I bought tickets to see Frankie Valli at Humphrey's on July 11 and was told for $250 more I could get tickets to a reception with Valli -- a fund-raiser for the La Jolla Playhouse. I thought the ticket price and the $10 I gave them for a T-shirt was enough. My job is crashing parties, not paying 250 bones to attend them. After the concert I asked one of the Humphrey's security guards where the reception was. He pointed to a ballroom at the back of the outdoor seating area. There was a long line to get in to the reception, and three different security guards were checking tickets. My friend and I debated what to do. While I was scouting things out, the guards asked my friend for her ticket. She panicked and said I had them. Security told us we'd have to leave if we didn't have tickets. I looked up at the balcony above the ballroom and those lucky bastards enjoying champagne and eating decadent chocolates, and I cursed them under my breath.

My friend said, "Let me try something." I liked her enthusiasm. She walked around a corner and ran into the same female security guard who had told us to leave. My friend said, "I just need to find a bathroom." When she went into the bathroom, the security guard followed her in there and waited for her to leave. A guy was yelling at another female security guard, "I paid $250, and not to drink champagne and wine. You better call somebody and get some goddamn beer up there!" The guard was trying to call someone on her walkie-talkie as he complained. My friend and I left Humphrey's defeated.

I got home and checked my voice mail. A woman from New York had called. She was some kind of agent who represented big-name people. She found out about my column and was giving me the heads-up on a party at the W Hotel downtown. She said, "There will be some of the biggest names in Hollywood at this party."

They were in town for Comic Con. And I knew one of the prettiest women in Hollywood would be there, Charlize Theron, and one of the funniest guys, Jack Black. At the conclusion of her long message she said, "Because of space constraints, we don't have the room at this event for you to attend. You are more then welcome to stand in front of the hotel and take pictures of the stars as they show up. You could probably write a nice little piece about that." I still have her phone number. I might leave a message on her voice mail: "Have a nice little piece of this, lady!"

Things turned out okay, though. I ended up sneaking backstage at Comic Con and hanging out with Jack Black. That guy sweats a lot.

* * * I met a person at a party whom I had been a fan of since childhood. It was at a Parrot Heads party for Jimmy Buffett fans. I drove to the Point Loma party wondering why Buffett has so many fans. I like his song titles better than the actual songs ("Last Mango in Paris," "Off to See the Lizard," "Cheeseburger in Paradise," "Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season").

Cindy MacDonald, who threw this party with her husband Tim, told me that they do this every year, and that the day after they take a bus to various bars to judge boat drinks (which is a reference from a song about drinks with rum and fruit juice). Cindy said, "The best drink we found this year was at Fiddler's on Shelter Island. It was freshly blended pineapple, banana, and rum. It was delicious."

I was talking to her about the view her house has of SeaWorld, and she complained about two houses that had additions built which blocked some of their view. The house directly in front of the MacDonalds' hasn't expanded yet. Someone else was saying that the power lines should've been installed underground so that the view wasn't obstructed. Another person claimed that that was done in 1971 in some areas of Point Loma.

A few people were bummed about the marine layer killing the view. Someone said, "We won't get to see the green flash." I asked what that was, thinking it sounded like some superhero. Everyone went into this explanation about the sunset and seeing a green flash off the coast.

I met Bob Clark, the president of the Jimmy Buffett fan club. He looked like former Bears coach Mike Ditka. He said he's seen Buffett in 150 clubs all across the U.S. Others in the fan club told me about the money the club raises for charities. This year they raised over $30,000 for a burn center.

Everyone was drinking Bloody Marys, but I stuck with mimosas. I drank a few too many, and because of the long time in the sun and a migraine I got later in the day, I spent the night puking them all back up.

The Parrot Heads all left their goofy hats at home (a tradition at concerts). I asked one fan if the crowd complains about not being able to see over a hat. "Some people complain, but most of the crowd has hats on, so it's not a big deal."

A guy from Temecula showed up with homemade wine. Everyone was saying it was good. (I've had friends who made beer at home, and I always thought it was disgusting. I was afraid to try this stuff.)

The MacDonalds' pet turtle was walking in and out of the house. One time Cindy tripped trying not to step on it. She said, "I think I twisted my ankle." Someone replied, "As long as you didn't spill your drink."

I was surprised at how fast the turtle walked and how its head disappeared as people walked by. I heard someone yell that the turtle had crapped on the floor. Another person said, "That damn thing only eats lettuce. How can it poop this much?"

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