Max Koch Uncorked

Wine-soaked adventures through a twisted life…

I’m Going Out…

I’m going out with a friend tonight and I think I’m ready. I’ve been kinda reclusive these days and that’s not entirely been a bad thing. As it is, I have a fairly steady at-home gig that keeps my acting and improvisational chops greased…but for the most part, outside of errands and a meal or two with a person I care to see, I’ve not left the house for an extended period of time since last Saturday night! It was then the wife dragged me to a Hollywood bar called The Well as part of a Groupon deal, and just driving over the hill to the damn place was an absolute undesired nightmare. Between the traffic and the construction up and down Vine and Gower streets and the clusters of wax-moustachioed hipsters farting about the Hollywood Palladium on Sunset…and the inability to even properly locate this sufficiently-hidden establishment (Waze was NOT on our side)…it was simply enough to ask, “why the hell are we doing this again when we could be HOME???”


It should never take me an hour to get to Hollywood. And The Well didn’t even seem that interested to have us. Perhaps they right-away disliked us because we had the stink of Groupon on. I have no idea, but we immediately found the perfect booth when we walked in, sat down, and waited. And waited. And wait–

ME: So…is the bartender going to come take our order?

NIC: It doesn’t look like it.

ME: Maybe there’s a cocktail server we-just-can’t-see-because-it’s-so-dark that will come around.

(10 minutes later…)

NIC: It doesn’t look like it.

ME: So you’re telling me this place is so hip that WE have to go to HIM to get served??  

NIC: If we ever wanna get served.

Ugh. Fine. I spent the entire evening getting up and down and down and up, from the booth to the bar, from the bar to the booth, bussing and carrying my own damn food and drink items. I shoulda tipped MYSELF at close-out but instead gave my usual 20% to the subdued bartender because I, too, worked in service for many years and am now permanently stuck with a debilitating case of WAITER GUILT (over-tipping even if the service blows). Add it to my endless list of foibles. 

I did enjoy the jukebox at The Well very much. I had forgotten how fond I was of “Celluloid Heroes” by the Kinks. I wish I could be a celluloid hero. I also wish I wasn’t so bummed out listening to this song again right now as I type.

Everybody’s a dreamer and everybody’s a star
And everybody’s in show biz, it doesn’t matter who you are
And those who are successful
Be always on your guard
Success walks hand in hand with failure
Along Hollywood Boulevard

Great. Now I’m totally depressed and don’t even WANT to go out tonight. Alright, alright, I don’t mean that. Do I…?

Look, what can I say.  I can’t deny that I have gotten crankier and more withdrawn in my 44 years of suffering thus far. But I think that just might be part of my late-blooming desire to tend a little more to the needs and wants of MYSELF before others…at least once in a while. Just reading that back makes me feel like a selfish dickface. But that’s been ANOTHER one of my biggest problems: I’ve been the eager-to-please guy for so long, I’ve forgotten what it is I want out of life. And right now, it’s to hunker down in my house and figure out what the hell I want to create next. And I am wholly aware of how fortunate I am to have such a luxury. And so I am weighing my options. And planning. Scrapping ideas and birthing new ones out. It’s been a real process.


Have you ever seen the 1974 horror movie “It’s Alive”? About the mutant baby that’s born to a couple who have no idea what they’ve spawned? The thing erupts from the mother’s vagina and slaughters every doctor and nurse in sight. Then it crawls up into the hospital’s air ducts and spits itself out into the world. The world of Los Angeles at Night…where it proceeds to destroy nearly everything in it’s wake…including a poor, unfortunate milk delivery man!

I don’t know why I’m bringing up that dopey flick but that’s the kind of baby I feel like I’m just about to give birth to over here. One that really makes an impact! No, no, I don’t want my baby to murder everyone…I would just love to “kill” an audience on an emotional level with whatever it is I manifest next. 

I guess we’ll just have to see what comes. Meanwhile, I’m gonna go out. Yeah, yeah, I’ll catch a breather from this desk. I think it’ll be good for me, come to think of it. I’m gonna hang with my friend. I’m excited! I might even have some wine. And see a band play. And try not to think about how I should be back home hiding in my office conjuring up things I may never see through.

You can see all the stars as you walk along…
You can see all the stars as you walk down Hollywood Boulevard
Some that you recognize, some that you’ve hardly even heard of
People who worked and suffered and struggled for fame
Some who succeeded and some who suffered in vain

La la la la…

Oh, celluloid heroes never feel any pain
Oh, celluloid heroes never really die
I wish my life was non-stop Hollywood movie show
A fantasy world of celluloid villains and heroes
Because celluloid heroes never feel any pain
And celluloid heroes never really die

WINE PAIRING: Hollywood and Wine. Because an entertainment industry guy like Doug Barr got the hell out of here and made NEW dreams come to fruition…


  1. Huge annoyance in life right now is how all the new restaurants seem to think we will enjoy not having servers. If I wanted a fast food experience, I wouldn’t be overpaying for your yuppy hamburger. Yeah, that’s you Father’s Office (among others)! (Also I am vegetarian, so I am not really ordering the hamburger but the 4 sides you make available for my people – cause it is so fucking hard to take your pig off of my brussel sprouts. Oh, and if you are going to serve burgers and fries, get some fucking ketchup. But I digress.

    Living in Culver City the big trend seems to be saving the smallest amount of money on staff to make the dining experience suck for customers. Native Foods, Lyfe Kitchen (get a dictionary McDonalds), Tender Greens, the aforementioned Father’s Office, of course, and many more all want to ruin your night by making you have to get up every 5 mins to get something. If you are out with a drinker, bring your phone because most of your night will be waiting for your date to get another drink while you sit alone at the table. As a person that tips, I pay most of their fucking salary. Just get them to my table so I can enjoy a night out.

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