Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cannes - Part The Last

For some inexplicable reason I thought going to Cannes was going to require a great deal of nudity. I'm really not sure why. It was just like, "Cannes? Everyone's naked there, right?" So I became uncharacteristically obsessed with the notion that I needed to be tan before I could go and be nude at what I pictured as a large, non-stop beach party with celebrities, supermodels, and furry European men in thongs, smoking cigarettes.

I should begin by pointing out that there is no natural process by which my body tans. I go directly from pasty white to cancer with no stops in between. And I've been told that both ends of the spectrum are hard to look at. So, before we left I literally went to have someone paint me a different color.

This is not a horror story about coming home to discover I'd turned orange. Just the opposite. In fact, I'll just say it. I looked AWESOME! Imagine a big, glowing, nearsighted, glass of butterscotch pudding coming at you. THAT was me.

But as you leave they warn you that the tan only lasts up to 7 days, depending on how much you shower. I said, depending on how much I shower? And the woman said, "Sure, every time you shower or sweat or forget to moisturize, you're going to lose some of the color." Thus began my effort to move very slowly through France without showering.

I'd be climbing a flight of stairs with our bags and feel a bead of sweat getting ready to run down my forehead and I'd picture it bulldozing away my precious tan paint, and I'd stop, breath deep and ask Amy where the moisturizer was. Eventually she carried most of the bags and I planned an itinerary that mostly revolved around air conditioned spaces.

Despite my efforts, there comes a point where people stop looking at your carmel skin like they want to eat it and begin looking at you like you must have a lot of cheese stashed in your pockets. What I'm saying is, even in France, there comes a point where you have to shower. And when I showered, it was like Samson going to Supercuts, my beautiful butterscotch power just running down the drain. I moisturized like I was oiling up for the championship round in a mud wrestling match, and still, by the time we actually got to La Croisette in Cannes, I was merely off white at best.

Cannes is hard to comprehend, no matter how tan you are. Imagine taking the Oscars, putting it on the beach, and then making it last eleven days. Now add a ton of yachts, cigarettes, and charge 20 Euros for a beer and you've more or less got the picture. When you have a film screening, you spend a lot of your time moving from place to place in a line of black cars. For Amy and I this also meant we spent a lot of time getting out of those cars and disappointing throngs of people who were hoping to see someone famous. You feel obligated to shout, "I'm sorry" as you exit the vehicles to people holding out a picture of Clarice Starling to be autographed.

The red carpet thing is a whole other level of ridiculous that I'm more or less at a loss to explain. Again, you're mostly just in the way of people's efforts to photograph and scream at celebrities. But when you get to the top of those steps and you turn around and look out at the sea of photographers and fans extending endlessly along the streets and into the alleys, it's such a surreal experience, I felt incredibly lucky not just to have wandered into it, but to have had my best friend next to me as I did.

After, we had dinner with the film's delegation and then took boats out to a billionaire's yacht as fireworks papered the sky. The yacht had celebrities, a helicopter, a submarine, and an open bar, all of which proved a dangerous combination. At some point I became obsessed with the idea of getting Jane Fonda to sign a bottle of hairspray, and could only be talked out of it with promises to 'go see the submarine again.'

I guess the part I sort of glossed over is the screening itself. As you probably know, the film has come out here in the states and been met with some very positive reviews, some very negative reviews, and approximately 37 paying customers, most of whom are probably related to me in some way. Based on my experiences with Lone Star and The Beaver, as far as I know all opening nights are followed by a phone call from someone the next morning who begins the conversation by saying, "Well, look, I'm not going to sugarcoat this." What I'm saying is, it has flopped.

Knowing this made the strange experience of following it to France even stranger. Add to that Mel Gibson making his first real public appearance for the film, on the red carpet, moments before we screened, and I think it was fair to say that none of us had any idea what sort of reaction we'd get. What everyone does tell you, over and over, is to be prepared as the audiences there don't hide their feelings, routinely booing and walking out when something isn't to their liking. Imagine taking a test where the instructor could shout things at you as you filled in the blanks, and you kind of get the idea.

I'll be completely honest, even as the last frames rolled I had no idea how it had gone. My only gauge had been to watch Naomi Campbell's head two rows in front of me for signs that she had nodded off. She seemed awake and alert, which I took as a good sign. I was ready to take out and ad that said "Does Not Seem To Put Supermodels To Sleep." And then the lights came up, there was applause, Jodie stood, and suddenly everyone else was on their feet as well. I've read that the standing ovation lasted ten minutes. I have no idea if that's accurate. What I can tell you is that it went on for an almost uncomfortably long time. Jodie seemed to think that maybe it was just continuing as some sort of cue for her to leave, but when she tried to take a couple steps, the festival director stopped her and said "No,", indicated the crowd, and then said, "They'll tell you when they're done." They weren't done. Not for a while.

So look, I don't really know how to explain the intersection of all the good and bad that surrounds the movie. You could love it or hate it and I wouldn't argue with you either way. The bottom line is I'm back to being the same sickly pale I've always been, I probably won't ever see another red carpet, and it seems unlikely that the movie will ever be considered a success. But given that it began as a story I just wanted to scratch out before I had kids and needed to get a real job, and three years later landed my wife and I a front row seat as people applauded for it in the south of France, I'll probably have trouble seeing it as anything else.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cannes - Part The First

As I walked around the Louvre, surrounded by the world's largest (is it? Let's just assume it is) collection of fine art, the one thought that kept recurring to me was, "Hey, my penis is about the same size as all the penis' on these statues!" There's a not insignificant degree of validation that comes with discovering you're in the neighborhood of Greek gods (are they Greek? Let's assume they are) and other representations of the ideal human form. This turns out to be a hard thought to share. For instance, if your wife is in a crowd reverently staring at the Mona Lisa and you say, "Did you see the dicks on all these statues?", she probably won't share your enthusiasm. Also, if you were wondering what you could say to get a bunch of people to turn away from the Mona Lisa, try the above.

If you told me that the only thing I'd get out of a trip to Cannes was anatomical validation I'd have totally signed up. The fact that it actually ended up being near the bottom of my list of highlights means the journey honestly exceeded my wildest expectations. Let's briefly relive it together:

As I've stated countless times, I'm what they call, the parsimonious type. If I could mail myself from one place to another, I would do all my travel in cardboard boxes. But through some combination of contractual obligation and good will, Amy and I were sent to France first class. Not just first class, but like Silly Crazy Ridiculous First class. Like where someone meets you the second you step into the airport and guides you through back doors and around lines and onto the plane. Where the plane has beds and tables and duvets, as in, "sir, would you like to change into these pajamas while I get out your duvet?". There's a few ways to reveal that this is your first, and likely only, experience of this kind. One is to constantly ask if you can keep things, as in, "Can I keep these pajamas? Can I keep that duvet? Who gets this glass when I'm done with it?" Another is to constantly take pictures of yourself and your wife as all this is going on. "Honey, get over by that ottoman thing and smile."

What's really amazing is how quickly you adapt. On they way there we thought it was absurd that someone needed to meet us on the tarmac and guide us from one plane to another. We're adults for crying out loud. We know how to change planes. But on the way back they'd take us to the lounge and tell us where our gate was and we were like, "You mean we just have to WALK to the gate? By OURSELVES?!" I completely understand how people who spend their lives in this bubble quickly fall out of touch with reality. You should be required to do something to ground yourself the minute you arrive at your destination before reentering society, like chop down a tree or unclog a drain.

We went to Paris for a few days first, but I'm sure you don't want to hear about the museums and the riverboats and the churches and neighborhoods and the Eiffel Tower. You want to hear about how the French people were AWFUL to us pour Americans. But honestly, despite being as yokel and unsophisticated as anyone to ever make the trip, people were unbelievably nice to us. Nice in the way you'd be nice to a not very bright puppy that might wander into traffic if you turned your back for even a second. They were our loving, protecting, smoking guardians. Because no matter how nice the French are, they're going to smoke on you.

There were two tiny exceptions. One, after waiting in line for the Eiffel Tower for like an hour, they closed the top of it. The lady took our money, gave us tickets, and then told us it was closed. I said, I don't understand. We can't go up? Why are you giving us tickets? She said we could still go to the first level. I said, well, if we can't go to the top I'd rather not go. This was apparently like telling her that I'd like to vomit in her pants (just FYI, I worked on that one for like five minutes and that's the best I came up with. I thought, vomit in... her eyes? Her mouth? Ear? Why the head, why do I have to vomit somewhere on her head? Why do I have to vomit at all? Isn't there some other horrible and insulting thing to do? But if I scrap vomiting, where does that leave me? I'm back to the drawing board without vomiting. Let's just vomit in her pants and be done with it!). So she took back our tickets, got money out of her register, and literally THREW it us. This is the sort of grounding event that will remind you you're only royalty at the airport.

The other minor incident was heading to the train station very early one morning we got on a metro train that seemed to be conveniently waiting for us as we went down the stairs. We put down our luggage and waited patiently. Then the doors closed but the train didn't move. And then the power went out. We thought, this is... odd, but didn't particularly worry about it. And then a police officer with a police dog came walking down the stairs and noticed us on this train and RAN to the doors SHOUTING and began to try to pry them apart as if he were trying to save us from some horrible fate that our American brains could not even fathom (like, say, someone vomiting in our pants). So I got freaked out and went to the door and tried to help him pry them open, but with no power they were stuck. Then another train pulls into the station, the train we should have been waiting for all along, and apparently the train this police officer was also waiting for. So he looked at us, trapped on a subway, then looked at his train, and said, I'm so sorry, and ran across the station with his dog and jumped on the other train. As it left the station, car after car of people just stared at us, identical, 'ah, that's a real shame' expressions on all their faces.

When the other train left it got very quiet again, and so we started to yell and look for buttons and other ways to make our situation much better or much worse, when an old French man who looked like he'd been ordered out of a stereotype catalog, right down to the hunched gait, the dapper clothes, and the baguette, comes walking along side the train. I moved to the windows and walked along side him saying, "Sir, sir, can you help us? We're apparently trapped on this train bound for incineration and if you could just maybe tell someone that we're-" And then he stopped, looked up at us and very slowly just shrugged his shoulders, and carried on. When an old man shrugs at you when you're begging for help, there's really not much else you can say. And that's when the power came on, the train started to go, and after a lengthy trip through the innards of the Parisien home for out of service trains, Amy, myself, and our bags full of pilfered hotel slippers, eventually got to Cannes.

Thursday, December 16, 2010



I'm Kyle. I used to write things here. And then for a while I didn't because I was writing things everywhere else. But today is my wife's birthday and she's been asking me to get back in here and arrange some words, and seeing as how I gave her an alarm clock for her birthday (and by 'gave her an alarm clock' I mean I threw away her working alarm clock and gave her an alarm clock app for her phone and a business card holder to prop it up next to the bed. You are free to write her personally and remind her that she can do SO much better) I thought that the least (pretty much literally) I could do was honor her request.

The truth is, I have a story that's sort of been in the way of me just doing the regular old 'The Kids Peed On Everything' blog entry. It just feels like we need to get this out before we can really move on and today feels like the day. I have a friend who does rock climbing adventure super wilderness camping kind of stuff where you need ropes and gadgetry and willingness to die between Friday and Monday in order to participate. When a simple trip goes completely off the tracks (lightning, bears, dueling banjos) he says 'it turned into an epic'. This, friends, is my epic.

Here's some things you need to know: 1) I do my writing at the University library. 2) Because you cannot park a car within 5000 miles of the University I ride my bike to and from the library. 3) It takes 25 minutes on bike to get to or from the library. 4) If you sell anything 2 for a dollar, I will buy four.

The last one is really where the trouble starts. I went to a 'food' cart and spent two dollars on four, let's just call them edible grenades, which promptly exploded upon contact with my insides. The thing is, I was already feeling a little off after the first two, but having paid for the others I felt compelled to finish them all. Having done so I started looking for a good place to die.

There's a nice big lawn in the center of the University that sits in the shadow of the clock tower. Students gather there to eat, nap, and talk about how hard it is to get up for 10am classes. I found a nice sunny spot in the middle, laid down, and tried to keep my moaning and writhing as inconspicuous as possible. Despite my efforts, I soon noticed a halo developing around me as other students edged away from the guy clutching at the grass and rolling around like housecat on acid.

The thing about these kinds of gut twisting disasters is that as you go through them you repeatedly become convinced you've found a way to cure yourself. Oh, if I just squeeze this leg up toward my shoulder the pain stops! If I PUSH out with my diaphragm while breathing IN I almost feel like I'm not dying! And the most problematic of prescriptions - This is just gas! A gas bubble. That's all. GAS! If I could just pass gas this would all end!

So look, let's not belabor it. You know where this is going. Gas is natural. It takes it's time. You can't force gas. When you force gas, bad things happen. Very bad things. Very bad things happen that suddenly leave you laying in the middle of a very large grass field on a university campus surrounded by cool and happening young people with... well, with shit in your pants.

Obviously, I knew very quickly that I'd made a mistake. But the enormity of my mistake kind of hit me stages. First was the obvious, oh my god, I just crapped in my pants. Second was the, oh my god, I just crapped in my pants in the middle of a crowded field. And third was, oh my god, I just crapped my pants in the middle of a crowded field and I'm a 25 minute BIKE RIDE from clean clothes.

So I started thinking about options. I won't go through them all, because what's important is that I settled on the idea that really I just needed to part company with my underwear and everything was going to be cool. But where do you ditch your underwear in the middle of a college campus (which, let me just point out is not a question you imagine yourself wrestling with when you wake up on a Wednesday morning)? A restroom seemed ideal, but the only ones I knew of were in the library which was more crowded and densely packed than the field, not to mention a long walk away. No, I decided that a dumpster was what was called for.

The field is surrounded by buildings and in the past I'd cut through an alleyway where I remembered seeing a dumpster. I just had to get there and I'd be home free. Now, I don't want to get specific, but let's just say that things felt delicate and precarious down there, like you probably didn't want move very far or very fast or a bad situation was going to get worse. I also wasn't super sure how things LOOKED from the outside so I didn't really just want to stand up and start walking before I had to. So what followed was about a fifteen minute series of scoots and short crab walks designed not to make it look like I was crawling around with crap in my pants, but that I was just really indecisive about where I wanted to sit and kept deciding, that, no, I think I'd be happier if I was just a LITTLE closer to the edge of this field.

Unfortunately, there's not a good way to carry your bag when you're crab walking unless you put it on your stomach, sort of like a moving table with your bag on the top. Further, there were so many people out, I couldn't just get to the edge in a straight line, I had to crab walk AROUND clumps of students. So, you know, imagine eating your lunch with your pals and discussing finals week when a man crab walks toward and around you with his laptop bag on his chest. You probably stare a little bit. He probably smiles as if to say, 'oh, don't mind me, just out for a crab walk. Just seeing what it would feel like to be a moving table.' You probably keep staring, and maybe stop talking to each other and just focus on staring and he probably starts to feel you staring and maybe smiles more and waves some and possibly says "What's up?" because that's how he imagine you young people talk. And you probably mumble and then decide to just get the hell out of there.

So yes, thusly, I reached the edge of the field. Now I just needed to cross a sidewalk, head between two buildings and then turn into the alleyway where the dumpster was going to solve all my problems. As weird as it was to crab walk the field, it felt like it was going to be doubly so on the sidewalk, so I decided that I was just going to have to bite the bullet and walk. I sort of... situated myself in a way that felt like everything would hold together long enough to get to the dumpster, stood up and hung my bag behind me, and walked as fast as I could, but NOT TOO FAST, between the buildings.

I got to the alley, found the dumpster and felt the way I imagine people must feel upon crossing the finish line in ultramarathons. There's joy and relief, but also a bit of righteous indignation directed at no one in particular. 'You thought I couldn't crab walk over to this mother f'ing dumpster? Well F you! I crab walked the shit out that field. I'm at this dumpster you sons of bitches! Take that!'

All of which faded as I began to contemplate the task now at hand. I mean, yes I was at the dumpster, but in order to part with my underwear I was going to need to completely disrobe from the waist down. In an alley. On a college campus. At noon.

At first I thought, no, that's crazy. I can't do that. It's CRAZY. But then I remembered all the work it took to get here, and how much work it would take to get anywhere else, and that my only other option was more walking followed by a LONG bike ride, and suddenly getting naked by the dumpster started to seem really reasonable.

So, here's the thing. It is an alley, but it's also a little bit of a shortcut which is why I'd been down it before. It's not frequently traveled, but it's also not UNTRAVELED. As I contemplated my next move two or three stray people came through with just enough frequency that I felt like once I committed myself I was going to have to get things done FAST to avoid a run in. My theory was, I should wait for a person to pass through, and somehow that would give me the maximum interval to work with before the next person passed through. So I waited and waited and waited, but no one came. And the entire time I was waiting I was calculating how many times I could have already gotten out of my clothes, but also probably have fashioned new ones from things in the dumpster. But every time I reached for my belt and committed to finally going NOW, I was sure someone was just around the corner and I always opted to wait it out.

Finally, a guy came by, seemed to wonder briefly why I was hanging out by the dumpster (I tried to give off a studying vibe, but it didn't seem to take) and then he was gone. So, this was it. It was now or never. I slipped off my shoes. Took a deep breath and undid my belt and then... went for it.

I yanked my pants down and had them off in a flash. And then I pulled off the underwear and... again I don't want to be any more graphic than I have to, so let's just say I was using them to... clean up.

And that's when I heard the GASP.

I turned around and sure enough, there was a very nice young woman, frozen stiff, a horrified look on her face, staring at me naked by a dumpster with my underwear in my hand.

There was a moment where we were both too shocked to say anything, but then I realized that the look on her face was a particular brand of horror. Not just, gee, that's gross, but, OH MY GOD, PERVERT! I felt compelled to explain that, no, no, I'm not a pervert, I'm just a normal adult who ate bad pizza rolls, crapped his pants in a crowded field and crab walked to a dumpster to dispose of his underwear. There's really nothing to be frightened of at all!

But I didn't get out a word before she turned and ran off in the direction she'd come. And I don't know if I've communicated the look on her face properly, but it suddenly felt like she wasn't just running to avert her eyes, but running because she thought this was a situation that demanded attention, a situation that called for pulling one of those little handles on the emergency boxes all over campus and telling the authorities about the naked deviant by the dumpster so they could haul him away and generate headlines like 'Former Lone Star Creator found bottomless by University Dumpster'.

That's when I sort of panicked. I threw the underwear in, and then inexplicably felt like, wait, no, I can't leave those here, they're covered in DNA! They'll test my underwear and they'll know it was me! So I sort of went in after them before I came to my senses and decided to just move a trashbag on top of them (they'd never think to look UNDER a trashbag!). Then I whipped on my pants and I ran as fast as a man going commando in his jeans can run. I got to my bike, unlocked it, and rode away feeling like the entire police department was closing in on me and arrived home in far less than the usual 25 minutes.

When I got out of the shower I faced questions from Amy about my early appearance at home, and was I just not writing well today, and would it help if she took the kids out for a while? And I looked at her as I imagined the helicopters circling overhead and the CSI team testing my underwear in some lab and thought what an amazing person she was and how quickly, and rightly, she would run away if she knew she was married to a man who not only crapped his pants, but would eventually give her an alarm clock APP for her birthday. I am as lucky to have her as she is unlucky to have me.

Happy Birthday?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ask Me About Vomiting At The Austin Film Festival!

This weekend is the Austin Film Festival. I'll be on three panels including one that I think is literally called: Lone Star - What Went Wrong? I have to say that one of my new goals in life is to be on a panel where the name of my show isn't immediately followed by the words 'What Went Wrong?'. Anyway, by the end of the hour I'm sure we'll have it all figured out and the show will be back on the air.

Speaking of things going wrong (that's called a segue and anytime it's done that smoothly you know you're dealing with a really great writer) I just wanted to bring you up to speed on an incredible new negotiating tactic the twins have been using that might be of use to you in your daily life. It's called vomiting? Have you heard of this?

Basically, one of them got sick about a week ago (I can't remember who, they really look incredibly similar), threw up in her bed, and then just moved into her sister's bed without saying a word. When Amy discovered this in the morning she told that twin 'Honey, if you throw up in bed you should say something and I'll come down and change your sheets and clothes.' Can you guess what happened next?

For a week both twins have been forcing themselves to throw up multiple times each night in order to get us to come down and change their sheets and clothes. Apparently young kids have a very sensitive gag reflex that they can trigger just with a hard cough. So a couple times a night you'll hear AHEM! followed by 'Mommy, I threw up in my bed!'.

I should point out that the twins have both been declared 100% medically fine. Not sick in the least. Just really, really evil. So we've had to reverse course and tell them that they have to STOP this and no matter what we will NOT be coming down for any more vomiting in bed. We gave them each trashcans in the event that they had to throw up and for a couple nights all was quiet. Then last night Nixie tested us with a big AHEM! followed by the news that she'd thrown up in her bed. It's really, really, really hard not to move when you child says that, but if we don't teach them that you can't vomit to get what you want, who will? On the flip side, if they win and it keeps working I'm just going to take it up myself. You have notes I don't like? Vomiting on your desk. So, you know, think about that when you've got your red pen out.

Anyway, if we see each other this weekend (What? He segued back the Film Festival? How? It's black magic! He's a witch!) and you want to hand me a drink, or a offer me a place to take a nap that doesn't smell like vomit we can totally be best friends. And if you don't want to be best friends with the vomit covered creator of a failed television show I really have to ask what you hope to get out of coming to a film festival.

They've asked me to post my itinerary- I guess so you know how to steer clear. It's below:
FRIDAY, 10/22
The Black List
Driskill Hotel, Ballroom
The Black List: what is it, how to get on it, and what it can mean for your career.
Matthew Cook, Kyle Killen, Franklin Leonard, Malcolm Spellman, Tim Talbott
Moderated by Andy Langer
Creating a TV Bible & Pilot to Get You in the Room
Driskill Hotel, Ballroom
Top show creators and producers discuss what goes into creating a TV bible that will get you in the door. How much information should you include? Writing the pilot, character breakdowns, establishing worlds and how many episodes, if any, to include.
Sterling Anderson, Kyle Killen, Jorge Zamacona
Moderated by Monte Williams

SUNDAY, 10/24

“Lone Star”

Alamo Ritz

Screening of the short-lived 20th Century Fox Television pilot followed by a discussion with Kyle Killen, show creator/writer/executive producer, about the TV industry, how it works, and how a show with so much promise - great press coverage (the cover of the NYT, no less!), great reviews, great writing, great cast - got cancelled after only 2 episodes.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lone Star Loves You, Even From The Grave

Wednesday was the first time I'd been in Austin on a weekday in almost six months. One of the twins woke me by saying "No one watch Daddy's show?" I said, no, I'm afraid not. The other twin said, "Not even a little people?" Sorry. No. And then one said, "So this means you be here now?" And I thought, yes, yes I will.

So see, even a mushroom cloud has a silver lining.

The truth of the matter is, shows come and go every year. Good ideas, bad ideas, whatever. They all get a run, people find them or they don't, and the world keeps turning. I'm incredibly grateful that we were given an opportunity to try a premise that, as the numbers seem to confirm, was perhaps a little riskier than I estimated. But I enjoyed every minute of it and would gladly do it all again and just the same, because, well, I'm just that stupid.

Except, well, I lied when I said I enjoyed every minute of it. There were a few minutes there at the end which I didn't enjoy. Moments that will bother me for a long time to come. Moments I guess I never really thought I'd have to deal with.

When you're just a guy in a room thinking 'wouldn't it be cool if...' everything is theoretical. But when your 'if' becomes a show, it gets very real. There's a cast and crew and... like, accountants and things, all showing up everyday to make that 'if' a show. And those are the people I had to face and apologize to for the fact that my 'if' had been such a spectacular failure that they were now out of a job a mere two weeks after we hit the air. Again, it happens all the time, but that didn't make it easy. At all.

So here's the thing. We made a good show. Not Shakespeare. Not MASH. But something I was proud of. I can't really speak to anyone else's reaction, I can only be honest about my own. We assembled a staff, a cast, and a crew that I think was committed to telling interesting and thought provoking stories and who were excited about where we'd planned to head. And now it's over. The part of me that feels awful that these people are now out of work wishes they'd done anything other than join this show. The part of me that's so excited about what we did can't thank them enough for signing on and making it happen.

As for the show's future, if you read the news you know what I know. We're actively looking at other homes for it, but those situations are rare. Imagine trying to just jam the engine from a Toyota in a Chevy and you get some idea how hard it is to take a show from one network to another. These things are custom jobs and what looks simple on the surface requires an incredible amount of engineering underneath. Whether we'll pull something like that off is anyone's guess. But we're certainly trying.

Lastly, I literally don't have the words to thank those of you who participated here and on twitter and facebook and, you know, the real world, in supporting the show. I've been in the habit of writing incredibly inane things in this space for some time and have to say that I was blindsided by the scale of the reaction to my last post. Of all the incredible and unexpected things to come out of this entire process, those last few days were perhaps the most incredible and certainly the least expected. I feel like we tried to get a write in candidate elected president together, and while we were completely and utterly destroyed when the votes were tallied, I've never felt such an odd and full connection to a group of people I've never met and likely never will. Given all that, 'Thank you' seems woefully insufficient to convey my gratitude. Perhaps I can just mow all your lawns for the hell of it.

In the meantime, from the bottom of my everything-

Thank you.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

You're Invited To Our Stunning Upset

Do you like to root for the underdog? Because I've got an underdog of epic proportions for you. We're talking long, long shot. Like a legless horse in the Kentucky Derby. A blind basketball team facing the 95 Bulls. If somehow Rudy and Rocky had a baby it still wouldn't be as big an underdog as our little show... Lone Star.

You may have heard about last Monday night when several heavily sequined, dancing celebrity, conspiracy laden, bowling shirted nuclear bombs landed directly on our heads. When everyone who watched your show is a paid critic or someone you went to high school with, that's less of a premiere than a slideshow.

But! BUT!

But here we are. Still alive. A little groundhog peeking out of a bomb crater to see if there's six more weeks of nuclear winter or if, perhaps, something can grow in this hole. And that's where you come in.

For us to survive we're going to have to pull off a minor miracle. Statistically, new shows tend to lose viewers in their second week. We're aiming to gain them. In fact, screw it, let's just double our audience. The good news is, our audience was so small that if my Mom AND my Dad watch it we'll pretty much be there.

Here's the thing: it really is a good show. Don't take it from me, take if from these guys here and here and lots of other places. Are these all just people in ivory towers with tweed jackets and glasses of scotch who hate America? Possibly! But my Mom also loved it and she LOVES America just like you.

I'm not going to beg. I'll mow your lawn or offer you some sort of sensual massage, but I won't beg. The truth is, what we need to do is nearly impossible. I've heard and read that a million times since Tuesday morning. But isn't that why we watch television? Sports? Movies? To, every once in a while, see something impossible actually happen? Impossible is AWESOME! Am I right? High five!

So here's the plan. You go deep. All of you. You and millions of your friends. And Monday night, down by a lot with only seconds on the clock, we'll throw the ball up, an impossibly long arcing pass into a host of defenders who are taller and flashier and stronger and probably more well endowed than all of us, and maybe, just maybe, it's one of those moments where the thing everyone said COULD NOT HAPPEN actually just... does. And you my friend, you could say you were there, you and all your friends, just taking one big Gatorade bath with the millions of people who, like you, decided to say 'F you' to statistics and just settle in for a damn good hour of television.

So spread the word. Repost, retweet, re...faceboook or just put on your crazy pants and head down to the freeway exit and shout at cars like I'm going to.

Monday night.


Mark it.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

On The Eve Of My Potential Trouncing - A Message From Poop On The Shoe

When I was in high school I ran for class president. This was not a particularly sharp move on my part. I was not popular or good looking or particularly good at anything (and very little has changed). My most storied accomplishment was that I once went through an entire day with dog shit on my shoe without realizing it despite everyone in every class saying 'what the hell smells like dog shit?'. And then in my last class someone realized it was me, said 'IT'S KYLE!' and after that I was know simply as 'Poop On The Shoe'. I'm no political genius, but if your claim to fame is in any way related to feces, it's going to be an uphill battle.

So, the teacher who controlled the sign up list came to me after school and explained that some other kids had come in to sign up to run for office. Cool kids. Kids who looked like Abercrombie models. Kids who could have a show about them on the CW. And as they debated what to run for they saw my name and said, 'Poop on the shoe? Dude, you can crush poop on the shoe!', and so one of them signed up to take me down and become president. After delivering the news, the teacher asked if I still wanted to run. I said yes. He said, "I'm proud of you, poop. You'll lose, but I'm proud of you."

One night before Lone Star premiers it feels like that election all over again. I actually have no idea how or why I got here or what to do now that I am. I feel like I'm learning to juggle with live grenades and the competition suddenly looks like a bunch of cool kids who see an easy out. It's likely they will crush us and the sound you hear will be a large number of people in nice suits and plush offices slapping their heads in unison and saying 'What the hell were we thinking?' 'I knew that guy was a moron?' 'I know. And is it just me or did he kind of smell like dog shit?'

All I can tell you is that no matter how quickly they pull the plug, I'm proud of the mess they let me make. I'm proud of the reviews which have been incredibly kind and positive, and which I am having tattooed all over my body. I'm proud of our cast and crew and writers, all of whom could have pursued other, safer bets, and instead have placed their eggs in this basket. And I'm proud of our network for wallpapering the planet with advertisements for a show that doesn't have a single doctor, lawyer, cop, or car chase. I'm not saying any of these people have made good decisions, just that I'm proud of them.

So, Monday night people will vote with their remotes and we'll win or we'll lose and that will be that. I was peed on three separate times today (by my children you sicko) so I feel grounded enough to handle either outcome. Whichever way it breaks, I can't say thank you enough to those of you who've been reading and supporting me for so long. The comments and messages I've received from you, long before Lone Star was a twinkle in Fox's eye, have been rocket fuel at numerous times when I felt stranded by the side of the road. I hope we accomplish a lot of things tomorrow night, but mostly I hope we don't let you down.


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