Month: November 2007


A passable substitute

Decidedly not the Daily Show, but a pro-writer parody:

Usually when I have to deal with work stoppages, it’s putting up with pro sports: fighting between billionaires and multimillionaires. It’s not people taking care of their families or picketing arenas — it’s guys trying to figure out how to pay for the 3rd house in the Hamptons.

The works of these people entertain millions and make billions… Asking the corporate masters for a bit more cash isn’t a crime… Especially seeing these are the people doing all the work in the end (making shows, movies, etc watchable).


One time of year I always love is when I have to depart from the sunny and just-too-damn-humid climate of Tampa Bay and wind my way to the original sprawl-town-USA locale of Los Angeles — which has actually started to go back to the concept of rail transportation and it makes getting around a snap compared to Cars-only-screw-pedestrians Tampa Bay. The trip takes place in the fall as part of my annual checkup and ABI tuning at the House Ear Institute near downtown LA.

I’ve stayed the last few years north of the Mid Wilshire center, not quite Hollywood, not Downtown, not Wilshire and not that great a hotel but it worked in it’s simplicity. This time around, I pampered myself and stayed downtown at the Westin Bonaventure. I haven’t stayed at a hotel that nice before and a three star rating from certain online travel companies seems cruel. At any rate, the location is extremely centralized — blocks away from subway access, shopping, Union Station (Flyaway is a blessed thing) and what not. It was a bargain compared to my normal hotel – so I paid a few extra bucks to stay there.

What I didn’t take into account was being out of shape in my post-op condition. I also didn’t take into account my unfamiliarity with the building would lead to blood, pain, and embarrassment.

2400 miles from home without anyone to hang out with – I go stumbling around the Galleria in the first few floors of the hotel and try to find a skybridge to other buildings and there shopping offerings.

Cuz what else are you going to do when you’re bored and have a little cash to spend besides shop?

So I find this exit to a skybridge — whoo hoo! — and start walking down a long corridor with skylights. I ignorantly think I am on the skybridge itself (the Bonaventure has several and ALL are uncovered) when in fact I am walking beneath the pool deck/patio of the building.

So I come to the end of that hall and find a pair of double doors saying thank-you, leaving-the-hotel, blah-blah-blah…. I can see a flight of stairs down and a flight of stairs up a short distance in front of me. I swing those doors open and walk a few steps — never observing the two steps down immediately in front of me.

Anarchy ensues.

I tumble and smash my face into a concrete-ornamental-edging at the side of the wall. I wither and moan in pain. I’m shaking, I’m bleeding, I think I’ve broken my nose.

2400 miles from home, no family in the greater Los Angeles area… The gimp-with-a-limp has worked himself ineptly into a fine mess.

I try my best to collect myself. Standing up — no, more like staggering to my feet. I get my bearing and see those stairs I missed, I also see the blood all over my hands and mutter a whiny “Oh shit” in response to this. I stagger up those steps back to those doors I mentioned… I find them locked from the outside. Imagine that.

Looking back, it feels like an eternity trying to decide what to do — go upstairs to who-knows-where or down to street level? I chose the former as to the latter and I find the pool deck of the hotel. I’m too shook up to really know if anyone who I passed spoke to me or even acknowledged me as I walked back to the hotel with blood flowing from my nose.

The fallout of all this is me walking bloodily to the lobby and asking for help, and the hotel springing to action to take car eof one of their customers. I appreciate the hell out of that but I’m stille mbarassed by being there while a convention was gathering and people checking in and out and what not. Of course, hotel security took care of that by getting me behind closed doors and takign care of me…

Probably the most anecdotal happening in LA in my time visiting the City of Angels on my lonesome. This would only have been better with company

East Lake Class of 1997

OK, so lets start with soemthing short and undetailed: I graduated high school ten years ago back in June.

Yup, that’s right, it’s been ten years since the summer of 1997 — when the Spice Girls were still somehow relevant, when that little probe touched down on Mars and shocked and awed the US and the rest of the world (OK, that was July… I’m just referencing the past here).

Well, next week will be my 10 year high school reunion from what has been announced over and over again to registered alumni on MySpace. Some people are out of this world excited about this. On the other hand, I had a former classmate tell me in person (and I am paraphrasing here) “I don’t want to see those people.”

Me? I’m the latter but at the same time, I’m a bit of the former. I’d love to see or talk to some people that I knew and were friends with again – touch base and what not…. Then I remember how odd High School was for me socially: not the normal variety of High School awkwardness that most go through but try being hearing-impaired to a grand extent on top of it.

This is where I should insert a colorful anecdote or two about social awkwardness without ones hearing — like thinking someone asking me if I worked at Publix was asking me if I supported abortion, or the time someone simply asked if I was going to a homecoming dance and I had no clue what they said and just guessed they wanted paper — but I’d rather not. Besides, both those aforementioned encounters were with people above and below the Class of 1997 and this is supposed to be about those people.

You know, over the years in my online endeavors, I’ve hoped to come across some of my friends or past acquaintances by chance and sometimes less by chance and more deliberately. I’ve hoped to hear from some people through this web site or through some of the alumni directories that I’ve been registered with… But mix in the social ineptitude from my high school days and you don’t have that happening.

That’s why darling, it’s regrettable, that you are so god damned forgettable…

On another note, I had someone else contact me on the night of their ten-year high school reunion…. Someone I hadn’t heard or seen in close to 19 years… An old classmate and friend from my childhood on Long Island (who was taking the same position as I — not attending her reunion). So my cynicism about people not getting in touch with me over the past does get muted just a bit from that. Not just that but it made me feel better knowing I wasn’t, ahem, so “god damned forgettable”.

east Lake’s graduating class of 1997 was somewhere around 700 — give or take — and only 75 are committed to the reunion. Me? I’ll be in Los Angeles and on a jet plane home during the reunion events next weekend – so nix the idea of me and my shadow being anywhere near this.

Of course, I’m not sullying those who are attending or those who wish to attend…. I’m not trying to knock high school reunions in general either. I am trying to point out that sometimes, the link to a past you didn’t enjoy isn’t going to be popular. And me as a link to the past tends to be highly unpopular.