Friday, September 10, 2004

California, Part One

Holy crap, the internet didn't eat my post. Here we go!

Ok, time to share the first part of my California adventure. I'll post all my stories, then I will post pictures. Woo. The setup: Patrick, one of my best friends from college, lives in Los Angeles, working for the E! network. I had been wanting to visit him for a while, and it turned out that another one of our friends from college, Regina (the hostess of my New York adventures), was also going to visit. We were able to plan our vacations so they overlapped, and it was off to CA for lots o' fun.

Wednesday: After three refreshing hours of sleep, my dad drove me out to O'Hare to catch the plane that would take me west. Although I am a social person, I hate being social on planes and trains (but not automobiles). Thus, I was very happy to learn that the plane had a lot of empty seats, which inspired the McDonald's eating woman next to me and her daughter "Bronte" to find seats closer to the bathroom. The film on the flight was the latest Harry Potter, and although I love all things Harry Potter, I had seen it before and was able to sleep for a while. Note: the whole "turn back time" part of the movie gets VERY confusing if you're drifting in and out of sleep while watching it. It was an uneventful flight, and soon I arrived in LA.

After dropping my stuff off at Patrick's, we headed over to E! for a tour of his offices. There we had Celebrity Sighting #1:

Doritos spokeswoman (she's done other things, but I don't know what) Ali Landry. Ali was filming in the E! Studios and we got to go in and watch for a minute. This celebrity sighting meant almost nothing to me, until I realized that Ali has not one, but two Saved by the Bell Connections. First and most infamously, she was married to Mario "A.C. Slater" Lopez for like two minutes until she realized he was a manwhore and dumped his permed mullet ass. As Senor Lopez once hit on my sister (grabbing her stomach!) at a bar in Michigan, I empathized with Ms. Landry. Second, Ali Landry played a bride in the 98 Degrees video "I Do (Cherish You)," and her groom was non other than Samuel "Screech" Powers, aka Dustin Diamond. Basically Ali Landry has reached the status only reached by Kelly Kapowski, having kissed (among other things) both Slater and Screech. Who's next? Belding? After a delightful lunch at Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles (I was very tempted by their pink trucker hat, but wouldn't succumb), Patrick dropped Regina and I off at Universal Studios. Universal was quite a good time. It was there that we began to formulate our amusement park theory. Several attractions at Universal, most notably Back to the Future (the lamest simulator ever, though the hot Italians (or they could have been Brazilians, or many other ethnicities) who rode with us and were on their 4th go-through, apparently loved it) and Shrek had very very long, drawn out "preshows" that set the story for the attraction before the ride/simulator began. We started becoming very annoyed with these pre-shows and decided to refer to them as the "foreplay" for the ride. Some rides also had "post-game" wrap-ups that were unnecessary, which we referred to as "cuddling." Great America and other more roller-coaster centered theme parks are great at leaving out the foreplay and cuddling, but Universal and Disney are, unfortunately, all about the backstory. Our other complaint was what we referred to as "unexpected water." I'm fine and dandy with water on a water ride, but when you don't see it coming, it's not good. Chief abusers of unexpected water were Shrek and Disneyland's Matterhorn ride (which makes up for the H2No with an unexpected Abominable Snowman creature with glowing pink eyes. He might want to get that conjunctivitis cleared up). When we arrived at Universal, I got my picture taken with Spiderman, and later on he was joined by some other X-Men, including Storm and Wolverine. The man dressed as Wolverine looked more like Balki Bartokomous then Hugh Jackman. I decided to get my picture taken with them, and when they asked where I was from, I replied that I was from Chicago. Wolfie asked if I was from Chicago or a suburb, and when I said Joliet, he asked if I had ever been to Fat Sam's, which I think is by Orland Mall. I said no, but that I had heard of it, and he encouraged me to go there, and said, "Tell them Wolverine sent you." Sure thing Balki.

Speaking of Balki, as we left the park, I had Celebrity Sighting #2 Note: I'm not positive it was her, but it sure looked like her:

Kellie Shanygne Williams, aka Laura Winslow of Family Matters fame. It really looked like her, but noone was with me at the time to confirm, and I didn't want to interrupt her conversation. In retrospect, I really wish I had gone up to her and said, "You know Urkel."

After Patrick picked us up at Universal, we went for dinner at In-N-Out Burger, aka my new favorite burger franchise of all time. Sooo good. Then we went to a movie party at Patrick's friend's house where we watched the world's worst (but hilarious) movie, The Apple. After that we called it a night. I have to head out now, but I'll tell the rest of my stories this weekend/early next week.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Me with Adam Brody, Seth from The OC. Notice the "I can't believe this is happening" giant smile on my face. I'll tell the story later. Posted by Hello

Gettin' Back from Cali

I'm back from California, and will update sometime this week with all my stories. Until then, you can read my Herald News column (again, didn't come up with the title), and enjoy this picture of the highlight of my trip. More stories and pictures to come, including a study of Soleil "Punky Brewster" Moon Frye's shopping habits, and the local bar recommendations of Wolverine from the X-Men.

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