There I was, standing by myself at The Nixon Saturday night, as I'm wont to do when the other attendees are wearing ball gowns and very ugly half-length fur coats. If you're going to skin a bunch of minks—nasty little fuckers, for sure—you should commit to it. Three-quarters is the minimum acceptable length for dead things, except when you're talkin' white fox. Rich people! You'd think they'd at least know fur!
I didn't know a soul at the Canyon Acres charity gala—for orphans!—except Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle, and when I crossed the Nixon Library to say hey, he took himself off surprisingly quick. I don't think we've said too many totally terrible things about him over the years—just our garden-variety affectionate abuse—except, of course, for last week's cover package on The Angels, in which Steve Lowery called him both “our biggest loser” and “boyishly moonfaced.” That smarts!
Anyhoo, after about 35 minutes of standing silently by myself, finally—finally!—a foursome next to me introduced themselves. “Who's that on your arm?” the husband asked me. My fake tattoo was a little smeared, so I translated it for them. “It's Che!” I explained happily.
“Che?” Thy looked at me blankly.
“Che Guevara?” I asked them, now a little confused myself. After a moment, the wife mused, thoughtfully, “You say that as if we should know who that is . . .”
I died a little on the inside, but gave them the brief version. Communist revolutionary? Castro and Cuba? Killed by the CIA in the jungles of, like, Bolivia? Perhaps they'd heard of The Motorcycle Diaries? Oh, that! They thought they might have heard of that! Taking pity on us all, I wrapped it up with, “It's just a fake tattoo. I got it this week when I was with my son in Mazatlan.”
Mazatlan they understood, as I'd known they would. They were totally the Princess Cruise type.
So you will all understand that when the gorgeous, 5-foot-nothing, 21-year-old Mexican-American cater-waiter came to my table (where I was about to sit down to my delicious Nancy Reagan Contemporary Greens salad) and poured me my wine, and the first words out of his mouth were a throaty and knowing, “I like your tattoo,” well, you'll understand why Eddie is now my boyfriend.
Canyon Acres, like Make-a-Wish, is one of those charities only Christopher Hitchens could despise. They make homes for disturbed kids, but they also have wraparound services that aim to help troubled families before the kids get into the foster system, and to provide the counseling and services families need to reunify as quickly as possible if they do.
Even their corporate partner—The Yardhouse, to whom, I was slightly nauseated to learn, they were giving an award—turned out to be actually kind of awesome to the kids, bringing in the whole family for a free dinner every time a Canyon Acres kid has a birthday, among other notable gifts. So they weren't getting an award just for shoveling free wine at the fur-clad. Then Mr. Yardhouse CEO guy came up to give his award speech . . . and quoted Goethe (“Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together”) and then read, in toto, a poem he'd written himself about a homeless guy he encountered while jogging on the Santa Ana River Trail, and it actually didn't suck, even though it was poetry, which should not generally be attempted by anyone, let alone the people who brought you beer by the yard. So now the CEO guy and the homeless guy (“the bundled man”) are buddies, and the CEO guy brings him stuff he needs, and I think the CEO guy might be my new boyfriend too, even though he might be married or something—I don't know, I couldn't see his hands—and it's not like I talked to him or nothing. Sorry, Eddie! You snooze, you lose!
You can call Canyon Acres to inquire about services and make a donation at (714) 998-3272. And you should.
* * *
I was going to talk to you about Mazatlan here. I guess that didn't work out.
* * *
A little more than 10 years in, OC Weekly marks its first passing. Buddy Seigal, a music writer here from the very beginning of our run before becoming music editor—and absolute tyrant on the type and quality of music that would be permitted in his music section—died April 2 after suffering a heart attack. As Buddy Blue, he was a founding member of the legendary Beat Farmers, and as a writer for us, he was so very profane and disgusting, so loving and lingering when he wrote of the foul, cheesy stench that must surely emanate from beneath the scrotums of ancient men—and those were in the course of positive reviews—the old-timers among us can still remember the time we actually saw fit to edit something.
The Weekly has always considered itself a writer's paper. That's why we get to run amok and call people twats and losers. But something Buddy wrote was so stomach-turning, so ill-making, I actually turned to the managing editor (I was the copy editor at the time) and said, “Can we, um, can we not print this?” I truly didn't know: Was it possible for us to take out a sentence that was just too gross? It was a first for us, and it was thanks to Buddy. It had something to do with mushrooms. And scrots.
I never saw Buddy living to be one of those 90-year-old blues guys sitting on a porch, crediting their longevity to toothpicks and whiskey. He was too cranky, too pissed, too ranting and roaring. The first time I ever spoke to him on the phone, fact-checking his very first article for us, he yelled at me. It was before we had e-mail; stories would get faxed in and then retyped by the receptionist, and I wanted to make sure we hadn't misspelled his name. I spelled it for him. Is that correct? I asked. “I think I know how to spell my own fucking name!” he shouted, and I refused to work with him for some time after. We ended up becoming really good friends (all those comradely smoke breaks, where I'd bitch about my love life and he'd laugh at me and advise me to be less slutty), but I haven't seen him in years now. He was down in San Diego, with his ridiculously excellent and pretty wife—Buddy married up like you wouldn't believe—and a small daughter I haven't met. I guess I'll rectify that this Friday at noon at Buddy's memorial service. It'll take place at Harry Griffen Park, 9550 Milden St., La Mesa, for those of you who want to take a ride down and see Buddy off proper.
We'll miss you, Buddy. Nobody could horrify us quite like you could.