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7.19.2006

up from the ground came a bubblin' crude 

fuck.

i hate being broke.

it’s really beginning to piss me off just how much gas costs lately. people outside of california don’t seem to feel it quite as bad, but for the last year and a half, we have been over three dollars a gallon. it’s dipped below that amount maybe once or twice over the past eighteen months, but only by at most five cents.

granted, that’s hardly a drop in the hat when you consider that the suckers living in europe are shelling out close to eight dollars for roughly a gallon’s worth (since they buy liters due to being on the wacky ass metric system), but what the fuck?

i’d be willing to bet a fairly reasonable sum of money that after bush steps down from office at the end of his term, there is going to be an enron-style shakedown of the oil industry. after all, exxon mobil alone made close to thirty six billion dollars worth of profit in just one fiscal year. thirty six *billion* dollars.

that’s not gross. that’s net.

and yet, we’re all forced to pay up the asshole for some of that righteous crude. it’s not like these companies are exactly hurting for operation fundage. they’re doing just damn slap happy. every single one of the major oil companies have been posting ridiculous profits despite the fact that they claim to be “suffering” due to the current cost of barrels of oil.

forgive me. i’ve been a bit irritable lately for a number of reasons. chief of them being that i am beyond fucking broke. it seems like for the past couple months now, i barely even have enough money to squeak by, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. at this point, the last of my finances are going towards paying off this month’s car payment, and then i have just enough set aside to catch one viewing of clerks 2 this friday night with the gang.

i know, i shouldn’t blow what little cash i do have left on something so frivolous, but damnit. i’ve been waiting for this fucking film ever since information on it first became readily available to the grimy public. it means so much for me to go. to not go and see it would seriously leave me feeling defeated. i am determined to see that movie on opening day with my friends.

it also doesn’t help that i was originally supposed to be in los angeles at this point working on a film as camera crew (paid rather handsomely) but that that opportunity has currently fallen apart. two days before i was ready to head south, i got an e-mail from the director telling me that two of the actors bowed out in favor of some better paying gigs, which means that until this piece is re-cast, everything is on indefinite hold.

which also means that the two weeks that i requested off from work leaves me royally screwed, as i am scrambling to cover other people’s shifts wherever i can in order to end up with paychecks that don’t laugh hysterically at my face.

bleh. sorry for the bitch session. i’m just feeling a bit ragged lately, and to top it all off, the last time that meagan and i got to hang out, i was so exhausted and stressed with everything else that has been going on that instead of getting down with our bad selves, i passed out and snored for the whole fucking night, keeping her up and annoying the piss out of her.

it would be swell if i could just win the lotto or something. obviously that is fanciful thinking, and quite harmful a train of thought to possess at that. i can’t rely on bullshit gambles like the lottery to solve my problems. what i *really* need to do is come up with some clever way of making large sums of money.

the problem is, i’m not all that clever. or at least, i’m not feeling anywhere near to being clever lately. for a spell, i contemplated selling the majority of my belongings, but there is hardly any value in anything i own, making that idea a waste. even if i did sell everything i owned, i’d either end up owing money somewhere, or i’d make less than my average paycheck. the amount i’d gleam from offloading all of my possessions would be so insulting it’s not even worth the effort. if i weren’t so far into the hole at this point, at least stocking up on hours at work and beefing up my paycheck considerably would be most beneficial, but until i can get out of the financial rut i have dug for myself, it’s really just a bleak landscape of scrounging for change to do even the most rudimentary tasks like eating meals and filling up my car with gas so i can even get to work, let alone go visit my girlfriend.

sigh.

enough of my ranting. if you’d be so kind, hop on over to my cafepress store and buy some shit so i can at least say that i made some kind of profit on it after having it for over a year without any business what-so-ever?

or not.



  • 7.16.2006

    i'm ready for my close up, mister demille 

    i suppose that now is just about roughly the possible time to provide those diligent readers of you that you be with an update on how things have been progressing on the film land of entrapment.

    you know. it’s that film. the one that craig and i started working on two years ago. yeah, that one. the one that *still* has yet to be completely finished.

    here’s why:

    i suck.

    no, wait.

    that’s not right.

    i swallow. ;-)

    in all seriousness though (even if i am hardly ever serious), the film is nearing completion. the major things that are left to takes the care of is the rest of the foley/sound effects work and dialogue editing, and then the mastering of the audio for the entire film. aside from that one day when david and i were at the foley stage, no other sound effects work has yet been done for the film, mostly due to david and i being in possession of conflicting schedules. hopefully in the next several weeks, we’ll be able to take the rolls of footage that craig has sent us on dvd, and get everything taken care of.

    the other major hangup is a last minute decision that craig and i made a few weeks ago. up until about a month ago, we were still fine-tuning and tweaking the film through various minor edits, trying to do our best to save several points in the movie that were suffering. in particular the biggest item that stands out for now is that one of our extras (who also was our lighting guy for one or two shoots before he hit the needle again) totally blew every single take we shot of one scene, and since we can’t go back and re-shoot the piece, the scene as a result takes a major hit. however, we have a bit of a solution worked up.

    we are going to digitally insert my good pal masato into the movie to play the part of the pathetic extra and do his best to fix the overall suckiness of the scene. this means several different things. the first is that we have to completely remove the original extra from that scene, so that we have a background plate shot that masato can be composited in on top of. this translates into many many long hours of work for me in adobe after effects, working with several digital still frames from the original segment to blend and construct a shot of the room with nobody else in it but our main actor.

    then we have to photograph masato in front of a green screen so that we can extract him from the green background and place him in the after effects session on a layer that is on top of the background plate.

    finally, we have to seperate out our main foreground actor from the scene, so that his section of the frame will be floating on top of the layer which masato will be in. that shall be the trickiest of the work involved in this, since the original actor was shot in the set on location, and not in front of a blue or green screen. had he been shot in front of a solid color backdrop, it would certainly be quite the walking of cake for us to layer everything in the shot with little issue.

    as it stands, since the actor was shot on the actual set, i have to go through major key frames of the video where our actor moves about, and “draw” a mask around him that isolates him from the rest of the frame. after this is done, he will be pasted back on top of everything else in the effects sequence, so that it will appear as if he actually is interacting with somebody who in reality performed the other half of the scene nearly two years and a thousand miles apart from when and where it was originally shot.

    hollywood magic, baby. oh yeah.

    so that’s a little of what happens to be going on at the moment with craig and i, as we move to push land of entrapment closer to completion.



  • 7.12.2006

    hey little sister shotgun 

    (due apologies – this post originally began on the second of july)


    remind me constantly that should i ever feel the compulsion to attach myself permanently by the means of matrimony with a person of the opposite sex, it should be overseen by an ordained impersonator of the elvis presley variety.

    personally, i hate weddings. a lot of women might take offense to that statement, since many members of the feminine persuasion share in this idyllic but impossible vision of some grandly fantastical event, but i don’t hate the *concept* of the ceremony itself – which is what i believe most people are so intrigued by – i dislike the actual execution. i think that in theory, the entire set of festivities are a very sentimentally wonderful idea. what usually ends up happening is that the families involved get overstressed for trivially stupid reasons, people are forced to sit in non-air conditioned sanctuaries (or outdoors, as i happen to be at the moment) around people they hardly know and in all likelihood would never care to, and undoubtedly at some point, the unholy song "chicken dance" (which even polka refuses to acknowledge as part of the genre) is called upon to portray a group of less than skilled dancers as even more so the fools than they already were making themselves out to be on the dance floor.

    if it weren’t for all the ridiculously absurd "issues" that arise during most weddings, i would be more than happy to provide my endorsement of such affairs. our society is wonderfully skilled at taking even the greatest of ideas and totally throwing monkey wrenches all up in the mess. i mean, really. instead of just celebrating the combining of two lives together by the binds of love, people spend their time worrying that one fucking flower is two inches off its mark in the central floral arrangement. i don’t get why engaged couples become so enraged/emotionally dependant upon such ultimately minor details. it’s all a crock of bullshit.

    there is such this big expectation/demand that weddings be the end-all/be-all of our lives. first it was graduation from high school, which would have been swell had the administration actually been able to have correctly pronounced the names of half of the graduating class. honestly, i doubt most people remember their high school graduation after five years pass by anyways. so the next "major" thing that we are to anticipate in life is either the college graduation, or a wedding.

    i’m more into the big picture of things. what is important is that you commit and dedicate the lives of two individuals to be pledged to one another because of a shared love – not that the ribbons on the posts in the reception hall are one inch longer than they were supposed to be, or that the balloons aren’t quite the right shade of lavender. seriously, get over it. big fucking whoop.

    in general i suppose that i am just annoyed that people get so caught up in minor inconveniences than they really ought. if you have such an all-encompassing problem with the way the ruffles on the curtains at your wedding look, you’re probably in for some incredible reality checks when truly important shit actually hits the fan at full force.

    oh yeah. the reason for this entire rant is that currently i am sweating my ass off outdoors in the sun, waiting for the wedding of some friends of ours up in the mountains to start. dad and i are doing the sound for the ceremony, and then dj-ing the music at the reception dance later on in the evening. and even though i am far less involved in this wedding than i have been with previously weddings that i have attended, i still can’t help but silently giggle at all the "problems" that magically show up and somehow threaten to kill all the romance. i’m always the one hoping that a family member starts an argument/fight, or that a jilted ex-lover reveals embarrassingly incriminating details of a rather personal nature for all those in attendance to reflect upon.

    hence why i strongly desire to have no part in some grandiose ceremony should the time ever come when i promise myself to another. the more scaled back, the better. even though i lucked out and my family will only have to spring for the rehearsal dinner (since the family of whatever bride i do eventually take will have to shoulder the financial burden of everything else), i want things to be as simplistic as possible.

    fanciful dreaming, i realize. in truth, i’ll probably get roped into some out of control behemoth of an event that will turn my gushing fiancé into a terribly fierce menace should the slightest bit of anything be remotely out of place or not in a manner in which she had envisioned since she was ten.

    i dunno. that’s just my take. back to you.


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