Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The week is half over and I ma very excited about the new job. There is a lot of adjusting to do, but I still feel this will pay off in the long run. I completed my revision of The American Standard and I believe I will have limited interaction with the production from here on out. Not because I want it that way. It's just the way events have been playing out. Bummer.

I ran Monday and today and plan to get up tomorrow and run a third day. After taking most of the last two weeks off, I feel good about getting out there so early in the morning. I am sending off a magnet design to Dave this week and hope to have my letter out before the end of October. I feel like it's really lat to send out the letter and this is a little stressful. But I feel like it's been a weird time in our country, what with the two disasters that shook Louisiana.

That said, I know that the CF Foundation is working to help those victims from the hurricanes who suffer from CF. That is a point I may bring up in my letter.

Spoke with Beth over the weekend and she's training hard. I'm excited that Team Malchus will have two participants this year.


Saturday, September 24, 2005

I must apologize for the long delay. A lot has gone on in the past two weeks and the decisions I made took precedence (and energy from) over writing in the journal.

I have left my job at Klasky Csupo to take a new job at Cartoon Network. It was a difficult decision to make, but I feel it is one that will lead to greater benefits. What that has meant is training my replacement at an earlier hour than I am used to and taking away from my training time. The new job begins on Monday and I should feel anxious. However, I have been dealing with other professional issues that I have not had time to dwell on the change ahead of me.

See, I've been revising a draft of one of my scripts, "The American Standard", which has been optioned and will go into production in late October of this year. This draft was a challenge because I'm no longer the guy who created the project. Now, that title falls to the director and I am the writer. It's something I thought would be easy to relinquish once the project got funded, but I must admit it's been difficult to let go. You spend years of your life working and reworking a story idea, and at some point your involvement dwindles.

Ironically, I wrote this script to be just that kind of project. And since the funding came through and a director was chosen, I have come to terms with everything. I completed a new draft of the script on Friday and I'll pretty much find out tomorrow if the producers want me to continue writing on the project or whether they'll go back to the director (or another writer). Whatever they decide, I'm glad I have Monday to distract me form a) the disappointment or b) the continued stress on writing. That said, I have learned that two of the producers are happy with the latest draft, so the stress of waiting has been lifted.

I didn't run this morning. I am a little bummed, but I know I can make it all up this week. I plan to get back on track this week and really dedicate myself. In addition, I have come up with artwork for magnets and pens this year (through Dave, of course. Once these promotional items are complete, I'll send my fundraising letter out.

So, the big changes begin on Monday. It's very exciting, but a little sad. I did love working with Barbara and the people at Klasky Csupo. But the time was right. And I felt that the job coming to me like it did was a sign that the time is now.


Monday, September 12, 2005

It's been a long week and there was so much going on that I couldn't muster the energy to write. Sad, I know. I was so damned stressed that I had stomach aches by the end of last week.

I have taken a new job at Cartoon Network. The opportunity arose and I felt that I shouldn't pass it up, not with the way things are going at Klasky Csupo. I'm not sure if there would be a job for me at KC past October. The risk of losing our benefits is something we can't take. Although I initially turned down this job, the news of KC looked even grimmer a day later and I immediately called my friend who offered me the job to see if it was still available. It was.

The nerve racking part is that it's less pay and, of course, trying to figure out the benefit situation. We spent all last week going over our finances and looking for ways to make it work. I believe we've come up with a solution. It's not perfect, but we'll be able to stay on our feet.

The constant stress about this job situation made it twice as hard to concentrate on running. I did run three times last week, but after I accepted the job, my body was ravaged. I had internalized so much stress that I had used up as much energy as when I run long distance. When Saturday came, I was too exhausted to get up and run.

On top of this stress was the delivery of a draft of my script for "The American Standard", a film that is being produced later this year. This new version of the script was not written by me and there were some significant changes to it. It has been an eye opening experience dealing with the optioning and the production of this script. I mean, once you hand it off to someone and sign the papers, it's not really yours any more. Having had almost complete control over "King's Highway", this was a rude awakening to the real Hollywood machine. All weekend long I worried about why the script was altered and whether I would remain involved with the project (and would I be sharing the writing credit).

I got my answers today and I am a little bummed by what I was told. I hope to be involved with further revisions.

This is a strange time. Starting a new job. Finally accomplishing the sale of a script. I should be so much happier. But I still have so much anxiety and uncertainty that I'm consuming mass quantities of Tums. I could barely muster 15 minutes of running before my head got the better of me and my body shut down.

You come out here and you chase the dream. And really, the dreams have been achieved. A loving wife. The greatest kids you could ever imagine. A couple of movies. From the outside my reality must look pretty awesome. So why do I feel so glum? Why can't I just revel in the good fortune?


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

It's been a long day. We took Jake for a doctor's appointment today and they had to take x-rays and draw blood. Although those two parts of the visit were difficult (Jake is quite a fighter), the good news is that he gained 4 pounds and grew an inch. We're thrilled, to say the least. As I sit here now, I'm wiping away tears, though. I know, I know, it's just a television show, but the end of tonight's "Rescue Me" ripped my heart out. The son of a main character was killed and it was heart wrenching to watch. I kept sitting there, hoping, praying that this imaginary character would live, but knowing that he would not.

Great art will do that to you. Obviously, I thought of my own children. No, I don't expect them to die. But life is so fragile. One slip and everything changes. I would be nothing without Julie, Sophie and Jacob. Those three people make me a complete human being. My life is meaningless without their presence.

I received several bootlegs of Springsteen's tour (have I mentioned that?) and there is a new acoustic version of "The Rising" that I can't get out of my head. Even now, three years later, that song resonates with me. It will be forever connected to my children.

I love them dearly and will continue to do my best for them.


Sunday, September 04, 2005

A quiet weekend for us. Seann's fiance, Natalie, is in town until Tuesday and she is up visiting with him. I ran 4 miles yesterday despite not really training during the week. Somehow I completed it 2 minutes shorter than last week. Go figure. The effects of Hurricane Katrina still linger on all of our minds. It's difficult to grasp, sometimes, that the devastation that looks like a third world country is actually a part of our United States. It is equally strange that our lives out here in California go on like normal, and these poor people are living in misery. Reminds me of the days following 9/11 and we all had to return to work. I can remember driving in my car, watching people casually go to work, singing with their radios, and I thought, "How can you act like the world hasn't changed?"

I feel a little like that now. We've all changed.

Spent the night with the Malchus' of Stevenson Ranch. After a great dinner, Budd, Seann, Natalie, Budd's neighbor, Tracy, and I went to Doc's, a dark, hole in the wall bar close by. The music was loud and you could barely speak to each other. It was kind of nice to get out, but I would have preferred to go out with Jules somewhere. It's been too long since we had an evening to ourselves.

Today was very laid back. Cleaning the car, a little shopping, etc. We all look forward to an extra day off tomorrow.


Thursday, September 01, 2005

Woke up this morning with every intention of running 45 minutes. I didn't get a hundred yards past the front door and I turned around. The devastation and horror of the aftermath of Hurrican Katrina and what it has done to New Orleans really got to me this morning.

What right do I have to ask for money when there are thousands of people now homeless and dead? I just couldn't run. So I returned home to think about it all and to thank God for the safety of my family.

If you're a reader, please give to the Red Cross or any one of the charities helping the victims of this disaster.

Thank you.