Friday, October 30, 2009

I got a rock.

Had a pretty great conversation with a high-profile producer about a project called "Urban Gothic" on Thursday evening. Toward the end of which he dropped that old megaton bomb:

Love what you're saying, Malice... I think we're on the same page here...
... so, when are you going to be in L.A. next...?

[Thought, not spoken:]
I don't actually have the money to fly to L.A. right now...!


Fucking hell. Not like I got a job in THIS godforsaken city...

Is Malice gonna have to move to Los Angeles......?

Thursday, October 29, 2009


A few weeks back, my mom brought me a buttload of boxes from the hospital where she worked. Just noticed that some of these boxes have descriptions.

I've gotten rid of so much shit and I'm still concerned about having too much stuff for the new joint.

Sorting through a slew of old, forgotten junk. Things from other lifetimes.

Found this curious handwritten letter tucked away:

11:30 tuesday night. i'm frantically searching the aisles of Shakespeare and co. for a magical tape that will teach me the italian language for my oral mid-term.

the next day! 9:55 wednesday morning i'm none the more bilingual and Charles in Charge is beginning to appear clever and profound. I've forgotten how to spell. I blame myself for the endless winter of '96.

I'm harboring a mankind destroying plague inside my frail frame but just tell people I have a cold. I don't even have an email account.

I don't hate you [Malice].

in the constant rat race of life, don't forget to unwind.

and to keep a tight hold of the reins.

and to go to Ben and Jerry's for their doughballs.

I have no idea what this letter was in response to. I just find these forgotten fragments of communication utterly fascinating. I really could have done so much more with my college years...

I'm looking forward to having a big empty house one day. Somewhere quieter than where I'm heading.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Kathy the Broker

Kathy the broker visited the Fortress of Solitude 2.0 Tuesday afternoon. Took a look at the chaos of the place and said, "We're not going to show anyone this place until you're out."

That's completely fine with me.

Mid/late-40s, a bit of a space cadet, just as I remember her. Spoke really slowly and tended to ramble, as if she were drugged up.

"How old are you-- 24?"

"I'm 33."

"Really...? You look amazing... Well, you just gotta get rid of all this stuff, Malice! You don't wanna take it to your new place..."

She went on to give me a lot of unsolicited advice. Turns out the "Russian Super" I've talked about all these years is actually a Polish super. Kathy the broker suggested I offer his wife $50 and have her help me get organized. As if that were going to happen.

All that aside, the place is coming together. (Or coming apart.) May not be apparent to an outsider, but I can see the moves to the end. And the end is coming on fast. Just a hair over two weeks, it's daunting...

Dismantled and took down an IKEA bookshelf this mourning. One less thing to deal with. Some more trips to the Salvation Army ahead.

I know it's time to leave here. I just wish I had a better sense of where I'm heading...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fortress Invasion

Tuesday afternoon, the apartment I've affectionately come to refer to as the "Fortress of Solitude 2.0" these past four years will be getting a visit from the building's broker. I remember meeting her back when I moved in. What a bittersweet yet hopeful time that was!

I've spoken with her a few times on the telly-phone these past few weeks and she seems sympathetic, understanding the place will probably look chaotic.

I've been steadily getting rid of things and dealing with the chaos of packing in a small space. It's all got to get a lot messier before it gets organized: basic fact. This axiom compounded by the dearth of square footage I'm working with.

So yes, much as I've done thus far, the Fortress is a bit of a fright. Hopefully she'll understand and won't throw a fit. I'll do my song and dance about how much I hate to leave this place. The tiniest violin will play mournfully in the background.
Not to bitch but trying to land a writing gig—or any paid gig—in the same time frame as moving is really effin insane.

So much about right now sucks. I really can't wait for things to start to look up again for me. Packing forces you to look through a lot of old shit and it's reminded me of some really good stretches I've enjoyed here. In this space. 2006 was probably my banner year. That's where it started. Taking it to the next level has just been more of a challenge than I'd hoped.

Just the Universe's way of making me earn it all harder. (Said the atheist.)

I remember having dinner at an Indian restaurant with my friends Lane and Chris shortly after I'd moved here. (This was back when my friends lived on the Upper West Side!) At some point, Lane said something to the effect of "Welcome to the neighborhood" and that felt completely reassuring. I'd been through HELL but I was entering a far better community. It's the strangest sensation, to be nostalgic about something that was just FOUR YEARS AGO...

And now... all that's done with...

Monday, October 26, 2009

All That You Can't Leave Behind

It's ending, kids. It's all ending. Game over, man, GAME OVER...

Sunday aft, dismantled the metal kitchen table that I'd been using as a computer desk. One of the many pieces of IKEA-ware I've had with me for too long. Remnants of another life, repurposed for a new life that is now moving onto something newer.

There are some things that I've been endeavoring to get rid of that I may, in fact, hold onto. Fuck it, y'know? I'm moving because I'm trying to think longer-term... but in thinking longer-term, there are some basic things I'll probably need when I eventually move OUT OF this place I'm about to move into...

All right, I've got a lot of shit. But I'm no hoarder. Bouts of disorganization, mayhaps, but I looove getting rid of things. Whittled down my belongings before moving into the FOS 2.0 and I've whittled down further on my way out of here.

That said, yes. I'll still have a lot of things.

But here, "a lot" is relative to the average size of an affordable NYC apartment. And some of these things I'm keeping with full confidence that I will eventually be a big bright shining star in your skies and that I will eventually have a much more spacious Fortress of Solitude 3.0, wherein I'll have more-than-adequate space for all of my things.


Didja know-- my managers refer to my apartment as "the Fortress of Solitude" to me? They only do that because I refer to it as such in emails to them, of course, but still... peeeyyy-culiar! I don't think they read this blog but then again, I'm really not sure...

I have a lawyer. Three agents. Two managers. All working for me in some capacity. And I'm moving because I'm laughably broke.

You have to love the entertainment business.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

LAPD Big Brother Campaign

Friday, October 23, 2009

Craigslist Sucks

Good condition, barely used.

Craigslister 1:
Hi, I'm responding to your craigslist ad for the thing for sale. I live on the UWS, too. What model is your thing?

Model X.

Craigslister 1:

Craisglister 2:
Some questions about your thing for sale. What model is it, when did you get it? What condition? I'm looking to get a thing ASAP.

Model X. Got it a few years ago, good condition, barely used. Here's a pic I just took.

Craiglister 2:
Sounds good. I'm waiting for some other responses before I give you an offer.

Craigslister 3:
Hi there. I'll offer you $10 cash-in-hand for your thing if you can bring the thing to my work place, in the middle of nowhere.


Craigslister 4:
What model?

Model X.

Craigslister 4:
Great. Let me wait to flake out on you.

Craigslister 2:
Hey, is your thing still available?


Craigslister 2:
Cool. I'll take it off your hands tonight if you can go way out of your way. I'll need to check the condition of the thing in person, of course, but just so we don't waste each other's time I'm ready to offer you about $1 for it.


Craigslister 5:
Hey, if it's still available I'm interested in your thing for sale. Let me know if you're up for it so I can make you an insulting offer and then completely fucking flake out on you. Thanks in advance!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pixar Justice

(((If you can't watch this brilliant video where you are, read Bronson Pinchot talking trash about Tom Cruise and Denzel Washington.)))

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hard Day's Night

When you're in a pitch session conference call, you're just talking your fool head off. All the precious notes you've meticulously set up sort of fly out the window when you're getting about the business of pitching your ideas, responding to the questions that arise.

Tuesday night's call went well enough. It helps when the producer interjects queries, or even just mutters some small semblance of affirmation as you're talking yourself blue.

I hate pitching in general. It's a pain over the phone but I'm sure it's uniquely nerve-wracking to do it in person. (Like regular screenwriters do.) I can't read their body language over the phone -- and it's even harder when it's a bunch of people in a room on speaker phone, with you playing the spectral voice, trying to figure out which voice is talking to you -- but at least I can spread my notes all over the place. I don't have to worry about dressing up and putting on a physical performance. Don't have to worry about getting there on time and sitting on needles in the waiting room. When I hang up the phone, I'm instantly back in my room.

But these pitching calls and these "open dialogues" can just go on for months with inches of progress.

I'm thankful for all the opportunities but it becomes a challenge to muster up the enthusiasm for each new project that comes my way. (It'd be easier to have enthusiasm if there were some actually MONEY involved with the "early development" stages of these projects.)

Walked over two more bags of donated stuff to the Salvation Army on Tuesday. Trying to sell off my guitar. Still working on the challenge of shoehorning the Fortress of Solitude 2.0 into the new space. ("The Chamber of Solitude"?) I like the idea of getting rid of extra baggage. Things inherited from other times and other lives. I'm attracted to the idea of living a sparer existence.

It's just a matter of making that happen.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Setting Up Cable in the New Apartment

[This involves Time Warner Cable in NYC.]

Transferring cable service when you're moving to a new apartment in the same city should not be so difficult. And it's not but it's more cumbersome than it should be.

It's not as simple as taking your current box and carting it over.

You've got to cancel your current service. Drop your box off at the Time Warner drop-off place on 23rd Street. Then set up a new service at your new apartment.

If, like me, you're moving into a roommate situation where the apartment already has cable, you have to add another cable box to the existing account. (Assuming you're bringing your own television that you want hooked up with cable.)

So, the drill is:

1) schedule a cancellation of your current service at your soon-to-be vacated apartment.
2) drop off your current cable box when you can.
3) have the account-holding roommate order the addition of another cable box, scheduling the installation.

And what if, like me, your soon-to-be roommate is actually going to be out of the country for the next few months?

I borrowed one of his cable bills and had to pretend I was him.

In addition to the address, you have to have the phone number associated with the account. (I screwed that up off the bat but managed to recover.) I was afraid I'd have to offer additional information to confirm I was him (i.e., his mother's maiden name), but it's just adding another box so they didn't go through that.

Any additional boxes on the account will have the same services (channel packages). Even though they're different types of boxes, you can't have differing premium channel packages on different boxes within the same apartment. Go figure. So I should actually be getting more channels in the new apartment. Perhaps the only "upgrade" I'll be enjoying in this move.

We'll see if this actually works. They'll probably call my roommate to confirm the install appointment when it nears. I may need to call again, pretending to be him, and give them my number. "I'm going to be away for the appointment but my roommate Malice will be there. Here's his number..."

Of course, the pressing concern these last few weeks is getting rid of the furniture I won't have room for in the new space...

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Okay, I was wrong. I fell for the acting. I thought the media was trying to make more of a story of this than there was. So arrest me.

The Balloon Boy Incident was a hoax.

A planned show to launch a media circus and build some momentum for a reality show.

GAWKER paid for a story that helps to confirm the father's nature.

(How much did GAWKER pay...?)

The sheriff admitted that he initially told the press that they didn't think there was a hoax involved as a way to conceal their investigation into the family and gain the family's trust.

This does kinda make it a bigger story. A chance for the media to wag a finger, both at itself and the state of the country. Fodder for the talking head shows for at least a few days.

Media coverage is one thing. Who cares, it's bullshit. The media covers bullshit all the time. But a huge recovery effort was made when this hoax was perpetrated. Time and money spent by emergency workers for what turned out to be a publicity stunt.

Wonder how long it'll take LAW & ORDER to whip up its shitty version of this.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Where the Wind Blows

Because you've been sleepless worrying over what my take is on this news story, here's what I think of the whole balloon boy controversy.

This balloon thing—a scaled-down model of a vessel designed to lift an adult human being—was accidentally released. (There's video footage of the balloon lifting off and the father going completely ballistic that it wasn't securely tethered.) Right after it goes up, one of the kids says that the other kid was actually inside the balloon. The parents ends up looking for the missing kid, calling his name, scouring the place. No sign of him. They think he may have actually been in the balloon. They panic, they call the police.

Yes, they've been on a reality show. Yes, they've done television. I don't get the idea that this was a hoax that they purposefully put out there. What would they stand to gain from this? It's a juicy idea: that there's a family so starved for media attention, they created this elaborate disaster. Evidence of the grotesque warping of American values. But it just doesn't add up.

The questionable facts:

1) a balloon that size clearly couldn't lift a boy. The scientist father who designed the balloon should have known that.

But he was a panicked father. And they couldn't find his son after looking for him.

The boy was in the attic. The police themselves scoured the house and didn't find him.

2) the kid misspoke on air and suggested that he hid to "put on a show for the tv".

He's a little kid. There were reporters all over the place. He didn't understand the question.

The father has a bad temper. Admits to yelling at his boy too much. The boy says he hid because he was afraid of getting into trouble. The media coverage exposed a dysfunctional family but the idea of some staged hoax beyond that just seems like an excuse for the media to extend the story and wag a finger at a family that just went through a mortifying ordeal.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Balloon Boy: MYTH BUSTED

I was out and missed most of the media coverage of the boy who supposedly climbed into a big balloon and floated away.

The story was slathered all over the media. People panicked over the idea of this kid being carried away in this balloon.

Of course, the idea of this had already been proven impossible on Mythbusters:


From the Wiki:
"Carried Away"
The Build Team takes on a gag used in many comedic works, where a baby or small child could be lifted into the air and fly away unintentionally when given helium balloons.

Myth Statement:
A 4 year old child can be lifted by a bunch of party balloons.

Status: BUSTED!
It would require such a large number of balloons (3,500) to lift an average four-year-old girl of 44 pounds (20 kg) just a few feet off the ground that there is no way the myth could have happened unintentionally.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

School for Orphans

Wednesday, I slouched my way toward a new temp agency to take some skills assessment tests. My black jacket still bearing the telltale signs of an accident I suffered whilst taking a taxi home one recent, drunken evening. (That was one unhappy cabbie.)

Turns out this temp agency is run by the same guys who ran the temp agency that originally landed me at Bear Stearns. I didn't recognize the guy running the office but he apparently remembered me (or at least my name). Super-friendly guy. The skills assessment tests were what they were; got most of it done, with a few details buggered.

When I finished up, I chatted with the guy for a bit about "the state of the industry". He was realistic but hopeful. As I left, he said, "Welcome back to the family!"

And he could not have said anything more depressing to me...

From there, I walked about 30 blocks (precious MetroCard) to my near-future apartment to take measurements...

Here's the thing, bros and ghouls: the Fortress of Solitude 2.0 is a small space.

The new space is significantly SMALLER. Significantly DIRTIER. And reeks of CAT URINE. (There is a phantom cat that I still haven't actually seen.)

I'm moving on down, at every level.

I'll have to be pretty fucking crafty to have any hope of luring a girl to this new place. It pretty much screams NO GIRLS ALLOWED. It's a veritable crime scene, is what it is.

I've already been getting rid of things but it turns out I'll have to get rid of even more stuff. There are so many things I just can't take.

In a way, it's liberating to get rid of things. I could use less baggage. (In so many ways.) I should be more horrified but my goal is to move in as lightly as possible. I've got no choice but to lighten my burdens. Which SHOULD make moving out of there eventually a lot easier. Easier than moving in there, at least.

If anyone needs some free folding chairs, holler at me.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

How Can I Cut You Without a Blade?

The snake-oil huckster who revolutionized overpriced vacuum cleaners is at it again with an overpriced bladeless fan crowned "the Dyson Air Multiplier". How does the fan work, then? It uses blades.

Pretty sneaky, sis...

Speaking of blades, I had another one of my strange dreams involving an 80s horror movie that didn't really exist (to the best of my knowledge). It was a gory, homicidal cannibal story. And yes, I would steal the idea if I could use it at all.

In the dream, I watched a climactic scene involving a conversation between a small-town cop and the maniac cannibal, who was supposedly restrained but (inevitably) not really.

The scene ended with the kind of gore that you don't really see anymore.

What I saw of it didn't make sense. Another character was introduced and the end of the movie somehow involved the cannibal being shrunk down. (I think the movie was called "Honey, I Shrunk the Cannibal".)

Thing about all the Hollywood remakes is that all these filmmakers made these crazy low budget horror movies in the 80s and there was an indie spirit about them. There were a lot of bad movies with a lot of crazy shit in them, but they could get away with it because they weren't necessarily made at big studios. The remake business is fueled by brand recognition.

Which is to say, there's no brand recognition in a shitty 80s horror movie that never existed.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Last Rites

A month. A few hairs over four weeks. And the Fortress of Solitude 2.0 must be vacated.

Notice given. Final month's rent and letter of lease non-renewal stamped and set to be mailed.

Mover's estimate received.

I've got way more boxes than I need and I'm still in the process of debating what to get rid of. It's hard when your life is a series of peaks and valleys instead of a steady incline. There are things you end up hanging onto that are relics of a time with more space and prosperity. I wish I could toss everything into a hobo-sack and not worry about all the bollocks.

I don't know what to expect with this move. It's hard to anticipate what the new scenario is going to be like. There's too much transition happening. Tuesday I've got a conference call where I've got to pitch a book adaptation. Wednesday I'm taking skills assessments at a new temp agency.

Moving is always messy but it'll be a comfort when it's done. I will make the very best of things because that's how I do.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Snow Police

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Patti Ann Browne

A funny person on Fox News. Imagine.

Friday, October 09, 2009

The Taliesin Massacre

Frank Lloyd Wright.

A brutal multiple murder involving the lover of probably the most famous Welsh-American of all, the pioneering architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Taliesin was, and is, a beautiful large home, set atop a hill in Wisconsin. The valley that it sits in was settled during the Civil War by the Lloyd Joneses, Wright's maternal family.

This was Wright's second house, begun in 1909, as he left his Oak Park home and wife behind to have an affair with Mrs. Martha Borthwick Cheney in Europe. They settled in Taliesin in December 1911, along with her two children, John and Martha. The house was a fully functioning studio for Wright, and at the time of the incident a work crew was there in addition to the now Ms. Borthwick and her children.

The staff of the household was a couple from Barbados, Julian and Gertrude Carlton. Gertrude was the cook, and Julian filled a variety of roles, from general handyman to butler. He was both intelligent and well educated, with an apparently affable character; however many in the house viewed him with suspicion. Testimony later described him as hot-headed, recalling incidents where he got into arguments with the tenants. He once decried everyone in the household as "picking on him," which put him continually on the defensive.
One night, seemingly without provocation, Julian Carlton set fire to the house and took a hatchet to everyone who tried to escape.

He was dead before anyone could acquire a clear motive.

Murders at the Taliesin.

Thursday, October 08, 2009


... so say the headlines around-the-net yesterday.

(I know there's news out there when the decoy blog gets a spike of hits.)

Yes, Stephen Susco—who wrote the successful "Grudge" movies—has signed on to do a rewrite. He and I share a manager and he supposedly really dug my screenplay and loved my stage play: actually wants to try to re-incorporate some stuff from the stage play into the movie version. My manager gave me the lowdown a few weeks ago.

It's a bittersweet thing. It's the nature of the business to juggle writers. And you're particularly vulnerable when it's your first project. I'm thankful it's still alive, thankful they're really pushing it. But suffice it to say, this really is my baby. It may be a high-concept movie now (A Breakfast Club Massacre!) but it started as a deeply personal stage play.

I wish I could've been the sole writer to see it through to the screen. But the studio system is a complicated machine.

I've got to be thankful for what I've got...

What I will have...

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

License to Run Away

After over a DECADE of carrying around an expired one, I've finally got a current valid passport, bitches!

And to think that it took me losing my Tumi backpack to spur me to finally get it done. (Previously on MISANTHROPY CENTRAL...)

Now I can flee the country like Roman Polanski.

See you in about thirty years, suckers!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Desert Sky

Hello. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Malice. It's so nice to meet you. It's been a long time. Sorry I've been away so long. My name is Malice. I never meant to leave you.

This blog being a funhouse reflection of my life, everything is out of sorts right now. Thank you kindly for your patience.

Mourning the approaching loss of the Fortress of Solitude 2.0. Weather's been cooler and it reminds me of what it felt like when I first moved here, four years ago.

A glimpse into the archive—amidst obligatory rotted links—offers a snapshot of where I was back then. The turmoil of uprooting and leaving behind... but then so much hope... a few months later, my career started to take off... there were some good times up here...

Friday, October 02, 2009

Jon & Kate Plus 8, Minus Jon, Minus 8

Divorce is sooo much messier when there's television involved...

Because of their divorce, TLC was about to rechristen "Jon & Kate Plus 8" as "Kate Plus 8", featuring reduced cameo appearances from baby-daddy Jon Gosselin.

Jon responded to the announcement by lawyering up and yanking his rugrat legion off the freak-show.

This is one of the rare television shows I don't actually watch. I do hope this gets resolved without too much harm, for the sake of TLC's programming schedule.

In other tv news...

My precious Padma Lakshmi is preggers with some unidentified man's seed. (Somebody find an alibi for Jon, please.)

David Letterman had some affairs with staffers and some guy tried to blackmail him over it. (And he spoke about it on his show Thursday night.)

October, I'm not quite ready for you. Would you kindly wait outside for me?

Thursday, October 01, 2009

October Berserker

Here it comes.


10 in a series of 12.

2009 is getting down to the wire. I am getting pummeled, yes. I am getting killed out here in the fray. But there's still hope that I can emerge from this chaotic donnybrook and rise above it.

But the cooling temperatures are a reminder that the holidays are fast approaching.

I am fighting for Thanksgiving this year. The entertainment business goes into a collective tryptophan coma once that holiday hits and things don't get productive again till sometime into the new year.

And during this time, I've got to move...

Jesus, this could get bloody.............