Saturday, March 31, 2007

The View

I've never watched the View, but here are some clips from today's show.

Rosie O'Donnell - what a fat pig. If Michael Moore and Rosie and the rest of the idiocracy on the Left could shut their fat faces maybe rational folks wouldn't be so drawn to Bush's War on Terror policies. Maybe, just maybe, we could have reasonable discussions on the issue. I watch these clips and I just want to shut off any criticism of the administration because so much of it is nonsensical. The blonde girl - whoever she is - is totally right.

"Don't you find it weird that you trust your enemies more than your allies and your own administration." Ahhh...true that.

Iran kidnapped British soldiers. It's plain and simple. At best (or worst) the water is DISPUTED. I still don't see how that warrants taking hostages and videotaping them under coersion to say bad things about their government. That is against UN regulations. Imagine the hissy fit Rosie would be doing if America had done the same to Iranian soldiers - if we had imprisoned Iranian soldiers in disputed waters. She'd be having a hissy fit about how we were being provocative.

It is clear: she's on the other side. Ironically, the other side would string her lesbian ass to the ground while they threw stones upon her...but she doesn't seem to believe it, or simply chooses to ignore it. She's a coward.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Fess Up, People...

Whose Rosebud asking John August this question?
Incredibly Smart

The core idea here is actually incredibly smart.

An anti-abortion advocate proposes giving women $500 to not have an abortion and instead give up their baby for adoption. (a similar idea is floated in Citizen Ruth, Alex Payne's first movie). The details of this particular plan are dumb - the women needs to show up at the abortion clinic and change her mind. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

But why not pay women with unwanted pregnancies to give up those children for adoption? One could get the anti-abortionists to pay for it - come on, $500 to save a human life, that's a real test of your beliefs! But it also would help the mothers with unwanted pregnancies.

I guess the downside is that women might start getting pregnant just for the money. (Fine, I know that's cynical, but we're talking economics and incentives here...)
Another Manhattan Project

Even though I am not as glum about Iraq as most self described liberals... I think our resources could have been better spent (in hindsight) on an alternative energy Manhattan project. The whole point of Iraq was to help shake up the political situation of the middle east and to wean ourselves off Saudi oil. Neither has occurred, nor appears to be occuring.

I think the Democrats need to propose a Manhattan project for alternative energy as an issue of national defense. We are too dependent on foreign oil - it's as simple as that. Plus, it would be good for the environment in the long term. Is it stupid to propose this? It seems politicall brilliant. What is the downside?

This may even have a political impact in the Middle East, because if we were able to devise some sort of energy strategy and share it with other nations around the world, the region would be in danger of bankruptcy. Oil is the only product anyone buys from the Middle East. Can anyone name another?
House of Saud

What amazes me is that we've known this for 5 years now...the Royal family is blackmailing the world with oil and we're paying them to stay in control and their paying jihadists to attack worldwide and not at home.

The theory I bought into was reform Iraq, wean ourselves off Saudi oil, start funding democratic movements across the region, and enact swift realignments in the Middle East changes post 9/11. Screw the incremental bullshit.

Instead, the insurgency grew and Iran started acting more belligerent.

Jeez. Maybe we should've let Saddam take over Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in 1991 and let him and the jihadists duke it out and then just trade with the winner.
I Don't Understand Protocals of the Sea

According to this detailed account, the British ship was doing their job in legal waters. The Iranians somehow were able to take them without a fight. Isn't a British ship allowed to fight if another country tries to board them? Could a war have broken out then and there? I mean, isn't that how these things start? Shots get fired on Fort Sumter?

If Iran keeps doing these aggressive stupid things, there going to get it. I don't understand why they would want that.
Divesting With Iran

Good for California!
Poor Communist

Diego is sick.

I've been watching a lot of history channel stuff on WWII. I hate to be flip, but Al Queda isn't half as tough as the Japanese. Those fuckers were crazy. Al Queda trying gas and intimidate Iraqis with chemical weapons.

What a bunch of assholes. If things don't work out well with the surge, we should just empower the Shiia's and let them do our dirty work with respect to AQ. I'm not exactly sure it would work, but worth a try when other options are gone.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Private Security

Frontline on private security firms.

If it becomes politically necessary to pull troops from Iraq, we're going to be relying on security firms more and more. I don't see a problem with it.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

List of Films To Catch Up On

1. Ten by Abbas Kiarostami
2. The Vengence Triology by Park
3. Three Colors: Red, White, and Blue by Kieslowski
4. The Tenant and Repulsion by Polanski
5. Brick by Johnson
Recent Films I Watched

1. The Host. Fun, different, good monster. Story a tad confusing at times.
2. Heater. Canadian movie about two homeless guys who scheme to return a stolen heater to get $75. Very slow, but quite emotional and enjoyable movie. Felt like a documentary. I still don't know how they shot some of the scenes - even in their simplicity.
3. Millenium Mambo. This guy is a serious filmmaker.
4. The Killer Next Door. Some good stuff. Some bad stuff. Slamdance movie.
Ideas Are Just Out There...

But this is a stolen joke. Mencia. He was a douche bag before he was a joke thief and this makes it even worse.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Taliban or no-Taliban, the Afghans are one group I have confidence could kick the shit of Al Queda.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


I'm for creating a new agency to handle the counterterror threat.

The WSJ article. Shit, I'd work for them.
Am I A Loser?

I can't seem to figure out whether I'm a loser for being 28 and getting paid a little over minimum wage for QCing or if I'm lucky because I get paid to watch movies and become an expert in my field of filmmaking.

Why did I wake at 5am this am? Why am I still not a bit tired?
Movies Watched Today

1. Assault of the Party Geeks. There were tits and ass and I'm more or less positive it was shot in Andy's fraternity. According to IMDB it was shot in 5 days. Sounds awesome, right? It wasn't.

2. Bloom. I thought it couldn't get worse and yet it did. Bloom did not make a single joke or have a single funny moment in the entire movie. It might be a reflection of my retarded emotional state, however, that I did manage to find to feel sad for the character towards the end. If it weren't for that, this might be the worst movie I've ever seen. It's so bad, I can't even find it on IMDB.

3. Louder than Bombs. A Polish film (it took me awhile to figure that out) actually turned out to be pretty good. It looks like crap, but the performances are good and there is some funny shit in the movie. The transitions were awful, however, and some of the story telling elements totally off - things didn't make sense at times and then you sort of figure it out. Seems to me the director, with some practice, would be pretty good. It didn't show at any major festivals in the US, which surprises me. The lead girl is beautiful and could make it as a movie actress.

4. History Channel Documentary on the Salem Witch Trials. Obviously, an incredibly interesting story. Salem, at the time was a total weirdo boondocks town, barely surviving. A lot of social tensions existed in the town between the wealthier, more liberal merchants and the rural, more religiously conservative poor. They were all Puritans and all poor - just different degrees. Puritan's at the time believed literally in the devil and in witches - as opposed to today when most Christians believe the devil to be more of a metaphor for the bad side of the soul. Puritans were also terribly misogynistic - even by the standards of the time. Anyhow, the entire story is quite fascinating and encompasses so many issues - religion, class, gender, sexuality (repressed), race, celebrity (the young girls were famous), economics (who was benefitting), children, in addition to the obvious issue of social paranoia which we associate with witch trials. There is definitely an interesting movie in here and I'm sure they've already made some...

Monday, March 19, 2007

History on the WOT

I've been watching a lot of documentary and TV things on WWII at work and it's totally unbelievable all the stuff that went on during that time around the world. Crazy shit.

Japan was preparing for an American invasion of their country and started training EVERYONE - women and children to fight with bamboo sticks and stab American soldiers as they invaded. American warplanners estimated 1 million men would die if we invaded Japan. Can you imagine that?

The Japanese were told the Americans were going to torture them and mutilate and kill them and their only hope was to fight to the last man.

In Germany after the war ended, the people were so hungry and starving, women would cook wallpaper for their family to eat because the glue had nutrients. This wasn't just the poor in Germany - this was the entire country. The entire country was rubble. In fact, the entire continent of Europe was basically rubble. A totally surreal landscape.

Japan tried to get Russia to intervene on their behalf to get an armistice, but Russia wouldn't intercede with America, who wanted nothing less than an unconditional surrender.

The reason the allies insisted on unconditional surrender by Germany and Japan was because WWI ended with an armistice and essentially set the stage for WWII.

Anyways...getting off topic. Strategy pages has a good article about how history will treat the war on terror and that all we're getting today are varying politicized accounts about what's going on.
When You're Right, You're Right

I don't always buy the points made over at Powerline, but this is simple and true.

"There is something profoundly wrong when opposition to the war in Iraq seems to inspire greater passion than opposition to Islamist extremism."

Some big ones are developing a co-opt.

To me, this isn't all that interesting, even though I aspire to be a screenwriter. So they want more back end. Big deal.

What IS interesting is thinking about how many writers wield power in Hollywood. I'm guessing it's under 50. Not many slots, folks.
She Could Be the MLK of Our Day

And I'm proud she lives in America, now.
Islamic Terrorism and Independent Filmmaking

"The secret about the Independent film business is that it's not really a business."

-Daily Variety.

And yet, people are still drawn to it. Filmmakers do it to get their voices heard and to kickstart a career of mini stardom. Financiers do it to be associated with the sex of movies and for the chance of a huge pay day.

Why do assholes finance terrorism? I imagine the motivations are not all that different from indy film financiers. They want their voices heard and it's sexy in their part of the world.

In reading about KSM in the news lately, it seems clear that this guy was the equivalent of a writer/director, coming up with terrorist plot ideas, planning them out, and then going to financiers (Bin Laden) to get the money and crew. Bin Laden and Al Queda acted like the studio who finances and selects projects and keeps on staff a staff of trained craftsmen/warriors.

Now that the core Al Queda has been disrupted from their base in Afghanistan, independent studios (terrorists) have popped up everyone - little mini groups self starting their own acts of terror.

Perhaps the FBI and CIA should consult with the movie studios to see what kind of tactics they use to cut out indy films from the market. Or, even better, look at how the studios coopt indy films to make profits for the studios.
Does This Suprise Anyone?

Spain still finds itself in terrorist sights despite pulling troops from Iraq. Gosh, gee, that doesn't seem to make sense, now does it?
Has Spring Training Started Already?

Yipes, that seemed quick.

Sullivan is whining again about Bush lying about the troop levels. I find these kind of posts from Sullivan annoying, as if he's never tried to budget something or predict something complicated. For instance, in budgeting a movie project right now, I've gone back and readjusted the specific numbers TONS of times and those numbers, I understand, will continue to shift until the day the project is over. Does this mean I'm lying? No. It means I'm doing my best to make an accurate prediction with the knowledge I have.

One of the hardest things about choosing a career in filmmaking, I think, is the discipline it takes to work. One of the perks of trying to make this kind of career is that it is not a 9-5 life. One aspect of the 9-5 is that it forces you to sit down and do your job. People complain about it, but it's set up like that because it works. Filmmaking is not a 9-5. And when you're not on set, you need to be developing ideas and writing and hustling projects. It's hard to self motivate to do this - whether you are established or not, I think. I mean, there's a reason why Coppola hasn't made a movie in such a long time...

I've know about this discipline issue for awhile now and keep trying different things to try and develop some way of doing work and budgeting my time and energy. One of my new ideas is to only do personal emails in the evening and do only business emails during the day. I think that is a good start, one that developed from not having email access on a computer at work and noticing how much more I write notes to myself on projects and ideas sans email. Email and the internet, while useful for some things, are incredibly distracting.
Keeping Track of What I Watch

Little Dieter Needs to Fly - Another great Herzog film.

Falling Apart - Awful indy movie.

Saint Christopher - Another awful indy movie.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Keeping Track of What I Watch

Fitzcarraldo - Kinski plays it different in this one...

The Waiting Game - Talky, lame, NY indy flick, but Will Arnett was in it before he became Gob in Arrested Development. About actors in NYC.

Last Days of WWII - History Channel documentary. Pretty good.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Pointing to the problem of Pakistan who has it's share of Islamo-crazies and a nuke.

Not to try to freak anyone out, but there are also a lot of Pakistani students in the United States. Thing is, I think most of them are fairly pro-US, from the old days when we supported them against India in the Cold War. Think they'll take that into consideration?

-PS: That's a quote from Badlands.

UPDATE: Another good article on strategies to use against Pakistan who is allowing Al Queda to regroup in Waziristan. I have no idea what the geography of this area is like. Why again can we not just carpet bomb it with napalm? Just curious. My understanding is that this is becoming the Al-Quedastan, which as far as I'm concerned, we have carte blanche to go after.

Being a bit facetious, but still...
Sullivan on the Surge

I pretty much agree with him.

It seems to me that a pause in the violence is a good thing. I think momentum plays a big factor in these types of things and if things chill out and got peaceful for awhile, Iraqis might discover they really like it a lot better that way and won't stand for a return of the crass violence of the insurgency. Maybe that's wishful thinking, who knows.
On Student Loans

I agree with this article on student loans. Politically speaking, "student loan relief" is a bit cheesy - easy to talk about, no down side, very little realized effect. The fact is, student loans tend to be low interest and very flexible about pay back. And yes, they are overwhelmingly held by middle and upper middle class people. Are these the types of folks who need relief when it comes to how to spend government resources?

But his second point is also true - loans, especially professional school loans, can be crippling to people trying to work in a profession that doesn't pay - like writing or filmmaking. Lawyers tend to have more debt (I think) than film school grads, which often forces them to take jobs reading contracts in big lame firms for two years.

Anyway, I assume people taking professional school loans are smart enough to realize they will need to be paying them back and calculate it into their choices when deciding upon going to school. Plus, I don't hear about too many with professional degrees starving and although I feel sympathy for someone who wants to be a writer or teacher or filmmaker, but they are "stuck" working as a lawyer because of loans - I don't feel MORE sorry for them than say, a single mother trying to raise kids without a college education.

No one held a gun to their heads and said: "Go to law school."
NY Times Select

Is now free if you have an edu email address.

Love the tourney. Love it because it breaks up the normalcy of every day. Love it because the community gets into it. Love it because the basketball is intense and hard fought.
SXSW Movie Round Up

Flakes - Directed by the same guy who made Heathers, this Zoey Deschanel movie was a big disappointment. It felt like an advanced directing project with Zoey, Chris Lloyd, and some other douche-bag LA actors. About midway through the movie you realize it's supposed to be taking place in New Orleans, but it'd be tough to tell since no one actually spoke or acted like they were from New Orleans. It was only afterwards it I figured out it was made by the Heather's director, which came as a big surprise simply because the filmmaking seemed so amatuer.

Sisters - A remake of the Depalma film, I fell asleep. I liked the Depalma movie a lot when I saw it, but this one with Chloe Sevigny and Stephan Rea was a big disappointment. And rather gross. I couldn't give you details about how it was similar and dissimilar from the original, since both movies are so weird.

American Zombie - A "fictional documentary" about documentary filmmakers making a documentary on zombies - who are more like you and me than you think. This movie was okay. One of documentary filmmakers was pretty funny. A few of the actors were pretty good. The horror scenes late in the movie were handled pretty well. Ultimately, however, these movies about movies tend to not stay with me and feel more like exercises for the filmmakers than a real good movie experience.

Grindhouse Clips - We saw clips from the Rodriguez grindhouse movie, which looked pretty damn good. Then we saw fake grindhouse trailers made by fans which were REALLY good. The winner was called: Hobo with a Shotgun, another one was called One Eye or something like that about a violated woman who takes revenge on men, and the last one I can't remember the name, but had incredible special effects.

Hell on Wheels - A documentary about the resurrection of Roller Derby. Actually, it was more about how start up groups organize themselves and run into problems than Roller Derby itself, but the Roller Derby provided fun in-between footage. The crowd was packed with crazy Roller Derby people drinking Tecate at noon in the movie theater, so it was a pretty wild experience. Not a great film, but quite a fun film experience that can only be had a festival.

Reel Shorts 2 - Basically the best shorts program I've ever seen. The Death of the Tin Man might be the best short film I've ever seen - it won Sundance. Vineet's movie was great and won a special jury prize. The others were very strong as well.

Experimental Shorts - Naveen's thesis won the prize. Yeah! The experimental program as a whole wasn't nearly as strong as the Reel Shorts, but there was some interesting stuff. I'm borrowing some shot ideas from one of them I liked.

Smiley Face - Greg Araki makes a movie about a female stoner that all takes place in one day. Enough said - my favorite feature I watched at the festival.

I missed a slew of movies I wanted to to check out, but oh well, that's life.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Quick SXSW Update

There is a lot to write about and I'll need to update the blog in great detail, but some general points to remember (I guess) about big film festivals...

1. There is WAAAAY too much to do. It is physically impossible to everything, or even half of everything you want to do between screenings, taking in the city, panels, parties, events. This is awesome at first, then a bit frustrating, and then awesome again. You get into this flow of movement and experience while navigating the event.

2. Basically every screening is sold out. Even the crappy movies get filled because of the overflow from the other movies. We got filmmaker passes which are basically the best pass one can have - first priority on everything, but if you're a little late, they've already filled the theaters and the place is such madness that some of the employees and people making spur of the minute decisions don't really know priority and you are basically at the whim of the moment. Can be frustrating, but is also kind of crazy.

3. There is a whole different energy about movies. Most of these films won't ever get seen, but certain movies gain a certain buzz on the day of - and this is just amongst the people you talk to and are around. The reasons are rather arbitrary - some random person said XYZ was good and worth checking out, or the idea sounds interesting, or it just happens to be in a theater you want to check out, or someone you know was involved with the movie or someone who you're with knows someone involved in the movie. But regardless, a huge amount of energy and build surrounds a certain movie for a moment and it's odd...because you know from real world experience, this buzz doesn't translate to much other than the buzz in the moment. But it's still rather exhilirating.

4. The panels thus far are out performing the movies. Saw Linklater yesterday. Rodriguez today talked about Grindhouse. Harry Knowles from Ain't It Cool was there in a wheelchair looking like Jabba the Hut. This guy has seriously buddied up with the filmmakers.

5. Promotional materials are everywhere and costly. Naveen predicts a 10,000 budget per big festival per big feature. Something to remember.

6. "The dirty secret of the Independent Film Business is that it's not a business."

7. Got interviewed for a documentary film about film festivals this morning. Doesn't seem like the greatest idea for a movie, but it got me to articulate what film festivals are - on the one hand a market for films and filmmakers to get notice, on the other hand, a great event for a community to celebrate filmmaking and get excited about work for the sake of the work - versus the box office, etc, etc. Now that I wrote it, it doesn't sound that smart. Probably end up on the editing floor.

8. List of movies seens thus far: Flakes, American Zombie, Sisters, Hell on Wheels. Follow up later.

Movies I missed: All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, Big Rig, Manufacturing Dissent.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Pirate Movies

I'm going to be checking out some pirate movies after seeing the Black Swan, which for some unknown reason, isn't on this list.

But it is on this list.
America at War

Of interesting note by watching the series on American Wars...

1. The original intention of the Civil War was to keep the Union together. Lincoln said so rather blatantly in the early part of the war - that he would not free a single slave if it meant keeping the Union together. But by 1863, when the war was being incredibly mismanaged by the North, Lincoln decided to make it about freeing the slaves to galvenize war support. The Confederate strategy was to make quick military victories to intimidate the North into suing for peace terms because they knew in the long run they wouldn't be able to win. After Lee won at Chancellorville and Fredericksberg many Union folks thought the war wasn't worth it, but Lincoln had resolve, used the slave issue to get the abolitionists on his side and take the moral upper hand, and eventually found a competent General (Grant) to lead the Union to victory.

2. A lot of dumbshits point to how we used to support Saddam and Osama to implicate that that we created these monsters. Well, think what the British must have thought of the Colonists...during the French and Indian War, the British and the Colonists fought together against the French and Indians and eventually defeated the French, pushing them out of the disputed territory and setting the stage for limited European conflict in the New World (it got refocused on Europe during the Napoleonic Wars). But without the French around, the Colonists decided they didn't need the British to protect them. Plus, the Colonists had some British-trained military experts (George Washington) and of course, everyone knows the story from there...the Brits tried to tax the colonists to pay for the French Indian war and the colonists responded by saying no and dumping British tea in the harbor. Not only that, when the British started to attack the Colonists, the Colonists adopted tactics they saw the Indian's use against them in the French - Indian campaign against the British. Clever.

3. The Plains Indian war. The longest war in early American history, it lasted for 12 years. The Plains Indian's were the only really formiddable Indian force because they knew how to use horses. They had captured some Spanish horses in Mexico in the 1680s, bred them and created a unique horsed-based Indian culture in the plains of North America, where they would hunt buffalo. They become one of the wealthiest Indian cultures because of their ability with horses and also proved difficult to defeat militarily. In fact, the only big Indian victory over the settlers was of course, Custer's Last Stand. Ironically, the victory caused the Indian supporters on the East Coast to be silenced and allowed the more genocidal forces to take control which led to the eventual wiping out of the Plains Indian population.

4. American involvement in WWI. What's interesting in WWI is that for the first few years America was VERY neutral. In hindsight, it's odd to think of not siding with the Allied powers, but there was significant support for the Germans in the German-American population and the Irish-American population (who hated the British). America war-profiteers sold arms to both sides, but it was the German subs who started attacking American ships headed towards England that led us to get involved on the Allied side. Hearing about WWI, it sounds like the stupidiest war on the history of the planet. Not unjust, just plain dumb.
Keeping Track of What I Watch

1. 8 part series on American Wars hosted by George Kennedy (of Naked Gun and Cool Hand Luke fame)
2. The Tall Man - Clark Gable western. Pretty good.
3. Omar and Pete - a documentary on two ex-prison inmates trying to make it in the real world. Pretty good.

4. Yesterday: Sum of All Fears

5. Two days ago: My Best Fiend

Can I get an Amen?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Good and Bad

There is such thing as a good and bad movie - objectively speaking. Some have tried to argue with me that taste is subjective and hence, there is no such thing as good and bad, just different. They've gone so far as to say it's arrogant to think taste is objective. Hogwash.

Yesterday I watched two movies in a row which can prove my point: The Black Swan and Soul Food.

The Black Swan is a pirate film starring Tyrone Power and Anthony Quinn. Written by Ben Hecht, based upon the Rafeal Sabatini novel and directed by Henry King, The Black Swan is emblematic of what film lovers refer to as the golden era of Hollywood. Funny, smart, and clever, the film still holds up today as is comparable to any Hawks or Sturges film from this same era. The story is about Pirates. The English crown has tried to co-opt one of the most successful pirates - Captain Morgan - to become governor of Jamaica and help stop all the pirating of the high seas. Some of his captains follow him into respectibility while others opt to fight. Treachery lurks around every corner, Tyrone Power falls in love with the former governor's spoken for daughter, and lots of slapping and sword fighting ensue.

What is amazing watching this film is that EVERY single character is smart, tricking other characters, and quickly reacting (oftentimes violently) in their own self-interest. Rarely do you see that in films today. If you are lucky - one character is really smart. In this film, every character is smart and in a sense, too smart, in that they all discover information that they take to mean something it doesn't...but it all makes sense in the film....the use of dramatic irony is impecible. Shakespeare would be giggling.

On the flip side we have Soul Food, the Vanessa Williams and Vivica Fox melodrama. This film contrasts well with The Black Swan because instead of consistently smart characters, the film is comprised with idiots. The problem is that some of the characters are supposed to be smart (because the dialog keeps insisting so) and others are supposed to be not as smart (but have a lot of soul because they can cook), and yet both sets of characters act unbelievably stupid. First off, Vanessa Williams calls in a cousin to beat down her brother in law when she for some stupid reason thinks her brother in law hit her sister (wouldn't you just ask your sister???). She is this hot shot lawyer with tons of money and connections and her way of handling speculation is to call a cousin to "beat him down - but no using guns." Ahh, yeah. What planet are you on? But it's not only intellectually's also emotionally stupid. Why do characters who we are supposed to believe love one another bumping and grinding with ex-girlfriends at their wedding? Why do sisters bicker at the table over nothing just to show they don't get along? Why does Makhai Phiefer try to beat up his boss when he eggs him on?

Soul Food is an all black cast made by a black filmmaker and yet it falls into the stupidest black stereotypes for many of it's characters - the old Aunt Jemima character, the angry just got out of jail troublemaker who can't control himself physically, the jazz musician. It just goes to show that stupidity is indeed, race blind.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

My Grandparents

I check in with my old hotmail account every now and then and usually get sucked into MSN's little life advice articles like this one.

It's a story about a 38 year old corporate VP who quit his job to become an actor. I obviously come across a lot people like this having just attended film school. Essentially, the people who quit their corporate jobs to become actors start by working with me and people like me because it gives them a sense of fulfillment.

It seems to be the mantra of this generation - follow your dreams. I've obviously bought in. But I can't help but think of my grandparents to whom the very idea of following their dreams would be meant with a blank stare and shrug of their shoulders. To them, they were perfectly happy with A job with decent people, good neighbors, good discussions, a good family, bridge night every now and then. This greatest generation wasn't concerned with fame and glory and fulfilling their dreams. They were happy - probably more happy than our generation - just appreciating the simple pleasures. They grew up during the depression and saw the free world on brink in WWII, it sort of changes your outlook on things. We've only know dominance.

I don't know if it is an entire generation thing, but I know my grandparents were a lot less caught up in professional success and much more concerned with just being decent people.
Watch Out For The Cheese Store

As I've mentioned on this blog before, the cheese store in Silverlake is one of my little treats to I opted to get some cheese for breakfast/lunch and headed down there. I always end up spending more money than I intend for bread and cheese and salami, but oh well, some things are worth splurging on...

But today it reach a different level, like the bombing of the Samarra Mosque in Baghdad. I tested this brittle french brie and really liked it. Liked it way more than the cow's milk triple cream french brie, so I decided to buy it. They come in rather small chunks and I figure, well, I'll just buy one for now. I order that, a little slice of Spanish goat cheese (also surprisingly brittle - to be eaten with beer - yum), a bit of salami made up in Berkeley and a bagette.

"That'll be $28."

Uhhh....excuse me? I basically thought I was buying myself breakfast plus leftovers, figuring the whole thing would cost $17 or so. This is one of those places where prices are not printed anywhere...and normally I intend to spend $15 or so and it ends up costing $20. Anyhow, this seemed a bit high, but I didn't make a stink or a question because, well, it just ain't the kind of place where you do that, and I'm not a cheese price expert. Plus, I'm paying for the whole experience of talking with the cheese experts and testing the cheeses and all of that. But nonetheless I looked at the receipt and it turned out the little french brie cost $15. The total amount of cheese is about 1/2 to 1/3 the amount of a small chunk of Tillamook chedder from the grocery store - which to me seems a bit pricey at $3.99.

Oh well, it cost about the same as a movie at the arclight and you can't eat that, right!

ps - I don't mean to diss Tillamook at all, it is one of my favorite brands. Good, consistent quality, not too expensive. Tillamook: Cheddar as Tropicana Pure Premium: Orange Juice. SAT - you can use that one.

Wow. This article: Iraq Insurgency For Beginners is incredible. It's pretty much a purely descriptive account of Iraq and it sounds like a complete disaster. And of course, there isn't a solution...

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Careful What You Wish For

Al Sharpton wants his DNA tested against Strom Thurmond to see if they are related. Yikes.

Very nice. Men and Women: curious creatures.

Doesn't it seem like being an anarchist is incredibly passe?
Playoffs Here We Come

I wouldn't want to play the Niners next year. Boo ya!

Get me a wideout and we're getting past the first round.
But, Of Course

Can someone explain to me why we didn't figure this out before March 2007?

Friday, March 02, 2007

Ruffalo Rules

In actor speak, he's calling Gyllenhaal a pussy.
30 Rock

Genius. Love the set up between Lemon and Wayne Brady. And then Ridikulus...

Alice is right, I have a crush on Tina Fey. Big time.
Dark Horse: Newt

An article on what I said here, which was several months ago.
Stumbling Around Like Idiots

He well may be right...history may look back on this period 2001-2007 when the West stumbled around like idiots after a pin-prick by an alien culture.

But eventually, we'll get it right and do our best to fix any mess we've made, which is a lot more than I can say about any other culture in the history of the world.