L.A., flying and other nonsense…

First off, sorry for being off for a while. As you’ll read, I ‘ve been a bit busy so having some time to write.

Second, the blog will now officially be updated by the time you roll into work every Monday morning. That’s right – you’ll have a new Monday distraction in the A.M. every…single…week. I want to bring some regularity to the blog and this seems to be the best option for everyone.

So, Los Angeles.

I had never been out to the West Coast before this summer and found myself there twice this summer – once in San Francisco and the other in Los Angeles, last week. After being a bit intimidated by the place through the media attention it gets (you know, that whole L.A. Riots thing did wonders for tourism), but it’s actually pretty damn awesome out there. Here’s some things I learned from my last trip…

1 – Everyone in L.A. is from the East Coast: It’s almost impossible to find someone that’s a native. Everyone I met is either from New York or Massachusetts. Apparently, some people actually have the sense to get out of the cold and snow and into…

2 – The weather is everything you’ve read about…and more: Everyday was literally 85 degrees, sunny and breezy. Every single friggin day. Know how great it was to actually go out at night and not come back drenched in sweat from just standing around? I actually heard someone complain that they wished it would rain just for a change. I then asked for a draw off his coke pile.

3 – Trendyville, U.S.A.: I guess I should have expected this, but there’s no stopping while you there. It’s full-tilt trendy, all the time. The first few days was a definite adjustment as it’s all about who you know and how they can help you. Witnessing this first-hand was my first real intro into what L.A. was about. But coming from a rural area in Maine/New Hampshire, it tends to wear on you. By Monday night, I was ready to go prom style: throw on a flannel, some sh*t kickers and drink a fifth of Wild Turkey. Being dressed up is great, but there’s something to be said for being relaxed as well.

Overall, the trip was awesome with stops in L.A., Santa Monica, Malibu (as advertised) and then the big one – Las Vegas. 24 hours in the real Sin City was amazing as the place is just larger than life. A 4-hour drive across the desert in a convertible Mustang got us there around 9 pm and we ended up being out until around 5 a.m. I hope to post up some pics in the next week, but I could definitely go back. Oh yeah, I won some money too.

But flying? That’s something I could do without.

I’m not scared of flying, but I hate how planes are set up. I understand there needs to be a distinction between first-class and coach, but after the 4.5 hour flight to L.A., I could have told you every physical attribute about the people sitting next to me we were that close. On the way out, I got seated next to a 6’5″ monster (who was stuck in the middle, no less and shot me an ‘Oh sh*t’ look when I was walking up to the seat) and on the way back, I was in the middle of my travel buddy (also a big guy) and a girl traveling from Fiji. Coach is so cramped that it almost makes flying a miserable experience. Throw in the pay for your own dinner attribute and Delta went to the bottom of my airline list real quick. There’s cheap and then there’s cheap. If you’re going to suffer like an inmate taken across state lines, you might as well be fed right? Delta thinks otherwise, but that $8 roast beef sandwich did look pretty good coming out of the wrapper.

The whole flying experience is pretty surreal to me, but it’s painful to watch how serious people get when something doesn’t go their way, i.e. a delayed flight, cancelled flight, etc. I was in Washington, D.C., waiting for a connector flight back home when a plane that was supposed to leave for Portland, ME, got cancelled. People started FLIPPING out like schoolkids denied their recess. There was one older guy in particular that was quite embarassing, as his attempts to get noticed by talking loud just made the situation worse. Seriously, some people just need to sit down or something.

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So the Olympics have come to an end and we’re left with a) an American gymnast who is getting lambasted for winning a Gold by a judge’s decision, an American men’s basketball team that hopefully sent a message that teamwork wins titles and not marketing departments and the sad end of an era as former gold medalist and possible steroid juicer Marion Jones just succcccccccckkkked in her events. But

I’m guessing we’ll forget all about the Games in another two weeks once football gets going. U.S.A.! Soccer Sucks! U.S.A.! Soccer sucks!

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Am I the only one that thinks Sarah Jessica Parker is hot? Am I?

Side note: The afore-mentioned girl on the plane traveling from Fiji was watching Sex And the City on her mini-DVD player and kept putting the screen down quickly once a sex scene came on, reminding me of when you finally get the lines unscrambled on the cable box and your parents walk in and you quickly change the channel to some shopping network, totally busting you as you try to explain why you were watching a sale for special cut diamond broaches.

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Good Book Alert (not the Bible):

Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman

After reading a give-and-take he had with ESPN2 writer Bill Simmons, I was inclined to pick up his book, the follow-up to Fargo Rock City that came out a few years ago. Quite simply, it’s a 14-chapter ‘essay’ on various familar pop-culture subjects that most of the past two generations – X and Y – would be familiar with like a full chapter on Saved By The Bell. It’s a great read and highly recommended by yours truly.

Bad Movie Alert:

13 Going on 30 with Jennifer Garner

Alright, alright…it was on the plane ride back from L.A. and I watched about 10 minutes. That 10 was all I needed to see. This is one of the worst movies I’ve caught 10 minutes of in a long, long time.

Thanks for reading,

nason

next week: The Anti-Married Rant, pt. II

p.s.: please pass along this site to others that might want to be entertained for a few minutes on a Monday…thanks.

Dating in the 0-4

Tell me if this scene has happened in your office/house/restaurant: Everyone’s having one of those office-chat conversations and talk eventually centers around doing married/couple-type things. You, being one of the only single people, go kind of silent. Then the question comes up, “When are you going to settle down and find someone?”

What is it about being single in your late 20’s that creates such a ‘You need to be with someone or else you’re life is worthless’ furor among other couples?

Dating in your mid-to-late 20s can be very, very interesting and is a complete dichotomy from when you’re attempting to find love in the early 20s. Everyone has different agendas and are at different points in their lives: some are ready to be settled down and ready to move on that ‘next stage of life’ that is expected, others are just out there gently dipping their toes in the water and others, sadly, are trying out new things like earrings, cool MTV slang and waaayy too much cologne in an attempt to hook up. (Actually, that last one is saved for the Dating in Your 30s column I’m doing in another seven years…file that one away for now.)

Seriously though, I think there’s an obsession for some people in making sure everyone’s on the path to a house with a 2 car garage, 2.5 kids, a dog and a white picket fence in the front yard. But let’s face it – it’s 2004. Families are much different now, people are living longer and getting divorced quicker and that fence could be made out of chain link with barbed wire across the top as much as white paint and wood. In short, it’s ok if you’re 26-30 and not on the road to monogamy and marriage. It’s ok to not want kids, now or in the future. And it’s ok to meet someone one night, meet someone else the next night and just figure it out as time goes along and the feeling is right.

Here are my general rules/feelings on relationships/dating, complete with the anti-sentiment:

–When you meet someone that you’re interested in, you’ll know it. By that, that doesn’t mean marriage but some people just strike that chord. (Anti: “Who cares? Just ask him/her out and who knows what will happen?”)

–I think there’s a certain comfortability with when someone chooses to call another person. If you get a number and don’t call for a few days, it’s ok. I hate nothing more than being forced to contact someone just because it falls into a certain timeframe of when you’re ‘supposed’ to call. (Anti: “Call within three days of first meeting or call the next day.”)

–Listen to what your friends say. They’re more observant than you think. (Anti: “Who cares what they think? It’s your life.”)

–Finally, it’s essential that a couple live together before getting married. This is a must. If you don’t know someone’s everyday tendancies, why wait until you’re fully and seriously committed via marriage to find out something that might drive you crazy? (Anti: various thoughts. I’m afraid the whole ‘You’ll get to know them” and “Marriage is about making sacrifices” thing prevails here.)

–Finally, pt. II: kids? Sometimes I want them, but most other times, the whole family thing just weirds me out. No idea why…it just does.

Either you’ve stopped reading in horror, agree with what I’m saying or are ready to sign me up for some battery of psychological tests. In any case, these are just thoughts straight from the dating frontline, from a 26-year-old that people keep trying to sign up for duty. Thus far, I’m still in the Reserves and that’s ok for now.

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–Is there any team that has regressed worse than the Chicago White Sox? Seriously, GM Kenny Williams should be fired for essentially making these team a lot worse by continually tinkering to the point of absurdity. He acquires two players – Carl Everett and Roberto Alomar…that he acquired the same way two years ago. If he likes them so much, WHY DIDN’T HE JUST KEEP THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE? I wonder about highly-paid people sometimes…I really do.

–David Spade is in a Capital One commercial. Repeat: Spade is doing TV commercials. When Chris Farley did himself in, he killed more than one career that day.

–Speaking of commercials, is there anything sadder than seeing old character actors doing bit parts in tv ads? Am I the only one feeling bad about this?

–Mark my words: the Tampa Bay Devil Rays will make a run at Jason Varitek. Why the D-Rays? They have a young pitching staff and have some major pitching talent that might break through next season. Who better to bring them along than an experienced V-tek? And if you’re shaking your head, look no further than Detroit and Pudge Rodriguez. If the Sox can’t resign him, expect Varitek to make the “Pudge Effect” on some younger pitching staff somewhere in baseball.

–Saw ‘The Village’ this weekend and it was outstanding. Even more so? The trailer for next summer’s ‘Batman Begins.’ It…looks…awesome. You can find the preview online, so check it, yo.

–I’m working to get an emai list together for when I update the blog, so be on the lookout. Again, spread the site around to three people that have never read it. The more…the better.

Thanks for reading,

nason