Thursday, August 02, 2007

recipe for a good time.

It starts with bacon. Bacon grease, actually.

Next, you’ll need an NFL quarterback, like, say, Michael Vick. Yeah. Vick would be perfect.

Okay. So then we fry up the bacon and give it to a homeless guy. [Or woman. I’m no sexist, so stop looking at me that way. I think homeless women can fight just as hard as homeless men in those DVD's.] My thinking is that the bacon shouldn’t go to waste.

Next, we take the bacon grease and run it through Michael Vick’s hair. That’s right. We take that bacon grease and run it right through those fashionable-ass corn rolls. [And let me tell you, corn rolls are always fashionable-ass.] Anyway, we run that bacon grease through his hair and take him somewhere nice. Like, say… oh, I don’t know… inside a dog-fighting pit. Yeah. That’d be nice.

Okay, after that, we get some dogs. Real mean, hungry pit bulls. Pit bulls that don’t watch football. I’m thinkiiiiiing… let’s go with six. Y'take those six pit bulls and put 'em in there with our buddy, Michael. 'Cause I think Michael Vick should enjoy some down time with vicious pit bulls. I mean, why not? He enjoys them — or so I've been lead to believe.

The only thing left to do is crack open an ice cold Pabst Blue Ribbon, make up some of your sister’s recipe for seven-layer dip, and let the laughs begin.

Michael Vick deserves this and so much more. He deserves jail time. He deserves massive fines. He deserves to be someone’s bitch. He deserves bad karma. In his next life, he should end up a dog in a fight, organized by a dumbass NFL quarterback.

Now, I was tempted to show you what a dog on the losing end of a fight looks like, so you could be witness to evil. Why sugarcoat it, right? But I figured you were already subjecting yourselves my bullshit, so why add to your pain? Besides, you can find a number of the aforementioned images online, so just Google “pit bull” if you have the stomach for it. Be prepared to see a dog’s face being held together by medical implements. Be prepared to see skin and fur torn away along the scalp. Be prepared to be completely disgusted. Be prepared to hate Michael Vick. [Mind you, I'm a Steelers and Notre Dame fan. I've always hated Michael Vick.]

If you ask me, I’d say it’s an open and shut case. If the NFL brings him back this season [make no mistake — the players union won’t allow him to be banned permanently] they should keep this in mind: before he decided to kill little Filipino boys, Jeffrey Dahmer killed animals. Michael Vick decided it was okay to hang or electrocute the losing dogs in his little enterprise. Maybe if Jeff had been drafted in the first round he — and those boys — would be alive and well today. Maybe his life wouldn’t have been filled with so much despair and loneliness that his little psychopathic hobby would have run its unnatural course and diminished. Or maybe the closest he’d come to hurting an animal would have been kicking the pigskin.

And yes, I know i'm a hypocrite because I love my Thanksgiving dinner as much as the next omnivore, but in my mind there's a difference between food and sheer cruelty. Though, many would argue that I'm way off base.

One thing I do know is that Vick needs help. Eh. On second thought, maybe we should just get started on that recipe.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

alec guinness is in front of the bed, bath and beyond.

Fame is a thing. David Bowie wrote a whole song about it and everything.

Fame is pretty big here. Lot’s of famous-types. Which means paparazzi. They're all over the place and whatnot. I’ve concluded that “paparazzi” is another word for “cockroaches.” They seem to be the lowest of the low. Even lower than anyone who’d wear a Ray Lewis jersey. But then, maybe not. Either way, it takes a certain deficiency — a certain nothing — to surround someone’s car in the In-N-Out Burger drive-thru just because the guy ordering the Double-Double Animal Style played “Astonished Juror #3” in a movie back in 1997.

But it seems to me that fame is something that I would absolutely abhor. Why would anyone aspire to have total strangers interrupt as they try to polish off the last of the their cobb salad? Although, it wasn’t a very good one. Mostly iceberg lettuce. And the bacon left something to be desired. I think it was fake bacon. Yeah. It was facon. More like Grape Nuts®. Bacon doesn’t get that hard and gravel-like. And that iced tea was pretty tasteless too. I should have gotten an Arnold Palmer. Oooh… and Arnold Palmer. That would really hit the spot right about now…

But I digress yet again.

So then, it seems to go like this: move to Hollywood, audition, get discovered, get hyped, get famous, get a star on the Hollywood walk of fame, situated in front of a retail chain.

In rare instances, the location of one’s star is fitting. Johnny Cash, for example, is across the street from an X-rated movie theater. Jamie Farr is… well… in front of the Bed, Bath & Beyond with Alec Guinness.

Of course, this wasn’t Alec’s goal. He never asked to end up a doormat for people looking to buy a 3-pack of Dust Buster filters, now did he?

Not Obi-Wan Kenobi. No, he seems more like a Borders Bookstore kind of guy.

“These are not the Ayn Rand books you’re looking for…”

Thursday, July 05, 2007

comedy brittle.


There’s been quite a large amount of water under the bridge since I last wrote on this blog. That’s at LEAST a gallon. Which, in L.A. runs about $16.

The reason I’ve been away for so long is that I’ve begun freelancing for an agency in town. And I think it’s the beginning of the magical and breathtaking world advertising — a land where candy canes and lollipops grow wild along the hallways and art directors quiver in their offices in the fetal position, muttering “I'm really a painter… I'm really a painter... “

The agency I’m doing work for isn’t Chiat Day, who, for those of you don’t know, has the Apple account. But they’re paying me. [Oh yes. I’m in it for the art. I’m like Warhol but without the hip, beautiful, destructive crowd of hangers on… Actually? Never mind. I’m exactly like Warhol.] But, as usual, I digress. The agency — a few of the people are quite nice and it’s good to know some of those kinds of people in Los Angeles [where gold-plated three-picture deals line the streets and the waiters move from table to table, muttering, “I’m really an actor… I’m really an actor…”]
But my time at this agency has brought into sharp focus, once again, an observation I’ve brought up time and time again. And that observation is that comedy is brittle. And when somebody fucks up your idea, I feel, it goes from brittle to brutal. This isn’t by any stretch a new notion. In fact, the brilliant John Cleese applied the word “brittle” to comedy about 10 years ago.

The reason I bring this up is because I’ve been experiencing this brittle/brutal thing firsthand lately. See, I labor under the revolutionary notion that the writer understands his humor better than anyone else. Except, maybe, your average Hollywood suit. Those guys are known for bringin’ the funny. They’re right up there with Hermann Goering and Carrot Top. I believe that the writer should be the director. And if he or she can’t be the director, they should be in the director’s ear, making suggestions. Things like, “could you get that guy to say my words less crappily?” [And I think Cleese would find this a fair question.]

The other day I came up with what I thought was a pretty funny ad for McDonald’s. This, in and of itself was a victory. But the end result is one that I’d turn off within 15 seconds.

I’m hoping that my pilot [which I wrote with the alarmingly talented mike exner] or my screenplay [which I wrote with the alarmingly talented mike exner] fares better.

Time will tell.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

neighborhood shots.


There’s a dog on my street with whom I love to interact.

Oslo [pronounced “Oh-slow”] likes to hang out in his front yard and poke his head through the fence — and hedges — to see what’s going on in the neighborhood. He introduced himself to me a few months ago, as I was walking down the street. Suddenly, the manicured hedgerow became Oslo and we've been friends ever since. He’s never made a peep and he doesn’t jump around maniacally like every other Weimaraner in the known free world.

He just sits there, making this face.

Oslo's cool.

Friday, May 25, 2007


So, I've decided to shoot Beachwood Canyon. I find it's loaded with a bizarre mix of typical Los Angeles architecture, typical British architecture — the kind one might find in the countryside - and, surprisingly, Asian minimalist architecture. [This led me to say, "Oy vay! It's Feng Shui!!"] The lighting wasn't optimal for shooting the homes, so I'll shoot them at a later date. There's also a stable at the end of my street. I asked permission to photograph it, knowing full well they'd deny the request. [I said, "I shoot horses, don't I?" They said, "go away."]

...And, as per usual, you can click on 'em to enlarge.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

somewhere, tinky winky is laughing. hard.

And then he’s gonna have a threesome with Dipsy, and Po [a ho, I'm told] and laugh even harder.

Jerry Falwell died today. So, okay, let’s just come out and say it, shall we? Jerry Falwell was a nasty, hateful tool.

Oh my god! Did he just say that? About a man of the cloth??

Yes. Yes, I did. And I would argue that Jerry Falwell was more about green paper than cloth. He had exactly zero scruples, and if there is a Creator, he’s instructing St. Peter to bitch-slap Falwell and have him dragged to Hades by God’s Bouncers. [They look like they’ve been lifting, so don’t mess with them.]
Don’t believe me that Falwell was a no-good shithead? This is what he said after September 11th:

"I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'"

…uh... Jerry? As the kids say these days, WTF?

Wait, it gets better. He thought you were stupid [much like the ad guys mentioned in my May 6th post]. I know this because of what he said two days later:

"I hold no one other than the terrorists and the people and nations who have enabled and harbored them responsible for Tuesday's attacks on this nation."

And he expected you to believe him.

He then blamed the media for incompetent reporting. Personally? I blame the media for not calling him on it. No, I blame the media for not treating him the way Tony Soprano last treated Christopher Moltisanti.

But, much like a Ginsu Knife offer, there’s still more: Falwell contested that, “when The Antichrist comes, he must be, of necessity, a Jewish male."

Yeah, Jerry, Sandy Koufax is the beast. And it’s not “666.” It’s “000.” Which is, of course, a perfect game. I can see how Jerry might get the two confused.

Anyhow, I couldn’t possibly go through all of Falwell’s bullshit with one post. It would have to be the length of a novel, and who the hell wants to read a novel about him? If you want a book about an asshole, you may as well read, “The Cat in the Hat.” Sure, he’s one of the most celebrated characters in children's literature, but let’s be honest with ourselves — he’s an asshole. He comes in and trashes his hosts’ house and puts their pet’s life in jeopardy. But at least he’s not that pervert, Tinky Winky, ‘cause that guy loooooooves that Judy Garland.

But back to Falwell — who was only marginally smarter than the average children’s literature character [and av-er-age bear]. Let’s not revise history. Let’s not insult everyone’s intelligence. Let’s not react as Senator John McCain [R-AZ] reacted.

In a statement today, he said, “Dr. Falwell was a man of distinguished accomplishment who devoted his life to serving his faith and country. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Falwell’s family at this difficult time.”

Not that you ever had it, Senator, but you’ve officially lost my vote. I can’t abide another idiot in the Oval Office.

But, as cold as it sounds, I think the world is a better place now that another idiot is in the dirt.

Oh my god! Did he just say that? About a man of the cloth??

Yes. Yes, I did.

Friday, May 11, 2007

hello, my name's dante.

So for the second time in two months, my neighborhood experienced a brush with fire [a brush fire, specifically]. This one was much closer than the first. So close, in fact, that I started to consider what I’d take with me if I were told to leave my home, just as the residents in the neighborhood down the road from mine were. So close that I could smell the smoke. So close that, as I drove up my street, I could see 100-foot flames, climbing up the ridge, maybe a quarter mile away. And, according to KTLA [inexplicably, the only station covering it], the wind was blowing west – i.e. my direction. Not a great feeling.
[Sadly, I don't live in this building.]

So, although the only mandatory evacuation I want to be a part of involves a venti coffee and a brand muffin, I started to make a mental list of what I’d have to load into my car. What was most sensible? What was irreplaceable? What was the most valuable?

Here, then, was my checklist:

• personal documents [taxes, passport etc]
• laptop/external hard drive
• notebooks
• artwork and photography
• pinochle trophies and ribbons
• a rare copy of Miracle Legion's 1987 masterpiece, "Surprise, Surprise, Surprise."

• iPod
• iPod Dock
• manuscript to my upcoming novel, "I Will Remember You Until The Day I Get Alzheimer's"
• photos of iPod and Dock
• hairshirt
• knife set
• DVD’s of “The San Pedro Beach Bums,” Season I; “When Things Were Rotten,” Season 1; “Rhoda,” The Complete Series; and “Quincy,” Season 5 [If you ask me, Klugman peaked in ‘79]

• set of rare, erotic Jell-o™ molds
• photos of my set of rare, erotic Jell-o™ molds
• Terrible Towels
• autographed picture of Myron Cope
• "Map of the Polynesian Prostitutes' Homes"
• my collection of “Boy’s Life”
• Jimmy Hoffa's copy of "How To Make Friends And Influence People" by Dale Carnegie
• Bigfoot footprint plaster mold

• the master tapes of “The Beatles For Sale” [Up yours, George Martin! You want ‘em?? You’d better get yourself a damn good lawyer!]
• official Super Bowl IV inflatable hemorrhoid ring
• hooka
• lucky cheese gratin' scarf
• book on tape — “An Illustrated History of Yogurt-Based Cuisine in the 60’s” by Spiro Agnew
• ...and “Guernica”

…These are the things that matter in life.

But that’s just my opinion.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

people don't read blogs.

…they read what interests them, and sometimes it’s a blog.

Howard Luck Gossage almost said that. Actually, what he said was, “People don’t read ads, per se. They read what interests them and sometimes it’s an ad.”

Gossage was a genius. He created ads like this one:

Pretty good ad, right? You’re damn right it is. And if there were more ads like it today, people would be less likely to turn the page, change the channel, and drive past without so much as a glance.

Why is intelligent advertising so hard to come by? Well, I think I know the answer. [What were the odds?] It’s because advertisers think that you’re stupid. Really stupid. Like, Rain Man-Forrest Gump stupid. Peter Boyle-doing-Frankenstein-singing-“Puttin’-on-the-Ritz” stupid. And the reason they think you’re stupid is because no one has told them that they’re wrong. It’s also Rupert Murdoch’s fault, but then so are “American Idol,” “In Living Color,” and “90210.” For which, he should be playing Scrabble™ in the rec room at Attica Correctional Facility, with a shiv tucked away in his sock just in case his cellmate decides he looks like Mamie Van Doren — which, by the way, he does.
[Rupert Murdoch, above]

But you’re not stupid are you? You’re actually pretty damn smart. And without making it sound like I’m trying to get you into bed, you’re pretty damn attractive, too. [But, uh, you’re gonna get that thing fixed, right?]

My point in all of this is… is… well… this:

We accept too much in the way of mediocrity. Our airwaves and highways and newspapers are chock-full of it. Networks are convinced you can only handle bite-sized portions of information. And it’s troublesome when the majority of our population gets its most accurate political information from comedians.

I suggest an intellectual revolution.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

do you see this man??

You see him, don't you? Admit it! You do! That's right, you see him!!!

His name is Jim Leyland. And if the Pirates' front office wasn't comprised entirely of the dippiest dipshits who ever dipped shit, I wouldn't be in Los Angeles watching the Pirates blow a lead [and chunks] in the bottom of the 9th at Chavez Ravine, while the Tigers' manager [see above] is working on leading his team back to the playoffs. For the second year in a row. After being in last friggin' place. I wouldn't be doing that, now would I?

No, no. I wouldn't.

I wouldn't be watching the Dodgers kick the Pirates' asses in the bottom of the 10th, with a walk off GRAND SLAM!!!

Way to go, braniacs. Quit your jobs. Please. For the sake of one of the oldest sports franchises in history. Pretty please. With crappy decision-making on top. [Or make that, "on the bottom." Of the division. Morons.]

....whew!... that felt good...

Thursday, April 05, 2007

coyotes ugly.

So, anyhow. The coyotes.

In the cartoons, Wile E. Coyote is carnivorous, but loveable. He also works alone, is usually silent, and relies heavily on the Acme Company for implements of death.

Truth be told, none of those things is based in reality. Coyotes are not even close to loveable. Like beer, they come in packs. And they have no hard currency to buy implements of death. [Not to mention the fact that the average coyote’s credit rating is terrible.]

I know these things because at least once every two weeks — around the time when I should be dreaming about drinking Ovaltine™ shooters with Harry Houdini, President James K. Polk, and George Gobel on a dingy, floating down the Nung River to see Dennis Hopper and Julia Child play tennis — I am startled out of my deep slumber by the sound of a pack of coyotes attacking an animal of some sort outside of my window.

Sometimes it’s down the street, sometimes it’s in the distance, but sometimes it’s right next to my building. No matter where it originates, it’s not a sound you ever want to hear. It’s a cacophony made up of high-pitched [piercing, actually] cackles and howls, times 10. Because to my ear, that’s about how many coyotes there are.

Unfortunately, in a way, it’s the din of pet owner Darwinism. I’ve been told that the residents hate the coyotes, which makes sense. Sometimes the casualties include their dogs and cats.

That said, I have a question for them: What the hell are you doing leaving their pet out at 3 a.m.? You live on the edge of a canyon. Wild animals live in the canyon. You can hear the coyotes in the distance. What the hell did you think was going to happen?

I don’t think any of these are pet owners who fall under the “Einstein” category. I doubt they’re capable of formulating the “leash theory.”

You would think that the “Caution Rattle Snakes” signs posted around the aforementioned canyon would be an obvious indicator that we’re communing with nature. I mean, you can’t really get too angry at the coyotes, right? It’s instinct. Ginger is a canine. Ginger is pissing on ground where they tread. Ginger is easy bait because ginger is tethered to a metal stake in the ground. Ginger, unfortunately, is always going to lose in that scenario.

So maybe the dogs shouldn’t require the license. Maybe the owners should. I'm just sayin'.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

hollywood is burning.

It’s been a while since my last post, and my original plan was to write about the packs of coyotes that have been attacking pets and wild animals outside my window at night. But that will have to wait.



Eryn [Chloe, for those of you keeping track] is at my door.

“Have you seen the fire…?”

[cut to]
Eryn and me hurrying out to the curb to gaze up the street. The sunlight is orange. Not just in the general area of the fire — everywhere. It’s actually orange. The closest thing to it is the pale yellow in the atmosphere before a tornado. Only this is different. 'Cause this light is orange. Which isn't yellow. [I think you follow.]

And there it is: The Hollywood sign is standing in front of billows of smoke. To its left, fire can be seen licking up the far side of the mountain, menacingly edging its way towards enormous, white vowels and consonants. Overhead are a number of helicopters —both of the firefighting and the six o’clock news varieties. [The news was hovering, and the firefighters were dropping what I assume was several tons of asbestos onto the conflagration. Something to look forward to.] Since Universal City is on the other side of the mountain, it's safe to say that about 17 screenwriters snapped into action at once — they got on their Macs and iExploited the situation. I'm sure sometime next year, there will be a movie called, "HOLLYWOOD! Letters Ablaze!" Shit. Now that I think about it...

As I’ve mentioned before, my street is big with tourists. Lots of people stop to see the sign. And I’ll admit that it’s still a little odd to drive to my apartment and see it staring down at me. But it’s downright surreal to see people taking vacation snapshots, completely oblivious to the fact that the residents are starting to consider whether or not they should move their HD televisions to their cars for quick getaways. [Admittedly, this would have been a smart move, had the fire reached the crest. At that point, it would have been an easy path down to my neighborhood.] Of course, many of the residents were thanking god that their biggest investments are attached to their chests. But it's absurd to think that a tourist can block out a potentially dangerous situation so they can get that coveted snapshot. Freaks.

In any case, these, here, are a few of the shots I took of the biggest drama in Hollywood today. Consider it a preview of next year's biggest summer blockbuster.

Oh. And the cause?

Two teenage boys playing with firecrackers. Their parents are, I'm sure, very, very proud.