I continue to be intrigued by this Natalie Portman person. Latest report is that her co-star in the awful “Thor” sequel quit eating meat before kissing her, out of respect that Portman is vegan.
Of course she is.
Many fans seemed charmed by co-star Chris Hemsworth’s kissy kindness, though some just scoffed.
“Because he wanted his breath to smell like lavender, empathy and light?” tweeted a guy named Ray.
“But he’s made out of meat!” noted Bruce Kemp.
“So, otherwise, he was going to pass his dinner from his mouth to hers?” wondered John.
And, so goes America, where a kiss is just a kiss, a quip is just a quip, a smile is just a smile.
Me, I wonder about the germs. And I’m convinced some clever publicist made it all up anyway. But I’m sort of cynical sometimes. I’m paid to be wary and discerning. Oh, wait, I’m not paid? But if I were, it would be for being wary and discerning and kind of meaty, like Hemsworth himself.
The other evening, during a nightcap in Miller’s kitchen, I kept pulling my shirt up to demo how I once got stuck on a date, while trying to remove my shirt and necktie in one dramatic gesture, as if raising a main sail.
Instead, like a strait-jacket, my dress shirt tangled me all up and I was immobilized – couldn’t get it on, couldn’t get it off.
“A little help here?” I squeaked.
We can laugh now, but I’m super lucky to be alive.
Look, I’m just struggling to laugh through our brutal nuclear summer. In LA, God burned the toast. The weeds are brown, the lawns are all scratchy. Even the pavement is dying.
The other day, Smartacus and I were driving through Glendale (aka God’s Country), and we noticed that the freeway’s lane markings were 90% gone, just bleached away by the sun. It is a tribute to LA freeway drivers that anyone could find a lane at all in the late-afternoon glare.
But they did, and once again I hold Angelenos in the highest esteem. They put up with a lot. They wait in lines, they wait at restaurants, theme parks and stadiums. Really, the greatest common thread we have is all the waiting around. One in a while a brawl breaks out, but pretty rarely.
Yet, they are usually remarkably cheery. Though at the Geffen Playhouse the other night, Angelenos didn’t seem to be so cheery. No small talk in the lobby, the courtyard. Bonkers, right? I mean, why go out at all?
My hot take: No one really likes live theater, not like a concert or a good ballgame. There is no anticipation, no buzz. Nothing is funny in theaters anymore – it’s all so earnest and dour. Maybe that’s why.
But Suzanne gladly supports live theater, so I try to play along (so to speak). I make the best of it, always admiring the hard work of the actors and the crew.
The first two words of this play were f – – k and sh – t, so I knew immediately we were in for a real treat. “That’s just good writing,” I whispered to Smartacus.
When the play finally ended (almost four weeks later), no one in the audience really could tell that it ended. The ending was so weak, it was as if a waiter served you dinner, then took it immediately away. Wait, my sand dabs! Waiter?!
My theory (as an aspiring writer): Good stories have good endings.
I’d have asked for my money back, but I got the tickets free from Suzanne, who might be the nicest person ever – I mean, really magnificent — though she also has an edge I kinda admire.
Now, I have to figure out some form of compensation for the tickets, since Suzanne will never accept money. Seriously, I don’t think she’s touched cash in years.
By the way, every time I go to the theater, I think how I want to pen a play about Jackie Robinson’s Pasadena boyhood. He grew up not far from us, but worlds away really, and I think of him as a black Tom Sawyer, an example of the longshot American Dream.
As a kid, he ran with some ruffians, and his mother was always off working, so he raised himself, overcame all the odds, and temptations and grew into a fierce, courageous historical figure.
Compared to that, fastballs must’ve seemed so easy.
FYI, as a kid Jackie swam at a pool near the Rose Bowl that minority kids were allowed to use only once a week — that was the policy. When the black, Mexican and Chinese kids were done with their weekly swim, city workers were ordered to drain it.
But the city workers didn’t drain it, the Robinson family once told me. Because the workers were minorities too, and they didn’t see the need. In fact, they were probably repulsed by the awful request.
So, when the bosses asked, “Did you drain the pool last night?” the workers replied, “Of course, sir. Don’t you see the sparkle? Look at the way the water just shimmers!”
Like a meaty movie kiss.
Coming Saturday: What will her eyes see?
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