It wasn't my fault I was at Newport Beach's Gulfstream—formerly Cowboy, and the favored pickup joint for at least one guy whose opening gambit is (no shit!), "I own two companies."
No, I blame it all on tall drink of water Cher Greenleaf, who was taking some out-of-town marketing colleagues there for dinner. Of course, the second she told me where she was headed, I shamelessly asked if I could tag along. Still, it was definitely her idea.
So while Cher and her buddies talked Land Rovers over dinner, I sat at the bar to discover for you—you!—what the hell goes on in places like Gulfstream, which I believe is named after a trailer manufacturer, no?
Most of what I discovered, happily for me, is that the chopped-vegetable salad is a stunning mix of egg, corn, teardrop tomatoes, walnuts, oil bread and grapes. (We're allowed to eat grapes now, although Commie Mom insists that boycotts, like true love, never end.) And for $13, stunning it had better be. I also discovered that Newport types like to watch Tiger Woods on the teevee and that many of their conversations begin, "So I was at the Beverly Center . . ." Oh, wait! That was just my pal Cher mentioning she'd tried with fab results my tip of going to department-store makeup counters and getting the artistes behind them to freshen you up when you're running late (or haven't been home in a couple of days) and look like roadkill.
Speaking of roadkill, I have seen more dead cats, dogs and possum this week than I have in the past five years. Have you also?
Back to Gulfstream, where, if the company isn't scintillating, the bartenders are outstandingly professional and not so hip they can't be friendly. My dawdled-over martini was wordlessly transferred into a fresh, frozen glass before the bartender gently asked, "Would you like some more olives?" It may seem a small gesture, but had I had a few more in me, it might have brought me to tears.
By the way, don't drink and drive.
I have made a shocking discovery, thanks to Kitsch Bar's Jack Flynn, who thoughtfully sent me Jeff Buckley Live at Sin-E for Christmas. And that discovery is this: the late Jeff Buckley has been ripping off Fullerton's own pretty-songed music waif Jay Buchanan for years! From the yowls to the growls, the similarities are disgraceful, and Buchanan should sue just like Tom Waits did all those years ago when some radio ad used a voice impersonator. You know who won? Tom Waits did, that's who! So don't try to weasel out of it just because you're famous and Buchanan isn't, Buckley! Also, don't try to weasel out of it just because you're dead! Plagiarism is bad, Jeff Buckley. Just ask Stephen Ambrose! Or any of those guys at the Boston Globe! Bad, bad, bad.
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Oh, and by the way, Buchanan and his tall, handsome cohorts sounded really good at the Ruby Diver reunion show at Java Laneson Jan. 5. Oh, and Ruby Diver sounded real good, too, and singer Paula, fresh and tanned from her Hawaii home, was glamorous and lovely, and the crowd included everybody in the entire world.
Hey! Remember the Cult of Dumb promulgated by Forrest Gump? I'm not one of those dour, unpleasant folks who thought the loveable 'tard represented everything wrong with our stupid and stupider society. I found him quite nice, and ditto for The Waterboy, which (the careful reader will remember) made me cry three times. People can't help it if they're retarded, you know; what they can help is their manners, which I seem to remember some of those dour, Gump-hatin' folks lacking sorely. Nonetheless, Forrest did come along at a time (those go-go Clinton '90s) when the trailer-park wing of the Republican Party was busy a-shoutin' and a-hollerin' about all the voodoo going on in the heads of educated people as well as at godless colleges and universities, which, as you know, are chock-full of lesbianism and witches and miscegenation and no doubt Communism and Satanism, too. (Speaking of which, did you all read that a state prison in Wisconsin hired a Wiccan priestess as their full-time chaplain for $32,500 per year? People are pissed!) Anyway, at that time, smart people were regarded with as much warmth as people with eyeglasses were in Pol Pot's Cambodia, although at least here they got to keep their fingernails.
So I would have thought that now that the folks at the top are dim—and not over my dead body don't try to tell me they're not—yahoos would be more in vogue than ever. But auto the contrary! The movie theaters—and even, shockingly, the boob tube (though Freaks and Geeks did get canceled)—are full of the hijinks and exploits of people who know stuff! Lots of stuff! And this is presented as a good thing! Do yourself and Newport Beach's Edwards family a favor: go to your local googleplex and catch a double bill of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and The Royal Tenenbaums, two of the best movies ever. Oh, they're not playing as a double bill? Just pretend you're in junior high, and skulk in the bathrooms after one's finished and until the next one begins! Celebrate your inner geek—and don't try to tell me you're not!
Penny for your thoughts? CommieGirl99@hotmail.com.