Dispatches from the City of Angels
I'm a writer and humorist living in and writing about Los Angeles. You can catch my novel LOSING CLEMENTINE out March 6 from William Morrow. In the meantime, feel free to poke around. Over at my website you can find even more blog entries than I could fit here, as well as a few other ramblings. Enjoy and come back often.
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"Taint what a horse looks like, itís what a horse be." - A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett
"Trying to take it easy after you've finished a manuscript is like trying to take it easy when you have a grease fire on a kitchen stove." - Jan Burke
"Put on your big girl panties, and deal with it." - Mom
"How you do anything is how you do everything."
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2006-09-21 6:22 PM
Me and Howard Hughes
Bugs are very high on my list of "stuff that seriously sucks." Right up there with having your phone number mistakenly printed in the real estate section of the L.A. Times as a landlord with vacancies (happened to me) and discovering you're allergic to certain anaesthesia only AFTER it's been administered during dental surgery (also happened to me).
The thing about bugs is that they make you temporarily homeless. You see a bug. You call the bug guy. The bug guy tells you to abandon your apartment for a day while he pumps it full of poisons that, if breathed, will cause exploding butt boils, cholera, scurvy, social anxiety disorder and "flu-like symptoms."
Which is how I ended up at the two o'clock showing of "Invincible" by myself. It turns out there is one place to be alone in public in L.A., and that is it.
I don't know if you've ever had a movie theater to yourself, but it's right up there on the creep-o-meter. Apparently, one person is enough to play the movie but not the pre-show trivia/commercial/this-is-your-life montage you usually get. Just a black screen with a picture of an enormous piece of popcorn in the middle. No music. No nothin'. Just an enormous piece of popcorn and the mechanical buzz of the screen. (Didn't know it buzzed, did ya? Me either.)
But the really weird part is that in all that silence, the click-y sounds of the projectionist adjusting the focus is incredibly loud. And when you look up into the booth, all you can see is a hairy male wrist with a black watchband sticking through the hole and fiddling with the camera. No arm. No head. Just "Thing" escaped from the "Addams Family." I'd assumed nowadays the movie started when some kid stopped applying his zit cream long enough to hit "play" on the DVD player in the back room. But apparently not.
All in all, it was exactly how I picture Howard Hughes' later life - alone in a darkened theater, waiting for the picture to start - but without the pee in jars and the six-inch-long fingernails.
Turns out, not that much fun. People are better. Friends are better. Company is better. I hate the buzzing, and "Thing" isn't much of a talker.
(But the movie was good. Highly recommend it.)
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