After sponging off and doing a complete costume change, I hopped in the car and spent 20 minutes trying to get on the 105 E. This is something that ought to only take 3 to 5 minutes, but I detoured to get gas and tried an unfamiliar approach. The entrance ramp was blocked off and a giant flashing sign announced:
Expect Loud Noises
So it took a bit of squirreling about to find an onramp that wasn't closed through the confused and therefore clogged up traffic. Sadly, I did not see any film crews, car crashes, or chases.
On the drive, I managed to get in a call to my grandma to say thanks for the birthday card, and "Happy 5th Anniversary". She was in good spirits and was planning to get dressed up to go out with Pop, my step-grandfather who treats her like a queen. Probably to have lobster.
The drive took me to the Brea mall to meet up with another Suz fan at a booksigning. (I have not yet been to the La Brea tar pits, but it's on the list.) It looked really far on the map, and required 4 different freeways, but traffic was fine and I got there before Candace Hern and Suzanne Enoch packed up and left. They were chatty and happy to sign and sell books. I got a nice picture of them being all smiley. And I realized that CH is selling the 3rd book of a series that I wanted to read, having been impressed by the first Merry Widow novel, so I wound up with the whole set. Where I will put them is an open question. I'm going to have to purge some of the current stock. Like at least a third of it.
After doing a little impulse shopping, my friend and I went out for what is most accurately described as the "Early Bird Special" dinner hour. And being the weekend of my birthday, she let me choose Red Lobster as the venue. Between not getting lobster in Boston this trip, seeing the TV ad, and talking to Grandma, I wanted lobster. It was good enough, and we enjoyed both dinner and talking about books and authors. We both found Force of Nature to be a very satisfying read, but were still able to discuss it. I often find that when people hate a book, the discussion can go on indefinitely. But when people like a book, they say very little, even when coaxed. So this was fun.
I incorrectly thought that the freeways might clear up during the dinner hour and spent a while going very slowly on the 5. Until I noticed an exit that one of the dates let me know about which leads into downtown LA and is actually faster than taking the freeway sometimes. It was this time, and I didn't have to be stuck behind trucks carrying barely secured mattresses, an added bonus. So I got a little rush of "hey, I know how to do this!" and headed home.
I've been picking up, repotting plants, getting ideas from my Domino magazine (which recommends a taupe paint that might work for my LR) and watching TV. I surfed around and found Pulp Fiction in time for the great line: "I'm sorry baby, I had to crash that Honda." But now Karen MacAloon's new show is on and with Lisa LaPorta, is one of my 2 favorite HGTV designers, so I have to go.