Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Living in Hell-A: Day One... The End of Day Three

Jesus and Mary Mother of God, I hate moving more than any other feasible and totally insane act of human nature. If I were born of a nomadic clan, then perhaps the act of dismantling everything that has encompassed the comforts of one’s life and packing them into boxes, bags, and other bubble-wrapped paraphernalia wouldn’t be so traumatizing. I mean, I lived in the same townhouse in Memphis for 6 years. I lived in our wonderfully quaint home in Pacifica (with an amazing ocean view, mind you) for 4 years. I like those solid comforts of being able to put something down and know that if it came up missing, that Christine was responsible. For the last two weeks, the items of utmost importance have been hidden away, saved for the final moments of insanity, and pushed into the dark musty confines of a recycled cardboard box. But now… I can’t begin to explain where anything is or is supposed to go. The writing on the boxes may say one thing but envelop something completely different. Shit, I used to throw away boxes after moving. Somehow I knew last time we played this unpacking game, that I needed to hang onto them… some spirit of the broken adult underworld tore through the ether and whispered, “Save them, you’re going to need them for the next move mwhahahahahaha! Hey, is that a single or a double malt? Really, I’m more of a Speyside man myself. Oh, gotta go. The wife is all pissed that I’m burning dinner. But seriously, the boxes…” And that’s how hoarding starts.

Currently I’ve set down keys, contracts, wallets, glasses, screwdrivers… anything of present and future importance and “POOF!” – gone. It might take me an hour to find that goddamn thing again. I’ll incorporate the wife and the dog on a mad search for these items… and they’re found, exactly where I left them… placed safely in a spot that i would remember and go to in my moment of need. The problem indeed, is the memory part. Let me break it down.
I’ve been packing and painting for two weeks. TWO WEEKS! I’ve been living in this purgatory of a half-lived / half-wrecked life. Then moving day, the day that we all dread. It’s a physical and emotional drain that can make grown men hovel, back spasm, and weep into the musty folds of a packing blanket. 5 hours of loading splintered fragments of my life… and if I didn’t have at least two decent friends, I would have broken down 10 minutes into the ordeal. I cannot thank Daniel and James enough for also being unemployed and taking the time to help a friend work through a breakup with San Francisco on a “It’s not you, it’s her” campaign. But fellas, “Thank you.”
So here I am, two days of massive physical labor, a 6 hour drive, pissing off my new neighbors, picking up a refrigerator (and lifting it up the stairs by mu-mucking self – almost as bad as that time I moved a piano down three flights), and driving all over Los Angeles in a 26 foot long U-Haul while ye olde Acura was in tow. Now we’re in the new digs, buried in boxes, I haven’t showered in three days or gotten more than 5 hours of sleep, and all I can think of is how I have to get some sleep or I may become the subject and catalyst of a David Lynch film based on a True Story.
I want a shower and a fresh pair of undergarments… but I have to find the box with the soap and whatnot in it… and then some underpants. I’m beginning to realize that I’ve taken a lot of simple complacent comforts for granted… like not having to smell your own rank. Maybe that’s just the family roots.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Creativity or How I Learned to Love the Job

Reading has always been a doorway to inspiration. I've found some of my favorite works and authors through suggestion or books gifted to me. They run through the heavyweight gamut of Hemingway, Camus, Conrad, and even my beloved Kerouac. Kerouac was something that happened to find me through bizarre circumstance (that will have to be saved for some tell-all memoir in the Autumn of my life - if I am fortunate enough to foresee such a turning of leaves). Therefore I will over-simplify the emotive complexities and say, a book of crazed exhaustion and paranoia, led a bright-eyed boy into a life fit for advances, rejection, inebriation, and a particularly distasteful madness that wound up documented throughout pocket notebooks and blurry bar nights. Vague for those that know not of this twenty-something battle of multiple personalities, but descriptive enough for the individuals lucky enough to be in the trenches of eternal youth to remember and nod with heavy hearts... but I digress.
This open door was none other than Big Sur. It was my introduction to a soul that I knew as well as my own... and too perfect a introduction, for 'ol Jack's signature piece, On The Road, would not have sunk it's teeth in as deeply as the wounded nature of Big Sur. With this connection to a lost and confused self-destructive manic, whose love of the world matched his love of love - I burned through the other literature pushed out by an eternal rebel with an eternal battle... fight the things that you love but never forget why you love them. This torture and turmoil followed his life and found it's way into the narrative of his words. The books read like streams (though the poetry was not poetry at all - something more bop-disjointed and less enjoyable). After a number of years, I had exhausted all of the material that this life was able to birth onto printed page. Years press on and more pages are found. Those following the grand drunken messiah found methods to organize the chaos left behind by their master. Posthumous novels whose meanings were port wine blurry were offered as a continual parting gift. His personal thoughts and journals were put up on auction and printed for the eager eyes - though not quite fit to be consumed.... and this my friends is where I have taken a moment to curl my toes in the grass.
The phrase, kill your idols comes to mind. For these secrets of our heroes are more damning than the actual evils (or rumored) than we could ever imagine. It's the moment in which we pull back the curtain and see all of the wires, tin foil, and unwashed dishes that the wizard left behind. When we die, the impending doom that should overtake us all is that our personal affects will be there to carry on a legacy that we may have never intended. Like an Estate sale, people dig through your goods like vultures and once the scraps have been picked they dig a little deeper until they can harvest and sell your very soul.
Through these series of edited notebooks and personal thoughts, I gained a bit of understanding - no matter how much magic had been washed down the drain. It brought a new beginning of scribbling through my personal pages and even so much as to revisit some of my old inked madness - dusty news notebooks sealed in a box intended to be released on the day of Apocalypse. And like the Book of Revelation, this box held the secrets to the end of the mind... a swirling maze of shoots and ladders that documented a mind embattled with the unanswerable questions of the soul. So many questions that the faces of strangers mirrored... everyone lost in the shadows of life. Seasons change and we stay the same. These questions have awakened something sinister. My writing has returned. The bubbling pit of madness/sickness is opening its berth, steaming the stem of the brain back into action. The coma of complacency is beginning to thaw and I could not be happier, yet more afraid of what it may bring. My filters will falter. My opinions will cut and stab, but there are times in which we must be slashed from our shackles and violently shaken from our hypnosis. The time has come. Grab your hammer, take some rope... we're going to burn the whole damn thing down. Revolution is upon us - the regime of comfort must die. Time to slide into madness... and thankfully I'll have enough of a warning to document it for good measure. Sounds like a road trip is in order.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Birthdays and Darwinism

Late last night I was rolling through the random bits and pieces of the earlier moments that brought me to the off-kilter drive home. A co-worker's birthday had brought forth spilled drinks, distasteful shots of dark brown liquor, and trips across the various parts of San Francisco that have birthed some form of happy memory to the birthday girl at one point or another in her twenty-something life - some walking distance, others a stamina test of vehicular fortitude. Twenty-Six was the magic number. It's a number of memory (as far as the memories of my personal birthday experience), as I started to remember them a little better after the tender age of twenty-four. You learn to pace yourself. You learn the good and bad, and then occasionally you learn to throw caution to the wind because it's your birthday... and dammit you deserve the right to enjoy yourself. However, I use the term enjoy quite loosely and liken it more to brain damage than a casual sort of enjoyment. Much was the case last night as youthful self-destruction took over the evening like a noose.
Birthdays are apparently a test of wills. I've seen them come and go through various forms of voyeurism and self-exploration. I've witnessed disasters and breakdowns. I've seen glorious laughter and shattered tears... and vomit and IHOP interventions and bonds broken and hands tied. I've seen birthdays tear a hole in the sky and equally go by without the passing of a whispered hint. The previous notion is what I've dissected into a form of modern Darwinism. It is indeed survival of the fittest, and your duty as a being of flesh and blood to prove to yourself as well as the rest of the world that you are fit to keep your place in society.
Birthdays are a test. They are there to prove whether or not you should be allowed to live another year. If you pass the test, you can take another 12 months and chalk it up to life experiences (no matter how others may view your opinions, your particular way of life, or even your choice in music). If you pass the test, you get to repent the following day and go on living your choices, no matter how damning they may be.
However, it is our duty as your friend to attempt to KILL YOU through your own free will. We're not going to tie you to a chair, shove a beer bong down your throat, and continually pour Pabst Blue Ribbon into your gullet. Those acts are saved for fraternities (And trailer park rituals that have rarely been documented or displayed outside of their secret meth-lab/underground tunnels). We will buy you shots. We will purchase jet-fuel and potations, we will pay for your cabs, we will help you clean yourself up... but we will not force you to take it all in. It is your decision to how far you would like to test the boundaries of alcohol poisoning.
I hear rumor that some people just have a glass of wine with friends over a luxurious dinner, thank them kindly and go on about their merry way. I've never actually witnessed this, but there have been cases photographed somewhere on the outskirts of Montana and a small undisclosed location in the French country-side. Nonetheless, if you miraculously survive this misadventure, you have won the right to attempt life for another year. Now, you may not make it through that year... you are not granted immunity from your other acts of complete and random idiocy... but you do get to wear the memory of your battles in the meat-gray bags swelling under your eyes. You get to wear your scars with pride. You get to die another day.
Now, with that stated you will grow older day by day... pass momentous and blurred milestones until you get to an age in which you know better. Age grows an extraordinary knowledge of pain and pennance. The headstrong blindness of your twenties will scar over and build safety catches. You'll fall into black holes in which you simply cannot sustain the barrage of intoxicants (or intoxi-CANS as some have so humourously put it... though not so funny now that I'm caffinated and sober). Long story short, you learn to stop being so retarded and self-mutilating. You learn that the recovery time is not worth the brevity of swirling "goodtimes." You learn that eventually someone is going to not find your antics as amusing as YOU think they are... and they usually have a badge and party lights and the ability to find a very uncomfortable way to assist you in sleeping it off... and/or a ring and access to your bank account.
Birthdays still hold joy... and we should all continue this vicious circle... for I look forward to the next time I get to attempt to kill you... and I find humor in fending off all of JAMES SATCHER's previous attempts. You will never win James... you will never win. Happy Birthday to all, and to all a safe night.


Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Turn of the Taciturn: A letter to a friend

I recently found myself deep in personal reflection when writing a letter to a friend. It was a reply to a simple subject line: Still Alive?
I felt it necessary to post a short New Years Eve blog to remind myself (and those of you that actually read this shit) of where I've been and where I wish to be. I don't make resolutions. I make devised plans. The letter follows:

Yes, I am indeed still alive... I've been buried with work lately. We've been doing a lot of construction these last few weeks, and I'm still working on it today... and will continue to work on it throughout the following weeks. I'm a manager and a glutton for punishment, so I guess I have no one but myself to blame.
I've decided to really focus next year. I did kind of just fuck off in 2008. sure, I made some short films and what not... but I didn't really have the drive or focus that I did when I got here (SF) or before I left Memphis. Tomorrow I'll be taking a good portion of the day and proof reading the short film scripts we've been toiling over this last year, then sending them out for a fresh start. I'll email you a copy of it as well. We'll go into production one at a time. I'm hoping that the project really gets pulled together. It's a monumental task and certainly overwhelming from the start, but I'm ready to put myself into it. I've got to give up some of my "screw-off" time to focus on my dreams.
One of my Christmas presents was a custom made light box for my Mylar poster of Divine Manipulation of the Threads. I'll be hoisting it on the wall tomorrow to serve as a beacon and guiding light toward my desired future. Christ, this sounds like a blog already.
No more bad food. No more 4-night-a-week binge drinking. Occasionally I'll allow myself to have some breaks and "me" time, but you know the consequences of following your dreams, do you not?
I hope that you'll be on the same path. I could certainly use a confidant and partner in crime. We're not getting any younger, and I'm afraid that my good years of youth have been wasted on foolishness. Before you know it there will be kids and mortgages and ghostly visions of the dream that once was. While I've still got a little piss and vinegar in my system I'm going to bite it's fucking ear off and wait to punch the world below the belt while the ref isn't looking.
Give me a call tonight if you like. You'll be ahead a few hours for the turn of the year but with all hopes I'll be neck deep in a highball drink on a low key evening.
Talk soon,


So, I guess we'll wait and see what the turn of the year brings. I hope that you're all well, fat-drunk-and-merry. Happy New Year

Monday, November 10, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

It's taken a while to get back into the adult sized career spanning "swing of things" as of late. It would seem that as the crisp gray air of Fall (otherwise known as SUMMER in San Francisco) always brings forth a reflective melancholy "what the fuck am I doing with my life" approach to this thirty-something physicality I've been dumped into. Now, it's not a surprise. I didn't suddenly wake up one morning and have a management position and pubic hair ala Tom Hanks in the film BIG. It took he and I both a little time to get into a managerial position. However, it did come as quite a surprise that I was 31 years old and not as agile, flexible, or quick to rebound from binge drinking as I had previously been. My search for eternal self-destruction had finally killed off my twenty something invincibility delivering the long overdue message on some random hangover-Tuesday morning with a firm kick in the dangles. You're getting old.
Of course, it's not old in the worldly sense of old. It's not old in the philosophical sense of old... not the "Screw you I'm 42" sense of old... or even the technological definition of old. Hell, America is only 200-and-change. We were the youngest kid on the block for a long time. The only countries that have us beat are the bastard children of the former U.S.S.R. You know what? I may not be that old, but I'm old enough to remember the Cold War and I was born in the fucking 70s. Kids born in the late 80s make me feel like a pedophile - because, yes - when an attractive girl walks down the street, I take notice. It would probably help if some of these 40-something parents out there with teenage daughters didn't allow their precious little princesses parade around the streets like hookers.
God, I even sound like an old man. When did this happen?
I've veered miles from my point. I had a dream. I was an 8-year-old boy dreaming of Hollywood. I wanted to act. I wanted to be the next big actor. I wanted to be Spielberg. I wanted to live the American Silver Screen dream. I worked as hard as I could in the south to break out and start chasing that dream down. I played and made a fistful of films - features, shorts, experiments, and purges of madness. I played hard and did my best James Dean.
Have I given up?
Now, all I can work towards is to be the next Harrison Ford or Paul Newman. Not so bad, eh? Take this into consideration. Harrison Ford was 32 when he acted in American Graffiti. Paul Newman was 42 when he starred in Cool Hand Luke. I guess I've still got some time.
So, I should have this script wrapped up soon and ready for pre-production and regular production as well as post-production in 2009. It should be a lot of fun to see what a group of misfits (RSF[WEST] and After5Collective) can do with this stack of toilet paper. I guess you either do the job or spread the shit around. I feel confident. I don't know if this is the one to garner some kind of media attention. We'll just have to give it a shot in the dark.
Speaking of Shot in the Dark - can anyone else believe that they're actually making a sequel to the remake of The Pink Panther? And they're just calling it The Pink Panther 2?! I mean, at least the original sequels changed it up a bit... like Return of the Pink Panther, The Pink Panther Strikes Again, Revenge of the Pink Panther, Trail of the Pink Panther, Curse of the Pink Panther, A Shot in the Dark, Son of the Pink Panther... ...I mean, at the very least the Ocean's franchise tried by playing with the numbers.
I think Steve Martin can be very funny but stealing a 40 year bit from a dead man... What's next? A remake of Dr. Strangelove?
I shouldn't have said anything.
I'm sorry. I didn't mean it. Please do not remake Dr. Strangelove. It was bad enough that you tried to finish Eyes Wide Shut... and I'm sorry, Steven - A.I. sucked. The last Indy installment had me 2/3rds of the way, and then you let George pull the aliens bit. I understand... you both dig aliens. Awesome. Here's a lesson to you both: Do you know what made Darth Vader so menacing? His mask. A black mask that looked like the front end of a fucking Cadillac. What happened in Jedi, George? You took off the mask. The only way it could have been more stupid is if Luke's father ended up being a fucking Ewok. Oh, there's a novel idea. Why didn't the Ewoks make it into Indiana Jones and the Secret of Why George Lucas Should No Longer Be Given the Opportunity to Make Another Fucking Movie Ever?!? I'm sure you tried it though. I saw that gopher in the beginning credits. It looked a lot like a fucking Ewok. You just couldn't let them go could you? Which brings me to my next point.
Hollywood, please stop remaking movies. Take a chance on someone with an original idea, a love for the art, and someone with a sprinkle of talent.
Seriously? A remake of Friday the 13th? You're going to remake an original installment of a horror movie because the sequels spun out of control? Putting Jason Voorhees in space wasn't enough? Isn't it about time for another installment of American Pie? Jason Voorhees could kill those dipshits. Oh, how about we find a way to put Jason in the newest installment of The Fast and The Furious... this one aptly titled FAST AND FURIOUS... simply because they were all hurting for money and the attention span of your average 19 year old is shorter than a McDonalds Monopoly commercial.
This might be a case to start beating our children again. I'm not talking about coat hangers and electrical cords or even an open-handed slap to the face (though some of you clearly need it). Apparently the people green-lighting this catering truck full of shit-sandwiches needed some sense smacked into them a long, long, long time ago.
Take a cue from Clint Eastwood. I just saw a trailer for his newest film, GRAN TORINO. It's just like Pale Rider, except Clint is older and actually lives in town. That is the right way to remake an original idea.
How about continuing franchises I want to see. Someone please pay Bill Murray the money he wants to make a cameo appearance in Ghostbusters 3. Someone please pay Mel Gibson to reprise his role as an old beaten-down Mad Max (simply to act... I don't need a christian revival in post-apocalyptic Australia - and for fuck's sake don't let Shia LaBouf anywhere near this).
I guess that will do for now. I have to actually get back to my day job... eh... thanks for the time. I'll take another one for the road.

P.S. - Clint Eastwood, if you would ever like to mentor someone that would be eternally grateful and would vow to make meaningful cinema 'till his dying day... I'm just about 2hours up the road from you. I'll gladly give up the day job and come play apprentice anytime.

P.P.S. - I would also love to see you in another Western... though I'm sure you're probably tired of the boots.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Through the Electric Eye: Tahoe '08

It's been a while since I've taken a brief moment in time to self-indulge and post the random bits and pieces of my otherwise rough and tumble life. Now that I've nestled into the soil of the West Coast sandy beaches, I've become a little more comfortable with these strange surroundings. Don't get me wrong - I enjoy them. It's nice to have the thrills of a vast urban environment as well as the quiet calm of a beach side abode. I've made a couple of Award Winning Short Films in that time and have started pre-production on another feature that involves more than a fistful of short screenplays in various stages of development, with various different writers, directors, and we haven't even touched casting.
So here's a little fun. My new toy- the NIKON D80. It was a fancy man-toy gifted to me from the wife. I've always thought that I had an eye for pictures, so I thought that I'd continue to develop the finer art of one-frame-at-a-time.
We took a weekend trip to Tahoe this year. WE=10 adults, 3 dogs, and a baby. After the first night of drinking, I took up snowboarding... which apparently isn't that hard for me. I knocked that out in 15 minutes or so. Now, I was on a relatively small learning slope... but I'm ready to move on to steeper pastures. Enough on that. The second night, I took on the task of having our cast and crew embody an oddball SEARS catalog shoot from the swingin' drug induced '70s. The following photo-blog are the fruits of that labor. Enjoy. And yes, for all those that used to drool over CBS Newspath, that is Teresa Estacio.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Married Life

How Bevan Met Christine

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So, I'm married... let the laughter ensue. I have a friend who, for the sanctity of privacy will remain unnamed (Gabriel "Slate" Stutzky), that has come to a self-entertaining humorous method of answering my phone calls. I ring him up and his greeting is always the same, "You're married... ha ha ha ha ha hahahahahahaha." Indeed.
It's not that different from the moments preceding all of the "stand up-kneel-pray-stand up-kneel-Amen" rigmarole of our eye-catching Catholic ceremony (and for those of you asking yourselves 'what-the-f#ck?' - Christine is Catholic and we will do whatever keeps the girl happy, got it?). Life as we know it has not changed that drastically. Sure, we've got a bunch of nice new shiny free stuff in celebratory gifting for the lucky, lovely couple. They are things that we would have eventually been purchased and without a doubt, would have had to spend a small fortune on. They're great. I've got a mirror-refection set of stainless steel cookware that I'm very excited to use. I enjoy cooking. My comrades at work handed off a basket full of barbecue tools and gadgets along with a lovely card filled with gift cards from Home Depot. I'm quite thankful. Saturday I put those gift cards to use and purchased a mirror-reflection stainless steel gas grill. Getting the theme yet?
Apparently, the married life is full of silver colored shiny objects: pots, pans, grills, silverware, rings, bowls, kettles, and all sorts of this and thats that make the domesticated life not only simpler, but just a little more eye-catching and metro-stylish.
"The Wife" and I (as I'm still dog-tilting my head at times when the words spill out of my mouth - as though I were catching a strange sound from just beyond a door) are running things almost exactly the way we were a mere three weeks ago. I've been chastised for leaving my wedding ring on the bathroom counter after showers and washing my hands. I'm not forgetting intentionally but perhaps learning the necessity of keeping it safe and then putting it back on. It's a symbol. A symbol that I love and respect my wife... and more importantly, as Christine would so eloquently put it, a symbol that I am "Off of the market." Yes, the girl owns me. I'm the wolf brought in from the cold, she's nursed my wounds, and now I'm going to stick around the house for a while because I've got it so much better with the warmth of a gorgeous good woman than in the gnashing teeth of the urban wild.
Ah, I wouldn't have the energy to be conniving or deceitful. I'm thirty-years-old. I have no desire to gallivant around the clubs of twenty-something-hipsters all out on the town drowning their inhibitions and desperately on the hunt of getting laid.
Oh, I remember those days. I also remember the last time I tried to pull one of those 24 hour party people nights and came bashing through learned life lessons the hard way; hung-over, displaced, dejected, and taking far too long to bounce back from such a blow... physically and mentally. I clearly remember the point were I was "too-old for this shit."
So, now in my old age and comfortable bondage to a ball-and-chain, I'm content. I'm happy. I remain vain in certain aspects. I continue to work out, watch what I eat, hunt down indie artists and new music, and continue to read intellectual stimuli... mostly because I desire to remain interesting to people who might be of the like mind -- or interesting to those who find some mild fascination to such things -- and I wish to look good naked.
My hair goes gray, my beard mockingly speckles salt and pepper madness, and my eyes go all football shaped requiring me to pay closer attention to detail than before. Though, through all of those woes of men growing old, I have a woman who loves me... or can at the very least put up with my crap for an extended period of time... and really, what more can you ask for? Aside from a prenuptial... which I didn't do. We got married in California, she's going to get half of my shit anyway. But, if I mind my Pints and Quarts I'll remain married and my music collection will remain safe.
For all of you loners and once-bitten-twice-shy fellows still rambling about the cold... just give it up. You're never going to land Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Jessica Simpson, or Lindsay Lohan (though I'm not quite sure why you'd want the female embodiment of Robert Downey Jr. - ). Brad Pitt doesn't want to be your guy pal (he's too busy saving New Orleans and foreign babies). Stop going to the same bar in the hopes that you're going to see some girl that you saw there once, that you're never going to fucking talk too anyway. Find a girl that pays some kind of attention to you. Find out if she likes Star Wars or James Bond. If you find one of those girls, grab them up as soon as possible, they're the Pink Panther Diamond of Women... For all of those girls that couldn't care less about stupid guy things, play them a couple of Nick Drake albums or Tom Waits - Heart of a Saturday Night. You're in. Then we can start a poker club or something and watch Chuck Norris movies instead of being nagged about watching THE NANNY DIARIES. Good Luck.