Mewsings from Lowecat (aka Indianacat)

My rants, ravings, and overall 'mewsings' on life, the universe, and everything.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Time to Party or Pawtee in LA

After checking into the hotel, resting up from the travel, watchin' my favorite (and only!) soap, and findin' a place for my stuff (thank you George Carlin) , and then goin' out to the mall for lunch and shoppin', we got ourselves ready for our first ever Hollywood type party. Or, as KISS calls it Pawty.

This party was actually a grand openin' at Perri Ink Cartel, a unique shop on Melrose, which I mistakenly identified as Santa Monica Boulevard in my previous blog. (I told y'all on twitter and FB that I do fact check!) The invite was for the DH and myself from Mr. Michael Marisi Ornstein, aka Chuckie on Sons of Anarchy.

Mr. Ornstein and myself have been in communication on Facebook and Twitter (where he posts as @swimdeep) for some time. I also subscribe to his blog, 'Handwritten Radio'. It's on my dashboard under Blogs I Follow. You should check it out.

Mr. Ornstein is very talented, not just as an actor, but as artisit, photographer, and writer. His photos and paintings have appeared on Twitter and FB. He also has a website for his work:

Because of that communication back and forth, and my interest in his work (which included sending him links to various art venues in Indianapolis in hopes he will one day display his work here, hint - hint), it was only natural to ask him in DM/PM's on FB and the Twitters if he would be at the SOA event.

Well, not only was he goin' to be at the event, he invited the DH and myself to the Perri Cartel Ink openin'. Happy happy joy joy! Hell yeah, I'd love to go.

Then came the questions on my part. What does one wear to such a function. Formal? Casual? Casual/formal, formal/casual, or clothing optional (well, it is LA!).

Mr. Ornstein responded to wear something one would wear to meet a rock star like Keith Richards. Yeah. That helped a lot. Groupie wear? I don't think so, not at my age. Then he followed up with what he intended to wear as a guideline. Comfy casual. Jeans, jacket, boots. OK, I accept that.

Next thing to worry me, how in the Hell do we get there? Taxi? Hotel car? Bus? Shanksmare (an old biker term from the 1960's meanin' to hoof it, and I have the DC/Lois Lane comic to prove the term!).

Not knowin' a damn thing about public transportation in LA, I did what any good reporter (or in my case, former reporter) would do. I researched. Started with the hotel concierge. The hotel's web site had mentioned that the hotel offered cars and drivers. Hmmm.

The concierge was helpful. Yes, the driver/car was free -- within a mile and half radius of the hotel. After that it would be $95 an hour, minimum two hours. Holy George Washingtons, Batman! The DH would have kittens over that idea!

The concierge heard my heart stop. Literally. While I was indulgin' in a little self CPR and wonderin' if bus routes would be workable (oh yeah, as IF either of us would want to try to find a bus route to the hotel in the dead of night in LA?), the concierge stated that it was 'only a $25 cab ride one way'.

That was a little more doable. I still researched the bus routes, just in case the DH had kittens about the cab. Became not very sanguine about the schmand faire option at all.

With attire and transportation matters resolved in advance, we trekked down to the lobby, on past the hotel cars and drivers, to the line of cabs waitin' beyond. We took the first cab in line, and I handed the driver the pre - printed address I'd found on line for PIC. You can learn more about this store by clickin' on the links below:

(picture of the Perri Ink Cartel logo used by permission of Michael Marisi Ornstein).

The ride took us past many interesting shops. Many reminded me of our arts districts in Broad Ripple and Massachusetts Avenue. Small little shops advertisin' all manner of goods and services. Plus a whole lotta Starbucks.

We saw the Beverly Hills government center, a very tall building that I swear is the same one that appears on the badges of the LAPD, especially from Dragnet. We would later learn from April Macintyre, blogwriter for Monsters and Critics, that the building is quite historic. We also saw the sign for the Beverly Hills residential area. Whoot!

I cracked up at the sight of the store sign for a medicinal herbage shop. BUZZZZZ R Us. I tried a picture, but it's not the best. Robert got closer for a picture. Still not great, but it works.

The taxi let us off on the corner, where the valet parkin' was takin' place. The valet was still nice enough to open the cab door for me. I got very spoiled this weekend by all the men openin' doors for me. Our driver from LAX to the hotel opened the door for me. The valet parkers at the Intercontinental opened the doors for me every time we got out of a car. Our driver to/from the hotel and the SOA event opened the door for me. The only time I had to open my own bloody door was when we got INTO the cab and into our room (I keep tellin' the DH he still has to woo me, even though he's won me)!!!! Robert, dear husband, y'all need to take note of that. Those men spoilt me rotten. Hint - hint.

I walked up to the people at the barricade and told them who I was and that Mr. Ornstein had left my name for admittance with a 'plus one'. The helpful ladies directed me to the other side of the barricade, where the ladies with the guest list were standin'. No problem, we walked over and I introduced myself to the ladies with the clipboard. They quickly scanned the guest list, found my name, and - voila! - the little velvet rope was opened and we walked the red carpet inside.

The first thing I saw, and unfortunately didn't get a picture of, was a repainted Nash Motorcycle. Oh, I wanted that bike so much! It was very difficult not to touch, but I remembered an age old adage, 'if you touch, you buy.' Talk about the DH havin' kittens about the shippin' for that! (The bike, not the fella next to it, more on him in a minute).

(picture used by permission of Michael Marisi Ornstein)

Perri Ink Cartel is a one - stop shop for a hair cut, body piercin', tattos, guitars, Mr. Ornstein's art, and motorcycle parts. We wondered through the buildin', lookin' at the many things on display in front. Robert kept sayin' 'No touch. No touch. No touch' about the bikes. Men! We kept walkin' through the buildin', findin' that like an onion, the further in we went, the more interestin' things we found. Then we found the out back area. Actually, I damn near fell into it.

Seriously. I didn't see that there was a step up. I was holdin' my kitty bag in my hand (carryin' some Indiana swag wrapped up all pretty for Mr. Ornstein). The bag would also hold any thing we might pick up that was offered as freebie souvenirs. It was never intended to go flyin' onto my shoulder and whackin' me upside the head. The bag did exactly that while I gracelessly tripped my way into the back lot.

The lady bartenders saw my near embarassment and asked if I were OK. Other than totally embarassed, I was fine, thanks for askin'. At least I didn't fall on my face and embarass myself further. One of the bartenders was also from the midwest, from Kansas. This came out because I made a comment about my midwestern country self not knowin' to watch me step. Who says one can't make instant friends of strangers?

We ordered non alcoholic drinks, and started to meander around. Servers of the male and female persuasion offered us tasty tidbits, always bein' careful to advise if nuts were involved. Scrumptious doesn't even begin to describe the cuisine. I was fascinated to watch the chefs put the snacks together.

There was a canopy with the Nash Motorcycle logo set up with chairs for people to sit in. Also two barber chairs were out in back. I kept expectin' SOA's Floyd to show up!

(photo used by permission of Michael Marisi Ornstein)

As we waited for Michael to appear, I inadvertantly got into a twitter war with a couple of twitters about makin' their own SOA cuts. The intent to go on Twitter was to share the location. I got so involved in the twitter war that I missed Mr. Ornstein's tweet message of 'Are you here?' . The basis of the war was that two people on twitter were thinkin' of havin' SOA cuts made up. I was tryin' to dissaude them from this, out of concern for their safety (and not wantin' to see Sutterink or FX or Linson Productions get sued). That war eventually worked itself out, but it took a bit of my time and attention until Robert made me turn the Iphone off.


Then I had my first magic moment. Christopher D Reed and his lovely wife walked into the back lot. The lot was beginnin' to fill with people. Lots of people. It wasn't hard to recognize Christopher. He stands out in a crowd due to his height. My little heart fluttered, but I didn't run up to him and say 'hi'. Hell, the man was there to attend a function in support of Mr. Ornstein, and he and his lovely lady were waitin' in line to get their drinks. It went against everythin' I hold dear to bother them.

But that didn't stop me from lookin'. And whisperin' to the DH that Christopher D Reed was in da house - or in that case, da lot.

"Who?" my dear husband imitated an owl.

"Filthy Phil," I hissed, raisin' eyes.

"Oh. Him. Yeah."

Raised eyes again. Men!!!!

A few minutes later, I had my first real fangirl moment. Dayton Callie had walked up next to Chris and his lovely wife.

"OMG!" I hissed to the DH. "It's Dayton Callie!"


'Do your feet fit on a branch and you shit through feathers?' I thought. "Dayton Callie. Unser."

"The former sheriff?"

Good Gawd! He does watch the damn show! "The former police cheif. DO NOT call him the former sheriff!"


Meanwhile, I am feelin' ashamed for indulgin' in a minor fangirl squee. No one else heard it, or if they did, they didn't let on that I'd just fangirled all over the place. Again, no rushin' up to see/speak to him. He was on line for a drink. And he was chattin' with Chris and his lovely wife (and she is very lovely!).

Content that I wasn't goin' to bespoil/besmirch the fine name of Lowe (and my maiden name of Emily), Robert left me alone in the back lot to go snoop around the front. He left and I sat on the edge of one of the barber chair so that someone else could sit, too. I was content to watch and listen to the folks millin' about me. And feast my eyes on the SOA cast in attendance. And look for Mr. Ornstein. And stay off Twitter so I wouldn't be the 'SOA/Twitter police" as I've been accused of bein' from another blog post of mine. (le sigh).

I will admit to feelin' slightly annoyed on behalf of Mr. Callie and Mr. Reed, as they were standin' in line waitin' to get a drink and talkin' with each other, fans would walk right up, interrupt the conversation, askin' for a picture with Mr. Callie. They totally ignored Mr. Reed at times. Let me tell you, I've never seen anymore responde more graciously than Mr. Callie to these requests for a picture, despite the interruption. He spoke graciously to the fans, posed for the pictures, shook hands, and never once indicated that he wasn't exactly pleased with their audacity. Had it been me gettin' interrupted, somethin' would've been said. He never responded with anything but grace and open friendliness. Both Mr. Reed and Mr. Callie reacted like true gentlemen when accosted in such a manner.

Robert returned, and I continued to watch the people around us. Even did an imitation of salmon swimmin' upstream to spawn to get a refill from the lady bartenders and back to the metal barricade seperatin' the alley from the lot. Robert announced he'd picked up some PIC swag that was free. A matchbook for his best friend's collection and a couple of biz cards. He also said he thought he saw some motorcycle parts, but they might've been tattoo implements for all he knew. My dear love is not the most mechanically inclined male in the world, but I love him anyway.

Havin' piqued my interest, I again swam like a salmon through the millin' throng and eventually found my way out of the back lot into the building again. No longer imitatin' a salmon, I meandered around up front, droolin' over the motorcycles on display, lookin' at Mr. Ornstein's art, and picked up some swag of my own. A guitar pick and a biz card.

I found the curly shiny metal implements Robert had mentioned. They were springs for a bike. The young man behind the display case noticed my interest in the bike parts, and we talked for some time. It turns out he had just arrived from the great state of Ohio (either Columbus or Cincy, it started with a 'C', that's for sure). I pulled out the pre printed from home paper about PIC to show him the reviews the store had already received on a website called 'Yelp'. Let him keep it to show his bosses. Hey, anything to support the local business owner is my motto.

I showed off a picture from my Iphone of Tig, my beloved bike, and the young man drooled over him. I believe I made a friend for life there, as I was truly enthused by the potential, describin' how such a shop just might make it in Indy either on our Mass Ave strip or in Broad Ripple. The gent had heard of Broad Ripple, of all things! This new friend is the one in the blue checked shirt.

(used by permission of Michael Marisi Ornstein)

I spied Dayton Callie and Mr. Ornstein talkin' in the lighted front area of the store. Mr. Ornstein was describin' his artwork to Mr. Callie. Nope, not gonna run up on the pair. That would be rude. My parents raised me better. I'd already seen fans run up on Mr. Reed and Mr. Callie out in the back lot, askin' for pics. Both gentlemen were gracious to do so. I didn't want to subject them to the same treatment. My time would come. Patience is a virtue, right?

So, Mr. Ornstein finally turns around and starts walkin' towards the front of the building. I stepped into a little alcove so as not to block his way. He starts to pass, then does a double take and stops dead in his tracks. He smiles. That big smile that just lights the joint like a hundred watt bulb.

"Myra?" he asks delightedly.

I forget what I said. Maybe somethin' like "Guilty". Honestly, I do not remember. I do remember bein' enfolded in a big ole bear hug and a hearty kiss gettin' planted on me cheek. I nearly bawled like a baby! Never expected such an enthusiastic greetin' as that. A handshake, certainly. I think my mind said to myself, 'I just got a hug and kiss from Michael Marisi Ornstein!!!!! And no pic of it. Naturally it'd happen while Robert was elsewhere!'

I still had my kitty bag with me, and the gaily wrapped package of IN swag intended for him was plainly visible. I explained that it was for him, and brought along in case he wouldn't be at the event the next night. He assured me he'd be there, so we agreed that I'd keep it safe until then.

We talked excitedly for a few moments, then Mr. Ornstein asks if I'd met Mr. Callie yet. This I remember respondin' that the oppostunity hadn't come up yet. Mr. Callie was standin' near the very display case where I'd met the youngster from OH. Mr. Ornstein made the introduction, and I held out my hand and called him, "Mr. Callie."

"It's Dayton."

"Well, where I come from, it's Mr. or Miss/Mrs./Ms until I'm invited otherwise." I cringe inswardly. 'Did I really just say that? Oh, Lord, floor open now and swallow me up!'.

He seemed delighted. I remember askin' if he would be present at the event the next day. He apologetically told me that he had already promised the big cheese at FX Net to be present at HIS event the same evenin'. I told him that there was a little bit of IN swag for him, and that Mr. Ornstein would get it to him (actually, Kurt Sutter's lovely and talented assistant, Katie Cutright, will ensure that Dayton gets his swag). I told him it wasn't much, but it came from the heart. I also told him it was a shame he couldn't make the event, but understood that duty calls. That was when I learned that Ron Perlman wouldn't be at the event, as he, too, had a prior committment to the big cheese's event. It was some kind of fight, and when I asked who was fightin', Mr. Callie said he didn't know and we got a big laugh out of it.

While we were up front, Mr. Reed came through the same area, just gazin' around to see what there was to see. Mr. Ornstein made the introduction, and I found my pudgy little hand enveloped in his. He was genuinely glad to see me, and we talked for some time as well. To my delight, Mr. Reed intended to be present for the event, and I let him know I had IN swag for him, too.

We all wound our way back to the outside lot, doin' the swimmin' upstream thing again. I beckoned my DH over to the drink table where Mr. Reed and I were standin', and he did 'the swim' to us to meet Mr. Reed. We got refills, and went our separate ways, Mr. Reed to find his lovely lady and us to find a place to stand where we were out of the confinin' crowd.

My little eyes spotted Mr. Callie near the Nash canopy, so we did 'the swim' to that area, where there was space to stand and wait. My intent was to introduce Mr. Callie to Robert, who had watched the former in 'Deadwood' when it ran on HBO when the actor had a free moment.

In the meantime, Mr. Ornstein came up to us, and I made the appropriate introductions. We three stood and talked at length about my experience in broadcasting and why I got out. Mr. Ornstein was genuinely interested. I felt guilty over monopolizin' his time, but as long as he was willin' to talk to us, I was happy and didn't mind at all when people came up to talk to him, nor when he was spirited away to talk to others.

Eventually, the opportunity came to introduce Robert to Mr. Callie. I again got his attention by referrin' to him as 'Mr. Callie' and got instantly corrected again. Mr. Callie was gratified that Robert remembered him from 'Deadwood', and the two had a nice little talk about it, and why he wouldn't be at the event the followin' day. I then asked for, and Robert took, a picture of me with Mr. Callie. As Robert took the picture I told Mr. Callie about enjoyin' his small role in 'To Wong Foo' as Crazy Elijah, which he also appreciated.

Mr. Callie then excused himself to mingle some more. We noticed that people were thinnin' out, and we realized that with the possibility of meetin' April Macintyre (of Monsters and Critics blog), plus havin' been up and about for hours on little sleep (other than what we got on the plane and at the hotel), that we needed to find a cab and get some snooze.

Mr. Ornstein found us and introduced us to his lovely wife, Zoe. We spoke for a bit and I remember thankin' him for the invite and a wonderful time, mentionin' it was our first Hollywood/LA party. When I mentioned we were gonna call a cab, he whipped out his cell phone and called one for us, givin' my cell phone number as a contact, which I provided to him.

An aside about the cellphone. My usual default ring tone is the SOA theme song. There are two other ringtones, The Phantom of the Opera and George Takei's 'Oh My!'. Not wantin' to call attention, even though the phone was on vibrate, I changed to the POTO theme.

Oh, dear! Just realized that neither Mr. Reed nor Mr. Ornstein knew at the party of my near splat on the concrete. They shure know now! Picture me smackin' my head. No injuries, guys. Except for my wounded dignity, and that's been wounded before.

The subject of gettin' sat on by the tottery lady on the turbo jet did come up, as I was in a little pain in the legs from the walkin' from gate to gate and bein' sat on. The lameness showed, and the story came out about the lap dweller. Robert and I had seperate seats on that flight, so he didn't know of the lap perch until after we met back up in the arrival gate at O'Hare.

Both Ornsteins were genuinely concerned, askin' if I were OK from bein' a perch. I assured them no harm was done, it wasn't the lady's fault, and that I planned to soak in hot water (either the hotel hot tub or our room tub) on our return, addin' a promise to Twitter DM Mr. Ornstein that we arrived at the hotel safe and sound. in the meantime, he Twitter DM'd the cab company telephone number to me.

Another big hug and smack on the cheek to me from him, a handshake to Robert from him, and handshake from both of us to Mrs. Ornstein, and we departed through the metal barricades in the back lot to the sidewalk and along to the front to await our cab.

The young gent from OH walked past us, I said goodbye to him and quickly introduced the DH to him. And darlin', I apologize for not rememberin' your name. I definitely remember your face, though, and your genuine friendly hospitality. When y'all get to be my age, you'll understand what CRS (can't remember shit) is all about.

Twenty minutes and two phone calls later, our cab arrived and whisked us back to the hotel. I had time to duck into the comic book shop to ask about the new Dark Shadows comic that was supposed to be out. The guy mannin' the cashier's desk checked their inventory and reported they didn't get it. Le sigh. Reminder to self, check on (Yes, I'm a comic book geek). I also took the pic of the sign of Floyd's barber shop and the BUZZZZ's R Us signage.

We returned to the hotel, me limpin' a lot. I wanted to go to the hotel hot tub, as Kat (@meadowgirl) and Mark (@TwistedShadow) had mentioned on Twitter how wonderful it was. Robert was too tired to go with me, and didn't want me goin' alone. Plus, the hot tub closed at 11pm (I would learn later). So, I Twitter DM'ed Mr. Ornstein that we arrived safe and sound and was off to soak and did so.

He had meantime DM'd back that he was glad we were safe and to enjoy the soak.

So ended our first forway into Hollywood pawtees!

Next up, breakfast buffet and the SOA Fan Appreciation Event.


Blogger Helena Hanbaskett said...

I live vicariously through you, even if I had to trip and fall in public- YOU handled it gracefully. :) XOXOXO, Helena Hanbasket

November 19, 2011 at 6:11 PM  
Blogger Helena Hanbaskett said...

I love vicariously though you-
Even the tripping in public... You handled it so well!
"Helena Hanbaskett"

November 19, 2011 at 6:13 PM  
Blogger Helena Hanbaskett said...

OMG Sorry I did not know my first comment made it - Feel free to delete on of them AND THIS Comment too. HUGS!!!

November 26, 2011 at 7:46 PM  

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