Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I'm the Surliest Motherfucker Ever

Why?

Because I hate this blog. I literally hate it. Every day I look at it and I say, "this is fucking stupid."

Seriously. Maybe I hate it because my love for it is misplaced. Maybe I hate it because I feel have nothing to say. Maybe I hate it because I hate myself.

Regardless, I am shutting it the FUCK down, because I HATE it so much. I have so many other things to do in my life... like make the movies I keep fucking talking about on this blog, but never work on, because I'm babbling on about rap music, The Matrix, or how "cool" my apartment and living in the city is. This motherfucker is another stress I just don't fucking need. Talk is cheap. I need to actually DO stuff, instead of just talking about it. I have become the very thing that I hated the most about the people in L.A. example: "I'm thinking of starting my own production company someday...." Give me a fucking break.

So FUCK YOU "Better Living Through Surliness." Consider yourself fucked. You're the biggest bitch of them all. Oh yeah, and fuck YOU too, for reading it. I SWEAR you won't miss it. Seriously, the world is better off when I shut the fuck up.

If you want updates from now on, go here, to my equally egotistical and rarely to be if ever updated personal website:

nvaleri.com

You know, I feel better already.

Later, motherfuckerz.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Bring tha Mothafuckin Ruckus

Listening to a lot of hip hop these days. I've been borrowing Sadie's Rhapsody login. Rhapsody is an online music streaming service which has a friggin OCEAN of music at your fingertips. It was only a week before I realized that I shouldn't be listening to music I already own. Duh. I've been looking for an alternative since my Ipod broke over a month and a half ago, and I've been too lazy to walk up to Market St. to the Apple Store and get it repaired.

Anyway, back to the hip hop. It's almost like an undiscovered country for me. Since late high school/early college I've listened to it, a little Wu-Tang here, a few Ice Cube mp3s there, and a lot of Cypress Hill. There was always a lot of Beastie Boys around, but it never hit me in the way that I would make me pick up an album of theirs. It wasn't really until I was almost out of school completely until I got into it for real.

When I moved to L.A. I got into Jurassic 5 and Dr. Dre, probably more due to the fact that I was IN L.A., where they are both from, than any other reason. Obviously completely different vibes (gangsta rap vs. positively reinforced almost old-skool rap harmonizers). Dr Dre actually got me more into Eminem, who I respected but didn't listen to before then, as well as Xzibit and just a little into Snoop Dogg. Through J-5 and DJ Shadow I got into Blackalicious and actually ended up checking out their show, the first and only hip-hop show I've ever been to.

SO as much as I've listened to hip hop and rap (I still couldn't tell you the difference between the two) I wouldn't exactly call myself a hip hop fanatic, and definitely not a connoisseur by any means. But I dig it. A lot. Now more than ever since I have access to so much stuff.

Maybe growing up in white suburbia prevented me from ever picking up an N.W.A. album, or even knowing who the fuck 2-Pac and Biggie were before they were murdered. Or what the fuck the deal was with the whole "East Coast vs. West Coast" pissing contest. Or why the L.A. riots ever took place. And definitely not the names of all the members of Wu-Tang. (RIP, ODB)

As much as I may resent it, it's fun to blast all the old favorites (even though they were'nt MY favorites at the time), and get into some brand new awesome shit that I never heard of before. Isn't that the purpose of life anyway, if there is any at all? It's also inspiring as far as musical direction is concerned for my new projects. I've always liked the idea of surreal, fantastic shit, with something hard-hitting and gritty like hip hop as a backdrop. It worked for Half Empty, and I'm sure it will work for Dilated.

But it goes even beyond that. I'm just contemplating all sorts of shit these days. I guess what I'm trying to say is that music, hip hop and rap for this week at least, has once again made my life fun. Whenever I think I'm lost it's almost a requisite to find myself again in music. I'm sure y'all can relate.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Profile # 9586248 (File # 9-6-7-5... whatever)

Our next door neighbor is the gayest ever. And I don't mean this in any sort of derogatory way. It's just a simple, honest to God fact. He is G-A-Y. You know how I know that? Because right now, he has his music on full blast. And what is he playing? That "Believe" song by Cher, that was really big on the radio like 8 years ago. It's actually a live Cher CONCERT. You may think "So what, guy's listenin to his music. Who gives a shit, surly-man? Shut the fuck up!" But please understand. Sadie and I live in a completely concrete loft. Solid. Oftentimes I'm shocked if I can ever hear my neighbors doing ANYTHING. We'd probably sleep through chainsaw murders. But there's Cher, "DO YOU BELEEEEEIVE IN LIFE AFTER LOOOOOVE????!!!" Well, do ya?

Our upstairs neighbor I only ever hear about every morning when she walks across her kitchen with her high-heels on KLOP KLOP KLOP, right before she leaves the house, on cue, every morning at 7:45, after which I can hear her open the door to the stairs at the end of the hallway KLOP KLOP KLOP, come out the door at the bottom TICK TICK TICK- KLOP... SLAM!, down the hallway TOOK TOOK TOOK, out the front door of the building SCRIP SCRIP KLOP KLOP KLOP... SLAM!!!, and down the sidewalk to her car, or the 38 bus or her Harley... you never do know in this neighborhood. I can always tell she's late when she tromps a little faster, and skips a bit her last stretch before she gets outside KLOPITY-KLOP KLOP-KLOPITY KLOP. Why all of the sudden do I feel like one of those 70's era, acoustic guitar strumming/spoken word mother fuckers you find on 12" in your Grandma's basement?

I REALLY love the drunken chicks laughing maniacally at 1:50 every A.M. and their corresponding dudes either attesting that they really CAN drive, and they're "not THAT drunk" or are belting out the lyrics to David Bowie's "Under Pressure" at the top of their lungs, but can only repeat the first line over and over because that's the only part of the song they know.

I guess it really IS kind of nice that Sadie and I can actually hear them-- it makes it less like we're living on an island and we're really in a city. I really do love my neighbors; even the common inebriated passerbys. Of course what I'm REALLY doing right now what I do the best... procrastinating. Cher's not even on anymore, in fact. My GAY neighbor he must be eating his GAY dinner, I suppose. "Don't forget the GAY organic soy sauce!!!" I love San Francisco. Gay people rule.

So I'm actually considering a career change. Funny thing is, every time someone asks me, "oh really, what is it that you are planning on going into?" I draw a complete blank. "I don't know," I reply most often, "there's got to be something out there that I might like." Truth is, what the fuck would I do if I wasn't making movies? I wouldn't be working at some financial company at some soul-sucking cubicle job. Not cleaning up someone else's shit, or being a good citizen and working a non-profit. I've been contemplating this for awhile now, and I really can't come up with something I would enjoy more that wouldn't require a complete overhaul of my lifestyle and/or and entirely new skillset that would require school, or at the very least self-discipline to sit and learn on my own out of some book or website. All things I fear, most definitely. I kind of pigeonholed myself into my current lifestyle, whereas I can't afford, like most people, to just quit my job and look around for awhile, and I especially don't have any money for grad school or anything like that.

So I guess I'm stuck, for the time being. I've been watching a lot of these Palm Picture's Director's Label DVDs, each one about a different successful music video director, and a compilation of their videos and short films. I'm like "shit... I could do that" but really, it all has to do with timing, and marketing, and most of all, knowing people. And oh yeah, did I mention, LOAD of talent??? I mean some of these guys may be hacks, but a lot of them are just unbeLIEVABLE artists. Mark Romanek, Michel Gondry, Chris Cunningham, Spike Jonze, Stephane Sedanoui, to name a few. Their commentaries are fascinating, where they get their ideas from, etc. Great stuff. If you don't know who the fuck these gentlemen are, you SHOULD. Chances are, if you ever watched MTV in its prime (when they actually showed music videos) you know their work quite well already.

Music video director... hmmm... Yeah, I can do that, I guess. Why not, right? Alright, I guess I'll go out now and make some music videos. Byeeeeee!!!

Monday, January 02, 2006

We're about to be taken to a dreamworld of MAGIC

Shit, I been saying that line for the last two weeks straight. If you don't know WTF I'm talking about, watch and learn:

http://www.youtube.com/watch.php?v=zLElfJ9YCh0

Dude, Narnia wasn't even all that great. But this thing made me actually go see it. Brilliant marketing if you ask me. Nice job though guys, for real. I haven't seen anything half decent come out of SNL for almost 10 years.

So here we go with 2006. Can you imagine if it was 1006? It probably wouldn't be nearly as cool. We would have gotten all psyched that it was 1000 and then like, well, shit, what do we do now? I mean, 1500 is WAY far off. I guess 1100 would be cool, but in those days the life expectancy was like, 30 anyway, so there would be no hope of that neither.

So what's so special about 2006? Welp, if you asked my high school self, I would definitely say the "6" part of it is significant, because the number six is just cool. That was also Burt from Sesame Street's favorite number, if I recall. But the reality of it is this is the year I get married to Sadie, the love of my life. In Italy. Fuck yeah.

Sadie and I are REALLY excited, as are the immediate family members and closest friends that are going. The extended family that isn't going isn't nearly as excited that they aren't going, as was reiterated to me several times during my trip back East a few short weeks ago. I gotta remember to schedule alone time while I'm there. I looked back at my 2004 "year in review" the other day and realized I had the same problem last year at Thanksgiving, that I "should schedule down time." Will I ever learn? Guess not this year.

Sadie got me really nice personal business cards, and they were by far my favorite gift of the year, but the tide has definitely turned to adulthood and I enjoy buying presents for others, as opposed to receiving.

And the Budget DVD is DONE, after three years of putting it off. I can't stress how fucking awesome that feels. For those of you who don't know what this is (besides not understanding why the HELL you found yourself reading this blog in the first place), it's an anthology of all the high school and college TV/Film projects from about six guys that grew up together, for the years 1996-2002. It was digitized from mostly VHS master tapes, and then burned on DVD, full on with menus, commentaries, behind the scenes and outtake reels, the whole bit. As simple as it sounds it just has not been simple, simply put. And now it's simply fucking FINISHED.

So now it feels like now I can actually move on with my life, and get on with new projects, having that exquisite closure on such an epic ordeal. The secret was just that I had to re-evaluate it, and be realistic about it, and strategize about how it would actually get done, as opposed to idealizing, building up crazy layers of crap and hoping that someday I'd want to spend six straight months to get the fucker done. Right.

So la la la-la, it's done. Now there's a wide open road in front of me, littered with postcards from San Francisco, fake blood, tree zombies, shadow men, ice queens and black-eyed, sai-weilding ninja heroes.

Two to the double-O SIX, mothaFUCKA!!!! And welcome to it.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Jesus BUILT My Car (Ding-a-ding-dang my dang-a-long ling-long)

Yo. Going back East for xmas and then coming back on Christmas Day for festivities with Sadie's family. I love airports. LOVE them. I guess I can see it as a chance to flex my traveling muscles for when we do the real trip to Italy in April. (nine and a half hours as opposed to five). Can't wait to go back to Europe. Amazed that it was this time a year ago that we were in Paris.

Projects are starting to take off. Making plans to shoot three short pieces in San Francisco and Philadelphia in the next year. Also knee-deep in The San Francisco Postcard project, a short collaboration between me and J. Fisch, which has already started shooting.

Short, short, short. That's the way things are going these days. Short-term commitment, yet high powered. Fuck Yeah.

Work is work. Pretty boring, really. I guess when you've worked for as many consecutive asshole, high-maintenance clients as I have, when you have a normal one with reasonable expectations, it seems a bit anti-climactic.

Whatever. Happy Jesus Day, motherfuckers. See U in 2006.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Straight outta Compton!!!

So what the fuck is up?

I'm writing because I'm waiting for my computer. Lots of shit going on these days. Several projects in the works, some secret for the time being, others very public. It would take too long to go into either one, so there you are, in the dark. Want some turkey?

Nah, better not, that shit's like four days old now. You might get gangrene or sorosis of the eye or some shit. I could help you out with that, and maybe relocate your saliva glands too. Call PP-5-1-doo-doo. I'm in your corner. T-giving was good. I wish there were lots of days you could pig out and not worry about the consequences. My cat is making noise from over there. I stopped feeding him three days ago because I think he's fat. Hopefully he will get a little skinnier. Then he might learn not to get so fucking fat. I wish I could do that to the rest of the country too, 2nd most obese nation. Mexico's got us beat, though, and Ireland is apparently nipping at our heels. And naturally, it's all our fault.

Oh well. I have a movie theater in my apartment now, in the form of a projector and a 120" diagonal screen. Fuck yeah. Eat that, Octagon. Screenings of cinematic favorites are imminent, namely, Aliens, The Matrix Reloaded, Mullholland Drive, to start. Already kicked Star Wars: A New Hope, Event Horizon, Training Day, Pitch Black, and some Reno 911. All good shit.

Tomorrow night is a meeting at an undisclosed location to discuss the beginnings of... The SF Postcard Project. Stay tuned to find the fuck out what that means.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

This Blog is Hereby on Holiday

Why? Because I'm fucking busy. Or maybe I'm busy FUCKING.

Please ask yourself,

WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE???

"Only a human mind could invent something as insipid as love."