Saturday, December 31, 2005

Fry Fest

We had a deep frying family feeding frenzy last night. We've been doing the deep fried Turkey at Thanksgiving for a few years but last night we finally entered the wonderful world of deep fried Twinkies, Snickers, Oreos and more. Mmmm.... deep fried crap.
My brother-in-law Mike got a deep fryer for Christmas so we didn't need to do this outside with our big turkey fryer. After an extensive search for crap-frying recipes online we chose the very simple and tasty standard pancake mix to use as batter. We armed ourselves with 10 frozen Twinkies, a small package of Oreo Cookies and an assortment of frozen fun size candy bars including Snickers, Milky Way, Almond Joy, Twix and Kit Kats. Woops, I'm drooling again.
Anyway, once the oil was up to 375 degrees, we started dipping the candy in batter and then tossing it into the boiling oil. The Snickers bars were by far the best, a warm golden brown crust, melting chocolate and solid peanut core. Heaven. Twix also were quite tasty, the cookie middle became a nice pastry. Almond Joys fell apart and looked like almond roadkill, Milky Ways were just OK and I don't think I heard a Kit Kat verdict from anyone. The deep fried Oreos looked like fried mushrooms and took some experimenting to get the perfect timing to make them just right - the cookies and frosting becoming one mysterious entity. But after coming down from my sugar high, I don't recall what that perfect timing was. For dessert we attacked the Twinkies, first they were rolled in flour then dipped in the batter and finally sacrificed to the deep fat volcano. They were awesome. I don't even remember particularly liking Twinkies at any point in my life and it must be 20 years since I've had one. But they kicked my mouth's ass! Soooo good. And they got even better. Instead of eating them fresh from the fryer, all hot and oily, a few survived until the end of the night. These ones were magical. The creamy filling was gone. Completely vanished and absorbed into the cake. It just melted in my mouth. Next experiment will be to inject that hollow core with some hot fudge or something sick. Can't wait.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Patriots Are Coming!

The New England Patriots are peaking just at the right time once again and while thoughts of making it to a third consecutive Super Bowl seemed foolish a few weeks ago -- nothing this team does should surprise anyone. The 28 - 0 thrashing they placed on the Bucs on Saturday was easily their best game of the year and the most fun at Gillette Stadium this season since opening night. Unless you're a Tampa Bay fan. Can't wait for our second crack at the Colts and to see Manning make all his whinny baby faces again. Only bummer is they've already blown the undefeated season, I was pulling for Indy having a perfect regular season and being tossed out in their first playoff game.

Kong is King

Saw the new "King Kong" last week on opening night and was very pleased to find all the critical raves are warranted. I loved it. It's what every movie should be - thrilling, gripping, awe inspiring, while also funny, tender and heartbreaking. The original 1933 version is one of my all time favorite films, I had old Kong posters growing up and even liked the 1976 remake when it came out. Peter Jackson's update is over three hours long, and some reviews complain about the pace of the first hour, but once we get to Skull Island it kicks into high gear and the movie didn't feel long to me at all. It features some of the same classic scenes and even a few lines of dialogue from the original and has more amazing dinosaur action than Jurassic Park. Even knowing exactly how Kong will end, I was still cheering every time he swatted down a plane at the Empire State building and was still chocked-up and upset when his end comes. Hope Jackson takes on "King Kong vs Godzilla" or "War of The Gargantuans" next.

Monday, November 21, 2005

HP and Goblet of Fire

We saw "Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire" tonight. It is easily the best film so far in the Potter series. The most laughs, scares and drama by far. Those crazy wizards are finally becoming horny teenagers. This is "The Empire Strikes Back" of the series - that is probably the best thing I can say about it.

And a long overdue shout out for Earl. "My Name is Earl" that is. As in the funniest show on TV. Check it out on NBC Tuesday night. Features a fantastic cast of goofballs and is so original and creative I can't believe it's from the creator of one of the lamest sitcoms in history - "Yes, Dear". Last week's show was absolutely hilarious. Don't let Earl go down like the last great new comedy "Arrested development" which has been yanked by Fox for shitty ratings.

AF and Lori take the fieldYesterday the New England Patriots won their second game in a row. This two-game winning streak is the longest of the season. Wow, what a difference a year makes! Last year all the talk was about their 21 game winning streak. We even got to be down on the field before the game. So I can take credit for the win due to my inspiring words to Brady just before security dragged me away. It was all Larry's fault. Check out some pictures.

Monday, November 14, 2005

3 Stars For "Chaos Unlimited"

The first review is in for the independent feature "Chaos Unlimited" that I was part of last summer. It earned the illustrious 'sound of one hand clapping' from
Check it out:

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Great Book

I read a fantastic book this week, A Million Little Pieces. It is a non-fiction account of one addicts' stay in rehab and it is one of the most gut-wrenching, heart-breaking and inspiring things I've ever read. It is actually an Oprah's Book Club recommendation and I bought it after seeing her rave about it. (Yeah, I watch Oprah. You just wish you could work from home and watch her too.)
It is written in a style that pretty much ignores most rules of grammar and punctuation, so it takes a bit of getting used to. But you do quickly get used to it and I laughed and cried pretty much every time I read it. This is such a powerful book I had to read it in small bits as opposed to just flying through it. The story isn't for the feint of heart, but you certainly don't need to be an addict to get something out of it either. I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

National Novel Writing Month

November is National Novel Writing Month - NaNoWriMo for short - where thousands of people around the world try to write 50,000 words by the end of the month. I'm officially declaring my intention to play along. I've got an idea and a title, but since I'm starting a day late I don't have time to say anything else. For more info visit

Monday, October 31, 2005

Bruschi Returns

Being at last nights Patriots game and seeing Tedy Bruschi return after suffering a stroke earlier this year was amazing. As always, the team came onto the field as one, not with individual introductions like most other teams. But they did announce each name on the starting defense and saved Tedy Brushci's name for last and there was probably the loudest and longest ovation Gillette Stadium has seen. He acknowledged the crowd, then he was all business. He played so much more than anyone expected and seemed to be everywhere. Every time he took the field or his name was announced for making a tackle - the whole place went nuts all over again. Very cool.
Meanwhile at Red Sox Nation - I was stunned that boy wonder GM Theo Epstein is leaving. This morning's Boston Globe was saying an announcement of a new three year deal for him would be announced today. And now Manny is demanding to be traded. Again. Looks like another 86 year wait for the Sox to be champs again.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

What The?!?!?

Holy crap! Its snowing. And it isn't even Halloween yet.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Cedar Point is Totally Sick!

Millennium Force We got back yesterday morning from a weekend of smashing our brains into our skulls at Cedar Point in Ohio. Cedar Point has won Best Amusement Park for the 8th year in a row and most of their 16 roller coasters broke records when they first opened. Plus the whole park was done up for Halloween with many haunted houses and fright zones. We brought all our water proof gear and were prepared for horrible weather. It was 50 and raining on Friday night, which kept the crowds low and added to the creepiness of the whole park. Was really weird seeing white caps breaking on the shore just feet away from the rides. With wind and cold rain whipping at us it seemed like we were at some amusement park in Iceland. Riding the coasters at night next to the pitch black and eerie Lake Erie was really cool. Felt like you just being tossed out into nothingness on Magnum XL 200 (#3 rated coaster in world and probably my favorite), and being pelted in the face with rain made the coasters even sicker. We were at the park for full 13 hours on Saturday - it was cloudy and drizzly at first, but then never actually rained again. We got on every ride multiple times, rode each coaster from first and last seats, and even did the water rides since we were still dressed for rain. Crowds picked up as the day went on we had our our first and only long wait of 90 minutes for Millennium Force (#1 rated coaster on planet) at end of the night. By midnight my head was killing me from being bashed about so many times on Raptor, Mantis, Wicked Twister (Lori's favorite), Gemini, Corkscrew, Blue Streak, Wildcat, Mean Streak (the hardest, roughest ride I've ever been on) and even the lame by comparison Iron Dragon and we thought of blowing off Sunday, but in the morning it was actually sunny so we went for it. The place was empty. We walked in at 9am and there wasn't anyone else entering. We got three rides on Millennium Force in the first hour and got on every other ride without a wait until we just couldn't take anymore and headed out around 2pm. The only bummer was that two rides (MaxAir and Top Thrill Dragster) were down for the whole weekend - but that just gives an excuse to return. And Larry The Lizard wasn't tall enough for any of the cool rides. Check out some photos.

Even after being totally coastered out, we might head to Six Flags New England this weekend just to be able to ride the top 3 coasters in the world in one week. Six Flags is home to #2 rated Superman. We've been on it before but not in a few years. Then Sunday night we'll be at Gillette Stadium for the return of Tedy Bruschi!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Another Exotic Adventure

This is the bye week for the New England Patriots, so it's the only weekend we dare go away until the NFL season is over. After visiting such places as Nepal, Iceland and Belize the one glaring hole in our adventures was obvious. Ohio. Sandusky, Ohio to be exact - home of Cedar Point Amusement Park.

Cedar Point has been the top rated amusement park for 8 years running and has 16 roller coasters. We thought about going in the summer, but they go sick for Halloween. A few years ago we did Universal Islands of Adventure in Orlando at Halloween and it was awesome. But of course October in Ohio can be a little different than Florida. This weekend's forecast is for rain and highs in the 50's. At least the lines won't be long. We can always end up at the Sell-Out, I mean Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland if it's a total wash out.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Tedy's Back!

Patriot's All Pro linebacker Tedy Bruschi is returning to football this week! Just months ago all of New England was wondering if he was going to live, let alone play again. I know I can't expect his return to suddenly make the defense amazing again. But I sure wouldn't be surprised. Just the emotional impact of his return could trigger quite a winning streak. You can't doubt anybody who goes from suffering a stroke in February to playing in the NFL in October. All hail Bruschi!!

Brushci's press conference statement from today and some Q&A highlights.
Patriots statement from yesterday on return of #54.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

No More Baseball That I'll Care About

Wow, the Sox and Yankees are both gone in the first round of baseball playoffs. I wonder if teams that get swept in the first round (like the Red Sox this year) wish they had missed the playoffs entirely. If you miss the playoffs you can at least dream about what might have been if you got in. But if you do make it in and then get sent home without ever winning a game, you just have to accept that you sucked. Congrats to George Steinbrenner for surviving the season. I was sure he was gonna give himself a heart attack this year. And Boston's own caveman/Jesus, Johnny Damon, better be back next year or we'll have one boring team.

At least the Patriots have righted their ship. This year will be a dramatic season, Indianapolis should still be undefeated when the visit the Pats next month. Hopefully we're done with losing now too.

Saw the movie "Flightplan" last night. I thought it was really good, a solid suspense thriller with good twists and turns. Jodie Foster made it work. In the hands of lesser actors the movie would have been a bad joke. Some may think this one is anyway when it ends. Once the master plan is revealed it isn't really logical, but it still makes for a fun movie. I like to go along for the ride and just let the movie pull me in instead of second guessing everything and trying to decide who is good and who is bad. I hate people who claim "I knew it all along" at the end. So what! It's a freakin' movie, not physics. If you can read some physics text book and say "I knew it all along", then I'm impressed.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Mixed Weekend

It was painful to watch the Patriots game yesterday. The San Diego Chargers spanked us big time yesterday with a final score of 41 - 17. Haven't seen a loss at home since Gillette Stadium's first year and this stops the home winning streak at 21. The loss of too many coaches and players has finally caught up with us and made the New England Patriots mortal once again.
The Red Sox are headed into the playoffs as the Wildcard team again. Those Damn Yankees pulled out the division title again, but at least the Sox made them earn it this year. Both teams ended the season with the same record of 95 and 67, the Yankees get the title due to being 10 & 9 against the Sox in head-to-head battles this year. Bastards!

Ever since I had to pull my postings from my time on the "Illegal Aliens" set, everyone who has emailed me has assumed it was Anna Nicole Smith behind it for some reason. Just want to clear her name - she had nothing to do with it. Anna continues to write about the movie shoot in her column, this week she mentions an incident that was also featured in one of my banned postings - perhaps the very one that ruffled some Hollywood feathers. If you haven't heard, she will be appearing before the Supreme Court next year. Anyone know how you get to be in the audience for the Supreme Court? Are there ticket scalpers hanging around outside when there is a popular case? Should be an interesting time.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Back to Reality

Stinky Homer I seem to have finally recovered from the Illegal Aliens movie shoot. No more searching the house for craft services, no more yearning for Napoleon Dynamite references and 80's sing alongs. Thank God I've finally stopped moving all the lights in the house around and have gotten used to sleeping without the sound of idling trains and the slamming of rail cars into each other all night.

Speaking of the movie I can't speak of - here is some info on it from someone (Anna Nicole Smith) who still has the freedom of speech and throws some props to a girl who rocks. Also found this little blurb regarding A Current Affair's visit to the set.

The big excitement while I was gone was Homer getting sprayed by a skunk. He must have been inches away from the thing, Lori said the spray was dripping off his face. He is still kinda stinky, as is my office. Thanks Homer.

The baseball season is ending perfectly with a season ending, pennant clinching showdown between the Red Sox and the Yankees. Everyone is on hand to root against The Evil Empire - even Chewbacca. Chewie at FenwayActually he threw out the first pitch on Wednesday against the Blue Jays. He must not have a correct schedule. Sunday we are off to the Patriots - Chargers game at Gillette Stadium. I've seen so little football this season, it feels like the home opener. And my beloved Pats are once again besieged with injuries. Tedy Bruschi will be joined on the sidelines by Rodney Harrison, Matt Light and Kevin Faulk. If this was any other team, I'd say the season is lost. But the Patriots have earned the right to never be doubted or counted out. The last Sox-Yanks game (unless there is a one game playoff due to season ending in a tie) will be happening at the same time Sunday. Gonna be a sick weekend.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

No More Fun of Any Kind

You may notice some recent postings regarding "Illegal Aliens" have been removed. That's all I can say : (

**Update** Shhh... I've resurrected all the original posts I made while working on the film. Many months have passed and "Illegal Aliens" is soon to be released, so what the Hell
- AF Grant; June 19, 2006

Monday, September 26, 2005

Illegal Aliens Wrap Party

Anna, AF and ChynaLast night's wrap party for Illegal Aliens kicked off at 8:30pm and I finally crashed at 3:30am this morning. It was totally sick. The entire cast showed up. Chyna had a little bit of a shiner from the mud fight scene. We left our private party around 11pm (or maybe we were all asked to leave? Things were already a bit fuzzy) and invaded a downtown Rutland VT bar. There were some very shocked locals who found themselves partying with Anna Nicole Smith and Chyna. Lots of singing, dancing, and mayhem. Anna had shirts made for all the cast and crew - a very nice gesture. Larry the Lizard also passed out some of his swag. It was a bit strange for the wrap party to happen before shooting truly ended. I was responsible for making sure nobody from the movie died or ended up in jail. As far as I know, I succeeded. Tuesday will be the final day of shooting - actually it is an overnight shoot so I won't be part of it as I have to get back to the real world Wednesday morning. Damn!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Illegal Aliens: Day 12

Day 12 is in the books and finished in time to for Robbie, Dan and I to catch most of the 2nd half of the Patriots beating the Steelers. Next up - the wrap (pre-wrap) party in about twenty minutes.
I got to actually chat with Anna Nicole Smith for the first time today - ended up talking about all her luggage back home still packed with clothes all over her house and in storage and how she just keeps buying new clothes and luggage because nobody unpacks her stuff. She also mentioned some club seal (the insignia for a club, not an actual clubbed baby seal) that had traveled the world and had lots of photos taken of it with different celebrities and when it came to her she asked to keep it and then lost it. So she will never handle Larry The Lizard on her own again!

Today was the coldest day of the shoot, low 60's at best and was supposed to have all the girls being doused by a hose. So some new improv endings were done on the fly and the climactic mud wrestling battle between Chyna and Anna Nicole was held off until the very end of the day. It was hilarious. Poor Chyna had the flimsiest of clothing on and more skin was showing than planned at times but she never complained or even had a frown on her face. More to come once/if I survive the wrap party.
See ya.
OK - here's a couple photos from the big mud fight. Can't share any more until after the movie is released.
Larry watches Anna and Chyna battle Anna Nicole Smith and Chyna

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Shortest IA Day Ever

Larry, meet Anna Today was a sweet and easy 11 hour day. Shooting at the limestone quarry only gives us direct sunlight until around 4:30pm - which means since we are shooting there tomorrow as well we will actually be back in time to see some football. Fuck yeah!
Forgot to give an update on the grip truck yesterday. The mechanic came to the set around lunch and the truck started right up - of course. He poked around and found plenty of shit that was goofy with it, he replaced some wires and the distributor cap and called it a day. Today the truck got up to 60 without any issue, until today its top speed was 45. But on the way back to the studio today, the muffler dropped and I left a trail of sparks for a few miles.
This morning I was providing safety up on a catwalk with Anna Nicole Smith and she noticed Larry The Lizard for the first time. I handed him to her and finally got the photo I came here for. Then she held Larry to her nose like he was biting her so I had to talk them both down before blood got spilled and take Larry back.
Robbie, Key Coat Rack
This morning also featured the graduation of #1 Grip Intern Robbie to Key Coat Rack. Seeing Robbie hold and carry the coats of the girls almost brought a tear to my eye. I just wish Chuck was still here to have seen it. The day was so slow that the normal grip sing alongs grew to include most of the crew - this morning included a moving ode to Journey with "Don't Stop Believing" echoing throughout the quarry. In the afternoon there was a tremendous round of Grip Wars as Ian kept building chairs of sandbags surrounded by flags to block the blazing sun, while Aaron built reflecting rigs to blind Ian. Good times.
The afternoon's scenes featured some of the girls doing battle with a giant spider - or at least 3/4's of a giant spider. Holy Crap! A giant spider
My final acting scenes were cut from the schedule for good and the mud fight finale will be tomorrow, with the wrap party tomorrow night even thought there is another day of shooting on Tuesday. David is trying to figure out someplace for Larry to be in the final shot.
For now we dance and pound PBR's.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Illegal Aliens: Day 10

Larry watches Dennis and Chyna ham it up. The tenth day of shooting for Illegal Aliens is done. Most of the excitement today was behind the scenes as Provo our Gaffer went nuts again and chucked a C-stand across a parking lot after it fell apart in his hands. He had many more entertaining curse filled soliloquies through out the day as well.
I had fire extinguisher duty for a few scenes with a flaming wrecked truck. Those featured some hilarious improv between Dennis Lemoine and Chyna ending in passionate kisses, slaps and gunfire. The day ended with every extra pair of hands helping to rock a bus while Chyna "drove" and spewed forth with one liners that were cracking me up. The next two days we are shooting in a quarry - which means no power and no lights. That makes for very easy days (we hope) for Grip and Electric team. Today was a wrap for our Key Grip, Chuck Harding. He's made the past two weeks bearable for me, so thank God we have some easy setups while he's gone. I also have to be prepared to do some additional acting tomorrow as well. And the climactic mud wrestling battle is this weekend. Sick! Just three days of shooting left, and I'm only here for the next two.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

More Illegal Aliens

Anna Nicole and her little pink friendToday shooting was just at one location, but we had 10 pages of script to get through. We got it all done, but it took a 13 1/2 hour day to do it. No visible residue from the actress tiff that broke out yesterday. But the day ended with new problems. The grip truck (which carries all the lighting and electrical equipment) broke down on the way back to the studio. We were in the parking lot when it stalled once, then about 100 feet from its parking spot it died for good. Ended up just towing it to the location we are shooting tomorrow - it's just on other end of facility that Edgewood is in. But beyond tomorrow - we are boned.

This morning featured some hilarious stuff from Anna Nicole Smith that you will probably never see. She plays an alien who has taken human form and discovers a dildo. Anna definitely has some great comedy instincts and is willing to do anything. Anything! Some of today's takes could get an NC-17 rating. Realized today how much she reminds of Suzanne Sommer's character from Three's Company, Chrissy. Anna laughs at herself the very same way.

A Current Affair did visit the set today and Access Hollywood will be here this weekend. We were also visited by another local paper and a couple radio stations. Current Affair did an interview with Chyna, unfortunately I don't know when it might air.
Chyna on set of Illegal AliensSyntax - the hologram character who tells the Illegal Aliens what to do has yet to be cast, but Burt Reynolds is no longer being talked about. He now wants 1 Million per picture. New names circulating are Bob Newhart and Verne Troyer.

Some of the last stuff we shot today was Chyna going to town destroying the Syntax super computer set. She is great at destruction. Also saw some more dailies tonight, mostly from our day at the airport last week as well as my first work as a Goon corpse. Exhaustion is definitely kicking in - I was one of many actually sleeping on the set today. The night ended with a huge greasy banquet of Kentucky Fried Chicken for the whole crew.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

IA Day 8: Meow! Cat Fight

The Illegal Aliens make their first appearanceToday was a very easy shoot day. One location all day, a small Knights of Columbus bar. So only minimal equipment could even be used, and good thing since the one bummer was that the bar was on the second floor. I ended up as a Goon Extra and was in a scene with all three Illegal Aliens for the first time. I just had to keep straining my neck to check out their asses. Also was just inches away from the first on set cat fight between a couple actresses. It got pretty tense and ugly quite quickly. One actress was treating a crew member rather rudely (not for the first time) when another actress told her to stop yelling at people. Then it grew into a war of words between them with each wanting the last word even with the director standing in between them telling them both to act like professionals. Threats of being fired and dares to do so were exchanged by the girls. Fun stuff.
In the afternoon I was a different Goon, watching in horror as Chyna as the villain Rex kills my boss Big Tony. Even got some closeup action in that one. I'm not even sure if I'm the same Goon in all my scenes or not, but I'm gonna be all over this thing, and most of the time in the same red shirt (Damn, just like Star Trek. The Red Shirt guys always get killed!)
A Current Affair will be here tomorrow, but due to some past bad blood Anna Nicole Smith will not talk to them, so another syndicated show will show up later this weekend that she'll cooperate with. And Burt Reynolds' name has surfaced again for a small role as a hologram who helps the Illegal Aliens - those scenes will be shot later with whoever ends up in the role.
Once the day was wrapped after twelve hours, the crew got to stay at the K of C and have the director, David Giancola, play bartender for us.

Here is the script for the Vermont Ch. 3 feature last night - they don't post video clips, only scripts. Bizarre;

Rutland's Edgewood Studios has carved out a niche making special effects-driven movies that seem bigger than what you'd expect from their modest budgets. ((sound of movie clapper)) Adding a little extra muscle to their latest production -- former professional wrestler Joanie Laurer. Known to her fans as "Chyna."
((Joanie Laurer: 15:40: I will be happy when I get my Oscar or star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.)) In "Illegal Aliens" she plays a violent visitor from outer space bent on protecting her home planet. She tangles with Anna Nicole Smith. Sure makes pro wrestling seem normal. ((Joanie Laurer: 17:06: You can't take yourself too seriously.)) ((Jack Thurston: 26:41: We wanted to talk to the movie's co-star, Anna Nicole Smith. But her publicist said she just wasn't feeling well.))
((Dave Giancola: The thing about Anna Nicole Smith is that you can't tell when she's in character or just being herself.)) The sci-fi spoof is a departure for Edgewood -- best known for its disaster, action, and horror movies.
((Dave Giancola: 23:11: It's not so much a movie, but more or less a cinematic traffic accident. I mean, it's Chyna versus Anna Nicole Smith. How could you not watch? Jack Thurston: That's a good thing? A cinematic traffic accident? Dave Giancola: Yeah I think so.))
((Dave Giancola: 23:45: The film speaks on the deterioration of American culture, TV, and movies.)) "Illegal Aliens" continues shooting for the next week. Jack Thurston, Channel 3 News, in Rutland.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Illegal Aliens: Week Two, Day One

Can you spot Larry?Today was the seventh day of shooting and featured the debut cameo of Larry The Lizard, and I was once again called into action as a wiseguy. This time I was in a car with Chyna against a green screen and had to bring my "acting" up a notch and improv some shit to say. After working all morning, then throwing a shirt and coat on and getting under the lights - my dome was soaked with sweat. Think I'm doing some more bad acting tomorrow as well. And Larry will be showing up in more scenes too.
It was funny working with people who don't know my long history of threatening to quit all my jobs. I've never been asked how I'm doing, and how's everything going by so many people on the set before - word must have spread fast that I was ready to bail out. Everyone was showing me the love today. I went out on a location scout checking power for tomorrows location and even drove the grip truck back to the studio. The day off did wonders for everyone, we made our day again - in just over 12 hours (mostly because it was a day without any scenes with a certain blonde actress).
Channel 3 in Vermont visited the set today for a story for tonight's news. It featured director David Giancola's quote "This is a cinematic traffic accident that everyone will just have to watch." Local Channel 5 visits tomorrow and A Current Affair is coming on Thursday. We got to watch dailies tonight and they look great. Lenise is gorgeous in person and even better looking on film and Anna really looks great on camera too. While Chyna just has so much over the top campiness going on - this should be hilarious.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Illegal Aliens - Week One Done

Today is our off day after six days of shooting - and everybody needs it. Yesterday was well over 13 hours long and we were going for more but some camera problems forced us to wrap. I totally hit my wall last night - I'm finding out today many others did too. I was ready to just bail out and go home, but I've been talked in off the ledge. There was just a lot of chaos, hurry up and wait, and non-functioning gear to deal with last night.
Anna Nicole seems to show up each day with script suggestions, the surprising thing is that many are actually funny and have been used. Chyna continues to kick ass take after take. Her acting is the best surprise of the shoot - this could really be a break out role for her. We shot all day in a public parking garage, so we had our first crowds gather - all the actresses took time to sign autographs and take pictures with fans which was pretty cool. There was even an end of week party last night but I went to my room to check some NFL scores on my laptop and next thing I know it was 4:30am. I was still dressed and had a laptop on my chest. So I missed the party - which surely would have just meant passing out somewhere else.
If I last, I have a bigger acting role coming my way next weekend - a wiseguy with a couple paragraphs of dialogue.
Here is feature in today's Rutland Herald. Anna Nicole Smith's column in the National Enquirer had a small plug about this movie and a bit of a slam for someone who was supposed to be in it. Next week her column will feature more info and a photo. More press will be visiting next week, I'm now hearing two syndicated tv shows, and another day of shooting has been added to the end of the schedule, which I will have to miss to get home just in time to need a real vacation.
Tried to go to a movie today -- theater isn't open for matinees. Went for drive with Chuck - another investor/grip who has worked on lots of Edgewood films over the years. We found the Long Trail brewery, which of course was closed today for their annual gold outing. Did buy some Dr. Scholl's inserts - so now I'm gellin'.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Day 5 of IA Shoot

Larry Woos Anna Nicole SmithAnna Nicole had a very good morning. We got all the scenes of the three Illegal Aliens hanging at their place and Anna got through everything in just a couple takes. She also stayed on set for the first time when she wasn't on camera to keep giving her lines for the other actresses to play off of. She flubbed one line, saying her TrimSpa tag line instead - that was pretty funny. That tag line must be ingrained deep in her brain. She finally seems comfortable and relaxed with everyone. She was bouncing her tits and mooning the other girls to get them to break up. Good day to be a grip.
The afternoon went smooth too. The lead Illegal Alien (and potential next Wonder Woman) had her toughest lines so far - some insane alien star systems to rifle through - but finally pulled it all off. Work was also done on the electronic press kit and word came down that the dailies from day one look really good. The day ended after 13 hours with two bottles of Jack! Sick! Whiskey night. And the first shots of Larry have been had. First one handled with grace by Dave Provenzano (Provo) - the bitterest man on set. He is my personal Jesus for the shoot - he makes me forget how many times I swear I'll never do this again because he says it loudly many times a day in between bitching about the ancient shitty equipment. Provo rules. Provo Going Sick

Friday, September 16, 2005

Illegal Aliens - Day 4

Day four is in the can. Another fairly short day, just 12 hours. Today's location, the West Rutland Water Treatment Plant, was very cramped so the crew was mostly kept outside without much going on. I ended up in front of the camera in the afternoon. Dying once again on the silver screen, this time as an evil henchman. It was a bit strange, the first scene I was in I was already dead, laying across a desk with my sweaty, bloody head on a keyboard. Gladise recommended they put some blood in my ear. I'm still pulling kyro syrup and coffee grinds out of my ear - thanks Gladise. Bad weather is moving in for awhile up here so the rest of the schedule is being redone. Tomorrow we don't start till 7am and will just be shooting here at the studio. Sweet!
They are looking for bands for the soundtrack and possibly for a cameo. I'm trying to get Angry Johnny involved, might even include a music video with Anna Nicole.
Larry The Lizard was on set again today, here he is with Gladise Jimenez (She's the one who kills me). She said Larry was ugly. Needless to say, Larry does not appreciate that so he predicts this will be the peak of her career.
And tonight is Friday, think I'll go totally sick and stay up till 11pm. WooHoo!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

IA Shoot - Day Three

Yay! We finally made the day. That means getting all the scenes done that were scheduled for that day. We were back at the studio 12 hours after leaving this morning. That is our shortest day so far. We were about a full day behind after the first two days - not good.
Today was all on the tarmac of the Rutland Airport. I was on Electric duty for the morning. The morning of pouring rain. It showered off and on all day and we even had to abandon the set for awhile due to lightning. Great day to learn about running power. All the scenes were inside various airplanes - Anna Nicole smacked her head against the interior of the plane once and it looked like it hurt bad, but she soldiered on. That is two falls and one head slam so far for those of you scoring at home.
And the secret to sleeping through the night here at Edgewood Studios (surrounded by train tracks and with trains slamming into each other all night long) - is beer, Octoberfest to be exact. Slept straight through last night for first time.
Tonight some of us ate at AppleBee's. Anna Nicole and her entourage ate there when they first got to town last Saturday. Our waitress was still talking about it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Chyna Rocks!

Day two of the Illegal Aliens shoot is done and was much better than day one for this sorry Producer/Grip. We were at one interior location all day and had another crew member who really knows his job show up today. Much smoother, easier, shorter day - still 13 hours long.
Chyna & Larry The LizardChyna is blowing everyone away with how good she is. She just kicks ass take after take. She's got the longest dialgue and just rifles through it. She's the villain and is creating a sort of muscle bound Cruella DeVille out of it. Meanwhile the cue cards had to come out for others. This movie should be really funny, I've been having to hold back the laughs on set while we've been rolling. Also went out to eat and drink with some of the crew tonight - already feels like we've been working together for weeks or months not just days.
Some national television programs will be visiting the set this week too. Very cool.
And Larry made his debut on set today. Larry The Lizard and Chyna really hit it off.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Illegal Alliens: Day 1 Done

13 1/2 hours, countless bruises and one sunburn later, day one of shooting is in the books. I'm officially acting as Swing Man on the crew. Playing with Grip and Electric - a job I decided I didn't want 10 years ago when I first did it. Grip and Electric pretty much means you move shit around all day, a lot, sometimes for no reason. Today was nasty hot, not what I expected in Vermont in September, but then again being a grip isn't what I expected when I was told I was an Associate Producer either.

Anna Nicole Smith is thinner than I've ever seen her, you wouldn't even recognize her from far away. She's been fun, friendly and giggly and she has the absolute whitest teeth I've ever seen in my life. She fell down twice (always quickly bouncing back up), and popped out of her shirt countless times but always knew her lines. At the end of her day she went around saying thanks and goodbye to all the crew. Poor Lenise's shirt burst open every time she had to run too. I got to throw debris and hay from the aftermath of an explosion on the three leading ladies near the end of the day. A piece of wood hit Anna in the face, but I don't know if I can claim it as mine or not. Tomorrow will be Chynna's first day on set, another 6am crew call. I'm too old for this shit. Really. I might just be the oldest person on this crew.

Here is one photo from today. Lenise Soren looks on as Anna Nicole Smith and Gladise Jimenez escapes the exploding barn.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Illegal Aliens: So It Begins

I've been in Rutland Vermont since Friday getting ready for the feature film Illegal Aliens. Tomorrow is the first day of shooting, with a call time of a rapidly approaching 6am. Movie is starring Anna Nicole Smith, Joanie (Chyna) Laurer, Lenise Soren and Gladise Jimenez. Traci Bingham was involved but due to scheduling conflicts had to pull out just a couple days ago. I just got back from picking up Chyna (and her dog Bambi) at Albany Airport (2 hour + ride) and she is a blast. We really hit if off - traded all sorts of wrestling, Surreal Life, safari, and Larry The Lizard (yes, Larry was there for the ride) stories and even dined together at Burger King (Hey! It is a low budget movie). She showed up with just one bag - less than half the luggage I came up here with. She also mentioned wanting to pick up some tree sap - I told her she might be better off with maple syrup, but if she insists on any old tree sap, I'll find it for her. Anyway, I was surprised how much fun I had hanging with Chyna. I picked up Lenise Soren the day before - just a short 20 minute ride from Rutland Airport. She is gorgeous and very nice. She's just coming here from Cape Cod where she was doing a play that my mom had gone to. Small world. Haven't seen Anna yet, but will in the morning. Oh, and Saturday is the big mud wrestling scene - sweet!

Friday, September 09, 2005

All Aboard

Out popped Ozzy doing Crazy Train
Last night's NFL Kickoff for the 2005 season was a blast. Another Championship banner for the Patriots, tons of fireworks, Green Day and OZZY. Ozzy was the big surprise and just went off. He was so into it I think he thought Gillette Stadium was full of people there just for him. The Patriots normally run out the a giant inflatable helmet to Ozzy's classic "Crazy Train." Last night the helmet looked a bit different and popped open to unveil Ozzy and band (Zak Wylde went sick). He had the best faces and energy I've seen in years from him.
Oh yeah, and the Patriots beat the Raiders 30 -20, but didn't always look good doing it, so they've got plenty to work on. It was strange seeing someone else wearing Ted Johnson's longtime 52 and even stranger seeing Teddy Bruschi prowling the sidelines in street clothes, but it should be a another great year. The Unveiling
And don't try to go sick with Larry, Ozzy, Super Bowl Champs and take pictures at the same time - the results are an out of focus mess. Want proof?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Most wonderful Time of The Year

Wally The Green Monster and Larry The LizardLarry The Lizard took us to Fenway Park last Friday to see the Sox lose to the Orioles. But tomorrow night we'll all be at the NFL season opener where the 3x Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots will take on the Oakland Raiders. The Patriots have never lost with Larry in the audience and Larry's witnessed each of the first two Super Bowl banners get raised, so I have no fear of the final score.
Then Friday I'm headed up to Vermont to work on the feature film Illegal Aliens. Accompanied by Larry of course.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Do Something For Katrina Victims

American Red Cross, 1-800-HELP-NOW,
Salvation Army, 1-800-SAL-ARMY,
The United Way, 1-800-272-4630,
Feed The Children, 1800-525-757,
Oxfam America, 1800-776-9326,
ASPCA Animal Relief
Katrina Housing,

Alabama Emergency Management Agency: 1-205-280-2200
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency: 1-800-222-MEMA
Red Cross (next of kin): 1-866-GET-INFO
La. Office/Emergency Preparedness: 1-225-925-7400

Friday, September 02, 2005

Tedy Bruschi will Play in 2006

Bruschi plans to play next year
Cites post-stroke progress

By Jackie MacMullan, Globe Staff September 2, 2005

NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH -- Linebacker Tedy Bruschi, who suffered a stroke Feb. 15, revealed yesterday he intends to play football for the Patriots next season.
''I've talked with a lot of people and heard a lot of opinions," said Bruschi, in his first extensive comments since being taken by ambulance from his North Attleborough home to Massachusetts General Hospital last winter. ''Cardiologists, neurologists. And not one of them said, 'Tedy, you can't play again.'
''I'm definitely playing next year. That's my ace in the hole. It's a little hard to sit back and watch the guys [this season], but it's easier knowing I've got something to look forward to.
''My goal is to play football again, but it wouldn't have been my goal if my doctors weren't on board and my family wasn't on board. They are."
Bruschi emphatically denied that he will return at any point this season to the Patriots, who kick off the defense of their Super Bowl crown Thursday night against the Oakland Raiders at Gillette Stadium.
''I'm telling you right now that's not going to happen," he said. ''I need to do what's best for my family and myself.
''There's a difference between living life normally and being fine and getting ready for a professional football season. I need the year to get myself ready.
''I considered playing this year. We talked about it a lot. But this is something you don't rush. It's not a sprained ankle. This is my medical health, and although I'm feeling great right now, I've also been told by my doctors some time will help. It will help medically, but it will also help me deal with it mentally. I think I've healed faster physically than I have emotionally."
Speculation has been rampant regarding Bruschi and his football future since he suffered the mild stroke nearly seven months ago, just days after returning from the Pro Bowl in Hawaii. He confirmed yesterday the stroke was the result of a blood clot that doctors believe traveled through a small hole in his heart. He also confirmed he underwent a procedure in Boston in March to repair it. The origin of the clot, he said, has never been determined, nor has the cause of the clot.
''Maybe I was a little dehydrated, maybe it was the long flight back from Hawaii," Bruschi said. ''There's really no way of knowing."
Startling realizationBruschi said he prefers to keep the names of the physicians who attended to him private, but he was willing to describe a harrowing five days in which the high of his third Super Bowl victory and his first Pro Bowl appearance quickly evaporated as he and his wife, Heidi, dealt with a medical crisis that blindsided them.
Bruschi had been home a day and a half from Hawaii when he woke up around 4 a.m. experiencing numbness in both his left arm and his left leg.
''I woke up with sort of a pain in the back of my neck," he explained. ''I sat up in bed and the left side of my arm and my leg felt funny. There was some numbness, almost like a loss of control, so I got up and used the restroom."
As Bruschi tried to stand up, he lost his balance and had to grab hold of the side of the bed. Heidi woke up and asked what was wrong.
''I sort of limped to the restroom, then came back and we talked about it for a little bit," Bruschi said. ''I had a headache. I was uncomfortable, but we decided just to go back to sleep. You've got to remember, I've woken up with pain plenty of times before. Lots of times I've moaned and groaned and gotten out of bed, shaken off the pain, then gone back to sleep. We figured this was the same sort of thing."
Heidi let her husband rest until around 10, then went back into the bedroom to check on him.
''I woke up with the same numbness," Bruschi said. ''At that point I'm thinking, 'I wonder what's wrong? I've never felt this way before.' "
Heidi made two calls: one to Patriots head trainer Jim Whalen, and the other to her father, who is a physician's assistant. After hearing Bruschi's symptoms, each urged Heidi to drive him to Mass. General for an examination.
''But even then I was saying, 'I don't know if I need to go,' " Bruschi said. ''I was thinking it was something that could possibly pass. I didn't have a tremendous amount of pain."
It wasn't until his 5-year old son, Tedy Jr., scampered into the room that the linebacker realized the severity of his condition.
''TJ came in from my left," Bruschi said. ''I heard him, but I didn't see him. I didn't see him until he popped up on the right side of my field of vision and said, 'Good morning, Daddy.'
''That's when I got scared. I told Heidi, 'Call 911.' "
Heidi's composed phone conversation with the paramedics has been replayed coast to coast on numerous newscasts. But her calm demeanor masked the panic she was feeling as she described her husband's symptoms, including erroneously reporting the numbness was on his right side. ''It's the only mistake she's made during this whole deal," Bruschi cracked.
The next call was to a close friend who offered to come and watch their three boys, all under age 6.
''The baby, Dante, was only about 8 weeks old," Heidi said. ''I was still nursing him. I was wondering, 'Should I leave the baby here? Should I take him with us?' My friend finally said, 'I've got formula. Leave him here. Just go.' "
As their mother fought back tears, young TJ and Rex followed their father out to the ambulance and kissed him goodbye. Within minutes, the Bruschis were en route to Mass. General, with the paramedics already having identified him as a probable stroke victim.
Bruschi was whisked into the emergency room, where a CAT scan was administered.
''Within minutes of the CAT scan, the doctor came out, put his hand on my shoulder, and said, 'You've had a mild stroke,' " Bruschi recalled. ''I said, 'What?' I was in disbelief. It was a total shock to me."
Because Bruschi had delayed reporting his symptoms so long, he said, it was too late for the doctors to attempt to break up the clot.
''The thing that people don't understand is you have three hours once you think you are experiencing a stroke to do something about it," Bruschi said. ''If you can get to the hospital right away, you can get a clot-busting drug that could save your life.
''That's one of the reasons I'm talking about this publicly. I want people to realize if they have headaches or numbness, especially on one side, along with dizziness, loss of balance, or maybe even slurring of your words, you are having a stroke.
''Don't do what I did. Don't go back to sleep. Get to the hospital as quickly as possible."
If Bruschi had gone to the hospital when he first experienced the numbness, would his stroke have been less invasive?
''We started talking about it the other night," Heidi said. ''But then we stopped. What's the point? We can't change what happened."
In the first 12 hours after Bruschi was admitted to the hospital, football was the furthest thing from his mind. His vision and his ability to walk had been severely compromised. The amount of damage he had incurred was still undetermined.
''I could have died," Bruschi said. ''The doctors told me that. If the clot was a couple of millimeters in a different direction, I might not be sitting here talking to you now. But it wasn't my time."
Healing beginsBruschi spent three days at Mass. General. The first night, Whalen kept an around-the-clock vigil in his room. Bruschi awoke one morning to see Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his wife, Myra, by his bedside. Assistant trainer Dave Granito and vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli also visited.
He was released three days later with a horde of television cameras recording the moment. Bruschi smiled and waved, but appeared wan and unstable as Heidi led him to their car.
''I could still barely see and barely walk when I left the hospital," he said. ''I could walk better than what everyone saw [on television], but when that door opened and I saw everyone standing there, I grabbed Heidi and said, 'Make sure I don't fall.' "
Doctors monitored Bruschi closely over the next several weeks, making sure the clot dissipated and that there was no danger of an aneurysm. They waited until March to repair the hole in his heart because the procedure required putting him on a blood thinner, Coumadin, and they did not want to administer that until they were certain the clot had dissipated.
He began an intensive physical therapy program at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Center, where his initial goal was modest: walk without stumbling. Bruschi navigated orange cones, threw and caught a ball while perched on a balancing beam, and tottered around a sheet of plastic.
It was a humbling experience for an elite athlete, but if it discouraged him, Heidi said, he rarely showed it. He simply kept to the task at hand.
''I know this guy better than anybody," Heidi said. ''I know he's driven and motivated and goal-driven. But this was the biggest shock of our lives. His career was taken from him, his ability to see his kids was taken from him, but he never felt sorry for himself. He just said, 'OK, what do we do next?' I was impressed by that. I'm still impressed by that."
There were days, however, when Bruschi simply was not sure whether his life would ever regain any sense of normalcy. His vision loss was the most troubling of all the symptoms, and there was no rehabilitation for that. Only time would tell if he would completely regain his sight.
''My test was looking at the digital clock we had in the bedroom," he said. ''We had it set high so Heidi could keep track of baby Dante's feedings.
''I'd look at that clock and if it was 12:29, I only saw 2:29. It worried me. But, over time, I started seeing the bottom of the 1. Then I started seeing the top of the 1. To the immediate left of the 1 on the clock, there is a little signal for the battery. Once I could see that, I knew I was OK."
It took six weeks for his eyesight to be fully restored. It took slightly longer for him to resume his decidedly unorthodox gait. As for the emotional fallout of his brush with mortality, that is an ongoing project. Bruschi said he's grateful the Patriots have allowed him to heal in peace.
''The Patriots haven't put any pressure on me," Bruschi said. ''[Coach] Bill [Belichick] has been extremely supportive. He's told me, 'Whatever you decide, Tedy, we're fine with it.'
''They've left the entire process up to us. Honestly, early on I thought I was done. I can't see, I can barely walk. So I'm listening to my body and it's telling me, 'Tedy, you can't do this.' But now time has passed, and my body is saying, 'Tedy, you've got a shot.' "
Raising awarenessThe Bruschis have fielded hundreds of interview requests over the past six months, but kept silent, in part, because his condition was improving and changing daily. They also wanted to make the most informed decision about his future.
''I know people wanted information, but this was an in-house issue," Heidi explained. ''This affects our family for the rest of our lives. This is where the decision needed to be made first.
''We needed to be thorough, but we also wanted to put him in the best position possible. Wouldn't it have been devastating for him to go out there and not be right?"
Bruschi, who has been placed on the team's physically-unable-to-perform list (an official NFL roster designation in which a player must sit out the first six weeks of the season), understands there are no guarantees he will return to his Pro Bowl form of 2004. He has not tested his body against full contact, although he works out daily and regularly attends the team meetings.
''I get excited when we see a game plan for Green Bay," he said. ''I'm anxious to see how we'll prepare for Oakland. I want to know what we're doing, how the linebackers will prepare for them. I talk to the guys. Chad [Brown] will ask me a question, and I'll gladly answer it. He's a good football player. Monty [Beisel], too. They're going to have great years and I'm going to have fun watching them."
That doesn't mean sitting out this season will be easy. The chance for New England to win three championships in a row will have to be done without their emotional defensive leader, and Bruschi knows it will get harder as the season progresses.
''I think about playing before I go to sleep," he admitted. ''I think about it a lot. But I tell my sons when they have a tough time calming down to take a deep breath. My time will come."
His experience has convinced him to join forces with the American Stroke Association to raise awareness about strokes and the need to address them immediately. He has pledged to form Tedy's Team, a group of runners who will train for marathons and solicit pledges, much like cyclists do in the successful cancer fund-raiser, the Pan-Mass Challenge.
''Strokes are the No. 1 disabler in America and the No. 3 killer," Bruschi said. ''I didn't know that before. I know it now."
Do not ask him to predict how this will affect his career. He has no idea. Nobody does.
''I know a lot can happen in a year," he said. ''A lot happened in a day and a half after the Pro Bowl. For years I've been preaching, 'One game a time.' That's how I'm living my life at the moment -- one day at a time."

© Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Poor Bush

Do you think President Bush is still glad he got the job?
He's been the head cheese for the worst man-made disaster in US history with 9/11, and now the worst natural disaster with Hurricane Katrina. The days immediately after 9/11 seemed to bring out the best in him, but Katrina has turned such a huge area into an absolute nightmare - hard to imagine any politician making a difference. Whole gulf coast is quickly turning from third world refugee camp to war zone each night. Doubt anyone different being President right now would alter anything happening in these few days and weeks but was just wondering if George W. ever just wants to get cocked and scream "Enough!"

Sunday, August 28, 2005


System of A Down did not disappoint. They were just awesome - a phenomenal combination of melodic thrash, punk metal, spirituality, politics and silliness. They played almost the entire "Toxicity" and "Mezmerize" discs. There wasn't a single song I had hoped to hear that they didn't take care of. Since they have so many short songs, never wasted time with even a single solo, and didn't ever take a break or encore, it felt like they played at least 50 songs. Especially when compared to opener The Mars Volta whose never ending jams made me think of Black Sabbath crossed with The Grateful Dead with Minnie Mouse singing. In their hour long set, I think they played two songs. I could appreciate the musicianship but it just became background music to me.

SOAD on the other hand, grabbed the audience by the throat right from the start and never let go. The show featured an open, sparse stage with some cool LED light displays capable of tons of patterns and colors. They did a couple verses of Neil Young's "Rock and Roll Will Never Die" before playing a new tune "Kill Rock and Roll". The new album, "Hypnotize" comes out in November and they undersold it calling it just like "Mezmerize" but with different songs. The sound was great - nice and loud but still clear and all the harmonies were right on - except maybe on "Question!", the current single. During its softer parts voices sounded a bit out of tune, but it was probably the 10,000 tone deaf fans who often drowned out the band during their rare softer moments. Later they played a bit of Dire Straits' "Sultans Of Swing" which was very cool, especially with the lyric change: "we are the system of a down." Just a great high energy, crowd singing, psychotic show. System is one of the very best bands to scream along to, I was just exhausted by then end (still am). And the people I met at the show left early! LOSERS!

SOAD Set list:

Saturday, August 27, 2005

System of a Down

Woohoo! Headed to see System of A Down and The Mars Volta tonight at The Centrum (or BankCenter of whoever just bought it) in Worcester Ma. Am very psyched to see System - one of my very favorite bands. This will be my first time seeing them headline, I caught them a couple years ago on OzzFest.

Here is a decent article on them from yesterday's Boston Globe.

Pounding out a blistering attack
System of a Down lashes out at Hollywood, war, and hypocrisy

By Steve Morse, Globe Staff August 26, 2005

Hollywood was no fantasy for Daron Malakian. Forget about celluloid heroes or silver-spoon coddling in mansions. Such dreams were not part of his childhood.
''I grew up across from a motel where a lot of prostitutes hung around. And there were a lot of gangs," he says. ''When I think of Hollywood, I don't think of the movies."
Malakian is now a co-songwriter/co-conspirator with System of a Down, a hugely successful group of rock provocateurs that attacks greed, hypocrisy, and self-righteous superiority wherever it sees it. The band headlines the DCU Center (formerly the Centrum) in Worcester tomorrow.
On the new album ''Mezmerize," Malakian takes some head-on shots at his hometown.
Give a listen to ''Lost in Hollywood" (with the warning verse, ''You should've never gone to Hollywood . . . they look at you in disgusting ways") and the slamming ''Old School Hollywood," about Malakian playing in a celebrity baseball game at Dodger Stadium with the likes of Tony Danza and pop-nostalgia singer Frankie Avalon. The verse ''Old school Hollywood, washed up Hollywood" is the nasty summary of it.
''I played for about two seconds in the game," notes Malakian, who is ordinarily a big baseball fan. ''No one knew who I was. They were looking at me like, 'Who is this guy?' But I don't think that Frankie Avalon is the biggest System of a Down fan."
Even though his band has achieved major success, Malakian says LA and its class distinctions still provide plenty of songwriting material. ''I just drive around Hollywood and observe people and make up stories about them," he says. ''You could compare it to Lou Reed singing a lot about street life."
The group was once labeled ''nu metal" and lumped in with such acts as Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Rage Against the Machine. But Rage is gone, Korn and Bizkit have faded, and that leaves System, which has never felt comfortable with glib stereotypes.
''We don't belong to any one scene," says Malakian.
On such CDs as ''Toxicity," ''Steal This Album!" (a play on the old Abbie Hoffman book title), and ''Mezmerize," the band demonstrates an extraordinary ability to write songs that sound unlike anyone else's. Malakian's frantic rat-a-tat guitar rhythms intertwine with singer Serj Tankian's supersonic vocals -- and the result is a strangely controlled chaos. It's then topped by lyrics that might blast the president's war policies one minute, then talk about Hollywood a few songs later.
''A lot of bands sound the same these days, but as soon as you hear System of a Down, you know immediately who it is," says Mistress Carrie, the music director and acting program director of WAAF (107.3 FM), which is presenting the DCU Center show.
''They go from a politically charged, screaming rant all of a sudden into this sweet melodic chorus and you think, 'How did that happen?' " adds Carrie. ''They're an enigma. According to the formulaic nature of the music business, they shouldn't be successful. . . . People are usually afraid to take chances on a band that is that quirky, different, and strange, but in this case, people have really gravitated to them."
System has paid its dues -- playing Ozzfest and doing a tour with Slipknot -- while observers have struggled to describe the band. It was once labeled a cross between Frank Zappa and Slayer. Malakian will buy that, but says, ''Zappa is big for me, but not as big as the Beatles because I really take a songwriting approach. I just really want to stress that."
System tunes have a complexity that betrays a surreal amount of experimentation and craft. ''Every song is like four different songs crammed together," says Mistress Carrie. ''If any other band tried to pull that off, it would sound messy and sloppy."
As for the group's political bite, there's no greater example than the recent single, ''B.Y.O.B.," inspired by a TV ad for the Army. ''It glamorized going into the Army," Malakian says. ''It made it look like a party where everybody was going to have a good time."
The song turns vitriolic with the line ''dancing in the desert blowing up the sunshine"; it never mentions Iraq by name but is a less-than-subtle allusion to it. Then comes the agitprop of ''Why don't presidents fight the war? Why do they always send the poor?"
''Back in the day, when the emperor or the king or whatever waged war, they went to war, too," says Malakian. ''But that's been lost in time."
The new album is meant to be a companion piece to another CD, ''Hypnotize," due in November. The band could have chosen to release them as a double album but opted to issue ''Mezmerize" and ''Hypnotize" separately.
''I feel like people have only heard half a record so far," adds Malakian. ''But we like releasing shorter records. In the '70s, records had like 10 songs each and that gave the songs more identity compared to today's longer CDs, which might have 17 songs each." (''Mezmerize" has 11.)
''I can't say which of the two albums is softer or heavier than the other," he concludes. ''Both are really all over the place, which is how we always are."
System of a Down appears with the Mars Volta and Bad Acid Trip at the DCU Center in Worcester tomorrow, 7 p.m. 617-931-2000.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Kickin' Off A Busy Week

This summer is coming to an end with a flurry of activity. I finally received a DVD of the independent film I took part in last summer CHAOS UNLIMITED. This marked my professional acting debut as "Head Thug" as well as portraying dozens of anonymous masked gunmen, I also ended up with Assistant Director credit. Guess I was a nosy thug. You can't buy it anywhere - and I doubt you would want to.
Tonight Lori and I saw RED EYE - a very good suspense thriller. I was most interested in seeing this because it was written by a first-time screenwriter and it sold for $500,000 within hours of being sent out to studios.
I'm currently in development with some screenwriting projects in the UK and on both coasts of the US. Nothing big to brag about yet, but things are moving along.
Tomorrow night I'm off to see System of a Down and there will not be any blowoff possibilities like at the Crue last week. I've been looking forward to this show for months.
Then next Thursday it's the final preseason game for the World Champion Patriots at Gillette Stadium, Friday we are off the Fenway Park to see The World Champion Red Sox take on the Baltimore Orioles and their steroid star Palmero. Finally Saturday we return to Gillette Stadium to see Green Day -- psyched to see them, but not a fan of the giant stadium shows usually.
And after surviving all that, the NFL season opener is just around the corner on Thursday Sept 8, when the Pats will hoist yet another Super Bowl banner.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The 40 Year Old Virgin Rocks!

Just saw The 40 Year Old Virgin and it is absolutely hilarious. Lori and I both laughed more at this than even at Wedding Crashers - which is also a riot. If Hollywood keeps this up it could be the start of the golden age of R rated comedy. The sad sack virgin is played by Steve Carell (from The Daily Show, The Office and supporting player in movies like Liar, Liar and Anchorman), who has long deserved his lead shot and he nails it. Another stand out is Seth Rogen, whom I've been a fan of since his time on the unappreciated TV series' Freaks & Geeks and Undeclared. The director of Virgin - Judd Apatow - was also involved in those shows.
This is the kind of movie you have to see a 2nd time because the audience is laughing so much you miss a lot of lines. It also has, I believe, the first Al Qaeda joke in a major movie - and it's funny. Plus one of the best "straight out of left field" ridiculous/hilarious endings ever. A great raunchy, dirty and touching ride. The only troubling thing was how many toys I had in common with Andy - the name of the tragic 40 year old. That and a similar love for Asia... and Survivor... oh no.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

What a Tool

Tonight was Motley Crue up in Manchester NH. For weeks I'd been joking with Del (my friend who was going with me) that we'd probably just blow it off, neither of was really caring about going. We've probably seen the Crue together close to 10 times. Anyway today came and we decided we were actually going to go despite feeling old and lame, we knew we'd have a blast once there - Manchester just felt farther away than it is. Then Del calls 30 minutes before we were supposed to leave and backs out of it all together. He'd had a couple beers this afternoon and now just wanted to go to sleep. Don't laugh too hard - you'll feel the same way soon enough.

So with Lori headed to the Cape there was nobody to drag along now that I was almost close to being psyched to see them. I end up staying home and watching the finale of Six Feet Under on HBO. And cry. And bawl. And sob. Fuck I hate that show, it can be so torturous to watch sometimes. I've never watched a show that can make me feel so depressed - but it does it so well I couldn't ever kick the habit. Great episode, could be their best ever. But I'm glad its done, cause Entourage just makes me laugh. Thank God.

So I must ask myself, when did I become such a tool that I blow off Motley Crue to stay home, watch TV and cry? Oh yeah, thirty some odd years ago. D'oh!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

T Bone TV

Motley Crue's Vince Neil was first with season one of the Surreal House - now it's Tommy's turn. "Tommy Lee Goes to College" premiers tonight at 9pm eastern on NBC. The drummer for the Crue, amateur porn star, high school dropout, and professional Hell raiser enters the University of Nebraska for a six episode stint. Will hilarity ensue? We'll have to tune in to find out.

Monday, August 15, 2005

More New Sites

Have launched two more sites full of valuable information just for you!
Check out for the latest hot tub and spa news and information as well as, a new site dedicated to Safari and Adventure Travel.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

New Office Furniture Site

Have recently launched a new Internet marketing company and our first site is now live. Office Furniture Buys is the place to go when you need any office or home office furniture. The site has articles, news and reviews regarding office furniture. That name again is Mr. Plow... I mean

Monday, August 08, 2005

Another Goofy Writing Contest

Here's a silly little contest that could win you $500. It's "That First Line Writer's Contest." So, if you've a great opening line to something or can just make up one right now, submit it at: and $500 could be yours! It cost $5 to enter and the deadline is midnight on August 15th. Since it is just one sentence, feel free to wait till the last minute.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

The Screenwriter's Challenge Has Been Met

Last Friday I got my assignment for the 2005 Screenwriter's Challenge. The Screenwriter's Challenge is a short screenplay contest that puts people in heats with the same genre and subject matter - everyone has one week to write a 20 page max script. I got Comedy: Lost Luggage. Didn't really like any ideas I came up with during the week, so ended up spending no more than a couple hours on it over the week. Friday night I finally decided to buckle down and finish something. My final script went into the mail this morning with 10 minutes to spare before the post office closed. It is called Baggage Profilers and its 12 pages long. The log line is; In the War on Terror everybody and everything has a role to play, even lost luggage.

I still don't like it and I don't see it getting on to the second round - that is writing a short script in just 24 hours. But my goal was just to finish, and I did - Yay!

To celebrate Lori and I went on a 6.5 mile bike ride. Sure that might be no big whoop to you, but this was the first time on my bike in three years. It is part of our Amazing Race training. Then I decided to send flowers to myself.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Lori Loses Her Favorite Patriot

Larry the Lizard, Greg Hill, Ted Johnson and Lori at SB 39
Patriots' linebacker Ted Johnson shocked Patriots Nation today, announcing his retirement just before training camp opens for the defending champions. The Pats' defense was already dealing with the loss of Tedy Bruschi for the season. Johnson was a Patriot for his entire 10 year career and was one of the last few remaining players from 1996 Super Bowl loss.
Read more at Sports Illustrated or

Thursday, July 21, 2005

2005 Screenwriter's Challenge

I'm taking part in a little writing challenge that I figured I'd share with the world. Today is the last day to enter the 2005 Screenwriter's Challenge!
All aspiring—and competitive—screenwriters worldwide are invited to participate in the 2005 Screenwriter’s Challenge. Writers compete to see who can produce the best short screenplay (20 pages max.) on an assigned genre and subject in as little as 24 hours. The winning writers will receive over $9,000 in prizes along with valuable exposure, and of course, bragging rights. The Challenge is open to everyone, everywhere. TODAY IS THE FINAL ENTRY DEADLINE!
The competition begins tomorrow at 11:59PM EST. Over 250 writers have registered and space is filling up fast, so enter today!
*SPECIAL DISCOUNT - enter discount code WRITENOW to receive $5 off the entry fee
Click here to learn more / register for the 2005 Screenwriter's Challenge

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Tedy Bruschi To Sit out 2005 NFL Season

Damn, just this morning the Boston Globe was reporting it looked like Bruschi would be playing this season - despite having a stroke in February. But the Patriots released a statement this afternoon:

"Since suffering a mild stroke on Feb. 16, 2005, Tedy Bruschi has focused on the short-term goal of getting better every day. His health has improved steadily during the past five months and Tedy continues to make daily improvements with his on-going rehabilitation. It has been an offseason of many emotional highs and lows for Tedy and his family. With the Patriots' training camp reporting date now just over a week away, Tedy has reached a decision on his playing status for the upcoming season and has declared his intentions to forgo the 2005 campaign.

"The Bruschi family wanted to express their heartfelt appreciation for the tremendous outpouring of support they have received from fans throughout New England and others around the country. They also expressed their gratitude for the support and assistance provided by the entire Patriots organization. Tedy pledges to focus on his health and his family while continuing to offer on-going support to his teammates throughout the upcoming season."

Bruschi had been working out for much of the offseason at Gillette Stadium and was at last month's mini-camp, participating in the meetings, but did not in any on-field work. All this lead to plenty of speculation and hope that he was planning to return. Nothing has been said regarding plans beyond this season or if will have any sort of new role with the team for this season.

See for more.

The Amazing Race

Lori and I have long been fans of The Amazing Race and have talked about trying out for it. Well, we finally followed through - our applications and video tape were mailed in this morning. Now we just wait.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Batman Rules

I was never a Batman fan. I grew up a Marvel Comics guy, not a DC Comics guy. I've seen the goofy 60's TV version of Batman way more than I've ever seen a Batman comic. Sure, I've seen all the previous Batman movies - I just thought they were all OK. Those were always about the villain way more than Batman. Not big deal either way for me. I was actually looking forward to seeing "The Fantastic Four" this weekend, but the previews never did much for me and the reviews have been far from kind - 'Fantastic Bore' was my favorite line in a review so far.

So we finally saw "Batman Begins" tonight, and it was great. I think this was the best comic-based movie yet. The script, the directing, the acting were all excellent. I've been a Christian Bale fan ever since "American Psycho," and I didn't even realize Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman and Michael Caine were in this. This has some fantastic imagery and explanation on the whole Batman mythology and creation of all his goodies. Probably best thing I can say is that it didn't feel anywhere near its two-hour and twenty-minute run time. As long as Christopher Nolan (he also directed one of my all time favorites, Memento) is directing the next one, I can't wait. And the end up this certainly sets up the sequel nicely.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Next Vacation is Booked -- Ohio!

Ohio? Yes Ohio! Because of Cedar Point - an absolutely insane amusement park on the shore of Lake Eerie in Sandusky Ohio. Cedar Point has been named "Best Amusement Park in the World" for the last 7 years and they have the most roller coasters in the world - 16. Plus a new thrill ride for 2005 - MaXair, which is sort of spinning pendulum of death.

And since we are waiting until October it will be a Haunted Park! Sick!!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Lost Without "Lost"

I'm already jonesing for a fix of "Lost" - the best show on television last season. Lost Season 1will be released on DVD in September and can already be ordered on
There is also a cool site full of secrets and clues. It is the "official site" of Oceanic Air, which is the airliner whose Flight 815 crashed in the premiere of Lost. Most of site is closed due to the disaster, but check out and click on row numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42 in that order and you'll get a preview of next season. For those not in the loop -- those are the mysterious numbers that show up consistently throughout the show.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Sideways DVD

Got the DVD of Sideways for my birthday and it has one of the best commentary tracks I've ever heard. The commentary by lead actors Paul Giamatti and Thomas Hayden Church was funnier than the movie. Definitely worth checking out.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Live 8

Live 8 is already underway. Television coverage doesn't start until Noon on MTV and VH1, and ABC will have highlights tonight from 8 - 10pm. You can see it all live from around the world at I'd say the biggest thing I'm looking forward to is to the reunited Pink Floyd, but I'm sure there will be lots of surprises through out the day.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

War of The Worlds

Just back from seeing War of The Worlds. The original movie from the 50's was one of my favorite sci-fi flicks growing up. Watched it every time it came on TV. I never read the book, cause, you know reading takes like time and shit.
Love seeing movies on opening night before you hear too much and there are no surprises. The theater was packed, but totally silent during the many quiet suspenseful portions - which is the best review for any movie. So many images are quintessential Spielberg, he brings alien movies to the post 9/11 world and some shots touched on E.T and Jurassic Park. The chaos and mayhem in the film felt so real. This is how people will react if/when aliens invade. Unfortunately the plot required some "only in the movies" luck to get our hero from place to place, but what the Hell its a movie. A fun, edge-of-your-seat big time Summer spectacle of a movie.

The Ring: Swiped or Gifted?

Patriots Championship Ring #3
This morning the big local story was the Patriots owner Robert Kraft let Russia's President Putin try on his Super Bowl 39 Championship ring and that Putin them pocketed the puppy. Later Kraft released a statement saying he gave it to Putin as a gift. Now the debate rages, did it become a gift after Putin pocketed it or before. I know from personal experience not to believe those crafty Krafts and I have new found respect for Putin having the balls to walk off with the ring.
My Patriots season tickets arrived today -- so that must mean its time for my annual complaint letter to the Krafts for all the lies they told when I bought into Gillette Stadium. If I can get a spare championship ring I'll be willing to call us even.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Worlds Are Colliding!

Run for your lives! Or just look up and watch.
Starting tonight, Mercury, Venus, and Saturn will appear so close together from Earth that they will look like a new constellation or perhaps a sign of the apocalypse. The rare grouping can be viewed through Sunday night, then Monday night Mercury and Venus will be separated by such a small distance they may look like one large new star. One large new start of death! Actually this isn't terribly rare - it happens every 5 - 10 years, so no Armageddon. Yet.

The best time to view the galactic mayhem is 30 to 45 minutes after sunset (about 8:30 p.m. EDT). Look for the planets in the western sky. More details for the geeks.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Why No Posts?

My normal excuse for a lack of posting is that things are very boring and lame. But that hasn't been the case this month. So much has been going on I haven't had time to blog.

Back on June 9th I attended the Boston Filmmakers Expo with PlasticVille cohort Chuck Smith (Hey, just realized that chuckbutt bastard is already telling this story). We met with Kevin Anderton of Midnight Chimes Productions and agreed to band together on some new comedy shorts this summer.

My first feature script was completed and it has been making the rounds. Plus I'm developing a feature idea with a veteran Hollywood producer and I'm also getting involved in a feature film being shot in Vermont in August. Shaping up to be a very busy summer.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Queer Sox

The premiere of this season's "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" airs tonight and features the World Champion Boston Red Sox. To be specific, it is Kevin Millar, Jason Variteck, Tim Wakefield, Doug Mirabelli and Johnny Damon who get the Fab Five treatment. Three of the Queer Eyes were at Fenway Park to throw out the first pitch this past Sunday. The show airs tonight at 10pm on Bravo and will repeat endlessly through out the summer I'm sure.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Hit Me Baby No More Times

Good Lord! Just saw the latest music reality show, NBC's "Hit Me Baby One More Time" where 80s bands battle each other with their one big hit in front of a live audience and one makes it through to.. to.. I don't know what. Why did I tune in to any show bringing back crap like Tiffany, Billy Ray Cyrus and Vanilla Ice? Well they also have The Knack and Flock of Seagulls - two of the very best one-hit wonders there are (My Sharona and I Ran respectively), plus - Loverboy! Yes, I'm a closet Loverboy fan. Always have, always will be. Saw them live at least six times in the 80s, they were one of the very first concerts I went to alone. Got dropped off before I had a license to see them play with some new guy called Huey Lewis opening. How did Loverboy end up in this has-been festival? They have tons of hit songs. Well, I just saw Loverboy perform and all I want to know is what sort of elephantitis has hit lead singer Mike Reno? His head and torso have ballooned to inhuman proportions. I now support a mandatory retirement age for all rock stars -- just imagine how many KISS farewell tours we would have been saved from if such a policy was in effect.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Your Arrest Brought To You By...

My town of Littleton Ma has been in the news this week for selling ad space on local police cars. I think its an awesome idea, cover the cars with sponsors just like NASCAR. Then move on to the fire trucks, garbage trucks, school buses, the mayor's car -- if anyone is willing to put up some cash, go for it. Actually they are just putting one small logo over the rear fender, and it will probably only be donut shops. Now if someone can figure out a way to sponsor criminals, that would be cool.

Monday, May 23, 2005

I Love TV

I can't remember a previous year with so many hyped-up season finales of shows I actually like. This year has been "the golden age of television" -- at least for crap I enjoy watching. Loved seeing 'Boston Rob' and Amber on The Amazing Race. Survivor had a great season with their strongest female ever, Stephanie and all American fireman Tom taking the big prize. They are headed to Tikal, Guatemala next, a spot Lori and I already survived so that should be sick. Tikal even popped up in the Alias (which I finally got into this year) finale - though this time it was a bad Hollywood back lot version of it. While Raymond and Desperate Housewives has gotten all the hype and acclaim this year, 24 has quietly had its best season. Each year I'm amazed they are able to top the previous season and it looks like the finale this year is going to really shake-up who might be around for next year. Always thought if this show really had balls they would kill Jack Bauer. Will find out soon enough. Quentin Tarantino made a rare television directing appearance and kicked the finale of CSI in the ass. Meanwhile in cable land the writing and acting of all those cock suckers on Deadwood gives HBO their best series since The Sopranos. And on Project Greenlight it looks like they finally might have made a movie, Feast, worth seeing. But what I think is the best show on TV right now, the show I look forward to each week and will miss all summer long is Lost. Looking forward to the two hour finale of that more than Revenge of The Sith. At least I'll have some free time back now that everything will kick into nothing but reruns.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Infected aka Zombie Town

I survived my weekend of being a zombie. Was part of a feature film being shot in Vermont now titled "The Infected" (update: name has been changed back to Zombie Town). Had two all night shoots that made me feel even more like a zombie. I was so out of it I ended up in New York before realizing I was going in the wrong direction trying to get home from Rutland VT. D'oh! Check out some photos.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Zombie Time

Headed to Edgewood Studios in Vermont this weekend to be a zombie extra for a low budget horror feature film called Zombie Town. This will be my follow-up to my coveted debut as "Head Thug" last summer in Chaos Unlimited (which is still in post-production). It has long been my dream to be a zombie. My parents have never been prouder.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Fan Films

Did make it back to the MassBay Film Festival to see a block of Star Wars fan created shorts. Some funny spoofs, a few serious shorts and one remake. The remake is credited with being the first fan film and was made here in Worcester Ma. It is a 20 minute silent home movie made in late 70's I think. They recreated everything, mostly using cardboard costumes and sets and a little claymation. Hilarious. The dub we saw had a problem so we didn't get the see the whole thing.
Others were technically quite amazing -- but shitty stories. Which made many of them better than Episode 1. Whish I had brought Larry and a camera -- a few storm troopers showed up from the 501st. Would be sick to have galactic Larry shot.
You can check out some fan films here:
RYAN VS. "DORKMAN" Cool lightsaber battle
PINK FIVE Pretty funny
SILENT BUT DEADLY These guys have a whole series
REVELATIONS The is a 45 minute epic.