What's in a Name?

Part 1: The Awakening

Posted on October 16, 1996, by Adam Rifkin. For Part 2 of this story, please see What's in a Name, Part 2: The Denial.

I have this theory that peoples' lives are like flowing streams, and every now and then streams come together for a short while, swapping materials, after which they branch off and continue to pursue their own respective destinations. Sometimes the Internet makes streams come together which might otherwise ever have happened; as a result, people meet and affect each others' lives in ways that may not have been possible before. It used to be the case that you could search for someone your whole life and not be able to find them. The Web has changed all of that.

We believe in the interconnectedness of all things.

You ever spend years looking for someone, and then one day out of the blue he just calls you? Well, today that happened to me: the Adam Rifkin I'd been searching for, for years, up and called me out of the blue. Nevermind the fact that I was too hungover and tired to actually talk with him. I'm sure he thinks I'm a world-class dork. My first impressions are rarely impressive. Or expresive. Mostly repressive, actually. Anyway, here's the story of how I met the other Adam Rifkin... (thereby making me just three degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon, since I know Adam Rifkin who worked with Laurence Fishburne who worked with Kevin Bacon!!)

Movies, Movies, Movies

The most frequently asked question I get on this Web in which we live (and life in general) is,

Are you that famous director guy?

To which I always repond, I wish I had that much talent.

I mean, let's face it, there are probably thousands of Adam Rifkins in the world. All the rest of them probably have a club in the Carribean somewhere and just haven't bothered to tell me yet.

The most famous of them is, of course, the famous director guy who has been known to make movies every now and then.

Now, coincidentally, he was born and grew up in New York, just like me, and he now lives in LA, just like me, but believe me, I'm not him. For example, his Michele has one L in her name, and my Michelle has two. He travels around the world every day; I've been around the block only once. And the differences don't end there. He surrounds himself with dignitaries and luminaries; I surround myself with people who hand me blue liquids and demand that I chug it so the smell of it doesn't make me pass out first. And let's look at facts: if I were him, would I have needed to spend six bucks at the local Price Club for my very own copy of The Chase? I don't think so.

When Worlds Collide

You know what always happens after a night when you drink a bottle of red wine, several shooters at the local Moose McGillycuddy's bar and grill, and several random cups of liquid that so-called friends stick in front of you and tell you to drink between muffled giggles (which you of course imbibe because you figure your friends would never steer you wrong)?

What always happens is that you inevitably get a phone call at 8 o clock in the morning, just about the time that all that sushi you put away in a hungry drunken stupor decides it may want to see the light of day again. Real soon.

It's a disgusting feeling. You feel all at once hungover, drunk still (because let's face it, what in the world makes a liquid blue?), nauseous, yet somehow at one with the universe: the pain somehow muffles the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, doesn't it?

But I digress. Like I said, in this state of mind, being, California, it is guaranteed you will get a phone call at 8 in the morning. And stupid me, I never learn to kick the phone off the hook while I'm still drunk enough to blame it on the liquor.

Sometime around 8am, Wednesday October 16, 1996, the phone call came. I really have to start asking what was in that blue mystery drink they kept sticking in front of me. My brain literally wants to jump out of my head. My hangover has a hangover. The wrath of grapes. So hung over I'm in tune with the psychic emanations of the universe. So hung over I consider doing a few shots with my friend Jack Daniels to make the bad man go away. So hung over I'm considering creating a universe of my own in the next seven days WITHOUT hangovers being built into the very fabric of its existence. My universe would be nice. No wars, no politicians, and no hangovers: just frisbees and blue liquid for everyone.

Where was I? Oh yeah, on the phone. Jessi answered it; she didn't look hung over at all. Okay, come to think of it, I didn't bother to open my eyes. Okay, more like I *couldn't* open my eyes. Couldn't move any muscles, actually. Muscle movement induces pain; easier to stay comatose and fade gently back into existence.

"Another Adam Rifkin's on the phone," says Jessi. A million thoughts race through my head, not the first of which is "I'm getting out of Adam's body. He keeps doing this to us. Who's with me? Eyes, I see you're coming around. Ears, I hear you may be interested in this mutiny. I know liver is in..."

I put down the mutiny of my organs with one swift painful awakening. Back to the land of the living. Technically foul.

I pick up the phone, and sure enough, there's the warm, mellow voice of the man I tried writing to at Dark Horse Entertainment three times. Actually, the frame of mind I was in, it could have been anyone and I would have believed it was whoever they told me it was. "You're Sanity Clause? Cool, say hello to Rudolph for me. And can I be on the Nice List this year please? I'm Jewish, I *never* get to be on the Nice List. I promise to take off the protective Jewish headgear if you let me ride in the sleigh."

Okay, I don't remember much about the conversation with Adam Rifkin, because the voices in my head wouldn't shut up. Especially the Chinese voice in my head that keeps telling me to take my pants off. How do you guys quell his ire, anyway?

Here's what I think happened, constructed here for you the home viewer through the magic Politician Embellishment (patent pending) at no additional charge whatsoever:

Well, all this excitement is making my stomach turn. Or maybe it was all that sushi and whatever was in the blue liquid I kept chugging. In any event, I hope he calls back. I didn't quite know what to say to him this time, but next time I'll definitely ask him about the club in the Carribean. I hope there are pirates there. I love pirates.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled hangover, already in progress...

The Masses Respond


> From klassa@ivc1.ivc.com Wed Oct 16 10:54:52 1996
> To: adam at xent dot com (I Find Karma)
> Subject: Re: Woken up. 
> ->> Perhaps you should call ol' Adam back and arrange to help him
> ->You serious?  What do I know about movie making?
> Dude...  You've seen "Get Shorty".  The trick is to have an idea, no
> matter how lame, and then go hang out with people who make movies.  You
> don't have to know anything, you just have to get your foot in the door.
> Suddenly, you're slipped a check for your services as a consultant on
> Joe Schmoe's latest film, and ET calls you up for an interview.  It's
> Hollywood, dude!
> :-)
> In all seriousness, though...  The guy called you up and *likes* your
> stuff.  Add some more stuff to your web page, targeted at him, and see
> if he notices.  Say, "I've got a great idea for a movie -- if you're
> listening, OtherAdamRifkin, call me..."  I dunno...  It just seems like
> some kind of an opportunity has been dropped in your lap...
> John
> -- 
> John Klassa  (W) klassa@ivc.com              (H) klassa@ipass.net
>     <><          http://www.ivc.com/~klassa      http://www.ipass.net/~klassa


> From dobbin@tma.com Wed Oct 16 10:55:07 1996
> Subject: Re: Woken up.
> To: adam at xent dot com (Adam Rifkin [WM BJ])
> > http://www.ifindkarma.com/attic/local/realadam.html
> 	How cool. You need to drink more if we get cool pages like
> this out of it. (Summary: I like your web page)
> John
> --
> dobbin@tma.com
> I once thought the mind was most important, but then I realized what 
> part of me told me that.


> From Robert.Harley@inria.fr Wed Oct 16 11:18:29 1996
> To: adam at xent dot com (Life Sucks, Get a Helmet)
> Subject: Re: New Orleans
> How many will they allow in the room?  Split four ways it might be OK.
> Adam, was there any point to the call from Adam Rifkin (the other one)?
> Or just to say that your Web page was cool and you were'nt him?
> -- Rob (also not the movie director Adam Rifkin).
> PS: If he calls back, ask him does he want to come to N.-O.  ;-|


> From gaffurr@sonnyj.btna.com Wed Oct 16 11:24:00 1996
> To: adam at xent dot com (She Needs to Pump It Straight in My Heart)
> Subject: Re:  hey
> how did your trip to nippon go?
> ps so you're saying that you're the one
>    that makes movies?

Stop looking at me in that tone of voice. Please? You're making my headache worse. The Chinese voice in my head is begging you. Look, if you do, I'll be your friend . To those of you people on the Web who don't know that this is sarcasm, and actually want me to be your friend, I'll require 2 major credit cards (McDonald's gift certificates are acceptable) and three letters of reference. Just to be safe.

Disclaimer: This nonsense was spewed from the mind of one of those Adam Rifkins, on October 16, 1996.

For Part 2 of this story, please see What's in a Name, Part 2: The Denial. By the way, Real Adam Rifkin, if you're reading this, email me your Snail Mail address so I can send you a thank you note for making my day.