Welcome Gentle Readers

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, November 01, 2009

The Gorn, The Caterers and A Cunning Plan

Craig has become obsessed with my shoes. I don't work in my shoes. I take them off and put on the kung fu slippers I purchased at the same time as the order for Rik and Vincent's outfits. As I've said, who can resist ordering something from kungfu4less.com? I keep my shoes under my work station. Craig noticed them this week and has become obsessed with planting a plush Gorn in one of them. I'd never heard of such a thing. I thought he might be speaking in code and was planning on doing something diabolical with them in addition to hiding them in strange places around my work station. He finally acted on Friday. The Archive denizens were squirrelier than usual as we were filled with donuts and Halloween candy. Craig put a Gorn on my workstation as he left. I'm hoping he meant me to keep him. He isn't exactly a happy Gorn, but he is terribly enthusiastic. I've also decided to hide my shoes to avoid temptation. Meanwhile, here is the funnies thing we've ever seen in an elevator.

Excitement and Terror
Since last week, our launch and holiday party plans have firmed up considerably. A caterer remains elusive, however. I had visions of visiting all these business and sampling their tasty finger foods. Instead, I'm having my blood pressure raised by very snippy people who don't DO our area of town or if they do, the prices make my head spin. I've heard a lot of 'oh, if you want tables and chairs, that will be considerably extra. I wondered how they planned to set up the buffet without tables. In the little online forms, I indicated that we didn't have our own. They all noticed the hefty head count. They must have seen that we needed something to put food on. I almost screamed when one told me that each floral centerpiece on the buffet table would be $100 or so. Do you know how many glasses of wine we could have in place of three centerpieces? Marguerite and I have been brainstorming and came up with some solutions that should still look elegant, taste good and do not involve spending a bloody fortune or have us cooking anything. Jon and I may do a few trays of Christmas cookies, but that's not hard considering how much baking we're already doing. We'll also be able to give three of the four people to whom we ship single packages of goodies heir treats in person. I'm trying to figure out a reason to fly Sarah out here to get hers as well. Perhaps her current opus can be made into a film? What do you say, Sarah Jane?

The terror part is not the party. No matter the obstacles, Marguerite and I will figure out a way to through an elegant and tasty party. The terror part is the screening of Blood Oath's pilot presentation. No matter how hard a production company works and no matter how good everything looks to us, we can't know for sure what we have until someone unrelated to the film evaluates it. Though I seem arrogant about my work (and I admit to being somewhat arrogant), I'm still very nervous about that first screening. And that's before we get to the network suits we've invited. Since we want them to buy the program, that makes for a lot of pressure. Still, we're confident enough in our work to throw this shindig. We'll have our actor boys in person for Q&A. That's Lance Wesley, Matty Ferraro, Aaron Blake and hopefully, Brian Avery. They are all gorgeous and charming in person. And we'll have a little nosh afterward.

So, if you are in the LA area and interested in some cutting edge, live action yaoi, email me for an invitation.

It seems that the Eagles have decided not to torture me this week. Hopefully, the Phillies will follow suit. Both games play in south Philly today. Oy! I'm glad not to be trying to get to the airport there today.

A Very Cunning Plan
Warning: There be many spoilers and strong opinions ahead.

As I wrote in yesterday's mini-blog, we watched two films last night. I watched Scream Blacula Scream on my own as Jon was napping. Each film was a treat for vastly different reasons. The first was The Naked Monster, a loving send up of B monster films from the 50s and 60s. It makes very clever use of existing footage and casting of actors from those films (The Thing from Another World, War of the Worlds, and This Island Earth for example). In many cases, these were the last roles for those iconic actors. They all seemed to be having a great time, so we had a great time watching them. There were even a couple of bits with the wonderful Forrest J. Ackerman whom I had the pleasure of meeting more than once. We've toured his amazing home and had a long chat about Sci-fi pulp fiction. We had hoped to have him in Demon Under Glass, but the timing never worked out. At any rate, the Naked Monster does not have great acting and the special FX are really clunky around the edges, but the film works because it salutes films with many of the same issues. There is an enthusiasm for the material and a genuine sense of humor in the script that it is hard not to be charmed by it. And if you have never seen the films The Naked Monster is honoring, look them up and have a look. They are all true gems and often the inspiration to film makers we watch today.

The thing that Battlestar Galactica: the Plan did to me first and foremost was make me realize how much I miss that show. I enjoy a lot of varied TV shows, but there simply isn't anything out there right now that routinely surprises and challenge and impresses me. It was good to feel that way again if only for a couple of hours. The second thing I felt was deep satisfaction. One of my few complaints about the series finale was that Brother Cavil (Dean Stockwell died way too quickly and too easily considering the suffering he caused. However, The Plan revealed that Cavil suffered a fate that was akin to a living hell for him. Not only did his plan to destroy humanity fail. He couldn't get rid of the survivors. The other models were behaving irrationally where humans were concerned or proved to be just plain incompetent. And worst of all for him was the realization that had he succeeded, he still would not have had what he wanted from his 'parents' (the Final Five – all the love he felt they were squandering on humanity. There would be no 'sticky hugs' for Brother John. There would be sorrow and mourning and profound dismay and disappointment from beings whom he desperately wanted approval. That, for Cavil is true suffering. Thus, I no longer feel like he should have been keelhauled under Galactica. The Plan answered a lot of unanswered questions and problems I'd had with the original run of the show. How were the Cylons finding them after they jumped away from the Colonies? Who had written Cylon on Boomer's locker mirror. Why Boomer hadn't managed to kill Adama from point blank range? None of these questions kept me from enjoying the series at the time, but it was nice to have some sort of explanation. Above all, I was impressed at the very simple but incredibly powerful motivation behind the unfathomable attack on the human colonies. Cavil orchestrated the extermination of millions of humans in a gambit to get the undivided attention and love he felt he lacked from his 'parents.' He was acting out like any child would when feeling neglected. This child happened to have control of a near limitless nuclear arsenal and and arming a robot death machines. Simple but powerful motivation was the hallmark of this BSG. All of the technology and FX pale in comparison to the power of overwhelming elemental drives. Jane Espenson's script brilliantly conveyed this without once being heavy handed, and Edward Olmos' direction brought out amazingly moving performances that never overplayed. The result was astonishing. 'This has happened before' is the cryptic utterance of all of the final five when the nukes begin to explode. And it will again when a very head strong, petulant teen with a new found philosophy and a very dangerous new form acts out in 'Caprica.' I can hardly wait.

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