It's been three weekends in Los Angeles now. Three weekends of making calls [to same five people I know here]. Three weekends of looking for the action. Needless to say, the action has not been found. And the futile attempts at its discovery are costing me $3.50 a gallon. Friday evening began with a subpar dinner at Hal's in Venice. Nothing sets a bad tone for an evening like tofu with an identity crisis. Was it Mexican? Was it Italian? Was Hal's attempting to revolutionize the culinary industry with a new kind of MexItal fusion flavor?
Down the street at The Brig, talk turned, as it often does when conversation's stilted and spirits low from multicultural tofu, to the weather. The weather, in this instance, being a devastating hurricane and all. One wouldn't think discussion of Katrina might turn to controversy so much as it would inspire awwwws and yeah, it's just really, totally sad. But in Friday's crowd of opinionated youth, it became, of course, debate. I was of the opinion (as most of us are, I think?) that a hurricane which literally drowns government and punishes those communities that already live on the margin by leaving them in that margin to die, is a fucking travesty. That is fucking devastating. A city is devastated. Families are devastated. I mean, I am bloody f-ing devastated, reading about it in the New York Times every day. Most of you won't find much cause to counter this sentiment. But on Friday night, at The Brig, surrounded by Venice eclectics all there to have a good time, someone indeed found a bone to pick with my seemingly innate empathies. I believe the response was...wait, get this...(and I will paraphrase here and leave out details of context so as to earn your support through bias) It's their fault. No, this was no right-wing Christian Conservative spouting such absurdities. This was a fellow alumni of one of the most liberal universities in the country. Long story short--because to follow the dialogue that followed between us would be infuriating for both you as a thoughtful, sensitive audience and myself as a still heated participant in the debate--no conclusion was met, but I left the table with a higher sense of moral righteousness than I had entered that Venice Beach bar with. And because conversation can only seem anticlimactic after a stellar adrenaline rush like that, I knew there was no more fun to be had at The Brig that evening.
Cut to a gym visit, boring bar and many meals later, I spent my Sunday at the UCLA Extensions Writing Faire, a day of free writing seminars, sponsored by the school to lure you into its Writing Program. The trick, of course, is to project the idea that there is to be 'something' for 'nothing,' while professors speak in panels and awkwardly stumble over rehearsed mentions of the program's merits and answer every query in Q&A by implying the answer is to be found...where else!...in the classes which you can take for only $500, Visa, MasterCard and American Express accepted on your way out. For what is was worth (and I don't know for a fact that it was actually worth the $8 spent on parking) I was made to feel productive with my day. A day spent engaged in Los Angeles culture. An attempt to partake in the social hemisphere outside my loft and the Whole Foods and the gym. Learning--I wouldn't claim to have done any. Networking--eh, not really. But I made a [temporary] friend, ate onion rings for lunch with the excuse that there was literally no alternative, and saw the UCLA campus, a must-see in any decent Los Angeles self-guided tour.
So, from my weekend I gained: knowledge of one restaurant in California I should not visit again, a sense of moral superiority, and finally, the confidence that I am, in fact, a better writer than many other aspiring writers. (The latter I know now to be fact. I met quite a few of said others today.)
Hoping your weekend was as fulfilling as mine, I'm off to bed.
Kisses * Jessie