Friday, September 30, 2011

Requiem for the UWS

Thursday night, I took my magic Metrocard and treated myself to a late dinner on the Upper West Side. It was a cool, autumn evening that only made me more wistful for the times I lived on the UWS, near other friends who've since moved on to parts of Crooklyn. The cleaner streets, the quieter neighborhoods. I chose Artie's Deli, near the movie theater. Ordered the pastrami on rye, which was delightful. Made me miss that expensive little studio I lived in on my own, for four years. I loved that place. When I could afford it comfortably, it was some of the best years of my adult life.

This is starting to sound like a suicide note.

Finished what might be the final draft of a short story on Thursday. ("Menagerie".) Sent it to my managers. Fielded a conference call for the current script-in-progress "Harrowgate" in the afternoon. Altogether, it felt like a productive day. With this career, I feel like I've been living on prayers and faith. Something has got to pay off soon.

This has been a difficult September. I've worked hard and fought demons. These difficult times are when you really earn the path you've chosen.

Have a safe weekend, Constant Reader.

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Malice and the Magic Metrocard

So, I was trudging through Port Authority Wednesday morning, making my anonymous trek toward the gym, when this lady approached me. I thought she was going to ask for directions to somewhere but instead... she had a gift.

"Do you want this...?"

She held up a Metrocard. What I assumed was the remainder of an unlimited 7-day Metrocard.

"I am leaving," she continued, in a vaguely Spanish(?) accent. "It is good until... Friday, Saturday."

Usually when strangers approach me, I have an automatic NO that I'm waiting to dole out. And when I'm making my trek toward the gym, I generally don't want to talk to ANYBODY. But the remainder of an unlimited 7-day Metrocard... since I've walked away from the regular 9-5 day-job, I don't remember the last time I possessed an unlimited Metrocard.

I smiled at her. What was clearly an abomination of an attempt at a human smile. And I thanked her profusely for her random act of kindness.

So basically... I'm taking this to mean a good sign... a sign for better things to come in the near future... SO SAY WE ALL.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Excerpt from the Phone Conversation

{Long, Awkward Silence}

Okay, dad, well, travel safely, hope your flights go smoothly and your dental operation goes smoothly and you enjoy your trip there.

Yah, okeh, anudder ting...

Friday, September 23, 2011

World of Noodles

Looks like I'll be helping out at Noodle Lane at the Brooklyn Flea this Sunday. Rain or shine.

Noodle Lane @ Brooklyn Flea
Sunday, 10am-5pm
East River Waterfront (btw. North 6 + 7 St.)

I'm hoping the L-train is running.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Masked Malice

Hi there. Remember me? I used to blog here regularly. It's not an abandoned lot, it's just more sporadically kept. There are more pressing issues to worry over.

My hair's out of control. A clear indication that I'm suffering a lean financial period is that I tend to wait longer stretches before getting a haircut. I don't like the look or feel of the overgrown hair. More hair means more maintenance. I used to cut it myself with electric clippers, but I was younger then. Now I'm old and weary.

Used FreeCycle again on Wednesday night, to get rid of a redundant vacuum cleaner. It was an artifact from the old married life so it was somewhat cathartic to be rid of it. This one went to another cute black chick -- do they make up the majority of the FreeCycle users?

Should I be writing novels? I should definitely be writing more plays. Trying to think about the future and how much of a shame it would be to just leave behind a big pile of unproduced screenplays. An unproduced screenplay is the saddest written form: it doesn't exist on its own, there's very little chance it'll get produced posthumously. A book can live on. A play can live on. A screenplay, on its own, is just dead weight that sinks to the bottom of the ocean.

I want things to get better soon.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

R.E.M. Has a Posse

1980 - 2011

R.E.M. has a posse.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Jimmy Kimmel's Tribute to Uncle Frank

I don't know why I watched the Emmy's Sunday night. I don't typically watch the Emmy's. But it was on and it's background noise and it happened. It was through the show that I found out that Jimmy Kimmel's Uncle Frank had died this past year.

Did I not know this? It's been a blur of a year. But I quickly went online to see if Kimmel had done something special on his show the mark the passing.

Above is the very emotional monologue that Kimmel delivered on his show. In case you missed it.

I don't know why but I find it really cathartic to watch people openly emoting like this. Sometimes it seems like I need to see human emotions modeled in order to have them. That's how empty I am inside!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

This is Why You're Ugly

What Makes a Person Ugly?

Friday, September 16, 2011

It's a world of hopes and a world of fears

Over the course of a day, the temperature dropped and we skipped a few pages to October. It's so strange how cold it got so suddenly. The different seasons bring on different memories. I've been through autumns where the whole world seemed brimming with promise. I've been through autumns where the world came apart at the seams.

What's it going to be this time?

My manager emailed me last night with some news that lifted my spirits. It's not even a guarantee of anything. It's still on me to make this happen. But I feel more optimistic. Don't want to jinx anything here. If I get this one gig or I don't, I'll feel better about the work I put into it.

Paid a bill this morning. I'm in the red but it's not nearly as bad as I'd feared. These are the real testing times. Weathering these difficult patches without losing your mind. I lost my mind a little this week but I'm getting it together.

I can do this.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


This is a low week. A lot to get done.

A quiet week, in some ways. But if I don't get enough done this week, next week will be unpleasantly noisier.

I'm not writing as regularly here though there are volumes I could write. Over the weekend, I had my longest lucid dreaming session ever. Everything fodder for the work.

I am going through a crisis period right now. I need all my hard work to start paying off soon.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Noodle Lane

By chance, or perhaps as part of some larger message from the Universe, I spent the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 witnessing other people begin new chapters.

Upon finishing culinary school, my friend Lane had been plotting to get into the food business for years. From trying to find a small store front to auditioning for food TV competitions to applying for a food truck license (a notoriously difficult task in NYC).

On Sunday, she made her auspicious debut at the Brooklyn Flea in Williamsburg. She had applied for a food vendor spot, successfully auditioned with a live cooking demonstration, and was approved to open her fledgling Sichuan noodle stand called "Noodle Lane".

Sunday, September 11, 2011. On the East River Waterfront, between North 6th and North 7th in Williamsburg. 10am to 5pm. The nearby L-train was jacked up, so I had to take the J train to Marcy Ave and make a longer pilgrimage to her debut.

Suffice it to say, the noodles were/are superb and sold out before 5pm. I personally found the "extra hot" to be completely manageable, although there is a chance she calibrated the heat to go easy on me and other hipsters. NOODLE LANE will be at the Brooklyn Flea in Williamsburg every Sunday, so I encourage you to try it yourself (if you're not vegetarian). You might even see me there if you're unlucky.

I'd intended to stay to the end to help them pack up but I had to deal with something else back at the apartment...

There's a big black reclining chair that had been taking up space in the apartment. The idea was to just chuck it out onto the sidewalk but my friend (Lane's worser half) had just told me about FREECYCLE: a website that aims to reduce waste by creating a forum where people can give away stuff for free.

I posted an advert for the chair on Saturday and got a response shortly thereafter. A mother of two who'd just moved to Queens. She thought her daughters would adore the reclining chair.

I emailed her back to emphasize that I lived on the top floor of a 4-story walk-up and she'd need to be able to get it down and transport it. Essentially trying to talk her out of it. She responded that she and her daughter were "moving machines" and would be ready for the task.

I ended up feeling a little bad about the idea of making this young mother and daughter duo carry this bulky chair down four flights, so I ended up carrying it down myself. (Which was less difficult than I'd imagined.) I even lifted it into the back of their SUV for them, where I saw they had two ACs (another Freecycle score). The daughter, who reminded me of Willow Smith, smiled at me and said, "You live in a cool neighborhood!"

I thanked them both and wished them good luck as they drove away with the bulky recliner that wasn't even mine. Maybe it was the beginning of something good for them.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Picnic on Dagobah

Lucky British kid gets to share a creepy picnic with "Luke Skywalker" on the planet Dagobah (set) in the early 80s.

Watch Mark Hamill try to stay in character while simultaneously talking about shooting the movie the character's in. Are you saying the stuff in the movie didn't really happen? Was it supposed to be a documentary about your life, "Luke"?

What's curious is that everyone in this video, including R2D2, has a child-molester vibe.

Please enjoy.

Friday, September 09, 2011

No Visible Means of Support

Attended a screening of Steven Soderbergh's CONTAGION last night at the DGA Theatre. Looks like it was a BAFTA thing. I think Howard Stern was there. Or someone who looked a lot like Howard Stern.

I was really impressed by the movie and score. Good for Steven Soderbergh. Good times for other people and their accomplishments.

Me? I'm trying really hard to stay alive.

Ten Year Anniversary of the 9/11 attack on Sunday. 10 years ago, I had a job and a fiancee. What have I got now? Promise? Fuck.

Everything is quite difficult right now. September.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

The Treason of Images

Wednesday was gym and laundry in the rain.

Found a dead mouse on the carpet in the living room. Looked like it was just sleeping. Not sure if the cat was responsible. The cat is an awful mouse-hunter. She pounces and lets go. Maybe this one just had a heart attack.

Working on the new script that I keep getting interrupted on. HARROWGATE. I'm supposed to touch base with the producer sometime on Friday, but that's not confirmed. I just need to fucking rip through this script. I can do this. I can crank this one out.

Supposed to see a screening of Soderbergh's CONTAGION Thursday night. It's at the DGA Theatre. A friend invited me. Don't know if it's a special screening with a Q&A or just a regular screening. I shouldn't go, I should stay home and write, but a free screening is the right price for me at the moment. My managers are supposed to call me sometime during the day -- hopefully well before showtime but you never know.

My brain is falling out. I need to maintain some manner of inner peace in order to move forward. To move beyond all today's worries.

It gets better. It gets better. It gets better.


Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Ceci n'est pas une pipe.

You know what takes a toll? Locking yourself up in your room for the better part of a long weekend and forcing yourself to finish writing a horror story. You'd figure a 14-page short story wouldn't be the most difficult thing in the world but there is a craft to it. I will slave over sentences, second-guess the use of specific words or the layout of a description. Read and reread and rework and reread. 14 pages can be Mount Everest.

Well, when it needs to be perfect, it needs to be dead solid perfect.

Sent the revised draft to my managers Tuesday morning. They volleyed back a few small notes almost immediately. I worked on the final (?) revisions into the evening and emailed the new copy to my managers.

And now... it ought to be out of my hands. Once more, my fate rests upon the whims of a few executives.

My friend was released from the hospital on Monday, without any answers for what caused his ailment. Then he had to be checked back into the hospital on Tuesday because his problems returned. He's already endured a barrage of tests which have brought no enlightenment. My faith in modern medicine diminishes accordingly.


Sunday, September 04, 2011

Your Coffee Sucks Shit

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Scott Nemes Fan Club, Vol. 2

I posted this entry on child actor sensation Scott Nemes back in the glory days of 2007, which is perhaps overdue for a follow-up. He may be frozen in time as an actor but the kid's been busy.

Apparently, as a producer. Most recently, he produced the 2011 hit Saoirse Ronan vehicle Hanna.

Currently, he's a development executive for Cinemax, which has begun to produce original programming like STRIKE BACK!

Growing up he was in D.C. Cab, Twilight Zone: The Movie, St. Elmo's Fire, Punky Brewster, Mr. Belvedere (aka, Brocktoon!), The Wonder Years, It's Garry Shandling's Show., Out of This World. And now he's a big time suit in the entertainment industry.

There is officially no way for anyone to best Scott Nemes. So say we all.

Friday, September 02, 2011

All Good Things

Labor Day weekend stretches out before us. A small patch of real estate to hold a funeral party for the summer. I realize this is all about me but how was *your* summer? Mine ended like a bomb.

I'm alternating between writing-lockdowns and waiting periods. It takes forever to get anything done. And as the clock starts clicking toward the end of the year, there is a greater urgency to get something done. And the end of the year, for me, is essentially November because nothing seems to get done in the entertainment industry once December hits.

Okay. You might find this surprising but I sometimes find it difficult to harness the power of positive thinking.

I've got a friend in the hospital and immediate career concerns.

A year ago, I was having fish-out-of-water adventures in Los Angeles. This year, I'll be huddled over a netbook in my Tomb, desperately trying to write my way into a better situation.

Have a safe Labor Day Weekend, True Believers.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Wake Me Up When September Ends

Went to visit my friend again in the ICU this mourn. They're set to transfer him to another room. Possibly another hospital with better resources to figure out what's malfunctioning inside his body. He's been in hospital for 5 days thus far and we're still waiting on answers. Feels like the Dark Ages. Is the modern state of medicine really still reduced to educated guesses...? Shots in the dark. And you're too late.

Keeping bizarre hours trying to revise writing and generate new material. Some of these may go on to be something larger. Some may die preemptively. But I cannot afford to piss away opportunities. It is goddamn September already. This is destroying me. I cannot let this destroy me.

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