Monday, June 19, 2006

Beach Crawl

It’s getting hot. Early. Too early in the summer, I say.

I wired up an exhaust fan in the attic, and have been able to bring the overall temp of the house down about ten degrees. Every degree counts when you break 100 degrees. Thankfully, no forest fires yet.

Several nights ago, three days after the full moon to be exact, we, Marianne and myself and our friends (I will call them Mathboy, Opera Girl and Spawn) went to the beach at 10:00 PM with flashlights and beach blanket. Mathboy had been telling us about a childhood experience and we went to also witness it. First, we watched a truly spectacular Moon rise over the ocean, and then we saw the purpose of our journey -- the Grunion Run. I, not being a fishing type of a guy, didn’t know much about Grunion. They are small fish that have the absolutely fascinating trait of crawling, yes crawling, up the beach after a full moon to “get it on”. Females drill a hole into the sand with their tail, and deposit eggs, whereupon, the male hops in and does his thing. Then back into the ocean they go. Or, if they are unfortunate to do this when the public is out, into a bucket more likely, as children of all ages ran around the sand grabbing the fish.
It all happened at the Cabrillo Aquarium and if you are a Socal local, I recommend it. It was a really fun, and wholesome event – for the humans, not the fish. It was also a great way to check out the aquarium, as it too was open. There was a certain vampiric quality to looking at the various fish at midnight. No lines, no crowds, no sun.

Bonfires on the beach completed a classic vision of a southern California night. I could very easily have imagined Frankie and Annette popping out from around the large lifeguard stand.
Perhaps, because the movie the aquarium showed that explained the “Grunion Run” was made around 1955, or perhaps the simple glee with which the kids were running around trying to grab small fish, overall, the entire thing had a certain 1950’s vibe to it.
In a good way.

The L.A. Film Fest starts this week. In an attempt to be an actual “A” list festival, rather than merely pretending to be, they seem to really be going all out. It faces the eternal hurdle of being in a town where people are inundated by movies and film festivals. It’s hard to get excited for every single one. However, it has developed, and I’m looking forward to it, namely because:
Several friends have movies programmed, specifically Louis Pepe and Keith Fulton’s, Brothers of the Head, and my old “The Last Broadcast” partner, Lance Weiler and his movie, Head Trauma. A heady fest, shall we say? Perhaps not. Sorry. I’ll be playing host to a couple people from the East Coast. It’s always interesting to see the town through fresh eyes.

The remastering of The Last Broadcast is finished and delivered to the distributor.  It took a good month and a half to do the job. It’s nice to be done with it. The DVD will quite something; close to four hours of material in addition to the movie. I think something that will appeal to many people, which isn’t even listed as an extra, is that I incorporated the score into the chapter selection screens. Thus, the DVD, for all intents and purposes, is also a soundtrack album.  In doing this, a lot of requests from over the years will finally be fulfilled. It was interesting to go through all the old music tracks, clean them up and remix them. It really hammers home how much the technology has advanced in the nine odd years sine we began that movie.

Writing continues, interspersed by reading scripts, playing the violin, and continuing my latest hobby/fascination of building studio grade audio gear. The microphones having been such a success, I’m undertaking a significantly more difficult project. It will be my official “summer hobby project” – a high end Two Channel Microphone Preamplifier. Lots of components with real electricity coursing through them, I hopefully I won’t let the smoke out of any expensive parts - or myself.
I’ve been ordering up lots of the parts online, but for the moment I’m going to hold on actually placing the orders. Though very convenient, generally cheaper, and less likelihood of the wrong parts, a certain visceral feel is lost by online shopping. For that, a trip to a huge electronic surplus ‘junkyard’ is in order. I’m reminding myself to have fun with the journey as well as the final product. Also, the ideas that spring from these excursions can’t be matched with electronic catalogs.

I’m sure it will be a blog in the future.