Tag Archives: Los Angeles

Top Four Reasons Why I Would Leave A Party–And Tout De Suite!

19 Apr

Los Angeles is a mecca for party-goers. There’s always something happening in this crazy town, from the Hollywood Hills to the coastline. However, increasingly, I’ve noticed that parties that I’ve been to have been good only half the time. Unfortunately, 50% of the time, I’m walking to my car thinking, “Why the feck did I pull out my best sequin dress for this bullshiz?”

So from a veteran partygoer to you, here are surefire cues that signal the end of a party. I would leave:

 

If People Only Want To Talk Money.
Money. Who wants to talk about it? You either have it, or you don’t. I don’t have stunningly large amounts of it. But people talking shop about investments when everyone else is bored out of their mind listening is a surefire reason to get out. No one wants to hear about how much of a return you made last quarter. Really. No one wants to hear about that. No seriously, guys, talking about money is really not the way to get laid. Unless you want to attract the wrong kind of girl, in which case, have fun with her and try to make sure she doesn’t only want you for the leather lining in your BMW.

 

If People Are Staring At Their Mobiles A Bit Too Much.
I will admit that I am the first one to check my Blackberry, and recently I was at a party where we were all going mobile-heavy, but had a great time nonetheless, with no one leaving before 1am. Seriously, though, I’ll be the first to head towards Twitter, Plurk, Facebook and e-mail when a party is dead. If I see other people relying on their mobiles a bit too much, then I’ll wrap up convos, and say goodbyes. Taking photos of your fellow revellers with your phones or exchanging numbers is understandable party phone usage, but anything else is an indicator not to hang out waiting for the party to end.

 

If The Drunk Girl Makes A Break For The Bathroom.
There’s always one person, usually a girl, who can’t hold her liquor. And though she may have just been fawning over a fellow partygoer, or dancing on the grand piano, there always comes a point where she can, in a split second, blurt out: “‘Scuse me!” and make a break for the bathroom. There’s nothing quite like that to serve as a mood killer.

 

If You’re Just Plain Fecking Bored And Done.
I have been at the most hoity toitiest of parties that were ultimately boring, with hosts that do nothing to make everyone welcome. Time was that I would wait around in the hopes that things improve, but experience dictates that things never improve. A few weeks ago, while at a more VIP party at one of this cities’ otherwise greatest bars, I did not even last for two hours. I gave out some of my cards, shook enough hands, but eventually, at only just about midnight, I told my two friends that I was there with that I was done. It wasn’t the people, necessarily, and the drinks are always great, it was just…boring.

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Don’t Worry. We Won’t.

11 Sep

This afternoon I had a tutoring session with my 12-year-old student. Part of his homework tonight was to ask some adults in his life what they were doing when they found out about the attacks. He asked me if I remembered what I was doing.

Good Lord. For me, it’s still so fresh.

I chattered on about what I was doing that morning, what street I was on as I drove to work that morning, what the radio announcer’s voice sounded like, what the other people in the other cars on the road were doing. I said,

“And the streets were all packed with so many cars! It was total chaos! People didn’t know what to do!”

“Why?” he asked me, his brown eyes wide with curiosity.

And then it hit me.

He doesn’t know.

Oh my God. He doesn’t know! He was only 5 years old on September 11th, 2001.

He doesn’t understand that we didn’t know what to do because we were certain that we here in Los Angeles were going to be targed for attack next. Fear gripped every American’s heart. How do I explain such devastating, widespread fear that we were saddled with in addition to the heartbreak? We mourned. Not a head was unbowed.

I was only 21 at the time, but instantaneously I age because of this revelation. You’d think my trying to relay to him about the fear that gripped our hearts that day was as antiquated as The Greatest Generation telling us about air raids during The War. Then I remembered something.

While watching History Channel documentaries with older people recounting their stories about what they were doing when they heard JFK was shot, one thing they always seem to preface their stories with is, “I remember it like it was yesterday…”

And I find myself opening my mouth and the words pushing off my tongue effortlessly, as if they were just waiting there for me to speak them:

“Oh Nicholas..! I remember it like it was yesterday…” I trail off.

We all do. And we all will, for forever.

That Extra *Bah-Bump* of a Beat

24 Aug

Right.

So I am e-dating this guy.

Having seen an aunt get pretty well addicted to a dating chatroom and other related trials and tribs, I always thought online dating was quite…well, “pathetic” is not the right word. “Futile” or “unresolvable” aren’t right either.

It’s just that I always viewed her as a sort of sad character, eternally crouched over her computer keyboard, staring at the monitor, waiting for some guy in Podunk, California, to write her back. I just didn’t understand it. When the wait was over, she’s only be getting a few cold pixels of black on white on a computer screen and nothing else. What about the tangible electricity in the air when you catch the eye of a guy across the bar/produce section of the grocery store/park/beach/wherever? What about your heart beating that extra bah-bump of a beat as he walks over to you and asks what your name is, and, if it would please you to have dinner/coffee/cocktails/concert with him? What about all the awkwardness involved in that first kiss goodnight on the front stoop?

What about all that? I just didn’t get it. Circumventing all that, how could you deem something a “romance”? Sure, we have You’ve Got Mail to exemplify how it can end happily ever after, but come on, even Nora Ephron, the Writer/Director Extraordinaire of Iconic Romantic Comedies (Does When Harry Met Sally ring a bell?) couldn’t keep the e-spark lasting well enough through the first act that she had to have Meg and Tom meet up at a literary party and initiate a spat over the caviar being served. “What is that?,” Meg says, looking rather cross, “What are you doing? You’re taking all the caviar? That caviar is a garnish!” to which Tom merely gives a charming, but flippant nod of the head and scrapes it all onto his plate in one elegant, fell swoop. The audience is sold, and waits patiently through the second act of “they-hate-each-other-but-are-really-actually-falling-in-love”, to get to the final scene shot in front of a flowerbed in technicolor-gorgeous Central Park where Meg tearfully declares, “I wanted it to be you!”, the violins swell, and a solemn, courageous Tom gathers her up into his arms as all errant storylines get swept up into one romantic and tidy pile.

Okay wait. What the hell does caviar have to do with my e-dating? Let me back it up.

Several months ago, an L.A. friend of mine with whom I partied on the weekend and corresponded on Twitter during the workweek grind, told me about Plurk, the latest and greatest in online fun. I have never been much involved in such a site based on such randomness, without my friends already having been established on it. I say random because it really is–you post your life on Plurk in little status updates through the day, and random people comment on your status updates. It sounds so flat when I write it like that, but really, it can be quite a sociable, even enriching experience. [For example, I randomly stumbled across and made friends with a fellow Plurkster who really loves films, more than I do, and we Plurk with each other about that film that we want to see make it out of development hell, or who gave an exceptional performance in what, or which director said what to which other producer, what what obscure foreign film is the soupe du jour. Okay wait, I still sound like a total dork. Never mind, you get the drift, moving on.]

Somewhere in the fray of random bePlurkfriending, one of these particular Plurkers stood out to me. His writing employed dry, crass humor, which hinted at the obvious intelligence required when writing in such a fashion. (Sigh*, it’s always the wit that does it for me. Nothing is sexier than a sarcastic, self-deprecating guy, à la Conan O’Brien. Pompadour not necessary.) One night, when it seemed right, after a long string of steady interaction, I privatePlurked him on a whim:

“Okay, I have to know. Are you single?”
“Haha. Cute. Yes, I am single.” He writes back.
“Is it insane to say that one could be attracted to a Plurker based on, well, Plurks?”
“Nothing is insane anymore, I don’t think.” he writes.

From there it goes on to more privatePlurks and then e-mail. With me on the Blackberry and him on an iPhone, we’ve got our push e-mail working overtime throughout the day. I’m getting a rental at Blockbuster and a fro yo from the store next door, he gets a mobile photo of the concoction I’ve made up and an update on my Rental of the Day. He’s taking a nighttime stroll on the boardwalk, I get a mobile photo of the peacefulness of the darkened sand landscape stretching out towards the open sea. We find out that we’ve got similar views when it comes to relationships, how they should work, et cetera. We’re refreshed, we’re incredulous, we’re surprised.

Around the same time, one of my best friends, “Nelle”, opens a Match.com account.

“I never thought you’d start on one of those sites,” I said, surprised. “You’re so nice and popular, I don’t think you have trouble meeting people.”
“Yeah, I don’t,” she says, “But it’s the kind of people that I meet that matters.”

I know she’s becoming frustrated with the lack of dateable guys in her neighborhood. Nelle is a sensitive, highly-evolved type, who oftentimes finds the behaviour of people her age, male and female, slightly juvenile. She would never settle for just any guy from just any bar on Saturday night. I tell my bestie about my e-dating. I don’t want her to feel like she’s the only one who has turned to the Information SuperHighway to find the connections that are lacking in our local circuits, because she isn’t.

“Have you met up with him yet?” she asks.
“Oh no, Nelle,” I say, “I can’t. He lives in New York.”
“Oh my God!” she says, “So, tell me about him.”

I tell her.

“Hah!” Nelle laughs triumphantly, “He’s so your type.”

Ha ha. Through this all, I did realize that I have a “type”, and he’s it. And she hasn’t even seen a photo yet. I rejoice in the fact that my bestie, who really knows me, sees the relevance and the connection that Mr. Brooklyn and I have.

Still, occasionally, logistical reality sets in.

“This is insane,” I think to myself. “I’m in Los Angeles, he’s in New York. How did Meg and Tom deal with it again? I need to go re-rent Sleepless in Seattle.”

But maybe it’s not insane. Maybe it would only be considered insane if we weren’t real people, really connecting; we are, and we do. I consult my favorite cousin, “Amette”.

“These days, it is way easier to get to know someone online,” she says, matter-of-factly, “There’s less of that self-imposed barrier that happens when you meet someone face-to-face, that comes from being scared about what the other thinks about you.

I agree with Amette, but it’s still a new and tenuous concept for me. Of course, my Blackberry dings just then. Yes, I’ve Got Mail, and it reads, quite simply:

“I hope you are it, because I am tired of dating.”

I am defeated. All preconceived notions of e-dating are thrown out the door.

Because no matter the delivery method, whether in-person or via e-mail, such a phrase, such a thought that you could be someone’s “it“–has the unadulterated power to make a heart beat that extra bah-bump of a beat.