From Tucson, Jonesing for L.A.

Like the homeless guy peering over my shoulder at a sidewalk New York café, I’m now the outsider desperate to taste that Chinese Chicken Salad just out of reach….   After ditching New York City for the quiet, calm of Tucson’s desert life, I’m ready for my close-up. Or the Looney Bin.   In other […]

Last Updated: February 9, 2009 @ 3:12 PM
Like the homeless guy peering over my shoulder at a sidewalk New York café, I’m now the outsider desperate to taste that Chinese Chicken Salad just out of reach….
 
After ditching New York City for the quiet, calm of Tucson’s desert life, I’m ready for my close-up. Or the Looney Bin.
 
In other words, Los Angeles never looked so good.
 
As a former entertainment writer on the Right Coast, I’m used to parties, premieres, previews and people. Tucson is great…if you like scorpions, rattlesnakes, and aren’t squeamish about living in Death’s Waiting Room.
 
Don’t get me wrong. Tucson has a lot going for it. It’s only 9 hours from LA. And….it’s very desert-y. Lots of sand and mountains and…who cares?
 
I want an adrenalin rush not snake-based.
 
The sunsets are gorgeous, but I’m jonesing for crazy celebrities with baseball bats showing off undecipherable tattoos at movie premieres.
 
I need LA. Like a junkie weaned too fast, my skin is itchy and I can’t sit still. While the rest of the country (other Podunks included) envision Hollywood as a cesspool of bottle-blondes and cosmetically enhanced celebutards (and you should see the women!) I feed on tidbits of nasty gossip. Like a big fish going after a school of guppies. I read the British tabs before I check e-mail. Then Page Six, then LA rags. It’s a system.
 
And now that we (a re-upped husband) reside in the charming dustbowl of Tucson, it’s time to reflect on all our years in the print journalism biz. For me, reflection means ensuring my ass doesn’t look fat, so that’s done. Now it’s time to get dirty in the LA-scene, albeit vicariously.
 
Here’s the problem:
 
While most people awaken to another day of unemployment and heartache, in those square states, Hollywood folk go on their merry way, over-dosing, re-habbing and squabbling over scripts. You think a Minnesota family, mired in debt and despair, relate to Sundance or the Oscars? Come on! But (here comes the caveat) Hollywood has always represented an escape, a fantasyland for folks shoved against hard times.
 
So where’s the uplifting comedies? Where’s the feel-good stories? Another Kate Hudson-romance or Renee Zellwegger’s pouty persona? Crap.
 
Where’s the faces?
 
Right, these days they’re on You Tube.
 
Well, guess what? You Tube doesn’t count. We want real stories and drama (not the Entourage character, either) and conflict without period costumes (sorry Anne and Keira). Or at least a good casting scandal. And enough with the asinine reality treacle! Who gives a yen?
 
Look, Tucson may be the desert, but it isn’t the end of the world. It just feels that way. And us Podunkions need more than an Old Baby and Clint telling miscreants to vacant his property. Ho-hum. Can we have more good stuff please, sir?
 
Los Angeles may not be the Devil’s Playground, as some intolerant factions may feel. But it’s food for my soul. I admit it: I’m addicted to Los Angeles, in all its sordid glory. I’ll try to make amends, but I’m not surrendering to a higher power.
 
Maybe after the Oscars.

Naomi Serviss has covered Broadway, celebrities, lavish resorts and high-end spas. Based in New York City, she's still hooked on Hollywood.