Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Dr. Tran and other madness

I hung out with a popcult-savvy friend last night, and I now feel awash in media insanity. The movies! The comic books! The posters! The wacky shorts! How do people find the time to generate all this stuff, and then where do people find the time to absorb it? My mind is still reeling from the staggering output of creativity floating around out there, plus I now have an armload of popcult homework (Veronica Mars, Equilibrium, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) to work my way through. Whew.

Catching up on media literacy exhausts me.... How do normal people manage?

Monday, August 29, 2005

moderation is for twerps

It's interesting to note how action begets action, and sloth begets sloth. On the days that I work, I get a ton done, both work-related and non-work-related. However, on the days I have off, I do nothing. Nothing. It's sad, and the fact that it's so predictable makes it even sadder. I'm one of those people who, unless presented with a terrific reason to get out of bed (art, friends, bill-paying, imminent starvation), will just stay in bed forever 'n' ever, merrily doing crosswords and reading Archie comics.

Funny thing is, once I'm out of bed, I'm off to the races, living my guts out; ain't nobody gonna break my stride, nobody's gonna slow me down and so forth. I remember being forced to read As I Lay Dying in tenth grade, written by that laugh riot William Faulkner, and my English teacher was baffled by the father in the book. He, like yours truly, was a victim of inertia, never moving unless acted upon by an outside force, never stopping unless something put the brakes on for him. Live hard, laze hard. My English teacher made a huge deal out of this, saying that the father was insane and that Faulkner didn't always make sense. I happen to agree with the latter assessment, but I remember the pang of guilt I felt when I recognized a kindred spirit in this guy, only to feel the two of us being read the riot act by my teacher.

I should walk around town today, or die trying. I need paper towels, anyway.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

marathon, man

Still recovering from a fourteen-hour lunch date. Or a 'lunch hangout,' I'm still not sure which. Either way, it was a lovely mix of tangerine sorbet, strawberry cream tea, soul-baring, pad thai, and Amoeba Records. I should listen to more Bollywood soundtracks, I think.

I just finished my party-favor-on-loan, Craig Thompson's Carnet de Voyage, and I can't escape the feeling that I've just awoken from a nap in rainy Barcelona. Of course, the fact that I'm in blistering Lost Angeles is failing to register right now, which is a testimony to Thompson's storytelling power. Half an hour on the treadmill and listening to Mitch Hedberg haven't snapped me back into wack-o-rama reality as well as I'd hoped. O, listlessness....

Friday, August 26, 2005


So, the 48 Hour Film Festival was fabulous, and guess who showed up: cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs! I got to talk to Laszlo and his wife Audrey, both of whom are superduper nice, discussing the sorry state of film schools today. Depressing, but great to pick the brain of the guy who shot Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, Paper Moon, New York New York, Ghostbusters, Little Nikita, and Say Anything.

Poor Laszlo was bemoaning the fact that, because he shot one romantic comedy really well back in the 80s, he's suddenly been pigeonholed as a romantic comedy cinematographer. He said that there were a couple of studio suits hanging out on one of his sets recently, and they were both like, "Hey, this Laszlo guy can sure light interiors well. Bet he has no clue about shooting exteriors." And Laszlo was all like, "I SHOT EASY RIDER. IDIOTS!" Actually, he's Hungarian, so it came out more like "EEDIOTS!" But you get the idea.

Audrey, meanwhile, had started out pre-med, then followed architecture, and was on the board of the Gamble House in Pasadena. So cool! She was telling me about how when she and Laszlo met, it took Laszlo forever to get up the nerve to ask her out, and then they went out once, and were engaged 8 DAYS LATER. And, 21 years after the fact, they're still happily married. It was a great conversation. I didn't get the chance to talk to their daughters, but they seemed pretty nifty, too.

Oh, and I won a cinematography commendation, which, along with $3, might buy me a cup of coffee. But, hey, I got a gold star! Gold stars rock. I was blown away by all the filmmakers, who had the greatest spirit of fun and adventure about filmmaking, and I met lots of terrific people, and the organizers of the fest are simply splendid. All in all, a very satisying evening.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

in Moog we trust

I just found out on that Robert Moog, of synthesiser fame, passed away on Sunday from brain cancer. Why did nobody tell me this?! I'd never really followed him all that closely, but I am a massive fan of synth music, and I am really moved by what he did for our modern culture. I think I need to lie down now.

This reminds me: no one told me until a month ago that Jonathan Brandis hung himself, two whole years ago. How do these things escape my attention? I'm starting to worry about my apparent bubble of non-information.

On an unrelated note, I just wanted to say that I received a call from Central Casting, saying they needed an emergency "upscale woman with car" for Mission Impossible:3. This amuses me to no end. Alas, I had to decline, because of a potential schedule conflict, plus they had given me zero time for prep (6:12am phone call, for a 7:30 call time on set in Arcadia). We upscale women need an hour at least for prep alone, never mind for driving to Arcadia! Sigh. I sort of miss doing the background-actor thing, but joining AFTRA really ruined my opportunities. And anyway, being a DP rocks so much harder.

Another unrelated note: Amy Correia's "Hold On" and The Dresden Dolls' "Coin-Operated Boy" are fantastic. Listen to both ASAP.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

who let the cows out?

So, a film student of mine had a live cow in her kitchen as part of her shoot; dream big, as I always like to say.

In honor of today being both Can Opener Day AND Waffle Day, I had a couple of crumpets, which seem to be located somewhere (rather peripherally, perhaps) within the waffle family. Trader Joe's has very nice crumpets, although they have the most bizarre consistency before you toast them. If you've ever eaten Ethiopian cuisine, think of those tortilla-like things which come with the meal, and you'll know what I'm talking about -- somewhat latex-y, like a Nerf product you'd get for your dog. Sounds strange-o-rama, but still: toasted crumpets rock with some Knott's Blackberry Jam. And that's no lie.

ALSOALSO: I shot a short film called Threshold (dir. by John Parenteau), and it will be screening tomorrow, August 25th, at the ArcLight Hollywood, 7pm, as part of the 48 Hour Film Festival! Be there! You'll get to see my cinnamon-tography on the big screen, which will rock in all sorts of ways. And I promise I won't use idiotic terms like "cinnamon-tography" ever again. In front of you, anyway.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

no, I will not be your so-called friend, but thanks for the cookies

So, I just had to delete three friend requests today, each of which was from a music group promoting the bejeezus out of itself. Good gravy! How dare you masquerade as a 'friend,' getting my hopes up when I log in, only to reveal your hideous capitalist bloodlust for more subscribers? Gag me.

Anyway, I talked to someone yesterday about how everybody around us is getting married, but then these people continue flirting with others and sending out 'availability' vibes. He reasoned that this may be a peculiarly L.A. phenomenon, that people build careers out of connecting with others, and if it means some low-level flirtation, so be it. He wasn't condoning this behavior, only trying to explain it. True or not, it still bothers me that anyone would consider this behavior excusable. Is nothing sacred?

Monday, August 22, 2005

break my stride

So, this has definitely been a time of transitions, which I would normally embrace, if only it didn't involve losing so many friends. James has moved to San Francisco, Nicole is moving to Boston, and Sergio is moving to Ecuador. Ecuador! I've spent my whole life moving around, which has been great because I'd never really had too many friends to lose in any particular place, and each new school made me a tabula rasa, free to prove myself a hopeless nerd over and over and over. Now that I've finally grown comfortable in my own skin, my friends have decided to do the moving. Fate sure has a nasty sense of humor.

I should also cut my fingernails, they're getting rather Howard Hughes on me.