Thanks to everyone for their emails, especially from all those stiffed freelancers out there. When I visit the losers at Blast in Paris, I think I’m going to ask Christine for some used baby diapers to leave around their office as “parting gifts.” Well done, Christine!
While you all go to fashion shows, I’ve spent the last week and a half hosting out of town friends, a houseguest and his family, a head cold, some actual paying work and a bout of food poisoning.
Today, America celebrates “Independence Day” – a time when we Americans find another excuse to drink heavily Sunday night, wake up late Monday and barbeque slabs of meat all day until sunset provides a backdrop suitable to view massive explosives that scare dogs. Many people display flags in their yards and on their houses. I, too, got caught up in this whole flag thing, not wanting to be left out of the festivities:
On the 24th, I went to a performance of Philip Glass’ “Orion” — a work he composed for the 2004 Olympics in Athens – at the Performing Arts Center of Orange County. I’ve always loved his work – screechy, irritating, mathematical, repetitive, modern, droning, triumphant, especially his soundtracks for “Koyaanisqatsi” and “The Hours.” He invited different musicians from around the world (playing sitars, fiddles, pipas, hollow pipe things, etc.) to perform solos, as well as a vocal part by superstar Greek vocalist, Eleftheria Arvanitaki. The first guest was a didgeridoo player and suddenly, I feared that we were about to sit through something hopelessly “world beat” and “It’s a Small, Small World.” In the end, however, it was pure Glass…reflective, dynamic and bold…and thankfully, way more “Kraftwerk” than “San Francisco drum circle”
We went to a Barndall Art Park screening of William Jones’s “Is It Really So Strange?” – a doc he made about Morrissey / The Smiths tribute bands and their fans. I was hoping there would be throngs of teenagers with perfect pompadours and moth-eated cardigans in the audience (as many of these fans reside in Los Angeles), however there weren’t any, save for some people who appeared in the movie. We sat behind Stephen Prina, one of my closest friends, home from the summer from his professorship at Harvard University. I had some pictures from the nite but they appear to be gonzo due to some computer hiccups at home…
Monday, woke up with a full-blown summer head cold. Shuffled around, sneezing, wheezing and snorting. Total loss of a day, except for the thirty minutes where I tried to record with perfection a new outgoing message for my mobile phone. Check this out:
We downed bottles of Hite, cooked our own chicken on the grill between us, and made little Korean burritos out of rice, chicken, spicy bean paste and onions, all wrapped in lettuce leaves. There’s a nice equalizing factor about eating here, as both you and your date(s) will reek of garlic and BBQ smoke upon leaving, so no one can point the finger when you burp in the car on the way home.
My friend Hayley, a composer of music for film and tv commercials, invited me to this bar called Guy’s, where, on Tuesdays, slinky, swank lesbians cavort with one another, mostly on this big outdoor patio with space heaters. I’ve always enjoyed lesbian bars (especially with space heaters) and although the music is sometimes crummy, the DJ that night was great. I spotted ex-Calvin Klein model, Jenny Shimizu, there. She used to throw a really fun lezbo-party near my house. Kitty or Cat something or other. Raul suggested that I drink tequila, to help rid me of my head cold. I put up very little argument and started self-medicating with Patron on the rocks. And since I’m all about health, the second Patron was sure to speed the recovery process that much faster. While hanging out with Hayley and Raul (who immersed themselves in car talk, as Raul is a successful Ford Motors finance director and Hayley is seeking fresh leasing options), I sipped my cold medicine and observed a lot of: Chat chat. Girl flirt. Girl flirt. Kissy kissy. Lipstick. Lipstick. Hair toss. Hair toss. and Louis Vuitton accessories.
As we were getting ready to leave, things started getting a little hazy. My cold therapy was really kicking in, apparently. I found a cute looking couple (in my head, it was a man and woman…) and was trying to get a picture of them for you. To get a good angle on them, I stood on this little table nearby. Although the details are hazy, the manager was asking us to leave, as not only was I standing on the furniture but I was also smoking inside the bar, which is illegal in California. I was putting out the cigarette as I was explaining to him that I don’t smoke and that I was very sorry.
Curiously, he said, “Please, come back next week!!!” From this point on….mostly a blur. I remember that Raul and I went to another club to pick up his roommate, Ernie, a longtime Los Angeles DJ, who drove us home. I considered taking a swim (to the point of stripping down to my boxers and standing in the freezing cold water — always good for fighting off a head-cold). At 8 am, I woke up feeling completely clearheaded, ready for a new day, wearing a pair of Raul’s (dry) swimming trunks, turned inside out. I went to lay in the scorching East LA sun and was unable to stop laughing.