july 18, 2004

I'm not stalking, I'm simply observing!

Any of you who have AIMed me in the last month, or emailed me, or attempted to make offline contact know I'm damn busy. When I'm not working on various articles and projects at Lucasfilm, I'm also writing my novel or attempting to finish a couple of neglected art pieces. But recently, I've come to realize that my biggest roadblock to getting all this stuff done is surprisingly not the telly. It's a freaking webcam.

Granted, part of my Lucasfilm duties have me watching our own infamous webcam on starwars.com on a daily basis and documenting any noteworthy moments in case George Lucas moves the cam again to show the fans something major. But usually it's just pointed at the Animatics fellas as they type away on their computers or George as he eats his chicken and mustard sandwich during lunchtime meetings.

But then I got word that the Trent Reznor's crew at Nothing Studios were going to put up their own webcam so fans could watch Trent tool around in the studio as he began to record his next release, "Bleed-through." And thus my addiction began.

At first the nin cam was fairly sporatic. We'd see the occasional shot of palm trees as Trent and crew were in Van Nuys doing some studio work. Then a mysterious cat named Venus pranced passed the cam for fans to contemplate in the messageboards for pages on whether that was indeed Trent Reznor's hand playing with the cat. But half the time the cam was just a dark void. No vague images, no blurry scenes, no kitty.

However, that all changes a few weeks ago and now I can sit and stare at Trent and gang as they type on the computers, mess around with butttons on the mixing boards, and best of all -- pretend I'm watching music history being made. (How many other bands do you know have a live webcam feed so you can watching them record and being active in a recording studio?)

With this kind of webcam, lots of surprises popped up to those who managed to bother watching comulsively for hours on end. Trent, who normally doesn't like to be infront of a camera, would glance directly at the cam, Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl had his way with the cam as he was in the Van Nuys studio recording the drum tracks as a special NIN guest on "Bleed-through," other behind the scenes folks we never hear about like Leo and Atticus made their cam debuts. And well, occasionally a girl would show up in the studio and the messageboards would go crazy with "take of your shirt!" comments as they usually do when the guy/girl ratio is 15:1.

Regardless, I can't stop watching. Case in point, I was at work late like I usually am admining the starwars.com boards, or writing an article, or compiling webcam timestamps -- and it was 7:30pm...time to leave the Ranch for the city again, right? Wrong. Time to check the nin.com cam only to find myself transfixed at my desk until 11pm. Lame, Lame, Lame.

If anything goes wrong with the marketing of the last Star Wars movie, don't blame Lucasfilm -- Trent and his crew can take the fall for that one!

And so as I watch Trent at the mixing board on cam one, a parked car outside of Nothing Studios in New Orleans on cam 2, and the usual Animatics antics on the starwars.com cam, I have to wonder if I've slipped into complete and total geekdom...or if I'm just way ahead of the stalking curve.

More info on what the hell I'm talking about:

july 12, 2004

Happy Birthday to Me

I'm 32 today.

I survived another a year. Actually, I did more than survive... I owned this past year! I published a book. I was hired on full-time at Lucasfilm. I'm in the middle of writing my first novel. My freelance articles appeared in BUST magazine and Organic Gardening magazine. Grrl.com is still going strong. And I have a shameless amount of pals on Friendster.com. Plus I've managed to make a few new good pals with a limited amount of bribes and overexaggaration of my past. Not too shabby.

Still single -- which is fine by me. My biological clock is digital and I've hit the snooze button enough times that I think I can get by without wondering if I'll ever be shopping for baby Ramones shirts anytime soon.

I don't feel older. I'm a bit tired from going out all weekend with my friends. But I usually feel that way on Mondays. I don't appear to be too much wiser -- I continue to get weak in the knees around cute tattooed, moody musician boys. I take better care of myself, which is a first. And I've been pursuing new interests in low brow art by going to local gallery shows. I even bought a piece by Liz McGrath just this past week from Shooting Gallery. It's a spooky pink bunny that looks like taxidermy on acid -- called "Pink Rabbit."

I'm not sure how I feel about turning another year older, other than I'm glad that I'm in a happier place now than I was last year. I seem to have a better sense of who I am and what I want from here on out. So stick around, you might see that I have quite a few cool things up my sleeve for the next 12 months... and I swear it won't be another creepy rabbit.

If you feel inclined to buy me a birthday prezzie, here's my Amazon wish list. But I'd be just as happy with an online greeting card.


july 9, 2004

July 4th: Part Two -- Jesus So Did Not Build My Hotrod

If one day of festivities wasn't enough, I ended up spending the entire day at Peter Ellenby's BBQ loading up on sausages, wowing strangers with bad date stories, and lighting firecrackers while intoxicated.

Highlights of this day include hanging out in Guido's hotrod, blowing up a plastic Easter egg with Blackcats, and watching Kirsten attempt to exercise while drunk on a step machine. Yeehaw!



july 8, 2004

July 4th: Part One -- May the Fourth Be With You

I'm not a huge picnic fan -- the ants get in my Cheez-Whiz, little kids throw Frisbees at my head and all that direct sunlight reminds me of why recovering Goths like myself should never go outside without 50 SPF sunscreen. But this was no ordinary picnic. Nosiree. This was my company's picnic. The 26th Annual Lucasfilm picnic at Skywalker Ranch. I brought my pal Kirsten to witness the festivities firsthand and to also hang out with my work pals who I never get to see in shorts.

Before I could load my plate up with ribs and potato salad, Kirsten had won a blue ribbon in a rafting race on Ewok Lake! Some of the highlights of the picnic included seeing little kids freak out while petting the donkeys, witnessing coworkers dressed in uber-casual sportswear while chasing after their spawn, watching George Lucas gaze at all us freaks and of course all the obstacle courses, sack races and various challenges mostly witnessed at summercamp. Oh and since it was so freakin hot and I had just dyed my bangs this fire engine red with pink, I started to sweat pink droplets everywhere to the endless amusement of my pals.

Me squinting with red bangs, Kirsten "Ewok Lake Raft Queen," Paul and Mary.

We left before the epic tug-o-war battle, which my pal Mary Franklin (in the above pic) and another pal Kristen won -- probably singlehandedly, yes those girls are that strong.

Later that evening, Kirsten and I went with my new pals Todd and Dema to Patrick (keyboardist for Oranger) and Eddie's BBQ in Oakland. I got to catch up with old pals like Mr. Mike Drake -- also from Oranger, Cathy & Belinda, some of the Parkside crew, Paula Frazer and her cute puppy, Nick from Jackpine Social Club, his better half Rosemary and a ton of folks and pups I know I'm forgetting.

I met some new folks including Luis (from Pansy Division) who did some fine DJing as you can see in the various pics below -- just click to make the pictures larger -- presto!

Some of the highlights of the BBQ include listening to Patrick serenade us on the piano with the theme to Star Wars, Chariots of Fire, Arthur and "Dukes of Hazzard." Thanks to Luis I learned about obscure disco and metal bands during his DJ session, ate some of Dema's superyummy mac and cheese, played with some pups, and overall had a blast. And if that wasn't enough, we hit Doc's Clock and The Latin afterwards. Whew. And that, my friends, was just the first part of my July 4th activities!

Behold the BBQ madness:

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