Friday, May 27, 2005

L.A. Impressions

I think I've finally recovered from my trip to Los Angeles enough to write about it! I was down there May 7th through 14th. This was my first real trip back to Southern California since June and I left there in 1989.


Well, it seems to me that they have not repaired any of the freeways since I was last there. They have gotten very, very ratty.

Governor Ah-nold is on TV all the time. I don't know who's paying for it, but every single commercial break on every channel has at least one ad with him imploring the populace to "Help me to fix Calli-fawn-ya."

During the day, you can get a break from soap operas by watching one of the many car chases live on TV. This has become such a big draw that the TV stations compete with each other for who covers car chases the best. Some stations have equipped their choppers with HDTV cameras, so you can get a really good look at the perp when the cops shoot him. And yes, they will definitely shoot him. If there's anything they understand down there, it's the importance of the "money shot."

More than half the broadcast TV stations are non-English, particularly in the UHF band.

Not that I actually spent much time watching TV. I spent the majority of each day hanging out with my 87-year-old Mother-in-law, running errands with her, and swapping stories. She's a terrific person, and I'm glad I got to spend so much time with her at the retirement home she lives in. He home is in Alhambra, which is south of Pasadena. Alhambra has become a largely Asian community in recent years, and at one local market I was able score some rather rare Chinese spices for June to use in cooking (which, of course, benefits me directly!).

In the evenings, I got to visit with some old friends from my LA days. It was very interesting to me that -- almost without exception -- each of these folks seemed to be at or getting close to a turning point in their lives. These are all people who are very special to me, and it was a wonderful gift to be able to spend time with them, share a few laughs about the old days, and catch up on what's been going on in the last few decades.