Monday, November 17, 2008

and While in LA

I've posted about the beautiful art of this woman before. Well, she's sharing a space called thinkSpace at 4210 Santa Monica Blvd. in groovy Silverlake, CA. It's an excellent little gallery and a great show. Recommended!

Selling Out: Postlude

It is now over, and I'm back in CT recuperating from jet lag. NEVER fly a redeye coach, for any reason.
The last hellish hours of my journey aside, I admit some pleasurable experiences this weekend: Saturday night at the Figueroa Hotel, by a turquoise lit jacuzzi and pool (no swimsuit, alas) under a bright open sky with cactuses and afrobeat music all around. This is a happy place indeed. (Just a look, above.)
(In the interest of fairness, I stayed at a lovely vintage hotel called the Mayfair on 7th Street. A very nice room and staff. I'm just emphasizing that the Figureoa is something special.)
Do I love LA? Kinda. Sure it's horribly polluted, and vastly indifferent. And everyone there is so annoyingly pretty. But there's lots to love too, and lots of opportunity for a visitor with a plan and some common sense. This is truly the Wild West: untamed, savage, stunningly beautiful and ugly at once. The meanest of mean streets, the trendiest of trendy, the sleaziest of sleazy. Like the little city within driving distance called Las Vegas, it's all about extremes.
I've learned a bit about travel, though. Going carless in LA is a very bad time. The Metro is ineffective and hard to navigate; the cabs are overpriced and clueless. Sad, but true. And did I mention never to fly coach?
Oh yeah, and I learned that selling me and my work is a good thing after all. I fully intend to do it a lot from now on, wherever I am, and wherever I go next.

Enough jet lagged ranting. Now here are photos:
(Blogger layout is idiotic. Just click the links for a closeup.)

View from my hotel, north:

And West

Lunch in Little Tokyo was Saturday. Look for this pagoda:

Found this Buddhist temple on a sidestreet:

And, dude! Palm trees downtown!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Selling Out: Interlude

Oh man I'm tired. Day 2 and pitch sessions are heating up. It is now dusk in the crater of the LA Convention Center, and the air is a lovely shade of orange smoke.
There were classes yesterday from Syd Field, Dave Trottier and others, plus a reading by Richard Price from the upcoming "Lush Life" and his hilarious observations on the writer's life. I met some great people at the Millenium Biltmore reception, and experienced wild times on Hollywood & Vine after hours.
A fantasy camp after all? Maybe. But for those who want to taste the script writer's life, it's essential. Will I return next time? No way. Once in boot camp is enough.
But wait, there's more. Tune in Monday-ish (after all, it's California).

(EDIT: indeed, that was smoke and not smog. Condolences to all the residents of Orange County left homeless by the wildfires this week.)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Selling Out: Prelude

Last weekend I attended the Final Draft Take a Meeting script pitch 'fest' in NYC. How it will fare as a networking event time will tell, but this novice author came away with vastly improved confidence in his ability to sell his screenplays.
Next stop: LA. I'm writing my first mobile post, at White Plains airport waiting for the call to board. My worry though, is that I have invested financially and my soul as well, in a Fantasy Camp for movie auteur wannabes. Baseball and rock music nerds have theirs, why not us?
I hope I'm wrong.

PS Photos will come up when I get home. Can't upload on a Sidekick. Yet...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Undecision Time!

Well, it's now hours away, and I have to say my peace before the whole dreadful mess comes to a close.
It's been close, and I have been awed by the performance of both candidates - to the point where at certain times, I really was undecided. Undecided? Me?
Yeah, as a former Nader voter and disgruntled but proud American, it's obvious who I'm voting for tomorrow. But I still harbor some respect for McCain, and hope for a Congress and/or Senate that will carry out his fight against bureaucracy and bloat in government. That is their job, more so than the President.
As much as I dislike McCain's mentors, his racist fans and his anti-choice rhetoric, that's not why I've been asked to vote tomorrow.

Ah, voting - that time of year when people who can't balance a checkbook are asked to decide which total stranger is best qualified to oversee the finances of the world's most powerful nation. I can't afford a condo and I have to decide whose financial vision is more plausible? Are they kidding? This is worse than when I pulled jury duty.
Luckily Obama led the debate on China and Saudi Arabia, the two countries giving us the most unfriendly rivalry at this time. This is what the president does, not write checks for everyone. He (sorry, Hillary) maintains our security and our rights. First and foremost.
Are you more secure and more confident of your rights today than you were 8 years ago?
And having answered that, are you confident your candidate will improve your lot in these areas?
Go vote.