Friday, May 25, 2007

Things You Can't Buy In DC
At the start of my previous cruise (late January), I stopped in a Miami drugstore to pick up a couple of items. I bought Purell Hand Sanitizer/Ocean Mist, as well as a bag of Cinnamon Fire Jolly Ranchers.

The Jolly Ranchers were intense! And I really liked the Purell scent. After the cruise, just the small amount I had left over put me back on the boat.

I looked for these items here in DC. But while I found Purell in unscented as well as aloe vera versions, and bag after bag of Jolly Rancher original flavors, I could not find Ocean Mist and Cinnamon Fire.

No matter where I looked.

Fast forward to last weekend. I'm in Fort Lauderdale visiting a friend. I stop in a Walgreen's to pick up some toothpaste, and followed up on a hunch. I'm in Florida - would Fire and Mist be readily available?

There they were. Both of them. Exactly what I've been looking for. So I bought up a bunch of each and packed them in my suitcase.

What I want to know is - why can't I get these in DC?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

It May Not Be Your Passion If:

#10: It's more about seeing your name connected to an outcome than your deep down enjoyment.

Also known as "Name in Lights" syndrome. A few years back, I was walking through Broadway (NY) with a friend. I pointed to the marquees of the famous theaters we passed. "One day," I said, in almost mock seriousness, "my name's gonna be up there!" My friend still speaks with me to this day, after I subjected him to this obvious behavior, considering where we were. It wasn't until years later, when I actually had "my name in lights" (although not in NYC), that I realized it wasn't all that it seems in the movies. Nothing magically changed. I still had all my old fears and insecurities. I just had a few more people telling me my writing was fantastic. There was a quick learning curve after that, as I understood exactly how awards and recognition (even just a little) can't take the place of just getting out there and living life.

#1: You're in love with the idea of your passion, but you can't stand the component parts.

#2 - You and your passion have a long distance relationship (and you aren't willing to move.)

#3 - Pursuing your passion clashes big time with your personality.

#4 - In pursuit of your passion you end up doing things that might be hazardous to your health.

#5 - You say it's your passion, but you spend 100% of your "free," non-work time doing just everything else BUT working on what you say you love.

#6 - In considering your passion, you experience "Klondike Thinking."

#7 - You go into debt because the financial costs of practicing it are way too high.

#8 - You don't believe your passion's barriers to entry pertain to you.

#9 - Pursuing your passion cuts you off from family and/or friends.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Where's the customer service for screenwriters?

Although I have "officially" given up the screenwriting game, I continue drifting off to sleep at night running scenes and dialogue from Ed Maxx: Zombie Destroyer* in my head. You might think it would give me nightmares, but no. I prefer my nightmares to come from other sources. Cormac McCarthy's stunning and awesome novel "The Road" is currently furnishing them with images quite well.

Who knows - maybe I'll find the fun in going back and giving Ed Maxx another try at setting his life straight.

If I do, I'll of course maintain the opinion that Hollywood doesn't give a damn about us, the customers for its peculiar sort of merchandise. Hollywood has never asked me what kinds of movies I want to see. And the town is particularly hostile to screenwriters, especially those of us who prefer to live somewhere other than Los Angeles.

And so I find it harder and harder to care at all about what is being offered on screens here in DC. This is unfortunate, since the "hinterland screenwriter" could be one of the film industry's most ardent supporters. After all, we're the ones who:

  • pay $8 to see a movie - two or three times;
  • watch the DVD a second time, with the director's commentary running;
  • sometimes watch it with the commentary running the first time;
  • watch all the deleted scenes, once with commentary, once without;
  • look up all the bit part actors' names on IMDB;
  • can tell you who Natalie Kalmus was;
  • sit on our festering scripts because we're too scared they may be totally worthless (as most script readers claim they are);
  • would benefit from a system where we could be matched up with writing partners who could complement us;
  • believe that every dozen years or so, we'll come out of a movie theatre transformed.

*Ed's a DC-based lawyer who wakes up one morning to find that the world has degenerated into two camps - zombies and a very few humans. He rapidly finds that he's destined to flip back and forth between this alternate universe, and his real life, where he's got to deliver enough billable hours to become partner, get married, survive encounters with the walking dead and find a way to make the flipping stop.