Monday, April 30, 2007

I discovered a new flavor of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream yesterday. It’s called Banana Split, and it is fantastic. If you haven’t tried it, it’s strawberry and banana ice creams mixed with walnut, chocolate chunks, and ribbons of fudge. I have to admit, it was hard not to eat the whole container. I think if I ever find my way to Vermont, I’ll have to go and tour the Ben & Jerry’s factory.

Wally and I made it to the Dog Beach yesterday for a couple of hours (thanks for the directions, Diane). It was so fun! It was the way all beaches should be – with dogs running and swimming all over the place. We had a great time and will definitely return soon. I played fetch with Wally in the water for quite some time, then thought I’d try to rest on the beach a little. Wally would have none of it. If we weren’t playing fetch in the ocean, he was digging at his ball in the sand. (He did that with me behind him once and covered me in sand). So we went back to the waves for more fetch. He couldn’t have cared less about the other dogs on the beach, especially the 7-month-old yellow Lab that was trying desperately to play with him – all Wally wanted was fetch, fetch, fetch! I was going to wait until Wednesday, but he was just too cute. Here are some photos from the day:

Here he is retrieving his ball out of the waves –

And here, digging at his tennis ball in the sand –

And as it turns out, Wally is quite the natural body surfer –

The song for the day is “Perfect Way” by Scritti Politti off their 1985 album Cupid & Psyche 85. I always thought they were a one-hit-wonder, as this is the only song I’ve ever heard by them. But apparently the band, fronted by Welsh writer/vocalist Green Gartside, formed as early as 1978 as a “post-punk British rock group.” They became much more mainstream by 1985 and had a huge hit with “Perfect Way.” Gartside has a voice that sounds like it’s coming out of a 12-year-old, but the song is catchy and I always find myself turning it up on the rare occasion I hear it on the radio. When I looked them up in Wikipedia, I was surprised to see that the band had numerous singles which I assume did well in the UK. Gartside, after dropping out of the music industry for over a decade, returned to release two critically acclaimed albums between 1998 and now.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

I went to the wrap party last night. It was in a cool club down on Sunset, the kind with no signage and a guy with an earpiece who checks your name on a list before pulling back the velvet rope for you to enter. So very Hollywood, which I am so very not. The party was nice, though. It was good to see everyone outside of work, and the club was nice with an outdoor area, good food, etc. I actually wish I could have stayed longer, but alas, I had an 11:15pm hockey game to get to, so I left just after 10.

Last night's game was the first game of the Summer Season, and our first game as a newly reformed team. As I think I may have mentioned before, we had almost no returning players from our championship team of last season. Just me, one other guy, and a goalie who played with us a season ago. Our new team rep, James, really worked hard to recruit new players. James and I have been good friends for some time, so we put our heads together and tried to think of the best players we knew of who would be good team mates. I pulled some players from my Pasadena team, he grabbed some people from his Culver City team and some members from his team last season at TSC. And then he went to work - going to pickups, stick time, drafts at other rinks - sometimes begging (he's not ashamed of it) players to come play for us. We knew we had some strong players, but didn't quite know until last night how it worked out. Granted we played a team near the bottom of our division, but we won 7-0, and actually played as a team, cycling the puck and making good passes, which is a bit of a miracle since it was a team of strangers. It will be interesting to see what happens when we play a stronger team. Oh, and I had a goal AND an assist - whoo-hoo! It was also great finally getting to play on a team together with James since we've been playing in different divisions. All in all, it looks to be a fun season.

The song of the day is "Watching the Detectives" by Elvis Costello off his debut 1977 album My Aim Is True. I came kind of late to the Elvis Costello game since I was pretty young when this album came out, but I came to appreciate his music in college. Costello, a relatively clean cut Buddy Holly looking guy from England became a huge influence in early punk and new wave music, and has reinvented himself musically several times over the years. This first album is especially enjoyable. Your piece of trivia for the day is that the backing band on this record was a band called Clover, and American country/roots band living in England. That band was fronted by Huey Lewis and included future News keyboardist Sean Hopper. The band also included John McFee who would go on to join the Doobie Brothers, and Alex Call who would go on to co-write songs with Lewis and others, including the 80s iconic hit "867-5309 (Jenny)." I've posted a photo of Clover below. Yep, that's Huey on the right, all hippy-like.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Yesterday was the last day of principal photography for my show. Because of some last minute changes to an episode, it was also a double-up day so two crews were shooting. It's much like the last day of school, except that there is actual work to be done. It was also a food fest, with different foods coming in throughout the day to feed everyone. When the first crew called at 10:30, they had the standard breakfast fare - eggs, bacon, bagels, etc. I skipped out on that because I'd eaten much earlier in the morning. Then at 12:30, when the second crew showed up, there was a crepe bar. It was SO good! Actual French guys making crepes - mine had bananas and strawberries in it with whipped cream on top. At both 1:30 and 3:30, lunch came in - a ton of pizzas for both crews. And in the evening, at 8pm, one of the actors brought in a bunch of food to be BBQ'd - salmon, steak and the like. I'd already headed home, thank God. So, for all intents and purposes, our show is finished for the season, except for Post. We'll be there for a few more weeks and drop off one by one. The writer's strike, which only months ago seemed unlikely, looks like it will might actually happen, or so says the article I read in the L.A. Times the other day.

This is the first weekend in a long time that I haven't had some sort of work planned or something I had to work on. I do have a wrap party to attend tonight, and then an 11:15 hockey game, our first of the season. We have almost an entirely new team, so it will be interesting for all of us to see what level of team we have. In the meantime, I need to get out and look for a few things to take with me to Australia, like a good pair of walking shoes. I'd like to take Wally to the Dog Beach at Huntington Beach tomorrow, which I hear is very cool, but we'll see. Anyone know anything about it?

The song for the day is "Whisper To a Scream (Birds Fly)" by Icicle Works off their 1984 album The Icicle Works, though the song had been released a year earlier as a single in Britain. Though the band never gained much momentum after this album, this song is still a great reminder of the happy, upbeat pop coming out of the UK. I still love to listen to it and it's in heavy rotation on my iPod.

Friday, April 27, 2007

I had a slow-ish day yesterday, so I actually had the time to read some things on the internet. I saw a few interesting things and thought I'd pass them on in case you hadn't read them already.

The first thing was this article about L.A. Times sports writer Mike Penner. The article, written by Penner, explains that he is a transsexual, and after a few weeks of vacation, he will return to work as Christine. I found Penner's article to be very heart warming and honest. I can only imagine the amount of courage it took for him to write it, especially considering the field he works in - sports writing - where one can imagine that people might be less open to this kind of thing. Though, from what he explains, his friends and co-workers have turned out to be quite supportive of his decision. It's a very interesting article that you should read if you haven't already done so.

The second thing that caught my eye was the article about the Indian government issuing a warrant against Richard Gere. During an AIDS awareness event, Gere embraced Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty and kissed her on the cheek. The judge who issued the warrants said that Gere and Shetty "transgressed all limits of vulgarity and have the tendency to corrupt the society." And I thought OUR government was overly conservative when it comes to sex in the media! Check out the photo. The religious right in this country would be ecstatic if this was all celebrities ever did. It's unclear right now how the warrant would effect Gere's frequent visits to India to promote health issues and the cause of Tibetan exiles.

The song of the day is "We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off" by Jermaine Stewart off his 1986 album Frantic Romantic. This song, pretty much the only successful song Stewart ever had, was one of those happy summer songs that you couldn't help but sing along with. The song was about the 1980s AIDS scare. Perhaps ironically, Steward died in 1997 of liver failure brought on by a long battle with AIDS.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Good God, I can’t believe I still have two and a half weeks of work left. And yesterday felt like a Friday, but it wasn’t. I know the general population that works a regular 40 hour week and gets a week or two of vacation a year wonders why anyone would need 2-3 months off every year. Well, try working 14 hour days, and Saturdays and sometimes Sundays, and you’ll be ready to rest, too. Because we work so much, the first couple of weeks usually involve recuperation more than relaxation. And this year, I’m rushing right onto a 15 hour plane ride, so no rest for the weary. Except on the plane, of course.

The song of the day is “New Song” by Howard Jones off his 1983 album Human’s Lib. I loved HoJo in the 80s, and though I wasn’t a New Wave kid, I still enjoyed his music, and I dug his look. You certainly couldn’t pull off that hair today. He continues to tour in Europe and other parts of the world. I was never able to see him back in the day. I’m sure he’ll be touring in the U.S. again riding the 80s revival wave, like so many others.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I read yesterday that astronomers have discovered a planet outside our solar system that is potentially habitable. The scientists’ requirements for habitability include the size of the planet, and the likelihood of water in liquid form there. The newly discovered planet, named 581 c (the name really warms the heart, doesn’t it?), meets these requirements, though the Red Dwarf star it orbits is much smaller, dimmer and cooler than our own sun. It’s also important to note that Mars also fits into the potentially habitable category. You can read more about this discovery here. I was amused to read that until now, all 220 planets astronomers have found outside our solar system have had what they refer to as the “Goldilocks Problem” – they’ve been either too hot, too cold, or just too big and gaseous. Scientists believe 581 c will prove to be “just right.”

I find the idea of life on other planets fascinating. In fact, I think it’s rather more likely that there IS life on other planets than that there ISN’T. I would love to see some proof of that within my lifetime. Preferably not in the horrifying War of the Worlds type of way, but instead of the ET sort. Maybe an Ewok.

Speaking of cute cuddly things, it’s Wally Wednesday. Here he is kicking it on his favorite chair. Though it matches my couch, no one else is allowed to sit there. Truly, no one should WANT to sit there. It’s covered in dog hair, and even though I recently had my upholstery all cleaned, he’s managed to drool all over his chair again already. Still, he is cute all curled up there.

The song of the day is “Follow You” by Glen Burtnik off his 1987 album Heroes & Zeros. This is yet another one of those songs I caught on MTV late at night, fell in love with, bought the album, and then never saw ever again. I think I may be the only person I’ve ever known who even knows who he is. This song is good, and in fact, the whole disc is great (the first compact disc I ever purchased). He may be best known as a guitarist for the band Styx well after their heyday, though he continues to play in Philadelphia and has written some well known songs. He also once starred in the show Beatlemania as Paul beside Marshall Crenshaw who played John, and also co-wrote the song “No More Lies” performed by Jan Hammer and Neal Schon.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

First off, my director/producer watched my show yesterday and was very happy with it, so the week is going well so far. As an added bonus, there was somehow zero traffic when I drove home last night at 7pm. It was as if I had slipped through a hole in the space-time continuum into an alternate reality where there is no traffic in Los Angeles. Is there a Jewish holiday I'm unaware of that caused the free-flow of traffic?

Speaking of traffic, when I was driving home, I noticed (not for the first time) that certain interchanges or stretches of freeway are named for people. As in "The John H. Doe Memorial Interchange." My question is, did John Doe DIE on that interchange? Or was he someone important, but not important enough to, say, name a whole freeway (such as the Ronald Reagan freeway) or building after? For instance, the interchange pictured was named after a Medal of Honor recipient. But EVERY deceased Medal of Honor recipient doesn't have his own interchange. And if it IS because they died there in a car accident, who is it that petitions to get the interchange named after them? I wonder if it's harder or easier than getting a star on the Walk of Fame.

Secondly, Heroes came back last night. Yay, Heroes! I missed it a lot, and was not let down by its return. At the end of every episode, when the "To Be Continued" card comes up, I feel deflated that I'll have to wait another week (or more) for another episode. I can't remember the last time I was so enthralled by a television show. I'm especially looking forward to next week's sneak peek into the future.

The song of the day is "Love, Death, and an American Guitar" by Jim Steinman (and I'm using the word "song" VERY loosely here). The song was released on his 1981 album Bad For Good. I don't know a thing about Steinman except that my older sister had a 45 of this song when I was a kid, and I loved to listen to it, and memorized all the words. I think I thought it was cool because I actually knew what a Stratocaster was. I had to look him up on Wikipedia to see what his deal was. Apparently, he wrote most of Meat Loaf's hit songs and hits for other artists, such as Bonnie Tyler and Air Supply. He's apparently also been involved with many a musical. I wouldn't call this song of the day good, but it certainly was interesting.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Another Monday. Why are Monday's so bad? I mean, today isn't necessarily bad, so to speak (at least not yet), but it's always so hard for me to get out of bed and drag myself into work on Monday. Why can't the work week start on a Tuesday? I think I'd feel a lot better about that.

I read in a few places on the web last week about Alyssa Milano designing new female friendly baseball jerseys for fans. I have a huge problem with this on so many levels. First of all, it's not a jersey if it doesn't look like the ones the team is wearing - it's just a shirt with the team's name on it. Secondly, why, oh, why do merchandisers feel the need to girlify shirts and such for women to buy? We would be happen with women's cut shirts. They don't have to be pink, I swear to god! I've mentioned to several friends while browsing through the pro shop at hockey games that they should shoot me if they ever see me wearing a pink Kings "jersey." But my biggest objection to Milano designing these so-called jerseys is outlined in this picture. WTF?

The song for the day is "Hold Me" by Fleetwood Mac off their 1982 album Mirage. This is one of those bands I've always wanted to see in concert but have never had a chance to. I've always wanted to see Lindsey Buckingham play guitar live because it is so amazing just to watch him play, pickless, fingers flying across the strings. Mirage was one of their most memorable albums from the 80s and the one I most enjoy.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

I just realized it's nearly 1pm and I haven't blogged yet today. I was up unusually late last night, chatting with my friend Jim in Melbourne. He and I are both getting very excited for my trip there. As a result, I slept too late, and then went to meet a friend for brunch. And now here I am, well past noon, just getting started with the things I need to do.

I finally watched Casino Royale last night. Excellent, excellent film! Daniel Craig was awesome as the new Bond. In fact, I think I'm completely in lust with him. I enjoyed seeing the original story of 007 and the earlier Bond who was much more reckless and even a little out of control. I was on the edge of my seat for most of the film, and couldn't believe over two hours had passed by the time it was over. If you're one of the few people who haven't yet seen this film, I highly recommend it.

The song of the day is "What's On Your Mind? (Pure Energy)" by Information Society off their self-titled 1988 album. This is a catchy little dance song which is overwhelmed by synthesizers and sampling, but how can you not like a song that has sampled Mr. Spock from Star Trek? I was surprised to see they had so many albums out, because I only remember a couple of songs by them. I think they were more popular overseas. Also surprisingly, they have a new album coming out later this year.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Wally was happy as a labrador could be with all the rain early in the day yesterday. We went out to play fetch in it and he was having the time of his life. He got completely soaked and was actually mad when I told him he had to go back inside so I could head to work. He started to back up from the door with the tennis ball still in his mouth. Today, he is very, very soft, which always happens when he's been out in the rain.

I thought I had a ton of work to do and would be working through much of the weekend, but discovered yesterday when I began to assemble my episode that it's not in as bad of shape as I thought it was. That's a good feeling - sort of like finding money in your pocket. I do have some minimal work to do, but nothing like I thought I had, which means I may actually be able to relax and enjoy my weekend. I'm planning on finally trying out the synthetic ice I bought that's been sitting in my garage untouched all week.

How could I do songs of the day from the 80s on this blog, and take this long to get around to "Girl You Know It's True" by Milli Vanilli? The song, off their 1989 album of the same name, went platinum 6 times and spawned 6 hit singles. You all know the story - in 1990, after winning a Grammy award for Best New Artist, the duo (Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus) publicly admitted that they, in fact, had not sung on the album. Their producer, Frank Farian, had recorded the album with studio musicians who he felt were talented, but unremarkable, and he enlisted Morvan and Pilatus to front the band. Regardless of who actually sang on the record, it was a catchy little pop/dance song.

Friday, April 20, 2007

I was surprised this morning to wake up and find it raining and cold outside. Thankfully, I'm working from home until lunchtime, so I won't have to deal with the horror that is driving in the rain in Los Angeles. I guess maybe driving in the rain is just easy for me because I grew up in the Pacific Northwest where it rains all the time. But really, it's not that difficult of a concept to drive safely in wet conditions. You don't need to drive at 10 miles an hour as if there's a foot of snow on the road. You simply need to do things like not ride the bumper of the person in front of you, not suddenly cut people off, and not speed and weave in and out of traffic. Unfortunately, these are all things that seem to be requirements for the L.A. driver. Hopefully, the roads will be emptier when I drive in around noon.

I read this article this morning about a voice mail from Alec Baldwin to his 11-year-old daughter that was made public, apparently by ex-wife Kim Basinger. I'm not completely familiar with what's been going on between these two, other than that they've been in court again and again since they filed for divorce in 2001. Though the divorce was granted in 2002, the couple continues to battle over custody rights years later. Apparently, Baldwin had a scheduled time to call his daughter in Los Angeles, and she didn't answer her phone. He was pissed and said a lot of things a decent parent should never say to their kid. So someone, most likely Basinger, leaked the voice mail recording to TMZ, and voila - public humiliation for Baldwin. The internet has finally become a tool for dueling ex spouses to get back at one another. (On a side not, remember when Alec Baldwin used to be hot? Now he's just old and bloated).

The song of the day is "I'm Still Standing" by Elton John off his 1983 album Too Low For Zero. John's career has spanned decades, and it's hard to pick just one song. While I appreciate most of his music, especially from much earlier in his career, the songs he released in the early 80s have always been my favorites because they invoke so many memories of what was going on when those songs were in heavy rotation on the radio. More than 20 years later, "I'm Still Standing" is still my very favorite song of his.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I was invited to play hockey last night in a scrimmage against the USC Women’s team. They have a club team that is usually not very good, but they always seem to have fun. The group I played with consisted of 10 women who responded quickest to the e-mail that had been sent out. I was asked as an aside when they needed another player, but was told I’d need to play Defense. I don’t play Defense – at all. I don’t know where I’m supposed to be, I have no head for that position. Within a minute of the start of the game, I became the Defenseman I’ve always hated – the one who skates up, doesn’t pass, can’t finish, and leaves the front of the net wide open. I can’t say I didn’t have fun – playing with all women made me seem like more of a skilled player than I am. In fact, I should do it more often – it would be good for my self esteem. Our rag-tag group beat the USC Women (read: girls) 5-1. The single goal we let in was completely my fault. I was trying to cover the front of the net, but was too close to the goalie. I didn’t realize this until I heard someone yell, “Get out of the way!” and then push me in the ass. That’s when the goal went in. How embarrassing.

Did I also mention that they actually had a pep band at the game? These must have been the band members who drew the short straw for the night. If I hear the fight song for USC ever again in my life, I may just melt down, I heard it so many times last night.

Of the 5 goals we scored, I scored…none. Why? Because I can skate fast, but I can’t shoot well. I need to practice more, but don’t have the energy to go to the rink at 6am. I finally broke down and bought a piece of synthetic ice for my garage floor. It’s a 6’X12’ piece which you can actually skate on with your ice blades. While you can skate on it, it’s mostly designed for stick handling and shooting, so I’m hoping to get a lot better in the next few months. Here’s a video of a similar item by the same company. Mine is a little bigger.

The song of the day is “Livin’ Thing” by Electric Light Orchestra. The song was originally released on the band’s 1976 album A New World Record, but I will always remember it from their 1979 Greatest Hits album. Why, you ask? Because it’s the very first album I ever owned, the first that belonged to me and only me, and not one of my older sisters. One of my sisters bought it for me as a present, and I was totally surprised. I didn’t know who ELO were or anything about them, but I grew to love that record and played it over and over again. My sister made a good choice when she picked that album out.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Boy, busy busy day today. It's past noon, and I've just found a quick moment to post. Wally is here at the office today getting lots of love from everyone else while I work away in my edit bay. His friend, Jake, is here, too - a french bulldog with a big personality and a propensity for humping Wally's body parts any chance he gets. What Jake needs is this, the HotDoll, the sex doll for dogs. I'm a little uncomfortable with the fact that it also looks like one of those things you can massage your back with.

Here's Wally, free from being molested, as he peers into the Three Dog Bakery in Pasadena.

The song for the day is "On the Dark Side" by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band. The uninformed would simply seem them as a Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band soundalike, but those of us in the know remember them best for voicing the sound track to 1983's "Eddie and the Cruisers." I once worked with the guy who directed that film and he told me all about going out and trying to find the right band to fit the bill and Michael Pare's natural voice. It was a great movie, and Cafferty's musical stylings made it all that much more authentic.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I finally had the time for a DVD so I watched "Blood Diamond" last night. What a fantastic movie. I have to say, I really like Leonardo DiCaprio, and have since he entered into films - "What's Eating Gilbert Grape," "This Boys Life," "The Basketball Diaries." I think he's done a really good job of picking the right projects for himself. Everyone does some movies that don't do well, but in general, he's really lucked out. This film is no exception. He's brilliant as the tragically flawed hero, diamond smuggler Danny Archer. He got a lot of flack for the accent he used in playing this role, but I think it came off rather believable, much more so than if he had played it with his American accent. Djimon Hounsou shines again as he did in "Amistad," as does Jennifer Connelly as journalist Maddy Bowen. I found the story fascinating and tragic, considering the amount of truth to the back story, especially the accounts of constant conflict in that part of Africa and the use of child soldiers in combat.

The song of the day is "Ballroom Blitz" by Krokus off their 1986 album The Blitz. Don't ask me why. I could have gone the rest of my life without ever remembering Krokus, but something made me think of them the other day and now I have this song stuck in my head. I was never into them, but I had a friend who was completely into New Wave who, inexplicably, owned this tape and played it over and over again. I was shocked when I looked them up on Wikipedia and saw how many albums they've released. I always thought they were a bit of a one hit wonder.

Monday, April 16, 2007

A big congratulations to my Pasadena hockey team, the Freedom, who won their first game in probably 20 last night. It certainly felt good not to walk away from the rink with another ass kicking under our belts.

Yesterday, I think I finished the short film I've been working on. It's not completely done yet, but for the most part, my work is done. It's one of those things I've been trying to get off my plate for some time, but couldn't seem to do it. I was worried it wouldn't be finished before I left for vacation, but it looks like it will be.

Speaking of which, I'm leaving for Australia in less than a month! It's hard to believe. I have so many things to do with work and everything else before I go, that it seems so very far away. I had yet another dream last night where I'm late for my flight, and then am trying to get onto a later flight, when I realize I don't have my luggage with me. Can anyone say anxiety?

The song of the day is "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" by The Eurythmics off their 1983 album of the same name. I first heard this song when I was in the 6th grade, and thought it was like nothing I had ever heard before. It's certainly one of those songs that marks the move away from heavy guitars and toward synthesizers in the early 80s, at least as far as pop music went.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

I've been meaning to write about this for awhile, but kept forgetting to scan pictures and such. When I went home in January, right before my birthday, my father surprised me by giving me a very meaningful birthday gift. He passed down to me some rings that belonged to his parents, my grandparents, who have been gone for some time now. The note he gave me with the rings said he was giving them to me in the hope that I wouldn't forget my grandparents. Of course, I could NEVER forget them, but the rings are a wonderful reminder nonetheless.

My grandmother on my mom's side lived in the town where I grew up, so I saw her all the time. I grew up spending weekends at her house, learning how to make cookies, and all those things you get to do with your grandmother. My father's parents, on the other hand, didn't live nearby. They were first in Montana, then moved to Southern California, and eventually to southern Oregon. They would usually take a trip every summer and drive up to visit us and my dad's sisters along the way. I saw them maybe once a year at best, so I didn't get that same experience with my dad's mom. Of course I loved her and will never forget her - she was my grandmother.

My grandfather has always held a special place in my heart because he is quite possibly one of the most interesting people I've ever met. I didn't get to spend much time with him, but was always fascinated by the stories he had to tell, and the stories I heard told about him by other members of the family. He had a multitude of jobs, was in the military during World War 2 (which I'm sure was an interesting place for him to be, as he was so fully German himself), and I remember him best as being an engineer. Not the kind that builds things, but the kind that runs a train. In his retirement, he could never sit still for long. He learned how to speak Spanish, took up painting, jewelry making and blown glass among many other things. He was a truly unique person, and I will never forget, him either.

The tri-gold ring seen her was my grandfather's wedding ring. My grandmother bought it for him in 1954 while they were on vacation in South Dakota, and he wore it until he passed away in the early 90s. The other ring is a mother's ring and belonged to my grandmother. The four birth stones signify my father and his three sisters.

The song of the day is "Rock and Roll All Nite" by Kiss off their 1975 album Dressed To Kill. Yeah, we had Kiss in the 80s, but they were unmasked, and if you've seen them, you know they look better with their makeup on. Their music was also better, much more classic rock and roll, like this very well known song.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

I have a decent amount of work to do at home this weekend, but am hoping to get some much needed relaxation in. I have the DVDs of "Blood Diamond," "Casino Royale" and "Prestige" here, so I'm hoping to get through at least one of them, and begin Season 4 of The Shield. I also have "The Godfather" here, which I've been meaning to watch (I've actually never seen it), but I can't seem to bring myself to do it yet.

This morning, I'm off to get a haircut (also much needed). With work as it is, I usually only have time to get a few haircuts a year - usually once in July or August when the season starts, once at Christmas break, and then in May as soon as the hiatus starts. I just can't wait until May, however.

Those are the boring details for today of my endlessly boring life. I hope everyone is out enjoying the spring weather.

It seems I've been a bit remiss in failing to use any Michael Jackson songs as the song of the day thus far. While I was never much of a Jackson fan, it's hard to ignore the incredible influence he had on pop music of the 1980s. Since I don't have ANY favorite songs by him, I'll use "Thriller" today, off his 1983 album of the same name. As you can see from the album cover art, Michael was once a black man. And while he was always a bit quirky (the white glove and the monkey for God's sake), he didn't used to be quite so eccentric as he is today. Before the alleged pedophilia, and all the weirdness that we know in today's Michael Jackson, he was the King of Pop, completely reshaping music videos and creating a base of fans that seemed would never disappear. I guess everything goes away in the end.

Friday, April 13, 2007

I was watching Scrubs last night, and had the same thought I’ve had for the last several episodes. I’m I the only person who thinks Christa Miller looks like she’s had her lips done too many times? When she was on The Drew Carey Show, she used to look like a human being (pictured). I now notice she resembles an alien. I wish I had a current photo to share, but I couldn’t find one that detailed this change in her.

Work has been busy and stressful, trying to cut all the footage that’s coming in on my last episode of the season. I finally had to give myself an early break last night so I could sit like a vegetable in front of the television to catch up on some Tivo.

The song of the day is “I Drove All Night” by Cyndi Lauper off her 1989 album A Night To Remember. As with most artists, there are so many other songs I could have picked, others that were much more well known even. But while I always appreciated Lauper and all of her talent beneath the wild hair and the crazy personality, this is my favorite song of hers. Even though this album spawned only this single hit, it won Lauper another Grammy award as Best Female Pop Vocalist. The song was originally penned for Roy Orbison, but his version would not be released until 1992, four years after his death. If you haven’t heard it for awhile, you should refresh your memory here:

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Someone forwarded me this e-mail the other day. I checked for validity, but didn’t find anything on it at all. I wonder how many more iPods would sell in the ‘hood if it were true:

“While the validity of this statement can be debated by many hard core iPod fans, in this one specific case it's true: The iPod really does saves lives, or at the very least, one life.

Kevin Garrard, a soldier in the 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq, was shot in the chest by an insurgent with an AK-47 at very close range. A bullet of this caliber at close range would normally pierce through body armor, but this was Kevin's lucky day. He had his 20-gig iPod in his jacket pocket.

The bullet struck the iPod and slowed down the projectile enough that his body armor stopped the hot lead from piercing his chest.” Check it out:

The song for today is “Hands To Heaven” by Breathe off their 1987 album All That Jazz. The late 80s saw a lot of these clean cut bands whose ballads quickly climbed up the pop charts. I’m embarrassed to say I liked several of those types of songs, including this one, but in hindsight, can only wonder why.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Yesterday was the big day at work with the Stanley Cup. I heard it had arrived down on set and went down to check it out. They were rehearsing a scene with it, and the crowd that had gathered just to glimpse it was huge. I haven't seen that many people bother to watch a rehearsal since Sting was on Ally McBeal. I stood there for about 20 minutes, just watching the Cup with everyone else. They wrapped rehearsal, and everyone descended on the Cup. The guy who accompanies the Cup everywhere it goes was there to answer questions, and told us it was OK to touch it. Everyone was around it, looking at all the inscriptions, all those players and teams that have achieved that highest honor in the NHL. It was really amazing to get to be that close to it.

I did get my photo taken with it, but failed in my attempt to get a photo of Wally with it. The Cup Wrangler told me it was fine to bring him down and get a picture, but then the Cup was so occupied shooting scenes and rehearsing that it wasn't available again. Drat! The photo is a little goofy because our Prop guy was sort of sneaking us though and having the professional photographer snap shots while we still had him there. We literally had about 2 seconds in front of the camera, which could explain the goofy look on my face:

Even though Wally didn't get to see the cup, it's still Wally Wednesday. Here he is from last weekend at the Three Dog Bakery Easter Begg Hunt. You should have seen some of the other dogs there. One poor thing was dressed in a bunny outfit its owner had MADE for it! Wally is a lucky boy to have a mom who would never do that to him.

The song of the day is "Dream On" by Aerosmith off their 1973 self-titled debut album. I've never been a huge fan of Aerosmith - Steven Tyler really creeps me out. Even though the song was originally released in 1973, it didn't chart well until its reissue in 1976, following the success of "Sweet Emotion." I have to admit, I even like the Eminem song "Sing For The Moment" which samples this song.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Sorry for the very short post, but I'm a little behind and it's going to be a very busy day. Plus - it's Stanley Cup Day here at the office. Can't wait to see the cup up close and personal. God knows this is the only way the cup will EVER be in Los Angeles for a long time.

I'm somewhere around 160 posts, and thus far, have managed to not repeat myself on artist for the song of the day. I have to admit, I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel here, and may have to begin repeating artists soon. The song for today is "Motion of Love" by Gene Loves Jezebel off their 1987 album The House of Dolls. Yet another "post modern" type band I accidentally discovered in the late 80s and came to enjoy. I wish I had gotten more into this type of music earlier.

Monday, April 09, 2007

When I got to the office this morning, I found the invitation to this season's wrap party in my box. It's that time of the year again. Working on a television show that goes a full season is much like going to school. We're here from about July to May, so it feels like a school year, and waiting for the season to end is much like waiting for summer vacation. The lot I work on is a pretty small one, so it has the feeling of a small town college. You might know people on other shows from working with them before, and you may see them around every once in a while, but unless they're on your show, that's about it. It's similar to knowing people from your Freshman English 101 class, but now you're a psych major and he's a business major, so you only see each other on campus if you're on your way from one place to the next. At any rate, I'm especially enjoying this end of the season because now that I'm an editor, and no longer an assistant, I'm not the one responsible for putting together the Gag Reel. The Gag Reel is a reel of outtakes, funny moments, and video of the crew that gets played at the wrap party, and it's especially painful to put together if the actors on your show aren't that funny in real life. I'm basking in the enjoyment of letting someone else do it this year.

I played pickup hockey last night and didn't get home until 10pm. Of course, I wasn't able to wind down and get to sleep until sometime around midnight, and then up again at 5:45 to get to work early for dailies. I am quite tired. At least when I was an assistant, I could sort of sleep through the day, but now that I'm an editor, I'm actually required to be awake and alert and working most of the time. I guess there's an up and a down side to everything.

The song of the day is "I Know You're Out There Somewhere" by the Moody Blues off their 1988 album Sur La Mer. Remember in the 80s when these guys were still trying to make albums? This is from one of those. They actually had a few decent hits in that decade, when bands from the 60s were still young enough to stay someone contemporary. I always liked this song, though obviously, not nearly as much as some of their much earlier releases.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate it. I don't, so I'm using today to catch up on some much needed rest and to do my laundry. For those of you who didn't catch it this week, check out this video from Southpark wherein Stan asks what coloring eggs has to do with Easter:

Yesterday was a weird day. I've been moonlighting this weekend for a company that does a lot of shows for HGTV. I love working there, and I find editing those shows very relaxing and stress free. But I had to work yesterday, and also had tickets to see the Kings. I forgot the Kings game was at 1pm, so I had to go to work, then leave to see the game, and then go BACK to work. It was really odd to have to go back to work after watching the game. I had seats in a section where the rows were really close together so I had no leg room at all. To make matters worse, this really huge guy sat in the seat next to me, so I had to sit really awkwardly over to the other side. This angle resulted in a knot in my neck and a headache that lasted until this morning. On the upside, we beat Phoenix in the battle of who would end up in last place in our division. Whoo-hoo! We didn't come in last! I guess that's the biggest victory the Kings will have this season.

The song for the day is "All I Need" by Jack Wagner off his 1984 album of the same name. I'm so geeky that I actually bought this record when it was only a 5-song EP. I watched Wagner as "Frisco" Jones on General Hospital when this song came out and became a huge hit (charting at #2 in the U.S.). I thought this song was all that, but when I listen to it now, I think it's pretty boring and schmaltzy. Back in the 80s, it seemed like a lot of soap stars were trying to cross over to recording artists. I'm not sure if that still happens since I don't watch soaps OR listen to pop music.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Tonight I have tickets to go see the Kings for their last game at home. I hear it’s supposed to be quite the celebration with free stuff. I’m not sure any of that could make up for the poor season they had this year. They do have a lot of draft picks for next season, so hopefully, they’ll be stronger in a couple of years. Better buy your 2010 season tickets now!

I’m working today, but my friend is taking Wally to the Three Dog Bakery Easter Begg Hunt. It’s at one of the parks here in Pasadena. I’ve never been, but I believe they hide treats all over the park for the dogs to sniff out. Afterward, he can have his picture taken with the Easter bunny. My friend is taking her digital camera, so hopefully, I’ll have a cute photo of Wally to share this coming week.

In honor of the Kings, the song of the day is Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll, Pt. 2” off his 1972 album Glitter. I always thought this was a rather catchy tune, and it always reminds me of going to hockey games. Unfortunately, now it also reminds me of Gary Glitter molesting young girls in Thailand.