Saturday, June 24, 2006

Jean MacCurdy as Boss

On the subject of "Animaniacs," it occured to me that Warner Bros. TV animation back then consisted of over a hundred artists, writers, checkers, etc. We were turning out 65 half-hours for the first season of "Animaniacs." At the same time, the division was making "Taz," "Batman," and wrapping up the last "Tiny Toon Adventures."

In the midst of this frenzy, there was only a single executive: Jean MacCurdy.

Jean let the producers run their shows while she ran the division. She trusted them and believed a person with passion for a series might turn out a better product than, say, a committe removed from the creative process.

In time, the WB gobbled up the division. Kids WB spun away from Jean to become its own entity with executives over her. Jean finally stepped down as division president in 2001.

But for a time, there was no place like Warners.

Which goes to prove that anything can happen in Hollywood, even good things.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Animaniacs DVD Interview

Yesterday, Sherri Stoner, Peter Hastings, Paul Rugg and I were interviewed for the second "Animaniacs" DVD. The release date is sometime around Christmas. Our moderator was "The Brain" himself, Maurice LaMarche. We had a lot of laughs recalling the writing of the show fourteen years ago.

I've written many things since then, but I only really appreciate "Animaniacs" now.

Much of life is like that.

Walk to Elmer Once Again

Walked four miles today. I parked in a lot off Windsor St. in Pasadena and moved down an asphalt path that paralleled JPL. I could see down to the parking lot where a little bus shuttled workers from the facility to their cars. Crossing an A-frame bridge, I veered off onto a dirt trail and followed it up to the Elmer Smith bridge. A slap on the sign, then back down.

That's the first time since my 16-mile run in March that I've made it up to Elmer.

A little change was needed from gym-swim-gym.

But I'm not complaining.

Crutches are still fresh in my memory.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Unbaked TNT Alaska

Teammate Natalie reported tough going up in the Land of the Midnight Sun. 'twas not an easy marathon. Rain, heavy at times, a rocky trail, TNTers from other teams dropping out due to injury and fatigue, stones in her shoes, and a moose in the road.

But Natalie persevered.

She IS a marathoner.

TNT Alaska Marathon

Bravo to Summer Team's Alaska runners/walkers. Initial reports from Anchorage place all my teammates safely across the finish line. Coach Kate, on the right in purple in the post below, ran a 3:38:57 marathon, an average of 8 minutes and 21 seconds per mile.

A most successful Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon.

Just printed out 133 pages of outline notes and chapter drafts from a second horror novel. This one, "The Whompago," has been referenced in previous posts. I should put a link here but I'm really in a hurry.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Post-Injury Miles 3

Aqua Ran this morning before TNT practice. Outside the pool, I bumped into Summer Team remnants, waiting to embark on a light, post-marathon run. I joined them and walked 3 miles. That's the furthest I've ambled since before the accident.

The break area felt tender and the right ankle was sore, but overall I was pleased. My last two miles were on par with what I might've walked pre-injury. I'm not yet ready for running, but progress is steady. Naturally, since I did so well, I thought I could've done more. But that's how I get injured.

Cyndi from Summer Team took a host of fine San Diego photos. Here's one she snapped pre-marathon of Summer Team coaches, Katie and Kate. They'll also be coaching Winter Team running events which include the Phoenix Marathon in January. I'm hoping that will be my next marathon.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Charmed at the Health Club

I joined that dandy little health club I mentioned a few posts back. There's nothing like showing up at 1:00 PM and getting your pick of machines. Flat screen TVs show ESPN, CNN, and reruns of "Charmed." Lots of pouty, cute girl witch looks. But it's exerting a strange fascination on me. I grow irritable around 1:00 PM on days when I'm not at the health club. And somehow, turning on "Charmed" at home wouldn't be the same.

More on this.

In addition, I joined the Rose Bowl Aquatic Club. Usually around 12:45 - 1:00 PM is the best time to go aqua run. My head is lathered up with sun block. Sometimes there are "swimming moms" hectoring their children. One woman harangued her two daughers non-stop for over 40 minutes, berating them for bad diving form, encouraging them to do "one more" after four or five "last one and we'll go." What fascinated me was she never paused to inhale. With lung capacity like that, she should be doing deep ocean salvage minus the dive suit.

But I gradually grow stronger in the water.

There's nothing like being tanned, fit, and unemployed.

It's the Hollywood way.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Anchorage Away

Good luck to Summer TNTers, off to Alaska this weekend for the Anchorage Marathon and half marathon.

My sister attempted Anchorage two years ago. She signed up with Team in Training to walk the event. But she had to bail in the middle due to an old leg injury flaring up. Some pals met her in Alaska and they partied for a few days.

So there was that.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

San Diego Marathon Snippets

Runners registered for the 2006 San Diego Marathon: 21,159

Number of runners finishing: 17,339

Average time: 5:06:55

Jimmy Freeman won the Team in Training Half-Marathon in 1:25:51. That's a pace of 6 minutes and 33 seconds per mile.

Assistant Coach Mark McQuaid once again performed heroically in taking tons of photos.

And finally Summer 2006 TNT San Gabriel Valley raised over $230,000 in the fight against leukemia and lymphoma.

How 'bout THAT?!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

To The Victors

My last practice with TNT San Gabriel Valley Summer Team. Most of the San Diego marathoners showed up with their finisher medals. These were big suckers, heavy, trash can lids.

Both Kates will be back coaching the Winter Team.

And I'll be back along with them for one more go.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Bravo, Team!

From what I gathered, San Gabriel Valley Team in Training acquitted itself well in San Diego. Goals were met, missed and surpassed but all ran and finished their marathons. Meanwhile, I folded roofing tarps and watched the California State High School track finals on TV. But another race awaits me at another time.

A special half-marathon exclusively for Team in Training was included in yesterday's event. With over 500 participants, the race was won by Jimmy Freeman, my coach from last year's winter team. (And current coach of the fall team.) Jimmy covered the 13.1 miles in one hour and 25 minutes, bounding along like a great deer.

Speaking of running, my doctor signed off on "moderate walking." (I like the vagueness as it allows me to experiment.") However no running for at least one more month. At this point, I'd just as soon heal completely. I "moderately walked" for a half-hour today. The inside of my right heel hurt afterwards, telling me I'm extremely gun shy about putting pressure on the foot.

I don't see myself overtraining for a long time.

Friday, June 02, 2006


Not as in washed up, but as in completing my horror book outline for "Apple Dan." I'm very excited, much like the time I notched my first 20 mile run. (And only 20 mile run to this point.) Writing the book will be like the marathon.

Three tourists visit a quaint California town, only to discover a terrible secret. Unless they work together to confront the menace, they'll die a ghastly death.

Small scale. More plot than not. But a blast to create.

I'm getting feedback this weekend from selected readers. I'll rewrite next week and turn it in to my agent on Thursday.


And good luck again to the San Diego marathoners as they depart on the morrow.

Oddly enough, my book is set in the mountains east of San Diego, in a little town similar to Julian.

Oooooo. Scary, kids!