“Mr. Hoffman!”

Several years ago there was a quiet and enjoyable movie called Sweet Land that saw a small release. I lived in Brentwood at the time, working at an agency that repped one of the

actors. There was a screening arranged in Beverly Hills, and I’d been invited to it by the actor.
The screening was arranged and presented by Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was a fan of the movie.
When my friend and I arrived at the building, we had to take the elevator up out of the parking garage. We barely made it into the elevator as the door was closing, someone inside not holding the door for us. He was a scruffy man in a Winter cap and coat with black hair peeking out from under the hat.
It was clear he was trying to ride up alone, but we made it to the elevator anyway.
As we rode up to the first floor I finally realized who the man was: Philip Seymour Hoffman.
I didn’t know what to say, so I blurted out “Mr. Hoffman!” and pointed at him.
He nodded, “Yep,” and kept his eyes on the doors. They opened and he went straight for the theater to introduce the movie.
My friend laughed her ass off and made fun of me for it long after, and looking back I could’ve either said nothing at all, or something more meaningful. But, really, there’s nothing more to say about a person so talented and gifted other than his name.
Mr. Hoffman, you will be missed.

NYC Dude with a Chain gets Mean

While walking through Hell’s Kitchen the other day on the way back to the office after a location scout we heard a sudden shout in the street. Just a few feet from the sidewalk a bald guy with a cutoff t-shirt, exposing his pale, white, hairy arms, threw his bike to the ground. “Come on!” he shouts. “Come on then!”

Who was he yelling at? What the heck did we do?

This dude, sweat drifting down his face, shoulders red and burnt from the 80-degree sun, then stepped on and over his bicycle and in the same motion pulled a CHAIN off the back of the bike. Not just the bike’s chain, but a THICK METAL CHAINLINK, the kind of weapon you would see a TMNT villain holding in Eastman’s comics.

His face glistened and was burning red around the nose. Eyes on fire, he waved the chain back and forth at his side while pacing furiously, like a bear trapped in a cage. “Come on then!” He shouted.

As we continued to walk by we discovered that this odd, unexpected outburst was directed at a tall, lanky college kid wearing a Red Sox Jersey. The kid was holding a stack of flyers in his hands, his jaw bouncing as he continued chewing gum. He was wearing sunglasses, but we didn’t need to see his eyes to know he thought this predicament was ridiculous.

The smirk was enough.

Chain-man continued pacing closer to Red Sox dude, whipping the chain around. Red Sox finally started to say “alright, alright,” and backed away, without crossing the street.

He kept smirking.

“Come on then! F**cking Red Sox!”

There it was. Whatever the supposed reason this Chain-man was angry apparently had nothing to do with the heat, or an invasion of personal space, or the silly flyers. This was personal. This was the city come alive.

This was sports.

(Or maybe he just needed a material reason to justify his anger.)

We turned the corner with a final look back at the scene, Chain-man continuing to circle while Red Sox just smirked and chewed his gum.

The chain jingled again, actually echoing through the streets. We put a building and a block between ourselves and the scene, outcome unknown.

Be pleasant, New York.



Word of the day is “perspective”.

Always look at conflicts, problems, and solutions your own way, from your own POV. Never lose your way. I think we can all agree on that.

However, you should do your best to remember that the other person, the antagonist, or your opposite, also has his or her own perspective. Allowing yourself to know that opens the door to more…perspective.

When we’re in a conflict, either ongoing or in a present moment, it is difficult but important to make an attempt to view the situation from the “other”‘s perspective. This applies to friendships, relationships, and marriage, but also on a global scale — between countries and leaders.

For a good movie about literally shifting perspective, watch “District 9.”

And when writing stories or creating plots with a clear villain, make sure your bad guy or gal has his or her own perspective: he or she should be the hero of their own story.

Just like we are all heroes in our everyday arguments.

Step back. Breathe. Sleep on it, if you can, then come up with a solution tomorrow.

Some things are better off if you wait another day.