Blog Archive

Let The Fireworks Begin . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Saturday, June 30, 2007 8 comments

It's early, but I've got a traveling cup full of coffee and I'm driving out of town for the weekend.

I wish I could say I was jetting to Puerta Vallarta for some sun and splashing. Or driving the California coast onwards toward Big Sur. If I had enough money, I would board a plane for Florence, Italy on a whim for red wine and galleries and dining.

But any one of those would be a heinous lie as I'm simply driving from Austin to Oklahoma, where my grandparents reside for an early 4th of July celebration on a semi-large piece of land between Ada and nowhere.

In other words, my brother and I are off to blow shit up and eat fried chicken to celebrate Independence Day in advance. Culture will have to wait until Monday when I return (with all appendages intact from the fireworks).

Have a good weekend.


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Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, June 29, 2007 15 comments

"Hey honey, you wanna make $14 bucks the hard way?" - Rodney Dangerfield, "Caddyshack"

It's been alternating between light rains and torrential downpours in Austin this week, a strange June occurrence that makes me feel like I've moved to the Northwest without my knowledge. Such a move would take me closer to Hollywood where this week:

Paris Hilton was released from jail, and then spoke to Larry King about the ordeal saying that she doesn't have a drinking problem, has never taken drugs and doesn't believe she deserved to be behind bars.

"I think the crime did not fit the punishment," Hilton said.

And I think Hilton lied like a rug on Larry King, so we've all got our opinions I suppose.

Eddie Murphy has been confirmed as the father of Mel B's daughter as sources say the DNA tests have refuted Murphy's denials about fathering the three-month-old Angel Iris.

Shocking. Truly shocking as I thought Larry Birkhead was the father for sure.

But Mel B or Scary Spice won't have to depend on Murphy's child support for money as all five Spice Girls appeared in public together this week for the first time in years to announce a 25-date world tour.

The tour will be entitled "Spice Girls: Because Our Careers Stalled."

John Stamos has apologized after making an eyebrow-raising appearance on the Australian chat show "Mornings With Kerri-Anne." The actor wandered around the set of the show, read host Kerri-Anne Kennerley's lines from the teleprompter and made lewd gestures in front of her.

Stamos blamed his disturbing behavior on "jet lag," but failed to acknowledge why he tied Kennerley to a chair for 12 hours and forced her to watch "Full House" re-runs.

Cameron Diaz apologized Sunday for carrying a bag with a political slogan that evoked painful memories in Peru after she visited the Incan city of Machu Picchu carrying an olive green bag emblazoned with a red star and the words "Serve the People" printed in Chinese.

The bags are marketed as fashion accessories in some world capitals, but in Peru the slogan evokes memories of the Maoist Shining Path insurgency that fought the government in the 1980s and early 1990s in a bloody conflict.

Diaz giggled and punctuated the apology with a belch and a request to know of Justin Timberlake's whereabouts.

A biopic about Playboy founder Hugh Hefner has been confirmed for production after he gave his final approval. The project will be directed by Brett Ratner - who hailed Hefner as the "godfather of the sexual revolution" and made his first visit to the Playboy mansion to confirm the deal.

Ratner later claimed that his next 42 trips to the Mansion were strictly for "research."

CNN newswoman Nancy Grace is four months pregnant with twins, and she told "Access Hollywood," "I always said I wanted a family. I grew up in a happy, loving family and I wanted it, too."

If Grace grew up in such a positive and healthy environment and turned out the way she did then I truly fear for her children because the odds are already stacked against them.

"Hey Paula," a new reality series which follows Abdul as she displays her bizarre life from one event to another debuted and found Abdul moaning that people don't appreciate "the gift" she is to the world.

The 'American Idol' judge breaks down and weeps in the first episode, and whines that "I'm tired of people not treating me like the gift that I am. The way I've been treated is like a piece of dog s**t."

I don't think that Abdul is dog shit, although I could make the argument that pile of dog shit is quite possibly more stable than Abdul, who seems to be on the edge of hysterics and shame at any given moment.

But let's end with crazy antics and shit. I prefer an image like this:

I am a big fan of multi-tasking, and I excel at the skill, so I can admire this woman's body of work. But we can always improve, and with that mind, let things flow freely today for everyone and . . . Happy Friday!


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Spears Does It Again & Again . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Thursday, June 28, 2007 16 comments

I hate to even mention Britney Spears these days because it's too easy and presents no challenge - much like cheating at Uno. But then she continues to appear in public wearing stuff like this:

This is just sad as Spears is so far removed from her one-time sexiness that she now resorts to dressing like an 8th rate Vegas hooker that you'd call on the last night of a business convention when all the hot prostitutes are already taken (not that I'd know about this).


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Tagged Randomly . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, June 27, 2007 19 comments

I have been tagged, gagged and ordered to list 7 random things about myself. At least the first item from that sentence is true, so here goes:

1) Since graduating college, I have worked as a journalist, personal trainer, fitness model, movie critic, studio manager and for a technology company.

2) My left foot is a 1/2 size bigger than my right one.

3) I used to hate v-neck shirts, and now I don't and own several of them.

4) My favorite actor from 9th - 12th grades was Mickey Rourke, and I still think he's a cool bastard despite his poor choices in plastic surgery.

5) I loathe tomatoes, but love Ketchup.

6) I once received a citation for public urination. They never showed me any evidence, however, to prove the charge to my satisfaction.

7) I don't often wear underwear, but when I do it's usually something pretty exotic.


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Austin On A Monday Night . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, June 26, 2007 14 comments

"Well I wished I was in Austin
In the Chili Parlor Bar
Drinking Mad Dog Margaritas
And not caring where you are," - Guy Clark, "Dublin Blues"

"I have worn out my welcome
In certain small circles
In Spanish bordellos and Confederate states," - Ray Wylie Hubbard, "The Messenger"

I was standing in line to buy my brother and I some cold Shiner Bocks last night when I looked around and smiled.

At the front of the line stood an aging hippie with a gray pony-tail. He was flanked by two women in their early 20s with tattoos and piercings and peasant dresses. Behind them, stood a guy wearing khakis, a polo shirt and boots. The man behind me wore a large cowboy hat with a fringed vest.

We were all there on a Monday night to see Guy Clark and Ray Wylie Hubbard, two of the finest singer/songwriters working today.

It was a great time, an excellent venue and the whole experience solidified once again just how much I enjoy living in Austin where on a random Monday in June, you can draw a completely diverse crowd of a thousand people who appreciate artists and their music.

My brother and I stood near the back, an area behind the rows of chairs where you could still see the stage very easily and yet boasted a clear line to the bar and the bathroom - which is pretty much the best seat in the house in my eyes.

For three hours, we were able to listen to music and stories while alternating Shiner trips and subsequent pit stops to empty the brewery holding tanks in the restroom. It was more fun than a Monday night has any right to be.

I realize that Austin is not the only city where this type of thing happens, and neither is a songwriter's showcase everyone's idea of a good time. But whatever constitutes an enjoyable experience should be available wherever you call home. Convenience cannot be overlooked. Neither can the potential for random occurrences that provide opportunities to utilize your time in ways that matter.

If every little decision and every path we take leads directly to the present, a notion I am somewhat comfortable with, then I felt satisfied with where I was last night for a few hours and that is a very good feeling because it doesn't happen all that often.

{Editor's Note: The feeling could also be explained by the six or seven Shiners consumed, and as a conclusion to last week's post - I finally got that Blackberry shake from Jack In The Box and it was awesome.}


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Thoughts On "Ocean's 13" . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, June 25, 2007 8 comments

Worth A Matinee or Full-Price Ticket: Matinee. This films reverts back to form that is closer to 11 than 12, but I still wouldn't pay the full freight.

Will I Own It On DVD: Yes. I own the first two, so this one rounds out the set.

1) "Ocean's 13" definitely falls into the law of diminishing returns category, but it was still enjoyable and entertaining and you felt like everybody involved was putting forth an effort again following the laziness on display in "Ocean's 12."

2) This installment makes far more sense than 12 as well, although I've heard complaints that the heist is implausible. No shit. If you want reality, go see an indie film about a dysfuntional family that learns a lesson about acceptance and an uneasy alliance at the conlcusion.

3) That being said, it would be nice if just one time a character announces that the Ocean's gang has a problem - that there is a legimite problem and not some minor nuisance they can easily solved.

4) The cast still has good chemistry together, and it's easy to tell that they are having fun. Al Pacino gives a solid turn as the heavy in this installment, and it was good to see Ellen Barkin back onscreen as Pacino's trusted employee.

5) This movie just makes you want to dress well after seeing it. I'm not sure how all the style would play in real life versus an extended heist in Vegas, but it damn sure makes you want to find out for yourself.

Overall, "Ocean's 13" was what I expected it to be.

It's better than 12, tries to recapture some of the magic of 11, and although it falls short of the mark, you have to give it points for effort and it's a fitting way to end the series.


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Gallivanting With Jessica Biel . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Saturday, June 23, 2007 9 comments

I've said it before, but it bears repeating because it's true: Jessica Biel has easily the best body in Hollywood.

I was reminded of this fact when I found her staring back from the cover of the latest "GQ." The photo spread only solidified my opinion.

I haven't read the article yet, but the spread has already caused me to resent Justin Timberlake even more as he is currently gallivanting around Europe with Biel.

I don't blame him one bit. There's not a single reason why any other heterosexual man wouldn't do the same.

But I'm still jealous because I can gallivant like a son of a bitch.


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Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, June 22, 2007 12 comments

"Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fuck the prom queen," - Sean Connery, "The Rock"

Only Connery could deliver a line like that one, but I think it's a decent mantra for today. Why not? There were winners and losers and everything in between this week in Hollywood as:

Facing the threat of a lawsuit from Britney Spears, Clear Channel Communications has taken down billboards in Florida advertising a local radio show with a paparazzi shot of a scowling, bald Britney and the tag lines "Total Nut Jobs," "Shock Therapy" and "Certifiable."

I'm not sure what the specific lawsuit entailed, but I think we can rule out libel as a possibility.

Rumors abounded this week that Rosie O'Donnell could be in line to replace Bob Barker on "The Price is Right."

My memory could be hazy, but I don't recall Barker getting into screaming matches with too many contestants so if this comes to fruition the entire tone of the show will shift.

The four founding members of Motley Crue filed a lawsuit this week claiming that manager Carl Stubner and Sanctuary Management Group gave them bad business advice and caused Tommy Lee "to become engaged in 'reality' projects that were bad career moves for Lee, harming [Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars, and Vince Neil, the Motley Crue brand and Lee's own image."

The fact that Motley Crue still has a career is news to me.

But speaking of big hair and even more questionable talent, Poison front-man Bret Michaels has signed on for a VH1 reality show where he is looking for love.

Considering this is VH1, home of "Flavor of Love," I seriously doubt Michaels will find true love, but I would bet hard cash that he finds at least three women willing to "Talk Dirty To Me (him)."

John Travolta says his thinking is in line with fellow Scientologist Tom Cruise who has publicly defended the religion's stance against psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry.

I don't disagree with anything Tom says," Travolta says in the July issue of W magazine, on newsstands Friday. "How would I have presented it? Maybe differently than how he did, but it doesn't matter. I still think that if you analyze most of the school shootings, it is not gun control. It is (psychotropic) drugs at the bottom of it."

But Travolta said he drew the line at jumping on couches because he was unsure that they could hold him upright.

Anticipating a horde of media when Paris Hilton is expected to be released next week, some Hollywood Hills residents are circulating a letter advising neighbors to call police and local representatives to complain of the noise and traffic that may overtake the sleepy neighborhood.

Those not circulating the letter are simply hoping to get invited to her release party.

``Citizen Kane'' topped the list of the American Film Institute's top 100 movies, holding on to the lead spot 10 years after the list was first compiled.

I'm only a little surprised that "Battlefield Earth" or "The Postman" didn't finally knock Kane off its lofty perch.

Horror film maker Wes Craven has filed a lawsuit against his neighbor, Pauly Shore, for allegedly being negligent in his yard maintenance, causing a landslide to crash on Craven's property.

Craven also noted in the suit that a giant Weasel or 'Weaz' was running amok on the property and talking gibberish.

As always, let's end with a pleasing image:

I admire those who can stand tall and display good posture in the face of adversity. So, with that in mind keep your spine erect, your headphones firmly on your head and . . . Happy Friday!


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Bathing With The Drunken Viking . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, June 20, 2007 19 comments

{This is the eleventh in a recurring series that will only happen when I have consumed far too many spirits with my brother. Last night, a few Palomas and Red Stripes were consumed which triggered strange thoughts, candid insights and pure horseshit. Selah.}

* I have a strong dislike for general citizens who drive cars that either look like cop cars or used to be cop cars because I believe that they take a perverse thrill in my adrenaline spike when I cruise past one going 75 MPH.

* Nobody gets to choose their own nickname, but if you subtly drop hints or come up with a recurring theme about yourself, you can certainly alter the outcome.

* I don't care how famous you are or how the question is phrased, if you start referring to yourself in the 3rd person you sound like a flaming asshole.

* How do the creators of Muzak ever stay awake long enough to mix it together?

* I cannot envision myself ever stepping foot inside an Olive Garden.

* If your middle toe is longer than your big toe then I am suspicious of you and your hidden agenda.

* Some guys can rock a mustache (Tom Selleck) - most cannot and end up looking like sleazy porn star extras.

* Speaking of the adult industry, I imagine that in the back of every pizza deliveryman's mind is the slight hope that one day the door will open to reveal 2 girls in see-through Teddies who really "want to party."

* As a general rule, women with hyphenated last names tend to be a bit high strung, and also have a higher tendency to be mean as a rattlesnake in my experience.

* I love thongs (to clarify: on women). That's it.

* If a guy calls another guy "pussy-whipped" it typically means that the guy hurling the accusation is simply not getting any.

* "Work is the curse of the drinking class," - Oscar Wilde


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Celebrating With Monkeys And Drinks . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, June 19, 2007 17 comments

It's time for a mini-celebration in Austin as I managed to finish the rough draft of my second comedy script, "Monkey Business," early this morning.

This has taken about six months to write, which was probably about a two months longer than necessary as I got deterred by a modeling trip to New York and life its ownself and that combination pushed out the date until now.

Since nearly all pitches involve describing a brand-new script in terms of movies already released, I'll go with "Monkey Business" as:

The bastard lovechild of "Risky Business" and "Old School" with a subtle brush of "Little Children" thrown into the mix (the parts not involving pedophilia). That sounds like a comedy to me.

For now, I plan to let the script sit for two weeks, and then pick it up following the 4th of July for a brutal and savage re-write that should take me until the end of summer.

But that is weeks away, and a great celebratory summer drink that I recently discovered is The Paloma. I highly recommend one this summer as I read about it a few months ago, and also noticed that the recent Playboy named it the "Summer Drink For 2007."

I am nothing if not current in my drinking. So with that in mind, here is how to make one, and as soon as I can finish working for the day, I plan to test out my mixing skills.

The Paloma:

* Chill one large glass in the freezer
* Fill it with ice
* Add two ounces of tequila (I use Cazadores Resposado)
* Squeeze in one large lime
* Add a pinch of salt
* Top off with grapefruit soda (I use Squirt)
* Mix, throw in a hunk of lime and drink

It is easy to make, goes down even easier and causes anyone drinking it to ease up on their morals. Enjoy.


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Speaking Of Shaky Talent . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, June 18, 2007 13 comments

Since I was thinking about questionable talent from my earlier post, it was a logical step that I ran across this Vin Disel story.

Over the weekend, Diesel rapped to a girl who asked him at PM Lounge what his 1892 Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt meant:

"It was 1892, I wasn't even in school, when I got to be a fool, but now I am handsome and cool."

This bolsters my spirits because obviously talent and an accurate sense of history has nothing to do with success. The day is looking up already.


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Every so often, I find myself with a camera and a bizarre urge to take an "art photo" or something that provokes a deeper connection to the universe at large through commonplace objects or skewed perspectives.

It's best to resist this urge. At least it is for me because I fail to possess the talent, patience or willingness to learn the craft, and therefore I end up taking utterly putrid pictures like this:

This shot was taken inside a small train station café in Italy a few years ago on a trip from Rome to Sienna.

I remember thinking something like "this is a perfect opportunity to delve deeply into the meaning of this trip" and so I whipped out my camera and snapped away.

But I was wrong. I look at this picture, and the only thing I see is a table with trash on it. The remains of a cappuccino, a protein bar and some soft drinks does not make for enduring greatness in my book - it merely suggests that I was too lazy to throw my stuff in the garbage can.

I can accept this shortcoming because I don't consider it a talent nor have I worked to better myself in this arena.

Besides, I figure if I keep taking pictures with enough frequency then I'm bound to eventually snap an image that provokes a sense of awe or at the very least one that I could show another human being without explaining what provoked me to waste space on my digital camera.


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Shake Off The Laziness . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Saturday, June 16, 2007 17 comments

I found myself at Jack in the Box very late last night after an evening full of bullshit and more than a few libations (sp?) to keep me sane.

I ordered a bag full of grease, and topped it off with a Blackberry shake complete with whipped cream and a cherry on top. The shake was what I was truly looking forward to as it had been a hot, steamy night.

As I drove home, the shake taunted me in my cup holder, and after pulling into the garage, it appeared that two trips up and down my staircase was going to be necessary to haul all the crap I had picked up during the day inside my loft.

This was unacceptable as I have steep stairs and I wanted to tear into that shake. But in addition to the bag of food and shake, I also had to carry up:

1) A full gym bag
2) Coffee travel mug 1/4 full of cold coffee
3) One sack of groceries
4) One 12-pack of Squirt (for a tequila drink I wanted to make)
5) Insulated lunch box from work
6) Blackberry

So, I slung the gym bag over my shoulder, grabbed the lunch sack by the handle, shoved the Berry in my pocket, wedged the Squirt under one arm, looped the grocery sack through two finger, balanced the food on top of the lunch box, put the coffee mug in the other arm and had the shake precariously balanced in the web of my thumb and pressed against my shoulder to hold it upright.

I got the garage door down and made it to the top of the stairs, key fitted into the lock when the shake toppled forward, dangled on arm and then splattered on my clothes, the staircase and the door.

Cursing loudly, I walked inside and got more of it on the floor and the kitchen cabinets as threw the rest of the stuff down and spent the next 30 minutes cleaning myself, the staircase and my kitchen as the food grew cold.

The shake turned into my worst enemy, and I didn't get to sample even a tiny taste as I refused to lick the stairwell (though I briefly condsidered it).

I'm sure there was some Aesop's Fables type lesson in this ordeal about laziness or letting your hubris overwhelm all rational thought, but I was in no mood to ponder it - I just wanted a shake that I never got.


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