Thursday, April 30, 2009

Smart Car

I found out last Friday night that the Smart Car's name in no way corresponds to the actual person driving the vehicle.

Nancy and I were on our way to Dad's Garage. We were tooling down a road in our neighborhood that we had been down many times. At one particular bend of the road, another residential street T's into the street we were on.

The direction I was going, which was a natural continuation of the road we were on, had no stop sign. I continued along at my speed, assuming the street that dead ends onto another street would have a stop sign. (upon later inspection we found out it didn't) I notice a red smart car is speeding it's tiny ass toward us. It wasn't slowing down. I sped up to avoid contact.

We pass the smart car just as it is turning left. I look in the rear view mirror just in time to see the smart car change its direction in mid left turn, whipping itself around. It's now speeding up behind us. I thought for sure he wasn't chasing us down in a fit of residential street rage.

He got closer and closer. At the next stop sign I could hear him yelling at us. Then he turned and drove away. It made me feel icky. Who the hell chases people down these days. We are in the freaking south for God's sake. Odds are I had a gun somewhere on me or in the car. What an idiot. I don't care how badly you piss me off while I'm driving, I won't ever chase you and yell at you. That's just stupid, immature and dangerous.

I guess the fact that we were in a Honda Fit made us less imposing. Perhaps if I was in a huge black truck with tinted windows he might have rethought his actions.

I have to say, if our Honda Fit and the Smart Car would have collided, it would have been the cutest car wreck ever.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine!

I'm so glad the media isn't fueling global terror by painting the swine flu in a horrific and apocalyptic light. The media is so thoughtful and has really taken into consideration the public's mental well being. I applaud you media, it's not often that a leopard changes its "over reacting sensationalistic" spots. Media, you have taken the high road this time, thought that maybe you shouldn't instill unnatural fright in an already trigger shy, recession suffering, terrorist fearing public.

Bravo.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Wondrous Times

Here is the short I made for Channel 101 this month, it was not selected. Boo. It's really silly. I laugh every time I watch it, which isn't the case with a lot of my shorts. I wanted to step out side the over planning, stringent, micro managing box I'm always in when I shoot a 101 pilot. I wanted to just grab the camera and be silly. I had a great time making this and it was a ton of fun. It's a shame it didn't get picked, but that's the way the cookie crumbles.

Be warned, this isn't like most of the stuff I do, and it won't be every ones cup of tea, but if you like it please pass it along to your friends.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earthday!

I know I stopped doing video blogs, but I wanted to share my Earthday ritual in person!
video

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Night-OH **NEW DATE**

We finally have a date for the 10th Anniversary Night-OH-Cabaret show. It's going to be Saturday June 20th at the Lakewood Theater. We are trying to get a really cool guest star to preform in the show, and I was freaking jazzed out of my mind yesterday morning because he said he could do it. Then I found out he might actually be doing another show the next night and it bummed me out to no end.

Nothing is set in stone yet so please send well wishes and good thoughts my way.

Here is a poster and video for the show:


I'm super excited about this show. Hopefully things will work out with our secret guest star. We're pulling out all the stops and trying to make it an amazing experience. If you're in Dallas for the love of God make plans to go. The Ticket info isn't posted yet but I'll let you know when it is. This show has been a big part of my life and holds a very special place in my heart. Help us spread the word and fill up every seat in that theater, this show deserves some love.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

PIR

Shooting some stuff today, but wanted to drop this on you guys if you missed it like me. Watch closely when the 4th person is called at the very beginning of the show.

The Price is Right!

Just click that link above to see my fat ass cheer on someone that should have been me.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Best Trip Ever!:Part 7, the last day

Finally, we come to the end of a week long journey, that seemed like a month. It really was a nonstop action packed week of awesome. It was time to say goodbye to the city of broken dreams.

Being the complete moron I am, I accidentally booked my return flight at 12:30 midnight, thinking it was 12:30 noon. So I had a whole day to obsess over the flight home. Ryan and I had decided early on last week to go to a taping of Drew Carey's Price is Right.

The building they tape the show in was literally 2 blocks from Ryan's apartment. You can hear the plinko machine from Ryan's living room.

We knew our chances of getting selected would greatly improve if we were wearing retarded matching "team" shirts. After hours of deliberation we decided on the slogan "Clever T-Shirt". We thought the best way to go about making these shirts would be stick on vinyl letters. A quick trip to Office Depot and K-Mart later, we had our letters and white t-shirts. We decided to make our shirts even more catchy by writing the slogan upside down. Sometimes our amazing intellect and originality amazing even me.

A friend of Ryan's who lived just down the street was going with us so we made her a shirt as well. Here we are after the show.

We assembled the team and walked to Subway for some line waiting nourishment. With three 5 dollar foot longs in hand, we were off. They do two tapings a day, at 1pm and 4pm. We were set to attend the 4pm taping. We arrived at 1pm and didn't get through the studio doors until 4:20-ish. That's 3 hours of waiting for those keeping count.

After sizing up our competition, we realized that our chances of getting picked were nil. There were 3 military people in their costumes, a lady in a wheelchair, and to many obese woman to count. Some chic in our row got selected, so if you watch the show THIS MONDAY APRIL 13TH on CBS, you'll see me acting as obnoxious as I could.

The best part for me was when they called up the woman in the wheelchair. She was right next to me. When she started to roll up, I leaped from my seat and cheered as if they had just called up Jesus. I screamed and waved my arms like a fucking retarded child who had just been told he was going to McDonalds. The best part was, I realized that NO ONE else was standing up. Not one person in the entire audience. And when I realized that I went even more nuts. I guess the audience hated people in wheelchairs. Not me, I love the fuck nuts out of them. All I have to say to the audience is, lives to short to harbor hate and prejudice against those that are different from us. To, to, short. Open your hearts April 13th 2009 Price is Right audience, it's time.

The taping was a lot of fun, I have a new found respect for Drew Carey. He was very funny. Much funnier and down to earth than he comes across on the actual show. He handled the audience with the ease and grace of a Catskill comedian. He's a pretty talent cat.

It was a long day of waiting and being told to clap like trained monkeys. It takes a lot out of you. I was starving at this point. It was now 6:30pm. I told Ryan I needed more noodles, so he took me to a great little noodle joint and we had our last meal of the trip together.

I packed up and headed back to the rental car drop zone. All in all it was a great trip.

Happy Easter everyone, and be sure to catch my one man standing ovation for the wheel chair lady this Monday on CBS!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Best Trip Ever!:part 6

SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY!

The big day was here! Why was this a big day? Let me fill you in with a little back story:

When I started putting together my trip to LA, I checked on the channel 101 website to see if there was going to be a screening while I was in town. Sure enough there was, and I was super jazzed. I've been a big fan of all the cats involved with 101 for a long time. You might remember I had done several tiny tv shows for Channel 102 (now 101 NY) while I was in New York. Up until now, I had never sent anything into the original channel 101. I knew all the fools doing 102 in New York, so it wasn't that scary. But 101 in L.A. was the real deal. Those guys are rockstars! They consistently pump out amazing and funny stuff, making it all the more daunting to send in videos.

I started thinking about it and came to the conclusion I should shoot a show and submit it for that screening. I had a silly idea for a show and I told my buddy Mike Geier. He dug the idea and said he would help me put it all together. Along with Mike, some buddies from Dad's Garage, and Jon Goss, a friend from college that contacted me out of the blue on facebook recently; I was able to pull it off in less than 2 weeks. It would have been done in a week, but we had to cancel a shoot day and move it back a week.

And now, for the first time in this blog, I present The Evener:

Long story short, the guys at channel 101 get tons of shows submitted every month and choose only the best 5 for the screening. So I had my fingers crossed all week, which made eating, going to the bathroom, and all my pitch meetings a bit awkward. They usually post the excepted videos on the website the Friday before the screening. It was now Sunday, and they still hadn't posted anything. I was on pins and needles.

To calm my nerves Ryan took me to an all you can eat Korean BBQ restaurant for lunch. We rolled up at exactly 11:58am and noticed a woman cleaning the front window. We started to walk in, but were stopped by the woman. She informed us that they didn't open until noon. A mere 2 minutes away. Reluctantly we left and took a little walk around the neighborhood. I bought a Thia Ice Tea from some place called I Love Boba. Boba is a weird drink with puffed rice balls in the bottom. The rice balls have the same consistency of gummy bears. You have to use an extra big straw to suck them up as you drink. It was strange to say the least, and to be honest I'm not sure if I, in fact, did love boba. I did however come up with the brilliant idea to start a Star Wars themed boba place called "I love Boba Fette".

We went back to the restaurant and proceeded to stuff ourselves into a meat coma. Afterward, we waddled around for a while, full of pork and beef. When we get back to Ryan's, I checked the 101 site for the millionth time. They had finally posted the shows that made the screening. There in black and white was my little hastily thrown together mess, The Evener. I was jazzed out of my mind.

We goofed off for the rest of the day and then made or way to the screening. They usually have 2 screenings, but tonight they were only having 1, so I had made a reservation. When we got there we were seated right in the front row. I noticed my film was second to last on the roster.

I was super nervous. Turns out the screening was great, my film got a lot of laughs.

Afterward we hung out and drank at the place with all the 101 guys. I got to meet a lot of the people whose work I really dig. I met Dan Harmon, Rob Schrab, and Justin Roiland. Justin was the guy that created one of my all time favorite 101 shows, House of Cosbys. He said he liked my film and that made my insecure, self loathing little soul happy.

I also met Rich Fulcher:

This made my star fucker gland swell with delight. He is one of the guys from the Mighty Boosh. If you haven't seen this show I HIGHLY suggest you seek it out. It's insane, cute, hilarious, and reminds me of the old Muppet Show. It hasn't had a US DVD release yet which is a shame, but you can find it all over the internets.

Meeting Dan and Rob was great as well. Dan Harmon is an insanely gifted writer and Rob Schrab is one of the most talented mutha fuckas around. They founded Channel 101 over 6 years ago. Since then they have both had tons of success in Hollywood, and still find time to be involved in 101.

Unfortunately my film came in 11th out of 11, which means mine was the best worst one. Suck on that number 1. I didn't care that my film was last place, the experience was so great. All those guys were proof that you don't have to be a douche bag to be successful in Hollywood. Thanks for the great time guys!

It was getting late, so we hopped in a cab. I went to bed with visions of channel 101 dancing in my head.

One more day left....

Best Trip Ever!:part 5

Open bars always seem like a great idea when you're there, but the next morning you realize they're just a horrible joke played on you by Satan. I wasn't feeling to good the next morning. Everyone woke up and Vanessa high tailed it back to the OC.

Ryan and I had plans to go to the Museum of Natural History at 2pm and watch a folk music artist play. We left the apartment to grab some much needed nourishment. First Ryan tried to take me to an infamous diner downtown. There was a line out the door when we arrived. We decided to peek in and check out the place. The second the greasy smell of a griddle from a place that claims to have been open 24 hours every day for the past 20 years, hit my hung over olfactories, it was time to turn around. You could literally reach up and grab a handful of Crisco out of the air.

My gut was craving noodles, so Ryan took me to an incredible Ramon place. It was absolutely delicious, and the best part was I kept it all down. Hooray!

Next stop was the Natural History Museum across from USC. Ryan promised me that the dude preforming had a puppet that he whipped out for one of his songs. You can imagine how totally stoked I was.



Unfortunately there was no puppet this time around. You can imagine how totally bummed out I was.

It was bizarre watching two folk musicians do a concert surrounded by dioramas of stuffed animals. I felt like I was in an episode of Flight of the Concords. This dude was not digging the show as much as we were:

After the set, we wondered around the museum for a while. There was a fantastic exhibit full of spiders and weird bugs. They looked like something out of an 80's science fiction movie. My camera was starting to die at this point, so the picture is a little blurry. But it's still creepy, even out of focus.

I couldn't wrap my mind around the fact that somewhere on this planet, these creatures are crawling around. If I saw one of these little guys in my apartment, I'ld drop 2 tons of bricks in my pants.

For some reason adjacent to the bug exhibit, this was playing to a small empty room.

It begs the question, if a Gelfling falls in the woods and no one is there, does it make a sound?

I've heard of having a monkey on your back, but this is ridiculous...anyone...hello?

I still wonder what the hell was in this cart.



We came upon a closed door in the museum. Being full hearty young lads we ventured in finding this:
video
I'm just glad we made out out of there alive.

We left the Museum and on the way home Ryan asked if I wanted to see the house from Six Feet Under. I said:


That night Ryan had a date, which was fine because I had to head down to Beverly Hills anyway. I was attending the film festival premiere of my friend Cynthia's short film entitled Trifles. Her short was great, however it was part of a shorts program and her piece was last. There were 5 reasons why I stopped going to shorts programs at film festivals before hers. Luckily Cynthia's started right before I was about to claw my eyes out. She was far and away one of the best performances of the night. Bravo Cynthia, you done good!!!

Apparently at midnight everything in Beverly Hills closes up, probably because they're all pussies there. We had no place to go to have food and catch up. F you Beverly Hills. I drove back to Ryan's pad and watched Whatever It Takes again.

Almost done...

Friday, April 3, 2009

Best Trip Ever!:part 4

Friday morning arrived, and you haven't woken up yet if you haven't been serenaded awake by Ryan McCracken.

Ryan is an amazing musician who writes for a music blog in LA called Losanjealous.com. Ryan's love and knowledge of music, old and new, is immense and constantly expanding. There's always smooth grooves reverberating throughout the McCracken pad from a CD or his turntable.

I'm always treated to new and undiscovered bands when I visit. It truly is the best place to stay if you're in LA.

Ryan had noticed some aphids on the leaves in his garden. After a Twitter about the little devils, he received tons of advice. That morning we ran an errand to a hardware store to obtain, not 1, not 48, but 500 ladybugs. It was creepy as hell. I never realized you could buy so many living creatures at the hardware store.

Here are some pictures of the great lady bug release of 2009.





It was noon and I had to head to Radical Axis' LA hub to chat with my friends April and Joe. We gossiped about work for an hour, then April had to go to a meeting. Joe was nice enough to accompany me to lunch. We went to a place that specialized in hotdogs and was inside an old railroad car. It was awesome!

Next I traveled to Titmouse Studios for a tour of the place. It's the studio that produces the show Metalocalypse for Adult Swim. My friend Nash from Blue Sky knows them and set it up for me. My point man was Antonio Canobbio. Not only is his name kick ass, he was incredibly nice and extremely accommodating. He gave me a tour of the entire place. I practically met everyone there. It was fantastic.

After the tour I was on my way back to home base.

Vanessa's a writer for game shows. That night I was going to be her plus one for the wrap party of her latest show. We met up at a place called Home, where a couple NYC improv friends of ours were having dinner. After catching up for a while, Vanessa and I made our way to Lucky Strikes Lanes, where the wrap party was in full swing. One near death experience involving me trying to cross a busy street in the Cobalt and a cab ride with a crazy Russian dude who thought we were married then told us 3 to many inappropriate stories later, we were lacing up our bowling shoes.



I bowled a 68 BTW.

I'll break down the party:
Free bowling = Great
Free Booze = Amazing
Rock Band = Totally Sweet
Meeting Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air = PRICELESS

I got to shake his hand and he was super nice. Unfortunately I have no photographic proof of said encounter with the great Alfonso Ribeiro, because Vanessa insisted I not take a picture. I'm not listening to her next time. Watch your back Alfonso Spears from TV's Silver Spoons.

After several free drinks, the party ended and we stumbled across the street to another bar for one last beer. I wish I was a little more sober, because we ended up crashing the booth of the most amazing characters I've met in a long time. Two Swedish rock musicians. One of them was a year into his California dream. The other was pretty fresh off the boat and had amazing feather hair.

Vanessa had that ready to go home look, but I was digging my two new friend to much to leave. Eventually I gave in and we hopped in a cab back to Ryans.

Another long action packet day down. More two come my pretties....

Best Trip Ever!:part 3

Memory getting foggy, must get this all down before it evaporates into the ether...

Thursday morning I was pretty easy going. Grabbed some breakfast, and hung out at Vanessa's, anxiously awaiting the mother of all pitch meetings...Disney! Talk about pressure. Go ahead, talk about it.

My meeting wasn't until 4:30, so I had plenty of time to obsess over my pitch, get really stressed out, and develop an upset stomach. Actually I was pretty chill about the whole thing, which is very unlike me. I guess my new mantra, "Seriously, what the fuck is your problem Gibbons?", is working.

I made my way from the OC to Burbank, stopping at Burger King for a Whopper, what can I say, I'm a foodie. The Disney Studios was really dawnting. I had to pinch myself as I drove through the front gate.

This is the place they shoot classic shows like, "That's so Raven". The thought of seeing Raven Symone alone gave be goose bumps.

I got my ID badge and parked. Unfortunately they gave me the wrong ID badge, so I walked back to the security kiosk. The security guy looked at it and said, "Dude, good catch." Nick Gibbons 1/Disney Security 0.

The pitch went as well as I expected. It was my first pitch there and now I have a much better idea of what they expect. With that under my belt I headed back to Ryan's place. Ryan and I decided to grab some dinner at the kick ass farmers market by his place. I grabbed some grub at a Cajun joint inside the farmers market. It was good, but unfortunately it will be making another appearance in this blog soon.

It was time to drink! We decided to just hang around the neighborhood, so of course the first stop was Studs Theater!



OK so maybe we didn't actually go inside. I couldn't figure out why the male porn stars just made indentions of their feet and hands. Maybe they didn't use their finger to write their names.

Ryan took me to a bar in attached to a deli. It smelled like pastrami, which isn't usually what I look for in a bar. Next up was a hipster Russian vodka bar. After a few vodka beverages my tummy starts to feel bad. It could've been all the stress from the week catching up to me, but I think it was the Cajun food.

I excused myself to the hipster Russian facilities and proceed to unleash the wrath of God on that tiny black and white tiled room. It was terrible! It was like my ass was being punished for something and it was planning on taking everyone else with it. I was in the stall for a while and there was no mistaking where the pungent bouquet was emitting. Several bar patrons outside my stall commented, but none more prolifically than the hipster that uttered, "This dude is single-handedly destroying the bathroom." I should have defended myself, but he was right.

After hosing off, I joined Ryan at the bar and we finished up. It was time to head back home and grab some sleep. I heard later that the health department had to condem that bathroom. Sorry about that Russian bar.

More trip to come...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Best Trip Ever!:part 2

Where were we? Oh yeah day after peeing in bottle.

So it's Wednesday morning. I wake up on Ryan's couch ready to take on a fresh new Californian day. Ryan displays two tiny bottles of champagne he has bought for me, to celebrate my pitches. He suggests we mix them with his blood orange juice and make mimosas. I have no objections.

I have nothing planned until 2pm. After a short discussion of our options, I chose door number 1, a trip to the original Bat-Cave. This is the cave that they used in the 1960s series. Whenever you would see the Bat-Mobile tearing ass out of a cave to save Gotham, this was what you saw.



We walked through the very short man made hole, or "cave" as it's called, and emerged on the other side. You could practically feel the history seeping out of the ground. Then we took a piss.

We made our way around the back of the cave and noticed the two hills on the other side perfectly framed the Hollywood sign.


Literally ONE second after this photo was taken, an incredibly skinny effeminate older man in shorts with a chihuahua approached us and asked if we were tourist or if we were from the area. We politely informed him we were in fact both of those things.

If you know me at all, you know I'm incredibly polite and accommodating with people I don't know, and if Ryan hadn't been there, there's a good possibility I would still be there talking to this dude. In hindsight our prescience wasn't necessary for the conversation to begin with, seeing as how it was extremely one sided.

After I told him I lived in Atlanta, he told me how hot it was there, then followed that statement up with, "I've never been there." At this point we knew we needed to make a hasty retreat. He asked me when my birthday was, and being very polite, I told him. He then pulled out an incredibly tattered piece of paper from his wallet, looked at it, and proceeded to tell me I must have had a troubled childhood. I confirmed I indeed did not have a troubled childhood. He showed me the piece of paper, which had all the cards from a deck of playing cards on it. He said I was a 3 of hearts which meant I was all about giving. At this point my mind had melted and was oozing out of my nose. Ryan had been interjecting several derogatory things, trying to unlatch this mans mental hold on me. Finally we escaped his evil clutches. I realized to late as we walked away that one of us should have shouted, "To the BatCave!" And ran off. The best ideas always come 4 seconds to late.

Lunch time was approaching and of the many suggestions given, I chose Cuban sandwiches at a place in downtown LA. We made the drive. After hopelessly scouting, we find a parking place for the nominal fee of 9 bucks. The place Ryan takes me is tucked back, almost hidden in a breezeway between two high rises that housed lawyers and such.

There was a long line, but it went fast and was well worth it.

I like spicy stuff, so I grabbed a bag of these:

Having been let down so many times before by consumer products promising to be "flaming", "fire" or "3 alarm"; I wasn't convinced. My reservations however were unwarented. These little babies could peel paint. And here's why:

Next up Ryan took me a rather scenic route to check out the public library/homeless shelter.


This place was enormous and the insides were spectacular. These pictures don't really do it justice.




After checking out a couple of the exhibits, and avoiding stepping foot in ANY of the public restrooms therein, we made our way to the next stop on Ryan's downtown tour. The 27th floor of the Court House.

I had trepidation about this choice at first, but Ryan assured me it was a little known LA treasure. After going UG to the 27th floor...


...Ryan was right. We were treated to a 360 degree view of LA, and there was absolutely no one up there.


We repelled down the side of the building and made our way to the next stop. For all the film enthusiasts out there, this is the building where they shot a good portion of the Harrison Ford classic Blade Runner.



Again the pictures don't do this place justice. The wood and ironwork were amazing. We did have to terminate several rouge robots harboring complex moral and ethical questions about the concept of life, but that's pretty much how I roll on a daily basis.

It was getting close to the time I needed to head down to San Clemente, so we made the last stop in LA, a pirate bar.



After a dark and stormy and enduring a very talkative bartender, we went back to home base.

I didn't leave for San Clemente until 3:30pm and found out real quick that I should have hustled to leave a lot sooner. After 2 and half hours in traffic I arrive at O Entertainments new facilities. I was greeted by all my old DNA buddies that work there and given a tour of the place by my friend Jake. It's an amazing space, alas I have no pictures to prove it.

After a bit we left to go to Irvine and have half price sushi and sake. Joining me for the festivities were Ben, Jake, Paul, and Jason. The friend I stayed with last time, Vanessa, met us there. It was a great evening of raw fish and hot alcohol.

Upon completing the festivities, Vanessa and I retreated to her hood at Seal Beach in the OC. We arrived around 11pm and decided to keep the party train rolling down the track. The first bar we walked into was full of what appeared to be loud inebriated 18-year-olds. I insisted we not stay for fear of getting douche bag all over my shirt.

The second bar we went to was pretty much empty AND they were doing karaoke! One of the nights topics happened to be Christopher Walkin and with that topic comes my obligatory terrible impression of Mr. Walkin. It's actually just an amalgamation of everyone else's impression. At any rate, I was making all kinds of noise about how I wanted to sing "Walking on Sunshine" AS Walkin. After Vanessa let me out of her very persuasive choke hold, I wondered up and put in my name, or rather the name "Christopher". I started singing and people slowly began to "get it". Laugher insued. The 50 something year old Karaoke DJ was standing behind me and didn't seem to understand what I was doing. I leaned back and clued him into the gag. He nodded. We cool.

As if not to be over shadowed by my awesomely hilarious bit, the Karaoke DJ immediately sang the hit "How's your hole... family" A song that goes from "cute", to "we get it", to "how the fuck long is this song anyway", real fast.

It was a fun night, but I could tell by the blank look in V's eyes that the party train had derailed and it was time to stumble home.

I'll end this broadcast day with a cute picture of Vanessa's new neighbor's dogs nose, that he kept shoving under the gate to smell stuff.

More trip to come....