Jim Guittard’s Place

Oregon Vs. Texas

Posted in Uncategorized by guittard on September 10, 2009

I arrived to Portland via Bulgaria, a rather long route but in my observations it seems to be a really swell and friendly town. Quite amazing really.

Compared to Bulgaria or Texas the public transport was pleasant. The riders did not have their heads down. They were actually talking to each other. And the bus driver said, “have a nice day” to nearly every person that exited the bus. It was almost comical.

One lady who exited apparently was carrying bread in a sack. The bus driver yelled through the door to the outside to see where lady bought her bread. And she did not hear him and so he kept asking.

What is the deal with Texas?!? I have lived there most of my life and have never had this pleasant experience. People in general keep to themselves.

Another kid on the Portland bus was talking about being kicked out of house in Texas and running away, etc. And he kept saying he just wants to be himself. Is it so difficult for parents or family to understand this?? Texas to me seems so rigid and opinionated. Hey, post some comments. Let’s get it out there.

I’m tired of facing the same crap every single time I go back to Texas.

Here:

Flippity Flop

Flippity Flop
I can’t stop.
I got lyrics in my head
That’s got to be said.

I may be a hoodlum type.
But I’m ripe.
Ready to blow up big
Eat a fig.

People say, “They won’t take one like you.”
Well maybe I’ll sue.
Lock ’em all up in the zoo.

I’m not through.
I’m one of the few,
Elite H.P. Crew.

Hillcrest is the drag
To get your Jack’s bag
Scarf and hopefully not gag.

Wade in the fountain at S.M.U.
That’s the bomb when you’re blue.

I’m no criminal.
I’ve been to shrinks
To make me think.
Only makes me want to puke in the sink.

What’s wrong with a different path?
I’m not a business man, lawyer or M.D.
I’m just me.

What else can I be?
A faker stuck in a tree
After another shopping spree?

The World hurts as we sit by
Listen to them cry and we only lie.
“It doesn’t matter, I’ve got things to buy.”

“Get it together man.
Have you got a plan?
You’ll be stuck in a van,
Getting a tan.”
While others say. “what a shame.
He had such a good name.”

I’ve got places to see.
I’m a rambler just like
Woody Guthrie who said

“Ramblin’ around your city.
Ramblin’ around your town.
I never see a friend I know.
As I go ramblin’ ’round boys.
As I go ramblin’ ’round boys.”

Please see related bus blog article:
Man Almost Decapitated by Bus Door

In economic downtown, more across Texas, U.S. choose to volunteer

Posted in Bulgaria, Life by guittard on April 24, 2009
06:54 AM CDT on Monday, April 20, 2009
By MARK NORRIS / The Dallas Morning News
norrism@dallasnews.com

Applications are up for the Peace Corps, Teach for America and AmeriCorps as Texans turn to service organizations in increasing numbers during the economic downturn.

The state numbers mirror national figures that show year-to-year increases beginning in 2007. Initial numbers of applicants this year are far outpacing those for any previous year.

Jim Guittard, who returned in late 2008 from a two-year mission for the Peace Corps, isn’t surprised.

“With the economy the way it is, people are looking for other things,” said Guittard, who lives in northeast Dallas. “They’re searching for a more satisfying or fulfilling life.”

Officials with the Peace Corps are still tallying the number of applications received in February, but according to the Dallas office’s Shannon Borders, it will probably be a record for one month.

AmeriCorps tripled the amount of applications it received in February this year compared with last.

Kerci Marcello Stroud, Teach for America’s regional communications director, said more people mentioned the economy during the just-completed application period than in years past. Some applicants told her the economic downturn made them re-evaluate what was important to them.

“There’s a growing interest among young people to engage in public service,” Stroud said.

The vast majority of applicants for AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps and Teach for America are recent college graduates.

Of the 35,000 applications Teach for America received this year, 25,000 were from graduating seniors. The remainder was split between graduate students and young professionals less than five years removed from graduation.

Sandy Nunez volunteered for Teach for America after graduating in spring 2007 from the University of Texas at Austin. She thought about joining the Peace Corps or other service organizations before deciding she could be most effective teaching children in underperforming schools.

“It seemed like a very appealing way to get involved,” said Nunez, who is about to complete her two-year commitment in the San Benito schools.

She recently decided to stay on for a third year, saying the state of the economy was a small part of her decision.

Borders said the Peace Corps targets recent college graduates. The median age of its volunteers in 25. There is no age limit, however, and 5 percent of the volunteer force is over 50. The oldest current volunteer is 84.

Guittard joined the Peace Corps 10 years after graduating from college. He had worked at an insurance company among other jobs and decided he wanted to take his life in a different direction.

“In college, I had considered the Peace Corps,” he said. “I didn’t want to have regrets in my life, so I decided to go apply.”

Guittard wound up teaching English to high-school-age students in Bulgaria for two years and taking away an appreciation of how tight-knit families were and how tough his students’ lives were.

He said people who apply need to have the maturity to handle being the situation they are entering.

That vetting is part of the application process, said Borders. She said the biggest surprise is people finding out it can take six to12 months to complete.

But it’s worth it, according to Guittard, who said, “I learned a lot and I’m more appreciative of what I have.”

jim-guittard-dmn-juan-garciaJUAN GARCIA/DMN
Jim Guittard taught English to high-school-age students in Bulgaria for two years.

WWJGD

Posted in Family by guittard on April 11, 2009

Transitions are hard especially at this day in age of “crisis”. There is so much noise to sift through. Alot of screamers, talking heads, know-it-alls with advice.

So the title of the post is in reference to “What Would Jim Guittard Do?” I actually saw these letters on two separate occasions on car license plates. The original idea was WWJD? – What would Jesus do?

I am working now but want to get into something more significant. For a few weeks, I have been going down to Waco. Waco? Yeah, been trying to get in line with my family roots. There’s a street down there named after my great grandfather.

guittard-avenue

Honestly, this family history is eating at me. Great grandfather was history professor and his son my grandfather was chief justice of court in Dallas for a long time and then there is me. It feels like a lot to live up to, at least to me but I chose the more random rambling sorta life of music and art and things. I am back in Texas and wanted to find out about the original Guittard in Texas and why he came here.

He came to east Texas from Ohio at age 19 and basically made it by himself. He attended Baylor University and eventually was head of History Department there for almost 50 years. I studied history in college. However, I never wanted to be a teacher. I recently taught English. Now I’m in transition and am wondering WWJGD. Not what my family would do. So I may go spend some time just where it all began in Waco.

Anybody have any suggestions:

Look here for related post:

Guittard Destiny And Shadows

Letter To Dallas Morning News

Posted in Life by guittard on February 28, 2009

America is rather silly right now. More and more news is negative about the crisis at hand. Where are the positive stories about good news. All we hear is bad and slanted toward going deeper and deeper down. Let’s write some positive stuff. It is funny that my having spent two years abroad as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Bulgaria isn’t worth mentioning. Many papers that I have contacted have turned down the story.

Seems that greed and money is the only thing that is important to write about these days. There are a lot of hardworking, sacrificing people out there that need notice. And I am writing to toot my own horn maybe. I taught in rough school in Pernik, Bulgaria for two years getting paid less than $400 a month. I returned to America just last November and like everybody else I am also looking for a job. I have seen how the world views America and it is not so positive. We need to do our part and get back to hard work in whatever it is.

I think America is obsessed with money and careers. You know what? It doesn’t matter so much the career that one takes if there is passion and purpose behind it. If you want to be a street sweeper then go for it. There is respect in working hard and not just collecting hand out and doing nothing.

Jim Guittard
Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Bulgaria
Dallas, Texas

The Guittard Brothers – 1980

Posted in Family by guittard on February 24, 2009

This is an oldie. Do you remember the Muppets drum set in the late 1970’s? Well, my dad caught my brother Bob, and I on film. It was probably 1979 or 1980 when the Baylor Bears went to the Cotton Bowl. So we were hyped up with the Bears. Notice my Baylor Football Jersey. My brother was probably two at the most and I was seven at the most. And listen to the song we are playing along with: the Aggie War hymn. Pretty funny.
My brother’s at: Flat People

February 16, 2003

Posted in Life by guittard on February 16, 2009

So it has been six years since an eventful night in my life.  I can still remember quite well.  I was living in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles at the time.  For three years, I was hitting the pavement in hopes of being a known musician.  But something knocked me down.

What knocked me down was a robbery.  It was in my Los Feliz apartment.  The place was ransacked and trashed and death threats were written all over the walls.  Why did it happen?    Because of shady contacts.  Yep!  Los Angeles has quite a bit.   The cops were called and the chips fell.

I was not in the apartment at the time of the robbery but had been there right before and left to go to a hotel in Pasadena because of a funny feeling.  I thought about taking my guitars but I didn’t and so three were stolen.  My apartment was broken into and a 12 String Guild acoustic, Electric Fender B-Bender and a Fender Jazz Bass were stolen. 

I was betrayed in a big way.  I now forgive the people that were responsible.  I never got the guitars back.  They may be around Los Angeles somewhere.  My Rickenbackers survived the robbery.  I guess they are a bit holy. 

It is good for you to be stripped of your possessions at times.  What is it anyway?  Property and meaningless.  I picked up my guitars again after recovering back in Texas from the whole ordeal.

 The door was busted open and it said something like “West Side Gangsters” written on the inside of the door.  Straight into the apartment ahead was my bedroom, the door was shut but hanging on the door was a note of some kind saying something like, “We know where you are and will kill you.”  My entrance was the second door on the lower level as the picture will show. 

Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California

los-feliz-los-angeles-california

 I remember rightfully being paranoid while inside and found a suspicious looking thing that I didn’t know what it was.  It almost looked like a handmade bomb.  I called the police out again and this was in 2003 you know and the cops came out with their dogs to see what it was.  It was nothing.  They taped off the whole street and I sat on a wall down the street and played like I knew nothing.  It was embarrassing.  Old ladies were being escorted across the street and I just said, “must be a terrorism scare or something” when people would ask what was going on.

So for a week, I stayed at the Westway Inn across from the Pasadena City College.  It was a new low and I wondered what to do next.  I had actually put a down payment down on a new apartment that was cheaper and in Van Nuys, California.  When I got on the phone with mom, she said it was time to come home.  I got a U-Haul and got out of there.   I maxed out my Discover Card and lost the deposit on the both apartments.  I hadn’t even moved into the second one.  Let’s just say I was depressed as everything.  

Back in Texas, I didn’t pursue charges.  It wasn’t worth it.  I had been through enough and so had the person I was trying to help.  God knows what happened and I let it go.  I think I made the right decision. 

The Pasadena Westway Inn

westway-inn-pasadena-california

 I wrote a song around this time about the thing I was dealing with.  It’s called “Confusion, Lies, Guns, and Drugs.”  The song is country-rock and I was listening to a lot of Johnny Cash at the time so it came out this way. 

 Confusion, Lies, Guns, and Drugs

The lyrics are:

Confusion, Lies, Guns and Drugs

I woke up this morning half past two.
My only problem is where are you.
You ran off with another guy.
I don’t know why.

Confusion, Lies, Guns and Drugs. 2X

We’ve been through this many a time.
It’s starting to be a crime.
Give up the jerk with the gun.
Let’s have some fun.

Confusion, Lies, Guns, and Drugs 2X

I just don’t know what you see in him.
It seems like it’s just a whim.
He doesn’t like you for who you are.
It’s just a game.

Confusion, Lies, Guns, and Drugs 2X

Ya gotta clear your mind, choose the Way.
It’ll be a brand new day.
Give up the junk and soon you’ll see.
I promise you.

No more confusion, lies, guns and drugs. 2X

Feel free to download my “California Daze” album for free that I did in 2002 here:
California Daze

Jingle Jangle Morning

Posted in Family, Life by guittard on May 24, 2008

Jingle Jangle Morning

Written by

Jim Guittard

Copyright © 2007 by Jim Guittard
Registered, WGAe #155425

“JINGLE JANGLE MORNING”

FRANK IS A SLIM RED-HAIRED 26 YEAR OLD. HE TRIES TO PLEASE EVERYONE TO AVOID FREAKOUTS AND CHAOS BUT IN THE LONG RUN HE HURTS HIMSELF. HE IS FROM A DIVORCE FAMILY. THEY FOR THE MOST PART FROWN ON PURSUING THE ARTS.

SEAN IS A HEFTY LONG-HAIRED BLONDE 25 YEARS OLD WHO COMES FROM THE MIDWEST FROM A BLUE-COLLAR FAMILY. HE LEFT THE FACTORY TO COME TO HOLLYWOOD TO PURSUE MUSIC.

INT. LAX AIRPORT LATE AFTERNOON – CROWDS OF PEOPLE HUSTLING ABOUT BUMPING INTO FRANK

Frank comes through the gate to LAX airport and then wanders back and forth looking for the way out to the outside. After finally going outside, he sees a blue sign that reads “Super Shuttle.” He sits at the bench and waits not really talking to anybody. He looks over his Los Angeles guidebook. The shuttle shows up as Frank waves it over.

Inside the blue van Frank lets out a sigh of relief.

FRANK
I’m going to the Hollywood Celebrity Hotel….. How far is Hollywood?

SHUTTLE DRIVER
It’s about 45 minutes.

FRANK
Thanks. I’ve never been here. I’m from Texas.

SHUTTLE DRIVER
You don’t say! You visiting?

FRANK
No, I’m moving here but looking for a place to live. How’s Hollywood?

SHUTTLE DRIVER
Well, it’s not what it used to be.

FRANK
Oh?

SHUTTLE DRIVER
You’ll see. Here’s your hotel coming up. Good luck.

The Super Shuttle stops in front of the hotel and Frank gets out and gets his backpack and small bag and walks inside the hotel.

INT. SMALL HOTEL LOBBY WHICH IS ALL HOLLYWOODIZED WITH PICTURES OF CLARK GABLE, BETTY DAVIS AND MARLENE DIETRICH ON THE WALLS. — EVENING

The Asian hotel clerk is busy on the phone but Frank presents his credit card and after the card is swiped Frank receives his room key which is on the first floor just down the hall to the left. Frank nods to the lady and walks to his room.

In the room, Frank goes straight for the bed because he is tired. He turns on the T.V. and the first thing that comes on is the Red Carpet for the Academy Awards. He watches and falls asleep.

EXT. OF HOTEL AND HOLLYWOOD TRAFFIC — MORNING

Frank walks along Franklin Blvd and then down Highland and to a Burger King (something familiar)

INT. BURGER KING RESTAURANT — MORNING

Frank orders sausage biscuit from Hispanic girl and then takes a table in the corner away from everybody. As he sits he listens and watches the people inside the restaurant and through the window on the street.

EXT. IN FRONT OF RESTAURANT — MOMENTS LATER

Frank is stopped by a man on the street.

DENNIS WOODRUFF
Hey, you wanna buy a T-shirt? Or a video? Or a bumper sticker?

FRANK
I don’t know. I’ve seen you around before.

DENNIS WOODRUFF
Well, I’m Dennis Woodruff. Yessiree! I’ve been trying to get into show business for 25 years.

FRANK
That’s cool. I just got here. I’ll be going to a music school. Got to follow my heart.

DENNIS WOODRUFF
Yeah. It’s tough here. I’ve lived in my car and trailer at times but I keep going.

FRANK
Well, I gotta go.

DENNIS WOODRUFF
You don’t want a T-Shirt?

FRANK
Naw. I gotta go.

Frank walks around Hollywood looking at his small handwritten map. He finds the Musicians Academy which is a 5 to 6 story red building off of Hollywood boulevard next to a Scientology Center where people stand wanting to give stress tests.

He does not go in the school but pauses in front of it. There are several rocker looking types with guitars hanging out in front smoking cigarettes. Now that he knows where the school is, he can look for an apartment nearby.

He walks around for hours ringing apartment intercoms up and only hearing voice mail. He writes down the numbers on a notepad. He leaves a message on each and it begins to sound like a rehearsed mantra.

FRANK
Yes this is Frank. I’m looking for a one bedroom apartment. You can reach me at 555-348-6603, room 103, the Celebrity hotel.

After at least 12 other places Frank walks back to the hotel to make a few calls and to rest.

INT. HOTEL ROOM — DAY

Frank lies on the bed and starts making some phone calls to apartment managers.

FRANK
(On the phone)
Hi this is Frank. I’m looking for a one bedroom apartment…..

No live person again. After 5 messages he is feeling hungry and so he walks out into the lobby as an Indian couple comes in the door. Frank goes back to Hollywood Boulevard for food. As he walks he notices what he calls Hollywood Freaks with mohawks, tattoos and piercings.

FRANK
(Mutters to himself)
Boy, this isn’t like home.

He then notices the stars along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He notices the Elvis Presley star and stops to take a picture when a rather greasy looking man approaches him.

GREASY MAN
Hey, dude, you want to get a beer?

FRANK
Naw, man. I’m good. Just hangin’.

GREASY MAN
We can go right over there.
(Pointing to nearby bar)

FRANK
I’ve gotta go. I’m in the middle of a big project.

Frank quickly walks away and being hungry he looks all around for some place to eat. The nearby places are cheesy souvenir shops or tourist places. He finally sees a sign which reads “Hamburger Hamlet.” The Hamburger Hamlet is right across the street from the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

INT. HAMBURGER HAMLET RESTAURANT ALL GLAMORIZED WITH HOLLYWOOD STAR MURALS ON THE WALLS AND CEILING OF HUMPHREY BOGART, HARRISON FORD, JUDY GARLAND, AND MARILYN MONROE. — AFTERNOON

The hostess comes after a few minutes and Frank is led to a table. He browses the menu and again notices how the menu is Hollywoodized with such items as the Babe Ruth cheeseburger, the Marilyn Monroe Sundae, the Clark Gable Steak and the Betty Davis chocolate milk shake.

As Frank sits he glances at the other tables to see if anyone famous is around.

The waitress comes, a young pretty blonde. (Maybe an Actress)

BLONDE WAITRESS
Can I take your order?

FRANK
Yes. I’d like the Clark Gable steak and the Betty Davis Chocolate Milk Shake.

BLONDE WAITRESS
Anything else?

FRANK
No.

Frank sits and waits for his food and glances at the bar across the room and notices RON JEREMY.

FRANK
(To himself he lets out a sigh)

By this time the food comes and he doesn’t eat everything because he is excited about his new adventure. He begins listening to the next table over.

AGENT
Write up a final draft; we’ll submit it. Warner Brothers will be lightin’ fires this Friday. You have to get it done.

SCRUFFY BASEBALL CAPPED GUY
All right, all right. I just don’t think I want to cut that part out. Warner Brothers can kiss my ass.

AGENT
Listen, man, you’re right. But we’ve got to play ball here. It’s a game out here. You know that?

SCRUFFY BASEBALL CAPPED GUY
Yeah, well. I’m no sell out.

Frank listens intently trying to soak up everything.

Frank finishes the food and he pays the waitress and leaves.

EXT. IN FRONT OF THE CHINESE GRAUMANN’S THEATER — AFTERNOON

In front of theater there are many tourists and people handing out flyers to see the filming of T.V. shows. Frank tries to avoid the flyer people.

He looks to the left side of the theater and sees Spiderman, Superman, and Marilyn Monroe and tourists posing for pictures.

FLYER PERSON
You want to see a free T.V. Show?

FRANK
No. Maybe later.

Frank walks back towards the hotel and in a block he gets stopped by a drug dealer.

DRUG DEALER
(Talking in a hushed scratchy tone)
Hey, you want some hash?

FRANK
Naw, man. I’m not into that. You might ask Elvis over there.
(Pointing to a man dressed as fat Elvis who was walking along the street)

DRUG DEALER
Naw, naw, man. Elvis is straight.

Frank shrugs his shoulders and steps off the corner and to the hotel.

INT. HOTEL LOBBY — MOMENTS LATER

HOTEL CLERK
Mr. Frank, there is a message here for you.

FRANK
Oh, okay. Thanks.

ANGLE ON WRITTEN NOTE:

Yulia at the Trocadero apartments has 2 apartments available and would like you to call ASAP.

FRANK
Thank you.
(As he walks towards the room)

INT. HOTEL ROOM — MOMENTS LATER

He sits in the 1970’s looking chair next to the phone and calls Yulia.

FRANK
Yulia, I got your message. This is Frank.

YULIA
(In Russian Accent)
Yes, we have two available apartments. You want see?

FRANK
Yes, of course. When can I come?

YULIA
I have to show to other people this afternoon. You come tomorrow morning?

FRANK
That’d be great. When exactly?

YULIA
Ten AM.

FRANK
I’ll be there.
(Enthusiastically)

After hanging up Frank does a victory dance around the room.

Frank then calls his mother.

FRANK
Ma, well, I’m in Hollywood.

MOTHER
How is it?

FRANK
It’s good. I hear everybody talking entertainment biz here. I just listen and listen.

MOTHER
You find a church yet?

FRANK
(With frustration and tension)
Ma, I just got here. I think….

MOTHER
(Interrupting)
Why don’t you call that lady I gave you the information about?

FRANK
I just got here. I’m trying to soak it all in now. Maybe later.

MOTHER
I wish you would. You can’t live without God’s people.

FRANK
Well anyway, I’m excited. I saw the school briefly and students hanging out in front. I’m searching for an apartment. I’m looking at one tomorrow. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

MOTHER
Let me know.

Frank hangs up and goes to take a shower. He’s hot and sweaty after walking around so much. After the shower he towels off and he hears a couple upstairs banging.

FRANK
(To himself)
Guess I’m in Hollywood now for sure.

He goes to the small refrigerator and gets a Coors Light. He sits on the bed, takes the remote and watches the 5 O’clock news. There’s some live car chase on the 5 freeway. After finishing the beer he calls a current student at the Music School.

FRANK
Sean, this is Frank. The guy from Texas. We’ve emailed each other about the school.

SEAN
Yeah dude. What ya doing?

FRANK
Awe, nothing. Just searching for apartments. Hope to find one before my flight back to Texas this Friday.

SEAN
Don’t worry man. It’ll all work out.

FRANK
So what are you doing tonight?

SEAN
Right now just chillin’. You want to meet up?

FRANK
That’d be cool. I haven’t been down to the Strip yet.

SEAN
Cool. I’d be up for it. What time you want to meet?

FRANK
Uh, how ’bout 6:30? Where can we meet? Where are you?

SEAN
You know how to get to Sunset and La Brea? I’m over there.

FRANK
I think so. Yes, at 6:30? There?

SEAN
Right on, man. I’ll see you soon.

FRANK
See ya. Bye.

After Frank hangs up he remembers what Sean told him about his life in Illinois before Hollywood.

INT. SLAUGHTER HOUSE IN ILLINOIS — DAY

Sean is shown in slaughter house clothes dealing with animals on the way to get slaughtered. He looks the same as he does in Hollywood but shorter hair.

After a few minutes, Sean walks into the boss’s office.

SEAN
(To boss)
I can’t take this anymore, I quit.
(He walks away without even letting the boss respond)

INT. INSURANCE AUTO CLAIMS OFFICE (FRANK’S PAST) — DAY

Frank is sitting at his bare cubicle. The only thing he added was his Beatles mouse pad. The telephone rings and he picks it up hesitantly after two rings.

FRANK
(With a fake pleasant voice)
This is Frank Davis. How may I help you?

VOICE
Frank there’s a Mr. Jones at the front desk for you.

FRANK
(Sighing)
Oh boy. Ok. I’ll be right down. Thanks, Susan.

Frank walks the long hallway.

FRANK
(Thinking to himself)
Some day I’ll get out of here.

Frank goes down an elevator to the next floor and through the wooden doors to the front desk. Upon entering the room, he sees a young black man with sports jerseys on and dew rag hat.

FRANK
(To Mr. Jones)
Are you Mr. Jones?

MR. JONES
I have a problem, bro. Why you not givin’ me the money, homey?

FRANK
What? What do you mean? Hey, can we go into the conference room?
(Pointing)

They both enter the room and Mr. Jones continues to stand.

MR. JONES
I’m tellin’ ya man. I got these rims and spinners. They’re worth $500. You givin’ me only $700. I need at least $1200.

FRANK
I have no authority. I’ve given you all I can. You haven’t even sent me the receipts for the rims and spinners. I need to see them for a better evaluation.

MR. JONES
Naw, naw, man. You give me more money or I’ll claim bodily injury.

FRANK
I’m sorry man. That’s all I can do.

MR. JONES
(Quickly and agitated)
That’s shit. Who’s your supervisor?

FRANK
(Quickly but not loud)
Well, okay. She may be busy now. Can you wait here?

MR. JONES
Okay, but hurry up, homey.

Frank rides elevator again and walks nervously the hall to the cubicle that supervisor sits and is on the phone. Frank sits in the chair in front of Supervisor Liz and waits.

She finally hangs up.

FRANK
(Unassertively)
Uh, Liz, uh, sorry to bother you. Um, you know that claim with Mr. Jones? Well, it’s still back and forth and he refuses to give me any receipts to his custom things on his car. He’s in the conference room now. I can’t get anywhere with him. He said that he may claim bodily injury now. I’m sorry could, could, you go talk to him?

SUPERVISOR LIZ
You say he’s here now? These claimants are something else.

FRANK
Yes he’s down in the conference room.

SUPERVISOR LIZ
I’ll go talk with him. You have the file?

FRANK
Yeah, here it is.
(Handing the file)

Frank and Liz both get up and Frank goes back to his cubicle.

FRANK
(To himself)
I’d rather be mowing lawns than this.

The full script is 139 pages.

Me In Hollywood

Me in Hollywood 1999

Flat People

Posted in Family, Good Music, Music by guittard on May 13, 2008

SAMPLE Press Articles
Enjoy!
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Nothing “Flat” About Flat People’s Bob Guittard

Bob Guittard of Flat People

Digesting music from a steady bowl of oldies, with large sprinkles of the Beatles on top, Bob Guittard developed an interest in music very early in life thanks to the combined influences of his father and brother. “I played violin and piano growing up for years, then my brother gave me one of his guitars when I was fourteen and that completely changed me forever. I taught myself to play out of Hendrix and Zeppelin tab books and immediately started writing songs and formed a band with my buddies.”
His first band, formed in the seventh grade, was called The Little Puppy Dogs. His eighth grade year saw the birth of The Daring Chapstick Officers, followed by Fandango in late high school, The Bob Guittard Band during his first year as a Radio-TV-Film major at The University of Texas at Austin, Timado in his second year of college, and on and on through a variety of front man and back up band positions until, in 2007, he formed his current enterprise Flat People. Guittard’s older brother, Jim, writes music as well. He plays sitar, guitar, trombone and he sings. Guittard’s father and grandfather both played brass instruments in their respective high school marching bands. And his mother, maternal grandmother and maternal great grandmother played violin and piano quite well, which explains how he came to choose his first instruments as a child. “[That] was kind of forced on me as a kid. I liked it for a few years then gave it up when high school hit, probably because I felt like a nerd in the orchestra would rather play the guitar.”

Guittard and his wife recently had a child of their own, a little boy named Miles, and Guittard, although he has no intention of forcing music on his son, is adamant that the boy’s time not be wasted playing video games. He’s hoping that a love of music and creativity will grow from time not spent… well… wasting time. “I think about that a lot,“ said Guittard. “He’ll always be around music and I think he won’t be able to help loving music. Kids love banging on drums so I’ll bet he’ll originally be into that. I’m definitely not going to discourage him playing music. I’m all for my kids not melting their brains and wasting the years away on video games. It seems so common these days and is such a huge waste of time. Think of all the time that could have been spent creating art, music, stories, using the imagination, whatever. I don’t get on a soapbox often, but overuse of video games for kids and overuse and prescribing of anti-depressants, especially for kids, really bugs me. I talk about that in one of the songs on my album called ‘Everybody’s Got a Syndrome Here.’”

Guittard admits that his primary musical influences as a now-seasoned songwriter vary greatly from those of his childhood. He continues to cite the Beatles as a major influence, but has added Jeff Buckley, Wilco, Neil Young, Beck, Radiohead, Air, Bob Dylan, Elliott Smith and more to the list, explaining, “All of these folks stretched themselves either musically, vocally, lyrically, or sonically. They were all so passionate and so good. These are the folks that will give me goosebumps on that long road trip at night, or make me cry, or make me wish I could write a song like that. Or angry that I didn’t.”

Guittard has floated from Dallas to Austin to Los Angeles and back again in a quest for creative and musical fulfillment. Originally from Dallas, his move to Austin was prompted by both his desire to attend the University of Texas and Austin’s “vibrant history of music.” Two months after he graduated college, he moved to Los Angeles – following in the footsteps of his brother who had moved there two years earlier and was deeply embedded in the “darker coming” of the 60s era rock revival – hoping to satisfy two dreams. The first was simply to pursue his music. The second was to utilize the RTVF degree he’d earned in college.
“I had aspirations, like everyone else in that town, of becoming the next big screenwriter, director or producer of films. Once I got out to L.A. it was cool, but I figured out that I wasn‘t that into pursuing the film dream and, once I‘d decided that, I figured I didn‘t really need to live in L.A. to do something special with my number one love, music.”
While in L.A. Guittard joined a couple of different bands and played regularly on the Sunset Strip, but didn’t stay long enough to focus on his own music as much as he would have liked to. He said that his time there contained several “dark and low points” which matured him a great deal. His car was stolen and totaled, and he had broken up with his girlfriend, a girl he knew he wanted to spend his life with.
“It made me think a lot. The beach, writing songs, and the upright piano I rented weekly helped me get through it. The journey there was a necessary evil that I look back on fondly.”
Guittard moved back to Dallas in 2002 both in the hopes of getting a “real” job (in case his musical aspirations didn’t work out), and reconnecting with the girl who would later become his wife.
“I’m not planning on leaving Dallas any time soon unless there is a really compelling reason to. Although I’d love to just take off and travel the world, I’ve got some pretty firm roots here and I’m really happy being sedentary for now.”

Art imitates life for Guittard and his music. He stated, “I tend to write about what’s going on in my life, what I’m going through, what’s got me down or up, or general things or insecurities I’ve noticed as I walk through life. Sometimes it’s in the form of a narrative disguised as other folks and sometimes it’s in a vague metaphorical journey that may make sense to me, but no one else. I’m not sure whether it hits home for others or not, but it makes me happy so I’m good with that.” According to SAMPLE Press Music Writer, Jason Manriquez, Guittard’s lyrics are “a cut-and-paste collage of image-laden tongue twisters and fantastical descriptions of everyday occurrences.”
Guittard said of his songwriting style, “I hope [people] think about the lyrics. My songs, I think, are naturally emotive in terms of how they make me feel so I hope they strike a chord with other people. I’d hate to make a record that fails to stir up some emotion in my listeners. What’s the point if not? I’ve never been one to enjoy an entire album of light, fluffy material.”

Guittard’s decision to work with Nourallah on his album was not one that he came by blithely. Although he’d seen Nourallah play a couple of live shows and loved the music, his interest wasn’t peaked until he read the Dallas Observer article regarding the troubled relationship between Salim and his brother, Faris.
“After doing some research, I figured out that he was also a great producer, really putting out some great music. So, because I loved his approach to music and songwriting, I knew he’d be a great fit to work with me on producing my album. I emailed him and he actually said a friend of his had told him about my music already, which was cool. It just seemed like it was meant to be. I later met with him and gave him my songs and he was really excited, so we began the journey together. I can’t say enough about how great that studio experience was.”

The name, Flat People, did not come about until after the studio recording was complete and the final mixing was in progress.
“We were wrapping up the mixing and I was trying my best to take a step back and look objectively back through the song lyrics and general themes that make up the record. Flat People is the result. Vague, I know.”
Vague indeed. But, unraveling the nuances and mysteries behind Guittard’s music and the Flat People name is the link that binds the listener to the sound. However vague it may be, you are guaranteed to be entranced by it.
— Jennifer Manriquez

(Photos courtesy of Bob Guittard)
Copyright: SAMPLE Press, 2008

The BJM Dallas Show

Posted in Good Music, Music, Neo-psychedelia, Psychedelic by guittard on May 10, 2008

Journal entry from August 13, 2005

I caught the BJM show here in Dallas on Saturday night. It was different but really glad Anton chose to play. The preceding shows in Palm Beach Florida and Orlando were cancelled. The Quarter After, the opener, was good as usual. I had seen them in L.A.

Before the show, when I spoke to Rob, he said Anton’s voice was not up to par so they were kinda nervous about the show. I was going to say hello to Anton but decided I didn’t want to bother him with talk cause I figured he would be in his zone about the show. Anton was sitting at the sound board before the show. I got a good picture of him at the board with his thumbs up. Glad it wasn’t the middle finger.

Anton – Before Dallas Show

Anton - Dallas, Texas - Trees

After the Quarter After played, there was Innaway led by Reid Black. They were a Pink Floydish band from Philadelphia. It was cool and mellow. After Innaway, the crowd was getting anxious. The whole place was packed. I was rather pleased for Anton. I couldn’t even walk around. It was shoulder to shoulder. I had seen BJM at the same place 2 years prior and it was a pretty good crowd but not like shoulder to shoulder.

As I stood in the audience, the BJM brought out all their gear and set up but I wondered where’s Anton? The band patiently waited on stage smoking cigarettes and tuning and retuning etc. I looked around and Anton was on the board again DJ’ing music, kinda trippy hip-hop beat type stuff. It sounded really cool. Anton had his head phones on creating a vibe. I wish I knew what he was playing. That went on for 30 minutes. The band was ready to go and Anton was jamming out with his head phones still on at the sound board. I thought it was great. After probably 6 or so songs, the lights went low and Anton emerged onto stage.

He got on the mic pretty quick, “Anton style.” He was real nice though and the audience I thought was pretty good. They didn’t heckle him too much. Anton laid down the law from the start.

Anton Laying Down the Law

Anton - Dallas, Texas - Trees

He said, “Texas had been real good to him and the band.” He didn’t want to cancel the show. He said that he couldn’t really sing that night. He said something like, “Look, I’m your guest; treat your guests right. If ya want to kill someone, go to Iraq. You be patient!” That was classic talk.

He explained that he would show us how they make up songs. He had his drummer start a hip hop beat and they all joined in. At one point he told his bassist to try not to lead for once or something like that. They jammed out this instrumental for probably 20 minutes.

I saw a couple of people walk out but I’m sure they had never seen the BJM before. Anton ends the instrumental song and says something like, “Well who in the audience can sing?”

Some guy with a cowboy hat on and sunglasses came up on stage to sing the first song “Sailor.” Anton made it clear that he would throw him out the door and never let him back in if he was a fuck up
or “pissed in the well.”

Anton and Cowboy

Anton With Cowboy-Hatted Fan

The songs they played were:
Unknown Jam
Sailor*
Nevertheless*
Whoever You Are#
Nailing Honey to the Bee#
Who?
This is Why You Love Me#
Jennifer*
Jennifer restart#
When Jokers Attack#
Unknown Jam

* – random fan(s) on vocals
# – Rob Campanella on vocals
? – Reid Black

As a girl came up to sing Jennifer, Anton said her name was Jennifer. She piped up it was “Jill.” There were a few false starts on that song. The girl was eventually told to get off and someone else came up. Rob stepped up to the mic to help out and did a good job. He did “This Is Why You Love Me.”

Rob C. Drops Some Rhymes

Rob C. Singing BJM vocals

Several times during the show Anton said something like you don’t know me just because of some movie. And at least “I don’t give up.” Wise words.

The BJM played from 12 midnight to a little after 2. It was great that Anton let some fans help out. We are in this all together, right? Screw all this attacking stuff.

Betcha those fans who sang up there will remember for ever. I’m not disappointed.

Rob Sells Revolution Products

Rob C. Selling Revolution Products

Anton with FanThe Quarter AfterAnton Laying the Law DownDominic and Rob of the QAReid Black of Innaway Helping Out the BJM