The Ranting Wren The Wren Forum Banner
The Glorious Wren The Movie Wren The Photo Wren Old Man Wren

Exit ArchiveArchive for August, 2005
Permalink Comments Off on Lookie Here!Comments Off on Lookie Here! By

Just a note that I have finally made two new entries to the Forum. Just now! Lookie lookie!

Oh, okay, three new entries. Stickler.

I finally got to 3rd Street Promenade today to buy some shirts. I also took my first and favorite Swiss Army watch, the Cavalry, to get a new battery to replace the old one that went out a few weeks ago.

I took the watch to the place I have bought my other Swiss Army watches. The lady told me it would be $19.50 to replace the battery. I hmmed, then told her a guy near work could do it for $5, and left. I lied. I think he charged $10. Nevertheless, knowing I would never go back to the guy near work because he damaged the watch backing trying to pry it off last time, I went to a watch shop I had passed in Santa Monica Place mall on the way from the parking garage. A note was on the door: Back in 10 minutes. Like hell.

Grumbling, I went back outside to the Promenade. I made my way to another watch place. They would do it for $12. While still not great, I did not care, and as they were closing in ten minutes I waited.

That was a mistake.

Wandering over the cases, I saw a Swiss Army watch that I found intriguing. I liked that it was kinda big, but mostly because it had the day of the week on the face instead of just the date. Having a large MONDAY splashed across my watch every Monday morning would be fun, I thought masochistically.

The man handed me the watch. It had a clear back and you could see the inner workings at work. Oooo, thought the nerd in me. It was also an automatic, self-winding jobbie. Self-winding had never made sense to me since I figured any watch I bought that would be self-winding would be worn only once in a while, not every day like the Cavalry, and I’d have to re-set the time whenever I put it on. For me, that’s tedious because I have to set my watches exactly, using one of three methods: My Mac, which sets itself automatically; the special radio frequency clock my sister got me a few years ago for Christmas that queries the atomic clock in Boulder; or the old-fashioned method I’ve used since grade school, calling the atomic clock itself at (303) 499-7111. Yes, call in the psychoanalysts!

However tedious setting an automatic watch would be, both the slight annoyance of having to wear my crappy Hamilton because my beloved Cavalry was dead and the slightly less-slight annoyance of having to get to a place that would fix my Cavalry without gouging me or damaging it further suddenly turned the automatic feature of this shiny new watch into a boon.

Mistaking my thought-invoked pause for consumer hesitation, the watch man offered me 20% off right there. Which I’m sure he must do to every customer eventually.

I caved, and after paying for the watch and joking, like someone who’s old enough to receive a senior discount subscription to Smithsonian magazine would, that that was “one expensive watch battery,” exited the store with my new geegaw.

Fifteen minutes later, after coming out of Abercrombie with a new shirt I’d passed up earlier, I took off my watch to discover its more arcane mysteries by reading the fine print on the back. Then I fiddled with the band. Did I want it looser or tighter? Loose made the huge crown dig into my wrist more, so maybe tighter was…

Karma bumped me lightly in the motor skill region of my brain, and I dropped the watch. It hit the ground with a solid, satisfying thunk that belied its true build quality. A microsecond of staring aghast later, I swooped it off the ground. What had I damaged? Was the sapphire crystal face shattered? Was the delicate-looking auto-wind mechanism ruined? Would any number of the twenty-five jewels in the movement be, er, dejeweled?

No, there was merely an ugly blemish in the shiny part of the bezel. At 9¼ o’clock.

My mind raced through all the options. The store would never have pity on me for being clumsy so soon after purchase. They might be able to recommend a place to buff out the damage. I could…

I was not angry. I did not curse or fume. I was just incredibly disappointed in myself for being so stupid and clumsy. And when I thought about it more, I realized that all the other Swiss Army watches I have that I try to keep nice have sustained some scrapes and scratches. This one just got broken in with jolting immediacy.

Besides, you can’t fight karma. And it was karma. I should not have bought the watch in the first place. I did not need it, I did not need the setback to paying off my credit card. So karma let me know that by damaging my pristine new splurge. Oh, and perhaps it was helped by my poor little Cavalry, alone, wrapped around the tiny pillow in the paper and metal Swiss Army box inside the Gap bag inside the Abercrombie bag. A little watch jealousy was certainly called for.

Permalink Comments Off on Ancient ReadershipComments Off on Ancient Readership By

I stopped subscribing to Smithsonian magazine a while back for two reasons.

1. The subscription rate went from $12 a year to $24.

2. I rarely had the time to read the magazine any more to make $24 a year worth the money.

A month or two ago, I sent back an offer to subscribe to Smithsonian for $12 a year. Though I doubt I have gained more time to read it, the $12 will be worth it if I can do so now and then. I love it, after all.

I got the bill for the $12 today and wrote out a check. As I placed it and the payment coupon in the provided envelope, I noticed the return address: Smithsonian Senior Program. Then I saw elsewhere on the card, “Regular Price: $48; Senior Discount Price: $12.”

I will know one of two things when my subscription price goes back up to $24 in a few years.

1. They have figured out I’m not even 40 yet.

2. They were bought by an HMO.

Permalink Comments Off on Katrina CoincidenceComments Off on Katrina Coincidence By

The hurricane currently hitting Louisiana is Katrina.

The last name of the governor of Louisiana is Blanco.

The woman who works in the office next to mine is Katrina Blanco.

Permalink Comments Off on Sales Meeting #3Comments Off on Sales Meeting #3 By

Last one.

Thanks to budget cuts, we had almost nothing interesting at this meeting. Except this guy.

It’s Roger Corman! Don’t know him? IMDB him, and you’ll learn. He’s definitely filmdom’s mosat prolific B-movie auteur.

BVHE has acquired the rights to most of his library, so he came to chat. Even at 79, he’s charming and funny.

(Don’t click this one. It’s full size.)

Permalink Comments Off on Sales Meeting #2Comments Off on Sales Meeting #2 By

Number two:

About a year ago, I came up with a shirt idea during a sales meeting planning meeting. Finally, we did it! Jackie got the shirts made for the crew and we all wore them on Monday. It was a fun statement about our lives during these shows.

(Yes, they say “Subject to Change.” I did the logo myself. I’m so proud!)

In the pic are Richard, Ben the amazing IT guy, and, in the dumb-ass cop glasses, Chuckles McBangbang, who (whom?) you may recognize from France LIVE!

Click on the pic to see it a bit larger.

Permalink Comments Off on Sales Meeting #1Comments Off on Sales Meeting #1 By

A quick, late-night update… (Yes, it’s after 5:00am and I’m still working, though this is the end. After this, I go to bed.)

Pictures!

I took Richard’s place piloting the sales meeting on Tuesday. He’s more a project manager on this show.

Here’s my station. 2 G5s, a Folsom switcher set-up, a gazillion LCD monitors…

(Click the pic to see it full size.)

Where’s Stevie?

Well, how about this. Yet another high school classmate has been arrested for having sex with minors. But this time, it was with minor minors. Ugh. Miserable. First Kevin, now Billy.

If you can get past the horrible tabloid-like writing, the story is here.

And since I STILL have not been able to get The Wren Forum upgraded to a real forum, I have no permalink for the other post regarding Kevin. But put the following in the Pico Search box at the bottom of the page and you’ll find it: kevin rowdy AND forum.

[NOTE: As The Wren Forum is now indeed a full-fledged, self-referantial entity, the link does work. Though you can still search using the top search box on the left. Or not. Or you can. —Ed.]

Now this does indeed make for good reading … darn good reading!

This is Colorado. Sigh.

(Thanks for the pics, Mom.)


The good folks at NASA sent us some photos from the space shuttle mission that weren’t released to the media, to thank us for organizing a screening for them. I thought this image, of sunrise from space, was pretty darn cool.

In late May, just after I got back from the premieres, Showtime called me to say they had received a resume I had submitted via Showbizjobs.com and they would like to talk to me further. After a brief phone interview, I was asked if I could come down to L.A. to meet with them. We settled on June 16.

I spent about three hours there meeting with the senior vp of publicity and the executive vp of corporate communications, and received nothing but great feedback. They asked me to take home a copy of the pilot for Weeds, the network’s upcoming comedy series, and write a two-page brief on publicity strategies for it. At that point, I was told that I would probably not hear back from them for a couple of weeks as the exec vp was heading to Europe for vacation.

I submitted the brief the next day, and received a quick e-mail back from only the exec vp saying he was impressed with what I had done. Although I sent e-mails thanking the HR manager and the senior vp (who would be my boss), I heard nothing from them. (And lest you possibly think that doing the “thank yous” by e-mail could have been problematic, Emily Post says it’s appropriate now, as long as it’s followed up with a “real” note — which I did.)

On July 9, I heard from the HR manager that “you are the top candidate for the position,” and that as a formality they wondered if I might be able to come back down again. At that point, we discussed salary issues (which got a little contentious, as the initial comment on salary was that it would be just about 5% higher than I’m making now); my new position at Lucasfilm and the implications of that; and relocation issues, albeit very broadly. I was also asked to send references and to consent to a background check, both of which tend to be steps taken only when an offer is imminent.

Two days later, she called again to say that they were “really pleased” I would be coming back down, and to set a date for that. I went back down on July 21, and this time met with the vp of HR, the other publicist in the department, and the two execs again. I was also asked to do another writing project, this one involving watching the pilot of Barbershop and writing a pitch letter to the media. All told, I was at Showtime for 5 1/2 hours, and received nothing but great compliments and praise. When I asked about the other candidates they were talking to, I was told, “They’re fine, but they’re not like you.” There was some concern raised about my lack of television experience, but I was told that, “If you are who you say you are and you are as sharp as you seem, you’ll have no problem.” The last words I heard: “We’ll be calling you very, very soon.” (Emphasis theirs, not mine.)

I had woken up at 4:30 a.m. to get to the airport and to L.A. in time, and didn’t get back home until after 10 p.m. Nevertheless, the first thing I did was head to the computer and wrote thank-yous to everyone, expressing how impressed I was with the people I had met, how excited I was about the prospect, etc.

Since then, I have heard ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Not a single one of them even hit “reply” to write, “Thank you and we’ll talk soon.” I am waiting for two checks of more than $200 each as reimbursement for my transportation costs (they offered), and they won’t even get back to me on that. It’s like going on a date you think went really well, except you never hear from him again.

I thought seriously about writing them to say, “What’s the scoop?” But at this point, their behavior has so thoroughly turned me off of them that unless there is a very good reason for the lack of communication, I am not remotely interested in working for them anymore. I was angry for a while, now I’m just amused by the whole thing. I forgot how “Hollywood” L.A. can be sometimes — “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

I’ve gone out for jobs I wanted before and didn’t get. But I’ve never had someone court me aggressively, only to never talk to me again! Weird.


Oops. The photo didn’t get attached for some reason.

Permalink Comments Off on Hint (Again)Comments Off on Hint (Again) By

Natch.

I’ve been on something of a cemetery kick lately, don’t ask why. There’s no explanation.

The statue is right in front of this at Forest Lawn Glendale.

Permalink Comments Off on HintComments Off on Hint By

Keep guessing. Hint: It’s in Glendale, Calif.


A game! A game!

A nice big prize to the first person who can explain the significance of this statue — especially to Steve. (And, yes, Steve can play the game, because he might not actually realize that this statue has significance for him.)


Okay, and this one, which is very fun…

Permalink Comments Off on Antigone Pic #1Comments Off on Antigone Pic #1 By


Okay, here’s one (very self-serving) pic from Antigone, which went up this week. One more week left! Now I wish it were a three-week run.

Here’s a really intersting article about Disney’s declining quality standards at Walt Disney World. It didn’t appear on a fan website, nor in some sort of obscure publication — no, sir(s), it was in no less than The New York Times.

Something tells me this didn’t make the Daily News Clippings at The Walt Disney Company!