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Saturday, February 04, 2012

Airplane Bloggin: I Know Where I Live…


I am up in the air again.  I’m invoking George Clooney, but in coach.  I have my shoes off, an empty seat next to me, and I’ve left most of the belongings I had on my flight West in the West, in Maui.  I’m traveling with just  backpack, crammed with a computer, phone, wallet and a pair of black dress shoes.  The scuba equipment and my clothes are staying in Maui, at least for now.  I gave up my NYC apt December a year ago.  I now have my things scattered, or homes, if you will, in Venice, Miami (at the family apt in South beach), in Las Vegas (at the corporate apartment) and now at Dave P’s place in Haiku, Maui.  Subtract NYC, Alburquerque, add Las Vegas, add Haiku.  What’s next – I’d tell you, but you’re as likely to be able to guess as I am.

The two and a half weeks I spent in Maui were interesting.  Spending it on a ranch, complete with goats and dairy cows, with the former manager for Blues Traveler, who moved their a year ago.  Maui is definitely an interesting spot, attracting forward thinking people and people backing away from previous troubles in their lives.  Definitely out of the loop in some ways, forwards and back.

It’s a place of surpassing physical beauty, where everything seems to grow, and yet it’s a place that confounds on some levels.  It appeared to me to be almost entirely segregated between white and Polynesian Hawaiians and for a place that can sustain so much growth and agriculture, food is remarkably expensive and 90 percent of it, including the bananas, are imported.  Weird wacky stuff there.

What else is Maui?  Lots of good but not great scuba (they have algae problems and chlorine problems), with eels and turtles (but not enough coral).   Lovely beaches, both calm ones south and west, and turbulently gorgeous ones on the northside (where Haiki is).  In fact, the legendary Jaws had a minor break while I was there, with waves upto forty feet, and big wave pro surfers being towed into oncoming monsters via jet ski.  Something to see. 

Maui is also flooded, it seems with young people checking out on society, all ages of pseudo-hippies (not to be confused with hipsters), and folks with various drug addictions, depending on where you go.  It’s certainly a place where you can get away with being one of the foregoing, with being an iconoclast, a rebel or a wackadoo (to use a technical terms).  In those ways, it certainly reminds me of home base Venice.

We met some movers, some shakers, and most of all a fair number of surfers.  Met with Susan Casey about my client’s film about the BP Gulf coverup, “The Big Fix,” at Maui TedX (look it up to hear her talk), the Editor in Chief of O Magazine and former journalist at Outside Magazine.  We also the Mayor’s office on an environmental initiative for Maui, and with decendants to the former king of the Hawaiian islands.  We also met with the guy who pumps out Woody Harrelson’s intestines (among many others).  Things certainly stay interesting.  We’ll see if all of these meetings finally lead somewhere productive. 

I’m on the plane back to LA, then to Vegas, where I am going to watch my (our) Giants in the Superbowl tomorrow.  Apparently Charles has arranged for us to attend a superbowl party at the (hold applause til the end please, not) home of Carrot Top’s manager.  He’s apparently a Charles fan.  How could you not be.  We’ll then be hosting (BriteSol) a company for perhaps our first potentially lighting deal, and then the aforementioned Hawaiians are coming to see the technology in Vegas.  Six of them, which is about a ton of Hawaiians if recent history holds true.  They’re big, but they move fast. 

And then one or two more days back in Las Vegas, and back on a six AM flight back to Maui.  No time for Venice this trip.  No time for my own bed, my own room, my gym, my juicer, my whatever. 

I live where I am these days.  I have good reasons.   Where will I end up spending most of my time – I don’t know, ask the wind. 

Well, the valium I take for flight anxiety is beginning to take the edge off a bit after a rocky takeoff.  That’s good, and since I’m back to flying on Thursday, I’ll bid you an adieu and sign off here.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Airplane Bloggin’: Maui Wowie



Just a short entry, as I am hoping to fall asleep (with help from 10mg of diazepam and a double vodka bloody marie at Wolfgang Pucks, Terminal 7 LAX, and I recommend the pepporoni pizza with mushrooms highly), and as I have been blogging quite a bit lately, so there isn’t as much backnews on which to catch up.

After some hemming and hawing, I pulled the trigger on a trip to Maui with Charles.  The ostensible purpose of the trip is oversight and structuring of the business around a prototype build for which our friend Dave P. arranged the financing.  Dave P. is an environmental activities, with a huge solar farm on his property in Maui.  He sells power back to the municipality after carving off what he needs.  He’s also the former manager of Blues Traveller and the co-creator of the Horde Tour, which he sold to Clear Channel.  He’s super tied into the music scenes and is a frequent attendee, with his posse of the exceedingly wealthy, exceedingly interesting (or both) in tow. 

We’ll be staying on his property, where it is also planned that a camera monitoring system is to be installed to keep an eye of Jaws.  I am not talking about Universal’s big mechanical shark of the past, but rather the biggest wave break in Maui (or maybe in Hawaii, I am not sure).  Dave, who lives on the coastline abutting Jaws, gets hundreds of calls and texts in the morning when surfers from all over want to check in to see how Jaws is breaking that day.  The idea here is to install a stream, sponsored for the sake of charity by surf gear and other companies, so that the avid surfers can stop burning up Dave’s cel every AM.  Seems like a multi-tasked good cause.  Hoping to get that up and running during the week we’ll be in Maui as well.

Finally, Charles, who’s becoming well-known to both of the readers of this blog, whether they comment or not, is doing a Ted talk.  The Ted Conference was put on by a friend of Dave P’s, hence the connection.  I haven’t attended a Ted talk yet, so maybe I’ll make my way over, though honestly the prospect of sitting in an auditorium when I could be out enjoying the sun and surf and waterfalls seems less than appealing.

With all of this in store, I jammed my backpack and a trusted carryon with a little bit of clothing and a ton of scuba gear.  With a little luck, we’ll get the prototype built, the camera running and I’ll get narced ones or twice.  

Not so grumpy today, but for the sake of consistency, that hobgoblin of little minds, I’ll bid you adieu as

Grumps.  

Monday, January 16, 2012

Airplane Bloggin: Quetzalcoatl Stole My Pillow, Pt. 2












Writing now from the semi-comfort of my somewhat chilly house in Venice, Ca. 

I missed the second half of the Giant game, after seeing the G-Men take a 20-10 lead on a ridiculously defended hail mary pass at the end of the first half, at a Chili’s (really) in Guadalajara Airport.  When we landed in Phoenix for our change, and I turned my phone on, I got a New York Times update about the Giants spanking the Pack (sorry Mark, Newman, Basch, it is what it is). 

I also missed the Golden Globes on television (much less, going to any of the parties).  Not that I am such a fan, but I usually watch.  Sounds like some worthy movies took the gold. 

To continue the blog I was writing before having to literally sprint on still semi-wounded ankle to catch the connection to LAX….

After the hacienda party (pics attached), we took the long bus ride back to the Riu Plaza hotel (which is very nice).  I was exhausted, running on perhaps three hours of sleep over the previous two days, and I wasn’t going anywhere. 

Until.

Charles, who had slept on the bus despite the cacophony, was downstairs telling me that I had to come downstairs, that quite a crowd had developed, including the girls who had been our chaperones the night before (and friends).  

I rallied, I rose, I showered and I departed, sleepless still.  Went downstairs to the hotel bar, where we had the local tequila, which they shoot with lime and salt just like in the states.  Jada, who had been our hostess on the first night, was again there to provide, with a few of her close friends along for the trip.  We didn’t even leave the hotel until after one thirty AM, and headed to Barra Bar, a baroque testament to Guadalajara nightlife, complete with a full assortment of disco and electronic and funny foam hats.  Mind you, Jada did all this on a broken foot – making her a kindred spirit. 

The second night ended earlier than the first.  My best recollection is being asleep at around 5AM.  Some of the crew were headed back to Bar Americanos at around 4AM but I was not just hitting a wall by then, I was burying myself underneath it.   We bid goodbye to Jada, who went out for a late dinner with another of the BG crew, and I was asleep minutes after my head hit the pillow. 

The next morning, Sunday, was brunch in the hotel, a bit of saying goodbye, and on the road.  And now I am back in Venice, catching up on (blogging and) correspondence, and preparing to hit the road again on Wednesday, this time to Maui (at least I think so).

Til then, remaining yours, somewhat faithfully (what happens in Guadalajara stays in Guadalajara, didn’t you know)

Grumps.  

Airplane Bloggin: Quetzalcoatl Stole My Pillow



On the way back from a short jaunt in Guadelajara Mexico.  Charles and I had grabbed a Friday afternoon commuter to Phoenix, and then the evening flight south into Mexico’s second largest city. 

We were attending the ribbon cutting for a company with which Charles is involved, Blue Gold.  Blue Gold’s tech basically purifies water, regardless of its toxicity or turbidity, and makes it usable for agriculture, industry, drinking.    Pretty important stuff.  The pilot project actually is taking leachate water from a dumpsite and making it usable for agriculture.  And a single mobile plant churns out enough water to keep a small city in ice cubes. 

But lets take a step back. On our arrival, and meeting some of the BG folks, we went out on the town in Guadelajara.  First stop was a rock club, Old Jack’s, with a more than passable cover band barking out music, quite adeptly, as varied as The Doors, Coldplay and Kings of Leon.  We tossed a few back, Grumpy made a friend J, and then we headed to an underground club, Bar Americanos, in a warehouse type space.  With the assistance of your friendly neighborhood bartended, and a change to central time zone, somehow we were out til almost 6AM, before retreating to the hotel for perhaps three hours of sleep before jumping on the bus to the ribbon cutting. 

For obvious reasons, I was a bit piqued in the morning, and directly following the speeches and ceremony we headed out to a hacienda owned by a local (Mexican) business partner, where we were plied with tequila (I abstained at the party), which was actually invented in Jalisco, the state where Guadelajara is.  I know, pretty cool.  There was a dance show, more mariachi than you could shake a senorita at, and a lovely outdoor meal.  I somehow avoided full on grumpster mode due to fatigue, at least until we got back on the bus for the 90 minute ride back to hotel (expletives regarding behavior of tequila-induced maniacs excised). 

Landed in Phoenix – Blogger Interuptus.  TBC. 




Sunday, January 15, 2012

Airplane Bloggin’: South of Border Edition

(posted days late from Guadelajara Airport on the way back to Estados Unidos)

I have to begin by apologizing.  To the crickets.  Yes, I’ll acknowledge that I haven’t much of a readership.  That’s OK – I write for me, just like Ivan Drago.  Yes, just like that.  I am the Ivan Drago of bloggers.  I have no idea what that means.

I am currently on the way to Guadelajara, Mexico, which, for the geographically undistinguished, is the second largest city in Mexico, a very distant second.  I am going with Charles, who’s been previously described in this space as truly the most interesting man in the world.  He hasn’t done anything to lower my estimation in that regard, and my presence on this trip bears testament.

We are headed to Guadelajara because Charles is a partner in a technology company that is providing a clean water solution to a part of the world that desperately needs it.  In fairness, most of the world needs it, but Guadelajara is as good a place to start as any.  I’m assuming I’ll even be able to post this at my hotel – it looked nice enough online.  I’m sure they have the internet in Guadelajara, right?)  The ribbon cutting for the installation of this technology is tomorrow – with environmental bigwigs and financial titans with an environmental bent apparently circumventing the globe to attend.   Prince of Monaco, supposedly, that sort of person.  Me?  Well, I am basically attending as what…?  Moral support?  Legal safety valve?  Charles’ caddy?   Whatever, it seems like an amazing development and I’m happy to be invited (and on someone else’s dime).  THe big issue is going to be whether I can find a place to watch the Giants deep in southern Mexico.  Got my doubts.  I’ve been amped up on football (not futbol) quite a bit more than usual the past month, so I’ll be disappointed not to be able to watch the whole game.  However, some things need to take precendence.

In other news, the environmental technology company with which I am involved has rented a corporate apartment in Las Vegas.  Charles and I are the primary residents to be.  Its nothing fancy, but its clean, quiet, everything works and there is good water pressure (I’m very big on good water pressure).  It does mean though, after a short hiatus of seven months, I am once again splitting time between two cities.  It was Albuquerque and LA before this, and before that, LA and NYC.  Vegas is a bit closer, a four hour drive at the right time of day (perhaps a bit more), but once again I’ll be back and forth it seems.  Not necessarily my life’s dream or preference, but as I said before, some things have to take precedence. 

I flew from Miami with the folks (three weeks all in) straight back to Vegas for work, and spent last week at the Flamingo (5/10 on the yikes factor) before the corporate apartment was ready.  One night there and we left for LA.  I got a whole, lets call it, forty hours in Venice before getting the call on Mexico.  I’m not complaining, and I was actually getting a bit bored sitting in Venice for the day on Thursday.  Charles, interesting man that he us, came to the rescue, and so this too, should be interesting. 

I’ll let you know.  

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Airplane Bloggin’: Too Tired to Name This Edition



Whirlwind?  Well, its been more methodical, more drudgery that that would imply.  Yes, the word whirlwind has a nice romanticism, but it doesn’t convey the coach class compression that has defined my flights bookending the last twenty four hours, or the schedule compression that defined the time between.

I woke up early this AM (well, early for me) in Las Vegas, where I’ve been for the past (I have to look at the calender to know how many) ten days.  Went to the airport (thanks, Angela and Eric for the lodgings yet again, and for the ride to LAS) so that I could fly back to Los Angeles on the 8:40 on the Grumpster’s favorite airline, the egalitarian and efficient SouthWest. 

On the ground before ten AM, I said hello to my home, which I haven’t seen since the Monday after Thanksgiving.   Unpacked a bit, returned some correspondence via email, and jumped on a conference call with two scientists and a high level manager of a multinational conglomerate.  I could tell you what the call was about, but then I’d have to kill myself.  Or at least delete this entry.  So I won’t.

That was followed by a meeting with my newest clients, Green Planet Productions, the folks behind the film, Fuel, and their recent entry, The Big Fix, about the BP oil spill, the damage it has done, and the subsequent cover-up by one of the world’s most profitable companies.  Love those green signs at your gas stations, boys.

After the Green Planet meeting, I headed over to Tunnel to finalize some paperwork for another client’s new venture, before meeting Mario the composer at an Irish Pub for a happy hour dinner.  Mario had some things he’d wanted to discuss, I hadn’t seen him as I haven’t been in LA to see him (and I thought I could co-opt this into a ride to LAX, something Mario was more than happy to provide).  He’s been doing the score for Lee Daniels’ follow-up to Precious, a thrilled called The Paperboy,  which stars Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, Zak Efron and Matthew McConaughey.  I was glad he was able to make time.

I spend a good deal of time these days thinking and talking about environmental technology and the environment in general.  One of the books that I am currently reading is Greg Palast’s Vulture’s Picnic. It’s investigative journalism, with a Sam Spade wink, from a truly entertaining and informed writer who is looking very hard at the world’s petrofinancial industry, with a focus on the BP Gulf Deepwater Horizon disaster and its historical precedents in Alaska and the Caspian sea.  I mention this primarily because I am most of the way through a redeye flight (yes, this is all one day) to Miami from LAX, on a ticket I booked when I thought I’d be much less busy.   Its so rare that I fall asleep cramped in a coach seat, particularly when I am stuck in a row with two big guys (don’t get me started on the perverse humor that must, I swear, must exist, when seat assignments are made).  However, I did fall asleep, only to wake up, look out the window hours into the flight, and see the lights of boats and other structures (oil rigs, couldn’t say) in the Gulf.
I am still wiped out regardless of the three hour snooze, and I am looking forward to getting into the guest bedroom at my families’ place in Miami Beach and making a full morning of catching up on the missed sleep.  When I booked the ticket, I hadn’t expected to have been in NY eleven days prior, but its still nice to see my folks the extra time (they just arrived in Miami today, er, yesterday, I don’t entirely know what day it is).  I didn’t get even a single night (or a nap) in my own bed in  the twelve hours I spent in LA, but that’s OK.  What I am doing has meaning, I like for the most part all of the people with whom I am spending my time, and the future is exciting. 

Wonder if I can get back to sleep for the last forty minutes of the flight. 

Grumps.     

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Airplane Bloggin’ – Back to Sin City


What a long strange trip its been.   

Not so long, actually, but I enjoy the reference.  Over the past week, I’ve passed through Pittsburgh to visit with a multinational corporation’s physicists, then onto DC where I met with, among others, Clinton’s Secretary of Agriculture, visited the Indonesian Embassy (I missed the Ambassador but others from our group had an audience), and saw out mission reach the House of Representatives and the Senate.  I spent a full day at Jones Day, the preeminent intellectual property law firm (OK, well, maybe that doesn’t sound so exciting, though they did take us out for drinks after) and drank Russian vodka in a Dupont Circle bar, poured by a drop-dead Meryl Streep look-alike (when Meryl was 25).  Notably, I met the mistress of the blog Diary of Why , and we shared an evening bloggin’ in person, over beer (and champagne).  I assure you all, there is a good reason why. 

I’m currently on the plane back to Vegas, to company HQ’s, with the man I’ve coined “the real most interesting man in the world,” an appellation to which the Mistress of Why agreed after a brief interview with him.  The world’s most interesting man is actually asleep in the window seat (to my aisle), and so I can describe him with no fear of intervention :P. 

Charles is a blue blood scion of American corporate royalty, coming from the Pan Am legacy.  He is a former (well, not so former sometimes, like at the Mint a month ago) rockstar, an expatriate on the run for twenty years from charges against him (now expunged), a boat captain, an airplane pilot, a technical Flir photographer of much merit, the true producer of the movie (and the daredevil therein) The Cove (and if you haven’t seen it, see it, immediately – no excuses, it streams on Netflix), and a magnet for all global environmental issues.  His rolodex includes other rockstars, heads of state, billionaires business magnets, world renowned scientists, royalty and Johnny Depp.  He can outdrink you, outsmoke you and play a blistering guitar.  He lives the life of a 1 percenter on the income of a 99 percenter.  And he doesn’t want anything from you except perhaps friendship and a shared point of view.

In NYC, which we reached via Acela from DC, just in time for The Big Fix premiere (please google and check it out, very important doco about BP’s continuing destruction of our environment), I had time to see my parents, some close friends (like Ibo and Elicia), to take in with Newman the most exciting football game I (and probably most of the crowd) have ever attended, even though my Giants lost to the Pack), and dine with a quite charming member (a friend of Charles, of course) of the royal family of Monaco, all in a seventy two hour period.  I spent a few hours with one of the top lawyers in America, a bit of time on the phone with another with whom I used to work, and even more importantly, got to see Drew’s lovely, brilliant young daughters, a sterling reminder of why I am doing what I am doing. 

Also, I’ve heard several times over the past few days from my EX (capitalized to emphasize that she’s the only one I’d refer to in this capacity).  The tumultuousness of that relationship still well, in mind, it appears that détente may be on her mind.  Ambivalence is what is on mine.  Hold fast.

And now, back to Las Vegas, where this journey all began just a few short months ago (not surprisingly due to Charles’ introduction).  Its not full circle, as the journey has hardly begun.   Lots of travel appears to be on tap, a tremendous amount of safeguarding and business development to be done.  Stops in Monte Carlo, Guadalajara, and Switzerland loom on the horizon.   What a long strange trip it promises to be.  

Monday, November 28, 2011

Airplane Bloggin’: The World’s An Open Book.


Flying at the moment from LA to Pittsburgh for meetings with a big company, on behalf of my newest client.  An inventor.  Truly groundbreaking stuff that I cannot yet disclose.  Let’s just say that, if everythings works according to plan, the world could potentially be a very different, better place in the not-so-distant future.  Hoping to see that happen, and I may have as much work as I can handle as well, which will be nice after a slow work year. 

After said Pittsburgh jaunt, off the D.C.   While I haven’t ever been to Pittsburgh (though I have heard nice things from my friends who’ve visited), over the years I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Washington.   However, I haven’t been there in perhaps ten years or more (honestly, I can’t really recall when I was last there).  When I was with Cadwalader, I spent a fair amount of time in DC as one of the partners for whom I worked was based in DC.  Before that, I’d progressed pretty far in a job search with another firm in DC, Miller & Chevalier, and before that, my brother Scott and good friend David had lived in Alexandria, and I’d been down to visit more than once.   It was also a frequent stop for tax conferences (exciting, yes, I know, please calm down) and training seminars.

Back then, D.C. had the reputation of being a very female-laden, centric, heavy, I don’t know.  Lotsa girls.  And lots of gay men, which helped the “ratio” even more.  Guys know what I mean, its how many of us picked the colleges we attended.  For real.  Hehe.

So wondering, after speaking with a friend this AM about how DC has changed over the last ten years, gentrified and become more broadly inhabitable, how much the city has changed demographically.  Not that I’ll necessarily notice in two days, but we’ll see.  I will be seeing my close friend, Drew, who works in some kind of high finance job splitting time between DC and NYC.  He’s getting us in, it seems, on a corporate rate at the Mandarin Oriental, so thanks for that, Drew. Nevermind that, I just checked prices on DC Hotel Rooms, and the prices are extraordinarily low for decent hotels within the district.  $67 for a room in Dupont Circle?  Hard to believe.

In any event, I am looking forward to seeing D.C. again, and to move this client forward.  Exciting things going on, for me, for you (though you don’t know it yet), and I hope to be able to share more in the near future. 

Grumps. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Repost - Interesting on Blogs

Walt Disney Co. has acquired New York-based Babble Media Inc., a parenting site that features advice about pregnancy, child development and related topics from some 200 mommy bloggers.
The Burbank entertainment giant has been acquiring family-focused websites in recent years, as its struggling Disney Interactive Media Group seeks to build out its online offerings for parents.
Babble, launched in 2006 by husband-and-wife team Rufus Griscom and Alisa Volkman, attracts about 2.1 million monthly visitors -- about 483,000 of whom are women with children ages 2 to 17, according to Nielsen.
Blogs have become a vital source of information for women with children. The research firm EMarketer estimates that 54% of the 32 million mothers who go online in the U.S. every month visit blogs.
"This is an audience where there's a lot of loyal, faithful readers," said Debra Aho Williamson, an online analyst for EMarketer who wrote an October 2010 report about moms who blog. "People tend to gravitate towards certain bloggers ... and comment regularly on what they're reading. It's a very tight-knit community." 
Major media companies have been in hot pursuit of mothers. Nickelodeon plans to launch NickMom, a nightly block of programs aimed at parents, late next year. It will be accompanied by a website, Nickelodeon's ParentsConnect.com, to dispense parenting advice.
Disney has been assembling its own collection of mom-focused websites for years, to bolster its network of family-oriented Internet offerings. It acquired iParenting Media's collection of websites in late 2007, and two years later paid $23.3 million to buy Kaboose Inc., a Canadian family-focused media group.
"Disney is all about moms and kids. It's a great place for them to 'play,'" said Mike Vorhaus, president of Magid Advisors consulting group.
The latest deal, for which terms were not disclosed, Disney gains a site that was named one of the 50 best of 2010 by Time magazine. Its stable of bloggers write on a range of parenting topics. Recent contributions include "I'm Jealous of My Nanny," "20 Sleepover Party Recipes" and "How to Buy and Use a Family Camera." 
"With more than 3.9 million mom blogs in the U.S. alone, Disney Interactive recognizes and values the important and powerful role moms have taken on in new media," Brooke Chaffin, senior vice president of Moms and Family for the company's interactive media group, said in a statement.
Disney declined to comment. Babble did not immediately respond to a request for an interview.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cold Weather In California and Other Non-Sequiturs

This just in. Venice is cold.  And I've become a warm-weather wimp.  Its still September, I am all-ashiver about how cold I'm going to be come winter-time.  I actually can see wearing some of my heavier NYC wardrobe.

Its been overcast and in the mid-sixties for the past week, and I'm bundled up like a grandmother.   Been out and about just a little bit, headed to Gold's Gym, which I joined because it was close and much nicer than the terrible and depressing LA/Marina Fitness in Marina del Rey.  Back to yoga, cardio, weight-lifting.  Slow-going getting back into shape...Also (and not helping the getting back in shape thing) went with Mike K., my neighbor and a friend from high school, to the newly-opened beer hall on Lincoln, Wurstkuche (umlauts omitted), for some snausages and litres of beer (they come in litres?? (obscure tweaked movie reference, five movie geek points for getting the reference).  It was fun, and we ran into the managers of Baby Blues, the BBQ joint across the street, checking out their new neighbors, and bought them a round for making some really wonderful BBQ very close to home.

Work has been slow this month, so I am spending too much time netsurfing and not enough time being productive.  Sound familiar.  Things have seemingly started to pick up though, and its not like I don't have things around the house (still no maid) that I could be doing more productive than playing stupid games on FB.   The games aren't even that much fun, they just provide something to do.  I had an invitation to head back to Vegas for another four or five days, but I passed, as I should be looking for more lucrative opportunities, regardless of missed fun.

Been quiet - and hence, boring blog entry.  I'll try to be more fascinating next time.

Grumps

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What I'm Watching

Netflucks (the moniker that seems to be sticking to this pr-deprived enterprise) certainly makes it easy to remember - they give you a list of everything you've watched.  Without further ado...

Q&A (Sidney Lumet, amazing performances, which tends to go without saying in a Sidney Lumet movie) (not netflix btw)
Bill Cunningham New York (Richard Press) (excellent doco on NYT street fashion photog.)
Still Waiting (Jeff Balis) - cause I liked the first, your fairly standard gross out comedy, not bad, not the first though, though far better than say the Harold and Kumar sequel.  Balis, an indie producer based in LA, was incidentally the guy fired off Season two of Project Greenlight (the one with Shia LeBeof)
The Expendables (Sly Stallone) - have a client who may be in the new one, due diligence, not without its entertainment value, not exactly a rumination on existentialism, and in fairness not trying to be
Alice In Wonderland  (Tim Burton) - no doubt I am the last person in the US on the planet to see this and you all have your own opinions, but I found it pretty breathtaking, and Helena Bonham Carter rocks it out
Running the Sahara (James Moll - doco) - not bad.  Incongruous Matt Damon narration.
Hobo With A Shotgun (Jason Eisener) - Not bad, worth the watch, I think this director has a future.
and
Bronson (Nicholas Winding Refn) - Really knocked me out, as did Tom Hardy, who I met right after this film came out in the US at a pool on the roof of some WeHo hotel.  (Nice guy, wasn't very happy about how Bronson got treated by its distributor, or how he got treated.  He was already hanging with Leo and the Inception crew by then, so I imagine he got over it soon enough).  So Kubrick-like thats both its most amazing and probably most attackable attribute.  I was pretty much stopped in my tracks.  A must see.

Monday, September 19, 2011

And the Emmy Award Winners (Cave-dweller, pt. 2)


COMEDY SERIES
* Modern Family (ABC)The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Glee (Fox)
The Office (NBC)
Parks & Recreation (NBC)
30 Rock (NBC)
DRAMA SERIES
* Mad Men (AMC)Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
Dexter (Showtime)
Friday Night Lights (DirecTV/NBC)
Game of Thrones (HBO)
The Good Wife (CBS)
MOVIE OR MINISERIES
* Downton Abbey (PBS)
Cinema Verité (HBO)
The Kennedys (Reelz)
Mildred Pierce (HBO)
Pillars of the Earth (Starz)
Too Big To Fail (HBO)
ACTRESS IN A MOVIE OR MINISERIES
* Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce (HBO)
Diane Lane, Cinema Verité (HBO)
Elizabeth McGovern, Downton Abbey (PBS)
Taraji P. Henson, Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story (Lifetime)
Jean Marsh, Upstairs Downstairs (PBS)
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MOVIE OR MINISERIES
* Guy Pearce, Mildred Pierce (HBO)
Tom Wilkinson, The Kennedys (Reelz)
Brian F. O'Byrne, Mildred Pierce (HBO)
Paul Giamatti, Too Big to Fail (HBO)
James Woods, Too Big to Fail (HBO)
ACTOR IN A MOVIE OR MINISERIES
* Barry Pepper, The Kennedys (Reelz)
Edgar Ramirez, Carlos (Sundance)
Greg Kinnear, The Kennedys (Reelz)
Idris Elba, Luther (BBC America)
Laurence Fishburne, Thurgood (HBO)
William Hurt, Too Big to Fail (HBO)
DIRECTING FOR MINISERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
* Brian Percival, Downton Abbey (PBS)
Olivier Assayas, Carlos (Sundance)
Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, Cinema Verite (HBO)
Todd Haynes, Mildred Pierce (HBO)
Curtis Hanson, Too Big to Fail (HBO)
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MOVIE OR MINISERIES
* Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey (PBS)
Evan Rachel Wood, Mildred Pierce (HBO)
Melissa Leo, Mildred Pierce (HBO)
Mare Winningham, Mildred Pierce (HBO)
Eileen Atkins, Upstairs Downstairs (PBS)
WRITING FOR A MINISERIES OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
* Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey (PBS)
Todd Haynes and Jon Raymond, Mildred Pierce (HBO)
Steven Moffat, Sherlock: A Study in Pink (PBS)
Peter Gould, Too Big To Fail, HBO
Heidi Thomas, Upstairs Downstairs (PBS)
ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
* Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights (DirecTV)
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
Michael C. Hall, Dexter (Showtime)
Jon Hamm, Mad Men (AMC)
Hugh Laurie, House (Fox)
Timothy Olyphant, Justified (FX)
ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
* Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife (CBS)
Kathy Bates, Harry's Law (NBC)
Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights (DirecTV)
Mireille Enos, The Killing (AMC)
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU (NBC)
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men (AMC)
DIRECTING IN A DRAMA SERIES
* Martin Scorsese, Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
Jeremy Podeswa, Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
Neil Jordan, The Borgias (Showtime)
Tim Van Patten, Game of Thrones (HBO)
Patty Jenkins, The Killing (AMC)
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
* Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones (HBO)
Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age (TNT)
Josh Charles, The Good Wife (CBS)
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife (CBS)
Walton Goggins, Justified (FX)
John Slattery, Mad Men (AMC)
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
* Margo Martindale, Justified (FX)
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife (CBS)
Michelle Forbes, The Killing (AMC)
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men (AMC)
Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
Archie Punjabi, The Good Wife (CBS)
WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
* Jason Katims, Friday Night Lights (DirecTV)
David Benioff, Game of Thrones (HBO)
Veena Sud, The Killing (AMC)
Matthew Weiner, Mad Men (AMC)
Andre Jacquemetton, Mad Men (AMC)
DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY MUSICAL OR COMEDY SERIES
* Don Roy King, Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Jerry Foley, Late Night With David Letterman (CBS)
Gregg Gelfand, American Idol (Fox)
James Hoskinson, The Colbert Report (Comedy Central)
Chuck O'Neil, Daily Show With Jon Stewart (Comedy Central)
VARIETY MUSICAL OR COMEDY SERIES
* The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (Comedy Central)The Colbert Report (Comedy Central)
Conan (TBS)
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (NBC)
Real Time With Bill Maher (HBO)
Saturday Night Live (NBC)
WRITING FOR A VARIETY, MUSICAL OR COMEDY SERIES
* The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (Comedy Central)
Saturday Night Live (NBC)
The Colbert Report (Comedy Central)
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (NBC)
Conan (TBS)
REALITY COMPETITION SERIES
* The Amazing Race (CBS) American Idol (Fox)
Dancing With the Stars (ABC)
Project Runway (Lifetime)
So You Think You Can Dance (Fox)
Top Chef (Bravo)
COMEDY SERIES DIRECTING
* Michael Alan Spiller, Modern Family (ABC)
Gail Mancuso, Modern Family (ABC)
Pamela Fryman, How I Met Your Mother
Steven Levitan, Modern Family (ABC)
Beth McCarthy-Miller, 30 Rock (NBC)
ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
* Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly (CBS)
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie (Showtime)
Tina Fey, 30 Rock (NBC)
Laura Linney, The Big C (Showtime)
Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope (Fox)
Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation (NBC)
ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
* Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock (NBC)
Louis C.K., Louie (FX)
Steve Carell, The Office (NBC)
Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes (Showtime)
COMEDY SERIES WRITING
Steve Levitan, Jeffrey Richman, Modern Family (ABC)
Louis C.K, Louis (FX)
Greg Daniels, The Office (NBC)
Matt Hubbard, 30 Rock (NBC)
David Crane, Jeffrey Klarik, Episodes (Showtime)
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
* Ty Burrell, Modern Family (ABC)
Chris Colfer, Glee (Fox)
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men (CBS)
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family (ABC)
Ed O'Neill, Modern Family (ABC)
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family (ABC)
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
* Julie Bowen, Modern Family (ABC)
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock (NBC)
Jane Lynch,Glee (Fox)
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family (ABC)
Betty White, Hot in Cleveland (TV Land)
Kristin Wiig, Saturday Night Live (NBC)

Some TIFF Awards Stuff (in case you live in a cave and only have this page bookmarked)

Toronto Winners


Cadillac People’s Choice Award
Nadine Labaki-directed Where Do We Go Now?
Cadillac People’s Choice Award For Documentary
Jon Shenk-directed The Island President
Cadillac People’s Choice Award For Midnight MadnessGareth Evans-directed The Raid
City of Toronto and Astral Media’s The Movie Network Award For Best Canadian FeaturePhilippe Falardeau-directed Monsieur Lazhar
Skyy Vodka Award For Best Canadian First Feature FilmNathan Morlando-directed Edwin Boyd
FIPRESCI Prize For Special Presentations SectionGianni Amelio-directed The First Man
FIPRESCI Prize For Discovery ProgrammeAxel Petersen-directed Avalon (Sweden)
Best Canadian Short FilmIan Harnarine-directed Doubles With Slight Pepper