Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"I'll never make another movie again!"

I've heard that so many times. I've said that so many times. And if I didn't say it I was thinking it. It's inevitable. Each project I've been a part of has a "why do I do this?" moment. Most of them have several. There's that old saying... something along the lines of it not being about the destination but the journey. Filmmaking... at least for me... is the total antithesis of that statement. It's the end destination that makes you forget the war you just fought and anxious to sign up for another tour of duty.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Naked Scavenger Hunt

I had sick friends. There's just no way around it. Sometimes I think maybe I'm being too hard on them and that we were all a little bizarre when we were younger. But then I remember stories like the one I'm about to tell you and I say to myself, "Nope. Guilty as charged."

It was near the end of our 7th grade school year and it was supposed to be a typical sleepover. I thought we’d set up camp in someone’s basement, maybe steal a few beers from the garage, and stay up all night talking about the girls we had a crush on, who was better at Street Fighter II, and why Batman Forever was going to be the worst movie of the summer.

But this one was different.

With friends like these...

 Patrick was easily two heads taller than the other second graders in my elementary school. Evidently he was growing faster than his mother could keep up with because his jeans were never quite long enough and you could always see his socks. Similarly, his shirts never hung past his belt. A little bit of belly was always exposed. Years later this particular fashion trend would come to be known as a mid-driff and it was a sad day when the principal banned them from my high school. But on Patrick this was not sexy. He looked like Bruce Banner had gotten stuck halfway through his transformation into the Hulk.

License to Lie

I was very lucky with my first car. It was a 1990 Ford Probe GT. All white with silver rims, pop-up headlights, and a spoiler. I loved that damn car. Even if my friends insisted that its name was a clue to the fact that it had been designed to look like a penis, I didn’t care. I saw nothing wiener-esque about it. My enthusiasm was matched by my mother’s tender trepidation. She said a prayer every time I peeled off in it. In fact, I loved that car so much that I couldn’t wait till I got my license to drive it.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


His name was Ralph. Robbie, Jeff, and myself had found him in a window well on the side of Robbie's neighbors' house. He had been running in circles, kicking up dirt and dead leaves. We thought we were doing him a favor by sealing him in that shoebox. But Ralph's new digs probably weren't that much more accommodating than his previous residence. Searching through window wells was a regular part of our summer afternoons when we were eleven. It's how all three of us had found our pet toads. Mine had recently escaped to glorious freedom underneath our deck and I was looking for a replacement. But Ralph was better than any toad. This was a one in a million find. I hadn't quite figured out how I was going to warm my mother up to the idea of a pet mouse but that was a minor detail.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Buried now to blossom later...

There are memories I have so deeply buried that it almost feels like a story I heard about someone else rather than something I lived through. The most random things can act as triggers that turn these vague recollections into visceral detonations. Today it was a morning run. It made me think about junior high and how awful it felt to go to gym class only to learn we'd be running The Mile that day. The whole class would march outside like prisoners on their way to the guillotine. And not once was it ever any less awful than you'd expected it to be.

I was remembering one of these runs in particular. I stopped to walk for just a minute and became aware that the two girls walking behind me were whispering about me. I strained to make out just a few words that might help discern the context of this conversation. But let's face it... I was not the sort of 7th grader who ever got whispered about in regards to how cute he was or anything of that nature. So it didn't take long to figure out I was being made fun of. And then I managed to make out one word very clearly... and my stomach sank. One. Fucking. Word. That's all it took to shatter my entire twelve year old world. You know what it was? You know what she said?