"...And the hangover goes to...!"

Posted by Job O Brother, September 28, 2009 12:59pm | Post a Comment

Hello, Earthlings! I have returned after being ill for the past week. I’m still not at 100%, but can at least sit at my computer without succumbing to vertigo and mistaking my iTunes for an episode of Battlestar Gallactica.

It’s all the fault of the 2009 Emmy Awards. Yes it is! I’ll explain…

The boyfriend and I were (again) invited to attend the HBO Emmy Award after-party. As he considered which of his designer suits to don, I sifted through the post-punk, vintage mess that is my wardrobe, desperately trying to Frankenstein something passable to wear, grateful that most people at industry parties are too self-absorbed to notice me at all.

Once we got there we took our place in line in the underground garage that served as a holding tank for men and women dressed to the nines. (Front entrance was limited to red-carpet types.) Cramped into lines of two and everyone decked-out fancy, it looked as though we were about to be slaughtered in the most glamorous concentration camp ever.

We made it in.

Now, there’s a reason why I love going to the HBO after-party. Normally, I would eschew going to industry parties in favor of getting my fingernails torn out or having bedtimes stories read to me by Carol Channing. The HBO party is an exception to this rule because it is kind of awesome.

First off, the design is always impressive. Every year is themed. This year's theme was less obvious but no less magical. If I had to guess, it was some kind of meshing of the gardens of the Queen of Hearts from Alice’s Adventures Through the Looking Glass, the country of Japan, and vampires. The boyfriend noted that, since True Blood is one of HBO’s successes right now, the latter element makes sense.

As heavily made-up maidens danced with parasols on raised stages to harp and tabla transcriptions of chart-topping 80’s pop songs (Baroque renditions of Bon Jovi, anyone?) the boyfriend and I made our way through the mazes of Godiva chocolate bars and Blackberry-hypnotized publicists to the cocktails.

Which is where our story takes a turn for the worse.

The boyfriend opted to try the specially crafted house cocktail for the night, which was some – and please excuse me but there really is no better word for it – faggy concoction of fruit liqueurs and vodka which ended up tasting like Kool-Aid flavored with batteries, while I played it safe (oh, irony) and ordered a dirty martini.

Next we got in line for the food buffet where I jockeyed for rare slices of filet mignon against Sally Field who, turns out, is quite adept with a steel fork.

Our plates piled high, the boyfriend and I found an empty table near the temporary fountain where the plus-ones of celebrities like to smoke reefers.

Having been naively seduced into selecting food simply because it advertised “…with shaved truffles,” I tried tiny bites of many dishes, sadly learning that no amount of thinly-sliced Tuber melanosporum can save a scallop that’s been sitting on a hot-plate since 1994. What can I say? I’m the most adventurous foodie I know and am willing to give anything a shot, but there’s a reason why puréed broccoli laced with butterscotch and stuffed into candied shrimp with caper and unseeded-cotton sauce is rarely served.

As a result of the conceptually intriguing but ultimately unpalatable food, I ate next to nothing while continuing on with my second dirty martini of the evening, finding new appreciation for the delicious simplicity of a green olive.

You can see where this is going, right?

The boyfriend and I went on a walkabout, thrilling in brushing against a gorgeous and scowling Shirley MacLaine, or laughing with our friend Clark, who was a deer-in-headlights, being some eight yards from his celebrity crush, Sigourney Weaver, or appreciating David Cross giving the right-away to whomever in the thick people traffic as he held two drinks, dressed less for the Emmys and more for Tuesday night poker with the guys.

Amidst all this celebrity sighting, I made occasional stops at any of the plentiful open bars to order a new dirty martini until, without realizing it, I had consumed five of them.

Now, if you were to take the amount of booze in five martinis and put it into one glass and told me to drink it, I’d tell you you’re out of your [word that makes baby Jesus cry] mind, but apparently if you split that same alcohol into five separate, cone-shaped bowls placed upon stems above flat bases – hey, ho, let’s go!

I don’t remember leaving the party. I don’t remember getting home. I don’t remember carrying my cat around the house and showing him the tops of doors and explaining to the boyfriend, “He likes to see the tops of doors!” I don’t remember insisting on watching a documentary on Harriet Tubman, only to pass out on the sofa five minutes into it. I don’t remember the boyfriend having to literally push me up the stairs while I complained “Push harder! Faster!” I don’t remember sitting in front of the toilet and listening to Boudewijn de Groot

…and I don’t remember filling the toilet with slightly digested, dirty martinis with shaved truffles. I don’t remember being tucked into bed by my patient boyfriend and I don’t remember my last words being a whiny complaint that “people don’t use puppets to their full advantage… puppets could be so cool…!”

I don’t remember these things, but they happened, and I heard all about them the next afternoon when I woke-up.

Having obliterated my immune system with a flood of dry vermouth, it’s unsurprising that I caught a cold. And let me tell you kids, having a cold in the middle of an L.A. heat-wave is a stupid and gross affair. It’s not easy when your stomach wants chicken soup and all you can manage is a Diet Coke. I even called in sick that Thursday, so those of you who came to Amoeba Music Hollywood that day, hoping for helpful suggestions on which soundtracks would be best for your step-daughter’s bat mitzvah, I apologize.

It had been 15 years since I drank so much I puked, when my dear friend Sadie looked after me and made sure I didn’t die like Jimi Hendrix, a kindness for which I thanked her by drunkenly punching her face as she laid me to bed. (I will be apologizing to Sadie for the rest of my life for that.) Hopefully it will be at least that much time before I re-learn how un-sexy a thing it is to get alcohol poisoning.

Anyway, that’s the sordid truth behind my failure to blog the last week. But I’m back, I’m sober, and ready for more Amoeblog. Thank the gods.

(In which Job & Corey brave the California wilderness.)

Posted by Job O Brother, November 27, 2007 10:17am | Post a Comment

(Has nothing to do with this blog entry.)

I wish I didn’t like Kathy Griffin so much. It’s such a cliché – me and my boyfriend, Corey, on our way to the foreign country known as Orange County, to see Ms. Griffin perform at the (and how’s this for a cute name) Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall (I think I’m naming my kid that, you know, if it’s a girl).

It was Friday and Corey picked me up, fresh off a typical eight-hour shift in the soundtracks department of your favorite record store. It took about fifteen minutes before I realized that the man sitting next to me was my boyfriend and not someone hoping for a restroom, a wall-item, an “Amoeba buck”, or the “I’m Not There” soundtrack. I relaxed immediately and we discussed matters that are none of your business in amorous tones. Also I ate gum.

Have you tried this stuff yet? The Orbit “sweet mint” flavor? It tastes exactly like chocolate-mint ice cream and is so sumptuous it makes me barf a little, spiritually. Don’t ever try it unless you like being weirded out by deliciousness. I wish it had never been born. I need a piece now. Excuse me…

(That's me there, next to the dude with the thing.)

…Okay, so we made it to the Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in plenty of time, despite getting lost a while (we were distracted from following directions by a heated conversation about thantophobia and Scrabble). We saddled up to the uncozy Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall bar for cocktails and a quick trip to the Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall restroom for men.

Because Corey is press, we got fantastic seats. The venue itself reminded me of a much cheerier version of that auditorium in “Dark City” where the evil dudes with bad dental hygiene gather to be wicked. And exchange recipes.

"Can you help me find row F-8?"

Kathy exploded on stage to an ovation. She performed for over two hours without a break, her material never dull, her energy never diminished. She is the Bruce Springsteen of stand-up comics.

Since you weren't there (I know, I looked for you) here's footage from an earlier tour. You can pretend you're sitting next to me. And I'm totally pulling that "yawn, stretch, put my arm around you" move.

At one point she made a joke about kids with MS that caught me so off-guard that I choked on my own spittle and almost asphyxiated. If I had been chewing gum I would surely have perished… in the Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

After the show, confused staff sent Corey and I from the green room to the lobby and back again before we were finally rescued by Tom, Kathy’s assistant, famous in his own right for appearing on the TV show “My Life on the D-list” as Tom, Kathy’s assistant.

We filed in, along with about fifteen other people, into the Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall green room.

Now, it’s not often I get to say this, but the green room of the Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall is actually smaller than my apartment. Wow.

When I read the listing for my place, it boasted “New York-style apartment”. I thought this meant it had high ceilings and a wall of exposed brick – which it did – but it also meant there was about enough room for me, a small bed, and… maybe a Cheeto.

Not a whole bag. Just une Cheeto.

Kathy entered the green room and graciously spent time with individuals; each one smiling so big and tight in anticipation to meet her you’d think we were a support group for people with bad face-lifts.

Corey seemed to be the only one there in any kind of work-related capacity. Others were either friends/employees of Kathy and their friends, contest winners, and, as one confessed, an actual stalker.

Kathy looked great and was personable – pretty much exactly what you’d expect. She’s attractive up close, but don’t tell my boyfriend I said that.

What is it about her that I love? Much of it is because I feel like celebrity culture is deconstructing – pop will eat itself, right? – and Kathy is this kind of “celebrity middle-class”, taking us by the hand as she ascends the ladder to greater stardom, exposing the folly and effort involved. She is the Eva Perón of stand-up comics.

"Did you hear the one about two nuns, a Jew, and Courtney Love?"

Celebrities tend to be alienated from the rest of us (I’m assuming, dear reader, that you are not Sharon Stone or Larry King) and sometimes they’re separated from us in a way that feels unfair. Movie stars especially are the U.S.’s royalty. Is it any wonder then, when they’re treated with such privilege for sometimes no greater feat than looking pretty, that we delight in seeing them led to proverbial guillotines?

Honestly, wouldn’t we rather see Britney slosh around stupidly on the VMA’s than see her give a great performance? (I’m assuming, dear reader, that you are not Britney Spears.)

Anyway, seeing Kathy both on and off stage was swell. For those of you who don’t appreciate her comedy, I hope you can at least appreciate her impact. I, for one, am ready for our Revolution.

Kathy Griffin's stand-up performances and TV show "My Life on the D-List" are available at Amoeba Music. Orbit "sweet mint" gum is not.

(In which Job zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Posted by Job O Brother, September 20, 2007 10:00pm | Post a Comment
I’m writing this blog in a race against time.

I just popped two Tylenol PM caplets a couple of minutes ago. I expect my ability to compose grammar will degrade rapidly… starting now.

The problem is that I have too much to tell you. I almost tripped over Lily Tomlin’s feet at the HBO after-party the night of the Emmy’s. (I’ve been told that these so-called “Emmy’s” are an award they give to people in the television business, but I wanna do some fact-checking on that before I present the data as true.) I also caught Glenn Close bopping her shoulders when the band began playing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”.

Why do you Earthlings go so ga-ga over that song?!

Just a small town girl, livin' in a lonely world.

The boyfriend snagged us a chauffeured Audi. This fuggin' car had red, lit-up buttons on everything. Like, even the buttons had mini-buttons on them. I was intimidated. I don't like to think the car I'm riding in is smarter than me.

At a certain point we ended up in Anna Paquin's limo and headed over to the TV Guide party, just in time to miss Kanye West. I sent Kanye a box of Violet Crumbles to make up for it. It's his favorite candy bar. For Thanksgiving last year, he assembled the entire meal - turkey, stuffing, yams, Waldorf salad - using ONLY Violet Crumbles. It was an innovative and delicious meal and everyone who attended enjoyed themselves until we suffered diabetic shock and passed out drooling stomach bile.

Okay, some of that last paragraph is untrue.

Melissa Logan’s birthday party was two nights ago. I was there after a few rounds at The Advocate’s 40th anniversary party. William Baldwin was there, and I wasn’t sure if his standing across the room and paying no attention to me whatsoever was his idea of a come-on, but what else could it have been? The poor man just can’t come to grips with the fact that I am happily committed to Corey.

Corey chatting with Perez Hilton at the party, as I try to find a cocktail that doesn't look like a parrot.

I’m already forgetting what I’ve written. The Tylenol is gaining on me.

And speaking of sleeping pills, I’ll be going to see Rufus Wainwright’s tribute to Judy Garland this Sunday at the Hollywood Bowl. If everything goes according to plan, by the end of the evening I will have goaded a gang of Judy/Liza drag queens into pummeling me. It’s an obscure fetish and I have to take advantage of every opportunity to make it happen which presents itself.

(I have another fantasy of women dressing like Virginia Woolf, stuffing me into their coat pocket, and drowning themselves in rivers. This is a very difficult fetish to enjoy and it’s almost impossible to find women who’ll do this for me. And yes, I have checked Craig’s List, but girls will draw you in, full of promises to be Woolf and I’ll drive across town only to discover that they’re actually Vita Sackville-Wests. Total mood killer.)

Which leads me to wonder what kind of oven-cleaner Sylvia Plath used?

Wait… what is this blog about again? Or is this a letter? Who are you?

I better post a distracting picture and escape before you catch on…