Monday, October 01, 2007


It seems I spend more time in the air these days than I do on the ground. I recently went back to LA for some work meetings and, other than seeing some old friends, I dreaded it. The thick brown air and relentless traffic always threaten to take all my oxygen, not to mention my patience. Instead, I kind of fell in love with the place all over again.

"Linked together by the tedious reality of interconnecting freeways it’s almost as if the car has replaced the old community center. Los Angeles with its 72 suburbs in search of a city has no center ... it’s in our imagination."

--Diane Keaton, in her foreword essay for the photography book, "Los Angeles"

First things first, set the rental car radio dial to 89.9 KCRW, The Best Radio Station in THE WORLD, nay, Universe. It was kd lang who gave me the nickname that I now use for it, "my daily musical multi-vitamin." Thanks to a certain Mr. Harcourt and the Internet, my mornings remain delightfully eclectic, no matter my address.

Second Task: Call Gins, another LA-native who never seems to be far from the Internet, and ask her to please locate the nearest In-n-Out Burger, pronto. (They are only in California, Nevada and Arizona.) Screech tires into the parking lot and gently place all goals of vegetarianism aside for a few hours while I make love to my DoubleDouble. For anyone that remotely likes burgers, this place is Holy ground.

(At some point here, I receive the most bizarre text message of my life. From my badass friend, Laurianna (a firefighter in Albuquerque), calmly letting me know that she'd just given birth to her second son ... on her bathroom floor that morning! Y'know, how is that supposed to make me feel?!? Lazy, that's how! Sheesh! The nerve! Anyway, welcome to the world, Jack!)

Then, I check into my hotel, Oceana, which is a swanky boutique spot right on the ocean in Santa Monica. My room is so big, I believe it beats my Denver apartment in square footage. Apparently, the place used to be condos so the rooms are pretty self-contained with two balconies, a game corner, office nook, kitchen and a humongous bed that could easily fit four or five very good friends. As with most hotels of this nature, I immediately had the urge to move in permanently and have all my mail forwarded immediately. Instead, I just let my suitcase explode all over the place and did some spiral leaps in my new living room while munching on the goodies they have provided: strawberries, figs, chocolate chip cookies and champagne grapes. YUM.

Every last detail in my room has forethought and some complexity - from the chess/checker table to the knotted thingamajig plant on my desk. Delightful.

For some reason, in hotel rooms, I must have the television on at all times. This is strange because I do not watch it at home, ever. (Although, I will occasionally turn it on during football season, mainly because I find the sound of football games, including the male-centric ads, wildly comforting. Must have something to do with Dad.) Short of jumping on the bed and raiding the mini-fridge, this is me, being extravagant. When I crawl into my fluffy white oyster of a bed that night, it is the remote control I cling to, until I am drifting off to my late night dream date, Conan O'Brien, whom I adore.

Behold, my Santa Monica porch. Yup. I'm just trying to deal with these gol' dern business trips the best I can, you know? It ain't easy but ... well, okay, I confess: Sometimes, it is very easy.


Anonymous said...

again, what exactly do you do? Not how you do it, but what's your job title and duties and such --- it seems like none I can imagine.

Kath said...

I believe CB's official title is ' Wandering Internetty Muse Who Dabbles in Techy Stuff'. I may be wrong.

CB- please have an INO Burger for me...DD w/ cheese, hold the onion and lettuce.

Thanks honey!

ClizBiz said...

Anon: Sadly, I'm not allowed to give specifics on my job, employer or client but Kath is close to being right. I often use the made-up term "Media Strategist" - it's like playing chess, only with real live people.

Kath: Zat for here or to go?

Kath said...

CB- It will have to be for in my dreams unless I tag along on your next flight. I know from experience that the TSA screeners at LAX and Ontario do not let INO Burgers thru screening.

And yet again, the terrorists win.

Anonymous said...

thanks --- okay, yeah, I think I get it: like a publicist or pr person or something like that? media relations or public affairs for corporate behemoths maybe? (hence, not being able to talk about it) I was just wondering what title fits in there, technically. I know of 'technical writers' and "public affairs relations' folk --- i like your term, 'media strategist' --- i think i would use the term 'media strategerist' :)

rosie said...

Being as I have never had an In-N-Out burger, and unless pigs start flying, a burger will probably never enter this girl's maw...would someone please articulate for me WHAT exactly makes these burgers so dreamy? Everyone says they're so scrumptious but no one ever says WHY.

I am going to LA for work next month, but I have the feeling that the place I'm staying will not be nearly as groovy as the one you're at (I'm staying near USC and Staples Center.)

OH- and I wish Denver had a radio station that was my daily multi-vitamin. The closet thing is Old Grass/New Grass on KGNU - but that's only on Saturdays.

OK! 'Tis enough commenting for travels home! :)

ClizBiz said...

Thanks for stopping by, Rosie! All I can say about the In-n-Out Urge, as it is widely known, is that they tastes like burgers tasted when I was a kid - fresh, real and true. Hard to explain but these babies got INTEGRITY.

The french fries kind of explain it all. They are not frozen - they make them from - GASP! - real potatoes on site. 'Nuff said.