no hero in your tragedy, no daring in your escape 

if you are familiar with the show futurama, you may happen to remember an episode where flying brains came to visit earth in an attempt to steal all knowledge and leave humanity stupider.

the other night, i was looking hard at the skies for signs of airborne noggins. in the ten minutes that it took me to drive from our house to the local wendys and back, no less than five other drivers nearly collided with my car. several of them shot out of blind driveways without bothering to actually check for oncoming traffic, and a couple of them were just merely impatient assholes who didn’t seem none too pleased that my vehicle happened to be occupying the same physical spaces that they wished to occupy.

my tolerances for the stupidity and lack of common sense in other people are rapidly drawing to a head. granted, i have been one to royally fuck up on multiple occasions with many hilariously awful results, but this is just getting way beyond acceptable.

nowhere else is this more noticeable than at the coffee shop. the self-centeredness of people really shines through there like no other. it would seem that common sense dictates that if a trash can is more than full, the other satisfactory options you are presented with are to either pile your garbage on top of the grotesque amount of refuse already present, or to simply dump it on the floor/ground. heaven forbid should one actually go in search of another receptacle with which they can dispose of their waste.

what really kills me are the lengths that some of this shit heads go not only to *not* throw their trash away, but to *hide it.* as if this were some game. when people spend a portion of their valuable time re-arranging the items on a store shelf in order to position garbage out of sight behind those items, these individuals are in desperate need of some serious medical help.

what the fuck is wrong with people?

at the moment, i’m rather annoyed that i have to work nine hours on halloween until closing. that means from three in the afternoon until midnight, i’ll be stuck at work.

please tell me that’s a good thing. i’m trying really hard to see the positives in this situation, and so far, my mind is drawing a complete blank. lately i’ve been working hard to find the silver lining in *anything,* just to give myself some peace of mind from all the shit that bothers me endlessly, only i still am not able to discernibly locate such solace despite fiercely dedicated massive amounts of effort.

rather, it seems that the harder i look for the good in things, the more forcefully all the bad pushes its way to the foreground. i take two steps forward, and the world kicks me in the nads until i stumble backwards about ten feet. i’m really, really, *really* getting sick and fucking tired of this bullshit. and i have a horribly sinking feeling that things are only going to get progressively worse – regardless of what outlook i choose or how vainly i attempt to make things go right.

i just don’t know. can somebody please explain to me why i even give a shit? life would be so much easier if i just didn’t care about anything. but somehow, i seem to have this dreadfully insatiable curiosity/willfulness that refuses to be squashed. for some inexplicable reason, it decides to soldier on even though it constantly only meets with frustration and/or disappointment.

not that spending all hallows eve at work is really that much of a disruption. it’s not like i was invited to any parties, or care to pack myself into an overcrowded club with a bunch of intoxicated assholes. i don’t even have a costume, and i doubt that at this point i will carve any jack-o-lanterns.

somebody out there better have a happy fucking halloween. i sure as shit will not.

  • 10.26.2005

    i've got celestial mechanics to sychronize my stars 

    fresh baked garlic cheese ciabatta bread. tomato basil soup. filet mignon. garlic mashed potatos. steam cooked asparagus. key lime pie.

    a birthday dinner like that just about makes up for an entire year’s worth of shitty.

    almost, anyways.

    a new snare drum helps as well.

    my birthday present was actually a gift certificate towards the instrument shop i frequent. it’s been three years since i bought an actual drum for my set, so i figured it was about time. the decision was between either this badass pearl piccolo snare that i found, or a second crash cymbal. and while i really do need to start expanding the amount of cymbals that i have, i just could not get over how sweet this snare drum sounded.

    take a listen for yourself, in fact. maybe you’ll agree.

    (i kinda half-assed what i was playing for this test recording – whatever. you get the point and get to hear how it sounds – single mic’d with a shure 57 for anybody who cares to know that tidbit of trivia.)

    i’m thinking i need to get another cymbal soon, anyways. i’ve been itching to play lately, and some of the practice sessions that i have indulged in didn’t suck too badly. maybe with time, i can get over my limitations and start becoming a killer percussionist.

    out the door, i wound up with the drum, a stand, and a soft cover bag for two hundred fifty. this is pretty sweet, since the snare itself originally goes for close to four hundred bucks. at least i still got it when it comes to bargaining.

    now, if only i could steal some of neil peart’s talent, perhaps by slicing off a swath of his hair, then i’ll really be getting somewhere.

  • 10.22.2005

    i can learn to resist anything but temptation 

    remember a couple weeks ago when i mentioned rather blatantly how much i have grown to despise working the closing shift on friday nights?


    in addition to the usual scene of newbie couples and puppy-dog-eyed dopey lovers, there was a football game at the local high school a couple blocks from our store (they ended up winning). this means that once the game was over, pretty much the *entire* damn stadium filed into our store in search of beverages.

    a group of extremely statutory looking young cheerleaders from the school happened to be standing over in one of the corners of our lobby, and the hottest of them at one point turned to her friend, tugged incessantly on her arm, and urgently expressed the following:

    "oh my God, i am so frigging horny right now. you don’t even *know.*"

    um. so, do please explain to me again exactly *how* the cosmos aren’t just *totally* fucking with me here?

  • 10.20.2005

    if you will it dude, it is no dream 

    on this day in history:

    1803: the united states senate ratified the louisiana purchase.

    1910: the hull of the rms olympic, sister ship to the rms titanic is launched in belfast, ireland.

    1929: us 101 (the bayshore freeway) opens in the san francisco bay area.

    1944: the soviet army captures the yugoslavian capitol city of belgrade.

    1955: j.r.r. tolkien’s final installment of the lord of the rings trilogy, the return of the king is published.

    1967: 4,000 civilians gather in berkeley for the largest vietnam protest rally.

    1973: the sydney opera house opens, abc premieres the six million dollar man, and william shatner weds his second wife, marcy lafferty.

    1977: ronnie van zant and steve gaines of lynryd skynyrd perish in an airplane crash in rural mississippi.

    1979: the john f. kennedy library is dedicated in boston. your pal dante (aka, adam) is born at st luke’s hospital in denver colorado.

  • 10.18.2005

    angels and demons dancing in my head 

    thank you for all the supportive comments you have provided. i do actually appreciate every single one of them, and your valuable personal time.

    however, i should have been a bit more specific in my last post. all of that thinking that i do? yeah, the majority of that doesn’t actually occur *just* when i am sitting at home.

    in fact, a huge amount of it happens while i am at work. even though i rang up close to eight hundred people last saturday (yes, that is right – eight *hundred* people in a nine hour period – my cash drop was one quarter of the entire store’s income that day), i couldn’t stop my mind from constantly going over these thoughts. in fact, if anything, being around that many happy people (99% of whom were couples) served only to amplify how dreadfully awful i feel. so. now you have an important detail that wasn’t present in my other post.

    if i can’t *not* focus on this bullshit even when faced with a nonstop flood of thirsty consumers on a busy weekend, than what is it gonna take? the current options that i am considering are – medication, or a bullet. one is guaranteed to resolve the issue but pretty much cease my existence, and the other *might* resolve some of my troubles but can bring about possible worse side-effects.

    i have no idea what to do. some of the people that i have talked to who have gone on the medications that i am investigating have informed me that not only did they end up feeling worse when under the influence of the drugs, they actually began to hear louder voices in their heads. as it is, i already have tons of thoughts swirling about in my head constantly. what happens when those countless nodes are brought into even sharper focus? would i be more open to impulses that i normally have to concentrate on not acting upon?

    these thoughts also happen when i am driving to work. or driving home from work. or hanging out with friends (although, the high i get from socializing with people helps to mask a portion of this buzz of mental activity), or eating dinner with my family, or when i do actually have a few moments to practice playing drums.

    or, perhaps the most annoying intrusion of these thoughts… the hour or so it takes for me to fall asleep whenever i hunker down for some slumber action. it doesn’t matter what time of night i go to bed. ten pm, four am, whatsoever does it make no difference. one hour is about the amount of time it takes for me to pass the fuck out when i hit the sheets. roughly sixty minutes of craptastic quality time with my motherfucking mind. at least if i had somebody to sleep with, i would be able to *do* something like cuddle so that i wouldn’t be forced to concentrate on how completely alone i am.

    let’s be clear about something. i haven’t sat at home every night and let this crap stew about in my noggin. over the six years that i have lived up in northern california, there have been countless amounts of times i have gone out to socialize with other people. parties, the few times i did try going to clubs, raves, all kinds of shit. in the end, the results are pretty much always the same.

    in fact, i make almost desperate attempts on a daily basis to ensure that i’m not stuck at home by myself (most of them lately have proven less than successful). on the lucky occasions when i have been able to snag people to hang out with recently, the women i meet who are my age are happily married. MARRIED. when i meet older women, they are of course also married. and then, i meet girls who are under the age of legal consent. in fact, they tend to be the females that ironically show the most active interest in me. it would figure, right? there are at least five girls i know of offhand currently that have expressed serious interest in me; all of them are seniors in high school and completely untouchable according to state law. *tell me* that isn’t the cosmos totally fucking with me. explain to me exactly how it is not. because, really, i can’t come up with any other reasonable explanation for it at all.

    i’ve tried tons of other options. i’ve gone to the few college age programs at the churches around here. you’d think in an area that has several major universities (stanford, uc santa cruz, uc berkeley, etc) that tons of churches would attempt to capitalize on the potential for ministering to these large numbers of youth. nope. in fact, just the opposite. there is so little interest in this area to witness to college age kids that i beat my head in frustration anytime people express confusion as to why the peninsula has one of the largest un-churched population centers in the nation. it doesn’t really matter, though. regardless of which program i go to check out, all of the girls i meet are already in satisfying relationships anyways.

    in the last couple years, i have posted my profile on twenty different personal sites, including true match, match dot com, and eHarmony. all of the sites that “guarantee” results + me = nada. the only thing that has happened is that they take significant amounts of my money and deliver jack SHIT for results. twenty. not a couple. not “a few.” twenty. do take notice of how that’s quite a bit more than “not a lot.”

    (embarrassingly enough to admit, i have even tried fuck buddy websites. any luck? would i really be sitting here bitching about my problems if those actually did work? besides, i’m not looking for just a cheap lay. while sex tends to dominate my immature juvenile mind, even i realize that i require something far more substantial than just carnal deliverance.)

    so, that’s pretty much it. if there is some mystery location where there exists single women, fuck if i know about it. but, that’s not even an issue anymore. because, fuck it. i just don’t care anymore. you tell me. what would you do? do you honestly believe that six *years* of trying to meet people is really not all that much when it comes to percentages of one’s lifetime? just how long *is* enough? sixteen years? twenty six? should i keep trying and hoping it happens in thirty six?

    for somebody as impatient as myself, this scene is unacceptable. i am fucking tired of striking out time and time and time and time and time again. so what? try some more? one of the definitions of insanity is doing the same task over and over again, yet expecting different results. why should i be lead to believe that i can expect any kind of results different from that which i already have experienced? what in six years of trying dictates that there is the remote possibility of hope to prevail?

    oh, right. i got laid. with one woman. twenty-six years old, and i have had one sexual partner. that’s fucktastic. maybe when i’m thirty, i can proudly proclaim two. who knows? maybe by then, it will even be three.

    wait, scratch that. i’m not *that* lucky. and yet, assholes who beat their girlfriends and insult them daily, steal shit and have been to prison, have had tons of women. lesson learned. good guys are losers. we don’t get to finish. really, it’s not so bad, and i don’t understand why the world constantly tries to persuade me otherwise. it’s ok to tell me that my life is going to continue to suck royally and that shit will get far worse. trust me, i won’t be offended. i came to that conclusion quite some time ago. if you honestly feel in your heart “well, he’s fucked,” than tell me that. i’m not so unintelligent to know that some people just have a shitty go at life. them’s the facts. sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes; why, sometimes he eats you.

    besides, everybody keeps trying to tell me that i won’t find happiness simply by getting myself a relationship anyways. even though i constantly try to patiently explain to them that when i was living with monica, i truly was happy as a clam. i’ll repeat that, just in case once again, the nay-sayers of my words insist upon convincing me otherwise that which i know to be true. when i was in a relationship, i *was* happy.

    and no, i was not really all that happy when i met monica. in fact, i was feeling just as shitty as i do currently. perhaps even worse, because at that time, i not only felt alone, i felt hopelessly betrayed. during the production, craig and i had a bit of a falling out. there was an argument, some serious discussion, and confrontation. it drove me to question why i would ever have quit my job to come out to the hot ass unforgiving desert just to end up essentially getting what seemed like a slap in the face. how hurt was i at the time? i had placed a reservation for a rental car to drive home in. yes, i was that fucking pissed off at the time. there was a lot of personal shit going down, and i simply wanted out of the movie entirely.

    the *only* reason i stayed was because in the end, i decided that i was determined to finish something that i had started, no matter how unpleasant or uncomfortable the situation was making me. i wanted to see things through to the end, no matter if i killed myself out of frustration in the process. my confidence was totally lacking, and about the only conviction that possessed me was the desire to prove myself against the odds. two days later, monica and i got together, and so began the most meaningful relationship to date i have had. and then, i was happy. all the shit that was getting me down about the movie, and the troubles, they all seemed to vanish almost instantly.

    maybe they didn’t vanish, but since i was happy with monica, i didn’t let those annoyances bother me so much. had that relationship not developed, my experience of making land of entrapment would have been far more dour. dismally rotten, even. there are many reasons as to why i felt monica was “the” one for me, and to some degree still do. far too many for me to ever hope to list without missing a few. certainly a major one though, was that she helped me get through the production of that film without killing myself or craig. and she probably didn’t even know that until now.

    so when i say that i *know* that a relationship with somebody would help me gain my footing in life, i’m not just bullshitting you. i’m not talking out of my ass. i am dead as all fuck serious. and perhaps that insight can help explain to you why it is just so goddamn frustrating that i have had absolutely no luck in meeting anybody at all. maybe you will see this as a declaration of co-dependence, or maybe you will understand what i mean when i prattle on endlessly about how much being single sucks for me. i can’t explain it, and it does not make any lick of sense – but i simply can not believe in myself until somebody else really demonstrates to me that they believe in me first. it wasn’t until i was with monica that i felt truly capable of beating my own demons regarding the work on the film. why? fuck all if i know. my sorry ass is horribly backwards to the rest of the world. just the way i was made, i suppose.

    i’m running out of ways to articulate my predicament. no matter how i try to phrase it, people just don’t seem to quite get it. there’s always a crucial piece of the puzzle that people miss, and because of the lack of understanding, the discord creates a rift. some of that is due to how much i hold back. i’m sure the majority of you didn’t even know how utterly low i was feeling during the filming of loe. i don’t even think monica was aware of how awful a time i was having. i dunno. maybe she was. perhaps that is part of why she ended up getting with me. the point is, she did, and ever afterward on that film, i knew i could deal with whatever happened because there was somebody that cared about me regardless. it was incredible moral support, and i treasured it a great deal more than i can ever possibly hope to express.

    but now i lack that kind of support. it’s wonderful that people thousands of miles away tell me that they pray for me, and that they hope i feel better. but, and i don’t mean to sound callous or ungrateful for the generous latitudes of support, it just isn’t the same. people can tell me how they are “sorry” about how i feel until they are blue in the face; ultimately, it doesn’t remotely compare to the warmth and comfort i derived even from just a simple hug from a woman that actually gave enough of a shit to invite me into her home at a time when i felt i was without one. over the course of my life i have occupied tons of houses; never have i felt so at home as i did then.

    some of you will read this and continue to shake your head at me, thinking i haven’t “gotten it.” i dunno, maybe you are right. maybe i never will get it. maybe i am just a hopeless cause that refuses to accept the truth. or maybe i am just backwards to the way the world works, and i gotta figure out how to re-write the rules to accommodate oddities such as myself.

    but, lately i’ve been asking myself why bother? regardless of who we are, or what we do, there is but one common tie.

    we all die alone.

  • 10.13.2005

    i'll give you a man who wants to rule the world 

    another week goes by. father time continues to wage his epic battle against the advancing armies of acceleration, only to fall prey to the attack and suffer an agonizingly humiliating defeat.

    well, at least i’m still alive. or... something. i guess. there’s been a lot going on in my mind, and not nearly enough going on in my life. so, why haven’t i posted anything recently? i figured you all deserved to be spared from another bloated entry that served no other purpose than as a vehicle for my endless moaning about how much i think the cosmos hate me and are dolling out royally cruel punishments without care in my direction.

    unfortunately, that’s essentially how i continue to feel. my emotions have been so all over the place that i’m beginning to think i’m experiencing some form of male pms, one that lasts for months on end. one wonders how long a person can hold onto such debilitating anger and frustration, and then looks at me and pities the pathetic mess that i have become. i’m still hopelessly bitter and pissed off, and feel that i am facing some sort of judgment for crimes i did not knowingly commit. this year has continued the downward slide into easily becoming the shittiest that i have had in a while time.

    here’s how much i totally suck. no matter how much i try to convince myself, i’m still not entirely over monica. i’m not even sure anymore. i think that by and large, i am mostly angry that everything happened exactly as i had pictured the ideal relationship would happen, and then when things did actually fall into place jut the way i envisioned, it all fucking ended. rather pointlessly too. the whole situation baffles me to no end. i have spent countless hours trying to make sense out of the entire extended ordeal, only to have it further push me towards the brink of madness. there is no fucking reason. second guessing, re-examination, all of it is fruitless. in the end, no matter how much i try to analyze it, it makes no fucking difference. nothing is resolved, and there are no answers. just more questions, and increasingly cyclical patterns that lead towards deeper confusion.

    it’s enough to make me consider forcing a screwdriver up my nose and stabbing my brain until i lose the ability to think as much as i do. maybe if i can remove all the annoying chatter that relentlessly torments my already weary mind, i can come to peace with all the bullshit that i have no control over. maybe even then i could stop worrying about useless matters such as relationships, and focus more on just the basic instincts of eating, sleeping and shitting. as of late, it seems to me that anything outside of those three major events is just extraneous waste and not worthy of anybody’s time. regardless of how much i think, and probe, and dissect and evaluate, nothing ever really changes. all that happens is i get angrier and angrier.

    and i’m fucking tired of it. why can’t i just push aside all the non-essential noise and be happy with the fact that i’m twenty six years old, working at a minimum wage retail job, own a working automobile and am blessed with plenty of shelter, food, and enough entertainment to last a lifetime? instead, all of these other distractions forcefully filter in and run my sorry ass through annoyingly endless circles.

    so, yeah. i’m a loser. i spent ten years obsessing over erin, and i’ll likely spend double that amount of time thinking about monica, considering that my interactions with her were extensively more developed than with my previous object of fixation. speaking of erin, last saturday at work, i rung up a girl whose name was erin crum. entirely different girl, because she didn’t look a thing like the one i knew in school, but the situation begs me to wonder what the odds of that happening are. out of all the coffee shops that exist in my area, and out of all three registers that were open, i happen to be the one who rings up a girl with the same name as my first major crush for drinks. exactly a week after i went to manhattan beach in the hopes of possibly seeing the original erin. what are the odds of that happening? why should i care anymore?

    last week, one of three good friends that are still living in this area dropped a surprising bombshell by announcing that he’s moving off to washington state this saturday to take up a cushy civilian job with the military. sadly, it’s not like he and i have been able to hang out together lately anyways, but it is rather depressing that more of the people i know are now moving away. a couple years ago, he was just about the only person that i had to hang out with for a long time, and now he’s basically gone. the other friend i have that is within less than an hour’s drive (everybody else i know lives at least several hundred miles away) has been so busy lately with work and studying that he’s making himself physically ill off of the stress. so basically, i have nobody to hang out with now. i’d go out and make more friends if i didn’t think that at some point, their lives wouldn’t become so complicated as to not be able to hang out with me. or if I even knew where to meet people, anymore. to some degree, i wonder if despite my initially personable demeanor, i just have a habit of repelling people over time. sure would help to explain a whole fuck of a lot right there. otherwise, what the fuck is the point in investing time developing relationships with other individuals if ultimately those relationships will end up becoming little more than minor elements in your life despite how much you try to avoid them not ending up as such?

    to make matters worse, the plumbing in the downstairs is acting up *YET AGAIN.* this is now the *tenth* time since we moved into this house two years ago that we have had problems with the fixtures. tonight, the toilet in my bathroom started bubbling in very much the same manner as it did just before it began overflowing all over the downstairs floor last winter. this is all despite the fact that we already had a plumber come over earlier this week to take care of the garbage disposal backing up into my bathtub once more. i’m holding out hope that we don’t end up mopping up buckets of water between now and when the plumber will be out here in the morning to look the situation over more thoroughly this time.

    at the rate this year has been going, i’ve pretty much given up on praying for things to get better. in fact, right now i’m feeling a might gutsy.

    i *want* shit to get worse. lots worse. come on, fate. do your fucking worst. go ahead and burn my house down, then kill all the people i care about. see if i care. like lewis black theorizes, all the happy well adjusted people die young, and all the miserable narcissistic pricks like me have to live forever. might as well invite God willingly to fuck everything up beyond recognition. He’s gonna do that anyways; i should just learn to get used to it and accept it.

    (mind you, i realize the hypocrisy of my saying that i have had it bad this year. never once have i been in the path of a devastating tsunami, or been caught in a tremendous hurricane, or submerged by flood waters, or shook to shit in a violent earthquake. but damnit, it’s all still a matter of relativity anyways. i’ve had my own problems and troubles to deal with as it is.)

    if you want to pray for me, that’s swell. i’m not asking you to, or even expecting it. but if in the off chance that you find yourself graced with some free time to kill, do me the favor of asking God to lay off on all the negative bullshit and toss me a fucking bone once in a while. i’d greatly appreciate it. that is, if there is anybody left still pouring over my selfishly whiny mumblings.

    i hate the phrase “when life closes a door, it opens a window.” six months now. i have been desperately looking for the window, and finding none. i can’t even find the door i came in through, since i now seem to be sealed up in a featureless room, madly clawing at all four blank walls in the futile attempt to escape.

    somehow, i have a feeling that i will wake up tomorrow. i’m dreading that thought already.

  • 10.06.2005

    now let your mind do the walking 

    there is no possible way in all of hell that i can come close to writing about every last thing that happened on my trip.

    don’t get me wrong – that’s a good thing. usually there is so little that transpires in my daily life that sometimes i am hard pressed to figure out what to write about on my blog, and usually end up defaulting to bitching about how low or awful i am feeling. so when there are circumstances that produce a flood of information and details, i am more than pleased.

    notice how i skillfully employ a large amount of words to convey that essentially my trip rocked. that trend will continue, so you might want to dedicate ample time if you plan on getting through this post in one sitting.

    i managed to outdo myself on this vacation. some of you who have read about my other excursions know that when it comes to packing, i am the ultimate procrastinator. usually i don’t bother packing what i need until just before going to sleep the night before my journey. this time, i did one better. my bags didn’t up getting packed until just before i actually hit the road.

    about the only thing i did manage to do the night before was clean my windshield (which is in need of washing again since returning home) and clear out my trunk. there was a huge amount of crap hanging out, and i spent close to an hour sorting through everything that was present. bear in mind, this is a miata we are talking about, which doesn’t boast the greatest amount of cargo space to begin with, so to have amassed enough junk that required an hour’s worth of time to parse through is fairly negatory on my part.

    it’s a good thing that i made that extended effort this time (i haven’t before) because i ended up having to forcefully cram everything that i was taking along into every last square inch of my trunk. i even ended up having to remove the cd changer unit (i never use it) and setting it aside in the garage to make room for all the things i was taking.

    which weren’t a whole lot, in all truthfulness. the laptop and its accessories, of course. my small bag for clothes, my pillow, the digital camera and accessories, and the audio mixer i had originally bought for use on land of entrapment (the reason i brought the mixer will be explained later in this post). not a tremendous amount of stuff, but items awkward enough that it required a fair degree of engineering prowess to package it all into the limited luggage space.

    it’s no surprise that i ended up getting a later start on thursday morning than originally i had intended. i did manage to wake up fairly early, despite my body’s severe dislike for the morning hours, and even had a substantial breakfast for once (very rarely do i ever eat any breakfast other than fresh mixed berries). with only four or five hours of rest from the night before, i finished loading up my car and headed out towards la. a quick stop down in morgan hill for some of that righteous hot chocolate that i always get at the only ya’bon that i am aware of in this region, and my journey began.

    there was little traffic on the five both driving down, and coming back. for the most part, i was free to cruise at whatever speed i wished, so i maintained about ninety or so for most of the way. stopping off at harris ranch and lost hills quickly identified why so few people were out on the road – the cost of gas is significantly worse along that route. fuel prices on the five have always been less than ideal, considering all of the station owners are more than aware of the fact that there are so few depots along the route that the demand crookedly justifies the increased cost of the supply, but even these increased rates were grossly unpleasant.

    getting to craig’s in west covina took a little over six hours on the way down. had i left a bit sooner from my house, i would have avoided the mid-afternoon traffic along the ten freeway out to the valley, but as it ended up, i didn’t get delayed all too badly. ended up pulling into his place just in time for us to come up with a dinner plan that involved a trip to chic-fil-a down in chino hills. driving back up grand ave, we stopped off at a fry’s electronics to pick me up a spindle of dvd-r’s on sale for some disc burnin’ a bit later on in the weekend.

    cogent and i met up at fatburger in west covina on friday afternoon. it was a good lunch gathering. she is quite pretty in person (and in pictures, for those privileged enough to have found them online), and provided a nice conversation. sadly she didn’t have a whole lot of time to hang out, but the time we did spend together was definitely enjoyable.

    later on that afternoon, craig and i met up with an old friend of his from high school, mike and his girlfriend ashley. from craig’s place we ventured out to bj’s for some dinner and drinks, and then over to the edwards theater to catch a showing of serenity, which sadly had a lackluster attendance. i would be kind in saying that the theater was even one quarter full, which was most disappointing considering how kick ass a film it was. up until that point in time, i was not really consciously aware of firefly – after watching the film, craig and i began watching all of the episodes of the show on dvd to introduce me to the series, staying up way beyond the time i originally had wanted to go to bed in preparation for attending the hometown fair the next day. at about two in the morning on saturday, i came to the conclusion that i likely was not going to make it to the early morning 10k run, and instead opted to watch more episodes until about four or five in the morning when i finally did go to sleep.

    waking up sometime around noon on saturday, i journeyed out from west covina to the coast where surprisingly it was quite overcast and chilly in the beach towns, compared to the glaring heat and sun that was hovering over the inland valley. also amazingly, i managed to snake a very convenient parking spot fairly close by to the fair (originally i was worried that i would end up having to drive all over town looking for parking).

    before heading off to the faire, i took a few moments to wander down to the pier and check out some of the surfers who were out enjoying a couple waves. the pacific didn’t seem to be too active, but there were a few dedicated souls out for whatever ride they could get. there was this one particular blonde in just a two piece suit who exhibited a tremendous amount of grace with her longboard.

    heading back up the hill towards the faire, i stopped to check out the collection of classic ford woody station wagons. no matter how upscale and yuppie manhattan beach may become, at its heart the town is a classic surf community, and this is reflected throughout by means of various different outlets. the beach towns are perhaps one of the few places left in the world where you can still see wood paneled cars with surfboards strapped to the luggage racks on top, and the atmosphere is just very laid back and slackeriffic.

    the faire was very much how i have remembered it over the past almost-decade. predominately arts and crafts type stuff, largely focused on the immediate community and lifestyles. there was a significantly larger number of photographers exhibiting depictions of the bay area than there was the last time i was there seven years or so ago.

    perhaps the biggest question on some people’s minds (ok, maybe only monica’s) is if i happened to run into erin at all during the faire or not. i *could* sit here and tell you that not only did i meet her, but that she and i totally went at it like hyperactive bunny rabbits for hours until my wang fell completely off. i *could* say that.

    doesn’t mean i wouldn’t be telling a whopper of a lie. at best, i saw somebody who from a distance looked like it could have been her, but when i got closer, discovered quite clearly that it was not her at all. the results for the 10k run do confirm that she was in attendance and took part, but i didn’t get a chance to see her at all. oh well. i consider it just yet another confirmation towards an answer i had already assumed several years ago.

    instead, i got a call back from todd who was made aware that i was in town, and told me to swing on by. originally i was supposed to meet up with richard and spend some time with him that afternoon, so my idea was to hang out with todd for a half hour or so and then jet on to margolis’s, but as always seems to happen to me, time flew by way too fast and before i knew it, i had ended up spending eight more hours in manhattan beach than i had planned. i was gonna try and make it back to craig’s house that day by early evening at the latest, since we had a commitment to attend to the next morning, but between video games, downloaded episodes of the venture brothers, ice cream from the soda shop in downtown and dinner at the kettle, i didn’t end up heading back in-land until after midnight. turns out that both of the other friends that were hanging out at todd’s place have worked for the same video game conglomerate that i have, and one of them is even moving up this way at the end of the year to work at the local corporate campus full time.

    by the time i got back to craig’s place it was just about one am. he and i both needed to be up at six to make a seven am call time for the shooting of an independent picture that involved a friend of craig’s. after carefully reviewing the fact that we had less than six hours for a decent night’s sleep, craig and i indulged in checking out more episodes of firefly until it was time for us to leave his house. at this point, we were both getting a bit groggy and a stop at mickey dee’s for some breakfast was in order. as the sun crested the horizon and the night hastily gave way to a rather hazy morning, we made our way to the cbs studios in burbank.

    supposedly we were shooting on a backlot, but after craig and i had a chance to check out the street mockup, it was more like an alleyway between two soundstages that had inexpensive facades thrown over the walls. sandwiched between the studios that house csi: ny, and according to jim, we met up with the crew for the project. the film is an indie short, so pretty much everybody present was on a volunteer basis. craig was to be the boom pole op, and i was the sound engineer. initially, it sounds more impressive than it actually is. my task primarily was to stand between craig and the dp (director of photography) and make sure that we got consistent audio recordings of all the dialogue. earlier in this post i had mentioned that i had brought my audio mixer, which was intended for this film shoot. since the camera they were using already had appropriate audio inputs, we opted to just run the microphone direct into the camera, and i “mixed” the sound by directing craig when and where to move the boom mic to. apparently i did good enough of a job to warrant our cinematographer asking for a copy of my resume, which i will be sending him later this week.

    the shoot itself was quite fun. met a lot of cool people, got to hang out and chat with some industry pros, and help out on an action film. i’m guessing the final run time of the end product will only be about ten minutes total, even though we were on the lot for close to eleven hours and shooting a couple tapes worth of footage.

    after the shoot, things become hazy. since both craig and i were running on empty at that point and were exhausted, i don’t remember a whole lot of what happened. somehow, we managed to end up at a wendy’s in west covina instead of in a flaming mangled wreckage, and mindlessly ordered some fast food in the hopes of actually deriving any energy at all. i’m pretty sure that craig threw his tray away instead of putting it on top of the trash can, a spectacle we couldn’t stop laughing at despite not being able to figure out what exactly was humorous about the situation. needless to say, severe exhaustion seems to produce the same kind of goofy behavior that repeated drug use does, without any of the nasty chemical residue in your blood stream.

    i think when we got back to his place (again, a miracle), we kept ourselves awake by watching more firefly. or at least tried to keep ourselves awake. the goal was to stay up just long enough to watch the new family guy episode on that night, but when we found out that it was a repeat, we both told consciousness to go fuck itself and passed out in our respective rooms for some much needed rest.

    there is this running theme throughout my trip. most of what i “planned” didn’t actually come to bear, as the itinerary was altered over time. for example, my original plan for monday was to leave sometime in the early morning to arrive home by mid afternoon. didn’t happen. hell, i didn’t end up leaving so cal until almost four pm. there were still a number of dvd’s that i had left to copy, and craig was busy encoding the latest edit version of loe that we had spent some of the weekend working on for me to take back home. at some point around noon i gave monica a call to see if she was up for a lunchtime meeting, a proposal that was swiftly shot down. craig and i decided instead to head on over to fatburger one more time for me to get my fill, and i discovered much to my delight that there is going to be a fatburger opening up within a couple miles of my house by the end of the year. if there is only one good thing to come out of the year of SUCK, it is that finally for fuck’s sake, there will be a fatburger nearby. this may seem trivial, but i assure you, it is not.

    after lunch, and with the last of the dvd’s burned, i made my way onto the ten towards the five and home. i managed to make it back in just under six hours, holding true to my competitive nature for beating my own records for travel to and from the city of angels.

    sorry that this post took so damned long to get online. it doesn’t help me any that my mind has been scatterbrained as all fuck lately, and that i haven’t had any patience to sit down and write anything. oh yeah, on monday morning i also woke up to find that in my sleep i had pulled my sciatic nerve, and have spent most of this week suffering agonizing lower back, leg, and foot pain. the other day at work i felt as if somebody was kicking me right above my ass for most of the shift (thankfully only four hours) and by the time i punched out, i could barely stand. today the pain has for the most part subsided, but anytime i shift my weight around, the arch and heels of my feet keep trying to convince me that there are nails or spikes being wedged deep into my flesh. it’s pretty much the same horrible pain that i experienced a little over a year ago towards the end of my trip to boston.

    for the most part, the final running length of land of entrapment is now locked down. that means that sound and dialogue work can commence, we can begin color correcting it, and music will be written so that we can finish this endeavor and move onto other projects.

    at the moment though, i’m gonna go watch the neil pert dvd that i purchased tonight at the gelb music super sale so that i can be reminded once again just how much i totally suck at playing the drums.

    fly by night! owww!

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