Monday, July 6, 2009

Manifest Destiny Continues...

Summer is six weeks deep- and I'm drowning in the new and old alike. Here's the recap thus far:

Memorial Day, I went HOME for what felt like the last time- as we know it. The ghosts were quiet - But the realization it wasn't so much "over and out" but more of stay tuned, because now we can all look at things from a new perspective.

My newly transplanted friend and I were walking from a morning of pancakes and perfect orange juice, both laughing, what are we doing here? Two years ago, this wasn't even in the realm of possibility - Two years ago I was on a road trip, two years ago was the last time I was a teacher! A few weeks ago, those 9th graders I taught that first year GRADUATED- The road trip was supposed to give me direction. We drove West and East and South and North - but now we are all WEST and more are coming. More visitors, more transplants, more, more, more.

-I'm always ready to be new again-

But, am I? Are we?

Last night, I saw Death Cab For Cutie play at the Hollywood Bowl (if you've never been, go, to any concert). You sit, with a bottle of wine, under the pale sky, watching the sun set over the mountains, with the Hollywood sign perched high in the distance, over looking the stage. Oh, and they were playing with the L.A. Philharmonic, so when Benjamin Gibbard came out with just his acoustic guitar to play "I Will Follow You Into the Dark" and the orchestra joined in, it was okay, okay to be a little emo (finally). Not to be matched of course, by the rousing, delicate rendition of "Transalanticism" with orchestra, culminating with FIRERWORKS over the dark pitched blue night sky, on every down beat. Correction, this is when it was okay to be emo, just this once.

Now, my nostalgia is on hold- why are we so nostalgic? I have San Diego, this weekend I have San Fransisco, then LA again, with more visitors, more, more, more.

We are building a new empire, and it's finally feeling like home.

I will be protective of what's important.

What's so few and far between.

The bomb is about to go off. Ka-boom

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Because there's a 100 other things I should be spending my time on...

The Facebook "how well do you know me quiz" will surely destroy more friendships then help. Remember when MYSPACE introduced the top 8 and we were forced to narrow down all our friends to the 8 we could display for the world to see. I know I learned a lot about who I know business caring about anymore. Needles to say, I too was swept in the narcissistic styling's of creating a quiz about me. And I didn't make it easy- I purposely put answers that may have been right at one point, but if the person really thought it through, should realize that these were about here and now. I'm a complicated person. Deal with it. The following is the quiz with explanations to the answers. So, if you got a 50% you probably should have received more points for thinking - and coming up with logical choices- but again, I'm complicated.

1) Which of the following institutes of higher learning have I attended?
a) Ithaca College
b) Hofstra University
c) SUNY Stony Brook
d) University of Southern California
e) WTF all of the above?!

The easiest one- even though I rarely talk about my first school, Ithaca, the fact it's the only question with an E choice should have been a give away.

2) Which song have I never sang at Karaoke?
a) How Soon is Now?
b) Layla
c) A Whole New World
d) Santa Baby

This was an unfair question. The point was to see if anyone would believe that I would sing "A Whole New World" and "Santa Baby" which I did in duets. (Please note I spent most of Christmas day practicing for "Santa Baby" on Xmas night- I have sang "Layla" by Derek and the Dominos, but to be fair, I should have put another more random song as the correct answer besides The Smith's "How Soon is Now"- I've never sang it, but there's no real reason why I haven't. I should have used a Creed song, or a DMB song, so basically if you picked a or b you're cool with me.

3) Where did I work for half a shift, and quit after my first lunch break?
a) Borders Books
b) Blockbuster Video
c) Old Navy
d) Smithtown High School East

Come on, Old Navy! They put those stupid walkie talkie ear pieces on me and watched me from above, telling me to go up to customers and ask them what size they were looking for- it sucked. So I went to get lunch at Boston Market, had a fabulous meal, and decided to quit when I went back.

4) I was once in the greatest two piece band of all time- what was it called?
a) Cloud 8
b) The Screwbeagles
c) Out, Out, Brief Candle!
d) Visor

Again, this is one of those it depends when we hung out kind of questions. But really, The Screwbeagles, my faux Ska band from high school was a three piece- Cloud 8 was just the name of a band I never formed- Out,Out, was the name of Michael Behr and my acacore- an acapella hard core band (sans the Brief Candle) leaving the obvious choice Visor- in which me and Michael Cassidy actually wrote 3 songs, and performed live in front of 4 people.

5) Who is my favorite French New Wave actress?
a) Zoey Deschanelle
b) Anna Karina
c) Madame Bovary
d) Emily Blunt
If you didn't get this one, then you are just lazy. Only one of the choices was a French New Wave actress, and she was PERFECTION, ugh especially in black and white - those eyes, those lips, that face, too bad she's French and no longer looks like she did in the early 60's. And it's too bad I'm not Godard, shooting her. (with a camera not a gun) Also a quick google on any of the others should show you that Madame Bovary is the name of a French novel, Zoey Deschanelle, though beautiful and talented, is a modern actress engaged to the dude from Death Cab... and Emily Blunt is British.

6) Who is my current favorite hockey player?
a) Jonathan Tavares
b) Sean Avery
c) Henrick Zetteberg
d) Felix "the cat" Potvin
Yes, hopefully Tavares will be my favorite player come draft day this June... But it's been Henrick Zetterberg all year, I got a hat with his number and a t-shirt with his name- (He's on the Redwings and has the best crafted playoff beard out there) He's also an amazing offensive and defensive player. I want to be him when I grow up. Felix Potvin was my first non Islander favorite player back in the day, I had a Leaf's jersey with his name on it! And Sean Avery is the most hated player in hockey, though he's so good at being so deplorable it's hard to not love him as the villain, and the fact that he's a Ranger makes it even more convenient to hate... and he was on 30 Rock briefly... so in a complex way he is my favorite, because everyone needs to hate someone... I told you, I'm complicated.

7) If I ever get married, what has to be the date of my wedding?
a) July 3rd
b) December 26th
c) April 1st
d) February 29th
My cousin Dave had his wedding on my birthday a few years ago. I vowed revenge. His birthday is July 3rd so it will be my wedding day if that is to ever happen. Though I fear it'll end up being some kind of impulsive move and end 42 hours later. Also, it's awkward on first dates when you tell the girl that if this ends in marriage, it has to be on July 3rd.

8) What was I watching that once caused me to fall off my bed from laughing?
a) The Simpsons - in 1998
b) Conan O'brien when Conan kissed Rebecca Romain
c) Masterpiece Theatre - 2005
d) The final episode of Dawson's Creek
Most people got this one- probably because Conan is on late, so I would most likely be in bed watching, but yes, that episode where he snuck a kiss from RR Stamos and went INSANE - made me cry from laughter, and spasm enough to fall out of my bed... oh and guess who's going to a taping of the tonight show in JULY?!!!?!!? THAT's RIGHT-ME!

9) If I had a black cat with white paws, what would I name it?
a) Michael Cassidy
b) Ms. Kitty Fantastico
c) Fredricka Michaels the IVth
d) Puck
I feel bad for those who put Ms. Kitty Fantastico, especially if you caught the Buffy the Vampire Slayer reference- but I've made it clear for a while now that I want a black cat with white paws named Puck and any kind of cat with a jeweled collar named Freddy Mercury. Good thing I'm a transient who will never settle down anywhere long enough to acquire a cat or two. Also, just a tidbit, many years ago, my sister and I realized our cat, Callie (a Calico cat, ugh how unoriginal) was really named Fredricka Michaels the III. Just so you know.

10) Which literary character causes me the most anguish in my life?
a) Holden Caulfield
b) Lady Brett Ashley
c) Noboru Wataya
d) Jordan Bake
Probably the hardest question, unless you knew me when I first read The Sun ALso Rises, and realized that I would continually find myself in the role of Jake Barnes dealing with Lady Ashley- there are many literary women who could fill this role of frustration, but she was the first. (One could argue Jordan Baker is of the same breed as Lady Brett, but she's worthless in the end.) Again, a little research, and you could of had this one too.

So, there you have it. Now back to going under the covers, where the fact that my closet friends in the world barely know anything about me won't hurt me anymore. It's 4:30 in the afternoon.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Problem with Today

First off, a new layout! I like changing colors. I'm like a chameleon, but not a lizard.

Second, I noticed the nation has been overly swept up with Twitter and tweeting. It seemed to be just a small group of people doing it, but now celebreties have made it the thing to do. However, I find it exhausting trying to keep with all these modes of updating what I'm doing with my life via the interweb. Yawn.

Snapshots of Updates!

The film, Zombo, is nearly finished - premier is May 10th at Norris Theatre at USC. It'll be a crowd pleazer, it's a zombie musical after all!

I finished the first draft of a new feature this week! Huzzah!

The Mets are coming to Dodger Stadium in May - will I go to all three games?

Speaking of May, what the hell happened to April?

Follow my tweets for updates on the NHL playoffs.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

March 24th, 2009 - The day I finally watch The Shawshank Redemption!

and then the move finished and I ran outside, the sky opened up, lighting illuminated the clouds and the rain pour down on me.

That didn't happen. For many years, Shawshank was the movie I'd "shock" people with by not having seen it. For some reason, everyone has seen and loved this movie. Many a year ago, I declared I would watch it someday- but it had to be a day I just needed to watch a great movie. Some thought that day would never come! And it's not to say I haven't had a bad day all these years- there's been plenty- but as time moved on, I couldn't put that kind of pressure on the movie, was it really a bad day I was waiting for? When I lost something, or felt I couldn't be cheered up by anyone- No. It was today. I woke up early, again, which has been my recent issue- I'm typically a 9 hours straight of sleep if an alarm doesn't wake me. The last week or so I've been struggling to stay asleep past 5 hours- this is strange. I had a lot to get done in the day, but there I was, early in the morning, not feeling particularly content or excited about anything- and Instant Netflix was calling- You need to watch a movie- Should I waste money I don't have on going to a theatre and just seeing a few movies? No. Should I make a peanut butter sandwich, sit around in pajamas and watch a movie about HOPE? Yes. Today was that day. Turns out it, it was a pretty good movie.

I haven't posted in a while- and it's not say there wasn't plenty of great things to write about- I've decided to not write about the entire Zombo experience, as I figure I need some stuff for people to talk to me about in person. It was an amazing experience, tons of work, but tons of fun. And at this point in time, I'm excited about our cut going into our pick up weekend- when the crew and cast reunite to grab a few needed shots. The band's getting back together!

I also went to NY for spring break- it was relaxing, low-key with obvious spikes of excitement and amusing nights. Plus it was productive, I got a lot of writing done- especially at Starbucks, where the same guy was working three days in a row, and the one day I took off, and decided to stop in at night to get a drink, he was there working. He clearly believes I go twice a day. Luckily it won't be until August when I will go to that Starbucks again. I also read some, watched some movies.

Only 6 weeks until the final screening, my summer schedule is starting to form - time is speeding up! Good thing I found two hours to fit in Shawshank before it was too late!

Also, I'm rereading J.D Salinger's Nine Stories - one story a day for nine days (that band is awful) today is day 4, for those keeping count at home.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Dollhouse is on HULU - I love HULU

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Interview of The Decade... or at least the month!

We (I) recently caught up with myself (as I was sitting on the couch sipping coffee) to find out what's been going on? Here is an exceprt from that interview:

Jeff the interviewer (J.I.) : Have you been drinking a lot of coffee?

Jeff (J): I wanted to cut back, but now I'm on three cups a day, plus an energy drink. Oh, what a world!

JI: Any reason for the sudden rise in caffiene intake?

J: Yeah- the movie! Don't get me wrong, nothing beats spending two weekends in a row, overnight in a cold, damp, spooky alley. Take a look:

JI: Wow!

J: I know. As producer I get to play the corpses the zombie's feed on, which is great, except for the freezing puddles i have to lie in, but sometimes you looks up, see the fog, and the zombies surrounding you as you peer into the bluish night from the walls of a brick alley and it's like "now, this is the life."

JI: You have a strange perception on what makes life worthwhile.

J: I know- I mean that's what's really makes me tick- those peripheral subjects that take me away. And really, this week has been chock full of visual and viceral reminders of the importance of the things I love or have loved as it were...

JI: Gah?

J: As you know Watchmen is coming out in a few weeks- and there's plenty of us who love that graphic novel who can't wait, but it kind of defeats the message within the book, having a huge budget movie, billboards of Rorschach all over L.A.- I mean the commericialism is tackeled head on by the characters in that world- yet- there's the awesome nerd factor of the fact that the Watchmen are plastered all over Los Angeles. Like who ever thought their be a time when this was the big "it" thing. I mean, I didn't read it until I was in college, as I had always hear of it, but never really sat down to read it until a friend lent me his copy- of course since, I passed it along to many others- two of my favorite times include when I had Amy come to me with help to find graphic novels to send to her husband Alan in Iraq- and I quickly chose Watchmen - and she reported back how much he loved it! There was also the time when I was finishing up teaching and started working at Borders again at night, and one of my students (who I knew to be an avid comic fan) came in and suggested he read Watchmen- he too was blown away and actually contacted me to tell him how much he loved it. So, yeah, I'm excited to see so much Watchmen commercialism - even it is an metaphysical conundrum. See:

JI: Maybe you should spend more time thinking about important issues...

J: Like Blink 182's announcement that they are a band again! And my 17 year old inner self can dance once again? ( I mean I have a whole blog cooking in my head defending my love of this band and it's importance in my adolescent years)

JI: The stimulus package that was passed...?

J: Or how about the fact that not only is Blink back, but GREEN DAY has announced the name of their American Idiot follow up" 21st Century breakdown and has started letting the media hear snippets of the album- and the early buzz is enough to make this my 15th year of listening Green Day, just as exciting as when I first bought Dookie at the ripe young age of 14?

JI: I mean, what about the important parts of life you are missing being so damn nostalgic about bands, books, movies and crap you like as a teenager?

J: Yeah, I know what you mean. Last night I MISSED the premier of Joss Whedon's new show Dollhouse. I was on set and talked with another crew member how I never thought I'd miss a Whedon show (especially since knowing it may only last a few weeks on air). He agreed, but he reminded me that it's probably Whedon's fault we were even out on that set- so I took some pride in that. Besides, I'm sure some friends DVR'd that shit!

JI: Uh huh, and what are you doing this Valentine's Day?

J: Well, we're shooting all night- so spending it in a cold, dark dreary alley.

JI: Exactly.

J: Yeah, I was concerned about this too, but a good friend pointed out that so many of my friends who are having "traditional" Valentine's Day are kidding themselves in loveless or pointless relationships. Maybe this is why we all need our visceral escapes.

JI: Agreed.

Jeff maintains this blog, and reads others. He's only ever interviewed himself because he is a little narsicsitc.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

"Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead. "

The minutes tick by faster each day. Friday night I finally get to start principle production on this wacky film I'm producing. It's this state of delirium that I'm enjoying so much- The fact that every detail is still up in the air, that so many people seem to be pushing themselves to the brink, and my addiction to Rock Star Energy drinks soars everyday- it's in this chaos that I'm finding peace. After all, it's just a movie! I'm stressed, but not in the typical soul crushing sense. It's more of just a heavy sense of focus. This doesn't bode well for my other class (which I laugh at saying as I forget daily I'm producing for a class, and this isn't a full time job that will pay me any money- and I'm not even working for free, but actually paying a small fortune for this exhausting lifestyle) meanwhile, I'm left to almost no writing time in the week, and no time to stop and watch a movie, or read a book - it's draining to miss these escapes. In the morning, as I drive off to wherever it's I need to be or search for, I think how, I'm going to make that time to read, make that time to write, make that time to just catch up on my instant netflix. But there's plenty of time approaching. Spring Break for instance, maybe I'll finally have a chance to read that copy of Infinite Jest sitting on my shelf, collecting dust and mocking me for not taking advantage of my time during the holidays, when I had nothing filling my days.

Oh well, at least I had time to fill out that annoying Facebook survey that's swept the site. People seem to love it, while I know plenty who judge it as trivial and childish, but we are a generation who needs to take the time to write about ourselves, so everyone we've ever known can TRUELY know us. Where else can you pick up conversations or inside jokes that were last pertinent in 11th grade? We live in strange times. So says everyone who's ever lived.

I recently bought a few more records, the new Springsteen on Vinyl, which was the perfect deal for me, as it came with downloadable versions of all the songs. I can listen to the record and still load it on the ol' ipod, which is less amusing to me now that I can spin my favorite albums in lo-fi (oh yes, I picked up an Alkaline Trio album too). What's even better, next week The Get Up Kids "Something To Write Home About" will be released on vinyl to celebrate the 10th anniversary of such a pivotal album - I can't CAN'T believe it came out 10 years ago- I still feel the charge when songs come on from it, like I felt a decade ago. What's my Age Again (also celebrating 10 years for that song and wow, I suddenly miss Blink 182 and hope that they will make a triumphant come back sometime this year.

Last and not least, has anyone been watching this (what should be the last) season of Scrubs? I've been catching them on the 360 over the weekends, and I do believe this is the best the show has been in 3 seasons at least. It feels fresh, it feels like every line is well thought out, jokes packed in, character's moving forward- the show isn't dying of last gasps, it's more like they are steering to go out in style. After last season I was sure it had turned rotten- It's not just 30 Rock keeping me watching television anymore!

Okay, I'm very tired and have a large list of things to do tomorrow, Thursday, a day away from the first day of shooting.