Monday, September 23, 2002

Silence of the Hams

Hey-diddly ho, neighborinos!

Guess what? I got nothing. Nothing happened. No celebrity sightings, no weird adventures, no pirate auditions, nada. Zip, zilch, zero. So how am I going to distract you from your busy, hectic work day? How am I going to take up an hour of your time reading my crap? I don't know. Could this actually be the long-awaited *short* update? Probably. On a side note, I promise I won't put the answers to the movie quote trivia somewhere in the update. I just thought it would be funny to do it once.

9/9 - The day I sent out the last update there was actually something fairly exciting. As you may know, L.A. is plagued by wildfires the way that Houston is plagued by flooding, and I finally got to experience one first-hand. The mountain behind my apartment caught on fire. Well, maybe it's not a mountain, could be a hill. I don't know. Growing up in Houston, a hill was a 20 foot rise in the ground. But around here, mountains are the ones with snow on top, and hills are all the rest. Anyway, it was on fire. I couldn't quite see the flames from where I live, but there was plenty of smoke (though the smoke was kinda hard to see through the smog). A five-minute trip in my car, though, and I got around to the other side of it. It's pretty amazing to see the whole side of a mountain/hill on fire. They put it out fairly quickly, and it was an empty part of the mountain. No one was hurt and no houses were damaged, so I feel comfortable saying it was pretty cool.

Two uneventful weeks pass--

9/22 - I finally made it out to the beach. I've been out there before, actually, but this time I was able to do beach-like stuff like lay out and get burned and stare at bikini-clad women. Usually it's about 15 to 20 degrees colder at the beach than at my apartment, so I had been waiting until it got really hot before I went. It was very nice, far different from the beaches at Galveston for sure. Did you know that ocean water is actually clear? It's also *extremely* cold. Talk about shrinkage. I didn't rent a surfboard this time, so I don't even have any good wipe out stories. I walked along Venice beach and saw all the street vendors with the same crap you see everywhere. I saw a bunch of guys doing something called Batuque, which is a Brazilian dance/fighting thing. A bunch of people gather in a circle around two guys in the center. While everyone is singing and chanting, the two in the middle go at each other with judo-like moves, making sure not to hit each other. The moves are random, but each guy knows the move and its response so it's like sparring. I'm not doing it justice through my lame description, but it was very cool.

See? That's all I got. Extremely lame. So how else can I eat up space?

Let's talk about where I live. L.A. is huge. With 15 million people, it's the second (or third, I forget) largest city in the US. What's even more amazing is there's always talk about the Burbank area seceding from the city because they don't like paying for the rest of the city's problems. If they did successfully become they're own city, the way they're mapping it out now the new city would be the eighth largest, and knock L.A. proper down to only fifth. L.A. is huge. There's a section of L.A. called "Little Armenia" where a lot of Armenians have come to settle. Why do I mention this? Because Little Armenia actually has more Armenians in it than the real Armenia. L.A. is huge.

The specific place where I live is in Glendale, just 5 minutes from Burbank. It's a nice place I guess, if you like retirement communities. We're definitely not in the "hip" section of L.A. Fortunately, our friends are forgiving and will hang out with us anyway.

Okay, that's it. Very short this time. Why even bother? I don't know, it's my duty I guess. However, next time I promise it'll be back to an amazingly large and hopefully entertaining update because in two days I'm going to Germany for Oktoberfest! Woo hoo! Wish me luck, and root for the Rams tonight.


Movie Quote Challenge:

Number 1: "You mean I'm gonna stay this color?"

Number 2: "Come out to the coast, we'll get together, have a few laughs..."

Good luck!

Movie Quote Answers:

Congratulations to Mary Felder for correctly identifying this update's quotes:

Number 1: The Jerk, by Steve Martin and Carl Gottlieb

Number 2: Die Hard, by Jeb Stuart

Thanks for playing, see you next time!


Sorry to bug you guys with a frivolous additional update, but I just have to vent my frustration.

I just got a call from the casting director for Pirates of the Caribbean, and they wanted to hire me! Yay, right? No. I have to start tomorrow, continuing through December. But because I'm going to Germany, I can't start until October 6th. This means I don't get the job.


I could've been a pirate!!!!!!!!! They can't hold the job for me until I get back because they're sending everybody to "pirate boot camp" (that's what she called it, I swear). I could've gone to pirate school!!!!!!!!!!!

This is going to put huge demands on my vacation to Germany to really really be a good time.


Okay folks, last time to bother you for a while, I promise.

Thanks to encouragement from many of you, I decided to cancel the trip to Germany in favor of being a pirate. However, the specific part they wanted me for, Marine, was changed. The director changed his mind just this afternoon and decided he now wanted short-haired marines. Therefore, I am no longer needed (as yet). So, it looks as though the trip to Germany is back on. I also learned an old Hollywood adage today that I have certainly experienced enough to vouch for: If you want to get the part, make flight plans.

Thanks sincerely to all of you for sending me your "two cents worth." Because of you, I now have enough money to buy another beer at Oktoberfest!


Monday, September 9, 2002

My Big Fat Geek Convention

Nanu Nanu, folks!

Welcome back to another issue of tales of the weird. This one is probably going to be quite a long one, so those of you wanting to take a shot at the movie quotes should probably scroll on down to the end. Don't worry, I'll wait. ... Hmm hmm ... la de da ... Hey, while we're waiting, for those of you who don't feel like you ever have a chance at the movie quote trivia, here are the answers: Number 1 is from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and Number 2 is from Joe vs. the Volcano. Good luck!

Okay, everybody back now? Cool. Before I get into the goofy stories, I want to apologize to everyone I wasn't able to get in touch with in the short time I was in Houston. Due to weird circumstances, I had to change my schedule at the last minute and it was difficult for me to make plans. For those I was able to hook up with, thanks for all your hospitality, I really enjoyed seeing you. Okay, enough mush.

8/23 - Marie decided it was high time we had a party and up our social status. As a rule, I only have one party a year and tend to concentrate my efforts on that one, but I certainly had no objections. It was a fairly small gathering, and everybody had a good time. The only reason I even mention it is because I got to meet a guy from one of Marie's classes: The Voice Of Optimus Prime! Yes, the leader of the Transformers cartoon show was in my living room. Sadly, he wasn't the Voice Of that I had grown up with. This was the "new" Transformers or something. Sigh. Still pretty cool I guess, but not the same. Apparently it was his father who originated it. Knowing that, I didn't bother asking him to say stuff like "Look out, here come the Decepticons!" He looked just like Eric Bogosian, too, which was kind of weird. It was also from him that I discovered I have to be conscious of saying I'm a Rams fan. In L.A., there seem to be two groups: those who hate the Rams because they left, and those that pretend like they're still in L.A., ignoring the fact that it was they who got rid of them. I run the risk of being seen as a poser despite the fact that I never wavered in my loyalty through the city move. Don't ask me about yesterday's game, though. Going for it on 4th and 2 when in field goal range? Yeesh. Congrats to the Texans, though.

8/24 - Went to a Dodgers game. It was definitely pretty cool, although I had to climb more steps than Chichen Itza. Unlike Houston venues, you can't get into the stadium anywhere and go to your seats, you have to walk around outside and go in only at the gates on your level. But, it was Hideo Nomo bobble head night, so that made up for everything. Dodgers beat the Braves, 4-2 I think. Yay Dodgers! Don't worry, I went to the game yesterday and rooted heartily for the Astros, so my loyalty is still appropriately placed when possible. What fun to be the only person in a section standing up and cheering for a homerun!

That evening I went to a screenwriter's mixer/birthday party. It was definitely very interesting. I've discovered I don't really like screenwriters that much. All the ones who were still struggling seemed really arrogant. If they have a deal, or have sold something, I can understand it. But if you're basically in the same boat as I am, and have been out here longer, I think you may want to reassess your ego. However, the main attractions of the get together were Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio. These are the true Professional Screenwriters. They host the website through which all of these screenwriters meet, but more importantly they wrote Shrek, which was nominated for an Academy Award for best screenwriting. Plus, they're writing the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie (more on that later). They were very nice, very down to earth and easy to talk to. Sadly, it seemed (to me at least) that everyone else there fawned over them, listening to ever word as if it were a golden pearl to be memorized. I figured that's what the website's for and just tried to talk to them like normal people. Oh well. I guess good contacts were made (as they say in the biz) and I was able to steal a handful of those little paper drink umbrellas.

8/27 - Pirate audition! This is the reason I had to delay my trip to Houston. I mentioned last time that I sent in a photo and resume to be an extra on the Pirates of the Caribbean movie. My resume was a complete fabrication. I stole some of Marie's credits as an extra in Houston, since nobody cares about Houston productions (sorry, but it's true). I also added in the Special Skills category: "Sailing experience, looting, pillaging, rum-swilling, hearty belly-laughing, and general swashbuckling." Apparently the comic approach worked, as I got a call back to come in for an audition! Now it was still just an extras role, but they wanted everyone to prove they could be a pirate. Cool! I got to go onto the Disney Studio lot, which was fairly neat. I went really early just so I could wander around and scope out stuff, but unfortunately I didn't see anything particularly interesting. When I got to the audition, we were all instructed about what was expected of us in the audition. We'd be going in front of the director (Gore Verbinski, who did The Mexican and Mouse Hunt) and some guy with a video camera. Once in the room, we were supposed to go in and knock over chairs and boxes looking for our loot. Then on his cue, we were supposed to turn to the camera and approach it as if it were a woman (and we hadn't seen a woman in three years), and tell her in graphic detail what we were going to do to her. Supposedly, some people were *very* graphic. Oh no, I actually had to act!? They also told us to be as evil and mean as possible, "like serial killers." That last part confused me, because serial killers are successful because they act just like normal people, but oh well I won't split hairs. Needless to say, I was very excited. Sadly, when it came my turn, I found out that I was not actually auditioning for a pirate, but rather a "Marine." With my physique I don't know where they got that idea, but oh well. Anyway, the Marine audition was very different. I walked into a room with three other guys, said my name, where I was from, and what sailing experience I had. They said thank you, then walked in the next four guys. I don't think I got that job. Arrgh.

8/30 - 9/2 - DragonCon. Oh boy, where does one begin? This is a massive convention that hosts sci fi fans, comic book fans, goth and vampire fans, gaming fans, just about any type of fan you can think of. I call it GeekFest, but seriously I don't mean that derrogatorily. I'm proud to admit I'm a big geek as well. As a brief example of the weirdness to expect, Flynn is good friends with a band called Ghoultown (they're very good, check out their website: They're a mix of western, punk, and gothic music. Something like Johnny Cash meets Marilyn Manson. They call it "Gothabilly." Anyway, the night they were scheduled to perform, they got pushed back about an hour because the midget wrestling went long. The show also hosts "celebrities" like stars from sci fi tv shows, writers, artists, etc. I've put up some photos at, and they'll get onto my website soon as well. I didn't take as many as I did last year, I guess maybe I was a little less awestruck this year. Flynn and I were there to promote the comic book as usual, and this year we were listed as guests of the show. Woo hoo! This gave us the benefit of free space, but more importantly access to the Hospitality Suite! The last night was when most of the "celebrities" showed up in there. I got to drink free beer and fight over meatballs at the buffet with the likes of Lou Ferigno, Shazam, Ted Raimi, David Prowse (the guy who played Darth Vader), and the guy who played Lurch in the Addams Family movies. Wow, quite a roll call, huh? You're jealous.

I have many stories from this little adventure, but I'll spare you all and limit it to two quick ones. The second night that we were there, Flynn and I were sitting at the hotel bar casually socializing. A woman next to us asked if we wanted some company. Flynn ignored her and ordered some beers, so I entered polite conversation. Me: "So, what are you doing here at the show?" Her: "Oh, I'm an escort." Ah yes. She really did mean "company." So after a slight pause to take this in I say, "So, uh, how's business?" I imagined that this would be the perfect spot for this particular profession, considering the general status of most of the attendees. We talked for a while, but for those of you who have to ask, no, I did not partake. Needless to say, the second another man walked up to the bar on the other side of her, she whipped around quickly to begin her spiel again, and I was just as quickly forgotten.

My other tale is sadly less interesting, but I found it amusing none the less. On the way home, I saw Judson Scott riding on the airplane just a couple of rows ahead of me. For those of you not up on your "celebrity" geek trivia, he was the guy that played Khan's right-hand man in Star Trek II (remember today's quote?). Anyway, I recognized him, but by no means really cared who he was. I found it slightly amusing that he was riding in coach like the rest of us schlubs. When we landed, he turned out to be one of those guys that stuffs a bag that's too big into the overhead bin. After a few seconds of watching him struggle to get it out, the rest of the passengers just started filing past him. By the time I passed him, he was to the point of climbing on the seat and desperately trying to unwedge his bag. I suppressed my giggle at least until I was off the plane. I mean, 24 hours ago, he was selling his autographed photos to fans and getting his picture taken with them. Now he's the idiot who carries too big a bag and slows down everyone on the plane. I'm sorry, I just thought that was funny.

9/3 - 9/5 - After that I was in Houston, if only for just a little while. Again, thanks to all of you I got to spend time with, and my apologies to those I didn't. I'm most grateful for being able to sip a St. Arnold's again, and to see actual rain. I know it's been a little too much rain for you guys, but for me I was happy to see it again.

Okay, well I think that's it. I guess this one wasn't as long as I expected.

Thank all of you for all of your support, I really appreciate it. Until next time!


Movie Quote Challenge:

Number 1: "As a matter of cosmic history, it has always been easier to destroy than create."

Number 2: "Brain cloud. I knew it! Well, I didn't know it, but I knew it!"

Good Luck!

Movie Quote Answers:

Tonya Barnett was the first to correctly identify the quotes:

Number 1: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, by Harve Bennett and Jack Sewards

Number 2: Joe vs. the Volcano, by John Patrick Shanley (one of my most favorite, underrated, guilty-pleasure movies)

Congratulations, and better luck next time.



© New Blogger Templates | Webtalks