People here seem to be all about enjoying life. It's refreshing. Especially compared to the day-to-day cynicism I experienced, and contributed to, in NYC. Granted, the majority of my time is spent where I work and live (the beach communities of Venice, Santa Monica, and Marina Del Rey) and the vibe in these coastal towns might be more laid back than in Hollywood.
To give you some idea of the culture shock - this is a place where folks send me emails telling me to be aware of an upcoming "cosmic trigger event" where "...an ultraviolet (UV) pulse beam radiating from higher dimensions in universe-2 will cross paths with the Earth." The email encourages one to go outside and bask in the beam so their positive thoughts will be manifested here in our dimension. The still-cynical New Yorker in me thinks it's just a government ploy to flatten out the population by giving us all cancer more quickly. Maybe this email was circulating on the east coast, but out here, they take it seriously.
I just passed my test to get a California state driver's license. You can't just hand in your NY license, you have to take a written test. I got down to the DMV, and it was all decked out for Halloween. Again, something you probably wouldn't see in NYC. Cute, but I don't think there's any point in trying to make the DMV any more scary than it is. There's also something a bit disconcerting about asking a woman behind a huge spider web for a DL-44 form.
A fun distraction here are the celebrities. Of course, there are many celebs in NYC, but out here it's like a famous-person-petting-zoo. They'll come right up and eat out of your hand if you stand still enough. I was out with some work friends and we ran into Deep Roy, the dwarf from the new Willy Wonka movie. Some of the people I was with had cast him in a commercial awhile back and offered to buy him a drink. He was too busy with the ladies and said "no thanks." You know your pecking order in LA when even the 4' 4" celebrities turn down your drink offer. Here's a pic of Deep Roy taken at some point before he snubbed us:
The next day, I was invited to Houstons for a birthday brunch for my friend Clint. Houstons, while being nice and classy, is a chain restaurant. In NYC, no one seems to go to chain restaurants. My friends and I would marvel at the tourists on line to get into the NYC Olive Garden. Who the fuck goes to New York and eats at the Olive Garden? But out here, there's no point in wasting precious sunny-time to go looking for some out of the way bistro, so Houstons it was. The food was actually great. Actor Owen Wilson was there. And Brian Setzer, from the Stray Cats, was at the next table. Houstons is hopping! After the birthday ice-cream arrived, Brian came over and wished Clint a happy birthday. It would have been cool if he sang it. Here is a picture of Brian Setzer taken at some point before he was chowing down at Houstons:
Clint scored tickets, and backstage passes, for the Ladytron show at the Ford Theater. It was a great show at a terrific outdoor venue. He got the passes because he produced the videos for the opening band, CSS. They're a fun-loving Brazilian group out of San Paulo. Their full name is Portuguese for "Tired of Being Sexy." I'm a new fan after seeing their show.
In other news, my PowerBook G4 has broken down so often that Apple has agreed to swap it out for the new MacBook Pro laptop. Whoo Hooo! Until it arrives, I imagine my blog posts will continue to be spotty.
I've been living in a Marriott hotel since I arrived. My stuff doesn't get here from NYC until February, so I found a sublet until then which starts in about a week. It's a guest cottage right on the Venice Canals. It's a beautiful area and I feel very lucky to be able to live there, even for a short while. Here's a picture of the Venice Canals taken at some point before I got my apartment there:
Not too shabby, huh? I'll post some pics of my own once I settle in. Off to Houstons. Bye.