Wednesday, May 14, 2008

These Are the Better Days

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

This is sort of the calm before the storm. A semblance of peace before the war. In less than two weeks, I'll be relocating to Las Vegas for most of the summer. For now, I'm spending as much time in Los Angeles and relaxing and gearing up for a seven-week assignment. I'm sort of itching to get to Vegas. I can't wait to do some real writing but as soon as I get there... I'll be itching to get the hell out.

Since my arrival in California on Saturday, I have been engaging in activities that I probably won't do in Las Vegas... such as going to the beach, watching random TV shows, quality time with the girlfriend, having leisurely lunch with friends, and seeing live music. You would think that I could accomplish all of those things in Las Vegas, but I know better.

Once I get to Vegas, I get tunnel vision and only focus on the task at hand... which is the next deadline. That's all that really matters.

The last couple of days entailed plenty of pre-writing assignments for a couple of clients. I'm working on several future assignments and writing columns which I can have in the can and ready to email on the day those pieces are due. This is a task that I have been doing in May since 2005. Gotta get those stories in the can so I can focus on other deadlines once I get to Vegas.

I also cranked out 80% of the next issue of Truckin' including edits. Yep, the June issue will feature six stories including a flashback from the original issue since Truckin' turns six in June. I'm going to try to finish up the issue today and begin work on the July issue.

I'm trying to get all the heavy writing done this week so I can relax next week and read and do nothing except not think about poker.

* * * * *

On Sunday night, I was starving. It was late and not too many places were open as we drove back from the Greek Theatre. We passed the infamous diner that was used to shoot scenes from Swingers. It was crowded and crawling with hipsters so we opted for Mel's Diner near Hollywood where the food is average and the prices are on the high end for a diner. I ordered a three-cheese omelet which I ate on an English Muffin. They had old school jukeboxes at the tables. I played a Beatles tune and went waaaay back and put on a Martha and the Vandellas song.

Monday was a blah day. Nicky slept in and we headed to lunch at Nick's Coffeeshop around noon. I went with something completely different... chocolate chip pancakes with hashbrowns and Italian sausage. It ended up being a nice change of pace.

I wrote for most of Monday morning (my review of the Phil Lesh show for Coventry) and wrote in the afternoon (column for Poker Player Newspaper) before we caught a movie at the Grove. We settled on Iron Man. I used to read the comic when I was a kid and Nicky was interested since she's a big fan of Robert Downey, Jr. I thought it was above average with some entertaining moments and several moments of pure cheese. It killed several brain cells and I know why it did so well at the box office. Plenty of action. I had no clue that Jon Favreau directed the flick until the end credits rolled.

Nicky cooked me jerk chicken for Monday night. Delicious. We watched most of the original Bad News Bears before we watched a slow-moving flick called The Dead Girl. The Bad News Bears was much better. Obviously.

I found out that Tatum O'Neal made $350K for her role as Amanda. She also had 9% of the gross. Sick deal for the kid who just won an Oscar.

Here's a "Where are they now" video...


On Tuesday morning, I was up super early... by 5am. I wrote for a couple of hours then took a break to play some online poker. I turned a small profit (almost $100) by 7;30am and was smoking tough on Nicky's couch and sitting in my boxers while ripping bong hits to John Coltrane/Thelonius Monk.

We met up with our friends Ryan and Kim for lunch at bld. They brought their one-year old and he was chill and mellow. Why can't all babies be like that? Ryan gave us a hilarious introduction to his kid. He pointed at us and said, "Son, these are potheads."

Catching up during lunch was fun. We didn't know what to do afterwards. Since it was super sunny out, I suggested we go to the beach. Nicky drove up to Malibu around 3pm and there was zero traffic. We might have even set a record time getting up to Zuma. The beach was empty when we drove in... which got Nicky suspicious. We soon found out why... it was super windy. We hung out for a bit but it was too cold for Nicky and not much fun. We smoked a bunch then drove back into the city.

I convinced Nicky to let me cook dinner. I was craving a burger and I whipped up mini-burgers which I served on English muffins... two were topped with swiss cheese, sauteed onions and portabello mushrooms, while the other two were cooked with a BBQ chiplote rub and topped with cheddar cheese. That was OK, but I preferred the swiss & shroom burger.

Well, now it's Wednesday. I've been up since 6am and wrote for a bit. Gonna check the weather and see if it's a good beach day. If not, then I'll stay in and write.

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