Sunday, August 31, 2008

More Outdoor Activities!

The coals are getting ready. The Asparagus is marinating. The steak is ready to go on the grill. And a really terrific salad is chilling in the fridge.

We just came back from a few hours of fishing and today's fishing was...less successful. I caught three... but two of them were the size of my index finger. GF lost lots of bait but never got a fish into the boat. She says she was just feeding them.

Earlier today, we braved the wilds of Mt. Airy. It's just 7 miles up the road. WooHoo!



At least I had on my most elegant attire!

We didn't bring home anything from there either.



I...Part 3.

Good Morning!

Yesterday, we were totally lazy until about 1:30 in the afternoon. Then we went up to the resort Office and registered. (They had left our key and cabin info in the mailbox for our arrival, since we showed up after midnight Friday night.) Then, we went into town and picked up a few things.

Back at the cabin by 3:00 pm and time to do some fishing. Here's the lake.



And here's our cabin. We were here once before a couple of years ago and I like this cabin much better than the one we had that time. We're at the end of the line of cabins, so a little more secluded. It's smaller, but it has a bigger and better kitchen. Kitchens being one of the most important things, I'm generally happy about this.



So, back to the fishing. We took out our little rowboat with the trolling motor on it and found a nice spot to fish. Baited our hooks and cast our lines. Then we sat. Every once in a while, we reeled in our hooks so we could replace the stolen bait. Then we sat.

I made excellent use of the time by consuming beer and Cheetos.

Note: You may notice that the following picture of me is, in fact, sideways. I certainly know how to rotate a picture so that it's right-side-up. Manipulating photos that way is part of my job. Since it is part of my job and since I'm enthusiastically not doing my job this morning, you can just look at the damned picture sideways...and like it!



I caught two fish...both about this size. They both put up fierce epic battles before I was able to reel them in. By the time I got them into the boat, I was exhausted and needed more beer fortification. Luckily there was more fortification readily on hand.



GF caught one fish. Look! She's Anon!




The rest of the pictures you would be seeing here were taken after dark. I'm sure I could do some work on them, and lighten them up a bit, but that would require doing stuff I do for work. See above regarding me doing stuff this morning that I do for work.

So, around 7:00pm, I've got the corn in their husks roasting right on the coals and it's time to put the lobster on the grill. I ask GF to bring me the lobsters. I'm going to break them into component pieces because they grill easier that way. She brings the bag from the fridge, and I open the bag and notice movement.

"Hey, GF", I say, "These guys are still alive."

"So they are", she notes.

Digression: (PETA members, please turn away from the blog.) I have no problem putting a live lobster into boiling water, but you can't put a live lobster onto the grill. You need to kill them first by jamming a knife into their little lobster brains. And I can't do the required jamming. I suppose it's a combination of mild-squeamishness and being able to swiftly get it through that hard, curved shell in just the right place. I'm sure I'd botch it, so I usually have it done by the guy at the store for me. Anyway, this is the second time we've had live lobsters when we meant to have dead ones or dead ones when we meant to have live ones.

So, I boiled the lobsters.

Grilled corn and boiled lobsters were enjoyed by one and all. They were delicious. And messy. About half way through dinner, I gave up all pretenses of daintiness, decided I'd take a shower after dinner, and went totally caveman.

It wasn't pretty.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I...Part 2.



So, yeah. GF and I are at the lake. I slept til 11:30. I like that. By the time I got up, GF was already watching one of the "Flip your home" type shows. Oddly enough, we don't bother to have cable at home, so whenever we're somewhere that has cable, GF becomes addicted to Home Makeover and Cooking shows. I become addicted to old stupid movies channels.

Anyway, the shot above is the view from our cabin's front porch, as far as I've gotten from bed so far this morning. It's a gray overcast day which only encourages laziness. I'm totally happy with that. We'll have a late breakfast, then run around a little to pick up some things that we didn't get in advance (or stop for in last night's rain soaked drive), then maybe do some fishing.

Maybe not.

For me, this is all about being lazy and not following a plan other than to eat really well and do whatever strikes us as attractive at the moment.

Later today, I'm going to read the last two chapters of Zoe's Tale for the third time. I've been pretty exhausted at night lately, so on the previous two occasions of reading them, I've retained nothing. Honestly, I've read the end twice and I have no idea whatsoever how that book ends.

Third time will be the charm.

BTW, my brother David may or may not drop in. He friended me on facebook last night and I invited him to visit. (As I've mentioned, I tend to forget I even have a facebook account, so I don't do a whole lot of visiting over there.) Anyway, if he chimes in and says anything, you can all welcome him. If he doesn't say anything, don't bother with the welcoming, though, 'cause that'll mean he's not, you know, here.

Update:
She's not just the Anon GF who knits menageries and flirts with retired Warrants (knock it off), she's also a copy editor. The word thrird no longer stains my blog. Update the Second: GF points out that I've had this up with a repeated "and" since I posted it last night. I said, "You're not a very good copy editor, are you?"

I...

hit the "Publish" button by accident again.

Actually, that was supposed to say, I Am At The Lake!

And I Am! 2 hours driving in the rain and I'm now comfortably ensconced in a lovely cabin, drinking a lovely drink and watching a stupid movie.

More tomorrow.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Obama's Speech!

It was masterful. But it was not perfect.

He is my candidate. I like the fact that he used the word inextricable in his speech and didn't trip over it at all. GWB could practice that for a month and not pull it off.

I like what he has to say and I think he's got some actual plans behind what he says. I think he and his wife are both two really, really, really, scary-smart people. He's not where he is tonight without a plan. I'm convinced that the first part of the plan was his, and his alone more than four years ago...that got him put up before the last Democratic National Convention. That's what launched him.

So, anyway, I was really impressed by the speech. I didn't hear anything I'd classify as a misstep or wrong.

But he missed something. And I'm disappointed about one thing.

He didn't once mention how Bush has trampled the Constitution. He didn't once say how he'd reverse that situation. I won''t go into all of the laws, (one that he recently voted for) that roll back our Constitutional Rights, but I will say that only the next President will have the chance to fix some of the damage that GWB has done.

I may forward this to his campaign. I told GF right at the beginning of the speech that something about the Constitution was what I was waiting to hear about.

You can do better Barak.

August 28th, 2008 Kicked Nathan's Ass!

Tomorrow is the last day of the workweek. Monday is a holiday. Tuesday is our first day of Principal Photography on the movie I'm working on. This means I have very little time to get ready for the first day.

This morning, we had the Production Meeting. All of the department heads sit in a room for waaaaaay too long talking their way through the schedule. The thing is, I know most of the stuff going on in the meeting already and could really use the time elsewhere. But I have to be there more to answer questions than to ask them.

Anyway, about 45 minutes into the meeting, my phone rings. A number I recognize. I leave the room and answer my phone. Guess what? Our location for the first two days is in a small Westchester County town. Last week the Police Chief told me our permits had been approved pending me making one adjustment. This morning's call was to tell me our permit had been denied.

Do you know what you call a location manager who doesn't have permits for the first two days of filming? Fired.

Fuck.

Three hours of frantic emailing and (fake) calm phone conversations, and I'm back in business. I'm still employed. The rest of the day went pretty much the same way.

Today kicked my ass.

Anyway, GF sent me a picture of the zoo she knitted for her 23 month old niece. That made me smile.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What'll $457.25 buy you these days?

So, maybe I'm FREAKING OUT and have too much to do in too little time. But this is the last season the Yankees are playing in the old Yankee Stadium and GF and I decided a few weeks ago, we had to see one more game there before they moved to the new stadium.

So I got some tickets online a few weeks back, thinking I'd be shooting by now and that I'd just leave set early one day and everything would be hunky-dory. Well, I had the tickets and, in spite of being behind the eight-ball, I was not letting these tickets go to waste. Hey, I'm a huge Red Sox fan and seeing them play the Yankees at either Yankee Stadium or Fenway is a pure joy.

So...important stats?

-2 jumbo franks.
-3 large beers.
-1 massive bag of cracker jacks.
-1 large pretzel.

GF ate stuff too.

What else? One guy about 20 rows below us got drunk, out of hand and ejected. There is nothing like being in a Stadium with 55,000 people chanting "Asshole...Asshole...Asshole" in unison. (Jim, you'd love it here.)

Oh, and then there's the final score of 11-3 Red Sox. Suck it Yankees!

An excellent time was had by all. Well at least all two of us from Polybloggimous-land.

I Am FREAKING OUT!

Today is Wednesday. We start shooting next Tuesday. There's a long weekend in the middle.

I'm not going to go into a lot of detail, but between stuff I haven't got yet and schedules that are changing by the minute, and the fact that instead of prepping the locations I do have, I've been spending every day in the van looking at choices for locations, I am FREAKING OUT! (I'm exaggerating the shit out of my level of anxiety, but hey, you guys know I'm a drama queen.)

In other news, I'm guessing Shawn Powers' placement in the Hawtness Calendar is going to bring him to NYC sometime in the near future...or at least that's the best I can figure from his email yesterday. If, in fact, Shawn is coming to NY, I'm going to get him to spend some time on set and enlist John the Scientist's aid in finding other ways to entertain and otherwise make him feel both welcome and discomforted all at the same time.

Anyway, as I mentioned, I'm FREAKING OUT over the amount of work I have to do to get ready for this coming Tuesday, so I can't spend much time here playing. You've all done a wonderful job of keeping the blog going all on its own for the last couple of days, so I'll depend on you to continue. I'll write some longer stuff this weekend when I'm on a cabin porch looking at a lake and sipping bloody maries. (The plural of maries looks wrong, but I'm pretty sure it's spelled right.)

You may now comb my archives and discuss my spelling deficiencies.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Nathan's O'Dark Thirty Post.

OK, I'm cheating a little. Maybe a lot. I'm writing this at 12:17 A.M. I haven't gone to bed even though I should have since I have to get up at 4:30 A.M. I'm a moron.

My plan is to save this and just publish it in the early morning when I won't have to think (too much). Anyway, here's today's (tomorrow's) O'Dark Thirty post.
--------------

Transcript:

::Yawn:: Good Morning. ::Yawn::

The coffee is brewing. I'll babble at you while that's going on. Shawn would have a little kid run in at this point but I'm fresh outta little kids. I have cats, but the odds of them cooperating are about the same as McCain announcing he's voting for Obama.

I threatened to make videos. I'm not quite ready for that. For the moment, you'll have to make do with "dramatic recreations". Here's my first.

IT''S STILL FUCKING DARK!!!! (photo below is an artist's rendition of "It's still fucking dark!!!")


This has been a public service of Polybloggimous. We get up and look at the dark so you don't have to.

You're welcome.

-----------

Update: 8/26, 6:38 a.m.

Those of you with those mystical, mysterious, magical RSS feeds, probably saw this published at 12:30 or so. That's a damned lie. I wrote and published this before 4:30 a.m. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

And no. Jim didn't win. At least not yet.

Monday, August 25, 2008

War Stories.

On a Tech Scout, you spend a lot of time on the bus going from one location to another. Some of that time is spent talking about the place you just looked at, but more of it is spent getting acquainted or re-acquainted with other folks who are on the job.

We tend to tell stories about stuff that's happened on previous jobs...War Stories!

Here's one I heard today, and one from me about a job I did years ago.

The new one:

Our Director just finished a movie in South Carolina. On the first day of the job, one of the grips showed up in a shiny new car. During breakfast, before the actual crew call, a bunch of folks were admiring the new car. One wanted to know what kind of mileage it got. He answered that he had only picked it up the day before and had only put about 60 miles on it. He promised to let them know once he'd driven it more.

(I have to interrupt the story a minute to give you some background. Once the trucks park during the day, they can't just run off to the gas station to top off the tanks, so we have a fuel truck that fills all of the trucks and generators that need it. This also saves tons of overtime on the drivers because they don't have to stop on the way back to where the trucks live overnight.)

Anyway, one of the crew made a deal with the Teamster Captain. Every day, the fuel truck would put a couple of gallons into this grip's new car. Not enough to fill it, but enough that the level never fell by much.

Around the fifth week of shooting the original guy went back to the grip and said, "So now that you've had it for a while, how's the mileage on the new car?' The grip gushed that he was still on his first tank of gas. It was still over 1/2 full and he'd driven over 1500 miles.

They never let him run out of gas for the rest of the show. We're all curious to find out what his reaction was to how much gas he started using as soon as the job was over.

My Story:

Coincidentally, on a job in South Carolina. I've mentioned before that when we're out of NYC, I end up hiring a lot of off-duty police details. Sometimes it's for working on the shooting set; sometimes it's for overnight security. At any rate, I can become fairly popular with a local police department.

On that job, most of the locations were outside of the city itself, so I was dealing mostly with County Police. Most of our locations were 60 miles or so in every direction from the hotel where we were actually living. Needless to say, some of us tried to cut a few minutes off of the drive.

Shortly into this job, the Producer hands me 11 speeding tickets and asks me to see if I can't get them fixed. I called my contact and told him all about it and he said to drop them by his office and he'd see what he can do. Now, apparently, in the jurisdiction, there are a couple of ways a ticket might be forgiven, but in all cases, it requires the officer who wrote the ticket to go along as well.

So I get a call from my contact a few days later. He says, he can get rid of ten of the tickets, but his boss says it's on the condition that the Producer get a driver and not be seen behind the wheel of a car in this county for the duration of the show. "Done," I say, "What's the problem with the 11th one?"

"Is it possible your Producer called one of my officers a cocksucker?", he asks.

"I'm surprised he didn't call all of them cocksuckers! We'll pay that one."

Those are my two stories from today.

TaDa...

Um...Hrmmmm....Uh....Oh, Yeah.

I told you I'd be starting to get up pretty early starting today. This is probably the last morning I'll get to sleep 'til 5. It sucks.

No, this isn't a video. Sorry. But this counts as talking first thing in the morning with too little coffee in my system. Not much to tell you, but I'm living up to my bloggerly duties by posting anything.

Today starts the Tech Scouts. There's nothing like spending 13 hours riding a bus all over town. A bus which I have to tell how to get from point A to point B to point C...without getting on any parkways because the bus is too big to fit under some of the overpasses.

Yesterday, we looked at a location and the director loved it. Too bad it replaced a location we already had instead of being the one major set we don't have at all yet. We looked at a choice for the one we're missing and it doesn't work. Oh, and there's the swimming pool. We've had a fairly spectacular pool since the first week the director got to NY. I got an email last night telling me that the scene in the pool is being switched to a scene at a gym. Instead of Jake teaching Leah to swim, I guess Jake will be showing her the joys of the treadmill. I don't know. I do know that gyms are not easy to close down for filming...and it's not just about paying them enough. People who workout like to do it every day; every day at the same time. Apparently it annoys them if their gym is closed one day when they show up for their sweatfest. Blech!

Anyway, it may not be video but these are my incoherent early ramblings. I have to get in the shower in a few minutes and get my ass into the city. My wish for all of you in my own time zone and all of the time zones to my west is that you're all still comfy in bed and will remain oblivious to all of this for a few more hours.

I'll let you know how it went tonight. In the meantime, talk among yourselves.

Oh, BTW (posted later before the scout begins),

Yesterday's driver:

-Couldn't find the Queens Mid-town tunnel.
-Drove over a few of the lane dividers in the tunnel.
-Admitted late in the day that he really didn't know his way around NYC very well.
-Admitted later in the day that he'd never driven a 15-passenger van before.

Needless to say, we won't be seeing him again.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

This Proves I didn't MisRemember It At All.

There was a discussion somewhere recently about what is your generic term for the drink category that includes Coke, Pepsi and, God-forbid, YooHoo.

Lots of folks said Soda; some said Pop. I remembered that as a child I'd always ask for a Coke.

If Mom took me with her on a downtown shopping trip, we'd have lunch at the Walgreen's lunch counter. This was considered a huge treat. Let's take a trip in the WayBack Machine.

Me, my mother and her mother have just sat down at the lunch counter. I'm 7 years old and sitting between the two of them. Grandma reaches over and buttons the top button of my shirt. Mom reaches over and unbuttons it. This battle goes on silently for a couple of minutes until Mom switches seats with me, putting me out of Grandma's reach.

Mom: What do you want to drink Nathan?

Me: A Coke!

Mom: What kind?

Me: Grape Nehi!

This seems like a completely retarded way to refer to things, so much so that I was becoming convinced that I couldn't have remembered it right. Or if I was remembering it right, this use of the word "Coke" to include all soft drinks must have been an idiosyncracy unique to my clan.

Strange Maps has confirmed my memory as correct. Those of us from the south use the word Coke like the rest of you use Kleenex, Xerox and Jell-O to represent the entire category of products. This doesn't make it any less retarded, but it does vindicate my memory.

It's Sunday. That's about as deep as we're gonna get right now.

What regionalism did you grow up with that seems stupid in hindsight?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Check in Often! It's Another Multipost Saturday!

Just so you all know MultiPost Saturday is my excuse to just throw up random shit and consider it blogging. Don't count on seeing anything deep and meaningful here today, (like you ever do anyway).

Let the MultiPost begin...

We'll start with a Douglas Adams quote. Hey, you can't go wrong with Douglas Adams.
There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
[info][add][mail]
Douglas Adams
P.S. I've used his name three times in quick succession. That's gotta be good for sucking in innocent GoogleSearchers.
--------------------------------------

More on a Saturday Morning...

So, I was just poking around at Shawn's Cerebrum, and I felt the need to leave a comment. It took me like fifteen minutes to write a paragraph. I am Vocabularily Challenged. There was a particular adverb I wanted to use. It was right there at the tip of my Medula Oblongata, but it refused to reveal itself to me. Finally, in a moment of clarity, the clouds parted; the sun shined through, spearing my eye, the angels sang their heavenly chorus. Debilitatingly, was the word I was searching for. Shawn's comment SpellCheck told me I was a crappy speller. It looked right to me. I went to Ask.com. (I find that Ask.com does a better job when I type in "Define ______" than most other search engines. It suggests better spelling more often that bears a resemblance to what I'm looking for). So anyway, Ask.com told me I was not deficient in my Spell-Fu. Shawn's comment window continued to put that ugly red line under the word. As is my wont, I chose to decide that I was right and ignore this blot on my intellect.

And another thing. Shawn's video posts are inspiring me to (possibly), follow his example. I'll be getting up at 0'dark-thirty every day, starting next week. (Right now the alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m. for leaving the house at 7:00 a.m.) I'll be getting up earlier soon. Why? I need an hour or more in the morning to become vaguely human.

I don't speak in the morning. Even more important than that is that I don't repond to speech in the morning. My mother use to tell me that when I was 6, I'd drag my ass into the kitchen in the morning and she was able to translate my inarticulate grunted response to "Do you want Cocoa Puffs or Quisp this morning?"

So, anyway, back to the point. Shawn recently posted a bunch of videos of himself talking to the camera before his first cup of coffee. (Here they are.) First of all I couldn't believe how brave he was to post those things. I know he wasn't coherent while recording them. I have doubts about his coherence when he actually hit the publish button.

Also, watching yesterday's video entry inspires me to think that I could post video impersonations of some of you guys...or at least impersonations of my impression of some of you guys. (Shawn would actually be really easy.)

I'm not saying I'm going to actually do this, but I think it would be funny. I'll think about it some more and let you know.

P.S. I already know that all of you would like to see me mortifyingly embarrass myself by following through on this threat. Comments on this subject will be harshly judged because it's just too easy a target. I will not be grading on the curve, so make sure you have your chops engaged before poking me on this topic. Just Sayin'.

------------------------

My Attitude about Facebook.

I don't remember exactly when I set up a Facebook account, but it was a while ago and I didn't actually do a thing with it. More recently, there's been a bunch of Juicy Heifer friending going on and I'm happy with that. Then, Kate invited me to be a vassal and play Knighthood. (I'm too lazy to link it right now, but you friend people, get them to build you stuff and give them (fake) money to buy loyalty and make them more productive.) Given the time, I'm pretty sure I'd really like playing with Knighthood (sort of an interactive game of Civilization), but there's a problem. It's designed for the folks who run around Facebook friending everyone in sight willy-nilly. And that's never going to be me. You only advance in the game if you keep enlarging your realm and keep assigning vassals (friends) to work in your newly expanded marketplaces, garrisons, etc. You can never have enough friends in Knighthood!

On the other hand, Facebook has resulted in me reconnecting with a few real-life friends from college and one I mentioned having worked with in Seattle a few years back.

Which brings me to this. Jeri, I can, with a fair degree of confidence, state that Mark (the aforementioned work friend in Seattle), is not a stalker, axe-murderer, or fiend of any sort. I had a meal or two at his house with his family and they seem completely normal and safe. Mark, I've been talking to Jeri online for quite a few months now and a few other people I talk to regularly online have actually met her in person. While full UCF membership is closed, I believe we came up with some sort of Adjunct Junior Space Ranger version some time ago. (You'll have to search the archives because I'm way too lazy to search and link stuff).

Anyway, the point is...if at some future date there were to be another UCFish link created, I can pretty much vouch for Mark, but as far as Jeri is concerned, it's entirely possible that she's a dangerous, psychopathic, deranged, zombie...posing as the mild PG-13 personna with the normal home-life and growing boys she claims to be. Her husband seems totally safe from what I've been able to deduce, but I'm not making any guarantees where Jeri's concerned.

Legal Disclaimer: Polybloggimous bears no responsibility for for any decisions made by its readers based on anything actually said or percieved to have been said here. As always, (cribbed from a great weather map over on John's Site), Use for information purposes only. DO NOT USE FOR LIFE AND DEATH DECISIONS.

There's a high probability that that line is going up on my banner next time I make a new one.

---------------

And Another Thing...

If someone wants to photoshop a UCFish, I think that would be pretty funny.

---------------

This Week In Text Messaging...

I received...

-Wazzup! It's Kate. Have a great pizza incident-free day!
-Hello, Nathan. You know you'll be getting these all day, right?
-Levitate the dragon, but still drink the soup.
-The super is going to be at least a half hour late for our appointment at Sterling Place.
-Ook! I'm a Librarian!
-Hedgehog Buggerer.
-Aren't we just a little fucking ray of sunshine? Cheer the hell up, dammit!
-Fucking flannel sheets! Oh, you meant paper sheets...sorry.
-Juicy Heifers say "MOO, Mofo, MOO!"
-Are you going to pick up your damned pizza or not? -Dominoes.
-Moo mother fucker, moo.
-Bitch shot me in the foot!

Does anyone detect a pattern? And what's with the weird message about the super being late? That doesn't belong here at all.
-------------------------------------

Jeri Made Me Do This...

It's a list of foods. I'll follow her instructions:

Directions: Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions. Bold all the items you've eaten. Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.

(BTW, I copied it but it ditched the columns, so here you go with one long-assed list.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat's milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald's Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini (gin is just foul)
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S'mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs' legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers (but also why?)
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster yes, Thermidor no
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake
and 101. Stinky Tofu!

So, I think I got 59? I lost count every time I counted. Probably more like 55.
------------------------

This just in...

I stopped at the book store, so I am now about to interrupt my reading of The Yiddish Policemen's Union to read Zoe's Tale by some guy or other. I really haven't had time to get too far into the former and I've been waiting for the latter. And somehow, because of Chabon beating out Scalzi for a Hugo, it seems slightly appropriate. (Don't worry Mr. Chabon. I'll be back with you presently.)

-------------------------

A final addition...

Unless something momentous happens, this will close out this weeks edition of MultiPost Saturday™. We just watched Across the Universe (thanks Netflix) and it was pretty damned amazing. When it first came out, I was all excited to see it and then some of the stars were on one of the morning talk shows and performed. Sorry, but they sucked live. So I crossed it off my list.

Amazing what a few hours in the studio can do, though. There was only one song I didn't like the way they did it. And I really want to know what kind of drugs Julie Taymor is on. She's obviously out of her mind...in a way that I admire the hell out of.

Before we watched the movie, I started Zoe's Tale. Sucked in immediately. I read fifty pages while barbecuing. Guess what. I've already laughed a few times. I expected that. Then I bawled a little. Didn't expect that. And then, I was laughing and bawling a little at the same time.

I've got to get back to it now that the movies's over. This may be one of those books I read in one sitting.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Madness! Update the Second!

10:21 P.M. Tech Scout Book has been delivered to Kinko's. I'll have to pick them up Sunday at 4:00pm. Then we've got to put them in binders and insert 16 dividers into each. (They would have done that for us. I wouldn't have minded paying extra for it, but waiting until Wednesday for them to be done was a deal breaker.)

On the good side, I'm at home on the couch with a drink. Yay!

Madness! An Update.

It's 7:00 pm. We've produced all the elements that go into the Tech Scout Book. We're about to start assembling the master.

That should only take forever.

Then it's off to drop it at Kinko's.

And, BTW. We finished setting up the Itinerary by 10:30 this morning. When calling folks to say which day and what time we'd be coming, three of them threw major monkey wrenches forcing us to start over again. Our Itinerary now bears no resemblance to anything that make sense in a geographic order sorta way.

Head-Hurty.

It's Madness, I say. Sheer Madness.

I mentioned a few days ago that we'll be doing our Tech Scouts on Monday and Tuesday. Tech Scouts have always been a real production and they've grown worse. The Tech Scout is where the Director will show every department head what we're doing at every location and then they get a chance to figure out what they need to do to make that happen. It's a traveling circus. Monday morning at 8:00am (tentatively), the following folks will get on a bus and we'll go look at lots of stuff for the next 12 or 13 hours:

Director, Executive Producer, Line Producer, Director's Assistant, Production Designer, Leadman, Prop Master, UPM, 1st A.D., 2nd A.D. 2nd 2nd A.D., D.P. Gaffer, Best Boy Electric, Key Grip, Best Boy Grip, Location Manager, Asst. Location Manager, Sound Mixer, Teamster Captain, Teamster Co-Captain, Art Director, Set Decorator, Parking Coordinator, Producer's Assistant.

The first thing I've got to do is create the itinerary for the scout. We're trying to cram in every location in two days. So, first, I'll put them in an order that makes sense geographically. Then I'll figure out what the travel times are from one to another. Then I'll decide how long they will need (or get) at each location. Oh, and then I've got to cram lunch in there somewhere. It's a union crew, so they have to break for lunch between 4 and 6 hours from the start of the day. Otherwise the producer pays them "meal penalties". I've got to end the day after 12 "working" hours. Meals are off the clock. And I also don't want to go more than 6 hours after the end of the first meal or we'll owe a second meal. Nobody wants to take the time to stop for that.

OK, so the itinerary is all set and it works and, D'oh! Two of the places you've so carefully scheduled aren't available when you wanted to go there. It's a big damned jigsaw puzzle and sometimes instead of fitting a piece in neatly, the answer is to chop off part of the puzzle piece and beat the crap out of it until it fit where you want it to go. Or maybe I'll just leave a hole there. Yeah, I think it looks fine like that.

That part of things is the same way it has always been, so I'm used to that. What's changed? Well, in the old days, (Get off my lawn ya little bastards), we just typed up the itinerary with the times and the order we'd see stuff, the name of the location, the name of the set in the script, and the scene numbers. The new wrinkle is that a few years ago, some over-achieving asshole started producing "Tech Scout Books". If I ever find out who that person is...well it won't be pretty, that's all I'm saying.

It'll be full of diagrams of every location, lists of every scene to be shot there, whether it's night or day, and plenty of room to take notes. It'll be printed two-sided so it reads like a normal book with relevant info opened up to face each other. There'll be blank pages so there's never any info page facing a page it's not related to.

Here's one of the diagrams I have to produce.

It shows three sets that will shoot on the same day. There's an exterior, then a Diner interior, then two different apartments shooting on two floors in one person's apartments. After this page showing the relative locations of each set, there will be a page for each of the interiors with drawings produced by the art department.

This day will get 8 pages in the book.



The beast will be about 100 pages by the time I'm done with it. I'll produce the master and then take it to kinkos and pray that they get 30 copies done and put into binders with dividers in time. (I only need 25 of them, but someone will leave it at home on the second day, so I need spares.) Each book will be helpfully personalized with the person's name. The spares say (RMFICRTBMSTW: Translation, "Ridicule me, for I can't remember to bring my stuff to work.)

I guess I'd better get back to work.

Oh, BTW, I know I've been talking in the first person here, but three of us will be involved with getting this done all day today. Hey, I'll take a picture when we're done.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

It's a Damned Whirlwind!

It's not a Worldwind. It's not a Whirwind. It's not even a Werewind.

This message has been brought to you by "People who wish you'd stop saying things like that and might inflict a blunt trauma injury to you if you don't learn better."

I Am...

over budget! :(

No. Really over budget. By like 30%.

This is bad.

On the other hand, it's not like:

- I wrote the script that calls for the locations we need
- I decided how many days I need to rent locations for prep and wrap
- I negotiated the contract that get Tarrytown cops $90/hr working OT shifts.

Which kind of means that a lot of this stuff costs what it costs and the only way for me to cut money out of the budget is to cut items. Maybe I shouldn't get locations on Wednesdays.

Or maybe every Monday, the trucks should just circle the block until some parking opens up.

I realize that all sounds pretty glib and I actually will make the effort to bring some of these things in under budget, but I'm not about to turn in a budget that I'm guaranteed to overspend.

I don't have much to say today. I'm off to read all of your blogs. Hope you have something entertaining for me!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Not Really a Coherent Post. So Sue Me.

Things bobbing in and out of my head:
-----
I really think The Simpsons should do an episode where Homer is replaced by Dick Sargent and only Lisa notices.

I think that could be hysterical. If any Simpsons Producers or Writers are happening by here, I totally invite you to steal the idea and all you owe me is letting me know when it will air. Send me a release and I'll sign over that idea to you.
-----

I've seen at least two bloggers recently bemoaning the use of the sentence "I could care less". I concur. This sentence is a meaningless abomination...or at least it doesn't mean anything like what you think it means. Stop saying it. Just stop!
-----

LuLu was clean of the fungus-among-us on the last vet visit. Teufel still had just the slightest little bit of it left. Unfortunately, that meant they both had to have another dipping in the Bath of Satan. Yes. We still have the fumes of hell wafting through the house. If they're both clean next Monday, they're getting baths in something floral as all get out. (I'm optimistic that they'll actually submit to a bath. Teufel's favorite game is rolling around in the sink as soon as I finish brushing my teeth.)
-----

I mentioned to GF a few nights ago that I hated the version of the National Anthem that was being played at medal ceremonies for the Olympics. Way too much strings and wimpiness.
Last night I watched a ceremony with a much better, more ballsy and brassy version. I hope it's a switch for all the sports and that wasn't just a one time anomoly.
-----

You all got to watch the recent progress with repaving my street. It's a beautiful new smoooooooove street. There's already a bunch of big holes on the next block for some water main replacement. Ah well.

----
In the last two days, I'm getting an awful lot of visitors from strange places. Lots of Google Searches for innocuous things that brought people here. Lots of referrals from Shawn's place.

I've also been gettin any number of text messages from some of the "Juicy Heifers". (If you don't get the reference after checking the link...and then the further link, don't feel bad. It took me a minute and I am one!) Sitting in a meeting trying to be all serious and stuff is difficult when you check a text message and all it says is "Hedgehog Buggerer". (Thanks Tania.)

Feel free to comment on any of my ramblings. Or go ahead and tell us what's been bobbing in and out of your brain.

Fucking Yellow Pages!

New script pages. Mostly just some dialog changes and one change of a location that I've known about for days now.

I've replaced the location I lost and I'm still threshing through the weeds trying to find a location that will work for the one that by all rights, should be as common as dirt. Go figure.

More later tonight...maybe.

A Contemplation on the Value of Bitching.

So, last night, I posted a long rant...it's the one below this post. It was bitching and moaning and whining. Yeah. I've got a blog; I'm allowed to do that. And you don't even have to read it if you don't want to. The title was a dead giveaway about content.

A lot of people will try to assign noble sentiments to bitching and moaning and whining. They say its cathartic. Bullshit. Bitching and moaning and whining is just childish venting. I'll cop to that without any argument. All it does is give me the chance to holler about how rough my life is and plead for sympathy. Having admitted that doesn't mean I don't think there's value in it. Venting is fun. And if anyone actually sympathizes...Yay!

BTW, I still haven't heard from the one who just decided not to come to work anymore, and in case it wasn't clear, I don't see his behavior as having any effect on my friendship with his brother. I'm fairly certain that to the extent my friend is aware of this situation, his reaction is probably something like, "WTF? I'm not getting involved." That's absolutely fine by me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Anybody Mind If I Bitch A Little?

Next Monday and Tuesday, we do our Tech Scouts in order to be ready to start shooting on Tuesday, September 2nd. A Tech Scout is where every department head on the movie (Sound Mixer, Gaffer, Key Grip, etc. about 20 people), goes to see every location we're using for the movie. The Director or the 1st A.D. walks everybody through what we'll be shooting there, any time constraints, etc. Then each department head walks over and figures out what they'll need to get the job done. Electric may need a day to pre-rig. Grip may tell me they need a crane on the street. I'll get notes from every department telling me stuff I need to arrange for them to be able to do their jobs.

It is most helpful to have all of your locations lined up before going on the Tech Scout. I don't. I'm missing a couple of key locations...one of them because we've changed what the location needs to be and at another time where the location needed to be. I don't feel bad about this one. We'll soldier on and find it in the next couple of days. The other is a location that, quite frankly, I would have figured we'd have a bazzillion choices for. Not so much. What's out there is Ugly, Ugly, Ugly. And the place we need, has to be modern, but warm and inviting. I'm seeing a lot of them that look like the courtroom from Judgment at Nurenburg. Not so much with the modern, warm and inviting.

And then, today, I get an email from the facility manager at one of our locations telling me that our filming request has been denied. I'll be honest. My radar was tweaking a few weeks ago that maybe these folks didn't get it. They were upset over how many times we were visiting (three) and wanted the details about what we wanted to do there. I tried to explain that it took three visits just to choose a place. (First I send out scouts to lots of places. Then we narrow things down from the photos and the Production Designer and I go visit the shortlist. Finally, we'll take the Director to only 2 or 3 choices. He'll decide on that scout and I'll get enough information about what he wants to do there to put together a letter detailing what we want.) And usually the person who will show us around a potential site has the knowledge or authority (or both), to tell us if we're looking at something that just isn't feasible. This place was sending us around with a Security Guard (who we paid for and who got lost on his own facility).

I'm trying to get my foot back into the door, but we're looking at some of the places we didn't originally choose. Losing a location at this point really sucks.

I'm also having trouble with staff. I may have mentioned that I hired one scout a few weeks ago. (His business card says "Location Manager"). This kid was clueless. I've showed you before how we photograph locations with "pans". That's just the standard way everyone does it. It shows you geography. Clueless-boy said, "Yeah, yeah, yeah...I'll shoot pans." Turns out he didn't know what pans are. He kind of shot a bunch of singles that would have been the components of a pan, but since he didn't have any software to stitch them together, that was pretty useless. I let him go after 4 fruitless days of trying to teach him (and giving him the software). He sent me a passive/aggressive email "thanking" me for the learning experience and then proceeding to tell me about the fifty or so commercials that have been very happy with his work. Asshole! (Footnote: He filled in all of his paperwork wrong and won't be paid until he comes in and corrects it. He filled in his "kit rental" form perfectly. This is fine, but he's not eligible for a kit rental.)

I had another guy who just didn't show up to work yesterday. For the first hour or so, I just thought the train from New Jersey was fucked up. Then I started to get concerned. I had left a couple of messages on voice mail by then. I'm friends with his brother (who I couldn't get on his phone), so I sent an email around 11:30 am saying I was concerned and did he know any other way to reach his brother. I kept trying to call him, but not wanting to freak anyone out, I held off on calling his "In Case of Emergency Number" (his parents) until around 4:00pm. I was ready to send someone to his apartment and get the Super to open the door. I was assuming that he must be lying in a coma somewhere...or some other awful thing. His father called me back about a half-hour later to tell me he was fine and would be contacting me himself shortly. It's been about 30 hours since that call, and in spite of a couple of messages from me, he still hasn't called to explain himself.

Here's the thing. I had no idea this guy was unhappy. No idea at all. In fact, the last conversation I recall having with him at the end of Friday was to tell him that the shots he had re-done of a location were much better and to let him know the one thing more he could do to make them perfect. Even if I had known he was unhappy, it would have never occurred to me that he'd do something as completely unprofessional as to just not come to work and to refuse to answer his phone. No, someone who doesn't come to work and doesn't answer their phone must be lying in a ditch somewhere. I didn't even start to get pissed until about 7:00 last night.

Now, I'm really pissed.

Last bitch. Next time you watch a movie, look for the shot on the front of a newspaper of one of the characters, or the family photos with the characters on the walls, or the shot of the drivers license with the characters picture on it. Those photos have to be shot before you can shoot the scene that includes the photo. (Duh!) We usually have a still photographer do a lot of these in the days leading up to the first day of filming so the Art Department has time to produce whatever the shots are needed for. Remember I showed you my office a few weeks ago? It turns out that my office's size, and lack of windows makes it perfect to do the stills shoots. So my boss wants me to turn it over to the Stills Guy for the last three days of Pre-production. Yeah, that's a great idea. When I'm cranking at 100 miles per hour trying to get ready for day one; when I've got my entire staff assembled; when I've got all of our supplies being bought (and they have to go somewhere), that's when I'll just break up my happy little group, move into a bunch of smaller offices where I have to go down the hall to talk to any of my people and have everything lined up just hunky-dory for day one of shooting.

I may be more pissed off now than I was when I started this post.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Nathan Comes Through With The Goods...Finally.

I'm sure you all remember, ages and ages ago, way back when you could freeze an egg on the sidewalk, I talked about the day I deigned to be an extra in a show I was working on. At the time, I promised I'd post the video as soon as I had it.

I've been to the show's website and they have the video available on some kind of plug-in that only works on Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer? I haven't even updated that thing in 3 years. Then, I realized that there is almost no video known to man that hasn't been added to YouTube.

Ladies & Gentlemen...I present...Nathan, Thespian Extraordinaire! I show up at about 1:50 into the video (back of my head) and have my star turn at the very end. My conclusion from watching it is that I found my proper niche on the other side of the camera. Enjoy!

A Brief Interruption In The Headline Game...

Found below this post.

From the Do your job much? files...

A cab driver just pulled over and asked me how to get to Houston Street. Houston Street!

Houston is like one of the first streets you learn when you move here. All the streets below it have names and all the streets above it have numbers. Houston is "Zero Street"!

If I had been the passenger, I'd have gotten out and walked. (For the record, it's about 5 blocks south of where I was standing.)

Game On!

Inspired by a lot of stuff, Jeri has a modest proposal. You're invited to write headlines about me here in the comments section. You're invited to chase down other participants and write headlines about them on their blogs. (The likely culprits candidates will be the folks you see on my sidebar, but newbies are totally welcome to play and to invite us to your blog to write stuff about you. Don't know me? Make up some shit!)

Anyway, (as is my wont), I'm adjusting the rules a little. I can't think of any Headlines that cover what I want, so I'll be writing Headlines with a very brief story attached.

Oh, BTW, Jeri has given me partial credit for this whole idea. I thank her. I'd also like everyone to know that I am:

-the first person to post pictures of cats with pithy, amusing captions in broken English.
-the person who first used all CAPS to imply yelling and anger.
-the inventor of velcro.

You doubt me? Hey, it's on the internet...it must be true!

Have at me.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Rodeo Kittens.


LuLu asks once again, "What'd I ever do to you"!

And The Overnights Are In.

Note: I might consider making this a regular feature, but it's an awful lot of work...so, No.

I talked yesterday about liking to see who's been visiting and how they got here.

Last night's visitors were clearly a Scalzi-influenced crowd (at least 50% of the "not regulars").

First we have this visitor from Massachusetts searching "puckerguard". You may recall that this is a word Scalzi proudly claimed coinage (of? on?). If you don't remember, do your own search. (Here we'll begin a theme of "I'm too lazy to find links for you." {which, upon proofing this entry, I discovered that I was even too lazy to follow through on.}) If you do a search, though, don't be disappointed if you end up right back here.



This visitor from North Carolina was looking for "rd inovation" (sic). I hope he wasn't too disappointed in the result.


Then we have a visitor from New Zealand. I like that his ISP is "Woosh Wireless". I want me some Woosh Wireless. (He appears to have clicked on one of my comments over at Whatever.)


And then, we have my favorite overnight visitor from Amman, Jordan. There's a couple of neat things about this visitor. First, there's the search word "Gadsex". I had no idea how that led here and discovered that it related to someone commenting on the "Captcha" they had to type to leave a comment. I can understand someone thinking that Gadsex was a funny Captcha code, but I have no idea what would make someone think it was going to be a fruitful search word, regardless of what it was he was looking for. The other thing I like is that this visitor specifies his language of choice as "Australian English". (Note that the guy from New Zealand prefers "US English".) I can understand choosing a specific dialect of English. I have trouble with some accents and with some words that sneak into different dialects of English. But when it comes to reading blogs, just what effect does choosing another dialect actually have? If you've chosen Australian English, does it insert a bunch of "Mates, G'Days, and Waltzing Matildas" into my blog for your reading pleasure?


Like I said, don't expect this to become a regular feature. I like looking at this crap when it takes all of 90 seconds, but doing the screenshots and thinking about why they amuse me and writing about it all is work. (Although, in this case, less work than coming up with something real to write about.)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Twittering My Blog Again.

Does it piss off the Russian Atheletes that they have to wear jerseys that say "Russia" in English?

Sea Orchestra

I've got no feelings about United Airlines one way or the other, but I love this commercial.

Contests, Prizes & Getting Them There.

I kinda suck!

I'm sure you remember that a little more than a month ago, Shawn won the contest for being my 10,000th visitor and Michelle won the side bet by guessing what time that visit would take place.
They were both supposed to get movie tickets from me. I had chosen this prize because it would be soooo easy to just buy them tickets on line which would be waiting for them at their local theater. Shawn immediately chimed in with, "I live in an under-developed, Third-World, portion of the country, so no online tickets for me. The Pony Express comes here, though...why don't you send me books?"

"Fine", I said, "I'll do that". (Shawn may claim he never said precisely those words, but he did. I swear it on a bucket of tentacles.)

Michelle, contrary to all evidence, thought she lived in a technologically advanced section of this great nation. Erm...Not so much. After two abortive attempts at calling me while standing in front of the box office and then sliding her phone through the little slot so I could buy tickets with a credit card, we gave up and decided Michelle was getting a book too..."a mystery without too much boinking so that Grandma can read it too".

Once again, I figured, fine...I can do that.

Well, it turns out maybe I can't.

Remember this exchange from Seinfeld?

Jerry: I don't understand, I made a reservation, do you have my reservation?

Agent: Yes, we do, unfortunately we ran out of cars.

Jerry: But the reservation keeps the car here. That's why you have the
reservation.

Agent: I know why we have reservations.

Jerry: I don't think you do. If you did, I'd have a car. See, you know how to
take the reservation, you just don't know how to *hold* the reservation and
that's really the most important part of the reservation, the holding. Anybody
can just take them.

Yes. It turns out that awarding prizes is easy, but the really important part is sending the prizes.

I can proudly announce that said prizes are boxed and addressed and as soon as I hit "Publish Post", I'm walking right up to the Post Office and sending them.

Michelle's "Low-Boink Ratio Mystery" is Amaganssett, by Mark Mills. It's a murder mystery set on Long Island shortly after the end of WWII. I enjoyed it immensely and I hope Michelle likes it too. (And Grandma, of course.)

Shawn is getting Night Watch and Men At Arms, part of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. Why these two? Because the both concentrate on The Watch, some of my favorite characters in the Discworld and because Night Watch is the first of the series that I read. There are differences of opinion about whether or not there is any proper order in which to read these books. Some folks claim you should read them in publication order. Some claim there's another order you should read them in. As far as I'm concerned, these books should be read in any old order you can find them...just go to your bookstore, clear their shelf of whatever 5 or 6 titles are there and go read them. Repeat step one until you've read all 97 jillion of 'em. Read some of them a second time. Oh, and then drop all pretense, head to the YA shelves and read those too.

Enjoy your loot guys. Sorry about the delay. I kinda suck.

Strangers in the Niiggghhhhtt.....BeeDooBeeDoooBee.

(I've gotta figure out how to type in music notes, so you guys will know when to sing the title.)

I like looking through my stats to see where my visitors are coming from and how they got here. This is really easy for me to do since I still average less than 100 visits per day. When I view the visits "By Location", I recognize most of them just by scanning the page..."Oh, Janiece stopped by; Hi Janiece!"...or..."Eric's visiting from work today...Stick it to the man, Eric."

Then, I'll see a visit from a town I don't recognize and I might take a closer look. More often than not, it's someone who clicked a link from a UCF blogroll, or maybe clicked on a comment I've made somewhere else.

And then, there are the GoogleSearches. Those are fun.

Aside: Someone in Houston found Polybloggimous because they were searching for Destroyermen: Into The Storm which I've talked about a couple of times. S/He has been back often since then...each time finding me by conducting the same search. You don't have to delurk or anything, but feel free to Bookmark the site.

So, back to the searches. For some reason, most of the visits based on searches show up from Europe, and for obvious reasons, they show up as overnight visits in my time. One of the things I like to do in the morning is look at my overnight stats. Before you start accusing me of being obsessive, remember, I rarely get more than 10 or 20 visits overnight, and usually, only 3 or 4 of those aren't immediately recognizable.

So, this morning I noticed one hit from Europe at 3:45 am my time.

Look, there he is in Hungary.


Let's take a closer look. Ooh! He's in Pecs, Hungary...how exotic? Visitors from foreign lands.


And he lives right there on Otemeto Utca. Knowing this makes the world seem a small place, indeed.


And what brought this visitor in the night? Check out the Search Words! I also find it interesting that the visit took place at 9:45 am Visitor's Time. Isn't that special?



Oh, BTW, I have Tania to thank for the comment responsible for drawing in this (probably) disappointed visitor. Thanks Tania!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Holy Crap!

Click on the Pic to embiggen!

From the National Weather Service:

Tornado Warning

TORNADO WARNING
NJC003-NYC005-061-152145-
/O.NEW.KOKX.TO.W.0007.080815T2116Z-080815T2145Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE UPTON NY
516 PM EDT FRI AUG 15 2008

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN UPTON NY HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NEW YORK (MANHATTAN) COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST NEW YORK...
BRONX COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST NEW YORK...
EASTERN BERGEN COUNTY IN NORTHEAST NEW JERSEY...

* UNTIL 545 PM EDT...

* AT 515 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO NEAR
ENGLEWOOD...OR NEAR BERGENFIELD...MOVING EAST AT 19 MPH.

* THE TORNADO WILL BE NEAR...
RIVERDALE BY 525 PM...
EAST TREMONT BY 530 PM...
CO-OP CITY AND CITY ISLAND BY 540 PM...

IN ADDITION TO THE TORNADO...THIS STORM IS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING
QUARTER SIZE HAIL AND DESTRUCTIVE STRAIGHT LINE WINDS.

THE SAFEST PLACE TO BE DURING A TORNADO IS IN A BASEMENT. GET UNDER A
WORKBENCH OR OTHER PIECE OF STURDY FURNITURE. IF NO BASEMENT IS
AVAILABLE...SEEK SHELTER ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF THE BUILDING IN AN
INTERIOR HALLWAY OR ROOM SUCH AS A CLOSET. USE BLANKETS OR PILLOWS TO
COVER YOUR BODY AND ALWAYS STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

IF IN MOBILE HOMES OR VEHICLES...EVACUATE THEM AND GET INSIDE A
SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER. IF NO SHELTER IS AVAILABLE...LIE FLAT IN THE
NEAREST DITCH OR OTHER LOW SPOT AND COVER YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR HANDS.


This is not a normal thing for Manhattan!

Fucking Pink Pages!

Scripts get rewritten constantly, right up to the moment a scene has been shot. To make everyone's life easier (i.e. so you know what's changed), the new pages come out in different colors, (blue for the first set of revisions, pink for the 2nd, green, canary, zebra striped and so forth). There's also always a helpful set of asterisks next to any changes so you don't have to re-read the entire script from scratch.

Sometimes, scenes are omitted. Sometimes the writer moves a scene from a park to the beach. Sometimes the writer has changed a character's name.

Every time new pages come out, I've got to cull them for changes that effect the set list. I'm about halfway through revising the set list to conform with the blue script. Someone just handed me pink pages. Fuck!

BitchFest over at Snavely's joint!

I believe that says all that needs saying.

I'm all honored and shit!

Script Goddess has added my humble little blog to her blogroll. Yay, linky goodness. For those of you who don't know it, Script Goddesses (and other, less deified Script Supervisors) are the folks who keep track of who's walking in what direction, how long his cigarette was in Take 3, how full the glass was before the actor threw it at a wall, what lens was up, how many layers of guazy filters were on the lens, (to make the 73 year old actresss believable as a 32 year old character), and on and on and on, ad infinitum. Let's put it this way; while I respect what a Scripty does for a living, I'd rather slam my head in a car door repeatedly, than try doing their job myself. Go over and give her a shout out!

P.S. My O.C.D. Has Come Down With A Nasty Case Of A.D.D.!

Ooooh! Shiny!

For a number of reasons, none of which I care to go into here and now, pretty much every detail of my job today has some unanswered question attached to it...which means that moving forward with any of them feels a lot like spinning my wheels. I'm just flitting from task to task making half-tasked progress. Oops. Can't really finalize this deal...let's move on to something else.


Arghhhhhhhhh! Maybe I should just stop in at Jim's place and call him some more nasty names.

Yeah! That sounds productive.

Annoyed.

Lets start with Residual annoyed.

When I go out on a scout with the big muckey-mucks (Director, producer, D.P., etc.) I have to schedule lunch so nobody gets all crabby. I pay for it out of petty cash, but I still treat it as if it's my money. So, what's with the waitress who serves us really slowly in spite of the call the night before letting the restaurant know that A.) we'll be a group of 8 arriving at 1:00pm, B.) we'll call in our order by Noon, C.), please don't try to serve everything at once, just bring out each bit as it's ready, and D.) our object in life is to get everyone fed as quickly as possible and to get back to work. So, it isn't unusual to get the bill for a group of 8 and see that the restaurant has automatically added a 20% gratuity. I can live with this as long as it's clearly marked. (Note to restaurants: Sometimes I'd tip even better if the service was great, but if you automatically add it on, the server isn't going to see a dime more than what's on the bill...just sayin'.) Anyway, so I get the bill which has a gratuity of $36.87 added on, bringing the bill to $233 and change. I hand over $240.00. Why the fuck do I have to ask for the change. $37.00 isn't enough of a tip?

This morning annoyed:

Two of the streets on my commute that have construction going on were completely closed when I tried to drive to work this morning. I had to go blocks past where I wanted to and then backtrack around the construction. It added minutes to my commute. This annoyed me.

One of my scouts showed up this morning with pictures of a location that were so shitty I had to tell him to re-shoot it, since I had no idea what I was looking at from the photos. Annoyed!

He also has a busted computer in the shop so, instead of adding photo files to my website himself, that I can just look at there, he brings me the photo files on his i-Pod, which I then have to dump to my computer and then upload to the website myself. Uber-Annoyed.

I just went downstairs to have a smoke and I sat down on my customary convenient bit of horizontal building peice. It was wet from last night's rain. Soooo fucking annoyed.

This is all pretty small potatoes. Still...I'm annoyed. Crabby. Unhappy. Pissed off, even.

Somebody please slap the shit out of me and tell me to get over it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Construction

This post is for me. I usually, at least consider whether or not this will be interesting to anyone else, but this morning, I'm writing about construction on my commute. I can't imagine anybody else will give a shit.

Route to work.

1 block on Adelphi
Turn Right.
1 block on Dekalb
Turn Right.
4 blocks on Carlton.
Turn Left.

So far, all pristine, brand new roadways.

First 3 blocks on Flushing are relatively OK
Next 8 blocks have either temporary (bumpy) surface or half the lanes are closed for construction.

Straight up onto the Manhattan Bridge.
Bridge is OK
Straight off the bridge onto Christie.
Three Blocks
Turn left onto Broome St.
Construction on first block.
Go crosstown to 6th Ave.
Turn Right.
Go about 5 blocks.
Turn Left onto Houston.
For two blocks, there's half the lanes under construction.
Turn Right on Hudson.
Two blocks to Leroy Street.

Time to park. (This is another story because half the metered spaces have street cleaning from 8:00am to 8:30am and the other half have it from 8:30am to 9:00am. Since I'm arriving at 7:30am, this doesn't really leave a great spot to park first thing in the morning.)

That's the story of my current commute. I'm totally open to suggestions on what boring-assed subject you'd like me to tackle tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Living In The Van

I started a post this morning about being stuck riding around in a van all day every day to look at locations choices. We pick stuff, but then I don't really get to start making the deals for them because I'm still stuck in a van. I don't really like having those conversations when I'm in a van full of all the top folks on the show.

At any rate, before I could finish writing it, the joint started jumping and I had to put it away. Here it is 8:30 p.m. and I'm just now having a chance to say hi to all of you. Somehow, a post about what I'm going to do today (when the day is pretty much over), doesn't seem appropriate anymore.

Anyway, this'll be a short one. Basically, it was a good day. We chose a street that should serve us well to establish the world of the main character in the movie. It has a bunch of stores on it where we can have her shop and I've gotten a warm reception from every merchant I've talked to so far. Yay!

We also saw a hospital with a closed wing that will give us about 1/2 of our hospital scenes. We're looking at another tomorrow that looks good for the rest of the scenes. Since it's scheduled for 2 days of shooting anyway, this should work out well.

That's all I have time (read: the energy) to tell you about.


How was your day?

P.S. This being away from my desk is seriously cutting into my time reserved for reading all of your blogs. Bastards!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Research? Who Needs Research?

Disclaimer: I just re-read this and want to make sure you all know that I wrote it in a hurry and I actually have a ton of work to do today, so if it doesn't make a lick of sense to you, feel free to ignore the man behind the curtain. Thanks.

Most blogs I read post well researched entries. Blogger-boy has a point he wants to make and he goes out and relentlessly finds documents to back up his point and then provides massive linkage to those documents. Even Jim, "I'm not a fucking journalist" Wright, backs up his opinions while reminding us repeatedly that he's stating opinion and you can disagree, but here's why you're a moron, just look at the link, dammit!

I'm not like that. I've got no time to be researching this. Besides, I want to talk about an impression I've gotten, and I don't need any stinking facts.

While watching the Olympics the last couple of nights, I've come away with an impression. I have absolutely nothing to back this up and I'll even provide some info that contradicts my impression, but I've got it nonetheless, so live with it. (Be forewarned; this isn't exactly earth-shattering stuff I'm about to get into).

Anyway, when you watch the coverage, you'll see a Chinese team that looks distinctly Chinese. The Japanese teams look very Japanese. Same with the Koreans. (I actually learned years ago how to tell them apart because insinuating that someone might be Korean when they're really of Japanese descent is a grave insult. Reconcilliation has still got a long way to go from what I've seen.) When I watched the opening ceremonies, I recall being surprised when I saw a white face among the African teams. To carry this further, the Russians look noticeably Slavic and the French look noticeably snooty. Yeah, you can just tell. The Italians look like they're about to replace their government for the 5000th time since the end of WWII.

What do the Americans look like? Everybody else! If you watched the Men's Gymnastics competition last night, you saw two or three white guys. You saw one Chinese guy. You saw one kid who's father immigrated from Russia. And you saw Raj, the Indian kid. (At one point, NBC had the mics trained on these kids pumping each other up and if you listened, you'd have heard Raj spewing jingoistic twaddle in his best Surfer-dude lingo and not a hint of Apu. Yeah, one generation in and this kid's got it down pat.)

(To contradict everything I'm saying, I'll admit that the Women's Swim Team is about as white and blonde as you can get, and the Men's Swim Team does have one black guy, but I've only seen him once in a relay. I'm sure more variety will show up as the games go on, but stick with me kids...I said this was all about impression.)

So moving on to the impression I got, at one point they were showing some of the medal ceremonies that have happened so far. (Of course, there was an American on the top step for each one, but there were some other nationalities represented.) I was kind of stopped in my tracks when it dawned on me that there wasn't a single face in evidence that I'd find out of place on a Manhattan street any day of the week. I'm know there are parts of the country where some of those faces would, at the very least, be noticed, but not in the America I live in. And I started to just watch faces and try to ignore what color uniform anybody had on.

Their elation at a good performance looks exactly the same. They're high-fiving and chest bumping just like any kid from Kansas. Ignore the uniform and they all look like Americans!

I like that. And just to prove that I'm as much of a Nationalistic ass as the next guy, an utterly contradictory thought occurs to me. Only the American team can say that all the other teams look just like us. How's that for exclusivity in your inclusiveness.

And feel free to tell me I'm completely wrong, but don't try to refute my facts since I haven't provided any. See? There's a method to my madness.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Another UCF T-Shirt Spotted In The Wild!


Since the cat's out of the bag, I can now post a pic of me in the lovely loot Janiece sent to all of us. I deem it excellent. And don't ask WTF that pose is. I have no idea.

BTW, this is my usual work uniform. I may put on something less casual if I have to meet with some big mucky-muck or I'm scouting high-end places, but I've never worn a tie to work a single day in my life! Suck it cubicle monkeys!

More Public Service.

During my second cup of coffee, the news announced that the cheapest gas in the U.S. can be found in Tulsa, OK (where I don't know anybody), and the most expensive is in Anchorage, AK, where, alas, I do, (virtually), know folks.

If it's any consolation, another poll ranked NYC as the most expensive city in America overall.

Since Janiece wants a UCF meet-up at WorldCon next year in Montreal, I suggest everyone start saving their pennies.

That's all I've got right now but, hey, it's early. I've gotta go burn some gas in about 20 minutes.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

New Banner...For The Moment.

It's really imperfect isn't it? There's a mark over the left hand that shouldn't be there. There's a little red dotted line telling us that spellcheck thinks I'm an idiot.

Imperfection is utterly appropriate! For the moment.

Update: Some imperfections have been removed.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Public Service...Sort Of.

Janiece, Jeri, Anne and Tania are all at Denvention. This means they're busy meeting people who I'd like to meet, listening to blathering about stuff I'd like to hear and then retiring to places that serve fruity frozen alcoholic beverages that I'd like to drink. Typing this paragraph almost makes me want to abandon this morning's concept of providing a public service to any of them. Jealousy abounds.

Anyway, back to it.

I know that if Janiece had the time (instead of being up to her neck in stuff I'd like to be doing), she'd have had an excellent snarky post about the Reverend Fred Phelps. Janiece hates Fred with a passion and has talked about him enough to get me to join the club. (I'll admit that I'd never heard of the guy until Janiece started ranting about him, but now that I know about him, I find myself waiting for his next despicable comment with glee. He makes me hope and pray that Hell is a real place because, certainly he's earned it. One can hope.)

What follows, is my own lazy, unresearched version of things. (This means you're going to have to do your own Googling for names and details. I never said I was going to do this as well as Janiece would have if she had the time.)

Well anyway, on August 1st, there was a Greyhound bus travelling across Manitoba. One nutjob changed seats and sat next to some poor unsuspecting sleeping guy. For whatever reason, he then proceeded to A.) stab the sleeping guy repeatedly in the neck, B.) decapitate unsuspecting sleeping guy, C.) parade up and down the aisle of the bus displaying the guy's head, and D.) start to cut off pieces of the guy's body and eat them.

I'm not trying to be flip here and I apoligize for not bothering to find out anybody's names, but my point is that I haven't even told you the horrific part of the story yet. You see, Reverend Fred has decided that his followers should travel to Canada and protest at this poor guy's funeral because God hates Canada! You need to scroll down to the entry dated 8/10/2008, 5:00-6:00pm for the relevant (?) part. I can't even figure out exactly what this lunatic is talking about.

Regardless, the Canadian Governement and/or Provincial authorities are trying to keep his followers out of the country by stopping them at the border. Unfortunately, some of his lemmings seem to have been smart enough to show up at customs and refrain from saying, "Hi, I'm here to torture the family of the guy who was murdered in such a grizzly fashion last week. He's dead because God hates you. Where can I exchange dollars for Loonies?" (Yay Canada for trying. Oh, and any of you who start babbling about First Amendment Rights should remember that the First Amendment is in the American Constitution and doesn't apply, that I'm pretty sure that whatever version of a Free Speech Amendment exists in Canada probably doesn't include anything about letting foreign assholes past the border to torture citizens and lastly, Fuck Off if you think Canada shouldn't do everything in it's power to keep Fred and his followers out of the country.)

I'll repeat that I can't even begin to come up with the invective that would form the basis of this post if Janiece was writing it. I'm sure she'll get around to it. In the meantime, she's busy and I figured you should know about this if you didn't already.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Apologies to Janiece if I didn't do this justice (which I'm sure I did not).