Seems there’s a meme going around the blogosphere and I’ve been tagged by the Baseball Crank. Okay, here goes nothing:
- The elementary school I attended used to double as “Sacramento Central High” in the TV series Eight Is Enough. Every so often, wardrobe trailers lined up in front of the school and a big banner adorned the main entrance. Other shows that filmed in our neighborhood (literally right down the street) include Knots Landing, CHiPs, and The Wonder Years. I don’t remember seeing the last two personally, but I know I walked past cast and crew from the others on more than one occasion. Knots Landing actually used a park two blocks from my house to film a scene that was supposed to take place on a roller coaster. I have no idea how they pulled that off — the park was barely big enough to play touch football.
- My first job involved cleaning up after rabbits and children who weren’t entirely toilet trained. I was in junior high at the time, and it didn’t pay well. This perhaps explains why I don’t complain much when given menial tasks to do. I also spent a summer working various odd jobs as a temp — I canvassed for a cause I didn’t believe in, spent a few weeks at a movie studio that had a perpetually unoccupied office belonging to Mickey Rourke, made cold calls for a company that supplied restraining devices to law enforcement officials, proofread spreadsheets for a nursing supply company, and generally found myself eager to return to college in the fall.
- When I was 19, a friend and I drove around the United States in 17 days. We started in San Diego, went east to Jacksonville, then north to Utica, west to Bellingham, and south to Los Angeles. Our goal was to visit as many Hard Rock Cafes as possible (I think we only made it to three or four). We spent a few hours at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, got stuck in New Orleans during the Republican National Convention, inadvertently stayed in an adult motel somewhere in New Jersey, and had to skip Yellowstone because it was on fire that summer. Two speeding tickets — one each — plus a warning in Arizona (van looked suspicious; probably the California plates). I also drove from Utica to Dubuque, Iowa, in a single night. That’s about 900 miles and a feat I hope never again to duplicate.
- I wrote a novel in college. It was dreadful and never published, but the process taught me a lot about the discipline of writing. It also taught me how to recognize bad writing, but that’s another story. Come to think of it, the manuscript is still in a box in the garage. I need to burn that thing.
- I once met Michelle Pfeiffer at a wedding. Well, okay, we were at the same wedding. I know there were several other Hollywood types in attendance because in the SUVs that escorted us to the location, everyone was talking about scripts and agents. Also, once in a while I would see a flash of light from outside the vehicle — apparently photographers had gotten wind of the event and strategically lined themselves along our path in the hope of getting a juicy shot of — well, someone other than me. I guess growing up in Los Angeles desensitized me to the cult of celebrity; some faces looked vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t tell you who they were. Sorry, this story should be a lot better than it is. The food was good.