the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Month: April 2005 (Page 1 of 2)

Tom and Kate

Mickey Rooney

Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland

The big Hollywood gossip of the day is that Tom Cruise is dating Katie Holmes.  Some think it is a fake, such as the gossipmeisters at the New York Post:

But some folks in the know believe the sudden romance may be little more than a carefully orchestrated publicity stunt — created to drum up press for the pair, both of whom just happen to have movies coming out in June.

Holmes is starring in “Batman Begins,” which debuts June 15. Two weeks later, on June 29, Cruise will be seen in Steven Spielberg’s remake of the sci-fi classic “War of the Worlds.”

If this is really a publicity stunt, there is a long tradition of this in Hollywood, going as far back as Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney’s “dating” for the press.

Since I am currently looking for a new job, let me finally make it public that I am currently dating Jennifer Aniston.

Another Movie about the Depression

2003 — Seabiscuit

True story of the undersized Depression-era racehorse whose victories lifted not only the spirits of the three-man team behind it but also those of the nation as well.

June 2005 — Cinderella Man (Russell Crowe) 

True story of Depression-era fighter and folk hero Jim Braddock, who defeated heavyweight champ Max Baer in a 15-round slugfest in 1935.  When America was on its knees, he brought us to our feet.

2007  Leap of Faith  (currently on page 15 of the screenplay; waiting to see if Cinderella Man is successful)  

The true story of Depression-era frog, Jumpy Jones, whose underdog victory against "Mighty Green" in the annual frog jumping contest lifted the spirit of the nation and brought us to our feet. 

The Children are our Cinematic Future

There is a unique film festival occurring in Los Angeles this week.

Giffoni Hollywood brings to Los Angeles the spirit and enterprise of the original Italian-based Giffoni Film Festival, while also creating a unique and innovative cinematic experience that could only be presented in the heart of Hollywood. Giffoni Hollywood reaches out to a new generation, and the judges and jury will be comprised off three age groupings: 9-11, 12-14 and 15-17 year olds.

It sounds like a really cool experience for the kids.  Everything is done like a real film festival, with red carpet arrivals at movie screenings.  There is even a dinner hosted by Jada and Will Smith. 

And considering the age of many studio executives, don’t be surprised if, at the end of the week, three lucky children will be picked to run Paramount Pictures.

Real Estate News – Los Angeles

The new Midnight Mission homeless shelter opened in downtown Los Angeles.  The Christian Science Monitor called it "one of the nation’s plushiest homeless shelters."

The $17 million state-of-the-art facility boasts a full-sized gymnasium, library, playroom, hair salon, education center, and professional kitchen.

The project could have been code-named "Keep the Homeless Downtown so they Can’t Hurt Real Estate Prices by Moving into the Super-Expensive Westside."

In related news,  Donald Trump will be the headliner in a two-day real estate seminar at the Los Angeles Convention Center.  His face is already plastered on billboards across town, with the ad slogan:  "One weekend can make you a millionaire."

An anticipated crowd of 25,000 will listen to speakers, including Trump, share their wisdom.  Some of the advertised topics include:

"The Lazy Way to Create Real Estate Wealth," "How to ‘Quick Turn’ Real Estate in Los Angeles With No Money, Credit or Risk," and "How to Get Free Money From the Government for Real Estate."

The "building affordable housing in Los Angeles" seminar has been canceled due to lack of interest.

For Beautiful People Only

Today, in Craig’s List Los Angeles:



Hmmm….before I show up for the audition…  What if I’m beautiful but I don’t think I’m beautiful?  Do all extremely beautiful people know that they are beautiful?   At what point does beautiful turn into extremely beautiful?  If you are open to all ethnicities and creeds, which standard of beauty will you be operating under?  What if my creed idolizes ugliness?  What if I’m ugly but think I’m beautiful?  Who uses the expression "all creeds of people" anymore?  Why do some people capitalize an entire post thinking it reads better?   Is ethnicities intentionally spelled incorrectly so there won’t be a lawsuit when everyone in the documentary is white and skinny? 

Downtown L.A.

Looking for a downtown Los Angeles restaurant that has fine cuisine and fabulous views of the city?   I wouldn’t exactly call the cuisine “fine” at the Los Angeles Superior Court ninth floor cafeteria, or even a cuisine for that matter, but the views of downtown Los Angeles are fantastic, especially on the patio.  You can also hang out with the city’s finest attorneys and criminals.

Here’s the Music Center, the Getty Center, and City Hall, as photographed with my Nokia 3620.




An Idiot on Tax Day

An idiot waits until the last minute on April 15 to send in his tax forms.
(10:00 PM)

And idiot drives to the Hollywood Post Office where he is told that he can get his envelope stamped at the Beverly Blvd. Post Office.
(10:15 PM)

An idiot drives to the Beverly Blvd. Post Office where people are stamping envelopes outside, but he learns it is a scam and these people are not postal workers, and the police arrive on the scene.
(10:40 PM)

An idiot learns that he needs to go to the Post Office at LAX to get his envelope stamped before midnight.
(10:50 PM)

An idiot drives all the way to LAX and ends up at the wrong facility on Century Blvd.
(11:22 PM)

An idiot races several blocks away to the right facility where, under large floodlights, postal workers stand in the street carrying mail sacks.
(11:35 PM)

An idiot waits in a two-block line of cars until it it is his turn to throw his envelope into one of the sacks.
(11:50 PM)

An idiot, exhausted and hungry, takes out food from Fatburger.
(12:15 AM)

An idiot, with heartburn from Fatburger, can’t sleep and watches a repeat of the news where he sees other idiots driving their tax forms in at the last moment.
(2:00 AM)

Hey! Mormons! Leave Them Jews Alone!

The A.P. reports that:

Jewish leaders claim Mormons continue to posthumously baptize Jews and Holocaust victims.  

In this practice, the Mormon church collects the names of the dead from government records, then church members stand in to baptize the deceased into their new religion.  The church believes individuals’ ability to choose a religion continues beyond the grave.

The church supposedly directed its members in 1995 to stop baptizing the names of Jewish Holocaust victims, celebrities and people who aren’t relatives, but there is evidence that the practice never stopped.

I once visited the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City en route to Park City and they were pretty open about their practices.   Boy, was that visit weird.   The "tour guides" mistook my politeness for interest, and before I know it, I was stuck watching this multimedia production about Mormon founder Joseph Smith.

As for the continuing effort of Mormons to posthumously baptize Jews, the Jewish community is fighting back.   This Saturday, at Temple Isaiah in Great Neck, Long Island, the Sisterhood is meeting to discuss next month’s proposed bar mitzvah of Mormon Jeopardy champ, Ken Jennings.

Blame it on the Sea Monkeys

I really wanted to get one of those cool mirrors that hang in the shower and don’t fog up.  What joy it would be — I could shave in the shower!   Yesterday, I was with Sophia in Big Lots.   They had one for $6.98.  Sophia said it was a piece of junk and that I should buy one from Sharper Image.   I didn’t listen.  How bad could it be?  The box said it was guaranteed.

After my first shower with the mirror, here’s the moral of the story.   It is a piece of junk.

I felt the need to console myself, to remind myself that I’m not usually a consumer of crappy products that don’t live up to their advertising.

This afternoon, I was browsing the web when I came to Steve Conley’s cool site, a “look at some of the best, most-memorable, and most-audacious ads from American comic books.”

I came face to face with my past, a part of my life that I have been trying to hide from.   Here, laughing at me from my Samsung screen was the product that forced me into this life of bad consumerism.   Yes, damn you, sea monkeys!

(via Steve Conley)

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