Mischief

I got up at 5 am Friday morning to head to Comic-Con before traffic got horrendous. My plan was to get to San Diego, find parking, grab breakfast and have time to prowl the exhibit hall for most of the day. And it worked. The drive was relatively painless, and I only had to wait in line for half an hour to get a breakfast sandwich at Subway.

I should interject here that I am one of those people who thinks Comic-Con has completely outgrown its fishbowl, and continuing to have it in San Diego is a disservice to the fans it claims to cater to. Of course, having to wait 45 minutes to pay $19 for a cheeseburger will do that to you… but that’s a blog for another day.

The fact is, I’m not a very good geek. I don’t care about meeting comic book writers or artists. I’m unconcerned with how the LGBT community is portrayed in genre fiction. I don’t want to know how to cosplay any Buffy characters. During a normal SDCC trip, I spend the majority of my time prowling the exhibit hall anyway. I just don’t have the patience to wait for hours to get into the ballroom or hall H to see 5 minutes of a film that isn’t coming out for a year, or listen to Shane Black answering questions only a fan would ask (i.e., retarded ones). Watching all this going on around me, I decided Comic-Con is just Burning Man for people who read books.

I would have skipped it completely, but this year I had two reasons for going. The first was to make face-to-face contact with as many steampunk craftspeople as possible to source props and costumes for the short I keep mentioning, and in that regard, I was very successful. The second was to attend the screening of Natural 20, a short made by my friends John & Brusta, which was screening in the SDCC Film Festival. That went very well, and they won best humor short.

Not the worst Black Widow at Comic-Con. By far.

As it happened, this was my first time being at SDCC by myself, and it was a fairly lonely experience. I would see something cool or interesting, and had no one to discuss it. Two years ago, Comic-Con was all unfortunate mother/daughter Silk Spectre teams, which Mischief & I mocked mercilessly. Last year, it was bad Baronesses. This year was a plethora of embarrassing Black Widows and Harley Quinns, and I couldn’t share the pain. Tweeting “Huh. Batman is 5’2″ and fat. Who knew?” just isn’t the same thing as getting to say it in the moment.

Since I had a spare professional guest badge, I had originally planned for D to come down with me for the day, but our mutual poor communication skills fucked it up. Then, when she realized I was there alone, Vega began threatening to come down and join me which wasn’t going to happen. Again, too high-maintenance for Comic-Con, and I wasn’t about to add that stress. So we text-fought over that for a few hours while I walked the halls.

Alice & 50 Baht arrived that night. I met them for dinner after the Natural 20 screening, gave them my badges so they could spend Saturday & Sunday at the con, and headed home.

I spent most of the weekend editing a piece I shot for a pay-per-view channel, although I did get talked into going to Vega’s house Sunday night… See this conversation to figure out how that happened. We didn’t end up making a screening of Savages, so Vega got to sit through Prometheus, which she hadn’t seen, with a butt plug about the size of a coke can stuffed in her. Scary movies get her excited anyway; as a result, I don’t think she could even tell you what happened in the movie.

When I got up to leave around 3 am, she kept her promise and didn’t say a word about me staying. Tonight, I turned down a cooked meal to work, and I don’t know when I have a free night to see her again. I have plans Wednesday, I’m doing the Dark Knight marathon Thursday, seeing Blue Friday, and covering the Urban X Awards Saturday.

In the meantime, I had several ideas for Cowboys & Engines on the drive to SD. The more progress we make, the more excited I get about this thing.

For those who don’t get the reference, it’s from Star Trek. A “dunsel” is a part which serves no useful purpose.

As I near the end of my interminable, self-imposed exile in the wilds of Alabama, I’ve been reflecting on my life. Being on the wrong side of forty, this tends to happen more often than it should. Contemplating the accumulated consequence of my life’s work to date, the words “insignificant,” “trivial,” and “irrelevant” come to mind.

As a filmmaker, my career consists of bad, unfinished, or embarrassing mainstream films, and a laundry list of inconsequential porn films. My career as an actor stalled years ago. As a writer, well… I write a lot of porn scripts. Case closed.

As a person, I’m not doing much better. I recently had another girl I was banging (that’s five in two years for those of you playing the home game) decide to stop seeing me because she was falling for me. In this particular girl’s case, I would never have dated her. But the two previous girls who made this same decision were absolutely girls I would date, so it isn’t a commitment issue, at least on my part. Apparently, the consensus is I’m just unworthy of affection. It’s like a scarlet letter, but in reverse.

That might be the worst analogy ever coined in the English language. But you take my point.

To make matters worse, lately I’ve been a truly miserable fuck. Yes, I’m always bitter and angry, but this has been bad. I’ve been avoiding contact with my friends as much as possible because I don’t want to inflict myself on them. Alice has made a creditable attempt at reaching out, but I know I’ve been driving her insane. And Mischief, if she understood me better, would do anything to make me happy, but I would never let her because she’s supposed to be gaining distance from me.

Until very recently I was actually formulating a plan to simply vanish when the Alabama job was finished, starting a new life under a new name (don’t ask how… I have my ways) and beginning again. Except for cats, and several girls who don’t want to fuck me lest they catch a bad case of the Bryn, there is very little tying me to L.A.

I think the idea sprouted out of the hurt stemming from this (seemingly) constant rejection of me as both a worthy companion (whether I want to be or not), and the more recent, implicit, rejection of my worth on a professional level. I got replaced as the DP on two porn gigs a few weeks ago, and not only did the shoots go smoothly, several people were genuinely relieved to be rid of me.

Given my current mindset, it was an easy leap to make from there to just removing myself from the entire equation, because the fact is, I really wouldn’t be missed. Not for long. I’m not being melodramatic, I’m being logical. People adapt, and move on.

K has her own life and a budding career as an artist. Hollywood, like me, is a pragmatist, and after some initial angst, would conclude it was my decision to make. Alice would feel obligated to miss me, but it would pass pretty quickly (I’d like to think her feelings wouldn’t become actual relief, but it’s possible). Red recently told me to go fuck myself. Blue and D and the rest would mentally shrug and get on with life, as would my old friends and exes. Mischief would be more crushed by my disappearance than anyone, but frankly, my absence would be the best thing for her.

But I can’t. As tantalizing as the notion of running away from home is, I can’t bring myself to do it. It’s cowardly. It also wouldn’t solve anything; as I said to Alice, my biggest problem is myself, and I’d just be schlepping that around with me.

So, instead, I’m going to not give up.

Here’s the new plan: Unpack in my “new” apartment and make a fucking life there. Focus on the steampunk short, Cowboys & Engines, I’m going to be doing at the end of the summer with CM50 (a moviemaking colleague) producing, which is something I’m really excited about. I’ve got lines on getting both The Blood of Virgins and Director’s Cut off the ground that I’m going to pursue. I’m hoping REDACTED, the micro-budget horror film I shot last November, will open some mainstream doors. I’m going to start submitting to auditions again. And I’m going to re-establish myself as a porn director, because that chapter of my life has been pretty good to me, and I need to begin respecting it.

In short, I’m going to try… try… to be happy. It’s not my best talent, but I’m gonna have a lash at it anyway.

And maybe, along the way, I’ll find some filthy little hooker who likes dirty old men. And maybe she’ll want to hang around for a while.

Just a thought.

To Captain Dunsel.

It’s  4 a.m. and I just got home about 20 minutes ago. I left for work at 8:45 this morning. This is all in the nature of the business I’m in. In fact, it isn’t even unusual.

I started the day shooting camera on two scenes for Ben. The first was a young girl who’d done very few scenes who was sweet, but as boring as boring can be. The second girl was doing her first scene ever and, really, performed like a champ.

Afterwards, I went to shoot on Punk Rock Schoolgirls for Joanna Angel and James Deen. Joanna writes rally cute, funny scripts for her movies, but sometimes they’re a bit… overambitious. As the oldest warhorse on the set (I’ve got five years on the next oldest person, and 11 years more experience in porn), I had the unenviable task of pulling James & Joanna aside and suggesting that they weren’t going to make their day.

In the past, Joanna has always gotten lucky and pulled off the impossible. This time it just wasn’t going to happen. So, the plug got pulled with one incredibly intricate dialogue scene to be picked up at some later date.

For all that the populace at large things porn is an enormous fuck-off job, I often think there are no harder working people in the world than porn shooters.

Tomorrow I’m going to run errands and spend the evening with Mischief and some of her friends. It’s good because I’ve been feeling incredibly anti-social lately, I think as a reaction to being so overwhelmed by work and debt (strange combination). She forces me to get out in the world.

For my birthday she took me to a big cat preserve, ironically located right next door to the Tropic Desert Mine where we shot The 8th Day, so I was already aware of the place. It was a great day out, spent mostly in the company of animals (whom I largely prefer to people).

Rape of the Aboriginal Americans day and most of this coming weekend will be spent at the computer, working. Indulging my misanthropic nature.

My fingers are stiff from too many long days in a row, so for now let me just say eat some dead turkey in honor of a dead Indian and enjoy your Thanksgiving.

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.

Hey there, Mischief here.

By now, you might be wondering where Bryn has gone off to.  A safari in Africa, perhaps?  A month of back-packing across Europe?  Maybe a guided tour of southeast China?  So busy sleeping with a 26 year-old goth-biscuit, he just can’t find the time to pop in to let you all know where he is?

None of those are true (sadly).  What he has been doing is shopping around for that perfect RV.

You know, “Recreational Vehicle”.

See, after the carbon-dating results came back from the lab, Bryn realized he was way past the standard retirement age.  So he’s decided to spend the remainder of his diminishing twilight years touring the massive spread of America’s greatest RV parks.

One would think that this endeavor would not be so time-consuming, but he has been absolutely devoted to this goal.  After all, we are talking about his last few years on the planet, and he wants to be in the lap of fuel-guzzling luxury.

Anyway, while he’s away, I’ve been charged with the task of putting together a small blog to let you all know that he is still alive, still kicking (twitching, really), and full of the usual fire and Bryn-stone.

(Am I that lame?  Oh, yes, I totally am.)

(I still can’t believe I just did that.  We now need to have a moment of silence to mourn the passing of my writer’s dignity.)

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.

.

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(Christ.  OK, moving on.)

So, this weekend we are going to be strolling our way up to San Francisco to catch “Wicked” before it moves to the acoustically-dreaded Orange County Performing Arts Center.  I’m a little worried about Bryn’s prosthetic hip and the hills, but I’m sure with my youth and his… er.., yes, with my youth, we’ll make it through.  Worst case scenario, I’ll buy one of those little red wagons and drag him around like a hyperactive puppy.

A very hyperactive puppy.  Those hills are goddamned steep.

We’ll be back on Sunday for Bryn’s pool aerobics class, probably swing through Gilroy and feast ourselves on enough garlic to keep the both of us sated for the next couple days.  It should be a good time.

And Bryn will eventually be back, once he picks out his RV and gets the cats situated.  Just give him another week or two.

Though, with that hip, it might take a little longer…

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It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets. — Voltaire