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    Sunday, April 30, 2006

    On My Birthday

    A few select thing that have ocurred on April 30th.

    313 - Roman emperor Licinius unifies the entire Eastern Roman Empire under his rule.

    1006 - Supernova SN 1006, the brightest supernova in recorded history, appears in the constellation Lupus.

    1789 - On the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City, George Washington takes the oath of office to become the first elected President of the United States.

    1803 - Louisiana Purchase: The United States purchases the Louisiana Territory from France for $15 million, more than doubling – overnight – the size of the young nation.

    1900 - Casey Jones dies in a train wreck in Vaughn, Mississippi, while trying to make up time on the Cannonball Express.

    1904 - The Louisiana Purchase Exposition World's Fair opens in St. Louis, Missouri.
    Virginia, as the first women's federal prison in the United States.

    1938 - The animated cartoon short Porky's Hare Hunt debuts in movie theaters, introducing Bugs Bunny.

    1939 - Franklin D. Roosevelt becomes the first President of the United States to appear on television.

    1939 - The 1939 New York World's Fair opens.

    1943 - World War II: Operation Mincemeat – The submarine HMS Seraph surfaces in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Spain to deposit a dead man planted with false invasion plans and dressed as a British military intelligence officer.

    1945 - Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun commit suicide after being married for one day.

    1966 - Anton LaVey shaves his head and founds the Church of Satan in San Francisco, California

    1975 - Fall of Saigon: Communist forces gains control of Saigon. The Vietnam War formally ends with the unconditional surrender of South Vietnamese president Duong Van Minh.

    And a few people that call the day Birthday, except for the dead ones, which really don't anymore.

    1777 - Carl Friedrich Gauss, German mathematician, astronomer, and physicist (d. 1855)

    1923 - Al Lewis, American actor and politician (d. 2006)

    1933 - Willie Nelson, American musician, composer, and actor

    1956 - Lars von Trier, Danish film director

    1982 - Kirsten Dunst, American actress


    Today I am 36. Send me love.

    Friday, April 28, 2006

    Wonky Wireless

    There's something going on with the library wireless. Therefore, until they get it fixed I'm not sure how much posting will be done. I'm trying to post using "performancing" through firefox right now, which may not work. I can get my g-mail right now but only if I access it through the g-mail notifier icon. So, there is no way, until I get back to where I'm staying, for me to even know if this posts, other than getting an error message here telling me that it hasn't.

    NOTE TO SELF: put the blogger e-mail address for blog into g-mail so I can post using e-mail.

    Wednesday, April 26, 2006

    T-shirts for parents

    What I'm listening to

    Create your own Music List @ HotFreeLayouts!

    J squared Sushi

    I had amazingly good sushi last night at a place I cannot name since the people who took me there consider it a personal find and it’s already gaining too much notoriety as it is. Not that anyone in L.A. reads my retched brain gas anyway, but just in case. Surprisingly snuggled on the second floor of an innocuous strip mall, this place was pure gold. The key was not only in the astounding freshness of the ingredients, but the peculiar, but ultimately welcoming, addition of warm rice beneath the sushi. I know, who’d a thought? I tried a number of standards for the sushi test and one new one. The new one was Monkfish liver. I have to admit that though the texture, think really light mousse, was extremely inviting, I’m afraid the taste, though nicely “fishy” was simply too rich for a piece of its size and even more so for two. I am however completely happy to have tried it, even if I do not do so again.

    The friend I met, we shall call her J, was an old friend from film school. I also got to finally meet here somewhat new husband, he too shall be known as J, for the first time since I had been unable to attend the reception they had thrown in NY a few years back. It was completely wonderful to hang out with J again. The added bonus of hanging out with the two of them, now to be referred to as JJ, made the evening completely comfortable and relaxing. As usual, due to my excitement, I’m more than sure that I monopolized the conversation. J’s husband J, as well as J herself, is an accomplished writer who’s currently executing a draft of a property close to my heart. Reading what the original author of the books has to say, it would seem that he is pleased with the work as well. The meal ending with them graciously picking up the tab, which is always a humbling experince. So, thanks to them for that. So, e-mails today to J to possibly get some work passed about before she whips away to a foreign land for a vacation.

    The best part of seeing people I know here, is that it seems to occur about one to two weeks apart and completely, if only temporarily, revitalizes me. It’s sort of a nice social main line to bring back the buzz and mellow the fall.

    Tuesday, April 25, 2006

    Waiting for the Flood

    Job Searching

    Well, it's finally come to this. On Monday I shall be submitting my resume to a temp agency. I got a good lead on a few last night with entertainment industry connections. Nothing else seems to be working at the moment, and I need the cash. The loan company has started calling again. The great thing about CA is that no matter what your skills are, you have to start by licking boots. So today I shall buy a tongue brush. Every time I look at a want ad, it seems that I lack some requisite skill. It now dawns on me that I should have learned how to design web graphics and gotten a job in that so that I had 2-5 yrs. Experience in before I came out here. Project managers out here need either engineering degrees, software specific PM experience, or advanced marketing analysis experience. It's always nice when reality finally comes calling. Hopefully even temp work will allow some time for writing. Of course living in Venice it'll take either 20 minutes to go anywhere in Venice, Santa Monica, or Culver City. Everywhere else will be a 45 min to 2 hour commute. God I love the entertainment industry. Already I feel warm and fuzzy about The Great Machine.

    Monday, April 24, 2006

    Brain Washing is Good

    Don't listen to these people. They think people are fat and kids grow up wrong because inanimate objects have brainwashing powers. Watch tv responsibly. Remember kids TV doesn't make you fat and stupid, YOU do!

    206 x 24 x 24

    The library of Congress is 206 years old today.

    And. It is Newman's Day. It should not be limited to colleges.

    Newman's Day is a college tradition involving drinking 24 servings of beer within a 24 hour period on April 24. The spirit of the tradition often requires that the beer be consumed without falling asleep, changing your daily schedule, or vomiting and that participants must attend classes, meals, and other events as usual. As a result of these difficult constraints, few students who start the tradition actually finish 24 beers. The event is not officially sanctioned by any university.

    Although typically held every April 24 by students at Princeton University and other colleges in the United States, including Knox College who vigorously celebrates this holiday on April 24, Bates College celebrates the tradition on one of the last Fridays in January. Another exception is Kenyon College, which celebrates Newman Day on March 30.

    Currently Listening to

    Create your own Music List @ HotFreeLayouts!

    Time Change

    I finally changed the time on the blog to reflect:

    Standard time zone: UTC/GMT -8 hours
    Daylight saving time: +1 hour
    Current time zone offset: UTC/GMT -7 hours
    Time zone abbreviation: PDT - Pacific Daylight Time

    So, now the posts will more accurately reflect when I post.

    Facts without judgement

    • There are currently 11,106 Active Border Patrol Officers in the US today.

    • The US-Mexico border’s total length is 1,951 miles (3,141 km), according to figures given by the IBWC. It is the most frequently crossed international border in the world, with some 350 million people crossing legally from one country to the other every year.

    • According to the USBP, 1,954 people died crossing the U.S.-Mexico border between the years 1998-2004, from all causes.

    • It is currently estimated that between 8 and 12 million immigrants are living illegally in the United States.

    • 1.6 million illegal entrants were detained by the USBP in 2005.

    • The number of Chinese immigrants crossing illegally into the U.S. via Mexico has risen 3000% in the last few years. They now rank 5th on the list of the top 5 OTM (Other Than Mexican) immigrants attempting to enter the U.S. illegally.

    • Over the last three years OTM apprehensions have more than tripled, increasing by almost 220%. This trend is in stark contrast to apprehensions of Mexican aliens, which have remained relatively stable over the same period.

    • Language referring to "illegal entrants" has undergone numerous changes over the years. In the 1955 INS Annual Report, the term "wetbacks" was used for those illegally crossing the Mexican border. For many years "deportable aliens" was the phrase of choice. Since 9/11 "terrorists" appears in official documents to refer to all "illegal entrants" whatever their purpose — those seeking work, engaging in cross-border smuggling or other forms of criminal behavior, in addition to terrorists per se.

    • Households headed by illegal aliens imposed more than $26.3 billion in costs on the federal government in 2002 and paid only $16 billion in taxes, creating a net fiscal deficit of almost $10.4 billion, or $2,700 per illegal household.

    • The average minimum daily wage set by the Mexican Government for 2006 is the equivalent of $ 4.20.

    Three Weeks In

    It hardly seems like it, but I'm three weeks in. I've accomplished nothing of merit and have succeeded in doing nothing of import. I've started more seriously looking at the job postings. I will soon have to take the plunge whether I wish to or not. Hopefully even a normal job will come-up that I cannot hate. Things move very slowly here. Years of meetings for a single project. It's what keeps most good things from being made I think. I have done a few things though that will be seen on the blog soon. How soon I don't know. Here is a sample:

    The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies but also to hate his friends. - Friedrich Nietzsche

    Saturday, April 22, 2006

    Library Bars

    There should definitely be a bar in the library. While I'm here trying to pursue my dream, a large group of my friends are at the beer festival in Hickory, NC. How do I know? They called me of course. Why couldn't I have chosen to be a professional beer drinker. I wouldn't even have had to intern for that one, although that would be a nice internship. If only. Enjoy your beer my friends. I will just sit here and type away while small children run about looking loudly for a quiet book to read.

    Friday, April 21, 2006

    General Morning Conversation

    Layla: What are you doing?
    Greg: Drinking my coffee.
    Layla: Why?
    Greg: Because if I don’t replace at least 2/3 of the fluid in my body with coffee, I won’t have a good day.
    Layla: Why?
    Greg: Because it’s just the way it is.
    Layla: What are you doing?
    Greg: Getting out cloths to take a shower.
    Layla: Why?
    Greg: Because I’m dirty.
    Layla: Why?
    Greg: I just am.
    Layla: What’s that?
    Greg: My glasses case. You know that.
    Layla: I wanna see.
    Greg: Why?
    Layla: Because.


    Layla: What’s this?
    Greg: You know what that is.
    Layla: freeho punch.
    Greg: Exactly.
    Layla: Are you going to punch?
    Greg: Not right now.
    Layla: Why?
    Greg: Because I haven’t printed anything out.
    Layla: Where are you going?
    Greg: Outside.
    Layla: Why?
    Greg: Because I can.
    Layla: Are you going work?
    Greg: Sure, why not?
    Layla: You want color with me?
    Greg: When I come back in.

    (return from outside and sit next to Layla at small table)

    Greg: Which color can I use?
    Layla: (beat) This one.

    (I begin to color. Layla stops and sees I'm coloring)

    Layla: I want that one, you use this one.
    Greg: OK. What do you want me to color?
    Layla: Watch me.
    Greg: So you don't want me to color, you just want me to watch you color.
    Layla: Yeah.


    Unphotographable Pictures someone did not take.
    Jerry Siegel's original press release (1975), cursing the Richard Donner Superman film
    YeeHaw Industries - because I'm feeling a bit homesick.
    Paul Robertson's Pirate Baby's Cabana Battle Street Fight 2006

    I'm going to spend most of the day here in the library developing the little pitch more. I think I'll mostly work on the supernatural one since it makes the most sence to me. The other on is kind of ready to go except the "keep 'em coming back" bits which I haven't yet figured out.

    There are people I know who won't hurt me. I call them corpses.
    - Randy K. Milholland

    Thursday, April 20, 2006

    The 'Ol Switcharoo

    Spent the last few hours turning my pitch from a mystery suspense drama with an immigration sociopolitical undertone into a twin peaks type of supernatural/mystery/suspense show with a black dog that may or may not be the devil, or the soul of a dead child. I think that if I don't get feedback soon, it could eventually become a cartoon staring a space monkey. I just couldn't let it be a run-of-the-mill show with happy endings. Not that it ever was, but it had no real "weekly" appeal angle beyond the simple interest of good story to keep people coming back. Also, the occupation of the lead turned out to be a bit dull once I looked into it and wouldn't have given him the jurisdictional powers that he would have required. So, now he's something else. I really need more than just a few hours everyday in a library to do this, that or some motivation beyond "maybe". I really just need to get back to working on the screenplay, but this is a possible opportunity I don't want to turn down. It would help if I could see what these things normally look like. I feel like I’m writing a dull abstract for what is ostensibly a really good article.

    Tomorrow night is family playtime at someone else’s house, so I shall be staying in and catching up on BIG LOVE on demand and possibly washing some sheets. I’ll probably watch whatever episode of Dr. Who that’s on, because I can, and the TV is bigger than my laptop screen.

    Wednesday, April 19, 2006

    A Cat Named Red

    The last two days while walking to the bar I've come across Red. I know it's his name because I checked his collar and almost called the number on it, because Red was following me and I didn't know where he belonged. The truth is he lived right where we originally met. Contrary to his name, Red is a young Orange with white spots. When I bent down to pet him, he practically jumped into my arm. As I talked to him, he jumped up and climbed to the top of a short chain link fence where he continued to follow me up the street. When I turned to tell him to stay he climbed on my shoulders. So, I spent about twenty minutes trying to coax him off, and having him climb back on. Of course he completely left his mark in the form of hair about my black clothing. His parent's arrived right when I was ready to dial my phone. The next day he'd found another unsuspecting passerby to fall for his little ploy. If I can remember, I'll try and take a picture of him. At least there are some things here worth interacting with.

    Pictures of Born Again Ukranian Christians
    As well as some in Colorado by the same photographer.

    Monday, April 17, 2006

    Arguing The Lost Art

    So, the one thing there is absolutely none of here is good argument/discourse. I've had some decent conversations with people, mostly bartenders, but their short and lack any real substance. I officially miss UJ’s open-forum-free-for-all atmosphere. I actually got into my first disagreement with a bartender last night. I begged down of course because I don't want to offend my bartenders, and she'd already given me a comp shot of something akin to pink lemonade. The truth is that there is that I'm a stranger in a strange land here. The thought that I will have to simply give up a few of the things I love doing the most is a bit saddening. There is a still a little hope, since I've really only been here 16 days.

    Finishing up the concept for the possible tv pitch today. Well, finishing up the rough draft of it anyway. Hopefully the people who wish to see it will. I don't think it'll go very far, but it's good experience and a worthwhile exercise for me.

    I know for a fact that BG season 3 has started shooting again this week in Vancouver, and the word on the street is that the few scripts completed so far are solid. That's directly from the horse’s mouth, via a little bird.

    Sunday, April 16, 2006

    Happy Easter

    Any man who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see them misunderstood.
    - HL Mencken

    Wednesday, April 12, 2006

    If only...

    ...this were true.
    Unlike these, which are:
    Sri Lanka has been suffering from a growing epidemic of suicide attempts.
    WTC 'cough'
    200 lb. chunk of ice falls from sky in Oakland.

    The rest of my week in weather.

    Because you miss me

    In the Library

    Currently esconned in the library in Venice. It takes about 40 minutes to walk here. I could take the car, but with gas at $2.89 currently, I could use the walk. I'm finally meeting with B tomorrow morning to run the pitch by him. So, I'm here finishing the rough concept overview. Having no idea how one puts one of these things together, I'm just winging it from what I can remember from 7 years ago in film school. I'm sure there is a prefered method, but sod all that.

    I met with S yesturday, and have to admit my preconceptions were really just my own baggage. I hadn't seen him in four or more years and he was completely gracious. He even offered me a job when his tv show kicks off, but that could be a while, and also took my scripts to pass on. I take him at his word of course, but he is rather busy with a deadline on a film that starts shooting in a couple of weeks. I think he's changed in a lot of really good ways. I think his life now grounds him maybe more than he used to be. It was also just good to see someone I knew other than the people I'm living with. I drove by Halle Barry's house, twice. I know what you're thinking, but it was simply on the way to and from S's house and if he hadn't pointed it out I would have been none the wiser.

    - You can order it for yourself, or send a copy to your congressman (Thanks! Mike)

    Sunday, April 09, 2006

    Crockpot Legislation

    This was almost a good analogy, then suddenly it wasn't.

    "It was a dinner cooked in a pressure cooker," said Mr. Taylor, who employs nearly 1,000 immigrants. "What we need is something that comes out of a crock pot. We need something that is well thought out, well planned and well executed, and in the atmosphere we are in today on this subject, we're not going to get that kind of situation."

    I miss Heckling

    Just in time for the Sunday Pub Quiz @ Union Jacks in Knoxville.

    • The first book of triva was called Orwick's Guyde to Interesting Facts, published in 1791.

    • Actress Scarlet Johansson dominated after-school games of Trvial Pursuit while attending The Professional Children's School in Manhattan.

    • The Chinese word for trivia is a combination of the ideograms for cheese and head.

    • The first trivia column in a newspaper was written by Joseph Pulitzer and published in The New York World on May 8, 1901.

    • Winston Earle was the first person to make a career out of trivial knowledge, moving from town to town to call into radio quiz shows during the Great Depression.

    And then there is this:

    The computer mouse was almost called a "dongle" until researchers with Xerox had a last-minute change of heart.

    Saturday, April 08, 2006


    Life isn't fair. It's just fairer than death, that's all.
    - William Goldman

    Zimbabweans have 'shortest lives'

    Venice/Santa Monica

    (yes I'm still unemployed)

    Friday, April 07, 2006

    Plushy Plagues

    OK, I'm finally going out today to photograph the area of Venice/Santa Monica I'm in so people will stop whining about it. Don't know when the photos will go up, but they will be made. Until then, order a bag of plushy plagues for a friend.

    Wednesday, April 05, 2006

    Blustery Day

    So, maybe I'm never going to get things into storage. It's blustery and raining...again. I have however started to make plans to see some of the people I know out here. Otherwise, I'm just sitting about playing with a two and a half year old little girl. Which, seems to be about my speed.

    Tuesday, April 04, 2006


    It's raining today. So, I can't put my stuff into storage. So, I can't really drive my car about. So, I guess I'll just sit about and write things down. Did a rough overview of a pitch idea last night. I think the idea is pretty solid, but I don't think I'm the writer for it. I'll type it up today so I can give it to the person who was looking for things. Talked to one of my friends finally last night. I was actually excited she called me back since none of the others have yet. We're going to try and meet for lunch this week, after that she's going away for two weeks. Hopefully the ran will break tomorrow. I should have moved my stuff yesterday, during the break in rain, but there was no way for me to know if it would start again during the move. I've been here less that four days, but I feel like I'm not moving fast enough on things, even though I know I am.

    Monday, April 03, 2006

    Savor the moment

    From an anonymous "clock watcher" on

    This Wednesday, at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 in the morning, the time and date will be 01:02:03 04/05/06.

    I've Peaked

    Had an amazing dinner last night at "Ivy on the Shore", thanks to very kind person whose name I can not divulge. Lets just say that I could not have gotten into that restaraunt if I had tried. I was there with tweleve people, 5 of which were small children. One could call it a family affair, to which I was graciously included. The children enjoyed themselves drawing on the fine linen table cloth, and when wondered if they should do that were told by the patron of the evening to not worry about it since he had bought it and they should continue n with their fun. So far I've found that I made the right choice staying with my freinds. I have been welcomed and accepted instantly, which has made the transition much smoother than anticipated.

    I rented a storage facility today for the stuff in my car. It's right down the street and very convenient for now. Filled up the car today as well for $2.89 a gallon. The financial pinch has begun. It's raining today so moving the stuff won't be until later in the week. Until I can store my stuff, I'm not driving around.

    I'm not sure if last night's dinner is a glimpse of things to come or a premature peaking of my stay here. Oh, one of the mothers present was a former Miss Universe.

    Sunday, April 02, 2006

    Sunday is fine

    Forgive spelling until further notice since I don't have a way to spellcheck at the moment.

    Went to brunch with friends and their family at a nice place called AXE. I had a nice meal of Fried potatoes, upon which was collard greans, then bacon and followed by a poached egg. It was quite simply scrumptious. I never would have thought of piling them on top of each other. You should make it at home.

    My first foray into the bar culture was a bit lackluster last night. A short walk away from their home is Main St., upon which lie all of these trendy bars and shops. It's kind of like Smith St. in Brooklyn, except with better lighting and newer buildings. I ended up talking to some people, but it turned a bit sour after I finished talking to this one girl who did something in bioengeneering, not the science end though, and she made the requisite "When's your funeral," comment about my all black. I jokingly said that Johnny Cash wore black so why couldn't I. I'd already talked the whole TN thing, so she knew where I was from. After she went inside, back to here friends, she must have said something to them, because all of a sudden came a bad rendition of "Ring of Fire" by one of the Alpha males in her group and then a big laugh. I chose to keep my razor wit sheathed for now. If they do it again, they will pay. Otherwise, the downside in this area is that a pint of Bass is $6.00.

    All in all though the first day and today have been most enjoyable and relaxed thanks to the kindness and generosity of the firend's I'm staying with and the acceptance of me by extended family. One can ask for little else in this world.

    Going out now to call those few people I know here and see what the skinny is on the state of the industry amd their lives.

    Saturday, April 01, 2006

    Weak Signal

    I've arrived saftely in L.A. (Venice) at my friends' house who have graciously given me a bed on which to lay my head. I have limited internet access, so posts will be infrequent for now. I will find a way somehow.

    Fourth Leg

    Finally got the fourth leg journey pics up thanks to a mile walk to the temp library in Santa Monica and the free city Wi-Fi. Eventually this post will be re-dated to fall in-line with the rest of the trip posts, but for now I'll leave it here for people to see. The trip itself was pretty uneventful and is so far gone from my mind now that I'll just let the images speak for themselves. I know there are some dupe photos in the set, but the sun shining directly on my screen, it's hard to pick them out. It's like computing with your system turned to the dimmest screen setting and polarized sun glasses. I'll clean it up later.