Sunday, November 21, 2004

The Westin Bonaventure

This is the closest I’ll ever come to living in a space station.

Thanks to Priceline.com I’m spending my last two days in L.A. at the lovely Bonaventure hotel in downtown L.A. and the place is cool and terrifying and bizarre and comfy.

First of all, it’s in downtown Los Angeles, which is pretty much a ghost town from 5pm Fridays to 9am Mondays. You drive through abandoned streets and then turn mid-block right into the building, as if you’re pulling off a docking procedure. The parking ramp takes you down to the valet area, you get out of your car, and you don’t set foot outside until you check out.

The first four floors of the hotel are in an open-air atrium and contain a shopping mall with clothing, jewelry, and specialty stores, along with a food court, health club, and I’m sure there’s a movie theater around here somewhere. Each level winds around the four main towers, you can look up or down at the other levels, and it’s a like a larger version of the Deep Space 9 promenade.

When you take the glass elevator to your floor you climb through the atrium gaining enough speed to burst through the glass ceiling a la Wonka’s chocolate factory, then you scale the outside of the building looking out onto the vastness of L.A. as you ascend to your floor.

It almost feels that if I stepped outside, my body would depressurize.

My room is small (not a lot of room on space stations) but it’s comfy, with luxury amenities crammed into every corner, and there’s a t.v. with cable stations feeding me the latest news from Earth.

I better check the weather channel, my flight leaves tomorrow and I hope my reentry isn’t delayed.

Friday, November 19, 2004

L.A. is a nice place to live but I wouldn't want to visit

I’ve been out here about a week now and I’m having a good time except for the fact that I’m constantly reminded I don’t have a place here. More specifically: a place to park.

When I set up this trip, I arranged couch space with friends. We true rock stars keep it real by staying on couches and eschewing those wimpy luxury suites. We true rock stars also forget that L.A. is one large parking lot, and if you don’t have a spot, you ain’t welcome here.

My cool, hip and trendy friends live in Hollywood and West Hollywood, and they all have reserved spots at their apartment complexes. Figuring out if you can park on the street around here requires more reading than a first year law student. I saw a twenty-foot stretch that had 6 different parking signs posted in it.

I even saw a sign at the beginning of the block that read: “Warning, you are about to enter a permit parking neighborhood. Please read all signs before parking.”

That’s right, it’s a parking sign warning you to read the other parking signs. It’s like the emcee of parking signs. “Our first sign this evening comes to you from our street sweeping department...”

Why doesn’t it just read “abandon all hope, ye who park here.”

When I get a place out here I’m sure I’ll love it, but I don’t know what I’ll do with the hours not spent circling the block.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The Blue Collar Comedy Tour

I have it on good authority that the producers of the Blue Collar Comedy tour have just shipped the show to Mexico. Replacing Larry the Cable Guy, Jeff Foxworthy, and Bill Engvall will be Lorenzo el Maquinista, Jaime Santiago, and Ernesto Lopez.

It's a sad day for the tour's fans but the producers needed to move the show to where America's blue collar jobs are.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Happy Election Day

Well, I hope everyone out there is going to "rock the vote" or "vote or die" or whatever the kids are doing these days. I've been saying lately that I'll be glad when this is over but who knows if it really will be over soon after what happened in the last election.

If Kerry wins, I'm sure the Republican party will go after him as visciously as they went after Clinton. Let's face it, the Republican Party is just plain mean. I'm not saying republicans, just the people running the party, their pundits, their AM talk show guys. Mean, angry bunch of people who would shout down their own grandmothers at Thanksgiving dinner in order to keep her from making a point.

If Bush wins, well, we don't have to worry about the RNC going after the Dems, we can just look forward to four more years of stunning victories in Iraq, prudent energy policy crafted behind closed doors with the CEOs of oil companies, and a leader of the free world who has to pause every time he's about to pronounce a word with more than three syllables in it.

Seriously, listen to the man. "I think that's another one of those... exaggerations."

At any rate, have fun out there voting, kids.