Sunday, August 15, 1999
Last night was Little Clay's birthday and there was a party with plenty of barbecued steak for everyone. It wasn't as big as Blake's party, but the food was a little better. They always throw a good party out there, even when they haven't planned one. Take last week for example... To begin with, I had found this book in a used book store that was perfect for Little Clay because it was the history of the Andy Griffith show -- his favorite TV show. I bought it wondering if his birthday was coming up. Sure enough I got a call from Norma the next day inviting me to Little's party. What great timing, I already had a gift! I marked the date on my calender to be sure I wouldn't miss it.
The next night I went out to a club called The Jointe to see my friend Dimitri and his band Zumbi play trip-hop. I wasn't out that late but, apparently it was just enough to compromise my immune system because the next day I had a sore throat and that night a fever. As per the Temp Health Plan, I continued working full days while gobbling echinacea, vitamin C and aspirin. By mid week I was pretty out of it. Meanwhile, I spoke to my friend Jennifer Feraday and asked her if she wanted to come to Little's party. I wanted her to meet the kinfolk so she would feel more welcome in this alien environment (she's from New York.) She agreed to come and I focused my energy on getting well so that I would be up for the party.
On Saturday, I was finally able to sleep in all morning and by that afternoon I was feeling much better, but still a little foggy. I picked up Jennifer, she looked quite beautiful, and coached her on the way as to who would be there, how they were related and what they did. Like me, she is a little apprehensive when dealing with situations involving meeting strangers.
By the time we got to the house, she was fully briefed. We seemed to be the first ones there, as there were no other cars parked out front. I rang the bell and Little came to the door, a bit disheveled, unshaven and with a surprised look on his face. I wondered if it was a surprise party and everyone else was hiding somewhere. He invited us in and I noticed that there seemed to be no preparations for the big event, no decorations, no extra tables, no presents -- and no guests. Big Clay said "Rich, you should have called -- we're just about to eat!" I said "But what about the party?" They all laughed. Norma said, "the party is next week."
Fortunately I couldn't have picked a better time or place to screw up. We ended up having dinner with them and playing a couple of rounds of darts and having a great time. Jennifer got the chance to get to know them a little, more than she would have at the actual party, and they really enjoyed meeting her. I, meanwhile, kept trying to figure out what week it was and how I got there and how I need to get a better calendar.
This week's party was fun too, Jennifer couldn't make it, but everyone was asking about her and everyone got to hear the story of how I came to the party a week early. Little liked his Andy Griffith book, which he waited all week before opening. I'm sure I'll be hearing about this for a long time to come.
In other news: I made a list of all the people who now have my script, which is about a dozen. That includes a couple of new folks via Tricia Kiley whom I saw a few weeks ago and passed along a fresh copy of RED HERRINGS for her to convey to various producers that she keeps in contact with. I'm reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and hoping to get some insights into how to make things happen. One of the habits is LEARN HOW TO USE A CALENDAR.
Hope all is well with all of you. Please feel free to write back. There are some of you I haven't heard from in a while. I won't name any names. You know who you are.
Love, Hollywood Dick