Thursday, June 29, 2006

The First 24 Hours of the Rest of My Life

June 28, 2006

7:00pm - CH and I were supposed to go to the gym, but I'm too anxious about the FX announcement to do anything but sit in a dark movie theater, so we head down to the Mann Chinese to see the new Superman.

8:00pm - We're at the Mann, but nearer the front, b/c we didn't get there an hour beforehand. Actually, the seats weren't that bad, but we've kind of gotten used to the assigned seating, quiet audience, plenty of legroom, only two trailers loveliness that is the ArcLight. And after the ArcLight, everywhere else kind of seems like the Wild West somehow.

9:00pm - Superman is really good. Read my three line review here.

10:00pm - Still watching Superman....

11:00pm - Call one of our co-producers, Steve, about the contract that FX has sent over for us to sign before the winner is announced -- though we tried to read into this as a sign that we were at least in the top 5, a later reading of the Sunny FX boards would reveal that all the semi-finalists were sent this contract just in case. It's actually in the contract that we're not allowed to talk about the contract, but I will say this: "Draconian" isn't just a Da Vinci Code clue.

12:00am - I tell CH, "I'm never going to be able to get to sleep." Then I'm out cold about five minutes later. You can take the girl out of sleep-deprivation . . . actually, you can't take the girl out of sleep deprivation, which is probably why I fell asleep so fast.

1:00am - Still sleeping.

2:00am - I probably rolled over.

3:00am - I vaguely remember pulling the covers back on top of me after kicking them off in the five hot minutes before I fell asleep.

4:00am - 4am pee! Wee! Get it, wee? What? It's 4am, a wee double entendre is the best I can do. Geez...

5:00am - Still sleeping.

6:00am - The alarm goes off. I think about getting up and starting my day early, so I can leave work early, then I roll over. I hear CH get up about 15 minutes later.

7:00am - Okay, I'm up. CH has already left for the day, because he's basically a better person than I am. I check my email, to see that Steve's left me a message about the FX contract. I return it, and then I update my podcasts and my Ipod. African-American Roundtable, here I come.

8:00am - I get to work around 8:13. I choose the stronger pot of coffee that they keep on the back burner for the braver folk. I have a feeling it's going to be a very long day. At the very least, I know it's going to be 12 more hours until I find out the fate of Who You Know.

9:00am - Listening to my podcasts. Today I learned that:
1. Most American support flag-burning bans, but don't want a law written in the constitution about it. Gallup Poll Daily Briefing
2. TV sitcoms aren't dying, but they are in an assisted care facility and no one ever comes to visit them. And somehow I manage to diassociate myself and everything I'm working towards from this podcast. Seriously, thank you, God, for the gift of denial. Martini Shot
3. Eminem joined Busta on stage at the BET Awards. Apparently is was big -- but pleasant surprise. MTV News
4. Some Republican senator has proposed taxing prostitutes and pimps. NPR: African-American Roundtable
5. There really is a city called Metropolis. But it's in Illinois. And doesn't have movie theatre. NPR: Most Emailed Stories
6. Sensitivity Training was invented in the 1940s. Slate Explainer

10:00am - Switch from podcasts to an audiobook. Try not to think about the contest. But apparently I am, and I think it might be driving me a little crazy, because I turned down an invite to watch the results at one of the promo actresses' house, and I honestly thought the following was an appropriate reply, though I've only met this person twice:

Deanna, thanks for the invite. However, we have an East Coast feed for the FX channel, so I'll be watching it alone at 7pm and plan on spending the rest of the night in the fetal position if things don't go according to what I hope is God's master plan. So I won't be stopping by . . . I'm tired and cranky and working very hard on developing an ulcer.


11:00am - Enter fuel surcharges into the AS400 program at work. Yes, this actually even more boring than it sounds. But I like it, because it's doesn't require a lot of mental work, which gives me more brainwaves to dedicate to worrying about the contest.

12:00pm - I receive a call that I can't really talk about here. Then Kalimba calls me to let me know she and Steve have signed the contract and left it under Steve's doormat for me to pick up, sign and fax.

1:00pm - I get another call that I can't really talk about, but definitely plan to blog about later.

2:0opm - Kalimba calls and say Steve's lawyer doesn't like the contract for reasons I can't legally talk about. We schedule a conference call for three. I tell my boss, who is actually super duper nice what's up, and ask to leave at 3pm. She completely understands in that way that only L.A. bosses do. I finally eat lunch, though I have no appetite. It's an orange pork and scallion dish with matchstick carrots courtesy of a Cooking Light recipe. It's actually really yummy. I eat and read the immensely disturbing second act of Daniel Clowes (Ghost World) graphic novel, David Boring.

It's a lovely half-hour of calm, during which no one calls or emails. But almost as soon as I get back to my desk, an email pops up from Steve's lawyer, with a list of problems with the contract and a recommendation that we not sign it.

3:00pm - Steve, Kalimba and I talk about the contract. Then we talk about it some more. About an hour later, we all agree to sign it anyway. I briefly consider adding a bloody fingerprint after my name, but then decide against it, but only because it wouldn't translate over a fax.

4:00pm - Send the contract off to Kinko's and decide that I'm going to blog about my 24 hours before the contest announcement. My heart rate is still way up, and though I'm not feeling any pain yet, I have a feeling I'm making really good progress on my ulcer.

5:00pm - I'm back at home. I watch reruns of Girlfriends and try not to think about the contest.

6:00pm - I don't have any episodes of Girlfriends left on the Tivo, but when I turn on live TV, I see that they have an episode on BET. Before I know it, it's 7pm.

7:00pm - Steve arrives at my house to watch the East Coast feed of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I'm happy to have him there, but it does mess up my plan to watch the both episodes in the fetal position.

So the way FX decides to do this, at the beginning or end of every commercial break, they announce one of finalists, and at the end of the season premiere, they announced the winner. So even if you didn't win, you'd have to watch at least 45 minutes of FX to find out you weren't even in the running. Sneaky, sneaky FX. Well, here's how it went down:

1st commercial break: Side Show
2nd commercial break: Party Animals
3rd commercial break: Subs
4th commercial break: Gloomy is the New Clear
5th commercial break: WHO YOU KNOW

Yes, by 45 minutes into the hour we had started talking in fake-cheery tones about how making it the Top 20 was a huge honor, and how we should just be happy with that.

Yes, we did go crazy when our show was finally announced, jumping up and down like Rocky on top of the steps. And . . .

No, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be when we found out 10 minutes later that we didn't win the $50,000 prize.

That honor went to Subs. And honestly, watching Sunny, I could see why. Though I think our show was better executed, their concept went more with what seems to be FX's vision for their comedy department.

However, I didn't curl up in the fetal position. Instead, Steve and I walked down to Pazzo Gelato, and talked about the pilot we were still going to shoot, and the rewrites we wanted to make, and just how dope FX Top Five would look on our resumes.

I took a chance and tried the white peach sorbetto and the root beer float gelato together.

And I wasn't surprised when it turned out to be delicious.

Saturday, June 24, 2006


By this point, you've probably received some kind of email, phone call, or electronic notice that I co-wrote and co-produced a promo for a series called WHO YOU KNOW, about eccentric artists living in L.A. Well, the promo was selected out of 3000 submissions to go on to the Top 20 of an FX Channel's competition to find the best pitch for a new series.

And the winner will get $50,000 to shoot a pilot. Dude, I'm so excited, but we need your help to get to the top spot

Right now, please go to and vote for WHO YOU KNOW.

You must have a MySpace account to vote, and check it, YOU CAN VOTE EVERY SINGLE DAY, until the winner is announced on June 29 during the Always Sunny in Philadelphia second season premiere.

If you have trouble watching the movie on the sunny fx page, go to our page at and watch and vote from there.

Yea! Stay tuned to this page to see what happens.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Okay JUNE is for Catch-Up

First of all, if you're ever in Silverlake, CA, you must check out this new place, Pazzo Gelato. I'm saying this, even though they don't really need your business, as most nights they have a line out the door. But every gelato is made fresh on the premises with real ingredients, and every one is just ridiculously delicious -- seriously, I think a deal with the devil was made, and I can't hate 'em for it, because I now have a crack-like addiction to the stuff. Check out L.A. blogger's Juli B's review here.

CH and I had gelato with our mutual friend, the fantastic candyblogger, Cyble May, and her husband, and she asked me in her usual super-straightforward way if my blog was now defunct. As I stared embarrassed into my lemon mint (like a mohito, but in sorbetto form) and grape scoops, CH explained to her that I had been working on my blog, but was saving most of my entries as drafts. Then she said the words that would inspire me to actually finish catching up my blog:

"You know, as a blogger, you don't have to be good," she told me. "you just have to be there."

Well I can't argue with that, or this Pazzo Gelato cinnamon milkshake recipe that appeared in the Los Angeles Times:

Pazzo Gelato's cinnamon milkshakes

June 14, 2006

Total time: 20 minutes, plus several hours chilling and freezing time

Servings: 4

Note: From Pazzo Gelato in Silver Lake. Vanilla paste and Madagascar Bourbon vanilla extract can be purchased at Surfas in Culver City, Sur La Table and Williams-Sonoma stores.


3 cups whole organic milk

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup vanilla paste

1 teaspoon Madagascar Bourbon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.

2. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla paste, vanilla extract and one-half teaspoon cinnamon. Allow the mixture to cool, then cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

3. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker or gelato machine and process according to the manufacturer's instructions. Place in a container and freeze. Makes 1 quart.


1 recipe cinnamon gelato

1 cup whole organic milk

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup fresh whipped cream for garnish

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon for garnish

1. Allow the gelato to sit out for about 10 minutes before scooping. Make the shakes in two batches. In a shake machine or blender, mix four (4-ounce) rounded scoops of gelato, one-half cup milk and one-quarter cup heavy cream. Blend until smooth. Pour into two glasses. Repeat.

2. Top each shake with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon.

Each serving: 469 calories; 9 grams protein; 51 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 24 grams fat; 15 grams saturated fat; 85 mg. cholesterol; 115 mg. sodium.

Monday, June 05, 2006

MAY is for CATCH-UP (and more wine tasting)


I was feeling spunky in May, so I decided to catch up my blog, and I got off to a good start, logging a bunch of months, and saving them as drafts, but then . . .

I went to New York to meet CH, who was on the lighting team for the 2006 Fox Upfronts. Upfronts are basically a big pitch show that all the broadcast networks put on for the ad men every year, to get them to buy ads on their old and new shows. I loved this show, because it was basically an hour of trailers and really implausible sales figures. The only thing killing the enjoyment were the ad execs. Dude, they don't laugh at anything. It was really kind of uncomfortable, like watching a funny and light-spectacular show in a crypt.

I actually felt sorry for the actors. You always hear that they "get trotted out" at these things, but seriously this is what they do. Towards the beginning of the show, all the FOX show stars walk out while being announced like show horses. They wave, and then they leave. Most of them don't even speak. And if they do speak, they're either a comedian or the star of a show that's doing exceedingly well. Here are shows that I'm looking forward to:

1. Til Death with Brad Garrett of Everybody Loves Raymond fame. The show also stars Eddie Kaye Thomas from the American Pie series and Off-Centre ,which I loved == (the tv show, not the movies. Brad Garrett did a few minutes of stand-up, and he was pretty funny. At one point he said, "I see Paula Abdul's here. It's nice to see they have a shuttle bus system at Bellvue." It was so mean, but really funny. Dude, even the ad execs laughed.

2. Standoff with Office Space's Ron Livingston and Serenity's Gina Torres as hostage negotiators. Dude, who cares if it's based on a great premise and looks to be really well-written? They had me at the cast.

Here's what I'm not looking forward to:

The Winner, a super high-concept television show with Rob Corddry as a o.c.d. loser that lives at home with his parents in 1994, but has somehow become a huge success now. This is the story of how he gets there. This series is executive produced by Seth McFarlane of Family Guy fame. However, I'm not a huge Rob Corddry fan, and I'm still not after seeing this promo. His schtick still bugs me and I didn't laugh once. But maybe it will better as an actually TV Show. We'll see...

Two weeks after New York, we went to San Francisco for Memorial Day. It was cold, but lots of fun. I discovered that I still had enough of my college Chinese left to order meals, ask for chopsticks, and inquire whether or not a store carried baijiu -- a paint-peeling clear liquor that the Chinese drink.

Also, I was able to visit with Ben Jordan, a fellow playwright and programmate from my CMU days. He's a wine buyer now, and suggested a list of places for us to go during our day trip to Napa Valley. For those of you who like tasting rooms that don't look like every other tasting room on the planet. Here are his suggestions (I'm quoting from his email):

Let's see, Napa. Most of the places [have] huge, gaudy tasting rooms and they charge $10 or more for a tasting. Be prepared. I recommend sharing at the more expensive places. Here are some good places that can be fun: Robert Sinskey, Duckhorn (you sit down at a table for this tasting), Grgich, V. Sattui (the wines aren't great, but they have a picnic area that every goes to and gets drunk at), Corison (You must call to make an appointment for this place. Do it, it is worth it. Best wine you'll taste all day.) I always liked Heitz Cellars as well. They are pretty old school and some of their tasting is free, I think. If you want to see a big operation make an appointment at Cakebread.
We went to most of the places on this list, and we LOVED Corison. The atmosphere is incredibly intimate and the wine is quietly superior.