Monday, October 30, 2006

The Gala

On Wednesday afternoon, VP was invited to a black-tie event at the Beverly Hilton on Saturday night. And she invited ME! Woo hoooo :) Of course, this meant I had to buy a black tie. After trips to Nordstrom Glendale, Nordstrom Topanga and Nordstrom Santa Anita, I purchased a gorgeous kimono-esque dress from Torrid, God bless 'em!

Saturday's festivities started with a Silent Auction from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Until I arrived, I had *no* idea why a Silent Auction, of all things, would take so long. Wait...let me back up...we pull up to valet and are greeted by limos, valets and a throng of people (I don't know the number of people needed to qualify as a 'throng' but I'm sure the quota was met). We entered a side door to avoid all the tourists with cameras; only to be thrust into a room of utter fabulousness ~ gorgeous people in gorgeous gowns with unbelievably gorgeous jewels draped here and there. It was overwhelming and fun and indulgent and the epitome of people watching. Just walking to the registration table we passed Jennifer Tilly, Alan Thicke and Vanna White. I had *no* idea the scope of this event. It's huge. I mean H-U-G-E huge. We made our way through the Silent Auction room filled with art - photographs, paintings, plates and bowls decorated by celebrities, and such - to the bar. God bless Grey Goose for their sponsorship :) As we were toasting the evening, a veritable plethora of stars wandered by ~ Vin Scully, David Foster, Diane Warren, Babyface, Henry Simmons (hubba hubba), James Denton. Looking around, I noticed another room filled with loot. Off we went...everything was "starting bid of $1,000.00" so I asked VP "Where are the DVDs and CDs or dinner for two I can bid on?!" Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna were looking at some toys, while a camera crew followed Teri Hatcher around. We kept walking through rooms until we saw a banner announcing "jewelry" ~ ahhhhh! These were some beautiful pieces - bracelets, earrings, pendants, etc. I bid on a pair of earrings - handmade gold and pink stones. Yeah, right. As the auction closed down, we were shuffled out of the rooms towards the main ball room. As we're walking, I know people were whispering "Who are they? Are they anybody?" I know *I'd* be doing it if I was gawking from the sidelines. Hell, who am I kidding?! I *was* thinking that about every person I passed on the carpet! We found our table - luckily we knew a couple of people at our table. The salad was already set ~ a wedge of lettuce, avocado, tomato and shrimp. I was counting on typical party fare of rubber chicken and broccoli; but after seeing the salad, I had high hopes. We ate, drank, talked and ogled until Jay Leno came out. He introduced Sidney Poitier, who spoke so eloquently about Barbara Davis and her work with the Children's Diabetes Foundation.
As Sidney Poitier talked, a plate consisting of 2 asparagus spears, one baby carrot, scalloped potatoes and a mini squash-looking thing was placed in front of us. Mmm-kay. I didn't know it was vegetarian night. Well, it wasn't! The server presented this huge platter of beef in front of us. And he wasn't stingy. We each got 2 huge thick slices of filet. Whoa! It was so delicious. Beat the heck outta rubber chicken! Jay Leno did his best to keep the night moving swiftly - thankyouverymuch. He did a live auction of a new Mercedes, two pairs of diamond earrings (OMG! gor-geous.) and a recording session with totally hot, everybody-wants-to-work-with producer Scott Storch. Now THAT'S an item worth bidding on. David Foster, nothing-to-sneeze-at record producer bought that. Weird, can't he get Scott to work with him? Anyway, David Foster introduced Babyface, who sang "Change the World" - the song he wrote for Eric Clapton. It's such a beautiful song and Babyface sounded great!

Halle Berry came out next. Honestly, I didn't pay attention because around the same time, baked Alaska showed up on my plate AND Jeremy Piven walked by. Talk about distraction...

Baked Alaska. Hands down.

Usher performed, as did Katharine McPhee. She stunned everyone by announcing that she was singing "I Have Nothing" for Whitney Houston who is in the room!! Huh?! Wha?! OMG - Whitney looked fantastic: happy, smiley, curvy, good. She was escorted by Clive Davis, one of the night's honorees. Katharine sang the song beautifully. I mean really really fantastic. But...Jennifer Hudson, another American Idol-er, sang a song from her upcoming movie "Dreamgirls" and blew McPhee out of the water. Out of the building! Jennifer Hudson was incredible. Then, to cap off the evening, The Man, Barry Manilow performed. Barry Manilow! He was awesome singing songs from his 60s album. What a great show!

As we were leaving, the swag bags were handed out. Fantastic loot. PLUS, I won the earrings auction!

I love galas :)

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