Saturday, August 19, 2006

I'm an uncle! Instead of just being a mother...

I have a niece! Haley Althea Spano was born Monday, August 14, 2006 at 9:45 pm.

For the first time in my life, I'm an uncle--weird in and of itself.

Amy spent most of the day at the hospital. I went straight over after work. Liz, Amys sister, had been in and out all weekend with contractions and false labor since the previous Wednesday.

When she was finally born, the family rushed in to see her, all pink and new, and Liz, exhausted but looking happy. Then the nurses took Haley away to be bathed and we got to watch these enormous women toss her around like pizza dough. Then there was more cooing and cryingmore from the family than the baby, who only being an hour or so old, looked exhausted herself.

With the baby arriving, Amy and I took in Mike and Lizs cat, Butters, who was originally born at the stables near our house in Waynesburg. Butters is in our house now and traumatized. The other cats dont like herwhich is astounding considering the one cat loves everybody and everything. But he hissed and she swatted and now Butters is hiding under the dishwasher and Duke has run outside to pout. The other cat, Gypsy The-Formerly-Fat, couldnt care less about the new cat one way or another, so long as he gets to eat.


With the temp job at an end, I can concentrate next week on getting the house in some semblance of order again. With so many shows spaced so closely together, we hadnt even bothered to unpack from one trip to the next. Just tossed the clothes into the wash and back into the suitcase, then off we go again. The next few weeks are going to be just as busy, of coursea set visit to The Rage to watch Bob Kurtzman at work, a side trip to Monster Mania just for the fun of it and to spread more Genghis fliers around, then more preparation for Genghis and the Blood Wrestling, which is intent on killing me.

(The Blood Wrestling thing has us all stokedalmost to the point where were feeling to hell with Genghis! Lets just do the Blood Bath event. Ironically, Toe-Tags Crusty, who had the idea in the first place, wont be able to make it to the show at all! Which is sad all around. None of the Toe Tag folks will be in the house as it turns out. Their new movie, Red Sin Tower, which is looking amazing, is due for its own premiere right around then, so theyre swamped with their own machinations.)

Scooter McCrae has been sending me pieces of his score for Abattoir. Lots of sinister, ethereal pieces and one genuine gunslinger piece so far. Its very weird: Ive never had anyone score for me before. Im used to getting lumps of music and cutting the image to fit it. Hes waiting for me to finish cutting so he can score directly to picture. Were having a tough time meeting in the middle, which is amusing, but also nerve-wracking since were trying to get everything done in time to premiere it at Genghis. Worse comes to worst, we do a sneak preview of the fine cut. We still have two effects shots to shoot anyway. Hopefully the time will arise to allow us that luxury as well.

After Genghis, provided were not broken, quivering shells of the people we once were, were hoping to start production on our first horror movie. (Wait, vampires, serial killers and zombies dont constitute horror? Not according to distributorsat least not in the case of The Resurrection Game!) Itll be a brutal, hopefully scary and gleefully violent piece of nastiness that I dont want to talk about just yet. Suffice to say, our villain will be someone so wonderfully sick and evil that people will (hopefully) feel guilty for rooting for, but they will anyway. Think of Pinhead without the self-righteousness I have a terrific location available to us, but weve had a tough time meeting up with the appropriate parties to get in and make sure its all we hope it will be. Best case scenario: it is and we go to town for three weeks to knock this baby out!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Where I've been...

Wow… been a while since I had ten minutes to myself to write something. Where the hell did my summer go?

For the most part, I’ve been working a temp job at this documentary company a ten miles from Amy’s office outside Pittsburgh. Check that: it was supposed to be a temp job, but they decided my first few weeks there that they had really been looking for someone full time. The fact that they had hired me three days a week didn’t tip me off to this fact, though. I thought things would have been perfect. I could re-arrange my schedule (so my direct supervisor (ten years younger than me) told me, the out-of-town trips wouldn’t be a problem—yay!

Well, no. Because her direct supervisor didn’t want that to happen. I’d either work Monday, Wednesday and Friday or… well, not. They’ll show me. Without me, the work just won’t get done! “What do you think of that?”

See, I have too many “outside interests” for this company, as it turns out. “This isn’t a 40-hour-per-week job,” I was informed. “It’s a 24/7 job.” Surprisingly, they only want to pay you like it’s 40 hours, though. The extra time, thinking about the company, coming up with new innovative ideas on your spare time, it would seem, was on your dime as well.

So it’s not working out. Tomorrow is my last day. Which is fine with me. I only needed some extra money before Genghis came on like a freight train. Monday, I can devote more time to the companies I do PR for. And my temp agency agent tells me that there’s plenty of part time work out there, so I should not worry. After Genghis, I’ll find a new office that doesn’t care that I occasionally have to switch some things around. (And won’t condescend to me at every turn and ask if I took my San Diego Comic-Con business meetings in costume.)

The only crappy thing is that I really enjoyed the work. Granted, I was doing little more than scanning WWI documents and captioning pictures for their website and upcoming documentaries, but it was interesting work. I dug it. I run the risk of having the next job being interminably boring, stressful or, like the Post Office, damaging to me physically. But, oh well. Them’s the breaks, right?


As you’ll soon read in Film Threat, Amy and I traveled to the Comic-Con in San Diego, Twisted Nightmare in Cleveland and Horrofind in Baltimore. We saw a lot of friends, drank copious amounts of alcohol and sold fewer DVDs and magazines than we’d wanted to. But at least fun was had.

Today, I auditioned for the Movie Week version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. I thought sure I’d nailed the written version—a multiple choice SAT-style test with nothing but movie trivia. I knew that I’d missed three: one about Soul Food (which I haven’t seen), Legally Blonde (which I’ve avoided) and one about Ishtar (because there are some things my brain refuses to acknowledge ever existed). As it turns out, the first Palm D’Or was not awarded to 1955’s East of Eden but Marty. So I missed four. Okay, still not bad out of 30, right? 88% is still a passing grade in college.

Apparently not on Millionaire. Seriously, I was astonished that I didn’t make the cut. My arrogance aside, I’m a major film geek! I mean my pride was at stake here. So either the curve is really high, to keep people from wasting their time or, as some people have said to me, I over-shot it. I mean, really, they’re giving away a million dollars to the winner. They don’t want people to do it too easily. Personally, I have accepted the latter explanation. My ego needs this to be true. I mean, really… Really! I read the Maltin Guide cover-to-cover every year! I’ve seen a lot of movies.

Honestly, I don’t have any other kinds of information up there.


Hopefully, I’ll be back in the swing in these last few weeks before Genghis takes my life away and leaves me a broken shell of a human. Don’t forget people: Blood Wrestling!! Check it out, tell all of your friends and come to!