Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Lawyers, Gourmets & Matrimony

Sunrise, Healdsburg, CA. January 30, 2007

Last night I spent a good amount of time rewriting an essay I posted on a private message board a few months ago. It’s my funny, biting comment on a small slice of The Hollywood Experience. Unfortunately, you won’t be reading it here. After several back-and-forth emails with my lawyer, he gently talked me out of running it.

The thing is the essay was about a particular someone who treated me poorly, treated me in a way that was unprofessional (well unprofessional anywhere but Hollywood) and mean. I didn’t write about how this someone lied to cover their ass with a studio and never apologized when I proved that I’d held up my end of the bargain. Or how at a meeting in a restaurant, this certain someone berated me so harshly, several people interrupted their Power Lunches to gaze at me with pity.

The essay meant to make (and shed) light on the way some people in this industry feel entitled to behave even as many more are successful without being assholes.

My lawyer, who is also a friend, pointed out to me the realities of today’s Internet, that perhaps posting something negative might impact my career. You know that story about the guy who doesn’t get Dream Job because his prospective boss looks him up on the ‘Net and discovers his posted online “interests” are “smokin' blunts'' (cigars hollowed out and stuffed with marijuana), shooting people and obsessive sex, all described in vivid slang.” (NY Times, June 11, 2006 “When A Risque Online Persona Undermines A Chance for a Job

What happens on the 'Net doesn't stay on the 'Net, apparently. I could say I’m not worried about my career but that would be a lie. In Hollywood, perception is everything. The key to being a success in this town is to control what people think of you. I know, I know, it’s impossible. Well, welcome to my world.

I could post the essay without using the certain someone’s name but that felt even more cowardly than not posting it at all. Maybe I'll change my mind in the future, but for now -- three meager posts into my Life As Blogger -- I'm gonna err on the better side of valor.

Speaking of valor, today is my wedding anniversary. Number one, actually, as in One Whole Year. I realize that's not much to reflect on, especially as my parents head blissfully to year number forty-eight. But reflect on it I am.

When I married the first time, I really thought I was doing Forever. The truth is that not five minutes after the reception -- literally in the cab ride to the airport -- a feeling of dread formed in the pit of my stomach. I knew then, although at the time I couldn't give it specific meaning, that I'd made a terrible mistake. Of course, my parents tried to talk me out of it, in their own way. But did I listen?

Still, what doesn't kill you, gives you stuff to write about.

Or someone else to write about better. Here's some lines from the title track to "Leave the Light On" by one of my favorite singer/songwriters, Chris Smither. (You can hear the song and also buy the record here. You can also help support Chris and by extension other Americana singer/songwriters who don't get much radio play by checking out this page.)

"If I were young again I’d pay attention
To that little known dimension
The taste of endless time
Just like water it runs right through our fingers
But the flavor of it lingers
Like a rich red wine
In those days we were single
We lived them one by one
Now we hardly see them
- they walk, don’t run
But I got plenty of ‘em left I’ve set my sight on
Don’t wait up, leave the light on
I'll be home soon."

My husband and I lived for more than 10 years in that limbo that is also refered to as Too Old to Leave and to Lazy to Get Hitched in the DSM (which is short for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). You can look it up. (Okay, so it's not really in the DSM, but it should be. My own unofficial survey counts more 60 percent of Los Angeles alone in that category. )

Then one day in late 2005, we started talking seriously about getting married. Okay, so the bill for his health insurance arrived and it was $500 a month, which is a freaking grip, to quote an S.O.L. B.B. (Shyonelung's Best Buds). Nothing like the prospect of paying 6 G's a year for the privilege of going to a doctor who doesn't even accept health insurance to get even the most ardent bachelors and bacherlorettes to tie the knot. We finally did do it, but it was more just the force of gravity that got us on the road one Saturday morning to Vegas, a road that eventually (and quite literally) went through the "world famous" Little White Wedding Chapel Tunnel of Love Drive Thru (I 'll save the gory details for another time).

So here we are a year later. Maybe getting married was a tough decision but deciding how to celebrate it was easy. Up here in Wine Country (where we’re taking a break from the L.A. scene) Good Food is the local religion and the chefs are our high priests and priestesses. Tonight, we dine at the High Church of Foodieville that is The French Laundry. It's not only one of the best restaurants in Northern California, but it's widely considered the best in the entire country.

I can't think of a better place to celebrate for a couple that met over handmade brews and always turned to good, fresh food and wine in good times and bad, to mark important occasions, drown out our sorrows, mend broken hearts (and other things -- more on this later), and to fill out the often crazy, sometimes off-key soundtrack of our life together.

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