I Love L.A., Part Three: “Let’s leave Chicago to the Eskimos”

Hate New York City
It’s cold and it’s damp
And all the people dressed like monkeys
Let’s leave Chicago to the Eskimos
That town’s a little bit too rugged
For you and me, babe

The third installment of the LA-Carmageddon Tour de Force is actually more like the third, fourth, sixth and seventh. But that is how things are with A and her family. Full on, and trust me, Carmageddon wouldn’t have anything on these guys.

One time Dr. I (aka Mr. A) told me that he always has the most fun anywhere, no matter who is there and what is going on: He always has the most fun (though he takes the most joy in proclaiming it). I would have to agree. Further, I’d suggest that this is somewhat of a family motto. I am glad to be an honorary member of this family. But, as with all things of mad velocity, force and intensity, there are always a few miscues and timing is always… flexible, especially when they stipulate that it is not. On this sluggishly sunny day, this flexibility simply contributed to the amazing synchronicity of timing that had graced the previous day.

I woke up in Santa Monica in the company of one more of the growing army of amazing women that I am amassing. This person is someone I have known in that strangely familiar way that is engendered by the internet. We met as members of an online writing cohort that I have tried repeatedly to recall how I fell into. I have no idea how I got involved but it certainly was a watershed moment in my life, peripatetic even. Anyhow, meeting Ruth was like walking into my own Technicolor idea of exactly how it should be. It would be hard to explain this kind of connection to people who haven’t had something similar occur… so I won’t. We spent the morning catching up, which is hilarious to do the first time you ever meet someone. And it was lovely.

I had some time to kill enjoy before meeting up with the A-Team, so I parked myself in the sunshine in Century City and had a mojito. Or two.

And then it was off to Hollywood. To The Magic Castle to be precise. To say I was intrigued would be an understatement. I haven’t spent a lot of time in Hollywood since I was a little kid. I used to go down there and see movies at Grauman’s Chinese and shows at the Pantages… Then there was the later phase of discovering clubs and such… but this was something pretty different.

Ok, maybe not that different. Maybe pretty much exactly what you’d expect in this part of Hollywood. When the most junior member of the A-Team and I were walking back to the room from a recon mission to the restaurant above, she looked across Franklin Avenue and said:

“Hey, there’s Superman! And he has cupcakes!”

Well, if that just isn’t exactly what I would assign Superman in the Superhero world of domesticity.

We hung out, ate drank and encouraged all sorts of merriment. Eventually we headed up to Yamashiro because the Pagoda Bar has a lovely view – and a Farmer’s Market. And it was lovely.

On Friday A and I actually did go to the gym, and let me save everyone the trouble of figuring this out on their own: LA Fitness is the worst gym I have ever been in, from the equipment to the employees. The only good thing about it is that A and I probably increased our caloric output via rage.

The rest of the day I spent with the second most junior member of the A-Team. I had to be in Santa Monica to meet my connection for a super-secret-surprise-appearance in Malibootay right around the time people were really planning on Carmageddon getting gnarly with a little help from Friday night commuter traffic, so I was planning on a chill day in the hood.

Chill for us included iced lemonades, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, The Guinness Book Museum, and the low-budget Wax Museum (The Hollywood Wax Museum, rather than Madame Tussaud’s.) And Umami Burger! Then a terrifically entertaining walk back down Hollywood Boulevard – fully under the spell of sunshine, Asian tourists and Harry Potter.

Corny, but I like it.

I love thinking about how Newman and Woodward did this together...

My boyfriend.

Smallest feet ever.

Me and E.

Necessary in the age of Twilight.

But... if you change your mind...

When your best wax figures are dolls in real life, you need to work a little harder.

As if there were not enough weirdos on Hollywood Boulevard already....

I like how this tag line tied in so well with Carmageddon.

We made it back to the Magic Castle in time for me to call a cab to get myself to Santa Monica where I would be meeting the other half of the super-secret-surprise-appearance. I definitely had my doubts about my co-conspirator’s ability to be on time. Not just because of her tendency towards tardiness (really!) but because of landing at LAX at 5 p.m. on a Friday and needing to be in Santa Monica and you know, Carmageddon. My Ukrainian cabbie seemed to be really taking me around and about skipping all of the arterials that I knew would get me to the beach from Hollywood. He said he was going to take the 10. I have never ever not been in traffic on the 10. Ever.

Wow. Crazy traffic. Carmageddon Fail.

Leave it to Carmageddon to eliminate the traffic.

I was there in twenty minutes.

And so another chapter, or perhaps a preface of another chapter came to a seamless close. And all the people were dressed like monkeys. And A and I will be taking Chicago by storm in a couple of weeks. And this town has been a bit too rugged on some of my friends… but I still love L.A.

Roll down the window, put down the top
Crank up the Beach Boys, baby
Don’t let the music stop
We’re gonna ride it ’til we just can’t ride it no more…

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About Amanda

I am repatriating expatriate trying to work it all out. Well, to work some of it out anyhow. I am writing here for sanity, focus and general over-sharing.
This entry was posted in Absurd Shit, California, Family, Friends, Silliness, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to I Love L.A., Part Three: “Let’s leave Chicago to the Eskimos”

  1. Ruth says:

    Super fun posts you’re doing about the trip.

    “We spent the morning catching up, which is hilarious to do the first time you ever meet someone. And it was lovely.” I couldn’t agree more. I’m grateful we had so much quality time together during your whirlwind tour.

    p.s. I love that you scoped out the mojitos at CC; I wish I could have stayed instead of trudging off to the office.

    p.s.s. Yesterday, I spotted a Junot Diaz book on my very own shelf…. Isn’t it great when one’s own library provides surprises. Started reading per your recommendation. Thanks.

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