Wow, It’s Finally Happening.

This Thursday on ABC, 8:30/7:30c, watch Samantha Who?, episode: “THE DOG,” because I wrote it, which means it’s the only time my name’s in the credits at the front of the episode — the only time my family feels confident in telling people I write on the show. (“Well, otherwise your name goes so fast at the end, and they don’t see it, and I look like a liar!”)

And now you can point at my name and shout, “That’s my friend!” Or some of you will go, “I used to know this girl!” And maybe some of you will be all, “Man, I really should call her instead of just reading about her. I miss her.” And then some of you will be like, “I know this girl! Well, I mean, I kind of know her. I read her journal. Blog. I used to read it when it was a journal, and it was way funnier back then, and she talked about her life and stuff, but now she kind of doesn’t really do that, I guess because she’s too good for blogging or whatever, and if I’m being honest, I’m just not into blogs like I used to be, once I got the promotion and the baby was born, it’s just like–” and then the other person on the couch will say, “Are you done? Because now I have to rewind and watch this entire scene again so I can find out what happened.”

I remember I was writing various drafts of the outline for this episode through September of last year, in like, seriously a variety of cities and forms of transportation, including I think maybe even at one point on a boat. Then finished the first draft of the script the same afternoon I had company from all over the country arriving for the Baby Doll Brawl, which was that weekend (I just saw that picture of me taking a picture of my bruises and even I winced. No wonder people kept trying to talk me out of it back then. These days I don’t look nearly that beat-up, I promise. I don’t fall nearly as much as I used to.) Obama got elected during the bajillion rewrites. We shot it in… December, I think? I don’t remember; by then I was kind of melting down. It feels like I worked on this episode for about four months straight a million years ago, and now here it finally is. Like a weird little time capsule packed with memories.

Watch it, buy it, stream it… whatever makes you happy. And thanks. I never forget that I wouldn’t have this job if it weren’t for this site right here, back when blogs were journals, when I got lucky enough to find you.

Using Your Internet Powers for Good.

I already mentioned Samantha Who? is back on the air tomorrow night on ABC at 8:30/7:30c. But it turns out we’re up against the NCAA playoffs and the American Idol results show, so you know, we’re totally gonna win the time slot.

…Which is where you come in. Remember that strike we went on, where there was some question as to whether or not people watch television online? Well, apparently now the Powers That Be know that you do. (I don’t know if they know we know they know.) So since they already know we probably aren’t going to get good numbers that day, they will be monitoring our Internet downloads for the next day. That means we have two days to prove that people watch Samantha Who?; especially you tech-savvy, writer-supporting, Internet-streaming, iPod-slinging, beloved demo-sporting, lovely fans of pamie.com. The network is tracking full-episode streams from ABC.com, (Updated post-cancellation to say: How ’bout Hulu?) and will report them to Neilsen. [Update edit: Then. Now: residuals. In theory. Because of this strike.] That means every computer that watches a full episode helps our ratings, and you get to be a Neilsen family without having your privacy invaded. So, you know, maybe you can watch it on Friday, or load it up on every computer at your office when you all go to your hated Friday meeting.

[db]

Did you know it’s World Water Week? The Tap Project supports UNICEF water, sanitation and hygiene programs. Donations raised during last year’s Tap Project funded lifesaving programs in Cote D’Ivoire, Nicaragua, Iraq, Belize and similar water and sanitation projects around the globe. Donations raised this year will fund projects in Haiti, Togo, the Central African Republic, Sudan and a variety of programs throughout the world. For every dollar raised, a child will have 40 days of clean drinking water. Here’s how you can help.

[db]

Lastly, here’s the latest Derby Dolls promo, letting you know exactly why this weekend’s bout is going to rule. If you’re planning on coming, buy your tickets online now, because we should be sold out by the week’s end. (Good luck, RAGE! Witch-Slap forever!)

Look, it’s Choppy! Hi, Choppy. Thanks for kicking my ass last week, and for not giving me shit when I came to practice having forgotten my skates.

Samantha Who? Returns: March 26th, 8:30/7:30c

Oh, thank God, we are back on the air. But only for like, six weeks. So, tell your friends! Tell everybody. Please. Aren’t you sick of my constant twittering and my sad youtube posts yet? Save me from unemployment. Please put us all back to work with lovely, lovely ratings.

I’m embedding the promo, which I never do because I don’t ask you to watch commercials, but I was so excited to see so many little clips from the episode I wrote (“THE DOG,” airing April 2nd), including that “record-scratch” moment where the talented Jean Smart talks about Samantha’s biological clock. I wrote that joke! It somehow lasted from first draft! That never happens! Seriously!

[Future Pam editing this page says: “Aw. This is sad, how you can’t even see the old promo anymore.”]

Some of you are like, “Dude, weren’t you working on that joke like, a million years ago?”

Yes.

Ain’t Hollywood fun?

[Oh, and my friend David was published in Nature, which is way cooler and much more important than anything I’ll ever do in my entire life. He’s awesome.]

conversation with mom

[scripty]
Pamie
…And then I said, “Well, that sounds dangerous, so please don’t tell me about it until it’s over or I will worry about it from now until it’s over.”

Mom
That’s exactly what you should have said.

Pamie
Which is how I knew I’d officially turned into you. I no longer want to hear about dangerous things people are doing until they’re done doing them. I suddenly understand why the mom of the girl at the Olympics wouldn’t even watch her compete. Used to think it was selfish; now believe it’s completely sensible.

Mom
This is why I don’t want to know anything about roller derby.

Pamie
Which is why I didn’t tell you when I broke my tailbone.

Mom
You should still tell me when you break your tailbone.

Pamie
And lie about how I did it?

Mom
I need to know when you break something.

Pamie
So you can get mad? Or so you can stop worrying that I’ll break something and start worrying about how I’ve broken something?

Mom
Both.

Pamie
I am careful, Mom. I watch out for myself.

Mom
Uh-huh. I’m sure you do, but you live in a city full of crazy people.

Pamie
Myself included.

Mom
People are always dying out there. Murdered in the streets. Whenever I watch one of these television shows, the murders and death are always happening in Los Angeles. Dangerous city.

Pamie
Mom… that’s because they make those shows in Los Angeles. This is where they make television. If they made all the television shows in Chicago, you’d think Chicago was the most dangerous city in America.

Mom
No, there are other dangerous cities. CSI: Miami, CSI: New York…

Pamie
Mom, I work at CSI: New York.

Mom
Really?

Pamie: Yes. They shoot across the street from my office. We’re on the same lot. And I can’t believe I just called a city “CSI:” anything.

Mom
Would you say hi to Gary Sinise for me?

Pamie
No. He gives me the creeps.

Mom
Well, that’s crazy. He seems like a nice guy.

Pamie
Why doesn’t Gary Oldman make movies anymore?

Mom
Now, THAT’S a creepy guy.

Pamie
Yeah, but he was really good at it.

Mom
What were we saying?

Pamie
That I’m going to be careful when I’m walking through the streets of CSI: New York at night.

Mom
Good. I love you.

Pamie
I love you, too, Mommy.
[/scripty]

Two Things

For those of you who are Liz Feldman fans, want to be Liz Feldman fans, or enjoy all things The L Word, here’s Liz’s new Internet show: This Just Out, with Liz Feldman.

Liz is a 4-time Emmy winner for her work as a writer/producer on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Being the over-achiever that she is, Liz is now launching her own limited-run kitchen table comedy show, where she’ll be keeping you abreast of the latest and greatest and nearest and queerest. It’s a no-budget thrill-ride that’s low on tech and high on life.

For those of you who are looking for a new song to make your booty bounce, here’s the one I can’t stop playing these days:

And as for me, I’m a little stressed out. It’s my turn to write an episode.

pencils at 81.5%…

Good news.

Actual good news.

We got the back-nine just days before the strike started, so there was no time for celebration. Now days before the strike ends, this. I was all alone and folding laundry when I found out, which made me panic that somehow I wasn’t supposed to find out that there’s a second season. See, I’m no longer used to taking in good news and just enjoying it. I keep thinking there’s a catch. I’m really looking forward to that defense mechanism coming down.

That is, if I can convince Larry David to keep writing all my scripts.

What Do the Numbers Mean?!

Normally when I’m pondering that question, it’s because I just saw another fantastic episode of Lost. But tonight after Lost, I’ll be asking that question again, because it’s the premiere of Eli Stone!

See, if they get good numbers, then their show can get picked up for another season, which means good news for the super-friendly, ultra-pretty, lovely writers on their staff, but even better news for me — because that’s one step closer to daily Chaos. (Chaos is the state of bliss and crazy that occurs when all three members of the Chao family are in your presence.)

I’m rooting for the numbers.

I miss you, AB.

inbox, part eight.

It has been a very difficult week. Picketing in the rain was the least of the crappy things. So, when it gets like this I post mail from y’all, because it reminds me of how big and huge the world is, and how lucky I am.

I kind of disappeared there for a month back in December. It’s been rough sometimes, and this isn’t always the best place to come and write about it. Thanks for hanging in there. And thanks for checking on me, Internet Moms and Dads.

First, a couple of things about my John Henson/Jon Stewart story.

John Stamos used to be on my list of “Dislikes,” but he no longer is.

Secondly, I wanted to say I was grateful for the amount of email that came in about this story, but when I noticed it was so many of you writing to say you couldn’t stop laughing I realized that I really am the only one on the world dumb enough to have done what I did. I know you’re laughing with me and not at me, but Allison has sworn to never let me live this moment down and she wasn’t even there!

January Mail:

[db]

[readermail]
subject: hang in there.

so says my dad.

seriously, I am sparing you the bulk of it and all the pathos giving background, but he asked me to tell you, and your tiny friend (yeah, okay. I told him about how you made yourself a camisole from a japanese pattern and had to send it to AB, and it made him very happy, because when I was very young his best friend was a japanese scientist and my 6 feet tall mother used to be the same size around as the wife of the japanese scientist (also japanese, and only 5 feet tall) and they would sometimes share clothes) to hang in there. that you’re good. doing good and good people. you’re part of history, and he knows that that’s no comfort and no use, and also no small thing.

he said very specifically to tell you that he is not a believer. and that he believes in you and that you will be fine. whatever it feels like today, you can trust yourself to come out of it okay.

I’m sorry to be relaying to you the messages of a strange cranky old dad, but I love him and he doesn’t ask much. I don’t know why it is important to him to keep up with you and send you these messages, but it is.

best wishes.

Annie
[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
Pamie,

I was reading yesterday about the 1914-1915 strike by workers at the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill in Atlanta. It came to my attention that during the strike the United Textiles Workers Union set up a commissary to help feed the hungry and unemployed strikers out on the picket line.

I hope your union is doing the same, in an updated and Hollywood kind of way. Skim lattes, gluten-free muffins and pomegranate smoothies.

And I need to say right here that the only reason I have not being throwing my support your way on a regular basis is that I REALLY REALLY REALLY thought you would be in Monroe over the holidays. I didn’t want to ruin the surprise or make you lie.

Chris
[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
I just read your bit about John Henson. I can’t believe you’re still alive. I’d absolutely have killed myself.

Seriously, I just laughed real loud for at least 15 seconds at work, and I’m notoriously apathetic and quiet here. My laughing is an oddity.

Could you please picket harder? I’m sick of TV being dead.

Love you,
Jeff
[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
Your recent post about the John Henson/Jon Stewart gaffe made me laugh out loud and hard. My assistant actually came into my office because she wanted to know what was so funny. GREAT story; thanks for sharing!

Hope you are well and that you can pick up a pencil soon!

jeanne
[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
Hey Pam,

I am writing to you from the UK and am so so glad I found your site, you are so funny!! I broke my arm at work and am stuff watching awful daytime tv (my god, UK tv is awful!)

The weird thing is (omg you’re gonna think I’m some kook!) is that my cat is humping everything in sight and now my arm is broken and cast up to the elbow…well I’m basically a sitting target. Google made me stumble upon your site to postings way back in 2001 when you were talking about your cat doing it to you! Those postings just made my day, I have been dying laughing and it really cheered me up. I navigated to your home page and have been rapt for an hour now.

Just found out you are in the writers strike, I cant believe how long its going on for! You guys should be getting the deal you all so rightly deserve.

Anyway, I’m gonna go back to reading your postings, just wanted to let you know that you have cheered someone up halfway across the world!!

All the best,

Amanda
[/readermail]

[Some of you find me because you’re looking for help shaving your underarms. Some of you find me because your cat won’t stop humping you. All are welcome. All are welcome here.]

[db]

[readermail]
Hello pamie!

1) I just finished reading Why Girls Are Weird. You made me laugh. You made me cry. I haven’t enjoyed a book that much in a long time. Thank you.

2) Next up, I will be reading Why Moms Are Weird. I’m very excited.

3) I loved your entry today (Name Dropping…and Shattering). I can’t tell you why I think it’s so freakin’ fantastic, but I do. Perhaps it’s because I, too, love John Henson, and hadn’t thought of him in years.

So, there are my few things.

Heather B.

P.S. Dwight’s still holding his picket sign. We’re still with you all the way.
[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
Hi Pamie,

I just wanted to send you a quick note that I, like I’m sure dozens if not hundreds of other people :), love your writing. I only discovered the Television Without Pity website about a year ago and have been recently re-reading your Gilmore Girl entries. I had such a love/hate relationship with that show over the years so when I started reading your write ups I was thrilled to discovered that I wasn’t the only one who tired of Rory’s princess like life. :)

Anyway, enjoyed your TWoP write ups, enjoyed your books – especially “Why Girls Are Weird” and enjoy your website. Hope the strike ends soon with something you guys are happy with – partly because I miss my shows and partly because I know you guys deserve a bigger piece of the pie. My mom’s in a union, so I know how important something like this is.

Rock on!

Amy from San Diego
[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
Dear Pam,

I wanted to drop a line or two, as a longtime reader, and wish you well. I have been reading your blog since you were in Austin and have faithfully watched your life evolve to where you are now. I must say, I’m proud of you more now than I have ever been. I’m 38, and a bit older, so I hope that doesn’t offend you when I say I’m proud of you.

I know you’ve been through a lot here lately, but it’s these times when our lives are in the toilet that we change and grow the most. I have a feeling something wonderful is going to come from all of this, not just from the strike, but for you personally. You are an incredible person, and I have enjoyed everything you have written; I watch every show you’ve done and read everything, by the way. I’m your own personal suburban-housewife/mother-of-three/stalker. So I feel right in saying, hang in there dear lady, you’re going to get through this. Just say to yourself “I can do this, I’m already doing this”.

I will be here reading.

Take care and God bless.

Kerri

The Woodlands, Texas
[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
Hi there, Pamie,

I click on by your website every once and awhile since the writer’s strike. (I’m SAG and live in LA)

Anyhoo, from your post on 12/15 and a few earlier ones, it sounds like you’re getting tired. For obvious reasons.

I wanted to say what my Dad always says. “Don’t let the bastards get you down.” [Which if you knew my Dad you would realize is actually pretty funny, because “bastard” is about the worst word he’ll ever use. (he hates swearing)]

Keep up the faith. And thank you to you, and the WGA, for helping set a precedent, so that maybe SAG won’t have to strike this coming June.

Or if the sh^t hits the fan, we’ll be joining you. And then we can write and act out skits on the picket lines. We can probably even get wardrobe to join us, so we can all walk around in weird outfits. It’ll be like improv class all over again… :)

Happy New Year!

Linnea
P.S. “Samantha Who” is my favorite new TV show of the fall… And when Samantha cries at the end of your hypnotherapy episode when she tells her Mom that she wants her in her life, I cried.
[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
subject: Could i BE any more supportive?

Heh, ok, sorry, couldn’t resist.

I’m sure this is one of a million emails you must have received by now – I’ve read dozens on your wonderful site – but I wanted to throw my two cents in as a longtime fan.

I’m so impressed to see not only all of y’all out there every day, but the support coming in from all sides. Cheers to you all for keeping it together and stepping up to the plate.

I’ll be staying away from internet viewing, dvd box sets, and everything else until the WGA has their piece of the pie.

Besides, it will give me a chance to re-read all those fab Gilmore Girls recaps.

Solidarity!

All the best,
MARY.
[/readermail]

[db]

December mail:[Man, I feel bad that I just about dropped off the face of the Internet in December, but I needed a little break. I picketed and leafleted (look for an entry on that later), but I also went home for a week for Christmas. It wasn’t long enough.]

[readermail]
Hi Pamie,
Apologies if you’ve already mentioned this elsewhere on your blog, but I was wondering: I’m a writer (novelist) in the UK, and am wondering if there’s anything we Foreign Writers can do to show solidarity with you lot? Because I know that many, if not all of us are behind you 100%.

My parents are both actors and my dad in particular was very involved with an actors’ strike in Australia in the 1990s, so I know the extent to which the producers can screw the creatives over. I’m really impressed with the level of commitment that the WGA is showing, and I’m thinking of you guys – hang in there!

Jess x
[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
So you know how you help the liberries and stuff? And now you are helping the strikers? By being a striker? But I am up in the Bay Area and furthermore I am not a script writer and I do not know how to help the strikers? Can you give us Big Fancy Stuff to do to help the strikers? Cause it is bad enough that they try to screw writers over, and then that you guys have to walk around getting all sunburned and eating things you find in your pockets, but now people are jogging by and punching you in the (sign) head, and that is OFFSIDES!

Seriously, what can the rest of us do to help? Send freshly-baked cookies? Crochet mean letters to Rupert Murdoch? Train our cats to growl “PAYYYY WRRRRRIIITRRRRRRSSSSS” on command? I have one that I think is getting pretty close, because she moved in here with my girlfriend Annie and is pissed off at all the new (to her) cats I have. I am pretty sure if I explained the writers’ strike to her in a metaphor involving these asshole cats trying to steal her food and crap all over her litter box, we could get the rest of the way there. Just say the word and I will get on it!
– Dani
[/readermail]

[Man, I’m not even sure what to tell you guys right now. Just keep being supportive and hope the talks go well this time. I’m staying skeptical, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still have hope.]-

[db]

[readermail]
Pam,I still haven’t had a chance to call the WGA offices, but I did find this about supporting the non-writing staff folks that have been off work. I heard that things have come to a bit of a standstill as far as negotiations, but I hope things can get resolved as fairly as possible. I’m so glad I have a bunch of stuff saved on my TiVo to tide me over for a while!
Happy holidays!
Sara-
[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
Pam:
Hey there! I have been meaning to drop you a line for a while now, and I’ve finally come up for air here. I have been slaving away in Story Departments for the latter chunk of this year (“Girls Next Door” and currently “Trading Spaces”), which has kept me obscenely busy lately (that and booking a national commercial for Fed Ex, which is a SUPERBOWL SPOT, so you can imagine my excitement).

With all this activity, I have been unable to join you guys on the picket lines. But please know that I am behind you guys 100%. I think you guys are doing the right thing, even though it really sucks to have to go through it. I was at a party Saturday night where a guy (who isn’t even remotely in the industry) was going off on the WGA and saying that writers are greedy bastards. I then smacked him down (politely), actually citing one of your blog entries about the reality of being a working writer in this town. That promptly shut him up. While I might not be there on the line physically with you, I do have your back… both you individually and the WGA collectively.When both of our schedules free up soon, we should definitely get together for coffee or brunch or something similar.

Hang in there, girl.

Sincerely,Jon Collins
[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
Hi Pamie,I occasionally pop over to your journal/blog and am always impressed by the quality of writing.I’m Canadian and work for a unionized organization that in October, came off a 12 week strike. I support what you’re doing; you deserve to be recognized for all of the work you do. Just know that I, personally, stand in solidarity with you.I know strikes can be times of incredible stress. I’ve been through two of them. We were prepared for this most recent one, and it still hurt – not just financially, but in terms of how I feel about myself and how my employer treats me. Its not quite the same situation as what you’re in but the message is the same: stay strong for what you believe in. And I’m sorry you got smacked by some passer-by. That is completely inappropriate; she should be grateful you’re standing up for your rights.

In solidarity,
Nicole
[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
subject: they’re walking in albuquerque!
And I can’t find any information as to where!
I’ve read that yesterday’s picket in Santa Fe was the first picket outside of New York and L.A. I was excited. I was even more excited to see that the local WGA members would be picketing in ABQ today, but dang if I can’t find any information about the location or the time. I’d be there with brownies and cookies and coffee, and I’d hoist a sign, even though I’m only a freelance news writer and occasional editor.I’ve got my red shirt ready — if you have any information on later New Mexican strikes, I will be there.
[/readermail]

[I’ve tried to find where the nationwide pickets are, but I haven’t been able to. My only suggestion is to call the WGA Headquarters and ask for information about the Strike Captain in your state (there’s one in each state, we were told), who could tell you about upcoming picket information. And thanks!]

[db]

[readermail]
Dear Pamie,

Please get on Twitter so you can keep this long-time reader informed, up to the minute. I worry about you and wonder if you’re eating well. Also, do you need anything? Bandaids for blisters? Gatorade? Sunscreen?I’ve read you since the Austin days and feel like we grew up together. Even though you have no clue who I am. And even though I sound like a 60-year-old busybody. ;)

Take care. Really hoping this is all over soon. This isn’t just about TV writers but about how our society takes care of the recorders of the human experience. We cannot exist without our storytellers.

Best,
Katherine Gray
[/readermail]

[If I was on Twitter I’d be so annoying. “Currently ordering coffee. Currently making pot of coffee. Currently thinking about where to next get coffee.” I do love Evany’s Twitter feed, though.]-

[db]

[readermail]
Pamie,

I haven’t written to you about the strike yet. At first I wanted to but was trying to compose what to say. And then other people wrote to you, and their letters were so good (some brought me to tears) that I knew my letter had to be REALLY GOOD. Then it was too difficult. But… I want to say I totally support what you are doing and I try to preach to people every chance I get about the strike.That being said, I also want to say that I totally feel you on being angry at that runner. I had a situation on Monday evening that is still irritating me (and is, incidentally, related to the strike). I had met a friend of a friend that day, and we all went to dinner that evening. The friend of a friend was from out of town, and she was talking about her routine in her hotel. She mentioned how she will set up her laptop, go to nbc.com, and watch “Heroes” while she puts in a workout DVD on the TV. So she can workout and catch up on “Heroes” at the same time. I said, “You shouldn’t watch TV online!” And she looked at me like I was nuts, and I explained that that was part of what the writers’ strike was about, and no one should watch TV online until the strike is settled. She rolled her eyes at me and said, “Well they all get paid more than I do anyway,” and went on with her story. I guess I kind of made a squeaking sound at that, because she just sort of glared at me while she continued talking. And I admit, the conversation wasn’t about the strike and my comments didn’t fit into her story at all. But it also made me angry because she had just been talking about how huge her house is and how much money her dad left her when he died and stuff. And that just makes me mad, because I just bought my first home. It’s about 1100 sq. ft, and I paid less than $100,000 for it. I watch those house hunting shows sometimes, and I’ve seen houses in California that are smaller than mine going for $600,000 so… I don’t think you could compare salaries in Louisiana to salaries in California anyway. Even if what she said were true. It’s amazing to me how angry that incident has made me, and how it continues to anger me.

So now you know that a nobody in Baton Rouge, LA is fighting for you every chance she gets, even to the detriment of future friendships. I know my boyfriend is already sick of hearing about the writers’ strike, but he has to put up with me anyway. Hee.

Erin

PS – Good call to whoever it was on the staff of “Samatha Who?” for using Poe’s “Not a Virgin” in the episode, “The Virgin.” I did a double-take and then pissed myself out of shock and excitement.
[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
Hey Pamie,

I’ve read your blog since I was an angsty, goth-tastic high school student almost a decade ago. “Long time reader, first time writer” – is that a clam? I think so.

Anyway, I just wanted to write to say – What the fuck? What kind of insane whacko hits someone? That’s just nuts, and I’m really sorry it happened to you. I would have been scared, sore, and then pissed off. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to be funny about it, but that’s why you are pamie and I am not.You rock.I get upset every time I see ads for web content these days. My husband and I watch almost all of our TV on DVD (I’m a dog trainer, and work most evenings and weekends, so TV watching time is minimal and we are in until-recently-Tivoless Canada) but we have not bought any of the series we were planning on buying, and we won’t until you guys get a fair deal.Good luck. Even though I am sad not to have new TV to watch, I’m happy that you guys are sticking to your guns. It’s probably frustrating, scary, and more than a little bitter-making to see this go on so long. But there are people supporting you! People who, if they were in LA, would bring you a coffee and an advil if you needed. And who would not smack your sign.

Even if the strike goes on for months and months (which it hopefully won’t!) we are supporting you.

Tiffany
[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
Hi, Pamie,

I’ve been reading your blog for a few years, now, and I just wanted to send my encouragement for the WGA strike. I think what you are all doing is incredibly brave and important, and I’ve been noticing some of the backlash lately from the networks, with promos claiming that all of our favorite shows are disappearing. I hope you all stand strong against them, and against all the television watchers who buy into their propaganda. I’ve written letters to all the addresses you posted on your site a few weeks ago, and wish that there was more I could do, but until I think of anything else, I just wanted to send you, stee, and all the other writers my support. Keep up the excellent work, and thanks for keeping your readers informed on everything!

Anna
[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
Hi Pamie,

I just read your post about the jogger who punched your sign and how you’ve been thinking/fuming/wishing you had acted differently. I wanted to send you some moral support because I know that feeling very well! Sometimes holding back on my initial gut reaction and trying to “process” what just happened takes too long and the moment is gone to stand up for yourself, and that sucks! However on the upside, if she just started taking this route and jogs by again, or someone else does something shitty like that, you are better prepared for next time. At least that’s how I try to think so that I can move past the fuming. :)Thanks for keeping everyone in the know about what’s been going on with the strike. It is definitely not covered well in the media (understatement) and though I haven’t done enough reading to know the half of it, I’ve been schooling my DVR-obsessed fiance and his friends on what’s up when they will listen. I wish you all the best with this and your future endeavors. Hope you can get back to Samantha Who when the time comes; I’ve really enjoyed it.

Oh and don’t worry about emailing back…I don’t know how you get it all done!

Sarah
[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
Hearing about the dissolution of negotiations (again!) as the AMPTP walks away (again!) I can’t help but suspect that maybe this was a ploy to sway public opinion. “Look, we’re bargaining again! What more do these greedy writers want!”

Fair deal girlie. Keep your chin up.

(Also, I got Karaoke Revolution because of your recommendations, and then I bought SingStar – you probably know about it, but it has the original artists and videos – Hellooooo 80’s graphics – and more importantly, a playback feature. Yup.)

J.
[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
Dear Pamie,

I want to write you my support during the strike. I can only imagine how difficult it is to stand by your convictions like that. I’m a student at the Vancouver Film School right now. I’m in the writing program. It’s been a difficult process for me, but I know now more than ever that I want to write for TV. So this strike is my future. I know you know this but I wanted to remind you, the strike isn’t just for writer’s that are working now, but for future writers. And as a future writer, I really appreciate what you’re out there doing for us. So keep up the good work, and I wish there was more that I could give to you, but thanks just the same. My best wishes to you and all the strikers. There is progress, but it isn’t over yet.

Sincerely,

J.T. Howard
Future WGA member
[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
Pamie,

I am sure you are exhausted but I wanted let you know that all of your readers (especially me) are unwavering in our support for you and the rest of the WGA.I wish I could send you all sunscreen, water, super comfortable footwear and a mute button (for the construction sounds).

Keeping it brief so you can rest.

J
[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
Pamie:

I just re-read your story about meeting S.E. Hinton over at Scalzi’s Whatever and forgot how much I laughed when I read it the first time at pamie.com. I, too, was a total geek about “The Outsiders,” as was everyone in my fourth-grade class in Atlanta, Georgia. We were such geeks that we created an entire Outsider-verse, with a cast of female characters, and everyone was assigned to play a particular character at recess when we recreated rumbles. No one was a Soc, however. We didn’t know what madras was and were afraid of having to wear it. Members Only jackets served well for the Greasers. What can I say? It was the 80’s.

I also wanted to let you know that my thoughts are with you as you walk the picket line in the construction zone. I had a complete crisis of faith the day before Thanksgiving at the video store when I was wondering whether or not it was okay to rent the entire first season of Veronica Mars to take to northern Michigan with me for the holiday. I paced around the television section of the local movie store, wondering if that rental would constitute a strike violation. Eventually, I passed and went to the library instead. I hope that the writers are compensated fairly for their work and that they get back to that work soon! Until then, good luck!

Courtney
[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
Pamie,

There have been no perks to this strike, but discovering your site as a result does actually work to support the ying/yangish philosophy of good and bad things balancing each other out. I have several TV scribe friends, and I could never do what they do — what you do. I’m a non-union feature writer, a slow thinker, and I’m grateful to have had some success, though I really would love more. Case in point: I sold my car last week to pay the bills, swearing off even my non-union writing jobs. I’ve been meaning to walk more anyway, so selling my wheels really fed straight into the pipeline of my borrowed philosophy. I find myself doing things I wouldn’t normally do, of which this email qualifies. It’s really just to say thanks. For being light-hearted. When this strike is over and I can buy another TV, I swear I’ll watch your show.

Take care, ok.

Jay Frasco
[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
Just a quick note to tell you how much I support you and all other writers in this strike.

A possible suggestion for your readers as we move into the gift-giving season. I’ve sent this note out to people I expect to exchange gifts with:

Special request on [my] behalf regarding her Christmas 2007 presents:
I am completely on the side of the WGA writers regarding their strike position. In keeping with this, I am asking that no one purchase any DVDs for me, until WGA writers receive 4% of residuals, and I will not be giving DVDs as gifts this year for the same reason.

I’ve pulled all my DVDs off my gift list at places like Amazon, and put them in a special wish list entitled: “DVDs: not until writers get 4%”

Anyway, I know it’s getting boring and tedious, but there are people who are thinking of you all, and trying to spread some of the real facts. (I can’t believe how many people, for example, think that TV writers are on salary.)

Hope you’re feeling better after the (ugh) accident.

Desirée
[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
Pamie:
I am surprised we haven’t heard from the cats on this striking matter… what their take is, since they TOO are the children who are suffering (in a sense) :-)
~Lisa
[/readermail]

[Taylor has been very supportive, as he’s used to strikes with his French background and all. Cal, however, just wants to watch 30 Rock again because he loves Alec Baldwin, and seems to think it’s all my fault that the show isn’t on right now and gets so mad he sometimes bites me on the shoulder.]

November mail:

[readermail]
Hi Pamie!
I can’t say that I read your blog religiously, but I can say that I used to. And then I got to college, and I got too caught up in being busy with schoolwork and, you know, watching TV. But I do still read on and off, when I want to be reminded of home–I’m from Austin–or when I feel need to procrastinate, which, I guess, is still pretty often.This semester, I’m taking a class about labor relations in the US in the 20th century. At the beginning of the semester, I think so many of us in the class thought that we had moved past strikes, and big management-labor disputes. And then all of a sudden, there’s a writer’s strike, and then right after that, the Broadway strike, which was a pretty big deal here in New York. Now, it’s impossible to think that we’ve passed big labor problems. The writers strike, especially, has been a big deal here, because we college kids kind of love TV.

Anyways, I just wanted to say that I (and most of my friends and classmates) support y’all 100%. We aren’t watching shows on the network websites, or downloading them, or anything. And, uh, I’ve seen more than a few Facebook groups dedicated to supporting the writers. And I don’t know if you know this, but when college students care about something, joining a Facebook group is kind of the best way we know to show our passion.

Thanks for keeping us entertained!

Anna
[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
Dear pamie –
Like so many out in the great big world, I’ve been reading your site practically since you started it – we’re about the same age, see, and I have been able to feel less like a big ol’ dooftacular goober by reading that someone else is going through so many of the same things… though, truth be told, I never got that worked up about jeans.

Anywhoodle. A few weeks ago, I had to be in LA for work – I live in the southeast most of the time, and was out here going “Damn, I wish there was something I could do to show my support for pamie and Stee” when I realised I was going to be in LA.

And you know what? I *still* couldn’t strike with you guys ‘cos I was stuck in meetings almost the whole time! GRR. Argh! (Sorry, but I am a Whedonesque kinda gal) BUT! I was staying in Universal City, and any time I had to leave the hotel compound thingo, I made my drivers honk at the strikers on my way to and from various meetings. So there’s that. Which isn’t much. But hey, I do what I can.

But none of that is actually why I was writing. I have found an insidious and pretty revolting site…. well. “Revolting” to anyone who thinks that writers should, y’know, *get paid* for their writing. So add this to iTunes and networks and the list of folks to write to:

HULU.com
CEO: jason.kilar@hulu.com
Feedback or Suggestions– feedback@hulu.com
Product Support — help@hulu.com
Press Inquiries — media@hulu.com
Advertisers — advertisers@hulu.com
Content Owners — content@hulu.com
Privacy Concerns — privacy@hulu.com
Copyright Infringement Claims — dmca@hulu.com
Legal Questions — legal@hulu.com
On their blog, they are even streaming a full episode of The Office because “we love this show!” Which, to my mind, is a pretty fuddup way of showing it. Let your readers know that this is another way that you and stee and Dan and… well, everyone who writes for television is being bent over, and that we won’t stand for it.’cos… If y’all aren’t writing it, what the hell am I watching anyhow? I like scripts, I like actors,I like storylines and plot arcs and all of that stuff. I have no interest in watching the guy from down the street try to make a dress out of newspaper or choose a suitcase at random. And I miss Jon Stewart (but that’s just ‘cos I am a selfish, horrible person).

But more than all of that? I want you and Jane Espenson and Joss Whedon and whoever else to actually be able to make a living entertaining me. It’s only what’s right.I know this is not as uplifting or heartwarming or fuzzybunnny as the rest of the letters you get, but I can’t write, so I’m not that concerned really. I mostly just wanted to let you know that Hulu pretty much blows a great goat and your fandom would probably like to know about that too.
Pave.Gurl[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
subject: clam sign text
1. Li’l help!
2. One word: on strike
Thanks,
David
[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
Hey, Pamie,

I must say that I have been thoroughly enjoying SW?, and I wish you and all the other writers the best possible outcome from the strike. This note is just a brief link to the extensive analysis in the academic linguistic community of forms like “X is the new Y”. Linguists are calling such forms “Snowclones”, and you read the latest collection here. Searching Languagelog for “snowclones” will yield many, many more.

Your bitter enemy from the Wonderfalls era at TWoP,
Scott(Mertseger there and elsewhere)[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
Okay, so how do we organize a movement where we all cancel our cable service until this thing is settled? My cable bill just went UP and I’m disgusted. Maybe if Comcast started losing customers there’d be some results.
Just sayin’,
Laura[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
Hi Pam

I didn’t know what a clam was before your post and now I do – as always, entertaining and informative. I thought of what I think is one for you but I’m not sure – Strikey McStrikerson. Maybe someone already had that idea and maybe it’s not even a clam but I thought I’d send it anyway. In my head, that last sentence sounded like Eyeore was saying it. Time to stop with the kids’ TV programs….I completely support the strike. I work in benefits in Canada and we have medicare to cover what your Blue Sheild covers. I cannot even conceive of not having the basics covered. I really sincerely hope that you writers get what you’re negotiating for. I find it baffling that people whose profits come more or less solely from what the writers create would quibble over what appears to be a not terribly significant part of their profits. It’s such a case of biting the hand that feeds you on the studios’ part. If you have no writers, you have no product and ergo, no profits. Maybe I’m missing something and maybe the profits/ benefits/ etc in question are substantial but still, no writers, no money seems a pretty simple equation to me.Anyway, good luck! I’ll be cheering for you all from the Great White North.

Sam[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
Hey Pam

I am coming to the party late to say I am thinking of you and sending you good vibes all the way from the other side of the country. Are you getting them? I hope so.I have read your blog for a long time, I think the first entry I loved was the one about Cal – hi five! I still hi-five my cat all the time because of that.

We’ve emailed before and you’ve always been the sweetest. Now everyone knows you are also the strongest.

Hi-five!

Love,Emily in Boston

PS. I am so so glad you managed to escape the car crash unscathed (mostly). Don’t do that to us again. The Internet worries, you know.[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
Subject: Another strike clam?

“We’re getting our strike on.”

I haven’t been able to STOP noticing clams ever since reading your entry on it. (This may seriously impact my ability to enjoy Friends re-runs.) On last night’s Dancing with the Stars finale someone said they were “getting their dance on” which just sounded stupid to me.I fully support the WGA effort and will do what I can. I’ve never done the download / streaming / iTunes thing so I won’t have much impact on that market, but I will be requesting that I NOT be given DVD sets for Christmas this year – they’re usually a staple on my list. I think I got five boxed TV series last year and a couple more for my birthday. I had no idea how little you folks made from those! It’s appalling.

And I find it amazing how inaccurate some of the reporting on the strike is … in one MSNBC story they said the WGA wanted “more” money for [new media] – which I guess technically you do, since any would be more than you’re currently getting, but in my opinion it was misleading. As if you do already receive some payment for [new media], but you want even more. I don’t know – it just bothered me.

Anyway, good luck – I hope you guys get what you deserve. BTW, I loved your Young Americans recaps and am now loving Samantha, Who?

Mary Anne
Kennewick, WA
[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
Hi Pamie:

I wanted to write you a quick email because your name has come up at quite a few random times recently, and there’s a part of me that still clings to the idealistic twelve year old I once was who believed everything happens for a reason. Anyway, I found your book “Why Mom are Weird” in Barnes & Noble the other day while hunting for the perfect gift for my own very… quirky? shall we say, mother. I flipped through the first few pages while in the store and actually laughed out-loud, so I promptly bought two copies (one for me and one for her). Then I went on amazon.com and bought a copy of “Why Girls Are Weird,” as well, and I have started reading that this morning, but I felt the need to take a break and jot this email because it reminds me a lot of my own novel, “Pseudonym,” only mine did not take such a comical approach. My own novel is about a teenage girl who is bored with her own life and goes online pretending to be a twenty-something year-old writer from Los Angeles, who is really just an older, more centered version of herself. So far (and I’m only about one hundred pages in) I see a lot of similarities between your Anna and my Megyn, but considering I wrote mine months ago and have been shopping around for a publisher ever since, I must stress that said similarities were completely unintentional, as I hadn’t read yours yet. Please don’t sue (assuming it ever gets published); you’d only get a well-used Mariah Carey CD collection if you did :)

Oh, and also, I feel I must tell you that I absolutely LOVE “Samantha Who?” and applied for a job as ScriptSupervisor on the show after the pilot was shot, but sadly I never got a call to come in. Since the strike, I have been out of work as a Scripty, but I have been focusing on my first love of writing and have even walked the picket lines a couple of mornings over at NBC. I am hoping for a speedy end to this ordeal, but not at the expensive of the WGA caving in on what they really want (and deserve!). Anyway, I miss your writing at TWoP.com, but I’m glad I have found your own blog to get me through this rough time when my television sits quiet in the corner of my living room for longer and longer periods during the day.

Danielle T.
[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
Hey there Pamie.com:

I sent you an email a while back about Reform Through Reading, and then your personal shit hit the fan.

I am behind all y’all in the union-weak South, where I wish people had y’all’s gumption sometimes. Nashville’s songwriters have had similar problems with their online sales going everywhere but in their pocket, and I hope y’all’s good work can make Hollywood do right.From one Southern girl to another, with hopes for a quick and best-case resolution:

Elizabeth
[/readermail]

[db]

[readermail]
Pamie:

Long-time lurker/reader, first-time emailer. (Does that count as a clam, or just a stupid intro?)

Anyway, I’ve been a longtime fan of yours, from TWOP recaps to your blog to SamWho.

I seriously support all of the WGA and the strike, and wish you the best during this difficult time.

thanks

-emily
[/readermail]

[db]

Thanks everybody for writing, and for keeping me fighting the fight. It’s gonna rain all week and I still don’t have an umbrella. You know what’s hard? Trying to write a novel during “pencils down.” You’d think it’d be a refreshing change of pace and a good excuse to type words in a sentence. Nope. It feels like I’m trying to tell a story in a foreign language, or describe a dream I’ve mostly forgotten.

inbox. part one.

I just realized I’ve had my underwear on backwards all day. I know I’ve lost some weight in the strike, but shouldn’t I have noticed that?

Also, I’m starting to worry that my skin is going to become a permanent shade of pink from all the red clothing I’m wearing these days.

United Hollywood is asking you to send pencils to show your solidarity.

The “Voice of the Crew” website for Below the Line workers is calling for a rally on December 2nd. Follow the link for more information.

If you’re looking to participate with us this coming Tuesday, we’re having a Labor Solidarity march down Hollywood Boulevard.

[readermail]

OK, so – first off – I don’t know who it was but whomever came up with ” … and I’m a pirate” in last night’s episode should get a raise. or, at least, a dinner or something.

sorry i havent written sooner but I’ve been stymed in my past attempts to watch Samantha. the first couple times i tried, i just ended up watching scary spice or dr. quinn dance. i’ve seen two episodes so far and just wanted you to know how much i’m enjoying it.

so what exactly does a ‘story editor’ do? how will the show be affected by the strike? how many episodes did y’all have in the can (look at me being all inside with the lingo and whatnot)? does it help that y’all were picked up for a full season before the strike? did writers work on episodes with the knowledge that there would prolly be a strike (i.e., w/shorter story archs or whatever)?

also, does the WGA cover all writers or just american writers? if it goes on a long time, can … like … tom stoppard be a scab writer for ugly betty or something? are show runners also writers?

do you just walk the strike lines all day? doesn’t that get dull? or are there like other strike-activites or something?

ok – sorry about all the questions. just curious.

good luck on everything and have fun storming the castle,
dave
[/readermail]

All good questions, Dave, which is why I’m posting your letter and answering it here. Here we go. Continue reading

day ten.

Some mornings, when I’m holding my sign and walking in a circle, I realize this is the second time I’ve lost my job because of the Internet. And if you count the giant day of the dot com bust where my 401K was smashed to pennies, I find that while I only have so much control over my career and my destiny, the Internet seems to be what really drives almost all the major decisions in my life. It’s very strange.

Oh, that’s not a flattering picture of my face. But I wanted to talk about Andy.

This is Andy Gordon. He’s very funny. He’s one of the sweetest, funniest guys I’ve ever been lucky enough to work with. He’s a prankster and he’s kind. Everybody loves Andy. But because he has such respect for writers, he’s also not interested in coddling. Therefore, Andy Gordon is the person who taught me what a “clam” is. He taught me by pointing out that I’d written one in my first script that was to be produced for television. He pointed it out by shouting it to everyone in the room.

You see, a clam is not a good thing. Continue reading