Monday, December 08, 2008

California: The Rest of the Rest, Minus Michael Cera

I think the timing is just about right to finish up my grand California vacation wrap up: it's cold, dreary, dark, snowy, and frozen here in Toronto and I think we all (mostly me, probably) could use a little written sunshine.

So, drop the parka, spit out your hot chocolate, close your eyes, and picture yourself in a studio on the Culver City lot, about to see a taping of The Bonnie Hunt Show. And wouldn't you know it, but I end up sitting beside another Canadian! And for those who have never travelled internationally with me, as soon as I leave the country I become obsessed with being Canadian and try to work my quirky foreigness into every conversation I have. Obviously this strategy was slightly thwarted with my new friend.... until I realized we could team up and be doubly-Canadian/interesting together. So when the warm up dude asked if anyone had travelled for the show I of course shot my hand up right away and proclaimed proudly that I was from Toronto, knowing full well that I probably was from the farthest away and thus 10 times more interesting than everyone else. Things were going great for a while, until I dared to mention gay marriage into the microphone (well, the warm up dude asked me what the differences were between Canada and the US and with it being the day after the election I couldn't help myself but to mention it... And don't worry, my other answer was poutine. I know my priorities!) and he quickly lost interest in me. I mean, we're so open with stuff like that here, I didn't realize it would be taboo... Though, I probably should have guessed given the overwhelming abundance of white hair in the audience.

Anyways... The show itself was funny and - dare I say it - way more interesting than Ellen! The best parts were when Bonnie interacted with the audience. She is a freaking riot and so witty. And watching her try to sing and keep screwing up a song for like 1/2 an hour was definitely the highlight of the whole experience (she does have a lovely singing voice, by the way... the band just kept throwing her off). And, unlike some other hosts coughEllencough, she came out to the audience and thanked us all and took pictures with us post-show.

Behold, continuing the tradition of awful faces I make in pictures with celebrities, my photo with Bonnie Hunt!


I feel slightly less bad because she also looks a little off.

Oh, also interesting was that after all the Canadian stuff, it turns out that my new friend Michelle was from, of all the places in the world, SUDBURY! How crazy is it that two former Sudburians ended up in the same audience at a Bonnie Hunt show in LA??! And yes, the first thing I asked her (after how she is able to legally live in LA, which is the same question I ask every Canadian living in the US. Yes, I am desperate for a work visa....) was which high school she went to. Answer, Lasalle. (We didn't speak much after I found this out. Cough.)



Continuing with the fabulous comedy-themed day, I hit up a show at the Laugh Factory, which lucky for me just happens to be down the road from my cousin's place. Jon Lovitz was headlining a show, and we all know I'm a sucker for the Jewish folk so I had to hit it up. The Laugh Factory is also home to the infamous Kramer racism rant, so I was eager to check a notorious piece of pop culture. Sure enough, Jon actualy referenced the incident in his bit, after he noticed that someone was videoing his set. Things got really awkward for me when they girl proudly told him in response to his asking her to turn the camera off "But I'm from Montreal, I came all the way here to see you!" This was one instance where I told no one I was Canadian and tried to look like I fit in by drinking my watered-down Bud and looking like I was loving it.

As a bonus to the legend that is Lovitz, I also got to see Ashley Hamilton bomb as the emcee (just FYI, jokes about your brain injury and how orange your dad is aren't funny, dude...) and - wait for it - James motherfucking Van Der Beek! I guess Dawson likes him some random Wednesday night comedy and he showed up with his really really exuberant wife for the set. She kept laughing EXTRA loud during the show and clapping really loudly, even when no claps were necessary. I have a feeling that she really really likes being Mrs. Dawson's Creek and likes everyone to notice her. I actually made eye contact with the 'Beek during the show and didn't recognize him at first. His creepy "I'm a celebrity, please recognize me" stare tipped me off though so by the time the show as done I had put two and two togeths. FYI - he has a lot of facial hair now (I assume this is a rebellion against playing a teenager for half of his 30s).



Okay so on to Thursday! I lazed around during the day (and by lazed around I mean went on a mini-shopping spree at Target!) and then headed back over to Hollywood Boulevard and hit up a couple of shows at the iOWest. I also got to try out valet parking for the first time in my life ever! So that combined with the Purple Haze beer I was talked into ordering combined with some of the most mind-blowingly amazing improv I've ever seen made for a pretty motherfucking monumental night, let me tell you. So the first set was a rep group, and they were pretty funny - they did this bit centered around a hobo and let me tell you, nothing much is funnier than a hobo who'll blow a dude for a can of beans teaching kids at a Catholic school about sex. If that doesn't say game of the scene, I don't know what does.

But the second show, oh the second show... it was a thing of beauty, quite unlike any other thing I've seen before in my life. Dasariski may be awkward to say, but trust me when I say it's funny as shit to watch! It was basically three dudes on stage for 45 minutes straight, riffing off of one suggestion and creating some of the most detailed, thoughtful, and fucking hilarious shit I have ever seen on stage. Gushing? Why yes, but most deservedly. I dare you to go up onstage and do what those dudes did with the suggestion "The Dance of the Midnight Swan". It totally made me want to step up my improv game (how making up scenes about my jugs was supposed to accomplish this, I know not... but that's a story for another blog). If you are ever in LA on a Thursday night, see this show. Trust me.

So after the crazy week I had, it was time for a little R&R, a little sand, a little sun, and a little try-out-my-new-bathing-suit-in-public so I headed over to Venice Beach. Actually, first I headed over to Samuel French to pick up some scripts (American Beauty? Yes please! Superbad? Duh.) and then I headed out. Of all the beaches in LA, be sure that it was no mistake I chose Venice Beach. How could I not visit a city that was designed after Venice, complete with canals? And I figured that this Venice would probably smell better and be less pigeon-poop-filled than the real thing, so it was a no-brainer, really. And, well, a single lady such as myself could not resist the allure of that mysterious creature that is Muscle Beach... so I decided to try my luck and hit the road.

The canals were lovely and, as I predicted, much less stanky than the ones in Venice.


The beach was, you know, not bad too......


Ah, who the fuck am I kidding. It was magical. God, I love the beach. I could seriously move my entire life and just live there every day, subsisting on the pity of strangers and any scraps they might leave behind... Uh, okay. Maybe not. But I'm about as close as I could ever be to that vision when thinking about the beach. So whatever.

So I basically just sat around baking in the sun for like 3 or 4 hours. My new bathing suit is decidedly more boob-y than I normally wear so I can safely say that some of my body was seeing sun for the first time since I used to swim naked in my parent's pool in Oakville when I was a babe. Sunscreen is a fair gal's friend though, as I didn't burn at all and even managed to tan a little (that truly is a victory all things considered).


I even went for a little dip by myself - I buried my bag in the sand and put my towel overtop (god, I'm crafty! Or, um, you know, crazy.) and then hit the waves. It was cold, but not January in San Diego sans wetsuit cold, and actually a little refreshing after sitting in the sun all afternoon. Mission: test new bathing suit in the ocean for top stay-up-ability completed!

After my swim (well, it was really more of a bob and jump) I walked around and enjoyed the sunset and pretty sunset lighting and snapped some photos of the beach, the people on the beach, the surfers on the beach, and the crackheads who make up Muscle Beach.

Yeah, can you say let down? I wanted hot, tanned bods pumping iron, sweating and grunting and being manly. Instead I got smelly, old, errant hair (no one should have a freaking mop of hair growing out of their ear... seriously), and addicted to many many kinds of dirty drugs. Damn you and your false advertising Muscle Beach! I haven't been this disappointed since finding out Lance Bass was not simply " super sensitive" but in fact " super gay".

I did, however, manage to find this and sneak attack a couple of good shots. I mean, they are kinda old, but when you're faced with them or Juan the 250lbs homeless dude pumping iron in a cut off tee with a picture of Winnie the Pooh on the front, it was an obvious decision.


Not surpringsly given the caliber of athletes that frequent Muscle Beach, the rings remained unused.


On an adorabler note, isn't this beach couple cute??!



I hope he doesn't give her VD and break her heart like all men tend to do. (Let's not talk about it.)

On a for-serious-now positive note, check out the pretty sunset!


And once the sun goes down, all the surfers come out to take advantage of the sweet swells (I guess surfing is sorta like photography that way - it's best at dawn or dusk, but not so good in between). Note the decided lack of crackheads surfing. Apparently they stick to their free weights and lunges?


So that pretty much wraps it up... I was off to the airport and back to the cold and reality (boo!! reality!! boo!!) the next day. Honestly, if it wasn't for the glorious vision of Michael Cera in that airport, I might have cried the entire ride home...

Next up, the retelling of the fateful Cera airplane ride (Ceranide?) and how sometimes opportunities aren't meant to be freaked out on a plane while filling out their customs forms, but rather just appreciated for what they are (ie adorable).

1 comment:

PamM said...

I Love this: I haven't been this disappointed since finding out Lance Bass was not simply " super sensitive" but in fact " super gay".

This is one of my fears in life; Finding out the one you want- doesnt want you :(