Miller Time

Crazy Busy

UNITED STATES—A Nigerian gentleman in Mid-City once made the astute observation, “When people in America say they’re busy, it means they’re making money.” Take it up a notch. And you get crazy busy, it means you’re sold out to the holy hustle and your soul belongs to the top five bidders. And when you’re crazy busy like a fox, there’s...

Indifference

UNITED STATES—Indifference is freedom from our own capriciousness, a pivotal quality for cultivating life success and industriousness. Indifference means being unenslaved by outcome. Being open to all the charming and not-so-charming possibilities multiplies the chances for contentment. Tony de Mello (inspirational wiseman) compares it to ordering soup at a restaurant. You have your heart set on French onion soup,...

Deducting Cafe Society

UNITED STATES—Can the expenses incurred by a writer working at a café be written off on taxes? You bet if it qualifies as a business meeting, then it will qualify as a tax deductible expense. This is the first year I’ve been getting receipts for my ritual morning expresso. Let me tell you evasion is the mother of tax evasion....

Dog Days

UNITED STATES—One night in New York we went to the Angelica Theater in the Village and saw David Lynch’s ‘Wild at Heart.’ I got to see that scene where Laura Dern and Nicolas Cage come across a dead-still single car crash in the middle of the desert, the headlights still on. The tires still slowly spinning. Amazingly, a couple weeks...

Bedside (10)

UNITED STATES—Davy goes on: "Oh, sister, it's a relief to share this with you and get it off my face, my chest, you know what I mean. Imagine how I felt, I'd driven all night to be here. I'd driven down the 5 and took the James Dean Memorial Highway, and then got to the hospital. I spent time...

Last Man Still Sitting

UNITED STATES—Part of the mystique of Cafe Om was for people to gather at this hole in the wall and know people by face and remain ignorant of their resume. Which goes contrary to what is usually so up front here when it comes to small talk: what project are you doing? What is your goal? There’s something nice about...

The Orson Box

UNITED STATES—Astonishing news: 33 years after calling it quits on Earth, Orson Welles is back, strong as ever, with his last motion picture being redeemed from legendary limbo by Netflix, the oft-described, seldom seen “The Other Side of the Wind.” This brings to mind a morning spent in Atwater Village opening a box of Orson’s final screenplays. Liz Derby was...

The Best

UNITED STATES—This was the best year of my life. I shall make no feeble attempt to hang onto the unhangable and give up any pretense of clinging to a past even before the calendar relinquishes the year’s final dates. Nor shall I bore you with why this was the best year for me (you and I are so selfish...

A Lotta Shaking

UNITED STATES—One Tuesday afternoon, sunny and cool, lullabied by the sound of cars streaming from the 10 to the 110, I neared the end of another day on my Olivetti. Mac, the electrician, ran into the kitchen. “I was watching the World Series on TV,” he panted, his voice congested with emotion. “The camera started shaking. Then TV went...

4. Home Free

UNITED STATES—She was a good-natured house, robin’s egg blue hidden in a drab, soot-muted gray, where I’d have my free room on the corner of Estrella Avenue and 22nd Street. Brad, my mentor and savior, gave me a brand-new receipt book where I’d be recording all the names of those USC students clambering to live here. A telephone was...
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