a sunday in l.a.

Yesterday I woke up late, a bit tired from showing my sister around, and wondered where she was at the moment. She rented a car and drove by herself to Sedona, Arizona just because she wanted to ride horses and go to a spa and drive alone for a while. I don't blame her. After lounging around for a while, I showered, wondering why the water in my neighborhood is still cloudy after two weeks and wondering if I should shave or not. I rarely eat breakfast but decided to go out anyway because simply drinking coffee seven days a week is probably not good. I stopped for breakfast at one of the many outdoor restaurants in LA where there's a line at 2pm and everyone is just getting up and everyone wears sunglasses and is working on a script and everyone has just rolled out of bed but looks better than most people do that (respectively) early in their day and you naturally feel a little nervous - a little watched, even when perhaps no one would notice you if you were on fire; they might just light their Marlboro's off you. Waiting for a table, because everyone else was and it looked good, I ran into a girl I used to know a long time ago - in a different life in LA, it seems - and she invited me to see a play she's in at a theatre where I used to do plays and I accepted the invite and told her I would, even though I knew I was not going to - because going back to that theatre seems like going back to a life that was once so wonderful and exciting but now just makes me, usually, not always, but usually, quite sad.

I noticed an actress I saw in a play in New York three years ago, and whose performance inspired me to write a play based around one moment - one look on her face, actually. She was with a friend and the friend had a baby. She looked good and happy and I heard she had married the director of the play and I was a tiny tiny bit jealous. We sat next to two pug dogs and chatted with the girls and then with another table about the umbrella which the host had moved and was now helping neither of the tables. The actress brought the baby to see the pugs and I wished my sister was there because she goes ga-ga over pugs and would have enjoyed herself. The menu had items that I rarely see so I got to make an omelet with turkey bacon and cream cheese and the sun was out but it wasn't too hot and we'd solved the umbrella dilemma and everything was right in the world, until a scruffy guy came by with a pit bull.

The guy walked by and the pug and the pit snarled at each other. The other diners ignored it as best they could. Then the guy walked by again. More snarling. The then host, incredibly, sat him right next to the pug table, behind me. The guy was on his cell phone and as he went to sit down, the pit leapt for the pugs, so the guy kicked the dog. Then dog leapt again so he yanked at the leash, and the leash broke. The pit jumped on one of the pugs. The guy reached in to grab his pit. He yanked the pit back and the pug was let go, unharmed.

Here's the thing: during all this, the guy continued his cell phone call. He did not apologize to the pug lady or to any other diner. (He just told the pit, "Look at me. I will kick your ass. Do you understand?!") He just sat down and told the bus boy to bring him some water for himself and for his dog. The girl at the umbrella table yelled, "Thanks for bringing your dogs and ruining our fucking breakfast." The pug lady, who was mostly not in the wrong, responded that the outside is for dogs too, and the girl said, "Bite me." (Not very creative - which she admitted later when she apologized to us.) The pug lady eventually left and the bus boy filled her dog dish with water for the pit. The guy complained that his dog was getting the pug water. The bus boy said he'd thrown out the pug water first and even showed him where on the curb he'd thrown it. The pit guy then complained that there was a hair in the dog water. I refrained from asking him what it mattered when moments before the pit had had the pug's head in his mouth. Everyone was laughing at the guy and shaking their heads and openly talking about his insane rudeness, and he didn't even blink. He just went right on with his call. We left and I again resisted an urge - to go get eggs and drive by the restaurant and then egg the fuck out of him and his little dog too. It would have been an easy shot and I'm sure the other diners wouldn't have minded getting a little egg on them considering the real target. I think they would have felt it worth it.

Then I went by Frank's editing suite where he is finishing up post on the movie. He showed me a few scenes and it looks terrific. He's having a screening tonight for people not connected with the film to get feedback to do some continuing editing tweaks. He took a break from working on music for the film for us to work on a pitch we have to do. Basically, we're up for a rewriting job through the production company who is pimping our pitch and we had to meet to talk about the script that needs rewriting. We have to come up with an idea to fix what is a totally problematic (terrible, really) script and then pitch our take on it to the company and then the studio. If they like our idea, we get the job. So we threw around ideas for a while - coming up mostly with crap but perhaps one workable idea - until I had to take off and get ready for a wedding.

We went out near Dodger's stadium to this beautiful conservancy area in the middle of the hood to watch my ex-boss, who's last day at work was Friday, get married. It was a half-Hindu, half-Catholic ceremony (insert your own joke here). It was a bit lengthy but quite nice. We weren't sure if we were invited to the reception, but it turns out we were, so we ended up sitting for a long time with ex-coworkers, most of whom I miss quite a lot. We drank, drank, drank, danced, walked around, laughed, and eventually left. A good time was had by all, I think, except for the old Indian lady who didn't seem to want to stay seated during the ceremony.

The night then saw me sitting outside working on finishing touches of a Friends spec I wrote. I did it just for fun, to see if I could write a sitcom episode, but I actually think it came out pretty well. It's a freeing thing, the pure structure of it, somehow. Blah. Anyway. Then the night ended at this tiny little bar in a fancy hotel that my friend had read about. Most nights us plebeians cannot get in but Sunday nights are different, so we went in and sat in the "Capacity 18" outside area and didn't smoke and drank eight dollar drinks, wondering who the people next to us were. And that was it.

And yes, I'd much rather have my Sunday include drives to and from my house in the hills full of hookers and drugs, but for now this is a Sunday in Los Angeles. And a pretty good one, I think.

…Oh, Jame Gumb has been a busy boy lately.

And finally, here's more of my age-12 journal:

Feb 2nd, 1984

Woke up and went to school. Same ol' routine at school.

Went to piano and then I went to the park. Earlier, James slapped some kid named Matt. At the park I played kick the can. Jeff left his jacket and I'm going to give it to him tomorrow.

It's 10:31 (just changed) and KITS is playing "Say Say Say." Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney.

Feb 5th 1984

Over the weekend Sam slept over. Earlier, played basketball with James, Jeff, and Derek. I did great. Today I went to Michael's house on my bike. Hung around his house. Eliz. Bought a game "Dungons of Daggorath" for the computer.

It's 9:23 and the radio is playing "Here Comes The Rain." Eurythmics.

The Robert Downey Jr. Happy Song Corner


Downey loved Shrek, but didn't get most of it.
  home   back   index   next   howl