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2003-08-31 - 10:00 a.m.

For the second time, I will attempt to make an entry while I'm here in Los Angeles. The first time, I pushed some weird button and the window disappeared, erasing everything. I blame this bizarre laptop.

The first day, we left straight from the airport to go camping. Brad confessed to me that he did not want to go to Joshua Tree Nat. Park: too hot, he said. I was disappointed, but then I learned that Joshua Tree was 4 or more hours away from where we were, and I wasn't in the mood to drive that long. We ended up going to Los Padres Nat. Forest to camp, which was a good choice. We had the entire campground to ourselves. The stars were out, so bright you could see the Milky Way. We also had a little bit of an adventure. There are some springs near the campground, according to the map, so we decided to strike out and look for them. There are no trails in this desert area, which to my eyes seemed a desert despite all the vegetation. We didn't see the springs anywhere, but I decided I wanted to get to the top of a nearby mountain/hill. We scrambled to the top, and we were able to see a lovely view. We were unable to spot our campground. After taking a break, we returned in what we thought was the general direction of the campground. We hadn't brought any food or water with us, and it was getting dark. I wasn't worried, until I fell into a couple of evil bushes. I don't know what these evil things were, but they were able to go through my pants and cut up my leg. That brought my mood down, and I started to get concerned also. We walked for a long time, and finally came to the conclusion we must have walked too far, so we doubled back; a sure sign of being hopelessly lost. But wait! We crested one small hill, and our campground was miraculously on the other side. (note: look up spelling of miraculously) The rest of the evening passed without event, although the celebratory beer of finding ourselves again was one of the most delicious Coronas I've ever had.

The next day we broke camp and drove to another section of the forest. We went on a 2 hour hike when we saw a sign for fish bowl trail, which I thought looked interesting. We never found fish bowl, but the hike was nice; this time we were on a trail and couldn't get lost. We got back to the car and kept driving. We came on a more clearly marked trail for fish bowl, and I was a little disappointed that we'd chose the first one. We drove on, and eventually drove to a more popular camping area. The road to it was trecherous but fun in Brad's SUV. I was surprised there were so many people on the top of this new mountain. All of the best campsites were already taken. We parked and got out to look around; a nearby ranger pointed the way to Raspberry Springs Trail, warning us that it was steep. He should have warned us that it sucked. The so-called springs was just a pipe with water trickling out of it into a wood bucket. Springs? Ha! Seeing these sorry springs took away all my energy, and the walk back up was a real bitch. We were both tired and decided to drive away from the forest, only stopping at one point to make Macaroni and Cheese in my new titanium pot.

That night, after we showered and changed, we went to see a movie called American Splendor. The L.A. movie scene is fantastic! Which I realize is a self evident truth for most people, but I was nevertheless amazed. American Splendor would never have been showed in Augusta. It's about an underground comic book that I wasn't previously aware of, and who showed up in the movie? Crumb! I loved the movie they made about him, too. This movie wasn't quite so good, but it was different, and therefore enjoyable. And speaking of different, we saw the movie in one of those old art deco theaters, Egyptian style. It was lovely.

The next day, yesterday, I made breakfast for Brad, and burnt the sausages so bad that the apartment fire alarm went off. I learned that Brad isn't very good in a crisis like this; he refused to take out the batteries to turn off the fire alarm. "I don't know how to, maybe the only people who do is the apartment management." I made him stand up on a stool to get to the alarm and turn it off, which he succeeded in doing. Thank God, because it was really annoying. Breakfast passed without further troubles.

We went to the Queen Mary, a famous ocean liner, although I'd never heard of it. It was kind of a rip off, $23 for admission. (and that's WITH a military discount) The only cool thing about it was the Observation Bar, where we sat and had a drink. It was a cool bar; you could look out onto the ocean and see the city of Long Beach. There was also a bunch of nuns sitting and drinking.

After the Queen Mary, we went out to eat at a Middle Eastern restaurant, which was delicious. I had a Lebanese Chardonnay, which wasn't good, but an experience to have none the less. We went home, with the intention of making Mai Tais, but I had the recepie stored on the internet, which wasn't working. Brad steals internet access from his neighbors, and sometimes the company catches on. I called everyone I had the number for, and didn't get a hold of anyone. BUT Dana called me back, out of curiousity, seeing a strange number on her cell phone. She assisted my efforts in getting the Mai Tai recepie; it was also good to talk to her again. If she happens to be reading this, GET RID OF AHREN.

Brad and I went to the store and got the ingredients, came back and drank Mai Tais and watched a movie. I fell asleep.

Now it is this morning, and we're going to go do... something. I can't remember. Hanging out with Brad is fun, he sees the world in such a different way than almost everyone I know, which is so refreshing. He also has a few annoying habits, like his respect for authority, and he's always adjusting himself. I mean, constantly. I try not to pay attention, but my God. I think 6 days with him will be plenty.

And THAT has been my life in Los Angeles.

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