collateral damage

Hey, y'all. Is it hot in here or is it just me? Oh. No. Not just me. FUCKING HOT. Crazy hot. Like hot the way it hasn't been all summer. I suppose I should consider myself lucky, and I do. We had a very mild summer. This was the first summer in a while I've been out of the office and home working so I was worried that not being in A/C all day would make everything seem much worse, but it's been fine. But right now, I wish I was sitting in that cube at Disney (yes, in case you hadn't figured it out, I was working at the Mouse House) playing on Napster, bored out of my mind, but cool. My eyes hurt, they're so hot. Right now I'm sitting in front of my fan, drinking water. I just finished a Road Rules recap and it's 1:23 and I'm hungry and I feel guilty that I haven't written in this space in a while, but not too guilty. Just guilty enough.

So that happened. Many people have written about it much better than I could, and really, I don't have a whole lot to say on the subject anymore, because I'm talked out. I'm TV-ed out. I'm'ed out. I'm tired of being scared and then not being scared and being defiant then being scared again. Then being mad. Then being scared then mad then wanting to ignore everything. I'm tired of talking about how tired I am. And it's just been two weeks. I just sort of want my life back. And it's happening, which is good. I'm also tired of feeling bad for wanting normalcy, when none of my friends back in NYC died. When no one I know was terribly effected directly. When I'm safe and sound. But life goes on, does it not? It does. It must. It has little choice.

But yes, I'm angry. I'm awed and angry and scared. Two things: 1) One tiny thing about this that not many have said, but I'll say it just so I can say it. Man, the attack was genius. Brilliant. Amazingly timed and placed. From the day of the week to the tremulousness of the stock market to the angle of the plane to the light passenger/high fuel load, to the time of day, to the time in our sports world to the time in the New York elections to the position on the buildings. Mostly on that. On the two, at least. Not so much on the last-minute Pentagon. And who knows on the Capitol. (God love the passengers on that flight. Who knows if it's true. Who knows if we just need more heroes, if we just need the one hundred "What If's?" to have at least one answer. Who knows if we just need a shimmer of light outside of the galvanizing it's done to us as a country. Who knows. But I hope so.) I hate to say all this, but it was awesome. Monsterous and anti-civilization and anti-humanity and anti-right, but well done. "You got us. Nice. Good one." But now... Now...

2) It's truly amazing how much these people, these terrible, yes, terrible, hideous, monstrously misguided, fuckface, asshole, rot-in-hell-forever, I-would-dig-up-and-stab-in-the-eye-if-I-could people have done. The reach is amazing. From our stock market. To baseball. To the airline industry. To tourism in Hawaii. To Vegas. To our sex lives. To the Super Bowl. To our ability to sleep. To our dreamscape. To our the bottled water industry. To gas prices. To Hollywood films. To the spec script market (grrrrrr...). To the television fall season. To New York. Poor New York. To our sense of safety. To flag sales. To our fucking sense of what's funny and what's allowed and what is no longer at all to be made fun of. To the violent crime rate in Los Angeles. It's like a butterfly in Mongolia flapping its wings, on a massive scale. It's truly amazing to watch. It's an amazing time to be alive. And as I sit here hot in my shorts, drinking water and wondering what I should have for dinner, it effects me. Constantly. And I hate so much that it does, I'm trying extra hard to not let it do so. I'm going to go to movies and make jokes and be selfish and watch Band of Brothers despite the violence and make love and laugh and write things with explosions if I want to and I'm not going to be scared. And I will sleep as hard as the cat lets me. That is my resolve. We should all do that. Shop and buy stock and laugh and fuck and live. That's the only way we win.

(Also, I will say the following about this, just to get it down and out of my head: I'm scared of further attacks, but steely in my resolve to go on, to not be afraid. I'm happy in the way my friends have gathered around each other and spent time just being together in this. I am scared that I'm following a president I don't like at all. I'm scared for war. I'm scared that everyone will just hate us more. I'm scared of germ warfare. I'm afraid that these people have no limits. I'm nervous about the state of our country, especially coming from Berkeley where ra-ra American-flag waving is akin somehow to redneckery and racism. I worry that Arabs and Muslims will be made to feel bad, and I'm worried that it has, I hate to admit it so much, it has made me look at a people differently. I would love to just treat them once again with the same mild suspicion and annoyance with which I treat most of the people I encounter in my day. I hate that there is anything more, even if it is just my fumbling and obvious attempts to be extra friendly. I want to not say hi to the Seven-Eleven worker when I'm getting a Slurpee on the way to rehearsal, but now I say "How's it going?" I don't want that. I want to be free to be a self-involved asshole again, dammit! And also, when for a second I wonder about us maybe deserving, in some tiny measure, to feel a tiny bit of the pain some of the world feels sometimes in part due to some of the stuff we might do, I just think of this fact: They killed in the name of God, claiming that God wants them to kill us, and I'm blindingly mad again. So should us all. We are not perfect, but we are good. We mean, mostly, we mean well and don't want people to hurt.)

So here's this: Fuck them forever. And yes, God Bless America. And then fuck them forever, once more.

So, what else? I'm still not working. My unemployment will run out soon. I'm worried. Our comedy script was ready to go out the week of the attacks, and now everything in Hollywood is very up in the air. Nothing is being read right now. I think the word is we go out wide next week. That's the word from my peoples. I hope execs are in the mood to read, and more importantly, buy, a goofy time travel comedy. Also on hold is my other prospect right now, a handful of rewrite jobs I'm up for around town. No one has had any time or inclination to make a decision. I don't blame them. But the waiting. I was tired of it four months ago. Now, I'm just... I need a new word to describe.

Because I always must be working, I decided to try to write a script in the month of September. In one month. I ended up taking a week off for, you know, all the terror and such, so I don't think I'll make my original deadline, but all told when I'm done this will indeed have taken me close to a month to write. It's a comedy and I really think it's pretty crappy right now, but there is a germ of something. Hopefully, once done, I can jump back in and figure out what I have and then do a massive rewrite. That's the goal.

Also, my comedy group, after a year off, have hooked up with a comedy management company who is high on our group and pushing us for TV development at Fox and elsewhere. So we now have a two-night industry show at the Fox TV Workspace in early November. (Let me know if you live in LA and want to come. It's free. We need to pack the house with people who laugh, because execs don't!) I spent the last week rewriting our Dirty Dancing show as a half-hour and tonight we begin rehearsing. I'm going to be quite busy doing that, but I miss performing very much. Almost as much as I miss your mom. (Tell her to call sometime. I'd love to see her.)

Oh, the ants. Thanks for the tons of advice I got. I've been working with a combo of spray, cinnamon, and vinegar, shouting, and crushing them with my fingers. They keep attacking on different fronts, and I repel. The newest is the bathroom sink. It goes on. The least of my worries. (Well, that's not true. About the fifth of my worries.)

Oh, in good news. Pamie can't talk about this in her journal since she no longer keeps it, but she just got to the semi-finals in the Austin Film Festival Teleplay Competition. She should find out about Finals, if my experience last year is any indication, maybe even today. Cross your fingers for her.

Anyway, I hope all is well with you and your loved ones and your cat and dogs and fish. (But fuck your hamster. It bit me that one time.)

Also, and most importantly. Go Giants! Go A's! Go Bonds! Word.

The Robert Downey Jr. Happy Song Corner


No I won't back down. No I won't back down. You can stand me up at the gates of Hell, but I won't back down. I will stand my ground, won't be turned around. I will keep my world from draggin' me down, I won't back down. No, I won't back down. Hey, baby, there ain't no easy way out. Hey, I will stand my ground. No, I won't back down. Oh, I know what's right, I got just one life. I will keep this world from pushin' me around, I'll stand my ground. No, I won't back down. Hey, baby, there ain't no easy way out. Hey, I will stand my ground. Hey, I will stand my ground. And I won't back down. And I won't back down, no I won't back down... speaking of which. I won't back down! No. I want to be included in the damn telethon. What do you mean you don't have room? Calista is invited, right? She's going to be there. Look, I have an Oscar nomination! I have a video in heavy rotation! I'm up for an Emmy! Goddamnit, I want in! I'll do whatever you need, I just want to do my fucking part! ...What? I can work parking lot security? Uh, you know what, I just realized I'm busy that night. Thanks, though.
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