10:04 AM, Wednesday, July 13th, 2011:
Man do I have a bunch of randoms floatin' around. We'll start off with my cousin Bernie.
1) My Cousin Bernie
His real name is Nick, but after a 5 gallon pot of boiling water tipped over on his side giving him intense 2nd degree burns and a few nights in the hospital, he is burny. Changing that to Bernie was to keep the suspense for you.
As you can see from the picture, he's going to be fine. That was of course taken after massive amounts of pain medication and something I'm sure he thought he was only posting to his facebook friends. But sorry, cuz - PIMPIN ain't easy. This had to be shared. Get well. And thank you for inspiring my very own 2nd degree burn...
2) Arrogance Burned
I have long giggled at the silly white people in my life loading up on sunscreen and never tanning. I was blessed with greek skin, and didn't even use sunscreen in AFRICA. I just don't burn. I get a little pink (which makes those around me point and say aha! You do burn!) which in a few days becomes a nice deep tan. Everyone sighs and walks away when this happens. It's one of the few areas I can gleefully enjoy my Greek heritage. Because along with that, comes the ability to gain 40 pounds in a month. Fuck.
I haven't however, come to think of it, spent more than 1 or 2 hours at the beach. Well last saturday I spent close to 6. And true to form, I shunned the sunscreen. A few days later, true to form, the bit of pink I had became a nice golden brown on my entire body and Talya was indeed annoyed at me. This is ignoring what happened the following morning...
I woke up and noticed the right side of my nose was oozing. One spot in the middle. My nose wasn't red at all, but it had a bit of liquid coming out right in the middle, and a little near the nostril. I dabbed it and then googled it. It seemed like I had a 2nd degree burn... but I had no pain and no redness. ?!?!
That night we cooked out at Talya's grandparents and I ended up manning the grill. After 45 minutes or so in the heat? My face was REALLY red and the right side of my nose hurt. Clearly my face was indeed burnt as any amount of heat really affected it. By day 3 it was clearly a 2nd degree burn on the right side of my nose that was pretty nasty.
It's so crazy to me. The sun burned holes into my skin. My nose is finally scabbed over, but it was bleeding. Because of the fucking sun. Like, I know most people are aware that the sun can do this, but it's just never happened to me. And again, the rest of my body is a nice golden brown. So bizarre.
What this does mean however, is that my days of gleeful arrogance at all you white people is over. I will be wearing sunscreen on my face from this day forward. Apparently your skin changes as you get older and I am most certainly older. Ha. This is the start of several parts of life that I will now have to think about differently over the next few decades. But I've never been happier. <smiles>
3) Seriously, giddy.
Lost in all the ridiculous drama of defending my past to complete strangers is that the people who actually know me are so, so, happy for me. They see the twinkle in my eye and they understand, I mean truly understand, how fortunate I feel. To have the scars I have from the past 15 years of my life and still be able to go through this? To feel this relationship from the perspective of a wonderful woman in her 20s who is going to have the wedding of her dreams and the family she wants and where each day really is happier than the next? You want everyone to feel this way. I think I see what we have most in my friend Laura's relationship with her husband Mike. There's a calm, float downstream, easiness in how they interact. It feels like one person. And so many people who are in relationships think what I'm describing is some sort of fairy tale. I'm not describing never disagreeing, what I'm describing is simply maturity. Knowing yourself well enough that you're comfortable in your own skin (even if there's holes in it... FROM THE FUCKING SUN). HA. There's a calmness when you know who you are that I had at an earlier age than most. When I was 19, on talk radio, succeeding? Being extremely vulnerable to thousands of people, attempting bit after bit and it working? I was me. It made my relationship with Burgundie extremely smooth. Same with Jess. The unease comes when you're out of place. When you feel uncomfortable. To be able to find that ease and calmness with someone Talya's age is extraordinary. It has everything to do with her own marriage and divorce as well as her career ups and downs. They define her and make her as appreciative as I am. How lucky I am that I walked into that Starbucks...
4) Oh yeah, the Starbucks
I've never mentioned on this site how we met have I? The one year anniversary is only 3 months away so I'll just save it for that date, 'cause it's a pretty incredible story. Speaking of saving the date...
5) Save the Date!
We have a date. December 28th of this year. Gasp! So soon! Listen, when you have a pregnancy scare as soon as Talya and I did (1117-1119), not only does it bring you closer together (or rip you the hell apart)... you start doin' the math. Ha. Even though it'd be somewhat humorous, no one wants to have a shotgun wedding. It doesn't have the stigma it used to, but you want to at least try to do it in the right order. For no other reason than to chastise your children if they fuck it all up. LMFAO. So there's a bit of an itch to not prolong everything if it's clear what you both want. It doesn't seem soon to those around us who have spent time with us. Both of our families are pretty thrilled.
6) And about that pregnancy scare...
I can't emphasize enough what a moment like that will do to the foundation of a relationship. Talk about a mirror. You want a litmus test of how good your relationship is? Thinking she's pregnant will do it. A moment that has happened with Jess and Donna with drastically different outcomes. With Donna I was in "grin and bear it" mode. I had a great job with CBS and could financially afford it, and hoped Donna could just settle down a bit. With Jess? It absolutely ripped our foundation apart. Crazy isn't it? Not because we didn't love each other, but because it put a mirror on an issue we had ignored for far too long: Jess didn't want to be in LA and I did. The baby meant she was gonna win the argument, and I was gonna be an angry young man in Columbus. Jess told me after she knew she wasn't pregnant and it started us discussing everything and within a few months we announced our split specifically to AVOID that nightmare scenario.
With Talya? Absolute calm. We told her mother and... continued calm. I was where I wanted to be, Talya was where she wanted to be, and I went into preperation mode. Reading everything I could about how to deal with morning sickness, cleaning the house, cooking... just taking over. I was having a baby and I was freaking giddy. We were trying to plan out when a wedding would be, we had to deal with the fact that she was legally still married (HA! Not me this time!) and it was a whirlwind of drama... but we all rolled with it like it was meant to be. Those 10 days cemented our "family" to such a degree that when I signed Talya in the emergency room a week or so later (a stomach virus was to blame) it felt laughable that I signed in as her "boyfriend". The good news from her not being pregnant, was that of course we could do things "the right way" and we have continued on that path. So believe me, no, December 28th doesn't feel too soon at all. It feels perfect. It was the date last year we made it "official" on Facebook. Ha. It's also smack dab in the middle of Christmas and New Years and an incredible way to celebrate the end of a year, every year for the rest of our lives. We adore the date.
Speaking of dates, the dreaded carmageddon weekend is almost upon us. If ever a freeway closure should make national news, it's this. This is fucking ridiculous. To those in Columbus, just imagine if they closed 71 and 315 in both directions in between 270. The clusterfuck on 270 and surrounding roads would be remarkable. That is what closing the 405 between the 101 and the 10 is like. And no, I have no idea why they add "the" to the freeways out here. That's just the way it is.
It's to take down a bridge, but my question is... how the hell are they gonna have a new one up and ready for Monday morning? And holy fuck, what if they don't? It already takes an hour to go those 10 miles during rush hour (that is a nice estimate by the way)... this just seems like an absolute disaster. The majority of people have decided they're just not leaving their house. Which, in most cases, Talya and I do anyway - HA - but it just so happens we have tickets to see The Monkees with her father on Saturday. I think we're going to leave tonight. (sigh) Expect an entry on that fiasco.
7) Political fiasco
It's almost unwatchable. We're so far away from actual intelligent conversation about things that matter anymore that I actually long for the 90s when a presidential blow-job was news. 'Cause that sucked in a totally different way.
People, we know what happened. This isn't some "theory". And leave it to the people that think creationism is an actualy scientific "theory" to not understand this. The economy worked swimmingly for about 70 years. From the crash of '29 to the crash of '87 there was barely a peep. The tax rates for the top 1% were outrageously high, but that's only if you actually believe they paid them. Because of course they didn't. No, the system was set-up so those people would re-invest in the community, jobs, etc... and get tax breaks. So yes, even when the tax rate was 90% - no one ever really paid that. And it worked. The wealth trickled down because the other choice for the wealthy? Was giving it to the government. Guess what they chose.
And though people went apeshit about Medicare and Social Security when it was introduced, it didn't hurt anything. In fact, the people quite dig those programs. Incredibly, even with all the unbelieveably bad legislation that went through in the 80s that lead to the destruction of the middle class (which you could argue was the democratic congress as much as the republican president), during the Clinton years we were still able to keep the economy going. Then Clinton signs NAFTA and Bush eviscerates the tax rates for the rich. Jobs go to other countries, and suddenly, there's no incentive for anything to trickle down... and it doesn't. No economists (those without agendas of course) are wondering what the difference is now compared to the 1950s. You know, back when households can run easily on one income?
What's happening now is, as I said, unwatchable. Negotiating with crazy people. Jon Stewart had a great line last night that it's like a doctor talking to a patient that believes completely in magic. This rang a few bells for me as I grew up with a Christian Scientist grandmother. All you can do is make jokes because you're not dealing with reality. The Tea Party whack jobs actually believe health care is to blame for this. They actually don't understand history because they don't want to READ. I wasn't alive in the 1950s, so how the hell do I understand it? That's why I long for the days of actual liberal vs. conservative arguments because what we have now? Is literate vs. illiterate. You can't debate history with someone who won't read it or who literally makes it up. It's like talking over the first scene of a movie, watching another 15 minutes and then writing a review of it. There's no debating that.
8) She is fine
The last time I mentioned Donna I said that I had no idea if she was even alive, so I wrote to one of her friends and he was kind enough to say "she is fine" and nothing else. I actually do appreciate that. I honestly do not know the cultural differences between South Africa and here when dealing with situations like that. They were intimately involved with the really, really bad times with her and understand explicitly what we both went through... but it's particularly cruel to the person who lent their nervous system to their friend/daughter to cut off with zero explanation. I understand Donna's need, knowing her history, but I guess I'm still baffled that the people she was closest to could cut off without one sentence of gratitude for what I gave. Especially considering Donna's overwhelming apology letter to me in 2009. It all stings. It all feels surrounded by lies. It all makes me over joyed at the honesty, love and support with Talya and her family. It's the definition of "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger". You simply appreciate life a fuckton more when you've been hurt to that degree. Goddamn am I fortunate.
9) All that and career news...
You know you've been in this town a long time, when you're happy just to have a meeting. You enjoy the run-up to the moment and then usually walk away from it with zero expectations. It's a bizarre defense mechanism, but one that people out here grow to embrace. You do it enough times, you cherish the little things. And with that ROUSING open, a week from today Laura and I are meeting with the head of casting at HBO to give her the Blu-ray/DVD combo (which is ready to ship now! Entry tomorrow!!) and generally explain the monstrosity that is "The Journey". It probably won't be until August until we get any feedback and assuming it isn't an absolute jackpot, I will have to painstakingly change the melodies of a couple songs (including Let's Bomb Iran) in order to submit it to film festivals. Man do I want HBO to just love it and take care of all that... there is hope. And I love that. I present this video to show me being excited for my last big meeting in 2009 with Comedy Central, and will follow that with a random as to why it isn't me jumping around now.
The cool thing is, that video was never uploaded. Too embarrassing I think. Ha. And too many other things going on. I love finding strange little moments that never made it to primetime.
10) Camera go Boom
So goddamnit, my luck with HD cameras has hit an all-time low.
a) My very first Canon HV20 from 2007 suddenly stopped accepting tapes in late 2009.
b) My friend Andrew had given me his old one earlier that year, but that one had a broken firewire port - so you couldn't get anything off the camera. So now both were useless even though I could techincally still "use" one. He ends up giving me another old one, that worked fine...
c) ...but I have all these old tapes from the HV20, so last December I buy another HV20. Works great, then about a week into transferring the old tapes? It has the same problem as my FIRST HV20! Won't accept the tapes anymore. What the fuck? It won't accept ANY tapes and I'm screwed again. But at least I have the one Andrew gave me.
d) I borrow one from Paddy for my trip to the Channel Islands and when I come back it suddenly doesn't work. I assume it got sand in it 'cause it was windy as fuck, but either way... gotta get that repaired and Paddy was cool enough to split the cost with me.
e) Then finally, the last one I got from Andrew is (sorry Talya) dropped by Talya... but seriously no more than 2 feet. And the strange thing is? It works fine except it can't record. LOL. It can't read the card for VIDEO... it reads pictures fine. In fact that picture of my nose was taken with the camera. It can capture it to the card, move it to the computer no problem - but it cannot record any video. <throws hands up>. What sucks of course, is I'm generally pretty anal with my stuff. It's kinda my whole life. I still have, in perfect working order, the camera I bought for the original 4tvs stuff in 1999, and the couple SD cameras I bought since. This whole HD thing is baffling.
So now I'm gonna take all these bitches to a camera store and see what I can get fixed. And most likely it's "new camera" time. But now of course I'm thinking about the wedding, kids... I know what I want, and every professional/amateur filmmaker knows exactly what I want. 'Cause it's how nearly everything is being shot: The Canon 5D Mark II.
The best deal you're ever gonna get on it is $2000, but to say it's the last camera you'll ever need is to say the least. Besides being able to do still and video at an unbelieveable quality, the versatility with the lenses makes it capable of everything. YouTube the camera and you just can't believe it's possible in a prosumer world. How do you not want your wedding on that, or a video like this?
Wow. That is still one of the sweetest videos I've ever seen. Anyway, I doubt this will happen as a cheapie replacement for what I have is only $3-$400, but it is certainly a goal.
11) Blu-ray ready
I couldn't be happier with the quality of the blu-ray and will write all about it in the next entry. As a techno-geek, it is really exciting to have my film alongside my other blu-rays. It's cooler than DVDs because it's so commonplace to make those now. It's a feeling I've had at every stage of my career, and unfortunately the last because of the death of all physical media. I don't forsee a format past blu-ray that will ever make it to a consumer "burning" level as we'll all have digital collections. But this is my 5th entry into a medium (cassette, cd, vhs, dvd, blu-ray) in the last 17 years and it's just total geek stuff. You put it in your PS3 and it just works. Blah blah blah, more in the next entry. I need to go grab some more coffee and prepare a couple of packages.
Yay randoms. Glad I could get all that shit out of my head. If only it was actual art and communication instead of masturbation.
PS - wow, this was my death date anniversary for over half my life, and I totally forgot now that I'm trying to push it to December 2061. Ha.