I hate LA.  It is the antithesis of everything I like about the East Coast. Yet, I go — and mainy for one reason — my friends.

dcspartyYes, I get some work done. I tried (not in too much earnest) to call my attorney. I took a meeting with some shyster about running a film festival. I threw a small gathering for DC Shorts participants who could not make the trek to DC for the film festival.  Thanks to those who came — it was great to see Mia and Dave — a couple who met at the festival, fell in love, got maried, and are now expecting their first kid — who I hope they name Jon or DC.

But I got to spend some amazing time with Terese, Kim, Steve and Jimmy.

Terese is a former graphic designer who is launching a consulting firm (sound familiar?!)  I have known her for more than 10 years, and she is always generous when I show up.  Now with her own 4 dogs and her business partner’s one, Pilot joined in the pack and ran around the house and yard while I was able to relax.

floatI have always wanted to see the Rose Bowl Parade. Well, I arrived too late for the fanare — but just in time to see all of the floats up close in a post-parade show-and-tell.  Up close, the floats are truly amazing — every conceivable seed, flower petal, greenery and shrubbery is used cover these intricate enginering feats. As luck would have it, my friend Gene worked on the Bollywood float a few days before the parade — so seeing it and his handiwork was extra special.

After leaving Pasadena (and no, I did not see the “little old lady,” I spent the afternoon with Kim.  We met my first year of Camp ‘Camp’ in 2002. She is fabulously funny and filled with lesbian drama that could be its own TV show.  Good for 2009: she has found a possible new girlfriend who sounds like a great catch and very sweet.  Bad for 2009: she lost her job in biotech marketing.  kimMan, I hate this economy!  Anyway, Kim was able to squeeze in extra time with me and Pilot and took us to Runyon Canyon — a vast series of hills and canyons north of Hollywood.  Yes — its a great place to see famous people. We walked by many a bad face lift or overinflated lip job — some of the distorted faces were familiar. I don’t care about celebrity, so I could not identify anyone — although there were a few very hot model/actor guys I wanted Pilot to trip over.

After a few day’s at T’s, I moved into Steve’s place.  Steve and I also met at Camp — and have been able to grow a wonderful friendship ever since.  Located in the heart of West Hollywood (the gayborhood for those who don’t know LA), Steve is a close walk to great coffee shops, unque boutiques, trendy restaurants and plenty of sex toy shoppes.  We spent our time walking around with Pilot, watching realy bad MTV and Bravo TV (yes — I LIKE IT,) and catching up.  Steve has been out of work by choice for a long while.  He is ready to get back in the workplace — and I hope he can find something fast.  He is a brilliant office manager and had great person-to-person skills — he can talk to ANYONE.

jimmyDuring my stay, I was able to see Jim.  I met Jim (and his partner, David) at the Ashland Independent Film Festival six year ago. We hit it off immediately, and since have become each others best cheerleaders.  Jim is incredibly talented — he designed the sets and props for the 70s CBS gane shows (Match Game, Price is Right, many others), as wel as has won Emmys for his work on Moonlighting, Hart to Hart and others.  Did I say he is taleneted?  I wish I had some of it!  We caught up on old time, new work, and what the future holds for both of us (PLENTY!)

I am sorry I missed so many others — Mars is not living in Poland. I forgot to call Emily. I missed Juan and a few other Camp buds.  But I am incredibly grateful to have friends in LA.  In a town where the bullsh*t is so thick, you’d break a dozen shovels to get at the truth, its is nice to have honest, caring people I can rely on for fun, advice and insight.

Yesterday, Steve drive Pilot and myself to the airport.  Asfter slipping the therapy dog cape on Pi, then slipping him a doggie downer, we effortlessly boarded a non-stop flight home. Pi did fine on the plane — he fell asleep for most of it.  I watched bad Bravo on the satellite TV (Millionaire Matchmaker), and fended off the doxen childen (and many adults) who wanted to pet Pilot.  As we landed, I managed to slip the very cute flight attendant my card (I hope you pass through DC, Matthew), then exited the plane to the helpful and welcoming arms of my neighbors Kirk and Tim who came to pick us up.

As I said in my last post, I am truly grateful for this experience. The trip was transformative on many levels, and I truly loved seeing parts of our great nation that many take for granted.

Stay tuned — I have many more journeys in the future — and would love to take you all along for the ride.