I love music almost as much as I love books, but for cruel and unexplainable reasons, the gods have left me completely devoid of any musical ability. Nevertheless, I know what I like. Here’s what’s been playing in my head this week.
I SO DON’T LIVE HERE
“Beverly Hills” –Weezer
Monday, June 20, 8:37 a.m.: I stub my toe on the corner of my Murphy bed for the f------ last time, drive to Hollywood, and rent an apartment on the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Vine, smack in the middle of the action. Unlike the place I’m currently living in, the new one is unfurnished, so until I get paid, I’ll be living with a pile of books, a litter box (for Stinkë, not me) and an inflatable neon pink couch I bought at a garage sale. On the bright side, there are poolside movies, a kick-ass gym with TVs on every treadmill, and a sushi restaurant and a Borders on the ground floor. If only there were a liquor store, I’d never have to leave the block.
THE TOTAL WOMAN
“Naked and Famous” –The Presidents of the United States of America
I’ve temporarily joined an all-women’s gym in Glendale. It’s clean and classy, but there are no famous people, and there’s no one naked to look at unless I become a lesbian who fancies unshaven middle-aged Armenian women in granny panties. It wasn’t until I began finishing my workouts in half the time that I realized how social I was at my old gym in Bellingham. Even if I was just talking to drug runners and guys whose leg hair had been rubbed off by their tube socks, I miss that.
I SEE CHER AT SAV-ON
“Celebrity” –Brad Paisley
The truth is, I haven’t seen anyone famous yet, unless you count Lorenzo Lamas, and I don’t, and besides, he was presenting an award at some B-list pat-ourselves-on-the-back awards show where I got shushed by a gay guy at our table and the gift bag for the evening contained a Swiss Army knife knock-off and a Kenny G CD. I did see a guy at Baja Fresh who I thought was John Cusack for a split second, but then I looked closer and realized that he had no eyebrows or eyelashes and therefore could not be John Cusack, and if he were, my decades-long Lloyd Dobler infatuation would immediately screech to a halt.
FIRST PLACE, WORST USE OF S.A.T. WORD
“Jessie’s Girl” –Rick Springfield, ALBUM
The writers’ room continues to be a source of Hollywood gossip and random pop culture trivia feasts. This week, for example, I learned that Rick Springfield—Dr. Noah Drake, General Hospital—auditioned for the part of Aaron Echols (ultimately awarded to Harry Hamlin). This discussion inspired us to sing Jessie’s Girl all afternoon and attempt to replace the line “I wanna tell her that I love her but the point is probably moot” with “better” rhymes. I proceed to have a dream in which Rick Springfield shows up at the BEHS library in a wetsuit to tell me that I need a retainer for my bottom teeth.
MOST OVERRATED DANGER
“Road to Joy” –Bright Eyes
Before I got to L.A., all I heard about the city was that the driving conditions sucked and danger lurked behind every stop sign. Here’s the deal: I’d rather drive from my office in Burbank to my Hollywood home than drive from Southcenter to Tacoma any day. I spend less time in my car here than I did in Bellingham—it takes me ten minutes to get to work, and once I move, I’ll be taking the subway, so I won’t have to drive at all. I’ve gotten on and off any number of freeways (the 5, the 134, the 101…) dozens of times without ending up in South Central L.A., begging for my life. Knock wood.
THE COOLEST RECORD STORE IN AMERICA IS RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET! VIVA AMOEBA!
“Hurt” –Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash sings Nine Inch Nails. How fucking cool is that?
TALKING ME OFF THE LEDGE
“Closer to Fine” –Indigo Girls
Last week, my TV Guide horoscope advised me that the week would be “one of the most promising times of the year as Mars, planet of energy, moves in your favor. If there are any creative projects you would like to develop, now is the time to give them your full attention.” I’m totally not making up that stuff about Mars. You can fact-check it yourself. However, I’m pretty convinced that I won’t be turning to TV Guide for my horoscope again soon. I had a few moments of soul-crushing homesickness, artistic angst, and unbelievably mind-blowing heartbreak this week. There is, however, more than one answer to these questions pointing me in a crooked line, and the less I seek my source for some definitive, the closer I am to fine.