Welcome Gentle Readers

This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bastille Day, Mutant Dough and Rattlesnakes

Warning: If you find yourself here via a google search for such things as TV shows or films, recipes or cities, this blog has some facts. However, this blog is one author’s very twisted musing on many weird things. It is sometimes graphic in content. If you read on, don’t write to yell at me.

Holi-daze - Bastille Day Edition

On July 14th, the French will celebrate FĂȘte Nationale or Bastille Day. I hope my lovely French friends have a great time. I’ll be raising a glass of wine in their honor. I know, I know, again with the France thing. My obsession is completely justified. Aside from the country’s support and aid in our own revolution (Forget us Lord, lest we forget the sacred sword of Lafayette) They are a sublimely civilized country. I found a recent example in the following imdb.com article:

French Labour Laws Force Ratner's Movie Set Back To LA

30 June 2008 9:07 AM, PDT From wenn.com See recent WENN news
Hollywood moviemaker Brett Ratner ran into trouble when directing his blockbuster film Rush Hour 3 - because the French government enforced strict labour laws which made filming nearly impossible.
Ratner chose to shoot the third installment of the action franchise starring Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan in Paris with hopes of adding to the movie's "fish out of water comedy".
But the French's leisurely approach to the working week soon forced the director to relocate the film set back to Los Angeles.
Ratner says, "We could only shoot eight hours a day because it was the law - the thirty hour work week in France. No overtime. It doesn't matter if you offer them triple overtime, they will not work more.
"So it's eight hour days and two hour lunches and wine service during lunch. Every crew member, in their contract, has a right to drink wine. So they have an open bottle of wine and they bring you an appetizer, a main course and then a dessert - service. It's not like you go get your own food and you sit down. So basically I'm getting six hours a day shooting.
"So we decided we've got to go back to LA and build an extended (set of Paris)."

Frankly, I saw nothing wrong in those labor laws. And as for being unable to get his pages done, I fault the director. The Bourne Identity seemed to do very well shooting in Paris, and that’s with some completely insane car chases. We certainly plan to find a reason to shoot there as soon as humanly possible. Meanwhile, have a great holiday, mes amis!

The Dough That Ate My Fridge

I’m still experimenting with making my own dough. The baguette recipe remains intimidating, so I thought I’d try pizza dough. I’ve been terrible dissatisfied with pizza since visiting Cannes. No, that’s not as weird as it sounds. That part of France was once part of Italy. There are still a lot of Italians there. I had the fortune or misfortune of having real Pizza Margherita. Don’t get me wrong. There are pizza’s here that I enjoy. I worked in Manhattan for a year and there are great pizzas there. And in Philly, Jon and I like this very non-traditional Greek Pizza made by Hispanic guys at Germantown Style Pizza. It’s particularly good when eaten with a luridly red colored soda called Tahitian Treat. But I digress. I really loved the Pizza I had in Cannes and have made several attempts to reproduce it with store bought pizza shells. The results were satisfactory at best. A couple of weeks ago, I saw Jamie Oliver make pizza on his new show, Jamie at Home. It looked really easy, so I gave it a try. The recipe called for only one rising for the dough to double in size. Then, it could be refrigerated until use. I did everything in the recipe, then I wrapped the dough in plastic and put it in a gallon sized bag in a bowl. An hour later, I looked in the fridge to find the dough was about to burst my bag and envelope the top shelf of the fridge. Even after I divided it into four sections, they grew in the bags. It had nothing but dough on my top shelf until I could pre-bake the shells to freeze. It was a tasty pizza cannibal, but oy, do I have a lot of pizza shells.

Turning My Husband On

No, it’s not at all what you’re thinking. Jon is now complaining about the headline, as it is not truth in advertising. It’s a whole lot geekier than that. And it involves A Soldier’s Choice, which does absolutely nothing for Jon. I’m working on the pitch for the live action version. I mentioned that we wanted to use Manga-style images for the opening and linking scenes. I also wanted to use them in the written presentation. That meant, doing two or three pages of comic action and having some images of Rik and Vincent for the letterhead, etc. I put a call out of manga artists for this very modes job. The bids I received for the work averaged $650 per page. The total would have cost us the same amount of money we spent on the live trailer for The Gunslinger. I plan to do a trailer for A Soldier’s Choice, but only after I get some expressed interest from the network. We’re not adverse to investing where necessary, but I was not putting that kind of money into such a small job. So, to the amazement of my hubby, I bought a sketch-pad and downloaded some reference material. I asked him to find me a software that could generate the manga panels and fx I needed, then started sketching. He got so excited over a page of eyeballs I’d done, that I thought he’d keel over. He started pulling out all of his favorite anime reference books to show me that I was creating model sheets and that’s how the animators worked. I didn’t know that. I was just practicing, because it’s been a while. I considered drawing as a creative path for a long time. I even drew a lot of comics as a teen and young adult. Ultimately, writing had a much stronger pull for me. Still, I can still work with a pencil and these softwares can make anyone look really good. And it allows my Hubby to let his anime geek out. That works all around. I’ll post the work along with the expositional material on the Soldier’s Choice website.

Conversations with Craig – Outdoor Edition

Craig took his girlfriend on a walk through Solstice Canyon in Malibu over the holiday. It was the first weekend it was open since last year’s brush fires. During the hike, they met an exuberant, young Native American volunteer ranger at the cultural center there. “Have you ever seen a live rattle snake up close?” She asked. Of course, Craig had seen many of them. His favorite hiking spot is Rattlesnake Canyon (he wonders why I steadfastly refused to go hiking with him). His girlfriend replied that the only ones she’d seen with Craig were angry ones (another reason I don’t hike with him). That snake was asleep having eaten a large meal earlier, so everyone could examine him closely. Though I cannot fathom why. Craig on hikes can be such harrowing affairs that his father bought and insisted he carry a GPS locator. If there is weird weather, dead bodies, plane crashes in a remote area, Craig finds it. I was very surprised that he hadn’t found Moe, the missing Chimpanzee. The Volunteer Rangers also identified what kind of cricket was likely to have been living in their bookcase. She was certain it was dead by now.

No comments: