Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Things That Are Weirder Than Harrison Ford


01. Moon Boots
02. Shetland Ponies
03. Peter Coyote
04. Foie Gras
05. Cosplay
06. Gary Wright's "Dream Weaver"
07. White Pepper
08. Toronto
09. Diet Coke
10. Paperclips

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

RELAX


I'm a little less stressed than I was. I still have a lot to do, etc., but I am not as worried about it.

So that's something, I guess.

Board Games I Would Like To See


01. Flobber Nuggets
02. Funeral Parlor
03. Rabid
04. Wiccan Hayride
05. Kleptomaniac
06. The Downward Spiral
07. Hobos, Coast-to-Coast
08. Shame
09. Short-Order Cook Explosion
10. Splotchy

Hot But Sunny


We're going to be shooting pretty much the entire movie outside.

I would prefer the weather be in the high 70's to low 80's, but at least the forecast doesn't currently predict rain.

Unconnected Tuesdays

Pencil

Ruby

Monday, July 28, 2008

There's A Good Chance That The Majority Of My Posts For The Rest Of The Week Will Be Pictures Of Tor Johnson With Swearwords For The Post Titles

Just thought I should be clear with you about what to expect out of me this week.

If you want to show your support, by all means have swearing posts with pictures of Z-Grade actors on your own sites.

Thanks and Tor Bless,


Splotchy

FUCK


I'm making a movie in five days.

I think I'll feel better when the actual filming begins, but right now the leadup is killing me.

Friday, July 25, 2008

HOLY SHIT


I'm making a movie one week from today.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Minor Movie Update

Vintage shirts: purchased
Portable Audio Mixer: rented
Mustache: Okay, I can't grow a mustache. I tried, I honestly did.

If I would have thought of it earlier, I'd have taken a picture of my nasty 'stache before I shaved it off. It would have made a pretty decent FAIL pic.

Hypothetical Quotes By People of Distinction





Colonel Sanders: "It's crotch-lickin' good."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

Blood and Vomit

Hey, it's been a good weekend for the movie!

BLOOD!

On Friday night, I met two of my actors at the house of Bubs. His eldest daughter (Dystopia) is handling makeup for the movie. Two of the characters are going to get head wounds, and I wanted to do a test where I could get a sense as to what is possible.

Head wound for "Casey"


Head wound for "Ray"


The Casey character has a cut on his forehead, while Ray will have a wound on his scalp.

I really liked how things looked, but after the actors left I had mentioned to Dystopia that I would like Casey's wound to be messier. She played around with some different things. She took some greasepaint and mixed it up with some of her fake blood to create a dirty-looking, clumpy mixture, which I think will be absolutely great to surround the wound. Here's the mixture on her arm:



VOMIT!

I have four main actors in the movie. I was able to wrangle time in which all would be available, on Saturday the 19th. The actors are all located in Chicago. Some have their own car, some don't. We had a small two-hour window to rehearse, so I thought it would be better for me to drive into Chicago to meet them.

Since the movie takes place outside, I thought it would be fine if we rehearsed in a park -- I picked Portage Park, for no particular reason. Another reason for rehearsing in a park was that I didn't really *have* a place inside to rehearse in Chicago.

Well, as Saturday approached, I kept a close eye on the weather forecast -- about six days before Saturday there was a prediction for a 60% chance of thunderstorms. I started scrambling for an indoor place to have the rehearsal. I called several park districts but was unsuccessful in reserving a room.

I sent an email to my actors a couple days before the rehearsal, confirming times, etc., and asked if they had any ideas should weather become a problem.

One of the actors recommended Welles Park, which was in a neighborhood where I used to live. In the time I have moved away they have installed a large gazebo. I was happy and relieved when he told me about this, and we switched the rehearsal to Welles.

If you weren't in Chicago on Saturday, let me assure you it was a thoroughly rainy and shitty day. It rained for hours without letting up. I had directed the actors to meet me on the corner of Lincoln and Montrose (the southeast corner of the park). I got there early, so was sitting in my car for a bit. I popped out of my car briefly to see if anyone had arrived. A man in a white minivan pulled up and rolled down his window. He yelled at me (in a friendly way): "The PLAYOFFs are CANCELED!"

"Huh?" I replied.

"The PLAYOFFs are CANCELED!"

"Thank you," I said.

I looked behind me and saw a woman, and a kid dressed in a Cubs uniform.

The playoffs I speak of are also referenced by Johnny Yen here. Mr. Yen, in case you weren't aware, the PLAYOFFs are CANCELED.

So anyways, all the actors eventually arrive and we head toward the gazebo. The gazebo was quite lovely and spacious, and perfect for the rehearsal. The one minor drawback to the space was a large chunky brown streak of vomit in the gazebo's center. I think we all finished the rehearsal with only a little bit of vomit on our shoes. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the vomit.


MISCELLANEOUS!

After the rehearsal, I still had some very important business to deal with. There's a very large furniture store in the main location of the movie. We are actually going to be shooting on a street where the side of its building will be very visible.

I wanted to make sure I asked their permission to shoot there. I drove down and spoke with the manager. After I explained the details of the shoot, he was perfectly fine with us being there, as long as we didn't obstruct the store from doing business. I asked him if it would be possible to use his bathroom and a couple power outlets as well (seeing as we aren't going to have a generator or a portable toilet with us) and he was fine with that, too.

A lot of my stress melted away when I found out they were fine with us being down there.

*******

Last night, I met with my cinematographer friend Lance, and we hashed out a lot of storyboard ideas for the film. Lance had a couple really neat ideas which I'm really looking forward to doing.

Okay, that should be enough updates for anybody who has the faintest interest in this moviemaking process.

Friday, July 18, 2008

How Do You Break A Windshield Without Breaking A Windshield?

So, in my movie, there is a crashed car. I'm renting the car-to-be-crashed (a convertible) for the duration of the shoot.

I am not planning on *really* crashing the car. I don't need to show lots of damage on it, but I would like it to have a cracked windshield. Okay, so how do I accomplish this?

On Wednesday after work, I drove to an auto glass place in Naperville. Here's a friendly tip -- don't drive to Naperville from downtown during rush hour. Ever.

I had called the place earlier and said I wanted to get a cracked windshield, and they said they had no problem giving me one for free.

I rolled into their parking lot just as they were getting ready to close. They pointed me to a dumpster out back that had several broken windshields sticking out of it.

I put down the back seats in my car and carefully laid down one of the cracked windshields. The windshield I obtained wasn't for the car I'm going to be getting (hopefully, a Ford Mustang). My thought was to try and lay the windshield over the existing windshield of the car, and see how it looks.

I spoke with an employee of the shop for a while before I headed out. He gave me a couple warnings. 1) Be careful handling the windshield, because it might have some sharp edges (it is broken glass, after all) and 2) Be very careful when putting the windshield on the other car, because it wouldn't be too hard to break or scratch the real windshield with the broken one.

I haven't tested laying the broken windshield on a car yet. Maybe I'll get to it this weekend.

Another option for faking a broken windshield may be to purchase some window film (a very thin layer of plastic), affixing it to the windshield, then somehow drawing cracks on the film to give the appearance of cracks. I would need to figure out what to use to draw the cracks -- I wouldn't want it to look cheesy.

I'll keep you informed, probably post some pictures if I get a solution that doesn't look too half-assed.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

ASCII Squishy

Happy Birthday, Manx!

For Manx - The circle of life/infinity, represented by Toby Keith putting a boot up his own ass.

Another Great Chomsky Article

Another well-written article by Noam Chomsky that you should read.

Bush & Cheney Always Saw Iraq as a Sweetheart Oil Deal

NOTE: This post was deleted and resubmitted due to egregious spelling errors.

Lou Squishy

I Might Be Playing A Small Part In My Movie

An actor I was hoping to use for a small speaking role in my movie is going to be out of the country.

I may have to step in.

For the record, I *hate* it when filmmakers appear in acting roles in their own movies.

Okay, Hitchcock gets a free pass, because he pretty much started the whole director-in-a-cameo business, to the best of my knowledge.

But I don't want to see Jon Favreau in a greasy big toupee driving Tony Stark around.

I don't want to see Martin Scorsese with ridiculous hair getting turtledoved by Cameron Diaz in Gangs of New York (note that there about five horribly wrong things mentioned in this single sentence).

I don't want M. Night Shyamalan talking about how he ran over Mel Gibson's wife, or almost get caught selling drugs by Bruce Willis, or -- okay, I don't want M. Night Shyamalan at all.

I am not happy about doing this. For the record, if I do this part, it will be out of necessity.

And now, I grow a mustache. (oh, that I were kidding)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Animal Locomotion Squishy

Putrefaction


I have seen a billboard for this new deodorant a couple times in the last week, while driving into downtown Chicago on I-290.

Both times I saw it I initially misread the product's name as Putrefaction, which for some reason brought much joy to my heart.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Song Titles With Parentheses Rollcall!



Hüsker Dü - She's A Woman (And Now He Is A Man)

Billy Corgan LOL

I was browsing at Jim DeRogatis' blog and found this choice image to LOLify.



Say, would it be possible to get my audition tape back?

Upcoming Feelies Interview on NPR's Sound Opinions


Apparently, Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot of the Chicago Public Radio program Sound Opinions were also in town for the recent Feelies shows at Maxwell's in NJ.

Why didn't they try and speak with *me*? I'm from Chicago, and could give them a unique Chicagoan's take on the Feelies. Do they hate Lake Michigan? Do they hate the Cubs? Do they hate deep dish pizza? Are they ashamed of their Chicago brethren? We Chicagoans haveta stick together, guys!!!

Anyways, they sat down with the Feelies for an interview, which will be broadcast this Friday (07/18). Around that time, the show should also be available via download on their website.

Bush Wolfowitz Squishy

Unconnected Tuesdays

Explosion

Onion

Monday, July 14, 2008

More Critics Of Bush Just Want Him To Go Away

Some snarky people in San Francisco are attempting to name a sewage treatment plant in (dis)honor of George W. Bush.

They have encountered some unexpected resistance, however:

"What we didn’t expect was that most of the opposition was coming from people who didn’t want to name anything. They just wanted to forget about the past eight years and move on"

Via ThinkProgress

Oh, you can still tell Bush to go away yourself.

I Like My Obnoxious Dancing People Accompanied By Grave Warnings Regarding My Health

I Thought I Needed Merkins

My upcoming short film, like pretty much any film, requires preparation. Locations must be scouted. Actors must be auditioned. Props must be acquired. Wardrobe must be selected.

There are a couple of brief shots where some of my actors will be bare-assed. These bare-ass shots will be outside, on the street, in an urban setting.

Since I am going to have some bare-assed actors around, I need to worry about their junk showing. To be more precise, I need to worry about their junk *not* showing. They can't wear thong underwear, because I don't want any straps showing from behind.

I was consulting with a couple people, and one of them mentioned spirit gum as a way of adhering fabric to the nether regions. I look up spirit gum on the Wikipedia and see a link to merkins.

Ah ha! So that's what they're called. I need merkins.

There's a great, huge costume store on Milwaukee Avenue I've been to called Fantasy Costumes. They're a treasure chest for all kinds of costumes, for Halloween, or any day besides Halloween.

On their website I pop "merkin" into the search criteria and hit the "Go..." button. Hmm. When I clicked it, it said the "Adult Costume" portion of the store was down. (however, if you type "merkin" today it provides this amusing result):



Anyways, I call up the store and ask if they have merkins. The woman who answered my call briefly puts me on hold -- I presume to get the salesperson who works the "Adult" costume portion of the store, who then picks up.

The salesperson indicates they have a black one and a brown one.

"I really need four," I reply.

"We may have a few more around," she says.

"Great! I'll be right over!"

So, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon I drive up Cicero Avenue. I reach the store, park on Milwaukee and head inside.

"I need some merkins," I say.

The woman behind the counter gives me the faintest of looks, then reaches into a glass display case. She drops two plastic baggies onto the counter. They each contain what appears to be a mound of pubic hair (one is black, one is brown).

"Whoa, whoa, I don't need these," I said.

"These are merkins," she says.

"Then I don't need merkins," I say.

I explain my needs to her, trying my best to sound civilized and not at all creepy.

She suggests I purchase some flesh-covered material from a fabric store and fashion my own modesty garments. She sells me some "men's grooming tape" (normally used for affixing hairpieces and such), and even draws a nice diagram to help me with the shape of the garment and strategic placement of tape.

So, it's one more step towards getting my film ready, and one more slice of innocence lost.

Histories Of Ages Past, Unenlightened Shadows Cast

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Trump Squishy

Control Your Temper

Let's have another one song mix, m'kay?

I know that Bob Marley's hits collection Legend is owned by virtually every person in the world.

I was freaky crazy about Mr. Marley and his Wailers in high school, and bought up all his records. Among the records I picked up was a piece of vinyl titled "Birth Of A Legend". The music on this record was a lot closer to ska then reggae -- it was from Mr. Marley's early musical career.

I was instantly smitten by a song called "Simmer Down". According to Wikipedia, the song was the Wailers' first single, and was a big hit in Jamaica in 1964. It boggles my mind a bit that this song was around when the Beatles were invading the US.

Anyways, here ya go.

The Wailers - Simmer Down

Enjoy it (or don't)!

Batman Squishy

People Tell Me There Ain't No Use In Trying

Friday, July 11, 2008

Bolton Squishy

A Gathering Storm Of Hopefully Adept Filmmaking

Click on pic for larger foreboding

My friend Lance, who is going to be doing the photography on my upcoming short film, came down to my work yesterday so we could both visit the deserted industrial location I had scouted (he hadn't seen it in person yet).

Unfortunately, Lance had to sit around for 45 minutes or so while I scrambled around and tried to get a bad IT situation under control.

Finally, after my horrific 12-hour workday ended, we walked out and I took the above picture.

Lanced liked the industrial location for the most part. I have a sort-of risque shot of some bare asses in a commercial shopping area, a shot that I would like to try to fake at the industrial location. Unfortunately, I didn't find anything really appropriate to serve as a shopping district background.

After the NYC trip and some recent family stuff, I am finally able to fully concentrate on this movie. It's going to be difficult, it's going to be a challenge, but I hope it will be fun, too.

I'll try my best at providing some periodic updates as to my progress, so you can more easily graph my descent into madness.

Dick Squishy

Why Do We Have To Carry On, Always Singing The Same Old Song?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What's Your Game Now, Can Anybody Play?

[Placeholder for Thank You For The Arte Y Pico Post]

1) make sure I thank Rider and The Monkey, for being very nice and friendly and giving me this prestigious award

2) check if anyone has made a joke regarding pico de gallo about this award (possibly put some salsa on the award pic? -- see if zaius or manx is available to photoshop!). hmm, everyone has already made this joke. How about a joke regarding the pico UNIX editor? too esoteric, geeky?

3) try not to look like a prick when you don't hand out any of the awards to other bloggers

4) pick up some milk on the way home

5) smile, dammit, smile!

6) update post to reflect of course I remembered that I was also given this award by Cowboy the Cat. actually, I do remember it, but by him calling me a Cardassian lover my mind short-circuited a little (this is true).

Seventy-Five And Counting!


A recent burst of actor adoptions has increased the official roster to seventy-five!

Still, there are many actors who need your help. More details about the adoption program can be found here.

Words Not Normally Used To Describe William Hurt


01. curvaceous
02. Nubian
03. perpendicular
04. aromatic
05. jangly
06. dead
07. hand-washed
08. ovulating
09. irrepressible
10. translucent
11. immiscible
12. lithesome
13. powdery
14. snuggly
15. saturated
16. paleolithic
17. toasty
18. sneaky
19. imaginary
20. hurt

Monday, July 7, 2008

Splotchy Re-Suffixes An Assortment Of Adjectives

01. pondersome
02. cumberous
03. outlandly
04. mawksian
05. combatish
06. thirsteous
07. abnormulent
08. miscellarious
09. sinistive
10. litigiacious

Trees And Signs #5

This tree picture was from last fall. I usually spend a fair amount of time on the line drawing, but I did this one in about five minutes.

Tree #5
Click on pic for larger image

Sign #5
Click on pic for larger image

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Celebrity Names That Also Function As Interjections

01. Delroy Lindo!
02. Dennis Hopper!
03. Warren Oates!
04. Strother Martin!
05. Mako!
06. Topol!
07. Andy Dick!
08. Pam Dawber!
09. Aldo Ray!
10. Haing S. Ngor!

Friday, July 4, 2008

New York City, July 2nd, 2008

Hi, please find enclosed a description of the second and final day of my trip to NY/NJ. Woke up around 9:00am, checked out of the hotel and took the train once again into Manhattan.

I had a vague notion to head uptown, and that was about it. I took the A Train to 59th Street, at Columbus Circle. I was still a little tired from all the walking I had done the day before, or maybe I was just feeling lazy.

Chris had mentioned the best pizza in New York was at DiFara's in Brooklyn. He said I could take the Q Train from the Port Authority to get to it. As I said, I was feeling lazy. I instead stopped an older couple walking a dog and asked them where I could get some decent pizza. They pointed me to 79th Street and something-or-other. I can't remember what the hell the pizzeria was called. I'm sure New Yorkers will enjoy reading this completely half-assed accounting of me prancing about their fair city. You're welcome, New Yorkers!

The fresh mozzarella and tomato slice was okay, but the pepperoni was dee-licious. While I was eating my lunch, a Coca-Cola deliveryman came in a couple times and encountered numerous impediments to dropping off his dolly full of pop. I admired both his patience and perseverance. And I just love how all the storage rooms in NYC seem to be below ground. It's cute! I really wish I could have taken a peek in one of them.

After polishing off the pizza, I headed one block east to Central Park. I realize Central Park is beautiful and all, but I didn't really feel like wandering about it, as I have grass and trees back in Chicago. I know this is kinda stupid thinking, but there's a grain of intelligence in there somewhere. No, there isn't? Okay, I tried at least.

So, I thought it would be a better idea to have a little tour through the park rather than make my footsies all tired again. I saw some pedcabs and decided I'd go with that. The price was reasonable enough -- $3000.00 isn't too much for a one hour tour of Central Park, is it?

My Guide. It was his birthday!


He said I would need to pay cash, and I didn't have enough on me. Not to worry, we could go by an ATM on the way. We came to the world-famous restaurant Tavern on the Green. I popped in and retrieved some money from the ATM there. While I was there, I used the bathroom. Yes, of course I took a picture of the bathroom!

A Famous Restaurant's Bathroom


The pedcab guide/rider was nice enough. A lot of the information he told me concerned all the famous people that occupied the various buildings bordering Central Park. I got a little creeped out thinking Al Pacino was staring down at me (and you know he was).

The tour finished at 72nd Street and Central Park West, right by the Dakota Apartment building.

The Dakota

I know that John Lennon used to live there, and got shot outside the building, but I think of the Dakota as more of the location used in Rosemary's Baby rather than the site where some piece-of-shit loser killed a decent human being. But maybe that's just me.

It wasn't long before I had my first and only celebrity sighting during the trip.


I headed back into Central Park and walked through Strawberry Fields, a piece of the park dedicated to the memory of John Lennon. I know it's probably world-famous and stuff, but I hadn't ever heard of it. I didn't really have any emotional epiphany there, but it was a nice space.

A field portion of Strawberry Fields


There was a mosaic in a little mini-plaza area that had the word "Imagine". Among the items left on the day I was there was a Happy Meal toy of the Cars hippy van Fillmore. Hey, I just realized that George Carlin did the voice of Fillmore! Sadly, the movie Cars is still terrible. But, who am I to judge what items are left as meaningful artifacts, despite the fact that my mind desperately wants to scream "That's cheesy!" To each, their own. As for me, I took only pictures, and left only footprints. Actually, I'm not even sure I left footprints.


I continued east through the park and saw the lovely Bethesda Fountain.

The lovely Bethesda Fountain



And then I soon came upon Conservatory Pond, with its lovely remote control boats.

Boat with Mama and Baby Duck


The Boat-Rental Dude


Some Boaters


I really enjoyed hanging out here for a while. Quiet places like Strawberry Fields are nice, but for me meditative moments are best achieved by watching tiny boats float around in the water.

I came out of the east side of Central Park on 79th Street. I thought I'd take a little break, as it was kinda hot. I bought a lemon ice from a street vendor and ate it leisurely as I watched people enter and exit the park. There was a sign for the MOMA pointing north. Chris' friend Bowman had told me there was a great exhibit at MOMA, but it had ended Monday. Aw, fuck it. I felt like going back downtown.

I didn't have a lot of time left, so I decided I'd head down to Greenwich Village, walk west to the Hudson, and then walk up back to Penn Station by the river. So, I jumped on a bus and headed south.

As I was walking west on 8th Street, I passed a storefront that had some brochures about Greenwich Village. I knocked on the door and asked to have one. After reading a bit of it, I saw it. EGG CREAM! I had forgotten about egg creams. Egg creams were a mystery to me. I'm guessing they're probably not nearly as popular as they once were, but I was always intrigued by the name. According to the guide, the best egg cream in NYC could be had at the Gem Spa, which was unfortunately several blocks east of me (and away from the Hudson River, my initial destination). The possibility of an egg cream won me over. I turned around and headed back east.

It took me a little bit of time to find it. It was just a skinny little sliver of a store, selling newspapers and magazines. I opted for the vanilla egg cream. From what I could tell, the man making my egg cream put in milk, vanilla flavoring and carbonation. It was delicious! I really enjoyed it.

As I was taking a picture of the store's exterior, a man walked out and approached. It turned out he was the owner. He was actually a very nice guy. He spent most of the time explaining about how many TV stations, newspapers and books had covered his store, and how iconic a place his newsstand was. He was proud of his store, and he was happy to talk to me about it. I tried to cajole him into letting me take a picture of him in front of his store, but he wouldn't. He was extremely pleasant, though, and wished me to enjoy the remainder of my stay in NYC.

Gem Spa


As I was walking back west, I spotted an old, funky-looking bar called Julius', with a despondent man staring out one of its windows at me. I thought I'd pop in for a quick beer. As I walked in, the lack of women, the abundance of rainbow colors, and the two flatscreen TV's dialed into the Food Network all told me that I had stepped into a gay bar. Apparently it was not just any gay bar, but a very august and respected gay bar, that figures into the history of the Stonewall Inn and the emergence of the gay rights movement. I talked up the bartender a bit, who was very nice. I sort of embarrassed myself by saying "Hey, so, we're like right in the middle of Greenwich Village, right?" Ah, the eloquence of the ignorant tourist.

After I finished my beer, I decided I didn't have time to continue walking to the river, and thought I'd better start walking towards Penn Station to take my train back to Newark Airport. I zig-zagged on some smaller streets and came across a really cool-looking old synagogue.


From my days of reading Marvel comics, I know that the character Dr. Strange had his homebase in Greenwich Village. To me, this synagogue bore a very striking resemblance to Dr. Strange's abode.



Anyways, I walked back to Penn Station, and after a little flight delay, wound up back in Chicago. It was a fun trip. I Heart New York in a big way.

Here's a few more pictures for your viewing pleasure.

An old-school side-of-building ad I fancied:


Mysterious building, the current/former purpose of which I could not ascertain:


Just a nice-looking building. Is this what one would call a brownstone?


A guy painting a gate.


An amusing contradiction.
"STOP NOT TILL THE GOAL IS REACHED"
"CLOSED UNTIL SEPTEMBER"


Chained-up fake ice cream.



Saw this outside a hair salon in the East Village. I assume the name of the place was "Sad Haircuts".