American Girl

Photo by James BunoanYou know what they say: Wyoming is for lovers.

No? That's Virginia? Oh, that's right: Wyoming is for bigots. During my fabulous summer trek throughout the western United States and the tackier parts of Canada, I had not one but two epiphanies: border crossings are just plain no fun when your son tells U.S. Customs(smack in the middle of the nation's really quite impressive summer abductathon) that you aren't his mom, and Wyoming? Dick Cheney can keep it. He can Halliburton it up to his piggy little heart's content and create lots of jobs in ugly, ugly plants for the kind of people who don't like environmental regulations and do like cancer. Hell, we all need plastic. We might as well let Wyoming pick up the slack. What else has it done for us lately?

I'm home now (within an hour of my arrival, the Long Beach Police Department had itself a sassy li'l high-speed chase, with choppers, right down my residential street), and I missed you all terribly while I was gone. Or, more precisely, I considered missing you all terribly but then got distracted by the forest fires and heaps and heaps of shiny roadkill before I could follow through on the missing. Look, honey! Dead thing!

Which reminds me: I also listened to a lot of Dr. Laura.

Right about now, you're probably whining like a little bitch about how you don't care about my vacation and you just want to know what happened here, and where's a good place to get drunk, and when am I going to mention your name in bold-faced print. Well, okay then. Luckily, it was the kind of weekend that grabs you by the hair and slams your face into the table, where everybody in the whole world was every place I went, so even if I'm not “interesting” or “entertaining” or “awake,” there will at least be a lot of bold-faced names. Probably not yours, though. Bitch.

I began the weekend of this foreign thing called “work” Friday at the fabulous Lucky John's, where the daytime bartender was a lovely and friendly brunette, folks at the bar chatted amiably with strangers, every game in the world was being played on the bar TVs, and the Buds were cheap. Unfortunately, at least one young man in the place had more energy than seemed entirely organic, and I was soon off to the loungalicious Continental with Linda Lou Jemison (formerly of Linda's Doll Hut and currently booking afterparties at the Grove of Anaheimfor such acts as The Nuge). Linda and the boys of Wonderlove are fresh off a trip to Italy, where they stayed in a castle and presumably learned new lessons in love from a bunch of slippery wops. Hitting the Continental? Ask Jimmy the Bartenderfor the Key Lime martini. It's worth the trip.

From there, I abducted plump and lovely Miss Yvette (Amber Alert!), formerly of the Doll Hut, and whisked her off to the Shag opening at the Brea Gallery. It was a zoo, with hundreds of the artist's closest friends and stalkers crammed into the spacious space. Unfortunately, unlike a Shag canvas, there was no Esquivel, no one was swilling Perfect Manhattans, and it was sadly lacking in werewolves and anorectics. In bold: chic geek Paul Frank, tall drink of water Cher Greenleaf, King Kukulele, Bookman's Pauly With the Big Mustaches, and the Science Holiday Museum of Fun, who inform me that the party season is fast approaching. (A couple of years ago, when my New Year's resolution was to go to more parties—accomplished!—the museum took it as their holy personal mission to get me invited to intimate fetes for people like Throbbing Gristle's Genesis P-orridge. God bless the Science Holiday Museum of Fun!) Shag collector Ben Stiller was not in evidence, but that's okay as I am still reeling over The World's Most Beautiful Jew's abandoning our imaginary relationship for bershiksa Christine Taylor. Feh!

But the night wasn't over yet! No, ma'am! We hit the Doll Hut, where young couple Blue and Anthony, who bought the place from Linda and actually made it habitable, were hosting the musical stylings of Deke Dickerson. With the exception of Dave “The Chairman” Mau (a bail bondsman/photographer/barbecue artist), most of the old scene from Linda's hadn't been hanging out at the Hut so much since the ownership change, instead ceding it to the new generation of car clubbers and greasers in starched and ironed jeans. But on this night, the “in” crowd included Gary Gomez, the aforementioned Chairman, La Femme Cassandra, Bigfoot and some other people, too. Meanwhile, Blue (who was looking all foxy in jeans she's actually owned since junior high and still fits into, which is just sick) fetched gratis drinks for the old fogeys.

Saturday I stayed close to home, heading over to the LBC's diPiazza's for Wax Apples and Boobytrap, whose singer, Frankie, was celebrating a birthday by crooning Joan Jett's “Bad Reputation.” (As hard as I tried, I couldn't make out the word Frankie has tattooed low on her belly right over her puss.) I was starting to get wigged-out by all the bad-ass punk girls who looked at me like they were gonna beat me up, but then it turned out they were all in The Program, and people drinking Power-Ades hardly ever go all psycho and knock the shit out of others. Wax Apples, meanwhile, were outstanding. Beautiful blond backup singer Jamie Coakley (wife of scarily gorgeous singer Brian) was looking all pure and virginal and sounding like she should probably be taking a turn at the main mic. Men! Particularly charming this night were the Cadillac Tramps' Gabby and FedEx guy Fejj.

I was only stopping into the Que Sera Sunday to pick up a Weekly and find a place to go dancing (my lovely sister Sarah was not her usual sprinkle-of-pixie-dust self; she had suffered a heartbreak and needed a pick-me-up). But lo! We could journey off to the hazardous action at Live Bait, or we could stay at the Que, where happening hipsters were pouring through the doors. The boys of Brass Knuckle Voodoo were setting up (later, they would prove mesmerizing, as their go-go dancer twitched her ass adorably and unflaggingly and licked sweat from the singer's back throughout a long set; she should be made a full member of the band, with benefits, immediately), and then Ruby Diver's Handsome, Handsome Erik magically appeared, saying he had returned from his westside Santa Monica life to DJ good funk things come midnight. Long Beach seems to be returning to its juicy underground self following a fallow period where it might as well have been Huntington Beach, filled as it was with tattooed knuckleheads. People in bold: Wonderlovers Chris Pauland Maggie, Ruby Diver siren Paula, assorted groovy lawyers and young, hippy high school teachers, but not you. Freak.

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