Horrendously Good Looking

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One day this week, I believe it was yesterday, not fully sure, I watched a random DVD. Something about going through the decades of music, and giving you the history of the era for each song or album that was the best or biggest hit at the time. I was running very low on procrastinating material. Anyways, the introduction to the DVD claimed that it would be “an informative and fun journey” or something along those lines. Straight away, that threw me off. Those two adjectives, in my view, don’t really go together. Informative, and fun. Surely, it is one or the other? The DVD was absolutely horrendous, had to be turned off after a few minutes. Watching the Pope visit America, and looking at album covers from that era (instead of hearing the actual songs) was neither informative, or fun, for me. The most fun was had throwing the DVD disc out the window.

Instead of watching the DVD, I went to the shop nearby, to pick up my photos from the disposable camera I have been lugging around with me in L.A recently. While waiting for the girl behind the counter to locate my present of photos, another little random Asian woman kindly came up to me and gave me a great compliment. Well, I think. Depends what angle you look at the compliment from. Highly obtuse would be my recommendation. This was it… “I must say, that is a really nice mullet you are trying to grow.” Ha, what a compliment. Again, nice and mullet? Can they really be used side by side? Or, seeing as I finally get a chance to use the word, in such a juxtaposition?

Two things hit me straight off. Firstly, there was the fact that she was actually wearing a Bon Jovi t-shirt at the time. And secondly, I had never met this bizarre looking Asian girl before, that I know of, so not sure if she would just mock a random stranger with such ease. I could be wrong. Which made me think she was being genuine. Which led me to wonder, what are you meant to say to that kind of comment? My initial reaction was to tell her thanks, you are horrendously good looking yourself, in hope of confusing her back. But, as she seemed genuine, it threw me off a bit… Eh, pardon? Mullet? No, this is just my hair, it is flowing a bit alright but at the moment, getting a haircut is not a priority. Mullet, though? No. Maybe. No.

“I love mullets, you could have one so easily if you wanted. Just trim the sides down, it would look great. A lot of people don’t like that look, but I do.” The compliment was being developed by her, so I started to consider it for a minute. Looked in a little mirror next to us, maybe a mullet would be a good look, tucked my hair even more behind my ears, then snapped out of it, and just told her I would mull it over. Hardy har, I thought it was quite clever at the time myself! Don’t think she got it though. Anyways, before she left she told me all of her favourite guys who sport a mullet – Bon Jovi & Billy Ray were the only two I remember or knew of – and that I should try the look out. And that maybe she might see me in shop the next time, who knows… and gave me a wink along with two “Bang-bangs” with her fingers. Well, no wink, and only one bang-bang, but still, all quite tempting. Oook, thanks.

All of which led me to ponder on the way home, what if the roles were reversed. What if I had just came up to her in the shop, and gave her a double barreled compliment? If I had remarked, I must say, sorry to interrupt but I like your rather jolly arms. And as for those chins of yours, don’t get me started… divine! But, don’t worry, I have a thing for larger women, so these are actually compliments. Jaysus, I’d love to get you up on the Wii Fit sometime, see if you get the obese rating. That would be hot. Maybe you and I could do something sometime, bite to eat perhaps? Think about it anyways, mull it ov.. actually, chew the fat over it (? horrendous, I know I know), and let me know. Bang-bang.

Not fully sure now, but I think, I think this peculiar scenario, coupled with the other little phrase from the DVD, got my brain thinking along one train of thought. Which all helped me to solve a conundrum. And that conundrum was… the name for my sitcom. So, that, my friends, is the fun and informative story of how I thought up of my sitcom name. Or at least the one top of the shortlist. Top by a country mile.

As for the informative and fun together attempt, at least I tried. In vain and unsuccessful, but I tried. And like the DVD disc, feel free to throw your laptop out the window after reading my effort to crack them both.

Enjoy these two songs which have, amongst many more, kept me ticking over all day…

Everywhere (Fleetwood Mac Cover) by Vampire Weekend

I would highly recommend getting the original version of the next song, if you don’t already have it. I could only hunt down this live version… (For Bob, who at least waited until after this song to be kicked out) … Unless It Kicks by Okkervil River

If anyone has their own suggestion for the sitcom name, feel free to leave a comment! If yours gets picked, you might win a magnificent prize. Surely ‘might’ will get me out of any legal contract if it every came to it. Might do, we shall see!

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Loss Of Possibility

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Back to Old El Frisco, good old San Fran. Normal, regular, used to love you but nay as much now, San Francisco. My previous trip back to SF has been blogged about in the past (click here to be reminded if needs be) so I will not repeat my feelings once more. Instead, I will simply describe them in a different way, ha.

About a week and a half ago, I was looking forward to getting out of L.A for a while. Made the call, up to SF to write the sitcom pilot, get away from the madness and random ways of L.A, it would do me good. In fact, I was pumped to go to SF, my pilot needed and was going to be written, time to work! Then, I actually got a job, that will pay me, made a few more contacts, two more job opportunities were then put in front of me, and I had a great week. The whole week was a bit blurry, so I decided not to think about my decision to come up here. The blur has lifted, replaced by the SF fog, but I can now see through the haze. 

Something about San Fran is just not the same as L.A. When I give a homeless guy a dollar in L.A, I usually get a bit of humour out of it (last time I found out that he has more pairs of socks to choose from than I do, odd enough, I should’ve written more on that when it happened). At worst, I get a friendly punch in the ear, well worth a dollar for a story like that though. However, here, in SF, it is different. Yesterday, I gave a homeless guy a dollar, out of habit and also as he looked like he would do more than just give me a friendly punch in the ear if I didn’t. As I put the dollar into his cup, I noticed he was also flicking through songs, on his iPod, one earphone in his ear, the other earphone dangling down, similar to what I was doing at the time. In fact, I got a shudder as if I was looking at a mirror version of myself, only 5 weeks into the future.

However, his iPod was a far newer version than mine. I would almost say it was an iPod Touch, but not fully sure. And I was giving him a dollar? Didn’t feel right. Who needed that dollar more, I pondered, as I realized I no longer had enough for a coffee. To make matters worse, after walking a block further down the street, my iPod gave up on me. The battery didn’t die, it just froze, which has been happening lately. I am tapping on it still like one might on a fishbowl, trying to revive my goldfish, so to speak. Now and again, I get a flutter of the tail, but it is on its last legs. This would not have happened in L.A!

First night up here, I went out with my cousins for a friends birthday. Down to the local pub, then off into the heart of SF’s bustling nightlife centre. And, I noticed a few things. It is far harder to bluff your way past queues here. Nobody cares that you are Irish. Far more jock dudes in the bars. Far, far less quantity of women in the bars here. The women are far less plastic looking here. And on top of all this, the abundance of good looking women is far less plentiful here. However, I suppose they can hold a conversation better and don’t ask “Who are you?”. All depends what you’re looking for really. Personally, I miss L.A. A lot.

At least the public transport in SF allows you to get around the place easily. Unlike L.A, which has none. Well, two buses I think, but no clue where they go to (5% of the reason I walk everywhere in L.A). It could have something to do as well that usually I have nowhere to go in L.A (another 5%). And the buses seem to be used by homeless people only. Not that I am a snob who thinks he is too good for the bus full of homeless people, that goes God only knows where, or anything like that (90% of the reason). So, that is one plus for San Fran, yay San Fran, wuu, hang in there Harvey.

Last night it occurred to me, why it is that I way prefer L-Heey to San Fran. In L.A, I walk 2 blocks to the gym, roughly. Up here, I walk 16 blocks. That 2 block walk has thrown up all sorts of stories, conundrums, encounters and so on, more than I can think of now off the top of my head. Here, the 16 block walk, always, always passes without incident. The loss of possibility is immense. Life is far more regular and normal here. Not saying that is a bad thing, at all. However, in L.A, when are you trying to get a break, make contacts, network, get material, get people interested in your sitcom etc., the possibilities are absolutely endless. You never know who might be buying you a round next, singing karaoke with, or be next to in the gym, and so on. Actors, singers, directors, producers, or simply wannabes like myself, you just never know. And it happens daily, hourly at times, all fairly fun and eventful. The possibilities and opportunities are endless!

Either that, or I just prefer only having to walk 2 blocks to the gym. Although it is not that there have been no funny stories occurring here, there have, just not as many. I suppose the whole interest/obsession people have with Hollywood is a good added bonus to any story though. That is why my sitcom will be based there! And, in case you are wondering, the writing is going great so far! Made a lot of progress today. Went off and bought a big pile of index cards and an A4 writing pad. Which both look well next to my little notebook, which is on top my larger notebook. Alongside my 4 different pens. All sitting next to me on the table, jealous of my laptop. Going well so far, still not one word down on paper. Oh Jesus.

Two songs of the day. First I am a big fan of, mainly for the first two minutes. Not sure why so much, but here it is. After this long winded introduction. I now present you with… The End (Riva Starr Retrip) by The Doors

And the next has been annoying me the past day or so, finally figured out what song it was from having a snippet in my head over and over… Your Woman by White Town (for any Spanish readers, nicely subtitled for you. First and only video I could find that would allow me to embed the Mandy Mhuuure)

Name And Shame

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Writing so far has started off like I would do when studying for exams before. I waste a good few days procrastinating and get nothing done. Particularly during the day, I am more of a night person. Usually, after a week or two of this, the fear kicks in, and I cram it all in the day and night before the exam. However, this is not going to work with the writing. Time to grow up, in the writing world at least, time is a ticking. There was only one reason, after all, why I came here, yet I somehow have developed a mighty to-do list!

So, I have decided to try and help myself out, by naming and shaming the ways I have procrastinated today, doing everything but writing the pilot, in hope that it will, figuratively speaking, slap myself in the head to cop on.

Procrastination List:

1. Watched Days Of Our Lives.

2. Watched General Hospital.

3. Bought more pens (takes the total up to 4 fully inked pens).

4. Bought more paper to write on (takes the total up to 2 notebooks, an A4 pad and 200 index cards).

5. Brought my disposable camera to the shop to get developed.

6. Cleaned my already clean runners. 3 pairs.

7. Walking around the apartment a few times, looking for my phone, while on the phone.

8. Went to the gym.

9. Collected the photos from the shop.

10. Wrote this list.

11. Made this poll

(As you can quite clearly see, some high levels of procrastinating going on. Don’t worry, I am busy formulating the episode/scenes in my head while doing all this, it is coming along nicely! No need to fret!)

Pardon. I’m Sorry? Hang On…

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If you have not being keeping up to date, shame on you, why the funk not? For those that have, good work, you will know my plan is to now go to San Francisco, save some bobs, and get a bit of normality back. Minor issues really, main one is so I can write my pilot for the sitcom, and prepare a scene that I will make when I head back to L.A. It is crunch time. Without a shadow of a doubt. Can I produce the goods, we shall see, re de de. I have been listening to Bon Jovi a lot over the past few days. Oh Jesus.

Once again, I was right on time for the flight leaving LAX, got through the airport perfectly, onto the plane and flew off, without any hitch along the way. Sure. As of late, I have being having a bit of a run of mishaps in this department, particularly when it comes to the security check point. This time was to be no different. My flight was at 6 in the evening, so I spent the day dawdling, half packing, making some sandwiches for the flight, deciding to go to the gym at the last minute, and then hurriedly finishing up with my packing, as any ape would do. Initially, I thought I was going to be late for the flight. However, 5.20 is actually plenty of time for the check-in, wuu huu, happy days.

While standing in the pretty long line for the security gate, I remembered that the reason that I had an immense thirst and no water to quench it with, was seeing as I knew you couldn’t bring water through security. Clever me. Why I did not think the same applied to turkey and tomato sandwiches, I still don’t know. There was bob hope I was letting any of the food in my house go to waste with my budget, so I ended up bringing a mountain of food with me. Eating 6 big turkey and tomato sandwiches, with no water, so they were delightfully dry, can take longer than you might think. I almost finished them all off, even letting people pass by me and skip ahead, I can be very cordial at times. However, when I noticed the time, and that my name was being called out at the gate for the flight, I decided enough was enough with the sandwiches, I was a tad late.

Now I was the one skipping past people to the front, my name was being called, apologies, must get through. Somehow, while I was swallowing lumps of turkey and what felt like full tomatoes, the security lady seemed to gather what I was telling her, and waved me through, up to the trays. Threw my bag, iPod, phone, notebook, chewing gum, pen, other phone, belt, flip flops, chewing gum, tic-tacs, headphones, everything into the two trays and hurried through. No beep, wuu. “Excuse me sir, you’ll have to take off your hat and go through again” What the funk, there was no beep, I’m late! “Go back and take off your hat, it must go through.” The security guard was killing me! Hat off, threw it on top of my laptop, back through, no beep, my name being called out over the intercom for the flight, I needed to go!

Grabbed all my stuff, threw them all into my man/hand bag, grabbed my laptop, where’s my hat, come on hat, there we go, and took off for the gate, with my shorts falling off as I ran (belt was in the bag, no time to put it on). Took off at the fastest speed I could possible manage, which was not pretty fast with my shorts falling down and carrying my man/hand bag at an awkward angle, trying to squeeze my laptop into it while I scuttled along. Thankfully, it looked like the gate was close enough, happy days. It was around then when I thought I heard someone say “Hey you, come back, hey, stop.” However, seeing as my name was once again being called out over the intercom, I chose to listen to the big booming voice and not look to see who was calling who, behind me.

When the words “You in the hat, hey, stop now sir, stop!!!” were bellowed from behind me, I chose to look around, just to see, the hat factor made me feel a bit like I should. And I saw two security guys chasing after me, followed by a girl. Still half jogging, shorts falling, hat wobbling on top of my head, I gave the custom – Who, me? – and pointed to myself. At this point I stopped, finally realizing that they were calling after me, oh God, what the funk is wrong now?!

“Sir, you took that laptop which does not belong to you, you will have to come back with us”. Once again, what the funk?!! You stopped me because of that?!!! This is my laptop, I’m sorry, but thats my name that is being called over and over for the flight, I have to go, it is my laptop. “Sir, it is not your laptop, just step over here with us”. This is some funking joke, I am going to miss my flight! It is my bloody laptop! I know it is my laptop, 100%. This is just stupid. If I miss the flight, you are paying for a new flight for me, and I want an apology! This is some joke! Fine here, look, my laptop.

Laptop

Handed over my laptop, my white laptop, in its black covered case, which I know so well, and watched them open it up, waiting for an apology. Except, and there was always going to be an except really, they opened up the black laptop case, and pulled out a pink laptop. How on earth did my laptop turn pink?! What is going on?!! This is when the girl said “That’s it, that’s my laptop, here is yours” and handed me over a very similar looking laptop case, black, and when I opened it up, my laptop was somehow in it. How did my laptop get into her identical black laptop case? All pretty bizarre. Unless you’re not an idiot, and it made perfect sense.

In my hurried and turkey laden dumb state, I had, obviously, grabbed the wrong laptop. In all fairness though, what are the odds of the person one tray before mine having the exact, exact same case? Not sure really, but I am guessing not too high. Em, sugar, sorry about that, ha, it’s not my laptop alright, no need for that apology I demanded a few seconds ago, I apologise. Sorry. Thanks, I was in a rush. Are we cool? Did I tell you that that is me being called for the flight, listen… there, that’s me, Mark’s my name, gotta run, nice to meet you all! And off I eventually went. Great fun.

To cap this story off, I eventually made the flight, after having to stand at the gate and be given out to, by the (ridiculously good looking) air hostess, for being late and holding up the flight. So I felt bad, as I took my seat. Until I realized about 10 minutes later that the flight had still not left. And did not do so, not until 3 more off duty and drunk (but all still also ridiculously good looking) air hostesses came aboard and took their seats by mine. Still no clue why they kept calling me so much if those 3 weren’t on the plane before me. I am convinced they set me up. Unfortunately, I was unable to set myself up any more. All married.

Song of the day, at the end of the day, is this song… I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You (Twelves Remix) by The Black Kids

Down, Date, Down

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The controversy over If You Seek Amy was spelt out for me ever so kindly, literally. Mucho gracias. Now that I get it, what a genius! I have been trying hard to do something similar for a name I am mulling over, but as of yet, no joy. The best I have got so far has involved a key, that is fun, ha. But, I digress, a tad.

I also realize that the last post might have seemed a bit bitter. It was not meant to be, just surprised that they were doing it in a place like that, was all. Looking at it now, more power to them if they can bluff and get away with it. Who am I, of all people, to say anything?!!!! Bluff on! Moving on, next post…

Milli Vanilli

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Everyone remembers Milli Vanilli and the story of how they go caught being frauds, miming the words to their songs while other people sang the vocals for them, right? Come to think of it, maybe 5% of readers will, seeing as hardly anyone remembered Bros (how could you not know them?), so here is a snippet of Milli in action…

There is a reason to bring this up now, just to keep it in mind later on. Anyways, last night in L.A before I left for San Francisco to do a bit of writing, I headed out for my friend’s birthday. The location was Foxtail, a fairly la de da, pretentious, poser-ish, L.A place. Suited me to a tee, ha. I was told the place has been used on Entourage and the Hills, but who knows. It is usually full of celeb heads and a tough place to get into at the best of times. Apparently this is a hot spot, where you see famous apes stumbling out of. Again, there is a reason that I am giving you more of this useless information. 

Usually, 5 guys going up together would have bob hope of getting in, there was a big long line, mostly just hot women been ushered in to fill the place up. Thankfully my friend knew the guys who were promoting the place, who, as it turned out, also DJ’ing in there that night. In we go, no boring line or queue, happy days. The venue itself is two floors, by no means huge, but savage decor, looks cool. And all this comes at a fairly expensive price. Particularly for someone on my budget.

My original plan was to have a few pre-drinks at my place, then stroll to the club and go to the bank en route. For some reason, all this went out the window and I ended up boozeless and penniless in the club. No ATM in there, so my buddy gave me a loan, far money than I had planned on. One of the other guys buys a round of shots, 5 tequilas, happy birthday kind of thing. Down the hatch, and people disperse for a look upstairs. Coincidentally, it is just my birthday buddy and I left by the bar. Might as well buy him his birthday drink now, seeing as we are just standing here. Nothing to do with the fact the others have conveniently disappeared. Up for a shot boss, my round! “Sounds good, I’ll just pop to the toilet and be right back” Cool, see you in a minute. The cost of those two shots alone sent me reeling, big time.

Unfortunately, it got worse. While I was waiting for my buddy to come back so that we could do the shot, the guy who had bought the first round was after re-appearing. “Cheers Merrick, is that mine?” pointing to the other shot. Eh, yeah, I suppose, balls, cheers. Toasted him, after giving away the birthday shot, and the other 3 re-appear from different directions. “Hold on, we’ll do them all together, Merrick got this round in guys!” Balls. Balls some more. “Where are the other shots? Did the bar girl bring them over yet?” Hang on, I’ll go check, balls. Mosey on over to the bar, 3 more tequilas please, why do I feel sick and I haven’t even taken the shot yet.

The next few minutes were a whirl wind and a blur. Money that I did not have was handed over, tiny shots given in exchange, down the hatch, head spinning, stomach felt sick, and none of that was drink related. My next few days’ budget was just poured into 5 little shot glasses and handed out. Oh God, what was I doing?! The round was so expensive, especially when you have no money!!! Whatever you think it was, I’d say add another $20-$30 on to that figure, more or less, it was bad.

Panic attack symptoms and dizziness started to get hold of me. Thankfully when I went outside to get some air, my buddy, who was late coming in, rang me. Told me not to worry, he would ease the pain, bringing a shoulder in with him. I presume he meant one for me to cry on.

While waiting for him to come in and ease the pain, I headed upstairs. As I walked up, I noticed every second song that they played was good, then bad, and so on. While I walked around the upstairs part, a remix I frequently play at the gym came on, these DJ’s might be good after all, birds of a feather! My buddy was over by them, watching them work their magic, and called me over. This, this, was when all respect was completely lost for them. I thought I was doing a bit of bluffing at the start, they were Milli Vanilli!!!

A big mountain of equipment was mounted in front of them. Turntables, mixers, flashing lights, knobs, pedals, speakers, and a laptop. When I was standing by them, watching the crowd go nuts for the remix, I noticed that one was twirling knobs, turning discs, pushing buttons, and mixing his little heart out, while the other DJ was clapping to the crowd and pumping them up. What nobody else seemed to notice about the mixing DJ, was that he was actually doing absolutely nothing! As in nothing! None of what he was pressing or twirling were having any effect on the song. It was simply a remixed song! He was claiming the remix as his own, as if he was doing them live, on the spot!

I know, I know, I have documented it here that the first time in the gym DJ’ing, when I was completely clueless and winging it, I pretended to be doing more than I was. Thankfully, that has stopped. Like sober dancing, I copped on that more than likely there was not a big spotlight focused on me, and that more than likely nobody was staring at my goings on. And, if they were, I didn’t want to feel like a fool and be caught out.

The song which I watched him “remix live”, and which the crowd were giving him kidneys and babies for being able to do, was a Kanye West remix which I can’t find a Youtube video for, but it is full of bits that would be easy to bluff, volume going missing, vocals only, beat getting faster in places. Similar to this…

And the dude was taking credit as if he was doing it there and then, the both of them were, I could hear them tell my friend it was them remixing the song! I watched them for another 2 or 3 songs, they would swap duties every song, but the same thing every time, pretending to be pressing buttons, swirling knobs, speeding up the tune… all bull, I knew the remixes they were playing. The crowd did not seem to care that neither were even good at mixing the end and start of two songs together, they might have well been pressing stop… start.It was then when I realized that the club might be built up to be more than it actually is, a blow-in. You can’t beat a crowd full of drink and who knows what else though, I suppose. If they can get away with it, who am I to criticize.

Now that I am writing about it, it does not read too well from my point of view. However, the reason it shocked me so much at the time was because of this… I always got the impression that it would be the cream of the crop DJ’ing in a top, hot-spot, ritzy venue in Hollywood! A few of the places I have been to, the DJs have been savage. But at the same time, seeing as this place was billed as so good, I suppose I expected more. After DJ’ing for about a month now, these dudes were doing the exact same, if not worse. It was all smoke and mirrors, all they needed was their laptop. (Neither were the DJ who remixed the songs originally either, in case you think one might have been, they were just complete bluffers).

Thankfully, I realized at this time that I was being a complete ape by bothering to get annoyed at the DJ’ing bluffing, like a DJ snob, like I had any clue at all myself. After all, I was DJ’ing in a gym, while they were here, in a supposed top club in Hollywood. Supposed.

I left them at their bluffing and went off to find my buddy and his shoulder. Thankfully, his shoulder saved the night!

One last music related topic… The song If U Seek Amy by Britney Spears, how is that controversial? A load of people talk about it if you play it here. Originally I thought she wanted to fight Amy Winehouse. Then I was told to say the title of the song quickly, and I still don’t get it. At most, it sounds like she is saying vasectomy? Anyone  else think the same? Or care? No? Shut up? Ok.

Song of the day, is this mighty remix, which I am actually remixing live, as you listen to it, I am that good! Part of Me (Discotech Remix) by Chris Cornell ft Timbaland