Jeff Astrof has 100 days off. See how he spends them.

Day 18

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I learned a valuable lesson today: if you want something done right… take a nap and someone else will do it.  After 17 days of warming the candle at one end, I decided to reward myself with a one hour nap this afternoon.  When I awoke, ready to hit the ground strolling, I noticed my wife was nowhere to be found.  Well, that’s not true, she was in the garage.  With an hour to kill before she had to shuttle the kids somewhere and with me firmly stowed away upstairs, she took a shot at climbing my Mt. Everest, slaying my Goliath… cleaning my disgusting garage.    And you know what?  It’s clean.  Mother father, she cleaned the garage in about an hour.  Now what the hell am I going to do?!  Lights out everyone, we’re going home.  In fairness, I did put up the irregular shelves, but still, she did it.   I’m hoping if I take a long enough nap she’ll get take care of the rest of my to-do list, and maybe write this journal.

One of the real goals of my 100 days off is to be productive, yet to unwind in anticipation of a new season of television, which will hopefully start for me the first week of June.  My agent told me to relax– if I want to write a script fine, if not that’s also fine.  And that truly would be fine, if I didn’t know that while I’m napping and having my wife clean the garage, people are actually working producing television.  While most sitcoms have just wrapped or will have wrapped within the next two weeks, other people I know are doing pilots.  I try not to get too involved with who’s doing what, but it’s very hard.  There’s a website called deadlinehollywood.com that announces every time someone I used to work with makes more money (that’s not the expressed purpose of the website, but it’s how I read it).  The real content of the website is TV and Film news: who’s making what pilot, who got cast, what pilot is hot, etc., but I think people read it to hear the bad news about their peers as well.  I want to start a site called schadenfreude.com which just features crappy news about people you work with.

That’s actually one of my biggest challenges as a person– curbing my competitive spirit (nice way of saying jealousy).  My wife things it’s one of the things that helps keep me motivated, but it can also be very destructive.  For me it’s difficult because I used to have a writing partner.  We were together for 14 years up until 6 years ago.  Our breakup was like every one of my breakups– came too late, started by the other person and quickly agreed to by me.  I think one of the things that keeps writing teams together is the fear that if they break up, one of the partners will be revealed as Garfunkel while the other is Simon.  I know many Simon and Garfunkel type breakups.  Ours was not one of them.  The truth is, we’ve both done very well on our own and I try not to care what he’s up to (so long as it’s not a lot better than what I’m doing).  I also only hear nice things that he says about me, which is very nice to hear, and makes me feel like crap about myself.  Try as I might to be the bigger person and actively root for him, a chill always goes up my spine when my sister sends me a text, “Did you hear about Mike?”  Like a bridge over troubled water… For a short time after our breakup, my agent who represents us both used to call me with good news about my ex-partner.  Finally, I asked him to please stop.  “Why, aren’t you still friends?”  “Yes.  Aren’t you friends with your ex-girlfriend?”  “Yes.”  “Do you want me to call you every time she sleeps with someone?”  Those conversations stopped.  Anyway, the truth is, he’s a really good guy and a really talented writer and as I’ve always said, I hope he does amazingly well,.  I just hope I do a tiny bit better.  Hello darkness my old friend…

As for my own career, Charlie Sheen seems to be helping me out by causing a huge hole in CBS’s lineup that hopefully will be William Shatner-sized.  In the meantime, a good friend called me today with an idea about writing an anthology for HBO or IFC and made me a great offer: “I want you to write a 28 page script on spec for no pay.  I need it in two weeks.”  Since he reads my journal, he knows I have the time, and he’s actually a close friend I actually root for, so I agreed.  A couple of hours later I sent him my idea.  He told me to go a different way.  I’m now getting notes from friends for whom I’m working for free.  Maybe I’ll just take a nap and let my wife write it.

P.S. the principal of my children’s school is trying desperately to get mentioned in my journal, so much so that he physically pushed me today.  Sorry, Aharon Wilk, it will take more than that to get a free mention.


Written by 100daysoff

March 3, 2011 at 8:04 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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