Monday, January 29, 2007

Children of Men

Bought this in London, wow. What a masterpiece. Don't know where it shakes on my list, but top five for sure. Kind of a strange movie to watch under the circumstances.

I got into an argument with my Brother in Law about it (he's been by a lot. Which leads to even more drama, they have not entirely accepted the whole fact that he's gay.) He likes Brazil more, and I think this is the better movie. He was saying how depressing and close to reality he found it, and I guess I find Brazil way more depressing. Brazil is a "You can't take that away from me." film, as the ending is a minor triumph in the face of oppression. But I find the ending very much a hippie dippy escape from Orwell. CoM I find infinitely more hopeful as it's about finding value in life. It's a film, rather literally about birth, about renewal. It's the work of a father. Brazil strikes me as the work of an egoist. Which all works of art are, but maybe a little moreso here. I've got to work on articulating this.

That though was only major London purchase. The exchange rate is 2.2and some other numbers. Originally we were supposed to be gone by now, but we threw in London, partly for Aili's sister, partly so it wouldn't be all depression. We're here until Sunday. I mean, this is it. There's already been the discussion, and we're not coming back for the funeral. He can't walk anymore, he's at the hospital, and I know part of him is just ready. I think he held out to see us, so I wouldn't be surprised if it's soon. Aili's brother Mika (as I found out named after the director, who I guess is coming over for dinner tomorrow) has been going to the hospital too a lot. They've been trying to talk civilly. We're coming in in a bit. Yesterday he told me about how he saw Three to Tango, this useless Matt Perry Neve Campbell film. I couldn't help worrying that might be the last movie he ever sees. But then, what do I show him? Rules of the Game? A Prairie Home Companion? Dunno.

Saturday, January 27, 2007


The 4 am flight yesterday was deadly, but that's noon LA time. We're in now, been in for a day and a half. Thankfully her parents have wireless. I guess they spend all day emailing their daughter. Which I've only been partly aware of this until now. Still kinda bummed about meeting the Hot Fuzzers. I guess the truth is you want them to know you're a fan, and that you're cool. I'm sure I got the former across.

I should probably be more concerned about meeting my in-laws. That has been awkward so far, but I'm the walking dead right now with jet lag. I've spoken to them on the phone, and they've gotten tons of photos of us. Here's the thing I didn't want to talk about. Her dad is ill. Bad. This is it. He's got the cancer in the lungs. He's down to one and it doesn't look good. We saw him yesterday. There was a lot of crying. That's what this is about. Why we're here. Not exactly the best way to meet the in-laws. Her mom, Kaisa, has been great but doesn't speak English and dad Eikki speaks very little English ("I hear you want to make movies!" "Yes." "Good town for it." "Yes, that's why I moved there.""Huh?" Aili translates."Very good!") That leaves some issues off of me. Still, it's a very grave visit,that Leonard can only slightly counterbalance. Lot of crying.
And I still can't sleep, and I still can't shit right. The food here is eh. I've been dealt some okay Finnish food at home, but it tends to be (to me) bland. Less spices it seems. Sort of like Russian cuisine. So far (one day in) more fish than beef.

Still sorta wrestling with last night

So I have the Hot Fuzz/Shaun of the Dead gang's autographs, but it's tinged with a sense of their annoyance. They were obviously chatting with some friends or something, but I saw them and I couldn't help myself. Simon gave me a sort of "yeah I get it" nod. I think it would be cuter if I were younger or shorter. Maybe they weren't that annoyed all things. And there's no way in hell they'd ever remember me. Good god, I could have just nodded politely. Still, they signed my Empire. Maybe I should have mentioned working on that script with Q: The Winged Serpent. Maybe that would have done it.

I'm seriously this close to throwing it away, though.

I guess I could make up a story about it to make me come off cooler.

I feel Gay

I saw Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost at a bar tonight. I geeked out and asked for autographs. I got them. But they weren't happy. I feel bad. They must be doing interviews for HOT FUZZ. Frost wrote "Damon, GAY! Nick Frost"

Seriously, I'm mixed on this one.

Friday, January 26, 2007

This is Radio Clash

I'm finally getting adjusted to London time. Fucking hell. I can't shit right, I fart a lot, I don't sleep more than three or four hours in a row. We're here visiting Aili's sister. Her place is small, but we're doing okay. I feel bad about flying Leonard over, but such is life. We've done some sight seeing, but with Leonard so young, and London so cold, it generally means that one of us gets to go out.

Tomorrow we leave for Finland. It turns out that Aili's family knows the Kaurismaki brothers Aki and Mika. If they're around we may hang out with them. Very cool. I have been working on this trip. But I'm getting punchy. We'll be in Finland for a week, and I've got DVD's I said I'd write up for the J while I'm here, and the kid, and it's my first time in London, and I'm going to do most of sight seeing today. "Hey where was An American Werewolf in London filmed?" "Piccadilly Circus."
"I want to check that shit out, then."

That's, hopefully what today has in store, though everything is hella expensive, and it's been snowing. But we have to get out of London tomorrow before the strike kicks in (which starts next week).

Saturday, January 20, 2007

A short story

They got together, and not without a sense of irony, on the first full moon of a month, unless it was a Thursday. Then they just waited until Friday cause Charles couldn't get out of picking up his kids from their fencing classes. Of course, everyone joked about the fencing lessons when Charles wasn't around, but the group did so in a mostly loving fashion. Every full moon, a dinner out. The wives and husbands understood, as the married ones knew the need to confess their "illness." At this point it was nothing a few pills a month couldn't suppress, but the bachelors could be cagey with dates and one night stands. It was determined a genetic anomaly and medicines were developed all of ten years ago, but there was always a likelihood (something Sebastian was all too aware of) that an unknown pregnancy could leave more than a couple of people dead. The earliest signs of the illness come when puberty kicks in, but a first outbreak can be deadly. There were a couple ways of spreading the "disease" (again, no one likes to call it a disease, it's like calling a pencil a piece of art... yes, it's applicable, but only under the loosest of definitions). but A#1 easiest way was through offspring (urine proved to be the second most powerful way of transmission. Some of the affected have mistakenly been labeled pee shy as a result)

Their meetings were about a fourth class reunion, a fourth support group, a fourth lodge meeting, and a fourth an act of policing. Records were kept, of course, who hadn't been around for more than two meetings. Sebastian was appointed to be the obituary follower, to both check for those who permanently left their group, and also for anything suspicious. He was in his sixties but still spry, which was normal. If someone missed their third meeting Sebastian would alert Ted and Nancy, who would first make a phone call, and if nothing came of that, they knew what they had to do. Of course, everyone joked at the meetings (usually after their standard steak tartar and extra rare fillet dinners) about how they kinda wanted to get off the pills. Some members because they had no idea how it'd go, and others wanting to taste it again. And of course, there were the side effects to their medication. Impotence and dryness were known to be a problem, dizziness, and for those who were on it for ten years straight, kidney stones. Most of the jokes by the old timers revolved around their piss. But the punchline was always Ted and Nancy.

The biggest problem with going off the meds, besides turning into a werewolf, was that the meds were mood altering. Off the pills for two weeks, and kids were known to turn erratic, quiet people got louder, loud people got quieter, but most became moody, and even more strongly reject the desire for their medication. Even those who ran out of pills and had to wait a couple hours for their refills could shortly thereafter start down the path, which generally took about three moon cycles for the meds to fully flush out. Like a junkie, getting off and on was always the hardest part. That's what Ted and Nancy were for, nicknamed Sugar and Spice. He had the tranquilizer, she had the shotgun. If you didn't go down with one, you'd go down with the other. They were jokingly referred to as state licenced killers, but ultimately they only had to use their James Bondian powers once in their interim. It was the first years that were bloody, and the ones that established the need for a two person system. If a "cannibal" (as they were also called) went off their meds it was always the worst. Two put shotguns in their own mouths, but - again - that was considered the Wild West period.

The problem was that everyone went off their meds at one point or another. There was talk of having an Alaskan workshop, but the money hasn't come together yet, and it would require at least a three to six month absence from one's work or life. It was what Charles and Sebastian were discussing after their latest, and enjoying a smoke outside as the group dispersed yet again. Much like his lycanthopy, Charles didn't let too many people in on his smoking habit. But the meetings allowed him a chance to flaunt the secrets he kept from his boss, whose father had been mauled to death, and was a violently religious health nut, perhaps in response to his father's passing.

"I think we should do it as a retirement village."
"Of course you would, you're near retirement."
"You know me, I'm responsible."
"No, I know. But we all get it, we all get it all the time."
"Tell me about it. I found myself doodling the woods the other day. Just doodling."
"Did you add dead chickens?"
"No." Sebastian laughed "Dead rabbits."

One of the newest members handed out copies of their group photo, which had him giving thumbs up in front of their plate of meat surrounded by his new tribe.

"Thanks. Anyway, I keep thinking about driving to Northern California..."
"Or Southern Oregon?"
"Yeah, and just hanging out until it happens."
"Then, what, you think about Sugar and Spice?"
"Nah, I figure someone else would just shoot me. It's been so long though, I don't know what to expect."
"I remember the wind."
"When you run really fast?"
"Yeah. Being on all fours, the thrill of the hunt."
"I tried bow hunting, it's not the same. And I don't have the teeth for ripping an animal apart this way."
"Also, I have no idea what I'd look like now."
"I had a real fluffy white coat last time."
"You must have looked like an evil husky dog,"
"Yeah, but I got a lot of ass."
"But you're married now, kids, all that."
"I guess straight people buy a fancy car when they feel this way."
"Yeah. Different strokes, and all that."
"Yeah, I know, you got kids to look after."
"Yeah. See you next month."

Monday, January 15, 2007

Like a cat dunked into water

I have a couple close friends out here, but by the nature of this town, it's never very easy to see many of them, and now with the kid, near impossible. One of my oldest, Sarah, came by for dinner last night. Sarah's been in a couple of movies, and we've always been just friends, and for about two years straight every weekend we went out dancing together. She moved to LA in 2002-ish, and we've only recently reconnected after literally running into each other on the street, and so I thought I should have her over to meet the baby. After she left I got an ear full. And I guess I understand, though I've had female friends all my life, you essentially have to work together, or go to school together to enjoy a solid platonic bond. Otherwise, those sort of friendships are as Chris Rock described, situations where you wanted to date, but ended up in the friendzone. And women know that so when you have a female friend who's attractive it can bring up a lot of issues. Basically, it can make a woman feel like silver or a bronze. But Sarah and I used to work together, and it's just never been there with us. It's kind of strange, too, I can't think of any point in our relationship where I was even thinking about it. Somethimes there's a bell curve effect, where attractions wax or wane, and I can't think of that point with us, though I've known Sarah for about ten years now, so perhaps I literally can't remember.

Sarah knew what was going on and tried to roll with it, but we have a relationship, so it's easy for us to fall into paterns, and then there's my wife. She feels unattractive, doesn't like having sex with me, but sometimes forces herself to. This is easily the worst and tenderest part of our relationship right now. Four months ago, she literally couldn't get enough of my sexin', and that was a little bit awkward for me when she was superpregnant. But I soldiered on. Now it's sort of a damend if you do, damned if you don't thing. I think we both fake how tired we are sometimes. I'm still sort of imprisoned by her, because if I jerk off in the interim, she can tell by my ejaculant. I'm sure everyone wanted to know that. The funny thing is, even though the sex can be rather mechanical, I still get off. My wife can give me a half hearted blowjob, and it works every time. I could return the favor, and have and sometimes if a woman don't want to, she won't, no matter how long you go. It's such a sad comment on me. So anyway, the wife kinda hates Sarah right now, and of course she wanted to have sex last night. She was literally cursing me out in Finnish, it was angry almost scary sex, but for the first time since the baby she had an orgasm. The kind that should have woken the baby, if she wasn't literally biting a pillow (she was however shaking the bed quite a bit). And after she did, I held her as she cried for about fifteen minutes. Last night I had all the baby duties. I kind of want to ask if that was the most intense one she's ever had, but if it isn't I really don't want to know.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


This is taking too long, and though the kid has me up, and though this is fun, I won't be done for at least a week with this. Hey guess what? I'm going to Finland. As mean as it is to take Leonard on a flight this young, we'll be in first class, cause Aili's parents are flying us. I'm gone from the 21st through the week (get back on the 28th). Maybe Ill update over there, but who's to say. This goes under the label: Wife.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Baby on Board

My father used to do something when I drove with him. Whenever we stopped hard, he put his hand in front of me, even when I was past being a teenager. That instinct hit me in full force today as we were all in the car tooling around Burbank. This is California, dude, and there are some bad drivers here (though not the sort of bad drivers that are in smaller towns, it's a different sort of bad). Anyway, the hand flung out in front of my wife when shit got stupid.
We're okay, but I get it now.

Part Two of "A Clean Thicket" The wife likes it. I figured I've got about a month of her upkeep, then maybe two months of me doing it myself. Then her prodding me to go back. But since it was her idea, if I'm obstinant I'm an asshole, and if I'm too compliant, I'm whipped. Strange how such decisions are decided by ego. So far, I could care less. I'd probably grow a beard if she liked it or I thought it would look like I was trying to force a chin that I aldready have (most guys with goatees look like they're trying to be taken seriously, or are fat or awkward and trying to hide their soft spot). But even then, beards require upkeep, so the shave every other day is just as easy, if not more so. My wife said something today about how you marry not because you want to fuck the other person but because you know it'll be okay when you don't. I don't know what that has to do with other, but I think it meshes in a way.

Monday, January 08, 2007

My wife shaved my balls

I don't know how I feel about this. As a dude, I've never really cared about having a neat "area" or cared about a woman's neat area. The wife, however, is pretty meticulous. And so, when we were in the shower this morning, she decided to give me a haircut and a shave. Since I work at home, there's not a lot of moving around and stuff, but it does feel a bit more airy down there. I will report back when I have more definitive findings.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Best of the year 06

So far it's:
1) United 93
2) The Host
3) Little Children
4) Miami Vice
5) Brick
6) Inside Man/ When the Levees Broke
7) The Black Dahlia
8) Down in the Valley
9) The Departed
10) Borat (partly for sentimental reasons)

Best movie (period) released in America in 2006:Army of Shadows

I have a neighbor here in the academy. He lent me Little Children. Then we talked about it, and I think I may have helped him vote (!!!) He said he'd have no problem lending me some discs of stuff when he gets it. I also borrowed Babel, which we watched and thought was okay. Just okay. He has WTC, I dunno if I could care enough to watch it. There's some others, and I guess he got the Universal shipment, so Good Shepherd and possibly Children of Men is likely. I picked up Black Dahlia, watched it again and fell in love with it. I got it.

I've been thinking about Superman Returns a bit lately, and I'm starting to feel that it's one fo the worst films ever made. Mostly because if I was six years old and saw that film I'd hate it. And as much as I've enjoyed the comic book resurge, I think some of these films are forgetting who the target audience is, and that maybe some of these films should be filled with awe and shit. I may watch it again when I have the spare time which means never.