Sunday, November 17, 2002

This is a brief recap of the journals that came before blogger. Oh, blogger, how I love your easy to use interface... Now, if only I could figure out a way to link back to my website...

10/9/02
It’s done! It’s happened! The query letter is complete and on its way to the first of dozens, if not hundreds, of publishers. Getting a book ready is hard work. Really hard work. So hard, that I don’t have a web poll, or new short story, or anything like that...yet.
I am taking a flight to Chicago this weekend, so I think an airport will be the perfect place to watch people and reflect.
Hollywood updates...How could I have done this? I must correct a grievous error made in the last posting. I have slandered a fine Hollywood institution, inadvertently of course. The name of the store is “BARGAIN clown mart”. I can’t imagine how many of you booked tickets and/or wasted a weekend driving up and down La Brea looking for a DISCOUNT clown mart, and saying to your spouse or significant other “There’s a Bargain clown mart...that can’t be what he meant. Keep driving.”
There is an amazing amount of strangeness between Beverly Blvd. And Hollywood, all you have to do is drive up Vine St. I walked by the premiere of “White Oleander”. There were people lined up and down the street. There was an Armenian Elvis who was a horrible singer who insisted on following me to a souvenir shop, serenading all the way. Satan was there, in a goatee, cowboy hat, cotton trenchcoat and fake black fingernails. And lots of old people. Ah, Hollywood. What a glamorous city.
My first three days here killed any sense of “Star Worship” I may have had. I’m airtight now. A writer through and through (What does this mean? Am I jaded? Too cool to care? Who knows...).
I see one of my favorite directors or authors, I still go gooey for them (see fun page and Chuck Palahniuk picture). I’m ridiculously jealous that in Chicago, in the course of two weeks, Bree Sharp, one of my favorite singers will be performing, and later Neil Gaiman, one of my favorite authors, will be there. Also, a great band called L’il Ed and the Blues Imperials (an absolutely AMAZING band) tends to frequent Chicago. I don’t think they’ll ever come to California.
I met Bernie Mac. He’s a nice guy, and quite tall. Friendly, and a snazzy dresser. I say these things not as a starstruck fanboy, but as a casual observer.
If you ever want to experience what it’s like to be in LA and try to break into “the biz”, do the following: have someone park an old beater car in front of you. One that burns ten gallons of oil for every gallon of gas. Park in a crowded area. Do this at a very busy time of day, in a very public place. Stand directly behind the tailpipe, or wherever the car emits the most fumes. Breathe deeply. Strip down to your underwear and shout at people, something like “look at me! I’m an egomaniac with an enormous ego and an inflated sense of entitlement because I have A) large boobs/ and or artificial pectoral muscles B) mild dancing talent C) took 1st in state in high school D) wrote a screenplay inspired by Tarantino, or Guy Ritchie, or someone else who writes good screenplays and doesn’t need an imitator thank you very much, and you should respect me!” While you’re at it, flap your arms up and down. Shout “I can’t see you! I can’t see you!”
What will happen is the following: People will either stare at you like you’re from another planet, or they will ignore you. They will go out of their way to ignore you. Follow this exercise (if you haven’t been arrested yet) by going to a Mexican restaurant and insisting they cook you some kind of ethnic dish. If you’re from here, that comment won’t seem so offensive and it will make perfect sense.
And that, friends, is Los Angeles in a nutshell. And really, isn’t a nutshell the perfect metaphor for this city?
The important thing to remember is that most people in the industry are quite normal. But finding the doorway into THAT particular room full of people requires a walk through wonderland. Well, wonderland as seen by Keith Richards in his Rolling Stone brown bottle heyday.
PS: I’m actually starting to have fun out here...

10/1/02
Hey! New month, all new journal! And a slightly newer, monkey-er look to the website. Here is my weekly posting about the city of Los Angeles. The book draft is finished and I’m finally free...to move on to write something else. It never ends, the curse of the writer. BUT! As you’ve noticed, there’s all sorts of fun stuff here for you to read now! The site actually has CONTENT! Yippee! Okay, that’s enough back patting.
I’ve also finished my first month in this insane asylum that is a city. Homeless people are a franchise out here. They each stake out their own corner or street, and you can see them at the same time, in the same place, each day. They rival Starbucks for ubiquity. There is a store on Vine St. called “Discount Clown Mart”. They sell clothes. Normal clothes from what I could tell. But I think everyone should shop at a place called Discount Clown Mart. I have also seen a place that listed its services in the following order: 1) Keys made 2) Locks shop 3) Adult movies. Talk about convenience! Hollywood is best viewed from afar, I think. Up close, you can see all of the imperfections, the sores, the enlarged pores, the offensive odors, etc. Yes, you can see the odors.
I have seen some celebrities out here, and it’s not too impressive. If you’re into that kind of thing, it’s better to just visit. Come to think of it, being out here is more like standing inside of an enlarged pore. But I get by. I’ve got a job, temporary though it may be, and I am getting into the know of things. I need some theater contacts. Anybody know anybody? Won’t it be great when I actually start seeing some kind of success as a writer, so these can be real journal entries instead of pandering? Whee!


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