Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Diving Right In

I had four and a half days in LA before I started my new job.

That’s not much time.

I had a lot to do.

Day One

  • Escape NYC snowstorm
  • Arrive Burbank airport, haul winter coat, Trader Joe’s shopping bag with the broken handle, and two heavy rolling suitcases (one ripped) while wearing winter boots to pick up rental car
  • Drive to Target, spent $300 on bikinis, sundries, and housewares
  • Meet with leasing agent, get keys to furnished room to sleep in until mattress arrives
  • Unload car
  • Drive to El Carmen, find parking
  • Eat tacos. Drink margaritas.
  • Sleep. Very little.

Day Two

  • Wake up with the birds
  • Meet new employees. Drink too much coffee.
  • Eat amazing lunch at Huckleberry. Get a blueberry ciabatta to go.
  • Go furniture shopping in the Valley.
  • Return to Target.
  • Home Depot.
  • Wander around Carmax to get a feel for used cars.
  • Agonize over Friday night traffic from Burbank to Beverly Hills.
  • Shower, change, makeup, get back in car.
  • Date night. Dresden Room, Tiki Ti.
  • Drink.
  • Sober up.
  • Kiss goodnight.
  • Sleep. Much too little.

Day Three

  • Wake up with the birds.
  • Starbucks for wifi. Forget to order decaf. Only 30 minute parking. Onsite security alerts me to almost flat tire.
  • Free air from mechanic at gas station.
  • Starbucks for more wifi. Order second cup, decaf this time.
  • Wait for friend to wake up for car shopping.
  • Get really hungry.
  • Brunch at Royal T Café. Squirt sausage juice all over t-shirt. Order cookie, but there are no cookies to be had.
  • Miller Honda. Great.
  • Miller Toyota. What?
  • Carmax Inglewood. Not as good as Burbank.
  • VW Santa Monica. Test drive pre-owned Jetta. Not for me.
  • Marathon drive to Burbank. Past Burbank. Way past Burbank. Backtrack on the 5.
  • Carmax Burbank. Test drive Nissan Sentra and Toyota Yaris. Both too wonky, but hard to tell circling the parking lot.
  • Honda North Hollywood. Wait, those are motorcycles.
  • Robertson Honda. Test drive Fit. Love it. Salesman tells me I’ve picked the wrong car because I can’t afford it.
  • In-N-Out Burger across the street for dinner, protein-style. Nearly lose it waiting for the food to arrive in the cold.
  • Worry my car, left in the Starbucks parking lot, has been towed.
  • Reunite with my car in Culver City, drive home to Beverly Hills.
  • Shower, wash hair, change.
  • Sparkly sweater, walk uphill 1.2 miles to the Sunset Strip.
  • Mache salad and divine cocktails at The Eveleigh.
  • Get mistaken for Zoe Deschanel.
  • Make eyes at the bartender.
  • Meet the off-duty staff from BLT Steak next door, chat, charm.
  • Get walked home partway by one, all the way by another.
  • Kiss goodnight. Fireworks.
  • Sleep.

Day Four

  • Wake with the rain.
  • Starbucks.
  • Movers.
  • Unpacking.
  • Shower.
  • Honda Hollywood. Leave after only a brief conversation, without test-driving anything.
  • Drive aimlessly
  • Return to Miller Honda.
  • Negotiate lease for the Fit, the car I was told I couldn’t afford.
  • Call friends for positive reinforcement.
  • Sign papers.
  • Freak out.
  • Burger, mushrooms and Albariño at Father’s Office.
  • Sleep. Kinda.

Day Five

  • Wake with the birds, clean up crash pad and head to my own apartment for good.
  • Unpack. Break down boxes. Wonder where the recycling goes.
  • Pay rent, return key to furnished crash pad.
  • Beverly Hills City Hall for parking permit. Marvel at how amazing my hometown is.
  • Sneak into Beverly Hills Public Library to use free internet. Realize it’s only free if you carry a library card. Sign up for one. Feel giddy.
  • Drive 100 miles into and throughout the Valley furniture shopping, from Westlake Village to Burbank to North Hollywood back to Woodland Hills, hitting three Macy’s along the way.
  • Settle on the first couch I saw that day, at the third Macy’s I visited.
  • Hair did in Studio City.
  • Crap. Nail salon across the street closes at 7.
  • Home. Change. No time for shower.
  • Walk to the Sunset Strip for drinks and lobster salad at BLT Steak, where the bartender invited me to come visit him. Wonder if it’s a date if one of us is working. Hang around like a groupie til closing time.
  • Head next door to The Eveleigh and wait for bartender to finish closing. Flirt with another bartender. Snack on truffle fries from the guys sitting next to me. Give them my card.
  • Feel drunk and abandoned, decide to go home alone.
  • Meet first bartender on the way and walk home together.
  • Kiss goodnight against wall in empty apartment, over the stairwell railing.
  • Panic I’ll start my new job sleep-deprived and hung over.
  • Collapse into the Murphy bed for what little sleep I can get.

And so begins my new life…

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