I’ve been in a couple of LA earthquakes, and usually it feels like a big truck is driving past the building where I am. It rumbles and moves on. Then, my faraway friends and family start texting to see if I am still alive. I smile at their naive, not-earthquake-having ways.
My First Earthquake
The only earthquake that left a real impression on me was one that happened a couple of years ago, at a comedy show in a dress shop that my friend Brandie booked me on. Handsome nerd actor James Urbaniak was attending with his girlfriend. During another comic’s set, I felt the room moving and watched pictures swing on the walls and thought: Wow, I’m gonna die in the same room as James Urbaniak. But nobody died, and we had great earthquake chitchat and went home. Once we have an earthquake it becomes THE small talk for the next 24 hours, outstripping weather, traffic, and who got onto a Harold team on their first try.
My Second Earthquake
The first big earthquake this week happened on the 4th of July, because God hates America, or at least, California.
I slept through it. I was awoken by many texts of friends asking did I feel it, and then talking about the biggest earthquake they had survived. I felt so left out. I wanted to feel the earthquake. It was like I hadn’t been invited to a cool event, just because I was sleeping in on a holiday. I couldn’t write a funny earthquake tweet, I couldn’t do anything.
At the fourth of July party, my friend Rick commented that he didn’t even know what to do during an earthquake, but he was pretty sure it wasn’t cuss and look for his pants. Everyone laughed. I felt so alone.
Got out of that party and went home. Couldn’t sleep, worried about not being in the cool earthquake club. At 3AM, my bed shook and I realized I was experiencing an aftershock. I was so happy, I stayed up until 5AM worried that I was going to die.
My Third Earthquake
The next night, I was eating dinner when the earthquake started. I walked outside to check on my car, walking 25 feet on tarmac that was shifting in the most unpleasant way. It was all the bad things about being on a boat, no drinks or swimsuits but nausea and choppy water. I asked the dog why he didn’t warn me. He indicated that he still wasn’t entirely sure what was happening. He may have missed that day of dog school. It lasted maybe 90 seconds but it felt like a whole episode of BBC’s Sherlock. My car was ok. Rick tweeted that he had been caught by the earthquake without pants on. Ithink that Rick taking off his pants might be where earthquakes come from, so please, Rick, if you’re reading- keep your pants on for the next little bit, OK?
With Daphne Zuniga, Virginia Madsen, Depeche Mode and Jesus and Mary Chain on the soundtrack, a great opening scene at Bullock’s on Wilshire, great shots of Melrose when it was skeevy AF, a dramatic scene at the Mulholland fountain on Riverside, a great goth bar scene, and a great role for my friend Rick Overton as a British tour manager.
Earth Girls Are Easy
With Geena Davis and HOT JEFF GOLDBLUM HOLY SHIT, the very funny Julie Brown, ANGELYNE!, Michael Mckean, and Jesus and Mary Chain and Depeche Mode on the soundtrack. NILE ROGERS soundtrack! There’s a Dennis Quaid song on the soundtrack! Small role for Rick Overton. Deeply stupid, but not as bad as you’d think (hot Jeff Goldblum.) You find out that if you shave an alien Jeff Goldblum, he becomes very hot.
With hot ass Nick Cage, the Plimsouls, a scene shot in what is now the Viper Room, and songs by the Sparks and Josie Cotton. A movie about punks who listen exclusively to New Wave! A movie that was sued by Frank Zappa! Two ladies who were later in Real Genius! Directed by Martha Coolidge, who pulled a MEGA-HIT on a budget of 300K, but then wasn’t given additional work! She was also told that she HAD to have four shots of bare breasts in the film, which she agreed to, but there was no indication of how long the shots had to be, so they are blink-and-you’ll-miss-’em, dressing room, non-sex-scene boobs.
I have moved to Southern California, and because of my dayjob deep in Orange County, I am living in Long Beach. I love Long Beach. It is quiet but has some good bars and clubs, a good selection of goth, punks, and weirdos of all stripes, I can park on the street, I can ride my bike, and I can walk to the beach. LA has the highest pedestrian and bicyclist injury rate in the nation. That’s why nobody walks in LA, Dale Bozzio of Missing Persons fame!
I know it’s not Los Angeles. I understand that. Look, I used to give shit to people living in Beaverton that they didn’t live in Portland. But I’m half an hour away from most of LA. I know that because it can take an hour to drive 3 miles in Los Angeles, in your mind you think that 30 miles away is a 300 minute drive, but it’s not.
I am 25 minutes from Koreatown. 30 from Hollywood. 45 from Pasadena and Sherman Oaks. I am 35 minutes from Santa Monica and Venice. So stop asking me:
1. Are you visiting? Yes, I just got in from LAX, which is closer to me than it is to you!
2. How long are you in town? Arrrgh!
3. Are you staying the night in LA? I can probably make it home, thank you.
4. Do you ever get out to Los Angeles? Yes, about 3-5 times a week ,depending on what’s going on.
Now, caveat- I can never be anywhere in Los Angeles reliably before 6PM on weekdays. But neither can you, darling. Neither can you.