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
When Phil Angelides' gubernatorial campaign staff kicked me out of his fundraiser at Scott's Seafood a Thursday or two ago, I wasn't completely thrilled with them. In fact, calls were made, and people were yelled at, and bitching, it did ensue.
Oh, the one lady was nice: she may not have meant it but at least she made the right insincere noises about being sorry that I was ass-over-tea-kettle at the no-press 'do. The other lady just kept staring down at me from some great height (I'd estimate about five-foot-10) and saying, "This is a private event. You have to go. Now."
I tried to explain: Nov. 7 was three and a half weeks out and Angelides couldn't get media and was 17 points down, and I had given the state treasurer better coverage than any other columnist in the state in his campaign against Arnold Schwarzenegger! Help me help you help me!
Then I got home and looked up my old columns, like the one about the leaked Schwarzenegger "hot-Latin" tapes, and how I'd called Angelides "howlingly stupid," and like a "prissy schoolmarm," and I thought to myself, it's possible there's someone in the state who's given Angelides better coverage than I have, and who exactly did I think I was again?
Luckily, Angelides himself was there to tell me who I was when I crashed the Central Labor Council's Solidarity Leadership Awards Dinner on Saturday night (because who wouldn't spend their Saturdays figuring out ways to crash the Central Labor Council's banquet?). Frank Barbaro, the head of the OC Dems who had tried to talk Angelides' dastardly staffers into letting me stay at the Scott's event, came up. "Come on and get a one-on-one with Phil," he said. "Fuck that!" I explained. "What?" asked he. "I mean, 'Okay,'" I amended.
I introduced myself: Rebecca Schoenkopf, OC Weekly, smile smile blah blah blah. "Seriously? Commie Girl?" Angelides enthused (take that, Gustavo!), and I looked with suspicion at Barbaro, who shrugged and shook his head. Wasn't him!
Then Angelides explained to his communication director, who was looking pretty sour probably due to my bosoms flopping out of my tiger-striped velour floor-length gown (because who wouldn't wear a boobs-a-poppin' tiger skin to the Central Labor Council banquet?), that I was his daughters' favorite columnist, and I had given him better coverage than any other columnist in the state (he clearly hadn't read the prissy schoolmarm one), and then he quoted back to me from a column from July. "Remember that one when you were on vacation?" he asked.
In fact, I did!
"Where were you, Oakhurst?"
In fact, I was!
Which was where a middle-aged man in a minivan yelled at me for my Angelides bumper sticker—a middle-aged man who told me Angelides is a communist.
"Perfect," I said, "because I am too!"
He told me to "go back to Germany" and then scurried off like the rat he is when faced with a towering woman of five-foot-two actually asking him, with an insincere smile, to repeat himself.
Anyway, I bitched to Angelides about the Scott's Seafood fiasco, and he was horrified—"You couldn't get in?" he asked—but not as horrified as his communications lady.
It really was a ridiculous gown, just the way I like them.
* * *
Do you see this picture? This is from the Best of OC party at the Orange County Museum of Art last Thursday. It was fun, but not at first, as I told the door girl my name four times and then she said, "Could it be under another name?" and I explained that I'm a goddamn senior editor at OC Weekly and I listened as a woman right behind me told her date, "Gustavo Arellano is brilliant," and then went on and on about his Master's from UCLA.
I hated that party, and Budweiser Select (the only drink you could get with the free drink tickets) is gross.
Granted, I didn't RSVP.
Then one of our interns bought me a proper drink, and then someone else did too, and then the party didn't suck anymore at all despite that lady at the door (both ladies), and we stayed and danced until it ended (actually, until the DJ started playing house, or trance, or trouse), at which time I took a bunch of Young Democrats (and Moxley) over to the Fling and we drank some more and danced to the good bluesy rock cover band (whose name I never remember but they're not Eddie Day) and shouted along to Steve Miller Band songs with only three other tables in the place, one of which held some Tiki Tones, and life was sweet, or at least better than it had been.
* * *
What better way is there to spend a Friday afternoon than lunching at JJ Jauregui's Mexican Elvis restaurant, Azteca, and then meandering three stores down to watch through the glass storefront as the Department of Justice raids Republican congressional candidate Tan Nguyen's office? To get any better, you pretty much would have needed some hookers and crack.
We'd shown up en masse for his press conference, but as everyone by now knows, there was no press conference because some hot guys in DOJ Police jackets were busy bagging and tagging all poor Tan Nguyen's things. It even beat out the arrest we were expecting. Why? Because it was an arrest we were expecting, like I just said!
I flitted about and introduced people as if we all were at one of my cocktail parties, which is pretty much how I like to live my life. "Matt Cunningham of OC Blog, do you know OC Dem Executive Director Mike Levin?" I asked. (It's Levin, not Lawson, as I mistagged him in a recent column. But I introduced Matt to Mike Lawson as well.) "Have you met Frank Barbaro? And have you met our editor, Will Swaim? Will, this is Jubal."
Hands were graciously shaken and nobody fought—except an old white lady and an old white man. At first, with his Mexican flag and his sign touting open borders, I thought he was a Minuteman plant. But when the old white lady kept grabbing his flag and he kept threatening to have her charged with assault, I just got confused. Then, when I recognized his compadre as local commie activist Jay Funsch (not Jeff Funsch, as I mistagged him, too, recently—and maybe I should lay off the sauce at least when I'm on deadline), I realized there is in fact an old white man in Orange County who goes around waving Mexican flags and means it.
* * *
You know what would be hilarious? If my friend Paul Lucas (for whom I'm an unpaid consultant, unless your country's currency, like mine, is based on the cocktail) actually beats Van Tran in the 68th Assembly District. (I call dibs on press liaison!)
It could happen, I explained to Paul at his Friday night fundraiser—before I ditched his ass without a goodbye to hear the dueling pianos at the Rockin Taco—even in a district that's got 50 percent more Republicans than Dems, because of all the racist white people not knowing the difference between Van and Tan.
"Make racism," I told him, "work for you!"
And then I laughed and laughed because I totally meant it.