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My Little Book of Days (Day 1)

August 30, 2012
School started this week to clear blue skies and warmer temperatures. I didn’t care for it one bit. A major reason I moved away from Orange County was to escape the sun. The sun and I have not been on speaking terms in many a year.
I used to have a ritual (my friends & I, really). Every Sunday of every summer we would go to Huntington Beach State Beach. We usually parked out on Brookhurst and hiked the half mile to the sand, to avoid paying for parking. We always set up “Base Camp” between Lifeguard Towers 5 and 6.
I never had a ‘beach body’, but I was far thinner then. I wore my hair long (it was the eighties). Those summers bleached my long straight hair to nearly white.
We would body surf, and play Frisbee, and, if we had enough bodies, we would play beach football. I discovered something remarkable about myself during those football games. I could run on sand.
And I mean I could run fast. I gots me some big ole’ feet. Size thirteen. And my feet are wide, with a wicked arch. I played sports in high school, but never excelled. On the sand, I ran like the wind. My friends were shocked. Especially when I tackled them.
But, in the intervening years, my relationship with the beach and the sun in particular, has soured. I can’t take the heat anymore. And I lived in fuckin’ Bakersfield for two summers (another story for another time).
I suffer in anything over 75 degrees. I spent the last 7 years living in Garden Grove, California, in an apartment that defied physics with its lack of air movement. We purchased HUGE fans and set them in the windows and the front door, and still had nary a breeze in there. As the temperature broke into the triple digits, it was like part of my brain would stop working.
In September of 2010, I was cast in a stage production of “Night of the Living Dead” at The Maverick Theater in Fullerton, California. I was “The Big Zombie”. Some of the most fun I’ve ever had on stage. The first rehearsal I attended was a fight rehearsal. In my big scene I was supposed to break down a door, knocking down the hero, pick him up by his belt and bodily hurl him across the stage. That’s just how it started. Great fun. But, that first night, it was about 95 degrees in the theater. Rehearsal ran until midnight and it never got any cooler.
I have this wonderful little thing we, in the business, call “Flop Sweat”. It doesn’t trickle down my brow. It runs. In rivulets. I leave quarter sized drops on the stage floor. Under those hot lights, I DARE you to not sweat. Everybody does. It’s just that with me, it is ridiculous.
While I was rehearsing NOTLD, I was also working as a carpenter on the build for Knott’s Berry Farm’s Halloween Haunt AKA Knott’s Scary Farm. We would work 5am to 1pm. All the work was outdoors in the brutal heat of a Buena Park summer. I would drink 2 gallons of water everyday in that 8 hour shift. And that doesn’t include the Gatorade-like drinks they provided for us. At least I wasn’t alone in my suffering there. There was another big, bald, fat guy there they had nicknamed “Puddles”. I managed to keep the nickname I came in with “SMASH!” (Another story for another day).
In those hot OC summers I would daydream about moving somewhere cooler. Maybe somewhere with snow. I’ve had very little experience with snow. Maybe I’d love it. Maybe I’d hate it. Life is funny.
Well, here I am. Sitting at my computer in my San Francisco apartment. I glance slightly to the left of the monitor and I can see Lake Merced, less than half a mile from here. On a clear day I can see the Pacific beyond Merced. But, not today. Today is what I would call “normal San Francisco foggy”. I can see the campus of SFSU to the South, and Lake Merced directly to the West. We measure the fog by what we lose. Some days we lose the Lake. On the really heavy days, the campus disappears into the gloom.
I love it.
Give me the fog and the gloom and the rain. Oh! The rain! The first month we were here it rained like Hell. It was amazing. Watching the lightning over Fort Funston through our floor to ceiling living room windows was amazing. I would turn off all the light and just watch the show.
Thank you, San Francisco. Thank you for welcoming a former child of the sun into your gloomy arms.

Stuart Drive

“So, when do you think you’ll be moving out” Hanover said.
And with that I realized I had officially worn out my welcome. I’d been renting a room from him and his girlfriend for nearly 9 months. I was currently separated from my then-wife, who we shall refer to as “Crazy”.
Crazy had kicked me out in August for cheating on her (I wasn’t). I had agreed to leave after she couldn’t even tell me who I was supposedly screwing around with. She just “knew”. You can’t argue with that kind of logic. I moved in with Hanover & Co. a week later.
The reconciliation was not going well. She’d recently admitted to me that she’d been stalking me, hiding in the bushes out side Hanover’s house, to see if I was being faithful. Things like that were leading me to believe that things were not going to work out with Crazy & I.
My friend Swag had recently announced that he was moving to the East Coast with his family. Using my Jedi Mind Tricks, I convinced him that what he really wanted to do was stay in California and get an apartment with me. Somehow, he bought it.
So, in May of 2005, Swag & I moved in to our apartment on Stuart Drive, where I am currently writing this entry. I’ve been in this apartment nearly seven years now, officially the longest I have lived anywhere in my life. What can I say, Dad had Gypsy Blood.
Since then, I’ve had an actual nice girl move in (Not-Crazy). Swag eventually did move to the East Coast. Swag was replaced with a Belly-dancer. Yes, my life is surreal. Now it is me, Not-Crazy and our two cats. I’m not sure what is the bigger change in my life, having an actual nice girlfriend or that I kinda like cats now.
Since moving in here I’ve started acting again. And stopped. Rediscovered my love of writing, and discovered that I could actually make money at it. I went back to school and earned my Associates Degree, and was accepted to a “Real” school.
Which brings me to tonight. Tonight is my last night in this apartment. Tomorrow we pack up a U-haul and leave her for San Francisco, where I will pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing. It seems unreal. Not bad for an apartment that we thought we’d spent three to six months in.

I never did talk to Hanover again. I still hear from Crazy, but it just serves to remind me that she Crazy.

Star Trek: Through The Never

*Beginning Voice Recording*

Okay, here we go…
Captain’s Log, Stardate 5743….
Computer, delete and start again…

Captain’s Log, Stardate 57444 point…

You know what? Forget it. FOR! GET! IT!

Computer, start over…

Captain’s Log, April 19, 2380, Captain Derek Cairns of the Starship Cúchulainn.
Starship. I like the sound of that. With the new Warp Engines now operating, I have rechristened “The Hound of Ulster”. It seemed appropriate.
Harley tells me we are ready for interstellar travel as of this morning. Then we can make some real scratch. I’m tired of this Solar System. Trying to make any money around here is next to impossible. Out there…
Out there is where the action is.
Sadly, most of the crew have decided to stay local. Harley is staying on with me, of course. He pushed for the High Warp conversion, this is his baby. More his ship than mine, really. He has some suggestions for new personnel. Frankly, they sound like a bunch of pirates. This could get interesting.
As for now! It’s time to test the engines. I’m thinking Risa…
*End Voice Recording*

Pardon me while I clear my throat....

Fuck, Fuck, Fucketty fuck.
(My mom and many young family members are on The Facebook.)
So what is your favorite piece of Profanity?
(I'm looking at you Josh & Irene)

My Letter to Coco's

Subject: My Experience
Location: Anaheim, CA - 1100 W. Katella Avenue
Date of visit: 06/17/2010 9:30 pm
Type: Dinner
Feedback or question: My girlfriend order a Garden Burger at your Anaheim location tonight, stating no less than 5 times that the combo should be a Garden Burger in place of a regular patty. Upon receiving the meal we saw that it was a regular patty. We informed our waitress, whose name we believe was Faith, and she took it back, only to bring it back and insist that it was indeed a garden burger. My girlfriend, a life-long vegetarian, took her for her word and started to eat it. It quickly became apparent that it was meat. Once again the waitress insisted it was a garden burger, and offered to call over the manager. The store manager instantly recognized the patty as beef and offered to make another combo. By this time, my girlfriend was throwing up in the bathroom. I am beyond frustrated at not only the incompetent service provided, but by the utter lack of empathy we received from the staff. Our server could not understand the enormity of the mistake that she had made. This is also not the first time we have had problems of this nature at your restaurants. On an earlier visit to your Garden Grove location (12032 Harbor Blvd.) we sent back a Thai Chicken salad 3 times that had been ordered without chicken before giving up and simply leaving the restaurant. It is bad enough that the menu is severely limited to vegetarians, but these simple substitutions are handled so cavalierly as to be insulting. I don't believe I will ever be able to convince my girlfriend to enter ANY location of your establishment again.

Pack of Thor: Chapter Three

This week started with some basic housekeeping. Our trio of Werewolves are spending time exploring their new digs.Click for Pictures & More...Collapse )


My First Comic Con

            First of all, I wasn't sure I was going to be able to go until Thursday afternoon. I was given the heads up that it was a possibility about 2 weeks ago, but I never thought I'd get that lucky.

            I've been wanting to go to Comic Con since High School, so 20 years now. Never made it. When I had time, I had no money. When I had money, no time. As it turns out, I had no money this time, but when a pass drops in your lap, you go.

            Maile had her pass lined up for about a month. I was pretty bummed that she was going without me, but what are you going to do. But it worked out, so I drove.

            We got up at 5am Friday, gassed up the van, grabbed some Jack in the Box and hit the road. Maile decided that we should park at Jack Murphy Stadium (now called Qualcomm for some reason) and take the train in. I highly recommend. the parking was free and shady, and the trolley afforded a nice view of San Diego.

            I should mention that Maile dressed up as a Gryffindor from Harry Potter, and it pleased her to no end that we were taking the train in. She kept talking about the Hogwarts Express and station nine and three quarters.

            We had a great moment on the train, while people watching. Obviously, most of the people on the train were headed to the Con. outside the window, we spotted some kids in strange costumes. They didn't make our train, so we didn't get a chance to ask them what the HELL they were wearing. One was dressed like a Japanese girl and another like Italy. I don't mean she was dressed Italian, I mean it looked like she was trying to BE Italy. A Personification. We debated it with the random people on the train with us. Then I rapped on the glass, getting the kids' attention. I held up my camera and they posed. The rest of the ride we tried to figure it out. I joked that there was probably a kid running around dressed as Germany and they were the Axis Kids...

            We met Atomic Steve in front of the Convention Hall, and I got my pass and we hit the floor. Atomic wanted to say hi to his friend Kelly, who is this year's Miss Horrorfest. We hung out there for a while, then wondered around. We met up with our friend Clair, who dressed as classic Princess Leia (White dress with hair buns). People were taking her picture all day. She never smiled for the photos "She never smiled in this dress." Crazy Claire.

            Around 11am, we got in line for the "The Big Bang Theory" panel discussion. It was the one of the 2 things Maile & I HAD to see, the other being the Dollhouse panel. They were both in the same room, 3 hours apart, so we camped.

            We waited in line for 2 hours, making friends with the people around us. Then it happened! The random Axis Kids walked by! I flagged them over to us. "What are you?" They laughed and explained that they were dressed as characters from an anime series called "Hetalia: Axis Powers",(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hetalia_Axis_Powers) in which all the characters are personifications of World War II Countries. WTF? I was RIGHT? There is nothing so strange that there isn't an Anime about it...

            We finally got into Ballroom 20 for the Big Bang panel. Awesome-sauce. They played a clip reel from the show before the panel, that brought down the house. After that, there was no question this showed belonged at Comic Con.

            The actors and creators were awesome. The panel was moderated by Mike Mingola, the creator of Hellboy. Apparently he is a big fan of the show. It was so obvious that they all love the show and enjoy each others company. At one point a fan asked Jim Parsons (Sheldon Cooper) to explain the game Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock, and he admitted that it was the hardest scene he had ever done in the show. I can only imagine!

            We didn't want to leave and get back in line for the Dollhouse panel, so we stayed all afternoon in Ballroom 20. I don't think we would have ever gotten back in otherwise.

            Next was the panel for '24'. In the 7 years the show has been on, I think I've seen an episode and a half. I love the concept of the show, it just never fit in my schedule. I thought it would at least be entertaining. It was rather dull, expect for the new cast members. Freddie Prince, jr. who had the funniest accidental moment of the night. He was talking about how he had always been a fan of the show. He said he remembered sitting back and watching season one with his wife... that was as far as he got before the audience exploded into applause. In case you didn't know, he is married to Sarah Michelle Geller, TV's Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He started laughing. "I forgot. She's kind of popular here."

            The other new cast member: Katee Sackhoff! Starbuck from the new Battlestar Galactica. Oh My God, she is gorgeous! She is hilarious, too. Everyone else on the panel was really dry, but she lit up the stage (can you tell I have a bit of a crush?).

            After 24 was the panel for Bones. We told ourselves, at least it will have David Boreanaz. No such luck, his wife is 36 weeks pregnant and he didn't want to leave town. The panel consisted of Emily Deschanel (the title character) and the creator of the show. And it was more entertaining that 24. The clip reel was GROSS! Maile couldn't even look at the screen.

            I should mention that between Big Bang and 24 we moved seats and met up with Maile's friend Lindsey. Lindsey sold Maile her extra ticket, and it turns out we know a lot of people in common, including Miracle from Dollhouse. She knew her in Junior High, while I met her at OCC.

            The Dollhouse panel was amazing. First of all, Joss Whedon just walked on stage, no lights fading, no introduction, no warning. The audience went nuts. Obviously.

            Joss introduced the "13th" episode of Dollhouse. We got to watch the entire thing, which is pretty awesome. It was obvious watching it that they never expected to get renewed for another season. It is a complete and total mindfuck. I won't spoil it, since it is going to be on the DVDs, but talk about a game changer.

            The panel consisted of Joss & Eliza. No moderator, just them talking about the show. The audience questions ran the gamut. From "Why do you kill all my favorite characters?" which I bet he gets ever year, to a little girl who started her question "This question is for Echo.." Eliza just melted. It was an awesome time.

            We finally got back to the floor about an hour before close. We all went our separate ways, so as not to waste each others time. I just kind of wandered. I saw a display of "The Tick" comic books and checked it out. While I was standing there a guy walked over and told me that one of the writers was there. Along with Ben Edlund. The creator of the Tick. Writer for Angel. Creator of Bad Horse. WHAT? I walked over.

            "Are you Ben Edlund?"


            "I'm going to shake your hand. You are a messed up MoFo!"

            He laughed.

            "I appreciated that." Which we both said at pretty much the same time.

            I'm still kicking myself for not bringing my Tick comics for him to sign. In my defense, I had about 12 hours notice.

            I wandered some more. Spotted Lou Ferrigno. Saw some cool models. Then I found the Chessex Booth. All the dice in the world! Let's face it, I have more than enough dice, but this is my world. Then I found one I had to have. A big d-12 with hit locations instead of numbers. Moo-Wah-Ha! Maile bought it for me (since I is broke).

            We tracked down Atomic and I gave back the pass. Said hi to Skye and her son (It's always nice to be in a strange place and hear "JOE SMASH!").

            I finally made plans with my friends Joe & Rebecca (Whom I had been playing Text-Tag with all day). Maile, Claire & I walked a couple of blocks to a local pub and had dinner with Joe & Rebecca. The last time I'm SURE I saw them was at their wedding. In 2003.

            We hung out for an hour or two, catching up and getting to know each other. Everybody got along great. Finally, we said good night and walked back to the train.

            It had been a long, long day, but a memorable one. I definitely want to go next year. I hope I can.


PS. We spotted Lou Ferrigno on the street walking to the train. Too strange.


Comic Con 2009

Got home from my first ever Comic Convention (Convention of any kind, really).
Very Tired.
Details to follow....

2nd Day of the OC Fair

Heading out to the Fair soon. We spent the day last Friday and saw Heart (So Good!). Today we may actually ride some rides and play some games. And then, JOAN JETT!
It appears that I am at that magical age where all the groups I liked in High School and Junior High are now playing the County fair at twenty bucks a ticket.

Dinner for the SWAG!

Bon Voyage Dinner for TSwag tonight at Dave & Buster's at the Block of Orange @ 7pm. Drop in and say good-bye to Tony before he sets off for South Carolina!