March 09, 2006

Hey ma, I'm in Hollywood

Posted by DaveSmith

People have been asking, and I don't have a good reason, but yes, I was at The Oscars last Sunday.

Yet another long post, so skim it.

I should start up another blog instead of this one. This one is meant for motorcycle travel, but that hasn't been happening for a while. That might change. I'm getting a 650 twin with a sidecar, and I still have my Ducati 350 in my living room. It's slowly being cafed.

My sister Gina explained my life to a friend of hers who thought I must live an exciting life. Gina basically said, "He doesn't do much most of the time but when he's doing something, it's usually weird". If I were to start up a blog about my day it'd read:

Went to work and took CDs out of a box to put them in another box.
Came home and read (or watched a movie).

After about 100 posts like that, it'd read, "Punched out in a bar in Portsmouth, Ohio" or "Built a catapult and launched frozen chickens at the train". Or, in this case, "went to the Oscars".

Since that would be a boring blog, I haven't started another one.

I made plans to see "The Worlds Fastest Indian" at a special showing in San Luis Obispo last Saturday (March 4). I figured I'd find a girl to take. A 9:30 am motorcycle movie that's 4 and a half hours away! Isn't that every girl's plan? And since it isn't, I went to Monterey the night before, slept at my friend Skipper's place and took him.

In case you don't know, "The Worlds Fastest Indian" is a movie about the life of Burt Monroe. Burt Monro bought a 1920 Indian Scout and after 40 plus years he broke 200mph on it when he was 67 years old. The 200+ wasn't officially recorded at Bonneville but his highest recorded was 188mph. Equally crazy speeds on a Velocette single with a Vincent head: 141mph on a 500 single.

When I was in New Zealand, I went to a BEARs bike race and saw 2 replicas of his Indian at the race. I also went to his old house (torn down) in Invercargill and talked to the "new" tenants. They bought the lot from him, tore down his shed and threw away all the motorcycle parts that were left. I also went to the hardware store where his Indian and Velocette are kept.

An email post said that the SLO showing of the movie would have his Indian. I called bullshit on that to one of the promoters (along with several other emails he must've gotten from other people who knew better). It was Burt's windstreamer and the frame he left in the US. He took the engine back to NZ between trips to Bonneville and had another frame there. I didn't think Burt's friend in Invercargill would sell the bike to a US collector.

Marty Dickerson was at the showing. Marty Dickerson, is also a nut. He set speed records on his Vincent HRD Rapide during the 1950s at Bonneville. There was a character in the movie that was supposed to be him. That's got to be weird seeing someone who's supposed to be you in a movie. Marty, I use his first name as if I know him which I don't, showed slides and talked about knowing and helping Burt out at Bonneville.

He had a great slide of him impersonating a famous Rollie Free trick (Rollie also stole the idea). This is a photo of Rollie wearing swim trunks at Bonneville while breaking a speed record. He topped 150mph like this:


The picture Marty had was in the same pose, only Marty was wearing leathers. The wind shoved up the ass of his pants into a point. With a little duct tape holding his pants down he could've gone a little faster.

What does this have to do with the Oscars? Well, the girl I tried to talk into going to the movie with me is Jen. She's someone I lost contact with about 10 years ago and she found me on myspace a few weeks ago. Luckily, no one else uses the name "Dave Smith" so I'm easy to find.

I figured while I was in SLO, it's close to Hollywood where Jen lives. I figured I'd sleep on her couch and see the comic art exhibit that was playing in a couple of LA museums. One showed comics from 1900 to the early 1950s and the other one showed comics from 1950s to now.

Jen had an invite for the Oscars, and for no good reason, Jen invited me.

Jen has a $4.99 dress from a thrift store, and we stop by the same thrift store so I can buy a pair of $2.99 shoes. Most of my stuff is still in storage -- including my shoes. I meant to bring my motorcycle boots since they're black, but I left them at home.

We met with her workmates, who are suckers who think I'm 28 at the oldest and probably younger than that. I'll be 36 next week. Everything over 30 is the bonus level. Even if I die tomorrow, I cheated death for 6 years. My secret of eternal youth was staying intoxicated from 22 to 31, so you kids out there had better crack open some beers.

I've got no interest in film stars, except for isolated people like Terri Garr, Mr. T and ones like Timothy Carey who's dead, so I didn't expect to see him.

I don't even watch the Oscars on tv. I think most Hollywood movies suck. It wasn't as awe-inspiring as meeting Joey Ramone and having him say, "Pleased to meet you". Even though "Pleased to meet you" is more of a Replacements thing to say. I told that to Old Man Foster who said, "I don't care about meeting famous musicians. It's meeting comic book artists that makes me nervous".

So Jen and I drive up and the LAPD has all the streets blocked off. People took our pictures as we drove by. The don't know who's picture they're taking -- you're at the Oscars so you must be somebody. Must've been a disappointment.

We show up when William H Macy showed up. Only he was in a limo and we were in Jen's Suzuki car. They separate The Celebrities from the jerks when you walk in. There's a red rope on the red carpet for The Arrivals. Celebrities on the left, jerks on the right.

There's security about every 5 feet saying, "Keep moving jerks, you're creating a bottleneck". Everyone is walking as slow as possible so they can be in the background shots of celebrity photos.

You end up like this.

Then I thought about how dumb it was for me to be there, and I started laughing at myself. I laugh at myself most of the time.

It had never occured to me to see the Oscars. I just thought the whole thing was funny. Inside I bought a $10 whiskey sour that had no booze in it. I think it's made like that so Gary Busey doesn't get likkered up and start a fight. I have a dream that one day they'll make a buddy picture of Gary Busey and Nick Nolte where they fight over Margot Kidder.

Celebrities I saw:

William H Macy who kept following Jen and I around. We'd go upstairs and a few minutes later, he'd be upstairs. We'd go downstairs and 5 minutes later, there he is again. He was often with his wife Felicity or walking around with some kid. Jen said the kid was Terrence Howard's son. Before I could say "who?" she said, "he's the guy from 'Hustle and Flow' and 'Crash'".

"Crash" was pretty good. The only person in the movie who didn't do both good and bad things was the locksmith. You can always count on a locksmith to do only the right things.

"Hustle and Flow" is a Disney picture under the MTV banner. There's a hooker with a heart of gold. She sucks off guys for $10 and then her gold plated heart shows up when she sucks off a guy for a $250 microphone. That one was crossing the hooker line and she said "never again". I kept waiting for the punchline, and I kept laughing at the dialogue, but there's no punchline and it's not a comedy. Not an intentional comedy.

So who else did I see? I had to ask Jen who some of these people are and she's have to keep naming movies until there was one I'd seen. Tim Burton and his wife Helena Bonham Carter. Mickey Rooney. Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. Matt Dillon (who looked like a jerk). Joaquin Phoenix (who also looked like a jerk). Will Smith, who was on the jerk side of the line going out of his way to sign autographs. So in my completely uninformed mind, Will Smith is a nice guy.

The director of the penguin movie (kind of a boring movie, but the "making of" wasn't so bad, but I still switched the DVD to play the Bug Bunny cartoon. It's an early Chuck Jones cartoon before he got a chance to ruin the Warner Bros characters. I don't like how Jones made Bugs Bunny snotty, and Daffy Duck conniving. I liked 'em better when they were both nuts and Daffy was completely batshit insane. But Chuck Jones was pretty funny -- you should read his autobiography sometime). Paul Giamatti who played Harvey Pekar in "American Splendor" (another comic book movie that I really liked). Philip Seymour Hoffman who's great in Happiness. Heath Ledger. I haven't seen any movies that he's in. Salma Hayek. Damn, I don't know who else. Saw some people early on with some Oscars. I didn't recognize who they were (writers?) but that doesn't mean much.

Mostly I just saw some of the worst cleavage I'd ever seen. I was relating it to "a titty bar in Gary, Indiana" but since I haven't been to a titty bar in Gary, Indiana, I'm just talking out my ass.

If you Tivo the Oscars this week on E! you should look in the background during The Arrival part. You'll see me laughing at myself behind Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock.

I sat in my seat for about 20 minutes, but mostly Jen and I walked around. We ditched out early while the Oscars were still being handed out to get a pizza. Jen had "Crash" on DVD so that's when I saw it.

I'm going to put my $2.99 Oscar shoes, along with my Oscar program up on ebay. Hopefully I'll do that tomorrow. Maybe I can pay off the $30.00 in parking it cost for the comic art museum parking. I really wish I would've noticed the sign that said the parking garage was $3.30 for every 12 minutes.

Posted by DaveSmith at 12:37 AM | Comments (13)