When I walked back to my car, I saw Channel 8 interviewing one of the organizers. There was a big story in the U-T the next day. That's a lot of press for races that last around five seconds each. But as one kid said to me, "It's all about the thrill of the hill." I wondered if that was a B.B. King song, or Fats Domino. Or am I combining two songs?
Since this was all during the day, I was able to crash another event that night. It would be a lot harder to get in. This was a gala at the La Jolla Playhouse called "A Party Fit for a King." Tickets ranged from $250 to $2500. I called Jessica, who does PR for the Playhouse, on the afternoon of the event. She said it would be hard to get me in on short notice, but I weaseled my way in.
They stuck to the "Fit for a King" theme, with court jesters running around, and people dressed the parts. It was hysterical when I pulled up at the valet parking area and trumpets went off. They made an announcement as I got out of my car. A woman was standing on this giant ball, balancing herself perfectly. It was a nice way to enter.
It was then that I found out my crashing skills hadn't worked as well as I had hoped. First, they couldn't find my name. Then they did. They said, "Okay, the media has their area over at the loading docks." I was wondering why I'd worn a suit to go over to the loading docks.
I was taken over there by Beth, a tall, beautiful woman. We were talking about the event and she said, "Ya know, Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio [of the Four Seasons] are both here." I wondered if I'd see them. Probably not from the loading dock.
The regular guests may have been eating caviar, truffles, filet mignon, carrot risotto, peeled asparagus spears, and kabocha squash soup. But they actually had a nice little setup for us on the dock. There was alcohol and lots of appetizers. (Who the hell likes caviar anyway? Someone told me it's an "acquired taste," which means it tastes like crap the first 20 times you eat it, but you eventually get used to it.)
For the person who left a message on my voice mail asking why I always describe the food at parties -- you didn't tell me what you'd rather I describe from these events. I could tell you about the cars I saw in the parking lot. There were Jaguars, Mercedes, BMWs, and a few Bentleys and Rolls-Royces. At one point I saw a UCSD student walking by glancing at them. I wondered if he was thinking that if his hard work at school paid off, he might someday have one of these rides.
My PT Cruiser, with the flames painted on the side, didn't fit in here. It looked better next to the soap box cars earlier in the day.
This event was to celebrate the grand opening of the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center at the Playhouse, and the Potiker Theatre inside that. We were given a nice tour of the facility. Some of the upstairs offices had incredible views. One person, looking at the Mormon church, said, "From here, that looks like something you'd see at Disneyland. It would fit perfectly in It's a Small World."
All the areas had food, drinks, or desserts being served. One guy who'd had too much to drink said, "You wenches are doing a wonderful job! Keep my glass filled."
Director Des McAnuff spoke with us about some of his future projects. With noise coming from next door, somebody asked, "Are there dentists working over there?" Someone else thought it was an air-conditioning unit. Des looked over and explained that it was the hydraulics that are used in the play Jersey Boys. We would occasionally see people come outside wheeling a bunch of outfits that they were going to change into.
I was talking to one woman from New Zealand. I forgot which publication she worked for. Everyone was guessing her accent wrong. She said, "So many people get the accent wrong. And when they find out I'm from New Zealand, they ask about vacations there. Some talk about living there, especially since the last election." When an African-American couple walked by, I asked what she thought of the lady's funky hairstyle. She said, "Well, I'm all for individuality and expressing yourself. That being said -- no, I don't like it. What about you?" I told her I liked the Monarch butterfly she had in it.
I found out rich people like to gossip, too. When it was announced during the auction that Audrey Geisel (Dr. Seuss's widow) had donated one million dollars, a woman next to me told her friend that just a few years ago, Audrey talked about getting a face-lift. She said, "Why in the world would a senior citizen care about getting a face-lift? That is beyond me."
The auction had some interesting items. A dinner with Des McAnuff and Jacob Irwin went for $10,000. Storyboard paintings from Jersey Boys, signed by Frankie Valli, went for $2500. One person bid $22,500 for a walk-on role when Jersey Boys goes to Broadway. A lady next to me said, "I guess you have to be able to walk. What if someone in a wheelchair had bid on that? It could be considered discrimination." We both laughed, and I said, "I wonder if you'd have to sing in that falsetto of Valli's."
When Des McAnuff and the Red Dirt Band got on stage to play some songs, I talked to a nice older couple. They worked for the North County Times. We talked about people who forward e-mail jokes that aren't funny. I said, "Some of them are 20 years old." The woman replied, "I hate political messages, too. I have no desire to read those. I usually delete all that stuff right when I get it."