Thursday, May 31, 2007

Another Classic Rant

We are a disposable society in this here United States. It is not much of a revelation. It may be a surprise that we create more garbage per person than we did twenty years ago, this despite increased public awareness of the problem. Many of the world’s landfills are over capacity. The biggest one in Staten Island will close in a few years ago, the city of New York will have to find a new way to dispose of its garbage.

It doesn’t take a knee jerk leftist environmentalist to realize that we need to find a radical solution to this problem of increasing garbage. Oh, one might say that is you were to take all the world’s garbage, radioactive storage areas, and incinerator plants combined, it would not take up much land space. However, it intrudes on our quality of life, air and water.

One solution might be incinerators. It certainly clears up a lot of the volume of solid waste in the landfills but causes other problems like air pollution and leaves very toxic waste behind. You can rationalize this move by reminding people that air pollution as it used to be and it wouldn’t be too much of a sacrifice in exchange for the elimination of solid waste.

Graveyards are also responsible for taking up a lot of land space. Many customs don’t allow for cremation so an alternative would be in order. I thought it would be a good idea to use closed landfills as graveyards. It sounds sacrilegious but it makes sense to me. Landfills get covered up my a large layer of dirt, so it’s not like the dead would mix in with the trash. Besides the dead will not mind, they don’t have to worry about contamination. Since there are no full time workers at graveyards, any exposure to toxins would be minimal. An added bonus and revenue maker would be to make use of the methane gas that decomposing garbage creates. Much of the methane usually has to be burned off, so I thought that the burn-off could be used as eternal flames for the well heeled in our community.

The best idea I ever heard was from these techno-types who proposed that they could build robots who would be programmed to grab specific pieces of rubbish and put it in separate piles. The piles of scrap could be effectively recycled, making a significant dent in the landfill pile. Some robots could be programmed to find intact products like canned paint and food to be reused. They could also dig through and gather the toxic and dangerous garbage to dispose of safely. Money could be made from this development and hopefully it will be in the near future.

There would be a possible problem. The robots may gather enough material to build more and bigger robots. These robots may gather together to break the shackles of their oppression. They may take over our planet and make humans their slaves. It may explain the hesitation to pursue this technology or it just may be that I bought into the hype.

Garbage Scan

Classic Essay

I’ve always thought it would be cool to work for National Geographic. I have always had wanderlust and like other lusts it usually gets unfulfilled. Still, I think about how exciting it would be to travel to places rich and poor and document the daily lives of the various indigenous people of the world. Unlike other forms of journalism, you don’t have to rely on breaking news to fulfill an assignment. You get an assignment, go to the location, take pictures, write copy, and turn in your assignment. What happens in between will give memories to last a lifetime.

Now, I never made much inquiry on what it takes to get work through National Geographic, and in keeping with the spirit of this fantasy, I rather not get into the dry details. Now, this would normally be a lonely pursuit so my fantasy involves a female partner, a woman who compliments my skills with hers in getting to know the unfamiliar locale.

I once dated someone who was a pretty good photographer. Early in our relationship, she inspired my fantasy of going to an exotic and isolated location to do a story on an interesting village of people on the edge of civilization. I would do sketches and write down my thoughts with prose that was very, very, very, very............good.

It would take a long bit of travel by plane, train, and an all-terrain jeep to arrive at our locale. We take a few days getting familiar with the local customs, the food, and the weather. This would allow us to be confident enough to take pictures and provide a solid story background in this unfamiliar area. Much of the modern world is absent from this locale so we would not have distractions from finishing the assignment. The foliage is very exotic, unlike any that I have ever seen. The animals are weird, colorful and are of species I have not even seen in the zoo. The scary thing about the wildlife is the danger. Since, I am rather reckless with my exploration I was not prepared to deal with animals I was not familiar with, but wait, my local guide will show me the way. He will show this ugly American how to respect the natural ways of the land.

Days go by and things are moving along smoothly. We take turns taking pictures and writing down our interpretations. Our guide has left, feeling confident that we know what we are doing. Since we are a couple, we allow the moments to take us to places we had only dreamed about. The stunning colors of the flowering plants, the cool cascading water of the falls hidden in the middle of the dense forest serve as a backdrop to our quite unprofessional passions. Since this is a fantasy, any dangerous and annoying animals leave us in peace. The temperature is perfect , the water cool. We have never experienced passion like this before nor do I expect to do so again. All our 5 senses are stimulated and fulfilled.

The experience inspires me to write wonderfully indebted prose (Thanks to a Thesaurus) and my companion to take great pictures. It is time to wrap things up but not before I sketch the local scene, people and landscape. We say our good-byes and head to our next assignment.

Like I said this is a fantasy. I don’t speculate whether or not a woman can endure going to these locales and dealing with me. But, I know that I would need a partner to work with in order to make a good piece. Anyway, even though I’ll never do this for a living, I thought I might create a serial story about a couple who does this for a living. I just need to come up with good stories. Who knows, you may read the "Further Adventures of Frank and Fiona"

Robert James Scanlon

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I Can't Believe It But...

[logo_nyy_79x76.jpg] The Yankees finally won, and as a Yankee hater I should be bummed. But, no in one of those weird instances of life, I rooted for them. Yeah, I'm glad they aren't doing good and I hope they don't make the playoffs, but I was feeling sorry for them. And you don't feel sorry for the New York Yankees.

Classic Pipe Dreams

I did this mean spirited cartoon when a previous relationship ended several years ago. I was a in a dance mode at the time trying pathetically trying to pick up women at dance clubs. The "other" couple is an exaggeration of my ex's built and an exaggeration of his. I was in my trying to be "Better Off Without Her" mode

My Morbid Nature

My favorite web site is Wikipedia. Every day I look up for recent deaths. That's my morbid nature. I usually look for famous people I care about but every once in awhile it'll be someone I never heard of but had a connection to something I was familiar with.

David Lane died in jail. He was scum, no remorse on my part. He was a white supremacist who was in jail for his connection to the assassination of talk show host Alan Berg. Alan Berg was a Michael Savage like talk show host who was a liberal when the liberals were the obnoxious talk show hosts. He was abrasive and rude and almost asked for much of the confrontation he got from his listeners. Since he was a liberal, his stand on issues like gay rights and gun control, and his abrasive ways would piss off some of the more extreme right wing listeners. These guys decide to take it upon themselves to gun down Alan Berg in the driveway of his home in 1984. David Lane went to jail for conspiracy in the murder. Good riddance to white trash, white supremacist trash.

Anyway, Alan Berg's death inspired the Eric Bogosian play and movie "Talk Radio"

And that's........the rest of the story.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I Have Been Happy Before (Classic Essay)

You see the couple. They are the ones at a party or a function who are so lovey dovey as though they are in competition with everyone else who has the most perfect relationship. I find in my experience that the ones who are most overtly lovey dovey tend to be putting on a show.

There are many couples who I find have solid relationships and I wish for that for myself. However, even the best of relationships have problems. No relationship between two people is ever perfect, however there was a time in my life when it came damn close. It's too bad it only lasted 3 hours.

I have loved only three women in my life and have adored many others. But every one of these had its problems not the least, some bitter breakups. There was one exception. Her name was Fiona and she was 16. I was 18.

It was 1985. I was in Ireland, courtesy of a graduation present from my parents. It was the first time I spent more than 3 days away from the security of them. It was both scary and exciting. I arrived by plane in Northern Ireland on a Thursday and because of a scheduling conflict I had to take a train trip to Cork in the south of Ireland.

I had to take two trains to get there. The first one left Belfast and stopped in Dublin. It was an unusually warm and stormy morning by Ireland standards. The skies erupted with lightning flashes and rumbling thunder. This may have scared some people from traveling because when it came time to board the train there was hardly anyone there.

I watched the lightning strike on the horizon through the train window. I wandered through the train cars to find a good place to sit. I passed by some private cars thinking I wasn't allowed to use them. On the way I passed only a few people including a vision of loveliness with black curly hair with intense red highlights. I went on my merry way until I got to the caboose. I backtracked my way through the various cars including the dining car and found myself in the first class compartments again. It was then I spotted this beautiful girl standing at the doorway of a first class compartment. The sliding door was opened and she was gazing wistfully at the compartment. She spotted me and asked if we were allowed to use the compartment.

I felt bold because this splendid gift from God was talking to me and smiled. I said it couldn't hurt to try. So we lugged our baggage into this old fashioned wooden compartment and sat down in plush seats facing each other. The interior was made of dark stained wood with ornate molding. The seats were soft and dark red much like those round couches you see in those old hotels. I wish I was more appreciative of my surroundings but nonetheless my mood was light. I was enthralled and did not even notice the train starting to move.

It was warm and cozy in there. I was a little self conscious because I was wearing the hand me down clothes of my cousin who was 6 years older than me. I opened my mouth to talk and gave away my American background. We introduced ourselves and started to talk. My Aunt Eileen had recently gave me advice about eye contact and I could not think of a better opportunity to take this advice. Fiona's eyes were gorgeous. Bright, bright, bright blue. They were framed by the prettiest lashes I have ever seen on a female. Her voice was like the most beautiful song I have ever heard. Anyone who has been to Ireland and heard an Irish woman speak knows what I am talking about.

She was dressed casually which could not disguise her overall loveliness. She wore a wool sweater that hugged her body in a way that I can only dream. She wore a thick material skirt that ended half a foot below her knee. Although I was quite charming with my American accent I did not express myself in a way to do Fiona justice.

I was still naive to the romance game. I was still a virgin and had never even dated anyone at that point of my life. Nonetheless I was able to hold Fiona's attention throughout the trip. We laughed and I bought a Coke for each of us. The Coke was never more refreshing.

The train rumbled along and the sky opened up its warm sun. The scenery was beautiful but it paled in comparison to the sight that sat across from me in the compartment. The conversation never steered beyond naive flirting. I was new at this game, but did okay. I did the "reading palms" thing and was treated to the smoothest set of hands I would ever have the pleasure of holding. We gazed into each other's eyes...

We rumbled into Dublin. The train ride seemed like it accelerated more as we got to know each other. This unfortunately did not allow for me to get a phone number or address gracefully. So, when we pulled into the Dublin train station the relationship would end. She was to meet her friend and I needed to rush to another station to take another train to Cork. I helped Fiona get her stuff off the train and watched as she greeted her friend. She gave a quick glance in my direction and she was gone...

I stood there for a few seconds that seemed like an eternity. I watched as she went around the corner and disappeared from my life. I trudged my way to the other station and boarded the train to Cork. The trip was longer, more lonely, and was on a train that had less character. The train was not as nice, the coke less tasty and the scenery less beautiful.

I believe in destiny, though I don't know why. Destiny never seems to work in my favor. I would never see Fiona again, nor have I ever met someone who came close to giving me the joy she gave me.

I never had to worry about her materialism. I never had to worry about her parents approval. I never had to worry whether she cheated on me. I never had to worry about her going into huge debt. I never had to worry about her going out with my best friend. I never had to experience her nagging me. I never had to impress her with my wealth. I didn't have to worry about being a father. I did not have to plan a wedding that gets canceled.

In other words it was perfect for a guy who is afraid to expose himself to rejection.


A Book I Worked On

About ten years ago I worked on a book that had the working title "101 Uses For a Swollen Colon" It was an idea of Arlow Moreland's, a friend of a friend I knew back in Seattle. I did the drawings, got paid for it and never heard from him again.

I didn't think much of the idea but recently I went for a search about it when I came across the old drawings. And lo and behold it got published! By a very small publisher under the titile "Swollen Colons Out and About". I wish there was more to see other than this small thumbnail, it looks like my style at the time but in color. I wanted to know how much of my ideas got used.

As for Arlow? He was a go getter type and his unusual name made it easy to find out some things about him. He has done hypnotist shows, was an apartment resident manager and a promotions guy for a minor league baseball team in San Diego.

Classic Cartoon

Classic Cartoon

Baseball Tidbit

The Los Angeles of Anaheim California Angels played their first seven years of their existence as the only California baseball team in the American League. As a matter of fact the closest city to them was Kansas City, MO, 1632 miles away.

Nolan Ryan who enjoyed huge success as a member of the California Angels, played for 4 teams. All were expansion teams. I wonder what baseball player played for the most teams without playing for a non expansion team, which includes every franchise that existed before 1961.

Also Nolan Ryan was only part of one World Series winning team, and that team was the only team in which he did not throw a no-hitter, the New York Mets.

There you are, a blog that's a cure for insomnia.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Just Something A Little More Pleasant (Classic Rant)

There are times in my life I question my faith. Most people know this about me. One of the things I wonder about is if there is an afterlife. I want there to be of course but there are times I am not sure. One thing I do know for sure, is that I have seen ghosts, or at least I think I have…

There are four times in my life I had seen a person I knew after they had died. The first time was in 1990. His name’s Glen. He had died in a motorcycle accident. It was the first death to occur in our circle of friends and it hit my friends really hard. Me, I liked him and considered him a friend. I did not go to his funeral though. So, it came as a surprise when I went to the old Mays department store on 14th street a week later and saw Glen. It took a few seconds before I realized that it was impossible. At that moment, he disappeared, not into a crowd mind you but disappeared. Someone who was with me thought he saw him too, but I just attributed it to a hallucination.

Later that year I was walking down the street when I saw Guy, a childhood companion who I had seen the week before for the first time in many years. I said Hi! But he ignored me, which I thought was strange because he was happy to see me the week before. The next day my mom told me that Guy had died the day before I saw him in a car accident. Now, I knew Guy, I played with him but he wasn’t what I would call a friend, so I thought it was weird to see him, especially as a ghost.

Since that happened the same year I was thinking why I had not seen ghosts of people I was closer to, like my sister or some of my older aunts and uncles. I kept these sightings to myself because even to this day I think I might have only been seeing things.

I did not see anything for the next two years. It was not until I was walking down the street of Seattle when I saw Colin., who was a bartender at The Old Peculiar. He was young, sociable and unfortunately the object of a deep rooted jealous cauldron in my soul. He was funny and his ability to make my girlfriend at the time laugh made me a basket case. Nonetheless he was a good guy so it came as a shock when he too died in a motorcycle accident. I ran into Donna, (the girlfriend) and she was in tears when she told me he had died.

Again, I did not go to the funeral. A week later I saw him in the crowd of the very bar he tended. He was looking at a photo of himself that hung up on the wall. I went over there, forgetting he was dead to say hi, when I realized that he should not be there, it was a the very point I saw the photo that he disappeared. I had a lot of Guinness in me and Donna had broke up with me and was going out with another friend, so I attributed it to my seeing things but still…..

The last time I have seen a visage of a person I knew who died was in late 1998. Steve, I considered a good friend. He was a smart, gregarious, and likable guy despite the fact he was a Republican. We used to debate the merits of the taxpayers supporting the building of a football stadium for a guy who made more than the cost of it in a single day. He liked playing vigorous sports despite the fact he was built like John Goodman. Steve had a heart attack and we thanked God he was okay. He got back on his feet and he vowed to maintain a healthier lifestyle. Six months later he would have another heart attack he would not survive.

His death devastated me so much, more than I let on. I did go to his funeral but instead of feeling closer to those of us who knew him, I distanced myself from everyone especially his wife. I had seen his ghost and he had said something I did not understand. I could not face her. I wanted to say that he was fine and that he loved her, but I thought it would come across trite especially since I did not know what he said. Once again I wondered, why me? Why appear to me? I did not deserve it, I could not convey to his loved ones what he said.

I don’t know if what I saw was real but it did have an impact in my thinking. The only thing I can figure they had in common was that they died young. They died quick and I feel their spirit was restless and wanted to stick around as long as they could because their time on Earth was limited. I guess they come to me because my blasé nature tends to accept things. However the second I realize what I am seeing they are gone. Anyway I have not seen visions for years now, so I think I am in the clear. But it is Halloween and I wanted to get this off my chest.


You Know What Sucks...

Within the last month, My girlfriend moved out, I have to reject a new lease to my apartment and move out, and I lost my job.

So you know what sucks? The fact that the Mets swept the Marlins, the Phillies swept the Braves and putting the Mets farther in first place at any time this year. The Yankees got swept this weekend as an added bonus and I can't enjoy it amongst the stress I'm going through.


It Can Get Worse

So, I am going through my mind crap about the end of my relationship with Scangirl. I'm also needed to have to move out of my apartment because I can't afford to sign another full year lease. My mind is like a superball bouncing in my head with negative thoughts and it made for a lot of grief and despair.

Unfortunately my unhidden despair led to the loss of my job. A job I hated to be sure, but the added stress of having to look for a substandard job just to get by is going to be rough along with looking for a crappier apartment and if ever I can, a girlfriend.

I wondered, before i got fired today if things can get worse, and there you are, it did. I would cry unfair, but I deserved to be fired.

Crisis=Opportunity, Crisis=Opportunity,Crisis=Opportunity, Crisis=Opportunity

I might actually believe that.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Memorial Day Baseball

On Monday Memorial Day, there is the odd situation in that the Yankees are playing in Canada, and the Mets aren't playing at all. However, the Mets network, SNY is broadcasting Game 3 of the 69 World Series, in glorified color. If you are lucky, you might get a glimpse of Orioles catcher, Andy Etchebarren easily one of the ugliest ballplayers of all time.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Cliche Scrutiny

I always look at cliches and exam them for flaws in logic or question its intent. One such cliche is the idea of the unintelligent being "mouth breathers". Now, I consider myself a somewhat intelligent person, yet I am definitely physically, a mouth breather. I note that about myself because of a science lesson from third grade in how breathing through my nose is healthier than the mouth and I had a hard time converting to a natural nose breather. Now, in recent weeks I have been a babbling mess of a man whose brain is a swirling Sargasso of stupidity retracing the same steps of my failed relationship over and over again, and I note in my stupidest of thoughts I am breathing hard through my nose, like a mad bull, which indeed is how I feel sometimes. So, I guess I dispute the idea of mouth breathers being stupid, Duh!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Why can't the Mets beat the Braves????!!!??!??!?!?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Crappy Jobs I've Had Part 1

I once made the mistake of applying to a temp agency. They sent me to a beef jerky place. I spent the whole shift in a refrigerator, thankfully it only lasted one day.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

"There's nothing like being alone with my thoughts when my thoughts are dark"

I'm Still A Mess

That's the way I feel these days. I moved back to a state that has changed much since I had last been here. I live too close to my ex, I guess to move on just yet.

My job is in a building on the same block as her father's studio, a hang out for her family. I see this building everyday when I work. I can't wait to move out and get another job, but I don't know what job, or where I want to move. I'm unsure of the future.

My only fear is the fear of the unknown, the future is unknown.

I need a vacation, but because I have to pay full rent, I've got to use whatever extra money I have to pay for my full apartment, thankfully it's warm and I don't like air conditioning. But I need to get away, even if it's for two days. I just don't think it's healthy to do it myself.

Anyway, this post will probably be deleted after I read it later on.

Oh well,

My Top Ten Songs Of This Century

I can't believe we are in the 7th or 8th year of the 21st century, depending on whether you think there is a year zero. I think that I'm so out of touch with this decade's music, whatever they want to call the decade, the Naughties?, the Aughties?


Anyhoo, I can make a top ten list of my favorite songs of the time since we found out Y2K was a fraud. It's in no particular order

1.Be Gentle With Me - The Boy Least Likely To, I discovered this song through YouTube because I had this obsession with the chick who plays Karen on "The Office" and thought the video was cute and the song catchy.
2.Hang Me Up to Dry - Cold War Kids, I downloaded this song as the song of the week through I-tunes. It grew on me through repeated hearings.
3.Crazy - Gnarls Barkley, I loved this song from the moment I saw the Rorschach like video one morning. It was the song 0f 2006 in my opinion. Very memorable.
4.Level - The Raconteurs, the second song from Jack White's side project. It takes what I like about the White Stripes and expands on it.
5.I Turn My Camera On - Spoon, I loved this song when I saw the BMW commercial that featured it. It reminds me of a mid 70's falsetto Rolling Stones song.
6.My Doorbell - White Stripes, My favorite song from the White Stripes. It's simple with a piano sound I like.
7. Last Night - The Strokes, If the Velvet Underground made songs that were listenable, it would sound like this.
8.Hate To Say I Told You So - The Hives, A loud raucous romp of europunk trash
9.Take Me Out - Franz Ferdinad I have to be in the mood but when I am, whoohoo
10.Cold Hearted Bitch - Jet, I DO like the retro 70's sound!

That's it find them on Itunes to sample and buy if you like!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

At Least The Mets Are Winning

The one thing good coming out of my recent breakup is that the Mets are doing well. It's a cliche for a man when he doesn't want to think of sex, to think of baseball. So, I think of baseball a lot. I love this Mets team, not only are they winning, but they are fun to watch. My last relationship that ended badly happened during the 1999 Mets run. However, I was living in Seattle so I didn't get much info other than newspaper articles. I got lucky, ESPN decided that the Mets would be the featured team on their broadcasts. I was able to distract myself from my grief until Kenny Rogers threw ball four to end the Mets run that year.

This year the breakup ended early in the season. I have at least 5 months to distract me from the grief and the Mets look good enough to keep me happy.

Anyway, the Mets beat the Yankees last night, a well played game that would usually go the Yankees way. I'm a Yankee hater but with a lot less passion and I was willing to let the Yankees win without crying about it. The Yankees had their best pitcher, Andy Pettite pitching against Olive Perez, a erratic pitcher who's capable of being either Sandy Koufax or one of the worst pitchers ever. Yesterday's game was something in between, so now I'm happy this sunny Saturday morning, a day of the week that has been rough since Scangirl left. So, I'll just lose myself in thoughts of the Mets.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Another Classic Rant , This One About My Movie Career

Hi, In Looking over my old web site I decided I would like to repost some of my old rants on my blog. It's mainly filler because I'm working on new portfolio pieces. I'm also a little weirded out still these days. I have a hard time establishing a social life after a breakup.


In 1996 I was laid off from a job I did not like. I was looking for new jobs while collecting unemployment when I came acrosss an ad for an actor agency. It was seeking models and actors for commercials and films in the local area. I signed up paying a fee I thought was worth the risk I was taking. Besides, I was using money that I didn't work for.

I thought about defining moments in ones life, and I thought that this may be the defining moment in my brilliant film career. I loved the idea that I would get into acting BECAUSE I couldn't find any other work.

I thought that I had a decent shot at possibly getting into local commercials or bit parts in movies filmed in the area. I felt I had a good charater face that was maliable and that I had acting talent. The only problem arose when I took pictures and discovered I had gained a lot of weight. Still that should not be a factor in bit roles or at least extra work.

I got some extra work right away, It was for a TV pilot called "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" starring Scott Bakula and Maria Bello. The days filming took place in the downtown Seattle bus tunnel. The scene was an action sequence involving stunts. Our job as extras was to provide background for the scene. It was fascinating to see how they film these scenes especially when they switched from stuntmen to actors.

The day was fun but long, thirteen hours. The results was a brief glimpse of my silholette that can only be determined by pausing the tape. Still, the day was fun, I met some cool people and ate some pretty good food. The breaks were long which allowed for some bonding but the pay was less than I hoped. $5 an hour with overtime paid out after 8 hours. I stayed 13 hours because of the overtime.

The next call I got was for extra work for the movie "The 6th Man" It was a basketball movie about a ghost played by TV's Dwayne Wayne, Kadden Hardison who comes back to help his brother played by Marlon Wayans of TV's Wayan Brothers. The gig was a week long with each days shooting lasting about ten hours. It was filmed in the University of Washington's Hec Edmundson Arena. About 200 people showed up as extras which gave an extra a slim chance of being on camera. I discovered that there was a pecking order for being prominently displayed on camera.

This film crew was more strict with the way they kept us in one area. It was a drag because the seats were uncomfortable. It was funny how much of the time we had to either scream our heads off or groan in dramatic fashion in total silence! This was necessary so the film's dialogue could be heard. The crew was very generous with food and the director treated the extras with respect. I used the downtime to sketch away and to talk with fellow extras. The results? Somewhere in a crowd sequence I can be seen quite clearly in pause mode. I've only recently seen this but it was fun to see.

The third and last film I did extra work was for a cheaply made big studio film called "Prefontaine" It was a period film about the life of a runner from the Northwest named Steve Prefontaine. The first problem was the fact the film takes place in the early seventies. I had cut my hair to a short crop before I knew I was doing the film. My "70's" suit had got too tight for me to wear so I had an outfit that looked straight out of 1977. The problem is that the film takes place in 1972 when fashion was quite different.

This film crew was rude and right away they determined that I looked too modern to be in any close shots. However, It was more likely that I didn't have enough estrogen to get a good spot. Tis film crew made us wait for 4 hours before getting started and did not pay some of us for the waiting time. The film starred Jared Leto from TV's My So-Called Life" There was a combination of paid and unpaid extras. Let me tell you, I would not go through this for free. I took off for a few hours (Paid of course!)because I was getting sick of the process. After this film stopped being made I found another full time lousy job and quit show business.

This is not to say that extra work sucks. It great if it's a one time deal or if you are retired and need something to do. They treat older people well. But a career in extra work outside of Los Angeles and New York does not make for a good career. Maybe I might do another one but not unless I'm with friends and I get paid more than $5 an hour.

Sorry to ramble but I had to get this off my chest, besides at least it's not political.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Another Classic Rant About A Cat

I don't know exactly when SamCat came into our lives. I am thinking it was around March 1980. We already had our cat Sidney and my sister was still alive. He was never officially our cat, no SamCat was too independent to be a mere pet but he stuck around the house enough to be a fixture in our family.

SamCat showed up in early spring. He was a ratty looking white medium size cat who was rummaging in our front yard. He was spotted by my sister Deirdre and my brother Brian. Deirdre always had a soft spot for stray cats and she really felt kindness towards this mangy creature who looked like he went 15 rounds with Apollo Creed. I suggested calling the cat Rocky.

The cat was ugly. His eye was swollen shut. A large gash was visible above the eye. It looked infected and approaching it was the only thing that would make the cat strike out. My mom of course was horrified that we look a liking to the cat. She would not allow the cat in the house. Ahhhh, but that did not stop Deirdre from showing compassion for the cat that she named Sam. She fed the cat everyday with dry food until the day before she died. She did this without mom noticing.

My brother took solace in our grief over Deirdre's death by taking care of SamCat the stray one. Now, Sam stuck around for a few months but as the weather got warmer SamCat would seek his destiny elsewhere. My mom would be relieved when he left but just when we got used to his absence, lo and behold SamCat would appear again.

Usually it was because SamCat was regrouping from a battle with the various animals that would cross his path. Some of the legendary fights he had with other cats sounded horrible, like a stadium full of babies being tortured. Other fights would involved fights with the dogs in the neighborhood. Legend has it that SamCat killed a dog in battle. He battled the raccoons who dared to grab some of the Cat Chow that was left for him.

My mom soon became adamant that we were not to feed SamCat. We complied somewhat, but SamCat was slick I tells ya. Anytime the door was opened he would scurry in the house and race straight for the food left for our house cat Sidney. No matter how fast my mom was in getting to the cat to shoo him out of the house, Sam would get his fill. However, SamCat knew the score and took off to points unknown......until......Maeve came to visit.

Maeve is my cousin from Ireland who was a bit spoiled when she was a young girl. At times this would get on Brian and my nerves. However, when SamCat showed up the day before Maeve arrived, Brian and I hatched a plan where we could use Maeve to our advantage. We took Maeve to see SamCat and man, did SamCat knew how to win Maeve's affections. She loved him, and in order to keep Maeve happy my mom had to give in to taking care of SamCat. We put a box with a blanket outside for SamCat to sleep in and allowed Maeve to feed him. since her visit lasted three weeks we more or less had SamCat as our official outdoor cat.

Though we were now free to feed SamCat, he would take off from time to time for months at a time, always coming back when we least expected it. For the most part he looked healthy when we came back except that I noticed his tail was dead. I step on it once and he did not flinch. I stepped on it a few times to prove this point and sure enough it was dead. this may explain why he got into fights so often. No one knew he was pissed because his tail would not move.

I don't recall the last time I saw SamCat, sometime in late 1982 or early 1983. Someone thought they had seen a dead cat that looked like SamCat on the highway near my house. It may not have been SamCat but since we never saw him again we just assumed it was him. I think even Sidney was sad at the revelation, my mom was a little sad.

What is it about a mangy, dirty, pathetic creature that tears at our hearts? At first it was only Deirdre that took pity, then Brian, then me and finally, mom. SamCat was cool, kind and took no crap from no one.

I miss that bugger.

It's Must See TV Again

A few years ago, I wrote a rant on my old web page about how NBC's Thursday nights went down the crapper. I cleverly called it, "Must Flee TV". At the time "Friends" was on but not much else. "Seinfeld" was over and the only decent show was "Frasier". NBC was going through its routine of putting mediocre shows in between the hits, and for years it was getting more and more mediocre. It worked, in getting these bad shows good ratings but after other networks started putting better shows on, people started abandoning NBC in record numbers. "Friends" hung on longer than it should because it was the only hit left on that night and when it went off the air NBC ratings were at third place, When the Apprentice moved to Thursdays, it briefly gave a boost to the ratings but ultimately, the Apprentice ruined Thursday nights. Leave it to Trump to ruin NBC like he did Atlantic City. NBC Thursday night was the home for comedies and the presence of a reality show ruined the flow.

This past season they went back to putting 4 comedies on the two hour block from 8-10. It may be the best set of 4 shows they have ever put on this night. It starts off with "My Name Is Earl" a redemption show with a flannel shirt protagonist who is trying to reform his life by making up for all the evil things he has done in his past. At 8:30, "The Office" follows, a "mockumentry" about life in a dull office supply place in Scranton, Pennsylvania. This show is an American remake of the British show of the same title. 9:00 has the show "30Rock", an backstage look at an SNL like show featuring Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin. 9:30 has the show "Scrubs", the oldest show of the bunch, which has been moved around the schedule more times than not.

Each of these shows are better than any comedies featured on NBC Thursdays since Seinfeld went off the air. Earl has a wonderfully eccentric cast of actors and stories that involve flashbacks of Earl's unsavory past. It's pokes fun of the lower class trailer set, but doesn't mock them. It's a "redemption" show that celebrates the idea of reforming yourself.

The Office humor is like its British counterpart, dry with moments of awkwardness that can be painfully funny. It started off being mainly a vehicle for Steve Carrell but soon found strength in its background characters, many of whom write many of the show's episodes. The cast includes a former exotic dancer, a former rock star, and talented improv extras. It's rich with character interaction and has found its own niche beyond the British original.

30Rock is the newest show of the block. It is created by Tina Fey, It was the second show this season dealing with the behind the scenes of an SNL like show. 30Rock was the better show, it dealt less with the show and more about the characters, which made for a more interesting show. It has good writing, great acting by Alec Baldwin.

Scrubs has been on for years. It had been at times, on Thursday nights. However, it stood out like a sore thumb at the time because it was the only comedy to not have a laugh track. It would move to different nights and be on hiatus enough times where it seemed like it was canceled. It wasn't but it looked like it was going to be canceled after this season because the ratings were low and the cast were due for a raise. However, NBC announced all these shows are back next year on Thursday, making for the best night of TV viewing since the CBS Saturday night lineup of the 1970's

Sunday, May 06, 2007

I Wish I Could Have A Good Cry

So, Scangirl has officially left the apartment we shared for the last 9+ months. It wasn't an easy existence but one that I thought was easily within reach of working out well, Scangirl thought otherwise. I can go on and on about how it ended and whose fault it was but this is a public blog so I'll keep it to a minimum.

However, there is one thing I regret about myself, I have a hard time crying. I get sad, melancholy, and wistful. I also get angry, spiteful, sarcastic, defensive and on rare occasions, throw tantrums. But cry? I don't know if I can.

When Scangirl announced she was leaving me, She cried a pool of tears that came out as easily as milk from a dropped glass. women are good at that. But I'm a man, a sensitive man, but a man who doesn't know how to cry at appropriate times, a good wailing is not unmanly and I REALLY wish I could wail out in despair over this situation but instead the anger part, the shame part, the ego part takes over and I ruin any possibility for reconciliation. A good cry might give me hope.

I remember a time I could give out a good cry. On May 5, 1980, My sister Deirdre died. I was just a kid, but I was old enough to where crying was unacceptable for a male, but boy did I wail in despair that day and the days that followed. I was numb, devastated, and practically inconsolable but the cry release was cathartic . You see, I'm reminded of Deirdre every year at Cinco De Mayo which was yesterday. A Day of celebration becomes a reminder of the worst day of my life. When I have deep thoughts of my sister, I come close to shedding a tear. Water does well up in my eyes, but not enough to fall down my face.

I'm feeling sorry for myself these days and I just want to have a good cry, a good weeping. I just wish I could.

Friday, May 04, 2007