Wednesday, October 19, 2005


This is just too good not to post. And you can get it here.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Musical Monday

I've been meaning to introduce even more new music here, but I've had so many to sort through lately, it's been tough to decide what deserves attention. And I think I'll try to make this a regular Monday posting. But don't count on it.

This week's song is "Casimir Pulaski Day" by Sufjan Stephens. As usual, it's availalbe for free download at Filter Magazine. See, those 83 songs I downloaded from those guys at Filter have totally taken over the iPod. I play nothing but them now. It's like my own alternative alternative radio station.

Anyway, Sufjan Stevens. "Casimir Pulaski Day." Horns. Banjos. A story about a friend's death. A song named after a holiday for a Polish Revolutionary War hero. It's been a long time since I've allowed myself to like a sad song. Some Tori Amos song off "Little Earthquakes" was probably the last. But this is not Tori. I can't really say what it is. Who else puts banjos and horns behind a ballad about cancer?

He recently did an interview and a song or two on KCRW (a great radio station in Santa Monica, California. It sounds like he's just as good live as recorded.

It's one of my favorites lately and I'll be interested to hear your opinions.


When I first moved to Birmingham from Mississipppi, I knew no one. My girlfriend, Christina, (we weren't even engaged at the time) was still in Jackson. So I was overjoyed when I was invited to go out for sushi with a bunch of News staffers one Thursday night after deadline.

One of those staffers was Vivi Abrams. And she has been one of mine and Christina's good friends ever since. And Thursday night sushi became a weekly tradition.

Today, she pointed her (very) loaded down U-Haul toward Atlanta and drove off. I snapped this as she was pulling away from her house.

Vivi, you'll be missed in Bham. We all hope Atlanta is where you find your future. But we also hope you not only come visit, but that you find a house big enough to let us crash at your place.

Friday, October 07, 2005

That's a wrap!

Those were the words we all longed to hear last night about 6 p.m. in Talladega. After six days of shooting (three for me), the extras were tired, grumpy and ready to go home. But director Adam McKay had another plan. More shooting. So we extras continued to stand around waving our arms and pumping our fists.

Slowly the more tired extras sneaked off back to the holding area for snacks, water and a comfy chair. And that's why I think Wade Kwon (he accompanied me Wed.) and I might actually get on screen in this movie. Or at least a foot or hand or something. The few of us left were looking right in the camera.

I'm looking forward to seeing this film and pointing out how many times certain people show up as different characters in the background. There were so few extras by day three several were being asked to change clothes multiple times to fit different needs in the filming.

This was a very fun experience and I'm glad I did it, but 11 hours of sleep last night were welcome. The next time your area is host to a big production like this, I encourage you to help out at least one day. It's worth the time and sleeplessness.

Here are a few photos. Not only were we in a bad spot for good shots, my camera refused to cooperate. But I got a few..

This is Will Ferrell heading to the winner's circle...

This is Sacha Cohen and Andy Richter...

Sacha Cohen...

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Movie Magic

Or maybe it should be called Movie Mishmash. After a full day (no, literally a full day from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.) within the hallowed banked walls of Talladega International Speedway working on a big-budget motion picture, I don't see how a watchable product comes out of the cinematic chaos.

We probably spent about 3 hours actually filming and about 12 hours sitting around waiting. So it was sometimes frustrating, but a fun process to watch.

We got to see Will Ferrell fairly close and Michael Clarke Duncan pretty well. Duncan walked past me taking off his shirt after a scene was shot. That man is HUGE. His arms were about as big around as my head. The man looked like a tree trunk with legs.

Anyway, I took a bunch of pictures, but I don't know the legality of posting most of them. So I'll just give a taste. This shot is of Christina and I in front of the Laughing Clown Malt Liquor truck. Will Ferrell's character is a member of the pit crew for this team until the driver quits. Ferrell jumps into the car and becomes a race car driver.

His nemesis is Jean Girard played by Sacha Baron Cohen (of Ali G fame). Girard is a French race car driver sponsored by Perrier. Got pics of his car too, but Cohen wasn't on the set today.


Christina and I begin filming today with Will Ferrell's crew in Talladega on "High, Wide and Handsome."

It's now 4:30 a.m. Tuesday and we have to be in Dega in an hour.

I usually go to bed at this hour.

I'll try to post later tonight when we get home to give details on the day's shoot.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Fast news

I've been reading car magazines (Christina calls it automotive porn) since I was like 12. At one time, I think I subscribed to at least three. I've always been fascinated by them.

But lately I'd been feeling rather jaded toward cars. It seemed like every automotive trick had been played. I was bored with 'em.

Until this week's Autoweek. Oh god. They drive the Bugatti Veyron.

Sure, Volkswagen (they own the Bugatti name) has been crowing about this car for years. Promising 1,000 horsepower. 200+ mph. Cost over $1 million. etc etc. But they had some bugs to work out for the last two years.

Well, according to Autoweek , bugs are gone. Way gone.

Raw numbers?
16 cylinder, 8.0 liter engine
997 Horsepower
0-62 in 2.5 seconds
250 mph top speed
$1.2 million
And it's absolutely gorgeous.

To put that in perspective, the latest Corvette seems like a total econocar. The Vette's 8 cylinder engine has only 400 hp, does 0-62 in 4.3 seconds and has a top speed more like 180 mph. And only cost $45,000. A bargain.

I think I can honestly say that my automotive excitement is back.