Angel Town

posted 14 Feb 2004, 7PM | 10 Comments

Last Friday I saw The Shins perform at the Henry Fonda Theatre. They rocked. Said their charismatic basist to the enthusiastic crowd, "What? You want me to take my clothes off? Well, I don't normally do this—you're special, Los Angeles. Here's my PLAIN BAGEL" He pulled up his shirt and wrapped thumbs and forefingers around his belly, creating a wheel of flesh. Outside, on the patio above Hollywood, I observed that Christina Ricci and Adam Goldberg both smoke Parliament Lights. I sipped at my straw, thinking to myself that Rock Star isn't quite on par with Red Bull when it comes to vodka mixers. Later the crowd stood up, waiting, pounding on the floor.

On Saturday, at the Knitting Factory, a sweat-shirted Bob Odenkirk answered questions from a small adoring crowd about the failed television pilots we had all just watched. He spoke about comedy writing and cracked jokes about the Fox network. Afterwards my friends and I wandered out onto the boulevard, yelling and skipping, seeking out ice cream and pitchers of Natural Light.

The following morning I joined a gym, planning to grow strong and, uh... noble. After I filled out all my paperwork and paid a bunch of money, I climbed onto a Stairmaster (an odd virgin experience, this small infinite escalator). I marched upwards and onwards for a while, and just as I decided that it was time to strap on my iPod headphones, some R Kelly song came on the house stereo. "Ah, R Kelly," I thought to myself. "That crazy dude." A second after the music began, I heard a sort of chuckle/grunt to my left... and I looked over to see who it came from. And I'll be damned if it wasn't R Fucking Kelly climbing the Stairmaster beside me, sweating his face off. He grinned and nodded toward me, (as I nearly tripped off my stairs, shocked by such surreal synchronicity) and then turned away to talk with a couple of his boyz who were climing machines beside him. The four of us marched in unison. I put on Outkast, and laughed on the inside.

Sometimes L.A. life treats you silly.

Three weeks ago, with the help of my girlfriend Jenny, my four-person production company filmed some quick pieces involving a couple of viking costumes. A fun learning experience. We adjourned around 1pm, and headed downtown to see the Frank Gehry exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Models and blueprints lined the floors and walls. Bits of wood and paper. Jenny, Jason and I walked down the street to see the twisted titanium Walt Disney Concert Hall. We took photographs and watched a crew shooting some kind of SUV commercial, as the sun set, pinkish. Jenny and I drove Jason back to his apartment, stopped by a cafe for dinner, and walked around the corner to the NuArt to see the remarkable documentary My Architect.

Later we met up with Jason in the hills above Studio City, where he was spinning records in the largest room of a beautiful mid-20th century modern home. It was a housewarming party. We talked with the owner, a friendly and generous 28-year-old fellow who made his fortune working in the porn industry. We drank beer with new acquaintances, smoked by the fireplace, and drove on home.

Sometimes L.A. life treats you well.

There are 10 Comments


15 Feb 04 at 03:04AM R. said:

Randy Newman was onto something.


16 Feb 04 at 08:37AM aim said:

WHOA! Your celeb sighting experiences have definitely raised the bar in my head for entertaining famous people stories. Raised it quite a bit actually.... considering it was previously at a level comprised of Charles Barkley ordering two fish sandwiches and a diet coke at McDonalds. Ewwww.


16 Feb 04 at 09:56AM ryan said:

Fish sammiches? That's hilarious. Also gross.


16 Feb 04 at 02:15PM star said:

i saw fred durst this last thursday, sitting alone, eating a salad at the 101 cafe. i didn't even so much as kick him in the head or openly taunt him, and i feel ashamed for having missed my opportunity.


17 Feb 04 at 12:58AM christine said:

my latest sighting: Jason Schwartzman and Zooey Deschanel on the same Valentine's Day date as me and Rama, a double feature of Audrey Hepburn films at the New Beverly.



17 Feb 04 at 10:43AM awol said:

sometimes, l.a. life treats you like a bitch too, eh?


17 Feb 04 at 02:29PM ryan said:

Yes, to be sure. More on that later.


19 Feb 04 at 11:25PM nikk said:

You and your posh, celeb-shoulder-bumping LA lifestyle. You're such a show off.

And I've come to love every f+kking word of it.


21 Feb 04 at 08:52PM Jess said:

Just got an email from my friend temporarily stationed in Oxford. Sent me news of her Thom Yorke sighting from a bus. In her own words: "He had sunglasses on and a slightly self aware bemused look on his face."
I regularly stop by your site Ryan, but rarely post. Thanks for sharing in style


29 Feb 04 at 10:48AM gwen aka tllgrrl said:

[eating breakfast, sipping a cuppa joe and wiping away a tear]
great post. makes me miss l.a. even more.

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