The Odd Wonderfulness that is Los Angeles (and My Life).

So, I took a day or so off from blogging to celebrate my birthday.  Wifesy had “evening” plans for me that she refused to let on about.  We spent the morning lounging in bed (something we rarely do) and then headed out for an omelet.  My omelet was perfect and, as a result, I knew my birthday was going to be.  We ran around for the next hour or so after breakfast as Wifesy gathered a few, “last minute things” for the evening.  Around 5 or so, we left the “lodge” (or our apartment, depending on how you look at it) and headed down the oh-so-frequented Los Angeles highway.


I kept trying to figure out where we were going and since Los Angeles is so new to me, I couldn’t figure out a thing until we were almost right on top of our destination.


It was the Hollywood Bowl.


The Hollywood Bowl is a legendary Los Angeles venue.  It’s an outdoor concert hall where “picnicking” has become a high art.  Every seat at the bowl has a different level of picnicking ability.  You can get waiter service or you can bring your own.  Wifesy had splurged and bought us a private booth.  You sit in comfy chairs that almost look like director chairs taken straight from a set.  Once you take your seat, a valet sets up a fold up table in front of you.


Wifesy unpacked our dinner of roast chicken and spanish cheeses, cake, and a top-o’-the-line bottle of tequila.

Sweet Mother and her lopsided cake at the Bowl.


The show was, “A Night of Salsa” and the lineup was tremendous.  The opening band was led by salsa legend, Eddie Palmieri, and the second band was headed up by Salsa star, actor, and activist, Ruben Blades.  Wifesy and I pretty much fell in love dancing and salsa is one of our faves, so it was the perfect gift.

Enjoy this blurry-assed pic of the band!


As we sat and sipped on the agave, a foursome filed into the booth next to us.  They were a gay, male couple and their lovely, female fag hags.  We chatted them up and one of the men quickly told us that they had just sold one of their houses for a smaller number because the upkeep was becoming to much.  The man added, “It was a great house.  We were there 15 years, plus it was Harrison Ford’s old house.”


Wifesy told me later that the name dropping bothered her.  “Did he really need to tell us it was Harrison Ford’s old house?”  She asked.  And I got it.  Wifesy is authentic like that.  The name dropping didn’t bother me too much in that regard.  I did like the chat with our seat neighbors, regardless, because it was uniquely Los Angeles.  If you don’t go out and chat with people like this at “events” – you’ll meet no one in LA since the rest of the time is spent in your car.  So, they can name drop away.  I don’t care.  I’ve got my tequila and my girl and they can have Harrison Ford’s old house.


The one bummer about the bowl was the security, believe it or not.  I mean this was salsa and some very good salsa.  So, people were getting up to dance.  There was a gentleman in front of us who danced with his pregnant wife and her friend.  He was really good and the security kept telling him to sit down.  That’s when we realized there were a lot of rich, white people at this salsa concert.  Wifesy explained this was because people buy the booths for the “season” and so they can come any time there’s not a “block-out” concert on like Radiohead or the like.


I can not state enough, that there is NOTHING like the Hollywood Bowl in New York.  We don’t have year round, outdoor, concert venues with cabaret, table, seating because the weather won’t allow for it.  But, LA has it and it is feckin’ awesome.


That’s LA for you in a nutshell.  Hollywood glam and awesomeness on one side and a sham river on the other.  Sham river, Whaaattt?  Hold on, let me explain.


The Los Angeles River


That’s what it’s called, “The Los Angeles River” and it makes me laugh because the damn river is not a river at all.  It’s more like a puddle.  An enormous concrete basin has been built around this thing that literally comes to a trickle the size of something your garden house could make, yet, it’s called, “The Los Angeles River,” as if it were something mighty.

I mean, I’m not making this shit up. Does that look like a river to you?


I think this “river” is a metaphor for Los Angeles itself.  There are wonderful things here, like the Hollywood Bowl, and then there are other things – people, rivers, all trying to puff themselves up – maybe by telling you they live in the same house Harrison Ford used to live in or by calling themselves a river when they barely measure up to a creek’s standard.  People, here, they get some botox in their lips and an eye tuck to distract from the fact that they are 55 years old.  The rivers, they do the same, I’m guessing.  Maybe that’s why this enormous concrete basin was built around a trickle, to make it seem a bit more than it is.  That’s the key to Los Angeles from nature to human, the motto is, “fake it until you make it.”

los angeles river

See what a good camera and lights can do? Trust, the LA river NEVER looks this good.


I’m guessing the river is simply waiting for a Hollywood production team to come over with a huge hose and turn the water on.  Just like most of the people, here, are waiting for someone to turn on their careers.


But, if you can keep yourself authentic – stay who you are and see things clearly for what they are there – then you can have many amazing nights and a wonderful, odd, life.  At least, that’s what I’m trying to do.  So far, so good.



Sweet Mother is on a quest to 365 posts.  Join me by hitting the “follow” button at the top of this blog.


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Photo Creds:

lariver, lariver2-feature, lariver3

40 thoughts on “The Odd Wonderfulness that is Los Angeles (and My Life).

  1. That is possibly the koolest idea for a birthday celebration I have ever heard of. Who knew you could have a picnic at the Hollywood Bowl? OK, I guess folks from Hollywood knew but this is the first this Canadian girl has heard of it.
    I think both of you are doing well in the authentic department. No worries.

    1. mg, i didn’t know of this either!!! of course, i had heard of the hollywood bowl, but the entire thing is set up to ‘picnic’ — it’s crazy. and fun. and thank you for the ‘authentic’ comment. we try, i try, we truly try. 😉 xoxo, sm

  2. Sounds as if you had a wonderful b’day, moms. I agree with Wifesy about the name-dropping thing. I know someone who does that constantly and it gets on my nerves. The bowl sounds so cool and so glad you guys had such a great time. Wonderful, odd and authentic — that sounds like a pretty fine life to me. I’m trying to do that too, you just expressed it so beautifully.

    1. thanks, briges, it’s not always easy in this town and in this industry. but, it IS possible. and i love that wifesy even noticed the harrison ford comment ’cause it kind of washed over me. and i totally see what she means. this can be a great place, but it is not for everyone and you REALLY have to claim your little piece of it. that i’m working on. and no, it won’t be the la river. lol. much love, sm

  3. I was in LA for a conference three years ago, and I liked it. I did some touristy things like visiting Hollywood Boulevard (saw John Travolta and Robin Williams!) and going to Universal Studios, but altogether it was a nice experience. I liked the desert-like climate with warm days and cool nights—not the unforgiving mugginess of Queens, NY!
    I’m reminded of that Seinfeld line where Kramer says, Jerry, it’s L.A.! Nobody leaves. She’s a seductress, she’s a siren, she’s a virgin, she’s a whore!

  4. Sounds like a fantastic birthday, SM—-yay Wifesy! I’ve seen that Los Angeles River in a zillion shows and movies (the first one I always think of is Grease) but I had no idea they actually called it a river. That’s hilarious. Here’s to many more wonderful, authentic years, wherever you are, Momma.

    1. it’s called a river, goes through the whole city, and the concrete thing that encloses it is way more mammoth than that puddle will ever be. i’m tellin’ you. it was a great berfday. me be a lucky gurl. xoxo, sm

  5. I’m so glad you shared you birthday with us – the curiosity was killing me, and I was way overdue for some vacarious adventures. To help me enjoy it more fully, I’d like to know the name of the tequila.

    I was given a bunch of old albums by a famous NYC DJ who lived across the street from me when I was in high school. One was a salsa all-stars album, which I loved, despite it not really fitting in with the rest of my music. A year or so later I saw a huge show in New York with Eddie Palmieri, Pete “el Conde” Rodriguez, Hector Lavoe and others. The show was fantastic, but was surpassed by the dancing in the audience. Sorry that those security pin-heads really stepped in it at the Bowl.

    1. ok, you saw hector lavoe LIVE??!!! i sit in awe…because i can’t bother getting up, but you know what i mean. and for the record or imagination, it was don julio tequila. rawk it. xoxo, sm

  6. Glad you had a fabulous birthday! Does all the concrete around the LA River have anything to do with mitigating the effects of flash flooding? Maybe not, since it never rains in CA…Anyway, Wifesy, Hollywood Bowl, delicious eats & Salsa…can’t beat that with a stick! xoM

    1. hmmmmm, it may. i did not think of that. Though I don’t think any of the flash flood stuff gets to the la river. I’m telling you it never rises higher than that trickle…so, i don’t know. an interesting question, though, i’ll ask around about it. thanks for the well wishes, marg, it was a fun birthday. and now…back to the drawing (or writing rather) board. lol. xoxo, sm

  7. So let me get this straight; you received a bottle of fine tequila for your birthday and you were able to form a totally coherent and insightful post about the authenticity of Hollywood? Well done Sweet Mother, I think that’s an excellent start to your own personal New Year.

    Also, boo to the security tamping down the dancing, but I am very glad that you had a good time. Cake!

  8. “There was a gentleman in front of us who danced with his pregnant wife and her friend. He was really good and the security kept telling him to sit down.”

    This situation would bother me so much! Dancing is such fun. It seems a bit up tight for a salsa concert. Who could resist dancing (even if they can’t bust a move)?

  9. Sounds like you had a fantastic night out for your b’day Mum! I am a little puzzled though – why are the female friends of gay men called ‘fag hags’? I mean I know the term but I’ve never really understood it, or the element of scorn that seems to go with it.

  10. The only thing that would have made your Bowl experience better is Park & Ride. For $5 extra (maybe more now, it’s been a couple years) when you purchase your tickets, you get a ride straight up to the bowl entrance on a bus, and straight back to the non-stacked parking lot where you left your car. For someone like me, who lives near Long Beach, this is a godsend. I’ll bet it’s damn convenient even if you live pretty close.

  11. This was an adorable article Mudder, until the crack about 55 and Botox.

    Yolly is 55. Yolly is now depressed. Yolly had until that point kidded himself that 40 year olds viewed him as some sort of “vaguely somewhere in the middle” contemporary.

    Happy fucking birthday, mate. *sobs*

  12. I lived in San Diego for four years after having grown up in New Jersey. I remember being in the car shortly after moving there and hearing a radio ad for plastic surgery, and the DJ plugging nose jobs as good Valentine’s Day gifts. And that’s when I knew that I would never quite fit in on the West Coast.

    1. i hear that, my friend. i hear that. i try to enjoy the weather and the other geographically great things about this place and not focus on the car and the plasticity. it is the only way i will survive… lol. xoxo, sm

  13. How neat! I’m glad you had such a great birthday! 🙂
    At first, I thought your cake was a doughnut. I think it would be fun to get a birthday doughnut in the morning AND birthday cake later (really, you can’t have a birthday without’s just not right)

    1. i made wifely get me that cake. she’s not a cake person, but i’m like, nope, on my birthday there must be cake. and then she promptly went out and got what i like. and it was one giant cupcake, which was awesome. so, i see your donut confusion. looooollll. much love, sm

  14. Happy Birthday. I love that you did something so very Hollywood / LA! I love that it was Salsa, which I think is one of the sexist forms of dancing in the world.

    I get the name dropping thing, I have a friend out there who does it all the time. Love him, makes me want to throttle him though.

    1. it is a sort of throttle-inducing activity. it’s like, ‘who cares??!!’ ay yay yay. i had an ex-friend who did it too, perhaps, that’s why she’s an ex-friend. sigh. the salsa was a blast tho. i loved it! much love, val, much love. sm

  15. Mums, did you ever see the movie ‘Earthquake’, one of those 1970’s disaster films, a la ‘The Poseidon Adventure’ and ‘Towering Inferno’? In ‘Earthquake’, the Los Angeles River actually floods when the Mulholland Dam comes a ‘tumblin down after the quake and a series of aftershocks. Rent it if you get a chance; it even has “Sensurround”!

    And your birthday sounds like it was absolutely faboo! “Wifesy” is a keeper!

    1. she is a keeper indeed! and i’m totally going to rent that. i love watching movies about my new locale. i keep trying to get wifesy to watch ‘boys in the hood’, but no dice. loool. as always, thanks for the great commentary, ramelles. xoxo, sm

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