Friday, November 10, 2006


I wrote this script soon after we completed "King's Highway" and I sold it last year. It was originally entitled "The American Standard" (after the bar in the script). The film had nothing to do with the toilet company, although that was where the title came from and I had incorporated the AS plant into the original script. Anyway, after the film was shot and completed, it was sold to Lifetime television and the title changed to "Deceit".

The film stars Matt Long (from a great, short-lived series on the defunct WB, "Jack & Bobby") and Emmanuelle Chriqui (most notably from HBO's "Entourage").

A couple of weeks ago, it premiered on Lifetime. Now, I would have written about the premiere, except that I didn't know about it until the day before its airing. Turns out the producer and/or his assistant forgot to tell me. This is a bummer. But, Ross (the producer) is a good guy, so I take him at his word that it slipped through the cracks. Luckily, I have a Saturday ritual of taking the TV Guide into the john and perusing most Saturday mornings. See, I like to see what movies are going to be on IFC and TCM, so I can TiVo them and then never watch them because I don't really have the damn time to watch movies anymore (what, with the 20 frickin' hours of television I record, plus trying to write scripts and, oh yeah, being a dad). I digress. So, I'm sitting on the throne. Peace and quiet. I check Sunday's listings on IFC. Mind you, Lifetime's listings are just below the IFC line in my TV Guide. Anyway.

"Hmmmm. "Antoine Fisher" on IFC. Seen it. It was okay. Shot in Cleveland though. So may----what the fuck? Is that "Deceit"? Airing tomorrow night? No. Is it? Holy shit! That's my movie! My movie is airing tomorrow!"

That's pretty much how it went down. Cut to me running out of the bathroom in just my boxers. It's now like, 11 am. I still haven't showered. "Kids. Didn't I say to turn off the television?" Switch on the computer. Our damn, slow as molasses, the worst PC ever on the face of the planet, computer. I don't think there is anything worse than our computer.

No. Wait. There is. Having to use dial-up AOL on our computer is worse. 20 minutes later, I'm on the Lifetime site and sure enough, it was my movie (or, rather, partly my movie). So I sent out as many emails as I could to tell people to watch Lifetime on a Sunday night when most people are watching "Desperate Housewives" or "Cold Case" or pretty much anything else besides Lifetime. I do recall NFL Football... yes, NFL Football is also on Sunday nights.

There were a lot of people I know who watched the movie and man, am I grateful. I wish I could have been with my folks when it aired.

While I could sit here and bitch about what I felt was wrong with the movie or complain about how the script was rewritten, there is no point. The truth is, I wrote the script to sell and have it made into a movie so someone else would see it and ask me to write more movies. From that script, I have been able to get a manager. And because of that script getting produced, I got some credibility when it came time to approach the "Squirrel Boy" writing staff about writing a couple of episodes (which I got to do). So, "Deceit" has been good for me.

Any of you out there reading this who watched the movie. THANK YOU!

Now, if I could just finish this damn thriller, I may regain some of my sanity again.

Tomorrow is Jake's birthday part and I'm pretty jacked up about it. This should be a lot of fun. The theme is Teen Titans. When we couldn't find a Robin piñata for the party, I made one. That's right, I put my 3rd grade art class skills to work and constructed a piñata from scratch. It turned out very nice, if I do say so myself. We'll see how long it lasts once a bunch of little kids hopped up on candy start swinging at it. Speaking of candy, there is so much junk in that piñata, I'm afraid of how long the thing is going to last once the mad banging begins. Luckily, Jake is the first slugger who gets a whack at it.

I plan to take some picture to show some of my co-workers who have been hearing about this monumental project for several weeks. Who knows, I could start my own specialty piñata business on the side. Wouldn't cost much. Hell, I already write off my newspaper subscription. Now we could claim flour and water on our taxes, too! Heh, that's a joke. IRS.

My mom is coming into town this morning and the kids are very excited. Dad called last night about his operation in December. He's getting a stint put in his carotid artery. The operation is taking place just before the holidays. I believe Beth is going to head out to Arizona to help out. I know that Heidi and her family are also going to be in Tucson. This should be a pretty nice Christmas for my folks, all things considered.


Friday, November 03, 2006

I am a creature of habit. I can't just start something in the middle and keep going. This blog, for instance. I should have started writing again months ago. Alas, I put it off until my birthday. That would be the beginning of a new year. That would be a good place to start over. That would be a good plan... if my birthday weren’t three days ago.


So here I am. 37 years old. I am a father to two wonderful children and the lucky man to have Julie as my wife. And yet, do I have anything to say? Do I have any profundities to share with the world? I doubt it.

But I want to get back into writing this thing. Even if it's just to air my thoughts. I know, I know. This is the digital age and every damn person under the sun has his or her own blog. And I know there are better written blogs out there. But what the hell. I've learned that I have a few readers. And damn it, I need to please them, even if it's just once or twice a week.

So Jan, Phil, Cindy, Steve and Julie, here I am, putting myself out there again and hoping I can connect with you.

Let me start off with Aaron Copland.

My birthday was Wednesday night. We had dinner and cake. I received some wonderful gifts. At this point in my life, birthdays are more about the kids than me. Man, Sophie and Jake were so excited for me, it was a little overwhelming. After the great meal Julie prepared and the cake and ice cream, the kids took their bath. So, I put on Copland's "Appalachian Spring" for the first time in, like, six years. The second those strings and clarinets began tears were forming. It was so beautiful.

And it's not the type of music that makes you think, "Oh I love this girl". It's the type of music that sends you on a journey reflecting on the good and bad fortunes in your life. 2 seconds, that's all it took to rush me into a vortex of love for my kids. Those beautiful, loving children of ours. So much heart. I am one of those fathers who wants to wrap my arms around them and protect them forever. I can't fathom how you can bring a child into this world and not feel anything but love.

Anyway, "Appalachian Spring" is more than that quiet moment. It is one of the most majestic works I have ever heard. Listening to it makes me want to be better. A better man. A better husband. A better father.

It was a good place to start mentally on my 37th birthday. This has been one of those years in which my birthday just kind of happened. I can't remember a time when I wasn't so unenthusiastic about my birthday. I LOVE birthdays. And yet, here I was, just kind of going through the motions. In years past, I've taken the time to reflect on my life in the past year. Where I've been. Where I want to go. Am I disappointed with my life? Professionally, I would say yes. I thought I would be writing full time by now. I wanted to be that big Hollywood screenwriter.

But life doesn't work that way, does it?

Nope. It doesn't.

It's been several hours since I began this entry and in that time, I've come to realize that all of this navel gazing is fine for your birthday, but it doesn't need to last a lifetime.

So let's get on with it Malchus. Get back to the damn blog. Get those feelings out there and maybe you won't feel so compressed all the time.

That's all for today.