Monday, August 25, 2008

Kate Date

Attention all smart, funny, handsome, eligible millionaires (or Seth Green):

On Saturday I had a Kate Date (tm). And it was awesome. This gal sure knows how to show a giddy girlie a good time!

We started the day in historic China Town and lunch at Foo Chow - where Rush Hour was filmed! Then we bought some snappers from one of the little stands and rushed off to the Feel Good Film Festival.

The FGFF was screening a documentary called "Finding Kraftland" which I had read about on one of the Disney nerd super cool guy sites that I read. It began as a birthday gift for Nicky Kraft, son of Richard Kraft who is an agent for Hollywood composers (including my boyfriend Danny Elfman!) and was a "top ten" list of the collections in the Kraft's home (Kraftland). Richard Kraft is an avid collector of... um, everything. The collection that brought him to my attention is his wide selection of Disneyland ride vehicles. I thought it sounded neat and filed it away under "things to remember" in the back of my brain. Then last week, there was an announcement on a message board cool dude site that the film was screening in LA and that Mr. Kraft himself was giving out free tickets. So I emailed them and got myself on the Big Nerd Cool Kid list. SO. Kate and I went and got to watch it inside the historic Egyptian Theater. There were some other shorts screened before Kraftland (although, I think it was a mistake that they showed that reel) and to pep up the crowd before Finding Kraftland started, the filmmakers handed out candy to everyone. Actually, they missed us, but everyone else was delighting in Whoppers. But it was cool, because we were all stuffed fulla Chinese cuisine.

The film was interesting to see and satisfied my collector's voyeurism. It was campy in places and very tongue-in-cheek with lots of jokes on Richard himself, which was funny. I think if you didn't know that it was meant to be for their personal party, it might be weird, though. Over the top people, showing off their over the top lives and over the top home... and that they are clearly calling the shots (unlike someone else wanting to come in and make a documentary). But it was interesting and funny and sweet -- and yeah, his collections are awesome. After the screening, the Krafts, the host of the 'countdown', and the editor (who didn't know what he was originally getting wrangled in to) did a Q&A session which was fun, too. The question that I wanted to ask (but didn't - mostly because before the show, Richard stood up and asked everyone in the theater "Who is here from Mice Chat Super Dweeb Club?" and mine was the only hand that went up) was "how much do you pay your housekeeper?" I mean, crap, the once a decade that I dust my own collectibles it takes hours. And I don't have a bajillion shampoo bottles to take care of.

After the movie, we met up with some friends of Kate (FOK) at the Pig 'n Whistle for some more delicious food (try the Cobb Salad! No, really!) and then headed over to the Avalon to catch Puppet Up. Puppet Up is a Jim Henson production, part of the Henson Alternative (HA!) which is totally rad puppeteers playing with totally rad Henson puppets and the puppeteers are also totally rad improv players. If it sounds weird, IT IS. In the best possible way. If you're having trouble wrapping your brain around the concept, you're not alone. Check out the YouTube videos of Puppet Up when it was on TBS. Hilarious. It was a screaming good time. We were so glad for the intermission, because our faces hurt from laughing so much. I highly recommend it to everyone. (More shows in LA - Sept 27 and Oct 25!).

When we entered the theater, we realized we had bought different tickets than the FOK's (including two more people - one of them directly from airport arriving from London) so we took our seats up in the balcony, which was actually better than the table seating. We had a bird's eye view of everything (of course I took pictures!), although it was good to have some people on the ground who could report back the important details that we couldn't see from the balcony, including the materials that were used for the hot dog puppets (my favorite). Of course, this FOK, Eric, is a puppeteer AND a puppet builder. WHAT?! Yes. Eric makes puppets. And performs puppet shows. So, as you can imagine, it was a fun bunch of people, these FOKs.

After rubbing elbows with some of the performers (paging Brian Henson!), we headed out for the Hollywood/Vine Metro station (which has film reels all over the ceiling and is a really awesome looking subway) and made our way to The Highlands, which is this VIP, ultimate hipster awesome town night club. [Full disclaimer: I am not cool. I am not hip. I do not belong in a nightclub. Ever. Under any circumstances.] Eric's brother is a guy-in-the-know and got us on the red carpet VIP list. It was awesome and terrifying in equal measures. I was in jeans and Converse and a t-shirt (and, to be honest, a wee bit sweaty) and in no way dressed for the occasion. Everyone else looked cool, at least. Of course, Kate always looks adorable, so she just breezed into the place without a second thought. Eric and his friend Simon (awake for 18 hours and coping with an 8 hour time difference) were up for anything, which was cool. So the four of us walked into this club, and there is literally a red carpet and velvet ropes and burly bouncers with ear pieces, and a GIANT line. There were thousands of people waiting to get inside. We walked up to the front, gave the secret handshake and password and walked right inside. It was so bizarre. And then we get inside and they lead us to the private area. Ok. So then they lead us to the super private elevator. Okee. And THEN they lead us to the VIP area. Dokee. AND THEN to the ultra VIP exclusive area. Wow. We were on the roof of the building on this patio space that expands over Hollywood Blvd. It was clearly the coolest place I have ever been.

After getting libations at the free bar we hung out and felt old happy. People started filtering in (we were too early, nobody goes anywhere before midnight, don't you know?!) and the girls were all dressed very, um... provacatively. We decided that they weren't slutty chicks in skanky outfits grinding on gross old Kid Rock wannabes, but the Paris Hilton Foundation to Cure Cancer and All That Gross Stuff and that these people just cured cancer and were letting their hair down. YOU GO, PROFESSOR!!

So we hung out and joked around with the guys for a while and heard all about their plans to go to Burning Man. Which, if you ask me, is a deathwish and/or a mark of insanity (seriously, glance over this, which doesn't even include the legal release that you have to sign to buy a ticket). But whatevs - picking the brains of these demented puppeteer lunatics was a good time. Oh - and if you see on the news about a high speed chase with a Banana driving a car - that's them. The optimists assume that they will survive the burning man and so they booked Simon a return trip to England one day after Burning Man ends. Word to the Wise: if you're traveling next week and you smell bonfire smoke or you see a giant, illuminated banana running down the terminal, let me know, so that we'll know our peeps were ok.

SO. In conclusion, Kate Date(tm) gets five out of five stars: *****

[thanks Kate for a fun day and making me feel 1000% cooler than I really am]

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