fun though. Leo is looking for a new script to slate now that Necrophobia is in post production. I could shut myself in the bedroom and spend the week writing. I just need a good plot. I've also got this song a wrote a little while back, and Thomas said he'd shoot a video for it if I'll re-record it. I could spend the week in the music room laying down tracks on that, and really putting some time into making a quality recording.

Of course, with all those options what are the chances my agenda continues to be: bed, couch, bar, bed, bar, couch, bed, couch, bar, etc.

Meanwhile the holiday season is taking its toll on me. On one hand, I always like Christmas. On the other hand, this is the first Christmas in a long time where I'm going to be alone. We'll see how that goes.

This local band called Alfred's Chorus is playing tonight. I caught them one at Acadia and really liked their style, so I'm going to go check out the show.