Skip to main content

What I did on my Spring Vacation -- Day 2, Monday

We got up Monday morning pretty late, and Jean's family was kind enough to supply us with breakfast, and then we headed back south again into LA to meet up and celebrate Jean's birthday with her friend Damon and our friend Ryan.  This involved driving through late-morning LA traffic, which resembles rush hour in PDX; rush-hour LA traffic closely resembles the parking lot of a Wal-Mart on Black Friday.

A note on traffic:  I do not understand how people in LA stand sitting in their cars for so amazingly long.  It's terrible.

Ryan was driving down from San Francisco, so we went to lunch at Berth 55 Seafood Deli in Long Beach.  Jean had seen good reviews, and we knew driving up to it (it's a real hole in the wall sort of place) that it was going to be delicious.  So we had fresh clam chowder in sourdough bowls and honestly, we should've split one rather than getting two of them.  It was amazingly good.  From there we drove down the Long Beach main drag and got a great view of Catalina Island, as well as seeing a beautiful house that I wouldn't mind owning if I had 15 million or so to spare.  We walked down to the beach and touched the ocean, and then Ryan called to tell us he was in town so we left to meet up with him at the airport.

A note on cars:  I admit it, I'm a petrolHead.  I watch Top Gear, I read magazines, I like racing games, and I really, really like cars.  They're fun.  That said, I don't actually own one, so I automatically assume I'm superior to anyone who does own one.

We returned the rental car and piled into Ryan's Subaru Impreza to kill some time before meeting up with Damon.  So we headed through various smaller municipalities to Hollywood and other parts of LA-proper.  One of the places I wanted to visit while I was in LA was Meltdown Comics, AKA Nerdist HQ.  So we did, since, why the hell not?  Along the way we stopped for water and a pee break at a Chevron at La Cienega and Santa Monica Boulevard.  This is where I found out that LA is, in fact, another country, because at the Chevron was a guy with an Audi R8.  Not a celebrity or a pro athlete or anything, just some guy with board shorts and a popped collar, driving $100,000 worth of car to the Chevron for Rockstar Energy Drink and a Snickers.  Then, on the way out, I spotted a Mercedes Benz CL65 AMG (models start at $210,000).  Seriously, a strange, strange place.  Just down Santa Monica was Meltdown, where I didn't spot anyone famous but did end up forced to listen to the local Comic Book Guy and restrained myself from stabbing him.  Jean bought dice, I bought a T-Shirt and a sticker for my helmet, and Jean got a free James Kirk card for her birthday.

By that time, Damon was ready for us, so we made our way up into the Hollywood Hills to Damon's amazingly beautiful, totally charming, utterly endearing little home.  We had drinks on his astoundingly gorgeous patio, and then made our way back down the mountain to go to a place called La Poubelle, a french bistro quite literally next door to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.  The meal was a-frikin'-mazing, and entirely fitting for Jean's birthday meal.  I'd never met Damon before, but I fell instantly in love with him, and I hope we can find a way to visit (or have him and his husband visit us) more often.  We went back to Damon's place to get hammered on the patio, and then turned in for the night.

A note on Damon's house:  I'm serious guys, I cannot convey how amazing this place is.  From the moment you step through the front gate and hear the small fountain in the garden, through the amazing open plan of the house, to the gorgeous back patio, it's an oasis of beauty and calm in the wilderness that's 2 minutes from the center of LA.

A note on Damon:  He's got the coolest job ever.  And I want to be him when I grow up.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Organizing And You: Lessons from Labor History

    I made a joke on Twitter a while ago: Do I need to post the Thomas M Comeau Organizing Principles again? — Jerome Comeau says Defund The Police (@Heronymus) July 15, 2021 and it recently came back up because a member of my family got their first union job and was like "every job should be offering these sorts of benefits" and so I went ahead and wrote down what I remember of what my dad told me. My father had many jobs, but his profession was basically a labor union organizer, and he talked a lot about the bedrock foundation items needed to be serious about organizing collective action. Here's what I remember.    The Thomas M. Comeau Principles of Organizing -- a fundamental list for finding and building worker solidarity from 50 years of Union Involvement. This list is not ranked; all of the principles stated herein are coequal in their importance. Numbering is a rhetorical choice, not a valuation. 1) Be good at your job. Even in an at-will

Money and Happiness as a fungible resource

Money really does buy happiness. Anyone who tells you differently has a vested interest in keeping you poor, unhappy, or both. I know this because I grew up on the ragged edge of poor, and then backed my way into a career in IT, which is where the modern world keeps all the money that isn't in Finance. So I am one of the extreme minority of Generation X that actually had an adulthood that was markedly more financially stable than my parents. And let me tell you: money really does buy happiness. To be clear: at 45 years old, I'm now in a relationship and a period of my life where our household is effectively double-income, no kids. I live in the city, but I own a house, and can only afford to do that because of our combined income. We also have two cars -- one new, one used (though neither of them is getting driven very much these days) -- and we have a small discretionary budget every month for things like videogames, books, and the like. What my brother used to call DAM -- Dic

Activision, Blizzard, Game development, IT, and my personal role in all of that.

 I'm pretty sure if you spend any sort of time at all on Twitter and/or spend any sort of time playing videogames, you are by now at least aware of the lawsuit brought forth by the State of California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing versus Activision Blizzard, Inc., et al. From this point on, I'll add a Content Warning for folks who are sensitive about sexual assault, suicide, and discrimination based on sex, gender, and skin color, as well as crude humor around and about sexual assault , and what the State of California refers to as "a pervasive 'frat boy' culture" around Act/Bliz, especially in the World of Warcraft-associated departments.   Just reading the complaint is hard rowing, even with the clinical legalese in place. The complaint itself is relatively short; 29 pages laying out ten Causes of Action (basically, "these are the legs on which our lawsuit stands"). I'm not sure I have the vocabulary to properly express how a