Sunday, December 28, 2008

This year in this blog

It's fun to sit back and reflect and gently prompt readers to hit the archives once in awhile.

The year started off with me surveying other writers on how they overcome writers block.

The WGA strike was in full-force. I was an outspoken supporter and posted frequent updates.

I again reviewed AMERICAN IDOL and as always enjoyed the earlier competition more. The Swinging 70s were great fodder.

Another blog tradition: I reviewed the Oscars.

March meant spring training and as the host of Dodger Talk on KABC I ventured east to Florida with my son, Matt. A travelogue followed.

The Spring Movies were previewed. How many did you actually see?

In April there was a Komedy Kontest.

My May post on stage mothers elicited an angry comment from Diana DiGaramo's mother, which touched off a very heated debate.

Thanks to friend of the blog, Great Big Radio I was able to post the ALMOST PERFECT pilot.

The summer began by going to Disneyland.

From time to time you got excerpts from my memoir, growing up in the 60s.

The big hit movie of the summer was Batman: The Dark Knight.

September brought the Emmy Awards inexplicably starring Reality Show hosts.

The Presidential Debates occupied October and I shared tips on how to win them.

I finally got around to watching and reviewing THE HILLS.

In November I held another Sitcom Room weekend seminar.

A watchdog website reclassified my blog as pornography.

And this month I turned to Montgomery Burns to explain NBC's decision to put Jay Leno in primetime.

Thanks again to YOU for reading this blog this year.

17 comments:

sephim said...

You're welcome, it's been a pleasure reading it.

Now a question, how do books get made into movies? Not the obvious way, I mean who gets to choose what books get made into movies and what criteria needs to be met before somebody says "okay, this would be great as a movie because these 120 pages needs pictures of explosions otherwise I... people will get bored and I'm a bigshot movie producer so I know everything about movies - now where's that script for Meet The Spartans 2?" and all that other stuff.

D. McEwan said...

Well I couldn't resist clicking on the link to revisit Stage Moms and my - ah - reasoned discussion with Mother DeGarmo. Ah, good times.

A week or two back I had an old AMERICAN IDOL rerun ("Rewind" they call it) playing on my TV while I typed something, and I happened to see Diana DeGarmo's original audition. At the end of the episode, there was a shot of Diana hugging her mom, and I got my first-ever glimpse of Mother DeG. Yikes! I'm glad our spat was on the internet as, though she's clearly 6 to 8 inches shorter than I am, I'm fairly certain she outweighs me by a large margin.

But I was still let down, as she wasn't multi-tasking. From her posts, I'd assumed she would be hugging her daughter while also ironing laundry, networking on the phone, helping out at an AIDS PETS charity function, sewing a costume, grading Diana's term papers, learning a foreign language, writing LES MISERABLES ("What do you mean Victor Hugo already wrote it? DON'T YOU DARE CRITICIZE ME!"), driving her son to football practise, filling in for Michael Phelp's mother at The Olympics, and "doing my life." I guess it was a slow day.

What a week, Nothing but reruns on TV, and now blog reruns also.

Stage dad said...

I've forgotten, had did that strike go anyway? Who won, who lost?

D. McEwan said...

I just clicked on the AMERICAN IDOL column link. The next time someone accuses you of egotism, just point to how you linked for review a column that opened with you incorrectly predicting who would win AI.

George Bush wuold be telling interviewers how he predicted David Cook right from the start, and if anyone showed him tape of him saying David Archulta would win, he'd just say it was "Bad Intelligence."

D. McEwan said...

Just reread your Disneyland post. There was a certain amount of discussion in the comments about the ride-stalling problem on IT'S A SMALL WORLD because overweight riders were making the boats bottom out.

I revisited the park a few weeks ago. (A friend gave me annual pass for a present. COOL!) I rode the revamed IT'S A SMALL WORLD ride. The solution they came up with to the too-many-fatties-making-the-ride-stall problem was to make new, smaller boats, all out of light-weight fiberglass. Now they have fewer people on each boat, plus the boats themselves weigh less, so the bottoming out problem is lessened.

Normally riding IT'S A SMALL WORLD ranks right above waterboarding as an aquatic form of torture, what with that endlessly repeated, monotonous song. Back when they had ticket books, the E Ticket said right on it: "Subjecting an unwilling person to riding IT'S A SMALL WORLD is a violation of The Geneva Conventions." But at the moment, it has been done up for the holidays, and instead of The Sherman Brothers' musical horror, they are playing a variety of secular Christmas songs - all different ones, not just Jingle Bells played over and over.

BUT the holiday overlay on the ride has got to be offensive to any non-Christian. You sail all over the world, and EVERYONE IN THE WHOLE WORLD IS CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS!!!

There they are in Saudi Arabia, celebrating Christmas! No pesky Muslims in the Arab countries on this ride! There they are celebrating Christmas in India, in Israel, in China, in Japan, all over Africa! I don't know how the Muslim woman seated behind me in the boat resisted standing up and yelling, "This is very offensive!" through her bhurka. They might as well have been singing:

It's a Christian World after all.
It's a Christian World after all.
It's a Christian World after all.
It's a Christ- ian World!

But if the Christers were bound to be happy to see all those other belief systems wiped out of existence by singing doll robots, over at The Haunted Mansion they were probably shrieking in horror and clamping their hands over their kids' ears and eyes, because the vastly-more-entertaining holiday overlay on that attraction was all themed to the charming Tim Burton animated musical THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS.

Jack Skellington and the denizens of Halloweentown run rampant all over Christmas there, this Holy Christian day being defiled and mocked by witches, wizards, devils, mad scientists, and demons from hell, and it's all a big laugh. It's delightfully sacrilegious. I loved it.

Tallulah rants on this at somewhat greater length (With photographic evidence) on her posting "Old Holiday Chestnuts" over on her blog.

WV: Carda: Sam Malone's meanest waitress with a cold.

Corinne said...

Just reread the writer's block post, which is timely since I'm struggling with finishing a draft of a story. Sometimes when I have writer's block I listen to Tom Lehrer's "Lobachevsky" for inspiration.

Only be sure always to call it please "research."

rms said...

I've thoroughly enjoyed reading this blog all year. Thanks for some terrific posts, Ken, and extra thanks to all the commenters for all their additional hilarity. Reading this blog and the comments is a terrific time waster and keeps me laughing. Both worthy pursuits! I look forward to more fun in 2009. Your American Idol recaps almost make me want to watch the show. Almost.

A. Buck Short said...

Thank you again for blogging in the first place. My new year's resolution is to be more honest and admit to the guys at work this is the reason I'm late again. That car trouble crap is getting kind of old.

Max Clarke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Max Clarke said...

Because of those overweight riders making the boats bottom out, Disneyland has renamed the ride, It's A Lard Ass World.

Thanks for all the insights this year, Ken, especially about comedy writing and story structure.

zadig said...

Is this the blog equivalent of those flashback episodes that some sitcoms do? "Remember when Bill went into the wrong house at 2am and was wounded by Jeff's pit bull?" shimmer shimmer shimmer shimmer flashback.

Of course, while we recognize those episodes as the laziest of techniques to avoid coming up with new content, this blog entry is nothing of the sort, and is of course a nostalgic look back at a great year of blogging. Um, isn't it?

Mary Stella said...

Thank you, Ken, for a daily dose of laughter and for creating your own little blog community. I like hanging out in Levine Land where you're the funniest blogger around and you also have some of the most interesting, funny, blog readers leaving comments. If read the blog post in the morning and then usually check back on a break during the day just to see what everybody else has said.

Joe said...

A compilation episode!

Can Spring Training lag far behind?

P.S. My WVW is "sawipe" which is infield chatter for "steal"

Michelle said...

Thanks Ken! Always an enlightening and enjoyable read. Have a great New Year!

TheDennisMorganShow said...

Sorry I missed the last writing class (couldn't find a parking space).

But I still have an idea for a movie comedy. It's a wonderful story full of heart, humor, and one man's life-journey pitching scripts to whiny malcontents.

In protest, our wildly successful comedy writer (upset over the closing of his
fav watering hole) chains himself to a wrecking ball about to demolish the Sportman Lodge in Studio City...

In the opening (swinging) wrecking ball sequence, the script gives us a big close up of our hero-writer.

This stunt scene...(See--it's that writers block thingy again).

Precious blog Ken. Thanx!

benson said...

Happy New Year, Ken. Thanks for the daily entertainment.

And thanks to Great Big Radio guy for his great webstream.

WVerif: sonsf

A contraction made up of three swear terms.

Dean W. said...

Great blog. I started reading this blog a few months ago, so i never read the post about stage moms. I looked at it, and that woman really took offense. She went nuts.