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1:40 am - Thurs 6/10/04
Born Okay The First Time

Born Ok The First Time

Sun 6/6/04 (11:34 p.m.)

Well, I'm feeling somewhat ambivalent about it, but I have a new cellphone.

Here's what happened–Maybe two weeks ago now, my pager, the cute little pager that I liked so much because it was always the harbinger of good news? It stopped working. And after a couple rounds of calls with the store where I bought it, they told me the company that makes the pager had gone bankrupt (At first, they tried to tell me my contract had expired, which was news to me, since I'd renewed it for a year back in January. Good thing I kept the receipt, huh?).

Anyway, I didn't get how this was going to work, but when I called the pager company, I was told that if I brought the pager to their downtown office, they were somehow going to make things right (I didn't ask a lot of questions. I just wanted my pager back).

But tragically, the whole issue was rendered moot when I decided the pager looked a little dirty...and put it through the wash.


(Shows what can happen when your routines gets interrupted...)

Initially I just wanted another pager. Felt like that was all I really needed. But Kevin and I went to four different cell phone places--Sprint, Verizon, Cingular, and one of those places that offer a bunch of different cell phone company plans ( Do I know how to entertain a guest, or do I know how to entertain a guest?)–and none of them offered pagers.

(Even the store where I bought the original pager has gotten out of the pager business. Apparently, pagers are "out". Way out. All that's left are fly-by-night operations that could very well go belly-up in the middle of your service contract, my sad story being a case in point.)

Well, I could go on, but I think you've gotten the idea–I have a new cellphone. And that's probably a good thing: My pager was cheap, and I really liked that, but it wouldn't do me much good if I was stranded by the side of the road on the way to an audition. That's been a low-level anxiety of mine, so it's good to kind of have the bases covered there.

Weds 6/9/04 (11:07 p.m.)

Well, I've let way too much time go by; tomorrow, I'm heading to Vegas with Kevin, so if I'm going to "catch up" in here, I've gotta do it tonite...

I've thought about it, and I think I'm going to defray at least part of the cost of the new cell phone by cutting service on my "land line". I need a phone line for the computer, but I can drop long distance coverage, and my voice mail, and that'll get me at least partway to paying for the new phone (Those big nationals I'll be booking over the next few months will cover the rest!).

Still having a great time with Kevin.

I've tried to hold it off, but I'm starting to have those unhappy, "I'm Gonna Have To Go Back To Work At Some Point" feelings.

Kevin will be leaving for Lansing Saturday nite, and my vacation officially ends on Tuesday (But happily, that means I won't have to be back to work till Friday, since Wednesday and Thursday are my "weekend").

This has not been a perfect time–I would like to have been more awake for most of it (Getting about five crappy hours a night), and the constant foot pain has kind of sucked–but it's been a pretty damned good time. Good enough that I know I'm gong to be really bummed when it's time for him to leave.

It's been a nice combo of actually "doing stuff", and just kicking back and watching dvds.

Sunday we went to Venice beach, which was pretty cool (They really screw you on parking, though; $11 to park four blocks away. And nobody even kissed me afterwards...).

Our only disappointment? We were really hoping to see beautiful people in skimpy bathing suits (I thought Venice Beach was legendary for that sort of thing). And while there were certainly some attractive specimens, neither of us thought the concentration of beautiful people was any greater than you might see in Michigan. Very disappointing on that front (Where the hell do the beautiful people go when they want everyone to see how hot they are...?).

Kevin actually dipped himself in the Pacific at one point, but I was content just to walk along the beach, splitting my gaze equally between the ocean waves and scoping for babes.

We walked along the beach, a good part of the way to Santa Monica, then went back down the boardwalk, or whatever you call it, checking out the stores and musicians and street performers, a hippy/new age vibe that I imagine hasn't changed much in the past 30 years or so.

I actually grabbed a number of brochures from the Atheists United booth, only one of which I've read at this point ("Questions for the believer"). I did like two of their bumper stickers, though: "Born right the first time" and "Buddha loves you too".

(For the record? I'd define myself as an agnostic at this point. I guess I'm a "seeker of truth", though most of the time, I don't really seem to be "seeking" all that hard.)

Kevin bought a cool bracelet while we were there, but while I was tempted by some little religious figures in one store (I understand the appeal of the Buddha–he's such a happy, contented-looking fella–but what was up with suddenly wanting a statue of Ganesh?), I managed to leave the area without any religious icons.

The next day, we were planning on going to the Getty, but we hit a snag-- The Getty is closed on Mondays–and saw Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkhaban instead (I was very happy that something we both wanted to see was playing at the Vista, one of my theaters in Los Feliz; I really wanted to do the cheap movie and House of Pies thing that I did when Mark and Jane were here the first time. It's kind of like "This is what I really do here in L.A....").

We both really liked "Harry Potter" (Kevin has read the first three books and seen the first two movies; I've read all the books, and haven't seen either of the first two movies).

I knew the movie was "working" for me when I started to think "I wish the real world were more like this..." (And if you want to see what would have made young Jim Hoffmaster's heart flutter, "Hermione" would pretty much fit the bill. What a cutie!). I hope the director will come back for one of the sequels, cause I think he's really go the right idea of how these movies should go.

(Mike Newell–sp?–the Four Weddings And A Funeral director, is doing the next movie.)

Afterwards, Kevin wanted to check out a very cool shop nearby called Wacko, kind of a funky Spencer Gifts, for want of a better description (I went in one time, a year or two ago, to check out their Halloween stuff; I know me well enough to know it's the kind of place I shouldn't go into, because I'm always gonna want to come out with something).

It has vintage pin-up books, more bobble-head dolls than I've ever seen in one place, old tv show lunch boxes, and just all kinds of cool toys and geegaws and doodads (They even have candy I thought was long gone: Zero bars, "Gold Nugget" bubble gum, candy cigarettes, Wacky Packages, etc and so on).

And unfortunately for me, they also had action figures.

There were lots of cool ones that were just too expensive for me to justify–I can't spend $40 on Frankenstein's Monster, no matter how great it looks–but I was almost out the door when I saw one that "solved a problem" I'd been having: A couple months back, I bought a "Colossus" action figure (The big metal guy from the X-men), but then realized I didn't have anyone at home powerful enough for him to fight with.

(Hey, you've got your problems, and I've got mine. Okay?)

But this guy I saw was a friggin brute. Just huge–actually bigger than Colossus–and marked down 50%, to just $9.00.

Colossus was going to have his hands full.

So I bought it, along with a Zero bar, and we went to the House of Pies, where I think it's safe to say a good time was had by all (To paraphrase one of my favorite Pulp Fiction quotes, any time of the day is a good time for the House of Pies).

Back at home, I was feeling a lot of "buyer's remorse" about my fearsome-looking action figure, and that "remorse" went through the roof when I was messing around with it, and one of the legs broke off in my hand ("I shouldn't have bought this in the first place", I thought to myself, "And now I've gotten maybe thirty seconds of enjoyment from it? Son of a bitch...!").

I tried crazy glue. It didn't work.

I tried rubber cement. That didn't work either.

Finally, Kevin suggested epoxy, which seems to have done the trick (I pretty much spent as much to fix the figure as I did in buying it. Which leads me to wonder if the universe was trying to tell me something–"Time to become a man, Jim, and put away childish things...").

Well, there's more to report, but I'm going to have to finish this up tomorrow before we depart...


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