of paparazzi and pool parties

If I were interesting enough to merit a paparazzi following, those bushes behind Terence would be the best ones through which to stick a telephoto lens and take unflattering pictures of me (tossing back frozen peach margaritas, sniping at Terence for hogging the guac, debating the merits of Bernie Sanders with Kerry and Ross...). This is as far as we fearsome foursome tend to go out of downtown. But the company and conversation are top-notch, the enchiladas adequately smothered, and as I don't need much more on the weekend than some laughs and some melted cheese, I don't much care what zip code I get them from.

At a certain point one cares less about one's appearance in photos than the fact that one has good friends to take them with. Note I didn't say "one doesn't care at all". Only that one cares less. Oof.

After dinner last Saturday we checked out Echo Park Rising, which is a free weekend festival comprised of local (rock) bands staggered around Echo Park's bars, parks, and restaurants. The music we heard wasn't really our jam, but Kerry (who has a zero tolerance policy for crowds) was a sport and let us drag her around to no less than four different venues before we left - and I count that a smashing success.

Kind of a magical moment: right about the time when we'd all given up on finding a show we'd be into, Terence grabbed my hand and pulled me hopefully into one last bar. Kerry and Ross at my heels, we ducked through a narrow front room that branched into two smaller rooms at the back. One of these had a dance floor, and suddenly, without stopping, without even conferring about whether we wanted to stay, we all started dancing. Pools of colored light moving across the floor, kitschy swing music, and four totally unselfconscious drunk friends. That's the stuff for me, baby.

The place was The Short Stop. I'd never been, but I quite like the vibe and will definitely be back.

Good god, but those flippers of mine are terrifying. When I die they should use my hands for one of those claw machine arcade games. You can all come play and I'll ghost-cheat and make sure you get a toy every time. And no, I have no idea what's going on with my forehead bleeding over the top of the image borders. But if it means I'm actually dead already then someone call Netflix because Ghost Blogger would be a cool-ass show.

Is that not the prettiest alley you've seen so far today? I like to think some romantically-minded rats put those lights up, and that all the other rats downtown come here for their date nights.

This guy, with the dimple and sleepy face. Took me for breakfast to Egg Slut at Grand Central Market (yep, it's worth the wait). Hoping if I play my cards right he'll take me back for lunch soon, too.

My friends Atouzo and Yvonne had a pool party! Like, with sangria and teriyaki meatballs and cabanas and everything! And after I finished taking a selfie in Terence's face mirrors I even socialized with other guests! I wore a "statement necklace" for the first time, which was a stupid thing to do on a 100+ degree day. But as I am not well-versed in the ways of statement necklaces, I did not anticipate how badly my neck would sweat under the weight of a spiky metal collar. So I guess the statement my necklace made that day was: I am a dumbass. 

The night this was taken:

we took the train to Hollywood
we ate dinner at Katsuya
seated at the table behind us were three thuggish guys and a beautiful blonde woman
something happened between these four people and there was drama
the drama involved the woman TRYING TO PHYSICALLY ESCAPE ONE OF THE MEN
that man grabbed her purse out of her hands, so she couldn't leave
two waitresses and a manager got involved
the party was asked to leave
when no one was looking the blonde DUCKED OUT A SIDE DOOR
she then reappeared a few minutes later seeming calm and chill and cool with the situation
Terence had his back to the table and didn't see anything
(I narrated)
we went to a terribly cheesy but terribly fun bar nearby, with books lining the walls
(so this pic was not taken in a library)