Me And Joss: The Legend Continues

26 04 2008

Are you a fan of Joss Whedon? If you are, then you’ll understand why I’m about to tell the non-fans to become fans, and if you’re not a fan, become one.

So, for a very long time (about ten years now), I’ve thought that the man was a genius. If you don’t really know who the heck he is, he created Buffy, Angel, and Firefly, as well as the upcoming Dollhouse, and he wrote and directed Serenity, the spin-off feature film set in the Firefly world. He wrote and directed most of the absolute best episodes of those shows, and really many of the best episodes of television I’ve evr seen. In case you’re wondering, yes, I pretty much have a man crush on the guy. I would have his babies.

Anyway, probably about a year and a half ago, I was walking along the 3rd Street Promenade here in LA, and who should I see but a schlubby guy in sneakers and a loose-fitting shirt. This guy was, you guessed it( you guessed it, right?), Joss Whedon. I couldn’t bring myself to approach him, so I just kind of stalked him up and down the Promenade for about fifteen minutes until he rounded a corner and exited my life.

Cut to a few months ago when, during the writers’ strike, there was an event called Mutant Enemy Day. Mutant Enemy is Joss Whedon’s production company, so I’m sure you can guess what the event was like. Buffy, Angel, and Firefly alum (actors, writers, producers, etc.) were out that day, striking in support of the writers. Now, I had been striking with the Battlestar Galactica writers when I was able since the strike had begun, so the striking wasn’t particularly exhilerating, except that, once again, Joss and I crossed paths. And, once again, I couldn’t bring myself to approach him. It just felt like we were all there for a cause, and to treat it like essentially a convention seemed inappropriate.

Cut to this past Tuesday, three days ago. I’m at work at the bookstore, when who should come up the escalator, but Mr. Whedon himself. I know! I just couldn’t let this go. “Hi. Are you Joss Whedon?” My voice was stuck in my throat, and also was doing octaves I’d never heard it do. “Yes, I am.” “Hi, Joss Whedon. I am a huge fan of yours.” So far, so good. Seriously, what is up with my voice? “Oh. Well, thank you.” “I’m so sorry. I’m all nervous.” Okay. That was okay. Kind of a lame thing to say, but you’ll redeem yourself. Just say something cool right now. Talk about that time on the Promenade. No, he might not appreciate having been stalked. Tell him about how you’re sorta-friends with a former Buffy writer, Jane Espenson. Yeah, that could… no! Tell him about how you supported the writers, and struck with them. Yeah. Or just tell him that he’s your hero, and that he changed your view of television forever. Say something! You’ve been quiet too long. Something cool, something relevant, something now! “Jane Espenson comes in here!” “Oh.” Crap! That’s what you said? You really said that? It’s like that time you met Kevin Sorbo and you told him that last week you had met Lucy Lawless, and then he just politely walked away. Stupid, stupid! “I don’t know if you’d care about that.” No, I care.” He cares! You said something and Joss Whedon cares! “All right. Well, have a nice day.”

And he was gone.

Telling my fiancee about it later, she said that I totally redeemed myself for the Promenade, when I couldn’t even talk to him. I told her, “Yeah, and next time I see him, I’ll redeem myself for this interaction.”

So, here’s what I’ve decided. I don’t know if coincidences exist. But I’m deciding that Joss and I crossing paths so often is not coincidence. I’ve decided that it means we’re fated to work together sometime in the future. I’ve also decided though, that just because fate says “Yes,” doesn’t mean you don’t have to work for it. So, I’m writing this script, right? And some days, I don’t want to write, and I think, “What does it matter? It gets done or it doesn’t, what’s the difference?” Well, the difference is this: if I write it, and it gets made, and I’m in it, then I’m one step closer to being somebody who other people recognize. People like Joss. If I don’t write it, who knows? So, I write. And I let fate take its course, but I do my part, too.

— ldi





Some Late Night Thoughts About Some Actors

6 04 2008

I decided a while ago to try to write at least three posts per week. Well, I think I’ve only done two so far this week, and since it’s already technically Sunday, I thought I’d do one right now. Now, keep in mind that “right now” is about two in the morning, so I really, really don’t expect to remember this in the morning, and when I re-read it, I’ll probably a) think that elves must have written it, and b) think it’s crap. My apologies.

I just wanted to talk a little about some actors. I just finished watching SNL, with Chris Walken as the host. What’s up, Chris? I mean, seriously, folks, why is he a star? I genuinely don’t get it. Well, that’s not true. I mean, he’s a star because he’s unique and weird, right? I guess I mean, how’d he get to the point where he the right kind of unique and weird to make us decide to make him a star?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m right there with you. I dig the guy. I think he’s great. I just don’t understand. I mean, he doesn’t seem to put any real meaning into what he says, you know? I mean, that’s why he’s so much fun to imitate, because it’s tough to get the rhythm wrong, because it doesn’t matter how you twist the pauses and breaks, as long as you say the right words. Like, the line might be, “I love you. I think I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I can’t see myself with anyone else, ever,” and he’ll say, “I love you, I think. I wanna spend the rest of my life… with you; I can’t. See, myself, with anyone else. Ever.” First, why does he do this? It’s wacky, and that’s why we dig him, but why did he start doing this? And secondly, why is it that if anyone — anyone — else did it that way, they’d be called the worst actor ever?

On a similar note, I don’t really get Shatner, either.

Moving on, I just watched the Ebert and Roeper (though really, at this point shouldn’t it be called, officially, Roeper and the Other Guy?) review of Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Can I just say how pleased I am that they loved it? Very pleased. See, I sort of came to Jason Segel from behind… I’m gonna re-word that. I was introduced to Jason Segel late. I recently discovered the delightful Freaks and Geeks, and was stunned to learn that Jason Segel was a regular on it. Then I came to find out that other people had actually discovered Freaks and Geeks before I did, and they’ve been fans of his ever since. As far as I was concerned, he came into existence when he first entered my life, with the premiere episode of How I Met Your Mother. The great thing is that, even though I wasn’t already part of his fan base, and he was competing with my soft spot for Alyson Hannigan and my excitement over Neil Patrick Harris’ return, I ended up loving his character, Marshall.

All this to say, let’s make Jason Segel a star. He’s proven himself time and time again, so when Forgetting Sarah Marshall comes out, let’s just all go see it. Then, because we like him so much, let’s watch the hell out of How I Met Your Mother, and make it not get cancelled. Thanks.

Another actor I’m proud of these days: Benjamin Mackenzie. Yeah, the guy from The O.C. I watched the show when it was on, but then I stopped after about two seasons. Right now, I actually can’t remember what it was that made me compelled to watch it even for that long. I don’t think it was ever “good” in a conventional way, but I could be wrong. Anyway, I just saw the trailer of 88 Minuets — which I’m interested in premise only, and probably will never see — and there’s Ben Mackenzie, frickin’ right next to Al Pacino! Good for you, O.C. guy!

I really like appreciating things like this, because one day, I hope to be an actor who is suddenly on the verge of a big career move. And when I am, maybe somebody will write a blog at two in the morning that no one will ever read about me. That’s, all kidding aside, the dream.

— ldi





Dear Patch Of Grass

3 04 2008

Dear Patch Of Grass —

Hey, what’s up? It’s been a while. How’ve you been? Have you been sick? You look a little green. Haha, j/k. Good joke, ldi. Good joke, indeed.

Anywho, I was just wondering if you remember the last time we met up. Remember? It was a little more than a month ago. Srsly? You don’t… Okay, well, what happened was I saw you, and I thought to myself, Well, I could walk around you… or I could jump over you. Guess which one I decided? It was to jump over you.

Anyway, long story short (too late, j/k) I landed just fine, and everything would’ve been cool like that, but then I twisted the hell out of my ankle, sprained it like crazy, it swelled up to softball-size proportions, and many, many different shades of purple materialized as it started bruising.

On that day, you almost won, Patch Of Grass. In fact, there were days when I was convinced you had won. The pain, the inability to walk, there were days I wanted to just give up, let you have your victory.

But that’s not how I roll.

So, through it all, I persevered. I worked through the pain, calmed the swelling, and finally, two days ago, I triumphed. Two days ago, I drove a car for the first time in over a month. Just to the gas station around the corner at first, but then to work, and then home from work. And I’m not gonna lie, it hurt. In fact, that night, I was convinced that I wouldn’t be able to drive again the next day.

But I did. And I will again today.

And so, Patch Of Grass, you lose. I win, and you lose. But I know that won’t sit well with you. Yeah, I’ve got your number, I know how you think. You’re probably planning something right now, aren’t you? And that’s just fine. Because when you strike again, I’ll be ready. The ball may be in your court, but we’re both on the playing field. (It’s a metaphor. A mixed metaphor.) Your move, bitch. Make it a good one.

— ldi





Glass And Tears

3 04 2008

She broke a glass and broke into tears. Everybody saw it, they’ll tell you positively. There was the loud crash that came from the other room. The partygoers rushed in and saw her sitting, surrounded by thousands of tiny shards. Sobbing.

Nobody understood. They judged her for it. Silently and not so silently. What kind of woman would be so affected by a broken glass? Or was it that she’d made a mistake, and couldn’t handle being imperfect? Either way, they all thought, this was an extreme reaction.

What none of them knew was that earlier that day, as she was preparing for the party, she’d stubbed her toe. And she hadn’t screamed. She’d looked at the small bead of red forming, and just continued looking. Finally, she’d washed it off, and continued her task.

What none of them knew was that two days ago, she’d gone to her car, and had found a bit of metal broken off in the lock. And she hadn’t sighed. She’d looked at it, stared for too long, and called a cab.

What none of them knew was that a week before that, her partner of over a decade had left her, abandoned her. And she hadn’t screamed. She’d sat in stony silence as the woman she loved packed her bags and walked out of her life. She’d stared at the door for hours, until the sun had disappeared, and the darkness had lulled her to sleep.

What none of them knew was that the day before that, a woman she’d grown up with but never really knew passed away. And she hadn’t cried.

One thing had led to another and to another and to another, until, finally, she broke a glass and broke into tears.

What she doesn’t know is that tomorrow, the sun will rise and she will feel its warmth on her skin for the first time in what will feel like ages.

What she doesn’t know is that a week after that, a true friend will call to ask if she’s all right, and they will talk for hours.

What she doesn’t know is that a couple of days after that, she will meet someone, and they will nervously flirt, and she will return home and laugh.

What she doesn’t know is that that laughter will last for days.

What she doesn’t know is that a month from now, or a year from now, or ten, a friend will give her a set of wine glasses as a gift, and she will smile, and she will cry, and she will remember, and she will be loved.

One thing will lead to another and to another and to another…

— ldi