the awesome/terrifying freedom

out here, somewhere, figuring it all out.

my unproduced short films part 1:

spoof of crash.

open with: me at a party. one of the guests asks me what i thought of 'crash,' and i immediately launch into a tirade of how much i hated it, despised it, how the racial issues were simplistic, how much it was like easy, convenient emotional rape, and if there was one more ironic conicidence by which a character 'learns a lesson' i would drive to hollywood and shoot paul haggis myself.

cut to:

me in a car crash being saved by a guy in a 'crash' video box costume.

me: no! not you! anyone but you!


accidentally erased my entire blog template and hit 'publish.' will have to rebuild!

the apple store opening

like a total geek i waited in line for 3 hours to be among the first people into the new apple store on 5th avenue. the first 2400 people in would get a free special edition tshirt, and every hour they would give away a new macbook. i hung out in the store for 3 hours hoping to win. i didn't. i was hungry, and decided to go home.

one thing about the apple store is that the employees are hot. it's like an abercrombie, except staffed by smart hot people, which, i have to tell you is not just overwhelming, it's downright unfair.

check out my flickr photo set documenting the cute boys, i mean the event.

while there i saw james woods, spike lee, liev schrieber, tina fey, rachel dratch, amy poeller, queer eye carson, queer eye jai, kanye west, and probably the best of all of them was triumph the insult comic dog.

the weird thing was you'd just be looking at stuff in the store, and you'd look up and see james woods browsing the ipods. totally surreal. tina fey walked by me, and i don't know what came over me but i actuallly grabbed her arm and stopped her to say TINA I LOVE YOU. she looked surprised and said thank you and ran out the door with a computer in each hand. i should be glad she didn't mace me.

my long ass hair part 2

having long hair has been an adventure. the chasm between 'good hair day' and 'bad hair day' is directly proportional to its length.

good day:

bad day:

on an aside, in this poster of da vinci code..

mr. hanks looks a bit like our old gelatinous friend..

nicole, a friend from high school, was in town last tuesday, so we had a mini reunion dinner with our friend szilvia and szilvia's husband dave. after dinner, it was decided that we should do something 'memorable.' there we were in the east village next to a psychic's storefront. why the hell not?


i should say a bit about my feelings on all this. i don't believe in psychics, not for one teeny tiny second. i don't believe in anything that doesn't stand up to scientific double blinded, repeatable study. i don't believe in tarot cards, ouija boards, horoscopes, astrology, numerology, the magic 8-ball, jeesus, midichlorians, the force, or the schwartz.


i do believe that there are innumerable interesting things to be found in all of the abovementioned phenomena. i always found it interesting that so many of my friends in theatre eschewed religion, but were hard-core followers of tarot and astrological minutae. many of them acknowledge the ridiculousness and randomness of these things, and yet continue to do them, to base their decisions upon them, and to subject me to them at parties.


when a friend says to me 'i had the most amazing tarot reading the other day,' i have conditioned myself not to instantly burst out laughing, roll my eyes, or sarcastically intone 'ohhh puhhhleeez.' i now say with what i hope is an open-minded curiosity, 'really? what was that like?'

in any case:

szilvia and nicole went first, and went in together. i waited for my turn outside with dave, who refused to take part in any way. his objection was based upon refusal to give financial support to someone he feels is essentially raping people's fear and insecurity to make a living. i understood this, but i saw it from an investigative perspective. i also saw it as a chance to laugh at a fraud. i did feel a little bad. i mean i was going in not only as a non-believer-hard-core-skeptic, but also as a first-class asshole, wasting the psychic's time (even though she's getting paid).

szilvia and nicole exited, and it was my turn. i sat down in the little chair and the psychic woman asked me to put my palms up.

once i did, she just began speaking. the words flowed out of her very quickly and with no effort or thought. she was probably in her mid 40's, very ordinary looking, wearing jeans and a long sleeve t-shirt, her hair pulled back. she was maybe hispanic, though difficult to tell, and seemed like an extremely friendly person. she's what i'd call outside of a psychic's den, 'a very nice person.'

and this was clearly her skill. she spoke quietly, but with confidence and assurance. i'm not sure what i was expecting, but part of me thought that she would spend the time 'testing' me, or trying to justify her missteps, or trying to prove things to me. no, she just talked. she looked at my hands and proceeeded to give me a very structured character study based on what she was looking at.

she hit all the main points: love, money, career, creativity, health, but she did this without feeling formulaic - as though she was trying to pack as much information in as she could before the time was up, because there was just so much to say, and it was really important to her to get all the main points in.

and i absolutely concede that she said things that made me think about my life and where i'm at. she said i would face a major life change in august. true. she said i've started taking better care of myself, but i need to go further with it. true. she said that my creativity is where i will find financial success except i've let it slip and i need to find a way to pursue it again. i don't know if it's true, but damn, for whom isn't it? she said that i'm alone romantically and that's because i'm still hanging onto a past relationship and i can't expect anything to happen until i let go. moderately true. she said so many more things, but they just drifted by, didn't even stick, because they didn't resonate. nothing felt totally wrong or off base, and so if my emotional core didn't latch onto it, i just forgot it.

it was clear to me what she was: not a psychic, but a writer. she looks at your hands and just knows, the way a writer can look at a person on the street and instantly create an amazing backstory for them - and the more thoroughly drawn that character is, the more any person is able to identify with aspects of them. it's the reason we enjoy drama, because we see ourselves, our own struggles in the characters onscreen. the key difference is that authors take responsibility for their creative gift.


i left the psychic with nicole and szilvia discussing how different the experience was from what we had expected. i completely understand the addiction to it now. it is like seeing a therapist. probably cheaper, and honestly, for the right people, just as beneficial, depending on the psychic of course.

i really hate that word 'skeptic.' i get this image of a negative little house on the prarie nelly olsen bitch with arms crossed and eyes rolling. granted, i have often been that bitch, but i don't feel like a skeptic anymore. i question this woman's beliefs, but i also have as deep a conviction in my own. i have respect for what she does, but i believe it's something other than what she claims to be selling. it was fun, it was insightful, but i won't be going back, ever. i'm quite happy to look inward by listening to the voices of people who know that the voices are their own.

superman poster

here's the new superman poster.

i like it. except it's not quite right. i can see what they were going for, but it just needs one tiny tweak. thanks to photoshop, i can do it myself.

much better.

my pics in the la times!

check out today's la times - they printed two of my pictures! and woo celeste! she's a star!

motto for may

this is my desktop.

see the loop? see me way way way behind it? yeah. so here's my list of things i'll pretend to have always known about at cocktail parties, but will freely admit to what a poser i am here:

nellie mckay: she was brilliant in 'threepenny opera' (not worth paying full price though.. the shows gets boring) so i downloaded her album and was really pleasantly surprised. she's a peppier fiona apple with a dash of regina spektor, a pinch of ben folds, and just a bit of marlene dietrich thrown in for good measure.

firefly: i saw serenity when it came out and enjoyed it quite a lot. fans of 'firefly' said newbies would never understand what was going on in the movie, and i totally disagreed. but having just watched all 14 of the original episodes, i have renewed appreciation for the deeper delights of 'serenity.' i have mixed feelings about the show's cancellation - without it, we never would have had 'serenity,' but those 14 episodes planted the seeds of a hugely epic story that could easily have filled 6 or 7 seasons. i'm now a whedonite. and love nathan fillion.

sufjan stevens: now he's just a doe-eyed cutie. i consider him to be part of the 'new folk' movement, a kind of musical dave eggers: clever, esoteric and retro without irony. a cross between arcade fire and polyphonic spree, except without the robes and the wacky acid trippiness. i really like the songs 'chicago' and 'they are night zombies..'

augusten burroughs: i've just started reading 'magical thinking,' and totally love it. to call him the new sedaris feels cheap. no, i have not read 'running with scissors,' or anything else, though i intend to get right to it because if you want to be cool, you have to be able to say you're disappointed in the film adaptation.

veronica mars: thanks to the beauty of bit torrenting, i'm able to catch up on any television show i fancy seeing. being a whedonite, i had to check out joss' favorite new show. i'm only 2 episodes in, but i'm completely hooked. kristin bell is an amazing find - and the show's mythology is as complex as 'lost.' except set in high school, but smart. really smart.


television is completely changing. the reality shows have peaked, and in their wake we're seeing some of the best episodic, epic, beautifully produced tv that has ever aired. and even on network! i'm talking about 'the unit,' '24,' 'lost,' 'battlestar galactica,' 'the office,' not to mention the cable standbys 'sopranos,' 'rome,' 'big love,' 'weeds,' and i'm not even getting into shows that other people love that i just can't fit in: 'gilmore girls,' 'gray's anatomy.' and what will always remain at the top of my list, despite its many flaws, which i probably have deeper affection for than i do most living breathing actual people: 'six feet under.'


elliott yamin. i just love the guy. love him. he's my new favorite. once katherine gets booted, we will finally have a really really fantastic threeway showdown. no mckibbins in sight.


play taylor hicks pac man.

on having a mixed race baby

my roommates are having a boy! the mom is japanese-american, and the dad is white white white. being of similar heritage, (filippino and white white white) the new baby can look forward to many things:

* having many people introduce themselves to you with 'what are you?'

* having people walk up to you in stores barking out questions assuming you work there.

* when you hit puberty and are at the mall with your mom, everyone will know you're out with mom. when you're out with dad, everyone will think you're with 'some strange older guy.'

* people in the office will pass the 'learn to speak chinese' email to everyone but you because they won't know if you'll find it funny. (ps: i dont.)

* having numerous skeezy older people lament about your 'mysterious, exotic look.' (which is really a way for them to get around asking 'what are you???')

* you will be gay. best deal with that now.

* going to a bar and being 'that asian guy.' going to an asian bar and being 'that half-white guy.'

* best learn about computers. people will just start asking you questions.

* people will tell you 'it's not an issue with me,' and you'll have no idea what they're talking about.

* sitting on the A train in brooklyn, looking around and thinking to yourself 'wow, i'm the only white person on this train,' and then feeling suddenly horrified that you'd just completely forgotten an entire part of your identity.

big and slow

my best friends, shelly and heeth unite to save my neighborhood!

saw mission impossible this weekend.

i gotta say i had really high hopes for this film, as i am a big fan of jj abrams, and overall i think it's a pretty good film. the actions sequences are imaginative and exciting, and there's actually a (gasp) coherent plot! my only problems with it are minor, but i'm surprised that jj didn't catch them. don't worry no spoilers.

hoffman needs one more scene to give his arc as villain proper closure. as is, we feel slightly cheated, and i really think it's in the way a film disposes of its villan that determines whether we will tell our friends it's 'kick ass' or 'so-so.'

karen kohlhass taught me that variety is interesting, and must be scored and modulated like writing music. if you have a section that is 'big and fast,' you must follow it with any of the other options: big and slow, small and fast, or small and slow. abrams doesn't give the action enough time to breathe, to let us catch up, and to give us proper beats so that we can tell who's winning, where we are, what's happening. it wasn't nearly as bad as in most action films, but here we had three disctinct action sequences packed back to back with no room for breath. what happens is that the entire chunk of film gets filed away in our brains as one thing: loud action, got kinda boring. karen has made this theory the centerpoint of her entire philosophy of directing. she named her company 'big and slow.'

my absolute favorite use of variety, pauses, and breathing is the restaurant battle in kill bill 1. i could watch that masterpiece a hundred times.

though sometimes the need to break things up gets stilted and hokey, such as in M:I-2 (or all john woo movies) when the action suddenly freezes so that a flock of doves can fly through. (intersting that this film was promoted as "m:i:iii," when the previous was "M:I-2")

very cool ad from france..

maybe slightly NSFW

thanks emily!

man, i wish i knew about this beforehand. what a great idea.. i love this kind of random strange coolness. on april 23rd, a large group of people dressed conspicuously like best buy employees wandered into the 23rd street store at roughly the same time. they did nothing but stand at the ends of aisles, politely help anyone who might need assistance, and if asked by employees what they're doing, just say they're 'waiting for a friend.'

the lower level employees loved it. the management went apeshit. my favorite part is the description of the manager yelling into his walkie talkie 'thomas crown affair! thomas crown affair!' that is just the most hilarious thing ever. does anyone even remember that movie? i guess the only people who would get that reference are serious movie geeks and employees of the flat screen tv section of best buy that might be playing the film all day, every day.

i just have this image of a dwight schrute type middle manager, seeing something unfold before him, slowly puts the pieces together and realizes that SOMEONE WHO'S SEEN THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR IS USING THE SAME STRATEGY TO HEIST THE BEST BUY!!! this would be a good time to run through the store and shout the movie's title into your walkie talkie. i mean, thomas crown affair?? he also could have run around shouting 'V FOR VENDETTA! V FOR VENDETTA!'

the new trailer is great great great. bold, charismatic, exciting, sets the tone, looks beautiful. can't wait.

some people are concerned that brandon routh isn't given much to say, which is a tad conspicuous. still, i can't wait.

... i just wish they'd used a cg fix to make his eyes blue, especially in closeup. or a combo of cg and blue contacts. those contacts never look right.

2 things 2 be happy about

1) united 93 turned out to be a good movie.

2) no one went to see it.

because if it was a bad movie (read: in the style of pearl harbor), it would have been a huge hit, spawning endless awful copycats. hopefully this means hollywood will look at 9/11 movies as bad news and steer clear. oliver stone's forthcoming turd notwithstanding.

it also means we won't have to deal with this:

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  • 5: the man of genius

  • 4: blunders & absurdities

  • 3: conservative after dinner

  • 2: what lies below

  • 1: where there is no path

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