Lately, I have realised that besides food and drink, all the items I am looking into buying or have bought, are simply replacement purchases. Camera broke. Must buy a new one. Microwave needed. Must buy a new one. Microwave broke. Must buy a new one. George Foreman went missing. Must buy a new one. T-shirt ripped. Must buy a new one. Even though I don’t really like that t-shirt or wear it often. And have at least four of similar cut, style and colour. Still, must buy a new one. For peace of mind. Can’t have my mind at war over a t-shirt. Hark back to the scissors incident. Speaking of which, another replacement. Forgot my scissors. Must buy a new one. After last night, a new item has made it’s way onto the list. This is how I became a phoneless bum. Continue Reading »
At times it is a challenge to tie a series of random events together in one big bow of a blogaruu. Isolated events of oddness which just occur and end with no string attached. However, other times, these random events occur in a sequential order and all lead up to something. Saturday, running into Sunday, was one of those days. A match. A long train ride. A lack of seats. And a distracting thought about corn all tied together to lead up to an event. Which never ended up getting off the ground now I think about it. Back to the start… Continue Reading »
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.
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…
Dark Trance – Free Energy
Song which just popped up on my iTunes, odd enough, but good…
Up On Your Leopard, Upon The End Of Your Feral Days – Sunset Rubdown
Today, I realized a few things. Firstly, I have noticed that I have started to consciously swallow drinks. And, by that, I mean, I no longer just swallow water from a bottle or tea from a cup and get on with whatever I am doing. For some bizarre reason, I believe because I think that I have started to gulp loudly when I swallow, I make an effort to control the swallowing. Which, in turn, leads me to focus on swallowing after the third go, lets just say, and I inevitably gulp louder, get the liquid to go down the wrong tube, and I end up coughing, spluttering, and have to spit the water out. In case I choke. All makes perfect sense. To me. In my head. There is a reason for this nonsense.
Moving on, I have also realized, that the 16 block walk to the gym actually does bring up a few random stories. I had just been too anti-San Fran, probably missing L.A like the temptress that she is, to let myself observe the carry on. Unsurprisingly, for San Fran, there is a lot of homeless people on the gym route. Which provide a few interesting scenarios. Again, I was waiting at the lights to cross the road (a mighty place to observe life it seems) when I saw a couple at the other side of the road having a big fight. Screaming at each other. In Chinese. It was near impossible not to watch, or start to slow down walking wise to see what was going on.
The Chinese woman was freaking out for some reason, although I am only presuming she was, not speaking too much Chinese myself. She did not seem happy, giving me a nice dirty look as I walked up, maybe she was trying to say hello though. Again, the lack of Chinese was a barrier for me. They had a place set-up in the doorway of a bank, with all their stuff there, two shopping trolleys next to the make-shift bed. The Chinese man was backing off, shouting back a bit, but it was plain to see that the woman was kicking him out, of their doorway. They were now taking up the entire path, so she started physically kicking out at him to clear off, threw a blanket at him, then gave one last tirade in Chinese, and the guy gave me. She had kicked him out, he was gone. Across the road he went, to the bank on the other side of the street, and sat in that doorway, with his blanket. Few more words shouted over and back, and it died down. Fight over.
We were all able to go on our way. The path was clear. There were a few of us after building up on the path, waiting for them to finish up, so we could keep walking on. On we went, me drinking back some Red Bull, listening to see if I was gulping loudly for every drink. Few coughs, few splutters, and the can was almost gone. One last drink, and, conveniently, there was a bin to my right. In fairness, I did kind of stop suddenly, but I just noticed the bin, to my immediate right, as I took the last gulp. Stopped suddenly, stuck the can into the bin, but as I did, the person who had been walking right behind me, walked straight into me.
The last big mouthful sprayed out. Not really actually, more it filled up my mouth, caused me to splutter, then half sprayed, half snorted, out my mouth and nose, as I tried in vain to save a bit of dignity and hold it in. Should’ve let the spray just gracefully happen. Must have been quite a charming sight, if anyone had seen it. The person who had bumped into me was annoyed with me, for stopping. I was too covered in Red Bull to remember if I should’ve been annoyed with anyone, probably myself, but it all ended then and there. Continued on to the gym. This was getting more eventful, this was more like it.
Into the gym, did my bit, drinking back the water, needed to refill my bottle up at the water fountain, which is in the downstairs part of the gym. This gym is far quieter than the one in L.A, so you can take your time with the machines. And the fountain. I had a bit left in my bottle, might as well finish it off before I fill her up, so took another big gulp. With my iPod earphones on, I started to think that might be the reason why I was hearing stuff louder in my head, the earphones being on! Which, obviously, made me concentrate far too much on the gulp. And I have already described what happens. Cough, splutter, down the wrong pipe, out comes the liquid. Over the water fountain. Didn’t really get the spout part, but still nobody wants to see someone dribble back over the water fountain. Thankfully, I don’t think the person behind me, waiting for me to finish up, saw any of it. Either way, I gave it a quick rinse. Left it germ and dribble free.
Leaving the gym and walking home threw up one final piece to this tale. Two days ago, next to the gym, in the bright light of the evening, on a main street, I thought I saw a different homeless couple, getting cordial with each other. As in the full wack. Just with clothes on. Not fully sure, but I was 99% certain. Seeing as they were a foot away from me, in a doorway, while I knocked on the door of the gym, not realizing that it was closed early for a holiday here. I was pretty certain. Leaving the gym tonight, the same couple are sitting in the doorway, not on top of each other or positioned like they were last time. Just sitting side by side. With her hand somewhere. Blatant. Like a hammer.
All of this lead, kind of bizarrely, lead to a feeling of empathy for the homeless folk. For the following reason, which I could relate to, a bit. Kind of. Not that this has ever happened to me, obviously. However, do you remember when you lived at home, and a girl wanted to come around for, eh, a cup of tea? But you didn’t think the best place to bring the girl for a cup of tea, was to your place, for various reasons. You were left wondering, where should we go? Where could you go? Probably not their place, for the same reason. More than likely at the age where a cup of a tea in a hotel was too expensive, have you seen the prices, or you simply would not have thought of it. What were you to do? Have a tea party outdoors? Dodge. Fun once, perhaps, but after a while, probably get a cold. So, what are those without any home, meant to do? Not fair really. I know it is probably not top of their list of priorities, but still, amongst many other problems, that must annoy them.
I am not making fun of the homeless either, far from it. Just observations. I’ll wrap up by saying I got a bit of good news myself today. I now have a marketing company in L.A waiting for my sitcom pitch, to help me with my viral campaign. Plus, I have camera men and lighting crew waiting in the wings to help me out with making a scene or two. Wuu to the huu. Good to have the pressure on. Must get the script finished and get back there. Time is ticking! My Mastercard is running out! Oh Jesus. (That is meant to be a brutal dumb joke. But, now I think about it, it also makes sense. Take it in the dumb joke way. If you get it. Always fun feeling the need to explain a joke). The End.
Song of the day. This is a ridiculously good song, which hopefully will not be wrecked by drunken sing-alongs too soon. I am still scarred from hearing the people in the apartment below doing muffled karaoke for a few hours yesterday. They were horrendous. Mundy & Damien Rice were sang over and over, ruined a few good songs…
The Gardener by The Tallest Man On Earth
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)
Not much really happened today. Well as in there were no movie offers put in front of me, no celebrities hounding me, no producer offering me to make my sitcom, none of that usual stuff. I flew back to L.A, went food shopping, unpacked my bags, had a shower and that was about it. However, in between all that daily stuff, a good few funny incidents occurred. Most of the incidents were down to me being a fool, although I obviously did that on purpose, the day that was in it and all. As I’ve claimed many times before, I’m usually far smarter than it would appear, I swear.
I must say I was sad to leave San Fran in the end. Like any good ex who wanted you back would do, she slowly reminded me of the good times, wore me down and I ended up liking her a bit again in the end. I must thank my cousin and soon to be cousin-in-law for being immense hosts. However, seeing as I was going back to the passionate lover which is L.A, my sadness soon left once I was up in the air and on my way. If only I had fallen asleep for the flight. If only.
For some reason, I was fairly restless on this flight. I was very bored, in fact, and was looking for a distraction. My iPod wasn’t doing it for me, neither was my book. However, the lady in the seat one up and one across from me was, ha, so to speak. From the acute angle I had – mostly back of her head and slightly the side of her face, and body – she looked quite hot, even wearing a dodgy baseball hat. It was then when I noticed something which would annoy me enough to start the ball rolling. The tag of her hat was hanging down out of the hat, by mistake I presume. Not only this, but the tag in her t-shirt was sticking up, poking out of the top and almost touching the tag from the hat. Her hair was parted to each side as well, so it all looked a bit odd and stupid, to me at least. I had too much time and was too restless to bother to think all of this.
So, I let it go a few minutes. It soon got to me though, it was annoying me too much for some stupid, bizarre reason. Plus it would be a good ice-breaker to kill my boredom, me being so nice and all to tell her. I tap her on the shoulder, she pulls her earphones out of her ears, turns around with a ‘what does this idiot want’ look on her face, and I inform her “Sorry, your tags are out, they’re dangling out, ha, just thought I’d tell you.” I lean back into my chair, wait for her to check the tags, fix them, thank me ever so much, and the conversation was flowing. Instead, I get a look of excuse me?! and her asking me “Excuse me?!” She must not have heard me, or understood my accent, so I just say it louder, not clearer, just louder “Your tags…” pointing to my neck in the front first for some reason, then pointing to the back of my neck, then just pointing at her “… they’re out, looks funny enough, I thought you might want to fix them”. Again, no gratitude, but more dirty looks and questioning comments. I decide to let that horrendous attempt at starting conversation go, her loss and all that, she must be one of those who think I speak Russia when I speak normally.
I throw back on my iPod, put on my sunglasses and try to fall asleep. Half a song in, I get poked in the shoulder. Thinking someone has brushed off me down the aisle, I take no notice. When I get kind of pushed in the shoulder, it dawns someone wants my attention. I take off my sunglasses, and see a guy who looks like a lumber jack standing over me. “What the f**k did you say to my wife a minute ago? What the f**k are you talking to her about her body for? Stand up. Why are you looking at her tattoo?” Oh Jesus. Wife? Is this the husband from Mexico?!!! Oh Jesus.
It’s not, instead he seems to be the husband of the women with the tags dangling out, up and down. I never saw him a minute ago. “Stand up, answer me”. Oh Jesus. Do I stand up so he can knock me back down or what is the protocol here? I splutter out a “Eh, ah, ehhh, ahhh, what, what, what are you on about?” He points to his wife, restates his case, asks me stand up again. I start to stand up, he steps back to give me room, he is slightly smaller than me but he is built like a block of granite. A big block that is. I am trying to tell him “Tags, tags, TAGS!!!” as I stand, pointing to her neck, my neck, his elephant neck “TAAAAGSSS”, not tassive mits, tattoos or whatever else I’m trying to think he might have thought I said.
My final “tag” effort was unknowingly said in my best American accent, and it seems to sink in with him that, yes indeed, I have been speaking English all this time. His anger dies down a little as he recognizes an accent. “Where are you from?” Ireland. “Really, what part?” Cork. “Do you know Tipperary?” I do, Cork is near there (I don’t bother telling him one side of my family being from Tipperary, might you know them sort of thing, it didn’t seem to be the best time really). “My ex wife is from Tipperary, I couldn’t understand her either”.
Thank funk for that, this little nugget of unexpected information has cleared the air. I re-tell him about the tags, big misunderstanding, apologies, I’ll leave them dangling next time, oh I see your wife actually has a tattoo on her… that’s a lovely dolphin she has swimming through the two mountains, I couldn’t see that from my angle. Apologies, sorry, apologies, did you see Ireland got a draw against the Italians? No? Soccer? No? Doesn’t matter, up Tipp!!! He sees the funny side of it in the end, she still doesn’t but I was only trying to be nice all along. Nothing to do with her looking hot from the side, obviously.
I’ll have to finish off this post in the morning. I’m too wrecked now and half falling asleep. I’m not used to the early 10 o’clock starts. Song of the day is a song for what almost happened… Lights Out by Santigold.
I had another post from my final day in Meeheeko cleverly lined up to post itself, but as you will see if it ever does appear, I do not do clever so well. Until then, I will tell you about my momentous day today!
My trip to Mexico was a roaring success. As in so far as I’m back in America again, wuu huu. I had to fly back to San Fran, for appearance issues, and I’m heading back to L-Heeeey tomorrow night. I am funking pumped to say the least. My plan is to finish off (start) the writing assignments while I’m in San Fran now and be good to plough on with being more productive this time around in L.A.
So this morning, I set my alarm to get up early, I was focused, pumped, good day of work ahead of me, c’mon the writing flow!!! Alarm was set and good to go, 11.30, nice and early. About 11 o’clock, I am half woken up by the neighbours, in the apartment below, getting it on. Sweet lord they were going at it, I couldn’t believe it. Then again the wind does rattle the windows when it picks up. So seeing as the windows were rattling, walls were shaking and floor was hopping, I thought it must be a normal occurrence whenever they went at it like rabbits. One was dominating the other this morning though!!! I gave the floor two bangs with my runner – I’m sleeping, unless I can join in, it’s a bit early, !!! – and fell back to sleep.
When I get up to have breakfast, my cousin’s fiance mentions that I managed to sleep through it all. “I know!!” I tell her, “They were going at it a lot this morning, must’ve been make-up sex!!” I get a puzzled look in return “I meant you slept through the earthquake, what are you on about?” Oh, the earthquake, thats what I was on about too, obviously. How was I to know?! It was my earthquake, I’m so proud of it.
For some reason, the earthquake ruined my productive buzz I had saved up. I felt like I had accomplished something by having my first earthquake experience, so my edge was taken off, ha. Looks like it’ll have to be tomorrow before I finish (start) those writing assignments.
Has this ever happened to you? On your way to the gym, you stop off in the little Polish shop around the corner, where everything is dirt cheap, and buy a can of Red Bull. There is one left, not in the fridge, but on the shelf next to the one dusty can of tuna and one tin of Polish soup. It’s only a dollar, who cares if it’s nice and warm, dollar on!!! So as you’re drinking it, en route to the gym, you notice how much it doesn’t taste like Red Bull usually does. This tastes more like the watery beer you had in Mexico. Maybe though, thats what Red Bull tastes like when its not cold.
So you get to the gym and decide to start off with squats, you’re feeling pumped, throw on extra weights! However, on your way down on your first squat, you realise, oh jesus, my stomach, my god, that dodgy Red Bull! Barely able to put the weights back up, you sprint for the toilet, thank funk you get there just in time. You have your own little earthquake, plates move, that dodgy Red Bull is flushed out, leaving you feel pretty shook. You then inspect the can from the bin, sell by date is 12-02-2006, what year is this again?
Yeah, thats never happened to me either.
I must depart now though. I must get down to that Polish shop quick. I saw earlier that they’re having a big sale on lots of items – dirt cheap milk, eggs, chicken and cottage cheese!!! I hope I’m not too late!!!
First, before I go, here’s the apt earthquake/pump me up song that I was not listening to as I did not frantically run looking for the bathroom… You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC
Ha, here’s another song my buddy gave me to play for the earthquake… I Feel The Earth by Carole King