Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Plague of Locusts

The parents finally made it in last night, late. From Seattle. Don't ask unless you're loaded for cranky.

We picked up my brother this morning then stopped in Westwood for coffee, tea, and snacks before starting a driving tour of LA. While we were walking around, my brother did a double take and said, "Hey, I just ordered new scrubs from that store last week!". So we crossed the street to say, "hi" at Scrubs Unlimited and both mom and dad found some work shoes with good arches. We briefly drove thru UCLA then down Sunset Boulevard which is a fun winding drive past "star maps" signs. We detoured through the neighborhoods around Rodeo drive where the streets are named after Boston suburbs in order to see the iconic palm tree lined roads and fun architecture. We made it over to Gower to see the Hollywood sign too.

Nearer to the tar pits, we circled around a bit when I confused "Santa Monica Boulevard" with "Santa Monica Freeway" on my sketched map. Probably for the same reason I had problem with Russian. I stop listening (unconsciously) when I think I know what the remainder of a word or phrase will be and start thinking about where to go from there. In Russian, half the meaning is the ending tacked onto the root. The endings just never penetrated that well. So "freeway" vs. "blvd" took me a different map and a pull to the side of the road to sort out where I'd gone wrong - I was trying to stay north of "Santa Monica" when the pits are between the two.

But we made it, had another snack (a piece of multigrain bread dad picked up and put in the trunk), and wandered the grounds where we were nearly trampled by a tour group of 1800 people. Last time I went (and dragged Kvarko with me) we'd had maybe 18 people in our tour - and only one thought that people had planted fossils to lead us astray from God's true word.... Anyhow. I was able to give a reasonable outside tour of the excavations (and ossicles), showed them some pictures from Kvarko's visit (the wall of dire wolf skulls in particular), told them some fun facts (sabre toothed tigers had baby sabers with concave backs so their adult sabers could grow in behind them), and we decided that after a brief gift store visit that we didn't need to go in the museum after all.

One funny thing today. We were driving around and my brother swallowed wrong and started coughing. Mom sent up 3 homeopathic pills to fix coughs and the brother asked what was in them. Dad said, "eye of newt". Mom's answers were all "it helps your cough" or " it's supposed to", so he handed them back with a thanks but no thanks. Then mom went on to tell us how her coworker had a bad dentist visit and was all swollen up and purple in the face and she gave her the magic beans and - at this point my brother interrupted and said, "Poof, her cough was all gone!" Turns out there's some other pill she "routinely" carries and foists on people as of 2 or 3 weeks ago that is good for swollen up and purple, different from the cough one, but I laughed so hard I almost missed my home exit.

Where we walked over to Claim Jumper, vultured a table in the bar, and devoured about half the pub menu like a plague of locusts. (In our defense, the food was really good and a slice of bread with water is not a filling lunch.) For Years and Years mom tried to get us to eat slowly and savor. But all she gets for her troubles is my brother snagging her maraschino cherry, my dad sipping her drink, and me too far away to poach, but too busy inhaling my tri-tip dip slider and fried zucchini and kebabs and heffeweisen to really care. Even if we did get someone to bring us extra cherries and still I didn't get one.

Day One wound up with my brother helping me re-wire my media stand so that my DVD doesn't route in a way that oversaturates the screen so we could watch a movie. yay! I pulled out Love Actually on DVD. (I apparently left the tape "A wish for wings that work" in the VCR last Christmas and it was unhappy about that and broke in there.) Now, they are at the hotel down the street and I am blessedly alone again. Until early tomorrow and even earlier the next day.

So good points were that we were all in a good humor today, they made pleasing noises about the kitchen, we were not stuck on the freeway behind an overturned armored tank (but got to see them re-loading it onto a flatbed from the opposite direction), we found our parking place and bleacher seats for the parade, my DVD player works easily now, I know some cool things to take visitors to, and we laughed out loud.

No comments: