Saturday, July 25, 2009

The monthly wrap-up

So it's been a while since a post...I haven't been feeling wordy.  (Saying that makes sense to me.)  BUT lots has happened over the last few weeks in Lala Land.  I'll inform you up to last weekend because it deserves it's own post.

Here's the general specific(s) (points to you if you caught that reference): 

  • Fourth of July:  I got to spend the fourth with my favorite people in LA-Jake and Lesley Roberts!  I went to their place in the Palisades and cooked and out and spent time with friends and then when it got dark (which California takes FOREVER to get dark at night!) we went up and sat on the roof and simultaneously watched the firework shows in Malibu, Will Rogers, and Santa Monica!  Once we saw all those finales, the started shooting them off 2 blocks in front of us at Pali High.  Even though I felt like a traitor to the lake (the general lake...doesn't matter which one), it was so fun to spend this holiday here, with some of the greatest people LA has to offer.
  • Later that week I was at Caffe Etc. (one of THE best places to eat in Hollywood) with my boss and he saw Joel Madden walking in.  They're friends (Joel has a studio in our office building) and he came over and I met him and we all talked for a while.  Something really respectable about Joel that my boss told me is that never in his life has he had one drink of alcohol or used any drug.  W2G, Joel.
  • The next weekend I finally saw some people I have known for more than 2 months!  My mom's best friend and husband came to LA and I got to take them to church and go out to lunch with them.  (Sidenote: at lunch, Whitney Port and I had a mild staring contest)
  • THEN, the next weekend, Mer and Dave came!  After spending-no exaggeration-45 minutes driving 4 miles on the 405, I floored it, spent some time illegally in the HOV lane, and made it to LAX to pick up my mom.  She and I had such a great weekend doing things that I haven't gotten to do all summer due to my lack of funds...and just spending time together.  (But really, if you're looking for a good day of meals in LA: The Waffle for breakfast, The Ivy for lunch and maybe some In-N-Out to round off the day.)
  • On Sunday, we went to pick up my dad from LAX, took him to Jake and Lesley's to meet them and have lunch and then went down to Orange County!  My parents had their 25th anniversary in June and were going down to celebrate in the OC and I got to come and spend 2 days with them.  It was a MUCH needed break from the crazy, fast pace of the city.  I also got to take off work Monday and first days off all summer.  PTL for that and for being on a beach that is not Santa Monica.
  • This post is long and the following weekend was one for the books, so I'll get around to posting about it soon.  Let's just say it has to do with a great friend, lots and lots of ridiculous things to laugh about and COLDPLAY.
Okay that's all!  KC, see you in 6 days and 23 hours, respectively.  (We're going off central time, here).

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


As my second chunk of world-traveling friends have recently departed for exciting countries for the second half of the summer: places I’ve sung about a hundred times in that country’s language but have never actually been to before, it makes me think back on my Arkansas days, when we were all together.  Before coming out to LA, I was pretty much ready to be done with Arkansas.  Three years was enough, four would be more than plenty.  But after spending the last two months of life in the Golden State, I’ve come to miss a few things about the Natural.  In my infinite amount of free time as an intern at Job #2 (Universal Music Group), I’ve decided to write an acronymic ode to Arkansas and the things I miss about it (might be a little difficult considering all the A’s and S’s).   

Any relationship that doesn’t involve schmoozing.  People survive and make their living by networking and name-dropping out here. I just want to spend time with someone because I enjoy being with them!

Rain.  It has “rained” count it: ONCE since I got out here 59 days ago.  And by “rained” I mean the sky spit a little bit (not even worth using windshield wipers) and people freaked out.  It was the same response people in Fayetteville have to snow.  Everyone forgets how to drive, how to think, how to breathe… I love rain so much, I just wish I could have one thunderstorm. 

Kampish clothes.  I accidentally wore Nike shorts on Rodeo Drive one afternoon and have never felt like more of an outcast in my life.  (I wouldn't normally refer to Nike shorts as "Kamp clothes" but K was hard, so we're making that term work.)

Average prices for parking.  Honestly, $3 per 15 minutes?  I need to get a Segway and/or stop complaining about the parking situation in Fayetteville.

Normal driving speeds.  Office #1 is 7 miles away, and I’m on the highway for about 6.8 of those.  And it takes me 35 minutes to get to work.

Sonic and Chick-fil-a that are closer than 20 and 30 miles away.  Chances are good that if you’re reading my blog, you know of my love for a good Route 44 Diet Dr. Pepper easy ice from Sonic.  You might also know that after camping out for 52 free Chick-fil-a meals, I’ve come to really really love their sandwiches (which I’d never even had before I camped out.  In January.)  Of these two heavily-frequented places in my life in Arkansas, I have had ONE Chick-fil-a sandwich in the last two months and ZERO anything from Sonic.  Perfect corner of Sixth Street, I’ll be back soon.

Activity/Walking: It took a while to realize this one, but I hardly even walk in LA.  Here’s my day:  Leave my apartment by taking the elevator down to my car (the stairs don’t take you out to the level I park on), drive to the parking deck at one of my offices, take the elevator from the 5th floor down to the street, walk to the office, take the elevator to the 4th or 5th floor (depending on where I’m working that day), and then do it all in reverse to get home.  The only time I walked all day was from the parking deck to the building and around the office!  PTL for the little tiny workout room in my apartment that I have shockingly come to love.

Smiling.  Really, people don’t smile out here.  Here’s a story that gives proof to that point:  One night I was sitting outside of a Panera next to the window, just reading and listening to my iPod.  At one point I happened to look up from my book and accidentally made eye contact with a guy in there and just as a natural reaction, smiled.  I thought literally nothing of it, and looked back down at my book.  A few seconds later I was startled by  a tap on my shoulder.  It was him, with a HUGE smile on his face.  He stuck his hand in my face, wanting me to shake it and when I did he said, “Hi! I’m Ray!  You smiled at me in there and I just wanted to come out and say thanks.  If I ever see you again out here, we cool, aight?”  What?  I just smiled!  I’ve also been pinned as a Southerner three times because I “never stop smiling”.  All right…


It’s not that there’s not a ton of great things about LA, but there’s some aspects of it that make Arkansas look pretty good.  Fayetteville, see you in exactly one month.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Seriously, foreign vacationers?

Today I was walking to my car from the Beverly Center, and I saw this mom, dad and son. They nervously approached me and this is the conversation that we had (I quickly figured out that they were from somewhere in Europe):

"Uh, escuza me? Escuza me?"
"You know ver Et Hotty ees?"
"Um...excuse me?"
"Et Hotty? Zee Et Hotty store?"
"Um, Ed Hardy?"
"Yeah. Actually if you just keep walking around this side of the building you'll get to the entrance and I'm pretty positive there's an Ed Hardy store in there."
"Ees dee flagsheep?"
"The flagship Ed Hardy store?! I have no idea, I'm sorry!"
"Ya the flagsheep Et Hotty store ees on this street or that?"
"Yeah...I don't actually know. But if you go to the store inside I bet they would tell you!"
"It's eenside?"
"Sir, I think there's an Ed Hardy store inside the Beverly Centre, I'm not sure if it's the flagship store or not, but I bet they could help you figure that out. Just go inside and up the escalator!"
"Okay, sank you. Sank you so, so much."

They were so precious and SO concerned about finding the flagship store.
The Ed Hardy flagship store. What!?

Then I was in another store and a man from Israel started a conversation for me and offered to buy me a pair of jeans in exchange for my phone number. What?

Only in LA.


So at work, we are all obsessed with this band: Local Natives.  My bosses tried to sign them a year-ish ago, but apparently they're pulling a Bon Iver and keeping it indie for a while.  Their original songs are great, but I'm in love with this Simon & Garfunkel cover.  I hope you are too: