Monday, September 29, 2008

Just Send Us A Check, But You'll Have To Do Yer Own Killin' Buster!

No, those two things don't actually go together, but I liked them that way, so...

The first part comes from listening to GF on the phone ordering a gift for her sister's birthday. Sister still lives in a small MN town, so GF was calling a local place to order something and have it delivered on the appropriate day. From my end, I could hear GF start to give credit card info and then stop...and then give our address. It turns out they don't take credit cards. They'll send her a bill and she'll mail them a check. (That'll all happen about a week after they've delivered merchandise.) Good luck asking for that in my neck of the woods.

The second part comes from a visit to a supermarket. Supermarkets in Brooklyn are...less than super. So, I get excited when we're in the car and happen to stop at one of those giant suburban places with just a zillion options on everything. But, again, they do things differently. While at the deli counter, the nice lady serving me could only remember one type of meat to slice at a time. Each time I thought she'd be bringing me that installment (1/2 lb of black forest ham), she'd actually be coming over to show me the first slice and ask if it was the right thickness. It took more than a 1/2 hour to get four varieties.

Then we went to the seafood section. They had some crab legs that were as big as I am. To say I was intimidated would be an understatement. I went for the lobsters. I know what to do with those. Now I've mentioned before that I can boil a lobster, but I can't do that knife through the brain thing to kill them if you want to cook them on the grill. It's not that I'm squeamish about it, I'm just not competent. I'm sure the knife would slip on the shell; I'd cut off a finger, and the poor lobster would escape, but with permanent brain damage. I can't have that on my conscious.

So I asked Mr. Seafood Guy to kill them for me. He made a face like a five-year-old girl being offered asparagus ice cream and said, "Ewww, I could never do that." So, I asked if there was anyone else around who could do it. He asked the guy from the deli counter, who responded, "I'd never do's just inhumane." (This from a guy who slice cow and pig all day.) Finally I said give them to me live, I'd boil them instead. So he bags them and says, "Have a blessed day." (No, offense anyone, but I don't need blessings from Supermarket Seafood, Scared of Lobsters Guy.)

Eventually, we get to the checkout counter. The cashier, an aged hippy if I ever saw one, went on and on about, "The lobsters want to walk home. I'm gonna buy me a couple some day and take them to the beach and just watch them walk back into the ocean. Yeah, that's what I'd do."

So, now, this is my favorite store. Where else can I go and buy something and have practically everyone who works in the store tell me how horrible I am for buying their products.

It's Different For Us Freelancers.

I'm willing to bet that most of you suffer moderate to extreme anxiety when you join the ranks of the unemployed. Not me. I'm out of a job this morning and I'm positively giddy.

But then, I'm used to it. I've been newly unemployed dozens and dozens of time. It's the way freelancing works. It's truly a joy to finish a job and know that aside from a few phone calls and emails, I won't have to worry about this movie any more. I've got two more paychecks coming my way. One of those is the DGA mandated "Completion of Assignment" check. That's an additional week's pay I get just for being a Guild member (sort of like severance pay).

I've spoken to one producer about a job that might start the middle of next month, but really, a job isn't a job until someone tells you you're actually on it. So, truthfully, I have no idea if I'll ever work again. I'm used to that too. Disclaimer: No, I don't actually believe that I'll never work again...that would suck and I'd starve and be homeless and lots of other bad stuff. But I'll wait a couple of weeks before starting to feel at all anxious over it.

I've been kind of dwelling on the parts of freelancing that might make a normal person queasy, but there are some great things too.

You know that feeling when you get an interview for a new job?
Or that feeling when you've aced an interview?
Or that feeling when you hear you got the job?
Or that feeling when you start the new job and everything is shiny and filled with nothing but possibilities?

I get to feel those things over and over and over again.

In the meantime, I'm going to let my inner-sloth take over for the next week or so.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

This Just In From West (By God) Virginia.

If one is to trust the incessant text messaging, dinner tonight in the Random Household will consist of Pizza followed by Apple Pie. The dining will not take place in the kitchen because the temperature there is approaching that of the sun.

Thanks for keeping me updated, Michelle.

February Is Just Around The Corner

The world keeps reminding me that in a few short months, my current television is going to be useless. That's actually fine because the thing is on its last legs anyway. Hey, it was a great tv when I bought it and it's served well, but it's showing signs of age.

So, soon, I'll be shopping for a big new honkin' TV. Advice would be welcome. What's the diff between LCD, Plasma and DLP? Anybody got any particular brand loyalty? Why?

You should all feel free to chime in.

Save The Kitties!

In order to keep our kitties alive, we need the following supplies:

-Adult cat weight-control cat food for Widget
-Dry kitten food for LuLu and Teufel
-Canned (wet) kitten food for LuLu and Teufel
-Extra large container of multi-cat/lots of poop kitty litter.

Usually, these things run out at various times, but rarely at the same time as each other. I've just returned from the Pet Supply store where I had to buy all of these items at the same time.

$79.99 worth of crap for the cats! Yeah, you read that right. $79.99. Now, I like these cats, but honestly, $79.99?

Something's going to have to give. Or Someone! You want my cats to be healthy and happy, don't you? Well, all I'm asking is that you pony up.

Did you know that for only pennies a day, you can feed my cats? It's true. For less than you pay for coffee each day, you can keep my cats alive. And in addition to the knowledge that you've made a difference in my cats' lives, you'll get a photo of my cats enjoying your largesse. And maybe a letter from one of them.

Please donate to the Feed Nathan's Cats Fund. You'll feel better for doing it. And if you don't, I'll send Sally Struthers to your house.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Final Act.

As my last act of goofing off at the office, I present you with a poem. A really, really bad poem, but a poem, nonetheless

'Twas a Morning
by Nathan Gendzier

'Twas a morning much like other mornings
but yet, unlike other mornings.

'Twas a wet morning.
Wet like the inside of a whale
filled with sloshing sea and inhaled krill.

'Twas a dark morning. something that is really dark.
So dark that when you saw it, you felt driven
to comment on the darkness of it all.

"Twas an uncomfortable morning.
Uncomfortable like an octogenarian with ill-fitting dentures
and an unquenchable yen for gummy-bears.

'Twas a morning of dashed hopes.
Hopes dashed on a rocky shore of locations wrapped
yet not wrapped...of furniture awaiting restorers,
of pianos awaiting the tuner,
of Accountants awaiting hard-copies,
of carpenters who have yet to complete their...carpentering.

'Twas a morning best left behind.
A morning not to be repeated.
A morning best committed to the deepest, darkest reaches
of days past and not to be recalled.

'Twas a morning that is over.
A fitting morning on which to end
this time-mired clusterfuck.

The End.

(Hey, I told you it would be bad.)

Various & Sundry.

Let's start with sundry. This is a funny word. I always thought of it as stuff that was dried in the sun. That would be wrong.

The Online Etymology Dictionary tells us that sundry is from the word sunder, as in "separate, apart or special". The link to sunder is also useful. BTW, I like the Online Etymology Dictionary and I use it often. Look around there. It's fun.

What else?

Somebody did a GoogleSearch yesterday that brought them to this post from my past. In case you weren't here, that over-reaction of mine was a response to this post from the previous day. At the time, there was some discussion that I had intended to tag Vince, but was thwarted in this goal by the tiny fact that Vince didn't have a blog at the time. Today, I rectify that oversight.

Vince, you're retroactively tagged. You need not pass this on. You are absolved of those parts of the rules. In fact, I implore you not to pass it on. But since you got off easy, lo those many months ago, I now command you to tell us Six Unimportant Things About Yourself. (Didn't know I could wield command? You obviously haven't been paying attention.)

I have to do some work now, but I'll be back later to make the Various & Sundry title more true. And don't get this confused with a Multi-Post Saturday. Those are completely different.


Morning Stuff.

Hey, look at the time.

I didn't set my alarm this morning. It's almost 7:00am and I'm having my first cup of coffee. How civilized is that? I'm heading into the office in a short while, but I'm in no hurry and I'll get there when I get there. I like that.

Also, if you missed Shawn's live Linux Journal Show, it's available here.

At 4:16 into the show, someone off camera informs Shawn that something's up.

And at 4:50 in, the pizza's I ordered are delivered.

The rest of the show is about some stuff or other. Go ahead and watch it. At the high water mark, there were more than 75 people in the chat room watching and one of them was Shawn's Mom. It was all very cool.

And speaking of family, I mentioned the other day that some of my family have wandered into here and were lurking. Well, my brother David de-lurked yesterday. Yay, new Polybloggimites!

Update 7:42 a.m.: It's absolutely pouring outside. I know the sun has come up, but it's still really dark out there. This is not a great inducement to get my ass in gear.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

One More Day And I'm Outta Here.

Monday and Tuesday were our last two days of shooting on location. I got the company in on Monday morning and then left the set in the hands of the Loyal Minions so I could go to the office and begin wrapping the show. I didn't even put in an appearance on Tuesday.

Yesterday, they moved into the studio and I don't have any involvement with that.

So, just what do I have to do to wrap a show?

Lots of details, large and small.

Some of the contracts we have were executed by fax. Accounting needs original copies of each with the original signature.

Each location has to sign a "Release" when everything is done. It basically says, "You guys paid me all the money we agreed to and you put my place back together the way you were supposed to and now we're done with each other and I'm not going to sue you".

I have to find:
-the wireless headset that Sound left at one location.
-the grey hoodie sweatshirt the A.D. left at another location.
-the folding camp chair that Scripty left at yet another location.

I have to deal with a massive pile of parking tickets...some that will get excused because they were on the permit...and others that won't be excused because even with the permit, you're not allowed to park on the sidewalk...duh.

I have to pay to:
-restore a cedar chest that has some gouges.
-reframe some water-damaged photographic prints.
-have a persian rug cleaned.

I have to do my petty cash...again.

I have to make sure that all of my department's walkie-talkies and chargers have been turned in.

I have to give the laser range-finder and bolt cutter to accounting because they are considered recoverable assets. (I have no idea who in L.A. is going to be making use of the bolt cutter {or as I call it, the Big Red Universal Key}, but it's theirs, so we'll ship it.)

I have to make sure that all final checks have gone out.

And last, but not least, I need to produce a wrap memo that coherently lets others follow up on anything I can't get done before I'm finished here tomorrow.

The only thing I like about wrapping a show is that there's no pressure. Otherwise, it's mostly a pain in the ass.

Because All The Cool Kids Are Doing It.

And because it's unlikely to get me yelled at this morning!

I am a lemming following:


Carol Elaine

and maybe some others I'm forgetting to mention.

Go ahead. Jump on the bandwagon and make your own.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sarah Palin - - Your Reproductive Rights Champion!

I got an email yesterday marked Urgent. On inspection, I found it to be a link to some PBS poll asking if I thought Sarah Palin was qualified to be the V.P. Like a dutiful lemming, I went there, clicked on the "No" button and went about my business. About ten minutes later, I sent reply to the friend who sent me the email asking whether it was really all so urgent that Sarah Palin lose a poll.

Then, this morning, I saw something else that got me more excited. It seems that somebody has started up a campaign to get people to donate to Planned Parenthood in Sarah Palin's name. And if you fill in the correct fields, Sarah gets a card from Planned Parenthood thanking her for the generous donation. This is an idea I can get behind. If you'd like to get involved, click on the above link to be taken to the page where you can donate in her honor. You can donate as little as $5.00 . From what I hear, over 18,000 people have made donations so far.

Some of the sites I've seen recommend having the thank you note sent to McCain-Palin Headquarters:

McCain for President
1235 S. Clark Street
1st Floor
Arlington , VA 22202

Personally, I suggest having the thank you sent to her Governor's Office in Alaska, because they're probably less prepared to deal with such a flood of mail. I'm just nasty that way.

Governor Sarah Palin
P.O. Box 110001
Juneau, AK 99811-0001

Update: Just try leaving your office for a little while and watch the shit hit the fan. JTS, in a rather caustic comment, takes me to task with this whole thing. I'm actually going to cede him the point regarding clogging up the Alaska Governor's office with a flood of mail (Yes! My thousands of loyal readers will grind that office to a standstill. :D) I'll also cede the point about the whole thing being childish. For some reason, it still amuses me. So anyway, I encourage you to get onboard, but go ahead and have the thanks sent to the campaign's office.

And Leanright. I don't take issue at all with Palin as Governor of Alaska. I hear good things about her in that capacity and I'm glad her constituents are happy with her performance. I do, on the other hand, take great issue with the idea of her being a heartbeat away from the Presidency. Alaskan Governors don't set foreign policy, don't nominate Supreme Court Judges, and don't have any real pull on setting a national agenda. I'm sure she's as qualified as the next State Executive. I just don't like her stances on a great many issues.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Please Help Me to Help You.

Possibly, at some time in your life, you've found it necessary to call customer service at a large company like...oh, say...Hertz Rent a Car; as I just did. Possibly, you've answered a long series of prompts to attempt to direct your call toward the proper department and a human being; as I just did.

And then, it's extremely likely that you heard a recording say something along the lines of "Due to a high volume of calls at the moment, your wait time is estimated to be...18 minutes. Your call is very important to us. Please stay on the line for service, or try calling again when our lines might be less busy. Thank you", ...deep I just did.

There's an invention, just begging to be invented here...and that's where you come in. See, I'm full of ideas; just without any way to implement them. Some of you are total software and hardware geeks and there's an invention just begging to be invented. I call it the Hold For Me Personal Assistant™. Here's how it works. Well here's how it'll work when one of you actually builds it and enters into an agreement by which you will get 35% of profits for your contribution (the work), and I will get 65% of the profits for my contribution (the ever-important idea). We'll hash out the details later.

Anyway, as soon as you know that you're going to have to hold for a long time, you place your phone into the Hold For Me Personal Assistant's™ universal receptacle. It then listens for the sound of a human voice. (If your software is really good, it won't be fooled by repeated recordings imploring you to "continue holding" because "your call is very important to us". Just sayin'.)

Eventually a human comes on the line. The Hold For Me Personal Assistant™ leaps into action. In response to hearing a human voice, your Hold For Me Personal Assistant™ says, "My call is very important to me too, but so is my tuna sandwich. If you can wait for me to finish my tuna sandwich, press 1. If you must render customer service immediately and cannot hold while I finish my tuna sandwich, press 2. If you would like to go get your own tuna sandwich while I finish mine, press 3. If you would just prefer a nice Coke Zero, press 4. Regardless of your choice, please continue to hold as my call is very important to me. You may press * at any time to hear my callback number so that you can call me back when both of us might be available. Thank You."

I think this will be a wonderful time-saving device and that we'll sell millions of them. So help me to help you. Get on out to the lab and start tinkering. Shoot me an email as soon as you've got a prototype ready. We'll check it out over tuna sandwiches.

(The above is a parody. No actual Hertz Customer Service personnel were hectored and no tuna sandwiches were consumed due to the fact that the proprietors of Polybloggimous detest tuna.)

Stuff's Gonna Happen. Take Two!

I did it again. My big clumsy hands hit some damned button and published a post that obviously wasn't ready to go out to the whole wide world. Usually, you only get to see it if you have the RSS feed. Today, I thought I'd leave it posted for everyone to glory in my incompetence. You'll find it below this post.

Laugh at me if you wish. Point fingers. Whisper behind your hands to each other. Go ahead. I can take it.

Now, on the the topic I meant to talk about. This will probably ramble on a bit, because, now that the movie is winding up, I need to recharge my batteries... but that, in itself, will partially illustrate my point. I'm not going to read back through the last few weeks of my blog, but I'm fairly certain that much of it reads like a Second Grade Report entitled, "What I did on my summer vacation."

I got up early. I was tired. It was dark. The movie Gods were mean to me.

Yeah, that kind of stuff. And that's fine. This is a place where I can just talk to you (or nobody as the case may occasionally be). But I prefer to write stuff here as often as I just babble on. I prefer to engage you guys and hopefully give you something to talk about. And, occasionally, I like to stretch my vocabulary and say whatever I'm saying in a less than obvious fashion. As I get back to my old self, I hope to get back to posting about more than my narrow, narrow slice of the world.

I'm also thinking that I should be coming up with a really good contest. I haven't a clue what it will be, but contests are a lot of fun. And let me take this opportunity to invite some Sponsors to provide loot for my contest. (Yesterday, Vince posted about stuff he thinks we should give him. I'm posting about stuff people should give me so I can give it to you. In yer face, Vince!)

Here's some ideas for folks whose Sponsorship would be gladly accepted:

An LG Plasma TV would be a cool prize.

Just about anything that Viking makes would be an excellent prize.

Maybe Expedia wants to let me give away a Vacation Package.

One of these would be absolutely awesome to give away!

And if one of those sponsors thinks I should be able to give away their product and to have one to keep for myself, I'd be fine with that too.

I'd also like to have another round-robin writing exercise if anyone is game. (I wouldn't be averse to reviving Charlotte Misner if anyone thinks that's a good idea, but she seems to have just petered out and maybe she should stay petered out? Opinions are welcome.) Ideas for a brand new writing thingy are welcome.

Anyway, I thought I had more to say in this post, (and maybe I did when I first started writing it), but this is all I'm ending up with for the moment. Sorry. Guess I need another week to sleep.
Oh, BTW, I've added Mark's blog, The Sweet Spot Cafe and Casino over on the sidebar. You may remember that Mark is someone I met a few years back when doing a small job in Seattle for the Oxygen Network. He was basically the guy who could find, fix, borrow or produce from scotch tape two safety pins and a wooden tongue depressor anything we long as we could wait 15 seconds. He's just started the blog and I think he's off to a great start. I'd be especially interested to hear what our Naval contingent has to say about his recent posts.

Stuff's Gonna Happen.

Note: If this seems utterly inexplicable to you, just wait a while. All shall be revealed. If you're a regular, you already know that I just fucked up again with the "Publish Post" button.

I'll actually get around to saying something later.

It's All Relative.

I'm writing this at about ten minutes after 6:00. From home. If you've been paying attention, that means I got to sleep late. This is very exciting to me. Today is our last day of location shooting and tomorrow, they move into the studio. I'll spend the week wrapping up loose ends and I'll be going straight to the office this morning. I've got three Production Assistants who will take the shooting set this morning, since the trucks are already in and the company (presumably) knows everything they need to know about the location already.

On another note, my nephew was notified yesterday that he'd passed the Florida Bar Exam...on his first try. High Fives, Congratulations, Well Dones, Mazel Tovs and all other superlative felicitations to my Anon Nephew, the Hot-Shot Lawyer. We're all extremely proud of you except for Eric, who I suspect is now about to post a rant about how the practice of Law is going to suck your soul dry. Shut up, Eric. Give him ten minutes to celebrate.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Another Milestone Sneaks By.

I've been blogging for a little over 9 months now. 254 days to be exact. And I meant to note my 500th post, but guess what...I just noticed I was up to 507 posts. (This will be number 508.)

That, I will have you know, is an average of 1.996 posts every frickin' day! And that doesn't even count the Saturday Multi-posts, which are technically, just one big post that happens to be about a lot of different things.

I hereby dub me, Prolific.

You may dub me something else, if you so choose.

And Now, I Give You A Brief Moment In My LIfe.

Scene: 7:30a.m. I'm out on the street trying to get a crew member's car moved so that the Electric Truck (a tractor-trailer) can back up 20 feet and stop being visible out of the windows of the apartment we're shooting. The Producer wants to know where breakfast is and where there's a WaMu Bank in the neighborhood.

Walkie Talkie: ::squack:: "Locations, go to channel two".

Me: "On two."

Walkie Talkie: ::squaaaaaaacck:: "Uh, Nathan. There's an irate tenant in the courtyard wants a word with you."

Me: off-radio: "Oh, Joy." On-the-air: "I'm just finishing with something on the street. I'll be there in a moment."

A couple of minutes later, I walk into the inner courtyard of the building. I have no trouble whatsoever picking out the "irate tenant". The near-to-bursting blood vessels in her neck and forehead are a blatant clue. She sees me and some inborn sense of "who to yell at" identifies me to her as quickly as I picked her out. She makes a beeline for me.


Now, through this whole thing, I'm mostly agreeing and hoping she'll take a breath and promising to get some rubber matting laid down to deaden the noise of the hard wheels running across the tiles of the courtyard, and then I see our Production Manager headed toward me. Perceptive as he is, he notes that I am being yelled at in a very animated fashion by someone he doesn't know. He deduces that I'm dealing with a tenant issue.

Finally, Irate Tenant walks away and Production Manager approaches.

Production Manager: "It must be nice to start your day with someone screaming at you like that".

Me: "I always start my day with someone screaming at me like that. The only thing that changes is the Screamer and the subject matter. It's why I'm such a pleasant fuck by the time you see me every day."

I Won't Eat Just Anything.

Some of you seem to think that just because I let myself be talked into the Stinky Tofu Episode, that I'm up for all food challenges. This is not the case.

I returned from Florida last night to find a fairly gross gift sent to me by the Three Drunken Trollops. I'm not going to go into detail until I'm able to accompany the post with photographic evidence, but I did want to acknowledge said Trollops' thoughtfulness(?) and to let them know that I would not, in fact, be reporting on the taste.

O'Dark-Thirty Redux.

Posted at 2:52 a.m. (in case you don't notice the time stamp below).

I think I've mentioned (a few times) that I have to be at work at 4:00 a.m. this morning. Even the cats yawned at me and looked annoyed before rolling over and going back to sleep.

On the bright side, we finish all of our location shooting at this same location, so this is the last time I have to worry about getting the trucks in. The next time they move will be to head to the studio and beyond any responsibility of mine.

::Is that a light at the end of the tunnel? Nah! That's just Venus. Maybe later this morning.::

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Home Again.

Our flight home was mostly fine. The head flight attendant was a really strange little woman who sounded a lot like Frau Blücher and smiled really inappropriately. She'd talk, then stop, then smile really wide, but sorta like you might do if you knew you were getting tazed if you didn't stop and smile.

We had a really nice weekend capped off with a video my Brother in Law created from scanning a whole lot of old family photos. Good stuff. I'll give you some screenshots when I get around to it.

One that you'll enjoy, I can't remember who is in it, but one person is wearing a "UCF" T-shirt. I'm pretty sure it's from the University of Central Florida.

Rainy Sunday Morning.

It's still a pretty view though.

I wish breakfast would get here.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Room With A View!

So...we booked an early check-in with the intention of getting off the plane, changing clothes, relaxing a little, maybe even taking a nap before heading to my sister's house. Of course the room wasn't ready for us. That was when we went to have the lunch I mentioned earlier, hoping they'd get the room ready.

Well, the lunch was really enjoyable and relaxing and tasty and filled with bloody marys and cost way more than it should have. But we enjoyed the hell out of it.

The room still wasn't ready after lunch. No changing, relaxing or napping. Bah!

We had a good time at sister's house and then went and looked at the house where Dad lives now with his wife. An excellent, spacious house with fanciful colors on every wall. I approve most heartily.

Then we all went to dinner (16 or so of us) and had a good time there. Then drinks were had at another brother's hotel and much good conversation. I started fading and we headed back to our hotel. It seems that the earlier manager had not been at all deaf to how the unavailability of our room earlier in the day had really inconvenienced us, because we were upgraded to a River-view Jr. Suite. I deem this most excellent too. Props to the Hyatt!

Happy. Comfy. In my jammies.

Two more things to mention.

1. Thanks for all the Happy Birthday wishes for Dad.

2. It seems much of my family has found this place and been lurking. I'd better start watching my fucking language. (Sibs...feel free to comment. You're all most welcome here, of course.)

Exhaustion In A Good Cause!

You know what kind of week I've had. Too many hours. Too little sleep. So what do I do?

This morning, GF and I set the alarm for 4:30a.m. We had an early flight to Jacksonville, FL. Why are we in Jacksonville? It's my Dad's 80th Birthday! Yay, Dad. We flew in this morning. We're going to my sister's house in an hour or so for the afternoon and then my brother is hosting a dinner. The big birthday event is a brunch tomorrow morning. Then we get on a plane to be back in NY by 7:30pm (because I have to be at work on Monday at 4:00am)

In the meantime, we decided to have lunch near our hotel.

This is the Jacksonville Landing. It's a bunch of shops and restaurants right on the St. John's River. It's actually pretty lame. But it's on the water, the weather is nice, so it's all good.

And the bloody marys are pretty damned good. (Have we discussed the proper plural for bloody mary before?)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Somebody 'Splain This One To Me.

Update: There is, in fact a link, which makes everything absolutely hunky-dorey and makes me something of a boob. I'll leave up the part below anyway. That way when you read this, you'll know how much of a boob I am and how hunky-dorey Cootie Chronicles is. So, There!
I noticed a day or two ago that I'm getting a bunch of referrals from Cootie Chronicles. I couldn't find anything linking me or mentioning anything on this here blog, so I was a little confused.

Then I noticed a couple of pictures that looked familiar. The third and fourth picture are from my tour of Pratt Sculpture Garden. The pictures don't seem to be clickable, and I don't see any attribution either, but a fair number of people are finding their way to Polybloggimous by way of
Cootie Chronicles.

Can anyone tell me what I'm missing? Is there a link there I didn't notice? Are the pictures clickable by everyone in the world but me? Should I be pissed about having my photos lifted without attribution, or happy that in some way I can't figure out, people are being referred here?
Or both?

In Which Nathan is Found Filming in Brooklyn.

In yesterday's comment thread, I said,

"Also, there's a site on the web that likes to follow shows that shoot in Brooklyn, and I notice they finally found me. They don't realize that they've found me, but they have, nonetheless."
I was referring, of course to this post over on Filming in Brooklyn. As you know, if you're a regular, I've been posting about this job for a couple of months now without ever going into any specifics. I said I wouldn't even reveal the name of the show until, it showed up somewhere else. (IMDB still doesn't have it.)

Well, yesterday, I got nailed. Walking up to the set, I saw a familiar face. At first I couldn't quite place her, but it was obvious she knew who I was and was walking straight toward me. And then it dawned on me. I knew her from her pictures on her own blog. It was Amy, herself, keeper of Filming in Brooklyn. I said hi and asked if she could wait a minute because I was in the middle of some minor crisis or other. (There's always some minor crisis or other.) So she waited a minute (or 45) until I had a calm moment.

As becomes apparent, she used the waiting time to snap some shots outside of our set (we were all interior yesterday). When I came back, we had a nice chat (mostly about some people we know in common and about how she finds the shoots she features on her blog.) BTW, Amy, we don't call them cherry pickers, we call them Condors (which truthfully. is like calling all tissues "Kleenex" after the brand name Condor, but that's your one insider tip you get from me.)

Here's her post about yesterday's visit.

Note: If you expect the floodgates to fly open re: me talking specifics about this job, you'd be wrong. You'll get pretty much the same thing that anyone walking down the street gets when they ask me "What're you shooting?" The answer is, "It's a TV movie called Unorthodox. It'll be on TV in January". (Sometimes I say its a Mayonnaise Commercial if I'm in a snotty mood or just don't want to be bothered.) I'm still constrained by my deal memo from speaking about any particulars of this movie, so I'll continue to be vague, cryptic and downright un-forthcoming.

And oops! I Forgot.

It's International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

My pirate name is:

Bloody John Kidd

Every pirate lives for something different. For some, it's the open sea. For others (the masochists), it's the food. For you, it's definitely the fighting. Even though you're not always the traditional swaggering gallant, your steadiness and planning make you a fine, reliable pirate. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Could This Suck Any More?

I didn't mean for this blog to turn into a blog about things that suck. If I had, I'd have named it Things That Suck, or Doesn't This Suck, or The Suck That Sucks. Something like that. But this morning, I'm sorry, the blog is about things that suck.

Try this on for size. Maybe you've been working too many hours. Maybe you've been getting up at really stupid hours and ultimately not getting enough sleep. Maybe last night you got home at a totally reasonable hour and instead of having to get to work at 4:00am (which sucks), you had to be at work really close to home at 6:00am, (which sucks much less).

So, you went to bed before 11:30 p.m. and set your alarm for 4:30am, allowing yourself a generous 5 hours of sleep. And when your alarm went off, you didn't even look at the clock. You just obediently got your ass out of bed, went into the kitchen and pressed the button to make the pot of coffee you had set up the night before. And not so many minutes later, you found yourself on the couch with a fresh cup of coffee and an episode of South Park on the tube.

And then, you checked out the computer to see if you'd missed anything important overnight. And the first thing you noticed was that it's only 2:30 am. And you have no reason whatsoever to be up so damned early. And the thought of going back to bed for two more hours just made you think of oversleeping and having a bunch of people pissed off at you in the near future.

We're talking the Theory of Relative Suck. Staying up when you got up too damned early sucks less than going back to bed and oversleeping. But it sucks nonetheless.

Yes it does.

Note: I promise to post non-sucky posts soon. Just as soon as any non-sucky events occur.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Someone Owes Me Some Damned Entertainment!

I actually got home by 7:00p.m. tonight. This feels like a miracle. All I want to do is veg out on the couch in front of the TV. And what do the networks offer me? Crap!

You call these choices? For the lack of anything better, we're watching America's Got Talent. Eh, not so much. The English guy is an ass. Sharon Ozborne has obviously been talking baby talk to Ozzie for so many years that it's the only means of communication she has left. David Hasselhoff...what can I say? He's just really embarrassing to watch. You cringe every time he opens his mouth.

And the talent? I have no idea how far into the competition they are, but these folks have apparently made a bunch of cuts and we're down to either finalists or semi-finalists or something. So, the bad acts must have been cut by now?

So far, I've seen:

-A guy imitating Sinatra. (and forgetting the words)

-A guy doing opera.

-A four year old girl. (this must have been cute in the early rounds, but gimme a fucking break.
Sorry, the kid sucks.)

-And a young woman singing a Sarah McGlaughlin song. (without ever having learned how to avoid breathing into the mic.)

-There's an Elvis imitator coming on next.

There's another hour of this shit on but the alternatives aren't any more appealing.

I'm pleading with you all to provide some entertainment in the comments because, frankly, TV sure as hell isn't doing it tonight.
(BTW, I'd read some, but I have the attention span of a soap dish tonight.)

Update 9:26 p.m.: Well, I'm waiting!

September 15th Never Happened.

I didn't write a post yesterday...ergo, yesterday didn't happen. And if it didn't happen, I didn't get up at 2:00a.m. to find an email I could have gone without seeing. And if I never saw that email, I didn't spend the next 20 hours solving the problem I never saw in the email. And if I never spent 20 hours yesterday solving the problem in the email I never saw, I must have had a pretty good day after all.

Yay! September 15th, 2008 never happened! Holy Crap! That's a relief!

I'll have more for you later...but not about this.

Monday, September 15, 2008

And Then Came Denver!

I was thinking about what to blog about tonight. I had to be at work today at 4:30am and, let's be blew chunks. We got through it, but I've had some seriously anxious moments over the last two days. Let us never speak of it again.

So, I really didn't want to whine in detail about today (or the fact that my call tomorrow is 3:45am), so I was trying to come up with some happy thoughts.

Then the phone rang.

Three very drunken voices hollered in unison, "Hi, Nathaaaaaaaan!" I knew immediately I was talking to Janiece, Anne, and Michelle. (They claimed to have only had a drink or two so far, but it's my blog and if I wanna say they were falling down, face in the gutter, blotto, stinkin' drunk, who's gonna stop me?) And isn't one of them still pretending to be sitting in the dark in her living room with a shotgun?

Anyway, there was a SmartMan and a Michael (sorry, I'm not the one withholding a knickname) along for the ride and from the description of events, they were slowly edging to the other side of the room to enjoy their drinks in quiet anonymity.

I'll let the girls describe the visit in more detail, but it sounds like they started the day at a brewery tour (with samples), then geeked out at a museum, and then went to the bar because the buzz was wearing off. I'll admit I'm putting my own slant on this, but as I said, it's my blog. If they want to be sober, they can do it on their own damned blogs.

Anyway, it was a pretty teriffic way to end a really shitty day. Thanks UCF Rocky Mountain and Appalaichian Chapters.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Anybody Else Have A Sitemeter?

In January, not long after starting this here blog, I added the basic (read free) SiteMeter. I've always liked how the reports were set up. Easy to access, easy to scan fairly quickly to get some basic info if you wanted to.

Over the weekend, they revamped the site and "migrated" all of their accounts to a new site with a new setup. The new site was up and running this morning.

First off, it may be a little wonky because they're still getting things up and running, so I'll forgive the fact that for the moment, it tries to load my page and then defaults to their home page. The only way for me to get my stats right now is to hit the STOP LOADING button before it redirects. Like I said, probably a temporary issue.

And there's one really good thing about the new SiteMeter. I've whined before that I couldn't get Unique Visits as a stat and now I can. Having said that, the unique visits feature may be the only thing I like better.

This is what I used to see first when I clicked on the site. Pretty clear and easy to absorb.

If I wanted, I could get the details of a particular visit. (This one chops off the part with the visitor's IP and location and such, but it would have showed just as clearly as the part you're seeing.)

This is what I get now for an overview of visitors. Click on it to see its real size (which is pretty damned close to what you're looking at). I don't know about you but I can't read it. And if you do the old apple+ + to magnify, it magnifies the page, but not this part.

If you click on a particular strip to get a detailed look at one visit, you get this. Once again, not real readable.

This is what I get as an entry page. Again with the hard to make any sense of it (other than the bar graph, which is ok).

I was actually thinking about switching to the paid version of SiteMeter, but if this is what I'd be some other stats I couldn't read, I'll be rethinking that whole concept.

Anybody else have this? Any reason to tell me I'm wrong in my opinion of it?

Update 8:56pm: It's back to the good old site. Hah!

No. It's Not OK.

I'm more than a little bit stressed about the coming week, so I don't have a lot of time to play right now. In fact, the only reason I'm posting anything right now is that I find it distracting and that carries its own stress-relief value.

So, I was reading the comments on Scalzi's "how/when did you first visit Whatever" thread and, as I do occasionally, I clicked on the name of one of the commenters because I was curious about who they were. And I ran across this post on Adventures in Park Hopping. I think it's well written and worth your reading. The short version is that until the State of Alaska outlawed it, the Wasilla Police Dept. was charging rape victims for the cost of Rape Kit evidence collections. Go read her much more detailed post.

I didn't have time to read all of the linked articles, so I can't claim to be completely informed on the subject. I don't know whether or not it says anywhere that Sarah Palin knew what was going on in her town, but I find it hard to believe that she wouldn't have been aware of this in a town the size of Wasilla, AK.

I'll just repeat my comment from over there:

"This is the first I heard about this and it's utterly obscene. I'll be linking you on my blog.

I've said before elsewhere that anyone who votes for Palin just because they can't vote for Hilary is an idiot. The two couldn't have more diametrically opposed stances on politics and social issues. Lack of a penis is not a good enough reason to choose a candidate."

I actually expect to be less stressed later today, so I'll have more for you then. In the meantime...yes, posting this was therapeutic.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

And The Ten Year Anniversary Celebrations Continue On The Whatever!

Note: I'm interrupting my Multi-Post Saturday with a stand-alone post. Hey, I've done it before. I think this one deserves its own space, so I'm interrupting myself. What? You think there are rules here?

Lately, John Scalzi has been celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of Whatever by rerunning some of his archival posts. Today, he wants to know how his readers found him and when. I made the quick comment:

"In 2006, a friend recommended Old Man’s War. After reading the first chapter, I Googled you and I’ve been here ever since."
At the risk of sounding like a slavering fanboy, I'd like to expand on that.

In August of 2006, I did a day of work on a show I'd never heard of called Ugly Betty. To be more accurate, I did a day of work for a Visual Effects company who was working for the producers of Ugly Betty. They came to NY to shoot some "plates" for the show. "Plate photography" is really just a variation on "Chromakeying" or "Greenscreen" photography. Simply put, a "Plate" is an image that you're going to use as a background for some scene you're going to shoot somewhere else, most likely a studio. (Interestingly, I looked for a Wiki link that would explain it, but regardless of the fact that the definition I've just given is common as dirt, Wiki doesn't have a page referencing this definition.)

So, we did some shots of the front of the house where Ugly Betty would live. We did some shots around the neighborhood. The locations had all been found earlier by someone else when they shot the pilot and all I had to do was recontact a few people and make some deals for us to shoot there. Since TV shows do their original contracts so that they can return again and spell out what it's going to cost if they do, this was not highly taxing.

So...late in the day, they run off to do some driving plates; moving shots out of an open van door so they'll have backgrounds if they want to put Ugly Betty into a car for a scene. Me and one of the other guys working that day, were just sitting on the curb, cooling our heels while they drove around the neighborhood. We got to talking about books and he started raving about Old Man's War. He was so into it that I actually made a note and then picked up the book fairly soon.

In my comment, I said I read the entire first chapter before Googling Scalzi. In truth, I don't think I got more than a page and a half into the book before stopping and asking "Who is this guy?" As most of you know, I like reading. I like reading a lot! That said, I'm rarely grabbed that quickly by someone's turn of phrase, humor and style. I knew I was going to like the book immediately and had to know more about the author.

I quickly found myself at the gates of Whatever. And truth be told...I didn't really know what the fuck to make of it. You see, I had never read a blog before. Yup! Scalzi popped my cherry!
(I just know that's going to show up on a GoogleSearch)

Anyway, I started reading the thing voraciously. I loved most of what he was writing. I loved the comments. I loved the interplay between him and his commentariat* and the interplay amongst the commentariat themselves. (*I saw this word for the first time ever today, over on Making Light. I was about to credit them with coinage, but it's apparently been around since the late 90's. Told you I'm a Noob.)

Anyway, I was hooked. I lurked for a while and then I got up the nerve to cautiously comment. Then another commenter, or maybe John himself actually noticed one of my comments and commented back! Wow.

As time went on, I started clicking through to the links some commenters left and found a few other blogs I liked and started following. The aforementioned Making Light, Pixelfish. Story Bones and The Swivet
are some of the first that come to mind. And I could talk to folks there too. And sometimes they talked back.

Then, last year sometime, Scalzi decided his readers needed their own sandbox to play in and he started Whateveresque. I know I was one of the first hundred or so people to register. There were a bunch of fun and silly things going on over there and it made a nice place to just sort of goof around. And then came...Future Ultimate Emporer of the Universe (all hail!)

A bunch of us just totally geeked out there. I started reading their blogs...and commenting. It didn't take too much longer for Polybloggimous to be born. (Note the ones who chime in with the first comments. :D)

Anyway, this has all been a very long way of thanking John Scalzi for introducing me to blogging. I still thoroughly enjoy his blog. I'm loving keeping one myself. And I read way too many other peoples' blogs for my own good (which isn't about to stop me). I've met a lot of people I really like and hope the circle keeps expanding and introducing me to more cool people.

I won't compare my blog to Whatever, but I like to think I was influenced by his least in the way that absolutely anything might show up here on any given day. That's the type of blog I like to read and it's the type I hope I'm writing. Thanks John!

The Internets! Who knew?

It's Official. The Saturday Multi-Post Is A Thing.

The Saturday Multi-Post is officially a tradition. Whether I've called it that or not, this will be the fifth or sixth edition. As with all things Polybloggimous-y (you are hereby invited to suggest alternate coinages for the word that makes Polybloggimous into an adjective)(which I realize upon proofing this entry that Polybloggimous is already an adjective, so never mind), I make no promises. In other words, if I miss a Saturday, don't be surprised or disappointed. (Note how I presume that any entries here, much less Saturday entries, are important to your life. It's my delusion and I'm sticking to it.) Some Saturday in the future, I might go completely nuts and post Multiple Multi-Posts. Hey, you never know.

Cavalcade of Idiots!

I just love watching news coverage of hurricanes. The camera is rock steady because the cameraman is lashed to a telephone pole or some-such and he's positioned behind some natural or improvised windbreak. The reporter is in the bit of wind tunnel he's deterimined is windy enough to show that this is a dangerous storm, but not so windy that he'll be blown away. Invariably, at least one guy gets it wrong and we get hilarious footage of a reporter tumbling down the street trying to grab a tree or streetlight...anything to get control. Or somethimes, he's standing there talking and you get to see the sign from the pharmacy in the next county finally come to a sudden stop as it gives him a full body slam.

And, no! Don't start throwing sexist labels at me. I think it's just as funny when the reporter is a woman.

Blogs of Note!

How do I get on this thing
? Do I really want to? Who decides what's a Blog of Note?

Nathan Bransford is there and I read him every once in a while. He's got a good blog. I bet some of you have been there before. Clever Girl Goes Blog looks well done. I'm not sure it's something I'd read regularly, but I can totally get the idea of Blogs of Note trying to target a wide audience. It doesn't have to be all for me. No, the issue I take with that blog is that a brief perusal reveals that it's updated on a fairly irregular basis. Shouldn't a Blog of Note, have lots of regularly posted new content?

Another thing that may keep me off the Blogs of Note is the fact that frankly, every once in a while, my fucking potty mouth takes control of my brain and fingertips and causes my language to turn suddenly to shit. Stupid Family Friendly Filters.

"Wow, I Coulda Had A V-8" Moment!

My next door neighbor rang my bell a few moments ago. He's got the guys from the cable company doing some work. If you live in Brownstone Brooklyn, odds are you don't have an alley behind your house. Our backyards all directly abut each other and we share fences most of the time. On one side our our backyard, there's only our fence. On the back end of the yard and on the south side, our fence is right up against the neighbor's fence. It's a hodgepodge. This picture kinda illustrates what I'm talking about. (courtesy of HFTV's Gardening Page.)

And no! Don't expect me to comment on whether or not ours is more like the before or the after. You'll get nothing from me.

Anyway, when the phone company or the cable company or any other utility shows up to work on above ground lines that traverse our various backyards, it turns into a series of doorbell ringings to ask, "Do you mind if these guys climb your fence? They've got to run a line to the pole five houses down." So, of course, being a neighborly guy (not to mention the fact that I'm pretty sure all of those utilities have some kind of easement anyway), I say "Sure, knock your brains out." So, a few minutes later, I'm standing in the backyard talking to the Carribean Sounding CableGuy over the fence and he's deciding where he should come over the fence and I say, "Wouldn't it be easier to just walk through our house?" And he says, "Yeah, you don't mind?" "Not at all", I say.

Time has elapsed: The CableGuys are finished in our yard, Turns out the boss (the same guy I'd been speaking to over the fence), is a Renaissance CableGuy. First of all, he could identify every plant in our yard, knew which to be careful of and even knew about the weed with the purple berries that you can never wash off your shirt. Then he started speaking to my neighbor in Spanish. One of his assistants say, "I didn't know you speak Spanish." He replies, "I speak a little of every language I can get my hands on." Then he proceeds to rattle off a bunch of stuff in Italian, Chinese, Polish Russian and another language I didn't recognize at all. Is it possible John the Scientist just visited me incognito as a Carribean Renaissance CableGuy?

News Flash: McDonald's Runs out of Hamburgers

I was just out running around the neighborhood and I picked up a couple of brownies from the bakery for dessert. Then I decided we had plenty of dessert in the house and these brownies had snack written all over them. So I stopped into the cute little coffee shop practically across the street from my house.

Me: Can I have two medium coffees, please?

Girl behind the counter: ::smiles brightly:: Sorry, we're out of coffee right now.



Friday, September 12, 2008

I'll Bet You Thought I was Lying Low Today.

I actually had a few things I wanted to post earlier today but I spent the day running around like a chicken with my head cut off, so I never got a chance to write any of them. Now, I've forgotten all of those brilliant ideas. Well you know what your mother said about the importance of things you forgot. (I'm capable of forgetting really important things, but I'll go with that saying anyway.)

Monday, we're scheduled to shoot at the entrance to an apartment building. We'll do a few scenes on the street of various people arriving, departing, hailing taxis, having epiphanies and etc., etc., etc. Then, we have two scenes to shoot on the rooftop of the same building. This isn't really rocket science filmmaking here. We know where all the trucks are parking. We have tow trucks set to swoop in Sunday night if any of the cars haven't moved. We have D.O.T. scheduled to show up Monday morning to take down a bunch of street signs we don't want in our shots. We have a catering space and a holding area for our extras booked.

In other words, we're all set to go on Monday and life should be joyful and calm. The only problem is that the weather report for Monday is iffy. We don't want to shoot in the rain. So, we have what's called a "cover set". This is a set that's available if you need an interior to save you from shooting in the rain.

Only problem there is that it isn't ready. The Art Department is going to work tomorrow to get the interior ready. I don't have a catering space near this location yet. I've got a permit, but it doesn't allow me to hold parking, much less to tow anybody. I've got some of the parking we'd need from the permit for the rigging crew who was already working there, but the rigging crew takes up a small fraction of what the shooting crew needs. Metered spaces will open up for street cleaning at 8:00am, but I'll be pulling trucks in at 5:30am. Hmmm. It is a conundrum.

I won't know until sometime on Sunday which set we're going to go to. This sort of thing makes for a very relaxing weekend.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Today We'll Try A Little Experiment.

And, so far, with my publication of just a headline, it's working about how I would expect.

Anyway, it's 5:30 a.m. The crew call was pushed from 7:00 to 8:00 am with the pre-calls (early folks) pushed from 6:00 to 7:00. Since nobody heard about any of that until 11:30 last night, I expect a lot of people to take their original call times. So, I'm here.

The cast trailers are parked. Make-up/Hair, Wardrobe and the Honeywagon are parked. The equipment trucks will show up within the 1/2 hour.

The most important thing is that the caterer is parked, but the coffee isn't quite ready yet. I need me some more coffee soonest.

I'm going to try to check in regularly today to keep you up to speed on how the day is going. We'll see how that works out.

Update 7:50 a.m.: Mostly uneventful so far...which makes for extremely interesting blog fodder, huh?

The crew is all in. Half the extras (meat puppets) showed up early and their space wasn't set up yet. Fuck 'em. I hate extras. I really loathe them. I mean we need them and all, but who the hell makes a living sitting in the background of scenes and sitting in a holding area for hours on end when they're not needed on camera. I mean really.

I'll update again later. Gotta go do stuff now.

Update 9:33am: Gee, what's happened in the last hour or so?

Two busses full of Extras showed up. You know how I feel about Extras. They are now downstairs in the Basement of Doom. It was a perfectly nice banquet room before the Extras got here. Now, they've spread to occupy all available space; they've dumped their spare clothing everywhere; they managed to leave 1/2-filled coffee cups all over the place before I even knew they'd had an opportunity to get coffee in the first place; and they're loud. They are what makes a perfectly nice banquet room into the Basement of Doom! I will not be spending any time down there. That's what Locations Assistants are for.

Also, the Mayor's Film Office has been riding me about how much parking we've taken for every location. They keep asking why I need so much for just a little TV movie. I keep telling them I've got a bunch of tractor trailers for the equipment and big long trucks and campers for the cast, Make-up/Hair and Wardrobe. This morning, their Field Rep paid a visit to our set. His reponses to seeing all of our vehicles? "Holy Crap! This is huge. I guess you do need all that space every day. I guess that's one argument I won't need to have again on this show.

Check back in later for more excitement.

Update 1:18pm: Up to my ass in alligators about tomorrow. More later but it involves a sinkhole. Hey, that's gotta be good! Not!

Update 2:10pm: OK, the sinkhole that appeared pretty much exactly where tomorrows first shot will happen has been filled and there's a concrete patch in the road. It won't be pretty, but it won't be a hole in the road and we can drive a car over it. The crew that has more work to do there will take the day and work somewhere else, taking their backhoes and dumptrucks and bulldozers with them. Bullet: Dodged.

The unfortunate part of this is that this came up at about 9:15 this morning while my Assistant Location Manager was driving the directions for us to type up. The sinkhole sorta, kinda took priority, so here it is after 2:00pm and I still don't know which way I'm sending the trucks. We can't just use Google maps or the like. We need to make sure there aren't any clearance issues (we have trucks that are over 13' tall) and that there are no weird, tight turns that the tractor trailers might get hung up on. So we have to eyeball the route ourselves.

And we're filming today at a lovely Synagogue in Queens. We used their kosher caterer to do lunch because I can't bring treyf food in. It was pretty good. I know today is going to run long, so I'm already thinking about getting a 2nd meal for the crew. It'll be due at about 8:00pm, and I don't think there's a chance in hell we'd be done before then.

Can anyone say KFC in the parking lot?

See you again later. I may have someone else on the crew post a guest entry.

Update 9:19pm: I'm home. Have been for almost 1/2 an hour. Haven't gotten off the phone since I walked in the door. Let's just say planning the 2nd meal turned into the "2nd meal from hell". First I was feeding non-kosher in the parking lot for 80 people. Then it turned into feeding 200 people because the extras would still be there and I'd have to find kosher for some unknown percentage of the extras. Then it all had to be kosher and served inside as a sit-down meal. It ended as non-kosher for 80 at 10:00 o'clock after the extras were released.

This was all highly annoying.

So I'm home and I think I'm mostly done working but I still have to talk to the Assistant Location Manager whenever they wrap for the night. If they shoot too late, we'll have to push tomorrow's start time. Which won't push my start time since it's hard to call people in the real world at 11:30 pm to tell them we're not showing up until 9:00 or 9:30. They don't appreciate it.

Also, you should know that I was going to have our 2nd A.D. guest blog one of these installments, but every time one of us had a calm moment today, the other was getting slammed. I'll get you a post from him sometime before we finish the movie. Hey, different voices are fun.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Good Day Was Had By All.

Today was the first day on this show I didn't spend the entire day putting out fires and running around like mad dealing with one thing after the other. It felt like I might have passed over a hump toward having this show organized instead of trying to dig myself out of a hole and getting everything done just barely in time. That felt good.

And guess what else. It was an absolutely gorgeous day. I'll admit I was a little bit chilly for the first hour or so this morning, but then the sun came up. It just barely got to 70º and the humidity was low. Beautiful blue sky for most of the day. I'm not overly eager for Autumn, but it's nice to work on a day that's sunny, but not stinkin' hot.

Also, we were at a great location I've shot before, so I know the drill there already. I don't want to jinx myself, but the stress may be easing off a little. Now, if I could only go to work after the sun has risen, things'd be just peachy.

Lastly, you may recall this post. It's about the place we were today. I showed it to the two people in it and they thought it was hysterical.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Random Thought.

My alarm will go off at 3:30 A.M...just 4 hours from now. Shawn has been arriving at work at 3:30A.M...his time...which is 4:30 A.M. my time?

The questions are:

-Has my sleep deprived brain screwed up the time conversion?
-Should I call Shawn at 3:30 my time to helpfully get him out of bed at 2:30 his time?

Just a thought.

Today Didn't Totally Suck!

The location we were at was excellent. By that, I mean that we were shooting at a large, busy institution that accommodated us in every way they promised to and more. We were never once held up by having to deal with their stuff, in spite of it going on around us and the fact that what they are there to achieve is a little more important than a film shoot, in the grand scheme of things.

Thanks to everyone who works there for coming through in spades.

Most of the other interesting stuff I could tell you, I can't tell you hear 'cause...well this is a pretty public forum. I'll err on the side of keeping my job.


Monday, September 8, 2008

Your Expectations. They Will Not Be Met.

I could, if I wanted to, write a post elaborating on why today was such a bitch. I could tell you I had to get up really early. I could tell you about how my company EZ Pass didn't work at the Tri-boro bridge. I could tell you about how the office told me later in the morning that the problem was fixed. I could tell you about how the EZ Pass failed to work again later in the day at the Mid-Town Tunnel. I could tell you about how I got stuck in a traffic jam in the stinkiest part of Queens (Northern Blvd. exit off of the Van Wyck Expressway).

I could tell you how Wednesday's location almost backed out on me this morning and then I spent most of the day fixing that problem (without telling anyone there was a problem). I could tell you about the location for next week that has a very reasonable fee for shooting there, now is asking for a decidedly unreasonable fee for prepping and wrapping the location. I could tell you about the very expensive electronic thingie that blew up at today's location and will turn into an insurance claim of large, if not epic, proportions.

I could then post the same blog entry every day for the next two and a half weeks. I don't think you'd like that any better than I would.

On the other hand, I'm not sure how entertaining I'm gonna be during this same time period.

Please lower you expectations.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

News From The Backyard.

About ten years ago, my father moved out of the house I lived in from the age of 12 to 17. When I was 17, I went to Israel for the last semester of High School, and aside from a few summers, I never lived at home again. When Dad moved out, I wanted some memento of the house. So I took a root cutting from the crepe myrtle in the backyard.

I planted the cutting in the backyard, here in Brooklyn and it took right off. Since there's a shorter growing season here, it's taken some time for the tree/bush to mature. It took about 5 years for the bark to start showing the customary silvery bark of crepe myrtles. I've been waiting for the first time the tree would flower.

I was barbecuing tonight and, Yay! The crepe myrtle is flowering. The flowers are a deep blood red and they're pretty fantastic.

The bad news? I haven't been a good gardener this summer. I haven't been any kind of gardener this summer. The crepe myrtle is currently being attacked by the rose bush next to it and by about 12 morning glory vines. So you don't get pictures.

Next year, you'll get glorious photos.

What to Write. What to Write.

It's Sunday morning and, as I've mentioned before, blog traffic is especially light on weekends, so sometimes I feel like Sunday posts are basically wasted posts. Who's gonna see the damned thing?

The flip side is that I don't have to be anywhere this morning or accomplish anything this morning, so I've got the time to write something amazing, astounding and utterly original. And that would all be fine if I had the first idea what to talk about this morning. I contemplated the possibility of a post about Funny Blue Laws. Idea rejected based on how many other blog posts I found with a simple search for "Funny Blue Laws".

I considered posting more details about the week I just had, but there are outstanding issues that make me want to hold back those details until the week past is...past. (I considered the possibility that the first past in that sentence might have been better expressed as passed. Not sure which it should have been, but I'm sure you'll all tell me.)

I considered posting another War Story about some movie I've worked on but I'd have to search my archives to make sure I wasn't telling a story I've already told. That would take effort I'm not willing to put in at the moment.

I even considered rerunning something from my archives, but I decided I'm not allowed to run to the archives when the blog is still less than a year old. It may not be a law, but I'll obey it anyway. No re-running archival posts on blogs less than one year old. This non-law shall not apply to referring to archival posts when using said archival post as illumination for new content.

I shall now fall back on the blogger's best Ask me about...Post.

Today, I'm inviting questions about the Film Biz. Ask me anything at all. I'll admit that I only have first-hand knowledge about certain parts of the Biz, so I may not have accurate answers for every question you can think of, but I'll try. And since it's Sunday, I may not be faced with all that many questions anyway.

Have at me!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

This Belongs In The Saturday Multi-Post But It is Deserving of It's Very Own Post.

Yesterday, while talking on the phone to our very own Jim Wright, he presented me with the opportunity to call him "an over-achieving douchebag". It was awesome.

What? You need more than that? Does nothing satisfy you people?

It Might Be a Saturday Multipost. It Might Not Be. We'll Just Have to Wait And See, Now Won't We.

Brainz. Not working.

I was going to start by telling you how my idea machine isn't working this morning and I was having difficulty with competence. This is obviated by the fact that I typed half of the title of this and then accidentally published it. Nonsense.

I haz inkopitents. Let me show you it!.

Just because I've rendered something passe is no reason not to tell you about it anyway.

First, I had the idea to humorously link Sarah Palin with Adolph Hitler. I figured I could be the first one to go there. I mean, she's a little extreme, but Hitler?

So anyway, I dug out this picture from my archives about the idiot candidate who decided speaking at a Birthday Party for Hitler was a good idea.

And then, I found a picture of Sarah Palin that I thought would paste in nicely.

And then I remembered that my photoshop skilz are decidedly lacking. I have a great mashup on my own computer, but I can't convert it to a JPEG, so you'll just have to believe me that there's a hilarious picture of Sarah Palin addressing a group of morons celebrating Hitler's Birthday and that it proves...something.

The other problem is that I thought I was doing this in the name of satire. Like I said before, she's a little extreme on some subjects (OK, a lot extreme), but Hitler? Sorry, I think that's something of a stretch. I was trying to go somewhere no-one had gone.

Hrm. Not so much. Pages and pages of matches.

I'm especially fond of this one. Borrowed from this guy's blog.

I also had a really spiffy second idea for what to write about this morning. It was really insightful and a totally unique spin on something going on in the world. I've searched and I can't find anyone else who takes the slant I was going to take on the topic.

I mean this could have changed your lives. Your jaws would have dropped. You would have done the Wow, I coulda had a V-8 face slap wondering why you didn't think of it first. It was that good! It's slipped my mind.


I'll be back later with something else.

Or maybe I won't.

Happy Saturday!

Oooh! The Multi-Posting begins!

I visit too many places on the intertoobs and I know I've mentioned this before somewhere, but I can't remember if it was here or not, so forgive me if I'm repeating myself. When I was in college I had a friend who was completely fired up over protesting the building of Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant in New Hampshire. (It is/was really close to Boston as potential nuclear disasters go.) I was, frankly, ambivalent on the subject and made happy noises with no intention whatsoever of getting on a bus to New Hampshire to participate in any protests.

Imagine my surprise, late on a Saturday afternoon when I walked into Crossroads, our local hangout, and found Eric, (OK, it's his real name; not the one you know so well from here, but another guy I went to school with who I recently rediscovered on Facebook, who I hope reads this and laughs at it), sitting on a bar stool with a fresh pint in front of him. I asked why he wasn't in New Hampshire. He said, "Hey, it wasn't worth getting my head beat in for".

I really didn't have a problem that response.

This XKCD comic reminded me of this episode. It's kinda how I'd have felt if I'd bothered to get on the bus.

Even worse than I thought!

I thought my publication of a partial headline only went to you RSS type readers. Turns out I actually published it on the blog...and left it Shawn could snarkilly point it out to me.

Shawn, please don't take offense at me deleting your comment. It went with deleting the entire erroneous post. But you get cred here for making fun of me. Everyone else: You should know that Shawn was clever while rubbing my nose in my incompetence. Really. You shoulda seen it. You'd have laughed your asses off. Go ahead and laugh anyway.

For Shawn! (Well, not really. It's more for Vince & Kimby)

It Might be a Saturday Multipost. It Might Not be. We'll just

Shawn is invited to recreate his comment, which I will then cut and paste right here. Yes, I will.
I just hope Vince & Kimby won't be disappointed after the buildup I gave it. (No pressure Shawn).

In Which The Car Has A Flat Tire.

Well yeah. The car had a flat tire. Not really a biggie.

I never promised you these would all be gems...just that I'd keep 'em coming.

Out With The Old...

I came home Thursday night to an almost tragic sight...the loyal old Electrolux out for curbside pickup next to the box from the Dyson that has driven it out. Thanks for 20 years of service. Enjoy your sojourn at the landfill. (It's probably going into recycling, but how do you wish something an enjoyable time in the metal chipper?)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Is It Any Surprise I'm Tired?

Here are two conversations. Sorta, mostly, verbatim. You weren't there so you can't say different.

Me to owner of Furniture Store: We need to get the Set Dressers in at 5:00 a.m. tomorrow.

Furniture Store Owner: [silence][crickets chirp] Are you on fucking crack? [brief pause] Is it safe to just give you the key?

Me: Well, it's certainly safe for me.

Assistant Location Manager to Chief of Security: We need to start loading in at 5:00 a.m. Monday.

Chief of Security: Damnnnnn! You expect me to get my ass out of bed at five?

A.L.M.: Well earlier really, unless you plan to sleep on the loading dock.


I really am tired. That's all you get today.