Max Koch Uncorked

Wine-soaked adventures through a twisted life…

I Wanna Be Better

So here was my day yesterday:

I woke up, fed my dogs, shoved breakfast, and out ran to the market for a few items.

I came back, hopped online, hooked up my Skype, and co-interviewed bassist Kira Roessler from the legendary punk group Black Flag for the Cutting Room Movie Podcast show that I do (I asked her about sleeping in a van with Henry Rollins, if she was attracted to his musculature…and vet bills, among other inquires). Then I showered up, ordered in some lunch for two, and awaited the arrival of my dear ol’ buddy, Brett Pearsons. We have collaborated on several creative projects in the past (going all the way back to the 90’s! Phew!), but we still can’t seem to finish this screenplay we started in…are you ready? 2006!

So Brett shows up and the next thing you know we’re eating and pacing (well, he’s pacing) and reading what we’ve written so far (two very solid acts), taking notes, cracking each other up, and trying to figure out what the hell Act 3 of this thing is gonna be for the next several hours. It’s a very daunting task. In fact, the dumbest thing we ever did was start writing a horror movie without outlining it first. I have since learned – duh – that is NOT the way.

Then, for shits and giggles, we put away the script and took at look at Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort. Don’t get wrong. It’s NOT The Babadook. But we still had so much fun with it. I mean, Brett and I will literally sit there (if the flick is just abysmal) and offer up commentary on everything from how lousy the dialogue is, how inept the direction and FX are, how lame the American accents on the foreign actors sound (even though this series takes place in the Appalachian Mountains, they are mainly shot in Bulgaria these days). Shit, we’ll even employ the use of LASER POINTERS to literally point out the things we find goof-worthy. It’s a sincere favorite pastime of ours. And, in many twisted ways, we still feel like we’re somehow getting “work” done.

But to what end…?

Next thing you know, the afternoon is GONE and it’s time to feed the dogs again. Brett and I wind up in another fairly dire discussion about middle-age and ailments and how hard it is to get anything done anymore, and–well…before you know it, Brett’s on his way home and I’m sitting on my couch, exhausted and questioning my abilities in all aspects of my life. And this was AFTER I had to record a voice-over audition, attempting to make HORSE sounds. Yeah, sometimes the agents will send you animal sound auditions and I never manage to submit for those because, well, I’m not very good at animal sounds. No, in fact, I’m dead terrible at ’em! Good thing I have relatively understanding agents.

And so this has been…a basic day in the life of Max.

Listen, if all this sounds really sad, it’s only because it’s supposed to. I ASSURE you, however, that I haven’t lost my humor on all this, this…evident new wave of mid-life crisis. I’m also hopeful that my ships haven’t all sailed on me because I’m going to be 45 in August. I’ve achieved a lot of great things in my life and I’m very fortunate to have such great friends who suffer me and an amazing wife who’s so supportive of all I do and refuses to give up on me (as of this writing, anyway). But I still think I can do better. I think I can do better and I wanna BE better. I wanna be better organized. I wanna be better at booking jobs. I wanna be a better husband and friend and uncle and creative collaborator.

So this morning I decided to take a day to re-group, re-evaluate, make a schedule for next week, update my list of goals…and go pick up my contact lens prescription from Costco (groan). And, y’know, post this all-over-the-map blog entry.

It was so fascinating to talk to Kira because here is a woman who played bass in a famous punk rock band back in the 80’s, who’s now an Emmy award-winning dialogue editor in her middle-age. She’s living her life and doing her work and worships her dogs (like I do), and really doesn’t seem to care to associate herself with her past very much. In fact, she basically re-invented herself. Which is obviously what I’ve been trying to do with Uncorked. I mean, can you imagine if I was still the YouTube Tony Soprano guy? How depressing would that be? In fact, I look to Kira’s former bandmate Henry Rollins for inspiration on a regular basis! He’s a real HERO in my eyes. A gnarly dude who seamlessly ascended to new and greater heights in HIS middle age! And he’s 54!

Aw, man. Where did all the time go? I was a young punk once myself. A brass, crass, arrogant little shit who used to believe his mother’s premonition that he’d win an Oscar by 32. I even told Kira in the end that I loved and appreciated ALL versions of her.

That’s ANOTHER problem! Too many Max Kochs! The guy who draws, the guy who acts, the guy who takes snapshots of dirty panties he finds in the streets, the guy who oftentimes just wants to give it all up because he gets so discouraged and go work in a Paso Robles tasting room. Or become a US Postal worker.

It’s all so exhausting these days. Just wanna…sleep. This post alone is making me drowsy.

No! Stop! Don’t get tired. Don’t give up. Gotta keep working. Gotta keep working and getting my shit together. I wanna be better.

WINE PAIRING: Feel free to snicker away at a beat-up, cragged-out, 44-year-old Max Koch sipping away 2012 Late Harvest Wine (a dessert number) from Fiddlehead called “Sweetie” while he sits on the couch (on ice for his lower back, no less) and gripes to his long-suffering partner about how he feels depressed and unloved. How he feels like a screw-up and a loser. How he feels like his mid-life crisis is back with a vengeance. How much he just wants to be…better.


  1. Max, ya big lunkhead! How can you be discouraged by your life? Read your post again! Most people would give two nuts AND the sack to be doing the things you’re doing. And we’re not even talking about the dirty panties!