----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire: L.A. Nostalgia

The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire

Meet Astera (aka: me), a star in her own mind. Our plucky little heroine has embarked on not one but two difficult, low-paying career paths: writing and acting. Witness the menial jobs! The unreasonable demands! The quirky friends and family! And the glimmer of success just ahead! Through it all, Astera maintains her core beliefs: 1) She is destined to be fabulous 2) Everything is more fun with a cocktail.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

L.A. Nostalgia

Don't tell the NorCal lovers, but sometimes I miss L.A. It's very strange...most people from the San Francisco Bay Area actively dislike Los Angeles. The Pater Familias (aka my father) grew up down there, and he hates it and calls it the armpit of the state. Geographically speaking, I think Fresno is closer to the armpit of the state, but I digress.

Granted, there is a lot to dislike about L.A. You've got all the typical reasons that people usually mention: the smog, the traffic, the superficiality, the sprawl. There is also the fact that there's no center, which is related to the sprawl, I suppose. But it's not all bad. There are people that I miss, and there are actually certain things about the city that I miss, too. Here are a few examples of what I liked about L.A.:
  1. My SoCal friends.
  2. Tailgating with friends at UCLA football games. (Go Bruins! Beat $c!)
  3. The half-sour pickles at Canter's Deli.
  4. The sweet smell of pittosporum trees in the winter air. This tree has tiny, tiny white flowers and they perfume everything with a haunting fragrance...that is, until the next stinky truck rolls by.
  5. Being close to a plethora of entertainment options, from bars to movie theaters to stand-up comedy to a huge variety of restaurants.
  6. Better shopping options: everything from mega-malls to walking street malls to famed avenues like Melrose.
  7. Mongol's Mongolian Barbecue in Westwood. This tiny little place wasn't the most sanitary place to eat, but I loved choosing my meats and vegetables and a huge pile of noodles with my choice of sauces at varying levels of spiciness and then having the grill masters cook it all up on a giant, flat wok. It was cheap, too.
  8. The Samuel French bookstore.
  9. The combination of cheesiness and glitz along Sunset Boulevard.
  10. The Lakers. I only went to one game at Staples Center, but it was fabulous.
  11. The proximity to the ocean. (Mr. Pink will laugh at this, because he doesn't think I like the beach, but I liked knowing it was there. The beaches up here are usually cold and windy.)
  12. The jacaranda trees in bloom.
  13. Liquid Kitty for specialty cocktails and Q's for free pool on Sunday afternoons. I am a terrible pool player, but it's fun when you don't have to pay for it.
  14. The UCLA campus and the Sunset Rec center and swimming pool.
  15. Random 80-degree days of sunshine in January.

But like almost everyone else, I disliked the traffic, the smog, the dirtiness, all the homeless people in Santa Monica, and feeling like the world revolved around "the industry." Still, there are things to like about L.A. I think I'm overdue for a visit, so I will have to save up my money, hop in my Prius and take a drive down there. Maybe after the holidays. Maybe I'll get lucky and catch one of those 80-degree winter days!


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