Leave for the airport NOW. Especially if your flight is on Wednesday.
Bring no luggage. Wearing the same clothes for a week is a small price to pay.
Southwest has no reserved seating. Get in one of the latter groups boarding. You don’t want to be one of the first to sit then watch as fifty people glance at the empty seat next to you, then to you, and decide to sit somewhere else.
If you have children under the age of five tell your relatives one has an ear ache and make everyone come to YOU.
Those people in the Stand-By line – those are the same people who think they can get rich selling Amway products, and the Tooth Fairy really exists. Don’t fly Stand-By unless you like sleeping in airport terminals for five days.
If you rent from Hertz plan on a two hour wait just to get your car. Unless you’re one of their “preferred” customers in which case allow only one hour.
Before you pull off the road to a Chuck E. Cheese for lunch, remember their namesake is a rat.
Three words of advice if you’re driving a long distance: XM satellite radio. Especially if you’re crossing Texas and want to listen to Air America.
Air travelers: avoid O’Hare. Better to land in Dallas, even if your destination is Chicago.
If you’re dropping someone off at the airport don’t even think you’ll be able to stop. Have your travelers practice the tuck and roll from a moving car. The first couple of times they’ll bounce but by the fourth or fifth try they should have it down.
Watch the DVD of HOSTEL on your laptop. The bigger the screen, the better.
There’s more legroom in Exit rows. When the flight attendants ask if you are willing to help out in case of emergency just say yes. Like it’s going to make a big difference anyway if you crash.
There are NO bargains in the Sky Mall magazine.
When you’re stuck in St. Louis and all flights are grounded (and trust me, you WILL be), grab lunch at Mike Shannon’s.
If you’re flying on an airline that doesn’t have reserved seating never sit next to anyone whose already eating or reading Ann Coulter.
Before you fly to New York and have to negotiate JFK just remember – the parade is on TV. And it’s the same balloons as last year. The only difference is that the stars of NBC’s big new hit from last year, COMMITTED won’t be there.
Never pay to see an in-flight movie starring Debra Messing.
Put a big strip of duct tape on your luggage so you’ll recognize it easily. And it makes a nice fashion statement.
If you’re flying with small children see if there’s such a thing as “Flintstones Valium”.
In-flight alcoholic beverages are expensive. Better to drink heavily at the airport before boarding.
And finally, watch PLANES, TRAINS, & AUTOMOBILES again and think of it as a “best” case scenario.
Happy trails to you all.
O.J. will tell how the murders would have gone had he committed them (wink wink). I’m sure it will be rich on detail because, y’ know… he has such a great imagination. I’m surprised he has the time since he’s been on this one man tireless crusade to find the real killer. From what I gather he's narrowed it down to someone on a golf course.
The special stems from an upcoming book published by Judith Regan. To contact Ms. Regan you don't call her, you drive by her street corner and roll down your window.
If this special gets ratings expect to see the sequel with Robert Blake for February sweeps. And then for May, Barry Bonds could talk about what his career would be like if he took steroids.
Personally I’m appalled and only hope the Goldman and Brown families attach every penny this murderer makes from this unconscionable stunt.
The only way to REALLY show your displeasure and disgust is to not watch it. Let's hand O.J. the verdict he deserves.
And as for FOX, they already have as many Simpsons as they need.
And here's just a sample:
7) This one is evil but fantastic: open a new file and write the thing again, without looking at your current draft, no matter how many times you've rewritten it. Oh, so evil! Because you'll hate it and you'll be so mad and then, oh my goodness, you write something SO GREAT! Because you've been working on that story for so long now, you're so ready to write that thing! You're a pro at writing that thing, but you're not letting yourself write it, only rewrite it.
It's like you've been practicing a piece of Bach. Only you recorded your very first time through, and you've been tweaking that recording all this time. Play it again! Write it again! Let your characters talk. They're sick of having the same conversation over and over. What would they do if they had the chance to live that scene over again?
8) Study something fabulous. This is how they train composers. And I know because I went through this at the conservatory. We studied certain pieces of music so closely that when I hear Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra or Wachet Auf or the others, I almost can't breathe. Break it down, diagram it, watch/read it over and over for the structure of it. Write it from memory. (That is a particularly wicked exercise we had to do. Write Bartok from memory!)
9) Start listing things you love. It's simple but it works really, really well. You can put margaritas on there a couple of times if you want! And Joe Flanigan and Tahmoh Pennikett! And Mt. Hollywood and pizza. Blueberry tea and pink kitty toes. The New Zealand All Blacks and the South African national anthem. Kaylee! Vines. Vintage dresses on Ebay. Amelie! Margaritas! Ben Browder! Bagroll! Anglo-Saxon poetry! Royal blue! Cello solo! The point (and I do have one) is to get back to the place where you remember why you're doing this in the first place. Yay!
10) Write something else. Boy howdy, that works great! I'm sure that 95% of writing-is-not-working crankiness is because you want to be writing and aren't. So write! Write ANYTHING! Write about what you would write if you could be writing and exactly how good it would be, because it would do this and this and this and this and this...and because you're a writer, pretty soon you've worked your way out of whatever knot you didn't even know you had.
Hormel Meats, the fine folks who make Spam are upset that the word is used to describe junk email. They believe it’s derogatory to their most excellent product of chopped pork shoulder meat, salt, water, sugar, and Sodium Nitrite.
Neil Patrick Harris is gay??? No????
Carrie Fisher has a one-woman show at the Geffen Theatre in LA. It’s worth seeing. She discusses her rather colorful life. It’s called WISHFUL DRINKING but could easily be renamed WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU ONLY MAKES YOU FUNNIER. And more good news: The Princess Leia wig still works on her.
Times are a’changin’: ESPN’s Monday Night Football occasionally out rates NBC’s Sunday Night Football. A cable station kicks a major network’s ass. Of course NBC does ESPN a favor by counter-programming with STUDIO 60. (Was this Monday night’s episode the worst??? Sorkin is turning into Captain Queeg.)
Plans are underway for a SEX AND THE CITY movie. Film it fast! In another minute it’ll be MENAPAUSE AND THE CITY.
When Justin Timberlake is a big pop star it’s time to coax the Hanson Brothers out of retirement.
The Boston Red Sox have a national fan base. So the term “Red Sox Nation” makes sense. But now the L.A. Clippers have adopted the term. “Clipper Nation”?? They’re not even the most popular basketball team in Los Angeles. In fact, they’re not even number two. UCLA has that honor. Instead of “Clipper Nation” it should be “Clipper Senior Quad”.
Speaking of the Bosox, after a brief hiatus my son has resumed his highly entertaining Red Sox blog, Dirty Watah. Check it out. But don't mention the "Clipper Nation" thing. It'll really piss him off.
Nine -- count 'em, NINE Christopher Walken impersonators perform at the Paul Gleason Theater in Hollywood every Monday night through December 18th. But what separates the men from the boys? The ones who can dance on walls.
When you think of great movie moguls, you naturally think of Louis B. Mayer, Irving Thalberg, Jack Warner, Darryl Zanuck, Harry Cohn, and Tom Cruise.
I’m still waiting for my invitation to his big wedding. It’ll be aboard the Scientology luxury yacht, SHIP OF FOOLS 2.
Al-Jazecra, the Arab news network launches an English language channel this month. More competition for CW.
New York Yankees Public Address Announcer, Bob Shepherd is 96. He had been lying about his age, saying he was only 90 I assume so he could still get chicks. No one has ever introduced a player better. Hearing him call your name is like Hirschfeld doing a caricature of you. I hope he’s behind the mic for another 96 years.
Will somebody tell ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY that in their SOUND BITES feature, it’s not the actors who come up with these nifty quotes, it’s WRITERS. Have any of you ever heard Teri Hatcher speak??
VARIETY has a new feature: “The Knife”, clueing you to where celebrities dine. Allow me to do the same. Spotted at the Gardens on Glendon in Westwood: Art Linkletter. Otherwise known as Bob Shepherd’s wingman.
When I began I was told by more seasoned bloggers to post frequently, at least a few times a week to attract an audience. I decided to post every day if I could. So far I haven't run out of topics although it helps that I can criticize anything, whether I've seen it or not.
The reaction to this blog has far surpassed my wildest expectations. It now has an audience larger than an inner office memo. Thanks to all of you for finding and staying with it. Please tell your friends. I'm too cheap to advertise. Also thanks to Howard, MK, Lee, Mark, John R., John A.,Tabloid Whore, Bob S., Lance, James, and all the other kind bloggers who've added links to this site.
As I've done in the past, I'm asking you to write today, tell me where you're from, how you found this site, and what you'd like to see or not see in the future. I've also offered any sexual advice you might need but so far no one's taken me up on it.
As I head into year two, I thought I'd link to some of my favorite posts from year one. Since I have a lot of new readers and no one reads archives anyway, what the hell? Enjoy and thanks again.
Big difference from a Laker crowd. Celebs for the Lakers include Jack Nicholson and Denzel Washington. Here it’s actor, Larry Mann and Jaimie Farr. More Hollywood stars used to attend Kings games when Gretzky was playing for them. That was back at the Fabulous Forum. They would sit right on the glass in the seats actual fans could never afford. There was a lip protruding from the glass which these celebs thought was for putting their drinks on. They didn’t realize players would be crashing into it. Goldie Hawn and company were unceremoniously drenched. It was a beautiful thing.
Different dress code, too. Laker fans come all pimped out. Kings fans all wear jerseys. More than a few should also be wearing goalie masks. But they were loud and boisterous and unlike me, seemed to know what was going on.
I sat next to a lovely gentleman who had had seven Red Bulls. But he assured me that until nine he was okay. Meanwhile, he spent the last two periods doubled over with his hands covering his head. Now I know why the Kings are off to such a poor start. I suspect he is one of their scouts.
Two 17 minute intermissions made for a lot of beer sales. By the third period everyone was rowdy. A Shark player got hit in the kisser with a puck. As he staggered over to the bench fans were yelling, “Get back on the ice, you baby!” The NHL is the official sport of the American Dental Association.
The P.A. system at the Staples Center is the worst. It was like how the Peanuts characters used to hear their teacher. Of course it didn’t help that every hockey player has fifteen consonants in his name.
As a novice I had just as much fun during the intermissions. Fans were invited to send text messages that would be posted on the scoreboard so we tried to send cleverly veiled obscene ones. I’m guessing we weren’t the first. None got posted. But truthfully, who gives a shit about “Hi, Mom,” “Kings rule”, and “Jess, would you marry me? Alex”?
The game was good but not nearly as exciting as the human bowling event between the first and second periods. The only way to be eligible to play was to fail a breathalyzer test.
No major brawls which was disappointing. Although there was a lot of physical contact. A penalty is defined as something that maims a player for life. Usually that’s a two minute punishment.
What’s wrong with this picture? The Sharks actually have a player who’s Afro-American. Mike Grier. That’s even more astounding than a white guy in the NBA. (His dad, Bobby Grier, is a coach for the New England Patriots).
Hooked up after the game with the Sharks radio announcer, Dan Rusanowsky. Even the broadcasters have long unpronounceable names. Boy, you REALLY got to be a fan to listen to hockey on the radio. “Tverdovsky over to Kostopoulos, now to Visnovsky, intercepted by Nobokov.” It’s like a Russian novel book-on-tape.
One thing I do know about hockey, it’s wall-to-wall action, great fun. And when you get down to the last five minutes and the game is tied, it’s totally wild. The Kings won 4-2 and the human bowler knocked down four pins.
THE GOOD SHEPHERD – Matt Damon as one of the first CIA recruits in this Robert DeNiro directed Cold War drama. Teens love the Cold War so it should do boffo.
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM – The exhibits of the Museum of Natural History come to life at night during Ben Stiller’s guard duty. Cautionary tale on drug use.
ROCKY BALBOA – Dear God, why?????
BLACK CHRISTMAS – Slasher film with a holiday theme. Those aren’t toys in Santa’s sack, Virginia.
NOTES ON A SCANDAL – Cate Blanchett as a London teacher who has an affair with one of her students. He breaks it off upon realizing he would have gotten an A anyway.
MISS POTTER – Rene Zellweger as author Beatrix Potter who has an affair with her editor. She breaks it off upon learning he would have published Peter Rabbit anyway.
PERFUME – “Eating Raoul” but with perfume. People walking around literally wearing “Scent of a Woman”.
FACTORY GIRL – 60’s “it” girl Edie Sedgwick and Andy Warhol. “Capote” but groovier.
THE DEAD GIRL – Certainly the catchiest title of the holiday season. Not to be confused with DREAMGIRLS. Brittany Murphy stars as the corpse.
CHILDREN OF MAN – Sci Fi yarn has Clive Owen protecting Julianne Moore who is the only pregnant woman on the planet. Rod Stewart of course is the father.
See ya at the movies.
DOA: DEAD OR ALIVE – The perfect film to kick off the season. Gore and death on a tropical island. Bring the kids.
APOCALYPTO – Mel Gibson’s savages-as-metaphor-for-Jews movie. I’m only sorry he wasn’t eaten by a lion during production.
BLOOD DIAMOND – “The Constant Gardener” meets “Romancing the Stone.”
BREAKING & ENTERING – Jude Law so right away, caution. A guy falls in love with his burglar’s mother. Expected line of dialogue: “What a coincidence. That ring you have is just like the one I was going to give you.”
MR. LEATHER – Documentary on Robert Redford.
UNACCOMPANIED MINORS – Five kids running amok in an airport. Kind of the “Muppet Babies” version of “Terminal”.
ARTHUR AND THE INVISIBLES – CGI adventure from master children’s storyteller, Luc Besson. Hopes to bring the same fun and magic of his “Fifth Element” to a family fantasy involving wizards and a princess.
PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS – Will Smith enlists his real life son to help him in his perpetual quest to be Denzel Washington.
THE HOLIDAY – Writer/director Nancy Meyers so you know – glossy, formula, a romantic comedy that will have three laughs, all for the trailer. The kind of “date movie” that keeps guys from ever wanting to see “date movies”.
ERAGON – “Lord of the Rings” meets Puff the Magic Dragon. Can “Wind in the Willows: the Trilogy” be far behind?
HOME OF THE BRAVE – Samuel L. Jackson as a returning vet from the Iraq war having trouble readjusting. Sample line: “There are motherfuckin’ snakes in my head!”
FAST FOOD NATION – playing at a Drive-in and Drive-through near you.
THE FOUNTAIN – Just simply the worst movie of the year. But if you want to take your date somewhere on a Saturday night where you two can be alone, take her to an 8:00 showing of THE FOUNTAIN.
VENUS – 100 year old Peter O’Toole hooks up with pretty twentysomething niece. Woody Allen is already preparing a remake.
The conclusion tomorrow.
Back from Gotham where I helped out on a musical going into workshop production called THE 60’s PROJECT. It’s a fun and poignant journey through the decade, complete with all the music and assassinations you remember. My main contribution was getting them to take “Who Put the Bomp?” out of the Tet Offensive section. But it’s a terrific show despite the fact that an audience member called it “important”.
Stayed again at the Shelburne Murray Hill. But no Diane Lane this time. They should tell you that when you make your reservation. Seven whole days I stayed in that dump!
The tree is back! The world’s largest Christmas tree was delivered to Rockefeller Center this week. It was their second attempt. The first time no one was there and they had to leave a note. Usually city workers decorate the 75 foot Norwegian Spruce, adorning it with 25,000 lights. This year the task goes to Martha Stewart’s APPRENTICES.
Big Broadway show in town is the revival of ODD COUPLE with Matthew Broderick, and inexplicably, Nathan Lane as the slovenly “guy’s guy” Oscar Madison. I know it’s stunt casting but Jesus. Why not just go the whole way and cast Carol Channing?
Best panhandler: the guy at Broadway and 42nd holding a sign that reads: “YOU CAN YELL AT ME FOR A DOLLAR”.
Close second: The Naked Cowboy. This skeesix has long blonde hair, wears nothing but a Speedo and a guitar. I would still believe him as Oscar Madison before Nathan Lane.
Had a meeting at NBC at 30 Rock. The security has gotten ridiculous. They now even take your picture for a visitor’s pass. If they were really worried about someone bringing down their network they should just keep the producers of FEAR FACTOR out
There is barbed wire around the Plaza Hotel. It is being converted to condos. But the Oak Room will remain. The city was able to get its upscale hookers at the bar registered as historical landmarks.
Had breakfast at “Friend of a Farmer”. New York has officially run out of restaurant names.
The best pizza in New York is no longer Ray’s. It’s now John’s. So expect “Original Johns”, “John’s Original”, “Jon’s”, “Original Jon’s”, and “Jon’s Original” to pop up all over the city.
There’s a Home Depot on Lexington Avenue in Midtown. How do people get anything home? They have to lug their new garage doors or Jacuzzis or lumber on the subway?
Went to Carnegie Hall for the first time to see singer Linda Eder. Both were quite spectacular . (Andrew Carnegie, for those who didn’t know, was one of those American robber barons who made his fortune in fatty corned beef.) Linda received a standing ovation the moment she appeared. Very different from her July performance at an outdoor venue in San Diego when the only person who stood was a guy in a Hawaiian shirt trying to flag down the vendor for his fifth pina colada.
There are five balconies. The top one is above the timber line. Scalpers could easily sell $35 top balcony seats for $2000 saying they were the only Barbra Streisand tickets still available.
The only weird moment of the concert was when Linda said “Judy Garland had a huge influence on my life” and I was the only man in the audience who didn’t say “me too”.
The after-show party was fun. And when people asked what I was working on now I was able to say Broadway musical instead of failed Fox pilot.
There is a strange woman who always makes and hands out commemorative Linda Eder refrigerator magnets. Mine will be proudly displayed next to the Clippers 2003 home schedule.
You are no longer allowed on Avenue of the Americas unless you have a Blackberry. There are checkpoints.
A hotel was bombed in Jordan so currently there is extra security and SWAT teams at certain NY hotels. (Nothing at the Shelburne. They don’t even provide valet service). So now for your $700 a night at the Parker-Meredian (actual charge this week) you are in the heart of the theatre and terrorist target district.
Debby flew in just in time for the best sidewalk food vendor announcement. A bratwurst hawker on Broadway who was presented his award and arrested for not having a permit.
Cathy Rigby is doing her final performances of PETER PAN at Radio City. Next year she segues right into ARSENIC AND OLD LACE.
Meanwhile, Nathan Lane is segueing from THE ODD COUPLE to PETER PAN.
With all the amazing Italian restaurants in New York there is an Olive Garden. And it was packed. This is why “three card monty” takes in more money annually than the Statue of Liberty.
Languages spoken by my cab drivers: Urdu, Russian, Czech, Farsi, Klingon.
Forgot to set my alarm (all five days) for 5 a.m. so I could stand in the window of the TODAY SHOW, wave my arms like an idiot, and hold up a sign that says “HI JANE! HI BRYANT!”.
Now that all hotels employ recorded wake up call messages, this should be the one they use: “Good morning. This is your wake up call….(beat) Hey, fuck you too. You asked to be called.”
A street vendor on 6th Avenue was selling one of our SIMPSONS scripts for $15. Linda Eder magnets were going for $20.
Went to my favorite museum – the Margo Feiden Gallery, home of the glorious Al Hirschfeld collection. I was there so long I counted 4,362 Nina’s.
Latest fashion trend: kids wearing Yankee baseball caps two sizes too big. They all look like Sluggo.
Actual radio station press release: Clear Channel Urban WWPR (Power 105) and PREMIERE syndicated morning duo Star & Buc Wild have replaced newsman “Crossover Negro” (Reese Hopkins) with “Chris the Queer” (aka Chris Hart).
Bring back Dan Ingram!!
The MET LIFE building will always be the PAN AM building.
Annie flew in from Chicago for the weekend. First stop was Long Island and a big gathering of Debby’s relatives. We all met at an Italian restaurant on Queens Boulevard (Friend of an Undertaker) and had lunch. Just like a Sunday dinner scene in the SOPRANOS except Tony and the family never said “No cheese, I just had meat”, “what comes with that?”, “are the capers fresh?”, “I can make the same thing at home for fifty cents,” and “the last time I had cannelloni I went into labor”.
Stephen Sondheim came to our show on Sunday. And wound up sitting next to Annie. She’ll be dining off that story for years. The performance went very well until one of the leads, in the middle of “Sugar Sugar” broke into “Being Alive”.
If you put a Linda Eder refrigerator magnet together with a Barbra Streisand refrigerator magnet would they attract or repel?
JFK has been remodeled and refurbished, now sporting humongous Tomorrowland-like terminals and a monorail system. Once Zagat rated the worst airport in America, now with all the improvements it’s rated even worse. Instead of building bigger terminals how about providing more than two ticket agents at 6 pm on a Sunday?
Spending a week as part of the New York theatre scene was very heady indeed. Everyone was so friendly, so gracious. All of that will end of course when they find out I write for TV. But at least I met Stephen Sondheim. And he and Annie are now exchanging recipes.
Thanks so much to Janet, Richard, cast & crew, Dave, Ronni, Linda, and the Naked Cowboy for everything. I feel very lucky.
YOU CAN RUB ME FOR A DOLLAR.