Monday, June 30, 2008

Here's some more.

There's fifteen of these, so I won't post all them, because YAWN. But here are the first two, to give some context:

There are two future episodes that are fairly fucked up and weird, but I'm under a self-embargo until they run in public.


Some sort of funny work stuff.

One of a series of web videos that I talked about here.

I'll post more.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Want to hear what my house is like?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Many Moods of Vladimir Nabokov

“That… is… a … what is it? Oh! Whachacallit... FILBERT...It’s a filbert.”

“See this butterfly? Pretty, right? You know what it’s called? Nabakovia faga. Did you get that? No, you can’t hold it! Look with your eyes.”

“I told you not to touch my train set. I went into the den, turned on the light, and the goddamn coal car is backwards. Now I’ve got to lock the den. I don’t want to, but I have to. Don’t touch my trains. Don’t. They aren’t toys. They’re collectibles. Don’t touch. Don’t touch. Don’t touch.”

“I was here, I don’t see why you couldn’t have waited to find out what I wanted before you went rushing out. I would have loved a diet root beer. No, I don’t want your coke. No, I like coke fine. That’s not the point. I just wish you would have taken half a moment to reflect that there are more people in this office than your little clique that’s all. And I would have liked a diet root beer.”

“I told you that second Sloppy Joe wasn’t going to do you any good. In the meantime, take off that sweater. Why? Because it’s mine, and I don’t want you getting your bile or whatever all over it. Do you want some soda water or saltines or anything? Anyway, try to finish up. We’ve got a long drive.”

“What’s the problem? I told we were going to lunch. It’s 11:20, and you’re in sweatpants and a Motorhead t-shirt. Snap to it, buddy. And shave, would you? You look like a purse snatcher.”

“I once had a delightful plum outside of Brest, or Spokane. Or Brest. Anyway, it was a hell of a plum. Might have been a nectarine.”

“This is all we’re going to do? Eat eggs? No, no. The eggs are fine (hollandaise is lumpy)… it’s just, you know, I’m 75 today. That’s old. I guess I assumed that other people would have figured that out without me dropping too many hints. I don’t know… brunch? I seem to remember working my ass off getting theater tickets for your… (Oh Jesus, don’t look now, but that guy crossing the street? He’s wearing huaraches with socks. What the hell is wrong with people?)


Friday, June 20, 2008

So, here's a work thing.

The (relatively) fun lifestyle wing of my Brobdingnagian client has a kind of cool charity program where they give a portion of the advertising revenue generated from any email or text message you send via their web mail and messaging client to a charity you choose (of their ten charity partners).

We've done a strange marketing program for it, and it might be kind of cool once the momentum builds. The conceit is there is this guy who worked at some vaguely evil company, and he's making up for it by sending lots and lots of emails and text messages.

So there's a blog, with video entries and canned email responses and general silliness. The video entries follow a story arc, one with love, sex tapes, doppelgangers and transcendent redemption. It gets progressively weirder as the month progresses. I'll try to post the weirder episodes here when they go live.

Just warning you.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

The thing that killed typesetters.

There used to be guys that hung out in ad agencies. They were the guys from the type house and they smoked Camels and drank Scotch, bought with rush job money.

They dragged bluies – big marked up proof sheets of ads-to-be – in portfolios to ad agencies around town. “Here’s yer ad, sunshine,” he’d say to the art director “Gimme yer changes and I’ll have the camera readies over to you in 48 hours.”

They also had big sample books of type they’d haul out and set before the art director, like the art director was a dowager and the type guy was a shoe salesman. The art director would pick out the Bodoni or Garamond, and the type guy would write it up in his little book, and take the layout back to the type warren, load up the typeface and set the bastard. This happened on a something like an IBM Selectric crossed with a pipe organ.

The print guys had a good line.

Then Quark came out and -- get this -- you could set type in a circle. In a circle, you, the art director, could. And you could do it on your screen.

Now, the type guys could set type in a circle, but they’d have to warm up some machine that filled half a room, and they’d need an extra day, maybe have to take it across town to the Latvian brothers. Or something.

Anyway, suddenly any doofus could set type in a circle on their desktop, and the entire industry was completely dead, like, in two months or something.

That’s interesting. The giant killer was something that stupid.


How Chuy suffers.

I am not MArk Hausmann

At Safeway, they issue these little discount cards to customers. You save a few cents here and there.

My card has long since gone the way of my library card, gym membership card and social security card, folded into some eldritch aperture of space/time. Or my sock drawer.

Anyway, I don't NEED my card, because I can punch in my phone number, the same phone number I've had for ten years.

Here's the problem: I have Mark Hausmann's phone number, or he has mine. And so I face a cheery, "Have a nice day, Mr. Hausmann" every time I use cash to buy something at Safeway.

If I use my cash card, my name shows up in larger letters at the bottom of the receipt in purple dot matrix glory, so I get a cheery "Have a nice day, Mr. Miles!" (Miles, Mills. Close enough.)

The thing about Safeway is that there are lots of folks working there who have a hard time with Germanic names, specifically the "au" dipthong. So, I find myself correcting the pronunciation of another man's name. (I feel an profound connection with Hausmann because of this. I am joined in his battle, and I feel I know him through carrying his burden.)

The couple of times I've brought this up to the clerk, I've been met with the sort of calm, scan of my eyes that tells me "You're kidding me, right? Do you know if I leave my station I am breaking several Union rules and the paperwork involved...I'm not even sure that paperwork exists. This is some marketing voodoo from corporate, and down here, where we sell groceries and sundries, that sort of backend database wizardry is just so out of my ken and job description that I can only stare at you like this, like I know that you know that I know you should know better, Mr. Hausmann."

So, at Safeway, I'm Mr. Hausmann. Unless I use my cash card. Then I'm Mr. Miles.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

39 years of this shit, and I still don't have no goddamn Bentley.

Where is that shit? I'm 39. THIRTY NINE. Christ was dead and resurrected by this age and me? Today I was looking at D&D dice online, because it would be funny to get some. THIRTY NINE.

I was thinking about renting Heavy Metal the movie. THIRTY NINE.

I couldn't read my notes from a meeting at work, because I had drawn pictures all over them. THIRTY NINE.

I'm staying up late because I'll all like... no one tells BABY when he's going to bed. THIRTY NINE.

Thirty nine.

That's like fifty.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Oh, fuck OFF with your goddamn composer bust.

Unless you are a piano playing motherfucker, why have a goddamn composer bust in your house? Really?
As I was walking to work this morning, I passed this crappy office furniture store and in one of their displays they had the giant bronze bust of Beethoven. What the fuck? What. The. Fuck.

Busts like that are good if you are Roman or a Howard Hawks-style forties wise guy that keeps a bust of Longfellow around the office to toss your fedora on in a gently mocking fashion.

Of course, in my belief systems Fedora = MASSIVE douche, so yeah, we’re back to zero on the Mills Douchebag Scale.

I think part of my problem with the composer bust thing is there like seven guys that appear over and over again: Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Chopin (for your piano playing types), Tchaikovsky, and I dunno, Brahms or something. Never someone like Schumann or Rachimaninoff. Probaby because they lack bitching locks.

Who knows, I might be into a Satie, or Debussey, or Ravel, or a nice Varese. Someone weird. Stravinsky! That'd be a cool bust, if only because people might confuse him for Groucho Marx.

When I was a kid we had a lumpy Beethoven and a tiny Chopin. (Sister was a piano player.) The Chopin was the perfect size for jamming the marzipan eyes of chocolate rabbits into. We may have a had a Tchaikovsky with a broken nose, though I may be confused.

I guess what bothered me most about the Beethoven statue was it was in an office furniture store. What is that supposed to say about you, oh mid-level sales manager, that you have a Beethoven head? What Beethoven brought to symphonic expression, I hope to emulate in my spreadsheets. When I look upon Ludwig Von, I find the power within to crunch numbers with nuance and power. Dude was motherfucking DEAF.

"Hey, Bob. Before we dive into the Q4 numbers, how about we spin the Eroica Symphony, just to set the mood."

I'm an ass.

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Monday, June 09, 2008

My home life.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

My boss accidentally sums up everything that's venal and toxic about my profession

"The client will think I'm smoking crack if I show her this campaign. It's too...intelligent."


The web is a powerful collaboration tool for spazzes

A couple of years ago, blog chum Jack P. Toerson linked to the singular Mr. Baldo Has A Blog Now, a blog marketing the wonderful and spurious Mr. Baldo's Shiny Wax For Balds -- Now with Phlogiston®.

Well, Jack P. and I were possibly the only readers of this blog, and we both contributed a few jingles does in the style of various popular tunes. I visited the blog today, and it seems that sadly, Mr Baldo's blog has not updated since 2006.

Since it doesn't seem like a working concern, I thought I'd better grab my "work" before it disintegrated into dead photons. The web is filled with the ephemeral crap! Yay, the Web!

Here are the songs:

(To the tune of Back in Black)

Baldo Bald™, I hit the wax,
With Phlogiston®, I’ll share the facts!
Yes, I'm gleaming my dome,
Like Cadillac chrome!
I keep a-lookin' at my scalp 'cause it's gettin' me high,
Forget the wig 'cause I’m never shy!
I got Phlogiston®, like bomb,
That’s why my scalp is looking so fly!

'Cause I'm Bald! Yes, I'm Bald!
Well, I'm Bald! Yes, I'm Bald!
Well, I'm Ba-a-a-ald!Ba-a-a-ald!
Well, I'm Baldo Bald™!
Yes, I'm Baldo Bald™!


Baldo Bald™, give my scalp a smack,
Going to go get a Baldo’s Family-Pac™!
Yes, I'm polished good, like I should
Going catch the next bus to Hollywood!
'Cause I'm back on the shine and my dome is so fine,
Perhaps one evening we go out and dine!
As a gentleman, you can be certain I’ll pay,
And I’ll be buffed the Phlogiston® way!

'Cause I'm Bald! Yes, I'm Bald!
Well, I'm Bald! Yeah, I'm Bald!
Well, I'm Ba-a-a-ald!
Well, I'm Baldo Bald™!
Yes, I'm Baldo Bald™!

Well, I'm Ba-a-a-ald! (I'm Bald!)
Ba-a-a-ald! (Well, I'm Bald!)
Ba-a-a-ald! (I'm Bald!)
Ba-a-a-ald! (I'm Bald!)
Ba-a-a-ald! (I'm Bald!)
Baldo Bald™!
Yes, I'm Baldo Bald™!

Remember: There’s Bald, and then there’s Baldo Bald.
Now with Phlogiston®‼
Baldo’s Shiny Wax™ for Balds. Available at your friendly neighborhood drugstore.


(To the "tune" of Baby Got Back)

Oh, my, god. Maurice, look at his BALD. It is so shiny. He looks like,someone who avails himself of Mr. Baldo’s Shiny Wax™ For Balds. But, y'know, who can’t help but admire shiny Balds? Woman only talk to him, because his gleaming dome exudes confidence, 'kay? I mean, his Bald, is just so polished. I can't believe it's just so burnished,, it's like,out there, I mean – my god. He's just so ... Bald!

[Sir Bald-o-Lot]

♪ I like Mr.Baldo’s and I cannot lie
♪ You other Baldie's can't deny
♪ That when Phlogiston® is applied as directed,
♪ Your scalp starts to get respected,
♪ And you GLEAM, wanna take off you cap
♪ And show that ra-di-ant dome
♪ And with the incandescent glow your wearing
♪ The masses can't stop staring
♪ Tia Carrera wants to get wit'cha
♪ And take your picture
♪ Before your dull pate made ya feel mourny…
♪ But with that Bald suddenly it’s pleasant to be so shorny
♪ Ooh, Baldo'-smooth-skin
♪ Now you admired by colleagues and friends
♪ Truly, Phlogiston® is meant
♪ To be an above average sol-vent
♪ I've seen them coruscate!
♪ Drop some science on that pate!
♪ It gleam with sheens,
♪ Like a Monet landscape scene
♪ I'm tired of magazines
♪ Sayin' soporific scalps are the thing
♪ Take the average Baldman and ask him
♪ The dome gotta pack much vim
♪ So, Baldos! (Yeah!) Baldos! (Yeah!)
♪ Has your Bald got Phlogiston®? (Hell yeah!)
♪ Tell 'em to buff it! (Buff it!) Buff it! (Buff it!)
♪ BUFF that healthy Bald!
♪ Baldo’s got scalp!(My Baldo’s Shiny Wax, with Phlogiston®)
♪ Baldo’s got scalp!
♪ (Apply just a drop to bust a gleam on top)
♪ (Apply just a drop to bust a gleam on top)
♪ (Apply just a drop to bust a gleam on top)
♪ (Apply just a drop to bust a gleam on top)

Now with Phlogiston®‼
Baldo's Shiny Wax™ for Balds. Available at your friendly neighborhood drugstore.


(To the tune of Satisfaction)
♪ I can't get no Phlogiston®
♪ I can't get no Phlogiston®.
♪ 'Cause I try and I try and I try and I try.
♪ I can't get no, I can't get no.

♪ When I go to the grocery store
♪ And the idiot clerk in Aisle 6 (Bald care)
♪ Is tellin' me they don’t got no more
♪ Baldo's Shiny Wax™ for Balds
♪ As he snickers at my occluded scalp,
♪ I can't get no Phlogiston®
♪ Hey hey hey, that's what I say.

♪ I need to get some Phlogiston®
♪ I need to get some Phlogiston®
♪ 'Cause I’m Bald and I’m Bald and I’m Bald and I’m Bald.
♪ I can't get no, I can't get no.

♪ When I'm tending to dome care
♪ And the tin bottom is shining through
♪ The leavings of Mr. Baldo’s magic goo
♪ And I’ve reached the end – my heart may rend
♪ At this cranial tragedy!
♪ I scream no, no oh Christ no!
♪ Hey hey hey, my scalp is dull.

♪ I can't get no Phlogiston®
♪ I need a tin, but I don’t got one.
♪ 'Cause I’m Bald and I’m Bald and I’m Bald and I’m Bald.
♪ I can't get no, I can't get no.

♪ When I'm walkin' round the block
♪ And I'm scrapin’ here and I'm beggin’ there
♪ Just tryin' to score some wax.
♪ The clerk tells me better come back later next week
♪ Seems you hit us at Bald season’s peak

♪ I can't get no, I can't get no,
♪ I can't get no Mr. Baldo’s® Shiny Wax™!
(Try our new Mentho-Phlog, No Tears wax. For children's tender Balds.)

Now with Phlogiston®‼
Baldo's Shiny Wax™ for Balds. Available at your friendly neighborhood drugstore.


(To the Tune of Iron Man)


♪Has he lost his sheen?
♪What can he do to make it gleam?
♪Can he shine his dome?
♪With a dollop of Phlogiston® foam?
♪The la-bel has he read?
♪Will he apply to his head?
♪Just five minutes there
♪Is a priceless aid in Bald-o care.

♪He is polished now
♪The La-dies all shout out WOW!
♪Battling scalpie brine
♪For the future of mankind

♪Nobody mocks him
♪They just stare at his head
♪With Baldo’s Shiny Wax™
♪Any woman he can bed.

♪Now the time is here
♪To travel to your drugstore near
♪Pull it from the shelf
♪An essential tool for Bald-o health!

♪Nobody mocks him
♪They just stare at his head
♪With Baldo’s Shiny Wax™
♪Any woman he can bed.

♪Phlogiston® contains no lead
♪It’s a perfect balm for the Bald-o Head!
♪Run to the store as fast as you can
♪Baldo's Shiny Wax™ for Balds lives again!

As advertised on the Shorn Hannity Radio Hour.
Now with Phlogiston®‼
Baldo's Shiny Wax™ for Balds. Available at your friendly neighborhood drugstore.


(The Tune of "Blake's Jerusalem")

♪ And did this wax in ancient time
♪ Polish England's Baldies a-gleam?
♪ And did the waxie wax of Phlogiston®
♪ Giveth England's pleasant Baldie sheen?

♪ And did the Shiny Wax Divine
♪ Shine forth upon our smooth-ed domes?
♪ And was a Healthy Brill-i-ance buff-ed here
♪ Among these dark Satanic liver spots?

♪ Bring me my tub of wax!
♪ Bring me my lambswool shammy!
♪ Bring me my sealant!
♪ O clouds of Phlogiston®‼ Bring me my Baldo's Shiny Wax™!

♪ I will not cease from my buffing,
♪ Nor shall my shammy sleep in my hand
♪ Till Baldo's Shiny Wax™ for Balds,
♪ Has smoothed and polish-ed my pate.

Now with Phlogiston®‼
Baldo's Shiny Wax™ for Balds. Available at your friendly neighborhood drugstore.

SO, uh, neat.

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Uh, I think I fixed the music link. True, I'm not sure it was broken in the first place..

Long story. Anyway, here it is:


Saturday, June 07, 2008

Spotting fake air

1). Does it go fiz-fiz-fiz when you walk? This is not air, it is corduroy. You're choking! Spit it out!

2). Is it a cheery, vaguely Danish primary color, and does it have eight nubbins on top? It's a Lego! Another close one.

3). Was it at one time married to Valerie Betanelli? Good lord, it's Eddie Van Halen! Another second, and oblivion!

4). Is it depicted as a blindfolded woman carry scales? That's Justice. It is an abstract concept. Can't beath it, and Justice also applies to fish, who breathe the pee of other fish.

5). Is your wife complaining that it's too cold, and she needs another damn comforter on the bed? That's air. Breathe deep and enjoy your life. Go in peace.


Friday, June 06, 2008


My friend Kelly has dreamed up a delicious project called The Three Minute Miracle Project, basically a group of music listening fools sharing music. Each week, a member of the group uploads an MP3 playlist via Pando and everybody else gets to enjoy it.

(If you're looking for an exceptional graphic designer, check out Kelly's professional site here. And here's her freakin' insane house.

Below you'll find my playlist. It's hitting the boards this Monday, but as my BFF, I'll let you have a sneak peek. I'm a giddy fool. It's pretty good, if a bit sixties. The Bee Gees even make a turn in their early Beatles rip-off period. Enjoy, eared friend! (You'll have to download the aforementioned Pando, but it's free.)

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

A blog by this guy.

Dotson Salutes the blog of a funny bloke who is starring in the project I'm currently working on.

He (as the other folks working on this) has been doing bit after bit of wonderful ad libs and it's been a pleasure to watch. A good day for working my idiotic job. The director, Michael Blieden, is a funny and nice man.

Goddamn, I am a cheery butterfly today.

Seriously, I can't wait to post this stuff. It's going to be fuggin rad.

Okay, back to being a sweating chump.


Things to do on set

1). Wonder if directors chairs fulfill a need, other than historic continuity.

2). Roam for wireless coverage.

3). Pretend you are on a stakeout, a stakeout that requires a staff of 30, including a caterer.

4). Work out bathroom strategies (30 people. One bathroom. One is forced to be thoughtful in such situations.)

5). Enthusiastically eat things that you'd never eat in real life, like chili-and-corn-chip surprise.

6). Wonder aloud why you've eaten more 3-star hotel breakfasts with your coworker than your wife.

7). Observe beard growth patterns of coworkers (male)

8). Work

9). Get the heebie-jeebies

10). Wonder how you can feel glazed and pasty 30 minutes after taking a shower

11). Giggle like a schoolboy when the toilet goes on the fritz

12). Fall in love with Facebook all over again.

13). Awkward acknowledge the wonderfulness of the actors on the way to the bathroom

14). Talk shit about people who aren't there

15). Silently assign snide nicknames to people who are guile-less and kind, and feel bad about it, and continue doing it

16). Eat

17). Wonder if the stains you feel are stains you can see

18). Compare notes on hotel rooms

19). Try to understand where in Los Angeles you are

20). Agree passionately about the desirability of neighborhoods you've never heard of

21). Wonder why Los Angeles has no points of reference that stick for you, other than the Hanna Barbera studios.

22). Marvel at the studied tightly undone insouciance of the fashionably dressed crew people, and realize that Berkeley is sort of far away

23). Marvel that the catering lady has the foresight to have celery on set. She knows, man, she knows.

24). Observe yourself in horror as you say something is funny without actually laughing. Has it come to this?


Monday, June 02, 2008

Interlude: Talkin' nature with Owen

Me: Owen, where d'you think rocks come from?

Owen: Trees crap them.


5 ways to spot a fake potato

1). Is it made of plaster? Yes? Fake potato.

2). The potato plays backgammon. Potatoes are tubers, cannot play backgammon. Thus, a fake potato. QED, asshole.

3). Does have a gills? Potatoes are land-based. Not a potato.

4). Does it take 50 seconds to microwave it? Ahhh, hell no. That's no potato for sures.

5). Does it taste good with chives and sour cream? Yes? Well, that's a true potato. Or a yam.


The Last Moments of Yves St. Laurent

Bo Diddley: If I can't have you Yves, no one can.

Yves: Mon Dieu!