So...where were we??? Oh yes...we had gone through the movie listings, pocket sized notebook in hand, trying to find a theatre that is showing 3 or 4 films that are on my "To See" list...Bingo! Oh good it's a Cineplex-Odeon...the big honcho...Nice!!! Just a 15 minute walk away from Casa DAMMIT! too...vunderful!!! Hmmmmmmm....they're playing 4 films from my list..next, and this is where you have to do some calculating and some guess work...so yes being a genius/criminal mastermind comes in handy. If movie A starts at this time...I have 10 minutes before movie B starts! Now, and pay close attention kiddies...you have to keep in mind that if the listing says ....say 1pm...the movie itself probably won't start until 20 minutes or so later, depending on such time wasters as commercials of cute polar bears drinking Coca-Cola, and don't forget ALL those Coming Soons that WILL give away the whole plot....so that has to be factored into the blue print!This part can take awhile to figure out, sometimes rather frustrating...I mean, hey... 4 full movies...have patience and keep your eye always on the prize ...which is???? That's right...good for you... watching a wad of films, while at the same time fucking these giant Money Machines, a.k.a., "THE MAN", for charging so much for a movie, and even more for the bare necessities like popcorn and pop!!!!
OK...so this heist went down in January of this year...almost a year ago...so, like I said, lots of Oscar quality movies were playing all at once. The movies I pick for this particular special day of cinema thievery are, in order of viewing; Slumdog Millionaire, Milk, Doubt, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I leave my apartment with my ever present portfolio, which contains, among other things, my sketch book (which I never leave home without, plus I'm planning on keeping a journal of this day), a book (to read just in case you have to sit in an empty theatre with half an hour or so to kill before the next film starts...I mean, really...you CAN NOT read those stupid free movie magazines they have waiting for ya there...it actually hurts and bruises the fucking brain...YES! THAT DUMB!!!), snacks like almonds, M&Ms, a sandwich, couple o' cans of Diet Pepsi, bottle of water, etc. This way, you don't give "THEM" the satisfaction of charging you 45 bux for confectioneries.
Ok...were at the box office, look up at the board and have a curious look on your mug...act like, "Oh my, what time does my movie start?"...very good, nice piece of acting there Brando... Step #1: Buy ticket for the first movie on your list, like I said, for me it happened to be Slumdog Millionaire...smile at the ticket taker, and memorize what he/she looks like, this is very important 'cus they can become a big problem 4 or 5 hours later. Next, a very, very important step #2; This is when you pull out your pocket sized note book, and as you slowly, casually, inconspicuously make your way to the men's/ladies room at the other end of the corridor, you are scanning and writing down the number of the cinema that your movie's are playing. Remember, you know what time your movie's start, but up 'til now, you didn't know the exact location of said crime scene. Ahhhh...very nice Milk is in cinema 4, nicely positioned directly across from Slumdog...very good...very good.
Step 3; Nonchalantly, walk into the assigned cinema. I sit down, middle row, aisle seat, get comfortable, take out snacks and beverage and the lights grow dim...and enjoy the magic that is the art of film! Shit...set your cell phone on vibrate Joey!!!...credits...hmmmmm.... very good movie...but Oscar????....don't think so (DOH!!!)...3:18pm...end credits still running...I casually walk across the hall, no more than 15 steps...I tell myself my new mantra, "be cool...be Barack"...and a minute later I'm in cinema 4, in my seat. Wait, gotta go to the can! That's okay...the first commercial just started...in fact...ahhhh...what the hell, it's the movies...go ahead buy yourself a popcorn and pop (see, it's happening)...be cool...pay what seems like your life savings, feel guilty about all that butter, but hey...the ticket taker (which you should never take your eyes off) doesn't even look in your direction...back in my comfy seat in time to still watch 2 more coming soons...(Oh boy a movie about college kids who have lotsa sex, party a lot, and throw up on their date!!!...NOT!)...now, watch Milk!
6:00pm on the dot, just as I had calculated...very nice m'man...now it's time to push your luck, make it a little more exciting...you only live once...Doubt doesn't start for another 40 minutes, let's head to the V.I.P. lounge and have a beer..."be cool... be Barack"...check out the ticket taker. YES!!! A new ticket taker is on duty! Looking very confident (this is very important...body language will always give ya away), I saunter into the V.I.P. lounge and order a beer...HOW MUCH???!!!...for a bottle of fucking BEER???!!!...fine, fine...this is a vacation of sorts. Oh, what the hell (huh?), have a second one, still time to kill...Hey...it's a heist...you gotta spend some to make some! Down that baby...man...Sean Penn was brilliant, as usual, in Milk...bet he takes the golden statue home this year! Get up, don't even put on your coat, you're living dangerously man...it's like having sex some place that there's a chance of getting caught...makes it that much more exciting (what?..of course...why, you haven't???)!!! Then thank the nice man behind the bar/counter, and I make my way to watch Doubt which should be starting in less than 5 minutes.
Ahhhhhh...our third movie of the day...feelin' a little tired, kinda burned out...must be the beer making me feel a little...sleepy? Yes, another good film...you can't go wrong with a movie that pits a prudish, bitchy Meryl Streep, as a nun, against the always great Philip Seymour Hoffman, as a priest!!!...credits up...Benjamin Button, directed by one of my all time favourite directors David Fincher, starts in about 15 minutes...and again...right across the hall...easy as a hot knife through butter. But, as I slowly make my way down the (too) dark steps on my way out.. I'm really feeling pooped...and shit man...Button is supposedly 3 hours or so long!
I'm standing in the middle of the hallway...just in front of me, cinema 6 and a fourth film...to my left...the exit...and nice warm apartment...I hesitate a moment longer...What the fuck...we can do this again next week, and hey, Gran Torino is also playing here...and you'll feel fresher. Home it is!!! As I'm walking along Bloor Street, I start calculating to myself....hmmmmm...13 bux for the first movie...10 or more bux for the popcorn and pop...14 for beer, not including the fuckin' tip that I just had to give the guy who is only making less than minimum wage...aaaaaaannnndddd...wait a minute.. that's..what?????... 39! 40 dollars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT!!!!!!!!! Yup, "THE MAN" beat me again...3 movies...40 FUCKING BUX!!!!! SOME FUCKING HEIST GENIUS!!!
So this January... Whoah...lots to watch still...A Serious Man, which I hear is GREAT (It's the Coen's...come on!!!), is playing this week at The Bloor Cinema...brilliant (The Bloor's cool...leave 'em alone)!!! And then...I still have; Up In The Air, A Single Man, An Education, Precious and Fantastic Mr. Fox to watch...God I hope they're all playing at THAT same theatre, I got me some BIG GET EVEN to do!!!!!!!!
Monday, December 14, 2009
I have a confession to make. Earlier this year I stole from Cineplex Odeon...clearly broke the law...and have committed this crime many times before. I admit it, and I plan to do it again shortly. I also admit it makes me feel great, because it feels like I'm stealing from the people that rob me blind every time I go to the movies. Yeah...like a modern day cinematic Robin Hood meets John Dillinger meets Patty Hearst and gang (huh?)! Let me explain.
As a lot of you know, I LOVE (!!!) movies...especially sitting in a theatre with a big screen, big sound... a giant popcorn and a giant Diet Pepsi or Coke ( I'm a Diet Pepsi man myself given the choice...and yes, of course there's a fuckin' difference!!!). Always an aisle seat...I go to the can about 2 times per regular 1 hour 48 minute feature (which lasts closer to 4 and a half hours if you count the commercials, coming soons, and are with people like my brother who must see ALL the end credits), and I always feel I'm ruining everybody in the theatres movie going experience, when I have to excuse myself, step on feet, and knock over their drinks as I literally crawl on them to go do my thing (and repeat the whole embarrassing ritual on the way back to my seat). So I can usually be found on the far left aisle seat, around the middle row. Sooooo...recap...love, LOVE movies... own over 800 dvds (and about 500 vhs...which most are now in storage...(Eeee-gad, and now with BluRay...never mind)... but nothing can replace the movie going experience...A movie (or a good portion of them SHOULD be watched on a big screen, not on TV...and dear God, DON'T FUCKING GET ME STARTED ON HOW GREAT IT IS THAT YOU CAN WATCH MOVIES ON YOUR COMPUTER!!!!! That is SO FUCKING WRONG IN SO MANY WAYS........AAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...(breathe Joey, breathe...)... that's another blog post.
Now...as most of ya know...if you go to a regular run movie, at one of those Godforfuckingsaken multi-plexes...A ticket for the film is what...between 11 and 13 bux (insert coughing, gasping sound here)??? Then (and yes I condone sneaking everything in), you go for the classic popcorn and pop (What the fuck is it with the nachos and fucking melted Cheese-whiz at movies anyway???), that costs you, for just a regular size popcorn and drink, more than the movie ticket itself. By the time you get to your seat (and have already spilled a quarter of your popcorn)...you are steaming 'cus you realize that you've already spent enough to put a fucking down payment on a starter home or condo!!!! Oh yeah...and then...because these multi-fuckin'-plexes need to make money too (huh?...they do???...wasn't my $25 popcorn suppose to take care of that???)...34 commercials, followed by 12 coming soons that naturally show and give away the whole fucking movie anyway...and yeah..I'm a-fuckin' homicidal mad man by now!!! Let's not even go into the cell phones, the fucking basketball player, or horny lovers that are sitting directly in front of you, and the 5 best fuckin' friends for life directly behind you that won't stop squealing and yapping through the movie, until you calmly turn around and tell them how you're gonna pull a fucking Hannibal Lecter on them if they dare to say one more word before the end of the fucking film!!!
Okay, now for the cool breaking the law part...So now, around this time of the year, is when most of the really good movies are released, just in time for Oscar consideration...This part of the movie year, is to me, what the play offs are to your super-duper die hard spots fan (yeah...why, if they sell fucking nachos at movies, don't they sell fucking wings???)!!! And since there's so many movies on my "Movies To Watch" list...and realizing the time constraints, and how much films I want to watch, but obviously will never have that kind of money in the bank for...it's time for The Great Movie Heist for yet another year!!! Now, I love heist films...the planning , the execution, the thrill of the opening that safe...Ocean's 11(the Clooney, not the God awful Rat Pack version), The Italian Job (not the ridiculous Michael Caine original)...Oh, and of course The Sting (buttttt...was that really a heist film???)! Time to put the genius of this God-given criminal mind to work, and put together a blue print for the Perfect Cinema Crime!!!
So the heist is now at stage one: The planning stage...it all starts here, my fine feathered friends... I sit down with newspaper on coffee table, pen and pocket sized (note, this is important) notebook in hand, and start scanning the movie listings...looking for one theatre that is showing 3 or 4 of the films I want, NO...make that NEED to see! Now, I was gonna get right into the fun, breaking the law part... was gonna keep writing, explain exactly what and how I did (do) it...but...I'm feeling totally guilty that it's already that time, and I'm still here in front of this fucking computer, while I have paintings to do down in my studio...soooooooooooooo...this is now Part One...followed soon by part two! C'mon...you love a great cliff hanger, and you know it!!!! So stop your belly aching will ya!!!!!!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Sometimes...even before you're "officially" awake...you JUST know it's gonna be one of those fucking days!!! Today is one of 'em!!! Again, fourth night in a row...so hard to fall asleep, and when I finally do...I keep waking up...weird had a dream that it was my first day at work in an office out of Mad Men...I mean it wasn't the same office, or people as the show...but you just knew it was Mad Men! Sleep has always fucked with me...from the very first second I was born...on! So now, no matter how many Red Bull's or Diet Pepsi's I drain...still gonna feel sleepy, drained, blah all day, thus screwing up my creativity!!! Now that I bitched about that ...I can bitch about the following. Love it when you have no idea what you're gonna write about...and you just start typing.........
I have been complaining forever and ever about my weight gain. I have gained well over 30 lbs. in a lil' over a year and a half. Why? Well, my official answer that I give myself and others is the fucking meds!!!...and it is... especially one of 'em...if you're on this baby...you are gonna balloon like the kid in Willie fuckin' Wonka...NO CHOICE!!! What I'm not admitting while blaming this pill, is that the weight gain would not have been so bad, if I exercised, ate less (and not so late), and did not drink SO much beer!!!
This pill, Serequel (probably the wrong spelling...who really gives a shit), is an anti-depressant. You gain weight on it even if you don't eat at all, and just suck in air all day! Soooooo, ya ask..."why not just get off it Joey?"... A great question there Skippy...the answer? For over 18 years I have suffered with fucking, horribly debilitating Depression. The disease, the disorder that is...and not, "woe is me...I hate goin' in to work 'cus the guy in the next cubicle is an asshole"...or, "the love o' my life left me...she was my kindred spirit, and I'll never find another." The name is the same (and man did they give this baby the wrong name), but it's two different things. The late, great American writer, William Styron (who suffered from it and wrote about it in a great little book called Darkness Visible), hated the name "depression" with a passion, as do I. He said "brain storm" would be great, alas, it was already taken. I used to always call it BrainFuck...even in sessions with my shrinks...they loved it. There really should be a campaign to change the name...Churchill called it the Black Dogs...it's a good start!!!
See...there I go....where was I???....oh yeah...18 years with this sinister, demonic dark hell inside you...you lose all hope, you lose all the things you love and are interested in most, you lose your self-esteem, social life...hell, you lose the will to live...REALLY!!! You don't even have the..."thing" to even crawl to the damn kitchen and get a bowl of cereal, 'cus you know you really should eat something...if you don't have the "thing" to do that, then you certainly don't have the "thing' to plan out, and then actually go thru all the trouble of killing yourself. Unfortunately, some people do have it, and do end it all.
A friend of mine, a local radio DJ here in Toronto (a lot of you know who I'm referring to), committed suicide, quite a few months ago now. And you don't know the frothing, rabid dog of anger I became when I heard the words "coward" and "selfish" mentioned when referring to him and his untimely suicide. If you truly believe that...FUCK YOU!!! It is not cowardly, nor selfish!!! What it is, is a pain so CRUEL...So fuckin' UNFORGIVABLY AGONIZING, that you actually can't imagine living with it for one second more. You think it's cowardly, huh?...then allow me to put a good ol' fashion curse on you...one solitary day with Depression from Hades..like the one I and millions more suffer for years and years...let's see how you feel about said coward then! Good, glad I got that out...if this blog thingamajig is good for nothing else, at least I get a chance to vent, and write sentences like that last one!
Soooooooooo....yes I want to get off this and all the other meds...and I honestly don't believe it was the pills that one day in May of 2008 made me actually say, "hey...hold on a minute...I feel...different....wait...is the BrainFuck gone...holy shit, I think it is!!!???"...and it was...and has not (knock fake wood...but with this fucker, you just never know) come back since. How do I know it wasn't the pills...I just "know it...I know how it felt inside...I just do...can't explain it"...but the real truth is, I DON'T KNOW...not 100% anyway!!! So it's my choice, get off the meds, take a chance, but maybe go back to that pure sheer Hell of darkness or stay on it and complain about my weight. I see (though, God knows I try hard to avoid it) pics of myself at various functions on FakeBook, and it bothers me SO FUCKIN' MUCH!!!! I saw some pics of me at the fabulous Touched By Fire art show last week...Eeeegad!!! Meat Loaf Re-visited!!!...got into such a bad, self-loathing mood...that I jumped into a cab, went to one of my favourite places (hey...my art is there...I'm the arteest in residence) WATUSi to partake in the fine art of warming the bar stool! Drank beer and tequila all night...made even more dangerous because some of the drinks were on one of the owners that was going thru a heavy issue as well!!! Stupid? Yes!!! Very!!!...and not the best way to lose that unwanted weight it turns out, which was the reason I pulled the self-pity act in the first place...genius!!!
But here's the thing...on the morning of Touched By Fire, last Thursday, while Ralph "Rottweiler" Martin and I were preparing to "hang" the show...I was on my knees, at the far end of this gorgeous gallery at the Royal Ontario Museum , unwrapping a piece of someones art, looking forward to seeing what was under the bubble wrap, kinda excited ...when out of no where it hit me, that I was already, though it was still morning, not only looking forward to the next day...I was excited to see what life was gonna throw at me tomorrow...I mean it actually thrilled me because I didn't know what was still in store!!! What a fucking difference from the days of the Black Dogs, where I was terrified to go to bed at night, 'cus I was so afraid of the morning!!! Oh that fucking horrible morning, and what it held for me!!!! I realized this...and that is why I stay on this muthfkr...because...I want to always look forward and get excited about what the future holds in store for me tomorrow!!!
So...we'll do the usual new year's resolution thang...eat better, less, and exercise like nuts, like Rocky F'n Balboa...even hit sides o' beef if I havta...if that, the weight, is my biggest problem in life...whew!!!... we can do something about it...I'm one of those really strange guys that can actually, one day get angry enough, and actually go to GREAT lengths to prove that I can do it just to spite life, or God (who still doesn't exist) or a fucking pill or disease!!!