Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Yo, home-bucket here is on fire and splitting some wigs up in this this here, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

(Knock on wood. No, really, knock on wood three times)

Well, I am . . .
I was going to fly to Vegas this weekend, but I was terrified Southwest Airlines would kick me off the plane for being too damn sexy.

Well, that’s nice
The Minneapolis Airport men’s room where Sen. Larry Craig was arrested has turned into a tourist attraction. The tourists are impressed at just how friendly the occupants of the bathroom are. One tourist was overheard at the urinal saying; “That’s nice of you but I’ll shake it myself.”

Take something for that
OJ Simpson was arrested in connection with armed robbery of sports memorabilia at a Las Vegas Casino. Now the theft victim says he wants to drop all charges because he has health problems. Turns out he is allergic to stab wounds.

Busy guy
The San Diego Chargers lost to the New England Patriots 38-14. The loss was so humiliating for the Chargers, Brady even got two of the Chargers cheerleaders pregnant.

Or something like that
Tiger Woods won the $10 mil Fed Ex Cup. That’s like finding out Leona Helmsley’s dog that inherited $12 million won the Powerball Lottery.

Speed this along, Sweetcakes
Sally Field won an Emmy Sunday night for “Brothers and Sisters” and she made a long, rambling speech. Even Miss Teen South Carolina was asking her to wrap it up.

Do the math
OJ Simpson was arrested in connection with armed robbery of sports memorabilia at a Las Vegas Casino. Simpson says he didn’t have a gun or rob anyone, which of course means Simpson had a gun and he robbed someone.

Can you imagine if OJ does prison time for stealing sports memorabilia? That would be like arresting Osama bin Laden for making bad videos.

O.J. Simpson has been arrested for theft at the Palace Casino in Las Vegas; Simpson said it was obvious he didn’t do it because nobody was brutally stabbed to death.

O.J. Simpson has been arrested for theft at the Palace Casino in Las Vegas; have you heard the tape? Apparently OJ used to write for “The Sopranos.”

Next on Fox
“Kid Nation” airs Wed on CBS. It’s a reality show where unsupervised children use dangerous power tools and flammable appliances to build a town and survive in it. Here’s my question: what shows were rejected in favor of this salacious crap? “Which kids are going to be the first to make it across the busy freeway? Stay tuned for “Child Dash on the 405.”

“Kid Nation” airs Wednesday on CBS. It’s a reality show where unsupervised children use dangerous power tools and flammable appliances to build a town and survive in it. What slimy stage parent would OK this? It should be “Are their parents smarter than a fifth grader?”

The name game
Notre Dame has lost their first three games, losing to 0-2 Michigan, 38-0. It is so bad for Notre Dame they have to change the name of Touchdown Jesus to Punting Jesus.

Since you asked:
What a great weekend. Friday night, Virg went out with her pals and I hung with the Stinker, Ann Caroline, for some take out barbeque. We watched the US Women’s World Cup win over Sweden and we had some fierce “Connect Four” matches. (She won two out of three, or something like that. OK, she won all three) Then she went to bed and I watched the DVR’d Cubs win.

Saturday I had a good workout at the gym, and then we headed out to East, East El Cajon – (More like West, West Arizona) for A.C.’s soccer game. It is amazing how the geography changes 35 minutes east of us. Very Arizona-like-and beautiful dessert mountainous terrain but, hot, hot, hot.

Not to be one of those obnoxious bragging soccer parents but AC’s team won 5-1. Huh? Oh, well, if you really want to know, AC scored a couple goals. OK, three goals and one assist, but who’s counting?

Right after the game and just two exits off I8 West, we were off to our good friend Rich Messina’s retirement party at Joan Embry’s estate. It was wild, her grounds are made for entertaining and I got to play harmonica with the guitarist. (He had a drum machine) It was fun. Tasty brisket and beans, lots of good wine great folks. How many people can say they played harmonica at Joan Embry’s ranch? Probably not many.

Sunday got up and tore up the bike at the gym and braced the couch for some serious surfing. Our also good friend, Nanette, came over for bagels and lox and coffee. I personally made her coffee with a dash of milk and a packet of Splenda, ‘cause that’s how I roll. Nanette was looking at the coffee kind of funny – I could sorta tell she didn’t like it – when she said;

“This coffee tastes really, uh, interesting. What did you do to it?”

I explained I put some Splenda with a tad of vanilla in it. She said;

“Oh, that must be it, I sweetened it too.”

As we don’t have any sugar that sits out on a counter, I was curious what she sweetened it with. When I asked, she pointed to a clear, small glass bowl filled with white granules with a lid that was on the counter.

“That’s Kosher salt, Nanette.”

We died laughing. She had sweetened her coffee with a teaspoon of pure salt. The best part was how polite she was at first on how “different” my coffee tasted.

That is a good lesson for chefs. The drive to be polite can be so strong that a woman can sit there politely sipping vile-sodium poisoned coffee and still say that it was “interesting.”

The rest of the day it was football, golf, football, and then football, a little baseball, and then back to football. Chinese food and Bob is your freakin’ stinkin’ blinkin’ Uncle.

“Camp Hollywood”
It embarrasses me to admit that lately I have been obsessed with a low-budget documentary on the Sundance channel called “Camp Hollywood.” What a fascinating glimpse into modern Hollywood, the history of Hollywood and our society in general.

It all takes place at this classic exposed-beams-built-hip-for-the-Fifties-but-now-wildly-tacky hotel/apartment building, the Highland Gardens, right up from Hollywood Blvd. The history is amazing, Janice Joplin OD’d on heroin in room 105, Errol Flynn used to live there, Jim Morrison of the Doors stayed there, the Rat Pack used to party in the lobby in the late Fifties.

This is the real Hotel California. (Did you think I would make it through this without an Eagle reference?)

It’s a tacky hotel/apartment building that is filled with wannabe stars and has-beens and never-will-bes. Some big name actors live there. There was that guy who was in that thing along with that other guy. The one guy is big, he plays the crazy fat producer on “Entourage” and was the crazy officer who peed himself and blew his brains out in “Dances with Wolves” Maury Chaykin.

And, as it was filmed a few years ago, a couple of the up and comers have up and come. The drop-dead gorgeous Malin Akerman has hit it big on HBO’s “The Comeback” and “Entourage” and just-released “The Heartbreak Kid.” She came off as an airhead narcissist diva and why wouldn’t she be?

As gorgeous as Akerman is, the two other engenues, angenues, fledgling actresses, Brooke Nevin and Laura Jordan come off much more likeable and interesting. The rumors of Hollywood still being a hotbed for alcoholism, drug abuse and wild sex are fueled and fanned as the residents gather to party and party hard every night.

The lonely artist bit is played to the hilt by all and they circle the wagons in a supportive/self-masturbatory “Aren’t we just the bravest little rebels and gypsies?” way as best they can. However, the overriding sense is profound sadness and emptiness that hangs heavy along with the sorrowful guilt of “Wondering what I’ve left behind?”(Did you really think I was going to make it through this without an Eagle line?”) These people have given up a lot to live very modestly for their beloved craft.

And the really sad part is that these people reflect the ones in the middle of Hollywood either on the way up or on the way back down. There is a whole other level beneath this of people who share dumps in South Central and Echo Park and or live in their cars and vans.

As I have mentioned, there are two species in Hollywood according to the people in Hollywood: those who can help your career and those who cannot. The prior receive no end of butt smooching, and the latter are dropped like a bag of so much fetid garbage.

“Camp Hollywood” made me realize how guilty I should feel over how half-assed an effort I gave to doing stand up. As I was already getting work writing comedy, I treated stand up like it was a fun intramural sport performing on Thursday “San Diego All Star Night” at the Comedy Store in La Jolla with other up and comers. Several times I hosted charity events that sold out.

Most of the other people on "All Star Night" had devoted their lives to stand up and some were actually living in their cars. And, even as half-assed as my effort was, I did pretty well, in all modesty. (I showcased for owner Mitzi Shore many times. She didn’t seem to like my act, but I did showcase for her) In the end stand up was just too performy, too actor-ery and was surrounded by too many truly annoying wannabe artists. But I still like to do it. Lately it has been at corporate gigs.

Jay Leno has a story where he was arrested for vagrancy on Hollywood Blvd, right on the spot where he later got his star on the “Walk of Fame. That sort of sums up the entertainment bidness.

And that was a block away from the Highland Gardens.

(You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave)