Thursday, December 27, 2012

Yellow Polka Dot Umbrella: Ellas and Fellas

I miss warm summer nights in Southern California, but there’s nothing I miss more than the Twilight Concert Series at the Santa Monica pier with the "Ellas and Fellas" crew underneath the fabled yellow polka dot umbrella.
Often mentioned in Santa Monica’s local publications, membership has grown significantly due to stringent qualification methods.
Rainy days like today in L.A. make me reflect back upon maybe the greatest summer ever.  This past summer was elevated to rather boisterous levels, and it was due, in large part, because I found the yellow polka dot umbrella planted in the sand.
Brittney started the trend, and what began as a small gathering blossomed into something much more devious and twisted in nature.
She created "Ellas and Fellas" after buying a yellow polka umbrella at Costco 5 years ago.  The umbrella became the best meeting place by the pier since it was easy to find, even in a sea of darkness.  Brittney then met Lance.
I’ve also found that blurry photos sometimes make the most sense dependent on the subject.  That day, Brittney and Lance purportedly bonded over yummy cookies.  The two big groups combined to the fabled flag corner, a bonus being that mutual friends were discovered between the two.  Weekly themes began two years ago, and it’s turned into an event with almost 500 people ready to play.
Heavy lures easily convinced me that the best course would be surrounding myself with these really fun people.  They were more fun any groups I knew, without a doubt, leaving little to compare to the others, like one drab circle whose primary focus is beer pong and going to Q’s every night.  With Brittney and Lance, that monotony was out of sight.
My friend Wilma Fingerdoo often secures the chosen area before the followers begin trickling in.
Always have to watch out for her.  Wilma is very shrewd when it comes to heightening the intoxication of revelers.
She’s good friends with Brittney and rabble-rouser visibly equipped with a potent picnic basket of goodies, among her many hidden treasures.  She's also a master of disguise.
  The first one I went to was the polka dots/stripes/plaid theme.
I got there early.
The first time bordered on amazing.  Of course, I came prepared.
The first after party I attended was at Le Merigot.
Apparently we were being too loud, so that spot got black-listed.  The following week was the cowboys and Indians theme. I spent most of the day hanging out with Catalina Kennedy as Pocahontas.
The red, green, yellow theme stirred many controversies. Red meant you’re taken, green meant you were ready to be sexually harassed, and yellow meant.. not really sure what yellow meant, maybe?
Due to the supernatural forces that permeate the proceedings consistently, some of us got there early to lower inhibitions.
There were a fair amount of yellows.
I like the contrast when there's one of each.
I remarkably performed some maverick magic and took a hike with Jaydene's trusty scepter.
I fled into the real world, balking at Ozumo temptation and sneaking my way off the beach.  I had to ward off the greens.  Fifteen dollars later I'm at Bru Haus on Wilshire, the renegade that doesn't go to Q's, nor Cabo.  I immediately zeroed in on Willie Chestnutt.
Guy in orange was on his smart phone for over five minutes while surrounded by lovely women.
Maybe he's acting like he's been there before.
I put odds on he's phoning his male friends, which is a bad move.  Amoral males can steal your deals right from under your nose.
Not sure how his method turned out since I got a little bit touchy later on; I mean, it was Brentwood after all.
The sudden feeling of "if I stay any longer something regrettable will happen" came over me.  I pulled cord before embarrassing myself further.
A week of recovery soothes the soul.  I attacked the reggae theme with extreme amibition, but it lacked proper participation due to intermittent spells of rain.
I was excited that The Mighty Diamonds were to perform that night, but they backed out at the last minute.  All was not lost though, representation was proud among my favorites.
On that unfortunate occasion I left early for a birthday and shelter, and outside that realm, I was clearly giving mixed signals.
Another week the theme was annoying neon.
Lance decided to ridicule me with some of his Jack Daniels brilliance.
Lance likes being the center of attention, and it tends to be rewarding under most circumstances.
Gorgeous days like that need not ever be taken for granted.
Camilla Bashed with us that night, which meant Ozumo was to follow.
Ozumo is the restaurant bar my adventurous side savors the most.  Plus they have arguably the best bathrooms in the county.
The pictures from that night were mostly deleted to protect everyone.  Pajama theme for the Haim show was more my speed.  Since I normally sleep in the buff, I wore my trusty robe for ultimate comfort and to protect innocent eyes.
Not all eyes are particularly innocent. When least expected Wilma may peer out from surprising places.
And yes, my robe is snugly to the touch.
I like being touched.
The unforgettable mustache and wig theme was uglier than normal.
I went with the real thing, while some utilized creativity.
I was surprised that Catalina would even want to associate with me.
I wouldn’t blame her, disgusting behavior ran rampant throughout the beer soaked night.
Lance wasn't exactly helping things.
I know Ariyana was really charmed Lance's advances.  Mardi Gras theme night was also colorful.
The white theme was angelic on the surface.
A ragtag collection of blurred memories come attached to every single one of the group photo sessions corralled by Lance.
To avoid confusion, he's not Lance Cannon, with whom I recently experienced watching “The Room” staring Tommy Wiseau.
He gives such a moving, deeply affecting performance, as does the actress with the weird neck contractions.  Lance Cannon justly beat a pinata afterwards.
Staying on track, becoming friends with the “Ellas and Fellas” led to me getting to know Lance better.
Without that, we would’ve never come across Lindsey.
Rare it is to instantly hit it off and qualify an Ella within minutes.
Lance and Lindsey are best buddies now.
Her effervescence and ease of confidence made her a perfect addition to the clan.
Another draw in going to the Thursday concerts is the possibility of bumping into Bashers you know.  I bumped into Bobby Farlow at the first one.
Wayne Maxwell joined me on two occasions, both vaguely memorable.
The pictures helped fill in the blanks of the white theme party, many of which were alarming.
I think I went to Ozumo that night.
Skip Jurgeonsenn blew by in a whirlwind of angst one night, a random blast from the past.
With poker night recollections in full swing, seemed no coincidence that The Hat even made an appearance.
I must give him credit; he busted out a mean ditty on his kazoo over a terrible band.
He unsuccessfully tried to avoid me weeks later with this cameo.
As Captain Chad once said, "Having this much fun may lead to excess spillage."
The cause of that foul was an errant hug from a dilapidated lush.  Despite the sensorial barrage of overflowing glory, the "Toga Under The Sea" theme capped off a tremendous season.
Best Coast was on stage that evening and gave a great performance, the best of the season.  Helped that we looked better than anyone on the beach.
The night crossed into the surreal.  Time began moving slow.  I got my bearings with the help of Catalina.
Yet before I knew it, the season was coming to a close.  As is tradition, the coup de grace is sighting Camilla on the beach.
Only one outcome from that, the post-party at Ozumo.  Oh Ozumo, how thee loves me so much as to ride the brink of hatred.  I don’t remember taking this picture.
Or this one.  Looks like fun.
Definitely don’t recall this ever happening.  Who's that dude?
Really, those two, they went?
I know I'm overbashing when lewd gestures begin to fly.
But throughout the alleged trials, travails and tribulations of the concert series, no one judges, except maybe Ariyana.
Party poopers are nowhere to be seen with the "Ellas and Fellas."  They need not apply.  And really, in the end, all that really matters is Catalina still likes me.