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This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Extra Gravy, Passings and Updates

Warning: If you find yourself here via a google search for such things as TV shows or films, recipes or cities, this blog has some facts. However, this blog is one author’s very twisted musing on many weird things. It is sometimes graphic in content. If you read on, don’t write to yell at me.

The week has been too interesting. Any number of things work for a lengthy blog, including happening on an hour long crime documentary featuring the real Miami-dade Crime lab. But there was something happening almost every day. But let’s begin with the obvious this fine Sunday afternoon late in the football season.

It’s All Gravy

How I love gravy. After the Eagles tied with the Cincinnati Bengals (the Bengals, for goodness sake – sorry, Randy), I was done, done, done. I would still follow the team. I can’t help but do that, but I had become resigned. And then, there was this transformation. I was happy they would finish the season with a decent record. Then, I was thrilled that we were in the position to spoil Dallas’ chances. There is nothing Philly fans like more than spoiling Dallas’ chances. That the game was at home made it all the more likely that there would be much spoiling going on. Former Dallas QB and current Fox Sports anchor, Troy Aikman observed that the stands were particularly ugly even before the game. Yep, that’s Philly. But then it all turned to glee. It was a delightfully humiliating route. I was a happy woman with just that. The next Sunday, Jon and I went to look at the soundstages for Blood Oath (more on that below). We happened past the door to a local cop bar on the way home and spied that the Eagles were winning against Minnesota. Very nice, indeed. That meant we were in a position to spoil things for the New York Giants. We like spoiling things for them almost as much as we love spoiling things for Dallas. The glee continues though the game was kind of silly in spots. It’s all gravy from here. I have no particular grudge against Arizona, but now they are a team in the way. In the way of what, I dare not think about. I’m just going to enjoy this surprisingly long ride.


Borders Book Store #93, 3rd Street Promenade closed its doors for good yesterday. Those of us who worked there have decidedly mixed feelings. There was a lot of evil cackling, to be sure. Some bitterness remains at the customers, the management, the corporate structure and the fixtures. But, there is some sadness at the loss of yet another brick and mortar bookstore. Jon argues that it wasn’t really a bookstore at this point. It was more like a gift shop that sold some books. The depth of the inventory had changed considerably. The last time I was there, I couldn’t find a copy of The Great Gatsby. ‘Nuff said. I mourned the store’s demise back then. The company should have never abandoned its original mandate – a community bookstore with the prices of a chain. Borders expanded way too quickly (during my time there, a new store was opening every month). The Amazon.com completely panicked Borders. After they came along, it was one hair-brained scheme after another to try to keep its market share. They diminished the number and types of books they carried and abandoned the idea of full-time, knowledgeable staffers there for the long term. I’m saddened because it was a really great bookseller at one time. I have some wonderful memories of that store. I met some of the best people I know there (like Marie and Craig and Phil). Marie and I learned about independent publishing working for Borders. My fondest memory of book signing was at a Borders. This one was in Philly while I worked for the Center City District. Peter O’Toole was signing a memoir at the Rittenhouse Square Borders. I just had to see him in person. He did not disappoint. Mr. O’Toole was there with a fine glass of booze and a cigarette awaiting the throngs when I arrived. The timid staff was trying to gently get him to not smoke and drink. He dismissed them with a very cultured ‘Oh, do go away.’ Then, he winked at me. It was fabulous. We would have never tried to take his stash at store #93 -- as long as he shared with us.

Our memories at store 93 are mostly ghastly. There were the various naked homeless people washing up in the bathrooms. They were never the OZ kind of naked or even the nudist camp kind of naked. It was gruesome kind of naked. Sometimes, they’d use the bathroom by going outside of the bathroom door next to the back office doors. My favorite of the homeless was not bathroom related. Mine was the one covered in gasoline and carrying an open cup of gas right in front of a group of VIPs from corporate headquarters. They no longer questioned our contention about having the weirdest clientele in the chain. We beat out the Manhattan stores for bizarre by a mile. We also cornered the market on privileged and often abusive customers who felt very entitled to everything. I won’t miss them at all. I met Patrick Stewart there (a co-worker nearly got injured over my wanting to wait on Captain Picard). Barbara Streisand thought I had the right idea about men (I was wearing a button that said ‘strip him, bath him and bring him to my tent). And Ted Danson looked for me long after I quit as he believed I was his personal shopper. Ah, memories. We tried to get a reunion group to go for one last visit, but I worried that Craig’s idea for a proper farewell would end in arrests. Thus, I say adieu from home.


Among the meetings we had this week, was a fascinating encounter with a retired Marine Master Sergeant who runs a company that provides specialized military and police extras and equipment. He had the precision buzz cut and a fabulous face full of a lot of world experience. He was the technical advisor through the length of the series JAG. Though an older gentleman, he had a very powerful build and a compelling bearing. We were certain that he could waste all three of us without much effort. The young man with the Sergeant is one of Ralph’s clients. He was very helpful by changing into a uniform in front of me. Have I said that I really like how not shy actors are? That actor, it turned out had killed Garett Maggart’s character in CSI: Miami. I mentioned that at the meeting. His reply was that he seldom remembers who he’s killed. I was really glad we hadn’t met at a restaurant. One, I wouldn’t have seen his lovely torso, and two, the police may have been called. Or maybe not. During the shoot for Demon Under Glass, at least three of us were seen in public washing bloody clothing, and no one was ever called. That always bothered me. Where was I? Oh, yes, so we have some very fine military consultants and their equipment at our disposal for Blood Oath. I’m also hoping to persuade the Sergeant to take on the role of General Braun. I had been concerned about securing their services. These guys were serious military. And though Rik and Vincent are decidedly pro-military in the Soldiers books and in Blood Oath, their situation often casts the military in a less than positive light. And then there is the yaoi content. I was biting my nails after sending them the script for the pilot presentation (and this script is tame compared to the novels). It was a relief that it all worked out. The prospect of working with this group is exciting as it will add authenticity to a key component of Blood Oath.

A note to some followers of the blogs here. Dragoncor Productions has many kinds of irons in the fire. Some are more mainstream than others. Some are decidedly not for mainstream viewers. I am very clear in my descriptions of the various projects especially the yaoi. If you have a problem with a particular production because of content, feel free to discuss it with like- minded people in another forum. Do not bother the actors or crew listed here with your opinions on content in films they are not attached to. Your cooperation is appreciated.

Blood Oath Shoot

Our first day will be Monday at the beach here. We had rehearsal on Friday. How I love to have attractive men sprawled on my sofa. I also had them try on their lounge and meditative wear. It seems to me that for a woman with a well deserved reputation for lurid thoughts, I spend a lot of time clothing attractive men. Dang this film business and the need for costumes. They looked yummy, at any rate.

For those who have followed the writing of the Soldiers books, my attachment to Rik and Vincent is very clear. I adore those characters and they live in my mind quite vividly. It was difficult during the casting process to get the voices I’ve had for the characters out of my head. That’s where compelling actors come in. They are good looking men, and they have a lot of personality. I saw glimpses of Rik and Vincent in the casting sessions, but I actually heard them during rehearsal. Matty Ferraro and Lance Wesley have a lot of chemistry together. They laugh easily and are easily physical with each other. They even surprised me with that occasional magic actors do during rehearsals or shoots when they read a line in an unexpected and delightful way. Matty has the evil, smart alec and the kind and caring sides of Vincent down very nicely. Lance has a combination of strength and vulnerability that I can’t wait to see in action. I was delighted at how well they knew my guys. Friday was a very long day as Jon and I still had a long shift at the archive after the rehearsal. It didn’t seem long at all. We were so stoked after the rehearsal that adrenaline took over. Monday should be the same way. I can’t wait to see them move like my altered soldiers in the morning sunshine.

As for The Gunslinger and Luv U 4 Ever, we’re still waiting for the word.

I’m off to prep for an early call time.

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