Tuesday, January 5, 2021

A Walk on the Moon

Four days on Route 66 brought Marla, Oliver (above) and me to Wilmette, Illinois and 17 degree weather. Highlights of the trip: Jason, at the Mexican restaurant in Amarillo Texas who threw out the menu and custom-made burittos exactly the way we wanted. Guy near Flagstaff who works a 70-hour week and refused to take $10 at the gas statio where he re-filled the motor oil. Dwayne, here in Wilmette, who accomodated a last-minute booking at 2 30 in the morning at this extended stay hotel where I took the picture above. Details to come.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Morning Dog Walk in Laurel Canyon

Here's my morning dog walk with Oliver in Studio City, Dec. 25 2020. I turn right and go down Laurel Canyon Boulevard past the "LaurelWood" bus stop, where Erik the homeless guy used to hang out, and walk by the house formerly owned by bug-eyed actor Marty Feldman. It's now home to Mark "Flanny" Flannigan, from Dublin, who went to Harvard, moved to L.A. and started alternative comedy hotspot Largo. He seemingly knows everybody and one of his best friends Conan O'Brien, now broadcasts his show from Largo.

Then we come to the rental house formerly rented by the British DP who shot WestWorld and his cute family. Up the hill I pass the ranch house belonging to composer Megan, who's working on a musical about a Jewish woman who smuggled thousands of kids out of Poland. Next door lives Aaron, the 80-something lawyer with red hair who remembers wiping off seats for baseball fans back in the depression and sticking out his hand for a nickel. The batboy. His wife Millie, a brash New Yorker always dressed to the nines. Their son Ethan, a genius repairman of video games.

A bit further is the "hippie shack" owned by a law professor from University of San Francisco. Then a forested hollow. Here's where I often run into Tommy, an adorable border collie, and his owner Neil Clark, who seems to know pretty much everything from how to unlock a locked electronic gate and the best time to pick apples to the fact that the guy in the red sports car who just whizzed past us is William Shatner, who lives at the top of the hill

Reversing course I pass the judge's house, who told me my late dog Huck looked so formidable he would fit right in sitting next to him in court.

Now I approach the landmark "Hobbit House." Formerly owned by Jane Fonda and "My Name is Earl" sidekick Ethan Suplee, it's made of cobblestones and Middle Earth type roofing. According to Neil, the compound kept expanding to accomdate orphaned children, which is why it's such a sprawling jumble.

Downhll to the tree-lined "Bucolic Stretch." Behind the gate on the left, Frick and Frack lurk, waiting to bark their brains out. Officially known as Dudley and Eddie, the smaller dog plays the alpha role. "Eddie runs the show," his owner once told me.

A hip hop producer reportedly lives in the white modernst mansion next door but never comes out when I'm walking. Patton Oswald lives beyond the Bucolic Stretch in a contemporary house, so I'm told (by Neil), although I've never run into him.

Somewhere along the way I often see Alex and her little Charlie dog. Living in a fairy tale-like glade is bulldog Baxter and John, the crew chief for "Big Brother," and his Emmy-nominated costume designer wife Jodie Stern ("Watchmen"). I might run into Irena, the Iranian expatriate who voted for Trump and whose husband Jerry used to regale me at the Dona Pegita bus stop with a litany of health-related misadventures. Tromping back up hill, I might pass Meg and her tiny dog Ridley, who live in the ranch house formerly occupied by the Palestinian character actor (see below) and his family. Then. . . home.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Auteur Yes, Autistic, No

In the can't judge a book by its cover department, auteur or autistic division: Many mornings I try to strike up a conversation with a shy, shambling guy with glasses, who walks two small dogs. I always imagined he was about 26 and recovering from a nervous breakdown so he had moved back into his parents' house to regroup. So today I run into a woman walking the two small dogs, Zoe and Bella, and I say "Oh, usually I see an... interesting young man walking these dogs instead." Oh that's my son, she says. Turns out he's 16 genius auteur/actor who loves Shakespeare, got rave reviews for playing "Bottom" in A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, that he's been directed by Spike Lee in a TV pilot written by Tom "Homicide" Fontana, uses a typewriter for his screenplays to emulatehis idol Woody Allen, that he wants to go to film school at NYU, super-focused, and his dad is an actor-==producer whose movie just won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. So... That's L.A. for ya.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Beautiful Afghan Hound Huck: Rest In Peace

Our dear boy Huck died February 24, 2013. He was a beautiful, soulful Afghan Hound. Huck went quickly. Sunday morning, he had trouble standing up. By midnight, as the Oscars played on TV, Huck breathed his last breath. Marla and I loved him so.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Greetings From Laurel Canyon

Now ensconced in Laurel Canyon, after noisy neighbors drove us out of the Tijunga Village home. Cars roar by pretty much non-stop on Laurel Canyon Boulevard, but my giant picture window where I'm typing this faces out onto a gorgeous glade - - dragon flies, lizards, bouganvilla, and even a bubbling brook make themselves at home on this hillside property. And the birds. They cast some kind of weird hypnotic spell every morning making it harad to snap out of it, go in the house and do the daily writing gigs.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Leaving Studio City?

I'm going to miss this neighborhood and all the characters, but there's too much noise coming from next door so it looks like Marla Huck and I will be moving by April 1. Stay tuned for updates

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Super Duper Cinema

I've seen the future of movies, maybe, and it's mighty impressive. On Thursday I went to RED Cinema in Hollywood and they filmed me tossing an orange, hurling water, stuff like that. They shot it at 48 frames per second. Normally, it would be 24 frames a second. Twice as crisp! I'll be writing up a full report for Wired.com in next few days.