Thursday, March 31, 2005

it's time

Jet-set roommate is in town, his magazine is hosting some fashion event this weekend that we'll both be at (note the date and time). I asked him what other events I might see him at this weekend and it was scary comparing schedules. I asked if he would make the time to check out Rilo Kiley's show at the Wiltern in June.

"Rilo Kiley? Nah. Haven't been into them since Dave Rock left the band."

"Have you heard any of their new stuff?" I asked.

"No. Besides, kinda hard to watch them at the Wiltern. Remember when they used to play our penthouse parties?"

"I remember that they did, don't remember which ones, though. Wait, they played the FU2K party because everybody played that. Didn't Boo and 40 Watt Domain play too?"

"Yeah, Rilo did, but 40 Watt didn't. Was that the one where Boo was booed offstage?"

"No, that was the B In Our Show party. I think." I confessed, "I'm not really sure, they all blended together after a while."

"Yeah, that was funny. Poor Boo. Were they at the Rooftop Circus Sex Porno Pussy Fuckfest party?" he asked.

"No. That was the one where we had six deejays and no bands. Remember, Hugh from H-Track had the last set at 4am and the next morning you guys all went to the Hotel Figueroa and hung out by the pool."

In unison, "We need to have another party."

UPDATE: We're taking suggestions on names for the next shindig.

working through the pain

I am all out of painkillers and muscle relaxants. But my sister gave me these meditation CDs that help her manage pain, I really should give them a try. There has been so much going on that I collapse every night from exhaustion and can't lift my arms to blog. The last night I took the painkiller/muscle relaxant cocktail I had these really freaky dreams where my window treatments were trying to suffocate me in my sleep. Yeah, I'm done.

There are so many things going on this weekend that I'm not sure where I'm going to be. Los Angeles residents do suffer from an embarrassment of riches. But somehow I need to squeeze this in:

National Foot Model Casting Call

Los Angelenos are invited to step into Old Navy's foot model casting call this weekend at the Third Street Promenade store. We all can't be runway models... but anyone could be a foot model!

All contestants will have official "footography" taken and will be entered to be the next national foot model in Old Navy's Top Flip-Flop Model Contest, which will "feeture" the feet in an Old Navy circular... plus the person will receive 365 pairs of flip-flops and free pedicures for a year(!).

Where: Old Navy
1232 Third Street Promenade
Santa Monica, CA
(310) 576-9166

Date: Saturday, April 2 and Sunday, April 3
Time: 12:00pm -- 3:00pm

The contest runs from March 28 to April 10 -- entry forms are available at all Old Navy locations in Los Angeles and throughout California. For more contest details visit

I could use free pedicures for a year.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

why i am here

He was the first writer on the lineup and already I knew I was in for a long evening. In the dark, I could see Craig looking at me for signs that I was upset with him. I wasn't.

"C, I'm circling the block. Come on down and listen to my friend read at The Smell tonight."

It was early, but I was already in bed, knocked out earlier by a combination of muscle relaxants, painkillers, and Easter with my family. "It starts at seven. What time is it now? You'll like this guy. I'm in front of your building, come down." It was 7:09pm, but it felt more like midnight to me.

I could've said I was down for the count, I could've said I was nursing a hangover, I could've said anything. Instead I heard myself saying, "Give me a minute, I'll be right down." Five minutes later I was easing my aching body into his car.

We walked around, trying to find the best way into the alley without getting jacked by the predators on the street. Drunks stumbled around us as they exited the Latino bars on this piss-soaked stretch of Main Street. This is the real downtown. This is the part of downtown that the LAist isn't referring to when they say downtown is the next "it" neighborhood. Craig doesn't understand Spanish. Just as well, the drunks don't talk to Craig. They mumble things to me, but they're not brave enough to say them to my face. Drunk as they are, they can tell I've been in worse places. But under their breath, they say things. I recognize some of the words from when I was at that jail in Mexico. And that other time, as well. We find his friend Larry Fondation walking down the street, searching for others who might not know the way in through the alley. Craig introduces us and we both size each other up and nod. I've never met him, but I know him. He doesn't know me, but Craig does and that's good enough. For now. We walk into The Smell, take our seats, and it's on.

Jeez, how long has this guy been up there reading this shit? People are laughing and instantly they earn my contempt. The emperor is butt naked. They're clapping and finally it's over. Craig and I don't clap, we are conspicuous in our silence. Two more people get up to read and I am lost in my thoughts. I think of San Francisco. I think of Budapest, Prague, Kiev, and the tearful goodbye at LAX that led me to those cities. At the intermission, Craig asks how I'm doing.

"My shit is darker, funnier, and better constructed."


I don't want him to know how sad I am, so I go for the joke instead, "No, I mean the shit I wipe off my ass."

He laughs, "Yeah, they're pretty bad. And Larry is on last." He hesitates, then asks, "So you're okay with this ?"

"Oh yeah. Don't worry, this is doing me a world of good."

His relief is palpable. "Oh good, I was hoping that, well, you know. I just got the feeling that you needed something like this."

"I could've done without the last two, but yes, it's a big help."

I don't need Craig to tell me that it is worth the wait. It's funny how sometimes you just know. And I trust Craig, he is a brilliant photographer. But more importantly we speak the same language.

Craig introduces me to Larry's wife. They exchange digits and make plans to get together for dinner with their respective spouses. "What do you do?" she asks me. Years ago, I would've hesitated. Not tonight. "I'm a writer." She looks me up and down, nodding. They continue to talk and they talk about things I know nothing about. I leave them to their conversation and I open the birthday present that Craig gave me earlier. It's a photograph of a girl on the beach. I think of Guam and another little girl on another beach. Craig is a photographer with an immense gift.

We take our seats again and sit through more incredibly trite, incredibly bad prose. Then Larry. The critics are right, "he may well be the best unknown writer in America". I don't want him to stop, I wish he'd go on. I wish Bill Hicks didn't die 11 years ago, I wish cancer didn't stop him. I wish Carver were still alive and writing, I wish cancer didn't stop him. I wish I could do Prague over. I wish I could do July 10, 2004 over. But Larry finishes and I'm done wishing. We stop for a second at the makeshift table and look at Larry's latest book before we leave.

Craig drops me off in front of my building. There are a lot of people out, still hustling or just restless, like me. I don't want to interact with anyone, so I get in my car and drive around the neighborhood, watching. My friends in the suburbs ask me how I can stay here when there is so much sadness, so much misery around me. I feel more at home here with all these broken people than I do with those who are whole. Maybe if I were whole, I could leave. But for now, this is where I need to be.
Guess whether it was Celia or Daryl Hall who was blown by a groupie right before this picture was taken.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

where are my fat pants?

Spending Easter with my family means I either have to be very drunk to get through it, or I have to keep shoving food in my mouth to keep from saying something inappropriate to the stupid people I'm related to. I really like my mom's side of the family, but I don't know what happened with my dad's side of the family.

I have this really dotty aunt who keeps walking into glass doors. She really tries my patience, but her husband, my father's brother, is an all-balls-out ass. He fell asleep at the table one Thanksgiving, for which I was extremely thankful (anything to shut him up). As he nodded off, his head dropped forward and his toupee flapped over. He's a thrifty son-of-a-bitch, so I guess he didn't use enough tape to keep his wig on. I almost spit out a mouthful of turkey and my sister had to leave the table or she'd soil herself.

Another Thanksgiving one of my other uncles, who happens to be a priest in Manila, came to visit. I really like Uncle Priest. He's a Jesuit, a bit of a rebel, and pretty cool - not just for a priest. What I don't like is how some people alter their behavior around him, as if they don't act ugly when he's not around. Not this time. Aunt Dotty was talking about comic books, how she read them as a child in the Philippines, which helped her in "mastering" English. Someone mentioned that a lot of the comics in the Philippines were either propaganda or pornographic. Aunt Dotty said she read the pornographic ones. No one batted an eyelash, everyone was too polite to comment. Not me. Being drunk, I asked her, "So did you read them to learn English, or because they were pornographic?"

Matter-of-factly, she replied, "Oh, a little of both."

I thought my mom's head was going to explode. She shot me a look, hoping I would not pursue my current line of questioning. It was too late. It was on.

"Which ones were your favorite?" I continued, securing my place in hell.

Aunt Dotty went on to describe three or four of the more interesting ones in great detail. My sister had to keep picking her jaw up off the floor, she couldn't believe the conversation. My mom was trying to get closer to me so she could pinch my ear and pull me away like a five year-old. Uncle Priest just nodded silently, as if he were hearing confession. I was really digging the conversation for a change, this was getting good. But then people realized there was a priest in the room. So they all put on their halos and the conversation shifted to a less interesting one. Even my dad got on his soapbox and started going on about how pornography is bad. I realized that I had a box full of pornography in the back of my car, earlier in the week my sister asked if she could borrow some bukkake videos. Did I mention I was drunk? "Oh that reminds me," I said to my sister, "I have those videos you asked to borrow."

I think I'll behave today. As a present to my family, I'll just keep shoving food in my mouth. Now if I could only find my pants with the elastic waist.

passion of the christ on your mobile phone?

On Friday, AG Interactive announced they were making music ringtones and wallpaper from "The Passion of the Christ" available for mobile phones. Just in time for Easter.

Yeah, I want the one where the whip tears away at skin as my wallpaper.

say hi to my neighbor

There is so much going on downtown that I can't possibly cover all the notable happenings in my neighborhood. Also, I've been too drugged out (like right now), drunk, or hungover (like right now) to do anything other than lie here and moan. So I'm bringing in some backup. I'd like to welcome another blogger to the 5th and Spring blog, neighbor and voice-over artist Lap Chow. You can read her official biography here. I've had a chance to get to know Lap Chow over drinks at Charlie O's and have enjoyed her take on just about everything, I hope you do too.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

i'm going to hell for laughing at this

If I didn't laugh, I'd have to cry. But I laughed my sick and twisted ass off at this.

Thanks to my numerologist.

dance the pain away

Wow that was lame. Sorry, I blame the drugs for making me paraphrase Peaches. I shouldn't do this, considering the pain I'm in, but this sounds like so much fun:

Does the great weather make you want to dance? Well, you're in luck. The Music Center is putting on a fabulous workshop series teaching almost every dance form imaginable—all for 5 dollars! Dances taught range from Hungarian Dance to Capoeria Angola to Bhangra Punjabi Folk Dance to Mexican Folklorico. 3 all-level classes of your choice are included in this four-hour session in the beautiful sunny courtyard of the Downtown Music Center. Come prepared to move and have some fun.

Saturday, March 26. 11am-3pm
Admission $5 for 3 classes.

Take the Metro Red Line to Civic Center Station.

Thanks to ExperienceLA for the tip.

Friday, March 25, 2005

i lack good judgement

I'm not sure, is this a good thing for a girl to attend solo? Or am I just courting danger?

visiting dignitary from chicago

Angel Abcede came to town this past week. Every other person I meet from Chicago or New York knows Angel from The Semen Tree (his one-man show about growing up gaysian), his column for Gay Chicago Magazine, Sex Police (the now-defunct AIDs awareness performance group he founded), or from being one of Chicago's Joel Hall Dancers for 17 years. However you may know him, Angel is a lot of fun to hang out with. I was excited to hear that Angel is working on his new show and plans to bring it to the west coast.

The last time Angel came to visit I had introduced him to Score, the best gay Latino bar on 4th Street ever, and he had a blast. So on Monday night, while I was watching a double bill of House of Flying Daggers (genius) and Once Upon A Time In China (shit) at the New Beverly Cinema, and minutes after Angel's plane landed at LAX, he made a beeline for Score with Michael (fellow Chicago actor now based in LA). I'll say it again, I love my neighborhood.

It was overcast when we walked from the penthouse to a late lunch at Banquette - Angel, Michael, and me. I was already a little loopy from the muscle relaxant and painkiller cocktails, but after several bottles of the house red, I was trashed. News of Angel's arrival had spread and our group grew larger. Then the skies opened up and poured rain, but the people kept coming. We had no umbrellas so we ordered more wine and waited for the rain to stop. I love that I can get trashed at lunch on a Tuesday. Our group grew drunker, as well as in numbers. We were gawked at by a large group taking Hal Bastian's downtown loft tour and I'm sure we drove away a lot of Banquette regulars who were looking for a quiet place to take their coffee/wine break. So damn the rain, we decided to run and skip back to the penthouse and consume whatever alcohol we had there.

My jet-set roommate, who was in Burma the week before, just got back from Jackson Hole, Wyoming to find our boisterous group dancing in the living room. More roommates arrived and our large group went off to dinner and then to Club L for karaoke. Yes, karaoke. I figured we'd go somewhere in Koreatown for karaoke, but Michael swore by this place on Lankershim. As a general rule, I don't do 818, but I thought I'd roll with it (how bad could it be?) and I'm so glad I did.

I felt like a freakin' prom queen at Club L. I couldn't hold my own with the amazing talent taking their turns to rock the mic, but I was too drunk and medicated to care. Not everyone who got up to sing had perfect pitch, but the crowd was incredibly supportive - even if you sounded less like Stevie Wonder and more like Biz Markie. If you weren't singing, you were either on the dance floor, shooting pool, or making out at the bar. I almost forgot that I was in excruciating pain from my car accident. I finally hit the sack at 4AM and my feet felt like bloody stumps, but it was worth it. I can't believe I'm admitting to having a good time in the Valley, much less planning on returning. Maybe it had something to do with the cute guy who gave me his digits that night.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

free headsets

I was skeptical when I first heard about this, but this San Diego company is giving away free headsets. You only pay $3.94 for the cost of shipping. In light of my recent car accident and other bloggers' recent posts about idiots on their cell phones flipping bloggers off while weaving in and out of traffic, I urge everyone to stick a crowbar in their wallets, pry loose some coin, and get a headset. Here's a snippet from their press release:

New Laws Require the Use of Cell Phone Headsets While Driving, Prompting Launch of Free Headset Distribution Program

SAN DIEGO, March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Several states are passing new laws that require the use of cell phone headsets while operating a motor vehicle, but these new laws fail to provide any sort of assistance program to aid in the process of obtaining the actual headset. In response, developed a program to provide wireless phone users with a free cell phone headset. Participants are only required to pay $3.94 for the cost of shipping.

Do it.

recovery is a bitch

Last week I was in a car accident. I was a passenger in my friend's car, we were stopped behind a truck when someone who wasn't paying attention rear-ended us. It was just starting to rain, too. Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt, but I was whiplashed. Later that night my friends took me to the emergency room where I was able to catch up on my sleep while waiting for a doctor to examine me.

I've had to curtail my normal activities because the muscle relaxants and painkillers that I'm taking tend to knock me out. I was in a drugged stupor for most of the weekend, and the difference between that and how I usually am is a fine line. In any case, I resumed normal activities this past Monday. I don't think anyone really noticed anything different. Should I be concerned about that?

I have had the weirdest dreams. Vivid and violent, actually. Last night I dreamed that I ran into my ex-insignificant other and pummeled him mercilessly in front of his friends and his current girlfriend. I woke up because I was thrashing around so violently that I hurt my neck. For the next two hours it hurt to lift my arms. I'm starting to accept my limitations. It will take time for me to recover physically, and as much as I am eager to put that relationship past me, I guess I still have a lot of anger about how it all went down. So I'll take that handful of pills as prescribed and maybe I'll work out my aggressions at the shooting range or somewhere else where no one (including me) will get hurt.

Celia backstage at the Blue Note w/Charlie Watt

Monday, March 21, 2005

two floors up at a tuna factory without a paddle

"Be careful or you'll never eat craft services in this town again."

I have this talent for walking in on conversations at the wrong moment.

"Dude," he continued, "that's not the least bit funny." The producer looked pissed.

"I'm not trying to be funny," said the stuntman, "we're just talking. So anyway," he said to the group of teamsters, "there I was, two floors up at a tuna factory in Long Beach..."

The producer walked off in a huff, looking worried, looking like his head would explode.

"What did I miss?" I asked, laughing.

"Jimmy over here, he fell off the honeywagon and twisted his knee."

That explained all the PAs running around, looking for ice. One particularly pushy PA interrupted a conversation I was having with the AD. I shrugged and he walked away. "Try craft services, genius." I had muttered under my breath.

"How did you fall off the can?" I asked Jimmy. "I'm sorry, I don't mean to laugh at your misfortune."

A beat, then everyone, including Jimmy, explodes into gales of laughter.

Stuntman answered for him, "Mr. Big-Shot Producer over there couldn't give him five minutes of peace. Jimmy went to take a dump, his walkie-talkie goes off, Big-Shot is yelling about some stupid thing. Jimmy opens the door, still talking on the walkie-talkie, and he falls down the stairs." More laughter.

Suppressing laughter, I ask, "Are you okay?"

"I'm more embarassed than anything, but my knee is swelling up."

"Is someone taking you to emergency?"

"Yeah, Morgan will."

"Uh, which one is Morgan?"

"The one with the script, asking everyone to read it."

"Um, yeah. Which one is that?" Should I be insulted that I'm the only one he hasn't asked?

"Khakis, black hoodie..."

"Um, yeah. Could you narrow that down a little bit more?"

More laughter.

"Why aren't you gone? What are you waiting for?" I asked, eyeing his rapidly expanding knee.

"Morgan is rinsing off the orange juicer. Some tool mashed a banana in it."

I couldn't make this shit up if I tried.

"So why is Big-Shot so pissed off?" I asked the group.

Everyone points and laughs at Stuntman.

"I was just telling everybody how I got these injuries," he explained, pointing to burn scars on his chest, forearms, and jawline.

"So what's the big deal?"

"I was just saying that everyone sued the production company because they were negligent. I'm dangling on a wire two floors up at this tuna factory and the explosion almost took my face off. The wardrobe lady got a picture of me on fire. I was just a ball of flames, but you could see my arm hanging on to the rope."

"Holy shit."

"No kidding. So I told Jimmy that I knew a great personal injury attorney, and Big-Shot's head almost exploded. He said it wasn't funny, I said I thought it was hilarious. That's when you walked in."

Incredulously, I asked, "And he wants to make sure you'll never eat craft services in this town again?"

"Yeah. I better be careful."


These are not PAs. This is Silk and Celia

bobby short, icon, dies at 80

Bobby Short, icon of Manhattan song and style, died today at the age of 80. He died of leukemia.

I was first introduced to Bobby Short through his commercials in the 70's for Charlie perfume. I didn't know back then that Bobby Short was known as one of the most elegant song stylists and cabaret singers in the country, that he interpreted songs of love from the great American songbooks of Rodgers and Hart or my favorite, Cole Porter. I only knew Bobby Short from the little ditty where he sang the praises of Charlie. I didn't know back then that Charlie was much better suited to taking the grease spot out of my driveway, rather than dabbing on my wrists and pulse points. All I knew was that this incredibly elegant voice was singing the praises of Charlie. I saved my meager allowance to buy this fragrance, hoping that I would become as elegant and sophisticated as I imagined the women who listened to Bobby Short were. I never purchased Charlie (thank Buddha for small favors!), but instead purchased all the Bobby Short CDs I could.

Mr. Short liked to call himself a saloon singer, just like another one of my favorites, Frank Sinatra. Six months out of the year, he held court at the Cafe Carlyle, in the Hotel Carlyle on the upper East Side of New York. Over the years Mr. Short became a Manhattan institution and a symbol of civilized culture. I regret that over the years I have visited Manhattan, but never when Mr. Short was in residence. I only have my Bobby Short CDs to listen to, I have no memories of hearing Mr. Short's baritone cuttng through the stillness of the night.

Whenever I hear of an artist "selling out" by performing in a commercial, I think of Bobby Short. As an immigrant child living in Los Angeles, I would not have known of Bobby Short. My parents didn't listen to him, neither did any of my friends. Maybe I would have discovered Mr. Short after seeing Woody Allen's Hannah and Her Sisters, but more than likely not. So take it easy on those artists who shill for fragrances, automobiles, or iPods. Hopefully someone in the advertising field will call upon an artist because of the quality of their work, rather than what the kids will dig and the kids will be exposed to an artist who opens up their world rather than merely panders to them.

they are specialized

The LA Downtown News has a story on where to shop for groceries downtown. They list the usual and lament the long-delayed opening of the Ralphs in South Park. I've shopped in all the places listed except for the Chinatown Farmer's Market. They've left out one great place to get your grocery shopping done - LAX-C Inc. Just a warning, this is as OG as it gets. I love the intro on their website, "We are specialized in the oriental foods and all restaurant Supplies." This gem of a store is a lot bigger than their website suggests. It is a huge warehouse of canned goods, cleaning products, cooking utensils, fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen foods - you name it. This is where most Asian restaurants get their supplies, so you'll find a large selection of takeout containers and every type and brand of rice and noodles available. Need a bamboo steamer? Whatever size do you need, they have it. Looking for Durian ice cream? How large a tub would you like? Bok choy? How about a 5-lb. bag?

LAX-C is low-key and a little out of the way, but if you know the way to the San Antonio Winery and Restaurant, you passed right by this place without knowing it. LAX-C doesn't accept orders straight from their website, but you can fill out their form and fax your orders to them. This is great if you already know what you want, but LAX-C is worth a visit. I could wander the aisles for hours (and I have), so come prepared with your grocery list.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

gone bollywood

This past Thursday I attended the US premiere of Mughal-e-Azam. This film took nine years to make and was initially released in 1960. Most casual film fans have never heard of this film, but it is The Godfather of Bollywood films. The film was restored and colorized and is now available in wide-screen format.

I wasn't sure what to expect since a friend of mine, an expert in Bollywood films, told me a few days before that I was "very brave" to chose Mughal-e-Azam, the epic story of a doomed love affair between Prince Saleem and the slave girl/court dancer Anarkali, as my first theatrical Bollywood experience. Yikes, what I have I gotten myself into? The runtime of this film is 177 minutes, and that is cut down from the original 3 hours 20 minutes. After viewing the restored, colorized, and edited film, I am eager to see the full 200 minutes (available on DVD but only in b/w).

My head is still spinning from watching this film. The visuals are stunning, especially the scenes shot in The Palace of Mirrors. It took nine years to shoot this film, partly because they shot on location in the palaces, and this is a 50's-era Bollywood film. I had a bad feeling when the film started using voice-over, which usually elicits groans, but the voice-over was coming from a map of India. Yes, you read that correctly, the map of India was speaking to us. But once the clunky exposition was out of the way, the film started to really groove. One of my favorite scenes was that of the young Prince stumbling around drunkenly, forcing Emperor Akbar to send his son, Prince Saleem, to grow up on the battlefields, rather than at court.

The "melodic debate" between Anarkali, the slave girl and object of Prince Saleem's desire, and Bahaar, the ambitious lady who desires to be Queen of India, is truly amazing. This is an epic throwdown, with Anarkali and Bahaar taking opposing views on the nature of love, debating through song, backed up by scores of ladies-in-waiting. Prince Salim is the judge and if Anarkali's previous dance didn't steal his heart thoroughly, this debate seals the deal.

Two of my favorite characters were Kumar, the artist/sculptor responsible for bringing Anarkali to the court's attention, and Suraiya, Anarkali's sister. Kumar is the consumate artist, steadfastly refusing to sell out, and harshly critical of the Emperor and his use of power. He looks every bit the deranged indie artist, and when he breaks into song at the end, just as the Emperor was to put Saleem to death - well, there is no one else who could do that song justice. And how is it that everyone in the audience knows all the words to these songs? Suraiya, the sassy, impudent younger sister of Anarkali, is the Det. Lennie Brisco of the film - she gets the best lines! In the original b/w version, I'm told Suraiya has a showstopping song all to herself. I'll have to Netflix the DVD and see for myself.

There were so many plot twists and turns, many more songs and dances, and a wonderful battle scene populated by a cast of thousands, cannons blowing up shit, elephants blinged out and more importantly - horses and warriors flying through the air. It was obvious to see where many of today's films cribbed their ideas from. Many of those in the audience were very familiar with the movie, singing along (loudly) with the film and quoting some of the best lines ever to be uttered in cinema.

The dialogue is incredibly poetic and highly stylized. I'm sure that the translations really didn't do it justice, and that was confirmed by my Bollywood film expert. The language is Urdu with English subtitles, and like any other genre film, you have to give in to it, suspend disbelief and work within the parameters of that genre. I am scheduled to watch another film on Monday, Millions, the new Danny Boyle film (he of Trainspotting, The Beach, A Life Less Ordinary, etc.), but I hesitate to watch anything for the next two weeks, I'm afraid I won't give anything a fair shake after seeing this epic masterpiece.

go frock yourself

I've been to Fashion Week LA and it ain't pretty. I'm not referring to the clothes, I'm referring to the bitchy hipper-than-thou attitudes being thrown around. Take a look at the Fashion Week Daily website, which proclaims, "IT'S ALL ABOUT YOU (and the clothes)". I love that the aside is in parentheses and lower caps, which suggests an afterthought. Oh yeah, that's right, we're here for the clothes, not just to congratulate ourselves on being fabulous. At least The Daily's Peter Davis wrote a big 'ol blurb on how right on Shopper Shuttle is (Full disclosure: I authored the company's marketing and PR materials).

The majority of attendees I've talked to seem to be chill, genuine, fashion industry professionals. I haven't heard anybody attempt the lame, "Do you know who I am?" line, but maybe I just don't get around enough. Comments and questions overheard (remember to add a lot of attitude) while in a vehicle transporting attendees to a vast expanse of free parking include, "Did you see that she gained ALL her weight back?", "We are not from here, we are French.", "Eech, who did her makeup?", and "I'm not going to that show if it rains."

Probably the biggest event of the week was the Marc Jacobs event on Melrose. I heard a fair share of snarky comments re Anna Wintour, which is surprising since most people in the industry are afraid to say anything bad about that diva. I didn't attend that show as I attended the US premiere of Mughal-e-Azam at the Writer's Guild Theatre instead. I think I made the wiser choice.

Bob Geldof and Celia hate each other's shirts but can smile about it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

reconnect with old friends

Slept in yesterday morning and woke up hungry. My roommate had the day off, other roommate just got back in from Burma (I don't know how to spell Myanmar and don't want to look it up). It's a beautiful day so we walk to Pete's Cafe for lunch, but they're closed for filming. So we try Banquette. I'd had dessert and coffee here, but never lunch. I highly recommend the Pasta Fajule and Spicy Italian Panini. While lunching, the whole world walked in. Every few minutes someone from my past, or at least the last 15 years, walked in and recognized me despite my oversized dark glasses. So if you want to reconnect with old friends, I suggest taking the day off from work, sleeping in and waking up just in time for lunch, will your roommates to knock on your door and invite you to lunch, make sure one of your roommates just spent 36 hours on a plane, plan to eat somewhere else, and go to Banquette instead. Oh yeah, and order something you've never had before. But make sure you brush your hair before you walk outside. Hey, it worked for me.

"hey mama."

I went for a walk to clear my head. It was beautiful today, not a cloud in the sky. I dress down, pull my hair into a messy ponytail, thrown on dark shades, and head out sans makeup (I don't want any attention, I want to observe and not be observed). Waiting at the corner for the light to turn, a man walks by and says to me, "Hey mama." I stiffen up for a nano-second, then I remember - I'm in downtown Los Angeles.

I return the compliment, "Hey daddy-o." He continues to strut down the street, a sixty-ish man, dressed to the nines in his pin-striped charcoal, single-breasted zoot-ish suit, red tie, red feather tucked into his grey hat. I love my neighborhood.

milla jovovich and celi are not in hawaii

first rule about blogging...

Don't blog about work. Or so I've read. That being said, let me tell you about this gig I've been working. But excuse me if I leave out details.

I walk up to the craft services table just in time to see the Director of Photography (DP) smash a banana into the orange juicer. He lifts the lever of the manually operated machine, the machine situated right next to a large basket of oranges. He lifts the lever and stares at the banana mash, then quietly, "It doesn't work for the bananas." God I love working on a set.

This job came about at the last minute. I am currently in between gigs (and by in between gigs I mean I am unemployed), so it was a welcome call. I knew that I had to disable all my critical faculties while on the set so that I would not make any enemies, but this industry of entertainment is just that - highly entertaining. As long as you don't disable your critical faculties, that is.

Friends of mine who work outside the industry often speculate as to why films and television suck so much. Because the people who make things that suck, often suck themselves. Of the many people on the set, the ones who got it, who had a great sense of humor, who knew of things such as Aristotle's examination of tragedy, or had a firm grip on reality were often the ones who didn't have any creative control -the location manager, the guys driving the trucks, the medic, and the documentarian filming the "behind the scenes" extras for the DVD. I lovingly refer to it as, "The Making of the Crap We Are Making".

I couldn't swing a dead cat over my head without hitting a stock character. Stock characters, stilted dialogue, hackneyed derivative plots - you name it, it was rooted in reality on this set. There was a British director working a very thick accent. Never mind that he's been living in Encino for the past 20 years, he sounded like he was fresh off the boat. Then there was the producer clad exclusively in black, greasy hair pulled back into a ponytail, pock-marked face leering openly at the blissfully ignorant Barbie-ish production assistant (PA). Don't forget the sexually ambigious and openly ambitious (and critical) Assistant Director (AD), the beefcake grip who will do anything short of porn, or the timid but friendly 2nd 2nd AD. My personal favorite was the recent film school grad, perpetually running to Starbucks, squiring the Eurotrash investors to Disneyland, referencing French existentialist Marxist film directors or French new wave directors/critics whenever he could in a futile attempt to impress ANYONE who will listen, offering up with his flabby chick-arms his script - a commercial-yet-socially-redeeming character-driven action-adventure mismatched-buddy fish-out-of-water martial arts film. Yup, check, everyone is here.

I'm told that I also fit the stereotype very well. "Which stereotype?" I asked "It's okay, I don't have any juice to squash your burgeoning career, you can tell me."

"You are, like, so the writer."

I encourage him, "Like Barton Fink? Or more like Dorothy Parker?" He doesn't get the references, he is still a zygote and doesn't know anything of the Algonquin Round Table. But he claims to be a writer, how does he not know Barton Fink?

"You know, funny and sarcastic. Like Carrie Fisher."

Too bad I'm not. The writer, I mean. Or at least that wasn't what I was being paid to do on this set. Funny and sarcastic writer, yes. Or at least I like to think so. But let's get back to that swinging dead cat.

I'm in the production office and I am determined to win over the AD. I vow to kill her with kindness and blow sunshine up any exposed orifice. Not for any other reason except I AM BORED OUT OF MY FUCKING SKULL. All this and it's not even noon. I'm shameless, absolutely shameless. Blowing all those rays of sunshine up the AD's ass. But it's working, now she digs me. It's only 12:30, now what?

Meanwhile, all the PA's are discussing their screenplays, their recently established production companies, their plans, man. Their big fucking plans, man. I'm sitting on the fence here. Is it inspiring? To hear the fresh-faced youths speak dreamily of their big plans? Or is it disheartening? Is this the heart of darkness, where hope springs eternal, even though there is no fucking hope that the producer will ever give them a chance, a fair shake? Hey kid, just swing my dead cat over your head and you will hit someone just like you, man. Just like you. Recent film school grad? Just like you. Worked for fourteen hours on a low-budget genre film going straight to video for no benefits and deferred pay? Just like you. Got a great script, remarkable for your first effort? Don't make me say it.

Now swing Fluffy in the other direction and see what you'll hit. Just like you. Only his dad works for Fox or Dreamworks. Or he knows of a dentist who will invest $100,000. Or his mom is a reader for the studios and doesn't understand things like full disclosure and/or ethics. Not like you.

Stock characters abound. I wonder where the director cribbed his ideas from? All the grips are in rock bands. Half have their heads shaved and sport goatees, the others have long hair and sport goatees. They give me flyers for their upcoming shows. They ask if I'm going to the wrap party. They give me their digits. They are cute. I love this town.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

everything else is ass

Fat Actress is my new favorite show. I watched it repeatedly last night, rocking back and forth like a mental patient.

Top Ten quotes from last night's episode:

1. "If I had a dick, I would put it in my hand."
2. "I don't want to have fat sex. Fat sex is ass."
3. "I can play a man, I am an actress."
4. "It's so early in the season... let me can some shows first and fire a few people as well."
5. "Oh, only thing is, if you eat too many it will kill you, and I don't remember what too many is, so anyway..."
6. "Film is ass, I love tv."
7. "I feel the sex hole... I feel it, I feel it."
8. "Nobody has ever slapped my ass like that."
9. "I'm an itty bitty thing, I'm just an itty bitty thing. I'm itty bitty."
10. "I have a holding deal, a holding deal, a holding deal. I am pretty, I am pretty, I am pretty."

If you don't like the show, you are ass.

weekend plans blown away

I had so many plans for the weekend. None of those plans entailed going to Cole's this past Friday. But I went. Just a couple of drinks, just for a few hours to catch up with Laura and Ali. I did, and it was good. Didn't go into the back to listen to the band, but good music, Vegas stories, French dip sandwiches, and Tae Bo behind the bar - all before midnight. I was restless and still very much wide awake, so I accepted an invitation to check out one of the regular's loft across the street (I sized him up and figured I could take him if he turned out to be creepy, so I went). His place was smallish, but he and the pad were cool. We sat out on his roof and I met his neighbors. Now if I could only remember their names.

gary cherone likes celia and tetris, nuno bettencourt is a good sport.

We sat there and enjoyed their rooftop view. Felt guilty for not taking advantage of my rooftop and view. We were running out of alcohol, so someone called Golden Gopher. They must have been slammed because they weren't picking up. We smoked the rest of the stash, drank the rest of the booze and I listened to their stories of adjusting to life downtown. I am so glad they got it. Welcome to the neighborhood.

Brunch at Pete's the next morning hindered my recovery from the night before. Note to self: one bloody mary is a good idea, four - not so much. The neighborhood is coming along nicely.

Friday, March 04, 2005

custom-made fortune cookies

I was reading trained monkey the other day and jim wrote about the long weekend where everyone was out downtown and how he took his parents to Yang Chow. I was there a few days earlier and noticed that he got the same fortune that I did. It reminded me of some other fortune cookie stories:

A friend of mine who attended Hastings Law School in San Francisco still carries around the best fortune I've ever seen. "You will win the Miss Universe title, but refuse the crown." Where else but San Francisco?

I attended the Creative Screenwriter's screening for I Heart Huckabees late last year at some guild theatre in Burbank. Even more enjoyable than the movie was the Q&A afterwards with the director, David O. Russell. Mr. Russell spoke of his idea to bug all the tables in a Chinese restaurant so that they could eavesdrop on dinner conversations and manufacture personalized fortunes for all the diners. I don't remember if this was an idea for a film that was never used or something to actually do, but how freaked out would you be if after a nice dinner you read a fortune that said something like, "You're too good for him, dump him.", "Don't buy the Vuitton handbag, get the Louboutin pumps instead.", or, "Screw Stanford, attend the University of Leiden and enjoy all Holland has to offer."?

Thursday, March 03, 2005

i'm a wheel

This meme has been going around, (and around and around) I can't stop listening to a ghost is born, and I'm not going to get anything done today because Without A Trace is filming on my ledge, so here goes...

Choose a band and answer only in song titles by that band:


Are you male or female?: I'm A Wheel
Describe yourself: Misunderstood
How do some people feel about you?: I Must Be High
How do you feel about yourself?: Less Than You Think
Describe your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse: Another Man's Done Gone
Describe your current boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse: Wishful Thinking
Describe what you want to be: Far, Far Away
Describe your current mood: At My Window Sad and Lonely
Describe your friends: We're Just Friends
Share a few words of wisdom: Nothing'severgonnastandinmyway(again)

If you're bored and/or lazy today, pick a band, answer the questions on your blog, post and link back to your blog. If you don't have a blog, post it on comments, but what are you waiting for?

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

get out of town

By now we've all heard that JetBlue will be flying out of Bob Hope Airport in Burbank starting May 24, 2005. But did you know that they have what's called "Take 5" sale fares? You can't beat $39/each-way from Long Beach to Las Vegas, $49/each-way to Oakland, and the aforementioned $99/each-way to NYC (JFK).

virgin megastore at hollywood and highland

I hate that there isn't a decent music or video store in downtown Los Angeles. I hate that I have to drive to Hollywood or Burbank or anywhere else to buy CDs. Of course all my friends say I already have too many CDs, as if there were such a thing. Last week, Virgin Entertainment Group announced it will open its 250th Virgin Megastore worldwide, this fall, at Hollywood and Highland complex. Situated between the Kodak Theater and the Grauman's Chinese Theater, the west coast flagship Virgin Megastore will open in Fall 2005. Now downtown residents can take the metro to Hollywood and Highland to get their overpriced music fix.

Revenge of the Sith trailer

This doesn't have anything to do with downtown Los Angeles and everything to do with me being a Star Wars geek:

The much anticipated full release trailer for Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith is on its way. Consisting of over two minutes of new footage from the movie, the full trailer will soon appear on television, on and in theaters.

First, on Thursday, March 10th at 8 p.m., be sure to tune in to FOX to catch an all new episode of "The O.C." During the broadcast, FOX will air the Episode III trailer.

The trailer will debut online for members of Hyperspace after the broadcast (around 9:00 p.m. Pacific time). Lucas Online is pleased to have partnered with AOL and to provide readers with fast and reliable access to Episode III video content. Subscribers to AOL will be able to see the trailer at this time as well.

Regular visitors to will be able to see the trailer online starting on March 14th. A large size version of the trailer will soon be made available only to Hyperspace members after that date.

(Thanks to