I had dinner last night with the lovely and talented Jennifer Browning, late of the Pokerblog crew that formed at last summer's World Series of Poker. She had driven from Dallas to Los Angeles with two friends who were making the move out west... with their four cats. Now I've only driven with one cat once and that was only for like five miles so 2.5 days in a car with four felines is nothing less than saintly in my book. She had just hung up with Michalski when I picked her up. He was totally horrified that she had agreed to eat Mexican food in Los Angeles. Texans have a "thing" about their Mexican food being better than our Mexican food. But let's get real. With the sheer number of actual Mexicans that live here, how bad could it be?
"Hey, the restaurant is only like, a five minute walk from here" said Jen.
"Are you kidding me? This is Los Angeles. We're driving. It's part of the cultural experience."
At Mexicali, I had the camarones burrito and a Corona while Jen went for the blue crab enchiladas. and a rocks Petron margarita. Her friend Kat joined us for a drink at the end of the meal...though she actually walked there and did not drive. We dished on everything from her trip to Haiti to the UIGEA throwing our livelihoods for a loop, to how frighteningly similar Michalski and Pauly's bald spots are. We concluded the evening with a couple of pints (each) of Stella at a pub on Ventura Blvd. called the Fox and Hound. They frequently show soccer on all the TVs and it's full of transplanted Brits and Europeans.
Jen fell a little bit in love with Los Angeles on her trip out there. I can't blame her. It's hard not to get sucked in when you spend the afternoon photographing Venice Beach and discover the impromptu drum circle that forms near the boardwalk nearly every afternoon. It started with four guys and grew to over a hundred strong as the sun set behind them.
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Showcase and I have discovered that there are hours and hours of fun to be had by searching YouTube for videos of Broadway shows. Of course, we're still on our "Dreamgirls" kick (and there is no end in sight), so naturally, this clip from the '82 Tony Awards would be our mutual favorite.
And you... and you... and you...
It is, of course American Idol season again. Every year Showcase and I tell each other that we're sick of it and we probably won't watch it again. But, like crack addicts in Lafayette Park, we go back again and again to suck down our fix. Personally I'm eager to move past the "please allow me to humiliate myself on national TV...but hey, at least I'm ON TV" audition rounds and get to the train wreck of Hollywood week where it's narrowed down to the 100 or so aspiring Idols who can actually carry a tune. Bring on disco theme week, Gloria Estefan week, Paula Abdul drooling into her red plastic cup of not Coca-Cola and Ryan Seacrest's $200 T-shirt of the week.
We've also somewhat shamefully been watching Grease: You're The One That I Want. It ranks below Deal or No Deal and Survivor as shameful television viewing and/or time suckage. We only tuned in because a friend of ours from our college theatre days had made it to "Grease Academy," but unfortunately, she was cut in the first round. She was... not Sandy. Booooo.
I'm spending this final week before Pauly comes back to L.A. from Oz working on my script, finishing all the errands on my "list" and playing online poker before all "zee American fishes" go busto ;) Hope I'm not one of them. Full Tilt shed over 25% of its players in the week since Neteller stopped processing U.S. transactions from online poker sites. Check out this (depressing) page on PokerSiteScout for more info on the trends since the UIGEA passed.
Time to watch the only President with an approval rating lower than Nixon's during Watergate deliver his State of the Union address. Showcase laid me 2-1 that he'd get booed at least once.