We are finally back home in London. The last six weeks is a blurry memory of highs and lows, of temper tantrums, holiday meals, parties, wildfires, union strikes, burglary and gunshots, two-shots and closeups, prison sentences, super star fundraisers, family reunions, realtor meetings, house hunts, quick business trips, and wedding plans. I have taken the day off today to decompress and try to sort out my feelings about the last six weeks and to try to make some plans. I'm taking no calls from the office or the west coast and the boyfriend has been sent off to do his Christmas shopping with instructions not to call or come home until dark. Dark, dark, darkness, darkly - Dark Lee, Darky Dark, Dark Victory, Dark of the Moon, Dark-Ray Productions, the dark prince is too big a distraction for what I need today. I need some quiet Ray time.
The trouble with not blogging regularly is that I tend to focus on the bigger events in my so called life. I guess today's blog isn't going to be any different. I want to try to blog more next year and focus more on my feelings about daily things. The blogs I like to read are the ones that involve you in the everyday lives of their writers. I tend to be more of a story teller. I want to change that. New Years resolution number one: blog more frequently and more about what's on my mind.
But for now it's back to the last six weeks.Temper Tantrums
Dark had a tantrum in one of the private rooms at The Abbey. He had arranged a birthday party for on of his friends, August, another vfx artist. He rented one of the private rooms and invited about 15 guys including August's on again, off again boyfriend for drinks. Drinks were served while the birthday presents were opened. Dark picked up the drinks tab and then everyone decided they were hungry and ordered dinner off the menu. Came time to pay for the dinner check everyone chipped in to cover their part ... everyone that is except for the on again, off again boyfriend of the birthday boy. He had also arrived gift less and spent most of the evening making digs at August. When the bill was passed to him he declined to chip in saying August would pay his share. A tense embarrassed silence followed. I reached for my wallet intending to pick up the entire check to defuse the situation when Dark snapped "Take your hand off your wallet. I have already paid for our dinners and for August's dinner". Then he grabbed the check and told the on again, off again boyfriend how much he owed. The guy whined he didn't have any money and his dinner should be included with August's. Then Dark exploded. He stood up throwing his napkin on the table and launched into one of the the most awesome verbal attacks I have ever witnessed. He verbally tore the guy a new asshole. After he finished he sat down and when the rest of the stunned party recovered they all started clapping and cheering while the on again, off again boyfriend stood and slunk away. Watching your boyfriend shout and visibly shake with rage and righteous indignation is ... well, stimulating. I couldn't wait to get him home and jump his bones.Holiday Meals
I had my usual orphan Thanksgiving dinner. This year 22 people showed up and it turned out to be one of the best to date. I started with a chorizo pumpkin soup with onion and cilantro garnish. For veggies I made seasoned corn with roasted chiles and fresh serrano chiles; cranberry-mango relish with onion, jalepeno, cilantro, lime juice and honey; ancho chiles stuffed with sweet potato. Roast turkey with mexican cornbread stuffing and chile gravy was the meat. And I finished it off with pumpkin flan and a tequila key lime pie. Oddly enough no one asked for Rolaids or Maalox.Parties
Our annual Halloween party was populated by assorted Marie Antoinette drag queens, sexy nurses, Renaissance vampires, buff felines, homo cowboys, and a smattering of super heroes. Dark decided since we both busy with film work and organizing the party we would simply wear our tuxes. As it turned out the decision not to wear heavy makeup and costumes was fortuitous given what happened in the wee hours of the next morning.Wildfires
Southern California was plagued with several wildfires while we were in LA. A big one in Malibu coincided with another huge one in San Diego. One friend of ours in a Malibu canyon was evacuated but returned to find his house had been spared. The fire had simply jumped his house and then proceeded down the canyon to burn out his neighbors. These natural disasters are so random and one of the prices we pay for living in paradise.Union Strikes
The Writers Guild of America strike shut down production on the film I am in but all my scenes were shot before it started. I had a small part in a The Riches
but production is shut down on that sitcom and no one knows when it will resume shooting. I could care less. I enjoyed acting again but it is never going to be a career move. Dark has lost work but his graphics company has kept him busy. I'm really sorry for those Tonight Show
staffers that were told by Jay Leno that their jobs were safe only to get axed by the network. Leno is catching a lot of flak for falsely building up their hopes.Burglary and gunshots
Back to the early morning hours after our Halloween party ... The party broke up about 1 a.m. and instead of heading off to the boulevard to watch the freak show there Dark and I stayed home. We tipped the caterers, car parkers, security detail, bartenders, and waiters and saw them all leave. Both of us were pooped and decided to just go to bed. Somewhere around 3/3:30 a.m. we were awakened by a gunshot ... a loud gunshot inside our house.
I bolted out of bed and headed to the doorway while Dark grabbed the phone to call 911. Normally the door to our bedroom is shut and locked. But that morning it was open and neither one of us had opened it. I got to the head of the stairs in time to hear another gunshot and see the flash from a gun barrel followed by the sound of breaking glass and a stream of Spanish curse words. Like an idiot I flew down the stairs to find out what the hell was going on. When I rounded the corner to the library I saw a tiny figure whirl around and level a gun at me.
It was in the hand of Carmen, our Mexican live-in housekeeper. She had the night off but had decided to return early to make sure the party debris was cleaned up to her high standards when the cleaning crew arrived later that day. She found the gate wide open and the outside lighting turned off and decided something was wrong. So she left her car at the gates and walked up to the house. She saw flashlight beam moving inside the hose as she approached. Not knowing if it was us or some burglars she let herself in from the service entrance and crept through the kitchen to the main hall. She tried to flip on the lights but nothing happened. That's when she pulled the gun from her purse. She saw a man in a mask carrying a flashlight step out from the library. She said she startled the guy. When he turned and started to run she fired at him. That was the shot that woke us up. He ran back into the library and tried to leave through the french doors to the side yard, they were locked. She fired off a second shot as he dove through a window breaking the glass. Then she started cursing in Spanish because she hadn't hit him. That was the shot, flash, and sounds I heard and saw from the top of the stairs.
All this she blurted out to me while she waved that huge pisol around wildly. In short order Dark appeared and then the police arrived followed by the alarm company security force who were followed by the security people from the neighborhood association. It was then I realized I was standing in the middle of this maelstrum naked ... stark naked. Thank Cher, at least I wasn't naked with makeup on my face. The bf had the foresight to at least throw on a pair of sweatpants. He brought me a robe while we talked to the police. They found the burglar had circumvented the alarm system, cut the phone line, flipped the main circuit breaker cutting the electricity before breaking into the house. There were two paintings from the living room stacked against the wall in the library, the safe was opened, and our watches that had been on our bedroom dresser were laying on the library table. Carmen had prevented him from completing the job.
Thankfully, Carmen had a valid permit for that gun. I was sweating that one out while the police questioned her. The police were gone by 5 and the various security people left by 6. Turns out Brentwood, Beverly Hills and the “Platinum Triangle” of Bel-Air, Encino and Holmby Hills have been hit by a rash of burglaries this year to the tune of over $7 million. The consensus was the burglar got inside the gates as the last of the party staff was leaving and waited until we were asleep to break in.
This job would not have netted the fucker that much. Nothing he had planned to steal was horribly expensive. But one item was priceless - my watch. The watch itself was inexpensive but to me it was worth more than any Rolex, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, or Girard-Perregaux. When BC and I first met he asked me what kind of watch I wanted if money was no object. I told him if he ever got rich he could buy me a plain gold Patek Phillipe. That first Christmas together in 1970 when I opened his present to me I found a watch. It was a plain simple gold inexpensive Neiman Marcus watch. When I flipped it over to put it on I found it was engraved with " ... next time" on the back. He told me that was all he could afford that Christmas but someday he would buy me the other. Years later when he could afford it he wanted to buy me that Patek Phillipe watch but I stopped him. By then that first watch meant more to me than any diamond encrusted platinum one. I have worn that watch for 37 years. It has had dozens of different bands over the years but the damn thing keeps perfect time. The idea that some sorry shiftless low life almost stole it enraged me. For days I was sorry Carmen's shot missed him.
Crap, it is 10 pm and the boyfriend is back home so I will close for tonight. Tales of two-shots and closeups, prison sentences, super star fundraisers, family reunions, realtor meetings, house hunts, quick business trips, and wedding plans will have to wait until tomorrow or one day this week ... to be continued.