I don’t have too much time, as Allison and Chris are currently packing to come for a visit. When you’re Southern you say “come for a visit.” They are also planning to “sit a spell” once they arrive. Now that Chris has his suit and bow-tie, there’s no stopping them from oozing charm all over this city.

And please don’t believe that humble Karaoke claim Al makes in her recent entry, as if she just happens to get up on stage and sing and it’s all so embarrassing and somehow a misunderstanding that causes her to blow the roof off the joint once the Patsy Cline starts up. We once sang “Love Shack” together, and I do believe she pushed me out of the way during her “Tin Roof Rusted.”

Last night I met a friend for dinner, and while walking to the restaurant in a dark alley, I was startled when I heard a man making a “loogie hawking” sound. (I totally just googled “loogie hawking.”) I looked into the shadows and saw a man sitting on the ground, leaning against a fence, right outside a broken-down shack. This is like, ten feet from Sunset Boulevard, so it seems almost impossible that I’ve hit some skid row patch right next to an antique shop and a hipster diner. Regardless, the man starts making noises almost in time with my heels hitting the pavement, and I grip my keys in the Single Girl Keychain Fist Weapon That Probably Will Never Actually Hurt Anyone Ever, and hurry it up the restaurant.

Once inside, I interrupt my friend to ask her where she’s parked. She points in the area where my car is parked. “But there’s this…”

“Yeah!” I quickly interrupted. I’m trying to work on my interrupting, but I find that when I’m even slightly nervous it kicks into overdrive. I think it’s from all these meetings where people want to get to know me in thirty minutes, so I’m used to taking even the slightest conversation prompt and running with it. Now I can turn, “I was just thinking…” into a reason for me to mention the Anne Heche Monologues. It’s really impressive with its self-absorbency. Honestly.

Anyway, she continues. “Sometimes when you live in Los Angeles you can convince yourself that you’re actually IN a movie. Walking down the street, see a homeless man making strange noises and you think, ‘Hi, Hollywood Bum. You have legs under there really, right?’ I mean, he couldn’t look more like the definition of Scary Homeless Guy Who Harasses You On the Way to Dinner, right?”

I agreed. “He’s probably an actor spending the night on the street, trying to find out what it’s really like to be a homeless man who has to spend the night on the street.”

“His booze labels were all worn off, and he had like, bum make-up around his mouth.”

“I saw a stick with a bandana tied to it.”

“Sometimes it’s all just a movie. Like the other day when I took a wrong turn and ended up in a movie premiere traffic jam–”

This happens all the time. You’re trying to get somewhere, take an accidental turn onto Hollywood and then BOOM. You’re in the middle of bright lights and a red carpet and press vans and crowds of people and it’s noisy and you’re on your cell phone yelling so you look important, but you’re really just cursing everyone for coming out to see the premiere of Freaky Friday or Dumb and Dumberer.

I just interrupted my friend in an entry. See?

“– and then you look up and you see Alec Baldwin talking on his cell phone right next to your car. And you think, ‘I’m just like anybody else in the world, stuck in traffic on the way home after work, but in my world Alec Baldwin’s standing next to me on his cell phone.”

“Always like a dream. ‘I went to the store to get some coffee and you were there, but then Daisy Fuentes was there looking for a wig…’”

Anyway, the homeless man was no longer there when we walked each other back to our cars an hour later. I guess his shift ends at nine.

New Cool Kids

Emmalola writes:

[readermail]….today it was my turn to contribute to the MLK jr branch of the OPL:

A Death in the Delta: The Story of Emmett Till by Stephen J. Whitfield and
The New Soul Food Cookbook for People with Diabetes by Fabiola Demps Gaines


Elizabeth writes:

[readermail]Also, I finally became on of the cool kids. Since there were complaints that the wrong branches were getting donations I sent mine to the Main Branch. They are getting the five books from the Harry Potter series. And my grandmother, from Des Moines Iowa, wanted them to have a copy of Side-By-Side: A Photographic History of American Women in Military Service by Vickie Lewis. Don’t listen to anyone who doesn’t think you are doing a good thing.[/readermail]

Holy cow, that’s a lot of books. Thanks, Elizabeth. Go visit her journal and tell her she’s cool.

And Jen Z, who took the Oakland photographs in the last book tour entry, writes:

[readermail]Oh, okay, FINE. I used my last $12.57 to send a book to the Martin Luther King Jr Branch Library. I sent them My Brother Martin: A Sister Remembers Growing Up with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., because (A) it seemed appropriate, and (B) I started reading kids’ books about Dr. King to my son Ben last January (for Martin Luther King Jr. Day) — and Ben is fascinated by Dr. King and asks lots of questions about him. I saw My Brother Martin in a bookstore back then and almost bought it for Ben, but I think he’s not quite old enough for it yet.[/readermail]

Courtney writes:

[readermail]Hey, I’ve been meaning to donate for awhile now, but I had heard that donating takes money so I had to wait until I got some. I donated to the main branch “The Eternity Code (Artemis Fowl, Book 3)” by Eoin Colfer because how can anyone not love a book about a 12 year-old criminal genius. I also donated “El Club Social de las Chicas Temerarias” by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez because it’s in Spanish. Lastly, I donated “The House of the Scorpion” by Nancy Farmer mainly to get the free shipping, but also because you can never have enough quality Young Adult books.[/readermail]

And ending on the best news, I have a new second cousin as of last night. Josie Kelman was welcomed into the world. Everybody’s healthy and happy. You can’t beat that.

Currently Reading

Middlesex. I am feeling guilty because I told Jessa that I’d read The House of Mirth next, and I did indeed pick it up and start reading, but I’m going to have to find some time when I’m not so easily distracted with anxiety and responsiblity to fully get into the story and just enjoy it. Reading it before I go to sleep just causes me to doze off much more quickly.

Please donate a book to Oakland

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