Sunday, September 27, 2009

Carver/SRHT Celebration 1

I've just finished the novel, The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, the true story of life in a world after being destroyed by giant, fire breathing grasshoppers. A film adaptation of this novel is set to premier November 25th, starring Viggo Mortensen, Robert Duvall, the lovable and goofy Charlize Theron, and Guy Pearce as the last grasshopper.
Or so I'm told.
The giant grasshoppers are nowhere to be found in the book so it will be interesting to see how the director works them into the final film version. I can't wait.
Further cause for celebration, the film, Creation, which we talked about earlier (see, Creation), starring Jennifer Connelly and her husband, Paul Bettany, as Emma and Charles Darwin, has at last found an American distributer, Newmarket Films, with the hopes of a December release. I believe this a direct result of all of you, dear readers, signing the petition to have the film distributed in the States.
As they would say down under, Good on you!
Now a further cause to celebrate. After expressing an interest in attending the opening of the New Carver Apartments, Skid Row Housing Trust's 22nd residential hotel in the downtown area of Los Angeles, and the simultaneous 20th anniversary of the Trust itself, to my lovely residence manager, Tianna, she got me a special invite to the event with the stipulation that I may be asked to give a testimonial on how I happened to become involved with SRHT, and what's happened to me since. With tickets to the interested public costing $250 each, a chance to attend free of charge sounded good to me.
Tianna asked me to get a suit ready, which I happen to have. Or at least a sports jacket, dress jeans and shoes, dress shirt and tie. Upon examination of my planned attire, Tianna offered to press my jeans, "So you have a crease," she said. Very nice of her.
My lovely case manager, Erin, was similarly impressed with my stunning appearance.
"You look nice Rick," she said. "Your hair looks nice too." I had combed it earlier in the day.
Erin and Paul were not attending as they had neglected to respond to their invitations in time, so they both tried in vain to conceal their obvious jealousy. Feeling sorry for them I assured that I would fully report on the festivities.
"You know Justine Timberlake and Toby McGuire are supposed to be there," Erin told me.
"That's what I heard."
"Toby McGuire?" Paul asked. "Isn't that the guy from The Lord of the Rings?"
"No, Spiderman," Erin explained.
It all took place last Thursday evening. Tianna and I were picked up by the lovely Rachel, a case manager at the Abby Hotel, located behind the Midnight Mission, at the corner of Sixth and San Pedro, where my friend Demitri now works. Rachel is a very pretty lady in her mid-twenties, with brown shoulder length hair, who reminds me of Megan Mullally of "Will and Grace," when she speaks, but nice. She drove us to the Rainbow Hotel to pick up another resident, Nemeniah, I believe his name was, then off to the Carver at the corner of 17th and Grand.
The New Carver Apartments (pictured above) are very... round, and about six stories tall. It being a new building everything inside was squeaky clean for the celebration, which was also an opportunity for the trust to raise some funds, which accounts for the price of the tickets, and the various pieces of art that were on display in the foyer, and which were subject to an silent auction. All of the artists were unknown to me except one painting donated by the actor Pierce Brosnan, of Remington Steele fame. Rachel bid on one piece by simply supplying her name and phone number, but left the proceedings without knowing if she had won.
The interior of the building is magnificent. Exiting the foyer one enters, well it would have to called a courtyard, as there is no ceiling. The view looking up is like looking through an inverted funnel, or what it might be like to gaze at the opening of a nuclear power plants cooling tower from the inside. A series of steps lead up to the second floor, where access to the rest of the building resides through stairways located on the apartments perimeter (I did not notice if there were elevators, but for those who will eventually live on the upper floors I certainly hope there are). All of the individual apartments open to this courtyard, which itself is circular, so from practically any position inside one can see any other position.
The party tonight was engineered by Molly, who as you recall was responsible for me getting published in the SRHT newsletter, and she did an excellent job. She soon made her appearance, and briefly told me that she was glad I was able to attend.
The affair was fully catered, and throughout the evening I availed myself of sparkling water, and a whole menagerie of appetizers and horsDoeuvres, such as chicken and garlic wanton, crab and shrimp cones, artichoke and goat cheese bruschetta, cauliflower crostini, French onion pissaladiere, mushroom croustades, prosciutto and gruyere pinwheels, Spanish tomato toast, lobster salad canapes, brie kisses, coconut chicken chops, lumpia, vegetarian quesadillas, and a whole bunch more fancy stuff that I never make at home. Not knowing if they were going to be serving dinner, or not, I literally kept stuffing these tasty morsels in my mouth every time a waiter walked by with some, which was quite often.
Rachel and I talked to Craig, who along with Evelyn, is Erin and Paul's boss (and Rachel's). I'd met him before on a few occasions, and he has always seemed to be an amicable and approachable individual. He must be in his early sixties, with thinning white hair and goatee. He is in charge of the support services staff for all 22 hotels.
I used this opportunity to ravish praise upon Erin and Paul, letting Craig know that they are the absolute best case mangers ever.
"They really do seem to work well together," Rachel added.
"Yes, I get that feeling too," Craig said.
"They really like the job they're doing, and put so much energy into everything they do," I told him. What a suck up I am.
"It's so good to have people like that who do display that type of energy, even to the point that sometimes we may have to tone it down. But it's much better than having to lift others up who don't have it, you understand what I mean?" Craig asked.
"Yes, I do," I answered. "You should see Erin's Chicken Dance."
"Chicken Dance? I'll have to ask her to demonstrate at our next training session."
I continued, "We're all very lucky to have them, and I absolutely believe they should get a raise as soon as possible, if not sooner."
Craig agreed with me, and Erin... Paul... if you're reading this, get to work on our next field trip, you laggers... and I could use a nice foot massage.
Rachel and I took our leave of Craig and continued mingle while munching appetizers.

To be continued.

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