Hollywood and Boot Star

Since I’ve been on a shoe theme, I might as well show off my version of hollywood shoes. I’ve wanted a pair of boots from Boot Star for ages, but the last two times I was in SoCal I managed to miss going in; first because I kept showing up when they were closed, and […]

Since I’ve been on a shoe theme, I might as well show off my version of hollywood shoes.

I’ve wanted a pair of boots from Boot Star for ages, but the last two times I was in SoCal I managed to miss going in; first because I kept showing up when they were closed, and the second time, on the way home from Disneyland, I wound up having to ditch a trip through LA because of a carsick kid.

So my one agenda item for this trip, after martinis at Musso and Frank, wasa stop at Boot Star.

Now, I really didn’t mean to buy anything. Boots like these, which I’d kill a man for, go for nearly two grand; and I just can’t bring myself to spend that kind of money on footwear, even if I was still rolling in dotcom era dough. My intent was really just to shop and torment myself (kind of the shopping equivalent of a strip show, where you can look and lust but not actually get any).

Unfortunately, the lovely salesgirl (Heather, whom I’d let walk all over me in her patent-leather-cowboy-boots anytime), pointed out The Sale Rack. And I say ‘unfortunately’ because saving money is the best way to talk yourself into spending it.

Which is how I came home with these – because, you know, everyone needs a pair of hollywood shoes.

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Shindig at the Chateau

I sort of intended to blog about my short trip to hollywood as it happened, every stripper-encounter, every meal or drink in a local hot-spot, every random celebrity sighting. It didn’t quite work that way in practice; work chased me down over and over, and I spent the majority if the two-days-three-nights in SoCal fielding […]

I sort of intended to blog about my short trip to hollywood as it happened, every stripper-encounter, every meal or drink in a local hot-spot, every random celebrity sighting.

It didn’t quite work that way in practice; work chased me down over and over, and I spent the majority if the two-days-three-nights in SoCal fielding questions and answering email.

That’s not to say there wasn’t fun to be had; but I didn’t manage to write any of it down as it happened.

When I say fun, of course, I mean, well, a celebs-eye-view of paparazzi action.

The party mentioned here was going on in my hotel wednesday night; I walked through the middle of it as I came home from seeing a show, after waking past an absolute phalanx of paparazzi to reach the door.

I was sitting in my room later in the evening watching celebs like Paris and Nicky Hilton, Gary Dourdan, Adrian Grenier, Gene Simons, etc etc, leaving the party and getting mobbed – and note that all those links are photos taken that night, as I was watching it from the hotel side.

I didn’t spend a lot of time actually *at* the party, other than walking past Elvis Costello and Diane Krall, Natalie Portman, Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer, Matt Leblanc, and likely several others. The real entertainment was the view of exactly how insane the papaprazzi swarm was. Even when I couldn’t recognize the particular people from the back as they left the party, I could tell exactly how big a deal they are at the moment by the number of flashes that went off as they walked down the driveway.

It’s a nutty life, being a celebrity; seeing it first hand from the inside really drove that home. And it’s funny to walk into a scene like that and have every eye go to you, asking the silent question are you anyone?

Hollywood and Spike heels

I’m staying for a couple of nights in gray, rainy hollywood. I’d like to say that I’m here for the oscars, which are this coming Sunday and for which several blocks of hollywood blvd are blocked off; but no, I’m here instead to enjoy a wednesday evening show of Wicked (which in itself is a […]

I’m staying for a couple of nights in gray, rainy hollywood.

I’d like to say that I’m here for the oscars, which are this coming Sunday and for which several blocks of hollywood blvd are blocked off; but no, I’m here instead to enjoy a wednesday evening show of Wicked (which in itself is a good thing)

I’m staying in hollywood’s gothic glory, the Chateau Marmont (or ‘chateau marmot‘ as my mother and and children would have it); site of John Beluhi’s tragic death, and setting of episodes of Entourage, recordings by Anthony Kiedis and Ville Valo, and where bad girls like Britney and Lindsay get themselves in trouble.

It’s a hotel with a past; the kind of hotel where people look at you as you walk in and out to see if you’re anyone. It’s been here since the early part of the century, and one cannot help but wonder, who else has slept in this room.

I’d like to say I’ve been in the bar, drinking with people who make too much money and spend too much of it on cosmetics and cars; but alas, most of my day I’ve been working, solving all the problems that followed me out of work on a tuesday. I’m not out long enough to have actually nailed anything down, as I did when I went to fiji five years ago, nor even long enough that I needed to tell anyone but my boss; so of course my phone has rung a dozen times, and in the hour I spent in the air with my iPhone switched off, I got 10 emails I needed to answer and a half dozen texts.

Still; working in a king size bed at the Chateau beats being in my office.

It wasn’t all work today; I managed a very fine lunch and several martinis at one of my favorite restaurants, Musso and Frank; the kind of place that reeks of ambiance, the kind of place where cops and writers, stars and moguls, politicians and gangsters, strippers and hustlers, tourists, locals and as-beens all step in for a perfectly grilled steak and an ice cold martini. It’s the kind of place where the characters in my head meet and talk, brood, or seduce one another.

I also managed to have one of those moments I’m prone too, where I encounter a woman who gets into my head in a huge way.

Hollywood blvd is lined with sleaze, and I mean that in both the very best and very worst way. Cheap, glittery sex stores, tee-shirt emporiums, the kind of shops that have name brands on everything they knock off. The too-beautiful and the broken down, the very rich and very poor, the shiny and the tarnished meet in mid-block, the lines where one becomes the other never close to sharply defined. This means it’s both a great place to shop for things you can’t get anywhere else, and a great place to watch people.

Case in point; where else could one find, not one, but many places to buy thigh-high, florescent green plastic platform boots with seven-inch heels – in a men’s size fourteen.

These sorts of stores draw me in; places that sell cheap leather and the sort of lingerie you’d only see on someone paid to wear it, or someone who can’t tell the difference between whore-hot and whore-sleazy. The sort of stores where the shoe soles are not made for walking, but for pointing toward the ceiling.

We were browsing in one such store – my youngest daughter in a frenzy of fashion-shopping, finding the innocence and charm in all that vinyl, my older one trying to look pointedly away from all that funk and sleaze only to find it’s every single place she can think of to look.

I was admiring a rack of stainless-steel-and-leopard-print stiletto heels (wondering vaguely what they’d feel like walking up and down my spine) when I noticed a very pretty young woman trying on a pair of shoes in the back of the store.

Now, I’m not really a foot fetishist; I love women’s feet in that I love every single thing about women’s bodies. Feet are important because they are connected to ankles, calves, knees, and on up, every inch being something love. But – well, some things make a fetishist of me, at least for a moment.

She was trying on the sort of shoes no one – at least no one I’ve ever known – actually wears; this sort of thing.

“Those shoes look incredibly good on you,” I said to her, as she got up and wobbled across the store.

“Thanks; I don’t know if I can walk in them though.”

I looked at her feet, at the six inch spiked heels, at the impossible arch of her instep in them, like a body stretched just short of breaking on a rack; that perfect point of tension that’s just short of too much.

She had tattoos on her feet and ankles, lovely curves to her calves, and these shoes did things to her legs and feet that would break hearts and start wars.

I couldn’t take my eyes off her.

“They’re not really made for, you know, walking,” I said.

She smiled at me in the mirror, then went on practicing walking in them, wobbling around and looking at herself. I helped her look.

I made a vague attempt to leave her alone, but found couldn’t. “They just look make your feet look incredibly sexy,” I said, and she smiled and thanked me; it was the kind of smile I’ve seen before from women who make a living being sexy, but it was also real, with barest touch of self-consciousness about a compliment from a stranger.

“I’m used to platforms,” she said. And I began to visualize tucking dollar bills in her g-string.

I had to walk away from her, my kids interrupting me before I could say more; I was going to ask to see her tattoos, to give me a chance to look at her feet some more; maybe ask her is she was a dancer, and more importantly (since I already knew the answer to that), where she danced.

I lost the moment though, and when I looked back at her she’d decided against the shoes, walking away with empty hands and flip-flop clad feet.

“I don’t think I could walk in them,” she said to me, as se left the store.

“too bad,” I said to her back. Too damned bad.

I was distracted for a good hour, thinking about it, as I found Musso and Frank and ordered lunch; my mind filled, not with images of her hips, or thighs, or face or breasts, as would usually be the case after such a moment, but with images of her feet. I could not get them out of my mind.

Fetishes are funny things.

Myths and Mice and Thanksgiving MILFS

I’m off tomorrow to fly to Anaheim to visit family and The Mouse. I’d be driving down already, as are half my family, only Olivia and I have tickets tonight to see Mythbusters Live. More on that later, as I’ve no real idea how they can turn that show into a live thing. Meanwhile, I’m […]

I’m off tomorrow to fly to Anaheim to visit family and The Mouse. I’d be driving down already, as are half my family, only Olivia and I have tickets tonight to see Mythbusters Live. More on that later, as I’ve no real idea how they can turn that show into a live thing.

Meanwhile, I’m packing kilts and my Sad Kermit t-shirt to wear to the park, trying to decide which combat boots are best for walking.

Sunday, I fly mouseward, and then wednesday, drive back here, stop quickly to drop my disneyland clothes and pick up my dinner party clothes, and head north for thanksgiving with a friend mine (who is a MILF, and I mean that both literally and personally), in the napa-sonoma area

I won’t really be home for a week, and thus blogging is unlikely, unless I decide to live-blog from inside pirates of the caribbean on my iPhone.

Pack head, y’all. That’s what this week’s holiday is about. The feast of Saint Gluttony.

meet me at musso n’ frank

I’ve been having’ one of those days – weeks, actually – when I’m just craving a cocktail.

But not – you know, just alcohol. It’s not really alcohol I want. It’s the time, the place, the, you know, the thing.

There are those places you miss; not a place place, not Hawaii or London or the Scottish Highlands, Venice or New Orleans. That’s bigger, and sadder. That’s a spirit, a feeling.

No, I mean that smaller scale sense of missing. A coffee shop where one once sat, eating greasy food and drinking bad coffee after late nights. The book store where one used to sit and read in a dusty corner. The bar where one once met friends and heard local bands.

And it doesn’t have to be a hangout. Some places I’ve been, they got under my skin after one visit. A pub by the river in York; a fish n’ chips stand on the Royal Mile; a bar down below canal level in Br├╝gge.

One such – and the place I’ve been visualizing now – is a silly place indeed. You know the place if you live in Hollywood; you know it by rep if you read about LA. If you’ve read crime novels by Michael Connely or Robert Crais or Jonathan Kellerman, you know the place as if you’ve been there, eating steaks and drinking mid-day with rough men.

Musso and Frank. Hollywood’s oldest eatery they call it; it feels like it. It feels like it’s seen more old hollywood action than any studio or any mansion. You can imagine Welles, Chaplain or Valentino; the Mark brothers or Clark Gable. You can imagine writers, Bukowski, Faulkner, Hemmingway. They live on in the dark walls and worn tables.

It’s the kind of dark, wood paneled room, the kind of old-fashioned chop house ambiance, that just seems to have ghosts and seem to inspire dreams.

Aside from that kind of cuisine, aside from the feeling that someone very important or deeply sinister may’ve sat in this same seat yesterday or may tomorrow, the thing one goes to musso n frank for would be martinis. And that’s what I’ve been salivating for. Ice-cold, served with an odd, tiny carafe on the side (so you get an extra pour), this is place that understand exactly how a martini should taste.

And I’ve been sitting here all day, trying to concentrate on incredibly dull but important data gathering (to prove with numbers what everyone already knows to be true). But my mind is in that dark, smokey room, (because never mind the silly laws, in my head it’s smokey, like it would have been in those days), with a fine, mysterious dark-haired girl beside me, and we’re drinking icy cold martinis.

Outside it’s daylight – because it has to be. But here inside, I shade my eyes with the brim of a hat, and I breath in the perfume of her, and sip icy cold gin – always gin, never vodka.

Thats where I am today. But the martini I might make when I get home – or not – wouldn’t taste the same. Because the scene is what I want, and the company, the company of ghosts and beautiful, mysterious women. The drinks? Well, they’re just the taste on my tongue.

Shiny Briny

It’s a hooka hooka on the shiny briny on the way to Kona, And in a little shack they had a little sign that said Coca Cola, And even all the grass skirts were PVC. I’m just an English boy who won a holiday in Waikiki. –The Kinks, Holiday In Waikiki I’ve been talking a […]

It’s a hooka hooka on the shiny briny on the way to Kona,
And in a little shack they had a little sign that said Coca Cola,
And even all the grass skirts were PVC.
I’m just an English boy who won a holiday in Waikiki.

–The Kinks, Holiday In Waikiki

I’ve been talking a lot lately about Hawaii with a certain impossibly delicious friend of mine. Specifically about the allure of living there.

She’s never even been there and she can feel it call out to her.

I’ve been there a lot; roughly twice a year for the past ten, though there are some gaps in there where I went elsewhere (Fiji, Turks and Caicos, Cozumel) for my fixes of tropical climate and warm-water diving.

But Hawaii always calls to me. No matter how many times I go, no matter how often I say let’s go someplace else. No matter how touristy and commercial certain parts of Hawaii get, still, I hear it call.

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Bula! Fiji!

My Fiji Journal is up. I'm sure it needs more editing. What doesn't? Note that it's displayed in reverse order, so oldest entries first. Just because. There will be more pictures posted later. For those of short attention span, you…

My Fiji Journal is up.

I’m sure it needs more editing. What doesn’t?

Note that it’s displayed in reverse order, so oldest entries first. Just because.

There will be more pictures posted later.

For those of short attention span, you can skip to the Executive Summary.

Read more “Bula! Fiji!”

Home again, what day is this?

I woke up this morning in my own bed, hearing a light plane pass overhead. I thought it was the sound of the dive boat at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort, which I've been hearing every morning for…

I woke up this morning in my own bed, hearing a light plane pass overhead.

I thought it was the sound of the dive boat at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort, which I’ve been hearing every morning for ten days. I expect to open my eyes to the thatch ceiling of a Fijian bure and to hear a breeze rattling tropical plants. I expected to smell tropical flowers.

When I opened my eyes to my own bedroom I felt completely confused.

I think I spent over 24 hours traveling to get home. My body has no idea what time it is. I still feel ‘the motion of the ocean’ from so much time on dive boats the last ten days. I’ll feel that for at least another day.

I’ve got a whole travel journal to put up, and pictures, but that might be a few days yet, it needs some work to be ready for public view.

But right now, it’s back into work and what seems to have been a soap opera while I was gone. I’m still collecting the threads and trying to catch up on it all.

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Somewhere off the coast of Java

Somewhere off the coast of Java Fell a little piece of lava that grew up to be the island known as Bali -Bali Boogie, Danny Kaye (From memory, I can't find the damned lyrics to that anywhere) I am going…

Somewhere off the coast of Java
Fell a little piece of lava
that grew up to be the island known as Bali

–Bali Boogie, Danny Kaye (From memory, I can’t find the damned lyrics to that anywhere)

I am going to be far, far away from that mean old internet for a long time.

Well, two weeks. But it feels like a long time.

I’m going to be on Vanua Levu, Fiji. Which is not exactly off the coast of Java but I liked the title anyway.

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