Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Catching Up

it's been a while since I updated my blog, and though I am sure no one is reading it anymore, I will indulge myself and update the populace on the what's new in the world of Charlie.

1. I just finished a short film that I think is the best work I have done to date. It's a great little story and the rough cut made my mom cry so I think we are on to something here. I am pretty sure she wasn't crying because I don't have a real job, as she has so many times in the past.

This little film called "The Price of Art" starred Louis Zorich, a well known character actor in Theatre and Film. You would probably know him best as BURT BUCHMAN, Paul's father on Mad About You, however he has a resume that would make your knees buckle. He agreed to do our little film and the end result was unbelievable. Then to add just another layer on the cake Tom Paxton, one of the Godfathers of folk Music, read the script (our sound designer is good friends with him and gave him the script to read) and wrote the score for the movie without us asking. That was a first for me. The end result is that this little film has turned into something very special.

2. My new daughter is now 4 months old and doing very well. She has mentioned to the four year old that she wants to direct.
The four year old, also appeared in the latest project, again giving a star performance as she played peek-a-boo with Louis,

3. We are gearing up for our next feature film, the largest one yet, which (hopefully) will go into production in the winter of 2008. We already have some great stuff happening with that as well.

4. The renovation on the house continues at a snails pace. I figure it will give me something to do in my old age.

5. And last but not least, it's time for the yearly tradition of heading off to Western Pennsylvania to put on armor, hit my closest friends as hard as I can with whatever I have handy and to drink lots of Mead. Yes, PENNSIC 36 is at hand.
Two weeks of rest, relaxation and colorful costumes, pavillions, welts and bruises.

6. Ok one more thing that makes me smile ... The NY Mets are still in First place in the NL East.

Friday, March 23, 2007

More Than Just An Inconvenient Truth

I just watched "An Inconvenient Truth" last night. Like many others who have seen it, when it ended I felt angry, concerned, empowered and motivated. But I also felt sorry. I know it's been said many times, but it is the truth. If the Al Gore who eats up the cameras and issues on this screen, had been the same guy squaring off against the current moron in the White House, we would be living in a very different world. It saddens me, that if not for two stolen elections, the world might be a safer, healthier place to live.

The Republicans and the wealth blinded conservatives can throw all the sticks and stones they like. They can play the fear card, though all intelligent people know and agree we live in a much more dangerous world now thanks to President Pinhead than before he usurped the oval office. Al Gore would have been the man of the moment had we seen the real Al Gore, not the stuffed suit the DNC felt they needed to appease the "Fence Sitters".

Well the Birds have come home to roost. All of the talk of where the Ground Zero Memorial should be and what it should look like will all be for naught, if Greenland’s ice shelf breaks off, as most of lower Manhattan, as well as my house in Brooklyn, will be under water.

Tourists can look at Ground Zero through a glass bottom boat.

Al Gore for President 2008

Saturday, March 17, 2007

A New Member of The Family arrives ...

5 weeks early!
Yep, my second daughter was born yesterday at 1:27pm. roughly 5 weeks before she was due. However, both baby and Mommy are doing swell.
And for the moment, all is right in Charlie Land.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Richard Jeni - October 31, 1962–March 10, 2007

Richard Jeni took his own life on Saturday, This guy made me laugh. ALOT!
He was from Brooklyn and was not ashamed. He was a brilliant comedian and deserved more recognition than he got.
The first time I saw him was on his HBO Special "Richard Jeni: Boy From New York City". I laughed so hard I nearly blacked out.

Three years ago while we were still trying to get "Beds & Breakfast" made we actually got his head shot from his agent. Both my partner Paul and I were thrilled, as we were both big fans of Richard's. Unfortunately the schedules couldn't be worked out (as is so often the case) because he was in production on a sitcom at the time. I consider that a missed opportunity to work with someone I really respected. Now I will never get the chance,

What would make a guy who is so talented take is own life? I have no answer. Having been in show business for the last 25 years, I have met a lot of people. Some are not with us anymore for various reasons. Drugs, AIDS, Alcohol abuse and car wrecks, has taken a few people that I have called friends. I don't know anyone who has committed suicide. It is a very foreign thing to me.

His voice and his comedy will be sorely missed.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Things That Piss Me Off

There are so many things that piss me off that narrowing them down has been quite a task. So without further ado, for your amusement here we go: (these aren't in any particular order of annoyance)

1. People who litter. Now I know this might sound obvious to you but it's not what you think, Yes it pissess me off when people litter because it's bad for our planet and all that. But what really pissess me off is the smug non-chalantness of these scumbags when they throw something out the window of their car or just throw something on the floor. They look around and smile to themselves like they just got away with the heist of the century. Last week I was sitting on a bench with my daughter when some nit wit woman threw a bottle cap at garbage can from about 10 feet away and of course she missed. She just left it there and started to walk away. Of course I could not let that stand so I got up and shouted at her. "Hey, Moron, you missed the can."
She turned around and was kind of making believe that I wasn't talking to her. I said "Yeah you, you missed the can and the cap is sitting on the floor over there". She looked at me like I had two head, standing there holding her "cap-less" bottle of soda. I was relentless "Go over there and pick it up and put it back in trash can". Again stunned silence from this member of Mensa. Of course she didn't come back and pick up the cap so I did. Of course I abused her the whole time. (Very loudly)
Needless to say I felt better and my daughter got a kick out of it,

2. People who don't even have the slightest working knowledge of the English language who are put in positions of customer service. I have touched in this before with regards to my bank's customer service being sent over to India but now I am talking much closer to home. On the corner of my block there is one of these conglomerate "Dunkin Donuts/Pizza Hut/Taco Hell. When we were renovating my house 5 years ago we (my buddy and I) ate there almost everyday for month as it was the closest place to eat and there was nothing in our gutted house. And everyday it was a struggle just to get an order right. Now I understand that the problem in this particular establishment is twofold. First the language barrier and secondly that most of the people who work there are as dumb as a bag of hammers. I have nothing against people who work in the fast food industry, I myself have many years on those jobs, But the people hired in this particular store are absolutely the dumbest group of people on the planet. Even when they do speak English (the few that do) are still completely inept,
Anyhow, the other day I went down there to grab a quick lunch (there was absolutely nothing in the house to eat, I hadn't gone shopping yet). So I mosey on down and order a very basic thing. A personal a meat lovers pan pizza and a small order of buffalo wings. This was the conversation I had with the recent arrival in our country:

Me - I would like a Meatlovers Pizza please
Moron - A supreme.
Me - No, A Meatlovers
Moron - (Shaking her yes) A Supreme
Me - (Shaking my head no) No, Not a Supreme, A Meatlovers
Moron - (I shit you not) A Supreme.

At this time I Lose my shit and point to the rather large signs behind her which contain pictures of SUPREME - CHEESE - MEATLOVERS - VEGGIE LOVERS - PEPPERONI
And she turns back to me and say... you guessed it

Moron - Supreme

By this time I am appoplectic and the manager (another rocket scientist) walks over and points to the meatlovers button on the register. At this time the block of wood who has been trying to take my order smiles at me as if the past two minutes never occurred and says, in a barely understandable broken English:

MORON - Anything else?

Me being a glutton for punishment I say:

Me - Yes a small order of wings.

This is followed by complete stunned silence, because clearly I just started speaking in Esperanto. The lack of recognition on this womans face was something akin to Yul Brynner in that wickedly bad 70's flick "West World". So I say again:

Me - I would like a small order of Chicken wings.

Nothing. Finally the manager comes back over and pushes the button on the register. Now at this point I am out of my mind and I am thinking that this thing in front of me is not a human but a malfunctioning Jack in the Box Clown head. She just stands there with this blank expression on her face. At this point another customer comes in and approaches the counter. He is about to order when I say:

Me - Don't do it man, save yourself. Go to McDonalds.

Of course he just smiles the smile of a man who has not yet forseen his own destruction. The Clown Head speaks:

Moron Clown Head - May I help you?

Dead Man Walking - Yes, I would like two soft tacos and a coke.

SIlence from the Clown Head.

Finally the manager comes over and tells Clown Head (in a language I did not recognize) to go over and make the two soft tacos. Now, the nice human sacrifice standing next to me thinks he has escaped virtually unsinged. But he is mistaken. While the manager takes his money, with her back to Clown Head, the festival of pain continues. I watch as the Clown Head makes two HARD tacos. Human Sacrifice next to me starts to point at her. Clearly all speech has left his body. I on the other hand, glad to see someone else suffer for a change just giggle. The manager turns around just in time to see her wrapping up the hard shell tacos. Human Sacrifice next to me is begining to cry. The moronic manager actually hands the hard tacos to Human Sacrifice. He holds them in his hands as if two great eagles had just dropped a turd in each hand,

Human Sacrifice - I ordered soft tacos.

Manager from Hell - Just nods yes with that dumb expression.

I can take no more, I turn on this spawn of Taco Hell:

Me - Look you moron, that idiot made two hard shell tacos and you gave this man two hard tacos. Not the soft tacos he asked for (Human Sacrifice could do nothing more than nod, as the sacrificial knife began cutting into his still beating heart).

I could take no more and walked out. Without my controversial pizza or my authentic imitation Buffalo Wings (which would have been a compltete disappointment anyway). Fake Buffalo wings is a whole other thing that pissess me off.

I vowed never to go back there again.

Of course I say that everytime I leave there.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Where are they now?

Yesterday while I was procrastinating and not getting any writing done I decided to do a little web surfing to see if I could track down a couple of my childhood friends. I found a number of them and oddly enough most have normal upper middle class lives -- Doctors, Lawyers, one went in to local politics in California. Then I came across 2 of my very good friends who I lost contact with right after HS.
The first one, we'll call him Poncho, is now a defense lawyer specializing in "The Mob". Yes, the "The Mob". This is perfect, You have to understand, this is the same guy that talked me into running away to Pittsburgh to become miners when we were in 9th grade. He got thrown out of a number of High Schools as well as private schools. I also heard that he was involved in a scandal at a prominent Prep School. He could sell snow to eskimos and get them to return the snow when they were done with it. He always managed to survive and get his way. And he could argue. HE could argue with you until you just had to give in. He would rant and rave, pull his hair out of his head. It was as amusing as it was effective. Well, now he has his own practice and has defended a number of high profile mobsters, who's names you would probably recognize. Well done Poncho, well done....

The second one, who we will call Goofy, also played to his strengths. He was the consumate bullshit artist. He had a story for every occassion, but unlike Poncho, we never believed him. He also would do just about anything to get a woman. If she wanted him to be taller he would have put lifts in his shoes. If she wanted him bald he would have shaved his head. So now, I find out that he has been a highly respected "Motivational Speaker/Author)" for some years, (though highly respected and motivational speaker don't really sit well together) and now, he has found Jesus. It was only a matter of time. Keep in mind he was born Jewish and attended a well known Hebrew Day School. I read his little bio and he says his new wife, "Showed him the way", yeah I bet she did. And if she had happened to be Mao-ist, he'd be running around in one of those little hats and riding a bicycle everywhere. If she had been Shaker he'd be making rocking chairs. If she was a Mormon he'd be running around with the Magic Sunglasses. Still the Bullshit artist. But now he is getting paid for it. It all just makes perfect sense.

I often ask myself how I got to where I am now. It seems to me the path was not as bizarre as some others .... and I take comfort in that.

What's new and Interesting in the World of Charlie?

Well let's see.
1. There is another youngin' on the way, (she is due in late April) yes it's a girl. We don't like surprises. To quote a very funny man, Paul Reiser "It's one of two things, if it's a third thing, say an Owl, I would like to know, only good can come from knowing."

2. The new child brings with it all kinds of joyous life altering situations. To start with, we never really planned for 2 kids so our lovely Brooklyn home does not have enough rooms to raise the new forthcoming seedling. So, off with roof and a third story will be built. The new floor will house not only my wife and I, but my new spacious office as well. My office in the basement will be home to our soon to be live in nanny/babysitter. Now I am the last person I would ever have thought would have a live in nanny. Unfortunately we have no choice. As soon as my wife goes back to work after the child arrives, I will be (hopefully will be) going into pre-production on my next film. That will not leave a lot of time for diaper changing and drop offs and pick ups to school. So that's where the new nanny comes in. We found a woman who id great, gets a long great with the current rugrat and is completely qualified to mind the forth-coming heir to the Charlie Empire. (Well, one man's empire is another man's walk in closet).

3. My last film project is just about ready to go into the final phases of postproduction and then hopefully a sale to a major cable company. Last Girl On Earth has honored me by agreeing to compose the soundtrack for the movie. I can't wait to hear what she comes up with.

4. While I put the finishing touches on RLD I have already began to lay the groundwork for my next film. While it's a bigger project than my last one, I think it will be easier to shoot. After this last movie, I have a whole new respect for people who do large scale war movies. shooting battle scenes is no easy task. give me four guys sitting in a room talking and making jokes any day of the week!!! The good news is the next film will be shot right here in Brooklyn. So I will get to roll out of bed and pretty much be on set in 5 minutes. That should beat the heck out of 16 days in a hotel in Maryland and 30 days away from home.

I am going to try and start writing regularly again. I have been so busy that I haven't really had a chance to be pissed off about what's going on in the world. I think I am ready to start ranting again.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rising above their own limitations...

Finally the Democrats have managed not to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. It looks like they will not just own the HoR but the Senate as well. Let's see how long it takes them to screw this up....

Am i cynical? You bet your ass I am.