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Wednesday, July 30, 2008  

Day Tripper (Part One)

5:04 a.m. Monday

My alarm goes off, before either the sun or the morning DJs have started their shifts. It would have been five, but the buttons on my clock radio stick. After kissing a sleeping son and a half-sleeping wife goodbye, I'm groomed and out the door a half hour later. This already represents several departures from routine; working from home, I still leave the house, but I don't groom.

6:04 a.m.

Having just arrived at the gate area, I'm still busy getting everything metallic back where it's supposed to be when an announcement calls me back to the security checkpoint. On my way, I realize I forgot to pick up my driver's license. I congratulate myself on having the wisdom and foresight to have forgotten something with my name on it. I tell the TSA agent who hands it back to me, "You guys are good." Not even a smile. Like they hear that every day.

9:04 a.m.

Traveling with little kids is tough. I know how hard it is to keep them from talking too loud and kicking the seat in front of them. But the way the little girl behind me keeps snaking her hand between the bulkhead and the back of my seat to touch my shirt is a little weird.

9:50 a.m.

Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, and Las Vegas are visible out my window. Or something that looks just like them is. We're too high for me to see individual structures or even Celine Dion.

9:01 a.m. (Pacific Time)

When Trash and I flew into LAX four years ago, we stood on the curb waiting for the Brand-Nifto rental car company shuttle to show up for what seemed like forever, watching multiple shuttles from every other rental car company in the world go by. This time I used a rental company you've heard of, but I still have to stand there forever watching multiple shuttles from every other car rental company in the world go by. Including Brand-Nifto.

9:11 a.m.

I call Tara to see if she can meet for brunch. However, it doesn't work out, as I am in Los Angeles and she is in New York. Did I mention I woke up at 5:04 a.m.? Central?

9:40 a.m.

Since I'm not getting a hotel room on this trip, I informed Trash that I would be spending that money on a fancy rental car instead. She informed me that I would not. And then I got a convertible for four dollars more than a "compact" would have been, so I think we both won. Especially me, since I didn't have to spend the night in a four-dollar hotel room.

10:15 a.m.

At the Barnes & Noble at the Grove, my book is visible from the escalator to the second floor. I can't help noticing that the "TV/Film" section is a lot bigger here than at home. Go figure. I carry a couple of copies to a customer service guy and tell him, "I'm the author of this book." "No, I'm the author of this book!" he responds. Flummoxing.

12:45 a.m.

My book is a little harder to find at the Borders on La Cienega, but at least it's positioned with the cover faced out, right between books on 24 and Battlestar Galactica. When I bring the copies to a customer service person, she has to get on her Secret Service earpiece to her manager for instructions on how to proceed.



2:30 p.m.

I think I broke the convertible.

I drove up to Griffith Park, partly to see if I could get a closer shot of the Hollywood sign than I had been able to while driving down Melrose:



Mission accomplished.



Shut up. My camera phone doesn't have a zoom, okay? I'm telling you, it seemed closer when I was up there. Anyway, I was going to stick my laptop bag in the truck so I didn't have to carry it into the observatory (which was closed anyway). A good plan, but the trunk already contained the roof. But when I found (which took a while) and pressed the button that looked like it was supposed to put the top up, nothing happened except that a message appeared on the radio dial saying "TOP NOT SECURE." And now I couldn't figure out how secure it. Was I supposed to pop the trunk before I hit the button? And why is the trunk not popping now? Because I broke the convertible, that's why. No manual in the glove compartment, either. Maybe it's in the trunk, but the trunk won't open. When I get my hands on the moron who thought I could be trusted with one of theseā€¦

3:30 p.m.

In an underground parking ramp, I figure out that the convertible is not broken. I finally discovered that you have to hold down the button until the convertible's conversion is complete. The windows adjust themselves and metal panels appear and wave about and rearrange and in a slow little dance. It's like sitting inside a Transformer for 45 seconds, except that I am a more credible action hero than Shia LaBoef.

I'm early for my meeting at E!, but I'm hoping that I'll be able use the extra time to find a restroom in the building where I can freshen up a bit and splash water on my empinkening forehead. After freshening and splashing, I'm still early. Maybe I didn't really need to check in for my 4:00 meeting at 3:45, but I'm from the Midwest. It's part of my shtick.

Maybe I'll make up for it by being late with part two of this entry.

posted by M. Giant 11:52 AM 5 comments

5 Comments:

YEAH!

By Blogger Febrifuge, at July 30, 2008 at 7:32 PM  

18 years later, and I still can't shake the midwestern-bred part of me that is perpetually punctual. Even if I try to be L.A. late, I am still the first one at every event.

By Anonymous Heidi, at July 31, 2008 at 11:01 AM  

Empinkening. Now THERE'S a word that bears repeating. I'm going to use that today. Somehow.

Pearl

By Blogger Pearl, at August 1, 2008 at 6:14 AM  

Gimme Part II! The suspense is killing me!

please.

- JeniMull

By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 1, 2008 at 11:31 AM  

Yeah, empinkening.... I like it, and I plan, like Pearl, to somehow, somewhere, find a use for it...(hopefully during a winning bout of Crazy Scrabble) but something about it made me question myself, so I looked at dictionary.com (yes, I looked, I confess, don't judge me) and BBZZZZZTT, sorry, try again. That'll teach me to trust.

By Blogger stripeymeow, at August 4, 2008 at 2:07 PM  

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