Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Wally Langham

Patrick and I had breakfast at this little restaurant, Old Monterey Cafe - we go there every time we're out here. It's not as good as Tillie Gorts, but it's pretty darn good, and casual. The service is good, too.

After that, I spent the early afternoon at the movies... had considered seeing the new Capote movie but then they were also playing "Little Miss Sunshine," and I decided to see that. Plus, my cat-sitter recommended it, saying only that it was "my" kind of movie. Well, my cat-sitter knows me well, because damn right it was my kind of movie. The theater was pretty small, there were about 10 of us in there, and I knew, pretty much from when the teenage angst-ridden son set the bucket of Dinah's chicken onto the dining room table, that I loved this movie. I loved it. Steve Carell, Greg Kinnear, that aforementioned teenage son - loved it, loved it, loved it. I know I'm coming late to this party, and I'm sure better reviews have been written by better people, so I'm not even gonna try: I just loved it.

And the best part? Wally Langham was in it! I love that guy - back when I worked in Malibu at Crown, he used to come in every Tuesday night, usually with his kids. I think I kind of surprised him (but why should he have been surprised, I was working in a bookstore after all) because I recognized him from a movie he made a million years ago, The Chocolate War, based on one of my favorite books. I really looked forward to seeing him every Tuesday, and he was very nice and would talk to me. I didn't know he was going to show up in Little Miss Sunshine, so it was a total treat for me to see him.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Are these the feet of a librarian?

Strolling through downtown Monterey this morning, I was playing (by myself, which, incidentally, is not as much fun as it is when played with Patrick) Spot the Librarian... it's a bit like shooting fish in a bucket here, because I sense that the librarians outnumber the locals by at least 2:1. Anyway, I spotted this woman as I approached from the opposite direction, and at first I couldn't make up my mind if I liked these shoes at all. Then I considered the idea of her being a librarian. I dismissed that idea until, when I got closer, I spotted the fluorescent green bag she was carrying: this year's official Internet Librarian conference swag.

Now: these shoes are balanced upon the line between good taste and bad, but since I am wearing a polo shirt and cargo pants (and flip flops), and my hair is un-brushed (or was; I purchased a brush at Walgreen's) I don't get to opine on anyone else's style today.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Scarlet Lady Saloon

Last night I did two things I thought I'd never, ever do: I set foot in the Scarlet Lady Saloon, in Culver City.

After the show last night, David invited me and the other cast members to karaoke at the Scarlet Lady. He's been inviting me to karaoke for years and years, and I've been saying no for years and years. And then he started going to the Scarlet Lady, and I still said no, and added mocking.

I mean, the Scarlet Lady is in my own home town. It's in a little strip mall at Sepulveda and Sawtelle, two streets that supposedly run parallel (tell someone it's where "Sawtelle and Sepulveda meet" and they look at you funny), next door to the dry cleaner I used to go to when I lived in Culver City, next to the liquor store I used to stop at on my way home from elementary school (for gum and candy, you cynics), next to the fish store I used to buy my fish at (back when I had an aquarium). It shares a parking lot with my dad's barber shop. It's about six blocks away from my childhood home.

To go there would put me in the same class with the guys we used to see on our way to school in the morning - we started recognizing their cars, they were there so much, and so early. I mean wouldn't it? Anyway, eventually I got over myself, I guess, because last night I went.

There were probably about six people in there, mostly at the bar. Youngish people, with some olderish people, and one guy who was possibly sleeping. Another guy doing the crossword. Nobody scary looking. None of of the fathers of my friends from elementary school were there.

David let me pick his first song (unless he sang something before I got there), and he wanted some Led Zeppelin, so I picked Heartbreaker/Living Loving Maid for him. He got up there and turned it on: that guy can sing, which I knew, but it was so much fun watching him pump out this song in front of like seven slightly drunk people. It was my own personal rock concert. I drank a Corona, which I wasn't crazy about, and then our friend Paul joined us. Paul doesn't drink, but he had stopped at Winchell's and brought us a bag full of donut holes, decorated with Halloween colored sprinkles. Who knew that Corona and donut holes went together so well? Paul sang "Is She Really Going Out with Him," and he did a good job, in spite of not being very familiar with the middle. You know, the part that starts, "But if looks could kill..."

By this time I'd had two beers, and David and Paul started wondering when I was going to join in. I was pretty excited, actually: a tiny bit buzzed, there was no one there I felt the need to impress, and the woman running the karaoke machine was really nice and friendly... so I told David I'd do "Stop Dragging My Heart Around" but only if he'd do it as a duet with me.

David bought me another beer (this is two more beers than I intended to drink that night, but hey, they were Coronas), and when our names were called we got up and went to the mics. I was super nervous, but there was a point when I really started having fun. I think we were even sort of harmonizing on the endless "stop dragging my"s.

Well, he was.


Oh, god, I love this kitten.