JULY, 2005 e.v.
On Friday, July 1st, wearing a "Do the chickens have large talons?" tee-shirt (gift from Adam), I rode with Camella and Heather up a long winding road to the Castaway restaurant in Burbank (a tropical-themed place similar in ways, I'm sure, to the many Castaways of urban archeology). In honor of Sasha Popovic's father's first visit to America (f**k yeah!), we had planned to meet with some friends on this mountaintop perch for drinks, appetizers, and more drinks. Before too long, the others arrived, including Sasha and Kat (and Sasha's father), Vincent, Adam, Joe, Dale and Mo Crover (including kicking Scarlet), and Kevin Willis. Seated on the terrace at sunset with a "pretty f**king amazing view of the San Fernando Valley, some of us ordered the king and queen of tropical drinks while others (we'll just call them the broken glass people) gulped Long Island Iced Teas.
At one point during the get-together, Dale Crover asked Camella what she was doing for the 4th? Now, prior to this, all I had heard from the others was that 'everyone' was getting together at a barbecue at Dale and Mo's. So naturally, when Dale asked this question, Camella seemed a bit confused. "I thought we were having a party at your place?" Well, evidently this was not the case, as, having forgotten about the 4th (the date!), Dale and Mo had made other plans. With a tropical drink in her hand, Heather stepped up to the plate, offering to have a party at her house. I said that I'd do the grilling, bring the silver Coleman, Icelandic Barbie, fireworks, strains of snare and piccolo, Sea Plasma, Boar's Head dogs, jalapeño mustard, Lipton onion soup mix to knead into burgers, that missing girl from Aruba, carne asada, chocolate margarita ingredients and mixology knowledge, genuine Virginia fireflies in a mayo jar (perhaps not "a glutted swarm of corpse-fed fireflies dancing hellish sarabands over an accursed marsh" to quote H.P. Lovecraft, but nevertheless, Virginia fireflies), a miniature picnic table condiment holder... and thus it was settled. It would be super casual. Of course, I'd have to leave by 11:00 to go check out the JZ jams at the "Baked Potato" (I mean what's there to do after 11:00?)...
Now, getting back to the Castaway. When the sun went down and the lights of the valley floor glimmered, I switched to Pernod-infused "Tequila Ghosts" garnished with the silvern lamp of the moon (as H.P. Lovecraft might have described them), and talked with late-arriving Maynard and Amber as they sipped chocolate martinis that, according to the waitress, were better on Wednesdays and Sundays. Even so, another one was ordered for Vincent (of the broken glass people). At closing time (1:30 am), the waitress (who was rather reluctant to recommend most of what was on the menu) brought us the check. I swear on a stack of first edition Crowley's that it was exactly $666.00. To bad it wasn't $616.00. Now, that would have been something!
The party itself went really well. Camella had to threaten to kick the ass of a stranger who walked in (the neighborhood whacko, Heather later informed us), and there was a little too much dancing for me (especially around the knife swallower), but everything else was simply great. Heather's "white trash" potatoes with buttered Cornflakes were a hit, as was the carne asada with a lisp, the burgers and absinthe, the cake frosted red white and blue for America (f**k yeah!) with sparklers, and the chocolate margaritas. We released fireflies and launched fireworks, and heard what sounded like the faint strains of a snare and piccolo coming from somewhere. But, after I left, while driving to the "Baked Potato" with Danny, Rynne, Icelandic Barbie and another, I rang Joe on my cell to see if the party was still going on. After a few rings, he answered but was speaking rather softly, and eventually told me that Adam, Camella, Heather and he were playing Hide-and-Seek and that, being a competitive sort, he didn't want to get caught. Well, I recently had a chance to talk to Joe about this, and this is what told me:
BMB: Hide-and-Seek at Heather's, huh?.. Ollie Ollie oxen free hide-and-seek? Do you really expect anyone to believe you? JOE: Yes. BMB: Did you say, Ollie Ollie oxen free? JOE: No. BMB: That's a shame. How about Ole Ole Olsen's Free? JOE: Icelandic Barbie wasn't playing... BMB: I know that, she was with me...Do you remember where you were hiding at the time of my call? JOE: I think I was under Heather's desk for a while, but then I moved... BMB: I think you could have done better... JOE: Oh yeah, so then where would you hide? BMB: Probably in the laundry hamper... if it was big enough. Actually I wouldn't care if just my legs were sticking out... Okay...moving on. Who was the winner? JOE: I don't think Adam got caught... BMB: What about the girl from Aruba? No body found her, right? By the way, aren't you a little old to be playing Hide-and-Seek? JOE: Aren't you a little old to be playing with Barbie dolls? BMB: I wasn't actually playing with her... JOE: Okay, but nevertheless, you did take her out for a night on the town. BMB: Well, if you call a super casual barbecue and Ziegler's potato jams a night out on the town... She doesn't spill drinks on my carpet like the real ones... JOE: Point taken... BMB: And besides I wasn't the one caught in the lens of a little silver camera offering her margaritas and god knows what else... Maybe you had a little too much butter on your Cornflakes... She was really just a glorified bottle-rocket launcher...JOE: We only played for about twenty minutes, anyway... BMB: You think the absinthe had anything to do with this?.. I mean, you could have chased fireflies... that is, if Heather had a lawn instead of a sheer hundred foot drop off... JOE: No, Blair, they all died pretty damn quick, and I think Adam and Danny both know that you FedXed them overnight on the Tool expense account ... BMB: It was July 4th... Do you think Boar's Head dogs are cheap?... Well, there's nothing super casual about them, I can tell you that... and burgers... JOE: Why are you typing this?.. BMB: And burgers... Seriously, did you know that Adam's favorite burger is from The Firefly? It's not on the menu, so you have to order the "Secret Burger." At first no one believed me when I told them about it. George Clooney, Tommy, Angelo... I always saw that actor gang getting them, and then Kipling told me about it... and I finally told Danny about it. I think it's now Danny's favorite burger as well. I've tried it, but I always order it without the bleu cheese and bacon and onions and shit. Once it's stripped of its finery, there's nothing that spectacular about it... nothing, at least, to make it have to be a "secret burger." Good with a Red Stripe, though... Did anyone tell you anything about any Tool release dates?.. JOE: No... BMB: Well, that's a shame...
Photos by Camella and Heather