Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sally Tomatoes out on the Town

I have managed to stave off the boredom of unemployment for a few days now, celebrating my freedom instead of lamenting it. Friday night I set aside my deep abiding hatred for all things that end in 'z' when they should end in 's' and hit up Popstarz (shudder) night at the Factory in West Hollywood. This marked the second time the Sally Tomatoes have painted the town in our own special shade of red (the first being our kickass karaoke excursion last month). And WeHo will never be the same.

As with any time I ever try to leave my house, I got lost on the way to pick up two of my friends, Eric and Michelle. I'm probably the only person who gets consistently lost even when I've been to the destination several times before. It was around ten when we finally pulled into the valet parking lot. Normally I'm against valet parking, and paying to park in general when it can be avoided. But in West Hollywood, you can waste half the night hunting for street parking, and then the other half walking to and from the club (in painful shoes no less). So I bit the bullet and handed over my baby to the valet guys, uncertain that they would understand how to operate a delicate automobile like Stan.

We finally entered the Factory, a hip gay club off of La Peer, 20 minutes later. Not because we had to stand in line with hoards of other sequined revelers. But because we couldn't find the damn thing. Seriously. There were at least three clubs that shared the same building. We asked at Ultra Suede and some cool nameless club with a red carpet (which I thought might be the Factory, but Eric was scared of the intimidating black folks outside and insisted that that wasn't it. Sidebar, Eric happens to be black. I'm more ghetto than he is.) So we wandered around the building, going through some sketch looking alley and another parking lot and finally found our Popstarz night.

The Factory

The organizer of our get-together had the foresight to have us sign up to be on the guest list so we could get in for free. God knows I love free. And the fruity delicious drinks like my pomegranate cosmo were only three bucks! Now this was my kinda place! (Most other clubs/bars in WeHo and LA in general are so outrageously expensive, that I tend to stay at home and mix my own vodka tonics). Armed with our pink cocktails, dangly earrings, and sparkly shoes, the Sallys (plus Eric) hit the dance floor. Normally I'm not a big fan of pop top 40 kind of music. I'd much rather listen to Social Distortion, Dropkick Murphy's, or classic CCR, etc.. But Popstarz night means they bring back all our old favorites from middle school. So there we were, eight twenty-something grown women (plus Eric), rocking out to Britney, the Spice Girls, 'N Sync, Backstreet Boys, and Destiny's Child. That's my idea of a party. And naturally because we're all choir geeks, we were singing our little hearts out, the lyrics still memorized from ten years before.

Sounds of my childhood.

Serious nostalgia, combined with deceptively strong cosmos, and the wild abandon that accompanies dancing at a gay club where you don't have to feel self-conscious or impress anyone, made for one stellar evening. Whenever a song came on that we weren't a fan of, we'd run over to the second dance floor to hear more contemporary girlie anthems from Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Kelly Clarkson. Later on, we even braved the raised platform and performed our best 90s moves (including the Running Man and the Humpty Hump) for the crowd of adoring gays and the girls that love them. Sadly though, I brought it so hard that I think I pulled something in my knee. I rocked out so hard I injured myself. The very definition of go big or go home. So I had to take it easy the rest of the night.

Promoting the new Cher/Christina Aguilera film "Burlesque" to the only audience who will appreciate it, was the group Barbie's Addiction. I didn't catch her name, but the drag queen in Ke$ha garb with wicked lip liner issues, owned her lip synch number of Rihanna's "Only Girl in the World." She pranced about surrounded by adorable, scantily-clad boy gogo dancers who seemed to worship the ground she strutted on. One of the gogo boys was especially mesmerizing. Wearing only what could be described as 'man panties,' this guy was a vision in spandex. He moved with a ballet dancer's grace and a stripper's sensibility. We think he might have been half-asian and half-black, which made him strikingly beautiful and exotic looking. Whenever he was onstage, the crowd could look at no one else. He seemed to be so lost in the music that you just wanted to lose yourself right along with him.

As the magical night wore on, however, things started to go downhill a bit. It's my theory that the club kind of wants you to leave as it gets closer and closer to 2am, the Cinderella hour. The music starts to get even more generic. The sweaty, stinky sensation from dancing hard for hours on end becomes unbearable. The crowd becomes suffocating as people push and shove their way past you with their full, icy drinks perilously perched in their unstable grasp. I can't dance if I don't have space. That's why it was so fun at the beginning. The Sallys dominated the floor, inspiring the wallflowers to join us in our revelry. But when you're packed in so tightly that you can barely move (and it hurts to move if you have a hurt knee), it's no longer fun. Not to mention, I usually go to bed around 9:30 and it was past 1am. I finally dragged Eric and Michelle away from the floor to go pick up my car from the valet.

Exhausted, in pain, freezing, hungry, and in all other ways crankypants, we limped back to the parking podium. But no, you can't pick up your car where you dropped it off. So we had to walk what felt like two excruciating blocks to the pickup station. Waiting in line in the cold, we saw a group of girls stumbling towards their car. The driver was a girl who was probably my size (read, not small) in a dress so short, her vajajay was completely hanging out. Seriously. She was wearing underwear, thank god, but we were scandalized. Women of any size should not be walking around with their junk out in the open, but this was just wrong. If you don't even notice that you're feeling a bit too free and breezy, chances are you aren't sober enough to drive. But she got into the car and drove away. We wanted to tell someone, but what can you say? Open vajajay isn't strictly proof of inebriation (at least not in this town). So we were glad that it took forever to get Stan back, just for safety's sake.

This is more my style.

I dropped off Eric and Michelle and headed back home to South Central. I was terrified that I was going to get pulled over for my busted headlight again. Unlike vaj-girl, I was completely sober, having danced all of the effects of my cosmo out hours before. But I made it back sans-fix-it ticket and all was well. So even though it started and ended kind of rocky, Popstarz night was a resounding success. Normally I'm not a big fan of clubbing. I'd much rather spend the evening as I did on Saturday, hanging out with my friends, playing rock band and holding a Freaks and Geeks marathon. But with the free entry, cheap drinks, and infectious (the good kind) atmosphere, I'd definitely hit up Popstarz again. Just leave early and beware of exposed vagina.

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