Monday, April 14, 2008

Time is Tight


Even though I still feel like an asshole every time I go to Trader Joes and forget my cloth shopping bags, I think I’m really starting to assimilate to LA culture. I was involved in my first fender bender (total bummer), got hooked on Pinkberry (heaven in a paper cup), and gave it my all in yoga (whatta drag). I’ve also grown to appreciate, and love, avocados and Fleetwood Mac, two things I never used to tolerate before my move. And I still find myself defending the city on a daily basis to friends who do not understand the capriciousness of living here.

Ice cream trucks and candy vehicles circulate daily, no matter the time of year. Most of the cars are shiny, and people drive manically, like they’re operating bumper mobiles at the local carnival. It rarely ever rains and, when it does, the palm trees sag down resembling sheep dogs. You have to pay very close attention or you'll miss the change of seasons, but for the most part it’s always summer. Each neighborhood is its own little world, and the highway system has no designated rhyme or reason to its pattern. The bulk of the people you meet are working on their own little make believe project, or movie, and they all get really excited when talking about it. Women are not afraid to wear pink, birthdays are celebrated with great reverence, and entire errands are centered on the retrieval of cupcakes.

It’s kinda like living in a city that was designed by a troop of 10-year-olds.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Nothing Hides

Last Saturday, I had the good fortune of attending Laura Ziskin’s Black and White Ball, which was modeled after Truman Capote’s 1966 party of the same name. All of the guests were required to wear either black and white, topped off with a mask to hide their identity. To be fair, I wasn’t actually a guest, but rather an employee, assigned the duty of manning the mask table. So I stood at the entrance to the party, handing out masks to the movie stars, agents, studio execs, and other varied celebrities.

Ziskin’s Santa Monica backyard was lavishly made up in dreamscape form, with ornate floral decorations, old Hollywood furniture that could’ve been lifted off a 1939 MGM lot, a stage for the bands, and a dance floor covering the pool. But even behind the masks, some icons were easily recognizable. Cameron Diaz arrived, friendly and literally sparkling, teetering over everybody else in attendance (she must be at least 8-feet tall). Diane Keaton was there, with Nancy Meyers, in a black tuxedo suit with a top hat to boot. Brian Grazer, Lance Armstrong, Will Ferrell, Patrick Dempsy (!), and Ron Howard, among others, were also in attendance.

Toward the end of the night, I was allowed to leave my post and mingle with the higher ups, a reward for my long hours of standing a considerable distance away from the heat lamps. I've never been much of a mingler, but I did happen to run into Tobey Maguire, who engaged with me in a ten minute conversation about the various spellings of our name. A feather in my cap for sure.