Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Taking a moment

Memorial Day weekend was memorable. I ate. I drank. I watched a cartoon on TV which showed how awful the British were. Then I ate and drank some more. Later on, the persistant drone of 3 news helicopters forced me outside, where I joined an inquisitive mob searching for today's local news. We didn't find it. But I did enjoy the circling LAPD chopper, all shiny and grey and menacing. On the news tonight I watched a woman being "tazered" by a policeman. Twice. She had refused to get out of her car. The burly cop (whose partner was steps away) decided she posed a threat and proceeded to "zap" her with 50,000 volts for 2 minutes. An appropriate response? Doubtful. The following news item saw a chuckling George W Bush dismissing Amnesty International's criticism of prisoners' treatment at Guantanamo Bay as ludicrous. Since when are accusations of torture funny? When is laughter an appropriate resonse to a charge so serious in nature? Anyone who behaves that way is one of two things: guilty or insane. He went on to promise that as soon as the Iraqis could defend themselves, the US would withdraw. Well, the war has cost $173 billion so far. Since "mission accomplished", 1527 Americans have died. When is it time for an appropriate response? When is it time to start defending your own?

Sunday, May 22, 2005

The Sleep Eye Monster

I have a confession: I am a sleep eye monster. I sleep a lot. Nearly every night I get the requisite 8 hours of slumber. And yet I yearn for more. I love sleep. I love it a lot. If I could find a way to be productive and make money from the land of nod, you can be sure I'd investigate it thoroughly. Even now, I am in my first week of lucid sleep studies. No, I haven't had a lucid dream yet. To be honest, I've only recalled 3 dreams in the past 8 weeks. But one day soon, I'll be able to harness the genius of my subconscious and discover the secrets to financial and personal success. Or at least how to drive up a hill AND have the aircon on. (It's an old car...)

But my relish of sleep doesn't make me a monster. No. What scares the neighbour's little kids is the sleep that remains. In my eyes. (Sensitive readers would do well to close their browsers now) My body generates enough sleep each day to gather together and fashion into a golden candle. (Yes, that's gross. No, I haven't tried it) In fact, Hollywood made a movie recently based on my apartment. It's called House of Wax. (Well what do you expect from a brain that's quietly melting - with the wax - in 100 degrees' heat?) I shall return when my core temperature drops.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Horror

Following on from my recent Russian pimp audition, it seems only fair to fill you in (whoever you are - cos I haven't a clue, but thanks for tuning in) on my latest. I had a call with the joyful news - "you have an audition". But not any audition, it turns out. Here follows the conversation:

"You have an audition"
"It's this Saturday"
"It's a low budget horror film, so it's not paying much"
"You'll be reading for the role of the zombie"
"For the audition they want you to tapdance - can you tapdance?"
"Uh-no. If I could, that'd be under my 'special skills'"
"Okay, well they want you to do a little tap dance ala Young Frankenstein"
"Now there aren't any sides, so what they want after the dance is a zombie groan"
"I really don't think this project interests me, thanks"
"But it's a substantial role"
"Yes, but I'm a zombie, I don't have a any lines, I'll be in thick make-up and no-one will even see me"
"Well, if you're certain... I'll tell them you're unavailable"

Oh- and apparently I did get the pimp gig, although there are no dates yet. Sure beats working in an office, huh?

Monday, May 16, 2005

Phil Collins' Friend

Saw a very funny play with old drama school friend Heike Brunner this past weekend. She played a (psycho?)therapist counselling various troubled individuals. The highlight was the piece with the girlfriend plagued by Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight". Wherever she is, the song seems to find her, and her boyfriend (who's always there, too) has the unstoppable urge to tell the story of why Phil wrote it. Time and time again. On the couch, at parties, in the car. His eyes glaze over and he HAS to tell the story. Very, very funny. And yes- you had to be there. But you weren't, were you? We waited and waited. We even kept a seat. Ah well, maybe next time. It's just... it'd be nice if you called first - to say you're running late. Or jogging. Or ambling. Or sauntering. A casual stroll. A mindless wander. I should go now.

Sunday, May 8, 2005

Bikes, leather, ponytails

I'm riding my motorcycle when I realise the brakes are dodgy. I let her out a little, then brake, and she slows but not to a complete halt. Riding down a side street, my attention is drawn to the sound of a woman's voice. A South African voice. Rare in the States, that. So I loiter, engine running, eager to soak it up. Suddenly the garage door opens and out steps Steven Seagal. He's wearing his customary garb; black leather pants, black boots, long black coat and slicked back ponytail. Whoah! Don't wanna have Mr Happy think I'm about to go through his trash, so I casually pull away.

Down the road there's a police checkpoint. I join a queue and have to show my license. As I reach the front, I dig in my bag for the card, spilling out a slew of other junk, including my old business card. The cop (looking remarkably like the blonde guy from Chips) asks what it is. "Oh, that's my OLD card," I protest. "Here's the new one - it's much better," and I wip out a shiny new, full colour headshot card. He takes it in for that beat past comfort, when this is either gonna be a 40 minute conversation or a kiss - so I nip it in the bud, slapping him on the shoulder with a "I'll let you get on."

And then I woke up. I can't say why the leather clad martial arts fiend, the bike and the cop were in my dream. I should point out that they aren't recurring themes. If they were, one might cast aspertions on my sexuality. Again. The dream's significance is lost on me, but it's certainly refreshing to remember my dream in the first place AND for it to be rather tame as opposed to being chased by wolves. (Which apparently signifies the dreamer's subconcious fear of their dark side) One thing is troubling, however. (Aside from the bike, leather pants and the cop, of course) Why does Steven Seagal sound like a woman?

Thursday, May 5, 2005

Cheerio Slovo

You don't expect Slovenia to be sunny and warm. But then (as I like to say) you don't expect Slovenia. It catches you by surprise. Though a country with 50% forests, I saw only the capital, Ljubljana, a gag-worthy name for a city, but it's inhabitants are anything but. A surplus of rollerblading and biking beauties glide by, licking ice cream cones with foreign tongues. Here and there a fortune-telling type of indeterminate age pedals her assortment of bric-a-brac, but the bulk of the women (of whom none are bulky) are models. Or clearly could be. I sat for coffee on a late afternoon Tuesday, surrounded by gorgeous young women and men, none of whom were over the age of 30. I pictured a ritual slaughtering on one's 31st birthday. There'd be tears, hugs and fond farewells. Perhaps a final meal, a glass of ghastly Slovenian red, followed by the inevitable execution. The youngsters would turn turn, misty-eyed, to the hooded executioner, who'd give a fortune-teller's shrug that would say it all: "I got to live, but hey - look what I have to do for a living - oy!" (Or whatever the Slovenians say)

Back in LA the clouds have gathered, or is it the smog? Hard to tell. As the plane touched down I felt the bag of uncertainty rest back down on my shoulders. Though a little lighter. It didn't hurt that my flight back was cushy and smooth. Nor was I troubled by the sight of Scarlett Johanssen sitting, cross legged, 3 seats away. It's been a promising week, this past week. And promises, even empty ones, can do wonders for an alien.