Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I Drink Your Milkshake

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

Showcase stopped by on Sunday afternoon. It was the first time I saw him since I left for Las Vegas and went out for Thai food. Since our last meeting, he booked a national beer commercial. Unreal. I had been pulling for him ever since I met him a couple of years ago. He has been a struggling actor for almost a decade. He needed a break. Big time.

While he was over at the apartment, we watched Cops and a bunch of white cops beat up on a hysterical black woman. When I was in Iceland in 2001, I met an exceptional young woman who told me that she learned English by watching Falcon's Crest. She made some generalizations about middle America based on all of the episodes of Cops and The Simpsons that she saw on TV. American institutional and society racism beamed around the world. At least there are shards of truth in those thirty minute episodes compared the the shit sandwich that Hollywood serves up on a daily basis.

It's been not the best weather for the beach so Nicky and I have been opting for our backup plan... the movies. We took an opportunity to catch up on a couple of current flicks out in the theatres such as Dark Knight, X-Files 2, and Hancock. I also watched There Will Be Blood on cable. Not to mention several documentaries such as Super High Me and Wetlands Preserved: The Story of an Activist Nightclub.

I caught the Wetlands documentary on the Sundance Channel. And man, that brought back several vivid flashbacks and warm memories.

The documentary told the history of Wetlands (1989-2001) which was a club in lower Manhattan. I saw my first Phish show at the Wetlands in 1989 when I was 17 and a senior in high school. In fact, that might have been the first time I was ever in the Wetlands.

I can't tell you how many random bands I saw at the Wetlands in the 1990s with Senor including moe., God Street Wine, Disco Biscuits, Deep Banana Blackout, Jupiter Coyote, the Ominous Seapods, and Medeski Martin & Wood. I even saw Robert Hunter there a couple of times including countless other Dead cover bands. And then at the turn of the century, I caught local acts like Soulive and DJ Logic and also saw Robert Randolph get his start in the jamband scene with shows at Wetlands.

The Wetlands closed its doors in 2001 and I recall that my friends were super bummed at the sad news. It was one of the few places in town where you could have fun at a show instead of being harassed by surly security guards at places like Irving Plaza or getting squeezed out by the hipster acts at Bowery Ballroom.

A big celebration with Rat Dog was supposed to mark the closing but the events of 9.11 interrupted the final week of festivities. And if you didn't know, Mike Gordon played in the last official show at the Wetlands on September 10, 2001. He sat in with DJ Logic and Warren Haynes. Robert Hunter would play a couple of nights later to unofficially play the last show at Wetlands.

Here's a bit of Wetlands Preserved: The Story of an Activist Nightclub...

On Monday afternoon, we met Nicky's mom for the X-Files flick. I had no idea there was a sequel until a week or so ago. I heard zero hype about it and didn't even see the trailer. My favorite story line from the X-Files surrounded the global-galactic-conspiracies and the Cigarette Smoking Man. Heck, I always felt that Dick Cheney was the post-modern Cigarette Smoking Man and the guy pulling the strings inside the Bush Junta. Anyway, the flick was sort of a let down. No aliens. No conspiracies. I think I would have enjoyed reading the script more so than seeing the flick. The entire notion of faith and belief came into question, as it had been one of the major underlying themes of the entire TV series. Those cerebral concepts of the X-Files doesn't make for compelling entertainment on the big screen and would have sunk deeper if I would wrap my mind around the words. I appreciated the effort, but if you are looking for something that will blow you away... it won't be X-Files 2. Save your money and wait for it to come on cable. Or find some geek who already ripped a leaked copy from the intertubes.

I heard lots of positive things about There Will Be Blood. It was directed by PT Anderson who was the mastermind behind Magnolia and Boogie Nights. Blood was a departure from is LA-centric flicks. There Will Be Blood was based on the book Oil by Upton Sinclair about Daniel Plainview, an oil tycoon and all-around asshole. I passed out about 2/3 of the way through but woke up for the climatic ending. That scene was one of the many reasons who Daniel Day-Lewis won an Oscar for his portrayal of Daniel Planview.

And yes, I drink your milkshake...

On Tuesday morning, we had a late start to the day trying to decide if we were going to make a run to Zuma or skip it and see a flick instead. We eventually pushed back a trip to the beach to Wednesday and drove to O'Groats for breakfast.

Sometime after I finished my bacon and eggs and home fries and buttermilk biscuits, I felt the first tremble. It felt like the rumbling of a subway car on an elevated subway platform, except we were not in a subway station in NYC, and we were sitting in a restaurant on Pico Blvd across the street from the Fox lot. Yeah, it was an earthquake. The ground shook for a few seconds and it was over.

Nicky did not panic and when everything subsided, she said, "Oh, that was small. Just a baby. 4.5 max."

She went back to sipping her coffee. There was zero damage to O'Groats and everyone went back to their breakfast. That was my first major earthquake. I experienced a couple of small tremors in San Francisco, but nothing like Tuesday during breakfast. It ended up being a 5.4 with the epicenter in Chino. That's where Ryan Atwood is from before he moved to The OC.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wil Talks About Blogging

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

Wil was interviewed at Comic Con. He speaks about the evolution of blogging. Check it out.

I love the beard Wil. Makes him look writerly.

Oh, by the way. Happy birthday, Wil.
Videos: Trippy Monkeys and World Series of Lime Tossing

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

I recently uploaded a couple of videos to YouTube.

The Trippy Monkeys were an interactive art installation at the Mike High Music Festival in Denver.

And the second stars Otis as we gamble ungodly sums of money on lime tossing in Las Vegas...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Battle of the Planets aka G Force

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

I needed help with this one. I blame too much TV as a child of the 1970s. I also blame too many psychedelics in the 1990s.

Over the last couple of months, I have been bombarded by flashbacks of my youth. Particualrly while covering the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, I would randomly get flashes of this cartoon that I religiously watched as a kid. For the life of me, I could not recall the name of it. I was stumped. I would wander through a row of poker tables with random images wandering down the hallways of my brain.

The images wouldn't stop. But I had zero time to chase it down.

As soon as I returned to Hollyweird, I tried to do some research. I found a website that had a bunch of cartoons from the 1970s and 1980s. It was extremely trippy to take a walk down memory lane. I forgot about the Mr. T cartoon with those gymnasts and those annoying fuzzy things called The Monchhichis. I searched and searched for hours and even looked on You Tube. However, all my research left me was super frustrated. Unable to properly chase down a flashback. That makes people go insane.

That's when I knew I needed to bring in an outside consultant. If there was one person I could ask threat would know... it was Wil Wheaton... resident uber-geek and sci-wunderkind Wil Wheaton.

Here's the email that I sent Wil the other day...

this is killing me. im having these flashbacks of this cartoon i used to watch when i was a kid but cant recall the name. i know we're the same age so maybe u can help.

cartoon.... sci-fi-ish but more like animae for the late 1970s.

premise: 4 teens (3 guys plus 1 chick in pink) + 1 young kid work for some govt agency. i think they are all orphans. each are on this huge spaceship/plane. the fat guy flew the plane. and there are two tough guys - one rode a race car and the other a single-seater plane. the chick drove a motorcycle. their vehicles would come out of the plane/spaceship. whenever they got in trouble their plane would turn into this fireball like a phoenix. they constantly fought this terrorist group who wore blue masks.

can u help me out here? or am i just rambling on and on...?


Wil had been away at Comic-Con and finally had a chance to catch up with email. Here's what he wrote me...

I loved this show. In America, this was called Battle of the Planets, but it was originally called Z Force when it debuted in Japan.

My friend is working on an updated version of the film, that will be CGI and live action!


Score! I was so happy that Wil cleared up my insanity. Within seconds of reading his email, I found the first episode on You Tube. There were two versions in the US... Battle of the Planets and G-Force.

The powers to be softened the North American version and took out some of the quasi-sexually explicit scenes and tons of violence. That's what I watched as a kid.

I can't recall if I ever watched the cartoon on weekends. I sort of recall sitting around in my Catholic School uniform and watching the cartoon after school.

And yes, the fat guy is named Hootie.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Colorado Gallery

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

Wanna see some pics from Colorado and the Mile High Music Festival?

Nicky posted her pics a few days ago. I finally finished my batch of Colorado pics.

That's the last bit of photos that my camera took before it died in Boulder on Monday morning.