Today is the last day of my three week long trip to Los Angeles, which has seen a weird run of coincidences, including those I haven't posted here but discussed on Radio Misterioso last night... and then the ones that occurred live on the show. So it's only fitting that today saw the final truly weird coincidence, which was the most personal one of them all.
There has been a group of filmmakers from Halifax here in Los Angeles at a conference over the past couple of days (I'm not involved in the conference), one of whom is my good friend Ben Stevens (the older brother of my Ghost Cases co-host, Holly Stevens). I haven't seen Ben since the fall because he took a gig in Alberta, so we decided to meet up at the Los Angeles Farmer's Market this afternoon, after a morning meeting he had scheduled. We met at noon, had coffee and a nice chat, during which time Greg joined us - he and Ben worked on Eternal Kiss, so they know each other. At 1:45 we headed up to The Grove, because I wanted to get a picture of Lynda Carter, who was being interviewed for a TV show just outside the Barnes & Noble (I'm a fan of her work as Wonder Woman from when I was a kid). She showed up just after 2 pm, I snapped a few photos, and then we wandered off. Greg went back to his house to do some work, and I decided to walk up Fairfax a couple of blocks to show Ben one of my favourite hang-outs, Canter's Deli.
Now, earlier Ben had mentioned that he would like to go up to see the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard if I was game. It's quite a lengthy walk from the Farmer's Market, so he offered to pay for a cab. I had already been to the Walk of Fame with two other pals from Nova Scotia on this trip (actress Christina Cuffari and my brother Jim, both of whom joined me here at different points during my visit), so I was non-committal - one can get too much of a good thing. I also had some work of my own to do back at Greg's house, so I wasn't sure that it was the best use of my time. As we walked up Fairfax, however, and passed Canter's, Ben and I were having such a nice chat that we just kept walking - up to Melrose, and then down, headed towards central Hollywood. Finally, I realized that we were halfway to Hollywood Boulevard (and it was a nice day), so I decided to go all the way - very much a spur of the moment, last second call.
As we continued down Melrose, chatting away as friends do, I stopped paying attention to where we were until I looked up and saw that we were at La Brea, which is a cross street that leads up to Hollywood Boulevard (about ten blocks away). I had never walked up La Brea before, but I knew it intersected with Hollywood Boulevard at the beginning of the Walk of Fame, so we headed up the street towards our destination.
After a few blocks, I noticed a large statue of Kermit the Frog on the top of a building, on the opposite side of the street, which I then recognized as Jim Henson Studios. I had driven past it before, but didn't recall that it was on La Brea. Anyway, as anyone who knows me is aware, I'm a big Kermit the Frog fan, to the point where I have become well known back home for my impression of the legendary Muppet. Indeed, while on set at Eternal Kiss, Ben and I were filmed by another crew member goofing around, and at the end of the short clip, I do my impression of Kermit, at the request of the crew member shooting the footage.
Naturally, I had to get a picture of my favourite frog, something I had never done before in all my trips to Los Angeles, so I stopped, turned, and took the shot.
Now, this is weird, given that video of Ben and I from 2008, and that it was Ben and I who randomly made our way to La Brea today. But then it got even weirder when I glanced down at the sidewalk, something that I had no reason to do - indeed, something that I almost never do.
Of all the people who have seen me do my Kermit impression, none has enjoyed it more than my good friend, actress Veronica Reynolds. She has asked me to do it so many times over the years, both for her and for others, that I have lost count.