Saturday, September 30, 2006

The sound of the other shoe falling...

I thought I had it beat.

I swear I was doing good. I just had that really bad headache one night - but then today happened and it all came crashing back. So there you go - its what you get for being cocky.

Had another interview yesterday. There is this really cool area north of Beijing - towards the airport. It was an old ammunition factory that was abandoned and now turned into an art complex. I met the girl there - and sadly she is extremely overqualified for the job. But it was great to waltz around and soak in the pretentiousness of the Beijing Modern Art scene.

Came back to the hotel intent on getting some lunch - but after an hour in the cab - I was sleepy. So I crashed till dinner. Then went downstairs to try the all star sea food buffet that the hotel offered. And I was hungry - I thought - cause I didn't eat all day.

Needless to say - the buffet looked horrible. I settled for a bowl of seafood chowder and came back the room. I wanted to go out or do something -but instead, I crashed out at 8:30 - and sure as snot I was up at 3am.


But I did watch my one Beijing purchase - a pirated copy of Thank you for smoking. Read the book a couple trips ago and liked it - and loved the movie even more. It's a must see...

Today I pack up and head out for H'S for 5 days. The adventure continues.

More later - from Southern China...

Friday, September 29, 2006

Calling from the Future

I was talking with my daughter yesterday.

She woke up in the night - crying. Went downstairs - cause my wife - who is part vampire (I'm never sure which part, but I can guess) refuses to sleep.


My daughter was crying cause she was thinking about dying. And it was really freaking her out.

She's 9.


So I didn't get to talk to her till the next day. So I told her what Wesley tells the Princess Bride.

"Life is pain, Princess. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something."


I told her it would be Ok. If only for the next twelve hours. And the reason I knew this was that I was in the future. While it was morning there in Indiana - here in China - it was already night. And things were still here and OK twelve hours in the future.

So she shouldn't panic yet. At least not until my next call.

Don't know if I solved anything - but she did laugh.

Her laugh sparkles like a diamond. And makes me smile.

Yesterday was a good day.

Had a really good meeting with the production company. My Chinese is slowing coming back - trying to remember all the film terms is challenging. But I think I did fine for being completely immersed all morning with people who didn't speak a word of English.

I really like these guys. And not just because the 54 year old Director invited me to play basketball last night.

That's right.

I haven't played basketball yet this year.

Side note. I used to play. A lot. Three four times a week. Not because I was good - I was far from it. But I love the game. Love running. Love the teamwork aspects when its done right.

But I haven't played in a year. No real games in Indy. (I know - how silly is that) Haven't found the right people. And my Achilles acts up so bad when I move side to side its almost not worth it. Sad - cause that mean I have to run again - and I hate running.

Anyway. I show up and there is only 10 of us. And they play full court. Nice gym - inside a hotel - but it is a FULL court. I get on a team with one other guy and three girls. But- two of these girls play on the Police National team. One of the girls was at least 6'2 and hit at least 10 3 pointers.

We played three 40 minute periods. With no subs. Eeeeee... They called me Lao Fan - which means Old Greg... Thanks, guys... :) I availed myself with my one move - a slashing right handed lay up. Made a good number of points - but I mostly passed.

But more important - I had a great time. Even if it was against a bunch of old men.

Like me.

Maybe the future aint so bad at all....

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Beijing Party Scene

More than one way to skin a cat.

I'm here in China - meeting with production companies.

We are looking around for a Coordinator for some focus groups - and as such we advertised for the job on a lot of websites here in China. One of them - a group based out of Shanghai - posted the job - and then sent me an invitation for their first ever Beijing mixer.

Last night I headed to the Trader Hotel Bar for the first ever get together of Beijing Expats.

You have to wonder what type of person ends up chucking everything where they are to go to Beijing. There is a definite social climber type kid who sees this as the fast track to something else. But then - there is a whole other type...

I don't do the party thing. I like being in my little hole - writing - or sitting in the corner with friends making snide comments. But the best way to find out about reality is to get to know people - and if I'm going to be coming here a lot - it will do me well to make a few friends in this part of the world.

So - of course - I arrive and stand in the corner.

The bar has a patio that has food on it. Going from the bar to the patio is a step down - that for some strange reason - I insist on tripping on 4 TIMES during the night. It's not enough to do it unobtrusively either. I have to do it - stumble drunk fashion - spilling my drink and food each time.

I do end up meeting people. Each one with a strange reason for being here.

Jennifer - on scholarship from an obscure Army benefactor - who is here to study Chinese and Business.

John - French Canadian. Here studying Chi Gong and teaching self confidence to foreign executives.

Joan - a Chinese teacher to foreigners.

Olivia - an investment banker who has worked all over the world - but now is in Beijing with her husband looking for a new job.

Maxim - A Russian bamboo commodities trader. Talked about the difficulties of living in Africa - and the joys of San Francisco.

Stacey - here with her Fiance. Came from a small hometown in northern California from a Mom who never let her get on a plane until she left the house. Now she jumps on a plane every chance she gets.

I sat there smiling. Letting their stories wash over me. Everyone having that moment when they felt something pulling them to leave the life they knew. The life of their parents. Their comfort zone. To go somewhere where they can't speak the language. Where everything is different.

To step out.

They don't know what it is - or why - but you can see that small spark of adventure and knowledge that they chose a different road. They aren't like everyone else.

All in all an interesting evening.

Now - I'm off. Slept through the night again - and today - more budget talks and interviews.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Quietly bemused...

Um... No comment.

I remember being young. It was nice. I could do so much more. The only time I really feel old is when I look at my kids and think - damn... Those kids are big. Their dad must be old. Oh yeah...That's me...


Cause you get old - but you don't feel old. And I usually don't act old...Much....

But I sure as hell can't go without sleep like I used to.

Yesterday - I thought I slept all night - only to wake at 2:36. So I made sure not to sleep all day - I was in meetings that were just for me - so hard to sleep through them - even if I drew eyes on my eyelids - it doesn't work - trust me....

So I stayed up. I had a meeting at noon. So I ate breakfast. Walked around. Watched 3 episodes of Battlestar Galatica... Wow! Wrote three pages... WOW! Then went to my lunch meeting. Then a meeting at the production company. Then came back to the hotel - with a pounding headache. Ending up having one of the interview candidates want to meet last night - and that took me till almost midnight. I think I was actually getting dizzy. My head was pounding so hard...

I ordered a red bull to try to stay awake. And here in China - red bull comes in this little cute can - like if they took the long skinny red bull from the US and exported his short fat little cousin...

Anyway. I'm old. And grumpy. And need my sleep. I guess you don't get old - you just turn into a bear.


Two strange moments from China.

Bout 11pm at night. Crossing a giant street in downtown Beijing. Have to go through an underground passage to go under the street - not simply across it. As I go down - I'm surprised to find a group of women - 50's and older - in a heated game of Chinese Hackeysack. In China they use a little weight with a big feather on it... But these ladies are cooking. Kicking that thing back and forth and laughing and laughing.

Damn. They were good. And having fun. Don't think I've ever seen any 50 year old ladies in the States doing that. Maybe walking. Or playing tennis or golf. Nothing soccer like. Made me smile.

On the way to the interview last night - I passed Tienamen Square. I'll try to get some pictures of it before I leave. But it is really strange. The square is the largest outdoor square in the world. Holds more than a million people. It actually shuts down at night and is patrolled by guards. But right now they have these giant islands of flowers and balloon characters decorating the square.

When I went by it was packed. Hard to believe it is the same place where such tragedy occurred only a few years back. Even countries with the longest history move on with short memories. I guess we all have to.

More meetings today. Hopefully more writing.

Maybe this jet lag is a great cure for one thing: laziness.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Welcome to China

Now bend over...

It's gotta get better right?

Let's start with United Airlines. Brilliant US based carrier. Very happy to say on their website that they offer power for laptops on all international flights. What they don't tell you is that you can only use your computer if you have a special adapter to plug it in with. And they sell them - for only $120 apiece.


So that makes the 14 hour flight even longer.

No wait. The Divinci Code made the flight even longer. Wow. That was the most amount of talk ever in a movie. They talked so much the films should be adapted to a play. And while I used to say that I was not offended by Last Temptation of Christ because I saw nothing in it that resembled my beliefs - Divinci Code goes one step further by saying that everyone that believes is part of a grand conspiracy of lies.

The true offense of that movie is that it bores you to death.

Left the plane - got in a cab. The driver has no idea where the hotel is. We drive for 2 HOURS to make a 20 minute trip. We stop no fewer than three times to ask for directions. If I wasn't so jet lagged - I would have screamed.

Even still - two hours in the cab cost me $17. If your lost, its hard to beat those China prices.

Left the cab and went to my room.

Nice room. Window looks straight into a crane doing construction next door. Pull out the laptop to check in - AND I CAN'T GET ON. I get a new ethernet cable. I spend 2 HOURS on the phone with a guy in INDIA trying to figure out what's wrong - when I can tell him. It's something in the wall and not with my computer.

2 HOURS later - I finally convince him.

The hotel moves me to another room. And what do you know? The internet works here.

Looking up!

Except its a smoking room. Always something with you, eh?

Force myself to stay up late. Turn all the lights out at midnight and fall asleep. Pray to make it through the night. Finally wake up - realizing I left my watch by the computer in the other room. It's gotta be morning right?


Stumble into the other room - wide awake now.

2:36. I slept almost three hours. So... Only 10 hours till my first meeting.

Welcome to China.

You think they sell Full Throttle here?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Back to the Motherland...

So I'm on my way.

Sitting here again in the lovely Ft Wayne airport.

Can't believe I've been on this job for 4 weeks. Can't believe I still have a job.

Can't believe I'm going back to China.

Went to my parents last night for dinner. My sister and Shawn and his family both came. Shawn spent most of the night on his laptop - answering emails. We laughed that it had been 5-6 years since we were last in China. Told stories - and laughed some more.

It's all fun and games till you gotta get on a 14 hour non-stop flight.

Did I mention that I have some claustrophobia issues?

Thank God for Business Class - cause no book is good enough to make economy disappear for that long. And the fight for the armrest would just be exhausting.

Drove in to the airport today in complete fog. And heading into this trip - it's very similar. I ended up refusing to turn in a budget. No sense trying to defend numbers that even I can't back up. And one can only lie so much... Even me...
So after this trip I should have a better handle on what the cost of things will be.

Last time I did a show in China - I threatened to give up directing all together. I shot 3 months straight - lost 15 pounds - and wanted to crawl into a corner and cry for a long time.

Hopefully this won't be as disheartening as an experience.

I haven't really even gotten to use my Chinese in 5 years. Except when I go to Chinese restaurants - and that still is limited. I know I must look crazy - but I'll practice when I'm driving. Or in the shower. Just start ranting to myself in Chinese - trying to keep up the conversation. About anything. Just to try to work out my rusty Chinese tongue muscles.

I should be fine. Gimme a couple weeks and the brain will start working again.

As long as I can get over the jetlag. Exact 12 hour difference from here to there. SO when its day here - night there. And night there is day here. So if I was a vampire - I'd do great. But I'm already body surfing east coast west coast time - so adding in China time should take me right over the top...

Hope to be blogging. Maybe even attaching a real picture or two. Probably in the middle of the night... Fighting off the next day.

14 hours. Trapped that long - I might run out of reasons to do other things than write. Maybe I'll even crank out some pages.

Go figure.

Till then... Please wash your hands. And by all means - don't step on the cock for water. Even if they ask you nicely...

Sunday, September 24, 2006


So that happened....

It's not that I have a "double life." It's all just one life - with two sides...

And I don't have superpowers - unless you call being able to lure small children into old rusty vans superpowers.

And I know it "looks" like I'm getting arrested... But that's what its supposed to look like. We have a deal - this cop and I. He "arrests" me - to keep up my street cred - and I give him "the word on the street."

Yesterday was a blur.

Chicago was basically shut down on Friday with strong winds. Every flight going in or out way delayed or cancelled. Coming back from SF put me back 4 hours - and so I had my wife drive to Chicago to pick me up. Going to Ft Wayne to get me is an hour. Going to Chicago is usually 2.5 hours - but there is all sorts of construction that we didn't count on - that took her closer to 4 hours to get there.

I stood outside of the airport on the curb waiting for the last 1.5 hours.

We got home about 3:30am. And my suitcase made it to Ft Wayne ahead of me.

Did spend some quality time with the family though. Took the boy to get a haircut. Got mine done as well. Went to the airport to get said suitcase. Picked up the latest Battlestar Galatica DVD set - in order to prepare for the 14 hour flight I have before me tomorrow.



Wonder what they'll think of the squeaky nose?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Worth a thousand words


One of those kinda days?

At least things are going good for David...

I'm hitting work for a couple hours then catching my plane. Home to the wife and kids for some much needed away time.

Monday I head to China.

What is the world coming to?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The lies we tell ourselves

The truth is a bitch.

Here's a question:

How can you call yourself a writer if you don't write?

Is it just by the very nature of the fact that you want to write that sets you apart from the rest? That somehow - by intention alone - you will "will" yourself into a state of being that necessitates others deem you a writer? By somehow fooling yourself that by letting the world know your profession you will shame yourself into becoming that which you claim?

I've found it doesn't work like that.

The world is a strange and cruel place.

There are writers that write everyday. That makes them writers.

The sad fact is- It doesn't necessarily make them good writers.

There are writers who slap something together at the last second - moments before they dash madly to class that somehow are able to express themselves in a way that flows better than the kid that labored for weeks on finding just the right word.

Life is cruel. And I don't understand it.

Everyone wants an agent. Everyone wants a manager. Everyone wants to make the big sale.

I have an agent. I have a manager. I haven't made the sale - but I've been optioned 4 times - and actually had a start date once.

Truth is - I ain't much of a writer.

I know way better writers than me. Check out any of the links from this blog. Out of all my writer friends - I am the worst. The most inconsistent - this blog withstanding. Only one writer friend of mine has an agent.

And his agent takes 3 months and counting to read his script. And this guy has already had a big sale to a big studio. And he still can't even get his agent to read his script!

Hard fact: you can get better by writing more and more. But if you're not good to begin with....? You might have to write a lot. And even if you are good - the odds aren't. Good isn't enough. Hell - to break in - great isn't enough. But if you do have something sellable... Well - that's another story.

And if you are good to begin with....?

I wish I had better news to report. But the truth is - I really don't think there's rhyme or reason. It's just that once you sell something - people wanna be in business with you. And that doesn't mean that you'll be successful or good - it just means that your hireable. And the more hireable you are - the more work you get. And that doesn't mean you're good - just that you've become successful.

And it keeps going. Not to say that the people who are successful aren't good - cause they usually are...

But hey.

Don't get sad. Get mad. I'm sure you're the one who none of this applies too. You're different. You know that Hollywood is gonna beat down your door. Cause you got that "idea." It really close to becoming a "script." And you know as soon as you start "writing" a "big STAR" is gonna be interested in it. And then theres no way it won't get a big fat "green light."

Please. Keep talking. Hell - keep blogging.
Do everything but sit down and write and get better.

Cause the last thing us liars - writers- need is more competition.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Fear and Trembling

Ever hear of Beat Dog syndrome?

You get a dog from the pound or the human society and you bring them home and every time you get near them or want to pet them - they cringe and recoil?

Well - that's usually how I approach budgets.

The world that I came from is one of not a lot of money. Discovery Channel doesn't throw money at problems - it takes money from problems. Whenever I get on a really big shoot and the solution is to throw money at it to make it go away - I feel curiously adrift.

Now - I am the guy that has a reputation for being the "Big Middle Finger" to those above me. I don't really have that much trouble expressing myself or my condition...But when it comes to money - I have this issue.

I like to see as much of it go on the screen as possible.

When we needed to squeak more money out of a budget - Blair and Shawn and I usually took it from our own pockets. Or - more likely - Bill's.

We wanted the best possible product. The coolest look combined with the coolest idea. And we didn't care if we got rich on it or not...

Looking back - sometimes we were idiots... :)

But I find myself always looking over my shoulder... Out of step with an industry that spends like there is no tomorrow. Like every dollar should be going in one direction - out the door.

So now - as I face my budget talks... I find myself in the same position.

No one wants to say how much is too much and no one will admit that you're underselling yourself.

They want me to spend - but don't wanna tell me how much. They want it to be cheap - but won't guide me into telling me how cheap.

It;s almost always a lose lose situation. And in the end - I'm still the guy holding the bag - having to make things work.

The difference here is that it is international.

At home - I know how my boys do. I know what they want - but also what they'll take. I know how to stretch a dollar.

And my boys rally to give me the best they can.

Over there - not so much. Gotta proceed with caution.

So I'm jumping in the pool today - trying to go in with a cannonball -

Not just a little nancy toe dip.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Henhouse to Doghouse

Welcome to the jungle...

Not much to say today.

Late flight - delayed flight - stuck in the middle of five seats flight. Tried to lean back my chair - but the guy behind me was 6'5 and asked me not to.

I'm not making this up.

Late to the hotel - tried to stay up late to better work this week.

Made it to 11:30 before I crashed.

My daughter called me at 4:30 am.

Wanted to know who was paying for my hotel.

Great way to start the week.

I'm off and running.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Airport connections suck

So Fort Wayne doesn't like to upload pictures to my site.


Feeling belligerent today anyways.

Got to the airport on time. Have a great flight planned - cause I get to sit in the middle seat all the way to SF. WHEE...

This is gonna be a crazy week. Gotta get all the details in place for my big trip to China next week. I know I'm getting there the week before the big fall holiday - but what can I do? Just gotta start getting over there and getting things set up.

Have actually had a bit of a response to my ad in Beijing. Two candidates so far. Add my high school buddies friend and I got 3. Just gotta get someone and get started...

This week I gotta do a budget. Gotta get a visa. Gotta get another cell phone - or two. One that works in China that people in the states can call me on - and one that works in China that people in China can call me on... And then my phone - so I could carry three... :) And I'm not important enough to even carry one...

Really only had one day at home.

At church yesterday - my son sat in my lap for most of the service. He was really excited this weekend cause he lost his first upper front rabbit tooth. He's lost two other teeth - but none so prominent as this one.

In a gross turn of events - my wife was feeding them Taco Bell - and he took a bite of burrito - and lost it. But no one knew where it was - only that it was gone. They first thought the dog ate it - until my wife took another bite - and ended it with it in her mouth...


But my son is still very loving and loves to be held. He sat there with me - having thumb wars - tickling each other - and finally drawing - smiling up at me the whole time.

Somewhere along the line - he developed this habit of smiling and winking at people. Like he's some dirty old man in a 40's movie. Whenever you get really mad at him - he'll smile at you - wink and say something along the lines of "dad - I sure love you."

What a piece of work.

So tired last night that I ended up in bed with both kids watching extreme home makeover. I didn't even make it through the first hour before I passed out.

But I'm excited and ready to hit the week. Gotta get this budget up and running - even though I'm running blind. I know that they already turned in their budgets for international - but they told me they have no idea what things will cost. I told them effectively the same thing - that until I get over there and talk to people - it will be tough to know how much things will be. But they want me to estimate - which means that whatever I tell them - they will immediately say its too much and cut it by 25-50%. Sigh. It's the same game everywhere - except for where Blair Shawn and I started - and there it was - doesn't matter what you do - as long as it costs no more than $50,000. That was the threshold.

Here - it will be a lot more. A lot lot more.

So we shall see.

Gotta dig back into the script and get some writing done this week. But at least I'm in one spot for the whole trip.

And there's the call. Off to the plane.

Peace out...

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Family Time

Is getting scarce.

Got in late last night. Get to enjoy the day today - then its back to SF tomorrow.

Next weekend is fast too - and then off to China for a week and a half.

Sigh. Gonna end up going faster and faster.

This is budget week- so we'll see how that goes over. I'm sure it's like a lead balloon. They spend high on domestic and low on international. Right now - we're the bastard stepchild. Until we start raking it in - we will always be that way.

But even a dog gets to eat scraps from the masters table.

I did get a chance to write some this week. Just another scene. But I like it. Passed out a few pages here and there - and the response is good. Just needed a quick affirmation to keep the fire burning.

I have the Midwest thing about downplaying everything. Its sort of a reverse sell - and it works - IF you can get someone to read your script. What it means is that your pitch usually sucks - but they like the script. Or at least that happens with me. I usually have a decent story that unfolds in an interesting way. The style and how the story is told elevate it beyond what it seems to be. SO a standard cop/serial killer movie becomes more interesting for the way its told - as opposed to how its pitched.

So the usual comments I get on my stuff tend to be more like - Hey. That sucks.


Hey - that's way better than it sounded.

so that gives me something to work on.

Beyond that:

Nothing on the movie. STAR1's agent called me - I missed it. I called him back - he was on a plane to Toronto. I just need to call the brother and work things out.

Other than that - its all work and no play - and that makes Greg a little cranky.

But today will be great. Church and lawn mowing. Wheeee!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

And all that stuff

Just a couple random things:

So in our little Indiana town. Only 12,000 in the closest one - 3000 in mine. My buddy Bill the Art Director comes out to do a little work for what we think is the movie getting ready to go at any point.

Turns out - the next day - we all go to Puerto Rico for the summer and don't come back.

But Bill had this giant white van. Exactly like this red van. And he parked it outside Shawns house - and then we all left.

In our little town. No real punchline here - but I sure wondered what the neighbors were thinking. Everytime Bill drove this big van.

And Bill has had nothing but bad vans.

Bill makes it a point of honor to drive horrendously crappy vans. Each time I see Bill - he has a new bad van. We shot one set of commercials where we actually turned Bill's van into a Superhero vehicle. We painted it - added racing stripes and a huge rocket powered booster. It looked cool for a piece of crap. Two weeks later the engine fell out.

This summer when I worked for Bill again - He was driving another van. Our shop was out on a lonely stretch of country road - and driving into work one day - Bill flew by us doing at least 100MPH.

When we got in the driveway - he was laughing - explaining that he hit 110.

And his van was vomiting smoke. It had to be taken into the shop that day. And while he got it back two more times during the summer - each time - it returned to the shop that day.

Which brings me to this:

And try to follow me here. Not that having an old creepy van means that you're trying to lure kids inside for sex acts - and not that Bill does that in any way -

But what is up with Dateline NBC?

I don't get to watch TV much in the hotel - but every time I spin by - it's that guy in the kitchen catching online predators.

Every week.

Is this a series now? Do we love to watch grown mean grovel in front of the camera? These guys shouldn't be getting any publicity at all. Shame yes. Scorn and a scarlet P - but geeze... Is this entertainment?

Must be - cause there it is again and again.

And speaking of entertainment:

(most awkward segueway today)

For you regular readers - both of you - you know my buddy Blair - who I love to post pictures of from time to time.

He is now the star of a soon to be broadcast only on the internet show about a radio show that doesn't exist.

Blair is so meta and post modern.

Anyways. He is also a star. Here is a link to his latest work. Wait for the commercial in the little box.

He is the carrot top.


BTW - took a chance yesterday. Gave my report. Went over like gangbusters. They loved it.


I didn't give them a budget.

So - while I am heading to China at the end of the month - nothing else is happening until they see how much things will cost - which will be figured out next week.

SO there is no rejoicing in Mudville... Yet....

Friday, September 15, 2006

Wide Awake

My new crack.

I'm telling you - I'm not an addict. I can quit anytime. I just need a little sip - something to take the edge off. I'm under a lot of pressure right now...

5 years ago - I gave up soda.

A friend of mine from college - Doug - was staying with us. Doug had just come back in the area and was working at a production company and was staying in our extra room till he found a place to live.

At the time - he was mainlining Mountain Dew whenever he got the chance.

He decided to go off soda for a bit.

At this time - I was traveling a lot and producing and Directing for Discovery. And I had a normal 3-4 can of original Coke a day habit - that would dramatically jump to 5-6 a day if I was shooting.

And this was a habit that had been in place since high school. I love Coke. I love to drink Coke. If I could bathe in Coke - I would.

So - being the radically impulsive person I was - I decided to quit pop. Altogether. Right then and there.

And I did.

For about a month - I had massive migranes. Every time I saw a pizza and had to ask for water to drink - I broke out in a cold sweat.

But I survived. And 5 years later - I'm still dry - but desperately looking for any excuse to go back. When Vanilla Coke came out I almost wet myself - but have somehow stayed somewhat strong.


A couple years back I switched to another drug. Sweet Tea. I would drink a large Chic-fil-A Sweet Tea and get so hopped up I'd bounce my leg straight through the floor.

And then - when I started driving back and forth across the country to raise money for the movie - I would drink a red bull - which tasted like cow piss - but it kept me awake.

Red Bull graduated to Sobe adrenaline to Full Throttle.

Never more than a couple times a week - and usually just to keep me awake.

Which brings me to yesterday.

I went back to SF - really just to meet with my boss and tell her what I was proposing in my big meeting today. I waited for two days - and finally - when I was supposed to be getting a cab at 2:30 - she called me in at ten till two.

I am making my big pitch on how we handle China today. I wanted to talk with her about my approach before I do it - so I'm not going too far out on a limb. It was a great talk - but I had to run out of the office - straight to a cab - straight to the airport - straight to the rental car place - straight to checking in at the hotel -

And by then it was 9:00. And after getting up at 4 on Wednesday to fly to SF - and after all the travel of the last three weeks...

I was sleepy. And I still had to take my 10 pages of notes on the plan and put them into some coherent draft.

So before I got on the plane - I found that at the Oakland airport - they sell Full Throttle. So I pounded one before the flight.

And after going through the trouble of getting my bags and the car and fighting the traffic all the way to the hotel - I grabbed one more - standing in the express lane of the grocery store behind 10 others.

Back at the room - had to call the wife before midnight her time.

Finally sat down with the Full Throttle at 9:30 and jumped into my report.

And wow. Everything flowed together. Three weeks of facts and processes gelled nicely into a fine document.

Whether or not they follow my plan - it is clearly laid out and seems logical.

By midnight I lay down.

Trouble is - I am not going to sleep.

I'm sure sometime between 12 and when I finally got up at 5 after checking the clock at least 50 times during the night that I did get some sleep - I'm just not sure when.

So I'm going into the office to print things out and make my report at 10.

Problem is - I'm a little sleepy...And low on energy...

Any idea what might perk me up?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Come on... Its just a little bunny....

Don't be scared...

When I was a kid - I lived in Asia. Taiwan specifically. No - I'm not Chinese - but Taiwan was my home.

In Asia - we don't have a lot of space. So when they build - they have to build up. And up. And up.

We had a big newfangled department store move into our town. 14 stories. I worked in the basement - at the first Pizza place in our town. For $1.50 an hour. But all the pizza I could eat. Trust me - it evened out.

On the roof of the 14 story building - they built an amusement park.

Genius eh?

In Asia - there is not the same legal and insurance issues as we have here - but you would think that someone somewhere would stop and think that maybe its not a great idea to have a go cart track 14 stories up in the air...

But for me - as a kid - each day as the store would close and the guys that ran the amusement park would leave - I would get in the employee elevator and ride to the top with my cohort David.

We would push start a go car - at 11pm at night - in the dark - and begin to race around the track in pitch black laughing and crashing with no thought of taking a premature 14 story dive.

Fast forward 15 years.

It's Bill's birthday.

We have been in China for a month and a half - and all we are doing is meetings. We are trying to shoot a big drama series - but its taking forever. Each day we sit in a smoke filled room for 4-5 hours fighting over contract points. I'm literally losing my mind.

So to do something special - we go bungy jumping.

No matter how big that safety mat is - from 100 feet in the air - it looks like a spec. A dot. And everything in your body rebels against any idea of jumping off something and aiming for that nanobyte.

But you do it. And you smile and feel great. Unless you're Shawn - and then you curse like a sailor.

The older you get - the less you risk.

My family has never really had money - so money is not that big of a motivator for us. Except when you can't pay your bills - and then it sucks to be you. So usually the right thing comes along at the right time - or the wrong thing at the right time - and you do it cause you have to - or cause you want to -


I still jump.

This new job? Who knows? It's a jump. As long as I get to shoot and Direct and Produce and Write - I jump. It's gonna be a lot of work in China.


We ate dinner the other night with our 23 year old neighbors. She wondered what kind of retirement I had.

At 23.

I don't.
Doesn't that worry you? Meaning - that should worry you.

And deep down - it doesn't. Too much. I'm sure it will one day. But not yet.

Hell - I'm pushing 40 now - and I see so many 20 somethings looking for stability and a good job with the right benefits- doing something they hate cause its good for the money or the resume...

And don't get me wrong - all those things are good.

But for God's sake - Jump. Do something crazy. Take a chance while you can...

Cause one day you'll grow up. And wish you did.

And you'll only have the big white bunny to blame.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


It's four AM.

I don't wanna work. I just wanna sleep in the trunk all day.

Gotta catch a flight to SF today. Then work. No sleep-y...

But my heart is warm and full of love.

Got some great work on my report done last night. Starting to see what a monumental task it will be to get this project done. But also how much fun it can be to do it.

So here we go!

Off to the airport.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

You like Pineapples?

How bout these *#$&@!! pineapples?

Got into LA fine last night.

Freaked out a bit that I was flying on September 11 again. Three years ago I flew on 9/11 and security deep scanned my laptop and completely erased my harddrive. That's how I knew the terrorists had won.

This time - no such luck. But it did make one thoughtful.

Finished a new book "Special topics in calamity physics." Sounds smart - and it is. First novel from a young writer with enormous potential. Not that I know anything - but its a 500 page book that lopes along for the first 350 - then tries hard to wrap up everything in the last bit. Loved the first half - not the second as much.

Been really caught up in a writer named Anne Lamott.

She wrote a book on writing called "Bird by Bird." Picked it up at Boarders last week - and just read the intro - which was 40 pages. She really snagged me. Then I found out she wrote two books on faith - and after reading about how she was a drug addict and was raising a son without a dad - I was even more intrigued. I picked up another of her books "Plan B - further thoughts on Faith" and read chapters of it out loud on the phone to my wife.

Yesterday I picked up her first book on faith entitled "Traveling Mercies." Each chapter chokes me up. She is a far left leaning liberal woman in her 50's with dreadlocks - but she knows what she writes about. Her naked honesty in her work floors me. I don't even want my friends to know the kind of things she shares with the world. But wow. That is powerful storytelling - and all the stories are true.

The only really great thing about spending two full days a week traveling is that I once again can partake of one of my great loves.


As you get older - and mostly - as life and kids take over - it's really hard to make time for reading. Reading is by no means a selfish activity - but it is a time-consuming one. One that takes concentration and isolation - two things not very conducive to family life. I had gone from reading a couple books a week before kids to a book every couple weeks after kids. Now I'm back to a couple books a week again. And my brain and hopefully - my writing is better for it.

If only I could get on some kind of sleep system.

I'm back to staying up till 11 PST and waking up at 4PST... Not good. But I should be ok to plow through the meeting today. Gonna go back to my pages this morning and see what I can do - then it's hard at work on the China report due Friday.

Talked to my partner in this venture in China last night. Really great guy with a lot of good ideas. Think we will get along fine. Should be fun.

Oops. 6 am. Time to get cracking.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Toughen up, Nancy

Should be an interesting week.

I fly back to LA for meetings tomorrow. Then to SF for midweek - Back to LA for meeting on Friday. Home Saturday.

I have a big report that basically determines the size and scope of my job that I have to present on Friday. I usually swing for the fences - so we'll see if I can deliver. Lots of work between now and then.

Also got a call back from STAR1's agent on Friday - but I was in the middle of a flight. So I'll try him back today. Also got a phone call to China I gotta make. And one to another agent trying to reach me about a different project.


So maybe things are taking a swing for the better. Maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Either way - I always do better with many irons in the fire instead of none. So this is a good time. Just keep moving forward - regardless of direction - and pray the wind pushes you the right way.

Really had a great week end. I think 80% of it was spent with my daughter in my lap. Family can't be beat. Sucks that I have to work so far away. For now, at least.

Time to pack. Off to the plan. Another week gone.

We'll find out now if the checks clear... :)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Oh yeah... There's a party over here...

So I usually make it habit not to know my neighbors.

We have lived in 8 places in 17 years of marriage. Not counting full summers in Puerto Rico and Virginia at others houses.

And inevitably - where ever we are that we break our law and get to know people - it usually bites you in the ass. Yeah - I know the whole - love your neighbor stuff... But trust me... Its not something that is to be done.

Now this may fly in the face of hundreds of years of history - but it proved true for us. Even though we broke the rule so many times, it wasn't funny.

One example. We lived next to a huge family in VA. They had 6 kids. One day - I have my suitcase in my hand - I'm walking out the door leaving for a shoot for Discovery- when the 17 year old neighbor girl rings the bell. I open the door and she is bleeding everywhere... I let her in and she says - call 911. I do, getting her to the couch. 911 asks me what happened - I say I don't know. Just that my neighbor is here and she is bleeding really bad. They say to ask her what happened - and I do... And she says:

My dad beat me up.

Needless to say - I was up the creek. Let's say that 4 police cars - two ambulances (cause later the Mom comes out screaming - and then faints) and a whole neighborhood of onlookers gather outside my house. When I walk out with my suitcase - I'm sure it looked like I was getting kicked out.

Anyways. That was one example of many.

I only bring this up because we fail to heed our own warnings. We now live in a tiny town of 3000 people. Our street is a small cul-de-sac of 9 homes - and last night we had a block party.

As a kid growing up on the North Side of Chicago - for 3 years- we had a block party every summer. Granted it was more like 30 homes - but I always loved it. They would literally block the ends of the streets with police barricades and we would go.

Bike races for the kids. Big wheel races for those who couldn't ride a bike yet. Lots of food.

And the one thing I remember above all else.

Home made ice cream.

I remember all the men gathering - with beer in hand - taking turns cranking those machines until the ice cream was done. And it took hours. It was never fast enough. But the taste was divine. I'm sure if I had it now, it could never live up to the memory.

So last night we had a block party here. And while I have tons of stuff to do for next week - and I am really tired from the stinking jet lag - I wanted to go. For the kids. But also for me... Cause for some reason - those block parties really stood out in my mind as some of the really fun times of my childhood.

Even though the thing didn't start till 5 - one of the neighbors - the rich ones - rented a huge moon bounce that arrived at 8 in the morning. So all day - the kids made their way over there - jumped for an hour till someone got hurt - and then came back as they would deflate it. Later it was up again and worth a return trip.

At 5 we moseyed our way next door - where everyone else already was - and took our place amongst the neighbors. Made a lot of small talk. Answered even more questions about why the movie wasn't going yet - and thankfully none about why my lawn looks so bad.

Explained why I was traveling West this year each week instead of East.

And then we ate.
And played Redneck Golf.
And Volleyball - till it got so dark you couldn't see the ball. One woman on my team thought she was reliving her golden years before two kids and had an awesome overhand serve that she mercilessly dropped on the other team over and over - slamming the ball into faces, chests and arms - never once getting the hint that all of us thought she was a tool way more then she obviously thought she was really impressing us with her abilities...At one point we actually turned on some car headlights to light up the court - and continued playing until the battery died.

My son in the moonbounce getting trounced by our next door neighbor who is a year younger and 30 pounds heavier than he is. And then getting busted for running around yelling "wiener wiener wiener" and getting all the little kids to copy him.

My daughter bringing out the bat and hitting balls across the street and into the neighbors yard.

My wife talking smack on the volleyball court - then acing us.

The night ended with a bonfire in the back of my neighbors yard. They had a little portable thing you put a fire in. Armondo - my neighbor - told me when he was a kid in Mexico - they would just put wood on the floor and burn in. Then sit around and play guitar and sing. We just roasted marshmallows as it got colder and colder - laughing at the kids burning anything they could get their hands on.

But like all good things - it came to an end with the four of us returning home - and all gathering in the bed - with the dog - and falling fast asleep.

So in the end - while we did violate our own rule - so far- and I do mean so far - it has not come back and bit us in the ass.

Hold on - there goes the doorbell....

Saturday, September 09, 2006

It's not you...

At least it's not just you....

Here's another fact about writing. And while you might hear it over and over - it always bears repeating. Because its easy to believe that even for those who do it often - it gets easier.

It doesn't.

While I do believe that the more you write - the better you get, it certainly doesn't make the process any easier.

Sometimes you feel all alone in your despair and depression - frustrated that the words aren't coming, frustrated your ideas suck, frustrated you are without inspiration.

To belabor an old expression - Writing is like long distance running. No one likes it. You just do it... And after a mile or so -it gets easier. But the hour before the run - and even while you're stretching getting ready for the run - your mind is silently searching a thousand excuses and reasons why you don't want to be doing what you need to be doing.

I promise that when I sit down to write - I usually have thought of everything I can do before I sit down. But just by attaching ass to seat - I can come up with another 100 reasons why I should be doing something else.

It doesn't get easier.

But you do learn tricks. Ways to play games with your head that allow you to hit those marathon sessions where it seems that you can write no wrong...And even to hit a single when you really are striking out.

It's hard. Don't let others tell you that its not.

As a kid - I sucked at sports. I was the smallest kid in my class every year - until 10th grade where I grew 8 inches in one summer. Until then - I found the way for me to excel was to do the things that no one else wanted to do. So I ran distance. I played left wing in soccer. And I got better. But I didn't have to be that good - cause no one else wanted to run 12.5 laps around the track for 3 miles... So I varsity lettered in track all 4 years.

Here's the take home.

Everyone has a script idea. You go out to LA and there are a thousand and one people trying to do what you do. But each day you sit - each day you face down the demon - each day you write - that's one more day than the poser.

Writing is hard work. Almost as hard - but not quite - as child-rearing.

But what separates us is the days where we write anyway.
Even when its hard.
Because its hard.

Train in the rain. Train in the snow. Just keep going.

Cause in the end - you're still standing. Long after the posers have given up.

It's the life of the mind. So take smoker's fag and kick its butt....

Friday, September 08, 2006

California Dreaming...

Color me Hasselhoff...


Well - yesterday was that kind of day.

I'm not a pessimistic person at all. I am usually cautiously optimistic. I approach most scenarios as if they will go my way once I've had a chance to express my view - because once you see the brilliance of my argument - you will have no choice but to come around to my way of thinking.

I'm a guy that likes a green light so that I can go from zero to 100MPH at the drop of a hat. I love jumping face first into a project where I can apply my all - and not do anything halfway.


After my sort of crappy meeting on Wednesday - I worked on my psyche all night and convinced myself that everything would be OK. Talked with my Dad and my wife and said it really isn't so bad. They will do what I want eventually - but if it is too much time and red tape - I can always leave before I get insanely frustrated... And since they hired me for my opinions - I would just tell them exactly what I thought - and if they didn't wanna follow it... Well - there wouldn't be much use for me here. A consultant with advice that meant nothing.

So with that in mind - I went into another meeting last night with the President and his second in command.

Very different.

Focus. Deadlines. Agreement around the office. Suddenly my advice is listened to. Getting things up and ready is very important. And we need to move quickly.

They want a report back from me by next Friday so they can approve it and get us started.

So I have a really big report to get started on...But renewed excitement in this job.


Actually went back over my pages yesterday. I toyed with throwing out my first 20 and starting over. From scratch. More conventional storytelling... But I don't know. I worked on polishing them for an hour yesterday and I really liked them. Sent them to Blair and Ralph for thoughts...

And since I'm up today - I'm gonna write some more this morning.

Saw Crank last night.

There was talk of trying to get the guys that did Crank to look at my script - but I don't know. Not that I shouldn't be anything but excited - but the movie didn't work for me. The Directors are very stylish - but it was a pretty empty style and crappy script.

When I heard the concept - I thought it sounded great - but I really wondered how you could take that idea and keep the suspense and excitement up for 90 minutes... And now that the movie is over - its obvious they had no clue either. It was diverting - but not in the same game as other, better movies...

Getting on a plane in a couple hours... Till then I'm a gonna work on my Tahiti brown tan....

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Bubble burst

Yesterday was like that.

It ended with seeing Idiocracy.
This is the new movie from the guy who did Office Space and Bevis and Butthead - two things I found very funny. This stars Luke Wilson and Maya Rudolph - two people I find very funny.
And let me say that there is a reason the film sat on the shelf for so long and why it is only being sent out in limited release.

It sucked. Yeah I laughed a few times - but it is bad.

And it capped kind of a bad day.

What started with high expectations and excitement - was quickly flattened - when I got to meet with the president of the company. It wasn't that he said anything I didn't expect to hear - they still have some horrible deadlines and the expectations are mind-blowing. It's just that there won't be as much production being done as I was originally led to believe.

At least at first.

They do want a ton of things done - there just isn't the people in place to do it. So they would rather do something inferior quickly than throw money at doing something right in the bigger picture.

Nothing out of the ordinary or unexpected.

But still depressing.

I love big deadlines and big expectations. I love working to pull off the impossible. So when things are built up - its hard when the air is let out of the balloon... And my writing sounds like the sound that balloon makes...


So I have to regroup. Two more meetings today - and then I'm done here. So... If I can survive... And kick it out... I move on.

And if not.... Well.....

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Half Nelson

I'm in LA all week. Taking lots of meetings. Learning about the way this new job is gonna be positioned. Getting tons of handouts.

Thinking and dreaming and wondering.

Lots of big questions with this one. Most of them involved moving. Could be moving to SF... Might be moving to CHINA. So what does that mean for everything?

Lots to think about.

Left a long day yesterday with a piercing headache. Went to an Albertson's and bought a pack of Tylenol and downed them with a Full Throttle.

Couldn't stand the thought of the empty hotel - so went to Boarders and bought a couple books - one on writing that seems great.

Went to see HALF NELSON.

I'm sure its not playing where you are - unless you're in NY or LA - but search this one out.

This is not a happy film.
It's not about a guy who does something and something happens and then everything changes. This is about life. Not my life - and hopefully not yours - unless you're a teacher who smokes crack - and Emily only qualifies for half of that (I hope) - but it is life nonetheless.

The movie moves at a snails pace - and not much happens - and the dots are rarely if ever connected - but there is a tension that fills the space. I have never seen shame portrayed this way - but I knew the feeling... And the acting is unbelievable. One of the writers directed - the other produced and edited.

It really is a remarkable achievement.

All of the things that we are told to do - they don't do. And that's why this film will do the business it does - and it's probably not what you want to model you're writing on...

But dear God... This movie will stay with me.

Every bone in your body aches for this kid who just keeps cycling down. Each time you want it to stop... But it doesn't.

And those of us who are truly aware of our conditions - and our sin - know this is how it works.

Very truthful film. Very honest film. Very powerful film.

It's not a laugh fest. It's really a downer - with a little hope - probably false hope - at the end. But wow.

If your in LA - please take a moment to support this...

Back to school... Back to school... To prove to dad I'm not a fool.....

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Don't give up....

You still have... Friends...


I am no motivational speaker. I'm not Tony Robbins.

But here is the thing.

Are you happy where you are? Are you growing as a writer/person?

If the answer is no - why are you there?

Are you challenged? Is the experience you're getting helping you in any way to reach your goals as a writer/person?

Then leave.

Why stay?

There are lots of jobs. If you just work to support your writing habit - fine. But are you writing? If not - get on it.

If you work because you have a wife and kids and have no choice - I understand. I've done it. I do it. But find something that allows you to get on the path towards something not the path away from something.

Some of the best writing - books, music, scripts - were done by people living in a one room apartment - hungry for sucess, striving to be the best they could be... it wasn't until later that they were fat and lazy and living off the Hollywood teat.

The older you get - the more tempting the road of ease is. Don't fall for it. Keep reaching. Keep moving forward. There is no better time to take that step than now.

I have left a lot of high paying jobs for lower ones because the opportunities were better. I am now taking a high paying one because the challenge of this job is really incredible.

Is it allowing me to write? Yes.
Am I doing it? Not as much as I should. But its not the jobs fault... Just mine and mine alone.

Gotta get used to this flying back and forth and time zone change and hotel living... But like I said - excuses. Just need to make time.

Like now.

If you don't care - neither will anyone else. Today is the day.

Start writing.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Write Life

Just keep crapping it out...

This started as a post on Emily's site:
(if you don't already stop by - please do - it's a good one.)


Em is getting some specs out to a manager and feeling insecure.

I tried to post a response on her site - unfortunately - blogger ate my reply and so I decided to just post about it here.

Here is what I've learned about the writing gig.

This is a business that thrives on insecurity. And it's top down. You think its just actors - but the thing is - its everyone - all the way to the heads of studios. And the reason its this way is because gabillions of dollars are spent trying to make a movie that makes money - and no one knows how to do it.

Yes - there are formulas. Yes there are a lot of factors. But the biggest one comes down to this.

I can hire him because he just did that and it was successful. If it fails, its not my fault - because he was a proven commodity.

So if you're trying to break in - you have to be better than a proven commodity. Or at least have something so marketable that people have to jump up and take notice.

But here is the thing about writing.

When you start - most people suck. And they continue to suck for awhile.

One of the worst things that can happen to you is that you have success while you still suck. You're like that kid that just starts playing basketball and you make an incredible behind the back pass - and then think you can do it everytime.

Writing takes time. It is a craft learned by doing. It takes discipline.

But there is one saving grace. Each time you do it - you get better. I swear that this script will be better than the last.

One of the biggest mistakes we make - and by "we" I mean me - is sending our stuff out there and waiting for someone to tell us if we are good or not. We crave validation. We want to be told that we are brilliant. That the hours spent locked away from human contact is worth it.

And we might be. Emily might be. If her blog is any indicator - she is well on her way.

And so we wait. We watch the phone. The email. Praying that the next call is the one. The next "you've got mail" is the note - saying all my troubles are over. Trust me - they're not. I got an agent a year ago - I've met with every studio two or three times - I've done takes for the biggest ones out there - I've had my script picked up by three big companies and green lit for production - and my troubles are still going.

The biggest mistake I made was wasting days with anxiety about people's reaction to what I wrote. It usually was good. Sometimes it was bad. But either way - I was waiting and not writing. Instead of messing with it - I could have done two or three more scripts - honing my craft.

But the best way to become a brilliant writer is to keep writer. Its like the drawings you did in elementary school. At the time - you thought you were Monet...Looking back you see you weren't even Basquiat. But you were on your way to a Monet...

Let's face it. Some people suck. They should not be writers. And that is why you need to get in a group that doesn't spare your feelings. Its fine to encourage someone - and everyone can write. Just not everyone can write well...

But the best way to get better is to keep going. Don't stop. Refine and fix what you've done. Read books. Live life. Study your craft. Watch movies. But don't wait for the manager to call. The better you get - the more they will chase you. The more you have that is good - the better you are.

Don't miss those opportunities - but don't expect them to be your "silver bullet." The thing that saves you and rescues you from obscurity and makes you a writer.

You are a writer because you do what writers do.


No... I mean write.

So keep on crapping out Ice Cream.

I'm sure there's a Baked Alaska in there somewhere....

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Calm before the storm

Ah... The power of the beard.

Its a full plate today. Both of my nieces have birthdays. My sisters daughter and my wife's sisters daughter. Both born on the same day. Weird huh? But then again - my wife and her mother were born on the same day. And my mom and my grandpa.

Stranger than fiction.

So today we party. (after church of course.)

And tomorrow - I fly back to the West Coast. But to LA this time. Even though everyone is off to Toronto - I shall alone lay stake to the sunshine state.

I have a couple callbacks. Try to track down STAR1's agent and see if we are moving with that or not. Check with Secret Agent who has called me two times more than my agent in the last week. Meet with new director? Possibly.

But since I am going there for "work" I do have a full week. Seems as if this company took seriously my calls to action and they want all new programming for all their products. If this proves to be true - it will not only require huge windfalls of cash - but it will be a major challenge for me as well.

Challenging but fun.

So this could get crazy. We shall see.

Also gonna be starting another writhing project for my friend and his big company. Might be able to get Ryan involved as well.

So the fun continues.

But today - Happy birthday Mya and Serena....

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Don't drink and fly

You know how sometimes, there are stories - and you know that people won't believe them - cause they're just too crazy...?


Left SF yesterday.

Big plane out of SF - 747 that was jammed up like a sardine can. 3 seats - aisle - 4 seats - aisle - 3 seats. No room anywhere and completely sold out. For some reason we had a 40 minute delay on the ground before we could leave.

Which meant we were gonna be late getting into Chicago - where I had an hour to catch my flight to Fort Wayne.

We hit the ground - and I had 25 minutes before my next plane left. By the time we reached the gate - 15. By the time I got out from row 59 - 5. Of course we were at the B gates and I needed to get to F.

So I sprinted.

And I made it. 50th of 50 passengers. She actually just closed the door when I got there - and opened it again to let me out.

I sat in the last free seat on the plane.

I knew my luggage wouldn't make it - but at least I could get home.

But then we didn't leave.

And I noticed people talking and laughing nervously. Then the stewardess keeps going to the back. To the bathroom.

And there is someone in there who won't come out.

So they bring in some paramedics.
And she won't let them in.

And by this time - I figure - poor lady. Had some kind of blowout - and she is embarrassed. I feel bad.

Then Police come. And she still won't come out or let anyone in. We're 30 minutes late now. The stewardess shows them how to open the door - even if its locked - and finally they get her out. And she is big. And young. And holding up a blanket over her front.

And when she gets to my row - she almost falls into the lap of the guy next to me.

It is at this point - the sympathy leaves. She was drunk. And she puked all over herself.

She gets off the plane with the cops and the paramedics. And then we still sit there.

Apparently the bathroom is completely covered in vomit.

So two guys come in and empty the toilet of its precious blue water.

And then we wait some more. 1 hour 15 minutes late now.

Then a lady in a rubber suit shows up. Apparently to clean the toilet top to bottom. 15 minutes later she leaves.

But no one refilled the toilet - and the people who do that have all gone home - seeing as how its past midnight now. And so the pilot has to get on the phone with someone in Arizona to make someone come back from home to put blue juice back in the toilet.

By this time - my normally understanding Midwest compatriots are getting very grumpy. They actually start to yell. And the poor stewardess has just started her first week.

Welcome to the jungle.

At this point - an old guy in the back leads a revolution. He has to take a leak. So finally - 2 hours past take off time - and this is only a 25 minute flight mind you - they let us all back off the plane to go back to the airport to go to the bathroom.

We all wander back and soon enough - we have blue juice.

Then we have to wait for a guy that wandered through the terminal - not to go to the bathroom - but to find a McDonalds that was still open past midnight.

Once he finally sat down - the pilot announced that now that we have sat here for two hours - we were out of fuel. And now there was no one left to give us gas.

I know. Funny right? Not to my fellow passengers.

Finally found a guy. And at 2 and a half hours past leaving time - we took to the air.

And finally made it to Ft Wayne. Now all I need is my bag and I get to drive another hour to the house.

Wouldn't you know it?

In 2.5 hours on the ground - they must have thought they didn't have time to get my bag on the plane - and so...

No luggage.

This one goes in the books...

Friday, September 01, 2006

Funny funny world

So many times we feel as if we are doing the right thing for the right reasons - only to later realize that the great cosmic joke of life was on us the whole time.

I had a friend - Michael Martin - my first writing teacher - who always claimed he was going to write two books before he died.

One was - "God has a perfect plan for your life and you'll never know what it is"

The second one had a more abridged title:

"Trust God and watch disappointment follow."

So feeling slightly philosophical at 5:39am PST - take this nugget with you today:

Today's circumstances won't mean anything till you look back in three months time.

And even then, they might not mean anything till you look back in a years time.

Heck - three years. Ten years.

There are whole spans of my high school years that I'm still looking for perspective on.

So for today - lets hope that by being an alcoholic- we saved the kid who grows up to be the next Einstein....

Not the next Hitler.