Saturday, January 28, 2006

I finally got around to spending an hour talking with my Grandfather. I was surprised at how easy and enjoyable it was.

I'll do it again.

I finally had my Harrison Ford moment.

From the first time I saw him mentally weigh the golden fertility statue and replace it with a bag of sand, Indiana Jones has been my hero of choice. In fact, any movie with Harrison Ford has always topped my list. I even tried to like Frantic.

In late night coffee blah blahs, where guys discuss their "best of", "desert island", and "last man on earth" scenarios, my choice for celeb to meet was consistently Harrison Ford. But I imagined that if I ever did meet him, it would be in a circumstance where an awkward, "i'm yer biggest fan" would make the moment not worth having.

Well I had it and it was just right.

I was working as a PA at the Golden Globe Awards this year and it was my job to grant permission to the select few delivery trucks, VIPs and limos that needed access to the stage door of the Beverly Hilton. It's a fun post because I had between 10 and 14 LAPD, Beverly Hills PD, Beverly Hills Traffic Patrol officers along with another 6 private security guards dressed in tuxes, all at my command. If a vehicle pulls up along Wilshire and wants access, the cops etc. all look to me for clearance and if I don't have permission from the command center inside the hotel, they won't let them in. If I don't have clearance from inside, The cops make them drive around the venue and find their way back to me. Hopefully by then, I have their clearance, but if not, they can't block traffic and they gotta go around. It's real bad news for a driver if I send them around because due to the horrendous traffic caused by the awards show, they wont be back for at least 40 minutes. They tend to get real mad, but with all my back up, they find themselves driving away bitterly beaten.

Last year, I sent Leonard DiCaprio and Naomi Watts around even thought they insisted they needed to be on stage in "5 minutes!" The new Governor was expected that night so security wasl very tight.

It's under these circumstances that my story begins.

As soon as the "Red Carpet Pre-Show" is over and the actual program begins, hundreds of workers decend on the hotel entrance to tear it all down. This is supposed to happen in some sort of order so teams of bleacher builders, tent poppers, carpet rollers, cable wrappers and camera men don't make war. A convoy of carpet trucks started rolling up and, since I was told they weren't welcome for another hour, I sent them around. By the time I sent the 5th truck around, their boss had run to my post from inside the hotel to beg me to let his trucks in. But he was asking the wrong guy. I kept getting affirmation from the command center that they weren't allowed in. This guy was angry and persistant and my cop brigade were looking to me for a signal to run him and his trucks off.

Traffic was beginning to back up behind the trucks and a few timid honks sounded from the first few town cars. The carpet boss was begging me to let his trucks through, when the back passenger door of the first town car opened. A tuxedoed man with a greying goatee rushed at me. At first I wasn't concerned, but then I recognized him. Indiana Jones, Dr. Richard Kimball, Jack Ryan and Han Solo, were all rushing toward me, angry, with his finger stabbing the air. "WHY IS THIS TRUCK JUST SITTING HERE?!"

"IT'S MOVING NOW!!" I shouted to the driver, the cops, the carpet boss and everyone waiting on Wilshire Boulevard. The coppers all took steps toward the truck and the driver got the idea. Against all hope, he released the clutch and started the long drive around.

Harrison Ford turned to get back in his car muttering frustrated thank yous to me or whoever he'd been praying to before.

I put my hand on the car and jogged beside it as it moved to the bomb squad's check point giving the driver directions to the stage door. I looked in the back seat and the scruffy looking, nerf herder, passenger nodded to me in thanks.

That's all there is.

It couldn't have been better.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Another Day In Paradise

Today is an historic day for God.

Despite all the unfaithful prayers of the tv producers, event organizers and floral sculpturalists, the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California was rained out.

Each year, the rest of the world, blanketed in crummy, winter weather, huddles in front of their television sets watching in jealous disbelief as the floats, bands, and horses strut down Colorado Boulevard under a canopy of 80 degree sun. For 51 years the sun has shined on this parade tradition. For 51 years, the event organizers have proudly and superstitiously touted their "deal with God" as the reason for the balmy weather. The deal is, if New Years Day falls on a Sunday, they hold the parade on the following Monday. In return, God is expected hold back the rain on parade day. It seems like a pretty good deal if you ask me.

That is, if God isn't God.

The seeds ran off the faces of float fairies, the bands dripped "76 Trombones", the clydesdales matted ankle fur mopped up gutter water, and Bob Eubanks kept up the smily voice.

And Yahweh refused to be corraled.

A Beginning of an Ending

Maria Robinson said, "Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but everyone can start today and make a new ending." By focusing on my regrets, my "misdemeanours, misgivings, misfortunes, and Miss Whatever-Her-Name-Is", I end up losing my positive view of the future.

Today, I begin to look at the future as my good ending.

One of my 3 Grandfathers died yesterday (one left.) His was an example of a good ending. Although he was never the same joyful man he was before Grandma died, he still remained focused on being a good man, a stand up citizen, an example to myself and my own kids.

I mean to, I intend to, I will to leave my past regrets behind, and live a good ending.

It's Half Time. Time to regroup, replan, and revive my life for the second half, yet to come.