Tea Or Coffee?

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Is anyone else this smart at times…

You have somewhere you need to be, an important meeting lets say, but it could be anywhere. Being the smart person you are, you get up early that morning, get ready, plenty of time to spare, and you’re good to go. Say the meeting is at 11, lets say that is about 10.43, and the meeting venue is about a 6 minute walk from where you live (according to Google maps). It would be dumb to be too early for the meeting. Obviously. Tops, you only want to be a minute or two early. So, you decide to have a quick cup of tea before you leave. The smart thing to do. You cant beat a cup of tea!

Roughly around 10.45 you fill the kettle up, but seeing as it is not an electric one, you have to sit and wait for it to boil on the cooker. Pots and kettles are quite similar when watched. You get impatient, but continue to wait. You’ll chug it back quickly over the sink, it’ll be fine. Cup and tea bag ready, at 10.48 you pour the boiling water in, can’t have it too weak, so you wait a bit longer for it to be the right blend that you like. It is now about 10.50, drain the tea bag, and realize you have only a drop of milk left. It’ll have to do, no time to waste, just chug it back and you can still make the meeting on time. Take a big mouthful, and burn your tongue nicely. Spit half the mouthful into the sink and curse the cup of tea, for being so stupid and hot, what was it thinking?!!! The cup of tea is then poured down the sink, as punishment for burning your tongue. For some reason (maybe have OCD, or else just be a clean freak, not really sure), you decide to wash the cup before you leave, realize it is now 10.53, and the race is on! 

Anyone else? No? Me neither.

On a side note, last Friday I had a meeting with the head of the Irish Film Board here in L.A. It was on in Starbucks around the corner from my house, about 5 minutes away. Well that’s not taking into account my steep hill and the dodgy street of traffic on Sunset Boulevard you must run across to get there. But if you run/sprint all the way, in the sweltering heat, you’ll be fine, you can make it on time. Just.

An Irish girl in BAFTA had set the meeting up for me, good chance to network etc. There was also another Irish actress coming along as well, the more connections the better! Due to a plethora of reasons – sheer heat that day, issues with my tongue, and not being a fan of hot beverages at that time – I was hoping to stay away from getting a coffee. However, as one was then bought for me, I thought I could at least get away with just holding it, and pretending to take sips. Not to look rude or anything. Obviously, I was then asked if my coffee also tasted a bit peculiar, take another drink and tell me if yours tastes odd too, kind of thing occurred. Yeah, tastes weird alright, is there any milk in it, no? Cheers. Tastes like burnt tongue, or maybe the inside of my cheek is now scalded, not sure really which one I am tasting. My mouth has yet to recover or forgive me. The sacrifices I am going through in hope of a break! 

Overall, the meeting went well. I was not entirely sure what I wanted to gain out of the encounter, mainly just to make contacts and tell people what I am trying to do here, I suppose. Told them a few blog related stories, the girl talked about her acting activities and the likes, and that was it mostly. The guy from the Irish Film Board was younger than I expected, sound too, and the girl was pretty cool on top. However, when the meeting was wrapped up, there was an air of, ok, cool, cheers for meeting up, au revoir, I will see you whenever. We all went outside, shook hands goodbye, gave the girl I just met a hug goodbye, almost bopped her in the head, and started to walk back home, fairly pleased. Fairly.

As it turned out, the guy was walking in the same direction as me, seeing as his office was across the road from the top of my street. The conversation turned a bit less informal (not that the coffee meeting was formal or anything) and things took a turn for the better. Being an Everton supporter has rarely been of use to me. Meeting other Everton supporters is very infrequent. Lo and behold, I was walking alongside a fellow Everton supporter. Banter on “What was your sitcom about again? We should meet up for the Everton match”. Sounds good. He also drinks in the bar that I now DJ at, more banter on! “I’m going there tomorrow with some friends if you want to come.” I’m heading off to write the pilot and sitcom outline, when I get back though, sounds good. “When you get that scene of the sitcom made, I’d be interested in looking at it, could show it to a few others too. Did I tell you about the film festival I’m organising?” You mentioned it in passing, tell me more, it sounded good!

The walk home took the level of the meeting’s success up a notch or two. All in all, well worth a burnt tongue (tea) and scalded cheek (coffee). I shall be sticking with the water from now on. Until the next meeting anyways.

Here’s a mighty song that I always sang along to with “You look a bit like coffee and you taste a bit like tea”. Then found out it was “… coffee … me”. Tea would’ve been far better… The Skin Of My Yellow Country Teeth by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah


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Great news, it seems my dreams are finally falling into place, like a perfect jigsaw. This weekend I became a carnie, wuu, and now today I found out I have two fans. I am not just being presumptuous either, they kindly told me. However, it is not as glamorous as you might think. You might presume they are two hot female fans who love my writing and acting potential. You would presume wrong. Obviously. 

This morning I was up early to watch Everton waltz into the F.A Cup final, a great morning. So, I decided afterwards I would go to the gym earlier than usual. This is where I was fortunate enough to meet my two new fans. They are a proud set of fans if ever I was to choose them.

Since my rocking DJ set, I have been to the gym twice, but both times late at night when it has been dead. Today I went roughly around the time I DJ’ed the last time. Firstly, I’m not really a great fan of striking up random conversation with randomers in the gym. Have you ever tried to talk random crap to a girl while she’s pumping away on a machine or on the treadmill? Her head all red and flustered, looking like she’s just after stressful, sweaty sex or has been sitting on the toilet for too long. It’s not really an ideal place for random chat, to me at least. Other people have a different view it seems.

While I was figuring out one machine, I noticed a guy two over, giving me the eye. At least that is what I thought. I presumed he was gay, but maybe not, I could be wrong. He was an Asian guy, maybe in his 40’s, balding, pencil moustache, pink vest and rainbow knee high socks, and funnily enough, a pair of black shoes. Maybe he wasn’t gay, who knows. Who hasn’t worn that kind of outfit at least once to the gym?! While I am resting between trying to use the machine I am at, he is staring me down while working out on some calf machine. It was then when I realized, stupid me, he was just probably looking at the mirror behind me, not at me, checking out the calves as they like to do here, how cocky was I to have thought otherwise, what an ape. When I noticed that he had started to pant like a pregnant woman, and was definitely not looking at the mirror but staring me down, I decided it might be best if I changed machines, to the far side of the room.

Conveniently enough, he followed me over, sitting on the bench next to me. I dodged eye contact for as long as possible. When he was almost in my face looking at me, I gave him a “How’s it going” and tried to move swiftly on. However, the minute I took an earphone out of my ear to acknowledge his look, he swooped in. “Did you DJ here the other day? You did, you did, oh my gosh, I loved it, I am such a big fan of your music. I love what you did!”  I gave him the “its not actually my music” spiel but he wasn’t listening/didn’t care/couldn’t understand. “So, where do you play?” Eh, I play here, and sometimes, in my room, I play with… I mean by myself. “You’re definitely my favourite DJ in here now, definitely, keep it up!” Pardon me, there are other DJs?! What do they play?! Do you swear I am your number one? Swear?!!

Yet another take on such a simple name managed to end the conversation nicely… So what is your name or do you have a DJ name? After quickly mulling over would I say DJ Tsector after the last girl, I opted not to and stuck with Mark… “Merk? What a great name, is that short for… Merkel?” The “Ha” and what-an-ape-you-are shake of the head I gave in response kind of threw him off, seeing as he gave me a “Hmmmm, ooook, no need to laugh, I was just wondering” and left in a huff. I hope I am still his number one! At least there were no more stares or grunting in my direction after that.

Not from him anyways. Why are there no insane women in the gym, only weird guys?!! While doing one of four sit ups, another random guy next to me started dancing like a mad man to his iPod, pumping it in the air. Again, he too might not have been gay. Who doesn’t flail around to their favourite Britney song, miming the lyrics, at the gym?! I got the familiar feeling of the side of my head being peered at, but this time I had my blinkers on and stared straight ahead, at the wall a foot in front of me. However, this did not deter the dancer. He got more flailing and wild with his arm movements, so that the iPod in his hand was being thrust into my face, as if he was trying to sell it to me. When I asked him if he was ok, was this his space or something- noticing the stuck on the toilet look on his face, lovely – he squealed that he was, he just loves music. “Did you not DJ here the other day? You did! I love music too, I was a big fan of what you played, so great to hear something different, although you never played the Britney I asked for.” I actually didn’t play here at all, the music is not mine, I don’t own it, and its crap anyways, please leave me be. “Don’t be so silly, I saw you, would you do me a super big favour?” No. “Will you make me a CD of music like that?” No. “Aw, really?” Actually, I will, $25, fair price. This got a laugh out of him. He didn’t get that I was being serious though, so he laughed some more. Again he did not get that I would do it for the money (make the CD, obviously), so his laughing tailed off until it dawned on him. We were just left with an uncomfortable silence. I won the battle and the silence at least made him move on.

On my way out of the gym I bumped into big gay Jim. I decided to ask him what the feedback the other day about the music was like, preferably from sane people. He started saying it was super until I cut him off, give me the criticism Jim, I can praise myself all I need. “Well, there was one person who said a bad thing.” Go on… “Our assistant General Manager didn’t like one of the songs you played, you’ll have to impress her next time”. One song? I played for 2 hours and she picks out one song! What does she know, I way prefer gay men over women anyways, when it comes to taste in music, obviously. I took the criticism with a pinch of salt, I swear. Wait until I show that b***h tomorrow.

Maybe it wasn’t so bad having two weird dudes as fans after all. Better than no-one at all. I’ll have to play them a bit of Britney next time to make sure they stay on board, a nice little treat. I might make knee high rainbow socks my signature look too for DJ’ing. While I’m at it, I might as well go all out and try their approaches on Holly Valance the next time I see her in the gym. Surely she’ll fall for my sweaty, grunting, red head look.

Here’s my song to get the assistant manager bopping around her tomorrow, I got some insider knowledge that she likes this band… Knights Of Cydonia (Ocelot Remix) by Muse

Ricky Bobby, We Meet Again…


Having had such a productive day yesterday, I knew it would be hard to top it today. Started well though, got an email from the girl in the acting school I was at yesterday. She is offering me more classes to audit next week if I like, happy days, I feel bad for the others in there who paid thousands for the classes, I think she has a soft spot for a gibberish Irish accent and a big ball of hair, ha.

Back to being productive, time to start belting into my 19 bullets points of things to do. After the Champions League, obviously. It is tough enough watching matches here at times. I have two options for commentary, English with the American commentators and an imitation Irish guy, Tommy Smyth, or plug for the Mexican channel and not understand the Spanish commentary. There is only so much “Put it in the onion bag” and “The teams are the exact same team, just with different players” that I can bear. It was way better listening to the Goooooooooool when Ronaldo scored anyways. Here’s the only video I could find of Tommy, just to give you inkling to how bad he might be if he wasn’t reading from a script.

Next port of call was the gym, time to sort out when I was to DJ there. Up I hobble, the dodgy knee not taking kindly to the steps up to the gym, or the slight hill on my street, it was a struggle to say the least today for some reason. Rock, paper, scissors, how’s it going with big gay Jim, what was the story with the other day, rar diddy rar, oh I was meant to plough on and just play, cool cool, I know now at least, will I do it tomorrow for a couple of hours? Era shur, I’m a changed man, plough on! So, I broached getting refunded for the amount I had paid for the month in exchange for my immense DJ’ing skills, and a deal was struck. I am getting half of it back, and can pick what ever days I want to play a week (eh, just the one so I’d say Jim), and the gym would be back to being free for me. Nay too shabby. And the elusive, secret, Open Sesame way I now have if anyone questions my membership, is to just say “I DJ here”. Thats it. What a waste of paying for half the month. If anyone is in the neighborhood, I would highly recommend using my secret code to get themselves free gym. Ali Baba on!

With that sorted, I decided to hobble home and get back to my hefty list of things to do. My luck was out with the escalators (broken for about a week now, with the membership us members pay, it is about time they were fixed, ha), so had to hobble back down the steep flight of steps coming out of the gym. Steep steps are proving the biggest killer, if anyone can diagnose what is wrong with my knee from that information alone, please let me know. I eventually get down outside the gym and Sunset complex, at a big junction between my house and the gym, the green man is flashing to cross and the countdown is on. I have faith, I can make it across the road in 10 seconds, here I go.

And go I went, as fast as my knee would let me. It was killing me though so I was dragging my leg across the road. A car on the other side of the road got impatient and tried to cut across me and drive on but as they turned their option was to either hit me and drive on, or wait patiently and block the oncoming traffic. I was pottering along as fast as I could, but the car starts honking its horn at me. So, I slow down and look at the ape in the car. A blonde girl is driving the car and giving me a come-on-to-funk look, cross the road you hobbling ape. But she is not the one beeping. The dude in the passenger seat is beeping and also giving me a come-on-to-funk look, but more, if I was driving I would have drove over you at this stage. 

Obviously, I make sure to slow down, the horn is being beeped continuously by the guy, loud enough as well, so I put my hand to my ear and shrug my shoulders as if I can’t understand what the horn means or what he wants me to do. Cross what? Who? The road? Pardon me, I’m Irish, we don’t have these big roads at home. The other cars are now freaking at them now for blocking the road, the guy starts to give me the finger as I begin to hobble on again. I oblige and return the favour, thumbs up buddy, bending down slightly and leaning in towards the windscreen to make sure he sees. It is then when I notice it is my old buddy, old pal from the Hills, Ricky Bobby!!!

The fact that he had a hood on over his head meant I didn’t really see who it was until I peered in. I had a hood on too, so when I do peer in, I get the feeling he vaguely recognized my ape face and head from the drunken night in My House before, obviously he does not remember my name is Merrick, Eric or Omar. Or else he thought I might have actually been retarded by responding with a thumbs up, ha. Either way, next time he comes up to me in My House, there will be no high fives or sharing bottles of vodka, I am cutting him loose. 

Here is song of the day, which should’ve been used yesterday, seeing as Liverpool were knocked out of a cup competition. The last time they were, by Everton, wuu duu, there was a funny story to go along with the song. Weeks back, I was watching Everton play Liverpool in the F.A Cup. I had played this song on my laptop while having breakfast that day, and one of my roommates remarked how it was interesting that I liked that song and that band. Ok. So, I’m watching the match, my roommate comes back home from meeting her friend, who is now with her. How’s it going boss, big game on, give me a minute. He asks who’s playing, but as he does, Everton score in the last minute, last gasp winner, I am wuu huu’ing my way around the room (being an Everton fan) giving them high fives, hugs, great day, we beat Liverpool. It is then when I recognize the dude… the lead singer from this band, funking nuts! My first introduction to weirdness in L.A! After that long winded introduction, here’s the song… The Underdog by Spoon

It is a savage song, and they are a savage band. The song just came on my iTunes and if you did not gather, I wanted to include that story for ages, ha, hence the weak link, well worked really! The dude was sound, telling me about playing in Dublin with Interpol, not sure if many people in Ireland even know of them but Spoon on!!!!!