Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Epic Details!

Warning: This post is a WHOPPER. But I wanted to share why it is now Wednesday, two days back from my trip, and I am still so knackered my eyes will barely stay open.

I finally understand why no one in LA seems to drive a crappy car.. because one's quality of life, while battling the sea of traffic, angry humans, and a blazing sun, infinitely changes for the better when your own vehicle is not:

a. Overheating
b. Barely able to make 60 mph
c. Without the life force of Southern California: A/C.

And so it was that I managed to clock 250 miles in 72 hours, and in relative comfort, in something known as a 'Kia Optima' rental. My own LA-mobile for 3 years was Lil' Dusty, a jalopy of an '86 corolla with a serious penchant for overheating. I will admit that while I lived in the Valley under a constant canopy of 105 degrees of blistering sunshine, I actually rolled around with the heater going full blast so that the engine would cool down. Ridiculous.

Did I mention that it is snowing today in Olympia? I feel all confused.

BUT, I do want to recap my adventures in Los Angeles.. it started with sharing the most delicious thing ever, tuna tataki, at Chiba with Aaron and my pal Deanna. We dropped Aaron off at his digs, the Standard downtown, and I decided to join him in the insanity which was the rooftop bar scene, on a Friday night, in Los Angeles..
Terrible, horrifying, existentially damaging, but slightly entertaining as we watched the worst DJ's ever mixing up 'Jump Around' into 'Mr. Wendell' while the cheeztastic crowd went nuts. In the a.m. came a complete hair-overhaul courtesy of the amazing Lori in Santa Monica (I now resemble Andy Warhol with a splash of Debbie Harry and maybe some Utter circa 2001 as well). Goodbye Log Lady hair! Hello summer. Following the hair affair was some serious insane driving across 4 freeways to Glendale, to get to my beloved Brand Library a half hour before closing.

Then I raced downtown for dinner at Senor Fish with the Scheid, Kime, Dave Stone, and Aaron before hitting up the Poketo print show.. it was in full effect with people stuffed to the gills! I signed my edition of a hundred, tried to say hi to all pals, and squeezed my way out of the insanity and up to the rooftop to relax with Angie and Ted and Aaron.

Next came a 2 Chu-Hi party with the Scheid at a Little Tokyo karaoke bar, and then some slumber-party hanging in Echo Park at Chez Scheid.

This picture makes him look like a sunburned Terminator, which I assure you he is not, but I will divulge that this long-hair is probably ebaying some new Grateful Dead shirts as we speak (not kidding). We also learned that David has fans from his blog, and was 'spotted' by one at the karaoke joint! Sunday morning we hoofed it through downtown with Kime looking for eats, but apparently Easter sunday means NO BREAKFAST, so we settled for the only open spot, which was one of those coffee shops that could be so much more but totally missed the mark. Kime is a seriously talented powerhouse who not only runs Showpony but also makes beautiful paintings, which are soon to appear on Vans shoes! Inspiration.

After bidding farewell to those two crazies, I dashed down the 210 to make it to Gretchen's dog's birthday BBQ in Claremont. Which was so wonderful and relaxing and beautiful. Gretchen is one of my favorite people on Earth, and an old pal from Olympia, who is a tanned glamazon to boot (tanazon?). And not actually a nudist, as a first glance at this pic might suggest:

We looked through her collection of polaroids from 1999 and marveled at our full faces and fashion-y modness and tiny kitteness of my cat, Olive. Gretchen!!!!

We ate cupcakes and sipped beers in the sunshine, and Tara Tavi came to sit in the grass with me too!

Besides being an amazing musician (Amps for Christ), Tara is also a crafty lady and brought me an amazing Easter candy/homemade googly-eyed bunny thingamajig that was f'ing adorable. Sam M. and Tara T., Kamilche is paging you!! We want you to come camp out this summer. Along with every single other person I visited this weekend!

After the BBQ I hoofed it back to Silverlake, to have a serious dinner hang with so many pals at Tamala and Paloma's apartment. We ate delicious food, sat on the roof soaking up the smell of sweet peas and the warmth of an early LA summer (90 degrees on saturday!) while catching up and laughing and talking and laughing some more. All this, and some AMAZING rounds of Celebrity to boot. Although, I have to admit, I didn't know I had signed-up to play 'Grad School Celebrity'.. so while I'm busy filling out slips with challenging pantomimes like 'Alf', 'Mr. Peanut', and 'Danzig', my cohorts are all 'Jean Genet' and 'Fleur de Bauhauz' and 'Paso Dos Roblots' or something. I had to do some serious phonetic, 'sounds like an 80's dance move!' type of charades. This is Joanne, aka the Jo-ANIMAL.. she gets so low to the ground during Celebrity, it's unbelievable:

And this is Amanda and Joanne watching Kye try to do Simone de Mustarde, and then going 'OH! I thought you were being that blind guy from Star Trek TNG!!'

But all rad things must come to an end, and so it was that I hugged all my favorite people in LA goodbye [missing from the above pics are Tamala (Photog/Guitar Master), Paloma (Foodster/Singster), Margaret (Writer Extraordinaire/Woomon), Anna (Galaxy Tripper/Operatic), David (CalArtster/Annafriend), Julia (Weirdshadower/Kyefriend), Jesspo (Party Safari/Guitarmaestro)] and prepared for one last half-day in the city. Which turned into a sprint through the valley to procure a pound of baklava from the sweet sweet Baklava Factory out on Sherman Way, a sweaty time-crunched trip to kinko's in Burbank, and then a final stroll through the grounds of Wildwood Canyon and the Stough Nature Center:

Scrubby chaparal, a sentimental favorite. And not a soul around on such a perfect day. And what is this tree? This tree is beautiful.

The rest of the journey, as mentioned in the previous post, was a bunch of sitting around in terminals and metal tubes; no fun. And the baklava is now nearly gone. And I miss my friends! But it's still the best feeling ever to be home.