I am by nature and trade unimpressed with celebrities. Having worked with many a delusional anchor-wannabe in my formulative years, manufactured acclaim of any kind leaves me summarily underwhelmed. It ain't a very popular attitude in this town. Ground zero for America's fascination with famous people, every corner boasts posters of pre-fabricated prophets, over-hyped hollow heroes and temples of emptiness. I'm sure it sounds bitter, but I just can't seem to gaze lovingly at the building sized billboards of perfect grins and chiseled cheekbones without thinking about all those technicians behind the curtain. Having said all that, I did enjoy:
...discussing the merits of the much underrated movie "True Romance" with one of its stars, Michael Rappaport. We both agreed the treacly title ultimately did the Tarantino-penned shoot-em-up something of a disservice. Having settled that issue, Rappaport moved on to the next media crew, no doubt forgetting the encounter before he got three feet away from me.There were other surreal celebrity run-ins, interludes we'll discuss in the coming days. For me however, the highlight of my all-too-brief stay came within an hour of landing at LAX. Much to my delight, my long lost cousin Brian Wagoner, known to many as Monk Siddiq, rolled up in his van and whisked me away to Venice Beach. There we wandered among the vagabonds and philosophers, listening to his mercurial music, discussing my literary ambitions, and examining his mystical quest for inner divinity. I don't claim to understand everything about my Mother's sister's son's lifelong search, but I always treasure our time together and would suffer a dozen red-eye flights and lengthy lay-overs to once again share his air. But I could do without the turbulence.
...settling a heated billiards dispute between the members of D4L. I'd assumed they were merely blinged-out pool enthusiasts in need of an impartial judge. When their mountain-sized bodyguard informed they were the the authors of the Laffy Taffy song, I nodded enthusiastically, afraid to tell them I was a suburban father of two whose collection of hip-hop consisted of one badly aging 'Arrested Development' CD.
...pretending I knew who the quixotical lady in my viewfinder was as my partner in crime Shannon Smith peppered her with incisive questions. I've yet to watch a single frame of "24", never heard of Mary Lynn Rajskub, let alone her much celebrated character 'Chloe'. I'm told 'Chloe' is a lady of considerable quirk. If so, I got a news-flash: Mary Lynn ain't acting.