Friday, February 29, 2008


LOS ANGELES to CHICAGO/OHARE departing Friday, February 29



Equip: 767
MP miles: 1745

In-Flight services:

CHICAGO/OHARE to LOS ANGELES departing Sunday, March 2



Equip: 757
MP miles: 1745

In-Flight services:

Need I say more?

Monday, February 25, 2008

I drink your milkshake, Eli!

I drink it up!

Fun times watching the Oscars and chowing down on nachos and wings. Lost in my pool though. Who could've predicted the Bourne sweep?

By the way, a classmate of mine will be on Deal or No Deal tonight. If he wins big, he'll be my new best friend.

That's all I have, friend-o.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

What I've Been Doing:


And lots of it.

OK, this sounds bad, but people should know that cocaine actually isn't that awful a thing, if you can manage your habit. A lot of folks in LA do cocaine, and it's a great way to network and stuff. I don't think that experimenting in new things is that terrible.

Ha! Just kidding. I have yet to come across any white angel dust in my time here. However, I did have to make some fake cocaine for my first short. These pics are from the night before my shoot

I had to use wikipedia to find a picture to model my coke after. As you can see, my Columbian white gold was merely ground-up Altoids. So this is what my moving to LA and spending the $$$ on school has come down to: me grounding up Altoids to look like coke. But it worked, along with a couple of other fake drugs I included in the shoot. I don't want to get into tons of specifics about what the movie was about, but it was a comedy about a young man who uses a ridiculous amount of drugs to sustain himself during a painfully boring employee motivation seminar.

The shoot went pretty smooth, at least as smooth shoots usually can go. I'm in the process of editing right now, and I show off my finished copy next Wednesday. We'll see how it goes over, plus I'll burn a DVD to show when I come back to CHI for the weekend.

Speaking of my coming back, just a heads up: I'm getting in Friday night and having dinner with the fam around the condo. Afterwards, I may be talked into visiting an establishment that serves alcohol.

Saturday night I'm seeing Oedipus at the Bailiwick. It's at 7 and there's info on how to buy tickets below in my last post. Once again, I'm no psychic, but I see bars in the picture.

Other than that, not a whole lot else going on in Hollywood this weekend. Except for this thing on Sunday where they give out these funny little statues. Strange town. Who'd want one?

I'm referring, of course, to the Academy Awards. I've been able to avoid the boredom of an apartment Oscar party and convinced most of the class to watch the Oscars at this cool sports bar in West Hollywood. I've also been able to orchestrate an Oscars pool for $5. I don't think it will match the excitement of March Madness, but I'll be a hell of a lot more interested in who wins for Best Animated Film (c'mon Persepolis! Upset special!).

Anyway, that's all I've got for now. I'll be seeing some of you in less than a week.

Oh, I saw Be Kind, Rewind tonight. Not a bad movie, but check out the YouTube site. My favorite is--surprise, surprise--Jurassic Park.

Friday, February 15, 2008

An Exciting Week in An Exciting Year

As I rang in the New Year 46 days ago at RedNoFive, toasting champagne with Bill Hupp, and blowing cigar smoke into the angry faces of Nick and Kelly, I think I said that 2008 is going be one hell of a year.

And if I didn't, I'm saying it now.

2007 was all well and good, but it was kind of a transition time, like everyone was in motion before the ball was snapped. We set up our lights and camera. Now, it's time for action!

And this week acts as a preview trailer for the feature film of 2008, with a whole host of cool things happening:

First off, this Sunday I'm shooting my first short at USC. It's 2 interior locations, right on campus, only 2 principal actors, which is all really good b/c it gives me CONTROL. No weather or police or jackhammerers will disrupt the shoot, so hopefully everything will go smoothly. I'm really excited b/c its the first of 4 films I'll be making in my class (the class is referred to, by everyone, as "507"). Next semester we have a class called 508, which is producing shorts on film. 507 is all digital cameras.

Secondly, this Friday marks the grand opening of Oedipus the King, the inaugural production from Big Brother Productions, the theater company run by my great friend, Derek Dion, and for which I am a board member. The show will feature the Greek tragedy shown through the prism of 21st century media -- with some video moments filmed by "Geneva's Favourite Son", the very talented Rob O'Brien. So GO SEE THE SHOW!!!!! There's more info from the link above, and for tickets call (773) 883 1090 or go to There will be more shows from Big Brother in 2008, but as I said a few weeks ago, it's a startup company and needs support.

I will be coming home on Feb 29 and seeing the show on March 1st. So if you want to buy tickets for that date, awesome. But do it now, before it gets sold out.

There's a few more exciting things that happened this week that set up a great '08, and one of them was the primary wins by B.O. For Obamacans like me, or you regular old bleeding hearts out there (Matt) I suggest checking out the inspirational Yes We Can video.

There's also a McCain video, that everyone should really check out.

Whatever happens, I am glued to cable news and cannot wait to see how Decision'08 all goes down.

And speaking of victories for the Land of Lincoln, last Wednesday the boys in blue pinstripes rode into Mesa as pitchers and catchers reported for spring training. I don't wanna be pull a Zambrano and make all kinds of crazy predictions (Ryan Dempster beat me to the punch), but man oh man, it'd be nice to stop short of the century mark. There's so much to say about the team, but I'll leave sports blogging to the experts. A site I like and visit often is I just have 4 syllables for Cubs fans to learn:


So enjoy the weekend, wish me luck for shooting, go see Oedipus, wear an Obama button, and begin the countdown to opening day.

T-minus 44 days and counting.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Saturday night.....IN THE VALLEY!!! (cue scary music)

So, yeah, I spent this past Saturday night in Studio City, which is part of the San Fernando Valley.

"The Valley" for those who don't know, is a part of Los Angeles where many major TV studios call home. It is also dumped on by Los Angelinos for its blandness, connection to the porn industry, and ridiculous desert climate. For more on this, I recommend the entourage episode "One Day in the Valley ". I was there helping a friend shoot in a recording studio for his short film.

It really is a lame place. Very few bars, no attractions other than Universal Studios Jurassic Park ride, and a general feeling of ...lameness. And it really is a desert--at night it's about 10 degrees cooler than in the L.A. basin (where USC, downtown, and Hollywood are) and I've been told that it does reach crazy high temps come the summer.

Speaking of summer, pitchers and catchers report in just 4 days, and I am more excited than Mark Grace on Ladies Night at Murphy's Bleachers. Not just for the Cubs' season, but also for another year of fantasy baseball. Me, Rob O'Brien, Bill Hupp and a cast of other characters from the east coast will be statistically dueling it out in the California Penal League. If anyone has any tips on who's going to be the next Prince Fielder or Matt Holliday, please don't hesitate to email me this information. We could have a little quid quo pro for sensitive information.

In fact here's a little insider info from one of my exclusive sources (the LA Times) --the writers strike may be nearing an end, but nothing official yet. I won't say anything else about it b/c I don't want to jinx it and risk more bad reality TV and struggling late-night comics. I mean, American Gladiators is in prime-time for Christ's sake!

In other news, I hear another cold snap is blowing in to the Windy City. That's a shame. To stay warm just imagine yourself in the sun-baked left field bleachers of Wrigley Field on a beautiful summer day.

Unless you're a White Sox fan. Then I hope you freeze your nuts off.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Get Ready to Put on Your "O" Face

As in O! ....O! .......O-bama! You know what I'm talking about. ....O!
Actually, many don't know what I'm talking about as I created a bit of a Facebook firestorm when I declared my virtual support for the Democratic Senator from Illinois a few days ago. Now I don't want to get into a big political thing [instant lie] but today being the most exciting primary in American history, I just wanted to say a few things.

First of all, I am a conservative from DuPage County, as my good friend Mike reminded me last week. But I can think of three very good reasons for any Ronald Reagan-loving, tax-cutting, God-fearing Republican to support Obama:

1. He's not Hillary.
2. He's not Bill.
3. Didn't you read the first one?

And also let's not forget that Obama would be the first Presidential hopeful from the Land of Lincoln since Adlai "Don't Wait for the Translation" Stevenson. Don't get me wrong, I love the namesake of Chicago's gateway to the Southwest suburbs, but the guy had the charisma and appeal of a high school math teacher not named Schumacher. Illinois ain't had a president in damn near 140 years. That's a worse track record than a certain National League baseball team.

And as far as you crazy Democrats out there wary about supporting "the kid", I'm not going to talk about how Obama opposed the war in Iraq whereas Hillary voted as the polls told her, or mention that Barack is strong with independent voters which will be crucial come the general in November, or point out that the man's oratory skills might be powerful enough to convince John Paxson to make a f*#king trade. No, instead of bringing up all those valid points I'll just say this:

Come on.............c'mon...............c'mon..........come on now, c'mon.

For a more substantive argument I recommend the L.A. Times editorial board.

Anyway, I'm stepping down from my

Tomorrow I'll be glued to MSNBC's coverage of the primaries, while occasionally checking in with Wolf Blitzer (and his massive wall of TV's) at CNN and a peak or two at Fox News to keep in step with what those in the Western Suburbs are watching. Oh, and apparently Dan Rather will be broadcasting from USC's campus for coverage on HDNET, so I'll be checking that scene out, too.

Peace out and Happy Primary Voting!

Monday, February 4, 2008

L.A. Doesn't Have an NFL Team

I thought that'd be a good reminder as we sit in the aftermath of the New York football Giants unfathomable upset of the Patriots in Superbowl XLII. There's a lot I could say but I've boiled it down to three statements: 1) I'm very disappointed in Tom Brady. 2) I was wrong when I said Eli Manning was Rex Grossman very wrong. 3) Greg Matsoukas is the happiest man this side of the Meadowlands.

I actually missed the 1st half of the Superbowl b/c I committed to help some USC students who are a semester ahead of me with their film project. We had a 7am call and I would have been able to catch the whole game except that the heavens opened up and rain fell until about 11. Once the rain cleared up it got windy as hell. It was a pretty fun (ie: miserable) day to be filming on the beach, and by the end of it I was wet, cold, and had sand everywhere. But, we got the shots that needed to be got and that's not easy to do.
We all knocked back some Mexican beers in Santa Monica to catch the dramatic finale. (Incidentally, since I missed the 1st half I didn't see any of the commercials so if anyone wants to post links to some of the better ones, that'd be cool).

Speaking of student films I'm casting for my first short this Friday and am pretty pumped about it. However, I've already got a little something to show for my time out here. Me and some classmates entered USC's 24hr Ed Wood Festival, where we had to make movie in 24 hrs based on a "theme" (You're Asking For It) and an "object" (sunglasses). We didn't get into the festival. So it goes. You can watch our film here and I will let y'all be the judge. I think it's funny, or at the very least, offensive.

I give a stirring (and creepy) performance.
I'm just glad that no blind people will ever see our movie.

Anyway, not much else going on other than the fact that I threw a wicked BBQ on Saturday with some of the fellow classmates. I got some ground beef and made burgers with diced onions and stuff, plus some brats and a porterhouse steak. Nothing like hanging in the backyard, grillin' meat, drinkin' beer and smokin' cigars in early February.

That's California for you.

Happy [belated] Groundhog Day!