Southern Cali Trippin’

I went back home a few weeks ago and it was great, but I have to admit that it didn’t feel like home so much. A few months in Chicago have already distanced me from twenty-seven years of living in the California sunshine. I do not own a car anymore, so I found myself completely out of my element driving my brother’s compact and taking the public transportation. I felt like the Missing Persons song, “Walking In LA,” was totally the soundtrack to my visit. Other transportation news: the Culver City to Downtown LA Expo Line opened while I was there. Maybe, when I decide to move back to Lalaland, they will actually finish it. Eh.

I spent some time with coworkers, friends, and almost got into a fist fight. I hung out in Little Tokyo. Ate at Curry House downtown and later, with friends at Simpang Asia in Palms. The highlight of my trip was driving to Santa Barbara by myself and really trying to push the limits of a Hyundai. I went up the coast to reunite with old college coworkers and friends at a radio station that I used to work in (sleep in occasionally). It has been almost ten years, and the funny part was that most of the people that I would see day-to-day for two years didn’t recognize me. I would go up to them and say “hi.” They would start talking to me, then they would pause to look at me for a minute. A few seconds of silence, and they would freak out. Maiya, my GM at the time, said that she was used to seeing me clad in all black. I guess I look “normal” now. I’m not the skinny, punk kid of days old. Still awkward. Not quite thin. Wearing colors now. I’m sure they would have recognized Nico Pitney without the birkenstocks/white socks combo that he was sporting in those days.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the mayhem.

Happy Thanksgiving

I am really thankful that I had the opportunity to see many of my friends and former coworkers this week. It’s hard to round people up, but I’ve been fortunate to catch up with a few of the friends who matter to me. I am also really grateful that my health has improved since last year. The RN called me with my latest blood results, and I’m way better. My dog will be going to Chicago with me, so I have another reason to celebrate.

Now, let me tell you what I am not grateful for this season. I dislike the fact that I was in Whole Foods yesterday, and I couldn’t walk through the aisles. I am slightly ticked off that they didn’t have the wild rice that I got last year. Now, I look forward to cooking an alternative, gluten-free meal with my vegan brother tomorrow. I am lucky that we create meals that actually end up tasting amazing every year, but I don’t understand how we never write down our creations. For example, we have no idea how we made the Marmite-mushroom gravy that even the meat eaters on the table couldn’t get enough of. That’s frustrating. In the spirit of the stress, traffic, and hard work that comes with bringing people together, I raise my glass of Beaujolais Nouveau to you. Sitting down at a big table and being gluttonous for one evening makes it all worthwhile somehow.