Thank you so much for all your wonderful and supportive comments, I replied to them all here.
I do hope that you know how I am so impressed by all of you. You're all amazing and truly kind and decent people, and you make me feel (even with all the random flukes and luck that is thrown at me) truly lucky, and incredibly grateful.
I'm not sure this post will be as interesting as last, but I'm trying to see whether I can truly record everything. Life isn't always an interesting blog post, but hopefully you may tune in from time to time to catch up.
I had spent most of the night, after the awards ceremony, packing my battered red bag, which I bought with Ben once in San Francisco at Ross - good times, so when my Ikea Alarm Clock started clanging in it's 'I look like an old fashioned clock, but I'm actually brand new, so I'm hip and secretly pathetic, Fight Club' style, it didn't take me long to shake off the little sleep I dived into and prepare for the "Great Journey To The West!"
I wore a long white-sleeved shirt that had been given to me the night before by a lady I have never met. She was a resident artist at the National Arts Club, and she couldn't make the presentation because she was to be in Cambodia at the time, so she sent me the shirt and the sweetest card. It made me feel very special, and the shirt was very beautiful (the word Hope was hand painted in Cambodian).
As I proudly rolled my bag (I had finally packed my bag appropriately!) to the elevator and then out to the street, I was relieved to see that my driver hadn't rushed off without me, he did, however, talk a lot, and he had opinions about everything.
"Don't trust these show business people, they are only ever after one thing, you know? You should find yourself someone who works, you know? A banker, or a lawyer, or, you know, any kind of work, you know? If they are 40 years old (I realized he was probably 40 years old or so), that is better for you, then a 20 year old, you know? They have lived and worked hard..."
I nodded and agreed with him, but I could not wait to get out of the car and escape his long speeches. At some points, he became quite taken with his views against my life and his voice rose to the point of almost yelling. I could imagine him being quite violent at home, or at least very demanding and full of expectations. I felt that the car was Cuba and my driver was Castro. "Why won't you die!?!?"
I still tipped him very well, "Thank you very much, miss, I appreciate it," and happily walked up to the Self-Service stations at the American Airlines section of JFK.
I like American Airlines because they are a part of the One World program, and my silly life has moved my Bronze Qantas Card membership up to a Gold Card and no matter what class I am in, if I get Priority Access, I always feel a little thrill of happiness. I like to appreciate these things, I hope I never forget to appreciate them.
My colleague, who would be traveling with me, wanted to be put on the waiting list for Business Class, but the Self-Service Station could only handle so much confusion, and eventually a lady led me to the Business Class check-in. The lady behind the desk told me the plane was full, it didn't bother me, and then I waited in the makeshift "lobby" for my colleague to arrive and check in.
He was impressed that I was actually on time, and I have to admit, so was I. I have now been through enough close calls and missed planes to arrive at the right time.
We passed easily through Security. I gave the back-of-a-fellow-passengers head the Evil Eye after she pushed my bag along the conveyor belt. I don't actually mind that she touched my stuff, she was just being helpful, but sometimes it's fun to smirk at the fact that I even bothered to move my facial muscles when nobody saw it. I think I like it, because it's totally private. Very rarely does anyone notice. I like that. I like being anonymous.
I bought 2 greasy salted pretzels before I got on the plane, they were very good, but afterward they made me feel awful. I think I must find out exactly what products my body cannot manage, because it gave me the worst stomach ache on the plane. Then again, I really shouldn't be totally surprised that pretzels were a bad choice for breakfast.
The annoying thing about planes though, is that no matter what I eat or don't eat, my stomach always ends up becoming bloated and sore. It makes me wonder if it just can't handle the change in altitude.
Does anyone else suffer from this? It's very annoying.
That's why I would prefer to always journey by car. Sure, I can't drive and the wrong type of car can be particularly bad for the environment, but I want to see what I travel past, I don't want to look over head and squint. It is beautiful though, and the closer you get to the West and its Mountain Ranges, the easier it is to understand how the Tectonic plates work (even though most were most likely exit points for hot lava). The mountains look like cracks in mud that has dried in the sun, and you can easily see how the world will develop from high up. I'm sure it's a marvelous sight from space.
I hadn't let myself look out the window from a plane across America for a long time, because I spent a great deal of time looking outside my window when I first started traveling, and I found the surface of America very dull and dry and baron. Now, after losing my ignorance, I thoroughly enjoy watching the plains pass by. Speaking of Homophones, I saw a small red plane zoom past us as we were traveling. Sure, it's a common sight, but it excited me and made me think of that awesome picture that is often forwarded through email of the Boeing 747 getting ready to crash into a passengers window.
Ahem, planes crashing isn't funny.
The only good thing about American Airlines is the fact that they have GoGo on their plane. I was able to reply emails and watch some videos from 40,000 feet in the air, and that made me happy. I remember reading an article in Times about their development, and to actually see it come into fruition made me happy with the world, especially the good people in the Technology part of it.
Finally, a new thing that one day we'll wonder how we ever lived out. The world's a-changing. Change is a sweet sadness.
We finally arrived in sunny Los Angeles at 1pm, my colleague got a rental car and we began the fairly familiar journey to The Standard.
For the first time, in a long time, I was actually happy to be in Los Angeles. Not only was it warm, but my attitude had changed about it. For the last year or so, I was living with this big chip on my shoulder about how Evil Los Angeles is, and I am not exactly wrong, Los Angeles contains a lot of Evil, but I finally worked out how to work it. Some people think that you have to change who you are when you live in Los Angeles, that's easy, but not true, what's hard is to understand how it works and to resist resisting, and simply be yourself, but Hollywood style. Everyone loves someone who is unique and refreshing, but they also don't mind if it happens to be packaged easily too. I realized the game they play a few weeks ago, and I felt fully prepared to embrace it and enjoy it.
I took a lot of photos of simple things that intrigued me from the car, and after I had been adamant that the only suitable thing to do would be to drive straight to an In-N-Out Burger and taste sweet West Coast goodness, we went to The Grove (yay, Steve Grove shout-out right here, that will never get old for me) and I had a good long phone call with Brooke, she is a strong young lady, outside of the Apple store, we went to Kiehl's and I picked up some good quality luxuries for a fairly decent price.
I then dragged my unwilling colleague into a Kmart to buy my favourite line of foundation, Maybelline New York, (if I was going to play the game, I needed the right materials) and got very annoyed at him when we returned to the car to see the windows wide open. Brooke had recently been robbed and as much as I like to trust the good nature of people, I do not want to test it. That, to me, is just common sense.
We finally checked in to The Standard, and after a few awkward moments (caused by...ahem, that guy) with the man at the front desk, I decided to smile a lot and he checked me in first.
It's hard to describe exactly how I felt when I checked into my room. Though I am appalled that the rooms cost so much, the familiar lay out and the sweet decor of the room warmed my heart, because for a second, I felt home. I quickly regained consciousness and realized the silliness of the setting. I should be anywhere but here, but it would only be for four days, I could allow myself a relapse into my old ways for that, and plus, it wasn't on me. I'd be broke. Again.
I settled in for the night, working out (for the first time in probably 3 months) and watching videos at the same time, and slowly fulfilled my duties and sunk into the big, cold bed.
Hello, Los Angeles. It's me, Caitlin.
- The Long-Winded Typer and The Apologies for a Pointless Blog