Facebook, The Internet: Last week I stumbled into a very 21st-Century situation. A facebook post that I intended as a cute joke wound up taking on a life of its own. A friend of mine runs a clothing company here in San Francisco, and over the years I’ve served as a model in exchange for fashionable finery. His company is branching out into women’s wear… and the first article on the racks is the “elopement dress”. Designed specifically for last-minute brides on-the-run… the dress needed to be photographed in action. There needed to be a “groom” model… and I was the guy. So I found myself with this great picture of me and an excited bride leaving city hall together. And early on Monday morning, I posted it to my facebook profile with the caption, “It was a pretty wild weekend.” Before I knew it, there were 40 “likes”, and 20 comments. People were telling me congratulations, complimenting me on my eccentricity, and so on. I figure that if 40 people “like” the photo, there’s another 400 who see it. And of those people, probably most of them believe it. I didn’t really have the heart to tell my peripheral friends that it was a sham. But at the same time, I was surprised at how quickly the news of my marriage became truth on the internet. I hadn’t said anything confirming the report myself… but the voice of the mob was strong enough to reinforce itself. It was an interesting lesson. In a world of brief status updates, its hard for people to read between the lines… and a single online photo can change your perceived marital status. Be careful what you post.
Huntington Beach, CA: Well, we did it. A little before 11 am on Sunday, Tyler and I crossed the finish line of our first Marathon. It took us 4 months of training; of early morning runs, late night workouts, and a lot of sobriety. But we did it. We both had injuries going into the race, and we both had moments when we thought we’d have to drop out. Mine came at mile 2… which was pretty frustrating. But we ran through the pain, and by mile 8 we were both doing well. There were cheerleaders, middle school bands playing “Don’t Stop Believing”, and tons of volunteers passing out water and fruit snacks. The Pacific Coast Highway was beautiful at sunrise, and we crossed the finish line without having stopped or walked once. Our time was 4:09… which I fee to be quite appropriate considering the semi – Beach Boys – theme of the Surf City Marathon.
Little Rock, Arkansas: For the last few months, I’ve been spending a lot of time in Arkansas. I’m the field producer and cameraman for the upcoming Weather Channel show, “Linemen”. Its a reality show about the guys who maintain the power lines. You know… when your electricity goes out, and the guys show up with the bucket trucks, and they climb to the top of the pole, and then you have electricity again? Yeah… those guys. Well… its a great job. I’m good at it, I enjoy it, and I get paid well. And on top of that, I’m getting to know all about the world of the power grid. I’ve learned the difference between transmission and distribution lines, transformers and circuit breakers, power lines and phone lines. I can now show you five ways to steal electricity from the power company, (though you’ll get caught) and I can find my way around a menu at a Southern roadside Diner. But most of all… I can introduce you to some awesome guys. It has been my honor to spend time with, and to get to know the hard-working Linemen of Entergy Little Rock. They are some solid dudes… and without them, we’d all be in the dark.
New York, New York: Sometimes life imitates art. And it certainly did this week. “Big in Bollywood” played at the International Film Festival Manhattan, and we received the warmest reception we’ve gotten all year. Firstly, it was amazing to play at a festival in New York City. Aside from the whole “make it here, you’ll make it anywhere” thing, we have a great collection of friends here, and it was fantastic to pack the theater full of friendly faces. On top of that, the folks who ran the festival (awesome people) really made us feel special. They were insistent that I show up for the awards night, and that I wear a nice suit. I was the only one of the gang who could make the final night, and so I was by myself in the back of the room wearing all black. The food and drink was plentiful, and I was enjoying myself for sure. The award for Best Documentary was announced, and wouldn’t you know it… we won. I went up and made a thank-you speech, and felt great. My job as honoree was complete, and I could get back to the drinks. But then came a surprise. They announced the winner of “Best of the Fest”… and I literally did a double take when I heard my name. I went up to the stage for the second time, and was completely taken aback. (And this is where life imitates art) Just like in “Big in Bollywood”, our hero was speechless. I managed to stumble though a few more thank-yous… but really I think the grin on my face said it all. It was more than we could have expected, or hoped for. After some photos and a few more drinks, I rode the Subway back to Brooklyn at 2 am by myself; all dressed up with my pockets full of trophies.
Squaw Valley, California: Its a year of plenty here in California. Plenty of rain, and plenty of snow. We’ll take it, thank you very much. I’ve experienced many years of California drought, and this is not one of them. As you can see, Hadley and I had a pretty good time. It was the first time since 1998 that the mountains had been open for skiing on the 4th of July, and it was my first Summer ski adventure. I must say… a morning on the slopes, and an afternoon on the beach is pretty awesome.
Oakdale, California: Its Summertime! And we’ve had one of the wettest years on record here In California. In just the first 4 days of June, San Francisco received more rain than it had ever received in the ENTIRE MONTH of June. What does that mean? Well… its time to go canoeing. With about a month of planning, me and my roommate Hadley organized 20 friends, 8 canoes, two campsites, and 3 kegs… and we found a bit of paradise nestled in the Central Valley of California. And just a 2-hour drive from the city! It was a great day. Though remember for next time: kegs in canoes become very foamy.
San Francisco, California: Even in the age of social media, when your extended community of 900 friends is always up to date with your every move, there’s nothing like getting them all together in one spot. Over the past 18 months, I’ve spent a lot of time working on my film “Big In Bollywood”. But if you asked a lot of my peripheral friends what it is I was up to, they might not have a very good idea. “What were you guys doing in India?” was a question that I got a lot. And when I answered by saying that I was making a documentary film, I would get a mixed response. A lot of people START working on documentary films. Not as many people actually finish them… and everybody knows that. Tonight was the night when we finally came home to our community and presented a solid answer to the question of what we’d been spending our time on. Kenny, Tyler and I stood outside the Red Vic Movie House on Haight street while 300 of our closest friends enjoyed our film. It was a big moment for us. It was a moment of validation by our own community. Many of our friends had a similar reaction; they realized that we are NOT all talk, we actually ARE the filmmakers that we aspire to be. It was a good feeling.