Sunday, May 29, 2005

Happy Memorial Day

Hey, it's raining!

what the heck is that? Here in Sunny Southern California, that simply should not be possible. 2005 has been one wet year. Some friends moved here from Atlanta and I keep telling them - no rain, every day will be sunny. So far, I'm sounding pretty delusional.
I'm guessing there are going to be many a memorial day BBQ chef concerned with this. Here in SOCAL we don't know what to do when wet round things comes from sky. It'll be a top story on the news for sure, maybe even supplanting Michael Jackson.

House update:
The Final Walk through... a couple days ago, the soon to be 'new owners', their snake, I mean - agent, and the present 'owner' (my soon to be former landlord) and his agent, went through the house to do last checks. I heard the one woman comment to the other as they entered my office - "hey, this is a cute bathroom back here. I never saw this before."
wh-wh-what??? You just spent 700k on a place and you don't even know all the rooms? If I were spending that money, I'd be on my hands and knees looking at the moldings. I, as our neighbor commented, would be crawling through windows, over the roof, etc.
I actually feel sorry for them. They look so scared. I don't know if they have any real allies - certainly not their agent. He walks around like he's on egg shells or a mine field. Maybe they'll have the last laugh, but I do feel like they're lambs being led to the slaughter.

So our landlord could barely make eye contact with us, couldn't say anything, nothing.
I guess from here we're looking at 60-90 days and "It's ovah, Johnny"

Weather update - Rain just stopped. BBQ's are on again. Things can continue in SoCAL, though now the roads are probably going to be slick and full of car accidents.

As I wrote this, the house started making this weezing sound - right above me. Very creepy. I looked around and finally spotted a neighborhood cat in the eaves, avoiding the rain, but coughing up a hairball. The sound of the cat echoed in such a way as to make it appear to be coming from the ceiling.

Immortalized the moment with a digi-pic.

writing update:

After a strong first two days on the screenplay, cranking 51 pages out (yikes), I lost two days. Followed by a tepid (in comparison to the first days) 10 pages yesterday, it closes the week out with a daily average of (61 divided by 5) 12.2 pages per day. Hmm.. That means that I could have a first draft ready to be dissected in aproximately 7 more days. That'd be pretty cool.

Let's see how that goes.

By the way, I'm not claiming it's a great 61 pages, just 61 pages. I'm sure every word needs to be re-written at least three more times.

SOCAL resident/weather awareness update:
Marianne just came home from somewhere. We commented on the rain, and she said, "Yeah, I kept telling myself, wow this mist is really heavy today. Even as I was turning on the wipers, I couldn't understand that it was rain".
See - happens to even the most rain aware people, us folk from Pennsylvania.

Happy Memorial Day and I hope you enjoy YOUR time off, and even though their leader (and ours) is an absolute idiot, give some thought to the troops in Iraq.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The writing begins

Well, the official beginning of script re-re-rewriting has begun. After spending a good two months on the outline, I feel that I may have the skeleton upon which to build - er re re re rebuild Diamond Road (as it is currently entitled).
I'm guessing that it's such a radical redux that I will rename the script as well.
The Adventures of Eddie Dungrin. Hmmm... sounds like Richard Dreyfuss would be the lead in that. No. Don't think so.
I'll have to give it thought. Kind of a shame cause the last scene of the movie now is of eight diamonds laying on a long desert road as a pickup truck drives away.
Diamond Road, get it?

I hear that the house closing is coming this week. We're trying to enjoy ourselves as much as possible though we take turns waking up with stress nightmares, or whatever. I feel like someone nearing an execution.

I started looking at rentals today. Good news is that in spite of the real estate purchase INSANITY that continues to abound, rents haven't gone up much.

The whole real estate crash/bubble thing is starting to make the main news, so I really have the feeling that we're going to start seeing the cracks in the financial walls getting larger pretty soon. Check this Blog out if you're getting the urge to buy.

Marianne and I went to a drive-in this past weekend! Yeah! This used to be a favorite past time of ours in Pennsylvania as there actually was a drive-in near where we lived. Alas it is now a Target center. That, let me tell you, is Bucks County, PA's loss, not gain.

This past Saturday night, the breeze coming in through the open window really gave me the Drive-in urge. Feeling a bit melancholy, I set about looking for something that might still exist. After going through depressing lists of drive-ins that were no more, goggle actually found that one still exists in L.A. County. Better yet,it wasn't too far from us - located in the City of Industry.
Slight digression: When I heard that was an actual place one could live, I had visions, (in Black and White of course) of people marching to and from work, Trader Joes, etc. ala the Fritz Lang's 'Metropolis'.
In fact it is pretty much a train yard, freight, automotive repair type of place.

They have a DRIVE IN!

We got there with time to spare except for one snafu. We had to cross a set of said train tracks and a freight train happened to be rolling past. A freight train that was about two miles long.
Twenty odd minutes later, we finally were on our way again. We went to see "Kingdom of Heaven" (eh) while the rest of the crowd was evidently there for "Revenge of the Sith". I pondered seeing that as the first time I saw Star Wars was at a Drive in during a birthday party. I was nine. Anyway, we watched Ridley Scott redo Gladiator. When the crowds settle down, I'll spend my bucks on a digital presentation of Lucas's last (hopefully) star wars movie.

Back to the drive in. Many nine year old will have the same fond memories of Sith that I have of Star Wars. A beautiful summer night in California with jedi battling it out. Before our movie started, I walked to the concession area centrally located to get Popcorn. 'Sith' was just beginning and I have to admit, the kid in me got a thrill out of hearing the Star Wars theme reverberate from about eight hundred car stereos. You could even hear it coming from the cars on the road still pouring in. Nowadays, with the squawk boxes replaced by FM transmission, you get to hear movies much better, and from much further away than the old days.

I think I see a tradition beginning. Lawn chairs, some boom boxes, friends and a double feature on a summer night for seven bucks per person. Life doesn't get much better than that, does it?

Oh, guess what our second feature was?

xXx State of the Union. Okay, our buddy Johnny is the evil henchman, but I never thought I'd watch that again on the big screen. We sat through it though and goofed on it. I don't think Johnny would mind. Dammit, we paid for it, we're going to goof on it.
Good for the heart. If you're feeling down, go to a drive in with someone fun. Make noise, laugh. It may not be the best way to see a movie, but it's one of the best ways to experience one. Trust me. You'll feel better.

Friday, May 06, 2005

May Day

So, lots happening here. As I wrote, the agents were here... then the open houses.

We left a few minutes before the first one, but already there were people waiting. I swear, if you beat the Addams Family with an ugly stick, what was waiting outside is what they would look like.

The second open house, which was a Sunday, we left good and early and came back good and late. The house looked untouched, and there wasn't really any evidence of anyone having been here. I was thankful for that, and it made me wonder how many, if any people had showed up. Later, a neighbor dropped by to give us some stuff, so we asked her if people had shown up.

They had valet parking. I can't believe it. Valet parking for an open house!

Three days later, the agent called me up to tell me they had an accepted offer. I asked him what the price was, and he told me that while he couldn't tell me the price until it was recorded, it did go above asking.

I'm figuring in the $700,000.00 range.

He then was wondering about a time for a home inspection.

So, the home inspection was a couple days ago, and I got to see who the Einstein's that are the buyers were.

Da Da Da Dum (finger) snap snap

It isn't quite the whole Addams family, actually it's a couple (two women (I think)) who look Goth (though they had a DANZIG bumper sticker on their car which I don't think of as quite goth)

According to their agent, they just started a record label. It hasn't made any money so basically ----
They're unemployed!!

Now, I understand theres some money coming in from somewhere else, still -- remember that cipherin class in a previous post?

These are the people that are getting to the party right before it's over. I kinda feel bad for them, except I feel worse for myself losing my place.

So, it's becoming a reality. We're going to have to hunker down in the desert and wait for the real estate armegeddon to pass before doing anything.

If you want to read about the real estate bubble, there's no shortage of stuff - just google it.

However, I just saw something today which I think may bode much more serious.

If you don't know what Fannie Mae exactly does, here's a quickie. If you do know, jump to the link.

A person wants to get a loan to buy a house. They go to a mortgage lender. The mortgage lender lends the money. Then they sell the Loan to Fannie Mae for an origination fee (a combination government/private company)
This, by the way, is how interest only, etc. -- the whole crazy real estate thing - has been working -- it's largely government/bond subsidized.

If Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac were to go under/close shop, the real estate market would be dead and buried in twenty four hours.

Now - the link...

Here's a link.

Whatcha think? Could this be serious?

What else?

We had a great time a week ago for opening night of xXx State of the Union.
Pretty bad movie, but our neighbor Johnny!!! rocked!
He got to kick Sam Jackson's ass as well as Ice Cube - ending up getting killed of course. Juicy part, Opening credit billing. Can't ask for more than that.

We had drinks at the Lucky Strike Lanes in Hollywood before checking the movie out at the Chinese Theater. Ultimate Hollywood for an ultimate Hollywood movie.

Diamond Road is getting the serious re-working. For those of you who don't know, or want to know what's next - that's it. I'm doing an action adventure next. Old School. None of this Michael Bay crap that's been infecting action so much. Speaking of, if you want to see a fun, old school adveture, check out Sahara. Not bad.

So, there you have it in brief on this May 6th, 2005
Oh - which means that tonight is the big screen premiere of HEADHUNTER, a movie I was heavily involved with for the last year. Hell, I'm a co-producer.
If you live in Los Angeles, and you read this before midnight tonight... check it out. Santa Monica Laemmle 4 at midnight.

For those I don't see there, see you in the digital ethers.