Wednesday, June 16, 2004


So, after cleaning out our litter pan, and then feeding two of our neighbor's cats and their litter pans, I headed down to Starbucks to work on a website for Claire's new play.

I hear helicopters overhead, and as I walk down LaBrea towards Hollywood I see that traffic is being stopped by a cadre of police and oddly uniformed personnell... Olympics detail. For the second time in my life, I'm going to see the Olympic torch pass by.

The first time was as a student of Mile Creek School in Old Lyme, CT. An impromptu school trip, that I don't think my parents signed a permission slip for. We hopped on busses to drive a whole mile to the parking lot of the local watering hole/driving range "Cherrystones", and watched as some chump ran by holding the torch up high. To be honest, at the time I could have cared less. I could do the same thing in my back yard.

Then, less than an hour ago, I'm waiting on the corner of La Brea and Highland with my cruddy digital camera, knowing that'll make for a half decent blog entry.

Up ahead, I see a caravan approaching - a truck in front blocking my view of the torch bearer. As it makes a right turn onto Hollywood, and the motorcycle cops bear way for me to get a picture, I see that its not just any Olympic torch bearer, but Ellen Degeneres!

And let me say, Ellen and I go wayyyyy back.

My first job with MTV Networks was on an award show called VH-1 Honors. My gig was to man the VIP and delivery entrance, and I had strict orders not to let anyone in who's name wasn't on the clipboard I held. A lot of people drove up insisting they belonged inside the gates - many kidded they were network execs. So, when a convertible pulled up with a woman at the wheel, I was anxious just to give me a name, or park in the structured lot like most everyone else.

"Hey, can I have your name?"

The woman at the wheel, a stranger to me, smiled back. "I'm the host!" she said, proudly.

"Ha, ha. I get that all day. Really, whats your name?"

"I'm - uh - the host. Really."

At this point I hear shouting from behind me. "David! David! Let her in!!!" I turn to see its one of the network v.p.'s.

I look down at the clipboard. I see next to the word "host" is the name "Ellen Degeneres".

"Ellen?" I say meekly to the driver. "Go ahead."

In all fairness, since I'd moved to L.A. I hadn't watched much TV, so I still didn't know who she was.

"David," she said before pulling in. "You're doing a great job!" And gave me a thumbs up, laughing as she drove to park.

Anyway, sorry my pic blows... this close up is from the LA Times: