Thursday, August 31, 2006

retraction 101

today’s entry is a lot less emotional than yesterdays (of course it is, i don’t think i can get more emotional than i did yesterday). i decided to retract yesterday’s entry, because in hindsight, yes maybe it wasn’t the best thing to do.
i think i’m an emotional person to say the least, and at times i’ve got a fire under my belly that explodes. (god knows my mouth has gotten me in trouble in the past) yesterday’s entry was not an attack on anyone, it was me going off on a tangent. it was also not the opinion of global transmission as a whole. i’m a very opinionated person, and sometimes when i start writing about a subject, i just start going off on a tangent, and blogs to me sometimes become personal journals. but i do feel that a lot of times when working in a creative medium, one becomes restricted or constrained by the powers that be. and honestly, i’m taking great pride in this project that is global transmission and the fact that we’re expressing our creativity here. i feel like we’re doing something great here, and i know all of the team members bring something special to the table. in hindsight, it wasn’t the greatest thing to have posted, and it doesn’t reflect on me well (or global transmission). it was strictly my opinion, and i appreciate the comments that were made (including you mom). i have several excuses that i could mention for why i posted it (not reasons for why i wrote it, or why i but i don’t like making excuses for things that i’ve done.
with that being said i apologize to anyone i offended or upset. i mean that sincerely.
now i’m going to go back to my normal blogging if that’s ok. had a great interview for the “M____ de ____ _______a” piece we’ve been working on today. do you have any idea who this is we’re interviewing?!?!?

and yes, it seems that there’s a buzz going around buenos aires right now about, Dónde está Ché Pelotas?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


yesterday’s entry might be cryptic to some. so let me explain what the cryptic message was about. one of the projects we’re working on here is about the myth of che and the famous photo taken by korda in the 60’s. one interview that we were looking to include for the piece, was an interview with che’s sister here in buenos aires. i sent her an email requesting an interview, and she responded that she never does interviews regarding family. i felt that an interview with her would be a strong segment in the piece, but unfortunately i was denied.
but i’m not going to press the issue. che guevara is a personal hero of mine whom i admire very much. i might not agree with all of his methods used, but i find him of strong character and resolve. but in this specific case, i need to respect the wishes of his sister. he’s a controversial figure, and i’m sure throughout time, she has been harassed by others for interviews. and it’s not necessarily an issue about who she or who che is, but it’s an issue of respect for someone in their family who is deceased. especially before his time. so ________, i hope i haven’t caused any angst or ill feeling because of this. i admire your brother very much, and part of the reason for doing this piece is to introduce your brother to others who know about him solely from one photo taken at one moment in time.
another reason that i am respectful at this moment, is that someone in my family is very ill, and the prognosis is not good. if someone wanted to do an interview of someone dear to me who has passed, i would probably have the same reaction. with that being said, i’m not a religious person, but i did say a prayer for me uncle ted. and my thoughts go out to his immediate family, my aunt volet and cousins ted and jeff. hopefully everything works out for the best.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Che y Che = CheChe

Tenemos clases de Castellano todo los dias, y despues, Pelotas y yo buscamos por personajes por un projecto. Pero, necesitamos tu ayudar:

Does anyone know where _____________ G_________a is?
We’re looking for h____ for one of our documentary projects.
Let’s hope we hear from _____ soon.
It would really make for a killer interview for our piece titled “M____s del ______”

Here, me and Pelotas take a photo in between our search for _____________ G_________a.

At night we shot the Don Nico scene for Donde esta Che Pelotas.

By the way, Dónde está Ché Pelotas?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

More Behind The Scenes Shots

Here are a couple of additional pics from last night’s Che Pelotas shoot:

The technical behind the scenes of ‘El Negro’ and various other technical equipment.

And, Che’s cigarettes that he smoked in the scene. His favorite cigarillos, Pelota’s.

That’s right, Pelota cigarillos.

and yep, that's right, Dónde está Ché Pelotas?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Scientific Formula behind Global Transmission ...

We just had our second fiesta. Here’s the invite in case you missed it.

For our second party, we finally figured out the scientific formula for having a good time at a Global Transmission Party.

The hypothesis is (2G)xGa=GT(2)
(or (Guns+Girls)xGrain alcohol=Global Transmission Good Times)

Until someone can prove this hypothesis incorrect, I’ll assume our theory works.

Once again we were blessed at the party by Don Nico. We all know that he’s the Capo de Tutti Mafia. Here he is in action doing the 2 things he does best:

and giving massages.

Do you remember when Elvis shot the TV when it was pissing him off?
The light in the kitchen was pissing me off so I took it out.
“Killing ain’t fair, but someone’s gotta do it” Tupac Shakur

Also captured on camera at the party was the scientifically proven right down to the millisecond exact moment in time climactic peak, happiest point in El Tirador's life. The following photo is proof positive. Unfortunately everything else in El Tirador's life after this photo is all downhill. In this shot, he's with Mariana (Maru) and Ana. At our first fiesta last week, they were my 2 favorite girls who attended.

Actually, they were my favorite girls at the second party as well.

Awwwhhhh, fuck it. They’re my 2 favorite girls of all time.

But still, the buzz question at the party was, Dónde está Ché Pelotas?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

this is how we roll

here in global transmission, we maximize space for everything. in this instance, alejandro plays guitar in our makeshift bathroom/recording studio. not seen in the shot is andrew splicing tape together on the cutting room floor/shower basin, and morgan brushing his teeth.

all great film companies have something special that distinguishes them from the rest.
all great film companies need that little, extra-special pizzazz to make them spectacular.
all great film companies have a vision unforeseen by others.
all great film companies are ahead of their time.
all great film companies shoot for the stars.
all great film companies need a little bit of a break.

at global transmission we’ve got guns.
we’ll achieve greatness by blasting the fuck out of everything.

but still, Dónde está Ché Pelotas?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

it's just me, myself, and fly

the boys were in plaza dorrego.
the departamento was empty.
just me and this rigamortis fly that i found in the fridge.

we are also short on tp.
life is always exciting here at global transmission buenos aires.

this shirt is like an ‘S’ on my chest

but still, the question on everyone's mind is, Dónde está Ché Pelotas?

Monday, August 21, 2006

my first south american trip to the hospital

i’ve been to many places in the world. on this current journey, i’ve been travelling for awhile now. today is day 260 to be exact. but today was the first time that i’ve had to make a trip to the hospital. luckily though i’m in a major metropolitan city versus a tiny quechua pueblo. but, this still is south america. here is the tale of my five hours in hospital britanico…..but before i get into that, let me give you the back story. a week and a half ago, i was on a jungle trek in northern colombia (read about it here). i cut my shin on the third day, and was a bit concerned about getting some sort of jungle parasite. i was really good about keeping it clean and putting on anti-biotics. anyway, cut to the chase, about a week after the cut, i got a bit of a fever. it started last thursday night and lasted till about sunday morning. but immediately after that, i had stomach issues. i would have painful stomach aches 10 minutes after eating, and would have to make ammunition drops in the bathroom constantly. yesterday, i became a bit concerned when i thought i saw some blood mixed in. henceforth, maybe it’s time to go to the hospital and have some tests done to make sure i don’t have malaria or dengue or some other exotic nightmare of a disease.
so jump to yesterday, my first trip to the hospital. buenos aires is fortunate to have a british hospital here. i figured that was the best place to go since odds are, there would be brits there and english speaking staff. boy, was that the wrong assumption. luckily i know a bit of spanish to get by, but when it got to medical tech, some of it got lost in translation. only one person spoke perfect english, and i think he was the head of the clinic, so i only interacted with him a couple of times. the doctor who treated me listened to my issues, and was concerned that i might have typhoid, even though i got typhoid shots last year. the only way to find out of course was to do a series of tests. a couple of blood tests, a sonogram, and a stool sample. she scared me when she was describing the sonogram, because she kept rubbing the middle of her body, and i thought she was gonna give me a gigantic shot through the chest (think uma thurman in pulp fiction). but no, that was the international sign for sonogram.
so i waited about 20 minutes before a lady came in with a tool chest containing blood taking supplies. apparently everyone delivers in buenos aires. from restaurants, to mcdonald’s, to blood test ladies. they needed two samples, one from my left and one from the right. i asked her why, and had no idea what the hell she said back. she took the first sample, bandaged me up, then a guy knocked on my door with the bill for the services being done. interesting, in the middle of a procedure. service is usually slow in argentina, so being this efficient is unheard of. i signed some acknowledgements, credit card bills, and ready to go. before shot 2, i asked her if she used new needles for each shot and for each patient. she replied ‘why, what for. this is faster’. this freaked me out and i ran for the door before she could jab me again. she yelled ‘wait, one more shot!’ i had my hand on the doorknob trying to get it open, panicking, freaking out, but the damn thing was locked! she tried to pull me away, and then started pulling at my leg………sort of how i’m pulling your leg right now..hahahahaha. don’t worry, it was all new needles. if this were bolivia, then i’d be worried. anyway, shot #2 happened, and she promised me a small lollipop later which never came.
proof of blood tests. notice the high tech band-aids.

then i was sent upstairs for the sonogram. i waited for about 45 minutes, in an empty waiting room with a tv going but no one in there watching it. the hallway looked like the hospital that don corleone was in when michael decided to join the family business in godfather I. when i was finally taken for a sonogram, it was about 3:30 pm. i arrived in the clinic at about 12:30. however, this test was the highlight of my day. a nurse and the sonogram doctor led me into a small, dimly lit room with a sonogram machine and a bed to lie on. for those of you who have been pregnant, you all know what the sonogram procedure is. but mind you, both the nurse and the sonogram doctor were attractive. very, very attractive. here was my experience. they told me to get onto the bed face up in that sexy argentine accent. they kept talking to each other with the nurse being taught how to use the machine. they than asked me to lift up my shirt, and put my arms behind my head. they then squirt this liquid on your belly, all over the place, since they wanted to sonogram my vital organs. they then rubbed my belly with this massager looking thing and every once in a while, would pull my boxers down a bit to test areas a little bit lower. so here’s the scene, i’ve got my hands behind my head, my shirt up, two hot medical stuff talking to each other in argentine spanish, liquid being poured on my body, and every once in a while, someone tugging at my boxers. to top it all off, every once in awhile the doctor would rest her forearm on my crotch area as she was rubbing my belly. so yes, i am a guy, and yes, i was mildly/advanced-mildly aroused. only a massage with a happy ending could top this.
after this climax to my day, i went to the cafeteria for something to eat to try to get my bowels moving. yeah i know, the after is not as pretty. the doctor who initially treated me wanted me to eat, then come back to see her, and then donate a stool sample. so i ate, went back down to the main waiting room. 3 hours later, after sitting like a vegetable, i was finally let in to talk to the doctor. fortunately she told me the blood tests, and the sonogram both came up with nothing. so i don’t have malaria or typhoid or anything serious. she prescribed cipro for me as an anti-biotic treatment (on a side note, i took one cipro that morning, and of course after i left the hospital, i was feeling fine. in fact, if i just stuck to the cipro for another day, i wouldn’t have had to go to the hospital to begin with). she told me what i could and couldn’t eat for a couple days, she gave me a prescription for cipro which is a good kill-all for the runs. she then asked me to come back in the morning with a stool sample just to be sure i’m fine. i told her no way, i’m giving a stool to her now. luckily, i have the power to shit on command, and i told her to give me the cup and let’s get it done with. the only way i was coming back here to sit for another 5 hours was if it was with the sonogram ladies gutting a rubdown. so the end of the story is that i’m fine. it’s just a normal case of traveller’s squirts. the happy ending is that i gave them the sample they needed on the spot, and that right now, my stomach is feeling fine.

but i did see something interesting outside the hospital. like i posted previously, stencils are big out here, and this one is spray painted everywhere:

it's proof positive that the question on everyone's mind is, Dónde está Ché Pelotas?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Work and Play the Global Transmission Way

Contrary to popular belief (as well as in response to some comments from certain Global Transmission related family members), work is being done here in Global Transmission BsAs. Here are some project shoot photos taken on location:

Our cameraman during a shoot atop the Panamericano looking down Avenida 9 de Julio…….hmmm, maybe not the best shot to start off with.

Interview during one of our top secret pieces we’re working on. We’d tell you the details, but it will probably leak on the internet before I have time to explain.

The Argentine Revolutionary Ché Guevara. ‘Hasta la Victoria Siempre’

Indoor and Outdoor photos of Global Transmission Headquarters in Buenos Aires.

But yes, all work and no play makes Global Transmission a dull boy. We went out last night, but had to head back early from the club at 5 AM because of a shoot today. Here are some shots from the evening:
El Tirador meets Don Nico for the first time. Don Nico is our leader, see here for more info.

Don Nico invited us to a private birthday party for this guy here seen with Chupetín and Ché Pelotas. Can’t remember his name since the Don introduced us to a plethora of portenas, and our brain cells are only capable of remembering female names.

Does anyone know what Ché Pelotas hand is doing?

Hottie waitress artsy type stuff.

Final work shot of the day. Shot taken over El Tirador’s shoulder of the Sunday Markets in Plaza Dorrego outside our front steps.

But still, the question on everyone's mind is, Dónde está Ché Pelotas?

The Porteña Secret

It’s no secret that women are beautiful here. And us folks here at Global Transmission want to find out why. Using a special ‘Hottie Lens’ on one of our cameras, we found out that they are in fact evil. They have super being powers that can make any man do whatever they want. As proof evident, here is Global Transmission Team member Alex signing his life away for a useless piece-of-shit grocery card. Another man wounded in the Global Transmission cause.

but still, the question on everyone's mind is, Dónde está Ché Pelotas?

Saturday, August 19, 2006

RENdom photo of the day

stencil art is big in buenos aires. here are 2 stencils i shot this morning in our neighborhood of san telmo.

this translates to ‘i am a whore and i am happy’

this translates to ‘the lesbians are your mothers, daughters and sisters’

but still, the question on everyone's mind is, Dónde está Ché Pelotas?

Friday, August 18, 2006

team global transmission assembles in voltron formation

life at global transmission is not all parties and global groupies. contrary to popular belief, we actually try to provide the biggest and best film and media production even if that means accumulating a debt rivaling the u.s. government. today, the last member of global transmission, andrew burke, a.k.a ‘el tirador’, arrived at ezeiza airport in buenos aires with 'el negro'. after that, we had our first true production meeting today at libeer, a new organic restaurant here in san telmo. it was our second time there because it’s got good, cheap food, a quiet, large space good for production meetings, and a hot waitress who needs to attend our second party next friday. again, we never lose focus on important business items here at global transmission. in minor business items, we discussed projects this month in buenos aires, as well as projects over the next few months in south america, asia, and india.
in the afternoon, we went out with ‘el negro’, the tirador’s high tech camera, and did a sunset time lapse shoot of avenida 9 de julio from high atop the panamericano hotel, a 5-star hotel that we obviously fit in well to. here’s a team shot from high above buenos aires, and the beautiful, yet cold sunset photo.
global transmission team kicking it porteño style

sunset amongst 5 men. nothing gets better than that

in other news, for the first time in my 8 months of travelling the world, i have gotten sick with a fever. hopefully i get better tomorrow, because ‘don nico’ has a very special assignment for us tomorrow at 1 am in a bar in palermo hollywood. we do whatever don nico tells us, and i must have my strength for the don’s intentions.
going back to production shoots, the one thing that everyone asked us today while we were shooting was, ‘donde esta che pelotas?’ (where is che pelotas?). stay tuned.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

i have seen the light

the first agenda item on the global transmission list of goals has been completed. last evening we had our global transmission welcoming fiesta. we had many friends old and new attend. we were graced with friends from back in the states as well as some of our porteño friends. everyone loved the food, the atmosphere, the apartment and the drinks. but the true man of the hour was our leader, our godfather, our 'jefe', our lord, our god, our porteño savior, 'don nico'. we asked everyone to bring a little something to the party, such as a small appetizer or drinks. our godfather 'don nico' brought 6 beautiful porteña women. he was even nice enough to have them show up in 30 minute intervals, that way our eyes wouldn't completely burst out of our eye sockets. he came in wearing a suit and green tie, and now the global transmission team have adopted this as our new official team uniform. we have seen the light.
as far as party logistics, i cooked the vegetarian meals and appetizers, while ché pelotas wowed everyone with his parílla skills. it was very humbling, since many of the porteña women there said they were not used to seeing men cook. one lovely, beautiful mujer even said, 'you need to come to my house and teach me how to cook'. after a brief cardiac arrest, and once i regained my heartbeat, i replied in a soft, subtle, suave tone, 'ok'. i then proceeded to go into another heart attack. i need to go to see a medic to see if there is any permanent damage to my cardio vascular system.
here is a photo of the aftermath:

but my friends, global transmission isn't all business. besides having fiestas in our san telmo apartment, today we start scouting out some possible shoots, including going out to see the 'madres de plaza de mayo'. they are a group of mothers who have been marching in quiet, silent protest every thursday for the last 30 years, bringing awareness to their children who were abducted during the 'dirty war'. tomorrow, our fourth member andrew arrives with our hot shot camera. then the games will begin.
until then, keep reading, and get your ass down here for our next party.
chau, suerte!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Buenos Aires welcomes the Global Transmission team

Evita herself welcomes the Global Transmission team to Buenos Aires

In an international goodwill gesture back to the citizens of Buenos Aires, the Global Transmission team is having a welcoming dinner party at their new departamento on Defensa 1035 y Carlos Calvo, dpt. 9. All are invited.

Buenos Aires welcomes the Global Transmission team

Evita herself welcomes the Global Transmission team to Buenos Aires

In an international goodwill gesture back to the citizens of Buenos Aires, the Global Transmission team is having a welcoming dinner party at their new departamento on Defensa 1035 y Carlos Calvo, dpt. 9. All are invited.

Monday, August 14, 2006

final RENdom colombian photo and other RENdom thoughts

the colombian countryside
el campo cerca de santa marta, colombia

some random colombian observations:
- cheese is awful here. plasticey and chewy. in general, south american cheese is terrible, but here it seems the worst
- busses have these monitors that beep when the bus goes over the speed limit of 80 km/hr. of all the busses, half of them don't work.
- just like the rest of south america, double yellow lines in the road mean nothing.
- the country feels a lot safer than it's neighbor ecuador. it's dangerous reputation as a drug smuggling center and hotspot for guerilla activity is something that most citizens are trying to shed.
- some of the warmest, friendliest people i've ever met.
- medellín is the whitest of all the cities and towns in colombia. it's the most chic, and has the largest amount of plastic surgery and breast implants in the country.
- a lot of times, you can't find bottled water. instead you have to buy them in plastic bags. you break off a piece of the corner, and drink it from there.
- lots of deep fried food here. haven't made it a day without eating that's been somehow deep fried.
- along the coast, they have some of the best milkshakes i've ever tasted. and dirt cheap too.
- colombia is the only country in south america where you can get a good tasting cup of coffee on a regular basis. it's chocolate is pretty bad though.
- police and military carrying machine guns are everywhere. i think this is a good thing.
- the capital of bogotá is dry of alcohol on july 20, independence day. this fact still boggles my mind. the country is dry for 3 days during presidential elections and re-elections. 3 days is a long time.
- tough accent to understand. it's also the toughest place as far as pronouncing things incorrectly. if you don't say things in spanish with the proper accent, colombians have a real tough time understanding you. i think it's because it's still discovering tourism in lots of places.
- the national drink is aguadente. tastes like nasty black licorice. by the third shot, you don't even notice the taste.
- lunch is the main meal.
- it's the only country where coke is cheaper than pot.
- like the rest of south america, you can't find change anywhere.
- i highly recommend travelling here. great people and great scenery.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Ciudad Perdida Trek, Sleeping With the Military, and Coca Leaves + Gasoline Equals.....

kid at the first camp of Ciudad Perdida trek
Just finished the Ciudad Perdida (Lost City) Trek, a 5 day trek in the Colombian Jungle. It's a relatively simple trek, but filled with rain, mud, river crossings and 1260 steps after the last river crossing up to the Ciudad Perdida. The area also gets it's notoriety for being in the past, a hotspot for guerilla activity. Two years ago there was a tourist group kidnapped here while doing the same tour. Apparently, at the time the government made a cease fire deal with 2 guerilla groups. A third group was upset that they weren't included in any deals, and that's the reason why the kidnapping happened. No one was harmed and right now, guerilla groups have little use in kidnapping foreigners, since a few of them are trying to get recognition as a bona fide political party amongst the powers that be in Europe. The only thing that dissapeared on this trek were a pair of my boxer shorts that I left at the Ciudad Perdida camp. Mierda! Nowadays, the paramilitary controls the region. The paramilitary is an odd situation since it's not part of the government's military department. They are mercenaries hired on contract, who are currently paid by the government to keep the guerillas at bay. The funny thing is that once their contract expires, they can be hired by guerillas. Money makes the world go round, including here in Colombia.
Another odd military thing that we saw first hand was the military camping in the same camp as us.

It was really weird, we mingled with a bunch of youngsters carrying machine guns. People were smoking weed while the military was right there (one other tour group even got a big bag of pot given to them by their guide. By the way, this is the same guide who was part of the kidnapped group 2 years earlier. But that's a story for a different day). Regarding the tourists smoking weed, the leader of the army said 'we're the army, we're not the police. it doesn't matter to us'.....crazy. It was a surreal scene, but I guess nothing really unexpected for Colombia, since you also see machine gun carrying soldiers everywhere, which is probably a good thing.
As for the Ciudad Perdida itself, the entire site is only about 1/4 excavated. It'll be interesting to see it 3 or 4 years from now to see how vast it is. Currently, there are a few archaelogists there excavating. The ruins itself are a series of terraces set up high in the jungle. 1260 steps from the last river crossing to be exact.

the first 10 steps or so of 1260 in total
There are no buildings remaining since they were made of wood and straw. Just the circular stone terraces that housed dwellings, paths and walls are the only things remaining. The ruins don't have the notoriety (or spectacular effect) that say a Machu Picchu has. But the fact that I can walk around the ruins without anyone else around is something special in itself.

first view of the ruins

some of the ruins at sunrise. sort of looks like a tee box.

a replica of one of the Tayronian homes in Ciudad Perdida

On the last day, we were shown the process of extracting cocaine from coca leaves. It's a real interesting chemical process to separate the drug from the coca leaf. It involves materials such as salt, calcium, gasoline, sulfuric acid, and bleach. If you're a cokehead, rest assured, these materials don't go in the final product, but are used purely for extraction. It's interesting to note that most of the expense that goes into manufacturing is in the chemicals. The leaves them selves are cheap and plentiful. It's also interesting to note that Colombia is the only country int the world where cocaine is cheaper than marijuana at $1-5 a gram. Politically, even though the government is a strong ally of the US, they as well as rival guerilla groups both prosper from the cocaine smuggling trade. 80 percent of the world's coke goes through the port of Santa Marta which is 5 minutes away from wher I'm at right now here in Taganga. So if you are a coke fiend, hopefully this has been an insightful lesson into what goes into the junk you're stuffing in your nose. The money you spend on yayyo is making many a Colombian happy...and rich. See photos of the process below:

coca leaves

salt and calcium to dry out the coca leaves

can't remember what the black stuff is, but it's cooked with the leaves and gasoline during the extraction process

liquid separates from the black stuff, and then is filtered

the end product of the filtering

add a little bleach to separate the materials

final filtering gets this

once this paste is cooked, the oil burns off, and you've got yourself about a gram of white