Sunday, November 09, 2008

Sunshine Salad & Ando!

Isn't that a sweet picture? That's Michael. I love my friend Michael.

Yesterday, our mutual friend Marc (one of the TLS fan crowd who is now a friend) was out from the east coast as part of his job. So, we went out a nice lunch -- Sunshine Salad at the Magnolia Grill.

He said he hadn't seen any celebrities.

"First time in El Lay?" I asked.

"Yeeahh." Marc has this very cool way about him. He's nice to be around. We established early on that neither of us did small talk very well, but we were making each other laugh and just enjoying our Sunshine Salad.

"I like all this sun," he said.

(Yesterday was sunny in the upper 70s with a slightly cool breeze; the little bit of Pacific ocean that managed to crawl over the Hollywood hills was wafting in little wavelets through the dry desert air.)

"I do, too."

He'd be going back to the land of snow and ice.

He said he and Michael had done the Beverly Hills tour the day before.

That's when Michael called. He was home. So we went to his place for our homosexual orgy: We played show tunes and sang together at Michael's piano -- the one I helped him pick out.

Okay, not just any showtunes. I sang my own show tunes: "Connected" from TLS and then "My Thanksgiving Prayer" which is a part of New World Waking! (WORLD DEBUT DEC. 1st! in case you haven't been paying attention.)

Marc took a picture of my hands. Veiny! Sleek!

Michael also had the sheet music to "Seasons of Love" from RENT. I love that little piano combination at the top of that song. It's like magic when someone composes a simple progression that, from the first two chords, identifies the song. And "Seasons of Love" brings tears to my eyes before any words get sung.

So, we all caught up with each other and did big hugs and kisses, and it was nice. I like having friends. It was hard saying goodbye.


Later, I was volunteering down at Kulak's Woodshed running one of the cameras.

(Dr. Ruchi says my blood sugars are too high and that she supported my volunteering as a type of physical therapy, along with jogging and low carbs. She said if I can't make them come down through diet and exercise, she's gonna put me on some injectable. That's all I needed to hear. But, man, am I weak. After about an hour, I was exhausted. Luckily, at that point, we switched cameras and I could move to one where I could sit.)

It was a songwriter's circle featuring Kevin So, a singer I was not familiar with. But man, he's good. The other artists were also top notch -- Kyler England also standing out -- but he wowed me with his easy charm, literate lyrics, beautifully reedy tenor voice and real soul in his performances, particularly with a song called "A Brighter Day" where he got everyone singing along.

It felt very much in line with the kind of music I wrote for NWW. Positive. Healing. Community. And, appropriately, he reference Barack Obama in his intro. It does feel like a new day here on Day 5 after he was elected.


I didn't see him until the evening was nearly over, but over against the wall, in our small audience of about 12, was James Kyson Lee, also known as Ando on the TV show, "Heroes," (which I totally love no matter how complicated it gets and I'm very upset that they fired Jeff Loeb who brought total comic book seriousness to it unlike "Smallville" which is more about how sexy we can make all the villains that pop up, not that I'm complaining about attractive people being on teevee. And Ando is a cool character. He's the only one that doesn't have super powers but they pretended to run him through with a sword. He's Hiro's best pal.)

I told you I'm a geek.

I was too shy to speak to him because, at the time, as I do whenever I see a celebrity, I start to doubt whether it's the real person. And I'm very shy. I honestly am. I'm just loud shy. Not afraid of being in front of people -- but one on one... not so much. Something I have to learn to get over.

By the time I convinced myself it was him, he was buying CDs from the talent and engaged with them. I didn't want to intrude. But, I overheard him say his name was James and that he does improv theater. It had to be him!

Got home, did a search. Bingo. Sure enough, on his Wiki Entry, it says he does improv theater. I was right! Ando was there! How cool!

I love L.A.


Anonymous said...

I'm so happy with the piano you helped me pick out. And I love having you play it. My piano loves it too. I'm sure it's a relief for a piano when someone touches it's keys and makes actual music.

Anonymous said...

Hey - if you're gonna do a cover do "Birds" by Neil Young!! "I've got to fly away..."

Lovely pic of you and MS - met MS for 15 mins (the night when BHO accepted the nomination) and as we were leaving I said to Chris (my HUSBAND!! no matter what 8 says or no matter what he says when I call him my HUSBAND - he hates that :-)
MS is "one of us". C agreed.

FRAMILY - (friends+family)are a good thing to have.

Heroes? Isn't that Bowie song?

Steve Schalchlin said...

I love "Birds" by Neil Young. I used to sing that all the time -- and you're quoting from "Fly Away" by Edgar Winter and Jerry LaCroix which someone, was it Bette?, put together with "Birds" as a medley. I like it.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that was Bette! (I have the video of her doing that in concert. Of course!)
I love those songs and the way she did them.

Thanks for the sweet compliment Ernie. :)

Anonymous said...

I had such a wonderful time with Steve and Michael. They are good people. I could have sat at Michaels place all day listening to Steve play. Steve's hands aren't just magical on the keys, but also he gives a great massage.