Braving LA has been a learning experience. Learning, like exercize, kind of hurts and kind of feels good, at least while it's in process. I've had highs and lows -- realizing I'd been walking for an hour and I couldn't get through the way I wanted and I'd have to turn around (a low), and finally getting there after walking two hours (a high). Walking back another time when I knew how long it was and didn't have my heavy luggage and coming through UCLA and down Sunset was a high. Today, even though I got no sleep last night and little the night before, I had energy to check out the pool and exercize areas of the hotel and discovered the general shop/breakfest nook/coffee bar. It's kind of a narrow slot, so when I first saw it I thought it was some kind of employee area/storage thing but I walked past it on the way to the pool. It opens out to the pool with seating on the outside in a little bar where you can presumabily get served the single beers they have in their cooler. The whole building being round makes things interesting. Discovering that nook was a high point. Last trip, eating at the top floor resturant, even though it was expensive, was a high. Going back and getting free breakfest served to me by an insanely well-mannered man in formal dress was another high. (This is the Hotel Angeleno in Los Angeles if you're just tuning in.) A low was when I was getting ready to head out here, and my bank had my money tied up, and the credit card company wasn't making my payment available, and I had no gas money to head down here, having to borrow, and then discovering that the motorcycle's headlight was out was a low. Last trip, finding the Santa Monica Blue Bus route 14 that shoot straight from the hotel to the office was a high but discovering it stops running at 7pm was a low. All last visit, every time I got on one of the 14s, they had no schedules and I was too stressed out, tired, and overloaded to print out a copy of the schedule (and set up the printer and...), but I finally got one, and I'm clinging to it. Now I know when I have to leave the office to catch the bus. Getting food poisoning last night and waking up sick and puking after not having gotten any rest (and having horrifying dreams, partly induced by reading Netslaves 2.0 on the bus ride down... I want to kill myself now...) was a low point. I'm so up and down, for such very strong reasons, that it's insane. Last trip, I was down after I drank and smoked too much and got really good and sick, but being taken out for beers was a high.
I don't know what to do with myself. All of this stimulus is making me feel like a different person... like I left my old life behind, with all of its good and bad -- everything I love and everything I hate -- and I have only my corpreal form, my computer, a few books, and a few changes of clothes. Different occupations, different projects, different city, different places to go, different people... and the prevailing attitudes are contagious. It's hard because I've done this before... no, not easier. I know how much work it is to assume a new identity and learn a new culture. And this place is even less like Minneapolis. In Minnesota, if you're unhappy for some reason, people take extra interest in you. Here, if you're happy about something, they try to shoot you down. No one is happy here; they're either "irrationally exhuberent" or else they just kind of have their asshole in a knot. Most people have their asshole in a knot. They don't like the irrational people. If you're happy here, you have to be one tough cookie. People are trying to bring you down -- or else they don't give a damn that anything they do might happen to bring you down. The spreading-happy-vibes thing is still here but it's gone undergrown. Small cliques of people the same age (but somewhat straddling race) support each other and reinforce each other's passions; they hang out, chill, smoke up, do crazy shit, etc. People seem to be very much into their personal refuges -- their patio gardens, their Yoga (especially), their home decor (to an extreme degree), and such.
The brown haze hovering over the city you saw on 70's shows set here seems to be gown. The air moves enough, it seems. Phoenix has a lot of extremely still days, often back to back, and the smog just builds up. I'm away from down town, out way in West LA, and traffic seems to be tolerable. I wouldn't want to live in the burbs and commute in here. I suppose traffic is fine if you live and work in downtown Phoenix.
That's all for now... must work very hard to concentrate on existing projects, clients, friends... and not too easily get detached from my life... my real life.