HELLO FEBRUARY

Forgive this momentary lack of pessimism that so fittingly has glazed this blog all these years. Happiness just happens to be bubbling out of me right now. It’s disgusting. I know. I’m a disgusting person right now. You have no idea. It’s horrible.

Where to start?  This year has been fucking amazing.

THE BOOKS:  I am supposed to read 15 books this year. So far I’ve read 1. I’m kind of behind already. I need to get on that. I have to finish one by the end of this month. It’s going to be hard. But I can do it. I believe in me. Maybe I’ll finally finish book 4 of Game of Thrones.

THE MOVE: I’m moving into a new place downtown. This has me excited. Also kind of nervous. There are crazy people downtown, and the streets smell like ass piss. BUT there are also amazing things about downtown, like not having to drive anywhere. And EVERYTHING delivers. Seriously… we can have a bottle of wine delivered to our door if we want. Restaurants and bars a few blocks from my house. We’re getting Amazon Fresh so that we can get groceries delivered.  I can’t wait. We’re in a loft. And it’s beautiful. I’m sure I’ll still have a lot to complain about. Like noisy neighbors and homeless people shitting on my doorstep. Also we don’t get internet hooked up for a week because FUCKING LA CABLE COMPANIES SUCK DONKEY DICKS ALL DAY — so I’ll have plenty of time to hit my February reading quota.

THE JOB: Has been going great. Learning a lot. I am really enjoying it here and actually look forward to going to work every day. My employers are all amazing people. It’s been a good thing. It takes me an hour in bumper to bumper traffic on the 10 to get to work every morning… and I still look forward to Monday’s. I’m insane.

THE MONEY: I think I’m saving? Either that or I have grand illusions of saving money. I’m not actually getting into the saving saving part yet… I’m still in the slowly pay off my debts phase. Also this move is taking a lot of my money. But… i will work harder on not spending a dime I don’t need to.  I haven’t bought any shoes this year… so that’s saving… right?

THE GIRL: Miss Orlando came to LA for a 5 day visit and it was absolute perfection. She’s moving here to go to school in a few months and this is probably the real root of all my disgusting happiness. We are so gross. Like… if I saw us walking down the street I would be like… eww. That’s how happy we are. It’s seriously disgusting.

THE WRITING: Writing has gone really slow the past few weeks because GIRL and MOVE… but I am so ready to buckle down. I’m halfway through the 2nd round of rewrites and the script is shaping up beautifully. I think after this there will be just one quick touch-up and then I can send it off for notes! So exciting.

ALSO — some places I’ve eaten recently in LA.

Sugarfish – Some fucking fantastic sushi. It was like butter. Just melted on my tongue. It was so fucking good. You have to go. They have a few locations around LA. We got the NOZAWA TRUST ME for only $35. You get like… 9 different items brought to your table one by one. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Casual atmosphere with fancy food.

Westside Tavern – This has been one of my favorite places for a long time. They have great drinks. I recommend the Old Fashionable. They also have a killer Mac and Cheese, a fantastic Calamari, and right now one of their specials is a tuna Poke that is absolutely to die for. They used to have a braised short rib that was orgasmic, I don’t think it’s on their Feb menu. Their flat breads are always amazing. They have a chicken liver mousse — which if you’re daring is so fucking delicious. The humus is so good. Basically everything you have here is so good. The atmosphere is great. Try and grab a table by the window for some people watching. Good for a group, work meeting, or a date.

Laurel Tavern – This place is heaven to me. I used to live near it and it’s been my favorite pub ever since.  A gastropub with an amazing drink selection and even better food. The Pork Belly Skewers literally melt into cream in your mouth. The Steamed Pei Mussels are buttery — dip the toast into the broth and die. The fries are so good. And if you really want to just throw up utter satisfaction all over the place — grab an order of chorizo sliders. Fucking Killer. Wash it all down with a great beer and you won’t be able to get out of your chair.  They also have great burgers. And if you’re not that hungry get their pretzel. So soft — a great snack with a beer.  They recently revamped their whole menu so there are a lot of new items I haven’t tried yet.

Lemon Poppy Kitchen – Some of the most fantastic breakfast food you will ever have. They have curried breakfast potatoes with two eggs on top. It’s … I’m getting too excited. I can’t take it. Everything at the place is amazing. It’s in the middle of nowhere in a ghetto shopping center and it’s seriously the best. It’s always packed and you’ll have to wait for seating most of the time. But it’s worth it. So worth it. Really good for a weekend brunch. I really want the owners to revamp the place. It’s too small and shitty for such good food.

800 Degrees Pizza – Really Great Pizza. Hated the atmosphere. There is no assigned seating and you walk past the make line to order. It’s like an upscale Subway for Pizza. But this causes a ton of crazy people to start fighting over seating. And if you read this blog, you know I pretty much hate people.  Way too chaotic for me. But the pizza was really good — so at least they have that going for them. Don’t know if I’ll return.

Duck Dive Gastropub – This is a little cool spot in Malibu. Nothing fancy near the beach… it’s in a little shopping center. They open right before lunch, so you can go to the coffee shop next door and get a latte and then browse a little bookstore nearby (which contains some epically old and rare books) and then head over to Duck Dive for a nice lunch. They have a really good mac and cheese and their fries are amazing. We got the taco’s which were okay… nothing to write home about. I’ve had their lentil burger before. It was tasty as far as lentil burgers go. I would go again just to try out more of their menu. Not ready to fall in love with it — but a good casual lunch spot if you’re in Malibu.  Their bartenders and wait staff were very nice people. Great service.

There you go! Try out some new places to eat! And if there is somewhere you would like me to try in LA — PLEASE TELL ME. I fucking love eating.

Why I Love LA #1: The Food

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LA gets a lot of shit for a lot of different reasons. Some people love it. Some people hate it. Some people love to hate it but really love it.

I’m sure some of the first things that come to mind when someone says “LA” is traffic and crime. Well, first off, according to this article, LA has dropped in crime for the 10th year in a row. I’m not going to heavily research the facts in that article, but I’m trusting it has some validity. So there you have it… LA’s not that dangerous. As for the traffic… yeah, it’s fucking horrible — don’t let it get you down.

This place only started to grow on me in the last 6 months. For a long time I felt this town was trying its hardest to shit on me. Coming from a small town my whole life — LA was intimidating to say the least. I moved here with basically nothing. Survival mode. But I feel I’m settling in. And I really don’t see myself living anywhere else. I’m starting to love it. It’s beginning to feel like home.

One reason I love LA is because of the food. Some of the best food I’ve ever had in my life comes from this town. I’m not going to go touting that LA is the best place in the world to eat — because I haven’t lived in that many places — but this guy says it pretty well.

The Hungry Metropolis

Yeah, that post was written 4 years ago. But it still holds up.  Or take this post written this past year, highlighting our very own Chef Roi Choi.

Why Los Angeles Is the Best Food Town in America

Did I read both of those articles all the way through? Hell no. But I have eaten in this town. And coming from living somewhere with nothing but chain restaurants… I love eating in LA.

You like burgers? LA has some amazing ones — Including The Office Burger — which finds itself on many lists of the best burgers in America. Just don’t ask for ketchup. They will not give it to you. I promise.

You like Tacos? In this slideshow of the 35 best taco’s in America, at least 6 of them are in Los Angeles. Including their #1 : Ricky’s Fish Tacos.

How about Sushi? I’ve had sushi at 3 or 4 places in LA and they were all amazing. This article puts the top 2 hottest sushi restaurants in America right here in LA. I haven’t been to either — but you better bet I’m going to Sugarfish sometime in the next month.

Who says you can’t get a good pizza in LA? According to this article you can. Yeah… it’s not walk out of your apartment and grab an amazing New York Slice — I mean, it’s LA, of course we’re not going to compete with NY Pizza — no one can. But Pizzeria Mozza is making top 10 lists… so I say we’re doing okay.

Have you heard of Food Trucks? LA is the OG of the food truck scene. Some cities might have caught the trend with style — but we did it first. And LA still has a HOST of food trucks that will cook you up whatever you can think of.

No matter what food you like, you will find somewhere in LA that serves it — and they’ll probably serve it well. We may not top all the charts when it comes to dining, but it’s still a great city for a foodie. Four years ago Esquire put us at #5. Who knows where we are now.  In Esquire’s 21 best new restaurants of 2013 – LA has 3 of them (Marina Del Ray is still LA).

So there you have it. Come to LA and eat a lot of food.

2014: A New Year and New Resolutions

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In my new year post of 2013, my #1 resolution was to read more. In 2011 I read 1 book. In 2012 I read 5 books. (I know my 2013 resolution post said I read 6 books in 2012… not sure where I got that number, because according to goodreads… it was 5) Wait for it… in 2013 I read 12 books! (I know my goal was 15 books… but let’s ignore that little tidbit for now). I jumped from 5 books to 12. I’m pretty happy with that. So, continuing on with this new tradition… one of my 2014 resolutions is, again, to read 15 books.

2014 NEW YEAR RESOLUTION #1: READ 15 BOOKS

In my 2013 post I also talked about writing more. I had just come off 6 months of basically not writing anything. It was depressing. I’m happy to say in 2013 I managed to somehow finish an original hour-long drama pilot screenplay. We’re in re-writing stages now, but it’s looking really good and has me very excited. So, since I see this screenplay shaping up nicely in the next month or so, another one of my goals for 2014 is to have a second original pilot completed by the end of the year.

2014 NEW YEAR RESOLUTION #2: TWO POLISHED ORIGINAL PILOTS

Now, something I’ve thought about recently is how I have absolutely no money saved. I recently got a job that will (hopefully) last me a while. This gives me a steady paycheck, and the best thing about a steady paycheck is guaranteed income, and something you can do with guaranteed income is — make a budget. I haven’t really calculated how much money I want or can save this year… but now my savings are at $0. So, by the end of this year, I want something to be in that savings account.

2014 NEW YEAR RESOLUTION #3: BUDGET AND SAVE

In my previous New Years post I also said not to waste your resolutions on false hopes like quitting smoking… turns out in 2013 I also quit smoking. Funny how that worked.

Some great things happened at the end of 2013. Quit a job I hated. Got a job I love. Finished the 1st draft of a pilot. Lets hope this string of luck continues into the New Year! And if 2013 was a shitty year for you, than it can’t get much worse, can it?

2014 — Read More. Write More. Save More.

What are your resolutions?

2013 in Books

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If you want to be a better writer — READ! I read 12 books in 2013. Here they are.

The Saxon Stories by Bernard Cornwell

In the middle years of the ninth-century, the fierce Danes stormed onto British soil, hungry for spoils and conquest. Kingdom after kingdom fell to the ruthless invaders until but one realm remained. And suddenly the fate of all England and the course of history depended upon one man, one king.

In 2013 I read books 3-6 in the Saxon Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell.  I want to say they average around 300-400 pages. The central character in these books is a warrior named Uhtred of Bebbanburg. Born a Saxon, raised a Dane, these are stories of savage warfare and how history was shaped in what would become England. As of now I’ve read all but 1 book in the series. I’m sure Cornwell will be writing more of these.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers.

I had planned on reading this book for a while. The fact they were turning it into a movie made me finally open it up. I enjoyed it. I took it out early this past year. But I never saw the movie. Classic Sci-fi.

A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin

Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

This past year I finished book 3, A Storm of Swords, in George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire… which you probably know by the name A Game of Thrones.  I have started book 4 already… but I took a break half way through it to finish some other books that have sat in my library. I will pick the series back up this year.

The Dark Tower by Stephen King

Set in a world of extraordinary circumstances, filled with stunning visual imagery and unforgettable characters, The Dark Tower series is King’s most visionary feat of storytelling, a magical mix of science fiction, fantasy, and horror that may well be his crowning achievement.

I have been told by so many people that I need to read this series. I finally gave in. I love it. It’s fantastic. It can be kind of weird at times… but just like King was growing as an author during the writing of this series, the reader also grows. I just recently finished book 4 and it was the best one yet. I will be starting book 5 shortly! I can’t wait.

Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian

This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, R.N., and Stephen Maturin, ship’s surgeon and intelligence agent, against a thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of a life aboard a man-of-war are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the roar of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.

Master and Commander: Far Side of the World is one of my favorite movies. So, naturally, I decided to read the book. This is the first book in a series spanning 21 novels. It is my plan to read all of them someday. I hope to start book 2 sometime this year. Among all my other series I need to finish.

Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead by  Neil Strauss

You can tell a lot about somebody in a minute. If you choose the right minute. Here are 228 of them.

I usually don’t read books like this… but it was given to me so I gave it a try. It’s a very insightful book about fame and madness. This book contains excerpts from hundreds of interviews Neil Strauss has conducted over his career with celebrities and musicians. Basically after I read this book, I realized every famous person is fucking crazy. If you want to read about how crazy people are… pick this one up.

The Best TV of 2013 (according to me)

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I watch a shit ton of television… so I hope I don’t leave anything out. I found making this list VERY hard. Every show is good for a different reason. There was SO much good TV happening this year… I don’t even know where to start. HAHA! Who am I kidding — I know EXACTLY where to start.

1. Breaking Bad (AMC)  – Our favorite meth cooking science teacher takes first place. If you haven’t heard of Breaking Bad, you probably haven’t been living on this planet for the past few years. I have been obsessed with this show from the pilot (although I didn’t even hear about it until season 3).  I even wrote a little WATCH THIS NOW post back in 2010. This year we saw the show come to an end… and I loved every episode (except “The Fly”… don’t hate me for it.). This is one of the best written (and shot) shows I’ve ever seen. It will go down in history as one of the best TV shows ever made. If you haven’t watched… do it now.  Like… stop reading this and go watch it. Now.

2. Game of Thrones (HBO) – I’m pretty obsessed with this series. I read the books. I watch the episodes the minute they’re done airing on the east coast. This year we got to see season 3… and I’m DYING to see season 4. I’m so obsessed. I sometimes sing the theme song for no reason at all. Just because. It’s awesome. If you’ve shied away from the GoT bandwagon… it’s time to jump on. Just do it. You know you want to. Do it.  Doooooo ittttt.

3. House of Cards (NETFLIX) – This year Netflix hit us with the first season of their brand new political drama House of Cards. To be honest, I really wasn’t expecting something this good… and then I fucking binge watched the season in 2 days. It’s amazing. It’s so amazing. Season 2 will be released in its entirety on February 14, 2014.  Not only is this one of the best shows to hit us in 2013 — it’s one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. Go get a Netflix account. Now.

4. The Americans (FX) – This show is fucking great. Antiheroes are so in right now… and what’s better than having your two main characters be KGB spies living in America during the cold war?! Yes… this show is just as awesome as it sounds. One minute you’re rooting for the main characters… the next minute they shoot an innocent person in the head and torture an FBI agent. It’s great. If you haven’t watched it… there is time to catch up before season 2 airs on February 26, 2014.

5. Downton Abbey (BBC) – How can a British period drama about an aristocratic family and their servants be so good? I have no idea. No, like… I literally have no idea why this show is so good. It just is. I started watching it on a whim, and now it’s one of my favorite shows. I can’t explain it. I’m fucking hooked. It’s like a really really really well produced soap opera. It’s so good. Please watch it.  You’ll thank me.

6. The Borgias (SHO)  – This was one of my favorite shows. I loved it! Sex, violence, and intrigue in the Vatican. But then they cancelled it and didn’t even make a final episode for “closure”. I’m pissed at them. I have to rate it this high… but I don’t know if I can seriously tell you to start watching it… You’ll get hooked and then be left unsatisfied.  I don’t want that to happen to you like it happened to me.

7. Veep (HBO) – Funniest show on television. I haven’t watched an episode without laughing my ass off. It’s that good.  Just… watch it.

8. Homeland (SHO) – I keep wanting this show to be good. But it’s starting to slip further and further down in my favorite show lists. I still really like it. But it’s not as addicting as it used to be.

9. Sons of Anarchy (FX) – I want to hate this show. It’s about a biker gang for fucks sake. But it’s so good — I just can’t stop watching. And they do some really fucked up shit in this show. In 2013 we saw season 6… and when I finished watching the season finale I felt sick inside. And I feel like I’m pretty immune to “shocking” finales… but damn. They got me. This show can get pretty fucked up. AND I LOVE IT.

10. The Fall (BBC)  – Not many people have heard of this show.  It’s a crime drama starring Gillian Anderson.  There are only 5 episodes in the first season… but the show depicts one of the most realistic profiles of a serial killer I have ever seen. It’s disturbing how it makes you “feel” for the serial killer. I really enjoyed this show, and I think it deserves more recognition than it gets.  Season 2 can’t come soon enough.

11.  American Horror Story (FX) – I fucking love this show. I love it so much I’m kind of confused as to why I’m putting it all the way down here at number eleven. Like I said…  there are a ton of good TV shows these days. We just got to see most of season 3 of American Horror Story… and I’m really liking it.  Not every episode is great… but it’s a really fun ride. The scoring and editing are brilliant. It’s just damn good fun. And there is nothing bad about that.

12. Mad Men (AMC) – We saw season 6 of Mad Men this year. Yes… it’s a great show. Everyone knows it. I’m not as big a fan of Mad Men as everyone else in the world —  but it’s extremely well written. Scarily well written.  Almost “too” well written. Sometimes I just find the show really depressing. But I keep watching. It’s like a bad drug.

13. Justified (FX) – Again… I don’t know why I am putting Justified so low… I think it has some of the best writing in TV. This year we saw season 4.  I don’t think the show is as good as it used to be… But it used to be fucking amazing. Season 2 was so good.  I’m actually still catching up on the latest season…. but for now I’m putting this show at number thirteen.

14. Archer (FX) – Archer deserves to be higher up. It’s fucking brilliant. But it’s animated… and I just can’t bring myself to put it above other live action dramas. But I had to put it at least here… because it’s so fucking good.  So. Fucking. Good.

15. The Bridge (FX) – The Bridge started off really strong. I got super into it. I feel it kinda lagged a bit towards the end. But it’s still a really strong show. Plus I’m absolutely in love with Diane Kruger. She’s amazing. So Amazing. Def will watch season 2.

16. Masters of Sex (HBO) – I just started watching this show a few weeks ago and I’m already done with the first (and only) season. I pretty much binge watched the whole thing in a week. It’s really good and definitely worth a watch… but I don’t find the show as interesting as the other shows above it.

17. Dexter (SHO) – Dexter used to be amazing. Every time a new season came on I was like… there is no way this season can be good. But it was. I enjoyed every single season. The end of this latest (and last) season started to get really strange… and then I heard the season finale was horrible. I actually never watched the very last episode… and I feel it’s too late to watch it. So I’ll probably never watch the last episode.  But it still ranks as one of my favorite shows of all time. Somewhere.

18. Modern Family (ABC) – I literally just started watching this show yesterday. For the first time. And I find it hilarious. So I had to put it on here somewhere. It’s really good. But I’m in season 1… so I don’t really think it belongs here. But … here it is.

19. Vikings (History) – I also binge watched this show for the most part. I remember really liking it. So in all honesty it probably deserves to be higher in my list. I’m just really into this type of shit. I’m not sure how good of a show it really was. But I enjoyed it. Will def watch season 2.

20. The Killing (AMC) – I’ve had my ups and downs with this show. I loved it… then I hated it….then I loved it. I think when this last season ended I was still loving it. But it’s not the best thing on TV. Still … they had those episode cliffhangers down… and I was always left wanting more.

21. Orange is the New Black (NETFLIX) – Okay… this show is awesome. There is just something about it that made me not finish it. I WILL finish the first season. I just… can’t bring myself to do it right now. I think I have like … 3 episodes left. It’s good… stop yelling at me. I know it’s good.

22. Girls (HBO) – This show used to be awesome. It got weird.  I still watch it.  

23. Face Off (SYFY) – Good reality show. I really like it. But It’s reality… so there is no way it’s going above my other shows.

24. Enlightened (HBO) – I could never figure out if I loved or hated this show. But I watched all of it. Loving and hating at the same time. But now it’s cancelled. So fuck it.

25. The Walking Dead (AMC) – So this is the most popular show on TV. Why is it so far down on my list? I have no idea. I just don’t really like it. And I LOVE zombies. I just… I think I HATE every single character on this show. I want every single one of them to die. All of them. Kill them ALL and get a new cast.

The Best Movies of 2013 (according to me)

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Here is a list of movies that came out in 2013 (that I saw) and where they rank according to me.  And Django, Le Mis, Zero Dark Thirty and Lincoln all came out in 2012… so I don’t know why they’re showing up on all the best movies of 2013 lists. They don’t count here. There are also a ton of movies that came out this year that I still haven’t seen that are making the lists… so if it’s not on here, there is a very good chance I just haven’t seen it. So here it is. The best movies of 2013 according to me.

1. Gravity – The movie doesn’t rank the best in every class… but it was by far the best theatrical experience I had all year. Seeing the movie in IMAX 3D is something I will never forget. It was spectacular — and thus receives my number 1.

2. Prisoners – This movie is fucking phenomenal.  It’s super dark. Super serious. And super fucked up. The ending. Omg. You HAVE to see this movie. Hands down one of the best of the year.

3. Elysium – There was so much I loved about this movie. Apparently not everyone received it as well as I did, but I’m a sucker for the realistic looking sci-fi. The film felt so raw and dirty. The tech was great and the violence was appropriately horrible.

4.The Conjuring – I’ve never been a huge horror movie fan, but this one was getting such good reviews I couldn’t pass it up. So much fun! It probably wouldn’t rank as high if I was an avid horror fan, but because it surprised me so much it’s taking number 4.

5. Captain Phillips – I potentially could have bumped this film up higher, but I saw it back to back with Gravity, so my endorphins had already been drained. The acting in the movie was amazing. It deserves my number 5 spot for Hanks performance in the last scene alone.

6. Pacific Rim – So the dialogue was a little on the nose… I didn’t come here for great acting. I came for robots beating this shit out of aliens. And holy shit did this film deliver. Bad ass. Guillermo is one of my favorites.

7. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – I’m a big Tolkien nerd. So here this is. Still not a fan of 48fps. It could have ranked higher… it could have ranked higher….

8. Pain and Gain – I thought this movie was pretty damn funny. Wahlberg and The Rock were hilarious. Definitely enjoyed it. Better than you think it’s going to be.

9. Blue Jasmine – I love me some Cate Blanchett. This movie is darker than it looks. Watch it.

10. American Hustle – This was a good movie. Well acted. I don’t think I’m as big of a David O. Russell fan as most people are. Didn’t think Silver Linings was that amazing either. Don’t get me wrong… I think they’re both good movies… but I rated Pain and Gain higher than American Hustle… so…

11. This is the End – Super funny and super stupid. Even though it’s number 11 on my list, it’s number 1 as far as comedy is concerned.

12. Star Trek: Into Darkness – This was a fun movie to see in 3D. But overall I felt a little disappointed at the end. Wasn’t as good as I built it up to be.

13. We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks – Very insightful documentary on the whole wikileaks fiasco.

14. World War Z – I blame part of this being so low on my list on environment.  I saw it at a shitty theater, with no 3D, after working a full day. Other than my total lack of enthusiasm going into it,  the plot didn’t really work for me. I enjoyed the last act more than the first 2.

15. Dirty Wars – Good doc. Kinda. Great message, bad execution. Will open your eyes to government secret ops and drone warfare… but the narrator/main character comes off a bit like a pretentious ass.

16. The World’s End  – Funny movie… but by the end I really wanted it to end.  I don’t know what to say besides that. Good, but not too good.

17. Stoker – Weird movie. Fucked up. I liked it.

18. The Kings of Summer – Funny, touching movie. Nothing amazing, but worth a watch. I usually don’t get to see these indie type movies as I’m drawn to the big ones, but I saw it and enjoyed it.

19. Fast and Furious – Stupid fun action. I don’t know what to say. I probably enjoyed this one more than most of the franchise because I felt they finally accepted the ridiculousness of the past films. I feel they tried to push the boundaries of retarded, but did it knowing they were doing it. I didn’t feel cheated… I was along for the ride.

20. Man of Steel – Okay. The plot of this movie I found very… frustrating. The characters were stale. But the fight scenes were pretty intense in IMAX 3D. So I enjoyed the hell out of those. The rest of the movie was forgettable.

21. 42 – Good movie. Not really super into baseball. But a good movie.

22. The Act of Killing – Disturbing documentary. Hard to get through. If this was a list of only documentaries I would rank it pretty high, but it’s not, so it’s number 22.

23. 2 Guns  – I saw this movie on a whim. It wasn’t bad. But it wasn’t good. It was like… generic. It was funny sometimes. Had great acting. But… meh. Just a stale plot I think. I don’t know.

24. Iron Man 3 – Any other person would probably place this higher on their list, but I was so… disappointed. The whole plot didn’t work for me. I felt cheated. The only thing carrying this movie was the acting… but the story was so fucked — I won’t let RDJ alone carry it up my list. (Even if he’s amazing.)

25. The Wolverine – Went in with high hopes. Left with more crushed dreams. Outside of a few great action sequences (train), I didn’t care for it. By the end… I just wanted to leave the theater.

Crazy Pills

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I sometimes just visit this site and stare at it. I want to write a post, I’m just not exactly sure what to write about. I figure it’s been a while since I posted something… so I’m just going to start writing and we’ll see where it goes. If there is anything specific you’d like me to write about — see that “ask me a question” tab at the top?

It seems I tend to write posts when I’m angry or irritated. I guess that’s because I find writing as a sort of release. If I’m upset at something, it helps to write about how I feel. After I’m done writing about whatever it is that’s bothering me — the tension seems to go away. Whether it’s about bitchy people, ignorant people, or what not to put on a fucking resume, I amuse myself by turning my feelings into witticisms… or at least what I think are witticisms.  If I can take something really fucking irritating or depressing and make myself laugh by writing about it… it’s almost like therapy. (But I’ve never been to therapy, so how the fuck would I know. )

I guess that’s called passion. Writing about something that deeply moves you. Whether it’s hate, love, or depression. These are the emotions that fuel all types of art. Most of the time I guess I don’t feel strongly about anything… so I don’t find there is really anything to write about… but as proof of me writing this —  if you just start writing the words seem to come out anyway.

The new job is going well. I’m an assistant at a very small production company with a project going through post. I kind of feel like I’m not doing enough. I’ve been busting ass in production for so long… give me an hour of no responsibility and I start getting paranoid that I’m not doing my job correctly. I think the phone rings about twice a day.  Which I answer IMMEDIATELY … of course. I get mail. Go on random runs. (The other day I picked up a shit ton of cat food and returned some pillows.) I clean and organize things… One upside to the lack of my current responsibility is the time to write. This morning I got into the office, made coffee, and wrote for 2.5 hours without interruption before going on my first chore for the day. I call that a Tuesday success story.

I’ve started taking my first steps into the rewriting phase of this pilot. I finished it — so that’s good. But I’m not happy with it. I’m about half way through turning my “vomit” draft into something I would actually let someone else read for notes.  My first step was to just diarrhea creative thought onto the page in order to get through scenes and finish the damn thing. Now I’m basically just starting from the beginning and rewriting every sentence keeping in mind that someone else has to read and understand what the hell any of it means.  Of course, in going through it again, I see things that aren’t working. Scenes that need major improvement. Characters that make no sense. Horribly cheesy dialogue.  So as I nitpick my way through I’m trying to fix most of these problems…. at least temporarily. After I get all they way through, I’m going to give it one more once over just to see if it flows decent enough… then I’ll hand it over to my writing partner and have him do a pass. After he’s done,  I’ll read it and we’ll have a creative meeting and go from there.

I need to get this shit done fast. I’ve been reading deadline (which, if you work in the industry you should probably scan through the headlines on deadline at least 2-3 times a day) and a few shows are being announced with similar themes to the show I’m working on. It doesn’t necessarily scare me… as I feel these shows are paving the way for the show I’m working on… but I feel like a window might be opening that I want to jump through before it snaps back shut. Which makes me think, why the hell am I writing THIS when I could be working on my pilot.

Ups and Downs – Doom and Destiny

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I was facing unemployment. My spirits were low. I was creating a spreadsheet of my financials — which I aptly titled “How Bad I’m Fucked”. Then a miracle happened. Right as we were wrapping out the production office a new show was starting down the hall — and I overheard the UPM saying they needed a writer’s PA.

Holy — fucking — shit — balls.

That fabled job. My white whale. My Helen of troy. My holy grail. And this wasn’t just some show — this was a BIG NAME produced SERIES for a MAJOR NETWORK. The job would last for over a year — just for the first season. So I hustled my way into scoring an interview. And landed that motherfucker. I had good references. Great work history. A working knowledge of the lot and the surrounding city. A passion for the craft. Everything was lining up perfectly. The interviewer caught himself saying “When you’re hired.” instead of “if you’re hired”. I even had a colleague who knew the show runner and put in a good word. I had this motherfucking cat in the motherfucking bag. No one could stop me.

The gods laughed.

Sometimes all that hard fucking work — the ass busting,  the schmoozing, the blood, sweat, and tears —  just doesn’t mean shit or hold any god damn weight in this industry. And there is a word for it — NEPOTISM. Not a lot of people like to talk about it — but it’s there. And to give them credit — maybe it wasn’t nepotism. Maybe someone interviewed who was more qualified… who fit better than I. Writer’s PA jobs are notorious for snatching up sons and daughters of the high and mighty. But what are you gonna do? If your EP or one of your writers “suggests” that you to hire someone… why take a risk on pissing that person off for the cost of a measly PA job? It happens all the time. It’s called a political hire — and I’m pretty sure I got politically fucked right out of a job.

I know I shouldn’t have let it bother me. Shrug it off! But I have to be honest — I was fucking depressed. I pretty much locked myself in my room for a week. Here I was… having worked in LA for almost three years. Busting ass in production. WAITING for that chance to move my professional life in the right direction. (I do not want to be a coordinator.) And BAM! the job I needed to make the connections to take me forward in the creative world was destroyed in one single email. “We’ve decided to go with another candidate.” I fell apart. I was so depressed I didn’t even want to watch the new episode of American Horror Story. YEAH! That depressed.

Then after one week of unemployment and depression I got a call and landed a job as an assistant to a big name writer in the biz.

Such is life and the revolving door of doom and destiny.

That’s a Wrap and 504s

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With the joys of being back in scripted freelance come the woes of being back in scripted freelance. The show I’m working on is wrapping out — just in time for the slow-as-fuck holiday season. Finding a job this time of year is near impossible. But I guess that is what unemployment is for. Here’s to finding my next gig! In the mean time I have a pilot draft to finish. On page 30 for those who are keeping count.

Side note — apparently some of my readers are getting 504s when visiting the site. I don’t know what is wrong. Let me know if you’re having any problems. Trouble shooting now.

Procrastination and Excuses aka The Writing Update

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I’ve been a real piece of shit when it comes to writing and I’m starting to piss myself off. If you’ve read all my posts, you’re probably just as confused as I am about what I’m writing and where it’s all gone. So for a quick catch-up —  Lets take a trip down memory lane.

When I started this blog I was working on a Zombie Apocalypse feature. I got as far as laying out the basic structure and writing the first 15 or so pages before —

I got a new writing parter and immediately went to work on a thriller.  We actually finished that screenplay. We never did re-writes and it’s wallowing in 1st shitty draft mode somewhere on my computer. Will I go back to it someday? Who knows. I ended up moving to LA shortly after and the writing partner and I, understandably, went our separate ways, but —

Before I moved to LA, my writing partner and I worked on a short together that actually got produced. It was an interesting learning experience and —

While working on this short we got produced, I was also starting to beat out a new screenplay about an alien. I think I got halfway through the first act before I really started getting lost. I don’t really remember when I gave up on it… but I did. And shortly after —

I moved to LA! And then I immediately went back to work on the Zombie Apocalypse script. I pretty much flew through Act 1… and got lost again.  Are we seeing a pattern here? But then —

I worked on a feature and realized I might have better luck writing a lower budget screenplay.  It was a dark comedy and I fucking flew through the 1st Act again… and amazingly got through the first half of the second act. But then I hit the midpoint. More trouble.  But I was committed.  I worked on it off and on, and decided to set a goal for myself by aiming to have a decent draft done in time to submit to the Nicholl Fellowship. HAHA! No. Of course that didn’t happen.  So —

I missed that deadline and got wind of another competition that caught my interest. It was being held by the writers store. Basically I had to write the first 15 pages of a log-line provided to me.  This was a really fun project. I didn’t place in the top 10, but I had a lot of fun just writing those 15 pages. I really had to clean it up and make it the very best it could be. One of my first experiences doing rewrites and rewording. My script wasn’t chosen for god knows what reason. But I still think it was some of the more polished work I’ve done.

Then shortly afterwards I took that year-long job in hell where I basically neglected everything in life. And even though I admitted it early this year… for the continuation of that job I still neglected writing. I’ve been frustrated and burnt out. However I was dabbling in a pilot script from time to time. One I think I’ve called The Dark Pilot.  Up to this point everything I’ve done has been spec features. But I’ve realized I watch WAY more TV than movies. I’ll save that topic for a future post, but basically the point of this post is —

I’ve been pretty horrible at writing. As you can see, I’ve completely shied away from writing posts about screenwriting… because what do I have to say about it? Why should any of you listen to what I have to say about writing if I can’t even finish a fucking thing. They say the number 1 mistake a new writer makes is NOT WRITING. I make that mistake almost every day. But I do want to change.

I quit that job in hell on a daytime TV show. I’m back working in the world of scripted, and I think it’s invigorated me. In the short two months I’ve been back in scripted I have met people I could totally hand over a polished screenplay to. People who would read it if I asked. Not only that, but people in a place to actually do something about it.  I’ve been reading screenplays again, and I’ve been writing.

I’m not going to say, “This is it! This is the energy I’ve been looking for! This time I will finish something great!” Because I don’t want to lie to you, and I don’t want to lie to myself. But I blog on a website titled 12ptCourier… and what is the point if I don’t keep my readers appraised of my writing struggles.

So, if you’re wondering. Here is the real update on all my writing projects.

Zombie Apocalypse – Started out as a feature. Then I tried to develop it into a web mini series. Last left off I was going to write and direct it myself and shoot it up in Michigan off a kick-starter campaign. Currently it’s just a concept… and needs further thought.

Thriller – Still sitting in first draft mode on my computer. No current plans to revise.

Alien Feature – 1st Act finished. No current plans to continue.

Dark Comedy – 1st and 2nd act finished. Having major problems figuring out how to end it. Currently sitting untouched for a few months. Still have plans to finish this one. Not working on it at the moment. Check back later.

Sci-Fi – First 15 pages done. No current plans to write the entire feature… but something I may come back to. Still think it’s a bad ass concept.

The Dark Pilot – This is where my current energies are completely focused.  I busted out 15 pages last night alone. The major character arcs for the entire season have been placed. The major beats for the pilot have been set.  The plot points for the first three episodes have been roughly outlined. Current plans are to get a polished version of the pilot finished to send out for notes as soon as I can.

So in closing, if you’re having trouble finishing something, know that you’re not alone. But also know that there really aren’t any excuses. You’re just really bad at this. Like me. And the only thing we can do is accept it and strive to be better.