letter to occupant

dear Occupier -

okay, so i may be outing myself as out-of-touch or crustily approaching my midlife point or encountering the new viewpoints that can't help but come along with a baby, and further my opinon may be influenced by the fact that the building i work in for my day job is directly across from where the occupy gaggle at chapman and lownsdale parks sat tarp-covered for several weeks, where i was afforded a close-up view of all the day-to-day dealings, watching as admirable idealism was joined by gathering streams of wanderers, miscreants and drug-using hirsute bandana-faces and this further pains me since at core i've felt mostly liberal my whole life but recent events force me to this moment in time so I'll just be blunt and say it: the occupy movement has reached the height of ridiculousness.

the disconnect between ideals and impact is staggering. hundreds and thousands of City dollars spent to police and/or clean and/or monitor their movements as you rally your venom fists in the air to protest...what exactly? no rights are being violated. no peoples or races or creeds are being oppressed or at least they aren't being oppressed by the police or by the citizens of portland trying to cross the steel bridge on trimet or the max to get to work. the political-banking-one-percent stranglehold on everyday life is undeniable but you - occupier - are not doing anything to dilute or neutralize it. you are not being watched by banks or wall street or the political-industrial complex. you are not changing peoples minds for the positive. instead you've squandered a fair amount of justifiable rage and alienated a shit-ton of people who may have initially agreed with you. You are acting like petulant, entitled children. Disperse, re-gather, politicize. The only way to change the game is to play it.

over it


500 posts

i've had this blog about 5 yrs, here's post number 500, a photo that features a couple things that i've been working on lately, with a love-swollen heart


disturbing still

here's a image-grab still from the footage of The Big Black Dark, currently being edited.
cross-posted here


train near multnomah falls

always danger

the other evening, home one day from hospital, our son slept in bassinet and i reached absently for a book of poetry from the shelf behind me. it was always danger by david hernandez. it's an outstanding book just in general, but at this intersection of fragility and robustness it resonated in unique and shimmering ways. highly recommended.



wknd in thumbnail, independence day edition

indeed indeed, i was granted a 4 day wknd from my job, got friday off but i feel compelled to back the narrative up to thursday when my recently-exposed cans of film arrived in seattle and we met sipes and R at dot's cafe in clinton, both of whom are from back-in-the-day collegiate memory-pools as well as present-day. R was here for just a night, en route to seattle for a wk long vacation. we talked baby, movie, zombies etc and parted ways. M and i rented bored to death from clinton video and went home and promptly watched 3 of them.

friday we slept in and walked LB up to the mt tabor dog park. along the way we fell into more memory-pool business, artifacts and long-forgot moments suddenly pulled up from the sludge of time, suddenly alive with value heretofore either un-accrued or unacknowledged. part of this is due to the life-changing undertaking headed our way in a matter of weeks, part of it is getting older but we came to realize that, it being july 1, it was 15 yrs ago or so that we hooked up, which engendered a semi-exhaustive inventory of all the random and free-will things that had to happen for and to both of us to have arrived at that point in space-time and all the random and free-will things that had to happen for and to both of us afterward to continue to be together. kind of a head-twirler. we noted all the things that had happened in 15 years, the trips, the places, the events. all in an eyeblink. later was breakfast at genies. we made a list of all the crap we had to accomplish over the 4 days, all connected directly or otherwise to baby. afterward we drove to hospital, had ultrasound, checkup etc. all on course. large baby headed our way. we noted that he was in the 94th percentile and then we noted how we promised we'd never talk about boring crap like what percentile the kid was in. conundrum.

we went home, attempted to nap. went to academy theater to see Meeks Cutoff which was amazing for several reasons, one the images, one the rhythms, one the screening itself, mere 4 dollars with delicious pizza and beer, sold out on a beautiful summer night and on top of that i saw one of the mechanics I work w/ in my day job sitting in a nearby row - frickin a, so glad to live in portland, oregon. not like other places. also, fantastic movie (lest that get lost in my chittering).

Saturday we woke up. walked back up to Mt. Tabor and the dog park, drove to my parents to borrow the CRV, then drove to Ikea which was supremely un-fun and crowded, a testament to commerce and large-ness, giant carts filled with giant boxes every which way you'd turn inside a maze, not necessarily dissimilar from the one in 'the shining', on an unbelievably beautiful summer day. we wanted to turn and leave but we had some items that we had to get - so we got them. getting them in the vehicle was one undertaking. getting them out of the vehicle and into the house was another. came home and let LB into the yard. He promptly rolled in feces (whether it was his or not was not established). after a quick nap attempt we walked him up the street to dog-washing establishment which he resisted but what choice did he have in the matter? Some time later we returned the CRV to my folks and stayed for dinner which was salad w/ all varietal of bit and tidbit to add and augment. my mother has a propensity for documenting things that may or may not need to be documented which i've certainly inherited (see: this blog entry or see: this blog) and on this summer night she took pix of each salad and then forwarded to all the dinner guests. I think this is my salad. which was delicious (note: i manipulated the colors, camera is functional)

sunday morning we were both exhausted and sore, partly from lifting the ikea crap (me), partly from being 8 mos pg (mm). the skies were overcast so we planned to block off a couple hours and she would do some thank you cards (for last wknd's baby shower) while i assembled the ikea items. everything went smoothly enough, except for the budgeted time part, b/c when i had finally put everything together and we'd moved it to where it needed to live, even if temporarily, it was 4 pm, and, aside from a brief timeout for breakfast, all time was spent assembling and card-writing. This is more stress-inducing than it may sound. At 4 pm our back-up doulla arrived for an interview. she was great. all went swimmingly. M walked up hawthorne to get more thank you cards while i took LB to throw the tennis ball. we reconvened back at the house. we watched a nova special - recommended to us by a compatriot in our birthing class - called the miracle of life (i think) which focused on genes and chromosomes and cell replication and the wonder of it all. this was the perfect thing to see as a sort of appetizer for T. Malick's The Tree of Life, which we saw a couple hours later at the fox tower. I'm still processing the entire film which is long and winding and lovely but suffice it to say that it's Malick - one of my top 3 - and E. Lubezki shooting a film that encompasses the birth of galaxies, planets, and life itself and all attendant developments therein, from conciousness through love and death and all stations in between - and i think my final assessment will be at the highest range of esteem. tbd. at a minimum i think it has to be seen twice. and i'm only at once. but you should see it. [bonus: mm, very pg, got out of her chair mid-movie and upended a 'small' mr. pibb - i use quotes b/c their small is more like a bucket - which ended up soaking the purse and contents of our friend J sitting right next to us. bonus 2: man directly in front of me who had weird/distracting affect of constantly and perpetually moving his head in little circles, like one might do if one had a sore neck but say for 30 seconds or so, not for 2 hrs and 18 min.]

 Monday, independence day, we wake up, one more time w/ LB up to Mt. Tabor dog park. He's come a long way in just a few days, multiple dog-exposures helping to ease his anti-social leash fear thing.  We watch the end of Bored to Death (which is fantastic) and head out to friends' house for bbq. They were kind enough to allow LB to hang in their back yard and aside from one tiny incident wherein he crawled thru a hole in the fence and feverishly devoured all the contents of a metal bowl in the neighbor's garage everything was fine. we ate like kings and talked for awhile and then headed home. intending to somehow take the reins over chaos we inventoried all the gifts, blankets, clothes, and other items that have found their way to our house. It sounds benign enough but in fact it was a strange and stress-y undertaking, each item underscoring the move from abstraction to actuality in t-minus 4 weeks. I mean, it's not all stress, it's mostly lovely but uncertainty is a demon that breeds many hell-hounds as the old song goes (note: that's not actually an old song, i just made it up). We took deep breaths, walked to new seasons (where we heard tu fawning over the pa!), bought a sandwich, walked home in the twilight, as all around us were explosions near and far, cracking and booming, shaking and reverberating, seemingly endless waves rolling in, rolling in, rolling in.

this morning the sky was cerulean. the sun was shining. i rode my bike in to work and could not stop smiling. and i'm not a smiler.


the union of movie and baby

so i just wrapped production on a short film last tuesday (you can track its current and future progress here should you have that inclination.) last wknd we shot in the basement of my current residence, a rental in SE portland. We dressed the basement to resemble a secretary's office and planned the shot - a simple dolly in as the secretary answers a phone call. since the dolly was an onset decision we didn't have track but we did have a wheelchair we had grabbed from the previous day's location, a garage in outer SE. the floor had a slight bump right where the move was going to take place. we ended up ditching the wheelchair and flipping a bookshelf on its front and laying two inserts from a table on top and then grabbing a nearby wheeled item (a brand-new as yet unused baby stroller) and mounting the camera on top, thereby accomplishing several things simultaneously a) getting the shot b)providing on-the-nose metaphor for the act of making movie itself c) breaking in stroller d) giving future occupant of stroller either a complex or bragging rights, depending on his disposition.


...the tick-tocking of the clock...

Time marching forward, a fixed point on the horizon, a line in the sand, a before/after blip on the space-time continuum, a freight-train (whose exact dimensions and impactful-flattening capacities are tbd) barrelling our way - all engendering some admixture of fear and excitement in (mostly) equal measure.
six point five tiny weeks. we have shower/party this wknd, a guest in town, then another guest in town
and then we're going to sit in the house behind the locked front door and wait, savoring each last liquid moment of silence...


call me

i can't tell you how much i am not a fan of cell-phones. i don't like to watch people 'interacting' w/ them on the bus or at a movie theater or at a restaurant. i count the times i've witnessed couples or families on separate cell-phone calls or texts or whatevers as among the best representation of the worst of modern life. i am aware this makes me look cranky and non-integrated. this is all by way of saying, due in part (okay, in total) to the new arrival (see below post. no, not the song, the one under it) and all the attendant spreading limbs of change slowly wrapping around us, that after a decade of not-having-a-cellphone, which really did not put my life at a detriment in any, way, shape, or form - i've capitulated. last week m found a good deal online, too good to pass up, so we ordered me one.

i came home from work yesterday and the new phone was on the porch in a box. (next to it was another box filled with 16 millimeter film stock from kodak. two separate tracks, alternate worlds, now intersecting, ribboning toward the horizon). i haven't yet opened it. but it's in the house. lurking. waiting.


i need medication

i need medication by brian padian

as always, a work-in-progress

wknd in thumbnail

my posting in this forum - as the faithful reader will note (hi mom!) - has been reduced to something less than intermitttent trickle, something less substantial than smoke-wisp and - as per usual - this is attributable to a variety of churn and chop in a multitude of oceans, if you'll allow the indulgent metaphoring, and i feel guilty and irresponsible but only up to a certain point. mm and i have a ticking clock, set to arrive in early august, which has moved absolutely everything else to the backburner.  We're steeling for waves of change that we can only surmise - we've watched plenty of others ride the waves but we're beach-bound or at least we will be until early august when we'll have no choice but to venture into the water (continuing the indulgence of the maritime metaphor).

alas, herein and forthwith, i will document our three-day holiday weekend, fittingly deemed 'memorial day' b/c we are certain that it will memorialize our rapidly shrinking autonomy.

friday, i got home early from work. m was home already. our houseguest of several days had moved on (hi e!) and we walked the dog and put our pajamas on. It was the exceedingly early hour of 5:30 pm but we were both fighting exhaustion and illness (m has had a wretched unshakeable cough) so we felt zero remorse about being in for the night, even if night was several hours out. we sat quietly and read in the living room - m is reading salmon rushdie, i'm reading the making of the empire strikes back (don't ask). at one point we started to discuss plans for the wknd but quickly agreed to not discuss anything related to the weekend. instead we ordered a pizza and watched 3 episodes of treme and went to bed. it was a glorious afternoon/evening.

saturday, i made breakfast. we finalized and sent out invites for our party/bbq/shower (a surprisingly stress-inducing undertaking). despite the weather report the sun was out. we walked the treme dvd down to clinton street video, hoping to get the next disc but it was not to be. we put our name on a reservation list. we looked at a store that combines babyness with ecological sanctity. we walked to a cafe on division and drank waters and tried to decide whether or not to go see a movie. we walked to hawthorne and ate frozen yogurt. we stopped in jackpot records and bought things (m got tv on the radio on vinyl, i got the new figurines, we ordered the new bill callahan b/c they were out). we walked home.
we took naps. we got a call from clinton street video saying the next disc of treme was in. we decided it was fate deciding our night. m went to get the dvd while i walked the dog. we got into our pajamas. we reheated the leftover pizza. we were in for the night.

sunday, i awoke in a sort of panic. i am shooting a short film in a few wks and there are multiple threads and strands that i have to address. i scrambled into my office and began listing them all, began multiple emails to various peoples regarding various aspects of the production. i storyboarded most of the movie. i sat down and had coffee as i read 'the making of vertigo'. later i watched david cronenberg's videodrome (which is interesting not only b/c the last time i saw it was 20 years ago, which you can verify at the picture of my journal from this recent interview w/ me and not only b/c the movie is fucked up and fantastic but also b/c it features a character getting a brain tumor and naming his brain tumor Videodrome. when i got my brain tumor i named it 'marla singer' after a line of dialogue in the movie fight club but if i had recalled this movie at the time i may have named it videodrome instead). we left the house (!) and picked up C and went to the laurelhurst theater to see Vertigo which, was stupendously jaw-dropping and affecting and effective even though i'd seen before and even though the print was faded, nicked and less-than-stellar. we came home and ate a late dinner (w/ the corn tortillas C had made) and watched another 'treme'.

monday, i woke to an email that had repercussion for the short film, that contributed to snarling a scheduling problem that i had unsnarled before that would take 3 shooting nights down to 2 and all the attendant haste/error/issue therein. it burned in my gut and i felt a low-grade depression, a malaise spreading through me. all my internal-voice doubt spigots were activated and began flowing. i read interview w/ david cronenberg wherein he cites orson welles' quote about how a director merely presides over a series of accidents, about the illusion of control and i felt mildly better. my dad picked me up and we went to the living room theaters to see werner herzog's 3D 'cave of forgotten dreams', which helped put my small concerns in perspective and which was also awesome. after, we went to hopworks and talked about baby things. later, back at home, we took the dog to the dogpark to throw tennis balls. we came home and i assembled a stroller. (note: seeing it in the corner now, existing, waiting for a passenger, is a strange odd scary thing). we ate dinner and mailed thank you cards for said stroller. we watched the end of season 1 of treme, which rocked our world. already planning to re-watch at some point down the road when we've fully digested/processed. this AM it was the first thing we both thought about.

thank you weekend. i loved you so.


"dead and gone"

dead and gone by brian padian

apologies for the light posting lately. been busy counting down to early august, prepping new short film, travelling to SF, watching way too much netflix on demand etc. in lieu of actual blog post/s with actual intellectual content here's something i've been messing with on garageband, a song i've had kicking around for awhile.


tiny holes

friday evening, just after work m and i meet a friend for a quick drink. on way home we decide to rent a movie and stop by our video store. inside the store, playing on ceiling-mounted television screen is a film i love, but one i haven't seen in probably a decade. it features casual displays of wanton interpersonal cruelty and one key scene displaying such plays as we are waiting in the check-out line. i am transfixed and something inside me is breaking open. moments later we are in the car driving home and i am weeping. then we are home and i am momentarily wracked with sobs. the next morning the film - and the images i re/saw standing in line and my reaction - are the first thing that find me when i wake up. it is a strange sensation, one i don't know that i've ever had, some admixture of past, present, future - involving the way i was raised, that moment standing in line, the way i related to that film 15 yrs prior; something to do with promises the old me made to the future me (which is to say promises the 20-year-old-child made to the 38-year-old-child) and the latter's assesment of progress; something about the interconnected thread of humanity between everyone and the immunizations i've allowed to obscure it. There are also supplementary tangents of film and filmmaking, art and life, life and death.

The experience was at once remembrance and awakening, governed by a chain of random events, causing tiny disparate holes to line up for one fleeting set of seconds and allow the full weight of some heretofore unknown arrow penetrate my heart. suffice to say it was something more profound than can be addressed intellectually in these lines but it was either one of those fleeting moments in life where for one split-second you arrive at crystalline-clarity and then reality washes back in like the tide or it was something else. something new.


changes, podcast, et cetera

after a decade or so, spanning across two states and multiple residences, the death of two beloved animals, the acquisition of another, the hours of my daily life have changed. since 2001 i've worked 10am-7pm (note: and by worked i mean went to my day job. the distinction is important as relates to my sense of sanity and self-worth). As of a  few weeks ago i am now in 8a-5pm land. I feel like i've graduated into some parallel plane where most of the interactions and machinations of the world at large have been occuring this whole time, like i've risen from my dank subterranean box to join the shining, shimmering carnival of normal daily commutes, normal meal-times, normal appointment times etc.

other changes have been brewing alongside this one but i can't discuss them in this forum yet. soon. probably. oh and still waiting for news on the memoir front. something is brewing there too.

in the meantime you can kill 13 minutes by checking out the latest installment of aural-discontentment, episode 5 of the last film i saw podcast. click


podcast, yet cont'd

like the serial killer franchise that can't be stopped
you can find episode 4 of the last film i saw podcast


featuring special guest corrina repp
music by pete vaughn and
the same spate of insights longtime listeners have
come to expect.
buckle up


two pictures

each worth one thousand words.
first: from gustave courbet: the sea

and then, edited to reflect/isolate the important data, my MRI report from Saturday,
key word:    unchanged


intra-ocular magnification

Many things going on right now so i've been unable to properly assess (read: blog about) them all. Friday was MM's birthday, Saturday I had my annual follow-up MRI at the very hospital/waiting room that's mentioned at the start of M's essay the first week of after and then went home where i wrapped my latest short film my beer with bill some hours later. in addition i've started running again and gone on the wagon after many months of sloth and too many beers. planning another trip to hawaii as well as nyc and iceland and switzerland. updating my film company site. about to head into a flurry of film noir watching in prep for my next short film. doing weekly podcast which you can follow either here or here. i'm probably forgetting some stuff.


directors' roundtable

if you have 70 minutes to burn you could do a lot worse than clicking


to see the annual hollywood reporter directors roundtable, which seems to pop up every awards season.
this one features lisa cholodenko, david o. russel, tom hooper, derek cianfrance, darren aronofsky, and peter weir.


podcast, cont'd

episode 2 of the podcast is up and running.
9 minutes of full-throated glory
you can find it here



first off, let me bid you a Happy New Year and wish you a glorious and bountiful 2011.
Now, should you be so inclined or should you be stuck somewhere with nine minutes to kill, let me direct you toward my first attempt at a podcast on movies, from one of my other blogs. featuring special guest margaret malone. you can find it here.