Friday, August 31, 2007

Average American Male

I was at the gym Thursday and this girl was on the elliptical next to mine, and about halfway through my set her iPod fell on my right sneaker.

Literally fell on my sneaker. One of those newer iPod shuffles, the size of a stamp.

I paused. Bent down, retrieved the iPod and turned toward her. It's hard to get a good look at the person working out right next to you without being too obvious. But I had her iPod shuffle, which gave me an excuse to look at her directly. I didn't bother taking my earbuds out, so for all intents and purposes I was deaf. But she was quite pretty and I smiled at her as I returned her iPod—and she smiled back a little sheepishly. And we had that moment.

A moment that dissipated. Because I still had a good half an hour to go before I'd even consider pulling my earbuds out.

Couldn't find her when I got done. Not that I had any game plan if I did find her.

After the gym, I went to hang out at Starbucks, which has been my routine the entirety of the past week. SPF gave me a $25 Starbucks gift certificate at the beginning of the summer, and my aim's been to use it all up this week.

So I go to Starbucks and I read about 2 pages of a book over the course of about 45 minutes. Reading the same paragraph over and over because I am so distracted by the parade of pretty women. A pretty woman walks in—or walks by the window—and I take a moment to imagine the entirety of my life with her before the next pretty woman wanders by. And I steal my glance.

And I talk to no one. For all they know, I am completely enraptured by the book I seem to be reading. And thusly, Malice remains alone for the remainder of his days...

"You are sooo gonna die alone," yawped the Gay Horse.

Galaxy of Emptiness Shuffled 5:
1. "All of My Love", Led Zeppelin
2. "Take the Picture Off", RJD2
3. "Ensurance Trap", Michael Andrews
4. "Celebration", Kanye West
5. "Suzy Lee", The White Stripes
Lonely Bonus:
"Galaxy of Emptiness", Beth Orton

Goodbye, August—don't let the door hit yer erse on the way out, you fucking nutter!

Wake me up when September's got some good news for me, yeh...?

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Don't you just love weddings??

I fucking adore them rotten.

So here's the deal, and it's sort of an preemptive apology...

My dear, dear friends Emma & Nick got married over the weekend and I bought them a Nintendo Wii as a wedding gift. They had registered for it on Amazon(.com), so it wasn't a completely random offering. I guess it should serve as a backstory that Emma had been wanting to try out my Wii for months, and I just never got around to inviting them over to the Fortress of Solitude 2.0...

Thing is, truth told, I've bought them a product that I don't entirely believe in.

As astonishingly successful as the console has been, I don't really know one Wii-owner whose Wii isn't collecting dust right now.

It's the videogame console for people who don't really play videogames, which is theoretically brilliant... but in effect, you wind up with a console that offers tremendously shallow gameplay. The most successful games seem to be the ones that are a collection of mini-games. And some of those games can be fucking fun. But let me tell you, the fun runs out... and you're left with a pricey box that only gets fondled when there's some curious party-goers who want to see what all the fuss is about...

I want to be wrong, though. I want E+N to really get a kick out of the Wii. I want them to embrace it as their only console. I want to recommend and let them borrow games I think they'd enjoy.

You buy folks a wedding gift, you hope it's going to be something they can cherish for years. I just don't want to think that I've purchased them an expensive dust-catcher.

xXx xXx xXx


Subject: FS, Lightly Used Wii, $350 (or best offer)

Literally played with it for just about 5 minutes total, then packed it back into the box. Call Emma @ ###-###-#### for info on pickup.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Military Industrial Complex

Technology & Warfare: they're like peanut butter & chocolate, eh?

I was watching the documentary "Why We Fight". It focuses on Eisenhower's use of the term military industrial complex in his farewell address:
A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction...

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.
We're a long way from World War II, though. We've got misplaced power all over the place...

What we've got today is a Frankenstein monster. Way too big. Way too powerful. Far more than what we need. We've got some Big Daddies patrolling the earth.

But if you want to play a game, BIOSHOCK is fucking insane. Been a while since I've been this into a videogame... it's absolutely incredible. Forget the future, America. Let's play some motherfucking XBOX!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

You Should Be Ashamed of What You Have Eaten

You know, I recall there was some dissent about my christening my UWS apartment "The Fortress of Solitude 2.0"... I guess because it didn't seem as cold and prison-like as the original place... but in this odd way it's more of a FOS than the FOS 1.0!

I actually entertained people in the FOS 1.0. I had parties and screenings. Held rehearsals. I enjoyed having people over.

The 2.0, despite being in a far nicer neighborhood, has remained largely off-limits, with rare exceptions. It just can't accommodate many people. Even having one person over makes it feel a lot more cumbersome.

Quiet week, this week. The time around these big holiday weekends is usually pretty quiet, as the suits go off on holidays. I'm trying to see if I can hatch a new screenplay this week, just to have something else going. (An action movie, I think.)

I've got work cut out for me if I want to be able to afford a Fortress of Solitude 3.0 big enough to have people over...

Monday, August 27, 2007

August Mourning

Last week of August. Did everybody have a good summer? Did you get to do everything you wanted to do?

Growing up, this time of year used to fill me with dread. The threat of school loomed large. Every year up through 12th grade was a fucking horror... summer was ending, freedom was ending, and it was time to head back into gen-pop...

During the college years, it shifted into something more positive. Fall semester was exciting. I had my friends queued up and there was always the dimly thrilling promise of meeting new (female) people...

Now... I don't know what this time of year is. Technically, this is just another week leading up to a holiday weekend.

This should be a quiet week. But anything can happen these days. I was just going to kick back a little, but I've been thinking about using some of this quiet time to start work on a new play. Though, I should really work on revisions of two older screenplays. The new play would make me happier, but revising the screenplays would be smarter.

I can't even let myself have a sleepy, non-writing week...

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Was there really any doubt that I would kick ass at Nick & Emma's wedding...??

I channeled Spalding Gray for my speech. With maybe a touch of David Sedaris. And MegaMan.

Wedding reception audiences tend to be very generous, but I was a bit taken aback by how generous this one was. I was getting laughs where I was anticipating dead silences. Some huge laughs I didn't think I earned. I couldn't have wished for a better audience. They were with me every step of the way... it was like a fixed fight.

As hard as I've been working on my screenplay the past few months, I think I had really been more anxious about giving this speech. Honestly, the past month, the past several weeks, I kept thinking, "I've got to give a speech at the end of August..." And I couldn't really relax because I wanted it to be good.

It kind of reminds me what I used to like about performing. When it's really working, you're having this dialogue with the audience. You're making a vital connection with a large number of people, all at once. When it works, it feels incredible. One of the best sensations in the world...

But I can't handle it.

There's a reason I'm a writer, and it's coz I'm chickenshit. My little speech may have gone off well, but I worried myself to death over it. I get way too much performance anxiety. Even if it's just the appropriate amount of performance anxiety, it's too much for me...

It must be said, as jaded and cynical as I've (had to) become, I was genuinely moved by Nick & Emma's ceremony. Partially coz I've known Nick so long, partially coz they're so clearly good together and I'm truly fond of both of them. (Primarily Emma; Nick to a slightly lesser degree.) Trust me, I get fucking disgusted by seeing other people happy. But these is good people. I know them and I know their families.

I'm great with other people's families because I'm like a quirky coffee table ornament. I'm the perfect conversation-starter. Wind him up and watch him go!

I am so relieved that speech is behind me. Now I can really unwind...

Let's party, kids! C'mon, let's go!

Friday, August 24, 2007


Sooo... I get to do public speaking tomorrow... at a wedding. Two things I adore! LUCKY.

I've got experience performing, and public speaking. And weddings are generally pretty easy audiences. But I still get all anxious and shit. I've sketched out the entirety of my speech in my head, but I've got to write it down coz I'm totally going to blank. And I want to make it as easy as possible for myself.

I don't mean to bitch and moan about it. I just don't want to fuck it up and I won't really be able to relax until they finish booing me off the stage, Amateur-Night-at-the-Apollo style.

I cannot wait till my part's done. Maybe when I've written it all down, it'll seem less daunting... by the time I get up to the mic, I want to be on autopilot...

I did get my doorknob fixed yesterday, so that's a good sign.

"To Emma and Nick," toasted the Gay Horse. "The fuck is so hard about that?!"

NickEmma Shuffled 5:
1. "The Dope Show", Marilyn Manson
2. "For Today I Am A Boy", Antony and the Johnsons
3. "Knockin' On Heaven's Door", Guns N' Roses
4. "You're Crazy", Guns N' Roses
5. "Everybody's Got Something To Hide But Me And My Monkey", Beatles
Toaster Bonus:
"Touched by the Sun", Carly Simon



Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Night Without Dreaming

Unfathomable anxiety and then... total release.

I'm not going to worry about my fucking career for AT LEAST the rest of this week.

I can't describe what a relief that is. Just a bit over a year ago, I was at my old day job and I got the call from Paramount saying they wanted to option my play. And I haven't really stopped stressing about it since then...

Honestly, I think part of what was fucking me up was some of the theater stuff I was juggling. Every time I had a break from the screenwriting, I had to deal with some slice of (musical) theater hell and I never got a break.

Well, I shook that loose. If I'm gonna be writing full time, I'm gonna write stuff that means something to me. And I'm gonna take the time to decompress from the insane writing weeks like last week.

Oh man, I've got to give a wedding toast this weekend... whose BRILLIANT idea was that?!

"Let's have someone who calls himself 'Malice Highload' deliver a toast at our wedding, sweetie!"

The Groom: "In hindsight... I have no idea what we were thinking..."


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

All right, so I got my precious phone call Tuesday night...

Things are cool. If you don't know and I haven't mentioned it here, there's the threat of Writers Guild, Actors Guild and Directors Guild strikes coming up. Hollywood production slates are being divided between the potential pre-strike and post-strike movies. So the big question is whether or not MY SCRIPT gets to be a pre-strike movie—which is what we're gunning for.

Things are looking good but we won't really know for about two more weeks... which means I can relax a little.

And though it caused me some concern, it seems that Paramount's big HD-DVD announcement should not affect our project at all. Of course, I only know however much they tell me, but it's still an immense relief.

Had a good lunch meeting with an ICM agent. My script is now officially sent off to all the major agencies. (Before this, it was only leaked.) Things are progressing nicely. If I seem less than ebullient, it's coz I'm stressed out of my fucking gourd coz I don't know what's going on half the time.

What I want is for "The Butcherhouse Chronicles" to get made and to remain the sole writer for it. All I want is for that to be my first credit and to build upon that.

My career's the only fucking thing I've got going for me right now. It's the one thing I want to get right. Before I sort out the other aspects of my life.

Everybody hear that Axl Rose contributes some vocals to Sebastian Bach's new album?

I like this comment that was left on the article:

Jeff | 8/21/2007, 9:29 pm EST

Hey Axl, you’re almost 46 now. Put out your fuckin’ record already!

I’ve been waiting for Chinese Democracy since 1994. I got a new kitten that year and she’s been dead for two years now. Do you get my point??


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

News Blackout

No word Monday.

This happens. I get rush weeks like last week and then I get "sit tight" weeks. Like this week. Meetings take place and I don't know what the fuck's going on till someone calls me.

Which is fucking excruciating. Coz it's hard to plan ahead for the week.

Hopefully some news today. Till then, here's an old Kat Von D interview. Filed under "Things That Only Malice Cares About".


Monday, August 20, 2007

King of Carrot Flowers

It has been one surreal fucking weekend. Every so often, I force myself outside of my comfort zone just to see what happens. But in this funny way, altogether, I think I've had the best time I've had in a long while.

Friday night, I capped off a crazy week of writing by baking a ginormous cookie with J-squad and watching "The Boy Who Left Home to Find Out About the Shivers". Which will probably be the name of my memoir.

Saturday night, I made myself try that speed-dating thing—which was akin to jumping out of an airplane for me. Afterwards, me and some friends went and [CENSORED ANECDOTE]... and the night actually ended on an up-note.

Sunday, I met up with some really old school friends who I hadn't really seen since my own ill-fated wedding. My friend Stevie got married way back in October and finally got around to having his wedding reception, which was this crazy, catered BBQ affair in Long Island.

I'd forgotten how loaded Stevie's dad is. They had valet parking, and this big tent set up with plasma screens playing a continuous loop of pictures. The food was amazing, and they had this woman spinning cotton candy, and live musicians... I didn't really know anyone, but I was chilling with my old friend Ruthie and her husband Bodie, and their three-legged dog, "Uncle Pete". (Incidentally, the second three-legged dog I've met named Pete. Is it some sort of sick inside-joke among dog-owners?)

Felt good to interact with such an eclectic range of people this weekend, after being cooped up writing for such an intense stretch of time.

I found out that screenwriter Tony Gilroy owns a townhouse pretty close to where I live. Through some circuitous bit of circumstance, my friend James was hanging out there recently. Helen Mirren happened to be staying at the house—and James had no idea who she was—and he just popped his head into her room and said, "Hey, we're ordering Chinese food, you want anything?"

Helen Mirren politely declined his offer.

This anecdote is much funnier if you know James—who probably thought she was just some old lady who might like to eat some fucking Chinese food.

Anyway, I want to own my own townhouse in my neighborhood. Then Helen Mirren could have TWO places to stay.


Sunday, August 19, 2007


I guess this is going to be a Kat Von D week, eh?

So... last night, I tried out speed-dating. I figured I wrote a speed-dating scene into my last play, it's only fair that I should try it at least once.

Oh my fucking Christ, was it excruciating. One of the most awkward hours I've ever bought. Maybe as bad as I could have imagined.

Toward the end, it got slightly easier. With this one girl, I dispensed with the whole "What do you do?" routine and asked her if she'd done this speed-dating thing before. Apparently, she had, several times.

"Do you see the same people over and over again? " I asked, as if conducting research. "Isn't it awkward if you get the same guy and you've got to spend another 4 minutes with him?"

"It's not too bad," she said, contemplatively. "We're all adults here. If there was no chemistry, there was no chemistry. It turns into a sort of community..."

"Why do you keep going?"

"The way I figure, it's like a lottery. You've got to be in it to win it. Maybe that one time you go, you're going to meet that person... who's just there that one time."

A rational philosophy. But I think I may have to retire myself from that scene. At least until desperation gets the better of me again. And you KNOW I was using my Hollywood shit as if it were a life raft! It's the entirety of my game. I've just got to figure out how to parlay that into some motherfucking better times...


Friday, August 17, 2007

L.A. Ink

Pardon me for turning this blog into a lad-magazine, but Kat Von D is the hottest goddamn thing on the fucking planet, as far as I'm concerned. Insane bod, incredible tats and that deep, husky smoker's voice. She's the embodiment of Awesome. She's an adolescent fantasy come to life.

[When I first started seeing the posters and commercials for the show, I actually thought it was Marilyn Manson's ex-wife.]

I didn't really watch a lot of Miami Ink, but I find L.A. Ink positively mesmerizing. From what I saw of her on the Miami show, I thought she was kind of a bitch because she seemed really stingy about what she would and would not tattoo. But the new show is all hers and they do a good job of setting her up as a likable protagonist. Rock & roll girl coming back home to L.A. to start up her own tattoo shop... with an (almost) all-female roster of tattoo artists.

Paradise city...
("Kat eating hairless pussy.")

Maybe I can write a script that features a hot female tattoo artist... which would give me an excuse to hang out at her shop and ask her questions and shit. While I scribble down her answers in my little fucking notebook, like some starry-eyed schoolgirl getting an interview for her junior high newspaper.

I do think I should get my next tattoo in L.A. somewhere. Not necessarily the very next time I fly out there, but at some point...
Speaking of ink in L.A., I'm sending them 110 pages of it today...

It's been a slightly mad scramble this week, trying to get it done—but I'm more surprised that I've gotten it done ahead of the severe deadlines. Got notes Tuesday, turned in a preliminary draft Thursday, got notes through Thursday night... and I think I've managed to address them all now. 1:10am.

Spoke with one of the execs Thursday night. She took the time to give me a little pep talk, explained what was gonna happen. She said now's the time to let my producers (Platinum Dunes) go to work. They'll meet with the Paramount boss, convey their enthusiasm for the project. I'll have a big studio head reading my script this weekend...

Next week, she says, will be a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure. But I'll hear SOMETHING from them on Monday.

Then she said something funny. She said, "You're talented and you know it." She's not the first person who's ever said this to me, but it always strikes me as a strange compliment. It seems to imply that I'm cocky. I don't think I come off as cocky. On this blog, SURE, but I think I try to be extremely humble in my dealings with people—almost to a fault. Then why do people say that to me?

"Maybe coz you're one cocky motherfucker!" huffed the Gay Horse.

"Don't ack like you don't like it," crooned Malice.

Kat Von D Shuffled 5:
1. "My Father, My Heart", Kemuli String Band
2. "Don't You (Forget About Me)", Billy Idol
3. "Bowtie", Outkast
4. "Oh Comely", Neutral Milk Hotel
5. "Falls to Climb", R.E.M.
Malice-Needs-to-Get-Out-More Bonus:
"Good Love Never Dies", Liz Phair

TGIF Laugh Corner:

(ALSO: Uwe Boll is a genius in his own mind!)

Postscript: I don't want to name names, but *somebody's* fancily-labeled homemade THE WIRE SEASON 4, DISC 1 DVD doesn't work...! Three DVD-ROM drives and one PS3 agree.



Thursday, August 16, 2007

Hang in There!

Still busy writing.

Michael Bay is reading the draft this weekend, so I'm under the gun...

(Literally, Martin Lawrence is holding a gun to my head.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I Haz Deadlines

I'm busy writing.

Watch the new Batman musical:

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Happiest Days of Our Lives

Watched The War Tapes. Toward the end of the documentary, the soldiers we've been following are sent back home, and there's a big parade, and all the loved-ones show up to welcome them back -- girlfriends, wives, families...

Then we see a small group of soldiers who aren't hugging anybody, and one of them says,

"Where's the losers-with-no-family section?"

I think that's my permanent fucking address:

The Losers-With-No-Family Section.

I could go off to Antarctica for a year, come back, and NOBODY would be waiting to see me!


(Friends don't count, by the way. As much as I cherish them, I've got more than enough coupled-up friends to fucking remind me that I am the odd man out, thankyouverymuch!)

At childhood I managed to choose the perfect profession to help me not meet anyone. I'm a fucking writer!!! Thank you, Child Malice.

Another conference call this afternoon, to discuss the new draft and the improvements I can make to it by Friday. BIG FRIDAY DRAFT. I can do this. My social life may be a fragmented mess, but I know I can write. I can get my work done.

Maybe I should call back that stripper who called me the other week. I wonder if she's still alive...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Delivered Fresh

Finished the new draft. Draft to submit Monday, to get feedback for the draft due Friday. Got that?

This draft didn't turn out to be that rough, actually. I paced myself so it wasn't as much a race against the clock as the last one. Hopefully they respond well to this so I won't have to scramble to address a million notes for Friday's deadline.

I've worked on this screenplay adaptation longer and harder than I worked on the original play! In fact, I've probably worked on this screenplay harder than I've worked on any piece of writing I've ever done. (Save for this blog entry; I put a lot of thought into this pile of virtua-dookie.)

Have people seen those DirecTV commercials where they re-imagine famous scenes from movies into pay-tv shills? I was convinced that ALIENS commercial used some strange CGI to get Sigourney Weaver to look that young, but supposedly they do most of that practically. Here's a blog entry that writes about the ads, so I don't have to.

And can you believe the brass balls on this Giuliani motherfucker?

"On 9/11 all he did was run. He got that soot on him, and I don't think he's taken a shower since."

Amen to that, brother.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Daft Punked

Remember that concert film the Beastie Boys made by editing footage from 50 audience members who shot one of their concerts with camcorders?

Well, Daft Punk tried to do that at Coney Island Thursday night. And because I had a ticket and a DV camera, I volunteered to shoot an hour's worth of footage for them. Their pay?

$1. CASH.
The ticket itself was about $50. And 10¢ of that $1 belongs to my lawyer.

Hell, I thought it might be fun. And it had been a while since I'd fucked around with the old camera, so I figured this would give me a nice excuse.

When the amateur videographer brigade checked in, we were each assigned a specific area to cover. Of course, the thing was General Admission, and the place got packed, and it took great effort just to wield the fucking camera for a good hour amidst the bumping sea of bodies.

But the best part was, despite all the big signs around the fucking venue, the illiterate motherfucking Daft Punk fans around me just assumed that the people like me with DV cameras were just shooting for our own amusement, or for some bootleg thing. The glares from certain people said, "Why would you bring a camera like that to this concert, you asshole?"

Two cocksuckers behind me made a running commentary of the footage I tried to obtain. Right behind me. As if they assumed I was deaf or only understood Cantonese.

An hour-long miniDV tape. Most of the footage: crap. I kept my eye on the timer, shut down at 60 minutes, and got the fuck out of there. A shame, perhaps, because the music was really good. But I was just annoyed as all fuck and I wanted out of that unclefucking crowd.

Dropped off my miniDV tape at the exit; they gave me a nifty Daft Punk t-shirt as a bonus. And they should be sending a CD and/or DVD to me in the mail. My name better be in the credits.

No Gay Horse or Shuffled-5 today. I hurt, everybody hurts.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


I know a lot of people who don't like "E" on Entourage. He's my favorite fucking character on the show.

My take is, Vincent Chase is sort of a pain in the ass. He's the movie star, effortlessly charismatic. The sun in the sky that the world bends toward. So he's cocky and fickle and he causes problems because he doesn't really know what he wants, and he's easy to sway.

Eric's the guy trying to keep him on track. Eric's the guy who's trying to keep Vince's career moving forward, while everyone else just wants to have a good time. Ari's more concerned with the big deals, but Eric is looking at the longer arc of Vince's career. Throughout the series, Eric's trying to be taken seriously, he's trying to rise above the stigma of being the manager who's really just the movie star's best friend. He wants to be legitimate.

I'm sorting through the sudden interest of managers and agents right now. An ideal place to be, but it's fucking daunting. You want someone who's going to help you get a career with some longevity. Not someone who's just interested in the residual heat you've got in the short term.

I need to build a prosperous career so that I can get a better apartment with a building super without psychological problems who's worth—at least—shit. A one-bedroom in a decent location. That's my new dream, sad as that may be.

There's that stupid old saying, "It's lonely at the top." Well, it was fucking lonely at the bottom, and it's fucking lonely on the way up... so what hope is there??

Maybe I should consider visiting my old therapist. Ahhh, but she'd just give me crap. I don't wanna pay someone to give me crap...

Anyway, um... yeah, I like Entourage.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I See What You Were Trying To Do Here

Conference call went well, clarified some notes for me. Got some good ideas from the collective mind.

A friend gave me a good analogy for this work. It's trying to hit a moving target. The more people get added to the mix, the more that target moves around.

There are certain types of notes that are frustrating. The ones that are vague, like "This doesn't work, can you come up with something... *better*?" Because "better" is infinite, and they've usually got a specific idea in mind that they're just not articulating.

Arguably the most difficult is the note that comes back to you asking you to fix something you think you've already fixed. At the risk of alienating non-fans of The Simpsons here, I'd like to reference the baseball-themed Simpsons episode "Homer at the Bat", wherein Mr. Burns repeatedly demands that Don Mattingly shave his sideburns. By the end, Mattingly's got a mohawk and Burns still insists that his sideburns are too long.

Best bit from the conference call was when one of the execs pointed out a line and said, "Now I see what you were trying to do here..." Because in the whirlwind of notes, it seemed to be a small acknowledgment that I did put some thought into the work. And there was an attempt to understand what I put into it.

But the call went well, it was very productive. And I'm not at all precious with anything. Slash and burn. Got to be careful not to cut the bits that THEY think are precious.

New deadlines. Preliminary draft due Monday/Tuesday, so I can get more feedback and make 11th hour adjustments for an official Friday draft submission. And then... I put my faith in God.

(A God that doesn't exist.)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Development Heaven

Another draft, another pile of feedback...

In a weird way, it reminds me of my old day job. You could be working on a pitchbook for weeks and months. Some of those projects, you would dread having to edit because they were complex and customized. And you would make all the edits and the damn thing would just come back to you with more edits.

So in that odd way, all those years at that day job prepared me for the sheer grind of this script development process. It's more personal because I'm responsible for all the content here. But at least I'm not dealing with excel graphs.

Then again, excel graphs are easier because they're either right or they're wrong. Some of the notes I need to deal with are a lot more vague...

I kind of feel like I'm throwing darts with a blind-fold on. And I've got people yelling directions at me, trying to get me to hit a bullseye.

I've got a big conference call this afternoon, to go over all the notes they sent me. A barrage of barking voices. And me sitting on my bed, cell phone to my ear, scribbling notes down in my little notebook. This is the glamorous life I fought so hard for. Stupid kid...
A little consumer warning, for those of you who consume. Read about cramming. Check your cell phone bill.

PeoplePC is a scam.

(This didn't affect me, but it affected a friend, and I've had shit like this before.)

Expect me to be a bit scarce over the next two weeks. I've got a concert thing Thursday night, but other than that I'm in firedrill mode for the next two weeks. With the goal of turning in my next draft on the 17th.

Monday, August 06, 2007

In the Ghetto

Caught up on my NetFlix this anticlimactic weekend. Been tearing through The Corner, to get me my THE-WIRE-fix, since I haven't got to see the 4th season yet. (Clearing throat.)

I knew what a "loosie" was before seeing "The Corner". Go into a (ghetto) deli and, instead of buying a whole pack of smokes, you buy a loosie. A single cigarette for like a quarter.

Buying a whole pack would be less expensive, when you do the math. But the people who are buying loosies don't necessarily have all that money all at once. So even though they're technically spending more, it's a more affordable way for them to maintain that habit. A few quarters at a time.

Renting an apartment is like buying loosies on a bigger scale. I know I'm throwing away tons of cash. But I just can't afford to buy a whole place right now. Not on my own and probably not for a while.

And occasionally you think about how much you pay in rent and it just makes you want to murder your Russian super for not fixing your motherfucking doorknob all motherfucking weekend, MOTHERFUCKER!!!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Girl, You Gotta Go On Believin'

I can't decide who gives the best "performance" in this video: Punky Brewster or the dog. YOU DECIDE!

Five bucks says they had the same trainer.

Looks like Andy Gibb wanted to get into her pants as much as I did back then. May he rest in peace.

(I love the expression of discovery and awe on the old man's face as he pops his head into the scene.)

"George, I want you to open the top half of the door and just imagine you're witnessing the most wonderful goddamn thing you've ever seen in your entire goddamn life."

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Broken Homes & Gardens

Turned in the latest draft of my script on Friday afternoon, which I managed to bang out in a record (for me) 2.5 weeks... I was all ready to go out on the town and get hammered to celebrate...

... and then the doorknob to my apartment comes off in my hand.

Told my fucking psychotic Russian super about it, and he muttered "I fix" and tugged on his cigarette...

Now it's Saturday and that russkie motherfucker is nowhere to be found, and, as safe as my building is, I don't feel comfortable going out and leaving my fucking apartment vulnerable for hours on end...

Well, whoop-dee-fucking-doo. How cocksuckingly poetic. I sacrifice basic human interaction to get this job done, and I get to celebrate by... spending the weekend guarding my broken fucking home.

At least I've gotten to catch up on all those BIG LOVEs I've been putting off watching. (I love you, Margie...) They've upped the sex factor this season, it's kinda good.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Hell No, I Ain't Happy!

Apple-poller-jeez if I seemed a mite ungrateful in my last entry. I am VERY thankful for everyone who made it to my reading on Wednesday, especially all the long-time friends.

And—thanks to someone in the audience—I might get another reading of the play done at a regional theater in the near future. And I'm now determined to get a real production of it up eventually.

AND... an agent who's been courting me just dangled some VERY intriguing potential screenwriting gigs in front of me...

All of which buoys my spirits.

But the greatest thing is, it's 4:28 AM EST on Friday and I've just finished the latest draft of my screenplay AND read it through. And I think it's kinda cool!

Of course, I'll wake up around 10 or 11 and exploit the three-hour difference between the coasts to do a few more hours of polishing before I send it to the suits. But I really think I hit their major notes. And I did it all in less than a month (most of it this past week), which is like sooo good for me.

It may lead to some trouble if I gain a reputation for being "fast", though. Because I am really not a fast writer, by nature. Working as a "professional writer" this past year, I kind of feel like a kid who's been bumped up to the Advanced Placement class, because of his good grades... but the pace of the new class is a little faster than he's used to, and he's got to struggle to keep up.

"Sellout..." muttered the Gay Horse.

"You said that already," observed Malice.

"I hate you," said the Gay Horse.

R-Rated Shuffled 5:
1. "Cyclops", Marilyn Manson
2. "The Awful Truth", Carole King
3. "The Way You Move", Outkast
4. "B.S.A.", Brian Jonestown Massacre
5. "24 Hours", The Sounds
PG-13 Bonus:
"With Every Light", Smashing Pumpkins

TGIF Laugh Corner:
Sousaphone Hero
Fewer Boys Being Born

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Labor of Hate

Entry #1000:And so I guess the thousandth entry on Misanthropy Central has got to be a rant.

I'll preface this by saying that I thought the actual reading of my new play, "Chinadoll Overdrive", went relatively well, all things considered. They had a paucity of rehearsal time right before the show, but the actors were well-cast and they just hit the ground running. My director handled the curve-balls very well.

That said, the low crowd numbers sucked shit.

I don't want to be ungrateful, but the people who run that festival could stand to be a bit friendlier toward me. Even fucking superficially. I show up there and I swear, they regard me as an ugly stepchild. I'm on the verge of giving their festival the biggest exposure they could ever hope for, and they've got me on their fucking PAY-NO-MIND list!

Jesus fucking Christ, don't get me started on theater! People bitch about Hollywood? The theater world has some bitter, narrow-minded people pulling the strings.

And yes, I really liked the reading! It made me rediscover what I like about the play, which is great. But the turn out was disappointing, and it's really making me question what I like about theater.

I'll continue to write plays, and I'll write the plays that I want to write. Even if it holds back my phantom theater career. Theater's a labor of love by bitter people.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The All-Nighter

And then, we're in August already. Where the fuck is the time going?

Yes, I've got a reading of a new play tonight.

But I will be completely distracted by the fact that the latest draft of my screenplay is due THIS FRIDAY.

Which is completely doable. I think. Maybe.

I mean, I'm very close to the end of this latest revision. But I really wish I had more of a cushion of time to worry over it more.

Okay, so I lose a good block of hours Wednesday afternoon into night with the reading, but I've still got plenty of time. And it's really just a few nagging notes I've left to address. I've got all of Thursday cleared. And I've got time on Friday, because of the precious time difference (a three hour difference I have come to depend on this past year).

Come Friday, I should just be reading it through and sanding down the rough edges.

I can do this.