Friday, November 30, 2007

LOST IN THE FLOOD

So my wife is on her third round of antibiotics and her first batch of steroids for what the doctors believe is a sinus infection migrated south to retire permanently in her lungs as bronchitis. My son has awakened us every night for the past two weeks complaining of a recurring nightmare involving a bad man with a tail who lives in a lamp. I have a rash that I don't want to talk about, and my dog has had a recurrence of something that requires its own special canine dermatologist.

So something's up.

Because besides the bee death cult and the devil dreams and the wife's death rattle chest, there's also now the flood.

In my previous post I believe I mentioned the possibilities for floods?

Sometime last week, possibly on Thanksgiving but who really cares, a very small pinhole leak developed in a hot water pipe in my attic. An attic, that, due to a condition I possess which I can only define as "ladder-impairedness," is hardly a place that I frequent. It's dark up there, lots of air-conditioning ducting, a creaky wood beam floor, and most likely very large furry jumping spiders from Brazil.

This leak, tiny as tiny can be, sprayed hot water continually for days and days, drenching the creaky wood floor of my attic until such wood could no longer contain all of the water and passed it along to various portions of my house. The ceiling of my office. The wall behind a built-in bookcase. A large wall along a staircase. The ceiling in my kitchen. And the wall of my basement.

It was a very ambitious little leak, an uptight little overachieving leak, the kind of leak you want to beat the shit out of in high school. One that did its dirty work under the cover of darkness until paint started bubbling off my walls and small, amber colored drops of water started landing in my King Vitamin cereal at breakfast.

So for two days now my house has been the L.A. equivalent of the Amish barn-raising scene in Witness except you take out Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis and replace them with my handyman George and four other dudes who, every time you walk by them, smile and shake their heads and say: "Mucho trabajo." Which I understand now is Spanish for "Isn't this black mold?"

It's enough to make a man pine for the Hochleitners.

Plastic hangs over my doorways like a Dexter death room and rolls of butcher paper have been spread all over my floors with such enthusiasm that I am beginning to feel like a pork loin. One wall was dried out and plastered over and six hours later that wall had turned an ugly shade of brown--suggesting that it was not actually dried out in the first place or I am living in Fucking Amityville.

In my previous post I rolled these bones and saw signs of the labor apocalypse. And given the AMPTP's recent "New Economic Partnership" proposal it's certainly possible that the latest pox on my house is simply an anaphylactic shock brought on by the Big Media Beast as it slouches towards the Ivy to eat crab cakes and Rickey's Fried Chicken.

However.

As devoted father and loving husband it is my DUTY to explore alternate explanations for whatever dark materials have found their way to my family and my hearth.

So.

If we are to eliminate:
a) nature and all naturally occurring sources
b) the Old testament and related religious explanations
c) coincidence
d) the possibility that I am a delusional paranoid hypochondriac who is so fucked up that his family, pets, and house suffer from Munchausen's by Proxy--

We are left with only one option:

Joss Whedon is very upset with me for casting Summer Glau and has somehow invoked a powerful curse and relocated the Buffy Hellmouth underneath my home.

I saw how the Hellmouth operated for many years, I know its signs and symbols. And while there may not be any vampires yet to slay, I swear to God I saw Alyson Hannigan tongue-kissing a werebear in my laundry room when I was washing my strike shirt.

What kills me is I saw Joss two weeks ago at the Showrunner March. We talked about Summer. I didn't sense anything weird. Looking back I do remember seeing Shawn Ryan and the dude from the 4400 both give packages to Joss that at the time I assumed were Mrs. Beasley's muffin baskets but now I clearly believe were animal sacrifices.

(At another point during the march I saw Joss and Ron Moore huddled together but when I tried to eavesdrop on what they were saying I got this hot burning sensation in my ears and I may have blacked out and peed for a second.)

So because I think there is no other choice and also because I'm on strike with a lot of time on my hands I decide to make a donation to the Church of Joss.

I buy the Firefly boxed set (24 cents to Joss); I watched Serenity on cable (maybe .5 cents to Joss), I already own and have watched the entire Buffy series on DVD (75 cents to Joss). I have spent DAYS OF MY LIFE devoted to the works of Joss Whedon and I'm pretty sure I haven't even sent A WHOLE DOLLAR OF RESIDUALS in his direction.

Which is obviously not enough of a sacrifice to break the curse.

So I'll offer up one of the most humiliating moments for me as a professional writer:

Some years ago I am invited to a dinner party for screenwriters. There's about fifty of us there--including most of the A list people I had always wanted to call my peers. At the time the only credit I had was a shared story on Chain Reaction but I knew a couple of the people throwing the dinner and so I was invited. Terrified, but invited. At some point I am introduced to a writer/director whose work I had admired for years. He was a little older, kind of a legend. Here's how the conversation went:

ME: God, I can't tell you how great it is to meet you. I love your work. Especially (BIG MOVIE).
LEGEND: No. the pleasure is mine. I'm such a huge fan of your writing.
ME: Really?
LEGEND: Of course. It's fantastic. My kids absolutely love Buffy. Just love it.
ME: Uhmmm....
LEGEND: They're gonna be so impressed I met you. They're always going on about you...
ME: Uh, Mr. Legend? As much as I want to be Joss Whedon right now...I'm not. I'm Josh Friedman.
LEGEND: Josh Friedman?
ME: Josh Friedman.
LEGEND: Hm. Oh. Well, I'm sure you're a good writer, too.

And then he walked away.

So please, Joss. Do my family a favor. Take Back the Hellmouth. I know it's fucking huge and you might not have room for it at your place. Maybe you could donate it.

Maybe we could include it in the New Economic Partnership.

Just a thought.

33 Comments:

Anonymous bodnotbod said...

I can't believe they've called it "The New Economic Partnership". It's exactly the sort of Orwellian Newspeak that my current Government (British) uses all the time. They even renamed their party from 'Labour' to 'New Labour' before coming to power in 1997.

And when Gordon Brown took over from Blair as Prime Minister the amount of 'new's that spilled forth during his 'coming to power' speech was comically overwhelming. "New opportunities, new government, new policies, new underpants..."

Sorry for all your troubles with health and hearth, that all sounds like absolutely no fun at all. Here's wishing you a complete turnaround of fortunes for 2008.

11/30/2007 11:28 AM  
Anonymous Greg L. said...

Josh,

Terribly sorry to hear about you, and your family's ill health. Bad enough in good times, but while enduring house decontamination, and supporting the strike...well, almost seems biblical.

While Joss Whedon is aptly named, he strikes me as someone who acts more directly. Were I you, I'd recheck that unusual rash...may not be from walking the picket line.

Re: The New Economic Partnership,
someone's been taking note of how poorly the studios' position is regarded by the public.

I hope the WGA will shine plenty of light on this turd, so that everyone can see it for what it is, and avoid stepping in it.

Here's a early wish for a Happy Hanukkah. Here's hoping that the Festival of Lights helps dry out your home!

11/30/2007 12:57 PM  
Anonymous tigerflag said...

(sorry if this is a double post)

The mold in your house probably caused your wife's illness. I know it happened to me when we had a water leak that seeped into the subfloor in the bathroom. I had a "cold", sore throat and cough that wouldn't go away. By the time I finally smelled the mold in the bathroom, both my lungs and the floor were in bad shape.

Your wife probably needs to be taking anti-fungal meds rather than antibiotics. Over 90% of sinus infections are fungal, not bacterial. That means that they don't respond to antibiotics. Most doctors aren't aware of this, but you can look it up for yourself.

Best of luck to you all.

11/30/2007 4:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't there some phrase that describes how when something goes bad, everything else always seems to go bad at the same time? Not Murphy's Law, which is usually used to describe a single occurance. Over the last two months, my car got a 2,000 dollar fender bender, a piece of steak got stuck in my esophagus resulting in a trip to the ER, my wife had to get a hysterectomy, my daughter fell face first onto the concrete and nearly broke her nose and all three of us got colds of some sort. Oh, and my dog died of a stomach tumor. There must be a term for such things. If not, it should be invented. Maybe Friedman's Law.

11/30/2007 5:27 PM  
Blogger Bobby Nash said...

Oh, that Joss. :)

In all seriousness, I wish you and your family speedy recovery. As a long time sufferer of the dreaded evil that is the sinus infection, I feel your wife's pain. Get well soon and keep standing strong.

Keep the faith.

Bobby

11/30/2007 6:51 PM  
Blogger MaryAn Batchellor said...

Certain molds that grow on building materials cause toxic gas, NOT FUNGUS, toxic gas! I'm serious. Get it checked NOW!

A small water leak behind a refrigerator in an emaculate six million dollar house in Dripping Springs, Texas, ( I am NOT MAKING THIS UP) caused a staph infection in the son, permanent neurological damage to the husband and serious upper respiratory problems in the lungs of the wife. She recovered. They didn't.

The mold grew to plague proportions before they found it and they had to abandon the house taking nothing with them but the clothes on their backs because everything they owned was contaminated and killing them - even the clothes on their backs.

A chance meeting with a guy on an airplane saved the Ballards' lives. Ya never know. Maybe a blogger just saved yours. Or -- scared you for no reason at all. If that's the case, sorry. Just trying to help.

Please read all of this:

http://healthandenergy.com/haunted_by_mold.htm

And you only need this if you have to take your insurance company to court:

http://www.lexmundi.com/images/lexmundi/pdf/pg/2004NARM_Moskowitz.pdf

11/30/2007 10:22 PM  
Blogger Texaco said...

You eat King Vitamin cereal? That is so cute.

11/30/2007 10:50 PM  
Blogger electricspacegirl said...

This was posted on Whedonesque, and Joss responded.
http://whedonesque.com/comments/14866#199900

12/01/2007 12:49 AM  
Anonymous Tom Daylight said...

If you want to send some residuals Joss' way, you could always get some of his comics. :)

12/01/2007 5:36 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

yeah, it's gotta be some heavy duty mojo. a whedonesque mojo to boot.

i once pissed off professor longhair at a gig. he put a damn damn on me that had to flat ruin two marriages.

12/01/2007 12:43 PM  
Anonymous redsimon said...

Not bad, this post is almost as good as your earliest work on this blog, Josh.

redsimon

12/01/2007 12:56 PM  
Anonymous RichardB said...

I think you writers are letting the AMPTP off too lightly. Going around chanting and picketing is one thing, but it's time you took the gloves off.

Go right up to a producer and split an infinitive, right in his face. Change tense in the middle of a sentence. Begin a comment with 'which' and then switch to 'that'.

Go on - stop playing by the rules... you'll have 'em begging for mercy in no time.

12/01/2007 5:33 PM  
Blogger James Patrick Joyce said...

You know how boys will pick on girls they like?


Maybe this is Joss's way of saying he likes you.

12/01/2007 9:55 PM  
Blogger Eleanor said...

Man that sucks! I hope you get the mess cleared up and the builders gone, and the family well, and pleasent dreams aplenty, asap.

Best of luck!

12/02/2007 2:03 PM  
Blogger Brett said...

Hochleitners, Munchhausen, and King Vitamin, all in the same post?

*THIS* is the stuff dreams are made of.
.
.
.
B

12/02/2007 7:11 PM  
Blogger Twice Five Miles said...

This:

"Plastic hangs over my doorways like a Dexter death room and rolls of butcher paper have been spread all over my floors with such enthusiasm that I am beginning to feel like a pork loin."

is the best sentence I have read in a long time.

12/03/2007 7:14 AM  
Blogger Ljónshjarta said...

Your son hasn´t been watching Aladin has he?

12/04/2007 7:36 AM  
Blogger TuckPendleton said...

I said Hey Gunner, man, that's quicksand, that's quicksand, that ain't mud...

12/05/2007 3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know a couple of people have said this already, but I just wanted to warn you again about mold. We had a water leak in our house some years back that made my mom and I very ill, so I would highly recommend keeping a close eye on everyone's health (especially your son's) and make sure that it gets cleaned up properly.

Best of luck.

12/05/2007 4:00 PM  
Blogger Buffy SingALong said...

I know that LOL means "laugh out loud", but that most of the time people don't actually do that while reading something on the internet. But I did indeed "lol" when I read the phrase, "I got this hot burning sensation in my ears and I may have blacked out and peed for a second."

It was the peeing reference that did it for me. Oh, I am also a boy in the fifth grade.

Can't wait for the show!

12/06/2007 8:24 PM  
Anonymous Keekers said...

Who are the Hochleitners?

1/08/2008 9:27 AM  
Anonymous bad home cook said...

The Hellmouth. It explains everything.
Just found your blog, btw. I hope all is well with your wife.

1/17/2008 3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent Dexter reference.

1/30/2008 3:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i really like this one, very engaging

7/25/2008 5:30 PM  
Anonymous locksmith mesa said...

YOu're so cute! =)

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