Thursday, September 25, 2008

This morning in hilarity

This email was forwarded to my tracking board this morning and I found it priceless. I put *** over the names so nobody gets in trouble or fired for this. It's from someone covering another assistant's desk at DreamWorks, so I imagine the person was either a temp or someone who's been licking envelopes in a mail room since she got to town two months ago.

From: C******, P******* - DreamWorks
Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2008 5:09 PM
To: Melissa M****** Assistant
Subject: RE: SWP Mtg. Kristi K****** w/ Kristin N****** and Matthew

Hey Ryan-

I'm sorry, b/c I'm covering for Lindsey's usual asst., could you tell
me, who's Rosh Hashanah and why would he/she affect Kristi's meeting
with KN and MC?

Thanks! I really appreciate it!


Monday, September 22, 2008

Buying wine. And why I suck at it.

There are some subjects on which I can speak with authority. Wine is not one of them.

Neither of my parents are big drinkers, and so we never ordered a lot of wine in restaurants when I was growing up. In college, I was usually drinking beer or really strong badly mixed drinks at parties. On occasions where I did drink wine it was either "red" or "white" and it was almost always Charles Shaw (aka Two Buck Chuck).

I took a bartending course for fun one weekend while I was at school, and the guy teaching the class was a bartender at a Marriot in downtown Boston. He said that after Sideways came out Merlot sales plummeted, but Pinot Noir sales went up about 200%.

I can just imagine some asshole trying to impress his girl at dinner, "Excuse me, garcon, I'd like a bottle of the Pinot Noir for the table. And please, make sure it's from California." It's like someone volunteering to skipper a sailboat because he saw a movie about Christopher Columbus.

So one day I found myself in the liquor store, searching for a bottle of something to bring to a party. All the hard liquor was behind the counter, and the price tags we so small I couldn't read them from a distance (I needed to get a stronger prescription for my glasses at that point, something I'd put off far too long), so rather than ask the guy to take down 20 bottles so I could compare prices, I just browsed in the wine area.

But since I don't know anything about wine, I didn't know which bottles were ripping me off, and which were a good deal. What the hell does Sabanac Valley mean? Does it say on the label what kind of tannins it has? What are tannins? Does Chianti go with a certain kind of food? All I know is that apparently it can go well with a human liver and Fava beans.

I ended up getting a Francis Ford Coppola bottle. I got that one because I figured even if the wine sucks, I'd be hanging out with a bunch of film nerds anyway, so at least it could be a conversation starter.

And yes, it was a pinot noir. I too am an asshole when it comes to wine selection.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Update: Painter girl called me back

I got a call today from a number I didn't recognize. Turns out it was Painter girl from the other night. I'd left a message on her voicemail a few days ago not expecting her to call back.

Turns out she's out of town for the weekend but wants to get together next week when she's back in LA.

For all I know she could be totally nuts and we won't get along, but for now I'm open to the possibility that she's cool. Also helps balance out the sting from getting the brush off from that other girl last night.

Now I just need to get the hell out of the office and enjoy the weekend. It's looking to be a good one.

It's a small hilarious world

That girl who blew me off last weekend prompting my urge to go out in the Hollywood and flirt with chicks who paint scenes from famous movies? Yeah, she gave me the "I need 'me' time" phone call last night.


Oh well. Probably for the best. Had things progressed further I probably would have started to really like her, which would lead to some issues when she leaves town in 2 and a half months. I know for a fact that at this point in my life, I have no desire whatsoever to be in a long distance relationship, no matter how fantastic the girl might be.

And now for an amusing story.

A friend of mine is trying to make it as an actress here in Hollywood (I know, how rare). She was in a music video that had it's premiere party at a venue in Hollywood, and since I was able to walk to it, I figured what the hell and went. I almost didn't, but I'm glad I did.

Before I went to the party I had been exchanging facebook messages with another actress friend of mine (it's almost like it's a common choice of career in this town...). We hadn't seen each other in a few months and wanted to catch up, so we made plans for lunch today.

Well when I get to the music video party, who do I see across the room? My friend the actress I'm meeting later today. I don't see the girl for 3 months, and randomly bump into her about 18 hours before we're supposed to meet up. That's kind of random, and hilarious.

While I was there I also reconnected with another friend who's working as an assistant that I hadn't seen in a really long time.

Hollywood really is a small town, tucked inside a bigger city. Especially in the various circles you frequent. I'm not going to be at the crazy Playboy mansion party throwing back shots with Jeremy Piven, but for events like this thing last night where it's a whole bunch of assistant-level people and struggling actors? We all go to the same parties, especially if we're all East Coast transplants.

The way I think of it is this: It's not just an "East Coast" thing that makes us enjoy each others company. There were plenty of people in Boston I thought were assholes that I wouldn't want to hang out with. I think that instead, there's something similarly broken inside all of us.

We all thought it would be a good idea to move to the other side of the continent away from friends and family to try and make movies even though we all knew that there was a high chance of failure and that we'd likely make very little money. Call it adventurous, call it romantic, call it whatever you want. Really, I think it means we're all a little fucked in the head. But it entertains people, and it's fun being out here. So being a little fucked in the head is okay, just as long as we acknowledge it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Why we need to vote this time

It's a well known thing that most of us who weren't alive in the 60's tend to be a pretty politically apathetic group. Every election year new stories come out about how there will be "record breaking young voter turnout", but there never is. Especially in 2004. Personally I think it's because no young people were able to get excited about a Democratic candidate who was another relic from the 60's and had about as much charisma as a piece of wheat toast. Young people didn't really identify with him. It was like when your parents have a dinner party with a bunch of their friends, and while they "discuss" things (otherwise known as repeating themselves and preaching to the choir) you sit there politely and answer questions like, "So what are you majoring in?"

You ever had someone older than you think you're a "hacker" because you know how to look something up on google and can unplug the wireless router if the internet isn't working? Well those are the people who tend to vote the most. They're the ones who decide who the next President is every four years. When politicians are appealing to that group, is it really a surprise that this country is this fucked up now? Is it really a surprise that there's a 50% chance that our next President and VP will be an AARP member who can't check his email and a Christian conservative who thinks creationism should be taught in Biology class?

Obama and McCain are pretty much tied in the polls right now. Personally I think those numbers are going to correct in the coming weeks when people get over the "it girl" factor with Sarah Palin and realize she's in no way qualified to be President. But I think there's another reason the polls might be off.

Most of the time polling is done by calling the homes of registered voters. 95% of the people I know under the age of 30 don't have a home phone, we just use our cell numbers. They don't call us because we're not "likely voters". The likely voters have historically been those older, out of touch people I was describing earlier. A lot of us aren't registered for a political party even if we're fervently supporting Obama this time around.

We simply haven't been factored into the calculations. This is where I think people will be surprised this time. Young voters like Obama. They want to vote for him, oftentimes registering to vote for the first time. And frankly, a lot of us have finally had enough of our grandparents screwing up the country.

We want health care because we're graduating from college and taking entry-level jobs where we get crap pay and no benefits. We want stem cell research because we know that by the time we're in our 40's and 50's it might be the thing that saves our lives. We want politicians to care about issues like net neutrality and the 21st century economy, not just issues like Roe v. Wade that have been around since well before many of us were born. We want Social Security to be a top priority because we're paying for it even though we don't expect to have a chance of getting any of that money back. Our grandparents' generation has no incentive to care about that. It'll last through their lifetimes so the fact that we're all going to be destitute when we're their age is just an abstract problem for them.

So please everyone, vote this time around. This election shouldn't be about people who cling to the Reagan years, or even the Bill Clinton years. We're coming up on the next era of American politics, and it doesn't belong to our grandparents, or even our parents. It belongs to us. We need an overhaul in politics, and that means a President we can get behind, not a geriatric and the love child of the Spanish Inquisition and a Caribou.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

We really are simple creatures.

I went out with a girl last weekend. I'm not sure if there's anything there. We were supposed to hang out again this weekend, but I got the news yesterday that she had a friend in from out of town suddenly, and therefore would be busy. This could either be totally legit, or she could be blowing me off. Since I wasn't sure, I was a little down.

So I called up a friend, went barhopping in Hollywood, and got a phone number from a girl who doesn't work in the movie business (ok, she's a painter who often paints scenes from movies, but that's still as far from industry as you can get in LA).

I feel better now.

I realize that any girls who read this will think that I'm "such a GUY" for this, but hell with it, it's a blog, I can be honest. Knowing you can pick up girls, even if you don't intend on doing anything about it, is great ego-reinforcement for a guy. It's really all we need to feel better, because we are simple, ego-driven creatures.

Friday, September 12, 2008

First post

It has begun. I'm yet another person contributing to the mountains of stuff out there on the internet. I don't really anticipate generating huge readership with this. I don't think I'll even bother telling my friends that I'm doing it. Who knows, maybe that will add some mystique to it.

But hey, here's to becoming part of a community, sharing information in the 21st century. We're already confusing the hell out of John McCain with this stuff, so I guess we're going in the right direction.