Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lion Poop, tree saws and cute boys

There really is nothing like a weekend getaway to the mountains. After an early morning of coffee and coffee, I decided to go on one of the many hikes this community boasted. Because I am an overachiever and think I’m a triathlete, despite never having attempted one, I headed to the most difficult trail.

It read on the complex map “MOST DIFFICULT.” Well, that was for me. I set out after a little stretching.

I walked to the hike entrance, not far from the cabin, wearing a tank top, shorts, slider shoes, covered in sunscreen.

It was completely empty.I just assumed everyone was still sleeping, it was just 10:00am. After a couple miles or so of steep inclines, rocky footing and no sunlight, as it had been blotted out by the 87,000 acres of various pine and fir trees, I started to get a little concerned. I picked up a tree branch.

I continued on, now with scratches on my limbs. To my delight, I came upon a huge opening through the trees, a magnificent view, so I whipped out my iPhone. I wanted to text to friends but realized I had no signal. Hmmm. I picked up a bigger twig.

I pushed forward, sidestepping what I can only assume was lion poop. Enormous piles. Were they watching me? Just as fear was setting in, I heard someone coming up behind. The lion. I’m doomed.

But alas it was three backpackers, and I felt some relief. Clearly, I am not the only dumb ass on the most difficult hike. I really should have brought water.

But these guys were descending the hike, having spent the night at the very top. They had hiking poles, backpacks, camping gear; not to mention they were in their 20’s and smelled like pot.

(They all looked like him^^)

“Hey guys, how much further until I get to the top. I really want to see the view.”

They looked at me, then each other and stifled giggles.

“It’s so awesome! You can see, like, all the way to the ocean. “
“It’s totally sick. Our tent had flaps.”
“ Yeah, you have another 2 miles or so.”

“How far do you think I have come?”

“About a mile.”

“Lady, you really need hiking boots and like, water. You won’t find an actual lake up there and you can only see the ocean.”

More giggles.

One of the boys handed me a water jug, but I have a fear of being drugged.

“No… I’m good.”

“Well, good luck. It’s the shit up there.”

Just as I was about to turn back, I came face to face with a park ranger.

“Roger that. Heading up to Skunk Meadow now.”
He approaches me.

“Can I see your permit?”
“You need a permit to be on this trail.” He talked with a drawl, a skinny guy with a glass eye wearing a park ranger outfit, carrying a 5-foot tree saw. So this would be it. Not a lion or a rattlesnake. My end would come in the form of bits and pieces, chopped up and tossed about the pines by an unattractive Dexter.
“Miss, you need a permit. Where’s your walky-talky? These parts can be very dangerous.”
The build-up. He moved closer.

“Ain’t you seen the sign when you entered? Kind of hard for folks to miss.”

“What does it say?”

“It’s an awfully darn big sign before you enter telling folks not to proceed without a permit and to enter at your own risk. These parts have bears, lions, rattlesnakes, skeevers, you could fall. It’s happened. We had a gal last week that tripped and fell to her death. When you get the needed permit, they equip you with polls, a walky-talky, all kinds of important stuff.” I was stuck on what the hell a skeever was.

His walky-talky went off:
“Read that. Suspicious substance activity at Skunk Meadow.”
“Do they call it Skunk Meadow because it smells like pot?”
“Huh? The meadow areas are where them hikers sleep the night. Sounds like one group’s tent is parked under an unstable tree.”

He held up his saw.

“If you plan to sleep up there you’re gonna have to head back down and get yourself over to the station and get whatchya need.”


As if I would ever sleep in a tent. The 3 bedroom cabin overlooking a babbling brook is pretty much what I consider camping. For some reason this cabin also had an old white horse, a hag, that just stood around.

(Okay, Kate Moss was not on the horse.)

“You take care now ya hear little lady?”

I started my descent down, I was starving.

“Hey, ranger, what’s this all this lion dung? Do they actually come down from the mountains to relieve themselves?”

“Oh, that’s from the horses we bring up here time to time.”
“How can a horse fit on this little trail?”

But he was gone. I didn’t believe him anyway. Perhaps it was from bears. I was glad I hadn’t brought any food.

The way down was much harder than going up and the trail was suddenly forking all over the place. I was crawling over rocks, stepping over creek water and slipping on all the shit which caused me to bang my head. My hands and legs were torn up by now, I felt faint from hunger.

I get a little crazy when I’m hungry. Bring on the damn bear. I’d have it out with the beast, tear his fur off and eat him.

Somehow I made my way down. I recognized a marker, another warning sign I did not bother to read…

I finally made it to the entrance… quite a few people, all with permits, polls, gear, dressed like they were going skiing, all smiles, pulling tents and coolers out of their SUV’s.

I looked for the sign I had apparently missed. The ranger was right. It was enormous. I must have been looking at the splendor around me. ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK. MUST HAVE PERMIT. RATTLESNAKES. MOUNTAIN LIONS. BEARS. FALLING ROCKS. SKEEVERS. DANGEROUS DROPS OFFS.

I have to say I took some pride in my adventure, given I went a mile, dressed in beachwear carrying a twig. But one day I will make it up to Skunk Meadow. I hear the view is the shit.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ryan Gosling--a God, or Random Dude

I dashed into Starbucks for tea, and noticed two girls were staring intensely out the window looking across the small boulevard.

“O.M.G, it’s him. Should we casually walk over and say hi. He’s totally receptive to fans”
“How do we do it casually? We have to cross against traffic, then, what walk up to him?”
“Good point. Hey, maybe we should run against traffic, and like, almost get killed, that will get his attention”
“That’s genius.”

“We get to the other side panting and scared, like our lives were at total risk. Knowing everything we know, he would have to come to us.”
“I might even faint. OMG CPR!! I would die.”

Of course by now I know they are talking about Ryan Gosling and rubber necking myself to see if it’s really him. There was a man wearing a grey hoodie, petting a dog. But it was hard to make out his face. It could have been any youngish man, out for a walk with his dog. The boulevard was littered with charming shops, a few people, strollers and dogs. But no one was gawking or staring at this guy.

After getting my order, I joined the two girls. One was a late 20's brunette, cute, natural looking, the other looked like she could be her sister, but with blondish hair. Little make up, no surgery (read botox, lip injections) both wearing high-wasted jeans, frilly tops and teased hair, the brunette with bangs that stopped just above her thinly plucked eye-brows. So clearly they were not from L.A.
They reminded me of Romy and Michelle.

“How do you guys know that’s Gosling?”
“Oh, we know. We have a shrine in our apartment.”
“We study him like, an archeologist studies fossils.”
“I mean since, the Mickey Mouse club days.” The brunette said.
“Are you two sisters?”

“Oh, no, roommates and bff’s. We moved out here a few months ago to pursue acting,” said the blonde. She was wearing caked blue eye shadow.

The man across the street took a sip of his drink and started texting.

“What if it’s not him? It’s so hard to tell. I can barely see his face.”
“Oh, I can, and his body is like no other. I bet he is texting Eva Mendes!”
“Why is he even dating her? Emma Stone is so adorable.”
“We should tell him that. Would it be weird?”
“No. It’s our duty. Look, he’s going to leave soon, we have to make our move.”

“Shouldn’t you wait to see if he helps a blind person cross the street, or picks up litter, or breaks up an argument, and starts in on a pirouette? The real Ryan would do those things. Plus he is wearing an outdated track suit.”

“Do you think we just fell off an onion truck!”
“It’s turnip. Where are you girls from?”
“He’s getting off the phone. We have to bounce.”

The girls ran out the door, across the street, drivers honking and swerving as Romy and Michelle screamed, obscenities at them.

They got to the other side, waiting for some sort of magic to take place. The guy in question pats his dog on the head and starts to walk away, after giving the girls a cursory glance due to all the fuss in the street. Clearly not Ryan Gosling. In fact, what kind of asshole would? They were nearly killed. The girls were in tears, I could hear them. People in other states could hear them.

“O.M.G. I was almost killed. Drivers in L.A. are horrible! I thought pedestrians had the right of way.”

One of them started to limp.

The guy further pulls up his hood and walks in the opposite direction.

“Ryan! Ryan! Wait up.”

I am now joined by four or five other Starbuckers, completely entertained by the Ohioan stalkers.

“O.M.G. you are such an asshole, all those stories aren’t true. I broke up with my fiance for nothing. You’re a dick.”

The guy stopped and turned around.

“Are you girls talking to me?”
He pulled off his hood; fair, light hair, random guy.

“No! We are not. But you are still a dick. How dare you walk around pretending to be Ryan Gosling! He’s a god! You're fake. Is this your way of picking up chicks?”

“What are you talking about?”

“Oh! Like you didn’t know… the hoodie, the dog, the abs. I’m calling the fuzz! Up close you don't even look like him and that is not GEORGE!"

"What is the fuzz? Who is George? Who are you people?”

“George George douche!"

"And for you pea brain the fuzz is the cops! The black and whites! Like you didn’t know. Nice try loser. And don’t forget to pick up your dog shit."

They limped away, furious, talking in circles.

I too am a huge Gosling fan, in fact, I am about to head back to the set where I am producing a film he is starring in called “Men Fear Not The Ballet Shoe.”

I love his work, well, what is not to love about this guy, and for the moment, we live in a kind of Gosling dream swell.

Here we are, notice the leg in the monitor. Ryan waxed for the role; he is that committed and amazing.

For so many girls, he has simply set the bar too high. But the young ladies in search of movie stars, and in the Starbucks case, the ultimate star and man of their dreams, they needed to have this crushing disappointment. Now. Why wait? It will happen anyway…in more ways than one. Welcome to L.A.