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Thursday, July 29, 2010
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Thursday, July 22, 2010
On my way to work this morning, I ended up behind a Prius at the intersection of Wilshire and Highland. (Are there enough Priuses on the road by now to balance out the environmental destruction from all the Hummers?) Now, although I myself would like to have a Prius (or whichever hybrid car), the first thought that pops into my mind whenever I see one is "Hippie Hollywood Wuss." I'm not proud that that's the first thing I think of. Have I been brainwashed by Big Oil? Or maybe Big Tobacco? Probably Big Tobacco. Always Big Tobacco.
Well, it just so happens that, in this particular instance, the driver of the Prius ahead of me actually IS a hippie Hollywood wuss. He had a vanity license plate that read "IMDB_ME." I'm not making this up. Furthermore, the border surrounding the license plate said, at the top, "Or go to my web site..." and at the bottom, "www.JPManoux.com"
Wow. No, seriously... wow! Now, I'm as much of an attention whore as anyone else in L.A. (you don't run a blog and not want people to pay attention to you), but this crosses the line. I mean, why not just have someone manufacture a bright red arrow that you can attach to the top of your car so that it will always be pointing down at the driver's seat. Then you would KNOW that all eyes are on you.
SIDE STORY: A couple years ago, while on a run for work, I ended up behind a convertible with a Colorado license plate that read "SCRNWRTR." Now, as someone who pays attention to more than just the actors in movies, I thought I might be able to recognize this guy. And since he was in a convertible, I figured it would be pretty easy to get a good look at him. Unfortunately, I was unable to pull alongside him. In my quest to get as good a look as possible of him in his rear view mirror, I inadvertantly gave this man the impression that I was riding his ass. So, right there in the middle of one of the busiest sections of Lincoln, he brought his car to a complete stop, stood up slightly from his driver's seat, and very dramatically swooped his body around to shoot me a glaring look.
Nope, I didn't recognize him.
Now, apparently this guy was pissed at me for tailing him. I almost started to feel guilty. But then I reminded myself -- and, by God, I wish I could have told him to his face -- that when you advertise yourself, when you go out seeking attention, fame, and glory, you're going to have to deal with, you know, attention, fame, and glory. If this guy hadn't hi-lighted the fact that he was a screenwriter by stamping it into sheet metal on his car, I would have had no idea. He would have been just another asshole on the road, getting in my way as I tried to make a delivery to someone far more famous, important, and rich than he is. If you go out seeking attention, you don't have permission to be pissed off when you get it.
Today, I had no intention of similarly tailing this Prius. There was no way it was going to be someone familiar. People who are already famous don't need to put "Look at me, I'm famous" decals all over their cars. Do you think Leonardo DiCaprio would put an "IMDB_ME" license plate on his car? (But how cool would it be if his plates said "DEE_CAPP"?) I did, however, have no choice but to IMDb him when I got to work. I needed to see the tool who demanded this much attention. And wouldn't you know it?... previous circumstances had conspired to actually make me familiar with this guy.
On the night of the second season finale of "Lost," I had a small gathering of fellow "Lost" fans from work. One of my guests informed me that she knew someone who worked on "How I Met Your Mother," and went on to say that it's a quality show. I've heard many times that it's a quality show, and I had been meaning to check it out. A few nights later, when I was flipping through the TV schedule, I saw a listing for "HIMYM" and decided to record it.
The episode was about New Year's Eve, and the ensemble cast wanted to hit five different parties, and then return to the best of the parties by midnight. At one point in the episode, they see Moby walking down the street and start talking to him. They invite him into their limo and take him to one of their parties. As the man starts talking crazy and pulls out a gun, they discover that he was, in fact, not Moby.
And if you IMDb J.P.Manoux, you will discover that he is, in fact, Not Moby on "How I Met Your Mother."
How crazy is it that I've only seen one episode of that show, and it just so happens to be the episode featuring the glory-hound in the Prius ahead of me?
There's a screenwriter named John August. John August is a scrnwrtr I'd actually recognize if I saw him in the car ahead of me. (Come to think of it, John August bears a bit of a resemblance to Moby too.) August does Q&As for aspiring screenwriters on his website. When they ask him if moving to L.A. is a requirement for success, August is fond of pointing out that, in L.A., the guy in line behind you at the grocery store could very well be a reputable producer. You just never know who it is you're crossing paths with out here.
But the people who really want you to know can just get vanity license plates for their cars.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Pink's is located on the busy intersection of Melrose and La Brea. They've been in the same location since 1939, first as a hot dog cart, later as brick and mortar. Their walls are lined with signed-and-dedicated headshots of all the celebrities who have eaten there throughout the decades. But their biggest claim to fame is the line of people in front of the store. The line is always long, and it's always present. It's a self-perpetuating advertisement; many passers-by decide to check out this place because it's apparently so popular, and then they become the reason that more people decide to check it out.
You really only need to go to Pink's once. I mean, it's just a hot dog. No matter how good it is, it's still just a hot dog. I, however, have been to Pink's three times. The first time was just to say I did it. The other two times were becauses of bosses who wanted the hot dogs but didn't want to wait in line. Being on the clock makes standing in line for an hour and a half at a hot dog stand relatively tolerable.
When you're waiting in line at Pink's, it's easy to determine who the locals are and who's new to the area. The new people gawk at the tremendous line with equal parts amazement and curiosity. The locals are old hands at this; they don't even notice the lines and are just trying to get where they're going.
But I was particularly amused at the number of people who take the time to stop, pull out their cameras or cell phones, and take a picture. A picture of people standing in line. A picture of people standing in line at a hot dog stand.
So I decided to start my own little project. Without further ado, Your Daily Joe proudly presents: Pictures of People Taking Pictures of People In Line at Pink's. Enjoy!
Thursday, July 1, 2010
What It's About: In-depth interviews with guests from a wide variety of fields and specialties - political figures, historians, scientists, authors, filmmakers, athletes, doctors. Any and every field of interest is covered in this show.
Why You Should Care: Terry Gross has over 30 years of experience as an interviewer. She and her excellent research team find interesting angles on their subject, uncovering new information on even the most well-worn topics. Gross can be unexpectedly tenacious when she needs to be, not letting guests off the hook when they try to dodge a question or hide behind doublespeak.
Frequency: Every weekday
Average Length: One hour
iTunes Link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/npr-fresh-air-podcast/id214089682
As always, if you become a regular listener to a podcast that solicits donations, try to find a way to make the occasional contribution.