Xanga: LA Recap

What’s up everyone, here I am, back in the land of the living. LA was fun, as evidenced by the pictures below… we worked some, ate out some, strolled the streets and beaches some, too. It wasn’t terribly warm (as Kevin put it, “I’m sorry, this weather is unacceptable.”), actually warmer in Indianapolis if you can believe that, but it was nice just to see the ocean and palm trees and think self-depreciating thoughts about my flabby tummy as I passed all the girls in their tube tops, miniskirts and big sunglasses (who were probably thinking self-depreciating thoughts about their thighs or noses or arms…). I also got to go into an Anthropologie store for the first time ever, which was one of the highlights of my young life. It doesn’t even compare to the catalogue.

The screening went well… we set up, welcomed people the the theater, left for a great Thai dinner while the film was playing, then came back for Q&A and an unbelievable dessert buffet. The woman who catered it is a graphic artist turned lawyer turned baker, and she really knew her stuff. Fabulous. And she was one of the first people I met who made me think, “ah, only in LA…” I asked her about how she got started in the bakery business and half an hour later, as she was still talking about her son’s first fire engine cake, she started the sly name-dropping. Except it wasn’t so sly – the conversation went something like this: “Well… it’s not professional in my line of work to drop names… but let’s just say there’s a large black man who was in Snakes on a Plane who is addicted to my cupcakes. And a certain young woman who is named after a city in France? She’s addicted, too.” Apparently she makes a mint at this little business, though – people simply tell her to name her price, because they want the trendiest goody, and hers are it. 2000 cookies for the Oscars? $2.50 each – only make sure you tell everyone you charged $3 each, so they won’t think the Oscars host was being chintzy.

But could one do that in Indianapolis? Nashville? Dublin? I think not. Still… I’d love to just start baking one day and find that everyone was addicted to my light ‘n’ fluffy sugary delights. Mmmm.

The other most interesting part was probably Venice Beach, near Kevin/Dan/James’ apartment. It really is a crazy place to be… seiks on rollerblades playing electric guitar, hairy women selling their anti-USA manifestos on the sidewalk, random breakdancers, 200 shops selling glass pipes, 500 shops selling tattoos, old hippie “artists” selling their tie-dyed or spray-painted pictures of unicorns and Stevie Wonder, all the ladies running around in bikinis even though it was a briskly windy 65 degrees… it was like being at a wild party with completely zonkered drunks who all of a sudden realize that they area the world’s wisest gurus and feel the need to impart their gift on the rest of the party. Except that everyone on Venice Beach, mostly, was sober.

Here are the pictures:

California 004   California 007

Screenwriter David Wolstencroft, Jeff Sparks (my boss), and our token celebrity. Can you guess who he is? Also, one of the four cakes and two platters of cookies… may not look extremely impressive, but were good enough to die for. That’s hot. There were also four chocolate fountains with fresh fruit, dried fruit, macaroons and brownies for dipping.

California 020   California 021

Me with a past filmmaker, Hilary Glaholt. And this is my sand creation… a sandman, if you will… kind of creepy, I know, but that’s what my castle turned into. He has sort of a Muppet/deep sea diver head and in lieu of a fig leaf, a pretty little pink shell. Hey, I’m allowed! Venice Beach leads one to do crazy things… right before settling into the sand and surf, I impulsively took off my pants, forgetting that I had decided against wearing a swimsuit underneath. Ah well – at least I was wearing a long dress/shirt type thing. And I only flashed a homeless lady.

California 024   California 028

Here are the shells (debris?) I picked up… it wasn’t prime shell-collecting time as the tide had been out for a while, but that’s OK. I’ve found that I like picking up the weird and imperfect shells anyway. Something about finding little bits of the earth that have been altered and molded by nature’s elements, dashed upon shores and swept up in violent waves, but still surfacing – emerging as new artworks in their rough-around-the-edges beauty – something about that touches me. Maybe because I, as Anne Lamott writes, am a little rusty and banged up myself. And I like that about me. Why would I want to look like all the other perfect little pink shells out there? So take that, California Girls.

California 025   California 027

End of story? LA was fun. Schmoozing was fun. Beach-bumming was fun. Walking the canals and trying Batch #4 with Kevin was fun. But would I ever want to live there? Um, honestly no. That’s one childhood dream I don’t mind putting in a bottle and tossing back out to sea for another young girl to find one day.

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7 thoughts on “Xanga: LA Recap

  1. yeah, L.A. is definitely overrated.  when my mom moved there, i thought it was a dream come true.  but too much smog, an overwhelming amount of traffic, and those self-depreciating thoughts…
    now, for a real good time, you should check out Phoenix.  i could show you a thing or two, including a thermometer that well outshines Indianapolis.  😉
    kisses. 

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