A friend who is a recovering vegetarian wanted a steak, so I took her to this splendid carnivore-friendly Beverly Hills supper club called Level One. (It's actually Beverly Hills "adjacent," but why split hairs here?)She orders filet mignon, and 20 minutes later is devouring flesh like that lion you always see on National Geographic eating one of those poor bastard wildebeests. And if that weren't shocking enough, friggin' Jeff Goldblum strolls in, sits down at the keyboard, and starts laying down some choice riffs with this killer jazz quartet. Who knew? My friend has had an irrational crush on Goldblum since Independence Day, as if saving the world is suddenly supposed to make you all that. The wanton look of lust in her eyes for steak and Jeff was enough to make me fearful for the very flesh on my forearms. I wanted the check, but, out of politeness, ordered a Jack Daniels on the rocks. On second thought, hold the rocks. One of the neat things about living in LA is the kick your out-of-town friends get when a star saunters into the least likely places. I recall spotting Sarah Jessica Parker at my crummy neighborhood taco stand once and thinking, "What is she doing at my crummy neighborhood taco stand?" Anyway, Goldblum's group started talking about the highly publicized Mars fly-by that had everyone so excited. Which is what I'm getting at. One of the least cool things about LA is that if you find anything interesting to do, you can damn sure bet everyone else will be doing it too. I attended one of those Mars watching events at Griffith Park and found myself in a crush of 15,000 other celestial-watching bodies. It was, someone announced over the loudspeaker, the largest organized gathering of Mars watchers anywhere in the country. So what? Like that's something to be proud of? I'd much rather have been in some small Nebraska town where it was just me, two farmers, and some girl working the night shift at Danny's Donuts. After a 25-minute wait, I eagerly peered into the telescope. Red planet, my ass-tronomy! Looked yellow, and tiny, to me - in the 10 seconds I was allotted to look into the view-finder. Honestly, can one see it that much better at 35 million miles away than, say, 37 million? I think it was pretty much a galactic PR stunt. The old "first time in 60,000 years" sales pitch. I'll know better when it comes around again in 62003 A.D.