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Month: October 2005

Iyves, the $500,000 man

Iyves, the $500,000 man

As you know from my last postings, my car was in the shop all last week. Monday through Thursday I drove a puke yellow Hyundai Elantra everywhere. On Thursday Amy picked me up from work and concurrently met with Dr. Veis (the president of ATG … where I work) for a TMJ consultation. He determined that she has definite TMJ damage and wants her to get x-rays to determine the next step.

Thursday night we went to HomeTown Buffet, a restaurant Amy has long been curious about. Ironically this HTB was not as good as the already trashy ones in Columbus. They had no seaters, they didn’t give each table a personal bus-person/waiter, and they didn’t have the whole-pieces of meat (ham, turkey, and beef slabs). They also didn’t have the syrup pumps to put flavoring in your pop. Early on Amy figured out why I’d been avoiding eating here.

The next morning at 7:30 we headed off to Ren-Mar studios. Amy and I had agreed earlier in the week to do a short segment on a television talk show pilot called “Dr. Reef.” As the producers talked to us more and went back and forth with the studio (Sony Tristar), they decided to make our story one of the main segments. After finding the studio we walked around on the lot in a maze with little help or direction. Eventually we found a crew member who took us to the green-rooms on the other side of the lot. We waited there for four hours until it was time for our segment to tape. At the tail end of those four hours we both got the royal make-up treatment. Pictures of this make-up putting on as well as Iyves and Amy fooling around with show producers Nancy and Shana can be found here. The taping of our segment lasted about two hours and was not what we expected, although we were never really quite sure what to expect. There was a live studio audience. We were up on two chairs, on the stage, alone. The show was supposed to feature Amy’s attachment to Iyves and its psychological implications. The show host is a psychologist at UCLA. You can find more info on him here. As we segwayed into the first commercial break the show took a few surprise twists. I was labeled an enabler and told by members of the audience and even the host himself that I’m part of the problem. Both of us ended up saying things that we’d be embarrassed about if this show ever airs, but it probably won’t since it is only a pilot. The taping was very surreal, like a dream, a bad dream sometimes. The weird thing though was that the audience didn’t matter to either of us since they all seemed so fake. I’ll let you in on a little secret.. Remember when it was a big deal that “some” of the fights on Jerry Springer were “faked?” Ninety percent of what you see on the TV talk shows is fake. Almost all of our dialogue was written out the night before and rehearsed with us in the green rooms (they split us up) that morning. When we improvised the sequence would be reshot after the producers would come out and “suggest” what we should say. As I’d never acted in a school play or anything in my life, this was quite interesting. Even more so because I was playing myself, but some over exaggerated version. Taping finished up around 3pm and Amy whisked me off to Eckhart Auto Body (you remember them…Adam Sandler’s workplace in Punch Drunk Love). Everything was fine with the car except one of my aftermarket pieces didn’t work. Amy and I met back at my place and ordered pizza. We decided to try Papa John’s new Pan Pizza. It was actually the best pizza I’ve had in a long time, so I recommend it to any pizza aficionados out there. Afterwards we watched Crash. An interesting movie, but one that anyone not living in Southern California would not understand. Brendan Fraser also just doesn’t sit right with me in a serious role…

Saturday I dragged Amy to Harpers to watch OSU trounce Minnesota.

I’m supposed to play a background alien extra in another pilot this Saturday…but I haven’t received a call-sheet yet, so I’m thinking something has fell through with that (aliens are usually tall, aren’t they? Damn!).

Amy and I are doing a follow-up interview with the Dr. Reef show tomorrow at 5:30.

And yes, we got paid Friday and we will tomorrow too. I asked for a copy of the show when they are done, but the producers made it sound unlikely that we’ll get one. We found out right after the taping that the budget of the show was half a million dollars. So a lot of people (including Sony Tristar) are betting on this to work. We were told that we were basically the most interesting segment on the show. Now, that may have been a fib just to make us feel good, who knows. Feels pretty good to be the centerpiece of a $500,000 production.

california real estate market

california real estate market

here is how bad the California real estate market is: 400 miles from Los Angeles and 100 miles from San Francisco you can get your little girl a play-house for the “steal” of 235k. And it comes with a plot of land the size of a two-car garage, yay!

The reason California has the most per capita millionaires (made that statistic up but I swear I heard it somewhere) is because nobody else can afford to live here…

around

around

Some moving and shaking has come and gone since we last spoke.

I tried painting again, armed with brand new tools and supplies. I failed again and gave up again. I’m starting to think that drawing and painting are more separate acts than outside observers believe.

Over the course of the past week or so I’ve been having novella-size philosophy discussions with Aaron. We (or really he) has come to the conclusion that he is an optimist and I am a fatalist. The irony is that the fatalist is saying America will be around for another thousand years and the “optimist” thinks we are close to WWIII.

It took me over two weeks to rid my body of the cold/flu/something that I came down with earlier this month. I still have some lingering chest congestion. My folliculitis is going away as well, now all that remains are some pinkish spots on my neck. Ironically it actually seemed to dramatically improve after I shaved with a good old fashioned blade razor on Monday.

I finally got approved for an American Express card a few weeks ago, yet it has not arrived. Now I’m worried about being a credit fraud victim…AGAIN.

The day I’ve dreamt of for over a year now will finally happen one week from today. On the 28th I should get my car back with all accident damage fixed plus clear side markers, legal window tinting, a cool doo-dad on the back that is impossible to describe, and a new body color slatted grill (like on the stock hatchback models). If you take my idiot business with “Tom” back in April out of the equation this isn’t really costing me anything as the settlements from the two accidents cover all the repair work and possibly (we’ll see what the final price ends up as) the extras.

To get out of my rut I’ve decided to do two things:

#1 get back into recording music. Recording that cassette tape with Ben almost ten years ago (and yes, also playing with Pusher) was one of the most fun and creatively engrossing things I have ever done. I’m pondering how to go about this, but at this point my plan is probably to get an Mbox2, cheap keyboard, cheap bass guitar, and have at it. Aaron will do drum tracks for me as necessary. The $250 question though is – do I really need MIDI inputs? The original Mbox doesn’t have them…the new (and $250 ore expensive) Mbox2 does. I’ve sought help from acquaintances Jessie, Jeff, and Shaun about this as they all have their own recording studios set up.

Speaking of Jeff, Dolly Trauma is releasing a new cd in 35 days. I wish I could be there for the cd-release, but such are the things you must leave behind when deciding to move to California. Anyway, back to my two things:

#2 Try to get involved in film/video production somehow. Right now I’m talking to a producer/production company that wants me to be the Creative Director for a test music video for a rap artist. I’m doing it for free just to get experience and network a little. The guy’s company has done national ads for major brands and also had a hand in some TV shows that are doing fairly well right now. He even told me the other day that he is working (in what capacity I have no idea) on a film with John Gaeta. So, hopefully this works out. All of you that know me well know that I’m not the biggest fan of rap music. However, I’m looking at this as a Job (with a capital J) and a chance to prove myself. If making a rap video is what it takes to get my foot in the door, than I’m going to make the damn-jiggyest rap video you ever saw, G. It isn’t selling out if you’ve got nothing to sell yet.

In more recent and exciting news- as I was checking leads on craigslist the other day I came across something I thought might interest Amy. The result is that today as I’m writing this she is on-set in Burbank taping a DIY network show about knitting. She also starts a new job next week, so things are looking up for her.

Last weekend we went to a place Aaron recommended down in Studio City called Don Cuco’s. Despite the waiter totally ignoring my multiple changes to the dish in my original order I thought it was a great place. First reason being that they give you sour cream with your complimentary tortillas and salsa. Chevys and El Toritto charge you $0.50 for each dollop of the sweet stuff. Don Cuco’s brought us two of them without being asked, and instead of looking like they were from an ice-cream scoop; they actually had a starburst design on them. Next, we were pleasantly surprised to find that each entrée comes with free soup or salad. Amy got the tortilla soup, and I got the Albondigas. They were both delicious. The atmosphere itself is nice, it is totally done out in red and sort of dark, but it creates a cool laid-back vibe. When the waiter finally brought my order I was very pleased. I think Amy was nonplussed with hers, as they didn’t ask what kind of meat she wanted originally. The only downside the place is the total lack of parking. Perennial favorite Amazon would suffer the same fate if their wasn’t a large Borders parking lot behind.

Friday night we had gone to Bucca Di Beppo in Universal CityWalk. Terrible. While the food was okay it was not the “small serves two” that was described. The portions were slightly smaller than what we would get at Amazon but the prices were the same or higher. Amy really liked the calamari, but I found it too crunchy and not fluffy. We shared a pizza for an entrée, the sauce was good, but that was about it. They informed us they had no ranch dressing in the house either. The most damning thing about them though was that when I called for reservations earlier in the day I was told that they DO validate parking (only the first $5 however). After paying $10 to park and then walk to the restaurant we were informed that they only validate if you get valet….and only in a different garage…

Tonight Amy and I are going to see her favorite actor in his new film (you know, the one that looks like me). I work with a guy named Wagner that is the projectionist at the theater, so hopefully we can g

fool

fool

Sometimes I sit down and I look at myself and I realize “God, I’m such a fool.” What am I doing out here in California? I’d like to tell myself I’m following some sort of dream. What dream? What dream am I capable of realizing? It rarely comes, but occasionally I can see with clarity that the answer is nothing. Today was one of those days.

My whole life I’ve been overachieving (or at least trying to) only to hide the fact that I’m an idiot. Because of this, my stupidy takes form in unique and painful ways. The last few weeks I’ve been thinking that I should try to be an extra in a movie or tv show or something just for fun. In hindsight I don’t know what I was thinking, they rarely have a role called “ugly short guy.” To drive the point home I now have huge red spotty things all over my neck making it look like I have herpes or something. That put my ego right back to where it belongs in a jiffy.

I move to California and call people from the beach in the winter and brag about it like an asshole. Then I get a sunburn worse than I’ve had in my whole life to where my back is still sensitive months later.

To my close friends I’m known as a sarcastic asshole at best. Why do I do this? I do nice things for my friends now not out of compassion but out of guilt from all the mean things I’ve done, which they’ve only repaid with kindness.

I made my best friend give me rent money when he visited me for a week in college. I can’t believe he still talks to me, let alone sends birthday/Christmas gifts.

I got a cell phone plan with the least amount of minutes so I could save money. The trade-off was that I couldn’t call Amy much (which hurt her feelings). So, now that I really need to call her – I don’t have my phone because I left it at her house when I was there Saturday…..

I stayed with a girl for three years that made me choose between her and my friends and family, and then would put me last on her list every time. I’m lucky I still had any friends left after it was over.

Then I finally do meet a girl that puts me first on her list (or pretty high anyway) and I can’t even bother to tell her how I feel about her, which is the only thing she ever asked for in return. Instead I just took her for granted and convinced myself I didn’t need her. Well, now I realize I do, but intelligent and attractive young women don’t need to have anything to do with ugly cheap guys that live in bad neighborhoods, so I have to be really careful from now on. That is, if it isn’t too late already…

A janitor that knows he’ll always be a janitor is a better happier person than someone who has delusions of grandeur. I need to wake up and “get real,” the trouble is – I’ve been living someone else’s life the whole time, so I have no idea who I really am.

one sick world

one sick world

Thursday I was so sick I left work after a half day (never done that before). I guess it was a cold because it didn’t crossover into my throat/lungs until late Saturday. I called off work Friday as well. Amy came over and I bored her to death because I didn’t want to move except to go to (her brother) Alex’s birthday dinner on Saturday night.

Friday did have some high points though. In the afternoon I got confirmation from American Express that I was in fact approved for the card I applied for a month ago and should receive it soon. Finally I’m not a 706 credit score that can’t get a credit card any more. The same afternoon the mail came and I got a letter from Mercury Insurance. Now, this is nothing unusual, since my rear-ending accident they’ve sent me lots of letters about how either A) they need me to fill yet another form out and mail it to them or B) they want to assure me again that no- they haven’t settled the case yet (thank god my car was still drivable). However, this time it contained a check for my damages. So, finally, a year later I’m going to give my car over to a shop and witness the rebirth of my baby, and I’m going to get some tweaks on her so she’ll be better than before.

I wasn’t totally rolling around in bed all day Friday, I used the extra time to finally update the portfolio page on longimage.com. (so check it out)

So, now that I’m getting over my illness….my neck looks like I got attacked by a bee hive. The instructions on my electric shaver say to replace the blades every six months. It is also explained clearly that it is NOT a wet shaver but a dry one. I have never changed the blades on this Christmas 2004 gift from Amy, and I’ve managed to get water into the thing more than a few times. My neck skin had been getting irritated after shaving for awhile, but I assumed it was my skin – not the razor. When I shaved before going to Alex’s party Saturday night I developed a full –on case of folliculitis. Of course I didn’t know then what the hell was going on, I just knew that wherever I went I heard “oh my god, what happened to your neck, are you okay?” when they saw the quarter inch red spots all over it going from the chin all the way almost to the collarbone from ear to ear. It wasn’t until today that I realized what I might have done to myself. Sure enough, I popped open the razor head (a separate function from emptying the little hairy bits) – and discovered three razor rings with little proppy things (to trap hair I guess) that were brown with rust. I had ground rust into my hair follicles… STUPID STUPID STUPID! This was #2 on the list of things I could have got at Frye’s when I went there TWICE three weeks ago to look at digital cameras and forgot about. #1 was…uh…I still don’t remember, but it is something I’ve been needing for awhile and hit myself for not getting it when I was there.

my sick space

my sick space

okay so I’m getting sick again. everybody at work is telling me it is my allergies because of the wind (50mph gusts in Chatsworth). I don’t think so…but we’ll see.

I know I’m fashionably late but I finally put up a Myspace page. This (meaning the site you’re on right now, not the myspace one) will still be my primary source of communication to the world, but at least now I can put comments on the blogs of Byron, my brother,…Brian,…Jeremy, …and eventually anyone I’ve ever known since Myspace is taking over the world…

SB

SB

On Iyvesyboy’s birthday Amy and I visited her brother Andrew in Santa Barbra. We went to Pascucci restaurant for lunch and then sauntered down State Street before heading out to the pier. See pictures here . It sort of seemed like a retirement sort of place to me, very easy going. I’ve heard nice things about the campus, but we didn’t have time to see it as Andrew (Liu, not Long) had to get back to studying for his OAT.