Life as a glamorous superstar and role model to the kiddies sometimes weighs on the soul. I bravely try to shoulder the demands on my affection that you, my public, wage with your continuous stream of love letters, but the strain of celebrity-oh! How it wears! Right now, for instance, as I wait for my best friend, Greg the Fireman, to bring me a fancy coffee and spackle some nail holes and wash my dishes, I have nothing to do but sit here and sigh, my large, expressive eyes bright as diamonds with their unshed tears. The butterflies in the field outside my window? They mock me with their fluttering freedom. And the churning ocean, which I can also see from my vintage 1920s, two-bedroom house that has a guest house and a big yard with a Mexican hammock? It is wintry cold, my friends-as cold as this tear-strewn life. For you do not see the true me, the me who weeps the tears of a clown; you see but a glittering emerald of your own making, and inside, I am as friendless as jailbird/drug dealer/socialite Tina Schafnitz and as tattered as Grizabella, the erstwhile "glamour cat." My memories are all that are left to me now.
So I took a couple of kilos of coke and a handgun and tried to sell the blow to some undercover cops, but they wouldn't bite. I can't even get arrested in this town! But I'd like to take a lesson from jailbird/actor Christian Slater, who in a dreary interview in this month's Rolling Stone actually takes a moment to hug his inner child. No, on second thought, I can only gaze in befuddled awe at a man in his 20s who's hugging his inner child in front of someone with a tape recorder. I'm sorry you're an alcoholic, dear, but do I really need to read that you're "taking ownership" of the date-punching incident? Well, yes, actually, I do. Had the interview only been interesting, I would have found it fascinating.
I don't find Slater nearly as fascinating as I find Arianna Huffington, though. The "compassionate conservative" with the marvelous accent-and you know it's only a matter of time before she pulls a Zsa Zsa and slaps a cop and ends up in jailbird grays herself-attended the 20th anniversary party for our sister paper, the LA Weekly, and we all scrambled through the 1,200 guests, trying to find her. Ben Stiller? Janeane Garofalo? Bill Maher? Who cares? The eloquent, very smart Mistress of Evil (and former Mrs. Michael) was in the house! We never did find her or anyone else famous (we would have settled for Mr. Belvedere, really)-try though we did to scan the room over people's shoulders as we talked to them, waiting for someone more important to pass by. It's our national pastime, and we'll brook no discussion of how "rude" it is. What? We're supposed to not look for more important people passing by just because we momentarily got trapped chatting with some sad commoner? I'm sure!
The evening was lovely despite the masses of unwashed unfamous; only our girl Arrissia Owen was bummed: the only people who chatted her up were a couple of millionaires, and she's pretty sure they don't snowboard. Poor little thing! She's very particular. The rest of us were quite pleased: the Hollywood Entertainment Museum, which hosted the fete, houses the actual set from Cheers, where everybody knows your name, and they were doling out drinks from behind the bar that Woody Harrelson once drooled on.
The grand opening of GameWorks at Orange's new supermall The Block had more than its share of celebrities whose names no one is quite sure of. There was the kid from Jerry Maguire (which could have been an okay movie if they hadn't spent so much time gazing at one another like starving Ethiopians in a Save the Children commercial), Fran's schlubby ex-husband from Mad About You, and Angie Everhart. Okay, so I know Everhart's name-because they announced it.
Now, I'm not a very good reporter: I don't like to accost people and ask them stupid questions. It just puts one on the level of supplicant, and damn it, I've got my pride! So rather than try like a big jerk to interview Shaquille O'Neal (who once bought my little brother Cake a Whopper when my little brother, who was standing behind him in line at Burger King, asked him: "Hey, Shaq! Wanna buy me a Whopper?" Damn, I love my brother!), I interviewed my buddy (and former Weekly intern) Chris Baiocchi, who was there representin' for the Orange County Business Journal.
OC Weekly: Hey, Chris! How you doin', honey?
Chris Baiocchi: Hey, great, Becca! How are you?
Fine! Is this your girlfriend?
Yes, this is Jennifer. Jennifer, this is Rebecca. I used to work with her at the Weekly.
Nice to meet you!
All the games and drinks were free, and Smashmouthplayed a fun set that included their groovalicious "Walking on the Sun" and a bubbly version of "Jump Around!" We wondered momentarily what The Offspring would make of cute white boys covering a black-sounding song by another bunch of cute white boys, but then decided not to let them ruin our fun when they weren't even there, for God's sake, and anyway, what the hell is "one-eyed pizza"?
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We sped from there to Linda's Doll Hut to catch Clowns for Progress-a New York outfit whose drummer tended bar across the street from my apartment in the East Village. And as much as I dislike him (though I'll spare you why, seeing as it might be libelous), his band was actually really good: poppy and tight and loud and funny, even though they no longer wear clown makeup (probably so they won't be confused with Insane Clown Posse).
No one at the Huntington Beach Art Center's (HBAC) masked ball was in clown makeup-though director of operations Randy Pesqueira was wearing a King Kong-sized crown. But it was HBAC director Naida Osline who stole the evening, looking absolutely royal in a gray-silk gown and beaded headpiece. I once spilled a glass of red wine on Osline, and as I was handing her a napkin to sop it up, I upended an entire bottle of Hooch on her. She looked so pretty this time that I promised not to come within 10 feet of her. I think she felt better after that.
I didn't steal the evening at the Vans Skatepark opening at the Block-I missed it. What kind of gala skate-park opening closes at 10 p.m.? But while I was nosing around outside looking for Arrissia (on top of being my friend, she also covers board sports!), some cute old man-he's 36, I believe-started gesturing at me to come talk to him. I refrained from screaming that I'm not a fucking dog who comes when she's called, as I usually do; instead, I held my ground and gestured right back at him. He wouldn't budge, either, but we finally agreed to meet in the middle. That I can handle. Seems his name is Dave Hackett; he's some kind of old-school pro skater guy, and he's a graphic artist. So Hackett is going to design Commie Girl: The T-Shirt for me-if I go out with him. Hmmm . . . okay! And just as soon as all that happens, watch for the Commie Girl Complete Line of Consumer Goods and Stuff Global Empire.
And while you're watching for that, keep an eye out for The Skeletones' "Every Time You Go Away" on MTV. A hideously long shoot (I brought along three kids, and no, I don't know what I was thinking) at the trs-cool Gargoyle Studios in Santa Ana yielded what should prove to be a pretty cool tape. And hotshot video director Billy Henderson, formerly of the stripe-wearing, frosted-hair band Question 16, says it could be airing within the month. Whether it does or doesn't, I don't believe I've ever met nicer rock stars and rock-star girlfriends than at the shoot, so why not go to their shows? Of course, that'll probably all change once they're celebrities: there's no rest for the wicked.