All posts by Michael Paul Gonzalez

Site update (really really) coming soon…

It’s been a long time in the works, but the site update is getting ready to roll out soon. Which means there WILL be:
1. New excerpts to read from the books-in-waiting
2. Message boards (including the return of interactive Haiku – and this time it won’t go away)
3. More stories!
4. More fun!

Also coming soon… a new website all about how much the City of Los Angeles grows on you. And I don’t mean that in a positive way. More of a fungal infection type way. A photographic/journalistic exploration of the many ways this city is just plain… stupid. And not stupid in that Republican talk radio “Land of Fruits and Nuts” way. Because that California doesn’t really exist. This one is far more alluring, far more sinister, far more… I should write a book about it. A murder mystery book. But not a Dan Brown paint-by-numbers thriller kind of book. More of a repeated bad joke by proxy of layered bad analogy kind of book. (And you thought this wasn’t going anywhere…) Where was I?

5. Pretty colors on the new website.
6. Sadly, the boys at World Power Wrestling never kept me updated on their whereabouts, so I have released my dominion over wpwluchalibre.com. You can still view my days of wrestling glory in the Lost Angeles section of the site, and I will present an archived version of the website as it was so you can think back on all of the days you spent watching Kid Omega, the Human Tornado, and El Genio. Or, you can look and ask yourself: who the Hell are Kid Omega, the Human Tornado, and El Genio? (Trust me, they all kick ass. Especially El Genio.)

Glass ketchup bottles are on their way out…

I’m not sure if anyone has heard of a lady who may or may not be involved in radio in Buellton, California, but we sure heard a lot from her. We had just ordered our food at Pea Soup Andersen’s after a weary night sleeping in the car (150 miles of coastline and NOT ONE DAMN VACANCY at a hotel. NOT ONE. It’s another post altogether…)

So we’re just getting into our appetizers (bowls of split pea soup which were quite good, as pea soup goes) when we hear a lady behind us utter the phrase “The glass ketchup bottle in on it’s way out…”. She then proceeded to hold forth (And I timed this) for roughly 24 minutes uninterrupted about the night her husband (or somebody) told her this. This was followed by an accounting of the time she was at a carnival, and there was a man in a booth who could make ketchup pour easily from any kind of bottle, glass, plastic, short, tall, you name it. He taught her how to do it, and she impressed her friends at a barbecue. Then there was some stuff about how she got started in radio, and how she either now works, or used to work, or knows someone who started working at an Insurance company. And she made good money when she started, even though she didn’t know what she was doing.

And her friend, the poor, polite, silently nodding thing, sat there the whole time and said not one word. Not even when the check came and they got up to leave. The radio lady never stopped speaking. Incredible.

On with the Show!

So, finally, I’m having something small produced here in L.A. With professional actors even! If you’re in the area, come to The Complex Theater on Wednesday night, June 29th at 9PM as

Asses, Elephants, and Artists presents Under the Gun: Rites of Passage!
including…
Magic in the Seventh Inning Stretch by Michael Paul Gonzalez

It will be a series of 8 short plays, it’s $10 at the door, and it’s all kinds of fun. So go go go!
Pardon my redundancy, but the info is as follows:
The Complex’s Ruby Theater
6476 Santa Monica Blvd.
Hollywood, CA
Wednesday, June 29th, 9:00 p.m.Tickets $10 at the door

In other news…
Wedding music is almost all done and ready to go, and we’re going to have some fun surprises for everyone. It will certainly be an event to remember.

Oh the places you’ll go and the things you’ll see!

Every time I think I can’t be surprised by the things I find in Los Angeles, something comes along to shock me. And further, I never have my camera at the ready when I need it. You see, I enjoy hiking in Griffith Park, the nation’s largest city park, and one of my favorite spots in L.A.
I thought I had hit the height of weirdness when, while hiking one day, my fiancee and I were approached by a large, fully armed and armored legion of Roman Soldiers. This was near the summit of Mount Hollywood. It turned out to be these guys, Legion VI, a historical re-enactment society.

What could be better than that? A mile and a half up the mountain today, we rounded the bend to see a nurse. Well, really, a sexy nurse. She had on a white mini skirt and half shirt and big heels. Then, a few more feet down the road, we see a construction worker. Now I’m starting to think we’ve stumbled onto a porno shoot. A few more feet, and it gets even better: another sexy nurse (this one of the fine ebony variety), and a Doctor sporting a wild ‘fro and sunglasses. It’s gotta be a porno, right? A few more feet, and under the shade of a tree, it’s a fully grown man in an owl suit with an orange safety vest, and a guy in a bad blonde shag wig who looks like a cross between Legolas Greenleaf from Lord of the Rings and Maynard G. Krebs. It’s a film shoot, all right. Just not a porno. I think. We didn’t stop to ask. We should have taken pictures. The elf/archer was also the director, waxing Keanu Reeves-like to his cast and cameraman about how much someone loved the scenes they had already shot. And of course, I stopped to reflect that if these guys can find a way to make whatever this thing is, there’s no way I can fail out here. No freakin’ way.
PS: if you have any idea what this film is about or when it’s premiering, please let me know.

The innocence of Michael Jackson! Or… lack of convicting evidence! or something…

Hey! It’s all over now! Michael Jackson’s not guilty! I feel bad for several reasons: Either we just took a saintly millionaire who helps poor children and absolutely dragged his name through the sewer, thus ruining his life, or we took an insane millionaire and let him off the hook for ruining the lives of others. Either way, the whole thing was horrible.

What will the media do with themselves? Cover:
the war?
The shadowy and oft-evil Bush cabal?
Steroids in baseball?
Liberal conspiracies?

The answer is the same as the answer to the question of whether Brad and Angelina had an affair: They don’t give a shit, as long as enough people are watching. They would have Nancy Grace eating puppies live on the air if it guaranteed ratings. As it is, she has to do it off-air in the corner of her dressing room.

You know, some say this trial has taken a toll on Michael Jackson. Not me. I think he looks just as healthy and hearty as ever…

Boy… Michael Jackson hasn’t changed a bit, has he?

And if you think I’m just mentioning Michael Jackson a lot to increase my blog’s visibility online through blog search engines, well, you’re wrong. I think the Michael Jackson trial is a cultural landmark. Especially for Michael Jackson fans. Not to mention others who are in the news, like Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Oprah, and Saddam Hussein.
Is it working yet?
By the way, wouldn’t it be cool to have a bumbling crime caper film starring Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Michael Jackson, and Saddam Hussein battling Oprah?
Hmm. Maybe now it’s working. Time shall tell.

PS: Ann Coulter is a man.

AFI’s 100 best lines…

I swear they make these lists just to get people talking and make them mad. I’ve been perusing the 400 nominees for the American Film Institute’s 100 movies, 100 quotes list. They’ve put catch phrases in there. Catch phrases! Things like “All-righty then!”, or “Yeah, baby!” are put alongside great lines like Airplane!‘s “Looks like I picked a bad week to stop sniffing glue…”.
And where are my favorite lines? Where is Fight Club‘s classic Marla Singer line: “My God! I haven’t been fucked like that since grade school!”

What I’m getting at is the difference between great writing and great lines. Great writing:
from Team America: World Police:
Spottswoode: Please, Gary, I’m not from Hollywood. I’m not going to fuck your mouth and my time is extremely valuable.
Gary: Jesus! This is a nice limo!
Spottswoode: Yes it is. Now, suck my cock.
Just kidding!

Gary Johnston: OK, a limousine that can fly. Now I have seen everything.
Spottswoode: Really? Have you seen a man eat his own head?
Gary Johnston: No.
Spottswoode: So then, you haven’t seen everything.

Great lines:
“You complete me.”
“Heeeere’s Johnny!”
“I want you to hit me as hard as you can.”
“I’ll be back.”
“I am your father.”
“As God is my witness, I’ll never go hungry again!”
“Here’s looking at you, kid.”
“They can take our lives, but they’ll never take our Freedom!”
“I love the smell of napalm in the morning!”
“Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?”

The difference is that one shows a great deal of writing skill, and one transcends both page and performance and burns into your brain. Look at the lines above. Chances are, you can name at least 8 of the 10 movies I took them from, and you know the scene, who said it, what happened before, what happens next, etc.
Whereas, if I suggested “Excellent!”. Some of you might say Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, where others would think fondly of Monty Burns. A great line has to be great outside of the context of the film, not just as something that’s fun to shout at your coworkers. Look at me ramble. I hate lists.
But AFI gets much credit…MUCH credit, for including the classic (delivered by wrestling God “Rowdy” Roddy Piper in They Live): “I’ve come here to kick ass and chew bubble gum. And I’m all out of bubble gum.”
You want great lines? Go to IMDB.com
By the way, every time I read that line about a man eating his own head, I laugh. I laugh, and I laugh, and I don’t care who sees me, because life is beautiful.

The world is full of interesting people…

I’m signed up for a newsgroup for Salsa dancing in L.A. I expect to get emails about where to go to dance, dance classes, salsa dancing… even a recipe for salsa would still seem relevant. But today, I got this email, which I present to you, unedited:
“I would like to thank all the readers that have contacted me and have offered their support and have acknowledge my blessing in spiritual work, which I offer with alot of love for those who are seeking spiritual guidence. Once again I would like to thank my salsarican family for giving me the oppurtunity to be in their group, because if is not for them I would not be able to help alot of you with my psychic abilities.”
There’s a story in this somewhere. Or at least the plot for a pilot episode of a horrible NBC crime drama… “You loved Medium… now get ready for CSI: Psychic Salsera Unit!”