Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Week 7: After Thanksgiving

Going home was bitter-sweet. Getting to see the family and the babies and Bren was wonderful but went by so quick. Barely had time to enjoy Bren's company a few times before I was back on the plane. The kiddies are adorable. Thursday morning we woke up the twins and Natalie popped right up and gave me a huge smile. Sam took a little time to focus then he was just as giddy. Virginia had trouble the previous night because she was so excited about me coming home. Went out for a walk that morning with her at the playground. Took lots of pictures.

By the way, I got a new phone with a camera (never thought I'd need one) to replace the brick I was using in LA. The pics look ok but right now they are trapped on the phone until i get a memory card to release them to the Puter. I will post pics for the past few weeks very soon.

Had dinner at the parents' with Gina, Margaret and Uncle Nick. Made out our Christmas lists and wondered how two of my sisters came to be football fans. I guess for the same reason Bren became a hockey fan. Ooh! Got to see the Dallas Stars play finally. Good game without Turco. Stars over the Kings 5-3 by way of empty net. WOOT! I'm training the twins to be hockey fans too. SCORE!

Bought a fake Christmas tree this year for the first time ever. Granted my mom never had to be alone for months at a time. Hopefully, Bonnie and Larry will help out when they visit next month. I have even more respect for my wifey now that I've been home and seen the demolition crew in action. Name your price sweetheart! I also have to give a HUGE thank you to everyone who has come by to help Bren in the evenings. Family, friends, acquaintances and adopted grandparents. St. Luke's is the best and we are so grateful and blessed. We can't thank you enough. Bren has started to get used to the idea of moving to LA. Pros and Cons to both scenarios but the biggest con being me not at home. Maybe we can rent out the house in Plano while renting in LA. Don't get me started on home prices in LA. We in Texas don't realize how good we have it. LA has reached a critical mass in housing and commute distance. Only time will tell if the bubble will burst. Rents reach nearly double our mortgage back home. for less Square footage and amenities. Lots of food for thought.

Back home in LA, the car search continues. Got one in mind but I need to drive it and get it checked out hopefully before someone snatches it away. Trying to not get too excited and impulsive but I want it I want it I want it. Fingers crossed for Friday.

The Ant Bully has hit the DVD shelves! I HATE the cover art. Lucas looks retarded. Doen't convey any of the action or wonder of this little gem of a movie. Anyways, on a more selfish note, yours truly is featured in the supplemental material on the DVD! Check out the interview with John Davis and track about 11 minutes in. I am the face of Layout for DNA and I need a shave. Also featured in Layout are Rod Douglas and Mark Gelfuso. Todd Fechter, Tom Jordan, Ryan Michero, Mark Theilen, Sarah Mensinga and Johan Klingler make appearances as well as the puppeteering skills of the animation department. It was a wonderful time that I can only hope will be repeated someday.

Til next time!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Week 6: And then there were three.

So i've been looking for a car for the past few weeks. Not so much luck. Using craigslist and ebay mostly. trying to find something with 4 drs, automatic, under 100K miles and less than 10 years old. Honda, Toyota, VW preferably. there are a few out there but it takes a lot of time. Came close to a Jetta today but was sold before i got there. craigslist has had a few "scams" on their site. Cars that seem too good to be true or aren't actually in the state that i can get delivered sight unseen. no thanks. I have a couple on ebay that i'm scouting so we'll see. Gotta find something before my rental car is up in December.

And we are Tim-less. For the past couple weeks he's been slowly removing himself from the premises. Kinda creepy having him float around the house tying up his loose ends yet ignoring us like he's on another plain of existence. Greg is very relieved to see him go. Had he known how reluctant Tim was to any sort of interaction or civility, he never would have rented to him. Rafael has moved in to the newly vacant so i don't have to be quite so tippy-toe in the morning. Greg's thinking about closing in the back porch into a lounge or maybe a new office so i'd have the room to myself. Rafe's talking about getting his Bowflex shipped out here cuz he's worried about being flabby. I'll pitch in for shipping to share it cuz i know i won't find a gym. I have noticed the flab wiggle taking longer to subside.

And i get to go home on Wednesday. Bren will be meeting me either dressed to kill or not depending on timing. Dressed to kill means the pink camisole, the A-line skirt (no i don't care how it fits), the strappy sandals or something that shows off the ankle bracelet, and a smile.
Uh, oh. excuse me for a moment.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Week 5: Unsupervised

Settling in nicely at DWA. had a couple meetings with directors and Jeffrey. have contributed and been well received with my suggestions so all's well on that front. even got a sequence approved. Saw Flags of Our Fathers courtesy of DWA. Very excellent film worthy of many Oscar nods. A historical war flick about Iwo Jima and the subsequent marketing campaign that the famous photograph launched. a different narrative style than Saving Private Ryan. Instead of a linear story of the rescue and redemption bookended by current times, the movie jumps between the Battles and the States. Sort of in double flashback as the veterans relate their stories to the biographer son who then relates the stories of the heroes facing demons on both sides of the Pacific. The compositing was first rate. The guns bombarding the island and the rockets and the planes and the ships and hardware were all seamless in the frame. Greg's complaint was the D.I. Everything in frame had the same color palette no matter if you were in the States or on the island. I understand the silver look for the battle scenes but would have preferred a simple sepia wash for the 1940's U.S. scenes. Maybe it was to illustrate that the soldiers never really left the battle(?) Out of the seven guys who raised the flag the second time when the picture was taken, only three returned home. One managed to make a life for himself and his family, one tried to ride the wave of fame which quickly fizzled and one couldn't handle the hypocrisy of the U.S. double standard for heroes vs. outsiders. The followup is Letters From Iwo Jima
which relates the story from the Japanese side. Maybe it will answer the question of what happened to Iggy.

In other news, the big story at home is a renters squabble. Greg and Tim have been butting heads over the issue of who gets what out of their rental agreement. Tim seems to be under the delusion that once he moved in and paid rent, he was entitled to the run of the house including objecting to Rafael sleeping in "his" living room. Apparently this means he can't watch DVD's at 2am any more even though he has a dvd player in his room provided by Greg and he has a broadband connection to his room but he'd rather commandeer Greg's computer which is in MY room than spend $40 for a modem and CAT 5 cabling. Greg and Tim had it out a couple days ago with Greg getting exasperated over Tim's disdain for his head-of-householdship and Tim being all condescending about how the law is totally on his side and he'll sue if Greg attempts to evict him before he's ready to leave. We hope Tim finds a new place soon and we wish him all the best including he doesn't get hit by a truck.

Went down Hollywood Blvd on Saturday. Peeked in a couple bookstores so Greg could gather some more information for his masterpiece website. He's documenting every non-digital special effect in movies from inception to the 1970's and maybe up to the mid 1980's. He was working on this thing back when we met at DNA on Jimmy Neutron. He plans to finish it someday and will probably keel over his keyboard the day he posts it to the Web. Also we checked out Amoeba Music which is this indie CD, DVD, Vinyl media store in which you could waste every penny of your paycheck. managed to get out of there only $38 lighter with a Jim Henson Fanatasy DVD collection containing Labyrinth, Mirrormask amd The Dark Crystal. Mmmmmm, Jennifer Connelly.

Also took in an indie flick at the NUART on Santa Monica Blvd called F*CK: The Documentary. Through animated segments by Bill Plympton, and conversations with late author Hunter S. Thompson, filmmaker Kevin Smith, critic Michael Medved, columnist Judith Martin (aka "Miss Manners"), rapper Ice-T, porn figure Ron Jeremy, newsman Sam Donaldson, comedians Billy Connolly, Janeane Garofalo, and Drew Carey, and more, director Steven Anderson considers the history of the word and its role in popular culture and throughout history. The word is used more than 800 times in the film. The pundits on the Right make valid points about the dumbing down of American culture but come off as overreacting blowhards who think people have too much free speech while the Lefties claim they are protecting free speech and our rights as American to express ourselves any way we see fit. My officemate David just used it this moment to express his displeasure at EMO no doubt. What no one wanted to discuss was while we may have the right, do we have the responsibility to use it effectively and appropriately. It seems funny to me that such a flap was raised over Bono saying it at an awards ceremony or Janet Jackson and her decorated nipple yet Cheney drops the F-bomb on the Senate floor at a colleague and is given a free pass. Plus I got to meet the director and got a T-shirt.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Week 4: In L.A.

IN THE NAVY! Our wonderful host Greg owns a 30 ft. sloop in the Santa Monica Pier and we got to go out in the bay on Sunday. The wind finally kicked up in the afternoon and Greg had been jonesing for some boat time for awhile. Greg turns into a completely different person on the waves. Much more sure of himself and moves with purpose. We went most of the length of the bay back and forth. Very exciting. A little choppy cuz the wind was pushing towards the coast. Which led to Raf and me to start feeling a little queasy. Sorry Landlubbers we. Plus the breakwaters covered in Pelican shit was not helping. Greg was lamenting about how there's nowhere to go really in the marina. No places to sail to and tie up the boat like at a restauant or an island. Catalina is too far for a short trip. And it's way too expensive to juant for a night over. Not like the East coast apparently. Places and diners that you can ONLY get to by boat. Also, the marina is getting a major facelift and all the old 3-story apartments and 30 ft slips are being torn out for 5 + 6-story apts with 50 ft. slips. And raising the rent designed to push out little guys like Greg. He complains alot about the rent or the upkeep or repairs but you can tell he really really loves it.

Then because we could and we are very big geeks over at Casa de Greg, we celebrated Halloween by terrorizing local kids as they came to the door looking for Trick or Treats. Rafael, the actor, spent $10 on some candy and some plastic table cloths and dressed himself up as some creepy guy with a garden fork for a hand. He stood in one corner of the front patio and when kids would come to the door to ring, I would come to the door and pretend to hand out candy. Then while the kids were distracted, Raf would jump up behind them yelling "HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!" Some kids peed their pants, some screamed, some fell on the floor and quivvered. It was beautiful. A true testament to our art of misdirection. And Greg didn't want to play. Says he needs someone to do it with. He needs a husband so bad. And in honor of the occasion, we unleashed TROGDOR the Burninator on the unsuspecting populace.

And Nov 3 was the release date of Flushed Away GO SEE IT! In honor of the day, DWA held a field day in the back parking lot complete with a giant inflatable toilet slide and toilet go-carts. I got the complete collection of McDonald's Happy Meals toys of the cast. Finally something to dress up my desk area. Only two and a half more weeks til Thanksgiving. See you soon.