Rodrigo of Hollywood
When I first got back to LA a month ago, one of the first conversations I overheard was a young woman saying to her friend “I don’t know if I can wait 10 years to be famous. That’s like forever.” To which her friend replied, “Yeah, I’m so sure it’s not as much fun being famous when you’re old.” I said to myself, “Ugh, I’m back.” But within a couple of days, I was happy to be back to the conversations in LA. and now am sad to be leaving them. They’re the conversations with some of my oldest friends and colleagues and strangers, and even when they have that distinct LA flavor, it is comforting in it familiarity.
Yesterday, I met up with my friend Elizabeth, and while we were chatting, she was also texting with her boss. About their dogs. Elizabeth’s Rodrigo is very hip to the dog scene in LA. He’s goes to a very trendy doggy day care, and saw his first psychic at a young age. (The psychic envisioned many things, including that Rodrigo would like chicken, and imagine that, he does). She let me share the conversation with her boss:
E’s Boss: Do you know or can recommend a pet psychologist or homeopathic pet therapist. My dog is having some issues with peeing in the house and my vet has ran a number of tests and it’s not anything medical. My dog walker sugested a pet psychologist or homeopathic pet therapist and I did a yahoo search and turned up nothing.
E: A friend of mine takes her dog to pet acupuncture. If you like, I can get the name for you. Rodrigo had a reading with a pet psychic. It was very insightful into his thought process. I don’t have her name, but I believe it was the pet psychic on the animal planet. She was really amazing. I can try and get her contact info.
E’s Boss: Both would be great! Thanks
E: I will work on it tomorrow.
Conversations in LA
E’s Boss: Thanks so much!
Saturday, June 27, 2009
The Night Counter-Alia Yunis
The Night Counter
Shaye Areheart (Crown), Jul 14 2009, $24.00
Lebanese immigrant Fatima Abdullah is dying, but shows no interest in a reconciliation with her estranged husband Ibraham or for that matter with her children sprawled all over the country as she prefers to ignore their issues. She has no desire to see any of her ten offspring; their children except Amir or even her pregnant great-granddaughter; they did not want to hear her prattle about her 1001 Arabian Nights countdown.
Instead she stays with her gay grandson Amir, who welcomes her insanity in Los Angeles as an actor who knows his town is filled with crazies so his attitude is why not one more with his blood. For the last 992 nights ever since Scheherazade visited her demanding she tells her stories, Fatima has complied. When her tales end, Scheherazade insists so does her life; as happens with everyone. With nine to go, the octogenarian expects to be dead next week even as Ibraham wants to be there for her; as does the FBI who believe the Abdullah family are a sleeper terrorist cell because of Amir’s name and his association with a former lover under federal surveillance due to his former lover Amir being under federal surveillance.
This is a terrific tale that keeps the audience wondering whether Fatima suffers from dementia or is a clever modern day fantasy. Fatima obviously owns the fast-paced novel as she begins her final countdown to what she expects is her death. Her family especially heartbroken Amir, whose lover dumped him during the countdown, provide solid support as all of them except her host assumes she is certifiable; whereas her host thinks she is an eccentric lovable kook. Sherazade plays a key role, but like the Memorex commercial one will ponder is she real or imagined as does the circular logical FBI finding perceived terrorists under any Arab sounding rock. Alia Yunis provides a powerful modern day family thriller with the twist of the FBI “interrogates” Sherazade.