Two Weeks In

Sat Jan 18 2003 09:43AM -0600

Why I feel compelled to make this record of my winter break, I have no idea, but nonetheless, here it is, as far as I can remember it. This will be very impressionistic.

Friday, December 20, 2002

Shot out after taking the Internal Medicine shelf exam, I end up watching The Two Towers with Susan and Rosh. Dinner at Feast. I don't feel like going out at all, which is remarkable in of itself.

Saturday, December 21, 2002

Today is all about packing, and getting the hell out of Chicagoland, which I had found myself not-unpleasantly mired in for a good six months, the longest I've ever gone without going home, really. I pick up lunch at Milk and Honey, and then end up rushing to the Blue Line station on Division. The flight is uneventful, althogh it is the first time I end up watching Lilo and Stitch which amused me to no end. I suppose that due to recent, uh, developments, United Airlines found it necessary to funnel the luggage content of eight planes into one carousel at LAX, thereby requiring me to wait a good hour and a half to get my bag. I also end up losing my scarf on the plane, which I've had since I had gone on an East Coast College trip my junior year in high school, just about 10 years ago. Ah well. No use in holding on to material things I suppose.

Sunday, December 22, 2002

Ah. Yes. I remember now. I went to Mass with my parents (and the church has been renovated, with the insides almost completely gutted), then had breakfast at the local In-and-Out (which has apparently become a "must-see" kind of place in California. I don't mean this specific In-and-Out particularly. But Ysh, who is from Michigan, on his trip to Vegas, was inculcated with the values of the Double Double) I then had lunch with Bram and Nancy at Gordon Biersch in Old Pasadena. (Ironically, I was unaware of Gordon Biersch's Bay Area origins. I hang my head in shame.) Hilariously, I end up returning to Old Pasadena later that evening to meet Susan and her friend at the Old Cheesecake Factory. Most impressive imagery that night: four drunk guys holding up one extremely drunk girl as they attempted to tackle the parking structure. It is only now that I realize that, despite it having been chilly for Southern California, relatively speaking, it was as warm as summer, really.

Monday, December 23, 2002

Mmmm. Vaccinations. Got my flu shot and pneumovax today, as well as a routine blood draw and a PPD. So two needles in each arm. Yum. Sadly, I do not remember anything else about this day. Probably because I didn't do anything. Oh, wait, I hung out with Bram. I wish I had a soft tub.

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

What my family needs are a bunch of little kids. Because, sadly, Christmas continues to degenerate into, well, essentially, drinking-fests, especially since all us second generation Filipino Americans are legal now. But I have not yet spoken of my younger siblings, who had found themselves essentially stranded in Hawaii for a week with no car. I kept in contact with them through the miracle of SMS. But they arrived today, no worse for the wear, and yes, very few people can be sympathetic with people who are complaining about being in Hawaii, but there you are. This is also the first Christmas in a long time that we didn't go to Midnight Mass, but, ah well.

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

What the hell did we do today? There was Mass, of course, and leftovers, but I do not remember much more than that. Perhaps packing for the Vegas Trip? How boring. Oh! I remember now! Me, my brother, my sister, and Bram end up watching Spider starring Ralph Fiennes (if you watch this first, I bet you that it will warp your perception of Maid in Manhattan at the Laemmle on the Sunset Strip. Anyway, I won't give too much away, but it is about a crazy person, and it is almost excruciatingly slow, but then all of the sudden the action quickens quite shockingly, and by the end, I was very satisfied by the experience.

Thursday, December 26, 2002

Remind me never to go to Vegas before New Years unless I am actually going to stay for New Years. I finally got to drive on the new segment of Route 210 from San Dimas to the I-15 interchange. We got stranded in Barstow for a little while because of the burning desire to eat at In-and-Out. My parents (who were driving separately) must have lost a good 15-30 minutes because of the insane traffic jam in In-and-Out's parking lot. We stayed at Bally's that night, and me and my brother played a little blackjack, but nothing much else.

Friday, December 27, 2002

My sister's birthday, and my parents' wedding anniversary, possibly forever eclipsed by the possible fact that today was the day a human clone was born. But we'll see about that. We moved to Treasure Island, I lost more money playing slots, I think we went to check out the Bellagio briefly, not to mention the Forum Shops, but that was about it. It was a little chilly in Vegas (but nowhere near the insanity that is Chicago today.) There was the abortive attempt to enjoy some of Vegas's finer aspects of nightlife, but it's always hard to go drinking at a bar when you know you can just get a free drink in the casino. Sure it's not the same, but the places we checked out sucked anyway. We need to find some local hookups.

Saturday, December 28, 2002

We moved to the Venetian today. (In case you are wondering, our nomadic itinerary was influenced by which hotel my parents were getting comped at. Apparently, this was their sixth trip to Vegas in 2002. Scary.) All I remember really were martinis at the Grand Lux Cafe, and then that was it for me. Not that I was drunk out of my mind, but, eh, well, Vegas, been there, done that, kn'mean?

Sunday, December 29, 2002

The word of the day is detour. So we head back to L.A., but stop at Primm on the State Line, and while we linger in the outlet mall, apparently someone has a horrific accident, turning the southbound I-15 into a parking lot. It is actually impossible to get on the onramp for the southbound I-15, so we find ourselves backtracking northbound and end up in Jean, where I have this fantastic idea of going around the accident and decide to take the road to the ghost town of Goodsprings, NV. All is well until I decide to turn onto a dirt road, which goes on for 11 miles. My sister is furious, ready to strangle me in case of a blowout, but luck was on our side. I think I managed to burn an hour there, which probably actually still saved us at least half an hour instead of waiting for the accident to clear up. But I'm not finished yet. Because of the notorious Sunday all-day traffic jams through Victorville, up into the San Bernardino Mountains, I am reluctant to continue south of Barstow on the I-15, much to the chagrin of my sister. I end up taking us on a tour of the High Desert, crossing to Mojave via Route 58, then heading down to L.A. by Route 14 and I-5. Which actually would've saved us some time if there wasn't an accident in Burbank, which made me decide to bypass it by way of the L.A. Zoo. Yes, maybe something is wrong with me. :)

Monday, December 30, 2002

OK, this day is surely immemorable, although at night I did tag along with Bram to visit his friend who was housesitting this enormous place in Westlake Village.

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

A most uneventful New Year's Eve. All I really did was watch the extended version of The Fellowship of the Ring. I'm not even sure I was awake when the clock struck midnight (although I was definitely awake afterwards, at least for a short while.)

Wednesday, January 1, 2003

Hmmm. We went to my uncle's house, but that was about it, AFAICR

Thursday, January 2, 2003

Bram's last day in L.A. Headed out to the Westside. An impossibly clear, impossibly warm day in L.A. I can actually see the Hollywood sign from the Santa Monica Freeway, not to mention the houses on the Hollywood Hills. (And it was for the first time that I was struck with how the drive west on the Santa Monica Freeway resembles the drive north on 580 in the Bay Area. Hollywood Hills = Oakland Hills. Century City = Oakland.) Highlight of the day (besides finding out third-hand that they actually do have freakie-deakie orgies in huge houses like at the end of Eyes Wide Shut): watching Scratch which is a documentary on hip-hop, but focusing on the turntable. They even got into the history of hip-hop and how Filipino Americans are an integral part of its history, acknowledging the fact the DJ QBert is possibly the best there is right now.

Friday, January 3, 2003

"Es cocaina!"

Ben eventually makes is way down to the Southland. Other than that, me and my brother just hangout at the Virgin Megastore in Burbank and the Borders Books in Glendale. On the way to the parking structure, we witness some tribal hatred amongst roving bands of Armenians, which amused us, disturbing to say.

The above line is from Bedazzled, which was recurrently on HBO. That single line would make me and my brother break out into laughter. Yes, we are strange.

Saturday, January 4, 2003

I hang out with Ben and Chriscelle, eating lunch at Versaille, taking them all the way back east to Hollywood where we get our Filipino pastries and what-not at Betsy's and to Silver Lake where we fulfill our obsession with Cheez-Whiz. We then go back to the Westside, catching the last slivers of sunlight off of Venice. The day was so clear you could see the Santa Monica Mountains stretch off towards Ventura and you could see some of the Channel Islands as well. Days like this make me wonder what I'm doing in this frozen wasteland far from the Sea. Well. Not like it's always 75 degrees in January in Socal (which is a good 15-20 degrees above normal). But still. We end our evening in West Hollywood.

Sunday, January 5, 2003

Due to my lack of observational skills, I had inadvertantly booked myself on a red eye. Instead of 11am, I was leaving at 11pm. So the day was basically spent packing. For some subconscious reason which I refuse to delve into, I am always aggravated when I have to go to LAX. The flight was extremely bumpy, because apparently the Santa Ana winds decided to start up that evening, which I later learned snapped the tree in my backyard in half. And we were delayed in the first place because someone vomited while we were taxiing, and we had to go back to the gate for cleanup. Oh yeah, earlier today, my directions to Ben on how to get from Eagle Rock to West Hollywood somehow end him up in La Canada-Flintridge and then all the way out to Sylmar. Yikes! My bad. I'm almost as bad as Mapquest.

Monday, January 6, 2003

Spent partly in the air, but mostly in Chicagoland. With trepidation, I clamber onto the Loop-bound Blue Line train, and am accosted with a blast of bonechilling air as I ascend onto the corner of Division, Milwaukee, and Ashland. I am literally gasping as I make my way back to the apartment, where I take a quick shower, throw on some clothes, and have to drive up to North Chicago. I don't know how I made it, really. But that is the end of this account.

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