Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I was led here by a Kottke post called Game Boy Bling.
Update: The consensus is that they are Great Danes and that they only live about 7 years. I think I'll stick with medium-sized dogs.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Today is the day that I drop what I’m doing for a little while and sit here in front of my computer and write something substantial. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, if, for no other reason, to exercise my ability to write.
In May, an actress, a cinematographer and myself flew from L.A. to New Zealand and shot a short film. After ten days of shooting, our actress flew on to Germany to be in a chocolate commercial and Jonathan (the cinematographer) and myself flew to Sydney, Australia to meet up with my friend Clint, to spend twenty days, seeing as much of Australia as we could. We didn’t plan very well, I never do, but it’s harder to coordinate schedules when it’s more than just myself traveling. In all, I think we spent about nine days in Sydney. While Sydney wasn’t what I came to Australia to see, it was nice to get a taste for city living in that country and I feel like I know Sydney pretty well as a result.
The movie, which will be called “More Than It Is,” was what I was most excited about. But shooting the movie was only one-third of our trip. As happens sometimes, we went over budget and the Australia section of the trip sent me into debt. I didn’t want to disappoint my friends, or look cheap, so rather than opting out of activities, I just put the extra expenses on my credit cards. Upon my return to L.A., I quickly realized that I was in a financial mess. I moved out of my apartment, loaded up my car and drove back to Texas to move back in with my parents until I could get back on my feet. Thank goodness one of my clients in Dallas-Fort Worth booked me for a bunch of work and June became a very busy month, even while living back at home. In early July I flew to Spain on airline miles to visit my brother, who promised that if I came and visited him, he would ensure that my expenses for the entire trip wouldn’t exceed $200. I couldn’t turn this down and I’m glad I didn’t. Last year, my brother moved to Spain and married his long-time Spanish girlfriend. He now has a Spanish green card and wanted to spend some time with me before he started working. I spent a week in Spain traveling around and true to his word, my brother and his wife covered most of my expenses. On the way back I had to pass through NYC, so I stayed with my friend Clint (the same one from the Australia trip) for three days and had a great time wandering around the city.
Part of the reason I came back to DFW from L.A. was in the hope that I would get a job in the camera department on a TV show shooting in Dallas in the Fall. I even went so far as to take a camera assistant class in July. But about three-fourths of the film workers in Texas have spent most of the summer unemployed so the chances of me walking onto the scene and being offered a job are very slim. I was able to finance much of the last year in L.A., working for a company based out of Dallas, by shooting commercials for apartment complexes. If you’ve ever seen those videos they play in hotels with beauty shots of sweeping pans of the pool and spa, that’s the kind of videos I was shooting. The work dried up shortly before leaving for New Zealand and I’d heard almost nothing from them all summer. Then, last week, I received an email booking me for a few shoot days in L.A. in late August. I need the work anywhere that I can get it, so with less than a week’s notice, I’m packing up my few possessions and driving back out to L.A.
In May, days before leaving for New Zealand, I took my few remaining possessions, mostly books, my bike and some winter clothes and I put them in a storage unit in North Hollywood. Then I moved out of my apartment. So I don’t have a home, just a 5x8 storage space. But true to his provisional nature, God has provided me a place to stay while I’m in L.A. I’m really grateful for that.
While in L.A. I hope to get the crew together to shoot one final scene for our movie. I’m only planning on staying in L.A. for about a month and then coming back to DFW for various reasons. I’m feeling strangely pulled between the two places, loved ones in DFW, work in DFW, my best friends and surrogate family in L.A. and work in L.A. If I just have to split my life between the two places, that’s fine with me, I just need to get really smart about my business so that I can make a real living while doing the commute.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Today was the third day in a row that I've woken up before 8am. This may sound like no big deal, especially if you have a job, but for me, this is absurdly out of the ordinary. For the last few years I've been a night person, staying up until nearly dawn almost every day. At the same time, I've known that I do better work early in the morning, so I decided to make a change and it's permanent. Thank you for your warm welcome into the world of the working.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
•"LP" by Discovery: Worth the money and will make you nod your head and possibly sway your hips.
•"Actor" by St. Vincent: Takes a bit to get into, mellow, almost somber, grows on you, cute but cynical. (Pitchfork 8.5)
•"Stockholm Syndrome" by Derek Webb: Beloved Christian artist and preacher, album deemed "explicit" by former label - poignant, new electronic sounds, possibly a Moog, only three songs in but already worth the $7.99.
"Un Día" by Juana Molina: Recommended by Radiolab and while I know it's good, I just haven't quite figured out how or where or in what context to listen to it.
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Neil Young is playing loudly over the stereo, the place is busy, it’s got to be, it’s on the corner of Broome St. and Orchard St. in the Bargain District, downtown Manhattan, windows cover two of the walls, it’s actually quite spacious – the rent must be outrageous. Small circle tables line the wall along the back, with a church-pew style bench running behind them. There are twenty seats available in the coffee shop, all arranged on the right side of the little not-quite-square space and half of the floor is taken up by the big granite bar and the open kitchen area behind it. Three female employees wear bandanas and rotate working the register, making sandwiches and espressos. The ceiling is high, made up of old one-foot by one-foot ornate tile panels, painted white. Behind the bar there is an almost invisible staircase leading downstairs to the bathroom and storage area. Grungy looking young people, on the job search sit with their laptops and drip coffees, pecking away intently at their keys, a family of tourists eats paninis and sips on little glass coke bottles and a hipster guy wearing skinny black Bermuda shorts, little black Chuck Taylor low-tops, a v-neck t-shirt and baggy cardigan sweater sits in the corner gulping coffee, knee bouncing faster and faster as the caffeine kicks in, reading a novel. Viewing the street from the back, on the long bench, looking out the big windows, the street looks derelict but alive. Above all the first floor retail, 100-year-old buildings, three windows wide with ornate masonry and fire escapes line the streets. New York City is a hodge-podge unlike any other city in the world. It’s a dirty, living, breathing slice of heaven.