So I was in Greenblatt's Deli the other day on Sunset Boulevard and this group of ladies sitting behind me were discussing a script that someone wanted them to make a movie out of. It was apparently about some boxer from South Africa during Apartheid, and during this conversation, I heard the phrase that made my trip to Hollywood complete: "I think there is definitely a market for a South African 'Rocky'." Ahhh... so Robert Altman. But it got even better as the discussion continued; they apparently forgot how marketable the idea was because she started to say that the guy would have to be flexible with his script as the "whole Apartheid thing has been done to death" and perhaps they could change it to a Muslim boxer, or a Muslim love interest because "that whole Muslim... thing... hasn't really been explored as much yet."
You can't make this stuff up, folks! Well... ok, they can, but I can't. I was so happy. That's really the best thing that happened to me on this trip. Although, if I was a sports fan, that wouldn't be true because I sat next to Kurt Warner on the plane ride from Newark to Pheonix. Although, since I had never heard of him until the guy sitting on the other side of me told me with barely concealed glee as we were getting off the plane who he was, I didn't get much out of it. I had had my headphones on and my face in a book for the whole trip, so I was confused as we began getting our luggage out of the overhead when some lady kept thanking him and how sorry she was to bother him but her son wouldn't forgive her if she didn't get his autograph (He was quite gracious about it), and in full earshot of Kurt, I turned to the guy next to me and said, "So who's this dude then?" After he told me, and ran down a list of Kurt Warner's football exploits, I was all like "Huh, that's wack, yo. But I don't watch football, so you're like, speaking gibberish right now."
I noticed while traveling from Newark to Phoenix to Santa Ana that every 4th person on the planes, in the airports, at my hotel here even, had a copy of the new Harry Potter book in their hands. Seriously. The front desk girl here is having a terrible time getting through it because although she speaks great English, it's not her native tongue but she's dying to find out what happens. Every time I walk by the desk she admonishes me not to tell her anything. It's all pretty funny. This is definitely going to be something that defines the 2000's when people reminisce 20 years from now. "So, where were you when the last Harry Potter book came out?" I just finished reading it myself, and I have to say that it's not what I expected, and it was pretty awesome. Definitely the most exciting one yet.
So otherwise, I've been to see the La Brea Tar pits, the big Hollywood sign, and I took a nice drive on Mulholland drive and a quick run through of Beverly Hills. Here's a picture of Hollywood High School. What's Lawrence Fishburne doing there with Elvis and Bruce Lee? Why is Dorothy so chubby? Who are all those other people? Is this the message we want to send to LA's young people?
I gave the Avenue of Stars and Rodeo Drive a big pass on the way to the Santa Monica Pier, which I could have passed over, also. Honestly, I can't figure out why rich and famous people like to live here. It's desert hot most days, the smog makes my eyes puffy, and the traffic is unbelievably insane. All that crazy talk about LA freeways is true. It takes about 2 hours to go 30 or 40 miles. Although, the Pacific Coastal Highway was nice. If I get time I need to go hit one of the beaches I passed. But, for my money, if I'm ever rich and famous, I'd live on Martha's Vineyard.
So here's a Sunset Boulevard billboard. I'd really like to know what the hell is going on in this Perrier ad. Um... no I wouldn't. Never mind. But I call this work of art 'Privilege', for obvious reasons. It all kind of ties together, I think.
Oh, did I mention that I'm here for work? I forget that part sometimes. Hee hee.