Friday, October 31, 2008

Open letter, part 3

Dear Mr. Tolan,

Hope you had a Happy Halloween. Don't forget to set your clocks this weekend.

Another reason why I would be a great writers' assistant:

I don't drink. Ever. At all. I will never come to work with a hangover. I will never not come to work hung over. I'm always happy to be a designated driver. And I'm not judgmental about other people drinking. Okay, I am, but that's only because I care. And usually, I keep it to myself so long as no one's liver is screaming.

Good night,

Thursday, October 30, 2008

open letter part 2

Dear Mr. Tolan,

More reasons why you should hire me:

Your show is set in Rochester, New York. I've BEEN to Rochester. Heck, my sister is a senior at RIT. I've got the inside scoop.

I'm a hard worker. Adamantium-level hard. Right now, I'm working 60 hours a week and only being paid for 40 (re: unpaid internship), that's how I'm passionate about learning more about television and great writing.

I'm Massachusetts-born, just like you and Mr. Perry. Mass people must stick together. I've heard things about Minnesotans starting cliques, and it's only right we fight back. I'm sure Mr. Leary would agree.

I'll be back with more tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

an open letter to Peter Tolan

Dear Peter Tolan,

I have searched high, low, and at sea level, but to no avail. And by avail I mean "discovery of the production contact information for The End of Steve, your new Showtime series." According to IMDb, you're in preproduction. That's great, and soon, when you're in production, you're going to need a Writers' Assistant. I would be a fantastic WA. Why? Because I care, Mr. Tolan. I care enough to embarrass myself by posting an open letter on a silly blog. Also, I can type at Flash-level speeds, am a star at research, and happen to be very tall, which means I can find things short writers might need that were accidentally put in high places.
As long as there's a chance you might read this and hire me, I will continue to post open letters with reasons for why you should hire me. I imagine persistence, dedication, and passion will be among them.

Thank you,

Kati Stevens

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Gavin Rossdale, Simpsons, armed robbery, and so forth

Mad Men's second season is over, but The Simpsons' Halloween episode this Sunday might make the loss a bit easier.

Eventful few days. Thursday night I attended a carnival-themed party at Jerrold Pressman's beach house in Santa Monica. Gorgeous house, gorgeous guests. Gavin Rossdale sang songs from the Bush days and his latest material, Kingston ran amuck, Jon Lovitz didn't blink, and my friend flirted with Billy Bush, until he realized she only wanted him for his potential Gavin connections. We ate yummy miniature food, played carnival games (I won a snake AND a giraffe doll with my prowess) and watched contortionists and firedancers. We met some cool people, including a next-door neighbor, a guard, and a couple who did get signed photos of Gavin, but somehow managed not to get their names. Hopefully, I'll run across 'em sometime. Pretty frickin' awesome in any event. Thanks, 104.3 MYFM!

Today, I took a break from writing one of my last two posts for Treehugger and walked to the mall for lunch. Some kind of armed robbery happened while I was there and to prevent us from dying in any potential crossfire, I had to hide out in the kitchen of Barney's. For some reason, none of this is in the news. I guess no one died.

After I calmed down, I headed back home only to be diverted by a car fire.

Just another day in LA.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

fire in the Sepulveda Pass

I had to deal with the worst traffic of my life this morning because of the fire last night that wiped out the side of the hill. Almost 100 minutes to get to Santa Monica. MADNESS.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

17 redux

I consider myself a highly critical person. Ask my family, my friends, people who hate me--they'll all agree. In fact, when I become an incredibly successful writer in oh, say, the next year or two, I won't be one of those writers who harps on what twats critics are because I appreciate them. I may not always agree with them, but it's important for the potential audience or reader to have the opportunity to read what someone with brains and taste thought of the film (to whom it doesn't matter of the piece of work fails or not and is, as such, unbiased) before the reader/audience member wastes his or her money.

So yeah, I am super-critical.

But I gotta say (there is a point, dammit!) that 17 Again looks friggin' adorable. I don't really get the whole Zac Efron thing, but darn it, he's more charming than old school Lohan in the trailer. I watched the trailer because of Mr. Perry, but hell if I'm not gonna see the movie because of Mr. Efron and what seems to be a really witty twist on a familiar story line. Thank you, merciful Lord.

As you might be able to tell, I've been reading ALOT for my internship, and it's both educational and slightly frustrating. Originality, believe it or not, isn't hard. Charm, though, is. Absolutely is. Signature style that's not obnoxious--titanium-hard. It's humbling, really.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Ah, the stories. I was quite inspired tonight waiting in line FOREVER to see Michel Gondry at the Hammer, UCLA's museum named after the baking soda guy. Or is it baking powder? Pretty sure soda.
Wrote lots of notes into my phone, and then Michel spoke, and I'm fairly certain the moderator didn't understand him too well. His accent's thick, though I didn't have a problem with it. That sounds pretty smug, mostly because it was. In any event, Michel went off on a mini rant about people who call you closed-minded for not smoking pot, and it took every blood-soaked thread of inner strength not to run on the stage and embrace Michel. There's nothing more annoying than people who didn't get the whole "peer pressure is rude" thing we learned from birth. Respect people's choices. And for anyone to call Michel closed-minded is absurd. The man's one of the most creative geniuses alive.
So LOVED Gondry even more than I thought I would. Lovely man. You can watch it too, I believe, when they get their podcast thing running in a month. I'll link up when it happens.

After that, I did some quick fruit and veggie shopping at Whole Foods. Picked up some milk as well, and the lady in front of me was rude enough not to move her cart, so I put my basket down until all her food had gone through and then picked my basket back up. The milk had shifted and when I raised it, the jug swandived out of the basket and splattered the bitch without leaving a bit of milk on the floor. I apologized, but personally, I think it served her right. And anyhow, it was skim.
After the woman left, the cashier confided that that was one of the coolest things he has seen (I'm assuming he meant recently), so that was nice.

Am going to see Gavin Rossdale at a beach house party Thursday night. Kind of incredibly awesome.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Obama and Jed

This is a little old, but it's Sorkin at his awesomest, and it's been a while since I've had some awesome Sorkin in my life.

By the way, how awesome is it that Matthew Perry's getting his own Showtime show? I would give my right arm to work on it. After which I would be pretty useless as it would take me a long time to learn how to function as a writer with only my left arm. In any event, hooray for The End of Steve, which also gives us more of the brilliant Peter Tolan.

Saw Body of Lies, which I didn't think I'd still be thinking about, but here's what's not readily apparent but interesting about this movie. Leo's character is me. Okay, not me, but how I'd want to be if I were working for the government, how every liberal-minded brainiac hopes they'd be able to be as a CIA operative. Russell Crowe's character isn't just the Republicans. It's your mom and your cat and the four-year-old you're babysitting: people who don't care if what they do is the smart thing to do or the right thing to do just so long as they're in control. They don't want to let the expert in the field do what he has to do. They want to interfere, they want to put in their two cents and take out a dollar. And the consequences are what the movie portrays. It's not a revelatory film, but it is eminently viewable.

Monday, October 13, 2008

fire in the Valley, smoke in my lungs

NOT awesome.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008


For this first time in a while I'm in a good place. I just started an internship which I really like, I finally received my guitar, and I'm making more friends and/or hanging out more with the ones I do have. I'm reading some great stuff, and I'm writing some good stuff that hopefully people can read soon. Good television. Lots of the "good."

Now just as long as my computer doesn't explode, I'll be happy.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Kinda rocks this year, huh? The new cast members aren't awesome, and any Fred Armisen bit other than his impression of Obama scares the crap out of me. But good hosts (Anne Hathaway rocked it, I think) and Tina Fey's Sarah Palin impression and really good sketches have made it awesome. Also, Kristen Wiig is just continuously hilarious.

Amy Poehler is super-pregnant. I love it. I'll miss her when she's gone.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Ms. Robinson

I haven't read a whole Marilynne Robinson book straight through, but I mean to. Until that moment, I think this interview in The Paris Review gives you a peek at her incredible intellect.

On another note, I think it's helpful to note that across the board there is not a smidge of consistency in how successful writers work. Some of my favorite writers don't write every day, they don't write outlines, and they have a hell of a time answering questions about mechanics. Other writers I worship do in fact have precise methods and hours. How you work is how you work, so don't let any teacher tell you otherwise. If your writing sucks, it's not necessarily because you didn't write an outline.

the whole shebang

So far, no professionals have liked my 30 Rock spec enough to give me a fellowship so back to the writing board ('cause I don't draw). It's fine, just disappointing.
Got an internship at a truly stellar film company. Excited to start next week. But we're talking 60 hour weeks, so I'm gonna be giving up writing for Planet Green and Treehugger in the next two weeks.
Read the complete Persepolis. You should too.

Saw Synecdoche, New York, which I have trouble saying. After the screening, my idol Charlie Kaufman was there. He was a lot more...normal than I expected. And despite the trailers, Synecdoche wasn't bad at all. It was very funny and very, very weird. I think it will appeal more to the people who liked Being John Malkovich more than Eternal Sunshine. Which isn't me. But still. It's completely insane, but for whatever it's lacking, it's definitely worth seeing when it comes out. All the actors are excellent, the set is fascinating, and it's just--an experience.
In summing up, I wish I had some kind of affirmative message to leave you with. I don't. Would you take two negative messages?
-- Woody Allen