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!
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.
Ahhhhhh! Not working and not knowing what's on the horizon is so damn annoying when you're broke! Bills mostly paid but not all of 'em. Money owed but no idea when it's coming in but damn sure know where it's going when it gets here. Goddammit, I'm sick of being broke. I think the other problem is that I'm getting tired of being a camera assistant. I like the job but it's getting boring and, more importantly, I'm getting tired of being taken for granted by producers, production, directors, and some directors of photography. I'm off busting my ass and when I do well no one notices, I fuck something up and that's all you here about. Dull. Insulting. Boring. Worse still, most of the people you work for in Hollywood are complete dullards without an original thought in their heads. They're in charge and they're stupid and you just have to let them take themselves seriously and potentially ruin your life. Good times. That said, the process of packing is going fairly well and I'll probably be out of here by the middle of next week. Of course it's going to be a pain in the ass as the landlord is getting all militant about the thirty days notice. I told him to shove it as this overpriced place is in the middle of a fucking shit hole neighborhood. We'll see what happens.
I hate moving. No, that's not quite accurate. I hate packing. Yeah, that's what it was, I hate packing. Oh well, you can't really move without first packing so I suppose I should get started. Wish me luck.
Back to procrastinatin', which I love and am quite good at, by the way. Aaron left today, he's moving back in with his parents so he can save money to build a surf camp in Nicaragua. "We're sending Bibles to El Salvador, son." I'm going to miss that guy, it was so fun having him back in LA. I don't have any old-time male friends in LA anymore. Drew is MIA with the cops in Altadena. Everyone else is gone. Sure, the new pals in the camera department are fun but it just ain't the same.
I drove up to Santa Barbara yesterday afternoon to visit Doug and Meaghan and pick Aaron up. Nice drive. I love driving up the coast in California, makes me want to shoot photos, move out of LA, write tight and concise prose about Salinas, and generally be creative. And surf. So much good surfing along this coast. We ate at Hungry Cat in Santa Barbara and here is a photo of my braised clams with chorizo and garbanzo beans. Yeah, it was so good I took a fucking photo of it. That's good.
Here are some crappy iPhone photos of my beloved Cali coast. The one on the right reminds me of a Mark Rothko painting, sort of although I'm not saying I'm any where near that talented. I'm just saying...
So I'm going to begin the sad process of scuttling the Pearl. For a bit. She'll be back up in a few months but for now, we've got to go ashore. All kidding aside, I'm about to go feral: I'm going to live in my friend's house while she has work done on it. I'll be in the main bedroom with a minimum of my stuff for around six months, rent and utility free! Hopefully, this will be manageable and I'll be able to get out of debt and Ghost and I will get to start over, in the financial sense. Sure, it'll be weird going from my current palatial state to one room but hell, there's a whole backyard for the mutt and the kitchen and whatnot all work so it shouldn't be too bad. Ah, debt amelioration and a nice house in the Los Feliz hills, ya can't say no!
I saw this in the morning while walking Ghost after surfing. I think it's funny and pretty much sums up most people's relationship with both nature and corporate America. The whole wide ocean out there and someone thought fake birds were a good idea. Why? Because that's what's supposed to be funny. It's expected and accepted that pink flamingos are a "cute" way of saying that you're cool, you get it, you're being ironic. Let's not forget that beach housing in SoCal costs millions. Along this stretch rent can get up to the $3,000 a month level for a one bedroom spot. WTF?
I shot my friends crazy show last night and loved both the music and the experience of shooting with my cool-ass little camera. I saw this painting and while it ain't good at least someone was thinking about good music and redemption and fun and crazy. Long live the Cash.
Working in the film business is a really weird thing. One minute you're up to your neck in the Suck, making money and feeling like you're getting ahead. Next minute you're flat broke wondering just how often the automated debt collectors are going to call in one day. Right now I can't pay about seven different bills that need paying because I have no money. Last month I paid everything and had a few shekels left over and felt pretty good about life. Oh how one's fortunes can change over-night here in the happiest place on Earth. At least I got three days of work accomplished in two days. I just need to hustle up seven more days of work and I'll be back to breaking even. How lame is that? Bust your ass all month sweating out every bill and paycheck and for what? So you can have absolutely nothing to show for it except timely servicing of your debt? This American life indeed.
At least work is still mildly amusing, when I get work. We just did a video for a very nice young lady from Australia named Missy Higgins, or something like that. Classic: downtown LA, fake loft space, sensitive close ups, sunlight, and a slide projector. Dull but manageable and the DP and director are both really cool people. We used a ghetto-ass rig to relieve the DP of having to handhold the camera all day. It looks really silly doesn't it? It works, though, and I'm glad because otherwise I get stuck holding the camera in between takes and that ain't no fun no how.
How do you like my hair? The DP and I went surfing last week and he asked me to wear my hair out on the next job. I got clowned a lot by the guys but hey, I'm one of the few guys in my age group who still have a full head of hair, nahmean?
Well, this has been dull but what can I say, I'm feeling unmotivated right now and I think a nice long surf is the answer.
DeLaaaaaaaaaSoul! They were a revelation in 89 and they're still killin' it in 08! I just worked two jobs today: first as an assistant on an interview with the one and only DeLaSoul (Fab Five Freddy interviewed them) and then I prepped a camera for a video tomorrow. Outstanding if you ask me. These guys are so cool. Listening to them reminisce and talk shop about then and now, hearing the love for music that they still have and getting to watch the interaction was amazing. Totally made me want to listen to hip hop all over again. Too bad you can't go home again but I guess there's still some good stuff out there. I hope there is? Either way, just being a fly on the wall while these guys rambled was a real pleasure. Everyone should go out and listen to any and every DeLa album they can get their hands on. My money is on De La Soul is Dead, it's crazy good even after all these years.
Weird side note: they're all a couple of years older than me but seem so much older. Like road-weary and broken in a way. Odd. Tough racket, the music business. Glad I work in Hollywood.
Above is a snapshot of my lady love NOT weathering the onset of the 2008 NFL season opening Sunday. Some people are not cut out to sit around drinking wine and eating Louisiana hot sausage while watching American football. Every Sunday from here to the end of the season will hopefully be spent on my couch eating good food and drinking beer or wine and watching my teams: the Raiders and the Vikings. I was born a Raiders fan and got the Vikings in the divorce from my wife who's from Minnesota. I love football. I don't bother memorizing stats and who won what and where and who got traded or drafted out of whatever college. I don't really care. I just want to enjoy every season and every game as the singularity that it is, especially when one considers how bad a good team can become in the off-season.
Fall is the best because it's also hunting season. Pretty soon Ghost and I will be running around in the bush trying to find birds and rabbits and dammit if we ain't gonna be livin' it up! I think my little buddy will finally discover his true purpose, besides licking his balls and eating glasses. I hope to also find a bit of inner peace as I haven't been upland bird hunting in ages. I find it therapeutic to take long walks in untouched southwestern deserts and foothills and the life and death aspect of hunting also centers me. I could be the bird. Sometimes, I think I am the bird or rabbit, usually around the first of the month and tax time. Ah, hunting... there's so much more to it than people think and they'll probably never know it because they can't get past the primitiveness of the whole endeavor. I like the death and the blood because it stands in stark contrast to the beauty of nature and the joy of really being one with the Earth when you're out in the bush. The air smells different, the light hits things and highlights them differently, the actual earth in your hands feels pure, and best of all your senses truly come alive. I know no one will believe me but, for me, hunting and surfing and skateboarding are all part of the same continuum of sensory stimulation and soul stimulation. I feel alive when I do these things, I feel alive and healthy and, rarest of all for me, hopeful. Hopeful about my future and the future of the people I love and hopeful for the future of the world around me.
So this is work. A bunch of cameras pointed at the same thing but everyone has a different lens size, tons of goons (some hung over and some not), bad lighting and even worse "action." Good times. Lasted a week, which is why I haven't posted as I find work to be increasingly uninspiring.
This is Kate, bored at work doing God-knows-what but looking cool. Barbie Che, maybe?
I spent this whole week looking for things to do. Mostly I realized I was poor and had bills due. Also, I surfed a lot of really small waves and hung out with my parents. Lovely people, you might know them or at least of them if you read Savmarshmamma or have ever been to Chad.
We ate at Phillipe's, which is a downtown LA institution worthy of several posts. In short, it's been around since the 30s and was always very popular with the circus crowds that used to bivouac nearby. The main train hub is also nearby and is a lovely example of Art Deco architecture. Anyway, Phillipe's has sawdust on the floors, almost all of the original seats and benches and booths, and serves basic American diner food exceptionally well. They do everything right and straightforward and they do it without charging an arm and a leg. If you're truly from Los Angeles you've been here and love the place. It's always like coming back home.
We stopped by Olvera Street as well and here is a photo of some Mexican Lucha Libre masks. They rock and sometimes I wear one while surfing. Or buying groceries. Maybe I'll try one at the gym.