January 25th, 2003

ledbetter tat

Say The Word

Last night I attended a function at the Skirball titled "Say The Word." It is an outlet for comedy writers to read their pieces in front of an appreciative audience. First up was the beautiful and funny host of the evening, Beth, who read her rules for dealing with a head cold. She made the mundane topic sound as if she invented the illness, and it was so insightful and hysterical. Two of the readers were girls from the "Sex In The City" writing staff, one even more funny than the other. Both were really cute and childhood friends to boot. Their stories were personal and very funny. If only that level of writing were applied to that bloated show. Scott, an executive producer for an upcoming HBO series, wrote a piece of a college student meeting Dylan Thomas for the first time. He as able to make vomit jokes seem smart. Finally John, a really talented writer/producer from "The Larry Sanders Show," read his piece on his internal "Scaredy Cat Jones," the demon that fills his head with unreasonable fear. We left before Merrill read her story as she gave me a dirty look (long story for another day) when she walked in so I pulled Mickey, my girlfriend, out the back door and we booked.

I stayed up intentionally late last night, catching up on some of the stuff loaded into Tivo, my best friend. I watched a couple of "Nightlines," one on racism I would like to address sometime, a "Law & Order:SVU," a disappointing episode for two reasons. One, Chris Meloni was absent so that is never a good thing, and also because it was a rehash of a four year old true story of NYPD abuse. Two "Real World" episodes and an "Osbournes" later, and I was ready to turn on the old lullaby movies. I finally finished "The Master Race," a mid-40s potboiler about the fall of the Reich and the futile attempt for them to reorganize. I have watched this six times without ever finishing it. Now that I finally saw the ending, I realized why it was the perfect lullaby film. Mr. Sandman came during "Son of Frankenstein."

I woke up intentionally late today. I was going to go to the gym but figured I would save that life-turnaround until tomorrow. This afternoon I am getting together with four of Billy's best friends. These are guys he knew before he had met me. I grew to dismiss them out of misbegotten snobbery a long time ago. There were times I thought they were a bad influence on Billy, leading him down an ugly path. Other times I just felt nothing in common with them so I would go into discomfort mode. Now, during this past year, I have made an effort to encircle them and I have found they are terrific men who truly loved Billy. That makes them aces in my book.

We are going out to Rose Hills then to dinner. I am looking forward to showing them the memorial bench that is part of the Billy compound out at the "park." One friend of his, David, recently moved to Palm Springs and is making the trip in especially for this event. He's a sweet and very shy man who is gentle. If he spoke more, I think I would find a smart man as well.

Bob has been walked. His "big business" looked healthy. That's the barometer of how the day will go.
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