I woke up face-down on my couch with my cowboy boots on. You know it was a good party when you wake up in your boots. Who’d have thunk the Independent Spirit Awards party, hosted by IFC, at Shutters in Santa Monica would be that party. It followed the awards ceremony, where Brokeback Mountain won Best Picture and Best Director, and Felicity Huffman won Best Actress for Transamerica. A gorgeous beach sunset threatened to steal the limelight, but Zooey Deschanel and Alessandro Nivola, who were chatting on the porch, didn’t seem to mind. Nivola went to college with my former roommate and we had actually met once, but I couldn’t bring myself to chitchat. There were too many people to make meaningless eye contact with, there were chocolate-covered strawberries to eat and a bar in every room ensuring a bottomless glass of vino. The party spread to rooms downstairs and outside, each packed with producers, actors and directors of all levels. Mark “the Cobrasnake” was supposed to be my photog but he called to tell me they wouldn’t let him in. I found the lovely P.R. woman in charge and I got them to change their minds. “I don’t think they liked my shorts,” Mark said — the Snake had shown up in his hot pants and bandanna. And he brought an entourage — two waifish models, one for each arm. I love that damn Cobrasnake. Another coup was running into our very own film editor, Scott Foundas, looking exceptionally suave. I had brought my friend Ildiko, in town visiting from New York, and we met up with another Big Appler, Clara Markowicz (she produced The Squid and the Whale). But the highlight of my night was meeting Jesse Eisenberg, who played the older brother in Clara’s film. He was so great in that movie. He remained polite, and more importantly he remained, while we bombarded him with questions and compliments. Ildiko told him she loved a movie he did called Cursed. And he said, “Oh, that was you? You were the one who saw that?”

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