Friday, May 21, 2010

L.A. Stories- Common Whores Sense

In the world of Porn, paychecks come out on Wednesdays. Usually. Unless the company can't pay the perfomers, in which case the "talent" (a dubious distinction) drives all the way out to Chatsworth, only to be turned away empty handed and pissed off. Or pissed on, depending on the genre they participate in.

Our performers engage in a variety of "skill sets." When they come in to be photographed for a "go-see," they fill out a form stating what they're willing to do on camera and the types of scenes they're interested in performing. Here is the information we ask:

Legal Name

Stage Name

Date of Birth

Agent's Contact Info

How Many Scenes Performed

Weight/Height/Shoe Size

Breasts- enhanced or natural?

Ethnic Background


Tattoos/Scars/Piercings? Where?

Please circle what you will do on camera- Boy/Girl, Girl/Girl, Toys, Boy/Girl/Boy, Anal, ATM, Anal Toys, Double Anal, Double Vaginal, Double Penetration, Cum Swallow, Internal Cum Shot, Facials, Bukkake, Gang Bang, Squirting, Rough Sex, Interracial Scenes, or "Everything."

Please circle any other talents you have- Dancing, Singing, Play Musical Instrument

(Then they sign a contract stating that we can use their go-see photos for any reason, at any time, for any purpose, and never pay them anything. We're awesome like that.)

Each girl has this on her "permanent file," so we know what she'll do and what she won't do.

Often, an agent will bring in a herd of "ladies" and have them fill out paperwork. Many of these girls are from Eastern Europe, or South America, and don't speak English. I remember one Latin beauty asking her sleazeball agent, "What... bukkake?"
He answered with a jerk off motion close to her had. "Many guys. Come. Your face."
"Ohhh," she answered, eyes wide with confusion.

When they ask me what "ATM" stands for, I tell them that if they have to ask they probably shouldn't circle it.

A lot of girls circle that they'll perform Interracial Scenes, but only if they're paid a significant extra amount of money. Like they don't want to disappoint their parents or something. This happens frequently with our Asian performers, and I have to point out that a scene involving any actors who aren't also Asian is technically "Interracial."
"No," they explain, "White dudes ain't interracial."
"Ohhh," I say.
"I just don't wanna do no Black dudes."
"Ohhh," I say, checking my facebook.

...Last Wednesday was a great day- we could actually pay people for the jobs they did- hand, rim, blow- all kinds of jobs! Around 3PM, a pair of breasts walked in, followed by a giant pair of lips and a girl.

She told me her stage name and asked me if she had a check available, and sure enough, she did! Usually, the girls just smile, wave thanks and bounce out the door, but this girl frowned as she signed for her check.

"The amount's not right," she said.


I called our payroll lady, and was told to tell the girl to take it up with Jose Vega, the director. Apparently, Vega handles all the contracts and vouchers. Since each girl's daily rate is determined by the amount of skills she displays on the video, there is no one "standard" rate. Oral sex pays $150. Just intercourse nets the girl another $50. If she performs a "solo," (a masturbation scene,) that's another $50. Same with a verbal interview or peeing on camera. If a girl engages in anal sex, the price goes up a lot more. She can get $300 total if she does Anal. Special talents like "DP," (double penetration) or gang bangs earn a girl an additional $100 on top of that. Each performer negotiates ahead of time with the director, and signs a contract stating what she will and will not do on camera that day.

I encouraged the girl to take it up with Vega, who, sadly, is a notorious spaz and kind of flakey. Cocaine's a hell of a thing.

"Make sure you stay on him- I know you worked hard for that money," I said.
"You don't know the half of it!" she said. "Do you know what he did to me???"
Um, nooo?

She explained. These are her exact words:

"It was my first Anal scene, right? ANAL. No crazy shit, right? Ok, so I'm riding Manny Gaspacho, and Vega tells the other guy to DP me! Without even warning me first! Anal's anal, but DP? Oh HELL no- he's gonna pay me extra for that. You don't just DP someone without asking first!"

"God damn right you don't," I agree. "Get your money honey!"

We high five in girl-power solidarity. You do NOT DP someone without asking first. Everyone knows this.

She leaves and I bathe in hand sanitizer.

It's a Wednesday in Chatsworth.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

L.A. Stories- The President's Man

I met him at a nightclub. He was standing against a wall, dancing oddly, and alone. He caught my eye because it's not every night you can go to a hip-hop club and see a middle-aged Asian man in a 3-piece suit and tie, complete with tacky rhinestone American flag lapel pin. To ice his Stereotype cake, he was also sporting a bulky Nikon camera dangling from a thick neckstrap.

He'd been checking out my group of friends, and I was highly entertained when Tiffany, an amazing dancer in short-shorts and heels, decided to go dance with the curious Chinaman.
They made a really odd couple- she's a girl who exudes style and energy and sex appeal and spunk. Him, well... not so much. He jerked around awkwardly while she glided around him like silky smooth nutella on a dumpling. Not a good combination, but hilarious to watch.

After a moment, when she'd had enough fun and he was about to lose his audience, he turned his camera on. I thought he wanted to photograph Tiffany, and I walked over to provide her an out, but instead, he flips the camera around and shows us both photos of him... standing next to Obama.
Okay... this just went from really amusing to bizarre.

Desperate to prove his credentials, he shows us frame after frame of him standing next to or near both Barack and Michelle Obama, wearing the same awful suit and awful lapel pin.
We then asked the question you don't often hear at a nightclub:
"So how do you know the President?"

It wasn't a good environment for a conversation- the music was too loud to discern his answer, but we were burning with curiosity- we'd discovered something truly rare and strange- we just didn't know what to do with it!

I couldn't understand his explanation- his English wasn't fluent and the music was deafening- but I did hear him clearly ask "what do we do?"
Tiff's a dancer, I'm a writer. We told him as much.
"Oh," he says. "I need a writer! What kind of writing?"
Blogs. Sketch Comedy. Stand-up. How do I begin to explain...
"Funny stuff," I say. "Comedy."
His eyes light up. "I need comedy writer! Here!"
He hands me an embossed business card with a gold seal on it, identifying him as "Dr. Hong Feom Lee,"* and he's the President of a College-I've-Never-Heard-O

He indicates over the Jay-Z song that I should write my email down on the back of an extra card of his.
Tiffany jabs me with an elbow and arches an eyebrow, which is the International signal for:
"Do it- he knows the President!"
So I do- I want to know how this strange middle-aged Chinese club guy got to hang with Barack, and I wondered what possible use he could have for me.

We part ways and lose him in the crowd. It's not hard because he's 4 feet tall. At the end of the night, Tiffany makes me promise to email him and find out what his story is.
It turns out I didn't have to- at 9AM the next morning, there's an email from the good Doctor.
"Hello, it was a pleasure to meet you last night. I would like your help inserting comedy into my speeches. I would like to meet with you. You are cordially invited to my office to discuss this. Sincerely, Dr. Hong Feom Lee, President, College-You've-Never-Heard-Of."

Hmm. I sent him an email back, responding that it was nice to meet him too, and that I'd be happy to send him some samples to see if he liked my particular style.

A few hours later, I received an email from him, with slightly worse English:
"Hello, yes, please bring your samples to my office. I will like to read them. You can take ESL and Acting at my college. Sincerely, Dr. Hong Feom Lee, President, College-You've-Never-Heard-of."

Hmm. I sent him some samples- a few blogs, a couple of sketches, a portion from a live show I wrote, and part of a screenplay. It was a lot of material, but I wanted to give him a good idea of what I can offer. I sent out the email and then googled the College-I've-Never-Heard-Of. It is a dingy, cracked office building which caters to literally fresh-off-the-boat Asian immigrants looking to learn English. It offers "assimilation" courses, and yes, even acting. In English. Dr. Lee is indeed the President, and is shown in several photographs pointing to things as a crowd of bored Chinese people look on.
The website boasts that the "College" offers a 'snack room for eating,' and vending machines. Two are shown in the photographs, as proof.

By the time I was done looking at the website, (I'd spent maybe three minutes) I already had a response from Dr. Hong Feom Lee, President, College-With-Snack-Machines:
"I like your wringting very much! Please meet with me! Sincerely, Dr. Hong Feom Lee, President, Huge Rip-Off-Scam-For-People-Trying-To-Learn-English."

Frankly, I was a little surprised that he'd read all my wringting so quickly... The samples I'd sent him should've taken longer than 3 minutes, but, when a man makes up his mind about something...

"Dear Dr. Lee," I sent:
"I'm so glad you enjoyed the samples I sent. Feel free to email me a portion of a sample speech and I will add to it and send it back to you. If you're happy with the results, we can discuss rates for a complete re-write of a speech. I look forward to working with you- however, I travel often and will be unable to meet with you in person. I'll be happy to work with you any time online."

And I never heard from him again.


To this day, no one knows when or where The President's Man will appear. He's gone, now- he's in the wind. But beware, ladies- one day, when you least expect it, some Asian dude in a bad suit may scam on you at a nightclub- he may show you confusing, vaguely impressive photos- but don't be fooled... This man is not interested in your wringting. He's The President's Man- and he's only interested in one thing: giving you ESL and acting classes.

L.A. Stories- My Kitchen Interview with a Pop Star

You all know who she is. You know her songs, and you know her name. She was an International mega star, and, after a brief stint in the tabloids, is now all over TV. Here is the story of how I wound up chatting with her in her kitchen at 11:30pm...

Some of my guardian angels at my former internships still look out for me, and occasionally send me job leads. I received a notice at 1PM that a celebrity and her Producer husband were looking for a personal assistant to manage their affairs and travel with them to England for a few months. Must love kids, must be accessible at random hours when they call from Europe, etc. A positive, "can-do" attitude is a must.

Hey, I thought. I've got a can-do attitude! That's me!

I sent them a personalized cover letter challenging them to call me at 5AM, or whatever insane time they wanted. I told them that I love to travel and have spent time in England before. I explained that I'd worked as a theme park performer and had a history of entertaining children, and that anyone who willingly dresses up as a tapdancing starfish is pretty much guaranteed to have a "can-do" attitude.

A man called me a few hours later, told me that Pop Star and Producer loved my cover letter, and asked me if I'd be willing to meet with the couple and discuss the job further. He said they needed someone right away. They were only interviewing 6 people, but could I please come that night after they were done filming. At 11:30pm. That same night.

Sure! No problem! Weird times? Can-do attitude!

At 11:20, Jay and I pull up to the classic "gate." Jay rolls his window down, and the silver intercom speaker next to him says "Can I help you?"
We identify ourselves, and, like Open Sesame, the massive gate glides silently open, disappearing into the manicured hedges.
We drive up a long driveway and see a gorgeous house- huge windows, oversized luxury door, ivy growing on the walls... this is the guest house.
The ACTUAL house is breathtaking. Everything I'd want to quickly get used to and take for granted.
Suddenly, a giant comes out of the front door- Security. He explains that they're interviewing another candidate- could I wait in the car?
No problem. Can-do!!! See??? CAN-DO!!!

After a few minutes, a confused-looking frumpish girl walks out, and the Giant waves me in.
I walk into their house, (which is amazing, by the way) and there they are- the same people whose photos I'd been googling earlier. Standing in sweat pants in their dazzlingly bright kitchen.
She looks beautiful, but tired. He looks frustrated and annoyed.

I've learned from meeting enough crazy rich people not to try to shake their hand unless they offer it first. He did, she didn't. She looked up to smile briefly and say hello, then became intently focused on her blackberry phone.

"You're married?" begins the Producer. "You don't want this job."
I guess the Giant told them my husband drove me...
Producer explains that their last two Assistants left because their spouses gave them ultimatums after the crazy hours started to affect their marriage.

Producer asks me what my husband will say when I tell him I'm going to England for 4 months.
I said, "He'll probably say I'm getting even at him for going to New York for 4 months."
I explain that we're used to separating for the Greater Good- that we love each other but we're very focused on our careers right now, and we understand the occasional need to... no one is listening.

Pop Star is totally engrossed in her blackberry at this point. She's pressing buttons on the phone, and her massive canary yellow diamond flashes laser-like sparkles into my retinas.

Producer asks me how long I've been married, then sighs when I tell him the answer.

Producer looks at my resume and asks me what I'm doing working for porn. It does not SAY porn on my resume, but he recognized the company's name, which tells me that he's probably OK with porn.
I explain that I got hired through a friend of a friend, and that I was grateful because it provided me with health insurance.

He asks how much I make each week, and how much he'd need to pay me for paying for COBRA.
He's also never heard of COBRA, and starts to look more tired as the Giant chimes in to explain it to him.
I tell him I'd just be thrilled to have a job that wouldn't make my mom cry.
Pop Star looks up and says, "Oh, your mom might cry over this one, too..."

We talk briefly about my resume, and he warns me that their Assistant will not have an easy job.
I tell him about bailing out mosquito-infested larvae-water from my boss's fountain, and scraping spider webs from her Doc Martins.

He's about to ask me something else when Pop Star thrusts her phone an inch away from his nose. The small LCD screen illuminates the bags under his eyes- this man is tired.
"Look at this," she says. "Number 10."
He says nothing, but she is unfazed.
"Number 10," she insists again. "'Cause they think I'm fuckin' amazing!"

She resumes her position, hunched over her phone, leaning against the marble countertops. A supernova of light radiates from her ring.

Producer sighs. "So, we're making calls tonight or tomorrow. Thanks for coming by so late."

They both shake my hand and wish me a good night.

I went home and dreamed about cross-Atlantic flights and running up marble staircases with tea for Pop Star and her friends. Changing Dior Diapers and running errands with limitless credit cards. In my dreams, the inexplicable numerous rabbits that live near London-Heathrow Airport gathered to congratulate me- I was on my way!

The next day, my phone didn't ring, and I wasn't surprised. The Dream Rabbits were wrong- Producer and Pop Star's minds were made up before I walked in. And, as much fun as the fun parts would've been, something in my gut tells me I may have dodged a bullet. I'm OK with this. And, in the fleeting instant it takes for the light from a canary yellow diamond to dazzle your eye, I got to imagine what it would be like to be part of that world.

L.A. Stories- My Morning Oysters

When your friends move out to L.A., they'll all brag to you about the weather. "Oh, sure, it's hot," they'll say, condescendingly, "But it's a dry heat!" Smug bastards.
In Florida, we're well aware of the evils of humidity. We've all sweated through our clothes, and melted off a facefull of makeup while waiting to sign in for an audition. Slogging to work through a parking lot paved in what feels like molten butter has it's drawbacks, for sure. However, I would much prefer this easily remedied and anticipated yearly challenge than the side effects of this "dry heat:"
1) You hair loses its shine and falls out.
2) Your pets shed like there's no tomorrow.
3) Your skin is constantly dry. AAAAANNNND, (drum roll please)

When we first moved out, we thought that it might be a residual effect from our long journey through the desert. Then, we blamed in on slow acclimation. Now, we just accept it as part of Life in Los Angeles: Morning Oysters.
Allow me to explain.
Every morning, when I wake up, the first thing I have to do is pluck a "thing" from my nose.
It's a large, thin flake- about the size of a nickle and the consistency of a fish scale, and usually gold or green in color. Often, it's got crystalized dried blood mixed in, forming an effect not unlike Tiffany Glass.
This pliable flake is found adhered to my septum each morning, and it's always on the nostril that isn't smooshed against a pillow. It can appear in either nostril, but this phenomenon prefers the delicate ecosystem of the nostril with the highest altitude. It's always there in the mornings. Always. Like the sun. Or the homeless maniac in our parking garage.
Since our apartment has bars on the windows, and deadbolts on the doors, I can't blame any magic mucous fairy for placing this in my body. I have to be making it myself.
Because I must unwittingly spend my subconscious hours crafting something so special, I am reminded of how oysters make pearls. I think if somehow, I forgot for a series of mornings, to remove this little gem, one day I would sneeze and something the equivalent of amber would pop out and land on the hardwood floor with a rattle and thud. There'd even be DNA inside!
It's gross, for sure. The flake makes a clicking, suction noise when I dislodge it from my septum, and it's large enough that I have to DO something about it. It's not like a benign sneeze one can politely ignore- this, I have to place in a kleenex and throw away. (I don't collect them.)
In the early days, when I still had a sense of wonder about morning oysters, I'd wake up, sense the flake's presence, and go to the bathroom to try and see it. It's so substantial in size and mass that when I'd throw it away, I could hear it hitting the trash can liner bag.
There's a line about Hollywood in the song "Long December," by The Counting Crows...
'It's all a lot of oysters, but no pearls.'
Until my little A.M. creations become precious gemstones, I can only agree.
So enjoy your hot wet summer, Florida. You don't know how good your nose has it.

L.A. Stories- The Rise, Fall, and Refractory Period of a Porn Empire

Yesterday, I found out how my pornographic film production and distribution company got its start. It involves porn! And drugs! And prison! And betrayal and intrigue! Here, in lurid detail, is the story...

A long time ago, in the Silicone Valley, (Chatsworth, CA) a clever Business Man hooked up with a creative porn Director. The Business Man, who we'll call "Mike," was very excited to market the Director's innovative (and incredibly inexpensively produced) new "P.O.V." style of porn. POV stands for "point-of-view," and the movies became very popular because they allowed viewers to imagine that the onscreen action was happening to them- they never saw a male porn star's face, and they weren't distracted by the unnecessary frivolous additions of lighting, music, plot lines or dialogue.

Mike the Business Man made a fortune, and he and the Director cranked out one or two movies every week! They hired editors, assistants, drivers, personal trainers, additional directors, and eventually bought a huge building with a massive warehouse attached to it, and hired people to ship their shitty movies all over the country.

Mike was a true entrepreneur, and also very generous. Sure, he drove his Bentlys and Ferraris around, but one year, he bought his employees houses. Just for fun! To maximize his profit, he also began selling drugs, and, through hard work and dedication, eventually became one of the 5 biggest drug dealers in all of California!

One day, Mike got taken down in a massive drug bust, and was sent to jail for 10 years! His half-brother, "Ike," volunteered to run the business for him while he was incarcerated. Ike had been working in the warehouse, and was well-liked, so Mike agreed, and Ike moved into his half-brother's giant corner office.

Shortly after they combined forces, a douchebag who sleeps with celebrities telephoned Ike and offered to sell him some footage of the time he'd sex with a famous hotel heiress. Ike had hit the jackpot! After paying the heiress just $400,000 for the rights to the video, the douchebag, the heiress and the Porn Company all became household names! Soon, C and D-List "celebrities" from all over were contacting the company, offering to sell them sex tapes.

With these movies selling really well, there was less of a need for the other shitty porn. Many of the directors became restless and angry, feeling that they were not being paid enough. Several left to form their own companies. leaving just the really weird ones with the original company.

One director, who stayed, would put a spiked training collar around an "actress's" neck, then film her as he'd drag her down the carpeted hallways until her knees were bloodied and raw from rugburns. He'd then drag her into the men's bathroom, still pointing his camera at her, and have her perform oral sex on him while he sat on a toilet and pooped. He'd then pay the girl $200 cash and call it a day.

The ten years passed, and Mike was released from jail, ready to rule his porn empire with his brother. However, prison'll change a man, and shortly after Mike's return, Ike accused Mike of "moving product" from the warehouse at night. A fistfight ensued. Mike, hardened from life in prison, was much better at fighting and punched Ike, knocking him out.

When he awoke, Ike was pissed and wanted to press charges against his half-brother. However, as this would've been Mike's Third Strike, he'd have to spend the rest of his life in jail.
Instead of pressing charges, Mike let Ike buy him out of the company, and the two parted ways. Mike took the remaining directors with him, and formed a separate company and left his half-brother to run what was left of the company on his own. The two still bitterly hate each other.

Ike was a nice guy, but not much of a business man. Without Mike's guidance, the company stopped making money. To make matters worse, the internet became a source of free porn, so people stopped buying DVDs unless they had A-List names on them- and the company had run out of A-List names.

When the money dried up, most of the remaining employees scattered, leaving a massive empty building to house the 8-person company. When the company failed to get the rights to the "Kid Rock/Scott Stapp Groupie Blow Job On A Bus" movie, it signified the beginning of the end. Kid Rock's shyness about his inability to maintain an erection due to a medical condition known in the Industry as "coke dick" spelled certain doom for the company. To make ends meet, Ike allowed other porn companies to operate out of the building, and tried to get a pay-per-spank web site up and running, but it was too little too late.

The company is back to shitty POV porn, but they can no longer even afford locations for these low-budget films. Instead, they shoot on their own desks in their own offices.
The remaining director here wants so badly to shoot movies for the company, but they won't approve any sort of budget for him to hire quality people to work on the set for either side of the camera. Most of the people (including the actresses) he uses are friends he made in Rehab.

Reduced to the one disgruntled remaining director and no production funds, Ike, experiencing marital troubles, moved his two giant bear-dogs and his "19-year-old" girlfriend into his corner office in Chatsworth, and refuses to answer his phone.

I spend most of my work day dodging calls from Collections for Ike. Mercedes Benz, Verizon, Dell- they all want their money. It's become a joke between me and the calling centers- we all know what's going on. The worst, though, is when I have to dodge calls from people who've worked as crew or talent on a movie. They'll call or stop by, expecting their $150 check for the day's work, and I have to tell them that "it's not available." When they finally do get paid, they go immediately to the bank to cash it, then call me from the bank, furious because the bank tells them our company's account has "insufficient funds."

To say the least.

One of the people who runs his own distribution company from our building will answer his phone, but if he realizes it's Collections, he'll lie and tell them they have the wrong person. He'll do this multiple times, without telling me what's he's up to. So the Collections Guy will then redial me and insist that I'm a retard and I'm repeatedly connecting them to the wrong extension.

Another company within the building, also hurting from the internet YouPorn boom, knew I was looking for extra cash and offered me $150 to masturbate on a toilet for a "security cam" POV movie. Naturally, I was flattered, but I had to decline- I know what happens on those toilets. I've worked here for four months now and I still refuse to even sit down on them. I'll hover, thanks.

We've stopped accepting new "talent," as well, so when the girls show up in their fishnet minidresses with their vaginas hanging out, I sadly have to turn them away... We used to photograph and interview them, maintaining a database of available skanks, but no more. Instead, dejected and waffle-patterened from their mesh, they must pack up their labia and hit up the next company.

There is hope on the horizon- sooner or later, another douchebag will show up at the door with footage of Tiger Woods or Jesse James having sex with them- but until then, I will answer the phone in a vague, nondescript manner and transfer all calls from Collections (about 40 a day) directly to voicemail.

L.A. Stories- Look, Don't Touch (and other facts of LAife)

Today, on the road, someone drove over a branch of kumquats and sent them exploding across the 1-70 in a burst of projectile fruit. It was colorful and citrusy- the kind of fruit-splosion a vitamin-C-deficient Michael Bay would arrange.
However, this is not the most amazing debris I've seen on an L.A. commute:
Last week, I was on the 101 when I noticed that the road was... shimmering. Not just a sheen, or even a Charlie Sheen- there were distinct dazzling points of vibrant red and silver light, appearing with more and more frequency.
Since only the night before, I'd been writing commercials for an eye disease clinic, I panicked and ran through my list of cataract and glaucoma symptoms. I did the cartoon-patented double-fisted eye rub. I blinked really hard- no change. In fact, the sparkles had increased in number- I was driving through a maelstrom of radiance.
Time stopped for a moment- "this is what it's like to live in a glitter snow-globe..."
Gradually, over the next 1/2 mile, the sparkles dissipated, leaving stunned drivers to wonder and marvel at the miracle on the 101. I still don't know what it was- although I think it must've had something to do with Universal Studios Hollywood- I've worked enough parades to recognize Mylar confetti when I see it, but the sheer amount was breathtaking.
The reason this is important (other than the fact that it's awesome,) is that it's pretty much the only free thing I've received since moving to Los Angeles. Anything else that's sparkly or fun about this city has cost me- dearly.
Parking my car on the street cost me a keyying.
Jay's job in NY cost me my hair.
Horror Nights cost me my jeans.
Grinchmas cost me the skin on my face.
My health insurance was taken away.
Hell, we'd been stolen from before we unpacked what was left of our mangled furniture.

Most of the LA experience reminds me of the time my parents took me to England, and we went to see the famous Crown Jewels. There they were, an arm's length away, behind Lucite cases, laser security and tasseled, velvet-clad guards: crowns, scepters, little important-looking sphere-thingees- amazing treasures to behold. These glimmering royal accessories were so physically close to me, and yet a universe away. Look, Don't Touch- these are tools of a trade I'll never be part of. This is for a life I'll never have access to. I can look, but I can never be part of what these shining trophies represent.

And that's exactly how LA is.

Drive down Sunset Boulevard, and gaze into the windows at the Cavalli store. Take a peek down Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills at the shoppers in their Prada heels with their billion-dollar bags. Look into the ivy-shrouded windows at the mansions in the hills, and you'll feel it: a profound sense of disconnection. Here is a life you'll never be part of. Look, Don't Touch.

The most singular example that stands out in my mind is the vista from Mulholland Drive. Peering down at the twinkling lights of the city below should serve as some source of inspiration- but instead, it is a condensed view of everything I can't be part of. Downtown LA might as well be covered in a giant Lucite case with laser alarms- it's a life you have to be born into, and at times it seems like I've got a better chance at becoming English Royalty than Hollywood Royalty.

This ache is felt most intensely when the glitter-life is swirling around me, but it sneaks up at other times, too. I miss not worrying about money so much- dinner and a movie used to be no problem. Now, the price is just too high. I find myself getting angry over nickle-and-dime stuff that never would've bothered me before. I get feral about food, especially...

I once paid a friend in groceries to take me to the airport- he took all my perishable food from my fridge before dropping me off at LAX. I adore this friend, and yet, as he loaded MY milk and MY chicken into his trunk, some caveman part of me longed to lunge at him- I wanted to pounce on him like a wildcat and take my food back. It's MINE! MY FOOD!

There was a point over the holidays when I walked past two guys grilling a steak in the courtyard of my apartment building. I strode past, tall and uncaring, unlocked my door, walked inside, turned around, locked my door, then broke down and wept like a baby in my hallway.
I wanted a steak too.

It wasn't fair- They get steak and shoes and mansions and jobs in the industry. Why is there a Lucite barrier between me and everything my heart has ever beat for?
Welcome to LA.
Look, Don't Touch.

That is why free roadside sparkles are so special- everyone can enjoy them.