Monday, July 31, 2006


I have a friend who works with the homeless in Los Angeles. She once told me that anyone, deprived of sleep for 3 days will start to show signs of insanity. Julie and I are clearly starting to show serious signs of insanity. But before we go any further, please consider this moment of family togetherness.

There we are, in our living room, having some quality time with our lovely sons. We are smiling, the boys are smiling (as much as they can at 10 days), and all is good in the world. But there is a darker side, a side that starts... eh... sometime after midnight. That's when these good natured boys turn into something more like... THIS!

Hang on, that's the wrong picture. Here, they're cute and mostly asleep. But at night, they're still cute, but not mostly asleep...

That's more like it. Notice the haunting gaze of Nate, cutting through the darkness. Cute, but not asleep. We've worked very hard to get the twins on a synchronized sleep schedule, if not with us, at least with each other. But it's not an easy thing to do. There are a bunch of books with hints on the subject. Some say you can get your kids on a regular sleep schedule within 3 weeks or so.

But there is one small hitch... according to the books timeline, our kids haven't been born yet. They're still negative one week old. I don't completely understand this, but it has something to do with child development and the explanation is probably contained in the stacks of baby books on the side of the bed that I've never bothered to read. But I've gathered that it has something to do with the fact that our twins were born 2 weeks early. For now, the doctors say, "Do anything the kids want." (Oh yeah? What if the kids want us to rob a bank?)

So we're stuck for a while. Lately we've been trying to give the kids more exercise, in the form of "tummy time."

It looks totally boring, but it's supposed to help babies develop their leg or head muscles or something. But you can't get too bored by it, because of babies sleep on their stomachs, they die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, which is a real downer.

So anyway, we're tired, really tired. One night I was in the glider chair, trying to burp Will. I was so tired, I almost fell off the chair. I was quite worried I would actually crush the poor child. That would also be a downer.

But sometimes the haze has an advantage. While I was holding will that night, I gazed down at him as he struggled to stay awake

As I moved a blanket away from the side of his face, I blinked my eyes and saw something I can only describe as an apparition. What I saw wasn't a baby, but a full grown adult. It was Will at about 24 years old. He was handsome and had strong features, although his hair was starting to thin. He seemed to be OK. Then I blinked my eyes again and the image was gone, lost in the murky night of a sleep deprived dad.

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I've been trying to put together a post all night. Blogger just isn't cooperating. This is the third time this has happened in several attempts.

I'll try again later.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Who who? Who who?

When the twins were born last week, I prided myself on being able to tell them apart. But things have changed over the past few days. They're looking more and more alike. For example...

That's Nate on the left and Will on the right. I think. No, I'm pretty sure about that. Julie looked and confirms my findings. Yes, Nate left, Will right.

But now look at this picture and tell me who you see...

If you answered "Nate," you're wrong. It's Will... I think. Yes, it's definitely Will.

Things have gotten so bad lately, Julie actually painted Nate's toenails purple so we could tell these (non identical, as near as we can tell) twins apart. But it's even hard to trust that system, as evidenced by this conversation in the lobby of a doctor's office yesterday.

"Julie, I think you marked the wrong one."


"You marked Nate, right?"


"And Will is the one with the slightly bigger head and pronounced forehead?"


"But look at the one with the painted toenail and then tell me which has the bigger head."

"That doesn't matter. I painted the toes when it was easier to tell them apart. Do you think they somehow switched toenails overnight?"

"OK, that makes sense... OK, nevermind."

So now I've been trying other systems to tell them apart. For instance, I gave Nate shoulder pads to accent those famous Workman shoulders...

But the effect only lasts so long, then you're stuck with this again...

How am I supposed to figure out who is who is that photo? I'm pretty sure that Nate is on the left again and Will is on the right. But I could be wrong.

Let's try again and see if we do any better...

That one's a little bit easier, because Will is doing his trademark Billy Idol lip curl thing. (And kudos to Jon Deal for pointing this trait out.) Without that "tell," I don't know if I would have gotten that one right.

I've taken to calling each of them "baby," just to hide my ignorance. But you really don't want to call them by a wrong name. I called Nate "Will" yesterday, and got a most rude hand gesture...

Needless to say, he's grounded until further notice.

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Monday, July 24, 2006


Well, it finally happened, we were sprung from the hospital Sunday.

Here we see Julie (holding Nate) and the-woman-now-know-as-Grandma-Judy (holding Will) finishing up the paperwork getting us out.

Being home has been pretty exhausting. If you'll notice, we've been home for about 36 hours, and I've just found time to share some more pictures now.

They're not really sure when they should sleep. Take, for example, this photo of Will and his grandma. Grandma has taken this moment to have a lovely nap...

But Will... he's not having it.

But believe it or not, this moment is one of the success stories. It's daylight, and one of the twins is awake. More often than not, Nate and will entertain the fantasy that they live in Singapore. When it's midnight here, it's midday in Singapore, so naturally the twins want to be up and around. When the morning hits Southern Oregon and two very lovely parents are so tired that they are just about ready to return two very cute boys to the hospital... the boys hit the sack. After all, most of the good clubs in Singapore are closing down right about then.

Enough of my whining. You probably didn't come here to read about how parenting a newborn is hard, you want pictures. Not many today, as our sleep deprived brains have been pretty much unable to operate a camera. But here's a photo of the boys just after they came home for the first time...

That's Will on the left, and Nate on the right. One more time, just to you get it right. This is Will... and he is going to hit you...

And this is Nate.

Any questions?

Perhaps if the haze wares off this week, we'll take you on a tour of a place I like to call The Burp Lounge... the most exclusive club in town.

More later...

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Saturday, July 22, 2006


So the boys got out of the ICU Friday morning and got put into Julie's hospital room. The move allowed the 4 of us to pose for our first family photo...

From left to right, you've got me, Will, Julie, and Nate. Now a lot of people have remarked that these two children are beautiful. Others have noted that Julie is as radiant as ever. But I gotta say, I look spectacular in this photo.

Some have noted that it is difficult to tell them apart, but let's try once more...

Will is on the left, and Nate is on the right. Nate is a tad smaller, that's how I tell them apart.

Now that they're out of the ICU, they can be closer to each other. You'd think that would be a good thing, but I'm not so sure. They're plotting against us...

(That's Will on the right and Nate on the left.)

This photo was taken Friday afternoon. They were plotting on how to deprive their parents of all but a few minutes worth of sleep last night. I don't want to give away the whole story, but let's just say their plan was a smashing success.

More to come.

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Thursday, July 20, 2006


So I guess some introductions are in order...

This is Nathan Douglas Workman

He was born, out of focus, this morning at about 8:09. He weighs about 5 pounds, 4 ounces. He is a pretty tiny guy, and he often looks like an old, concerned Jewish man. Just minutes after he was born, he opened his eyes and began surveying the room. Not crying, just checking things out.

Nate also sustained a long Workman tradition by peeing on the doctors as he was born. Some 37 years ago, I peed on an OB/GYN during my first few moments of life.

About two minutes after Nate was born, another guy popped out.

This is William Curtis Workman...

He'd punch your lights just as soon as look at you. Actually, he may be the more mellow of the two. He was born at 8:11 and weighed 5 pounds, 12 ounces. Will can be identified in the wild by his slightly larger cranium. Other than that, it's pretty hard to tell the two apart.

Moments after Will was born, he started breathing a bit too quickly, so they took him off to the ICU. That meant Julie didn't get to see him at first. But once Julie got drugged up a bit, they could finally meet...

They seem to get along ok.

Then Julie wheeled over to the next bin, and said "hi" to Nate.

Have I mentioned they are very tiny?

Nate wound up in the ICU as well. His breathing wasn't quite up to par this morning, either. He and his brother should be out of the ward by tomorrow. Probably.

After surgery, the doctors doped up Julie on all kinds of high-quality drugs. Within minutes, she was as savvy as those junkies on Trainspotting: "This stuff is pretty good, but these... these will really take you somewhere."

But unlike, in the movie, Julie appears perfectly capable of taking care of kids through her drug induced haze. Just look how motherly she looks in this picture...

As for me, they gave me this cool outfit...

I'm going to wear it every day.

But I know you really came here for baby pictures, so here's one more of Will...

And one more of Nate...

Mom and children are healthy. Dad is tired. All are happy.

More soon...

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The babies have arrived! They popped out just after 8 AM.

Julie is fine.

Both babies are in the ICU right now. Nothing to get too bent out of shape over. They're c-section kids, so they sometimes have some fluid in their lungs... and that's what we've got here.

Details, names, stats, and photos will be posted later tonight.

Stay tuned...


Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Just after September 11th, a photo surfaced, purporting to be a tourist standing on the observation deck of the World Trade Center seconds before impact with a 757.

The photo was a hoax, and the story of it can be found at the Urban Legends Reference Pages. The Snopes article spoke of the photo striking a chord with a nation still shell shocked over the 9/11 attacks. The picture seemed to capture the last split second before our nation, and our lives, changed forever.

So here I sit tonight, counting down the hours before parenthood. About 9 hours, I think. And I gotta say, I feel sort of like I’m the guy in that photo, just split seconds away from an impact that will destroy life as I know it.

Now, I’m told that the Miracle Of Birth™ is not a soul crushing tragedy, but a joyous, uh, whatever that’s really… something. My brain has not been working well lately, so please pardon me if I’m not all that articulate tonight.

The point is that parenthood is supposed to me much less awful that the 9/11 attacks, and I’m inclined to believe that. I’m drawn again to the comments a friend made a few months ago, something about destruction and a Phoenix rising and… I can’t really remember right now. I can’t think of anything.

Did I mention we have to be at the hospital at 5:30 tomorrow morning?

So in the tradition of the above photo, allow me to submit another picture of a guy who has no idea what is about to hit him.

I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


I woke up around 10 this morning without the aid of an alarm clock, leafed through an old issue of The Economist at the foot of the bed, then staggered to the kitchen to get a bagel.

And with that, an era ended. This was my final morning to sleep in for a long, long time. Due to the byzantine scheduling regime at my work, I don’t have to show up to my job on Tuesday’s until 2:30. So I took full advantage of the situation and slept in.

Oh sweet leisure, I shall miss you. But from here on out, it’s all early mornings as far as the eye can see… perhaps for years to come. Tomorrow, I’ll wake up at my usual hour for work. On Thursday, I’ll be up by 5 AM (assuming I’m able to get any sleep at all). Then we’ll head to the hospital where doctors will cut Julie open and start taking babies out.

Then were will be no sleep at all. None at all.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


Late in 2001, I decided to wade into the brand new world of blogs. So I went and got myself a domain at blogger and developed a plan to conquer the world. Then I did nothing for the next three years. I’m not sure what happened during that patch, but I’m pretty sure I was really busy.

But then, after moving to Texarkana and thoroughly disliking it, I made myself a new year’s resolution for 2005… I would start writing again and start posting it on my long forgotten domain. So I posted some stuff, then forgot about it again for 7 months.

But after that false start, I started getting better about writing, and this little site has been a going concern for about a year now. And today it hits a milestone: 100 posts.

Now when a television sitcom hits 100 episodes, it’s cause for celebration because that means the show can be syndicated and everyone involved makes huge piles of cash. That’s clearly not going to happen here, so instead hitting 100 is a time to reflect and gloat and plan.

The idea of this site was to replicate the weekly humor column I used to write. I imagined I would be writing primarily for my family members and a few friends scattered across the nation.

Some things have changed from that original plan. First, the tone of some posts (take the previous one, for instance) have been decidedly unfunny. Second, due to the random and sprawling nature of the internet, some strangers stumbled upon this site and actually came back. Furthermore, hanging a little shingle out on the Information Superhighway (remember that term?) has allowed me to reconnect with friends long lost through time, distance, and circumstance.

A couple of months ago, I signed up for Google Analytics, which tells me about this site’s volume and where hits are coming from. And from this lovely free service (thanks, Google!) I learned a few things.

First, you dear readers are members of an exclusive club. This site sees just 50-150 hits per day, just a drop in the ocean compared to the biggies, and still just a drop in the ocean compared to the really tiny sites, but still more than the average family newsletter blog.

Second, you’re scattered all across the globe. Google Analytics features this map of the world with little dots representing the location of visitors to this site. I love this feature, mostly because I’m a serious map nerd. But it’s also fun to see where all the hits come from. Some are pretty predictable, with clusters found in southern Oregon, Los Angeles, the Texarkana-Shreveport area, Utah, and anywhere where I’ve got family.

There are other little clusters that are unexplained. I seem to get a lot of hits from the Portland area, Eugene and its surrounding towns, and Missouri. Whoever you are, thanks for stopping by. I’ve even found a decent number of international hits. In the last 8 weeks, I’ve gotten hits from Canada, Switzerland, India, Singapore, the Philippines, Israel, Germany, Belgium, Argentina, South Korea, Costa Rica, South Africa, Bosnia, and Kenya. Some of these hits are likely flukes, but not all. There’s someone in the Netherlands who keeps coming back for more. I also get a fair amount of hits from the UK, and Australia. Whoever you are, thank you for visiting.

As for content, there are two things that seem to drive traffic to this site, the first is any reference to Radiohead, and the second is photos of Julie pregnant. Julie will only be pregnant for another few days, so I’m really going to have to ramp up the Radiohead content. (For the record, Elvis Costello references finished a strong third.)

Hopefully it won’t take another 5 years to hit 200 posts. At my current pace, it should take 8-12 months. I hope to get back to more silliness in future posts, but it also seems likely that at least the next few posts will be very baby-oriented. However, I will endeavor to produce non-baby content as well. I’m also thinking of starting a separate blog just for baby photos and stuff like that, so they won’t clog up things here too much.

Comments or suggestions on that subject are welcome, and also on the subject of what types of things you’d like to see in this space (other than Radiohead and pregnant-Julie content, of course).

But whatever the case, thanks again to those of you who stop by here to sniff the digital roses. I will endeavor in the next 100 posts to make this a place worth returning to.


Friday, July 14, 2006


A scan of recent news headlines has my friend and former editor Darrell in a funk. And I must admit I’m in a similar frame of mind.

North Korea is trying to lob bombs at us (thankfully, with comically poor results), Israel appears to be launching a full scale war on Lebanon, hundreds are dead in an Indian bombing campaign, and Iran is rattling a nuclear saber.

Meanwhile, the death toll in Iraq and Afghanistan is on the rise. We can’t possibly fight another war without a draft, no matter what the president says.

And in the next room, Julie is asleep. Inside her are two fully formed baby boys, just waiting to pop into the world. And I’m left to wonder just what sort of existence I’ve foisted upon these two guys I haven’t even met yet.

Like a lot of people, I’ve taken a rather dim view of the future since September 11th. Julie and I sat in a hotel room in Prague and wondered if we had scheduled our honeymoon on the first day of World War Three. We hadn’t, but it struck me then that humanity may have jumped the shark, so to speak. Bringing more people into the world would simply be adding to the problem.

In the last 5 years, I can’t say the world’s gotten any better. As a matter of fact you could make a good argument that it has gotten quite a bit worse.

Hand wringing over the future is nothing new. Grown ups have been doing it since the dawn of time. I often wondered what my mom was thinking when she was pregnant with me. She likely found out she was carrying her second child during the summer of 1968. At that time, a person could be forgiven for believing the very fabric of society was coming apart. There were riots, political assassinations, and horrific body counts in Vietnam. And there she was carrying a son who could wind up being nothing more than “fodder for the death machine,” or whatever 60s term they were using.

Several years ago, I asked my mom about this. Her reply: “I didn’t really think much about it. I was just busy trying to raise a family.”

As it turns out, her lack of apprehension was completely on target. I grew up in one of the most peaceful and prosperous eras in American history. Vietnam ended before I knew what it was, as did Watergate. I really started paying attention when Ronald Regan became president, when things were looking up for America again. Then I got to be in my 20s during the go-go 90s and the internet boom and all of that wonderful nonsense. It turned out ok. Really.

I cling to that as I watch the news and Julie leans over her belly and says, “Hey, babies! You might be born on the first day of World War Three!” Perhaps things really will turn out ok, just like they did with me.

But on the dark, sleepless nights that are becoming increasingly common in the run-up to parenthood, the question still runs through my head: what have I done, what have I done?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


(with a special shout-out to anyone who's actually a fan of the band Europe)

So we got the call today, and some questions were answered. We're on the surgery schedule for Thursday, July 2oth. That means, unless they make a sudden move for the exit, the twins will be born (via scheduled c-section) in just over a week.

When we got the news, my mind raced. The first thing I realized is that I've got only 3 more days to sleep in until I'm well into my 40s. Then there are all the thoughts about whether or not we're actually ready and have all the baby crap we need before a hospital will legally release our own children to us.

But here's what really gets me, the time they're scheduling this c-section for: 7:30... IN THE MORNING! What's worse, they say we have to be there TWO HOURS EARLY! Show up at 5:30? Oh, come on! While I know that babies can come at all hours of the morning, this is the SCHEDULED time. Why so early? Why not noon-ish? That would be great. I could not set the alarm, wake up whenever, go get a bagel, then head off to the hospital and have us some babies.

But no, that would be too easy, now wouldn't it? Instead, we have to haul our butts out of bed at some ungodly hour. I'm sure a lot of you are preparing to write in and say , "You know, you're going to be up at all sorts of ungodly hours with two newborns around the house." To that, I say, "I know." So why do they have to take my last precious day of sleep? Parenthood causes severe sleep deprivation, must we start the process that way?

I guess we'll find out. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


If you’re not a fan of Suicidal Tendencies, this one may slide over your head. So if you don’t get anything in this post, might I suggest you check out the lyrics to what could arguably be considered the most famous hardcore punk song ever recorded. When I was 14, I was convinced “Institutionalized” was the coolest song ever. Twenty-three years later, I’m pretty sure that was the only thing I was right about during my teenage years.

With that out of the way, please consider the following picture:

That’s me on the left, and a man named Gene Muir is on the right. Gene’s son is Mike Muir, who was the lead singer for Suicidal Tendencies. About 20 years ago, Mike got very bent out of shape over a Pepsi. He wanted one, and his mom wouldn’t give it to him. I can understand his dismay; Pepsi is delicious!

But is it really all that tough to get a Pepsi from the Muirs? My simple experiment would seem to indicate that securing a Pepsi from them is actually quite easy. Of course, in the song, Mike was asking his mother for a Pepsi. Would it have been so hard to ask his dad?

With the benefit of hindsight, perhaps we should be glad that Mike didn’t go to his dad, otherwise the punk canon would be missing a classic. But for the rest of you, you’re best advised to ask both parents for a Pepsi. You’ll save yourself a great deal of aggravation.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Back by popular demand, another photo of Julie pregnant:

So I come home from LA, and Julie has grown again. She’s about 8 ½ months along now.

We’re in last-minute preparation mode now. The nursery is full of more oddly-shaped plastic items than I ever thought we’d need. As a matter of fact, I don’t know where we’ll put the babies with all that junk in there. We’ve still got lots of space in the garage, I guess we could put some of the crap in there… or perhaps the babies. I think Julie may have something to say on the subject.

Julie is preparing by wrapping up the last few projects at her work and furiously reading books about babies and twins and parenthood and the like.

I’ve been preparing by sleeping in as much as possible. By my calculations, the number of days I can sleep in during the next decade can be counted on a single hand. I really like sleeping in. Other than that, I’ve been told that there’s nothing that can prepare you for the massive kick in the butt that is parenthood, so I haven’t even bothered trying.

As a matter of fact, I think I’ll go back to bed right now.

Stay tuned for more updates, and perhaps even a non-baby related post. I’ve got some in me… really.

Monday, July 03, 2006


I've spent the last week being something of an Ugly American. I just gassed up the convertible on my way to the airport. Fifty bucks. Ouch! I probably drove 400 miles this week. From Venice to the Valley to Hollywood and back, sometimes twice in a day. Of course, I had the top down. But it was really hot all week, so I had the air conditioning on, too.

While in LA, I have attended 8 screenings and one concert. At each event, I was accompanied by friends. Every time, we drove separate cars. For Radiohead, we drove THREE different cars to get to the venue.

Part of this has to do with LA's layout, the car is just about the only option you've got there.. But whatever the case, I was feeling really guilty driving past all those ads for "An Inconvenient Truth."

But the foolhardy spending didn't end at the pump. Hollywood is home to America's largest independent music store, Amoeba Records. I walked into the place with a stack of 20 dollar bills and cleaned the place out. I knew I had spent a bundle when the clerk put the CDs in one of their $20 tote bags... compliments of the house. I've tried to justify my spending by telling myself that our two pretend babies will really want to hear the new Ugly Duckling album soon after their born.

Of course, some of my spending was unassailable. Today I sprung for dinner at C+O in Venice with my old roommate, Hallie, and my dear friends Bert and Carri. All three of these people are so wonderful that someone should buy them dinner every night. I'm glad I could at least provide that service for one night. I was more than paid back with great conversation, and those killer garlic rolls.

My final day in LA was pretty low key. I went to church at the Mormon congregation Julie used to attend before we moved. Like many congregations, it's an odd assortment of people from across the social and political spectrum. But it's comfortable, like a big family. It was good to see the again, especially Eugene. He's an immigrant from Russia who joined the church a several years ago. Somewhere along the got the idea that my wife and I were the most wonderful people ever. While I agree with him on Julie, I'm not sure about me. But every time I enter a room, with Eugene in it, he will greet me with a firm hug and say something like, "And here we have the famous Matthew Workman." How can you not love a man like that?

Between the endless string of movies, food and music, I spent my time in LA catching up with the people I consider to be my extended family. From Hallie, who was a former roommate, but is really more of a sister, to Mark, the fun and wacky older brother I never had. My former professors at CSUN are something like wise aunts and uncles whose advice you ignore at your peril. Then there are the Marriott's: two cool people with three amazing kids. When I hang out with Elaina, Alden, and little Jane, I think, "If I can be promised that our kids will turn out this cool, then perhaps I can handle parenthood."

As my plane takes off and Los Angeles becomes a series of bright lights in the distance, I realize that these people are the reason I love LA so much. My time in Los Angeles brought me a large collection of friends. Some have moved away, too. Others were too far afield in Orange County to visit during this short trip. Others still have fallen through the phone and email cracks. But they all have made my life richer in ways they will never fully understand.

So tonight I leave a big piece of myself behind in Southern California. But I am returning to the biggest piece of me there is: Julie. And inside of her are growing two smaller pieces of me. One day I hope I can put all of the pieces together again.

This week has been all I hoped it would be: one final irresponsible romp before parenthood. It really worked. I feel like I got it all out of my system, and it felt great. But now I'm ready.

Bring on the babies.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


The LA Film Festival has moved to Westwood this year, and the results are wonderful. The festival used to be held mostly at the Director’s Guild theaters in West Hollywood. If felt like a series of really cool screenings. Now that the action is in Westwood, it feels like a happening, an event, a… dare it say it… film festival.

The other advantage to being away from the DGA is that you can now eat popcorn at the films. I’ve seen a few films at a Landmark theater (chain with the best popcorn in LA) and the addition of the popcorn just enhances the whole movie-going experience. But attending 2-3 movies a day is starting to take its toll. That’s a lot of fiber to be eating. I guess I didn’t really think things through when I started eating all that popcorn. Probably should have.

But enough of my yapping, let’s rock:

The Videos of Fatboy Slim
The festival hosted a retrospective of music videos for the Artist Formerly Known As Norman Cook. I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. Spike Jonez’s “Praise You” is among the funniest things ever unleashed on an MTV audience. There was another one that featured only kittens. But perhaps the boldest one was turned in by Roman Coppola. It was billed as an “incomplete and completely unauthorized” video for “Ya Mamma.” It was the video for Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” with the audio replaced by the Fatboy Slim song. I don’t know if Coppola was proposing re-shooting the “Beat It” video, or if he just wanted to replace the audio. Either way, it was a great idea.

East of Havana
Documentary about underground hip-hop artists in Cuba. I missed almost all of the screening, but what little I saw led me to believe that it is a very worthwhile film. If it gets US distribution, you should look for it.

This film is not part of the LA Film Festival. It just seemed really cool, so I bought a ticket to see it. (Imagine that, paying for a movie ticket.) Wordplay tells the story of the 2005 Crossword Puzzle championships in Stamford, Connecticut. Perhaps I’m just a big old nerd (although I’m not really into crossword puzzles), but I found this film riveting. It’s a credit to the storytelling talent of the director that he could make a solitary act like solving a puzzle great entertainment. It’s in theaters in many cities. Very worthwhile.

The Filth and the Fury, Live!
A special screening of the 2003 documentary about the Sex Pistols. The screening was held at the Ford Amphitheater hosted by former Pistols guitarist Steve Jones, and bracketed by live performances from two different bands. I love this film, and seeing it on a big screen in a cool venue only enhanced the experience. The rise and fall of the Sex Pistols is a fascinating story, with a great cast of interesting, funny, and deeply flawed characters. A great evening, and probably a good way to wrap up my weekend with the LA Film Festival

A huge shout out to Rich Raddon for hooking me up with tickets to all these screenings. I had a great weekend, and I couldn’t have done it without you.

Famous People I Saw:
Jason Statham. He’s that guy from “The Transporter” and the Guy Ritchie films “Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels” and “Snatch.” He was wearing all black and had sandals on. Hmmm, sandals. Perhaps I’ll have to get me one of those.

LA Foods of the Day:
Grilled cheese at Rae’s Diner in Santa Monica. It’s a great old place that has served as the backdrop for many films that need an authentic 50s diner. Very good malts.

Éclairs at Canter’s Deli. A great 24 hour diner that pretty much hasn’t closed its doors since 1931. I used to go there with friends after performing at the Comedy Store back in the day. It was nice to be back.

Hot dogs at Pink’s. There is a fierce debate between New Yorkers and Angelinos on the subject of hot dogs. New Yorkers prattle on endlessly about Nathan’s. Their left coast counterparts say Pink’s is better. I’ve had both. I’m going with Pink’s.

Tomorrow—back to life, back to reality.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


So Radiohead played the last date of their North American tour tonight at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, and I was there with two friends.

The band hit the road to try out a batch of new songs they had written for their new album (due out next year--maybe?) Because of this, I was let to believe the show would be a stripped-down and fairly straight forward affair, as opposed to the heavily produced concerts they usually perform. Not so, and in a very good way. But more on that later.

The new songs were stunning. I don't have access to the set list (the cheat sheat I would have used at greenplastic.com hasn't been updated yet) and I don't know the names of the new songs but they were all uniformly excellent. They covered a range of styles. One had almost a salsa beat, while another was a quick (90 second?) burst of sound that was almost surf rock. They ended the show will a new ballad that was achingly beautiful.

Thom Yorke is releasing a solo album shortly. From what little I've heard of it, it sounds like it contains a lot of electronic noodling ala "Kid A" (don't get me wrong, I'll buy it and likely enjoy it, too). Perhaps that freed Yorke up to write this new batch of Radiohead songs in a style that's more wide open and rock influenced. I can't wait to hear the new album. If the songs performed tonight are any indication, it will be one of their best.

The old music held up well. "Paranoid Andriod" is probably the best song I have ever heard performed live. "True Love Waits" was given an eerie electronic remix on stage. "Fake Plastic Trees," brought the house down (which isn't easy, as the Greek is an outdoor venue). The quiet early passages of "Exit Music" had most of the crowd transfixed. There were a few yahoos in the audience who took the silence as an opportunity to shout lame things at the band, prompting Thom to politely say "shut up" between lines.

I went to the show desperately wanting to hear "Paranoid Android" and "No Surprises." They didn't play the second tune, but the show didn't seem incomplete to me. As a matter of fact, the best stuff tonight was the new stuff. At the end of the show, Thom said that the band had played a lot of new music, then added, "thanks for listening to them." All I could think was, "thanks for writing them."

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