Kayobi kindly picked us (The Troika) up at 6:00 and we sped off to the airport, going by the adage that you should arrive two hours early for a flight. I guess not many people fly on Fridays because we were checked in and through security in 10 minutes. That left us with quite a lot of time to kill. Ben found us after a while. Dom stayed put at the gate. I had a few drinks at the airport bar. Meep wasn’t feeling well, but eventually she got a beer which she couldn’t finish.
The flight was uneventful, unless you count Meep coming up with new nicknames for us. Danish, Spine and Chupacabra. I’ll leave you to guess who’s who.
Jacob picked us up and we crammed into his BMW. We got a little lost on the way to Inglewood where we were staying with Beth, an old friend of Dom’s. Beth was going out for the evening. We were too tired so we decided to tuck in for the night. Ben took the small couch, Meep, the large (not sure why) and Dom and I padded the hardwood floor with blankets. We met Beth’s sweet pit bull, Lizzie. She was uneasy at first (she’s not fond of guys), but eventually, she warmed up to all of us. We watched a little TV on Beth’s ridiculously huge wide screen HD and then tried to get some sleep. It wasn’t easy. There was a loud party going on till about 4 in the morning. On top of that, both Ben and Lizzie snore. It doesn’t help that Meep, Dom and I are 3 of the lightest sleepers in the world. In the middle of the night, Ben went upstairs to sleep in Beth’s empty bed (she invited us too), and I took Ben’s place on the couch. It was too late though. My back was already well and truly fucked from the hardwood floor. I don’t know how Dom did it.
We woke up around 8 because the rest of the apartment complex was also awake. We were meant to meet Mark at his house at 10, but Jacob was late picking us up and we also stopped to get breakfast. We got there at 10:30. Mark lives right around the corner from The Viper Room and the Whiskey A-Go-Go in a nice little two-story bungalow that was once inhabited by Tom Sizemore. It’s a very cute place, tastefully decorated and comes complete with a breakfast nook. We briefly met Mark’s wife who wasn’t feeling well and seemed a bit unhappy having 6 strangers in her house on a Saturday morning. Sorry! Mark took us on a pleasant walk around West Hollywood, showing us where Sal Mineo died, where Marilyn Monroe once lived with Sally Winters, where Betty Davis once lived, among others. I find it ridiculous how NOT conducive to walking L.A. is when everyone there is supposedly into health and fitness. We got so many weird looks walking around. Furthermore, the sidewalks barely fit two people across. This is reason number 6 why I’m not in a hurry to move to L.A. I hate spending all my time riding around in cars. It feels counterproductive. I don’t know why riding the bus doesn’t. I’m just more suited to public transport, I guess.
Anyway, after our walk, we went to a veggie friendly place called the Newsroom, where I had possible the BEST vegetarian chicken yet. They were little “chicken” drumsticks smothered in BBQ sauce, laying on a pile of creamy mashed potatoes. They even went so far as to put wooden sticks in the drumsticks for authenticity’s sake. Wonderful. Now if only they can make vegetarian southern-style fried chicken, and veggie battered shrimp, I’ll want for nothing in the meat world.
Next we went to Ralph’s to get a box of band-aids for Meep, who was suffering from blisters. Ben and Dom went back in to get a bottle of water, and the rest of us were treated to some A-Class people-watching. It’s AMAZING what people in L.A. wear to the grocery store. “This is my casual, domestic errand coteur”.
We still had a couple hours before we had to be anywhere, so we went to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery to check out the graves of the rich of famous. I was surprised how many plots were marked for people who hadn’t died yet. There were also a few tributes to people who weren’t actually buried there. One such tribute was to Joey Ramone. The statue’s base sported quotes from Eddie Vedder, Rob Zombie, Joey’s wife, Vincent Gallo and John Frusciante.
Mark took his leave of us, and we went to Raleigh Studios where they were holding the festival. It was kind of exciting having to sign in and get a pass to enter a studio lot. We walked past several trailers, and a miniature horse before finding the theatre where we saw a feature called “Death By Engagement”. It was produced by a friend of Dom’s. The theatre itself was VERY nice. Cushy seats with high backs, and a big, beautiful screen. I imagine this is where many an important director watches dailies.
After the movie, we met Heidi Martinuzzi, a prominent figure in the horror world. We had been in correspondence for some time but had never met. (She was responsible for setting up our first ever interview!) She gave Snow Day a good review and has been very helpful with promoting our film. She’s also honest and fun. I haven’t met that many “L.A. Types” yet, but something tells me. She’s atypical. She also reminded all of us a little of Ahe. We all went to get dinner at a Mexican place called Lucy’s after the movie. It was overpriced and mediocre. Also, when I ordered a Margarita, the waiter thought I wanted a plate of guacamole. What? We did spot Eva Mendes though. Why any self-respecting Latina would eat that crappy food, I have no idea.
Heidi and her friend Zach took their leave of us after dinner. Mark made several suggestions for bars to visit. We settled on a place called The Three of Clubs. He said it was quiet and had nice booths. He hadn’t been there in several years, however. When we arrived, we walked into a silent room that was also freezing cold. We make an awkward exit about 5 minutes later, and headed to The Abbey, back by Mark’s place. The Abbey is a HUUUUUUUUGE gay bar. The place is like a maze. It was really cool when we first got there. Plenty of seating, fun music, and heat lamps outside. As it started to fill up, however, it became unpleasant. It was impossible to get a drink if you didn’t have a penis. Meep and I were blatantly ignored at the bar. We were also cock-blocked by an inconsiderate couple who decided to stay at the bar and have their drinks after they ordered them. Hello! This is where people order. There weren’t even SEATS. Mark took his leave of us early and we were joined by The Brunswicks and Beth. Because it was so difficult to get served, it was about an hour between drinks for me. That kept me awake but also very sober.
Eventually, Roxy, Meep and I had to go to the bathroom. This is the first time I’ve ever been somewhere that the line for the men’s room was longer than the line for the women’s. However, BOTH lines were RIDICULOUSLY long. There were only two stalls and the line was barely moving. It took us about 45 minutes to get in there.
Meanwhile, Meep gave up and she and Ben took a cab back to Inglewood. The rest of us drove off in search of food, apart from Jacob who stayed on to wait for friends. I had barely touched my crappy Mexican food so I was pretty hungry. As we got into the Brunswick’s car, some meatheads who had just parked asked us where we’d been hanging out. I told them “The Abbey”. “The Abbey?,” they said. “Were there a lot of GAY people there?” Rocko, quick on his feet, responded “No, it’s great. You’ll love it.”
We attempted to eat at Pink’s, but the line was long. I guess it’s an L.A. tradition to wait in that line, but we weren’t in the mood, and Dom and I erroneously thought they didn’t have veggie dogs. Instead we went to Astro Burger which DID have veggie dogs. We stuffed our faces and then called it a night.
Once again, Jacob was late picking us up and once again we got lost. Lost in Beverly Hills. Cue the Fresh Prince theme song. Sorry, Mark, for being late BOTH times we were to meet you. Eventually, we found our way to (a different) Astro Burger for lunch. This place has a HUGE vegetarian menu!!! I will welcome my next trip to L.A. just to eat there again. I got a “ham” and egg sammy. Meep got a “rib” sammy. Their fries were also super delicious. I know I’m talking a lot about food, but it’s very difficult to get good fake meat in Seattle so it’s very exciting for me.
Anywhosel, off to Raleigh Studios again for our screening! We were one of 4 shorts that played, and the ONLY comedy. I kind of feel like they should have played ours last because right after the laugh riot that is Snow Day, they played a very long serious and arty “short”. It was very exciting to see our movie on that screen. It was also exciting to hear so many laughs. And in all the right places. Horror audiences get it, man. Awesome.
After the movie, we schmoozed in the parking lot. After roasting in the hot sun for a little while, Mark said goodbye to us. Thanks Mark, for spending so much time with us. I’m sorry your wife couldn’t join us.
Eventually, the party broke up. Meep, Ben and I still had some time before our flight so we went shopping. Meep and I dropped some cash at Golden Apple Comics. Then we got some Thai food.
The flight home was uneventful as well, apart from the fact that Ben saw someone he knew on the plane. We can’t go anywhere without him running into someone he knows. The man is famous already.
And thus, our trip to L.A. was at an end. But Dom’s was just beginning. I’m sure we’ll have to be going back to L.A. soon and often, but it was great to come back home to Seattle. Please, god, don’t make us move to L.A.