Los Angeles, CA
After a week of dark dismal skies, the usual Southern California sun returned as the denizens of SoCal rejoiced at the Sun King. God? Obama? CAA? None of those are worshiped more than the solar star at the center of our universe.
As much as part of me welcomed the warmth of that shiny object in the sky, another part of me was sad to see it re-appear. I miss the pitter-pater and hypnotic sound pounding the pavement putting me in a better mood to write. OK, there's no scientific proof. Who knows, but I think it gives me an extra boost in confidence.
When I first moved to Seattle, it wasn't until the rainy season began before I hunkered down and began to write. The reason my buddy Singer and I started writing a screenplay together in the first place was partly to keep our sanity during the winter months.
But the rain is gone and I ripped through the first section of Lost Vegas -- which was one son-of-a-bitch. Four work assignments landed on my desk last week including a deadline of only ten days (instead of three weeks) for a magazine piece. Well, shit. Not the best timing considering I was deep into the Lost Vegas edits and re-write and had finally found a groove. But I guess that's par for the course... throughout the entire process of writing the book I was peppered by freelance work which interrupted the flow.
I originally wanted to play poker down at Commerce Casino on Friday, but I took two days off (Thursday and Friday) to brainstorm about the assignments. I banged out three by noon Friday and completed roughly 90% of the last article. I can now focus on Lost Vegas for the next two weeks.
The German Butcher is pleased with the recent round of edits. We're finally flushing out all of the shit and I finally have something remotely resembling a book, yeah it is beginning to get whipped into mousse. It looks like chocolate, but still tastes like shit.
Nicky and I watched Conan every night last week. I ignored him before all this mess, so I was one of the people who attributed to his 50% boost in ratings. I don't feel too bad about Conan's gajillion dollar severance pay and still think Leno is a putz, but in the end, this was not a battle of Leno vs. Conan as the media machine led you to believe. Nope. This is just another skirmish in the good-old fashioned war of the have vs. the have nots.
Commerce vs. Art.
Suits vs. Talent.
Egotistical suits made poor decisions blinded by greed and failed to allow creative people to make art through comedy. They ruined one of the rare and lifelong institutions in entertainment. They tarnished the careers of two hard-working individuals (who scarified many of their our morals to grease the massive gears of the Hollywood machine). In the end, the jagoffs at NBC are paying out more money and look like total jackasses. I think Kevin Smith's character "Jay" said that the best... "Fuck fuckin' Hollywood, man."
The plight gathers at Jack in the Box. I should take black and white photos of the characters I come across at that fast food den of local insanity for a photo essay. During the halftime of the Jets game, I ran over to grab a Big Ass iced tea. I have a scam where I chug about half on the spot and then top off my drink. I like sipping tea throughout the day when I write, or in that case, to keep me sane while I sweat the football games.
Sunday afternoon. Jack in the Box. Family of six chowed down and crowded into one booth with a two year old pantsless kid Just a hoody and diapers. No sneakers. Looked like they were kicked off. Saw one solo sneaker on the floor. The kid ran around in purplish socks with little fish or dolphins designs on them.
An old guy in a Nike hat caused a ruckus in line and argued with the kid behind the counter, who was 15 or 16 at rhe most and wore a hairnet. I hope kid had got stoned behind the dumpster on his break because the old guy was demanding that "those illegals in the back" grill the onions "just like they do at In-N-Out Burger." The kid and the old man bickered back and forth until the manager stepped in and took over.
I stood behind a woman in pink pajama pants tucked into a pair of Uggs. She had porn-star looks (fake melons, orange-spray tan, collapsed nostril) and wore a black puffy jacket. She just rolled out of bed and I wonder how many bumps she took before she finally drove over to Jack in the Box for her breakfast biscuit? I watched her walk back outside and slip into her silver Mercedes.
* * * * *
On Sunday morning, the growling in my stomach woke me up. After a quick writing session, I walked into the kitchen about to make my own breakfast when I realized that it was Sunday and I always eat breakfast at the coffeeshop on Sunday so didn't want to jinx the Jets.... not that I'm superstitious at all.
I marveled at the lovely morning. Not a hint of smog or pollution in the air. Brisk. Crisp. Breathable. I could easily see the Hollywood Hills and Nakatomi Plaza from my walk. On the worst of smog days, both landmarks are barely visible underneath a thick veil of carbon emissions and other gunk that got trapped hovering over the city of Angels.
I sat down at the counter, because there is never any space in the booths or tables on the weekends. Sunday is the busiest day at the coffeeshop; hung over hipsters, the pre & post church crowd, all of the fathers who take their kids to eat out so mommy can catch a few extra winks, and everyone else in the neighborhood. I sat at the end of the counter by three empty seats. Two Beverly Hills cops quickly took the other two seats. When I saw a woman walk to the bathroom wearing a Brett Favre NY Jets jersey, one of the cops and I made a crack (and at the same time), "Wrong jersey today."
I spent the next few minutes chatting with the cops about the Jets chances. One of them was a USC fan and of course was pulling for the golden boy Mark Sanchez. I don't think the cops knew I was stoned to the bejesus. Then again, Beverly Hills cops could care less. The highest paid officers in the country spend most of their time responding to hysterical calls from racist rich people who drop a dime every time they see a person of color walking down the street.
Sun brightly shining. Talking about football with cops. Stoned to the tits. Eating grits. It must be a Sunday in LA.