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January 31, 2004

tv executive for a day

so owen works with the people who made the french connection all those years ago. they're a very reputable production and development company, and they were invited today to "the great american pitch fest," an event where a boatload of writers try and pitch their ideas for film and television to a bunch of executives.
that's where i came in.
owen had wrangled me a spot, so we went over to the l.a. convention center around noon, had a bitch of a time parking, and finally wandered upstairs to the pitch room. there were all sorts of writers milling about, and we located the table for his company and took a seat.
every 5 minutes, a cowbell would ring, and a human wave of writers would swarm to the tables. owen said the content offered was of lower quality then previous festival, and in truth the ideas we heard were generally pretty crappy. here's a few examples:

a reality show about a man who goes to russia to pick out a russian mail order bride. it would have an elimation phase, after which i suggested that the losers be gifted with a bag of potatoes and a bottle of cheap vodka. owen says this prize should go to the runners up. man i wanted to tell the guy that, but refrained until after he'd slimed away.

there was a woman who'd actually written a book about pets contacting their owners from the grave, via psychics. check out her webpage, and especially scroll down to the picture of her at the bottom with the rat on her shoulder. classic. she had recorded more then 1000 interviews with other weirdos who'd been visited by their pets, and suprising as it sounds, this was the pitch that was deemed one of the two most viable of the day.

another lady wanted to make a movie of the week about a retarded boy who was framed with the murder of a cop, and who'd mother struggled to clear his name. this sounded all well and good, until she mentioned that the same boy was arrested shortly after his release for selling cocaine right down the block from his house. we told her that the whole cocaine thing kinda nixed any simpathy the public would have for the young boy with a 56 iq. she still insisted she would continue with her book about the story. good luck.

one woman wanted to do a reality show about decorating houses by dumpster diving. no one does that kind of stuff, that's crazy.

possibly my favorite was a woman from oklahoma who rapid fire thrusted a stack of inkjet printed publicity posters at us. such future hits included "Jurassic Christmas," "Invasion of Eagle Creek (a rural town is invaded by inner-city kids)," and this amazing gem, "Toby and Sal." here's the description from the webpage:

LOG LINE:(A thirty minute TV sit/com pilot) It's a real odd couple when a statuesque Mom and her vertically challenged husband try to raise three sons. SYNOPSIS: A situation comedy about the adventures of a hip Father and Mother, Toby and Sally Hagen who are the parents of three strapping boys their lovingly refer to as there troops. Sal is the CEO of Tip Top Toy Company. The pilot episode involves a supercilious toy executive from a major toy company, a "65" T-Bird and a pilot named Captain Zemo complicates Toby and Sal's 16th wedding anniversary. The screwball high jinks fail to outmatch the wit and common sense of Sal, a savvy Mom, and Toby her private detective husband.

i underlined their to point out that it was a typo they had made.

anyways, many times during the day it as all i could do to not laugh out loud at what was being spewed at us. owen was much better, maintaining excellent composure and asking probing questions such as "do you already have a midget actor selected?" owen likens the experience to viewing antiques roadshow. Owen says his personal favorite pitch ever came last november, entitled "rockstars in space." he's gonna try and get hold of a treatment.

after several hours we completely lost interest and snuck away, driving down to malibu. zuma beach was killer, the sunset was great and got me excited for sunsets going down over the med. sea.
i fly out tomorrow at 2:25, wishing i would have studied the hebrew harder but i'll be fine. it's been good down here, my flight back from l.a. to reno is on the 22nd in the afternoon, i might show up a day or so early from israel to hang out with owen some more.

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January 30, 2004

L.A. (now with photo)

had a good flight down, shannen was great as usual to skip class to drop me off, hard partings. owen was there right on time at the airport, it's good to finally get down here to visit. he's been thinking for a while that if i ever moved down here, he and i would single handedly kick ass and do well in hollywood. part of me misses editing and production a lot, but my other love is spanish, and if i could somehow fuse the two, i'd be into it, but for now for some reason i feel like sticking with the spanish. who knows though.
so i'm sitting in owen's office on the 9th story of some building in hollywood. he's working on a reality show, and is calling companies trying to do product placement. in a way it's neat to see the creation of this stuff, but i was always more interested in the post production, the editing as opposed to the preproduction. plus the whole injecting of advertising into the program is a new concept, more insidious, as if commercials weren't bad enough.
so now that my trip is underway, it has a smoother feeling, my state of mind, better then waiting for it to begin, the time flows around you and you can sorta effect it but you really have to just watch everything real close and try to enjoy.
damn it's smoggy here.

So Owen and i were driving the 30 minute commute to his work from the valley, as everyone calls the san fernando valley, and right as we neared this building, we passed a culver city meat co. truck. check it out!

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January 26, 2004

the low point

so i went to go run today, to try and clear my head. shannen and i broke up a few days ago and thiings are very uncertain as to whether we will be together again when i return from israel in 3 and a half weeks. this has been the hardest breakup i've ever had to try and deal with, and i've been feeling mostly miserable since it happened.
so anyways, i went running, got about a mile and a half into a three mile run, and i had to stop, because all the tension and unhappyness had me hacking and almost vomiting. i found myself standing by the edge of virginia lake, flem balled in my throat, my neck muscles hurting every time i swallowed.
i walked the rest of the way back to my car, and drove back home. now i sit here and my throat still hurts, and i'm hoping that this is some sort of low point from which i get better, no matter what the outcome between me and shannen.

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January 25, 2004

something to make you chuckle

4 days and counting, life's hard right now but you try and deal with it. anyways, this fantastic livejournal site brought my spirits up.

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January 24, 2004

pre travel anxiety and blues

so i leave in 5 days. still have many things to finish up here, that's nothing new, i'll get most of it accomplished.
in that i leave a lot, i've been thinking of the feeling of anticipation you get when you're waiting to hit the road. all the time running up to taking yourself out of regular life swirls around, and excitement flutters inside, hued with anxiety about an unknown so forthcoming. i think i felt it first most strongly when i left for spain. i have a memory of me in the living room of the katherine house alone, waiting for dawn and her folks to come pick me up, eyes blazing.
now i sit here a semi experienced traveler, and because i better know what to expect, the senses of the loss of complete control that will ensue, i am more still, content to finish what needs to be finished here and meditate on the imperative of looking really hard at what i will see, to remember it, since i take so few photos.

i feel so sad now, so so sad, not about traveling, but something more immediate. music pounds in my head whether i want it to or not, i am wracked and double over, and song titles suddenly make so much sense.

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January 20, 2004


as hell.

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January 17, 2004

a well written story

found this story on nerve. it's damn good, it makes me want to write more then just news stories, makes me wonder about fiction.

sitting here recovering from the evening prior, and reading blog entries from this time last year. i think i had just crossed into guatemala on this day. so far i haven't spent too much time rereading, but with my trip impending (12 days!) it's got me in the mood.

get your war on just updated. he's really got something against nasa.

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January 16, 2004

Bush in 41.2 Seconds

Drew sent me a link to moveon.org's Bush in 30 seconds ad campaign. many of the entries were very good, but i found this link through salon today to an ad for Bush in 41.2 seconds, entitled Don't be an asshole, vote Democratic. You should really watch it, even if it takes a while to load on your computer.
i leave in 2 weeks. whoo hoo!

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January 13, 2004

does it come down to water?

the guardian posted this story about how water is an increasingly touchy issue for israel. they postulate that part of the reason that israel clings to the golan heights and the west back is because underground aquifers are tapped from there, and since israel consumes easily the most water of any nation in that reason, they are in a bind if their sources run out or end up in different territories or countries. the guardian is even saying that the 6 day war really began two and a half years before 1967, when syria began using bulldozers to divert the jordan river so that less of it was accessable to israel.
apparently the level if inequality between what israel uses and what palestine is left with is enormous. yet another reason for suicide bombers, if your family doesn't even have clean water to drink, what can you do?
anyways, very interesting.

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January 10, 2004

"my precious is my bling bling"

so wtfpeople.com has increasingly become my favorite links site. i've also recently began checking fazed.net again, they still come up with some good weird stuff. anyways, wtfpeople had this link to a gollum rap, in which he says the fantastic line "my precious is my bling bling."
when i was working up at unr, i used to spend a bunch of time looking for weird stuff on links pages, mostly fark.com. back then, i always thought it would be fun to work at one of the links pages, cause i really enjoy passing along funny and weird stuff to folks. once it became work though it would probably get boring as hell.
so i found this game yesterday, it's not great, i can't get very far cause i always end up just beating up the ravers. still, it has an infectious beat. hehe.

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January 06, 2004


so i'm sitting here reading michael moore's book "dude, where's my country?"
it is very well researched, with most statements backed up with footnotes and the like. i just finished the chapter where he ponies together all the false evidence concerning the connection between osama bin laden and saddam hussein, and illustrates the manipulation that was involved in convincing many of us that they were in bed together. the truth is that they hate each other, so much that they wouldn't even work together to fight us, the great white satan.
in an earlier chapter moore wrote about how the september 11th attacks were as much perpetrated by the nation of saudi arabia as they were designed by bin laden, who is said to have serious kidney problems and needs dialysis often. what was the number, 15 of the 19 hijackers were from saudi arabia? moore points out that if they had been cuban, or north korean, then we would have said "north korea attacks america," instead of using a generic "terrorists."
and this of course is because we have so many links to saudi arabia, we launched the first gulf war to defend them, they sell us oil, we ignore that they are a dictatorship, ect...
well, i sit here, thinking about all this, thinking about how bush will most very likely get re-elected again this year, and it all seems so ridiculous to me. the word ridiculous doesn't really do justice to the magnitude of what has happened, but i can't think of any other word. what the fuck happened to our country? what if we have 4 more years of bush, then his little brother jeb gets elected? what if arnold terminator gets elected? my folks are talking about moving to new zealand of that happens, is that really a viable option that we should have to consider?
dammit. ok enough ranting for now, gotta go rockclimbing. sometimes i want to give up on knowing about what's going on in the world, but then i remember how i love npr.

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January 05, 2004


so darling shannen has chosen to follow in the footsteps of myself, drew, and many others, by signing herself up for a blog. I feel like it will be interesting to read her blog because she is very intuitive about people, and can make insightful observations about them. i also hope she decides to post more of the addicting games she shows me, so that i can waste even more time on the internet. good luck shannen!

the new year is starting off ok, still in money saving mode, and today realized that i will be leaving in 25 days for israel. pre-trip anticipation sets in, plus anxiety about all the stuff i have to do. been making lists and crossing stuff off, that's the only way i get everthing done.

find out how well you do on this quiz about the year in sex.

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January 02, 2004

new year, fixed blog

thanks to drew i fixed the stylesheet, actually just picked a different one, no the page finally wraps.
had a mellow new years, shannen and i were exhausted from flying back overnight from alaska and then having to go straight to work, so i dropped her off at home then stopped by at a party for camille's b-day. it was the first punk rock new years eve party i'd attended in years, turned out to be very fun. made my new years resolution to go to more punk shows, think i can keep with that one. one cool thing that happened at the party was that i ran into jenny andersen and we chatted and found ourselves on friendly terms again, that was overdue and nice.
still working on my todo lists, also thinking of fasting today, not sure though, got an itch for veggie fajita burritos from tacos de acapulco.
found a link to this site, wtfpeople.com, another good time waster.

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