Sometimes people ask: "How was your vacation?" And I know they're just being civilized human beings who are politely acknowledging that I haven't been at Subway for like 10 days. So I pardon them from the minutia of a conversation about vacation by saying "Good." Then distracting them with "Is that a cupcake?!" and scurrying away.
Ideally, this is what the transaction would look like:
Friend: "Vacation. Good?"
Me: (The Nod-Shrug Combo Meal)
A few years ago my friend Moccasins told me his secret. He asks returnees "What was the highlight?" to keep the routine condensed. Now every time someone asks me the highlight, I'm extra sure they don't want to hear about my trip so I just say: "Sun. Light. Warm." And it makes everyone a lot more comfortable.
But this is a blog, easily navigated with the skim features on a common pair of eyeballs. So I'm sparing no deets. Meanwhile, in answer to the question of "What was the highlight?" It's the intangibles. The spending of a lot of time with Chuck. The vista. The temps. That awesome just landed in LA smell.
Speaking of orange juice, we twice went to this vegan restaurant in Silver Lake where they do just that. Squeeze orange juice and give it to you in exchange for like $5. It was so delicious with fresh fruit and some yogurt. The gloves are coming off and the juicer is coming out this week.
That night we had a little pizza party and a movie. I like to call the one nearest to us The Bayou Blaster! It had crawfish on it. I didn't try the other one. Someone deked me out and said they had seen a mushroom in the same zip code. I didn't find out until the next day that it didn't have mushrooms on it. MORE BAYOU BLASTER FOR ME! We watched "Easy A" on Cath's computer.
On Friday we caught "Re-Animator: The Musical" at the Steve Allen Theater. It was delicious campy goodness that ended in bloody intestines squirting all over the audience. Also: George Wendt is in it. I'm super glad he didn't have a heart attack.
On Saturday we decided to check out Echo Park, which we had only seen in the dark. We've covered most of East Hollywood, touched on Los Feliz and were manhandling Silver Lake. This was the next stop. This trip was punctuated by the fierce desire to pee and finding the worst public bathroom in this history of public bathrooms, and this is coming from a person who has eaten her own gum off of a sidewalk. The seat had wet paper plastered to it, the bowl was muddied. We both gagged and backed away. The urge scared itself back into my kidneys.
Later we riffed on landmarks: "Um, well, right now we're about three blocks west of the dog diarrhea."
It all ended with two In-N-Out burgers. Each. Later we went to a BBQ in Glendale. A man named Mac was going to be making a big announcement. Chuck and I spent the day guessing at this big announcement. Cancer? Gay? Moving away? We don't know Big Mac. We have eaten with him once a few years ago, a dinner where we learned nothing more than that he loves Tupac. The big announcement: Mac got a new grill.
Later we went to Jumbo's Clown Room, where Courtney Love once worked. It's not quite a strip club. It's more like an underwear party for contortionists who love Nine Inch Nails. We ended up at the Smog Cutter, a neighborhood bar where one of the place's more infamous regulars was celebrating her birthday slumped into a C on the bar.
Chuck busted out some Britney. I pulled the ultimate in bad karaoke etiquette and re-sang a song another dude had performed less than a half hour earlier. I didn't improve on it much.
On Sunday, everyone was in a Smog Cutter Coma except, oddly enough, this lady. I wandered down to Sunset Blvd to look for brunchy food and found a place called Kitchen where I ate my favorite food of the trip: A poached egg on an English Muffin, with a Red Wine Sauce that bled into the yolk in this super great magic tricky way.
We gorged ourselves on Jamaican food for dinner that night and then went back to Cath's to chill.
On Monday it was back to D-Town by way of Bob Hope Airport, Denver, Minneapolis, Eden Prairie and then I35. We pulled in at 3 a.m. As much as I love LA, I also totally dig our quiet little house which would cost, um, probably more than $700,000 out there if we wanted to drop it where we would want to live. So ...