Monday, February 28, 2005

Small Crickets Are Jumping On My Keyboard

I

Or are they flies? Don't know; but I see one of them sidling over to me, perhaps attracted to my aroma.

Away Vermin!!!

II

Tutored the offical again this morning for a couple hours, then took my first day off in a long while to chck out the Royal Palace here in Phnom Penh. Went into the fabulous SIlver Pagoda--entire floor lines with silver tiles, and went relatively untouched by the Khmer Rouge went they took power to show the world that they "care for Khmer culture".

Went up into a small hilltop pagoda where the guard sat with some kind of inhaler, next to a Buddha statue, and occasionally whiffed in an odd orange smelling vapor. My Khmer isn't good enough to ask him why or what he was inhaling.

Shortly after his final; whiff, a bevy of ladies entered and chatted with him in Khmer. He then took a shallow bowl from the corner which held some sort of fortune telling sheathes and asked one of the ladies to take the sheath; she placed it on her head and at random, picked a spot in the sheath with a wooden stick and handed the sheath back tohim.

He read/interpreted what it sdaid to her and smiled.

She seemed happy...

Day after tomorrow, I'll leave the Okay guesthouse (that's it's name: the Okay guesthouse) to stash my stuff at Babel Studios, right around the corner from the Tuol Sleng genecide museum (the infamous Khmer Rouge torture prison, S21), and John from Babel studios and I will make a brief expedition up North to Ratanakiri to see if we can drum up some documentary ideas and work regarding hilltribes, indiginous peoples, etc.

G has sent the rough cut of Susan Hero to Michel Negroponte, my editor friend and friend Debbie Rosengerb, and to me...though my copy will arrive (if at all) in about two weeks.

More later...these little flies are back and they're bugging the shit out of me.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

On the Set of a Cambodian Action Movie

I

Spent yesterday on the set of a Cambodian action movie. The movie is being produced by, and is also starring, a layyer friend of mine, a Cambodian American named David.

David is a rich and powerful guy. He drives around in a black Mercedes and has a couple automitic weapons in the trunk. He's also got a bodyguard or two, as I found out when we went to meet at the coffee shop before heading over to the set, on location about two hours outside of Phnom Penh.

A clean cut, youngish wiry looking guy with a smile sat a few tables in back of David; he seemed to be sussing me out, so I gave him a nod and smiled back at him.

"Who is that dork", I thought, "giving me the evil eye?"

Later, when the dork escorted me and David and David's young daughter to the Mercedes, I saw the tail of his shirt fall away to reveal a dull, mean pistol wedged in a holster.

"The dork...muct be...David's body guard""

So the bodyguard guy ushered David, myself, and David's wife and daughter in to the Mercedes and drove us to the location.

I sat in the front seat, riding in style with an AK-47 with collapsable butt-stock lying casually in the crevice between my left knee and the stick shift--and not far from the quick right Shootin'hand of David's bodyguard.

Anyway, on we went, across the bridge and the Tonle Sap river, twards the distant location: a lumbermill, where a drug sale-gone-bad (movie version of course) was about to take place.

II

More to come soon, including: the shooting scene...using LIVE BULLETS!

Friday, February 25, 2005

Hey Look--a long lost relative has contacted me!

Here at the Internet cafe down by the Tonle Sap river, very early in the morning when the net is fastest, the Internet girls slinking around in their pajamas and occasionally going up front to make an offering to the pair of monks who happen by (you can hear their mutual chants as they offer their blessing and thanks: I'm reminded of the small moth women who lived in the magic box and who were familiars of Mothra), when I see that I've just received a startling email regarding a LONG LOST RELATIVE!

What luck! Hey, I've decided to share it with you, readers:

BARR. KOFFI JACK KOPE
Lamine,KOFFI & masala
Solicitors & Advocates of
the Supreme Court Of Togo
No 16 Boulevard du la Kara
Lome Togo

Dear Jason Rosette

I AM BARRISTER KOFFI JACK KOPE,a solicitor at law and
a personal attorney to Late Mr Fedinard K. Rosette (my LONG LOST REALTIVE!)
.here in lome togo after shall be referred to as my
client.My client worked as an independent contractor
to the Shell Development Company here in Lome Togo.
On the 21st of April 2000 my client, his wife and
their only daughter were involved in a car accident
along Nouvissi express Road and all occupants of the
vehicle unfortunately lost there lives.

(ah, shit, what a shame, well there's usually a silver lining in every cloud)

Anyway, just got a call from a guy I know here, he's putting together an action movie, he wants me to come on down to check it out--they're shooting a couple hours away... thus goodbye for now

Thursday, February 24, 2005

ZONKED

I'm zonked; just about run ragged from hauling my ass all over this dusty town (Phnom Penh) in search of teaching gigs, meeting with potential doc folks, etc. Plus it's as hot as a motherf*cker today, the Nagas are laughing at me as they play in their pools.

Went and taught the guy from the Finance Minsirty this morning for a couple hours; funny guy, very unassuming, but lives in a huge, California blue compound ringed by razor wire on the far side of town...hmmm...

Have to renew the Visa in a couple days. Choices are to go to POinpet on the border with Thailand and get a new one, a business visa this time (should done this in the first place), or head back to Saigon where I'm in good with a language school, plus they have some money there for me they're holding. Would then spent a couple months just teaching, generating experience and revenue.

Ah, but what about Susan Hero? I've got a couple emails from Giacomo I have't read yet, he continues to move forward on the picture while I hammer away in order to survive and/or prosper...

Hey, at least I've got a roof over my head (my own roof), more than I can say in New mexico after shooting Susan Hero, when I'd overspent and thus had to sleep in my car--or at the horrible cat lady's place in Santa Fe (read HURRICANE for complete details on this)!

Back from the Strange Pastry Shop

By the way...I should mention because I'm starting this Blog a few months into this effort: I'm in Cambodia now. Came to SE Asia to:

1) hone my teaching skills in a place with presumably lower entry barriers to teaching versus the US, which requires a Master's degree and plenty of red tape, additonal certifications, etc, to get a shot at teaching--thus, I've been pursuing ESL and other University level teaching gigs with mixed results. (better than NO result, as was the case in the US; my nearly worthless Film&TV degree from NYU offered such a narrow skill set that I'd ususally been stymied in my efforts to land teaching work.)

2) get away from the US for a while; the place is just too damn conservative and puritanical for my tastes, PLUS, I figured it would be worth coming to Asia to investigate the future seat of the world's economy

3) get involved with documentary and media production here via work for NGOs, small production houses, etc. I've had limited success here as well since departing San Francisco to Hanoi on December 5th...

Also a further note: this Blog will be the rated PG version of the unrestrained diary, HURRICANE, which I've been writing for some time now, concurrent to all this since October 2003, when I first set out from New York City for New Mexico to start production on my second feature, SUSAN HERO.

So, if you want to read a real rant, you'll have to ask me about HURRICANE. Too many folks I'd rather not subject to that filth and furyon this publicly accessable blog.

Anyway...back from the strange Ásian European"pastry shop on Sinouk Blvd nearby; the buffet was sadly closed til tonight. Treated myself to a liter of milk for the first time in a while, brand name: Cowhead.

Also took a great crap, nice clean restroom with toilet paper to boot, felt like I was on vacation.

Back to the gind now: emailing my teaching resume to more language schools and universities, pitching more doc ideas, headng later to the forestry NGO to try to get my head around hiltribes for a potential documentary they might want me to make.

**It's all a race against time as the money slowly dries up.**

Even with careful rationing (bowl of noodles instead of Western food, inexpensive bar girls versus high priced dates with Western girl) the money is dwindling to new lows. Not enough money to rent a motorcycle on a daily basis, but picked up a dencent enough mountain bike for $30 bucks at the market.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

2_23_05 Launching of the Blog

Quick note as I once again scour the Cambodia Yellow pages for language schools (to teach) and NGOs (non-governmental organizations...to make documentary and PSA videos) to say that the official Camerado Blog--Bloggerado--is up and running.

My stomach aches, so I'll have to hit the all you can eat buffet ("We have to serve buffet" the sign says) and so I'll make this short. Also want to test the blog software.

This may be pretty rough/crass/and raw, but I'm not trying to offend, just want to keep a public log of what's been going on as of late.