You know, I sometimes wonder why I’ve stayed in the film business. Sure, the money’s good and the glamour of saying that you work “in the movies” is an ego-trip, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve started looking for something more; some affirmation that this hasn’t just been a big thirteen year lark. Finishing my first screenplay last year seemed like a move in the right direction, but it still didn’t seem like that SIGN that I’d been looking for; it wasn’t that great big blinking billboard that said “You’re Doing The Right Thing Kid, Keep Up The Good Work”. I finally came to grips with the fact that I might never receive a heavenly sign. But that was before last week; before the little wooden radio.
Continue reading Little Wooden Radio
As anyone in his or her right mind knows, Saturday television is for watching cooking shows on PBS. My longtime favorite has been Martin Yan’s show “Yan Can Cook”. He’s entertaining, well-prepared and obviously loves to cook. Before Martin Yan, my favorite TV cook was the legendary Cajun chef Justin Wilson. Who cared what he was cooking, it was just fun to hear him talk. Maybe all the best chefs have funny accents.
Continue reading My Biggest Mis-Steak
We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts, we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder Star
Okay, none of us were Kings and in no way could we be confused for people of Asiatic heritage. The only things of value we had with us were a couple of pairs of binoculars and an old maroon Dodge Aspen. The field was a pasture, the fountain was a fishpond and I suppose you could call the hill we camped on a mountain if you were prone to exaggeration. We weren’t following yonder star so much as trying to find a really dark place to get a better look at it.
And it wasn’t even a star, it was a comet; Halley’s Comet to be precise.
Continue reading Following Yonder Cow
I set up our Christmas Tree on Wednesday!
Now this isn’t just any old tree I’m talking about. This thing is on the way to becoming an antique; it’s over 30 years old this year and of course it’s artificial. All of you live (dead) tree junkies just shut up and keep reading, this thing is really keen….
Continue reading Old Christmas Tree, How Plastic Art Thou Branches
You have too much stuff.
It’s the truth…don’t argue with me.
Your collection of limited-edition Burger King Empire Strikes Back glassware has overrun your shelf space and at least five of your remote controls have been lost in the shadowy recesses of the leather couch that was ever-so fashionable before the cat discovered it was the ultimate scratching post. You only see your lucky stuffed penguin on the rare occasions that you summon the courage to dig toward the back of your closet to find your bowling shoes”¦ and you KNOW that there’s at least one place in your house that can only be accessed by turning and shuffling sideways like you’re going through one of those narrow secret passages you always see in the movies…only, the walls that you’re walking between are made of old National Geographic magazines and tubs full of video cassettes that you’ve been meaning to sort through on a rainy day that has yet to arrive.
Continue reading Lucky Stuffed Penguin
I like to tell people that I went to Kindergarten at a Chinese restaurant, but that’s not entirely true. It was a kindergarten when I went there as a child. It was years later when they added two bright-red columns, two dragon-wrapped columns, a pagoda-style roof and paved over every inch of the front yard. It has only been recently that I’ve been able to deal with the fact that General T’so and his chicken took over my kindergarten like Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek seizing the Nationalist government at Nanjing in 1928.
Continue reading My Chinese Kindergarten
First off, I did NOT dress up. Ever.
Let’s just get that out of the way right now.
Continue reading Poopy Pants Parade
It was in 1997, late into the second season of ‘Savannah’, where we’d moved into new digs on the east side of Atlanta. It was about six miles or so outside the perimeter but technically considered part of Decatur. The new ‘stage’ was nicer than the old one, and we had settled into a nice shooting routine.
Which gave us a little bit of time for hijincks….
I hadn’t intended to play a prank on my friend Glenn Ballard on that fateful day, it just kind of happened. There I was, at a urinal in the men’s restroom at the stage. I was kind of finishing up when Glenn happened to walk in and head into a stall for a more-involved evacuative process. Small talk ensued as I washed my hands. On the way out, as an afterthought, I flipped off the lights and kept going…despite Glenn’s wail of “Dreeeeeewwww”. Oh yeah, there was Matt Whiteside’s wail too. See, I hadn’t noticed there was an electrician in one of the other stalls…I mean, who checks these things?
But, no harm, everybody made it out safe.
It could of course have ended there….
Continue reading Lights Out
I dropped out of the elevator, crouched low to avoid detection. Looking left and right, I rolled quickly over to the wall trying not to be seen. I’d been avoiding her for most of the morning but her spoor hung heavy in the air in this place. I knew that the big cat was looking for lunch and that she had me in mind for the main course.
She wasn’t your usual cat, this one. She stood five feet tall at the shoulder and her coat was jet black streaked with fluorescent red. Her claws were long elegant blades and she had mysterious green catseyes, but it was her black leather cape and knee-high go-go boots that were a definite giveaway that this wasn’t your everyday feline.
Continue reading Science Fiction Summer