Light is the world’s most refreshing beer. At least according to the giant, seemingly aged and tattered banner being dragged behind a single prop plane over my head. Not far behind that plane is another with a banner: “Come on in: The Cruzan Rum is Fine.”

Welcome to Long Beach, California, my home for most of this week. Long Beach is south of Los Angeles, and for most people it’s probably best known as The LBC, from where Snoop Dogg and his Dogg Pound hail. I’m not in that part of Long Beach, though; I’m in a very gay area in between downtown Long Beach (they have buildings of up to five stories there) and he shopping/drinking/eating strip of Belmont Shores. How gay is the area where I am staying? My closest bar is called The Mineshaft. I don’t think I’ll be doing any spelunking there.

I’m trapped in Long Beach because my best friend needed someone to watch her cat. Named Eerie, the cat is a big fluffy sweetheart of a beast who makes a screeching sound that is exactly like Godzilla’s. He’s also a diabetic, which means he needs a shot of insulin twice daily, and thus why I have to be down here.

Eerie’s an amazing cat in other ways. Here’s an example: he long ago forsook his litter box for the bathtub. Yes, this cat shits in the bathtub. And he pees there, as well, but he has trained himself to pee directly and only down the drain. It’s sort of breathtaking, and a possible bit of proof that The Uncanny could be a true story. Eerie opted to go to the bathroom in this way; he was never trained to do so. I like to imagine that he saw his owners squatting on porcelain and, in the way that so many pets believe themselves to be humans and members of the family, decided that’s how he should be doing it as well.

Giving Eerie his shot is weird; on one hand it fills me with a sense of Godlike power – ‘You live and die by my actions, feline!’ – but on the other hand it’s a heavy burden. I’ve been told it’s better to skip a shot than to give him too much, but I know how mad I would be if someone was trusted to give me my needed medicine and, for one reason or another, opted not to hook me up. And on top of that all, I’m no fan of needles, so just the feeling of that needle popping his cat skin makes me a touch queasy.

This part of Long Beach is pretty boring, I have to say. There’s sand and water a few blocks away, but I’m not a beach guy. And this isn’t much of a beach, in my opinion – it’s like some kind of a bay or something, and there are these offshore refineries and platforms that really bust up the view. Still, I appreciate the ocean breeze right now as I sit on the balcony with a Sam Adams (would I be more refreshed with a Coors Light? This fucking plane has made me second guess myself).

I did bring a bunch of DVDs with me, but before Nick gets too excited about the idea of me actually doing a DVD review, I’ll say that I brought Who Can Kill a Child?, the 20 film Grindhouse Experience box set and the first season of Eureka, among other non-review discs. Actually, I lied – I also have the new special editions of Face/Off and Up in Smoke, so maybe Nick will get a review out of me. But since I hated Face/Off last time I saw it, does anyone want to read what I have to say about that movie?

I had hoped to talk some of my friends from Los Angeles into visiting me down here, but it seems that I am not that loved. To make matter worse, some of the friends I would want to come by wouldn’t be allowed into my friend’s house – I just don’t trust them. I don’t know if you have friends like that, dear CHUD reader, but I seem to accumulate them like grey hairs. It’s not that I think they’ll steal from my friend, it’s just that I know they’ll break something, or spill something, or set something on fire.

So for the next week most of my conversations will be with Eerie the cat and you, my dearest readers. Hopefully we’ll have good times; this week I’m planning on reviewing 3:10 to Yuma and Halloween, as well as bringing you exclusive one on ones with Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant of The State and Balls of Fury, an exclusive chat with Clive Barker, a week late exclusive interview with Scott Frank, and maybe some other goodies, including left overs from Comic Con, like the Battlestar Galactica press conference. That’s if I can convince myself to only start drinking at 5.

If you’re a Los Angeles Chewer, do me a favor: go to Jumbo’s Clown Room and throw the girls a couple of singles. I bet they miss me already.