Slightly hung over today. Sleep until 10:30am before the five of us head to Phil’s Diner. It’s a little chilly but we opt to sit outside anyway. Our server is very accommodating by turning on a heat lamp and leaving blankets on all our chairs. I’m trying to eat healthy so I order the Giant Breakfast Burrito. …woops. Troy orders the Idiot’s Mish Mosh. How appropriate.
Later on, I get a Skype call from “The Girls” back home. I’m so lucky to have the best group of girl friends in the world. Heather tells me I look “very Hollywood”. Kelly entertains all of us as usual. After about an hour I hang up with a headache from laughing the whole time.
At 8pm we drive 30 minutes to Santa Monica and stop for sushi at Noma. Troy develops a crush on our waitress, Min. Sonny gives up on chopsticks and uses his fingers. Jen pours sake and I learn that you should never pour your own sake – it’s bad luck. Mike speaks gibberish and everyone laughs at (with?) him.
After a quick bite, we go around the corner to Busby’s Bar and Grill to meet Tara O., her fiancé Rich, and her cousin, Marcus. Marcus is bartending and immediately gives us all a round of shots: jager bombs – west coast style. I don’t know what this means. I pour the poison into my body, anyway. Tara’s excited to see us. She’s been out here a few years and has been telling us we should come out for a while. Rich is adorable. He tells us about living in California – he’s been on the west coast for most of his life. They insist we spend Thanksgiving at their place near Malibu. Hmm, let me think. God, yes! Some of their friends and family will be there. I feel like we’re imposing. “No, not at all, you have to come!” Thanks, Tara. Should we make something? “I’ve got the food covered. I told everyone to just bring booze.” I can handle that. And maybe I’ll try to make Mom’s pineapple pudding. I’ll have to get the recipe…
Across the bar, we experience celebrity sighting No. 2 – David Patrick O’Hara, most well-known for his role as Fitzy in The Departed. I find out the following day that he was also in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I! He’s Albert Runcorn (Harry becomes Runcorn when they infiltrate the Ministry of Magic)! Oh my God, I’m such an idiot! I wish I had known. (Why? I would have done nothing different.) He looks so different in person. We continue to glance his way until finally, he raises his glass and cheers us from across the way. Fitzy is so cool.
Mike and Troy brought along some Moviewiseguys coasters – a going-away present from Mr. Kevin Potter. (Moviewiseguys is our website: Mike, Troy, and John run it; I contribute). They, with Rich, inconspicuously (but not at all), throw them around the bar. Rich accidentally hits somebody with one. Marcus gets a break and joins us at a table. He’s on his way to be a producer – currently works from some big-name directors. A great storyteller, he has me laughing hysterically about a potbelly pig. Marcus grew up on the east coast and lived in Philly for some time. He tells us about the adjustment to the west coast. “It takes a while. I was miserable. Now I’m semi-miserable, but I drink.”
Well said, Marcus. It’s time to go. Troy has kindly deemed himself the designated driver for the evening. I’m feeling pretty toasty since Marcus has been hooking it up. We say goodbye to Tara and Rich. “We’ll see you Thanksgiving!” Wow, it’s this Thursday. “See you Thursday, then!” Troy drives us home and I feel better about life.
*Loudon Wainwright III