Thursday, March 29, 2012

Catching up with Temp X...

When last we spoke, I was drawing mediocre bits of art and passing it off as a post. And then...I disappeared.  But I'm back.  Here's a recap of what happened to me over the course of the last week...

I never barfed.
Thursday (March 22): While sitting at my desk, enjoying the air-conditioned comfort and all the indirect sunlight one might expect from veal pen, I began sweating at my desk.  This was not prompted by anything in particular -- no great stress outside of the ordinary issues of life (so, a lot).  I thought nothing of it up until the point that I started to feel woozy.  So really it was a delay of about 2.7 seconds.  I finished the day up, went home and estimated I'd quickly achieved a fever of 114 (give or take a few).  And then the real sweating began.

Friday (March 23): Given my fragile economic state (and the fragile state of the economy), I went to work.  My entire day became one-long blur of Sudafed, Gatorade, work and people talking about something called The Hunger Games.  Since I'm not a 14-year-old girl, I zoned out completely during this discussion.  From what I could glean, I sounded like a rip-off of Logan's Run.  I guess I should have paid more attention as the movie made $152 million during its opening weekend.  But I was honestly more interested in the NCAA basketball tournament and the potential payoff for my $20 buy-in.  Kentucky beat Indiana (called it) and Kansas beat NC State (blew it).  Looks like I'll have to wait until next year.

I didn't sweat orange color
Saturday (March 24): Bed.  More Gatorade.  Bed. Watched the Gators crumble worse than the French in WWII (getting outscored 18-3 to close the game!).  Couldn't be happier.  Realized I'd had a load of laundry sitting in the communal washer for three days.  Figured I'd better retrieve it before mold started to grow on it.  Luckily the outside humidity level of 108 percent rendered the entire room nothing more than a swamp with a Chattahoochee stone floor desperately in need of re-Epoxying.  And no one had stolen my clothes either, mostly because old Russian women are shorter than me by about three feet.

Sunday (March 25): It rained.  I celebrated by watching Monty Python's Life of Brian.  I also wondered if I'd ever eat again seeing as that I'd not had an appetite since Friday.  Nope.  Still not hungry.  These pants are just about to fall off me, and no, I'm not hitting on you.

Wrong Jew.
Monday (March 26): First of all, it was Dog X's birthday.  So for all you assholes who forgot to send cards as he turns the big 10, screw you.  Convinced I might not ever feel the need to eat again and concerned that I was running out of breath walking to the shower, I decided to go the doctor.  Not having a regular physician, this made figuring out who to see an interesting choice.  It resulted in a odd combinations of picking someone based on his education, insurance coverage, proximity, Yelp stars and ethic background (his, not mine).  I picked a middle aged Jew who went to med school in Chicago.  Too much of a co-pay and a couple of prods and pokes later, I had a sinus infection.  Well, technically, I had the sinus infection before I walked in, but you get the point.  And then came the antibiotics.

A little like this
Tuesday (March 27): I'm not sure how to explain this in a way that makes it sound like I wasn't on drugs, the good kind, but I'll give it a shot.  I was sitting at work doing the usual thing when I had this sensation that someone was doing my work as me.  It's not that I wasn't getting the work done, it's that I wasn't really seeing through my eyes.  Someone had momentarily inhabited part of my body and was doing my work for me as I drank more Gatorade and wondered why we as a country don't mandate a better sick-leave program.  I then went home and immediately started a meth lab in my bathroom.

Wednesday (March 28): I worked, ate two full meals and took a nap.  Looks like I'm on the road to Wellville. 

And now you know where I've been.  Aren't you glad you asked?    

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

Tips for St. Patrick's Day

[Considering St. Patrick's Day is actually on a Saturday this year, the following only applies to a small group of you - anyone who works at CAA, ICM and WME.  The lesser agencies like Paradigm (who?), UTA (gag) and APA (they're still in business?) and anyone who works at a studio gets weekends off.  And because I've been super busy recently, I figured why not repurpose a post from 2009.]

With tomorrow being St. Patrick's Day, you'll probably be tempted to imbibe a pinch (especially when your jobless friends call you from Molly Malone's telling you how much fun it is to spend their unemployment on Irish Car Bombs). Furthermore, the economy sucks right now and you don't want to do anything that will make you first on the list for the next round of layoffs. But that shouldn't stop you from having a little fun during the day. It's a very delicate balancing act, but you can do it. Here's how...

Hide Your Liquor -- If I learned nothing else by going to a public high school, it's how to cleverly conceal liquor from those in position of authority. During Halloween of my sophomore year, the girl who sat behind me in Spanish dressed as a baby. It was very bad costume, but there was a method to her madness. As class began, my olfactory senses went into hyper drive as I noticed the distinct scent of cheap booze. Turns out this girl's baby bottle prop was a 12-ounce rum and Coke with a rubber nipple on top. El maestro never knew. In corporate America, you can do this same thing, just make it age appropriate. Try a water bottle filled with a martini or a Starbucks that's mostly whiskey. You'll be glad you did, especially when it comes time to roll calls.

Make your liquor so obvious it couldn't possibly be liquor -- The guy whose office is a scant ten feet away from me has a full liquor cabinet. From my view, I see 750 ml bottles of Baileys, Grand Marnier, Kahlua, Maker's Mark, Bombay Gin, Amaretto, Bacardi, Glenfiddich and about five other bottles. Heck, if it's good enough for him, it's good enough for you. Of course on an assistant salary you'll only be able to afford the mini-bottles they sell on airplanes or formerly in South Carolina.

Bring in Grey Goose for your boss -- Sure he's only on Step One-Half ("Don't drink anything that's at room temperature or too watered down") of his Twelve Step Recovery, but he's already due for a backslide. And that time is now. By the time he realizes that he's off the wagon, you'll have slipped out the front door and be three sheets to the wind and hitting on a freshman from CSUN. [Tip: Make sure your boss's sponsor is programmed in the speed dial.]

Call in Sick -- No one will believe you, but who cares. Go to Seamus O'Drinkies Pub and Fight Club or any other establishment that plays on Irish stereotypes. Have a good time, wear your favorite "Fuck Me I'm Irish" shirt and try to forget that your job won't be there next week anyway.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Garbage Pail Kids - A scene reenacted

The future of cinema
For fans of crappy movie remakes that were completely unwanted, I have good news.  The 1987 Razzie nominee The Garbage Pail Kids (lifetime gross: $1.6 million) is getting a reboot.

Now for those too young to know or too smart to care, the Garbage Pail Kids were a series of trading cards essentially done as parody of the Cabbage Patch Kids.  And for those of you too young to know what trading cards are or too smart to care, you should probably stop reading now.

But anyway, the company run by former Disney head Michael Eisner has decided that it's about time the Garbage Pail Kids get reintroduced to a new generation of people who will inevitably find them gross and boring.  And now you know why Eisner was kicked out of Disney in 2005 and the stock is up nearly 50 percent since then (vs. the DJIA which is up just more than 20 percent).

When things like this have happened before, I've chosen to write what I believe these terrible ideas might look like.  I cite my interpretation of View-master: The Movie as well as how Charlie Sheen should have been killed off on Two and a Half Men.  But I've decided to do something different this time around.

So may I present to you my best guess of the phone call from ICM agent Pete Stone as he successfully convinces his client Michael Vukadinovich to write the future piece of crap film The Garbage Pail Kids.



No response from his assistant.  She's quietly wiping away tears of defeat from her cheek.  Or perhaps it's just allergies.


Yes.  Sorry.  I was just making your lunch rezzies.  You're all set for Bouchon.  What do you need?

Get me Vukadinovich.

Liz dials the phone because Stone is too lazy to or simply incapable of doing so.  The line rings three times before Michael Vukadinovich answers.



(Intercut as necessary)

I have Pete Stone for you.

Great.  Put him through.

He's holding...

Stone picks up the phone.

Vuk!  What's up my man?!

Oh you know.  The glamorous life of a writer.  Bouncing from one coffee shop to the next hoping that one of them will inspire me.  That's not working out so great.  But the good news is I did just finish the Mooncake Festival level on Angry Birds.  Fuckin' A that's hard.

Dude.  You're still only on that.  You're fucking old school.  I just got past Wreck the Halls.  I missed the staff meeting because of it, but fuck it.  So I've got good news too.  Looks like I've got your next project.

Go on.

It's a feature...


With Michael Eisner attached to produce...

Fuck me!  I could kiss you.  What is it?  Something classic.  An epic tale of love, loss and redemption?  Or perhaps a biopic?  I've been thinking that Benjamin Franklin is long overdue for one.  Did you know that he was instrumental in creating the first hospital in the United States?  And he had a lot of sex.

Well, it's not really that.  But there's a lot of potential for this.  It has a sizable fan base... 

Ok.  Ok.  Keep going.

It could easily become a sequel...

Alright.  Good.  Job security if I deliver the first time around.

There's lots of merchandising opportunities...

Do I get back end on that?

I'll see what I can do.

Ok.  Well, what is it?  Wait.  Let me first have a sizable sip of this $6.50 latte before it gets cold.

Vukadinovich is in the middle of a hearty draw from his coffee cup when Stone breaks the news.

Have you heard of The Garbage Pail Kids?

Vukadinovich spews his overpriced beverage all over his computer, his notes and the pert, young actress at the table over.  It even shoots out his nose.  It burns hotter than 1,000 suns inside his proboscis.  He swipes at his face hoping the pain will subside.  It doesn't until he grabs his glass of water and starts splashing it on his face.  Vukadinovich has since dropped his cell phone to the floor and we hear Stone's voice through the device.

Vuk.  Vuk!

Vukadinovich wipes his face on his sleeve.  Now he can see just clearly enough to realize that the entire cafe is staring at him.  He picks up the phone and continues, but not quite in the joyous mood he was before.

(in a loud, angry whisper)
Seriously?  Garbage Pail Kids?  What the fuck?!  I won the Samuel Goldwyn Screenwriting Award.  Seriously?  Garbage Mother Fucking Pail Kids?

There's a lot of potential for this project.  Seriously.

Any potential it had came and went during the second Reagan administration!  No way.  No fucking way!  Has Eisner lost his fucking mind?!

Perhaps.  But he's willing to pay you...

Wait.  Before you tell me how much, let me just have a sip of what's remaining of my $6.50 latte.

As Vukadinovich takes another sizable sip of his coffee it becomes obvious that Stone is unwilling to wait to break the news.  He repeats the spit.  All over everything.  His computer, the actress.  Out the nose.  Everything.  The phone drops to the floor.

(to Vukadinovich)
Sir.  I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to leave.

Vuk.  Vuk!


Friday, March 9, 2012

Pointless Friday Survey

It's Friday, so you're probably tired of thinking.  Well guess what?  I am too.  So here's something fun and easy to take you through the weekend.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hollywood Dictionary: Volume 25

And now, more from the Hollywood Dictionary.  If there are terms you want defined, please send them to

Pilot presentation: In an economy like this, it's hard to find studios that are willing to spend tons of cash on things that don't involve executive bonuses.  And when they do, it's typically for needless junkets to SXSW, NATPE and other acronymed events that could just as easily take place at the NORMS (not an acronym, just a name in capital letters) on La Cienega.  So this means little money is left over for important things like financing pilots, you know, the core business.  This results in pilot presentations, which are essentially Cliffs Noted version of real pilots. They're about as long as an extended commercial break and typically stand no chance.

Upfronts: Strangely this is not the opposite of "Back End," although it would be great if it was.  On the subject of junkets, this is the one that everyone wants to go on.  It's the annual gathering of network/studio types as they attempt to get ad agency execs drunk enough to buy time on shows like The CW's musical chairs program "Oh Sit!"  For studios looking to save a little dough, instead of putting up 20 people at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel (Central Park room view - $1,059/night), why not just FedEx Young & Rubicam DVDs of all your shows and set up a conference call?  Even with a dime bag of coke, you'll still come out way ahead on the ledger.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

"My life in Hollywood sucks" -- March calendar

Think your experience in Tinseltown is worse than everyone else's? Tell me how on the "My Life In Hollywood Sucks Because..." entry. Your tale of woe might just make it to the monthly calendar.