Books Hoo-fucking-ray For Hollywood
posted by May 29 at 12:00 PMon
In order to save a little money, I decided to split a hotel room with a bookseller from a Seattle-area bookstore. I let the bookstore pick the hotel.
This was a mistake.
I am now lodged at the Renaissance Hollywood at Hollywood and Highland, and it will kill me before the end of the weekend. The hotel is literally connected to an outdoor mall, and outside, tourists are posing for photos around the clock on the Walk of Fame. There’s the Kodak Theater and a wax museum and the Guinness Book of World Records Museum and a Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum, too. And a Disney Store and Soda Fountain. I do not get along well with tourists.
Last night, I was walking a friend to a taxi and the sidewalk was blocked by a mass of people. It turns out that the front of Graumann’s Chinese Theater was blocked for the world premiere of You Don’t Mess With the Zohan, the new Adam Sandler movie about a Mossad agent (Sandler) who wants to move to America and become a hairdresser. This will no doubt be hee-larious.
I wound up in the crush of the Sandlerphiliacs. Tourists wandered into the mass of people holding their cel phones and cameras high in the air, pointed at the red carpet. “Who are we waiting for?” the tourists would say, “What’s going on?” And then, after nobody would tell them, they’d take out their cameras and hold them high in the air and point them at the red carpet, figuring that they’d at least wind up with a picture of a celebrity, even if they don’t know who that celebrity will be.
A woman tried to step off the curb to get a better picture, even though there was no Sandler in sight. One of Sandler’s body guards started yelling at her. “What’s your problem?” the woman asked him. “You are my problem. You are my very big problem,’ he said. She started arguing with him until he told her to “Shut up! Shut your damn mouth!” over and over again and ushered the woman out of the mass of people.
I got tired of waiting and left, went back to my hotel, and called a cab for my friend from there. I didn’t see Adam Sandler, or any of his costars, and I didn’t get any photos at all. I apologize to the Sandler-happy Slog public.
Today is a slow day at BEA. There are a lot of educational programs. Almost all the booksellers are at my hotel for something called Bookseller School. There will apparently be a major announcement about ABA, the conglomeration of independent booksellers, this afternoon. Nobody knows what it will be.
I took the subway in to the Staples Center. I have learned two gross generalizations about Los Angeles already. Gross generalization number one: There are cameras everywhere, and there are signs everywhere telling you that there are cameras everywhere. There’s a scary billboard of a cop’s chest and it reads “I’m watching. Are you?” It feels kind of military police-y.
Gross generalization number two: There is no free wi-fi anywhere. My hotel requires a fee for wi-fi, and so does the Staples Center. My poor little Asus EEE laptop is virtually useless here. I am typing this on a rickety old Windows computer in the press lounge. Someone from some magazine is breathing down my neck for the computer. If I should disappear, blame U.S. News and World Report. I’ve always had the feeling that that magazine had it in for me.