Thursday, October 16, 2003

Totally Recalled

Hi everybody!

Well, it's been a week since the coup, er, recall of Davis, and things seem to be going well under governor-elect Schwarzenegger (man, I love that phrase!). The mandatory morning exercise routines are strenuous but fair, but I'm having trouble remembering how to spell Kelleeforneea.

Believe it or not, this is going to be a very short update, the main purpose of which is really to let you know that I'll be in Houston, TX all next week, and would love to have a chance to hang out with you guys for lunch, dinner, drinks, whatever.

Not too much news around here. Due to a friend, I got picked up as kind of a stringer for Indie Slate magazine. They asked me to cover a film festival out here called Mania Fest. It was okay, I guess, but the really cool thing was I got to interview Wes Craven and Stan Lee! I was so nervous, especially with Mr. Craven, because I didn't find out I was going to interview him until about five minutes beforehand. I'm sure I came across as a complete dork, but that's okay. Stan Lee was super cool and nice, and it was great to meet him.

Mega-congratulations are in order for my cousin, Marie, who finally landed an agent! With any luck she'll be a superstar within a year and I can start free-loading a room at her enormous Santa Monica mansion.

Anyway, like I said, short but sweet. I can save the interesting details for one-on-one meetings. Drop me a line so we can have a beer or two together. See you soon.


Movie Quote Challenge:

Okay, these are the super hard ones I had planned, but I still think they'll prove fairly challenging to get exactly right. I'm looking for only one answer for each.

Number 1: "I'll be back."

Number 2: "I have a bad feeling about this."

Good luck!

Movie Quote Hints:

Man, I'm feeling mean today or something!

First off, there was a typo about the quotes, these are *not* supposed to be the hard ones, just annoying ones.

All right, many of you have answered with:

Number 1: Terminator

Number 2: Star Wars

Now, while those are both true, they're not correct. They aren't the answers I'm looking for. So I'll break down and give you hints. Number 1 is from an Arnold movie, but not one of the Terminators. Number 2 is from Star Wars, but not the first one (or fourth, depending on your point of view).

Need more hints? Ugh. Against my better judgement, here are the response lines:

Number 1: "Only in reruns, kid."

Number 2: beep, boop, whistle, beep

Movie Quote Answers:

I just realized I never sent out the correct answers. I'm not used to no one getting them right.

Number 1: Yes, it is in both Terminator movies, as well as Commando, Twins, and the popular guess Last Action Hero. However, the movie I was looking for was The Running Man. Remember? The deadly American Gladiator of the future? I thought the reruns line was a giveaway, but I guess not.

Number 2: Yes, this line has been said (or a slight variation of it) in all the Star Wars movies. I actually tried to find it in some other movie to make it really hard, but I couldn't find one I liked. Anyway, the one I was looking for was Return of the Jedi, said by C-3PO as he and R2 go to talk to Jabba the Hutt (hence the beeping response).

Anyway, that's it. Better luck next time. I'll talk to you all soon.


Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Dude, Where's My Update?

Hey kids, remember me?

First, to answer the two most pressing questions on everyone's minds, Yes, I'm still alive, and No, I'm not running for governor. As much as I would've loved to have that little tidbit to add to my resume, I just couldn't scrape up the required cash and signatures in time. I had a great idea to win, too. I would change my name to Arnold Schwartzenegger (with an added T) and get all the votes from people who weren't sure which way to spell it. Perfect! At the very least I could get into a debate with Gary Coleman and a porn star. sigh. Alas, it was not to be.

So, what's up? Oh wait, that's what you're asking me. Hey, there's an idea. Rather than my usual blathering on about the dumb stuff I'm doing out here, why not just open the conference up to questions from the gallery?

How's the writing going? Seen any more celebrities? How's the job hunt coming? Are you rich and famous yet? When's the next comic book coming out? Got a girlfriend yet? How's the writing going? When are you coming back to Houston? Have you been in any movies? How are the screenplays coming? What are you doing with your life? When are you going to get a haircut? What's the boiling point of Mercury? Do you really think anyone cares about this crap anymore? When are you going to get a job and get serious? How's the writing going?

Ummm.... On second thought, why break with tradition. On with the blathering!

San Diego Comic Con -- Went down to San Diego for this massive comic book convention that gets bigger every year. I was able to get free entry with a press badge this year because of my friend Joe. We wrote a really short article (just a blurb, really) for Indie Slate Magazine in exchange for the passes, so that was pretty groovy. The show is just huge, and vastly expanding beyond just comic books into all sorts of genre-related stuff like movies and toys. We also had dinner with an agent for ICM, one of the big agencies out here. It was great to hear him talk about "Mel" and "Will." Imagine all the clich├ęs you've seen or heard about Hollywood agents, and he was them. However, he did give me his card, and was open to having me send him my stuff at the end of the summer. Woo hoo! So I guess I'll have to have something pretty dang good by then.

Classic Gaming Expo -- I went to another, totally geeky festival, but this one completely unrelated to comic books. This was all about video games, mainly the retro games from my youth, Atari, Intellilvision, Colecovision, Vectrex, etc. It was pretty amazing, in a nerdy sort of way. There are actually people out there who program new games for the Atari 2600! They had a little museum of all these old games, rarities, and prototypes, which was really interesting. I heard Nolan Bushnell speak, the inventor of Pong and founder of Atari. Some really crazy stuff. But the best part, by far, was seeing Black Bill. In the main room, they had set up about 50 arcade games for free play and nostalgia. Wandering around the floor, carefully supervising the players, yet staying respectfully distant, was Black Bill. I don't know his full name, but I did hear him referred to as Bill once, so I'll stick with that. He was a fairly tall man, thin, late 30's or early 40's, with dark longish hair and a beard, giving him the appearance of one of the Oakridge Boys. He dressed entirely in black (of course). I came to learn Black Bill is the holder of the world's record high score on several different arcade games from the '80s, ranging from Centipede to Missile Command to Donkey Kong (recently challenged, but that's a different story). (Editor's note: That story was recently in the documentary film The King of Kong.) Yes, I was in the presence of greatness, and he apparently knew it. He glided regally from game to game, carefully checking to see if anyone was approaching the number one spots he had dutifully captured on nearly every game there. I just cannot express to you the aura he exuded. Behind his eyes, you could just see his thoughts: "By day, I am a lowly stock boy at Wal-Mart; but here, among my people, I am a god."

Disneyland -- Woo hoo! I finally made it out to The Happiest Place On Earth (tm)! No, not Tijuana, but old Walt's place. Even better, through the kindness of a friend of a friend of Marie's, we were able to get in free! Which meant that we could actually afford to eat there! Cool! I hadn't been to Disneyland in probably 20 years, and it's still just as impressive. It's amazing how quickly it can make you feel like a kid again. When we first got in the park, Mickey himself came out for an appearance. I rushed to get an autograph book, and from then on I was pretty much an 8-year-old for the rest of the day. I got Mickey's autograph, and, and Baloo's, and, TiggerandEeyoreandPooh's autographs, and Pluto, and, and, and Goofy. Goofy was the most disappointing, though, especially since he was one of my favorites. All the other characters had very stylized signatures that were very expressive of themselves. Goofy's was just a name. I could be imagining it, but I also felt a little bit of scorn emanating from beneath that oppressive heat-baking head gear vaguely shaped like a dog. As if I, a 35-year-old male, had no right to be shoving little girls to the pavement in a mad rush to get Goofy's autograph. Whatever. Sadly, I missed the cut off time to get in the line for Cinderella and the Little Mermaid, Ariel (rowr!). Maybe next time. As for the rides, they were pretty good, I guess. Pirates of the Caribbean didn't seem as good as I remembered it, but the Haunted Mansion was just as great as ever, if not more so. The best part was during the opening narration. Half the people in the room were narrating by rote right along with it, and when the lights went out, the screams were blood curdling. It made one little girl cry most terribly. And while I don't mean to revel in her distress, I have to say I thought that was great. I mean, haunted houses are supposed to be scary. That's the point. You get scared, you endure, and you come out into the sunlight none the worse for wear. An emotional roller coaster.

Okay, well, that's it for now. I'm hanging in there. I miss Houston and everyone there, and I appreciate the support and well-wishing all of you have expressed. I hope everything's going great for you. I'll talk to you soon.

Movie Quote Challenge:

Number 1: "I love you more than any woman's ever loved a rabbit."

Number 2: "You've enjoyed all the power you've been given, haven't you? I wonder how you'd take to working in a pocket calculator?"

Good luck.


Movie Quote Answers:

Okay, were those just way too easy or what? I had two correct responses almost as soon as I sent them out. But, judging from the time code on the e-mails, Kevin Marcus just edged out current champion, Mary Felder.



Number 1: Who Framed Roger Rabbit, by Jeffrey Price and Peter Seaman

Number 2: Tron, by Steven Lisberger.

And I really thought about trying to find some really obscure ones this time, just to see if I could stump you guys. Guess I'll have to do that next time. So consider yourself warned-- next time they'll be really really hard, and I'll check the Internet first to make sure they're *not* in the IMDb. Anyway, have a great day/week/month!


Monday, May 5, 2003

Cinco de Me Oh Mayo

Hey, folks, remember me?

Sorry it's been such a long time since the last update. I wish I could say it was because I've been too busy auditioning young starlets for my new movie, but unfortunately that's not the case. I've just been lazy. Is there any better excuse in the world than that? None more honest, at least for me anyway. But I do have a tale or two, so hopefully I can refresh your memories of that long-haired hippy freak who sends those annoyingly long e-mails.

First off, some bad news. We were burglarized. Well, actually, only Marie was burgled, I was just rummaged through. Out of all the electronic, video, audio equipment, CDs, DVDs, and all purpose junk in our apartment, they were only interested in jewelry. Every tiny nook and cranny in both our bedrooms was completely overturned, every shoe box, moving box, or anything that could've contained something small was searched. Marie lost jewelry, but it was mostly of a sentimental value. I guess they didn't realize that robbing a starving actress and writer was probably not the best choice. What really surprised me was that the attack kitties didn't leap to our rescue. I guess the Purr Patrol was taking a break that day. They definitely had fun playing with the fingerprint technicians when they came by. Soon after the dusting, instead of one black cat with white and one white cat with black, we had two fluffs of gray. In the end, I think Marie and I were both thankful that it wasn't any worse than it was. Also, it was a lucky break that I ran some errands and came home several hours later than usual. I hate to think what might have happened had I walked in on them in the act.

Okay, on to lighter things. More bad news for me, but no where near on the same order. I lost on Jeopardy. Well, actually, I lost on the audition for Jeopardy. I went to try out, and you sit in a room with about 50 other hopefuls. They give you a piece of paper and a Jeopardy pen (I did get to keep the pen. Nifty!), and almost immediately start in with the questions. You sit in a small conference room watching a video of questions that looks just like the show, only no Trebek. It's just question after question, written in that familiar white on blue, read by some guy. You have 8 seconds to answer each question, and there are 50. Yikes. It was soooo hard!! The first 20 or so questions killed me. I think I actually got all the rest, but I think they put the hard ones up front just to rattle you. Anyone know the capitol of Nicaragua? Well, it's not "The letter N," which is what I put. I figure as long as somebody had to read it, I might as well write something entertaining. Alas, now that I have Jeopardy-quested and failed, I'm not allowed to try again for another year. Look out, Price Is Right!

I was at the chili cocaine place the other day, enjoying my usual bowl, when a couple of ladies next to me were commenting on the fact that I got the hot stuff, and then even added peppers to it. That sparked interest from a couple of guys further down the bar, and soon a casual discussion turned into a challenge. Apparently, the chili cocaine place makes a hot sauce called "Dave's Insanity Sauce." Now, I like my food spicy, but I've never considered myself one of the iron-stomached, asbestos-tongued die-hard hot food connoisseurs, but much like Marty McFly in Back to the Future III, I'm always up for a dare. The fellow issuing the challenge, I found out after he left, was the son of one of the Everly Brothers. I don't know which one, so it's probably safer just to call him an Everly Nephew. So anyway, he had bought a bottle of the stuff for his dad, but swore he never touched the stuff. I asked the waitress if I could have a sample, and she said No. Huh? "Do you like really, really, really, hot spicy stuff that burns your tongue for a week?" she asks. "Uh, no, not really. But he dared me!" I say. Well that did it, here comes the insanity sauce. While we're waiting, the Everly Nephew and his buddy are telling me horror stories about the stuff. She brings me an opened bottle and gives me a toothpick to use to get just a dab of the dangerous liquid. I stick the toothpick in and try to scoop a bunch out. The waitress and the other guy turn pale, while the Everly Nephew hides his surprise by happily urging me on. By now, with the eyes of a small section of the bar on me, I'm feeling a bit hesitant. All the more reason to go ahead. I put the toothpick in my mouth. A pause. Nothing. That's odd, I think. "So?" asks the Everly Nephew. "What's the big deal?" I say. The Everly Nephew's buddy is staring at me. "Your tongue's not numb?" he says. "Yeah," Everly chimes in, "is your tongue numb yet?" About that time, I started to feel a tingling, burning sensation rise up from several parts of my mouth. Uh oh, I thought, here it comes. I'm in trouble now. I braced myself, grabbed hold of my water, prepped my tear ducts, and waited. ... That was it. It never got much worse. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, but nothing. Now, don't get me wrong, this stuff was definitely hot, but nowhere near what I had been led to expect by their taunting tales of terror. So, I continued my conversation casually. I even went back for another toothpickful. They were astounded. How could this be? You sure it isn't burning? Maybe it just takes a while. I continued eating my chili. Wow, stunned disbelief around the counter. "Well," I said, "I'm from Texas." Ohhhhhhhhhh. A seeming light of understanding crossed their faces. In one meal I went from average patron to lunch counter legend, and managed to boost the state a bit as well.

Speaking of the state, I finally got around to getting my California drivers license. Yes, over a year after moving, I finally got it. The interesting thing was, due to a strange lack of communication between the two states, I almost had to take the actual driving test again. This was a longer story when it happened, but not nearly worth wasting time with here. I went through the difficulty of having the Texas DPS fax the California DMV with proof that I actually was a licensed driver (I wonder if that proof was one of my speeding tickets?), and I was relieved of taking the drivers exam. I have to admit, though, I was sorely tempted to go ahead and take the test. I imagine I would have been a great change of pace from the usual teenage drivers. Not only could I parallel park with ease, I could demonstrate more advanced techniques like changing the radio station with a soda in my hand while cradling a burger and fries in my lap. That would've impressed them!

Okay, well, I'm sure I had about a hundred other things to tell you, but at the moment they all escape me. As far as boring, work-related stuff goes, I'm still transcribing, though a minimum of hours each week. I'm looking, sigh, for a regular job in the meantime. I've made some more good contacts in the industry, but nothing has paid off just yet, though I'm keeping my fingers crossed. My writing has been suffering quite a bit the last month or two, but perhaps I just needed some time off, as evidenced by this e-mail. Anyway, that's all from me this time. I hope all of you are doing very well in every aspect, and I look forward to hearing from you, or visiting and sharing a beer.


Movie Quote Challenge:

Number 1: "Can I call my mom and tell her I won't be home... ever?"

Number 2: "If you guys know so much about women, how come you're here at the Gas N Sip on a Saturday night, completely alone, drinking beers, with no women anywhere?"

Movie Quote Answers:

Mary Felder was the first to correctly identify both quotes today.

Number 1: Summer School, by Jeff Franklin

Number 2: Say Anything, by Cameron Crowe

Better luck next time, have a great week!


Monday, March 17, 2003

Darby O'Pettit and the Little People

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everybody!

If you're not wearing green today, consider this my personal pinch on your cheek (I'll leave it up to your discretion and imagination exactly which cheek).

Yes, it has been a very long time since my last update. Remember how I said I wanted to wait until I had something interesting to write about? How I wanted quality over quantity? Well, that's all out the window. Nothing's happened, and this is going to be just as long and boring as all the others I'm sure. I'm just lonely and want to talk to people, even if it is complete nonsense. So there. Yes, I know, I'm pathetic.

2/10 - I had a celebrity sighting! Clint Howard, Ron's not-so-attractive brother. There I was, waiting in line at a burrito joint with Gentle Ben! Oh wait, was Ben the bear? I can never remember. Anyway, I didn't harass him or anything. I'm still waiting for the perfect celebrity for me to accost in some embarrassing way. The next day, I saw Jay Leno, but it wasn't the same. I was driving by this car enthusiast store and saw an antique convertible (?) fire engine. I don't know if it was actually a convertible, but it definitely didn't have a roof. Anyway, as I looked over I saw it was Leno at the wheel. Apparently he was showing off his new toy to other car buffs or something. I heard later that he talked about driving it on his show the next night. So, my celebrity sightings so far are pretty lame, but I'll work on it.

2/22 - Earthquake!!! This was definitely the highlight of the past month. I'd been waiting and hoping for an earthquake while I was here, and finally I got one. It was a magnitude 5.4 that hit about 80 miles east of town at 4 in the morning. My bed started shaking and woke me up in the middle of the night (I'll let you insert your own jokes here), and I immediately knew what it was. The doors on my closet rattled for about a minute. I was so excited, but I didn't know if I should go wake up Marie or not, but fortunately she came out of her room not long afterward. Her reaction to the quake wasn't quite as joyful as mine, but things were still cool. No one was injured, and property damage was pretty minimal, restricted pretty much to just around the epicenter. Oh well, maybe next time.

3/2 - We have new additions to our little home. Marie and I are now the proud parents of two little boy kittens. They're both very cute and playful, as kittens should be. When we first got them, they were suffering from a cold, so it was very funny to hear these miniature sneezes from behind the couch or something. They are both black and white. One is mostly white with black splotches, that's Rorschach. The other is mostly black with white splotches, that's Oscar. Oscar has pretty cool markings on his face that make him look like a skunk, but Marie wouldn't let me name him Skunk, or Smelly Pete, or Pepe Le Mew (he kinda looks like the cat in the cartoons after having been altered to look like a skunk). Anyway, they like to 'rassle a lot, so it's just like a furry ball of yin-yang rolling along the floor. I do have some pictures, but I haven't had them developed yet. I'll put them on my site when I have.

3/6 - They've stopped doing the news at the Transcription Company, which is really a drag for me since that's all I did. I have been able to work on other projects, some of them even fairly interesting, like transcribing the commentary track for the 3rd season Simpsons DVDs. Unfortunately, the commentaries are really pretty lame, especially when you can't hear the sound of the actual episode they're commenting on. So, what does this mean for our intrepid hero? Well, basically I've finally broken down and decided to get a real job. It stinks. Of course I'll do my best to get something in the industry, but paying the bills and keeping food on the table will have to take priority. Drag. I'm really bummed about it, but oh well.

I thought I had one or two more interesting stories to tell, but I can't remember them at the moment. Oh well, I guess they couldn't have been that good then. I'll do my best to make sure the next update is far more entertaining and uplifting. I hope everyone has a fantastic St. Patrick's Day! I'll talk to you soon.


Movie Quote Challenge:

Number 1: "If they can dye the river green today, why can't they dye it blue the other 364 days of the year?"

Number 2: "I like being a pessimist. It helps me deal with my inevitable failure."

Movie Quote Answers:

Mary Felder was the first to correctly identify both quotes.

Number 1: The Fugitive, by Jeb Stuart and David Twohy

Number 2: The Brothers McMullen, by Ed Burns

Better luck next time, have a great week!


Monday, February 10, 2003

Rebel Without a Pause

Hello hello!

Well, I'm finally back in LA and doing my best to catch up on all my e-mail. This really isn't an update so much as a party recap. There's a few of you that are just now getting this e-mail, and are probably wondering what this junk clogging up your mailbox. Well, suffer. You can catch up on the archived updates (if you're that brave) at my website, though I strongly recommend having a lot of time and a lot of beer on hand before you try.

Most importantly, I want to thank everyone for coming out to the party and making it a big success. I can't tell you all how much I appreciate seeing you all coming out and just having a good time. I like to think that it gets bigger and better every year, and so far I have not been disappointed. I really had a good time, and I hope everyone else did as well.

The costumes this year were all truly outstanding. I regret having so few rewards to give to those who put so much effort into it. I'll put what few pictures I have up on my website later today.

I also regret not getting a good picture of myself with everyone in costume, but hey, maybe next time. Speaking of costumes, though, I feel some clarification is in order. I've heard that some people are hesitant to come because it is a costume party. Okay, let me make this clear, a costume is certainly not required. It is far more important for me to see you at all, than see you in costume. Now, that being said, I have to voice my own little vote for dressing up. It's fun! Personally, I think it makes people more casual and sociable, and much easier to strike up conversations with strangers. I mean, who would you rather drink a beer with, some dude, or some dude dressed up like Mork from Ork? If nothing else, you've got a good story for the water cooler at work the next day. Anyway, that's my soapbox, I'll back off. Again, I thought all the costumes this year were really top notch.

Now, will there be a next year? As far as I'm concerned, absolutely. One problem is, my birthday next year is the same day as the Superbowl. Not that I would have the party on that Sunday, but would the Saturday before be out as well? There's no real reason the party has to be on my birthday, in fact I kinda prefer downplaying that aspect of it. Anyway, what do you think? I have a year to plan.

Speaking of planning, I'm already being asked what the theme will be. I had several good suggestions the night of the party, the top five of which were (in no particular order):

James Bond

Comic Books

Cartoons (this one could be combined with comics)

Saturday Night Live (the show, not to be confused with the Fever)

Literary figures (but I'm in Hollywood now, no one reads here)

I think I've chosen, but I'm not certain. It all depends on how good I can make the invitations, of course! Apparently, I really got myself in a bind by doing a good job this year. Here's a little side story for you, just because I know you get disappointed if this e-mail doesn't eat up a lot of your time. I was really proud of the Wonka invitations, and didn't know how I was going to top them the next year. I struggled and struggled, and then finally came up with the Indiana Jones ones. They were great, but still not quite as good I didn't think. This year, I just decided I'd never be able to top the Wonka ones, so I wouldn't even try. I just wanted to do something I thought was cool. Little did I know I had raised the bar yet again. Drat! At this rate, the 10th will have to be a talking hologram.

Lastly, I said in the last update that I wasn't going to send these out as often anymore, and I'm sticking to that. I'd prefer to have quality of quantity, so I'll wait until I really have some good stories to tell.

I'm very excited about getting my ass in gear to do the things I've set out here to do. My birthday is always a time of reflection for me, and this year it totally recharged my batteries in a great way. I want to thank all of you once again for all the generous support and encouragement you have given me. I read a quote the other day from George Sand, "One changes from day to day... every few years one becomes a new being." Here's to becoming something new this year. Take care, everybody.


Movie Quote Challenge:

Number 1: "Ladies and gentlemen, I can envision a day when the brains of brilliant men can be kept alive in the bodies of dumb people!"

Number 2: "As your mother tells you, and my mother certainly told me, it is important, she always used to say, always to try new things."

Movie Quote Answers:

David Lemley was the first to correctly identify the following movies:

Number 1: The Man with Two Brains, by George Gipe and Steve Martin

Number 2: Hannibal, by David Mamet

Thanks for playing, better luck next time!


Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Giant-Sized Year-End Spectacular!

Hey Everybody!

Sit back and kick off your shoes, turn off your cell phones and pagers, grab a snack and take a bathroom break 'cause this is gonna be a long one! Just for my own amusement, I've decided to look back on the entire past year.

First off, I hope everyone enjoyed the recent holidays. I also hope you are sufficiently rested and planning to join me for a fun social evening that is rapidly approaching. Hopefully, by now you have received the physical invitations to the annual party. I'm sorry they're arriving so close to the event, but they took longer than I expected.

Next, for those of you of the competitive nature for the movie quotes, there's lots of them in this e-mail. I decided to put one after every month's recap. Just pick any two to answer. Get them correct, and be the first to answer on at least one of them, and you win! I think I put some harder ones in this time, but we'll see.

Okay. Well. Why a year-end spectacular? I dunno. I mean, sure there's the New Year and all that, and I am approaching my anniversary of moving out here. That tends to make one reflective. Also, there have been lots of times when I remembered something I wanted to write, but it was too late to be relevant to anything. Or heck, this is an "Update," sometimes stuff needs to be updated. Or probably I'm just lazy. I guess you could think of this as another one of those cheesy clip shows, but with added director commentary. Anyway, on with the show!

-Experienced Puppet Terror. Wow, was that so long ago? Some of those images are still burned into my retinas. I'll have to find out if those people still put on shows. Clearly this is something that needs revisiting.

Movie Quote #1: "This is so bad it's gone past good and back to bad again."

-Saw tapings of the Late Late Show with Craig Kilbourn.
-Learned to drive on the L.A. freeways. This brings me to my first update to an update-- more info about California drivers. License plates. Everyone in L.A. has personalized license plates it seems. I don't have a problem with that really, it's just sort of overwhelming. It's yet another indicator of the shallow, appearance-based hierarchy that thrives out here. What bothers me are the plates that make no sense to me whatsoever. I've started writing them down, so now maybe some of you more license plate lingo literate readers can help me figure out what these things mean. First up: "UNDUHWY" What is this? Undue Highway? Underway said with a weird accent? Seriously, someone help me with this. Okay, how about this one: "NTRPRTE" Enter Party? Interpret? Night Reporter? I'm so lost. I mean, I realize that not everyone can get KIRK RULZ or ROSEBUD, but when you start getting license plates that are anagrams of your ex-wife's brother's first dog, it kind of loses any impact.

Movie Quote #2: "Say Lou, did ya hear the one about the guy who couldn't afford personalized plates so he went and changed his name to J3L2404?"

-Found World's Ugliest Hawaiian Shirt. Or did I? The quest shall ever continue on.

Movie Quote #3: "Oh, I tell ya Camilla, great plumbers are born, not made! I'm the prince of plumbers, fair maiden."

-Started work at The Transcription Company. Well, I probably started before this, but I can't remember. I really need to get out of this. Sure, it was fun for a novelty, and provided some interesting material, but it is way past time to move on. I do enjoy speaking the news every morning, it keeps me fairly well informed. Unfortunately, it also keeps me up to date on all the stupid filler segments they do in between the news. I mean, a psychic predicting the Super Bowl? Come on. She actually made the statement "The moon will collide with a planet, which makes things unpredictable." First off, I'm hoping she means planetary conjunction, rather than an actual collision of the moon and some planet. That would be rather unexpected, and might *might* even take the headlines away from the Super Bowl. But secondly, she actually predicted that it would be unpredictable! What kind of psychic paradox is that? "See, I told you my prediction would be wrong, so therefore, it's right. Am I a great psychic or what?" But back to transcribing, I have to vent one other stupid little complaint about the voice recognition program we use. Yes, I still get some amusing mistranslations, but I am so sick of it hearing "The Rockets won 95 to 93" as "The Rockets 195293." Like I said, I need to get out of there.

Movie Quote #4: "Luther said I could learn some things from you. I already know how to drink."

-Fell in love with the Silent Movie Theater. They've been on hiatus for the past month as Bob Mitchell (the musical accompaniment) has been touring the country. I don't know if he and the silent movies came through Houston, but if so I certainly hope some of you had a chance to see them. He is truly an amazing man and performer, and it's great that they're exposing so many people to a classic art form.

Movie Quote #5: "If we bring a little joy into your humdrum lives, it makes us feel as if our hard work ain't been in vain for nothing."

-Saw The Politics of Fur at a Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. I wasn't very impressed with the movie itself, but I did get to see my name roll up the screen in the credits of a movie. It's a start. It didn't really have the thrill I expected it to, though. We had fun at the small (very small) after party, though. Some of you know this, but what the heck, I'll mention it again anyway. Katy Selverstone and I seemed to be hitting it off pretty well, both on the shoots and at the after party. So, I mustered up my courage and called her a couple of times, and eventually asked her out. Shot down! Bummer. So, my social life has been less than spectacular, but hey, at least I can say I got turned down by a B-level celebrity!

Movie Quote #6: "It's the story of my life. I always get the fuzzy end of the lollipop."

-Auditioned for the Weakest Link. Well, I didn't get this one, but I'm undaunted. I've decided as part of my Things To Do this year, I'm going to audition for every single game show there is, even the obscure ones that haven't even aired yet. It could be fun. If nothing else, I'll at least have subject matter for all sorts of interesting stories. The only thing that worries me is that I don't think I'm slutty enough to get onto any of the numerous dating shows. But hey, maybe that could be my schtick-- Greg Pettit is "Joe Geek."

Movie Quote #7: "I don't know why they call this stuff Hamburger Helper, it does just fine by itself."

-The Pirate Debacle. Yes, well, we all know this story. In the annals of my life, this is one of those moments that'll always be tagged with the red flag of "What if?" But, life goes on. It was only an extras job after all, and that's definitely not what I came out here to do. I don't regret my choice, really, I just regret that I had to choose.

Movie Quote #8: "The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

-Oktoberfest! Now, on the flip side of the Pirate coin, I got to do something else I had always wanted to do, and that was go to Munich for Oktoberfest. And it was definitely a great time. I went with about a dozen guys I'd never met before, and we all got along great and had a lot of fun, and I don't think it was just because of all the beer. We're talking about turning it into an annual gathering, maybe at a different location every year. I'm pushing for another running of the bulls, but we'll see. One of the weird things about the trip was how it affected me upon returning home. You know how new mothers experience post-partem depression after delivery? I think I experienced post-inebrium depression. Having a beer just wasn't the same; it wasn't as much fun. Fortunately, months of therapy have pulled me through this slight drought, but it's still left its mark. What does one call a happy scar? I don't know, I'll try to think of something. In the meantime, I'll just say Oktoberfest left a very happy scar in my brain.

Movie Quote #9: "My brother and I used to say that drowning in beer was like heaven. Now he's not here and I got two soakers. This isn't heaven, this sucks!"

-Went to see Robert McKee's Story seminar. Actually, this was in October, but it fit better in here. This was a really good seminar, very helpful and inspiring. If any of you have seen the movie Adaptation, Brian Cox plays Mr. McKee, and quite well from what I've heard. Another highlight, I guess, was that Drew Carey was in the class with me. Now that you've read my other story, I'll tell you I did seriously consider striking up a conversation with him with the fantastic opening of "Hey, Mr. Carey, I struck out with the girl who used to play your girlfriend on your show." But in the end I decided against it. Another lost opportunity? Who knows.

Movie Quote #10: "Never underestimate the power of denial."

-Nothing. Well, obviously not nothing, really, but just things slowed down a bit for me. Have you ever had one of those moments when someone makes a comment about the way you walk? The next thing you know, you're thinking too much about the way you walk, and it makes you walk funny, or worse. It's as if you forget how to walk by becoming aware that you're doing it, when in actuality you don't "know" how you're doing it anyway because it is such a subconscious procedure. It was like that for me with the updates, I think. I was too conscious of having to write them every couple of weeks so that they became a tedious chore, rather than the (hopefully) funny, insightful, conversation-like communication to my friends. Anyway, I've finally remembered to forget about how I walk, and just write the dumb things.

Movie Quote #11: "Don't expect it to Tango, it has a broken back."

-Rose Bowl Parade. I live less than 15 minutes away from Pasadena, so I felt obligated to at least make an effort to see this thing. Unfortunately, people begin lining the streets the night before for good spots to watch the parade. Luckily, the day after the parade they open it up to a public viewing, where you can just walk around the floats and see them up close. This was really neat, and the floats are just incredible. I have some pictures, but I haven't developed them yet. It's amazing what they think of to use to create different colors and textures.

Now, I have another story about the Rose Bowl Parade float viewing, and I know I run the risk of this not telling well in an update, but I feel I have to try. Maybe I'm an idiot, but this just struck me as funny. While I was viewing the floats, among a huge crowd I must add, they made an announcement about a missing person. They gave a description, and asked for the volunteers and workers to keep an eye out for him. James, a 43-year-old male, wearing a red, white, and blue jacket, and a blue baseball cap, and at the end of the description they added "with the mental capacity of a 3-year-old." Now, I'm not commenting on his diminished mental capacity, I have great empathy for him. What struck me as funny was, after they made that last announcement I overheard a person say to their friends, "Was that really necessary?" As if the announcer had just added that last detail to insult the person. "Missing person, female, 32 years old, and has a really bad haircut." Insulting or not, I think, yes, that really was necessary. Okay, well, maybe it's not as funny in the reading, but it amused me.

Movie Quote #12: "Another one of them new worlds. No beer, no women, no pool parlors, nothin'. Nothin' to do but throw rocks at tin cans, and we gotta bring our own tin cans."

Alright, that's it! A year over with. Okay, so maybe this one wasn't as long as I thought it would be.

Okay, now on to seriousness. This year in review has put a lot of things in perspective for me. I really appreciate all the support you guys have given me, but now it's time for me to get my butt in gear. I'm not going to stop the updates entirely, but I'm only gonna send them out when I have something very unusual or relevant to the Hollywood thing. Of course, you guys are always welcome to just send an e-mail asking what's up, and I'm sure I can bore you to death will all sorts of tales.

Speaking of which, I look forward to seeing each and every one of you at the party this Saturday! Have fun until I get there!


Movie Quote Challenge:

For those of you that jump down here right off, I put the quotes in the Update. This isn't to mess with you, it's because I put in 12 of them, one after every month. Just pick two to answer, and if you're the first one to answer correctly on at least one of them, you win. Hopefully, some of these are a little harder than usual (though not impossible). For you experts out there, you might want to try those just to give the other guys a chance! Good luck!

Movie Quote Answers:

Well, even though she didn't exactly follow the directions, Mary Felder was the first to correctly answer *ALL* 12 movie quotes. However, since the idea of having so many quotes was to reward as many people as possible, I'm also giving credit to:
Dale Prasek and Kevin Marcus, who both also identified all 12.
Dan Perez and Cecil Habermacher, who just selected two to answer, even though I'm sure they knew them all.
Special credit to David Good for making a ridiculous stab at all of them. I mean, "The scene after the sodomy scene in the prison movie... right before that other lame quote in the license plate making room."

For the record, and answers are:
#1: Ghost World, by Daniel Clowes
#2: Fargo, by Joel & Ethan Coen
#3: The Muppet Movie, by Jack Burns & Jerry Juhl
#4: The Sting, by David S. Ward
#5: Singin' in the Rain, by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
#6: Some Like It Hot, by Billy Wilder & IAL Diamond
#7: National Lampoon's Vacation, by John Hughes
#8: Lawrence of Arabia, by Robert Bolt
#9: Strange Brew, by Rick Moranis & Dave Thomas
#10: American Beauty, by Alan Ball
#11: Re-Animator, by Stuart Gordon
#12: Forbidden Planet, by Cyril Hume (based on The Tempest by William Shakespeare)

Okay, that's it for now. See you all Saturday!!

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