Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Before I forget, it's Wally Wednesday. Here he is eating dinner last night. I took it so you can see his nifty compression bandage that is hopefully taking care of his liquid sac problem so he can soon play again.

Monday, I turned my cut of the show over to the show creator to look at and give notes. So yesterday, I sat here all day waiting for notes. I thought I would get them around lunch, but as it turns out, he was too busy writing our next script to look at my show. I kept waiting and waiting, and he never had time to look at it. I was here for about 10 hours yesterday and did absolutely nothing but wait. It was one of the most exhausting days I've ever had. I've learned over time that I'm much better off being super busy than sitting around doing nothing.

Did I mention that I got tickets to the Police concert? My friend, John (you may know him as KingsFan) got two tickets, and is letting me buy one off him. I'm quite excited because I've always wanted to see the Police, but they were already pretty much done touring by the time I was old enough to see them. To make it doubly good, the Foo Fighters are opening, who I also love and have never seen live.

In honor of the occasion, the song for today is "Wrapped Around Your Finger" by The Police from their 1983 album Synchronicity. There are so many great songs I had to choose from, even from this album, that it was hard to pick just one. I always have a fond memory of this particular song because it had such a cool video. They shot it overcranked to a sync track that was sped up, so when they played it back, the result was slow motion video that was now in sync with the normal speed of the song. So cool. Also, my friend Jason and I were amazed that anyone could use the phrase "Caught between the Scylla and Charybdes" and words like Mephistopheles in commercial song and get away with it. If you haven't seen the video in a while, you should really check it out because it still holds up today:

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I'm sitting on the phone with Samsung again. If any of you were wondering, I still don't have my phone back and repaired in my hands. For those of you keeping track, I bought this phone only 4 months ago, and Samsung has had possession of it for nearly two months of that time, all because their company doesn't "believe" in giving replacements but rather insists on trying to repair the device. In the meantime, I've been stuck using my old, broken phone. It can basically make and receive calls, but the readout doesn't work so I can't see who is calling, can't see my phone book, and can't send or read text messages.

Wally went to the vets yesterday and got a big red compression bandage put around his chest to try to relieve the water buildup at his incision site. At least it's not drooping down in his loose skin now...the bandage is holding it tight to his body. I wondered why they put a red bandage on him. Didn't they have labrador colored bandages? Or, failing that, maybe a boy color? I'll try to take a photo of him tonight to post on Wednesday.

The song for today is "Goody Two Shoes" by Adam Ant off his 1982 album Friend or Foe. Loved this song, though today, I'm still tired of it from being overplayed. Definitely a Golden Skate song. I only remember a few hits from Adam Ant, though I believe he has a huge UK following. And though I knew he acted, I didn't realize how extensive his acting resume is.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Don't know how many of you may have heard about this story, since USC's hockey is only a club program, but I thought it was pretty funny. Apparently, USC was on a road game when, during a stoppage of play, their goalie decided to pull down his pants and moon the crowd, ride his stick like a pony, and slap his ass. I'm sure your normal college hockey crowd would not be terribly offended, but USC happened to be playing in Logan, Utah against Brigham Young University. Goalie Mickey Meyer was cited for lewdness, ticketed, and ejected from the game. I'm would have liked to have seen video or a photo, because goalies are loaded up with equipment and everything is strapped on. I'd like to see how he got his pants down, including his jock and the socks that come all the way up your thighs.

I was talking to my friend, Jim, in Australia about what we should go see in Melbourne. As it turns out, he's lived there his whole life and hasn't done much touristy stuff, has never seen an Australian Rules Football game, etc. I sent him a list of things I'd read about in my travel book. One thing my friend Eric (who traveled extensively in Oz) said everyone did in Melbourne was go to Philip Island. I didn't know much about it until I looked it up. Not only do they have a Koala sanctuary (my sister will be so jealous) but every evening at sunset, you can witness the march of the penguins from the sea to their sandy burrows. At first Jim had said, "Well, Philip Island is sort of far away." I looked it up - it's only an hour and a half drive. I told him I absolutely had to go. I must see the penguins march!

The song for the day is "Centerfold" by the J. Geils Band off their 1981 release Freeze Frame. Oh, to rollerskate again. This is one of those songs that takes me right back there, and to the early days of MTV. I don't know much about this band, but always enjoyed this song.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

I was driving home from the rink last night around 11 o'clock. Everyone was driving like a moron, and it made me wonder where were the cops when you needed them. My next thought was that it had been an unbelievably long time since I, myself, had been pulled over and ticketed. Probably over 10 years. I got into Pasadena going up the 110 and continued up Arroyo. I was tired, sitting at a red light, and looking diagonally across the intersection at a new building that seemed to have popped up overnight, when I saw the light turn green. I hit the gas and went through the intersection. Unfortunately, the green I had seen was only for the left turn green arrow. More unfortunately, there had been an L.A. County Sheriff sitting right behind me when I unknowingly ran the red light. I actually didn't know why he was pulling me over. Moreover, I didn't have any paperwork for my new car in my vehicle. Perfect. All things said and done, it wasn't too bad. As far as I know. He gave me my ticket and I went on my way. For some reason, they no longer put the cost of the citation on the ticket, so I don't know how much it's going to cost me, but I'm sure a few hundred dollars plus traffic school. Maybe someone who has been ticketed recently can update me on the process?

On the upside, my team won last night against a team aptly named the Blockheads. I think I may have mentioned them before. They're the ones with an actual coach behind the bench. He used to show up in a suit and tie. He actually had to go through the process of getting certified as a USA Hockey coach so that he could sit behind the bench without being a liability to the rink. Just so I'm making myself clear here, I play in an adult beer league. The fact that these guys have a coach is laughable, especially given their record. Last night was the first time we've played them in two seasons where one of their guys didn't get ejected during the game. Although, thanks to the "new NHL" rules we've adopted, there were 21 penalties last night. That's quite a lot for a non-checking league. At any rate, we did win, 6-1, and are still in the running for the playoffs.

The song for the day is "Kiss Me Deadly" by Lita Ford off her 1988 album. I heard this on the radio last night, and I had nearly forgotten about it, but oddly, I still knew all the words. It's hard to forget lyrics that start with "I went to a party last Saturday night / I didn't get laid, I got in a fight..." I remember when this song came out, everyone was like, "Ooh! She said 'laid'!" Ford had been one of the founding members of The Runaways in the 70s, a teenage all-girl punk-metal band that included Joan Jett. Unlike Jett, Lita Ford would not enjoy huge commercial success. It could be because she looked like a complete whore, or maybe that's just why I never liked her. I'm happy to see chicks who can rock, but why'd she have to whore it up so much?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

It's Saturday and sunny out, though it's cold right now. Looks to be a nice day for me to sit around and do a lot of nothing.

I was talking with my neighbor this morning, and was trying to convince her to teach her 2-year-old (white) daughter nothing but ebonics. What I wouldn't give to see her saying things like, "Oh no you din't!" and "Fo' sho" and "Can I axe you somethin'?" That would be so awesome.

Several months ago, a friend of mine, a guy who has always been way ahead of the computer/internet curve, tried to explain to me the idea of Net Neutrality. It wasn't that long of a conversation, and I sort of got the idea. Well, for those of you who also don't fully understand the concept, has put together a video that clearly explains it. If you care about free speech and the internet, I highly recommend you watch it. You can get more information at their website.

The song of the day is "Something So Strong" by Crowded House off their 1986 debut album. I like Neil Finn, no matter what band he's in at the moment. I own a few Crowded House albums and have enjoyed them all. Their debut was a great album, and a definite example of the sound of 1986.

Friday, February 23, 2007

TGIF. I woke up with a splitting headache this morning, after waking up several times during the night. I'm can think of nothing other than going to sleep tonight and not having to wake up to an alarm clock tomorrow.

Since Wally has this fluid sac now, that needs a hot compress twice a day, I've been taking him to work every day. While he loves going to work, and he loves his new car, he still does not enjoy being in a vehicle for 2 hours a day (nor should he) and being at work really tires him out. This morning, he was so tired, he actually refused to get in the car, so I had to leave him home at the last minute. Now the dog walkers will have to try to put a hot compress on him.

I had enough time last night to watch The Office and Scrubs. While I've always been a big supporter of the Jim/Pam relationship, I've been intrigued this season by the new Roy, who seems to have changed so much since Pam dumped him at the end of last season. However, old Roy reared his ugly head last night. Now, with Pam single again, will she ever hook up with Jim? And what will ultimately happen to Karen if they do get together?

Don't know if I've ever mentioned this, but something made me think of it today, and I thought I'd pass it on because it's an interesting story. Though my family lived in a couple of different houses when I was very young, most of my childhood was spent in the same house in Vancouver. My parents divorced when I was a Junior in high school and my mom, my sister, and I moved into an apartment, but until then, from age 7 to age 17, I lived in that house on 56th ave. Recently, nearly 20 years after we left that house, my sister met a woman through her church who she became very good friends with. She was invited to her home for some get together, only to discover that her friend now lives in the house that we grew up in. My nephews are now very good friends with her kids, and sometimes they spend the night over there. I haven't had a chance to visit for myself, but am looking forward to a time when I'll get to walk through the old house again.

Plans for the weekend: finish up work on the short film, learn how to ride my bike with my feet clipped to it, watch a bunch of The Shield Season 2, sleep, and continue to plan my trip to Australia (I'm actually thinking of buying my plane tickets).

The song for the day is "Under The Milky Way" by The Church off their 1988 album Starfish. This was another discovery in a pile of discarded albums at the radio station, though this song met with some minor commercial success. The Church was one of my first introductions to indie type music. I don't know any other songs they did, though I see on Amazon that they have quite a few albums.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

It was cold, then it got warm, and now it's raining. This is about as close to having a season as we get here in Southern California.

I don't have too much to write about today. The director/producer watched the show and said it came out better than he expected it would, given the script. He said, " doesn't suck." I told him that's what I strive for. I'm thinking of putting that phrase on my business cards.

Working with the director again today, and trying to fit in taking Wally to the vet at some point so they can look at his giant fluid filled sac of flesh that doesn't seem to be getting any smaller. If I woke up with something like that on my body, I would FREAK OUT, so Wally's being a pretty good sport about it.

I'm looking forward to the weekend. Not only do I not have to work, I really don't have any work to take home with me. Though I do have some short film stuff to work on. I'm anticipating a decent amount of time sitting around and doing nothing. Blissful.

The song of the day is "Someday, Someway" by Marshall Crenshaw off his 1982 self-titled debut album. Yet another song that reminds me of those early MTV days, but I couldn't name a single other song that Crenshaw ever recorded. This song, in particular, is a great example of early 80s pop. Happy song, simple lyrics, and a melody that gets easily lodged in your head.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ugh. Busy, busy day today. I have to turn my cut over to the director who is also one of our executive producers. I had planned on getting in early, but slept through my alarm. Because of my late start, I got stuck in the peak of rush hour and it took me nearly an hour and a half to get to work.

So, the fluid at Wally's mass removal site was caused by me letting him be too active directly after his surgery. They had told me not to do much with him the first week, which I didn't, for the most part. I thought they meant because his incision points would hurt, but after a couple of days, he seemed fine and wanted to play. It's a long explanation, but they were only able to drain a small amount out. The remainder is too viscous to be drained by needle, and they want me to do hot compresses twice a day to try to get the liquid to absorb into the body. If that doesn't work, they will have to bandage him. And if that doesn't work, they'll have to drain it surgically. I have the most high maintenance dog ever. He's lucky he's so damn cute.

Sorry I haven't had any current photos recently. No time, and plus - cell phone still being repaired, so I can't take photos with that, either. Here he is taking a break during a hike at Runyan Canyon.

One of the funniest things I've seen in a long time is this PSA by George Takai in response to NBA player Tim Hardaway's homophobic public remarks. I always liked Takai, but now I love him even more:

The song for today is "Valley Girl" by Frank and Moon Unit Zappa. Stupid song, I know, but it's certainly a big piece of pop culture from the 80s. In fact, this novelty song from Zappa's 1982 album Ship Arriving To Late To Save A Drowning Witch was the only commercially successful hit he ever had. The song, which made fun of the Los Angeles "Valley Girl" talk of the early 80s, inspired the movie of the same name that would be released the next year. Loved the movie, tolerated the song. When I was in the 6th grade (which was the perfect age to appreciate this song), we had to choreograph our own jump rope routines, and my friends and I wanted to do it to this song. The teacher shut us down. She was opposed to the word "bitchin'" which apparently sounded way too much like "bitch."

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I've got an incredibly busy day today, but wanted to post now before I had to get into everything. I meant to get in early this morning, around 7am, but I couldn't seem to wake up and here it is, 9 o'clock, and I'm just getting started. I also have to take time out to run Wally to the vet this afternoon to get his staples removed. His left side, where he had the biggest mass, looks all lump again. I think he has a bunch of fluid built up in there. I hope this is normal, and something they can easily drain when I take him in.

Speaking of Wally, for those of you who have dogs, perhaps you'd like to buy them one of these bubble makers. The bubble machine, called "Fetch a Bubble," blows out chicken scented soap. I've seen before how dogs go nuts for the bubbles, I'm just not sure how good it is for them to be lapping up all that soap out of the air, no matter what it smells or tastes like.

The song for the day is "Wouldn't It Be Good" by Nik Kershaw off his 1983 release Human Racing. So many good songs came out in 1983, and this was one of them. I always loved this song when I heard it, and I recently saw it being used on "Extras" which reminded me to use it on the blog. It had a very cool 80s video where they were clearly discovering new things you could do with video and keying. If you don't remember it, check it out here:

Monday, February 19, 2007

I don't know how many of you will remember this, but back in the 80s, in magazines like Teen Beat, there was always a page of ads with people listing their favorite bands and such looking for pen pals. (Yes, pen pals. Where you actually had to HAND WRITE a letter and put it in the mail and wait for a reply weeks later). I noticed one day that a girl had posted who was from Australia. I thought it would be cool to have a pen pal in Australia, which I loved, so I sent her a note. She responded to say she had received such a huge response that she couldn't possibly write to everyone, but suggested I post my own ad in Australia's version of Teen Beat, which I actually did. Apparently, they published it, because a couple of months later, I started to receive letter upon letter from Down Under.

I was 17-years-old and had nothing better to do, so I wrote back to everyone I could. I started up a correspondence with quite a few Aussies from all over that country. Little by little, as the months and years passed, they dropped off one by one, until by my early 20s, I had only one pen pal left in Australia. His name was Jim and he lived in Melbourne, and other than having a fascination with each other's countries, we really didn't have that much in common. But we wrote back and forth religiously about what music we were listening to (me: rock; him: dance), argued about why Madonna did or didn't suck, talked about school and movies and all the things young people talk about, and became pretty good friends.

Amazingly, Jim and I have managed to keep in touch over the years. (It's been sort of easy, since Jim's address has never changed). With the advent of the internet, it's gotten easier. We exchange e-mails regularly, chat online when the planets align and we're both on at the same time, and every year, I get a birthday card in the mail from my old friend, Jim. It's been nearly 20 years since we exchanged those first letters, and finally, I'm going to Australia this summer and we'll be able to meet face to face. Jim is giddy with excitement. He can't believe we're finally going to meet. And though I keep waffling on whether or not I'll actually be able to go due to many complicated circumstances, every time I chat with him and hear how excited he is, I tell myself that one way or the other, even if I can't do the tour around Oz that I want to do, at the very least, I must make it to Melbourne. Finally.

In honor of Australia, the song for the day is "Don't Change" by INXS off their 1982 release Shabooh Shoobah. Sure, I liked INXS later in the decade when they got popular and had a lot of hits, but I REALLY liked them early on when they had a much more distinct sound. This is one of my favorite songs from the 80s and it's still on heavy rotation on my iPod. I've had friends who have seen them with their new lead singer who have been very impressed by him. I'm sure it's an enjoyable show. But I wish I had taken the time to see them perform back in the day when Michael Hutchence was still around. Here's the video for your entertainment:

Sunday, February 18, 2007

It's a beautiful day outside today. A perfect day for mountain biking in the hills behind JPL as my friends and I will be doing later today. I haven't been biking since our mishap last month, and either has Keary, who got over 30 stitches in his face after the fall he took off his bike. Let's hope today is a much safer ride.

It's funny how quickly the weather can change here in Southern California. It's usually only about a 2 week transition from turning your heat on to turning your air conditioning on. Just a couple of weeks ago, it was quite cold out at night, but last night I slept with the window open.

Here's an odd story from the internet, and a reminder that we should all try to make friends who will check on us if they haven't heard from us in a couple of weeks. In New York, police were called to a home to investigate a report of a burst water pipe. Inside the home, they discovered the 70 year old resident sitting mummified in front of a blaring television set. Vincenzo Ricardo, who had died of natural causes, was a diabetic and had been blind for years. When his neighbors stopped seeing him around, they assumed he had been moved to a long term care facility. No one knew why the power to his home had never been turned off, since he hadn't been heard from since December of 2005. Again, make friends!

Could it be possible that I've never used a Blue Oyster Cult song as the song of the day? I'm going a little out of 80s mode to bring you "Don't Fear The Reaper" off the band's 1976 album Agents of Fortune. I could have stayed in the 80s ("Burnin' For You"), but it wasn't parodied on SNL and I wanted to link to that here. One of the best skits ever. I saw these guys perform in the late 80s in a very small club in Portland, and it was a great show.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

My friend, Henry, turned me on to the fact that Chinese New Year is tomorrow. It makes me want to go down to Chinatown to see what's going on. The Chinese really go off for New Year's, and I know there will be a lot of exciting things happening down there. I checked the Chinatown website for Los Angeles and saw that, indeed, there are a lot of things planned. In fact, it looks like it's about a month long celebration. Tomorrow, Chinese New Year. Next Saturday, the Golden Dragon Parade. Next Sunday, Chinese New Year's Festival. The following weekend, a Lantern Festival. My mom, who is Chinese-American, said they used to get invites to the festivities in Portland's Chinatown years and years ago. A few years ago she was down there, and someone even came up to her and said, "You're Grace's daughter, aren't you?"

This is the year of the Boar. I was born in the year of the Boar, so I'm hoping it will be a very good year for me. So far, with the promotion and raise, new car, healthy-thin Wally, and an upcoming trip to Australia (fingers crossed) it looks like it will be.

The song for the day is "Every Time I Think Of You" by Eric Martin. The song was released off his 1985 album I'm Only Fooling Myself. This was another discovery made in the piles of free records that came regularly to the radio station I worked at. This song was never much of a hit, and never saw much airplay, but I liked it. And I remembered the voice when I heard it again when Martin fronted the 80s hard rock band Mr. Big, known mostly for their one-hit ballad "Be With You." While searching for the album art, I noticed that he's actually released a ton of albums, so someone must be listening to him.

Friday, February 16, 2007

I left work at 9pm last night and, unbelievably, hit a ton of traffic going home. I hoped everyone was leaving early for the long weekend, but when I came to work this morning...more traffic. I'm quite buried in work right now and have to work tomorrow, so I thought I'd try to get this post out early so I don't have to worry about getting to it all day. As long as my drive and computer hold up (I've been having problems with one or the other lately) I can work from home tomorrow and hang out with Wally. Otherwise, it's another weekend work day across town.

I've been so busy lately that I've been ignoring my Statcounter for this site. I used to get about 8-9 return visitors every day. Now, I see I'm sometimes getting as many as 18! (Not to mention the other 20 or so people who visit this site daily). I wonder who everyone is. Who is the person in Austin? Or the person in Sacramento who has the most visits? Or the person in San Jose? If any of you are out there, please introduce yourselves.

I mentioned yesterday about "Lost" losing a day's worth of film. I mentioned it to our A-Camera operator, who said, "Sweet!" As it turns out, his brother is the A-Camera operator on "Lost" and he loves it when bad things happen to him.

The song of the day is "Cult Of Personality" by Living Color off their 1988 album Vivid. I'm not familiar with any of their other music, and they may have been a one hit wonder, but what a hit! I loved this song, and still enjoy listening to it, especially the Kennedy sound bite. It rocked, yet it was socially and politically conscious.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The show "Lost," which films in Hawaii, sends undeveloped cannisters of film back to Los Angeles to be processed for editing and such. There is probably no reliable film developing businesses there to do the work, so it has to be done here. The other day, they sent their film, as usual, through the airport on its way to L.A. Unfortunately, though all the canisters were clearly marked to advise against this, airport personnel accidentally sent the film through an X-ray machine, erasing an entire day's worth of work. Aside from the fact that this is probably a $200,000 mistake, just the thought of having to reshoot an entire day is horrifying. Can you imagine having to do an entire day all over again?

How cool are these big, plush Tetris pieces? I know they're made for kids, but I still think I might like some of them in my house.

I'm surprised that I haven't used this song of the day before, but according to Blogger, I haven't (as if I can trust that). It's "Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone)" by Glass Tiger off their 1986 album The Thin Red Line. This Canadian band broke in the US with a few hits, mostly from this album. It certainly didn't hurt to have the support (and backing vocals on this song) of fellow countryman and huge 80s rock star Brian Adams. Like most Canadian bands, I have to assume they had a more lengthy career and bigger following up north. This was certainly a memorable and fun song.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Sorry for the late post. I'm still in dailies, and I got 9 hours of film in from shooting yesterday. That's 9 hours of footage I have to watch before I can even begin to edit it. I can watch in multi-cam mode where I can see one performance on all three cameras at the same time, but still - that's a lot of footage. (LA - you would like JS less if you had to watch him stopping and starting for 9 hours!)

I saw this article on the internet yesterday where Paula Abdul insisted she's never been drunk. Not only that, but she insists that in her 20 years in the music industry, she has also never done recreational drugs. She admitted to taking prescription drugs for arthritis. I have to wonder what kind of narcotics she's taking for that and if she knows you shouldn't mix it with NyQuil. She must think we're all idiots. How can she explain this?

Also seen on the internet, the new "Reversible-Destiny Lofts," an innovative new housing development in Tokyo. The apartments were designed specifically for the aged. Says designer Shusaku Arakawa, "People, particularly old people, should be in an environment that stimulates their senses and invigorates their lives." With this in mind, he designed the living area as follows: a dining room with a grainy, surfaced floor that slopes erratically, a sunken kitchen and a study with a concave floor. Electric switches are located in unexpected places on the walls so you have to feel around for the right one. A glass door to the veranda is so small you have to bend to crawl out. You constantly lose balance and gather yourself up, grab onto a column and occasionally trip and fall. Not only does this NOT sound like a fun place to live (I would kill myself or someone nearby), it certainly isn't a place I would send a senior citizen to. It would take about 10 minutes for anyone's grandma to break a hip in there.

I forgot it was Wednesday and had to re-post. Here he is last summer in the best 5 dollars I ever spent.

The song for the day is "Crash" by The Primitives off their 1988 album Lovely. I had forgotten about this song until I just stumbled across it on my iPod. A friend in high school turned me onto it. I believe this was their first album, and this is the only song that received much airplay. Released in the late 80s, it's the perfect example of the change in music as the decade wound down toward the 90s and alternative music began to rise up.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I love listening to Kevin & Bean. I really do. I've been listening to their morning show ever since I came to Los Angeles, and I can't stomach listening to anyone else at that time of day. However, if they keep letting Psycho Mike make noise in the background, I may have to seriously rethink my choice. I didn't used to mind it when he was occasionally their go-to guy, and they would have something specific to talk to him about. However, I've heard the "I'm faking an orgasm" sound about 1,000 too many times in the past month, and I'm about to go down there and beat the crap out of him. I think things like that stopped being funny for me about 20 years ago. Also, have you heard him laugh in the background? What kind of fake "Here I am! Here I am! Look at me!" laugh is that? Ugh...I'm so fed up. It seems like neither Kevin nor Bean like it, either. I know Kevin's no stud, but surely he and Ralph could kick Mike's ass? Or shove a sock in his mouth or something?

The song for the day is "Valotte" by Julian Lennon off his same titled 1984 album. I was in the 7th grade when this song came out, and going through quite the Beatles phase. Firstly, I didn't realize John had an older son - at the time, I was only familiar with Sean. Secondly, I was simply amazed at how much like John Julian both looked and sounded. Now, I can certainly tell the difference, but back then, I was fascinated by it. I wonder how difficult it was for him to always be compared to his dad.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me-eee...Happy Birthday to me! I sort of forgot about it this morning, got up and went about my day. Driving to work, I was listening to Kevin & Bean (as usual), and during the showbiz report they read off the celebrity birthdays. When they mentioned Christina Ricci, I thought, "Hey...she and I share the same birthday" which I knew from working with her on Ally McBeal. And then I thought, "Wait a second!" My birthday wish is that my dog will get better and stop crapping in my house.

I've been dropping not-so-subtle hints about ice cream cakes for the past week. Hopefully, the guys at work will come through.

The song of the day (don't laugh) is "Wham Rap" by Wham! Now, I know there are so many other classic Wham! songs I could have picked, but this one has always cracked me up. Could you get some whiter guys to rap? The song came off their 1983 release Fantastic, but was certainly not known at all here in the U.S. until they broke big with "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go." The sad thing is that I still know the words to this song. They will be burned in my mind forever:

"Hey, everybody, take a look at me
I've got street credibilty
I may not have a job but I have a good time
With the boys that I meet down on the line
I said I don't need you
So you don't approve?
Well, who asked you to?"

Sunday, February 11, 2007

I think I may have the stomach flu. It's been going around at work. It's always hard for me to tell if I have the flu or not because I already have Crohn's Disease. I did throw up Friday morning when I was getting ready for work (vomiting is especially fun when you're recently had surgery in your throat), and was then so nauseous that day that I eventually went home early. I was supposed to meet a friend in the OC today for lunch and to pick up Season 2 of The Shield to watch. (Season 1 was awesome! If you haven't watched this show, you MUST). Unfortunately, I think I will be taking Wally to the vet instead as he is most definitely NOT better. I feel horrible for him. First, I drag him into surgery and he doesn't know what's going on, and now his tummy is all upset and he won't eat.

On a different note, I bought a new car yesterday. Well, I bought a Certified Pre-Owned, which is a new thing for me. I've been buying new cars since I was 18. I had my share of used ones as a teenager, and once I no longer had my father at my constant disposal to fix them, I decided I should really buy ones that I knew would work. At any rate, I wasn't planning on buying a car yesterday. I've been driving a Volvo S60 for 4 years and have absolutely loved it. If it was up to me, I would have driven it forever. I've never had a single problem with it. But here's the problem. Wally doesn't fit in that sedan so well, and he never has. The back seats lay down, but not completely flat. The back is then opened up to the trunk. What happens is that Wally gets in the back and over time, slides into the trunk. You wouldn't even know he was in the car if you walked by. And he doesn't really LIKE the ride, so while I'm driving, I can hear him breathing heavily, and I look over my shoulder to see his legs splayed out and him trying to hold on for dear life, way back in the trunk. Over the years, his presence in the trunk has worn down the bottom of it, so sometimes he is panting and laying on top of the spare tire, and all the while, my trunk is absolutely coated in white dog hair.

For a couple of years, I've been checking out SUVs so Wally would have more room, but I was too upside down in my car. I actually still am, but the dealership was able to help me cover some of that cost and got me into a 2004 Volvo XC90. It is awesome! I love Volvos, and this one drives just like my car did, not like a truck. When I brought it home yesterday, I brought Wally down to check it out. I opened up the back and he hopped right up. I got him down to chase after the ball, and next thing I knew, he had climbed back up again. He was sitting there, tail wagging, wanting to go for a ride. I said, "I hope you like it, buddy. I got it for you." (Dad - I didn't get the BMW because it wasn't as nice).

Once I chose the artist for song of the day, it was really hard to pick just one song. I forgot how many hits they had. I'm talking about Hall & Oates, and for today, I've picked "Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid" from their 1984 release Big Bam Boom. I was looking them up on the internet and simply forgot the plethora of singles they had. I liked these guys when I was a young kid and they played them at the roller rink, and then listened as their sound matured into the late 80s. I've always loved the sound of Daryl Hall's voice, though to this day, I'm still trying to figure out what it is John Oates and his porn-stache did for the duo. I assume he shared song writing responsibilities, but so do a lot of guys, and Elton John was never John & Taupin, you know?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

I thought I had the weekend off, but it's turning out to be not so true. It's already 1pm on Saturday, and I've been running around for hours trying to take care of a bunch of errands. On top of that, Wally has been sick to his stomach (probably from his medication) and I'll spare you the details, but my whole house smells of poo. Additionally, I myself left work early yesterday because I didn't feel well, and now I have a day of work to do at home over the weekend. Thank god for Avid Xpress Pro. An editing system that used to cost over $60K can now be bought for your home for under $ my case, WELL under $5K. I can work from home and not go into the studio, but right now, it means editing on my 17" laptop - a limited desktop for video editing.

I also have some work to do on the short film I'm trying to finish up. Hopefully, it will be finished in the near future and ready for the world to see. For now, you can read about it here, especially you Canadians, as it was filmed in Ottawa with Canadian actors.

The song for the day is "Walking On Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves, quite possibly the quintessential song of the Big 80s. It practically defines the whole happy-go-lucky, Converse All Star, bi-level hair wearing that was 80s pop music and is the perfect summer song. Their 1985 self-titled album was actually their 3rd, but the first to be released in the U.S. They were definitely a one hit wonder, at least in this country. Band members of The Waves would go on to form the Presidents of the United States of America of semi alt rock fame. "Sunshine" has been used in many a commercial and movie. I think my favorite is in High Fidelity when Jack Black cranks up this song in the indie record store and dances around like a maniac.

Friday, February 09, 2007

I've been busy with work all morning, but I thought it was time to take a small break and post something. Not that I have very much to say except that today is Friday and I have the weekend off. In fact, I actually have most of the weekends off between now and the end of the season. This is due to the fact that, to catch up on our rather behind schedule production, we've decided to double up for 8 straight days. That means two separate crews on two stages shooting two different shows simultaneously. Eight days of double ups is a pretty big deal. Usually, when you need to do that, someone writes an "L.A. episode" where one of the crews can go film on location around the city while the other crew shoots another episode on the stages, but we did that at the end of last season.

The only thing I'm going to mention about Anna Nicole Smith's death is how horrible I think it is that someone walking by shot video as the paramedics tried to resuscitate her. Doubly horrible is the fact that the company that shot it has managed to sell it for half a million dollars.

The song for the day is Kim Carnes' "Bette Davis Eyes" off her 1981 album Mistaken Identity. The song went on to win Song Of The Year at the Grammy's. I never realized she was a cross-over artist, but her roots are in country music, and after her own performing fame, she went on to write for several other country artists. Her raspy voice singing this song will always remind me of early MTV.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I'm about 99% sure I saw Alex Winter on Bones last night. I didn't even know he still acted. Not since Peter Scolari has an actor wished he had become nearly as famous as his early acting partner.

I'm on my second day of dailies for my second show, four hours of film has already been transferred, and yet I don't have a single complete scene to begin editing, which means I get to sit around and do nothing for half a day while I get behind. Thankfully, the schedule for this episode isn't nearly as short as the last one. I should hopefully get to make up the time later on.

I got an e-mail yesterday from one of my best friends. He's done many, many things in his life, including spending the better part of three years working in Antarctica. While he was there, he became very close with a doctor and his wife, a nurse. Many, many years later, they still keep in touch. He recently saw them and they told him about the work they are currently doing in Africa, trying to help the sick and the poor. The beautiful thing about what the doctor and his wife do is that they don't do it under the flag of any country, nor under the name of any church. They do it solely on their own financing, and have turned down assistance from many a church. They themselves live in near poverty, spending everything they have to further their own aid mission. My friend, moved as he was by their story, asked what he could do to help. He's now decided to spend September of this year with them in Tanzania helping to build a new laboratory for disease prevention and detection. He'll spend 12 hour days running wire, painting walls, carrying ladders.

Not sure why I'm mentioning this at all except that I was very moved by his decision to do this, although knowing him, it doesn't surprise me at all. Jason has never ceased to amaze me with all that he has accomplished in life. If you asked him, he may very well tell you he hasn't done much, but it's so far from the truth. He is the ultimate reliable friend who would give you the shirt off his back, so seeing him do something like this seems almost predictable. I hope he makes a difference over there, with what little time he has, and that he returns home safe and healthy.

The song for the day is "I Don't Mind At All" from Bourgeois Tagg off their 1987 album Yoyo. I don't know much about these guys, Brent Bourgeois and Larry Tagg (produced by Todd Rundgren), though I'm familiar with a few of their songs. This song was a flash in the pan and often not remembered by many, but it was very Beatlesque and reminiscent of "Yesterday." If you've never heard it, see it here:

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Today is my 100th post.

Wally was very woozy when I picked him up at the vet’s yesterday, and very wobbly on his feet this morning. Poor little guy had been shaved on both sides of his torso with lots of big red stitches. He did get some doggy Vicodin, so he should be fine (he must take after his mom). Here’s the best part. When I went in last week to find out how much it would cost (thinking it was out of my price range), the vet handed me a written quote for $550-650, depending on how long he was under for. When she called me after the surgery to tell me the lumps had come out easily, I assumed it would be the lower number. When I went to pick him up, they told me the total would be $1,050! My eyes nearly popped out of my head. As it turns out, the young vet who had given me the quote had made some horrible mistakes – the first being that she only quoted me for the removal of one lump, though I asked her when I saw the price seemed low if it was for one or both and she told me both. Secondly, she didn’t quote me for half of the anesthesia or something. At any rate, HUGE mistake.

She apologized and I just looked at her like, “And…?” They weren’t planning on coming down on the price. I said a written quote is a type of contract and you can’t increase the cost nearly 50% without notifying me and then expect me to pay. She went and talked to the head doctor who told her to “just” charge me cost - $850. I said that was still sort of unacceptable being that it was still almost a 30% difference from the highest price I’d been quoted. I appreciated that she had made a huge, accidental mistake, but I didn’t think it should be my responsibility to pay for it. The truth is, had I known it was that expensive, I wouldn't have done it for another year. I ended up having to talk to the head vet personally, who didn’t seem to understand his responsibility as the owner of the business in this situation. Long story short, I eventually agreed to paying $750, but not happily. I wouldn’t have been so upset if the vet had not basically tried to make it sound like they were doing me a favor by giving it to me at cost, and that I should just accept the verbal apology and not expect to pay less than the surgery was actually worth. The cherry on top of the cake was when he said that me taking the $200 loss personally would have less of an impact on me than it would on his business to take the same loss.

At any rate, Wally is doing OK and spending the day at home with many, many friends stopping in to take care of him. Here’s a photo of him with his big owie. (He has a matching one on the other side).

The song for today is “Dream Police” by Cheap Trick off the 1979 album of the same name. I could have stayed in the 80s and went with “The Flame,” but their earlier stuff was so much better. My older sister loved Cheap Trick and had several posters of them on her wall. I think she actually saw them at the US Festival in ’82. I’ve never seen a band that looked less like a rock band – Robin Zander, maybe, but two of the other guys look like they could have been friends of my dad’s or something. They would never make it today where you have to be able to sing AND look good. This is yet another song that reminds me of those old roller skating days.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

For those of you interested, my first solo edited show airs tonight at 10pm on ABC.

I dropped Wally off at the vet’s this morning for his surgery. He weighed in at 99 lbs! His diet food is sure working. He weighed 111 in November when I first changed his diet. He will look even more slim and sleek when he gets the two big fatty tumors removed from his ribs.

I read this story today about the female astronaut who assaulted another woman who was a rival for the attention of a male astronaut. Lisa Marie Nowak drove 12 hours from Houston to Orlando to meet her opposition’s landing plane. She then followed the other woman, U.S. Air Force Capt. Colleen Shipman, to the long term parking lot, tried to get into Shipman’s car, and then doused her with pepper spray. When police arrived, they found Nowak “wearing a trench coat and wig and had a knife, BB pistol, and latex gloves in her car. They also found diapers, which Nowak said she used so she wouldn't have to stop on the 1,000-mile drive.” Now, I’ve done road trips before, even road trips when I’ve been in a hurry. But seriously, in 12 hours, how many times would you possibly have to stop to use the restroom (assuming you weren’t drinking a ton of liquid)? I can’t imagine any situation where it would occur to me that wearing adult diapers might be the solution to my problem. Also, don't they go through some sort of psychological evaluation before they get sent into space? You have to wonder what happened to make someone go from basically normal to completely bat shit crazy.

The song for the day is “Our House” by Madness. The song comes off their 1983 self-titled LP. I have to be honest in saying I hated this song in the early 80s when it came out and was played endlessly on MTV. I didn’t learn to appreciate it until much, much later. Since I wasn’t in college (or in England) during that decade, I don’t know much about the band, but I do like this song now. They have a ton of albums out, so I assume they have a pretty big following.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Wow – what a difference a couple of weeks makes in the weather here. Just a few weeks ago, it was consistently in the 40s when I left for work in the morning, and today it was nearly 70. Yesterday, I was able to wear shorts and open up my windows for the first time in forever. Of course, maybe the weather has been better for awhile, but I’ve been locked away in my ice box of an edit bay for too long. At any rate, Wally and I both enjoyed our Sunday off.

I did a ton of errands this weekend and caught up on my Tivo. I even had time to sit around and watch a few episodes of The Shield last night because there was no new programming on for me (stupid Super Bowl). I was also able to spend several hours on the internet in the afternoon researching my trip to Australia, which is finally beginning to gel.

How could I mention the Red Rockers yesterday without going on to pick the Red Rider’s “Lunatic Fringe” as the song of the day today? The song comes off the band’s 1981 release As Far As Siam, but also enjoyed a resurgence in 1985 when it was featured on the Vision Quest soundtrack. I appreciate that even the album clipart from Amazon says "Value Plus" on it. Enjoy the video from this one hit wonder:

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Blog reader Diane asked yesterday what shows I Tivo. Many of these are cable shows, so they have short seasons or summer seasons. I also only tape new episodes. Here's the list, in no particular order:

Two and a Half Men
Desperate Housewives
The Office
My Name Is Earl
Family Guy
Big Love
The 4400
King of Queens

The song for the day is "China" by Red Rockers. I always liked this song, but was a little disappointed by the video when I looked it up on YouTube. It's so very 80s, but I always thought the song was a little weightier than the video suggests. The song comes off the band's 1983 album Good as Gold. Red Rockers were a New Wave band that came out of New Orleans. Now, if there's a city that just screams new wave, it's New Orleans, right? (Huh?) I was surprised to find they actually released 3 albums, when they really only ever had this one hit. They used to tour as an opening act for bands like The Cars and U2. If you don't remember the song, check out the video here: