Jan 20, 2016

Another Year, Another Blog (Or David Bowie & the Golden Globes)

Posing on the Red Carpet
I haven't blogged in awhile. Do people even still read blogs? Seems like Facebook posts about what we're eating for lunch or what new shoes we bought or how much we either love or hate a political candidate permeates the web more so than a well thought out blog post these days. Meh. So what? Some days I miss the Internet of yore where only a few nerds gathered to discuss fandoms or JavaScripts, but those days are gone and we must embrace the present – an egalitarian Internet where any and all can share their views no matter how mundane or idiotic (or profound and intelligent).

Do I seem like I'm in a bad mood? If so, I do apologize. I'm getting over a horrible cold I picked up while attending the Golden Globes after party.

If you’ve been following me for a while, then you probably know that sometimes I get to do ridiculous things like go to the big Golden Globes after parties at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, CA. I know, it all seems so glamorous, and it is, but if you’re not a mega movie star, you might as well be invisible when you’re at these kinds of events. Doesn’t stop me from having a good time, though!

At first, we almost didn’t even go because my friend who can get me into these things was feeling sick. I encouraged him to consume mass quantities of medicine and go anyway. Perhaps a mistake in hindsight? Regardless, we had a blast until a black cloud descended on the evening, but more on that later…

First off, as I’ve mentioned, we’ve gone to these in the past. Typically, they run smoothly. Not so this year.

Instead of lining up outside the hotel and picking up credentials right at the entrance, as they’ve done in the past, we had to queue in a parking garage this year, which might not seem like that big of a deal, but as you’ll soon see, it was kind of a disaster…

OK, so in that pic you see the massive line to get through the security devices (squares at top right) which then herds everyone in another line to wait for a (tiny) shuttle which delivers us to the Hilton. We were instructed that we could not walk to the Hilton or arrive in any other fashion. We had no choice but to wait in line on a concrete floor for hours as we slowly filtered through security and then awaited our shuttle.

I know, I know “first world problems,” but still… Last year we just waited in line outside the hotel, which moved fairly quickly, then we retrieved our passes at the front door, walked through security, and blamo – we were in the main hub of all the parties. Took about 45 minutes max. However, this year with the added parking garage/shuttle business, it took us about 2 hours to make it from parking the car to entering the main lobby.

As a result, I missed seeing my better half, who just so happened to be working at the Globes that night, so perhaps I took it more personally this year, but still – it was poorly organized. Also, as a result, we missed our first chance to enter the InStyle party, which I had not been able to attend in the past and which was considered an important party to get to early in the evening. We made it there eventually, but I’ll get to that, as it coincides with the previously mentioned black cloud.

So, here we are, my friend, who is battling a terrible cold and sore throat, and myself dutifully waiting in a forever line just to get to the shuttle which will take us to the party.

Oh! I forgot one thing. See, we actually arrived early and could have been practically the first two people on that shuttle, but – and here’s the big but (I like big butts and I cannot lie/You other brothers can't deny/That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist/And a round thing in your face/You get sprung, sorry tangent, blame the wine I’m currently guzzling) – for the first time since we started attending the Globes after parties we finally received the much coveted invite to the Weinstein party BUT they were late with tickets. All the other big parties like NBC Universal, Amazon, HBO, etc. were there already set up with stacks of tickets for us to pick up but not Weinstein. Thus, we were forced to wait by the Weinstein table as we watched the line for security grow and grow… By the time the tickets arrived, there was an angry, well dressed mob pushing and shoving their way to the front because, y’know, it’s Hollywood and EVERYONE is sooooo important.

Anyway, we finally got our tickets and ran (well, my friend ran, I was in heels, I trotted) to the end of the line where we proceeded to panic about how long it would take to get in. I actually had fun kind of zoning out and people watching. Tons of VERY IMPORTANT people tried cutting the line, but were turned away. For some awful reason, that filled me with glee.

As I stood on the concrete floor doing the “pee dance” in my cheap, uncomfortable heels, I wondered how long until I found a bathroom. Finally, we reached the front of the parking garage line, went through security, and were herded into a claustrophobic, nightmare hallway leading to the shuttle pick up. The lighting was horrendously ugly fluorescents which flickered like a David Lynch set. I watched in delight as all us girls checked our makeup in compacts only to be horrified at our green skin and snap the compacts shut with a grimace. The ladies in front of me chatted about how terrible everything was as they vaped medical marijuana. (I’m pretty sure I got a contact high. I mean, the hallway was crazy tiny! And everything suddenly seemed funny.)

After a few more incredibly long minutes, we followed the cattle out to the shuttle. Once on board, I thought, cool, we’ll get there wicked fast now. Not so much! We entered traffic from hell. No one wanted to let a shuttle into the lane as they all hurried to the parking garage or wherever they were going… It was insane, yet funny to listen to all these junior agents in training bitch the whole way over to the red carpet how they were going to miss Jennifer Lawrence or whoever. I didn’t really care anymore at this point. All that kept going through my head was, “Don’t pee. Don’t pee. Don’t pee.”

Finally, we pulled up to the red carpet. Relief splashed over me. Bathroom!! But the doors didn’t open. We had to sit and wait. Why? Who knows. But while waiting, I saw Amy Schumer cross in front of us toward the Weinstein party. In my contact high state, I announced said fact to the entire bus, which propelled the junior agents into more turmoil as they peered out the front window begging to be let off.

The doors opened. We scrambled out. Found the red carpet and followed it to the main lobby. Stars filed past us on the left and the right. I’d tell you who they were if I remembered, but my focus was on my bladder. We made it to the InStyle entrance and there was the blessed bathroom.

Once refreshed, we attempted to get in touch with our contact for InStyle. See, we had tickets for some of the parties, but for others we needed our escort. Unfortunately, she was busy so we had to decide to either wait around or try one of the other parties for which we had tickets. I pressed for attending the Weinstein party, because hello?!? Weinstein party!!! I figured, if we stood around and waited we could lose half the night, or just go and throw caution to the wind, y’know?

Weinstein party! (Or stroke the furry wall.)
We trekked our way back down the long red carpet, passed the shuttle, and entered the ramp to the Weinstein party – the hottest ticket of the night. On our way in, I caught a glimpse of Ridley Scott hanging out – highlight of the night! Others ahead of us were turned away, but we got in without a hitch. As we passed the coat check on our left, I noticed the paparazzi to the right near the backdrop where a girl in a red dress with long blonde hair, who I recognized as one of the ones demanding to be able to cut the line earlier, was getting photographed. She had screamed, “Don’t you know who I am?” Honestly, no.

Once inside we were immediately greeted with pounding bass and free drinks. Yay!

We wandered through the throngs of partygoers checking out the scene and scouring for notable celebrities. I saw Jaime Foxx taking pics, Aziz Ansari chatting near a doorway, and one of the Weinsteins making the rounds (I thought it was Bob, but was later told it was Harvey. *shrug*). We finally made our way to the bar where I ordered a gin and tonic, but the tonic was crazy flat so I abandoned the drink, then dragged my friend over to a side area where gift bag booths were set up. Free stuff!! My favorite.

After having a “Moet moment” (they asked me to hashtag that), I passed by some expensive looking jewelry to a makeup bar. Yes. Free makeup! It was Laura Mercier, which I had never heard of before, since I’m not a big makeup person, but I do love free stuff. After having tried it, though, I must confess it’s pretty top notch. I especially like the lipstick colors and the gloss, though the 'smudge stick' is excellent, too.

At some point during my champagne fueled “grab all the free stuff” moment, my friend heard from his friend about the InStyle party. They made plans to meet up later so we could check that party out, and grab tickets to the HBO party. Meanwhile, we decided to go investigate the Amazon party. To be honest, I was the one mainly pushing for this as I had recently discovered and marathoned 2 seasons of Mozart in the Jungle and was pretty excited they won. I had hoped to meet some of the cast, but, alas, by the time we made it to the Amazon party it was pretty dead. We did a quick perimeter, then made a detour to the dancefloor because Deee-Lite was playing and I was pretty drunk and, well, let’s face it, I can’t really deny Deee-Lite even when stone-cold sober.

I love this show.
As we exited, I noticed that the couches were adorned with pillows embroidered with Amazon. I totally wanted to steal one, but didn’t out of fear. Later that night I met a guy who took two of them. Two!!! Without a single consequence. Next time Amazon, next time…

Oh my god, I completely forgot to mention something… Before leaving the Weinstein party, one of my stupid shoes broke. Like the bottom half just split apart from the rest of the shoe. I could flap my foot and make it look like a puppet opening its mouth. I went through a range of emotions: denial, plea bargaining, embarrassment, and finally acceptance. I took off my decade (2 decades?) old Chilis heels and walked around barefoot, trying to not step in spilled hors d'oeuvres. After discussing what the best course of action would be, my friend suggested we ask Concierge for help. There, a young man named Devin glued my damn shoe back together and saved the rest of the night. Thank you forever, Devin! The Beverly Hilton totally owes that guy a raise.

So, anyway, we leave Amazon, sans pillows, and head over to the InStyle party finally. Once inside, we were kind of disappointed. Heralded as the party not to miss during previous Globes, this year it was a dud compared to the raucous affair the Weinsteins’ held.

However, right off the bat we saw a table with VR headsets we could demo from River Studios. It was pretty cool and, I admit, it made me want one of the Samsung headsets, but no VR I’ve ever tried is as cool as it seems like it could be. I dunno, maybe I’ve read too much scifi and watched too many movies, but I want to be wholly transported to another realm where I can battle zombies or whatever. None ever really seem up to snuff.

Regardless, I decided to order another drink, margarita this time, because I can’t help myself around free stuff. I also grabbed some snacks from the caterer because I decided all that free booze on an empty stomach was a bad idea. Drinks and snacks in hand, we headed to the dance floor. That’s when my friend checked his phone and the black cloud descended.

“Noooo,” he exclaimed.

“What?” I asked washing down a spinach croissant with tequila.

His hand seemed to involuntarily cover his mouth. His eyes were wide.

“What?!” I pleaded.

He showed me headlines from his phone. “David Bowie dead at 69.”

“What?” I said again, clearly unable to speak any other word.

I quickly finished my croissant and put down my drink as I pulled my phone out of my tiny bag. I immediately went to Feedly. Bowie dead. I checked Twitter and Facebook. The same. All thoughts of ‘this must be a hoax’ vanished from my mind.

I thought of the Goblin King, and 80s Bowie dancing in the streets, of Bowie on tour with Trent Reznor, of Iman, of his kids. Bowie. An icon. A legend. Dead? How could it be real?

My friend and I stared at each other. I fought back tears. Music blared around us as twenty-somethings pumped and gyrated. How could they dance? How could they do anything? I felt floored. A huge part of my childhood gone. I grew up listening to my Mum’s cassettes of Bowie. I wore out my copy of Changesbowie. I adored the Goblin King. Like you don’t even understand how much I loved him, how much my childhood imagination wanted him to be real, how I was simultaneously fascinated and terrified of him. And those tights. Ahem…

Unsure what to think, feel, or say, I turned to my friend and said, “Hey, this party is lame. Wanna check out HBO really quick and then head back to Weinstein?”

He nodded in agreement.

We walked solemnly out into the lobby then crossed over to the stairs leading to the pool where the HBO party was. Music filled the room. Bowie. I pushed my way to the dancefloor with my friend in tow. I kicked off my glued shoes and let loose to a medley of Bowie tunes. I cried some more and exchanged awkward glances with fellow partygoers seemingly feeling the same sadness.

Once the music switched over from Bowie to hip-hop, my friend and I decided to bolt and head back to Weinstein.

Once back it was obvious the party was simultaneously winding down and only filled with drunk people. I passed by barefooted girls in cocktail dresses dancing on couches and coffee tables looking for more free stuff. I filled my pockets with Lindt chocolate and a Moet glass filled to the brim.

We danced with strangers until the night was over and we had to find a shuttle back to the garage.

On our way home, I demanded we stop at Astro because I was stupid hungry.

Mmmm garden burger deluxe ftw!
All in all, it was a fun-filled evening, despite the dark cloud of Bowie’s passing overhead.

The following day I watched Bowie videos culminating in Lazarus, which left me sobbing uncontrollably.

"Oh I’ll be free/Just like that bluebird/Oh I’ll be free/Ain’t that just like me"

Last year I lost my stepmother to cancer. I saw what it does to a human body, a mind; I saw how it tears a family apart in anger, grief, and frustration. Whether you’re a retired mom in Florida or a pop icon, cancer is a horrible way to go. We need to find a cure, we need a prevention, we need a reprieve.

Since then, and before, we’ve lost so many. 2016 has started out a dark, somber year. Let’s try to not let it get the best of us. Let’s try to make the most of each moment we have alive. Let’s dance, magic, dance.

In other news, part of the reason I haven’t blogged much is Scarlett and I are wrapping up our third installment of the Saurimonde series. I think this is my favorite of the bunch so far. It’s fun and crazy and dark and sexy. Stay tuned! (We just decided on a cover image last night!)

Sneak Preview of Work in Progress
Also, we’ve been podcasting. Here’s our most recent episode with another coming soon:

Mel xox

Goodbye, Jareth, the Goblin King

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