Archive for February, 2011

MIA – Part #1

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

I try to limit my postings to when something really interesting happens.  As such, you may have assumed that nothing has been going on and that life has been lying relatively fallow these past few weeks.  This would be incorrect.

I have had a circuit of excellent visitors starting on February 11th when Willard flew into town.  We started with lunch at the Rose Cafe in Venice and a wander along the boardwalk.  Saturday I was given tickets to go see a performance of A Mid Summer Night’s Dream in Costa Mesa that was scored by my pal John Ballinger.  We drove south along the Pacific Coast Highway through all the little coastal towns, including Palos Verdes which is incredibly beautiful and sports a feeling of the Mediterranean Coast.

We had a nice Lebanese lunch in Long Beach (Dr Seuss is taking over again!), took in the show and drove back, pausing for a rib & duck dinner on Sunset Blvd.  Sunday we wandered over to the Hollywood Farmers Market as Willard shares my passion for all things edible.  I introduced him to some of my favorite things including a spectacular hemp pesto that he may deny all knowledge of lest he be asked to share.

We had lunch at the Pasadena branch of a new favorite of mine called Senor Fish, home of the shrimp & scallop burrito.  Then off for a rapid tour of the Rose Bowl flea market and a stop at the Hollywood Forever cemetery where such luminaries as Douglas Fairbanks and not one but TWO of the Ramones are interred.  Here’s Will with Johnny:

That night we had a simple dinner at home cobbled together from the goods acquired at the market that morning – grilled bison tenderloin and spiny lobster.

Monday I dragged Willard to my boot camp (sorry, Will) where he performed well and upped my trainer’s opinion of Canadians as a group.  We skipped off to meet an old friend of Will’s from Guelph, Chuck Tatham, who is a writer on the sitcom “How I Met Your Mother” and also the unwitting victim of my next beg-for-work assault.  Chuck is a really nice guy and as an added bonus I ran into Becky, ex-pat Niagara Fallsian (?) and current VP of Film Music at Fox (and another intended victim of the beg-for-work assault) with whom I will be dining in the near future.  Here’s Will on set:

After marauding around Fox we took a drive through Franklin Canyon and went over to Burbank to watch a comedy show featuring another old friend of Will’s called Deven Greene who was performing with her husband.  The show was delightful and the headliner was hilarious.  I will not do her the discredit of repeating her act here, but rest assured I will steal the best bits for future missives.

Tuesday and Wednesday both Will and I were enrolled in the New Music Seminar at Universal City.  To be perfectly honest neither of us were holding out great hopes for the seminar.   I had only found out about it because I was sent a Groupon informing me of its existence.  We decided to go, especially as it provided a handy excuse for a tax write off, and we agreed that if it seemed lame we would ditch the seminar and find alternate entertainment.  So, all things being equal, it was excellent.  There was a wealth of information, fascinating speakers on a variety of topics, great Q&As, possibly the best seminar handbook I have ever come away with everything from sample contracts for the touring musician to a comprehensive contact list for all the experts (beg-for-work assaults #3 through #30 to commence shortly).  I loved it.  Moby was on one of the panels and yet again I was really impressed with his quiet wisdom.  He seems really grounded and extremely appreciative of the fact that luck has granted him the chance to live the life that he does as a successful artist.  If I can find the time I may be up for a casual stalk of him – I think we should be friends.  Having said that I think it would be wise for one or two of you to start cobbling some bail money together for my inevitable arrest should I decide to pursue this further.

We managed to punctuate our seminar days with a delightful dinner with Jessica Porter.  Needless to say she and Will got along like a house afire.  Wednesday night we had dinner at my humble abode and on Thursday I took Will to the airport to send him to the welcoming arms of Murray & Jill in Seattle, and to provide such a welcome to the lovely Jennifer Ward who arrived that night.

I think that may be enough for now.  I will pick up tomorrow with Jen & Jane’s excellent San Diego adventure – stay tuned!


Monday, February 14th, 2011

Riots in Egypt.  Melting polar ice caps.  Hive collapse.  The aftermath of the Haitian earthquakes.

These are the crises that plague our modern day world.  Then there is the crisis that I myself am more intimately familiar with – the Mid Life Crisis.

Chronologically I am pretty much bang on if I am ambitious enough to hit my late 80s.  And I have decided that I am going to make a spectacular old person, nattering endlessly on with stories of little interest to anyone but myself with no discernible beginning or end, starting every sentence with the phrase “Kid’s today! …” and foisting pictures of my cat on unsuspecting strangers.  Hell, I do half that stuff already.  But this mid life point certainly brings some interesting revelations.  I realized with some shock that I have spent well over half my life in the same job, and am concerned that I will pass gently through the latter half of my life with nary a ripple on the surface of the world.  And how does one combat such fears?  I have employed a raft of professionals to drop weights in my hands and chase me around a track,  drop colour on my hair and otherwise buff me into a reasonably taut version of my aged self.  I continue to (perhaps inappropriately) squeeze myself into clothes designed for someone who may in fact enjoy the musical stylings of a Justin Beiber over say, Trent Reznor.  I have taken a great leap and moved to a place where I know virtually no one in the hopes of introducing my version of the career on which I have toiled so diligently these past decades on a new and responsive audience.  And lest all else fails …

I bought the damned convertible.

Mid life crisis.  Mid life, certainly.  Crisis?  I am not sure.  Are they supposed to be this fun?

Vintage Clothing Show & Sale

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Santa Monica is a city on the westernmost edge of the city.  Of the country in fact – it borders on the Pacific Ocean.  It is a beautiful community that I like very much but it is a good 40 minute drive if the traffic is good so I don’t tend to make it out that way often.  Saturday due to some ridiculously unforeseen circumstances I was fully back and forth there on three occasions, the second of which took me to an excellent vintage clothing show and sale.  The show took place in a large community centre and there were vendors from all over the country.  

There were clothes, shoes, purses, jewelry and tchotchkes that spanned the past century or so.


There were a number of authentic and exquisite antique silk kimonos that I could not imagine where I would wear (though I did try).  I tried on a fabulous grey suit that I fantasized made me look a bit like Joan Crawford.  It then made me wonder if Joan Crawford was really who I aspired to look like after all.  I left it on the rack, though it was beautiful.  I spent a few hours there and managed to escape almost purchase free but at the last minute I dropped $5 on this needlepoint pillow which the vendor referred to as “The Cushion Of Laura Mars”.

I currently find it funny, but I believe there is some possibility this could morph into creepy on a dark and rainy night.

Today I am hoping to execute something my California friends assure me is not possible:  The Three Meeting Day.  I will let you know how it works out.

Oh Dear

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

I am 44 years old. Middle aged I suppose, but that is a term I am not fond up (despite its chronological accuracy).  I like to think of myself as fairly hip.  I have a cool job.  I have cool friends.  I never had kids.  I listen to loud music and dance around.  In the privacy of my own home and/or car I am one hell of a back up singer.  I eat healthy food and exercise regularly.  My outfits fluctuate madly from the garb typically found on a 15 year old boy of questionable intelligence to the skyscraper stiletto of Hollywood’s finest whores.  All depends on my mood, as often does my hair colour.

The other day I was in an excellent second hand clothing store on La Brea called Rag Tag.  I bought some old jeans which are enormous and supposed to be and I found this rocking Boy Scout shirt which pleased me to no end.

Today I wore it for the first time over a long sleeved white T-Shirt paired with slim jeans and Beatle boots.  I felt happy and funky and fun.

My travels took me to downtown Pasadena, a wealthy urban enclave and home to the Norton Simon museum.  I popped in to a very good tea store that I discovered some time ago to buy some loose leaf.  The staff were charming and helpful and as the 20 something hipster Asian boy was ringing me up he looked me up and down and asked in a sunny tone “So, are you a den mother or something?”

I may have to burn the shirt.