Thursday, December 9, 2010

Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room.

I have not posted in a bit so here's a bit of photo bullshit. If you have any questions please let me know. I'll answer questions as honestly as possible.














Peace out, bitches!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' dink body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill.

Not one stinking duck body. The whole pond!

I got up early. I drove in the dark and the mud. I listened to redneck jackasses talk about "socialism" and "them faggots in Frisco." I put up with it all because I was number 4 on the lottery line and I was going to get a good blind. I had come through last night and poured over the blind listings and had ranked them in order of how they'd been shooting. It took half an hour and I did it and they all stared while I did it. I had my list.

I got the second blind on my list and I was happy! Finally, I was in the right place at the right time with the right tools and I was going to kill ducks!

First came the walk through the dark with all my gear on my back. Half the time I skated across mud on a trail I'd never been on with no real idea where I was headed. By the time I made it to my blind I only had about thirty minutes to get everything set up: dekes in some semblance of natural order, pit blind cleaned out and brushed up, gear stored away, wet dog dried off somewhat, gun loaded, camo on, lights out. Barely made it all happen.

It was so overcast that ducks would appear out of nowhere. Half the time I didn't even shoot as they were whistling past me before I knew what was happening. The few shots I took I missed which I chalked up to the quickness and utter unpredictability of the shooting. I would later look back at this part of the hunt as the "salad days."

Cut to a few hours later. I'm out about eight or nine rounds but feeling good. Then the sun pops out straight into my eyes. A quick look at the compass and hey, what do you know, I picked the fucking blind that faces the sun all day. Behind me, an active road. In front of me, the pond and the sun. I rearrange the dekes off to the side in the hopes that I can get some shots not into the sun. I do. I miss them. All of them. Including the drake, wings cupped and landing gear deployed, who is inches above the closest deke. I had just dropped Ghost out of the blind so he could pee and as I look up I see the drake. He sees me and starts backpedalling. Silly duck! I can't shoot anymore! I fire twice and miss twice and have to fight the urge to throw the gun in the drink. I curse out loud instead. Several more ducks fly out of the marsh, I'd hurt their feelings I guess.

It all spirals out of control from there. More ducks come at me in increasingly easier patterns which I miss in the most spectacular fashion. My cussing grows loud enough that even I realize I'm being too loud. Around me, other hunters are dropping ducks at a steady clip. I am throwing $1 shells into the sky with no idea why or how or what. Had I simply dumped the whole box into the marsh I'd have accomplished the same thing minus the torrent of curses and the unnecessary discharge of a firearm.

I walked the mile back to the car at one point. I had lunch and decided that Ghost was a jinx so I left him in the car. I swapped out chokes. I made an altar to no deity in particular and burned it after a nondenominational prayer. I made a fake vodoo doll of a duck and stabbed it and then brushed my gun with it. None of this helped but it did keep at bay any of the local douche bags who thought they might want to have a word with me about my "Reading Is Sexy" sticker.

I walked a mile again. If you're keeping count it ends up I walked four miles for no good reason. I guess that's the point of all of this: there was no point. I drove up to the Red part of the state to shoot ducks and I failed to shoot any ducks. There were ducks though, lots and lots of beautiful mallards and pintails and even some gadwalls. It would have nice to shoot a gadwall, they hardly ever travel down to LA. Anyway, I walked back and climbed down into the pit and waited. I missed some more lay-ups and thought briefly about crying. I gave myself a time out instead, for an hour.

It didn't help.

My last three rounds were fired almost vertically at a passing group of mallards. I missed all three shots, shouted "Fuck you!" to the ducks and threw my gun into the drink.

Then I fished it out, got my decoys, and dragged my sorry ass back to my sorry ass hotel in sorry ass Willows, CA. Fuck yeah.

Now pass me that bottle of tequila, will you? My throat is parched and I'm in a foul mood.

Peace out, bitches! (except for every fucking duck in the Sacramento NWR. Y'all can fuckin' kiss my ass!)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

No sir. Not embarrassing, because no one's ever going to find out they're down here. 'Cause you're gonna spot 'em and you're gonna air 'em out!

I have driven for eight hours through traffic accidents, wind advisories, rain, and crank addled truckers. I'm two clicks past the Do Long bridge and there are most certainly "gooks on the wire" as the young man from the Bronx once uttered. Geese everywhere you look. Water water everywhere and oh yes, I'd love a drop or three to drink. Ducks. Flights of ducks and then someone says "plate" or "plate of dead ducks" and the whole sorry hallucination starts all over again.

There are more ducks here then I know what to do with and I am going to try to kill as many of them as I can. I must get on tonight. I must get a winning lottery number tonight. I must be allowed to fulfill my destiny! (Extra hot sausage if you know where that comes from.) It is raining something ugly and I was advised not to go to the white trash bar in town. I don't know that there is a correlation between these facts but I thought it safest to mention them both in the same breath. Just in case.

Willows, CA: a one horse town if ever I've seen one. And I have. Par for the course I'll dine on Mexican food as they are generally the only people who can cook when you're in the middle of nowhere California. Sacramento seems far away and exotic. San Francisco doesn't actually exist here. It's like saying you ride a unicorn. It occurs to me my name might not be very popular here. It also occurs to me I'm armed to the teeth. Hear on the radio: "Why do people think freedom of religion means we have to accept these other religions? We can't! We're Catholic!" Note to self: never get out of the boat. Absolutely goddamn right.

It's time. It's time to go out and win that fucking lottery and get a goddamned good blind.

Peace out, bitches!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ralph, that is not the sufi way.

I am losing my mind. Or maybe the world really is at an all time level of stupid.

Case in point: Juan Williams vs. NPR. Mr. Williams is annoying pseudo-intellectual who was caught saying he was afraid of people who look Muslim. His defense? He's a civil rights "pioneer" and so he can't be accused of racism and besides, he was trying to argue a point against Bill O'Reilly on O'Reilly's show. Uh, what?

O'Reilly is a loud mouthed jack ass who's "arguments" consist primarily of him shouting over his guests. Fair and balanced? Yeah, right, this is Fox after all where fair and balanced means we get loud, old, crazy white guys to yell at effete center/left moderates. It's a fucking sham, a dog and pony show for the intellectually bankrupt retards that make up Fox's viewing audience. For Willliams to go on that show as anything other than a paid performer is a lie. He knew what he was getting into, everyone who goes on that damn show knows what's up so his defense is bullshit. He's a coward and a bigot and yes, you can be those things and still fight for civil rights. You're a hypocrite but you can do it.

Case in point, redux: Catherine O'Donnell. Why is she in the news? Who thinks this imbecile can run anything? What the fuck is going on around here that a fucking inept, brainless, God squad dipshit is making news? Who the fuck votes for people like this? What. The. Fuck.

In short, I need to find a way not to feel like killing off a large chunk of the American electorate for the crime of being criminally stupid and letting this country slide further into the hands of corporate America, xenophobia, ignorant nationalism, and moral bankruptcy.

I don't know how I'm going to do it but dammit, if the sufi way works I'll go that route.

Peace out, bitches!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

You better get your ass off your shoulders and make that money.

Financial realization:
Pure bred hunting dog- $1,000
Metal pole with hook on the end- $12
Difference- $988

Thanks to my Dad allowing my dog to come dangerously close to freezing and drowning at the same time I have now replaced the dog with the pole when duck hunting. Somewhere in all of this is an important lesson about life, finances, hunting, and my Dad. Damned if I know what that lesson is but I now realize I need to get my ass off this couch and take my dog to a psychiatrist. That little bastard needs to get to work!

Peace out, bitches!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Your license is in order?

Dear Nature;
Let me first say that I'm a huge fan, I really enjoy and appreciate what you're doing with that whole Life thing. It's terrific, kids love it, you're set financially, you know? Of course you do, I'm sorry for stating the obvious but I am a really huge fan.

On to business I guess, specifically the deer situation here in Southern California. Now, I understand you've got a lot on your plate in the Gulf of Mexico and the Plains and various and sundry watersheds that are being depleted and degraded but I really do need a moment of your time to address the deer situation. To summarize I guess I'll say this: there are too many people here in Southern California and not enough deer. Rather, there are not enough deer willing to be shot. By me.

I sat in a blind for twelve hours yesterday because there were fresh tracks and droppings and a cistern. There should have been deer. There were even acorns on the ground! Now if this wasn't you telling me, "Put a ground blind here and arrow a burger," what were you trying to tell me? Please don't pawn this off on one of your underlings, like Fate or Timing or any of those bozos (especially Luck, does he even come into the office any longer?). I think we need to have a face to face meeting and get to the heart of this problem. It's been two years since I picked up a bow and aside from accidentally shooting my dog I haven't shot a thing yet.

As an aside, maybe at a later date we can deal with the elk situation that occurred in Arizona. We'll just table that until we sort out the deer problem.

Scheduling wise I'm free until Saturday when I'm back out in you for quail. Other than that just let me know when you have some time. Deer season ends on November 7th, please keep that in mind.

Sincerely,
Captain

ps- Good luck with that off shore drilling thing. Good lord people are dumb.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tense situations, kid. You get into five or six of 'em a day, it don't mean shit anymore. I mean, I've seen men stabbed, didn't mean shit to me. I've seen guns, guns too, they don't mean shit. But that's when you gotta watch yourself.

Thoughts after spending a lot of time working and reading the paper:
1. The GOP needs to be tried for treason, found guilty, and made to live in rural Arkansas sans money or a working phone.

2. The "Mama Grizzlies" of the GOP are fetid swamps of self-loathing wretches and should all be forced to live on an island together sans a working phone, cameras, or any other way to get anyone else's attention. I give them a week before they're eating each other alive.

3. The average rock fan today is dumber than the music they listen to.

4. If Paladino wins in New York I don't think LA should still have an inferiority complex about NYC. The guy is an imbecile and a bigot and probably mobbed up.

5. Meg Whitman stapled someone else's hair on to her own head to hide the Darth Vader creases and cables.

6. The Dems should fire their PR people as they've failed to hit on anything good that has happened. The GAO was the only entity to honestly acknowledge anything the Dems have done. Weird and depressing.

7. The death and "ignominy of defeat" of the Tea Party is coming up quick. No one really likes a lunatic when it comes down to getting the potholes fixed and the trains to run on time.

8. Jerry Brown? Again? There isn't anyone else? So depressing.

9. Mayor Villarigosa is an embarrassment and has led the City of Angels down a sinkhole for far too long. Why is it that no one has thrown a pie in his face yet?

10. The more people I meet in the film business the more I want to go do something else. Like, sell shoes in Fresno or flip burgers in Tupelo.

Peace out, bitches!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Any man who packs a big bore Sharps carbine could come in mighty handy, if we're attacked by buffalo... or elephants.

I sat at the bar, alone, waiting for my friends to arrive when she sat down next to me and proceeded to ruin my night. I wasn't looking for anything from anyone at that point as me pals had yet to arrive but she was. She was looking hard for trouble or fucking or some wretchedly stupid and drunk combination of the two. Fuck me, can't a guy get a goddamn drink in peace?

It started off the same way it always does. I'm alone and happy and some woman comes along and sees a situation that she can ruin. In mid swig of the ol' PBR she sat down and bumped into me which resulted in the first lame thing she did: she made me spill my beer. I attempted to ignore the obvious bump-and-ramble but she persisted in her entreaties by talking to me.

"Hey, sorry about that. I already had a drink at my friends house."

I sighed, looked at her sideways, and said, "Fascinating."

What some would call an uncomfortable silence, but I would call heaven, ensued. Sadly enough it quickly came to a torturous end when she asked me if I'd been here before. What? Who the fuck says shit like that? First of all, it's 2010 and that question is from, at the latest, the 80s so knock it off! Second, I'm sitting in the corner with a PBR and an empty shot glass and I'm not dressed up. I clearly don't care and am not looking to impress anyone.

"I'm waiting for someone," said to no one in particular but with the obvious intent of actually meaning "Fuck off."

"My boyfriend decided to leave me today. I've been drinking since lunch. Everyone has been really nice."

Fuck me. Really? This is happening right now? Who the hell did I piss off today?

"Ah, yes. Well, that'll probably stop soon."

"What?"

"Nothing. Listen, um, I'm waiting for someone and they usually sit where you were sitting so...," I wave Al over and since he's a mensch he gets both of us another round: PBR with a shot of Cazadores and she's drinking an appletini because my life sucks. Thanks Al, now she thinks I ordered us drinks. Remind me to tip you with a swift kick to the nuts.

"Thanks. See, it's easy to be nice, right?"

I pass on answering or explaining anything and decide to retreat into my fantasy world where I'm a Viking and no one is bothering me. Again, there's a wonderful silence for a few moments that is eventually shattered.

"So what's your name?"

"Marlowe."

"Marlowe? Is that your first name?"

"Phillip is my first name."

"Phillip Marlowe? What a nice name."

"What? Really? Jeez, OK, listen, I need to go."

"I'll be here. I'll watch your drink."

I make my way through the throng of rockabilly, punker, and emo kids and make it to the bathroom. Silence. Pissing. Ah, all is right in the world except what? Oh yes, my drink is being guarded by a drunk with a deep desire for conversation and a long night.

"Ha! I kind of missed you," she says, a lisp already developing and a dangerous smile contorting her face.

I'm not happy now, in fact I'm seriously annoyed. All I wanted was a drink with my friends in my favorite bar but now... She started pulling out a vial of what I assumed was blow and waggled it at me, trying to look sexy. This needed to stop.

So I left. I listened to classical music on the way home. I walked into my house, petted my dog, and kissed my hot wife.

You thought this was going somewhere, didn't you?

Peace out, bitches!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

This is another fine mess you've gotten me into!

Victorville is not for the faint of heart or those with any whiff of urbane sophistication. It is far too hot for how dull it is. If a place is going to be this hot it must be exotic, interesting, alive, in short, all things Victorville is most certainly not. I am here for two days pursuing the all mighty if slightly worthless dollar, par for the course.

We are shooting a promo for the American version of Top Gear. This is apparently a big deal although you wouldn't know it from the utter lack of organization thus far on display. Everything is being handled at the last minute and with an oddly distinct lack of professionalism as if those involved were trying to show off how little they know about the process of filmmaking. Ah, the Digital Age! Buy a computer and a Red or a 5D and you to can start parading around as if you were the reincarnation of Cecil B. DeMille, minus an iota of talent or common sense.

At least it will be over soon.

At some point I will get out of this fireplace of a room.

At last, I will be in Arizona hunting elk for an all too brief time.

Peace out, bitches!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Excuse me, but are you Paul Sheldon?

Fucking Bourdain! Somehow he's made me want to go to freakin' Maine! There's a restaurant called Primo that looks phenomenal and a fucked up fish house owned by a lunatic that also looks amazing. Dammit! I ain't got time for this shit! Or money! I hate Bourdain!

Now where can I go find some fucking good seafood 'round here?

Peace out, bitches!

A man fights for what he believes in, Fernando!

I am back from London and my house needs help. I was initially annoyed by this but I've come to realize that being annoyed will not clean the floors or the refrigerator or the couch or the dishes. I will and I might as well make the best of the situation. Laundry? Trash and recycling? Clothes to go to Goodwill? Dog to wash? Turtle tank to clean? Bills, bills, bills? I am the one who will take care of all of these things and to be honest, I'm happy. Happy that I have a place to keep clean and people to clean up after. The alternative isn't very fun. It would, however, be nice if I could get the women of the house to jump on to the Positive Attitude Cleaning Train but that seems to be a long term project. As it is, it's just Ghost and The Darkness this week so we're trending towards an immaculate house here, people!

God speed you black bastards! Enjoy the 4th and contemplate this on the tree of woe: Are all the men and women of the Armed Forces truly fighting for your freedom if at the end of the day you're getting less from your government and one third, if not half, of the planet hates us? Perhaps they, and us, are getting played for suckers by the powers that be?

Peace out, bitches!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The game's afoot.

Welcome to London! I've already seen a ton of shirtless, lobster-red, drunk men and women out and about and I've eaten a bad burger. Yeah, some things never change. If I don't pass out during the production meeting we're having in an hour I'm going to go out and find either Lebanese or Indian food. That's what's good in London. Well, that and Harrod's cheese shop which, if at all possible, I'm going to tomorrow after an early morning run around the neighborhood.

Yes, I'm in London for a commercial shoot all week and all I really want to do is eat and sleep. We'll see how it all works out. Worst case scenario: I go out to Kahn's tomorrow after prep and get some exercise every night in the hotel gym. Kahnnnnnnnn! OK, now where in the hell is Kahn's again? Wish me luck.

Peace out, bitches!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fuck you, that's my name.

I ran for thirty minutes earlier tonight and I fucking loved it. I'm training for deer season and I've started running, even bought gay-ass looking running shoes. Whaddaya know, apparently I enjoy running in circles at the USC track while zoning out and thinking about where to set up on Mark's property. So it goes. Thirty-eight and finally getting most things in order. Interesting.

I also surfed for two hours, walked the dog for an hour, and watched Jonah Hex (why does Megan Fox get roles?). I ate bacon and eggs for breakfast and then nothing until 7:30pm when I had an awesome hot dog wrapped in bacon made by an illegal street vendor abuelita from somewhere in South America. It was good. I ordered a shrimp burritto from El Chabelita but the bastards made it with chicken instead. Sonsabitches!

None of this is particularly interesting but I'm bored and venting and there it all is. I go to work for two weeks in a row starting Monday and all I want to do is knock that out and come home and try to kill a pig.

Peace out, bitches!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Stay casual, Barlow.

It's Wednesday. I surfed, did yoga, had an in-home visit from the vet for Ghost, and now I'm going to pick up my kid and teach her how to use the little recurve bow I bought her at Bass Pro on Monday. It's such a nice day. I want to puke.

I am having some slight psychological trouble readjusting to being back in the world. I was in the Suck for two months and while I'm ever so thankful not to be there anymore I am... ill-equipped at present for Stateside living. Other people in my space? Urggh. Other schedules besides the Suck's? Urggh. Freetime? Dirty dishes? Laundry? Urggh.

I am looking at my wrist and it is helping.

It will all make more sense once I calm down and get used to it all. It's good to have a home, a woman who loves you, a kid who looks up to you, and a dog who likes to lick your face and sleep on your feet. It will all work itself out.

I'm getting a chili cheese dog.

Peace out, bitches!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Father, if God has issues, they won't be with what I've done. They will be with what I'm about to do.

Holy crap! I just got around to watching "Angels and Demons" and all I can say is religion is fucking hilarious! The thick mass of Christian magic in the movie was awesome. The camera work and the gorgeous locations- wow. I'd love to photograph all of that crazy. But, the Church is just crazy. I can't believe that people wait for smoke signals to see who's been chosen as Pope. Ain't these people heard of Twitter? (Which I don't see the need for and I don't know how to use.)

The idea of suspension of disbelief is great... for movies or  literature but for politics? Science? Organizing masses of people? Not so much. Yeah, it's only a movie, and a very entertaining one at that, but the idea that there is all of this literature and mythology and ancient rituals and what what is fascinating. That anyone governs their lives according to this hodgepodge of opinion, stereotypes, and prejudices is beyond me. Faith? Got it, makes perfect sense. Organized religion? What a truly horrible idea.

That's it, that's all I got here in Stockholm where there's a freaking ancient church every block.

Peace out, bitches!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Airborne? He was thirty-eight years old. Why the fuck would he do that?

I have been feeling of late like Capt. Willard: standing around, armed and smoking, feeling slightly disgusted and dazed while all around is absurdity and madness. The cow gets airlifted while a flame throwing tank backlights an impromptu post-carnage mass and a man lies on the grown holding himself together with a pot lid. What to do with oneself at moments such as these? What to do indeed.

Movies are like the lite-weight retard version of war. Full of pomp and circumstance signifying nothing but usually minus the death and severed limbs. Lots of people ruin their lives making movies but almost no one dies which is surprising given the general lack of any real intelligence within the filmmaking community.

I'm at that point in a film's birthing process where I simply don't care anymore. I'm short, only nine shoot days left, and all I want to do is not get hit by a sniper or step on a land mine or in any other way catch a hot one. The Suck is full of surprises though, your only real protection is blind luck and a simpleton's tenacity. Stay on target, as it were, and you might just wander through a shit storm and come out on the other side cleaner than you entered. It sounds stupid and it is but such is the business I have chosen. I'm tired. I'm tired of loading and unloading the truck. I'm tired of hearing the 1st AD say, "OK," when what she means is "I don't know what's going on." I'm tired of endless conversations about the best way to do something. I'm tired of being the camera guy who has to show everyone else the right way to do something. I'm tired of Stockholm. I'm tired of rain and cold. I'm tired.

If you watch closely you can usually tell what scene was in the middle of a production. The light will be a little funny and the focus might go soft on a scene that could have been reshoot very easily. Or there'll be a boom shadow or camera shadow or a PA standing in the background doing a lockup. You're over it after awhile and it'll show. You finish strong of course as you're about to be done and the adrenalin takes over and hell, the last week is all anyone will remember anyway unless you really fucked up.

And now for something completely different: I get to send my bi-weekly invoice to production and they can kiss my ass and pay up. Welcome to The Suck.

Peace out, bitches!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

King illegal forest to pig wild kill in it a is!

A little yoga, chat with Melah, shoot arrows for an hour- not a bad morning! I think it is now time for some food and a little museum stomping around. Too bad it's so damn overcast.

Peace out, bitches!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

We've been up on that hill ten times, and they still don't think we're serious.

At some point a movie ends the production part of it's existence. That is my favorite part of the film making process, the end of principal photography. Let some other cunts do the reshoots and clean-up work, I'll be off this piece and on to another bit of the suck. Right now we're in the middle of the suck- too far gone to turn around but with no end in sight. Not yet, anyway. You can feel it too. The whole crew has that haggard look so common to the mentally unstable and the desperately drunk. We're redlining and we all know it but you can't really do anything else. The few pros on this crew are taking it in stride in the sense that they haven't killed anyone yet or walked away. The FNGs are sweating bullets and loosing it every day. It's hump week and during hump week we separate the wheat from the chaff, the men from the boys, the suckers from the hustlers. Pick your fucking metaphor, it doesn't matter which, it all means the same thing: we ain't done yet so hopefully you have the stones to finish.

Personally, I'm longing for my couch back home. My couch and my wife-to-be and a nice glass of pinot grigio and no one asking me for anything. Maybe watch a movie. Maybe not. I just want it to be so hot we're damp and the doors and windows are all open. That would be nice.

Back here in the suck, though, we have a long weekend coming up. I plan on shooting my bow, skateboarding, and drinking just enough to forget how truly lonely I am right now. As Kilgor said, "Someday this war's gonna end..."

Peace out, bitches!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Go on, make it worse. Now it's gonna rain.

I'm so tired of this shit. I'm short a guy, there are no grips, we only work eight hours a day, and everyone is constantly "politely" yelling at us to go faster. If you want to make a movie look like shit the thing to do is rush. Rush your set dressing, lighting, and camera work and you'll just get yet another sub-par piece of Swedish film making. Fucking typical.

Tomorrow should be even better: a house boat. A cold, damp, cramped and possibly sinking house boat. Awesome. Did I mention it's fucking cold again here?

Dammit!

At least we're still holding fast in the camera department. Poor Björn spent most of the day in the bag while semi-useless but still trying Max "helped" out. I need a loader! Not a second who gets stuck in the bag and a trainee who doesn't know anything.

I made fried rice with ground lamb tonight and it was better than any of the Thai food I've had thus far. There is a spot in Södermalm that's pretty good. Maybe I'll go there Friday after work. Yeah, nice meal, get a few pints and call it a night.

Sigh. I miss home.

Peace out, bitches!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

This here's Miss Bonnie Parker. I'm Clyde Barrow. We rob banks.

I truly hate Bank of America. I've said it before, I know, and I'm still a customer but this time they've gone too far. Thanks to the lunkheads, halfwits, bedwetters, and chronic masturbators over at BofA I haven't gotten paid in a month. Awesome. Good job, fellas. Way to not be able to transfer money from Europe to the good ol' US of fucking A.

Rent is due. Alimony is due. Bills needs payin', Pa!

Oh well, nothing to be done on a Saturday in overcast Stockholm except get some food and maybe skate the nearby park. Looks like rain though so maybe hanging out in my awesome flat with a book might be a better idea. 'Sides, we've booked ourselves a commercial shoot for tomorrow and then it's five more days of "Cornelis" and we're doing nights and days with really short turnarounds. By Friday night, which is also Björn's b-day, we'll all be quite haggard and wishing we'd slept more. Yeah, good book and some rest could be the solution to today's sense of "meh."

Peace out, bitches!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

This is every shade of wrong.

This may or not be late news to the rest of you lucky cunts back in the States but goddammit, I just found out that a Bush interviewed a Clinton (actually, THE Clinton) about a Clinton marrying a Wall Street legacy and no one argued or called each other names or mentioned one fucking thing about how everyone involved in the story was either directly involved with causing the country's economic problems or with leading to the country's economic problems or, at the very least, related to the country's economics problems. No, wait, at the very least they could have mentioned how one party tried to ruin the other party through tenuous character assassination.

No, what happened was that one royal family yapped with anther royal family and nothing got said or dealt with.

As I travel I am more and more annoyed with the USA and more and more certain I'm never moving away. It sucks just enough less than everywhere I've been so I guess I'll stay.

We are all a stain on the existence of mankind and maybe the monkeys or apes should take over.

Either way, tis' fun for now so...

Peace out, bitches!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The weed be lettin' you know... Evil lurks.

Ow. Ow. Ow.

I skated the park for a few hours today. It was fun until I made the mistake of trying to improve myself by relearning frontside rock and rolls (look it up). The fucked up thing is I used to have those on lock and now... I tried for about half an hour, kind of got them back all sketched out and then wham! Slid out and smacked my fucking face on the tranny and damn near put my left hand through the ramp. My shoulder hurts, I saw stars, and now the right side of my face feels raw. Sweet. It even hurts to type.

Fucking skateboarding. I love it- nice ollies over the hip and some buttery 5-0 grinds on the small slant ramp. I hate it- frontside rock to faceplant, pathetic attempts at a pop shuvit over the hip, general lack of skills and bad ollies over the hip.

I almost got backside 5-0s though, so you know, I've got that going for me to.

I think I'll hit the gym now and see if there's anything besides cardio that I can do right now without tearing what's left of my shoulder to bits.

Peace out, bitches!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

They're doing the skateboard shuffle! Frontside grind, anytime!

Uh, useless info first: we shot. It went well for me but we cut two scenes because the art department fucked up. We got out early. I watched dailies and everything looked good and there was only one moment where focus was a, uh how you say, not so good. Ingen bra. We did multiple takes so no big deal. Wrap!

Not at all useless info: I Skyped with my crazed parents and it was nice. They've gone round the bend with their friends and are now hipper than I am in some circles because they're fucking urban farmers. Yeah, they've got herbs and veggies growing in high tech shit and well, there you go.

Totally awesome info: I killed the skatepark. Well, I killed it in the sense that a fat ass 38 year old who hasn't really skated in years can kill a new fangled skatepark. Björn and Crille and I went after dailies and no one else was there! It was perfect. I'm now a member of the Junkyard Skatepark in Trollhättan, Sweden and the last time I had a membership at a skatepark I had a learner's permit. Still have that ID, from the one and only Pipline Skatepark (RIP). Good times. I love skateboarding. It really does keep you young while reminding you of how old you're actually getting. I've decided it's like golf. Yeah, after almost 25 years on a useless wooden toy I've come to the conclusion that I've basically been playing golf. Think about it: Skateboarding is one of the hardest individual sports you can take up. It hurts. It's expensive. The smallest advancement takes ages. Everyone thinks you're an idiot for spending so much time doing it. It makes no sense, really. Like golf and masturbation all you need is you. I could go on but you've probably gotten the point by now. I've been playing golf and I don't care. It's fucking awesome.

I even made a really fast and tricky line up and over this hip/wall ride fucker and into the bowl, out of the bowl, did a Smith grind up a wave like transition, and then ollied the hip with, I'm told, a good deal of height. I did my first frontside 50-50 on transition in over a decade. What the fuck? It was fun.

OK, I'm done. I'm tired and my bruises are starting to hurt. Oh, dumbest thing ever, after skating we went and worked out and did some sort of brutal cross training that Crille's Special Forces brother in law taught him. I think I pulled something, something important.

Damn fine day.

Peace out, bitches!

Monday, April 19, 2010

"I'm going 75 klicks above the Do Lung bridge.""That's Cambodia, Captain.""That's classified."

Started in a mud hut and then moved to a boat. The boat was a nice change of pace: small, cramped, lots to do and no room to do it in. Oh wait, that's every job more or less. Ah well, the river here is nice to look at and the fields alternating with giant Saab factories strikes just the right discordant note with me.

We shot a scene in which Cornelis meets one of his wives, Bim. Yes, they even use the line "Sim Sala Bim." It was nice, though. Very touchy feelie with a decadent 70s party in the background.

Oh, they eat crawdads here as a tradition when they're on boats in the summer. It's sort of cool: a crawdad broil on a riverboat with beers, wine, and champagne in a relatively bucolic landscape. We staged the party and the whole boat smelled like delicious crawdads and I had none. I ate sand. You ate what? I ate sand and pulled focus and was generally cramped and slightly annoyed until we got off the boat. Not a bad day of work but could have been easier if everyone else would have gotten the fuck out of the way. So it goes.

Post-boat trip we packed up our shit, dropped it off, and made a beeline for the Junkyard Skatepark, again. This time I actually skated pretty well and managed to fall from about four feet up a wall and miss the live saving transition and hit the bruise creating flats. Good times. The next kid that tried my line made it look like he was walking down the street. Damn ripping Swede kids. Skateboarding rules the barren earth.

Tomorrow we're in a tiny house that smells of rot and will probably fall to pieces around us. After the house we've decided to skate again and then lift weights. It's so funny, when my friend was here with the same director, DP, and second all he did was drink and run around like a lunatic. Same guys but now everyone wants to exercise and skate. I'm fucking stoked since I need to loose weight anyway. Drinks on Friday? Why not.

What was I going to tell you? Oh yeah, I keep spotting deer on the edges of the fields around town and everyone thinks I've got some sort of magical "hunter's eye." Here's to it working when I get back to Cali for summer bow hunting.

OK, I'm done and doner and tired as hell and the bruise on my hip is telling me to lie the fuck down or it'll punch me in the dick.

Peace out, bitches!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

And, if my current state of much-justified petulance permits me to press the point, you are likeways demonstratably bereft of a working understanding of the perimeters of our beforementioned mission at hand.

This has been a most intriguing and fairly painless week of film making, even by Swedish standards.

We are in the country, more or less, and there are fields and wild woods and marshes all around. I've seen more deer, geese, ducks, and what looks like grouse, then I've ever seen in one place. Well, maybe not the ducks as I've seen some pretty good flocks come in to good ol' San Jacinto. Anywhy, the hunting around here must be fucking insane during the season and, best of all, everything is huge around here. Geese- biggest I've ever seen and loud and gorgeous and amazing. Ducks- I was a drake mallard that looked to be about the size of medium sized dog. He was massive. If the water hadn't been freezing I might have tried to jump in and grab him although he could probably have eaten me. Big duck is what I'm saying. Deer- Big! They're like fucking horses and they're not even showing racks yet. I really want to go hunting in Sweden.

We went out on Friday and that was pretty much a wrap on Saturday. I ended up staying out all night with Björn (2nd AC) and Spike (video) and good lord Vikings can drink. We had Indian food and beers then went bowling with beers and then went to see a metal show with beers. I won the bowling... match? What the hell do you call a round of bowling? It's not really a game is it? Whatever, I was victorious and I don't even bowl so maybe Crom is looking out for me this time.

Today has been far more productive: yoga, laundry with the worst washer/dryer set up ever, skateboarding at the Junkyard Skate Park, and and hour at the gym for free because we said we were "testing" it out. Not my fault if these fools are going to give us two weeks of gym time for free. We just had some good Thai food and I think it's now time to fold laundry and read for a bit. Easy livin' here in Trollywood.

Peace out, bitches!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

And when there was no crawdad to be found, we ate sand. You ate what? We ate sand.

Today was our first day of shooting the film Cornelis. It is a film about a Dutch immigrant to Sweden who ends up becoming a folk music hero and living a rock and roll lifestyle and eventually crashing and burning professionally as an old man but not before he makes things right with his boy. It's apparently touching and moving and very important to Swedes and other assorted European types who loved the man's music. I am going to listen to some of his music if I can find it on iTunes.

Ah, well, it would seem Cornelis is Swedish for Bob Dylan if he Dylan never plugged in his guitar. Lots of blues and bluegrass and what I can only surmise are traditional Swedish and Dutch influences. Not bad but I think the life was bigger than the music.

All in all, we kicked ass today and they only worked us for nine hours. When they called wrap I seriously thought she said lunch even though we'd already eaten (passable meatballs on sticks(?) but I made them promise to get some hot sauce for tomorrow).

Basically, after yesterday's and the day before sucking things seemed to have turned around. I suspect my calm and collected "Hell no" response to several things worked as I received my per diem and a promise of a direct deposit of my paycheck and incidentals to my account by the end of the week. Sometimes it's good to be a skate punk from LA in Sweden.

I ate well tonight: little restaurant in the hotel with amazing rack of lamb with potatoes and asparagus and started off with perfectly done little scallops in an avocado creme with arugula followed by a peach tart with creme. Heaven.

Here are some photos from today. Enjoy!



Peace out, bitches!

Monday, April 12, 2010

My name is Ash and I am a slave. As far as I can figure, the year is thirteen hundred A.D and I'm being dragged to my death. It wasn't always like this, I had a real life, once. A job.

Today, well yesterday now, was not a very good day.

I woke up nice and early after sleeping through the night for the first time since leaving LA. It was lovely. I had breakfast, stretched a bit, and took a cab to the Swedish Film Institute, which is where the Swedish rental house we're abusing, I mean using, is located. Lovely building, eastern edge of Stockholm, very moderne and cool looking. I got in with all my luggage and expected to find Bjorn in the midst of all of the new to him Panavision gear. What I found was that our delivery was late and we would have to busy ourselves with busy work: making labels for gear, organizing our truck, building carts, and some arts and crafts with fluorescent colored tape. All fun and games for two hours and then we started worrying. Where is the gear? Forty-five minutes away. An hour later, where is the gear? Forty-five minutes away. This went on for six fucking hours.

There is no more boring place than a film set if you're not busy except a prep house.

When we finally got out gear we ran through it as fast as possible and then loaded everything onto our camera truck. Apparently we have the best truck in Sweden. It sucks. It's a good sized box mounted on a lawnmower and it is dangerously overloaded and underpowered and threatens to tip over while at stop lights. If it makes it through this job I will be very surprised.

Best addition to camera truck: 5 million pound ramp with a crappy transition that the DP had his grip make. I'd like to find that sonofabitch and kick him in the balls. This is one of the worst ramps I've ever had the displeasure of wedging into a camera truck. Ever!

Kahnnnnn!

After driving in the Death Box, as we've affectionately named it, all damn night we arrived in Trollhattan. Which is to say, we took off hours late and drove from LA to SF along the coast and showed up well after everyone else had gone to bed. We did get a note with our keys saying that because of insurance reasons we had to unload the truck. By hand. One case at a time as the elevator is too small for carts.

This shall not stand.

It took us an hour. We're not doing it again. Hire a guy to watch the truck. Cover it in cow shit. Put land mines around it. Block it in with other trucks. Or, alternately, unload it your damn selves!

It's 4am. I'm going to try to Skype my lady and tell her I love her and then I'm done. Out. Gone.

I may finally quit a show in the middle of it. It'll be a first but...

Peace out, bitches!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A man should never lose his hand at hunting.

I have been up since 4pm yesterday. I have had dinner with my friend Bjorn, watched several movies and tons of BBC news, read the last of my Nation magazines, walked around Slussen as the sun rose, eaten a kick ass breakfast, worked out, swam a few laps, wandered around Slussen some more to buy a plug adapter and some cool gloves, and now I am sitting and typing and waiting to Skype my lady love. I have been up for 25 hours and I am now officially scared of the impending crash.

I have got to get this shit under control. I have work to do very very soon. Our first shoot day is Tuesday and I need to be game tight so as to set the tone: pay this niggah and do not fuck with him. If you don't instill the proper perfect mix of fear and respect these people will eat you alive. What do you mean "these people"? I mean muthafuckin' movie types, dawg! It's vicious out here. One wrong step and people start wondering aloud, in English, why you're here as opposed to their buddy from down in Sudermalm. You mustn't loose your footing, as it were, in terrain such as this.

I have been eating well, at least. A donner kabab here, a  trundsbrullen there, and last night some almost right tapas. I think the problem is that the ingredients just aren't quite fresh enough up here in the frozen north. This time the preparation was right, the presentation off, and the overall taste just not quite there. I wonder what would happen if you got a really good purveyor and did tapas like the Spaniards do? I wonder if you'd be a millionaire in one year because it would be so vastly different and better than anyone else in town. I think we're going to go for Thai tonight at the weirdo joint I went to two years ago. It's a restaurant designed to look like a beach with beach hut restaurant on the beach in Thailand. What? Yeah, it's hilarious but the food is damn good.

So I am going to try to talk to my fiance via Skype. I miss her. I miss the Midget. Sigh. The first step is always the hardest but honestly, they all kind of suck until you get to the last one.

Peace out, bitches!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

If I say it's safe to surf this beach, it's safe to surf this beach!

It's 6:30 in the morning here in the wonderful outskirts of London and "Appalachin Spring" just woke me up. Lovely. I looked at Facebook to see what everyone else was up to and found that my pal had posted this so I decided to share this before breakfast (modified Full English if possible). Enjoy!

Skateboardanimation from Tilles Singer on Vimeo.


Peace out, bithces!

Sometimes I wonder what we're doing here... grown men making mud pies to sell to the great unwashed.

Panavision London is a actual movie making rental house. Old school, nahmean? Probably not but hey, not everyone can be dumb enough to work in the film business.

It's cavernous and maze-like and the staff is unfailingly polite and helpful. So wonderfully British in a sense and still very old-school Hollywood. Yeah, they have all the digital crap you could need but all anyone wanted to talk about was film gear, the death of the apprenticeship system, the tragedy of the "Suits" having taken over the studios, and on and on. I felt right at home.

It's that longing you hear in certain places for what was and is no longer. Sometimes it's an absurd longing like Russian pensioners pinning away for COMMUNISM when really they just need the kleptocracy to quit. Sometimes it's a mean longing like old and decaying Senators waxing poetic about dead racists. Rarely it's the longing of someone who has taken the time to truly learn a trade that is now falling by the wayside. I admire the technicians and artists and wheelers and dealers who made Hollywood what it was, good and bad, and who then made that little locale into a worldwide concept. They may not have all been good people but then again, who is?

I prepped and met some nice people with great accents, took a two mile walk roundtrip, and ate some really good Indian food at a local joint here in Greenford, Middlesex, UK. Not a bad way to make a buck.

Tomorrow I walk back to Panavision and dot the i's and cross the t's and get on a plane for Stockholm. So it goes.

Peace out, bitches!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

As soon as I get to the bottom of this, I'll get the next plane.

So, um, yeah. London. Londonnnnnnn! Wow. Yeah. No, not so really. I'm in Greenford, Middlesex which really just sounds like one of those towns in which nothing happens until aliens or zombies or a murder occur. There's a highway or whatever the chaps call it, right next to the hotel. Everything is wet and overcast but the pub is fucking tops. I actually had a real order of fish and chips: full slab of one actual fish, perfectly done chips, and really good tartar sauce. I washed it all down with a two pints of York's Bitters and bam, I'm in a much better place both spiritually and physically. Funny how well food works when it's done right.

So, um, yeah. London. Gonna go find Panavision tomorrow bright and early and I'll start knocking out a camera and some lenses. After that I'll probably... right, nothing to do around here. I'll probably come back to the hotel and watch BBC News and see what's actually going on in the world. It'll be a wonderful change from watching the news in the States, there might be news!

OK, I'm out and I'm going to start reading Pynchon's "Against The Day" for the third time. I'm hoping the isolation and oddness of Sweden will allow me time to actually get this damn book read. We'll see. Or read. What the fuck ever, you get it, ya?

Peace out, bitches!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Your knowledge of scientific biological transmogrification is only outmatched by your zest for kung-fu treachery!

I'm packed. I've got a skateboard and a back up deck in case the one I'm riding now breaks. I've got rain gear and cold weather gear. I've got my trusty Port-A-Brace full of tools and what what.

I've eaten a pastrami sandwich at Canter's, a pizza at Domianos, shrimp and crawfish etouffe at Harold and Belle's, a gigantor burrito at El Chabelita, chili and a lamb sandwich at Philipe's, and shrimp tacos at this little joint by my mechanic's. I've eaten like a champ all over LA and I'm now ready to go to Sweden for two months and eat... salmon. Lots of salmon.

The food will probably be mostly bad but at least I know what to expect this time around. I'm bringing my bow with me too. No sense in not practicing while out and about with the Vikings. Train and make a movie and eventually come back and go deer hunting, then get married, then go elk hunting in Arizona. This might end up being the perfect year.

Peace out, bitches!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

And maybe there's no peace in this world, for us or for anyone else, I don't know. But I do know that, as long as we live, we must remain true to ourselves.

On a lighter and more positive note, here are some photos of my hot wife-to-be (and one of me) from our recent unsuccessful turkey hunt. Oh, and a couple from Big Bear. Enjoy!


Viddy well, little brother. Viddy well.

Ha ha! I'm in Big Bear and I'm the big asshole! Ha ha! Tis always that one drink too many and the tongue begins to yammer whilst the brain lags behind and then lo and behold, you're a dick and no one likes you!

It would hurt had I not been here oh so many damn times but what can I say? I warn 'em every time but they all think I'm some sort of nice person. But I'm not. I'm an asshole. I knows it. You should knows it. Everyone that's known me for a while knows it so...

I digress. I made a funny. It flopped. I apologized but not enough even though no one had the nuts to tell me so. What am I to do? Epic fail as always I guess. Tis a wrap for me, I'm done. No more from upon these cruel lips shall pass. I is mute for the trip.

I shall see my people once again come Friday and mayhaps I'll speak again but I think not. I. Am. Not. Acceptable.

Fuck yous.

No, really, I'm done and it's fine. I am not ready for prime time. I will retire myself and you can all get on with it in proper fashion and I'll come back from Sweden one day and we'll all see if I've matured enough to welcomed into proper society. Till then, have fun. I'll think of you all often. Adieu.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's a robot. Ash is a god damn robot!

I had a bunch of shit to say but domestic bliss has led me to write this: nothing.

Half a bottle of wine later: Is it wrong that on occasion I am seized with the maniacal desire to do something completely against my own self-interest? Is it wrong that despite my deep desire to have a happy union and spawn I also crave time alone? Why do I find compromise so easy to accomplish but so hard to actually accept?

Perhaps another bottle of wine will help. Perhaps.

Strangely enough, watching Kagemusha while thinking about all of this is not helping.

Oops. Almost forgot about Movie Clip Wednesday. Best Action Movie if Die Hard and Raiders are taken? Try this on and tell me it's not hilarious:
1) the Governator in prime form with a priceless one-liner every other sentence.
2) Rae Dawn Chong. Yeah, Rae Dawn Chong does it for me and she has a fucking rocket launcher at some point in this movie.
3) the saw blade to the head scene!
4) could it be any worse in terms of story, acting, and well, just about everything?
5) it's all ridiculous action! I mean, what else happens besides death and mayhem?
6) Rae Dawn Chong.

Peace out, bitches!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

He's not your friend, he's ours! If somebody's gonna kill him, it should be us!

In honor of me Mom's "Movie Clip Wednesday" I give you a teaser for one of the greatest anime ever made! That's right, it's the one, the only, the groundbreaking and utterly stunning AKIRA!

Peace out, bitches!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Wait! You have a Herkimer Battle Jitney? That's the finest nonlethal military vehicle ever made!

Here is a quick list of things that have stunned me in the last month and change since I last posted:

The rich-ass owners of the Dodgers, Frank and Jamie McCourt, are getting divorced and during the process it has been revealed that between 2004 and 2009 they made $108 million dollars and paid zero state or federal taxes. Yes, that's right, they MADE $108,000,000 and paid $0 in taxes. How on earth did that happen, you ask. Answer: rich people don't actually pay taxes most of the time as they claim their money is all tied up making more money. Their tax burden shifts ever forward while the rest of us pick up the slack. I am never going to another Dodger game again. Fuck pro sports.

The ongoing battle with Directv has come to an end. No more NFL package for me. I can't be bothered to pay for a service that isn't provided in HD when I have an HD receiver and all the games are shot on HD cameras and processed in HD trucks. Why pay a premium for the standard? I'll just find a bar that shows Vikings games and watch the Raiders in HD on broadcast.

Tea Party? Tea Party? Fuck you! It's mostly a bunch of spoiled-ass boomers raging at the dying of the light. The most telling sign? "Listen To Me!" on a placard held aloft by an old white guy. These people have no idea what the hell they're talking about, no idea what socialism actually is, or for that matter, what capitalism is all about. The same douche bags that are on Medicaid are raging against government involvement in their lives. Huh? They don't mind socialized medicine for themselves or vets but heaven forbid anyone else get something helpful from the government. The racism, rock throwing, and spitting recently on view shows what this group is really about. Young, old, boomer or Gen X, if you're in with the Tea Party you're a fucking idiot.

What the hell is in the water in New York? Governor Patterson is accepting free tickets and defending his wife beating aide, Rep. Rangle is into who knows how many kickback schemes, and Rep. Massa is just batshit crazy. Way to go New York! If at first you don't succeed, fail fail again.

As for Massachusetts, well, if you can't win a Democratic seat in the land of the Kennedy's then maybe it's time to call it a wrap on your political career. Alternately, here's a big "fuck you!" to everyone in Massachusetts who let this happen.

The Supreme Court didn't like being called on their bullshit giveaway of the remaining shreds of political control that normal people have? Tough shit. You assholes just opened up political control of this country to global corporations who have no interest, save monetary, in anything here. That's right, they'll ride this thing into the ground and shoot it where it falls and call it a good day. How does anyone still think that this Court is anything other than a draconian extension of the neo-con wing of the Republican Party? They're smiling fascists claiming to be defending the Constitution.

Obama. WTF? The healthcare bill sucks but at least it's a start. Nice of you to sit on the sidelines until the last minute. Way to go. Everyone is now running around claiming that this allowed the Republicans to hang themselves with their own rope but political grandstanding aside, at what cost to the Republic? The public option was immediately cast aside and referred to as "political suicide" and too expensive and yet even places like Canada can make it happen. Once again, the Dem's inability to play like winners has cost all of us dearly. Nice.

Countless stupid things have happened at work but that stuff is so ridiculous that I can't be bothered to go into it except to say, "I was quit when I came in here. I'm twice as quit now."

Peace out, bitches!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

And like that... he's gone.

Recent events have unfolded that have made me question the wisdom of... well, talking to other people. I think I'm taking some time off from the vast sea of humanity that is the Intrawebs.

Peace be with you all.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

To eat good food is to be close to God.

It's better when you wait for a thing that you really want. Maybe suffer a little bit in the waiting. Think of it: had Odysseus come right back home from Troy do you really think The Odyssey would have been particularly interesting?

Not that working all week in the bowels of the capitalist machinery is anything like fighting lotus eaters or harpies or having to slaughter a mob of men making moves on your missus. Working all week in the bowels of the capitalist machinery is, however, sufficiently painful enough to make the idea of a fine dining experience with your soon-to-be-wife a sweet and shinning beacon that urges you forward. We'd been wanting to go to AOC for a month but life has a funny way of preventing you from getting things done sometimes. Reservations were made earlier in the week and childcare was sorted and then a job came up and it all went to hell.

Never fear though, as sometimes you win and my easy, cash at the end of the day, we're only shooting daylight job actually ended at 9pm while the dinner reservation wasn't until 9:30pm. Typical Hollywood bullshit.

Waiting anxiously for a meal of this caliber all week is exciting. There are dishes on the AOC menu that once you've eaten them you'll think about them constantly. You'll sit down for a meal and it will occur to you that the asparagus you're eating are no where near as good as the ones at AOC. The fingerling potatoes in creme fraiche? Divine. Pork cheeks with black beans in some sort of ambrosia had me close to tears. Red wine butter on a steak? Get the hell away from me with that kind of crazy. Translucent slices of perfectly made chorizo and lomo with a chunk of Spanish sheep's cheese eaten with a bit of bread made me order another helping of said charcuterie but the Girl said no, save room for desert. We did. It was amazing.

To put it all in perspective: I was working for two days at almost half rate as a favor to a director and was handsomely rewarded for my generosity with a two day beat down. Not enough guys and too many cameras with three location moves a day. To say it was amateur hour would be like saying the people in New Orleans were a bit excited about the Saints win. Prior to this job I spent a day in the desert selling Hershey's chocolate slabs. It rained. It stopped raining and we burned. The sun went down and we froze. Then we drove two and a half hours back to town. Joy. And pain. Sunshine. And rain. Cut!


Peace out, bitches!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Men will believe anything, the more preposterous the better. Whales speak French at the bottom of the sea. The horses of Arabia have silver wings. Pygmies mate with elephants in darkest Africa. I have sold all those propositions. Well, maybe we're all fools and none of it matters.

If you had bothered to ask me at the beginning of the season how it would all play out I never ever ever ever would have picked the Saints to even make it into the post-season. That is why I am not a prognasticator for the NFL. I know nothing.

Except that the Saints won and I made everyone hot sausage and sub-par red beans and rice and Reid brought over a King cake FedExed from NOLA and we drank a whole bottle of tequila and all my rowdy friends came over.

Good times. I hope everyone from NOLA and everyone who cares has a goddamn good time and that the city finally gets its due.

Peace out, bitches!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Do you not know that in the service... one must always choose the lesser of two weevils.

Yesterday: The Midget stayed home from school so no surfing for me. Did a bunch of yoga, cleaned the house, and then shot some arrows over in the arroyo by the Rose Bowl. The Midget handled herself fairly well when acting as my spotter ("High and left." "High and middle." "Bullseye!"). We had a good time and then we bought hot sausage for Sunday's game. Not bad. We put the kid down early and ordered Harold and Belle's and once again the bartender got me a little tipsy. Two free shots of tequila because somehow that has become our tradition. I love that place. I had the crawfish etouffee and the girl had the chicken wings and some fries. What? Yeah, I was surprised as well but what ya gonna do? I have left overs so I'm set.

Today: I was going to go check out some private land that I'm now going to have hunting access to but that fell through. I was going to drive into my beloved Los Padres National Forest but the Midget threw up this morning so Ghost and the Darkness are now stuck at home. Oh. Joy. I guess I look at more maps and try to figure out exactly where I want to go to try to put an arrow into a moving chunk of bacon. I thought about leaving early this morning but the Midget was up at midnight hacking up a lung so I sort of figured she and I would be stuck at home again. What a world.

Well, the rain is going to be here soon so no surf for a bit and I've got to work tomorrow so no fun tonight either. At least there's a job on the horizon.

Peace out, bitches!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

God damn it, I should kill you! This is so fucking good I should kill you!

Anthony Bourdain is costing me money and I'm going to make that mother fucker pay what he owes.

Yep, every damn time I watch "No Reservations" I end up getting worked up about food and then I go out and spend a bunch of damn money and eat like a fucking champ. Nevermind I'm really just a working chump, making it by or not with whatever is on hand at the time. A good meal? Love 'em when I get 'em but I'll make do with a damn cheese sandwich if I have to do so. Or I'll go shoot one of the damn big ass resident geese that hang about every golf course 'round SoCal, it's all the same to me.

But that Bourdain bastard! Off to all corners with his little leather jacket and his fucking thumb ring and no matter how much he eats he's pencil thin. Fucker. I wish I were him, except that he sort of sucks as a fiction writer and he gets real spoiled real quick and he's old and weathered while I'm just old. Yeah, that Bourdain bastard has some gall running all over the place making me want to go eat. Last night he was in Prague eating sausage and all things good and porcine and drinking pint after pint of well crafted Czech beer and bam! It hits me that I should go get some sausage and a pint so that's what we did tonight.

The whole little trio of family that I now have went to the Red Lion Tavern over in Hipsterville (aka Silverlake). It was a bit of a haul and not at all Czech as it is, in fact, a German beer joint. Ah, that's a disservice as "beer joint" makes it sound like I took my kid and fiance to some sort of corporate bar like BJ's or some damn shit. No, The Red Lion is a true German beer place where you can sit and drink some pints with your friends and family and consume large quantities of German food. We went with the sausage sampler plate (three different kinds of meat in tube form!), potato pancakes, french fries, and pickled cabbage. The midget even got a little beef and veggie soup. It was a damn fine meal, everyone was stuffed, and I got to drink a nice Spaten with my girl.

Ok, so maybe that damn Bourdain ain't so bad after all but I tell you this: If I can get him to start paying for some of these culinary snap decisions I'll be a lot less likely to think of him as a damn bastard.

Peace out, bitches!

Monday, February 1, 2010

There's something out there waiting for us, and it ain't no man. We're all gonna die.

Oh what an inglorious end to an otherwise wonderful duck season! I went to San Jacinto and nailed a Northern Shoveler and managed to miss three very easy shots on more Shovelers. Total bullshit, I shot like hell. Then I drove all the way to Wister and managed to not even see a duck at two different blinds until I got up to leave. Epic fail. It's like I had a sign above my head that said "duck hunter here." All the ducks just flew high or around everywhere I was.

I think part of the problem is I need to spend more time on the range. Shooting ducks is nothing like shooting quail or dove or pheasant. Shooting ducks and geese is deceptive as they're large and always seem to not be moving as fast as they actually are, except teal. Teal are small and fast and for me a lot easier to hit. I've missed some amazingly close shots on ducks, shots that left me thinking that maybe there was no shot in the shells I was firing. I've looked at ducks eyes as I'm shooting at them they're so close and yet I miss. Anyway, I'm going to find a range that can simulate duck shoots and get this shit done next season!

Peace out, bitches!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

If I didn't know you better, I'd swear you had some class!

I'd like to relate a little observation from today's job that illustrates why I have become rather ambivalent about working in Hollywood:

We're making a commercial for Scotts Advantage. Apparently they make fertilizer steroids for your overwatered, resource wasting lawn. The stuff is toxic. You're not really supposed to handle it, breathe in its dust, or spill it on the healthy parts of your lawn. We're shooting in Pasadena at a really nice house with a perfect lawn. We were warned not to let the Scotts Advantage stuff spill all over the healthy lawn as it would chemically burn the lawn or something. In an effort to comply with the location requests a piece of black cloth was put over the part of the lawn we were shooting. As the fertilizer spilled it collected on the cloth and rapidly fell off of it and into the lawn. When the cloth was moved for the shot the stuff went everywhere. In short, the lawn was not protected.

What makes me laugh is that the cloth is a perfect example of Hollywood caring: half-ass and ineffective but hey, shouldn't we get points for trying?

Ah, Hollywood. So coy. So disarming. So pointless.

In regards to Obama's state of the union address: the more things change the more they stay the same.

Peace out, bitches!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How about a nice MLT when the mutton is nice and lean.

Never watch Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" if you're not in the mood to go out and get nice cheese and meat and bread. I watched the Brittany episode at about 11pm after having made and consumed an excellent dish of Pad Thai with ducks I'd shot a few days prior. It was fucking good. I was sated and lying in bed and bam, Anthony Bourdain is eating like a champion in Brittany. A stack of shellfish a mile high. Fantastic gallettes and rillettes and cookies and meat made just the right way and crepes with all kinds of good stuff in them and artisnal piggies and all manner of goodness flowing from said piggies. It was food porn of the highest caliber and I fell for it the next day. Yeah, I woke up this morning with a single thought in my spider web encrusted brain: find good cheese and good salami and good bread and eat it for lunch. Oh, and maybe make something nice for the other two people you live with. Maybe.

First I had to do some yoga. That was a nice use of 45 minutes! Then, off to deal with the dog and his grub and a walk and some petting and some retriever practice. Good use of 5 minutes. Kidding. Another hour goes by. Shower, forget to shave, run out of the house and off into the rain and traffic jams of LA. First stop is Trader Joe's for some supplies. Then off to Monsieur Marcel in the world famous (I hope) Farmer's Market. Love that place but we'll talk about it some other time. Monsieur Marcel's is a slightly overpriced French market with all manner of good things to eat. I picked out a nice wedge of Ossau-Iraty and a dozen slices of some amazing Sopressata and a fresh baguette and a bottle of San Pellegrino. I also bought two pounds of perfect merguez sausages for the pizza I was going to make. Dammit! Good stuff I says!

Second I had to go to work at the slowest camera house in town, Clairmont Camera. I got lucky today, by the time I rolled in looking like an escapee from the Food Network all of my gear was out and waiting for me. In addition, my second AC is buddies with the whole staff somehow so she expedited the remaining bits and pieces. I should make her some food someday or maybe just keep buying her and the rest my toolbelt monkeys booze. They seem to like it anyway so... We finished up in near record time for Clairmont and after finalizing some bs with tomorrows task masters we were off.

Off into the most retarded traffic ever. LA in the rain is like a prison riot: way more chaotic and ridiculous than would really make sense since everyone is back in their cages as soon as it's all said and done and so where are you really for all the violence? People drive like idiots here in the rain so I took back roads and managed to travel 12 miles in only an hour and fifteen minutes. Epic fail.

End of long winded bullshit: here is a pizza that I made with buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil, shallots, garlic, really good roma tomatoes, and merguez. I wish I had made the dough but alas, TJ's provided once again. I'm told it was quite good.
Peace out, bitches!

Monday, January 25, 2010

When you're slapped, you'll take it and like it.

What a lovely day! No rain, no mud hole sucking up my car, no ducks not flying overhead, and no work or work types to bug me. Today I got to wake up late and do a nice hour of yoga and then, and this sucked, I paid some bills and went to the post office. Nice bit of working on home type stuff and then off to get the car cleaned and buy groceries.

I like days like this, where you get a bunch of shit done and it's all normal and respectable and what what. It's comforting. It's a good pair of wool socks and waterproof boots on a crisp fall morning when the pheasants are flying. It's a well made and warm wetsuit when it's cold out but the waves are pumping so you have to go out. Pick your favorite metaphor or simile or whatever and that's what it feels like for me to have a normal day. The rest of the week is going to be stupid, I'm running around on a commercial for some crap product and I'm sure the hours are going to be annoying. We're shooting daylight only which sounds good in winter but usually results in the toolbelt monkeys getting their asses kicked. That said, at least I had today.

I made the ducks into Pad Thai and served a side of Chinese style green beans. A little white wine was the perfect pairing and then I ate some mint ice cream with fresh mint leaves on top. It was good. There are some leftovers if you happen to be in town.

Peace out, bitches!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Now that I've had a taste of it I don't wonder why you love boating.

After an afternoon of duck hunting in the San Jacinto Wildlife Refuge I came away with four Ruddy ducks and a filthy dog. Damn fine hunting.

I wandered down the road a spell and found myself in the parking lot for the Wister Unit of the Sonny Bono Wildlife Refuge whats next to the Salton Sea. Yeah, that tree hugging Sonny Bono went and helped build a massive waterfowl refuge and you can hunt there on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. I showed up Saturday night and signed up for the Sunday hunt and then set up the Pumpkin for some car camping. I made some dehydrated lasagna with "meat sauce" and settled in for a little "Blade Runner" and an early bedtime.

I love waking up early to hunt. I don't like getting a bad blind assignment and Y115B-3 was a shit box of a blind. The whole morning I was there I saw one bird fly overhead and I was half asleep when he flew over. Good times. Great miss. Going home. I did like watching the sun rise over the marsh and hearing all of the various bird calls and songs but it would have been nice to murder a duck or seven.

On the way out my day completely turned around and this happened:


Stuck. Stuck. Stuck! The good thing is as I started sliding I didn't slide into the river on the other side of the road.


Clearly I was not amused.








I walked a mile, got some guys with tow straps, and then got completely covered with mud as I dug out the front of the car so as to attach said straps. Fucking hell.

And then the Vikings lost.
Or...
And then the Saints won!

What an odd day. Ducks on the menu tomorrow so things are going to be looking up soon.

Peace out, bitches!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Congratulations, madam. There's another town you've destroyed.

Because it's early and I need to go to work:

My pirate name is:
Iron Harry Roberts

A pirate's life isn't easy; it takes a tough person. That's okay with you, though, since you a tough person. Two things complete your pirate persona: style and swagger. Maybe a little too much swagger sometimes -- but who really cares? Arr!
Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.
part of the fidius.org network

Peace out, bitches!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

O.K., bad joke... I made a bad joke. You're not a replicant. Go home, O.K.? No, really - I'm sorry, go home.

I had a dream last night about a rather large and old tiger or tigress. I don't know how you tell the difference but I got the feeling it was a tigress. It's not really that important to the story as far as I can tell, I just thought I'd put it out there in case, well, you know. In case it did end up being important.

I'm in a bit of high desert rocky country looking for quail. I'm all alone, just me and Thumper versus the all mighty Gambel's quail and I'm hoping along some rocky drainage. It's not too hot and not too cold and the sun is high and there are a few clouds. Perfect quail hunting weather. After awhile I'm sitting propped up against some rocks watching a giant TV screen floating in the sky. There's a Vikings game on and the screen is insanely crisp and saturated and, most impressive of all, utterly giant and floating over the sage and rocks of an arroyo. As I'm sitting there, feet propped up and Thumper at my side, I realize there is a very large tiger (tigress?) hunkered down in some scrub brush ten yards off to my right. I see the orange and black stripes of its enormous shoulder as it slowly glides along on its belly towards the TV screen. I briefly wonder if it is watching and if it's a Vikings fan.

In the blink of an eye I'm on top of the tallest outcropping I can find and looking down at the tiger as it notices me and looks up. It has an excessive amount of long hair around its snout, almost like a beard, and what looks like a gouge in its lower lip. I will later be told it had a bought with mouth cancer. The tiger snaps upright and is three quarters of the way up my little perch without expending any visible energy. It is standing upright, hugging the rock, and looking at me with what I interpret as curiosity. With a flick of its tail it is up the rocks and a hairs breadth away from me.

Survival mode kicks in and I start spinning around looking for another tall rock to jump atop. I have Thumper with me but it never once occurs to me to shoot the tiger. We jump from rock to rock, my stomach starts to hurt with fear and exhaustion. Soon I am in a grove of trees that I know I've hunted from before, perhaps for dove a million years ago, and I'm running. I am running and breathing and I can hear the tiger padding along like a border collie guiding the lamb to slaughter. It's right next to me then a little in front and bearing into me so I have to go right then it's behind me and I'm trying to go faster. Forever. Then the grove ends and I'm next to a high school and next to that is another high school that was abandoned when they built the new high school.

I run for the abandoned high school and find a tool shed and duck into it just as the tiger flicks at my heel. The door closes as I crash into grass sod and shovels. Then the tiger is opening the door with its snout and I am behind the grass. As the tiger enters I exit and slam the door and wedge a shovel through the handles and shove a trash can in front of the whole thing. Off I go through the school and I realize as I'm running through familiar corridors and stairways that I'm running through Franklin High in Highland Park, my alma mater, and I wonder how long it has been abandoned.

I've found the Ranger station and just like that I'm back at the outskirts of the hunting grounds where I first saw the tiger and I'm explaining to them that they have a fucking tiger roaming around the arroyos and no wonder there are no goddamn rabbits around! The damn tiger is eating them! How must the poor quail be fairing I ask. I'm told of the tiger's mouth cancer, the miracle of its being here in Southern California, and how lucky I am that it didn't just jump me from behind and eat me. I feel bad for locking it in the tool shed and the Rangers tell me it's OK, just go home and next time hunt with a partner because the tiger will get too shy to attack if you're with someone.

I woke up and kissed my fiance after all of this and then I went to work. I'm anxious to get back to sleep and see if the tiger wants to chase me again.

Peace out, bitches!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

There are schedules to be maintained, even in Colombia.

You'd think shooting mannequins would be quick and easy but you'd be very, very wrong.

Mannequins, apparently, require tons of lighting tweaks, a whole passel of fussing over their clothes, and tons of time to mess with their arms and heads. It's incredibly annoying and frustrating to watch a bunch of people make decisions based on committee opinion. If that committee is made up primarily of uninteresting and uncreative people those decisions will take forever and ultimately be useless and counterproductive. In addition, the day took forever and dragged on for 14 hours. Fourteen hours of totally stupid decisions and unnecessary wastes of time and effort. Ah well, what the fuck are you supposed to do? Get a real job?

That said I'm going to go pay some bills as I really don't like holding on to my money.

Peace out, bitches!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Yes, the "black" white man; I have heard of them. It is said that a "black" white man once became a Human Being. They are a very strange creatures. Not as ugly as the white man true; but they are just as crazy!

It's church Sunday here in the hood and everyone is in their Sunday best. In addition, there are several very drunk young men wandering from playoff party to playoff party and these two facts about my neighborhood are giving me a headache.

It is also about to be monsoon week here in lovely Southern California. At least this time I'm not scheduled for any outside jobs so I shall stay nice and dry on Soundstage 29 at the old MGM lot (now a subsidiary of the mighty Sony, itself a subsidiary of some other even more gargantuan Japanese conglomerate). It'll be nice to be out of the elements for a bit, trapped on a boring and cavernous but wonderfully non-soaked soundstage. It's funny, you go in at night and come out at night and a whole sun cycle was completed in your absence. Nothing in the Universal mechanism of "day" seemed to really care that you missed the whole show. C'est la vie.

As I continue to ramble I will mention this: the Vikings won today by kicking the Cowboys in their metaphorical nuts and I'm very, very happy about the whole game. For some reason that really isn't well formed enough to be defendable I hate the Cowboys. I loathe them. I think part of it is that they're referred to as "America's team" even though no one really lives in Texas and most of the time Texans go out of Texas people ask them to return asap. Everyone always wants to fuck a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader even though they're about as average looking as the rest of the cheerleaders. Jerry Jones, the billionaire owner, isn't the brightest bulb in the house just because he's rich. He's made horrible decisions regarding his team and the new stadium is a fucking monument to Texas-American excess. (Yeah, they're their own sub-group due to inbreeding and bad diet.) Anyway, I could go on but I won't because they lost so screw 'em.

The problem lies in that now I am forced to acknowledge that next weekend my beloved Vikings are going to play the New Orleans Saints for world supremacy of a division in a league of a game only played here. What? Nothing. The Saints are the historic, family-roots team so... I think I'll miss the whole thing and go duck hunting. Yes, overnight in Wister! A little camping, maybe take the dog even though he'll just get dirty and in the way... Genius. OK, that's what's what.

Peace out, bitches!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Remember it, write it down, take a picture! I don't give a fuck!

Harold and Belle's is an LA institution and I love it. It's the kind of place you can go to a few times and you're a local. Creole food and good service and good times makes the world go round, y'all. Anywhat, I hadn't been in there for ages but now that my internal organs aren't in a state of rebellion I decided to get in and get some grub. As soon as I walked in the bartender Santos gave me a holler and started pouring us our traditional shot of tequila. The hostess remembered me from last time I'd been in there. I slid up to my usual spot at the end of the bar and waited for my hot sausage po' boy to show up and had me shot. Next thing you know, Councilman Bernie Parks rolls in, you know, ex-Police Chief Parks. The conversations between the real old timers was priceless: The Saints- yes or no? Parks- good job or bad job? Upwardly mobile looking black boomers and their grown kids, young hip hoppers with baggy pants and chains, and older men and women rocking out on a Thursday. Ah, hilarious. I love being in LA.

Back to Old Navy tomorrow and ducks on Saturday. Damn it feels good to be a gangsta...

Peace out, bitches!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today.

As I drove home from working on an Old Navy commercial being shot along the coast of good ol' Southern California I happened upon coverage of the new Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. The heads of JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley went before a committee of mostly Democrats and said "mea culpa." Wow. What balls. A group of the richest, most corrupt, most morally bankrupt douche bags actually sat together and had the balls to lecture another group of rich, corrupt, and morally bankrupt douche bags and they all thought we'd be so dumb and broke and desperate that we'd fall for the charade. Asking Congress to investigate it's financial backers and figure out what went wrong is sort of like asking your teenage, pothead kid to tell you why you're an alcoholic. Everyone with a brain knows what happened: Congress got rid of Glass-Steagall, pushed through tort reform for corporations, amended interest laws in favor of credit card companies (thanks Joe Biden, ya cunt), and deregulated as much of the financial markets as possible while also grossly underfunding the few organizations still tasked with keeping everything legal. In short, the guys funding Congress and any President ever asked for some lanyap and got it in the form of no more government oversight. Same thing that led to the first Great Depression and these dicks are running around acting like they didn't see it coming BUT they did have the prescence of mind to stick the country up just as Bush was walking out the back door. They punked us and now they're putting the onus of responsibility on, yeah you guessed it, the working stiff. According to the brain trust represented at the first of only two days of meetings (because the whole thing is so simple) the problem lies not so much with repealing all of the oversight or with greed or insider trading or overt corruption but with sub prime loans on houses. Yes, apparently that's all it took to ruin a once great financial empire: letting a small fraction of the overall number of home loans go to people who couldn't pay.


So, spider derivatives and hedge funds and the rest of the pseudo-economic crap that these guys were peddling over the last thirty years had nothing to do with the mess we're in? Banks that are lenders, brokers, and speculators had nothing to do with it? Financial "wizards" promising an unsustainable 20% a year return on investments had nothing to do with it? Fuck you, give me a break! Blaming housing markets and their bubble for an economic implosion that responsible people have been warning of for twenty years is reprehensible. I say we take the heads of these companies and several members of Congress and beat the shit out of them, transfer their individual wealth into the public coffers and throw them out on the street, all as a warning that the American people are tired of this shit.


As for the President, I have full faith and confidence that he will do absolutely nothing about this problem as he is part and parcel of the whole problem. Any President is going to be until we the people realize that corporations are not people or citizens and as such have no Constitutional rights and that corporate money is not the same as free speech. Money should have nothing to do with free speech or the ability to express one's political will. The only reason it does is because the vast majority of us who don't have money don't use what we do have: our voices. 


Whatever. What the fuck do I know? I'm just a toolbelt monkey working on an Old Navy commercial.


Peace out, bitches!