Monday, March 15, 1999
In Like a Lyin' Son of a...
Today was the LA Marathon, an amazing test of endurance and stamina that stretches the boundaries of tolerance to physical stress and mental hardship -- but folks here in LA are tough, seasoned competitors and, despite the enormity of the task, were able to withstand the tremendous traffic jams and day-long gridlock for which the marathon is legendary. Apparently there is also some sort of footrace involved.
Speaking of tolerance to stress and hardship, I just finished my first week of work at a downtown law firm. It's not a bad place, I have and office with a window and a view of the Hollywood sign. Things are a little different out here than what I am used to. The first day around 5 p.m. I noticed that things had become eerily silent outside my office door and I went out to investigate. To my astonishment, I found that EVERYONE WAS GONE. It seems that out here, people go home at the end of the business day (which in New York firms is referred to as 'taking a half day off.') On wednesday, the partner on the case I'm on (whose office is conveniently located next to mine) was out all day -- PLAYING GOLF! It took me a while to get used to this bizarre comportment, but I think I may get to like it.
The commute is not nearly as bad as I thought, I spend about ten minutes on Santa Monica Blvd. (at 40 mph) getting to the freeway where I spend twenty minutes (at 15 mph) to get downtown. The car is working now, although I had some problems starting it a few weeks ago. I called the local mechanic and told him sometimes it starts just fine and sometimes it doesn't catch and I have to wait exactly nine minutes and then it starts fine. He said if it starts he can't tell what's wrong with it, so I should wait until the problem becomes more frequent. Later that day I was driving down Sunset at rush hour and the car DIED in the middle of the road. I pushed it onto a side road and left it in front of a very large house in Beverly Hills, walking the two miles home. The next day I went to get it and sure enough, it started right up. Taking no more chances, I drove straight to the mechanic's. They put in a new fuel pump and now it starts first time every time.
I hooked up with a couple of lovely young actresses named Jennifer and Liz, who I know through my friend Tom Blake. Jen and Liz are out here for Pilot Season -- which I suppose is something like Fleet Week in Brooklyn. We had a great lunch together discussing an idea for a TV show they want to do on community access. They said I could be the writer. Last night, in fact, Jennifer and I got together for a brainstorming session -- however, due to the unforseen meterological influence of a certain 'Jose Cuervo' the brainstorm turned into patchy fog with occasional drizzle. We had a good time though, and I look forward to working closely with Jennifer and Liz (individually and in tandem) as soon as weather permits. (Ed. note -- before you get any ideas, forget it: one's married the other's engaged.)
My networking at the CAA shindig paid off in several respects -- I got the name of a Vice President at William Morris who is looking at my script April Fool, also I called a guy who writes for Suddenly Susan and sent him a TV script. A writer/producer I met that night is looking at two scripts. And Paul Schiff, who I spoke with briefly that night and whose movie Rushmore has been hanging in there at the box office, called me back after I gave him a follow-up call. He said he's looking forward to reading Red Herrings and it's at the 'top of his list.' He didn't say which list. I did a re-write of a third script called In Your Dreams so just in case the first two get sold right away, I'll be ready with the next one.
I'm expecting good news at the end of this month, not for any particular reason, except I did find a cricket in my bathroom just now and everybody knows that a cricket in your bathroom means good luck. At least I hope it was a cricket.
My job should last at least another couple weeks and depending on an upcoming ruling by the court, could go on indefinitely. But I'd much rather sell a screenplay.
aka 'Hollywood Dick'