Sunday, December 19, 2004

Penguins Take Over Paris

I finally had a dream that I made it to Paris. I get to my hotel, which was actually a motel, and it was shit. There was an infestation of penguins, all sizes, all around the block and it smelled! I get to the room and it was dirty and there was pita bread all over the place. I told the cab driver not to leave me there and I kept saying to the hotel manager that I was not staying there. I also told him that I was not going to be able to sleep with all the penguin noise. He kept saying that I would get used to the penguins and that they would clean the room really fast and not to worry. So then they pull out a man on a gurney. He looked like a huge boil or creature. Apparently, he had died in the room several days ago. Then the manager comes out and feeds the penguins the pita bread. The cab driver kept on examining the dead man trying to figure out what he died from. It was disgusting. Then I woke up and boy was I happy! But, the point is, the plane didn't crash, as it had for the last twenty years in my dreams.

I looked up the meaning of the dream:

"Seeing a penguin in your dream means that your problems are not as serious as you may think. It serves as a reminder for you to keep you cool and remain level-headed. Alternatively, a penguin seen in your dream suggests that you are being weighed down by your emotions or by a negative situation. You need to find some balance and inner harmony."

I really hate these useless and boring interpretations.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


I guess some people are praying for me. Most likely praying for me to stop sending them my political opinions, take a chill pill and relax. Keep praying, because I won't stop and I can't relax. I won't stop because I cannot forget that at the end of Ionesco's "Rhinoceros" the central character, Berenger, who initially resists, eventually succumbs to the metamorphosis himself. Is it possible to resist the urge to conform? To eventually become part of Conspiracy of Complicity?

Are we living in a godless universe where human existence has no meaning or purpose so therefore all communication breaks down? The line between the absurd and reality is fading fast.

What is wrong with the United States of America? The Cult of the Quiet is too absorbed in day-to-day bullshit. It loves its cable and internet and cell phones; it may be employed and it might have a nice meal and get laid once in a while. The Cult of the Quiet doesn't care. The Cult of the Quiet has what it needs so it doesn't mind that the president is an idiot who neglects the unemployed, the troops in harm's way, the starving, the sick, the cold, the bleeding. That makes America simple-minded and selfish. That makes America amoral and retarded. Rhinoceri. Look in the mirror, very closely, and see if you have horns too.

What do we care about?
We are jaded.
Let's not waste time voting next time.
The world ridicules us.
Do rhinoceri have epitaphs?

Rhinoceri don't think about their mortality. They think about SUVs, Scott Peterson and presidential blow jobs.

In the end, will there be any human beings left to graze and breathe and crap and decompose with the rhinoceri?

Monday, June 07, 2004

Poly Esther finally finished.

I test the mix by listening with earphones and at the Digital Pickles' screen. It needs some minor adjustments, but it is good to go and ready to give to Neil for the premiere at the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Mix, with full foley done!

After a hellish two weeks of car problems, I go to TJ to finish the mix. Edgar, Aaron and I re-mix the whole film. We wonder what the hell we were thinking when we did the first mix. We finish it at 1:30 a.m. Thanks guys!

Tuesday, June 01, 2004


Saw Maid in Manhattan (why, why, why do movies like that get made and why did I watch it???), Super Size Me (been craving spinach ever since), Carandiru (I could almost smell the blood), Russian Ark (how do you say wow in Russian?) and All About Eve (perfect screenplay) this weekend. I wonder what is the point of making films. What is the point of watching a film if you don't learn something about the world and yourself at the end?

Cady comes over with the foley on aiff format. He's my hero. I will finish the film this weekend.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Down in the Dumps

May 24, 2004

No car, bad mood. My cousin informs me that the original owner of the car is in jail for seven years, therefore he cannot sign over the car to me. But it will be taken care of.

May 25 I am such a loser.

Still no car, still in a bad mood. I must be really unhappy, since I got motivated to start a new feature length script. I write 18 pages.

May 26

Still no car, but there is hope I will be able to get it out tomorrow. I sign a bunch of stuff from the DMV that my cousin brings to me. Maybe I should have read it before I signed it. Cady came over to pick up the foley CDs to give to his friend who has a ProTools set up.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

The System Pimped me Back

On my way to the "cipher" shoot, my car gets impounded. I am left on the side of the road with all the film equipment, including the camera and film we need for the shoot. Rewind to one hour earlier. I decide to wear my PIMP THE SYSTEM T-shirt. Rewind to August 2003: my tags expire and I do not renew because I don't feel like it. Fast forward to this morning: I drive to 7-11 to get some caffeine, and as always, there is a cop parked there. I go in anyway, testing fate, and I really need a Red Bull. The cop catches up to me before getting on the freeway.

Thursday, May 20, 2004


Laura and I had lunch at Mona Lisa and she gave me a copy of Pro Tools "Juanito" burned for her. She also told me she was just awarded a grant from the Mexican government, State of Baja. I am so happy for her. It is very prestigious and this is great news. So I go home and try to install juanito's Pro-Tools and I fail miserably. Either it is not working or I don't know what the hell I am doing. I am inclined to believe the latter.

I meet Aaron Soto at the Media Arts Center for the screening of our films (Poly Esther and 33 1/3). The audience is mostly white and filmmakers. The first frame comes up, and everyone laughs at the Chia Pet. That did not happen at the Cinemainc screening. As the film progresses, the audience reacts differently than the Mexican audience, except for the rotten chicken sequence. Disgusting, smelly chicken is universal and Chia Pets are not, I guess. This screening leads me to believe that my people don't get my film. This bothers me because I don't want to make culture specific films. Who are my people anyway? Oh, and Aaron tells me I intimidated the Mexican audience. That I should smile more. I am going to have to take an acting class and put vaseline on my teeth. I scare people. That's just great. After the screening, a few actors and filmmakers approach me and give me their headshots and contact information and congratulate me. A transsexual (I can only assume it is a transexual and not just a transvestive because he/she is serious about passing as a woman) talks to me, but I don't remember what he/she said to me, since it is hard talking to a man trying to pass as a woman. It is for me at least. Very distracting.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004


I have a mini-hangover from those two bass ales I drank last night. That's pathetic. It means my alcohol tolerance is almost nil because I am not going out or doing anything "fun." I email the cast crew asking for their bios. I hope some of them respond.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004


Giancarlo’s friend emails me back telling me he no longer has Pro-Tools. Should I swallow my pride and see if the foley artist can do something? I still have some hope I will be able to do this on my own. I search the internet for free webpage design classes. How hard can it be? Sleeping is for people with lives, not filmmakers.

I get drunk with one and a half Bass Ales while listening to Jeff Buckley and working on the press kit. Somehow I find out that it is illegal to lick toads in Los Angeles. One more reason not to move to L.A.

Monday, May 17, 2004


I am seriously considering studying Karl Rove's spin tactics and applying them to film marketing. Evil bastard. I think he might be Damien from the Omen III. They get away with everything.

Laura changed her production company name from Morgana to Suawaka Films. It means "shooting star" in yaqui, our indigenous ancerstors from the Sonora desert. I am very proud of my yaqui heritage, but I must say Suawaka sounds too much like Chewbaca. She says she doesn't care because she likes that "hairy dude." Okay, if that is what she wants I am changing it, but I am sure there are many cool sounding yaqui words she can use that don't sound like a Star Wars character. I go to Digital Pickles to re-do the credits in light of this name change and because Torrence screwed up the credits. I have a few other minor changes. He says I am beyond super-anal, I say no, I have my reasons and they are very specific. It takes us FOREVER to finish, not because I am anal, but because he takes forever! I even had time to watch The Rock on RAW. He was the surprise guest. I also learned what to “rock bottom” is and how to use the “people’s elbow.” That has been the highlight of my week so far.

Friday, May 14, 2004


May 12, 2004

Neil informs me that alt.pictureshows will be at the La Jolla museum. Giancarlo emails me with a potential Pro Tools contact.

May 14, 2004

It has been two weeks since the Cinemainc. screening, and I still have not found a way to get the full foley. The guy Chris F. recommended has not called me back.

Sunday, May 02, 2004


I spend the whole day at my parents’ house recovering, eating and watching Once Upon a Time in the West. I show my parents my film. They don’t seem to get it or like it that much. They do get a kick out of my brother being in the credits though.

Friday, April 30, 2004


We finish the mix at 7:00 a.m. Aaron wants me to go to a television interview at 8:30 a.m. to talk about our films and the screening tonight. No way. My cousin has to go to school and I have to go home and get some sleep before I have to come back to TJ for the screening. The line at the border is about an hour. I hate this!

I am not able to sleep. I go to my sister’s apartment and I show her the film. She seems surprised, like she doesn’t believe I made that film. She asks me if I told the Truckees what to do. I say no I told them to do whatever they wanted. So how come they knew what you like, she asks. What a goofball.

I take a shower and I still can’t sleep. I am dying. I don’t know how I am going to get through the evening. Cady picks me up and I get a Red Bull at the 7-11. It makes me feel a little better, but now I am tired and wired at the same time. When we get to the CECUT, Dulce is already there with her friend. We are early, so we chat for a bit.

The first screening is about half full. Peat and his wife Christina arrive just as the credits to our film are rolling. Cady and I crack up. The next screening is full. I run into Karla outside and I am totally surprised she is there. She is one of the credits Torrence messed up. I explain what happened and she is a sweetheart about it. Okay, so half the cast is here: Dulce, Karla and Carlos. I notice there is a lot of laughs during the boutique sequence. It’s not that funny. I find out later that it was Karla's entourage laughing at her.

Christina, Peat, Cady, Dulce and her two friends and I go looking for food after the screening. I feel a tremendous amount of responsibility, since they are visitors in my country and I must feed them good food. The thing is, I don’t know TJ that well and we don’t have a car because we all walked across the border. Peat looks like he is about to faint with hunger and he wants tacos. So we go to La Plaza del Zapato and the place is an unbearable zoo. A waiter hustles us into his empty Mexican food restaurant. The place is not too bad, but the music is extremely loud. We move to a quieter table and we are informed there is no menu. No menu? We can order anything we want? How about Peking duck? I don’t have a good feeling about this, so I get up and say “everyone get up and let’s go.” I can conclude they don’t think I am serious from their expressions and reluctance to get up from their seats. Peat looks annoyed. The waiter cannot believe it. Finally everyone gets up and we leave. I know where we can go. I put everyone, seven adults, in a cab and we head to La Cantina de los Remedios fka Guadalajara Grill. Peat is not happy. I start to suspect he’s the difficult Truckee. When we get there, we have bribe the host to get us a table asap. Mexican ASAP turns out to be over half an hour. I am convinced my entourage thinks I am a bad hostess and that Mexico sucks! We finally get some food and beer. Food average, beer good. Time to go back to The Evil Empire.

Thursday, April 29, 2004


My cousin Gaby drives me to TJ and drives me around. We cannot find Edgar’s house. I have been there several times before, but we just keep going in circles. I am really carsick and I can’t take it any more. I call him from a pay phone and we meet him at a nearby spot. We have to go to Aaron’s house to get him and the computer. I know I am not getting any sleep tonight. I just hope the mix is acceptable for tomorrow’s screening. After a lot of talking and wasting time, we get down to do the mix at about 9 p.m. I don’t drink Coke because it is an evil company, but I have to this time if I am going to stay awake. We are unable to incorporate the full foley as it was meant to because Aaron doesn’t have a Pro Tools set-up and, the foley artist, being a professional, sent me everything in Pro Tools. He assumed the mixer would have Pro Tools. I didn’t tell him otherwise because I didn’t want him to think we were not professional. We have to identify foley sounds one by one and incorporte what we can in bits and pieces. My cousin falls asleep on Edgar’s bed.

Oh shit...I notice the credits are wrong. I am missing three actors. Torrence is going to get it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004


Torrence tells me I am super-anal about credits. I make him show me every single font he has. We finish at 3:00 a.m. The film is now 17:30 minutes.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004


I email everyone apologizing for yesterday's bitchy email.

I haven’t heard a thing from the guy who is doing the titles and credits. He is so fired. Torrence agrees to come to the rescue.

Lesson: Some times professionals are not very professional.

Monday, April 26, 2004


My car broke down and I don't know what is wrong with it. I wonder if it has anything to do with me crashing it against a pilar at Madstone's parking. Email to cast and crew regarding the name change:

Subject: Very important info about the film

Which film are you asking? The one you were in or were part of the staff and crew. The one you can't remember the name of because you are bad at numbers or too lazy to memorize or whatever. It was brought up to my attention, from the very beginning, that having so many numbers for a title would make it difficult for people to talk about the film or market the film. Of course, I ignored the comments. I even ignored the many signs and evidence, including watching the lead actress make up a number and blunder as she answered questions from an interviewer. Not even the producer was able to memorize the number. Soooooooooooooooo.....I changed the name of the film. The name of the film is now "Poly Esther." When you watch the film you'll know why. It is not polyester. It is POLY ESTHER. Two words. Okay? bye for now, tc

The mechanic advises me to stop crashing my car against walls and then hands me a $300 invoice.

Sunday, April 25, 2004


I go to Paul’s to finalize the poster. He changes a lot, but it is for the better. I love the poster.

Saturday, April 24, 2004


On my way to my best friend’s birthday luncheon, I decide to change the film’s title to “Poly Esther.”

Friday, April 23, 2004

NO MORE 540 847 67...???

Paul finishes two drafts of the poster. They are great. I circulate the drafts and get some opinions.

The Truckees call me telling me they can’t remember the name of the film and that I should consider changing it to something more marketable. I am reluctant at first, but then I remember no one can remember the name of the film but me. I consult with many people and they all agree with the Truckees. What should I call it then?

Sunday, April 18, 2004


I go to Tijuana to deliver the sound files to Edgar and Aaron. As always, we spent most of the time talking about films and gossiping. We finally get down to business and Edgar and I are totally in sync with regards to the sound. He even knew what non-literal sounds were. I leave confident that he knows what I want. He is very talented.

Saturday, April 10, 2004


I hire the foley mixer for "Requiem for a Dream" to do the foley. One less thing to worry about.

Thursday, April 08, 2004


Got an e-mail from Peat telling me the name of the song is now “Poly Esther” and another from Aaron Soto asking me when I am going to TJ for the sound design. Huh???

Monday, April 05, 2004


I meet Peat and Cady at M-Theory to pick up the song for the end credits. I can’t wait to hear it, since the title is “Polyester Messed Her.” How they knew about my feelings for polyester, I’ll never know. Cady calls me to see how I liked it. I tell him I could not love it more. Later, I begin downloading phone rings from the internet and reading about sound design. I learn what non-literal sounds are.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004


I get the score. I can’t wait to hear it. Should I hear it alone or with the film? I rush home and start listening, but then I start wondering what images the sound corresponds to, so I stop. I sync it up to the film. Wow.

Lesson: If you find the right collaborators, you will never be disappointed.

Monday, March 29, 2004


Cady calls me to inform me that the score is finished. He hopes I like it because they did whatever they wanted since that is what I told them to do.

I am worried. I still don’t have a sound designer. Am I really going to have to do it myself? I don’t know shit about sound.

Saturday, March 20, 2004


Dulce and Israel get interviewed about the film and they can’t remember the name of it. They just make up numbers. I get interviewed by Avenida Libre and I can hardly enunciate the numbers and I fumble the synopsis because I am afraid I will mix Spanish and English and I will be called a pocha. It takes us forever, as always, to get out of the theater to go to the party. I start bitching about how we always get to the parties late and the food and booze are gone. Can’t we continue shmoozing at the party? Laura hasn’t even gotten dressed yet, so we have to stop at my apartment on the way to the Westgate. Giancarlo, Israel and I have a beer and watch my silent draft while we wait for Laura to get ready. Finally, we get to the party. Luckily, they still have food in the VIP section. I notice there is a lot more silicon around this year than last and that the hotel is now under fascist management. The security guards walk around with megaphones kicking people out. Of course, no one pays attention and I get in a fight with the security guards. They try to threaten me, but I just call them fascists. This is at the fancy Westgate Hotel. We squeeze into an elevator to go to one of the rooms to continue partying. Laura says that the girls in the room are hookers. How would she know? Just because they look the part doesn’t mean they charge. We get invited to another party downtown, but Laura and Giancarlo insist they want food. We go to a taco stand and I buy us dinner. We go back to the party, but it is dead and it is almost 4 a.m. , so we go home. We have to be back at the theater at 1:30 p.m. for the “Insecto” screening, so we better get to bed soon.

Lesson: You need to be prepared to talk about your film. Memorize and rehearse your spiel. Hype and buzz are key.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004


Shit! I try to burn a DVD and my computer keeps spitting them out. Is it because they are not Apple DVDs?

Natalia and my friend Rafael accompany me to the Casbah. We get there right as the Truckees are starting their set. Later, I tell Cady about the problem with the DVD burning. He tells me there are two types of DVDs: DVD+R and DVD-R. Which one does my computer use? Oops. You learn something every day.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004


We finish the final cut and we celebrate doing a shot of vodka. I think it was vodka.

Sunday, March 14, 2004


Chris Fernanco, the editor, had previously given me a rough cut which I had not looked at. We watch it together and I notice he has cut out entire sequences. That is not going to happen. I cannot let go. “But Walter Murch says--” nah, it is not happening. The film will be as long as it has to be and not a frame less. So we start all over. Chris asks permission to go to the bathroom. I AM NOT A FASCIST! His roommates are party animals. Chris informs me that he has to take a break from 9 to 10 to watch the Sopranos. His roommate suggests they watch a rerun later in the week since they can’t watch it together because they have guests. Chris is reluctant, but we convince him. I promised the Truckees a final cut on St. Patrick’s Day.

Thursday, March 11, 2004


I like being an executive producer. I think I’ll do it more often. At the screening of “When the World Went Away,” Aaron tells me Edgar is waiting for me and he wants to do the sound design. That’s weird. Laura told me Edgar was going to be too busy. After the screening Aaron, Israel, Giancarlo and I go to the opening night party. Free pens from Don Julio tequila, but no free booze--too late getting to the party. We take a few pens each and leave.

Thursday, February 19, 2004


I take my sister with me. She is worried that it is going to get late and she won’t get enough sleep. Her usual bedtime is 9:00 p.m. We get to Java Joe’s. There are three Truckees instead of two and Peat is on the drums. I introduce myself to Peat before the show.

So I find out that their real names are Patrick (Peat) and Chris (Cady) and they are not brothers. At Lestat’s I really thought their were brothers, even though they don’t look alike which doesn’t matter because people don’t believe Hen and I are sisters and we are. Anyway, I show them the trailer and the very rough cut I put together for the CUFF. They like it. They are doing the music. Great. So we talk for a long time and my sister keeps giving me dirty looks because it is way past her bed time. I tell them to do whatever they want with the music. I don’t think they believe me, so I explain that, normally, I am a control freak and I always tell people what to do and not just in filmmaking. Always. Not this time. Time to go, we shake on it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004


I call Peat while he is buying a refrigerator. He is very nice on the phone. I recognize his voice. He is not the one I said had a nice butt, he’s the other one. We decide to meet after their gig tomorrow night.

Monday, February 16, 2004


Dear Truckee Brothers,

Last Friday I had the great pleasure of seeing you perform at Lestat's. I was blown away by your talent, stage presence and great songs. I am a local independent award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter and I am currently in the post-production stages of my latest short film entitled "540 847 67…" a.k.a. The Chia Pet Project (Winner First Place Screenplay BestFest 2003 and recipient of film grant from Eastman Kodak). I have been looking for original music for my film, but I have not been able to find an artist with whom I feel artistic affinity. That is, until now. I write with the hope that you would be interested in and willing to write an original song for my film, or give me festival rights to one of your songs. If you are interested, let me know and we can talk about the project in detail. Below please find some information on the project and my film resume. Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon.


Soon thereafter, Peat M. Truckee writes me back. The Truckees are interested and want to meet. I can’t believe it. I e-mail my sister very excited. I am so excited I can’t eat lunch.

Friday, February 06, 2004


Kim and Sammy called me and invited me to Lestat’s to go see these guys whom they saw at open mike night which they say are really good. I should stay home and write, but I go anyway. As the Truckee Brothers are doing their sound check, I remark that the tall dark one has a nice butt. Sammy laughs and shakes his head. What? He does! Back to the music. Every song is different. I turn to Sammy and tell him I would give my film to these guys and tell them to score it. Just like that. Do whatever you want dudes. After the performance we go to an Irish pub nearby and down some pints as the lads would say. Something like that, I’m not Irish. The Truckees show up and I think of going up to them and introducing myself, give them my card, ask them to score my film. I don’t because even after three Stellas, I am still too shy. I’ll just write them an e-mail.

Lesson: There is no shyness in filmmaking.

Thursday, January 29, 2004


Bliss is screening at the Whistle Stop. I meet Lesley, her husband, Neil and Chris F. there. Chris expresses an interest in editing Chia Pet. Okay, he’s got it. Except for Bliss, which Neil directed and I shot, most of the films we see are embarrasingly bad.

Lesson: Brew n’View: beer good, films not so good.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004


Freddy, Laura and I rent a Dodge Neon and drive to LA to get the telecine done at Magic Film. Together with The Bell footage, we have 4,000 feet. Natalia meets us there. It takes Rick more than five hours to telecine everything. He is really nice to us and a very good colorist. He remarks on how much we have improved, since he has telecined almost every film we have shot. Yea, everything looks really good. I invite Rick to come to dinner with us because Laura thinks he is cute, but he can’t, he has to work. As we are driving back at 90 mph, Freddy falls asleep and I think I am scaring the shit out of Laura because she keeps telling me to slow down and that there is a cop on my tail, which is not true.