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sex, drugs and rock-n-roll
two years in la summarized
by heather m. millen

I can't believe it was just two years ago that I packed up the car and drove cross-country to the land of make-believe, a.k.a Los Angeles. And now I find myself packing up the car to head back east. It's bittersweet. I feel as if it's time to go, but it's always hard to leave the party. Especially when it's been so much damn fun! But that's the problem with a town like LA... this amount of fun could kill ya. So, I'm forging ahead and looking back fondly at all the blurred, muddled, meddled moments. Here, my friends, is two years of LA in a nutshell.

1. At least 15 parking tickets, totaling nearly $800.
2. Two purses stolen by a drag queen in West Hollywood.
3. One "boy," one "nerd," and one "the twenty-one-year-old" successfully seduced.
4. A myriad of others tried and denied.
5. One night in handcuffs.
6. Approximately $20,000 in rent alone.
7. Innumerable bottles of Skyy vodka and Grey Goose consumed; most frequently in extra dirty vodka martinis, 3 olives.
8. One time passing out on Hollywood Blvd. next to a bum.
9. One fake marriage.
10. Twenty-three celebrity sightings including: Shaq, Arnold Schwarznegger, Carmen Electra, Rob Thomas, Ron Jeremy and several run-ins with "Steve" from Beverly Hills, 90210."
11. One instance of Cuba Gooding, Jr. telling me I have "a nice rack."
12. Three experimental drugs tried, erasing my previously clean drug palette.
13. Two times waking up in the Valley on a weekday, a good 40 miles from work, and wondering how my friend Tamara and I had gotten there.
14. Approximately 164 hours spent in Sharkeez Cantina on the Hermosa Pier.
15. Three late-night skinny dips in the ocean.
16. One tattoo.
17. One incident of accidentally setting the hot tub on fire.
18. Fifteen minutes spent convincing a doorman at an exclusive nightclub that we lost our pet iguana in the bathroom so he’d let us in.
19. One morning of picking up two visiting friends at the Travelodge in West LA after losing them the night before.
20. Five good friends who have come and gone from the party already.
21. One Penny Lane costume, which is directly correlated to one occasion of standing suspended above a Hollywood Hills swimming pool screaming, “I am a golden god!”
22. One good date.
23. One night with the entire male cast of "The Bachelorette." One cab ride shared with Bob.
24. Three mechanical bulls ridden.
25. Five plays, one opera, two concerts, one cabaret show, one motor-cross race.
26. $7,000 (give or take) spent at Katwalk building my FABULOUS wardrobe.
27. One case of whiplash, incurred at a house party.
28. Nine bars kicked out of. (One of them twice).
29. Three fabulous roommates, endless fabulous memories.
30. Zero regrets.

It's the night before I leave and, I must admit, I'm feeling bittersweet. I made the decision to move back east months ago, following months of debate, so I felt sure that the decision was the right one. But for the last two weeks, I've been struggling. I feel as if I'm giving up something... California. It's somewhere I always knew I wanted to be. Why am I leaving?

For many of the 30 reasons above, I guess. Because I'm only twenty-six and I'm tired. Exhausted, really. The rock and roll lifestyle isn't all fun and games, you know. It's Monday mornings wondering, "Where did the last two days go?" And Tuesday afternoons thinking, "Why am I STILL hungover from Sunday?" Rock stars get no compassion.

And I know, deep down, I want more from life. More meaning. LA is gorgeous and glam, it's light and fluffy. Not a care in the world. I want cares in the world. I want to look around my life and smile for the things I have to show. I want happiness, not pleasure.

I'll miss this. It's my happy, warped little home. It's my Melrose Place. There are pieces of "back east" that worry me. I'm not the type of person who dreams of white picket fences, husbands, and dogs. I've always wanted a life less ordinary. LA has definitely supplied that. But as a very wise (and may I add sexy) lady once told me, "You can be fabulous anywhere."



Heather has a penchant for drama, both personally and professionally. She secretly wishes people spoke in song and wholeheartedly believes that everyone deserves a standing ovation now and again. She finds it appalling that people reserve champagne only for special occasions, when champagne is clearly best on a Tuesday, while riding the subway, accompanying a slice of kick-ass pizza.

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juli mccarthy
3.24.04 @ 12:44a

Sweetie, if I can be fabulous in the wilds of suburban Illinois (and I assure you, I am), you can indeed be fabulous anywhere.

And by the way, I've heard Julianelle wants his liver back.

tracey kelley
3.24.04 @ 12:47a

It's gotta be said.

You forgot the MIDGET!

robert melos
3.24.04 @ 12:48a

Good luck, Heather. What you're leaving, the not a care in the world feeling, is exactly what I'm looking for out of life. I hope we both get what we want.

matt morin
3.24.04 @ 2:05a

Woo hoo! The caberet show made the list!

For the record: Anyone who didn't come visit Heather in LA missed out on the time of their life.

daniel castro
3.24.04 @ 3:28a

Haha...the midget.

Even if you've been in L.A. for 2-3 weeks, you know this place is a hell of a lot of fun.
Heather, I'm glad you had fun here, and that you're leaving with no regrets. If you lived in WeHo, you gotta have at least one story from the Halloween Parade on Santa Monica Blvd! hah.

jael mchenry
3.24.04 @ 11:13a

Woo hoo!

I'm insanely impressed that you managed to set a hot tub on fire. Hard to do with, y'know, all the water around.

You are SO fabulous! Everywhere!

sarah ficke
3.24.04 @ 11:25a

18. Fifteen minutes spent convincing a doorman at an exclusive nightclub that we lost our pet iguana in the bathroom so he’d let us in.

This is my favorite one. I don't think Raleigh knows what kind of trouble is headed its way.

dan gonzalez
3.24.04 @ 11:37a

30. Zero regrets

That's the key one for me.

Although bagging that 21-year-old is one I admire as well.


russ carr
3.24.04 @ 11:43a

Thanks for being our own reality show for the past two years, H-Dogg. You lost countless braincells and years off your life so we could live vicariously, and we won't forget it.

Or at least remember in the morning.

michelle von euw
3.24.04 @ 1:05p

I'm kicking myself for not making it out to LA during Heather's reign. The list is fabulous -- I hope you build up an equally exciting one during your time on the East Coast...as Juli said, fabulousness is a state of mind, not place, and I trust the party...and the happiness...will follow you to Raleigh.

dathan wood
3.24.04 @ 1:27p

Wow, you really made me miss LA, Heather! I had two friends that lived in West Hollywood and the weekends I spent there were always out of hand and then some. My favorite celebrity sighting was Anthony Michael Hall at Crazy Girls (that's a trendy starfucker nudie bar for the non-California people). I said "hi" and he asked me how I was doing. I had the pleasure of saying, "Well, my nuts are halfway up my ass but other than that I'm perfect!" The fact that he was with a date and I was piss drunk made it a beautiful moment.

jeremy mullis
3.24.04 @ 9:02p

This list makes me feel so not-fabulous. Raleigh=LA but they don't put avocado on EVERYTHING in Raleigh.

jason gilmore
3.24.04 @ 10:45p

though my five years in LA have been, uh, different than yours, I've always known that eventually I'm going to end up back East for several reasons, not the least of which is that this is no place to raise children

numbers #8 and 13 are just ridiculous, lol

heather millen
3.26.04 @ 10:44a

I've made it back to NC. The weather's great, but I miss the avocado already!

Glad you all enjoyed the list... I put myself in danger of grave physical harm to entertain each of you. Don't worry, Raleighwood or Hollywood, I'm sure there will be many more misadventures to come.

Now where did I put that mimosa?

juli mccarthy
3.26.04 @ 11:50a

Mmmm. Avocado.

sandra thompson
3.27.04 @ 8:45a

Almost makes me want to go into therapy to eradicate my earthquake phobia.

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