Rich Eyes and Poor Hands

monu1.jpgSo, I’ve returned from my sojourn. How was it you ask? Well, I didn’t remember to write down the really funny things and forgot my camera at the most opportune moments. Story of my life. Still, I’ll try to hit the highlights in a stream-of-consciousness manner.

At the end of our performance of Twelfth Night, one of the actors proposed to his girlfriend. In front of the audience. Everyone teared up. Nothing makes theatre look more fakey than a genuine show of emotion. Thanks for upstaging the rest of us with your heartfelt, sincere speech, John.

While I was able to detox from the internets and email for the most part, there were a few things that could not be avoided. Mostly funny videos which we watched while drinking until the wee hours. Like Elijah Wood showing us his “dancey dance” the Puppetmaster on Yo Gabba Gabba! Also funny: Charlie the Unicorn and the trailer for Rambo IV (unintentional hilarity). For those that like a dose of the surreal, check out Strindberg & Helium. Best of all, watching a near-the-end-of-his-life Orson Welles shill for Paul Masson wine. Seriously, they should show this to first year acting students as a cautionary tale. “We will sell no wine before it’s time.” The best is the video reenactment of Welles’ famous voice-over meltdown for Findus Foods. “What is it you want, in the depths of your ignorance. What is it you want.” Imminently quotable.

The flight from Albany to L.A., with our brief layover in Baltimore, was hideous. We left the house at 3AM, with most of us (save for Dan, who drove us, and had the patience of a saint) still drunk. The second car we took almost ran out of gas. In the middle of nowhere. Like, seriously, neon-sign vacant motor lodge, dark scary forest, no cars on the highway, hook on the door, ghost of a hitchhiker nowhere. We finally had to pull over at the Highway Patrol station and inquire where the nearest gas station was. Seamus thought it would be funny every time we pulled next to the other car to flick them off. It wasn’t. He also thought it was a good idea to bring some drinks in the car, road beers as it were. When Dan opened the trunk to get our bags out at the airport, one came crashing down on the pavement, prompting him to throw up his hands and scream “Who thought this was a good idea!” Best airport announcement: “Paging King Stinkem.”

Airport part two: We were flying Southwest. Seamus apparently didn’t like that airline, and announced as much, at the top of his lungs, in a running monologue. I believe he called it the “Greyhound of the sky.” Our connecting flight was full, “137 seats, 137 passengers” the flight attendant gleefully told us. Before taking off, the female flight attendant announced that there was someone on board with a peanut allergy, and thus this was a no peanut flight. Groans of annoyance and confusion issued forth. A few minutes later, she came back on to say that she was mistaken about the allergic passenger. “I looked at the wrong roster. My bad.” They never served peanuts, so the point was moot either way.

Los Angeles was in the middle of a heatwave when we arrived. It was 100+ degrees.

Like most visits to the left coat I spent the bulk of my time driving around and eating. That’s what one does. Drive around and eat.

On the second day in L.A., I tried to take a nice walk around Echo Park, the neighborhood where I was staying, but the heatwave hadn’t dissipated. Nobody walks in L.A.? True.

Nobody takes the bus in L.A. either, apparently. After visiting the Getty Center, the nice docent in the parking lot sent me on a bass ackwards loop around the city. I should have gone east, but instead went south and west. I ended up at the Santa Monica Pier.

Mandi, my host, introduced me to Richard (brother of Danny) Elfman’s The Forbidden Zone. Why had I never seen this movie? It’s worth it for Herve Villechaize alone! Rent it. Now!

I saw both a coyote and a hummingbird, though not at the same time.

Every single one of my friends asked me when I was moving there. Do Angelinos get a tax break or a gift certificate or something if they get a friend to move? I don’t understand.

I dressed like a clown and danced on stage for a Rosh Hashanah rave at the Henry Fonda Theater. Full story tk, maybe. Suffice it to say, it was maybe the oddest experience of the trip.

Everyone was super nice about driving my ass around. Especially Mandi, who also let me crash on her couch. I got to spend quality time with everyone and their pets. Seriously, everyone has a dog. Or two.

Now, I’m home and it’s muggy and rainy. Why did I have to come back again? Oh, right. I’m broke.

Quoth the Bard: “A traveller! By my faith, you have great reason to be sad: I fear you have sold your own lands to see other men’s; then, to have seen much and to have nothing, is to have rich eyes and poor hands.”
–William Shakespeare, As You Like It

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