Friday, April 30, 2004

Two Days in the Valley
According to the intersecting Coachella set lists, there ain't gonna be a whole lot of idle time. But standing around is inevitable, whether it's waiting for food or a nice, sweaty outhouse. And people watching will be friggin' hilarious, I'm sure. So a la the old Disneyland game where you count the number of mullets you see, I'm planning a trucker hat tally. The results are sure to astound and amuse.

Just noticed that Beck's been added. So much rock, so little time. Ow!

I had another zombie dream. This one's murkier, but I do remember that the zombies were people I knew, though who exactly is unclear (like if you see someone you know is famous but can't place them). I speared them with metal beams. Right through the chest and face. It didn't phase me. Just felt like survival. Ripped from Lord of the Flies, I suppose. Well, you know, except for the zombie part. It's weird how certain stories just stick in your mind, no matter how vague the details (my memories of reading that book are more about bullshitting my way through Mr. Currie's quizzes than anything else). If I was in college taking one of my more interesting English classes, I might use this to write a paper about how the mythological roots of modern stories reside in our subconscious. But I'm not in college. I'm in a law firm, faxing stuff. Which brings me to this point:

I think I'm getting dumber.

Anyway, I'm taking this dream as a sign of maturity. Got to survive and let stuff go and get on in the world. 'Cause when I woke up, I didn't feel panicked. Kinda grossed out, but not scared. Airy, actually. A lightness of mind. For the first time in a long time. Not bad, huh? It only took 26 years and a dream about brain-eating creatures.

Being ridiculously in love helps, too.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Orgie or Gang Bang?
For the next month, I'll be workshopping plays with a few other writers for this one-act festival I may be in. I'm excited 'cause workshops provide deadlines, and for someone with masterfully subtle procrastination skills, deadlines are amazing.

However, there's the issue of feedback. When good, feedback is tremendously helpful. When bad, it makes me want to stick a fork in my face. My favorite/worst memory of the MFA program at 'SC was when Jewish Lesbian tried to fit her Jewish Lesbian agenda into not one, but three of my plays. I've written nary a scrap of dialogue about Jews or lesbians. But there ya go. And when there wasn't much Jewish, she overcompensated with the Lesbian. (After a while, it got so out of control that she became Token Jewish Lesbian).

Fortunately, the writers I'm working with now are better than that. Unfortunately, some of them strangle minute details until the blood's drained from the corpse, which makes feedback only painful. But I have faith, goddammit. The ol' blog may suffer a little over the next few weeks, so consult your palm pilots accordingly.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

How To Use Mob Mentality To Get What You Want
...will be the title of my next self-help book. I thought of it after seeing a sheepish woman clutching a copy of Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office 101, while standing in line during lunch.

This week is Employee Appreciation Week, and yesterday the higher-ups celebrated us by buying lunch. Don't get me wrong, Cha Cha Cha's some tasty shit, but I think most of them saw it as a way to rub elbows while patting themselves on the back for being superior. A chunk of attorneys here love totem polls and thrive on hierarchies. Of course, when you're popping 'roids, which I'm quite sure is the case for Super Lawyer: Friend of Lou Ferrigno, how can you not?? (Season 2 of The Office just came out on DVD, by the by).

Anyway, few people in our office have true friendships. For better or worse, they're the relationships formed by proximity. So whenever everyone comes together in a social setting, like our wild Christmas parties or uncontainable company picnics, nobody has much to say. It's pretty awkward. Yesterday, though, everyone got loud and ganged up on this one guy who made the gargantuan mistake of actually sharing something personal. Well, really he was talking to me, but someone overheard and chimed in, and the next thing I know the room's silence snowballed into full-on verbal assault. (In the mob's defense, he said he used a white board to clarify a point in an argument with his girlfriend).

It's really funny to me that people are that scared of not speaking. But it's probably also that some people just like to sound off about any given topic at any given time, if given the chance. At any rate, it ended up being the most talkative gathering we've had that didn't involve alcohol. We navigated through all kinds of waters -- marriage, basketball, LA restaurants, movies. And it culminated with me clearing out the room on a rant about how Dr. Phil is a self-aggrandizing jackass. (Apparently, Dr. Phil fans are the passive-aggressive type).

So the lesson here is, if put in an awkward situation where no one knows anyone, pick out someone's flaw and make fun of it, preferrably while nudging the person next to you.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Damn You And Your Debilitating Migraines, Tweedy!
I don't know how a desert can sell out, but day 1 of Coachella's all booked up. At first this kinda bummed me out, but then I saw the bright, shiny diamond in the rough. It only enhances the Flask Swigging to Crowd Size ratio.

I'm not patient enough to read the message boards, but I heard rumor of Jimmy Eat World taking Wilco's place. Can anyone confirm/deny this blaspheme?

Friday, April 16, 2004

Mmm, Yeah. I'm Gonna Need Those DPS Reports On My Desk...
You know when you're reading something, and you're like, "God, this print is so annoyingly legible!". Well, the good bosses at April's work figured out a solution to ease your pain.

New 'Oke
I'm fresh out of ideas for songs. I mean, yes. "Danger Zone" is a go-to that will quench anyone's dry karaoke thirst. But like the song says, you gotta take some risks to fly as high as you can go or something. Anybody got any suggestions? Nothin's off limits.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

It's Raining Ben... Hallelujah?
In case you missed the announcements, Ben's sketch show goes up this weekend and runs for the next few weekends. If the stellar Destroy Robot World was any indication, this show's going to be very funny. So that should be reason enough. If it's not, you should know that he really, REALLY, REALLY wants you to see it. And as long as you're not family, he might reserve you a seat. Consult anyone's blog for more details that were written by him.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Even Celebrity Zombies Deserve Death
Someone remade Ghostbusters as an avant garde short film. Fatso, Jerk Store, and I went to see it at The Vista. Bill Murray was in it, but that was the only original cast member. There were a lot of wink-wink hipster nods within the story. At least, that's what I interpreted from the character of Elliot Smith. He wasn't some ghoulish Slimer-esque spectre, but that would've been really funny/tragic. Just a guy who knew Peter Vakeman. No ghosts got busted in the film's twenty minutes.

After the movie, I walked into a two story suburban home entirely made from IKEA. "Whatever you do, don't touch them", this guy with a baseball bat warned me. Zombies were invading. I grabbed a bat too and started swinging. The guy covered the downstairs, I secured the second floor. They went down surprisingly easy. "Pussies", I thought. They foamed green and I didn't feel guilty about destroying them... until Zombie Christina Ricci attacked. It wasn't like I felt bad 'cause we were buds. I just sympathized for the obvious end of her career.

I tried just pushing her around with the bat, hoping that'd deter her. It didn't. So finally I clubbed her in the face and that was that. Except. In the pushing I touched her curdled skin. Warmth and dizziness came over me. I looked in the mirror and saw my zombie-turning mug and awoke.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

You Got Whaaa???
A few weeks ago, Marah picked up a sweet bootleg of You Got Served while downtown (through a shaky hand-held no resolution lens is really the perfect way to watch it). It's not a hard movie to understand. There are competing dance crews. The main guy falls in love with his best friend's sister who doesn't love him but then does. Best friend gets shot, so the crew has to challenge another crew in a big Karate Kid-esque dance competition (but make no mistake, this movie is no KK, Nick Cannon is no Daniel Larusso, and the rival white crew should absolutely under no circumstances be compared to Cobra Kai).

Now contrary to popular opinion, I ain't black. So maybe that explains it. But the movie felt like the vision of a white studio executive who knows that black people like to dance, that gangs are a thing, and that sometimes love is hard. And I still don't know what it means to get served. Nevertheless, here are some off the top of my head theories:

You got...
-danced better than
-a work out
-cast in a awtrocious movie

That's all I got. If anyone knows, please inform me. And then tell the screenwriter. He's confused.

Monday, April 12, 2004

Sharks Be Damned!
Usually I don't tell people good news -- or for that matter, post announcements on the web about it -- before it's 100% confirmed. I've always had this weird paranoia about putting information out in the open, because then it's suceptible to expectations! All I can think of to explain it is the beginning of Jaws when the drunk chick goes skinny dipping in the ocean only to be attacked by a starving shark in a manner that'd make most dinosaurs blush. Or like in Pirahna when the dude goes for a friendly dip in the reservoir and gets devoured by thousands of razor-toothed fish. Or how in Jaws 3-D when Iron Eagle 4's Lou Gossett Jr. closes Sea World and the shark goes buck wild on the tourists. You get the idea. Or not.

Anyhoot, this time I'm saying f. that, and am here to tell you that two plays of mine are tentatively scheduled for production by the end of the year. One will be up for a few weekends in September. It's a one-act that's part of a series of short plays. Sort of in the vein of Chewy Nougat Center, the sketch/play thing I did a couple years ago. I mean, I think. It's not exactly written yet. The other is an older play. Some of you may remember it as the big downer you saw at USC. I'm revising it so it's funnier, not quite as bleak. But mostly, I'm making it better. So there ya go. Break out the cake and zany cone hats.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Too Broke To Shrink
I dreamt that the girl at work -- who I bitched about in an earlier post for her endless stream of blahbity, blah, blabitying -- quit and sued the firm. She cited "office mockery" as her reason, specifically my telling her to shut it. I caught disapproving looks, furrowed brows, and "shame on you"s from the partners, especially because of the two other real lawsuits pending against us. But then, after the Office Manager dropped the news and left the room, I made fun of her again and everyone laughed.

So guilty people -- and I know there's some of you out there -- what say you? Guilt complex or no?

Monday, April 05, 2004

Spanish, Schmanish
The day Kurt Cobain died I found out I wasn't, in fact, failing Spanish (the class; the language was a different story). I had really, really slacked off on irregular preterite verbs, so my C elation, plus the scurrying to make my lacrosse game (that's right, lacrosse), didn't give the news time to settle. Then, about the middle of second quarter, bored because we were customarily down by a zillion, it hit me that there'd be no more Nirvana records. Ever. It hit me hard.

When I got home, I lied on the couch and watched the loop of MTV coverage until I went to bed. After an hour, my mom asked me if What's His Name dying made me sad. I placated her with a "no", like I always did then whenever she'd (unintentionally) fumble at communicating. She went back to making dinner, and I went back to soaking up the interviews, concert footage, and Kurt Loder. I realized just how huge a tragedy it was. The music, sure. But the baffled family and friends were what broke my heart most (except for Courtney -- she's always seemed 12 kinds of Self-Obsessed Crazy to me).

I never bought into the Kurt-as-spokesman-of-a-generation shit, but Nirvana was almost entirely responsible for my discovery of alternative, punk, and indie rock. I didn't have some kind of profound epiphany that day. I just felt really lame for caring so much about my stupid Spanish grade. More than anything, though, I remember feeling very... adult. Having lived a sheltered, relatively stress-free suburban life, I think his death marked the first time I understood loss.

I can't believe it's been ten years. Anyway, really the point of all this is to show how much I love that band and how great and relevant the music still is. That's all.

Friday, April 02, 2004

Unlikely Pairs
Yesterday, stopped at a light on the corner of La Cienega and 3rd, a couple crossed the street in front of me. The girl was this really attractive blonde, no more than 22. The guy, circa 60. And shorter than her. She held his hand with her left and kinda rubbed him with her right, and definitely not in an endearing "I heart gramps" kind of way. I give her props for acting, though. She looked like she really cared about him and his all Ralph Lauren outfit, as they walked into the Beverly Center. I don't know why there isn't a sitcom about this kind yet. Perfect Strangers: Millenium? I'm just throwin' stuff out there, is all.

Now, if they were truly in love, more power to 'em. 'Cause I've always been fascinated by the unlikely pair. The couple that's ridiculously in love, despite big differences. Usually superficial ones, but noticeable and highly amusing. Some of my favorites include:

-Short, Skinny Man + Tall, Fat Woman
-Burly, Authoritative Man + Short, Timid (sometimes Asian) Woman
-Silent Man + Overly Chatty Woman

Did I miss anything good?

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