Ah Bugger

The vapid utterings of a neurotic mind.

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Location: DC, United States

I ain't too proud to bug.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Loopy in LaLaLand

I have been in LA for a few days. I met up with my friend Cary in Malibu and we wandered along the beach where we happened upon some surfers and a naked dude who was sunning himself on a little towel. I averted my eyes, but then looked back to make sure that he was indeedly nekkid. Then I came around a big rock and ANOTHER naked dude was there to be found. I averted my eyes and kept on walking. (Because I am a lady).
We went to the Dresden Room where we found this couple, who apparently have been performing there for centuries. I think what keeps them together is their hair dye. I want to be like them when I am a little bit older. Who will be my hair dye love connection? Afterwards we went to the Joy Luck Club? The Good Luck Club? I don't recall. But it was a cute place and I spied Ryan Gosling hanging out. I did not tell him about the paper I wrote for college citing his film Lars and the Real Girl. Yesterday, Cary and I talked with French film director Pitof. That's my BC Lions t-shirt! I look a little crazy, but it was late and I am a little crazy. We also went to the Sony studios where we wandered around, having a chance to peek at the Angels and Demons set. We wandered through an airlock, but I can't remember the book well enough to know what part of the story the airlock is in. But when I see the film, I can holler, Hey! That's the airlock I wandered through! Yay! We watched the filming of 'Til Death. I took this photo with my phone, and I am not certain how legal that was, so I hope no one gets mad at me... Watching a filming was fun. I had no idea that soo many people were on set. I almost got run over by Tom Hanks on a bicycle(R)*. I was pulled to safety in the nick of time by Cary. Phew.
I got to meet some of Cary's friends, Ellen and Mark. They are both awesome.
I also went back to Burbank, where I lived for a few seconds 14 years ago. (Yipes). I almost could not find my way around. Everything is different. I don't think I could live in the Valley again. (Princess is back!)


*All rights reserved by Mark.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

(Insert Debbie Downer music here)

Today sucked.

I was thinking of leaving the post with simply that, but you, my intrepid reader, would be saddened. I simply cannot think of a fate worse than that (except for maybe my day).

Two days ago, while in San Jose, I noticed that finally a rock had gotten to my precious (new) windshield and gave it a nice hole which the windshield then decided to share with the rest of itself. The crack went halfway across. As the day shuffled off its mortal (immortal?) coil to pass into the next, the crack carried on with its journey (much as I am) across the windshield.

I then decided it would behoove me to call in the guards to replace this detriment to my driving safety. The cavalry arrived at noon, which meant I got to hang out at my motel (yes, Motel. How far the mighty have fallen) until close to 2:00pm. I liked the guy who installed my second in two months windshield, so chatting with him was fun.
I proceeded on my way, new windshield intact and grande latte in hand. Speeding happily down the highway, I got busted. By a motorcycle cop. He asked what color my eyes were, and I batted the lashes and said "blue, and yours?" He answered by asking how much I weigh. Well, Mr. So-and-so, I am a lady! So he asked me again. And I responded by accidentally closing the window. So, I got myself a ticket. Though he was nice and reduced my wild infraction and attempted to send me on my way. As I turned the key in the ignition, I realized that maybe my battery was in love with the old windshield and did not want to go on without him, so I got nothing. I tried and tried, but to no avail. I waved to the cop. He waved back. I shook my keys at him. He gave me a thumbs up. I gave him the come here, and he finally did. He called the highway patrol for me and AAA before zooming down the street. I then gave me key another twist and it turned out that the battery simply did not want to perform while the cop was watching. Don't know what the battery was afraid of. Maybe because I have a packet of salt on my gear shift, the fear was of "a salt and battery". I feel bad for not waiting around for the rescuers, but my need was over and I had a castle to see.

I headed off to Santa Cruz, home of the University of Dr. Becky. I drove around, but the restaurants were closed between 3-5 and it was 3:30. So I headed to the Mystery Spot, which took me on windy gravelly roads and honking cars. Well, honking at me, because I decided to go slowly around a sharp turn, and dammit! That was too slow! They wanted $5 for the tour and $5 for parking. So I, being slightly grumpy, turned around and left. Seriously, $10 for some optical illusions and a bunch of kids. Bah! So, I missed Santa Cruz, Becks. Arg. Next time we will go together.

So I drove into Carmel so I could have lunner at the Cypress Inn, which is owned by Doris Day and her son. Well, I drove all the way into Carmel, all the while being passed by Lamborghinis and Ferraris. I thought wow, the people here are RICH! But it was a car show and so all the streets were packed and there was noooo parking anywhere. Again, I was forced to move along.

I was driving down Hwy 1, and the views should have been beautiful, save for this bloody fog. See it? That is no wave, that's fog and it kept touching me and my precious car. So, I was forced to drive 1.4 mph down a windy, fog ridden road for 100 miles. Finally, I got to San Simeon where W.R. Hearst built his crazy palace. I have been so excited about seeing this place. I watched Citizen Kane, which is loosely based on Hearst. I used to read Cosmopolitan, which is a Hearst publication. I watched the TV movie The Hearst and Davies Affair. So, basically, I am an expert. (Rosebud). I finally got there, and walked into the visitor's center, right as they are closing up. AWESOME. So, this is what I got to see of the crazy Castle:
Sweet. It's not even in focus.

So, today was an exercise in futility. Tomorrow, I am headed in La La Land. Yay! Friends! As for tonight? I will attempt to sleep well in my bed in this motel in a town where no one I saw was less than 30 pounds overweight. G'night!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Clang Clang Clang goes the Trolley

San Francisco!

Today I wandered about San Francisco. I opted to stay near the airport which saved me about $400! I figure, hell, if I lived here, I probably would have to drive into SF, so why should it be any different while I am visiting, right?

My first stop was to Haight-Ashbury where I found the smell of patchouli wafting through the air. It was cold, and I wore my jacket (the temperature is interesting in SF). I found all sorts of head shops and a neat store in which one could find pleather pants in every colour (oops, not in Canada anymore) color and pattern. They were also over $100! But it was a neat store and I would love to be rich so that I could have bought a bunch of cool things for Halloween. (I was thinking I could buy patent leather yellow pants and go as a New York taxi cab or silver pieces to go as a disco ball).

I then headed over to Pier 39 where I wandered about. I went to the Alcatraz pier (45? 41? 31?) to see about tickets for a tour to the Prison. Alas, sold out until Thursday! So I had to make due with a photo from the pier. I noticed then that a bunch of sea lions decided to chill out by the pier. They were noisy and raucous like college kids on spring break. Funny. It was soo hot at this point that my t-shirt was sticking to me. My jacket was long forgotten in my car.

I started to walk to Ghirardelli Square, but I only had two hours on my meter, so after about 10 blocks, I returned to my car and drove there. I bought myself a cone of the mocha chip (same as what I had for my birthday at Ghirardelli's in Chicago with Marci).

I wandered over to the Golden Gate bridge and walked over half of it. (Proud of me? I hate bridges, especially suspension bridges). Well, the fog was so low and so insane that you could see nothing! Seriously! Look!I do not know whose disembodied head that is. But see how the bridge just disappears into the fog? It was crazy.

I stopped for Pizza and noticed this very creative spelling of Canadian Bacon.

At 7:00PM I went back to Haight-Ashbury for a ghost tour. I joined three others and followed a tour guide around. It was soo cold that we were all shivering. I was wearing a thick sweatshirt AND a jacket. The weather here is crazy.

The tour was cool because our guide is not only a ghost hunter, he is a historian. I got a great lesson on the architecture of the Haight area, along with a history of the residents. We passed by Janis Joplin's home (well, two of them. She moved around a bit?). A 19 year old kid was shot to death in front of the one house and now people hear running there, like how it must have sounded as he was running from the crazy dude that shot him.

I am super skeptical about ghosts. I want to believe, but I simply don't. The tour was neat, though, and after we bade the tour guide adieu, the four of us settled into Trax for a brew. This place is apparently haunted by some feller that got himself shot. The staff found a photo from the origins of the bar (1940) and in it is a the guy who many of them had seen haunting the place. I, however, saw no one. Not even a server. We had to go to the bar (which was fine, the bartender was adorable. I asked him about the ghost and he said he did not want to see him. I personally think the bartender would scream like a cheerleader and run out of the room*). It was fun talking to the group I was with. The one guy was local, married and expecting his first kid in February (Shh, don't tell anyone. He said he had not yet told anyone). He is also an author: freelance and books. The other two were from Houston and were attorneys. They had twin sons and were married. They seem to be connoisseurs of ghost tours. Me, this was my first. It was neat.

I DO know the way to San Jose

Yesterday was an exciting day. I met with a classmate from BU at a great little Italian restaurant in San Jose. He brought his gorgeous wife and their three year old son who was nearly kidnapped by me, especially after he waved goodbye to me from his car seat as they drove away. But honestly, I can only run so fast in these flip-flops. It was fun getting to hear a current BU student's take on the program. Thanks for lunch, Paul!

Lucky for me, the Winchester House of Mystery was right next to the restaurant.I walked over and paid a million bucks to see this crazy house that Sarah Winchester, recipient of the Winchester Firearms gazillions ($20M in addition to $1000 a day), designed and had built (The photo only shows a portion of the enormous house). Apparently, she was haunted by the ghosts of those killed by Winchester weapons and was told by a medium (in Boston) that she needed to move out here and build a house on which the building never stopped. She renovated and built onto her home for 36 years. The work went on 24/7. The building grew to 7 stories. Then the earthquake of 1906 struck and destroyed parts of the house. It caused the fireplace in the room that Sarah used as her bedroom to collapse and trap her inside. She was convinced that the earthquake happened because the spirits were furious that she had completed parts of the house and so she boarded up the 30 front rooms so that the house would never be complete. You can still see the damage caused by the quake in those rooms.
It was important to her to confuse the spirits (so goes the reigning theory) which explains cupboards that are only an inch deep, doors that head nowhere, and the stairs that lead directly into the ceiling.

She was also fixated on the number 13 (thirteen holes in the drains, thirteen panes of glass, thirteen windows) and on spiderwebs. This window was in the bathroom that contained a shower which was unbelievably high tech for those days. When Sarah Winchester died, she left the insides of the mansion to her niece, but the house was left to no one. So while it cost several million to build, it was sold for about $100,000+ to a farmer who wanted the land.

They say it's haunted, but I would never be able to find my way through the house in a way to be able to find out for sure.

After I left the mansion, I headed into San Francisco to watch a Giants game. I was about a block from the stadium at 4:45 (the game started at 4:05) when I noticed a ton of people in orange shirts coming towards me. What the...? 4:05 start time was in EST. GRRR. No baseball for me. But the Giants won. And I went to see The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and it was great.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Trees are red on the inside, like you and me.


I went through the Redwood Forest yesterday. I thought these were the huge red ones. Nope, they are the tall ones. And they are gray on the outside. Perplexing. It is the sequoias that are the huge ones. I planned to go the Sequoia Forest, but it is on the east side of California and that is way out of my way, so I am going to have to miss out on it for the sake of seeing Carmel.

I do not know why I look like an eight year old in all of my pictures.

The coast is beautiful and really rocky. Oh, and I think I may have seen a herd of elk, but truthfully I was driving too fast to see for sure and I did not feel like turning around. That is the problem with traveling alone, you notice things too late, or not at all.


Well, I am off to meet a classmate for brunch. Then it's off to the Winchester House. Woo!

Buggy has gone dune buggy

Boy, they sure scare the crap out of you when you want to rent a dune buggy, but I guess it is for the best. Still, after the instructions, I thought for sure I would return (if I returned) with at least a broken arm. Nothing like that happened, though, and I was riding high on adrenaline for an hour. Because I was going out on my own, I went with the suggestion of a bigger engined vehicle. I am a badass!

See? Badass. (They made me wear a camouflage helmet which helped in the badass department, but not in the pretty, pretty princess one). I got a ton of instruction, which was a tad overwhelming during its delivery, but once I got out on the sand, was very helpful.

Boy, you have to gun it up hills and then watch out because that hill may suddenly just drop off and there you are, airborne.

I played it safe to get used to the buggy (or because I am a nerdy chicken), and then I started gunning it and flying all over the place. My true colors showed themselves on one hill as I noticed the drop off and got scared. I stopped and tried to turn around. Oops, now I am stuck in the sand. 2 gentlemen came and rescued me, but I had to go down this hill with a massive drop. Scary! So I squared my shoulders and went for it. Gah, my stomach sank, but I made it and then felt proud, powerful and a little embarrassed all at once.

I kept going for an hour. My abs were killing me. The way the dunes roll throws you all around and I had to fight to keep my seat much of the time. The day after, my body was killing me. (Shoulders, belly, wrists)!

It was so much fun!

I did not get to try to sand board because I was too lazy to get the board, walk up a hill, fall down a lot, get back up the hill and try again.