Tuesday, February 07, 2006

A Weekend Deferred - Part II

If you missed the beginnings of my weekend trip to L.A., check it out here.

Hemingway I was reeling as the $4.25 an hour clerk revealed that I wouldn't be able to see Half & Half's taping. As she started talking about giving me a V.I.P. pass for another taping, I was trying to think how to change this situation. I mean what would Mona do? Could I play the "but I'm out of town could you make an exception for me" card? I poopooed that, thinking the clerk would pull the "if I made an exception for you, I'd have to do it for everyone else" (crap) card. Could I stow away on another bus for another taping and then try to find the Half & Half studio? I'd have to bank that there actually were two empty seats in that studio and assume that I'd find the right studio. And that's assuming security doesn't nab us on the spot. Plus looking at Xaler, he wasn't as pressed as I was. I guess he could see it anytime. Lucky L.A. bastard except for the smog & occasional earthquakes.

She handed me the V.I.P. pass and we walked back to my car. Yes, I was slowly resigning myself to my fate. It didn't mean I wasn't gonna bitch about it. Driving away from the studio, I did just that. Xaler did his best to appease me but I could tell he was like whatever. He did mention us trying to sneak into the studio ourselves but I nixed it since there wasn't really anywhere to park the car near the studio and I wasn't going to risk getting the rental towed.

I slowly came around and accepted my fate. Ultimately it was my fault for not reading the rest of the instructions on the second page. Had I read that, I would've been able to relay that to Xaler and we could've gotten to the other location sooner and avoided my current mess. I know I won't make that mistake next time, assuming there is a next time.

So there was still the matter of what to do next? After driving around a bit, Xaler suggested we head to the Hollywood & Highland Center. The three-story landmark boasts numerous shops, restaurants, theatres and clubs. The interior shots reminded me of Vegas's Ceasar Palace.
We walked around the mall, looking for somewhere to eat. Hey, whatever we eat would sure beat the mini-candy, stale pizza and bottled water I would've been served at the taping. I was turned on to wanting some soul food. I was feeling some Roscoe's earlier that day but didn't go due to the crowd and fearing missing the taping. Hell of a good that did...*LOL*.

Hemingway, Xaler mentioned that M&M Soul Food just so happened to have a restaurant at H&H. Unfortunately, however, we soon learned from mall security that M&M closed shop two months back. My hankering for soul food would have to be placed on hold.

We walked around the atrium ground floor area. Looking up towards the fourth floor, Xaler pointed out a Japanese sushi restaurant. It had been a minute since I partaked in the delicacy so I agreed to dine there.

We made our way to Koji's restaurant. The hostess directed us to sit at one of the bars. In front of each chair was a bowl full of water and on the wall, three flat screen TVs. The center one was larger than the other two. The menu was quite extensive. I wound up order an "Around the World" platter with mixed vegetables, beef, chicken, shrimp, and salmon. The bowls were turned on to boil the water needed to cook the meats. Two dipping sauces were also provided.

To entertain Xaler and I between chats, three different movies were being played. Some Japanese dinosaur movie was playing on one of the smaller screens. The other small screen had some Japanese detective movie. The center screen, however, drew our attention. They were playing the movie Shaolin Soccer. The movie itself was very slapstick silly but it served to entertain the patrons of the restaurant.

After that great dinner, we walked outside the center towards Hollywood Boulevard. There were some stage performers entertaining the crowd. I was realizing how chilly L.A. gets in the evening. I had unfortunately left my fly New York jacket in my hotel room so I was feeling a bit exposed. But not as exposed as the tall, naked black guy posing as a gargoyle. I know his ass cheeks must've been cold. He did have on some thin thing but it couldn't have provided much warmth.

Hemingway, Xaler wanted to see the new movie "Something New" with Sanaa Lathan and Simon Baker, who reminds me of Kyle Chandler from CBS show Early Edition. It wasn't playing at H&H. We wound up driving to The Grove. The next showing was at 10:00 PM so we had a couple hours to kill. I bought a few socks at Banana Republic. I oogled a couple hot sales associates at Abercombie. I welcomed the outdoor heat lanterns as we walked along the chilly street from store to store.

We then made our way to the theatre. I bitched about my typical theatre experience (you know the annoying people that chatter inanely and decide to kick your chair), so we sat in the side in the back row of the second level. Nobody would be sitting behind me. Heh. We watched as folks made their way into the theatre. There was a large group of about 20 black women that marched in. I thought that was interesting. But what was most fascinating was the diversity of the overall crowd. It made me proud to be an American. Just don't sit behind me and annoy me...*LOL*.

So my verdict on the movie? It was excellent. Sanaa and Simon acted their asses off. I could feel both of their points of views regarding their lot in life. The supporting cast that included Alfre Woodard and Clueless (and I guess Scrubs...*LOL*) cutie Johnathan Faison, made the movie even stronger. It's the same story but the approach to telling it felt fresh. I'm not the biggest romantic comedy watcher but I loved it. And I loved the phrase , "Let go, let flow." I definitely would recommend this movie to everyone.

So after the movie, we were leaving the Grove's parking garage. I guess I was feeling giddy because I straight up flirted with the parking attendant. He was dark and handsome. He looked about 25 or so. I tried playing it off but I had such a wide grin on my face. As I paid for the parking, he seemed to know that I wasn't from L.A. (I have no clue what gave that away.) I told him I was from Chi-town and then ended the flirtation. Ahhh, I was feeling so much better. Half & Half who?

It was midnight when we left. Xaler asked me if I was up for some clubbing. I'm not really one but I was defintely game. It wound up being a First Fridays event sponsored by Ivan Daniel Productions (they provided the wrist tags at least...*LOL*). The fee to get in was $15. It was $20 for V.I.P. I was thinking, shouldn't V.I.P. be free? Hemingway, there were naked dancers on the stage. I was almost flashing back to 9.9, except there wasn't any weed (at least I didn't have a contact high...*LOL*).

Xaler and I were being wallflowers for most of the evening. I decided I needed a drink. I almost flipped out at the $8 price tag. Needless to say, that was my only drink of the night. Xaler was even cheaper than I was. No drinks for him.

It was about thirty minutes before closing time. I was suddenly feeling the urge to dance. Only thing I was still feeling shy. I jokingly was "doing the Carlton" dance after unsuccessfully getting Xaler to do it. Well I didn't do it that long. Gosh, I love the Carlton dance.

After doing that, I just danced a bit in the corner of the club for the remainder of the evening. None of the guys came up to me. (They were ugly anyway...*LOL*) I toyed with going to the middle of the floor but chickened out.

Xaler eventually directed me towards the exit since it was ten minutes until closing time. I dropped him back at his apartment and somehow made my way back to my hotel.

I woke up Saturday morning with a light headache. I guess I'm really a lightweight drinker...*LOL*.

I'll conclude the rest of my weekend, including my interesting flight back in another post.


Blogger Cash S. said...

LOL, not the Carlton Dance! That's hot!

8:51 AM, February 08, 2006  
Blogger Karamale said...

okay...i'ma have to print this out to read while my students are taking a test.

2:12 PM, February 08, 2006  
Blogger That Dude Right There said...

You know how to make us come back the next day don't you?

8:01 PM, February 08, 2006  
Blogger Essequibo said...

It's good to get out there and live some life, aint it?

Good to see you doing it.

9:31 AM, February 09, 2006  
Blogger Trent Jackson said...



1:44 PM, February 09, 2006  
Blogger GermanChocolateGirl said...

MM soulfood restaurant is closed?!? I didn't know that. It like, just opened, sheesh. I saw Koji's today while atHollywood Highland Center today. Thought of u :)

12:16 AM, February 10, 2006  

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