Star Effer

Location: The Suck, California

Me. Stars. Effers.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

What The Starlet Said...

I've been working with a Young Starlet lately, writing her vanity project. A movie star and former model, she is exceedingly beautiful. We have to spend a lot of time alone together at her mansion, often until late in the evening. She likes to wear skimpy clothing, calls me "angel" and squeezes my thigh emphatically when making a point.

God I fucking hate her.

My friends think I'm crazy. They're of the opinion that I'm "a lucky bastard" who has "no right to complain." One friend in particular told me to "stop being a pussy" and that he'd like to stab me repeatedly with a "shiv on the Big Yard." (Ok, Hector's actually more of a pen pal than a friend. He's currently serving 10-15 for armed robbery at San Q, but that's a whole other story...)

The thing is, I listen to my friends. And so I started to wonder, have I lost my perspective? Am I so jaded by my many years in The Suck that I can no longer appreciate the fun stuff?

Meditation was in order. I got quiet. Did some soul searching. Put a new roll of TP on the spindle (some of my best thinking happens on the pot). And here's what I came back with:

I still fucking hate the Young Starlet.

Because it doesn't matter that she's beautiful, or that I can sometimes see her boobs or that she gives me loads of special attention. As it happens, the woman I'm married to is drop-dead gorgeous, I can see her boobs (almost) whenever I want and nobody's attention is more special than hers. But most importantly, my wife is intelligent and enthralling without being pathologically self-absorbed.

What kills it for Young Starlet is that every time she opens her mouth, the most obnoxious things come out - and I'm not talking about Colin Farrell's sperm, though I'm sure that's happened a few times too.

No, I'm talking about things like this:

YOUNG STARLET: (yawns, bats her thick eyelashes sleepily) "Gawd, I'm SO tired. I went to see the Rolling Stones last night..."

ME: "Oh how was it?"

YS: "They're so much fun."

ME: "Yeah, we tried to get tickets. Hollywood Bowl, right?"

(She stares at me, confused. Awkward silence, then-)

YS: "Wha-? Hollywood Bowl? What are you talking about?"

ME: "The Stones. They played the Hollywood Bowl, didn't they?"

YS: "No angel! I went to a PARTY at their hotel..."

Who says "I went to see the Rolling Stones last night" assuming the listener will know this to mean "I HUNG OUT with the Rolling Stones?" Am I way off base here? I mean, if you partied with the fucking Rolling Stones, just say "I partied with the fucking Rolling Stones!" She was baiting me right?

Of course she was. I've learned that she likes to draw distinctions between my oh-so-pedestrian-little-family-life and her great-big-flashy-movie-star-life.

Whatever bitch.

Another thing she likes to do is tell anecdotes about movie stars that only reference them by first name. This requires me to play a guessing game to find out who the fuck she's talking about. Example:

YS: "I couldn't believe it. I threw a dinner party on Saturday and George showed up, uninvited and drunk like a skunk!"

ME: "George Bush?"

YS: "Nooooo...."

ME: "George Michael?"

YS: "Nooooo...."

ME: "Clooney?"

YS: (jumping up and down, clapping her hands-) "YES!!"

So obnoxious. It's like I'm a contestant on Family Feud. Here's another one she recently pulled:

YS: "You know, I didn't really know how to breathe properly until I worked with Ray. He's so brilliant."

ME: "Ray Charles?"

YS: "Noooooo....

ME: "Ray Romano?"

YS: "Noooooo...."

ME: "I don't know... fucking Ray Liotta?"

YS: (jumping up and down, clapping her hands-) YES!!!"

It's like this all the time. She baits me, and I bite like the star-effing fuckwit that I am. I should stop taking the bait, but I'm like Charlie Brown this way: I really think Lucy's going to hold that football for me, but she always jerks it away at the last minute and I go flying.

I'll be working with her for several more weeks, so I'll keep you posted as more pearls issue from her lips - and no, I'm not talking about Heath Ledger's spunk, but I'll let you know the minute that happens too.

Should be fun, kids. Tune in.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

"I'm Only With Your Mom Because Of The Beaver"

My daughters are too young to understand this right now, but I live with the knowledge that some day, they will have to know the truth.

I remember it like it was yesterday. June 1, 1996. I was supposed to go out with the boys that night, hit up some bars, meet a nice girl and, God willing, talk her out of her panties. But instead I got a call from my mother:

"You're still going to the party tonight, right?"

"What party?"

"The birthday party. You promised your sister."

My sister's boyfriend was having a big birthday party and she expected the whole family to attend. Normally, I'd have blown it off. Normally, I would've said, "Who cares about her stupid fucking boyfriend? I've got places to be, girls to meet, panties to remove (God willing)."

But this was no ordinary boyfriend. This was the Beaver.

You see, my sister had been dating Jerry Mathers, who by the age of 9 had become world famous for playing Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver on TV's "Leave It To Beaver." They met at a play in San Diego. She had no idea who he was. He found this novel. Fireworks.

So I went to the party, chatted up the Beav, bummed a smoke off Eddie Haskel (he's a cop now in the San Fernando Valley). Jay Leno was supposed to be there, but the bastard was a no-show. By about 9:15 I had grown weary of the festivities and was about to page my friends to see if I could join them (yes, I said "page" - back then you only had a cell phone if you were a doctor or a drug dealer).

But then, something happened. I was at the bar, soaking up Led Zeppelin anecdotes from a burned-out ex-hippie named Rob Foster - apparently his family had been Hollywood royalty back in the day - when an attractive young woman approached. She ordered some wine, said hello to Rob - they had been chatting earlier about the Grateful Dead - and he introduced us. Her name was Ryan. One look into her eyes and I was GONE. She was smart, beautiful, funny, upbeat and positively magnetic. But her eyes sealed the fucking deal. Deep pools of carribean blue, accented with faint green rings at the center, they bored into my soul and made me feel both at peace and wildly restless all at the same time.

Or maybe it was the Heineken.

Whatever it was, every ounce of poise seeped out of my pores as I tried to talk to her. I abandoned any attempt at witty repartee and just asked questions for a while. Soon, her relaxed demeanor put me at ease and I stopped with the Q&A, demonstrating that I was not in fact a reporter about to write a story on her life. The conversation started to flow between us and it suddenly occurred to me that I could not let this woman go. The much-too-handsome bartender handed her another drink and they exchanged some flirtatious words. A wave of panic rushed through me, and I realized I was jealous of the slick sonuvabitch. Me? Jealoius? What was going on?

Luckily, a few other people approached the bar and monkey-boy had to get back to work. She looked glad to be rid of him and we resumed our conversation. We learned that even though we were both in Los Angeles, we had each lived in Newport Beach at one point, and that we actually had friends in common... and that's when I cut her off mid-sentence and blurted out "Can I call you sometime?"

What a Neanderthal! It was ill-timed and hasty. I sounded desperate. Jeez, what a dumbfuck! I blushed. She blushed. There was a moment of extremely awkward silence... before she smiled and said, "OK."

Whew, what a relief. I almost fucked that up. Then the ex-hippie butted in and actually said these words: "I'm going to be at your wedding someday!" Considering that I did evenutally marry her, that was pretty goddamned amazing. But at the moment all I wanted to do was scream, "Shut up you fucking hippie!" Instead I borrowed a pen from the bartender and wrote down her number (take that monkey-boy!). Good timing because someone called her away and she excused herself with a simple "Nice to meet you."

We played it cool the rest of the night, but I couldn't stop thinking about her. Everything I did from that point on was to score points with Ryan. I played the good son and brought mom a plate of food, I talked to a lonely old lady for ten whole minutes (ick!), and at one point I even slow-danced with Jerry's 10 year old daughter, pretending not to notice that Ryan was watching from nearby. I was pulling out all the stops. Ryan would be mine.

A week later we went on our first date. A nice Italian dinner, a bottle of expensive wine and a play: George Bernard Shaw's "Arms and the Man." We kissed sweetly. Talked all night. It was classy.

Now, almost ten years later, we're married with two beautiful daughters. We're more in love than ever before.

I ran into Jerry Mathers recently. He and my sister are no longer together, but he looked at me, Ryan and our kids and just shook his head. "You know, if I hadn't had a birthday party you two would've never found each other."

I'll go you one further, Jerry: if you hadn't been the effing Beav, I would've never gone to your birthday party.

So, as I started out saying, one day I will have to explain this to our children. That their existence came about because of a little slice of Americana called "Leave it to Beaver" and the fact that their father is a big ol' Star Effer.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

My Visit to the WB Ranch

I recently did a television pitch at the WB. For the uninitiated, a pitch is where a writer goes to the office of a studio or television executive and tries to sell them an idea by doing a verbal presentation.

YOU: "You mean like a sales pitch - something the so-called 'uninitiated' are exposed to every day?"

ME: "Good analogy! It's exactly like a sales pitch."

YOU: "Then why didn't you just say that asshole? Just because I'm not in Hollywood doesn't mean I'm fucking stupid."

ME: "Yes it does. Remember, dear reader, everyone who works in Hollywood thinks non-Hollywood people are fucking stupid. Why do you think there are so many terrible TV shows? Why do you think so many movies suck monkey balls? Because you are the brain-dead masses and we are the Nurse Ratcheds spoon-feeding you gruel."

Which brings me back to my story.

My agents told me I would be pitching my show to executives at the WB network. So I went there thinking I'd be going to the great big Warner Bros lot in Burbank. However, where I ended up was somewhere quite different; somewhere called the "WB Ranch."

As I pulled into the gate I immediately started scanning for stables. "OK, so where do they keep the livestock?" I wondered as the security guard took my drivers license. But there were no cows, sheep, or even alpacas.

How could they not have alpacas? Seventy percent of people who work in TV are gay, and everyone knows that alpaca herding is the new industry of choice for lesbians (surpassing pottery and commercial plumbing). So how could the WB Ranch not have alpacas?

The other thing that was missing was gay cowboys. Gay cowboys absolutely effing rock. If you don't like the idea of cowboys who happen to be gay, well then you obviously have something against cowboys. And with this new gay cowboy movie coming out - I believe it's called "Brokebutt Mountain" - people who don't like cowboys are in for months and months of advertisements and Oscar talk about the matter.

So I was extremely disappointed when there were none to be found at the Ranch. At the very least I was expecting to see some security guards walking around in ass-less chaps, but no such luck.

No lesbo alpacas, no gay cowboys. There wasn't even a damn pick-up truck in the entire parking lot. So then, why is this place called a "ranch" if there's nothing remotely ranch-like about it?

Your guess is as good as mine.

Maybe it's because the Ranch is where they hatch up their "stable" of shows for the new season. Or maybe because it's where they "shepherd" new talent onto bright futures. Or maybe, just maybe, it's where a staff of Austrian scientists grow genetically engineered actors and actresses tailor-made to suit WB shows. Like, if something happens to the dad on "7th Heaven" they can just pluck back-up dad from the "Ranch" and no one will ever be the wiser.

It's possible. Have you seen that guy?

Well, I did do some searching and what I found out is that the Ranch contains some famous sets. Mostly, these are house sets. For example, the TV shows "Bewitched," "I Dream of Jeannie" and "The Partridge family" were all shot there. And remember the Griswalds' house from National Lampoon's "Vacation" movies? And what about Danny Glover's house in "Lethal Weapon?" All can be found within the gates of the WB Ranch.

Unfortunately I didn't know any of this before my pitch. Had I done my homework I could've spent a little extra time touring the grounds instead of glancing about for alpacas and gay cowboys.

Still, it didn't answer the question: why is it called a "ranch?"

Monday, November 14, 2005

Star Effed By... Sheryl Crow

Sometimes you eff stars. Sometimes stars eff you.

In this ongoing feature, I will relay unsavory encounters I've had with stars and other sundry celestial beings. Many of these left me scarred and depressed. I thought you'd find them amusing.

For the inaugural entry (heh, I said "entry") we will be reviewing my encounter with Sheryl Crow. I call it:


Before I begin, it's only fair to let Sheryl have a chance to defend herself. She issued the following public statement:

"Hit it!
This ain't no disco
It ain't no country club either
This is LA!"

Hmmm, well she does have a point there. Still, you should hear my side of the story.

The year was 1994. I was a doe-eyed innocent - my dreams, as yet, un-shattered. I scored a weekend gig working as a "Talent Escort" for a star-studded benefit concert. No, not that kind of escort. I didn't have to spread, lick or take "it" for anybody.

My job was to be the liason between the show organizers and the A-list performers. And oh my, what an A-list it was: Salt 'n' Pepa, Ru Paul, Lil' Richard, LL Cool J, Carrot Top! Only the best and the brightest.

Ok, it wasn't all bad. We also had Elton John, Tom Hanks, Bonnie Raitt, Warren Beatty, George Michael, Don Henley and more.

Oh yeah... and Sheryl Effing Crow.

All of us escorts were each assigned to a specific celebrity. Mine was Garth Brooks. Now I've got nothing bad to say about Garth - a nicer man does not exist. My job was to stand outside his dressing room and be at his beck and call, but since Garth is so low maintenance, I never had to do anything. So I ended up just standing there, bored out of my mind for TEN hours. The only source of entertainment came from watching the dressing room across the way, as it belonged to none other than Eagles great Don Henley.

Standing across from Don's door, I bore witness as countless hussies came a knockin' - tarted up, smelling yummy, and seeking some QT with the DH. But of the multitude of little birdies that pecked on his door, there was only one that gained admittance to the Eagle's Nest: a Crow.

Now, I don't know what what they did in there all day, but I did hear SNIFFING. Lots and lots of sniffing. Maybe they were crying. Maybe they both had colds. Or maybe there was a lot of dust in that dressing, some sort of white dust that could be collected onto a mirror and separated into little neat lines with a credit card.

Every time the door would open, I glanced in. I was bored to tears and a chance to see what was going on between two celebrities was all too enticing. But every time I looked in, my eyes were met with the steely glare of Sheryl Crow. Her smile would melt as she saw me, and she'd give me this look that seemed to ask, "What are you looking at assface?"

CUT TO: After the show. Garth had finished performing - beautifully I might add - and given me a bear hug in front of all the other jealous escorts, before disappearing into a limousine headed for the airport. A few minutes later, the Talent Coordinator chimed in over my walkie, "Fabe, we need you as a floater. Are you available? Over."

"Yes. Where do you want me? Over."

"We can't find Sheryl Crow's escort. Go let her know that her limo is five minutes away. Over."

"Roger that," I snapped efficiently. The Garth Brooks experience left me feeling high and mighty. I now fancied myself a kind of soldier to the stars as I marched on over to Sheryl's dressing room.

I knocked. There was no reply. I knocked again. Still no reply. I waited about thirty seconds - just in case she was pinching a loaf or something. Discretion is my middle name. I pondered the origins of the name on the shiny placard before me: "Sheryl Crow." Doesn't sound Jewish.

Then I knocked again, only this time really loud. I immediately heard an angry female voice issue the following reply:

"Come IN already, what the FUCK?!"

I opened the door to find Sheryl and fifteen of her closest friends SNIFFING and grinning at me like hyenas. "Didn't you hear me? I said 'come in' like ten fucking times! What are you, reTARded?" The hyenas laughed maniacally. Remember Jabba the Hut's little muppet sidekick in 'Return of the Jedi'? They sounded like him, only times fifteen.

"Uh...I just wanted to, uh..."

She cut me off, started imitating me as though I had Downs Syndrome, "Duh...I juth..dum...uhh, I juth..."

My face flushed red. Am I being punked by Sheryl Crow? She then did that fake sign language thing with her hands and over enunciated, ""

I blurted out, "Your limo's five minutes away."

She looked at me as though I had just farted. "So, is that it?"

I nodded. She turned away disgusted, waved a dismissive hand. "Fine. Run along now."

I wanted to say something. I couldn't let her get away with that. I was usually great at witty retorts - they always came easily. But not this time. My mind was still reeling at the fact that Sheryl Crow had just wiped her ass with me. All I could do was slam the door shut. And as I did, peals of uproarious LAUGHTER erupted from inside her dressing room. The hyenas were tearing me to pieces. Mortified, I scurried over to Salt 'n' Pepa's dressing room to console myself, thinking it was empty.

But it wasn't. There I was, suddenly face to face with Pepa, gathering her make-up. Before I could excuse myself, she looked up at me, flicked her long red braids and asked in a genuinely concerned fashion, "You doin alright, baby?" Ahhh Pepa. You always know what to say, mama.

Just then, the Talent Coordinator chimed in over the walkie: "Fabe. Please tell Sheryl Crow her limo has now arrived."

I hesitated a moment before replying, "Sorry I... I can't. Get someone else to do it. Uh...over."

Pepa smiled and as she walked past me she uttered the kindest words I've ever heard:

"That's right... FUCK Sheryl Crow."

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Our Visit To The Movie Hospital

My wife got sick. Sinus infection. Green stuff. Not pleasant.

She wanted to see a doctor, but today is a Saturday which means our regular doc is probably snorting coke off a hooker's tits in Vegas. So we decided to explore the other opportunities available to us through my Writers Guild health insurance. That's when we found it: the movie hospital.

Best. Hospital. EVER. I will never step foot in a real-person's hospital again. Only The Movie Hospital for me from now on.

Well, it's not actually called "The Movie Hospital." That would be too cool. Can you imagine an ambulance driver slamming a celebrity onto a stretcher and yelling, "It's Goldie Hawn! Get her to The Movie Hospital, STAT!"

It's really called The Motion Picture and Television Hospital - which, though titillating, is still too boring for a place like this. They really should re-name it.

Some other suggestions I'd like to offer:

-The Cutting Room
-Lights! Camera! Traction!
-Multi-Picture Heal
-Points on the Gross Anatomy

Why is it so great?

For starters, I love a hospital with movie posters all over the walls. I think all hospitals should do this. Jerry's Deli has Broadway posters for some damn reason. Why can't hospitals have movie posters? There's nothing like sitting in the waiting room waiting for your name to be called while the friendly eyes of Robin Williams stare down at you from the "Patch Adams" one-sheet.

They also have behind-the-scenes movie stills too! So as we filled out the paperwork with the in-take nurse I looked over her shoulder to see black and white shots of Kevin Costner and Cheech Marin yukking it up on the set of "Tin Cup." On another wall I saw Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn having a chat with director John Huston on the set of "The African Queen." And over there, by the complimentary gourmet coffee, a group shot of Ron Howard, Henry Winkler and the rest of the cast from "Happy Days," all smiling warmly at me as if to say, "You try to feel better now, buckaroo." And I did feel better, almost instantly - even though it was my wife that was sick, not me.

Another reason The Movie Hospital rocks so hard is that the staff and doctors do not act like regular medical personnel. They're all happy and talkative, as though they're about to schmooze you on a new script they're developing. "Great shirt brother, where'd you get that?" asked the genial Gay man behind the counter. Taken aback by this uncharacteristic outburst of hospital-staff humanity, I replied without thinking: "Uh...Ross. Clearance rack." But he didn't flinch at this, rather he just nodded approvingly with a savvy look on his face, "Bargain bling-bling. Isn't that the best? I'm so lovin' that..." Then he turned to my wife and asked, "Are you allergic to any medication, little Miss Thing?"

And the doctors... Wow. Our doctor was not only extremely knowledgeable and courteous, but he was hilarious! His face looked so familiar I'm positive I must've seen him on a recently cancelled sitcom. And I'm also pretty sure that as he treated my wife for her sinus infection he was working out the kinks on his own stand-up comedy act. Makes sense, as Saturdays are big Open Mic nights for burdgeoning comics. But the guy wasn't nervous or jittery - he was a total pro. I mean, when he swabbed my wife's nostrils with a long Q-tip probe, he must've cracked at least four solid jokes! My wife laughed so hard she didn't even notice when he jammed that stick a good three inches into her face. Now THAT's talent! When we go back next week for a follow-up visit, I'm going to ask him for his headshot. My agent's gotta meet his guy!

Other highlights include:

-Wood paneling, plush couches and comfy chairs everywhere.
-Cable TV in the waiting areas.
-Free coffee, snacks and general craft service while you wait.

And last but not least:

-Movie and TV memorabilia to take one's mind off the mundane quality of being sick.

Because, let's face it: just because being sick is unglamorous, doesn't mean your treatment has to be.

Such is the state of the sick in the Suck.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

On The Set: "The Fast and the Furious 3: Tokyo Drift"

Last night I had a rare treat. I got to see a friend whom I've known since childhood direct a $90 million dollar film. Not something you get to see every day...

The movie is the third installment in what has proven to be a very successful franchise for Universal Studios: the "The Fast and the Furious" movies (total worldwide box office to date: $443 million). This one is called "Tokyo Drift" as it is set in the hot-topic world of drift racing (ask your kids, they'll know all about it).

So how was it?

Fucking awesome! I had never been on the set of a big budget film before and found the experience amazing. The sheer magnitude of resources involved, the organization, the artistry...

Hey don't snicker - just because it's called "The Fast and the Furious 3" doesn't mean it's totally devoid of artistry. As point of fact, I'm happy to report that there was loads of artistry on display last night. But let's get serious, is anyone really going to see this movie expecting "The English Patient?" Hells no! This is a popcorn movie through and through. And the fun, easy-going vibe on set indicated that everyone was aware of this fact.

More than anything, I was proud of my director friend and impressed by his ability to manage such an enormous production. It further demystified the process of directing Hollywood movies and inspired me more than ever to keep pushing onward in my own career.

Here are some highlights:

-His trailer alone is bigger than my house.
-There is a literal ARMY of people buzzing around doing God-knows-what.
-The food...sweet lord, the food.
-Scantily clad models for a nightclub scene. Wow.
-Two simultaneous film crews, burning over a hundred thousand feet of film per day.
-Actors from our little indie movie finally getting their place in the sun.
-The food...sweet LORD!

I'm still drunk from the experience. Being on a set like that felt comfortable, normal, like I was right where I belonged. I now have absolutely no doubt that I'm following my true calling.

Whew! What a relief!

Now I just need someone to give me $90 mil. Do you, uh, know anybody?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Mel, the Starlet and Michelle...

I'm waiting, waiting, waiting. Forever waiting.

And to make it worse, today is raining. Which if you live in places where it rains - no biggie. But if you live in LA? One little drizzle and enjoy the: Catastrophic chaos! Roads log-jammed for miles! 'Storm Watch 2005' all over the news!

So I'm waiting and it's raining. Waiting and Raining. Raining and Waiting. SIGH...

What am I waiting for? Well, I'm waiting for my agents to quit screwing around and set up my meeting with Icon Productions, Mel Gibson's company. I want to meet them, they want to meet me. Simple, right? Not when agents are involved. They don't just want me to meet with Mel's people, they want me to meet with EVERYONE to boost my profile, create "buzz," maximize any potential deal that might be struck. But I don't want that right now. I want to move this project forward. I have a good feeling about Icon and they're passionate about this thing. So let's go mucky-mucks! Make the fucking phone call. Get it on the books! FUCK!!!

And I'm also waiting on a TV pilot I wrote with a Starlet. I finished writing it on Labor Day, and here we are staring down the barrel of Turkey Day and still no sale. Everyone loves the script. Everyone loves the Starlet. So what's the fucking problem people? We're pitching to NBC tomorrow. They've rescheduled twice already. We're pitching The WB on Monday. They too have rescheduled twice. Will they reschedule again and make us wait? Hmm... let's see... fucken'A right they will!

Waiting, waiting and more waiting.

The last thing I'm waiting on has to do with a script I wrote with a friend and fellow blogger (his blog's much better than this one). I can't tell you what the script is called except that it has the name 'Michelle' in it. For two weeks we've been waiting for the agents and manager to send it out to producers. But it hasn't happened yet and hey guess what? Yep, we're waiting!

Here's what is involved when a script goes out to producers:

AGENT: "Hello, Producer? Yeah I got a funny script for you."
PRODUCER: "Great. Funny scripts are our business. We read them every single fucking day."
AGENT: "HA-HA-HA that's wonderful! Where should I send it?"

Boom, done, finished. But for some fucking reason there have been delays.

And so we wait.

And so it rains.

And such is life in The Suck.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Effing Arnold...

As many of you who live in California know, today is voting day. Our esteemed (read: dumbass) Governor has called for a special election on a whole load of crappola that has no business being on a ballot to begin with.

So I'm sitting here getting ready to go out to my local retirement home and vote, and I keep hearing the voice of famed poet and novelist Charles Bukowski in my head. Specifically, it's a couple of lines from a poem he wrote about Arnold based on an altercation they had in the 80s. I find it particularly poignant today, so I thought I'd share it with ya.

Take it away, Mr. Bukowski:

"You little piece of shit!
You and your big shitty cigar, who do you think you are?
Just because you make these shitty little movies, you're nothing special, you megalomaniac piece of shit..."

Ah poetry. What is it about this noble art that can capture the complex range of human emotion so accurately?

Revisiting Bukowski, I can't help but wonder what he'd be saying - or more importantly, writing - had he lived long enough to witness this very special day. So I thought I'd work something up, a sort of homage. I've read my share of his work so here's what I think ol' Hank Chinaski would be putting down on paper after downing a bottle of wine and having sloppy sex with a 25 year old grad student:

"You freakish, steroid-addled shit-for-brains!
You and your big shitty Propositions, who do you think you are taking money away from schools?
Just because you make these shitty speeches in front of shitty sycophants, you're nothing special, you Gubernatorial piece of shit..."

We miss you Charles!

Don't forget to vote all ye Californians - that is unless you're voting pro-Arnold. In which case, just stay at home, pop Predator into the DVD, and smoke a big shitty cigar you megalomaniac piece of shit...

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Third Street Promenade is MAGICAL

There's an actor I've been dying to meet: Edgar Ramirez. He plays Keira Knightley's love interest in her new movie, "Domino." He's from Venezuela and he's smart, charming and handsome. No I'm not gay, but thanks for asking.

You see I, like many, many other lost souls in The Suck, have a screenplay I want to direct. And Mr. Ramirez is abso-fucking-lutely perfect for it. I mean, he's really the only reason to see "Domino" in my opinion. Well, at least that's what I hear. I haven't actually seen it yet. But my producer, Nathan, saw it and was all like, "Dude, that Venezuelan cat is gooooood." And if you know anything about Hollywood, you should know that second-hand endorsement matters more than one's own opinion. A multitude of screenplays have been bought based on the coverage alone, or by winning the Nicholl's Fellowship, or by... well you get the idea. It all ties into that famous adage about The Suck: "Nobody Knows Anything."

So, I had just seen "The Squid and the Whale" with a friend at the Laemmle Monica and we were headed to P.F. Chang's for dinner. "Hey let's cut through the Promenade - it's MAGICAL," I said, remembering that the pan-handler-to-sucker ratio is far less drastic there. It was a crowded, chilly Sunday night and I was walking very fast to keep Jack Frost from nipping at my balls - so fast that I almost didn't hear my name being called out from somewhere amidst the throng. It was my good buddy Carlos from the Endeavor agency hailing me. And he was with someone. A Venezuelan.

"Fabe, I want you to meet Edgar Ramirez." Holy shit, it's that guy! I say, "Dude, you are so gooooood in 'Domino.'" I meant this in the empirical sense of course, based on word of mouth and reviews, statistical research... He was very affable, very humble. He thanked me and then did a very unusual thing. He issued the follow-up question, "You saw it?"

How could he ask that? Wasn't the obvious inference that I had? I mean, hello, why would I say he was good in a film that I hadn't even seen? Well, apparently Mr. Ramirez didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday. He knows how The Suck works and his follow-up question immediately put him in a higher league than most up-and-coming actors who are just happy for the compliment. This guy doesn't need compliments, he needs truth. He's not an actor, he's an artist. A seeker, man. Dig it.

I didn't lie. I told him that I had not in fact, in the literal sense, SEEN the film with my own eyes, but that all the buzz on him is great. That I was dying to see it, but haven't had the chance yet. He seemed to be cool with that and we went on to other, less lie-oriented topics of conversation.

The good news? We're brunching next weekend. (again, not gay)

Jeez, I should really see his movie now...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Charlton Heston Loves Garage Sales

He was the Omega Man. He was Moses. He was at my garage sale yesterday.

As it turns out, Charlton Heston - "Two Buck Chuck," as we like to say in the garage sale biz - is a damn, dirty ape about bargain-basement shopping!

It all started when I was discussing speakers with a doo-ragged client. "Five dollars each" I said. "How'bout three for both?" he replied, before looking off to the street and exclaiming, "Whoa, it's that dude from 'Planet of the Apes,' man." I looked over and saw a jet black corvette purring in front of my driveway. The tinted window was rolled down and there in the drivers seat was none other than Ben-Hur himself!

He was scanning our wares with a keen eagle eye, paying no mind to me and Doo Rag as we gawked. "What's he looking for?" asked Doo Rag. I shrugged, "Firearms. Ammo. I hear Cabbage Patch dolls are making a comeback." Who could say for sure? Whatever it was, he was looking very intently, like a seasoned garage-saler. This was no lazy day in the sun for Chuck, he was a man on a mission. He wasn't about to get out of his car unless he had good reason.

I tore my eyes away from Chuck, I didn't want to scare him off like a mule deer in my Star Effing sights. I wanted him to come over, run a hand over my x-box games and say "How much for this first-person shooter?" I wanted him to look at my cowboy boots and wink in validation. I wanted him to scan the video and dvd rack and say with a wry smile, "I noticed you aren't selling any 'Bowling for Columbine'. Good work, kid."

But alas, his piercing baby-blues did not find what they were looking for in our pile of crap, and he quickly rolled up his blackened window, put the car in gear, and sped off to the next sale. "They don't make movie stars like that anymore, do they?" said Doo Rag sagely.

No they don't, Doo Rag. No they don't. American actors are total pussies. Where's the next Steve McQueen? Paul Newman? Chuck Heston? The tough-guy-who-can-act does not exist in our society anymore. We hafta import them from Australia and England. Is it that there are no more real tough guys in America? Or that the tough guys stopped acting?

I went back to haggling the speakers, charmed by this most unexpected Star Effing moment. Thanks for stopping by Chuck. Wish I had what you were looking for, sir.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Welcome To The Suck

20.1 million.

No, that's not the salary of some effing star for two months "work" (but good guess!)

20.1 million is the number of effing bloggers in the world as of today. Bear in mind that this number includes a couple mil in "Spam Blogs" too, but that's ok. Spam Blogs are like C-list actors: they count, just not as much as real effing stars. I think the ratio is: ten C-listers equals one A-lister (and five Cs to one B-lister). This is a sliding scale though. For example, thanks to "Breaking Bonaduce" the former Partridge Family freckle freak has transcended rank and file and carved out a new category for himself, which I like to call "Super C." Super C means that if I saw Bonaduce on the street today, preferable hopped-up on alcohol, steroids and anti-psychotics, I would get giddy. I might even whip out the LG camera phone for a hazy UFO-esque photo op. I might even bark an off-color remark, throw something at him, and bolt for dear life. He's THAT big now.

Does Danny Bonaduce have a blog? Sadly, no. But since every other mother effer does, I decided it was high time that I join that herd as it drives, lemming-like, toward the cliffs. Is my blog different? Absolutely not. Will it enrich your life? You better believe it, donkey kong.

You see, I'm IN Hollyweird. I live here, and more importantly, I crap here. These boots are on the ground, scuffed and discolored from the blood of fallen foes. I've crawled my way to the middle of this unholy wasteland and now, I offer my services to you, dear reader. I will be your eyes and ears. I will give you all the hard won displeasure of soul-crushing Tinseltown without any of the messy clean-up.

Sure you might pick up some dirt under your fingernails or feel the mild compulsion to gargle after reading this site, but believe me bub, that ain't nothing. Living in Hollywood requires intense sanitization - like scrubbing and stuff. Like going to church. Calling mom for validation. Lighting scented candles.

My solemn promise to you: no more scented candles.

So sit back. Read slow. Enjoy. I'll give you the ice cream, and you'll do no churning. I am your humble host and you are my guest as we examine the glorious muck.

Welcome to the Suck.