Los Angeles, CA
It took me a few days before I realized that Vegas time is only appropriate for Las Vegas. I had conditioned my body and mind to stay up until sunrise which is a necessity during my assignment in Las Vegas where I don't necessarily have a set work schedule. It would be nice to know that I only had to work from 8:30am to 5:30pm everyday. But that's nit the case. Some days it's like 9am to 6am. Other days it's like 10am to 1am. You just never know but your body is prepped to maintain vampire hours.
However, in the days after I returned from Sin City, the Vegas time has lingered. The result has been late rising days in California. Before the summer began, I used to be up before the dawn pecking away and these days it seems like its' like 2 or 3pm before I get into the meat of the work I have to do, which means half of my day is shot. I preferred completing all of my stuff by late afternoon so my evenings would be free to write or hang out with Nicky or play poker.
In order to shake things up, I went on a bender the last two days in order to try to get back to being a morning person instead of a mischievous night owl. By the time Mighnight rolled around, I was more than faded. I crashed hard... so hard that I slept through my alarm and even stay asleep when the can faries bad a ruckus out back.
Benjo and couple of his French friends visited California after the World Series of Poker ended. They rented cars and drove from Vegas to Cali with stops in national parks, San Francisco, and the Pacific Coast Highway. Talk about a lovely vacation. They all arrived in Los Angeles the other day and were all happy to leave Las Vegas and bask in the warmth of California sunshine. Benjo wanted to book the Chateau Marmont for his entire stay here, but it was ridiculously expensive so he only got one night out of it before he moved down the street to the Standard.
Chateau Marmont is where lots of reclusive Hollywierd types live or where famous people chose to hole up when they go out to the Left Coast or are in the middle of a divorce or looking for a good old fashioned drug stupor. After all, John Belushi died there in Bunglow #2. The prices are so high that that automatically keeps out the riff raff.
Benjo spotted Kurt Cobain's daughter waiting for her car at the valet. Nicky mentioned that Frances Bean lives there and has been living there for some time. The only other celeb that Benjo saw was a French actress that mostly everyone else had no idea who she was.
We ate dinner on Sunset Strip up the street at one of the rare 24 hour diners in L.A. located inside the Standard Hotel. The lobby of the Standard itself is quite the adventure with a live model lounging around inside a box behind the reception desk. They have these egg-shaped clear chairs chained to the ceiling almost like swings. We sat there as we waited for our party to arrive as I channeled my inner L.A. Douchebag.
The burgers at the Standard are top notch and we ran up a nifty bar tab. Benjo had booked us a table at Bar Marmont for 10pm. The last time he tried to go, they wouldn't let him inside, so he made sure he got a table for six... four French people (one high stakes professional poker player, a player manager/sometimes player, his architect grilfriend, and Benjo who these days is a famous a TV commentator in France) along with me and Nicky.
The Bar Marmont was designed after saloons from Vietnam in the 1920s and 1930s, except there were no Vietnamese hookers hawking their cookies to prospective johns. I did see a handful of coke sluts huddled at the end of the bar. Nicky had not been inside Bar Marmont in several years. There was a time when she used to hit that place up a few times a week with the rest of her early 20s peers who worked in the motion picture industry. Those days are a distant memory, but it was interesting to see all of the different cocktails (and more so the explanations but without any prices - after all, if you have to ask the price then you probably can't afford it) on the menu. Benjo went for a 3-4-5-4 Margarita which happened to be Hunter Thompson's personal recipe. Mojitos. Mai Tais. Old Fashioneds. Lots of booze. Nicky got soused.
I decided to go very ghetto and ordered two bottles of Stella. I asked the waitress to bring both at the same time. I was thirsty and knew that she was an actress waiting for her big break which meant she was good looking, but a terribly slow and shitty waitress.
For the rest of the evening, we sat in the corner with wafting emotions of self-importance that lingered around from the other guests. So that's what the pretty people do on a nightly basis... that's the part of L.A. I avoid like the plague.