Thursday, July 31, 2008

Jim Landed A Big One!

There's something of a kerfuffle over on Stonekettle Sation today. I just read what's there so far, and in lieu of writing a post today, I'm going to make a request. If you visit here, and you're not a reader of Jim's blog, please go read this post. And if you've got a blog, please link his post.

The short story is that a Navy Corpsman was killed in action and a bank in California is being an asshole about releasing the Government money that is intended to pay for his funeral and any other immediate needs the family may have. The bank is hiding behind Federal Regulations that allow the bank to hold a check for 10 business days prior to releasing the funds.

Now, I'm not a banker, but I'm fairly certain that the regulation does not require the bank to put that hold on a deposit, merely allows it to do so. I base this on the fact that my bank clears most of the amount of every check I deposit, nanoseconds after I've deposited the check and it rarely takes more than three days for the rest of the deposit to register, regardless of where the check comes from.

At any rate, some asshole from the bank started making anonymous comments without understanding that Jim could easily trace the IP address back to the bank's server. (Hey, Jim, get a mapquest map based on the Longitude/Latitude info and post which branch the asshole works at.)

Anyway, in his comments, Jim adds that he's never done anything to go out of his way to attract more readers. So, I'd like to try to do it for him. I'm asking you, not only to read the link and the anonymous comments from the idiot, I'm asking you to link the article on your blog too.

Like I said, the number of people who read me and don't already read Jim's blog probably aren't a lot of people. But, if you few link it and ask others to link it, I think a lot of people who wouldn't have otherwise seen this...will.

And, also, Jim's a damn good blogger. You should be reading him anyway.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Truth In Advertising.

I'll start by saying that I know nothing about other things described by the Chinese, but Stinky Tofu is exactly that. The name alone can not begin to prepare you for the pervading, all encompassing Tsunami of Stink that a serving of Stinky Tofu brings to a room.

Let me get this out of the way because it's bursting to get out of me like the monster in Alien.


Sorry. I'm getting ahead of myself. I picked up John at the subway in Greenwich Village and we made our way to Flushing. Arriving at the restaurant, we were, of course, served tea with the menus. Very pleasant. Here's John pouring. (Note to John: Do not give up current day job in hopes of pursuing a career as a hand model. You take direction like shit.)

I had a little trouble deciding what to order. There were many animal parts on the menu that I don't think should ever see a kitchen. Tell the truth. If you're ordering something with frog in it, do you really give a shit whether or not the garlic is fresh?

Eventually, we placed our order. When ordering the Stinky Tofu, John ordered in Chinese. He said he had done so to prevent the waitress from thinking he didn't know what he was ordering. I'm not sure how ordering Stinky Tofu by saying "Stinky Tofu" could be taken as not knowing what you're ordering. It's not like the English version is "Aromatic Soy Goodness" or "Heaven Scent Protein Broth". It's fucking Stinky Tofu. Also, and I'll come back to this, but if the waitress had thought he didn't know what he was ordering, he'd have provided a much needed out that would have come in handy later.

While waiting for food to arrive, John overheard the waitresses speaking in Chinese to each other. One of the other waitresses said to our waitress, "The white boys ordered that?" This tickled John quite a bit.

Anyway, I kind of expected the meal to go like this:

-Stinky Tofu arrives.
-Nathan and John take turns sampling Stinky Tofu and taking pictures of the event.
-Stinky Tofu is politely returned almost intact.
-Real food arrives and John and Nathan enjoy a pleasant lunch.

My expectations, sadly, were not met. And in hindsight, I'll acknowledge that this might have been a good thing.

Our real food arrived first. Who knew that so much more work goes into preparing Stinky Tofu than normal food. Maybe they have to wait for the specially trained Stinky Tofu Chef to arrive. Maybe nobody else in the kitchen is willing to touch the stuff. I don't know. The real food came first.

John had something with shrimp.

Mine was chicken. It was good. I ate a fair amount of it before the Stinky Tofu's arrival...and the departure of all further appetite.

TA DA...Stinky Tofu.
John and MWT have both taken turns at describing the smell as emanating from various farm animals' droppings; of it being soaked in cat piss before being lightly grilled. These are both accurate and do not do it justice. This is tofu fermented in shrimp brine and some other things that you really are supposed to throw away instead of rotting other food in it. The missing descriptor of the smell is that during the fermenting process, the folks from the village regularly stop by to soak their feet in the fermenting vat. Yeah, that smell is feet. But noooooo! They're not satisfied with serving something that just reeks to fucking high hell. It comes with a little brazier under a broth filled bowl. Yeah, it's just steaming for better stink distribution.


When Stinky Tofu arrives, it quietly announces itself to the entire restaurant. There was one other white guy at the table next to us and you could see his nose try to crawl into his face. Even Chinese people looked a little annoyed. So the reason the order of preceedings might have been good is that, at least, I got to eat half my meal.

John missed the moment of truth on me by at least a second. I took one cube of the stuff, chopped it in half, placed this ungodly creation in my mouth and seriously gagged before chocking it down. Drank Coke. Nope, that doesn't get rid of it. Tea. Nope, taste still there. Luckily, the chicken was rather spicy and that removed the taste. But the stink was still sitting there 18 inches in front of me bubbling away.


John actually ate 8 peices of the stuff. He had discovered that the rest of the food there is good and since he frequents this neighborhood, he didn't want them to feel insulted by us leaving the Stinky Tofu almost untouched. John, this is where it might have come in handy for them to have just assumed we were stupid Americans ordering cluelessly.


I kept hinting that maybe we could get the stuff to go away, but John just moved it a little away from us down the table. I'm fairly certain we could have sent it to Iowa and still have been haunted by it.


John left the table for a minute after the stuff left. He claimed he just wanted to wash up. Sure.

Three last things to end this with.

1. John says his wife claims it doesn't taste as bad as it smells. A.) How could it taste as bad as it smells? and B.) How can you tell?

2. A couple of you have been taking too much glee out of this whole thing. If you don't know who you are, you'll be finding out soon enough...and then you'll surely tell everyone else about it.


P.S. When I got home this evening, I told GF that if she felt I was due another moratorium on language, it could just fucking wait until tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Reward & Punishment.

I had a great day. Not a good day. Not a really good day. A great day.

Today was the first chance the Production Designer and I had to show our Director some choices for locations in person. Let's just say we nailed it. He liked everything! He liked so many things, there are things he liked that he won't be able to use. If you like four of four apartments and only need two for the movie, you've got to let two of them go.

In addition to finding two of the key apartments for the movie, we also chose a little town to double for the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington D.C. We found four stores that we need on those quaint streets. I've got to go back, get permits and make deals with all of these places, but let's not quibble over details. We also picked a place for a Diplomatic Reception that's a big scene in the movie.

I'm undeniably happy with myself right now. So what, you may ask, am I going to do to reward myself for such an extraordinary performance?

I'm letting John the Scientist drag me to East Bumfuck Queens, NY tomorrow to sample the Stinky Tofu.

I'm not especially pleased that I'm getting so much more use out that flag than I am from my Gas Grill of Retribution™. It's just not fair. On the other hand, John has consented (I think) to finally be photographically debuted, since I said this had to be documented in all of its stinky glory. And not only will you get pictures of John and I sampling that which should not be sampled, we've got something else up our sleeves to share with you soon. I mean, we shouldn't be keeping all the fun for ourselves, should we?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Teufel Proudly Tells The World, "That's Mine! Yeah, I Did That!"

On the one hand, I'll apologize for talking about the cats and not posting any pictures, but I think you'll forgive me. Tonight's subject is Feline Excreta.

See, here's the thing. I've had cats for most of my adult life. I've had cats who showed an interest in their own product, but Teufel is really weird. We use the scoopable clumping litter. GF and I divide feeding duties, but I'm in charge of all results.

When I take the top off of the enclosed litter box, Teufel comes running. LuLu may or may not show up to watch from the cheap seats, but Teufel sits down right next to the litter box and watches every clump get scooped. If he can, he gets a sniff as each clump makes it's way into a plastic shopping bag for disposal. Every few scoops, I could swear he leans back in satisfaction and smiles at me as if to say, "That's an especially big one I left for you, isn't it?"

Ollie used to like to sleep in the litter box occasionally, regardless of what was already there. But when he came out, he had the decency to look a little, sure he had some weird habits, but don't we all? Teufel positively adores his own crap. When I close up the plastic bag and make my way to the trashcan, he follows and eyes it until it sinks from view. Then he looks a little sad.

I guess you'd have to see the whole process, but trust me, it's weird.

Oh, and I'm sorry this is all I could think of to tell you about. I had a kind of crappy day. It seemed appropriate.

A Quick Observation.

Facebook wants me to join a walking group. The pitch is that for every hour of vigorous exercise, I can gain an hour of life expectancy.

I've got a counter offer. How about if I just enjoy the first hour in the first place and you keep the rebate hour. I hate rebates. If you want to give me something, just give it to me.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

In Which Nathan And Michelle Add Another Link On The UCF Hairball.

As you all know, Michelle won my contest a couple of weeks ago, scoring movie tickets for two. I haven't actually done anything about getting the tickets to her and, needless to say, when I saw this post this morning, I leaped into action. (OK, leap is a total fabrication...I started clicking things.)

So, I quickly found that Hellboy is playing at two theaters in her neck of the woods. I quickly commented on her blog that she should let me know which theater she'd be going to so I could buy the tickets. Then I emailed, figuring she might see an email quicker than seeing a comment on the blog.

Then I emailed again, saying "Why don't you just call me?" and included my cell number. I got back an email with her number and a note telling me that if I wanted to speak to her grandmother I could call a second number she gave me.

While I'd been waiting for her contact info, I had dutifully tried calling the two theaters to see if I could buy the tickets over the phone. The first theater's recording gave a phone number I could call after Noon and speak to a live person. The second theater offered me three prompts to press (only one of which I suspected might lead to a live person), but when I pressed any of them, the theater-robot hung up on me.

So, I called Michelle.

Completely unreliable transcript of call:

Michelle: Hello. (three syllables.)

Me: Why, pray tell, would I want to talk to your Grandmother?

Mi: (that's her abbreviation for here on out), (laughing) Because she's lots of fun.

Me: I've tried to call both theaters showing Hellboy and I can't get a live person on the phone. So, when you get to the theater, call me and then shove your phone through the little ticket slot so I can buy the tickets.

Mi: It's really no rush. We'll probably go see another movie next weekend.

Me: Well, the situation won't be any different next weekend. I still won't be able to buy the tickets online and I still won't be able to get a live person on the phone. This seems like the easiest way to deal with this.

Mi: OK, I'll call you again around 1:30. And you don't sound anything like I imagined you would. (I forget what she said she expected, but my voice is much deeper than she expected.)

There followed some more Babble, Babble, Babble, Laugh, Laugh, OK, " to you soon."

Update: I know some of you have this on a feed and already read the last paragraph, but I'm deleting it anyway, 'cause if might have come off as mean instead of just teasing the way I meant it.

Also, I'm an idiot. When I got back from the store, I left my phone under something in the other room, so I didn't hear it ringing when Michelle called from the they bought their own tickets...D'oh! We shall try this again next weekend.

Oh, and Janiece? Please update.

Starting a Post With No Idea Where It's Going: An Experiment. And An Unexpected Coinage In The Bargain!

I'm pretty sure that every time I've started to write a post here, all 409 times, so far, I've known what the point of the post was meant to be...even with the clearly pointless posts. This morning, I'm kind of intrigued by a subject and I want to talk about it, but I honestly have no idea where the conversation will lead...or where my intro to the conversation will end.

Anyway, on to the subject:

These last few days, the internets (at least the little corner I visit), are buzzing about Comment Moderation and First Amendment Rights. Scalzi has a lot to say about it here, and here. Over at Making Light, Jim MacDonald has his own take on things.

First, let's start off by admitting that my blog isn't well known enough to draw many of the foaming at the mouth crowd. I also haven't taken on too many topics that avail themselves to the trawlers.

Interruption to claim coinage!

1. trawler

A person who is too stingy or poor to pay for drinks in nightclubs so they proceed to drink the dregs of any drinks that are left unattended. They usually end up totally wasted by the end of the night, puking their guts up in the loos, because of all the different drinks they've consumed.

"Ann is so poor that when she goes out she's a trawler."

The above is from the Urban Dictionary. My definition is: One who conducts internet searches with the specific goal of finding posts that lend themselves to their own personal brand of being a troll.

Yes! I claim this coinage and deem it excellent.

OK, back to the point (which you'll recall, I don't yet have in mind). I have, if memory serves, exactly two occasions where Comment Moderation might have come into play. The first was a post that I searched for and couldn't find. If I recall, it was something or other about a politician posing for a photo op at a birthday party for Adolph Hitler. The first comment to show up was from some big poobah in the American Nazi Party. I don't remember him having said anything especially offensive, but I deleted him without a whole lot of thought because I didn't want anything here linking back to him or his organization. I'm sure he found me by trawling, (see, it's an excellent and useful word), and he just dropped in to put in his 2¢ worth of, "You're a liberal Jew-loving Yankee and you don't understand anything." Note: Trawlers who find this post due to the preceding paragraph and feel the need to contribute to the conversation similarly will be similarly deleted.

The only other time a topic has leant itself to having comments that might have the rails, as it were, was this past week, when I got all foamy about a comment I had read in another blog. I didn't moderate any of the comments that showed up there, in spite of the fact that the target of my venom showed up right away and tried to shout me down (here in my own place).

His first comment was:

If you think starting a dialogue with "Fuck you Peregrine." is going to get a reasonable response it will not.
Rewrite the post and we'll talk.

Well, the fact is, he was both right and wrong. Me starting the conversational part of the post as I did was clearly inflammatory. But where he was wrong was in thinking that my goal was to start a dialogue. My intention was to tell you (and him) that what he said was 250% wrong and that nothing he had to say was going to change my mind. What he had said already was the direct equivalent (in my mind) of having said, "Fuck you Nathan". As I noted, I thought we were even on that score. I then went and noted his objection in the post and struck out the offending language from the post and replaced it with something more to his taste.

Some of you noted that I had accommodated him more than you would have been willing to do. I would agree with you if I had actually deleted the offending phrases. They were left there for all to see with a line through them and an explanation of why things had changed. And even though I wasn't interested in a dialogue, I was interested in seeing what else he might have to say on the subject. I'd even go so far as to say that the way I accommodated his request was more in the nature of baiting than acquiescing.

That having been said, I didn't find any of his comments to rise to a threshold that would invoke any kind of moderation. I thought most of what he said was horribly, completely and transparently wrong, but that left me and all of you free to call him on it. (I'll also repeat that peregrine is still welcome here anytime. I'd wager that there are other subjects, about which he probably has interesting insights. His conduct while being at the bottom of the pileup was admirably restrained.)

I'm not going to rehash the argument that your First Amendment Rights only protect you from Government regulation. That's already clear to all but the most clueless. I'm not going to delve the depths of the argument that this is my blog and that everything here remains here at my sufferance.

The Big Boy Bloggers who pay for their space have the ability to block a particular commenter from showing up ever again. I don't have that ability (or if I do, I don't know how to do it). So, with that in mind, (and without having come to some Grand Unifying Point), I'll just say that I reserve the right to delete your ass for any reason whatsoever...even something as capricious as not liking your screen name.

On the one hand, it's not some Earth Moving revelation, but it's fairly unambiguous.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Dear Kid at the Grocery Store,

I've just returned from a trip to your place of employment and have recovered nicely from your blank pimpled stare. Now that we have a little more time, allow me to explain what I was trying to explain as you helpfully bagged my groceries.

Bags, as you will have discovered are useful items. They allow you to place multiple items into one easily carried item. That, having been said, their use can also be overdone.

I completely understand why you've been instructed to wrap the items of meat into their own bag before placing them into another bag. There is no reason, however, to further segregate them from all of the other groceries by refusing to place any other item into that bag. Placing the bars of soap into that bag would not present a problem. Not only is each bar in its own box...the three boxes are then further wrapped in clear plastic. The risk of soapy meat or meaty soap is really quite low. I'm willing to risk it.

Or possibly, you're doing me a favor and making sure that no particular bag becomes too heavy and that's the reason you're dividing things into multiple bags. It's a fine theory, but regardless of how many bags you use, I'll still be carrying them home with only two hands attached to two arms. I assure you, I'm carrying the same weight no matter how you split it up. In fact, while negligible, the weight of the extra bags might just be the straw that breaks this camel's back.

And let's discuss the bag of charcoal. If you place it in a bag, can anything else fit in there with it? I think not, thereby negating that first thing we discussed. Now if you were selling loose charcoal briquettes, I'd thank you kindly for helpfully putting them into a bag. However, since your store sells charcoal by the bag, I feel it incumbent upon me to point out that a bag of charcoal is, in fact...a bag.

Out of curiosity, if I walked in and asked you for a bag, would you give it to me in a bag?

I realize you're only 14 and you're doing what they told you to do. I also realize that the odds of you reading this are vanishingly few. But this has been much more satisfying for me than the vacant, glazed look you gave me when I handed back 6 empty bags and made my way home with the five items I purchased.

And, you're welcome for the 53¢ tip. You worked unnecessarily hard for it.


Update Sunday 7/27: And the woman at the counter in the Pet Food Store just offered me a bag to carry my one purchase...a bag of cat food. Thanks!

One of Those Annoyingly Self-Congratulatory Posts Where the Blogger Pats Himself On the Back and Crows about His Stats!

Yay me.

Ahem... Thanks to my own sheer genius and engrossing wit you guys liking to win stuff and enjoying the evisceration of some guy who pissed me off on the internet, we're enjoying the busiest at Polybloggimous.

Lookee there! 5+ days remaining in the month and we've already surpassed all previous months in this blog's history. I was going to describe said history as "long and storied" but that'd be just plain stupid.

How does one account for this sudden spike? A less than exhaustive investigation reveals that, clearly, the way to increase readership is to A.) announce that you're going to give away stuff, B.) reveal who, is ultimately the winner of said stuff, and C.) throw a hissy fit because some guy you've never heard of (and likely never will again), writes something that offends your delicate sensibilities.

The insights I take from these revelations demonstrate that a marked level of immaturity is my route to ruling the internet. I can live with that.

BTW, in the name of full disclosure, I will point out, once again, that my stats don't differentiate between "visits" and "unique visits", a distinction that would paint a much less impressive picture if I had that info. Another thing I can live with.

And once again, I'll take the opportunity to encourage all lurkers to come forward and say Hi. Anyone who does so will be rewarded with their own personal return-salutation. What could be better than that?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Rodent Armies Will Rule The World.

Yesterday, Janiece blogged about hero rats saving the world from land mines. She neglected to mention that they now have infantry too. I'm not at all sure this is as benign and altruistic as she'd lead us to believe. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Photo courtesy of this guy.

This. I'll Never Get!

So, the office we've set up for this movie is in the same building as of the very few labs that process motion picture film. Walking in the front door this morning, I saw a kid running in with 4 1000' reels of film to drop off for processing.

Now, think about this. The crew that shot that film, the equipment that was used to shoot that film, everything else that had to be paid for to shoot that film probably cost between $150,000 and $200,000. I'm talking about paying for the one day it took to shoot those 4 1000' reels of film.

And, as a matter of course, the production sends one of the lowest paid, lowest on the totem pole Production Assistants to put the product of all that money and effort into the responsible hands of the lab. He's carrying that $150,000 to $200,000 in his hands. I don't know. This has just always struck me as a little odd.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

How Many Ads Could A Mad Lad Add If A Mad Lad Would Add Ads?

Shortly after starting this blog, GF turned to me and, much like Significant Others the world over, said, "Can you make any money with that thing?" I told her that a lot of people accept ads on their sites, but I'm not sure you can make any money with it unless you've got thousands of readers per day. (Based on it taking 6 months for me to get to my 10,00th hit, I don't really qualify on that count.)(And Shawn, your book will be sent out on Saturday; Michelle, I'll call that theater near you and figure out how to get a gift certificate into your paws.)

So, while I don't think I'd make any real money if I started accepting ads (maybe something like that residuals check I got?), I also don't have any philisophical objection to accepting ads on this site. My first question, though, is who would want to advertise here? And would I be free to make fun of them along the lines of "Look at the loser company that just showed up on the sidebar and thinks you're going to buy their crappy product?"

That could be kind of fun! Hey, just think...if Dominos Pizza decided to advertise here, I could place a text box over their ad and say different nasty things about them every day.

I'd be totally cool if vendors of prosthetic tentacles and accessories wanted to advertise here.

There are some ads that I'd never want. If you click around at the NY Post (especially in the gossip section), there have been ads lately where suddenly the entire page was crawling with Madagascar Hissing Roaches (an exhibit at the Museum of Natural History) and one where chains break through the page and then reach across until you can't see any of the story you're reading. (Naturally, neither of those ads were running when I went over there to get the link, but maybe it will when you go.)

Anyway, what do you guys say? Would seeing ads here annoy you? Or should I take one for the team and be the UCF Guinnea Pig, dutifully reporting my experience as a trollop covered in bumper stickers? (Also, I'm fairly certain I'd be allowed to opt out if I/we hated it.)

Chime right in. And no toaster talk!

Dominos Redux!

I'm sure most of you remember the Dominos Debacle. For those of you who weren't here, it's recommended reading. And things got pretty crazy in the comments too. Anyway, you'll remember that Shawn made a prank call to me in the middle of the whole thing, pretending to be from Dominos and I gave him an earful before I realized what was going on.

The end result of all of that was that I'm no longer going to be a Dominos customer...ever!

Ten minutes ago, my cell phone rang. A voice starts telling me about some special Dominos is running. I'm thinking one of you morons has decided the joke needs expansion. I'm saying stuff like, "C'mon, which one of you guys is this?" I know it's not Shawn or Jim or John the Scientist. I know thier voices. I've heard Vince on his radio show and I'm pretty sure it's not him. And then I realize that no matter what I say, the voice keeps droning on giving its spiel.

Fuck! It's a recording and since it's the phone number I used when placing my order, it's the one they've got in their computer. And I probably can't make a "Do Not Call" list apply to them, since they can document that I've been a customer.

I'm open to suggestions for how I can make a chain I refuse to ever do business with again, stop calling my cell phone.

Suggestions anyone?

Scouting Status

2 Down.

32 To Go.

No Pressure.

Actually, we've chosen a short list for two of the most important apartments in the movie and we have possibilities for 8 of the other major locations. We've got Bupkis on most of the rest but I've got my scouts out scouring the city for stuff.

And I'll let you in on a little secret. I've never done a movie where we had all of the locations locked down before the Tech Scout. There's always a few little things that you're still looking for (sometimes up to a few days before they shoot). There are other things that you know are going to be omitted from the script and you don't waste a lot of time thinking about them.

Right now I'm prioritizing what we look for by how important it is in the movie, by how hard it is to schedule (Hospitals and Colleges), and by the amount of the movie that takes place there. By August 1st, I'll be prioritizing almost exclusively by when a location needs to be used in our shooting schedule (i.e. I want to make sure that we have everything that shoots the first couple of weeks before I worry about something that shoots at the end of our schedule).

Anyway, since I have so much stuff to do, and since deciding which to do first hurts my head a little, I think I'll go downstairs and have a cigarette. See? I'm decisive that way!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Day One...Opening The Production Office.

For any of you envying my glamorous life in the film biz, here's the office we opened up yesterday. No phones yet. Waiting for furniture. I also have a distinct lack of door, much less one that can be locked so I can leave anything valuable overnight. There's WiFi and a coffee machine. Yay!

And yeah, I've got a fair amount of space, but by next week this room will be housing me, my Asst. Location Manager, 2 scouts and 2 P.A.'s.

It's home for a while, but once we start shooting, I may see it again twice before I wrap the show.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Something Is Wrong On The Internet!

Last night, I fell prey to this situation, so brilliantly described by xkcd.

There I was, doing a little browse around the internet (gotta make sure I didn't miss anything), when I stopped in at Filming in Brooklyn. The last paragraph of the post is what got me madly clicking and then madly posting a response much later at night than I should have been. Here, take a look and, by all means, follow the links: (The bold type below is my emphasis.)

Last, there was this article in The New York Times about renting your house out for a shoot. ...(I dare our resident location manager not to comment, especially after reading the first comment on the Ditmas Park Blog where we found the Times article.)

OK, so the "resident location manager" is me. And, of course, I clicked the link to the Ditmas Park Blog and read what peregrine had to say. If you read my comment over there, you'll see right away that I was just pounding on the keyboard relentlessly. Hey, I misspelled "shitty" right at the start. I know how to spell "Shitty"...correctly.

Anyway, back to the point...I don't know if peregrine is a man or a woman, but the name strikes me as feminine, so I'm going to refer to peregrine as a she. (If anyone, including peregrine, knows different, feel free to correct me.) A closer look at peregrine's profile reveals that he is...a he. My apologies.

So peregrine starts her his comment by letting us know she's he's worked as an Art Director and as a Production Designer. Here's the part of her his post that sent me off the deep end.

The location manager will tell you ANYTHING to get you to rent to the movie.
Just know that all the art on your walls is not appropriate to the movie. No one cares about that portrait of your great Aunt Mildred and all the furniture is wrong for the characters and has to go. Will it sit in the yard and be covered or be piled in the corner? What did the location manager tell you?
Here’s a hint… He lied and is onto the next location telling them the same fabrications.
Smoke effect? That stuff is oil based and will permeate every surface and fabric you own for months.
Remember if they need to hang new art on the walls it will not be in the same holes as that painting of Jr and it will be done quickly by a crew that is paid for speed not for the care of your home.
Oh and the money. Top dollar $1500 but for most shoots much, much less.
Peregrine has checked in and objects to my hurling epithets. Fair enough.
With all due respect and with all possible affection intended, Fuck You Peregrine. With all due respect and with all possible affection intended, your comments and cluelessness almost made me forget my manners and start hurling epithets at you. I like to think of myself as a good host, so I shall refrain. I don't know what kind of shit you've been working on or what shitty Location Managers you've worked with, but you've got a lot of stuff really wrong. Let's take it point by point, shall we?

The location manager will tell you ANYTHING to get you to rent to the movie.

Uh...not so much. Today, I spent the day with the Designer on the movie we're prepping looking at apartments. In each place, I take the owner aside when we arrive. This allows me to gauge how knowledgeable the homeowner is while allowing the Designer to get a good look at the place without having to make polite conversation. I ask the homeowner if they've ever been involved with a film company. If they say, "Yeah, Law and Order has shot here six times, I know that they know what they're in for. If they say "No", or "We had a PBS documentary shoot interviews here", I know I need to start from scratch. I explain that we'll have a crew of about 80 people. We'll have 4 tractor-trailers full of equipment and that since no department wants to be caught needing a doohicky that' 4 floors away on their truck, everything will come into your apartment...or into the hall outside your apartment. I explain that we'll be laying down layout board to protect their floors and walls...and that while it's purpose is to protect, it looks like shit while it's there.

Oh, BTW, did I mention that my scouts are instructed when they first visit a house that Production Designers live to have things painted. They're told to assume that we'll want to paint something in their house. When we're done, if you like it, we're happy to leave it...if not, we're obligated to return it to the condition we found it.

Or, did I mention that I always tell a homeowner that even if we're only shooting scenes in the Kitchen and the Living Room, we'll be moving into every room in the house? Film crews are exactly like a gas...they expand to fill all available space.

I will not tell a location anything to get them to rent to me. I have no intention of spending a shoot day holding hands with a nervous homeowner. If they're too nervous to deal with us, I don't want to shoot there! There are thousands of apartments in NY. I can find one that looks right without having to deal with someone having a nervous breakdown.

No one cares about that portrait of your great Aunt Mildred and all the furniture is wrong for the characters and has to go. Will it sit in the yard and be covered or be piled in the corner? What did the location manager tell you?
Here’s a hint… He lied and is onto the next location telling them the same fabrications.

First of all, yeah, we're going to move all of their stuff. Aunt Mildred isn't in the fucking movie we're shooting. But it's either going into a spare room (protected as needed) or into storage if there's not enough space. If it's piled in the yard that's because the Set Dressers who work for you, peregrine are shitty Set Dressers. And when I see that that's what they're doing with the stuff, I'm going to immediately call the Producer and demand that the Set Dressers are replaced...along with the Lead Man.

Oh, and the Locations Department arrives before the first truck pull onto the street and leaves as we watch them drive away. The Manager my not be on set, because...uh...he has the rest of the movie to prep, but someone from my department is there every moment until everybody else is gone.

Smoke effect? That stuff is oil based and will permeate every surface and fabric you own for months.

And because of that, there's not a Union Crew anywhere in the country that'll work with the oil-based stuff.

Remember if they need to hang new art on the walls it will not be in the same holes as that painting of Jr and it will be done quickly by a crew that is paid for speed not for the care of your home.

The Scenic Artists I'm used to working with are professionals who will stay there until they get it right, usually with no goading from me. If they leave with a job that's incomplete or unacceptable, they'll be going back to do it again.

Oh and the money. Top dollar $1500 but for most shoots much, much less.

My Producer would throw me a party if I could find one of the apartments we need for $1500 per day. I'd be a fucking hero. Most of the apartments in this movie will cost at least twice that per day...probably more.

Peregrine, you blog anonymously, (which you'll note I do not), so I have no way of checking your credits, but your understanding of how location managers work, your concept of how we deal (or allow the rest of the crew deal) with a person's property, your idea of what location fees are, all indicate to me that you've been working on some real crappy-assed, low budget, fly-by-night productions.

Let me give you a hint. When I finish at a location, when the homeowner is signing the release saying that the property has, in fact been restored to its proper condition, I always ask him to call me if a scout ever shows up at their door again. I need to be able to go back to places I've worked. They are my resource. I don't have any problem with them letting other movies into their homes, but I want to have the opportunity to protect them from people like you.

Have I Just Been Spinning My Wheels? No!

Thanks to all for your good wishes. I had an excellent day. We like three apartments a lot. We'll probably decide on some after one more round of looking at things.

And I'll be posting again later tonight. I've got something of a rant.,

Have I Just Been Spinning My Wheels?

So far, on the Show Which Shall Not Be Named, I've been posting pictures of various locations for the Designer and Director to look at. I've gotten a little bit of feedback based on the photos and I feel like I really know what we're looking for. I've hired an Assistant Location Manager and currently, I've got two scouts running around looking for stuff. I'm happy with the work they're all doing and I feel like we're making headway.

But later this morning, I'll find out whether or not we've actually achieved anything. Today is the first day I take the Production Designer to see some possible locations in person. We're going to see 8 different apartments and one Swim Center.

Right now, I've got a set list which details what sets are required for the movie, which scenes are to be shot there and some other details about each set. The far right side of the page is where the actual filming location gets filled in, with all of the contact information for the apartment, store, or whatever it is. The entire right side of every page is currently blank.

Hopefully, by the end of today, I'll be able to fill in two or three of those blank boxes on the right.

My fingers are crossed. Wish me luck!

Monday, July 21, 2008

How 'Bout I Review Another Book? Ha'penny by Jo Walton.

Ha'penny is the sequel to Farthing and its events begin only days after the end of Farthing. The universe Jo Walton has created envisions an England in the late 40's that made a devil's bargain with Hitler's Germany. The war ended in 1941. America never got involved. The German's rule the European Continent and continue an active front with Stalin.

The Anti-Semitism that has simmered in early 20th Century England now bubbles to the surface. Chamberlain is an unheard member of the Opposition and Facism is the rule.

All of this sets the stage for Mr. Carmichael. He's gay, his bosses know it and they hold it over his head to control him. He's also an Inspector with Scotland Yard. The story begins with an almost over the hill actress and an unkown male blowing themselves to bits making a bomb. What had they intended to do with the bomb? Does their death mean the Conspiracy is at an end or will someone else pick up the baton?

Once again, Walton creates interesting conflicted characters...and gives them more than enough to be conflicted about. Carmichael is wonderfully and understatedly drawn. There's evil at every turn and very few people with the fortitude to stand up to it. Who is a terrorist and who is on the side of the angels.

This is a terrific series with another entry, Half A Crown, coming in October as a Tor hardcover. I'm looking forward to it and I'll be keeping my eye out for some of Walton's previous works. Go get them. I wouldn't steer you wrong. (Note: I'm not sure how much of an American audience Walton has developed. Bookstores seem to either not have her in stock or to put the books in the wrong section. I was specifically looking for Ha'penny and when I didn't see it in the SF/F section, I took a chance and guess was in the Romance section.)

Where in the World is SubTropicaliGal?

Apparently here.

And here.

I don't know which of those is the inn and which is the office.

I let her tell you all about it. I'll just sit here and be jealous!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

It's a Movie Post! No, It's an "About NYC" Post! It's a Floorwax! It's a Dessert Topping!

This is from some other movie, but you get the idea.

There are competing "No Parking" signs on my block for tomorrow morning. One set says there's no parking after 6:00 a.m. because the city is going to show up and finish re-paving my street. (They've left most of the paving equipment parked on the block.)

Another set says there's no parking after 5:00 a.m. because the TV show "Damages" is planning to be shooting here tomorrow.

Who will win? I don't know if my street's getting paved tomorrow or another episode of "Damages" will be closer to being in the can.

Mostly, I want to know if the Parking P.A.'s told the Location Manager about this or if he/she is going to have a new one reamed tomorrow morning.

Scouting: It's a Dangerous Dirty Business.

I've mentioned before that I constantly have people saying "Oh, you scout locations for movies? I've got a beautiful townhouse on the Upper West Side." And my reaction is to politely let them know that I'd love to have a few pictures for my files, but not every movie wants a beautiful townhouse. Lots of scripts have gritty crappy locations in them.

I think I've also mentioned that I've been on movies where you show up at a location and the crew revolts because they think the location is too dangerous and they want more security. Nobody seemed to give a shit that I went to 10 similarly dangerous places when I was scouting by myself!

Remember how I described shooting 'pans'; 4 or 5 shots that get stitched together to show 100º or so of geography? I remember once, I was shooting a couple of pans on Houston Street and one guy was walking in the same direction as I was panning around. I didn't realize it at the time, but every shot I took had him dead center of the frame. Somewhere in there, he noticed me. The next thing I know, he's charging me across 6 lanes of traffic screaming, "You tell that bitch I ain't been to see Nora for three weeks. You just keep on followin' me around and see how long you last, asshole. Yeah! You just see what that gets you."

Long ago, when Homeland Security sounded like something from Nazi Germany (still does, actually), you could still get permission to scout (and shoot) the towers for different bridges in town. I've been to the tops of the towers on both the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. You get there by walking up the curved cables (with an escort from the DOT) that make the distinctive outline of the bridges . You're wearing a harness that clips to safety lines and you need to unclip and move the harness every time you get to one of the uprights holding the safety line in place. I was inching my way up and holding on for dear life the entire way. The guy escorting me moved with as much hesitation as someone getting up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Have I mentioned that I'm scared of heights? Oh, and even though the director had demanded seeing photos of these as possible locations, his reaction when he saw the shots was, "Are you out of your fucking mind? It'd be way to dangerous to take a camera crew up there."

I have a friend who was scouting apartments years ago. He was in his 20's at the time and although I'm not much of a judge of such things, I'll admit he was always a good looking guy. Anyway, he showed up for one appointment and a woman in her 70's opened the an utterly sheer negligee. He spent 10 minutes shooting the apartment as quickly as he could and dodging her attempts at groping him.

GF has quite a few war stories. She was once cold scouting in Westchester County for a house. This is where you just go door to door ringing bells and telling your spiel over and over to see what you can see. One guy answered the door with one hand conspicuously held behind his back. At one point he turned enough for her to see he was holding a gun. She cut things short and went to another neighborhood.

She once had a Rotweiller jump onto the hood of her car as she pulled into a driveway who then proceded to bark maniacally and try to eat the windshield. While scouting farms in northern Minnesota, she pulled up to a barn only to see something like 200 cats come streaming out and attack the car like a giant catnip toy.

And then there was the time she was scouting a bar in a fairly rural area. It was about 10:00 A.M. when she got there and the place was empty except for the bartender. While she was still explaining to the bartender why she was there, a guy walked in holding his profusely bleeding arm. As if it was a normal occurance, he asked the bartender for a towel because he'd been in a knife fight. The next day, she was reading the newspaper and saw that while she was there, some other lovely doings had been going on upstairs where the owner and his family lived. It seems that his wife and son decided it would be a good idea to garrotte him in bed. This was discovered later in the day when blood started dripping through the ceiling.

Another guy I know was grabbed by the cops for shooting pictures of a vacant lot in the Bronx. Apparently, the NYPD was planning to use the lot the next day for a mobile command post for some scheduled event. Even though they were able to establish his legitimacy with a couple of phone calls, policy stated that they had to hold him until the FBI could talk to him. The FBI had better things to do that day, so he sat in a holding cell for 15 hours.

Oh, and the dirty part? Once we were shooting at a plantation in South Carolina. The Director wanted to know what the view of the house looked like from out in the river. I asked the Producer if I could hire somebody with a boat so I could get the shots. He said we'd hire a boat if they actually decided they wanted the shot for the movie, but that I should just walk out into the river as far as I could go and get the shot from there. About ten yards out from shore, the bottom turned to really soft, dark, stinky mud. I quickly sank below the surface and spent what seemed like an hour struggling to drag myself out and back to shore. I was coated with the dark, stinky mud which stubbornly clung to me while two cackling P.A.'s tried to hose it off of me.

At least the Production sprang for a new camera.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


I just used the word 'folderol' in conversation. I thinks that's worthy of note.

Reader Participation Saturday!

...or Nathan demonstrates his utter laziness and lack of inspiration!

Uh...I have no idea what to blog about today. I've wandered about Stumble, looking for inspiration. I've searched Fark trying to find something to laugh or get all ranty about. I tried to think of some amusing anecdote from a movie I've worked on.

Guys. I've not nothing. Open Thread! (As if there's any other type here.)

Tell me what you want me to talk about.

Tell me what you thought of how Dr. Horrible turned out.

Tell me what you've done to make sure Shawn has an awesome birthday.

Think of something else to babble about.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Stuff. And Stuff.

First of all my street is being returned to me today. Yay pavement. (The rollers are making the whole house shake, but they'll be gone soon enough.) Then, I'm gonna run around the corner and get the car so I can be the first one to park on it. (Would that qualify as something that's really stupid to be competitive about?) Who cares!

Second, I saw this thing the other day. NYPD calls it Skywatch. The city has two or three of these things and they put them in locations where "there's been a spike in crime." This one is across the street from where folks go to ride the Circle Line, so I guess all those damned tourists have really been getting out of hand.

According to what I was able to find online, these things have all sorts of vision enhancing capabilities for the officer who is up there, and it records video all the time in case he misses something. And the windows are smoked, so you can't even tell if somone's in there at all.

I guess that's kind of impressive and stuff, but I'll wait till they come up with the version that goes tromping down 42nd Street on it's massive spider legs, and shoots lasers out of its ass.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Everything is Blog Fodder

Yesterday, the following exchange took place in the comments threads:

Blogger Sub-Tropicaligal said...

.....leaving for France in the a.m.
Peace Out you furniture wearing nutball!

July 16, 2008 10:45 PM

Blogger Nathan said...


Di finally admits that her not-hubby just got a job on a WWII movie and they'll spend the next three months in France.

Di, will you be blogging with an obnoxious accent 'til October?

July 16, 2008 10:59 PM

Blogger Sub-Tropicaligal said...

We'll send you some freedom fries...and BTW help me keep blogging while I'm on a DO you do it? I'm scared.

July 16, 2008 11:33 PM

Blogger Nathan said...

You don't post enough to begin with anyway. You are neglecting your blog and we want more.

July 16, 2008 11:46 PM

Blogger Sub-Tropicaligal said...

Perfect, you've given me fodder for my first entry from the front line...Normandy that is you suckers!

Earlier today, I posted about my intention to post a post and the following ensued:

Blogger Sub-Tropicaligal said...

Well if that counts as a post, then I feel better about starting this job.

July 17, 2008 11:43 AM

Blogger Nathan said...

Posting that you intend to post a post totally counts as a post.

Which all leads me to have the following observations and suggestions for SubTropicalGal, (hereinafter STG).

First, you got a job that's gonna take you to France for three freakin' months to work on a period picture, and you need me to suggest that you might want to blog about it? Holy Crap! I can understand not wanting to jinx the thing by talking about it too early, but even a cryptic sentence saying, "Some potentially awesome news might be in the wind" is a post worthy of posting.

Once you've found out you're really going you should brag to no posts long and short. Tell us as much about the picture as you're comfortable talking about. Tell us what you're frantically having to go through to get ready to leave on such short notice. But keep rubbing our noses in it.

In the alternative, you could have written a post, pasted it into BabelFish to get a French translation (which is likely to be completely mangled), and then posted that! How's that for cryptic...completely incoherent to French and English speakers alike.

If you don't want to post about that, the following all count as viable posts:

I Stubbed My Toe! Youch!

White Castle: Is it food or not food?
(That was an actual thread elswhere that generated hundreds of comments.)

Does anyone know where my green sneakers are?

is blog fodder.

The point is this STG. If I'm going to truly earn not-hubby's enmity for helping turn you into a blog-hopping, comment-whoring, "you go get the groceries, I'm blogging" type of being, you're going to need to amp up the dedication (or obsessiveness if you prefer).

I'm sure there'll be any number of War Stories that happen while you're shooting your War Story...some you can even tell us about.

C'mon STG! We know you can do it. Preferably with pictures.

I'm Going to Have A New Post Later Today!

I need to be in the car in about 10 minutes, so I don't have time to write what I just thought of writing about, so you'll just have to wait. Feel free to guess what I thought of while rinsing the shampoo out of my hair.

No prizes. No wagering.

And how could you guys let me leave this up with a missing "A" all day without telling me?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Look What That Crazy Michelle Did.

Not here! Up there!

New Banners Popping Up All Over.

A few days ago, Shawn put up a new banner that Kate designed for him.

Well, I guess Michelle got all inspired and stuff and designed one for me. I think it's hysterical and you'll get a chance to see it soon. (Maybe tonight when I have time to put it up.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

UCFerness From Across The Pond and Kitty Screensaver Love.

I got home this evening to find snail mail from Ilya! I have to say I find this whole thing very cool and I'm somewhat shamed that I haven't sent anything to anyone yet.

I'll have to think about the whole theme 'cause I like to make a splash. Thanks Ilya. You brought a smile on an otherwise uninspired day.

And, I've mentioned that I have a new screensaver that shows dolphins leaping as if half my screen is filled with water. The cats are fascinated but can't understand that when the step up onto the keyboard, they wake up the computer and the dolphins disappear.

Teufel was especially pissed off about the whole thing.

I Doth Protest Too Much (But When Did I Ever Let That Stop Me)?

So I told you a few weeks ago about my history with the Directors Guild Of America, and that I'd be rejoining the Guild on this movie. I'm not even officially back in yet and I've already got some stuff to bitch about.

There's a hierarchy of of employees covered by the DGA contract with commensurate pay rates. After the director, the Unit Production Manager oversees, the 1st Assistant Director, the Key
Second Assistant Director and the 2nd 2nd Assistant Director. (In Canada, it's called Third Assistant Director). Depending on the size of the production (and the amount of extras on any given day), all additional Assistant Directors are called, logically enough Additional Second Assistant Directors.

Now, where you stand in the hierarchy determines the scale rate for your salary and some other goodies. The Director, UPM, 1st A.D., and Key 2nd, all get residuals. Furthermore, the UPM, 1st and Key 2nd get:

-a contractual amount of prep time.
-a production fee (a weekly bump on their salary during the weeks when we're actually shooting.)
-Completion of Assignment (essentially severance pay at the end of the job.)

So what am I bitching about? When the DGA got Location Managers into the contract for New York and Chicago, they made the position equivalent to the 2nd 2nd A.D. for purposes of salary and perks. WTF?

Let's start with the salary. I'm actually not overly upset over the salary. The scale for a 2nd 2nd is fairly healthy to begin with. And on bigger movies, I'm free to negotiate over-scale salary (and I certainly will).

I don't care about contractual prep time. I'm one of the first people hired and I get a hell of a lot more prep time than any of the A.D.'s. I won't bitch about residuals because it's already a fairly complicated formula they use to divvy up the pot. It would confuse things immensely to add one more set of paws to that.

I sure as hell think I deserve the Production Fee and the Completion of Assignment pay.

But, the money isn't even the biggest part of my gripe. I'm a fucking department head for chrissakes. I do not view my responsibilities as anywhere near equivalent to a 2nd 2nd A.D. (essentially a guy who tells extras which way to walk). I should at least be considered on par with the Key 2nd. (I actually don't feel equivalent to that position either, but you can only buck the system so much.)

Well, like I said, on bigger pictures, I'm free to negotiate anything I want and I intend to ask for Favored Nation status with the Key 2nd in the future.


Oh, and they hired the Production Designer and I'm going to meet with him in an hour. Yes, he's the Freudian/Jungian guy.


I'm at sort of an impasse this morning with the movie I'm scouting. Every director has a different relationship with their Production Designer. To put it mildly, some Directors have their own vision of what the movie will look like and expect their designer to make that happen. Some expect the relationship to be more collaborative. I met my director for the first time yesterday and while he's articulated his vision to me very clearly, he doesn't want to start reviewing possible locations until we've hired a designer. He obviously is from the latter camp.

So, I'm just keeping on keeping on until later today, when they say they'll have made their choice and hired someone.

One of the designers who is in the final running is someone I worked with when I was just getting my start in the business. I was the Assistant Location Manager on the picture and he was doing his first movie after having designed a number of stage plays. On the first day, he handed us a list of the locations with his descriptions of what we should be looking for. I expected to see descriptions along the lines of "warm tones; lots of wood" or "stark with minimal furniture"; you know, stuff like that. The first location on the list was the Psychologist's Office. The description read: This location should be Freudian, not Jungian. I neglected to ask what the hell that looks like.

Having said that, I actually hope he's the one they hire. I liked him on that show and thought he was very talented. With almost 20 more years under his belt, I'm guessing he' pretty terrific now.

Oh! By The Way...

When we went to see Hancock on Sunday, they showed the trailer for Step Brothers. In spite of myself, I laughed at every joke in the trailer. Either this is going to be a really funny movie or I'm a moron. Possibly both.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I Don't Have Much For You Today.

There are 13,087 yellow cabs in NYC. They are known worldwide for their drivers' cavalier attitude toward speed limits, lane markings and other things that define courteous sharing of the road. There is one NYC taxi driver who drives slow. That's him in front of me on the West Side Highway. I'm pretty sure he has a personal vendetta with me. It seemed like everywhere I went today, he was there in front of me...driving really slow.

Just so I don't leave you with nothing enjoyable, here's a picture of Central Park as seen from the 41st floor of a building on 57th Street. Enjoy!

Meals I've Massacred...A Meme.

Based on yesterday's post which ultimately did not include photos ot dinner, Jeri suggested we meme about it. (I still don't know exactly what meme means, so please excuse me if using it as a verb gives you agita.)

Last night's dinner was meant to be simple and delicious...grilled lamb shanks and rice. The rice was good. The lamb shanks...not so much. Here, look at them. They look delicious!

My conclusion, however, after trying to eat this meal is that grilling and lamb shanks might not go together. They were tough like you wouldn't believe. I'm not talking shoe-leather tough. I'm talking old-fashioned telephone made of bakelite tough. Inpenetrable by the human tooth tough.

These lamb shanks are what take "not good" from merely a slightly negative descriptor to being a defining moment for, "what is not good?"... these are!

In the end, we made do with Ice Cream. I think I'll stick to braising when it comes to lamb shanks.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Day Deserving of Its Own Post!

As mentioned in the previous post, we went to the Flea Market near our house again today. I had intended just to keep adding updates, but what the get a whole new post.

We started with the important

Does this look familiar? Yup! I had the hanger steak sandwich...again! Because it's tasty and it's steak. What could be better than that?

GF noticed that corn is now fruit!

Next we happened upon "The People's Popsicle" stand. Maybe they're communists? I don't know. You're looking at two different flavors. The one on the left...GF's, is Lime-Raspberry. Mine was Watermelon-Cucumber-Hysop. Did. Not. Like. And what the fuck is a hyssop?

I didn't eat any of this, but it sure looked good!

Oh, it's a flea market. I bet there's more than just food there. I liked this plate. There were a few more, but not enough to make a set.

I also liked these matching cabinets.

This is the camera my father had when I was a kid. It's "Double-8", meaning that the film had two frames of 8mm film side by side. You'd run it through in one direction and then flip it to run through from the "end" back to the "beginning"...exposing the other side. Also, it was hand-wound.

Back to food. Mmmmm! Tangerine Sorbet.

I also mentioned that there was a Street Fair in the neighborhood, and as promised, we headed over there next. Why don't you get any pictures of it? Because it was Lame. Tres-Lame. The Lamest of the Lame. Lame to a degree barely rising to the level of Lame. And there was no food all! What the hell kind of Street Fair doesn't have any food.

We walked down the one block of radiating Lameness and decided to move on. On the way home, we got to watch a guy open his car door into the street, causing a bicyclist to crash head over heels into the street and then almost get run over by another car. Much yelling ensued but nobody got hurt.

After a brief nap, (eating is exhausting), we went to see Hancock. I know it hasn't gotten great reviews, but we enjoyed the hell out of it. The casting is terrific and Jason Bateman steals every scene he's in. There are a couple of spots where the film starts to drag, but that's balanced by a completely unexpected twist and a really good ending. We had a blast.

Also, as mentioned over on the Hot Chick's blog, when we came out, there was a line of about 5000 12-year-olds waiting to see Hellboy II. I'm soooo glad we weren't there for that.

Did I mention that I found free parking on the street? Really free and really legal without any chances of getting towed or ticketed. What with the car safely situated, I thought I'd take a little time and visit the big-old bookstore next door to the theater.

Look at my loot.

It's almost time for me to go light the fire. I shall be grilling some lamb shanks for dinner. If you're real good, I'll post pictures later.

Update: You guys were all real good. Dinner...was not. I fucked up the lamb and created leather. pictures.

It really sucked.