“Shawni, hurry up, the limo’s here!” That’s one of about 50 lines I use to my wife to hit home the fact that we never have anywhere to go on “Hollywood’s big night”. I know my parents who live in a retirement community in Vegas will be going to at least three different Oscar parties tonight, and I’m sure I have friends of friends who are going to the Oscars themselves, but for me, here in Tinseltown, the Oscars only mean one thing: there is traffic coming home from Little League. The truth is, it once was a sign of an active social life that we had a place to go on Oscar night, but now it’s been relegated to another “big night” like Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve that is spent with me making 50 jokes to my wife about how we have no place to go.
But yesterday we did have someplace to go: the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village which was a complete success in terms of a relaxing night away from the kids (even though I woke up every hour or so and thought “if I were home the kids would be coming into bed right now!” Thank you Shawni for planning such an amazing night out! The thing I was most looking forward to (that I will talk about) is watching a movie uninterrupted. Since I’d already seen How to Train Your Dragon 30 times, the next logical choice was The Black Swan. But it wasn’t easy for me: you see Darren Aronofsky, the director, is one of my nemeses. Anyone who reads the tabloids knows that without him, I would be the most famous Hollywood personality to have gone to Crane Lake Camp in West Stockbridge, Massachusetts in the early 80’s. I remember him as kind of a wise-ass camper with red hair and freckles, while I was a wise-ass counselor with brown hair and freckles. I have video footage of him in the audience watching me kill it playing Doody in our camp production of Grease in 1983. Damn, how the tables have turned. Anyway, I guess it’s not such a rivalry since: A– he probably does not know who I am or what I do and B– he is not doing the “Hurry up the limo’s here!” joke. As my wife pointed out, had he been the one who was marrying Natalie Portman, he may have sealed the competition, but I think I still have an outside chance of winning.
One of the other things my wife planned for me today was a spa treatment. While the spa is usually one of the places where I am at my “assiest’ for a variety of reasons, mostly because I’m not a very touchy person , this treatment was perfect. I believe that a spa therapist– or any therapist for that matter– should be perfectly neutral in looks: not distractingly beautiful or unattractive. As a customer, I also try to hold up my end of the bargain. Yoshiko, who was my spa person, fit that bill perfectly: she looked like a South Park rendering of a Japanese spa worker. One of the reasons I don’t go to spas that often is that it’s hard for me to relax there– I keep thinking that the therapist is thinking, “my God, what happened here!” Today, as I was having crushed coffee grounds smeared over my back, all I could think was that Yoshiko was going over every choice she ever made in her life that led her to this moment, and what she would have done differently. In any case, after an hour and fifteen minutes into my 80 minute treatment I finally gave in to relaxing.
In keeping with things that should help me relax but don’t, I also went to yoga tonight. I hate yoga. But like so many other relationships in my life, I have been unable to break this one off (my marriage, that God, is not one of these). I have been practicing yoga– practicing, I hate that they call it practicing— for about 20 years. I am still so tight and awkward that if I told you I had been practicing yoga for 20 years and you watched me practice yoga, the only way you would possibly be impressed is if I followed it up by telling you that I used to not have legs. But I still do yoga. Maybe it’s a form of self-torture: I constantly look around the room to try to find the one person who is worse than I am– usually someone pregnant but I’ll take it. That’s right, I’m competitive at yoga. I also do it only for exercise, not meditation. It’s impossible for me to meditate. And I cheat. As soon as the teacher turns around I drop into child’s pose. I am in child’s pose more than my 3 month old nephew. The only thing I am good at at yoga is when the teacher says we can exhale with a sound. My sound is like a dying walrus. People laugh but I’m not trying to be funny. I am in pain. The teacher announces, “Well, we know Jeff is here” and people laugh more. My practice turns yogis mean. One time after class a woman came up to me and said, “that was you? I never heard a man make a sound like that before.” My goal is to keep doing yoga, even if it’s just to break even, because nothing, and I mean nothing, feels better than being done with yoga.
That’s all for now, I should really get ready. The limo will be hear any minute.