Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day 133: Some Missions Accomplished

First I would like to give a shout out to my loyal reader (and most regular commenter) Rob "The Tusk" Toscano. Thank you Rob. Shame on the rest of you.

Two major bits of unfinished business taken care of.

One, I finished the Merlin Trilogy. I started reading this book nearly 6 years ago. Done. Satisfied? Not entirely. See, this book (like the Steinbeck version) doesn't follow Camelot to it's inevitable fall. The story ends as Merlin's part in it ends. I guess I'll have to read a different version to get the whole story. I am going to go back to where this all began in 1996 with T.H. White's "The Once & Future King".

Two, I went to Chile! I skied in the middle of August. It was awesome. This was actually a graduation present; it just took 3 years to get it together.

Finally I started on a major bit of unfinished business. You might even say its as old as I am. My name, spelt C-O-N-O-R, comes from Elon Uris' novel "Trinity". Both my parents have obviously read this book, I have not. I'm about halfway through and loving it. I think it has epic mini-series written all over it. My namesake has thus far not been a disappointment.

That's all I've got for now. More wit and fun stuff to follow.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dia Cien Diecicinco: Spanish Level 2

I cleverly disguised the fact that I haven't updated in 2 weeks by writing the days in Spanish. No one will ever know.

I have finished Level 2 of Latin American Spanish using the Rosetta Stone software! I assume that this works like a slower version of the hole in the back of the head stuff in The Matrix and I will be entirely fluent by the time I finish level 3. Wishful thinking?

One of the main differences between the Spanish spoken in Spain and the Spanish spoken in Latin America is that in Latin America they don't use the "vosotros" form, so we didn't learn it in high school and the Rosetta Stone doesn't teach it. But, in Chile they DO use a form of the vosotros in informal conversation. Fun!

I have 9 days before I leave. There are 4 units in Level 3 (the final level!). Can I do it? Probably not.

BTW cross another movie off the AFI List: The Gold Rush. Chaplin is great.

And just cause its been a while. Here's Bill Pullman.... IN SPANISH:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day 100: Triple Digits.

Day 100. Really. Really? Damn. I have nothing to say.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Day 99: King Arthur

This one stretches back quite a while. I was a big King Arthur fan as a kid. I guess mostly I liked the Disney movie and magical swords. Sometime back in 5th grade or so I started reading T.H. White's "The Once and Future King" which was the basis for the Disney movie "The Sword in the Stone". I never finished it. In fairness, its actually 4 books complied into a single volume. I read at least 2.

There are other versions of the Arthurian legend, many of which I have picked up and read part of. I finished one. John Steinbeck's "The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Nights". Apparently Steinbeck died before he finished his version. My 10th grade British Lit teacher failed to tell us this before we came to the abrupt end. I am pretty sure Mrs. Richards hadn't read the book before and had no idea. To make a long story short (too late!) I have never read to the end of the Arthurian legend. In my head Camelot never fell (or something like that).

This is particularly sad considering some of my other unfinished business. My unfinished screenplay (the one I started back in high school) was to be based around the Arthurian legend. So without further ado, I will finish the nearest version of the King Arthur Legend: Mary Stewart's "Merlin Trilogy".

Like "The Once and Future King", this is actually several books compiled into a single volume. I have finished 2 out of 3. I made it as far as 625 pages out of 914, a few pages in to the 3rd book. Time me. (or on second thought, the last book too embarrassingly long; don't time me.)

Official Stats

Pages Read: 625
To Go: 293 (I am sliding back a few pages to start at the start of the final "book")

Wish me luck.

Day 98: Mission Accomplished (Part 1 of Many)

Yes Dear Readers, I have been avoiding you. And why shouldn't I? Its pretty embarrassing that it took me over 2 weeks to read 214 pages. This is among the many reasons I was not an English major. But you know what I quite enjoyed the book.

I just finished "Pride and Prejudice and Zombie" (for those of you who can't remember which book I was halfway done with 2 weeks ago). Its just as much fun as it sounds. What the title fails to tell you is that there are also ninjas. It is just as laugh out loud funny as it sounds. What is perhaps most amazing is how well martial arts battles against hordes of the undead fit perfectly into Jane Austen's Britain.

New book to be announced tomorrow (or really today if you look at the ungodly hour of this post). I think its only going to get more difficult from here.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day 96: I've Been Busy

Okay? So get off my back.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Day 92: Steady as she goes

Got a job interview. Won't jinx it by posting the details in cyberspace.

12 left to go in the AFI list.

Still 147 pages left in 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies"

Sorry folks. That's all I got.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Day 91: The AFI 100

Back in 1997, the American Film Institute put out their list of the top 100 American Films. At the time I had seen 14. I started watching quite a few that summer. Mind you, this was before the days of DVDs and laptop computers, so I once ended up with a 20 pound tv/vcr combo on my knees in bed at 4 am watching A Clockwork Orange. That was traumatizing.

This constitutes a major piece of unfinished business. It was this list that first set me on the path to film school (and consequentially to unemployment and this blog? Trippy). Of course it also led me to discover David Lynch, Kurosawa, French New Wave, Cinema Verte and all sorts of pompous stuff. But enough of those distractions! It's time to finish what I began back in '97.

I have 13 left to go.

First up on the Netflix Queue is perhaps the most glaring omission: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

P.S. Wuthering Heights (1939) is not available on Netflix. If anyone happens to own this movie, let me know.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Day 89: (In)dependence Day. (Posted 48 hours late!)

Its the 4th of July. I'm blogging on the weekend and a holiday. (Not really I wrote this days ago and am just posting this now to look cool -- it didn't work did it?)

Alas, another Independence Day has gone by and my own independence seems just out of reach. I am still on a limited from of what I and my sister like to call Welterfare.

Welterfare is TOO big to fail.

I don't want anyone to worry. As far as I know there is no danger of this. But if the time comes for a government bailout, I want this to be the CW* already.

*CW in the political blogs means "conventional wisdom". On the TV blogs it is the 5th place network behind even NBC, that destroyed and then canceled Veronica Mars. You'll have to use contextual clues to figure out which meaning I am using.

I don't collect much in Welterfare these days -- though I guess my unemployment benefits do still come from them indirectly (see day 17). But getting off Welterfare is my bit of unfinished business to focus on for the day.

I'd also like the give the US of A a shout out this 4th of July for taking care of a bit of unfinished business and electing a black man to the highest office.

In all sappy seriousness, the collision of this revamped blog and Independence Day brings to mind the preamble to the Constitution. "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union..." It seems that this 233 year old experiment in democracy is one big unfinished work. (the constitution itself was a redo). So my preachy call to all of you is get and/or stay engaged and we can keep striving for a more perfect union.

Oh. And here's some Bill Pullman:

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 87: Rosetta Stone

Para el navidad, recibia la programa Rosetta Stone para estudiar el espanol.

As you can see from the above sentence. I failed. I made it through level one, and most of the way through level 2.

But no worries, I can get right back on that caballo again.

I may or may not be going the Chile in 5 weeks, so lets learn some Spanish!

Expect updates in god awful Spanish when I finish level 2.

Day 86: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

The first unfinished book on the list is the Jane Austen classic, but with zombies. I am currently on page 105 of 319. This should be an easy one to check off the list. A comedy of manners with zombies, it's a page turner. This one's cheating a little. I didn't ever stop reading it; it's just the most recent book I picked up and it needs finishing before I move on.

Official Stats:

Pages Read: 105
Pages To Go: 214 (picking up right where I left off)
First Started: 6/22/09

Time how long it takes me to finish!

Oh, and I finished off my bottle of Jack Daniels. It only had a little left, and it needed finishing.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Day 85: Unfinished Business

I've returned dear readers, if I still have readers, if I ever had readers.

Bad blogger! 2 whole months without a post. Well I have returned with new resolve. First on the agenda is unfinished business. Here is Bill Pullman to explain:

Okay, I couldn't find the clip I was looking for, but you know the one I mean. With Bill Pullman explaining how ghosts need to resolve their unfinished business to crossover to the other side.

Don't worry; I'm not dead. But I do feel Karmically its best if I resolve a few things, and maybe, just maybe it will lead me to my job. First on my list is this blog. Sure a blogger's work is never done. How can I say that the blog is finished? But I do re-resolve to get a job, effectively ending this blog (and I will actually blog the whole way there).

Second on my list: unfinished books. I can spot over a dozen from where I am sitting, books I started and never finished. This will be a challenge and regular feature on the Blog.

I have a few other things in mind, but more on those in the future, I don't want to spoil the surprise.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Day 24: BAD Blogger!

6 days, three pat downs and several internet outages later...

I'm Back!

Beard 2: Coming back in, nothing to write home about.
Free Meals: 11 (a very special thanks to Kim Mason who bought me lunch AND drove me to the DMV)
New-to-me Movies: 6 (i figured this number would have been higher by now)
Jobs applied to: 10
Interviews: 1

My apologies dear friends. Unemployment has been surprisingly busy. I didn't even manage a post-shave picture. But don't worry, I have to shave again on Monday for interview number 2. We can do the whole side by side comparison then.

One thing I learned on my vacation: My driver's license expired back in February. How did I learn this? The nice man at Delta told me when I tried to check a bag for my flight back to New York. I was then red flagged frisked three times and "randomly" selected for additional security screening. I was well aware why I was flagged, there's really no need to call it random.

The good news is, when I replaced the license on Monday, I finally got rid of my "harry potter" picture and look like a grownup on my license.

I promise to return to my regular silly posts tomorrow. In the meantime here's where beard 1 peaked:

Friday, April 24, 2009

Day 18: Shaved at Last

I jetted off to DC for a job interview so I am clean shaven.  Before and after pics tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Day 17: The Unexpected Innings

Today I received my first unemployment benefits.  It's kinda funny actually, its really just my parents' money, given to the federal government, given to the state of New York and then given to me.  Maybe we could cut out the middlemen by making giving money to your grown children tax deductible?

Anyway, I pledge to do my duty to stimulate the US Economy by drinking only bourbon and domestic beer.  

Not on the job seeking, resume pumping agenda for today was a baseball game!  But when your ex-employer offers you REALLY expensive seats to a Yankee game, you go.  And boy did I get my money's worth.  FOURTEEN INNINGS!  And in case you were wondering, there IS a fourteenth inning stretch.  Fun Fact: a quick google search tells me that the longest major league baseball game was 25 innings.  So one must assume there is also a 21st inning stretch.  Don't say you never learned anything from this blog.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Day 16: The Mall Cop Genre

New-To-Me Movies: 5

Apparently this year the "Mall Cop" movie became a genre of its own.  I did not see Paul Blart: Mall Cop.  But, I can say that Observe and Report was pretty darn good.

This movie manages to be entirely sick and twisted without feeling sick and twisted.  Does that make any sense?  Observe and Report very easily could have been juvenile, depressing, far too creepy or all three.  You have to give Seth Rogen a lot of credit for taking this psychologically disturbed security guard and making him more than a joke but an at times likable/relatable character. 

This movie is a daring comedy, and those are few and far between.  Bravo.

Oh and Beard:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Day 15: Rain Delay

Beard: Oh, you know, it's there kinda itchy.  I'm thinking about cleaning it up a bit.  Mostly getting rid of the stuff creeping down my neck.  Is that cheating?

Not much bloggable happened today.  It rained and I took the opportunity to CV and Cover Letter.

Better luck, well probably not tomorrow, its going to keep raining.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


For me, everyday is Friday (from now on!). But there is actually a difference for those around me from weekdays and weekends. This weekend we'll be making some very big strides in the home stretch of finally finishing work on A Border Story.

If you don't know about the movie, check out our website.  Our beautiful, new updated website will be at that same location. Someday soon.

Of course I am also spending Saturday morning posting posts for the days I missed this week and pretending they were there all along.  Enjoy.

Day 12: 3 Boroughs and a Museum

Beard: I'll get you another picture soon. I am running out of self-deprecating adjectives.

It's funny how when I go most places in Brooklyn I end up going through Manhattan and back out into Brooklyn again to get there. Today I went to the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens and I didn't have to visit Manhattan to get there.

The museum by the way, absolutely tiny during the renovations. Erin, Judith and I got chased down by a guard for poking around by an emergency exit wondering if we had missed SOMETHING, anything! But, it is just the 2 floors. Among the items on display: Star Wars Episode 1 toothbrushes! Really?

Day 11: Opening Day

Beard: Seriously, why are there asymmetrical patches in my facial hair?

Free Meals: 8 (a couple beers, a hot dog and some peanuts count, right? They cost enough!)

Well it a was a very nice stadium. And a beautiful day for a baseball game. But I got sunburned, and the Yankees got their butts kicked. Somewhere around the 6th inning the crowd started chanting for the center-fielder to pitch instead. Its a long season, we'll see how it goes. Of course, I don't have a TV so every game I see will either be at the stadium or at a bar.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Day 10: Tax Day!

Beard: I would say Teen Wolf, during the New Moon, using Nair as after shave.

Jobs Applied to: 6. Really starting the rack them up.

Waiting on line at the post office was a strangely communal experience. Unlike voting its a non-voluntary action we have to take to keep our government working.

By-the-way, does anyone else think this whole "Tea Party" thing is a big joke set up by late night comedians so that there will be tons of footage of CNN and Fox News reporters talking very seriously about Teabagging?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Day 9: Yes, I switched to numerals instead of writing out numbers

Chalk up another job applied to on the big board: 5! (take note anyone from the NY State Department of Labor who might be reading this blog).

The Beard: Let's just say my father says I look like a 13-year-old Amish kid.

Tune in tomorrow for another exciting adventure.

Day 8: Week 2 Begins

Well Day 8 was yesterday. I spent the day cooking a dinner for my father's surprise 54th Monday Night Birthday Party. It's tough NOT to surprise someone with a party on a Monday Night. I also managed to break half a dozen wine glasses over my bare feet. That was a surprise too.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Weekend Round-Up: Resurrecting The Jesus Look

The Beard: Well no one mistook me for a New Testament Fanboy sporting the Jesus look for Easter. Maybe by next Easter.

Free Meals: Racked up a few with a weekend at my parents'. We'll call it 5 for the weekend racking the ground total up to 6.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Day Five: The Day I Almost Rolled Out of Bed and Left the State

Beard: Just stand back a ways, squint and turn your head. See, it looks fine.

So I woke up this morning and got the call. Tapes stranded in NJ needed to be rushed to DC. And I was the man for the job. An hour later stranded in the Hoboken train station, my free trip to Washington died. Oh well. It got me out of bed before noon. Afterward, I went back to Brooklyn and crawled back in bed.

This concludes my first full week of unemployment. The weekend doesn't count, and I am far too lazy to give you updates then anyway. I wish you all a very happy Zombie Day. Join me next week as the State of New York begins paying me to do NOTHING.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Day Four: Zoo Day

Beard: You tell me. Picture below
New-to-me movies: 4
Jobs applied to: 4 (thanks Erin!)

The last time I went to a Zoo was when I was unemployed right out of NYU. Today I visited the Brooklyn Zoo. Not nearly as large as the Bronx Zoo, but a lovely time.

Also, saw Gigantic. The story of a single twenty something high-end Swedish mattress salesman (the mattresses are Swedish, not him) who's life long dream it is to adopt a Chinese baby. It was filled to the brim with indie cool quirkiness. This failed to cover up the lack of anything resembling plot or conflict. Oh, and there's a possibly imaginary homeless guy that wants to kill him. Sure I chuckled a few times. At least I didn't skip work to see it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Day Three: Lasagna and Lost

Beard: Beginning to have doubts about this (it's looking pretty sickly and gross)

Slowed things down a bit today. But I baked a killer lasagna.

I am thrilled to hear that none other than Leonard Nimoy will be joining the cast of Fringe for it's first season finale. That show is just too much weird fun. Check out the story here:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Day Two: A Day at the Movies

Beard: From across the room you start to notice it. Patches becoming more obvious.
New-to-me Movies: 3

Okay, I'm technically posting this on Day 3. Bad blogger. It's not like you are actually reading this anyway.

You gotta love the Regal Battery Park Theater. You can pay for one movie ticket and stay there for days on end. I whimped out after two. But fun's gotta end sometime.

"I Love You, Man" and "Adventureland". Neither was disappointing, both were entirely forgettable.

"Adventureland" should have been either a funnier comedy or a more poignant drama. Instead it was at times funny and overall kinda shallow. Kristen Wiig and Paul Hader stole the show for me. As the proprietors of the sleazy season theme park they are both funny and believable. Jesse Eisenberg once again plays and awkward kid in the 80s, only his character hasn't learned any of the "don't be a stuck up academic" lessons of The Squid and the Whale. I just want to smack him every time he starts talking about Charles Dickens. And I discovered I hate Ryan Reynolds.

"I Love You, Man" was not bad. It just lacked the pop and sizzle the better "bromances". I had high expectations for Segel and Rudd together after 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall". But they never seemed to elevate their relationship beyond grunting and awkward nicknames.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Day One: There's No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

Free Lunch, Free Concert.

Dan Hicks in a live radio broadcast at BB Kings in Midtown.

It was a fun show.  Kind of a less annoying "Country Bear Jamboree".

For those of you playing the home game, embedded below is my first YouTube Video sampling the sounds of Dan Hicks.  I'll post the WFUV archive of the show when it goes up.

Of course afterward I got roped into making fundraising calls for WFUV.  Which just goes to show...

Day One: The Waiting Week Begins

Beard: Patchy and Stubbly at best
Jobs Applied to: 3, that were actual jobs
New-to-me Movies Watched: 1

Today I filed my unemployment claim.  And today I begin a blog that no one will read.

I know, I know, Blogs are so 2006.  I should be tweeting or twittering or whatever the kids are doing these days. But, 140 characters just doesn't lend itself to long sarcastic rants, movie reviews and eventually pictures of my slow sad attempts to grow a beard.

What can you expect to see on this blog?  I doubt anyone cares about the daily ups and downs of my job search.  Here I will share the world I see as I experience weekday, daylight hours for the first time in two years.

Today I filed my claim.  The department of labor refers to this week as "the waiting week", while my application is reviewed and my eligibility determined.  I'll be waiting this week too.  Waiting to see how unemployed life plays out, waiting to see if this initial euphoria wears off.

And waiting to see if I get an interview.