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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