In Flight

I traveled home from Germany today. I woke up at 4:15 am to make a 6:30 flight out of Munich. At the airport security checkpoint, there are posters and videos alerting you to restrictions on liquids, etc. in carry-on baggage. A young couple went through with two overnight bags loaded with cosmetics, scissors, etc and couldn’t understand why security wouldn’t let them through.On the flight from Munich to Dusseldorf,  where I was catching a connecting flight to the U.S., the businessman who was sitting next to me to me grabbed his crotch at take-off and again at landing. I dont know what he was protecting himself from. In Dusseldorf,  the couple in front of me in the security line had bought a ton of drinks and cosmetics at the terminal gift shop. I warned them that they couldn’t bring their purchases on the plane, but they insisted that since it was bought at the airport, it was okay. I showed them the signs, and they still argued with me. So I shut up. They were shocked and infuriated when security made them throw it all out.  I just smiled and went on my way.

On the flight home, I caught up on five episodes of HEROES and the last few BOSTON LEGALS of the season on my iPod. I think that HEROES is getting too twisty for their own good…to the point that it has become ludicrous and maddening…not to mention nearly impossible to follow. I still have two more episodes to watch and I will have seen the whole season. But it seems to me the show started out with a lot of promise and hasn’t delivered on it.

Back in May, BOSTON LEGAL did yet another episodes where the lawyers are held hostage…this time the bad guy was the troubled son of a murder victim wants revenge from Denny Crane (William Shatner) for getting the accused killer acquited forty-some years ago. But what made this tired plot special was that David Kelley cleverly incorporated footage from the original, black-and-white pilot of THE DEFENDERS, which co-starred a very young William Shatner as a lawyer. Kelley used the old footage as flashbacks of a younger Denny Crane defending the killer. I had to admire the episode as a TV geek, a pilot nut, and as someone who has done much the same thing (using reruns of MANNIX as flashbacks for a new Mannix story on DIAGNOSIS MURDER). I’m surprised the episode didn’t get some attention…or did it?

I see that last week TWO AND A HALF MEN was the highest rated show on television. What has happened to America while I was gone!?

I have been up for over 24 hours now…I want to try to stay awake until 8 or 9 pm. So if this post is riddled with typos and incoherent thought, now you know why.

Double the Vanity

iUniverse and Authorhouse are merging to become one huge vanity press.  In a press release, iUniverse CEO Susan Driscoll says:

Why this move, and why now? Quite simply, the strengths and the capabilities of
AuthorHouse and iUniverse complement one another, and by building on our
individual strengths we can expand the range and enhance the quality of the
services that each company offers.
[…] I’m delighted that my iUniverse colleagues and I will be working with Bryan
Smith and with the entire AuthorHouse team to define a world where publishing is
truly author-centric.

I guess  by "author centric" they mean that they make their money off the desperate, naive authors rather than from selling books to readers. It’s unfortunate that iUniverse, seemingly the most honest of the vanity presses, is teaming up with one of the sleaziest.


I am sitting in my hotel room in Munich, getting ready to go out for some network meetings. I won’t bore you with all  the details from my travels, except to say it was great to see the cast of FAST TRACK in Berlin again and that it was hell being in London for a day during the subway strike (though  I managed to run into someone I know amidst the crowd on Oxford Street…what are the odds of that!?).  The weather has been rainy and miserable here and I haven’t managed to conquer my jet-lag. I seem to be tired all the time. I have a 6:45 am flight home tomorrow and am looking to getting some sleep, seeing some sunshine, and making more headway on my MONK novel.

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Singing in the Rain

Potsdamer_platz_berlin It has been a hectic week  bouncing all over Germany…and my bouncing isn’t over yet. I was in Cologne on Friday for meetings then back to Berlin that same night. On Saturday, I took a long walk around Mitte, worked on my MONK novel for a few hours, had a two-hour nap (which I really, really I needed), then had a wonderful dinner at a riverside restaurant with the FAST TRACK line producer and his lovely girlfriend. Today began with another long walk and after I finish this post, I’m going to work on MONK for the rest of the afternoon, and then I will go to our composer’s studio to listen to the FAST TRACK score. Roomgallery_18 I’ve been staying this trip at the Grand Hyatt Berlin in Potsdamer Platz and it’s a great hotel. The rooms have flat screen TVs that also plug into your MP3 player. The bathrooms are beautiful and also have flat screen TVs. The shower is in a seperate, glass-walled section and is mounted beside the bathtub, which also has it’s own hand-held showerhead.  There’s a mirror in there that doesn’t fog, so you can shave while you’re showering. I love it.  The showerhead is called something like rainstorm or cloudburst…and it just drenches you. I’ve taken two or three scalding showers a day since I’ve been here.. I’m probably the cleanest American in Berlin.  I could spend all day in that shower. If only I had a waterproof laptop