Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Here's the thing you have to know about Detroit: most of the gay bars don't have websites! So we didn't know hours, where to go, or what part of town things were really in. We had to scour websites like Citysearch and blogs to find that info. They would also let you know if the parking area was dangerous-- something that gets you really excited to go out drinking.
Anyway, we went to Backstreet, which is popular on Wednesdays and Saturdays; rumor is that is becoming a straight strip club soon, but that's not important. The thing to know is that it was crowded and the drinks were cheap by LA standards.
We see this group (on the left) and think we would like to be on a raised platform watching the dancers on the Saturday Night Fever blinking dance floor. So we walked up and this 18 year old cutie (Did I mention this was 18 and over night?) blocks the way. He says it's the VIP booth for a friend's birthday, but he's very sweet and thinks we're cute and so we chat it up.
Then Paul says we're Rick and Steve from the show on Logo. Now, let me be clear... We know Allan Brocka, the creator of Rick and Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple on Earth, I have had meetings at Logo about various things, and we are named Rick and Steve. But that's as close as we get to that Rick and Steve. Whatever. 18 year old cutie smiles and decides to let us up.
In swoops this queen, like an irate scavenger foul, and he screams at the cutie, "What the F--K are you doing? Who the F--K are they?"
I stick out my hand, smile and say, "Hi, I'm Rick. Is it your birthday?"
"NO!" he shrieks. Seriously, like a crow yelling,"Kaw! Kaw!" Anyway, he screams, "No, but I paid for this FU--ING booth and you can't be here! Now get the F--K out!"
I immediately look around, because I'm thinking he may have paid for bottle service and is worried we're going to drink his liquor. But there isn't any. In fact, the only thing paying for this "FU--ING" VIP booth got him and his friends was access to a raised platform.
The 18 year old cutie is horrified. He was just being nice, but now the Kaw Queen is yelling at him. So we immediately thanked the young pup, turned tail from the drama, and walked toward the exit.
"Oh my God, I'm so sorry," Cutie apologizes as I reach in my pocket.
"Don't worry about..."
"They need to go! NOW! Kaw! Kaw!" interrupts Kaw Queen.
"We're going," I say with annoyance, pull my camera out of my pocket and click a picture. "But girl, this is going on my blog!"
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
We're gay like that.
Steve got some pants at Ruehl that make his body (and by "body" I mean "bum") look amazing. Yes, they were a little expensive, but can you really put a price on a nice looking ass? Well, yeah, I guess you can if you're a hooker. Or hiring one. Whatever. It was worth the cash, that's all I'm sayin'...
We also spotted some cute sweaters at Express Men, and since my mom hates giving gift cards we realized these would be affordable gifts we'd use. But instead of sending my mom to the store in San Diego so she can try and figure out what we exactly want-- which invariably will end up with a bear or horizontal lines on it-- we decided to take photos. We then e-mailed them to my hip sister, Eileen, who is in charge of making sure Mom doesn't purchase said bear or girth-increasing lined items.
From those photos, my sister Eileen sent me this letter.
Do you even understand how funny these pictures are to me?
#1 You are taking pictures of their clothes while you are in the store.
#2 You made the effort to smile in pictures of you in clothes that are not yet yours.
#3 You laid the sweater on the ground in the dressing room so you could photograph it.
#4 Argyle... Seriously... When did that come back?
#5 Go back to #1 because that is TOOO funny.
#6 I am picturing the manager coming over and asking you to remove the sweater and stop taking pictures.
(NOTE FROM RICK: This did not happen, but I was approached by a customer who and his four year old daughter. With a pair of pants in hand, he asked me if I had another pair in his size somewhere in the back of the store. When I explained that I didn't work at Express Men and why we were taking photos, he looked at me like I was crazy, took hold of his little girl who was now staring up at me with fascination, and quickly scurried away.)
#7 It's like you two were out playing modeling together.
#8 I totally see this as a Seinfeld episode.
#9 You guys are totally posing (with no shame) in different areas of the store near displays. So So funny!
HILARIOUS. I will share w/ mom.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Here's a pic of Steve with his father, Kurt, outside of Kurt's new home. Yes, it snowed Thanksgiving morning, so I got to experience my first white Thanksgiving-- and to all you fags out there, no, that wasn' t a joke about drugs.
There will be a couple more e-mails detailing the trip and the gay scene, but I have a new deadline to focus on. While away I got a call to write some press material for Cloverfield, the new JJ Abrams movie. Yes, Cloverfield is the amazing horror/action movie that looks like it was shot from a hand-held recorder. (You may have seen the trailer that has everyone wondering what the movie is about...) And no, I won't reveal anything about said movie in this blog.
But I will post this picture of Steve with his grandma from his mother's side. She's 89-years-old and seeing how excited she was to have Steve visit was a really great experience.
What I will reveal is that Steve and I ate our way through the entire vacation. What's not to love about that?
Oh, and we also got kicked out of a VIP section at a gay bar. Hilarious!
More to come this week!
Sunday, November 18, 2007
(Incidentally, Gizicki was going to be there but he's uber important and got to attend the Enchanted premiere, which he said was a brilliant movie; he also sat next to Jamie Bamber who plays Apollo on BSG, proving once again that all good things come back to Battlestar. Anyway...)
Razor follows what happened to the crew of Battlestar Pegasus after the first Cylon attack, and juxtaposes that story with Lee Adama's (Jamie Bamber) first mission as the Pegasus' captain. It's amazing for a number of reasons.
1. Making you love characters you hated.
2. Seeing Cylons from the original series.
3. Learning new stuff that influences the plot of next year's final season.
Well, I don't want to say it and ruin anything, but it's a very small, lovely surprise that is revealed about one of the Pegasus' crew and it's pretty great. Just watch the show next weekend. You'll be glad you did.
Off to Detroit for Thanksgiving week. Blogging could be hit or miss, but I'll see what I can do.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Here is Colet, pensively waiting to cross the street in front of the Fox lot where we picketed today. She got the vote of "Cutest Strike Outfit" from the people at the sign-in desk.
You would think that none of these male writers had seen a woman before because their eyes were glued to her and the pretty blond woman who was in line with us.
That said, we met no one. Writers who knew one another talked to one another, and everyone else was just in their own world. It was sad, because I kind of wanted to meet people and chat and just hear how things were going.
And no one hit on us. Not that we were going to cheat on our respective husbands, but when you're walking around in 80-degree sun you want some kind of distraction. If not a quick chat about possible jobs then at least a quick "hi" so our self esteems wouldn't burn.
We did have one celebrity in our group, Gregg Clark from The New Adventures of Old Christine. He smiled at me, though I think it was because I was wearing a Joanie Loves Tchotchkies shirt.
Tomorrow, Presidential hopeful John Edwards is marching by NBC. I can't make it, but it's kind of a cool thing.
Lots of people drove past and honked their horn. It was MUCH louder than when you have people standing on a corner with "Honk to Stop The War" banners.
As Colet said, "People take this strike shit seriously!"
Even the employee shuttle bus driving into the Fox lot honked. Probably not the best idea for the driver's job future, but we cheered back.
As I said, my computer is on the fritz.
What happened? Software Update told me to download some new system file. I did. It shut down midway. Next thing you know, my programs aren't working and the computer won't reboot.
Hi, who has FOUR deadlines before leaving town on Monday?
And the soonest they can see me is tomorrow (Friday) at 6pm. So much for watching that advance screener of Battlestar Galactica: Razor that our friend Gizicki snagged.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Colet and I are walking the picket lines tomorrow-- not sure the location yet, but I think it will be on the West Side. I'll take photos and try to write about it, but I've got a ton of deadlines before Steve and I leave for Detroit next week.
In case you're hearing stuff on the news about what the producers are offering and what the WGA is sending back, here's a letter from David Young, the Executive Director for the Writers Guild of America West and who is on the negotiating committee.
Viva la revolicion!
November 13, 2007
To the Membership:
First, I want to express my gratitude to all the members of the WGA, SAG, IATSE, and
Teamsters, and all of the TV and film fans who have bonded together to help get our
message across. The response from the community has been wonderful and we have much
to be thankful for. Today's rally, with the entire roster of actors from several
top TV shows, as well as some of the most influential feature actors in the
business, meant more to our membership than we can express.
However, the reason for this message is the AMPTP has been making some misleading
statements. I want to make sure you know the truth. They say writers are already
paid residuals for digital downloads. That's true. We are paid one third of one
cent per dollar made by Studios for digital downloads. One third of a cent. This
is a paltry amount for work that we have created. We are asking for 2.5 cents per
dollar, which is what we currently make on ad-supported TV programming.
The AMPTP says that we were given $260 million in residuals in 2006. This was our
contractual share of a record setting twenty billion dollars the studios earned from
reruns of the work we created. The companies' rollbacks would cut our residuals in
The AMPTP says that, when they walked out of negotiations, on offer was on the table
to pay writers for Internet streaming. This is misleading. Nothing but rollbacks
were on the table when they walked out, and they have yet to provide an economic
proposal, after three and a half months of our requesting one. We have presented
them with ours, and we are ready and eager to hear their response.
Be forewarned, the AMPTP has a large advertising budget, and we can expect them to
issue many more misleading statements. We know, however, that the truth will
Executive Director, WGAW
Chief Negotiator, WGA
Monday, November 12, 2007
There are close to 30 or so ornaments, and Steve designed a whole bunch of them like this Snow White, Jack Skellington, and the cameos; you'll also find some neat glass orbs of either Dumbo, Bambi with Thumper, or Mickey & Minnie. All of these ornaments and more can be found online at DisneyStore.com.
Do you know Oswald? This was Walt Disney's creation before Mickey Mouse, and here's another one of Steve's cool boxed ornaments. Steve also created a statue of Oswald that's coming out in December.
There are a lot of things like this that I don't put on the blog until they're in the stores because I don't want him getting into any trouble with me showing insider secrets. That said, Steve's boss, Juan Ortiz, started a blog and he does post some of these items along with the designs, so if you're interested in the creative process it's definitely worth checking out.
You can find Juan's blog at The Disney Store Shelves.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
I can relate. I wrote all of the "promotional" internet material for MyNetworkTV's show Fashion House and got a tiny weekly salary for it. Keep in mind, that was before I became a member of the Writer's Guild and the show was non-union, but it's another example of the exploitation that's happening.
Also, if you haven't read it yet, I was forwarded an open letter from Shawn Ryan, show runner for The Shield and The Unit. One thing that hits me hard about this note is knowing how much these scripts become your baby, and now Shawn is in a position that asks him to choose between the ultimate success of his creation and doing what he feels is right.
When I think about the dreams I have, when I think about how much it hurt to see my episodes of American Heiress get butchered-- episodes I really thought were going to be amazing-- I can't help but understand how tough this decision must have been for him.
If any of you are artists on any level, I hope you understand as well.
"As you all know by now, we are on Strike. It's sad that we have arrived here and I don't know each and every one of your opinions, but I wanted to share my personal plans for what I intend to do until we have a fair contract.
I am currently quoted in today's Hollywood Reporter as saying that I will do some producing work, but won't do any editing as I consider that to be writing. While I said something similar to that earlier last week (I've learned you can't trust a word of what these trades report), that was before I went to the Showrunners Meeting yesterday and became very crystalized in what I need to do. Like many of you I have spent the last week contemplating what to do in case of a strike. What are my responsibilities to my writers, my cast, my crew, my network and my contract? How do I balance these various concerns?
At the Showrunners Meeting it became very clear to me that the only thing I can do as a showrunner is to do nothing. I obviously will not write on my shows. But I also will not edit, I will not cast, I will not look at location photos, I will not get on the phone with the network and studio, I will not prep directors, I will not review mixes. These are all acts that are about the writing of the show or protecting the writing of the show, and as such, I will not participate in them. I will also not ask any of my writer/producers to do any of these things for me, so that they get done, but I can save face.
I will not go into the office and I will not do any work at home. I will be on the picket line or I will be working with the Negotiating Committee. I will not have an avid sent to my house, or to a new office so that I can do work on my show and act as if it is all right because I'm not crossing any picket lines.
I truly believe that the best and fastest way to a good contract is to hit these companies early, to hit them hard and to deprive them of ALL the work we do on their behalf.
How do we ask our staff writers to go out on strike as we continue collecting producer checks? How do we ask the Teamsters to respect our picket lines if we won't ourselves or if we're sneaking around to do the work off-site?
Just so you all know what I am prepared to give up....
Tomorrow, we begin to film the Series Finale of The Shield. I think it's the best script our writing staff has ever written. This is the show that made me. This is the show that is my baby. If the strike goes on longer than two weeks, I won't be able to step on set for the final episode of the show. I won't have a writer on set, as I have had on every episode since the fourth episode. I won't be able to edit this final culminating episode. I won't go to the wrap party that Fox TV and FX are paying for. You can't tell me that any episode of television is more important than this one is to me, and I am ready to forego all those things in order to strengthen my union.
Tomorrow, we begin filming a new pilot, The Oaks, that I am Executive Producing. It's an amazing script that David Schulner wrote and I signed up to help him make this show. Until we have a fair deal I cannot do that now and it kills me.
We are currently filming Season 3 of The Unit, a show that does fairly well, but against House and Dancing With The Stars, usually finishes in 3rd place. We have no guarantee that we will back for a 4th season. I just gave a director friend of mine his first TV directing gig. I'd like to see him succeed. He'll have to finish the show on his own now without a writer on set, or my help in the editing room.
Some people have made the argument that if they don't do this producing work or this editing, that someone else will do it, and this act won't hurt the companies. I respectfully disagree. If we ALL stop ALL work tomorrow, the impact of this strike will be felt much more quickly, much more acutely and it most likely will end sooner, putting our writers, our cast and our crews back to work sooner!
I spent nearly 12 hours today in the Negotiation Room with the companies. I watched our side desperately try to make a deal. We gave up our request to increase revenue on DVD's, something that was very painful to give up, but something we felt we had to in order to get a deal made in new media, which is our future.
I watched as the company's representatives treated us horrendously, disrespectfully, and then walked out on us at 9:30 and then lied to the trades, claiming we had broken off negotiations.
I can't in good conscience fight these bastards with one hand, while operating an avid with the other. I am on strike and I am not working for them. PERIOD.
You will use your own instincts and consciences to decide your own actions. But if you would like to follow in my footsteps (and those of many, many others who made this pledge at the showrunner's meating on Saturday), I encourage you to sign the trade ad that the WGA will be putting out on Tuesday by the dozens and dozens of showrunners who will simply not work at all beginning in the morning."
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
And in other news, Cafe Press struck again by yanking off our latest design. So pissed because it's amazing. Steve came up with the slogan, and our artist friend Larry (who also creates custom action figures) dragged up the Autobot logo.
It looks so good and now we can't get shirts made.
If anyone knows of a way for us to get shirts printed like we can there (as in, where we only have to send a logo and people can order them as they'd like) let me know.
Or if you find a company that wants to hire us to design shirts freelance, let me know.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
I definitely support the WGA and got contacted by "my team" to walk the picket lines last week. Assuming the strike goes on, I'll do it at some point, but this week I am under a number of major deadlines.
My team leader informed me (very politely-- he sounded embarrassed to say it) that if I didn't hit the picket lines I would have to explain myself to the Guild Strike Rules Committee. Ominus, huh?
Do you think they'll be hiring John Ashcroft or Alberto Gonzales to monitor?
Here's the thing: I haven't written for a TV show since 2006, and on that job I got paid tragically low rates. Less than WGA negotiated rates. I say that not to bag on the Guild, but to explain that when the job ended, it wasn't long before I went back to writing for magazines. I made job commitments-- you gotta do what you gotta do to pay the mortgage bill-- and now those deadline that help keep me eating are interfering with the strike. I'm sure the Guild Strike Rules Committee will understand.
Although I have to say, when I called my friend Michael (no last name) at a studio (no specific company, please) to see if he wanted to get non-work-related drinks, I was nervous talking to his assistant (no gender, either). What if the phones are tapped? Or if assistants are being promised Guild membership after the strike if they snitch on suspicious writer activity. Who can say?
Paranoia aside, I am excited about the strike because I think it's the right thing to do. And I think it will be very creative... as soon as we get rid of those pre-printed signs. We're writers. We should expect clever things on our signs. I've got my sign ready to go. It reads:
I'm calling my friend Chuck on Heroes to find out where his people will be next week.
I'm home, fighting off some kind of strange stomach thing that has me too jacked to feel well but not jacked enough to be laid up in bed. I suppose that's a good thing, since I have a major deadline for a new company, I want to make a good impression, and I can work. It's just slow going.
Fortunately, Steve bought green tea on one of his trips to China, so between that and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, I'm discovering a whole new world of healing properties. Unfortunately, it also means Steve and I can't make it to the Hidden Restaurant opening in Santa Monica tonight. I've already reviewed them, but still, I love a good party. Sadness ensues.
Friday, November 02, 2007
Right now they only list when the show is on, not which episodes are featured. As soon as I find out, I'll post it here. I do know we were on the commercials in Canada, so if you see us on TV drop me a line.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
If you still want one but didn't order it in time, I have some here at the house that I could mail out. Just e-mail me at email@example.com and we'll figure something out.
BUT... we have a new shirt for Transformers that is pure genius (Steve was very funny with this idea) but I don't have it uploaded yet. As soon as I do, I'll let you know.