Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Way back in 1997, a polite, bright young man was on a brief break from his studies at Annapolis. That Annapolis. The Navy Annapolis.

This particular young man happened to be a big fan of all things animation. But...not just any animation...WARNER BROTHERS ANIMATION. I told you he was bright, right?

Jamie also happened to be my wife's younger cousin. She asked if I could do something special for him and so, I sorta did. He and his mom spent an afternoon watching one of Richard Stone's last scoring sessions for Freakazoid on the Warners lot. We had food in the commissary. We chatted animation. Bugs. Daffy. Wacko. Freakazoid.

That was many years ago.

Today, Jamie is on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan as a helicopter commander. His wife, three kids (with another one on the way) eagerly await his return.

Jamie is still a big fan of animation. I shipped him the 2nd season of Freakazoid all the way to Afghanistan last year.

I thought of Jamie today. I've heard the heat is close to 111 every day.

I thought of him because I'm struggling with another writing project. What should that character say? What should happen next? It's all soooo difficult. In air conditioned comfort. With my wife and daughter in the next room.

Reality check.

Anyway, please keep Jamie in your prayers. As well as Deanna Oliver's son, Colin.

Come back safe, guys.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


No, it's not that oil spill. Scientists and Nobel Prize winners are working on that. So, that's gonna work out okay. (Although, as a man who has seen more that his share of science fiction movies, I would be remiss if I didn't remind the President that in all of those movies, the scientists never get it right. They either go mad, or because of extreme idealism are killed by the creature they are trying to "understand."Watch Forbidden Planet if you don't believe me. Doc was lulled by science and almost ate it.

If there's anything these movies have proved is that you need a rugged individualist like James Arness to throw a wrench at it. Or a barrel. Or something else.

Anyway, that's not what I want to warn all America about today. The threat I am referring to is big. And secret. And if we aren't careful, it's going to destroy us all.

I am writing this blog from a secret location where we spend much of the summer. It's on the coast a few hours away from LA. Here, over the years, we have observed many people from different countries. For the most part, they have given us no reason to fear.

Well, that has all changed. FEAR! Do you hear me, Americans! Fear! And what should you fear? I'll tell you...


Yes, I've seen them. And, we need to stop it. I first saw this insidious horror while in Scotland a few years back. A man was wearing...not pants...not shorts...but something that came up to the ankles. I shuddered. This was wrong. These pants are exclusively reserved for Barbie. Or my daughter.

But on men, it is...I can't even explain. The horror. THE HORROR.

Upon leaving Scotland I thought I had left the site of those pants behind. But no. NO.

I have seen them this week...not once. Not twice. But MANY times. The men wearing these pants are NOT FROM HERE. No, they are from elsewhere. From other countries. Countries where, I suppose, they have given up. Thrown in the towel. Have not stood firm when someone suggests, "These are Capri Pants for men. Would you like to try them?"

I beg all men in America. Please, stand your ground. If a wife, salesman, census worker, et al... suggest you might look good in Capri Pants, know they are evil. Stand your ground. Resist. repeat this simple phrase...CAPRI PANTS FOR MEN ARE STUPID, VILE AND A THREAT TO MY WAY OF LIFE.

If you don't...

We are ruined.

Friday, June 18, 2010



Today was the day. That song. With the kids. You know. A sea of 300 kids doing this song. I tried to be strong. I did. Ugh. I failed. Water came out my eyes.

My wife looked at me. I tried to hold it together. I didn't. She didn't either.

However...I was not alone. Most of the other parents were also sobbing wrecks.

Anyway. The school year is done.

Onward to summer.


The beginning of the school year is a few months away they're gonna sing that song again.

I need to prepare...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I Know I'm Going To Cry

Because it never fails. I cry. I keep it inside. But, still. I cry. Water escapes out my eyes. I can't help it. Anyway, in two days, I'm gonna cry.

My daughter's Catholic school has a tradition both at the beginning of the year and at the end of the year. There's a 'Start Of School Mass' and an 'End of School Mass.' At the end of each of these Masses, the entire student body sings a song while doing sign language.

So approximately 300 kids...1st grade to 8th grade...all sing this song. The first time I witnessed this I looked around and saw all these kids singing this song and doing sign language. Within moments, I was a utter lump of flesh unable to stand. My wife looked at me and wondered why water was coming out my eyes. I don't know. Sometimes...things just sorta hit ya. It was the earnestness. The utter innocence. Kids. Ya know? Good kids.

Well, this year I am prepared. I have special glasses that will prevent anyone from seeing that I am overcome with emotion. These glasses look like I've just had major eye surgery and am 80 years old and am a dangerous driver. But I don't care. I need these glasses.

I know that upon hearing this song sung and signed by the kids, I will melt. And if the glasses don't work, I have a plan "B". I will drop my keys on the floor and pretend to find them. (I cannot claim this move as my own. It's my dad's. Shortly after Vatican II, a part of the Mass had us all shake hands and exchange the sign of peace. My father hated that and would pretend to tie his shoes. Or, he would pretend he had an infectious disease. Or, he would simply say, "I hate you.")

Regardless, when the kids all sit in the pews and sing this song I will have the sniffles. So, here's plan "C". I plan to wear a shirt that says, "I Have Allergies And Am Not Overly Emotional".

Here's plan "D". When people hear me crying, I will tell them I am rehearsing for an audition. The role is for a monkey who is lost and recovering from heat rash. Very severe heat rash. A heat rash so nasty as to make the monkey cry a lot.

Anyway, it's a few days away. I'm already weeping just thinking about watching these kids sing, but I have special glasses so you can't tell. Ha ha.

So, here is the song they do. It's religious, so if you can't handle that, move on...


And it's not always easy. Because sometimes nothing interesting happens to me. And sometimes I can't think of anything interesting to write.

However, not so this fine morn. Morn is short for morning. That's not particularly interesting or the interesting thing I'm going to write about, it's just something I thought you might like to know. You can use it if you want. You can say something like, "Boy, isn't this a fine morn?" And when someone asks you what you meant, you can refer them to this blog. Or you can tell them yourself if you're comfortable with the explanation. If you're not, you really shouldn't attempt it.

Anyway, here are some interesting things...

1. Jay Leno Sightings. Okay, so after I drop off my daughter at school at 7:45, I get on the 101 and head into Burbank to spend some time at Nickelodeon. As I get in the left lane to merge onto the 134, I have been next to, behind, in front of, or a few cars away from Jay Leno. Not once mind you, but this is approaching at least 20 times in the past two months. Mr. Leno is always in a different car. A fancy car or a sports car, or a classic car, or some other car that rich, car enthusiasts like to drive. I don't know what those are called, so, don't ask. From what I have seen, Mr. Leno is a fine driver, although he tends to speed right after the 134 turn off.

Anyway, I thought that was interesting. But, as this is the last week of school, I doubt I will see Mr. Leno again until September. So, there's a loss there for me. Not a big one. But a loss none the less. Anyway, that's interesting, right? Isn't it?

2. Lunch Meetings. Readers of this blog know how much I hate auditions. You may be interested to know that I hate lunch meetings even more. A lunch meeting is usually set up by my writing agent. At these lunch meetings I have lunch with someone I don't know who is supposedly interested in hiring me. Because I don't know the person, a great deal of time will always be taken up by trying to find them in the restaurant. I hate that part. The restaurants will always be incredibly trendy and called something like, Hama Hama, or Q's, or Sasafras, or 116, or Piche Piche. There will always be no parking and I'll have to use the valet. That means I'll have to clean out my car...because my car is always filled with junk and it's embarrassing when the valet opens my door and three empty bottles of orange Fanta fall out.

And then comes to the lunch. I will talk to this person I don't know and we will eat in front of each other while talking about stuff. I will want to eat all the bread and use all the butter, but won't because this is California and folks are afraid of bread and are suspicious of people that aren't. The waiter will always come over and tell us about the specials of the day. I'll pretend to listen and nod and say things like, "That sounds great." The waiter will usually end by saying the last dish is drizzled in a balsamic vinaigrette and covered in ground huntun seed.

Then we'll eat. My wife has told me that I don't really have a meal, I devour it in a manner akin to a scene from Quest For Fire. But, at these meetings, I am always careful to maintain my dignity. I'll try not to pick up the food with my fingers and shove it in my mouth. I'll try not to ask for ketchup. I'll try not to wipe my hands on my shirt. I'll try to be charming, interesting and not show that I'd like to be anywhere else.

I have told my agent that I don't want to go on any more lunch meetings. Unless it's at Chucky Cheese. That would be fun.

3. Press Conferences After Basketball Games Are Stupid. I'm sorry, but they are. What is there to say? Come on. Seriously. Well, usually here's what there is to say. "We need to control the ball." That's always a good one. "We need to play our game." That's always interesting. But perhaps my favorite is always, "They beat us."

Thursday, June 3, 2010


A review of pictures from a family vacation in Whistler (in Canada which is another country. It's very clean but they say the word "couch" in an odd way) has proved shocking.

The above sentence wasn't written very well. So, I'm going to redo it without all the Canada stuff.

A review of pictures from a family vacation in Whistler has proved shocking.

My wife made reservation for us to all go zip-lining through the tall trees that Canada has a lot of.

I'm not a fan of heights, but she assured me it would be enjoyable. It was. Very.

But as I looked at the pictures of said zip-lining excursion, I discovered something horrifying. Canadians don't like me. I don't know why. I like them. Oh, they may say they like me. But, when the think nobody is looking, they don't like me.
They like my wife and daughter. But me? There is a general loathing.

Perhaps some of you think I'm being to sensitive. Ha! I have the proof.

Let's do this...

The following pictures are a series of shots as we each left a platform and zip-lined over a ravine of great depth. Let's see how much the Canadians like my wife, shall we?

Here she goes. Notice how everyone is concerned for her. They want her to make it to the other side.

Here she is! Flying over the raging torrent!

Next, it was my daughter's turn.

Ahh! All eyes are upon her as she begins her treacherous journey! You can almost hear the Canadians saying, "We like that girl! What a brave little girl!"

And brave she was! But she's not the one who is afraid of heights. That would be me.

Now, let's see what happens when it's my turn.

They can't even bear to look at me. You can almost hear them say, "Him? I hope the line breaks. We hate that guy! We turn our backs on you! PAUL!"

I don't understand where this deep hatred comes from. I'm a huge fan of maple products. I like most of the products Canada exports...like Rich Little.