paging austin: please send food.

“You can, apparently, rent laptop computers at the Austin airport. And they have airport Salt Lick and Amy’s Ice Cream. In case you need that one last little taste before you go back to wherever. I already had my Salt Lick. We’ve got another couple of hours until our flight, which is more than enough time to shove in some Mexican Vanilla from Amy’s and maybe a brisket sandwich. One more Shiner. I’m not actually hungry, though, since I’m still working on that Freebird’s from last night. And the pepperoni rolls from Double Dave’s. I had both for dinner. Yes. Both. A king among peasants.” — Christastrophe

I was just talking about Double Dave’s pepperoni rolls last night. And on a night like this, some Salt Lick would be perfect. With a Shiner. Austin gives me food nostalgia.

After the CU@USC taping, Erin and I went to El Cholo — the fact that I’d never been there before apparently was some kind of Los Angeles crime. We’d wanted a drink after the taping, as I’d made a wonderful dork out of myself. We started close to an hour late due to the traffic from the AMA’s across the street, and Snoop’s promotional trailer made it so LAPD wouldn’t let me park near the building and I had to circle the campus for forty-five minutes before the same officer was forced to let me through her barricade (where I couldn’t help but be smug).

Everybody was really fun and friendly, and as Ceclia Peck was taping her segment, the producers sat with us and talked for a while about Los Angeles. Erin is a USC alum, so every other sentence started with “When I went here…”

Then they turned on the television so we could see how Cecilia was doing. Erin’s first words: “Oh, she’s really skinny.” Not in a “she’s too skinny” sort of way, but more in an, “I’d hate to have to sit on that couch right after the skinny one did and have to talk about how I don’t have a documentary.”

Or maybe that’s just what I heard.

This is when I discovered that the taping wasn’t going to be this kind of distant, sitting-on-a-stage, Inside the Actor’s Studio kind of thing. I was sitting on a couch next to the host, and the shot was of all of me. And…above me.

I’d never done any kind of television taping like this, and certainly not one where I had to be myself. Not really. It wasn’t until I was there that I realized I hadn’t really been on television at all, because everything I ever did ended up on a cutting room floor. And no, I don’t count this [Filed under Life Is Always Funny: I met host Blaine Capatch when asked me that day, “So, have you written anything I might have seen?” And I answered: “Not yet.” Four years later, we were writing together on Mind of Mencia]. Or that.

The board in the green room was filled with notecards describing all of their upcoming guests, from CEO’s to VP’s to actors whose names you know. And then: “Pam Ribon. Blogger.” Erin was laughing at that, too. “Blogger!”

During the interview, at a certain point we started talking about what becomes a part of the blog. And I said that I’d probably end up writing about how I tried to tell Cecilia Peck that I liked her movie as I passed her in the hall and I ended up coming off like a total Farley moment, and as I’m sitting there talking about how I’m trying really hard not to look right into the cameras and keep my focus on the woman giving the interview, then they went to commercial and I knew that was the overhead shot, and the next thing I know I’m looking up at that camera over my head going, “Oh, no!”

I have a DVD of the entire thing, but I will try my best never to have to watch it. “It’s nice to have someone on the show who’s so real,” they said, which I think is code for, “You remind me why I don’t ever want to be on that side of the camera.”

So we decided it was time for a drink. We got ahead of Snoop’s entourage and headed to El Cholo. All of which is to say that when I saw the LA Lemonade on the menu, I was instantly intrigued.

1800, Sauza Conmemorativo, Herradura Silver, and Cointreau Hand-Shaken and served up.

Could this be…? Is it possibly…? Could I have one of this and then…?

Oh, my. It is. A Trudy’s Mexican Martini.

“Can I please get some olives?” I asked. The waiter looked at me funny, as we hadn’t ordered any food yet. “For the martini,” Erin explained. Both of them just stared at me. “Seriously,” I said. “Three olives on a toothpick.”

And then, despite how much I had teased Erin for her USC gabbing, I was off and running on Austin memories, because I was drinking something that normally has a two-shaker limit.

I must have had Austin on my mind, because just two hours ago I was opening mail, deciding to help Project Sister for the holidays when the phone rang. It was the Annual Fund at UT, where I worked for four years. He was in the same building where I spent so many hours. I get called every year for donations, and usually the student calling me really couldn’t care less that I used to have to have that same job. But tonight the music student actually thought it was interesting, and we spent time commiserating on the ups and downs of cold calling alums and asking for scholarship funds. “How did UT know I had just pulled out my credit card?”

It just knows. Back, back in the day when we had to write thank you notes for people who had donated, we used to write fake thank you’s to keep ourselves entertained. I still remember one we wrote during the week we were calling people who hadn’t fulfilled their pledges:

“You! Under the desk.
You can’t hide from The Fund, man.
Pay your pledge, asshole.”

Sooooo, yeah. Austin. There’s some randomness while I’m taking a break from writing dialogue.

How’s the script going?

The other day I was staring at the screen for fifteen minutes, so I ended up writing “insert joke about the menu here.”

Well, that’s a start.

I had to move on so I could write more, but I’ve put some kind of pressure on myself that the first line has to be funny.

I can understand that. Do you want a menu joke?

Yes, please.

Okay… hmm… How about, “I thought you were antipasta?”




That first one’s free.

Sometimes we pitch more than one joke.

Not for free, we don’t.

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