Mr. Cellophane

In a location adjacent to a place in a city of some significance, what comes out of my head is plastered on the walls of this blog.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Pulling a long Con.

No, this isn't a continuation of last weekend's imaginary trip to Comic-Con...and it's certainly not about how I stalked Suzie Blowjob back to her hometown of Denver and begged her to marry me, only to get the paste squeezed out of me by her two construction worker brothers and their bloodthirsty Akita, Elway.

Now, as I've mentioned quite a bit, I am lazy. It takes me a while to get things done, like clearing out the crap in the inbox of my e-mail account. Part of the job (there are about 390 unread messages, down from this morning's 500+) was completed this morning, but there were a number of messages I wanted to hang on to.

Some of the messages I kept were from Mile High Comics. As I read their e-mails about Comic-Con, certain passages leapt out at me:

4-day passes to this year's show were priced at $105, and were available beginning at last year's preview night. The price has risen to $175 for this 2012, with only 2400 tickets per day being made available at a specially constructed stand in the huge Hyatt hotel next door to the convention center.

A fan who arrived at the Hyatt at 5 AM on Thursday reported to me that he was able to purchase his limit of two passes, but that the hundreds of fans who arrived shortly after 6 AM was sent home empty-handed.

One can't help but think that the people behind the Con want to push people away. I was really looking forward to going to this year's Con (and paying $500 on the secondary market for tickets, another excerpt from the e-mails, was so out of the question as to be laughable). Now, it seems that, unless I'm writing/directing a movie that gets a Hall H spotlight panel (knock on wood), I'll never attend SDCC again, certainly not if this ignorance prevails. Focusing on smaller conventions, such as Wonder Con and New York Comic-Con, seems the way to go for now.

I'd like to close by quoting a man (wise in this context, but not so much in his own): "And I'm Ron Burgundy. Go fuck yourself, San Diego."

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Good news, everyone!

(...or, at least, the two or three other people who may or may not read this blog. None of you comment on anything remotely resembling a regular basis, so how should I know for sure?)

My new monitor arrived and it works like a charm. Hopefully, this will put an end to my parents' incessant (and unwarranted; it's not like they own the flipping thing) nagging that I put my laptop "in the shop".

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

The final day of the Con starts with a trip to Marriott Hall 2 for Comic-Con Film School 104: Post-Production and Distribution. It's not enough to make a movie. You have to polish it and put it out there.

Then, it's Room 6A for Cartoon Voices II. I honestly wouldn't mind having a career in voice acting should the whole 'filmmaking' thing not work out. Kind of fortunate that these panels are right next to each other.

Room 7AB hosts the Nickelodeon: The Fairly OddParents: the 10th Anniversary and T.U.F.F. Puppy Year Two panel. Though I think Butch Hartman redeemed himself somewhat with the surprisingly good "A Fairly Odd Movie", the real draw for me is "T.U.F.F. Puppy" which, in spite of the Hartman hallmarks (overexcited voice work, repetitive gags) is pretty funny.

Given that it's Sunday, I wouldn't expect Hall H to be filled to capacity, but, somehow, I don't think that people will fill it up too much for the Cleveland Show panel, allowing me a chance to get in.

Remember what I said a couple paragraphs ago about wanting to be a voice actor? Business of Cartoon Voices (Room 25ABC) might get me a way in. Well, not a concrete one, but what I need to know, which is good enough.

Well, that was fun, but I need to get back to the hotel and check out. What an expensive trip, but, as it was last year, very worthwhile. So many events, so many memories. I can't wait to do it again next year...FOR REALS!


Saturday, July 23, 2011

In a Saturdaze.

Dreamt about that girl. Nice that she gave me an unforgettable ride, but I know I'll never see her again. You know the drill: Continental breakfast, shuttle bus, Marriott Hall 2 for Comic-Con Film School 103: Working with Actors and a Crew. Just what it says on the tin. I'd like to digress a moment and say that I hope I never get anyone mad enough to inflict violence or not want to work with me when I make movies. Of course, with my Kubrick-lite taskmastery, it won't be easy.

To the Convention Center to gather some snapshots and autographs in Sails Pavilion, then to Ballroom 20 for Futurama. "The Silence of the Clamps" has recently become one of my favorite Comedy Central episodes. Then, quick like a bunny to Room 6BCF for Cartoon Voices. I will never cease to be enamored of the magic that voice artists work in the recording booth.

(Not quite Sophie's Choice, but it stinks that I'll be missing panels on The Simpsons (Ballroom 20), Family Guy (ditto) and, most damagingly of all, Community (Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront). Curse my sister for getting me into that show. It's so damned funny!)

I'll have to duck out early to make it to the American Dad panel in Ballroom 20. (Yes, it's on Saturday, now!) It'd be a treat to get to see a panel for Seth MacFarlane's best show. Period. After that, a stop at Sails Pavilion to get a picture, an autograph, something from James Hong.

Following that, the day's pretty much a blur of seeing the city and looking for lunch in all the wrong (read: crowded) places. Then, storm the Exhibit Hall. T-shirts, posters, comic books, soundtracks (from LaLaLand Records, not that joker who sells CD-Rs for moronically hiked prices)...the sky's the limit.

Even though Michael Giacchino can't make it (and with six scores this year, can you blame him?), I'll definitely check out Behind the Music with CW3PR: Composing Horror to Animation and Everything in Between. Granted, the biggest name there now is Ramin Djawadi, but hey, it's film music.

Not really interested in tonight's Hall H and Ballroom 20 Panel Playback (though Knights of Badassdom sounds somewhat promising), so I'll just go to Room 8's The Art of the Hollywood Movie Poster and Room 9's Can DIY Filmmaking Replace Hollywood? Selling Your Own Damn Movie Without Selling Your Soul!. Good night, all.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Second leg of my tour.

And so, here we are on Friday. After a decent night's sleep (save for the mild tossing and turning over whether or not to follow that cute girl that winked at me as I got off the elevator), I head down to wait for the shuttle bus. Ah, these people are so lucky, getting to wear shorts twelve months of the year.

I get to the convention center, bypassing it for Marriott Hall 2 once again for Comic-Con Film School 102: Production, in the hopes of better understanding what goes into making a movie...and, perhaps, making some connections in the bargain.

Huh. There's a panel in Hall H: Paramount: The Adventures of Tintin. They say that the film's director, Steven Spielberg (yes, the director of Always and 1941), is stopping by. Son of a bee sting. Maybe, I'd better aim a little lower. Oh, cool. There's a Spotlight on Patrick McDonnell in Room 5AB. As I'm sure I've made clear before, I love "Mutts". One of the best comic strips currently running. To meet him (and get an autograph on the "Mutts" collection I snagged from Borders a short while back) would make my day.

(Of course, this would mean that I'll miss the Nickelodeon & Dreamworks Animation: Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness panel in Room 6A. I truly hope the show premieres soon. What I saw of the show at the panel last year was quite enjoyable. Also, even though Kung Fu Panda 2 wasn't the monster hit it deserved to be, it'd be a shame to just sit on this show...especially since it seems that KFP3 is so obviously in the offing.)

Then, it's off to be starstruck in Room 6BCF for the Legendary (wait for it!) Pictures: Preproduction Preview panel: Jeff Bridges! Bradley Cooper! Idris Elba! Guillermo Del Toro! Alex Proyas! And many more!

Roaming around the Exhibit Hall and picking up a quick bite will lead me to the Indigo Ballroom for Adult Swim: Black Dynamite. I'm anxious to see the show and if it can be just as much ridiculous fun as the movie. Back to the Convention Center for more wandering and, hopefully, snapping some shots of cosplayers (I'm still miffed about missing a shot of the two cosplayers dressed as Kuzco and Pacha from The Emperor's New Groove last year).

Room 23ABC. Comedy Central: Ugly Americans. The new season is cracking me up so far. There are a number of panels I could head to from this point, such as The Art of the Comic Strip (Room 24ABC), to hear more from Patrick McDonnell, CBLDF: Can Comics Send You to Jail? (Room 26AB), to learn about the 1984-ish nonsense involving how having comic art on your person can land you in hot water or The Hub: Batman: 45th Anniversary of the Original Series (Room 23ABC) to see Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar.

However, my heart belongs to Room 6DE, for they will be hosting Rifftrax Live - Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett. Still, the best (and funniest) panel I attended last year.

As was done yesterday, Room 25ABC will be hosting the Hall H and Ballroom 20 Panel Playback. The primary things holding my interest are the Sony panel and the bits on Fright Night and Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (which is finally seeing a release this year). A better ratio than last night, but I think I'll flip a coin. Who knows where that will lead? Ah, to hell with it. I might get to hear some cool stuff from the "Big Bang Theory" and "True Blood" panelists.

Back to my hotel. I get on the elevator...whoa. That girl I dreamt about...she's sucking me off right here. She doesn't care about the cameras, does she? Ohhhhhh. That felt good. Lucky thing we're the only people riding this car. (What? It's an imaginary trip. I'm not allowed to have some fun?!)


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Leaving my heart in San Diego.

It sucks unprecedented amounts of ass that the closest I'll get to San Diego Comic-Con this year is seeing it recreated in the first reel of Paul. (I'm serious; bad things are imminent if the ticketing situation isn't improved for next year's Con.)

The schedule, as per tradition, has been announced for this year's Con. Having tasted the nectar of the Gods, I'm gonna do something a little different this year. Instead of listing the interesting panels, I'm gonna map out an imaginary trip based on the schedule that's been posted.

First of all, I think that I'd have ended up in a hotel a little closer to the Convention Center (nothing against the place I stayed at last year; I just think that I'd like a fighting chance at running into some celebs on the way to my room). I'd certainly have to leave early, maybe grab a bagel with a shmear of cream cheese and a glass of juice just before hopping the shuttle bus to the Con.

Then I get there. Avoiding the 'Ooooh! Ahhhh!', I'd make my way to Marriott Hall 2 at the Marriott Marquis and Marina for Comic-Con Film School 101: Pre-Production and Screenwriting. The filmmaking thing is still a dream of mine and maybe, I can pick up some pointers on crafting a good story (I have a number of them in the works...perhaps, too many; I have this thing for focusing on too much at one time, ensuring a long time before anything gets done). Though I'd feel bad about it (and remorseful at missing out on a few key tips), I'd skip out early to head for the Convention Center's Room 6A for Oh, You Sexy Geek!. Maybe, just maybe, it'd be a chance to make the acquaintance of some cute girl geeks.

No time to take in the sighs of the Exhibit Hall or grab a bite to eat (yet), for it's off to the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Indigo Ballroom, for a Focus on Rick Baker. The chance to hear the make-up maestro talk about his career, spanning four decades, most recently his Oscar-winning work on the underrated The Wolfman, is too good to pass up.

Back to the Convention Center and Room 23ABC. The panel? Nickelodeon and Dreamworks Animation: The Penguins of Madagascar: The Return of the Revenge of Dr. Blowhole. Last year's panel was a delight, and it would('ve) be(en) nice to see some new episodes of the show.

Nothing too intriguing for the next hour, so I may as well roam around the booths of Exhibit Hall and grab some lunch. Damn, I forgot just how vast this area was. Better put a timer on so I don't forget where I'd like to go soon.

Damn, damn, damn! Two terrific panels, but which to go to? State of the Art Geek Report: From Avatar to Zardoz or Classic Warner Bros./Hanna-Barbera Cartoons Going Blu-Ray? I flip a coin. Best of three. Heads. Tails. Tails. I go to the Geek Report panel anyway. It's in Room 5AB, so I better haul shell. If nothing else, I imagine there'd be a pretty neat collusion of ideas. (Meanwhile, I stew a little bit at missing out on Daniel Licht at the The Character of Music with BMI and White Bear PR panel and telling him how much I love his Thinner score.)

Geezus H. Whiz. There's nothing piquing my interest for the next few hours. May as well get out and see the city. Of course, I want to get back to the Sails Pavilion and chat up the one and only Patrick Warburton.

Inside the Voice Actors Studio in Room 30CDE. If the filmmaking thing somehow doesn't work out, I think I'd fall back on voice acting. I might even get the chance to do some ADR at this panel. Then it's off to Room 5AB in the hopes of Writing Movies for Fun and Profit (that's the actual title of the book, BTW). The book (and panel) promises to be a sardonic look by Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant at how to break into the business and sell out. I have no problem with selling out. There's integrity and then there's keeping the lights on.

The Con has come up with an interesting gimmick for this year: a summary of the big panels one may have missed out on in the hallowed Hall H and Ballroom 20. Hall H and Ballroom 20 Panel Playback (in Room 25ABC). It might be worth it to check out the USA Network and Robert Rodriguez panels, but I'm not too crazy about the Showtime or Game of Thrones panels. (Yeah. Boo, hiss.)

Then, it's onto the shuttle bus, likely with all kinds of swag on the way to a long night's sleep...unless, I overhear about some cool party being thrown. I don't know.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Just here on the family computer for no real reason than to spend time on a computer bigger than my hand. Can't wait until that new monitor gets here.


Friday, July 15, 2011

I haven't been posting in a while. Yes. Alert the media, because that certainly never happens. But, wait. It's not because of (laziness/apathy/other). Settle in, 'cause it's a long fucking story.

For well over a year, the screen on my laptop has shown a distinct pinkish hue. (Sidebar: have you ever tried to look at pink and green on a pink screen. Like ants at a picnic.) I dealt with it, but then, about a week ago (or maybe, it was a month; I can't remember), the screen cut out. Completely black. I adjusted the screen, fanning it like crazy and it showed, but I had to be careful not to 'rock the boat', as it were.

Cut to Wednesday night. The screen is completely black, and no amount of fanning can bring it back. As you can imagine, for a net junkie like me, this is intensely frustrating.

The next day, I take the laptop to a specialist who tells me that I need a new motherboard for my laptop...though he also tells me that I can use an external monitor to see the screen.

After many aborted attempts at trying to obtain one over the last 24 hours, I stumble onto one...on ebay...for a reasonable an auction ending while I'm on my break. Too neat? I'll take it! Problem is that it takes 6-10 business days to arrive (in other words, week after next-ish).

This kind of puts a crimp in a great plan I had for next week. Still, it'll be nice to get back onto my computer - with a normal screen - in the near future. (BTW, this was sent from my T-Mobile phone. It's starting to pay for itself.)


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Continued from yesterday, but sampled today:

Fudge Brownie Dream (Nitro Magic Ice Cream) - There's something to be said for broadening one's horizons (and eating dessert firest), for this was great ice cream.

Chicken Mug Pie (BW's Barbecue) - Too small a portion, but a nice take on Chicken Pot Pie.

Lobster Crab Dip (Jack Astor's Bar and Grill) - Served with nachos. I could not get enough of it.

Chocolate Brownie (Zebb's Deluxe Bar and Grill) - One more for the road.

Pastellios (Kensington Avenue Pizza Inc.) - Good filling, crispy shell, tangy dipping sauce. Just about perfect.

Mango Smoothie (Clarence Center Coffee Co. and Cafe) - A big improvement over the Oreo Smoothie; rich and delightful.

French Fries (Encore Restaurant) - Just as delicious and unusual as they were last year.

Tangerine Ice Cream (Nick Charlap's Ice Cream) - I wanted to try something a little different and I was not disappointed.

Well...can't wait for next year.


Saturday, July 09, 2011

Given the grease-like texture left on my fingers and how tired I was after all the food I ate, live blogging from the Taste of Buffalo, as had been my original plan today, was pure folly. Also, for some reason, several businesses utilized banana peppers in their meals. I guess none of them got the message that banana peppers are totally gross. Here (several hours after the fact) is my summary of what I ate:

Spanish Rice w/Pigeon Peas (Papi's Family Restaurant) - For a 'healthy option' dish, this was delicious; the right spices enlivened what should've been a plain rice dish.

Shrimp and Crab Spring Roll (Papaya Restaurant) - Quite tasty, with or without the dipping sauce.

Potato Cheddar Casserole (Carmine's Restaurant) - Could've used a bit more salt, but an enjoyable side.

Lobster Bacon Mac and Cheese (Paring's Wine Bar) - Good enough, but I could barely taste the lobster.

Boneless Buffalo Wings (Zebb's Deluxe Bar and Grill) - I should know better than to get seduced by the spiciness of Buffalo flavor, but these wings were tasty.

Chocolate Brownie (Zebb's Deluxe Bar and Grill) - I can never resist a good brownie. I've had two today.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cream Pie (Danny's Restaurant) - If not for the previous item, the best dessert the Taste has to offer.

Jack's Garlic Pan Bread (Jack Astor's Bar and Grill) - Thankfully, I only had a taste (a smaller portion than usual). The bread is too rich to be savored as a full meal.

Oreo Milkshake (Clarence Center Coffee Co. and Cafe) - Not a bad way to end the day, but not too remarkable.

Even with the caveats I mentioned, I'm still going back tomorrow. I've quite a few tickets left.


Sunday, July 03, 2011

Okay, so I'm watching "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street", a classic "Twilight Zone" episode. It gets to the end when all hell has broken loose. Rod Serling offers his (sadly) still-timely end monologue...but before he can finish it, the screen gets shoved off - shoved off! - to offer a brief promo for one of the Syfy Channel's new shows. It's bad enough when the end credits get smooshed to promote their shows, because they certainly don't run ads for them during every commercial break, but they fucking crossed a line here!

I mean, do the people in charge of the network even fucking watch "The Twilight Zone"?! Those pillow biters have some serious karmic payback coming.

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