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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