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Meet Chad Allen: Check.
Dance with Tori Spelling: Check.
Pray with Tori Spelling, who has just been anointed some kind of reverend or something: Check.
Drink something pink: Double check.
Say "Holy shit, was that Barney Frank?": Check.
Gaze just a moment too long at Wilson Cruz's ass: Check and check.
Flirt with Suzanne Westenhoefer: Check.
Momentarily forget where I am and wonder why none of the guys are hitting on me: Check.
Watch some pretty girl dance, wish I was a pretty, normal girl like that, then suddenly realize she's transgender too, just way better at it. Check.
Fuck up my "bad" eardrum by getting too close to the speaker, re-re-re-rendering me unable to hear on that side, except for a constant, maddening RINGGGGG noise: sadly, Check.
Hug all my gay male friends, then suddenly realize that somewhere along the way I've become Grace from "Will and Grace" only fatter and funnier and with actual boobs: Check.
See a really enjoyable movie at a really cool theatre: Check.

Bonus Round: Drive past the site of my very first paid employment, the McDonald's store my Uncle used to own at 330 S. Broadway: Check.

Thanks to a lifesaving tip from [livejournal.com profile] e_ticket I got a cute haircut immediately before the event. I woke up this morning and had this uncontrollable urge to lop off six inches. Jesus, what is it with me?

I love getting this note at 4:30pm: "oh, by the way, we're filming you tomorrow at 11 before the rehearsal so please have a presentation ready." Totally out of the blue. So I will be writing and rehearsing a brief introductory monologue in the next...oh, say, all night. And showing up camera ready. Could we fold a few more hours into the morning so I can sleep off the party first? No? No intradimensional temporal beds handy? Hm. Pish.

I found out this morning that they had lined up Mink Stole to play my grandmother. Er, Kit's grandmother. But they decided to cut the scene for time. I found out those two things in the same sentence. Verily, Hollywood giveth, and Hollywood taketh away. When I go to direct the feature, though, you can bet I'll be giving Ms. Stole a call.

I have to sleep. I didn't drink much, but I feel a kind of queasy euphoria about all this that I have no idea what to do with. Scary. Fun, but scary. Honestly, just between you and me, I looked out at this sea of stylish hipster fame and wonderful festive debauchery all around me, the swirling lights and bartender-models and giveaway-Mercedes and thought--"jeez, you know, I'm just this geeky girl from the trailer park across from the racetrack, I got this outfit from the Salvation Army, are you people sure you wanna let me in here?" For some reason they did. One thing about my life, it's always full of surprises. I wonder where we're going next.
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I am at Casa De [livejournal.com profile] explosivo in the glorious Hollywoodish Hills. Having truly wonderful time.

[livejournal.com profile] meryncadell, Marc and I went to dinner at the amazing Gardens Of Taxco, where my dinner tasted like it was boooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrn in the sauce. Incredible atmosphere, red leather booths and low light, the look of an authentic LA-via-Mexico City dive, trapped in amber, forever 1975. No menus. The waiter recited the entire menu from memory, selling it with an almost Atene-worthy Castilian enthuthiathm. Later I was serenaded with a tender, intimate version of "Besame Mucho". I'm sure I was beet red, but in that light, who could tell? Lovely conversation ensued.

LA is especially beautiful at Christmas. There's the hint of a halo on every faded starlet's eyes, and a little of the golden age returns to haunt the living like so much dime store ghost. Driving down from the hills, the giant Christmas lights on top of the Capitol tower almost made me cry, even as the hollowed-out husk of Tower Records lays broken and dying on the Sunset Strip. All the young hipsters are orphaned Vogue models dying of starvation both actual and emotional, shopfront marionettes desperate to be made real by fame, and every schizophrenic Hollywood crosswalk is a runway in Milan. The beauty and desperation are palpable (for a price). But if you stand well back, and open your eyes, there are truths here you can't find anywhere else, a sad and indomitable beauty that time and fashion can't kill. There's Heaven in a wild flower, sure. But for me, my heart still sings everytime I see the neon glow of the Roosevelt Hotel. For all its casual cruelties, I still love LA.

I was having a good conversation with the Bee earlier today, and another good one with my friend Jill on the drive up, and chatting with Meryn and Marc over dinner. And a lot of those conversations had to do with how I feel fundamentally different than I've ever felt before. How I've gained a new appreciation for loss and pain and suffering. Been changed by it, transformed by it. I'm unemployed, my marriage is over, there's no money in the bank and I don't know where I'm going to live in two months. And I have never, ever been more excited to be alive, more hopeful and open to what the future brings, more in command of the gifts the creator gave me. I've never been more whole and complete and present in my own life than I am right now. And I'm so grateful for that.

Sitting here looking out at those LA lights, after a great meal with friends, feeling strangely young and new and full of hope and promise and energy and creativity again, I am so glad to be alive, so glad I made it through all those horrible dark nights in my teens and twenties (and okay, a few in my thirties) when I couldn't bear the pain of where I was, and couldn't see any way forward, and extinguishing myself seemed like the only way to stop the hurt. I'm so glad I fought through it, glad I made it to these exciting and terrifying and amazing new days.

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badatapologies

August 2009

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