Subject: CALEB: LA?
To: NoEnd, noend@TAOS.COM
My friend of 22 years, Ellen, and I are writing a romantic comedy. I feel it’s important to always be writing a script when in LA, in fact I think it should be required to renew one’s drivers license,
We eat fruit with yogurt and honey in the morning. We cook almost every night to save money. Ellen tells me I’ve been in LA for five days, but I don’t believe her for a minute, not the LA I know…
Last night we went on a Sierra Club hike *in* the city at Griffith Park. We met in a sprawling wooded shallow canyon of lawns, tennis courts, golf courses and tall Eucalyptus trees. We hiked with the “4s” by mistake. It’s a Sierra Club rating system for the speed of the hike, 1 thru 6. People who don’t hike for regular exercise are supposed to be with the 1s or 2s. Our English hike leader, Ed, was right out of “Bridge Over The River Quay”, and old enough to have been there. His best line dallied from his mouth as we paused before taking on a thin ridge trail near the top of the hike, “OK, for those of you who haven’t been on the trail ahead, we want you to come back, so keep your eyes down, there are places where it is, and where it’s not.” “Right’ O Ed, just hand over those forced march cocaine tabs you’ve kept since the Big One, and let’s just make sure we tally ‘ho down this bloody hill before nightfall…”
No such luck with the tabs, great hike though. At the top, Hollywood straight ahead, Glendale to the rear. Ocean to the right, something horrible in the f’smog (smog/fog) to the left, but I didn’t intend of clicking that icon…
I’m in Sherman Oaks, by a river (OK, so the banks are concrete, but it’s still a river). It’s a nice studio with a pool for $475/mo on a quiet street. The only other places we go are Hollywood via Beverly Glen or Laurel Canyon Road for In-n-Out pig outs, matinees, or to UCLA for museums. We did slip over to Venice one day to roller blade around the winding pathways in the sand. I haven’t been in a traffic jam yet, the air’s almost breathable, and I’ve met nice people.
So you see why I don’t believe I’m in LA…At least not the LA we manufacture in San Francisco. LA is so omnipresent that people around the world create fantasies about what it’s like. These fantasies are as varied and devoid of healthiness as the movies that pour out of the very place they’re thinking about. I am seeing the movie, “LA on a shoe string, avoid the bad parts, stay with friends.” I directed, wrote and stared in it.
Hollywood is still here, make no mistake. The talk among friends is that someone saw Hugh Grant in public, and that Friend’s stars demanded $100,000 per episode. People scan the Hollywood Reporter for work and mansions peak out from thick sheer walls of dense leaves that a squirrel couldn’t get through. A friend of a friend just directed a “little bit” of a commercial for Office Depot, and the people on the fringe are fringier then ever.
I did lunch with Andrew Beebe, a NoEnd original. He’s in Century City in a big scraping-sky-blocker of a building, on the sixteenth floor working miracles for TeleTV and lookin’ sharp in LA duds. We found some grass, took our shoes off and dreamed of brick and wood offices in the trees.
See some of you at the Wednesday the 24th of July NoEnd meeting.
Off to San Diego
Caleb Out. (PS. Found a great word: “Throve”, past tense of “Thrive”.)