The Suck Zone
Remember in the disaster flick TWISTER when that guy, Dusty, describes the suck zone to Jami Gertz? Well, you are now entering it. Welcome to the Suck Zone.
I'm just kidding. Things don't really suck THAT much. Well, sort of. But not like F5 on the Fujita scale. Maybe more like F2.
Don't get me wrong, I had an AWESOME birthday. Your many birthday greetings, gifts, cards, emails, and well-wishes were TOTALLY appreciated. And if I had like two days to spare, I would send each and every one of you my personalized thanks.
But since I don't have two days to spare since PD8 is now 7 days late, please accept my thanks here. Perhaps a personalized thanks will arrive in your inbox or mailbox some time in the future–hopefully before my next birthday.
But things have been going down hill since February 1. Since I like to keep my readers informed on the minutiae of my life—whether you want to know it or not–I am going to list the Things That Suck for me right now, in no particular order of Suckiness.
I am not going to mention OBVIOUSLY sucky things you can just look up on CNN.com, like global warming and Lance and Sheryl's breakup. I am talking about PERSONALLY sucky things. Such as:
SUCKY THING #1:
Gem, our newly adopted cat, has mange again. Oh yes. Nothing like the sight of a cat licking herself raw to brighten your day. It's like that red panda on That's My Baby on Animal Planet who had her baby taken away because she licked it too much (which is also the reason I'm never having children: Because how DO you know when to stop licking them? I do not blame that panda one bit). Only I can't take away Gem's baby, because it's her OWN FUR.
SUCKY THING #2:
The Oscar nominations are out, and—well, I don't know how to tell you this, but I am a member of the Academy. Seriously. Because I belong to the Screenwriters Guild, due to having written the first 30 drafts of ICE PRINCESS (none of which bear even the remotest resemblance to what you saw on screen. Except for the Zamboni). So I get to nominate films—and then vote—for best original and best adapted screenplay.
But somehow the Guild didn't find me this year, and so I DIDN'T GET TO NOMINATE ANY FILMS. Seriously. They went ahead and nominated them WITHOUT ME.
Probably you can tell. Because do you really think, if I'd had anything to do with it, 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN would not have gotten an Oscar nod?
Oh, no. Not on my watch, people.
SUCKY THING #3:
I still haven't managed to sell my old house. I am still paying two Florida mortgages. As Starbuck on BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA would say: Frack!!!!!
SUCKY THING #4:
I just found out my new house has termites and has to be tented. Which means for like three days at the end of this month, we have to find somewhere to go with our two cats, one of whom has mange, where they will not have to be in the same room together and so will not kill one another. FRACK again (and don't say I can just go to my old house, since I haven't sold it yet, because we turned off the cable there, and I CANNOT go three days without HGTV).
SUCKY THING #5:
I dribbled red wine down the front of my white shirt in front of everyone at the Friends of the Key West Library event last night. Not that it was a nice shirt, but hello, fracking embarrassing. Famous Authors Who Shall Not Be Named were dabbing me with seltzer. I can't even DRINK without drooling, that is how much things suck.
SUCKY THING #6:
The 12 poundies will NOT GO AWAY. I have been biking. I have been avoiding pie (and, despite how it might sound above, wine). And the scale has barely BUDGED. WHAT THE FRACK?????
SUCKY THING #7-Infinity:
My editor, Abby—the one who bought the very first manuscript of THE PRINCESS DIARIES, after every other publisher in Manhattan turned it down, and who has guided Mia (and me) through every single book I've written for HarperCollins Children's Books ever since (which is 25 books, so far)—is leaving for another position elsewhere.
I'm happy for her, since it's a great opportunity for her. But I'm sad for me, because it means Abby won't be there for the last book about Mia, PRINCESS DIARIES VOLUME 12 (or VOLUME 10, depending on how cranky I am feeling when you ask me).
I owe Abby LOTS—we all do. I can't even count all the ways Abby made sure my books didn't enter the Suck Zone. She will be sorely missed.
Me and Abby:
But hey. I guess I can't write about things that suck without telling you some things that DON'T SUCK. Because not EVERYTHING can suck ALL the time.
THING THAT DOESN'T SUCK #1:
There's a very cute review of Size Twelve Is Not Fat
THING THAT DOESN'T SUCK #2:
If you click here, you can read a funny interview between me and a member of the Kelly Ripa Book Club, who was actually there in the studio that fateful day I appeared on Regis and Kelly Live (I should mention that this interview contains a spoiler for READY OR NOT, so if you have not read that book, you may not want to click on the link above).
THING THAT DOESN'T SUCK #3:
For my birthday, He Who Shall Not Be Named In This Blog FINALLY hooked up the DVD player in the bedroom, so I could watch all those DVDs I've been waiting to see until I could be in a fully supine state, for optimum viewing pleasure.
So now, for your reading pleasure, I will give you my reviews of all the films you already saw a long time ago but which I have been watching for the first time in order to try to pry myself from the Suck Zone. I guarantee none of these films suck:
40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN:
Two thumbs way up! This should have been nominated for Best Picture, since it totally was.
UPSIDE OF ANGER:
Awesome! Kevin Costner is a HILARIOUS drunk. Who knew?
Mandy Moore's boyfriend wrote, directed, and starred in this! And he was great! So was Natalie Portman! I think I actually forgive her for Padme now. Almost.
Oh my God, this was so good. I totally nominate it for Best Screenplay, right along with 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN. It definitely deserves best line for Jayne Cobb's “She is starting to damage my calm.”
BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA, the mini-series:
Okay, this wasn't technically a movie, since it was actually the three and a half hour pilot for a television series. But OH HOW IT DOES NOT FRACKING SUCK. I have already bought the DVD of Season 1 and will be watching it just as soon as it arrives. Do NOT tell me what happens with Boomer, please.
I watched some other stuff that didn't suck, too, including:
–Masterpiece Theater's BLEAK HOUSE series (well, parts one and two only, so far)
–FLIP THIS HOUSE on Bravo (the one with Ginger. I fracking love Ginger. I don't know why, really. Maybe it is the high heels she is always wearing when she is supposed to be crawling into an attic.)
–MADE on MTV (did you see the one with Liz Phair???)
–DESIGNED TO SELL on HGTV (but what happened to Lisa La Porta and Clive Pearse? Who are these new people? No offense, I'm sure they're very nice, but I don't know that I'm going to be able to watch this show without Clive and Lisa. Although if they are available now perhaps they could come to Key West and stage an open house at MY house that is for sale.)
–WHAT NOT TO WEAR on TLC. Stacey, make me over. Please, I am begging you.
–The OC continues to be schlocky perfection.
–BONES (“Why can't I have a gun?”) continues to please as well.
A BOOK THAT DOESN'T SUCK:
Reading-wise, I found relief from the Suck Zone in THE CELL by Stephen King. It was no IT or THE STAND, but I was entertained. I of course would not have become a phoner, due to the fact that my cell phone has never once been charged since the day I purchased it.
A VIDEO THAT DOESN'T SUCK:
STUPID GIRLS by Pink slightly lifted me from the Suck Zone as well. I was especially impressed by her Lindsay Lohan and Jessica Simpson imitations.
So, in conclusion, if you are in the Suck Zone, like I am, I recommend any or all of the above.
They may not save you from an F5 the way those horse reins or whatever they were saved Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton in TWISTER.
But they might make you forget you're in the Suck Zone, at least for a little while.