Zero Hour Approacheth

Trip Start Sep 15, 2006
Trip End Oct 10, 2006

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Flag of United States  , California
Friday, September 15, 2006

MOOD: Anxious
SONG STUCK IN MY HEAD: "The Funeral" by Band of Horses
LAST FOOD CONSUMED: Pria Chocolate Peanut Crunch bar, proceeded by gumbo, sweet potato chips and corn muffin at Farmer's Market at 3rd and Fairfax at 9pm

[NOTE: The Travelpod directions for first time posters is the following: "Try to include information about interesting places you visited, funny stories or any other tid bits that other travelers can benefit from rather than a straight log of what you did on a given day ( ie: 8am - had cup of coffee )." I did the complete opposite in the below. I'll try harder for when I actually get this show on the road.]

And so here we go again. My place is a wreck as there's piles of stuff, I'm exhausted and doing some serious procrastination on the packing, which is my usual pre-flight mode -- my flight is at 7pm and I plan to leave for LAX at 3pm. I'm worried about the costs of this trip but throwing caution to the wind and hoping my credit cards can play catch.

As I only bought my ticket Monday, I suppose my anxiety and ill-preparedness can be somewhat excused. I've been working with a pretty good To Do list, and I hope that I make it into an Excel checklist for the next time I set off on a big excursion. But I don't think I'll ever actually get a good night's sleep before a flight.

After spending almost all of this Summer of Unemployment on my ass in front of the computer and TV (usually simultaneously), I've been a busy bee this week. Tuesday alone I:

--went to the post office
--bought a travel book for Spain at the West LA AAA
--bought rubber sandals at the Sports Authority
--got a new watch battery at my HS buddy Mark's mom's watch shop Tell-Time on Olympic and Sepulveda (I haven't even talked to Mark in, like, 6 years)
--bought new walking shoes, insoles and socks at Adventure 16
--met Sue for lunch at the Outdoor Grill (their BBQ salmon is the best cooked fish I've had in recent memory)
--went to CompUSA to look into making my travel computer wifi
--got a short haircut for the road at George's at Sepulveda and Jefferson in Culver City
--bought a new comb at Sally Beauty Supply
--dropped my mom's but she wasn't home so I took her ancient dog Mills for a walk and of course cleaned up his poop
--went to the bank to get emergency hundred dollar bills
--went back to AAA, this time the Culver City branch, to get traveler's checks and to look into suspending my auto insurance for the time I'm gone (didn't happen)
--bought an electric scooter for my dad to replace the car that he reluctantly sold due to his fading eyesight (he paid me back)
--went to my landlady's to drop off next month's check and got invited in for the first time and we had a nice chat
--brought dad his scooter. As he struggled to put it together, he had me watch Keith Olbermann's rant against Bush and the WTC site on tape, and afterwards I flipped to the Dodgers losing a 5-0 lead to the lowly Cubs and eventually lose in extra innings. Oh, I also spent 45 minutes navigating the hell that is AOL customer service for him.
--started laundry at a laundromat
--picked up mom and went to dinner at Hu's Chinese in Palms
--picked up laundry

And that was the most activity I think I've done all summer.

Meanwhile, Wednesday I needed to go to Pasadena to pick up my paper ticket for Air India (I know. Air India to Germany. Weird, huh?) and, since I'd waited until 4pm to get going, decided to take the Wilshire bus to the Red Line to the Gold Line. (I know. A Los Angelean with a car taking mass transit. Weird, huh?) I was all set to make it to the travel agency by the time they closed at 6pm when I realized at 5:40 that I'd gotten on the express train which would skip my stop. So I got off on the stop before, which was two stops away, looked at the passengers getting off with me, and hoped that I'd find a kind soul.

"Excuse me, is Lake in walking distance?" I asked a business casually dressed man.
"Well... it's about a mile."
"Hmm," I replied. "Is there a bus?"
"Uh... I don't know, but I've got my car here and can give you a ride."
"SCORE!" I thought to myself.

(Thanks again, Jim!)

And so it began: my good traveler's luck, a couple of days early.

Later on the way back, I decided to eat at my favorite place for fish burritos, La Estrella, which is only a couple blocks from the Highland Park Gold Line stop. I called Gary who lives nearby if he wanted to join me, and he instead invited me to the traditional Silverlake Wednesday BBQ, which I hadn't been to in years. Also coming was Melody, who as it turned out had lived in Spain. So I soaked up all of her great info, writing it down on a piece of paper which I proceeded to leave behind at the BBQ. Gary begrudgingly drove me back and then dropped me off at Union Station, where I sat on the lip of the darkened Metropolitain Water District fountain on the station grounds and surreptitiously drank the pint can of beer that I snuck out of the BBQ before making my way back home. Ahhh, a good beer buzz.

Okay! It's 4:30 and I've been writing for 50 minutes. I'm catching my third wind so it's time to pack. Or continue organizing my iPod, one of the two.

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monkeyduck on

Farmer's Market
You CANNOT beat The Gumbo Pot at Farmer's Market. Cafe Du Monde coffee, beignets, awesome shrimp and oyster (combo) po' boys....

And since I don't expect to find such abroad, this is why my last meal was there. (Well... until 5 mins from now when I go get a Breakfast Burger at Carl's Jr. There goes my culinary street cred.)


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