1.24.2008

Hi. I ordered the large pepperoni with extra diatribe.

I'm transferring some older blogs from my myspace account before I delete it. Enjoy this golden oldie, originally posted 1/24/2008:


Kat stole my car tonight to cart around her cousin's birthday party so I was left to my own devices on one of the three nights a year it rains in LA. Naturally, I ordered a pizza.

And I have to say that I really love the fact that I can order pizza online and just completely eliminate the human element from the process. Far too many minutes have been spent wasting time listening to the 16-year-old tell me the specials. I'm an American, dammit. I want results. I want instant access to the Papa John's menu and I don't want to have to walk my ass down the street to the restaurant.

I ordered my pizza and took off my soaking wet clothes (since I had to walk home in the pouring rain), ran a hot shower, and put on my favorite hoodie and pajama pants.

After a half hour or so my phone rang and it was the pizza guy. Since we just moved in here, we're still not hooked up to the buzzer thing to let people in so I had to jog downstairs and across the courtyard (which is large) to the gate.

I'm huffing and apologizing for the gate situation as I come across a flamingly gay man who I would say is just under seven feet tall. He asks to see my credit card as proof that I'm not stealing my own pizza. Because obviously I could've been a spy monitoring local phone conversations just waiting to swoop in and steal someone's pizza. I hand him my card and ID and hold the pizza while he makes a carbon rubbing of my card in what has got to be the most unsecure security measure ever conceived. Really? The safest way to protect my identity is to make a copy of my credit card on some random piece of receipt paper and then stuff it into the pocket of a delivery guy making $3.50 plus tips?

"What part of Illinois you from?" the giganto-gay man sees my ID.

"Columbia...it's basically St. Louis, Missouri. Just right across the river." I wonder why he would even ask this, and start to think I should ask if he's from Illinois as well, when he follows up.

"Trying to make it as an actor?"

"No."

"Writer?"

"Sure...sorta." I want to write, but I wouldn't say I'm trying to "make it" as a writer. At least not as long as I have my day job.

"Oh man NOW is the PERFECT TIME for you to be here!" His face belies tremendous excitement. He looks genuinely pumped.

"On account of the strike, you mean?"

"Yeah!"

"I don't know, it will definitely shake things up. Are you in the industry?"

"Sorta."

And I wish I could give you the word-for-word blow-by-blow transcription of what happened next. I really do. I wish I could just cut and paste it here for you as one big video so you could see this ginormous flaming guy in a Papa John's hat go into his 20 minute (!) explanation of the strike, its failure to get the writer's demands, the idiocy of the WGA president, the preening of its head lawyer (who's also completely inept, by the way) and tips on where to find production companies hiring non-union writers. 20. Fucking. Minutes.

And I, like a fool, stood there for all of it. Put on my best "I'm very interested" face and nodded. I threw in the occasional "Wow" or "Uh huh" to let him know I really cared. But I glazed over once he started listing SAG talking points and results of the Director's Guild negotiations. There was a weird part about Tom Cruise and the Scientology Stigma, too. Honest. So I stood there. In the rain. Holding my now very cold pizza. This man had come to deliver my dinner but had instead taken me on an amazing journey through the ins and outs of the WGA strike and its implications on my burgeoning career as a writer in LA.

"Are you a screen writer?" I'm not.

"Yeah."

"Okay, thank god. Wow, if you would've said 'poetry' or something I would've been like, 'wow, waste of time talking about all that.'"

"Yeah. Huh. Well thanks for the tip." He holds out his hand to shake mine.

"I'm Sergio, by the way."

"Randy."

"Nice to meet you. Say, I'll tell you what..." he reaches into his pocket. I'm fully expecting a card or a script or screenplay or some other LA ridiculousness to come out. Instead he hands me three packets of crushed red pepper and a packet of parmesan cheese. "Have a good night."

And he capped it off by givin' me the gun. You know, the little index finger point with your thumb straight up in the air. Usually with a little "Pew!" noise to indicate the laser beam firing? That one. Not double guns, though. Just one. Sergio and I aren't quite THERE yet.

And just like that he was off into the rain. Maybe to deliver pizzas and career advice to some other bewildered Midwestern transplant. Perhaps to hang out with his best friend (not "best friend" as in "I saw him in a magazine once," like LITERALLY best friend, like he comes over to my house all the time) whose name I forgot but is TOTALLY the president of TriStar pictures. Or something.

The pizza was good once I reheated it.

1.11.2008

The trick to going out in LA

I'm a midwestern transplant living in Los Angeles, and I look the part. I'm what a co-worker once described, I'm assuming with good intentions, as "corn fed."

I'm fat.

I also have no sense of style and wear t-shirts that are only ironic because of the way they fit. I will wear flip flops in January to just about any social function you're foolish enough to invite me to. I let my hair grow out way too much and get incredibly thick and shaggy and gross before I finally duck down to Fantastic Sams to get it cut.

In short, I am not the typical LA hipster running around with giant aviator glasses and super tight jeans.

And I'm cool with that, I really am. I may not have much style, but I'm definitely not into that one. The problem is going out in LA puts me in a fishbowl filled with these people.

In St. Louis the weirdo pseudo-fashion freak to conservatively dressed people is like 1:87. Hipsters exist to be mocked where I come from, so I'm not used to them being the majority and actually having to walk among them. It's incredibly intimidating.

It's usually pretty easy to stay off their radar since, so long as you don't occupy the same space they currently occupy they tend to not even notice you exist. It's still easy to get self conscious walking with the beautiful people, though, so I've devised a foolproof plan that actually eliminates 100% of the self imposed judgment I loathe.

I pretend I'm famous.

"Wow Randy," I can hear you saying, "that sounds like a perfectly reasonable and not at all insane way to deal with your insecurities: altering reality." Well I'm not BELIEVING I'm famous, dickhead, I'm pretending. When I go out to eat and realize I'm the most shabbily dressed fool in the place, I throw on an eccentric air of superiority and walk in like I own the place. What am I famous for? Who fucking cares! This is LA, and if you're famous you get a free pass on looking like a jackass. Look at Peter Jackson