Posts Tagged ‘dive bars of los angeles’

New Opportunities

February 25, 2010

So, a friend of mine quite a while ago suggested that if I wanted to meet people, to pick a bar and make it mine. Go to it every night for at least a couple of weeks, and see where you are after that.

This advice worked for her back in the decades she was carousing heavily, a number of decades past.

I have taken it very slowly, and made my bar mine over months, if not over a year or two at this point. But it has finally gotten to the point my friend was suggesting.

A couple of the bartenders now actually know my drink, and apparently give me a “regular” discount. In fact, the bartender I usually see has finally softened up to me and actually seems to sincerely thank me now for my business. In one way, I may be seen as a benefit for business. Since I always take reading or writing materials, often people stop to talk with me. Perhaps it causes them to linger for another drink, who knows. It does cause them to linger, though.

Last week, I met Michael. He sat beside me, ordered a tall boy, and sat and told me about his screenplay he was working on and his life story in the length of time it took him to consume all 24 ounces. And then he bid me goodnight.  

Tonight, Michael said hello to me while I was working on some necessary reading material, and after last call was announced and the lights came up, came over to talk to me. He was considerably drunker than I had seen him before. He told me some more about his life, and mentioned he lived just down the street. After quizzing me on what sort of writing I specialized in, and realizing our preferences were very different, he nevertheless promised to give me his screenplay to read when he was done, and gave me full permission to rip it to shreds, so as to make it better in the next draft. He told me he felt that we were probably kindred spirits in attempting to express our creativity. I was properly flattered. To which I then asked when he expected to complete it, so I could make sure to be present on the expected day.

He told me a month.

It wasn’t until I was on my way home, that I realized that despite the fact I may not have any interest in writing drama, as he does, I do have some expertise in criticism and feedback on screenplays. I did attend a two year program on screenplay writing shortly after I moved down here, and got plenty of experience ripping to shreds other people’s storylines, dialogue, plot points, characters and writing. As they did mine.

In fact, I thought, why was it that I hadn’t put those two years of education on my resume? It may do nothing to land me a job, but it does give a slight indication as to my interests and hobbies. Even an indication as to why specifically I moved down to Los Angeles.

Just a thought. How could it hurt?

Disneyland Redux

January 27, 2010

As broke as I am, there was still money enough to go celebrate my friend’s birthday at Disneyland yesterday. It had been a planned ahead expense, nothing unexpected, thank goodness.

And as the rain falls over Los Angeles-land again today, I called to self-congratulate ourselves on picking the one day of very few lately that did not rain.

Since we both are Southern Californians by address, if not birth, we were able to get the TwoFer deal presently going on until April, and now must plan our other escapade to California Adventure, as we get to go there for free now, within the next 30 days. Perhaps next Monday, if the weather behaves.

An earlier start, and a certain someone not sleeping through his alarm clocks would help, as California Adventure closes a whole two hours earlier than Disneyland. It was the reason we ended up going there, since we were running about two hours later than we had planned. But I had a good book to read, while I was waiting, thinking he was already on his way, so I didn’t mind. That and Disneyland was where I wanted him to go to begin with anyway, it all worked out as my evil plan had intended. 

We are both looking forward to the next trip now. He hadn’t known what to expect of Disneyland, never having been, and never really paying attention when people talked about it, since he hadn’t gone.  

I got to see more of the park than I had before, visiting ToonTown, and riding Space Mountain and Indiana Jones’ Adventure this time, and the whirling Tea Cups, and Autotopia, but my friend did not get to experience the wonder that is “It’s a Small World,” as it was closed when we got to it. He also passed on Splash Mountain, the Matterhorn and Thunder Mountain. After Space Mountain, he was okay in the roller coaster department. I hope he didn’t pass strictly on my behalf, since I mentioned I don’t really enjoy them. I found myself closing my eyes tightly and squinching my body as small as possible towards the center of the cart as we flew around the corners and dropped suddenly. When I did open my eyes (without glasses as recommended), I found the walls were spinning and lights rotating, making me dizzy in and of itself. Tightly shut once again, so they remained.

The Indiana Jones ride was almost a roller coaster, but not. It was like Star Tours, hydraulic lifts and sudden braking to enhance the experience, but it actually moved on a track like a roller coaster. But just as it was about to gain enough speed to go really fast, LURCH! to a stop. For one not fond of roller coasters, this was an excellent substitute, without the stomach drops. The almost speed, the whipping corners, the hesitation before it really gets going, and then, STOP! I’m sure it’s frustrating for roller coaster lovers. And this time, someone walked up to us and handed us the FastPass tickets to bypass the 35 minute wait on that ride. He said he was leaving the park, and if we hadn’t gone yet, to use them. There was still a wait once inside, but we probably halved the time we would have spent. That was awesome in and of itself, passing all the patiently waiting other people, to be allowed to cut in line ahead of them, with everyone’s permission!

So all in all, great fun was had. Both fans of science fiction, science fantasy and Terry Gilliam, we spoke of the herding of humans, abattoirs and the daily human sacrifices that make Disney run, and started looking for alcohol as the hot sun of day wore on, singeing his brow and making us mighty thirsty. My friend would announce randomly to people that he was drunk, when we hadn’t had a drop to drink, and everyone would laugh nervously. The joy of messing with stranger’s heads!

As we drove the silent ride home from behind the Orange Curtain of Orange County back to LA, both of us exhausted, we discussed whether dinner was desired. Yes, then finally no. We both decided we were too tired, and I could tell for myself that being polite was starting to become a strain, I just wanted food and bed. He said pretty much the same thing. But when I started talking about bars and the happy hour research my girlfriend and I are conducting, how her tastes are a little more highbrow than mine, since I just don’t feel the urge to dress up to go have a drink, dive bars are just fine with me… he exclaimed “I love dive bars!”

And that was how we found ourselves, both professed exhausted, spending a few more hours together in a downtown dive bar, suddenly refreshed and animatedly discussing an evaluation system by which we could go and compare dive bars of Los Angeles by an accrued point system. Time Bandits played on the televisions above our heads, and then Back to the Future. We began drawing up a list of places we knew we could research, some West Side, some downtown, and some Valley. We decided we needed to get funding for such important research, and discussed whose third mortgage we should use, and since neither of us technically have mortgages, we would need to use someone else’s.

Any volunteers? He’s good with computers, and I’m good with spreadsheets, I’m sure we could whip up some really awesome website displaying our hard work and research, easily referenced, and of course, frequently updated. Maybe even an app to go with it.

 And thus concluded the day. He dropped me off at home, after I showed him a few more landmarks of downtown. He used to live downtown, before it got cleaned up and made as interesting as it is now, so it was all new to him.

In the continuing mystery of whether that might have been a date or not, for the first time that day, I finally heard him mention an ex-girlfriend. Apparently they are still close, since she called him up on his birthday to wish him a happy one, along with various members of his family. Since I hadn’t been sure if he dated women or not, I was glad he finally mentioned her. In fact, he mentioned ex-girlfriends three times that day. Could be the same one, who knows, but at least now I know he has dated women in the past. Doesn’t really help guide me as to where his present interests lie, or even his thoughts or intentions in my direction, but it is at least a start. He flirts with everyone, I notice, so it’s hard to tell.

No pictures were taken of Disneyland, to protect the identities of the guilty. That and the fact neither of us brought cameras, and my cell phone’s memory is presently all full, even after deleting a few more pictures. Oh well. Another time, right?