Secret Pop

Oct 30, 2005

I think about this loveless fascination.

A tempest of driving and concertgoing. Beulah took me to see Beck on Thursday night. I drove down to San Diego and then, for a number of reasons, drove back up to L.A. later that night. This is an exhausting choice, for the record. Also for the record, Beck was wonderful. But I hate the crowds that Rimac draws. And I am beginning to hate concertgoers as a category. Perhaps even including me.

Saturday afternoon, after a long, long Friday and too little sleep and a nostalgic resurrection of Jane Fonda's Workout Challenge, I scrambled to get my Halloween gear a-bundled. I even made a trip to the wandering Halloween superstore down the street from where I live. But it was a disappointment. It's like a Party City outlet. With fewer costumes than a regular Party City. And fewer mylar balloons. A couple of years ago, on a very hot Saturday, I visited a Halloween superstore in City of Industry I think. It was not a super experience, but it was indeed a superstore. Those overheated, un-air-conditioned warehouses remind me of Guam. On the Navy bases, "Toyland" is a seasonal location. A place that is for some portion of the year and then is no more. Much like these Halloween superstores. And Brigadoon. Toyland would have its grand opening in the fall. And then it would stay open until Christmas. And then it would go away. The grand opening had balloons and hot dogs. And it was a hot, sweaty, complaint-inducing disaster. I remember waiting out in the hot sun for what seemed like weeks. I remember wanting a Lite Brite. And a pink Huffy bicycle. I got both. These warehouses would be hot with large industrial fans blowing. Cement floors and the smell of cardboard boxes. Pallet jacks and personnel wearing trusses.

Anyway, the Halloween store on South La Cienega was a complete waste of time. But it did sort of smell like the Toyland I remember. Only I got nothing that I wanted and someone glared at me in the parking lot.

Hell Bent for Leather

All that done, I packed up and drove down to San Diego again. Beulah took me to see Anthrax and Judas Priest. We encountered the enemy of a good time in the form of a blonde squirt in a Staff Pro jersey with a military haircut and an overexuberant love for the rules. But Rob Halford is indeed a Metal God. Still. He is also a man who owns a stunning number of coats.

When I arrived in San Diego, I realized that I had forgotten one of my bags. This happens to me frequently. It is maddening. The bag I left this time had all my shoes in it and a number of crucial cosmetic items if I am to wear any of the costumes I might be able to cobble together out of the portion of my wardrobe I brought down (all of it). When I did this in December with orchestra shows to play, I ended up having to do a number of shopping errands and spending hundreds of dollars trying to replace the items I already own but hadn't been smart enough to bring. This time, being between projects and just generally fearful about whether I will taste poverty again before we set the clocks forward, I didn't want to have to try and re-buy all these things I already own. So after the concert and after a brief visit to Brians', I left Beulah and sped up to L.A., grabbed my bag, changed into something warmer, and then sped back down. That's three trips in one day. And five trips in three days. That's nuts. On the way back down, Highway Patrol was running a traffic break to allow for time to clean up what looked like it had been a nasty smash-up. Once I got past it, I revved back up to nearly 100 mph, I being not one to believe in portents. I was tired, though. And I could completely imagine driving into a wall or another car. I'm just glad I didn't.

The Final Frontier

I brought my iPod with me on the trip back. The trip up had been somewhat lacking in entertaining songfare. I was glad I did. Having the right soundtrack makes all the difference. When I hit that no man's land stretch of the 5 between San Juan Capistrano and Oceanside, I was nearly alone on the road. The only thing to look at were the white reflectors (people in the industry call them "bot dots" -- and by "the industry," I mean the traffic safety industry, not the entertainment industry; I have no idea what James Cameron calls them) on the highway, speeding past me like in Night Driver, a game I always preferred to Pole Position. One of the (good) tracks from Star Trek First Contact came up in the shuffle, and I had a gruesomely geeky swell of elation and I could sort of pretend I was navigating my Honda through outer space, the reflectors looking much like the stars do when one pretends to travel faster than the speed of light. I dream of having that far to go.

Efficiency Expert

I took something like 1300 photos at Lucha Va Voom on Wednesday. 728 of them are posted on my flickr account. Eventually, some portion of them will find their way onto the roundup page. But for now, if you were to want to see them, you could go here. This all reminds me of how much I continue to fall behind in the words I plan to write, the pictures I plan to post, and the promises I plan to make good on. Such reminders make me frown.

This is your eighth grade gym teacher Mr. Baumann.

I reset the clock in my car while I was driving and it became 2 a.m. for the second time. The other clocks are networked and reset themselves. I'm glad for the extra hour. Perhaps it will help me to not miss the four or five hours I wasted in unnecessary back and forth, or at least to miss them less.

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