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Monthly Archives: June 2005

And here are your meal replacement bars

Some interesting and rather out of the ordinary news in my world… I just became a member at 24 Hour Fitness, a national health club! I know, I am just as shocked as you are. Over the past few months, I’ve really been trying to concentrate on eating a healthier diet. For example, I haven’t been drinking soda since the first of the year. I think that over the past six months I have had one glass of Mountain Dew (on January 1) and a cup of rootbeer on two separate occasions (ironically, both at the Buckhorn Grill at the Metreon). Not too bad, I would say. My diet modifications, though, have been more than just eliminating things like soda – I have also started eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking more water, and eating more whole grains.
Anyhow, I feel that a more intense (hmm… maybe I should say a more existent) workout routine would be a great complement to a healthier diet. There is a history of heart trouble in my family, and I want to do everything I can to avoid an early death. Speaking of a healthy diet and working out, when I signed up for my membership, $50 of the $750 I spent to join went towards this thing called a Nutri-Kit, which includes such wonderful things as Fibre Cookies, Super Juice Mix, and Meal Replacement Bars. Yes… that’s just what people should do – stop eating meals, and replace those meals with bars of crap. Too bad I couldn’t decline the Nutri-Kit. (For those of you who nearly died when you read that I paid $750, that is for a three year membership, with yearly renewals after three years at only $99, so I am actually getting an amzing deal. And to be honest, I am trying to get $249 of that $750 refunded to me, but we’ll see if they’ll do it or not.)
So, I know that I have been delinquent. I promised that I would post more pictures from my car accident, and I haven’t yet done so. The accident happened in August last year, so it’s been a while. It was really only today that someone called me out on it (thanks, Tami!), so I’ve decided to post the picture that I have available here for you.

That picture was taken in a garage in Wamsutter, Wyoming where they towed my car after it was pulled out from under the truck. It is hard to see exactly how much damage there was, but it gives you an idea. You also can’t see it very well in the picture, but there is glass EVERYWHERE inside the car.
Well, I need to wrap this up because there are many things that I need to finish, but you can expect another post before long!

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Ruminations on a digital age

Isn’t it interesting in this digital age how we can communicate with people in so many new ways? I mean, it is now possible to send people messages in seemingly innocent ways, but with explicit motive. For example, the online journal/blog such as this one. Let’s just say that I know person X is an avid reader of the journal. A safe assumption for about 30% of the world and 80% of the US, I would say. Further, let’s say that I know person X wants to go see movie T. Additionally, I know (because I know everything) that they are going to want me to go see movie T with them, but I think movie T looks terrible, so before they are able to ask me if I want to see it, I can post something in my journal that talks about how much I absolutely hate movie T, and that the last thing in the world I would ever do was go see movie T. By this simple blog posting, I have effectively communicated to person X that they should not ask me to see the movie. I have successfully avoided a personal encounter with person X about movie T. Isn’t the internet age wonderful – it has completely eradicated the need for personal interaction. Our personalities are no longer useful to us, only our ability to spell and form grammatically correct sentences. I mean, I may as well get married to someone over the internet. I may never even have to meet the person. The ceremony could be entirely online. The best part of the whole thing is that we can be married and not even have to live in the same city. The Beatles line “love is all you need” is no longer accurate – now “internet is all you need.” Wow… brilliant.
I’m also completely fascinated by people and their AOL Instant Messenger away messages. Let’s see some of the choice messages that my friends currently have up:
1) “Do you want new wave or do you want truth?”
2) “sick in bed. boo. I have the worst immune system ever.”
3) “I am away from my computer right now.”
Let’s consider these one by one:
1) What does this mean? Do I want new wave or do I want truth… well, I suppose I want truth. But does new wave necessarily exclude the possibility of truth? Apparently so. To me, this message tells me that my friend is in a philosophically unstable condition at the moment and that I should avoid trying to have a meaningful conversation for the next few years.
2) Sick in bed. I do feel bad for people when they are ill, but this message has an ulterior motive. It isn’t an attempt to garner pity; rather, it is sending a clear message to everyone who reads it – don’t bother me. Don’t call me to do anything with you, don’t send me a message to cheer me up (I won’t even see it, fool), don’t drop by to see me. The list goes on.
3) This one is original. Away from your computer, eh? Basically, this message says, I have far more important things that I am doing with my life. I don’t even have the three moments it takes to compose an original away message. I don’t even know why I’m signed on, and I don’t even know why you are bothering to check my away message. Do you think I even have you on my buddy list? What’s your name again? Larry? Leonard? Landale?
(My apologies to any of you reading this who may have just had your away message unnecessarily torn apart.)
Now it’s your turn – what is my ulterior motive behind this post? There must be one, right?

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7:45 and I’ve already eaten?

OK folks, so it is currently 7:45 p.m. and let me just tell you – I have already eaten my dinner. And not just some dinner I picked up at a dive restaurant. NO, I came home and cooked dinner myself. And then proceeded to eat it and do the dishes – all accomplished by 7:45 p.m. This is absolutely amazing. I forgot what it was like to actually have a life outside of work and sleep. So, I made myself a pizza for dinner tonight. I don’t often make pizza – I think I’ve made a total of three in the past 8 months – so I rather enjoy it when I make one of my own. It was a tasty pizza with a 6-cheese blend, hot italian sausage and black olives. Mmm… I also fried up some more of the sausage for the meal I am preparing for myself tomorrow. I am going to make a yummy rice pilaf/sausage dish that my mom turned me onto. It’s tasty, and easy to make.
Well, apparently I’m going to be working on Treasure Island for another few days this week. It seems that there is some trouble getting the production office wrapped out, so I’m being sent in to do some damage control. Haha… just kidding. I guess they just need an extra body to help wrap things up in a timely manner, so I’ve been elected as the person to do that job. Tomorrow morning before hitting up the island I guess I have to stop by Whole Foods and buy some fresh fruits for a woman named Doris. Apparently she was one of Chris Columbus’ former teachers who is now battling cancer (I believe). So I am going to buy some fruit for her to use in the juicer that Chris bought for her. It’s a nice gesture.
Boy, I had to lug some very heavy sound blankets around today. Our music editorial group is working not far from the 1492 office where I am. The building they are in is on a pretty busy street, and apparently they are having some trouble with noise while they are trying to work. When your job is to edit music, I guess it’s a good idea not to have too many extraneuous noises polluting the work environment. So it turns out we had some sound blankets in a hidden closet in our Rehearsal Hall on the island. I had to go and get them and take them to the music building. When I was on my way, I thought I was just picking up some simple insulated blankets, but these were the real thing – fiber glass insulated blankets made of spage-age materials. Let me tell you – these things were heavy. So I loaded the blankets into my car and trekked them to the music editorial space. Now, if you know San Francisco, it’s not the kind of place where you can just pull up to the door of most buildings. No, I had to park my car in a garage almost a block away and then lug the blankets up a hill and then up to the fourth floor of the Zoetrope building. Thankfully Erich, from the music group, did come and help out, so I wasn’t doing it all alone, and thankfully we did have elevator access, which made life easier, but still, not an easy job to do. I think we calculated the weight of the blankets at roughly 50,000 pounds each, give or take 49,950 pounds.
Well, I now have 3-4 hours to do whatever I want before I have to go to bed. So, I’ll sign off from this post. Good night, and see you soon!

Categories: A Day in the Life | 2 Comments

Entertaining at the homestead

As I write this, it is drawing on near midnight on Sunday here in San Francisco. It has been a busy day, and I am ready for bed. It’s back to work tomorrow, but next weekend should be at least a three day because of the holiday. I don’t know yet what I am going to do with a three day weekend. Probably just take it easy – that would be nice.
Church tonight was good. This week and last we have sung the Notre Dame version of the Our Father, and it is still very moving. It is such a powerful rendition of that prayer. After mass we had a wine and cheese reception for Fr. Peter who is leaving the parish (coincidentally, he is going to my sister’s parish in Utah), and I asked some of the people I was with what they thought of this “new” version of the Our Father. To my great dismay, two of the three people I was with said they did not like it and that they preferred the other one (which, by the way, I don’t really like at all). They said this one was too sad. It’s not SAD, people, it’s MOVING. Agh… I just don’t understand it.
Tonight I hosted my first-ever dinner guests at my house. Two of my St. Dominics friends, Mike and Earl, came over after church tonight. I invited Brad to attend as well, but he declined, citing a previous engagement. We started off with some bread and the traditional olive oil & balsamic vinegar. Then I made penne pasta with an italian sausage sauce and steamed some white squash and zucchini as a side dish. To accompany the meal, I uncorked the bottle of Whispering Dove Cabernet which I received as a Christmas gift from Chris, Mark and Michael (director/producers of RENT). Over dinner we had some very intelligent discussion, ranging from history to theology to politics (despite the no politics at the dinner table rule), with a few personal anecdotes thrown in for good measure. If memory serves, with the exception of my sister who was there for about 4 minutes, Mike and Earl are the first people to have seen the upstairs of my house, and are certainly the first to dine with me there. Even Adam, who stayed with me for a week, never saw the upstairs that I am aware of.
I just now returned from driving both Mike and Earl to their respective homes and then cleaning up the kitchen. I do enjoy entertaining, but it certainly can be a lot of work. As Mike would say, “that’s why they invented pizza.” And by “they” he means the Italians, since apparently the Italians invented everything. I am rather exhausted now, so I think I’ll wrap this brief entry up and get some sleep. Who knows what this week will bring.

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Avocado & the Origin of Symmetry

I went out to the local produce market just down the street from my house today. You’ve probably heard that San Francisco is expensive, but if you are willing to live on an all vegetable diet, you could eat in this city for about $10 a week or LESS. Here’s what I bought today:
1 bottle of balsamic vinegar
1 loaf of french bread
1 large zucchini
1 large bunch of spinach
2 small heads of broccoli
2 small white squash
The total bill came out to only $5.68. And let me tell you, the vinegar and bread alone were $3.50, which means the vegetables only cost me $2.18. I will no longer buy produce at the grocery store because the market down the street from my house is so cheap.
While I was out this morning, I also discovered the Origin of Symmetry. I think that symmetry did not exist before the avocado. Have you ever looked at an avocado? Now tell me that the symmetry of an avodcado is not just impressive. Granted, it has symmetry only along the vertical axis, but if you have the right avocado, you can draw that line anywhere on the vertical axis around the 360 degrees of the avodcado and you will still have symmetry. Doesn’t this just boggle your mind?
Actually, my discovery of the Origin of Symmetry and my enjoyment of avocados have nothing to do with each other, but still the above observation is interesting to consider. In all honesty, Origin of Symmetry is an album by a band called Muse, which is a band I only discovered about a year ago when I bought another album of theirs called Absolution. I absolutely love that album. Anyhow, on Thursday I got my wrap gift from RENT – a wonderful iPod Shuffle with “RENT film crew” screen printed on the front of the device. I love it – I’ve been wearing it all over the place this weekend. When I loaded up my music onto the iPod, I loaded on another Muse album called Origin of Symmetry, which I had actually never heard before. While shopping today, some of the songs from that album happened to play, and I loved them. There are some extremely moving songs on the album. I mean, the songs tend to be pretty loud (not soothing music), but some of the instrumentation is just really impressive. You should check it out.
I did also enjoy an avocado today, though in a slightly modified form. Until about a month or two ago, I hated avocado. (This reminds me of a funny story that is completely unrelated, so I won’t tell it now.) But avocado is really an “in” thing right now, so virtually everything in California comes with avodado now. Seriously – avocado burgers, avocado billboards, avocado pizza, even avocado wedding dresses. There is even a new cable station that launched June 1 called the Avocado Network (“All Avocados All the Time”). The programming on that station is genius. Anyway, being surrounded by such an adoration of the avocado, I was tempted to give them another chance – and was pleasantly surprised to discover that I enjoyed them. My enjoyment of avocados, though, had never been enough to persuade me to try what basically amounts to an avocado smoothie at my local bubble tea shop – until today. That’s right… today I enjoyed an Avocado Tapioca. I have to be honest – it was absolutely delicious. As shocking as it may sound, it tasted exceptional. I recommend you all give it a try sometime.
Well, I should get back to my laundry so that I can have that all done before I head to church tonight. One of our priests is leaving St. Dominic’s this week, which is sad; however, I am happy because he is going to my sister’s parish in Utah! What a coincidence, huh? After mass there is a wine and cheese reception for him, which I am looking forward to, and then I will be cooking dinner here at my house for at least myself and my friend Mike, though who knows who else might show up.
Until next time…

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The waning weekend

As I write this, my Saturday night is waning. In about 30 minutes I hope to be in bed and drifting off to sleep. I feel like today should be the last day of my weekend because I went out on Friday night. NEVER before have I had the chance to go out on a Friday night in San Francisco – with the possible exception of going to a Friday night company party, but that is hardly the same thing. As you might recall from my previous entry, last night I not only got to go out, but I also got hit by a car. My life is so exciting.
Anyhow, tomorrow is Sunday, not Monday, which is good. It means I have another day to do my laundry. I had so much laundry to do once I got from my 4 week trip to LA. I did have a chance to do some washing in LA, but there was a lot yet to be done once I got back up here. So I did some Thursday, some today and I’ll hopefully finish it up tomorrow. Part of the trouble is that I bought a lot of clothes in LA. I bought four pair of pants and seven shirts. If you’re my sister, that’s what you would buy in a day, but for me, that’s a substantial number of clothing items for a four week period. Tomorrow is primarily going to be a pant-washing day. I still have two shirts to do, but mostly pants.
Today was a very lazy day. I slept in until 10 a.m. and when I finally rolled out of bed, I just lounged around until about 1 in the afternoon when I decided it was time to get out of the house. So I drove down to Daly City and saw the movie Bewitched. Good thing that the show started at 2 p.m. because I still got the bargain matinee price. I only had $8 in my wallet, so the matinee was the only ticket I could afford. I thought the movie was alright. I love that TV show, so I had high expecations. While those weren’t met, it was actually better than I was expecting given that I had heard so many bad things about the movie. After Bewitched was over, it was my intention to head back to San Fran and hit up Albertsons for some groceries, but I decided to take a quick detour at the Stonestown shopping center where I ended up seeing another movie at the UA theaters. It was a movie I had never even heard of, but my experience at this theater has been pretty good in the past, so I gave it a shot. It was a show called “Saving Face” and it was a beautiful film. I really enjoyed it, and recommend it to anyone looking for something outside the Hollywood mainstream. By the time that movie was out it was 9 p.m. I did stop by Albertsons on the way home and grabbed some goods for the weekend, but one of the things I wanted wasn’t there. I have been seeing ads all over the place for St. Pauli Girl beer, which is a beer I do enjoy, so I have been craving it (a very effective marketing campaign!). Unfortunately, I have yet to find it ANYWHERE. No bar that I have been to sells it (I tried at three different ones last night), the convenience store down the street from my house doesn’t have it (despite having a sign for it in their window), and Albertsons didn’t have it (OK, they had the Non-Alcoholic variety, but if I’m gonna drink beer, it’s gotta be beer). Oh well.
I didn’t feel much like cooking tonight, so I just microwaved a can of clam chowder. The date on the can was Sep. 2006, but I feel like it hadn’t aged very well. It tasted alright, but it looked so funky. I think I’ve been turned off of Cambell’s clam chowder.
Oh, I got a new cell phone… what, two weeks ago now. This girl that I met named Tami is the person who really turned me onto this particular device. I met Tami in San Francisco on RENT, but really only got to know her once we were down in LA. Like me, Tami is on T-Mobile, and she had this cool device called a Sidekick. It allowed her to send and receive e-mail, browse the web, chat on AOL Instant Messanger, and use unlimited text messaging. After giving it some though, I decided that I would get a similar device. I got the Sidekick II, the next generation of Sidekick, and now for only $20 a month extra, I get all of those features. In two weeks, I feel I’ve already gotten at least that much value out of it, so I am happy. It turns out that two of my other new-found LA friends, Katie and Molly, also have Sidekicks, so I am definitely in good company.
Well, time for Lance to get some sleep. Until next time…

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Hit by a Hummer Limo

I’m sure most of you have read about it in the papers or seen it on the news and are very concerned, so I wanted to assure all of you that I am doing just fine and that my encounter with the Hummer limo last night has not left me completely paralyzed as the doctors had first feared would be the case. The tabloid paparazzi are outside my window right now, no doubt trying to dig up some dirt on what I was doing crossing the street in North Beach last night when the whole incident went down.
Alright, so maybe there HAVEN’T really been any news stories about me, and maybe there WASN’T really any fear of paralyzation, and perhaps there AREN’T really paparazzi outside my window, but I was hit by Hummer limo in North Beach last night. Nothing serious, actually. I was waiting to cross Columbus Avenue when my walk sign came on. Seeing that I had the signal to go, I began to cross the street. Unfortunately, a Hummer limo, which I had thought was stopped at the red light, decided to make a right turn on red and began to make his turn. I was somewhat shocked to see he would do this right through a crosswalk in which people were walking, so I stopped, obviously not wanting to be run over. It turns out, though, that those Hummer limos are so long and ridiculous that I didn’t stop quite short enough and the side of his car ran right into the right side of my body. Thankfully I was prepared for this impact, otherwise I may have been knocked to the ground. The car stopped, and I imagined that it was so the driver could make profuse apologies and offer me a million dollars in compensation, but no, he was actually stopping for some people in another crosswalk. That’s right… couldn’t stop for me, but could stop for the others. He then continued his turn and drove off on his merry way. Needless to say, I was a little put out by the entire thing. But all is well. So here is your lesson for the day: Watch out for a Hummer limo with license plate “CWT 01″ if you ever find yourself in San Francisco.
Yes, it is true, I am now back in San Francisco. I drove back up here on Sunday, June 19 after enoying nearly 4 weeks in Los Angeles. As much as I don’t like the city of LA, I always enjoy visiting because many of my friends are down there and I always know I’ll have a good time. It was a particularly good trip this time because I got to meet some new people from the show and made some new friends. Of course, it would be nice to make some new San Francisco friends, as well, since I am going to be up here for another 4 months. Hopefully that will become slightly easier now that my work schedule is more normal and I don’t have to work until 10 or 11 p.m. every day.

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Late Nights in Los Angeles

Hello one and all, and Happy June.
This week finds me in Los Angeles working on set. It’s a welcome change from the office. Not to demean the experience the production office gave me, of course, because it taught me a great deal about the overall operation of a feature film. More importantly, it also taught me that the office is not where I belong; rather, being on set puts me more where I see myself working as a career.
We are shooting all nights here in Los Angeles, which is difficult, because it means working all night and sleeping all day. Sleeping during daylight hours can be difficult, but thankfully the place I am staying has fairly well covered windows. I am living in a house in Sherman Oaks with a Notre Dame-connected family. Yah, that’s right – I had never met them before I showed up at their door to move in. Notre Dame is great, and continues to give me advantage upon advantage even a year after graduation. The night shoots are long and strange, especially when you consider that “lunch” is between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. each night.
I want to give a shout out here to my good friend Adam Fairholm, who not only took over for me as executive producer of NDtv after I graduated, but who also interned on RENT during our last three weeks in San Francisco. He got to enjoy many exciting moments working on the film, while at the same time enduring the long hours that the film industry offers, which most people new to the industry aren’t ready for. So here’s to Adam, and his new, post-internship dream of working for the Food Network!
Anyhow, the voices in my head* are running non-stop, so I feel it is best that I finish this post.

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