September 14, 2002
Partying with a celebrity...dinner on LaBrea followed by a madcap
ride in a convertable around Hollywood to the theatre...a friend's play...a night in the
Hollywood hills...breakfast at a sidewalk cafe...a movie screening on the Fox lot...a
photo shoot... another time to see the play...a mad dash to LAX and then home. I haven't
spent a weekend in Los Angeles, I've spent a weekend "doing Hollywood."
I didn't make my 4 a.m. bike ride with Cindy on Saturday. I was
still hunched over a hot computer trying desperately to get some transcription done. The
plan was to leave for the airport at 6:30 and at 6:15 I hadn't packed yet. But by 6:25, I
had managed to throw some stuff in my lovely Australian backpack and we were off into the
rising sun, headed for the Sacramento airport.
The flight was eventful for it being the first really congenial
flight I'd ever had. There were 5 of us sitting in a group--two facing back and 3 facing
forward and we had a lovely chat all the way to LA. The guy from Australia was going to
meet his girlfriend, who was flying in that afternoon, the mother and daughter were
meeting the daughter's sister, and all were going out for eggs benedict and the personal
trainer from Chico was going to give a lecture at a health club.
When we arrived in LA, I rented a car and, armed with my folder full
of Yahoo maps, managed to find my way to the bridal shower. The bride is Stacie, the
daughter of Walt's cousin, and the shower was being held at the home of Michelle Phillips,
her best friend for the past 12 years.
Michelle Phillips - Stacie Seifrit
(In anticipation of knowing very few people there, I wore my
"Beverly Hills" shirt, with the "Beverly" prominent and the
"hills" barely visible.)
It was a lovely party. Michelle is part owner in a well known
Mexican restaurant, so she'd brought in the bartender, who set up a full bar (Fabulous
margaritas!), and brought all the food in from the restaurant--including a veritable vat
of guacamole. She was disappointed that the band of mariachi players she'd hired to
seranade us during lunch never showed up.
It was interesting wandering around the house. It's a fairly
nondescript place in an upscale, though by no means luxurious part of town and there
certainly is nothing particularly lavish about it, but it's just...different. From
the snapshot of the Baldwin brothers with a baby, sitting on the bookshelf, to the faded
framed photo of a young Michelle with Mama Cass on the piano to the dusty statuette
sitting behind some other thing that shows that Michelle has been inducted into the rock
and roll hall of fame.
When the shower was winding down, I grabbed my Yahoo maps, hopped
into my 8 passenger van (they were out of compacts, so they let me have a van for the same
price) and spent the next hour wandering up and down LaBrea looking for the restaurant
where I was to meet my friends Merrell and Pat. After a lovely Japanese dinner, we went
off to the theatre in Merrell's convertable. She drives like a maniac and since I suffer
from autophobia anyway, I made sure I was very tightly snapped into my seatbelt and held
on for dear life.
("The Lex" theatre)
The Big Voice in its revised format is much tighter than when
I saw it a few weeks ago. It's a wonderful show and got a standing ovation at the end. I
think by the time they finish this "workshop run," they should have a solid hit
on their hands when it moves to the Zephyr theatre, and the critics are invited to attend.
When the show ended, I spent the night at Merrell's hideaway in the
Hollywood Hills, just off Sunest Blvd (a house she bought, by the way, and paid cash for,
out of her one-day winnings at the racetrack!) Her house is set so high up on hillside of
the land she owns that racoons play in her little waterfall, and deer munch the peaches
off the peach tree in the garden. I completely died when I hit the couch and didn't wake
up for 7 hours.
Then it was off, back down Sunset Blvd to the theatre to meet
Michael, who was taking me to breakfast and then to a movie screening on the Fox lot. This
was for a movie called "Igby Went Down," which is excellent. I recommend it.
When it was over, he drove me back to the theatre, where we had an
hour before showtime, so Jimmy and Steve had me do a photo shoot for them, taking pictures
of various parts of the show (my favorite scene, which I wanted to shoot, is supposed to
be a surprise for the audience, so we skipped that part).
And then the next performance of the play, again to great audience
response. One elderly woman was overheard talking to her husband at intermission, saying
"I've seen some pretty mediocre things in this theatre--but this is excellent."
I took that as a positive sign that the show has some longevity to it.
Unfortunately, I couldn't stick around after the show, because I had
to catch a plane, so I fumbled my way through the streets of the city and somehow,
miraculously, managed to get to the airport without too many traumas. By the time I had
returned the car and been delivered to the Southwest terminal, it was nearly 7 p.m. and I
hadn't had a thing to eat since about 10, so I was starving. I found a nice Mexican place
to get a quick bite to eat and then just settled in with my book until time to board the
But now the weekend is over. There was a message from Dr. G about
assignments for tomorrow, the bike is sitting there waiting for me to ride it at 5 a.m.
and I haven't even begun to do any transcription. But it's nearly midnight and I think
transcription is just going to have to wait till morning.
Imagine my surprise when I returned home and discovered nearly $300
worth of pledges for my AIDS walk. You guys are the greatest! Thank you so
much. I promise to walk my little tootsies to blisters for ya!