And now that I know what that sound is, it's almost blood-curdling. They sound so excited, but in such a violent way...
Death to the coyotes!
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Last night, I went with my dear friends Jen, Rob and Patrick to see David Lynch's "Inland Empire." I'm a huge Lynch fan, and I love every one of his movies. So it didn't really bother me that this one was almost 4 hours, shot on video, and probably didn't make much sense to most people. However, it also didn't make much sense to ME, which is new for a David Lynch film. "Mulholland Drive," while many people wrote it off, I thought was fantastic, extremely coherent, and I absolutely loved it. This? Not so much.
Anyway, that's not the point. I was sitting alone, with six empty seats to my right, when some guy asked if he could sit near me. I said that my friends were going to sit there. He challenged back, "how many seats?" I said "all of them." I knew at least three people were coming, but didn't know how many people they were bringing with them (they usually bring a few friends too). So I figured I should save them all. There were plenty of seats available in the rows in front of me. But he went further back in the theater. It was then brought to my attention (by everyone around me) that the man I just told to go away, was none other than some villain guy on "Lost." Now, I don't watch "Lost," so I don't really care, and I definitely don't think I should have to let him sit near me just cause he's semi-famous.
I think celebrity, in and of itself, is a silly thing to get excited about. One time, I saw Jeremy Piven and Johnny Knoxville at the 101 Cafe, and they just looked like some people who should've showered that morning. If I ever encounter Cameron Diaz, I won't even blink.
However, when I see someone who's art inspires me, someone I respect...I totally geek out. Nicole totally does it too. This happened the time I saw Jon Brion outside Tribune. The two times she saw Aimee Mann outside Starbucks. When she saw Helena Bonham Carter in Venice. And when she saw Mark Ruffalo at The Coffee Bean. We've had some good ones. And in those moments, we become blathering idiots.
Cut to: 10 minutes later. My friends have arrived. They're all seated, (all three of them -- I felt bad, cause Mr. Lost Villain could plainly see from his seat a few rows back that he could've sat in our row), and I have a little celebrity sighting of my own. The geek-out kind. Across the way, I see one of my favorite actresses working today: Tina Holmes.
I whisper/shriek to everyone, "Tina Holmes! Tina Holmes!"
And they're all like, "Who?!"
I say "Over there! You know, Maggie from Six Feet Under?"
"We don't really watch Six Feet Under."
I prod, "She was amazing in Keane? You know?"
The guy in front of me says, "She was in Half Nelson."
Everybody goes, "Oh, her."
Anyway, she's totally pregnant, and she looks amazing, and she's with her man. And they're advocating that I go up and talk to her.
Here's where I slam on the brakes. I don't accost celebrities. I'm already totally geeking out, like a blathering idiot, and the last thing this poor pregnant woman and her man, who are just waiting to sit in the dark and watch a weird David Lynch home movie, need to experience.
What would I say anyway? "Hi Tina, you don't know me, but I just love your work...blah blah blah, cliche cliche, I just wanted to waste a little of your time, and make you hate going out in public even more! How'd I do?"
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
I am officially nominating "Lip Gloss" by Lil' Mama for the Worst Song Ever Award.
As it plays, I feel my brain cells die. It is a plague on humanity.
I'm glad you like lip gloss, Lil' Mama. I'm glad it's kewl. I'm glad it be poppin'. Hopefully, one day you'll work in a cosmetics store instead of further polluting our dumbed-down radio stations.
The only small consolation re: this song is that it most likely took under 20 minutes to write, program and record.
Monday, June 25, 2007
After what's been going on around here lately, I decided to read up on coyotes - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coyote. This was interesting:
"In rural areas, coyotes will respond to human calls. This is most often after the coyotes have started a howling session. Playing a recorded wolf howl will make them stop for up to an hour before they start in again, probably because wolves prey upon coyotes."
They have howling sessions? So I guess I just need some recorded wolf howls and a boombox. Or maybe I can scrounge up some actual wolves.
"On April 3, 2007, a coyote wandered through the propped-open door of a Quiznos submarine sandwich shop in downtown Chicago. Animal control officers removed the coyote about an hour after it first entered the shop."
It just chilled in Quiznos for an hour?
"...Attacks on children and adults, once rare, appear to be on the increase. There were 89 verified coyote attacks on humans (55% on adults, 45% on children) in California from 1978-2003. One or more people were injured in 56 of these attacks. They found a clear pattern of behavioral changes in coyotes in the lead-up to attacks, including increased sightings around homes (an indication that the coyote has lost its fear of people) and predatory interactions (e.g. attacks on pets during daylight, chasing of joggers and bicyclists, and stalking of children's play areas - these behaviours have often been associated to people feeding them). The most serious attacks were on small children: when coyotes become habituated to people, they view children as potential prey and a running child is likely to elicit orientation and attack behaviors.
Coyotes are generally wary of humans and are easily frightened by loud noises."Next time I see one, I'm gonna flail and scream like a little girl.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Since Nicole's been gone, I've been trying to catch up on all the horror movies I can't usually watch. That's been fun, and I really don't get scared when I watch them. The only scary part of my night is the short walk from the studio back into the house, through the backyard, and that's only because the motion light doesn't always come on.
Well, a week ago, I was making that short walk, and I heard some rustling in my next door neighbor's backyard. So I walked quickly and closed the door to the house behind me. A few minutes later I heard this awful sound that Nicole and I have heard several times before: a cacophony of dogs fighting like their lives depended on it. It sounds like gang warfare, and this happens every couple weeks or so. I did what I usually do: I opened the door and screamed "HEY!"
Instant silence. Followed by the sound of fast rustling, like they all scattered back to their homes.
This is all normal.
I got ready for bed, brushed my teeth, had some crackers (yes, in that order), and on my way to the bedroom, I noticed that the motion light was still on.
This was not normal. Of course, I had just finishing watching The Descent, a delightfully creepy movie (see it if you haven't!), so I was only slightly expecting there to be some sort of goopy creature in my backyard. I walked to the backdoor and moved the curtain. I stared out the window at the well-lit sidewalk. Nothing.
Some more nothing.
Then suddenly, a lurching fuzzy animal stalked past the door. And then another. They were together. And they were disgusting.
Coyotes. In my yard.
I had only seen a coyote once before, crossing my street in the night from a bit of a distance. Nicole saw it too. But never in our yard. I thought I'd closed the gate...
So flash forward to a couple days ago. I was talking to my friend Samantha Murphy about these coyotes. She said that we have a real problem with these things in our neighborhood. Apparently they eat small animals...WHOLE. Like, for instance, cats, small dogs, etc.
She said she was walking down our street and saw a poster for a missing Maltese dog, and she thought to herself..."well, I'm sure it's gone now."
This was all news to me.
Flash forward again to today. A few minutes ago. My neighbor Susie stops over. Very sweet woman. She made Noah a blanket and wanted to bring it.
Also, she wanted to warn me. She thinks some coyotes have taken up residence in my next-door neighbor's backyard, possibly under the house. She restated that they eat small dogs...except pugs. Pugs have too-big heads for them to eat. So they sever the head, and take the body.
And yeah, they eat cats... Oh, also -- babies. She says that they will attack a baby in a stroller, with an adult present. They're bold like that. She thinks I should make sure we never leave Noah in the backyard in a swing or something. I agree.
That night a week ago, I did close the gate. She says they can scale six-foot walls.
Apparently, since that big fire at Griffith Park that burned over 800 acres, they're left without food or shelter, so they've moved out into the streets of Hollywood. And they're pissed. They've lost all their manners and gotten extremely bold. Susie says, "when you hear those dogs freaking out, they're not fighting. They're either scared because they hear the coyotes, or one of their friends is being eaten.
I think Noah will be an indoor baby. We're raising a shut-in. Any objections?
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
The new Google Reader just came out, and it's amazing. Score one more for them. Between the new Google Streets, this very blog site, Picasa, their search engine, and about fifty bazillion other applications which are all conveniently integrated, I'm a little worried about what this might mean for us. "Google Barnes & Noble"? "Google American Idol"? (Digression - this is nearly as bad as "The Starter Wife Presented by Ponds." It's one thing to try and get your show sponsored. Yay for getting funding. But when your show's title has to share screen space with your sponsor's name during the opening credits, it's time for a less greedy sponsor. Digression over.) People don't even say "do an internet search" anymore. They say "go Google it."
I'm very happy for the Google geeks who are rolling in money in their fat glorious hilltop mansions. (What do they even do with all that money? Buy a lifetime subscription to World of Warcraft? Snatch up all the rare Daredevil comics?) I just hope they know when to stop.
Google used to keep our internet search information till the end of time. I hear they just made a decision (after much urging from outside sources) to stop that. Now they only keep it for about 18 months. Why do they even need this info? It just seems like we're giving them a lot of authority here.
One day, they will create Googlebots who will end us.
Friday, June 8, 2007
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Last week, I had a lot of work to do for a client I was producing, and poor Nicole had to take care of Noah pretty much day and night for a few days. Noah is a heavy little baby, so eventually she threw her back out. She had to lay in bed until she recovered. So then, I had to take care of Noah and Nicole pretty much day and night for a few days. So eventually, I threw my back out as well.
Here we were: two invalids and a baby.
We were already planning a trip up to Washington state in July, where Nic's Mom, Debi, was going to help us get Noah on a schedule. So we made the unfortunate decision to send Nic and Noah up early. They left last Wednesday. I have a lot of work this month, so I can't join them until July.
Which means, I'm at home all alone, missing my sweeties. I talk to Nic multiple times a day, where I get updates on all the cute new things Noah's doing ("he's smiling more now, and on purpose!"), but it's not the same as being there. Hopefully this will be a fast month.
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
My dear friend Andrea Stolpe has just released her new CD, "Breaking Even." It's beautiful, literate and mindblowing. I've been listening to it nonstop for the past few days. I wholeheartedly recommend you go check it out. I'm so excited about this album, and I can't wait to see what she does next.
She's had songs cut by Faith Hill, Josh Gracin and many other high-profile acts, as well as literally writing the book on songwriting (just published!).
She opened for me at my CD Release Show last April. If you live in the Nashville area, her CD Release Show is this Thursday, June 7 at 6pm. Details here.