Friday, September 28, 2007

Very Superstitious

There is nothing exciting happening in the world of American sports (shifts eyes suspiciously)....

Ok, maybe there's something cool going on. Maybe it's possessing me so much that it's starting to distract me at work. Maybe I'm so damn excited that I can't think about much else. Maybe I can't blog about anything else because I can't think of anything else worth blogging about because it's taking over my whole consciousness. But I'm a superstitious man and I'm not going to talk about it until it's a sure thing. God forbid I be the one to curse it.

So, yeah, nothing's happening.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I Ruin Your Childhood Misconceptions

Hey everybody! Got a couple of things for you today. First, on my Google homepage, I have a feed of WikiHow. This is a daily instruction on how to do, well, something. Innocuous things like "How to Steam Broccoli" or "How to Change a Tire." Today was "How to Flirt." Here's some highlights:

"Being a good listener is far more important to successful flirting than being witty." As someone who prides himself on wit, there is nothing more important than being witty. Maybe this is why I suck at flirting.
"Or be more assertive and hold the person's hand when you cross the street." Are we trying to date someone's grandma, or a five year old? Also note that that one is a link to "How to hold hands."
"What you say is not particularly important(as long as it's not completely idiotic)." Of course what you say is important! Don't go talking about the holocaust- it's not idiotic, but it's a terrible flirting topic.
"Funerals, for example, are generally not good places to flirt." If you needed a website to tell you not to flirt at funerals, maybe you shouldn't be trying so hard to breed.

Second on the docket, apparently last night's premiere of CSI:NY had a plot line featuring mystery blood on the Statue of Liberty. Loyal readers will remember I posted about a mysterious Statue of Liberty head on this very blog not so long ago (I believe the title was "Working in the Picture Business" for the curious and forgetful among you). Well, I saw the commercial for the show and I can assure you that it was the same head I blogged about. So, in case you watched the show, DON'T BE FOOLED! They weren't really repelling down the Statue of Liberty's face, they were on the side of my parking structure. It was all movie/television trickery and lies! Lies, I tell you!

Tune in next time when I tell you how magicians saw a lady in half and spoil the endings of popular movies.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Writing am hard

Sorry about missing yesterday, loyal readers (reader?), it's been pretty busy. We're gearing up to start production on a new movie and are expecting an offer from a studio any day now. It's pretty exciting, but it certainly makes me busy. However, since my boss is taking a quick break (ie- nap), I figured I had time to fire off a blog.

Part of my job is to read scripts, and frankly, it's my favorite part. There's nothing better an aspiring writer can do than read other people's scripts, especially from represented writers. What strikes me more than anything is how bad most scripts are. And these are people who are actually being paid to write. It certainly gives me hope. That said, I just read a knockout of a comedy. It's amazing how much a script that's even remotely original stands out like a sore thumb. It always makes me want to start writing again.

Which brings me to my current problem- I haven't done any serious work on any of my scripts for over a week now. Sometimes I just get into a writer's funk. It's not that I don't know what I want to write, I just can't get the enthusiasm up to write it. This is especially true of the drama I'm working on right now. When I write comedy, I'm always excited to go back and make the characters I've created say and do funny things. Sometimes, I even surprise myself and funny jokes flow out of my head in a stream of consciousness. It's exciting. Drama is much harder to get enthused about. I open up the Macbook, start up Final Draft, and think, "Welp, it's time to kill the character that's been living in my head for six months." It's unbelievably hard. I write ten pages, get depressed, then turn off the computer and forget about it for a while. It's amazing how much fiction, even fiction that only exists in my head, can affect me. I have another idea for a drama in my head, but I think I'll need to do another comedy after I finish this project. Or maybe replace the guns with banana cream pies...I don't think that would compromise the integrity of the story much.
Catch you next time,

p.s.- I just realized I'm still paying for Anyone have any good ideas for what I should do with a website?

Friday, September 21, 2007

All Kinds of Stuff

I have no cohesive theme for my blog today, it's just going to be some thoughts that are coming to mind. My wife has one of her best friends from high school in town this weekend, and today they went to Disneyland. Without me. I got to go to work instead. I don't begrudge them going without me, I just wish I was there instead of here. It's a deep bitterness, but it's not directed at anyone.

I might get to go home early because today is Yom Kippur. I love working in Hollywood.

The Cubs's Magic Number is currently 8, and could be 7 by the end of the day if the Braves can beat the Brewers (which they'd better). A two game lead feels a hell of a lot better than a one game lead, let me tell you. That little extra wiggle room is nice to have. For those of you who don't know me (I should stop saying that, I'm pretty sure that everyone who's reading this knows me...if you don't, introduce yourself in the comments- make me feel popular) I'm a HUGE Cubs fan. If the Cubs hold on and make the playoffs, they could end up playing San Diego and/or Arizona. Road trip!

Finally, in that parenthetical in the last paragraph, I just realized I used three different punctuation devices to indicate a "pause." There's two commas, an ellipses, and a dash. Variety, kids! It's what makes life worth livin'!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Gather 'round the teevee box!

It's that time again! The summer doldrums of network television are passing by, and it's time for the new fall season! Not that summer has been a total wash. HBO has been splendid with a great season of Big Love, a good (though not as good as in the past) season of Entourage, and my favorite new show Flight of the Conchords. Plus, TBS aired the pleasantly surprising My Boys (it helps that it's about Cubs fans, but it really is smartly written). But nothing compares with the fall, when we have a glut of the new and the welcome return of my favorites.

The first new show I'm interested in aired last night- Back to You on Fox. The commercials did nothing for me, it looked like a fairly stale premise, and I can't stand Patricia Heaton (mostly because of how quickly she jumped on the pro-Rush Limbaugh/ anti-Michael J. Fox /anti-stem cell bandwagon during the last election) but I was interested. First, the critics told me to be interested. It was universally acclaimed. Second, I love Kelsey Grammar (hooray for Sideshow Bob!). Third, it's created by two of the guys from Frasier. Also, Fred Willard's on it, and he's hilarious! So, what did I think. Not bad, really. Made me laugh out loud more than once (twice at least on Fred Willard jokes...just sayin'). I give every new show I watch a few episodes to prove itself, and I feel like Back to You has a solid foundation. It at least has my interest.

What else will I be watching? In terms of new shows- Reaper (Kevin Smith directed the pilot), Pushing Daisies (could be cool or just plain horrible), Dirty Sexy Money, and Carpoolers (it has Arrested Development creators on board- I'm there). There may be others I'll try, I just can't remember them. I'm also going to start watching How I Met Your Mother. I've seen a couple episodes and Neil Patrick Harris is just plain brilliant. Plus, it's funny. It officially becomes the first show I've wanted to regularly watch on CBS (aside from news and Letterman) in at least a decade. That's impressive.

Returning shows? Sunday belongs to Fox and animation. Simpsons, King of the Hill, Family Guy, and even American Dad because I'm too lazy to change the channel (it's not as bad as most people say, but I wouldn't miss it if it was gone). Thursdays belong to NBC. All four of their sitcoms are absolute top notch, and I can't wait to get them started again; especially The Office and 30 Rock. Other than that, House and Heroes come back soon, but then I have to wait until January for 24 and Lost. So, my schedule's pretty full. I'm sure things will change, but it's always an exciting time. Oh, and one thing I won't be watching: Cavemen. Stupid commercials, even worse show. That's all I have to say right now.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Rosh Hashanah

Today ends Rosh Hashanah, or, as one of the guys my company is working with put it- Roshomon. Now, everyone knows my industry is run by liberal Jews, so yesterday was supposed to be a day off for me. My boss wasn't coming into work, and neither were any of the agents and producer-types that we deal with. As an interesting side note, after sundown on Wednesday, the only calls we got in our office were from people with last names starting with "Mc" (McKittrick, McKnight, McCarthy). Seems the Irish don't think about the Jewish New Year much.

It also turns out that most of the Jews I know don't think much about it earlier. On Wednesday, everyone was talking about "Observing" and spending the day off with their families, away from work. On Thursday, well...they may not have been in the office, but that doesn't mean they weren't working. The way this works is that an executive calls their assistant from their cell phone, then the assistant calls someone else's assistant, who in turn calls their executive on cell phone, and the assistants patch it through as a conference call. Apparently this is easier than one person just calling the other on their cells directly. It makes easy things much more complicated, and I ended up having a surprisingly busy day yesterday. I think Yom Kippur will be different. Everyone seems to agree that that holiday is way more important and that they shouldn't be working. We'll see.

In other news, big congratulations to my brother who announced his engagement yesterday! I don't know Ronni yet, but she always posts very nice comments on my blog and I'm sure she's a lovely girl. Mazel Tov!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

How I spent my Weekend. By Eli- age 6

Man, I gotta tell you, I love Disneyland. And Disney World, too. If I had a choice to be anywhere at almost any given moment, I would choose a Disney theme park. I bring this up because last Friday, I took my parents there and it straight up kicked ass. The off-season started this past week (and basically only lasts until the Halloween promotion starts up) and there were absolutely NO lines in the park. Middle of the day, we were waiting 10 minutes for Space Mountain. As someone who usually doesn't mind lines, I was downright giddy. Melissa says I turn five as soon as I pass through the gates of Disneyland, and on Friday I certainly felt 5. The only downside was that the Haunted Mansion was closed while they put up the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay. Since I normally ride the mansion between 3 and 6 times on each trip, this made a big difference. Oh well, next time.

I can't put my finger on exactly what appeals to me so much about Disney. I think more than anything it's the attention to detail. When I'm walking around Adventureland, I can convince myself I'm in an Indiana Jones movie. Main Street just feels like home. It's unlike anywhere else I've been, and it just makes me happy. I love it, and I'm not ashamed to say that I love it. I think everyone should check out one of the parks with me at some time. Sure, you can have fun by yourself, but going with me is like getting a guided tour. Please, share my love.

We also took my parents to the LA Zoo. I live about 5 minutes away from the zoo and had never been. It always looked kind of small and unimpressive, especially considering the king of all American zoos is just a couple hours away in San Diego. I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. We got there early before the heat kicked in, and as a result, we got to see the animals actually moving most of the time. It was a much better collection than I was expecting (though the living environments seemed a little too small to me). Lots of cool little primates and some great giraffes who were practically blocking the walkway with their necks. But the highlight was the orangutans. I love apes and monkeys. If you know me, you're already aware of this. These orangutans were simply awesome. There was a two year old that was just going nuts, and actually used one of those swinging ropes like Tarzan, which I've never seen an animal do in person before. Also, she stuck her finger up her but for a really long time. Hehe, I'm a grown up.

The adult males were also impressively large and they were sitting right up by the glass in their habitat, which made for some great viewing. But it was while reading the story of Eloise that I got to thinking. Eloise is the oldest orangutan in the clan and she's been at the zoo the longest. She also has cerebral palsy (I believe that's the one it said she had) and other mental disabilities. Now- how great of a children's song or book would "Eloise the Retarded Orangutan" be? Sure, it might offend some of the sensitive types, but it could teach a message or something. I haven't really thought it out, it's just a fun title.

" 'Eloise, you shouldn't take that baby! It's not a doll and it's not yours!' But it was too late, and the zoo keeper knew it was going to be a long day."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Well, with my parents in town this weekend, I haven't spent a lot of time blogging. I'll probably post a catch-up of all the exciting things I've done tomorrow. Today, I wanted to share with you the wonders of the scientific world.

I'm a total gadget nerd. I honestly read three separate gadget blogs on a daily basis (checking each multiple times). For the record, they are: Engadget, Gizmodo, and TUAW (the Unofficial Apple Weblog). I can't get enough of them. I want to know exactly what the cutting edge is so I can plan for my future wealth. Do I need to read 70 posts about various things happening to the iPhone? No. But do I want to? You better believe it. Sometimes, these blogs step away from the latest handheld media players and high-def TVs and talk about some real science. Two such posts caught my eye this week:

Today, on Engadget, I read about a guy who has using a radio-wave generator to desalinate water using radio frequencies. Sounds pretty boring, right? Well, he noticed some little flashes in the water and within a few days he was burning tubes of saltwater like candles. Burning water hot enough to melt the test tubes. As with all science that no one has thought of before, everyone else in the scientific community thought he was making it up. But, another separate scientist just held a demonstration proving that it is indeed...Science! What's this mean? Possibly a new form of fuel...using salt water. Sounds a bit better than oil, no? Follow the link above to see a news report on the demonstration. I don't know why this is exciting me so much, but it is.

Yesterday, I saw a report about a company called Ambient that has developed a wheelchair that is controlled by your mind. You read that correctly, it's a telepathic wheelchair. Basically, the person wears a sensor on their neck, and when they think about certain words, the sensor can read the words from the larynx through the skin. So, think about saying "left," and the chair goes left. I can't help but think of Professor Xavier from the X-Men when I hear this. That guy made being in a wheelchair seem almost cool and this just brings that closer to reality. Read about the demonstration and peep a video here. This isn't as potentially world-changing as burning the most abundant element on earth as fuel (by the way, the water apparently doesn't burn, so it doesn't even really waste water), but it's still pretty damn cool. Already I'm imagining myself sitting in a robotic cyborg chair, arching my brow menacingly and thinking, "Smite my enemies!" You'll all say I'm mad, but I'll show you! Mwuahahahahah!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Ants in an Office

I watched Snakes on a Plane a couple weeks ago on HBO (it was on, what can I say?), and in the spirit of Samuel L. Jackson, I've got something to say:
"I have had it with these motherf*in' ants in this motherf*in' office!"

I don't want it to sound like I'm overrun with ants. They're just here, and they're irritating. Every once in a while I'll see one of the little buggers crawling across the wall or nosing around on my desk. I believe there may be one living inside of my keyboard right now (my work computer's keyboard...those little bastards better keep away from my precious MacBook). I kill them, but they keep coming back. As a side note, I feel bad every time I kill one of them, or any bug for that matter. Just thought I'd mention that.

Anyway, I've been around the block a few times. I've had my share of encounters with ants. This one's different. Normally, ants tend to be making their way toward food or some sort of sweet garbage. These guys seem to want nothing more than to crawl across the walls and desk. Also, most ant attacks consist of a line of ants pouring in from an outside location. I remember one summer I was working at a theater and I had practically an entire ant colony come in to my dorm room through a hole in the wall and crawl all over my bed. I can't figure out for the life of me where these ones are coming from. There no line of ants by the windows, the doors, or any of the seams in the wall. It's just single ants that randomly appear nearby. I somehow find that more disturbing. It's easier to deal with an any problem when you know where it starts. I'm not prepared for mystery ants.

UPDATE: I just found out that we are apparently being kicked off of the studio lot (not just my department, all of my company), and we're going to be getting new offices. Don't know where we're going, but hopefully the ants won't follow. Not looking forward to a long commute, though.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


I got nothin'. I want to be good and post today, but I have little to nothing to talk about. I didn't do much over the holiday. Stayed inside mostly because it was about 106 degrees for most of the weekend, had my fantasy football draft, had dinner with a couple friends, went to a bar with another friend. I had great times, but very little of my weekend would actually interest the outside world. Come back tomorrow, I'll be more interesting. I promise.