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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Like a Band-Aid –by Mack

 

 

So I’ve got this kind of sixth sense for when someone’s about to break up with me. It first happened when I was dating Jenna. I was 22 and she was 18. I said I’d never date that young again but Marge is  a whole other story. We made out most of the afternoon, but at this one point, the song I was a Kaleidoscopic popped into my head. The lyrics of this one section kept repeating.

And this is when I forget to breathe,
And all the things I’ve scripted 
They sound unfounded.

And it’s the look that you’re giving me,
that tells me exactly what you are thinking
this ain’t workin’ anymore. 

I walked her home and as we’re walking she says to herself  “next tree. No, next tree.” Then she turns to me and BAM. Ends it right there.  Ever since then, I’ve taken particular notice of when songs pop into my head.

I met Kelly for coffee today. I expected her to be waiting for me. Maybe I was there early, I don’t remember. I kept looking at my hands for some reason. When did they get this hairy? Kelly and I started dating off of an internet dating site.  The attitudes of most girls profiles really piss me off. Most of them try to come off as quirky and off beat but in the exact same way as the next girl. But Kelly liked action movies.

She arrived and had been shopping. I found that odd. She’s not a big spender. Once she got settled and we got through the standard pleasantries, she segued to “I’ve meaning to talk about–”
I interrupted her mid-sentence with, “This isn’t working for me.”  I leaned back and looked at the Starbucks LCD screen. The momentary display of Eva Cassidy was my safe house.

“Excuse me?” trying to deny what she had just heard.
A list of lies fired through my head. -I just not ready for a relationship-I think we’re too different-We want different things-I think you can do better (yea I actually considered saying that one.)-

But what came out was, “I don’t want to date you anymore.” And after my eyes returned to Eva Cassidy. I got up from the table and walked to the door. There I hesitated. Keep going on check in with her? I looked back and she was sitting at the table as if I were still sitting in front of her. She hadn’t moved.

I immediately walked to a deli and bought a pack of cigarettes. This pack will be the last pack.

–Big Mack At… you get the idea.

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2011 in By Mack, Dating

 

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The TV facts of life — By JACK

I’ve started a TV writing class.  It’s been too long since I’ve been in a class room setting. It’s nice. I’ve missed it. People ask me why I want to write TV opposed to theatre or film or even novels. Then they ask me why I’m going after something that’s so hard to get into. As if maybe I should set my sights lower. Fuck it. I’m already in my late 20’s. I’ve only ever seen myself doing something in entertainment. I’m not going to change now. I can’t imagine myself in a 9-5 working for someone else’s benefit. If I’m going to devote 40 plus hours a week of my life to something, it’s going be creating some thing unique from me and meaningful.

The first thing the teacher said: “In TV writing you are not creating anything unique. You’re following a formula pieced to together from vaudville, film, and radio. It’s been perfected. You write in that formula or your fired.”  Well fuck. I still want to do it.

Here are the TV facts of life.
1. Less writing a script as you are executing a brand.
As a TV writer it is your job to safeguard the characters. A brand has been establish and it’s essential you protect it. Characters don’t change. They return to saneness. The audience identifies with something in the character. If we change that, we change the reason people watch the show

2. There are no pre-planned story arcs.
Each week you as a writer are given notes. From the top. YOU MUST FOLLOW THESE. The notes come from 3 sources which decide the direction of the show. Always.

Committee of Experts (bigwigs)
Primary Advertisers
Focus Groups

3. All news for about the inner works of a TV show is fake.
      A TV show’s news if a fiction that the network want to keep going.  Curb Your Enthusiasm isn’t improved, it has 14 writers.  When it comes to interviews every writer/actor/etc, is given talking points. If you deviate from that, you’re fired. The network spends a lot of money on the show and they’re not going to let anything get out that they don’t want.  Even the Charlie Sheen scandal was spun. You didn’t hear about the armed guards keeping him out of the studio.
Am I selling my soul? Probably. But I’ve spent a lot of time doing art and not getting paid for it. I still love shows like West Wing, LOST, Twin PeaksBreaking Bad, and 30 Rock. If I get to be apart of anything like that, I’ll consider myself incredibly lucky. Even if it means I have to do crap the rest of the time.

-Jack out.

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2011 in By Jack, Writing

 

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I have a death stare — by Jill

I go to pick up Batman: Arkham City yesterday at Best Buy which I had reserved because at Best Buy and only Best Buy you get the Robin challenge maps. Basically it just a character skin. But it’s ROBIN!!! I’ve always had a thing for Robin. Except Chris O’Donnell. He was BULLSHIT! I must have been the only girl in high school who wrote ” I ♥ Tim Drake” on her text book covers.

Anyway I go down stairs to the 2nd floor and there is a massive line at customer service. I just know that’s the line to get the game if you reserved it. I go down to the 3rd floor (or 2nd floor down from the first floor, you know what I’m saying) where the video games are and I ask where I go to pick up my copy. Sure as shitballs, it was that bitch ass line up stairs. I go up and I wait. I note the time cause I’m going to bitch about this to someone and I want to know exactly how long I’m going to be in this stupid line.

They have one guy at the customer service desk processing umpteen people.  And it’s not like they didn’t know this was going to happen. This is the line for people who TOLD YOU they were coming to pick the game TODAY. I mean WTF!
Somehow a manager came over and I basically told him all that and then some. To which he replies with a half -hearted apology and some line of bull shit. But then finishes with “And I don’t appreciate your sarcasm, ma”am.” At that point, I declared I’d never reserve a game from Best Buy and I pierced him with my eyes.

Sidenote——–>

When I deal with people that I’m trying to get something from, I try to approach them from their mindset. Argue from their point of view, if that makes any sense.  I’m the one that usually caves.  But I did something different this day. 

We lock eyes in a tense stand off. Then he walked away and I continued to wait for copy of Batman. Then another employee announced , “All customer’s in line for reserves come with me.” And we were all swept off to a shorter line. VICTORY!!!

Then today, I came into the city to fill out applications. I forgot to print my resume but luckily I had my USB drive. I walk into some random print shop (i.e. not Staples/Kinkos) and I ask to print from the thumb drive. The guy points me to a computer and I print it out. 3 copies. 25¢ a page . 75¢ right?

I go to the register and the man (in broken English) says $1.75. I’m like WTF?

“$1.00 for computar.” To which I reply, “But there was no other way for me to print it out.”

“Sahr-ly, but oh-nar’s rules.”

Normally, I would accept that. He has to follow the rules. I mean, what can you do? But then I remember my epiphany from yesterday. Fuck his reality. I’m sticking to mine. “That’s bullshit. Any other place, I give you my drive and you print it. By going to that dinky computer I’m doing the work for you. Why should I pay you for that?”

To which he responds, “But computar use, $1. People check email. Use inter-net.”

“But, I didn’t. What else could I have done? Given you a CD? Sent it by mores code?”(he didn’t understand that one) Then there was the stare off.

“75¢. But de oh-nar will not be happy.”  I gave him my 3 quarters. “Fuck your oh-nar.” I didn’t actually say that last part.

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2011 in By Jill

 

…and I didn’t even have to ask. –by Mack

I hate the late night MTA. Twenty-five minutes for the fuckin’ D train. Another friend’s birthday on the lower east side. Actually the East Village.  Fun bars, shitty places to get home from. When it finally comes, I immediately notice these 4 girls who look barely old enough to have breasts dressed in mega skanky outfits. I mean one of them looked she was wearing 3 or 4 pieces of interwoven lace. They get off at their stop and as they walk away some guy remarks, “Those girls know what’s up,” and the woman next to him spits back, “No they do not.” The man insists, “The Asian one sure does.”
At this time, I decide to chime in. “What is it they know?”
They guy spouts, “She knows what’s up.”
The chick looks at me with a smile and reassures me, “Don’t worry honey, we’re talking in code.”
“I figured that. Doesn’t mean I can’t ask.”
The guy bursts out, “She knows what to do in bed.”
“Uh uh, She don’t know the ski position,” correcting her friend.
“I want to be hanging out with you guys.” Then looking at her, “Particularly, you.”

The chick gives me a look over, smiles again, and inquires, “And why me?”
“Because you know the ski position.”
She laughs. Now I’m sitting on a bench that faces the center of the train. And so is the guy, but on a bench further down. The chick sits on a seat that faces the front positioned between me and him. Her back is to me, but she’s slanted over the seat conversating and what not. This is important because after a short while of fun back and forth, I notice her phone face is facing me with her digits. XXX-XXX-XXXX. I pull out my phone and dial them in. When I look up, the number is gone. In it’s place, a message, “Call Me.”

The three of us change trains as I guide them to the 1. I give her a hug, shake the guy’s hand and go home with a hopeful smile. I don’t know why, but I’ve had a thing for older women lately. As I come out of the train station I get a text. It’s Kelly again. “Can we talk on Tuesday?”

Fantastic.

—Big Mack attack!

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2011 in By Mack, Dating

 

What douche bags: part 2 – by Jack

I’ve found my script, an old 10 minute play called Stick Up. It was the first thing I wrote when I quit marketing to do writing. The rules to the Naked Fairy Tales website insist it only be 10 pages, and Stick Up is closer to 14 pages, but I figured a way to format it. I called them just to be clear on specifics. The girl told me to come with two copies of my play to the reading. Watch the play readings, then submit mine at the end for next week. Sounds wonderful.

I read through my play and timed it and it was about 9 minutes long. I thought I’d be fine. Only thing was I don’t have a printer. No problem, just stop by a Staples or Kinkos (now FedEX office.)  Sure enough there was a Staples around the theatre. I wanted to conserve paper so I had two pages printed per sheet. You know, so it reads like a book. Like so…

I go the show and boy did the plays sucks. There was only one that I didn’t hate. The rest of them had no conflict, no stakes, and insufferable pauses. Granted it was reading so the actors didn’t know the scripts but the plays died none the less. I don’t know where this “under 10 minutes” thing went because they went through 5 or 6 in the whole two hours.

Finally, the plays all done. People dispersed to the bar and it once again became a social environment. I looked for the two emcees to whom I was to submit my script. I find one of them and he’s talking to someone, I wait patiently back. In conversation with the other guy, the emcee stops, mid-sentence and addresses me, “What?.”

Startled, I presented my script. “I brought this for next week. My name is Jack.”

“It is 10 pages?” he jumps to.

“Yea, less, it’s 8.”

“Why’d you format it like this. You see my gray hair? I can’t read this.”

“It was to save paper. I can email it to you.”

“Why do you have two copies? You just need one.”

“I called ahead, the girl told me to bring 2 copies.”

“Well you don’t need two copies. Just one.”

And then he turned by to the guy he was talking to and we were done. Fuck that place.

–Jack out!

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2011 in By Jack, Writing

 

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The day of atonement by Jill

I just survived Yom Kippur, the Jewish  day of atonement.  I’ve never been religious but Aunt Rebecca and Uncle Aaron insisted on going. Well they didn’t insist so much as they guilted. It’s been great staying with them for no rent, but it makes it hard to say no to anything.  They seemed disappointed my mother for never made me go to temple and so Aunt Rebecca has taken it on as a personal duty to inspire me in the ways of “G-d.”

The overbearing Jewish guilt paired with the lack of alcohol hasn’t been a pleasant combination. With no friends to drive and no bars within walking distance of the New Rochelle residence, I’ve been sol. The beginning of any move is difficult. Being robbed of ones coping mechanism is damn near impossible. While I was in the city looking for a job, I’ve considered picking up a small bottle of Evan Williams. And even as cheap as it is, I’m in survival mode until I find a job.

Back to Yom Kippur. As we sat in the Synagogue 30 minutes early (to get good seats) the Rabbi, a thin neurotic woman (the female version of Woody Allen) asked us if we’d like to read or hold the Torah or whatever. Uncle Aaron volunteered me saying “it would be a good way for some of the Jewish boys to notice me.” Yes. Every Jewish boy is looking for a skinny, bored, and barely Jewish girl holding a Torah.

I was handed a slip of paper which told me when to present

myself. But it seemed like I would be spared as the Rabbi railroaded past my page number on by a few prayers. Just as I was sure of my salvation, the Rabbi stopped mid Kaddish to apologize for robbing me of my sacred right and invented another moment for me to hold the sacred scrolls.

Poised and on display, the Torah is much heavier than one would think. I was once told that they cost $10,000 as they are hand written. Bearing my cross (sorry for the metaphor) I considered the possibility that what I was holding was more than an overpriced relic. I pretended the scrolls were every bit as holy as an orthodox Hassidim might esteem them to be. I pondered what I was bearing in my arms, struggling to support, might be a direct telephone to “G-d.” At that moment my heart started to pound and I got very angry. If He or She or Whatever did exist, and was watching out for me, why had He/She/It been so silent? Why for all the times I did breakdown and pray was I ignored? Why do I have epilepsy?  Why am I so alone?  And at that moment I wanted to throw the Torah on the ground and storm out.

Then the Rabbi thanked me. I laid the Torah down as carefully as a mother would her ill infant and sat down. Uncle Aaron patted my thigh and said “Good job, kid.”

–(Insert clever signature here)
Jill

P.S. Check out good ol’ Cyanide and Happiness. Makes me smile.

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2011 in By Jill

 

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Cater Monkey – by Mack

Worked a cater out last night. Cater outs take everything I love about waiting tables and throws them in the garbage disposal. You set up heavy crap.  The management doesn’t know what they want. Tells you to move a bunch of stuff and in the middle of moving it, they rush over and tell you to wipe down other crap. Then the guests arrive and you’re a silent smiling monkey for the rest of the night.

Right as the party got started one of the managers told me to go buy some oven mitts. Really??? You didn’t think of that yesterday? Whatever. Gets me out of monkey mode. I used my awesome HTC Evo to find a Walgreens and walked 8 blocks. I could be in a commercial.  About 10 minutes after getting back, the manager tells me they’ve run out of skewers for the flank steak kabobs. Back to my Evo to find a grocery store. It was right next to the Walgreens. This time I take the subway. I get back and she says skewers are too big. Fuck. Turns out there is a small deli right next door to the event that sells exactly what she’s looking for.  Whoops.

Normally, I like serving people. Making jokes, telling them about the food. You know, doing shit. But when you’re a cater monkey, you aren’t even supposed to tell people to move when you’ve got arms full if their discarded half drunk cran & vodkas. I swear these rich fucks take one sip and just leave it there.

Then when the fuckers finally leave you gotta break crap down and clean. And there was sooo much booze. Good shit too. Dewards 12 year. Bombay Sapphire, Grey Goose and Grey Goose lime (really??? you need lime flavoring in your over priced vodka.) I managed to get a few shots of the 12 year.  Made the night go smoother.

I entertained myself by watching the stiff shirts go from uptight to drunk stupid. So many spills I had to clean up. To entertain myself, I’d watch the triangles people make with conversation. You really can’t have a gathering of more than 3 people. Sometimes 4, but that last person really isn’t part of what’s going on. Even with 3 the third is going to be left out somewhat. I like to watch when that left out person tries to get back into the conversation. But this one chick I couldn’t stop looking at. She was wearing pants, a sky blue blouse

like this—>         in this color –>    

but she was wearing one of those arm scarfs, like she was a queen.

 Whatever those things are called.  Anyway, she looked even more pretentious.

I got done around 1am and headed to Ellen’s birthday party. Got pretty wasted, I don’t remember much after that. But when I woke up I had a text from Kelly. “We need to talk.”  That can’t be good.

–Big Mack Attack

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2011 in By Mack, Restaurants