Monday, February 28, 2011

Street Art Has My Heart

Since watching Exit Through The Giftshop, I've been obsessed with Banksy's cheeky work. When I heard he was tagging Hollywood in a bid to get Oscar votes, I started wondering where he'd strike next. Sadly, many of his recent works have been stolen or defaced. I didn't get to see them in time.

Like an art world terrorist, Banksy strikes and then claims ownership by posting a picture on his Web site. Since there are quite a few copycats (including his prodigy Mr. Brainwash), this has been the main strategy for deciphering the authentic from the faux.

Over the past week, I've developed a radar for street art. I now see it everywhere. If I'm driving and see something of interest, I pull over to take a picture. Unlike museum pieces, any of these works can disappear at any time. Their transient nature has got me hunting and gathering pictures before its too late.

So far, I've gotten a few Mr. Brainwash works. Still on the lookout for an elusive Banksy...

Monday, February 21, 2011

My Second Attempt at Paparazzi-dom

I've been writing the book at a coffee shop on Fairfax that I refer to as "The Office." I go there Monday through Friday and work anywhere from 3-7 hours, depending on how bleary-eyed I get. I've finished the first draft and am 75% through my first full read. I've beefed up some sections, deleted others and am correcting any kind of weird grammatical issues.

On a daily basis, it's not terribly surprising to see a celeb at The Office. Seth Rogen comes in 2-3 times every week. Usually accompanied by a posse, he orders a cappuccino. I know because his voice carries and he has a unique intonation. He is unassuming, hiding underneath a newsboy cap. No one pays any attention to him.

Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) came in once. Fresh from a shower, it was her first time there. She was kind to the barista and asked for his recommendation. She got a vanilla latte. No, she was not wearing a track suit.

Today, Amanda Seyfried came to The Office with a LOT of fanfare. Trailed by a pack of ex-gang members turned paparazzi (yes, it's true, they all used to be in gangs) she arrived with two female friends and her two dogs. How does she look? She is tiny with the body of a 12-year old girl. Her blonde hair is beautiful but her face is wan and broken out. No one would've even noticed her if she didn't have the world's scariest posse with her.

She sat outside in clear view of the paps so they could get good shots of her over the course of two hours. Everyone was whispering, "Who is that girl?" When I identified her for my neighbors they had no recognition. I struggled to think of a movie that she was in and could only come up with, "Ummm, that ABBA movie?" Vague recollection passed into confusion. If none of us knew who she was, then how come she was getting so much pap attention?

My conclusion is she (or her publicists) must have called them. She has a movie coming out (something about red riding hood? oy vey) and is/was dating Ryan Philippe. Her publicists must be working over time to get her picture everywhere. Well, it worked. TMZ, X-17 and the rest were all there.

I got in on the action by taking her picture while she was waiting for her latte. It's not a great shot but I tried to be stealthy. This is much better than my first attempt at being a pap (I tried to take January Jones' picture in a bar which resulted in a blurry, dark picture). Too bad my Macbook was in the shot (but look at how much I've written for the book?!)

Once again, more like KFed's Popozao than Gaga's Paparazzi. Then again, I'm not an ex-gang member with a grill.

Monday, February 14, 2011

How You Like Me Now?

If you haven't seen The Fighter, I highly recommend it. I even recommend the theme song. You see, I've adopted "How You Like Me Now" as my own theme. Not only is it a booty-shakin groove but it represents my frame of mind today. I'm at my best when I'm fighting.

At a Super Bowl party, I was asked about my one of a kind opal bracelet. You see, I bought the bracelet from a settlement. I slipped and fell at a top tier NYC hotel due to a hazard and had a piece of glass lodged in my wrist. Six people fell before me, and two more while the paramedics tended to my injury. Blood was everywhere and when all was said and done, I had a gnarly suicide looking scar on my wrist.

When I contacted attorneys, they all told me the same thing, "This case isn't worth it." I could've said forget it, but I didn't. I wrote a litigious letter to the hotel's owner and in the end, got quite a bit of money for what the attorneys said was "just a scar." My one of a kind bracelet is my "f*ck you" to them, the hotel and anyone else who told me to drop it.

My new "f*ck you" will be my e-published book. I went the route of trying to find an agent. I even had one shop my proposal to publishers. I sent my query to 15 agents last week in a last ditch attempt to go the traditional route. So far, four rejections. The overall comment is "Great idea, but I don't know how to place your book."  Either I'm being dinged for originality or they think it's bad. I don't really care. Like those ambulance chasing attorneys, they're wrong.

I'm editing the first draft and figuring out e-publishing. I'm also faithfully searching and applying for jobs. I didn't get the job that I'd hoped for, but I knew that it wasn't the right fit. Believe me, I would've made it fit had I been given the choice. So sadly, I've been remiss in blogging. I haven't been doing anything "fun." I've been fighting too hard. But I believe. Like they say on Friday Night Lights, "Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose."

Soon enough, I'll be singing "How You Like Me Now?" Just give me a week.