Tag Archives: essays

ROOM SERVICE DURING AWARD SEASON

Well, it’s here, that self-congratulatory jerk-off fest and ass kissing extravaganza!

Film, music, and television award shows! Look I’m not trying to hate, I enjoy one or two shows here and there. But Jesus Christ it’s nonstop in this town! I would love if they gave an award for ‘biggest douche bag, biggest asshole, the biggest pain in the ass to work with, biggest ass, biggest man boobs…’

I don’t know, maybe if we get a little more creative, and a little more self-deprecatory maybe the general public wouldn’t take actors and celebrities so seriously. They seem to look at them as these monumental, incredibly important, amazing people. What’s worse though are the sycophants & minions that blog and report on said celebritards. And a lot of those people stay right here in the hotel. These are the flies buzzing around the secondary shit that is Hollywood. Based on the delusion that there’s any glamour in Hollywood, entertainment reporters would be the very lowest on that wrung. How do I know? Because I worked for an entertainment magazine (STAR) long enough to see what a load of stupid fucking tripe all that information and news is. But hey, I grew up in this town so I’m probably a little jaded.

Ok on with it.

Golden Globes Night.
I get a big order $860.00 rm. 412, knock knock.
‘Room service.’ The TV is LOUD; I hear audience laughter as well as heavy room chatter. A lot is going on in there. I sense douchery; I hope I’m wrong.
‘What? what? Who is that? Why are you bothering us! Come back later.’

I knock again and scream loudly over the noise, ‘ROOM SERVICE!’
‘Yes, Yes. Okay. Hold on.’ The door opens a Perez Hilton looking guy gives me a dismissive wave in. Fat dude in purple skinny jeans and deep v-neck with a wolf’s head print. I’m annoyed, right off the bat. Why do I have to be visually offended by your bad taste in fashion and your lack of physical exercise? I hate everything.

I go in, 10 or 12 people are huddled on a couch looking up at a wall mounted plasma screen. They’re consumed.
They’re desperate for a fix. They speak as if they know the celebrities intimately and personally. Using first names, or shortening the name or making child like names of the nominees.
‘Oh my god Patty (Patricia Arquette) is hot!’
‘Well Meryl is like that…’
‘Bobby D was up for that.’
‘And Well George (Clooney I suppose) is so blah blah…’
I’m totally ignored, and someone says ‘pause it.’ The poor man’s Perez replies, ‘Don’t you fucking dare, I need to see this in real time! Ok come in. Quickly please.’ At that point I move even slower. ‘Where would you like…’ I say slowly.
‘Oh god, just over there. Where ever.’

Then a chubby girl in skintight everything. ‘No no not there! Just leave it. Right by the window.’ She gets up with a grunt. ‘Nyuuhh, oh my this looks fan fucking tastic!’ Another rude chubby wubby on the Couch yells, ‘eat my quesadilla bitches and just see what fucking happens!’
‘Oh shut up Gavin!’ I back up towards the door, now I really want to get out of here. I feel my soul being sucked out of every orifice. The depth of this crowd resembles a dried out birdbath.

I leave the room. I look in the book, of course there’s no extra tip or gratuity. ‘Oh God you cheap assholes,’ I say under my breath as I round a corner. I bump into a bellman that’s bringing someone’s luggage to the lobby. ‘Yeah man,’ he says ‘this is the cheapest fucking crowd of the year prepare yourself.’ The next room, 516. Just tea. Small order smaller auto gratuity. I knock,
Room service before I can even finish the sentence a girl whips open the door,
‘Finally.’ she says. The room’s packed with wardrobe racks, and suitcases, and boxes, and shoes and high-end designer shopping bags, jewelry strewn all over the tables. I manage my way around the obstacle course of couture footwear and accessories. I give her the check.
‘Yes yes I’m here dressing and styling VIPs I’m sorry to be short, I just need things delivered very quickly.’
‘That’s nice.’ I say.
She grins at me.
I walk out.

Short & Sweet
The Grammys. In the great words of Chuck D of Public Enemy, ‘Who gives a fuck about a goddamn Grammy.’

More senseless awards for art. I will not be commenting on Kanye West, because I really don’t care. I haven’t heard the new Beck album either. I’ve never listened to music because it won an award. Seems like an Award just solidifies your self-worth as well as a future paycheck.
Most of the guests that I dealt with on Grammy night were too self obsessed to be dismissive or mean. Anybody that was of real importance was already at the show. At the end of any shift (regardless of the event that’s taking place) I usually laugh it off. And I realize that it’s not my career path and you wouldn’t get the entertainment of this lovely little blog, so I will be reporting more about this fantastic award season after the Academy Awards! And we’ll see you at the movies!

 

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! Another excerpt from my book ‘#1 Son And Other Stories’ Available on Amazon.

My Father, Carl Marcus 1978.

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From the chapter, “Going For A Drive”

 

“What’s a shnorra Daddy?”

“Mikey, it’s men or women who freeload and sponge, like leeches at corporate or government jobs because they have no original thoughts, business sense, or ambitions. AND EVEN WORSE, they have no panache or hustle. You never want to get caught up in that garbage kid, it’s a dead-end life. A real fucking horror show.”

“OK, Dad.”

He turned up Frank Sinatra and ran his gold rings on the Caddie’s plastic steering wheel. He sang “My Way” as he gunned the red Eldorado up the 101 past Cambria. My father drove us all over California. We motored from Point Conception to the Mexican border, from San Fernando to San Francisco, Burbank to Barstow and all the nooks and crannies in between. He feeds us Ghirardelli chocolates, Pismo Beach clam chowder; date shakes from Hadley’s, root beer floats from A&W, fried shrimp from Howard Johnson’s, and pea soup from Andersen’s. On many occasions, he would wad up the check and stick it in his pocket, and we’d just walk out. “Let’s play a game kids. It’s called dine and dash.” If the waitress ever stopped us on the way out, he’d say, “must have slipped my mind,” then pay the bill. Once in our travels, my father took us to Fedco. He had acquired ‘paid’ stickers that a manager friend stole from the cash register. These stickers were used for big-ticket items that couldn’t be bagged. He’d slap a sticker on an item (toasters, irons, roller-skates, bicycles, even a color TV he put on a dolly) and we’d walk out.

When he was tired he’d pull into a rest stop and say, “OK you little cuties, shut the fuck up now. I’m sleeping, and I want silence.” He had no problem throwing an open fist into the back seat if we woke him. He called it “backhand therapy.” At home, he called it “wall-to-wall counseling.” My sister and I would sit back there wired on sugar and freak out about waking him. Then he’d wake up, and we were off. We also played road games. “Hey kids, you want to play house of horrors?”
 There was silence.

“How do you play that game Daddy?” My sister asked.

“We think of the worst possible scenario that could occur in a house filled with children.” More silence, for what seemed like an eternity. “For example, a banister that is sharpened like a shaving razor, and when you slide down it cuts you in two, haha!”

“Ok dad,” I said nervously.

“Or a special well lit room where they take a hole punch to your eyelids so your pupils are always exposed to the bright lights.”

“Eww,” said Lorraine.

“Or a chair with tacks and nails on it that you’re forced to sit in.”

“Dad, how about being stuck in a car that plays Frank Sinatra, over and over and over, forever?”

 

GET IT NOW!

#1 Son And Other Stories is available now on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/0999614185/

Also, check out my Interview with Marc Maron on his WTF podcast.

http://wtfpod.libsyn.com/episode-876-michael-marcus-dr-steve

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More Hotel Insanity

If you’re sick like just sniffly, well, the only reason why we care is that we don’t want to be around you. If you constantly verbalize your cold, flu, or allergies it’s really mundane and boring. Americans have some form of healthcare now! At this point in our current international climate, your little cold or allergies are whiny 1st world bullshit. No one truly gives a rats ass. And if they (the sick people enablers) cater and constantly kowtow to that shit, the little sickies are gonna’ leech on to that codependency and ride it into their golden years. I’ve seen it!

Anyway, so I deliver to a guy who orders quite frequently. This guy always has some story about his health. Mr. Harmon in 511. He has a different boy toy in the room every time I deliver an order. Most of them look like Santa Monica street hustlers. With their little backpacks and plastic bags of clothes and shit sitting on the couch.

Tonight’s delivery interaction;
I knock on the door. It opens, its dark, and smells like cheap stripper strawberry incense or oil.
‘How you doing Mr. Harmon?’
He’s about 6’2″ and really pale and bloated. He looks like Larry Bird’s estranged brother. And has an eerie fucking vibe to boot.
He throws his hands in the air theatrically.
‘Oh God, no Bueno! I think I caught a bad cold, Ramon is going to get me Theraflu.’ Ramon is grabbing his jacket and rushing out into the cold night.
‘I’m sure the concierge has it.’ I say.
‘No, Ramon loves to walk the streets. He’s been doing that for years.’ He turns on the light, I wish he hadn’t.

‘Listen I have this weird thing with my eyes, they keep going back-and-forth.’ He’s pointing at his eyes. ‘Have you ever had that?’ He’s moving his index finger back-and-forth between both eyes. I’m standing there watching this charade. Why oh why the fuck do I have to get a play-by-play of your present status Harmon? ‘We’ll have you?’ He asks again. ‘No Mr. Harmon. I’ve never had that.’
‘Hmm, yeah it’s a pretty unique thing. Well, the doctor gave me some promethazine, but I already took four Norco so I might not be good to mix them.’ Those were drugs that I used to use quite frequently, sick or not. ‘What would you do?’
Harmon asks. At this point, I’m in total ‘who gives a fuck’ mode. So I’m like, ‘Yeah go ahead and guzzle down the promethazine. You’ll get real drowsy and nod off, and then maybe your eyeballs will stop moving back-and-forth.’ He runs into the other room, ‘Hold on hold on,’ he says. Oh no, I just want to get the fuck out of here.

‘Mr. Harmon can you please sign the check?’
He comes running back with two small packages. ‘My housekeeper gave me these the other day. She gets them from some little bodega botanica place in East Los Angeles. They’re Mexican bath salts. Maybe these will help me.’
It’s probably not a good idea to drink the promethazine and then take the bath, right?’
‘Well unless never want to wake up.’ Which sounds like a great idea for either one of us at this point. ‘Ha ha ha. That’s funny.’ He signs and hands me back the bill. Well ‘pray for me by name!’ He says in a show tune like voice. I finally leave. I look in the checkbook, no tip. I feel like my spirit has been run over by a Stolen Cadillac Escalade.

Same night, two hours later. Simple order.
I’m delivering chamomile tea to a Mrs. Gordon, room 319. I’m taxed and tired.
I just want it to be over. Let this night be done. I knock.
‘Room service.’ No answer I lean in, I hear somebody scurrying around. I knock again. No answer, again I hear scurrying around. I knock louder. Still nothing.
‘ROOM SERVICE.’ Nothing. Jesus what the fuck. I kick the bottom of the door three times. ‘ROOM SERVICE!!’
‘Oh ok. Of course.’ I hear a droll voice say.

A frumpy depressed looking blonde 20 something opens the door. My intuition tells me another mundane, soul-sucking situation lies in my wake.
‘Just put the tray on the bed. Listen, I’m concerned. My sliding glass patio door won’t lock properly. Maybe you can take a look.’ I hand her the bill. She puts it down without signing it. That’s always a bad sign. I walk over to the door. It latches. No fuss no muss.
‘It’s fine ma’am.’ I walk towards the bill.

She looks over at the checkbook. ‘I finished a production job early, and I’m here for a couple of days. I’m so bored. What should I do? Don’t say the movies, Universal Studios or Disneyland. Those are stupid suggestions. I already got mad at the bellman for suggesting all that garbage.’ Her voice is high pitched like lee press on nails on a chalkboard, or metal patio furniture being pulled across concrete. I offer up museums, and exhibits, coffee houses, and quaint little hipster neighborhoods.

‘Boring. Boring.’ She says. ‘I need some action!’
‘Maybe go pick up an LA Weekly. You’ll find the back pages loaded with all kinds of activity.’
Her eyes lit up. ‘What are you talking about? Sex, S and M, sex clubs, prostitutes?’
That’s not what I’m talking about. God.’
I looked over at the bill, and made my way to the door. She signs it and is shaking her head.
‘I was talking about music venues, nightclubs, dance clubs. But hey, whatever.’ She growls at me and hands me the bill. I walk out. I’m done for the night. I’d rather fill catsup bottles or do some other form of side work then deal with these people. Just for tonight, I need to get my mojo back.

 

MY DAYS WERE NUMBERED AT TECHNICOLOR – CIRCA 1994

It’s physiologically staggering how much I detest most of the employees here.

One big dysfunctional family.

Alcoholics, gamblers, drug addicts sex addicts these are obvious. 

I’m sure there are also plenty of wife beaters, masters of molestation, pedophiles and judging by where some of these hicks live—bestiality. 

I hang in because the money is good. Bad move. Bad idea.

That rationale, that saying, “Well, at least the money is good…” America.

The phrase that pays. The Lie. The justification of lost passion, of the soul’s complacency, the collapse into a false sense of security and an even more false sense of self.

Speaking of delusion, working here does give me the delusional sense of being an intellectual… because the intelligentsia is so stiflingly low.

One of the bosses told me that he would “break both my fucking arms and legs” if I pressed a power button on a broken machine.

HE LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE COSMO SPACELY FROM THE JETSONS.

Not the least bit intimidated, I glared at the diminutive little man and I laughed. I could crush his windpipe in one fell swoop. I already had it telegraphed in my head.

 The money is good. But how far does that ever take me?

When your soul and spirit is broken, waded up like a Milky Way wrapper, and thrown to a needy corporate dungeon of chemical death, it makes you wonder, what the fuck am I doing here? Or anywhere?

Everyone in the Positive Developing department has a glazed look and is stupefied from watching monitors of the same 35 mm film going backward on a high-speed developing machine at 500 frames a minute for 12-hour shifts. This was the process of film, before digital.

Most people here break the monotony by drinking, gambling, doing drugs into oblivious states of delusional ultra temporary contentment. 

Or… they eat and eat and eat…to fill the senseless void of an unaccomplished, and molested life. 

Me: I’m terrifyingly sober. Dry as Death Valley in July. 

I read, write, exercise and get laid if I’m lucky. Sometimes I obsess on all the above that I can’t do—gamble, drugs, drink. Wait, murder? 

Even though this freedom sucks it’s better than jail, (more morbidly senseless justification for staying stuck in this chemical hell with toxic people).

There really is no glamour in Hollywood.

But based on the that there is, well this would be the least glamorous of film industry jobs. 

No fucking doubt.

My worth in the eyes of management is contingent on just how many hours of overtime I’m willing to work, but I have a modicum of self-esteem, self-care, and self-worth so I frequently refuse the OT request. 

So in their eyes, I’m a worthless piece of liberal shit and I have even been told so.

And (again) it’s rammed into my consciousness that Hollywood is filled with wolves parading around in liberal wardrobe.

The job, this existence, It’s an amazing concept that a job could be somebody’s whole life, somebody’s identity. 

More Americana that’s as shallow as a bird bath. Like a Junkie math equation. Good paying job = good life

The job collapses.  They collapse.

These gears here are oiled so well that word of layoff, fiber optics, digital anything that would threaten the weak foundation of their existence sends them scurrying in a panic, like roaches running from a homemade aerosol & Bic lighter flamethrower.

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Another excerpt from my book ‘#1 Son And Other Stories’ Available on Amazon.

Wakayama Bar Fly Round Eye Fire Face

 

…He hands me the flaming shot and without even a second thought, I rally it back. Suddenly I smell burnt hair. My goatee is aflame. My collar and neck are aflame. Riae and Shuyu are screaming pointing. Yoshi is in shock. A Japanese woman in traditional garb dumps a pitcher of beer on me and there is another one behind her with another pitcher like they’re trying to douse a four-alarm brush fire.

“OKAY, OKAY!” I yell.

The smell of burnt hair and beer permeates my nostrils. I pat my face, I rub it, my cheeks feel like melted cheese. “Ha Ha Ha! Fuck!” I’m fucking wide-awake and so present it’s electrifying.

“Shit,” I say, “you trying to kill me Ricardo?”

“Fuck that shit, I’m sorry.”

I get up to go to the bathroom. The whole thing is surreal. People are staring at me, when I look at them they immediately looking away. I move quickly through the bathroom door, there is sweet, slow, traditional Japanese music playing overhead. I look at my face in the mirror. I don’t feel so pretty, or smooth and I’m definitely not bored. I let out a loud laugh. I’m an ugly American, real ugly. Is this my little dose of karma for H-bombs past? The skin has melted away two or three layers on both sides.

“Wow,” I say loudly. “I’m not a doctor but I’d say second-degree burns, Nurse Ratchet.”

As I say this, a very short Japanese man walks in, “Sorry sorry,” he bows, and runs out.

Fuck. My girl will understand.

The day after my face caught on fire…

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#1 Son And Other Stories is available now on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/0999614185/

Also, check out my Interview with Marc Maron on his WTF podcast.

http://wtfpod.libsyn.com/episode-876-michael-marcus-dr-steve

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Confessions of a problem child

 

I burned down the backyard

And just stood there

Transfixed by the flames

I  pissed on my parent’s artwork while standing on their antique chair

I stole my best friends prized matchbox set

I crept into my mother’s and father’s room while they slept

I stole all they’re money and their car

Then drove to Mexico in a blackout

I told the 8th-grade teacher to shove that bullshit history book up her ass

I got a referral to the principal and was swatted in the ass with plexiglass for questioning patriotism and history and an imposed system of ignorance

I carried a loaded gun because they were coming

And then when they came I realized I forgot the gun

I was on a72-hour psyche hold in 4 point restraints and shot full of Haldol. Swore I’d never be there again, and I was there again and again

I was busted with possession of drugs and paraphernalia and sat in jail, and couldn’t wait to get out and not even have a clue I  was going to do it again. Over and over again

I’ve been angry, homeless walking the streets in Anytown, USA.

Totally convinced, truly believing, it was everybody else’s fault

I  walked the streets until my feet had blood blisters, but never left a square block radius

I broke into so many apartments in the complex I lived in that I could only leave the apartment at night out of sheer paranoia

I drank and drove so drunk that I had to cover an eye to stop seeing double, again, and again and again

I’ve heard at least 2 dozen people say they’ll never drink or use again

Then just hours, days, weeks, months, or years later, they overdose or drink themselves to death

I looked loved ones in the eyes and promised something, and just knew deep down I was going to break their fucking heart

 

Another excerpt from my book ‘#1 Son And Other Stories’ Available on Amazon.

THIEVIN’ PINK PILLS AND PSYCHOTROPIC THRILLS

Monday night, Jeff’s apartment, Q-107, 11:30 pm. I was pacing back and forth because I couldn’t get the patio sliding door off its tracks; it usually wasn’t a problem. How the fuck…? I had to get in. What do I do now?

I knew Jeff kept an English cookie tin of pills in his studio apartment, he’d showed it to me a couple of weeks ago. I needed to steal it; I needed to get high. I needed to throw the ultra-heavy little hibachi through the sliding glass door: Crash! Slam! Chinkle, chinkle, chinkle…

I rushed into the apartment. There was briquette dust in the air and all over the floor. He had concert posters and Playboy centerfolds taped to the walls: Hendrix, Mott the Hoople, Humble Pie…complete with black lights. The floor was strewn with dirty socks and underwear. The coffee table had paper plates with food still on them from the weekend, along with an open container of Vaseline and Swedish Erotica porno vids.

I searched under the bed: No.
The closet: No.
The bathroom: No.
The refrigerator: Yep! The cookie tin was in there and loaded with pills. So many colors and designs! I grabbed an Alpha Beta paper bag, threw the tin in the bag and walked out the front door.

I quickly walked to the exit of the building. I ducked inside a doorway. I saw the little Oakwood security cart hum by, the guard looking like business as usual. No sense of urgency, just making his rounds. I was in and out in probably two-and-a-half or three minutes. Oakwood has twenty-six buildings, lettered A through Z, three doors each. Five guys handled all the security, two vehicles. Easy pickings.

#1 Son And Other Stories is available now on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/0999614185/

Also, check out my Interview with Marc Maron on his WTF podcast.

http://wtfpod.libsyn.com/episode-876-michael-marcus-dr-steve

 

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