Sunday, June 21, 2009

On the Dordogne

Things in past days:

1. Swimming in the cold, light currents of the Dordogne River in a town with houses set into cliffside rocks. My balls froze a bit on that one.

2. I girl I met told me that I have a "very boyish quality". It's strange that it made me sad, I wasn't sure why. Perhaps it's because I don't want to face the eventualities that come with having an ordinary adult perspective. She hit it on the head, though. I've always felt a bit Peter Pan-like.

3. I realized this is one of those trips where the beauty of the particular sets of company, the countryside with it's rows of grapevines being picked by our friends, the music that accompanies all the soirees: (Sia, Ladyhawk, Fink) is going to sink into my bones and always remind me of my first exposure to Southern France which is an important moment of my life. The beauty and slowness and appreciation of food, wine, good company, here, is unforgettable.

4. I am buying a bottle of Pastis when I get back home to remind me of the things I have seen, felt, heard against the everpresent backdrop of the Dordogne River.

5. There is more beauty and love in life than we can possibly imagine. Easy to forget that when the train never stops.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Conversation by the Dordogne River.

Gary and I sat on the patio at a restaurant on the Dordogne river and watched the boats go by, very slowly.

The sky was full of clouds and it had been drizzling for most of the day.

It was the perfect opportunity to do nothing but drink two glasses of red wine under the wainscotting of grape vines and Bouganvilla. Ancient stone buildings stood around us, silently monitoring the passage of generations.

What else to talk about in such a setting, but...women.

The pace of life here is so slow, languorous even, I feel that I could live in a place like this and be happy. It's difficult to know the depth of such feelings while on a small vacation.

Who knows? Maybe someday I will live in Europe. What a thought! To live and work and raise a family in Europe!

I very much doubt I will live in Los Angeles for the rest of my life.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Arrival in Bergerac, France.

I've been here for three days.

It took me 25 hours to get from LA to Bergerac.

Flew into Paris and then, directly from the airport, took two trains to the South of France, where one can appreciate lush rolling hills, an endless sea of vineyards along the thin, two-lane highways, and a slice of humanity that really seems to squeeze the juice out of life.

35 hour workweeks are the law around these parts. If you work any more than that, you begin to build up vacation days. Sounds pretty damned civilized if you ask me...a guy who worked months and months of 70 hour weeks as an editor in Los Angeles.

Anyway, my friend Gary who lives here in Bergerac, threw a welcome party for me, my second night here, that filled up his apartment, overlooking the Dordogne River, to the gills. Everyone brought food, wine, and, yes, even Absinthe. Two guys brought guitars and sang songs for hours: some French ones and some American.

It was my first time partaking of absinthe and after doing so my consciousness proceeded to fly out the south-facing window and over the Dordogne River for a while before returning back to the party. The mixture of songs, and French being spoken by all the guests (but especially the women) were just as intoxicating as the beverages.

Artists, musicians, and social workers were present for the event. The absinthe was brought by the only tatoo artist in the area, a colorful, raspy-voiced Austrian named Martin. Gary and I had a visit last night in Martin's converted horse stables, (which looked to be from a Renaissance painting) over a few glasses of wine, and we will have more on him later.

As it so happens, my second day in Bergerac, Gary had a job shooting a wedding a few towns over which provided a good opportunity for me to film him with my video camera. I need a lot of B-roll for when I do his interview about living in France for the past two years.

I have never seen such a picturesque wedding. I got some good footage, which is key, because I'm here to capture as much as possible of the life here and return to LA and make something out of it.

It is also noteworthy that I was hit on by one of the bridesmaids who was a shamanistic drummer living in Bordeaux. I'm just throwing that in there for good measure.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Welcome to the Hollywood Machine Blog!

Hey everyone...

Welcome to the Hollywood Machine blog!

For the last eight years I have concerned myself, mainly, with two things:

1. Working as a television editor in Hollywood.
2. Traveling to as many places around the globe as possible.

It's been a long and interesting ride to the position of television editor in Hollywood, but in January I lost my job and used the opportunity to pursue my biggest passion: travel.

I went to Buenos Aires and Rio in April, where I had an almost lethal amount of fun, and I'm currently in Bergerac, France (about an hour from Bordeaux).

Why did I come to Bergerac?

I'm shooting some footage for a travel show idea and seeing some of Southern France along the way with my buddy Gary who lives here.

I'll be in Bordeaux, Toulousse, etc for three weeks, and when I return to Los Angeles on June 30th, I will have to procure an actual job, or have an unexpected windfall of some kind.

This is my second trip to France, the first one being centered around Paris, while this one is all about the Aquitane/Dordogne region.

I'm at a crossroads in my life wherein I have to figure out a way to travel for a interesting problem-solving opportunity.

Therefore a large part of this blog will be concerned with the way in which I achieve that goal.