From an email from my sister, Frannie. I had no idea we were really this close to the brink. Get out the hot pokers and prepare to blind thyself if you should be witness to this horror:

“I was both frightened and dismayed to be flipping through channels this

morning only to discover Mariah Carey on VH1 singing her rendition of

“Bringin’ on the Heartache” by Def Leppard, with Dave Navarro playing

lead guitar with what appeared to be a smile on his face. What is going

on…is the world getting ready to explode? Are we all about to die?”

Last night I went to see WWE Raw at the Staples Center, courtesy of one of the ad sales guys I work with at WWE. The show ended with bad-guy wrestler Kane, who last week set JR on fire – don’t ask me who JR is – slamming Linda McMahon, middle-aged mom-esque CEO (I think) of WWE, on her head with the devestating Tombstone Piledriver (check it out here). I was going to try to write some cultural assessment of an evening of WWE Raw (such as the swearing ability of the 12 year old boys), but why? The event was summed up when D., a fellow invitee who works like I do in interactive media, turned around to my WWE friend and just said, “how the hell do you sleep at night?” I have to say it was brilliant fun: loud as hell and fake as hell. The tone for the entire evening is set with the opening match, the WWE Divas in a tag-team match. Nothing like a bunch of hard body women fake kicking the shit out of one another to get you in the mood for, uh, a bunch of oily guys in bikinis fake kicking the shit out of one another. Rick Flair was there with who I suppose is his son, but unlike the chivalrous wrestlers of my youth (ha ha), he attacked the hot announcer.

Later we went to the new Palm downtown, the steakhouse of conspicuous consumption. Steve Goldberg was there with (vermonting) David Arquette and Dennis Haskins, who played Principal Belding on Saved by the Bell. While Steve Goldberg worked the room like I’ve never seen a celebrity work a room (it really still is all about the fans with these guys), our table started yelling “Mr. Belding! Mr. Belding!.” Thrilled to be recognized, Dennis came over to the table to say hello and shake hands. Meanwhile Steve Goldberg was shooting pictures with a bunch of over-the-hill ladies who were spending their husbands’ pensions, sucking down martinis and gorging on lobster. We think he may have given one of them full tongue.

Additional vermonting: Erkel sat a few rows in front of us. Erkel!

I live in Hollywood. Steve Martin lives, I presume, somewhere in Los Angeles or one of the mitochondrial cities, like Beverly Hills, that contribute to the existence of the former.

I have a website. Steve Martin has a website. My web site is better than Steve Martin’s. I even think some of my writing is funnier. If I ever see Steve Martin in a restaurant or a car wash or shopping for underwear at Barney’s, I’m going to walk up to him and tell him that I think my web site is better than his.

Then, hopefully, he’ll say something like, “That’s nice. I have more money and have dated far better looking women, and many more of them, than you ever have.” Because if I were Steve Martin, that’s what I would say.

Also, Steve Martin has hosted the Academy Awards. I hosted the Reid Ross High School annual beauty pageant. Steve Martin was on Saturday Night Live. I was on a stage in North Hollywood doing stand up comedy once, and was booed off the stage for a huge bomb of a joke about the Discover Card.

It’s nice to know that there is someone in L.A. with whom I have so much in common.

I have a new job. I’m leaving the world of the movie studio to jump to the world of interactive advertising. Still in Los Angeles, though. I can’t say that I’m all that sad to be getting out of this ridiculously cloistered environment.

I’m sitting at the office waiting for my bald friend Tang to call. Tang got his name in Vegas after the antibiotics he was taking for his – let’s just call it skanky wee-wee – turned his piss bright orange. He’s getting a haircut even though he has no hair. He has a pool which I am requiring the use of tonight. Then it’s catching up on The Amazing Race to which I am thoroughly addicted. And now that I am no longer going to be working for Viacom, I will be eligible to send in an audition tape for the race. I think I should do it with my father, the retired Green Beret. I’m pretty sure he’d kick some ass and probably piss everyone off along the way (which on that show would be a good thing).

I need to find some writing time to catch up here. There are some good stories to tell. They’ll probably need to be fictionalized anyway. I’m rambling.

Tom Cruise’s flight suit from Top Gun is being auctioned off by Christies. It’s in Lot 37.

Later.

I’m feeling wretched after the weekend in Clovis, California. On Saturday, it was so hot by the pool in the afternoon that Holly Golightly and I thought we could detect the faint hiss of our lotion laden epidermis sizzling. There are good stories to tell, in spite of how I feel right now: The Red Lantern, Jim Bo’s, how I got the nickname Metro Fred, the amount of butter that Tahoe Joe’s puts on a baked potato. I think the combination of heat, air pollution and the hours of bumper-to-bumper traffic in the Grapevine due to a wildfire has taken its toll. It’s bloody hot in my apartment. Breathing is like smoking and I’m grumpy at best. Holly Golightly left this morning. A little late but nothing to worry about since she flies first class (of course).

By happy accident I discovered fellow bloggers in my Los Feliz neighborhood: Mike and Maria. (In the recently updated blog list on blogger.com of all places, so it was kismet, really.)

Their blog, FRANKLIN AVENUE, is a compendium of things Los Angeles. I actually live on Franklin Avenue. Their restaurant reviews are dead on; note that they recently reviewed Fred 62, home of the “Caramel Hot Dog.”

Another month rolls in. I’m going to Fresno for the 4th of July weekend to see Jen, who is out from NYC visiting her grandmother. Since I really have no idea of what to do while in Fresno, other than bake like a brick in the sun and breathe industrial farming fertilizer dust, I put a “what-the-hell-is-in-Frenso” request in the Activity Partner section of craigslist.org in LA and San Fran. Here are some of the responses I received from former denizens of the Central Valley:

“Fresno’s a real hell hole.” – Mark

“I was born and raised in Fresno, though I admit

I’ve only been there a couple of times in the last

10 years. (But I went there 2 years ago,

and it hasn’t changed AT ALL.)” – Michael

“The only place in Fresno that

exudes coolness would be the Tower District. I

haven’t been in so long, usually I only go to Fresno

for one night to visit my Grandma and get stuck going

to bed at 9pm.” – Bella

“First, let me extend my condolences. I lived in Fresno

for the past fourteen years. Most of what Fresno called

nightlife has dried up and died.” – Paul

Someone suggested going to what may be the world’s largest water park to escape the heat. Nothing like spending the 4th of July watching people fly down water slides with their bathing suits shoved up their ass cracks and then taking a nice dip in a tepid pool filled with children’s urine.

Oh boy.