Friday, August 31, 2007

No Vito This Weekend

I will not be behind the bar this Labor Day weekend. Instead I am traveling to the Black Rock desert to partake in the Burning Man festival. Your first question, I'm sure, is: Aren't you too old for Burning Man? The answer is yes. I am. And normally this isn't something I would be interested in doing but the opportunity was too good to resist.

It's first class Burning Man for me. I'm travelling with some of the cast of ER. Once people heard they wanted to go, the previously sold-out El Monte RV just happened to find a vehicle for us and then got Vons on board to stock the ship full of necessities. Some of the items aboard the RV? 36 gallons of water, bikes, backpacks, food for an army, vodka and beer.

We're flying to Reno tonight. A passenger van then picks us all up and takes us the hour and a half north to Black Rock City where the RV will be all set-up and waiting for us. We just have to try to not die in the following 48 hours.

Wish me luck.

Monday, August 27, 2007

12th Avenue Special

A week is too long to go between posts, I know. And I'm not trying to make excuses or maybe I am but we shot my episode of The Game last week so I was short on time. Between the rewriting, the proofing, the blocking and shooting and then finally, shoot night, I was exhausted.

I did however find time to make an absolutely delicious sangria for everyone on show night. I'm not usually a fan of sangria but this one had so much booze in it the wine really took a second position. Which means it was awesome!

I got the recipe from the NY Times Shaken and Stirred column. I can't link to that column without paying for it so I'll send you to the Sailor Jerry Rum site. The cocktail originated from the Hudson River Cafe and it's called the 12th Avenue Special.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Stacey The Critic

Stacey is my friend who wants to post here about what to watch on TV and what to eat in LA. Doesn't her cleavage make you want to listen to every single thing she has to say?

Hank & Wicked

As I mentioned previously, Hank, one of the waiters at Vito, is a classically trained vocalist. He can sing everything from old standards to opera. Last week on his night off he went to see Wicked. He was blown away. He said he really studied the lead girl and couldn't believe the way she grew in each scene. It might not be something that is evident to each person in the audience but her growth was so subtle and so real it happened without you even knowing it was happening. Even in the crazy green make-up you were totally moved and convinced by her. And apparently on top of all the great acting is some amazing singing. The whole experience reinvigorated Hank to refocus himself on the reason he moved to LA: to act (and sing, if possible). I hope his inspiration isn't short lived because that man is being wasted in that restaurant.

I think that is when art is at its best. It makes you want to do something better and different. I feel that way when I watch The Office, sometimes. I just want to be able to write something so funny and great. This post being neither.

The point to all this: if anyone writes a small part for a late 40's Italian guy, let me know so I can send him in to read.

Friday, August 17, 2007

My First Vito Anxiety Dream

A few nights ago I had my first anxiety dream about working at Vito. The way my Saturday shift works is, every other week I come in and set-up at 4:30pm. Mary does it on the opposite weeks. When not setting up, I get to come in at 6:oopm.

I woke up in a cold sweat the other night because in my dream it was 6:00pm and I was supposed to be at Vito at 4:30pm. Then of course I couldn't get there and when I did I was still in my jammies, etc.

I think the anxiety stems from getting in trouble last week for miscalculating a few checks. Actually, I only miscalculated on one -- forgot to add on the Patriota salad, which is delicious. The others were all calculated right but were a little messy and Roberto's wife who does all the books couldn't follow my train of math thought. It was satisfying to be right in those cases. In the instance of the missing Patriota, I paid for it myself. Because, f*ck them, I don't want to owe anyone anything. And you know how those Sicilians can get... (kidding, Lisa).

Anyway, for the first time I'm kind of dreading my shift this week. I'm afraid of walking in and being met with a thousand mistakes from last week. God, when your bosses take your job seriously it suddenly turns into a job, huh?

In other news, my first script of the season is being table read by the actors today. One of those actors being LEE MAJORS!!!! Yes, The Six Million Dollar Man speaking my words! So exciting. Steve Austin was my first crush. And watching the shows with him and Lindsay Wagner are my first memories of some sort of dirty (sexual) feelings. Can't wait to get drunk and tell him all this at the wrap party.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Could This Blog Be Expanding?!

So now Stacey and Paul have expressed interest in adding to this blog. Stacey wants to write about what TV we should be watching and where we should be eating in LA. Paul's gonna bust out where we should gromp on the east coast. This is building to something special.

For those of you who don't know her, Stacey is a lovely, smart woman who recently changed careers. Right now she's privy to the inner workings of CBS/Paramount, and frankly, it makes her sick. Her taste in shows is pretty impeccable and she can give us the heads up on what's coming up for us in the new fall season.

Stace, I don't have a picture of you. Could you email me one so I could put it online? If you don't, I'll find your nearest celebrity look alike and I won't be kind.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Paul's Foodie Corner

Paul (Uncle Balls to some of you) wants to start submitting a food column to my blog. I think it's a great idea but how many times can he write about Balthazar ?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Killer Dead Hand

In a comment regarding my previous post, someone requested that I write something new so my "dead hand" will no longer pop up on their computer. I tried but to no avail. Something has gone terribly wrong. That hand is very much alive. And it's on the loose. Be sure to lock all windows and doors. You could be next.

Oh dear.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Bar Rot

So this past Saturday Mary, the woman I usually work with, was off visiting her mother in Spokane. Another Mary, Mary Lou, filled in for her. Lou, as she told us to call her, has been a professional bartender on and off for twenty years. She moved to Los Angeles about five years ago to be an actor. Ugh. A long road to haul for someone who seemed deep into her forties and not exactly a looker. But that is all beside the point because Lou was an amazing bartender. She can hear 17 drink orders at once, remember them all, and then mix 'em up two at a time. Her hands never stopped moving. Except for when she was washing dishes. I noticed that she would only do that with one hand. I asked her why and she showed me: on her left hand she had what is know as bar rot -- a skin infection bartenders get from always having wet hands and always touching citrus.

I thought I was suffering from bar rot as well but after doing some research tonight, I'm not so sure. I think having my hands in water that is filled with sanitizer for 6 hours every Saturday has set off a nasty case of eczema. I tried to take a picture of my ring and pinky finger on my right hand so you could see what I'm talking about but it didn't come out so well.You can kind of see the skin split on the top knuckle of my pinky. This eczema is so itchy, it wakes me up out of a dead sleep on Sunday morning after my shift. If I constantly put Aquaphor on it all week, and sleep with gloves on (thank you for the suggestion, Julia), it sort of heals by Saturday. But Aquaphor is greasy so I can't touch anything after I put it on. Which means I've been sitting in the writers room everyday with my hands sort floating in the air as I try not to touch anything -- not an easy task when you need to write something down. Unfortunately all this hard work is for not because after a few minutes of washing glasses at the bar all my moisturizing goes to shit and the cycle starts all over again. Outside of quitting and wearing gloves, I have no idea how to get rid of this affliction.

The only thing I really learned from all this is that my middle finger is REALLY crooked. What happened there?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A New Day, A New Attitude

I decided, after finishing my re-write, that I'm all about having a better attitude. Towards work, life, maybe even people in general -- but don't hold me to that last one. It's really easy to get caught up in a negative attitude. Sometimes you forget how lucky you are to be leading the life you live. I've a job that pays me a ridiculous amount of money. And I've another job that is basically a paid hobby. So shut the f*ck up, right? Right.

I used to have a hard time with notes on my scripts because I took them personally. I think I slipped back into that the other day. Getting a script assignment is just that -- an assignment. I am a foot soldier for someone's vision. They're trusting me with it, so I just need to do it and do it to the best of my ability.

All that, and no one likes being around a depressed person.

Let's all drink to that this Saturday at Vito, huh? Who's with me, people?