Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Party Party

So last week over the extended Holiday break I went to three parties (four if you count going to the beach with 400,000 other people) and each one was a micro study in LA. The first was a party one of the guys I work with throws every year out in the Valley. It's a day-long kegger with periodic plunges into the pool and bands and DJs and games of Asshole into the wee hours of the night. Basically, the kind of party I like and have plenty of experience at. I rode out there with Skylar, and at one point this rather tall woman with blond dreadlocks and a fiery tattoo that looked a little like the cover of Journey's "Escape" on her shoulder came up to me and said, "I don't know you but you look like somebody I'd like to know." This excited Skylar immensely, and I'll admit to being a little intrigued myself. Skylar left shortly thereafter, leaving me to fend for myself, which is never a problem in LA as somebody is always going to your part of town and is happy to provide a ride. The rest of the night involved listening to bands, all of whom were talented, and chatting up whoever came into my immediate orbit. I ran into a guy I met through my voice-over class, which was weird because we were both like "what are you doing here?" The crowd here was youngish, mostly 25-35, cool people but not pretentious Hollywood assholes, all somewhere in the early stages of their Hollywood careers (reality TV if I had to guess). I finally found a ride home around midnight and made one last ditch effort to corner the dreadlocked woman for a drunken make-out session to no avail, but I count the night as a success nonetheless.

The next party was on the 4th as I went out to Santa Monica to Julie and Ian's for an early-afternoon cookout. Julie and Ian have a great place not far from the beach, and the crowd here was a little more mature, say in the next LA age bracket of 35-45. When I say mature I mean that everybody arrived with their spouses and babies in tow. It was a total baby fest, so much so that I was wondering where I could find a surrogate infant for the next party like this I was to attend. Ian manned the grilled and delivered some amazing meat and hand-prepared slaws and salad, and later there was homemade pie. Turns out Ian loves to cook and is good at it. There was some badminton before all the shuttlecocks disintegrated. I met Julie's mom and immediately saw where Julie gets her sharp sense of humor, and I also met her brother who gave me some tips about what to do and what not to do when writing scripts and trying to get people to read them. I also ran into somebody at this party that I had met before through no connection to Julie and Ian, a friend of Doug Gochman's. A city of 10 million people and I run into people I'd already met at two consecutive parties. Go figure. There was white wine and sangria but no keg. I stayed a couple of hours and left when most others did as I had to drive to the East side for another cookout and fireworks watching party.

The fireworks party was in Eagle Rock, which is out on the east side near Pasadena, at Matt's house. Matt is a friend of Skylar's and is one of the guys I've been playing basketball with. He bought this place that has an amazing back deck that looks out at the San Fernando mountains, and from this vantage point we could see three different fireworks displays, including the one over the Rose Bowl. I was already rather full from the dogs and burgers at Julie and Ian's, but had to try some of the grilled shrimp and brisket Matt was preparing. By the end of the weekend I was so packed full of meat you could have slipped a case around me and sold me as a sausage. This party was interesting as it was the first time I told somebody I was from somewhere besides Columbus. When you tell people out here that you're from Columbus, Ohio, they look at you with a sort of pity. On at least five different occasions, upon hearing that I moved here from Columbus, people have asked, "have you lived anywhere else?" As in "this city is going to eat you alive." So I was out on the back deck talking to these two girls who claimed to be models for American Apparel, and when one asked me where I was from I had one of the Bullet In The Brain moments where in a split second I thought, "If I say Columbus she's going to think I'm a hick. But fuck that! These provincial assholes out here have no idea how small this country is, that cable and the internet and the profusion of pop culture has everybody feeding from the same trough, and why shouldn't I say Columbus? That's where I'm from! This girl is probably from Des Moines or something!" So I said, "I'm from Chicago." And of course she loved that answer and the rest of the night kept saying things like, "of course this guy knows how to open a beer with a lighter! He's from Chicago!" Oh god, the transformation has begun.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Worse things have been done for the sake of the Poontany

9:43 PM  
Blogger hanscarroll said...

And another thing - keep the blog going. It's good to read about ya

9:50 PM  
Blogger douglasbtrain said...

Hey der my friend, hows come you need a lighter to open an Old Style?

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Tom Wilk said...

Just gotta say, the national and int'l cultural cachet of being from Chicago is incredible, even after 14 years living away from there. Last year in London while chatting up a cute German girl named Marion I laid claim to being from Chicago, and her body language changed instantly from "you sure you can handle London?" to "of course you can handle London and maybe you would like to handle me too". Wild. Never erase Columbus from your resume but with Chicago the well never really goes dry.

7:49 AM  

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