Monday, August 31, 2009

Ghost of Disaster

Watched a documentary called "The Tragic Side of Comedy" on the Biography Channel on Sunday, chronicling the dark struggles of several comedians. Co-stars, friends and family recalling these men's lives. The warning signs that led to their endings.

"Things were just starting to take off for him..."

"We didn't know he was in so much pain..."

"He could drink a lot but he was fun when he was drinking..."

I imagine people talking about me in the past-tense.

We enter September and I'm struggling to find some work while keeping the writing career on track. I'm having a hard time doing this.

Seeing friends helps my spirits somewhat, but it also brings the risk of having to spend money I don't have. Every swipe of my MetroCard is precious. I'm literally tightening the belt because I'm afraid to spend money. I make for poor company, on several levels. Like hanging out with the Ghost of Disaster.

My lease is up in November and I am contemplating a big change. I am trying not to feel overwhelmed by everything, but I can't go on like this.

I try to ease my nerves by thinking about the bigger picture and how I will get out of this eventually. I know things will get better for me. Not knowing when is difficult.

I'd like to be able to just go with the flow. Not worry myself sick over things I can't help.

I slept a lot this weekend, in patches. Sleep is great when you're depressed because it's free and it's a way to escape for a spell. Little stretches of peace. I take whatever peace and oblivion I can afford.

How many calories are you getting in a typical slice of pizza?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Near Death Scare

I was visiting some friends' apartment. There were two elevators and I chose the one further in.

There was an elevator operator, though the elevator looked modern. I think I hit the 6 button. Several other people got on before the doors closed.

One of the other passengers said, "We're not moving." And we weren't.

The elevator operator started fussing with some elevator controls. "It's the 325," he explained wearily, referencing the elevator number.

The doors opened again briefly. Closed. And the sensation of upward movement commenced. Then slowed to a stop.

The elevator operator used the controls again, making the elevator go down and then up. This seemed to work and we were ascending faster.

Then the sensation of something snapping around us.

The elevator began to descend with exponential velocity...

We dropped below what should have been the ground floor and started plummeting, losing gravity. People screamed around me and I felt my body rising in the freefall.

I thought, this is it. This is where my life ends. All my petty everyday problems, gone.

I thought of another scenario where I'd be paralyzed for life.

But the elevator kept free-falling into some bottomless abyss and the impact didn't arrive... far beyond the point where it should have... and that's when I woke up.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Desperate Times

This is one of those entries.

The sort of entry I have to write when I don't even know who I can talk to anymore but I can't just keep it in.

Deep-seated loneliness is now secondary to the fear that I don't know how to support myself. A fear made more acute having just paid a slew of bills.

I've never had too much trouble finding a regular job. I could find long-term office work through temp agencies and get by. This path eventually led to working at Bear Stearns where I had my longest-term station in which I ascended the ranks and became very good... at working for Bear Stearns.

Now the safety net of Bear Stearns is gone and it seems that the "presentation center" industry has evolved to the point where I can't get back in without some specific expertise. Along with that, the old stand-by temp agencies aren't placing people as simply as they seemed to do a few years ago. The entirety of my formal education is in being a writer. And teaching isn't even an option because I don't even have a masters.

My screenwriting career broke through back in 2006 and I continue to have projects I'm juggling at various stages, but they're all speculative. Writing treatments (proposals) with the promise of some future payday. I have been pushing forth on this front very hard this year and had hoped that I'd be on a major project by now. It's just a terrifying waiting game. A feast and famine career path. And it's increasingly a challenge to commit focus to these various narratives when I'm so concerned about how I'm going to make basic ends meet, in the short- and long-term.

Family can't really help me. And they live all over the map (Oregon, Florida, Maine), so I can't even turn to them for a place to crash for a while. Sending resumes out for jobs I don't really want, with the flickering hope that I'll be considered for them. Trying to scale back on everything. Trying to focus on the writing projects as much as I can. Doing as much as I can, and I don't know what I'm doing.

I'm panicked and I can't afford to panic. I've had a really long stretch of working on faith and the road's about to end.

Christ, this is an awful downer entry for a Friday.

If anyone has any leads, contact me. Please.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Farewell to the Pigs

Nine Inch Nails's final NYC show, at Terminal 5.

Trent Reznor's farewell club tour as he crowd-surfs out of the world of live music.

NIN sounded amazing. They played the fuck out of everything. (I'm sure someone has a set-list up somewhere.) I've seen NIN several times over the years and they know how to put on a show.

Dave and I found a nice perch up on the second balcony. Secured a choice spot at the railing, with a nice vantage overlooking the stage (evidenced above). It was a bit warm as the place was packed and people were crammed tight jockeying for the best sight line... but we were still enjoying a great show...

... until this crazy bitch wedged herself right in between me and Dave!

There was no room on this railing. We'd staked out our place early, as did everyone around us. People were packed body-to-body against that thing (I could almost feel the heartbeat of the girl next to me). And then maybe 45 minutes into the show, this absolutely unapologetic psycho-cunt decides she's gonna douche up the night by fucking PUSHING HER WAY IN.

It'd be one thing if she asked at all, but this shitty asshole just shoved her way between us. And when we didn't make room (because there was NO FUCKING ROOM), she just forcefully writhed her way in there. Dave—god love him—gave no quarter. And there was no way I was giving up my place. But it was Dave that she turned on. Words were exchanged. She tried to be a dick and stay there for a while until the physical discomfort of being wedged there must've taken its toll and she retreated like the disease that she was. (I oughta get tested for STDs, she was so close.)

For the second encore, Peter Murphy from Bauhaus literally dropped in:

The smoke-machine was so excessive, I initially thought it was either David Blaine or Marilyn Manson, though it sounded like neither.

I was really glad I saw the show, even though it served to highlight why I don't go to see live music so much anymore. You're paying quite a lot of money to be in a profoundly uncomfortable environment for a very long period of time... for the vague promise of witnessing some ephemeral once-in-a-lifetime moment or moments that may or may not happen.

I would like to make a lot of money so that I could afford to get away from all the people for a while. Somewhere far, far away. This is my dream.

(Ted Kennedy has a posse, but you knew that already.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dead to the World!

O! my precious blog, what has become of your maker, MALICE...?!?

Busy, busy, busy. Busier than you can fathom, working on projects that pay in promises rather than cold hard American paper. Promises of paper are so much more difficult to make a living off of than actual paper. And yet, I can't let up.

I've got an actual in-person meeting Wednesday mourn, so I'll have to set the alarm. Wednesday night, I'm attending one of NINE INCH NAILS's final performances @ NYC's Terminal 5. I've got a lot of standing and waiting to do tomorrow/today.

And the deadlines don't quit. Nobody's really paying attention to this, so I'll just broadcast that I'm turning in a draft of a treatment for an adaptation of a graphic novel called "Sorrow". They're trying to package me with a guy who's currently co-directing a film called Machete with Robert Rodriguez. Let's pray for the best, shan't we?

Or don't.

It's all the same, really, in a godless planet, isn't it? Well, isn't it?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How Lonely Sits the City

... people who live lonely and disconnected lives, even smack in the middle of a modern metropolis, are more depressed, more suicidal and have more physical illnesses than the rest of us. Such longing is especially poignant at holiday time. The lonely are in effect emotional throwaways...

If the human mind is wired to make lonely people hunger for connection, as these studies show, then the inverse is probably also true. That is, people who are not lonely, who are secure in their circle of friends and family, may be more likely to dehumanize strangers; they have no motivation to make further connections. So perhaps it’s not entirely fanciful for an emotional castaway to befriend a volleyball, but for most of us the greater risk may be treating real flesh-and-blood humans as playthings.

Living Painfully Lonely Lives

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Meditations in an Emergency

It is easy to be beautiful; it is difficult to appear so.
I admire you, beloved, for the trap you've set.

It's like a final chapter no one reads because the plot is over.

I've got to get out of here.

I choose a piece of shawl and my dirtiest suntans.

I'll be back, I'll re-emerge, defeated, from the valley;
you don't want me to go where you go, so I go where you don't want me to.

It's only afternoon, there's a lot ahead.
There won't be any mail downstairs.

Turning, I spit in the lock and the knob turns.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Miracle Whip Generation

Mayonnaise as rebellion. What will the Mad Men think up next?

How the frak to do they honestly expect to sell this horseshit to a generation that is exponentially more cynical than the last?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Voodoo Economics

Stale cereal on mediocre doughnuts.

A lot of hoopla over nothing.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Everlasting Hate Machine

I kinda don't trust people who innocently claim, "I don't hate anyone!"

(Oh, you know who you fucking are.)

Most of those people are fooling themselves. Some of those people just want to put themselves on some sort of meaningless, bullshit pedestal. They fool themselves into thinking they're above hate, though most of them have more hate in them than you could imagine. And the world is all too full of people worthy of hate.

Including the hate-mongering ring-wing extremist zombies that are drawn to these "healthcare reform town hall meetings". They're so attracted to the mob scene and warm glow of mindless hate, they have no clear idea what they're hating...
After watching an Israeli immigrant to the United States praise his homeland's government-run healthcare system, [a woman wearing an Israeli Defense Forces t-shirt] is moved to respond, "Heil Hitler!"
Check out the video and accompanying commentary.

Hate... is good. Hate can be healthy. Cathartic. Empowering.

Brainless hate, however, is what has the world devouring itself.

So now you know. And knowing is half the battle.

(The other half is a little more violent.)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What is Mystro?

I've blogged about Time Warner Cable box problems before—an entry where I mistakenly refer to the newer, inferior Time Warner cable box software as "Mysto" instead of the proper "Mystro"—like Maestro! (I've since corrected that entry.)

Well, Time Warner's done it now...

After swapping out a dozen cable boxes until they finally gave me one with the older, more reliable software on it... they've automatically upgraded my perfectly-fine box...

Tuesday morning, I found this abomination gracing my plasma screen:

For the record, I live on the Upper West Side, in the 90s.

Less than 24 hours with the new Mystro program and I've encountered a potentially major issue:

I set the box to record two programs on the Science Channel, Tuesday afternoon.

It seemed to record them. Listed them properly in my recorded shows menu. But when I tried to play them, what did I find...?

"Mystro" recorded two shows from the GAME SHOW CHANNEL. (A channel I never watch, thankyoueversomuch.)

In and of itself, not a big deal. But I don't really like the idea of the cable box going rogue on me whenever it feels like it.


More to come, I fear...


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Public Service Announcement

For a person who's essentially unemployed, I've certainly got a lot of work to do this week.

A'right, I'm officially in a tough spot. It's times like these that separate the people who are really serious about making it in the entertainment industry... from the people who are practical, responsible adults.

This is going to hurt.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Misanthropy Central

Jesus Christ, is there anything more inane than blogging?

It's just about pointless.

I've been keeping this online journal since March 2002 when I hadn't a clue what I was going to do with it. Haven't taken a significant leave from publishing entries in YEARS. On an average weekday, I might get about 30 hits, so it's not like my attention has resulted in a large regular readership.

Why hasn't it?

It's not really just one simple thing, is it? Like pictures of culinary abominations or blogging about making every recipe in a recipe book. It's personal entries, mixed with parodies, mixed with pop culture commentary, mixed with whatever else I feel like on any given day. No singular high-concept and not organized/indexed in a way to filter out just the sort of entries you feel compelled to read.

Why do I bother?

It might be the ultimate evidence that I need to write. Even if it's just a bloody blog that almost no one follows. I need to write, I need to keep a record. It's a compulsion. And while I have few regulars, there's a much larger audience that finds the blog through specific entries.

Still... this is so empty and frivolous...

The "Why Bother?" faction has an alluring argument....

But you can make that argument for so many things. Why bother getting up in the morning?

I go through stretches of hating this blog, but it's my sketch pad. It's my pointless exercise that may or may not serve a greater purpose down the line. Even though I've got to question why I bother with it sometimes.

Conference call at 5:30pm. A rare live-in-person meeting scheduled for sometime on Friday. I need a paycheck in the worst way. And I'm sick as a dog right now, haven't felt this lousy in forever. I pray that August doesn't do me in...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Creature of the Night

Saturday night. Central Park West, between 94th and 95th.

Raccoon crawling down from scaffolding.

Camera phone.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Squirrel Crasher

The cheeky ground squirrel popped up in the foreground after Melissa Brandts and her husband had set the timer on their camera for a picture of them by Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park.

Squirrels Are Assholes

Friday, August 14, 2009

Fancy Fast Food

Found this lovely little website that transforms fast food meals into haute cuisine...

... at least in appearance.

I'm curious what it actually tastes like. But it's amusing enough to peruse.

You're welcome.

Of course, "This Is Why You're Fat" documents some true envelope-pushing creations...

[WARNING: Though some of the entries are mundane, many are profoundly disturbing...]

Love the incredulous shaggy dog in the background: he's all like, "Go ahead... eat that fucking thing and lose your soul..."

I swear, I don't even understand this one. It's like looking at a grisly car accident where you're not exactly sure what you're looking at but you just know... it's literally heart-breaking. Seriously, what's the point if it's profoundly joyless?

I admit, I've actually tried one of these, at the Shake Shack on the Upper West Side. It's a bit much. I tend to feel a deep sense of self-contempt after I eat at the Shake Shack, so I don't go that often.

How about something from that trip to Oregon that I just took...?

This is the "Reggie Deluxe" at Pine State Biscuits. Fried chicken, bacon, egg and cheese on a big fat biscuit. With gravy.

Apologies for this poor, horror-film shot:

This was the special dessert at lovely Le Pigeon. Profiteroles filled with foie gras ice cream. Unimaginably good. And unaccountably deadly.

Dining with a death wish.

Michael Chiarello is a douchebag.

(Happy birthday to DMC today!)

(And warmest regards to Mr. & Mrs. Cohen!!)

This is the last of the entries I pre-blogged before my Oregon odyssey. Next week, we'll see where my head's really at...


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Great Boston Molasses Tragedy

January 15, 1919
North End of Boston, Mass.

A large molasses tank burst... and a wave of molasses rushed through the streets-- killing 21!

Locals claim that on hot summer days you can still smell the molasses.

Drowning is awful enough. Can you imagine drowning in molasses? Involuntarily gasping for air and getting a lungful of thick molasses? The horror!

Believe it... OR NOT!

(But Wikipedia Says So!)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I don't care how many guns you got
Coz I got Kung Fu and a badge!
I'll be whupping your ass!
From Shanghai to LA in economy class!!

I caught the end of a terrible Hong Kong action movie called "China Strike Force" on cable the other night. Starring Cantopop star Aarok Kwok and Coolio, from the director of 1997's Mr. Magoo. Sucked in by the curious cast, an end-of-movie gag reel and an infectiously cheesy closing rock number called "China White" (song featured above, though the visuals are taken from John Woo's Hardboiled).

"China White" is brought to us by singer/songwriter/actor Lee-Hom Wang.

Alexander Lee-Hom Wang was born and raised... in Rochester, New York...

In 1995, "while visiting his grandparents in Taiwan", he got signed to a professional recording contract...(!)

This American kid didn't begin learning Mandarin until he was 18 and he goes on to become this massive Asian pop star abroad. Stateside, no one's heard of him. Hop the right plane and suddenly he's a huge celebrity.

This begs the question,

Why am I still here???

Clearly, stardom awaits me if I can just get my shit together and renew my passport...

I'll just cut-and-paste this bit from the Wiki-Wiki-Wikipedia because I'm too lazy:
In his tenth album Shangri-La, released on the last day of 2004, Wang incorporated the often unheard music of Chinese aboriginal music into mainstream hip hop and coined this style "chinked-out".

He experimented with the tribal sounds of China, Tibet, and Mongolia, traveled to remote villages, carrying 15 kg of equipment while fighting bouts of altitude and food sickness. Despite the derogatory nature of the term "chink," Wang had wanted to repossess the term and "make it cool." Within ten days of its release, Shangri-La sold past an outstanding 40,000 copies, an excellent start as the first album to be sold in Taiwan of 2005. Within a month, the album sold over 300,000 copies.

Continuing the "chinked-out spirit" by infusing elements of Beijing opera and Kunqu into the songs, Heroes of Earth was released on December 30, 2005. Heroes of Earth was his eleventh album. He collaborated with American rapper Jin and Korean artists Rain and Lim Jeong Hee and again won himself Best Male Vocalist in the 17th Golden Melody Awards in 2006.

Heroes of Earth impressively broke the record of selling more than 1 million copies ten days after its release. The album stayed at first place in the G-Music Charts for 6 weeks. Ultimately, the album stayed in the charts for a total of 23 weeks and became third for the most sold album in Taiwan of 2006.
Goddamn. All bets are off. This guy wins.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

(((one day more)))

one more day here, in the northwest. one more FULL day here (tuesday) before the journey home (wednesday). dragging my sis and mom to this place tomorrow and they are being complete crybabies about it and i probably won't even enjoy the experience because of it, but fuck the noise. gotta do it even if i'm with the worst company. note to others: don't travel with any of my family. (they may claim to be foodies but they are frauds.)

reps have already set up a conference call for me for the day after i get back. money's real tight and they've been hustling overtime, gob bless them. my work will be my salvation.

Get an Ugly Girl to Marry You

This might be a good place to mention the issue of Link Rot. The transient nature of the internet means that websites constantly move or vanish. You dig through the archives of a blog like this, you're bound to find a slew of entries with links to things that don't exist any longer. Once in a blue moon, if I really feel like wasting some time, I might go back and update broken picture links on an archived month, but it's an endless battle against link rot.

Earlier in the summer, Bacardi Breezers launched an incomprehensibly offensive ad campaign suggesting that it's better to hang with ugly/uglier girls in order to make yourself look hotter. The fact that they were trying to market to women makes it even crazier.

One of the things that baffles me with something like this is, how do you hire women to portray specimens of "ugly girls"? I assume the models are human beings. And you can get anyone to do anything if you offer money and exposure. One would imagine these women have a high level of personal confidence to debase themselves in this manner.

This story's from earlier in the summer and links to the advert websites are long-dead now. Hopefully, this YOU TUBE clip hasn't been yanked yet:


Monday, August 10, 2009

Crimes Against Cake

Enjoying your Aces of Cakes and Cake Bosses, America? The quality of cakery on those shows is debatable, but what about some good old fashioned cake disasters? Genuine cake travesties...?

Cake Wrecks

Cake Failure

Bad Cake Gallery @ ebaum's world

Honestly, a lot of those cakes look perfectly fine to me...


(((grumblings to myself you needn't read)))

my first trip far away from the city in forever. i just happen to take the occasion to finally erase *whatsername*'s name/number from my phone. (after months of dreading the thought of just seeing the name again.) a few days later, i get one of those auto-notifications that "someone" has viewed my [[[online dating profile]]], so i sneak a chance to log in and see who it was... and it turns out to be HER. *whatsername*. brand new profile because she deleted her original profile while we were dating.

did not read any of her new profile. hid it from view so it should be invisible from any future searches. but i've already viewed it and cannot help that my blood has curdled.

a few days left on my trip. all of monday, all of tuesday, traveling wednesday... and the remainder of tonight. got to pretend like everything's cool tonight. cannot let on that i'm agitated even though i would like nothing better than to down a few shots of something merciless right now.

i manage to avoid one visage for the better of seven months and it finds me when i'm away in oregon. it's like some vile manner of hex.

you ever wish you could just scrub something entirely clean from your memory?

my head is full of menace tonight.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Super Toys Last All Summer Long

The technological singularity is the theoretical future point which takes place during a period of accelerating change sometime after the creation of a superintelligence.

In 1965, I. J. Good first wrote of an "intelligence explosion", suggesting that if machines could even slightly surpass human intellect, they could improve their own designs in ways unforeseen by their designers, and thus recursively augment themselves into far greater intelligences. The first such improvements might be small, but as the machine became more intelligent it would become better at becoming more intelligent, which could lead to an exponential and quite sudden growth in intelligence.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Sesame Street Interlude

Feist is like a young, sexy, cleaned-up Patti Smith.

I bet she'd be a cool girlfriend.

I bet.


Friday, August 07, 2009

((partial updates))

Sincerely, John Hughes

Zombie Andrew Zimmern

Mad Max

MAD MAX is so good...

The entire bezoomny franchise...




Most of you may know the drill. First one was a big hit in Australia. They redubbed all the voices (including Mel Gibson's) for the American release to get rid of those nutty Olivia Newton-John accents and it tanked here. Which is why the U.S. release of the "Mad Max 2" was retitled "The Road Warrior".

"Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" received a mixed reception, though I adore that motherfucking movie. Wikipedia tells me something I didn't know before:
George Miller, director of the first two Mad Max movies, lost interest in the project after his friend and producer Byron Kennedy was tragically killed in a helicopter crash while location scouting. Miller later agreed to direct the action sequences, with George Ogilvie directing the rest of the film. There is a title card at the end that says, "For Byron."
But that first one, "MAD MAX", is a little gem. Clearly the most budget of the series. Takes place in some between-time right before the entire landscape turned into a wasteland: pre-post-apocalyptic. Some semblance of civilization exists. Mel plays a cop, Max Rockatansky. He's got a pretty wife and baby who are clearly (**SPOILERS**) doomed...

Max is a reluctant hero who tries to escape from the downward spiral of society. Until it affects him personally. Then it's a revenge movie.

But the cards are really well-played throughout. It's not the sheer exploitative Death Wish type of affair that you might expect from a prison colony like Australia.

One of the things I really like about the trilogy is the sense of continuity. "Blaster", the simpleton oaf that Max has his famous Thunderdome battle with --

-- actually makes a cameo in the original "Mad Max"! You think he's a threat until you see his face, at which point you feel sorry for him. Seeing him in the third film, you get the sense of what this character has had to do to fit into the new paradigm of this post-apocalyptic society.