Thaifoon, Azteca, Fling

We were all very twee, the rich strangers and I, mixing uncomfortably at round tables in a back room at Morton's—The Steakhouse. We were shaking and stirring and learning the finer points of gin and twists from renowned mixologists Anistasia Miller and Jared Brown. Each table was gracefully set with saucers of mint and little cups of lemon rind and full, tantalizing bottles of scotch and bourbon and other good stuff, while Miller and Brown rattled off an enjoyably quippy how-to and told us little-known facts about bruising Bloody Marys. “Believe it or not,” Miller said triumphantly about one of the many drinks we were drinking, “you are now drinking an antioxidant!” An older woman caught her breath happily and said, low and loud, “Oh! I loooove it!”

The drinks, sad to say, were emphatically not good. The cloudy martini—with scotch subbing for vermouth—was good in theory but gagsome in practice. The mojitos—a Cuban rum drink that should be sweet like wine coolers (but for grown-ups instead of high school girls)—were sour with soda water. Soda water? Fuck that shit! Give me a Pabst Blue Ribbon!

Meanwhile, the peeps at our table were becoming less tight-lipped; our shared loathing for the experimental uses of scotch was forging a bond. Helping this along was David Heil of David Rickey Sport, the high-end men's clothiers; he was chatty and gregarious even if the women in his party remained properly aloof. Next to me were a fashion writer—making a comeback to reporting after a long stint in public relations—from the Valley and her quiet date. She chatted about her yoga class and the utter fabulousness of the pre-Oscar fashion suites at L'Hermitage and the gift bags one received from the grateful hairdressers and stylists there ensconced. Sassoon hair-care products! Le Sportsac sacks! I invited her and her escort to a fashion show to be held later that evening at the Shark Club. She looked dubious. “Is it a real fashion show?” she asked. “You know. With gift bags?” I assured her that it probably was not. But despite the gauche lack of bribes, the two were down.

In fact, we had been promised quite a number of bribes to get our asses to the Shark Club April 4 for the Bisou Bisou collection, as promoted by party people Grand Royale. “Do you want your own couch?” Jonah had asked me. “A red-velvet one down in front of the stage?” Um, yes? Sadly, it was not to be, as a group of squatters helmed by a snotty blond bitch point-blank refused to give it up. Fuckers.

I had read last year in the LA Times, during the fevered apex of the energy crisis, that the exorbitant expense of running the dyeing machines meant we were in for a lot of basic black, white and “camel.” And they were dead-on. There wasn't another hue to be found anywhere on the catwalk, except for the red bows in the blond mane of the sluttiest-looking model. Clearly the crowd favorite (though every other model was at least as pretty if not more so), she had a mean little face and eyes betraying not a hint of curiosity about the world around her, which of course is exactly what the people in the crowd appreciated most.

The black-and-white designs were appropriately slinky and looked well-made, with the exception of a white top with shoulder fringes that looked like a whale's baleen and couldn't have been any more 1987; it was screaming to be paired with acid-washed jeans and Ug boots. But every item in camel simply looked unfinished and washed-out. I guess that's why there's such a plethora of '70s peasant blouses on stylish young lasses right now; it's the only item out there that looks like it's supposed to be made out of oatmeal.

“I think you're going to meet a man,” Commie Momsaid cheerily. I explained that the event I was attending would be full of Newport guys and that I am sadly lacking in plastic surgery. “Yes, but you're kind of into that stuff,” she said, trying not to sound disapproving and mostly succeeding. “You got a facial. You go to a gym.”

Within three minutes of entering the shiny Thaifoon at Irvine Spectrum for a benefit for the Orangewood Palson April 3, I spotted Chantal, a pretty, personable young woman I'd met at the Emetophobicsconvention (she was at Thaifoon as a volunteer, which was far more than almost anyone else in the room had done, but she probably felt horribly underrich and -important); Lisa Calderon of Riviera, the magazine for the very, very rich; and Malcolm, a handsome but quiet mortgage banker I'd met some time ago at another one of those mixers where young moneyed people go to donate to charity and throw themselves a party for having done so. Malcolm introduced me to his brother, who was also handsome and much more cocksure and entitled. He sized me up. “I'm going to go over here and get a drink,” he said, and the two left. Oooh, sad me! On the upside, the food was fantastic, the drinks were free, and I ran into David Lansing from National Geographic Traveler, so I stayed until at least 8 p.m. before tearing out of there to meet a tattooed tuff at everybody's favorite Elvis bar, Garden Grove's Azteca. As usual, the house was friendly and amiable and the tunes were good, but Nick mentioned there was a cowboy filling in for Phil Shane at the Fling while Shane wows Las Vegas' Tropicana for the month of April. I wanted to see him.

Doug the Cowboy turned out to be tall and slender and wearing a Janet Jackson headset so he could roam unimpeded about the bordello-like Fling—you know, just like a real cowboy would! While there were nowhere near the hordes that show up to adore and venerate Shane, Doug's audience was appreciative, even when he forgot some of the words to “Satisfaction. We like Doug the Cowboy.

And we liked Repo: A Genetic Opera, as performed by a covey of “arteest” types up at Hollywood's Coconut Teaszeron April 5. Darren Smith, co-creator/keyboard player, is a Newport Beach real-estate attorney (!) who used to be in a band with smart guy (now NYU professor) Mark Dery. Even though our friend made us leave in the middle because he was having a bad night, it was a promising affair. The premise: in a Blade Runner-ish future, GeneCois repossessing the organs of people who can't pony up. It was all very bloody and gory. Parts dragged—particularly when Shiloh was all mopey because her mom died when she was a baby, but look! Here's her journal! Snooze!—but then there were good, wholly ridiculous parts involving a guy who looked like Bono, a beglittered black woman wailing like Tina Turner as the Acid Queen (but with a lot more opera in her) and a blond Asian strumpet who brought the hipster house down with her soprano-disco rendition of “Blame Not My Cheeks. They can't help it if they're so lovely and round and can't get no satisfaction.

Co**********@ho*****.com">Co**********@ho*****.com. Blame me.

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