I was going to blog about this morning's too-exciting apartment-building drama, but Paul beat me to it. And his version is much more coherently written than the email I sent him:
So last night, I took my SMRT-TV mid-production nap from 1-3AM or so, then woke up and started finishing up the site, sitting in my armchair next to the window, which looks down into the parking garage.
I look out my window around 3:30 or so, and notice that there's a cop car parked on the street outside. I look down into the garage, and notice that there's a sheriff, gun drawn, walking towards the blue car with the sleeping people in it and saying "come out of the car."
Given my very strict policy about not interfering in police situations when guns are drawn, I decided to stay exactly where I was.
A little bit of a scuffle. I think they tried to run away? That would explain the helicopter that circled overhead for half an hour afterwards, searching for them as they fled on foot.
After I finished getting everything edited, I went outside around 5:30 to find a police impound tow truck removing the blue car from our garage. I ask the cop what's up. turns out the car with the sleeping people in it was stolen, and the cops were doing a check of the neighborhood when they found it.
So there you go. We sheltered a stolen car for a few hours. And apparently car thieves are stupid enough to think that if they park in an open garage, they'll be totally able to take naps. Now you know!
It's like my iPod knew, when it flipped on this morning, that I would not be waking up unless it played me some Partners in Kryme. Made that first jolt of morning just a little more palatable.
New SMRT-TV is up, Femmes pilot is (hopefully) shot, Jenni's birthday was celebrated, and new BSG was excellent. By my standards, a very successful weekend. But it's probably some sort of indicator that when you start thinking about your plans for the evening, "run two miles, finish reading a book for coverage, write three scenes for that How I Met Your Mother spec, maybe finish off Left Behind, and watch last week's 24" sounds like a light evening.
So, I'm gonna chug this coffee now and eventually return to the world of the living. While I do that, though, here: Jane Espenson's blog, if you haven't seen it, is pretty delightful. Especially for you screenwriting nerds. Espenson is still my favorite ever. Someday, Espenson will meet me and be so impressed by my talent that she takes me under her wing. And then I'll be successful and happy and five pounds lighter and have a pair of Sketchers in every color of the rainbow...
Last night, I went to the Burbank Toys R Us to buy supplies for this short film I'm shooting this weekend. It wasn't a prime toy-buying time, I suppose, and thus the stock-people kept walking up to me and asking if I needed any help. Figuring, I suppose, that a young woman lacking any clear sign of motherhood didn't know quite what she was looking for.
Fortunately, I did. "Please direct me to your clearance and knock-off-brand doll merchandise," I said. They did as requested. I now have doll furniture and a Barbie jeep and a truly terrifying baby doll who's supposed to be a little chubby, but baby fat has given the kid an expression of Satanic colic. The baby looks pissed, is what I'm saying, and I haven't even detached its head and glued it onto a tiny fetus body yet. Man, this is going to be a weird weekend.
Anyways, I was being all productive, spending real money on props (though you'd better believe I asked three times about the return policy). But somehow, I managed to find time to check every single action figure in the Justice League section for Hawkgirl toys. I didn't end up buying one, though -- not because there was no money in my sad little anti-budget, not because I had no way of justifying its use in the short, but because the only one I found didn't come with a Thanagarian whacking stick.
(Hawkgirl's whacking stick? It's AWESOME. Nearly all of her problems on Justice League are solved by whacking stuff with it. She even used it as a defibrillator when Green Lantern's heart stopped as a result of that bomb explosion. She whacking-stick-ed him back to life! Justice League is so great.)
After Toys-R-Us, I saw one of those really cool things that doesn't happen too long -- the reunited Kids in the Hall's first live performance in four years. They did a straight-up sketch show with some really funny and inspired bits, some vaguely run-of-the-mill routines, and some potentially hilarious sketches completely distorted by the fact that those fellows were RUSTY, and were having trouble with remembering their lines. But even when they were completely blowing a sketch, they did so in a charming and hilarious fashion. Those guys are FUNNY. And funny people can get away with a lot.
And then we got drinks at the White Horse, and then I dropped people off, and then Paul wanted to get something to eat so we went to Toi and got take-out, and then we came back to the apartment and I drew storyboards. I think I can make this fetus thing work. Just maybe.
Wow, it's almost 3 PM! Weird. I still have writing to do before I can read last week's Project Runway recap and go home. But then it'll be the weekend!
During which I will work twice as hard as I have all week!
Just as I start getting more fit, more excited about running and working out and pushing the limits of my body, one of my quads wakes up on the wrong side of the femur. Too damn similar to last year's softball injury. Annoying as all hell. I was pretty gimpy yesterday, and today there's real improvement and thus I'm going to try running again. I expect disaster will result. The funny thing is that the injury makes me gimp around just like House! He's such a delightful crank. I should really get me a cane. Oh, and minions.
Up late last night, organizing and writing and working; yesterday was kind of a mess of things to be done. Making up for the weekend, I suppose, which was pretty lazy in terms of productivity but utterly lovely in terms of things that actually happened. The reading on Friday went really well, family time on Saturday was extremely pleasant, and I totally got to see Tristam Shandy on Sunday. Good times, good times.
Sit On My Butt And Read Day was lovely. I'm now nearly done with Fast Food Nation, reinvested in People's History of the United States, caught up with all the events leading up to DC's Infinite Crisis, and ::sigh:: halfway through the first Left Behind book.
I have a ticket for a jetplane to New York, departing April 30th and returning May 5th. I can barely afford it and I probably shouldn't be taking the time off. But damn it. Some things are worth the debt. And if I'm going to choke to death in this cubicle for days upon days? I'm going to spend my time planning my jailbreak.
I was looking for song lyrics online when I bumbled across this list. Don't quite know what it is or who compiled it. But it's kind of fascinating to scroll through. Seems like everyone pretty much wants the same thing.
Liz Tells Frank What Happened On BONES This Week: "The Superhero in the Alley"
This week, BONES continues its campaign to try and coerce you into watching -- but this time, instead of casting one of your friends in a supporting role, it decides to talk about COMICS. Like, a lot. The major failure of this plan, though, is that the episode is unspeakably boring. I can barely remember what happened. Which'll at least keep this short. Or, you know, not.
Lesser Deschanel and Beau investigate the death of a months-decayed kid who was found in an alley, wearing a homemade superhero costume. The kid's name is Warren, a reference to Warren Ellis, but this kid is most certainly NotWarrenEllis. For one thing, when not being a home schooled shut-in, NotWarrenEllis liked to run around with a bunch of "can play under 18, if casting forgets to wear its glasses" nerd freaks who hang out at the local comic book store and cosplay as original superhero characters. Real Warren Ellis? Would kick their arses with a manic laugh (and then create an original six-issue miniseries about it).
I wouldn't bother mentioning the gang, as they're largely useless, except that when Beau and Bones meet them, Beau makes a pretty standard "hey nerdfaces, this is what a woman looks like!" joke -- which wouldn't normally be funny, except that one of the nerds very clearly IS a girl, boomeranging that joke right back into Beau's face. I mean, it isn't pointed out in the context of the show. But I certainly laughed.
Dead ends dead ends OH GOD IT'S BORING. But in NotWarrenEllis's bag, they find his not-too-shabbily-drawn graphic novel (way to go, art department!) that has also been decaying. Hot Not Asian goes to town reconstructing it, and once cleaned up, everyone gathers round to play Literary Analysis 102: What Does Your Art Say About You?, which makes Bones uncomfortable because, in case you've forgotten, Bones is a Best-Selling Author (Who Doesn't Understand Pop Culture References). "You can't tell anything about a writer by analyzing their best-selling fiction!" Everyone then proceeds to analyze Bones via her best-selling fiction. Turns out that NotBeau, in the fantasies of Deschanel, is a "former Olympic boxer who graduated from Harvard and spoke six different languages." Beau gets a bit offended by the comparison, but I say, hey, take the hint and maybe a Berlitz class or two. Lesser Deschanel isn't what we call subtle.
Hey, now's a good time to play GUESS THE CHARACTER TRAIT. Which character would you assume would know the relative value of a mint condition Superman comic?
a) Virgin Nerd b) Paranerd c) Beau
If you said Beau, you dine on milk and honey. Turns out, in fact, that Virgin Nerd had never read a graphic novel before this case. Just for the record, I fail to understand how this episode can understand comics so well (they even say Gaiman's name right!) and yet totally fail to understand actual comic book fans. Alas. It's better than most portrayals, anyway. For one thing, there's actually a girl!
After a trip to the bowling alley where NotWarrenEllis's dad made him work (which is really just an opportunity for Beau to wear a bowling shirt, brag about his bowling prowess, and prove once again that he is more All-American than Jesus), they quickly figure out that the bowling alley owner's wife is getting pretty well Tina Turner'd by her husband, and that the bowling alley owner was the dark and dangerous presence lurking in the panels of NotWarrenEllis's comic. NotWarrenEllis was apparently dying of cancer (which he was hiding from his parents! Because a kid under the age of 18 can do that! Oh, BONES) and decided to go superhero on the Bad Guy's ass, overlooking the fact that the Bad Guy was bigger, taller, and possessing of a wicked three-sided knife. Before you can say "Lesser Deschanel will kung fu your ass" she's done just that on the bowling alley owner, and that crime? It is SOLVED.
At the end of the episode, everyone goes to the funeral and puts things on the casket. Beau gives NotWarrenEllis his sharpshooter pin from Army, which is weird, because isn't Beau HORRIBLY TORTURED by his dark past as a sharpshooter? Isn't the entire reason that he solves crime based on him wanting to make amends for KILLING ALL THOSE PEOPLE? What kind of eternal torment is he wishing on this poor kid, anyway?
Remember when movies released in spring were generally underwhelming? Me, too. But this spring, there are a number of flicks that I am genuinely excited about seeing. I don't understand it. What's happening to the world?!?
Already out: Tristam Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story. Love me some Gillian Anderson.
February 17th: Night Watch. How can something be simultaneously horrifying and gorgeous? Ask the Russians.
March 3rd: 16 Blocks. I'll probably wait for DVD on this one, but it's such a cool tiny concept and such a great little cast.
Also, Ultraviolet. I'm so damn excited. It's going to be so silly and dumb and action-y, but damn it, I love Kurt Wimmer. So damn excited.
March 17th: V for Vendetta. If the movie's half as great as the consistantly beautiful print advertising, I'll be thrilled.
Thank You For Smoking. When was the last time Aaron Eckhart got to smirk and smarm? Way too long ago.
April 14th: The Notorious Bettie Page. Who loves Mary Harron? Liz loves Mary Harron. Where you been, Mary Harron?
And then we're into summer. But what a spring! This isn't even including the enjoyably bad stuff, like Take the Lead or Basic Instinct 2 or Pulse. I'm tempted to say that I'm more excited about spring than summer. After all, every month of spring is a month that hasn't been ruined by Brett Ratner directing X-3.
So, the usual sort of routine. I'm wearing a red sweater. Chocolate is much more easy to attain than usual. I don't have a date, but I do have shinily polished toenails. And, happy birthday, Eric! Keep on rockin' out. There'll be a delightful phone call later.
During Lupercalia, priests called Luperci -- described by Cicero as 'a certain wild association of Lupercalian brothers, both plainly pastoral and savage, whose rustic alliance was formed before civilization and laws' -- would sacrifice goats and a dog, then smear the blood across the foreheads of two noble young men and wipe it off again. After that, the men were required to laugh. Then the Luperci would run around in loincloths, lashing everyone with the skins of the goats they'd sacrificed, in order to promote fertility and easy childbirth in those who were lashed. Cue heavy drinking.
Tonight I'm reading at a spoken word thing at Karma Coffeehouse -- an anti-Valentine's Day celebration of delights. Come by, if you're not doing anything. Should be a goat-whacking good time.
"Bomb the World" by Michael Franti was playing last night, during yoga, and the lyrics have kinda stuck in my head, even though it's easy enough to write them off as hippie dribble. It's eloquent hippy dribble, though. And it's not a bad song, either.
Today is just ridiculous. My car stopped working on the way to work, sputtering and choking before finally refusing to budge, so I had to pull over and call a tow truck and talk to the boys at the dealership and rent a car. Two hours later, here I am at work, and the guy calls me to say that my car is out of gas. I suppose an empty gas tank isn't covered under the warranty. Damn.
At this point, though, I'm just hoping that's all that's wrong. A few gallons of gas is way cheaper than a new transmission, which was my original theory. Now it might just be the gas meter. Because I swear to god, I wasn't on empty. Really!
Perhaps karma is getting all the weekend drama out of the way right now, leaving me free to enjoy the next forty-eight hours of work and fun. I would really like everything I plan to start going as planned for the next two days. That would be swell. Odds of this happening, though? Slim.
To cheer myself up, I had Fruit Loops for breakfast and listened to that 2gether song. Man, it's delightful.
I cannot honestly remember how last night, Aimee and I stopped talking about how to resolve an act break in the HIMYM spec we're writing, and started talking about 2ge+her, the Spinal Tap-esque boy band spoof that ran on MTV for a short time in 2000. But I don't regret a single moment of it.
If you never got to experience the genius of 2ge+her, please enjoy their music video for the hit single Calculus (U+ME=US). It will teach you everything you need to know about life, love, and fireman outfits.
(I really am going to call you soon, Nicky, just as soon as I'm not doing something during every single second of my weekend and evening minutes. But consider this post a sign that I'm always, of course, thinking of you.)
The past few days have been very writerly. Which is to say I've been writing a lot and doing some reading and in general being very productive and good. It feels freaking great. But, holy crap, man. I need some sleep.
I really do dislike most PCs, and desktop computers in general, really, but damn, do I love a nice vintage clickety-clackety keyboard, the kind where if you type fast enough it sounds like rain falling on the roof. Clickety-clackety.
Doing coverage. Typing fast. Makes this dank little cubicle just a little more pleasant.
Hey, the new Bookslut issue is up, and this month I'm remembering to link to my column! It's my annual Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar breakdown, with an analysis assist from Borders. Enjoy.
Spent the morning at the dealership, getting my check engine light checked out. Turns out Jiffy Lube forgot to reconnect one of the airhoses. For the record, this is the second time that Burbank Jiffy Lube has sucked, and this time it cost me $43 to fix the problem. They'll be getting phone calls, and you, dear reader, should never go there. You know, in case you were thinking about it.
According to this story, Jake Gyllenhaal may be cast as Harvey Dent in the next Batman movie. I have no real opinion on this (well, except to mention that I always kind of preferred Black Harvey Dent from the animated series, not to mention dear ol' Billy Dee).
But goddamn it, Katie Holmes is going to return? I was done with that character halfway through the first movie. And how will that affect Christian Bale's R-rated Batman movie idea? Probably not in a good way.
Lots of real news to catch up on. Betty Friedan passed away! Denmark pissed off a major world religion! Feinstein smacked down the AG about "roving" wiretaps! But don't worry, I'll also make time to read some Project Runway recaps. I have my priorities in place.
Liz Tells Frank What Happened on BONES This Week: "The Woman in the Car"
Our goal for this week? Brevity! I hear it makes things more funny-good. Yes?
We get this week's Person-We-Know appearance over with right away -- teaser starts with daytime talk show host Jaime Ray Newman interviewing Lesser Deschanel about her Best-Selling Novel. Lesser Deschanel is at her mostly delightfully inhuman, and watching Jaime Ray Newman try to make talking happen is comedy gold. Beau comes in halfway through the interview to, I suppose, make faces at her -- just in time to hear Deschanel say that she doesn't want children. Afterwards, they talk about how she doesn't plan to have kids, which makes sense given her Tragic Past and Inability to Display Human Emotion, but seems to really bother Beau. Really, he should just suck it up. Better the two of them have that conversation early in the relationship, after all. And he already has a son via his SAG-shy ex.
I guess it's hard, though, to let go of a dream. Especially when that dream involves Lesser Deschanel's superior genealogy.
Anyway, this is actually thematically important, as the theme of this episode is Daddies And The Shit They'll Do To People Who Put Kids in Danger. A burned-out car with a dead mom and a missing child seat means that Bones and Beau are on the hunt for a kidnapped kid -- whose daddy happens to be testifying about faulty body armor manufactured by his company. Given that this armor lead to the deaths of 30 soldiers, the Justice department is totally cool with leaving an eight-year-old in the hands of a team of finger-lopping-off-and-sending-to-Beau-in-a-jewelry-box South African mechanic/mercenaries hiding out in an abandoned gas station from the 1970s. (Lesser Deschanel found a bit-off chunk of ear in the the mom's mouth, and apparently ear wax has some stories to tell. The things TV teaches me.) Beau's a daddy, though, and Beau's taken a lot of lives. Beau goes to get his gun. Those South African mechanic/mercenaries don't know what hits them. Well, actually, they probably do know what hits them, for the few seconds before knowlege is replaced by oblivion.
Everyone's happy! The kid doesn't lose any more fingers! But who was responsible for the kidnapping? The major dramatic events of the story? "We'll let the grand jury decide." Oh, BONES. You sure know from dramaturgy, all right.
At least the episode is over, and so we don't have to think anymore about an utterly pointless subplot featuring the supporting cast, except to note the following: Hot Not Asian got married in Fiji once (the way all us free spirits do). Virgin Nerd? Almost hot while talking about how many amps you need to electrocute a woman to death. Oh, and Deschanel knows people in South America, and if you're a State Department representative doing security checks on the Smithphonian staff, asking questions about those people is a good way to get your notes shredded.
I wonder if Deschanel's people in South America know Beau's people in South America. If Beau has any people left in South America.
Don't fuck with baby daddies, Frank. Especially the ones who used to be snipers.
I've been really behind in going through my Jaunt photos, but slowly but surely I'm catching up. For a somewhat disorganized look at the trip so far, behold my Flickr account. So far, we've made it to Xenia, Ohio. More exciting than you'd think!
First things first: the show is awesome. I haven't said that recently, and it bears mentioning on a regular basis. Awesome.
After all, everyone was like, "It's going to be so sad when Roslin dies, and she'd leave a gaping hole in the cast were she to go, but it'll be bullshit if they just whip out some miracle cure, and since they can't back down from the whole terminal cancer thing I guess she's just going to have to be a Cylon." And then they whipped out a miracle cure and they fixed her cancer, but it WORKED: a bit suspect science-wise, but it was a weird dark solution that might just totally backfire and ruin everything. Like all the other decisions made on this show!
I liked the Pegasus arc quite a bit, but I am glad that we've shifted back into more stand-alone episodes that will ultimately lead to an ass-kicker of a finale. Both this show and Veronica Mars have finished their mid-season subplots, and now that we can refocus on things that aren't Duncan's baby or Cain's shanghai-ing, I think we'll really regain some momentum on both shows.
However. Last week, I didn't watch "Black Market" live, and thus everyone I know saw the episode before I did. And the people spoke: "Worst episode ever." And the Liz spoke: "You guys said that about 'Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down', and I find that episode to be delightful in a silly way." And the people spoke: "Really, Liz, it's awful." And the Liz spake: "But it's BATTLESTAR! Battlestar is NEVER that bad!"
And then the Liz shouted a bit at people who did not deserve said shouting. And then the Liz watched the episode, and made a mental note to apologize to them.
I did like that it potentially/hopefully ends some threads that I wasn't enjoying, like "OMG! APOLLO AND DEE, SITTIN' IN A TREE..." and "OMG! APOLLO AND NIHILISM, SITTIN' IN A TREE..." The 'Cylon sympathizers' are adorably ridiculous. And Roslin promising to hunt them down if they blew up anything else made me super-happy. I mean, it's Roslin. She'll space your ass.
Apollo may be pretty, Dee, but you made the right choice. The best thing to come out of these last two episodes was Billy not losing the two big ladies of his life. I love Billy. I was dreading the idea of Billy in pain. And thus, Battlestar hath spared me and Billy both.
Billy is thus a Cylon.
I'm writing all this before tonight's episode, which promises hardcore Viper pilot action and Starbuck Starbuck STARBUCK. I can't think of a way in which this episode will fail (unless, of course, Starbuck fails to punch and/or frack anyone, but that's not a likely outcome). And I need this episode to succeed. Two weeks without Starbuck in the A-story, and I am jonesing.
It would also be nice to get this taste out of my mouth. What is this flavor? Oh, yeah. Sulky Apollo. Yeah, it's just bad.
But. Battlestar Galactica. Still the best show on television.