Friday, April 29, 2005

Have You Seen My Wig Around? (4/29)

-Another rough morning. Hard to get up. Still made it to work early.
-Work is...I don't know what it is. It's work. Pretty standard day, although I guess there are a few more botched deals that need ironing out. The guy who gave me the three week runaround about being properly contracted to sell to him has declared our transaction 'illegal' and that he won't pay his invoice. When we replied "that's fine, we'll be there this afternoon to repo our equipment," his tone shifted and wanted to work something out. I'll tell you what to work out: stroke a check by the end of next week or we'll sue. Can you spell litigation? We'll take his ass to Judge Judy.
-Very excited about the Charlie Kaufman/Coen Brothers show tonight. Should be excellent. If it ends at 11, we'll leave Brooklyn directly but likely won't get back to Jersey until the wee hours of the morning. I might need to sleep in til at least 8 tomorrow.
-Leave work at three and shoot over to the Metropark station where I grab the 3:44 train to NY Penn. Into NY at 4:30. After a quick call to Kevin for a reminder on the directions, I walk two blocks to the NRWQ station and take the uptown train to his office. Supposed to get off at the 59th/Lex stop but, being early, I jump at the Central Park exit and walk the four blocks. It's a beautiful day and I'm finding myself wishing for more time to walk around.
-The new building is excessive. Very cool to look at, but I understand how it would get real old, real fast. Aside from the shoots of color everywhere, and the hundreds of 46" flat panel displays hanging from the ceilings, the decor is like being on a giant iPod. Very clean. I asked if they make microchips.
-We jet from his office at 6:30 or so and try to navigate the subway over to Brooklyn. On the 6 (I'm just Jenny from the block), there is a kid sitting by himself. He had plenty of space even though it was a crowded commuter train. I'll tell you why: he was huffing a can of pressurized air and making no secret of it. He was taking 15 second hits, and literally doing two a minute. Also, after each hit, he would offer to share his cup of soup with everyone on the train. Nobody took him up on the offer, possibly because they didn't have a spoon with them. Our huffer, however, did have a spoon; the spoon was tucked into strange/dirty/dreadlocked/braid thing on top of his head.
-We change trains and find ourselves going to Brooklyn. Kevin comments on a guy with a full size mountain bike on a crowded train. To make it better, he takes out a U-lock and locks his bike to the center pole....and leaves. What is going on here?
-Exiting the AC train in Brooklyn, Kevin points to a "little person" fiddling with his iPod at the top of the stairs. I don't look, silently wondering why Kevin is being so juvenile. He urges me to look again, which I do, and see that it is Peter Dinklage. I recognize him immediately but can't remember his last name so I don't say anything to him. We start walking and, sure enough, he's going to the same place we are: a big warehouse theater directly under the Brooklyn Bridge.
-Pick up the tickets at will call and kill some time talking about how to jump off the corporate rat race to middle age. I'm feeling confident in my film career but would be quite happy to open a family business with my brother in law. They flash the lights and we head in to find our seats.
-The first show is "Sawbones" by the Coen Brothers. John Goodman, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Steve Buscemi and Marcia Gay Harden are the actors I immediately recognize. The other two are unfamiliar. The show itself is remarkably short, only about 25 minutes. There are funny moments but I don't get what I expected. Everyone performs well, but I find myself thinking the story to be sort of...I don't know. It could have been better. Several people around us were commenting that it was hard to follow with the two separate narratives going on at the same time. I understand it, but I'm not thrilled with it.
-Second show is "Hope Leaves the Theater" by Charlie Kaufman. First of all, Peter Dinklage was performing in this one, and he owned it. Great timing and delivery, and nailed the accents. The story, wow, where to begin. There are at least three different levels of "show within a show" going on, and it gets tiresome. In his usual way, Kaufman works himself into the story more than a few times, and at one point Meryl Streep begins crying over Charlie's "suicide". The fourth wall is repeatedly broken and I notice that Kevin is pulling his fingernails off waiting for this to end. Overall, I enjoyed the night but was underwhelmed by the show.
-Catch the AC back to NY Penn, grab a NJ Transit train out to Metropark, get the car and run over to Kevin's place to pick up Karen who spent the night with Jenny and Alec. Arrive before midnight but, as usual, we all sit around and talk until almost 2 in the morning.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

He Treats Me Like A Rag Doll (4/28)

-Very hard to get out of bed. Finally get up at 6:40 with full knowledge that I need to be in the car at 7:05. Don't doubt the magic...cause I made it. Still had time to pack a lunch.
-Work is work. Lots of phone calls today and steady stream of actual work. I won't bore you with the details.
-Also fielded several phone calls about the secret operation. I'll reveal more about that in a few weeks.
-Starting to get really tingles.

-Afternoon is slow. Hit some golf balls over lunch. My only flurry of activity is a spattering of phone calls at 10 to 5. Typical. Try to clean up the mess and get the hell out.
-Traffic blew, got the train station at 6:20 to pick her up. Make some easy dinner, spaghetti, and we're both hit with phone calls. First I talk to the doctor for a while about new medication and when to come in. Shortly after, Karen gets a friendly call that lasts for over an hour. Don't know who it is. No big deal, I retire to the mac to work on the pages. Take a break at 9 to watch the Apprentice and go straight back after it's over. No great quantity but I was quite pleased with the content. Three or four pages total.
-11:15, give up on the writing and put Kill Bill on the big screen. Watch that until a few minutes before midnight and go to bed. Karen wakes up and reminds me that we forgot to put away the spaghetti...or even clean up. So I take the naked walk into the kitchen to clean up. Life can be pretty glamorous sometimes; standing naked in your kitchen at 12:30 while you scrape dried pasta out of the colander.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

'Nother day, 'nother dollar. (4/27)

-Rolled out of bed at 7:00 and put on some pajama pants, take the wife to the train station. Back to bed.
-Plan on getting up at 8:30, over to the lab by 9:15 for the bloodwork, on the parkway by 10 and at my desk by 10:45. Turned off the alarm in my sleep, got up at 9:00, shipped out a few emails to Jon and Andy (Bader) about the upcoming as-yet-undeveloped film project, and finally leave the house at 10:10. Starting behind the ball here.
-The wait at the lab was only 20 minutes this time which is clearly an improvement over last week's hour and a half. Get into the chair and tie off. Remind myself how little the needle hurt last week in an effort to relieve anxiety. The tech is nice enough to ask if I'm going to pass out; I tell her that I'm naturally pale. The first vein yielded no blood. Second try is for vein that is halfway around my elbow, looks far worse. No blood. Rather than pull it out and try again, she decides to play some Galaga on my arm, using the needle that protrudes from my vein as a joystick. Felt lovely.
-After a quick stop at Wawa, I make it to the office at 12:00. Catch up on the work email, trying to finalize plans with Kevin for the show this Friday. Move on to some real work and I realize it looks like a slow day...

-Work was uneventful. The details aren't popping out at me. Probably for the better.
-Drive home was in moderate traffic. Perhaps a lot of the Jews can't afford to go full throttle with the whole Passover thing. At any rate, I make it to the train station right at six in the pouring rain. Park where I always do, in the pickup lane next to the platform. Killed some time reading "Making Movies" by Sidney Lumet. Interesting to read that they built the bank from Dog Day Afternoon in an empty warehouse in Brooklyn so it could be shot with wild walls and still have seamless access to the street. If you've seen the film you'll realize how often this is necessary.
-A train pulled up, but no wife in sight. I figured she was on the next one and resumed reading. But she was on that train. Karen was sitting at the back of the train and got the bright idea that she could save time by going all the way to the front car. She was backwards in her thinking. It's actually the rear-most car that stops in the best spot. What would have been a 20 foot walk under the covered platform turned into a 400m walk in the pouring rain. Thankfully she was able to laugh about it.
-Neither of us felt like cooking (or cleaning up) dinner, so I had a bowl of leftover mashed potatoes and a piece of chocolate cake. Mmmm, good.
-We sat and watched some Dateline special about evil wherein they show an actual exorcism. Quite funny, especially for a guy like me. Karen told me that I was Satan, which I disagree with, although that would make her Mrs Satan...which oddly enough, does make sense. The show digressed into a piece about the religious snake handlers...cuckoo...cuckoo. No fucking way. Not me.
-After the freakshow I bailed out for the warm glow of the Mac. Tried to get moving on the script but Andy Bader was online and I chatted him up for over an hour. Just talked some script points and about a feature film he's shooting this summer back in NC.
-Karen came in at 10 to announce she was sick and off to bed. Checked her temperature and she seemed alright. Apparently her head was pounding and her body was achy...flu like! She passed right out and I got going on the script. Only managed to put down 2-3 pages in between talking to Andy and Jon, but it was some quality stuff.
-Got scared for a minute when Karen began calling for me from the bedroom. Ran in there to see if she was okay but only got gibberish in return. This girl could get up, wash the bathroom sink, prep a dinner salad, check her email, and still be asleep the whole time. I've never known anyone who could operate completely passed out like she can. I left her there speaking in tongues and finished up the writing and conversations. Made it to bed right around midnight.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Terrible Tuesday (4/26)

Work is quite slow today so I'm going to get ahead of myself on the Tuesday post. Two posts in two hours, what luck for you.
-Woke up in the early AM as usual for the work. The wife gets up earlier than I do and I always try to stop her, holding her against me in the dark. Eventually she wins out and leaves me there to fight with the cats. Two cats. Both sleep on the bed. The one with the tail sleeps on feet and feet only. Fetish cat. The sans-tail cat (lynx) prefers to sleep between my thighs or between the two of us, establishing her space. I'm constantly throwing her around in my sleep. Annoying.
-Weighed 163 this morning. Woohoo. Three pounds lighter. Those of you who know me probably think I'm nuts. Well, since starting this desk job, I've packed exactly 15 pounds of fat onto my stomach. Just my stomach. Being quite thin everywhere else, I end up looking like a refugee child with bony wrists and a distended stomach. All I need to complete the look is flies on my head and just 70 cents a day. You can help. The problem is my near constant snacking at my desk. Well, the party's over. I'm eating breakfast at home, then at work: an apple, PBJ, and a bag of grapes. After dinner snacking needs to be curtailed, with the exception of the chocolate lava cake which will be gone in day at this rate.
-Karen looked hot as hell in pink pants and a nice black top. Didn't want to leave her at the train station; much rather run home and get those pants off.
-Traffic was slightly below average. Passover is my only guess.
-My stomach is hurting again today. Called the doc, got another appointment for this Friday. I need to do the bloodwork tomorrow, which means I can stay up a little later tonight and sleep a little more than usual tomorrow. The appointment is also well coordinated with my trip to NYC with Kevin to see the Charlie Kaufman / Coen Brothers theater thing in Brooklyn. I'll have a nice afternoon of poking and prodding followed by some real fun.
-The script is coming along...although I'm still missing a critical page of handwritten notes that were displaced during the massive cleaning two weekends ago. Need to find that. Muy importante.

-The rest of the work afternoon went by rather slowly. Hit the road exactly at 5 and raced back to Red Bank to pick up the wife.
-Had to trade in Karen's cell AGAIN. This is the second time it's gone dead since getting the damn thing. Sony Z500A. Mine works fine, no problems. She has had two of them go to shit in four weeks. Worked out though, stopped by Friday's to see Conni while we were in the area. Got her attention by yelling "Hey waitress" which she nearly killed us for. Hadn't seen her in a blue moon; discussed the need to get together and talk about some film projects for the summer.
-Got Jon Bower's number from Conni and called him on the drive home. Chit-chatted about starting a production company from scratch and the best plan to grow it. Definitely need to hang out with Jon more often; he is a very motivating person. Valuable. We spent another 45 minutes talking about which movies he's seen lately and I've missed. Work is getting in the way of all those movies I used to see by myself on Tuesday/Wednesday mornings. Sometimes I really miss school.
-Hit the couch and watched the Tivo'ed Amazing Race. What's amazing is that the old couple, Gretchen and Meredith, are still there. Top four. Unbelievable. They must be exhausted. Strongly pulling for Uchenna and Joyce at this point; Rob and Amber cannot win. Ron and Kelly will not win, because they suck and can't work together. I just don't want Rob and Amber to win...they asked to be on the show and CBS agreed because of the ratings associated. Kinda shameful. This is the only TV show I really want to watch every week, aside from the Simpsons of course. Boston Legal was a great show but has been mysteriously absent for two months now. I'm already wet in the pants for the new Family Guy/American Dad will make the Desperate Housewives end up on the Tivo end of the stick.
-Karen realizes we need to find the marriage license for going to sleep which is another of our "lost documents". A quick scour produces no license, but I do stumble across my script notes that I was so desperate for the other night. Blessed be the messy.
-After the race, checked the email one last time and hit the sheets.

Time to play catch up-

Haven't updated in quite a while, which probably disappoints all you readers. Not that there are any readers, but later in life, when people become overly interested in my years of struggle they will flock to the archives in search of insight into my twisted mind. For those of you in the future, I apologize for the massive hole called March/April.

Mom was in town for the weekend so I tried to act entertaining. Karen had to do some accounting work for her old employer in the morning, so I loaded Mom into the car for a quick trip to NYC. Hopped on the parkway and got there in less than an hour. Swung by the WTC site, drove around Central Park pointing out the landmarks and such, and had a quick lunch at Chumley's in the West Village. Back to Red Bank by 6:30 in time for a delicious steak dinner. Had a ribeye, which I'm usually not a fan of (too fatty), and some very tasty mashed potatoes. Mmm, carbs. Not sure exactly what we did Sunday night...might have watched Ray OnDemand...but that might have been Saturday night. It all blends.

-Woke up at the usual un-godliness of 6:00 to get ready for the week ahead. Shave and shower (I hate shaving), and drop Karen at the train station at 7. Hit the parkway and traffic is far less than usual for some reason. Maybe Passover has something to do with it.
-At work I'm greeted with the pile of shit that didn't get taken care of on Friday. It turns out that the rush order I had facilitated all day Friday ended up losing a decent bit of money for the company. The customer changed one little number on their PO and I didn't notice, sending a more expensive Sun server to some bastards that paid for the cheaper model. Ouch. Thankfully it doesn't come out of my pocket, just the salesman.
-Best thing about Monday was finding Kevin Smith's blog. Really sorry that I missed his speaking engagement at the Count Basie at the beginning of the month. Surprised to learn that he doesn't live here anymore. He went Cali like everyone else. I like Red Bank and I hope I can finagle(sp?) a lucrative writing career without having to leave. A quick yahoo yellow pages reveals that the View Askew office is on Broad St in Red Bank (I thought it was in the Galleria).
-I somehow manage to survive the workday, leaving ten minutes early to 'beat the traffic.' Turns out there is no traffic. Passover? I can't figure it out. An hour drive gets done in 35 minutes and I get to wait at the train station for another 20 minutes. Finally the NJ Transit rolls up and gives me back my beautiful wife.
-We bicker for a minute about a phone conversation that we each interpreted differently but seem to make up as we get to the house. Change into the house clothes, pausing in the middle for a quick romp, then heat up some leftovers from the weekend's foodstuffs for dinner. A tomato and mozz crositini from the Front Street Trattoria, half a ribeye, lots of potatoes, and a big piece of chocolate lava cake that Karen whipped up yesterday. Very nice.
-Driving on Broad St I find the View Askew to a Catholic High School.
-Karen conks out in front of the TV and I retire to the cave to work on the script. Can't find the focus but still manage to choke out three pages before bed. Make it under the covers by 11:30 and there are theoretically 6.5 hours of sleep available if I fall asleep