Weekend at Bernie’s

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Running Up That Hill (Louis La Roche Remix) – Kate Bush

Some things in L.A appear will never change. Not unless I do, anyway. Such as, people calling me by the wrong name over and over. Ever growing list at this stage. The usuals still apply. Merrick. Eric. Omar. Moved on a lot to Merk. Murk. Maaaaarrrk. Sometimes when I say my full name I get mistaken for a Mexican guy named Marquez. And then at one point someone working at Coffee Bean thought my name was America. Combination of being asked a question by two people at the same time: ‘Your name… Merrick?’ ‘So a large coffee?’ Eh, Mark – Yeah… ‘Coffee for America!’ Although another time I asked for coffee recently I got the reply: ‘Cathy? I’m not too sure. Let me check – Hey guys, does a Cathy work here? Sorry man, no Cathy.’

So that was fun.

Considering all of the name confusion that has already occurred due to my accent and mumbles (along with everyone in L.A having lazy ears, tut), I was still a bit surprised about my name morphing earlier on today: Continue Reading »

Time Of The Month… Again?!!!

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Finally, I can empathize with women. Once a month, every month, I too feel your pain, we have it tough sisters! Roughly, around this time of the month, give or take a few days, I start to get headaches, feelings of anxiety, restless nights, sweaty palms, irritable, mood swings, the whole nine yards that girls go through. My diagnosis, however, is not related to the painters calling around, so to speak. My problem is linked more to the landlord, and when it is that he will call around. The symptoms I suffer from, are brought on by the impending and looming matter of rent, and payment there of.

These headaches have being getting even worse lately. This is directly related to me living the life of a pauper, a life which, I must admit, I am finding hard to cope with. Previous floundering of my money on luxury items, such as Red Bull and the Coffee Bean, has been seriously curtailed, cutting off my steady supply of caffeine. My head has been throbbing lately. Last night I got in a full blown fist fight, with a washing machine, for swallowing 5 of my precious quarters so that I could not dry my clothes. I put up a good (-ish) fight, but the machine easily won in the end, leaving me drained and close to tears. Great fun sleeping in damp sheets and on a damp pillow! Especially when it is that time of the month again!

Perhaps the worst part of all this, is that instead of trying to lessen my headaches, anxiety, cramps, bloating feeling etc brought on from rent, or lack of, by doing something productive, I still insist on doing jobs such as DJ’ing – a job that I do not, and will not, get paid for. Yesterday, I decided not to try and earn money, not to try and focus on my writing and the sitcom, not to do something that will help me on the acting side of things, but to go up to the gym and DJ. My payment being compliments only, majority of which would be from dudes, what kind of funking ape am I?!!! Why bother?

Firstly, I should clarify and reiterate the whole me being a DJ situation. Some people have taken this the wrong way (you’re not a DJ, don’t insult me, I am a DJ, you need to use vinyl to be a DJ) or have gotten the impression that I take credit for the remixes I play. I don’t. At all. When people ask me what song was that I played, did you mix it all together just now, I say no, it was X, Y or Z. I just played X’s song then mixed it with Y’s song followed by Z’s. Having never DJ’ed before though, I feel like I should do more than just stand up there and mix the two songs, so I fiddle around on my laptop and intensely look at it, giving the impression I am hard at work. I am not getting paid good money to just stand up there and do nothing. Oh right, forgot about the not getting paid part.

So, I will use another angle, or name if you like. I am not a DJ, as in I do not scratch, do not itch, do not make records bleed.  I merely pick, in my opinion, savage songs, which will make you dance, clap along, or sing… but I am not a DJ. I do not remix live, or MC, or mix songs while standing with one foot over my head. I merely mix songs with my software that, most of the time (but a few horrific other times it has been blatant), people do not notice the end of one song, and the start of the next… but I am not a DJ. You could say, it is like that application for iTunes, where you pick one great song, and a playlist is then made of other similar great songs, the difference being that I mix the songs together. So, if you like, I will instead use the name of that application for iTunes for what I do… choose and mix great songs. From now on, instead of saying I am a DJ, if I must, and you insist, I will just say that I am a human Genius. If you insist. 

As far as my Genius set went, it was fairly uneventful. Fairly. Except the time I went to the bathroom, playing a long song to give me time, standing in the bathroom bopping along to the song, then mid song, and mid stream, hearing the song cut out (laptop crashed). Having to change horses mid stream is never easy but I had to suck it up for the sake of being a Genius, and rush back out to see what was going on. Then, a few songs later, as all dumb Geniuses do I presume, I unknowingly hit the spacebar, paused the whole thing, and took long enough to figure out what was going on. I blamed my laptop crashing for that one too.

Finished off in a good way, some girls were singing Mr Sandman up to me from the stairs below (my final song) and I left the gym happy. Until the whole – why are you bothering, why don’t you use the time to write, what’s wrong with you, good work today trying to get some rent money together for yourself, even the washing machine thinks you’re an ape robbing your money, oh Jesus, here comes the hot flushes and headaches again – all kicked in. I decided the only/cheapest/free way to get rid of the headaches, was to go to the gym that night and work them out of me.

Again I felt like an ape going to the gym twice in one day, but still couldn’t figure out why. Until I bounded in the door, past the front desk, how’s it going receptionist, my iPod is on so can’t hear what you’re saying, yeah, I’m good? Bound up the stairs, start making a move for a bench, and see the place is dead. Receptionist has half followed me up the stairs “Merrick, we closed at 10 tonight, its 5 past now, you have to leave, sorry.” Oh, right, I knew that all along, I was testing you, shur don’t you know I’m a Genius! At least I knew for definite on the way home this time, why I felt like an ape for going twice to the gym that day.

Here’s part of that great song I had people jiving and singing to the other day… Mr Sandman (Squeak E Clean Remix) by The Chordettes.

Brad, I Feel Your Pain…

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I now know how Brad felt when he left the set of Mr & Mrs Smith and had to leave Angelina to go back to Jennifer. I am in almost the exact, exact same situation. Almost. L.A is my mistress, Angelina, San Fran is my Jennifer. I used to love San Fran, my favourite city in America by far. There are only two people I know that liked San Fran more than I did, a scone and a rink. Now, all I think about is L.A. I wonder what I’m missing out on. Why did I not stay put. Will it be the same when I go back. A lot can change in a week, what have I done?!!!!

I’m walking down the street in San Fran, waiting for someone to pretend to be my friend and con me out of something, or potentially give me a big break. However, unlike L.A, no one glances twice, they don’t look to see if you might be famous, they don’t care. There are no mishaps waiting around the corner, or famous people to bump into. Just boring, regular, sound people, tut tut, for God’s sake, what a crap city. The only people who are off kilter are the millions of homeless people but what good will they do me (the movie I was thinking of has been done, apparently). Where have all the fake smiles and fakes boobs gone to?!!!

The weather in L.A is perfect. Hot during the day so you know you’ll be wearing shorts. At night its cool enough for you to wear a new jacket that you want to show off, as if though you personally hand stitched it and deserve credit for it, or not wear one at all.The weather in San Fran is almost to a tee like the Irish weather. Cold and raining at night, humid and windy during the day. The wind is blowing in all directions here at the moment as well, ruining my well combed hair, what a crap city!

People get my name right in San Fran too, I’m mumbling more than ever now just to bring back the memories of Omar and Merrick. Why doesn’t anyone Google my name here as well by the way?!!! Pardon me, who am I? Thats more like it, oh, you asked how am I? Tut tut, not so good! Tissue anyone? I have a load to spare!

Where have all the perks of a gay neighborhood gone as well? I’m in the gayest city in the world now but there are no free gym perks here. I’m paying like everyone else. There is no Common in the gym for me to chin wag with, only commoners like myself, pink heads and sweaty machines, tut tut, what a crap city!

I presume L.A is struggling to cope just as much as I am since I had to leave, obviously she is. I wonder if she is moping around watching Scrubs and drinking tea all day, not thats what I’m doing or anything. Speaking of which, I no longer even have a Coffee Bean to mosey on up to if my day was going slow, I don’t want a cheap tart like Peet’s Coffee replacing her! I might text L.A, see what she’s up to tonight, see if she’s up for a quick chat on Skype later on.

Here’s the song I have lined up to play once I get to fly back down to L.A, sorry San Fran, its just no longer the same this time around, we’ve grown apart, I’ve found someone else. Apparently Brad played this for Jennifer as well as he drove off…I’m Leaving You Because I Don’t Love You by Jens Lekman.

Any Spare Change, Boss?

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Today has been a day of chats, stories and getting information, some meaningless, the rest highly useful. 

Here’s a highly useful bit of information I got today, which will definitely benefit me further down the line. Apparently Matt Damon lived in the same place I live now. Very useful to know. At least now if I ever meet him I have a good ice breaker. A great story.

This nugget of information was followed by a mighty chat today with one of my neighbors. Mighty altogether, I was smoothness personified. One of my neighbors is ridiculously hot, an Australian actress. I found out today she was in Neighbors. I could try to make up a horrific joke about my neighbor being in Neighbors but I’m too tired, and thats all I could think of anyways. She’s the reason David Spade has been hanging around my place now and again, they’re working together. She’s not that famous or anything, but she promised she wouldn’t mention me in her blog if I did the same, you know how it goes. The bad news was that one of my roommates told me she lives here with her husband. Great. I was well in there too before I found this out. I felt the spark the one time I said hi to her, although I’m not sure if she even said hi back. 

So while I’m watching t.v, I see her outside my window, messing around with her dog or something. The sun was shining, she was dazzling in it, looking savage. As I said to my other roommate, knowing she wouldn’t get it, she is a weapon. Strangely at that exact time, more or less, I thought to myself, now is a good time to dump the bins, and while I’m outside, I might as well say hello. So I throw an empty can into an empty bin-bag, the rubbish was overflowing, really important I dumped it at that time, and go outside. I should mention at this point that my roommate’s dog was sick today, so puking out of both ends. This will help my smoothness later on. 

I head out, make some small talk with her about it being a great day, dazzling, weapons, all that jazz. I then tell her how I have to empty the bins again, so much rubbish, where does it keep coming from, you know how it is, throw my eyes to heaven, tut to myself, all that jazz. She doesn’t care, and I realize I shouldn’t literally talk rubbish to her, my regular small talk is bad enough. So I go dump the can into the trash shute, come back, ask her what type of dog does she have. It’s a bulldog but I ask anyways. I’m good at small talk. I then think to myself, I should really tell her how my roommate’s dog is sick out both ends, and how I’ve stepped in it a few times already today, tut, throw my eyes to heaven. So I’ve now moved on to the subject of s**t with her. Rubbish and s**t, same old small talk as usual so. 

Our spark is interrupted by her husband popping his head out their window and asking her would she get his drying from downstairs. Hang on buddy, we’re sharing a moment over dog s**t. So I go back inside, tell my roommate its a pity she’s married, I think she likes me. I know these vibes well. My roommate, who has lived here longer than my other roommate, then tells me she’s not married, that’s a gay guy who lives in the same house. The other roommate had got it wrong! No wonder so David Spade was over there all the time, trying to move in on my woman. I’m thinking of inviting her over to check out the dog’s puke stains, always a banker to seal the deal.

So they were two highly useful, informative stories I heard and had earlier in the day. I also heard how Brad Pitt got the agent, who got him his big break, to represent him in the first place. My roommate had all the good stories for me today! Apparently, he went to her office with his resume, photos, reel etc. She said no thanks. So he kept showing up every day at her office, with cakes, flowers, mixed tapes, homemade stuff, being nice and pleasant, and eventually, she said yes. Talent, good looks and the ability to bake tasty cakes and deserts seems to be the way to get your foot in the door. I’m letting the custard on my trifle set as we speak.

On my way to a meeting I had today, I stopped by the good old Coffee Bean for a coffee, surprisingly enough. Its a sit wherever, share tables, kind of place when its busy. So I’m busy scribbling stuff down in my notebook about something, a shopping list I think, when a girl asks if she can sit at my table. Work away, pull up a chair. I thought she was Irish first, had all the tell tale signs, pinky skin complexion, colour of bacon, iPod on, green top and a white skirt. The minute she asked me what do you do and who are you, however, I knew she wasn’t. Here we go again. Luckily, I pulled a George Kastanza moment out of the bag, that will be used in future when needed…”I’m unemployed and kind of homeless, things are looking bad.” A great way to nip something in the bud early in LA it seems. Plus I called over Amadeus and introduced him to her, she probably believed the homeless comment more after seeing he was my buddy.

I then met a literary agent, who had read some of my writing. That turned out to be the most useful out of all my chats, as he gave me unreal helpful information about LA, getting into the business, and taking things to the next level. Basically you need a plan. Then you need ten more plans. Then you have to be open to ten more possible plans. So the more you put yourself out there, try different routes, network, and work hard while making it look effortless, the bigger chance you have of getting a foot or hook in somewhere. I know that can be applied for a lot of things, and might seem obvious, but when you’re being told by someone in the business you want to be in, by someone who knows what they’re talking about, and thinks you have a good chance if the necessary hard work is done, its good stuff to hear and have laid out in front of you. Its a bit much to take in all in one go too, so by the end I was processing it through my head and was a bit lost for words as to what responses I should give “Eh, thanks?”. Stand-up comedy could be another option now too, boo on!!! At least now though, more direction has been given to me, it no longer feels completely alien being here, and I have set things to start doing. Either that or I’m banking on my homemade trifle!

A great song to finish the day is Road To Joy by Bright Eyes

Hey Ricky Bobby!!! I Love You Shwayze!!!


Great news… I’ve committed to an acting class. Verbally at least, I forgot to bring my credit card to actually pay. Starting April 2nd I’ll be going to Brian Reise for a month to six weeks at least, no more auditing, payment on. I just have to make sure the visa run works and I get a job to pay for it. Should be fine, the job offers are being thrown at me so far.

Last night I went to a place called My House, where DJ AM was playing. I had gotten mixed reviews of the club, ranging from “It’s class” to “Check it out, maybe you’ll like it”. A guy who played soccer was promoting so couldn’t say no to the invite. Seeing as it was free. So, when I got in, I thought, this part of the club is pretty cool, I’m looking forward to seeing the rest. But that was more or less it. Smaller than I thought, still big enough though. I went with “the lads”. A few more showed up this time though. Kelly Brook was meant to be joining us as well but no show in the end. There were enough other minor celebs in there to keep me entertained though.

I was introduced to some random English guy, and had a good chat about soccer with him, Champions League and all that. I was telling him about a documentary I saw about Michael Essien and the African Cup of Nations, but couldn’t remember the name of it. So, I told him, give me your number, I’ll text you the name of it (he supported Chelsea), you have to see it, Essien is a God in Africa etc etc. Afterwards, I find out he wrote the movie Goal, could be handy having his number, what with me thinking I could be an actor and thinking I can play soccer. Goal 4 here I come!

So I’m on rounds with a new buddy I’ve just met. I’m drinking at a normal pace, he’s sipping. I go two rounds up on him, he’ll get the next two, $30 a round, I let myself get done, not happy. Plus he keeps doing a horrific Irish accent and I can tell by his responses he can barely understand a word I’m saying. I’m looking for an out. I keep trying to make small talk with this ugly, very intelligent looking girl next to me, who won’t stop fixing her make-up (she was savage and had a constant vacant look). So, I’m plugging away, my new buddy thinks I’m well in, cheers, drink up, you owe me two boozes boss. She takes out her camera, oh my gawd, I love your accent, you’re a priest from Ireland, thats so cool, will you take a photo? I surely will. So, I’m getting ready, combing my hair, shining my shoes, straightening myself, and she hands me the camera. Thanks, take one of me and my boyfriend. Oh right, I knew thats what you meant, ha.

Turns out to be a great photo of them from the necks down. I hand the camera back, see my buddy from OK is still sipping too slow for me and go off for a stroll on my own. I end up chatting with some girls at a table where the vodka is flowing (no spoof, their names are Kamie and Tamie, I checked their I.D’s). So I keep getting their names wrong, unintentionally, and call them Mamie, they love it, want to introduce me to more of their friends. So, some dude in a cool hat, some other girls, few other guys, few other girls, and a guy in a hoodie. I know the guy with the hat and the the other guy with the hood on. Or at least I recognize them from somewhere. Somewhere along the way of me tucking into their bottle of vodka it registers that the guy with the cool hat is the dude from Shwayze. Or the guy who sings with him at least. So I start calling him Shwayze, everyone finds it funny, probably because of my accent, I get told something like this by him, “I’m not Shwayze man, I sing, Shwayze raps, my name is Cisco”. This doesn’t register with me at all, keep calling him Shwayze. The funny side is wearing off for him, I presume its the same as how I feel when I get called Omar, Merrick and Eric by strangers all the time, ha. 

So the dude in the cool hat wanders away from me, I’m back with Kamie and Tamie, and they’re chatting with the guy in the hoodie. Merrick/Omar/Eric, have you met Bobby? Hey man, my name is actually Mork, nice to meet you Bobby… it’s then I remember who he is, the dude from the Hills. So I tell him he’s huge in Ireland, for nothing, blah blah blah, he should go, they’d love you there, you are Ricky Bobby, I am Ricky Bobby, lets have some more vodka Ricky Bobby. In my vodka state I forgot his name or alias is Justin Bobby, not Ricky Bobby from Talladega nights. But I keep calling him Ricky Bobby this, Ricky Bobby that, Ricky, Richie, Rich, Dick, Richard, Little John at one stage, don’t know why. So between calling both of them the wrong names, and downing their vodka, I’m getting an uncomfortable vibe. Well, looking back at it now, sober, I realize the vibes shifted. At the time I thought we were all best buddies. C’mon we stay for after hours lads. Ah shur, here comes DJ AM to join us. And there’s another dude who used to be on the Hills as well. We’re all great buddies over here. Whats that, no after hours for me. Ok, thats cool. Next time maybe. I’ve to be up early in the morning anyways. Just let me get Kamie or Tamie’s number and I’ll be on my way. I love you Ricky Bobby, hey Shwayze… “So someone take my picture”, see ye next week lads!

Good night all round really, but not sure if I’ll be invited back over to their table anytime soon. I can see why the wrong name would annoy them though so I can empathize. Earlier that day when ordering a coffee – plain coffee, large, that was it, not hard to get wrong – the guy serving me got it wrong 4 times. My roommate was with me and finally saw how stupid, random things occur to me at will here. I’m asked my name, he thinks its Omar, I let it go, get given an iced coffee, medium. Wrong. An iced coffee, large. Wrong. Some mocha coffee, large, with cream and banana syrup (turns out to be a different Omar’s). A normal coffee, medium. I was going to let it go but its actually meant to be a large, finally get what I asked for. Plus he says I can keep all the wrong ones I wont drink. So, I end up with a tray of 4 coffees, giving them away to people in the queue.

The guy serving me, unsurprisingly for where I live, is very, very, very, very gay. As in flaming, snapping the fingers, lip pursing, you don’t even know sister, OH MY GAAAAAAWD he didn’t, he DID!  umm hummm, gay (he’s actually saying these things while getting my order wrong time and time again). Its funny enough to watch. I get the thought, while he keeps calling me Omar, that he is the gay equivalent of a male, chauvinist pig. He must be over-compensating for something, but he at least he’s sound. That’s the good thing about living in such a gay area, everyone is sound!!! Everyone is just out walking their poodles, smiling at each other, friendly, getting along. And getting it on. But at least they’re sound!

Just got a text from Kamie. I think its her anyways, I’m hoping its Tamie but I think its Kamie. Not that I can remember which is which. Might be Mamie. I might text the Bucket and mention them. How I’ve moved on. I wonder what its up to. Still hasn’t texted me back since the other day. B*****d.

Here’s the song I was shouting at Ricky Bobby and Shwayze the whole night…Polaroid.

Yes, That Is I, Where Do I Sign?

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Thursday started with a tough choice, deciding whether or not I’ll walk to the acting class an hour away that night or walk to 5-a-side in Rob’s house which was a 2 hour walk away(the texts say “Footie in Robs’?” so I’m in the click and call him Rob now too, ha). So, Aaron or Rob, tough call. I decided to go for a walk to clear my head and decide which walk to walk later that night. I walk to the Coffee Bean near me to see what weird head I would encounter up there today.

On a side note, Coffee Bean is the newer, cooler, more hip version of Starbucks it seems. When I first arrived, thinking I was cool and in the know, asked where the nearest Starbucks was, I was scoffed at, and told “I don’t know, Coffee Bean is way” better. I crumbled and now follow the cool, hip, posing flock of sheep there. So far I’ve had a few chats with an actor who I recognized from an episode of Friends, some chick who was in porn apparently, and good old Amadeus.

Amadeus was this guy from New York, mid 40’s maybe, dressed in purple pajamas, long curly hair, rotting teeth, New York accent, kind of reminded me of Gene Wilder now that I think about it and Googled his name, who I met one day and spoke to me for a good hour about the origins of my chain and the origins of hemp. He got very offended when I asked if he was the inspiration for the song below.

Apparently, he knew the chain I was wearing had been in my family for generations(it hasn’t) and was worth a lot of, lot of money(it’s not). He knew all this though. Then he started rambling and rambling on about hemp, and a book about the emperor wearing no clothes, and Amsterdam, and Jack Herer, and his friend putting up money for hemp, and his mystical Irish friends who outdated the Greek mythology, and when he was young, and put Ab Simpson to shame for rambling. All the time speaking in a mix of a Welsh/Jamaican accent, thinking it was an Irish one. He then starting talking about guys from The Who and Led Zeppelin like they were friends. I just presumed it was all complete horse s**t until he starts lashing out $100 tips to the guy cleaning his table. Usually the old nuts ask for money at the end of the ramblings so maybe this guy is different. Or lashing out fake bills. Who knows.

Anyways (his rambling has caught on), none of my coffee buddies are up there so I throw on the I-Pod. After a while I see two guys next to me looking at me a good bit. Turns out they were a gay couple but this is not another gay story!!! So one of them says something but I’m not sure if its to me as I have my I-Pod on and Im busy looking newer, cooler and more hip in Coffee Bean. So, as he is looking straight at me and saying something, I take off my earphones and hear him finish the sentence…”I just love basketball, so does my boyfriend.” What the funk do you say to that!!! I decide on a swift and easy response “Cool, that’s good”. Then he excitedly asks me if I could get him tickets to a game. Kind of a weird request, but no sorry, I can’t. “No problem, how about an autograph?” An autograph? Why? “Emmm, do you not play with the Lakers?” Cue a bit of awkwardness as I mull over spoofing that I am Kobe Bryant or telling him the truth that I don’t. This actually happened before as well in LAX but I didn’t have my spoofing hat on that time either. I have since checked out the Lakers roster and I presume they think that I’m Sun Yue from China. Or else Kobe Bryant. I kind of have the look of both so who knows, ha. You’ll be glad to know I’ve now bought the entire Lakers kit and wear it up there everyday in case it happens again. That is my cool, new, hip Coffee Bean story where I thought I was cool until I realized it was mistaken identity. At least they didn’t think I was Amadeus!