I Dream of Running Away (Or Ambivalent About LA Again)

I frequently feel the urge to flee LA — at least once a year — to be specific. When I’m gripped with the strong desire to go somewhere else it’s usually because I’m fantasizing about a “normal” life.

(My definition of normal involves a garden, men who own power tools, and a standing tailgate every Saturday in the fall.)

I was having one of those days on Thursday. I wanted to be anywhere but here. Then I got a message from my friend, Murph. He had an extra ticket to the Snoop, Cypress Hill, and Wiz Khalifa show at the Greek for 4/20, complete with backstage passes.

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Normal life, what? Who needs THAT when you can go backstage?!?

Murph is developing a pilot with Bobo, the drummer from Cypress Hill, because this is LA, and everyone is working on a pilot. Bobo hooked us up for the show.

Obviously, our seats were sick.

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Get it, Wiz.

But maybe not as sick as the backstage situation.

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Like duh.

Sure, I have to dry-clean my entire ensemble so I don’t smell like a walking bong, but it was worth it.

So worth it, in fact, that I got over my need to flee for 24 full hours.

That is until I was in an uber with Dan* on the way to his friends’ Purple Rain screening party the following evening. (4/21 is the one year anniversary of Prince’s death — for the four of you who weren’t aware.)

We had a long ride to the party, and I shared my fantasy about moving to Austin to eat proper barbecue and grow my own herbs in a large garden.

“And I’d have room to throw pots,” he observed.

It was news to me that he made pottery, but I guess we all have sides of ourselves we can’t express in LA — interests we’ve put on hold. It’s that kind of city. Sure, you can find anything here if you search for it, but the pace and the cost of everything can sometimes cause you to shelve some of your interests while you’re stuck in traffic or working to keep your lights on.

It’s not all bad, though.

We do have excellent sushi options.

In fact, I walked to Sugarfish with my book this afternoon and posted up at the sushi bar while reading and devouring all kinds of raw tuna. The man sitting next to me seemed uncomfortable eating alone. He could NOT put his phone down even to enjoy the taste of the fish. He shoveled it into his mouth without looking up from the small screen.

Sure, I had brought a book myself, but I have a rule that I don’t read and eat simultaneously. I generally prefer to enjoy one pleasure at a time.

This awkward man also blew his nose on his napkin after eating his toro hand roll. I hoped he’d get up to wash before eating the baked crab hand roll. (I mean, it’s a HAND roll! It’s not like he had chopsticks between his seaweed and his snot fingers!) I silently willed him to get up and wash, but to no avail.

As he mindlessly munched on his crab, pecking at his phone with the other hand, I wondered where he had put his snot-filled napkin, but I dared not look.

I’m not easily grossed out, and it’s not like I lost my appetite, but I was sort of mesmerized, in a horrified way, by his cavalier disregard for his hands. My Nana wouldn’t let me out of the bathroom unless she heard the tap, and she absolutely wouldn’t let me near food if I didn’t scrub up. These things leave an impression.

So, yes, I was judging him, but he may have been secretly judging me for having Sapporo with my lunch, so maybe we were even.

Anyway, LA has great sushi even if you sometimes have to eat it sitting next to a snot monster with questionable hygiene, and there are spontaneous invitations to the Cypress Hill green room at the Greek, outdoor Purple Rain parties, and all kinds of other adventures, so it’s not all awful.

I do sometimes wonder if I’m putting too much of myself on hold to be here, however.

Would I have more to write about if I went somewhere new and immersed myself in a different place?

The thought haunts me.

I guess it’s just the time of year when I wonder.

*I’ll explain Dan another time. He probably deserves his own post — at some point… when I’m ready.  

 

Of Owls and Strollers (Or I’m Planning a Baby Shower)

So, it’s 2:34 am and there is a band of drunken revelers on the sidewalk below my window. They’re too drunk to know they’re actually yelling at each other and not just having a regular conversation. Also there are about 15 of them. My dogs are yelling back. I sort of wish I were drunk on the street disturbing dogs and the peace, but I’m in my jammies blogging and listening to The Righteous Brothers.

Why am I writing when I should be sleeping? Well, I can’t come home and go straight to bed. Ever. No matter how tired I am. I need all of this time to unwind after being with people. Sometimes I feel so wound up at midnight or whatever that I’m temped to go running. And then I remember I don’t run.

See, I just returned home from a baby shower planning dinner, and I now have my marching orders. They involve finger sandwiches, cupcakes, and sachets. Mercifully, there are no cake pops involved.

During the planning session I learned all kinds of scary things about being constantly kicked in the ribcage and having a tiny person mashing about on your bladder day and night. And I learned about strollers.

My friend showed me hers. It looks like it’s on hydraulics. After witnessing a brief demo, I informed her that she will have to install speakers so she can play Dre while she pushes the kid around the 90210. (Yes, that’s really her zip code.)

She also showed me another stroller by the same company. And it has a video. The video involves the sort of techno music you’d hear at a rave where people wear glow sticks, Ed Hardy, and too much cologne. You HAVE to watch it. The thing has space-aged lights. And it charges your iPhone. You absolutely cannot make this shit up.

So I guess strollers have gotten sick since the ’70s. I mean, mine looked like this:

The fat baby in the rickety ride is me. The bear next to me answers to, “O.J.” even though there’s an apple on his bib.

I’m sure the thing was all dangerous by modern standards but it had room for friends… whether I wanted them around or not…

I am the big, bald bully on the right.

I’m not saying things were better in the ’70s or anything. Because people responsible for my wellbeing did let me out of the house looking like this:

There are many crimes against aesthetics happening all at once here.

So anyway, I have nothing helpful to say tonight except that I’m going to make owl cupcakes like these:

Photo courtesy of jennycookies.com

They’re based on the owls from Hello, Cupcake which is a totally fabulous book that I happen to own.

And my sachets will be inspired by these darling little owl pillows I found on Pinterest:

Photo courtesy of April Foss on Etsy.

Just to reiterate: there will be no cake pops at this party.

I’m saving that horror for my birthday party the next day. The guest list for that is at 135 and counting. More on that later. There will be crocodiles involved….