Thursday, November 30, 2006

my bachelorette party

My fiance Jim doesn't want strippers at his bachelor party, nor does he want to hit a strip club. I know, I don't understand it either. But I'm getting ahead of the story, let me back up. Let's talk about the groomsmen.

Jim's best man is his younger brother, Jeff. They're both on the shy, quiet side. My brother Angel is also a groomsman. He's not shy, very outgoing, actually. But he's a Bible-thumper and completely guileless. Rounding out the group is my brother-in-law, James. He's a very quiet, talented, and sensitive artist. He's got books like I got tunes, shoes and issues - plenty. Do you see where I'm getting at here? If I let these guys walk into a strip club without me, they're gonna get fleeced.

So I suggested, that we combine the bachelor and bachelorette parties and together, we'd all hit Sam's Hofbrau, the best strip club in Los Angeles. Yes, better than Jumbo's Clown Room, even better than The Gold Room in Atlanta (damn I miss making Internet-boom-era cash) - though there is considerable talent to be found in those other places as well. I wish I could compare it to The Great Alaskan Bush Company, but I just remembered that Jim's mom reads my blog. Hi Janice, please skip to the next paragraph. I think I've said it before, if Cole's had strippers, you'd be at Sam's. I saw this chick, who, during a table dance, used her hoo-hoo to part her customer's hair. I sat in the booth across from him and it looked like her ass was gonna swallow his head. So you can understand why I heartily recommend Sam's.

Jim went along with that plan for a while. But during my bridal shower weekend a while back, he admitted that he had no desire to hit a strip club, whether the parties were combined or not. So now the parties have been separated and Jim's party will be a stripper-free zone. Do you see how I did that, how we're back to Jim not wanting strippers at his bachelor part? So now I wrap it up.

I'm trying to figure out what I want to do for my bachelorette party, besides having both genders represented. Strip club? Drunkfest at a local watering hole or private venue? Group colon hydrotherapy? Spa weekend? Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments. A couple of you have already emailed me (I'm looking at you, generalurko, drugbuddy and burtbaccarat) with party questions, but suggest something here again and anyways. Love ya, mean it.

Monday, November 27, 2006

non-drowsy formula my ass

We had something like 30 people over for Thanksgiving dinner, I'm coming down with something (didn't know what back then but it looks like the flu and feels like black death), and in the middle of cutting up potatoes, I managed to slice my finger from knuckle to fingertip. Game over. I'm screaming, "Jesus God that's a lot of blood!" while standing over the kitchen sink and scare the shit out of Jim. He performs first aid and the rest of the dinner went by in a blur. Then someone picks up the microphone and before I know it, it's karaoke time. Am I supposed to be drinking alcohol when I have an open wound? Never mind, Walk On By is on and I'm grabbing the mike from our 2-year-old flower girl. The score on the monitor afterwards tells me "You need more effort." Like I need a karaoke machine to tell me that.

The next few days are, again, a blur. Why? Because I don't care what they say on the package, it is not a non-drowsy formula. I've got deadlines looming over my phlegm-clogged head and I can barely hold it up to look at the mess I've made of my screenplay. Development Executive calls me every day from Boston to see how it's coming along and damn she's good - I can feel her trying to will me into completing the damn thing and emailing her pages so she can read it on the plane ride back home. "This week is crucial," she declared ominously. But her voodoo isn't that strong. She probably read the in-flight magazine instead, cursing me the entire way.

Somehow the refrigerator full of leftovers from Thursday night has been cleared. Somewhat. We still have pie. It doesn't taste as good, eaten through the residue of cherry-flavored expectorant/cough syrup. Everyone, please send good ju-ju my way, I need it.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

how i lost and got kitty back

Earlier this year, Jim gifted me with a Hello Kitty personal massager for Valentine's Day. Yes, you read that correctly, there is such a thing as a Hello Kitty vibrator.

A few weeks ago I attended a screenwriting conference and brought "Kitty" along. Jim threw her and a few other items into the nightstand drawer. At conference's end, I packed hurriedly and forgot "Kitty" and other items in the nightstand drawer. When we got home and started to unpack, Jim realized that we left "Kitty" behind. Screaming, I lunged for the phone and called the hotel. They connected me to housekeeping, but when no one answered, the operator came back and said to call back at 9am the next morning when they opened.

After a sleepless night, I got hold of housekeeping at 9:01am the next morning. The woman who answered said that no Hello Kitty vibrator had been turned in. I asked to be re-connected with the hotel operator, but was hung up on instead. I dialed back and spoke to a different person, but explained again that I had just checked out the day before, had called as soon as I realized my Hello Kitty vibrator was missing, and suggested that perhaps "Kitty" was still in the room, lying undiscovered in the nightstand drawer. The operator was going to transfer me to Security, where I could tell my story to yet another hotel employee, the fifth one to hear how I had left behind my Hello Kitty vibrator in the nightstand drawer. Mercifully, she asked Security to go to the room and rescue "Kitty", but she said that a man had already checked into the room Jim and I were in and they could only go inside if the guest was there.

After what seemed like an eternity on hold, the operator came back on the line and said that no one answered and Security wasn't able to go in the room to check. She did, however, talk to Housekeeping and verified that they threw "Kitty" away.

"Is that your company policy," I asked, "to throw away items that guests inadvertently leave behind?"

"No, ma'am, it is not," she replied.

"I would like to speak to whoever is in charge of guest services."

The operator tried to connect me to his office, but he was "unavailable." She asked if I wanted to leave a message. I said, "No, I don't want to leave a message. Who are you trying to connect me with? She gave his name and title. I then asked, "Who is his supervisor and could you please connect me with him or her?"

She gave me the supervisor's name and title, then tried to connect me. He was unavailable, but his assistant would talk to me. I took a deep breath and explained to this woman what had happened and how horrifying it was for me to tell the story several times about my lost Hello Kitty vibrator. I recited a litany of complaints re my time spent at their hotel and how this was the final straw. I realize how ridiculous I must have sounded, a woman coming undone because of a missing Hello Kitty vibrator. She assured me that they would resolve the situation to my satisfaction and that she would confer with her boss to come up with a solution.

I got off the phone and Jim said, "You realize that you'll be the talk of the hotel staff for quite some time." I screamed at the heavens, "I don't care, I want my Kitty!"

An hour later the man in charge of guest services called to apologize and that he would be more than happy to replace "Kitty". I wonder if he heard Jim laughing at me in the background. I gave him my address and the URL where he could purchase another Hello Kitty vibrator, then hung up, still despondent over the loss of "Kitty".

Jim then reminded me, "You know, your Hello Kitty suitcase got a lot of attention from the hotel staff when we were checking in and out. I'm sure once this story circulates around the hotel, they'll say, 'Oh, I bet it was that chick with the Hello Kitty luggage!'" Great, just what I wanted to be known for.

There is a happy ending to this story, though. A week or so later, while Jim's mom and Aunt Suzanne were visiting, a DHL package arrived addressed to "Celia Assguerra". It was my new Hello Kitty vibrator.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

why am i wearing a hat made out of corn husks?

Jim and I went to Aardvark Letterpress this past Saturday to pick up our wedding invitations. They're beautiful and I'm so jazzed!

Then we walked down the street to the Tamale Festival and ran into Don Garza, Dave and his wife Penelope. Somehow, I found myself sitting onstage next to Don, as one of the judges for the Best Tamale Contest.

When I woke up Saturday morning, I had no plans to judge a gourmet tamale contest. I just wanted to pick up the invitations, eat a few tamales, then head back home to spend several more hours writing. Dave and Penelope couldn't stay, they took off. Jim reminded me that we were having dinner with my parents and my Aunt Beth and Uncle Danny from Florida at 6pm. But I couldn't turn down the opportunity to sample all those tamales. So Don handed his camera to Jim to take pictures, then he and I took our seats onstage, forks at the ready.

There were five judges in all, including me and Don. The tamales were rated 1 to 5, 5 being the highest score, on presentation, texture, flavor, originality and overall. We tasted chicken, pork, beef, vegetarian and dessert tamales. The first category we tasted were the chicken tamales and there were seven entries in that category alone. It took forever for all the judges to sample all the entries. I noticed the time and said to my fellow judges, "Can we make this snappy? I have a dinner thing I can't be late for."

The beef and pork categories went by a lot faster, despite the chit-chat between the judges. The judge to my right whispered to me that she was just giving a score of 2 across the board for presentation and originality. She stopped talking to me when I told her that was just plain lazy. Jeez, I was kidding. We're sitting at a folding table on a stage in the middle of 7th Street in MacArthur Park, not on a Food Network sound stage.

Then it was time to judge the vegetarian category. The judge to my left suggested we judge the vegetarian ones on presentation alone since no one really wanted to eat a vegetarian tamale. It was tempting, considering that by this time we had tasted about 21 tamales. But I tasted and rated all the vegetarian ones, it was only fair. Surprisingly, one of my favorite tamales won in the vegetarian tamale category (Gourmet Tamales).

I had a blast eating tamales and watching the audience from the stage. The entire time we were onstage, there were two drunks in front, dancing and screaming at the MC in Spanish. I didn't understand what they were saying, but they'd punctuate their rants with a shimmy and a booty shake so it was all highly entertaining. Finally, trophies were handed out in all categories and I got out of there in time to make dinner. But not before I was made to wear a hat made out of corn husks. Pictures of that can be found here. I still can't believe no booze was involved.