Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit

Inner Workings of My Twisted Mind.

Pride

The gays are out in L.A. this weekend.  That’s right, it’s pride weekend in L.A. and I had front row tickets.  Lord knows I can’t miss out on spending the weekend with a bunch of Fabulous men and women.  

For anyone who hasn’t experienced it Pride Weekend in West Hollywood looks something like a huge carnival full of beautiful men that have no interest in me and beautiful women who also have no interest in me.  They shut down San Vicente Blvd., take over multiple parking lots and a relatively large park, there are four different D.J. areas, all complete with dancing, there’s a gay cowboy/cowgirl area (one of my personal favorites), an erotica exposition area where proper use of whips and chains are demonstrated to the public (this area is also inhabited by many older people wearing neon fanny packs and sporting huge cameras, taking pictures of the cute boys in boxer-briefs who hand out condoms and flavored lube).  Basically, it’s my heaven. 
Now, in comparison to San Francisco, West Hollywood is just much different.  Not better or worse, but different.  It isn’t as in your face as San Francisco (I have to say, after hours in SF, I tend to have to have a whiskey or three; there are some things better left to the imagination), but there also aren’t as many drag queens.  In fact, I only saw one in WeHo.  She happened to be a pretty famous one named Chi Chi La Rue, but there was only one.  Drag Queens are one of my favorite parts of San Francisco and pride weekend, they’re just so over the top, so flamboyant, it brings out my inner fabulously gay man to be around them.  
Of course, this being Los Angeles, we had to have some wonderful movie items.  I happened to score a Mamma Mia! poster and a fan proclaiming me Dancing Queen.  There are some rather incriminating photos with a fake chiquita banana hat on and one with my head in the body of a buff cartoon proclaiming my avid use of rogaine.  
On the plus side I also got to sign up for the AIDS walk and the human rights council that fights for gay rights (I finally have time to take up political and humanitarian causes now that I’m not working 100 hours a week).  Plus, I got to dance to DJ Chi Chi La Rue.  
All in all, it was everything I could ever want from a pride weekend.  Free stuff, surrounded by people celebrating themselves (and their newfound right to marry), sun, and great music.  The only thing missing was my harem of gay men.  So fellas, next year I expect you to be here.
Peace, Love, and Girls who like Boys who like Boys,
Julia
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June 8, 2008 Posted by | Culture, Gay/Lesbian, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Movies, Parties, Politics | Leave a comment

And the Oscar Goes to…

So it’s my favorite night of the year and it’s coming to an end.  For me at least, for all those fools that won some big award it’s only just begun.  That’s right, on my way home from my friend’s house, I passed many men and women in fancy attire sliding glamorously out of black SUVs.  I said it last year, and I’ll say it again, it’s the weirdest thing to live in L.A. on Oscar Night.  Really it’s the weirdest thing to live in Hollywood.  

So here’s how my day went.  I got to work at like 8:30 (I traded shifts so I could get off in time to watch the ceremony).  Starting at about 8:35 the celebs started to pour into the bookstore.  John Waters, Randy Quaid, the guy nominated for best animated short, all milling around booksoup looking for books to read in the three hour limo line they have to wait in before getting out on the red carpet.  
Well, needless to say I was antsy and when 4:30 rolled around, I got my pizza and my beer and headed over to my friend Dan’s house to enjoy the festivities.  It must be said that Dan lives on Sunset and La Brea, the Oscars are on Hollywood and Highland.  Basically, he lives about three blocks away.  So as I was driving to his house I saw the good year blimp, a few dozen helicopters an lights lights lights.  
I also said this last year, but what I really love about the Academy Awards is that they remind me of why I love film so much.  This year, being the 80th Anniversary there were film clips of all the actors, actresses, directors and best pictures that came before these 80th ones.  These were my cry moments.  Watching Grace Kelly, Marlon Brando, Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Barbara Streisand, etc. in their moment of Oscar glory definitely brought more than one tear to my eye.  I thought that those video tributes were great.  
Before I go into highlights I must say that in the days leading up to Oscar I’d been talking with people about how excited I was, many of these people either work in the industry or want to work in the industry (i.e. they are writers who haven’t written anything…or anything good).  And there was one, rather appalling, trait these people had in common.  They all seem to disdain the Academy Awards.  Now this actually seems to permeate throughout many of the people I’ve met who work in and around Hollywood (not the city).  A lot of people who work in the industry seem to fucking hate movies.  Maybe they just like to put on a front, maybe they’re jealous, I don’t know, but I think that a love of film is a must for people who work in film.  Just my opinion, feel free to disagree.  Many of the people that I know hated almost every film that came out this year.  They hated No Country, they hated Juno, they hated There Will Be Blood, and I don’t care what you think of the actual story, but these are great films, they are indicative of great filmmaking.  I mean, whether or not you liked Juno, it combines excellent acting, an excellent script, and excellent direction.  Same goes for No Country For Old Men.  Same goes for Charlie Wilson’s War.  They are all great movies, it’s okay if you don’t like them.  I just never seem to get over the shock that so many people that work in or want to work in a certain industry would find such disdain for very talented people.  
Now the other thing that people were saying about the Academy Awards is that they are self-congratulatory bullshit.  Um, hello, it’s true.  But they are fun to watch.  I guess I have a problem with this too though.   I mean, this is essentially the film industry giving awards to excellence in film.  They also do this in literature, you may have heard of the Pulitzer or the Booker Prize.  So what, because it’s film it’s self-congratulatory.  Because people have more interest in seeing stars than in seeing Denis Johnson, the Oscars are not worth watching.  I’m sorry folks but that’s just the society we live in.  We all love watching the stars, we love watching them in their moment of Oscar Glory (and if you think about it there are only 4 acting awards so why are people so hot and bothered about actors patting each other on the back…actors are a small percentage of the people who vote for the Oscars).  I’m sorry, but again I have no patience.  The Oscars are a tradition, they’ve been around for 80 years now.  Just like teaching awards or world series champions, Oscar winners are (according to the Academy) the best in their profession, it just so happens that people like to watch these awards shows…and really is it surprising that the Awards show for Entertainment is Entertaining. That’s what I thought.
Now, on with the show.  Jon Stewart was amazing and hilarious and political, but not too political.  His joke about whenever a Black man or a Woman is President an asteroid is about to hit the Statue of Liberty, hilarious.  He brought up the writer’s strike, but didn’t alienate anyone, ehem producers, and welcomed everyone to enjoy Oscar night as the proverbial make up sex (though I’m sure later tonight there will be some not-so-proverbial make-up sex).  Katherine Heigel looked amazing, but shouldn’t have been there.  Amy Adams sang beautifully.  Kristen Chenoweth also sang beautifully and I love her so much, she’s so cute, but it was hard for me to watch her sing a Steven Schwartz song that wasn’t from Wicked, but oh well.  
The big upset of the night was Tilda Swinton winning Best Supporting Actress, which even I didn’t see coming.  I was pretty certain they would give it to Amy Ryan or Ruby Dee.  That being said Michael Clayton was the one movie I didn’t see this year so I can’t really talk.  In all honesty, I had the chance, I just didn’t quite care to see it.  
Some highlights of the best moments of the night.  When Marion Cotillard won I was super freaking excited, and, if you saw the looks on all the female actresses faces, they all thought she should’ve won too.  And it’s true.  I finally saw Away From Her last week.  Julie Christie was great, Marion was better.  She absolutely transformed herself.  It’s kind of crazy.  So anyway, exciting.  I loved that Dario Marianelli won for his Atonement score.  The movie is worth watching just for the score and the 5 minute plus oneshot that takes place on the beach in Dunkirk (not to mention it’s kind of good).  I loved that Helen Mirren ‘Knighted’ Daniel Day-Lewis when he won his Best Picture Oscar.  Of course I cried alot when Diablo Cody won.  And let’s take a moment for the poetry here.  The Academy is made up mainly of white men who are older than God.  Diablo Cody used to masturbate in front of people for money.  Thank you very much that’s called beauty.
Also, I love that they kept cutting to Laura Linney whenever a moving moment was happening.  What was that about?  I guess everyone else in the audience had botoxed beforehand so they didn’t have any expressions?  
I was definitely excited, but not shocked that Javier Bardem and Daniel Day-Lewis won.  Really, no one could touch them in this race, they were too good.  I also loved that the Coens were finally paid their dues.  They took home three Oscars.  Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture.  I’m sorry, they deserved it.  That movie was fantastic.  I also would like to add that I thought it was really cool that Cormac McCarthy was there.  If you don’t know, he’s normally a recluse.  But apparently he’s only a recluse when not going to the Oscars or the Oprah Winfrey Show, which, in a weird way, I totally respect.  
I loved that they let the lady who one for best song from Once back on the stage after they played her off.  I thought it was really classy of the Academy to let her make her little speech.  I mean, for many people you only win one so you’ve got to grab your moment. 
The most interesting moment to me was in the Best Picture category when Mr. Rudin who is generally known in Hollywood to be completely nuts came off as a really nice guy.  Apparently he’s a nice guy in his personal life, but there are stories of throwing laptops at assistants heads, leaving assistants on the side of the highway and saying you’re fired, walk home, etc. etc.  I always find it fascinating how people can have such a dual personality (this seems especially true in Hollywood).  
All in all it was a great Oscar ceremony.  My only disappointment was that Persepolis lost the Best Animated Feature category. It was amazing and so much better than Ratatouille (yes, I said it).  I loved watching the film actors try and fail to read off of a teleprompter.  I loved watching Diablo have her moment (I’d be lying if I said I always think that maybe someday I’ll have my moment up there on that stage).  Once again, I was reminded of why I love film.  It’s the moments where we truly celebrate how great this particular art can be.  So until next year remember, We’ll Always Have Paris, Good Night and Good Luck, Here’s Looking at You Kid, Hello Gorgeous, I’m ready for my close up Mr. DeMille, I’m Finished.  And if you didn’t like the Oscars then all I can say is Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn. 
Peace, Love, and Little Naked Gold Men (who weigh a lot), 
Julia

February 25, 2008 Posted by | Awards Shows, Coen Brothers, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Movies, Music, Oprah Winfrey, Oscars, Parties | Leave a comment

Fear and Loathing

I never really understood how ridiculously right on Hunter Thompson’s book title was until I started visiting Las Vegas on a semi-regular basis.  Not that I feel either of these things when I go to Vegas, though it seems the rest of the world is in direct agreement with Mr. Thompson.  They all hate the Vegas.  I’ve never really understood this concept.  How can one hate Las Vegas?  It’s basically a town that incorporates everything that is great about America…and even some of the not so great things.  It is the ultimate city of the get rich quick ethic (we all know that’s the true American Dream…who want’s to work when you can win it all in one epic round of Blackjack?)  Everything in Vegas, in true All-American fashion is bigger.  I mean, the hotels are miles long, the buffets are never ending, even daytime seems to stretch to oblivion.  Now, all these things also happen to be what most people find to be utterly disgusting about America, and I’m not putting myself outside of that group, but I’m also not putting myself outside of the group, ‘American.’  If I learned one thing from the time I spent living in another country it is this, I am American.  As much as I’m not some rifle-wielding, $4.99 prime-rib special eating, ford-truck driving, American, I can’t put myself outside of the group/label American because I am one.  Now aren’t I just disproving my point?  If this is everything to hate about America, why would anyone in their right mind like Las Vegas?  I’ll tell you.

Las Vegas is the ultimate example of freedom.  And though I wouldn’t argue that America is ‘free’ (here’s to you patriot act), it is a concept that we seem to be obsessed with.  And if you think about it, as far as countries in the world go, America is pretty free (not as free as we tout ourselves as being, but pretty free).  Take this mess in Pakistan.  When Kennedy was shot there weren’t fatal attacks and riots.  There wasn’t mass destruction in this country.  Also, I know it’s something we take for granted, but it’s a pretty amazing thing that every four years power changes hands in the U.S. and there is no threat of Coup, no bombings, it’s a peaceful process.  In that sense, I’d say we’re doing okay.  So in a country where it’s women are not forced to wear a veil to school, where we are able to disagree with, and even speak out against power (you’re hard pressed to find someone who won’t speak out against Bush now), Las Vegas is an outward expression of the freedom (or impression of freedom) we posses.  
In Vegas the societal conventions are slightly askew.  It’s not as though one can completely disregard all societal norms, and it’s not as though there are things that are legal in Las Vegas that aren’t legal elsewhere (unless you leave the city of Vegas and go to the Bunny Ranch or some such place of ill-repute that I will, at some point in my life, write an incredibly eye-opening story about).  But Vegas itself does not have legal prostitution or legal drugs, it doesn’t really have anything that one can’t get at Pechanga Indian Casino and Resort.  But what Las Vegas does have, and this is what is so great about it, is the illusion of being more open, a place to let loose where you don’t have to worry about the consequences of your actions.  I understand that this is just plain untrue, and if I ever get married or pregnant or arrested while in Vegas, I do understand that I will have to face the consequences, but when I’m in Vegas, things like that don’t phase me.  This is not to say that I do anything differently in Vegas than in my actual life.  I usually go to Vegas with my girlfriends, so I’ll probably skip the pregnancy, and until same sex marriage is legalized, we don’t have to worry about that.  Plus, you have to be doing something really amazingly crazy to get arrested in Vegas, so the threat is sort of gone.  
I don’t really gamble, I’m not much one for strip clubs (plus, there are about a gajillion in L.A.), and I can’t afford to see shows in Vegas.  So what, you might ask, is so great about Las Vegas that I go at least once a year?  Like I said it’s that perception of freedom.  If we were to order a stripper to come to our house in L.A., it might be a little embarrassing to face the neighbors in the morning.  But ordering one to a hotel room in Vegas (which has happened), we walked out of our room with pride, and, I might add, made quite an impression on the high school cheerleaders that were staying in the room next to us.  ‘That’s right,’ we seemed to say when we left the room in the morning on our way to a now infamous four hour long champagne brunch, ‘when you’re older, you too can order a short, oiled-up, faux-australian man in a leopard print thong and work boots to come to your room and make your friend eat one dollar bills out of his g-string.’  Can we do it in L.A.?  Sure.  Is it better in Vegas?  Of course.  Where else can you go drunken shopping at 1 in the morning, still carrying about six cans of bud light and not get arrested?  Where else can you jump in the fountains at Caeser’s Palace, fish change out, and give it to the homeless?  Where else can you see Cirque du Celine and Barry Manilow in a two day period?  
Vegas is all about letting loose.  It’s about staying up until 5 am and not even realizing that it’s 5 am.  It’s about drinking a 48 oz. Margarita in about an hour for the low price of $8.75.  Vegas really is America.  We’ve taken the best of all other cultures, and made one big obnoxious mega-meta-culture on one street in the middle of the desert.  In the course of a few blocks you can visit a pirate ship, Venice, a Jungle and have an arabian night.  There’s no where else in the world that this is possible.  For all you naysayers about the Vegas, I say this.  Vegas is a place where whether it’s winning big in the back room of the Bellagio, or going Rachel Ray style, for $40 a day, it is what you make it.  If you go to Vegas thinking you’re above it, then you’re going to hate it.  But if you go and embrace it for all its gaudy, faux-eiffel tower, showgirls, drinking on the street goodness, then you’re guaranteed to have a great time.  And remember that ‘What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.’  Unless, of course, you let some guy take pictures of the tattoo on your ass for $20, then everyone might know what happened in Vegas.  Hopefully no one in that picture will run for a political office…
Peace, Love, and Viva Las Vegas,

Julia

December 29, 2007 Posted by | Friends, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Parties, Sex | Leave a comment

The Alphabet Network

n my little hiatus before last week, I actually had an amazing amount
of stuff happen to me. I feel like I lived about six months in that
three week period. One of the best and most incredibly awesome
experiences I had was working the ABC fall press tour.

I’ve written about these press tours before, and I know, for the
people involved in television shows, they are the least favorite part
of their job, but I love them. It’s an experience where, I, as a
wannabe writer get to meet my real heroes, the people who write the
shows. Most people love the press tours because we interact with the
stars. And yes, I was a little excited the I got to meet and hang out
with Kate Walsh because Dr. Addison Montgomery-Shepard is my favorite,
but really I love hearing all about the development of these new
shows.

Let me back up a little bit. Basically, the fall press tour is where
the networks bring out all their new shows for the fall. Only one or
two (maybe three) will make it to season two and even less will make
it past that, so it’s always nice to get some bets down during the
press events. I, of course, love to preview new shows because I love
to see what’s coming out. This year the theme seems to be, let’s take
HBO and Showtime shows and take it down a notch. Basically (and I
promise I’ll dedicate a rant to this at some point), right now HBO and
Showtime have the best programming on T.V. and the reason why is
because they aren’t censored. Now, I think that many times censorship
can create great television. Hello, we wouldn’t have the infamous Va
Jay Jay if we didn’t have censorship. But, the fact that on an HBO or
Showtime show people can say fuck and they can have sex and they can
be real people means that the shows on HBO and Showtime are, for the
most part quality programming that can explore aspects of humanity
that Network television simply can’t.

Now, that being said, the one Network that is making quality
programming across the board is ABC. With programming like Desperate
Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Ugly Betty, Brothers and Sisters, Lost,
etc, ABC really concentrated on Character shows rather than High
Concept shows (thought sometimes there’s a happy medium). ABC is
taking risks and I totally respect that. Plus, many of their risks
are paying off.

So it is no shock to say that ABC definitely has the most exciting new
fall lineup, and I’ll give you my predictions for what will survive,
what will fail, and what will be good. And I’ll give you some good
stories behind them all.

So we’ll go alphabetically because I’m looking at an alphabetical list
so I don’t forget anything. First we’ve got Big Shots. The original
title was supposed to be Big Dicks (which I think was a great title)
but of course, you can’t do that on Network television, hence Big
Shots. Now, for the ladies this is the most eye candy and
ridiculously hilarious cast of the new season. It’s starring Josh
Malina (West Wing), Christopher Titus, Dylan McDermott (who is
surprisingly short), and Michael Vartan (who I was in charge of at the
press tour and was so unbelievably sexy I almost peed like twice.
Plus he was charming and funny and nice, and said he’d rather be
surfing…lord knows I can’t resist a surfer). Anyway, this show has
been lauded as Sex and the City (HBO show) for guys. I think this is
going to be a great show, but I don’t know if it will last.

Next, we have Carpoolers, Jerry O’Connell’s new show. And though
Jerry is very nice and very down to earth, I give this show three
episodes at the most before it is cancelled.

And then there’s Cashmere Mafia, a.k.a. Sex in the City Light.
Starring Lucy Liu, Bonnie Somerville, Frances O’Connor, and Miranda
Otto. I was in charge of Bonnie, thank god. She didn’t talk to me at
all, but she wasn’t crazy like some of the others. Basically, Lucy
Liu was nice and didn’t have a huge ego. Frances O’Connor refused to
come out of her room on three separate occasions, she was the worst by
far. All these ladies were surrounded by their publicists and hair
and make up people and all that shit, they were celebrities of the
most annoying kind. Kevin Wade, the creator, was, however, one of the
nicest, most down to earth guys. He asked me about my aspirations as
a writer and warned that it was hard work, but ultimately wished me
luck. He even remembered me the next night when I was working the
party. Because I liked Kevin it does pain me to say that I don’t
think this one will last, I think it’ll be lucky to see a season, but
it could surprise in either direction.

And then there’s the Caveman show. Called Cavemen. If you’ve seen
those Geico commercials with the cavemen that’s what the show is based
on. It does have one of my favorite actors from Detroit Rock City,
Sam Huntington, who proudly shouted to his bible-thumping mother, ‘I
just lost my virginity in a confessional. Lord. Have. Mercy.’ It
might be my favorite scene of all time in a movie. Apparently racism
is a big theme in the show. I give it 5 episodes.

Next we have Dirty Sexy Money. Now, this show is shooting on the
Paramount lot and the whole production seems sort of up their own
asses about how fucking great they are. They won’t allow tours on the
set (which is the stupidest thing ever because people will watch the
damn show if you let them on the set). The saving graces are Peter
Krause (from Six Feet Under, HBO) and Donald Sutherland. The girl
they cast is Samaire Armstrong (from The O.C. and Entourage, HBO), and
even though she’s been on two of my favorites (actually three because
she was in Freaks and Geeks as well), she’s not a very good actress.
She’s stiff and speaks haltingly and I generally don’t really like
her. This one I could see lasting for at least a season…or it could
get cancelled immediately because of high production costs (the sets
are ridiculous).

Miss/Guided, I don’t really know much about. There’s a copy of the
pilot sitting in my house, but have no desire to watch it. It is
starring Judy Grier, who you will recognize when you see her. She’s
hilarious, but this just doesn’t seem very good. Can’t even tell you
what the story is. 3 episodes before this is cancelled.

Then we have the shining star. Another HBO rip off, but one that has
major potential. It’s called Pushing Daises. It is a Diet Six Feet
Under type of show, but the cast alone is enough to get me to watch.
Anna Friel, who was kind of a bitch, but has been in a million movies
and been great in them, leads the cast with Swoosie Kurtz (of Reality
Bites fame) and Kristin Chenoweth (my favorite good witch from
Wicked). Basically, it’s a great cast of true characters and that’s
where it’s charm comes from. If I had to put money on one show this
season, I’d say this one will make it past season one.

And the magic words that give me goosebumps…PRIVATE PRACTICE. My
girl Shonda seems to be poised to do it again with this show.
Basically, this is the Grey’s Anatomy spin-off with the superstar
cast. Taye Diggs (who is even sexier in real life), Tim Daly (from
Wings), Amy Brenneman, and of course Kate Walsh. Now, Kate is who I
spent the most time with during the tour. She was so polite, she
remembered my name the next day at the party, she introduced herself
and shook my hand, she apologized for speaking on the phone.
Basically she was one of the nicest celebs I’ve met. But even Kate
was trumped by Shonda, Betsy and Marti. So basically, the Grey’s
Anatomy creative team is the Private Practice creative team. And
basically, I’m putting this out here right now, I will believe in God
if I have Shonda Rhimes’ life for even one day. I started shaking a
little bit when I met her because I think she’s the best writer in
Television (well, she’s neck and neck with Aaron Sorkin). Then, Betsy
Beers, executive producer of Grey’s, got out of her car and I met her
too. I listen to her every week on the Grey’s Anatomy podcast and I
think she’s amazing and awesome and a genius. And then there was
Marti Noxon, another executive producer on Grey’s Anatomy, who got her
big break as a writer on my favorite fantasy show, Buffy the Vampire
Slayer, and who is…………a banana slug. That’s right Marti is a
UCSC grad and gives me hope every week when I watch her name in the
credits. Now, as for the show, I think it’s actually going to be
really good (despite the less than stellar pilot) but it might have
trouble finding an audience because many Grey’s Anatomy fans seem so
opposed to the idea.

Next there is Samantha Who? which is Christina Applegate’s new show.
She was great. Very nice and very down to earth. This one has an
all-star cast (which usually means big ratings at first, but the true
test will be can this show hold it’s ratings…think Studio 60…big
cast and then huge ratings drops). So along with Christina we’ve got
Jean Smart (from Designing Women), Jennifer Esposito (who will be a
huge star soon, she’s freaking hilarious), Barry Watson (7th Heaven),
and Melissa McCarthy (a.k.a. Sookie from Gilmore Girls). Seems funny,
but I guess we’ll see.

Lastly, there is Women’s Murder Club. It looks not too good, though
it’s set in San Francisco, so that can often be charming, though hard
to watch for me since it’s so clearly not San Francisco and is, in
fact, L.A. I have the same problem with Monk. This is basically
Murder She Wrote with four Angela Lansbury characters. Though there’s
no big names, so that sometimes spells a hit (hello, Friends, Grey’s,
90210, etc.)

So that’s my wrap up for the ABC fall lineup. I guess we’ll just have
to wait and see if I’m right.

Peace, Love, and New Television,
Julia

August 17, 2007 Posted by | Grey's Anatomy, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Parties, Sex and the City, Studio 60, Television | Leave a comment

A Night of Firsts

Hello all,
Hope everyone is doing well, and I hope you’re liking the emails I’ve
been sending.  While they’ve been predominately me going on about
something that I think is crap, this one’s going to be a bit
different.  You see, last night something major happened…I went to
my first Hollywood party.  I know, you all are thinking, oh no, now
she’s gone over to the dark side, but I swear it is not so.  Even
still, I have to describe this awesome event (a.k.a. the Paramount
Studios Christmas Party) because it was probably the coolest thing
that’s ever happened to me, around me, in front of me.

So I’m going to paint you a little picture.  I assume you all know
what the Bronson Gate looks like.  You know it’s the big gate that
says Paramount Pictures on it that’s used in pretty much every movie
where someone goes to hollywood.  It was in Sunset Boulevard (which
I’m sure few of you have seen, though you all should because it’s
fantastic.  I mean when a old movie star, who is no longer famous is
confronted with the line ‘You’re Norma Desmond.  You used to be big’
and answers ‘I am big.  It’s the pictures that got small’  you know
you have a classic on your hands).  The gate was also used in that
episode of the Brady Bunch where they go to ‘Bronson Studios.’  Yeah,
anyway, you’ve seen it.

To get more to the point, I walked from my car, to the Bronson Gate.
When I turned the corner to go through the gate, something magical
happened.  I was transported to a winter wonderland.  There was no red
carpet at this hollywood party.  No, the street was lined with a white
carpet.  There were trees covered in snow and there was snow falling
from the sky (or the tops of stages 1 and 2).  That’s right, this is
hollywood and we can miraculously make it snow in Los Angeles, if only
for a few hours.

Walking into the studio there were free drinks lining the way (ahhhh,
hollywood), I was handed a map to the party as I walked on my way to
the big In-N-Out Burger truck, where one recieved FREE In-N-Out
burgers and fries (needless to say that would have been enough, and I
certainly didn’t go hungry).  In front of the In-N-Out was pictures
with Santa Claus, except, unlike the mall you got the pictures for
free.  Santa was a bit freaked when all 35 or so Paramount Pages came
to sit around his sleigh at one time.

So before I continue to the most awesome part of the party, I’m going
to need to explain something for those who have never been on a movie
lot or been inside a soundstage.  Basically, soundstages are huge
wherehouses where they build the sets to movies or t.v. shows.  The
thing is, they’re huge.  Basically, all of the sets of Friends
(Chandler and Joey’s apartment, Monica and Rachel’s apartment, and
Central Perk) all fit in one soundstage.  Right now, at Paramount,
there is a good chunk of what is doubling as the Captiol Building in
one soundstage.  Long story short, they’re freaking ginormous.

Well, the Paramount Christmas party was spread out over three
soundstages.  Past Santa and his sleigh (after the In-N-Out detour.
We made our way into stage 6.  Stage 6 was an Ice Skating rink.
That’s right, a real ice skating rink in the soundstage.  Of course,
the scene had to be set so there were pictures (we call them scrims)
of a winter landscape with snow and bare trees.  There was a fire
place with real fire, like we were in a log cabin and there were all
the holiday food fixin’s.  This was the turkey and cranberry sauce
room (I skipped the food here).  The door between stages 6 and 9 were
open so we walked into stage 9, the game room.  There was pool, skee
ball, ring tosses galore.  But in the distance was the ultimate.
There was a rock climbing wall (weird considering how much people were
drinking, but it was entertaining to watch drunk people rock climb),
and next to the wall was the ferris wheel.  That’s right a ferris
wheel inside the freaking soundstage.  It was cool.  Of course being
the carnival room, this came equipped with the L.A. favorite PINK’S
Hot Dogs.  And they had veggie hot dogs so I was a happy camper.

As we were roaming around, I noticed the distinct aroma of Indian Food
(I’ve been craving it for weeks so I started getting really really
excited).  That’s when we saw it.  The dancing room.  This room,
complete with a huge raised dance floor was themed India.  There were
Bollywood musicals projected on the walls (for those who don’t know
what a Bollywood musical is, you’re missing out.  Basically, India
produces more films each year than any other country in the world,
including the U.S.  They are mostly musicals and are usually romances.
 They’re super cheezy and freakin’ awesome.  If you’re going to rent
one, I’d start off slow with Bride and Prejudice because it’s
Americanized, but I’ll recommend more if requested). There was a huge
Buddah statue in the middle of the floor (what, is it usually used for
prayer or something…not in hollywood).  There was a chandelier
(don’t know how to spell that) made of yellow and red flowers.  There
were tents with chairs that looked like we should’ve been smoking from
a Hookah in them.  And there was the Indian food buffet.  Yes, I was
in heaven.

On top of the free food, dancing, ice skating, and carnival, there
were free drinks.  And we partied the night away.  I’ve heard rumors
that the studio drops about 2 mil. on this party, and lord knows it
was well appreciated.  The Pages as a whole, were kicked out when they
had to start cleaning up only to reconvene at the front of the gate
where the huge christmas tree stands.  We finally left the lot at
11:30 and went home, stuffed and warm from the inside out, to dream of
the years to come.  All in all, it was a successful and infinitely
awesome spectacle.

Hope you all are well.  Happy Holidays.

Love,

Julia

June 14, 2007 Posted by | Christmas, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Parties | Leave a comment