Friday, August 18, 2006

Why Network PR People Are Retarded

Today in the mail I got my 400th press kit heralding the arrival of the new fall season. So far, due to these never-ending postal gifts, I have received the following: multiple copies of every fall TV pilot; one baseball hat embroidered with “CNU LA,” whatever that means; one bullhorn that only included two out of three AAA batteries and thus does not work so I cannot use it to bullhorn anyone. Wait, I found the missing third battery on the floor -- this thing is awesome! I am so effortlessly loud and annoying; one “House” t-shirt with a gross CAT scan of a brain on it; one hooded sweatshirt that very subtlely says “Prison Break;” and one broken pen set emblazoned with the word “Justice” on the pens, which work nicely and actually include a penlight on one of them. So those I will probably use.

In the past, I have also received cookbooks, glassware, blankets, jackets, books, CDs, a huge vat of red licorice that is now stale and sitting on my refrigerator, microwave popcorn, many many office supplies and so on and so on. My apartment is largely decorated by TV show chatchkes, and my office is largely supplied by paper goods with the names of TV shows on them. Like I have a “prescription pad” from “House” and actually another one from “Dr. Keith Ablow,” a syndicated show that’s premiering this fall. I tried to use them to write my own prescriptions for things like Ambien and Vicodin but for some reason that didn’t work at all. Plus someone at the pharmacy mentioned something about “felony” so I decided it was best to let the issue drop.

Truthfully, it’s mostly Fox that likes to send out these goodies and I’m not really that opposed even though I really doubt I’ll ever wear a t-shirt in public that’s displaying a brain. But what would be more likely to convince me to write (favorably) about any given program is if someone would send, say, Patrick Dempsey to my house for a visit. Or a pound of freshly ground Starbuck’s. Or some really good Belgium chocolate. Not that I really need these things – except of course, the Dempsey visit – but if they are going to waste the postage and the effort to send a bunch of crap to me in the mail, they might as well send me something I want.

So below, I’ve comprised a list of things I actually want. Please stick faithfully to this list, all you soliciting network publicists:--

  • Soundtrack to "Grey’s Anatomy." But if you fail to send this, network publicists, ha ha! I can just burn my friend Day's new copy.
  • Anything chocolate, even Hershey’s
  • Wine glasses, because mine sort of suck
  • New ski boots. And if you decide to go that route, I also would like new Atomic or Volkl Supersport skis, 160 cm, with new bindings. I like to ski bumps and trees, so please take that into consideration
  • Scuba gear, and a complementary RT ticket to Palau also would be appreciated
  • Ping golf clubs. I actually like my golf clubs, but it would be cool to have Pings.
  • VW Touareg, in this awesome navy blue color I saw the other day
  • New laptop because mine keeps overheating and shutting down and it’s super annoying. Plus it’s messing up the interviews I am trying to do with YOUR stars. See how you could help me out here while also helping yourself?
  • Baseball shirts, because I think I look especially cute in them. It’s OK if you want to put TV show names on these shirts, as long as you stick with cool TV shows, like "The Office," and not lame-o TV shows that I don’t like, such as "NCIS." Sorry CBS, but I don’t like all those crime shows and when you throw the military in there, well, forget it.
  • And of course, Patrick Dempsey. If Patrick isn’t available, Isaiah Washington, Eric Dane or Chris O’Donnell will do.

Thanks in advance, network PR people, or as I like to call you – flaks – for noting and meeting my needs. I'm looking forward to all the better flackerie that's soon to arrive at my doorstep.

I ask, the news responds

With Thursday's arrest of John Mark Karr, main suspect in the unsolved murder of Boulder's baby beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey, I think we have our answer to my recently posed question -- Boulder: Eden of the Front Range or Home of the Devil? Well, Karr didn't really live here, um, ever, but he kind of looks like the devil, don't you think? Or maybe ET? In the interest of presuming that bonafide child molesters are innocent until they are proven guilty, however, I will stop short of saying that Karr is a) the devil b) guilty or c) an extraterrestrial.

Not to mention that his confession is the weirdest ever. First, he got all the details of the murder wrong. He says he raped her, but there's no evidence of rape. He says he drugged her, but there's no evidence of drugs. And he says he was IN LOVE with her, but there's no evidence of love or sanity really because who says publicly that they were in love with a six-year-old? And who writes said six-year-olds Christmas poems for random CU professors to go read to her once she is dead?

Anyway, being back in Boulder and all, I'm a little obsessed with this at the moment, but it should pass soon. My attention span isn't that long.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Boulder: Eden of the Front Range or Home of the Devil? Unclear

Here's a lovely aerial (for some reason, that word was really hard for me to spell) shot of Boulder, where I now live, far away from the hustle and bustle of city life and really close to the hustle and bustle of small city life, which during rush hour can boast traffic that's about as bad as LA's, especially now that apparently almost every street in town needs to be repaired.

Anyway, Outside just talked again about Boulder as "the best place to live if you are a masochistic freak whose idea of a good time is to bike 120 miles up three mountain passes, but not so much if you are a fat, drunk couch potato who is easily made to feel like a slob." Outside's article on this well-discussed topic -- Boulder: pristine place of health and spirituality or home of the white and self-indulgent -- is pretty good. A friend of mine says that Boulder-bashing is almost as popular a past-time here as cycling, so be sure to also check out Marc Peruzzi's take: The Goretex Vortex.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

An assignment that I love

In my life as a freelancer so far, I've gotten to do some pretty cool things and I hope even cooler things are to come. But here's three stories I got to write for one of Publisher's Weekly's web sites. In each, I got to interview a screenwriter and then write a story about adapting a famous book to film. In this month's edition, I interviewed filmmaker Richard Linklater, novelist Armistead Maupin and screenwriter, director and producer Bob Dolman. It's really great fun and I'm blessed to have the opportunity. (For that, I must thank my wonderful editor Robert Rorke, whose birthday it is today.) Here's the link, which will only be relevant for the next month: