Eat the Cheese!

Photo by Rebecca SchoenkopfThe guests at Friday's grand opening of Montage—the newest front in the thermo-nuclear war for the hearts and wallets of the whole world's elite—couldn't have been enjoying themselves any more decadently if they were sipping their champagne from the skulls of Ghanaian child slaves. Really! It was fun!

I was meandering about the ridiculously ginormous grounds when I wandered into the salon. "Do you want me to play with your hair?" a sharply dressed and groomed man asked me in a suave accent. Okay!

Julien gave me Texas-big hair (at my request; I'm sure he has much better taste than that) while he asked me what I thought of the resort developing itself all over the heretofore pristine Laguna bluffs. Umm, I was against it? Then we talked Iraq. Julien is an Iranian who had lived in Tehran while Saddam Hussein was bombing it. I won't rat him out here because the First Amendment applies only to government suppression and not to private employers, but he had surprisingly nuanced and far-seeing views about the situation while he teased my ends.

My hair puffed up like the socialites' lips, I found the lobby bar. Splayed about were retired tech playboy Dennis Morin(he who bored the famous Rock House out of Laguna granite) and people such as Orange County Business Journal publisher Richard Reissman and his hot blonde wife, who was very friendly and sure she knew me from her Pilates class at the Yoga Center. Hmmmm. No.

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Gallerist Peter Blake and his wife, Fetneh, were there amid preparations for the Peter Blake Gallery's 10-year anniversary (the anniversary show will feature Tony DeLap and Joe Goode), as was handsome, blond and flirty Victor the Russian, who's still trying to marry me for a green card. (By the end of the night, Victor the Russian would be leaving in the company of someone who assuredly could not sponsor him as a spouse under U.S. law.)

A large group of us headed over to the Rock House for an afterparty to sponge up Morin's wine (not Charles Shaw!) and luxuriate in his largesse. The place is an unbelievable chick magnet—all fluid curves and modern art and windows that open completely to reveal an entire wall that's nothing but air on the ocean, and the bedroom's even a dusty pink so women will want to stay in it. So when everyone emptied out all at once to go get French food, we wondered if Morin stayed contentedly behind for a reason. But we were hungry, so we didn't have time to check the bathrooms and closets to see if anyone else also didn't want French food. I guess it's none of our business anyway. Oh, who'm I kidding? Of course, it is!

We hit the spanking-new Mirabeau, where a friend has advertising trade. (This friend also has trade with The Four Seasons, and when he recently stayed—for free—at Paris' Hotel Georges Sinq on his way to his free trip to The Seychelles, they upgraded him—for free—to the presidential suite, where he then complained that he was lonely. In addition to this, he is The Devil.)

The salad was dressed only in lovely egg and bacon fat—it was fantastic—and I don't remember anything else we ate, except a tureen of rabbit, which was pat-like, and a cheese tray. I was all cheesed out.

* * *

Saturday at San Juan Capistrano's Swallow's Inn, we ran into a madding crowd that was half old-guy bikers, one-fifth a rugby team, 17 percent convicted felons, and the rest beeyootiful, warm ladies of every age and shape. The dance floor was British soccer hooliganism waiting to happen, as people two-stepped against the flow of the enthusiastic crowd (it's counterclockwise, folks!), but I didn't see a single fight, even though there were rugby players there. The band played Johnny Cash and "Sweet Home Alabama," three fun, gossiping girls were free with their tab, my friend didn't get killed by the drunk driver who hit her and ran on the way to the bar, and all was right with the world. Oh, except for the drunk driver's kids, who were in the car and probably had a real bad night after the heat found and arrested their daddy. Kids, I am really, really sorry.

* * *

I've been downright despondent over the lack of pudenda in the womyn-centric art shows going up around town. But Costa Mesa's The Camp rides to the rescue! A new DIY gallery opened on Feb. 20 in one of the new shopping center's unused storefronts, filled with fun artists unbowed by age and unburdened by too much education. At their silliest, they remind me of the first and worst opening I ever went to: "Gen Art," sponsored by Absolut at a chic SoHo gallery, when I was in college. That horrid display of hubris by a bunch of Vassar kids featured floor-to-ceiling pure black or pure white canvases and an ironing board with a flannel on it beneath a wall with dub tapes affixed to it, showing off their Grunge labels (Hole, "Olympia," etc.). The most vivid image at "Gen Art" was on the floor, where black-clad snobs (including the lovely and snide Elizabeth Wurtzel with a bunch of handsome Eurotrash) had set down the dregs of their Absolut cosmos and Absolut martinis on their way out of the party.

But at its best, the new gallery is frothy and grotesque (kind of like Elizabeth Wurtzel, actually), and there's nothing I like better than that. There's Monica Valencia's The Breasts of St. Eulalia—severed and served on a tray, by golly! And there's Bini's Aunt Flo, which features a lovely, Indonesian-style woman crouching happily over her menses. Fantastic! Even happier, it reminded me of The Onion's splendid story—only last week!—"Women Now Empowered By Everything a Woman Does." Verily and forsooth!

The gallery will have an opening every Thursday from 7 to 10 p.m. Go see the young people! Eat the cheese!

Love me!

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