Another suitcase to pack. Another three weeks of outfits to coordinate. Didn't I just do this?
Sunday was filled with the typical errand-running and laundry-doing that usually happens the day before Pauly comes to L.A. I also played (badly) in the Poker Stars Blogger Freeroll, donking my chips off to Ryan about an hour in. I had two jacks on a ten-high, connected board and knew they were no good against his kings or aces (turned out to be kings), but went broke anyway since I had so much shit to do. When I got back home four hours later, I saw that Derek and BadBlood had both gone deep. Blood went out in 24th place and won a 160GB iPod while Derek went out 48th and got a duffle bag full of Stars swag. Congrats to both!
I was much less of a lucksack in the Pauly's Pub Pool this weekend than I was last week, but did manage to cash my first contest in Sundays with Dr. Pauly series on Fantasy Sports Live. Zeem won the contest I was in, which also included Otis, Drizz, Mattazuma and Smokkee. I took Tom Brady, Steve Smith, and LaDanian Tomlinson who all had stellar weeks, good enough to land me a third place finish.
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So the other day, Showcase calls me up from some dog park telling me he'd just spoken with Frankie, otherwise known as The Girl I Went to College With Who Got My Old Job at the Big Man's for Twice my Old Salary. Guess what. She got fired. The company was "downsizing." She was planning to spend the next few weeks at a monastery in Northern California to "detoxify" from the experience. Her words, not mine. Oh, and she said she pretty much hated everyone there.
I can relate.
The industry, if it weren't going to hell already, is about to endure another massive shitstorm. To be honest, I haven't been following the negotiations between the studios and the Writers Guild of America (WGA) that closely. I still remember the almost-strike of 2001 and the panic/mass hysteria that accompanied it all-too-clearly. You couldn't get through a ten-minute conversation in Hollywood without someone asking "so, what do you think is going to happen with the strike?" Or speculating about whose jobs were on the line because of the strike. Or wondering which agencies would be hit the hardest by the strike. Say the word "strike" and I still have flashbacks.
Everything that happened in 2001 is happening right now. No one, and I mean no one is buying scripts. Every major agency is trimming their client lists while trying to stuff their bread and butter clients into whatever projects they can so they can get paid before shit shuts down. No one can get a D-job, and everyone who got a new D-job within the last year is shitting their pants because they'll be the first ones out the door if stuff gets hairy. Hollywood loves a crisis, and they love to panic even more.
In 2001, the issue was writers' residuals from DVD revenues. Now it's the internet and downloadable content, not to mention threats from the studios to end residuals altogether for writers. It's going to be a big, nasty fight. The WGA contract is up on Halloween (how apropos) and this time, their rhetoric is sharp and uncompromising. A work stoppage really could happen. Perhaps those fears had something to do with Frankie's dismissal. Or perhaps the Big Man had already used up his private jet allowance for the year and needed to free up some more room in the budget. Wouldn't be the first time someone got laid off there to free up jet dollars.
Thank God I don't have to worry about that shit anymore. Though a potential strike would certainly create a buying frenzy once it ended. Which I should prepare for.
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So yeah. A flight to Australia tonight. And Pauly and I are reunited after two weeks back in our corners on opposite sides of the country. Happy Change.
After he got in Monday afternoon, we grabbed a quick bite with Showcase up at Swingers Diner on Beverly Blvd. We spent the remainder of the afternoon rolling blunts and catching him up on Season 3 of Weeds-- which I thought was kind of "eh" on my first viewing, but was a lot funnier the second time around. I loved it when U-Turn bought a fleet of Priuses for his crew. "They're real quiet. Good for sneaking up on muthafuckas."
Tuesday morning I took Pauly for his favorite L.A. breakfast at John O'Groats. I had my usual, the Huevos O'Groats while he went for French Toast and bacon. After writing for a couple of hours, we went over to the Grove and caught a matinee of Into the Wild. Both of us had read the book. I really enjoyed the filmmaking and the performances, but it could have used a 20-25 minute haircut in running time. Hal Holbrook and William Hurt are such fucking great actors. And Emile Hirsch, whom you might remember as the guy who falls for porn starlet Elisha Cuthbert in The Girl Next Door proves himself as an actor with a capital A in this film.
Since our illegal Mexican housekeepers have broken all but one of my wine glasses over the last several months, I asked if we could stop by Crate & Barrel after the movie let out to pick up a few new ones. Pauly said he would wait outside while I went in and got them because if he went with me, a giant beer can would fall on his head. "That, and if you go in alone, you'll find your shit and get out faster."
Boooooo. He went in anyway. No beer cans fell from the sky. And we were in and out in less than 10 minutes. So there.
Being it was our last night in the States, I cooked dinner for us. Cajun-rubbed Filet Mignon served on top of a Shiitake Mushroom Confit, topped with Pepper Bacon, Onion, and Blue Cheese. I had green beans on my plate, but since they offend Pauly so, his was veggie-free. We washed it down with a bottle of Killkanoon Killerman's Run 2004 Shiraz, made just outside of Johnnny Mushrooms' hometown of Adelaide, South Australia.
The photo evidence, and some breakfast food porn: