Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Issue 7: Nuestra Senora la Reyna de Los Angeles de Porciuncula

For those who don’t make it all the way through my posts, I’ll open up with the two highlights of my trip to LA. The first occurred before I even left the airport! Some guys who were on the flight with me were picked up by their friends in what can only be described as a home-made limousine. From what I saw, I think that they took some beat-up Lincolns, cut them apart, and welded them together. Not to worry, they didn’t mask their handiwork by painting their creation – it rolled by in all of its glory. It was unexpected, tacky, ostentatious and utterly LA.

The second highlight: Fourth of July. After a few beers, my friend’s partner’s brother (did you follow that?) asked me if I was a Hari Krishna. The evidence: I don’t eat red meat, and I was wearing a purple scarf. (This reminded me of being asked by a good friend (you know who you are!) whether I was a lesbian. Evidence: I had lesbian friends in college, and I used to have short hair.) Friend’s partner was sort of embarrassed, but I thought it was hilarious. But it’s a good thing that he said it to me at this point in my life – if someone had asked me that in college, I would have flipped out.

We watched the fireworks from the street – we could see a number of "official" shows, and more than a few "amateur" shows. Not so amateur, really. While we had the legal kind, a lot of people in the neighborhood had bought fireworks from Tijuana – to my eye, exactly like the professional kind. It’s a little unnerving looking up at big (DRY) palm trees, and watching fireworks burst just above them.

It was weird to be in LA for the fireworks – I missed DC: the warm wet blanket of humidity, the monuments. Maybe you just want holidays the way they were while you were growing up. Somehow, I’ve managed to spend the big holidays away from home recently. Christmas in Granada, New Year’s in London, the 4th of July in LA. I love travelling, but in some ways – I want to wake up Christmas morning in the uncomfortable twin bed in my parents’ house, spend New Year’s with the ever-youthful Dick Clarke, etc.

I came down to LA to visit my college friend ILTSAE. Saturday, I spent going on a cheesy bus tour of LA – the Hollywood Bowl, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Rodeo Drive, you name it. I need to do cheesy tourist stuff more often. Sunday, I went to ILTSAE’s softball tournament, and Monday (after recovering from July 4th) – we spent at the mall! We saw "Spiderman 2" in the nicest theater I’ve ever been in (and I’m picky), and spent an inordinate amount of time in Borders (another of my favorite things – although I’m enough of a snob to prefer independent book stores.) At dinner, I saw my high school friend Scarlet who is moving to New York later in the week. I have the best timing. Overall, a weekend with old friends. I’ve been developing a new theory on friendship – I think the friends who knew you during certain critical phases of your life, such as high school & college, have deeper insight into you than people you meet at other (happier?) times in your life.

I can’t believe the summer is half over…before I know it, I’ll be back in DC complaining about school and missing the people here.

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