Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bachelor Party #2

I'm putting this post here, because it will eventually come with pictures. The first bachelor party is posted here, but the wedding blog shouldn't have any pictures but those having to do with the wedding or honeymoon.

In any case, some of the Mensa guys were sorry that they had to miss my actual bachelor party for various reasons, so a couple guys took me out to Buddy Guy's legends for some good blues, decent beer, and pretty good food. Schmutzy's cousin's husband is Nick Moss of Nick Moss and the Flip Tops, and they (among other bands) were playing there that night. The "warm-up" act was pretty lame, but at least they were loud to make up for it. The act prior to Nick Moss was quite good, but they didn't quite have the spirit you need for great blues. Nick Moss and the Flip Tops were freakin' awesome.

This was more of a "let's go out for a couple drinks and listen to some good blues" thing than a "you're getting married" thing, but both elements were there. Schmutzy and Chris insisted on toasting "John and Heidi" with every drink. They were much more in the mood to drink than I was, so after a while, during the toast, they would clink glasses with my head.

Another good time with good people that I really value.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


I now have my first agent, interested in representing me for voiceover. The biggest in the city, Stewart Talent, didn't want me (meh), but Lori Lins agency in Milwaukee did. The one in Milwaukee is supposedly really good in terms of caring for their people, but we'll see just how everything comes together. It is kind of interesting that they both got back to me on the same day, though. The best thing I can do for myself now is to promote myself to casting directors, but that costs a lot of time and money I don't have. Meh, we'll figure it all out when I get back from Italy.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

On the weekend

I've been trying to figure out how to write about the weekend, yet it's difficult as this weekend had a lot of stuff going on, and not much time to write. I'll hit some pertinent points. I'd like to expand on them, but there's that time thing.

I watched Cinderella Man while I was working on the Reception party favors. I remember a theatre was offering a refund of the ticket price if you didn't like the movie. It was that good, and that unnoticed. I still didn't see it in the theatres (more for time reasons than anything else), but thought it was funny that Russell Crowe was playing a boxer (due to the stories that he beat up paparazzi). But here's the thing about Russell Crowe: he's a phenomenal actor. I have never seen a Russell Crowe movie that I didn't like, and most of the ones I've seen, I love. This is one of them. It's the true story of Jim Braddock, a boxer in the depression. It's really about his struggle from one of the rising stars of boxing to complete failure at almost everything, to his struggle back into a lucrative, if dangerous, profession. I might write more about it later, we'll see.

Anyway, Heidi's bridal shower was Saturday, and I wasn't planning on going (as it's a chick thing), but it became expected of me. We got a good haul from the loot, and we ate a good meal. But it ended up being freakin' exhausting, which led to a nap.

In the evening we wanted to relax, so we sat down to watch Everything is Illuminated. I didn't even hear about this movie until it was on DVD, but it was really good. It's about Elijah Wood (wearing glasses that magnify is already freakin' enormous eyes), as Jonathan Somethingorother (not his actual name, but I can't remember it), a Jewish man who collects everything around him. He has a wall in his room where all the personal effects of his relatives are posted, but he doesn't really have anything of his grandfather (who passed away when Jonathan was very young) but an amber necklace. His grandmother, on her deathbed, gives him a picture of his grandfather, and another woman, who evidently helped them leave the Ukraine to come to America. He goes on a quest to the Ukraine to find out who this woman is, and is guided around by a very quirky grandfather and grandson. I can't go into much detail, but it's a brilliant film.

Went to church, our outdoor baptism service at Foster beach. The weather was the most beautiful I've seen in probably four years. The temperature was perfect, the sky had all these fluffy clouds where it wasn't pure blue, and there was a lot of wind. I like wind, a lot. I can't tell you why, but I love it. Eventually the wind died down, but it remained a perfect day. I had to stay down in the city, as we were playing D&D that evening, so I had a lot of time on my hands. I took an hour plus long walk along the Evanston path by the lake, and then went to see Little Miss Sunshine. I wanted to see The Illusionist, but it was playing an hour later.

Little Miss Sunshine was another fantastic movie, filled with unique and wonderful characters. There's a lot about this movie that I'm still processing, and I'll likely see it again several times, as there's a lot of depth that doesn't quite come across with the firt viewing, but most of the acting in it was complex and deep (Greg Kinnear doesn't do complex so well, but he's still a really charismatic presence). The evnts in the show are pretty predictable, once you understand what kind of movie it is, but the show isn't really about the events, it's more about the daughter in the show being the binding force in an otherwise dreadfully dysfunctional family.

D&D was a good time, hanging with some people that I don't get enough of a chance to be with. I really value my time with them, and we had some good fun times. A good D&D game should read like a good novel, and I think we're on a good plotline, which would read well.

So it was a successful, if busy, weekend.

Friday, August 18, 2006

World Trade Center

I just saw World Trade Center, Oliver Stone's new movie about 9/11. As regualr readers may have noticed, I don't write about a movie unless it make a big impact, good or bad. This one wasn't bad.

It's hard to put into words, much like the feeling you got when the attacks happened. It was just sort of a heaviness. This movie did a good job of returning the feelings of five years ago. Shoot, even in the beginning few shots, when you see the main characters heading to work, and see the twin towers on the skyline, you get a weird feeling. A lot of people don't want to remember those feelings, and those people shouldn't see this movie. I think it would be obscene to forget the impact of that day, but that's just me.

The plot is pretty simple: cops doing their job on 9/11, they go in, the building collapses, they try to keep each other alive while being trapped in rubble, their families try to find out if they're alive or dead, other people try to find and rescue those that they can. I think some of the best parts are when the twin towers are still standing, but after the attacks. Nobody knows what's going on, there's massive confusion, and there are regular sounds above the action, that sound like the place is about to come down. Then it does in a very short but very intense period of time.

The film really isn't all that plot-driven, although it is a high-concept film. It's not really a character-driven film, although we do focus on the reactions and motivations of the people involved. I actually think the film went a bit long (as the emotional impact began to flag a little toward the end), but it was a powerful film. The kind which you don't want to leave your seat afterward.

I measure the impact of a film by how it sticks with you. I have yet to actually determine what the impact will be, but I think this one is going to stay with me for quite a while.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Ouch and other musings

I have no real focus for this post today, but want to say something, if for no other reason than to get me out of my funk.

1: The job is coming along, slowly. I haven't really been trained much, because of the perpetual need to put out fires. Tomorrow, the boss is out fishing, and the senior tech might be home sick (his back is seriosly bugging him, and I saw in him a posture I saw in the mirror not too long ago), so I'll be alone, with exceptionally limited training, and a barely functional network ID.

2: I was chewing a piece of gum today and damn near bit through my tongue. I'm glad I was in a secluded room, verifying that the equipment in there was working, because I let out a very loud not-to-be-spoken-at-work word.

3: Heidi's dad has been diagnosed with agressive lymphoma. He's not showing any symptoms, but he's starting chemo. Psychologically, he's not helping his condition, as he's expecting the worst, and effectively waiting to die. This would be difficult to deal with normally, but we're getting married in about two weeks, and he has to be fully there, or it'll be a ceremony with a dark cloud over it.

4: My work has an insanely strange firewall. I can access wikipedia, I can access my blog, but I can't access my gmail account. I think tomorrow I'll try to check out if I can access my voicover website.

Monday, August 14, 2006

A new gig

So my new job starts today. I'll be doing PC Support for Bosch tools, down in Broadview. It doesn't pay very well, but it's better than unemployment. It's not as flexible as I'd like (read: no acting till I get a different job), but it is work, and that's important. So, I can't necessarily say my "get a new job" goal is done, but I'm no longer a non-contributing member in the upcoming nuptials. So woo-kinda-hoo.

Friday, August 11, 2006

On brewing mead

I don't really have much to say right now, but I figure it's been too long since I've posted. I'm healing from the seizure.

But I did want to post about a rockin' walkthrough of brewing mead at Mattox's blog. For those of you interested in brewing, read this.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


I had a seizure this morning. I was at home, so it wasn't such a bad issue. I jave a carpet burn on my face, and it looks like I scratched myself with my toenail, but other than that, I'm pretty OK. This is good, because frequently, seizures end up with me getting a new scar due to falling at an inconvenient location. I don't think it's a big deal so much, as I average a seizure every seven years or so, and this one was eight years since my last one. So crap, but not so crappy as it could be.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Goal Update 6

Things have been moving along, sort of. I didn't post a goal update last month because I was pissy about being laid off, and didn't want to face it again. I'm still a little pissy about being laid off (the yes-man who made the decision to lay me off ended up moving on to another job, and the people who were in support of me staying moved up a notch... not sure why that couldn't have happened a month earlier). Anyway, here's the goals:

1. Get Married: 32 days is just too damn far away.
2. Move to a new place: Done
3. Get a different job: Suddenly much more important. There are stirrings and echoes, but nothing solid. Seems people aren't too keen on hiring someone who's committed to being unavailable for two-and-a-half weeks at the end of the month. I'm going to call the temp agencies today.
4. Get back in the gym, and establish a regular routine: Haven't done anything with it. Right now, it's as much a financial decision as laziness.
5. Get at least one Voice-over gig: Moving along as best it can. I have my demo, I have my website, I have my postcards and such, and right now is the best time to get an agent, so as long as I'm not working, I'll be heading downtown to pester some folks tomorrow.
6. Brew at least three batches of beer: Brew #1 worked out pretty well. Two more will happen after the wedding.
7. Travel at least four times: 3 down, 1 to go (and that fourth one will be a doozy)
8. Write a script: Thought about it.
9. Read the Bible from beginning to end: After a long stretch of nothing, I'm getting back into this. I have a long way to go to catch up, but I'm plugging along.