Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Swimming with George Carlin

When I was ten years old we moved to a small lake in Southwestern New Hampshire. I basically grew up in the lake during the summer and on it in the winter.

So that makes this news seem both weird and oddly special to me.

George Carlin is forever swimming in my lake.

Also, I forgot to mention that we found the Brady Bunch house.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It's not a blog until you neglect it

Hey everybody...and by "everybody" I mean "Mom"

The rise of Facebook in our lives has directly contributed to the fall of the blog. And from what I've learned, everybody who starts a blog neglects that blog at some point. So that is what we just did.

Here is a really quick update:

First, as I wrote the above sentence we experienced our first EARTHQUAKE! The news liked to call it a "major seismic event." It reminded me of when the snowplow would drive by in the winter as I sat in my home in New Hampshire watching television. Just a rumble. It lasted like 5 seconds. Fun!

Anyway, we've been writing a lot. Plays, screenplays, tv specs & pilots. You name it. I even wrote a haiku:

Earthquake shook my ass
Holy shit that isn't fun
Boston never quaked

We went to visit Joshua Tree National Park. That place is pretty cool.



We had a chance to make it back to Boston, see some friends, family and the Red Sox



And even Bootsie and Houdini are getting along. Sort of

video

In addition to all of our writing, we are both working. Jami is still teaching and teaching and teaching and I just got hired full time to do marketing and development at a performing arts center in Pasadena. So no more smorgasbord of jobs. I'm down to one place of employment. And I'm happy about that.

Gas rose to $4.75/gallon at our favorite neighborhood gas spot "Magic Gas." Which makes my post below about $3.99/gallon seem quaint.

Super-exciting celebrity sighting update:
Daniel Baldwin, the guy from the reality show "Pick Up Artist" one of the actors from CSI and Snoop Dogg were all at LAX. They weren't together.
We see Ed Helms so much he thinks we're stalking him.
Wilmer Valderrama looked lonely and uncomfortable at our favorite Silverlake coffee shop. And Tony Hale from Arrested Development looked tall at that same coffee shop.

I have a feeling our friend Michelle will say "I still don't know any of these people."

Anyway, as far as our writing "career"is concerned we've had a meeting with a manager, and have another scheduled soon. We working it, making contacts and doing what we need to do to make things happen. We're movers and hoping to graduate to shakers soon. We're applying for the Disney/ABC fellowship again so be prepared to join us for that drama again at the end of the year.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Gas

I just paid $3.98 for a gallon of gas. Actually, I paid $7.96 because I bought two gallons.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Many Jobs of Brian

Last year when we decided to leave Boston and move to Los Angeles the concept of leaving the corporate 9 to 5ish world and stringing together a couple random jobs to pay the bills was interesting to me. And interesting it has been, albeit not altogether lucrative.

My one steady job has been a microcosm of my LA employment: I answer phones, write copy for newsletters and press releases, pick up lunch, update websites, assemble furniture, produce events and perform about a million other random tasks all at a small marketing firm in Burbank.

Here's a list of the other jobs I've had in the past 8 months:

- Worked as a PA for one day at the Comedy Central Theatre.

- Collected surveys at an art gallery event.

- Performed random functions at a theater in Pasadena including house managing, company managing and from time to time managing other events. Call me Manager-for-hire.

- I worked for a day (and may work again in the future) as a "plant" in something called "The Go Game."

- Tonight I'm "working" for Adept Consumer Testing. They pay me to give my opinion. And I've been giving my opinion for free all these years like a sucker.

- My greatest find, though, came a couple weeks ago. I worked as a writers assistant for The Kids in the Hall. They were preparing for a tour and needed to brush up on some old sketches and rehearse some new pieces. That to some people may not mean much. But it really was one of the most amazing experiences I've had in my adult life. Just ask Jami. She's sick of hearing me talk about it and will probably get annoyed that she has to read about it on this blog.

I didn't have to do much for the job. Just take notes in their script as they rehearsed and print new copies when necessary. The hardest part of the job was keeping my mouth shut. It's hard not jumping in when five comedians are cracking jokes right in front of you, or offering an opinion on how to block a scene. I wasn't there for jokes or opinions. And who they hell do I think I am anyway? They're the KITH. And I'm me...some dude who works odd jobs to make ends meet.

All in all it was a great three days. They were all incredibly nice. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I got paid to be entertained. Who wouldn't want that? And I got to see them prepare this sketch for their live show:



- The one job I didn't get was "Kids in the Hall Tour Manager." It was right there in front of me. As exciting as it sounded when I was asked what I was doing for the next two months, I had to pass. I don't know what I'm doing for the next two months. I'd like to know. It would be nice to have an idea of how much money I'll be bringing in all the while carving out time to write with Jami. But it's nearly impossible to plan around this amorphous lifestyle.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Only in LA - Echo Park edition

Driving down Sunset Blvd. in Echo Park I noticed an interesting store. The Echo Park Time Travel Mart.



And here I was thinking "Where am I going to pick up a refill on my Anti-Robot Fluid?"



I was driving right past a store that not only carries it, but also carries Barbarian Repellant...



...and an assortment of dead languages (in liquid form.)



I have slept more soundly knowing this store is right down the street in my neighborhood.

The only problem is that the Time-Freezy Hyper Slush machine appears to be out of order.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Losing may be winning after all

So Jami may be right. We may have still "won"...depending on your interpretation of the word.

We met with the peeps at Disney/ABC yesterday. They are amazing people. We came away feeling great about our burgeoning career. They gave us all kinds of career advice. They gave us contact names and numbers of agents and managers who they think are good matches for us. We can even use them as a reference. We actually get to say "Hello, the Vice President for Talent Development at Disney/ABC said to give you a call." They are my favorite people on the planet.

We are now set up well to secure representation which is step one in securing writing work. What a crazy business this is. I can't wait to find out what we don't know. Because we know we don't know plenty.

More to come....we're sure.

Here is a small glimpse inside the world of The Mouse. Yes. They have wi-fi.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Who says not winning is losing?

Brian and I finally got the call today from the wonderful executives at Disney ABC.  We didn't get the fellowship, but we were runners-up, which meant if one of the ten fellows didn't want the fellowship, they'd give it to us.  But of course, none of the fellows turned it down--who would?

So.

Does that mean not winning is losing?  Hell NO!  They liked us so much that they want to help by setting us up with meetings.  As I'm sure most of you know, "meetings" is an interesting catch-all phrase here in Hollywood, which can involve agents, producers and the like.  To me, this is one kick-ass consolation prize.  The executives don't have to do this, but they want to. They obviously believe in our ability as a writing team, and I couldn't be happier.  

So.

Now what?

Well, Brian and I kick it into high gear. Write our faces off and continue to network, while we attend these meetings. And let me tell ya, we're looking forward to those meetings.  We're looking forward to our next phase in LA.  

This is one crazy place.

Thanks for all your support.  We'll keep you posted....

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"Only in LA" part 2 & A super-exciting-celeb-sighting update

Only in LA will you see paparazzi jump out of the bushes to photograph two girls you don’t even recognize. That is exactly what just happened as I sat here in a coffee shop in Silver Lake. The photog’s looked more familiar to me than the chick’s.

**

Seen recently:

The mother from Six Feet Under, many times at the coffee shop where we write.

Jason Schwartzman, at the same coffee shop. Schwartzman? How about SHORTzman! Huh? Huh? That's right.

Ed Helms, a couple times. Same coffee shop. And we like to say that we write there because the coffee is so good.

Tim Roth became Jami’s BFF while shopping at Whole Foods in Pasadena.

TR Knight was at a play I saw in Hollywood. What?! A gay man seeing theatre?! IN HOLLYWOOD?!??!?!?! (I mean he is gay, not me, seriously….oh forget it)

And finally, this guy who we have seen before at the coffee shop in our neighborhood had an interesting encounter with Jami. He offered to "stir" her "coffee" if you know what I mean.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The wait is back on

As previously reported we've been waiting for the end of the strike so we can learn our Disney/ABC TV Writing Fellowship fate.

As the world knows, the strike is over. It officially ended Tuesday night. So we started obsessing over the imminent phone call. Wednesday passes. No call. Thursday passes. No call. Friday arrives along with an email from the ABC HR department. We had to call some covert line and enter in some Jack Bauer CTU 6-digit code so they can begin our background check. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? WE HAVEN"T GOT TIME!

24 has been postponed until January of 2009. Let's hope our fellowship doesn't suffer the same fate. But let's first hope that we get said fellowship.

Tick, tick, tick, tick...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

More Mortification

As I wrote here the new Mortified book is out. And the promotion of it has clearly hit it's peak with this from CollegeHumor.com

I don't think I need to take silly DMV pictures anymore. My pictures are clearly horrible when I'm not even trying.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Sure, we, like, totally can



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fZHou18Cdk

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sycophanatical!

Our friend Steph let us know about a free screening of In Bruges being held in Beverly Hills last night. When you are as broke as we, any opportunity at free stuff is quite appealing. So we jumped at the opportunity. It didn't hurt that Steph said this movie was great (she saw it at Sundance) and that it was written and directed by Martin McDonagh who wrote my favorite play, Pillowman.

I attended a free screening once before. It was Kill Bill Vol. 1. My buddy Dryal and I sat in the front row, not by choice, but because we got there late. Much to our surprise Quentin Tarantino was in the audience and he actually got up and spoke to the audience just before the movie started. I guess it was a good idea because he explained that the movie had no credits yet so it will just end Sopranos style (although this was pre-Sopranos finale)

Anyway, Quentin takes his seat somewhere in the middle of the theater and the movie starts. People almost immediately start laughing. They continue laughing. They laugh at everything that is even remotely close to being funny. It was ridiculous. It seemed like we were watching Caddyshack.

I don't know what it is with people and their inability to react normally when watching a movie with the filmmaker in the room.

The same exact thing happened during In Bruges. The dreamy Martin McDonagh was in the room and from moment one of the movie, people were on the floor laughing. Now, don't get me wrong, it was funny. There was a lot of comedy in there. But, seriously, this was not the funniest movie EVER. It was really well written from what I could hear. I couldn't hear every other line because of the sycophantic audience. But the lines I did hear were great.

This kind of thing really has me thinking twice if another free screening opportunity comes up. It was truly that annoying.

But this isn't supposed to be a movie review so much as an audience review.

Audience: Thumbs down

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A picture saves a thousand dollars

Many of you who know me have seen my wonderful driver's license pictures.
You understand my tendency to take a ridiculous picture.

Jami has teased me about this for years. But it has finally paid off. IN YOUR FACE WIFE!

Sunday night, while driving down Sunset Blvd I just so happened to drive through two yellow lights in a row.
When I was a teenager we used to punch the ceiling of the car and yell "Padiddle!" whenever we'd drive through a yellow. I don't do that anymore. And as a result, a cop pulled me over.

He said from his perspective I drove through two red lights. I'm sure if I had yelled Padiddle! while going through them it would have let him know for certain they were yellow. But I didn't. So I guess I broke the law. Twice. Whatever.

When the officer approached the car he said "What the fvck were you thinking?" I tried to explain. He didn't care. I never mentioned Padiddle! I didn't think it would help. He asked for my license and registration. What happened next caught me a bit by surprise. The officer looked at my driver's license, looked back at me and said "Somebody who takes a goofy picture like that deserves a second chance." I was just about ready to grab his nightstick and beat myself with it. Instead I thanked him profusely.

When we continued driving home Jami said "We need to be more careful. We can't afford any tickets."

I said "Wait, first you've got to give me some credit for my picture."

She said "No I don't."

And that was that.



Exhibit MA


Exhibit CA

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Mortified, in print

Most of you are aware of this. For those who are not, the Mortified book was released today.
The book looks like this:


What is Mortified? It started off as a show with regular everyday folk reading their embarrassing teenage scrawlings. The stage show was turned into a book last year and that book has been followed up with another titled "Mortified 2: Love is a Battlefield."

I've been performing in the Boston show for a while and recently got up on stage in the LA show. It's been a blast and now my horrible poems have been published in the new book.

It's pretty much the most embarrassingly funny collection of teen angst in the universe.

I don't know why, but I'm plugging the book.  I don't get royalties or anything like that.  I suppose I enjoy being embarrassed.  So go check out the book and have a laugh at my (and many other's) expense.

You can buy the book at all the various online retailers like Amazon.

Highlights include the poems "Happy Like a Clown" and "Jackpot!"

If you're interested in seeing a show and you live in Boston, LA, SF, Austin, Chicago, NY, DC or Malmo Sweden, go to GetMortified.com.

Post a comment if you've seen the book.


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Malibu Puppy



So we've lived in Southern California for nearly 5 months and have yet to go to the beach. What better time to visit the beach than the end of December?



It was Jami's birthday and we are broke so it was the best way (read "cheapest") way to do something fun. And Houdini had never walked in the sand or drank salt water before, so why not?



Suffice to say, she had a good time.



So did Jami.

I had a pretty good time as well.


It's pretty weird spending a nice day at the beach when there is record snow falling back home. And it is weird to still be calling Boston home when we've lived here for months. I supposed that may never change.



I was the only one brave enough to take my shoes off and step into the water. So Jami was left on camera duty.









Speaking of never changing, the WGA is still on strike. Who knows how much longer that will last. So we will wait to find out if the life & career changing fellowship is ours.

One last picture. It looks like Houdini truly is a magician holding a tennis ball in mid air in front of her nose.