Am I?

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Hypothetically speaking, if people kept coming up to you, trying to give you letters, thinking you were a postman, would you at some point, question if you were actually a postman? No. How about if when you were out during the day, and people kept giving you their change, as they thought you were homeless. Would you think, am I homeless, do I look like I am, or what? Maybe. Ok, if people kept coming up to you, speaking Polish, thinking you were from Poland, would you ask yourself, do I look Polish or what is it? You would. Perhaps a better example might be if different girls kept saying to you, how they really must set you up with their friend, and then that friend turns out to be a guy. And you’re not gay. Would you question what was going on then? I think so.

On a similar note, one which is more applicable to me, is the way I manage to end up getting chatted up in gyms, of various types, in various places, by various dudes. The gym I am going to at the moment is a basic, no frills, grand, does what you want it to do, kind of gym. I don’t think the gym has anything to do with me being chatted up. Perhaps it could be related to me wearing bicycle shorts, tight pink t-shirt, and walking around in a little tea-cup hand sticking out type manner. I don’t know, perhaps.

On appearances alone, I would not have thought this dude was gay. In fact, he might not be at all. However, if a guy comes up to you in the gym, unknown, starts asking you weird questions, then for your number, I have realized this means he probably, definitely, actually, is gay. I had seen him a few times in the gym, and did notice that he nodded and saluted me every time. I just presumed he was being friendly. By my logic, when I nodded, saluted, and sheepishly smiled back, he probably presumed I was gay.

Started off, by coming over and asking if he could listen to the song that was playing on my iPod. Completely random, bizarre, had to get him to repeat his question just to make sure. Pretty strange, good opening line I suppose. Ok, here’s an ear, this is weird, what’s going on. Next, would I mind if he hooked it up to the sound system, so he could listen to it as well while he worked out. Ok, bit strange but at least you like the music, work away. Then, he asked if I was a DJ. I suppose, why so? “You’re just the perfect man for me, the guy I’ve been looking for” was he response, then left it at that, as he did something on a machine next to me.

At this stage, I got back to yelping on a different apparatus, hoping that that was the end of the weirdness. However, he came back to tell me why I was the perfect man for him. He wanted me to write a song for him, as I was a DJ? Not too sure you know what a DJ is, I don’t actually write songs or sing them myself. Ok, no problem, I could just write him lyrics instead, to a song he has in his head. What the funk, emm, pardon? Not to be deterred by my inability to grasp any of what he was saying, he decided it would be best, if I instead actually tried to write or find music, that would accompany his lyrics. Happily, he then sang me a few lines of a song, in Polish, I think. I scanned the room for any cameras as part of a wind-up show, but it seemed to be legit.

At this stage, I told him I was not, in fact, the perfect man for him, so I better get back to whatever I was trying to work-out on. Unfortunately, this was a squat machine. Seeing as we were now buddies, to him it seemed, he stood next to me while I was doing a few reps. Which was just weird, him standing next to me, looking at me in the mirror, as I went up and down, freaked out looking back at him. Although, not as weird as his offer to help me, he could support me at the waist, so I could go down even lower with the squat, get a real burn. Thankfully, he didn’t react too badly to me turning down his kind offer, and actually went to leave.

Not before he asked me for my number though, to talk to me more about the song he had in mind. Or just to meet up. Not sure how really, but my number eluded me at this stage. So, instead, obviously, I gave him an email he could contact me at… JimGym@hotmail.com. Or was it GymJim@gmail.com? Either way, I told him to try them both, and I’d be in touch. Super, gave me a wink, and he left. The whole thing was bizarre. Maybe he’s not gay at all. Maybe just a complete nut. Or, maybe, it’s just me? Who knows.

When I got home, I was half worried that he might have slipped me something in my water. For whatever reason, inside my stomach felt like two wild, deranged roosters were having a fight to the bitter end. The pain was immense, and out of nowhere. Bloated, cramps, nausea, irritable, annoying even myself, I took tablets from my medicine cabinet which had those exact symptoms on them. Turns out, that they were period pain tablets. Maybe, the question should be, am I a woman? Especially seeing as they worked. A treat in fact. My body rejected the tablets, made me puke them and the roosters up, and I was feeling better in no time. And now, I must wrap up, so I can go off and write the music to accompany his Polish lyrics. Never know, it could be my big break!

Song of this damp, dreary, Irish summer day…

Sunshine

Sunshine – John Talabot

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V. Sa. Para. Noia

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I do not know where the day goes, particularly when I feel I get bob all accomplished. Such as today. I decided I would spend the entire day devoted to getting my visa issues sorted. Trying to iron them out so that I could move on to more fun activities like writing my funking sitcom spec! This, the visa issue, is well and truly the most excruciating side of my life at the moment. Forms, rules, regulations and pages of nonsense. No, I have never joined a cult. Or started one. Or intend on starting one. No, I have never laundered money. Or intend to. Or plan on throwing the present government out of power when I get into the States. Or have tried to before. I wonder if anyone has ever actually said yes anyways to these questions. Yup, while others were wasting their time playing pool and chasing girls, I oversaw a genocide regime in my misspent youth.

I am a bit paranoid about saying too much, in case it somehow cropped up on their system. And, obviously, above I am referring to my buddy who is applying for his Canadian visa. All jokes aside, I can see why those questions are in there. Daft and all as they are, if you were to actually have committed any of those crimes or weird things they ask, it might just throw you off enough not to bother applying. I find it hard with the basic sections. I mean, I seriously got stuck and worried today, when I had to fill in the section with the question… “What exactly do you do? Describe briefly.” I have no real clue what I do, so this had me staring at the screen for a while. Far too long. I know what I want to do, but can you really say you’re doing it, until you get a significant validation first i.e t.v show, sitcom, Oscar etc. So I was flummoxed and moved on.

Worse part of all my confusion as well at the moment, is that I actually tried to get a lawyer on board to help me out. This sound guy in California who had been giving me advice and help for free. Unfortunately, to save me money, he told me that I could manage these forms on my own no problem. Just fill them out and send them in. Should be no problem. I don’t think he realized whom he was speaking with. Perhaps he somehow got the impression I was capable, but today has shown me that it will take a few attempts.

Slowly but surely it is dawning on me that it is fairly important that I get the wording exactly right. I can’t see them ruffling my hair and telling me not to worry, we’ll fill in what you meant to say here, there and everywhere else I got it wrong. After spending about 2 hours filling one long form out today, I left the last few pages until I came back from lunch. To my delight, when I returned, the system had timed out (15 minute limit), so I had to start it all over, wuu huu! On the up side, not having to fork out money on an immigration lawyer, means I now have more to spend on bribing t.v folk, which is handy.

Still though, if tomorrow proves to be another day of confusion and 50/50 answers, I think I will have to get back on to the lawyer dude and demand he starts to over-charge me for his help. And by that I obviously mean by buddy who is trying for his Canadian visa should get onto his lawyer. Obviously. I was thinking of why I am paranoid about saying certain things, in certain places, or about certain people at certain times. Usually, it is because that certain person somehow magically appears as I mention his/her name. Here is a prime example…

Every single time I go to San Fran, on my first night out galavanting, I always bump into the same odd dude who I know from college. Just know him, never really great buddies, never had his number or anything, that kind of acquaintance. Whenever I ask him, after just bumping into him, what are you up to, the answer is always the same… “Whatever you’re doing, I’m with ye now for the night.” The job. Harmless (I think, ha), but he is an odd fellow. Not really the intriguing kind of odd either. The scare strangers off, kind of odd. 

First night I ever went out in San Fran, he shows up next to me at a urinal in a bathroom of some pub. He didn’t say anything at first either. Just staring at me with his big One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest gaze. I thought he still lived in Cork, so it was a bit strange seeing him there. Just gazing.

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

The next time I was in San Fran at some weird club, maybe a year later, I’m telling my buddy that story while we’re at the bar waiting to get served. How I bumped into him the last time, didn’t even know he lived in San Fran and all that. In that club a little later, I’m chatting to a random girl from South America, not Irish, no link at all to her, just met her that night out. She is there with her sister. And who is chatting to the sister, in this a very random club in San Fran… the same dude!

No joke, a year later, I am in a bar, again on my first night getting into San Fran, telling someone who I was there with, how I hope to God I don’t bump into Geoffrey X again. The minute I said his name, literally, I hear “What’s that meant to mean?” as I look to my right, and see who sitting at the bar…! I mean what the funk?! None of this is made up either, bar the name Geoffrey. Finally, this January, first night I went out in SF while I was there, waiting for a taxi, hundreds of people coming and going around me on the street, I get a tap on the shoulder… Geoffrey! Luckily I was sober enough to think of playing the -too drunk to know who he was or what I was doing- card, and managed to slip away. None of this occurred in the same bar or area even. All different locations. Still though, I am always looking over my shoulder in SF, paranoid that Geoff will crop up to start shouting and tugging at girls in a nutter, yet lovable, manner.

And, obviously, it was Geoffrey who I was referring to about his visa for Canada. I hope he doesn’t mind. Ha, possibly the weakest linkage ever!

Two songs. First is from a band which sound like their album will be slickaruu. This song is on repeat…

Free Energy

Dark Trance – Free Energy

Song which just popped up on my iTunes, odd enough, but good…

Sunset Rubdown

Up On Your Leopard, Upon The End Of Your Feral Days – Sunset Rubdown

Bribes & Sex Scandals

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I better start by saying that I did the DVD burning guy a massive injustice yesterday. Although, I did have faith in him all along. Showed up today, DVD looking pristine, good to go, and I was only charged what I was originally told as well. Happy days. However, I did think that I had paid him far too much by mistake, as I realized I was missing money. It was not the case though. Perhaps I had lost the money in the post office, when I was paying for the DVD to be posted off. Again, when I went back to check, no joy, no money to be found on the ground or anywhere. Plus, I had just left, so no-one else was there that might have taken it. It was puzzling.

When I got home, sat down, and really thought hard about where that sum of money might have disappeared to, I finally copped on. As I was chatting to the lady in the post office about how great stamps are, I was also taking out money out of my pockets to pay for the transaction. While I was popping the DVD into an envelope, then sealing it, I had money in both hands. One small amount to pay for the stamp, a few larger notes in my other hand. A few larger notes and the DVD in my other hand. Good work, I accidentally put the larger amount into the envelope as well. Multi-tasking in the most basic form continues to elude me.

All that is now in the envelope that I sent to a commissioning editor, whom I am hoping to impress, is a reel on DVD, and some money. (I have already emailed him the documents needed). Not too sure, but I presume when he opens it, he will think I have sent him a reel, and, a bribe. Not a huge bribe or anything, less than €100, but still, enough for him to splash out on a treat for himself. The job. Down money and unwittingly bribing someone at the same time. Something I have never done before I suppose. Unwittingly at least. Hopefully it’ll work, bung on!

Which leads nicely on to the sex scandal. Well, actually, there is no sex scandal. Yet. I used that just to spice up the title. However, I have being thinking that while I am back in Cork, I need to spice up my time here. Try out new things. Or at least, stuff which I might not usually do. For some reason, there is a mental block not to try anything different. Maybe not even a mental block, more the thought would not even come into my head. Just go about my routine until I can get out of dodge as soon as possible. In L.A, new things were being explored on a daily basis. Here, em, nada.

This was highlighted again to me today, by a comment on the post about my friend and that kind-of blind date I mentioned a couple of days ago. The one with the girl he met but couldn’t remember what she actually looked like. And I agree, my friend should go on that blind date. Although also getting her name wrong (1 correct letter out of 4 does not seem to be a good enough ratio) might have hampered that avenue. Classified ads may have to be explored! Who cares about the awkwardness or potential disaster it could possibly turn out to be. Surely something of note will happen, which will spice up my time in Cork. And, in turn, spice up the blog. Plus, it could always go well and someone reading might take the plunge too! Doubtful.

Which got me thinking about other things that I could try out. I’m not really thinking along the lines of a bungee jump or jumping out of a plane either. Bungee has been done and unless someone wants to go to the hassle of setting that up the plane, too much hassle. More along the lines of social taboos or situations which should not be awkward, but are for some reason, such as… can you think of the last time you kissed someone, for the first time, during the day, and both of ye were sober? I actually can’t. Sounds dumb and pointless, I know. However, when I asked people (2) they too are mystified as to why they can’t remember/don’t do it more often “Its just not done in Ireland” was the explanation. Could be another option to spice up events.

The last time I think I did that sober was at least 5 years ago. At least 5. As far as I can remember as well, I was close to breaking the girl’s nose with my awkward moves and attempts at being smooth. Plus, it was definitely a night time affair by the time I grew a pair of balls. And, I think I knew that girl a few years as well. Comparing that with the bungee jump, I definitely jumped off a crane with far, far, far less hesitation, than when I made my sober move. Which is brutal! That hurdle should be overcome, or at least attempted. 

So, on my list so far, I have the daytime example I must try, perhaps the blind date example with someone who doesn’t even really speak the same language as me, and I can’t even think of a third option at the moment. The idea is still in its infancy. My buddy suggested I go check out the Cliffs of Moher. Which I laughed at, ha, that’d be boring enough. Then actually re-considered. And now think I might do it. However, I think that might not be the most exciting thing to write or read about. Drove to the cliff, it rained, too foggy to see anything, drove home. Something along those lines.

Anyways, I think I should get more suggestions, and start ticking a few boxes off. I was going to aim for one a day, but thats not really realistic, so a couple or a few a week perhaps. If anyone has an idea they want to throw into the hat, comment on!

Song on…

La Roux

In For The Kill (Skream's Remix) - La Roux

Swamp

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Have you ever seen The NeverEnding Story? I am sure you have. If not, you missed out, still not too late I suppose. This scene came into my head today, at numerous stages…

Today, I was drudging through my own swamp! On paper, numerous things looked like they would be swiftly and easily dealt with. Real world, however, tends to be different. Starting with… burning something on to a DVD. In Ireland this simple task is proving to be a tad frustrating. Looking back at my incident in Dublin the last time I needed a reel, being ripped off price-wise for one copy, was a bargain. At least I was on my merry way, the DVD in hand, after only 15 minutes.

Apparently, in Cork, there is only one place that burns DVDs. One place! Out the back of a guy’s house. Oddly, it had actually looked so promising as well. Initially over the phone I was told it would take 5 minutes and only cost €

5. Unfortunately, 40 minutes and numerous failed attempts later, I was asked to come back tomorrow. While he was trying different programs and converters etc, he managed to wipe a few of his own programs, and purchase a few unknown ones. I hope they will not be included in my bill. I got the vibe he thought my Mac file corrupted his PC computer as well. I am apprehensively looking forward to seeing the result in the morning.

Moving on, next thing on paper that looked easy to do… find out how my visa application was bundling along. Took me a while to suss out, that you cant actually ring the embassy either to find out. You must email them, asking will they ring you. The great news is that I have another legion of forms to fill out, and another fee to pay. There is no bad news. Nobody likes filling out forms. That is taken as a given. Part of the process, so no complaints there. Just headaches. And frustration. I was clinging on to those reins wading through the swamp!

Another area I had hoped to make progress on today was with a producer about a show proposal. After getting the unfortunate news that the development executive who I had been dealing with, had become a victim of cut-backs, I was hoping to get a more definite indication from the show’s producer. Obviously, it being swamp day and all, I couldn’t get through to the producer in question. Feeling the need to get some result with this today, I rang the same development executive, to see if she might be able to hunt him down for me. Was he dodging me?! What was going on?! Get me back in the loop!!! As it turns out, he has gone on holidays, so I won’t know anything further for another while. Patience, and keep badgering when he returned, were the two bits of advice I was given. A patient badger it will have to be, swampy.

Overall, a slow enough day. Swamp style. Drudging on. Alas, I was so hopeful as well for today. Especially with all my intent last night, being so unjustifiably buoyant after my vlog. I know see how miniscule this accomplishment is in the bigger picture. However, I’ll still look through my own picture frame! Unfortunately, I don’t have the randomness of a Monday night out in L.A to save the day, but it will spark into life soon. Keep the faith. Falcor is coming. Oh Jesus…

Song from the swamp, which I’m sure the horse was humming to himself as he went down… 

Iggy Pop

The Passenger - Iggy Pop

Vlog On!

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Basically, that 1:18 was the most productive thing I probably accomplished all weekend. So, obviously, it has been a great weekend! I know it is a very insignificant thing in global terms. Still though, wuu, first vlog is under my belt, duck is broken. Plough on from here on in. Even if it is in Irish. I think I might do my second one in German. English then for the next 100. There is a reason for it being in Irish as well. I needed a video of me speaking the fine language for a reel, so went with the vlog route Lets not dwell too much on the standard, content, or lack of sense I actually might be making. What am I actually speaking about in it? Who knows. In the other edit I have there is about 6 extra minutes with stand-up footage. As you might guess, that cut is far less enjoyable to sit through than the one I put up here. Editing by numbers on iMovie is actually a good old hoot as well. A lot (1 minute, 18 seconds) can be manipulated from 3 rambling takes.

Besides that nugget of joy above, another good thing occurred last night about DJ’ing in Ireland. The majority of bar/club owners want you to play cheesy/pop music. Safe and sensible kind of thing. However, last night I figured out that, thankfully, some can be slowly changed to your way of thinking. I think I have one place cracked and open to the remixes, after originally been asked for complete cheese. Anyone can play cheese. It is pointless. When a 65 (ish) year old Irish man, and a 20 (ish) year old Brazilian girl both compliment the same remixed song, the balance needed to please most people might have been struck. No more selling of the soul. Completely anyways, a bit has to be expected. Although I personally think any time I can manage to play the likes of the Bee Gees, Wham, Blur, and The Kinks, in the same cluster, it has to be looked on as a good night. Remix on! 

Friday night made me cop on to something else as well. That is, when I am feeling burnt out and my brain is dying for a break, I need to actually chill out completely. Not do what I have been aping around with lately, and taking a break from something like writing X, Y or Z, by then doing another small thing on my to-do list, like working on my visa route, for example. Not that I am trying to say I am the busiest, hardest working fool in the world, or any of that. Just that I do have my brain switched on a bit too much at times, forgetting it too needs a break. Otherwise it might break down. And, surprisingly, even though I ended up in a club that was dead, it was some laugh.

Unfortunately the buddy I went out with has a conundrum from the night. Since then, he has been texting to and fro with a girl. However it was towards the end of the night when he got the girl’s number, so he might have been a tad drunk. Now he has one problem… he cant remember at all what she looks like. Well, besides the very basic outline of size, hair colour and that she was foreign. He thinks she was nice, his type and all that, but then again he thought he was a good dancer when he was drunk too. So, seeing as her and a friend of hers want to meet up with him and a buddy of his, it basically would all just be a big blind date. And, lets be honest, who really wants to go on a full on blind date?

I didn’t really know what to tell him. If you have any words of advice, feel free to let him know. You can tell me, and I’ll pass it on. End of the gibberish, my brain needs a bit more rest to go back to work tomorrow. Vlog on!

Two songs, one new, one old. The first is a crescendo style summer song, and the second is just savage!

Delorean

Seasun - Delorean

The Kinks

You Really Got Me - The Kinks

And seeing as Vimeo might not work for everyone above (cheers again @SteveIsaacs for the info and help… http://steveisaacs.tv) here’s the vlog in Youtube glory as well. I am pimping it out far too much already…

Ahh… Ha?

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Yesterday I spent the majority of the day cutting, dissecting, converting, molesting and butchering clips of my stand-up together for a reel I need to show Gina G. As you might tell from my lingo, I am not the most adept person when it comes to using iMovie. Once you get into the swing of things though, it is pretty cool to use. Even if the video you’re working on ends up looking like it was edited by a goat. Another thing which has cropped up from viewing back different stand-up clips I have, is that I tend to curse a lot while on stage. And ramble. Along with making people cry with laughter, obviously.

I also realized another thing yesterday, not only related to the stand-up, but also to my writing. The podcasts which I have been listening to were playing away all day, and two things stood out for me. Firstly, just because a character is real, it doesn’t mean that he/she is necessarily funny enough for what you’re writing. Knowing when to give up on a character, or cutting a joke that you like, is key. Not really well explained so far, but I suppose if a character in real life did a funny thing, that was due to more the circumstances than the character, probably better to cut the character. If you get what I mean? No? I’ve lost myself too with my point being honest.

Moving on, second thing which a lot of writers said in the pods, was that they didn’t really have the greatest imaginations in the world. If they did, they would probably be writing Sci-Fi. And probably at Comic Con right now. Instead, they draw on life experience and all that, working from there, then letting their imaginations run wild. Which made me figure out something. Just because a story happened in a certain X way, followed by Y, and then ended with Z, doesn’t mean I really have to stick to it. Again, just because it really happened, doesn’t make it always funny to others. We all have buddies or stories that are hilarious to ourselves. But, they are probably not always as funny to other people, particularly randomers. I might be painting a bleak picture of my stand-up or writing, but thats not the case. I just need to remember these points to bring them up a level! Time to let the imagination run loose. Inside jokes or scenarios where if you knew the back story, then you’d find it hilarious, have to be cut. Obvious points to a fair few people I would imagine.

Anyways, going along the theme of starting off with a funny story that actually happened, here’s another one. So, I have been waiting to hear back from numerous people about numerous avenues which I am exploring. Yesterday, I got the call from one such person. I had been wondering why it was taking so long to get in touch, meetings had gone well, part of the process, that’s life, chill out, and all that. However, I forgot completely that other factors come into play as well. Such as the real world. The one with the recession and cut-backs. And job losses. Have you ever seen the Seinfeld where they get a pilot made, goes well when it is aired, however they then get a call to say the boss has left the company, gone crazy, the new boss is not a fan and their show is getting chopped?

Ok, so that didn’t happen to me yesterday. Bring it back a few stages though, and something like it did. When I got told the news that the person who I had met with about a certain project, was being let go as part of cutbacks, my first reaction was obviously to feel bad. And concerned. For that person. Then immediately worry about where that left me. I know it might not sound the most compassionate, but its being honest. I felt bad for both of us. Now I knew why I wasn’t top of the person’s priority list, stupid old egotistical me, huh?! In the midst of me commiserating (it actually doesn’t make any sense having cut-backs in that person’s area) and giving words of encouragement, I managed to get the details of the person that was one up on the chain of command. The yes/no contact. All is not lost, but it was a curve ball which I didn’t really expect. I know its not the right word to use, but I suppose it is funny enough. From the laughing at my predicament, point of view anyways. Funny in an ahh… ha, kind of way. 

See, I think the above story is a prime example of what I was talking about earlier. Funny at the time perhaps, or somehow funny for me, but others might not get a laugh or see the humour in it. Who knows. Thank funk my L.A optimism was boomed back into place before it happened, it’ll all just make for a better book in the end! Plough on!

Two songs, first is pretty funking cool, in the James Dean way. Second one I downloaded, forgetting I don’t need gay gym remixes for the time being. However, seeing as its Friday…

Pictureplane

Goth Star - Paperplane

Black Eyed Peas

 I Gotta Feeling (Remix) - Black Eyed Peas