Thursday, August 25, 2005

Stay out of the 'burbs

Dang! You just can't go into the suburbs anymore - not only do you have racist hate crimes but even the cops get attacked.

Weird, But In A Really Cool Way

The other day, as I was walking out of the Preservation Summit, a friend of mine and his wife were commenting on how they liked my documentary on the Book-Cadillac Hotel.

The weird, but really kind of cool, part when my friend's wife made the comment that she had a crush on the woman who narrated my film. I don't know what it is but there's just something so dang cool about one woman confessing to have a crush on another.

Busy, Busy, Busy

I must apologize for not posting very many details as of late. Unfortunately, I've been way, way busy as of late.

First off, last week I was tapped to help film footage in Detroit for a documentary entitled Preserve Me A Seat that looks at historic movie palaces throughout the country. The filmmaker didn't have
enough left in his budget to send a crew to Detroit so I was one of the guys who took care of it for him.

You can read more about that project at

Second, my documentary on the Book-Cadillac Hotel has been nominated for two different awards: the Preservation Award and the Michigan History Award. I thrilled, to say the least.

Finally, for the past couple of weeks I have been organizing a Summit meeting of the various historic preservation, professional and civc organizations in the Detroit area. Our goal is to see us work together much more closely and effectively.

Coordinating the schedules and meeting the needs of almost 60 different individuals from 20 different groups has been a challenge. I'm glad that I did it because I see a lot of great things happening as a result of this meeting. However, at the same time, I'm also thrilled to have that project completed.

The event even picked up some decent press coverage from WDET-FM and

the Detroit Free Press -

I thrilled!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Presidential Pub Crawl - Revisited

Okay - not too much drinking tonight. I guess that's what happens when you don't even start until there's less than two hours before the bars close.

Anyway, since I'm awake and sober, I figured it would be a good time to post a little bit about my 35th birthday party last Saturday. Since it marked me becoming eligible to run for the White House, I decided to call it a Presidential Pub Crawl.

I walked into the first bar, The HUB, at shortly after 8:00 to find Alok and a couple of other guys waiting for me. We sat around, drank beers and watched the Tigers play.

After an hour or so, Alok and the others said that they'd have to leave soon for another party - some graduation event - and, quite frankly, I was a little nervous. No one else had shown up yet and I was afraid I'd be alone at my own birthday party when they left.

(If that's not the epitome of social disaster, I don't know what is.)

Luckily, my worries were for naught. Within fifteen minutes of that, more than a dozen folks showed up. Kim and Jen. Kurt, his wife and a couple of others that they brought along. Dave Knapp and Dave Baschal. Paul and his brother.

It was all very good.

From there we wandered over to Coaches Corner. I honestly don't remember much about that place (is that a good sign considering the drinking that was involved? I'm not sure.). The one that thing that I know I remember is that while we were there, I saw one of the commericals that I worked on. It was on their big screen TVs and it was the first time that I saw the finished project.

That was way cool. Looking up and going, "I worked on that commericial. Yeah, that one for the Michigan Credit Union League - I worked on it."


Oh, and it was while we were there that the Tigers finally beat the Toronto Blue Jays in the 13th inning.

From there - Jen, Kim, Dave and I decided to head over to Centre Street. More drinking and talking ensued. This was actually my first time inside of Centre Street, which was one of the reasons we went there. It's a very cool place. Trendy and upscale, but still comfortable.

By this time, it's around midnight and we decided to head over to the Detroit Beer Company. Kurt told a few other people to meet him there so they skipped the Centre Street leg of the crawl.

Still more drinking ensued. I'm pretty sure that something else really cool happened, but frankly - at this point my ability to remember details was seriously impared.

Finally, at around 1:00 a.m. or so, a handful of us headed out for the final stop for the night (and no, I don't mean my couch). We went to the Bouzouki Louge in Greektown. I would post details about our time there. However, I'll just say that we had a very good time, stayed until closing and the place is nothing like what Fodor's says it is.


Oh, I feel sorry for some unsuspecting tourist who wanders in that one; having only read that guide.

Anyway, that's all a subject for another post. Or maybe I won't. I mean, it's not like Fodor's is sending me a paycheck. Besides, I'm curious to see how long it takes them to figure it out.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Will it never end?


Okay - for almost two months now I've been organizing a summit meeting for all of the various historic preservation groups in Detroit. Until last Thursday, I had been operating under the assumption that it would attract 30 - 35 people since we only had about 25 RSVPs.

I just had to close registration at 60. Everyone suddenly came pouring in at the last minute.

Frankly, my nerves are shot because of all that this entails. Trying to figure out just where to close registration. Communicating with lots of people about who should be guaranteed a seat and who shouldn't. Exploring other options for a new, larger venue (short answer: our options were nil on such short notice). Explaining to a half dozen people why are options were nil, and explaining it a half dozen times.


Anyway, I feel like I really should post something about my birthday part last Saturday. It was a blast it really was.

But, frankly, I really don't feel like posting. I just feel like drinking.

Too bad I can't drink and post at the same time.


Okay - if I post again this evening, it means that I found a bar with cheap booze, hot waitresses and wireless internet access.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Pope Joan

I just finished this novel - Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross. I highly recommend it.

It plays to a lot of the themes in The DaVinci Code, a secret history about women in religion that's been hidden by a male dominted church, but it does more to bring the story to life. Plus, she is much more careful with her facts.

Monday, August 15, 2005


The folks at Oslo (Woodward and Grand River in downtown Detroit) have decided to host a special art show this weekend in honor of my 35th birthday.

Well, okay - so it's not really in honor of my birthday. It's just a coincidence that they're having it that weekend. However, a bunch of talented artists from Detroit and the surrounding area will be there. It should be a blast.

Detroit Attacked by Giant Spiders

Okay - with all of those weather webcams out there, this was bound to happen sooner or later. Take a look at what the local NBC affilate captured on their web cam.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Dodging the Purple Gang

Wow! Four posts in one day. Practically a new record for me.

Anyway, as I was thinking about the zombie book in my last post, it made me think about another book that I just finished reading - "The Purple Gang: Organized Crime in Detroit" by Paul R. Kavieff.

My next novel is going to be set in Detroit's Prohibition era, when the Purple Gang were at the height of their power. They will, of course, be a fundamental part of my story so I've been researching them.

One of the books that I've just finished reading was Mr. Kavieff's. It was very informative, although his explanation as to why the St. Valentine's Day massacre happened is quite different from what I've heard elsewhere.

Anyway, it's very good and his research is excellent. If anyone else is interested in one of the most notorious group of gangsters, I recommend a look at his book.

The Zombies Are Coming

Okay, so some friends of mine did a short film over the weekend about zombies attacking. It was for a short film contest and it looked darn cool.

You can see some of the production photos and video clips from the shoot here.

All in all, a very cool project. Although just looking at those photos makes me want to grab this book:

Revenge of the Heist Money

Oh, damn! Forget about my blog for a moment. Point your browser towards Dane Cook's web site.

Just go to the Videos section and take a look at "Heist Monkey". It's about 2/3 of the way down on the right hand side.

Friggin' hysterical!

New use for Google

Okay - I can't take credit for this one, it was Liza's idea - but there is a new Google Game.

The rules are incredibly simple.

Go to Google and simply type "[your first name] is" into the search box. Hit enter and take a gander at what shows up.

For me, the first few hits were a series of articles on Congressman Barney Frank. However, as you sort through them, they get more and more entertaining. Here are some of the more amusing ones that we found.
  • Frank is a cool dude;
  • Frank is exceedingly poplular;
  • Frank is now fully recovered and living in the country;
  • Frank is alert to a range of human motives that may have disappeared from the
    economics; (I'm not totally sure what that means, exactly, but it sounds kind of cool).
  • Frank is now looking towards the future;
  • FRANK is a FREE magazine, currently distributed by email, soon to be in print; (Kick ass! I've always wanted to have my own magazine).
  • Frank is a counterculture confederate with a capital C; (Um... #1 - I'm not totally certain what that means and #2 - since it does say a capital C, I can't help but wonder which word would get capitalized).
  • Frank is known for his civic involvement as well as his generosity;
  • Knight Frank is set to further tap into the lucrative market (Okay - first how does one get to be known as "Knight Frank"? And second, just what "lucrative market" is this person going to "tap into"? Personally, I've always thought that Frank was the perfect name for a porn producer).
  • Frank is a hamster who is always trying to escape from his cage; (That really is the story of my life).
  • Frank is streaking next to his wife's car.
Who knew the Internet could be so damn amusing?

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Reboot: So Darn Funny!

Okay, so I'm surfing the web and I come across Kelly Williams' site. On it, he has a number of parody songs. My favorite is "Reboot" - a reggae song about tech support love.

Totally funny!

You can check it out yourself for free at:

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

UDF7137 Has Landed

Well, I am officially finished.

I am done with my documentary on the Book-Cadillac Hotel and it has been submitted for the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. The whole thing is now out of my hands.

I'm done making my film and editing it.

I'm done writing the short and long synopis.

I'm done with the director's commentary.

I'm done worrying about which production photos to include.

Simply put, I'm done.

It feels so incredibly good to have dropped it off. When I walked
into the UPS Store and handed the clerk my package to be overnighted
to California, it was one of those incredible "My God - I did it" moments.

Almost 2 years of my life are now condensed into a 7-digit code that
the Sundance Committee will use to track my film and everything that
goes with it: UDF7137.

It's kind of ironic, if you stop and think about it, that so much of
my life would come down to such an odd little code. Anyway, I'm
thrilled to be done with it.

For now, I'm off to celebrate. Tomorrow, I start work on my next project.