Movies Moving

We open production offices this week for both Keeper of the Pinstripes and Yelling to the Sky, as it looks like both will actually be shooting late this summer. More details on the two soon, especially once we lock down final actor contracts, but suffice it to say they’ll be getting Cyan 2.0′s production slate off to a very, very strong start.

College Slice

We Yalies had no idea how good we had it.

Two of the pizza spots in New Haven, Sally’s and Pepe’s, clocked in at numbers 6 and 12, respectively, on the Today Show’s (by way of GQ’s) top 25 best pizzas around the country.

Tip of the hat to long-time friend and former Sharkbyte colleague Dave Fischer, who not only passed along the article, but also pointed out the disturbingly dead on Sally’s review:

6. Sally’s Apizza in New Haven, Conn.: White pie with potato
Sally’s is ancient, in an old Appalachian way. I can’t believe the men’s bathroom has been cleaned since 1938, when the pizzeria opened for business. Service was equally dismal. I noticed regulars getting some attention, not so much that they appeared pampered, but the rest of us waited about ninety minutes before our first pies appeared. To me, Sally’s should be renamed Sartre’s Apizza, home of absurdity and despair. I wasn’t there on any particular holiday, April Fools’ Day or Halloween, but the somnambulant staff wore weird outfits — nutsy party hats, outdated ties, Bermuda shorts, and T-shirts (in winter). I wondered if Sally’s was the headquarters of a work-release program for the culinarily insane. The customers weren’t impressive, either, especially the lady in the booth across from mine, fast asleep. Out of this agonizing ambience appeared a pie of incredible finesse, a tour de force, a white (no tomato sauce) pizza prepared with thinly sliced potatoes cooked to an artful golden brown, a scattering of equally faultless onions, and a masterful touch of rosemary, all perfectly complemented by Sally’s crust, a bit denser, chewier, and thinner than the one up the block at the equally fabled Pepe’s. By the way, I bet Sinatra got great service when he ate here.

I’m a bigger fan of Pepe’s, personally, though the ambiance is, fortunately and unfortunately, pretty much exactly the same.

Glass Half

On Christmas Eve, a father puts a gold watch into one son’s stocking, and horse manure into the other son’s.

The following day, the first boy comes to his father and glumly says, “Dad, I ust don’t know what I’ll do with this watch. It’s so fragile. It could break.”

The other boy runs to him and says, “Daddy! Daddy! Santa left me a pony, if only I can just find it!”

[Via the excellent What Makes Us Happy?].

Murse Wanted

For the past few years, I’ve carried a Ghurka bag to work:

ghurka.jpeg

Which, I’ve always thought, was a reasonably fashionable alternative to a laptop bag.

Jess, however, thinks otherwise. I’d always written that off as a minor disagreement in taste. At least until last week, when we were out with a fashion designer friend of hers, who literally burst into hysterical laughter at the sight of the bag.

So, in short, I’m now on the search for a replacement.

I already own a Jack Spade messenger bag, which is perfectly suited to weekend jaunts. But it doesn’t fit my laptop, and carrying it slung across the chest quickly crushes a pressed suit.

What I’m looking for, then, is a laptop-friendly (in case it matters, a 15″ MacBook Pro), work-appropriate bag. Ideally one with handles, and a strap I can wear over just one shoulder when needed. One with room for documents and other odds and ends along with the computer. And, most importantly, one that’s suitably fashionable – equal parts British preppy and New England outdoorsy WASP. Or, at least, one that doesn’t look like it might best be paired with a pith helmet.

Lazy-web, please let me know.

Semper Fi

The best thing about owning CrossFit NYC is getting to know our members. From stay-at-home moms to FBI Swat Team members, sixty-five-year-old retirees to twenty-five-year-old FDNY firefighters, I’m immensely proud of them all. They come in at all different levels of fitness. But they all work their asses off equally hard. And, slowly but surely, they all see results. By now, on balance, I’m sure they’re the fittest gym crowd in all of New York.

I’m particularly proud when any of our members take that fitness and put it to good use. Take, for example, Keith Zeier. Keith served in Iraq as a SpecOps Marine. At least until July 17th, 2006, when he was hit by an IED. The explosion took out a sizeable chunk of Keith’s quadricep, and he was told he’d never walk again without a cane.

This past weekend, however, Keith did more than just walk. He ran. For 31 straight hours. A 100 mile ultramarathon from Key Largo to Key West. He did it as a fundraiser for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a non-profit that provides college scholarships to children of fallen special operations personnel, and immediate financial assistance to badly injured special operators. It was a grant from the foundation that allowed his mother to travel to his bedside when he was severely wounded.

By any measure, Keith’s run has been a great success – as an example, as an inspiration, and as a real impact on the foundation’s bottom line, for which he’s raised nearly $48,000. But given the strong cause, and his even stronger effort, I hope you’ll consider donating a small amount yourself. And I also hope that you’ll watch the short video his support crew put together; if this doesn’t get you off your ass, out the door, and on your way to changing the world, I don’t know what would.

Zenith/Nadir

My friend James Ponsoldt once said to me that the measure of a successful film is whether it becomes somebody’s favorite. Which, I still think, is a great perspective.

But if there’s no special achievement in creating a ‘safe’ film, something unremarkable yet commercial that plays it straight down the middle, is there some magic at the opposite end of the spectrum? Consider, for example, Tommy Wiseau’s The Room, a film that’s garnered a cult following by dint of being really, terribly, amazingly awful.

If that bottom-of-the-barrel status holds some merit, then kudos to Baby on Board, a film I haven’t seen, but that’s garnered perhaps my favorite review on all of IMDB:

I WAS AN EXTRA IN THE MOVIE AND I WENT TO THE CHICAGO PREMIERE LAST NIGHT. I HAVE A DEEP SENSE OF SORROW FOR EVERY PERSON THAT WAS INVOLVED IN THAT PROJECT. THOSE CLAPPING AT THE END OF THE FILM ARE EITHER SUFFERING FROM SELF-DELUSION OR SELF-DENIAL. SURELY ANYONE TRYING TO ENTER THE FILM BUSINESS CAREER TOOK A STEP BACKWARD. NOT SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY WERE INVOLVED IN CREATING BABY ON BOARD, BUT BECAUSE THEY VIEWED IT IN ITS ENTIRETY. I LIVE IN CHICAGO. I AM ASHAMED THAT MY FAIR CITY WAS RAPED BY THESE “FILMMAKERS”. MY DOG ATE A ROLL OF FILM THE OTHER DAY AND THE CELLULOID THAT CRAWLED OUT OF HIS ASS WAS PRETTIER THAN THE *beep* YOU’D SEE ON THE SCREEN IN BABY ON BOARD. SO MY DOG’S INTESETINES IS A BETTER CINEMATOGRAPHER THAN WHATEVER MOFO SHOT THIS P.O.S. IF SOMEONE TOLD ME IT WAS SHOT ON A HANHAH MONTANA CAMERAPHONE I’D SAY “YOU’RE RIGHT, MAN.”

Mother Mine

“All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.”
- Oscar Wilde

Happiest Mother’s Day wishes, and a lifetime of gratitude,
xo
j

Quick Update

Many thanks to all who sent in kind words of support for my grandmother. She’s off the respirator, back to conscious, and likely leaving the ICU tomorrow morning. A few weeks yet until she’s back to full steam, but at least she’s now clearly on the upswing.

Also of note, in the ‘no rest for the wicked’ category: pre-production on both Keeper of the Pinstripes and Yelling to the Sky is slated to kick off June 15th. It’s going to be a busy summer.