Amoeblog

(In which the writer takes a break from writing to write.)

Posted by Job O Brother, February 9, 2009 08:02pm | Post a Comment

My baby’s been under the weather. And by baby I don’t mean a child I gave birth to; I mean it as a euphemism for “that one dude I smooch and go to Target with.” Baby is just much easier to say.

Anyway, when my baby’s feeling poorly, he likes to watch predictable films, like... well... anything you can come up with that stars Jennifer Aniston or Sarah Jessica Parker and ends with them proving that they really were destined for true love, after all. Normally I protest and suggest we watch something with more substance, such as The Killing of a Chinese Bookie or The Cranes Are Flying – y’know, something that provides perspective and/or promotes psychological examination, to which my baby will argue that he just wants to “be distracted and get lost” in a film, not be intellectually stimulated. I argue that it’s hard for me to “get distracted” watching a film that makes me want to stab a Phillips-head screwdriver into my left aortic arch.

It's like this:

ME...


...VS. MY BOYFRIEND...




AGAIN, ME...



...AND HE...



YOU GET...



...THE IDEA.


Diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks, I guess.

These arguments usually lead to a stalemate, at which point we’ll watch some promo copy of a TV show he’s received. It was such a circumstance that led us to gander the first two episodes of United States of Tara, which we both enjoyed. FYI.

For now, however, I am alone and working on a spec script. For those of you unfamiliar with terms we use in the “Business”… well, you’re screwed, because you probably wouldn’t know what I mean by “Business.” Let’s start from the top:

By “Business” I mean the entertainment industry, of which Los Angeles is our Nation’s epicenter, and by “spec script” I mean a film or TV script that has been dropped on the floor and gotten covered with the dirt and stray poppy-seeds that cover the streets of Hollywood. So, we’re all on the same page now? Sweet.

I’m working on a spec script for It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, which is a show I’m keen on. I assumed everyone knew about this program already, but lately have learned that my nephew (we’ll call him Gvorshüxdlo to protect his anonymity), who is much more in touch with pop culture than I am [Me: “What do you mean ‘Who is Lisa Lisa?!’ She’s only one of Mtv’s greatest stars!”], had never watched it.

In case you’re like him, or in case you’re stuck at an office job and desperate for something to watch that doesn’t involve a cat falling off or into something, here’s some excerpts from the show…

[Insert fifteen minutes of Job weeding through tons of off-putting YouTube clips here.]

Urr... Well, it seems there's no good clips of said show available, due to all the copyright bro-ha-ha that's plaguing YouTube. In lieu of aforementioned clips, here's some alternate eye candy. The top is for me, the bottom is for my boyfriend -- though both are for you, dear reader. [Insert "Aww...!" sound here.]



Now then, I have to stop writing so I can get back to writing. Hi-ho the glamorous life!

(In which Job & Corey cuddle with comedy & cookies.)

Posted by Job O Brother, December 30, 2008 12:06pm | Post a Comment

The author & his beloved celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

It’s been a leisurely day, hanging at my boyfriend’s house. We’ve both been productive in our way; I’ve been souping up my new iPhone while he’s busied himself by setting people on fire and yanking things out of the bodies of little girls. It’s called Bio-Shock, and it’s a video game – don’t go calling the cops on my boyfriend. He almost never does those things in real life.

You know how human bodies are 55% to 60% water? I think, by now, my body is like 65% cookies. My holiday has been overwhelmed by cookies. I think I might hate them now. I’ve been bringing them to Amoeba and pushing them on our customers. If you want cookies, brother, come to the jazz room information desk at Amoeba Music Hollywood. I’ll help you find Pink Martini only if you first eat four peanut blossoms.


Lately, when my boyfriend and I go to bed together these winter nights, we’ve been doing the same thing.
...

…Er… Okay. I’m going to give you a moment to enjoy your imagination.

Okay, dear reader, if you’re quite done, I’ll tell you what we really do.

Curled beneath the covers, we’ve been watching sketch comedy on his laptop. It’s the perfect way to pass the time as you wait for the melatonin to kick in. And much more relaxing than our previous habit of watching Taliban executions and/or Carol Channing musicals. (It’s interesting to note that both will give you the same, horrific nightmares.)


Eeek!

I’m constantly ransacking the DVD section of Amoeba in search of used copies of sketch comedy. For Christ Mass, I bought Corey two season sets of Kids in the Hall.

Who doesn’t love Kids in the Hall? I don’t know anyone who doesn’t. If you don’t, I guess I don’t mind – so long as you keep it to yourself – behind closed doors – and don’t try to push your not-loving-them on me and my life. …And don’t teach children. …And don’t get married.

Not loving Kids in the Hall is an abomination unto the Lord, you know.


Another keeper is French & Saunders, the brainchild of Dawn French – star of many British TV shows – and Jennifer Saunders, who went on to write and star in Absolutely Fabulous, a show which stemmed from a single sketch on French & Saunders. (You might also recognize Jennifer Saunders from various cameos in another show I think is swell, The Young Ones.)

French & Saunders is simple. They took whatever was hot in pop culture and made fun of it. In this way, the show is not only funny, but stands as a kind of time capsule of popular culture.



In today’s entertainment landscape, where it takes Sarah Silverman posing as Evita and singing about her fake AIDS, or the mass, pastel-colored carnage of South Park’s Imaginationland, French & Saunders may be too old-fashioned for some, but I like it – but that does not mean I’m old fashioned! Now then, where are my horehound candies? I just set them next to the Victrola a second ago…

I recently stumbled upon another British sketch show, Man Stroke Woman. No one seems to know about this one, so I’m telling you now. It focuses on, but is not limited to, making light of the communication (or lack thereof) between men and women. Neurosis, cruelty, alienation, child abuse – all the great comedy elements are there. Check it out.






Okay – that’s it for now. Time to cook my boyfriend and myself some vittles. You’re welcome to join us for dinner, if you like. We’re having leftover cookie loaf in a melted chunk cookie gravy with a side of Tandoori oven smoked cookie in a cookie reduction, topped with cookie sprinkles. For dessert I’m serving cookies, but if you’d rather have cheese or salad, I have cookies. RSVP.

(In which Job noshes nog.)

Posted by Job O Brother, December 22, 2008 09:04pm | Post a Comment
Okay – I just took my first sip of egg nog. Laced, as it is, with a healthy dose of Maker’s Mark, we shall see what, if any, impact it has on my blog writing.

Today has been devoted to wrapping gifts and last-minute shopping. Guess where I went for the shopping.

If you guessed Amoeba Music, you guessed correctly. Point for your team. If you guessed the Lost City of Atlantis, you’re not only wrong, but your grasp on reality is tentative, to say nothing of your lack of knowledge of where to find bargains. No one ever saved money exploring the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. You can quote me on that.

*second sip of egg nog*

Anyone knows that Lemuria is where the good sales are.

*third sip of egg nog*

I’ve worked at Amoeba Music Hollywood for over four years now, but when I shop there, it still feels new and thrilling and yes, sometimes overwhelming, though in the same way that Disneyland is overwhelming. You know – so much fun to be had + if only I could use a bulldozer to get through these swarms of people!

I can’t tell you what I found because I was shopping for my boyfriend Corey who, for some ridiculous reason, actually reads my blog. Probably to make sure I don’t tell you about his embarrassing habit of biting fingernails. Not just his own fingernails. Anyone’s. He’ll gnaw your digits as soon as look at you. It’s a problem, and has gotten us kicked out of more than one function.


One night, while attending a performance of Puccini's "La Bohème" at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, we were escorted out right in the middle of one of my favorite arias, "Sì, mi chiamano Mimì" (which, loosely translated means "Yes, my fingers taste like chocolate bunnies") because Corey was so swept away by the music and the sentiment that he unconsciously began nibbling on the pinky of the elderly woman next to him. As we were exiting, I was so humiliated that I walked ten paces behind Corey, trying to remain inconspicuous, which was hard because of what he'd done.

And because I was naked. I had taken off all my clothes. I was just naked. In the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

I found some things for myself at Amoeba, too. To watch, I snagged a used copy of Leonard Bernstein’s The Unanswered Question, a DVD release of the six lectures he gave at Harvard in 1973.


For anyone interested in the fundamentals of music language and theory, this provides a charming course, and Bernstein anticipates those of us who may not themselves compose music or play an instrument, so no one gets left behind.

I just now noticed there’s only a tiny amount of egg nog left in my glass! What the heck? I simply cannot savor a beverage; I’m compelled to drink it fast and gone, and do it without even noticing. You should figure out a way to turn war and famine into a beverage, then you could serve it to me and both would be gone in under ten minutes.

Bernstein’s lecture is a kind of viewing whiplash for me, as preceding it was my introduction to the TV show 24 starring the deliciously first-named Kiefer Sutherland, which I am astonished to find I enjoy. I watched the entire 1st season in one week. So, to all of you who accuse me of only enjoying watching things with depressed Swedes or nuns dancing with demons as a French girl stares at a sofa for two hours, take that!

I mention these things that I watch and/or listen to with the assumption that, if you read my blog regularly, you have a sense for what I like, allowing you to give things I mention a try, or, if you know by now you don’t agree with my taste, you can then avoid whatever’s tickling my fancy.

Ugh… fancy. That word has been ruined for me ever since I learned that my friend Ryan’s family referred to the female genitalia as a “fancy.” I never bothered to ask what they called a boy’s genitals. Perhaps a “spiffy?”

Well, my egg nog is gone and I’m thirsty again. What’s more, I still have a stocking to stuff, so I’m going to excuse myself now. I’ll leave you with this, though, because I care.

R.I.P. Pushing Daisies

Posted by Job O Brother, November 20, 2008 08:20pm | Post a Comment

Bryan Fuller

$%(&$*%#%@*^%$%^*%^!!!!

You just insert whatever cuss word sounds best screamed out loud and that’s what that opening line is. Why am I yelling obscenities? Because I just learned that Bryan Fuller’s fantastic TV show, Pushing Daisies, has not been renewed.

Honestly, I guess I should be used to this by now. The phrase “too good for TV” has left my lips too often, and has applied to every Fuller creation.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with his work, treat yourself to Wonderfalls or (most of) the first season of Dead Like Me, and definitely check out Pushing Daisies.

For cynical, intellectual blokes like me who are more excited by an evening of psychologically tormenting Swedish films or whose idea of a catchy pop tune includes Scott Walker moaning in an echo chamber about the Plague, Bryan Fuller’s programs offer a rare opportunity to enjoy a romantic-comedy, a genre that otherwise tends to leave me feeling spiritually grifted.

I can only hope that Mr. Fuller turns to the film industry. There, he could dream up elaborate whimsy that, while never very far divorced from the unwelcome bedfellow of finance, might nevertheless allow him more breathing room to realize his visions.

In the meantime, I might just go out and purchase a TV set, just so I can throw it off a cliff.

 
From Wonderfalls:
 

From Dead Like Me:


From Pushing Daisies:

(In which Job pampers his pook-a-loo.)

Posted by Job O Brother, April 8, 2008 12:42pm | Post a Comment
Corey spent the night last night. We threw him into a hot, bubble bath and played some Julie London…




…all to undo the stressful day at work. (By “we” I mean the royal we, of course – I wasn’t assisted by a gang or nuthin’. Gangs are terrible at helping people relax. Have you noticed? Like, when you’re sitting under a cork tree and smelling the flowers, a gang – say like, a gang of Japanese whalers – will amble by and be like:


And you’re all, “Japanese dudes, I’m just trying to smell the flowers!” Or, you’re picking at some rhyolite in hopes of discovering an opal to polish and give your sweetie during the famous aria from “Gianni Schicchi”…




…and the two of you lock eyes and, in that one moment, you know that you’ve always been lovers – that every sonnet and song that’s ever been penned for love – have been about the two of you, and the devotion that binds you beyond the restraints of bodies and time and a gang of Crips, some Grape Street Crips say, come along and cause you to accidentally drop your foot-long hoagie over the balcony seating and it lands on Princess Diana’s head (this is before she’s died, obviously) and they’re all, “Gee whiz, we’re sorry. We were just hoping to find some slobs to curb,” and you’re all, “If you think any Bloods are gonna be caught at a Verdi opera, you’re crazy! Come back next month when there’s a performance of ‘Peter Grimes’ – they’re all over that Britten sh*t!” and they’re all, “Thank you. Sorry about your butty,” and you’re all, “Huh?” and they’re all, “Butty – it’s a British slang for sandwich,” and you’re all, “Oh yeah. Okay,” and there’s an awkward moment when they don’t leave but no one says anything and then they finally get the hint and go away but by then the People’s Princess is in your face and yelling at you and being totally unreasonable and for a moment – just for a moment – you think to yourself, “Just you wait, girl – you’ll get yours.” But you feel bad immediately afterwards because no one deserves to die in a car crash. Nobody.

Okay, well, maybe my 4th grade P.E. teacher, but no one else.)

After he was all warm and clean we ate Thai food and watched “The League of Gentlemen” which is one of my most favorite TV shows of all time. Like, if I had to name a Top 10, which would hurt me, but IF I had to, it would definitely be included in that list. Check it out:







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