Sunday, October 24, 2010

Half Price Drinks

We drove up to what one SF-dweller of my acquaintance called the Seventh Circle of Hell yesterday - otherwise known as LA. The major reason for the excursion was the imminent emigration of my mate Mick Farren, who is heading back to Blighty. However, he promises he will keep up with his blog and his live performances from his new digs in Brighton.

Mick Farren
Mick Farren

The Citadel
The Citadel, an Assyrian outlet on the I5

We ambled up the I5 at such a leisurely rate (stopping at a CPK for a Thai Pizza or two, plus starters) that we only got to our first destination, the Museum of Jurassic Technology, a couple of hours before it closed for the day. I hadn't been for a few years, and it's expanded greatly, with some major new displays which I can only describe as 'of the kind that the MJT is famous for'. You really have to, like, go, to get the flavor of it. They now have a tea room, in which I had some very nice tea from a samovar, served by a young lady who appeared and disappeared mysteriously behind a curtain and in some respects resembled some of the exhibits. Outside the tea room we particularly admired the oil paintings of the heroic canines of the Soviet space program.

Los Angeles
LA from the freeway

In the shop I bought a musical box operated by a punched roll, like a player piano, except that the rolls are blank and it's sold with a hand punch, so you can make your own music. I also got the first non-diabetes inducing set of rubber stamps I've seen in quite some time, the Pictorial Webster's set, with snails and shells and seahorses and swallows and stags and some things that don't only begin with S.

LA telephone poles
Historic Route 66 - in LA, it's festooned with poles like an R Crumb cartoon

On to the bar, then, to see Mick. He was already well-lubricated and quite a supporting cast had gathered, so we talked extensively to him and to a few new people. As a parting gift, he'd brought along a table-full of his own books which we could pick up and he'd sign, so now I have a collection of them. I should have thought to bring along my copy of Give The Anarchist a Cigarette, but it didn't occur to me he'd be signing. We all then had a nice piece of cake and shared a fond farewell. Most of my friends are electric. I rarely saw Mick in real life, so a few extra thousand miles won't make a significant difference...but still it's sad when someone leaves. Though not, of course, for them.

Afterwards, STB and I followed the disembodied voice of his Android to the Viet Noodle Bar, where I had fish noodle soup and, from their extensive collection of books, a good read of several Oscar Wilde stories, which I will now rip off. I also got to listen to a bunch of conservatives at the end of the communal table struggling to understand sexual harassment, as defined by liberals. One of them had noticed that liberals were in favor of sexual freedom and was completely stumped by Anita Hill's testimony against Clarence Thomas. The person appeared to be grappling with the concept that, if Clarence Thomas was talking about sex to Anita Hill, that was a liberated and liberal and sort of left-wingy thing to be doing, wasn't it? So what was the problem?

Well, it works like this. If someone in a position of power over you makes sexual remarks in the workplace, the implication is that you will not do well at work unless you go along with that person- which in some cases means giving sexual favors to stay employed. This is a bad thing. Even if a person who is only a peer makes sexually charged remarks - or for instance puts up a nude calendar - that can lead to what the law calls a Hostile Work Environment. Outside the work place, yeah, liberals are pretty much in favor of sex. That people can get to fifty or so in California without knowing these basics is either a sad indictment of Liberals, who haven't explained it, or a sad indictment of Republicans, who are stupid. Or both, I guess.

But the noodles were nice.

On the way back down south we saw the closing fireworks of Disneyland, which start around 9:30 pm. We were laughing about something we'd heard, that some residents had clubbed together to complain to Disneyland about the noise (as if they hadn't known about the noise when they moved in!) and pulled off on Ball to get gas.

Disneyland Fireworks
Gas Station Disney fireworks

Man those fireworks sounded like WWII. Loud as all get out. I think the residents may have a case. Pretty though.

And so to Orange County and bed.


(Removed original Half Price Drinks as the link broke and substituted a 2009 version.)

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