Friday, November 27, 2009

Another Short

Today was another pleasant day of being with seldom-seen relatives and attempting to comply with their constant demands to eat. The energy to report everything thoroughly remains lacking, but should come before long.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Quick update

Due to a lack of available energy as well as a recently sustained thumb injury, I have not been able to write during my trip. I'll try to do so tomorrow if the opportunity presents itself, and will have some very interesting things to say if such is the case.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sick and Filming

I have not been feeling especially well since Thursday night. It's some kind of sniffling and sneezing thing. I'm confident that it's not an ailment which is currently all over the news.

Tomorrow, I am acting in a short comedy video, going to TV night and getting ready for my flight to be with family for the holiday. An account of that day's events is likely to be forthcoming. I will be heading out very early Monday morning, and indeed will be either in the air or waiting for my connecting flight when that email goes out. Don't worry- I'm not going to be pestering anyone with live blogging or otherwise too-frequent blasts of unwanted info regarding the trip, as is the wont of others. I suppose I may have something to say at the end of Monday.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lying Fallow

It was a largely quiet day, with the exception of going out to a Thai restaurant with my roommate and a mutual acquaintance who is leaving for a few months. I would have preferred a different place. I didn't care for my food or the ambiance in the least the last time I had been there, and had no rational reason to expect a different experience this time. The conversation was nice, though, so it was a pleasant outing.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Little Something

Not much energy to say all there is to be said, but it was a good, full day of high triumph, great anxiety, fun and friendship.

I soldiered through exhaustion and the stress of misplacing a dvd due back to the library to deliver my 10th Toastmasters speech, which makes me a Competent Communicator. When you do that, you get something like what is pictured below.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cleaning Up Is Hard To Do/Yesterday Is Dead And Gone/Oh, I Believe In Yesterday

Lately, I have been doing rather well at being neat. After a long period of doing the bare minimum in all things housekeeping, I broke down and went to work on it. I had to clean the dishes in stages, as there were too many to dry them all at once. Once that was done, I cleaned up my room, and now can walk around it without fear of stepping in anything or tripping. The last thing was doing my laundry (for it had been a little too long). Now it's only a matter of keeping the ball rolling.

Going back to Tuesday: after I wrote my last post, I found myself out helping my roommate providing for the continued availability of clean water in our apartment. This brought us first to Target and second to Rite Aid (a drugstore). There have been two things I've been looking for, and have not had any luck. The first is an ink cartridge for my printer. For whatever reason, it's near impossible to get them locally. One can always order them online, which makes me think that virtually all the cartridges are on a single place, with just a handful physically delivered to other places without bought by a customer first. I have no desire to pay shipping charges for something I ought to be able to get here, and so remain without a cartridge.

The other thing was mustache wax. As relatively few human beings cultivate mustaches, the paraphernalia for such facial hair is very much a niche product. I had bought a tube of the wax years ago, but did not use it regularly until recently. It had just run out, and I was checking every store I went into in a bid to find some. I had no luck with this until last night, when I finally did find some. I was especially happy that the wax came with a little mustache comb, as my own had gone missing. Now I have the wax, the little comb and the scissors. Things are beginning to go my way.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Monday Night

The improv class I sat in on was fun. I enjoyed picking up things from a different teacher and class. Although they don't espouse a different way of doing things per se, they are different people and are not really exposed to what we are doing (as I have until now not been exposed much to their work), so the result is something a little unique.

Following that was the experimental theater class. This week, we did all floor exercises, which were strenuous, challenging and pleasant. I will not be there next week, since I will be out of town, but look forward to returning in two weeks. On the way home, I stopped at a high end grocery store which I don't usually patronize. I was glad that they were open until 1am, and have decided that their baked goods are far superior to those of Ralphs (no surprise). Nonetheless, I am unlikely to shop their on a regular basis.

Today, there was a bonus Toastmasters meeting, where I felt I gave another good evaluation. I think I may be improving with those. Following that, I had to go to a library by MacArthur Park to pick up a DVD for movie night, and took the opportunity to pick up the prizes at a nearby 99 Cents Only store. Heading home from there, I encountered an older guy I have talked to several times on the bus. He is a night security guard and boxing history buff. I helped him with some heavy stuff he was carrying, and had a beer with him while he was toying with an antique clock and some things he had just bought. It was very nice to get to know him a bit better.

Tomorrow I may be helping out with a little additional shooting for the movie I was working on. If so, details will follow.

Monday, November 16, 2009

TV night

After a big day Saturday, Sunday was largely a quiet day for reflection and documentation. Once I had recorded the big Toastmasters event for posterity, it was time for TV Night. We had a full slate of Fox Animation Domination shows as well as Dexter, plus an ample supply of drinks (alcoholic and non) and snacks (healthy and not). It's really wonderful to have these get-togethers with friends like mine who grow dearer and dearer with each encounter.

I'm now on my way to watch Monkey Butler's other long form improv class (apart from the one I attend), then take part in the experimental theater class after. An account of both is likely to follow.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Done Thoroughly In Time

Given a bit of time to think about it, here's my report on the big event from yesterday: One of the organizers (who is a member of my own club) asked me to be there early help to help set up. Thusly, after sleeping not very much the night before, I got up at 5 o'clock in the morning. I got the coffee going, and jumped into the shower. Once my bathroom routine was through, it was time to dress. I suppose I have something of a reputation among some circles for dressing quite casually.

Therefore, I was asked to dress "business casual". I don't have a natural understanding of such terms, but went with a pair of black slacks, a nice collared shirt and no tie or jacket. I tastefully restrained my hair and moustache, and headed out around 6am. The event was at the Jon Lovitz Comedy Club at Universal Citywalk, which is fairly near to me and easy to get to. I caught the bus at about 6:11 and arrived at the bottom of the hill on which Citywalk lies about 6:24. It took just a few minutes to walk up there, as their shuttle does not start running until 7 on Saturdays.


I took part in a big Toastmasters event Saturday, and I want to write it up properly, but haven't got it in me just at the moment. I'll have it sometime Sunday, and it will be excellent.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Last night at improv class we had the final week of our musical block, and it was as fun as ever. I still have some trouble, but feel considerably better about doing it than I did at the start. Mostly my difficulties lie in the ordinary challenges of improv, although I could stand to develop a better singing voice. After my scene, the teacher compared us to Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady.

In that scene, our suggestion was cruise ship (an old college friend of the teacher had come to town for a show aboard a cruise ship, and was in attendance). I initiated by establishing that we were at a buffet-style restaurant aboard a cruise ship, praising the macaroni salad. My partner then developed an allergic reaction as I looked on unsympathetically. He then went on to reveal committing a murder on a previous cruise and expressed great anxiety.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Trip To The Shore

Something rather interesting came up for me yesterday. Someone from the movie I was just working on invited me to come crash a film sales market event over in Santa Monica. He further asked me to wear one of the more elaborate costumes from the movie (for a character I had not played), so the real risk was, therefore, mine. The nature of the costume was such that my vision and freedom of movement were both severely impaired, making a getaway nearly impossible.

So I went down to my friend's home so that we could all head to the event together. All the time, I heard the clack-clack-clack of a rollercoaster reaching the high point before dropping down and picking up speed. I was apprehensive, to say the least. Ultimately, my fears never came to pass, as the event was all but over and our group determined that going through with it would be not worth the effort, let alone the risk.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Since Friday

I was going to expand on the outing of last Friday, but I've moved well past that already. On to the following day: There were at least two parties to which I could consider going. One was a costume party in Los Feliz for the tv show Mad Men, which I love. The other was a costume birthday party for the wife of an acquaintance downtown. Initially I was torn, because while each sounded fun, they had their downsides and commitments which made them a little less appealing (the worst of all being the obligation to make a costume).

I eventually opted to go to the Beatles party, and made a quick costume based on the song 'Eight Days A Week'. My costume was a cardboard sign worn around the neck which depicted an eight day week calendar. Sadly, I did not win the contest, but did enjoy the company of many friends, not to mention a Beatles puzzle and Beatles Rock Band.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Prelude To A Story

I had another very satisfying night out with friends on this Friday. This time, it was the premiere of a short film written by a friend. Happily, the premiere took place at a nice little venue in Hollywood with an open bar. I'm happy to report that I restrained myself, enjoy a very dignified two beers before cutting myself off. There was additionally a nice round of long form improv comedy, and it was of course a delight to talk with many friends who I don't necessarily often see (and it is doubly nice for it to be in a somewhat novel setting).

Following that, it was more fun at a restaurant nearby- one where the most valuable salable commodity is atmosphere (certainly not food or service). Since sensible people don't put a stop to the night before things take a turn, a friend and I headed for one more place. A friend of his had a birthday party in West Hollywood, so we went. We would find the friend too inebriated to make for good conversation, and since this also meant she wouldn't appreciate or remember very well if we stuck around, we got going.

I suppose I'll elaborate on all this tomorrow, so stay tuned.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Update Petite

It was a pretty good day Thursday. I had Toastmasters, and won Best Evaluator for my critique on a fellow member's "news editorial". This broke a losing streak I had been on for a number of weeks, and so was most welcome.

In the evening, I had another phenomenal improv class with some of the best performers I've yet seen. It really is an incredible pleasure just to be a part of the class, and I can't wait for our next shot at a live audience. Having worked together more or less as a cohesive group since the last time, I have great confidence in our ability to really wow them.

Of course, following that it was time for a celebratory six dollar pizza. With that digesting in my system, NBC's Thursday night lineup closes out the day for me.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I had a few things going on yesterday. First, I was working on a bit of editing for a friend, and it was kind of nice to have a practical outlet for that stuff. It was nothing tough, and the content was a lot more pleasant to watch than what I've dealt with often in the past.

Following that, I had Movie Night. We watched Taken, and the meeting was distinguished by a high turnout and disproportionate number of women (both welcome, by the way). As always, it greatly gratifies me that people would come somewhere at my behest for something I'm putting on.

The night was capped off by bible study. It was my turn to bring snacks, and people seemed reasonably satisfied by my generic cola, sugary apple juice, taffy, generic spicy cheetos and salt and vinegar chips. The discussion was fairly good.

It's another active day coming up today, so hopefully I'll have something on that by morning.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bonus Toastmasters

Toastmasters has mainly belonged to Thursdays, with only a couple of things happening on Saturdays. The club is growing, however, and in order to satisfy demand for speaking slots we now must hold supplemental meetings. Such was the case two weeks ago, today and every two weeks in perpetuity.These supplemental meetings are very bare bones, with just speeches and evaluations. It was a fairly good time. I did not do an especially good job with an evaluation, as I had no time to prepare it before the speaker had to leave. I won't do that again. Otherwise, it was lots of fun- I heard some wonderful speeches and I was very glad to be there for them.

Monday, November 2, 2009

In The Arena, Briefly

Sunday was eventful for me in the barest sense. I spent much of the day watching sports alone, leaving only in the evening to be with friends. There, initially, I watched the end of the World Series' Game Four. My vocal and animated anger and frustration was patiently tolerated by the good friend and not terribly commmitted sports fan in whose home I watched the game. She did express interest in the finer points of a defensive gaffe on the part of the Phillies which would doom them to defeat, but her emotional stake in the outcome was minimal compared to my own.

A bit after the game ended, more friends came along and we greatly enjoyed delicious snacks (largely of a home-made nature) and an equally delectable episode of Showtime's 'Dexter'. A particularly salty turn of phrase employed by one of the characters struck a chord with all present, who committed to making use of it themselves in conversation the following day. Most could not wait, peppering their utterances with it all night whenever it could be justified.

The most recent episode of the same network's program 'Californication' was watched as a sort of nightcap, and was enjoyed nearly as much as the former entertainment. Things broke up thereafter with all concerned tired but in good spirits. For my part, I was up for around another hour before succumbing to sleep as a documentary on Miami's 1980s cocaine trade played.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Thrilling To Deeds Without

There has been no substantial news in the past 24 hours. I was to go out and take part in some youthful indiscretions out around West Hollywood, but it did not come to pass, and I whiled away Saturday evening without incident at home with a book in hand.

The thrill of yesterday's Florida Gators victory has been tempered by the agony of today's Arizona Cardinals defeat. I have been engaged in the watching thereof, as well as in some very minor housekeeping on the computer. Very shortly, I will head out to watch some television with friends. That seems better than watching it here by myself. I imagine there may also be tasty snacks and drinks, which I take pains to never pass up.

This coming week may hold some very notable occurrences. I will be sure to make mention of them if such is the case.