There are a lot of people in Los Angeles who get decked out in full regalia every day, just in case. By this, I mean that they blow dry their hair or put product in it or put makeup on and make sure they are wearing something versatile but hot. Every day. Because you never know, in this city, when fabulosity may strike. A lot of actors and models and so forth end up getting discovered because they happened to already be ready to go, in the split second the iron was hot here.
The thing is that it tends to be a split second of hot opportunity. Because, due to a combination of flakitude and being on the forefront of cell phone technology, most party plans here are made at the last minute. If someone phones to tell you to look off your balcony because their car is outside, you can be relatively sure they will not flake before you get across your lawn. I pretty much only use the phone to (a) say I’m running late, (b) ask where to park or (c) compare notes on the party I am at with the party someone else is at. The last minute thing is also because everybody, who already has the hookup, works long and unpredictable hours. The various entertainment industries may yield fun jobs, but work is still work and tends to come first for anyone committed to what they do. Which is an awfully high proportion people in this city. I know I can’t be ready to go all the time because I work way way way too much and I have a lot of days where I end up having to put out unexpected fires. (Flame is the official metaphor for this feature article.)
So there is this really excellent raw foods place which has opened up near me. Real Raw Live has great smoothies, super cool and friendly people, and the best cashew burgers in the universe. So I’ve been telling my pal J that he has to check it out and he keeps almost making plans to do so and then flaking. Which is totally normal for Hollywood. So we are supposed to go over there and get delicious raw food smoothies and J, who is also a photographer, calls me on my cell, with his cell, to tell me that actually the Corbis photo agency is having a party that night and he doesn’t think he got an email on it, but Corbis called his cell to remind him and the shindig is at The Cabana Club, which is pretty close to me. He asks if we could shift the plans around a little. I tell him I have a headache and I’m tired and I’m going to flake.
Then I remember that I made a birthday resolution to get out more. The resolution was simply that I realized it was too difficult to pick the specific most perfect events to attend in such a vibrant city, so I resolved to just say “yes” to more of the invitations I get from all of the interesting people I know. And I do know an interesting and diverse cross-section of the population. This might seem like I resolved to take the path of least resistance, but, believe me, the path of least resistance for me is just to work through all waking hours. I’d already showered and my hair looked fine, so I surprise J by hitting him back on his cell and saying that I was going to keep my resolution and I was going to go to the party with him after all (after I got my raw smoothie.) He says he was thinking about flaking, but so long as we don’t get there ten minutes before it is over, it should be cool. He tells me he should come get me in about a half an hour. I tell him I’ll need a half hour more than that to get dressed. We agree on an hour. We finally hook up after an hour and a half. Traffic is insane because apparently some band is playing at the Hollywood Bowl.
J and I and actress Sydney Lauren all head over to The Cabana Club. Sydney Lauren had to get dressed in the dark because, ironically enough, her roommate spaced on her electric bill and is now unreachable on her cell because she is at the bad traffic-inducing concert at the Hollywood Bowl. We park in a parking garage up the street and there is this bizarre collection of things in there with a whiteboard sign behind them, bearing the legend: The CAGE RETURN ALL ITEMS TO WHERE YOU FOUND THEM. This seems like a suitably surreal start to the evening and it does not occur to me until later that the garage is near a film school and perhaps doubles as storage for filmmaking props. It does not occur to Sydney until later (after the open bar) that maybe she should do a dance with the wooden Jesus on a chain she finds amongst the props. I convince her not to take it with her. Since when am I the voice of reason? J is unconcerned about the unconventional shape of the parking spot as he is driving a rental care because his BMW SUV has been in the shop for the past month because of, I kid you not, a safety feature. But that is a story for another time.
So we end up walking the red carpet and being photographed by Frank Trapper who has photographed a veritable who’s who of Hollywood over the past decades. Frank Trapper’s packager Welcome Books is one of the goodie bag sponsors for the party and, during the party, they did a couple of giveaways of his book Red Carpet: 20 Years of Fame and Fashion, edited by Katrina Fried. Welcome Books is, like Blue Blood, both a publisher and a packager. What this means, in their case, is that they put books together and sometimes they publish them in-house and sometimes other people publish them. When someone else is the publisher, we call that packaging. I believe Welcome packaged the Red Carpet book, but Random House is the publisher. The goodie bags also contained the coffee table book Cinema By The Bay, by Sheerly Avni, published by George Lucas Books, but also packaged by Welcome Enterprises. The book is about the specific sensibilities of big San Francisco-based filmmakers. I got a nifty new shirt from Royal Guard. The absolute best and most inspired swag of the evening was the Corbis Rubix cube with photos by Corbis photogs on it. J and I wheeled and dealed for which of us would get which color shirt and which tote bag. I ended up with the lavender Royal Guard shirt and the green Welcome Books tote, which smells like a new car, only weird. The Corbis tote bag was black, but I felt I could part with it because most goodie bag events I go to have black totes and there are only so many black canvas book bags any person needs.
So comedian Chris Wylde texts us a series of barely intelligible and totally unrepeatable (but funny) messages from the Viper Room. As Chris Wylde is always a blast (and the open bar is over), we head over to the Viper Room. I’m pleased to run into Casper again there and he is rocking a sort of riverboat gambler look. He generally is wearing the season after next’s fashions today, so I’m hoping this is an augury of things to come because that is a nice look on a man. Apparently, Viper Room security, although pleasant and polite, would prefer it if no one took snapshots at the bottle service tables, even if they are sitting there. Who knew? Chris Wylde points out that he says “great things” so we should probably go somewhere less loud.
After a comedy of errors, where six of us managed to switch who was in what car more times than should have been mathematically possible, most of us eventually ended up at Snake Pit. We meet up with Brian Walsh aka Forty from the Chris Wylde Show (although I don’t place him until some time about five minutes before typing this.) We end up debating all manner of things that I probably can’t repeat here, not only with our table, but with neighboring beer patrons as well. It is that kind of bar. Although I’ve been told by multiple people that Slash, of Guns ‘N Roses and Velvet Revolver fame, owns this pub, I’ve never seen him there nor seen any verification I would trust. Regardless, it is a very barlike bar, with a lot of good microbrews, and that is nice and harder to come by in Los Angeles than one might guess.
And all I wanted was a smoothie. The moral is that, in Los Angeles, like in the Boy Scouts (like I’d know), it is always good to be prepared because you never know what might come up.
Fun Fact to Know and Share: Although Chris Wylde is probably most familiar from his role as the hot funny guy on Julie “Earth Girls Are Easy” Brown’s Strip Mall TV show or his more recent turn as the horny beast in the Del Taco Feed the Beast commercials, he also had a bit part in the movie My First Mister. There is a scene in a sex shop in My First Mister where a number of blasphemous dildos are on display. Blue Blood traded beer to the person responsible for props on said major motion picture there. In return for said dildos. Yes, I traded beer for blasphemous sex toys. Which I then ran through the dishwasher, to be on the safe side, and then Forrest Black and I used them in photo shoots for some of the BarelyEvil sets on BlueBlood.com. Even Blue Blood sex toys are famous. And, no, I am not going to Hell because I stopped Sydney Lauren from stealing the wooden Lord and savior from the film students. Although, come to think of it, Lord knows what they will do with it.