Okay. First story of the LA stint.
So, right before I left work on Monday, I went to the bank to deposit a check. Put the money in the honey and all was good, until I realized that I needed to mac out some more cash for my week in LA. But, when I re-entered my PIN, my brain went all weird and I entered the wrong number. And proceeded to re-enter the wrong number five times. So they put my account on hold. I call the bank (which SUCKS, and, not to be libelous, we shall henceforth refer to as B.o.A or "Bank of Ass") and they say, "We'll send you a PIN reminder." And I say, "I'm going to be in LA for a week, can you send it to my hotel?" And they say no, they can only send your PIN to you actual address, and I say, "well, I'm going to need some cash," and they say, "just go to a branch and give them your card and they'll let you take money out with a withdrawal slip."
So we get up at the crack of dawn and fly to LA, and once we land in LAX we have to wait in line for an hour at Hertz and we finally get our car and we're cranky and ravenously hungry and we start driving to Santa Monica, which is where the MTV offices are. And just as we're leaving the airport, I spot a branch of B.o.A. and we pull over and I duck inside to get some moolah. Except that when I get to the teller and give her my card and my info, she informs me that all my accounts have been closed out and that I'm showing a zero-dollar balance. So I freak out, and I'm like, "there are THOUSANDS of dollars in that account, what do you mean I have no money, where did my money go, AAAAAARGH?" and she directs me over to the ATM machine where there's a little white non-courtesy phone and it takes 25 minutes to get to a real person who finally informs me that no, my accounts have not disappeared but that since I opened my account in Jersey, California can't access it. The real person tells me to go to a diffferent branch, so I dry my tears and we decide to go to the office and I'll do the bank errand the next day.
So we get to our officespace and we're still cranky and ravenous and even more exhausted and I'm all tearstained and we start prepping for all the pre-production stuff we need to accomplish. And, conicidentally, a hunk of our vee-peers from NYC were also out in LA LA land, prepping to shoot Gene Simmons for another new show. Yes, that Gene Simmons (ROCK!). And so it was decided that we'd all eat dinner together. And thusly, it was also decided that we would eat at Lawry's.
LAWRY'S IS A STEAKHOUSE AND I AM A VERY, VERY, VERY LONGTERM VEGEMATARIAN!
But apparently everyone forgot about that.
So we check-in to our hotel and splash some water on our faces and then we drive back out to West Hollywood and head into Lawry's, which looks, for all the world, like a combination of Medieval Times and a cheezy place where your parents might have gotten married 40 years ago. There was an anteroom where they were serving happy-hour-esque hors d'oeuvres -- swedish meatballs and potato chips. So we headed to the bar to wait for the rest of the gang. Lawry's has a no-seating-until-your-whole-party-has-arrived policy, and the 8th member of our party didn't arrive until 9:30 PST. Which was 12:30 EST in our brains, and we'd been up since the crack of dawn.
So. Between the incredibly homoerotic Medieval-esque mural covering the back wall, and the waitresses dressed in brown polyester tunics with little white napkin hats, I was already halfway between the Twilight Zone and utter hysteria. And the waitress (whose nametag read "Miss Dolce") passed out the menus and we realized that they. only. served. steak. (and a fish dish, but that don't help me none). And we were still ravenous, so we asked if we could just order, and Miss Dolce insisted we first had to tell her what kind of potatoes each one of us preferred (baked or mashed). And then she went away for a while and we got hungrier and tipsier. And then she finally came back, and still wasn't taking orders, and I was like, "I don't meat. Or poultry. Or fish. Can you do anything?" and she said they had a vegetable plate, and I asked if she could check to make sure it wasn't cooked where they cooked the meat and she said it wasn't, so I ordered that.
And then, suddenly, the cart of death arrived.
The cart of death was a large, silver rolltop thing on wheels that contained, I shit you not, an entire cow. As I fled to the lobby to text my boyfriend, "HELP, THEY ARE CARVING A COW IN FRONT OF ME," a man wearing a bloodstained apron and a chef's hat proceeded to slice large chunks of flesh off of the cow and place them on plates for my dining partners. I kept peeking around the lobby to see if the man was done with his butchering, which took forever (I guess everyone selected different cuts of cow) and finally I came back to the table. And promptly lost my appetite. Because my colleagues were slicing cow off the cowbone and their meats were swimming in pools of blood. I moved the food around my plate a few times and generally tried to stare at the homoerotic medieval mural, so as to avoid booting up whatever was left in my tummy.
(My friends eat meat in front of me all the time, but it's always chicken in pad thai, or a hamburger, or chunks of pork or something. I rarely, rarely, see contextualized meat -- and contextualized meat, eg, this-is-flesh-on-a-bone-and-i-am-made-of-flesh-on-a-bone, is why I went veg in the first place -- and that's why it freaked me out oh so much).
So that was my first night in LA.
And yes, it's the same Lawry's as the seasoned salt and pepper (which were on our table, and which I would have used had I been capable of eating).