The main thing I don’t like about the internet is that it reveals that non-professionals can be funny, too. The other thing I don’t like is that while it’s thrilling to have your work be seen by millions–okay thousands, fine, hundreds, okay a dozen good friends– it also makes you terribly vulnerable to attack. When you work on a tv show you can (and always do) blame the cast for something that doesn’t work, or maybe the director who didn’t get the right shot, or the editor who cut out your smart Dickensian reference to make room for the second-pass fart joke that slayed the audience ( that you wished you had pitched).
This morning I spent working on one of those xtranormal videos– you know where you make your own animation and the characters talk in robot voices which makes it 60% funnier? Anyway, I came up with this idea in the shower– most of my ideas in the shower revolve around a resolution to stop eating a quart of almond milk ice cream right before bed– and I decided to stretch my computer capabilities by making an animation video. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s kind of political and I don’t want to open myself up to criticism from fringe a-holes who don’t agree exactly with my point of view (which by definition makes them a fringe a-hole). I’m not so concerned about comments on this blog because A, I’m really doing this for myself, and B, the 12 people who read it are mostly friends of my wife’s who are too nice to write anything mean. A friend of mine who made his name by blogging told me that I’ll know when I’ve made it when someone calls me a fag in the comments. I have a good 15 pounds to go before anyone comes close to calling me that.
Anyway, so far, my favorite comments on 100daysoff have been those who give notes on it like it’s my pilot. A typical comment will call for the action to start sooner (drop days one through four, get to where you really screw up your kids), or my friend Ira who in his best network impression recommended the tiny tweak of changing it to “100 Days ON” about a fit Irish guy who’s killing it in the advertising business. It reminds me of an actual note I got when I pitched my show “Bad Dad” to the networks a couple of years ago. The studio relayed to me that the network loved the pitch. Me: “And?” Studio: “And nothing. They loved it!” Me: “So they didn’t have any notes?” Studio: “Nope. Well one note.” Me: “A big note?” Studio: “No no no no no. I’d say a medium note.” Me: “What was the medium note?” Studio (without irony): “They want him to be a good dad.” Sigh. Anyway, this is the business I’ve chosen. Not sure if and when I’ll send out my little animation piece, and I’ll probably do it anonymously, but it was a morning well-spent.
The other big event of the day was parent-teacher conference. My wife made the dubious choice of having me go alone to talk to our children’s teachers since she had to take our son to gymnastics and she talks to the teachers every day anyway. Being off from work as I am, I was perfectly available to go. For me, seeing my kids’ teachers is like seeing a doctor after a physical. I dropped my last doctor because he would always draw out the analysis before telling me that everything is okay. After my last physical with Dr. U he had my chest x-ray on that big light board in his office. Dr. U: “Come in. Sit down.” Me: (voice quivering) “Okay.” Dr. U: “You see this big shaded area here?” Me: (IT’S CANCER!) “Yes?” Dr. U: “That’s your heart.” Huge sigh of relief. Dr. U: “But these big blurry zones here…” Me: (YOU MEAN THE CANCER?) “Yes…” Dr. U: “These are your lungs.” Anyway, that’s what it’s like for me with my kids’ teachers. I just want me to come in and have the teachers say “they’re normal.” The truth is, they’re not so normal. And that’s what kills me. Because any abnormality has been passed down through me via nature or nurture. Except thank God, that my kids are cute like my wife. Hopefully this will compensate for the anxious baggage I gave them as a birthrite. On the other hand, no kids are “normal”.
Overall, my kids are doing great. One is exceedingly shy but coping socially. We have a little ways to go, but this kid is performing at or above grade-level which is perfect (don’t want too high because then my Aspergers alarm goes off). My other kid has a touch of the ADD. Last time I was at the parent-teacher’s conference the teacher was telling us this when I jumped in, “It says here on page 7 that the children should be writing in script by now. Is my child doing that?”
That’s pretty much it. Today would have been my Grandma Ethel’s 100th birthday. She and I were very close. Without her I wouldn’t be the person I am today. And I mean that in a good way.
Tomorrow the schedule is open wide. Time to hit that garage. Happy Birthday Grandma Ethel, I miss you.