A glimpse into one actor/writer's life in La-La Land. Part lampoon, part harpoon, all good.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Ah, Devo. I still remember hearing them for the first time, noting my family's somewhat frightened expression as I tried my hand at "dancing" for the first time. Whatever happened to those boys, anyway?

Speaking of stuffing, today is the day that we get to stuff blessedly compliant turkeys with dressing, our bellies with good food, and our ears with cotton (when spending a prolonged time with family, this can be helpful). I actually really miss my family and almost flew home to be with them in Florida. However the $800 airfare quickly snuffed that burning desire. I woke up today not particularly happy or sad. I had secretly wondered if I would get emotional or something, me being in a new city with no plans and this being the first major holiday after my Mom's death. But I was okay. And then I got better, strangely because of my upstairs neighbor; he invited me to Thanksgiving dinner at his apartment and I gratefully accepted. (His name is Terry and he's a six foot-five man who's oddly feminine, sort of a cross between Tina Turner and Michael Jordan. We met when I had to tactfully complain because he leaves his radio blaring hip-hop all through the night and I just so happen to have to wake up at five am for something called a job. I thought, Oh, God, another freak in my building; I'm never going to sleep, much less survive. But he has turned out to be a very sweet friend.) So I just spent my morning getting a fresh buzz-cut and hitting the mad rush to the grocery store. (It's just amazing to me how many people can forget - or delay - their shopping. The place was a mad-house; for a minute I thought I was at one of those freaky evangelical "revivals.")

And - as American commercialism usually does - all this hoopla really got me to thinking: what am I grateful for? I guess I should say first and foremost that I am thankful my forebears came to this country and slaughtered all those pesky natives. (I could mention the subsequent enslavement of yet another race of individuals; but I'll save that for another holiday. Maybe Kwanza.) So, what follows is a stream of semi-conscious thoughts about things for which I am thankful, some silly, some serious:

~ My family (the good, the bad and the ugly - mostly good, though)
~ moisturizer and anti-aging cream
~ not having "white-boy's disease"
~ not having a host of other pathological illnesses, as well (a good read of Richard Preston's, "The Hot Zone" or any basic medical school text book will give you a rough idea here)
~ My new, and growing, group of friends in Los Angeles
~ My "old" friends, whom I treasure
~ American Freedom; oh, God, I know Bushie Boy uses this one a lot, but it's true; at least here I can make fun of him to my little heart's content (and oh-so-many others, like Rumsfeld, Rove, Condoleeza, etc, etc, ad nauseum)
~gravity - it is, after all, what keeps our atmosphere intact and prevents us from flying off into space; although, on the other hand, it's also the nasty phenomenon that's mostly responsible for wrinkles and the sagging of old age...
~ for my existence; according to over a quarter of the world's population, I could have been born a cockroach - or a maybe a fruit fly
~ and, for the very attitude of gratefulness itself; it just feels better to be aware of how rich I am (even if I am just a poor, struggling artist in a pressure cooker of other poor, struggling artists)

There's more, of course. But that's a good start. Now, I'm going to get ready to stuff myself silly. Happy Thanksgiving, Dear Reader. Oh, and just one question: what are you grateful for?

Sunday, November 12, 2006


True Romance - not a great movie - but what a wonderful, intoxicating subject. We're all in love with being in love. And I'm no different. Of all the loves in my life, though, the singular most comforting (and simultaneously dangerous) affair has, by far, been the decades-long one I've had with cigarettes. Like so many romances, it burned hot and was (literally) addictive; it had its ups and downs, its humps and bumps; and, like 55 per cent of American marraiges, it has finally come to an end. I tried to deny it, that it was over; I tried to ignore the problems we were having. But I had to face the truth: we were, as they say, bad for each other. And I knew that we had to part ways. Like Bogart (who, in real life, was a gay chain-smoker) in Cassablanca, I knew that the time had come to say goodbye.

But how to do it? How to finally call it quits? I thought of scientology; I am, after all, right down the street from their "Celebrity Center." And, look at the sucess folks like John Travolta and Tom Cruise have had with their Amway-styled religion. I also thought maybe I'd go for a cleansing, like maybe a deep colonic. But then I thought, hey if John Wayne could have ten pounds of undigested beef in his intestines (as rumor says) then hell, so could I. (Besides, I couldn't imagine sitting in some freezing office, half naked, with my legs up in stirrups. (If my legs are going ever going to be in stirrups, then Tyson Beckford is gonna be in the room, damn it.)

And then I remembered hearing that acupuncture was good for all addictions, and I thought I'd give that modality a go. I was desperate, afterall, for help in putting an end to my fatal attraction. I did a search for possible centers in Los Angeles and found literally dozens, all right in my neighborhood. But when I tried to make an appointment, the people that answered could only scream at me in Korean. So, I continued looking until I found a lovely white girl. Sounds awful, but I really wanted someone who possesed the education, but with whom I could also relate. And I found her, Heather Lounsbury at "Breathe Balance. She looked like a sweetheart and the website had pretty colors. Okay, not very scientific, but I went with it. I made an appointment and then planned to quit smoking on the day of my first treatment.

And then I got scared. Really scared. Like Sigourney and that bad-breathed alien. But hell, if she could face her demons, then so could I. Right? So on my quit day, I got in my (now battered) little car and headed for the beaches of Santa Monica. All the way there, images of me turning into some 60's hippy dropping acid flooded my mind. I also imagined showing up at the office, ringing a pleasant bell and hearing some monk ring a gong, only to find that gentle Heather was really the guy from Hellraiser.

But there were no monsters, and no granola freaks ready to induct me into their hellish, uber-healthy cult. Instead, I was met by Heather who was, indeed, sweet, just like her picture. She was also gentle, kind and very intelligent. She explained the basic principles of Chinese medicine to me, with emphasis on the fact they were designed with the intention of helping the body heal itself. Being a psychiatric practitioner, I liked that idea. She was helping me to help myself. Then she helped me lie back, offered the warmth of a heat lamp, and started to insert those infamous needles. To my surprise, they didn't hurt. In fact, I didn't feel a thing. Until, that is, she touched on the areas of the body known to deal with pain and grief. I felt those; but even then, it was just a brief prick, a touch of electricity and pain. No big deal. No drilling, no abuses, like the torture poor Dustin received in Marathon Man.

And now, I'm, proud to say, that I'm cigarette free; I did it - I quit. It's been six and half days now (my last smoke was actually on election night, watching as the Republicans got, as Bush said, "a thumping") and I'm doing pretty good. My head hasn't turned 360 degrees, I haven't broken down crying at work (like the last time) and I haven't killed anyone.

I haven't even been bitchy, which is really saying something; trust me.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Don't you just love how some people always mention their birthdays beforehand? They'll go to great lengths to insert news of their upcoming special day in any and all conversations. Even ones that have absolutely nothing to do with birth, days, or birthdays, like, " Oh, yeah that's a fabulous red feather boa. I have one, too, and I'm going to wear it on my birthday...my birthday, which is next Monday. My birthday, that is." Or, "Yeah, the war in Iraq sucks; and my birthday..." You get it. Which brings me to the fact that it is, indeed, my birthday. (I can't believe I'm writing about it; I swore once I moved to Los Angeles I'd never celebrate another birthday again; any and all acknowledgement - and proof - of the fact that I am, like all other human beings, actually aging would not only be ignored but actively destroyed. Oh, well; go figure. I have good moisturizer; so what's there to hide?)

So, if you're any good at mental calculations - or getting laid in a sleazy, dive bar - you've no doubt realized by now that I am a Scorpio. Hey, why did you just get quiet? Ah, because you, like so many, have only heard the bad things about us Scorpios. Really now, why is it that when people discover a friend or co-worker is a Scorpio they look at him like Michael Meyers is standing there in an Austin Powers costume with his thingy hanging out. "Yeah, baby; a Scorpio, baby. Baby, baby...baby." It's either that, or the "Damien Omen-Holy Shit, He's Going To Kill Me" look. What have we Scorpios done, really, to deserve this bad reputation? Afterall, Johnny Carson was a Scorpio for Christ's sake. How much more apple pie and baseball can you get? By the way, Jonas Salk (he invented a friggin vaccine - hello?!), Walter Cronkite, and Carl Sagan were also all Scorpios. So are Kate Jackson (my favorirte Angel), Whoopi Goldberg and Jody Foster. Who couldn't look at that group and fall in love? Never you mind that Grace Jones, Larry Flint and Bo Derek are, too.

So, you might also be asking yourself, "What does Langdon want for his birthday?" Well, today I just bought myself a new printer. Not really a present; I had to. You see, I needed to print out our new script (ironically titled, Wish List) that we are polishing and my HP (which stands for Hellish Pieceofshit) totally went on the fritz. I was so angry; I hate when things break or don't work. I punched it, ripped its lid off, and almost threw it out the window. Just like Russell Crowe's character in A Beautiful Mind. And tomorrow I'm planning on buidling a great big bonfire and setting it right on top. So, you see, I had to buy a new printer today. But, what would I wish for, if I could? Okay, here goes, my top ten birthday wishes:

10) World Peace (Really; but for now, I'll settle for one of those granola bumperstickers that says, "Whirrled Peas.")

9) An election day slam tomororw - with the Democrats taking back both houses of Congress (and, maybe too, with George W. Bush taking a giant, involuntary dumpie on himself).

8) Well, since I went and got all political, how about finally getting the impeachment of President Bush? And criminal charges against him, Carl Rove, and that lady with a name that sounds like a veneral disease?

7) Dinner with Carol Burnett, one of my long-time comedy idols.

6) Oh, we just did seven; speaking of that number, how about seven minutes alone in a closet with Terrance Howard.

5) Great. I had to go and mention sex. (Well, don't blame me; blame the Zodiac.) So, how about an insurance salesman (or friendly neighbor) that looked like like Dennis Haysbert from those Allstate commericals and "24." (He has a new show - finally he's the lead; duh, Hollywood - called, "The Unit," but I just can't bring myself to watch it. Partly because of the content - or lack thereof - and partly because the title makes me laugh like a juvenile. "The Unit," ha ha.) I'd just love him to say to me, up close and personal, "Are you in good hands?"

4) Actually, I don't need an insurance agent. What I really need is a damned Talent Agent. And a literay agent.

3) In lieu of that, how about the personal Rolodex of Steven Speilberg, then? Or Oprah? (Naw; Madonna's is probably far more interesting...)

2) This is a toss-up. I'd have to go with either the name and address of Dick Clark's surgeon. Or, access to the secret formula for the ultimate anti-aging moisturizer.

And, finally, number one...[insert nifty grafics here]

1) Okay, you're going to kill me; but this one has to stay a secret. I'm superstitious that way. But you can have fun guessing.

So, if it was your birthday, or if you had a little magic Genie: what would you wish for?