I’m back. Yeah, I know I didn’t blog while I was in LA…sue me. The week was busy, went phenomenally well, and exceeded all expectations. Fortunately, I was raised to set the bar very low, so as long as I wasn’t mugged, shived or driven out of town on a rail my expectations would have been surpassed. But this week would have exceeded the expectations of even a normal person. So "thank you" to everyone I met who helped/encouraged/guided me, who passed on their now treasured business card, who allowed Flat Stanley onto your set, or who plied me with raw fish. You all know who you are. I adore you all. I have an extra kidney, type A+ blood and ¼ of a liver I’d happily donate to any one of you (I can’t vouch for the quality of the liver…thank you, Jim Beam). There won’t be any name dropping in this blog entry, 'cause that ain’t my style, but I met a few famous people during my stay. Sure, I could tell you how I sat so close to Seth MacFarlane that I could have pinched him, but that would sound dumb. Yeah, I could tell you about being next to Demi Lovato at the craft services table during the filming of her show, but then I’d just come off like an ass. (And I’d be required to admit that I had no idea who the hell Demi Lovato was until 20 minutes earlier). Actually both people were very nice and rather unassuming. I was really more excited about meeting the people who write for these "celebrities." And I met some awesome writers this week who were incredibly friendly and helpful. So thanks guys. You know who you are. See the above referenced donatables. They’re yours.
A lot has changed since the last time I was in LA. The Farmers Market on Fairfax is the same, but is now surrounded by an enormous upscale mall, and the price of everything in the market basically doubled. The last time I was at the Farmer’s Market, I discovered fish tacos. This time I discovered scarves. I also discovered that my junior relatives aren’t kids anymore! My nephew who I once bathed in the sink is now way taller than me, with a deep voice, Jonas Brother face and exceedingly hairy legs. And he now refuses to bathe in the sink. The other nephew who once crammed a peanut butter sandwich into the family VCR is now waiting to start college next semester and has replaced his love of peanut butter sandwiches with taquitos (which could also fit into a VCR, if they still even exist). And my niece, the “baby” of the California faction, is in middle school and every bit the actress and honor student. Their parents and I haven’t aged a bit, however. Funny how that happened.
I saw a lot of the expected while in LA…the older Beverly Hills women with faces pulled so taut that their ears now flap when they blink; the younger women with bejeweled “dogs” the size of kittens in their purses, sharing non-fat soy milk “ice cream” cones the pooches lick-for-lick; the script writers doing revisions in the corner coffee shop so everyone can see what they do for a living, while three models pick bits off a shared bagel with their manicured talons and complain how fat they are now that they're no longer size double-0; hipsters lined up outside clubs on Sunset, not wearing enough for the chilly night air and pretending that they’re dancing about when they’re actually shivering in their tube top and skinny jeans; and the men in their Bentleys with women that look like their granddaughters but are actually their third wife (the trophy wife having aged out at 40).
But I also saw a lot of the unexpected: The high powered suit who didn’t have to give me the time of day but willingly gave advice, encouragement and contact information; the two friends who went WAY above and beyond for me; the friend who surprised me; complete strangers quickly becoming good friends; and a lot of helpfulness in a town where I had been warned to “trust no one.” Of course, I may get hugely bitten in the ass somewhere down the line, but my ass is big enough to take a chomp. So thank you LA peeps. Your advice hasn’t fallen on deaf ears and your kindnesses will be returned. While your traffic may be deplorable, your gasoline overpriced, and your airport a royal pain in the ass…your sushi more than makes up for it. Until we meet again in February…later, dudes. Rock on. (And Dear, thanks for handling the kids solo for an entire seven days. The house looked awesome, the fish weren't dead and the boys had a great time. Now...about Los Angeles...)