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Welcome To Los Angeles

Welcome To Los Angeles

It’s been a wacky 48 hours. I’ve only spent 5 of them sleeping, and somehow managed to dress in drag, get heavily intoxicated twice, get acquainted with the Toronto, Chicago and Los Angeles airports, watch half a season of Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia, light a cigarette for Lou Diamond Phillips, and experience both noon on November 1st and 2am on November 2nd two different times.

I’m in Los Angeles for the next 11 days covering AFI. I’ve never been, so its been a very disorienting introduction thus far, but I think that was heavily due to either being drunk or hungover the entire time I’ve been here, and the no sleep thing.

I left for the Toronto airport yesterday morning after a late Hallowe’en night, and realized in my haze as I rushed to get ready that my eye makeup had not come off, and despite basically pouring astringent in my eyes, it wasn’t coming off. I spent almost the entire day with sunglasses on, but this obviously had to change when I went through customs and security. I already act unreasonably nervous for no reason when I go through customs, and this was considerably upped. I awkwardly told the guy it was my Hallowe’en costume, then spent the next hour wondering if that was a trans-phobic thing for me to do, and whether I should have been proudly asserting my right to wear eyeliner, Hallowe’en or not.

Anyway… after a quick initial flight and a 3 hour layover in Chicago, I was headed to LA, complete with a really swell pilot that gave a CONSTANT play by play of what was going on under us (“passengers on the right will see the suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri”..). I thought it might be annoying, but it was actually really endearing, and I ended up spending most of my flight enjoying sights such as the Grand Canyon and Colorado Springs. I didn’t spent it sleeping, though (I can only sleep laying down on a bed or a comfortable couch), and got to LAX barely capable of functioning. I got a mild burst of energy when I saw someone holding a sign with my last name on it (a first), but lost it just in time to be unreasonably short with the really sweet driver as we headed down the freeway. Convinced I was an actor that he’d seen in something before (which I’m sure was influenced by my eyeliner and drug-addict complexion), he kept laughing off my assertions that I was a journalist (“You’re too young to be a journalist”).

I finally got to my hotel – Universal City’s Sheraton. It was a nice hotel to be sure, but my sleep deprived impatience was not capable of handling all the loud families in the lobby that had just got back from a day at Universal Studios. I also realized my understanding of the vastness of LA’s geography was way underestimated, and that I was fucking far from anywhere I needed to go.

This was proven when I headed to the party for Che a few hours later, where I had to take LA’s mysterious subway system. It works on a European style honor system, so there are no attendants. There are however, lots of homeless people and crazy people, at least at the 10pm time I took it. There were also people dressed up for post-Hallowe’en Hallowe’en parties, or at least I think they were. One man – I swear to God – was I think dressed as Jimi Hendrix, was obviously intoxicated beyond believe, and was for some reason carrying a hockey stick. I was dressed in a shirt and tie, still wearing eyeliner, and holding onto a $1000 camera.

I survived fine though, and got a picture of the subway’s bizarre list of laws:

I get paying for fare and smoking, but no chewing gum? And no “playing of sound equipment”? I definitely witnessed a few dozen defiances of the loud or rowdy behavior rule. And how many times do you think security has actually charged someone $250 and 48 hours of community service for chewing gum? I love that Brad Pitt is the face of littering though.

Anyway, too many vodka and red bulls later, I gladly took a cab (which were not at all as hard to find as I had been told) back to Universal City. And have been up since 7am because with the time difference and the time change…

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