*City of Angels

Weeks before the attack on the Twin Towers...

A bar...
Somewhere in East LA...

Jacques Laurent walked into his neighbourhood bar and looked around. There weren't too many people in. Which was good since he just wanted to have a drink in peace, then head to the airport and catch the red-eye to Las Vegas. The weeks upto final submissions had been a huge strain but all that hard work had paid off and he was going to reward himself with a week in Sin City.
His favourite seat at the bar was empty. There were only a couple of people at the bar. A woman who was at the far end and a man sitting on the seat next to him. She was staring vacantly straight ahead. Her face had a worn look. Probably the excessive makeup. Or maybe too much shit in life. I wonder if she's a hooker...
As the bartender got him his whiskey, Jacques took a closer at the man sitting next to him trying to be unobtrusive about it. He had a mop of that dirty blond hair, was wearing a checked flannel shirt and well worn jeans, both of which had seen better days. Dropping his gaze lower, he saw his shoes. This guy had boots on. Tan in colour and well wrinkled. Like it was his favourite pair. Hmm could I actually be looking at an honest-to-goodness cowboy here in Los Angeles?! thought Jacques.

As he was lifting the glass to his lips, the cowboy turns his head and looks directly into his face. Feeling a little caught and not knowing what else to do, Jacques nods his head at him and mutters, 'Santé' and takes a drink of his whiskey. "What's that you said?" asks the cowboy.
"Santé... its a toast... like Cheers. It means 'to your health' in French" says Jacques.
"Aah... health. Well that.. I've got. What I could with is a little luck... or maybe discipline..."
"So are you from these parts? Or just visiting?"
"Just got in from Montana a while back... came in for some work. What about you?"
"I live down the road actually...", replies Jacques. "Just came in to get a drink before I head to the airport."
"Where you off to?" asks the cowboy
"Vacation... Vegas baby!" says a grinning Jacques.
The cowboy laughed, "I love that city... in the old days I partied in places like you wouldn't believe but that city... man that place is something else... you can really party there. I'm sure you're gonna have a great time."

The alcohol had broken the ice and after introductions, the cowbuy continued, "You know a long time ago before I bought my ranch in Montana, I used to live here in LA... not more than a couple of blocks from here actually. Lived here for 3 years with my friend Bob. me and Bob used to have some fun together. I love to party... but Bob... he really really loved to party! We'd done some serious alcohol and drugs back then."
He even talked about the time he was seeing a pretty actress and had even gotten engaged to her before she called off the wedding three days before it was to happen. "Never get caught with a stripper before your wedding... that's my advice" he said chuckling.

Jacques felt a little uncomfortable about this much personal information being shared so he decided to steer the conversation in a different direction, "You mentioned earlier you were in LA for some work?! Don't imagine you're here to buy cattle right?!" he asked cheekily.
"No", said the cowboy, "I'm here for an audition..."
"An audition?! For what?"
"It's for the pilot of a new TV show", said the cowboy
"What? Seriously?! Get outta here... Really?!"
"Why the surprise? Is it that hard to believe?!"
"Well no... its just you don't seem like the type. Right now you'd look like the Marlboro Man if you had a stetson!" said Jacques.
"So you actually don't watch a lot of TV do you?!" smiled the cowboy.
"Not really. I don't even own a TV nor do I watch movies" said Jacques.
"Oh?! So what do you do for entertainment??" asks the cowboy a little puzzled.
"I like to read a lot... Mostly non fiction but in fiction only the classics. In fact I'm currently reading the The Count of Monte Cristo probably the 17th or 18th time, after which I will re-read The Three Musketeers. As you can tell, I'm a huge fan of Alexandre Dumas."
"So...", continued Jacques, "what the show about?"
"Well right now all I know is that its a thriller of sorts... They're gonna do a bunch of episodes now and then see how that goes... Funnily enough the part I'm going to audition for is kinda like your name. I'm gonna take that as an omen." He laughed at that.
Jacques smiled as well and said, "I hope it's a good one..."
"Me too man me too... The funny thing is if anyone'd asked me a couple years ago if I'd do a television show, I'd have laughed at them. It's not something a film actor would 'consider' doing... But I've been away for a while now... and I'm hoping this might turn out to be a good thing for me..."

And so saying he waved over the bartender. Puting a few bills on the bartop, he tells the bartender, "Give my friend here another drink okay" Then turning to Jacques he says, "Good talking to you. Don't get too crazy in Vegas." Gives him a quick wink, shakes hands and walks out into the night.
By the time Jacques had boarded his flight later that night, he'd forgotten all about the shabby cowboy.

5 years later...

He was early for his appointment at the dentist's. To kill time he started leafing through some old magazines. Not surprisingly, most of them atleast 2-4 months old. The 'newest' of the lot was last month's issue of TV Guide. As he was flipping through the pages, he came across a small blurb on one of the pages - According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kiefer Sutherland and 20th Century FOX reached a deal for three additional seasons of 24. Sutherland will make at least $40 million for three more seasons, making him the highest-paid actor in a drama series. The actor who plays the lead role of Counter Terrorism agent Jack Bauer, will also take on the mantle of Executive Producer. Sutherland had taken up retirement from acting to pursue a calf roping rodeo career prior to joining the cast of 24. On being asked about how the show has affected him, Sutherland had this to say, "Twelve years ago, if anyone had suggested I would do TV, I would have laughed at them. Film actors didn't do TV. But when I was finally offered 24 in 2001, it came like a saving grace. I owe it a lot."

Well I'll be damned... thought Jacques.

*Bonus material in the DVD comments section


Happy to you

The birthday month is here again... Bugger! I mean not that birthdays are bad or anything... feels like the last one just barely went by.

Work sucks... coz there's not much of it coming thru. So to fill up my time (and wallet) I've taken up some small writing assignments. So far I've covered intellecutally gripping topics ranging from the felonious (How to make counterfeit money on your computer) to the healthy (How much should a teenager weigh?) along with some high finance (How to make fast free money online) thrown in there as well. Not a Pulitzer gig thats for dang sure. Atleast I wasn't as fortunate as my other fellow writers who had the pleasure of 'How much do celebrities weigh?' or the even more riveting 'How much do Supermodels weigh?'
But hey it gives me something to kill my time. Some extra money for the beer and peanuts don't hurt neither.

What's got me more kicked is my decision to write some material for standup. Hugely inspired by the amateur comedy night I attended at this club a few weeks ago. So much easier trying to write occasionally humourous stuff on the blog and getting a few laughs from people who get/like my kinda humour. Of course translating that into an act for the stage is a whole other ball game. Those amateurs had 2 minutes a piece to showcase their giggle inducing skillz. Doesn't seems like much but Maaaannnn! you can so bomb in 30 seconds let alone 120. There was one chick in particular who was cheered by us coz it was good to finally see a woman up there after like 5 dudes. But all thoughts of supporting women etc were blown ouffa the stage with a pretty poorly written act. I'm all for self depracating humour but you gotta be good at doing it. And never never N-E-V-E-R piss off the audience by saying shit like, "Well atleast one of you got it." You dumb bitch! That one who laughed was probably your friend who did it out of loyalty.

I'm not sure if I'll be ready to get under the bright lights and spout my spiel. But its fun putting down stuff for potential sketches. Material I've put down so far includes - adventures while ordering takeout, Indians travelling on a plane, partying in the 'cool' places...
Boy I can barely clamp down the deliciouso vitriol that's just beggin' to come out ;)

What else what else? I've been on a sick spree of dling music lately. In the past year or so I have been listening to a lot of ambient chillout stuff. Very loungey, lo-fi and sometimes trancey kinda music. Hangover from all those Goa trips I suppose. If y'all need some seriously cool music for your cafe or something, you know who to call. Hell I've even provided some friends with 'get you into the mood' kinda music. Thought about naming that mixed cd as McLovin' but settled for the more sophisticated Aural Pleasure hehe I love me some wordplay ;)

Q. In what 2 ways is pornography associated with this blog?
A. Tori Black & Fayth Deluca (sorry to disappoint but I chose the cleanest pages)

yeaaahhh... So in case you felt the need to egosurf, be prepared for Google to throw up some interesting results once in a while :D
But damn... Miss Black is cute!

And lastly I sign off with a few new songs (apparently I put up cool links so I have a rep to protect lol) which are on the loopy playlist:-

Shkabang - This is an electro rock n roll supergroup featuring the likes of Anushka Manchanda on vocals along with some heavyweights from the Mumbai gig circuit who've played with bands like Pentagram, Zero ,Tough on Tobacco and Hypnotribe. Quite like their sound. Should be a good album when they come through with it eventually.

Vicodin Love Confessions - Just love the name of this band out of Toronto, Canada. Bit of alternative and a dash of indie along with a whole lot of rock. Their new single Jeebus is up for download on the popular torrent sites.

Nikhil D'Souza - Now I came across this dude a few days ago and was plesantly surprised and impressed. I'm a big fan of Jason Mraz and this singer songwriter reminds me a lot of him. Listen to 'Storm without a Sky' and tell me I'm wrong! Nice to see our fair city has its share of such musicians.  

And we end with a dash of Bollywood... Amit Trivedi rocks!

Till next time... vaya con dios.