June 08, 2010
Yes, I agree, I deserved to be sat next to a big fat person for thinking Jesus, I hope I don’t have to sit next to a big fat person on this flight.
Yes, I agree, I deserved to be sat next to the biggest, fattest person on the flight after watching this person in particular walk down the aisle and thinking Jesus. Like that one right there.
No, I don’t agree, Zara and I deserved to be moved up to the empty bulkhead where the extra leg room makes a trans-Pacific flight feel like riding a recliner with wings, and yet, that’s exactly what happened. After the sweetest long-haul night flight I’ve ever had, we awoke to find we were about an hour and a half out of LA. Nothing is worse than feeling like you’ve slept for twelve hours straight, only to find that you’ve only been out for twenty minutes and your destination is still a sleepless eleven hours and forty minutes in an economy seat away.
Of course, there was the obligatory crying baby to contend with. That’s always fun. She was a white-haired, Swedish-looking girl who couldn’t have been more than two years old, with a reddened face that looked perpetually ready to crumple into sulky tears and loud yells.
As we stood in the long line to pass through American customs, I fantasised about a close-up shot where I emerged from off-camera like winged justice to slowly and deliberately press a banana cream pie into this kid’s face. As an afterthought, in my mental movie I did the same to her brothers, inoffensive children who had never done me wrong. If a job’s worth doing…
It took approximately five seconds after getting into the ever-lovely Lenore Zion’s car at the airport to remember: LA is awesome, man. West Hollywood, Delancey, bandannas and beware of hipsters and model-looking girls hanging outside clubs at eleven at night.
So this is what we’ve done so far:
Dinner at Delancey: with Reno Romero, Lenore Zion, Lisa Rae Cunningham, and West Hollywood council’s Lindsey Horvath (we roll with the establishment, yo). The pizzas here are far too big. And the wine is delicious. Romero is a hurricane that swept through a caffeine factory, Lisa Rae bounces between literary linguistics and representing Jersey pride at the flick of a switch, and after months of TNB-inspired conversation between myself and Lindsey Horvath, I have to recommend her as the best advertisement for moving to WeHo Angelenos are ever likely to come across.
Lunch with Loory: Greenblatt’s Deli in Hollywood. Hot pastrami dips, bottomless coffee, giant sandwiches and Canadian waitresses who rap Buck 65 tunes. This is where Ben Loory comes to meet with his consiglieri and capos and discuss what percentage of the paving unions to cut over to Joey the Breadknife – Gary, Indiana’s most feared and hated mafia boss.
Patriotic Pants: I have yet to see these things, but while en route to locate the Griddle, Reno and Zara found a pair of pants from the same clothing designer who created Old Glory herself. With one leg striped with the colours that never run, and the other spangled with stars, these are the pants I want to take with me on my trip – my one job before leaving for Vegas is to add these to my suitcase.
TNB – LE, LA. The Nervous Breakdown’s Literary Experience, Los Angeles, was a who’s who of West Coast talent. Lenore and Zara MCd five kinds of hell out of The Den, while Michael Mazochi brought the music and Marisa Matarazzo, Zoe Zolbrod, Stacy Bierlein, Gina Frangello, and a vaguely New Zealandish Australian read.
Whereas the audience… damn.
Brad Listi and his wonderful wife Kari, Rich Ferguson, Bex Adler, Ben Loory, Joe Daly, Lisa Rae Cunningham, Yvonne de la Vega, Raindog, Rachel Pollon, Reno Romero, Milo Martin… and an assortment of friends, partners, family and fans… all of whom were kind enough to wait for the Celtics-Lakers game to finish and the reading to begin – it’s amazing how seamlessly a bar can translate from hosting a basketball videocast to a top-tier literary event.
Now it is late, and tomorrow we set off the bright lights of Las Vegas. Upcoming – Flickr slideshows, the triumphant reunion with Iron Duke Haney, and more tales of the City of Angels.