Thursday, January 31, 2008

I Hates Billy Mitchell

I finally saw the documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters last night (seems that Netflix sent EVERYONE a copy of that doc yesterday).

First of all, there's no need for the title of the doc to be that long. Either "King of Kong" or "Fistful of Quarters" would be quite sufficient, thanks. And "Fistful of Quarters" is slightly disingenuous since the skill-level of these players allows them to play hours of a videogame on a single quarter. The subtitle just doesn't add anything meaningful to the discussion!

That said, the real title of the film might as well be:

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters: Billy Mitchell is a Fucking Asshole

Because Billy Mitchell is an asshole. Or at least, that seems to be the doc's central conceit.

If you haven't seen it, the film concerns the saintly underdog Steve Wiebe (pronounced "wee-bee") and his struggle to beat the long-standing high-score of Billy Mitchell in "Donkey Kong". Billy Mitchell comes across as a world-class douchebag who does everything short of literally throwing flaming barrels at Wiebe to prevent him from beating his score.

HERE Billy Mitchell speaks in the aftermath of the popular documentary. I think most people are savvy enough—at this point in history—to appreciate how editing can distort a story.

All right, that's not true. First, most people aren't that savvy. Second, I'm fairly savvy and I easily get sucked into this stuff.

I watch a doc like this, I know there were hundreds of hours of footage, I see how the editing is manipulating my sympathies. And yet... I can only react to what's being shown to me...

And all the evidence that I'm being served seems to say that Billy Mitchell is a fucking dickwad. (Who isn't nearly as great as he thinks he is.)
In the mood for something offensive?

The Flea Theater presents
Now through Feb 23
41 White Street
(between Broadway & Church, 3 blocks south of Canal)

[Note: Has nothing to do with Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Michael "Flea" Balzary]

Tonight is the opening night.
Dumb Security Questions.

A sudden flood of new gmail accounts...

Worst Movie Ever?

Luc Dimick told me that he believes in ghosts and UFOs—but failed to tell me that the president of Mormonism died on Sunday!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Simple Prop to Occupy My Time

I'll miss the commute.

That sounds like rubbish, I know. The commute should be the last thing to miss. Like some fucking tourist having the time of his life riding the subway; a novelty act he can equate with fun because he's on vacation and he knows he doesn't have to do it every day. It borders on the obscene. Hell, I'm sure if you were forced to ride Space Mountain every day, it would turn into a chore. (It wouldn't, of course, but I think my point is clear.)

The unsubstantiated chatter on the street is that the "informal talks" between the WGA and the studios are progressing well. The faint stench of optimism wafts through the air, like the scent of baking cookies. Mid-February's the de-facto deadline that people are looking at. If we've got a deal by mid-February, many things can be salvaged in the industry. Television development, Oscar ceremony...

Mid-February is coming on fast.

Obviously, you can't depend on rumors. But that won't stop me from counting my chickens.

Yes, the commute is a chore. Getting up in the morning, getting out the door, catching the right trains. But I really do have an easy commute. And eyeballing pretty girls on the train is better than a cup of coffee.

The long walks home help me center. Yeah, it saves me a swipe off the metrocard, but it also gives me a little extra time to meditate. Forces me to appreciate the streets. It's so easy to remain walled off from the world when you're always traveling underground. That's life in a mole society.

I'm not sure what the timeframe will be for me to be able to afford writing full-time again. When it happens, I'm going to retool my process. I've said that before and it's easy to lose focus of it, especially in the heat of deadlines. But I am determined to build a better machine.

Is the world ending in Chicago?

Giuliani's presidential bid has a posse!

Ditto Edwards?!

Kids, we're having a couple of cans of cheeseburgers for dinner!

Fat man... still fat... but now remembers EVERYTHING...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Puppy Vs. Robot

Took a break from posting YOU TUBE vids on here coz the office tech overlords blocked the entirety of YOU TUBE at work. And what's the point if I can't enjoy it at the day job?

But I post this in the event that some of you haven't seen these.

Someone bought a Roboquad robot and let it battle with his puppy:

After people started claiming the video was somehow "faked" in the video's comments, this video was posted (which is even better than the original video):

No cake. For anyone.

When we were boys and girls

Rewatched Oliver Stone's "Born on the Fourth of July" (1989) recently and marveled at a time when Tom Cruise was still a mortal human being and Oliver Stone made real movies. Before they both became near-parodies of themselves.

Last statement aside, I don't want to hop on the bandwagon bashing Cruise or Stone: Too easy. Nor do I want to go off on a big apologist rant: Too contrarian, SLATE-ish.

I just don't think their earlier accomplishments should be neglected/negated because of their later work/behavior.

"Born" is the sort of sweeping, majestic movie that Hollywood never makes anymore. The film looks absolutely stunning, thanks to cinematographer Robert Richardson.

A large population of film snobs hate John Williams and fault him with overbearing scores that Mickey-Mouse the drama... but again, this is an Old Hollywood type of movie. A 1950s Douglas Sirk melodrama juxtaposed with a 1970s back-from-Vietnam chronicle.

A beatific shot of Tom Cruise and Kyra Sedgwick dancing to "Moon River" at the prom in Massapequa, NY... cutting straight to that same boy, dropped in the middle of the Vietnam war.

As the movie progresses, the dreamy Sirk aesthetic begins to be replaced by something grittier. Cruise in a grimy, underfunded military hospital. Returning home in a wheelchair, vainly trying to hold onto the adolescent idyll he remembers. He visits his high school sweetheart at college, tries to conjure some of that old magic by singing a bit of "Moon River"... while she just looks uncomfortable. He's stuck in the first part of the movie while the rest of the world has moved on.

Toward the beginning of the movie, there is a high school wrestling match scene wherein Tom Cruise loses.

Tom Cruise loses.

He puts up a valiant fight but he gets pinned by his opponent and he fucking LOSES.

In the aftermath, there is this look of devastation on Cruise's face that is just incomparable. A uniquely vulnerable quality that you just don't see in his performances anymore.

Friends—concerned friends—wonder what I find so fascinating about Tom Cruise. It goes beyond his acting. His mission to "win" seems to permeate his filmography. He used to be fairly private, but in recent years he's pulled back the curtain and revealed this beastly competition.

He will stop at a car crash because he knows that he is the ONLY person who could possibly help. He carries the burden of Superman.

And therein lies his biggest hurdle. When you watch him in a movie now, it's hard to feel for his character because his celebrity has grown into some kind of Cloverfield monster.

But the real key to his success is his failures. His portrayal of failure. The kid who wants to win and gets knocked down.

Pre-1996's "Mission Impossible". The first stage of his career. That's where it's interesting. Perhaps more so in hindsight.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Walk Hard

Walking to the Upper West Side from mid-town is nothing. Walking home from the Village is more of a heartless slog. A long way to trudge to save a swipe off a metrocard. But in a way, it makes this city seem smaller.

We all have to make some sacrifices in order to better afford the lives we want. Or even the compromised lives we want to maintain.

Ever reach that stage in life where just about everyone you hang out with seems to be a couple? Words cannot convey the virulent joy that inspires from deep within me. It's like a rainbow-grenade in my soul! I am so happy for everyone else! So happy, I want to walk 95+ blocks in the deadening cold.

Honestly... how does anyone get ahead in this city...?

Last week of January this week. Two and a half months since I slouched back to the day job. Word on the street is that this writers strike may actually find resolution soon. People are starting to speculate on the ominous post-strike atmosphere.

Let's just have it already. Because the sad/scary thing is, it won't be until the strike is over that I'll get a better idea of how much longer I'll have to stay at my day job.

Google tells us that today is the 50th anniversary of the Lego brick. Thanks, Google! Thanks!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I Suck at Photoshop

This is a good parody/dismantling of homemade internet tutorial videos.

You Suck @ Photoshop #1
You Suck @ Photoshop #2
You Suck @ Photoshop #3
You Suck @ Photoshop #4

Almost brilliant. It gets a little too broad at times, when I think it should've remained straight-faced. And the audio of the wife screaming doesn't work. But let's not nitpick, shall we? Conceptually, it's spot-on.

This eBay auction will expire on January 31, 2008.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Hungry Luma Has a Posse

Meet the "Luma".

Little, chubby star-like creatures that inhabit the Wii-videogame Super Mario Galaxy.

Occasionally, you will come across a particularly gluttonous Luma who begs for food. (They're like the homeless people of the outer reaches of the galaxy.)

When you find one of these Hungry Lumas, it is your moral obligation to feed it. (According to the ethics of the game.)

Not just feed it, though.

Feed it to utter excess.

Feed it beyond comprehension.

Point your little fucking Wii-mote at the screen and SHOOT FOOD DOWN ITS GULLET until the little motherfucker literally EXPLODES:

Attention must be paid, America.

We're not fear-mongering: This is really happening! It's happening!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Gucci Little Piggies

Proposition: Time-travel's full of paradoxes.

I loved "Back to the Future" as a kid and this bit never bothered me till now:

Michael J. Fox's Marty McFly travels back in time and ends up teaching a bunch of black musicians how to play rock and roll. One of the musicians ends up calling Chuck Berry and introducing him to Marty McFly's amazing new sound.

Aside from the inadvertent racial-offensiveness (a tossed-off story gag claiming that the father of rock and roll is NOT a black man but a dorky white kid who traveled back in time and schooled the black man), the question becomes, "Well, then, who created rock and roll in this fictional universe?"

Reducing the elements, let's take the position that Chuck Berry invented rock and roll. His music, and the music by people who were inspired by his music, ended up informing Marty McFly many years later. He, in turn, travels back in time and hands that information back to Chuck Berry before he's come up with the ideas on his own.

Then who created rock and roll? Marty McFly took it from Chuck Berry. But Chuck Berry took it from Marty McFly. It's a möbius strip of authorship.

Imagine I took a copy of "The Catcher in the Rye", time-traveled to 1936 and handed it to a 17-year-old J.D. Salinger, 15 years before the book was published. Years, perhaps, before the idea had germinated in his head. Handing him the book both gives him the idea and the entirety of the text. He doesn't have to go through the effort of creation because it's all there. He remains capable of producing that work—and in the original course of history, he DID produce that work—but how does it disrupt things by just giving it all to him? Maybe before he's ready for it?

And what would happen if I traveled back in time and published it as my own work?*

I'm going to wait for my future-self to visit me and give me copies of all the scripts I'll write. Then I'll just parcel out the hits as time floats by...

(*Douglas Adams suggested a paradox like this in "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy", in which a small side-story is related of a man who travels back in time to publish someone else's book as his own, and proceeds to SUE the original author for copyright infringement.)

Is there such a thing as "etiquette" among the untamed naturals who inhabit the world of social networking sites?

How about "common sense"?

I've had to do more bloody weeding lately. It may be obvious, but "social networking friends" are not the same as "friends".

Do you know who I hate? Yes, well, I hate a great lot of people, to be sure, excessively documented herein... but I reserve a special pot of loathing for the Little Miss Popular High School Princesses who get carried through life by a coterie of sycophants and, consequently, have zero grasp of how human beings are supposed to act. The girls who have the emotional intelligence of retarded bubble-boys. Led to believe they have value by doting friends. They call themselves poets and then playwrights, and manage to acheive the faint semblance of career esteem by the collective thrust of liars and flatterers.

You know. Those people.

Kicking, squealing, Gucci little piggies. They deserve the greatest indignities of Hell. IMHO.

Clinton joins the race!

A well-articulated critical breakdown of what's wrong with "There Will Be Blood". (I still admire the film, though I agree with many of the things in this review.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Heath Ledger Has a Posse

An unfortunate scene from Terry Gilliam's "The Imagination of Dr. Parnassus", which Ledger was in the middle of filming when he met his untimely end Tuesday afternoon.

This is where reality makes fiction feel grislier. Not that it should. The reports aren't claiming this as a suicide. He was sick with pneumonia at the time. There were "pills in his vicinity", so it could have been accidental.

The media's leapt upon the story, digging for details, insight. TMZ's laying off Britney Spears for a few hours to exploit every angle of this one.

"Inside the Building Where Heath Died!"

"Heath Had Substance Abuse Problem!"

"Ledger's Eerily Prophetic Interview!"

There is nothing prophetic here. Like most things in the world, there's no sense to be made out of this.

No reasons why this had to happen.

Great fortunes are bestowed upon people who don't fucking deserve it.

Terrible things happen to good people.

There are genuine cautionary tales, to be sure. But I think, more often than not, there are stories like this one. And as comforting as it might be to try to make sense out of it, dissect it, comb for warning signs... sometimes you can't do anything:

The rotten things happen and the world is powerless to prevent them.

Reports are that The Dark Knight is in the can and all of his post-production work was completed (so that he could move onto the Gilliam movie). Ledger's Joker features so prominently in the viral ad campaigns, I've a feeling some of it may be rendered more gruesome in light of his passing.

In the wake of a death, everything is suddenly tinged with prescience.

Renfro to Ledger—that is a wide fucking margin. Renfro had so much promise and seemed to be perennially struggling on the fringes because of drugs. Ledger had had his breakthroughs and seemed primed for superstardom with this upcoming Batman movie. Renfro 25, Ledger 28.

And the hits don't stop...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


My prophesies are coming true faster than I can make them...

With sadness, I must announce that Heath Ledger has a posse.

This one's on drugs.

Are you happy? Are you satisfied? How long can you stand the heat?

This should fulfill the third slot... but will it?

Are you sufficiently entertained?

Are you ready to OBEY...?

Together, we can end this madness. Stop the clock. Slow the death toll.

But only if you are all prepared to obey...


First there was Brad Renfro...

Now, Suzanne Pleshette has a posse.

This one's lung cancer.

When will you people pay attention? Attention must be paid.

Who gets it third? Steve Guttenberg? Someone you aren't thinking about; someone you haven't thought about in ages! What's it going to take, America? Is it going to take Steve Guttenberg?!

Don't come weeping to me...


You're wondering how I exploited my long holiday weekend, aren't you? I'll bet you think I just pissed it away unproductively.

Well, fuck you.

I'm proud to share that I used the extra time to beat the living shit out of "SUPER MARIO GALAXY".

I beat it as Mario.

I beat it as Luigi.

I collected every last gold star in that cocksucking game.

121 as Mario.

121 as Luigi.

A grand motherfucking total of 242 gold stars.

Requiring that I defeat an astonishing fucking menagerie of minibosses twice.

Demanding that I overthrow the big, fascist End-Game Boss—Bowser (alias, "King Koopa")—a total of FOUR times:

Twice as Mario. Twice as Luigi.

The culmination of weeks of dedicated gameplay.

And what glorious spoils does one earn by beating this game six ways from Sunday...?

Come closer, I'll show you.

You get this still picture:
Now, excuse me while I consider the best way to kill myself.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Shitty Cell Phone Pictures

What the fuck are they building at the Natural History Museum on the Upper West Side...?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Siân Phillips

"I was beautiful, too, once, you know..."

After much procrastination, I'm in the midst of watching I, CLAVDIVS, the 1976 BBC TV adaptation of Robert Graves's books. As such, I am becoming familiar with Welsh actress Siân Phillips who plays the part of Livia Drusilla. (It is a little confusing trying to reconcile the common characters from the HBO/BBC "Rome".)
In the 1976 production, she was in grandmother mode. So I had to troll my precious internet to find some juicy, younger pictures of her. Because that's the kind of full life that I'm building for myself.

Wish there were more, but here's enough to confirm that she was a drop-deader.
She was married to Peter O'Toole for a good clip of time. Producing offspring Pat and Kate O'Toole.
Had no idea what her story was till I started looking her up a few minutes ago, but the biggest surprise to me (given that the show I'm watching is from 1976) was that she's still alive and still working.
If they ever need someone to play her in a flashback sequence, they should get ROME's impossibly hot Indira Varma:
Striking, no?

Speaking of striking, as you may've read, the DGA reached a tentative deal with the AMPTP on Thursday. There's a preliminary analysis of it over @ United Hollywood.

Some intriguing progress. A lot of debate of the merits. Still very uncertain how this will affect the progress toward a new WGA contract, but this is some real news. And at the very least, it means that the AMPTP and the WGA are finally going to start talking again. Albeit "informally"...

Let's return to some final words from Livia, spoken to the gladiator-slaves:

"These games are being degraded by the increasing use of professional tricks to stay alive! And I won't have it! So put on a good show and there'll be plenty of money for the living and a decent burial for the dead. And if not...? I'll break this guild up. And I'll send the lot of you to the mines in Numidia."

Friday, January 18, 2008

F.U.C.K. Y.O.U.

You know who you fucking are.

You may not read this but, odds are, someone you know reads this.

You deserve nothing but the worst in life. You deserve to rot.

We hope that you choke.

We all hope that you choke.

And somewhere inside you, you know that you deserve nothing better.

No plays. Nothing further. You're hardly worth the effort.

All you get is a shitty blog entry.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Apple Introduces New Hoverboards

Imagine the surprise when Steve Jobs stepped out to deliver his keynote address at MacWorld 2008... and proceeded to hop onto a working hoverboard!
The new anti-gravity iHover boards will retail for $399 this spring, following the launch of Apple Skynet—a new video delivery box that attaches to your home television!

In other news...

Brad Renfro Has a Posse
Brad Renfro Has a Posse
Brad Renfro Has a Posse
Brad Renfro Has a Posse
Brad Renfro Has a Posse

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Spread it around.

Obey Brad.

Brad Renfro Has a Posse.

Brad Lives!

Neckface was here.

Children of Promise

Brad Renfro has a posse.

So much potential... or so we used to say.

Kid managed to make it to the ripe age of 25.

Update your fucking dead pools accordingly, you animals.

Spider-Man versus Freddy here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile

Ten hours a day on the factory line. On a computer but—thanks to corporate firewalls—away from access to personal email.

My sister (who SHOULD NOT be reading this blog) calls me up last night to say, "You didn't respond to my last email so I wanted to make sure you didn't die."

Whether or not I'm dead is a matter for debate, but I have done a rather poor job of keeping up with electronic correspondence. So, no elaborate plots for why I may not have responded to you in days/weeks. It's merely that I am an asshole.

Speaking of THE WIRE, how about this 5th and Final Season?! Three episodes in, it's fucking incredible. Why aren't you watching? ANSWER ME.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Welcome to the Midnight Show

One of my favorite sounds in the world is the sound of my printer printing out the complete first draft of a new script. Fans whirring, lasers lasering, stack of paper piling up in the tray. The sound of opportunity. Another one down, onto the next one...

They're never quite done, of course, but the best I hope for is the completed draft being done enough for now. Even if I can sell this bitch, it'll mean endless revisions.

But there's strength in numbers. Another speculative script in the portfolio. Something to get my agents off my back for a day or two. My agents who can't do much while this WGA strike is rolling, who are just starving for some new reading material.

Took me a little over a month to finish cranking out this new script. I'm not that fast or prolific by nature, but I'm always working at it. A month for a new feature-length script is about as fast as I go, assuming the beats are pretty clear to me.

Today marks the end of the second month that I've been back at my old day job. Breaking the seal on month three. It is with greater urgency that I pray for an end to this labor conflict. (Using "pray" in a loose sense, naturally.) I'm concerned about how long it will take to get back to speed once the smoke clears and the gears of business begin churning again.

Trying to pace my worries and expectations, though. For now, I'm just working for the weekend. For today, a small break from writing. At least until I get home to the empty apartment that I miss so much...

Friday, January 11, 2008

Cable Swap

Just for my own blog records (because I keep track of my life via this thing), I ran my cable box down to 23rd street and swapped it for another one this morn. Scientific Atlanta 8300 HDc (Hi-Def DVR, from Time Warner Cable in NYC).

A quick setup and everything looks in order... except the new National Geographic HD channel won't let me watch. The box sees it as a pay channel, which it isn't. Tried calling the brilliant Time Warner Cable customer service, and the woman I spoke to was fucking clueless. How is it that NO ONE there knows anything?

Fuck it. Today's about finishing a script. 2 major setpieces, big expository scene, and epilogue.

Reread an old script I wrote last night called "Crash Diet". I really liked it. I really liked the writing. It was encouraging to know that I have written some decent stuff in the past. I thought it was a surprisingly mature piece of work for something I wrote back in college. More mature than the genre stuff I've been toiling at recently. It was a bit jarring to go from reading that to writing this quickie horror script I'm trying to bang out now.

Very few people liked the script back in the day and I shoved it in the drawer, but it's good. It's a good reminder to me of what I'm capable of.

Okay, back to work.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Dead Lines

This is when it's really cumbersome to have a day job.

Promises to show my agent(s) new work have caught up with me and I'm scrambling to finish the draft of my latest spec. Which I'd probably be done with already if I didn't have to sacrifice 30 hours of this week, already.

I've got to sacrifice 10 more. Hopefully it won't be too busy @ work and I can get a little writing done. 3 big set-pieces, 1 big expository scene, some coda. I can make it.

More soon.

[OH MY!]

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Bow in the Presence of Grapeness

One of the hallmarks of a regular commute is being exposed to the same advertising day in and day out, months on end. Every mourning, for a while now, I'm greeted by a poster for a new pirate-themed Veggie Tales movie.

I will never see this new Veggie Tales movie because I am a grown-up and do not go to see (Christian-themed) kids' movies.

I did, however, see Alvin and the Chipmunks because I consider it more of an adult parable, and I'm a major Tim Hill fan. But that's neither here nor there...

For those unwilling to click links, actor-comedian David Cross and actor-comedian Patton Oswalt got into a bit of an online brouhaha when Oswalt made an innocent snipe at Cross for appearing in the aforementioned musical-chipmunk film. Cross wrote an overly defensive essay detailing all the mitigating factors that went into his decision to do the movie. (The short version: "Money") Oswalt's rebuttal here.

In other news of interest, I think I had a bad dream last night. I don't remember what it involved but I woke up with a distinctly unsettled feeling. Like I'd suffered some ill-defined trauma or indignity.

It may just be the hunger for vengeance that's boiled in me since childhood...

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


All the little tick-marks we use to remind us how much time we've wasted...

Happy birthdays to...

Michelle Forbes
Sarah Polley
Rachel Nichols
John McTiernan
David Bowie
Stephen Hawking
Pascal Zuberbühler

And, of course, Jenny Lewis and I both turn the big 32 today. Thank you kindly.

Warmest regards to Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner at the rebooted United Artists, who've made an interim agreement with the WGA, similar to the Letterman/Worldwide Pants deal.

More companies to come. Perhaps soon I can begin to get to work again, in some capacity...

Monday, January 07, 2008

catch the wind, see us spin

The weather outside is delightful. Inside, it's fucking frightful.

Bit of a delay updating this mourn, coz of a shitty job. And now that I'm getting to it, there's not much I've got to say that I haven't said already.

Why update at all? Habit, I guess.

Premiere of the THE WIRE last night, that I nearly missed because of my fucking, no-good Time Warner Scientific Atlanta Explorer HDc box.

This is the beginning of my first FULL week of work in THREE WEEKS. Considered taking my birfday off, but what's the point, really?

Friday, January 04, 2008

There Will Be Misanthropy

"Are you an angry man? Are you envious? Do you get envious? I have a competition in me; I want no one else to succeed. I hate most people. There are times when I look at people and I see nothing worth liking. I've built up my hatreds over the years, little by little. I see the worst in people. I don't need to look past seeing them to get all I need. I want to earn enough money I can get away from everyone."
—Paul Thomas Anderson's "There Will Be Blood"

Okay, I've now seen THERE WILL BE BLOOD twice. I may have had mixed reactions the first time, but I appreciated it much more the second time through. The study of characters, the shifts, the building of tension, the score, the cinematography. Craft-wise, it's PTA's strongest film to date (although "Boogie Nights" will always hold an irresistibly delirious charm for me).

And has there ever been a better Misanthropy Central mascot than Daniel Day-Lewis's magnetically misanthropic Daniel Plainview...?

(Hint: No.)

Thursday night, I attended a screening of the movie @ the DGA Theatre that I actually stayed to watch. Afterwards, Martin Scorsese interviewed Paul Thomas Anderson... and Paul Thomas Anderson interviewed Martin Scorsese.

It was so worth it.

Because Scorsese knows everything about movie-making, and was able to talk and ask about the film so well. No stupid questions on Scorsese's end. And every so often, the geek in PTA would push him to turn it on Scorsese and ask him about his filmography, so Scorsese would start talking about making fucking KING OF COMEDY and RAGING BULL. They both talked about their unique experiences working with Daniel Day-Lewis. By far, the coolest screening/Q&A that I've been able to attend via the WGA.

"For those who care: Nick Gaffney turns 33 today," interjected the Average Frustrated Raccoon. "It's a fact!"

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Cold Metal in my Hand

I'm not sure who's more dispiriting to talk to on the phone right now—my dad or my agent.

My film agent called me around 11:30 last night, to wish me a happy new year and to let me know that my theater agent is jumping ship to CAA. (That's an entirely new can of worms I'll need to deal with, but I won't go into that right now.) Business details aside, we began to engage in the awkward sort of business associates palaver that is made to preserve (or instill) the illusion of a greater friendship.

He spoke of being back in the office since the new year, and how quiet and depressing it's been. Feeling pity for my agent is a distinctly unpleasant sensation, particularly when I've barely gotten to work with him in any capacity.

I mentioned that I might have something new for him to read sometime next week. (In fact, before he called, I'd had a really decent night of writing.) This seemed to bolster his spirits, and he talked about packaging the script with a director so that it might be ready to go out to production companies once the strike ends.

The call ended with the promise to talk again soon. The world seeming more fragile and precarious than before the call started.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


23rd day back at the job. May not sound like a lot, but we're approaching the 2-month milestone. When's it going to end?

Took a few more swats at the new script. Reassessed the remaining outline, broke it down into manageable chunks. If I really focused, I could finish it in 9 more days. 5 days if I focus just a little more. The script won't necessarily be *good* in that time, but a finished draft would go a long way toward boosting my spirits.

Next week, I hit 32. This time of year is just relentless. One week, Christmas. Following week, New Year's. Following week, birthday. Pressure to do something for each event. In a way, the birthday may be the worst because the focus is all on me. (If I choose to acknowledge it.)

Things look bad right now because negotiations are still officially broken off, but I need this strike to get resolved by sometime in February. It's a pissing-contest of a strike. What the writers are asking for is an absurd pittance. This is about the AMPTP trying to make an example of us. Trying to make us suffer adequately, and in our weakened state making us accept a poorer deal.

I need to get back to the career that was just getting started. I realize that this is all just some big, cosmic, character-building test. I get it already. I want to get back in the game.


There are no plastic lids for the Styrofoam cups in the pantry this mourning. Sometimes, there are no big cups. Sometimes, there are no little cups. And sometimes, there are no plastic fucking lids.

I am starting to lose the plot...


Watch Letterman tonight. All the late night shows are back tonight, but Letterman's back with his writers intact, because of a separate deal his production company made with the WGA. Don't watch Leno. (Not that you should be watching him anyway.)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

World of Tomorrow

2008 is the test. Good or bad, it will not end the way 2007 did.