One For My Baby 

Happy Saturday! If you’re like 99.99% of the population you’re pretty jazzed that today is Saturday. Which if you work the M-F, 8-5 segment Saturday is the BEST! You get to sleep in and stay up late without any reprisals. Ugh, remember when we didn’t have to worry about “adulating”? When you could just say you were something and then you were that thing? Mine was actress. I even moved to LA to pursue it until I let some smooth talking idiot man convince me that moving to middle America and support his dream was better than what I wanted to do. That went over really well. Lesson here kids- don’t ever let someone replace your dreams with their’s. Be positively selfish in the pursuit of your goals. (btw, it worked out in my favor. He married the girl he cheated on me with but I don’t have to live in a town so small they only sell liquor in liquor stores THAT ARE CLOSED ON SUNDAYS! #winning)

Moving on…..I do miss LA though. It’s special blend of vanity, self promotion, and eye twitching insecurity.Nothing personifies Los Angeles for me than a certain song. Every time the strains of strains of the lazy piano start and Frank’s easy voice comes on with the first words “It’s a quarter to three, there’s no one in the place cept you and me..” I drift off to almost two years ago when I lived in the city of plastics and people. Where kids with stars in their eyes got off a bus with nothing but sneakers, sunglasses and reckless courage hoping to be the next big thing in film. There’s magic in the air in LA along with the pollution and loneliness. There’s something that once you breath it in, you’re hooked. That pull is greater than any drug and no matter what you tell yourself, no matter how far away you get from that world….a little voice inside your heart will always crave it. It won’t go away…those feelings you have, you’ll have forever.

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I can usually stuff those cravings for something bigger than myself deep down. But every once in a while something tries to crawl up out of inside me and assert its right to dream. For me, its this song….”One for My Baby”. It reminds me of LA so much that I can taste the champagne and dreams on my tongue.

My good friend used to sing in this little steakhouse in Burbank. Some dark, classy, 1950’s place that a group of us would meet up at and listen to. My roommates and I would dress to the 9’s and head over for some cocktails in the lounge on the weekend. I would actually shop for dresses specifically for this place. Flowy fun dresses that when I would dance, I could feel the skirt shift and move like the starlets in the musicals of the 50’s. The steakhouse had a lounge where my friend would set up and do his act. It was all dim lighting, dark wooden tables with crisp white clothes and this fancy Dale Chihuly looking chandelier. Of course they had the requisite dark cherry wood bar and they served little plates of food with a lot of flavor. It was the kind of place that the last thing you wanted to order was a beer. You’d get a gin and tonic instead, or a sidecar, or a Manhattan.

A lot of really bizarre moments happened in that place. There was this really old guy that everyone called ‘Papa Joe’. This harmless, funny guy who personified 1950’s charm, came in and sat at the corner table every Friday and Saturday. Once my roommates and I started coming in, he used to hold court with us at his table, telling us fun stories of what Hollywood used to be like. You never know who you were going to run into. The mom from the Brady Bunch, a guy who worked on Leno, a villain from a popular nighttime show, and the smattering of people who made LA the diverse, colorful city that it was.

Once, a Koren General (at least that what his driver told us he was. He didn’t speak any English) tried to pay my roommate and I to go back to his hotel. I think he thought we were ..ahem…ladies of the night. Honestly I was far from being offended. There are worse things in life to be thought of than a high end escort. There was the waitress that used to give me free drinks because she had done a line of coke just before she came to work so she would forget to charge me. There was the gay waiter that made you feel like a princess every time you set a stilettoed foot into the door. My friend loved to say “Its great to see all the beautiful people come out tonight.”And Mr. Fabulous would reply  “Thank god the ugly people stayed home.”It was magical in that place.

The first time I heard One For My Baby, I fell in love. Not just the, ‘let’s go to dinner and play footsie under the table’ kind of love. The ‘I want to grow old with you and keep you on every Ipod I will ever own, please put this on my gravestone’ kind of musical love. Frank’s sinful voice caressing each word and the piano dancing it’s slow half stoned pace in the background takes me back to that place where the lights were dim, the people were colorful and my glass was half empty in my manicured hand while I sat at ‘Papa Joe’s’ table holding court with my roommates and my friend sang this song. When it comes on, I will always have such a powerful nostalgic moment that I will almost be able to smell the candles that were flickering on the table, threatening to go out.

itunes this song and have an LA kind of weekend………

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