I know it's the cool and hip thing to do to complain about your job or your employer but honestly, my job is pretty cool. I am not tied to my desk, but not on the road so much that I'm known by the flight attendants. My co-workers are fun, the work is enjoyable and even though there are things that get on my nerves it's generally short lived.
I've been teaching a class to security administrators at MegaBank. The two classes on Monday were held locally and I left Tuesday to go to Los Angeles for the classes Wednesday. SportBoy came with and traveling with him reminds me of all the time spent in college hanging out with the 'guys' who were perfectly wonderful, but not at all datable because of the spaz quotient. Once you spend a lame Thursday night measuring the circumference of your calves to see who has the biggest, the romance is gone. It got pretty dull in Pullman and we couldn't drink all the time.
SportBoy and I arrived in sunny Los Angeles at the Bob Hope International Airport after dark on Tuesday. I'm not really sure if Bob Hope is an international airport or not - it's pretty small and like San Jose you have to step outside to get on the planes. It's all very "back in the day". We picked up our smokin' rental car - a Ford SUV and jumped onto "the 101" to sit in traffic. We did pass Warner Brother's studio and drove on Hollywood (avenue) for a while so I feel like I got the grand tour. This certainly isn't my first trip to LA and unlike the first time at the age of 9, I wasn't thinking we were going to have dinner next to anyone famous. At 9, I was scanning all the cars next to us (on the way to Disneyland) for Shawn Cassidy, the Brady's or Captain Kangaroo. I was convinced we would see famous people. Oh, the sadness of that disappointment in my young life still stings to this day.
SportBoy and I ended up having dinner outside on the patio at PF Changs' we were hot under the heat lamps while the people around us shivered in the 'cool' 50 degree evening. Had we known we were coming ahead of time, we could have gone to a cool Hollywood premier (his cousin is a promoter) but instead we discussed his love life over double pan fried noodles. He thinks his attraction to "Becca" is real because he can be himself with her. That's nice. He was unsure as to whether or not to offer a Christmas gift and we worked it out. Before we got back to the office today he stopped by Tiffany's and picked up a nice silver necklace - you're welcome Becca!
Anyway, he's totally smitten and it's really interesting to see romance from the dude's point of view. She called while we were at dinner last night and he practically got giggly. It was cute. I excused myself so he could talk with her and went to bed as we had to leave the hotel at 5:30 this morning.
I've never liked LA - it seems like the land of freeways and gang shootings to me. Sure the Hollywood glamour thing is awesome, but really how many of us normal people really touch that life other than to go to movies or read People magazine? Not very many. My dislike was lessened a little during this trip. On our way from the hotel to the campus we passed through a couple neighborhoods with houses that I could see myself in. We talked with some very nice folks - our waitress at PF Changs was down right personable. It's pretty easy to get around in LA - for the most part it's flat and the roads traverse the city - so you can get on one road and follow it forever - unlike here in Seattle where the lakes and mountains get in the way (Damn that bitch Mother Nature!) and in down town the only road that goes 'through' is 1st and 4th. Everything else is less than a mile long.
Our hotel was nice in appearance and the staff was attentive but the room seemed odd. The bathroom was situated so that if the door was open you couldn't get to the closet or the entrance to the room. Also, I couldn't find the remote for the tv. I looked EVERYwhere: behind the tv, in the cabinet, in all the drawers, in the bathroom, in the closet, under the beds, under the chair, under the cushions... everywhere. Finally, I called the service number and explained that I needed help finding the remote. The gal said: "We'll bring you one right away." What!? It perplexed me that the emphasis wasn't on finding the remote in my room, but to bring me one as if I had asked for the roll away bed. They knew there wasn't a remote in the room - and maybe they only have so many remotes and people have to share. I certainly hope that travelers don't take remotes. But, maybe they do and that's why in some of the more glamorous places I've stayed the remote is bolted to the night stand.
We had time between our classes and so SportBoy and I checked out the DWS store. Oooh, it's like the shoe pavilion, only more shoes! I replaced my worn Franco Sartos (that had been resoled twice, and I realized just yesterday had worn through the side near the little toe) and picked up a pair of cute Borns and a pair of Liz Clabornes. SportBoy is fun because he's all guy, and yet he doesn't mind shopping.
The flight out this morning was uneventful other than the fact that SportBoy is on the terrorist watch list and has to enjoy a full cavity search at every checkpoint. It gets old and it’s hard to maintain your good attitude when the TSA agent has his hand up your colleagues bum. But – as they say in the Navy… better your bum than mine!