Sunday, July 31, 2005

Reading Update

For those of you with a scorecard (place your bets, people!), I finished Dogs of Babel and am halfway through Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way.

Can't heartily recommend either.

Dogs has some fascinating philosophical ideas. And a few beautiful paragraphs I may retype for you here. But I have to warn you: I'm totally brain-scarred by its midsection. Not since Speaker For the Dead have I felt that betrayed by an author's sudden, swift, and sound use of violence. I don't like it. I don't like that it's going to become the only image I remember from the novel. I don't like that it leaves me wanting to rock in a corner like a mental patient. PLEASE authors. Don't rape my mind like that. I avoid graphic violence for a reason. I may have embraced my dark side and shaken hands with my shadow, but I don't want to read your god-damned ugliness. Spew it in your journal and then burn it like the rest of us.

Okay, rant over. And really, there's much to recommend the novel. So if you're not teetering on the edge of insanity, afraid one rubber-necking incident will gently kiss you into the abyss, then by all means read about a beloved character's family dog being kidnapped by sadists and operated on so that it can speak English. Canine mutiliation is the new light summer read.

Oh, and Bruce Bruce Bruce. I love you, my little cuddle monkey. Truly and heartily. But the novel is...not good. But please Bruce, keep directing and acting and writing TRUE biographies. Sigh. If that wife of yours ever leaves you and you want to take a chance on a strange stranger...I'm here.

LESTER BANGS: Be honest and unmerciful.
-Almost Famous

P.S. Tried TWICE to see The Aristocrats this weekend with feminist fatale/director extraordinaire Helen Stickler; foiled both times. Friday night by a long week (11:15 pm screening? Urgh. Argh. Can' on...without me). Saturday night by the Curse of the Arclight (I'm sorry ma'am, ALL our shows sold out online hours ago). Makes me say &@#$!#**

P.P.S. For those considering diddling an hour of your precious life on those "Test Your IQ" internet pop up ads: No one in Mensa International clicks on those links. THERE'S your free litmus test.

P.P.P.S. It's Post Secret Sunday.

So Much To Say...

No time to say it in. Mom is stable and looking good. No clue how long they're going to keep her; we hope much longer. Completely in love with Unnamed Hospital and its fiercely hot, compassionate staff. Making illness yummy, one patient at a time.

Big Bro left today. Meant the world to have him here, even as a false alarm. Nurse Sis and I enjoyed the help/break, and I got some great networking done on his behalf with the time off (literary agent leads, manager leads, two offers from comic shops for signings, and another reporter who wants to write about our oddball family!). Phew.

Also was able to attend another all-day lecture at Wendall Thomas' house, whom I adore. Fabulous, caring, generous to a fault Wendall-in-a-Goddess-t-shirt guiding us through the treacherous waters of screencraft. Je t'aime potato, Wendall!

I finally feel like a journeyman in screenwriting. (Five UCLA and New School screenwriting classes and two feature scripts written inbetween auditions and independent TV producing didn't count...the real studying began in the UCLA graduate level.) I think the fifteen months I've spent immersed in graduate screenwriting at UCLA have finally paid off. I feel structure in my bones now, which is not an easy task for a natural dialogue writer (they're different sides of the brain, so your proclivity is going to be towards one...Then the study begins to shore up the Other).

I'd be a fool to say I feel confident in my skillset. Professional writers continue to study and learn and evolve, and most say it takes around ten years of actually working as a screenwriter before you become good. Part of why so many yokels around town wreak of hubris is because they don't get the concept of how specific the art of screenwriting is. Short and lots of spaces means every word drips with significance, like a haiku.

But I do feel confident enough to start showing my work to the professional land. Baby steps.

Well, if you've written a brilliant Hercules episode, or Evil Dead IV, you might as well wallpaper your bathroom with it.
– Bruce Campbell, on why writing sequels on spec isn't such a great idea

Friday, July 29, 2005

Friday Update

Well, it's just the way it is around here...we've been living on a see-saw for years now. For those of you who haven't experienced cancer, trying to follow Mom's health updates gives you a good feel for it. Is she or isn't she...Who knows?

Nurse Sis estimated Mom's chances of pulling through on Wednesday around 50/50. Then Mom was clear-headed and much better yesterday, not obtunded like the day before. Still having a hard time breathing, but Nurse Sis stayed all day with her to get her meds right with the doctors and watch them like hawks (their constant questions and mistakes were driving Mom nuts). But she was with it enough to comment on the consistent beauty of everyone taking care of her (and no rings!). Can definitely see why Brad Pitt et al hang out there when they're "dehydrated from exhaustion." Mom referred to the eye candy as "Bubblicious" and suggested Nurse Sis work there instead of her current hospital. Oh, that rascally Mom.

Big Bro arrived in the evening, and that cheered her up immensely. But aparently she had a rough night last night and her heart rate dropped way too low. They were waking her up every forty-five minutes to check her vitals. They might tap her lungs today to relieve a half liter of the fluid there, or they might wait. Visiting hours are just opening up, and Big Bro is there already. I need to take Nurse Sis' checkbook to her work, then I'll be going to the hospital. So, who knows? Her spirits are low again.

For those of you who were marveling at the amount of reading I get done, my biggest scoop is that there's really nothing else to do at a hospital. It's too rude to bring my laptop, so I bring scripts and books. Yesterday I read Dogs of Babel, and today I'll probably read Bruce Campbell's. Anxiety levels are high; you have to find some way of occupying your mind so you don't start eating or doing something else destructive.

Also, I clocked myself for the reader who asked. I read in the neighborhood of 75 pages an hour, so I can finish the average novel in 3-4 hours. Because I'm reading an hour before bed every night (TV is all reruns, and if I don't reset my brain I have either insomnia or terrible nightmares), it's quite simple for me to read a book and a half a week. Probably not the vacation you all thought it was. But certainly doable. You just need a sick loved one!

Amanda, thank you for your kind email...I am watching my spoons. I've been exercising an hour in the morning and an hour at night, so that helps the anxiety levels. Has a weird effect of making me eat only once a day, but when I do eat it's healthy fresh veggies and lean meat. But I'm feeling stronger and better than when I was doing the doughnut binge and sleeping too much. How to drop six pounds in a week...again, you just need a sick loved one!

I'm going to a book signing tonight of a friend of a friend. Good book, too. So I have that to look forward to. And I'm still editing Mom's autobiography. That will occupy me for at least another week.

Take care everyone, and thanks for the positive thoughts!

Thursday, July 28, 2005


We've got Mom in the right hands...the ER of the best hospital in LA. They're testing her every which way, and we're still waiting on some of those results. It's not lung cancer, yea! Completely freaked waiting for THAT result last night.

Looks like a lung/pulmonary infection. Nurse Sis still has a hit that it could be or turn into a blood infection, which would explain many of her symptoms the past month and is treatable. The results from those tests take 24-48 hours. Big bro was able to free up his schedule and we're so excited he's on his way.

Clearly your prayers are working. Thank you so much.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Cowboy Up

Ambulance is coming at seven pm to take Mom to the ER. I will print out your comments for her (as always).

I had a thought...if any of you want to send her written mail, send it Attn: Elisabeth Fies, Shero Media Inc. 7510 W. Sunset Blvd. #139 Hollywood 90046

Just keep it rather light and peppy. She's come out of tailspins before, so fingers crossed.

Heads Up

Not sure how best to word this without causing hysteria, or conversely underplaying the situation. Mom's not doing good.

She has been gone from our house for five weeks now, first to UCLA hospital, than to a rehab center, now to something that looks like a convalescent home you go to die in.

We had hoped that she would gain some movement in her paralyzed legs, get her wildly fluctuating sugars under control. (In June she suddenly developed diabetes caused by the steroids they're giving her to reduce the brain swelling caused two years after the radiation treatment that killed her brain tumor...still with me?)

In the last two weeks it looked increasingly unlikely that she would ever be strong enough to live with us again, but we were hoping to get her mobile enough in her wheelchair to eventually move into an assisted living facility with Hero.

Instead, her symptoms and body functions have unilaterally decreased. Brenda (Nurse Sis) has spent the last five weeks doing eight to twelve hour shifts in Mom's room because the doctors and nurses have not been taking care of her. I know for a fact Brenda has caught at least four mistakes that would have killed Mom. Then last night at three am, Mom called the house completely out of it and with terrible pain in her right leg. In the middle of the phone call, the phone cut out, and we couldn't get the nurse on duty to go check on Mom.

It's four pm now, and Mom's doctor still hasn't checked in on her. Brenda is hoping against hope he will move her to a real hospital, but doesn't think it's likely. She's basically stuck in a room where they pay no attention to her, even though all her skills are rapidly deteriorating. If Brenda wasn't there, I don't think they'd even be changing her diaper.

Brenda works all day shifts at her real hospital job Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, which means I'll be with Mom trying to decipher what the hell is going on and telling the doctors what they should be doing. Not my strong suit. I'm much better at reading to her or bringing her a homemade dinner.

Brenda called me crying a few hours ago, totally breaking down. I say that not to betray her (she needs to be seen as strong), but because of its significance. I can count on one hand how many times I've seen my big sister cry. And it is never a good sign.

Anyway, we're freaked out and exhausted (two years now with no break...even the last year, we haven't had any days off), and there's no hope on the horizon. Mom even called Brian today to ask him to come down from Northern California, but he's too swamped with work. She knows how sick she is...she's never asked to see him before.

Mom really didn't want you all to know, especially with the good news of the Eisner Award. But obviously she was really sick if she couldn't make it to that. I'm not sure what you're supposed to do with this info...sorry to lay it on you, but if I were a regular reader and Mom suddenly died, I'd feel really betrayed.

I guess hang on to the hope Mom represents, and light a candle for her to remind you to think of her throughout the day (that's her favorite custom). And send good thoughts to Brenda, because she's the only reason Mom has been here this long for all of you to get to know and love.

By the way, her name is Barbara. Nickname is Bridge.

Just a Tuppence

A drop in the bucket really, for owning a piece of Geek History. Who is going to buy it for me?

For this much more affordable piece, I'll write you a sci-fi script.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Vote Now!

Received the Mom's Cancer postcards yesterday that fate thwarted us from passing out at Comic-Con. The front is the proposed book cover.

So what do you all think? Would you buy this book for yourself if you picked it up in a store? Would you buy it for a loved one with cancer? It may be too late, but I thought some feedback from people who already love Mom's Cancer could be helpful to Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

Also, please contact me if you're interested in distributing postcards in your community...Brian has a ton of them left, and it's never too early to spread the word. I'm going to drop some off at my local comic shop and Mom's hospital today.
Mom's Cancer Book Cover (this is the promo postcard) Posted by Picasa
Verso Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 25, 2005

See, you CAN buy just have to be delusional and naive. And what's up with that blonde hair on me?...Crack is Whack, people.
 Posted by Picasa
More Comic-con! Just kidding. It's a Golden Oldie, in honor of the revelation that a gay friend of mine used to strip. Drat! I knew it! Posted by Picasa

Summer Lovin'

Which in my case means curling up with a good book. After my theft confession, Martin asked what I am currently reading. Oh, Martin you silly man. You will come to regret that boldness, as my list is towering. July's reads included:

Nick Hornby's High Fidelity and About a Boy. Thanks to my readers for the suggestions. Lovely and wise and funny. Though all the odd punctuation: hard to read.

The Every Boy by Dana Adam Shapiro. New release hardback. Soon to be a Major Motion Picture; get your copy now. It's my childhood in the eighties. Okay, it's actually Henry Every's childhood in the eighties, and probably quite a bit of Dana's. If you can't relate to this beautiful story, why are you reading my blog?

The Sisterhood of The Travelling Pants, in preparation for a tween sci-fi/fantasy script I'm prepping. Honestly, wasn't crazy about it. Just so-so. Better prep was the long weekend I just spent with my brilliant second cousins. Was I that together at fourteen?

Medium by Alison Dubois. Read as research for my current spec script. As someone who grew up in San Francisco during the hotbed of Newage spiritual exploration, I wasn't pleased. Found it a trite "homage" to the worst occult nonsense of the eighties. No wisdom to be gleaned here, and I liked the real medium less than Patricia's sharp version. Never thought I'd find someone that made Kevin Ryerson sparkle like a jewel, but there it is.

David Sedaris' Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. Dave, Dave, Dave. I could turn you straight Dave, I just know it. Dump Hugh and we'll live in Anne Frank's house together.

Stephen King's The Dead Zone. Didn't know I could love Johnny more. What a fabulous world the movie, book and show have built. I'm going to enjoy writing the spec this fall. According to the show mythology, my head injury was a month after Johnny's. Who is going to be the first to ask if I have psychic powers?

Successful Television Writing. A screenwriting book I highly recommend. (Shocking, right?).

"Purchased" at That Corporation That Had it Coming to Them:
The Dogs of Babel
The Count of Monte Cristo
The Handmaid's Tale
Little Earthquakes
Bergdorf Blondes
Reading Lolita in Tehran
The Metaphysical Club
(go Chuck!)
The Best Awful (go Carrie!)
Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way
(let's go, she-bitch!)

Legitimately Acquired From Samuel French:
Oona; Living in the Shadows
Crafty Screenwriting - thank you Mr. Epstein
The WB TV Writers Workshop Guide
Television Writing From the Inside Out

Exhausted yet? I am. Thank Zeus I'm not reading as many friends' scripts at the moment. Up next is Dogs of Babel, then probably Bruce's mocku-tell-all.

Almost done reading Dave Sedaris and Dana Adam Shapiro to Mom in her hospital room. Then we're either going to reread Narnia or Hitchhiker's guide. Her choice, of course. She's not a fan of the audio books, but she loves when I read to her. Says I'm the only one who has ever done it for her, other than her grandpa.

You realize of course that I'm not including script or comic consumption on this list. That topic has been covered ad nauseum elsewhere on this here blog. Look it up, peeps!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

She Cried More! More! More!

Mo' Comic-Con photos coming soon. Tonight or tomorrow.

Our second cousins, who we call nieces, are visiting from St. Louis. We are having soooo much fun. They are the most kick-ass, empowered 14 and 15 year-olds ever. Totally clicking: sight-seeing, gossiping, power-shopping. We're on our way to show them Rodeo Drive, than Hollywood & Highland, then a live taping of So You Think You Can Dance. Yesterday we watched a half season of Entourage, ate at Mel's on Sunset, shopped til we dropped, ran around Westwood, and saw the UCLA campus (Casey's planning on going...yea!). Friday we went to Universal Studios and saw an amazing 80s cover band called the Spazmatics. TOO FUN!!!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Showing the Writing Group

How Blogger works!
Me and Sarah with THE ONLY LOIS LANE Posted by Picasa
Best Couple - look at that pitch-perfect George Perez hair... Posted by Picasa
Charles Yoakum, Super inker/artist  Posted by Picasa
Chad Posted by Picasa
Todd  Posted by Picasa
Mark! Posted by Picasa
Bat-wich Posted by Picasa

sex, lies, and omissions

*humming* Been caught stealing...So I spent a crap load of money on books at an unnamed chainstore. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $250 for my summer reading. Drop in the bucket for my addiction. should have been more like $310.

See, they had this sale on, and I walked up with about 18 books. The clerk rang them all up, got confused about the 4 for 3 or 3 for 2 or whatever thingie. Made me go around and show him all the sale books to confirm that the ones without stickers were actually on sale. Then stood in front of the cash register with a blank look on his face for an eternity. The whole thing took about twenty minutes of my life I'll never get back (not counting the queue), but when I lugged out of there with my stash I had "accidentally" saved an extra sixty bucks.

Not a twinge of guilt. I'm a moral person. But I'm not that moral. There are limits. I won't BS you and say I frequent the store so I deserve it, or they owe me for being corporate bastards destroying the planet, or that the books are marked up anyway to cover that sort of thing. No. I stole. And I liked it.

Anyone else have a confession of immorality? Stealing only please. The sex tag was just to "sell" the post to ya. And reference my favorite move of all time.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

A Lonely Place of Dying

That's one rager up there in the Great Comic-Con in the Sky. I'm really upset. Jim Aparo? Jim Aparo my definitive Catwoman artist. The God who drew the cover (see below) of the FIRST COMIC I ever bought. And I've never shaken his hand, never bought any of his art...I'm getting pretty effing mad at the universe. Stop killing my heroes. And yes, Kirby and Roz are STILL DEAD. This is just crap.
A DEATH IN THE FAMILY. Posted by Picasa


Check out Brian's post about the Eisners.

If you're a comics fan and haven't subscribed to Warren Ellis' Bad Signal email list, go gets on it!

Sorry about James Doohan. Poor Star Trek - it's been a tough year. At least Shatner got another Emmy nom. Now if they would just bring back his damn show...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Sorry all, I'm still recovering from the overwhelming event Comic-Con has evolved into. Even Sunday was packed with wall to wall people, which is new. One hundred thousand individuals attended - and I think every one of 'em elbowed or jostled me. But I'm catching up on my sleep and the headache is starting to subside, so I'll do my best to try to fill you in.

The Show was amazing. Completely different than the other three times because this trip was purpose-driven. I was meeting Mom's Cancer bloggers in person, trying to get the word out there about the book, networking with the screenwriters, hanging with the dealers, all while scheduling in time with a half dozen friends throughout each day. It was an embarrassment of riches, but certainly a different feel than the old days when I could browse with impunity, and wander from panel to panel recording tidbits for Aint it Cool News.

The hotel I stayed in was more akin to a military dorm, complete with shared bathrooms and slamming doors all night long. And of course the elevator was broken just in time for the biggest convention in the world. But I was sooooo lucky to have the room at all...when Nurse Sis realized Mom wouldn't be able to make it to San Diego, I had to cancel our expensive suite and throw myself on my friends' mercy. Thank you Charles Yoakum for making sure I didn't have to drive in from another town every day!

But you all want to know about FRIDAY NIGHT: This was my first year actually attending the Eisner Awards. I had to jet back to the hotel to grab my Sony 150 camera so Mom could see it. Glad I had an industry camera, or else I wouldn't have had a prayer of catching anything from the audience zoomed in with just the camera mic. The shuttle buses took forever both ways, so I ended up arriving late instead of a half hour EARLY. I was freaking out and sweaty and all bad things...until I ran into Room 20 and saw that there were plenty of seats. Unlike the Masquerade ball, there isn't much of an audience for the Eisners. There are something like twenty round tables in front of the stage where the nominees and their guests drink and eat and lord it over the plebians behind them in the folding chairs.

Brian and his family was at a large table in the back row, which was great for me because I could see him and zoom in with the camera to capture his reactions for Mom. I'm not very good at guestimating numbers, but if you know room twenty, the audience was maybe a fourth full at the beginning. Charles and Mark found me immediately and had been saving my seat. They calmed me down, and it turns out the ceremony had started late anyway.

The stage was a podium and a table filled with the coveted Eisners, newly redesigned this year with a spinning globe for winners to fidget with. They left the big screens up from earlier in the day and had a camera shooting closeups of the stage so that the audience members had something to see. It went down like the Academy Awards - guest presenters every two or three categories, five nominees to a category. The Eisners were relentlessly remorse because of the death of Will Eisner. Which was appropriate, and I understand because when I heard of Brian's nomination, my second thought was that I couldn't believe he wouldn't get to shake Will's hand. Even so, at last the Oscars has levity and musical acts during their grueling marathon.

The Digital Award was somewhere around sixth on the list, but they had to get through many speeches and tribute awards before it. I think they ended up doing Brian's award somewhere around the one hour mark of what ended up being a three hour ceremony. Which, by the way, is absolutely ridiculous and rude. Those poor professionals are there until midnight after working booths all day long, with two more days to go. It's just mean to use that time to educate people about the comic industry and the importance of the comic legal defense fund or whatever else they were preaching to the choir. They need to shorten the ceremony. Can't stress it enough.

Scott McCloud was the presenter for Brian's category, which completely freaked me out. I was spazzing. Shouldn't that mean Brian won? Scott was an early supporter of Mom's Cancer, and was a name considered for the book's seemed so significant that he was the presenter. Charles had to remind me that Mr. McCloud didn't actually HAVE all the votes. And on hindsight, he is the pioneering academic in the field and it is a new media category, so there was probably no connection to Brian whatsoever.

So we were all hand wringing and I was trying to keep the camera steady while it was zoomed in at maximum (right...try NOT breathing), and the actual name announcing was just like the Oscar winners always say. Slow, surreal, and I had to triple check to make sure my ears weren't playing tricks on me. Now that I've replayed the tape for Mom and Nurse Sis I know that we screamed and jumped up and then sat back down again and swore a little.

I'm going to paraphrase because I'm too lazy to do a transcript. Brian walked up calm as a cucumber, though his voice was a little quiet. He had a great prepared speech where he started off with a joke (the fact that none of you have heard of me is not for my lack of trying), plugged the book's release date, mentioned his editor, Mom, Nurse Sis, and that I was in the audience. He said he wished Will was there, and that was that. It was professional and appropriate and I hope he's back there next year with a nom for the book, along with Charles for whichever category he most desires a nom in.

The event was so somber that we were trying not to freak out. I was in between Mark and Charles and we were all acting like nothing happened, until my friend Sarah found us, ran over and hugged me. Then we all kind of freaked out for a moment. It was such a relief Mom's Cancer won. I can't even tell you. Brian needed it, but Mom really needed it, too. She's been in the hospital over three weeks now, and we're looking at the possibility she may be living in assisted living facilities instead of with us. Her spirits are understandably low, and we're all really upset and was lovely to finally have some good news to tell her.

Afterwards my friends gathered and we all gushed, and Brian came over to us and let us all hold the award. Very cool. I met a reader who found us through the San Diego Reader's serial run of Mom's Cancer. I didn't meet anyone else...I meant to see if Joss Whedon or Scott McCloud were around, or at least introduce myself to Jackie Estrada. But by midnight, the synpases just weren't firing.

A small group of us went to Dick's for dinner, and things were fairly subdued after the long day and we went home to bed. Sarah was sharing my room by then, and I think we were up until three and then awake elevenish, which is my natural sleeping pattern. Sharing the room with her was much better than being alone in the creepy/haunted 500 West the night before. We blew up my double Aerobed for her and sort of half stuck it under my bed (the rooms were TINY!) and it felt like a slumber party.

Okay, I could go on and on. I'll try to post more favorite moments soon, but for now you all have what you've been clamouring for. Probably more than most of you would have wished for. But eff it, this is a Mom's Cancer blog.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Me and Big Bro Posted by Picasa
The Eisner for Mom's Cancer, already inscribed! Posted by Picasa
Brian accepting Eisner Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 14, 2005


For those of you who don't know, the Eisner Award is the Oscar of the comic industry. It boosts book sales and publicity, and because Hollywood and the comic industry are so inbred now, it definitely helps projects get visibility to be optioned.

So that's where I'm going to be until Sunday - schmoozing with my Hollywood and Comic professional friends, mingling with new contacts, and getting the word out there about Mom's Cancer.

Fingers crossed. I'm sure my bro's publisher would love to stamp "Winner of the First Digital Eisner Award" on Mom's Cancer.

Again, if you're in San Diego and want an autographed pic of Hero or to drink with me, blast me an email. No clue how much access I'll have to internet, but will do my best.

- Kid Sis

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


I'm posting my email addy in my personal section, just from now until Comic-con is over. I'll try to get some forwarding addy after that; something disposable so you all can reach me, but I can jetison it if the spammers find me too.

Are you all this crazy busy before the con? I'm starting to freak out a little. I don't even know if I'm going to have time to dye my roots before I go!

BTW, Mom is probably not mobile/stable enough to go to the Eisners. So if you all were looking forward to seeing her, you're going to have to plan a trip to her LA rehab hospital...visiting hours 11-8 every day...She says hi.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Hero Update

A friend of mine suggested a playdate for Hero and her dog Max last Sunday. They are the same size and age, so we were hoping they would get along.

She wanted to take me out for my b-day lunch, and suggested bringing the dogs and going to Boystown. So the two of us were walking our little dogs on Santa Monica Blvd past Rage, and everyone's stopping to gush over them and tell us how cute they are. Hero was eating it up. He's not that used to being out with all the traffic and strangers and noise, but he got to like it fast. We were told by a nice couple to go to the Abbey because we would totally score free drinks because of the dogs...which is a whole angle that had never occurred to me before. But the Abbey was playing loud music, so we settled instead for an outdoors New York style pizzaria. Yummy.

It was such a beautiful summer day, and it made me realize several things. I miss the social aspect of walking in NYC. Must get out of my car more in LA. Realized I can't wait until Sharri moves up to LA so I can hang with her more often. And, it was definitely confirmed that Hero has a future in greeting cards and public appearances.

So yesterday I took his photo in to a lithograph shop. Felt a bit like an a-hole, because everyone else in there was an actor, and I was ordering reproductions of my freakishly photogenic dog.

Had 500 color 8x10s made for Mom to pass out at Comic-con or wherever. If you're going to be there, make sure you hook up with me so you can have your very own glossy of Hero.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

WTF???? Part Deux

Okay. Aint it Cool News used to use every review and spy report I sent them. Moriarty even printed that he looks forward to getting emails from me in his box. And that I'm "spectacularly cute," but that's neither here nor there. It was just unnecessary and incredibly kind. Upshot is, I've been treated well.

Then suddenly over the last year, the AICN boys randomly stopped printing dwindled down to maybe half. It all started with not printing the "Double Dare" review and Q & A, which shocked me. How many of my reviews do they print now? The last one was that soccer film review over three months ago.

I have access to many advanced screenings and special Q & As. I'm going to one next week, besides Comic-Con. And I love giving back to the fanboy community. That's all I really get from contributing. A little geek cred and the fun of dismantling the Hollywood system. BUT...

The thing is, I do this for free...and I put a lot of time into it. Especially the verbatim Q & As that are twenty pages long. So it's a big deal if they don't print it. It means I'm less likely the next time to bother.

The "Murderball" review was really important to me, because of the subject matter and because I promised Dana I'd try to help get more viewers. I told him I had no control over whether the boys chose the article or not, but that I'd at least give it a good shot. And I think I wrote an interesting report.

I've checked every day, just in case AICN posted it closer to the release date. And I KNOW they got it, because this time I didn't just send it to Drew and Harry...I CCed EVERYONE.

So what do I see today on the site?

Someone else's effing "Murderball" review.

Now on the one hand, I'm really happy for Dana and Christine and Keith and Team Murderball. They deserve the publicity, and they've been getting a shitstorm of it. I love it. I'll love it more when they take home the little gold man next February. It doesn't matter who wrote the review, just that MTV Film's target audience was reached again.

But I don't love being ignored again by Geek Headquarters without any explanation.

Looks like Mrs. Mia Wallace just hung up her Bat Watoosie dancing shoes.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Comic Con

Mom's Cancer just received an amazing review by my cyberfriend Otis, the talented comic creator of Oddly Normal. Getting really nervous about the Eisner Awards. And if you're planning on going to Comic Con, let me know so we can try to meet somewhere. As long as the hotel situation works out, I'm going Thursday through Sunday morning. Otherwise I'll just be there Friday at the con, and Friday night at the Eisners.


Hey bloggers. Wrote another review for AICN that wasn't published...looks like Mrs. Mia Wallace is taking a nose dive. But in my defense, they had published five other Murderball reviews previously. Not that that usually stops them if they like the movie and want to promote it. Sigh.

Anyway, the important thing is that I help somehow. So please go see this documentary, and tell a dozen friends about it. Murderball is incredibly important, not only to my disabled community, but to all our communities.

Opens this Friday July 8th in New York and LA. July 29th in Santa Rosa. For your city, check

*Update: Watch the first 8 minutes here.


Most of this crowd has heard by now about "Murderball," the Audience winner at this year's Sundance and the front runner for the documentary Academy Award.

You all know that brilliant co-directors Dana Adam Shapiro and Henry Alex Rubin used Ministry and Ween music to accent their fierce story of betrayal, rivalry, nationalism, and above all, sports.

You probably get that this is an amazingly funny and riveting movie about all the things you never had the balls to ask a handicapped person such as "how's the sex life?" and "do you wish you'd died instead?" What you don't know is that when you walk out of the theater, you're going to want your own tricked out Mad Max quad rugby wheelchair for a mere $3,000. And that if you had one, even you my friend could get laid.

That's right. Instead of making you feel like crap about your fully capable body, you're going to want to be hanging out with these cool tough guys, cheering them on at their next extreme game (, and scoring their women. You might even wish you could play quadriplegic rugby, though I'm not personally that brave.

This film is so tricky that it makes you wish you were the Other. Those people whose eyes you never meet on the street, as if bad luck were viral.

Human beings are a superstitious lot, even the atheists. One trait we've all held in common is the desire to look away from other's misfortune: There but by the grace of God go I.

The habit is so ingrained that even those of us who know better fall prey to it. Case in point: My mother is currently in a wheelchair. We say currently, because she is still actively seeking treatment to walk again, and we have high hopes. The wheelchair has become second nature to me. I even sit in it when there is no room by her hospital bed. But one of the main reasons I am comfortable with it is because I know she doesn't believe she's in it permanently.

I left my mother's hospital room to go down the block to the LA premier of "Murderball." I walked past the red-carpet photographers into the lobby and was confronted by the sight of four cute guys in wheelchairs with gussied up models sitting on their laps posing for "Variety." What did I do? I LOOKED AWAY.

"Murderball" at its most subversive core is about the amazing ability we have to dehumanize those whose only real difference from us is a permanent chair makes them shorter. Not everyone in a chair is retarded, and most weren't born needing one. They hit a spell of bad luck, just like any of us could…just like most of us will love someone who does…and that thought terrifies us into stupidity.

As the movie hilariously documents, the only ones in a room with a wheelchair present acting retarded are the supposedly "normal" people. But that's not the focus of the film…it's just the aftermath. You may not even notice that the candy is nutritional.

"Murderball" is co-sponsored by MTV Films, and they have high hopes that their target audience will want to see these tough athletes fight. And hey, if you're not interested in the sport quad rugby, you're probably going to be pretty interested in the explicit sex training video and the swearing and sh*t-talking.

For those who doubted Team USA is swarmed by women, let me tell you the single one was swarmed with hot chicks and scored a dozen digits at the LA premier after party at the swanky W in Westwood. These blokes can really pound back the free booze...these are the type of bad asses you want to hang out and drink with if you're a guy, and date if you're a girl. If you're gay, I think you're just out of luck.

Remember, all of the stars were jocks before their accidents, and afterward they were more focused on physical rehab so they could grab their meat instead of their toothbrush. I talked to some of the infatuated women, and they weren't stupid…and they weren't feeling sorry for these studs. If you want to understand more, go see the film.

I could give away the plot, but suffice it to say it's "Friday Night Lights" meets "Word Wars" (which I thought even before realizing it is the actual editor from "Word Wars" and another ThinkFilm).

Expect big things to be coming from these hot-in-every-way co-directors. Henry was the one behind the 1997 doc "Who is Henry Jaglom?" I had the opportunity to speak to first-time director Dana Adam Shapiro at the after-party, and he is down to earth and full of heart. Next up for him is directing his own "The Every Boy," a stunning debut novel that I highly recommend.

I'm going to close with the result of the film: a standing O. And when I walked out into the lobby, this time I had no problem seeing the shorter human beings and grinning broadly into their beautiful eyes. I'm not saying pin a medal on me; obviously I'm messed up. And these guys could give a crap if I smile at them. But this miraculous, intimate and rocking documentary helped to change MY world.

Even better, when I crawled into Mom's hospital bed the next day to snuggle and tell her about the night before, she informed me she was going to get out of her wheelchair soon. I told her it was okay if she didn't; and that we'd get her a cool roller-derby chair so she could hit crap. For the first time in a long time, I saw that evil glint in her eyes of naughty, childish joy.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Writing Grind

Back to it. The UCLA rewrite class last night was great. Wendall is supportive and upbeat and had some great info. Best of all, a plan is in place!

I'm working on Probationary Period in class, but I'm going to try to follow the exercises outside of class with Divas Inc.


Just read this and almost fainted: "Why would MTV's core audience - born circa 1990 -care about the '70s?"

I'm old. I'm old. Holy crap. 1990?

Monday, July 04, 2005


Just getting around to posting my B-day photos...more to follow soon. If you're looking for an update on Mom, go to her blog. Hope you're all a tad sunburnt and hungover - just the right amount!
The Standard - Scene of many crimes, and my b-day party Posted by Picasa
Tim and me - watch his show Property Ladder! Posted by Picasa
Judd and Melinda Posted by Picasa
Me and the candle that turns into lotion - thanks Jack and Patrick! Posted by Picasa
Allison, Jack and Patrick Posted by Picasa
Craig and Shauna at my B-day party Posted by Picasa


Not to be gloomy, but felt like posting a picture of my old kitty:
Calliope the Fierce in her jungle Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 02, 2005

4th of July

I'm going to go watch D.E.B.S. and work on getting my website updated.I'm going on the Sunset Strip tonight. Tomorrow a friend's play and two BBQs. Monday probably the beach.

What are you doing this weekend?

Friday, July 01, 2005

Why I Don't Date Celebrities

Get my mail today with one of my favorite movie rags, and lo and behold...the guy who hasn't called yet is featured in an article. Wow. It must really suck to be Jennifer Anniston and never be able to get away from reminders.

Yes Christina, I know, I'm "way hotter" than him anyway and he's "busy doing interviews and will call later." Sigh. But I'm alone on a Friday night, doing laundry and he's a brilliant novelist/moviemaker on a publicity tour, probably with playmate bunnies throwing underwear at him. Why couldn't he just work at the Coffee Bean down the street like many of the guys interested in me? Double sigh.

Hero had a mini-operation today to remove a lump. Nurse Sis is picking him up now, so he should be fine. I was too worried to tell you all about it. We'll get the biopsy results back next week. Took him Wdnesday to that management company that wanted to make Hero a star...they wanted $6,000 first.

Mom was denied from the care facility we wanted her to be at. On to Plan B, which means Monday would be the earliest she could be transferred out of the hospital. Though she's holding court there too...we hear all the nurses love her, and that she's been passing out Mom's Cancer cards right and left and showing everybody pix of Hero. None of her actual children, I hear :)

I still haven't written anything. Took a mini break. Next week it all begins. Mondays will be rewrites with a few friends on Probationary Period with the goal of a staged reading beginning of October. Tuesday is a rewrite class at UCLA - probably going to do Divas Inc or the High School Rom Com. Must decide by Sunday. Wednesday night is the TV spec class at UCLA. Every other Thursday is the continuation of my Tim Albaugh writer's group, sans Tim. We're all going to continue our screenplays from last quarter since only one of us actually finished (50 pages to go!).

So by mid September I'll have two feature screenplays and a drama spec ready to shop to agents and managers and another comedy ready for a rewrite. That should give me plenty of time to take advantage of the Mom's Cancer press we're going to be getting (already had one really intriguing offer I'm NOT allowed to say anything about, but it's damn exciting). Pedal to the medal.

Now if the universe would stop throwing "emergency" distractions in my path...

Why I Don't Age

It's been called to my attention that the reason I don't age is because I am a robot. That's right. I am Cylon Number Eleven. Remember, there's only twelve models, so they just run off a batch of us, and then I guess we totally take over the world.

Consider the Uncanny Evidence:
Lara Jill Miller
Dana Delany
June Carter
Isabelle Adjani
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Kate Bush
And the afore mentioned versions:
Amy Acker
Marin Hinkle

All I can say is, you guys are screwed. Enjoy your time while you can, puny humans. Your days are numbered.

(To learn how to defeat us, watch the BattleStar Galactica marathon 10 am July 6th, sci-fi channel).

I'm Such a Bad Person

I like to think of myself as a community builder. Blogging has been an awesome way to introduce people I know to each other. But now suddenly when I go onto a regular reader's site and see that they are already engaged in a cooler conversation with someone I linked them to, I get jealous. Like I wasn't invited to the party.

What the hell is that about?

TIVO/VCR ALERT: All day Saturday, every episode of The 4400 ever made. Catch up now so you have a summer guilty pleasure.

And it's not too late to Netflix the BattleStar Galactic three hour miniseries before the show resumes July 15th. Whether you're a sci-fi fan or not, don't miss the best show on televison.

Brenda the Cockroach Slayer

Poor Nurse Sis is freaking out over the random roaches that pop up about once a week in our house, always in different places. They use those effective terrorist tactics so that you're always on the edge of your seat, waiting for them to drop on your arm. So she cowers on the kitchen counter, nursing her broken ankle with our Dyson "never loses suction" vacuum firmly in hand. My hero.

When we shopped for a house, I was poo pooed every time I mentioned ancient neighborhoods infested with roaches and how you can't get rid of who has the last laugh? Of course, I'd rather be sleeping well than throwing my head back in insane criminal-minded glee. A radioactive cockroach could fall in to my gaping mouth, and then I really would be a supervillain.