It’s taken a while to get this going this morning, now afternoon. Work gets in the way of writing sometimes. For example, I’m working with a designer to make a new product to manufacture, a foot massager. You’d think it would be easy enough, but we need to come up with something that’s different from the 5,500 other foot massagers you can buy on Amazon, and so I was on the phone to Indiana this morning working on that.
Before that, I got the news that some asshole is offering an EXACT COPY of my product, the Roleo Arm and Hand Massager, for which we own trademarks and a design patent, on Alibaba, the mega-business site where manufacturers and buyers network. So I had to put on my old, dusty lawyer hat and write a cease and desist to someone in China (when you say “China” these days, you need to say it like the president, because it’s hilarious) improbably named Winnie Jin of the Ningbo Haochuang Craft Co., Ltd.
That’s right, a person, presumably a woman named Winnie, decided to take our promotional photo and digitally remove the trademarked logo and then offer it for wholesale at $4.99 per unit for 400 or more. That’s less than I pay for it. What the hell?
Anyway, I sent Winnie an email asking about buying some and she responded, thanking me for my inquiry. She added, and I quote, “for this item, it is still under our developing. When we produce out, I will send you our sample and price.” Screw you, Winnie.
So, to summarize, this person is taking other products from the internet, including ours, stealing the photos, and saying they manufacture and sell those products, but when you inquire, they say they are just developing it but they have other products now. Which to me means, if we get enough interest, we will produce a cheap knock off of this product, and in the meanwhile, until we knock it off, here’s a bait-and-switch
This all started late last night, a big downer after returning from listening to some great live music, and as of now, the last thing that happened was me sending a Cease and Desist that would have made even Roy Cohn proud. I stopped just short of saying we’d take her first born child if she didn’t cease and desist. I hope it scared the crap out of her, but we shall see.
I was in such a great mood after these guys and Winnie ruined it! Next week: a post on why we all deserve to have our own private horn section. (How come horn players are the only ones allowed to salivate on the floor in public? Discuss.)
TV also gets in the way of writing, or even living. First of all, how come every time you see a woman give birth on a TV show or in a movie, she always seems to be shocked that a human baby comes out of her? It’s like, what?! Oh my God, what is that? A baby?! Where did that come from? I mean, she’s been growing the kid inside there for months and months, and presumably she knows what brought her to the hospital (aside from a car or ambulance).
This seems to be a product of either bad writing or bad acting, or a combination thereof, as seen last night on Modern Love (Amazon), a show that will not be taking any of my writing time away. When it’s more fun to sit at my desk and make stuff up than watch something that was already made up for me, well, that show is not on my watchlist.
There are too many TV shows now. I used to watch TV a lot before you could stream and watch anything at any time. Of course, for much of that time I was a kid or a teen or a college student, so I had more TV time available. Back then, shows were a commitment. You had to actually be in front of the TV when the show was on. Then came VCRs so you could record shows, but those were a total pain in the ass and most adults needed a child to help them with it.
Even cable was appointment TV before streaming. The last show I got personally involved with was The Sopranos. You had to be in your seat in front of the TV every Sunday at 9 or whatever it was, or you’d be out of the loop at the water cooler the next day. Do they still have water coolers in offices? I haven’t worked in an office in 8 years. Thank God.
Now there are like 500 shows on various outlets, which is great for actors and writers and show-runners, but not necessarily for us. Everyone’s always talking about these shows. Take This is Us. People have these long, deep discussions about the characters and the story and what it really means as if that will be the answer to EVERYTHING, including world hunger and racial and religious discrimination, and they won’t talk to anyone until they watch a new episode. It’s possible they are right.
I can’t get involved with a show like that because it’s too emotional, and they are us. The Sopranos, on the other hand, were them, so even if there were a lot of emotions and violence and whatever, it wasn’t us, so I didn’t have to get too upset before bed time.
Now, I find myself getting involved, but it’s not so bad because of streaming. You can binge watch (not a huge fan of that term, but it works) a bunch of episodes on Sunday night. But the problem with that is, if you find yourself liking a show, like The Kaminsky Method with Michael Douglas and the always lovely and enjoyable Alan Arkin, you can sit down and the shows keep running and before you know it, you’ve watched the whole season and need to wait like 9 months for them to give birth to the next one.
So now I have a couple of other shows, like The Boys (Amazon), and Kaminsky which are a lot of fun, but I know all these other folks who watch like 10 shows. How do they do it? Where do they find the time? I just can’t manage it. I totally missed Game of Thrones, Orange is the New Black, Walking Dead, the list is endless. I tried a couple but they weren’t for me. At least not enough to become invested.
The bottom line is, I have the capacity for two or three shows, tops. But if it starts with a woman giving birth and she seems to be surprised that a baby is coming out of her, you lost me.
There is very little television in Smoking in Bed, my debut novel which will soon be my second novel, because the novel I’m writing now, An Honorable Death, a “historical fiction,” they tell me, will be my debut novel.
Why? Well Smoking in Bed clocks in at a rather hefty 420 pages, too long for a publisher to take on as a first book because of American readers’ short attention spans. But… historical fiction can be really, really long and readers thereof don’t really care because they’re probably nerds and geeks for that kind of stuff and can’t get enough. Which is good, because as you probably can tell from my blog, I tend to go on once I get going.
Kleimansays.com will be offering author-signed copies from our own private printing for local bookstores as soon as I get that set up. Should be ready in a week or so. Who am I kidding, something will get in the way. Give me a month.
Anyway, if you’re still with me after all that, thanks for reading and have a wonderful week! Here’s a nice sunset for you, behind Pt. Dume in Malibu, CA.