Saturday, December 31, 2005

A quick story

A pair of panties are on my bed right now. I did my laundry today, and found them when I was finished. They're not mine, and they're not Aili's. I should probably take them downstairs. And I will, in fact, when I'm done posting this. I guess what is interesting to me in situations like this is that I'm one generation removed from a pervert, or that is to say, I have no interest in doing perferted things with them, but I can't help but think of how someone who might be perverted would react and/or do with them. I guess that means I'm a writer or a wimp.

Searches that have turned up my blog: "Buthole Pleasures" "Marchello Sanchez was gay" "Kristy MacNichol pictures"

The worst film experiences I had this year

There are probably some films I could put on this list that would be less memorable (such as the exorable THE CAVE [my review will be available for perusal tomorrow]) and more awful, but here's a couple of bad experiences I had with the lady love of my life that's not Finnish.

THE HONEYMOONERS: Are you fucking kidding me? Seriously are you fucking kidding me? An outdated classic updated starring Cedric the Entertainer and Mike Epps? You're kidding right?

SERENITY: I saw this at one of the first test screenings and haven't gone back. I've been told the finished film is better, though I doubt the structure or writing or acting changed, and completed CGI effects ain't gonna change how I feel about the film. The Joss Whedon phenomenon is something I don't understand, and I wonder if with Buffy (the show that has netted him most of his love) much of the success had to do with the show's other writers. Gene Roddenberry was the worst Star Trek writer and Chris Carter wrote the worst X-Files episodes, one wonders if the same could be same of Whedon, especially when television writing's possessory credits are so maleable. Anyway, the film was garbage, and the clever writing that Whedon's known for feels so god damned forced, and - as I always go back to - having a character deliver dialogue before he dies is such a hackneyed conceit, the fact that it happens three god damned times is inexcusible. And Whedon can't direct action to save his fucking life. If the film was a minor bad beforehand, the fanbase's actions towards this film are inexecusible, though they quickly seemed to align themselves with Scientologists as scary to the mainstream. Your film flopped, and you should just be happy you got it. Now shut the fuck up.

ELIZABETHTOWN: Some were worried this would be GARDEN STATE REDUX. And it was and it wasn't, in that this was an entirely different sort of horrible. Cameron Crowe has lost touch with reality, and this film - though with some nice grace notes - is the sort of embarassment that should be publically flogged.

STAR WARS EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH: Hey, Scott, I love you, don't ever forget that. But few films filled me with the sense of shock and awe as SITH, from the begining to the end, just a horribly depressing experience of missed opportunities, tone deaf cutting and acting, and it's not even worth talking about. ULTIMATE POWER! ULTIMATE POWER!

THE BAD NEWS BEARS: What a missed opportunity, or at least with the talents involved, it should have been something more than unfunny.

And that's my negative rant for the day.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Evolution, Manifest Destiny and Terrence Malick

Does Terrence Malick believe in evolution? I would suggest yes. As a man who translates Heidegger I would suggest he is a learned man, a contemplative man. And The New World begs the question of where Malick stands on Heidegger, and Malick's relationship to nature. Often the director is typed as something of a naturalist, and his nature studies are what he has been known for doing, his visual poetry.

But I get the impression from The New World that Malick believes in evolution, and in man's quest for knowledge. I think he also recognizes that something is lost with each new world, that the explorer and the visited land must change, are bound to change, and yet such must be done. Which may be why I fell in some love with this film. I have only my interpretation, and it is sure to change with a repeated viewing, but what I took from the film was the idea that Malick is presenting the idea that man must evolve and move forward. It is interesting to note the lack of direct religion in Malick's films, especially in this.

This really became clear to me in the final third, in which much of the critical audience seems to have become bored. It is in Pocahontas's relationship with her second suitor, her decision to move on with her life, to move forward to me that suggests though Malick mourns the loss of innocence, he recognizes that it is something to be moved beyond. And as tragic as much of the European settlers' relationship with the Native Indian was and is, the nature of man's innate curiosity is that he had to traverse the world, to find the boundaries, to eventually travel outside of it. Manifest Destiny, in the less politicized definition, is man's innate desire to traverse, and perhaps to conquer strange new worlds, and though Malick's films have a lack of modernity(the closest he's come to filming in the present is his first film), I don't think that mean he resents the modern world. Ergo, to me the end of the film, without spoiling it, represents the tragic loss of the new world as a noble sacrifice, a worthy sacrifice to be made.

But that may just be me.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

I had lunch with myself today

Guess who showed up at the office today? I did. Not me, me, but I guess my doppleganger. Who said we should go for a long lunch at the nearby Quizno's. People at work asked if I had a twin staying with me for the holidays, and I said yes. He was also wearing the jacket I got in Portland, so I was all nervous when I got home (it was there). He told me I should drive so I did.
Me: So?
Me (2): yeah?
Me: How does this work?
Me (2): I don't know.
Me: Where do you work?
Me (2): Here.
Me: Can I go home early?
Me (2): I don't know.
Surprisingly enough we had a lot to talk about when things settled down.
Me (2): You know what I've been thinking about lately?
Me: Pretty sure, but what?
Me (2): If I ever get famous, and someone asks me why I wanted to get famous I'm going to say "to get hot chicks."
Me: Because saying you're doing it because you believe in your art is so pretentious?
Me (2): And saying it's for the money is uncouth.
Me: Making pussy the only option that sounds halfway noble.
Me (2): Pretty much. I mean, I like what I... we write, I'm just saying.
Me: If we made out, would that be gay?
Me (2): Pretty gay.
Me: But a circle jerk, that'd be like masturbation plus, right?
Me (2): You're just saying that so you can write it up on your blog.
Me: My blog?
Me (2): Who gets the possesory credit here?
Me: Not sure.
Me (2): I was thinking about Kristen today
Me: The girl in college who loved Peckinpah and Russ Meyer?
Me (2): Yeah. We're sure to get some Peckinpah's in the next week, so it made me think of Stanley Kramer, cause she liked Judgement at Nurenberg.
Me: Who knew thinking of Stanley Kramer could get someone excited?
Me (2): I know.
Me: Hey Aili, want to throw on On The Beach and make out?
It went from there, I went back to work, and he ended up flirting with a girl for a while. I never knew I could be jealous of myself.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

The Portland recap/ Non ho sonno

Okay, I've been here for 48 hours and I leave in 16. A very brief stint, but I was also here for Thanksgiving, so there's that sense of "What's changed in a month? Nothing? Okay. Good to see you." Friday started when I got up and my mom decided she wanted to see a movie. That being Brokeback Mountain. As we got downtown, I saw the lights on at my old office and decided to call my old boss. We had a couple minutes so I got to see him and two other old coworkers and got a Brokeback Mountain jacket out of it. We then head over to the theater and I run into someone I know who works at the theater, and chat him up for a couple minutes, and then watch the movie, which we both loved. As the movie ended a girl walked by and said "I lied it, but why did the sex have to be so violent?" My mom asked what the girl said, I told her, and moms said "What an idiot." My response was like "Yeah, you're my mom, mom."We then trekked over to Powells to sell some books for my brother and ran into Chris and his wife, who were in town from L.A. That's the nature of Portland, you're more likely to run into people you know from L.A. in Portland than you are in L.A. My friend D.K. was working and I made sure he was to swing by the Aalto that night. I then went to Rich's (as I previously essayed) and then grabbed some dinner. I took the bus over to South East, and told the peeps that I should be there around seven. When I got to the Aalto at 5:30... I ordered a Bloody Mary and decided to do some reading. After a half hour I thought "should I go up to Madness?" I then grabbed a Diet Pepsi elsewhere and decided upon the greatest idea known to man: I went to the nearby nickel arcade, to play some pinball and Dance Dance Revolution.

I got back to the bar a little after seven, and still there was no one there. Bobby showed shortly thereafter and it was him and me chatting it up (he had also recently seen Brokeback) until around nine, when Scott and Heather showed with Scott's mom. Bobby bailed shortly thereafter and then an old friend named Sam rolled in announcing DK's appearance, and gave me a cigar. Shortly after DK showed so did some other friends with whom I started dancing, which led to a pole dance performed by me. And it was hot. When Bobby was talking of bailing early, I thought I might get home before midnight and take the bus, but more and more people I knew started piling in, and another friend who lives part time in LA showed, and we now have plans to hang out when he's in town in two weeks. Sweet. The party started to wind down, and I kept drinking in that way where you just stay in the balance of the right buzz. It's hard to manage, but it totally worked out for me. Got a cab at one and came home.

Today I got up and the big plan was to hang out with Jeff. We watched some Ultraman (including an episode where Ultraman fights a violin monster), Ride Lonesome, and the truly amazing Turkish film called Death Warrior, which does not make a god damn lick of sense in it's 72 minute running time. If you liked Turkish Star Wars, then you'll love Death Warrior. Mom and I got back and watched Meet Me In St. Louis (great!) and The Dark Corner, which was rather good. Mom crashed out and I jumped in her hot tub for a bit to veg out.

I get out and there's a message from Aili on my cell phone. I call her back and she had just gotten off the phone with her family, a group of early risers. Her sister and brother were home for the holidays and Aili is stuck in Los Angeles cause she had too much work. She basically spent an hour decompressing. She wished me well, and as the conversation wrapped up, she spit out in a tired (and slightly drunk) voice "I love you." My reflexes kicked in and I said "Love you too." and we got off the phone before I realized what had just happened. And I tell you, it's fucking with me so bad right now that I feel like shit. It was a slip that changes everything. And so here we are and there you go.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

So Gay

The Scene: Rich's Cigars. I know half the staff, but I bullshit with some of the new people.

Me: You have Gryphon tattooed on your foot.
Girl: Gryphon is my last name.
Me: So, like, if you get murdered, then they'll know who it is.
Girl: Something like that.
Me: I only have one tattoo. It's right here (points above heart). It says "So Gay"
Girl: Can I see it?
Me: (said not as a proposition) No, you can only see it if you have sex with me.
Me: Hey, you know, I understand, not everybody bites.
Girl: Really?
Me: Oh yeah, and it works too, cause some girls actually do go home with me, and then, after sex, I'm all like "well, you read the tattoo. I told you. So gay."
Girl: It's like a disclaimer.
Me: Exactly! It's truth in advertising.
Girl: Can I see it?
Me: You know the rules.
Girl: Are you fucking with me?
Me: ....
Girl: Seriously, are you being serious?
Me: ...

A Sketch From the Burbank Airport on a flight back to Portland

Me (internal): That's Rob Schnieder waiting for his flight... What's he doing with a jug of... cider? Is that cider? Could it be urine? I'm looking around and he looks up to look at me and then looks down I see someone I work near... Fuck it, I'm not talking to them I don't really know em anyway... Rob Schnieder Making Copies... Set your clock back... Wearing a fedora and a scarf... GAY... The Animal Fuck the Animal, that shit was horrible and the Deuce Bigalow films? I mean seriously The Hot Chick? But Knock Off.... Oh fucking Knock Off should I go over tell him that I love, absolutely love Knock Off? Will he think I'm a fucking nuts for loving that film? Should I tell him I saw it five times in the theaters? Will he think I'm making fun of him? Of course you're not going to say anything FUCKING KNOCK OFF! Knock Off "no one would work with you Ray, you're the king of knock off's!" (Van Damme accent) "But you're still a fake to me." "Only the one's with Sean Connery, Moneypenny." "MOVE IT, YOU GOTTA WANT IT." I'm not going to say shit huge fan of Knock Off "I thought Tang was a beverage." Jesus, I wanna watch Knock Off I hope I make my flight Rob Schneider, Burbank airport, KNOCK OFF! Knock Off. I'm convinced that this is really not my song, I bought it in Hong Kong... It's a Knock Off. You're not going to say anything. Nope.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Bro's before Ho's, man!

Damon: What's shakin?
God: Damn.
Damon: What?
God: I haven't heard from your faggot ass since the bachelor party.
Damon: That was a bachelor party?
God: Duh.
Damon: And how you doin' Chewbacca?
God: Still hanging around this loser?
Damon: I'm fucking tired.
God: Damn right.
Damon: How you been?
God: Busy as always.
Damon: How was Munich?
God: I liked it.
Damon: Oh, snap, my brithday wishes for your boy.
God: You get him anything?
Damon: I'm going to Portland tomorrow, I'll get him something there.
God: Smooth. How you been?
Damon: Recovering from Aili's office party.
God: How'd that go?
Damon: First off, she told me to restrain myself. Which I get, I say some wild shit from time to time....
God: Dog?
Damon:No, I know, but it's not like I don't know enviornments. Also since her coworkers don't know, I had to play boyfriend.
God: Good set up, how was the evening?
Damon: Eh. I had to drive, so I couldn't drink, which is probably for the best.
God: And then...
Damon: It went okay. I stuck with Aili for most of it, but made small talk near the vegetable dip. The big thing was one of her coworkers had a couple and sort of pulled me aside telling me how lucky I was.
God: I know you didn't punch him.
Damon: It got to that weird zone where he was crossing my boundaries.
God: Certain things a man shouldn't say to another man. Speaking of, you know who one of my favorite bands are? The Minutemen.
Damon: Fuck you.
God: So I haven't seen you in over a month?
Damon: New Year's eve?
God: For sure.
Damon: I'm back Monday, ifyou've got some time.
God But what about Aili?
Damon: Okay, I'm sorry it's been a while. Cool?
God: Yeah but you've been slipping and tripping.
Damon: Don't I know it.
God: All right. Peace!
Damon: Peace.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

All my favorite Questions have no answers

I was watching The 40-Year-Old Virgin this weekend, and there's acouple of female anal jokes in it. And it seems that heterosexual anal sex has hit a crossover point. I mean, not like people are going to talk about doing it on Oprah (or maybe....) but ten years ago I don't think it came up as often. And that it does in the film to laughs (butthole pleasures, Elizabeth Banks character) seems to say something, but nothing scientific

This sort of thing also ties into my theory that internet time is collapsing. The Shining, The Chronic(what) cles of Narnia, these zipped around in record time. Literally in the case of the SNL sketch, which has already saturation point four days after its airdate. Granted this shit is hilarious, but it seems the world has it down to a science. I say that mostly because I'vestumbled across the mention in four different places. Which ties into my curiousity if some friends of mine were really patient zero when it came to the Snakes on a Plane phenomenon, or ahead of the curve. I wish that thing we did had a site meter at the time, damn...

And I wonder if Aili cares about me, and could ever love me at this point.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Sometimes, yeah, it does all revolve around a day

My weekend was crazy. I will get to that a little later tonight or tomorrow. I'm waiting on something at work, and I realized that much of my life revolves around the day I decided to rent movies at Mike Clark's Movie Madness. Had I not done that, I wouldn't have started working there, which had I not done that would mean I wouldn't have spent five years working as a film buyer, which had I not done that, it's likely that I wouldn't have spent as much time writing reviews and hanging out on the internet, which means I wouldn't probably have the friends I have today, which means I may not have to come to LA as I did, or perhaps wouldn't have survived as long as I have (then again, had I not known them I might have lived in a cheaper housing establishment, etc. etc.

That said, I find it hard to believe that had one of those pieces not fallen into place, I wouldn't have done some of the things I've done. And, of course, those pieces did fall into place, because that's the way it went. My fate weighs heavily on me these days, cause things got heavy this weekend. I will flesh out the story, but there was some yelling, a little vomiting, and some make up sex involved.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Wimmens is hard

They are. Like my wife. But we're over whatever we had going earlier this week. We've got to do a business party tomorrow night. Got to get my shit tight tomorrow. Got to.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The First top ten of the year: DVD

1) The Astaire Rogers Collection
2) Pickpocket/Au Hasard Balthazar
3) Naked - "Well, basically, there was this little dot, right? And the dot went bang and the bang expanded. Energy formed into matter, matter cooled, matter lived, the amoeba to fish, to fish to fowl, to fowl to frog, to frog to mammal, the mammal to monkey, to monkey to man, amo amas amat, quid pro quo, memento mori, ad infinitum, sprinkle on a little bit of grated cheese and leave under the grill till Doomsday."
4) No Direction Home - "It's hard to be wise and in love at the same time, you know?"
5) The Big Red One - "You know how you smoke out a sniper? You send a guy out in the open and you see if he gets shot. They thought that one up at West Point. "
6) Le Samourai
7) Seven Men From Now
8) Shoot the Piano Player/Jules and Jim
9) The Band Wagon
10) 2046

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine

There's no easy transition. And I can't escape that I know what I'm doing and why I'm doing it. And that's why I find it hard to apologize. The thing in question isn't the thing itself. And yet an apology is due. And I don't want that to be how I open the conversation, but there's also no good transition point. "My cat hasn't done anything dickish since she clawed me... by the way, I'm sorry for acting a dick last night." I think the only thing to do is show up tonight without calling and just fuck the living shit out of my wife.

A bit of a fight

I got in to Aili's after work. Things were going well. She was superconcerned about my cat scratches, and was being almost excesively mothering. Aili has about fifteen movies in her DVD collection, including Dirty Dancing (which I kinda like) and Garden State. And I said "Well, I'm all up for the cuddling, just don't make me watch Garden State again." Targeting system, now armed.

"Hey, I don't even get what women could get out of that movie." With that Fat Man and Little Boy were deployed (and I didn't even pick on her copy of Amelie). I'll admit that was rude. But here's the thing, I know in my heart of hearts what this is about. It's about two things. One is that I am something of a ruthless tastemaster. The second part of that is that I love something she cannot and probably shouldn't love at the level I do. When I question her taste in film, it's kind of like I'm judging her. But I'm not, but we're still so fresh that I get it. And again I get railed on for being passive agressive, when I thought I was just being frank. So I'm at home watching Aqua Teen Hunger Force (and no, that's not a euphamism).

Here's me acknowledging my faults. I don't have a lot of power and control in this relationship. Was I hitting her buttons in a passive agressive way? Was I trying to exert some Alpha male where I could? What would Freud say? He would say I was trying to run herover, that's why he's a genius.

Fingers crossed for hot make up sex.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Picture Pages, Picture Pages...

First off, The Busby Berkley Boxset is coming in March! The picture is of a poster from the Houx Collection.

Second off, CAT SCRATCH FEVER. Also,I like Diet Pepsi.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Fuck so pretty you and me, Erratic City come alive

Shoot the Piano Player
Where the Sidewalk Ends

The Wife. Yeah. Here's a story. A Finnish word for yeah, or yes (as, say in the context of "oh yes.") sounds like the word Jew. My wife has a cute mole on her left breast. I think about it at work and sometimes get distracted. And there you go.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

My wife has garbage farts

I woke up at three this morning, and smelled a smell that I doubted could have originated from a human being. And then I hear the sound of a lazy sleepy fart. And it wasn't me, and then, man, whoo I smelt that shit and giggled myself back to sleep after trying to fan the sheets as much as possible without waking Aili.

Since I've been ill, Aili has suggested I crash at her place after I get off work. And since I opened this door, it's only fair I should close it. Here's the last update on this: the sex has been irregular. But there was more, and it wasn't as awkward (frankly, even though I had no staying power, I could feel the tension just drain out of me, so I can't say it was bad sex for me, as much as it was rabbit quick). It's still weird, though. And not in a creepy/exciting way. There's other things, but I should remember to not be as honest on this here blog about our sex life. Maybe someday she'll google my name and find this.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Scary Truth

Jesus (not Jesus, Jesus, but Jesus) I'm almost 30. This morning really kicked that in for me. People my age have kids and shit. I had that weird wave of "Time to really ship up your ship" shit go through me. Not that I'm not an adult. I mean I've owned my own home, etc. etc. It's just I had that flash. I don't want to be a 30 year old boy.

Whatever. At least I can claim I'm married. And shit is moving forward I guess.

Elizabethtown is one of the most wrongheaded films I've seen, probably ever. It's not terrible, terrible should be reserved for the Taxis of the world. It opens with a self fulfilling prophecy of a character analyzing his failure, and is about to kill himself. Yet, other than the evidence presented by language, this is never felt in Orlando Bloom's rather nominal performance.

And 2005 is the year that proved (definitively, I reckon, the Pirates sequels are being sold on Johnny Depp) that Bloom is not a leading man. He's the 21st century's John Gavin. But I think Crowe may be one of those directors who doesn't trust great actors. I think he loves dialogue, and he's sort of great at writing it, but he seems to like casting performers who don't bring much to the table (there are some notable exceptions). It seems John Cusack reconfigured the role of Lloyd Dobler to give the character the darkness that makes him so goddamned lovable in the film, and I wonder if Crowe bucks at that. This is probably a theory better for a blog than published, but I get that sneaking suspicion. And there is a sense in the film that Crowe is trying to leap to a more cinematic (pictorial) sensibility, but has to put everything in words. He overwrites, especially in the overwhelmingly awkward final third that has a character on a road trip at a point in the movie that makes said road trip feel sluggish and pointless.

That said, this film is obviously a mess, and one wonders how much of Judy Greer and D-Day ended up on the cutting room floor. Oh, huge cardinal offense, putting a character on a stage and trying to win over a crowd that never happens emotionally (though the crowd behaves as it is written to, alas). Played by Susan Sarandon, in a role that is an embarrassment to which little of it seems her fault.

The film is about the loss of a father without ever being about it. About being in a strange southern environment without ever feeling connected. About a character ready to kill himself without ever feeling like he's ready to kill himself. It seems all this is to (or became out of failings, hard to say how much or what hit the cutting room floor) foster a love story between Bloom and Kristen Dunst, playing the archtypal "Girl who shows up and does all the work." This sort of character needs to die. There's also a sequence where the two are on their phones all night, and the rhythms of the scene are just all wrong. Crowe seems to have lost touch, he knows the rhythms, but people have become abstractions to him, there's a sequence when Bloom steals a beer that could have been great, but it never hits on a real feeling.

I was nervous about the film, mostly because I have huge father issues, and was facing the strong possibilty of my father's death weeks ago. And yet there is no sense of that relationship, really, even though it's suggested Bloom and his father had a complicated and empty relationship. There's dad stuff in here, but it goes nowhere.

Watching the film, I was reminded of my brother's wedding. Before it started, I had to run to work, and found out my friend DK wrote a piece about me in the latest issue of PDXS, a now defunct weekly. I brought a couple issues home, and my (great) Aunt Veda (now deceased) told me I shouldn't tell my brother about it or mention it because it was his day. Fair enough I thought, though I showed it to my brother, and he was stoked.

Cut to: the wedding dinner. The family were asked to say something, and at my turn I stood up and got choked up, voice a-cracking talking about my bro. I was supremely happy for him, and tried to explain my joy for him (note: they're now divorced), and I said some words that were pretty emotional for me and the crowd (I was told later my crying made others weepy as well). When it came time for my aunt Veda to say something, it was all about how she lived in La Grande, and a short version of her life story. It was a very base irony, but I couldn't help but choke on it.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Watching Frenzy

is sort of like having your grandfather tell you that he and your grandmother liked anal. Maybe on some level you're happy for him to have the ability to open up and let loose, but otherwise, freaky sex and relatives don't exactly go hand in hand. And there's something about the imagery that is both unwholesome and quaint at the same time. Hitchcock didn't pick hot women to taketheir clothes off. No, sir. Not like that old story about him and Grace Kelly...

I'm not saying it's bad. It's just odd.

He would see faces in movies, on T.V., in magazines, and in books....

He thought that some of these faces might be right for him:

The Dukes of Hazzard

I am fighting a nasty cold I think I got from my mother. Or Aili. I guess I'm coming through it, though, if the grotesque display of flem is a sign of getting better. I've had some nasty ass throat butter, and when I cough it sounds like a car trying to but faling to start.

I went to the thing on Thursday and had a great time. Aili couldn't make it, some briefs for Friday, etc. I cancelled on my thing last night cause I'm so ill (both in the real and DMC sense of the word). I kinda opened the door talking about Aili and what's going on, and it's all symptomatic of me being in LA. I've got friends here, but I work crazy hours, and I get home and I can't always call the homies, you know?

So let me say this. I saw her Friday night. We hung out. It went well. It was an early night for both of us. I'll leave it at that.

I watched Shoot the Piano Player this weekend. YAY.