Thursday, February 26, 2009

ER Rooms, Pain Killers & The U.S. Economy

So I'm sitting in the ER looking at a blank TV screen with the pain medication starting to take effect, wondering if I will need surgery. This was last Monday morning. Rewind. I had spent the whole evening tossing and turning with massive abdominal pains. It started shortly after my wife and I went to bed, as a strong stinging sensation just below my stomach. At first I thought it was some kind of constipation, but it wouldn't go away. By 5 AM I called 911, mostly because I was worried it could be appendicitis. The Paramedics came almost immediately and gave me the once over. They recommended I go to the ER because I still had my appendix. My wife drove me the four blocks to the Hospital. She checked me in and waited with me until they assigned me a room. Then she reluctantly left in order to open our business and take our kids to school. I assured her I would be OK. I then proceeded to sit in my little room, in intense pain as nurses and doctors looked me up and down and the man in the next room kept screaming from a very high delusional fever. They shot me up with pain killers, which reduced, but did not eliminate the burning, stinging sensations in my abdomen and groin. They made me drink this icky lemonade, then rolled me in for a cat scan. Back in my room as I was dozing off, when my wife and daughter appeared. They looked a little sad and upset. As my wife later told me, "I left and you were sitting in a chair, I come back an hour later and your hooked up to an IV, half passed out and lethargic in the rolling bed." At that point we had no news, so after several worried hugs and kisses, my wife proceeded to take my daughter to school (she had already dropped our son). I slept until noon, when the doctor came in with the results. Seems it wasn't kidney stones or appendicitis, but a swollen and inflamed intestine. No surgery today! But I would have to do a follow up with my doctor (whom I can't see right now because our Health Plan has been temporarily suspended until we finish and submit our 2007 tax returns...yes's a long story). My wife picked my up and dropped me at home where I lay sleeping and writhing in pain for most of the week. During my forced date with the TV and couch, I saw a really comprehensive TV program about the recent economic meltdown produced by CNBC entitled "House Of Cards." Very insightful as to exactly what led us to this current financial tipping point. It wasn't just the banks or unsavory potential home owners buying into mortgages that were beyond their means that created all this mess. It was a combination of things, fueled by greed and lack of oversight. When we bought our house back in 2000, we thankfully missed out on all this subprime fun. We ended up selling in 2004 for a decent price and now rent a smaller sized house. We intend on buying again, when our credit scores heal and the dust settles (four or so years from now) from all this. So yesterday (Wednesday) I keep getting these really sharp pains in the same spot, usually right before I fart, or if I wait too long to go piss. I haven't pooped since Sunday (but I also haven't been eating much). This is still worrisome as I usually have a BM two to three times a day. Very regular kinda guy (too much information...I know). So I get some Exlax and chew a few . Several hours later I get the same sharp pains, run to the bathroom and Poop Poop, Splash Splash out comes the Poopy! So today the sharp, intense pains are gone. Those ones really sucked because they would build and build and cramp and burn and then just when you thought you couldn't stand it anymore (this was on the pain killer meds BTW), it would stop. Now as I sit writing this little blurb I have a dull, itchy pain in my abdomen. I run our off pain meds tomorrow and am on antibiotics until next week. I still need to get to a doctor for a follow up. Was all this some crazy kind of constipation? Like the U.S. Economy? Strange parallel.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Official Selection Graphics

Finished the "Official Selection" graphic for Hot Rod Girls Save The World. The film is doing really well. It's only been out a few weeks and already it's got into several festivals, sales are brisk on DVD and more distributors are picking it up each week.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Favorite Things

When I die the things I will miss most are

My wife's kisses.
My son's jokes and antics.
My daughter's songs and stories.
The feeling of bass strings on my fingers and the sounds they make.
Driving late at night with the radio on.
Discovering new things- especially where they shouldn't be.
Trees on the beach.
Dreaming about the perfect 1967 Dodge Charger.
An entertained audience...that I made that way.
The time right before sunset.

Monday, February 16, 2009

New Charger?

Is this the new Dodge Charger? Not bad- but the front seems kinda pointy. Old Chargers had a blunt nose. New Camaro-ish?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hot Rod Girls Save The World Double CD

Got the cover art finished for the next Hot Rod Girls Save The World CD. This one is a two CD set featuring both the KsK - Soundtrack disc and Hot Rod Girls Save The World - Music & Mayhem disc. Pretty much all the music from the film.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Had a excellent meeting with Go-Kustom's new Spanish Language Coordinator- Rubi Romero yesterday. Rubi's first job will be translating Hot Rod Girls Save The World into Spanish. She will also be the voice actress for the lead Vanessa Trojan character of the film. We also just got word Hot Rod Girls Save The World has been accepted into the Seventh Annual Backseat Film Festival in Philly. We are excited!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Feline Star Of Hot Rod Girls Save The World Dies

Last night we came home a little late as we often do. We ate our dinner and settled into a little bit of TV as we often do. I went into our bedroom to get a blanket from our bed so my wife and I could get cozy on the couch. Our cats, two identical, ten year old, long haired Main Coone sisters named Ella Fitzgerald and DeeDee Bridgewater, were sleeping on our bed as the often do. Ella is the "alpha" cat and besides being a great family friend, had inadvertently become one of the stars of my film Hot Rod Girls Save The World. She is a people lover and had a cuddly lap thing for actress J Maki (who played punk rock granny, Nell in the film). Every few minutes during filming J's scenes, Ella would sneak into the room and jump up onto J's lap. Rather than fight it- I decided Nell should have a cat (most Grannys do). Ella was a natural animal actress who loved all the attention. In one scene we had Nell (who's character is blind) pour milk for her kitty, unknowingly dumping milk all over the cats head. Ella loved it! She drank so much milk that day that she had the runs for two days after! Back to the I slowly pulled the blanket corner out from under Ella, I noticed she flopped over and didn't complain at me for rearranging "her" bed as she normally does. She rolled upright and sat quietly with her eyes closed. I didn't think much of it and walked into the living room with the blanket. As I sat down next to my wife on the sofa, I noticed the lovely smell of cat piss coming up from the blanket. This is a rare occurrence in our home (thankfully). Ella has been sick for the last three months. The Vet said it was Feline Jaundice. Ella had no infection or kitty disease, but her liver was not working properly. No one knew why. The Vet assured us she would be weak, but not in any serious pain and we should just wait it out to see if she got better or not. She has been hanging in there. A week ago she was almost attacked by one of our dogs- which never happens in our house. Ella is quick and thinks she is a Pit Bull so our dogs (and the neighborhood dogs) leave her alone. After the near attack we kept her in our bedroom so the dogs would not bother her again. She slept alot and loved cuddling with my wife and I at night. She had trouble getting up on the sofa every so often, but had been eating regularly. We knew she was sick, but got used to pampering her just a little more than usual. After I dropped the first blanket in the washing machine, I went back into the bedroom to get another. I figured Ella had had the accident on the blanket because she was having trouble getting off the bed. As I walked in the room, I saw Ella, face down in the remaining blankets on the bed. She was having difficulty breathing. I reached down to pet her and she let out a desperate cat scream, a sound I had only heard from her when she was a kitten getting her first flea bath. She was afraid. I sat down next to her and stoked her back. I called my wife who came running in with the kids. Ella let out another yowl. We knew she was dying. My wife grabbed a blanket and wrapped her up cradling her to comfort her and keep her warm. Ella relaxed but began gasping for breath. Her tongue was hanging out of her mouth. My wife started to cry, the kids started to cry, I started to cry. We talked about taking her to the Vet to have her put to sleep, but Ella really hated riding in the car and we didn't want to put her through that. I talked to her softly and I told the kids we have to tell Ella it's OK for her to go now. I told them she has to feel that we will be OK if she goes now. I have heard that many pets hang on to life past their "due date" because they are worried about leaving their family. They fear their family will not survive without them. I wanted to make sure Ella had our blessings to go in peace. Ellas eyes weren't blank and her head drooped lifeless. My wife continue to cradle her for forty minutes after her breathing stopped to make sure Ella had passed. I went outside with my son and dug a grave. We buried her in the cold winter ground saying a quick prayer before I covered her over. It is hard to measure the effect our pets have on us. I was amazed at how Ella seemed to wait until we were all there to say goodbye. She was a huge part of our lives for over ten years. She made us laugh when her and her sister would romp and play around the house. She made us worried when she followed my wife on a walk and got lost in the woods. She made us angry when she spontaneously attacked our dog Whisper, for no real reason. During my last depression- I would pick her up and her content purring would make me feel a little more content. I will miss our Ella. Goodnight my little bodhisattva kitty- Goodnight Ella cat..

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More Snow

More snow. No slippery roadways, but I think we are breaking records for Seattle Snowfall!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Surprise Seattle Snow

Walking out of the recording studio last night at 1AM and the snow is coming down! No warning at all. The snow was really icy and stuck immediately. So I slid on down the hill from the studio to our house (we only live four blocks from the studio) and woke my wife to show her. She was not so happy to wake up at 1AM but was diggin' the snow. She's originally from Siberia, so she has this thing for snow...ya know?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Rat Rod Rockers Pre-Production Meeting

Had our first pre-production meeting for Rat Rod Rockers yesterday night. Good turn out. Looks like we will be able to get all needed locations and actors set for our August-September shooting schedule. I want this film in theaters by January 2010.

Friday, February 6, 2009

First Ten Minutes Of Hot Rod Girls Save The World Now On YouTube

Just Posted The First Ten Minutes Of Hot Rod Girls Save The World to YouTube. This is the YouTube link-
The You Tube playback looks a bit grainy and jittery compared to the actual movie which is clean clean clean. I tried using different compressors, but it is up the way it is up...know whadeyemean? It might be the pulldown. The film was shot at 24 frames per second. Most video playback is 30 frames.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Rev. Horton Heat

Finished a little telephone interview with the incredible Rev. Horton Heat yesterday for Car Kulture Deluxe. He is currently on tour with his band- blasting through Colorado. The Rev is such an iconic figure in modern rock music I was actually a little nervous before I called him. He was most gracious and very easy to talk to. Look for the interview in an upcoming issue of Car Kulture Deluxe. Also he gave me a big big scoop on his new all you Rev Heads keep your eyes peeled that issue! Oh yea- I got my Clearwire modem yesterday! We have been living with dial-up both at home and in the studio. I was trying to upload the first ten minutes of Hot Rod Girls Save The World to my You Tube pages and I ended up going to Kinkos, and that didn't work (not enough time). Then I took the family to an internet cafe and that took to long (the file is 300 megs). So when I got home, I jumped on the intranet and ordered a Clearwire package. It came the next day. So far so good. Plug and play. I am online so much for my rekord label and film company that it was torturous using the dial-up connection. I feel liberated (at least internet wise).


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Rat Bastards Car Club HRGSTW Screening

Had a blast at the Rat Bastards Car Club screening of Hot Rod Girls Save The World. Good turnout and everybody was very friendly. This is so much cooler than Hollywood...ya know? Grass Roots Indie-Film promotion at its best. Thanks guys (and gals) for inviting me out!