Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Suburban Angst
So there's a new Green Day record out. People and critics love it. I heard things like, "they've re-invented themselves!". So for nostalgia, I listened to some songs. They're definitely.... longer. And.... have more parts. But I guess you have credit any major label act that's willing to try something new. Or at least, write long songs when their trademark is short songs. Anyway, I'm sure 14 year-old kids don't care. They've yet to build overly critical rock chips on their shoulders.

When I listened I thought mostly of how much I LOVED Green Day back in high school. Back when I LOVED punk rock (hardcores would scoff, but they were punk to me 'cause I was 14 and had a short attention span and vaguely hated authority and liked fast music and girls but never had the balls to ask one out).

And then I remembered this song. A song from this "punk" "'band'" I was in. "Civil Rights" -- one of our most socially critical numbers. The chorus went something like

'Cause they're takin' my civil rights from me
Don't wanna be a minority
Pushed and shoved to the ground
Our government won't keep me down!

Mind you, we were all white. Living in Rancho Penasquitos, California. And none of us had ever been pushed or shoved any where. I think we knew there was a government, but we weren't really sure what that meant. But damn we were pissed about it!

And it felt good. So viva la Green Day. Why the hell not?

Friday, October 22, 2004

Dear World,
Why do you torment my friend, Leigh, so? Someone breaks into her car and steals her wallet in the rain, yet you hesitate. When she dropped her cell phone in the sewer and was forced to climb in and get it, you chuckled quietly from afar (and well, it was pretty funny). And clearly you kept quiet while she brought home an undeserved and ill-mannered guest from South America.

People are acting all kinds of crazy these days. I understand you need some quiet time. But did you have to lounge by the pool while someone stole her car with all her laundry and CDs?

So what gives? Sure, she once wore tapered white jeans and a Warrant shirt. For that, she gets what's comin'. But it's not like she beats up little kids or eats old people. Throw her a bone, eh? At least, stop shitting on her. That's all I'm sayin'.

Your homie,

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

When we landed in New York Thursday morning, it was already raining, and I was kinda bummed. Southern California is the DARE program for the weather, promising a life of disaster and self-destruction to all who indulge the rain. I've lived here for sixteen years, so not even channel 7's Jonny Mountain and the powers of the Doppler 2000 radar could've prepared me.

But then I had to walk around in it, and it actually felt good. Plus, Marah made fun of me, so I had to stop being a pus. When we explained our appreciation of the rain and need for Fall in general to the box office guy at the Lyceum Theatre, he replied, "Yeah, it must be hard in California with that beautiful weather all year round". Ah, New Yorkers.

By the way, I am my Own Wife? Really good. I'm not gonna lie. I had reservations about a one-man show centered on a German transvestite who took in outcasts (which, you know, was just about everybody) in his/her antique shop during WWII. But, unlike most solo performance shows, the character(s) were the split effort of an actor, writer, and director, which saved it from over-indulgence.

So it rained. And we walked. A lot. Walked to the coffee shops, bars, and restaurants of Williamsburg, where we stayed. Walked from Times Square to the Guggenheim. Walked and shopped up and down Broadway. Walked through Central Park and its neighborhoods. Walked around the East Village where our host, Matt, brought us to Coyote Ugly, which consisted mostly of lonely, middle-aged men (who knew?). We all agreed there were fewer exposed ta-tas than expected. Well, most of us agreed. Marah smiled and nodded a lot. She was more emphatically on board than anyone when CU was suggested, but something tells me her enthusiasm had more to do with good sportsmanship.... or she just digs on drunk chicks who flash their boobs. Either way, she gets props. As does Matt, for putting us up in his no-bedroom loft.

What I liked most about Williamsburg is the mix of old neighborhood staples with new developments. It's the Silverlake of Brooklyn, which means there are a lot of painfully cool retail shops, bars, etc. But most of the hipsters flock to one strip, so once you get away from that, Normals abound. Well, mostly Normals. The strangest moment of the trip happened while the three of us were walking near the East River. In an empty parking lot, we ran into three Civil War Re-Enactors getting into costume.

Matt: You guys win?
CWR 1: Oh, we didn't battle today.
CWR 2: (self-conscious, turning on CWR 1) He meant historically, dufus!

However, this might've been one-upped later on the subway, when a fat dude asked Matt to pay him to do twenty sit ups. He struggled through three, and then used his hands to support him for the next seventeen.

Then I got home Sunday and it was raining here, too. Nice. Bring on the sweaters and pumpkin pie, I say.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Coinstar, My Savior
Yesterday, while eating Indian food and lamenting our perpetual state of brokeness (well mostly it was just me 'cause I can't shut up about it), Lisa and I decided that Coinstar was the answer to all our problems. If you're not familiar with Coinstar, it's a heavenly green machine (usually found in grocery stores) that graciously rewards you with cash for all the spare change you dump in it. So last night I hauled my loot over to Ralph's. For fifteen minutes, I emptied a large ziplock bag into the slot. And when that was done I moved onto to a jelly bean jar.

I walked away with $164.04.

Like any deity, though, it taxed me for my beliefs, to the tune of 9%.

But now I have spending money for NYC. So many coke and hooker binges, so little time.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Bags Are Packed
We're not leaving for New York until Wednesday but I'm already checked out. I've upshifted to Vacation Mode. Work, ignored. Annoying co-workers, tolerated. In-flight reading materials, chosen. Even Starbucks tastes a little less burnt and seems a little less evil.

I've never been to NYC in Fall. Woody Allen movies tell me it's the best season. Froze my ass off during Winter, despite the layering of sweat pants under my jeans. Don't know why I didn't have long underwear. Probably too broke. Or too lazy. Or too pissed off over The Great Pancake Swindal that befell Sugary and I.

A few years ago it was the hottest summer they'd had in ten years. Stayed in an apartment in Brooklyn with nothing but a tiny fan to cool a room with four people. When I finally could fall asleep, I dreamt about sweating. There was no escape.

(Of course, this is to say nothing of all the fun I've had there. Which is why I'm going back, in case that wasn't clear).

In Spring, I walked around un-harrassed by the elements. So that's what I'm counting on this week. Plus scenery.

Also finished my draft, which is still a work-in-progress, but a big step in the right direction all the same.

Anyone have the newest Rilo Kiley album? Me likey the song they play on "Morning Becomes Eclectic".

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Doctor's Note
Apologies. You may've noticed my absence from this thing. Trying to finish a script I've been working on for ten thousand years. About half polishing, half cutting/writing new scenes. A whole lotta work and time. It's been requested by someone with money through a friend of a friend. This is how these things work when you're nobody struggling to be somebody.

Most days over the past week, I've gone to bed with the script on my mind and woke up the same way. Which is good. Keeps me hooked. Occasionally, though, this takes it toll, and makes me forget to do everyday things like brush my teeth. To compensate, I swished with Listerine this morning. Now I've got a burnt mouth and smell like a dentist's office. The price you pay for creativity, I guess. Oh, the humanity.

Oh, also I've realized that I'm totally inept at recognizing celebrities (an ability that's only discovered when you live in LA, I think). The other night while waiting in the Arclight lobby for I Heart Huckabees, Jeff Goldblum walked by right smack in front of me, only to be pointed out by Marah. This happened last week, too, when we stumbled upon Brad Pitt at the top of Runyon Canyon sitting on a bench, gazing pensively at the LA skyline (perhaps considering his plans to fuck/own it?). And then there was some guy the other night she recognized named Rider Strong, I think. But I didn't feel ignorant about that one. Mostly, I just wanted to punch him for being named Rider Strong. (If it's his real name, I'll punch his parents).

Back to work!

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