If there’s a single word of advice I would offer anyone thinking of becoming a writer for film and/or television, it would be: “Don’t”.  Don’t do it.  Spare yourself the aggravation.  The endless waiting.  The incessant disappointments.  The interminable meetings that never seem to reach a consensus, even when it appears as though consensus has been reached.  The nonsensical, often contradictory notes.  The long days and even longer nights spent working on your script, be it on your laptop, when you’re driving, or while you’re lying in bed. Seriously.  There are far more respectable and satisfying ways to make a living.  Bee wrangler comes to mind.

Moving on…

Hey!  Guess who Akemi and I had dinner with last night?  THESE guys –

Ivon Bartok
Robert Cooper
And special guest star: Carl Binder

Yes!  Our friend Carl Binder is back in town and so, last night, we got together for a terrific meal at Campagnolo Restaurant.  Among the evening’s culinary highlights:

Bruschetta with canellini beans, dry cured ham, and mozzarella cheese.
Large Salumi Platter – chef’s selection
Potato Gnocci with braised beef cheeks, broccoli, and fontina d’aosta.
Spaghetti al Pomodoro with tomato sauce, garlic, olive oil and basil.
Almond Cake with cream cheese mousse, preserved peaches, and brown butter.

Today’s blog entry is dedicated to birthday boy Ivon Bartok!

28 thoughts on “March 8, 2013: A word of advice! Campaganolo with Carl!

  1. Food looks AMAZING (first time I think I could eat everything there…IF it was gluten-free 😛 ), but I have a blasted cold (first one in ages), and so I’m snotty and feel about as miserable as a tv/film script writer aspiring to become a bee wrangler. 😛


  2. Amen brother Joe! In my advanced age, I’m starting to think a job just isn’t worth it. Not worth all the crap you have to put up with. I’m recommending kids not get a job. Stay home and live with your parents forever.

    Happy birthday Ivon!! What did Lulu get you?

    Welcome home Carl! You have been missed! Glad to see your familiar face back in the fold. I thought about you every time I watched a rerun of Dr Quinn Medicine Woman! (Tonight: Dr Mike and Sully remember the events that have marked their love affair and have second thoughts about their impending nuptials.)

  3. OMG that looks awesome… I’d be content with just two of those lol….

    Thanks to everyone that checked out my Ivon website and left messages. He loved it but humble guy that he is didn’t think he was worthy of the attention. That just makes him more awesome I think.

    Anyhoo I saw this recently Joe and thought of you.
    Vikram Vij to host Canada’s first online cook-along. Are you interested? I must say Vij’s is on my list of restaurants to visit….along with Campagnolo, Romer’s (who now have a restaurant in Yaletown), La Taqueria, Hyde and East of Main….that’s a lot of eating out hehe

    Cheers, Chev

  4. Judging from your dark vestements and the cathedral-like walls, it looks like you guys are in some sort of food church, holding a conclave to choose the next delicious course. It’s tough to look at that delicious pasta since I’m sticking to sphaghetti squash and veggies these days. Is there such a thing as gnocci squash?

    I’m concerned about Bubba’s wall lean; when my body hurts I’ll prop and lean on anything I can find to take the pressure off. I hope it’s just his new routine and nothing else, let us know how Bubba’s doing.

  5. Sincere sympathies, Mr. M., it sounds like you’re spending way too much time in Development Hell – or Developmental Purgatory. Gotta be frustrating!

  6. Hi, Joe. I’d like to ask your advice about a pug issue. Very recently, my aunt passed away. She had a pug that she loved very much. Since we all loved my aunt very much, we want to make sure that her pug gets a good new home. The problem is that none of us in the family are really in a very good position to keep her ourselves (we all have cats, which she doesn’t get along with, much larger dogs, which would hurt her even by accident, or allergy issues). The one lady who offered to take her is someone who we think would probably overfeed her to death in short order. Do you know of any organizations that help place pugs that need homes? Or, for that matter, do you know of any dog lovers who’d want an elderly, one-eyed, but very sweet pug? She’s in California, but we all live in the Northwest.

    We really want to find her a good home, and you’re the only other pug lover I’m aware of that I could think to ask. Any advice you could give would be very appreciated. (Please feel free to screen this and reply privately if you’re so inclined.)

  7. I have a lot of eating to do in Vancouver when i get back. By the way, have you gone to Lucky’s doughnuts yet?

  8. Glad to see part of “the gang” back together, especially when it’s where you can show us more pictures of the great eats you are enjoying. Happy Birthday to Birthday boy Ivan.
    Sorry to hear things are in the two steps back stage. Just remember, stuff does eventually make it to the screen, big or small, so don’t give up just yet. But do feel free to vent. We won’t tell anyone, honest….
    It’s Saturday morning, so folks, don’t forget to set your clocks ahead one hour before going to bed. Sorry for those of you losing an hour of sleep. For me, it means a 23 hour work day, so I will be grinning when I reset the clocks. Come to think of it, I hardly have to reset anything. Gotta love electronics and the signals that will reset things like cell phones…

  9. That food looked AMAZING! Good company and great food. Sounds like a good evening.

    Happy Birthday Ivon! I hope it was a good one. Did Lulu wear her new outfit (the striped one)?

    I’m allergic to bees, so that out. However, it sounds like your allergic to bull**** 😉 . Good luck on the TV front. Nothing good comes easy, nothing good comes easy, just keep repeating it….

    I woke up with a killer headache and now I’m loopy from the migraine meds. Dunkin Donuts might be able to help me. Off to get empty sugar calories….

  10. “The endless waiting. The incessant disappointments. The interminable meetings that never seem to reach a consensus, even when it appears as though consensus has been reached. ”

    Huh. That sounds almost exactly like where I work! I have a fear that it’s built into human nature and whenever more than 5 people get together, this is what happens.

    I’m sure you guys had a great time (and a great meal). I hope you all got Ivon some kind of special treat for his birthday!

  11. @Ponytail:

    I’m recommending kids not get a job. Stay home and live with your parents forever.

    Just a note, I am NOT showing your comment to my teenagers! 😉

  12. Heh, one of the things that I always used to say when things were bad at work is that “I should have been a forest ranger!” What’s funny of course is that now I volunteer to do essentially that (well, the easy parts anyway.) It’s rather enjoyable. I look at my work now as a means to an end.

  13. You know what relieves a lot of work stress? A boss who’s willing to say “yes” or “no” definitively without all the wishy-washy stuff. If I think my idea’s great, but he doesn’t, at least I know to move on to the next thing. My boss doesn’t get all ego-sensitive over whether I’ll agree with him and that cuts out sooooo much crap. And I don’t worry either, I’m about to reject one of his changes because he’s flat-out Wikipedia wrong about something and that’ll be nothing but a diligent catch. It saves the stress for making the product better.

    I had a job where I basically interviewed other managers to see if there was one who could answer a simple question where I asked which of two priorities they’d pursue if the funding were limited to one choice. Every single manager answered “both”, with this grin on their faces like they thought they were thinking outside the box. It wasn’t about which priority they’d pick, but whether they answered the question at all so at least I know there wasn’t a single cranny at that company where I’d have been happy.

    @Ponytail – the way it works nowadays is they stay at home AND get a job. It’s not like it used to be, where an entry-level job could at least let you scrape by, then be stable enough that you can start making plans for the next step.

  14. Yum-m-m… those food photos make all that food look good. Glad everyone enjoyed it.
    Hey Carl Binder! Welcome back!
    Happy birthday Ivon!


  15. It’s good to see some of the gang together again. I could repeat again what others have told you, ” nothing good comes easy” or “no pain, no gain” (I hate that one) but the fact is it’s true. Imagine the feeling of accomplishment when you succeed.

    That said, I’m so disgusted at the network expectations of a new show that is suddenly cancelled after 2 episodes. I’m speaking of Zero Hour right now. First of all, it’s hard for many people to find these new shows with all the channels available; then a game is played between different networks in the day and time placement of these shows…. As soon as one starts getting involved, the news comes out that it is cancelled. I can’t even imagine how the writers, actors and other players behind the scenes must feel. What a pile of money these studios go through and then cry poor. This is how quality shows get cancelled, forcing the population to watch ridiculous sitcoms with their canned laughter and even worse reality shows.

    Furthermore, if you watch some of these sitcoms, what you see is rudeness, sarcasm, mean spiritedness and a good lesson in how to belittle your parents, family and hate your neighbours. Is it any wonder that some kids and parents these days have a skewed notion of what’s appropriate or not in any kind of relationship? This is really a sneaky way of social engineering which is denied, but I see it all the time…

    Is there any interest at all in in any studio or network to try to develop a new way of doing things instead of playing this ridiculous game of chess with all these shows that are then trashed? I’m sorry, I don’t know how these things are done. I just see that shows are not being given a fair chance and there’s got to be someone who might be interested in a better way of doing things. Losing interesting shows before their time is really getting old – it’s irritating and a waste of time, talent and money.

    ….probably why I like to get lost in science fiction and space… I am so hoping your hard work will pay off for you and the people who will watch your show.

  16. Joe, what kind of pomodori were used and what is that white cream on the pasta? It looks really good, but I’d have to use the sauce maybe over low carb noodles or spaghetti squash to keep the carbs down.

  17. I got’s a nasty code in my node. 🙁 First time I’ve been really sick in three years. Snotty head and fever and everything. 🙁 A friend offered to send me some chicken soup, but I said screw that, I’m drinking honey, lemon and bourbon! Woo! 😀 (No worries, I’ve been feasting all day on chicken with broccoli in white sauce from the local Chinese take-out – it goes GREAT with honey, lemon, and bourbon! 🙂 )


  18. *huggles Deni*

    I just love spreading my germs! Woo! Well…actually…no. I’m the first one to lecture anyone who is sick and goes to work/school/church/parties/etc…if you’re sick, stay the hell home!

    Also, if you are not sick, don’t go into the sick people’s house! I think I got this from my parents, both of whom are fighting off some sort of cold-like thing (but they’re all hopped up on that airborne and zicam stuff, so they’re actually functioning better than me. I told ’em I need a raise after this. 😀


  19. Oh Carl…..so glad to see you back on the blog. I can’t wait to see you model the latest whim of Joe’s.

  20. Our leave-everything-behind jobs were beet farmer or milk truck driver. I’m not sure I’d like the bees.

  21. Have you seen Jiro Dreams of Sushi? Better yet, have you eaten there? So, don’t bother writing or don’t bother writing for film/t.v.? I am working on my fifth/sixth novel, never been published, but before this book I didn’t have a clear cut story line in mind before I started. But, I am writing to write a novel. If someone shows interest in purchasing filming rights, then well I guess I will have shoved a camel through a needle. Any suggestions for writing while keeping in mind that it could possible made into a movie later? Or any suggestions period. By the way, your suggested reading list looks a lot like my library. Have you read the forever war?

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