Obnox sans Botox in L.A.
See? They are BFFs now! Butt friends forever.
After the ugly wintery New York we'd left behind, I was constantly in awe of the beautiful weather, the palm trees, the flowers everywhere. So naturally our first stop was the Museum of Jurassic Technology, full of the most gothy morbid ersatz relics and lore--nobody really knows what this place is. Kristina dropped Jess & I there before it even opened, so we left magical sunny L.A. behind and stepped into this dark cool place, all alone, where half of the wings weren't even lit yet. We were scared, we didn't know what the hell was going on, and it was totally rad. An unknown amount of time later (hours? days?), Kristina returned, and this pic is from the upstairs tea room, which looks nothing like the rest of the place.
It is really fun to be obnoxious on Rodeo drive. For example, at Gucci or whatever, when there's a giant white leather purse with fringe and little mirrors all over it, for approximately one zillion dollars, you should say loudly in a downmarket accent: "Ooh! I bought this same purse at Mandee's in 1988! I had it at the Bon Jovi concert at Giants Stadium!" At lunch in Ethiopiatown earlier, Kristina had had fish, and you eat it with your hands, so she made sure to touch everything with her fishy hands. Talking like pretend rich people there is also fun.
And you can count on me to always take the high road:
After we tired of laughing at designer stores for stupid rich jerks, we found a tiny shop nearby where we could actually afford stuff. I picked up a cute bra that was on sale, but I couldn't tell the price and asked the sales lady. A moment later a Botox-face came in and sales lady dropped the bra back into my hand without saying anything to tend to Botoxo the Clown. It was so rude and fast that I didn't even understand what had happened until a minute later. Kristina made sure to touch everything there on our way out.
Then we tried to hike up to the HOLLYWOOD sign. I found this really cute tumbleweed! It was too big to take home, though. But I did take home a splinter in my hand, which is still there.
Then we did Fredrick's of Hollywood (the original! Why were we so excited? Oh, because we could afford stuff there, even without Botox), happy hour, and Mann's Chinese Theater. You know who else is Chinese?
Kristina remembers a fellow Asian. See you at the crossroads, Pat.
And I mourn the Scatman.
Then I felt a calling!
I don't remember much after feeling the Scientology call and doing some sort of "stress test," but here is a picture of me with Thai Elvis later that night!
(I'm scared for me! What happened?!?)
The next day, Jess and I walked from West L.A.down Santa Monica Boulevard to Santa Monica Beach. Does this place, "K-2 Food Store," make you think of anything? Makes me think of Jah.
Jess wouldn't go to evil Starbucks again, so we finally found another coffee/doughnut place and met this little like 4-year-old girl who was SO L.A. Her first question was "Where's your car?" "We don't have one." "Why not?" "Because we walked. It's a nice day out!" She stared, chewing her string cheese. Conversation over.
And finally, the beach!
Bikinis on the beach in January!!! No, it really wasn't warm enough to do that.
Look who else is scantily clad! He totally caught us taking his photo and left. We creeped out the thong-wearing creep!
We checked out Venice Beach and the canals, and now it was dark and much colder than before, so we put on the extra clothes we'd bought at Goodwill earlier that day. Then we were walking back parallel to the beach but a few streets inland, and noticed we were in a sketchy area. We approached a parcel of land on the corner that was apparently the place to be for anyone and everyone in the homeless community that evening. There were dozens of bums and hobos and tramps and what have you congregating all in this park area. We walked cautiously, trying not to draw attention, just like in The Birds. Then we realized we were fine because Jess looked like a crazy person with all the clothes she had on: two different lengths of skirts, tube socks, and various shirts.
At the bus stop, an intoxicated gentleman named Tyrone plunked himself down between us and expressed his appreciation for my "popsicle toes," which he wanted to suck on. He'd mentioned how he'd been recently jailed for being a terrorist, and was just getting around to asking Jess for money when the bus came to our rescue. We got on and Tyrone tried to follow without paying. Our driver, who looked a bit like a black Willem Dafoe, if you can picture that (cheek-bonesy and intense), threw the bus into park and stood at the head of the bus to face Tyrone and demand payment. The driver reached for his pocket--"Oh, he's going for his gun," Jess said, but it was his cell phone, and Tyrone reached into his own pocket and got out the change that the driver knew was there all along. So Tyrone found some new popsicle toes among the baby-faced punk teens up behind us, and got off at a liquor store. And then we knew why no one rides the bus in L.A.
We also saw: my friend Brendon and his excellent comedy show; the bar where they filmed Swingers and its (to use the term coined by my friend Tom) awefulsome lounge act Marty and Elayne; the most awefulsome movie ever called The Room (watch the trailer and you, too, will be spellbound/gobsmacked like all else who see it); a great weekly vintage sale at the Jet Rags parking lot where everything's a dollar; one of the amazing supermarket-size dollar stores filled with dollar treasures like badminton sets, champagne, and Mary-Kate and Ashley shampoo, and more!
On our last morning there, I got to drive and experience the legendary traffic. I thought about all the exotic new zesty snacks I was going to miss, like
but especially Sabrositas Lime 'N Chile Fritos and other picante products aimed at L.A. and select other cities' large Hispanic populations, and I knew I'd be back.