Sunday, July 27, 2008


This week was San Diego Comic Con. My next post will be on that adventure, but I have a few corrections/omissions from my previous posts.

Beauty did my hair and make up for the photo session that my profile photo comes from. I meant to mention that in my last post. Since the pictures feature me bare breasted (from the waist up; the cleavage I use as my profile photo was cropped by the photographer who took the pictures) I think her contribution went largely unnoticed.
("You had hair in that picture? A face?", etc... ;o).

Also, Beauty did not choose her own blog pseudonym. I chose it for her.

Enigma informed me that she had NOT said that "lesbians aren't into bald pussy." She said SOME lesbians aren't. Trimming is big, but not full on wax jobs. She herself has nothing against bald pussy. Personally I would think brazilians (waxes, that is) would be bigger among lesbians than straight girls, because, well, you know. I mean, really, you know! Giving a guy head you might get the occasional stray hair in your mouth, but going down on a chick that isn't waxed, you are going to get a few stuck in your teeth for sure.

Rolo is the friend I went with to the Rocky Horror 30th Anniversary at the Hollywood Bowl.

In addition to my much anticipated trip to Comic Con this week, I was busy puking my guts out and feeling like sixteen angry, vice-grip wielding gnomes were running amok in my abdomen torturing me. There is a stomach flu going around that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. I am a bit behind on everything right now. After I post on Comic Con I will continue my Back In LA series with "Dildoes and the DMV". You don't want to miss that post!!!


Thursday, July 17, 2008


Beauty and I are hanging out at Starbucks during her break. When I go to the restroom everyone stares at me. At first I think I must be looking extra fabulous, but when I look in the mirror I remember that the skin around my eyebrows is super red and unnaturally shiny. My eyebrows themselves are perfectly shaped, but much darker than usual.

At this moment I am truly an L.A. lady. Maybe not as a scary as the women you see in the grocery store, in unflattering flourescent lighting, that have just had botox injected, chemical peels, or too much plastic surgery. Blank, stepford wife expressions on their faces, skin stretched too smooth and made translucent. Women who can afford the treatments but not the time to recuperate in private. Or women that couldn't afford good treatments, and now have to live with the results.

I have really sensitive skin, and Beauty is the only person I trust to wax my eyebrows. As red as the skin gets, it will fade in a few hours. And my eyebrows look perfect. I've had aestheticians leave blisters and redness that didn't fade for days, and without happy results. My eyebrows are difficult to shape properly. Especially this time. I haven't seen Beauty for over a year, and I've been tweezing them myself.

"You took too much off the right one," she told me before handing me the mirror. "You need to lay off with the tweezers for awhile and you will have to fill it in with a pencil. I can't fix it."

This is a much bigger travesty to Beauty than it is to me. She is thorough and very careful. She abandoned the idea of doing body waxing because, as she put it, "who wants me down in their bikini area, plucking every stray hair and trying to get the shape exactly right?" Even Brazilians were out of the question for her. She is just too meticulous.

In the bathroom at Starbucks I ponder the effect of the dark tint and dramatic shape of my eyebrows. They transform my face. There is a "rule" that heavy eye make-up signals "look at me." Heavy lip make-up signals "listen to what I am saying." If you really look at advertisements you will see that rarely are eyes and lips both accented. If blush on the cheeks is the only obvious make-up the signal is "innocence" or "freshness."

Made-up eyebrows, though, are about expression. The expressiveness of the face is accented. Ironically, this fits the image I have of Beauty. She expresses herself visually in every way. Her home was always a stunning arrangement of colour and style. As painted and adorned as the high profile women that comprise most of her clientele. Beauty herself always dresses stylishly and with a lot of colour. And she does everything with panache.

Even as a child, she has told me, she constantly rearranged her room and re-painted it often. She was always playing dress up, and I know from experience that having her do my make-up before we go out is a guarantee that I will look like a superstar. She also paints on canvas, does numerous crafts and hobbies (most of her Christmas gifts are homemade: candles, gourmet food items, knitted hats and scarfs, dream pillows, etc.) and is a fantastic cook.

Beauty is one example of why people in this town fear another strike. During the writer's strike many of Beauty's clientele cut back on services like waxing. While her celebrity clientele continued to make regular appointments, her bread and butter, women who work in the industry "below the line", dropped off to the point that Beauty had to make drastic changes to her life.

Beauty has throughout the six years that I have known her, worked both in Los Angeles and up north in her hometown. Once a month she would drive up north and to take care of her clients there. During the writer's strike, after trying to find a job in a salon down here, she applied at a spa in her hometown and got the job. She sold her condo and moved back. Part of the decision was that she'd felt a pull to be with her family and friends again. She now commutes to L.A. once a month to attend to her clients here.

"I wish they would all move here," she tells me over coffee. "I love L.A., but I miss my family and friends so much. Especially when they keep moving away," she adds, giving me a dark look. "You are back for good aren't you? It's going to suck if I move here and you disappear again."

Beauty has fallen madly in love with a man she met here shortly before she moved. Now she is really torn. She wants to move back, but feels uncertain about doing it just "for love." Even if he is "the one"- and it seems likely that he is- she wants to be sure that any decision she makes will satisfy her whether the relationship succeeds or fails.

We talk about owning our decisions completely. If you take full responsibility for a decision, it can never come back to haunt you, even if it doesn't work out.

Her break is over and we say good-bye. I won't see her again for another month.

"I missed you," I say as we hug. "Thank you for making me beautiful again."

She laughs and gets in her car. I walk to the bus stop, startling passer-bys with my red clown eyebrows. By the time I get home the redness is gone. I raise my eyebrows as high as they will go and do my best Norma Desmond.

"Alright, Mr. Demille, I am ready for my close-up."


Tuesday, July 08, 2008


I make everyone that I write about choose their pseudonym.  My teamster friend has chosen "Rolo", pronounced "rah-low", not "roll-low."  Don't ask me why.  

I have been friends with Rolo for about 12 years now.  We used to be neighbours.  Rolo is a teamster in the film industry.  Teamsters are the first to arrive on set and the last to leave.  Other set workers usually have call times that are divisible by 12-- 5:42, 6:12, etc.  Teamsters usually have to arrive on the hour.  They get there on the hour and use the twelve minute increments before the other crew arrives to prep the trailers.  Or they need to be in the shuttle by 6 AM to pick up all the people from wherever parking is and get the crew to their stations by 6:12, etc.

A friend of mine who works at the studios in accounting tells me that he loves Teamsters because their paperwork is almost always meticulous.  That is because, once they have arrived on set and gotten everything moved, set up, etc, they have a lot of downtime during filming, and they can fill out their paperwork.

Being on set is funny in that there are always at least two groups of people: those that are working and those that are prepping or waiting.  While hair, makeup, grip & electric, etc, are working, the camera loader, actors, boom operator, etc, are not working- or they are prepping.  Every film set is a small community and has a life of it's own.  They are all the same, but they are all unique, depending on the cast and crew, what type of film, the budget, etc.

Rolo and I have developed a ritual over the years of meeting once or twice a month for "bitch & gripe & piss & moan" sessions.  B&G&P&M is really two separate monologues.  I usually go first (natch) and then Rolo.  We go to Starbucks and drink chai tea lattes, often going to different and new locations.  Since being home for a year and drinking "real" coffee, I have lost my taste for Starbucks.   But it is such a tradition for us that we decide to go the Starbucks that started it all, in our old neighbourhood of the North Hollywood (NoHo) Arts district.

Like everyone in the film industry, Rolo is concerned about the possibility of an actor's strike.  The issue is on-line sales and use of film and television productions on the internet.  This is the same reason the writer's went on strike a few months ago.  Right now the greedy studios and producers get all the royalties.  

Rolo feels like there is so much money in the film industry that there is no reason for unfair or unequal treatment.  Because the writer's strike pushed production back, he is still working on his television sitcom, but the season's wrap party is that night.  The wrap party was booked in advance, before the writer's strike.  

Rolo is also telling me about a new product that he encountered recently.  The Real Doll.
This is the ultimate in blow-up sex dolls.  Rolo reports that the doll has all three orifices and the skin and weight of the doll is life like.  The tongue does have motion.  

I ask if there is a male doll and he says yes.  It costs more, but it has all the parts as well, including the movable tongue and three different cocks: one flaccid, one partially hard, and one completely hard, and it does have the ability to "spurt." I think I've found the answer to my self-imposed celibacy and inability to successfully manoeuvre relationship issues.  

I ask Rolo if it was the doll used in the movie Lars and the Real Girl?  Rolo doesn't know.  Neither of us have seen the movie.  He says that the dolls are mostly popular among men that work alone in extremely isolated places.  And that usually the dolls substitute for a significant other back home.  I say "yeah, sure, significant other is right."  We laugh.

The NoHo Arts District has a lot of theatres and acting workshops.  In the past we have encountered Howard Stern, Juliette Lewis, Hal Linden from Barney Miller, and a slew of lesser known character actors.  We are near some big porn studios and strip clubs, and a dance studio that is popular with exotic dancers that actually dance.  

On this day we see a recognisable Lane Bryant plus size model, two girls that we determine must be either strippers or porn actors, and the actor that played the Mayor during Season Three of Buffy (he became a giant snake with three heads while giving a speech to the graduating class).  Like most actors, in person he looks too thin and has a lollipop head.  When people ask me what makes stars different from other people I tell them it is how big (physically) their heads are.  And because the women especially are so thin, we call them lollipops.

While the strippers are waiting in line we watch them--Rolo more closely than I-- and we make plans to visit Jumbo's Clown Room.  Jumbo's is a sleazy strip club in Hollywood on Hollywood boulevard east of Western.  The girl's often dress up in costumes.  I have never been there--although we did try to go one night when we were out partying but they had just closed the doors.

Eventually our monologues wane and we sit in silence, just people watching.  I realise that I have missed the uneventful rituals of afternoons like this more than I have missed the consistent sunshine or the easy wealth of the city and its' celebrity industry.

As we leave Rolo comments on the heat and the humidity.  I have the same reaction to Angelenos comments about weather as I do about mid-westerners complaints about traffic: I laugh.  The thermostat had reached 100 degrees that afternoon, but after the soggy mid-west-where there are days you feel like you are breathing hot water- I haven't even noticed.  

I inhale the smoggy, wildfire smoky, hot desert air and smile.  It's good to be back.