Saturday, March 31, 2007

BuboBlog Reviews 'Shooter'

Last night we tried to go to either "The Lookout" or "Blades of Glory," but the times didn't work. So we saw "Shooter" (with Mark Wahlberg) instead.

Um, yeah. Not good. Apparently the producers of the film got confused and made a movie from the 1980s. The villains — especially the Danny Glover character and Ned Beatty as some old senator guy — are pretty ridiculous. I almost expected Mark Wahlberg to have to save a community center or something.

I did enjoy the shots of Philadelphia. And there's lots of good sunglass-wearing moments. Like when a chracter puts on his sunglasses and then walks away in slow motion. I think Mark Wahlberg is better at this than Danny Glover, who apparently thinks sunglasses shouldn't actually go over your ears.

I give it ** asterisks (out of four).

Monday, March 26, 2007

Federal Agents Mad 'Cause... (their building is possibly dangerous)*

So I've been watching them put the finishing touches on the new federal building. It really dominates our whole neighborhood now, and it's exciting to see it finally come together. But I have to say I'm not sure it quite lives up to its potential. It has a clunky quality, and I don't think it's going to age very well (already it seems like they've had to replace some of the outer panels).

The New York Times gave it a pretty glowing endorsement earlier this month (following a similarly positive piece in the Chron). But now it sounds like the elevators might be dangerous. And apparently the eco-friendly building lets in so much natural light that the workers have to wear sunglasses at night inside.

I give it a reluctant thumbs-down.

By the way, I think it's funny that the Times writer called the location a "choice site":
Its 18-story structure rises on a choice site across from the city's imposing federal courthouse, at the seam that divides the densely packed towers of the downtown civic center and financial district to the north, and the more rugged, horizontal landscape of the warehouse district to the south.

I'd say it's definitely a choice site -- if you want to visit a check-cashing store. (It's also kind of a stretch to say the financial district is to the north.)

*Apologies to Biggie.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Least Intimidating College Name Ever

I was excited to hear that Haverford lacrosse beat Gettsyburg College (the No. 2 team in Division III) last weekend. Sadly, the win wasn't enough to nudge Haverford into the Top 20.

As I was examining the rankings, I noticed a school named Villa Julie is 10th (with an undefeated record of 6-0). Um, Villa what? That has to be the most un-badassed name for a college I've ever heard. It's in Maryland, so I feel like I should have heard of it (the Maryland location also makes the "Villa" part all the odder).

UPDATE: BuboBlog correspondent Ellen reports that "Villa Julie is a former all-women's two-year Catholic college....it's a decidedly unintimidating (and really easy to get into, too) college."

UPDATE UPDATE: Haverford is now ranked 16th -- still two behind Villa Julie.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I'm No. 2, Beeyotches!

After months of waiting, I finally have an official page on IMDB.com.

It's not much of a page, and I had to be the (II) of my name, since there was already a (I) (who appears to be only slightly less obscure than I am — you may have seen him in "unknown episodes" of "Fergus McPhail").

Still, this a big step up from my days of e-mailing movie flubs to IMDB and waiting anxiously for them to post them on the site. (Coincidentally, I posted one of these flubs for "Phone Booth," a movie that featured James MacDonald.)

If you want to be even more nauseated, check out my page on Doollee.com, the IMBD for playwrights. (Kelly thinks the picture is a little squashed.)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Conan Coming to S.F.

Hey, so Conan O'Brien is going to be doing a series of shows in late April-early May at the Orpheum Theater -- just a short walk from our apartment. I've already put in a request for tickets. Maybe if everyone else does too, it will increase our chances.

Gay Baby Controversy

I don't really have anything to add to this whole are-babies-born-gay debate, but can't we all at least agree to call gay babies by their clinical name: "gaybies"?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

More 'Fissure' News

Looks like "Fissure" got a brief mention in the Dallas Morning News.

James MacDonald Sighting

Hey, so James MacDonald (the guy who plays Detective Grunning in "Fissure") was in tonight's episode of "Jerico."

I hadn't seen the show before, but I heard he was going to be on so I tuned in. The idea is that there's been a nuclear war and this town in Kansas is struggling to survive in the aftermath. Anyway, Jim plays a marine who shows up in an effort to help the town (or does he?...).

The show seems a bit cheesy to me — kind of like "Northern Exposure," only with nuclear fallout. But Jim did a good job.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

No-No-No-Notorious

Can you believe it's been exactly 10 years since Biggie Smalls' untimely death?

It's odd. Unlike with 2Pac (and Kurt Cobain even), I can't remember where I was exactly when I heard the news that Biggie died. But I do recall feeling like the hip-hop world was crumbling, and I suppose it was -- since the rap game never quite achieved the same glory it had during Pac and Big's heyday.

Oh well...at least now we have Kelis.


UPDATE: I do know where I was when I found out the lead singer of Boston died. (I was here at the computer at two in the morning. Hmmm....maybe I should think of a better story.)

Friday, March 09, 2007

Hot 'Hoods

BusinessWeek has an interesting piece on up-and-coming neighborhoods around the country -- places that are still reasonable, but will soon gentrify.

OK, fine. Some of their choices I can't really judge (Dorchester in Boston...Kingsbridge Heights in the Bronx), but the San Francisco choice is Mission Bay.

Huh? I'm pretty sure this neighborhood is already overpriced, and it's definitely not gentrifying. It was basically demolished and rebuilt into pseudo-loft condos and Starbucks. (And I'm not just saying that because I'm bitter about being priced out of the neighborhood and now get to hear butcher-knife wielding crazies gunned down by police from my bedroom window).

The funny part is, they had a runner-up neighborhood: Tanforan. The Target is an up-and-coming neighborhood?

Fun Fact: In a related story, BusinessWeek reveals the most Bohemian cities in the U.S. -- ones with the most art establishments per capita. Guess what city was No. 1, by a wide margin? (Hint: It's not San Francisco or New York).

'Vial' Photos

My play ran for four nights last week at the Eureka Theater. A big thank-you from BuboBlog LLC to everyone who showed up! I thought it was a decent performance, though maybe not on par with the San Diego show (I think that ensemble had a little more time to prepare).

There was a pretty funny gaffe during the Saturday performance. One of the characters (Josephine) was supposed to throw her drink at another character (Nelson). Note: I didn't write this bit of action, but I thought it was a fine idea. Unfortunately, on that night, she missed Nelson entirely and hit another character (Chet). They played it off okay, but everyone on stage was on the verge of cracking up. (Clueless as I am, I couldn't really tell what had happened — Kelly had to explain it to me.)

Once again, my dad surreptitiously took photos — without permission. They turned out pretty well:











UPDATE: I'm not the kind of person who would link to a favorable review on Yelp.com, am I? Oh wait, yes I am.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Western Mass in the News

Well, now this is odd. I was reading about Matt White, the L.A. Dodgers baseball player who discovered a mineral deposit worth billions on his property.

I just assumed the land was in Texas or Arkansas or someplace like that. But no, it's in Western Massachusetts. In fact, it's in Hampshire County — where I spent my first 12 years. (Well, technically we lived on the border of Franklin and Hampshire counties, but close enough.)

The rock is something called mica schist. This is new to me. Makes you wonder if there was anything valuable buried in our land (aside from numerous deceased pets).

The Big 'D'

Our trip to Texas was my first chance to really explore Dallas. I'm not sure I'd ever want to live there, but it did have its charms — for instance, really big onion rings!


Our first meal was at a roadside BBQ joint called Sonny Bryan's. It was actually pretty good. I had shredded beef on a roll. I like sandwiches where they tell you what you're going to get, and that's all you get.


I have to say, everyone in Dallas was really nice. As we were leaving Sonny Bryan's, the proprietor saw Kelly taking pictures and asked if she wanted him to take our picture in front of the restaurant. I guess we were frightened by his friendliness because Kelly said something like, "I don't like pictures with me in them!" and we peeled out in our rented Cavalier.


Dallas isn't much of a walking town. You pretty much need a car to get anywhere — preferably an SUV. But at least they've embraced their dependence on freeways by painting fancy designs on them!


One night we went to the top of Reunion Tower, where they have one of those revolving lounges — kind of like their version of the Space Needle.


It wasn't all strip-mall dining — Dallas has some cool restaurants. This one was called Tillman's Roadhouse, and it had just been redecorated six weeks earlier. It's in a part of town called the Bishop Arts District, which I gather has a sizable gay community (well, sizable for Dallas).

As we were admiring the decor, we overheard the conversation at an adjacent table and realized that the restaurant's designer was sitting right next to us (along with the owner of the restaurant)! They were both really nice (a recurring theme) and very excited to hear we'd come all the way from San Francisco. The designer then recommended another restaurant for us to go to the next night (which also was great). Some of the other stuff he told us seemed less reliable. For instance, he claimed that the Dallas real-estate market was "crazy" and that houses there all cost $1 million (see this post for evidence to the contrary). He also blamed the decrepitude of Dallas' famous Deep Ellum neighborhood on the 1987 stock market crash. Um, are we still blaming stuff on that? Because we had a whole different crash in 2000, and some people have even forgotten about that.


What kind of hotel has a button on their phones dedicated to pizza — an incredibly awesome hotel that is. Kelly has thwarted my efforts so far to have this button added to our home phone.


The last day we were there it got really windy and the sky turned a peculiar shade of brown. It was a very odd sight, but no one there seemed to make a big deal of it. Apparently this was one of those famous "dust storms." You don't quite get a sense of the freaky sky color from this photo — but at least there are some unhelmeted bikers in the shot (you don't get that in Cali).

'Fissure': Behind the Scenes

Here are the photos from the film set in Dallas.

We were only there for three days, so we didn't get to see all the locations or actors (we missed Barry Corbin -- the guy who was Maurice on "Northern Exposure"). We just got to hang out at the main site (a house in the northern suburbs of Dallas).


This is me holding the clapboard thing -- yes, apparently they still use those. (I didn't get to yell "action" or anything, sadly.)


This is me with the director, Russ. I'm not sure what that white thing is near my crotch. Best not to wonder.


Here is my script in action! Note how several things are crossed out and the word "crap" is written repeatedly in the margins.


This is me in front of the "Fissure" house. (By the way, this house is on the market. Apparently a 3,666-square-foot home in Dallas -- in a nice neighborhood -- costs $510,000.)


Me entering the "Fissure" house. See how I look scared? That's called acting!


On the set: This is a shot of Roger, the movie's murder victim (played by Jim Blumetti).


Roger again. Apparently they shot the film in HD. That meant the makeup artist had to be careful not to lay it on too thick, since you can see everything.


Here's Roger with the lead, Detective Paul Grunning (played by James Macdonald).


This is Rachel, the graduate student with a hidden agenda (played by Crystal Mantecon). She gets killed at the end of the movie, but the actress was very gracious about it. She had everyone on the set sign her blood-soaked blouse.


As they shot the movie, we'd sit in a different room watching everything on a monitor. Yes, they did have directors chairs and they were surprisingly comfortable. The woman next to me is Loretta, the script supervisor. She watched everything to make sure there were no logic problems or continuity errors -- i.e., if someone puts a glass down in a certain place in one shot, the glass should be in the same place in the next shot. Fun!


Here's me with the lead actor. He was really good -- and a really nice guy too. Had lots of fun stories about all the guest appearances he's had on TV shows. You've probably seen him before and just didn't realize it. Hopefully he's going places because he deserves it.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Compact: Earth Not Saved

Well, it's March now and so we're done with our month of not buying anything new.

I'd say it was a partial success -- we tripped up a bit when we were in Texas. Kelly's camera battery died and we went to Best Buy to get a new one. Oh well. Maybe we'll try this again next February.

On the plus side, I didn't buy any new underwear.

Question

Okay, I'm a little late to the story, but did everyone see this piece about Quaker Bouncers in the Philadelphia Inquirer?

You know what's cooler than Quaker Bouncers?