The Patterson Film

Saturday, February 04, 2006

L.A. Story, Part II


Coming off the high that was the Dolby gig, we were set to meet Javi for brunch at the crack of 1000. Apparently this is quite early in L.A. time. No matter—we were working on Central and Eastern Time, so our internal clocks had no problem making it up. Our bodies, on the other hand, may have differed with us at the time, considering how late we were up the night before.

Javi and the others

Javi et alii

We met Javi at the King's Road Café on Beverly. The orange juice may well have been the best I've ever had in my life. I just had to get that out.

Javi's a great (and surprisingly normal) guy, and regaled us with many tales of his adventures in Hollywood and Marshalltown, Iowa. He was even kind enough to present me with Volume 1 of his comic (or should I say graphic novel?) "The Middleman". Great story with dynamic artwork. I'm a big fan of grayscale halftones, and Javi's illustrator and co-conspirator Les McClaine has a thing for them, which really works for me. On top of the stories and the comics, he had the audacity to buy us breakfast. Of course, he allowed us our "requisite five seconds of protest," but he was not to be denied.

Javi returned to his regular life, and we headed for the La Brea Tar Pits. I'd only seen them from a distance back in the early 90s when I had come to L.A. in a fruitless attempt to join the Foreign Service. We decided to visit the museum adjoining the tar pits, and were pleased to find out that Gonzomantis has prehistoric ancestors:

Chins throughout history

Check out the chins!

As we have a history of doing so, it was necessary that Gonzo and I (and this time, Merujo, too) compare our heights to whatever animals are being displayed in the museum. This time, it was bears:


Da bears

According to the guide shown above, Gonzo is slightly shorter and I'm slightly taller than a short-faced bear, and Merujo is the same height as a polar bear. Who knew?

No chins

Probably not Gonzomantis' ancestors

We then toured the grounds of the museum, and ended up sitting outside in the sun, soaking up as much Vitamin D as possible. It was 68F, with a decent AQI and without a cloud in the sky. A rather welcome change from the 22F we dealt with prior to leaving DC. I flopped onto the lawn and just exulted for a little while. I was reminded of going to school in Minnesota and that feeling I got when it was finally warm enough to go outside without a coat. Unbeatable, really.

Sloth hug!

Sloth hug!

We then headed for the Museum of Jurassic Technology. Three people (who don't know each other) recommended this museum, so we had to check it out. Maybe I'm just a Philistine, but I just didn't get it. Merujo and I thought that it might just be an elaborate piece of performance art, or possibly a colossal practical joke on par with Barnum's "This Way to the Egress." I suppose there's also the possibility that the idea is that anything can be put on formal display and be considered worthy in one way or another. We weren't alone in being baffled, though. A guy sat next to Merujo at one point and flat out asked "Do you know what this is supposed to be?" Perhaps I'm not sufficiently intellectually evolved to grasp the concept being presented, but I feel like I was being duped. Who knows? Perhaps if any of you have been there and understand it, you can enlighten me.

After we spent an hour being puzzled, we went to Venice Beach, which was much more readily understood by all. I hadn't seen the Pacific since grad school, so it was great standing on the shore smelling the sea air and listening to the waves rolling in.

Tall guys

They grow them tall on the West Coast

Merujo on the pier

Merujo on the pier, either before or after some guy offered her vodka

Geeks on the beach

Geeks on the beach

The sun was setting, and it was lovely. We never heard it sizzle, though. We left Venice Beach and headed north on the PCH toward Sunset. Then it was a right turn and a pleasant if somewhat curvy drive through the hills to our hotel.

Sasquatch by taillight

Sasquatch by taillight

After a brief rest at the hotel, it was time for food. Mexican food. Good Mexican food. Merujo's friend AJ had recommended El Coyote on Beverly. From the look of the crowd, AJ had recommended El Coyote to everyone west of the Mississippi. We were not in the mood for a 45-minute wait, so we ended up going to Acapulco. It may be a local chain in L.A., but the service was great and the food was plentiful and not cost-prohibitive. Gonzomantis had a margarita that was big enough to swim in. He also bought us dinner, which was very kind of him.

A margarita with an undertow

A margarita with an undertow

After dinner, we decided to visit the Griffith Park Observatory to take in the quintessential L.A. skyline view. We were denied, however. The observatory has been under renovation for nearly two years now. So instead of taking in the view from above, we just cruised around Hollywood for a while. Then the tired grown-ups in us took over, and we called it a night.


Where are we going again?

Once more into the fray

Sunday morning we were off to drop Gonzomantis at LAX. Of course, we took full advantage of the breakfast bar before we left. I managed two muffins, two glasses of orange juice, and a banana within about six minutes. Thankfully I was alone as I stuffed my face.

After throwing him out to see how far he'd roll, we jumped on the 405 and zipped to Long Beach. There was no traffic to speak of, and we returned our rental car, checked in for our flight, and cleared security in no time flat. It could have gone better, perhaps, but I'm hard pressed to figure out quite how.

Real life reared its ugly heard shortly after we arrived back at Dulles. In our haste to get to the parking shuttle on Friday morning, I had only remembered to write down the lot section number, not the color. I recalled that we were in the Gold Lot, and Merujo thought we were in the Green Lot. After an extremely uncomfortable (and rude) shuttle ride to a parking lot stop we didn't recognize, we hopped out. Of course, it didn't help that the driver insisted that we were in the right place when clearly we weren't. So we walked through the Green Lot, looking for section 23C. As it turned out, we were actually parked in the Gold Lot. Thankfully it was a relatively short walk to the other section. After a quick stop at Wendy's for some protein, we went home.

It was a fantastic trip, and I'm glad we did it. We got to see the Dolby perform, we met a really cool guy, and got to soak up some sun and stare at the ocean for a while. You can't beat that with a stick.
NB—I wish I could have made the end bits of the trip more interesting for you, but it was pretty straightforward and blissfully uneventful (except for the great Gold vs. Green controversy).


  • Geeks on the beach? That's my favorite drink!

    By Blogger Cyn, at 2/05/2006 1:06 PM  

  • Great pics. I particularly enjoyed the Sloth hug.

    By Blogger Claire, at 2/05/2006 3:56 PM  

  • That was a brilliant write up and top notch photography to boot.

    I really think we need to make this into a REALITY TV SHOW... You all quit your day jobs and just take 48 hour trips all over the world.

    I would actually watch that... obviously, or I wouldn't have just read this and posted to your journal.

    The burning question is: Did Merujo accept the Vodka offered to her on the beach?


    Also, what a great pair of "Manly Chins" you two guys sport. You know they have to pay to get that look in Hollyweird.

    Thanks for sharing.

    By Blogger Vecordious One, at 2/05/2006 11:11 PM  

  • agreed, another great blog with wonderful pix. Gonzo, i must say you are a great photographer, my favorite is sasquatch by taillight. the artistry was on point. hey, is it just me or does the picture of the shadows fit book 2: the search for the lady..?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/06/2006 4:40 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home