Tuesday, November 29, 2005

So proud of our little artiste

Daughter #2 (identified in previous blog entries as "Malfoy"), age 4, is an artist. She'll tell you so, herself. Unlike most kids, who say, "I'm gonna be an artist when I grow up," she says, "I'm an artist." All matter-of-fact-like.

Unlike most artists, she's quite confident in social situations.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, for instance, we visited the largish home of some richish family friends who were having a big, fancy party. Mrs. Family Friend and Malfoy have an unusually close friendship, despite a 46-year age difference and only a few meetings. In fact, Mrs. FF left her other big, fancy party guests to fend for themselves while she and Malfoy went in the other room to refresh their lipstick and spritz perfume.

As we exited the FF's manse that evening, I told Malfoy how proud I was because she was such a good girl at the FF's party. And all matter-of-fact-like, she said, "And I didn't even toot."

(So proud...)

Luckily, Mrs. FF didn't offer our little artiste any crayons and paper, else she and her other big, fancy party guests might've been treated to something like this recent Malfoy original:

So proud...

Friday, November 18, 2005

Sitting on top of the washer

Okay, so I played Alan's version of the Google Vanity Game... but I screwed it up.

See, he Googled "Alan wants a" which returned a bunch of things.

I Googled "Julie wants" which returned a different sort of list (juxtaposition makes me giggle sometimes):

Julie wants Marissa to go to an institution for troubled women in San Diego.

Julie wants Jean killed like an animal.

Julie wants to add 47 + 9.

Julie wants out.

Julie wants to cut holes in her cabinet doors, paint them a rich berry color and install glass panels.

Julie wants to know who will escort her.

Julie wants to work on her Boston accent and be happy in whateva careeah she chooses, be it on-air or producing.

Julie wants you to be careful where you dig.

Julie wants Spike to go undercover on a date for an exclusive interview.

Julie wants us to know that she's a "real person," not some fancy-pants person like all those other Real Worlders.

Julie wants to know how she got off.

Julie wants you to see the sofa.

Julie wants to climb it.

Julie wants to be a trapeze artist.

Julie wants you to tap your toes -- and your heels!

Julie wants to know what is so dysfunctional about the current structure.

Julie wants to spend a day with a bear cub.

Julie wants something more.

Julie wants us to go with her to the bar tonight.

Julie wants to help bring breast cancer awareness to other young active women.

Julie wants me and she lets her bare bones wanting show.

Julie wants to ignore this revelation since the convicted killer George Lewis died in prison five years ago.

Julie wants to go and play.

Julie wants to get to know the new boy, David, until she discovers that his father is a giant!

Julie wants to buy a car with money given to her by her grandparents.

Julie wants to protect her reputation.

Julie wants to try to attract folks who have not previously toured the farm.

Julie wants to know if marketing is more important than sales in a service business.

Julie wants to call this one "sitting on top of the washer."

Thursday, November 10, 2005

...but a little brown mav'rick is winking her eye.

There are no writers in my suburbanally un-Hollywood daily life, but for four days each year I get to share air with other crazies like me at the Austin Film Festival. These are the kind of nutjobs who’ll gleefully talk screenplay minutia until the wee hours and whose eyebrows scrunch in perfect empathy when you’re wrestling with a story problem.

While I'm lucky to have some deeply cool and talented friends with whom to chill in the Driskill bar, this year we actually ventured out to attend the screening of SHOPGIRL. I loved Steve Martin's novella and the film was just as beautiful. There was a brief Q&A following, but we were sitting too far back to see very much… so, you could say I kinda geeked out later that evening when Jason Schwartzman and the director, Anand Tucker, walked past me into an AFF party.

As I watched them go, I wished I could thank them for creating a film I loved and thought it would be a lot of fun to chat with Anand about the novella and how the film’s tone felt just perfect to me…

So, I did.

And then they invited my friends and me to sit, so we hung out with them for a while. (I already knew this, but in case you did not: people are people. Write that down.)

Some other AFF highlights which felt a bit like fairy godparent intervention include:

~ the empty seat right beside Dan Petrie, Jr., the panelist I most wanted to meet in the roundtable session to which I was a few minutes late;

~ a bunch of convos with Bob Fisher and Steve Faber, the guys who brought us WEDDING CRASHERS. When I saw them on the list of panelists, I’d hoped to meet them and I’m happy I did -- they couldn’t be cooler or less full of shit;

~ hanging out with Terry George who, despite having written and directed an important film like HOTEL RWANDA, is charming and funny and respectful to as-yet-unproduced comedy writers;

~ being rudely interrupted mid-chat with Shane Black by a couple of young writers asking young-writer questions Shane had just answered in a panel earlier that day. I was struck by the character and patience Shane demonstrated with these guys. It was sweet to see. (Really. Don’t believe the hype.);

~ meeting Harold Ramis and absorbing the light of his ever-present smile for a few moments;

~ arriving at the Austin airport with just enough time before my flight to spend half an hour catching up with Phil Levens, über-laid-back AFF regular and showrunner of the upcoming South Beach;

In other good news...

My new job is perfect. Cool people. Just enough work to keep me busy, not so much to stress me out. And I leave there each day in time to write for a few hours before the cows come home.

And yesterday, I hammered out a logline I'm happy with and have started putting out some feelers.