Saturday, December 06, 2008

Home Improvements: Before and Afters

Look what I found packed up in a box, wrapped in newspaper - its my blog. (Oh moving humor, you never get old) Heather and I officially moved into our house nearly two weeks ago. Woo-Hoo!!! It feels strange to have a house, but it is nice to walk around at night without worrying about pissing off our neighbor downstairs.
But before we moved in, there were a few projects we wanted to complete. There's an endless list of projects to come, but these three were the ones we wanted to focus on before we got into the house.

PROJECT #1: Re-Grout the Patio

There's a patio outside our kitchen. Beneath it is our "Artist's Retreat/Rock Band Room." During the inspection process, we learned that when it rains, water would leak through the patio and cause water damage to the "AR/RBR" ceiling. We had the sellers fix this room before we moved in, so to make sure there was no further water damage, Heather and I decided to re-grout and seal the patio.

Of course, we never had done this before, and learned how to do it based on watching youtube videos. We found out, very quickly, that it's not as easy as it looks on those videos. Because we had no idea what we were doing, we probably did double the work we should've. I won't go into details, but we finished it over the course of 11 days. There were many aches and pains, but after our first major rain, we found that our grout work held up. (Okay, there were a few water leaks in the corners downstairs, but the vulnerable spots, where water used to leak, have been fixed).

Here's a picture of the grout work as we were in the midst of cleaning it tile-by-tile.

PROJECT #2: Remove Popcorn Ceilings.

There were three rooms with popcorn ceiling: the living room, master bedroom, and a section of the kitchen. We both hated having them in our apartment, so it was a no-brainer to get rid of them in the house.

Once again, because I watched a few youtube videos, I was convinced I could do this on my own. But after learning my lesson from the grout (and a quick "No" from Heather), I decided it was best to farm this one out to a pro. (If anyone is looking to get rid of their popcorn ceilings, we'll give you our guy's info.)

Over the course of three days, he and his team took down the popcorn, fixed some bad work that had been buried for years, and painted them for us.

Here's the bedroom before...
...and after!
The living room before...
...and after!
The kitchen before...
...and after!
It was such a relief to see the ceilings without that popcorn shit on them. It changed the entire look/feel of the rooms to us. Luckily, he finished it in time so we could complete the next project...

PROJECT #3: Painting

There were three rooms that were in dire need of a paint job: the living room, master bedroom, and 2nd bedroom. Heather and I were very much in tune with what we wanted and picked out the colors very quickly. My biggest concern before we started was that we'd run out of time before we were supposed to move in.

In order to get it done on time, we began painting the 2nd bedroom at night while grouting. The 2nd bedroom was a kid's room and was BRIGHT yellow, a bit too intense for our taste.

Here's what it looked like before...
...and we took it to an olive green.
While the ceilings were being finished, we had to put the living room and bedroom on hold. By the time they were done fixing the ceilings, we had one and a half days to get the work done. Luckily, we had a lot of volunteers step up and help out and were able to get it done. Huge thanks to the Blake, Annie, and Shantel for painting with us, and thanks to everyone who offered to help!

The master bedroom was a dark blue before - a bit darker than we'd like. Here's the blue before...
...which looked really dark in person. So we decided to keep things bright and painted a much lighter blue...
The biggest room, of course, was the living room. Before it was slightly off-white...
...and we painted it a more creamy, cake-batter color...mmmmmmm, cakkkkeee!
Heather hated the color intially because it looked more yellow than she expected. But as it dried, the color got a little bit darker, and she fell in love with it. How can you not love the cake batter?

We also decided to do a brown accent wall over the fireplace. Here's before...
In order to figure out the color, we tested a couple of different shades of brown next to our new cake batter-y color....mmmmm, icing! You can see the two test colors on the right side of the accent wall. Both colors looked more like shit than a nice warm color.
Luckily, in the basement, we found a brown paint that matches our front foyer.
Neither of us are completely sold on it and we may change it. But for the moment, we are warming up to it. It's such an easy wall to re-paint, that we could do it within an hour.

There was one other project left on the agenda...

PROJECT #4: The Beast

Since we're in the spirit of before/afters, here's some of Winnie (aka, The Beast). Heather decided to take the cat to the vet before we moved to get tagged and groomed. But a simple trim wasn't going to do - Heather decided to go big time and get a lion cut for the cat. Here's what she looked like before...
...and of course, here's her ridiculous look after.That's just fucking funny. It's starting to grow back, but she still looks goofy.

Okay, that's enough for now. I have to stop with this and get back to doing some unpacking.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The End of (The Apartment) World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

I just went to hand in a 30-day notice to our landlord. I guess this means we're officially leaving our comfy, little, rent-controlled pad. Very sad. This place has been home for nearly six years. I love the neighborhood and I'm going to miss being able to walk around and hit up some of our favorite restaurants and bars. It's the first place where Heather and I lived together. It's where we got engaged. It's not going to be easy to leave.

But apartment life, that's another story entirely. I won't miss our community laundry room that reeked of moisture and mold. I won't miss the neighbor downstairs who complained when there was a little bit of noise when we made "Behind the Fake Music." I won't miss the lone parking spot in the garage. I won't miss the lack of space in the place. I won't miss hearing neighbors yelling and screaming at each other in Russian (or whatever that lovely language they're using to scream in).

And tonight, there yet another reason why I won't miss living in the apartment. This flier was posted up on the front doors of our building, as well as placed on everyone's door.

Let's just hope our new neighbors aren't huge fans of "Hairspray."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Next Great Rapper

I sent this email to Found Magazine today - true story:

One of my co-workers found a wadded up piece of paper in the parking lot outside of our office. Luckily, we opened it up instead of throwing it away.

What looks like a long letter is actually a really bad gangsta rap. I mean, every rap cliche is in it: guns, killing, weed, '64 Impala, bad grammar.

I'm assuming this aspiring rapper decided this was a B-side instead of a hit, and decided to ditch it.

Click on it to read - it is genius:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's Don Draper's World...

...and even the Simpsons are just living in it:

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Only In Japan: Monkey On Wheels

This is my new favorite video from Japan:



I wish I had thought of that first.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Halloween Fright

It's Halloween time, and that means one thing: seeing people get scared. But this video goes to a whole new level:



Each time I watch it, it gets better and better.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I Now Pronounce You Husband and Husband

An co-worker married his longtime partner today at city hall. He and his husband had talked about it for a while and decided to do it today, before the vote comes down on California's Proposition 8 - an anti-same-sex marriage prop on California's ballot this year.

I'm invited to their cocktail party/reception tomorrow, so tonight, I went to Target to get a card and gift. (I was hoping to find a card with two guys high-fiving and a big, "Congratulations on your wedding!" on it, but that didn't exist.) After searching through every crappy wedding card around, I realized that its hard to find a wedding card appropriate for two guys. Most cards are for "Mr. and Mrs.," or feature a bride and a groom on the cover, or have frilly hearts and colors on them.

That's when it struck me: someone can make tons of money one same-sex wedding cards. And if they do, I'm suing so I get my rightful piece of the pie. Prop 8, you better fail, just so I can make tons of cash on my new scheme.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Nothing To See Here

Well, here we are, mid-October...well, early-mid October, and I'm cleaning the dust and cobwebs off my blog. It's about time.

So, what's happening with me, you're wondering?

Not much.

Okay, maybe that's a lie.

Heather and I are trying to buy this:

I can't say what it is in fears of jinxing it, but we're in escrow. I totally know that by posting this, I'm going to fuck things up. Damn it, blog, why did you let me do this.

Thanks to this whole thing, I've now become a penny pincher and I'm absolutely obsessed with money management and Quicken. If I haven't budgeted something, we are not buying it or spending money on it. I've gone back to living the way I did back when I moved out to LA and had very little to my name. Except now, I have something big to my name and have to spend all my money on it.

I will say no more - just in case something goes wrong...or I freak out and run away.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Why I Love Acting: A Top Ten List

I haven't seen a top ten list this funny in a while, that's why I figured I'd share it with y'all:

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I was going through some photos I downloaded from my camera the other day, and forgot that I had taken these.

I was out for a walk in the neighborhood, and happened upon a PT Cruiser with melted tires, which looked pretty gnarly. Of course, I took a closer look and I happened to spot something dangling in the windshield...
...and it was this note. The PS was what made me head home to grab my camera.Let this be a lesson to everyone out there: if you have a PT Cruiser, beware, it may catch on fire.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On

My first earthquake, a tiny tremor in 1997, scared the crap out of me. The walls started shaking and waving, and I ran for safety. I sat in a doorway for hours, gripping a flashlight, petrified, convinced that the BIG ONE was coming at any moment.

During today's earthquake, I handled things much better than I did years ago. As I told someone earlier, when an earthquake hits, you don't realize it until its nearly over. Today, as things were shaking, I was a bit confused until my boss turned to me and said, "I think this is an earthquake." She was correct.

Everyone came out of their offices and edit bays to watch the ceiling rattle and the lights sway back and forth. Some people seemed scared, but some just seemed amused by it. I just wanted to know how big it was. When someone yelled out, "5.8!" I was secretly excited to have not been shaken by a quake that big. But when I saw it got downgraded to a 5.4, I ignored it for a few hours, just to feel a bit more brave.

Someone posted this clip of Letterman from years ago. I'm not as lame as these guys:

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Imaginary Friend

Heather and I were talking tonight, and I revealed to her that I had an imaginary friend when I was little. His name was "Johnice," a combo of my parents' names, John and Janice. Heather stopped, and seemed somewhat frightened when she learned this. "Did you see him? What did he look like?" she prodded for details. I wasn't actually sure, mainly because I was so young. I just kind of remember the idea of the imaginary friend existing and telling my parents about him.

Heather's line of questioning continued, like a grilling: "Where did he come from? Did your parents think you were strange for having this 'friend?' You must've been a lonely child." It was like I had revealed a horrifying secret to her, thinking, "I'm getting married to a guy who had an imaginary friend growing up! How will I ever live this down?!?!"

So my question - anyone else out there have an imaginary friend, or am I the only crazy one out there?

(I would post a picture of my imaginary friend, but he hasn't been around much lately...)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Various Thoughts On A Saturday Evening

I've been busy lately, but figured it'd be a good time to update the blog, so here goes:

1. I've been working on this show for a while, and one of my main jobs is to bring out the drama of things that happen at the beach. Part of my job is to write VO lines for the show, like, "The man is pulled out by the clutches of a vicious rip current," and, "The powerful surf and rocky chop batter the swimmer, exhausted," and so on, and so on.

So of course, when Heather and I went to the beach a few weeks ago, all I could do is look at swimmers, and "write" VO in my head as I watched them simply go swimming. Any time a lifeguard went towards the water, I sat up, excited at the prospect of "narrating" a rescue. But sadly, it was a slow day, and no one was in need of a rescue.

2. The Yankees upswing has been nice, but unlike many fans I know, I never panicked. I always thought they'd pull it together and start getting hot again. Not bad.

3. Based on everyone's recommendation, I tivo'd the "Mad Men" marathon last week. I'm hooked, and I plan on using the adjective "swell" a whole lot more, as in, "I went to see 'The Dark Knight' and it sure was swell!"

4. My new favorite blog of the moment is called Get Rich Slowly. Since we've been house hunting, I've become obsessed with saving money, and this is a great site with some interesting tips. Thanks to Blake for that one.

5. My favorite album of the summer (and maybe the year, so far) is the Hold Steady's "Stay Positive." I would post the song, "Sequestered in Memphis," but the site I usually use to post tunes isn't letting me do it. Basically, the song is about a guy who hooked up with some girl in Memphis, but she got him into some trouble with the authorities. Now, he's being interviewed about it. It's a bit vague, but it has this gem of a lyric:

"In bar-light, she looked all right;
In daylight, she looked desperate
That’s all right, I was desperate, too"

Monday, July 07, 2008

I'm Not Here To Make Friends...

...I'm here to spread the love of cliches in reality shows.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

How Love Blooms

People often ask me, "Brian, how did you and Heather get together?" And I often say, "Its a long story, but I do have an audio recording of how I pursued Heather and won her heart, so you can give it a listen." Now, just substitute my name for "Dimitri" and Heather's name for "Olga," and you have the story of how we got together. Seriously, listen to the whole thing.

http://view.break.com/527579 - Watch more free videos
I have no idea if its real, but it is fantastic.

Monday, June 23, 2008

My Monthly Update

Wow, it has been a while since I turned on this "blogger" machine. I haven't blogged for a while, mainly because there wasn't anything too exciting or fun to write about. So, let's go for a quick update...

-I ruined my MacBook by spilling a glass of milk on it. (It was late at work, I was starving, there were stale donuts and milk, and I needed some sort of food.) Since it would cost a ton to fix, I bought a new MacBook and got an Ipod touch for a highly discounted price. As both Heather and Patry said, "That's one expensive glass of milk."

-I've learned to enjoy house hunting, if just to see how other people live. It makes me feel better about when I'm messy and I can say, "Well at least I'm not as messy as those people from that open house yesterday."

-It was f'ing hot, but we didn't lose any power this weekend, so the AC was on full force. In honor of the heat, I made a special summer dessert for Heather and I: A Lemonade Pie in a Pretzel Crust. It sounds kind of crazy, but its really creamy and tangy, but the pretzel crust has just the right amount of salt to counter it. It's really darn tasty. If anyone has a BBQ this summer and requires a dessert, I will make it.

-Heather won a photo portrait for us at a charity auction last year, so this weekend we had to go get our picture taken. I was worried that it'd be lame and cheesy, and I'm sure it was, but the pictures we saw were much better than I envisioned. I still think they'll look a bit cheesy, but at least I didn't look as awful as I feared.

-We finally watched King of Kong, which was as great as everyone says, and Michael Clayton, which was good, but not as great as I hoped it would be.

-Work is slowing down for a little while, which is great, but when the slowdown happens, I always feel guilty for having nothing to do. I mean, I have things to do, but the work is a slow trickle instead of a massive swell. So that's why I decided to hop back on this pony known as the blog.

Okay, enough for now. More another day.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Weezer Goes Viral

Weezer released their new video yesterday, and its got a ton of internet viral-video references. Sadly, they didn't invite "Assplosion" to be a part of it. I guess our 3,000-plus views make them a bit more cult than viral.



Of course, they always have the greatest videos, like this one:



And of course, this was the best:


It's hard to find good, new music videos these days. Glad to see Weezer's still pumping them out.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The "Original" Office

It's been a while since I've done this, so I'm getting back into blogging shape.

If you saw SNL this weekend, you saw Ricky Gervais present the first version of the Office. If you didn't see it, here it is:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: THE PREMIERE OF "BEHIND THE FAKE MUSIC"

For the last couple of months, I've been working on this short, and it is finally done, and I couldn't be prouder. Now, it's time to share it with the world. I'm going to post two versions - the high quality version, and the youtube version. Feel free to watch both and then go rate them and make comments. Share it with your friends and family. The more hits the better. Oh, and beware, there is some salty language and situations that may be slightly NSFW (aka, Not Safe For Work).

HIGH QUALITY VERSION ON VIMEO:


Behind the Fake Music from Brian McCarthy on Vimeo.

YOUTUBE VERSION:



And to find out more about the great Assplosion, head to their blog to read up on their exploits.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I Heart Gymnastics

If all gymnastics were like this, I'd Tivo it all the time:

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Crazy Saturday, Part 2: The Kids Choice Awards...Seriously

After I helped destroy Blake's kitchen, I rushed home to clean up and get dressed up to attend the 2008 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards. Yes, that's right, the Kids Choice Awards. Normally, I'm not invited to such "high class" events, but Heather's brother, Mark, has done some host work for Nickelodeon, and this year, he and his co-host, Ryan, were doing live coverage of the pre-show, Orange Carpet event for Nick as well as their website. He hooked Heather and I up with tickets, so we, of course, were going to watch and try to fit in with the pre-pubescent crowd.

When we arrived, we immediately began searching for Mark near the Orange Carpet. Luckily we had badges for "Nick Talent," so basically, we could go wherever we wanted to. As we searched for Mark, someone pointed us to the front of the Orange Carpet where the "Talent Sign In" was. At that desk, a woman told us that we were welcome to walk the Orange Carpet in hopes of meeting up with Mark. There was no questioning whether we were famous/talented/belonged and there was no security to stop us: we were "Nick Talent" according to our passes and that meant we could walk wherever we wanted.

So Heather and I began this bizarre walk down the Orange Carpet. At first, it resembled the 10 at rush hour: logjammed. But as we rounded a corner, it was obvious why there was a human traffic jam: we were now about to walk down paparazzi lane.

The first person I saw was Christian Siriano from this season's Project Runway. He was on the other side of the fence, doing interviews for Access Hollywood. As I was watching him, I realized that he was interviewing Jodie Foster. It was a "fierce-hot-tranny-mess" moment if I ever saw one. Moments later, I turned around, and Shia LeBouf was standing right behind Heather and I. He was clearly uncomfortable with the insane amount yelling and screaming press, and I understand why. Heather was thrilled to see him - not because she's a fan, but because she now knows that she's taller than Shia. As we continued down the carpet, we wandered past Abigail Breslin, Chris Brown, Akon, and other people who appeared to be celebrities that I didn't recognize.

As we got towards the end of the press row, there was a "Slime Pit" for the main Nick pre-show, as well as bleachers for the kids to watch the celebs come down the carpet. We happened to walk into this area just as the Jonas Brothers did. (I was slightly familiar with the Jonas Brothers - I don't know their music, but I do know that they're massively popular with kids.) As they walked onto the stage, and Heather and I walked past the bleachers, the kids roared and screamed as if the Beatles had just walked up. It was piercing. And scary. I got a close look at these young boys, and despite the fact that they're prepped by stylists and coaches, it's very clear that they're still in that awkward stage of teenage life. I can't imagine being in that phase of my life and having that kind of attention thrown upon me.

Anyway, just a few steps away, Mark and his co-host, Ryan were doing their live pre-show. Luckily, we were able to stand to the side and watch as they did interviews with a bunch of celebs (we saw them talk with Nelly, Abigail Breslin, the Jonas Bros, Ashley Simpson, some Nickelodeon stars that I didn't know). I couldn't hear a word, but they looked like they were having a blast and everyone around them seemed to have a blast.

Mark and Ryan doing their thing

Talking with Nelly

As they were interviewing some celebs, even bigger ones were walking by, within a foot of Heather and I: Usher, Will Smith, Cameron Diaz, Pete Wentz and the lead singer of Fall Out Boy, Brendan Fraser, Rhiana, etc. It was very surreal to see all of them so close.
Cameron Diaz looked uber hot in person
Before you call me a perv, Heather's the one who took the picture of Cameron's legs.
Heather and Mark at the carpet

So we finally went inside and watched the awards show, which was amusing, but clearly aimed at those under the age of 13. The set, as you can see, was impressive. Our seats were decent.
Steve Carrell and Amy Poehler

One of the biggest things of the night was the presence of Miley Ray Cyrus, aka Hannah Montana. The first time they announced her name, it was bedlam. They were screaming like crazy and it sounded like a plane was landing. I had to cover my ears. It really was amazing. Here's a brief, earsplitting video. Make sure you turn it up as loud as possible.
video

After the show, we went to the after party. They put up a massive tent and thousands of kids were running around. For them, it was paradise. For us, it was a bit too much: they had music blasting, a dance floor, hairdressers set-up to paint kids hair and style it, basketball hoops, and other crazy loud stuff. The food was clearly not for adults: Burger King, pizza, mac and cheese, and make your own Sundae tables all over.
Thanks to Mark, we were able to sneak into the VIP tents. Jack Black was hanging out, signing autographs. Ice Cube (?!?) was sitting at a table, chatting up some people. I talked with Tom Kenny (aka, the voice of SpongeBob and a former Mr. Show star) for a few minutes. Kids were more interested in getting Mark's autograph than seeing Ice Cube. It was a very surreal scene.

It was a pretty great experience. As we kept going through this, Heather and I kept looking at each other, and asking, "Is this real?" I guess it is. I can't imagine doing this every week or every month, but doing it once in a while would be alright by me.

A Crazy Saturday, Part 1: SEEK AND DESTROY!

I got an email from Blake the other day: he's re-doing his kitchen and needed some help doing demo work. I am not known as a guy who likes doing manual labor, but throw in a sledgehammer and a crowbar, and I can be convinced to join in on the fun.

Of course, I said yes, and I had a BLAST destroying Blake's old kitchen. Actually, it seemed like we all enjoyed breaking things a little too much. If you've had a frustrating week of work, I highly suggest spending a few hours doing demo work: it really helps you release that tension.

Blake's doing a blog about his kitchen over here. But, really, you should check out this link to see a few more pictures and a great time-lapse of the destruction that Patry did.
I became obsessed with taking out the tiling and the counter. Well, actually, it was just pretty satisfying to bash the tiles and break them into powder. A Crazy Saturday, Part 2, coming tomorrow...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Saturday, March 22, 2008

For Video Game Nerds...

Thanks to Tivo, I usually don't sit through commercials, but I've been watching a lot of NCAA basketball this week and saw this awesome commercial. If you played the game Spy Hunter back in the 80's, you'll appreciate it:

Monday, March 17, 2008

Karate Monkey


I fucking love the internet.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Genius!

I watched this video, and my life changed. Maybe for better. Maybe not.

Wow. Fucking wow.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My short!!

Hey everyone, I'm proud to finally present the short I've been working on:



(Okay, it's not really my short...and as much as I want to believe this is real, I think it's a comedy bit. But it still makes me laugh.)

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Dubbing Fun

I'm watching Wedding Crashers on TBS because nothing else is on. Vince Vaughn just got slapped and yelled out, "CHEESE AND RICE!" I guess you can't say Jesus Christ on TBS. He also said, "I don't give a BAKER'S FLAKE!" I have no idea what that means.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What Do You Want From Me?

There's a great moment in "Goodfellas" when Joe Pesci's character sees this picture and quips, "I like this one. You got one dog looking this way, the other dog goes the other way, and this guy's saying, 'What do you want from me?'"

Today, as I drove to work, I saw life imitate art as a similar scenario was taking place on someone's front lawn.

A guy was standing there with two dogs, greyhounds, I think. It was absolutely perfect: one was looking one way, the other was looking the other way, and the owner was looking at traffic, saying, "What do you want from me?"

I think he was asking that because both dogs were simultaneously taking a shit.

Monday, February 11, 2008

It Only Took Me 10 Years To Get Motivated...

Everyone in Hollywood is "working on their own projects." What that means, exactly, is unclear. It actually depends on whom you talk to: they may be writing a feature-length script, parts of a novel, recording music, filming material for a documentary, or even just scribbling down thoughts as they come to mind. Basically, if a person's brain is functioning (and in this town, it's questionable as to how many have functioning brains), they are "working on their own project."

I, for years, have been working on my own projects, some with more success than others. For the last few weeks, I've been working on my own project with the intention of actually producing it. And the good news is, thanks to the help of some incredibly talented friends, I produced a short film over the weekend.

I had been writing a bunch of shorter, sketch-like bits during my unemployment, with the hopes of maybe shooting one of them at some point in my life. Finally, just before the holidays, I decided to push forward with one little script for a short mocumentary that I found somewhat amusing. It is not the most original idea, but for a little short film, I thought it would be fun to make it, and if it came out well, I thought my friends and I may get a chuckle out of it.

Next up was trying to get people on board. Of course, I wrote it with Heather in mind, and she reluctantly agreed. I called Dave and Blake, and both seemed excited at the prospect at doing something on our own. So I cast a few good, and talented, friends (Adam Conger, Jon Lafferty, Mike Onofri, Jay Skowronek, and Yancey Dunham) in the rest of the parts.

A few weeks ago, Blake, Dave, and I began actually planning out the shoot and all the details. Since I was "financing" the short, everything needed to be cheap. Blake volunteered to get cameras from friends of his - and these cameras were f'ing awesome. Dave was able to borrow major lighting equipment and expendables from his office. We decided our locations would be my apartment (shhh, don't tell my landlord), Blake's house, and Heather's theater. If it weren't for these things coming together, then it would've never happened. But it all came together, and we were able to move on with the shoot.

We began shooting Saturday afternoon and wrapped last night - a very short and quick shoot, and the amazing thing is that we crammed a lot of material into those two days. It does make a huge difference that Blake and Dave have been through a ton of productions, and the three of us seemed to be on the same page about what we needed to pull this thing off.

Dave planned out the schedule for us and created call sheets for our crew. When I got the official call sheet, I was so pumped - it looked like something you'd get for an actual production. How awesome is that? For me, pretty f'ing awesome! I may actually frame one. I was able to lean on Dave for scheduling, logistics, planning meals, etc. Plus, Dave took on the role of grip, set photographer, time-lapse guy, coffee bitch, etc. Dave did everything and anything...he just made life a hell of a lot easier.

Blake shot the entire thing, and it looked pretty damn great. The toughest stretch of shooting was probably Saturday night. It was the kind of shoot where we could plan a few shots here and there, but for the most part, we were just going to shoot on the fly. As we were running around, every time I looked over Blake's shoulder into the screen, I got so excited about how insanely good it looked. As the weekend progressed, every set up we did looked better than the previous, and I couldn't have been more thrilled. He also shot a lot of photos that will end up in the short, including this one of Heather in character...
I hadn't worked with actors since college, so it was going to be a bit different than dealing with reality show contestants. These guys (and gal) are all pros and I didn't want to be the real amateur on set. But they were so easygoing and loose, that it made me feel calm and relaxed. They were on their toes and ready to do anything I threw at them. A number of times, Blake and I had to hold in the laughter as they were messing around on camera. They were all game to do anything we asked them to do, and as a group, everyone gelled. It was the ideal group of actors to work with - they were so much fun and brought so much to the table, it made the shoot amazingly fun and breezy. They were exactly on note from moment one. I can't single any of them out - they were all great: Mike was fearless and shirtless; Adam brought the emotion; Jon had the scary/funny intensity; Jay broke his on-camera acting cherry while playing the outsider perfectly; and Heather said some hysterically disgusting things in front of Blake and I that will scar us for life.

The one production aspect that Dave, Blake and I had no experience with was designing lighting for the stage at the theater. Yancey usually does the lighting designs for the shows at the theater and was cool enough to light the stage and run the boards for us. It added such a cool element to the shoot that would've taken the rest of us a long time to work with. On top of that, he gave a really damn funny performance.

I really can't thank everyone enough for their hard work this weekend. Everyone went above and beyond to get this made, and I appreciate it so much. I hope everyone else had a good time doing it. After doing this shoot, I felt energized and excited. Obviously, when it's done, I'll throw it online and post it up here for the world to see.

It felt as fun making this as it did making films back in college. I hope I do it again before another 10 years goes by.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Perfect!

As a Giants fan, I'm thrilled to share this with you, the commercial that would've aired if the Patriots won:



HAHAHAHAHAHAH!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Heather's Play; Story In Today's LA Times

This weekend, Heather's latest play, "Bump," is opening at Theatre West. It's a collection of different original pieces written by Theatre West members. Heather's in one of the pieces, and, even better she wrote one a piece, and it's closing the night.

The LA Times featured a picture and small blurb about it in today's calendar section (hit to enlarge):

It's cool because Heather's acting, writing, and the photo above was taken by her (just look at the photo credit on the very bottom of the article).

The show is running Jan 25-Feb 3, 2008. To make reservations, call 323-851-7977.

And don't forget, Heather's piece is the closer, which is good why? Because coffee is for closers....

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Decision 2008: The First Ever Live From Rodney Drive Poll

It is election season, so I figured I'd get into the spirit and host a poll on my blog, but it's not about politics. Before you answer the poll, let me tell you a little story, and yes, this is a true story (names have been changed to protect the semi-innocent):

This family, we'll call them "The Smith Family," have a number of cats. One of the cats, we'll call him "Fatty," was about 21 years old. Fatty wasn't necessarily a nice cat until his very old age. The few times I came in contact with Fatty, he was not necessarily sweet towards me.

Fatty, being an old cat, got sick with some sort of cancer. As his health was rapidly declining, Mr. and Mrs. Smith did everything in their power to make sure Fatty was comfortable. But after a while, his illness got too bad, and they had to eventually put Fatty down.

Sad, yes, but here's where the story takes a turn...

So Mr. and Mrs. Smith brought Fatty back home to have their own funeral. But, distraught over the cat's death, Mr. Smith was reluctant to bury the cat. He had become more attached to the cat than ever before.

Instead of burying the lifeless cat that day, Mr. Smith decided that Fatty would spend one more night with the family. Come bedtime, Mr. and Mrs. Smith got into bed. They gently placed the dead cat into his familiar place on the bed. And then, they slept. With the dead cat. In the bed. All night. And no one in that household seemed to think it was too strange.

When I talked with one the Smith children, they said, "I didn't think it was weird until I was telling it to my girlfriend." Of course, when I heard this story, I immediately thought, "This is fucked up."

So, I wanted to take a poll: How fucked up is that Mr. and Mrs. Smith slept with the dead cat?


And for your viewing pleasure...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Chia Bart

For Christmas, Heather and I got a Chia Bart from a friend. We thought about re-gifting it to some poor sucker (aka, Heather's dad). But I had never chia-d before, and since I had nothing else to do with my life, I decided to grow Chia Bart and document it. Here's just a tease...
I've created a flickr site with pictures documenting his entire growth. Click on this link to see how Bart has grown in just about two weeks...and to see how crazy unemployment has truly made me.

Don't be lazy, click here to look at Chia Bart's growth. You have nothing better to do. That report doesn't have to be finished until tomorrow. Delay it. Go read about my sad life with Chia Bart.

Now! Do it!

Friday, January 18, 2008

A New Tourism Slogan For New Jersey

For those who don't know, I'm from New Jersey, and I'm damn proud of it. My fine home state gets mocked mercilessly for not being New York. Too many people give it a bad rap just because it happens to be across the river from the biggest city in the world. It pains me when I hear people who are from New Jersey claim they're from New York or "the New York area." Giants and Jets fans are constantly asked, in mocking fashion, "Why is your team from New York if they play in New Jersey?" Fine, I get it, New York has a lot going on and is an amazing city, but...

...I was watching a commercial for "Cloverfield," which looks kind of kick ass (and I hope it does). As I'm watching Manhattan get destroyed by some unseen and less-than-friendly monster, I realized that the characters in the movie would want to be anywhere BUT New York. And that's where New Jersey holds the edge over New York: angry monsters and hostile aliens in movies will attack Manhattan, but not Jersey.

If you're sitting in suburban New Jersey, and you see some big-ass monster attacking the city on the news, you know you've got some time to pack up and get away...or really, you could just sit there knowing that the evil beast will most likely find a home in Madison Square Garden (see 1998's awful "Godzilla") and continue to demolish the Big Apple.

This is where New Jersey's bureau of tourism needs to step it up and use this to their advantage. I propose a new state slogan...


NEW JERSEY:
When The Monsters Attack, You'll Wish You Lived Here Too!



See what unemployment does to a sane person? It makes them a whole lot less sane.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I Found A Stairway To Heaven, And It Does Not Lead To a Pretty Place

So back a few weeks ago, I was walking through a K-Mart in Florida (quite an experience), and as I wandered through the "Men's" section, I spotted a pair of Led Zeppelin boxers. They were so hideous looking, I had to take a picture:
But what made them even more amusing is that when you turned them around, this is what they put on the ass:
Apparently, the stairway leads right into your colon.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

"You Can Do It While You're Driving"

If there's one thing in this world that I'm obsessed with, it is rims. Some people like it when they're shiny. Some people like it when they spin. Some people like it when they're big. I like them like this:



Thanks to Grant for sending me this golden nugget.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year...And Set Your Tivo....

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2008 has gotten off to a great start. Mine did: Heather and I won a game of Trivial Pursuit. I think that's a sign of a good year ahead.

And if anyone is interested, tonight is the premiere of "Ocean Force: Huntington Beach," a show I worked on this year. It was formerly known as "Beach Patrol," but the network merged "Beach Patrol" with another show they already had called "Ocean Force." It follows the lifeguards, cops, and paramedics of Huntington Beach, and there's some pretty incredibly rescues and life saving.

The show is on tonight at 8pm on TruTV (formerly Court TV...yet another name change). After tonight's premiere, the show will air on Monday night's.

And if you want a small taste of the show, here are two "Ocean Force: Huntington Beach" webisodes I produced. (In the second webisode, listen closely for a familiar voice):