Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Spring Break!

You know, it never occurred to me until about a week ago that I had never really experienced a spring break. Ever. I mean, I'd certainly had them, since I was in school and all. But I was always working, and never really did anything special for them. No trips to Cancun, no massive parties, nothing. I probably did some fun stuff here and there, but nothing leaps out as memorable. Alright, I guess maybe my freshman year spring break was pretty cool, but I'm not going to write about that here.

But that's the great thing about being back in grad school, right? You can pretend you're back in college again (because, really, you sort of are) and relive all the stuff you never got to do the first time 'round. Which, in retrospect, basically just means getting drunk. A lot.

My friend C decided to come down and visit for our shared spring break, so we spent a week bumming around LA. Mostly just site-seeing and bar-hopping, so nothing that would interest you that much. That being said, a few observations:

* I found a dive bar in Hollywood! Right next to the Walk of Stars! Mind you, a dive bar means that a Long Island costs $8, but that makes me kind of happy. On entering, the bouncer asked if we were cops. Apparently, that's more efficient than actually checking our IDs. Even better, though: It's Danny Boneduce's bar! Halfway through the evening, Danny walked in to the bar, much to my friend J's delight, and ordered a rather ridiculous amount of liquor. Coincidentally, my friend L tells me that he attends AA meetings at the theater where she works...

* If your friend has a tendency towards motion sickness and is drunk off of her ass, it would behoove you to not take her on a jaunt down Mullholland Drive.

* Did you know they're filming a Land of the Lost adaptation? Well, you do now. If you watch it (why wouldn't you?), watch for a scene where a bunch of kids run around screaming in the La Brea tarpits. If you look very closely in the background, you should see some very frustrated techies trying vainly to shoo a pair of 20-somethings off set. Apparently, film crews don't like it when random nerds crash the set trying to figure out what the hell they're filming.

* If you want to go out to karaoke in LA (BYOB karaoke! OMG!), make sure you start early. They close at 3:00 AM on weeknights, and it would be a shame if you only got in 6 hours straight of karaoke, like we did. We tried frantically motioning to the clerk that we wanted one more hour, but apparently there's only so much leeway they're willing to extend to a group that persists on dumping booze all over their songlists.

* Security at Disneyland is lax. Make sure you wrap your flask up in a sweatshirt, and they'll never find it. That way, you too can experience Space Mountain drunk off your ass. It's surprisingly more fun that way.

* Addendum to previous bullet point. Most rollercoasters have cameras on them that take your picture while you ride, which you can buy afterward for a ridiculous sum. If you and everyone else in your car makes coordinated, obscene gestures at said cameras, Disney will thoughtfully censor your pictures and not allow you to buy them. Try it!

* Joshua Tree National Park is gorgeous. The hiking is fantastic, camping is neat, and the scenery is amazing. Also, there are a lot of nifty secluded places where other people can't find you.


While drunkenly stumbling around Hollywood at midnight, we stumbled upon the footprints of a couple of my youthful heroes.

My friend L and I, having found a largish Joshua tree.

A Joshua tree by night.


  1. Here are my concerns:

    1) You're wasting away. Eat something, would you!

    2) You're hanging out with a rough new crowd. This Danny Bonaduce character is up to no good with his liquor and reality tv shows!

    Just promise me this, Joe: I won't turn on the local entertainment news one night to find your headshot among the cast of "The Hills."

    (Oh, also: I am so totally jealous of your awesomely fun good times!)

  2. Karaoke is a separate reality. Time extends. Time slows. The mind elongates and contracts, suddenly filled with newfound conviction that Total Eclipse of the Heart is a pop masterpiece. A pop masterpiece that you yourself are capable of singing. The liquor works its way into your receptors of good taste, disabling them. The songs are all masterpieces, your own throat a thing of gold that can produce celestial melodies rivaling those of Meatloaf or Cher, your ears incapable of detecting even the slightest crumb of audiophonic imperfection.

    This place has different rules, different laws. You know what they are, but you cannot name them. You intuit them and feel them through the cold drops that form on the exterior of your glass of inexpensive beer. You sing Avril Lavigne and Eminem without shame. You suddenly find yourself to be an Oasis fan. What is shame? Your friends' efforts are worth nothing less than applause, and drunkenness has stolen not only your reason, but the musical taste you've worked so hard to cultivate. You sing The Red Hot Chili Peppers. What is musical taste? You don't know what irony is. You don't know who the Fiery Furnaces are. Celine Dion becomes akin to a goddess. Who are Broken Social Scene? You don't know what irony is. What is indie? This is not inexpensive beer, it is only beer. What is irony? You sing The Red Hot Chili Peppers. You know the laws, but you cannot name them. What is shame?

    Joshua Tree looks beautiful, by the way.

  3. sonicllama, very well written. And extra entertaining because he did in fact sing the Chili Peppers. Good ass times. Wish you would have been there!


  4. Sydney: Wasting away? Eh? Also, if you think Danny Bonaduce is rough, well guess what? I just went and saw Stephen Hawking talk tonight. Man, that guy's deadly with the nunchuks.

    Llama: You are exactly right. I do admit to trying to sing a White Stripes song at one point, until I was angrily cut off by C, who declared that we would have none of that Indie-rock snobbery around here. Well, OK, so he just didn't know how to work the machine. But I choose to view it as the Karaoke gods smiting me.

    Christina: I sang that Chilli Peppers song because it was the first song Llama sang when we did Karaoke together. Seemed like a good starter. Good memory, though!

  5. You sang RHCP in memory of me! I feel so touched! Thank you.

    Nifty to hear about the Stephen Hawking-ness. Glad you lived through his nunchuk assault.

  6. Wait - The White Stripes are indie? I don't think that's true any more. I can't really imagine singing a Fiery Furnaces song. Would that just involve shouting out some random story with a synthesizer playing in the background?

    "If you're looking for trouble, you've found it." - Stephen Hawking on the Simpsons, in what has to be one of the greatest cameos ever.

    Sounds like you're having a great time in LA!

  7. Nah, they're not indie at all. They're the closest I could find, though.