Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Men Who Wear Masks (and other tales)

As I left my apartment building this afternoon, I was greeted in the lobby by a man cutting a woman's hair. There are 2 things I find disturbing about this encounter. The first is obvious: giving a haircut in a public thoroughfare is, well, creepy. The second thing that irked me was the blase greeting: "Hey there, how you doing?" As if this was the most normal sight in the world.

Now I don't know about you, but if you're going to have someone cut your hair, professional or otherwise, do it in a salon. If you don't have access to a salon, do it in a private room. Away from prying eyes. And people who might be perturbed by strangers' follicles falling to the very stretch of floor you have to cross to get from the front door to the elevator. Note that there was no special mat or assistant sweeping up the brown locks; they were landing in delicate abandon on the bare floor.

I thought at first there must be a shoot going on. One of those "ambush make-overs" they have for breakfast TV, but, alas, no camera crew in sight. I was further disappointed by the fact I had an appointment to get to and thus could not engage the "stylist" in the health implications of such an event and who the heck was gonna clean up this hairy mess?! It won't be my fellow tenants, who see fit on occasion to walk their barking dogs after midnight and stomp out cigarettes in the passages.

With my own private GFR (Gideon Freakout Rating) reaching code red, I breathed deeply and headed for the car. Safely straddling the 101, I felt a little calmer, until it became apparent that the car behind me contained a robber. The driver had a mask on to conceal their identity. Easing off the gas (to afford myself a closer view), I realized that the driver was a man and his mask was of the surgical variety. I thought immediately of the dreaded Swine Flu and looked for other passengers in the car. None. Unless his girlfriend was in the terminal stage and curled up in the footwell, Masky was travelling solo. (He was also driving a Honda S2000, so had no backseat for a hidden person to lie on)

So why the mask? Surely if he did have flu, he would only need the mask around other people. Then I figured that perhaps he'd just had some kind of facial surgery. Rhinoplasty or a particularly aggressive Restylane session. But then he'd simply have a surgical dressing, wouldn't he? Maybe, like me, he simply prefers his dressing on the side. In the current pandemic pandemonium, a surgical mask tells people you're cautious, sensible, with a family to protect. As opposed to vain and insecure, with a desperate need to alter your appearance. Or maybe it's the latest fashion trend and I've been left behind. Yet again.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Cheesy Creep

Being somewhat of a cheesy actor, I thought it fitting to venture downtown for the Grilled Cheese Invitational. As the name suggests, the event is a competition to see who can create the best grilled cheese sandwich. There are 3 categories: Missionary (standard cheese, bread and butter), Kama Sutra (any cheese, bread, butter and other ingredients) and Honey Pot (dessert sandwich sweet in nature).

It seemed like a splendid outing and so, with buds Karma and Nicole, I jumped on the Metro and cruised from historic Union Station, through the fabulous food fest and trinket-laden Olvera Street, to join a queue half a mile long. After an hour drooling in line, we were informed that judging tickets were all gone and we would only be sampling the free Kraft Singles sandwiches. Better than a kick in the pants, but, after a further 20min wait in another line, the tiny triangle, albeit free, did not fill much of my belly.

So we headed back to Olvera and scoffed down some cheesy Mexican fare instead, washed down with a couple of Dos Equis and a churro. A rather good way to spend a Saturday; out and about with other humans and feeling almost normal. But that feeling was short-lived. As I arrived home today, I held the elevator door for a woman just entering the apartment building. I asked what floor she wanted. She said I should just go to my floor and that would be fine. No, she wasn't flirting. She was afraid to give me her floor number, lest I follow her out. Yup, even when I'm smiling and being friendly and nice, it seems I still come across as creepy.

Good to know I haven't lost my touch...

PS. Fear not, Incognito, the blog will continue unfettered!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Gid is now on Twitter

After boring untold dozens on a near weekly basis, it is time to take things to the next level. I have joined the Twitterati and now have a Twitter account. You (all 4 of you) can now follow me as gid72 on Twitter.

I like the idea of Twitter - a real time update, where each entry must be kept to 140 characters. I like compact. I like brief. Even now, I am, struggling to come up with anything meaningful to share. After today's rather rough voice session, I am left speechless in both word and print. (I think I experience mild brain atrophy after such gigs) So with that said, I will leave you to a well earned weekend.

Tweet tweet!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lost in Trainslation

The Japanese website for horror movie Train has a new trailer. A little different to the first one. It also has a very brief (2 person) cast biography. The still shot above shows me trying to decifer it, without success. Eventually, after gaining naught apart from a blank stare and some bleeding from the temple, I thought I'd try an online service to see what they said about me.

I think it may have lost a little in the translation...
I am from the U.K. and will emigrate to the Republic of South Africa later. In the days of a student, I take the audition of a professional theatrical company and start a career as the actor triggered by it. I repeat a career as a comedian, a singer. For a movie star TV movie "Rhodes" of the BBC production96), "TheSorcerer 'sApprentice"02), "GloryGlory"There are 04), TV movie [red water / shark hell]. I play the leading part in [the marsh of the カニング・キラー massacre] (07) by a guest-shot, the movie in [24] popular TV series, [CSI: New York] after emigration in Los Angeles.

Couldn't have said it better myself! And now I am off to hunt down one of my recent appearances in a little gem called The Marsh of the カニング・キラー Massacre. I hear it's like The March of the Penguins...

Only different.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Barely Functioning

This morning, I poured cereal into my coffee cup. Do I prefer it that way? No. Am I on a strict diet? No. Am I having a stupid day? Quite possibly. What joys are in store for me, after starting the day like this? Only time will tell...and this blog.

It could be the pineapple juice I had last night. With vodka. There was a time when I was drinking fit. I could have a couple of beers, multiple shooters and still conduct a lucid conversation and (irresponsibly) get home. That time is long gone. I simply don't train any more. I barely drink twice a month, so when I do, it's a strain.

As with any exercise, a warm-up is essential if you're going to push heavy. Start with a Rock Shandy or light beer, perhaps. After that, you're ready to ease into a few sets of Guinness or white wine spritzers. Then (and only then) should you attempt your heaviest reps of clear liquors. Or go for a one rep maximum with a straight-up shot of Tequila or Jack Daniels.

Now I will take my leave and finish cleaning up the kitchen after pouring an espresso onto a side plate. It was all going well until I tried to add the sugar...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Is You IQ Above 98?

That is the question designed to lure you to an online test-your-intelligence application on Facebook. Unfortunately the creators of the thing would have to answer "NO", seeing as they can barely even speak. The correct phrasing, of course, is not "YOU IQ", but "YOUR IQ". Oh the sweet irony.

Perhaps they're targeting people who say things like "Is you gonna eat that?" and "I aint no criminal". In which case, I would recommend putting [sic] after the question. Sadly, they can't be all that stupid because, after you take the test (and get results sent to your cellphone), the app surreptitiously charges you $10/month until you cancel. And that is really

Another choice example of the dumbing-down of the world was on my radio yesterday. Here follows the commercial (give or take):

WOMAN VO: Wherefore art thou, Romeo?
MALE VO: Flashlight...five dollars.
WOMAN VO: Wherefore art thou, Romeo?
MALE VO: Eye glasses...forty dollars.

And that's where I stopped listening. (The eye glasses may have cost more but I care not) What the heck?! Wherefore does not mean where, people! It means why. As in "why are you Romeo, because if you weren't Romeo, you wouldn't be part of this ridiculous ongoing Capulet-Montague clash and we could live happily ever after". Poor Shakespeare would be turning in his grave, as would any other English speaker who ever studied Romeo and Juliet at school. Which, presumably the copywriter (and intended audience) of this spot did, otherwise s/he wouldn't have written it!

And yes, it's a Mastercard ad. Not an SNL sketch, in which case the misinterpretation could be said to be deliberate. I'm glad I don't have a Mastercard. After hearing that, I'd be compelled to give it back. However, I have decided that the spot could still work, with a little rewrite...

WOMAN VO: Wherefore art thou, Romeo?
MALE VO: Paperback copy of Romeo and Juliet...eight dollars
WOMAN VO: Wherefore art thou, Romeo?
MALE VO: Vocal training...two hundred dollars
WOMAN VO: Wherefore art thou, Romeo?
MALE VO: Wondering what you really learned at school...priceless.
For a quality education, there's anywhere but here. For everything else, there's Mastercard.

And as I searched online for a photo to go with this post, I discovered this Google AD which says it all:

American IQ test
Get your IQ in few minute´s
try our proffesional IQ test now.

Gawd 'elp us!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Billboard Bliss

I was driving along the other day and this billboard caught my eye. I don't remember getting paid for it. Come to think of it, I don't recall the photo shoot, either. But, to be honest, I barely recall what I had for supper last night. So that's no surprise.

Anyway, it's pretty cool being up there. I've always wanted to be up in lights. Or at least large and looming on a wall. I'm just a tad concerned about the message: Rescue Me. Yeah, I need rescuing, but isn't that a bit personal? Like printing Unemployed Actor. That bit's not cool. Not cool at all.

I don't think I like my billboard any more. I'll get them to take it down. Rescue shmescue. And why do I look all dejected? Look at my posture. It's positively suicidal. Oh man. I'm gonna jump...

Don't jump, Gideon! Don't jump!

Hang on. I'm not really up there. Why am I shouting at a billboard. It's not even a billboard. It's my computer screen I'm shouting at. Ah, silly me...

What's that? (sorry - someone is talking over my shoulder)
Not me? What do you mean it's not me?
Shut the $%@** up! It's clearly m--

Wait a minute. You might be right. My nose does look different. That's not me at all!

Oh, I see what's going on here. They used a photo double. That's why they didn't pay me! Sneaky bastards.

I'm calling my lawyer...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Scarf in Summer

The weather has been warming up nicely and what better way to welcome in the summer, than by scarfing down an entire roll of Oreo cookies? To be fair, I only had half. Half a roll. Well, half of two rolls. I may even have had more than half of one or both, which means I may have scarfed more than a roll. Alone. In one sitting. Well, I was standing with a friend. But it was a single session. Of excess.

I don't even like Oreos. I think I've only eaten them once or twice before. Well I certainly made up for it tonight. And shoot me now if they weren't the most delicious thing I've tasted in 2009. What's worse is that I vaccuumed up a turkey panini in between the two rolls. Or two halves. Whichever way you look at it, it isn't pretty. That's like having dessert, followed by an entree, followed by another helping of dessert. Disgusting. And yet so very very good.

I've never been a big eater, but I may be changing. These days, I can't go to bed without a jam sandwich. Hey - I eat it, I don't snuggle with it! This is how obesity starts. I might be preparing for a new movie role. Yeah, that sounds good. "I'm bulking up for a feature". Sounds better than "I just can't stop shoving crap in my face". Jared Leto reportedly gained 60 pounds for Chapter 27. Pa! Gimme a couple more weeks and I'll be ready for Chapter 28. I think I have my dodgy 90210 glasses lying around here somewhere...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Manly Men and Secret Sects

I'm happy to reveal that I have two upcoming audio books. The first is an abridged version of Neil Oliver's Amazing Tales for Making Men Out Of Boys, which is rather a long title but good stuff nevertheless. It's a good old fashioned compilation of tales of manly men and their remarkable accomplishments through history.

Scott of the Antarctic, the men of the Birkenhead and the astronauts of Apollo 13 are just three of the extraordinary stories brought to life. The kind of book a father reads to his son. As the author states in the opening, "there was a time when boys were taught to be men" and this is just the sort of book to help them on that path.

The second book is entirely different. An international thriller reminiscent of The Da Vinci Code, The Genesis Secret by Tom Knox centers around journalist Robert Luttrell, who is sent to cover an archeological dig in Turkey, but soon becomes wrapped up in something far more sinister and deadly. Bizarre murders are being committed in the UK and soon we discover that Luttrell's story is inextricably and terrifyingly linked.

The Genesis Secret is a captivating read and, with its large cast of characters, was a real treat to narrate. More news when these audiobooks are available for download.

Oh yeah, and you can catch me on the CW's 90210 tonight at 9pm playing, you guessed it, another creepy guy. I look a little like Nineties James Spader in this one. Wasn't a good look then and still isn't. But hey - director Jason Priestley did choose which glasses I got to wear, so...