Saturday, June 16, 2007

LA Story



Or should it be LA Times? Or LA Law? Or LA Confidential? Whatever. The trip to LA was completely awesome, but not really because of LA itself. And yeah, I know Fast Times was set in San Diego. Or at least that the actual high school is there, cuz my novice rowing coach graduated from it.

OK, so where to start? I guess I'll kick it off with the touristy thing we did. We went to Hollywood, because that's something you ought to do when you're in LA. I knew Hollywood was a shithole, but it was really nice to go there and see just what a shithole it is with my own two eyes. I'm amazed that it can be portrayed as somewhat glamorous of a place at all. We went to the Chinese Theatre, where the hand prints are, which is just a bunch of tourists milling around looking at hand prints, of which we were a part of. There are people there dressed as Darth Vader, Spiderman, Shrek, etc, but the costumes aren't professional. I might even go so far as to say they're home made. By unskilled people. Like unskilled homeless people. Like I felt embarrassed for them, and embarrassed that for whatever reason they felt that by dressing up in a $5 costume they somehow enhanced the Hollywood experience. I bet they have a union and everything, and a code of rules and etiquette, and refer to themselves as "practitioners" of a "craft". If anything, they underlined, italicized, and boldfaced how sad the myth of Hollywood is, an empty cicada shell of a town. I didn't take any pictures of anything there, because it was all a bit depressing.

My uncle lives about 5 minutes from Magic Mountain (6 flags), so we spent the day there with my cousin and his new wife. A lot of the schools are still in session so we didn't have to wait in line for too many of the rides, and it was a complete roller coaster fest. Awesome. Whenever I ride a roller coaster, I think about what it would be like to bring a a villager from the Amazon basin along with me, and what their likely reaction would be. I've always thought that would really be a lot of fun. Since I don't have one handy, I have to bully my wife into riding rides that make her uncomfortable, and her initial reaction when asked to ride the DEVIL DIVE seemed like a good opportunity to ellicit a similar response. We also decided that she would be the one to pull the release, which was awesome. Here we are being hoisted up.



Here we are after screaming back and forth a few times.



We had a video made, but I don't know how to rip it and put it on the googles.

My cousin's wedding was really nice, the food was great, and it was nice to hobnob with some folks I hadn't seen for 9+ years. Weddings are not-so-good for actually getting to spend a lot of quality time with people though, especially the people being wed. I think that flying back from Japan for just a wedding might not be such a great investment, and likewise, flying to Japan just for my wedding ceremony would have the same effects. So if you want to come see me, don't come during my wedding ceremony. My request for prima nocturna was also rejected, which put me off a little bit, but the open bar made everything OK. Here's a pic of me and the Mrs before heading over. Get a good look, cuz I hate wearin' suits.



I shanghai'd one of my dad's ties with Chinese characters on it.

All in all, it was an awesome trip. One of those week-and-a-half trips that seems like it lasted a month, and that you really don't want to see end. I came back to work today (Friday) for the helluvit and because I knew I'd have 200 emails of madness waiting for me, and got about a week's worth of work done. Our Japanese workers were chilling while I was gone, it seems, so I didn't have to worry about too much. God bless'um.

Some a la carte observations about the USA and my little trip:

  • In Japan, drivers enrage me due to their obliviousness. In the USA, drivers enrage me because they're assholes. Maybe these are accurate reflections on each respective culture's personalities in general. When I'm signaling to get into a lane in Japan and I look at the other driver, I can tell they're thinking about manga and schoolgirl porn. They're just staring straight ahead. In the USA though, they make eye contact and speed forward. Road rage central.

  • I thought Reality TV was out of control 2 years ago, and it still is.

  • Pop culture is out of control too. I wanted to bring it up but I didn't want to be another person being overheard talking about pop culture icons like everyone else I was around and overhearing.

  • The Spicoli look really seems to be in with the youngsters these days. I couldn't help but feel like an old man constantly thinking stuff like "get a damn haircut" or "learn how to wear a hat". Then again, during our high school years we had a choice between the Zach Morris and the mullet.


  • Flying on a plane full of Chinese people is an experience. You know how Americans act in movie theatres these days? It's like that times 10 only on an airplane, and the humor/irritation (depending on your position on the plane) of it is compounded by strict FAA regulations, terror threats, and ornery post-menopausal flight attendants. I'm wondering when American Airlines is going to figure out that they need at least one Chinese speaking attendant in economy class on flights from Cali to Japan.

  • Most shocking experience: At Magic Mountain this big fat lady whacked her 5-or-so-year-old son right in the mouth, then told him to "quit his fucking whining".

    I wanted to pull a Benicio and Ryan on her fat ass. Don't click on this if you're offended by strong language, but it's probably my favoritest film moment ever.





  • And that's how it all went down.

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    9 Comments:

    Anonymous Hoss said...

    Paul,
    Maybe you shouldn't be so hard on the fat lady. Kids in the US these days are growing up to be a bunch of pussies because all of the litigation, and threats of litigation, and just general pussification (if little Pauly rides his bike without a helmet and full armor he might fall down and get a boo boo and also hurt his self-esteem because he might see himself as an inferior bike rider, blah, blah, blah). Maybe she's trying to toughen him up so that he doesn't end up becoming your typical crybaby...or liberal.

    And yes, the 70's mop haircut revival is not a strong indicator of our society moving forward in a positive direction.

    Glad you and the missus had fun...weddings with open bars always equal good times.

    11:16 AM  
    Blogger Paul said...

    hm, i agree with the pussification, but the kid was walking along side his mother when she did it. not like climbin on shit or whatever. it looked pretty out of the blue, and i could see her fatass coming from a long ways away. and tellin a 5 year old, "quit yer fuckin' whining"? jeez.

    the kid'll probably have big fat girlfriends, upon whom he will beat. or he'll have big fat mean girlfriends who'll beat on him. either way, he'll have big fat mean girlfriends, which is a shame in itself.

    i didnt drink too much. maybe 4 or 5 beers plus the table wine and champaigne, which maybe i had a lot of. i may or may not have actually been pretty housed by the time i got back to the hotel.

    2:37 PM  
    Anonymous Tony said...

    I have a huge crush on Sarah Silverman, but that video still made me laugh.

    You dress up nice, Paully.

    5:36 AM  
    Blogger Hammer said...

    Thanks for the report - I had always heard from people who visited Hollywood that it wasn't anywhere close to as glossy as it's made out to be and that if I wanted to stroll through an overrated ashtray of a town I should just take the bus to Atlantic City. Your post confirms it for me now.

    As for the fat lady whacking her kid, since he wasn't doing anything, that's pretty much inexcusable no matter how you look at it.

    "Hey Tubby! More anger management, fewer ho-ho's, m'kay?"

    6:12 AM  
    Blogger Paul said...

    tony -- yeah it's funny cuz when i saw that, she wasn't really super famous and was just the hot chick who got blasted in way of the gun. with performances like that i can see why she's famous, and yeah, it makes me laugh every time i see it.

    hammer -- i guess they call it the boulevard of broken dreams for a reason. can you imagine being some kid from the midwest or colorado and thinking it's all lights, action, and glamor, and then show up to the shithole that is hollywood? sheeit. i knew it was a shithole and i was surprised. imagine thinking it was nice or something.

    7:51 AM  
    Anonymous Tony said...

    What do you suppose is the ratio of young actors coming to Hollywood with movie star dreams to the number of actors who actually get a memorable role in any movie or TV show?

    200 to 1? 5,000 to 1? I think Hollywood is a reflection of that.

    1:10 AM  
    Blogger Paul said...

    yeah. and just down the road we saw the HQ for Vivid Entertainment :D.

    7:19 AM  
    Anonymous Tony said...

    Vivid Entertainment? Hmmm... doesn't ring a bell. Do they make wildlife documentaries?

    6:41 AM  
    Blogger michael said...

    Great pic of you, Aki and Mikey at trajic mountian Paul!

    4:21 AM  

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