Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I just woke up and was told that it's tomorrow

I just woke up at 10am in New York on New Years Eve and got a message from a friend in Sydney Australia. It's after 2am on Jan 1st there. I just woke up, don't even know what I'm doing for party stuff tonight, and for some the party is already over.

Freaking weird...

Monday, December 29, 2008

So, some stuff has happened

Here's what's happened since I last posted.

Flying out Friday night my flight was delayed a couple hours due to weather (though none of it was in LA), nearly making me miss my connecting flight at JFK, I really didn't want to miss this flight. It was Christmastime, in the snow, with tons of people flying, and I knew that if I didn't make my connection I'd be stuck at an airport for hours if not days.

We land at JFK, and luckily I get out just in time to see that my connecting flight has been delayed half an hour. I get to the gate just as they should be letting us board. There were about 5 different flights all leaving from the same gate, so there was nowhere to sit, barely room to stand. Of course this meant that some airport jackass had to drive through us with an empty oversized golf cart.

They delayed the flight half an hour again. And again. And again. Every time they said that we should not leave the boarding area. I was running on no sleep, and kinda pissed. Two and a half hours after we were supposed to take off we finally got on the plane. I was ecstatic. We learned that part of why we were delayed was that some asshole had ripped up some of the emergency track lighting on the plane's previous flight, and they had to fix that with shorthanded staff.

But I was ok, because I knew we were finally leaving for my 40 minute flight to Burlington, VT. Or so I thought. We then had to wait two hours on the plane for the de-icer. Then another two hours for the runway to take off. I was beginning to consider what life would be like living on that plane on that runway, how the view would change as the seasons passed. Finally we took off, landing 40 minutes later in a city with 3 feet of snow. 15 hours earlier I had been in Los Angeles. This was an adjustment.

I had worn my winter hiking boots for the first time in two years, noticing a crack across the soles of each of them when I put them on. They were old boots, but I figured they could last the trip. They did not. By the time my brother met me at the airport the heel of one of them had cracked open like the San Andreas fault and all the rubber had fallen out from the inside. In all my years of living in New England I had never seen boots do something like that. It was pretty fucking weird.

Burlington was fun. I hung out with all my brother's hippie friends, even played wingman for some of them a few nights, getting them some play. I felt good about myself.

On Christmas Eve my brother and I set out for the 5 hour drive from VT to my parents' place on Cape Cod. We learned after we had been on the road for an hour that we were going to a fancy dinner at 5pm with our whole family. We tried to haul ass to get there in time, but got stuck in more traffic, and ended up getting there an hour late, unshaven, and having not showered. Not sure how I smelled, but I'm sure it wasn't great.

Christmas was nice, although my brother gave me some kind of crazy feverish Burlington cold he had, so I've been sick on my parents' couch the past few days. Now I'm recovering enough to go to New York in a couple days for some new year's eve fun.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Redeye flights and packing like a champion

I'm about to leave LA on the redeye flight tonight to go to the Northeast for two weeks. The reason I'm being nonspecific and saying "Northeast" is that I'm not just going to Boston. I'm flying to NYC, then right on to Burlington VT, driving through Boston to Cape Cod, going back to Boston, then going to New York for New Year's Eve and then finally flying back to LA.

I hate dealing with checked baggage, and since I'm going to be running around all over the place having a big suitcase would really be a pain in the ass, so I'm just going carry-on. Not even packing liquids so I can get through security super-fast (although being as nerdy and caucasian as I am I rarely get stopped, and when I do it's just for about 3 seconds).

I have not packed. Plus, I have to do some laundry before I can pack, otherwise I'll be packing dirty clothes with the intention of washing them when I get back east. I am at work today, which usually goes until 7pm but I'm going to try to get out early, that way I can actually get laundry done, pack for two weeks of very cold weather, and get to the airport in time to have a couple drinks at the Delta terminal bar before getting on the redye.

I like redeyes because you don't lose a whole day of your vacation to the traveling. Plus it's fun to hang out at the bar before the flight and get on the plane a bit buzzed. And almost nobody brings little kids on redeyes. Don't get me wrong, I love kids, but not when they're screaming on flights, or when they decide to share the cold they got in Miss Flickenberger's 1st Grade class with the rest of a Boeing 737. People don't bring kids on redeyes unless they're really strapped for time or if they really don't like their kids.

Sure, I'll be kind of a zombie tomorrow probably and want to take a nap, but I'll be in my brother's place in VT, so that won't really be a problem. A good nap will help me rally before we head out into the frigid north to get a few drinks around Burlington, which I hear is a pretty fun town.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I miss Firefly

I have a little "quote of the day" gadget on my Google homepage, and one of the ones on there today was from Joss Whedon's Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog. This inspired me to look up Joss Whedon quotes in general (including one of my favorites: "Always be yourself. Unless you suck"). I then started reading quotes from the short-lived series Firefly.

I haven't watched any of these episodes in a while, but reading these quotes makes me remember why I loved it so much. I wish it were still on.

I'm excited to see what Dollhouse will be like, and I'm sure I'll be a fan of the show, but it's no Firefly I'm sure. Firefly is the show that made me first get on the Joss Whedon bandwagon, made me really want to write for television, specifically one of his shows. I learned the ins and outs of the 4 act TV structure by watching those episodes so many times that I started noticing the details of the structure.

Every single episode of Firefly can be described on a scale from "very good" to "amazing". Had the series continued, I doubt that every episode would have been good. Every show has it's ups and downs. But I do believe that the series as a whole would have continued to be excellent. It's a show I wish I had been able to write for, and even though never saw it on the air (I like many others discovered it on DVD), I miss it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Total bummer

Remember my rage a couple months back that Microsoft had killed my computer until Dell came in to fix it? Well it's happened again.

Microsoft autoupdates installed Service Pack 3, and my computer could no longer boot windows normally. It was pretty similar to what happened last time, so I'm fairly certain that the video card was fried, just like last time. But this time it was a brand new video card, not an older one.

I learned my lesson and called Dell right away instead of trying to deal with Microsoft tech support guys in Mumbai, but he wasn't able to fix it. Instead, they're sending me a new computer, which is cool of them.

It'll be a pain in the ass to get my old files off my old computer (especially music and stuff like that) but it'll be a newer machine, which is nice. Another downside though is that they may only have the red casing for the laptop, not the black. So in the future I may be writing on a computer that looks like it was built to launch nuclear missiles from the Kremlin.

Monday, December 15, 2008

This week in Obvious...

It took a scientific study to prove that dogs can get jealous.

Seriously, anyone who's ever had more than one dog at the same time could have told you this. When I was a kid we had three dogs. I had an uncle with five, and my cousins had two. On the holidays there would be ten dogs under one roof. You could easily tell that they all had distinct personalities, and they would get mad about things, especially if you paid more attention to one over the other.

In this study they had two dogs do tricks, and after then did it one got fed and the other didn't. The hungry dog became agitated.

I can't wait to see their next $10 million study when they dump a bucket of water on the floor and then see if the floor is wet. It should really change our perceptions of the world.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bad way to start your morning

Know how sometimes you wake up early in the morning and think, "oh shit, I have to go to work" then you remember that it's Saturday, and you can go back to sleep since you have nowhere to go? Isn't that a great feeling?

I had the opposite this morning. I opened my eyes thinking it was Saturday for some reason, then remembered that it was actually Friday and I had to get up and go to work.

Total bummer.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I think Starbucks coffee is more addictive than other coffees

I have no legitimate data to back up my hypothesis, but it really wouldn't surprise me if I'm actually right.

All I know is that back when I used to drink a ton of coffee I never got headaches when I went without it for a day until I started brewing starbucks coffee in our office.

Scientists, get on this.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I've recently coined this term to explain the problem found in many pieces of historical fiction, in particular scripts about significant figures in history. I call it B.R.A.S., which stands for Biopic Reach-Around Syndrome. It occurs when the writer holds his subject in too high a regard, and therefore spends the entire script attempting to jerk them off/perform cinematic fellatio on them.

It's always a significant point in history, and the people are always passionate, never doubt themselves, and come up with marvelous displays of their own brilliance. It's never, "a man walks into a bar and meets a friend for a drink". It's always, "Our hero walks into [insert name of famous bar] while the TV shows news coverage of [insert seminal moment in history] and meets [insert other famous figure]. They proceeded to be awesome together."

The writer puts his subject up on a pedestal, and so he/she ceases to be human. Then the story comes off flat, like it's kissing someone's ass. This format works fine when you're doing short reenactments for a History Channel documentary, but doesn't work for a movie.

The reason it happens so often is that movie scripts take a long time to write, so for a writer to devote the time to writing a biopic they have to like the person enough to devote months of their lives to writing a story about that person. Generally they hold this figure in high regard, and can't help but try and show them in the best light possible.

The other reason is that a lot of people in LA are star-fuckers. To them, a story is interesting if there are famous people in it, even if the story isn't very exciting to begin with. Going to Starbucks for a coffee isn't interesting, and these people agree. However, if you go to Starbucks for coffee and George Clooney is line in front of you, these people now think that's a fantastic story worth telling. And maybe it is worth telling to your co-workers when you sit back at your desk with your latte, but it's not something you should put in your memoirs, and it's definitely not something worth writing a movie about.

Plus a lot of biopic movies are M.O.W.'s on TV networks, which tend to have a lower quality of writing than more mainstream movies.

I'm not saying all biopics are like this, but the biopics that succeed are the ones that try to get at the truth of their subject, not jerk off to their memory on celluloid.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Multiplicity Sushi Restaurant

There's a sushi restaurant down the street from our office, which we assume is family run. We assume this because nearly every person who works there is identical, with the exception of a woman we assume is their mom, because she also kinda looks like them. Either the guys running the place are identical triplets, or they're the results of a strange cloning experiment. Another piece of evidence supporting the cloning theory is that one of the "brothers" could be described as slightly off, by which I mean we believe he may have some sort of social anxiety problem. But then again , we're Hollywood assistants, what the hell do we know.

In the movie Multiplicity, Michael Keaton made clones of himself so he could have more personal time. Then the clones made a clone of one of themselves, who was then a little slow. In the end, the two regular clones and the "special" clone went and opened up a pizza parlor together.

Now since this Sushi place is located right between a whole bunch of movie production companies, I'm wondering if the guys who developed Multiplicity ate at this restaurant, saw all these clone-type brothers, and that gave them the idea. It's Hollywood, crazier things have happened.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Funny timing

One of my bosses thinks that unless I'm doing company work during every waking hour of my life I'm being a slacker, and that "everyone in the industry does this" while failing to mention that other people in the industry also get paid overtime and get health benefits, which I do not. I also don't have any real hope of advancing within the company since it's a very small operation, and this guy hasn't done enough in town to really add any prestige to my job. It's only a matter of time until I move on to elsewhere and this is just another line on my resume, so I have no incentive whatsoever to go the extra mile here and sacrifice what little free time I still have left.

He was giving me shit for not taking scripts home with me every night during the week, which is ridiculous because we don't even get that many scripts in the office, even if I did have time to read it between leaving the office at 8pm and coming back the next morning at 8:45.

Right after I walked out of his office saddled with a pile of annoying crap to go through over the weekend I got an email from my college "alumni in entertainment" group with a job listing for a Writer's Asst job on a TV show. This is exactly the kind of job I want to have next since I want to write for TV, plus it's a full time job with benefits since it's set up at a studio.

I'm totally applying for this.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Got sick

I caught a cold on my flight back to Boston on Wednesday. This is what happens when I don't take red-eye flights. See, on the red-eye no one really takes their kids with them, it'd be cruel to the kids. On the rare times you see a kid on a red-eye you think "wow, that mom must either be really strapped for time or must not like her kid."

Either way the result is fewer children on the plan, ergo, fewer passengers carrying every germ they picked up that week in elementary school, therefore fewer germs in the air on the plane. When I fly during regular human hours, there are plenty of kids. And now I have a sore throat.

I took yesterday off from work, and while it was nice to be able to sit on my ass and watch DVD's and drink tea, my stupid east coast puritanical work ethic makes me feel guilty even about that, so I only took the one day. Now I'm at work, and I don't want to be here. I'm tired, and my throat hurts worse than it did this morning.

Also on the plus side, NewGirl (who isn't so new anymore, but I can't just call her "Girl") brought me some soup from Canter's last night. It was very sweet of her, and the soup was very good. Gotta hand it to the Jews, they can makes some pretty good comfort food.