September 29, 2008

TV, Underwear and the Mailbox

Tonight I watched TV in my underwear/big shorts.


This evening's episode of How I Met Your Mother dealt with Marshall's urge to find the burger he once loved but more importantly the increase in his underwear ratio.

The underwear ratio is how far you are willing to travel outside of your bedroom in your underwear. You see one of the show's characters, Marshall, has been out of work for a while and spending more and more time in his underwear. His ratio went from the bedroom to the bathroom, but then stretched to the couch, to opening the door to get the paper, and before you know it he was going downstairs to get the mail in his boxers. The last straw shows Marshall out to dinner with his wife in his underwear.


So my underwear ratio has been increasing!

With each rejection letter. With each bill that I pay, bringing me closer to the point where I may have to go back to the cubical world. With each weekly visit to the self-inflicted torture chamber that houses the bathroom underwear ratio increases.

My mailbox is approximately 60 feet from my front door and I have made the journey sans what would traditionally be considered pants.

Don't judge me!

We all have an underwear ratio, and I hope yours is short. I hope you never go to the mailbox in your underwear. (It should be noted this is not the same as going to the mail box in your lingerie because your neighbor is a fireman. And it should be noted I only did that a few times and it was 20 years and 2o tons ago, before I found out the fireman was gay.)

But I digress.

I hope that the distance you travel in your underwear is determined by your sense of adventure and not your lack of give a shit. I hope that you look good in your underwear and that you don't even own big shorts. I hope that my neighbors are nearsighted.

September 27, 2008

2 x Bears

I love me, I have so much fun, am just so stinkin cute, and in the world according to Wendy a heck of a catch. You are so lucky Wayne my love.

This week I have: been writing a movie with Wayne (really, I am the lucky one) tweaking my TV pilot, grocery shopping, house cleaning, gardening (including fertilizing the lemon tree) mowed the lawn, weed whacked, edged, dyed my own hair, (back to red the way MS Clairol intended it to be), attended class, looked for a job (anywhere but in a cubical), shopped for fabric so we can make a headboard and matching drapes for our bedroom, talked to my mom every day, walked most days, researched ways to lower my cholesterol, cleaned up a plate that I broke, bought a shower gift for my girlfriend, a birthday present for my father in-law, repotted a plant, read a book and made these… But today I forgot to shower.

September 22, 2008


The hole in the ozone layer grew exponentially last night due to a cosmically proportioned sucking action originating from the NOKIA Theatre in Los Angeles during the 60th annual Emmy awards.

Authorities are trying to pinpoint the exact locale of the main suck, which in turn caused the sucked schism in the atmosphere, by using Kathy Griffin’s Ann Margret/Petticoat Junction hair as a marker from which to search in all directions. She co-presented with Don Rickles, and one scientist had this to say regarding Ms. Griffin’s quaff, “holy extensions Paul Mitchell, what a mess.”

I was privileged not to have seen the show in its entirety and am thankful as there are some reports from my family and friends of an inability to turn the channel, much like onlookers who can’t help but watch a train wreck. One of my cousins is missing and is presumed stuck in a sucking tractor beam somewhere between Ohio and California.

No one person can be held responsible; it took 5 hosts and a team of writers, to create the televised tragedy. While some viewers called local stations to report that their TV’s were stuck in slow motion, they were assured that their televisions where functioning properly, it just seemed like the show was taking forever.

However, I did watch most of the show, because I am an aspiring Tina Fey (in some ways), and I wanted to see just how many Emmys she was going to get. Last count was a lot. Also, I am always a little moved by the who died montage. They are saving a spot for you Don, but I kid, you know I kid.

September 21, 2008

You Load Sixteen Tons and What Do You Get....

I Owe My Soul: The Black Diamond Covenant
By Diane Mechem Kinser (2008)

I Owe My Soul is a book about three women who battle sexism, racism, and classism in the early 1900's in southern Ohio. Our heroines: Mary Rose Markham uses her wealth and social status for philanthropic endeavors; Jane Moore, a former rich brat, learns what it is like to live and love on the other side of the tracks; and Sarah Washington, descendant of slaves, battles for the right to use her God given talents with a pen, while trying to protect and make things better for her family.

Kinser starts by telling us about each woman. In doing so she paints a historical picture of the Southern Ohio towns of Nelsonville, San Troy and even the capitol city of Columbus, while weaving in the women’s personal stories of life and love in that time. Kinser then brings the women together. The Black Diamond Covenant; signifying their bond in the area of coal country known as Black Diamond.

This book does a wonderful job of melding history and great story telling. I was intrigued with each of the women’s personal stories and compelled to see how they would be brought together. As a former Buckeye, I was impressed with the skillful way the author used the state’s history as the catalyst to bond our heroines. They strove to take Ohio’s proud involvement in the underground railroad and women’s suffrage and advance it even further while battling those who did not believe in equality for all.

Mrs. Kinser is a professor at Columbus State Community College in Columbus Ohio, and was my professor when I attended school there many years ago. I recommend this book to all, not just Ohioans, who are interested in love stories, history and most of all friendship. The student gives the teacher an A.

September 19, 2008

No News is Good News?

The cruel reality of my L.A. rejection letters is that they are not really rejection letters at all. Week before last, I opened the mail box to find one of my query letters to an L.A. agent returned to me unopened. That’s ok, I thought, I don’t know that they didn’t like my idea; they didn’t even look at it.

Last week a large legal size envelope. Holy crap, I told Wayne, it can’t be a rejection letter, the envelope is so big. You following the pattern here? Now how the hell am I supposed to know if anybody likes my work if they won’t even read the query letter. Which by the way, I spent as much time writing the one page query letter as I did the first episode of the show I am trying to sell.

Last night on my way to class, I checked my mail. *z%#* I missed the delivery of a certified letter. You got it; it was from a HUGE talent agency. I had to make it through 15 hours till the post office opened this morning so I could pick it up. That’s 15 hours of trying to figure out if they would send a rejection letter certified mail. The notice from the postman indicated that it was a big envelope, so I tried not to think that it may be anything else.

It’s so hard to sleep when you are practicing your Emmy speech and trying to figure out who to thank and who to snub.

I didn’t work up the nerve to go the post office till an hour after they opened this morning. Why oh why did they return my unopened query letter in a big envelope, certified mail?

The cruel reality is I don’t know if I have been rejected or not. I don’t know if my work is what they are looking for, because no one will look at it. I guess no news is good news, but I am really going to flip a biscuit if I see FedEx coming up my driveway with an unopened letter.

September 17, 2008

Comic Books and Screenplays

Wayne and I started taking a screenwriting class last Thursday. I think I have found my thing with screenwriting and teleplays. I have never had this much fun writing, so I am going to stick with till I get it right. (Update, I have now begun to get rejection letters from L.A., very exciting!) I have several projects that I am working on and Wayne and I have an Oscar winning screenplay we want to write together; hence the class.

So you go in to class not knowing what to expect when in walks this bundle of excitement and energy named Mitch Hyman. He starts talking 10 minutes before class was to have started and went for 2 hours after that without any lose of enthusiasm for his subject, or lack of interest from the students. When he asked if we wanted a break everyone was said no, keep going. Now at first I was slightly leery because Mitch said the first class would be about writing comic books. In fact Mr. Hyman is well known for his creation, “Bubba the Redneck Werewolf”. What do I know or care about comic books, “aren’t comic books just for superheroes and action stories?” I asked. Long story short, Mitch showed us how writing a comic book has similarities with writing a screenplay. Both are for a visual media, and you have to think about showing the action and not telling it. In fact what is a comic book if not a story board? Very interesting!

At the end of class he gave us a writing exercise to make a comic out a Miss Muffet the nursery rhyme. We could do what ever we wanted with the characters and storyline, so I made Miss Muffet into Detective Missy Muffet, spider hunting cop. I am having so much fun with my story; if I get an A, maybe I’ll post some of it here. If I don’t get an A, I’ll add it to my stack of rejection letters.

September 13, 2008

Procrastination and Perspiration

Why have so many words been written about procrastination? Because it puts off writing about anything else: unless you have something to say about procrastination itself, then good luck. I have been planning on writing this post for a week, but when I would sit down to start I would think of things that NEEDED to be done. I walked everyday this week; usually I put off exercise. I cleaned the house, mowed the lawn, fertilized the lemon tree and organized the garage; all of which had been on my To Do list for a while.

This is a three day weekend for Wayne and me so we decided to paint the bedroom. We have lived in this house for almost 4 years, and the bedroom still has the builders white chalk water they call paint. So after reading my email, balancing the check book, having breakfast and two cups of decaf, and discussing the meaning of life, we took a walk. That makes it now eleven o’clock already and we are going to start painting, just as soon as I finish this post.

Oh, wait I better call my mom first, and Wayne’s mom and………

September 5, 2008

Burning Eye Contact

Have you ever been sitting in an emergency room trying to get someone’s attention? If you are not bleeding to death you might as well be dead. Believe me, I could not do that job so I am not complaining, I am just complaining. We recently had a visit to the ER that lasted 5 hours, because after being seen and given the news that all was well, we were waiting for the walking papers that had to be signed by God or somebody and they couldn’t find him. At hour 4 the nurse told us we would be sent home in about 15 minutes. I am not mad at her, because she was being thorough and just wanted to make sure that Wayne was not in fact bleeding to death or possibly even dead already and it had gone unnoticed. I applaud her diligence.

But once you are fixed up, the urge to get out of the emergency room is all consuming. So after the promised release time came and went I started to get edgy. Wayne was alright; he was propped up and covered on a comfy gurney enjoying the oxygen, (he would not give me a hit), but I was sitting on a tiny plastic chair and I REALLY had to pee. I did not want to use the public bathroom in the emergency room because, come on, do you know how many sick, bleeding, pussing, dripping, oozing people there are in an emergency room. I figured I'd wait and go at the gas station, where the people are more likely to just be sickos and not sick.

So I began the Burning Eye Contact. This technique can also used when you are trying to get your check from the server. Every time somebody in scrubs passed our curtained area I assumed the stare posture. I would lock my eyes on them and not even blink, less I miss a chance at eye contact. I know they could feel it. I was practically sending laser beams from my pupils capable of grabbing your head in an ocular tractor beam and making you look at me. But those people are pros. They know how to avoid the Burning Eye Contact better than a little kid who just lifted some cookies.

It took strength and determination but at hour 5 I got it. I got eye contact with our nurse. She was standing looking at the patient board with her eyes toward the ceiling in order to read it. I know she had been busy because my previous attempts were mostly aimed at the back of her head as she hurried past our curtain. So I knew I had to make it work. I stared hard and I did not quit. I could see her start to crack; one of her eyes make a quick jerking movement in my direction and I knew I had her. I burned my eye rays into her cheek till she admitted defeat, turned and gave me access to both her eyes. I’ll be right over with your papers she said.

Victory at last. 5 minutes later we walked out of the emergency room with instructions to see Wayne’s regular Dr and to take it easy. I want to thank the ER for being there when we needed it, and I want to thank God we were not there 6 hours.

September 2, 2008

Based on a true story of love, victory and fermentation.

I usually don’t review new movies, cause everybody does, so we’ll just call this a suggestion. If you ever detected the aroma of bacon fat and honey melons in a fine wine go see this movie; but for crying out loud don’t go see it just because you loved Sideways.

Bottle Shock


Directed by Randall M. Miller

Listen I loved Sideways, but all the critics are saying Bottle Shock is no Sideways. Yeah, it’s not supposed to be. Just because both movies are back dropped in wine country, it is not the central theme of either movie, in my humble opinion. (Sideways is set in the Central Valley and Bottle Shock is set in Napa Valley) So what is Bottle Shock about? I’m glad you asked.

It’s a father and son duking it out. It’s a son finding his way. It’s a love story of women and wine. It’s a feel good David kicks Goliath’s ass movie, based on a true story of Chateau Montelena’s victory in the 1976 Paris Tastings. And just for fun, there are cute guys, pretty girls, and a look back to when Napa Valley was still just a bunch of hicks trying to make wine.

Even though he wears a pretty bad wig in this movie, you may recognize Chris Pine, who is smoking hot, from Smokin Aces. Chris plays Bo Barrett, son of Jim Barrett (Bill Pullman) owner of Chateau Montelena. Jim just wants to succeed at making great Chardonnay and Bo just wants to get laid. But they come together in the quest for perfection and when given the opportunity to compete against the presumed unbeatable French wines, it is Bo that makes it happen.

There really was a Paris Tastings in 1976, organized by Steven Spurrier (Alan Rickman) a Brit in Paris, who in the movie is aided by Maurice Cantavale (Dennis Farina) an American in Paris. Spurrier comes to California to find wine for the competition and is surprised at what he discovers. However, he is not nearly as surprised as the snotty French judges were when they picked a California wine in a blind tasting.

The movie also tells some of the story of Gustavo Brambila, played by Freddy Rodriguez (another total hottie), who worked for Jim Barrett and went on to make his own wine, under the label Gustavo Thrace. There is a love triangle involving winery intern Sam, (Rachael Taylor of Transformers) and the boys, but in the end the day is saved by yet another pretty girl, Joe, portrayed by Eliza Dushku. All we needed was a boy name Sue.

You may have to look around to find a theater, check the Bottle Shock website. Here in central Florida you can see the movie in Winter Park, which is just moments from several great wine shops. I recommend seeing the matinee, then spending the afternoon browsing wine shops, sampling and taking a good bottle home.