Friday, February 29, 2008

Cape Breton Fiddle : Natalie MacMaster iii

More of the Queen

Natalie MacMaster

The Queen of Fiddles

Fiddle De Dee

My family knows of my undying love for Cape Breton fiddle music. I pretty much have all the Natalie MacMaster albums, and this week I stumbled quite by accident upon a great site called

It's got albums and live performances which I found, also by accident, that automatically downloaded onto my computer. Three live shows down, another 45 or so to go. I am in fiddle Heaven.

I have no idea why I love this music so much. I used to play the violin in elementary and high school. I couldn't read a lick of music, I played by ear. I loved it, loved the performances, loved having to dress up. But we played stuff like Beethoven, not earthy, down and dirty melodies that you'd shake your butt to.

When I have my headphones, the family knows to leave me alone. One day I hope to visit Cape Breton and experience it in person, but until then, this will have to do.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Double Pffttt

Well, that didn't long.

I just found out that the TV show I had written a sample episode for doesn't accept outside script submissions.

Let that be a lesson to you, boys and girls.

Ask first.

Write later.

C'est la vie.

It's like a splinter, it'll hurt for a little while, but it'll go away.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Busier Than A Four Armed Whore

I started out with the best of intentions.

Was working on the contemporary drama, then I got sidetracked---again---by the teen musical comedy, which in turn got sidetracked by the MONK spec---don't ask---which in turn is threatening to be waylaid by other writing things---oh, and I still have the Moviebytes column to pen...

Sometimes it doesn't pay to type or get up in the morning...

Saturday, February 16, 2008




Creds: got here in 1962, written for just about everybody, won the Writers Guild Award four times for solo work, sat on the WGAw Board twice, worked on negotiating committees, and was out on the picket lines with my NICK COUNTER SLEEPS WITH THE FISHE$$$ sign. You may have heard my name. I am a Union guy, I am a Guild guy, I am loyal. I fuckin’ LOVE the Guild.

And I voted NO on accepting this deal.

My reasons are good, and they are plentiful; Patric Verrone will be saddened by what I am about to say; long-time friends will shake their heads; but this I say without equivocation…

THEY BEAT US LIKE A YELLOW DOG. IT IS A SHIT DEAL. We finally got a timorous generation that has never had to strike, to get their asses out there, and we had to put up with the usual cowardly spineless babbling horse’s asses who kept mumbling “lessgo bac’ta work” over and over, as if it would make them one iota a better writer. But after months on the line, and them finally bouncing that pus-sucking dipthong Nick Counter, we rushed headlong into a shabby, scabrous, underfed shovelfulla shit clutched to the affections of toss-in-the-towel summer soldiers trembling before the Awe of the Alliance.

My Guild did what it did in 1988. It trembled and sold us out. It gave away the EXACT co-terminus expiration date with SAG for some bullshit short-line substitute; it got us no more control of our words; it sneak-abandoned the animator and reality beanfield hands before anyone even forced it on them; it made nice so no one would think we were meanies; it let the Alliance play us like the village idiot. The WGAw folded like a Texaco Road Map from back in the day.

And I am ashamed of this Guild, as I was when Shavelson was the prexy, and we wasted our efforts and lost out on technology that we had to strike for THIS time. 17 days of streaming tv!!!????? Geezus, you bleating wimps, why not just turn over your old granny for gang-rape?

You deserve all the opprobrium you get. While this nutty festschrift of demented pleasure at being allowed to go back to work in the rice paddy is filling your cowardly hearts with joy and relief that the grips and the staff at the Ivy and street sweepers won’t be saying nasty shit behind your back, remember this:

You are their bitches. They outslugged you, outthought you, outmaneuvered you; and in the end you ripped off your pants, painted yer asses blue, and said yes sir, may I have another.

Please excuse my temerity. I’m just a sad old man who has fallen among Quislings, Turncoats, Hacks and Cowards.

I must go now to whoops. My gorge has become buoyant.

Respectfully, Yr. Pal, Harlan Ellison

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Toute Sweet

I just got a nice pass from a producer on my new spec. He said that while it was "very sweet", it just wasn't for them and wished me all the best of luck.

I know what you're thinking. A kind brush off, maybe even a backhanded not so nice brush off.

Very sweet.

Nudge, nudge. Look at her. She's sweet, poor thing.

My cat Kisses is very sweet...until she coughs up a hair ball.

Cotton candy is very sweet...until you eat too much of it.

Falling snow is very sweet...but's a hellish mess to drive in.

You get the picture.

Problem is, I am sweet. I can't help it.

I write sweet too. Can't help that either.

I have never done anything bad in my life. Never took drugs (took pot once, doesn't count).

Never drank to excess. Or much at all.

Haven't whored around. Haven't whored, period.

Never went around without any underwear. Okay, once, in kindergarten.

I have no dark, deep secrets.

Okay, so not only am I sweet, but I'm dull, dull, dull.

But is that such a bad thing?

Not the dull part. The sweet part.

I can be dirty. Really. I burp. I break wind. Doesn't everyone?

So I'm very sweet. Kill me. Put me out of my misery

But let me cut one first.

And yes, I know the strike is over. So why do I feel so bad?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


I want Bill Clinton back in the White House. The idea of him being "The First Husband" is simply too delicious to contemplate.

I want to lose 80lbs without really trying. All right, maybe 50. Less is more. Without trying. NO MORE COOKIES!!!

I'd like to see Britney get treated by House. He'd have her cured in 45 minutes or less, give a commercial break or two.

I would love it if Dave Letterman dropped his unfunny routines about the weather in New York. Enough, Dave! We know it's cold!

I want the WGA to get the fair deal they deserve. No, not just a fair deal---a great deal.

I want more of Ted Levine on MONK. The OCD Guy is getting on my last nerve (as I run to wash my hands for the 68576 time today).

I want world peace, a cure for the common cold, and gas under a dollar. Oil too.

I want a bank error in my favor. A big bank error. Win Mega Millions?

I want another baby.

I want a script to sell. Lots of scripts. All my scripts. Okay, I'd settle for just one.

I'd like one of my kids to have a baby. Any baby. Kidnap a baby. Buy a baby doll?

I want a pair of French Bulldogs. Max and Maxine. And they can have babies.

And just once, I'd like those silly horoscope readings to come true.