Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Bride Freak Out: FAKE!!!

Are you one of the millions who watched the video of the bride getting ready in her hotel room with her bridesmaids, who then freaks out about her hair and cuts it to shreds? If not, here, watch:

Then you are also one of the millions who thought, "There's no one in hell anyone would do something that dumb on their wedding day?" That's because she didn't, at least that's what the super sleuths at Torontoist have discovered. Here's the link to their article with some more information:

http://www.torontoist.com/archives/2007/01/famous_youtube.php

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Nothing To Sneeze At

Okay, I'm late to the party on this one, but Heather told me about this video today, and then I saw it on laist today. Enjoy:



Bless you!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Heather's Show: Dancing at Lughnasa

Heather's show, "Dancing at Lughnasa" (by Brian Friel), opened last night at Theatre West, and it was great. For those who don't know, Heather's one of the leads in the show and she was fantastic. One of the critics who saw the show last night pulled her aside to compliment her performance. (Although, that same critic did have some notes on her shoes in the first act. Very amusing.)

Heather and her castmates originally performed the show for a festival weekend at Theatre West in July, and the show went so well, and the response was so great, that they decided to give it a full run. The run began last night and it will go until March 10th.

Whenever you go to see a show on opening night, you expect to see some flubs, some flaws, and maybe some of the kinks still being worked out. But because they've already performed the show for the festival and have worked on it for months, "Lughnasa" seemed like it was a well-oiled machine. You couldn't see or sense nerves from stage. Everyone on stage seemed very comfortable and familiar playing their characters. You can see that all the time and energy they've put into this show has payed off.

If you live in LA and you haven't gotten a mass email from Heather or I about it, this is my way of pestering you. If you have gotten the email from me, then this is my way of saying, "Don't forget about Heather's show!"

Here's a teaser from the rehearsals:



For more information on tickets, showtimes, and all that, go to:

http://theatrewest.org/lughnasa.html


Congratulations, Heather!

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Joys of Being Temporarily Retired

I just finished my latest job on Friday, and it was a great experience, but, as every freelancer knows, it's the dreaded period where you have to find your next job. Sometimes your next gig comes out of nowhere immediately, and other times, it takes weeks and months of searching, networking, and scrambling until you land that gig.

Some people call this period "unemployment," while those who have their next gig lined up call it a "hiatus." I prefer the phrase, "temporarily retired." It just makes me sound less lazy and more like a man who doesn't take a job for the money, but for the art. That's actually not true, I will take a job for a lot of money, but it sure is nice when you're working on a show you like, too.

Today is day one of "temporary retirement" for me, and for those who aren't freelance, it's always the weirdest: you wake up at a normal time, but instead of getting ready to work, you realize that there's no work to be ready for. So you lay in bed a bit later, maybe fall asleep for a few minutes, and even read a few pages in that book that's been sitting in mid-chapter for the last three months.

When you decide to get out of bed, it's a new world out there. Suddenly, you can shop at Trader Joe's mid-day without the awful traffic in the parking lot. The apartment's shared laundry room is empty and that pile of stink that used to be clothing can finally be washed. Every show on Tivo is just begging to be watched.

The best part, though, is that you can have a beer with lunch. It's not a habit I want to indulge in every day, but for day 1 of "temporary retirement," it's okay. So for lunch, I've poured myself a delightful glass of New Belgium's "Sunshine" beer (courtesy of Patry) and it tastes so much better than it would at 8pm tonight.

So, to those still at work, I toast to you, and I hope you all will toast to me when you're on your hiatus, or unemployment, or whatever it is you want to call it.


Here's to "Temporary Retirement!" Cheers!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The First Los Angeles Trip: 10 Years Later, The Final Entry

Here it is, the final entry from our trip across country. It's really been amazing to re-read about our trip and hear from those of you who were on the trip as well. It was amazing how a bunch of us bonded and had such a great time. I guess that's what a trip across country will do to you.

Thursday, January 16, 1997

10:30PM: Here I am, finally settled into my apartment in LA. When I last wrote, we were in the mountains and it was snowing. Right after we got through there, they shut the road (I-15). We finally got to our apartment complex, checked in and had a quick meeting. For the first three days we’ve been here, it rained.

We went to a Vons Supermarket, where everything is so expensive, almost double what it is in Ithaca. Every time we go down the road, we pass right by Warner Brothers Studios – really sweet! Anthony Carbone saw Ned Beatty in a supermarket the first night we were here.

On Monday and Tuesday night, I partied at Patry, Mike, Mike, and Mather’s apartment and then down at the girl’s apartment. Last night, a bunch of us went to the movies to see Ghosts of Mississippi at Universal City Walk. The movie was awful. We also bought tickets to see Star Wars re-released at Mann’s Chinese on the 31st.

Today, I had my American Film Class, which should be better than the Fiction Film Theory I took last semester. I also made some calls about internships. I have my fingers crossed that I get an internship on “Wag the Dog,” Barry Levinson’s latest film with DeNiro and Hoffman, although, I don’t think they really need the interns so badly.

I’ve got a meeting with someone from a place called Grindstone Productions on Monday. Willer went in to intern at KABC news and loved it. We’re going to Universal on Sunday, and on Monday, a couple of us are going to Santa Monica to hang out while Mikko interviews with Oliver Stone’s company. That would be great for him.

I’m used to the time difference now…and the weather, now that it’s stopped raining.

Back to 2007:

The semester in LA was a great experience. While our friends remained in Ithaca, freezing their asses off, we hung out at the hot tub, bbq'd nightly, and went to every tourist attraction we could get into with a discount:

Willer
got closer to Hasselhoff than his restraining order should allow him:


We hung out and met people who dressed up like Star Wars characters:

And eventually, Ithaca began a hostile takeover of Hollywood:
Oh yeah, and I guess we worked some too. Either way, for those who were on the trip, I hope you enjoyed reliving our day-to-day silliness as much as I did. I remember all of you worrying about what I was writing in the journal, but really, it ended up being a lot less damning that it could've been. Except for the part where Patry yelled out, "Larry!" That was pretty bad.

The Only Clip of the Golden Globes I Needed To See

I didn't watch the Golden Globes last night because 1) 24 was on, 2) they're boring, and, 3) since they were on a tape delay, I knew who won and who didn't before they aired here.

The only thing I wanted to see was Sascha Baron Cohen's acceptance speech. It's as good as I thought it would be:

Sunday, January 14, 2007

An Evening With Lost

Last night, Heather and I joined Evan and Erin for "An Evening With Lost" at the TV Academy. Evan had given me the heads up about it before I even got an email from the academy about it, so we were able to RSVP before it sold out. Thanks, Ev!

The details of the panel were a bit sketchy, so it was to our surprise that most of the cast, and big named producers showed up. The panel was: Matthew Fox (Jack), Jorge Garcia (Hurley), Josh Holloway (Sawyer), Daniel Dae Kim (Jin), Evangeline Lilly (Kate), Yunjin Kim (Sun), Dominic Monaghan (Charlie), Emilie de Ravin (Claire), Michael Emerson (Ben/Henry Gale), Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond), Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliet), as well as Executive Producers J. J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse, Jack Bender, Bryan Burk, and Jeff Pinker.

The night started with a preview of the episodes coming up, and included (slight spoilers, I think):

  • Sawyer and Kate running on the beach, away from the Others who are chasing them.
  • Juliet on the walkie saying (I think) "Get them and bring them back. Kill them if you have to." (Paraphrasing - my memory is a bit muddy)
  • At one point, Sawyer is held at gunpoint by "Mr. Friendly" (M.C. Gainey) and Kate runs in to help him.
  • Desmond standing on the beach, looking confused, staring off into nowhere, and Hurley is confused. Suddenly, Desmond runs off into the ocean. As everyone chases him, confused, they realize that someone is floating in the water. Charlie looks around, asks, "Where's Claire?" and runs in after Desmond. The two walk in with Claire in their arms, unconscious.
  • Jack is back in his cage, and there's all sorts of people hanging around his cage - they seem familiar to him - almost like ghosts from the past, from what I could tell - and he shouts at one of them.
  • Someone tells Jack that someone died and that someone will die to pay for that death. They live "an eye for an eye."
  • Alex Rousseau is in an office talking with Ben/Henry Gale. She's pissed and he says that her boyfriend is in a cage. She calls him Ben, and he says, "I told you not to call me that." She says something to the effect of, "Okay, DAD!"
  • Bai Ling walks into a bedroom (which appears to be in a foreign land) barely dressed. Jack is in bed (covered with mosquito netting). Bai Ling hops into bed with Jack and they start making out, then end up on the floor.
  • Desmond says, "No matter what, you're gonna die!"
Whoa! It was pretty rocking! Then the panel began. Everyone looked exactly as you'd imagine, but Evangeline Lilly looked totally cleaned up and was so hot, it was ridiculous. A few things from the panel (some of these facts are already known, but some are possible, small, slight spoilers, and I've noted when they're done):

(SPOILERS BEGIN)
  • In the next few episodes, we'll learn the meaning of Jack's tattoos, which are apparently important. They're also actually Matthew Fox's real tattoos and they decided to write those into his character.
  • We'll also learn how Locke got into his wheelchair in the next few episodes
  • Cheech Marin will guest star as Hurley's Dad.
  • Apparently, the Others once had a way of communicating/getting off the island, but we're going to learn why/how they no longer have a way of getting off the island
(SPOILERS DONE)
  • The DUI/character deaths were all totally coincidental. Michelle Rodriguez only wanted to be on for a season, and apparently, they knew that she'd be killed by Michael very early on. Adewale Akinnouoye-Agbaje (Mr. Eko) only wanted to be on for a season as well.
  • Matthew Fox read for Sawyer, but J.J. Abrams said, "No, you're Jack!" and had him read for Jack in a writer's room after handing him script pages right there and then.
  • Yunjin Kim read for Kate, but after finding out about her huge movie career in Korea, they wrote Sun for her.
  • J.J. Abrams saw Jorge Garcia on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and liked him so much that they had him come in a read, despite not having a part for him. They made him read for Sawyer and then wrote Hurley.
  • When they were looking to cast Desmond, they looked at auditions for tons of people in NY and LA. They found Henry Ian Cusick when they expanded the audition to London. The ironic part was that Henry Ian Cusick was house-sitting next door to Executive Producer Carlton Cuse at the time, but it took his audition tape from London to get him noticed.
  • When they cast Michael Emerson as Henry Gale, he was told it was going to be a three-part guest spot. Initially, he was just supposed to be a prisoner of war, but, producers decided that if he was good as Henry Gale, the part would get much bigger. Since he was great in the role, they kept him on and made him the leader of the others. If he had sucked, he would've had a three episode guest spot.
  • They're still talking with ABC about coming up with an official time to end the show, so that way, the fans know that there is an endgame.
  • They know where they're going with everything, but don't tell new writers until they trust them.
  • A lot of characters have father issues (Jack, Sawyer, Kate, Hurley, Mr. Eko, Sun, etc.) and that was planned out. They felt a lot of these characters needed to have extreme issues and that bad fathers were a good way of warping these characters.
  • Someone came to the producers and wanted to create "Lost" bathroom tile
  • The cast is in the dark as much as the audience is and were very curious to hear many of the answers from the producers. They all know that they could be killed at any moment, and were hoping to learn anything they could.
  • When killing off a character, they're doing it for the sake of the character. On the days they shoot a character's death, they all said that it's a sad and somber feeling, and that when someone comes back "from the dead" to shoot a scene, it's very awkward.
  • The polar bear they used in the pilot was actually a prop. Apparently, they couldn't get a polar bear in Hawaii for the pilot, so they ordered a prop polar bear. The bear was used as the Labatt's Polar Bear in commercials. When they got the prop, they were severely disappointed because it was only a piece of a polar bear and it looked awful. They somehow made it work, and now I want to re-watch the pilot to see how they shot around it.
  • They did discount one crazy theory: That the show was seen from the dog's eyes
  • They're all really funny and seemed to get along very well
  • Jimmy Kimmel is clearly a fan of the show and continuously, jokingly, grilled for anything. He was very funny, and at times was going for a joke instead of probing. I didn't mind, but Evan was a bit bummed that he didn't get into some more of the nuts and bolts of the show a little bit more.
Overall, it was a great night. We didn't really expect to learn too much new info, but, they were very entertaining, and, let's face it, it was cool to see most of the cast (good guys and bad) sitting together on a panel. Now I can't wait for the show to return!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The First Los Angeles Trip: 10 Years Later, Day 8

We're almost there...the end of a journey, a journey where boys became men, where girls became enemies with the men, and where men were super cheap and farted a lot. There's still one more entry in a couple of days - I didn't write in the journal again until after we spent a few days in LA. So until the 16th, you'll just have to remain on the edge of your seats, just waiting for the finale.

Monday, January 13, 1997

Las Vegas, NV to Los Angeles, CA

10:29 AM: Only 278 miles to LA. Last night in Vegas was a good time. We went over to Circus Circus to eat at the $5 buffet. We got there, paid, and as we were waiting on line to get food, Mike went back to the hotel because he was worried about the stripper thing and how he would feel responsible if someone did come and break into our room. We all loaded up our trays, and as we sat down, Jen B. decided that the food looked disgusting and she couldn’t eat. Well, I must say, she made the right decision: the buffet was awful. The gravy tasted like ass. The only things that were good were the ice cream and the drinks. The place was loud, hot, and looked like it hadn’t been redecorated since 1974.

After we ate, we went back to the hotel and got some rest. Mike was waiting in the room and had taken the phone off the hook and was very paranoid about every little noise he heard. I kinda feel bad about it, but at least he didn’t miss a good meal (oh, he got his money back from the buffet).

After resting up, all of the guys, Dawn, Bonnie, and Michelle went out to walk the strip. The two Jen’s skipped the walk and decided to sleep. We went back to Treasure Island, then to the Mirage, where we watched the “volcano.” This is where Willer made a very inappropriate joke about a hot girl who was standing nearby, but didn't realize that Michelle was standing right in front of him and heard it. D’oh!

We went into the Mirage and I played some slots. I won $1.50, but ended up losing it quickly. Bryan and Bonnie hit it fairly big: $10 each.

We walked around the lobby and saw Sigfried and Roy’s white tigers. Then it was over to Caesar’s, and we hit the mall again, but this time, we saw some indoor laser light show. These statues move and talk and there’s some laser effects done on the ceiling. It was really corny – reminded me of Disneyland.

After wandering through the casino, we went back to walking the strip. As we were walking, Dave, Mike, Mather, Michelle, and I got separated from everyone else. I guess we were just walking a little bit faster than them. We went ahead, figuring we’d meet up somewhere on the strip or back at the hotel.

We saw the brand new casino, New York, New York. It’s pretty nice for a replica of NYC (Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Statue of Liberty, etc). They just opened up a Motown CafĂ© last night, and Hasselhoff might’ve been there. Dave couldn’t believe it! He was hoping to run into him, but it was not meant to be.

We crossed over through the MGM Grand, and rested our incredibly tired feet before heading back to our hotel. Due to construction on the sidewalk, we had to walk through Harrah’s: how convenient that the detour goes right through the casino.

We stopped at a McDonald’s on the way back and Dave was excited to try their pizza. It looked just like a frozen pizza to me, but he gave it a big thumbs up.

After all of us got back to the hotel, and since none of the other guys were back yet, the four of us took the beds. It was about 1am, but felt much later, so we all pretty much passed out.

This morning, I woke up from the sound of Mike’s 21 gun/fart salute. Each morning, like clockwork, he just farts like a machine gun. The other 3 guys were asleep on the floor; they had come in around 2am. I guess they went to a few casinos, but lost all the money they won. Patry got carded in a casino twice. The first time was in Treasure Island, much earlier in the day. He went to get change and they carded him. I guess at night, he was watching Andrew play when security came over and asked if they were 21. Dave was honest and they were asked to leave. That blows! They did get served drinks at the MGM Grand and walked around the strip with their drinks.

Vegas is interesting. We did see a prostitute in one of the casinos – very easy to spot, and amusing. The phone book had pages of ads for adult entertainers, which was basically like a porno mag in the midst of the phone book. Plus, there were tons of people standing on the sidewalks, handing out porn ads. Very strange.

We left this morning for LA. When we got to the California border, we were in the Mojave desert: absolutely nothing to see.
That’s the other weird thing about Vegas, it’s in the middle of nowhere. Anyway, as we drive through the Mojave, it started raining really hard. Then, we headed up this mountain, and it starts snowing and hailing. Our first time in California and the first thing we see is snow. Real fucked up.

Seriously, this is California:

Friday, January 12, 2007

The First Los Angeles Trip: 10 Years Later, Day 7

Vegas, baby, Vegas...the funny thing is that when we went to Vegas, no one was saying that, mainly because "Swingers" hadn't come out on video yet, so no one had seen it. Out of the 12, I think only 2 were 21 at this point, and the rest of us were 20, so Vegas was a playground that we barely explored, mainly because security was on our ass quite a lot (more on that tomorrow). This entry does have my favorite picture in it...it's a diagram I made to remember an incredible moment of discovery on our trip.

Sunday, January 12, 1997

Kingman, AZ to Las Vegas, NV
104 Miles

1:30pm: We’re in Vegas now. Last night, we played some Egyptian Rat Screw (NOTE FROM 2007: It's a card game for those who don't know) and went to bed. Before we went to sleep, Patry was getting into bed and hit his head incredibly hard. Very funny. This morning, we went to the restaurant next door to the hotel for breakfast. Everyone encouraged me to get the buffet so they could see me puke again, but I didn’t. So much for peer pressure.

We took off for Vegas and all we saw were deserts and tumbleweed tumbling across the road. We hit Hoover Dam, which was cool to look straight down. Andrew and I tried to roll pennies down it, but they pretty much just flew down.
We also discovered something else at Hoover Dam: If you try to spit over the edge, the wind is so strong, that the spit won’t go down. Andrew spit off the side, and it started going down to the bottom, but the wind took it up, and it flew over our heads, over the sidewalk, and onto the street. It was the coolest thing. Here’s a diagram:
(NOTE FROM 2007: This is the actual diagram from my journal)

This was quite a discovery. I gave it a shot too, and it worked. Dave witnessed both. A highlight of the trip. After that, we left the damn and drove to Vegas.

Plotting the drive to Vegas:
We got to Vegas and got a room. We’re off the strip in a motel. The Panthers lost to the Packers in the NFC Championship game. Bryan and Jamie wanted to watch the Patriots play the Jaguars in the AFC Championship game, so Andrew, Patry, Mike, and I decided to walk around. We went to the convention center to see the Consumer Electronic Showcase, but didn’t see too much because we didn’t have passes (although we got some free crap).

Then, we walked over to the strip. We stopped at Treasure Island and played a few dollars on the slot machines. I ended up losing two dollars. Then it was over to the Mirage, and then to Caesar’s Palace. At Caesar’s, we walked through this mall that was part of the hotel. As the mall ends, there’s a few slot machines, so Mike started to play. A security officer came over just as Mike was finishing and Andrew was sitting down to play. The guard asked for ID and it was a good thing Andrew was playing because he’s 21.

We walked back to Treasure Island to watch an outdoor show, but it was cancelled because of bad weather. Las Vegas is very interesting. The 7-11 had sparkling lights – very cheesy. You walk around and people hand you pamphlets of porn. It’s crazy. The casinos are cool. We went into one of the areas for sports betting and everyone was watching football. We’re going out tonight – where, I don’t know.

Mike called a stripper and asked for rates. The stripper asked for information, so he gave out our hotel name, room number, and Patry’s name. D’oh!!! Now we're all freaked out that the stripper and her pimp will come, break into our room, and steal all of our stuff.

We’re very hungry and waiting for Dawn, Michelle, and Bonnie to get back. They went out to the Mall. Earlier, when we were walking around the strip, we saw them sitting in the car at a red light, but they didn’t notice us. Andrew walked over to their car to hand them a porno pamphlet. When he knocked on the window, Bonnie nearly shit her pants. Really funny. We keep seeing signs for Sigfried and Roy – how cheesy.

Quotes:
One of the Girls @ Hoover Dam: (Half-joking) “I’ll never travel with you guys again!”
Willer: (Under his breath) “Good!”

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The First Los Angeles Trip: 10 Years Later, Day 6

This next entry has everything from drinking to farting to possible bear sightings. It sounds like a summer movie for teens about a camp, but actually, it's just the sixth day of our trip. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 11, 1997

Williams, AZ to Grand Canyon to Kingman, AZ

10:50 PM: We’re now in our room at the Hotel 6 in Kingman. It’s been a busy day. We had a little party last night. Busch was the beer of choice and “asshole” was the game. I started off as the “asshole” for 3-4 games and had to wear the dumb asshole hat. I seem to contract tourette's when I’m asshole because all I did was curse and lose. Andrew and Jamie began to imitate this guy they knew that has tourette's, which sounded like the aliens from “Mars Attacks!”

Willer, Bonnie, Patry, and Andrew:
Dawn, Mather, and Callahan in the asshole hat:
Callahan loves being the asshole:
Mather smiles for the camera. Thanks, asshole:
Dawn in the asshole hat:

Soon enough, we were all pretty sloppy and eventually began to pass out. Willer, Callahan, Andrew, and I slept in the living room. Dawn decided to brave it and crashed with us on the floor and experienced what’s it’s like to be with the guys. She was shocked awake by the sounds we were used to hearing every morning: Callahan’s 21-fart salute, Willer’s big steak farts and the smell!!! She left the room for a moment, walked back in, took a whiff, and made a nasty face. Poor Dawn!

We ate breakfast at McDonald’s, then left for the Canyon. We drove through some real bare land, and after about 45 minutes, we got to the IMAX theatre and caught the Grand Canyon IMAX movie, which was good.

Off to the Grand Canyon. Words cannot describe the sights. It was unreal. I don’t think the pictures taken can show what’s really there. We went to the Bright Angel trail for a while. I was really excited, but as we started going down, it was icy and snowy (and a lot of mule shit was on the ground, too). I began to get scared of the heights (the drop is pretty insane and I do have a fear of heights). I really took my time walking, so I had to catch up with everyone. We only went down about 1/10th of a mile, but it still looked great.

Deciding where to go:
Andrew, Jen, and Bryan were the only ones brave enough to climb off the trail:
Nice hood, Willer!:
Michelle and Patry brave the cold:Climbing back to the top:Patry and Bryan on a ledge:

We then drove around to hit some of the different points. When we were driving around, we saw tons of deer, and as we stopped to look at them, one came within two feet of our cars.


We stopped at “Hermits Cove” and hiked around for a little while, but Bryan thought he saw bear shit and some big prints in the snow.

Just moments before we found bear shit:

So we drove to Hopi Point to watch the sunset – one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen – no exaggeration - but it was freezing out. The sky looked like a postcard. I guess you can’t really describe the Canyon enough to do it justice.

Mather poses for the Heisman as we wait for the sunset:
Michelle and Jen wait for the sunset:
The caravan at sunset:
Andrew watches the sunset:Willer is pensive:

After the sunset, we drove out and stopped for a bathroom break. The only reason I’m writing about this is because at the gas station where we stopped, there was a family of cowboys. The two young boys were in cowboy hats, cowboy shirts, jeans, boots, and had knives on their belts. My guess is they’re not going to grow up to become stockbrokers.

We drove back to Williams to get dinner at Denny’s. Someone suggested that we drive all the way to Vegas tonight. I’m glad we didn’t because after dinner, we drove to Kingman (a two-hour drive) and I was incredibly tired and had trouble staying awake. We’re here now, and I’m ready for Vegas. Hopefully, we’ll do a little gambling.

Misc. Quotes:
“The boy drank throw-up!” –Mike on Andrew’s Rugby initiation where they basically threw up into a boot that he had to drink from
“If we see a bear, have Willer throw his bag at it!” Someone on the potential of a bear attack
“Willer’s on the floor. He’s sick!” -All on Dave’s gas
“My girlfriend’s an anal cleaner.” –Mike’s bad phrasing of his girlfriend’s cleaning habits.
“Don’t they get drunk and shoot things? Isn’t that what they do in Texas?” -Patry looking back at Shamrock, TX being a dry county

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The First Los Angeles Trip: 10 Years Later, Day 5

So we have a quieter day with much less fighting, but the stinginess reaches new levels...

Friday, January 10, 1997

Albuquerque, NM to Williams, AZ
378 Miles

3:16 pm: We’re in Arizona now. It’s been a fairly uneventful day. Last night, Bonnie ended up staying in our room. She didn’t feel like driving back to the other hotel. It was a little crammed last night since there were 8 of us in the room. I got to sleep on a bed for the first time since we left Charlotte. I’d been on the floor for the first 3 nights and finally took the bed. I must have slept well because everyone said I was snoring loudly.

The girls met us at 9:30 this morning and we were out of Albuquerque by 10am. We stopped for lunch at about 12 at a Denny’s near Red Rocks Park. After we ate, we stopped at Red Rocks – really gorgeous. We all carved into the rock, which is actually red clay. (NOTE FROM 2007: We all carved our initials and the date into the clay. But instead of writing '97, I stupidly carved '96...I still wasn't used to the new year yet!)

We got back on the road for a while and stopped at the Petrified Forest/Painted Desert but didn’t go in because it cost $5 and was a 45-minute drive. We need to save our money for the Grand Canyon and we didn’t have the time. Too bad. So here we are, driving to Williams, AZ so we’ll be close to the Canyon. I’m really looking forward to it.

Bryan Driving:
Dave and Andrew:


7:45 pm: Now we’re in Williams, AZ in our hotel. Really nice place with two bedrooms, a living room, and two bathrooms. The mountains were amazing. We almost stopped at a national meteor park, but it cost $7!

Williams, AZ:
Dinner was nice. Andrew and I split up from everyone and at Chinese food. So good. When we asked a waitress what there was to do in this town, she replied, “Well, it’s high school basketball season, so we go to the games.” Very interesting. These small towns are funny.

Random notes: We passed the Continental Divide, so rivers now flow west, not east. There was a cop scare when Willer was nearly pulled over, but the guy in front of him got caught instead. And, Mike called a casino in Vegas and asked, “How much is it to gamble at your casino?” He meant to ask, “How old do you have to be?” but got a bit nervous.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The First Los Angeles Trip: 10 Years Later, Day 4

Wow, after reading this day, a lot happened. There was snow on the road, near accidents, the caravan getting confused and lost, and the division between the girls and the guys gets wider. Also, I think Willer commented on this, but, we were really cheap. I mean really, really, really cheap.

Thursday, January 9, 1997

Shamrock, TX to Albuquerque, NM
402 Miles

2:46pm (Central Time): We woke up at 8am to the sound of knocking on our door. One of the girls came over to ask if we were ready to leave – a surprise to us. The original plan was to leave at 9:30am, but we figured that they were ready to leave so early because they went to sleep at 7:30pm and woke at 5am (ok, that’s a slight exaggeration).

Our hotel in Shamrock the next morning after the snow:
It’s kind of funny to see the rift between the guys and the girls. We (the guys) keep cracking jokes because it seems like all they (the girls) want to do is drive and sleep. We want to be tourists and see the sights. Add to it that the situation at the hotels is becoming crazy too. There’s 5 girls in 1 room. The room costs $40, and each has to pay $8 for the night. There’s 7 guys in the other room. Same cost for the room, so we’re putting in a little less than $6 each. I can understand that they don’t want to pay as much, but they want one of the guys to come over, sleep on their floor, and everyone will pay the same amount per room. In theory, this works, but let’s face it, 1) One guy in a room with five girls would be a bit uncomfortable for that one guy, and, 2) The guy that would sleep in the girl’s room has to sleep on the floor because no girl would want to share a bed with them. If the seven guys buy a case of beer to drink and the girls buy a case of beer of their own, would they ask us to pay extra money for their case as well? (NOTE FROM 2007: I’m glad that my 20-year-old brain could only compare this to buying cases of beer)

When we got onto 40 West this morning, it was covered with a sheet of ice. Dawn got onto the freeway too fast and hit a patch of ice and ended up skidding off the road and into the grass median. They’re lucky they didn’t get hurt – it could’ve turned into a major accident.

To make matters worse, we all got split up. Patry/Mike and Mather/Bonnie were ahead, while Dave/Andrew and Bryan/I were somewhere behind them. Everyone else was way behind us. The first four cars stopped at a rest area and flagged down the others and told them to meet us at the next exit. (NOTE FROM 2007: I think this is the first time that day we drove the wrong way that Willer was referring to in the comments. As I recall Patry/Mike and Mather/Bonnie had stopped at the rest stop. Dave/Andrew and Bryan/I had passed the rest stop, but spotted them and pulled over. I think we then went into reverse up the exit to the rest stop just to meet up with them. The only reason we were able to do this was that there were no cars on the road due to the snow. Moving on…)

We all met up after getting off at the next exit. But as we tried to get back onto 40, when we got to an intersection, for some reason, Michelle/Jen M. made a left turn towards nowhere instead of getting onto 40 West and didn’t turn around. We got on the highway, figuring that they would turn around and catch us. But Dawn/Jen B. were leading us and didn’t slow down for Michelle/Jen M. to catch us. Dave/Andrew and Bryan/I kept a slower pace so they could catch us, but no luck.

We eventually stopped for gas, thinking that Michelle/Jen M. might stop, but as we watched the highway, Michelle/Jen M. drove right by. Dave was really pissed that Dawn/Jen B didn’t slow down so Michelle/Jen M. couldn’t catch up with us. When someone asked what we should do, Dave shot back, “They know how to get to LA…40 WEST!!!” Our next planned stop was the Cadillac Ranch, so Dawn/Jen B. drove ahead to meet Michelle/Jen M. at the ranch.

The rest of us went to an A&W and ate lunch. All was good except for the root beer. It tasted and smelled like ass. None of us could drink it. The ironic part is that A&W’s slogan on their wrappers was: “Our food is as good as our root beer!” If that were the case, then we’d be all puking from the ass smell.

(NOTE FROM 2007: Now, for some music for the next part of the story..."Cadillac Ranch by Bruce Springsteen". This is the first time Springsteen has been preceded by the words "puking from the ass smell.")

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We got back on the road and got to Amarillo (where we saw a sign for the “BIG TEXAN” with a 72 oz. steak challenge, which Mather wanted us to try). Met up with everyone at Cadillac Ranch, which was cool. We looked at it from the side of the road, but it was still quite a ways away, so we hopped the fence to get a close and personal look. There were some cows grazing near the cars, but as soon as we came near, they all walked away. They must be used to it by now.

Cadillac Ranch:
The guys and Bonnie



Patry trying not to step in cow shit:
We drove some more, stopped to mail cards and for Dawn and Jen to get lunch. We eventually got into in New Mexico, which is a lot prettier than Arkansas or Texas. At one point, Bryan was driving my car and fell behind the group, so he sped up to catch everyone, and at one point he hit 105 mph.

It’s now 8:35 Rocky Mountain Time. Dave and I are hanging out in the hotelroom. Everyone else wanted Mexican, but Dave and I got Church’s Chicken, which sells jalapeno peppers individually. (NOTE FROM 2007: I guess I had never seen jalapeno peppers being sold at a fast food place before. They didn’t have many places like that where I grew up in Jersey)

The hotel controversy lingers: the girls got to a hotel before we did. Two of them went in, but a third followed a few minutes later, which made the woman behind the counter suspect something. They confessed that four of them were going to be in a room, but the woman was really pissed off. They had to pay a lot, so we decided to go to another hotel to get a cheaper hotel room. It’s a 10-minute drive away, so once again, we’ve split up from the girls.

The bad news for us: our hotel is in a shady area. There are a lot of signs warning us about locking doors. That really worries me.

(Note: Patry fell asleep before any of us did, and in the midst of sleeping, yelled out, “Larry!” and rolled over, still asleep. Who is this “Larry?” Funny!)

Monday, January 08, 2007

The First Los Angeles Trip: First 3 Days In Photos

I was finally able to get to a scanner to update with some more photos from the trip. So, here are some from the first three days of our trip, 10 years ago:

Day 1:


Dave's Agenda
Since he didn't put pictures of himself as the "asshole," here's Willer with the asshole hat on.
And here's Bryan in the asshole crib...

Day 2:
Graceland
Elvis' Grave
The Memphis Belle
Moments after some of us took a piss in the Mississippi River
Sun Records
Day 3:
Ending the drought of booze after the drive in the snow to Oklahoma.
A typical night of drinking and playing cards.

If you want to see more, hit Willer's website.