Random Ramblings

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The California Adventure -or- The Beach Boys are full of it

Not really sure where to so I guess I’ll have a title for each day and a few random thoughts about the day. First off let me say the weather out there is beautiful. Even me the old sweaty one didn’t break a sweat the entire time. As long as you are near the coast it doesn’t get much hotter than 75 degrees ever.

Tuesday…Get Away Day -or- My lone brush with fame
We (me, Nate, my mom, who is the official family latcher on) had the first flight out to LA on Tuesday morning so we had to wake up real early to get out there. Getting through security was really no big deal. I did see a girl on the plane reading a book that Clay Aiken had written a book. I can’t imagine what could be in there the story of how he became an androgynous pseudo pop star? I was in full on Passenger 57 mode by the time I got on the plane thanks to flying in a post 9/11 world. Nate watched the movie Sahara on the way out there and I just read a little and took a little snooze. Once we got to LA and got our bags we had to go out to catch the shuttle to the LAX Radisson. While we were walking to the place to get the bus I had my lone brush with fame. As we were walking I saw this dude with like freakishly huge arms. Then I looked at his face and though, “Hey I think that’s someone famous.” Then I turn around again and notice a tattoo he has on his forearm and I know the guy is WWE wrestler Chris “The Masterpiece” Masters. http://www.wwe.com/superstars/raw/chrismasters/profile/ He’s like a mid-carder guy and he was flying back from Cleveland where they had Raw the night before. Anyway I got a picture with him (forgot the autograph what can I say I’m slipping) and BS for a little bit. He says that he lives out there and was heading home. I wonder how many times he gets noticed since wrestling isn’t as big as it was a few years ago. Then once we get to the hotel and get the car we decide to head to Hollywood and do the Walk of Fame and the Chinese Theater.
The whole Walk of Fame is a little skanky, not really a bad part of town or anything just dirtier than you would expect it. There were a lot of gimmick shops and lots of tattoo parlors. In front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater there are a ton of tourists and others pushing their wares. There was a guy in a Spiderman suit who Nate ripped into because the guy had regular gym shoes on. Admittedly it was a pretty shitty looking Spiderman. Hearing an 8 year old rip on a pseudo-Spiderman is just funny. I only took pictures of two stars on the walk. Kevin Costner and Ted (Bushwood!) Knight, there are a ton of folks on the walk who I had no idea who they were. Never saw the Elvis star though…did see a crappy Elvis impersonator though. Something I found funny was there was a guy dressed as Superman and he was talking to this lady and the guy knew his entire acting resume. He was telling her he’d been in 14 films and so on and so forth…..yeah and now you are trying to get folks to give you a couple buck to take a picture of you in your Superman costume.
Apparently Scientology is HUGE out there. I saw two Scientology buildings on the walk and took a picture of one of them. Maybe they like the seediness of the Walk of Fame. Well I can’t comment anymore on this or Tom Cruise will accuse me of being glib. I did take a picture of one of the buildings and on the way back past the building they were handing out flyers.
There was also a guy handing out bottles of cold water on the Walk and his deal had something to do with religion. All I could think is who in their right mind would take a bottle of some random guy on the street. Who knows maybe its just me.

Wednesday...San Diego and Nate the Pest
Wednesday morning we head down south to go to the Padres/Cardinals game on Wednesday night. On the way to San Diego the highway patrol had stopped traffic on the freeway and was swerving slowly back and forth across the 6 lanes slowing traffic. Come to find out they were repairing part of the freeway. Weird stuff since they were only repairing small little cracks in the pavement for about 250 feet.
Once we got by the highway patrol, we stopped at this roadside rest stop that looked over the Pacific and got out about 35 miles north of San Diego. When we got out we saw these animals that looked like squirrels except they were a little smaller and the tails were shorter and not as bushy. We were talking about there creatures and then my mom asked this guy if he knew what kind of animals they were. The guy says “beach squirrels”, I know they were really squirrels but you had to believe they were because this guy said it so matter of factly.
We stop in Oceanside which is right by Camp Pendelton so we can go in the Pacific and screw around for a while before we get to San Diego and the game. Oceanside is really nice and had a real good beach and was pretty clean. We played in the ocean for a while and then headed to San D for the game. Its day 2 in Cali and still haven’t seen any “California Girls “, damn you Brian Wilson damn you.
When we get to San Diego we are waiting outside the ballpark to get in some San Diego news station was there and I asked Nate if he wanted to be on TV. I told him to wait until the light on the camera went on and go behind the girl and to hold the sign he brought with up behind the lady. The sign said something like “All the way from Chicago to see the Cardinals.” Nate then takes his position waiting for his chance to get on TV like he’s hunting something down. The lady does her live shot and he runs up and who knows if he got on TV. The reporter then wanted to film some stuff for the later newscasts because she was talking to random people hanging outside the ballpark…..and of course Nate was trying to get in the picture everytime she tried to talk to someone. She talked to one lady and then another guy and Nate got behind the guy and actually said “woo hoo!” The reporter then was trying to get Nate to leave her alone so she walked down the block away from where we were standing. In all Nate provided some entertainment for the people waiting to get in the game and a San Diego news personality got rattled by an 8 year old. I tried to find the name of the reporter off their website but couldn’t locate it. I can tell you she was with KFMB the CBS affiliate down there.
Petco Park where the Padres play is pretty nice by all accounts, its got a cool whiffle ball field out in right field where Nate played a bit. They also have a sand box in center field and from their gift shop you can step out right beyond the left field fence and see the game. For whatever reason they didn’t have too much stuff with the Friar logo on it and that peeved me a bit. Nate did get his picture with the Friar mascot though after chasing the Friar around for a few innings.

Here’s my thought from Wednesday-California’s freeway system is in better shape than the Illinois tollway system yet it costs nothing to drive on it. Sure they don’t have the winter weather to tear up the road and need repair but they are free to drive on.

Thursday…Santa Monica and the human circus
Thursday we decided to hit the beach circuit north of LA and go to both Santa Monica and Venice Beach. Before we hit the beach in Santa Monica we walked around their little shopping area which was nothing spectacular The beach at Santa Monica has a nice boardwalk with a little amusement park on it. The water in Santa Monica had more vegetation in it than the Oceanside beach for whatever reason. At the Santa Monica beach we rented a board so that Nate and I could do some boogie boarding like we did in Florida. Nate seemed to catch better waves closer to the shore than I did a little farther out. Now Nate is the family boogie boarding champion. Venice Beach is like a human circus. There are a lot of different folks out there along the beach front selling almost anything, there are also Hare Krishnas too. The same gimmick shops that they had on the Walk of Fame are also on Venice Beach. Seems you can get a tattoo where ever you want to in California. Venice Beach is also famous in my mind because back in the day Hulk Hogan said he would “hang and bang…brother!” on Muscle Beach which is part of Venice Beach. I had to pick up shirts for fellow wrestling marks Jason and Joey because they were so over the top. There are a lot of homeless people in both Santa Monica and Venice. I guess if you are homeless there are worst places to be.

Friday…Chinatown and back through H’wood
We decided to stop in China town because its generally an interesting place to check out. They had a few places that sold black market stuff and Nate was happy he could get the entire family from the Incredibles movie for only $8. They are actually pretty good looking knock-offs of the licensed Disney stuff. We saw the standard fake Louis Vitton bags and a so forth. What was one of the highlights of the day for me was seeing a store with a gigantic white cock on the top of it, it was a live poultry store. We also saw a fresh fish store with a whole ton of live fish you could buy. We were unable to find the store that was selling Gremlins though. After Chinatown we rolled through Hollywood and Rodeo drive just to see if anything was going on.

There’s a weather guy in LA named Johnny Mountain. I wish I was making this up, check this out. http://cbs2.com/bios/local_bio_136211938.html/ I sort of wish he was an Indian and his forecasts could be like this, “Johnny Mountain feel LA valley need much rain. Me do rain dance and rain fall on San Fernando valley.”

On Friday night I found the most entertaining news cast I’ve ever seen. KCOP http://www.upn13.com/ which is the UPN affiliate out there has a news cast for adults with ADD or those with a love of filler stories from other news casts. First off the channel had the hottest news anchors of any LA news station (there a 5 different networks with news casts ABC,NBC, CBS, UPN, and Fox). The anchors didn’t have a desk and delivered the entire news standing up. The guy anchor was in a suit and the female anchors were in things they could have worn out to a club later in the evening. Every story had a running time of I’d say one minute to a minute and a half before they moved onto another story. This was like news for the incredibly stupid or for those who have attention deficit disorder. On the half hour news they did real news for about five minutes and the rest of the 30 minutes seemed to be those stories that normal news uses as filler at the end of the news. They had a story about a wolf with a toothache and a rhinos birthday 15 minutes into the newscast! Into the first break of the newscast they played Avril Lavigne which should make anyone sick.
They do this thing on the newscast where they read a story and then “Stamp It”. They would stamp stories controversial, cool, amazing, or something along those lines. I couldn’t find any pictures of the two anchors besides the one on the UPN link about. The chicks names are Maria Quiban and Liz Habib. I wish they had a newscast like this in Chicago because it would be without a doubt good for some laughs. Chicago still has better anchor chicks than LA does as a whole.

Saturday…Dodger Stadium
Saturday we went to the Dodgers/Cards game which the Cards won. Nate didn’t get to hassle any news crews unfortunately. Nate really really wants to make it on the big screen at a sporting event. The kid can dance as well as his dear old dad…..almost. He’s got the butter churn down pretty well and busted it out at the game. Dodger Stadium considering how long its been open is in pretty damn good shape. From watching games on TV it seems that the stadium is far from LA but its just one little hill from the freeway so its deceiving on TV. We saw the set ups for the upcoming X Games at the Staples Center on the way to the Dodger game and purchased some black market knock off Dodgers hats before we got inside the stadium. LA loves black market merchandise!

http://www.airtahitinui-usa.com/ has hot stewardesses. They must have a deal with the Radisson we were staying in because I saw them pretty much every day we were there. They speak French so its not like I could (or would even try to) talk to them but they were for sure hot.

Sunday…the reason the rest of the world hates us
We headed up to Malibu which is north of LA and from my observation the whitest place on earth. The entire time we were in Malibu we saw two people that weren’t white. First off we went to this outdoor art festival in town. Lots of paintings, glass blown stuff (lucky glass), and jewelry. Then we decided to head to a car show that we saw a sign for and check it out. We didn’t get robbed in LA until we got to this car show. We get in line to go in and $60 ($25 for adults & $10 for kids) we were in the place. This car show was obviously a high brow affair if the admission didn’t tell you already. Just a massive display of people who get into pissing matches as to who can spend the most money on a vehicle. I did see a Maybach though which was cool. The folks at this car show were everything that I hate about people. I told Nate if he ever becomes like the people at the car show I’d disown him. What a bunch of phoniness that was happening there. Made me want to go home and wash the filth off of me. In one day we say the whitest place on earth and the reason the rest of the world hates us! We stopped at this little roadside greasy spoon and I was going to get a shirt with the emblem of Malibu on it and put “The Whitest Place on Earth” under it but they didn’t have my size. Then we head back to the hotel to get ready to head home.

What did I learn on this journey?:
1. The abundance of hot chicks in Cali is way overstated so the Beach Boys are obviously full of it. The hottest female I saw the entire time I was there was a LA cop working at the security checkpoint at the United terminal

2. I need to wear sun block more often. I got friggin grilled in the two days that I was in the sun full on.

3. California is a little phony as a whole

4. In N Out Burger rules.

5. San Diego news folks can’t take an 8 year old hassling them.

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