Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The End of the Year Post Full of Randomness and Wonder!

OK, this is my "End of the Year Post Full of Randomness and Wonder". I hope some of it is interesting to you! I'm going to be all over the place!

I suppose I should begin by reflecting upon the year...

Made great strides in furthering my acting career. Added new "deep end of the pool" acting classes up in LA, with the Big Boys, and a high caliber coach (Rob Adler). Extremely challenging and rewarding. Took me a few classes to get my sea legs under me -- a problem exacerbated by my propensity toward social awkwardness.

Got my braces off! So I have straight teeth now. The work isn't over just yet.... I need to get another new fake front tooth, and I need them whitened. Then I'll have that "commercial smile" and make my wife and/or mother proud!

Scattered auditions and jobs, which were fun but yielded little (financially)... which might bother me more if I weren't wrapped up in an amazing web series project (Beyond the Impact), which has a live (and active) Facebook page now -- search "Beyond The Impact" on Facebook to see it. Also, the website is available for the project -- but only the splash page with a count-down timer to the premiere (which is February 7, 2015).

I've spent some serious time in front of the camera this year, and it feels GREAT. I love it, in ways that are hard to express in words (difficult to believe with me, eh? I'm so long-winded)... and if things go according to plans, this next year will be exponentially more awesome.

Here's a quick photo from the farmhouse shoot from this past weekend. This will be featured in the opening sequence...

It was a great location, and Jeff's CGI team will work wonders with the footage. And the music... o the music, wait until you hear it. It will blow you away...

Plus, I worked on a team for the 48-Hour Film Festival back in July, which was a lot of fun. I hope to work with the same team again this year.

OK, what else?

I read 30 novels this year... The Very Best included:
- The Liveship Trilogy by Robin Hobb
- The Slow Regard of Silent Things, by Pat Rothfuss
- Blade of Tyshalle, by Matthew Stover
- The Night of Cake and Puppets, by Laini Taylor
Although that last one was a short story, not a novel... but it was wonderfully tasty and beautiful. Definitely among the best of the year. Other Honorable Mentions include titles by: James Moore, Trudy Canavan, Django Wexler and Miles Cameron.

My least favorite was Steelheart, by B. Sanderson. Which surprised me, since I'm such a big Sanderson fan. Normally, I bail on sub-par books (as I did with many titles this year), since why on earth should I keep reading a turd? But I suppose since I have such a positive history with Sanderson, I kept expecting it to get good. It didn't.

I don't track every movie I see like I do with the books I read... maybe I should. I honestly don't remember all the movies I saw this year, but the one that still stands out to me as the Best of the Year was Guardians of the Galaxy, which I absolutely loved. The ending fizzled a bit, keeping it from getting a 10 from me... but I gave it a solid 9, and it was worth seeing in IMAX 3D... which is something I don't recall ever saying for a movie before (maybe Avatar?)

I loved Chadwick Boseman's performance as James Brown, in Get On Up. Great movie, amazing acting performance. Looks like he won't be getting a (well-deserved, I think) Oscar nod for Best Actor this year... competition is too stiff. He's a long-shot.

While I'm on the subject of quality entertainment, you know which TV show I feel has the very best writing? The answer may surprise you... Gilmore Girls. Wifey has been binge watching it again lately, and honestly, I absolutely LOVE the writing. The dialog is so fun and fast and sharp, it seems to me that it would be an actor's dream. Then again, as a writer, that's the type of stuff I enjoy writing. Coming from stage, where it's all about the dialog. In Gilmore Girls, nothing really every seems to happen. It's mostly character development and interaction. A show where all people do is talk, and don't really do anything? And I love it.

I tried watching the latest season of 24, based upon the high recommendation of my classmate, the illustrious Rob Dey. But I limped through the illogical, tedious, predictable, ham-fisted pilot episode and had enough. Sorry, Rob.

AND YET! I'm the same guy that found this video endlessly fascinating... and all it features is a man taking apart a ROLEX watch and then reassembling it...

Why? Why should I find something like that so fascinating? And I yawn at Jack Bauer and his antics? Plus, I dig Gilmore Girls? I think my Man Card is in jeopardy...

Another highlight of the year was getting my Second-Favorite Book of All Time (The Heroes) autographed by its author, the Great and Powerful Joe Abercrombie. Granted, I made a bit of a fool of myself in front of him when we talked, but, hey, remember by social awkwardness? That seems to be a theme for me this year... hey, what's a few harsh life lessons, between friends eh?

What else?

Music? Well, my tastes trended toward harder stuff this year, which includes Breaking Benjamin, Volbeat, Shinedown, Avenged Sevenfold and Five Finger Death Punch. Hey, I'm not ashamed to admit it!

On a spiritual note, it was also a year of transition for my faith. My belief and trust in God remains unshaken, but my patience for the religious song-and-dance has all but evaporated. I still attend church and tend to my obligations there, but it's more like a job than a joy. Although the Christmas Play journey was a great joy to me this year, moreso than, perhaps, any other year I can recall. I look forward to the Easter Play...

Games? It was mostly about Minecraft. Though there were a few other titles that got some playtime, including Borderlands 2, Sir You Are Being Hunted, Defense Grid 2, TrackMania Valley, Dead Island and some old school Unreal Tournament. That reminds me... I broke my favorite mouse the other day, banging it on the desk in a fit of frustration, playing UT with some of the old crew from back in the day (they have a server up and running).... had to buy a new mouse, lol...

OK, well, seeing as how it's 2:30 am as I type this sentence, and I need to go to work in the morning, I better pull the plug on this post. Hey, I told you I would be all over the place! I'm amazed that you read this far.

Stick a fork in the year. It's done.

Adios for now,

Dave the Transitional

Monday, December 22, 2014

Just Follow the Recipe and All Will Be Fine!

"Hour number 4. The procedure is moving along as expected, though slightly slower than I had hoped. Progress has been made, but I'm at a bit of an impasse."

The Man in the Lab Coat paused, and then clicked the red button on his digital recorder to stop it, setting it down on the table before him. The table space was mostly occupied by a man, laying out on his back, eyes closed, unconscious and unclothed save for a strategically-placed Hello Kitty beach towel across his hips. Various wires and tubes were coming out of various nooks and crannies on the man's body, which were connected to the machinery that kept him alive during this procedure.

After a deep-breath and an eye-rub, the Man in the Lab Coat picked the digital recorder back up.

"I began as planned, by adding a thin base layer of insecurity before spooning in two ladles-full of scatological humor, three tablespoons of suppressed anger, a dash-and-a-half of resolve, a half-cup of ennui, a full bag of "desire to entertain", and then sprinkled over the top of it all a general ability to think more highly of others than is likely healthy. Somehow, it seems that two or more of these ingredients have reacted to form an addiction to buying games and ebooks -- well beyond normal, healthy levels. Plus, his methane readings are off the charts. Unsure how to proceed."

The Man in the Lab Coat pocketed the recorder, and set his mind to correcting the problem. He crossed the lab and studied the shelves-full of beakers and vials and containers. After agonizing over them for a few long minutes, he shrugged his shoulders and gathered as many as he could carry. Crossing back to the table, he began adding random things:

- A penchant for quoting obscure movies.
- A strong interest in acting in general, and in Hamlet in particular.
- An inability to be separated from his iPad for longer than a few minutes before breaking out in a cold sweat.
- An unsettling Starbucks addiction.
- A strong enjoyment of absurd humor.
- Mild financial retardation.
- A growing interest in that kind of rock music where the singer screams into the microphone, with the volume cranked up, of course.
- An unconquerable love for his children.
- A wildly-vacillating interest in theology.
- A large, raucous invisible audience.
- A certain freedom and adventurousness in writing.
- Swinging moods.
- A reasonable talent for cartooning.
- General goofiness.
- "The Russian Forehead."

The ingredients flew fast and furious, in unmeasured amounts, the Man in the Lab Coat becoming increasingly desperate.When the last of the beakers had been emptied, he wheeled over a couple of 50-gallon drums and pried off the lids. He grabbed a massive scoop and poured in "Social Awkwardness" and "Minecraft," in equal measures.

Wiping the sweat from his brow, he fished the recorder out of his lab coat pocket and clicked the red button.

"Hour six. I've come to the end of both my patience and my well of ideas. I've tried just about everything, but he's become so unpredictable and unstable that I fear further experimentation could risk the both of us. I believe I'll call this one finished, give him his own blog, and turn him loose on the world. Who knows? He may surprise us all someday."

With that, the Man in the Lab Coat grabbed the stapler and the hot glue gun, and set to work sealing Dave up.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hamburgers From Heaven!

Bern, Switzerland! Are you kidding me!? THAT is friggin AWESOME! I kinda wish I lived there. Because, come on.... how beautiful is that? I mean, imagine getting a little place there in Bern, and playing Minecraft all day--- I mean, write novels and things all day. Right?

O, forget it, look at this picture...

O... M... G....

There are some amazing places in the world. According to my sources, that is Bergen, Norway. Dangit, what am I doing? There's this amazing world out there!


What about this one?

Prague. In the Czech Republic. The fourteenth-largest city in the European Union.

So, tell me. Bern, Bergen or Prague? You decide. Maybe it's just the snow that makes them seem awesome. Maybe beneath the surface, there's seediness, political corruption, machinations, intrigues, various connivances and chicaneries...

Or maybe it really is, plain and simple, awesome.

OK, enough of that glorious nonsense...

So, what has happened since last we spoke, lo, these many moons ago?

Wifey and I had our 24th Anniversary. 24 years! On Facebook, I referenced dressing up as Jack Bauer in connection with my anniversary... I was actually going to be more risque with my comment, but I toned it down, since people's opinions of me matter oh so very much, apparently. I did rattle off another pretty good zinger though, when I said "I remember the day I got married... seems like a wifetime ago..." I patted myself on the back for that one...

See? How sad is it when you need to blog Facebook highlights? How little content does a person need to have before he/she resorts to rehashing Facebook quips?

So on my Anniv. I worked half a day, then took Wifey and Youngest out to dinner (couldn't get a sitter) at a great burger place here in San Diego, called Slater's 50/50. Now, I normally despise people that take photos of their food... well, maybe not despise the people themselves, but more the act of photographing food... I mean, toward what end, right?

But I built the most amazing burger, and when they brought it to our table, I was so in awe that I just looked at it, stunned. Yes, I took a photo of it -- likely the only time in my life I will do such a thing...

2/3 lb patty, smoked gouda cheese, thick-cut bacon, grilled onions, tomatoes and bacon-ketchup, on a bacon-pretzel bun... O... M... G.... I'm getting flashback-induced chills just remembering it. It was gigantic. It was like holding a bowling ball. I took bite after glorious bite, and it never felt like it was getting any smaller. Like magic! You know what? I ate the whole dang thing. Plus, a few onion rings, some sweet potato fries, a wonderful glass of beer, and part of a bacon-topped brownie w/ice cream for dessert. We ate early -- about 5pm... and I didn't eat again until lunch the next day.

I don't know whether to be ashamed or proud.

The only thing more awesome than that epic burger is the new trailer for the Mad Max movie (with Tom Hardy) that is coming out next year. By all means, you must watch this, full screen, as high-res as your system can handle...

Wow, like, times ten.

So, the Big Day of Shooting that we had scheduled for Dec 20/21 for the web series, which was going to take priority over the church Christmas play for the first time since 1996, has been postponed to the first weekend in January. This means I'll be able to be at the play performance at church after all! Mixed blessing, in a way... I really wanted to get this particular shoot done, and looked forward to it... but I also was a bit bummed to have to miss the play -- especially since my cast is doing SO WELL! You should see them! Maybe you will be get to! We're going to video tape it. As usual, the audio is the biggest concern. If it records well, I'll post it here.

Anyway, I'll be able to be there.

Not sure how moving the Big Day of Shooting will affect the Premiere date for BTI, if at all. It was set for January 24, and then there was talk of moving it to February. We'll see. I do know that we are committed now to appearing at Wondercon in Anaheim in early April, which will be quite an experience, I'm sure. Then there's Comicon in San Diego in July. We should have the entire series done by then.

What else? Hmm...

Currently Reading: The City Stained Red, by Sam Sykes
Currently Playing: Minecraft, and Sir You Are Being Hunted.
Currently Listening To: Beatles, Volbeat, random 80's music, and, when the mood hits me, Adele.
Currently Feeling: Optimistic
Currently Planning on Seeing: Interstellar and (if I can still find it) Birdman

I think that will sum it up for now. These are good, busy times for me. Check back soon, and I'll heap more upon thee!

Adios for now,

Dave the Good and Busy

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Well, Waddaya Know?! "Time" for a New Blog Post!

Look at the time! Time to update my bloggy blog! Always a trip down the rabbit hole, eh?

I steadfastly refuse to apologize for the length of time I allowed to pass between updates! I won't do it! I'm far too proud to apologize! We straight-toothed, braces-less people can't kowtow to the unseemly demands of lesser, possibly-crooked-toothed rabble who tend to frequent the more interesting blogs on the net...

Yes, I've become more unbearably arrogant since getting my braces off this morning.

Ouch! Getting them off hurt! What the heck! The technician came at me with a pair of (what appeared to be) medieval tin snips, and said "the brackets themselves are pretty brittle, so what we do is snap them off with these! MUAHAHAHA!!! Hold still... you might feel and hear the sound of things breaking on your face... but fear not, it only will feel like I'm ruthlessly snapping off your teeth, one by one, but it's not so! Gunther! Hans! Hold him down! Grab his legs! GRAB HIS LEGS!!!!"

After all the snapping and crushing, they ground off all the cement, had me rinse all the dust and blood out of my mouth, polished my teeth up a bit, and then instructed me in The Way of the Retainer. Gads, if I have to hear one more person tell me not to "wrap my retainers in a napkin and then accidentally throw them away" I think I'll break something... and, no, I don't mean wind. I don't need to be annoyed to break wind. I don't need a reason at all, actually...

Christmas is coming!!!!

Actually, my wedding anniversary is coming first... 24 years! Man, that's a long run. Wifey and I are in a good stretch at the moment. Now that I have straight teeth, she loves me more. Now, she says her love for me has nothing to do with how organized my teeth are, but I have my doubts... her love for me rises and falls, like angry storm waves at sea... I just haven't figured out what it hinges on... I figure it might be the teeth. Or my huge nose. Hey, I'm ok with having a big nose! It doubles as available storage space. I keep winter clothes stored in my nose during the warm months. Plus, if I need to hide a surprise Anniversary gift for my wife, I put it in my nose... she'll NEVER look there! MUAHAHAHA!!!!

Not sure what we'll do for our anniversary. I'm running out of time. I'm not exactly known for thoughtful, well-planned, meaningful gifts and celebrations. My approach usually involves waiting until the day itself, and then frantically running through the mall, looking briefly for a cool gift before quickly grabbing a gift card. It's not that I don't like buying/giving gifts to people... I just usually do it year-round, without reference to a specific date. I guess I feel like occasions themselves are manipulative. I want to buy people gifts on my own time- and price-table! Don't force me! Sheesh!

Anyway, Christmas is coming.

Meh, I'll handle it on December 24th...

Those are some awesome friggin cats...

So, I'm taking a break from my Hollywood acting class for December. For a variety of reasons. I absolutely love the class. But the friend that I drive up there with is not going for December, so that means I'd have to go up solo (read: goodbye carpool lane!), during the extra-thick holiday traffic, putting a bunch of miles on my car (read: lease!) that will definitely put me "over" when the time comes to turn the car back in. So I'm taking my San Diego acting class this month, and I'll go back up to The Great and Powerful Rob Adler's class after the New Year begins.

In fact, I went to the San Diego class tonight. It was great to be back. The Hollywood class is 4 hours of pure scene study, allowing us to go really deep and detailed into scenes and choices, and exploring lots of different things, playing. PLAYING. Which is awesome, and I love it. The San Diego class is mostly Audition Technique, cold reads, a little improv, learning basics, with occasional scene study work done. And I love that class as well! Both instructors are great at what they do. I can't say one is better -- or even preferable -- over the other. BUT I did notice, after having taken the class up in Hollywood for almost three months, that going back into the San Diego class with a different mindset helped me get even more out of the class than I used to. I think I was stuck, after 18 months in the San Diego class... the Hollywood class gave me a real kick in the butt, and "un-stuck" me... now I can see the San Diego class with new eyes. I'm looking forward to taking it for this month.

Had another great day of filming this past weekend, for the web series. Check out these cool photos L Winans took from her driver's seat as Travis and I sauntered by...

That's a smudge on the mirror... I'm not blowing smoke. The cigarette is unlit. 

There really needs to be an explosion behind us. 

The premiere is set for January 24th, but seating will be limited. The theater holds only about 250 people. So I won't be able to invite too many of you! You'll just have to wait until it is released online. Dang, you should see the project website... it is incredibly impressive.

Don't worry... when I become famous, I'm taking you all with me!

So the new Star Wars trailer was released! The more I watch it, the more I love it. Can't wait -- JJ Abrams is The Man. Well, the new Terminator trailer was also released... what a stark contrast. That movie looks like it will be a Turd of the First Order. My stomach cramped and I lost partial control of my bowels while watching that trailer. Never a good sign...

Hey, if you grew out your facial hair for Movember, it's time to shave it off again! Time to go from scruff to buff again! Like this guy!

Or this guy...

That dude is funny... yeah, I just said that! DEAL WITH IT!

My retainers taste like Plexiglas. Just sayin'. For now, I need them in all the time, except when I eat. In six weeks, at my next check-up, if all looks good, I'll only wear them in my sleep.

Wow, I was all over the place tonight. If you waded through all of this pablum, you have my appreciation. I'll so buy you a gift. Just not for Christmas...

OK, I'm done for now. Although, as I drift off to sleep, I'll likely think of other stuff I wanted to talk about.

Ah well, such is life.

Adios for now!

Dave the Goober

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Catching Up on the Latest Acting Stuff

Hello, y'all! Got some acting-related stuff for you tonight... gird thyself. I got a lot to cover...

First, Desert Rose, the 48-Hour Film I was in at the beginning of Summer, has been released for viewing online! It's on Horacio's website, so I can't embed it here. You'd have to click THIS LINK to go there, or just click this convenient movie poster!

Just don't forget to come back and finish reading all the nonsense I'm going to share! This is the short film that my co-star Lisa Winans won the Best Actress Award for at the event, as well as the "A-List Actress" Award at the recent San Diego Film Festival. It was a great experience making the film, and I hope to participate again in 2015.

Next, filming for the BTI Webseries is proceeding smoothly. This past Saturday, (11/22), I got to film on (and fly in) a brand spankin' new 10-million dollar private jet!

I'd never been on a jet like this before. It was so much fun. First, they wheeled the jet outside the hangar, and we filmed the scene of me getting off the plane, and greeting my co-star (the illustrious Travis Osland).

Travis and I kicking back on the plane... it still had that "new plane" smell! And Travis had that "seasoned actor" smell!

When we got the last shot, I asked if I could take a selfie at the top of the stairs, and was granted permission. Love this shot. 

Then a group of us piled onto the plane and it took off and landed twice... so they could get footage of the take-off and landing, as well as footage of the plane returning to park in front of the hangar...

That's Jeff's wife Tanya in the red, and my Eldest Daughter Chris smiling next to her.

That's me in the back seat, next to resident knock-out Leslee Baker, with Lisa Winans in front of us. Man, that's a lot of perfect teeth in that photo... good thing my mouth is closed...

So when Jeff was trying to decide who would go up in the plane, he picked people for various reasons, knowing many people wouldn't be able to go, due to limited seating. It sat 9 people, I believe. In any case, other than the pilots, I was the only guy that went up. Me, Mr. Tough Russian, right? Alpha Male? lol... we taxi to the end of the runway and waited to lift off...

The captain had his own father along for the ride, in the co-pilot's seat. Turns out his dad is a retired pilot (flew passenger planes for one of the big airlines for a few decades), and so the pilot wanted to show off for his dad (I found this out afterwards), and show him what the jet could do. So we lift off, and he GUNS the engines, and we shoot way up, fast... felt like straight up. Everyone else seemed to get a kick out of it - including the 8-year old girl that went with us. Me? Mr. Tough Guy Russian? My stomach immediately drops into my lower intestinal region, and I start getting all light-headed, like I'm going to pass out... I'm like, "holy crap! I'm going to faint and/or vomit and/or soil myself, right here on this beautiful plane, in front of all these lovely women..." lol!

Seriously, if that lift-off had lasted another second or two, I don't know what would have happened... so he leveled off and we headed out over the ocean. A few (hopefully-subtle) deep breaths later and I felt ok again. Everyone was busy taking photos out the windows, but I was simply thanking God for not letting me humiliate myself...

So we circle around and come in for a landing, taxiing back around, while I'm softly singing the "Please Let Me Off This Plane" song... and the pilot turns over his shoulder and says, "Hey, is everyone OK if we take it up again?" Everyone but me enthusiastically agrees, while I try to decide if I have the balls to ruin everyone's fun... I suck it up and say, "sure, let's do this..." Did I think I could do it? Heck no... I took a few pre-emptive deep breaths and waited for the worst... we took off again... and it was super-smooth... didn't even feel it. He apparently didn't need to show off to his dad anymore... did the normal lift-off and it wasn't an issue in the least...

So this time, while in the air, I focused on taking in the view, committing the feel of the experience to memory... because I knew that later on, we'd be filming the interior shots of my character on the plane, and I'd be looking out the windows into an empty hanger... hey, I wanted it to seem realistic, yes? We landed again without issue, deplaned, and they pulled the plane back into the hangar.

Leslee watching the activity on a monitor. It was dark inside the hangar, but with the lights set up like that, inside the plane it looked like it was daytime. Very cool. 

Another shot of the plane, with all the lights set up. 

Cool shot of the plane, nose-on...

It was a long day of shooting, but exceptionally cool. Probably a once-in-a-career type of thing. Other than almost making a fool of myself on the plane (and also breaking my glasses), it was a perfect day. I'm glad I'm getting the chance to catalog it here. From what I understand, the footage we got was outstanding. Can't wait to see it, and to show you all.

Other related news: I auditioned for a part in a YMCA in-house industrial training film, and got the part! It films on December 7th. Also, the Christmas play is moving ahead smoothly. Our cast is complete and solid -- though I won't be there for either the dress rehearsal or the performance itself. But I trust Cathy O. to fill in fine. Should be fun.

Also, the Hollywood classes are continuing to amaze me and wring me out. I actually remembered to take some photos this time!

That's Lisa Winans and Kat (don't know her last name!) in class, with Rob (our instructor) silhouetted in the foreground. 

Rob#2 and Mark, not only performing their scene from American Buffalo, but also playing a game called "Sub-Text", where they say their lines while simultaneously texting to each other on a completely different topic, lol... Mark (the one on the monitor) has a small part in the recent Ben Affleck film Gone Girl...

Well, that should just about cover it for now... if I had the strength, I'd tell you about a dream I had recently which really rocked me (so much so, I got up in the middle of the night and journaled about it), which fits the "acting" theme of tonight's post... but honestly, I'm pretty spent, and I'm sure you're ready for this post to end as well...

All things considered, these are amazing times for me. And the months ahead promise more of the same... plus, I get my braces off in about ten days... awww yeah...

Adios for now,

Dave the Goof

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sometimes, A Swift Kick to the Posterior Is Just What the Doctor Ordered...

Yeah, Turnip Rock for the WIN!

Honestly, I have no idea whether that photo is legit or photoshopped... I mean, who can tell nowadays? You can't believe anything you read or see anymore! With all due respect to Curnden Craw, those are the times...

Hmmm, I'm feeling a tad cinematic tonight... lemme see...


DAVE sits at his computer,  updating his blog. Fortunately for us, his viewing audience, he's in one of "those moods", whereby he is willing to make a total fool of himself for our enjoyment. Unbeknownst to us, he has cycled through about a half-dozen different titles on Netflix, trying to find something worth watching, and has failed miserably. Various movies, documentaries and stand-up comedians have failed the basic entertainment litmus test, and he deletes them from his NetFlix queue with reckless abandon. At the moment, he has "Lost In La Mancha" paused, moments away from deletion, on one monitor, while he is updating his blog on another.

He is focused intently on his keyboard, determined to make it through this post with a minimum of typos and grammatical quirks.

Hello all! It is Dave, the blatant goof, hoping desperately to entertain you! Because then you'll, like, love me or something... and I'm so pathetically desperate for your love, I'll do just about anything!

DAVE does just about anything. 

It doesn't work.

So, enough of that.

The Wagner Women are in glorious, exotic Albuquerque NM as we speak... Wifey is visiting Mother-In-Law, who is having a Hard Go Of It. This means I have Wagner Manor to myself for 10 Whole Days. Which means: Minecraft, bad food, Netflix, Writing and generally promising myself I will work out, and not doing squat. Or squats.

It's so quiet! I'm tempted to turn on Real Housewives of Bumbleslap OK, just to try and achieve a sense of normalcy around here. Oh, and updating my blog... did I mention that? It is especially important of late, since (you'll be happy to read) I've quickly tired of seeing that guy mooning me (and you) from that bomber plane every time I pull up my blog (to check for comments, of course)...  by the way, Beth wins the award for Comment of the Month for the comment she left, which was six shades of AWESOME.

Your prize, Beth? Name it, and it's yours!

See? See how benevolent I am? I'm, like, Mother Theresa or something... but, like, the male version and stuff. Except I've never been to Calcutta. And I'm a putz. But beyond that, I'm exactly like Mother Theresa...

3D graffiti! I bet you never thought you'd see that, eh? Way cool... in, like, a spiritual sense or something...

OK, fine, you came here to see Cat Math, I'll give it to you....

Cats and boxes. Is there anything better in the world?

I'm sure there is. But, hey, I've lived a fairly sheltered life. I don't really know all that's out there in the world!


Dave sits at his computer, updating his blog. He has just come to the realization that he is, in fact, a putz. He decides to shrug it off and continue as though he was not, in fact, a putz. But we all know the truth, right?

Is there anything better in the world than Bill Murray?

Nope. Nothing better in the world. Bill Cheek-Slapping Murray.

OK, there's, like, Jesus. Then Douglas MacArthur. Then Jeff, the director of the BTI webseries, and then number four is Bill Murray. Number five? Hmm... John Cleese? OK, so, Jesus, MacArthur, Jeff, Bill Cheek-Slapping Murray, and then John Cleese. That's my Top 5.

OK, I should just let that last photo sit there, and sink in...

In fact...


DAVE sits at his computer, looking at the KINTSUKUROI photo, waiting for the symbolism to sink in with all of his readers. He knew that his mom and Beth would both understand it immediately. But for the rest, it may take a while. So he decided to kill time by adding a classic Ed Bassmaster video from his archive...

OMG Ed Bassmaster is friggin' hilarious. In fact, let me modify my Top 5...

1. Jesus
2. Douglass MacArthur
3. Jeff
4. Bill Cheek-Slapping Murray
5. Ed Bassmaster

Sorry, John. Number 6 is still pretty respectable.

Hey, remember that time I was just making this nonsense up as I went?

If it hasn't been made ridiculously clear by this point, I do not have anything of value to share tonight.


DAVE tries in vain to think of something worthwhile to say tonight, hoping to make it worth his reader's time, as far as stopping by. The key part of that phrase being "in vain"... 

Really? This is the point to which we have devolved?

I apologize with a distinct level of profuseness, as far as what you hoped to read here today.  I know the disappointment must be acute... therefore, I appeal unto the legacy left by our long and storied past, whereby I have, in fact, made stopping by this blog worth your while, and beg that you will overlook my lack of competence this night...


DAVE decides to pull the plug on this ridiculous attempt at a blog post, and call it a night. Sleep beckons. Do the right thing, Dave, Ol' Bean!

Adios for now...

Dave the Ol' Bean

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Six Shades of What the Heck! In A Good Way, Of Course...

Go ahead... ask me again if I'll ever grow up... go on, I bet you don't know the answer...

Yeah, no....

That's the tail gunner, I think...

So, the real question is, what kind of guy starts off a blog post with a photo of Full Moon Over Berlin? The kind of guy who's teetering on the brink of sanity, I suppose... so much has happened since last we spoke, I didn't know where to begin! So I began at the end... so to speak...

I cannot wait for you to see the Beyond the Impact web series I've been bragging about since last year... man, what a ride it has been, and it is daily evolving, as Jeff (our director and captain) comes up with one amazing new tweak after another... that's him in the plane, by the way... ok, fine, it isn't... but he might do something like that... those flyboys do things different, eh!

My acting class in Hollywood has been ten shades of challenging... it wrings me out, every time. I could wax long-winded about it, but most of you would be uninterested... let's just say that I'm learning how to play on stage... when I say "play", I literally mean it. As in, know your lines, come in with a choice, as far as how you're going to approach the part, and then be prepared to chuck it out entirely, and just try different ways of doing it, having fun with it, looking for honest moments, something unexpected... finding a place where you're off-balance and unplanned, and then playing with it...

Amazing things happen. But for a person like me, it is frightening... I like to contemplate, make clear choices, rehearse, plan, perfect, polish and present... it's liberating and terrifying to just try something else out completely...

The scene I've been working on lately, I played a man whose wife was angry with him. My approach to the scene and the dialog was to placate, and deflect her anger from me onto someone else. That made sense to me, in light of the script. My objective was to deflect her anger away from me, onto a third person, and keep it there until it was spent. Fine. I prepped along those lines. I present it, and apparently, it didn't work. So it was chucked, and on the fly, I was asked to pick a new objective. Same lines, different objective. Now I accept the anger, but try to get her to shut up about it.

Changing the objective changes EVERYTHING about the scene. Same dialog. Completely different scene. On the fly, change it. No time to practice, rehearse, polish... just "new objective. Now, GO."

That may sound like nothing much to you, but I assure you, it's challenging on the face of it. Add into the mix my personality, and it was terrifying, exhilarating, embarrassing, immensely rewarding, and exhausting. Something about no rehearsal time lent a freshness, unpredictability, spontaneity... watchability... that was lacking in what I'd rehearsed and prepared.

It stretches me. In ways I'm not quite ready to be stretched... but desperately need. It's making me into a real actor. Because I not only have to absorb a new objective, but closely monitor how it's being received and adapt on the fly accordingly... am I getting my objective? If not, try something else until I get it...

It's amazing.

So the Christmas Play has been written and cast. It is unlike anything we've done before, and I'm stoked about it. It takes Christmas and sort of turns it on its head... in a good way... it takes place in an airport terminal in the Midwest, the day before Christmas. Inclement  weather has grounded all flights, with people trying to get home for Christmas, and while folks wait to see if they can make it home or not.

The main character is a college student writing a paper on how families are over-rated... hilarity ensues.

There, that doesn't spoil things much. It's a tight dozen-page script, and man, it packs a punch.

The problems are: I'm commited to the web series, and we have a lot of filming to do on the weekends between now and the end of the year, including the Sunday before Christmas -- which is traditionally the day we have the Christmas play at our church. This means I have to have rehearsals during the week, I can't give myself a part, and I need an assistant director to be there the day we hold the play, since I'm going to miss it.

Things have a cool way of working out, so I'm not really worried about it. I'll just do what I can and roll with the punches. I think the script is strong, and doable, with the time remaining and the cast we have.

If you'd like to read the script, let me know and I'll email it to you.

Speaking of reading, I've been very lucky with books lately.

I read Thief's Magic, by Trudy Canavan, which is a wonderful book. Then I read perhaps the most delicious book I've read since Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor. It is Pat Rothfuss' latest offering, The Slow Regard of Silent Things. This is so achingly beautiful, it defies my ability to describe it... which, if you know me and how verbose and effusive I can be, should be revealing. Add this one to your TBR List, wait for it to drop to a reasonable price, buy it, read it, love it. I can't recall the last time -- if ever -- that I wanted to immediately begin reading a book as soon as I finished it. It breaks every rule of novel writing, and really should not work... but it does, and wonderfully. If you haven't read The Name of the Wind, it might not have the same impact on you... your call. But it has no dialog, focuses on one character only, and the only real action involves this character making soap... and it is AMAZING.

Now I am reading Seven Forges, by James A. Moore. And it is incredibly well done as well. 3 for 3 so far! That's dang good! Usually, for every above average book I read, I hit a mediocre title or two... I'm on a good run. It makes me want to work on my novel(s) again!

Yeah, fat chance.

Endlessly amusing.

Lately, I've been listening to an odd mix of music. Middle Daughter is friends with a member of a San Diego band called Killing the Messenger, and I've been digging their first album. I have to be in the right mood to listen to it, since it's a band that does the "screaming" thing... but when I'm in the mood, I like it. Plus, I bought Pearl Jam's greatest hits album. And, of course, some Volbeat and Breaking Benjamin...

Yeah, so there's that about it.

I'm trying to recall anything else I wanted to share, but truth be told, I am quite spent at the moment. I needs me some sleepy sleep!

I'm just in a weird place in my life right now. Not a bad thing, just new. I feel a distinct "calm before the storm" vibe that, frankly, frightens me a bit. But, hey, a little fear helps one feel alive, yes!?

When I get something I'm allowed to show you for the web series, I'll post it here immediately. I think it's going to be amazing.

I have so much other nonsense to dump on you, but, not knowing how/where to start, I shall leave it be for now. Hopefully I shall cook on it enough to post it soon, so you can help a bruthuh figure some stuff out. Until that time...

Adios for now.

Dave... you know... Dave?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A.D.D. Has Had Its Way With Me...

OK, fine, I broke tradition. I didn't start a post with a purty landscapey photograph, but I led with a funny animal photo. That just tells me that I'm not afraid of change! Right? A cat delivering a Rock BottomTM on a little lab puppy... near a backyard swingset, no less! You know how dangerous backyard wrestling can be! I mean, pets watch WWE on the TV, then take it to the backyard, and sometimes they can get hurt! Because, gosh ding durn it! WWE guys are professionals! It is not in vain that they say, "Do not try these things at home!"

Reckless pets. Man, I hope that puppy didn't end up paralyzed.

So, yeah, there's that about it.

Hey, remember that one time I was writing a blog post and making it up as I went?

Oh, yeah... it's RIGHT NOW.

So, because no one reads this, I feel safe in revealing my deepest, darkest secrets... so, here goes... *ahem*...

Umm... hmm, lemme think...

Holy crap. I am...


No, no, that can't be true... there must be a deep, dark secret of some kind I can embarrass myself with... hmm...

Well, I tend to take a dump about six times a day... yeah, you probably already figured that one out yourself... Umm... Well, I don't always wear the rubber bands on my teeth, like my orthodontist wants me to... no, that's not even a "shallow, light" secret... umm... Well, I secretly think I'm far better at acting than I'm sure I really am... no, that's just run-of-the-mill narcissism... nothing deep or dark about that. I already confessed that I sometimes sleep in the buff...

Man... no deep, dark secrets to reveal? Sheesh...

Oh well, color me boring, then. If I think of anything, I'll let you know.

So, my acting class in Hollywood is amazing. I really like my coach, probably all out of proportion. And I'm trying to figure out why. I think it's because he's quickly come to "represent" something. You know, symbolism can be powerful in a person's life, yes? He's like a door or something, leading to someplace new and amazing, that I want to go. And it's bigger and more intimidating than I had even begun to expect. Seriously, last night's class, he was working with two sets of actors, on scenes they were working on, and it was riveting. I watched him working with them, leading them to places they hadn't even fathomed before, as far as how to work with their characters and the dialog, and my initial reaction was feeling a wild mix of emotions, such as how glad I was that I wasn't the one up there, and how I empathized with their obvious inability to see what he was trying to lead them into (without just giving them the answers), and mortification on their behalf... and it was all I could do to throw the brakes on that, shake myself, and say, "Hey, Dave, you idiot... pay attention! He's trying to teach us all something here! Don't let the lesson pass you by because you're too busy feeling bad for the actors up on the floor! This is what you're paying him for!"

Does that make sense? Man, I took classes in San Diego for 18 months... I thought I was doing well. I thought I was getting the hang of it all. I got up to this Hollywood class and I realized that I had no idea how deep the rabbit hole could go. I shouldn't feel bad for the actors being stretched to the breaking point before my eyes... I should envy them the experience... take everything I thought I knew, and chuck it... or cling to it and ignore the possibilities of what could be...

By the way, that's his picture up there. His name is Rob Adler, and I'm pretty sure he's a genius.  Here's his IMDB page. The funny thing is, I can tell he's not particularly fond of me. For a number of reasons, I kinda got off on the wrong foot with him. Those of you that know me know how intense and inquisitive I can be. I ask tons of questions, and I feel a compulsion to "figure things out". The term for that in acting parlance is "being stuck in your head", which is counter-productive to any form of higher-level intuitive acting training. Thankfully, Rob knows how to deal with folks like me, but it must be patience-trying for him. I'm one of "those guys"... hopefully, a few months of work will see me free from this mental prison and turned lose on stage and in front of a camera in ways I'd always dreamed were possible. I'm witnessing him do it for others in the class, but no one else is as mired as I am.

I know, Paula... this whole "acting thing" has its' teeth in me. I can't help it... there's something that happens inside me when I see really well-done acting and film-making. It touches me in a powerful way... and I really want to be able to do that to/with others... be a consummate story-teller...convey things to people in a way that impacts them. I know, from experience, what that feels like. I want to be able to do that. Where does that desire come from? Is that desire mutually exclusive from a God-friendly desire? I don't feel like I'm turning my back on Him by wanting to be a world-class actor/story-teller/communicator. I actually feel like it may be a path that leads me closer to Him... but it's new. It's an unknown. I haven't "figured it out" yet... it's a door that has been opened and it reveals a vista I haven't seen before. It's a bit scary... but there's something adventurous about it. Diving into something I haven't thoroughly mulled-over yet...

Rob represents that door to me, at this time. It sucks that I've annoyed him already... I'm hoping that a few steady months of keeping my head down, doing the work, learning and experimenting, will create more of a mutual bond, but even if it doesn't, I know I'm in the right place.

Wow, that was a ramble... I shouldn't write when I'm super sleepy... my edit function is apparently easily-disabled when I'm pooped.

All that to say, yeah.

Currently reading a book called Thief's Magic, by fantasy authoress Trudy Canavan. After a shaky start, it has settled into a wonderful read. I'm about 60% through with it at the moment. There could be a book review of it in the near future! Also, I'm pondering a new Wagnervana comic strip... fingers crossed, eh! My plate is full... actually, instead of a plate, it seems a better analogy for the way I work is a bingo ball tumbler... I have all these ideas and thoughts and projects and potential projects bouncing around in my ADD-riddled brainpan... occasionally, one thing will spit out and I'll do it... or it will fall onto the floor and bounce under the couch, never to be seen again. In this way, things do get done, but far more seem to either eternally-tumble about, or get lost and forgotten...

Real or photoshopped? You decide.

OK, I'm done. I've inflicted enough literary meanderings upon you for one evening. I still haven't thought of any juicy, embarrassing secrets to spill.. perhaps if you ask me a specific, potentially-humiliating question in the comments, I'll feel compelled to answer it and reveal my foibles and idiosyncrasies to all!

Ask away!

Thanks all for now.

Dave the Yutz

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Don't Waste Your Precious Time Reading This Drivel....

OK, fine, the above photo makes no real sense, granted. But, hey, it is a shot from Frankfurt, Germany, so there's that about it. I hope to go to Germany someday. I always told myself I'd learn to speak German. Because, hey, why not, right? Just think! If I learned German, I could understand what Rammstein was saying! And that would look good on my acting resume!

So, yeah, I updated my bloggy about three days ago, which was not long ago, considering my update schedule for the past year or so. Usually, if I update within two weeks, I'm doing good. Well, I was sitting here, eating blue corn chips and my wife's hummus (won't she be pleased to see it half-gone tomorrow! Muahahahaha!!!), and I thought, "why the heck not"?

See, that "heck" is important. For those of you that pay attention, the blunt insertion of a "heck" into a "why not?" statement like that should be a clear indicator of the type of mood I'm steeping in as I sit here, writing this... it can only mean one thing... fun things are about to happen here!


Or are they? Dun dun duunnnnn!

I am, as they say, "making this up as I go".....

An esoteric comic with obscure comedic elements? Yes, please!

So, I'm reading a book called "Thief's Magic" by Trudi Canavan, which has a very interesting -- dare I say "delicious" -- premise, involving a book that is "alive" that one can interact with. But it's a little ham-fisted. Gosh ding dangit, I want to believe there are female fantasy authors out there that can hang with the best of the men, and I *really* want Miss Canavan to be one of them... but there are missteps all over the place, and weak choices aplenty... but I'm persevering, since it is well-written enough to warrant it... but I want to like it so very badly.

As of this point, Robin Hobb is the only female authoress I can comfortably include in the Best of the Best... Her "Mad Ships Trilogy" is incredibly good, and I highly recommend it. I know comparably-good female authors are out there, somewhere. I will keep looking. I will find them.

And now, Jimmy Stewart on Carson...

Yeah, most of you won't truly appreciate that interview... but those few of you who do appreciate it? You're my favorite.

Although I tried watching Mr. Smith Goes To Washington recently... *shudder*... man, it's supposed to be a classic. The script is a mess. The acting subpar. The editing so slipshod, I was borderline amazed. "You're in a deuce of a pickle, aren't ya pop!?" Man, what a pantload. 1939, sure... but, man, I expected better.... "Prattle? You're all wet, pop!"

Seriously... when was the last time you watched that film? Never, you say? Well, good on ya.

So, I don't know....

Yeah, I could ramble about random nonsense, subjecting you to a raft of skim-worthy hot air about barley-interesting tidbits, or I could call this weak attempt at an update finished and spare you the incessant tedium.

Gee, flip a coin...

Yeah, let me find one more Funny Photo and call this one finished....

Yeah, that's fitting... a fizzle to end on... no one will get it, which is fine...

Adios for now,

Dave the Bleh

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fine! Be That Way! See If I Care! [Dave Cares]

"OK, here's how it usually goes," Dave said, as he addressed the crowd that had spontaneously gathered in his Blog Lobby. "I usually wait until I'm working on something that absolutely needs to get done. Then I think to myself, 'Hey, I should stop and update my blog!' That is the reason you are all here tonight."

Dave paced the stage -- yes, he had a stage installed in the Blog Lobby. Because, hey, you never know, right? There may come a night, Dave supposed, where a spontaneous group assembled in the lobby that may need to be addressed. Call him paranoid, if you must, but Dave fancied himself a man of thoroughness and preparedness. Both!

He adjusted his neck tie, straightened his sharp-looking sport coat, and continued.

"In case you were wondering, yes, this is an Armani suit. And the mustache, while fake, is made from the finest camel hair. Imported from, like France or something."

Dave quickly consulted with one of his assistants (the cute one), and found out that there are no camels in France. He shrugged his shoulders and moved on, since, knowing the caliber of the people that frequented his blog, he doubted any of them would catch on to the France/camel thing.

"So, without further ado, allow me to wallow in my procrastination for a bit, and present you with a quick trip through My Little Corner of the World, as it exists tonight... in this very moment!"

Dave waited for the gasps of awe to come washing over him from the crowd, due to the obvious philosophical implications of such a statement, delivered with such verve and showmanship, but it didn't happen.  Instead, he stifled a small burp, smiled, and continued.

"There was this one time, long ago, when I would simply finish something I needed to get done -- like, for example, the script for this year's Christmas play -- without feeling the overwhelming need to write a diversionary new blog post... Alas, those heady days of my youth have long since passed, like the winds of Summer, and now, in these new and exciting days, I find myself taking opportunities like this to simply throw caution into the wind, and spend my creative energy here, in this very blog, instead of funneling it into what I need to be doing!"

Dave ended his vacuous monologue on a high emotional note, both arms uplifted, anticipating the thunderous applause and appreciation.  It didn't happen.

"Buncha friggin' Luddites."

Dave kicked his dress shoes off, dropped his slacks, and stood before the crowd in his boxers... you know... the red ones with the "baked potato" pattern on them.

The crowd applauded.

In sheer depression-inducing disgust, Dave collected his shoes and pants, looked down his nose at the crowd, and waved them on to explore his blog, while he retreated to his basement lair, to reevaluate life for a while. Plus, play Minecraft.

So, I found it. I finally found an author more pretentious and self-absorbed than "He Who Shall Not Be Named"... (you know... the one that wrote The Darkness That Comes Before)... his name is John Brunner, a British liberal SFF author who garnered some accolades during his career... and the book in question is the amusingly-misspelled "The Compleat Traveller in Black" collection... here is what I posted in my Goodreads feed...

This is, without question, the most pungent, steaming pile of dreck I've ever tried to read. I haven't seen self-impressed tripe like this since I waded through "The Darkness that Comes Before". I'm tempted to keep reading it, just to marvel at the sheer jarring spectacle of it all. This might be the worst thing I've read from a major author - and I've read Terry Goodkind! Normally I would suggest avoiding this like the plague... but I may simply recommend it if you're intrigued by literary shipwrecks... try to make it through the first chapter... I dare you...

That sums it up. It is a jaw-slackening pantload of near-Biblical proportions. I made it two chapters in before frantically jumping ship, giggling hysterically. I waited that long for a number of reasons... but mostly because I couldn't believe he was seriously presenting this as marketable fiction. But he was. As I scan the other comments, I am shocked to see many people posting comments indicating that they not only somehow managed to finish reading the collection, but also found some positive things to say about it.


I won't post an excerpt here -- though I'm tempted -- in case he has an addled hoard of rabid fans out there somewhere who would try to say I posted excerpts without permission, and thus sue me into oblivion. Never risk the wrath of a demented hoard, I always say. In fact, it's on my t-shirt....

There. That's a leather-covered BMW, for your amusement.

In fact, I have a couple other car-related photos clogging up my blog fodder folder... here...

There's something insanely intriguing about that photo, for some reason... I'm not a car guy, but this one speaks to me. I don't speak "car", but I think it's saying, "Drive me swiftly and wrap me around a telephone pole, Dave, you twerp"....

Wow. That's all there is to say about that Lambo. Wow. I just got a speeding ticket and all I was doing was looking at the photo!

OK, cool, now I can delete those car pics, and make room for other nonsense...

Like this...

See? See what a service you provide me? I collect goofy photos and videos, and they would just gather dust and clutter up my hard drive if you weren't here demanding to be entertained!

Speaking of videos, here's a collection of video clips of Randy Orton dropping RKOs on a bunch of random folks...

OK, fine, I agree... the odds that you'll find that video as endlessly-amusing as I do are pretty slim... I wish I knew how to make video clips like that... I would, as they say, "go to town"...

So, yeah, there's that about it.

Going to end this here post with a video... but you have to promise me something first... you have to promise me that you'll watch it, full screen, high resolution. Plus, promise me that you'll leave a comment. Plus, promise me that you'll remember me kindly once I've kicked the friggin' bucket -- which, hopefully, won't be any time soon, but, hey, you never know, right?

Hey! You promised!

That's all for now.

Dave the Lackadaisiac