Friday, May 28, 2010

I Love L.A.

Ok, actually I don't.  Love L.A. that is.  The prices are high, the air is dirty, there are far too many people packed into far too small a space, half the radio channels are in Spanish, which I don't understand, since I only took 2 years of Spanish in High School, and my teacher wasn't hopped up on crack, so she didn't talk that fast, and the water is too cold to swim in, so what's the point of having an ocean?  But it's a line from an old 80's song, and I love 80's music, so there you have it.

For the last couple of days I have been in L.A.; coincidentally the season finale of American Idol was held there at the same time.  I would be bummed on missing out on that except for the fact that this year the show was pretty abysmal, so I watched very little of it.  Do I really want to see amateur singers hamming it up behind the scenes between each set for 5 minutes?  No, I don't.  The talent this year was lacking as well.  Some years the show finds diamonds in the rough, such as Kelly Clarkson, David Cook, and Carrie Underwood.  Other years, the best it has to offer are unworthy cubic zirconians like Fantasia and Taylor Hicks.  This year gave us a guy who manages to sing off-key for part of most songs, but at least he has great hair.

The one thing I enjoyed about my time in L.A. was driving on the freeway, an excruciatingly boring event when traffic is backed up, but time it right and it's like being in your own NASCAR race, without the rollbars and constant left turns.  There's just something about merging into a space only 1 foot larger than your car, while travelling at 75 miles an hour that let's you know you're alive. And the great thing is that everyone is so used to driving this way that no one honks their horn at you or gives you a dirty look.  If anything, they applaud your bravado. 

I also got to eat lunch with some co-workers down by the beach.  Our waitress was a Canadian girl who apparently thought that getting collagen injected into her lips would make them more appealing, which would be true, if large, misshapen lips that spill over the face in odd places that would never occur naturally were attractive.  Unfortunately her search for artificial beauty marred what was an otherwise decent face, from what I could see.  Of course, to be fair the majority of her face was obscured by sunglasses that would provide Gollum with full peripheral protection.  I'm pretty sure she had cheeks, but I'm only guessing based on my knowledge of human anatomy, since they were completely covered by the softball sized lenses she was wearing.  Fashion is a crazy thing.

When it came time to turn in my rental car I couldn't turn on the road that leads to the rental place due to construction, so I ended up touring some neighborhoods for 10 minutes trying to weave my way there.  Apparently the grid system with straight roads and intersections was unknow to the devlopers of the neighborhood I was in, as I kept finding myself curving around and coming back to the same side of the main drag that I had started on. 

Finally after a lot more driving than I wanted to do and an unsuccessful attempt to coax some gas out of a Valero pump that  didn't like me or my credit card, I found my way to the drop-off.  The kid behind the counter gave me a ride back to the hotel, and half of his Kit Kat, both of which I appreciated, although I held the Kit Kat in higher regard, since it required more personal sacrifice and is made of a delicious blend of cookie wafer and chocolate.  We chatted on the way and I learned that he had a general engineering degree from a local college, and that he wanted to get a specialty degree such as civil or electrical engineering, but his college didn't offer it and he couldn't transfer, as he was on the volleyball team.  So now he has some great volleyball memories, a general engineering degree and a job at Enterprise.  Proof that intelligence and smarts are not correlated.  At least he was nice.