Wednesday, June 24, 2009

You must unlearn what you have learned.

I spent yesterday with a well meaning DP and his artist pal doing lighting tests on glasses and tumblers and decanters made by some racist Euro about fifty some years ago. Yeah, it was like watching paint dry and really, I don't see why this needs to take all week. They're all excited about this project because it's going to be shown as an installation at a museum in Spain with a selection of fourteen pieces of this clowns glassware. The artist on this project is uptight and a little bit of a perfectionist and the DP is right there with him but still funny and nice enough. The problem, really, is that we're making a two day shoot into a four day shoot because they want to have time to get "experimental." Good lord, every time I hear someone say that all I can think is "Ah, you have less than no idea what you want to do." Go for long boring days at half my day rate and no overtime. When will the industry come back? Where oh where is the stimulus package? Oh right, in the coffers of BofA, Citibank, and a host of other sorry bastards over on Wall Street. I think Yoda was right, we have to unlearn our unholy allegiance to the monied class and redesign the system so that people in banks and at investment firms are kept in check. Banking should not mean you become a billionaire at the expense of your so-called customers. Besides, I'm tired of living in a country that complains about the evils of socialism while simultaneously socializing risk and privatizing gains. It's fucking bullshit!

Sigh. I'm going to make hot sausage and grits and then walk my damn dog. At least I don't have to be back to work until 11am as the powers that be need time to review the test footage and then decide on their next "experiment."

Peace out, bitches!

Monday, June 22, 2009

I am not going to sit on my ass as the events that affect me unfold to determine the course of my life.

Yeah Cameron! I've always liked to think that following the conclusion of Ferris Bueller's Day Off the Cameron character was nearly bludgenoed to death by his father and subsequently thrown out of the house. Cameron, of course, goes running to Ferris's house where he recoups and formulates a plan of revenge against his father. In the end though, Cameron simply goes off to community college and works at the mill while saving up enough money to go to a university far from Chicago. At his twenty year high school reunion he shows up looking as young as the day he graduated and announces that yeah, he was the guy who invented Lucent Technologies and he now has more money than god. Fat Ferris and fat Sloan are jealous and a little embarassed that they blew him off after high school but hey, at least their McDonald's franchise is making enough to get by.

Anyway, I'm at Panavision and I'm annoyed that I'm feeling thankful for having a half day rate job for the week. Spoiled little brat!

In other news, yesterday I got my first ever Father's Day card and I sort of cried in private afterwards. Happy Belated Father's Day, Pops. Kick Chad in the balls for me, will ya?

Peace out, bitches!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Your theories are the worst kind of popular tripe, your methods are sloppy, and your conclusions are highly questionable.

Hey, it's International Surfing Day today so get out your log or your lid and go surf! I've been surfing for three hours a day for the last couple of days and feeling damn fine about it so I highly suggest you git in there too. Today my friend Beck and I awoke and arrived at good ol' El Porto at about 6:30 in the am. We walked up the coast for a half mile or so and proceeded to score super fun waist and chest high waves off the jetty out in front of the Chevron smokestacks. Strange backdrop but the waves were fantastic. We more or less had the place to ourselves and just rode longboards and had a blast and by the time we left at 8:45 in the am the weekend crowds were starting to show up. I love surfing early in the morning and bailing just as most everyone else is just waking up. I think it is now yoga time and then I'm off to purchase some Pete's Louisiana Hot Sausage and I'm going for grits and links and eggs as I've definitely earned the calories. I've been living on yerba mate for breakfast so by the time I'm done surfing it's time for some serious eating. Go for fat bastard!

Peace out, bitches!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Finally there would be a thingamajig that would bring everyone together, even if it kept them apart spatially.

About a month ago I took v2.0 out to the desert for a job and on the way home we shot some skeet. She'd never shot before but through trial and error and very little input from me she knocked a couple down and even hit a double. Sick, very sick, for a first time shooter. It made me happy to have helped her learn something new, especially since it was something near and dear to my heart. Nice right? Well today I surfed for several hours with Beck and then my pal Sandow showed up and I taught him how to surf. I gave him some pointers and showed him a few things but for the most part he was just like v2.0: psyched up to try and master something new. Very cool. He actually stood up on two waves, including one that I was already on! I came home from this experience ridiculously happy and almost giddy. I was just really excited to see someone learning and learning quickly. So to v2.0 (who admittedly skulks around this blog without posting) and Sandow I say: Thanks for letting me help you and thank you for making me happy and proud of you both!

In other news I found a job for next week: helping some jokers shoot some experimental bs with glass shards or vases or some other such glass madness. For $300 a day for five days. So it's half my day rate but what the fuck else am I going to do? It's slower than the molasses in July (is that the line?) and I've got an ex to pay and Gilder to frame for it. Harumph.

Peace out, bitches!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hell, Poot, we're all whores; might as well be the best.

In case you're the sensible type and you don't follow pro sports too closely let me be the first to let you in on something of great civic import 'round here in Hell-A: the Lakers won their 15th "world" championship of basketball. Amazing, right? It's amazing that people give a shit about this enough to: 1)trash a large swath of the city, 2)hold up traffic all day including during the morning commute, and 3)act like the city really needed this win during a trying time. Huh? Do I get money because the Lakers won? A tax break? How about a job? No. OK then, I guess the city didn't really need this that bad. Now don't get me wrong, it's fun when your hometown team wins a championship, even if it had just been the divisional championships. I mean, everyone else in the division lost, right? That still counts for something. Best in the NBA is obviously that one step better but I digress.

What really got me is that the talking heads and the mandarins in the hills were quick to jump out front and start saying that this would be an economic boost for the city and why not let the city that is in the midst of downsizing public services pay for half the parade. One million dollars for a parade that sparked enough extra bullshit that were you to factor everything into the final bill, like say a real economist might, the city would have paid in excess of two million dollars. Yeah, Antonio, there are more costs to tying up the middle of the city for a whole day in the middle of the week then just paying for cops and clean up crews. Thankfully, the rich kids decided they'd finally pay for something around here and so the parade went on as planned. Question, who pays for the riot damage, the lost man hours due to injury in the LAPD, the fire services, and the clean up from the spontaneous outpouring of idiocy on the night of the actual win? Right, Johnny Taxpayer. Fucking awesome. Love those Laker fans.

All in all, if you look at the pros and cons of having a pro sports franchise in your town the only way it makes sense is if you do it like the Green Bay Packers in good ole' Wisconsin. The town controls the team, has a stake in it that is both financial and historical. Most teams today have their municipalities over a barrel and they know it. The threat of a move sends mayors and councilmen and the rich dicks that can pay premiums for seats into a mad rush to placate the spoiled players and owners. The taxpayer usually ends up footing the bill. Maybe not up front but when you count such things as lost municipal parking lots or variances in zoning laws and the razing of public housing or other truly public space you can see it add up pretty quickly. Don't believe me? Read "The Real Cost of Sports and Who's Paying For It" by Mark S. Rosentraub. Try this stat on for size: sports franchises never account for more than 0.5% of jobs or salaries in any region. By contrast, in the average metropolitan area, restaurants provide nearly 7% of jobs. So why are we wasting so much time, money, and effort trying to attract an NFL franchise to LA? Why are we bending over backwards for the Lakers? Why, in short, do so many people spend so much of their overall assets giving a fuck about any of this? Some woman drove from Hesperia today so she could take part in the celebration bash. What? Over an hour each way to be jammed into the Coliseum with a bunch of midday drunks to make noise for some millionaires? How about this instead: For the fucking privilege of playing in LA the Lakers are going to give away half their season tickets, good seats, to underprivileged kids who otherwise would never be able to afford to see any pro sports, ever. I think that would be a much better way to say "Thanks for the support." But hey, that's just me and what the fuck do I know?

Peace out, bitches!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Monsieur, azonnal kövessen engem, bitte!

The Sargasso Sea is an area in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean that measures about 700 by 2,000 miles. It's a giant "sea" of seaweed that supports a ridiculous amount of life and is an important part of the migration of several different species. Why do I mention this? Mostly because I was thinking of the mythical Sargasso Sea where ships get trapped forever because there's no wind in the Sargasso. This isn't actually true but it makes for a cool mythology and does serve to illustrate how I currently feel about life: trapped in the doldrums and wasting away. I need to get back to work. I feel useless and broke and annoyed by just about everything, including my feelings of uselessness and annoyance. Of course, it'd be great to actually be in the Sargasso Sea aboard some sort of research vessel but the metaphorical Sargasso of the soul is a different story. Even though I just got a new tattoo I think I'm going to go jump in the Pacific tomorrow morning anyway as to not do so will probably make me even more unhappy. Whatever.

In better news, I spent a couple of hours pouring over deer regulations for Califas and I'm getting excited for a trip into the mountains east of Santa Barbara next month. Second Saturday of July and I'm into the woods. Probably a lot of walking and glassing and no deer but it'll be new and that can't be too bad. Besides, I can hunt any zone I choose as I'm one of the few idiots out here who has chosen to bow hunt. Seasons are opening up every month and go out to December so... Anyone want to take bets as to whether or not I can kill a deer between July and December? Yeah, ha ha! Me neither.

Peace out, bitches!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Do you want me to deprioritize my current reports until you advise me of a status upgrade?

Once again I've been off of work for too long: one whole week. It is Monday and I have no job prospects on the horizon but I do have a bunch of bills coming due in a few weeks. Awesome. I hate when things slow down as the bills never slow down. Maybe they even speed up, I can't really tell. It's depressing, really. You'd think I'd be able to appreciate the time off but no, I can't, not really anyway. Right now all I can think of is how the fuck am I going to pay all of the various bills that need paying if I don't get at least a couple of more days this month? Maybe I should just quit this stupid business and get an office gig with a steady paycheck and scheduled breaks and vacation time and TPS reports and a nice cubicle where I can put up a little poster of a cat hanging from a tree limb. I'd be really good at water cooler chit chat. Ugghhh. Too bad those jobs are going the way of the dodo amidst this wonderful economic downturn that just happened to coincide with the end of the Bush Crime Family's tenure at the top.

Yoga, walk the dog, shoot some arrows, study Spanish, try not to freak out, and then Trader Joe's. What a day.

Peace out, bitches!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

This is the stupidest tea party I've been to in all my life.

I blame the following for my brief foray into hallucinogens and assorted other good times. Thanks, Walt.

Peace out, bitches!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Why, the cheap ball-pushing swine, he'll never get away with it I tell you, he'll never get away with it.

It's Wednesday and I did nothing. Truly, I did nothing except a little yoga, dish washing, and TV zombification. I went out last night for a birthday party at the Lodge (I know, right?!)(Oh yeah, that last parenthetical thing-a-majig should be read in a full Valley girl accent) and even though I had decided not to drink this month I did. I did do that thing with the beers and whatnot and so I'm a little bit more of a dullard today than I'd normally be after four days off. No work in sight but on the plus side I don't have Ebola or Swine Flu or Tourettes

So I was thinking about life, the universe and everything and I came up with this:

Peace out, bitches!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Well then get in and paddle!

This has been one of those days that makes you want to stay inside and watch for invaders while cradling your favorite book and a large weapon. It didn't start out that way but goddammit if it didn't all go to hell as soon as I started dealing with other people. I ordered a replacement mag spring for Thumper (my .12 gauge that I've had since I was 14) and the woman on the other line was simply a joy to talk to. We made small talk, I got my part, I learned that she has a goofy Lab/Golden Retriever mix, and she loves hunting. Cool. I also got my parts for 10% because I gots game like that with the southern belles. What? Never mind me. The dog and I took a walk, I did some laundry out in the garage and discovered, joy!, I have a new project: fixing the pipes below the garage sink so that washing machine water doesn't flood the northern half of the remade Black Pearl. So far so good. I ate some awesome leftover Indian food. Yeah! Did a bunch of yoga. Sweet!

Then I made the mistake of leaving the house and as soon as I did I wanted to turn right around and go back inside and load the FNG with deer slugs. Yeah, five cop cars in full battle rattle came tear-assing through the neighborhood and posted up half a block north of me. Awesome. So loud, so wonderful, so fully a reminder to not get to complacent in the hood. Next up, bad driving from small guys in big SUVs who can't be bothered to use turn signals or look before they switch lanes. One guy actually flipped me off when he cut me off and missed the front of the Pumpkin by inches. Awesome! I love big city living! Everyone is so... sophisticated. Following this was the usual assortment of impatient, loud, stupid, and smelly interactions one so routinely has these days in The Big City. A man in line behind me lost his shit when, while I was getting checked out, the cashier scanned her co-workers Tampax box before getting to him. I mean, he started shouting!? I took one look at him and could tell instantly that he was a miserable person. He might have started off nice but the world had kicked his ass and popping off on cashiers was probably the only way this poor, impotent bastard could get through the day. I smiled, thanked the cashier, and gave him a look meant to convey "Geez, buddy, you look awful." He sneered at me and I laughed and walked out.

I'm going to shoot some arrows in my backyard and play fetch with my dog and pretend that I live some where populated by the polite, the civil, and the positive. Sounds lame, huh? Whatever, I just need to stay away from the nattering nabobs of negativity and go surfing. Or hunting. Of just go for a walk and get some tea. Hey, that's a great idea. Later for you!

Peace out, bitches!

Monday, June 8, 2009

No. No, man. Shit, no, man. I believe you'd get your ass kicked sayin' something like that, man.

So it's Monday and I'm finally feeling a bit better. Yeah, I did nothing today except wallow in self-pity and kick ass at Call of Duty 3 while wearing a cowboy hat and boardshorts. BUT, I think I've finally digested my ex-wife sticking me with an $850 lawyer bill because she can't talk to me without acting out. She's a sad person in many ways and I feel bad that she's unhappy with her life but that's her problem now, not mine. I need to bide my time, worry about myself and the woman who truly loves me and know in my bones that I've moved past her and all the pain. I'm no saint of course, but neither is she and that's being proved more right every day. It'll all end one day, of course, the payments will stop and the legal sword of Damocles will once again be sequestered. On that day I hope that my response is a simple and understated exhalation of the last breath of a life that I thought I had a handle on.  A life that I've always wanted and might now be on my way to having. We'll see, we'll see. For now I'm going to have to make due with working on letting it all truly slide. Everything that doesn't really matter shall slide and then I will one day be free.

Peace out, bitches!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I promise, that one day, everything's going to be better for you.

Yesterday I was at a graduation and all I took away from it is that life moves pretty fast. One day you're fucking around with your friends and the next thing you know you're making Internet payments on your alimony at 7am, scared shitless that your insane ex is going to freak out because the free money is a day late. Where does the time go? Where did the kid who was happy to get out of high school and do something cool go? I look in the mirror and I can sort of see him dicking around in my head, occasionally whispering crazy ideas straight into my cerebral cortex. Is he happy as he looks out through my older eyes? Does he like what he sees any more or less than I do? Are we still the same person, I wonder. Sometimes I can't recall what I was like at all before I got married and then divorced. I have ideas but they're more second hand accountants of the crazed deeds of someone much more interesting than I. Weird. I feel weird about all of it, or rather I was feeling weird about all of it but then I went surfing and felt like the old me all over again. I even went skating again and now my knees hurt. Bad time to stop drinking, bad time. I hope to find the old me one day and get him back in command of at least part of the ship. Not the galley, the young me couldn't cook to save our lives. Maybe I'll give him the art part of the whole cart. That would be nice, to be able to draw again and maybe shoot a good photo once in a roll. For now I'm going to keep listening to "Waltz of the Flowers" from the Nutcracker and go read some Pynchon because I'm still that fucking punk rock.

Peace out, bitches!

Afterward: I just got my Archery Deer Tag and I think that calls for a quick trip to Bass Pro Shop for some "scent proof" undies and socks. Operation Bowfinger is about to reach lethal stage. Lethal for what's left of my checking account.

Monday, June 1, 2009

I had to fight all my life to survive. They were all against me, but I beat the bastards and left them in the ditch.

This is a photo of me at work at my old junior high school. I helped shoot an entirely forgettable commercial for a Swedish department store and it was the first time I'd been there since I left in 19-fucking-86. Yeah, I'm that fucking old. The day I found out I was going back to Burroughs I got "friended" by a girl I went to junior high school with and college with. Weird. I also found out that my sis was teaching at a school who's principal went to junior high with me. LA is actually a very small town spread wide for no good reason. If you live here for a long-ass time you might become a local and have odd shit like this happen to you. Odds are you're ass out and you know what? Fuck you for trying. Move back to wherever you're from as we're at maximum occupancy here and you ain't helpin' much, holmes.

In other news, I'm done with the Lodge. I went tonight for the first time in ages and my "friends" proceeded to ride me all night for being a "foreigner." Dumb ass crackers, they could have at least had the balls to call me a nigger. At least they'd have been in the right ball park. In all honesty, I think I need to heed sister's advice and get back in touch with my art-fag side and you ain't gonna do that hanging out with a bunch of drunk idiots. Am I done with the spirits? Hell fucking no! Am I done hanging out with intellectual midgets? Yep. Make fun of me if you want, I don't care, I'm still done chilling with dullards. Except the guys what hire me.

Peace out, bitches!