Sunday, March 21, 2010

Dear diary.

Occasionally, I find it necessary to attempt to interact with other human beings without relying on my extrovert boyfriend as a social navigator and small talk safety net. My best friend Jess is currently on a business trip in Los Angeles, and she invited me to fly down for the weekend to partake of her free hotel room at the Viceroy in Santa Monica. In June, we went to Cameo Bar at the Viceroy for my birthday, because I really wanted to lounge amongst Kelly Wearstler's decor. And the space did feel as fun and sexy and glamorous as I imagined it would. I was so excited to spend a few nights there for free, but seeing the space in daylight seriously dampened my enthusiasm. It's still cool and fun, but everything looks much cheaper and crappier and tackier when you can actually see it clearly. On Thursday night we had happy hour drinks at Cameo Bar with our friend Trey, and then dinner at Dominick's with Jess's coworkers. Everyone ordered the chicken, which was highly recommended, and did in fact turn out to be pretty great. The appetizers and cocktails were also good. And the ambiance was nice on the back patio, with exposed brick walls covered in foliage, and a fireplace. On Friday, while Jess was working, I walked around Santa Monica all morning, bought a pair of knit shorts from American Apparel because I had forgotten to pack pajamas, and spent the afternoon reading by the pool at the Viceroy, wearing a hooded sweatshirt over my bikini because it was so breezy and overcast. At night, Jess and I had dinner at Ma'Kai Lounge. The food was not bad, and from the patio we could see the sun setting over the ocean. But the service was kind of weird. The waitstaff seemed confused about the table numbers, and throughout the meal, they kept trying to give us various things that we hadn't ordered. Also, the waiter, who was kind of a ridiculous bimbo, made a comment about Jersey Shore when he checked Jess's ID, and asked if she gets that all the time, and we both sort of felt pissy at him after that. It was fine, though. I can never really be unhappy as long as I have edamame to nibble. After dinner we wandered up and down the Third Street Promenade, on a quest for black ballet flats for Jess. Once she found a pair she liked, we went to Bar Chloe, where the bartender told us all about her problems finding a boyfriend who won't insist on hanging out more than one night a week, and served us sugary, weak cocktails. Trey met up with us after a while and then so did my friend Ken and his boyfriend Saul, after a misunderstanding that involved them driving to Cameo Bar and wondering why they couldn't find us. Toward the end of the night, Jess and Trey disapprovingly observed that I, the girl with the alcohol tolerance of a six year old, was barely tipsy after several drinks. But the space was cozy, and it was nice to not be hungover on Saturday morning. Jess and I had a lackluster brunch at the Georgian Hotel. After a huffy, hush-voiced conversation about the terrible service, we very seriously decided that we would only tip 15%. It was warm and sunny at that point, so we walked to the pier, bought thin, ugly towels for $8 each, went to the beach, lay down in the sand for approximately fifteen minutes, observed one another's goosebumps, put our jeans and sweatshirts back on and went to the promenade. Jess bought a pomelo at the farmers market. At Barnes and Noble, I bought Shoplifting from American Apparel by Tao Lin, and Jess bought a book of short stories by Tolstoy. Then Jess got Pinkberry while I commented effusively about how much I fail to understand the appeal of frozen yogurt and oddly segregated toppings. We went back to the Viceroy and tried to read by the pool, but even in jeans and sweatshirts it was so cold we gave up and went up to the room. I was reading and Jess was in the shower when a siren started blaring, interspersed with a noisy announcement that there had been an "event" in the hotel and that we should stand by and await further instruction while they verified the event. The siren and the scary announcement repeated over and over while I threw my book, jewelry, contact lens case, glasses, and birth control pills in my purse, and paced around outside the bathroom, trying to decide whether to tell Jess to get out of the shower or not. Eventually, the siren stopped and a new announcement assured us that everything was "all clear." I spent about an hour applying "a shitload" of eye makeup, striving for sort of a Jenny Humphrey effect, and then Trey picked us up and drove us to Hollywood Boulevard, where we ate sandwiches at Cafe Audrey and then had a couple drinks at Essex Public House, where the waiter was cartoonishly energetic. Jess wondered aloud whether he was an actor or a writer. I guessed both and was right. He told us a little bit about his acting career and the six screenplays he's written, and asked us about our jobs (well, their jobs) and favorite movies. I said Funny Face. He told us his favorite movie is The Princess Bride. We all agreed that was a good one. Then we went to Bar Marmont and felt glamorous. The bartender was wearing a fun top hat. There was nowhere to sit, but then we found a random, awesome, empty back room with a decoupaged ceiling and decided to make ourselves at home and risk getting yelled at. Once we did, a couple other guys followed our lead and we said hi. They said they were from DC, graduated from Georgetown and George Washington in '08, and had flown to LA for the weekend to look at apartments, because they were thinking of giving up their finance/consulting jobs to become producers. Then we left to meet our friend Eric, who went to high school with us, and Trey brought us to his friend's birthday party at a gorgeous house in the Hollywood Hills. Mostly everyone at the party knew each other from Harvard, usually the Harvard Lampoon, except for Eric and me. Everyone was so friendly and funny and welcoming. I talked to BJ Novak for a few minutes, and asked him about the time his character on The Office was reading I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. He said it was Mindy Kaling's idea, to underline how douchey Ryan is, and that they had considered the possibility that some people might misinterpret it as a more positive reference to Tucker Max, but those people are dumb, so whatever. While I was talking to him, it didn't even occur to me that I had the "Subtle Sexuality" music video on my iPod in my purse. But it's probably for the best that I didn't think to mention that, because I would have told him how much I love the part where he says, "My rhymes bite like piranha," and I was already struggling to not give the impression that I wanted to have sex with him. (I have watched "Subtle Sexuality" at least a hundred times, and when Ryan grabs his crotch at the end of his rap it always made me feel kind of squirmy and uncomfortable. I think from now on it might make me feel slightly aroused. (The word "slightly" is used here in an attempt to be considerate of Ed's feelings.)) He is a lot cuter and cooler-looking in person than on The Office. He was wearing hipsterish glasses that really worked for him. Writing this now, I'm second-guessing whether I actually hallucinated the entire experience, because I was drunk and it seems like something that I would make up. Assuming that this was not a dream, which I'm pretty sure it wasn't, but I need to reconfirm with Jess and Trey, I then announced, awkwardly, I'm sure, that I have a boyfriend, and stopped bothering him. Later on, I attempted to demonstrate my still-in-progress yoga headstand in this little indoor/outdoor exercise room next to the pool. Unfortunately, my super drunk strength was canceled out by my lack of any balancing ability whatsoever. Also, I may have accidentally flashed a boob in the process. Then we went back to the hotel so I could finish packing for my crack of dawn JetBlue flight from Long Beach to San Francisco. I was the only passenger on my $50 SuperShuttle ride (versus $100 for a taxi), which arrived at the Viceroy at 4:25 AM. I was very, very, very sleepy and disoriented at the airport, which I found unpleasantly reminiscent of the type of airports that Jess and I wound up at whenever we flew RyanAir to or from Scotland when we were abroad junior year. (The cold, early morning mist, in particular, reminded me of the time that the shack of an airport two hours outside Paris completely shut down due to fog, stranding us with several flights' worth of passengers in a middle of nowhere town with only two taxis for 24 hours or so.) Anyway, I had booked such an early flight because I wanted to get back to San Francisco in time to go the the Vintage Expo at the Concourse Exhibition Center, which turned out to suck and be a waste of $20 for admission. ($10 each, but I paid for Ed.) I was hoping to find some cool vintage costume jewelry like I bought for Jess and my mom and my sister at the "Deco the Halls" expo in December. But all the jewelry was from later decades and tackier and uglier and more expensive and behind glass, so I couldn't try lots of things on without it being a hassle. The fact that I hadn't slept for longer than 45 minutes or so on the plane may have accounted for some bias, but still I think it actually did kind of suck. We went to Whole Foods and I got some triple cream cheese and Ed got real food that more closely resembles meals and then we came home and watched The Office and 30 Rock and napped and vegged out for the rest of the day.

So I had fun in Los Angeles. It was awesome to spend time with Jess and Trey, and I especially liked how everyone treated me as if I am cool and interesting and not stupid and annoying, which is how I usually feel. (I guess I should wear high heels more often.) I could never live there, though, because I can't really drive and thus am limited to cities with adequate public transportation.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

woo secret bar with secret ceiling and partying in LA. more fun soon!