Friday, June 29, 2007
The brand new router, however, is not fixable. It's fried beyond repair. I also forget to register it when I bought it, so I'm out of luck as far as that's concerned. I forked over the cash yesterday to get a new one.
The X-box people were great to work with. Very little wait, very pleasant and very helpful.
Tivo was not as easy. I was on hold for 18 minutes as I waited for someone to take my call. Within 2 minutes, they put me on hold and disconnected. This happened 2 more times. On the 4th call, after 75 minutes of sitting on hold, I instructed the Tivo tech guy not to put me on hold. When I told him that I'd been hung up on 3 times, he said, "I'm sure that's not on our end. You probably want to look into getting a better phone."
I explained to him that I have a brand new Sony Blackjack and he said, "Sometimes these new fancy phones aren't all they are cracked up to be."
I took a deep breath and as calmly as I could, said, "I have 3 thousand dollars worth of electronic equipment that was damaged in a rain storm yesterday. I've spent all day travelling around the city trying to get everything repaired. I've also spent an hour and half trying to get you guys at Tivo to stop hanging up on me. So, you can see, I'm doing my best to try to maintain my normally cheery demeanor. Unfortunately, because we're on the phone, I cannot physically reach your phone line and punch you in the face. Can you do me a favor and do it for me?"
To my surprise, he laughed.
However, he did proceeded to put me on hold again. When he got back on the line and I was still there, he said, "Hmm. What do you know? Maybe it was our technician's fault that you got cut off."
MicroCenter was of course the worse. We're still arguing about it, but it looks like they're going to repair everything since the repairs were from last time are still under warranty. We'll see. I feel like the MicroCenter saga still has a few more chapters in it.
All in all, everything's getting fixed or I replaced it. It's going to take a few weeks to get everything back, but it's only...."stuff". "Stuff" can be replaced. Sometimes "stuff" is expensive, but it's not worth being angry at it for more than one day.
Thanks to everyone who wrote e-mails or came up and talked to me about it at IO. I appreciate your concern.
However, I do need a vacation.
Luckily, that starts tomorrow.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
As I walked home down Southport Street, business were bailing water out of their buildings. Anthropology and Southport Grocery were 2 specific business I saw who had some significant water damage.
I arrived home and there was an odd smell in the apartment. I did some investigating, but I couldn't figure it out. I noticed the clocks were all blinking so I surmised that the power had been knocked out at some point.
I went to my office and turned on my computer. You know, the computer that I just got back from being repaired at the awful and evil MicroCenter. Well, that newly repaired computer was fried. I soon discovered that during the storm, lightening struck the power lines outside my apartment and it caused a power surge that burnt out my surge protector and desktop computer.
When Jeannie got home from work she helped me locate the weird smell that was emanating from my bedroom. My Tivo had burned up in the power surge as well. It literally, was fried. I touched it and it burned my hand.
There was some good news. The Cubs game went on as planned... ...and they won. Jeannie and I took her brother Bud to the game and it was a lot of fun.
After the game, I took Bud to the Tuesday night poker game. Still cranky from all my electronics having been destroyed, I played poorly and ended up losing a lot more money than I intended.
I also kept getting into arguments with people about very trivial things.
The first argument took place with Jason Chin on one of the first hands of the night. He said he'd been listening to the new "Die Hard" soundtrack. I laughed and said I was surprised that "Die Hard" had a soundtrack. Jason and I then got into an argument about movie soundtracks. His contention was that every movie that is released has a music soundtrack that can be purchased in stores or online. I disagreed.
I searched this morning and found a couple dozen current or upcoming releases that do not have music soundtracks. While I was technically correct, Jason can declare victory in our disagreement. The movies I found that didn't have soundtracks were independent and artistic films. The Hollywood, or general release movies, all had soundtracks. Some of the movies I found that are selling soundtracks were very bizarre.
Is there really someone out there in a movie theater watching "Pathfinder: Legend of the Ghost Warrior" who is thinking, "Man, I really need to add these tunes to my collection."
My second argument was about this video:
The song came on the radio and Brett asked who sung it. I said it was Whitesnake and the only reason I remembered it was because of Tawny Kittaen dancing all over the hood of the car in the video. Around the room, everyone told me I was wrong.
"Nope! That wasn't this song! That was some other song!" they all annoyingly disagreed.
Well, I was right. It was "Here I go again" where she danced on the car. You want to know how I knew I was right?
Name another Whitesnake song.
The only reason anyone knows the name "Whitesnake" or the song "Here I go again" is because of stupid Tawny Kittaen dancing on the hood of that dumb car. It's not like they have a wide catalogue of songs that anyone was confusing it with.
My third argument was over whether or not Cesar Jamie was eating a nacho Slim Jim.
All I said was, "Cesar, did you get a nacho Slim Jim tonight?" Cesar responded by saying, "I hope not."
The annoying, dorky guy sitting next to me butted in and said, "There's no way that's a nacho Slim Jim. It's definitely a regular. Definitely. No way it's a nacho. Definitely a regular."
Frustrated that everything I was saying had to be some point of contention with someone in the room, I leaned back in my chair and smoldered.
The annoying guy who was playing at the table for the first time wouldn't let it drop. "I don't know why anyone would think that's a nacho."
Finally, Brett's brother Tim looked at the package and read the label where the word "NACHO" was written next to the words "SLIM JIM".
Ugh. So annoying.
Bad day. Worse night. Thank god the Cubs won or I might have torched the whole town.
As I write all these things out I realize that it means one thing:
I'm still in a very foul mood.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
A UPS truck pulled up to the side of the street and the water flooded into the open passenger side door of his truck.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
No matter what political affiliation you are, it's an incredibly engaging and thought provoking movie.
It makes you angry. Angry at the political bureaucracy that we as Americans are forced to deal with. Not just from the right, but from the left and middle too.
In the same manner that Who Killed the Electric Car left me angry at the auto manufacturers and big oil companies, this movie made me furious at the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.
Whether you like Michael Moore or not, it leaves a very powerful message. The rest of the world is taking care of it's people. We, for some reason, refuse.
In the movie, a British doctor named Tony Benn said, "If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people."
It took a few moments for the quote to sink in, but after a few moments, the theater exploded with applause.
It just all leaves you a little frustrated...
...and makes you consider moving to Canada.
(Hear that KPR? You may have some new neighbors.)
Friday, June 22, 2007
The ones in greens are the ones I've seen.
2007 AFI LIST OF TOP 100 MOVIE
1. "Citizen Kane," 1941.
2. "The Godfather," 1972.
3. "Casablanca," 1942.
4. "Raging Bull," 1980.
5. "Singin' in the Rain," 1952.
6. "Gone With the Wind," 1939.
7. "Lawrence of Arabia," 1962.
8. "Schindler's List," 1993.
9. "Vertigo," 1958.
10. "The Wizard of Oz," 1939.
11. "City Lights," 1931.
12. "The Searchers," 1956.
13. "Star Wars," 1977.
14. "Psycho," 1960.
15. "2001: A Space Odyssey," 1968.
16. "Sunset Blvd.", 1950.
17. "The Graduate," 1967.
18. "The General," 1927.
19. "On the Waterfront," 1954.
20. "It's a Wonderful Life," 1946.
21. "Chinatown," 1974.
22. "Some Like It Hot," 1959.
23. "The Grapes of Wrath," 1940.
24. "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," 1982.
25. "To Kill a Mockingbird," 1962.
26. "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," 1939.
27. "High Noon," 1952.
28. "All About Eve," 1950.
29. "Double Indemnity," 1944.
30. "Apocalypse Now," 1979.
31. "The Maltese Falcon," 1941.
32. "The Godfather Part II," 1974.
33. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," 1975.
34. "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," 1937.
35. "Annie Hall," 1977.
36. "The Bridge on the River Kwai," 1957.
37. "The Best Years of Our Lives," 1946.
38. "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre," 1948.
39. "Dr. Strangelove," 1964.
40. "The Sound of Music," 1965.
41. "King Kong," 1933.
42. "Bonnie and Clyde," 1967.
43. "Midnight Cowboy," 1969.
44. "The Philadelphia Story," 1940.
45. "Shane," 1953.
46. "It Happened One Night," 1934.
47. "A Streetcar Named Desire," 1951.
48. "Rear Window," 1954.
49. "Intolerance," 1916.
50. "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," 2001.
51. "West Side Story," 1961.
52. "Taxi Driver," 1976.
53. "The Deer Hunter," 1978.
54. "M-A-S-H," 1970.
55. "North by Northwest," 1959.
56. "Jaws," 1975.
57. "Rocky," 1976.
58. "The Gold Rush," 1925.
59. "Nashville," 1975.
60. "Duck Soup," 1933.
61. "Sullivan's Travels," 1941.
62. "American Graffiti," 1973.
63. "Cabaret," 1972.
64. "Network," 1976.
65. "The African Queen," 1951.
66. "Raiders of the Lost Ark," 1981.
67. "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?", 1966.
68. "Unforgiven," 1992.
69. "Tootsie," 1982.
70. "A Clockwork Orange," 1971.
71. "Saving Private Ryan," 1998.
72. "The Shawshank Redemption," 1994.
73. "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," 1969.
74. "The Silence of the Lambs," 1991.
75. "In the Heat of the Night," 1967.
76. "Forrest Gump," 1994.
77. "All the President's Men," 1976.
78. "Modern Times," 1936.
79. "The Wild Bunch," 1969.
80. "The Apartment, 1960.
81. "Spartacus," 1960.
82. "Sunrise," 1927.
83. "Titanic," 1997.
84. "Easy Rider," 1969.
85. "A Night at the Opera," 1935.
86. "Platoon," 1986.
87. "12 Angry Men," 1957.
88. "Bringing Up Baby," 1938.
89. "The Sixth Sense," 1999.
90. "Swing Time," 1936.
91. "Sophie's Choice," 1982.
92. "Goodfellas," 1990.
93. "The French Connection," 1971.
94. "Pulp Fiction," 1994.
95. "The Last Picture Show," 1971.
96. "Do the Right Thing," 1989.
97. "Blade Runner," 1982.
98. "Yankee Doodle Dandy," 1942.
99. "Toy Story," 1995.
100. "Ben-Hur," 1959.
I've seen 62 out of the 100 movies. I'm going to have to watch 38 movies to get caught up.
I'd also change the top 10 list to:
3. Schindler's List
4. Citizen Kane
5. Apocalypse Now
6. Godfather II
8. It's A Wonderful Life
10. E.T. the Extra Terrestrial
Of course, Taxi Driver and It's a Wonderful Life could go in there also. And, and, and...Where's Fargo?!?
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
I have watched the video way too many times now and have made an archive on why it's the greatest video ever made and tried to point out things you should look for.
00:07 Within the first seven seconds, the dialogue has captured our attention and we know it's going to be impossible for us to not watch the remaining 4 minutes and 58 seconds.
"So, won't you reconsider?" the freakishly tall man (Graham Russel)in the electric blue jumpsuit asks.
"So, won't you?" she saucily replies.
Within 7 seconds we know there are problems in this relationship and we know the tigress in the canary yellow jumpsuit has some claws and she's not afraid to use them!
00:20 We get our first look at lead singer Russel Hitchcock. My mom, my Aunt Connie, my Aunt Debbie, my Aunt Tootie and my sister Jenny all had that exact same haircut.
00:36 It's not a flashback. Graham, minus blue jump suit, is in bed with a different naked woman. A woman who sleeps with sheets that strategically cover her naughty parts.
00:46 Now this is a flashback! When this video was made I'm sure the technology of the moving image in the picture frame blew everyone's mind. It was so amazing that they're going to do it 2 or 3 more times.
00:54 Think about it for a second....before the photo turned into a moving picture, it was a photo of him and the Canary Yellow Jumpsuit Girl naked on a bed. Who took that picture!?! I mean, it's obviously supposed to be a candid photo, right? How does someone just happen to get that snapshot?
Furthermore, if you invite another naked girl over to your bedroom, I would advise you to hide the photograph of you and a different naked girl that you have on your nightstand. I'd imagine it would probably make the new naked girl kind of mad.
01:02 I love that after she puts her hand up to stop him, he just turns and walks toward the plane.
Also, there's no way Graham's going to fit into that plane. He's about 2 feet taller than that little jet.
01:07 Are you ready for some technology that's going to freak you out?
01:10 WHAT! The airplane window has been equipped with flashback technology as well?!? Amazing!
01:16 Seriously! That exact same haircut.
01:27 They are jamming hard to this song.
01:34 Why is Russel singing that to Graham? Is there a gay subplot that we're missing? I mean, I'm sure there is, but Graham's not aware of it.
01:37 Oh no, photo in the jacket. You know what that means!
01:50 Where the crap did that old lady come from?
01:55 ....and...what would possess Graham to kiss her....and...and...why was she so shocked that he did it.
She seems very taken by the freakish man dressed all in neon blue. She had better be careful or she's going to wind up naked in a bed with sheets strategically covering her naughty parts.
02:09 So, when you're backstage there are hordes of fans who emote and sing when you walk by them?
02:30 She's spinning and throwing her hair around, but she doesn't appear to be holding on to anything. If that's a memory you have of someone, it must be followed by vomiting. Spinning like that is unnatural.
02:40 Uh-oh. Another picture.
02:42 Now she's spinning in the photo. If you have vertigo, this girl is your ultimate nightmare. So hot, but she always wants to twirl and spin.
02:59 They can't help but rock out to this song!
03:01 Russel just did a 1 person kick line!
03:08 That is some pretty haphazard packing. I know you're mad, but at least check to make sure that your clothes are actually all the way in the suitcase.
03:09 Uh-oh. She's storming out. You know on the way out of the room she's going to pass by an end table and there will be.....
03:11 .....a picture frame.
03:12 Whoa! She just trumped technology.
03:30 If you turned down the volume, you would think you were watching a Motley Crue concert. Those people are rocking out hardcore!
03:47 Somehow, she's not so angry anymore and listening to the radio has made her completely change her mind about....well, I don't know....but, she's changed her mind about something.
03:52 And has executed one of the scariest u-turns I've ever seen in my life. She was going about 50 miles an hour and turned the car around without touching the brakes at all.
03:58 If you don't look at his decrepit face and look at his hair, clothes and dance moves, Russell looks like an awkward, pre-teen girl who is standing at the edge of the gym hoping someone notices her moves and asks her to slow dance.
04:07 Speed limit's 30, she's going about 36. Shame on you Air-Supply for portraying speeding as being cool.
04:09 You even flaunt it by zooming in on the "Speed Checked by Radar" sign. The saucy girl knows she's breaking the law and it's being monitored by authorities who have the technology of "radar", but she doesn't care. She's going to the airport!
04:27 Apparently, this concert they've been playing at was at the airport.
04:29 Graham's so surprised to see her that he does the classic double take.
04:33 Graham is the spitting image of Jeff Daniels from Dumb and Dumber.
04:35 Her hair looks great for having been driving in a convertible. She loves him. That's what she must have changed her mind about back there on the road.
04:36 C'mon, Graham. Get it together. You're supposed to be rocking out and you're leaning over Russel to gush at a girl.
04:39 Ohhhh noooo. Graham is wearing spandex or leather or latex pants....and....he's got them pulled up waaaayyy too high. They're up around his chest.
04:42 Lasers! You know Styxx must have been so jealous when they saw those freaking lasers.
04:52 She really should have been wearing a bra if she was going to be under all those lights and lasers.
05:04 Greatest video ever!
Monday, June 18, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
- 1 canceled flight.
- 3 missed flights because US Airways only had 1 person working the help desk.
- 1 security pat down.
- 50 minutes on the runway.
- Instead of landing in Charleston at 1:00, we arrived at 4:25.
It was maddening.
...I battled some bad, bad stomach problems from eating what might have been some spoiled strawberries at dinner last night.
Real "I only felt better after I puked" bad.
But, we finally arrived and settled in at our hotel at Charleston Place Hotel. It's very nice.
Tim Mason and Brett Lyons are on this trip with me. We're also joined by Will Bowles from LA. He's part of my company's West Coast crew of actors, but he's joining us here in Charleston because it's a Super-Sized Meeting.
We walked down Market St. and had dinner at the Charleston Crab House. Afterward, we walked around and looked around at some of the attractions in the neighborhood. The boys even stopped for a photo in front of the Daughters of the Confederacy building.This is my second trip to Charleston and I love, love, love it. Charleston is incredible. Every corner drips with history. It's the epitome of an Oceanside, southern town. It's fantastic and beautiful.
Tomorrow we're going to spend most of the day rehearsing, but we have some time set aside to get 3 full meals of seafood and take in a city tour.
Tim is campaigning for that tour to be a haunted tour.
I can't wait.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Our winners were:
Extraordinary Measures by Howie Kremer and Dan Aho
Surprise by Holly Gibson
In Third Place, with a prize of $50:
Precision - Danille Uhlanik
In Second Place, with a prize of $100:
Wicked - James Sorrels
And our First Place prize of $250:
Naked - Avella/Kelley/DeJulius
I e-mailed Jason Chin and Anthony LeBlanc (our financial director) to make sure it was okay to buy the Ripper. They both agreed and I immediately purchased a ripper online and downloaded it. After it installed, it informed me that I needed a registration key and it would be e-mailed to me. As I write to you at 11:00 am on Wednesday, I'm still waiting for that registration key to be mailed to me!!!!
The cab driver used a couple of short cuts and pulled up to Lakeshore Theater at exactly 8:02. I saw Jason in front of the theater and waved to let him know it was me. I pulled out my wallet and gave the cab driver his money and raced into the theater.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Lakeshore Theater at 8:00pm. $5 per person.
Here are the movies:
Long Way Home - Bob Ladewig
Uh-Oh - Scott Anderson
Precision - Danille Uhlanik
Surprise - Holly K. Gibson
Courtney - Courtney Davis and Heather Svoboda
Wicked - James Sorrels
Extrodinary Measures - Howie Kremer and Dan Aho
Naked - Avella/Kelley/DeJulius
Womankind - Topaz!
Lakeshore Theater is at the corner of Broadway and Belmont. Come and watch.
Friday, June 8, 2007
Tonight's screenwriter's for Project Writing Readers Theater are Molly Wilbanks at 7:30 and Curt Foxworth at 10:00. Should be fun.
I think I've written about Vidiocy before. Several years ago, Jason Chin and I created a short film contest where people draw random titles and have 30 days to complete their movies. Tonight is the deadline for people to turn in their movies and next Tuesday will be the viewing of the semi-finalists.
This is the 16th edition of Vidiocy and we've had some amazing short films made for these contests.
Looks like the Cubs bad behavior last week has set a bad example for the Alabama state senate. Take a look at this geriatric version of the Zambrano/Barrett fight.
Last week was the Spelling Bee. Watch this excrutiating interview with the kid. Kid, please, stop studying. Go outside and get some friends. If you're not careful, you're going to grow up to be one of those know-it-all-jerks who spends all their time reading comic books and playing World of Warcraft.
And, just because it's fun, watch a clip of one of the kids from last year.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
I'm sorry Mike. I spoke out of jealousness and envy. Although it was backed by mountains of baseball knowledge and sports acumen, it was bitter and catty. I apologize.
I also apologize for the fact that your wife pretends to be a Cardinal fan, but is a true, blue Cub fan. I also apologize for the fact that your beautiful daughter is also a Cub fan.
The weather in Chicago has been crazy weird. Monday and Tuesday it was rainy and cold. The high temps barely broke 60 degrees. Today, it's 95 and very, very, very windy. It's like you're walking around with someone holding a blowdrier in front of your face. The hot air is being whipped around.
Tomorrow, it's back to the 60's. Strange.
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
It's weird having a desk top computer again. I'd gotten so used to having a laptop. My fingers are going to start losing weight because I actually have to push the keys on the keyboard. With the laptop, I barely had to touch them.
But, it's cool having the old computer back. I have a bunch of scripts and files that I'd thought I'd lost forever.
Today is the first day of filming for Sports Action Team. For those who hadn't figured it out earlier, that's my new job. The past few weeks I have been working with Al Samuels and Kevin Fleming and the rest of the cast as they put together the outlines for the upcoming episodes. It's an improvised show, so they can't have a script, but they have a very loose and liquid outline that what will help dictate the focus of each episode.
Now that they've begun filming, my job is to wait for the footage to start rolling in and then look to piece it all together. My official title is "Story Producer" or "Line Producer" or "Show Doctor". At various points, I have been introduced as each of those things. Oh, also, my contract says I'm a "Creative Consultant". So, I'm a man who wears many hats, I guess.
My main job is to be the Producer who's in charge of the final production of each episode. That's a vague description, but it involves watching a lot of tape and supervising the edits of each show.
We'll see how that works. I'm anxious to move to this next stage. Up to this point all I've been doing is going to meetings and making suggestions and offering story ideas to Al and Kevin. I'm ready to dig in and get my hands dirty.
It should be fun.
A couple of random things...
Now that you have the sports world's attention and have made a spectacle of yourself, can you please settle down and win this stupid division. You have played absolutely terrible, awful, disgraceful baseball, but you're only 6 games back in the standings. You could very easily get on a hot streak and win enough games to get into the playoffs. Once you get in the playoffs, everything changes.
Who knows, you could screw around and steal the World Series like the Cardinals did last year. They proved you don't have to be a good team to be the World Champions.
Also, Jeannie's brother Bud is playing in a "Guitar Hero 2" competition in Austin, Texas. Here's his audition tape:
Just look at how fast those buttons pop up! He hits almost every one.
If he wins, Jeannie and I want half the money. We were the one who gave him the game.