11:04 am - Sun 6/29/03
At the 99-cent store recently--For some reason, I always want to call it the dollar store--the woman in front of me in line was buying "white baby bones" for her dog.
I'm hoping that was just an example of the "Fractured English" I get a kick out of, and not proof that LA is an even tougher town than I realized...!
(The following are excerpts from two lengthy journal entries I wrote while at Brad's house.)
Weds 6/25/03 11:01 pm
(A nice note, in the middle of the not-niceness concerning my bike; I thought I might have to wait for days till they could get to it, but they actually fixed it while I waited. In addition to the new rim for the back tire, I had them replace the front tire's inner tube, since it was kind of leaky and I'd patched it once already.)
When I got home from the bike shop, I decided to check my voice mail before leaving to go see The Hulk (I decided that even though fixing the bike had taken all my extra "dog-sitting money", I was still going to the movies).
There was a message from Anita, an online friend who lives in Fontana, California, who I've never met in person; She was going to be in LA (Looking to get an agent for her 4-year-old, Mikey), and wanted to know if I'd like to meet up afterwards.
(She'd emailed me about this a week or two before. I said it was my day off and my day was pretty open-ended at that point. But she never got back to me, so I basically forgot about it.)
My first impulse was to pretend I hadn't gotten the message in time--I'd really been looking forward to seeing The Hulk, and besides, she was going to have her 4-year-old along, so I knew honest-to-God conversation was going to be...challenging--but then it struck me that opting to see a movie instead of having actual "people contact" would be a little warped of me. So I called, and we worked out that I'd "hang loose" till her meeting with this agent was finished, then she'd call when she was on her way.
We ended up eating at Denny's, because it was nearby and easy (Does anyone ever eat at Denny's for another reason?), and I was nervous at first, but it was fine...though to be perfectly blunt, I did wish the kid hadn't been there; He couldn't seem to keep himself entertained at all. He had to constantly be the center of attention, and it was frustrating trying to talk--or listen to Anita--when he was interrupting, or being reprimanded for interrupting, every two seconds (I specifically remember a lengthy discourse on Spongebob Squarepants that I'm sure made sense to him, but totally eluded me and Anita).
The agent meeting hadn't gone well, apparently, because Mikey was "in a mood". And while Anita was passing it off as something they were doing "just for fun", I could tell she was frustrated, in that way parents must be when little Johnny or Janie won't do "that cute thing they do" in front of the company.
(Editors note: In a follow-up email, Anita said they had decided to sign Mikey anyway. I don't want to be cynical or pessimistic or whatever you want to call it, but I'm getting a faint whiff of scam here...)
Talking with Anita, I ended up feeling kind of sorry for her; While she didn't spend our whole conversation complaining about her life, it seemed obvious from various oblique little comments she made that she's not happy (And I thought it was interesting that in our entire conversation, she didn't say word one about her husband). It wasn't the best advertising for family life.
Friday 6/27/03 9:00 am
Movies I've watched while at Brad's:
1. Horror of Dracula*
3. About A Boy
4. Donnie Darko
5. The Fog*
8. Jaws (Just the DVD "extras")
9. Royal Tenenbaums
(An asterisk indicates movies I'd not seen before.)
Brad's DVD collection consists mostly of old horror and sci-fi movies; I was actually feeling guilty for not watching more stuff I hadn't seen before, and had to consciously tell myself, "Good God, Jim, just watch whatever the hell you want to watch, all right?".
Nero, the reason I'm here, has been fine. John C., who watched him during the first half of Brad's vacation, alluded to the two of them "not always being friends", but I'm not sure what the problem could have been.
Of course, all this time with a dog has begged the question "Would I want a dog of my own?" (Especially since Nero is the kind of dog I would want, if I wanted a dog).
I don't think I would want a dog, at least not as things stand; Financially, I'd want to be in the position to take him to the vet without hesitation, and not have it be a big hardship (I wouldn't another animal in my care to die because I couldn't/wouldn't spend the money on vet bill). And Brad feeds Nero "the good stuff", food-wise (Iams), which I know would feel like another burden to me (At the same time, I'd feel guilty if I didn't feed Fido "the good stuff").
And even over this week, I've felt guilty for leaving him alone as much as I have, so how much worse would I feel if I were working and doing a play (Assuming I ever do live theatre again)? And knowing me, I know I'd grow resentful if I were logging 12 or 14 hour days, then had to come home and walk the dog (This is not to mention the possibility of long days on a movie or tv set, or lengthy location shoots, which I'm hoping will be in my future).
So I don't think I'm ready for a dog at this point.
Saw The Hulk yesterday.
My first reaction? "Damn! Jennifer Connelly sure is pretty...!".
My second reaction? I was, for the most part, pretty impressed. It's not a perfect movie, but it was obvious that Ang Lee was going for something beyond your typical summer "popcorn flick", and I appreciated the effort (And it's not really a movie for the kids; There's a lot of exposition before we see the big green guy).
Of course, the biggest issue is whether "the big green guy" is convincing, and for me, the answer, more often than not, was yes. I had to "suspend a little disbelief" at times, but the face was very expressive, and I agreed with the reviewer who said the effect was actually more impressive after the initial dark scenes when he first makes his appearance (The best action in the movie, in my opinion, is the initial fight in the desert with the army tanks. I thought it was very exciting, and totally convincing).
While I could see critics taking some legitimate "issue" with the film (Though the majority of reviews have been favorable), my feeling is that a lot of the bad reviews come from critics who "don't get it"; This is not really a "superhero movie", but something more akin to a horror film (The Hulk is basically "Frankenstein" crossed with "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde").
Hope that wasn't too boring. I just wanted to try to catch up in here on my time at Brad's.
Well, that's actually more to write about (Michael Madsen at the bookstore, and Eliza Dushku at the bar, for starters), but this tired old man has to catch a nap before another exciting working day at the bookstore...
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