????I met Cheech Marin a couple weeks ago at La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla. He had come to town so we could shoot him for this magazine. Or maybe he was here to play golf. Either way, havingwatched his movies since I was a kid, getting my picture taken with him was a genuine thrill.
After the shoot, I got lost somewhere in the nether regions of Clairemont, having failed to find a non-interstate shortcut from La Jolla to the Costco on Morena Boulevard. Driving around, I saw this banner hanging on the front of a church.
"Don't die yet! We'll tell you why!"
I already knew why-so I could meet Cheech. Glad I hadn't died the day before. (My second thought was that I could probably save these guys some money on banner printing.)
Since then, I've been trying to come up with jokes about marijuana for this editor's letter. And when I finally sat down to write, I learned that Amy Winehouse had been found dead.
Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and now Amy Winehouse-all rock stars, all dead at age 27.
Here I was, trying to crack jokes about drugs while looking at the photo of Cheech and moi, me in my 23 shirt, and Amy Winehouse had just died-potentially of a drug overdose-on July 23. Of course, it's just coincidence, but the whole 23 thing felt like a sign. Not a ridiculous sign on a house of worship in Clairemont, but a sign nonetheless.
Hilarious weed jokes aside (I never came up with one, anyway), the experience gave me pause. And at the risk of sounding preachy, I'd like to share some advice for all you 27s (or 37s or 47s) out there:
Have fun-slam a beer, smoke a bowl, stay up 'til dawn-but whatever you do, don't party like a rock star. It isn't worth it.
My plan is to heed my own advice, to party like I want to live to party again tomorrow. Maybe that way I'll be able to find that dispensary...I mean Costco. It's gotta be around that church somewhere.