2/27/09: The 40-Day Challenge

Dear Dick Wolf:

Well, I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is, I’m practicing the art of discipline. The bad news is…I’ve given up Law & Order for Lent. 


Now, before you freak out, let me explain. I’m not just singling out your show, I’m actually giving up TV as a whole. Not that I don’t love television, I really do. In fact, that’s the problem. I love it A LOT. And honestly, there’s so much more I could be doing with my evenings than sitting on the couch, drinking wine and slipping into my trusty L&O coma. I adore the coma, truly, but I have books that need to be read and writings that need to be finished. A stage play, a screenplay, a novel, a short story. I’ve started all of these and finished none. Heck, I have trouble just keeping up with this blog! And it’s because I come home at night and turn on the television. It has to stop.

Now, I know that complete deprivation is a bad idea. It’s like dieting. If you ban yourself from eating everything you love without a cheat day, you’re going to cave. Because when you can’t have something at all, that’s when you want it the most. So, my plan is this: I’m giving up television on school nights. But I will allow myself a 42-hour window – Friday evening at 6 p.m. to Sunday at noon – to watch whatever I want. I’ll be able to catch up on the shows I’ve missed throughout the week and clear out my DVR. This way I won’t feel tempted to cheat on the aforementioned school nights, because I’ll know that in a few days, I’ll be able to get my TV fix, guilt-free. This will keep me motivated to be productive. Also, I won’t have 6 weeks worth of shows to sit through when this is over.

So, Wednesday was my first TV-free day. What did I do? Well, the SAG Foundation program hosted a two-hour Q&A with screen legend and Hollywood icon, George Hamilton. Or, as a friend has deemed him, the tan vampire.


He was FANTASTIC! Highly, highly entertaining. The man has a sharp sense of humor. He’s smart, flirty, fun, and adorably self-deprecating. And talk about a story-teller! Here are a few of the things he shared with us:

* Doing theatre on the sly for the mob in Chicago – they took good care of him. He did it every year, when everyone in Hollywood thought he was spending time in the South of France.

* His first time on set with Mae West. She told him, “I always sleep with my leading men,” and then invited him to her dressing room. But, to his relief, it was just to give him an autograph. He loved working with her.

* Meeting Robert Mitchum on set. George told him how honored he was to be working with him and that he promised to know all of his lines and show up on time. Mitchum, who’d had a few, told him, “People say I don’t know my lines. I know my lines, I’m just too drunk to say ’em!”

* Being held hostage with Ava Gardner by a guy who wanted $3,000 dollars from him, because he’d sang songs to George and thought his talent was worth that much. George was able to negotiate the release of Ms. Gardner, and then proceeded to talk his way out of the predicament by asking himself, “What would Errol Flynn do?” In the end, the guy got $60 bucks, and George was a free man.

There were so many more, but my tiny summaries would hardly do them justice. He was just plain terrific. He also has a new book out that he was selling/pimping at the event, so I bought one for my grandma. 


He signed it for her – “To Cecile, Love George.” Grandma is going to swoon like a teenager at homecoming, I just know it.

So, yeah. That was my first day of Lent. Last night I had class, and tonight, well, I’m blogging. And enjoying my cheat window. I’ve already watched a rerun of Law & Order, and this week’s Nip/Tuck. Glorious!

Oh, and I’ll be getting those new short-hair headshots to you soon (well, as soon as I get them taken), so be on the lookout.

Thank you. Have a great weekend.


Published in: on February 28, 2009 at 12:25 am  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Dear Gina,
    Your idea of watching TV on the weekends is (I’m sorry I must say it!) a bit indulgent. Lent already has a day off built into it. It’s Sunday. I think it probably stems from the fact that people shouldn’t really abstain from EATING for 40 days, so one day off a week is allowed to “break the fast”.
    I think one day of TV should be sufficient for you. If you wish to see SNL, you can wait until midnight to turn it on.
    I hope you can mend your dirty sinful ways soon.
    And might I suggest a good flaggelation to keep you on your path?
    Yours truly,
    Sister JohnsFace Mary

  2. Dear Sister JohnsFace Mary –

    I did 10 years of Catholic school, hence 10 years of Lent YOUR WAY. Now that I’ve gone Buddhist, you should feel grateful for what you get. Consider it a bonus.

    Go pray or something.

  3. Just passing by.Btw, your website have great content!

  4. Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

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