Birthday

50. Today. Let that sink in.

When I was a teenager, I couldn’t imagine being here. I expected both so much, and so little from my life. What I never expected is what it actually is. I suspect this is true for most people.

My last post, over a year ago, was after our first week of filming on Diminuendo. That film is now finished, and as we seek out worthwhile distribution (a task largely shepherded by others), I’ve had to begin thinking about what comes next. And so, as I wobble into my fifties, I have a stronger desire than ever to keep working.

Of course, most projects begin on the page, my great nemesis. I despise writing, and yet I have so much of it to do if Diminuendo is going to be a foundation rather than a ceiling. As a result, I’m stealing a page from my friend Ben Hoffman’s book. Once, when Ben found himself at a crossroads of fierce transition and a loss of direction, he dedicated himself to Project One, a photography website. Ben swore that he would make one piece of art every day, no matter what else occurred.

And he did.

I’m not reaching for art; I’m just going to write. It might be a rant, a review, a single, wayward thought, but every day for the next year, I’m going to post something, and force myself to put metaphorical pen to paper.

Bob help us all.

Today was my 44th birthday. Having not written here for nearly a year, it seemed as likely an event to warrant climbing back into the blog saddle as any.

It wasn’t a splendid day. In fact, without sounding too emo, I considered suicide more seriously tonight than I have in decades. I won’t do it, of course. After a certain age, willfully kicking off while all your parts still work just seems foolish. But tonight, the concept held the kind of peaceful allure it hasn’t had since I was a teenager. Tonight, an end seems fantastically desirable.

I’m not sour because I’m a year older; big fucking deal. By the time my actual age catches up to how old I feel, It’ll be well past time for me to go. No, it’s simply life. I’m fantastically broke, and day after day, prospects vanish like dreams at dawn. Contingency plans give way to furtive hopes, and there never seems to be a break on the horizon.

Creatively, I’ve been working for the last several days on a great gig. I’m the DP of a mainstream thriller that has the potential to lead to more real-world work. It’s been refreshing to shoot for a director who appreciates my skill. But, without telling tales, today the entire job went very, very sour, and the director and I are now sitting in a bucket filled with broken glass unsure of how to climb out.

It’s on the personal level, though, that things really fall apart. I moved into a new loft which requires more work than I can possibly complete. I had to put my favorite cat, Basil, to sleep. And day after day I feel utterly alone. The women I want either don’t want me, are already taken, or are unavailable for some other reason. One really fantastic girl told me, “I figured out why I can’t date you. It’s because I’m afraid it might work.”

As the kids say, fuck my life.

I do have friends. Some good, some annoying, some great. One of my best friends is a girl hopelessly in love with me whom I keep at arm’s reach because I can’t reciprocate.

This, dear reader, was NOT the plan.

 

Being a huge Douglas Adams fan, I somehow imagined that 42 would be a great year. I thought, at the very least, I would come away a little wiser. Of course, I imagine Douglas himself thought his 50th birthday would be a pretty big celebration as well.

The truth, as always, was a bit more grounded in reality than my expectations. I had considered a bullet-point list of all the ways in which November ’09 – until today sucked donkey balls, but that just seems self-indulgent. Let me simply state, for the record, that it was the worst year of my adult life.

In fact, to even come close, you have to dig down into some of the major life trauma from my teen years, and I think I speak for all of us when I say we want to do that like we want to… well… suck donkey balls.

Of all Douglas Adams’ characters, I’ve always felt the strongest kinship with Marvin, both in outlook and demeanor. It was a satisfying moment in So Long and Thanks for All the Fish when Arthur and Fenchurch take the aging android to see God’s final message to His creation, written in fifty-foot-high letters of fire on the side of the Quentulus Quazgar Mountains. The message reads, “We Apologize for the Inconvenience.”

Upon reading the words, Marvin utters his only positive sentiment in the entire series. “I think,” he says, “I feel good about it,” and he dies. When I read that, my reaction was, Yes. That’s it. That is the way life works.

So I’m not entirely unprepared, emotionally, for years like this.

However, while I’d rather watch Lost again than re-live the last year, there were some highlights. I met Mischief, and she’s flat-out terrific. I produced a movie, Kiss of the Strangler, which I’m very proud of (although it’s technically not finished yet, and hasn’t been released), and I, uh… well… I’ve got a lot more room in my closet!

In honor of saying goodbye to 42, there’s a brand new podcast from Rob Burnett and myself at our new site, MoreHumanPodcast.com. Go. See.

I’m oh-so-cautiously optimistic that things are looking better for 43. Hot Video seems to want another movie. I’ve gone into business with an old nemesis, and so far that seems to be working well. I’m not starving. Today. And neither are the cats. And for the moment, we have a roof and a bed.

So 42 has come and gone.

And the rest is silence.

So, Kylie & I are two of the most anti-social people you’re never likely to meet. Will Rogers famously said “I never met a man I didn’t like.” Well, Will Rogers was an asshole, and fuck him, too. We have parties about once every… uhm… well, never, actually.

We used to host orgies, but got tired of them because we never got to play. We were too busy spending 14 hours playing host instead. Every time we had an orgy everyone would tell us what a fantastic time they had while we just felt… tired.

Last year our friend Kari asked if she could have her birthday party at our place as a gift, since we have a big loft and a dungeon and our place is essentially the pervert’s answer to Chuck E. Cheese (this assumes that you understand the essential deductive implication that, while all pedophiles are perverts, not all perverts are pedophiles… the pedophile’s answer to Chuck E. Cheese is Chuck E. Cheese).

It was fun. Even though it wasn’t an orgy, a lot of people got naked, a lot of people got laid, a lot of people had orgasms and got spankings and when we were cleaning up at 6 a.m., an hour after the last girl had climbed off the Sybian, we were tired, but it was worth it.

So, when Kari asked us to do it again this year, we said “sure.” We invited a bunch of our civilian friends (most of whom came, thank you) and a bunch of our porn friends (most of whom didn’t, fuck you). Kari invited most of her same crew from last year, including the delicious Renee who did a fire dance, and two of her friends with bands. The first was her S.O. Frank, who, with his partner, makes up a band called MasterSlave.

I don’t actually get along with Frank, but it’s nothing personal… we just rub each other the wrong way. His band is actually quite good, though they were (yes, I’m old) too loud within the confines of our warehouse, so I had to listen from outside. (Stop that laughing!)

The other band that was playing was led by this asshole. He was the big floating turd in the party punchbowl; the spolied green cherry on top of a shit sundae. Horace came in with his snotty little entourage of snotty little artfags (understand that I couldn’t care less about your orientation… in high school, I was a drama fag and I’m straight) and proceeded to treat out place — our home — like it was a punk club.

He rolled his eyes at me and huffed when he realized I wasn’t going to help him load in his gear (I’m the fucking host! I’m talking to fucking guests!). His posse — more of a passé, really — of 10 ‘tards or so, showed up to a one empty-fucking-handed, and then started to get shitfaced on the booze everyone else brought, and kept their shitty attitudes right up front like a bitchy little badge of honor.

When we discovered that a bottle had gotten smashed on the concrete floor in front of Horace, where he was singing, I decided to sweep most of it up because it was getting ground into the floor and, y’know, we have NAKED people here on a regular basis. As I was sweeping up glass, trying to stay out from in front of Horace’s set, two of his fucktards came over to slam into me, I’m sure because I was in the way of their bleached-blond buffoon-in-charge.

I didn’t want to ruin Kari’s birthday, so I restrained myself from starting a fight, even after more unacceptable shit happened later. But Horace, someday, I’m gonna meet you after a show and beat you fucking bloody as payback for the salsa stunt. That’s a promise.

The moral of the story is that we don’t have parties often, and when we do, we remember why we don’t. So the next time we invite you to a bash out our place, you best get your perky li’l ass up off the couch and get down here ‘cuz you never know. It might be your last chance.

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Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, “Where have I gone wrong?”
Then a voice says to me, “This is going to take more than one night.”
— Charles M. Schulz