Thursday, December 31, 2009

This is the End of the Decade

Some images from an online clock that counts off each minute with images of Japanese girls displaying the time. Some minutes are extremely NSFW, but many others are sweetly tame like the above selection (featuring the talented Nanasaki Fuuka).

Today is about counting down the hours and minutes. Where am I spending the last gasps of the Double-Ohs?

Same place I spent Labor Day Weekend. South Jersey. Scene of the crime.

What to write about the decade that I haven't already written in a hundred different variations? Just about everything happened to me in the past ten years. Next stage of my life is here.

The other night, had the strangest dream somehow involving a lamprey. I have the strangest dreams and jotting down odd details generally doesn't help me recall them in the aftermath. Still, thought I should mention it before the decade ends.

Entering the Teens. Guess we officially don't hit the Teens until "2013" (and life ends in 2012, which means this is a purely academic argument), in which case I guess we're entering our pre-Teens.

Here's to the coming adolescence.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

AVATAR: The Making of the Bootleg

I feel I should preface this by saying that piracy is NOT a laughing matter!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Domino's Pizza Recipe Reboot

With a really public display (evidenced by the "documentary" above), Domino's Pizza has changed its recipe to address the issues of its harshest critics.

Here's the thing: Domino's Pizza is a large food franchise, dependent on creating food that can be duplicated precisely on a large scale. This is what puts Domino's Pizza at a major disadvantage next to local pizza shops.

I tried a mini-pizza at a Domino's location near me in mid-town Manhattan, run by a team of South-Asians who seemed like they'd been running the business for about 20 minutes by the time I walked in. They all seemed panicked, screaming at each other in their native language, trying to deal with the pittance of customers they had.

The pizza? Still seemed like your basic franchised pizza dreck. Maybe a regular-sized pizza would (somehow) fare better. But here are some more detailed reviews, if you're curious:

SLICE reviews the new pizza.

EPIC PORTIONS reviews the new pizza.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Poor Character Design: Bayonetta!!!

The clock winds down on 2009 (and the decade of the Double-Oh's, as this blog will hereafter refer to them as), and we're wasting today on a videogame-related entry.

Not entirely videogame-related, to be fair, but this paragraph will be. Because I'm a (sporadic) poor, I get most of my videogame kicks by borrowing games from friends and downloading/playing free demos of games. Which is how I stumbled upon SEGA's "Bayonetta".

All right, to be completely truthful, I was first exposed to this intellectual property by watching a special on videogame "booth babes": pretty girls hired to dress up in videogame-themed costumes at videogame conventions. That's where I first laid eyes upon the IP fashion atrocity known as "Bayonetta":

She resembles some kind of Project Runway disaster. A hot tranny mess. Elvira-esque hair with red ribbons, gun-heel shoes, a large round Flavor-Flav-esque pendant accenting her cleavage, Sarah Palin glasses... and, in action, butterfly wings?!!? Need more? In the cockamamie context of the game, her entire costume is actually COMPOSED OF HER MAGICAL HAIR. (Don't even know where to begin with this.)

I know that male heterosexual gamers should not be paying attention to fashion (or watching Project Runway), but come on now. She looks completely retarded and I haven't found articles about this which means I've got to be the one to call this out on the internet.

The game itself has been getting the heighth of buzz. (Though the demo didn't really make me feel compelled to play more.)

Bayonetta: Worst Character Design Ever. Epic fail.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Naked Christmas Dinner

Took my regular place at the "Manno Compound", Christmas Day. I'm that curiously constant houseguest, not connected by blood or law to anyone save for the delicate tendrils of friendship.

Of course, being cast as "the bad kid", I easily get swept up with other bad kids. And me, I've gotta play "Jim Morrison" and ingest absolutely ANYTHING anyone offers me without much contemplation.

Which is what led me to taking some deep hits of hashish imported from India soon after I arrived.

Of course, pot is my fucking Kryptonite. I didn't take the time to google hashish, natch, so I didn't fully appreciate that "hashish" has essentially the same effect as pot.

Meaning: it totally clouds my head and makes it much more difficult for me to interact socially.

It effectively put me out of commission for a good 7-8 hours. I didn't want anyone to know, naturally, so I fought it like the dickens. Tried extra hard to pay attention to every conversation.

I actually tried cooking something for the gathering this year, which became a separate nightmare. I'd made some dough ahead of time and planned to create a sort of Iron Chef, improvised pizza out of leftover crudités—practice cooking for an upcoming trip. Alas, being completely high and having to deal with "Dinner: Impossible" type challenges like a finicky oven that wouldn't get as hot as I needed it to get because I was sharing it with other dishes that were cooking... I kinda had to pack my knives and exit the kitchen.

The biggest hurt locker, though: I got trapped with the real-world embodiment of Grampa Simpson...

The old man narrowed in on me, seeing that I was the only person who was apparently from the Far East. He munched on a Wheat Thin and simultaneously spat out wet clumps of Wheat Thins as he spoke to me in slurred elder-speak: "Where are you from...?"

But every word and every space between words were elongated. Each word uttered like lifting a heavy weight:


Light-brown spatters of partially-chewed Wheat Thins tumbling down his sweater and flying at my face.

"Are you Korean?" he proffered.
["Arrrree... yyyyyoooouuuu... KORRRREEEYINNNNNN.....????"]

After I informed him that I was Filipino, he offered me his generous assessment.

"The Filipino people are verrry hard-working...!"

["He don't know me too well," I thought.]

Like he was a fortune-teller or something. Like I needed this validation of my ethnicity to move ahead in life. I get it. I've been here. This is the bit we call, "humoring the elderly".

Of course, I'm dealing with this while I am AS HIGH AS A FREAKING KITE, which made the ensuing... hour(?!?)... twist into an eternity...

Eventually, Dave got caught in the same Grampa-Simpson-trap and we were both suffering a never-ending elderly-man monologue that would seem to boil down to one point:


That's it. That's what it was about. A lot has changed since he was young.

End of discussion. Yet, this somehow turned into a sort of stream-of-consciousness wonderwall of slurred, Wheat-Thins-spitting words.

I felt like a woolly mammoth sinking slowly into a deep, hot tar-pit. Every sentence the old man spoke seemed to take half an hour to utter and the ideas went in figure-eights of NOWHERE. In my high-state, I was impressed that Dave somehow managed to keep with the flow of the conversation and occasionally interject something pertinent to what the old man was babbling about. What's more, Dave didn't even talk down to gramps: he spoke back to him as if he were carrying on a conversation with a person who wasn't completely deranged by old age. I was using all of my remaining brain power to keep my eyes fixed open.

Note to self: I'm a much more engaging drinker than I am a pot-smoker.

I Don't Wanna Be French

Je veux ton amour
Et je veux ta revanche
Je veux ton amour
I don't wanna be French...!

Friday, December 25, 2009

How many calories does Santa consume on Christmas Eve?

I was going to do a rough calculation myself but I found this article:
There are about 80 million children under the age of 18 living in the US, according to the Census Bureau. So that means there are about 43 million homes that Santa has to visit.

What is Santa’s calorie intake at each home? The US Department of Agriculture says that a 2-inch diameter chocolate chip cookie has, on average, 50 calories, and a cup of 2% milk contains 120 calories. Assuming Santa consumes 2 cookies and a cup of milk at each stop, that’s 220 calories a pop.

Multiply that by the number of households with kids, that’s about 9.5 billion calories Santa eats in just one night of delivering toys in the United States. To put that in perspective, this would be the same as a normal 2500-calorie-a-day diet for over 10 thousand years!
Hell, let's say just 1% of those families with children leave out milk and cookies: that's about 95 million calories in a night.

Do you know what that means, boys and girls?

That's right. DEATH. Surefire, inescapable cessation of life. Just because "Santa" felt compelled to be polite and sample your little fucking courtesy snack. Honestly, children: for shame.

The alternative logic being that he doesn't actually exist. So, who would be eating the cookies and milk you leave out on Christmas Eve...?

That's easy: MONSTERS.

Horrifying, unknowable monsters that will now associate little children with "food".

Sweet dreams!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Star Wars Holiday Special

Sit back and watch the Star Wars Holiday Special.

You're welcome.

Extra points if you watch the entire thing.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Goofy Holiday E-Cards

I needed to share this surprisingly goofy holiday e-card I got from my lawyer's office. In the previous few years since I got my break into the (entertainment) industry, I've received corporate holiday cards from Paramount and Paradigm (my agency) in the mail. This is the first holiday acknowledgment I've gotten from the lawyer's office and it is nuttier than a bag of squirrels.

In a way, though, this is weirder:

"Circle of Confusion" is a management company that I never even signed with. (I'm with a management company called "Evolution Entertainment", which is connected to "Twisted Pictures".) But I did have an extended communication with one of the managers @ Circle of Confusion, who was actually the first person to seek me out with the interest of representing me. I liked this person a lot but ultimately had to go with Evolution for a number of reasons... (real greaseball shit...)

In any case, this is also the first holiday acknowledgment I've received from CoC, which is weird because they don't represent me but I guess they're just trying to be cool and e-mails are cheap. (As are writers.)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Make Way for Pedobear!

Christmas is nearly upon us, boys and girls! Do you know what that means...?

You better watch out...
You better not cry...
You better not pout...
I'm telling you why:

He sees you when you're sleeping...
He knows when you're awake...
He knows if you've been bad or good...
So be good for goodness sake!!!

Oh whoa whoa whoa, you're not familiar with this rascally bear? A bit behind on our internet memes, are we?

Some background (may or may not be NSFW, but then again so's this blog):

What is Pedobear?

For the click-shy, a SFW excerpt—
The appearance of Pedobear is that of a cartoon mascot (whose) presence alone warns of the threat of sexual predators; as was the original Safety Bear.
The irony here is that Pedobear appears to be a pedophile himself.

Usage of Pedobear may be seen by some as an unjust sterilization of the serious nature of child pornography, pedophilia, and rape. But to show anger toward Pedobear is to misunderstand Pedobear.

It’s not that Pedophiles identity one another by posting Pedobear. Pedobear is a mockery of pedophilia; something many Anons have worked together to fight.
Official PedoBear Website!

(I made the animated gif above, FYI. I don't know WHY someone with my skills is having such a hard time finding a job. All of the animated-gif-construction companies must be promoting people internally...)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Great Big White World

[Check out these lovely LEGO Hoth photos.]

12.21.09. Where have you gone, 2009? Why did it have to end like this?

Did you survive our first big snowstorm? (I'm assuming, of course, that you live in the Nor'East of the United States... I'm sure there are people settled beyond the outskirts of New York City, but I don't know too many of them...) We're living in a world of winter for a while.

My former landlord refunded my security deposit, which is the BEST thing that's happened to me... all year? Well, it's the best thing that's happened to me in a while. Oh, these tender mercies...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Brittany Murphy Has a Posse

Brittany Murphy
November 10, 1977 – December 20, 2009

Brittany Murphy has a posse.

Died of cardiac arrest. She was 32.

Check the Wikipedia to review her accomplishments.

Thank you for playing, Brittany.

It'll Be Okay... Just Dance

What is the P.S. 22 Chorus?

The internet tells us: The P.S. 22 Chorus is an elementary school chorus from Public School 22 in Graniteville, Staten Island (New York). Comprised of 60-70 fifth-graders, directed by Gregg Breinberg (a.k.a., Mr. B).

Apparently, they're a big internet phenom and they made Tori Amos cry and they've performed everywhere on earth and cover all manners of pop, as evidenced by the robust collection of videos on their YOU TUBE page.

There's something about seeing these underprivileged kids so earnestly singing Tori Amos and Fleetwood Mac and Lady Gaga and Velvet Underground that seems... subversive and strangely encouraging...

[Is it December 20th, already? Are you kidding me?]

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Survivor: Somoa

For those who've not been keeping up with Survivor this season, Gimli has decimated the competition up to now. I thought he'd be facing off against Aileen Wuornos at Sunday's finale but I guess that was not meant to be.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Great Wide Open

So, Silent Reader. Would you care for an honest blog entry about the downwardly spiral of my life or would you prefer something frothier for your Friday...?

This is me endeavoring to keep it (mostly) frothy...

There's a lot I probably should be sacrificing right now to cut costs but this is where my stubbornness kicks in. Assuming that I'm eventually getting out of this financial quagmire, there's no use in me being *completely* miserable right now, eh? So I've kept my gym membership going, especially since there's a location pretty convenient to where The Tomb is located. Yes, it's another chunk of change every month, but it's a healthier practice that hopefully counterbalances some of my unhealthier ones...

Anyway, at the gym the other day, THE GREAT OUTDOORS was playing on the tv there. (Rather, a choppy edited-for-television version of it on E!) A movie scripted by the late, great John Hughes that was probably one of the key markers of his decline.

[Full disclosure: when I'm watching something @ the gym, I'm usually listening to an ipod and just watching the imagery of a movie/program on a mounted tv set. And so, when I started watching the movie-in-progress, I initially misdiagnosed it as "Uncle Buck", because of the presence of the late, great John Candy. And the fact that I've seen neither of these movies in many years.]

In any case, I get really into the whole "where are they now?" game when seeing movies like this. Of course, the internet facilitates the "research".

Remember these two ginger moppets?

Hilary and Rebecca Gordon. Featured in The Great Outdoors and, pictured here in their only other credit, The Mosquito Coast. Movies from the 1980s. WHERE ARE THEY NOW??

Well, okay, I feel slightly guilty because it seems they lead civilian lives now and I've pilfered these photos from an obviously private collection, but this is them today(ish). To satisfy anyone who was curious.

The real mystery, however, is WHATEVER HAPPENED TO LUCY DEAKINS?

Who the frakk is "Lucy Deakins"?!, you query...

One of my strongest boyhood crushes.

The Boy Who Could Fly.
Little Nikita.
The Great Outdoors.

Though she's apparently done a few requisite LAW & ORDER episodes, I can't seem to find a more adult picture of her.

I don't know what it was, exactly. She was just like the prettiest girl-next-door.

Apparently, she's a practicing attorney in a NY law firm now.

I bet she can afford a nice gym membership...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Girlfriendable Pornstar

What is it about Sasha Grey?

Stars in a Soderbergh film. Hosts specials for G4. Hasn't shied away from porn. All of that and yet is able to project a charming presence that makes you (me) believe that she'd be the coolest girlfriend ever.

And she plays "Malice" in something called "Malice in Lalaland"! It's practically like she's reaching out to me. Like she's looking at me through the sieve of the plasma screen and saying, "Please stalk me, Malice!"

(Obviously, Malice is trying to catch up on his neglected Netflix queue... though arguably there are more pressing things he should be focusing on...)

(Like not talking in the third person all the time.)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Up with Asian-Americans

This is just an excuse to post this picture.

Asian-Americans Represent!

(Represent *what*, I have no idea...)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Killer Finale

Attended a public screening of the DEXTER season finale on Sunday night, sponsored by Showtime. I'd never been to one of these "season finale parties" and felt the urge to experience the episode as part of a community -- instead of alone in my Tomb.

While the West Coast screenings were graced with appearances from Michael C. Hall and company, the East Coast got producer Clyde Phillips and Desmond "Quinn" Harrington. (I would've snapped some pics but I uncharacteristically left my phone at home in The Tomb.)

There were a series of HDTVs set up and they played the finale off a DVD, though it was played at the wrong aspect-ratio... letterboxed and slightly distorted. It would've looked better at home! WHY?!!

They had these "Dexter-themed cocktails" which were fucking disgusting, red, syrupy-sweet concoctions... and I had sooo many of them...

At the screening, I ran into Nick/Emma's friend Cheryl who happened to be there. Chatted with her for a few minutes before the screening began.

I thought I'd just skulk around in the back but when it started up, I managed to score a seat right in front of one of the HDTVs. During the finale, showrunner Clyde Phillips started taking pics of the front-rowers with his iphone. I initially gave him the evil eye but let him take the picture he was going for. Was hoping I'd find it on some Twitter/Facebook type of network, but there are many Clyde Phillipses and the overwhelming majority of them do not run DEXTER.

Monday, December 14, 2009

How I've Grown to Loathe "The Office" (U.S.)

Have you all seen the last episode of The Office??

Clearly, I am not talking to the people who've refused to acknowledge any iteration of the programme beyond its BBC origin.

The show is still well-received. Highest rated thing NBC's got going on Thursday nights. Critically well-acknowledged.

Not to be a hater (I realize the name of the blog), but I have grown fairly disgruntled with THE OFFICE.

Faux-documentary arguments aside, the show works best—IMHO—when it is grounded. And increasingly, it has wandered into the land of fanciful sitcomery.

The last episode concerned two members of the office who wanted to play Santa in the office this year. What does the office Santa do? Dress up as Santa and take pictures with office coworkers, as if they were children in a mall.

Wait, do people ever WORK in this office? Because no one seems to. They always have plenty of time for frivolous things like this. More and more as the seasons go by, in fact. And while the economy is dying, the company is falling apart and people are losing their jobs.

In another storyline in the same episode, one coworker hires a drumline to impress another coworker as a capper to purchasing her the full list from "the 12 days of Christmas", including a carful of swans. Here's a logic question: how much does this asshole earn in a year?

Oh, who cares, because it's a sight gag and the people who write for "THE OFFICE" have utterly and unapologetically lost touch with what it is like to work in a dead-end 9-5 office job!!!

I have worked in a lot of offices and I can't relate to ANY of what's been on this show lately.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Aliens in America

Boy Finds Own Real-Life E.T.

Children are born sociopaths.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Blue Ruins

Outside the window of The Tomb, there is a view of a shitty dive bar called "Blue Ruin" that I went to once and will not enter again if I can help it.

If my camera were better, you'd see that the fuzzy white lights to the right of "Blue Ruin" are actually neon signs for a psychic. "Palm & Tarot Readings". Those are the lights I can see from my bed.

At certain points in the night and day, it sounds like a war-zone just outside The Tomb. Sirens Dopplering by—police, fire, ambulance. A cacophony of car horns. Screeching tires. The occasional BOOM of a trailer truck as it hits a pothole, sounds like a landmine. There are times I expect to see a SWAT team rappelling down past my windows. Outside The Tomb, it's Modern Warfare. Outside The Tomb, it's the French Connection.

Inside The Tomb, I'm working over a movie treatment for a producer for the millionth time. Trying to work out the plot of a spec script I need to be writing. Staring grimly at some bills and contemplating how late I can wait to send payment. I'm part of the problem in this country and I'm living the nightmare.

Thursday, I had ramen noodles, a handful of baby carrots and some frozen tater tots I heated in the toaster oven. I wanted to have a protein, but protein courses are for people with positive bank balances. I've got cable so I live vicariously as Guy Fieri and Adam Richman stuff their maws with proteins.

Saturday, I've got an appointment for a massage at some spa. My sister bought me a gift certificate to this place almost a year ago and I'm cashing it in right before it expires. Of course, I've got to tip in cash so you can be sure this will only have a tragic ending. Pretty sneaky, sis.

Do I need to go on?

2009, Epic Fail!!!

I've been seeing a lot of articles with "best of the decade" lists. Didn't even occur to me until recently that we're about to mark off another decade. THIS is how I'm closing out this decade...?!??

Nice decade, Universe. You think I'll be able to survive through another...?

Thursday, December 10, 2009


At a certain point, you must ask yourself whether it is sadder that I write this blog or that you read it. (Yes, you know who I'm talking to.)

But first... some science.

A mysterious spiral appeared in the skies above Norway.
Within seconds a giant spiral had covered the entire sky. Then a green-blue beam of light shot out from its centre - lasting for ten to twelve minutes before disappearing completely.
What is this? Do we have an answer already? Because "Russian missile" just doesn't feel correct. Iffin you're click-shy, the above animated gif was created from the video embedded in the article and it just doesn't look natural...

On the subject of spirals... a friend persuaded me to try to file for unemployment benefits again. I tried earlier this year but my employment history is complicated and it didn't go through and I figured I wasn't eligible. But for whatever gift-horse reason, it went through when I tried Wednesday aft.

Of course, I had to call in and speak with a claims specialist to complete the application. After 25 minutes waiting time, I got someone...

"Why have you waited over a year before claiming unemployment benefits?" she asked, wholly uninterested.

"Well," I stammered, "I've been trying hard all year to find work, in the writing field and regular office work, and I just haven't been able to find anything. So I decided to try this to help me in the short term."

[Thought, not spoken: I just didn't want to have to go on unemployment again.]

"All right," she said, blankly. "You're all set."

So, Malice is officially on the dole again.

Sorry, Obama Administration. No, I couldn't. Not this year. So I'm afraid I have to contribute to the problem. Hopefully just long enough to get straightened out. My kindest thanks and apologies.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

I'm a Million Different People from One Day to the Next

These pictures are from Kim Kardashian's blog, if you missed it. Taken at a special effects place with face molds of all these celebs.

Sort of eerie, like a wall of death masks.

I would like to borrow this mold for a little while.

Monday night was the WGA Holiday Party.

Tuesday spent puking and recovering.

Rent's due. I don't know how I'm going to make this life work. It's so shitty that I can't manage to find some shitty office job. I just need to make some fucking money.

I contemplated applying for a bread baker position because it doesn't require experience but I think the hours would be killer and the pay's not quite enough to cover me. I may apply for it anyway. A job where I wouldn't have to wear a tie would be good.

Trying to launch a writing career while trying to find a new way to support myself is totally wretched. I need to write more. I need to find a job. I'm losing it.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Something Like a Phenomena

This is a poster designed by Graham Humphreys for a Dario Argento film that is called either "Creepers" or "Phenomena", depending on what part of the world you find yourself. Starring a young Jennifer Connelly, it's a movie I somehow haven't seen and yet how could it ever live up to this poster? There are far more tame posters for this same movie that look to be more common, but this is the one that captures the imagination.

In a similar manner Humphreys's poster for the original Nightmare on Elm Street is immensely evocative. I prefer it to the more common US theatrical poster:

Supposedly, there are already mock-ups for some "Butcherhouse Chronicles" posters out there. I want one so badly.

It's December and we're winding down my most financially ruinous year. It's too late for me to turn this year around but as each new week begins I hope to get some positive news that will at the very least offer a morale boost.

Friday, December 04, 2009

You've Gotta Feel it in Your Bones

Wednesday night. Dave and I were chatting with each other in the crowd—at the Lovely Bones premiere after-party being held at the The Plaza Hotel—and suddenly Steve Buscemi walks up to us. With a big grin, Buscemi gets into Dave's face and demands, "Who are you with...?"

Let me back up.

Why was I invited to the red carpet premiere of Peter Jackson's adaptation of The Lovely Bones?

There was a regular Writers Guild screening of the movie happening the same night a few blocks away, at the Directors Guild Theatre, but I was invited to the red carpet affair at The Paris Theatre.

Literally. Red carpet. Celebrities, photographers, the whole magilla.

I'd like to think that it's because it's a Paramount movie and that things seem to be going well with my project there... so maybe someone at the studio decided to throw me a bone. I'd prefer to be able to pay my bills, but I will take any offer of free movies/food/drink.

Peter Jackson came out and introduced the movie and the main actors. Wahlberg was at the screening but I didn't see him or Jackson at the after-party. I believe this is the first big Hollywood movie premiere I've ever attended. They have free popcorn and drinks at these things. (This paragraph feels out of order but I don't feel compelled to rearrange it.)

I won't review the movie here because you're really not interested in a movie review, are you?

The Plaza Hotel is old-school swank. It was the most surreal sensation, waiting in line in the marble lobby, in my fucking GAP clothes. In my wallet, just a few spare singles I'd been saving to treat myself to some dollar-slices of pizza later in the week. There were people there wearing things on their backs that would pay for a year of my living expenses. Coming to the end of the most financially ruinous year of my life, waiting to get into The Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel so I could drink free drinks and gawk at the famous rich people.

Who did we see? Rachel Dratch. Carson Kressley. Bob Balaban. Joe Morton. I believe the French like to call this "the cream of the cream".

It was really crowded at the party and I bumped my chin against Courtney Love as I passed by her. I may not have done that accidentally. Like a cat, marking her with my scent. Though she probably left more of a scent on me.

(I'm quite lonely.)

I was telling Dave that I wish I had a system for taking pictures with my cell phone on the sly. It's a total geek move to take celebrity pictures, especially when you're in the inner-sanctum, but it's a rare thing to be at a place like that: it's nice to have a little proof. Who cares if the pics are dark and blurry? It's almost better. Makes them feel more authentic.

Of course, Dave—being one of my oldest and dearest friends—had brought a digital camera with him and quietly started taking pictures of the stars without flash...

The lovely and talented Saoirse Ronan.

My mom's favorite, Susan Sarandon.

(Tim Robbins must have been looking after the kids.)

Michael Imperioli had his own table, with a big reservation card that said, "Michael Imperioli". This is what he looks like in near-complete darkness.

Stanley Tucci... who's amazing in the movie...

Tucci conferring with the giant Oliver Platt...

More of Platt...

The lovely Patricia Clarkson...

I look over to see who Steve Buscemi is hanging out with and I say to Dave, "Hey, it's SLEDGE HAMMER!"

Dave says to me, "I'm pretty sure that's Aidan Quinn."

Somewhere along the way, Dave got more bold taking pictures. It was a dark, crowded room, everyone had cameras with them, Dave wasn't using flash. But I guess the stars began to notice Dave...

This may be what Oliver Platt looks like moments before he destroys you.

This might be where Aidan begins to take note of the camera...

This might be where Aidan decides he doesn't like you...

So anyway, this is our night. I'm dragging Dave to the bar to get free drinks. We make circles around the party while I'm gawking at famous people. More drinks. More gawking.

Then suddenly, when Dave and I are just having a regular chat on our own, Steve Buscemi walks up to us and asks Dave:

"Who are you with...?"

Dave and I are both a bit shocked. The night's surreal enough as it is. Dave asks what he means. Buscemi, of course, is asking about the picture taking. "My friend Aidan was noticing you were taking pictures and wanted to know what they were for."

Dave reassured him that they were just for personal use. "So, you don't work with a tabloid or anything? You don't have a blog?" Dave reassured him that he didn't.

(Of course, he didn't mention that *I* have a blog, but hey... this blog doesn't get a lot of traffic...)

Buscemi was actually really friendly and apologetic and good-humored about it. He asked me my name and I briefly considered trying to explain how I'm a screenwriter, but it just seemed too lame. And I guess this is my issue with approaching celebrities "in the wild". I'd much rather be introduced to them than do a cold approach. Or rather, wait until I've got some work out there that they may actually have HEARD of so they know I'm not just some street urchin with dreams.

(In hindsight, of course, I can think of a bunch of different things I could've said to open a dialogue, but this is why I suck.)

God, the whole experience felt like some bizarre dream. And I'm still not sure why I was invited to it.

Friday mourning, I scheduled an appointment with yet another temp agency down on Wall Street to take some more fucking assessments. Thursday night, it got postponed which was a fucking relief. It'd be better to get it over with but I'm happy to have it put off. It's such an awful mindfuck, to seek out shitty temp jobs you know you're going to hate...

I hate it but I just need to figure out a way to support myself through the lean stretch. I have no idea what I'm doing with my life right now. This has officially been my royal fuck-up year.