Friday, November 24, 2006

Rusted Sun Films (West): West Coast Update #2

As I've been put rapidly back into the troublesome daily grinds of television news, I have not exactly had a great deal of spare time to check things like e-mail or keep in touch the way that I've grown so used to. So, I'll do my best at keeping everyone up to date so far...
I'll go ahead and admit that I do dearly miss my friends in Memphis-town. I miss the Midtown nights, the ease of an eight minute drive into work, and having that comfort zone that comes with over compensating for boredom. I miss the laughs and the talk of movies and music. So for those of you wondering if your friends Bevan and Christine have moved out to San Francisco and forgotten all about you... Worry not. We've been under a bit of stress lately... You know, new jobs, new city, new problems, and newly engaged. But with all of those daily troubles of life anywhere around the world, I will say that there are a few things that help to melt all of the mind numbing adult ailments away.
This photo, my friends, is Sunday evening. There is nothing as absolutely calming as the crashing surf, the sky set ablaze with color, and a cool ocean breeze. We get to take the dog down to the beach (just a few blocks from the house) when time allows... And when weather allows, this is the view. Occasionally the turn of Fall in Memphis allows for colorful sunsets as well... But nothing stretches out so far as the seemingly infinite horizon of the ocean. It makes you feel human... And I'm okay with taking off the cape and being "human" for a while.
I stare at the sea and the ideas for dialogue, scenes, voice over and all of the like come pouring in. I desperately need to sit down to write again. When I get more than one day off in a row... I think I'll give it a shot. So, the new script should be coming along in the weeks to come. I think that it's time to write again. There's a world of inspiration in a single grain of sand... Now I understand why Jack Kerouac needed to go crazy in Big Sur.
This photo represents the last few days of our life in Pacifica, California. They don't call it Fog City for nothing. There is fog. There is serious Fog. It creeps up from the ocean carrying pirate ghosts, and siren's calls. It fills the night air with a hollow gray. The bleak sound of a nighttime rush is oddly still and somewhere in the distance stands a shadow. It's very film noir... Which is almost pushing me to write another little crime thriller... But that's another story.
The view from this photo is actually from the sidewalk directly in front of the house. Normally you would see the ocean. Now you see the nothingness that can swallow the entire coastline. However, it can completely envelope Pacifica yet leave the city of San Francisco sunny... Or partially covered. So, yes there are days where it's not ideally sunny and all California Dreamin'... on such a Winters day.

I'll give you another example of this strange anomaly known as "the fog." The gray cloud that seems to linger over the San Francisco sky line is not smog. That is actually fog creeping it's way over the hilltops to the other side of the bay. For those of you interested in visiting, I can give you a full rundown on my understanding of fog thusfar... But for now I will leave you in the wondrous mystery of mobile moisture. On with the show!

Next I'll give you a little rundown of my nightly routine after work. For those of you that have been paying attention, I take the BART into work everyday. It's basically a transit subway system that attempts to connect the majority of the Bay Area. I take the Colma station (the one closest to the house), park the car, jump on the BART and try not to touch anything that might be covered in sneeze juice. When I come home from work... The night has fallen... And the real adventure begins.

I walk the damp streets of downtown sometimes after midnight. All of the homeless are curled into covered little corners and huddled under blankets and make-shift clothing. They pose no actual threat... Aside from bumming change and the occasional cigarette (which I'm glad to say I no longer have for I have quit that nasty habit... Mostly because of all of the f-ing walking). But there are "cholos" that wait on corners on Friday nights... Perched and ready to attack.
So, one continues to walk from sidewalk to sidewalk at a speedy pace. It is not out of fear. It is out of a sheer rush to catch the damn BART train and not have to wait around in the concrete bowels of "The City" another 15 minutes for the next arrival.
It's actually not that bad. I like the city. I like the night. The streets are calm during the week and the Embarcadero Center is all lit up like Christmas. The bars are colorful, the traffic has died, and the cool night air makes for a pleasant rushed walk. I do, however, find it a bit discouraging that there is a Starbucks on almost every f-ing block. It's as if you can't wait one more block for another fix. But they make money... And pay the rent... And apparently everyone in this city is a caffeine/speed junkie. Or maybe they just like rapid bowel movements. I don't know, each to their own.

Speaking of bowels, this is the entrance to the BART system. It's not that exciting and I usually pick the entrance that has an escalator moving in the opposite direction, though not out of choice, perhaps just sheer stupidity. I also don't see the point of crossing an intersection just to get to an entrance that has an escalator moving in my direction. I'll just take the stairs... Everything will work out in the end. But as you can see, it's a lot of stairs. Up hill, up stairs, steep downhill slopes, it's a smokers nightmare... But people still do it. I don't know how or why. These stairs and walking the dog have helped me swear it off for really really intoxicating/intoxicated moments.

The Bart trains whiz by and come to a screeching halt. There are points of the ride that are loud enough to make your ears bleed... And everyone has an iPod. Everyone except for me. So I daydream of film scripts and just getting home to sleep... Or perhaps a two day weekend... Or at least going to the beach on some night to catch another sunset. But for now, I have to prepare for another night of work. I can't complain too much. At least I'm working. I could be curled up in a doorway wrapped in a U-Haul moving blanket and cardboard garbage from Starbucks. So it's Friday. Have a drink for me... I'll have a drink for you.

Maybe next time I'll have a film update. Until next week.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Rusted Sun Films (WEST) Update No.1

Okay kids, I've got the latest tales of cross-country moving insanity, a few photos to share with our lovely devoted, and a fair list of other random bits and pieces that haven't quite made it onto shelves or labeled area of criteria. Lets grab a seat around the beach bonfire, perhaps an adult beverage, the makings of a smore, and I'll tell you a tale of a weary man named Bevan, the long and painful trip through the ass end of Texas, and the little Penske van that could.
As I was packing all of my necessary worldly belongings into boxes (while hocking the rest for a few measly dollars), I somehow managed to contract a head cold. It might have had something to do with going out for "a few" drinks with James Satcher. Being a responsible and somewhat experienced weekday drinker, I didn't fill my gullet to the point of spilling over, I merely smoked too much, wasn't eating right, was not getting sleep, and had been strung out to 175lbs mess of a man. Stress had gotten the better of me. Enter the kung-fu ass kicking power of a head cold.
My mother came down from the hills of Klamath Falls, Oregon to see her new grandchild (Lukas Cash Bell), my brother and new mother, and help take some of the toll off of moving and driving across country. While wrapping up the odds and ends of my vast Memphis experiences, mom threw the last few things in boxes, and the cold continued to work further into my system. Moving with a cold sucks and when loading a moving truck you find out who really is your friend. I know, a lot of people had to work... it's a general statement. When people set aside time to move your personal crap from one place to another, that's friendship, brother. Thank you Thomas Eldred. You may have indeed saved my life again.
Long story short, through the wind and rain of a oddly shaped Friday afternoon storm front, we loaded the truck, repaired a window, cleaned, left a big ass pile of garbage on the back patio, and moved to the next location of furniture, boxes, and very cautiously wrapped bedroom furniture. Yes, Christine's apartment had been neatly packed in storage unit in Bartlett, TN. Another long story short, we packed up the various items with thanks to Arnold Edwards, Dayna Hinkle, Melissa Moon, Thomas, and Mom.
I spent one last evening in Bartlett with Anthony and Anita, stealing a few cigarettes, drinking Miller Light, and chatting the evening away. To hell with the cold. This was truly my last night in town and I could think of no better way to spend it than slugging down beers in a garage. For some reason, it just made sense.
In the morning I jumped in the truck with the dog and started a short drive in a very long truck to meet my brother Brady and pick up my mother. On the way there, a tire attached to the "car-tow" trailer separated and started flinging steel belted radial across the Bill Morris Parkway. People honked and pointed... yeah, I get it... problem. At least it was while I was still in Memphis and close enough to the meeting point. A minor setback... but within an hour it was fixed and I had my nose pointed west... into Arkansas. God, what was I thinking? Well, if you thought that Arkansas had long stretches of nothingness, scary little road side truck stops, and a mentality that shoes are an item from another planet... like something that would make a Family Circle comic seem like the most interesting shining diamond of the mind... then you have never seen West Texas.
See that? Imagine that picturesque nothingness for some where around 3 days of driving. Hell, that photo has a mountain in it. Okay, take the mountain away and then drive. Everytime I see vast spans of land like Texas, the nothingness of west Texas, Arizona, Utah, and Southern California I never worry about those people crammed into 300 square foot studio apartments in New York, Miami, and even beloved San Francisco. I mean, these people could grab a tent and a refrigerator box and never have to worry about being bothered ever again. We won't run out of space. We just have to import the water. Actually, if Korea or China or Vietnam or whoever the next big communist power is ever decides to attack, we can hide in west Texas. I swear, they will never look there. Wonder why we've been in Afghanistan and Iraq for so long? Take a look at the southwest. People that choose to live in areas like that will not ever die... no matter how much shit you throw at them. The ghosts of gas stations and road side diners litter the highway. There is sun bleached wood and abandoned outposts scattered for miles. It's a post-apocalyptic zombie movie and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome come to life... and all you have to do is travel I-10.
That might explain why Buddha, one of the most attention demanding dogs known to man, is passed out cold in the seat. He was bored to tears and did the smart thing... slept through the whole damn trip. Lucky him.
Now, there was a section where I had to stop by the Connolly Clan household and ask the General for permission to live with/marry his daughter. It went over amazingly well. It was a pleasant trip and a welcomed break from driving the yellow monstrosity. Towing a car behind a 26ft. long truck is draining, nerve wracking, and impossible to turn around (or parallel park for that matter).
So, once we get past Los Angles and a quick stop in Pasadena, we're back on the magical highway headed to Northern California. Oh, there's a whole bunch of nothing in Northern California too... until you get somewhere around Palo Alto and the continual stream of suburban sprawl, highways, freeways (or whatever the f#{k they're called out here), the California Highway Patrol, traffic updates, an IKEA, and a whole other mess of things that flew by the truck through the rain. Yes, it was raining when I arrived.
There is also a wonderful thing about g-mail maps. Unless you have a visual reference, the last bit of the directions are always just a bit confusing... especially when you're in a 26ft. long moving truck, towing a car... it gets old quickly. So, I get lost in the hills of San Bruno and Pacifica... wet, steep ass hills... and the truck weighs more than God. A little worried, a little scary, but I got there nonetheless.
We unpacked the truck, and spent the next three days digging towards the floor. Christine has done a fantastic job picking out the place and even painting the walls in fabulous girly colors. At least it's not pink... but I can live with it. I'm also learning to live with sharing space for things. It's easy when all of the space is yours or not yours. When you have to share, closets become very, very important. As a consolation prize I was given the garage to do with as I please. I've already set up my drum kit and look forward to having the Pacifica Police Department called on me for noise violations.

The house is in some sort of assemblage. I've just purchased a new computer for the actual working section of RUSTED SUN FILMS (WEST). It's not going to be easy or financially pleasant... but it is a necessity. Next will be things like a microphone, lights, and most importantly-- a camera. I can't exactly make an indie film without a camera now can I?
Work actually came looking for me (calling me on myh 4th day in town and asking if I could come in that week) and I actually had my first day of "new job jitters" on Friday. I was hoping to have some time off to rest from all of this self-induced madness... but it's better to have work than not have it. Tha bills gots to bees paid, yo.
So, I'll leave you with a few photos of the new digs and I'll return a little later to keep everyone updated on movie goings, west coast misadventures, music, and this whirlwind life in general. Love and miss you all... unless you're in the bay area... then you should call and stop by or invite me out. I've been here 9 days and have ventured into the city only twice... and once was for work... but the work story will have to wait for another day. Let's just say, I was thrown to the wolves. Thank God for 10 years of experience busting my ass in Memphis. I hear actually working out here is like retirement though...
One last little tid bit of information. Christine and I are official. We're engaged to be married. There are also fun little details about the event but we've got to keep a few things for ourselves. I'm sure that after the two bottles of wine, Christine called quite a few people and gave them the good news. Yeah, I might be on a leash but at least I've got a nice warm bed to sleep in, a few good meals, and expensive rent... yeah, that last one isn't my favorite thing in the world either, however, the woman is good to me, the wine is cheap, and I'm pretty damn comfortable with myself and my surroundings. It's the start of a very strange adventure. Check back in a few days for more west coast and Memphis insanity. I leave you with the photos.

This wonderful little sequence is the living room. I call it "Christine Red."

This is a look at the kitchen.

This is a composite shot of the garage area. Much work still to be done.

This is what passes for "grass" in the front yard. It's aloe vera.

This is one look at the front of the house. It's on a hill.

More photos next time kids.