Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A mini-break means true love

I'm back! (To let you know: I can really shake 'em down.)

But you didn't even know I was gone. I took last Friday and Monday off and drove to L.A. for a quick vacation--just a few days to investigate my friend Kendra's new house and housemates, check some things off my "to do in L.A." list, and just generally get out of town. I have a love/hate relationship with L.A.; I always think that it would be so beautiful if it weren't...itself. Kendra lives in Calabasas, north of L.A. and east of Malibu--out in the sticks, really--and it's pretty there, but I think I'd have to live in L.A. proper. I'd need to be near the beach. And take lots of vacations to places that are not L.A.

Vacation highlight reel:

- The trips down and back were surprisingly painless. I have memories of my last solo drive down "the 5," of listening to Roald Dahl's The Witches on tape and pretty much expecting to die of boredom and muscular atrophy somewhere between Kettleman "City" and Patterson. This time, I packed up with the Creative Screenwriting podcast and a basket of organic strawberries, and probably could have driven forever. Just me and blue sky, hills, tumbleweeds stuck in the fences on the side of the road, a group of actual cowboys on actual horses herding actual cattle, and the inexplicable Indian restaurant in Buttonwillow. The Pull of the Road, and all that. It was nice.

- My new favorite thing: House of Blues Gospel Brunch! Picture miles of soul food buffet and a quartet of church ladies in their church-lady hats and church-lady suits rocking out on stage. I never caught the name of the group, but the woman assured me many times that they were, indeed, legendary. Pretty much the best thing ever. I want to go every week, just for cheese grits and "Holy, Holy, Holy."

- I gave in to temptation and took myself on the Warner Bros. studio tour--I was hoping to see the main theater set for Studio 60, which by all accounts is pretty incredible, and is also unlikely to be around much longer. The bad news is that the set was unavailable; the good news is that it was unavailable because they were filming! The tour guide assured me it would be back on the air around June, which is really all I ask. To make it up to me, the tour guide took us on the "all Gilmore, all the time" tour--we walked around the exteriors of all the Stars Hollow sets and then through the interiors of Lorelai's house and the Dragonfly, which are beautiful and so detailed. Livin' the dream on the front steps of the Crap Shack:

Anyway, it's a fun tour if you like TV and film history and seeing celebrities' parking spaces, which, apparently.

- I took a field trip to the Writers' Guild library in search of a 30 Rock script to look over (and remember with my crystal-clear photoraphic memory? I don't know). They didn't have what I was looking for, but I did have a fine time reading some Newsradio and The Office scripts. I'm now even more convinced that tracking down an actual 30 Rock script would be wise, but I'm not sure how that works--I wonder if NBC would send me one, since it's for educational purposes? Anyway, I also met a very polite old man in a suit and bow tie in the elevator, and I'm convinced he was Milton Berle (dead or alive?), or someone. It was all very writerly, and I had a good time. Is it sad that the writers' union library is like a tourist attraction for me? I can't decide.

So now I'm home and theoretically back in the swing of things, even though my brain is still somewhere on I-5. It'll catch up eventually, I guess.

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