Monday, March 03, 2008

L.A. Story

A word of caution: If you're the type of person who is offended by things like starfish with vagina mouths, then you might want to skip this post. If you are not, then you should read this post, move to Oregon, and be my friend. Thank you.

So, my accidental blogging hiatus (it began with a genuinely large amount of schoolwork and ended with a weekend of Bosnian pitas, costume parties, and two trips to Eugene) has given me many opportunities to tell many people about my LA adventures, and pretty much everyone I've told has reacted with a slightly forced guffaw, nod, and subject change. But I promised you that I'd share so I'm going to share, damnit! At least you can force a guffaw in the privacy of your own home this way.

First, a bit of backstory. My friends Lindsay, Meg, and I flew down to LA last weekend to visit our friend Rachel, who recently moved there for grad school. I could write thousands of words about the awesome unique person that is Rachel, but for the purpose of this story, we'll focus on this one fact: Rachel hates Passion Parties.

For those of you who have made it this far in life without encountering a Passion Party (congratulations!), allow me to explain. A Passion Party is like a tupperware party, but with sex toys. There are a number of companies that put on these parties, always with names like Pure Romance, Naughty Delights, or Secret Temptations. The basic format involves a "Passion Consultant" teaming with the party host to put out pink decorations and dainty food, and then, when the host's friends arrive, to dispense company-sanctioned sex tips and try to sell them vibrators and glitter lube.

I know a few people who live for these parties, but Rachel hates them with a Passion (tehehe I couldn't help it!). Since Rachel's birthday was a week prior to our visit, and since we are the best friends ever, Meg, Lindsay, and I decided to throw her a freelance Passion Party.

Before we left, we went to a sex shop and bought a number of naughty products to pretend to sell to Rachel. We also went to Fred Meyer and bought pink streamers, a vat of Kroger personal lubricant, and some Wet 'n Wild (never has the name been more appropriate) glitter pots for the craft portion of the party.

We wrapped up our supplies in a pink box, stuck it in our checked baggage (we didn't want to have to explain our motives to the TSA, especially since I was warned on my last trip through airport security that humor is prohibited), and boarded our plane.

Somewhere between Portland and California, we realized that we absolutely needed to have a sex guidebook and companion catalog for our Passion Party. I ripped out pages from my notebook and we spent an hour drawing a bunch of confusing sex positions with names like "The Praying Tetrahedron" and "The Flying Walrus" and writing out hott sex tips (example: "Try sucking seductively on a chicken bouillon cube--no man could resist such a savory temptation!" We were laughing madly and screeching things like, "How much should gravy-flavored lube cost??" and if I had been another passenger I would have hated us.

By the time we stopped in Oakland for our layover, our cheeks were streaked with mascara and our tray tables were strewn with probably forty pages of perverted content. Since we had to wait on the plane anyway, it seemed the perfect, turbulence-free opportunity to design the cover art and logo. We settled on Sensual Sensations for our company name (slogan: "Leading you down the path to pleasure"), but we needed a logo, a mascot, that was totally unique, totally unforgettable, totally disturbing...And so, Sally the Sex-ay Starfish was born. She was sultry, she was memorable, and she had a vagina for a mouth. Rachel was going to hate us.

I drew her on the cover of the catalog and we nearly died laughing. But then something caught our eye and we stopped. We froze. Somewhere on the plane, the pages of SkyMall rustled in the wind.

A Catholic priest was walking toward us.

A number of thoughts rushed through my mind as I watched him amble down the aisle. Mostly, Are you serious? I mean, I'm not sure that I'd ever even seen a Catholic priest before. My debut really had to be now, after a solid hour and a half of unquestionable sexual deviancy? He had to pass up all those perfectly good seats in the front, and come closer and closer to us, to me, to my tray table stacked high with graphically rendered sex acts? He had to be hovering over our seats, cramming his holy briefcase into the compartment above my head? Are you serious?

He plopped down in the seat next to Meg.

I instinctively threw my body over the pile of Passion Party paraphernalia, hugging the papers to my chest and trying to suppress the greatest laugh of my life. Meg was convulsing with giggles and tears, trying desperately to look normal and failing. Lindsay, a former Catholic in the window seat, had curled into a fetal position and was rocking back and forth, sputtering, "I can't do this! I'm freezing up! Oh my God, I'm freezing up!"

It was probably the best moment of my life.

After an eternity on the Oakland runway, the plane finally took off, the priest finally took out a book, and through a series of whispers and hand gestures we decided we had to finish the Sensual Sensations catalog, two feet away from the holy father or not. I think we succeeded in being sort of subtle. Except for the time I asked too loudly if I should draw sprinkles on the dick donut, and the time we dropped the oral stimulation page on the ground under his seat, and, yeah, we failed completely. We're going to hell.

On the bright side (shouldn't every declaration of "We're going to hell" be followed by "On the bright side"?), the Passion Party was a complete success. Rachel was alternately horrified and amused, and, as an art major, I think she really appreciated Sally Starfish.

Since I just wrote a thousand words on the priest story and I promised my boyfriend five days ago that I would unpack my suitcase that's still sitting in the middle of the living room, the rest of my LA experience will have to be summed up in grand bullet point style:
  • We toured Rachel's new art studio and it was so cool that I want to copy her and get my MFA. (Maybe I could use my drawing of Sally Starfish to get me into a top art school?)
  • It was wet and cold the entire time, which was great for "You Oregonians brought the rain with you!" jokes, but not good for Oregonians who didn't bring coats.
  • I have never seen so many designer handbags in my life (we're more into Timbuk2 up here).
  • We ate at Joan's on Third only because Mindy Kaling recommended it on her blog and we all got the same $12 sandwich only because Mindy Kaling recommended it on her blog and it was delicious.
  • However, we did not see Mindy Kaling and therefore she is still not my new best friend and therefore my life is still a meaningless failure.
  • We did see Jason Schwartzman in a boutique at the same time we smelled a bad smell so I've been telling people that Jason Schwartzman farted.
  • Because of that last sentence, I have probably been blacklisted by Francis Ford Coppola.
  • I literally bumped into Kirk from Gilmore Girls, which was a huge thrill, but all my friends are GG haters so they didn't care.
  • On the way home, we missed our plane while standing in line for it, which is another crazy story but I'm tired and I have to go clean so too bad.
In conclusion, I didn't see Pierce Brosnan, I'm going to hell, and it was one of the best weekends of my life.

p.s. Meg, Lindsay, and Rachel: You guys are the best.


Poochie said...

Hi-larious hijinks! Sounds like a wonderful time! I laughed my ass off just sitting here so (and as a former 9 years of catholic school girl) I'm sure it was a million times better in person.

Can I now move to Oregon and be your BFF?


Kori said...

HAHA I seriously just laughed through the whole post and got some funny looks. Sounds like an amazing/hilarious trip.

Crafty Lulu said...

Eeee I'm the biggest Gilmore Girl fan. how cool was that. Is he as crazy in person?

pretty said...

You are my favvvvvvvvvve blogger!!!!

WendyB said...

I'm offended by blogs that DON'T mention starfish with vagina mouths. Who do they think they are?

NWRMK said...

So disappointed, when I read your opening for the post I was excited because I was sure you had photos of some new species at the Long Beach Aquarium (a must see for us aquarium nuts)....

Bet that sandwich wasn't as good as a $12 dessert from Papa Hayden's!

just us oldsters from the Ozarks missing the "coast"

N/OutofFashion said...

Great post, as ever! :)

The priest should have joined you; he has to have something to confess!

Anonymous said...

fuck you for being so fucking hilarious all the time. i was laughing so hard i'm going to have to change my pants and rethink my inferior blogging career.

i was in SoCal last weekend trying to "camp" in Joshua Tree Nat'l Park, but the wind and cold were too much and we had to spend 2 of 3 nights in a Super 8. C'mon "desert," WTF? did Albert Hammond teach you nothing?

you're going to hell too? omg, we have so much in common! Hell is going to ROCK.

Vancouverista said...

You are truly hilarious.
I can imagine the situation with the priest perfectly. I would have done the same thing!

AK said...

Wow. Just wow. That. Is. Awesome.

e. jay said...

Another stellar post that makes me feel like I should take some more writing courses! Hilarious!

alana said...

this story is basically why i love your blog so much!! you're hilarious... top notch!

Amanda said...

ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!! :) Besides Jason Schwartzman is totally overrated anyway, and the guy who played Kirk on GG is totally underrated.

Hannah said...

I laughed so hard! That sounds like an awesome trip, I would have loved to see the thing on the plane with the priest.

Link up?

Anonymous said...

Your hyjinks totally beat my lame ones. And I wish I had a friend cool enough to create a fake sex accessory company just to gross me out! XD

la petite fashionista said...

HAHA winona. i find starfish with vagina mouths entirely amusing as well. You seem to have some great friends & great times with them. the trip sounds altogether fantastic and i literally laughed out loud while reading this post!

XOXO lauren

Jill said...

I laughed so hard when you mentioned the priest! I just knew he would have to end up seated by you.

Anonymous said...

So much for the polite guffaw.

I'm sitting here on my bed, laughing hysterically, with my 15-year-old brother looking in and rolling his eyes.

From, "He plopped down..." to "going to hell" I laughed out loud.

This whole escapade reminds me of a much cooler version of when my friends an I bought my other friend a pack of condoms, then hid it in her room. She had to follow a path of Reese's Pieces to find it. We were absolutely praying that her parents or her brother didn't follow it first.

I'd like to be your new best friend. Pretty please?

jillian said...


and that story is totally fabulous, and sounds like something i really want to try on a few of my friends now :)

Unknown said...

I rarely ever comment, but you said "DICK DONUTS" AND in front of a priest...
Sad to admit this, but I will probably find a way to say that at least 5 times a day.
You seriously rule.

Fashionably Challenged said...

1. I love starfish with vaginas
2. Sorry for being a creepo stalker (but let's face it, you're awesome), but did you somehow overcome your fear of flying? If so tell me how in order to make traveling with the boyfriend easier.

terren said...

After your amazing story all that seems to stand out to me is that you RAN INTO KIRK! oh lord. i would have died. and i love seeing catholic people (ie nuns) in airports! one time i followed a group of them around with my mom and we sang "how do solve a problem like maria" the whole time. i don't know if that did anything because i don't know if nuns ever watch movies. are they allowed?
Great post!

Anonymous said...

Okay... so I read this while everyone else in my house was asleep...

I can't control how hard I'm laughing inside right now it's too good!!

And just for the record: Every starfish should have a vagina for a mouth. And also: Please tell me that you weren't joking about meeting Kirk from GG!!?

If you aren't then I am incredibly jealous! I STILL watch that show religiously!! Dude I cried after the last episode!! I was sooo depressed...I gained 5 pounds alone on pot stickers and pizza... and pot sticker egg roll pizza ;)

Now I need to have a Gilmore Grl week! Nona, you're invited. We will cry and laugh and talk about how much we wish Rory would've run off with Jess... except in the end he always finds us and we have many fabulous journalistic children.. :)

Anyways. I'm off to make some Gilmore food and cry about the loss of that and Boy Meets World... these are depressing times... and all we have to make up for it is starfish with va.gina mouths :)

- That One Lindsay Grl

Anonymous said...

That's it. I am moving to Oregon to be your friend. Because I have long been looking for someone ELSE who thinks starfish with vaginas are funny. And because smelling Jason Schwartzmen's fart makes you a celebrity in your own right.

Anonymous said...

I am SOO happy that that was an amazing post because as creepy as it sounds, I missed youu haha.
and ya, I think I should move to Oregon and be your best friend! (I'm kidding, I wouldn't actually, please don't have the police come after me).
and I did have to force in several guffahs (which is one of my favourite words) because I'm in a hotel lobby...but then I was reading about the preist and at the same time someone came into the lobby saying "SHOE SHOW?! ANYONE HERE FOR THE SHOE SHOW?! SHOE SHOW?!!" and I lost it. then everyone was staring at me.
anyway! basicly...I'm so happy you had a good time and that you're back

sucks about Pierce, though.

Anonymous said...

that is absolutely hilarious!! and i can't believe you bumped into kirk... i am such a gilmore girls fan!

Pret a Porter P said...


Anonymous said...

Eh, no worries about your Passion Party plans sending you to hell. He's a priest from the Bay -- it's probably nothing he hasn't heard/seen before! ;)

Unknown said...

Your stories always tickle me, truly hilarious. I was born and raised in LA and don't have too many celebrity stories, but once I saw Danny Boneduce fighting with his wife over dinner, which was mildly sad but mostly funny because it was crazy Danny Bonaduce.

If you get some free time, I'd love for you to check out the blog I just started: Happy trails!

Fashion Trend Guide said...

Absolutely hilarious, I wanna fly with you! Did you do any shopping while in LA?

Anonymous said...

The best post I have ever read. Period.
So, do we get to see Sally Starfish or what? You know, I'm a designer, I could you hook you up, we need good logo designers over here!

Stephanie said...

Holy crap, this is EXACTLY the kind of thing my friends and I would do! Hahaha...

Anonymous said...

Hilarious! It sounds like you had a great time, but I'm glad you're back because I missed your blog (yes, even when I took my own break to head to NYC and Mexico City).

Unknown said...

This is one of the MOST FANTASTIC things I've ever read! I'm trying out the flying walrus as we speak. It burns.

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Alicia said...

This is probably the best blog entry I've ever read.

Winoona, I <3 you.

Tarryn said...

So hilarious... I laughed so hard. seriously.

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