Sunday, April 23, 2006

An L.A. Weekend

So, Friday night, after work, Carl and I are to have dinner with my mother, father, stepmother, sister, her new husband and her husband's Israeli father and stepmother. Ah, yeah. So, I pick up my mother, get to Choclat (formerly Moustache Cafe, but with, strangely, almost the exact same menu as before -- though, the inside has been gussied up) and head directly to the bar for fortifications. Jennifer (sis) and Joel (brother-in-law) arrive next (having traveled down from SF) and we hug and make awkward small talk.

Joel's parents arrive followed by Carl, who gulps from my wine glass, also needing fortification. He suggests he should have brought a xanax for us both to split. A good idea to remember for next time.

We move to sit and 3 table squashed together near the kitchen door. Taking a page out of my mom's playbook, I insist they move us over at least one table away from the swinging kitchen door. They accommodate and I request another fortification.

Dinner is fine, company is nice and we all go our separate merry ways, happy to have accomplished another gathering without all-out warfare.

Saturday morning, I drag myself up and out to visit my mom's mom, Nana Dorothy. She's in an assisted living house in Moorpark, about 40 miles north of my home. I stop and pick up a few cand bars and a bag of lifesavers -- as they're almost the only thing she lives for. I arrive and she tells me that she wants to die. Ok.

I don't blame her. She's in a lot of pain and doesn't have much to live for. I tell her that I hope she gets out of pain soon and finds peace. We talk for a few minutes, reminisce a tad and then I'm off to my Great Uncle Jack's birthday in Westlake, being held at some Italian restaurant hidden around a fake lake, next to a boat club and mall. I find the location, but not the restaurant, so I convince myself that I'm in the wrong location and drive around Westlake for 30 minutes til my sister finally calls me and gives me directions. I had called several people, but no one saw fit to answer their phones.

I arrive amid speeches and toasts and the such. I request fortification. And then the barber shop quartet singing begins. It's sweet, a nice throwback, and we all sing TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME (my Uncle Jack has had season tix to the Dodgers since they moved to LA). Oh, and some wellspoken yet seemingly pompous State Senator spoke and offer Uncle Jack a proclamation from the state. A very nice afternoon was had.

After the celebration, I came home and soundly napped. Next, it was off to a rooftop fundraiser in West Hollywood for a friend of a friend who's riding in the AIDS Ride. Steve and I chatted amiably with new-found 40-year old lesbian screenwriter and her friend, a nurse. And, then for entertainment, 6 traditional mexican dancers took the stage (or the roof, i guess) and danced a series of traditional mexican dances, culminating with the famous "hat dance."

It was fun and kitschy and little weird. Downtown glittered behind us and the Century City towers glittered behind the dancers.

From strangely formed families previously thought inconceivable to nanas with a deathwish to barber shop quartets and state proclamations to traditional mexican dancers at rooftop AIDS fundraiser parties, I gotta say: I love LA.

This afternoon, I'm off to the one year anniversary of Fuel. But first, I'm desperate for a constitional and a large coffee. I'm pooped.

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