By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Photo by Joseph CulticeWe were dreadfully bored at Costa Mesa's VegasFriday night. The music was awful—techno-y crap begrudgingly punctuated with very little Outkast and lots of arrhythmic epilepsy from your usual skinny blondes.
Luckily, I was there with the DA's henchman Susan Kang Schroeder; her pretty sister Laura; and her husband, GOP Svengali Mike Schroeder(who's ditched 15 years since shaving off the Stalin goatee), and if there's one thing Susan is (besides evil), it's fun! Also luckily, they were buying.
"I dare you to go ask that guy, 'If you're here, who's abusing the kids?'" Susan said, and when Susan says jump, I say, Um, okay. So I did, sashaying over and whispering the question provocatively in the guy's ear. "Uh, I don't have any children," answered the man rather gamely instead of saying, "Why are you such a hostile bitch?" which would have been the correct response. I reported back to my puppetmaster.
Susan was horrified—as horrified as if a poor child had asked her for alms instead of sucking it up and moving to Bangladesh like a poor child should. "I said, 'If you're here, who's amusing the king?' Because he looks like a jester in that shirt."
Oh, I get it! I'm a dick!
We had already dined at Tommy Bahama's, where, under the influence of a vodka tonic or two (plus my share of a couple of Benjies' worth of wine Susan ordered as if it were an extra basket of rolls), I had grandiosely flung about promises of off-the-record as though I were channeling Jean Pasco of the LA Times. While Susan unleashed her usual scowl and I was my natural adorable, sunny and charming self, we talked about terribly interesting things. I sure do wish I could tell you what those interesting things were.
If Ike Turner's here, who's abusing the kids? We thought about socking the man himself—not out of any personal animus, but just for the funny!—at the BMI Pop Awards at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Regent last week, but considering I had once broken a finger falling after one of the BMI shindigs, I didn't wish to follow it by breaking my pretty face. He looked like royalty in a shiny violet suit, and we were seated with Seether and the chick from Evanescence, of whom my (very-) preteen son at least has heard. And they were nice!
I was waiting out front for Suparna, the Rocket Scientist, when a rock band tumbled out of a limo. There they were, being all rock-band-y, when one said to another (who was bearded and clad in an ironic, slouchy suit), "Hey, you wanna take the limo driver's number?"
"Aw, I don't like to have anything in my pockets, man!" said the hairy one with such stoney poignance and drawling rock-band high-maintenance-ness, it was all I could do not to marry him. The band? Critical darlings Fountains of Wayne, who would go onstage not to play their infectious-as-syph hit "Stacy's Mom," but rather to cover some assy Beach Boys thing by honoree Brian Wilson. Wilson Phillips were onstage, too, unleashing harmonies I have a lot more tolerance for ever since the Dixie Chicks started doing them, too. What if you had a dad who never left his room? It was fun! But sad! We left the room.
My buddy Neal Pollack was in town again—this time for GQ instead of Vanity Fair, at the Standard instead of Maison 140, and writing about the Dodgers instead of "how to sell my screenplay on Vanity Fair's lousy dime."
I hate you, Neal Pollack, with the hate of a thousand white-hot suns or a really angry ferret. Baseball-game-going motherfucker.
I saddled up Cher one fine Thursday eve, and off we drove. Awaiting us at the Standard were Neal and his usual hangers-on, who were all terribly sweet and nice, but one of them did take us hostage with a 14-minute story while neglecting to add even the reach-around of any punch line at all. I will always be choked-up thinking about it. We slapped her down like Ike did Tina.
No, we didn't. She was nice.
At North, Cher threw a glass of water at me. At Bar Marmont, I fell on a dude. And on the 5, a mean bus-driving man ran us off the road when we were trying to merge, and we died.
Saturday was set aside for six hours' of baby shower featuring Jake and Miss Yvette, most famously of the Doll Hut. Two Jell-O shooters, two shots of a tasty gin, two beers and another Jell-O shooter later, we looked like everybody else at the party, which is to say, extremely fucked. Suparna was discussing aeronautics with some folks—at least 14 minutes, no punch line in sight—when I got into a more rewarding conversation. "Hey, did you get a nose job?" I kind of shouted at a friend of mine, since for the first time since I'd met her, I was looking directly up it. "Yeah, when I was 17," she kind of shouted back. Then she told the best story ever: while her nose was still in the cast, she went to Palm Springs and did a whole bunch of blow, and her nose swelled up and exploded! She blames her parents for letting her use their house.