Tuesday, May 31, 2005

don't yell "fire" in a crowded theater, don't yell "wetback" in a mexican restaurant

Sunday was the last day of principal photography on this feature film that I've been working on. It is customary on the last day for everyone in the cast and crew to write their name on a dollar bill and place it in a box. Someone pulls out a dollar bill and the person whose name is on that bill gets to keep the whole box full of cash. The producers and above the line talent usually throw in more than a buck, just to make it interesting, especially when you have a small cast and crew. At some point, I am sure that a stripper will receive a dollar bill with my name scrawled on it. The lucky winner was the most unpleasant person that I worked with on the set. He screamed at just about everyone on the set, everyone that didn't have the authority to fire him. PAs, set coordinator, location manager - it didn't matter whether they deserved it or not. He tried to yell at me, but I just laughed and walked away. His name was on the dollar bill that was pulled. No justice. I caught him checking me out at lunch on Sunday and it creeped me out.

I spent a lot of time in the production office rather than on the set. I had a weird vibe from the crew and the producers assured me that it wasnt' just me. One said that this was the worst crew he's ever worked with. Unchecked egos, blatant exploitation, shirking responsibilities, sexism, idiocy and every form of bad behavior that can be exhibited on a set was very much on display here. I stayed because of two producers, extremely nice and competent individuals who took me under their wing, who have been very generous in sharing their knowlede and expertise with me. I feel as if I just completed an accelerated master's program in film production. It certainly wasn't the cliche-ridden script, the unimaginative director with the lifeless camera, the woefully inadequate pay, the histrionics of that screamer on the crew, or the nepotism of the AD and his minions with an incredible sense of entitlement that kept me here.

The wrap party was somewhat lame, but not without any action. I thought that the executive producer was footing the bill, but someone said that the director was taking everyone out. "Better get your drinks and leave before the director does," I said, "because his ass is broke and he might stick you with the bill if you stay too long." Sure enough, I walk into the restaurant in time to hear the director tell the bartender, "Everyone gets one drink, then close my tab." He throws a party about as well as he directs. The other producers were nice enough to break out their credit cards and keep the drinks coming.

I decided I'd give the screamer on the crew a chance. Maybe he wasn't an asshole, maybe that's how he learned to do his job and he didn't know any better. After about six margaritas, I'm talking to him, and he's saying something about how all the abuse, all the yelling, all the histrionics - all of it - were completely necessary to get the job done. I'm not buying it, but it was pretty obvious to me that there was no malice behind it, he's just an idiot. So we're standing there talking, I'm trying to figure out how to extricate myself from the conversation when this other guy, let's call him "Rocky", from out of nowhere, comes over and punches the asshole, landing his fist right on his jaw. It made a really loud sound, too. Asshole hits the ground and stays there, rubbing his jaw. I'm completely shocked and all I could say was, "Holy shit." I didn't have enough sense to get out of the way, I was too shocked. So friends of the asshole, friends of "Rocky", they surround me, trying to knock the shit out of each other. I'm still standing there, repeating myself, "Holy shit." The executive producer pulls me out of the away, pushes me to safety, and he's in there trying to break up the fight, trying to keep these guys from pounding on "Rocky". Asshole's friend, who isn't too bright himself, is this little guy, a scrapper from Jersey. Jersey starts yelling at "Rocky", who happens to be Mexican-American, calling him a wetback. Did I mention that we were in a Mexican restaurant? I saw the busboys out of the corner of my eye, getting a little upset at this little guy screaming "...you fucking wetback, I'll kick your ass you little Mexican!" This situation wasn't going to end well. I finally got hold of my senses and asked the executive producer to hold Jersey and the other guys back. When he did, I pushed Rocky out the back door. As we exited, five busboys and waiters closed ranks behind us so that Jersey couldn't follow. I pushed Rocky to my car and drove him back to his car a half-block away. Once I determined that he was sober enough to drive, I told him to go home and cool off. I was all hopped up, my adrenaline was pumping. I thought about going back inside to see the aftermath for myself, but I was tired and figured it was time to go home. I am so glad this shoot is over.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


It's been a busy week. I received a call last week to work on a feature film which started shooting in Los Angeles last Thursday (I can't blog about it). So it's been twelve to fourteen-hour days and going out afterwards instead of getting rest like I should have (more on where I went after work later). On top of all that, I did a thing for Australian TV, which I can blog about.

I was all over downtown Los Angeles and Melrose today, squiring an Australian TV crew from The Great Outdoors around town. The Great Outdoors is a travel show and one of the highest-rated TV shows in Australia. Seven co-hosts travel all over Australia and the world, showing Aussies a variety of fun, cool, weird and/or noteworthy destinations.

Thanks to the Los Angeles Convention and Tourist Bureau (Robin, you're the best!) and Shopper Shuttle (thank you Camille and Sandra!), I guided the producer, host, and their crew (and consequently, Australian audiences) to some of the best shopping destinations in Los Angeles. Not all my favorite shops were open to being disrupted by a TV crew, so we didn't get to go everywhere I wanted and neither did they, but the TV crew visited stores on Rodeo Drive, Melrose, and downtown Los Angeles (my favorite part of this city). We started this past Sunday, filming exteriors of downtown shops and interiors of Melrose shops. Yesterday was Rodeo/Beverly Hills, and today we shot exteriors on Melrose and interiors downtown.

I don't know how my sense of humor will play with Australian audiences, but I spent more time on camera than I expected. I shared the screen with co-host Shelley Craft, a consummate pro, and fellow shopaholic. She was a great "straight man", feeding me good questions and setting up my jokes so I didn't fall flat on my face. The crew and producer were very supportive as well, giving me great pointers and laughing in all the right places (after yelling "cut", of course). The show airs in June and if I don't come off looking like a total ass then I'll probably post the clip somewhere online.

I'm staying home tonight so I can get some rest. I have a 7am call tomorrow - there's only so much that Red Bull and concealer can do. I hope I can make it to the end of principal photography without getting sick, but it doesn't look good. There are too many fun things to do after the 14-hour workday this coming week and too many willing participants.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

pictures from a wedding

The pictures are finally in from my sister's wedding and reception from May 7th. If you didn't read my earlier post, the wedding took place at Adam's (the wedding planner and dear friend) fabulous penthouse apartment in downtown Los Angeles and the reception was at Cole's down the street.

This is Angel, the visiting dignitary from Chicago and my brother Angel, the best man. They're on the patio of Adam's apartment at the cocktail party before the ceremony. Isn't the view fabulous? It gets better.
Angel A and Angel E

My mom, my two aunts, a cousin and a sorority sister at the cocktail party on the patio. The food and drinks were fabulous. Adam really outdid himself.
Pre-ceremony cocktail party on patio

Here's the bride, walking down the aisle. Doesn't my sister look beautiful? She looks so happy.
Laura walks down the aisle

Allan, music supervisor extraordinaire, officiated at the wedding. Remember the Princess Bride? Allan was spot on, "Marriage. Marriage is what brings us here today..." then the vows, which the couple wrote themselves, part of which was inspired by Dr. Seuss.

"Will you love her on a train, will you love her in the rain?
Will you love her here or there, will you love her everywhere?"
Allan marries Laura and James

Through metaphor and reality, through chaos and order. And through the comic and the tragic. They said yes.
Laura and James post-kiss

Minister Mason and my family with the happy couple.
bride's family with Allan and the happy couple

This was the reception on Adam's patio. It was such a beautiful night.

The happy couple on the patio, after cutting the cake, numerous toasts and disposing of the bouquet and garter.
Laura and James

Leaving the building on a candlelight procession...
candlelight procession starts

Around the block to Cole's
candlelight procession to Cole's

The whole gang at Cole's before we all got really really drunk
Cole's reception

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

art? we're soaking in it

Art is busting out all over downtown Los Angeles. If the downtown artwalk on the 2nd Thursday of every month and the Brewery Artwalk isn't enough for you, then you should check out the First Annual LA Art Fest, A Downtown Los Angeles Art Festival scheduled for June 4th and 5th.

The weekend kicks off with a Gala Reception on Friday, June 3rd at 405 Mateo, a 20,000 sq. ft space and then the festival takes over Traction Avenue and the SCI-ARC parking lot near Third. This two-day indoor/outdoor art festival will feature a giant outdoor sculpture garden and hundreds of art booths manned by artists hawking their wares in the Arts District (off Traction Avenue). There will be indoor gallery exhibits and an outdoor festival with food vendors, an exploratory electronic music stage, performance artists and who knows what else.

I love downtown!

how do you guys know?

How do you guys do it? How do you guys know to call or email exactly when someone is at their most vulnerable? Your timing blows me away. Before even the most technology-averse neo-Luddite discovered email and the Internet I was an expert in romantic anguish, but now it has reached new lows.

I received an email from an ex-boyfriend asking, "... are you happy?" Everything preceeding and succeeding that question was a not-so-subtle way of asking not if I was happy, but if I was available. Again I ask, how do you guys know?

I received yet another email from a guy I went to high school with. I barely knew him back then, but I sat next to him at dinner during my high school reunion this past summer. I went solo because X and I were already on the bumpy road to breakup. After five years, we built up a lot of anger and resentment and so I went alone, never even mentioning it to him, didn't ask him to accompany me. Big mistake, but that's hindsight. So this guy from high school, he had the balls to ask me up to his room for a drink while his wife stood less than six feet away from us. To Classmates.com and technology in general - you are making it easier for people to attempt cheating on their spouses and significant others. To Mike, Gil, Paul, Lisa - call off your wives, girlfriends and their sisters because I have no interest in seeing any of you and they can stop with the harassing phone calls and emails. To Zabasearch - I hate you I hate you I hate you!

I met a great guy, spent the most wonderful week with him and he left Sunday for Australia. He is a world traveler, but he'll be back in six weeks - he's making Los Angeles his home. He had an assignment and had to go. Whenever we started to make plans for when he returned, I reminded him and myself, "Anything can happen in six weeks". So F left Sunday night and no matter what happens, I had a great time and he restored my faith that there are really good guys out there. I was making progress, getting over the heartbreak inflicted on me by X and really felt like I was moving on, getting past X and all that residual sadness. Did I get one night of peace? Monday night, every half-hour my phone rings. It was X. I haven't seen him or talked to him since December. Every half-hour he calls, never leaving a message, just hoping I'd pick up the phone. I was facing my first night alone after a week when my toes didn't touch ground. How do you guys know?

I like to think that I finally picked up the phone not because I was curious, because I missed him, or I was horny, but because it was 2:30am and the ringing was incessant. I couldn't bring myself to turn the phone off. I wanted to know how far he would take it. So I finally answered the phone at 3am with, "What the fuck?!" He was contrite, he was pensive, and because he's known me and which buttons to push for six years, he was funny, charming and ultimately convincing. X asked, "if I show up in the lobby of your building in ten minutes, will there be a smile on your face?"

An hour later I'm downstairs in the lobby and there he is. The security guard on duty is the overly-protective one, the one who witnessed much of our relationship's disintegration and how sad I was during the holidays. He was the one who waved F in several nights last week and told me he was glad to see me smile again. He was giving X a hard time, pretending he didn't remember X and wouldn't let him in the parking garage. I asked him to let X park in the garage and he did, shaking his head the entire time.

We're in my living room, I'm sitting there in the dark while X is prone and repentant. He started off well, not noticing (or kindly not mentioning) that I haven't shed my "winter coat", that my sadness over our breakup was soothed by Haagen Daz and nachos from Ye Olde Taco House. He looked great and I veered wildly and violently from hating him to missing him. He launched into his spiel predictably, "I'm sorry... I made a huge mistake... is it too late? Is there someone else?" He begged, he cajoled, he flirted.

When we talk, we don't talk about things that went wrong, and we don't talk about how things will be different. He gets me to admit that I miss him, that I miss elements of us. But too much time has passed and I'm firm in my resolve to not go back. Instead, I think of F, how easy it was to talk and laugh with him, and I remember how much X made me cry. I'm comparing the two and X is coming up short. I'm looking at him with a very critical eye: he needs a haircut, he's sucking in his gut, he's vain and a bit of a himbo, he takes the easy way out every time he can, he is content to coast on his good looks, and more importantly - I don't trust him. Although sometimes his brain's output isn't enough to power a lightbulb he surprisingly understands a joke I make about a book he wants to write. He tells me the groan-inducing title and I quip, "So it's narrative non-fiction." How does he expect me to take him seriously, never mind trusting him? Then finally, the clincher. He uses a very cheesy line that I myself have trotted out in the past and am very embarrassed to admit using despite its effectiveness, "Let's not be sad. Let's be delicious instead."

I'm told the parking garage guys charged him twice the usual rate when he finally left. But still the question remains, how do you guys know?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu

I suck at goodbyes. I mean it, I really suck at them, so I do whatever to avoid them. Usually that means not forming lasting attachments or shutting down and pretending it doesn't matter that much to me when goodbye is inevitable. Take whatever abandonment issues I may have had before, compound them with my significant other moving halfway around the world to Russia and throwing our entire world into disarray, my brother being stuck in a Mexican jail for four years, having to put my dog (my best friend and therapy for the past 13 years) down this past September, a bad breakup in December after five years on and off, people I've let close to me either moving from Los Angeles or moving to the Valley (I don't do 818) and well, let's just say my reaction to goodbyes hasn't improved over the years.

I wrote a short story that I read at a literary reading this past Saturday. I had some funny pieces, but this short story, titled "Girls", was inspired by my sister's wedding last week and was an homage of sorts to a short story in Rick Moody's Demonology. It made me sad to reminisce, but sometimes what is bleak and heartbreaking can also make you laugh. I read it to my brother on Saturday afternoon and it made me sad to say those words out loud, but I am glad that enough time and space had passed to enable us to laugh about what we went through growing up together.

My sister has cancer. It's difficult for her to talk, so she blogs. I don't know what to say to her when we see each other, so I just hug her when I see her. I know I shouldn't overreact, but when I read that she signed the "Do Not Resuscitate" papers, that the hospice rolled in the oxygen tanks and that she isn't as lucid because of the morphine and other drugs, I'm just a river of tears.

I'm with her now, sitting beside her while she drifts in and out of a labored sleep and a morphine-induced stupor. One of her doctors, her nurse, and her new husband just left me alone to stand vigil. She spent a good part of the morning hooked up to her oxygen tank and I'm trying so hard to not be alarmed by every sound that comes out of her.

This fear that has engulfed me and my family since she was diagnosed in July 2004 has taken on many forms. I'm sure I've reacted in all ways expected, but I still feel like I've been blindsided. There are fears that I have become used to, fears that I somehow manage, fears that I have faced and some that are just simmering below the surface but hidden well enough so that they don't become debilitating. Some fears are unfounded, some are improbable and some are just stupid. I fear that I might become destitute or I fear that I will be unlucky in love, but I never feared that I would suffer cancer, or that any of my loved ones would. This fear of losing my sister is overwhelming. I fear her dying, I fear her living in unbearable pain, I fear surviving her, never getting over that loss and going through life as an empty shell. I used to fear letting people know how much pain I felt, but it's so close to the surface now. It feels like it permeates everything, informs everything I say and do that there's no point in pretending anymore. I am paralyzed by this fear that I might have to say goodbye.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

small world

Last Thursday was Disneyland's 50th Anniversary. Before I came to this country, all I knew of Southern California was Disneyland. As a little girl growing up in Guam, I would watch planes fly overhead and my mom would explain, "Those planes are headed for the mainland." In my imagination, not only had I elevated Disneyland as a far-off magical place, but I also believed that the Magic Kingdom and the rest of California resided in the clouds, high above the ocean and the tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean where I lived. Planes came and went, and eventually I wound up on one that took me and my family to live in Southern California and to visit the Happiest Place On Earth.

Five years ago, the California Adventure Park opened next door to Disneyland, the largest expansion in Disney's then-45 year history. While the new park didn't magically transport me to lands of whimsy the way Disneyland does, the retro feel allowed me to relive the excitement of seeing California for the first time. Wandering through the three "themed" lands that make up the California Adventure Park triggered a flood of memories, reminding me why I love California and how this love affair began.

The Hollywood Pictures Backlot, which celebrates the magic of movies, was my first stop. Humming along to movie theme songs, my thoughts drifted to memories of standing in line for hours on Hollywood Boulevard to watch Grease on opening weekend. Years later I was in front of the same theatre, patted down by security and shuffling through a series of metal detectors to attend the star-studded premiere of Friday. As a child I imagined living in a "California in the Clouds" much like Lando Calrissian lived in Bespin's Cloud City, but the little girl that I was would never have imagined the hip-hop culture and lifestyle, or having to undergo security measures like that.

While at the Golden State, a tribute to California's wilderness and culture, I boarded a flight simulator called Soarin' Over California. Suspended over an IMAX-ish screen, surround sound, hydraulics and spectacular aerial views combined to approximate scenic flights over California. With my feet dangling freely and unable to touch ground, I was a little girl again, watching the waves crash on the California shore for the first time from the airplane cabin, peering through the fog to catch my first glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge, and weaving in and out of traffic through downtown Los Angeles. Aerial views of downtown Los Angeles didn't come courtesy of a plane, though. My first job out of college was working for the City of Los Angeles. Once a week I boarded a helicopter at City Hall South to take pictures of the city's capital improvement projects. We flew from Malibu to the South Bay, sometimes further if I remembered to smile sweetly and bat my eyelashes at the pilot. Did I mention I have a fear of heights?

Visiting the Disneyland resort all these years later I realize the most significant changes aren't to the physical landscape, or to the little girl who once looked to the sky. I look at pictures from my first excursion to Disneyland and laugh - I am deep in the throes of culture shock. For my Asian family, the Disneyland visit underscored the fact that we were foreigners in a strange land. Where were the other Asian families? Why wasn't rice on the menu at any Disney eateries? Why were the only images that resembled me limited to It's A Small World? Why did my dad take so long to snap that picture (everyone was staring at us!)?

Today, evidence of California's diversity is all over the park. Over one in three Asian Americans call the Golden State home, and while many are fully assimilated immigrants as I am now, I'm glad that many of today's newcomers won't experience culture shock as severely as I once did. This past Sunday at my sister's wedding reception (the second, not the fun one at Cole's), I sat and talked to my cousin visiting from Toronto. Her kids were running around wild-eyed and I was silently thanking Buddha for birth control. Ignoring the still-wiggling bug in her five-year-old's mouth, she said "We're here for another week. Tomorrow we're going to Universal Studios and Tuesday we're going to Disneyland." I almost volunteered to go with them.

I remembered that at days' end, I strolled through Paradise Pier, Disney's homage to seaside amusement piers and I marvelled at the crowd. Black, brown, and yellow faces filled the landscape of the Happiest Place On Earth. No longer a magical destination in the clouds, Disneyland will always have a special place in my heart. My cousins will probably still have to make do with a hotdog instead of rice or lumpia. I still can't order a boba drink or snack on mochi at the park, but I know it won't take another 50 years for that to happen. It's good to know that although Disneyland has been a world-class destination for decades, it's finally becoming a small world after all.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Monday, May 09, 2005


I was a bridesmaid in my sister's wedding this past weekend. The rehearsal was on Friday night, and although I was teary-eyed during the second run-through (their vows were perfect), James' speech at the rehearsal dinner caused tears to stream down my cheeks. The whole affair reminded me again why I love living downtown.

Our dear friend Adam was the wedding planner and the ceremony took place in his beautiful penthouse apartment in downtown Los Angeles. I hadn't seen Adam's apartment prior to the rehearsal. His last apartment in the Santa Fe Building was stunning, but nothing could've prepared me for the amazing space that he occupies now. His patio is huge and has amazing, unobstructed views of the downtown skyline. He also has impeccable taste and his pad was beautifully decorated.

Leslie, Laurence, and Ryan threw the rehearsal dinner in yet another beautiful downtown apartment. Candlelight, wonderful downtown views, grilled chicken and asparagus with polenta with mushroom ragout, family, friends - it was intoxicating. It felt as if we were in a beautiful and sophisticated romantic movie, as if everyone were moving in slow motion with the laughter and conversation mixing with the music to make the most enchanting soundtrack. James speech was touching, but I saw the look on my sister's face, how happy and radiant she looked, and it brought me to tears. I'd never seen her so happy.

So many things went wrong for me on Saturday. Laura and I went to the Flower Mart early that morning. Okay it wasn't that early, but it sure felt like it after all the wine I drank at the rehearsal dinner. I managed to stab my finger with many thorns from the orange roses we bought. Not that painful when it happened, but an hour later my forefinger was the size of my big toe and throbbing to a disco beat. Laura said I'd be fine, just take something for the pain and to make the swelling go down. I didn't realize it would knock me out for a few hours.

I was half-asleep later that afternoon when the Elvis impersonator called to ask me out. He was so funny and charming and I was still in a cloudy dream state that I said yes to dinner with him later in the week. I realized the lateness of the hour and started running around, getting ready and beating myself up for saying yes when I swore that it was over, that I was ending it. That's when I ran face-first into my bedroom door. It hurt, but more importantly, I had a huge purple bruise on my nose. Perfect, just what I needed. I put on some makeup, trying to cover my bruised and purple clown nose. I gave up and got dressed, wrapping myself in a black sari with gold accents, which took a little longer than I anticipated. I was determined to not use any safety pins, but with the way things were going I was afraid of coming undone in front of everybody. So I folded and tucked fabric carefully, hoping it would all stay put, then walked two blocks to Adam's pad.

As soon as the elevator doors opened to Adam's apartment, a photographer snapped my picture. The patio looked amazing. It was dusk, the lights of the city were the perfect backdrop, and all the guests were dressed in black and/or white. We moved inside for the ceremony, where everything seemed to sparkle and everyone was bathed in soft candlelight. It was a very non-traditional ceremony, but so fitting for Laura and James. It suited them perfectly. The bride wore a beautiful strapless beaded gown in a stunning shade of orange. She borrowed my Indian necklace, a matte gold chain-mail drop which makes this soft, very subtle, chiming musical sound when you move. It is almost imperceptible, you have to either wear it or standthisclose to hear the necklace. It is a joy to wear and she looked like she was enjoying it.

When it was my turn to read, I stood next to our friend Allan, who was officiating. I was surprised to hear the sounds coming out of my mouth, was that really my voice? The crowd was laughing in all the right places, sighing "Aww" when appropriate, and I don't think anybody was thinking, "What the hell happened to her nose?" Halfway through the reading, I turned to see Laura and James smiling at me. Wow, that's what pure happiness looks like. The rest of the ceremony went by in a blur, except that time seemed to stop as Paul Marshall sang "Time After Time". Beautiful. After the ceremony, we all went back to the patio for cake and toasts. We all grabbed candles on the way out and walked down the street to Cole's for the reception.

My astrologer and the winner of a Pat Benatar look-alike contest joined me at the reception, which was incredibly fun. It was an attractive crowd populated largely with creative types - artists, photographers, filmmakers, writers, dancers, fashion designers, TV and film producers, and the people who love them. I danced with handsome men, was felt up by more of the same, drank everything that was set in front of me, smoked all that was passed to me, popped every pill that made its way into my hand and shared with all who wanted. Good times. On the way out, we noticed the guards at the Santa Fe Lofts watching us careen drunkenly down the sidewalk. I don't know what happened, but I slipped and fell on my ass, breaking my shoes in the process. I was thoroughly anesthesized, so I didn't feel a thing and laughed my ass off. We went back to my penthouse and drank all my booze and marveled at my view of the downtown skyline. It was a perfect ending to a wonderful night.

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who emailed or IM'd with stories of what else went down that I forgot. Visiting dignitary from Chicago gave lapdances to a select few, Adam was drumming on light fixtures, and while I can't walk down the street without assistance, I can samba loaded while swaddled in six yards of fabric. A speaker fell from the ceiling and shattered upon impact, inches away from my head. Apparently I was unfazed and kept drinking. Mystery solved: Craig left Cole's with us but didn't make it to the penthouse because the little white pills I gave him started to kick in and he couldn't find my pad - again. Craig, just because I gave you three pills doesn't mean you have to take them all at once. The bride writes about it on her blog. If you were there and blogged about it, email the link to me and I'll post it here.

shaking that ass

My sister got married this past Saturday to my former roommate. Thursday night we went to the best strip club in Los Angeles, Sam's Hofbrau, with her two other bridesmaids, Chuck and John, and John's girlfriend Paloma. I was surprised to learn that Laura had never been to a strip club before and everyone involved wanted to make sure it was a great first experience for her.

If Cole's had strippers, then it would be like Sam's. I've been to a few strip clubs before, but Sam's is like being in a rap video. There were guys literally throwing bills at girls and slapping asses with abandon. I was afraid I'd get whiplash from my attempts to take in all the action happening around us. In the booth behind us, a table dance lasted the entire time we were in the club. She parted this guy's hair down the middle using only her thong. It was as if he were Alfalfa from Little Rascals with the cowlick in his hair and she was trying to smooth it down. Although there were some talented girls on the stage and the surrounding booths, she was mesmerizing in how thorough she was.

Another dancer had a red sequined bikini with red lights on her nipples, blinking, as if she were signaling a plane to come in for a landing. She took the stage and everyone who wasn't in the middle of a lap dance sat up and paid attention. Chuck whispered reverentially, "Those are real."

A couple booths away, another table dance caught my attention. Those tables must be bolted down solid. She was on her back when suddenly, she lifted her legs over her head and wrapped them around a guy's head, lifting her ass and lower back off the table. His face was buried in her day-glo neon thong, and she moved in time to Prince's "Sexy Motherfucker". This dancer had incredible muscle control, it was truly impressive. I just don't understand how he was able to breathe. He didn't pass out from lack of oxygen, so I guess he worked around things.

Laura, Chuck, and Paloma took some seats ringside to check out one dancer's pole work up close. She was Chuck's favorite. John and I stayed in the booth, but we had a great vantage point to see all that was happening. The dancer looked like Shakira, a double-jointed one. She saw the bouquet and crown that Paloma made for Laura and congratulated her on getting married. Two hugs, a kiss on the cheek and a bite on Laura's ear soon followed. I wasn't sure of what I saw, so I turned to John to ask, "Did she just plant her vagina on Laura's face?" but before I could, John laughed loudly and asked, "Did you see that?!" Good times.

learning again

It's been a busy week. Creative Screenwriting Magazine videotaped 30 of the most popular seminars from the Screenwriting Expo over the past two weeks and comped some Los Angeles screenwriters. I wasn't able to hit all the seminars I wanted (too many things going on this past week) but the ones I did attend were stellar. I've been holed up on a sound stage at the Brewery with seminars starting at 7:45am. The longest day had us there until 11pm, but it was so worth it. I was able to fix some problems I've been having with a screenplay during one very rudimentary class.

Meeting anyone interesting was the last thing on my mind, but I met some cute guys in class. I went out for drinks one night and then for coffee the next with one really nice, very smart, impossibly cute guy. He asked me to have dinner with him tonight. I have nothing to wear, I hate my hair and I broke three pairs of heels this past weekend, but I am really looking forward to it.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

honey balls

This past weekend started late for me. Obviously I'm still recovering since I'm just now trying to remember what the hell I did this past weekend. I caught the midnight screening of Jet Li's Unleashed at the Sunset 5 - it was part of the Los Angeles Asian American Film Festival, which ends Thursday. It was action-packed and the fight scenes didn't disappoint but there were huge holes in the script (penned by Luc Besson). Still worth it. I don't remember what I did after the movie, but I remember experiencing difficulty getting out of bed the next morning.

Saturday was a postcard-beautiful day and I needed a change of scenery. I needed to get out of downtown. My numerologist and I decided to spend some time in Orange County. We had lunch in Irvine with Mark Cunningham of Rarified Air, who is so David Cassidy-cute and smarter than a pair of white pony-skin Louboutin pumps. My numerologist's friend owns the restaurant and not only was the food yummy, but there was good juju all around. Even after eating damn near everything set in front of us, the hardcore Punjab businessmen sitting next to us convinced us to try their honey balls. Mmm, honey balls. I just like saying and writing it - honey balls.

After a leisurely afternoon lunching, dishing and critiquing my artwalk strategy (open bar=good), Mark went back to his studies (attempting a Ph.D. in Visual Communications is so time-consuming!) instead of accompanying me and my numerologist as we hit Pioneer Boulevard in Artesia to shop for saris and Bollywood DVDs.

Hmm, the rest of the weekend is a blur. I vaguely remember unloading a lot of wine from the back of a car. I hope I didn't do anything that's going to bite me in the ass later. Sunday was the downtown Cinco de Mayo street festival, Fiesta Broadway. I woke to loud music and remembered that I had to be somewhere by noon. It was 12:30.

Monday night I caught two shorts programs at the aforementioned film festival, Somewhere Only I Know and The Space Between. There were quite a few Tarnation wannabes in the first program, only none of the filmmakers were interesting enough for a documentary self-portrait. The first program was a yawn-fest, but the second one was so bad I wanted to bitch-slap most of the directors at the Q&A afterwards. They were already lined up, it would've been so convenient.

There was one short in the second program that wasn't too horrid - one guy's reaction to a bad breakup. It reminded me that I will see Bachelor #1 this weekend, which I am dreading. How do I tell him I don't want to see him again? And he's a little slow on the uptake, so I know I'll have to s-p-e-l-l it out. That's it, no more himbos. I also need return the Elvis impersonator's call. How do I tell him I don't want to see him again? I'm so bad at this. Dating sucks.

i need a getaway driver

This sounds like the best contest ever. I will need a getaway driver and car, a ski mask, and a bag of poop.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

need new toys

I wish I had an Xbox. I wish I could follow directions. I wish I had a PS2 and a boyfriend to play Rez while I cheered him on. I guess I could make do with my computer, but I still don't know how to follow directions.

a time for all things

I had to talk to my astrologer tonight, but it was late when I got home. I had so much on my mind - the email I received today from an old boyfriend, a phone call from one of my roommates, and the lousy films I just saw made my last chart incomprehensible to me. I got online and IM'd my astrologer. He made some noise about needing to get up early in the morning, but I pressed on. He tapped out something about how late it was and how if he stayed up chatting with me, it would cut into his masturbatory meditation time. I guess my questions will have to wait.

Monday, May 02, 2005

my private eye and more asspig

My Private Investigator lowered the boom on my social life. I don't usually make a practice of running background checks on guys I'm dating, but I'm a single girl alone in the big city, I have to be careful. Ever since my worst date ever with a scary ex-con freaked me out, I've been very careful.

I met my PI at a party that my attorney's law firm threw in their luxurious and tastefully well-appointed Century City offices. My attorney's firm has a very busy entertainment-industry clientele and so does my PI. Ok, he's a bit of a starfucker. He can't (and doesn't) tell me who his famous clients are or what he does for them, and he doesn't tell me enough to sell to a tabloid. But he knows that I work in the industry and therefore understand discretion. I don't worry about what he says about me, because I'm more of a cautionary rather than a tittilating tale.

I told my PI that the details of where a guy went to school, his net worth, or how much he pays in child and/or spousal support isn't what interests me. Just let me know if he makes a habit of driving a blue unmarked van by junior high schools, if he is recently paroled and why for, has a history of beating up women in his life, appears on faces of meth, or has a Friendster account, and I can take care of the rest. I wonder if I would ever pass muster with my PI, if he would caution a guy to stop dating me. I haven't asked him because don't know if I'm ready to hear that answer yet. But I'm getting off track - my Private Investigator tells me that Bachelor #1 sucks and that I should jettison him immediately.

"He's going through a divorce, very recent." he informed me. "He has a few real estate holdings. Professionally, there's a lot to be desired. He is registered with some dating websites and here are his posted profiles. You should read them." My PI handed me a file that, while not thick, had more heft to it than I anticipated.

"Oh, and bachelor #2, the tall blonde young buster with the Harley?" He laughed, "He's hot. Did he mention that he's bisexual?"

I stopped flipping through Bachelor #1's online dating profiles and tried to figure out if my PI was interested in Bachelor #2 for himself and/or yanking my chain. "How did that information make itself known?" I asked.

"I read your blog, the post about the event at the LA Athletic Club. So I checked out asspig.com and he's on it. Here's the info."

My heart sunk. Bachelor #2 is an asspigger.

I whine, "That sucks."

"You little hypocrite!" he squealed. "Because he's bisexual?"

"No, because he's an asspigger. I don't want the possibility of him getting asspig juice on me."

"He seems like a great guy. And he's hot." Sensing that he wasn't quite done with the comments, I looked up from the horror that was Bachelor #1's file. He continued, "Do you mind if I...?"

"No, go right on ahead if you're okay with an asspigger."

"You're right. Never mind. We do have standards." I look back at Bachelor #1's files. He went on, "Too bad. Great smile. Young, though."

"Well he's certainly no writer. This is horrible." I point to Bachelor #1's file. "Such a turn-off."

"What? That picture? I kinda like him with the shorter hair."

"No! Do you even know me? I'm talking about his profile, how he sees himself, his atrocious spelling, choice in reading material, everything!" He looked unconvinced so I made a stronger case, "He thinks performativity is a word."

"You two were obviously meant to be," he giggled.

"Did you read this?" It pained me to give voice to the words, but I read his profile aloud:

I am a busy bee these days, moving from XXXXX to downtown Los Angeles. I am alternately funny and serious, charming and surly. I have some amazing friends that I do not see nearly enough of and am still headlong in pursuit of too many goals - from Art to Zen and everthing in between. Recent projects have taken me a bit further down teh Garden Path than I am used to, but maybe with the right person I can find my way back.

I put the file down and looked at my PI for a reaction.

"Wow," he said, poker-faced.

I continued:

Looking for obvioulsy cool interesting people that are smart, witty and fun as well as directed, focused and creative. People that I can learn from and vice versa, who are open minded and enjoy living life rather than passively letting it wash over them (though that is necessary occasionally). Cute doesn't hurt, but if that is someone's only good quality it can be depressing.

"That doesn't sound too bad. But I guess you're already turned off by that whole friendster/myspace thing in the first place," he offered.

I couldn't believe I had more convincing to do. Again, I continued:

I am a part-time pornographer and full-time artist. Hobbies and interests include photography, theater, anti-consumerist activism, performativity, and funny interesting conversation.

Without a word, my PI reached over, took Bachelor #1's file out of my hands and read for himself.

In my defense, weakly, "I said he was cute, I didn't say he had anything in his head."

"I just can't believe he referred to himself in the third person here. And here. Again here. Ugh, that was cheese over corn. And yeah, he doesn't seem too bright with that misspelling of narcissism. Celia... is performativity a word?"

"I know!"

"He doesnt know words like narcissism and believes in words like performativity. I love Los Angeles."

I couldn't think of anything else to say, so I said, "Performativity."

My PI laughed, "That should be our new word."

"Yeah, I love Los Angeles for its performativity,"

"What are you guys doing tonight? Us? Oh. Just some performativity."

I still couldn't get past it, "Performativity. That's so rhythm nation."

My PI had enough, "Let's move on. Do we need to go over anything with Bachelor #2, or are we done with him?"

I looked over his files again, just in case I missed something. But what was the point? I was done with him.

I read for my PI's amusement:

Favorite music: Sigur Ros ,Tiki & Tango Cocktail music, Beatles, Fischerspooner, Groovy stuff, Air, dance music.

"So he's gay and he's a bottom. How did I miss this? I thought I had good gaydar."

"Let me see that," asked my PI. I handed him the file and tried to peek at the other folders he had out. I thought we were moving on, but he seemed genuinely interested in the asspigger's profile.

"Listen to this, he said, laughing at my misfortune:

favorite tv shows: The Simpsons, Bewitched, Sex in the City, Frasier, The Carol Burnett Show, Captain Kangaroo, Golden Girls...

"Stop," I wailed. This is too depressing. Favorite cliches? All of the above.

With finality, my PI closes the book on the conversation, "Well anyone who lists the Beatles. I mean really. One night stand. Fuckable, not dateable."

Looks like my calendar is going to be a lot less busy.