November 8th, 2007


Union muse

I had a dream about the WGA. The exact details are foggy, since I'm foggy in general with a cold (Tuesday was runny nose day). Why would I dream about a union I've never been in? I'm a researcher, not a writer. I'm not even currently working in television. But one of my former shows is Guild (though it wasn't at first), and I have ex-coworkers walking the picket line. Plus I'm a consumer of pop culture like everybody else, and I want it to keep flowing.

The union's issues may seem like high-class problems. The writers are generally well-educated and well-paid. At the same time, a large proportion of WGA members aren't working at any given time. Jobs are often a few weeks of work followed by a few months - or years - of hiatus.

If the strike continues, as the days wear on and the weather gets colder, picketing will become a drudge rather than a novelty for the participants. The news crews will go away and big stars won't come by with refreshments. This being showbiz, people may join the line in order to network and slip spec scripts to {insert name of famous celebrity picketer}. Today's wanna-bes, tomorrow's scabs?

Correcting a misconception

I have no connection with the show "Merv Griffin's Crosswords." My actual television production experience is a matter of public record.

Supposedly I told someone in an IM that I write clues for MGC. This is just not true.

Sponging up the media

The Tuesday and Wednesday editions of "Wheel of Fortune" continued not to show any sign of me and Lamba White in the audience. Oh well, I've had enough fame ("What about me?" Lamba squeaks).

I've watched "Jeopardy!" all my life, but a dirty little secret in recent years is that it almost always scrolls off TiVo before I get to watch. After I was on in 1991, there was no longer the incentive to watch to test myself, though any knowledge is good for crossword training purposes. I did see the first TOC segment this week, and had no idea on Final Jeop! about the geographical place named for the Greek word for "bear."

I also watched 3 "Cash Cab"s, reruns from 2006. So New Yorky, I love it! One cab had 2 yentas who unfortunately got thrown off. And I zipped through 2 "TMZ"s and still have not caught a glimpse of Ivan. That must be a fun place to work.

My cold hasn't gone away. Tuesday was constant runny nose. I had to go to the NYT Wednesday and kept the "American Cannibal" drinking water bottle handy, and ran up to the cafeteria for a hot soup break (turkey barley).

I read "Are You Hungry, Dear?: Life, Laughs, and Lasagna" by Doris Roberts. I've only seen one "Everybody Does Raymond" so am not that familiar with her, but she comes across as warm and human.

I'm listening to the Howard replay and Mario Cantone is on. I saw him at comedy clubs in the '70s and wasn't crazy about his act, but he's now a great guest, open and funny.

Being a consumer

Caller ID showed an 800 number. It was someone calling on behalf of one of my mutual funds asking about the proxy vote forms they recently sent. I always throw that stuff away. It's all legalese and I don't care about the issues. Just as long as the money's still there when I want it. They could be nominating Bozo the Clown to manage the fund and investing it in an organization dedicating to bringing dogs to all workplaces, and I'd never know.

The woman asked if I'd received the materials and I said I must have but I never read them and didn't feel I could vote responsibly. She then verified my address (correct), and said she'd mail me another set of forms. "Noooo, don't waste your money. I'm not going to be voting!"

I'll probably receive another set of materials. Maybe I'll write "Refused, please return, I'm not voting!"

Speaking of "Refused," I received those book club books I forgot to cancel. The cardboard was torn so I didn't think I could write "Refused" and return them in the same box, and I was too lazy to repackage them. So I kept them and paid. This is probably what the company hopes will happen. The books may not be that bad - by John Grisham and Dick Francis. And I get super-cheap or free books often, so, oh well.

Speaking of free books, I accumulated enough points for a reward, so ordered a $25 B&N certificate which arrived today. I used it all on puzzle books. I'll say which when they arrive. I liked it better when mypoints offered a "web certificate" good anywhere; now you have to specify a merchant. Still, can't complain about free stuff. (OK, I'll complain. It takes forever to accumulate enough points for free stuff.)

Vanity Fair had an insert saying it was my last issue, but the mailing label says it's not until May '08. The online subscription site agreed with May, so I'll assume the insert is wrong. The card attached to the insert said the renewal rate was $28/2 years so I figured I'd renew. But online it defaulted to $48/2 years. Hey! So I sent in the card, as well as a check so they can't bill me the higher amount.

Fresh Direct gives delivery pass customers a coupon for a free mozzarella thin-crust pizza. In New York, we're spoiled by great fresh pizza, so the frozen stuff is never as satisfying. But it's free, so no complaining allowed. (OK, I'll complain. I don't even like thin-crust pizza. Don't like thick Chicago-style either, just regular.)

I was hungry when I got home from the Times last night, so I cooked the whole pizza. It was my entire day's allotment of food, but all I'd had was the turkey soup. The pie pan I usually use to heat things was too small and I didn't have a flat cookie sheet, so the only thing that fit was a big rectangular pan I rarely use. I forgot to spray it with Pam and the pizza stuck, so the pan had to be soaked overnight. Today I checked and it was completely rusty. Like I said, rarely used. The rust did wash off, and so did the pizza remnants.

Could Sandra Bullock's life be this exciting?