Friday, January 20, 2006

Swimming Pools, Movie Stars

Last night I accompanied my friend Kelli to an award function for employees of the City of Beverly Hills which was held at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Kelli was receiving an award for 15 years of service and invited me. Our plan was to stalk celebrities and possibly lounge by the pool (so what if it's January and 50 degrees outside). During the cocktail hour on only our second Gin & Tonic, we set out to explore the grounds and discovered that there are too many trees to see in the rooms, the bungalows are gated, there's cameras in them thar trees and where the hell is the pool?
It should be noted early on here that I was a) wearing a skirt, hose and belly-binder, b) wearing heels that I had no business wearing, and c) still shorter than Kelli in her heels (dang, girl, you's tall).
Minutes into our third Gin & Tonic, dinner was served. Dinner was great. I didn't save the program for the menu, but the salad plate was a leafy affair with carmelized red onions on the side, main course was beef tenderloin with horseradish and mustard something on top, asparagus, carrots and green beans, and tiny potato slices. I'm drooling thinking of that tenderloin. So Tasty. The main course seemed to go quickly, probably because the overly-efficient waiter kept trying to steal Kelli's plate. There were two desserts--an apple tart thingy with a tiny little cup of cinnamon ice cream on top, and a milk chocolate mousse with a wild berry center topped in a hard dark chocolate shell. Rather than give you a choice, they just served one or the other to every other person--apple thingy, chocolate thingy, apple thingy, chocolate thingy, etc, so everyone ended up sharing with their companion. Both were enchanting. And we had party favors--a lovely pen and chocolates shaped like the seal of the city.

Then came the awards...Oh, wait, there was some dancing before that. We at the bad table (you'll see) didn't dance. So, awards...first the mayor did some talking and some awarding, then the funniest man, Jimmy Delshad, did some awarding. He was the Jewish Roberto Benigni, and kept us laughing but his stint was over too soon. Then some other guy gets up, who has no sense of humor, and Ilene, a woman at the table, fake sneezes "jimmy". This guy called boy Rene "she" and then called up Gabrielle when it should have been Gabriel. We giggled a lot. Possibly too much. Maybe you had to be there. Maybe it was the Gin. We kept wanting someone to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press. Kelli even tried to coerce a man at the next table. No one was having it. Finally, in an effort to get things wrapped up, Ilene went around and got the awardees of the police department, the last ones, to line up so we didn't have to wait for each person to clunk across the dance floor to get his or her award. And there were some clunkers, let me tell you.

After the banquet, Kelli and I found the pool!!! Success! My toes were cramped up at this point and I was hobbling like an old lady. Why did I think I could go from never wearing heels to 2-inchers right off the bat? Baby steps, Laurie. We tried our best but could not find a way into the pool area. So, we went to the Polo Lounge for another drink instead. We ordered our Gin & Tonics (did he not hear the tonic part, because whoa nelly, that was a drink) and they brought out snacks--spicy crispy something (it was dark), various olives (oh, yeah), and spicy walnuts. Had I brought a larger handbag, I'd have a darling set of silver serving dishes, but alas no. We talked, well, I talked and told Kelli all about my crazy family (and she's still speaking to me).
No celebrities in the Polo Lounge, just some weird couple who made out and gave each other hand jobs under the table (I'd have pointed it out, Kelli, but the girlfriend kept giving me the evil eye), and some high-class cross dressers (again, sorry Kelli, I couldn't point and laugh. It's a classy place). Then we got the valet to take our picture, took his picture and left.

I'd like to thank everyone who made this evening possible: Kelli, for inviting me and forcing me to show my inner girly side; Sears, for having a nice skirt on sale and in my size, Timothy, for helping me choose which necklace to wear; Marat, for carrying the big mirror into my office so I could do my hair; Bossman, for not being here so I could put make-up on and plug in the straightening iron without repercussion; the valet who helped me out of the car, and Marc (he seemed like a Marc with a c to me) who took our picture; the librarian dressed like a Scottish Highland Dancer, for making me feel more comfortable in my attire; and the Hollywood Foreign Press, because you haven't been thanked nearly enough this week.

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