Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Holy poker! You son of a double-eyed whore from the reeking gutters of Rotterdam!

It finally happened: I went duck hunting and shot a goddamn duck! Yep, things are looking up around these here parts. I shot a Ruddy duck through the neck at about 40 yards and I'm very, very happy about it. Aww, yeah!
I had a good time hanging out with Ghost and taking it all in from the anonymity of me blind. I got a bunch of birds to turn around and a flight of three Gadwalls came in to my 30 yard marker but I somehow missed all three shots. Weird, huh? You miss the easy ones and make the long hail mary. The best part, aside from knocking a duck silly at long range, was that I got birds to turn and check out my dekes. So rewarding. I'm getting better I guess or the ducks today were total idiots.

Well, if anyone is actually reading this, Happy Fucking New Year!

Peace out, bitches!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

We find if we gift them with a past...

So Christmas has come and gone and I can't be happier. It is always a season of weirdness for me and it now has the added bonus of being tinged with bittersweet memories of my failed marriage. Ah yes, it would be all too easy to spend the Christmas bit of the year holed up at Tortuga, nursing one gin and tonic after another while pretending to peruse the LA Times. Nope, not this year. This year I cooked and was social and it wasn't bad. I did ruin the oyster stuffing but hey, shit happens. The duck came out great and the wild rice was good and who doesn't like green beans?

Since then I've been up to Kern National Wildlife Refuge and gotten skunked on ducks. Melah and I didn't even get called in the sweat line until almost 10am. We walked a mile and found the crappiest blind I've ever seen. It looked like Ghost made it. As a joke. We posted up and called and called but to no avail. I got one high crossing shot on a Shoveler but the blind was so small and piss poorly made that maneuvering for a shot was well nigh impossible. A couple of canvassbacks came through but hey, you still can't kill 'em! All in all, interesting and I'll head up there again in the hope of getting a good spot.

What else? Saw Slumdog Millionaire and loved it even though it's got problems. I'm heading out to San Jacinto tomorrow morning to try and shoot a duck before the year ends. We'll see, we'll see. 

Peace out, bitches!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Energy, energy? Energy is, is, it's nothing more than a lot of new age hokum masquerading as spirituality.

The following is a true account of my 26 hour day. Well, it's about as true as I can make it in its retelling as the details are getting a little hazy, even at only a few hours removed from the experience. It's so odd how memory turns to mercury as soon as it's made and events that seemed certain to be seared into the old cerebral cortex begin to run away and blend and separate. I suppose countering that process is the point of a journal or a blog or any art form although I think, in the end, it's pointless. You'll never really catch the mercury, it'll just go wherever it wants to go and probably end up poisoning you if you mess with it too much. Ah, the tenuous structure of this particular metaphor has snapped! On with the telling of the tale.

12am- wake up after a fitful night of sleep and dreams of drowning in waders.
12:30am- almost open up Melah's present from me- an electric water heater for tea. Why? Because at 12:30am making tea in a sauce pan is annoying.
1am- Out the door!
1:15am- Out of gas! Limp into the Chevron and buy a homeless guy a Whopper and myself ten chicken nuggets and wonder if this is going to affect my shooting ability. (Spoiler: it didn't. I ruined my shooting ability the first time I picked up a gun.)
2:35am- Made it to San Jacinto Wildlife Area in record time! Speed metal and mate are a brutally affective combination when one needs to drive a long way in the wee hours of the night/morning.
2:45am- Tenth guy through the gate. Behind me are approximately one hundred crazed duck hunters. How big is this place anyway?
3am- Let the chaos begin! Reserved spots first. Did all fifty show up? Hope not as there are a ton of us in the "sweat line" anxiously praying that no one on the res list showed up.
4am- Res list done! Thirty-two spots are open! Hazzah! Oh wait, there are seriously two hundred guys in Realtree Duckblind Camo behind me. This could get ugly.
4:15am- Seventh guy called out of the sweat line! Score! I am going to blast some damn ducks today! Well, eventually. You can't actually start shooting until 6:15am. What time is it?
4:17am- I. Have. No. Cash. Crushing blow. Wait! There's an ATM at the gas station down the road! 
4:25am- It's amazing how fast you drive down a pitch black dirt "road" in an Element when you're properly motivated. No one can believe I'm back so fast. They all begin looking at me a little differently.
4:28am- "Ohhhh, Walker 8. Yeah, good luck. That's a tough pit blind. I'm sure you'll be fine." I hear someone behind me chuckle.
5am- On the road, looking for my blind. It's dark and there are three foot deep potholes and mud baths for the car. Cuidado, piso mojado.
5:15am- Park. Scout. Half mile to the pit. Water everywhere and no light. Good times. I slip into the waders, put on all the clothes I have and still shiver. Hoist the decoys onto my back, pick up the Stoeger and the blind bag and away we go. 
5:17am- Where are the keys? Good thing I have a dork light on my head. Keys are underneath the car somehow but all is well.
5:45am- Did I really just spend half an hour humping all of this crap out to a little dark island only to find my pit blind is half full of what is probably rancid, bug infested water? Yes. Yes I did. God help me, I'm having fun.
6am- Decoys set up in a very convincing crescent with the open end facing... oops, facing me not the wind.
6:15am- After the mad dash to reconfigure the decoy spread I fall flat on my face trying to run through shin deep mud while wearing waders. Momentarily consider that I've crushed my iPhone but am roused to get into my pit as every gun around me simultaneously opens up at precisely 6:15am. It almost sounds rehearsed. 
6:20am- Fired two shots at ghost like images screeching past me and was blinded by my own muzzle flash. It occurs to me that I can't really see so I probably should stop shooting and enjoy the sounds of the guns of Navarone around me. Are these guys using night vision goggles?
7am- Almost lulled to sleep by the incessant sound of Black Cloud rounds going off. The sun is coming up and I can now see that I'm surrounded. There are shooting positions at a safe distance from me but I am surrounded. No wonder you don't get too many shots from this damn blind! Fuck! Oh well, I'm here so I might as well get comfortable and see what happens. While adjusting my face mask I realize it doesn't work with glasses- they fog up instantly. I pull the mask off and promptly drop my duck calls into the pit blind "soup." They are done for the day.
7:12am- What am I doing here again? No calls, no shots, no where dry to sit. I think I've gone mad as I'm still enjoying myself. Sip some mate, watch birds get knocked down all around me and wonder what it's like to be a duck hunter.
7:30am- Mate makes me pee. A lot. I don't know how I forgot that but now I find myself in desperate need of a urinal. Ah, I'm standing in one! Perfect.
7:47am- Finally out of the waders, camo jacket, sweater, long sleeve shirt, Under Armor, and everything else in the way. Sweet relief. Good thing I didn't try to use my calls as I'm positive I'm not the first one to pee in the pit blind of shame.
8:30am- Two beautiful birds pull up right in the middle of the spread! So gorgeous! I can't possibly be allowed to shoot these things, right?! Camo helps in opening blind bag and getting the Field Guide to North American Ducks that I just bought. It's laminated so it can go where the ducks go! By the time I realize I'm looking at an easy double on a pair of Greenwing Teal they've both didi'd. They went from an easy 15 yard double to an impossible 60 yard dream deferred. Wonder again what it's like to be a duck hunter.
8:45am- Ducks on the wire at 40 yards and more. No hope in hell but rounds are fired anyway just to show the other guys that the idiot in Walker 8 is serious. Serious but not good.
9:30am- Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's a flight of endangered Canvassbacks headed straight for my head! If I hadn't waved them off they would have landed right on me. Too bad you can't shoot them.
9:45am- Crazed looking duck plops into spread. Again, can't decide what to do and must consult Guide. In the meantime the Northern Shoveler that I should have popped has bailed out for greener and safer pastures. Fuck!
10am- Begin thinking about bailing but don't as everyone else is leaving. This might work to my advantage.
11am- It didn't.
11:30am- Decoys in bag, gun and gear on back. Faceplant on the way off the island. Wonder if iPhone is now crushed and wet. Also, what is it really like to be a duck hunter?
12pm- In my car. iPhone is dry and intact. Gun is stowed away. Gear is stowed away. Ego has been kept firmly in check.
1pm- Still driving. Will continue until I reach home or pass out from being oddly exhausted for having sat on my ass all morning in a wet pit.
2pm- Home! Sweet baby Jesus, it is good to be home. Except I can't stay as there is a Christmas party/birthday party for Vincent tonight. Damn. Quick tuna fish sandwich and some Peligrino and I'm out.
4pm- Showered finally! Happy and warm at Melah's house. Where's the party? Ah, one block away from my house, where I just was. Traffic is so bad it's kind of funny. Melah is off to her weird friend's house and we'll meet up later. Cool.
5pm- Driving and contemplating never coming back to civilization again. Was actually happier in the pit blind not shooting at ducks.
6pm- At the party! At this point I've been up way too long but oh well, must have a tequila shot with the Frenchman. It is his birthday, after all.
7pm- Stuffed. So stuffed. And getting drunk. Must apply brakes. Melah shows up at the same time I'm getting ready to pass out.
7:30pm- Rally! Hey, it's a party! Someone kill me, I am too tired for this.
9pm- No, seriously, the only thing keeping me on my feet is that I'm in constant motion grabbing beers, playing with the kids, anything to stay awake.
10pm- Oh joy of joys! Vinnie Vodka is in the house and too drunk to carry his invalid mother in law down the stairs so Jeff (hurt ribs) and me (exhausted) are volunteered to help out. In the rain. Good times. We carry her down the stairs, get her into the car, and then follow it to Vincent's house. So glad I have all my hunting gear in the car as I'm now wearing a super fashionable Mossy Oak New Break Up camo rain pullover. Keeps you dry and doesn't spook the game!
11pm- Saying goodbyes to Melah and Little Half-Dead Ani. For some reason I'm staying on for "one more beer." I have missed all of these people.

12am-Done. Off to Melah's and sleep. Oh wait, must pick up dogs at my house. Left them inside while at party so they wouldn't hang out in the rain in Melah's backyard.
12:15am- Dog puke is so cool.
12:45am- Pull up to Popeye's. Why? I don't know. I'm part black?
1:20am- Fast food? Not in the hood. These motherfuckers don't give a fuck. Slowest fast food experience ever and I think, if they could've, they would have thrown the food at all of us as we drove up.
2am- Pass out finally while watching Melah wrap presents. Wonder how long the midget will believe in Santa Claus. Sleep is nice.

Peace out, bitches!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Say, boy - does you do this constantly?

It's 5:30pm and I'm going to sleep in about half an hour. Yep, I'm going to sleep super early because I am getting up super early and going duck hunting. Christmas Eve? Bah humbug! Awaking at midnight and driving through the dark for an hour? Yeah, so what? Freezing cold duck blind in the dark? Hey, I get to watch the sun come up from a muddy marsh! I think it's official: I've gone bonkers. All I think about lately are duck decoys, warm camo jackets, and duck call practice. Well, I also dream about surfing almost every night as it has been raining and/or flat out here in Cali for ages. I've got ducks on the brain and am going to try to hunt as much as possible in the coming weeks. San Jacinto Wildlife Area in Riverside County tomorrow and up to Kern National Wildlife Area for the weekend. Ducks on Saturday and quail on Sunday, sounds good, yeah? I'll even wear some aluminum foil on my head so the CIA can't scan my brain!

Check this out, it's funny and Peace out, bitches!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Well, you can tell Lt. Dickinson from me, he couldn't hit a bull in the butt with a bass fiddle.

Oh rainy Monday morning and two dogs! Not a particularly good way to start a week but so be it, bro. I'm watching Sibel's dog Lady for the week and she and Ghost get on like, well, Ghost and anyone else I guess. It'll be quiet for a little while and then the hounds of hell go all yappy and barky and I start looking for my gun but eventually they quiet down again. No one gets hurt but I have lost several plants and glasses in the past.

I went duck hunting on Sunday. No that's not true. I drove out to a duck hunting spot and found out that you can't shoot waterfowl on Sunday. Nice leisurely drive at 5 in the morning with a knocked out girlfriend in the front seat and we can't shoot? Awesome. I should get my own column in Field & Stream with the amount of silly shit that has happened this season. Head to head with Bill Heavey for who is the worst urban hunter on Earth. He'll beat me but not for lack of trying on my part. Anywhat, we got out there and it was drop dead gorgeous. Sun coming up on the mountain, low lying fog beginning to cook off, ducks everywhere, and you couldn't really tell you were smack dab in the middle of horrible suburban development. We set up decoys and sat in a blind and talked and called ducks and ate salami and Manchego and bread while sipping matte. I totally love Melah. She's the first woman I've ever been with who would ever dream of doing something like that. She even shot photos of me getting stuck in the mud and almost falling over. She tried to scare the birds into flying. She looked so cute in her ghilli jacket. She never ceases to amaze me.

I'm going to go out Wednesday morning. I hear it's some sort of holiday so I'm expecting the hunting pressure to be low so maybe this time I'll actually get a duck. Fuck.

Peace out, bitches!

Friday, December 19, 2008

I feel you will have to deal with this matter in the harshest possible way, Mr. Torrance.

What a week! What a fucking week! As of the last entry in this collection of bullshit and mendacity I went to Las Vegas for one night and didn't die, operated on a big budget commercial and didn't get fired, and successfully navigated a slightly drunken conversation with a very drunk agent (who might rep me one day). Be-fucking-zare!

There are no photos from Vegas as no one, myself included, was in any shape or mood to document the depravity that we both instigated and observed. Suffice it to say, booze was boozed and banned substances were consumed and transported across state lines. No firearms, explosives, or hookers were utilized but according to my sources, immediately preceding my arrival several strippers were somewhat amused. Seacrest out.

The first photo is of me reacting to the news that I was going to spend part of my operating day watching paint dry. Damn paint company commercials. The second photo is of me actually watching, and photographing, paint drying. Only in America, my friends! Only in America! The next photo is only amusing to camera assistants. I think. I dunno, it seems universally funny but what the hell do I know. Anyway, we bashed two cameras together and shot a guy talking about the glories of Sherwin Williams paint and had to take various parts of the cameras apart to get them this close. Good times.

The final photo shows me in the Oval Office. What? You thought a Creole wouldn't get there first?

Peace out, bitches!

Friday, December 12, 2008

NIce moves, Rosewood. You're some kind of cop!

Surfed all morning and loved it! Chest high waves and my 9' long board and hardly any one out. So nice, so very nice. And so very remote a memory now that we're stuck here at Panavision after-hours. Yep, camera order was called in late and has been continually changing as we're trying to prep everything. We just added a camera at 6pm because we're total idiots. No, not really, we just follow orders like good little numb-nut mullets. It's a pointless job but someones got to do it. Even Ghost is bored.

Anyway, I spent the last two days operating a camera while being paid as a first AC. Difference in day rate? About $600. A day. Yeah, I'm "production friendly" as they say. I think I'm just a sap with a tool belt and I end up agreeing to shit just so I can get through the job at hand and hopefully get the next job. I had three cameras worth of shit (that's a lot, sort of the ten pounds of shit in a five pound bag type of thing) and two cameras worth of crew. Then I got stuck operating, which is cool and shows that my boss trusts me, but that made us even more shorthanded. We ran around like lunatics and my two seconds lost their goddamn minds and started making really dumb mistakes but we somehow muddled through. I wigged out on day two because we had to loose a first AC and a second because we lost our third camera. We still didn't have enough guys so at lunch I walked into the production office and told them they were in violation of their contract with Local 600 since 1) they had me operating but were paying me as a 1st AC, 2) they had the loader working as a first while being paid as a loader (he is actually a 1st AC but was bored so took the loader job), 3) two cameras means two 1st ACs and we really only had one, and finally 4) we're on a unionized lot (Warner Bros) and would they like me to call the shop steward or would they prefer to bump my loader up to a 1st AC rate and get me a loader? My leverage was that not only would I not report them but I'd forgo my rate hike. I'm a nice boss, huh? No, I'm an idiot but at least I got my guys paid and got the manpower we needed. For my troubles I got sent up into the freezing night sky in a Condor to shoot an overhead shot that took about an hour to set up. I had to hang halfway out of the Condor to operate and then my buddy and I smoked cigarettes and tried not to fall asleep or freeze while they set up the shot. Good times. It's great being a 1st AC and afraid of heights and constantly "volunteered" to go up high. Like I said, it's a pointless job but someones got to do it or else the terrorists will win.

Headed to Vegas in the morning for some fear and loathing with my boy T-Money. He turns 40 and we're all going big and dumb in the desert. I'm bringing a Koran, a Bible, the Torah, some sayings of the Buddha, and all manner of talismans and lucky rabbits feet in an effort to ward off the bad juju I can see on the horizon. Kalima, shakti day!

Peace out, bitches!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Wheat... lots of wheat... fields of wheat... a tremendous amount of wheat...

Six shots were fired, four quail and a cottontail rabbit narrowly escaped death while one quail met his maker. Several miles both horizontal and vertical were traversed and one of the three didn't fire his weapon at all. Not bad for our first time out in several years. In the end everyone, especially the dog, had a good time even though the museum that looked like Jabba's crib was closed. Off to work for the next few days and then a 40th birthday party in Las Vegas with a crew of dangerous pirates and gadflys. No good shall come of this but the photos might be worthwhile.

Peace out, bitches!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What's the use of worrying about your beard when your head's about to be taken?

Too bad this wasn't done right away and then put out everywhere. Why anyone thinks Web delivery is actually effective is beyond me. Anyway, went hunting today and took Ani and it was hilarious. Saw a bunch of birds but it's a little tough to run down hardcore desert birds with a seven year old in tow. I'll be back on Sunday though, with some proper criminals.

Peace out, bitches!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Rrrrrrringspot! One-sa, two-sa, zig-zag-zav, poptie, gimmega, tin-lie, tav, harem, scarem, moychan, tarem, tare, tore...

So the report said it was going to be head high surf and nice conditions. The reality, the real reality of it, was overcast to the point of being nighttime and the waves were about knee high. About. Bitterly disappointed, I walked the dog and tried to decide what to do with my truncated day. The problem was/is/will be that I have a 3am call for a K-Mart commercial tomorrow so not a lot of time in the day as I need to be asleep now (it's 5:30pm). I did come up with a brilliant plan: I drove an hour out of my way to Bass Pro Shop and dicked around for awhile in the hunting department. I talked every one's ears off about duck hunting and came away with this realization: most of what I knew about duck hunting was bullshit. You totally don't need a million decoys, a boat, a dog, bags, game carriers, decoy leads, and all of the other shite I was being hawked at Bass. You really just need some good camo, patience, and a duck call. So I bought a duck call and I can't stop fucking with it. It's so fun! I had no idea that making duck sounds could be so rewarding. Not only is it loud and somewhat obnoxious, but the dog loves it and I look like a lunatic doing it. We went down to the LA River while doing laundry, that's right, Ghost and I do laundry together, and I tried talking to the resident LA dirtbag mallards and they actually responded. I just got this thing! I seriously can't wait to try it out for real on Wednesday. I think I'm going to drive down to San Jacinto and scout the duck ponds and maybe try to call some ducks and figure out if I actually need to invest sixty-some dollars in decoys and their assorted accoutrements. Damn, I ain't shot shit this season but I'm learning a ton and getting more days in the field than I have in the last couple of years. Who says you have to grow up?

Oh yeah, best thing ever: Los Hermanos Abdul-Wahid are going quail hunting this Sunday. Booyah!
Peace out, bitches!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

We live in the trenches out there. We fight. We try not to be killed, but sometimes we are. That's all.

Haven't posted in a week because the little movie that shouldn't came back from the grave, reached out one of its rotten paws, and hooked me for the week. Goddammit, it's the return of Shrink! The DP, a most disloyal and cowardly young fellow, called me up and lied to me about my friend to the effect that I thought he was on the movie reshoots so I got on. Turns out he then called my friend and told him I was on so he should do the movie. Nice. We both laughed when we came to the prep and figured all of this out.

The shoot was just like this summer: unorganized, confused, loud, obnoxious, and underfunded. Awesome. We ran around like imbeciles, pushed things up hills for no other reason than no one had figured out that the gear might need to be driven somewhere so maybe we should have gotten gators or something. Just amateur hour all week. At least my guys were funny and in high spirits the whole time.

I'm taking today to watch football and cut my dog's hair.

Peace out, bitches!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

For what we are about to see next, we must enter quietly into the realm of genius.

Sunday: no hunting, just football and a long walk with Ghost through exciting, rural Mobridge, SD. These are some random photos. The only thing open today are the gas stations and the fast food joints. Good times. At least the Vikings won today although the Jaguars aren't much of a team these days so we'll see about the rest of our schedule. Six and five isn't the end of the world, I guess.

I can't wait to get home and out of this cold, barren wind farm. Supposedly there are some waves coming in when I get home. That'd be nice. I also have some work on tap but the first day is Thanksgiving. C'est la vie. 

Peace out, bitches!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

You wanna play games? All right, I'll play your fucking games.

So here we are on Saturday and I have successfully killed a pheasant. He and his compadres were trying to sneak back into a draw where we had scarred up a ton of birds earlier. We had come back a few hours later to see if the birds were back in the draw. My plan was to hike about two miles outside of the perimeter of the area we had initially seen the mass of pheasant. I hiked. It took awhile as the terrain bordering the Missouri River in this area is a bit rough: hills and valleys and most of it covered in heavy scrub. As I made my way through my giant semi-circle four roosters tried to break away from me on my left. Three popped up first and I dropped the big slow one. The fourth rooster broke farther to my left and I snapped my spine trying to get around and drop him. I failed. The bird I shot had dropped just over the top of a slight hill I had been walking over and as I got up to the top of the hill to grab what I assumed would be a dead pheasant, he tried to run away. He had just enough life in him that he actually got out far enough that I had to shoot him again and that still didn't kill him. No, this hardy South Dakota sonofabitch had the balls to make me have to wring his neck to finally finish him off. I salute that bird, he was bold and tough and wasn't going to make it easy.

After all of that work I still needed to get into position so we could trap the rest of the birds in the draw but no such luck. The birds I had ambushed had been in the process of getting back to their roosting area so by the time Pops and I got into the draw we were too early. A few hens popped out but the roosters, the wary and willy roosters, hadn't gotten back into the spot yet. At this point, I was still in high spirits from having finally dropped one of these big-ass prairie pheasant. My mood was about to head south.

As we were walking back up to the car, me and Ghost and Pop looking all Norman Rockwell-ish, some fat bastard and his ugly wife pulled up and started riding us about hunting "his" land. Turns out that even though the area we were in is marked as public, this cock sucking Midwestern lump of shit and his equally bland pals had built a road and decided to claim the area as theirs. Now I know I'm a man of patience and reason, normally, but this time I'd had enough. Pops talked to him because I was on the verge of murdering these motherfuckers. You know what got me? When Lard Lad had the temerity to tell us "If you want to hike in from ten miles out, I can't stop you." What? What the fuck did you just say, you jumbo sized dildo? I walked away. I walked away with my dog and my very large gun and decided that this was it, this was the moment where I had had enough of all things Midwestern: the crazy/frigid women, the plastic facade of morality, the uptightness, the provincialness of it all. I am done. I am never coming here or anywhere else in the Midwest unless I am paid a princely sum of money and am there for as little amount of time as humanly possible. These people and their bullshit are intolerable. Yeah, sure, there are some cool big cities in the Midwest and I love my Vikings and a few of the people we've met here were OK, but this generalization that the coasts are fucked up and the "real" America is in the heartland is crap. Clear cut fields, fake-ass hunting guides, no access to public land, speed traps, bad food, American cheese, giant pickup trucks, and cattle. I'm done.

Give me the West Coast any day. Surf, mountains, food, wine, art, music, and yes, we have our fair share of bullshit but at least there's no pretense about it. We're cunts and we all know it and if you can't hang then by all means move back to wherever the fuck it is you're from and grill yourself up a Wonderbread and American cheese sandwich and enjoy. 

Peace out, bitches!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Do not concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.

Friday. You ain't got no pheasant, you ain't got shit to do! I'ma get you drunk! I wish Smokey were here, he'd find us some shootable pheasant. Yeah, that's right, I've been reduced to wishing for the salvation of fictional drug-addled drug dealers from the 'hood. Damn.

So here we are, days into it and I've shot nothing. Sure, if I were the kind of guy who shot at hens I'd have limited out ages ago. Rabbits! Don't even talk to me about the fucking rabbits I could have shot! I'm now glad I didn't as Pops shot a cottontail today and it was, wait for it, FULL OF PARASITES! South Dakota fucking sucks dog's balls, and not in a funny Sarah Silverman kind of way. SD actually sucks dog's balls every morning right after it gets out of bed, brushes its teeth, and combs its hair. It walks out the door, whistling some damn prairie song, and gets into its car to go to work and positively reeks of dog's balls. Fuck this place.

In all seriousness, fuck this place. No, I kid, I kid. I'm sure these nice people, who's state bird is the pheasant, have tons of birds when the season opens. The only problem is that once the season starts they polish off the birds and then give them nowhere to live. If, and this is a HUGE "if," I ever come back here it will be at the start of the season and I will bitch slap everyone else around me so I get to my little piece of shootable territory and get my limit. Oh, how I pine for Oregon and the sweet folds of the sleepy little valley of Cow Hollow.

Cow Hollow! The name brings tears of joy and longing to my snowblind eyes. Cow Hollow, within which lies the famous Bambiland (wherein there is a hill upon which I was shot in the chest by an alces alces), and Quail Mountain (never answer your phone in the field MITM!), and Logan's Run. If I ever get out of this foul land I shall return to Cow Hollow penitent and humbled. I shall make a sacrifice in the Field on Fire. I shall dash myself upon the thistles of Quail Mountain and proclaim at the top of my lungs, "Oh pheasant, where art thou?!"

Peace out, bitches!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Well, a gun that's unloaded and cocked ain't good for nothin'.

One shot. One bird. Good on ya, Pops! Ghost and I had absolutely nothing to do with the making of this bird moment but hey, at least Team Hate SD got a bird finally. On the move in the morning to potentially greener pastures up north in Mobridge. At least the new hotel has an indoor pool as opposed to a washer/dryer vibrating against one of our room walls. Go Pierre!

Peace out, bitches!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My friend, you have two ways to leave this establishment; immediately or dead.

Goddammit! Day two and I only got one fucking shot on one of South Dakota's "plentiful" pheasant. The sonofabitch jumped up about five feet off my left and I somehow managed to miss. I blame this on the fact that the only pheasant we've seen have been on the road or two hundred freaking yards out in front of us. Dammit! Dammit all to hell! On a side note, Ghost is trying his hardest but I think I'm going to have to send him to a trainer for a month as the bird I missed was neither noticed or chased by Ghost. He sort of scratched his balls, sat on the ground, and missed the bird noisily breaking cover, getting shot at (three fucking shots from the semi-auto!), and bailing out of range into a stand of corn. Poor dog, totally clueless.

Anywho, I hate South Dakota at this point. Most of the area allotted for free hunting is frighteningly denuded corporate farmland or wind-blasted plains with no cover and maybe, maybe a couple of rabbits. It's awful. There are birds but you need to gather an army to work the few fields with cover or you need to live here and shoot them off your back patio without hitting your neighbor. As an out of town shooter this place really blows chunks. Maybe I'll come back early in the season when the crops are still standing but right now both Pops and I are ready to get super ghetto on this place: drive-bys, shooting on fenced off land, maybe even shooting hens! We're depressed and depraved I tells ya.

Speaking of crops: if I ever get enough dough together to build a house I'm putting in enough space to grow my own crops. When you see horizon to horizon, for 360 degrees denuded and devoted solely to one crop it is a sobering sight. The plains have been completely destroyed, there's almost no habitat left for anything larger than a mouse, and it is depressing. Corporatized and mechanized agriculture is bad for the planet and bad for your health. When you see these vast expanses of land given over to monocultures and you see the abandoned, simple little farm houses that were once owned by the families that used to farm substantially smaller parts of this land it kills part of you. It shouldn't be this way. This is madness and can only end in disaster. If there's ever a drought here this whole fucking place will turn into a desert in a fucking heartbeat. They plow edge to edge, leaving almost no anchor for vegetation that might preserve this landscape in the event of natural disaster. The pheasant, and every other animal around here, are as hardcore as can be. They are putting up with some of the most destructive human behavior imaginable and are still plentiful and healthy. The birds live like no other pheasant I've ever seen: hard, crazy, and in hordes they stick tight to any little strip of cover and bedding they can find. You find them thickest where they can't be hunted as there is no real wild cover left around here. Pick an area along the Missouri where there are a lot of houses and you'll find a lot of pheasant. Smart little bastards, they're kicking our asses and I salute them.

As for my fellow humans out here in SD, let me just say you're only redeemed by the little semi-cool  eatery we found today: La Minestra. I had some nice veal tortellini in a journeyman's marinara with excellent homemade spicy sausages and an appetizer of garlic shrimp. Pops had the owner's special bolognese and we split a perfect bottle of Cakebread Chardonnay. Not bad, not bad at all. Personally, I was in the mood for dessert so I tried the tiramisu. Not bad, not good but the front of the house was very cordial and genuinely happy about having some exotic out of towners. Or at least that's how they acted. The restaurant is probably the most sophisticated place in town and thus the handful of homosexuals and artists and worldly types began to slowly gather as we slowly ate our meal. I love that even in a small town, the edges always manage to find each other and create a space within which to exist. All hail the human spirit.

Peace out, bitches!

Let me sleep.

I can't sleep because the damn dog woke me up an hour ago so he could piss out about fifty gallons of urine from his 8th dimension bladder. How does a dog that small have that much urine inside of him? Anyway, the video made me laugh.

Peace out, bitches!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Forecast is for "bad craziness".

The Downy commercial I did for free is over! I'm not dead! I got to South Dakota in one piece and promptly slept for a full eight hours for the first time in ages. Granted, I didn't do it on purpose, rather my body simply rebelled and I was forced to go along with the unwashed masses (i.e. moi). I must admit, though, that there's something to this whole sleeping thing. I'll try to remind myself to try it out more often.

The hunting has been spectacular. No, I'm kidding, it has been horrible. We've seen a bunch of birds, Ghost chased a rabbit down and then didn't know what to do with him, and I lost a rabbit because I was paying attention to my dog and not where Bugs was headed. D'oh! It is gorgeous out here, in a sort of post-Apocalyptic-no-ones-around sort of way. It's all rolling hills and plains of prairie grass and stark, boring little houses, and giant trucks with fat people in them, and big blue awesome never ending sky. I like it, I really like it. I'd never live here but watching the number and variety of game just cruising all over town and the countryside is breathtaking and has been feeding fantasies of buying property along the mighty Missouri so I'd always have somewhere to hunt and fish. This will probably be one of the last places in America where you can have a good time as a hunter. Cali is going the way of the dodo as the populace dumbs down into thinking that more land for ATVs and motocross is more environmentally sound than preserving the land for hiking and hunting and non-corrosive activities. Oh, the joy of the press of the crowd of idiots as they push their way into the front of the mob to shout, "Hey, I'm stupid but you should listen to me because I'm a swing voter!" Makes you wanna hollah!

For the record, Pierre, SD pronounces it's name "Pier." Fucking dumb-ass rednecks. Besides all of the pheasant and deer and geese and ducks and grouse all over the place there really isn't much to be said for old "Pier" but we did find  a really good Mexican joint to replace our beloved hole in the wall in Oregon. It's called Guadalajara and they have two types of rojo salsa for your chips: the crappy tomato soup they give the white guys and the caliente shit they give the real cowboys and Indians. Ask for it next time you're in Pier. I mean Pierre.

Peace out, bitches!

Friday, November 14, 2008

It's Christmas time, Theo! It's the time of miracles!

I am not dead and I am mightily impressed by this little fact. For the record, drag races are dangerous places to be if you are next to the track. It is toxic and loud and filthy and occasionally the little rockets with wheels and a meat sack ensconced within explode. Ever bathe in jet fuel and rubber and fiberglass? It's great for the skin and the lungs. I am so happy not to be doing this show tomorrow. I will be wrecking what's left of my  body on my own little commercial. No pay but it just might pay dividends in the future. Who knows? Who cares? At least Die Hard is on.

Peace out, bitches!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I'm strange, all right! I'll show you just how strange I am!

Welcome on and all to the wonderful world of "Why the Fuck Are We in Pomona Shooting Drag Racing?" Six in the morning and we're shooting drag racers and going deaf from these ridiculous cars. The tracks are a quarter mile long and these things run on jet fuel or something and the whole pit area around the cars fills with a toxic mixture of who-knows-what that burns the eyes and lungs. I had to bail out several times because I quite literally couldn't breath or see. It was fun operating and the cars do haul some serious ass but after awhile it does get incredibly old. I don't really understand how people get so excited by the whole thing. Honestly, if you're not driving one of these rolling incendiary devices what the hell is the attraction? Nothing against anyone who's into drag racing but I just ain't into the whole thing. Long day, loud noises, and I'm covered in a thin layer of oil and gas and microscopic bits of rubber. Not good, not good.

Peace out, bitches!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Now, don't you worry. The saucers are up there. The graveyard is out there. But I'll be locked up safely in there.

So it's my actual birthday. Big deal. I'm not feeling it this year. I am feeling the swell new pants I bought myself at Volcom. Melah got me a couple of t-shirts. I also picked up two CDs from The International Noise Conspiracy and am listening to them AS I TYPE! Good stuff, I highly recommend them to all of you knuckleheads out there.

Here is the one strange thing about today: I made an impulse buy at Headline Records (last punk rock outpost on Melrose) of a Cramps t-shirt and a Bad Brains t-shirt. Why? I'm an old guy now, why am I buying punk rock t-shirts? Answer: senility is kicking in super early and I'm doomed. Or maybe I'm saved. Saved from the rest of adulthood by mental illness. Sweet.

OK, I need to read about the Crusades and get some sleep so I can go work tomorrow.

Peace out, bitches!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

She wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.

So we put in a full day of hunting and all we have to show for it is two shots on some California Mountain Quail and no birds in the bag. Ghost Face Killer did pretty well all things considered and Melah kicked ass. Good times. It was wonderful walking around in the great outdoors of Central California but I'd be a whole hell of a lot happier if I'd bagged some fucking quail. C'est la vie. Check out these friggin' photos of some friggin' nature ya humps!

Isn't Cali the bomb?

Peace out, bitches!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

No, Mr. Trumbo, the earth belongs to the men who make the law, and the law belongs to the men who can lay it down.

Ok, so the title of this post is from a totally fucked up movie, I admit, but I thought it was sort of funny and weird as I'm in a crappy Days Inn in the Central Valley of California. The girl and I are on a hunting trip and it's going slowly. No birds yet, just a long walk in some gorgeous, unspoiled California foothills. Of course Ghost had to go and get himself covered in briars. Not just briars, but briars coated with some sort of super sticky resin. Good dog. Anyway, here are some photos of odds and ends here in God's country.

OK, maybe an explanation might be in order: the first one is a wonderful panorama of a live fire range in the middle of quail country. The tank is a target. The second photo is of a herd of elk. Yeah, we got elk in Cali, wannafightaboutit? The third is of a free-range van somewhere in the Los Padres wildlife area. You can tell it's asleep because the lights are all off. Shhhh, let sleeping vans lie.

Peace out, bitches!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Cat named Shaft ain't gonna be bad with a stick.

So the first day of the black presidency and what the fuck happens to me? I get up early, cuddle with my lady and walk my dog. Everything is fine at this point. On the way to work I tear up as I listen to a 74 year old woman describe how she can now tell her grandchildren to do better because she has Obama as an example of what black Americans can achieve. I think the stress of last night finally caught up with me but it was also just really amazing. I get to work, happy as hell, wearing a t-shirt with a picture of McCain with the word "Nope" underneath the image. Good times. Everything was going great until I ate my healthy breakfast and three hours later felt like death. Yeah, food poisoning! At work! So fucking great to be at work. So happy that a black man finally became president of this bitch. So unhappy to pissing water all day while trying to work on what should have been a very easy commercial for Crown Royal. Ugh. I finally got my hand on some Immodium AD and began to feel a bit better near the end of the day. I'm going to crash now and hopefully tomorrow will bring some relief. Right now my stomach feels like I've spent the day doing crunches while being kicked in the dick. 

Peace out, bitches!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What did he say? He said the sheriff is near.

The Santa Anas are blowing, the sky is clear, a shooting star crossed a half-moon and a black man is going to be President of these here United States. As John McCain's idiot supporters chant against and boo Obama's name I can't help but feel that quite possibly the reign of the white supremacist is finally drawing to a close. The weight of the evil and venal acts and beliefs of one of the most subsidized and coddle people in all of human history may finally be lifted from the shoulders of what has always been a potentially great country. For the first time in all of my thirty six (soon to be thirty seven) years I feel proud of my country. ¡Si, se puede, pendejos! In the sense that I am actually capable of any real human emotion, I'm very close to crying tears of patriotic joy. Seriously, can everyone just get a fucking day off tomorrow?

As an aside, how the fuck is William Bennett on CNN being asked questions and taken seriously? He's a fucking totem for the cycle of idiocy, hypocrisy, and venality that we just, as a country, voted out of office! I hope the chickens finally have come home to roost and I hope we can all stop listening to, reporting on, or even vaguely entertaining the ideas or opinions of people like Bill O'Reilly or Rush Limbaugh, or Bill "I Loves To Gamble" Bennett.

Peace out, bitches!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ain't so funny meow is it?

Night shoot turned into a half-night shoot and a quick beer at Bar 107. Too bad it was the night before Halloween and all of the desperately cool dip shits from downtown were infesting the joint. I like Bar 107 it's an old bar that had gone to hell for a loooonnng time and a couple of years ago some punkers bought the place and spruced it up. It pretty much looks like it used to but it don't stink so bad anymore. Good times. Anyway, too many tragically cool people always spoil a good time in my opinion: bad manners, pushing and shoving and acting like their soooo cool you couldn't possibly pop 'em in the jaw for breathing too hard on you. There was a minor scuffle as this drunk jackass pushed his way into the crowd at the bar. I got shoved and the douche tried to say something to me so I kinda sort of punched him in the crotch. It was very discreet, and I think people just thought he fell over. He was really, very, stupidly drunk and I was very tired and that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Fuck that guy. My friend and I left shortly after that as we realized that it was getting hard to tell if the patrons were male or female. That's right, Halloween in downtown LA and the trannys are out in force! I love Halloween.

Today was so nice. A little overcast a little chilly and absolutely perfect. Went surfing with Melah, visited with Crille and his wife and kids, ate at Bay City Delis, which is one of the greatest delis on this side of the country. Absolutely brilliant and great prices and we're all stuffed and sort of watching bullshit movies and whatnot. Good times! I surfed like shit but had a good time doing it and Melah always looks so cute when she's Super Surfer Girl. Yeah! My girl surfs!

Tomorrow is football Sunday and I need to get ready for a week of work and then a two day hunting trip. I am going to chill chill chill and I can't wait to do so. Hope everyone else is gearing up for a recuperative Sunday.

Peace out, bitches!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Names is for tombstones, baby! Y'all take this honkey out and WASTE HIM! NOW!

Chocolate News is a must see. David Alan Greer is fucking brilliant and his diatribes about the election is amazing. Check him out every Wednesday night. Right now he's playing a professor trying to de-wigger a 50 year old wigger. Hilarious! This isn't that clip but check this out anyway, it's great:
Anyway, just spent the whole day at Panavision, prepping cameras and dealing with the madness that is anamorphic film making. If you don't know what anamorphic is that's cool, I'm a fucking professional and I'm still not sure what it is. An anamorphic lens is a lens that bends light so that you can shoot really wide panoramas and still fit the image on a regular piece of 35mm film. Think of the beauty of Lawrence of Arabia and the vistas that Freddie Young shot. They look great but they're sort of a bitch to deal with because they're all different sizes, really old, and sort of fucked up. It took forever to get all of the various little bits and pieces that you need to make movies but hey, at least I got paid. We're going to do a night shoot Thursday night into Friday morning and then we come back and finish up all next week. Good times. Oh, funny thing, it's a commercial for Crown Royale. That's right, Crown Royale, the ghetto fabulous drink of champions. I hope it's funny.

Peace out, bitches!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Oh, don't worry about the critics! You got a smash hit! It's in the air, kid! It's in the air! You can't stop anything that's in the air!

Happy days are here again! I voted today, early voting here in the Southland, none of that waiting around shit for us! I might end up in a photo in the Los Angeles Sentinel. They had a very stylish young man out photographing, as far as I could gather, groups of black people voting early. If I make it I'll be in the background, scowling and reading the LA Times front page. I was standing behind a very annoying group of older black men and women, well, three women and one very annoying man. He was some sort of ex-cop or detective who does consulting now and had a very officious tone and a hell of a lot to say about his radness and what young people need to be doing today and blah, blah, blah. The lard-ass behind me was infinitely less annoying although no less vapid as she babbled quite audibly into her earpiece. By the way, if you're really fat don't get the smallest earpiece you can find, it ends up looking like you're trying to talk to the last bit of Oreo stuck to your cheek. Alas, there were no voluble McCain supporters to clown. Everywhere you looked there were people of different ages and ethnicities chatting each other up about how far the country has come and how happy they are that they're alive to witness the first black president of these here United States. I must admit to feeling quite proud myself although the imbecilic skinheads who got caught before they could launch their racial holy war ("rahowa" to the skins apparently) gives one pause. How many more are out there like that? Can we start a lottery system where you can get tags and go out and hunt them down? Will racism finally be considered a traitorous offense, punishable by death? I wonder.

In less exciting but somewhat related news, I went to Bass Pro Shop today and had fun. I'm going hunting up near King City, CA for my birthday in November and I needed some supplies. Goddammit, I love that store even though there are some mounted heads of animals I would never in a million years think of killing. Too bad all hunters aren't as humane and cool as my family and pals. Bakum! Bakum!

Peace out, bitches!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I've seen guns, guns too, they don't mean shit. But that's when you gotta watch yourself.

Random images of an afternoon downtown in Chinatown's arts district. The only one that really needs explaining, I would think, is the photo of the sodas. If you look closely, you'll see that this is a photo of Jones Cola bottles bearing McCain's image. Jones makes really good soda that has a lot less weird shit in it than the big soda companies. It's still not good for you but less so than a Coke. Anyway, they made Obama soda and McCain soda and sold them in mixed four packs. This photo was taken downtown at Pitfire Pizza and the checker told us that when people realized the soda packs were mixed they would walk back in and swap out the McCain bottles. Pitfire now has nothing but McCain bottles and no one, and I do mean no one, is buying them. Ha! It's the same damn soda in both bottles but I guess no one believes in Grampy enough to even buy a bottle of soda with his old mug on the label. I think it's safe to say that the election is fucking over. The phot next to that is of a video installation which showed the Washington monument violating the Pentagon. Odd.

Peace out, bitches!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Gentlemen, please rest your sphincters.

This was brought to my attention by Melah and is the funniest thing I've seen in a while. Eat shit and die, ignorant people! I'm looking at you neo-cons!

In other less funny Arab-guy news, I'm about to begin a very nice long run of work with fun little bits of dicking around interspersed throughout. First up, Axe deodorant has a new hair care product and we're going to advertise it by annoying innocent idiot tourists out by the Santa Monica Pier. Goof balls galore! Wish me luck.

Peace out, bitches!

Monday, October 20, 2008

There's always a way to blow up explosives. The trick is not to be around when they go off.

Today I skated a mini-ramp for the first time in ten years. I completely and utterly sucked ass and I don't care. Full-on old guys session with the owner of the ramp, Panzer, and his buddy Bob. Those guys could actually skate but my ass took forever to get warmed up and rockin'. I got a few basic tricks back but the real point of the whole thing was that I fell a bunch and banged myself up and I loved every moment of the whole deal. I've got my first masonite burn in ten years, my ankles hurt, and I'm exhausted. Sweet. I know I'm an old fart in skateboard terms but I feel like a teenager again after skating. We had the punk rock/hip hop mix roaring, the sun was beating us up, and everyone kept trying to push everyone else to get broke. Good times. If I'm not totally in traction by Sunday I'm going back for more.

Peace out, bitches!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

This sho' enuf a bizarre sight in the middle-a all this shit!

I have a confession- I shot an innocent bird today. He was beautiful, too, orange feathers under his wings, blood red cheeks, and a sleek and stunning look about him. He popped up and looked exactly like a damn alpha male quail out scouting for the rest of the covey. I popped him from about thirty yards out and clearly I should have waited. I felt really bad about shooting him but as Ani said, there's nothing you can do about it now. Poor little guy. Sorry Bird God, I shall make amends some how.

We didn't actually find any quail out in the middle of nowhere but we did see some incredible vistas and I got to watch Ghost completely fail at being a bird dog. Nowhere to go but up from here, I guess. I did bag a huge jackrabbit but upon further examination I found out he was completely and utterly infested with both grubs and ticks. I'm talking gigantic desert ticks, not the little goof balls you see in town. Scared the shit out of me when I picked him up. All in all it was a lovely long walk in the high desert for no good reason. I personally loved being out there under the big blue sky, wandering around and enjoying the air and the land. Sigh. I think the next trip is going to be either down along the Mexican border or possibly up in the Central Valley. Maybe after the Valley I'll head out to Doug's for a little gourmet meal and some coastal living. It could happen.

Hope all is well with whoever might be reading this crap.

Peace out, bitches!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

There's only one proper way for a professional soldier to die: the last bullet of the last battle of the last war.

It is now time for some serious ranting as it is 4am and I'm just getting home from a "freebie." Yep, worked three days in a row for just above minimum wage, as a favor, and got served. Showed up for work, dropped my pants and grabbed my ankles for 2o hours! Why? What the hell is up with these people?

Geek Squad has something to do with Best Buy, the discount electronics mega-corporation, and we had something to do with making a commercial for these smug bastards. For some gawd awful reason Local 600, my union, my labor relations representative, decided it would be OK to drop my rate from $55/hour to $8/hour but still give me my union hours, of which I now have a ton, and hey, why not? I mean, who the fuck wants to get paid their actual rate by a company who is shitting money left and right? I guess Best Buy isn't weathering the financial crisis so well. Boo-hoo, I'd better help them out by dropping my rate? Yeah, I could have said no but the DP and director are great guys and I did just make a crap load of money off of them although I did work for every dollar of said funds. I don't mind doing freebies but I do mind when everyone in charge shows up with no fucking idea of what they want to do. As a testament to the professionalism of LA crews, we worked. We worked very hard for at least 14 hours a fucking day while the creatives (two twenty-somethings with zits and bad haircuts) and the agency (four fat chicks in designer fat chick clothes) all dicked around and kept inventing shots. Good times. I can't wait for the economy to really hit the shitter if only so that people like this get shit canned and swept into the dustbin of the country's memory. "Hey, lookie here, I found a whole dumpster full of ad dicks! Looks like someone threw away a bunch of useless jackasses." 

What really made it painful was that we were doing special effects shots: shoot a tv and then make a scaled up green screen version of the TV out of pipe and what not so you can shoot the actors interacting with the TV. Comp it together later and it should look great if you shoot all of the separate elements correctly. For some reason our thoroughly useless Post Supervisor who, in a curious twist, was old, kept insisting on shooting the plates, or real stuff, first. This led to the rather annoying discovery that we needed to shoot most of our green screen stuff from 150 feet away (I knew right away this would happen but didn't say anything because I'm a jerk). Good thing the stage had other sets built on it. To get the proper distance away took some serious fucking rigging and maneuvering and basically added a ton of time on to our day. In addition, I had to keep rigging the camera into a scissor lift and then back to dolly over and over again because no one could figure any of our shots out ahead of time. The DP and I started loosing it and eventually began pelting everyone we could with racist slurs and jellybeans. Who says educated people can't have fun?

I am so very tired of this kind of dumb-ass, amateur hour shit. I'm also just really tired. Ghost is asleep and brushed out and happy. I'm going to pass out now and in the morning we're going quail hunting. I don't even care if I even see a quail or a rabbit, I just don't want to be anywhere near Hollywood for a little while. I want to walk around in the high desert and enjoy the air and the smells and the big blue sky and my dog's company. If we're lucky I'll murder a few critters and Ghost will retrieve them and we both will feel very happy and at one with the world. Hallelujah.

Peace out, bitches!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

If he'd just pay me what he's spending to make me stop robbing him, I'd stop robbing him.

It is Tuesday night, around 11pm and I need to get up early and go to work on a Geek Squad commercial for significantly less than my normal rate. Shades of Stockholm, I can't sleep and have been perusing the Intrawebs for the curious, the stupid, the redundant, and the non-porn. I am once again reminded of both the ridiculous nature of commercial making and the sublime joy to be found in said film making.

For what I hope are clearly obvious reasons, making commercials should be considered one of the biggest wastes of time that humanity has ever devised. Yes, I make the bulk of my "fortune" by working on these 60 and 30 second gems of American consumer culture but that doesn't mean I think they are anything other than  what they are: emotionally disruptive and manipulative bits of throwaway pop culture. It doesn't help that I work on them here, in LA, the center of it all. "It all"? What the fuck do people mean when they say that? If LA's commercial output is any indicator then LA is the home to some of the most uncreative minds ever to slouch over a laptop at Starbucks. Sure, many of the spots we end up shooting were the "brainchild" of some dickless  wonder at an ad agency on the East Coast or in the Midwest but they still get put together here and a lot of homegrown crackpots end up writing this drivel as well. I know I complain all the time but a simple search of the Internets will quickly establish that I write the truth: Americans like boring commercials. Ever see a European car commercial? You don't even see the car usually. The VW spots we did awhile back were great: a fucking trebuchet!
There are a lot of fun things about making commercials. Namely, the schedules are usually nice and relaxed and doable. None of that music video shit where we try to shoot a feature in two days. The pay is usually better, too. And the food. But all of this has nothing to do with the actual commercial, ya know. The finished bit of work will still suck, like the KMart spots we just did. Dull. By dullards. Who obsessed over the color of the rug three hours after we had already started shooting. Ah, it's a good thing I'm not drinking this month or I'd be in a lot of trouble by now. Whatever.

Off to sleep. Must be relaxed and ready for a day of green screen special effects shots on the Geek Squad commercial. For $8 an hour. My day rate is $55 an hour. Why do I feel like a crane is going to drop on me again?

Peace out, bitches!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Did you know if you mixed equal parts of gasoline and frozen orange juice concentrate you can make napalm?

Ah Sunday. Football. Looking up BLM maps for next weeks opening of quail season. Purposely ignoring the news and the disaster looming on the horizon like an avalanche of shit. I just paid my bills and have some spare change left over, worthless really but it makes me happy. I worked my ass off for a week and a half and now I am going to sit on my ass some more and watch football. Yeah, I'm going to take my first day off and watch millionaires beat the shit out of each other while wearing tights and really ugly jerseys. Ha! Football is so damn gay and it doesn't even know it!

I finished two books and read three magazines while working on the KMart job. Good lord, those people are dumber than a bag of rocks and because of that we wasted so much damn time that I had plenty of time to sit and read. It's funny, pull out a book and people think you're some sort of fucking genius. One of the PAs took a photo of the camera crews while we were waiting for the client types to find their asses with both hands. In the photo everyone except me is dicking around with their iPhone. I'm sitting off to the side reading the museum book I mentioned a couple of posts back. The PA found this very profound. Funny, books used to be fairly common place but I guess smart and educated is now gay in the Bush-era. I hope that changes when Obama wins. I hope that as a country we return to investing in education and looking to educated people for ideas and leadership as opposed to going with whatever the superstitious believe or going with the guy you'd like to have a beer with. Hope. I hope it will be better after it is worse.

Peace out, bitches!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Alas, poor country, almost afraid to know itself. It cannot be called our mother, but our grave...

And so it starts, the blame begins to shift from the majority white perpetrators to the minorities who are the victims of the whole thing. Nice. What is it about white people that they feel a need, almost a genetic imperative, to shift the blame to minorities? Apparently, the economic problems we are all facing as a country are the fault of blacks and Latinos who were given loans that they shouldn't have been given. They got the loans, the argument goes, because of a THIRTY year old law that was created to abolish racist lending practices. Oh, the only banks it applied to were FDIC insured. Also, it's interesting that this law took thirty years to fuck us all. I guess the next thing they'll do is to blame the Jews since this whole thing involves money. Just watch. It's always the fault of someone other than the fucking assholes in charge: rich, white, boy's club bastards from both political parties. If we don't stop this now the base elements of America, the ugly underside of this shit hole, are going to start some craziness and catch most people by surprise. I know, I sound paranoid and ridiculous but sit back for a minute and think about the usual suspects when shit goes wrong for white people and try to remember how those people get treated. Civil War, New York, mobs kill black people for "causing" the Civil War. Depression, who got fucked for "taking jobs"? Right now, how easy is it to make racist comments in polite society when one is talking about "immigrants"? Yeah, I'm fucking paranoid.

Peace out, bitches!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day.

It's Wednesday, I'm making a good bit of money, and I'm broke. I love freelance work. You know, that special self-imposed torture of waiting for paychecks as you slowly spend all your money on food and gas and credit card debt accrued over a tumultuous marriage. Nothing beats the financial reminder of one's failures at Life. Ho hum, at least I'm not a fat bastard bilking millions from the American taxpayer. Actually, that doesn't sound half-bad right about now! Ha! So anyway, here are some random photos from several days of work and stupidity.

Monday, October 6, 2008

My dear, sweet brother Numsie!

Ah, Monday night and I'm not on a dumb music video getting my ass kicked! Just finished day one of six of a super easy KMart commercial and it felt like a vacation. I may have missed the Vikings beating the Saints but at least they one and we did a bunch of overtime at full rate so the world is once again back to good. Added bonus: my girlfriend made me fried chicken and is now curled up around me as I type and watch ESPN. Does it get better? Oh yeah, it does! Doc and Lil Sleepy are back from Spain! Hoorah.

Peace out, bitches!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Small town, not much to do in the evenin'.

Today was incredibly productive and I'm very happy right now. I started the morning by sleeping in because I'm sick and dying. Then a little yoga followed by some dog walking (two dogs, the stuck up Lady and the retard Ghost, match made in WWF heaven) and a sensible breakfast. I needed to get some errands done and then swing by a camera house to prepare for next weeks job, this weekends having been prepped yesterday afternoon into night (ah, never let the boss stop by for a visit). Before anything could happen I got a ticket for not coming to a complete stop one block from the new cave. How fun. The officer tape recorded the whole thing and wouldn't listen to any of my pleading. I'm going to egg his car in about a week, should be fun as he clearly had no sense of humor. By the way, if an officer tapes your conversation without telling you he's going to do so, does that render the tape itself inadmissible in court? Just curious.

Anyway, after all was said and done and Johnny Law gave me his little lecture about kids and pedestrians with dogs (see how the smart cop tied in his speech with my dogs, he gets a donut!) I proceeded to get everything I wanted to do done in a timely fashion. That kind of stuff makes me happy. I only sat in traffic for a minute, I had a really good street dog for lunch, and the waves weren't as good as they would have been in the morning but who cares? I got to surf while most people were still at work. Fuck it, that's a good day for me.

As I write, my dog is asleep by the door, the newspaper is half-read, and I'm almost done with a really good book by the name of Dry Storeroom No. 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum. If you like science or esoteric writing you should pick this up, it's very good. I've been trying to read it for the longest but life keeps getting in the way. You know, dumb dog, girlfriend, Bog, work, sickness, moving, the whole gamut of bullshit. Point is, through it all this book has kept my attention. I plan on finishing it tonight just to spite the universe. Then I'm really going to have a fun read by picking up Ishmael Reed's "Mixing It Up." Love that guy. I hope I'm that interesting and grumpy and right when I'm that old.

Off to Yang Chow for a time-tested LA cure for the common cold: Yang Chow's Spicy Won Ton Soup. Throw in a little hot sauce and voila! You'll either burn the cold bugs right out of you or fry your skull so you won't notice you're sick anywho. Good times and I think I'll take the girl and Bog with me. And Ghost because he really can't do anything without me as he starts whining and drinkin' gin to excess.

Peace out, bitches!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain.

I'm fighting a cold but need to work and it's one hundred fucking degrees around LaLa lately, lame! I think my head is fixing to explode and I know my balls are about to melt out the bottom of my shorts. The only way to fix any of this is to go jump in the mighty Pacific and sink into her cooling folds. Possibly while riding a longboard.

I surfed yesterday afternoon at El Porto. It was amazing. The waves were crap but I took a nice long paddle up the coast from midway through Manhattan Beach and stopped at the breakwater just north of El Porto. There's an oil processing plant there, on the shore, with two towers rising out of the main mass of machinery. Everything hums along quite nicely and the squat behemoth in beige belches out precious little plumes of white smoke every so often. As beige and boring as the thing looks it really is surprisingly tranquil when the light hits it and the beach and the waves just right. Yesterday afternoon was one of those times and I was struck with how relaxing the whole thing was. I rode a few little peelers off the breakwater and took a walk back afterward, along the shore at a negative tide is a great time for this. I found a sand dollar that was still alive and furry and squirming so I put him out to sea, hopefully to remain furry and squirmy for some time to come. I should look up their life cycle. I watched a variety of sea birds peeling overhead, cackling and chasing each other along the waterline and above. All in all, it was the time of moment that reminds me of why I love it here so much and why I'd very much enjoy it if most of the people around here would just go back home. LA could be so much nicer if everyone and their tragically hip buddy weren't clogging the joint up all the time.

On that sour note I'm off to sea and then into the bowels of Hollywood for some camera prepping time at Panavision. I'm going to pull focus on yet another horrible hip hop video for yet another group of horrible no-talent kids who'll probably get tricked out of all of their money before they hit thirty. Idiots. No hunting trip for me. Following that it's a week of K-Mart commercials. Yeah, take the money and run, that's the new motto until January when the motto becomes "Do it for the reel." Burn Hollywood, burn indeed.

Peace out, bitches!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous.

Today is October 1st and it is a great day indeed. Why? Because this is the first 1st on which I have not had to write a rent check in thirteen years. Or one hundred and fifty-six months. It feels both liberating and vaguely uncomfortable to not be paying rent for the first time in forever. Liberating for the obvious reasons and uncomfortable because I'm not living in my own space. It's nice, it's free, the neighborhood is great but it's all temporary, gone at any moment really as I have no idea what my Turkish friend is actually up to with the renovation. Heaven gone without any warning. So typical of an Angeleno, living on the seam of Heaven and Hell and not really caring too much. I truly hope this works out and I'm not living like a couch surfing bum for nothing. Time will tell.

On another note, I saw another thing so very typical of Los Angeles: a Hummer H3 with the words "God is good" written on the back. What the fuck is wrong with people around here? A gas guzzling, accident prone hunk of junk that the driver probably can't afford is considered a status symbol by the type of jackass that would write "God is good." Not "awesome," not "great," not "holy," not anything that really conveys one's love of God. Just the mundane and idiotic "good," as if the holy was sort of kind of whatever, ya know? Call me crazy but shit like this really bugs me because it is indicative of what I feel is the slow death of intellectualism in America today. Give it up to Gawd! Got milk? It's all good! What the fuck, people!? Anyone else notice the number of soft-core porns masquerading as teen flicks? Spoof movies that are as unfunny as anything ever created, almost as if the creators of said fiascoes concocted some calculus by which the movie is inversely funny in relation to the idiocy of the overall concept. The Republican's new favorite is calling Obama an "elitist" because he speaks in full sentences and can answer a reporter's questions. Palin couldn't even answer softball questions thrown at her by Katie Couric who is by no means one of the nation's intellectual giants. I mean, she's on TV! How fucking smart could she really be? And Palin couldn't deal? No wonder the ex-leader of Singapore called her a hick.  Good lord, what's to become of us?

Peace out, bitches!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

We're not just going to shoot the bastards, we're going to cut out their living guts and use them to grease the treads on our tanks.

Ha! So Bush and the neocons finally ran their boats aground, huh? It's about goddamn time people in this country stopped acting like a bunch of fucking scared kids every time Monkey Man says the sky is falling. It only took eight years and a million fucking lives but finally America is starting to act like its got some balls. I am bitterly disappointed, however, that several key Democrats chose to vote their fears instead of realizing that if ever there was a time to stand up and be counted, this was it. Yeah, there have been a ton of times prior to this but remember, we're talking about politicians here. They are, by nature, a cowardly lot but even so this is one of those magical times in politics when the tide has turned. You can safely say "fuck Bush" and most everyone will agree with you. Oh well, at least we stalled out this damn idiot bailout until sober minds can look at it and maybe do what's right: hang some "Captains of Industry" and their politico enablers from the highest bridge as a warning to the next generation. Bail out the American tax payer. Tax the top 5% more than the rest of us and the lowest 5% nothing. Make this "greatest country in the world" shit mean something more than unfettered greed and corruption for the few at the expense of the many. In short, I want my country back, fuckers.

In lighter news, I'm going to go surf and then start prepping for a weekend hunting trip. Tah!

Peace out, bitches!

Monday, September 29, 2008

And take back one Kadan, to honor the Hebrew God whose ark this is.

So, not that you'd have noticed, but I moved and was without Intrawebs service for a bit but now I'm back. Hijinks and shenanigans for the past week or so with lots of work (yay! money!) and quite a bit of time with Melah and Bog and a few long nights at Tortuga. Good times. Here follow some rather silly photos by way of explanation.

   So we went to Knott's Berry Farm for Bog's birthday and had a good time. I love roller coasters. I even got Bog to go on a super scary and fun ride called the Perilous Plunge: you drop over a 45 degree ledge into water and get soaked. I thought she'd shit bricks but she wanted to go on it a million times. High-larry-us. She punked out on just about every other ride but had a blast. The stop sign is by my new digs in semi-posh Silver Lake. God bless Sibel for letting me stay rent free for a bit.

Got the week off to do some unpacking and whatnot and then a whole week of work afterwards. Good times out in La La Land with the whole melting of the economy and all. Caveat emptor, Republicans.

Peace out, bitches!