As I was out and about, I noticed someone that looked remarkably like Reese Witherspoon (Pleasantville). Didn't think much of it until after I read on Sunday evening that she was married in Ojai at her ranch on Saturday and that she had been running errands in West Hollywood before her nuptials. I admire that SHE was doing her own last minute to-do's before her "I do." How very non-personal assistant/non-Hollywood of her. I wish her well in her new life.
When I was at the DMV my first week back from law school -- had to swap back the Virginia for the California license-- I met Nia Long (Alfie) in line (polite enough) and her personal assistant. We were all three trapped in DMV hell for about an hour and a half. In college, a childhood friend of mine was the personal assistant to Michael J. Fox. One year he bought her a 300ZX for her birthday. She had some good stories. When I went to her wedding to a very successful producer, Leif Garrett and Justine Bateman were seated at my table. They were hot and heavy as a couple and high as kittens on a roof's ledge. Man what drugs will do to a body and have absolutely wrecked Mr. Garrett's body and life. I once ran into Jeff Conaway (Taxi) on 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. We were both shopping for furniture. Dude was completely wrecked; I mean he couldn't even stand erect his posture was so atrophied. Another poor cat on drugs. Yes, please, lets legalize drugs so that they're usage will be rare. Our society will be so much better. My dear libertarian, we part ways here, sir. It makes me ill each time I come across another pot store around L.A. Nancy Reagan was right on when she told the kids, "just say no!" Too bad she was mocked by those Hollywood types now stewing in their own lifestyle choices.
After my client visit, I worked my way over to see a friend in from China who may be interested in speaking with us about our little business venture. President George W. Bush gave a speech at an annual big-wig dinner of a trade association that I belong to on Thursday (picture 1,200 attorneys in a ballroom listening to former presidents Clinton and Bush (41), Veep Al Gore, Colin Powell, et. al, over the years) which I, unfortunately, could not attend (the first I've missed in a few years). A couple of years ago, Prime Minister Tony Blair and his police escort were directly in front of me as I drove to another of our dinners. It was like magic watching the California Highway Patrol cruisers drive up and sweep every car off of the road as their colleagues up ahead closed intersection after intersection as they (and I!) rolled on through. Eventually one of their brethren pulled up to me and smiled and said to me, "Keep a little further back; but feel free to follow." Blair gave an amazing speech that night, and did not once refer to a note in front of him (or God forbid a teleprompter). The Brits (Maggie Thatcher, Chris Hitchens, Stephen Fry) exude erudition, and make most of our Yank compatriots pale by comparison, except for you Dear Reader.
My acquaintance from Hong Kong flew in just to see the speech. It turns out that he has experience in raising VC and running companies similar to mine and my partner's whilst he lived in England. I need to pick his brain and to re-think our strategy b/c daddy needs a new pair of shoes and baby's mother is about to kill her ex. (I'm also looking for work full-time right now which is oxymoronic in lots of ways. More later. Job sooner!)
A girlfriend from Sony Pictures legal called and wanted to get together for a drink. I told her I was meeting a friend to see an act in Beverly Hills at Largo at the Coronet; she should meet up. We agreed on the St. Felix on Santa Monica because I'd heard good things as had she. I suspected that it might be a gay bar (though Yelp* doesn't say so), and when my buddy and I showed up for our pre-show drink, we found it very much was in full bloom as it were.
My friend James (another in-house attorney who used to work at Paramount), has a house just around the corner, and I half-expected him and his partner to roll in at any moment (his partner is an exec at a gay cable network). Oddly, we haven't spoken for almost a year since our conversation about Prop. 8. I'm sure we'll talk soon. The last party I went to at his house was replete with a few hundred folks in the industry with red carpet and camera crews snapping arrival shots. I heard it took an hour for valet to get your car for ya. Perspicacious moi parked several blocks over.
The beautiful babies and lovely ladies showed up at St. Felix over the next hour; two were friends from Sony and two were new to me, and their arrival swung the gay/straight ratio hugely in hetero favor. I half-expected a musical number of "Jets v. Sharks" (inspired by the new Book of Mormon on Broadway) to break out, but that would have swung the ratio back the other way. One of my girlfriends said that she didn't think the place was "gay," but when our waiter, Drake, looked directly at me and shouted over the din of the joint and the loud music, "what'll you have, baby?!" (yours truly IS rocking a beard and full head of hair these days after all. why shouldn't he say, "baby"?!) she concurred with the general consensus of the table that our joint in WeHo was indeed a wee bit fay. Drake didn't steer us wrong: we all had the kobe and ahi sliders with sweet-potato fries. Note: our host was a very polite and attentive cat rocking a very cool 50's hat, and when he saw that our party had grown by 200%, he wedged a couple of tables together (and snagged an additional purloined highchair or two) for us to use in the corner. Nobody puts "baby" in a corner, Drake. Oh, well. We loved the food and atmosphere. 50% happy hour drinks and appies worked also!
After three Presbyterians (Maker's Mark and ginger ale -- is that fay?), and kisses goodbye from the missuses, we bounced over to Largo at the Coronet to see Jon Brion in a -- "concert" isn't exactly the proper descriptor I'm looking for here -- one man session in-progress like "Prince. Or on alien prodigy in your room." That quote is according to Sean Lennon. Jon Brion has worked with everyone, produced everyone and scored everyone's films. Google him to see what I mean.
When we got to Largo at the Coronet, we had another pop. There was one very attractive young lady, and I said "hello" in the courtyard and asked how she was. She said, "excited." Madeline Zima (Heroes, Californication) and a girlfriend and guy friend all held hands and walked giggling into the show. Even celebs get giddy to see talented and inspiring artists. Just another Friday ... night.