Tuesday, January 18, 2005


The weekend started out on a completely deflating note... the network didn't pick up the pilot.

This is a bummer for so many reasons, not least because it is a kick ass piece of writing and would've made an excellent show. But as is the way of the industry where the term creative executive becomes more and more an oxymoron everyday, the leaning now is toward women centered dramas, like Desperate Housewives, and the supernatural, like Lost. Because there's nothing to ensure success than to copy what's already out there and repackage it again and again. I'm being ironic, but it does seem to hold true for the procedural franchises created by Dick Wolf and Jerry Bruckheimer.

At any rate it's a total drag because I was ready to go back into production which is kind of like camp. Really stressful, but pretty darn fun camp.

And now I have no idea what the future holds as far as employment. I will continue to write my original spec one hour pilot, which is about a woman. But I'm not gay, and most of the really successful shows written about women, like Desperate Housewives and Sex in the City are written by gay men. And the women in those shows, although portrayed by wonderful actresses, all kind of put me in mind of what a gay man in woman's body would do and say. At any rate, I write what I know and what I see and what I hear so the women I write about, while still interesting are largely lifted from the lively canvas that is my own world and the situations and voices are those of my friends, some of whom really are desperate housewives and their drug of choice is Prozac or Zoloft, not Ritalin.

So yeah, the weekend started off with disappointment and then on the drive home the anxiety set in. Bud came over with a screening copy of Finding Neverland and we cracked the bottle of Lancaster that DG gave us when we visited his lovely family in St. Helena. He works there and I love their cabs, although on Sunday I drank a ton of the Roth meritage launced by DG himself and that was pretty tasty too. Finding Neverland is a wonderful movie, but I don't recommend watching it right before you go to sleep while drinking alcohol. All the crying combined with the sulfites in the wine left me unable to breathe through my nose. This happens sometimes when I drink red wine, but I'm usually not sobbing. And boy did I sob - I am so glad that I didn't see this movie in a theatre because I would've blown a vein trying to keep it together.

Saturday morning I woke up with my eyes swollen shut and drank a litre of water on my way down to the LBC to check out Ms. D's renovations to her house. She gutted the kitchen and the bathroom almost immediately after moving in, a year ago but didn't get them finished until just this past month. For a while she was going to Target up the street when she had to poop! And she hadn't had a bath in a really long time, using the shower at the gym for basic hygiene. Now she has the biggest bathtub I've seen outside of a honeymoon hotel suite. You could lay down in the thing and it's a jacuzzi! Her house looks amazing so it was worth the year of camping and it came together just as she's been describing it, but you know when you can see the dirt under the house where the floor was demo'd, well it's kind of hard to have the vision. She should be very proud of herself because not only did she have the vision she did most of the work herself.

We grabbed breakfast and then I went and cut all my hair off, the whole, What to do when you're feeling out of control thing. It looks really good and is super easy to deal with so I'm happy with that snap decision made on the spur of the moment.

Went to Nana's and watched Pittsburgh barely beat the Jets. What was up with that? The Jets definitely brought their game, but Ben was having a really hard time throwing the ball to the guys on his team. He was throwing the ball to the guys in the Jets uniforms. They were lucky they won in overtime by a fieldgoal. The Atlanta/St. Louis game was a slaughter, but Michael Vick was really fun to watch. So was Warrick Dunne. I was drinking scotch by the time the late game was on, so perhaps that's why I was having a better time.

Sunday I went to a baby shower for Roan, who will be arriving sometime in February. Having not met her yet I wasn't really sure what to get her, plus her mommy isn't the type who likes frilly or plastic or fluffy - but now that I've seen her room I have a better idea of what direction to go. At any rate I brought some baby wash cloths so as to have something to carry in with me. It was a co-ed shower without the games - YAY! But, the playoffs were still on, so I snuck into the bedroom and turned on the TV for a looksee - Philly was kicking Minnesota's butt. I wasn't missing much. Roan's daddy is an excellent chef - their restaurant is #9 on the Top 25 restaurants in Los Angeles in this month's Los Angeles Magazine - so the food was in a word - AMAZING! He made his most excellent crab salad and I marveled at my self restraint. I used a plate as opposed to just shoveling it into my mouth straight out of the bowl.

After the shower I drove out to Malibu for the last half of the Patriots/Indy match - horribly disappointing, but they were playing in a blizzard. We on the left coast are being rewarded for perseverance through the apocalyptic rains with an 80 degree weekend. It was not only warm, it was very very clear and beautiful. S & D's house in Malibu is up on a hill with a 230 degree view of the coast. It was worth sitting in the nasty traffic on PCH which is still a mess to get there. I forget how fragile the coastline is and there were mudslides galore still being cleaned off the road which is why PCH went down to one lane. Which is why it took over an hour to get out there. The people down the street from S & D lost almost all the dirt that was under their house, it slid down across the road, and now it's red tagged and they can't go back in it because it's not safe. S & D lost part of their backyard and now it sags about a foot lower on one side. I'm glad that I can go visit them there, but I don't think I'd want to live someplace where my yard, and possibly my house might go sliding down the hill. It is blissful however, to go up for Sunday dinner and lots of Roth vino at S&D's beautiful house with the beautiful view. She got a great new cookbook called Barefoot in Paris with wonderful recipes for french food that you really can make at home! I know because we made some!

Yesterday I spent the afternoon and evening with M, a dear friend whose mom is in the process of moving on. She's been fighting cancer for about the last five years and it seems that she's made her last stand. Her body is tired and she is just now coming around to the idea of being done with all the poisonous treatment which may buy her time, but not quality of life. M. is holding it together really well, but then as she said, when the time comes she'll have a melt down. It's just not time. But she's mad that she's going to lose her mom and that her little boy who is two won't have any real memories of his grandma whom he adores. We had a great dinner to celebrate her birthday which was last month in the middle of holiday preparation and crisis with mom so it was a pretty sucky day.

I brought a bottle of wine that I'd bought a long time ago up in Napa. I had forgotten about it because it was covered in dust. I tend to store the "good" bottles in a place that's hard to get to behind the Trader Joe's wine, which is very drinkable and good and less than $15 a bottle. This bottle was ready to be enjoyed and there is something about a really good bottle of wine that's ripe and ready to go that makes the buzz that much more fun. It makes the food that you eat taste that much better. And it makes you laugh that much harder at the stories retold and remembered. I have a really good memory - like elephant woman - I remember exactly what was said and what people wore and what we ate and who I slept with.

She told me that she'd only just confessed to her sisters on Saturday that she and George Clooney were more than just friends. That they'd known each other in the biblical sense for more than a year and as they were drooling for details she told her sister C., "that's the chair that I was sitting in when he called me from the back of a limo to tell me that the pilot for ER got picked up and he felt that it was really going to help his career." And then she told them that what she realized after she started sleeping with him, is it's better not sleep with your friends. Um yeah, especially if they're going to become a huge movie star whose face you're going to see everytime you check out at the grocery store.

But you never know when that's going to happen in this industry. Because it really does take one big success to get the career ball rolling.

I guess that's showbiz. Though when you think about it it's a lot like gambling too.

No comments: