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Thursday, February 27, 2003
Great to see Rich Honig again after way too long. Rich is one of those loyal friends who remains in touch through the years and across many miles. Our trip to Disneyland was a sweet and easygoing day. With the free entry, we felt no pressure to pack in a full day's fun, so it became a relaxed amble through the park, stopping to enjoy old rides remembered from childhood. Bittersweet at times, as some sight or smell would recapture childhood trips to Disney World with Pete even as the perspective of an aging kid found new ways to appreciate the various attractions and atmospheres. After we left, it was on to Hollywood for some hot dogs at the famous Pinks stand. Kept feeling the ghost of Cassavetes directing "Minnie And Moskowitz" there as we munched our dogs, but frankly (har har), gimme Papaya King any day. I won't even mention the glory of Katz's deli in fairness to Pink's.
We got hold of Miles, who was out at a friend's house in the Valley (apparently to Angelenos, the Valley is what Long Island is to New Yawkers. Can't fathom why, but there you go), and invited us out. There we met with Miles, his lovely gal Jane and their friends Judie, Cliff and Tim. Cliff is a cartoonist with whom I share numerous favorites, so there commenced much yammer about Basil Wolverton, Jack Kirby and so forth. Fucking guy HANGS with Robert Williams! He and Tim have a project called "Rat Bastard" (check this: http://www.indymagazine.com/articles/ratbastard.shtml ) which we screened a bit of. Swell stuff, great guys. Judie is a FIRE EATER! She showed off this skill - deep in the evening's revels - to everyone's delight and amazement. She made me a bunch of delectable apple martinis… the first time I really enjoyed that drink (but a good wimp-out choice after all the Glenlivet of the previous several nights). Milo and I sang a bit (glad I had him to remind me of my own lyrics), Jane came running in wearing a cartoon dinosaur costume, and all manner of gladness held sway throughout. Cliff broke the sad news that Tiki Ti is only open from Thursday through Sunday, and here we were on Sunday night, after closing. Dagnabit!
I awoke with the snout of a Husky in my face. Allergy or not, it was impossible not to laugh hysterically at such an awakening, and that's a good way to start any day. Of course, it's always impossible to escape the shadow of my own dashed dreams, and this time it came in the form of a cd (among the pile of releases Jane brought from England, where she works with all sorts of hot bands and artists) by Har Mar Superstar. It's yet another KRS act (on some other label over in Britain) that seems to be succeeding. I said nothing about it then; good company distracts from these moments of hopelessness, and good company is what I was in, but Lord how they weigh when I'm alone. Har Mar Superstar tours, and it's easy to imagine that if I did, I'd "exist" as well. I might be delusional about that, but nevertheless I feel like my inactivity has let Slim down completely, and murdered my own chances for the modest career I've longed for. At this point I'm too ashamed even to email anyone at Kill Rock Stars. I kid you not. (Here it goes again. Shut up, whiner.) I put the cd lower in the stack so it wouldn't keep bringing my mind to such desolate terminals.
The last full day in LA was spent driving with Claudia through the mountains. Just gorgeous… Topanga Canyon, the Pacific Ocean, all that. It was always weirdly fun to see places formerly known only from jokes on Match Game (meet you at that motel in Encino, Brett), Carson references (take the Slauson cut-off…), V.D. Parks lyics (what's up Laurel Canyon) and the like. It was relaxing to just take in the sights and talk with Claudia as we drove and stopped for a "fatburger." She treated me like royalty the whole time. A perfect host and a precious friend. Brad was feeling quite ill, and doesn't enjoy Hollywood shit anyhow, so she and I changed and went to the Six Feet Under premiere I mentioned earlier. What a gas to see the concrete handprints of all the 20th century's screen icons along the red velvet carpet as searchlights combed the sky and photographers snapped away at arriving actors; it was magical to inhabit a real moment of Americana, even if Hollywood dreams are not my own.
I like Six Feet Under, so it was all a lot more involving than the "Lord Of The Rings" premiere for me. The show regulars were there as well as semi-regulars like Kathy Bates and Lili Taylor. Amazing to discover that the guy who plays Furio on the Sopranos does NOT speak with an Italian accent! Chatted a little with the guy who plays Brenda's crazy brother, but without Brad on hand, there seemed little point in trying to chat up the cast. Instead we wandered around the lush, two-story affair grabbing free glasses of Glenlivet (natch) every ten seconds, and examining the recreated set from D.W.Griffith's INTOLERANCE that loomed in the vast courtyard. Hollywood looked pretty sparkly from up there. As far as the 2 episodes screened, I'd better keep mum for loyal viewers, but I dug 'em.
The main "Sport-is-a-failure" moment that night occurred while a band played (mostly the music was recorded swing stuff, far more conducive to a good night than the horrible crap blasted at the LOTR party). These guys were generic rockers, doing stuff like "Theme from Flashdance" in that "isn't this ironic" way the Skels used to perform "Right Back Where We Started From" over ten years ago. It was weird watching the audience of stars, schmoozers and industry suits enjoy this Fred Durst retread as he and buddies romp romp romped through their set. "What Ifs" and "No Ways" volleyed violently through my head until I shook 'em off with my regular mantra of "doesn't matter… doesn't matter…" and headed back down to the car. That night ended with a quiet chat under the citrus trees at casa Dourif.
The flight home was nearly as annoying as the flight out, and back in freezing Long Island the cabby demanded 30 bucks for an under-5-minute ride home. Prick. I tipped him one lousy buck. Today I feel ill and old, but that's the price of almost constant partying plus jet lag. It was fun fun fun even if my constant references to my constant self pity give a different impression. I guess additional little memories will be shared in other entries, but that's the overview. It's good to be home with loved ones, and it sucks to be back in the real day-to-day, too. Some Ebay items were waiting and Meredith sent me a cool comic book, so that all helps. Emails from friends (sending encouragement after reading other whiny comments from previous days) arrived amid the barrage of spam and forwards. It reminds me of how many of those same good people shared the excitement of the Willoughby release party a million years ago.
So now the task is to restore physical health to whatever degree possible, and attempt to develop strategies for reducing this depression. Last week was mostly a giddy break from ME. And with that, I'll do you that exact favor by stopping this. I'll be back when something funny comes to mind.
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