Sunday, January 18, 2009

Breakfast of Champions, Porterhouse for Two, and Tour Chili

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

One of my upstairs neighbors has cigarettes and Red Bull for breakfast. Every morning. He wanders down to the alley where he smokes and sips cocaine in a can. Dare I say, the breakfast of champions?

It has been a few years since I read Vonnegut's epic novel Breakfast of Champions. Friends of mine in Seattle had a jazz band that was named after one of their favorite literary characters... Kilgore Trout. In some weird unrelated tid bit, Jerry Garcia once owned the film rights to another Vonnegut novel... Sirens of Titan. It was his favorite novel and Vonnegut willingly sold him the rights. For many years, Jerry tried to figure out how to turn that into a workable flick. Jerry tinkered on a screenplay with Tom Davis, former SNL writer who was frequently teamed up with Al Franken. Alas, Jerry died before he could make any headway with the film project. Vonnegut promptly bought back the rights after Garcia's death.

On Friday, I woke up super early and wrote and wrote and wrote. I was way ahead schedule so by the time Nicky awoke, I suggested that we see a flick. I have been wanting to see Slumdog Millionaire for a month or so. Both Showcase and the Rooster's Uncle Joe both recommended that to us during our impromptu-Christmas party last month in LA. However, the next day we caught The Day the Earth Stood Still instead. Since that mistake, Slumdog Millionaire has been on my mind ever since.

Of course, I tried to put all this Oscar hype out of the way when we finally went to see Slumdog Millionaire. Everyone gushed and fawned and jizzed all over the film. It's impossible to ignore all of the awards hoopla, even in these trying economic times, when you're behind enemy lines and living in Los Angeles. Hollyweird types are very needy people and they have the utmost desire to be relevant. Hence the lengthy and over hyped award season.

The Landmark on the West Side is a rather new movie theatre with super comfy seats and friendly ushers who show you to your seats. You actually get to pick your actual at the time you purchase the tickets. That means you don't have to show up twenty minutes before the show (sometimes more) to stake out a good seat for a popular flick. Nicky bought the tickets online approximately ninety minutes prior to showtime. She selected our seats and we arrived at 12:02 for a noon showing. We only missed a few seconds of the first preview and settled into our near prime seats.

Slumdog Millionaire was a solid film across the board. The cinematography was the cat's balls and Danny Boyle accurately captured and depicted the streets of Mumbai. I particularity enjoyed the style and structure in which the story was revealed with all the subplots criss-crossing throughout every scene. I must admit that I'm not hip to the Bollywood biz, but Nicky mentioned that most of the major actors were some of the top Bollywood stars. The ending included a traditional Bollywood song and dance number as the credits rolled. The entire audience stuck around to watch it.

After the flick, I was starving and craving a juicy cheeseburger. We had to figure out a suitable place where I could get my meat fix and Nicky could eat something healthy. We opted for Swinger's diner but we got caught in the tail end of lunch hour traffic in Beverly Hills as all of the studio execs were returning from lunch meetings and rushing back to the office.

The jack cheese burger with onion rings was spot on. Nicky opted for a salad with Ahi tuna. As I stood at the cashier and paid my check, our waitress asked me if I enjoyed my meal. Now, the waitresses at Swinger's dress up like slutty Suicide Girls. Lots of fishnets and sleeve tattoos and hooker boots and black lipstick. Our waitress fit the stereotype. I couldn't figure out if that's how she really was in real life or if she was an actress waiting tables and dressing up to play the part.

Anyway, the waitress asked me if I enjoyed my meal. I mentioned that I woke up craving a cheeseburger.

"Does that happen to you? You wake up and have to have a certain food or you will die?" I said out loud as I signed the credit card slip.

"Hell yes," she said. "I was a vegetarian for six years. I woke up one day and I was craving a juicy steak. I went to the closest steak joint, I ordered Porterhouse for two and ate the entire fucker. Then I called up my vegan friends and taunted them, 'Dude, you guys have no idea what you are missing!'"

I love it when we can turn a vegan to the dark side. Eat the meat. Use the force.

On Saturday morning, I was up way way early. Again. I worked on Project Z for a bit but need some brain fuel. I walked over to the coffeeshop... without Nicky. I couldn't wait for her to wake up. I sat at the counter and read the rest of Schanzer's latest book Hamas vs Fatah. I also watched in amazement as the short-order cook whipped up a batch of scrambled eggs with chorizo. Then he wrapped the entire thing into a burrito. That guy is a true artist.

When Nicky finally woke up, we made a trip to the grocery store. I escaped with only paying $98 and acquired a ton of food. The run to the store was mainly for me to stock up on food stuffs while Nicky went away to South America on an assignment. She also picked up enough ingredients to concoct her famous turkey chili. I must say, she's an excellent chef and the chili was delicious despite too many offensive vegetables that I could do without. I ate two bowls and there's a bunch still leftover which I intended to snack on during the football games.

Anyway, there's a good chance that if Phish does a west coast tour at the end of the summer, that Nicky will be making tour chili to sell to all the neo-hippies and Phishkids in the parking lot.

Speaking of Phish, the Joker posted the Ultimate Phish Compilations over at Coventry. It includes links to various "Best of" versions of your favorite Phish songs. Some good shit featuring selection from the Year of the Funk.

Aside from watching the initial reports of the plane crash in the Hudson, I avoided the boob tube since my arrival in LA. Nicky TiVo'd Saturday Night Live mainly to see the Fleet Foxes performances. I watched a bit of the North Carolina/Miami college hoops game on Saturday mainly because I had a bet on it.

After I dropped Nicky off at LAX for her flight to Chile, I returned to the apartment in time for the NFL playoffs. I watched the games pantless and with a bowl of chili. I obviously had a few small bets down which would be the only reason I was welcoming the distraction instead of writing. I refused to watch the pre-game hype from those annoying talking heads on the various channels. Man, I used to love the pre-game NFL shows when I was a kid. Alas, since then they have morphed into this annoying collection of static and statistics that go nowhere.

Tin foil hat time... sometimes I can't believe some of the things that those NFL experts are saying on the pre-game shows. The fix is in because the big time bookies and the Vegas sportsbooks are feeding those clowns certain scripts to say so they can influence last minute gamblers and sway they to bet the opposite positions. Maybe it's a stretch but I wouldn't put it past a Vegas casino to buy-off one of the on-air talents.

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