Blog Archive

I F*^#*^* Love Xmas . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Sunday, December 25, 2005 0 comments

I've always felt that a healthly dose of cynicism is good for the soul, but I check mine at the door whenever it comes to Christmas.

Ever since I was a child, I've always loved all things having to do with the holiday which never lets me down and continually dispenses joy, gifts, food, family, stockings and time off to enjoy these things.

Christmas is easily the best holiday because it combines great food with presents. It's that winning combination which causes the holiday to run circles around birthdays, Easter or the Fourth of July.

I love Christmas so much that I find myself with a partial erection nearly every time I even pass by a decorated tree.

So what if I don't have a full-time job?

Or an optioned screenplay?

Or that I have yet to take up ballroom dancing or study native American art?

I refuse to complain about anything on Christmas Day because there's food to eat, presents to open and a giant 12-foot tree in a my parent's living room.

So, happy holidays to everyone but I've got to run because there are pressing matters to attend to and quelling a raging hard-on is the first order of business.


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The Surreal Life . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, December 16, 2005 0 comments

So I finally get to Austin and start adjusting to a full-time office gig, and then on Wednesday afternoon, I got called into the CEO's office where he said "I'm sorry but I'm going to have to let you go."

It wasn't for anything I did or didn't do because most of the office was also fired with the exception of the engineers.

For the life of me, however, I can't figure out why my bosses were pushing so hard to bring me aboard on a full-time basis, and then two weeks later they have the balls to fire me.

At best, it displayed a raging incompetence when it comes to monitoring cash flow and at worst it's just a sleazy, rotten thing to do right before Christmas.

Now, I'm celebrating the holidays by updating my resume and looking into a return engagement to my former life as a personal trainer while I search for a new job in Austin.

This has created a surreal existence because I was just making peace with my old life and beginning to forge a new one when I got blindsided by this firing.

On the plus side, I am getting paid for the remainder of December and I also have a lot of time on my hands these days. The problem is that excess time minus monetary funds equals nothing but horrible daytime television and bad movies like the Steven Seagal vehicle "Out for Justice."

And that combination only leads to lethargy and self-loathing.

I guess the lesson to be learned by this is:

a) I don't belong in an office job
b) This is Karma paying me back for bitching about my new job to anyone who would listen
c) I need turmoil in my life to write anything worth reading
d) My boss is an ignorant toad

Mabye it's all of the above or some combination or maybe there's nothing to be learned at all except to get off my ass and find a new job ASAP.

This will be nearly impossible until at least the new year rolls around, so in the interim, I'll simply live at Xmas parties where the hors d'voures (sp?) are plentiful and booze is free and if you're lucky there might even be presents.

Ho. Ho. Ho.


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Make It Sizzle Part Deaux . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, December 13, 2005 0 comments

It's that time again.

For the past 8 months, we've been toiling and sweating it out while trying to finish our second screenplay, "Monkey Business," but now the hard part has arrived because we must turn a 100 page script into a brief synopsis that will demand attention from contest readers, potential agents and even the most casual reader.

This "logline", as I've seen it referenced by some contests, is typically the first thing a script reader will see when your entry comes up for inspection.

Therefore, we need one that will pique interest and cultivate a fertile frame of mind for the person who's about to be entranced by the verbal mastery contained in "Monkey Business."

At least that's the idea.

I actually think we came out of the gates swinging with the synopsis for our first script, "Last Train To Amersterdam." It read:

Boy bands, pop culture and polar bears collide during a wild train ride through Europe which explores a seedy universe populated with has-been actors, German barons, heated housewives, and a degenerate train conductor who knows everyone's secrets.

If I saw that logline, I would be anxious to read the thing for the Polar Bear element alone.

As for "Monkey Business," we need a sizzling synopsis for a script that features two friends, one family, a wealthy suburban neighborhood and the Swinger's Sex Club that wreacks havoc on both personal and professional relationships and touches on topics that vary widely from infidelity to friendship to familial responsibility to beastality.

It really runs the gamut, but we need a solution quickly because we have a contest deadline looming in 2 days and a stellar logline waits for no man.

Or beast in this case.


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Creature Of Habit . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, December 06, 2005 0 comments

I know some people who thrive on change.

They'll order something different off the menu at their favorite restaurant just to keep it interesting. Or maybe they drive home from work by a new route or decide that today they'd really prefer paper over plastic.

I, however, am not one of those people.

For many years now, I have been a creature of habit and when I find something that works for me, I generally stick with it unless I am absolutely forced to change.

As you can imagine, my recent re-location and job shift has really thrown me for a loop because my mind hasn't fully adjusted and my body is rebelling and screaming "why are you covering me up in so many clothes."

This is mainly due to the fact that my work uniform for the past 4 years has consisted of shorts and a t-shirt that might or might not contain sleeves.

Now, it's khakis and button-downs and polo shirts and belts and loafers. This has been a tough adjustment, and therefore I don't consider it strange in the least that I like to go home during my lunch hour and walk around my apartment wearing no pants until I have to go back to the office.

It simply makes sense from a comfort standpoint.

But while my body will adjust, it's my mind that truly worries me. All week long I've felt how I imagine someone who's lost an appendage must feel - because I keep trying to reach for something that just isn't there anymore.

In my mind, my Monday schedule should have read:

6 a.m. - Train Marla
7 a.m. - Read newspaper and drink coffee
8 a.m. - Train Cassandra
9 a.m. - Work myself Out
10 a.m. - Train Brandi & Tiffany
11 a.m. - Train Sonya
12 - 4 p.m. - Free Time
4 p.m - Train Cara
5 p.m. - Train Traci
6 p.m. - Go home

I was extremely adjusted to my middle-of-the-day breaks, and it afforded me time to run errands or sometimes just go to the movies, where you will find a motley crew of people on a Monday afternoon who can justify taking time out their day to see a piece of crap like "Domino."

This past Monday, however, I traded in the movies as well as talking to Brandi and Tiffany for a chance to speak with Arvid and Saibal, a couple of database administrators who are sorely lacking in basic communication skills.

Christ, I should have my head examined shouldn't I?

Maybe, maybe not. But one thing I must do immediately is find a new path and a new routine. It might not be as fun or engaging as my old one, but it must be done and it might even lead to more productivity with our scripts.

I've already discovered that one side benefit of a job that doesn't stimulate you creatively is the overwhelming desire to create something after you leave.

It's either that route or another one where I simply drink myself into a stupor, and I suppose I can't entirely rule that out considering I just started my new occupation. Besides, Hemingway was a drunk and a great author. Same with Fitzgerald. The list goes on and on, although I can't name a single screenwriter who would fit in with that club off the top of my head.


Anyway, I thought I'd get these kind of posts out of my system after the last one, but right now I've still got a mild case of the blues. However, I expected the first week to be the most difficult, and it will certainly get better.

In the interim, someone once said to me that one thing change will bring is something new, and so I guess it's time I found out exactly what that will entail.


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The Long Goodbye . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, November 30, 2005 5 comments

"I left a long string of friends, some sheets in the wind and some satisfied women behind," - Billy Joe Shaver, "Ride Me Down Easy"

I've been saying a lot of goodbyes lately and although I've been improving upon my technique with each passing day, it hasn't made it any easier to stomach.

Over the past week, I've said adios at the gym, at restauraunts, on the street, in my car, over the phone, at the bank, in houses, and I even experienced one really awkard last call in a public restroom (where nothing good ever occurs).

The catalyst for this barrage of sentiment is my impending move to Austin on a full-time basis thanks to a job offer at a start-up firm in town. This change will eliminate my weekly commute between Austin and Plano, where I was still working as a personal trainer until today when I threw in the towel (pun intended).

It's not easy telling people goodbye when you 've been seeing them several times a week for the past 4 years.

Like most things that become routine, there will be a void where a dozen or so people used to be and that number swells considerably when you add in other acquantinces who I used to see at the laundry or the bank or at the Wendy's by my old apartment where I am still extremely popular with the largely Hispanic waitstaff.

But it's my old clients that I will miss the most.

It's an interesting phenomenon when you get thrust into someone else's life. Over the years, I've heard about hellacious children, traveling husbands, family pets, hired help, catastrophes big, small and imagined, slights and reconcilliations, pop culture trivia, emergencies, Junior League, fashion, vacation trips and everything else in between.

I didn't always agree with the comments and opinions that were tossed around, but at some stage a shift occurs where you start to overlook certain aspects of someone's personality and simply focus on the positive attributes that we all have to some degree or another.

Besides, nobody's perfect (although I must point out that my nickname in high school was "nobody") and I realize that my own personality is far from ideal.

Another bad thing about goodbyes is that they really wear you down. All week long I've felt like I've been sucker-punched except I can't ever seem to locate the culprit.

Of course, it doesn't help matters when you're attending lunches and dinners every day for a week, where you wind up eating copious amounts of food and drinking far too many Grey Goose vodka tonics and Negro Modelos, which ulimately leads to the foolish decision to smoke a large cigar, but I digress.

My problem with telling everyone goodbye has only been compounded by the sinking feeling that this severing of ties and shift from the gym to an actual office is the thought that keeps running through my head of "this is where the fun stops."

From here on out, it feels like it's time for an "adult" job and all the politics and bullshit and responsibility that runs along side of it.

So, not only have I been saying goodbye to a lot of good people, it also feels like I'm burying the last remnants of my childhood as well.

I really thought that it would help my pysche to write this blog, but looking back over this drivel is only adding to my uneasiness because it's exactly this kind of self-absorbed crap that makes me hate blogs in the first place.

But I guess that writing about how I wish that Freddie Prinze Jr. would be eaten alive by leeches has to occasionally take a backseat to real life issues, eh?

Then again, even the entertainment world has kicked me when I'm down because Fox recently announced that they were cancelling "Arrested Development," which narrowly beats "The Office" for best comedy on television.

When will the madness end?

I can't say I have an answer for that question or that I would be foolish enough to even venture a guess. All I want is a break from goodbyes, a new liver and a winning lottery ticket.

If I can't have all three, I'll take the first one for now because it's been a rough week and it's only Wednesday.

On the other hand, as Steve Earle once noted, sometimes "goodbye is all we've got left to say."


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Motorists Who Just Made The List . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, November 14, 2005 0 comments

As I mentioned last week, I've been doing quite a bit of driving these last few months and now it is not only turning me slightly deranged, but it's also making me into a mean bastard who hates the majority of his fellow drivers.

I have come to loathe these people driving beside me with a fierce passion that has left the simply misanthropic and is currently veering crazily toward wanting to run them off the road and into a ditch before lighting their cars on fire and roasting marshmellows over the flames.

That might sound harsh (and it looks really harsh onscreen), but it's true.

On my most recent journey, however, I tried to turn this unrelenting anger into a productive outlet and so I started a list of motorists who need to die a horrible flaming death.

I found this excercise extremely therapeutic and would recommend it to anyone who feels that they have experienced too much stupidity, buffonery and just plain embarrasing behavior on the roadways.

And with that in mind, here's my list which is subject to change at any given moment:

Motorists Who Need To Be Put Down Like Dogs:

1) Anyone entering a freeway at less than 40 MPH
2) Anyone with a personalized license plate that isn't your initials or that classic Van Halen album "OU812"
3) Anyone gesturing wildly while talking on a cell phone
4) Anyone who doesn't wave to acknowledge that you just let them into your lane to fix some dumb mistake they just made
5) Anyone with a Calvin and Hobbes sticker where one character is urinating
6) Anyone going the speed limit in the left lane of a highway
7) Anyone driving an 18-wheel truck in the left lane
8) Anyone driving a car (not a pickup truck) with more than 1 animal inside of it (unless going to the Vet)
9) Anyone over 50 and bald driving a Corvette (let's try and not fit the exact stereotype of that car, eh?)
10) Anyone driving a PT Cruiser

Much like myself, this list is ever-evolving, but I would strongly recommend trying to stay off of it because my mental state is rapidly detoriating and you can buy marshmellows anywhere.


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Getting Weird On I-35 . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, November 01, 2005 0 comments

I think my twice weekly commute between Dallas and Austin is starting to turn me sideways because lately I've been having strange thoughts nearly every time I find myself on I-35.

For instance, this week I was fixated on a scenario that involves James McMurtry (a musician I enjoy), his song "Ole Slew Foot" and someone dressed up in bear costume. But first a little background is needed to fully appreciate the sequence of events.

McMurtry's new album, "Childish Things," has this song (Slew Foot) about a troublesome bear who boasts a humungous rump, a prediliction for stealing honey and a very quick and agile gait.

I've seen McMurtry in concert numerous times, and I could not shake the idea that it would be intensly funny to rent a bear costume and attend his next musical set while holding a homemade sign reading "Ole Slew Foot."

I would stand near the stage at The Continental Club in Austin to make sure that James could see me, and once he started playing the song (because who could refuse a request from a rabid fan in a bear suit) then I would throw the sign to the ground and start charging around the dancefloor and chasing people around the room until they threw me out.

Just think of the visual.

Now that would be a concert that nobody attending would soon forget. The only problem with my scenario is that I wouldn't get to enjoy the scene as I would be inside a bear costume and unable to see the crowd's reaction.

Therefore, the only solution that makes any sense would be to pay someone else to be in the bear suit and then I could just sit back with a cold Shiner Bock and enjoy the rampage.

I spent all my time from Dallas to Waco thinking about this scene, and I could not shake a smile from my face nor the certainty in my heart that I could make it happen.

Besides, as Dr. Hunter Thompson once wrote, "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

And nothing says professional like a man in a bear suit.


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Put The Mask Back On, Leave The North Country & Head For The Hot Spot . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, October 19, 2005 6 comments

I saw the preview for the new Charlize Theron vehicle, "North Country," last week and I can't say that I was too excited about the experience.

The film appears to be one of those Oscar-baiting, strip-mining, well-meaning, lesson-learning plots where Theron must fight to preserve her dignity as well as her right to work in some shithole mine somewhere in the north country where the days are long and the accents are silly.

"North Country" is already generating good buzz, and while I'd bet that it's a quality project, I still have very little desire to see it.

The mine looks dark, dank and depressing (why anyone would fight to work in this pit is utterly beyond me) and since Theron's character spends her days toiling there, she tends to resemble this putrid hovel.

Theron looks extremely average and it's hard to be even remotely sexy when you're covered in mine gunk all day long.

After the preview ended, I was a little sad about Theron's plight concerning this mining issue, but I was even more concerned with her continuation of a disturbing trend where actresses break onto the movie scene with a head-turningly sexy debuts and then spend the rest of their careers shunning the very hotness that caused them to leave their mark in the first place.

Theron first came to my attention after her part in "Two Days in the Valley." I didn't know who she was, but I certainly wanted to find out after watching her pummel Teri Hatcher and hump James Spader like a hyena.

Quite simply, she was phenomenal. She was also blonde and chiseled and wearing a white nightie for large parts of the film.

Theron is by no means an anomaly in this regard, however, as she is merely following in the footsteps of many other big stars who have never again looked as good as they did in their early movies.

A few examples:

Cameron Diaz - In the movie "The Mask," Diaz was voluptous and curvy with all of her facial gifts intact. She has never looked as good again as she has turned to period pieces, bad romantic comedies and apparently lost all her curves even before she started dating Justin Timberlake.

Julia Roberts - She looked great in "Pretty Woman" even if she did use a body double. Regardless, she was still damn sexy, and the only movie where she's come close to rivaling her work as Richard Gere's hooker was in "Erin Brockavich," a film where she played a legal crusader who merely dressed like a hooker.

Jennifer Connelly - Few people saw the Don Johnson classic "The Hot Spot," but it's definitely worth a rental as Connelly is simply smoking. How Johnson got with her and Virginia Madsen in the film is a secret I'd like to know, but Connelly has never again come close to her magic in this film (with the possible exception of "Career Opportunities").

Catherine Zeta-Jones - She is on the fence because she hasn't completely shunned her physical charms thanks to good-looking turns in "Intolerable Cruelty" and "Chicago" (except for the haircut). But for my money, she has never rivaled her role as a sexy Spanish senorita in "The Mask of Zorro."

That is just a partial list, but the message is clear - if you discover a young actress and believe her to be stunningly sexy then you better savor every minute of it because the only certainty is that she'll change.

She'll go period ("Mary Reilly") or Irish ("Michael Collins") or both ("Gangs of New York") or she may simply get herself stranded in the North Country and they never return the same way again.


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Party Like A Viking . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, October 14, 2005 1 comments

It's good to be a Viking these days.

The football team might be going nowhere this season, but apparently that didn't stop roughly 17 Minnesota players from chartering two boats on Lake Minnetonka that were loaded to the gills with liquor and prostitutes.

The team and state officials are now embroiled in a scandal that threatens their season as well as the very morals of Minnesota after boat crew members complained to the local authorities concerning prostitution and lewd behavior aboard the floating party barges.

The boats were scheduled to take a leisurely 2 1/2 hour cruise on the lake, but the captains returned the Vikings to the dock after less than an hour.

There were reports of open acts of sex, heavy drinking, aggresive propositioning of female boat crew members, and urinating on private property among other lascivious behavior.

The truly fightening thing is that they were able to accomplish all this in less than an hour. I can only imagine in vivid detail over and over again what might have transpired had the entire cruise taken place as scheduled.

State officals were suitably outraged as Gov. Tim Pawlenty declared "If the allegations are true, it's awful. We understand that athletes aren't necessarily role models, but we at least expect them to abide by the basic laws of the state."

And of human decency he might have added.

That kind of morally corrupt behavior is not generally tolerated in public even if you are a rich athlete. The players should have taken a page from the Stanley Kubrick film "Eyes Wide Shut" and realized that the wealthy have been conducting themselves like pure animals for centuries, but they must do it behind closed doors.

And wearing elaborate animal masks might help to disguise the participants.

As it stands, this is a scandal that will hound the team for the rest of the season and beyond. You can already write the Vikings out of the play-offs, although they probably won't care because the off-season will come sooner and there's always a party somewhere.

My recommendation would be to try South Beach the next time they're up for a little debauchery.


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1 Down & 1 To Go . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, October 05, 2005 15 comments

I generally try to contain my gloating - except when it comes to Chris O' Donnell and Freddie Prinze Jr.

A few blogs ago, I mentioned that these two "stars" were headlining new television shows that looked abysmal and I also predicted that they would struggle to find an audience (or at least anyone who would admit to watching them).

So far, I am at least half-right as O'Donnel's lawyer show, "Head Cases," has already received the ax after only two episodes.

I might have been wrong about O'Donnell having absolutely no talent, however, because I believe that it takes a very real and very special talent to bomb so badly after only two hours on television that the network decided to cut their losses and shut down production.

With the premiere of "Freddie" only a week or so away, I can only hope that he follows in O'Donnel's mighty footsteps and perhaps even surpasses them. It would be pretty special to air just a single episode before being canned.

Unfortunately, "Freddie" might be around a little longer as it is being packaged with "The George Lopez Show" as some sort of Chicano power hour of television.

I believe this is only wishful thinking on the part of ABC execs because while it is technically true that Prinze is part Hispanic; he's still a full-time tool in my book.


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Trading Up . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Thursday, September 22, 2005 10 comments

A few days ago, my brother and I were having pints at the Draught Horse Pub and discussing such weighty topics as the proliferation of weapons in North Korea, a revolutionary mass transit system for the public, the relative merits of pomade and eventually Brad Pitt.

By this juncture everyone in America has watched Pitt's marriage to Jennifer Anniston crumble, and his subsequent romantic entanglement with Angela Jolie to blossom.

The fact that Pitt would leave his wife for Angela Jolie was not surprising because all red-blooded American men and virtually all women would also drop their significant other like a greased pig for the opportunity at a single five minute tryst with Jolie in run-down Spanish bodega.

So while I wasn't surprised by Pitt's actions, I did find the public's relative lack of outrage a little strange.

My brother had no such reservations, however, and he calmly leaned back on his barstool and said "Of course he got away with it - he traded up."

I knew right away that my brother was right.

The truth was simple: When public figures cheat on their spouses with someone who is better-looking they can weather the storm, but when they get caught cheating with a dog-faced substitute they are mercilessly berated.

Hugh Grant learned this lesson several years ago when he cheated on Liz Hurley with a hooker who looked like she'd been beaten with an ugly stick and who was far from Divine.

Grant caught a load of grief not because he cheated and not simply because he got caught with a prostitute. Instead he found himself embroiled in such public shame because he cheated on an exquisite-looking woman with a third-rate hooker who was far from a looker and should have been paying Grant instead of the other way around.

More recently Jude Law experienced this phenomenon when he cheated on the lithe vixen Sienna Miller with his nanny; a woman who doubly shamed Law by keeping a detailed diary describing his prediliction for premature ejaculation.

Like Grant, Law found himself on the wrong end of public opinion after the story broke. And I had to agree because only a dangerous lunatic or a serial pervert would trade in Miller for a poke at an extremely average-looking nanny.

After recapping these shameful episodes, my brother and I both agreed that Pitt realized the error that some of his fellow thespians had made when he considered whether to cheat with Jolie.

He realized the impressive pedigree that goes with cheating up (see Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Jennifer Garner) and also that the public will accept a bit of philandering as long as it's not with someone less attractive.

Big-time celebrities would do well to remember this rule because when executed properly it can not only give your career a boost, but it can also get you laid by Angela Jolie.

And it doesn't have to be in some filthy Spanish bodega unless that's the way you like it.


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Get 'Lost' Joe, Chris & Freddie . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Thursday, September 08, 2005 0 comments

Now that Labor Day is over and the dog days of summer are gone, I suppose it's time to turn on my television once again.

After a summer-long hiatus, I'm ready to jump back into the mix even if that means a substantial time drain as well as a recurring case of Tivo anxiety for which I have found no cure.

It's always difficult selecting which TV shows to watch during a given season as there's only so much time one can dedicate to the leisurely pursuit of couch-sitting. Time is far too precious a commodity waste on mind-numbing crap like "According to Jim," "Joey" and "Fear Factor."

I used to watch a few minutes of "Fear Factor" due to my fascination with the nubile, big-breasted halter-top wearing women on the show - but then Joe Rogan ruined my fun.

Rogan looks and acts like some sort of mutant chimpanzee who's been jacked up on too much speed and false bravado. He's also about as funny as a steel-toed boot to the crotch.

It is this combination that makes even a brief glance at "Fear Factor" virtually impossible.

Luckily, there are some intriguing shows that will take up the slack as I plan to watch "Lost," "Arrested Development," "My Name is Earl," "Kitchen Confidential," "Nip/Tuck," "American Dad," "The Simpsons," "The Shield," and depending upon whom I'm talking to "The O.C."

On the other hand, two shows that I definitely won't be watching involve Chris O' Donnell and Freddie Prinze Jr.

O ' Donnell plays some sort of lawyer in yet another show focused on the quirky legal profession while Prinze Jr. will undoubtably be doing something wholly uninteresting in a show that bears his name as the title.

I find these actors about as dynamic as wallpaper or vanilla yogurt, and I can't imagine that their shows will find an audience.

The only show I might watch with these actors would be a combined contest to see which thespian could be more innocuous or bland. Then again I might just watch paint dry in my apartment depsite my morbid fascination with the eventual winner.

I can make room in my schedule to watch grisly plastic surgery, survivors on a mysterious island or the promiscuous activities of the residents of Orange County but I will never have enough time for Joe, Chris or Freddie (although I would clear my calendar for Sarah Michelle Gellar if she ever needed a shoulder to cry on).


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The Dirty Sanchez Sweeps America . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, August 30, 2005 0 comments

I saw "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" last week, and the movie was a pleasant surprise as it was consistently funny and fairly raunchy.

Much like "The Wedding Crashers," Steve Carrell and company reveled in their R rating and didn't pull punches when it came to describing sexual acts or situations.

But it was also one of these descriptions, however, that disturbed me after leaving the theater.

About half-way through the movie, a character of Middle Easter origin discusses a variety of sexual activities with Steve Carrell. The exchange begins with some common sexual banter, but then takes a turn for the gutter.

Somewhere in the middle of this sequence, the term "Dirty Sanchez" was thrown out. I found myself laughing because the idea of a "Dirty Sanchez" is always good for a chuckle or two due to its extremely revolting visual nature.

After I finished laughing, however, I looked around and noticed that a large majority of the theater was also in stitches.

I didn't think much of it at the time, but afterwards it started to disturb me that not only did a large percentage of the general public seem to understand what a "Dirty Sanchez" entailed, but that they also appeared to condone its usuage by their gales of hearty laughter.

For those people who have no idea about the filthiness of a "Dirty Sanchez" let me just say that you never want to be on the receiving end of one. The term describes a deviant sexual act that involves doggy-style lovemaking, feces, and hand-drawn mustaches.

The "Dirty Sanchez" originated as part of an email laundry list of strange sexual pleasures, but since its humble beginnings the act has now leapt into the mainstream.

Howard Stern talks frequently about it, a team in last years movie "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story" adopted it for its tournament name, and most recently a full description could be found in the new release "The Aristocrats."

So what does this all mean?

And what will this onslaught of "Dirty Sanchez" talk add up to in the near future?

Personally, I think it is only a matter of time before a "Dirty Sanchez" is actually performed in a theatrical release. Or at the very least the conclusion of one will soon be out there for public consumption.

You can only talk about something for so long before the urge to actually perform the act becomes too overwhelming to resist.

Call me a prude, but I can do without watching actresses running around with brown mustaches unless that actress happens to be Paris Hilton - in which case I hope she boasts a huge brown handlebar on her upper lip that would put any long-haul trucker to shame.


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The Name Game . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, August 22, 2005 0 comments

Names are important.

First names, last names, nicknames, product names and especially movie names are of vital importance to the long-term success of the person or the product.

Most of us have little input with our given names, but one of the earliest ways we can influence the direction of our lives is the choice or cultivation of a nickname. A superior nickname craftsman can help themselves in nearly all social situations or at the very least can increase their chances of getting laid.

For instance, Owen Wilson, known as the "Butterscotch Stallion," is brilliant. His self-appointed monikor is funny yet regal and appeals to men and women alike.

Personally, I spent my high schools years yearning to be known as the "Conquistador," but alas it was not to be.

Many factors held me back including the utter lack of any Spanish blood coursing through my veins as well as the fact that I rarely if ever roamed the halls of Plano Senior High School with a long sword swinging menancingly behind me.

While a good nickname can raise your social status, a good product or movie name can ensure monetary success or leave the endeavor doomed to utter and complete failure.

A recent example of a movie that bombed thanks to a bad title can be found in "Layer Cake." This entertaining British gangster film was stylish and boasted a sharp cast, but it bombed at box office after getting no help from a title that conjured up images of Julia Childs or at the very least of the sugary sweet film "Chocolat."

A good title should be easy to remember as well as invoke an image that fits with some aspect of the film.

"Sin City" was a good title for a movie filled with hookers and hoods and sluts and perverts. However, "The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain" flat-out sucked even if it was appropriate for Hugh Grant.

I was reminded of this problem as I read the recent Fall Movie Preview in Entertainment Weekly. Most of the titles were solid ("Lord of War" or "Into the Blue") and some were even better ("Guys and Balls" or "Walk the Line.")

The problem is that anyone associated with upcoming releases such as "The Squid and the Whale," "Breakfast on Pluto" and "The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio" need to run for the hills because these titles will get them nowhere near box-office glory.

These films face an uphill battle thanks to someone or many someones who failed to recognize the importance of names. It will all become clear, however, when these films languish at the bottom of the box office and studio execs realize their mistakes.

Take it from the "Conquistador" - you only get one chance to find a name that really makes a difference.


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Moving On & We Want Our Two Points . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, August 15, 2005 0 comments

It's been awhile, but it's been hard to blog when you're living out of boxes thanks to a just completed re-location to Austin, TX.

Moving is just another of life's trials that reminds you that some things are out of your control - much like taxes and the career of Freddie Prinze Jr.

So, for the past several weeks I had been locked in a constant battle with new and old landlords over such trivial matters as rent, security deposits, holes in the walls, and a bathtub that had turned a truly hideous shade of grayish-black due to unknown causes (i.e. my failure to clean it since the start of 2005).

My days had been utterly bleak due to these moving-related factors, but then salvation came through the U.S. Post Office when we received our critique from the International Screenwriting Awards.

We had already discovered that we didn't make the quarterfinals of the ISA contest, and for all we knew our first script had been a complete waste of time, effort and paper.

Could it be that our humor didn't transcend to the outside world?

Of course not.

The critique was extensive and effusive in its praise for our "unique and imaginative" script. It went on to say that the writers "have obvious talent" and that our ability to handle "a large cast of characters and still give them each a distinct voice displayed outstanding character development."

The two problems that kept us from the quarterfinals was the lack of a strong main character to drive the plot as well as a story that was a little scattershot due to its large cast of characters.

On the plus side, these were both problems that my brother and I discussed while writing the script and should be fixable without a sizable re-write.

When the reviewer got down to our score we had a 58, which placed us in the top 26 percent of applicants. We kept reading and found that a score of 60 would have advanced us into the next round of the competition.

I suppose it's appropriate since our company is titled 2 Dollar Productions that we missed out on placing in the ISA Awards because of two lousy points, but I'm no fan of irony when I'm on the receiving end of it.

As far as I'm concerned you can keep your praise for "Last Train to Amsterdam" - I want my two points.


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What Are You Gonna Do In Austin?

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Thursday, July 21, 2005 2 comments

The countdown has begun and it's only a few short weeks until I point a giant U-Haul south and drive down I-35 towards Austin.

Packing my belongings sucks, paying initiation fees to set up new services is even worse, but the thing that is driving me crazy is the persistent inquiry of seemingly everyone I meet about my job prospects.

If I had a nickel for every time I've been asked the question "What are you gonna do in Austin" over the past month; well at the very least I'd have a shitload of nickels and maybe I wouldn't have to work.

The real answer is I don't know where I'm going to work in Austin. Usually, I mumble something about finding a job when I get there, but lately I've been telling some people that I can't wait to get into low-budget pornography.

"Pornography?" they ask.

"Yeah, but not the respectable stuff," I say. "Austin has a thriving film community, but the Austin porn scene is not that soft-core Playboy TV nonsense. It's rough like an ancient lard-caked griddle and since it's still out of the mainstream they really don't have money to pay the performers so the actors do it for fun and a family bucket of Popeye's chicken."

"You can't be serious," they say.

"I'm dead serious. I can't wait to get my hands dirty and I love Popeye's chicken, so I think I can make a real splash and jump right in."

That answer usually shifts the focus of the conversation drastically because anyone whose goal in life is to work in low-budget porn should not be trusted nor talked to at parties.

In reality, the list of potential jobs that I'm toying with is long but distinguished - much like my Johnson (who can ever resist a "Top Gun" reference).

I'm currently working as a personal trainer which I could do in Austin, or I have a client trying to get me into a pharaceutical sales position or I have another contact who wants me to work in sales for a new computer software company or I have a long-shot modeling possibility in New York that I'm still pursuing and my brother is keeping me abreast of job openings in his marketing department.

What I'd really like to do is write another screenplay or two and possibly start on a novel. And for that dream job I will definitely need all the nickels I can get my hands on because the pay is lousy and often nonexistent.

So, where does that leave me?

I don't know, but I guess you have to consider yourself fortunate to live in a country where one man can reasonably fill such a wide variety of jobs when his college major was Journalism.

On the other hand, I've always wanted to try out Randy Peckerwood for a porn name, and I hate to limit myself by swearing off the adult industry without giving it a fair shake.

We've all got to make a living somehow, eh?


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Crash This Wedding . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Saturday, July 16, 2005 0 comments

I saw "Wedding Crashers" yesterday, and while it wasn't an instant classic it was still a breath of fresh air thanks to a plot that didn't shy away from gratuitous nudity, outlandish situations and characters who actually employ the word fuck in their vocabulary.

For several years, Hollywood has been languishing in a PG-13 wasteland of comedy blandness due to its quest for the largest possible audience.

One needs to look no further than this summer's "The Longest Yard" for an example of this lame grab for cash. I could care less about seeing movies like "Yard" or "Meet the Fockers" or the upcoming "Stealth" (which isn't a traditional comedy, but it sure looks like an unintentional one).

Not all comedies must be rated R, but the fact that the "Wedding Crashers" seems so fresh is less a testament to the movie itself and more about the recognition that Hollywood's courtship of the PG-13 movie has been going on for far too long.

The Wedding Crashers is a throwback to 80s comedies and even the "American Pie" movies because it embraces an R rating.

This fact allows for outlandish characters like an old lady who calls Elenor Roosevelt a "dyke" and her grandson a "homo." It also allows characters to be tied to bedposts and for breasts to be bared with no redeeming social value whatsoever.

Finally, it allows Vince Vaughn to put his rapid-fire quips to their best use since "Swingers" because he's not afraid that if he utters two "fucks" over the course of the film that the PG-13 grail will be lost.

"Wedding Crashers" is far from perfect, and the last 20 minutes aren't very good at all as the movie has to redeem its two leading characters in an implausible way.

This is a small price to pay, however, for a movie that has plenty of honest laughs and it sure beats stepping over kids and kicking a few for good measure on your way to "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."

I really hope that the box office is good for "Crashers" as well because Hollywood jumps when the grosses spike, and that would mean better comedies in the future because I would rather have my pubic hair pulled out by a pair of rusty pliers than have to sit through more PG-13 schlock like "The Longest Yard."


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You Can Keep The Keys To Florida, I'll Stay In Texas . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, July 12, 2005 0 comments

One of my favorite literary characters, Travis McGee, lived aboard a houseboat in the Florida Keys during the course of nearly 20 novels.

John D. McDonald created a world for him that always sounded ideal to me. McGee had it all in Florida as he was well-stocked with sand, sun, parties, flesh, friends and fun.

Unfortunately, the Travis McGee books were written decades ago, and now a current update would have to include a state populated with hurricanes, sharks and old folks - none of which appeal to me.

I once thought I might want to live in Florida, but things have changed and you couldn't get me there with the offer of a free house on the beach and an unlimited supply of Dos Equis in the refrigerator.

What good is a house on the beach if you're worried every year that it might be blown away in a hurricane? I don't need that kind of stress and I have no desire to board up my house with plywood each summer.

Living near the water also sounds good in theory, but I know this would lead to the constant temptation to go swimming, which would eventually end with me being devoured by a savage bull shark in waist-deep water.

So, I would be forced to stay on the land and fight retirees for early-bird dinners and good tee times at the golf courses.

No thanks, I think I'll just stay in Texas.

I hate to bash Florida because it's easy to pick apart the worst aspects in any state. It's not like living in Texas doesn't give me the highest chance of being put to death by the government.

And if you ask a good percentage of people living on the East Coast, they probably think I should also worry about being run over by a cattle stampede as I walk to my giant pick-up truck on the way to the rodeo.

Instead, I'm gearing up to drive my small silver convertible to Austin and I didn't seen many cows roaming the city when I lived there for 5 years while attending UT. So, until further notice I'll take Austin over Florida any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

I just feel better about living in a place where the hurricanes are mixed on Sixth Street and the sharks reside at the local pool halls and clubs that stay open until 4 a.m.

These things I can handle.


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Give Me The Gas Or Stop Asking Questions . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Thursday, July 07, 2005 0 comments

I went to the dentist yesterday for a routine cleaning, and once again I was denied laughing gas which would have at least made the visit vaguely tolerable.

Dentists have gotten awfully stingy with the Nitrous Oxide since I was kid, and if they wanted happier patients they would reverse this ugly trend and start handing out masks as soon as you hit the waiting room.

Instead, all I got was a dental hygienest with a grumbling stomach who scraped and polished my teeth down to the gums - a situation I fully expected walking into the office.

What galled me, however, was the persisent open-ended questions she kept asking as she had my mouth pried open and her sharp instruments at work.

Did she really expect me to answer how my summer was going?

Or how my vacation to St. John went?

Or what my plans were when I got Austin?

Even yes/no questions are difficult when all you can do is grunt and possibly form a few vowel sounds. My lack of candor didn't bother her a bit as she continued this Q&A session for most of the appointment.

As I left the office with my gums bleeding and my lips chapped I added the hygienist's inane inquiries to the list of things I hate about going to the dentist and I also made a resolution not provide any answers on my next visit unless I'm gassed up like the Goodyear Blimp.

It seems like a fair trade to me.


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Anyone For A Happy Ending?

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Thursday, June 30, 2005 0 comments

The problem with starting anything is that you inevitably have to finish it.

I've often said that beginnings are easy, but it takes real talent to end things well. You can apply this principle to relationships, movies, books, cocaine, whiskey, pornography, screenplays and Monopoly.

The only way to ensure success is to craft a finish that leaves you satisfied with the journey as well as the time that you've spent arriving there. The ending doesn't have to be happy (because most good ones aren't outside of Asian massage parlors), but it must be true and it needs to fit with the overrall arc of the relationship or story or drug.

I was recently reminded of the importance of conclusions after reading Dan Brown's "Angels and Demons."

Brown came out nowhere when "The Da Vinci Code" broke and 'A&D' was a previous book featuring the same main character from the Code. I have always been a sucker for books or movies that deal with secret societies (except for that shitbomb "The Skulls" with Joshua Jackson) who try to wield their mighty influence on the world and I was really enjoying A&D until the last 100 pages when I have to assume that Brown went insane or was simply working on an impossible deadline.

I won't ruin it for anyone who might read the book, but let it be said that Brown should be ashamed of himself for writing an ending that is implausible and an insult to the intelligence of at least some of his readers.

His putrid conclusion was even worse because I had enjoyed the first 3/4 of the book, but it's a testament to the power and elusive nature of endings that his abrupt foray into absolute crap turned a good read into something that I can't recommend to anyone.

This problem is also becoming increasingly relevant because our second screenplay badly needs an ending.

We need something good like "Lost in Translation" and not what we're currently working with which is akin to "Signs."An ambigious whisper beats aliens who can destroy everything on our planet yet are foiled by tap water EVERY single time.

The irony is that I'm at a loss on how to end this blog, so I think I'll just stop typing . . .

because that's another good rule of thumb for endings - always leave them wanting more.


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Get in my belly...

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, June 21, 2005 0 comments

In the midst of my post St. Johns funk I almost forgot about my meeting with a New York City modeling agent right before we left the country.

This was the culmination of a fitness photo shoot I had done for a coffee-table book several months ago and through a complicated process I had been referred to this agent who books models for fitness, runway and commercials.

I met him at Northpark mall, and in anticipation of this I had been dieting for several weeks. He was in town for a modeling convention and the fact that he was one of the keynote speakers helped solidify his credentials for me.

I was nervous about the mall sitting, however, and I kept picturing this guy sitting in a chair at the Nordstrom’s dressing room and having me parade around in a series of revealing outfits while he ate pistachio nuts and made loud catcalls in his East Coast baritone of a voice.

Luckily, this was not the case as we meet in front of Dillards and had a bite to eat at La Madeline.

The agent told me he liked my look for fitness modeling and he also said I had a strong “commercial” look, which might translate into him pushing me into some TV spots.

I thought he noticed my hard dieting work had paid off until he said this was all for naught unless I gained 10 pounds.

The irony was that I had dropped almost that same weight through dieting and now I was being told to put it back on or he said it “was nice meeting me, and he wished me luck in the future.”

So, I am now eating everything I can find and have already gained 3 pounds thanks to a Lemon cake from Costco, Red Stripe, protein shakes, Pop Tarts, gallons of milk, pasta salads, eggs, red meat and red wine.

It’s a hell of lot more fun to put it on than to take it off, and once I gain the weight I’m supposed to send this agent some digital pictures and if he thinks that it’s enough then he’ll bring me out to New York and introduce me to clients.

We’ll see if this actually pans out as I’ve found that most people are at least half full of shit and some are nearly ¾.

In the meantime, life is good as I’m eating like a champ and feeling no remorse about anything that I put in my belly. Just point me towards a buffet and steer clear because the only way to tackle a project like this is to be fully committed and I rarely do anything half-assed.

Who knows, if I keep eating like this I might soon look like Tobey Maguire. And he’s Spider-Man.


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Bury Me In St. Johns . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Sunday, June 12, 2005 0 comments

There's no better feeling than going into something with high expectations and then having the actual experience raise the bar to astronomical heights of greatness.

And so it went with our trip to St. Johns.

St. Johns is a tiny U.S. Virgin Island less than 9 miles long and can only be reached by a 20 minute ferry ride from the Red Hook dock on St. Thomas; a much bigger island that looked nice but also one that we never felt compelled to visit during our stay.

After a brutal travel day that started at 4:30 a.m., we stepped off the ferry and met our Villa representative, who like most of the people working on the island was nice but vaguely flighty, somewhat slow and yet she still got the job done.

She took us to our rental car, a Grand Vitara SUV with the emasculating name of "Lady Lisa" painted on the side in prominent lettering. I was hoping for the "Red Robin" vehicle, but "Lisa" turned out to be the way to go and taking the sage advice that Tom Jones has been espousing for years - we treated her like a lady all week long.

Our villa, "Plumeria," was a 10 minute drive from the ferry dock, and situated on Gift Hill.

The outside gate was painted white and we were surrounded by colorful flowers that the owner cultivates year-round at the villa. The inside was even better as we had a large wooden sundeck with 4 great lounging chairs, a swimming pool, 2 air-conditioned bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms, a large modern kitchen, a huge sitting room with satelite TV, a stash of boardgames, comfortable couches, more flowers that grew in small patches along the walkways, and an outside dining table that sat beneath a shaded gazebo.

Not too shabby.

But the view from the deck trumped the lodging as every morning, afternoon and evening we were staring at crystal-blue water and the neighboring island of St. Thomas.

The first night was saw the most spectacular sunset that I have ever seen anywhere in the world, and I knew that was a good sign that the rest of the week would follow along a course of sloth and beauty or beautiful slothfullness as the case may be.

A typical day went like this:

8:30 a.m. - Rise and cook a big breakfast at the villa and eat under the gazebo while watching St. Thomas wake up and come to life.

9:00 a.m. - Stumble to a deckchair and drink multiple cups of coffee while alternately reading a book or slathering on suntan lotion.

11:00 a.m. - Pack sandwiches, snacks, water, snorkeling gear, books, towels, and drive "Lady Lisa" to a gorgeous beach that you didn't have to share with thousands of other tourists.

3:00 p.m. - Return to villa and lounge on deckchairs and drink a few Dos Equis while the day starts to cool off.

6:00 p.m. - Drive into the heart of town, Cruz Bay, or along the coast to Coral Bay to find a resturaunt for dinner and watch the sunset.

9 p.m. - Play scrabble or watch a movie at the villa.

11 p.m. - Go to sleep.

Rinse and repeat this process nearly every day for a week and you understand the inherently lazy but perfect nature of the trip.

The beaches of St. Johns were as great as they had been advertised with Trunk Bay being the crown jewel. Although you have to pay $4 to get in, the beach was easily worth it as the sand was soft and fine and white and the water was so clear and blue that it almost looked fake.

But it wasn't and the excellent snorkeling solidified that fact as we saw exotic and colorful fish, a giant tuna and possibly a barracuda (sp?).

Cinnamon Bay and Hawksnest were right behind Trunk for overrall beauty, and then Maho and Salt Pond Bay were also very nice.

The only problem with the beaches was getting there, however, as the road system on the island was sometimes challenging and always windy and steep.

They also drive on the left-hand side over there, but I found the change refreshing as I had gotten too lax in the States and needed the shift in driving conditions to keep my mind focused on the task at hand - which was having enough horsepower to make it up the mountainous pathways and not getting us killed with any crazy left turns.

Livestock was the final challenge that the road system presented us as we encountered cows, donkeys, wild mountain goats, deer and a giant pig during our various trips across the island.

The possibility of vehicular doom was a small price to pay, however, for the rewards which came around every turn as you would suddenly find yourself overlooking lush hillsides that fell away to the pristine ocean waters surrounding the island.

The only real problem we encountered during our stay was the extremely high cost of food. This was due to the fact that St. Johns has to import virtually all their food from other countries, which means that the prices were frequently doubled and sometimes quadruple the cost of the same goods you find in the states.

For instance, a 24 pack of bottled water goes for around $7 at the grocery store or $5 at Costco, but on St. Johns it was $22. I don't mind paying a premium for water, but I did flinch when a USA Today was $3.50 and a dozen eggs was $4.

Only a fool or a pessimistic babboon would quibble about this matter, so we quickly accepted the nature of the beast and focused on enjoying the island and avoiding Kenny Chesney.

We were successful on both counts, and it was truly a sad day when we were forced to leave our villa behind and board the ferry that took us back to St. Thomas en route to Texas.

Now we're home and the real world is beating down the door.

On St. Johns we had no cell phones, our villa phone never worked properly, I never got on the Internet despite the prescence of a Cyber Cafe in town and I saw not a single McDonalds or Starbucks for the entire week.

Now, it's emails to return and phone calls to make and work to perform.

My mind is still in St. Johns, however, and it was a rude shock to open my front door this morning and not see St. Thomas in the distance. Then I got in my tiny sportscar and the roads were straight and level as I drove to the grocery store, where I didn't have to pay nearly $6 for a loaf of bread.

I already miss St. Johns so much I could cry. But I won't.

At least not in front of people.

No promises.


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Layer Cake, Finished Scripts & No Dairy

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, May 30, 2005 0 comments

It's been a busy Memorial weekend around my place as I recovered from the Kenny Chesney debacle and managed to concentrate long enough to finish writing the rough draft of our second comedy script - "Monkey Business."

I would also like to point out that we have been using "Monkey Business" as a working title for close to 6 months, which was long before the Black Eyed Peas decided to call their upcoming album the exact same title.

Those derivative bastards.

Anyway, I've been describing the script as "Sideways" meets "Old School" with suburban swingers thrown into the mix. I think this is a winning combination of movies that one might not think of in the same breath, but it fits our script fairly well and the suburban swingers part usually catches people's attention.

I also saw "Layer Cake" during a torrential downpour that for reasons unknown filled the theater with groups of seniors who had no idea that the movie was a British gangster drama complete with salty language, murder and thick accents.

Maybe the title threw them off and led them to believe it would be on par with "Chocolat" or something else light-hearted and cheery. But they were mistaken and many were audibly dissapointed as they left mumbling about "dirty Brits" and asking each other "did you understand that movie?"

Every time I see a film like "Layer Cake" it reminds me that American-made movies are almost always good-looking. I don't mean the actual visuals; I mean the actors.

Virtually all American movies feature characters that are either very good-looking or at least somewhat striking. From small supporting roles to the nobodies billed as "girl #4 killed in garage" during the closing credits our audiences are bombarded with fantastic looks.

On the other hand, British gangster movies are often populated with shifty characters who look like they haven't bathed in awhile.

You can have big ears, bad teeth, thinning hair, massive nose hair, weathered skin or just about any other physical ailment and still be a major player in these films.

In America, you would be unemployed or typecast as an ugly bastard unworthy of anything better than a guest spot on "According to Jim."

I like the British way, however, and think this underlying physical decay in these movies gives a greater sense of realism because I can't leave my house without running into several average-looking people who are woefully underrepresented in Hollywood.

Physical looks notwithstanding, I found the film at least as good as "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" and slightly better than "Snatch," although 'Cake' had no crazy Pikies running around and didn't know how to end itself very well at all.

Just seeing a movie called "Layer Cake" was torture for me because I am on a strict diet that includes no dairy, no sugar, no white bread products, limited sodium, but plenty of green beans.

What a deal, eh?

This will last until Friday when I am supposed to meet a New York City modeling agent at his hotel room in Dallas. And doesn't that sound shady?

He is supposed to be a big player in NYC, and has clients who've been on the cover of "Men's Fitness" and many other national magazines and print advertisements.

The meeting stems from a fitness photo shoot I did for a coffee-table book a few months ago (see Blog archives for more) and which will be published this year before most likely going straight to gay bathhouses across the United States.

We'll see if the meeting happens and what the agent's verdict will be, but let me say right now that I've heard the term casting couch and I want no part of it.

I'll do a lot for a job, but unless Sienna Miller (who has a small role in "Layer Cake") is the one sitting on the couch, then I'm staying off of it.

I have no problem writing about lewd acts and other assorted Monkey Business, but I have no desire to actually participate in the kind that could leave me sore and degraded before our imminent departure for St. Johns.


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Kenny Chesney Ruined My Vacation . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, May 25, 2005 0 comments

In a little over a week, my brother and I along with two stellar female companions will be visiting the lush island of St. Johns for a week of sun worship, Hemingway Daiquiris, pulp novels, island exploring, fresh-fish eating, Jeep driving, snorkeling, shark-avoiding, sunset-watching, villa dwelling, and indulging ourselves in a generally slothful manner that sounds perfect to me right now.

The fact that our villa has a VCR player also means that we will be watching old "Beverly Hills 90210" shows that are currently on tapes and sitting in my parent's house (I can't wait to re-visit the Dylan McKay drunken/drugged episodes).

The trip sounded sounded perfect on paper and I've been excited for months about it, but then Kenny Chesney had to marry Renee Zellweger on St. Johns just a few weeks before we're due to depart.

I have long held a grudge against Chesney that started somewhere around the time he began wearing sleeveless shirts and pukka (sp?) shell necklaces. I don't think he's mean or arrogant or excessively egotistical - I just find his music treachly and his persona lame.

He's Jimmy Buffet without the humor or intelligence and just doing bicep curls doesn't compensate for a lack of talent or fashion sense.

To make matters worse, Chesney apparently owns a house or a boat in St. Johns so the odds of seeing him are greater than they've ever been in my life.

My main fear when going to beach locals has been and always will be sharks. After the Zellweger-Chesney union, however, I've got to be extra vigilant on our upcoming trip as one eye will be looking for dorsal fins and the other will be trained on any 40 year-old man wearing a pukka-shell necklace.

The easiest solution for everybody would be to simply feed Chesney to the sharks, but that might be a little harsh.


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Crash Into Me . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, May 23, 2005 0 comments

I saw "Crash" this past weekend, and it was almost exactly as I anticipated from the previews - well-meaning but ultimately a little heavy-handed.

The issue of race is the beginning and end of every action, conversation and thought in "Crash." The movie is set in Los Angeles, but the message is that it could be anywhere, USA and that we all bring our own experiences and prejudices into our daily interactions with other people.

That message is just fine as any movie that makes people examine their own actions in the context of race relations seems more important than any Vin Diesel movie that comes to mind.

The ensemble cast also does a fine job with the material as Don Cheadle and Matt Dillon are particularly good.

My main problem with the movie is that every single problem or issue boils down to race.

Maybe the filmmakers just wanted to drive home their point, but a little more subtlety would have been appreciated.

I'm not going to argue that there's a fair amount of underlying racial hostility, but "Crash" is the kind of movie where a character would be walking down the street and another person could knee them in the crotch, thus making them very angry.

The person who got kneed in the crotch would be justifiably furious, but he wouldn't be mad because he got a sharp, painful object jabbed in his privates but rather because the person who did it was African-American or Hispanic or Muslim or some other nationality that the victim hates.

If a person walked by and kicked me in the crotch, however, I wouldn't care about my assailant's race, religious credo or political idealogy - Whomever it is that just kicked me is going down.

Some things are not about race; sometimes it's simply about the family jewels.


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Things I Just Don't Understand . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Thursday, May 19, 2005 0 comments

I have a neighbor in my apartment complex who drives a beat-up 1980-something Volvo with a busted taillight and rust covering a major portion of the vehicle.

When the car starts it sounds like an old man choking on a chicken bone, and it emits enough smoke to scare me a little bit.

This car should be shot and put out of its misery, but it continues run and I realize there's something to be said for not having a car payment every month. This past week, however, I drove home after work to discover 4 new tires and 4 new high-tech spinning rims sitting on the ancient rusted-out eye-sore.

Does this make any sense in the world?

The tires and wheels are almost certainly worth more than the entire car, and in my view are completely and totally absurd. It's like people who drive broken-down Chevy Cavaliers and yet they feel compelled to put a $3,000 sound system in the trunk.

I know this isn't a big thing, and so I'll just chock it up to yet another item on the long list of things that perplex me about this world.

The entry will be sandwiched somewhere between soft-core pornography and the popularity of Toby Keith.


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Crazy Like A Fox . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, May 17, 2005 0 comments

After Dave Chappelle walked away from his show on Comedy Central and disappeared into the wilds of South Africa, it was reported by several news outlets and inside sources that he had cracked up.

He was either crazy or on drugs. Possibly both.

Chappelle is still in South Africa, but he recently contacted Time magazine to say that he was far from crazy - he was just on a "spiritual retreat."

I don't think I buy that, however, as it smells to me like creative labeling.

It reminds me of the time my garbageman suddenly turned into a "custodial engineer" or when secretary's became "administrative assistants" virtually overnight (although they don't hesitate to accept gifts given to them during Secretary's week).

I can't say that I blame Chappelle for going a little nuts because he morphed from a fringe performer into the hottest comedian working today when he inked that $50 million dollar contract.

That's a big public investment that is bound to cause more people to scrutinize what you're doing. It must put loads of pressure on the brain to come up with funny material lest you be embarrassed and called a fraud or a one-hit wonder who couldn't handle the pressure.

Cracking up a little bit is understandable from that perspective; just don't call it a "spiritual retreat" when you disappear from your show weeks before the premiere, fly to another country and leave everyone with an unfinished product and no idea where you went.

The public and even cable executives aren't stupid enough to believe that kind of crazy talk.

On a positive note, Fox just announced that it will bring back "Arrested Development" next season despite its anemic ratings. The show is easily the best comedy on network television and it's a criminal offense that more people don't watch it.

It's also very offensive to me that people watch "According to Jim" in such numbers that the show just shot its 100th episode. But that's neither here nor there.

What is important is that the network execs got this one right by bringing back "Arrested Development" and proved that it's a fine thing to be crazy like a Fox - sometimes.

[ Editor Note: I've never met a cliche or saying that I didn't like and would utilize if given half a chance.]


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To Live and Die in Austin . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Sunday, May 15, 2005 0 comments

I spent this past weekend apartment-hunting in Austin, and once again the town got the better of me.

It seems that every time I enter into Travis County my brain gets cross-wired and immediately starts sending faulty signals to my body that I can systematically abuse it until I'm able to limp back onto I-35 and drive north.

It's been 5 years since I got out of college at UT, but whenever I return to Austin some sort of Pavlov response kicks in - at least for one night. My brain tries valiantly to transport my body back in time to a place where it never got tired and could manage to drink all night without a hangover the next day.

The problem is that I'm no longer 20 years old and my tolerance for both alcohol and hangovers has gotten abysmally bad.

So, this presents a real conundrum because in a few short months I'll be moving to Austin to set up residence. But now I'm starting to wonder if I can live in a city that has beaten me like a gong for the past several years, and shows no signs of stopping.

Austin has many great things going for it, a lively film industry, Tex-mex, barbeque, live music, outdoor activities and more. It's also got enough distractions for any three cities, and that can get you in trouble.

Steve Earle once noted that although he loved Austin, he could never live full-time in the city because "the girls were too pretty and the dope was too cheap."

Maybe things have changed since he said that, but I'm been fighting a losing battle with the city since May 2000 and I keep coming back for more because there's no place I'd rather be than right inside the belly of the beast.


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Puff The Magic Schizophrenic Dragon

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, May 10, 2005 0 comments

"You a pothead Focker?" - Robert De Niro

It's dangerous business to dabble with dope these days - at least according to a large ad I recently read in my morning newspaper.

I'm pretty sure the ad was placed by the same anti-drug group that pays for those TV commercials which range from being unintentionally hilarious ("Just tell your brother you forgot to pick him up from practice because you were high") to downright creepy (the one with the old woman who haunts the poor teen who killed her while driving impaired on Mary Jane).

The purpose of the ad was titled "Marijuana and your teen's mental health" and seemed designed to whip parents into an emotional frenzy.

According to the ad, "new research is giving us better insight into the serious consequences of teen marijuana use, especially how it impacts mental health." And the results aren't pretty.

Did you know that teenagers who smoke dope have double the risk of depression later in life? Or that they are 3 times more likely than non-users to have suicidal thoughts? But the worst part is that marijuana use has recently been linked to an increased risk for schizophrenia later in life.

This would all scare me to death if I didn't think it was utter horseshit.

I knew several people in high school and college who smoked dope and the only time they got crazy was when we would run out of mint chocolate chip ice cream or Cheetos - and that's a perfectly understandable response.

It was far more common for people to do crazy and reckless things while drunk on alcohol than it was for the pothead crowd.

Smoking dope generally makes you prone to long stretches on the couch while watching movies like "Old School" or "Dazed and Confused."

But apparently marijuana is no longer a lark or a relaxation tool - nowdays you better scare your children straight because "their mental health may depend on it."

I just hope that there's not an ad placed in next week's paper warning parents that masturbation causes blindness later in life because all we need in 20 years is to be surrounded by large masses of blind and schizophrenic animals.

Now that's scary.


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The Bloom Is Off The Kingdom . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, May 06, 2005 0 comments

The best thing that can be said about the new epic "Kingdom of Heaven" is that it looks nice.

The cinematography is excellent, but that doesn't really make up for the fact that the movie is Gladiator-lite, a problem which is mostly due to the casting of Orlando Bloom (although the screenplay doesn't help matters).

Generally, I like Orlando Bloom just fine and bear no grudge against the man just because he's handsome and makes most women squeal in delight. He was excellent in the "Lord of the Rings" triology and enjoyable in "Pirates of the Carribbean."

After his role as a spineless coward in "Troy," he's cast here as a blacksmith who through a ridiculously easy process ends up defending Jerusalem from the Muslims.

It might be his skill as a swordsmen that causes this to happen or it might be the fact that he has by far the best set of teeth in the movie.

Bloom is not helped in his quest for believability by a screenplay that has him turning from the aforementioned blacksmith into a cold-blooded warrior, military expert and confidant to the King after a single, abbreviated sword lesson from Liam Neeson.

Although Bloom tries hard to project an aura of strength, it's increasingly clear that his youthful looks and relative lack of depth are no match for veterans like Neeson or Jeremy Irons.

They look and act like they've seen things and been around wars far longer than it took for Bloom to grow his scraggly beard.

They are real men - a fact that is solidified by Neeson's announcement early in the film that he "once fought for two days with an arrow through my testicle."Call me cynical, but I don't think Bloom would fight for two minutes if he ever caught an arrow in the groin.

Although to be fair, neither would I.


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Bring It On . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, May 04, 2005 0 comments

As if the state of Texas needed to give the national media any more reason to mock us, our team of monkees (known collectively as the state legislature) added another to the list yesterday when they passed the lewd cheerleader bill through the House.

Apparently, the most pressing issue concerning Texas public education is not that the legislature can't find a sane way to finance schools, but rather it rests on the pelvic angles of their cheerleaders.

The bill was proposed by Rep. Al Edwards, a deranged ordained minister from Houston, who called the vote "monumental."

He's right - it was monumentally asinine and a complete waste of time.

Edwards has a long track record of allowing his ministry to ride roughshod over common sense, and once upon a time he advocated cutting the thumbs off drug dealers in prison as a reasonable punishment.

The only fitting punishment for Edward's utter waste of taxpayer time and money would be to strap him to a chair and let squad after cheerleading squad dance suggestively in front of the good Reverend until he started foaming at the mouth.

And then they would dance some more.

On a related note, the scene in "Bring It On" with the militant cheerleading coach is one of the funniest I have every seen committed to film.

Let me see those Spirit Fingers people . . .


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Shame On You Mr. President . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, April 29, 2005 0 comments

After a long day at work, I came home last night anticipating nothing more than a cold Fat Tire ale and a new episode of "The O.C." Instead, I got George W. Bush.

What a lousy trade, eh?

Seth and the gang of privileged miscreants were canceled for an hour-long discussion of Bush's doomed social security plan followed by a Q & A session that yielded very little noteworthy information.

One would think that the White House would check their TV Guide before scheduling a Presidential press conference. Why couldn't they have George talk on a night like Monday, which boasts no good television shows. Even Wednesday night would have worked this week because "Lost" was one of those lazy clips episodes.

But this decision to banish "The O.C." is just another black mark for Bush in my book, and I hope he learns a lesson from this sordid little episode; although I seriously doubt it.


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The Good, The Bad & The Ugly . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, April 26, 2005 0 comments

The summer movie season is almost here, and depending on your point of view, this either constitutes a rich and rewarding experience or it might feel like you're losing IQ points every time you sit inside a theater.

Regardless, the summer has to be better than the crop of putrid shitbombs that Hollywood has been unleasing on the public since January.

Something has to give because I'm ready to return to the theater and Vin Diesel in "The Pacifier" or anybody in a remake of a horror film will not get me there.

And with in mind, here's few of my picks that might be worth a look this summer judging from the magazines I've read and the previews I've seen.


1) "War of the Worlds" - Tom Cruise and Steven Speilberg rarely put out bad movies and the trailer looks pretty cool. I also like the fact that these aliens would chop E.T. to pieces if he ever stuck his creepy fingers in their direction.

2) "The Wedding Crashers," - Owen Wilson and Vince Vaugn crash weddings and pick up girls in this comedy, which Wilson has cited as an ode to the comedy classics of the 80s. "R-rated movies - Stripes, Animal House, all those movies that I liked . . .," Wilson said. Even if "Animal House" wasn't made in the 80s, I like the way he thinks and I'm definitely hitting this wedding.

3) "Untitled Mike Judge Comedy" - "Office Space" was good (not great like a lot of people believe), but I still want to see Luke Wilson be cryogenically frozen and then wake up in the future to find that the rest of us are now a bunch of morons.


1) "Monster-in-Law" - Jane Fonda makes a comeback to the big screen with J Lo and Michael Vartan in this romantic piece of garbage that looks distinctly unfunny and somehow makes the Fockers look like comedy geniuses.

2) "Stealth" - This is one of those movies that was shot before a star hit big (Jaime Foxx) and then the studio tries to cash in on their newfound fame. In this case, the movie centers on a trio of elite naval pilots trying to stop a rampaging computerized jet - AND Jessica Biel plays one of the pilots. Let me repeat that for emphais, Jessica Biel plays an elite Naval pilot. Did I also mention that I'm a rocket scientist?

3) "Dark Water" Although the trailer looks kind of creepy, once you realize that everyone in the film seems to be running from WATER things change in a hurry. I'm sorry but taking a shower rarely scares me and it's been years since I was traumatized by a garden hose; I still don't want to talk about it.


1) "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" - I'm hoping this will be good because like most people I have a fond place in my heart for the original, which featured Gene Wilder and those dirty-looking Oompa Lompas (sp?). Anyway, at the very least this will be one weird ride through Mr. Wonka's house upon which dentistry is built.

2) "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" - I'll go see this one, but the production was in tabloid and re-shoot hell, which is rarely a good sign. On the plus side, Angela Jolie and Brad Pitt have enough good looks between them to render things like plot, pacing and dialogue almost obsolete.

3) "The Longest Yard," - Here's another remake, and from the preview, I can't say that it was a successful one. It doesn't appear to be even remotely funny (even with Chris Rock) and I don't buy Adam Sandler as an inmate or a quarterback. He might be the "Waterboy," but he's no Burt Reynolds, who also happens to be in this film.


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9 1/2 Weeks of Nastiness . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, April 20, 2005 0 comments

Last month I posted about a strange and intriguing personal ad that I discovered in my local Dallas Observor. It read:

Hot And Willing Oven

Burning for change. If I see another spaghetti dish, I will die. If you're raw, looking to get baked, and fancy yourself a break from the same old same old, then you're the dish for me. Especially interested in simple but delectable creations involving The Other White Meat. Call me at 515-223-2770. I'm already preheating.

I was obviously too obtuse to decipher the meaning of the message, but now this mysterious author has written a new ad reading:

Hunk of the Other White Meat

Seeking the perfect sauce. Think luscious. Must be adventuresome but simple to prepare. Open to experimentation. Will try any combination of soy, balsamic vinegar, fruit essence, and exotic syrup as long as it complements my unique flavor and delicate texture. Alfredo, marinara, tetrazini need not respond.

Call me at 515-223-2770

The saga continues as this creature has obviously not found what she is looking for in the first round of food-flavored weirdness. Again, I am assuming the author is female, but that is still uncertain.

This whole thing continues to baffle me, and I keep conjuring up horrible images involving some mutant scene from "9 1/2 Weeks" combined with "Sideways" if the author ever finds a suitable mate.

I can easily picture the hard-loving but extremely portly couple from "Sideways" covering themselves in all sorts of condiments and frolicking naked around their house; a thought which is far from sexy.

But like I said in my previous post, I might be entirely wrong about everything.


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Einstein and Me . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, April 18, 2005 2 comments

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Albert Einstein's death, and so the wild-haired scientific genius gets another chance to make the rest of us feel stupid.

E=MC2 will forever be burned into our collective brains even if most of the world couldn't tell you what the individual components stand for much less what they mean as a whole.

If he were alive today, Einstein would probably laugh at our priorities as his accomplishments would undoubtably be buried behind hard news about Britney Spears pregnancy or the state of Nick and Jessica's marriage.

It's slightly depressing to me that I could tell you what real estate properties that Brad and Jen are haggling over, but would have no idea how to describe Einstein's theory of relativity.

He described it this way:

"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That's relativity."

Well, Einstein might trump me on science and analogies, but I am a member of his beer-drinking club. It's a little known fact that when Albert wasn't remaking science in his own image that he was pounding beers and ogling women and eating peanuts at pubs across the U.S.

Or maybe that was just me.

Regardless, I joined a local Austin chapter of the Einstein Pub Club at The Draught Horse when I was just 19-years-old. I was armed with only my wits and a bad fake ID when I consumed the 50 different beers necessary for inclusion and then passed a brutal written examination about the varying ales, lagers, stouts and porters.

I am still proud of my accomplishment and the special kinship that I share with Albert Einstein.

My only regret is that I was never able to sit down with the man himself for a few cold ones because I have always found that my intellect rises substantially after I've been drinking.


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I Do It For The Cookies . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, April 12, 2005 0 comments

The Cookie Monster has been castrated!

Well, that's a little severe, but the the big, blue furry creature on "Sesame Street" probably feels that way after it was recently announced that he would no longer be able to consume cookies in massive amounts.

For years, the Cookie Monster lived and breathed cookies. It was his mission in life, and viewed from any perspective, the man did his job well.

Too well.

It seems that the creators of "Sesame Street" now feel that the Cookie Monster's powerful lust for cookies is not suitable for young and impressionable minds. We must shield our children from the frenzy of cookie lust that is found whenever the Monster appears seems to be the show's new credo.

The next season of "Sesame Street" will emphasize children's health, and the Cookie Monster just didn't fit the new image. Instead of singing his long-standing anthem, "C is for Cookie and that's Good Enough for Me," the poor Monster will soon be forced to utter "A Cookie is Sometimes Food."

I can vividly picture the Cookie Monster locking himself in his trailer, and begging for someone to shoot him and put him out of his misery as I write this diatribe.

The man's one passion in life was cookies, but now he's being told that his life force is only "sometimes food."

This whole thing stinks of a public relations ploy. It's just another way to cater to parents whose kids are fat as hell and expanding every day. The reason can't fall to the parents themselves and the fact that they allow their kids to eat fast food and then park themselves in front of the TV or the computer for hours on end.

That makes no sense at all - the fault has to be with the Cookie Monster and his disgusting habits. It's obviously the only sane answer, but we're all a little bit worse off for it.

The Cookie Monster spoke to the inner junkie in all of us. He was that part of ourselves which knows we shouldn't drink too much or eat an entire pizza at 2:30 a.m. or drive too fast or have too much fun.

But we do it anyway because living life in moderation is not really living at all, and the Cookie Monster knows this fact better than most.

So raise a box of Girl Scout cookies aloft for the blue, googly-eyed Monster, scarf the entire contents down in one sitting and send a silent acknowledgement for a partner in crime who recently got blind-sided by a gang of jackasses.


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Beat Them With Meat Whips . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, April 08, 2005 0 comments

It took me roughly 5 minutes to buy "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and "Sideways" on DVD this week at my local Best Buy. Driving home took another 8 minutes and then walking from my detached garage to my front door added another 2 (because I stumbled slightly along the way).

Then it took me nearly 20 minutes, one hangnail and 4 raw fingers to finally open the movies I had just purchased.

These days I find opening a DVD akin to Chinese water torture and only slightly better than lighting myself on fire.

Whatever deviant and dirty bastard came up with the idea that every disc should contain an outer layer followed by three stickers along all entry points should be beaten with a meat whip and forced to open DVDs for hours on end until his hands are bleeding and his mind is jelly.

I don't begrudge stores for wanting to keep their merchandise from being stolen, however, I find it a bit silly when I bought "The Talented Mr. Ripley" for only $5.99, yet it still contained 3 stickers.

When will the madness end, and where can I find the innovator of this anti-theft technology?

Let's bring back some common sense to the world, and we can start with the packaging of DVDs. It's not much, but it's a start and if the manufacturer's won't listen to reason then I'm sure there's a discount to be had when buying meat whips in bulk.

And while we're meat-whipping these people into submission, I would also volunteer Tom Delay for the punishment, although for entirely different reasons.


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Wallowing in Sin City . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, April 06, 2005 0 comments

Well, I just got back from catching a mid-week viewing of "Sin City" and coming back to the real world was tough.

After nearly two hours of depravity, it was hard to leave the confines of Basin City (the actual town name) and come home to a place that didn't smell of cigarettes and a city where hookers don't rule the streets while wearing sexpot outfits that look they were bought with a deep discount at some sort of bondage vigilante superstore.

It also doesn't make it easier to leave when every female in the city looks like Jessica Alba or Rosario Dawson or Brittany Murphy.

The movie looks and is flat-out cool, and although the dialogue takes getting used to (it felt like a parody of hard-boiled banter for awhile) the experience was a good one.

It seems that everyone in Hollywood appeared in the film at some point or another, and most handled themselves quite well among the squalor of the city. Clive Owen, Bruce Willis, and surprisingly enough Elijah Wood all thrived in the film, but it was Mickey Rourke who dominated everyone.

Rourke was almost unrecognizable as his head looked like silly-putty that had been pounded with a meat hammer, but he held the screen for his entire section of the film and left an impression long after he was gone.

When he briefly re-appeared near the end I was hoping he would get back into the action, but I was pacified with a gyrating Jessica Alba, her trusty lasso and an extremely lucky pair of leather chaps.

My main problem with the movie was the way it bookended itself with Josh Hartnett.

For once, Hartnett didn't appear that he would start weeping uncontrollably at any given moment, but his smooth features looked out of place in the mean city and the contention that he would be a contract killer was laughable.

There's simply no room for actors like Hartnett in "Sin City" - it might be a place full of perverts and wineheads and killers but you have to draw the line somewhere.


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We've All Been There . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Sunday, April 03, 2005 0 comments

I spent April Fool's Day in Austin, and the joke was definitely on me as I found myself locked in on a self-imposed booze trip that found me pouring Shiner Boch and margaritas down my neck at an alarming rate of speed.

Ostensibly, I was down there to attend Jerry Jeff Walker's birthday concert with my Dad and my brother, but after a mediocre show that lasted a little over an hour, the only sensible solution seemed to be found at the bottom of many beer bottles.

Although the show was a disappointment, the bathroom at the concert venue provided me with many a laugh.

This is because the bathroom at the Broken Spoke on South Lamar is a pit that holds one large, rusted trough as well as a sink that doesn't work and the place is rounded out by an industrial-size trashcan that sits in the corner.

Three intoxicated men were usually crammed around the trough, which left room for two more people to stand behind the pissers and give advice while discussing the condition of the facilities.

It was during my second or third trip to the bathroom that an older man with long, grayish hair ended up standing behind me as he waited impatiently for a place at the trough to open.

Here's a transcript of the conversation he had with the three of us situated at the trough (despite the fact that none of us said a word throughout most of his monologue):

Man: Goddamn, this place is tiny and I've got to drain the lizard. Hurry up there boys. Son of a bitch you would have thought they would have put more places to piss in here for Christ's sake. I guess in a pinch you could always piss in the sink and shit in the trashcan over there. In fact that sounds like a good deal for everyone.

Pisser to my left: Except for the trashcan.

Man: Hey, we've all been there before buddy.

I quickly finished and left the bathroom laughing as I pictured this guy squatting down over some nasty trashcan in a dark alley somewhere in Austin. It was only later that I realized that I should have been angry with this sick bastard for lumping me in with him and his inability to shit in normal places.

When he spewed out that "we've all been there before" the implication was that I had also been down that road paved with garbage cans full of shit.

But I have not, and I have no plans to start.

What my plans do include, however, is a sharper focus on what people say and what it means in a broader sense. Quite simply, I've got enough problems that I create on my own without having other filthy degenerates putting me smack in the middle of their seedy bathroom issues.

Life is too short, and there's simply too many working toilets for that kind of shit.


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Three's a Charm And Life's A Beach . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, March 30, 2005 3 comments

Things are looking up this week as the sun is shining, 'Lost' is back on and we finally finished entering our first script, "Last Train to Amsterdam," into 3 contests that I'm sure will bring us fame and fortune beyond our wildest dreams.

My wildest dreams typically have a Roman theme with wine and Eunuchs and scantily-clad females feeding me grapes as I lounge around with one hand grasping a turkey leg and the other on the firm buttocks of a vestal virgin.

But it doesn't pay to live in a fantasy, and we'll soon see if anyone outside of our small circle of friends will think that the script is any good.

I did receive feedback this week from a client, who said that she enjoyed reading the thing, but that I had a "twisted sense of humor," a sentiment which seems about right.

Let's hope that the upcoming contest screeners will feel the same way, and that they can see past the uplifting dramas about leprosy or the deranged character studies about obscure South American priests and know that what the public really needs is a movie about boy bands, degenerate train conductors and polar bears.

The decisions won't be handed down until the summer, however, and my brother and I (with our respected paramours) have made the necessary reservations and should be sitting poolside at our villa in St. John's when the announcements are made.

I can think of no better place to be than a Caribbean island getaway when we get the news - And I'm going to call ahead to make sure that the Villa is stocked with alcohol, grapes and maybe a few Eunuchs if they can get their hands on some.


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Let's Break The Code . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, March 28, 2005 1 comments

Much like using public restrooms or watching Steven Seagal movies, I rarely read the personals in my local Dallas Oberver - but occassionally shit happens and you have to use a 7-11 toilet or it's impossible to keep yourself from watching "Under Siege."

This past weekend I also found myself perplexed by an ad placed on the back page of the Observer and it's meaning has been plaguing me ever since. Perhaps I'm too dense or simply not hip enough to catch the hidden subtext, but here it is:

Hot And Willing Oven

Burning for change. If I see another spaghetti dish, I will die. If you're raw, looking to get baked, and fancy yourself a break from the same old same old, then you're the dish for me. Especially interested in simple but delectable creations involving The Other White Meat. Call me at 515-223-2770. I'm already preheating.

For me, this post raises more questions than it provides answers, but maybe that's the point. The message is intriguing and leaves itself open for many interpretations that might pique the interest of prospective suitors.

The only thing I took from the post was that the writer wants to get high with whomever she (he?) dates. I assume the author is female, but even that is not certain.

And what's with the other white meat? Is that simply an "Austin Powers" reference or is she seeking a different racial preference? And is this oven talk a hint that she wants someone to knock her up?

Riddles in the dark . . .

Whoever the author is, she's obviously a sexual creature full of mystery with an appetite to match. Regardless, I would be very careful before dating her because if she's been eating that much spaghetti then she's probably fat as a cat or carrying enough disease to stop a charging rhino at 50 paces.

But maybe I'm missing the point entirely, and if that's the case, then someone please explain it to me.


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Every Friday Is Good Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, March 25, 2005 0 comments

Good Friday is here again and once more I have to wonder why we feel the need to throw an adjective in front of the day.

In my book, every Friday is a Good Friday. It's not like we ever designate something as Shit Monday or Worthless Tuesday (Fat Tuesday sure), but Good Friday has always been known as such, and although I believe there's some religious significance attached to the name, it escapes me at the moment.

I have always loved Fridays.

Some people might argue that Saturday is the best day of the week, but those people are dingbats and can't be trusted. The believers claim that Saturday night is the one for mystery and partying and romance.

All of this might be true, but the great thing about Friday is that you still have Saturday in reserve. You can still get wild on a Friday and know that you have Saturday just waiting for you to use in any way you see fit. If you blow Friday off, however, and try to shoot your load on Saturday night it will end badly because sometime during the night you realize that Sunday is right around the corner (or has already arrived) and that just sucks.

Sunday is the antithesis of Friday. According to Kris Kristofferson, it's a day for soul-sucking lonliness and your horrid condition can only be averted by getting stoned and maybe eating some fried chicken.

Fair advice, but that also brings us back to why Fridays are usually so good because that's the day that new movies are released. Unfortunately, the parade of cinematic garbage is still being served up and the only way to sit through any of the recent fare would be to get so incredibly stoned that you don't realize that Ashton Kutcher has replaced Sidney Poitier in a remake of "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner."

I shudder to think what might be next on the remake list if anyone thought this new Kutcher vehicle seemed like a good investment. I know I've been longing to see Wilmer Valderra in "Scarface" for what feels like an eternity.

On second thought, maybe all Fridays aren't good Fridays, but on days when at least one good movie debuts, there's simply no comparison.


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