Looks like June is shaping up to be a busy travel month.  Yesterday, we were on the phone with our agents discussing the game plan for our L.A. trip.  We head down at the end of the month for a week of meetings and – much to our dismay – pitching.  Yes, we realize it’s a part of the business, but it’s not one we particularly enjoy.  Truth be told, we’re better on paper – which is why we much prefer to go in and discuss a script instead of some ethereal notion.  Anyone can come up with a hell of an engaging premise but, if you can’t deliver the goods in the form of a solid script, you’re not going to get anywhere.  And, at the end of the day, who are these people to know how capable we are as writers unless they’ve actually read us?  So, we reached a compromise.  We’ll be going out with two of our pilots in addition to some original pitches AND a few literary/anime properties worth pursuing.  Now it’s just a matter of narrowing that list down to a good, strong half-dozen.  Any suggestions?

What the hell did I do to my eye?  I woke up this morning to discover my right eye slightly inflamed.  I didn’t think anything of it until later today when Akemi noticed and asked: “What’s wrong with your eye?”. I checked it in the mirror and realized it had gotten a little more inflamed.  But I wasn’t feeling any pain or discomfort so I ignored it and went on with my day.  Then, later this afternoon, when I was getting my haircut, I was again asked: “What’s wrong with your eye?”. A closer look confirmed it was even more inflamed.  And, suddenly, it feels as if I have something trapped under my eyelid – some tiny grain of sand I can’t seem to dislodge.  Akemi offered me some Japanese eye drops and, as much as I appreciated the thought, I was somewhat reluctant to put something in my eye if I didn’t know exactly what it was.  According to the internet M.D.’s, I apparently shouldn’t worry about it.  Unless it starts to hurt.  Or lasts longer than two days.  I’m hoping I can just sleep it off – but that’s what got me into trouble in the first place!

I’m not quite ready to resort of home remedies, but made an exception for the chocolate chip peanut butter sandwich cookies Akemi made:

Take two of these and call me in the morning.
Take two of these and call me in the morning.

I know, I know.  Probably can’t help.

But certainly won’t hurt.


dasndanger writes: “Joey, did you pick up the David Sedaris book because of the Daily Show link I posted back on the 9th? Just curious how much influence I have over you.   Anyhoo, how was the book? Worth the read?”

Answer: David Sedaris has long been one of my favorite writers so, while you didn’t introduce me to his work, your link alerted me to the fact that he had a new book out.  And, yes, it’s definitely worth the read although I much prefer his earlier work like Me Talk Pretty One Day and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.

Keith writes: “I’ve got a question I’ve tried to ask a few times and have always missed the mailbag. I’ve been curious just how much thought and input goes into naming characters; ever since SGU had the character of Ron “Psycho” Stasiak turn into Ronald Greer by the time it was ready to shoot.  So how do you name characters?  Does a lot of time go into coming up with just the right name, or is it a quick “whatever pops into your head?”  Do other writers or people higher up often make you change character names, or are the first choices usually the final choices?”

Answer: Depends on the writer.  Paul used to consult the crew list for inspiration.  Brad and Rob would occasionally pay tribute to old friends by naming characters after them.  That’s how Caldwell got his name. Rodney as well.  Rob named him back when he was introduced on SG-1 and, years later, when we were considering McKay for Atlantis, we were dismayed to learn his first name.  We hated it at the time but, eventually, it grew on us.  And now, I can’t imagine McKay with any other name.  As for me – it really depends.  Sometimes a name will just come to me out of the blue while, other times, I’ll reference names from books I’ve read.  If you pay close attention to SG-1’s The Curse, you’ll notice that all of the secondary characters (Jordan, Rayner, Gardner) and the expedition (Stewart) coincidentally also happen to be the names of four Green Lanterns.

Ponytail writes: “Joe is Cas still there? What is he up to?”

Answer: Nope, Cas made his way back to his planet last week.

Airelle writes: “~Joe, how are your mom and sister doing? Loved to see moms cooking on the blog, always looks so delicious, and your sister puppies, how are they faring?”

Answer: Mom had athroscopic surgery on her knee and has been slow to recover.  Sis and puppies are doing well.  Thanks for asking.

Airelle also writes: “Do you still have the exercise regimen going? I know its how you all stay so trim, after eating the stuff you picture on the blog, or maybe you don’t always eat it like I think, and just take wonderful pictures,, more desserts please,.
thanks for sharing. Have a great day!”

Answer:  Yep.  I used to do weights in the morning and a 45 minute run every night.  Starting last week, I switched up my routine to focus more on weight training in an effort to put on some more muscle mass – in preparation for my L.A. trip!

Elminster writes: “How are the prospects of one of your shows getting developed. Or is it still “Smoooooth sailing”?”

Answer: Alas, not quite smooooth sailing.  At least not yet.  According to sources, we’ll have all our answers by end of next week.

26 thoughts on “June 1, 2013: Pilots, pitches, and properties! Is there a doctor in the house? Mailbag!

  1. Heya Joe…sounds like you have Pink Eye – infection.
    There are drops and stuff for it, which I do not know names to recommend. But your doctor and possibly pharmacist can make recommendations.

    NOTE: it will spread to others…like Akemi. So, no rubbing eyes and touching stuff. Your pillow cases and bedding in general has to be washed with hot water.

  2. LOL…those cookies will solve the problem.
    Looking forward to hearing of your plans for the trip and of course a report of what happened.
    Sorry to hear Mama Mallozzi is slow on mending. Therapy and movement is usually what helps.
    and perhaps a couple drinkey poos.

  3. The eye thing could be conjunctivitis. Viral, allergic, whatever. Less likely to be the dread “pink-eye” or bacterial conjunctivitis which plagues small children in day care centers and their hapless parents unless you’ve been hanging around small children. It should get better on its own in a couple of days. If it doesn’t see your doctor. If you have pain, the redness gets worse or you are sensitive to light – see your doctor.

    Use artificial tears and/or cold packs for the discomfort. Don’t rub your eyes.

    To prevent spread: Don’t share a towel or eyedrops with Akemi so she doesn’t get it from you. Avoid touching your eyes. Wash your hands frequently.

    And get plenty of chocolate. Hey, it can’t hurt, right? 😉

  4. When you say you eye is inflamed, do you mean your eyelid(s), or your actual eye? If it’s puffiness around the eye and kind of painful, it could be allergies (it is pollen season) or is it possible you actually DO have a bit of dirt in your eye? I wouldn’t let it go too long if it doesn’t get better.

    That cookie sandwich looks great!

  5. @Joe:

    According to sources, we’ll have all our answers by end of next week.

    Here’s hoping. I’ll be looking for your announcement later in the week. Good luck!

    @Ryan (Stitch) on proximity to Western NYS:

    Assuming that is Western New York State, I’m about a third of a country away, about 45 miles west of Chicago. Still, I could pass on EE advice in email if it would help. I’ll send you an email with my contact details…

  6. By the end of next week? Well I hope that works out for you Joe, you deserve a bit of good luck.

    Speaking of SGU names, I thought Ronald Greer was a much more natural sounding name than Ron Stasiak, the last name, wow. I mean, in a potential Stargate situation offworld, Greer just flows so much better if you’re saying/yelling Greeeeer! lol

    Having everyone saying Stasiak, in Episode 15(Lost) would of sounded weird, when Greer was trapped under the falling debris..

  7. “Nope, Cas made his way back to his planet last week.”

    Planet Hollywood? 😉 Good luck Cas! Thanks for the Q&A!

    Hope your eye gets better. You don’t want to go to LA like that.

    @ JeffW – Took some of your cheesecake to my Dad today and he loved it! He wolfed down a big…piece, chunk, and said it was very good, excellent! I will try to make it again and get it right so it holds together and I can acually cut and serve pieces and not big chunks (even though the taste was unaffected). Why do two batters of the cheesecake? Can I just make one big batter with all 4 cream cheeses?

  8. A simple home remedy for your eye (it certainly can’t hurt) is to steep a strong chamomile tea, let it cool to warm and bath your eye (wipe outside to inside). My Oma had me do it to animals with infected eyes and it seemed to work. I still use it on horses & dogs if I’m not sure what’s going on until I talk to a vet and even myself, hubby or kids. It still seems to help. Used it on my senior horse a couple of days ago, and his eye “looks” back to normal. Chamomile is very mild, a great antiseptic, and soothing.

  9. Ponytail:

    I’m glad your dad liked it!

    The reason for the two layers was mostly historical. I first did a variant of this recipe as a chocolate cheesecake in two layers (chocolate layer on top) because I felt that to make the whole thing chocolate just made it look like a chocolate mousse pie. When I started working on the white chocolate version, I kept the two layers.

    You can try to make the whole thing in one go; just add the white chocolate to the full batch, but don’t forget to use 4 Tbsp of butter (previously 2 Tbsp of butter for each layer). I did this when I made a pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving (no layers).

  10. Hope you have some good luck in LA while you’re there be sure to stop and gets some Tommy’s original chilli burgers.

  11. Re eye inflammation: Hmmm…Nathan Fillion cancelled a Dallas convention appearance two weeks ago due to a similar inflammation, and I believe he had just been in Vancouver and Seattle. What pollens are in season?

    Joe asked:
    “We’ll be going out with two of our pilots in addition to some original pitches AND a few literary/anime properties worth pursuing. Now it’s just a matter of narrowing that list down to a good, strong half-dozen. Any suggestions?”

    I looked over at my bookshelf and two titles popped out:

    1. Twain’s A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR’S COURT–It’s time for a dramatic remake using Twain’s original period(s) and 21st-century SFX.

    2. THE LOVELY WORLD OF RICHI-SAN by Allan R. Bosworth, (c) 1958, 1960 (by author), pub. 1960 (Harper & Brothers), 1964 (Perennial Library edition, Harper & Row).

    Back cover summary, paraphrased:
    When a tall friendly (Texan) naval officer offers English lessons to charming Japanese family, nice things are apt to happen. With affection, sensitivity and humor, Cpt. Bosworth relates true tale of a world that is indeed lovely.

    This has been on my bookshelf since I was a preteen. Bosworth’s gentle story is one of enmity turning to friendship during his six years’ duty in post-WWII Japan. (It is NOT romantic comedy.)

    There are paperbacks available on Amazon for USD 1.85 and up, or I can loan you mine.

  12. Thanks, Joey! I just might look into a book or two of Mr. Sedaris’. 🙂

    Also, as others have said, it sounds like pink eye. Remember about 3 years ago or so when I was super-sick all winter long, with bronchitis and sinusitis and pneumonia? Well, that bout of whatever was finished off with strep throat, then about 3 weeks later, pink eye. It was like I had every infection a body could have from the chest up. 😛 The good news, however, was that the pink eye seemed to signal an end to whatever was ailing me, so maybe that’ll be true for you, too! 😉

    Or, maybe you just rubbed some sort of germybug into your eye. NO WORRIES! THAT’S really a GOOD thing! According to recent report on intestinal worm treatment for Crohn’s Disease, people in third world countries don’t have all the autoimmune disorders we have here in the developed world (asthma, arthritis & Crohn’s) because they’re exposed to more germs and parasites, keeping their body’s immune system busy so it doesn’t have time to attack itself. In other words, we’re just too clean so the immune system gets bored and starts creating trouble inside the body to relieve its ennui.

    Also, saw Iron Man 3 tonight and it was fantastic! I think it’s my favorite of the three. 🙂


  13. almost no eye issue is made worse by flushing with natural tears type products. Having suffered with recurring corneal abrasions, I suspect you DON’T have that as it hurts unbelievably, but I would go in and let them stain to make sure no abrasions or anything in it.
    Good luck on the LA pitching. Time to get back in the saddle and get paid for your talents!
    Tell your mom I said hope she heals fast.

  14. Yum, cookie, thanks(akemi) for starting my morning off with that lovely picture! I am off on my journey, post when I can, Have a great day!

  15. You only have one pair of eyes – take care of them, go get it checked please.

    As far as getting these LA people to KNOW that you and Paul are great writers, maybe we can do for you what we did for Akemi to get her citizenship in Canada and arm you with a petition of letters when you go to LA.

    I admire your perseverance with it, I’d have given up a long time ago. What keeps you from not losing it with these powers that be. For me it’s not the waiting so much as the what seems like indecisiveness I guess for lack of words.

    All the best to you and Paul, hang in there

  16. Thanks Airelle for asking about Mr. M.’s family. I was wondering about them. I’m glad your Sis and the pups are doing well. Sorry about your mom’s knee. I hope our eye is back to normal today? I’ve had that happen before. It cleared up on it’s own. Good luck with it!

    I bet we could just do one recipe and double it Ponytail. It would make it easier. I’ve got Cheesecake the Sequel in the oven now. Gonna try to freeze it for a trip this next weekend. It’s a four hour trip, so I want it to stay nice and cool.

    Das: My hubby is manic today. I pointed him toward his computer junk closet and he’s been culling up a storm. I hope his mood lasts until the closet is clean 😉 .

  17. Our home remedy for eye infections is to put breast-milk in the eye.

    It has something that keeps bacteria from sticking to mucus membranes and it has enzymes that dissolve the bacteria and break down some of the substances bacteria might feed on. It works wonderfully. And even if it might be just viral, it still seems to help and won’t go over to a bacterial infection. It’s a good enough excuse by itself to keep putting off weaning the youngest.

    Surely one of your neighbors who has a baby owes you a favor by now. Get calling.

  18. DP said: “Surely one of your neighbors who has a baby owes you a favor by now. Get calling.”

    Wouldn’t that be a bit, um, awkward request? Although, on second thought I suppose you could get it in a bottle. 😉

    I agree, Das, Iron Man 3 was pretty good – certainly much better than the second installment, and probably as good as the first. A couple of details bugged me (IP octets do NOT go above 255! Research, people!), but other than that I really quite enjoyed it.

    I hope your eye is doing better today, Joe. My allergies were acting up a bit today (tree pollen) and I spent part of the day feeling like there was a needle in my eye. Fun. (Better now, though.)

  19. My first thought was pink eye, but others have already mentioned it. I hope it has cleared up. I hope your mom is doing better as well. Fingers crossed for a successful trip to LA later this month.

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