Friday, June 01, 2007

While You Were Working

How do bloggers with full time jobs do it? Work has been very busy. Throw in the long commute, overtime and a messed up sleep pattern, and what's left is a couple of hours to eat and relax. It hasn't been all work, though. The long weekend allowed for some entertainment.

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Charles Phoenix and I

Saturday found me bored out of my mind. I sat at home and edited the tags on my posts. I had been putting it off for a while, so the lazy day was put to good use in taking care of a neglected chore. Regardless of how useful the free hours were, I had no intention of staying at home all weekend.

While reading my e-mail, I came across Charles Phoenix's Slide of the Week e-mail, which then led to me visiting his website. It was on there that I found out that there were still spaces for Phoenix's (possibly) last Disneyland tour of Downtown Los Angeles. I had been dragging my feet about doing it, mostly because of the price, so that I ultimately decided to put it off another day. I was also under the impression that the tour had been sold out. Faced with no major plans for the weekend and the fear of missing out on a one-of-a-kind tour of downtown, I went ahead and booked a spot on the tour.

I'm so glad I did. The tour was a blast. Phoenix is a true LA original. I saw his slide show a few weeks ago and had a terrific time. He's funny and also quite knowledgable. For the tour, Phoenix sought out to show that Southern California has two Disneylands, the second being found amidst the living, breathing surroundings of downtown Los Angeles. We started off at Union Station where we then took the Monorail--er, the Gold Line--to the next stop in Chinatown. We explored the various shops in Chinatown and then boarded our yellow school bus for Olvera Street, or as Charles called it: Old Town Los Angeles. Charles treated us to a taquito.

The tour included stops at Clifton's Cafeteria for lunch, a walk through the Arcade--LA's oldest shopping mall, a visit to the Bradbury Building, Grand Central Market and an old Dutch chocolate factory. Our next stop was at Bob Baker's Marionette Theater where we were treated to a short show. I thought puppeteering was a dying craft, but here they were training young men to be the next great puppeteers. Bob Baker, himself, came out to perform an amazing tap dance routine with his puppet. After the show, we we had some cake and ice cream while Bob Baker took questions. We then took the bus to Angelino Heights and the Victorian houses on Carroll Avenue before finishing up at Bunker Hill for a scenic walk through the sunken garden, then up to Disney Hall. On the bus back from Disney Hall, Charles and his crew gave us parting gifts, which included a marionette from Bob Baker's theater. Six hours after we started, we finished back at Union Station, said our good byes and looked forward to the next tour. Pictures from the tour can be found on my Flickr page.

Still not wanting to go home, I stopped by Audrey and Nate's neighborhood and had some bbq.

Despite drinking a bit of wine and beer at Nate's, I woke up early to meet up with FJ for an eight mile run. Again not the best run, but we finished strong. I doubt I'll be setting any personal bests in San Diego, but I think I should at least finish. Breakfast afterwards with Audrey was a debacle. The restaurant was understaffed and, of all things, took forever to bring Audrey's oatmeal--the simplest dish we ordered. It took us two hours to finish our meal, most of it spent waiting for food.

FJ invited me to a bbq at his place later in the day. He warned me that all the guests are neighbors and to expect old fogies and their little spawns. I had a great time talking to FJ's neighbors even though I was the only single non-parent there. I felt like I was living out a scene from Little Children. Still I had a good time and ate some great food.

The rest of the evening was laundry.

To kill time as traffic died down after work, I went to see Voxtrot at the El Rey. Good show, but I was kicking myself that I didn't get Erica and Liz's phone call. Apparently they had an extra ticket for the Arcade Fire show. I missed it!

Work. Work. Work. After work I ran six miles at the gym.

Drove to San Diego for work. The event went well but the drive was rough.

Quiet day at work.

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So that was the week. Tomorrow I drive back to San Diego to sign up for the marathon. If all goes well I should finish the race in about four hours.

I'm dog tired. Time to sleep!

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