In which disaster stikes - in the most mundane way possible
So for a little while there a solid portion of my part of the country was on fire. Now there was nothing to worry about, the closest the fire came to us was Malibu, but in all seriousness the smoke was so thick in the air it was noticeably harder to breathe. Still, I didn't realize how bad things were until the impossibly-handsome CNN anchor Anderson Cooper showed up. Cooper only bothers to show up for real tragedies, he almost trampled other reporters in his hurry to get to New Orleans and "feel the pain" of Katrina survivors, so when he showed up in Southern California I got legitimately worried. As the fire grew cops were telling people to leave their homes, and many understandably refused - they should have send Cooper. That would have done it for me:
Fireman: Sir, you're going to have to evacuate your home.
Me: No way, I'll stay and fight the flames myself, my life is inside that home.
Anderson Cooper: Sir, if you're going to stay and battle this fire do you mind if I do a quick interview?
Me: Honey get the kids! Fucking Anderson Cooper is here, things must be even worse than I thought, we're all gonna die! Get out of my way Cooper! I'm outta here!
The point is that even thought I lived just a few miles from some of the fires it was more of a media event than anything, for the most part my life was completely unaffected...except my cell phone service! Apparently the fires knocked out cell phone towers, and with so many calls going through fewer and fewer towers service was terrible. I called T-Mobile to see what the deal was and they assured me that, and I quote, "we've got a team reconstructing and rerouting the towers now." So what, I'm supposed to believe that there's some sort of T-Mobile firefighting swat teams that rushes into blazing infernos so I can check my voicemail? If they're really that good I'd frankly rather have them, I don't know, saving people's lives for example. Thousands of people lost thier homes, I lost the ability to text message. Still, as long as Andeson Cooper doesn't show up I'll be fine.
In which I mingle with celebrities - kind of
This being the city it is I've had a few paparazzi worthy moments in the past few weeks, most of which were of course completely devoid of paparazzi.
The Rakim Episode - So I went to a concert for a little musical enjoyment and the chance to talk to Rakim, the man widely regarded by hip-hop lovers as the greatest rapper to ever live. He was incredibly intelligent and nice, everything I could have hoped for, and then at the exact second that I managed to finagle a photo op his security guard decided to step in front of the camera (see above). So it's me, Rakim, and this guy's red shirt. Thanks a lot security guy, I will hate you forever.
The Stone Cold Steve Austin Episode - For those not in the know, and I barely am, until relatively recently Stone Cold Steve Austin was the most famous wrestler in the country, a man famous for beating the bejeezus out of opponents and then pouring beer over their prone bodies. He also apparently likes to wait in front of me in airport security lines. For a solid fifteen minutes we did they “can you believe some people still don’t know they have to take their shoes off” thing as we waited. At one point an elderly woman has forgotten to empty her water bottle and he turned to me, “Fuckin amateur hour today.”
“Amateur hour,” I agreed, silently hoping he take the offending grandma into some kind of choke hold. Not that I advocate anti-grandma violence, it just occurred to me that would literally be the most interesting I’d ever see. Needless to say he did not body slam the woman. Pity. And that my friends is the story of me and Stone Cold Steve Austin.
The Andre 3000 Episode – I really wish this were a cooler story, but in many ways it’s the epitome of West Hollywood life. I was coming down the escalator, up comes Andre 3000, the unbelievably talented Outkast member and burgeoning actor, presumably to watch a movie at the independent theater I had just come from. Unable to help myself I completely turned to follow him as we passed each other on the escalators. For a moment I was seriously considering running up the down escalator after him, but luckily that struck me as a very creepy maneuver, which it would have been. That’s West Hollywood for you; you won’t meet famous people, but you’ll pass by them on the escalator and immediately lose all sense of self-respect and dignity. Home sweet home.
In which my employment status improves notably
The primary reason I’ve been so slow on the blogging is believe it or not I finagled some poor unsuspecting publication into making me an associate editor, which means I’ve finally joined the fully 9-5 working world. Praise jesus I don’t work in a cubicle, but on your average day I might indeed engage in “talk” around the water cooler and unreasonably flip out when someone doesn’t change the filter in the coffee machine. How fucking hard is it to change a filter! I’ll end there at the risk of turning this into a Dilbert cartoon. The point is the new job is good times and now that I’m no longer going the extra mile to stop being “the new guy” I can start slacking again and writing blog entries. More to follow, I promise, or may Anderson Cooper rip out my still beating heart.