1 May 2008


Tuesday was an awesome day! Here it is in point form with a bit of elaboration.

Took the bus in with Rohan and checked out where he works, wandered around the campus a bit, etc. That area of town is a lot nicer to my eyes, mainly because there are trees. YES, trees. Also, so much UCLA clothing – it’s weird. Why would you wear such dorky, ugly, boring clothes?

• Squirrels
I saw some squirrels! And took bad pictures of them! They are cute, but I think English squirrels are cuter. As I was standing on the edge of the footpath taking a picture of them, this enormously tall jock boy wearing white shorts and a white singlet (oh yeah, he was . . . special) skate boarded past and yelled “Dayum toorists!” Later, when we were checking Rohan’s Mac at the campus computer store, we saw him again, and Rohan said “Dayum toorists” back at him. He was a dickhead.

• Coffee
After I left Rohan at work, I went to find me a coffee. I didn’t want to go to Starbucks, so I had the choice of Peets or the Coffee Bean, two other chains. I chose Coffee Bean, where I was treated to one of the worst cappuccinos I have ever consumed. It tasted like coffee grounds and was weak despite me getting a double shot. Also the froth was . . . kind of solid. It wasn’t pleasant, but I sat in the shade outside and planned some things to do. I didn’t really follow the plan, but that’s OK.

• Decongestant
I bought some Demazin on my doctor’s orders before I left, and it’s been good to me so far – I haven’t got an ear infection after flying, and it’s helped with (though not stopped) my ridiculously runny nose and LA inspired sneezes. I went to a pharmacy and found something similar among the aisles of pills and suchlike. I took the card up to the desk (where they keep the actual tablets for this medication), and the sales assistant there reminded me of Woody Allen – not so much in looks, but in kind of apologetically fussy, neurotic behaviour. Lucky he was so adorkable, or I would have found the hassle that followed a lot worse. First he asked for my licence. I said I was Australian, is that OK? He said yes, I gave him the licence. Something was not working on his computer, and he asked for other photo ID. I gave him my passport, but not until I asked why he needed it. Apparently, like Grace told me, “In California, this medication is controlled by the state.” I asked why, and it’s because people can make druuuuugs out of it. In went all my passport details, and he asked for a zip code. A what? A zip code. Oh! I told him my postcode at home, and he tried to enter it with no success. Even if you live in Australia your postcode has to be at least 5 digits long. He got his boss. His boss wanted ID with my home address on it. I handed back my licence. They tried again. Wouldn’t work. They suggested I get a different medication. I laughed at them, nicely. Eventually they gave up and wrote the pharmacy address as my address, and I was on my way with TEN WHOLE TABLETS containing pseudoephedrine – I am going to make a fortune.

• Cemetery
I went to look at the war cemetery with all the little white crosses, and walked half way around it, but there’s only one entrance, so in the end I just stuck my camera through the fence and took pics of the ground plaques instead. Then I headed back to look at an exhibition Rohan had mentioned at the Hammer.

• Hammer Museum
The exhibition in question was called “My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love” by Kara Walker, and WOW. IT. WAS. AMAZING. It was one of the best exhibitions I have been to for a long time – extensive, well thought out, lots of information on the walls and in the free pamphlet, and fantastic artwork. It was so good I bought the catalogue – even though it was $50, I thought hard about it and knew that I would regret *not* buying it. And since I’d offloaded the Milo I had some space and weight spare in my bag. I spent about three hours just in that exhibition, and if you ever have the chance to see it or any of her work, YOU MUST! I came out feeling nourished and thinky and political and engaged and just, wow. In fact, the cloakroom guy noticed I’d been in there for ages, and then proceeded to tell me about his life – how he’d lived in New York but had moved here twenty years ago, how the pace of life was more relaxed and he liked walking on the beach. He also recommended I go to the Getty Center [note American spelling!], and gave me very detailed instructions, pointing out the bus stop and offering to write down the number for me. I was a bit iffy, as I’d planned to go to see the Tar Pits, but I thought, “I’ll just go and see what time the bus leaves and if I can be bothered”, and when I got to the bus stop the bus was just pulling in. So on I hopped, and gawked at the big houses on the trip there (it was much greener than most of the other places I went in LA).

• Getty Center
The Getty Center itself is AMAZING. It sits at the top of a hill, an imposing piece of architecture that reflects the sun’s glare from every stone. You take the free tram up the hill, getting a sneak preview of the views of LA afforded from the top, as well as being able to see both ways along the San Diego Freeway, with its eight lanes of traffic speeding along. The centre is bright (too bright on a sunny day without sunnies) and big and bold and enjoyable to walk around. If you go, take the free 1 hour architecture tour (I didn’t really have time) – I bet it’d be worthwhile. With such a view (on a clear day I imagine it would be truly amazing), and such awesomely huge architecture, I am not at all surprised that I found the collection itself a bit underwhelming. There’s a room of drawings, a few of artefacts, quite a lot of paintings (in comparison to the rest) and a couple of rooms of photography. I missed the video section, and I’m spitting chips because there was a Harry Dodge/Stanya Kahn thing there. I guess it’s to be expected that such a new gallery wouldn’t have a very impressive collection, but the information beside every artwork was so keen to point out how important it was and how it enhanced the collection that I couldn’t help but notice how little there actually was on display. The one section I really wanted to go to – the manuscripts – was closed, and the Medieval and Renaissance tour was going to focus only on the Renaissance (which, frankly, I know quite enough about already), so I handed back my earpiece and went and ate an overpriced sandwich, looking out over the city. I really missed Dan – or even having a friend around – then. It would be such a nice place to sit on the lawn and have a bit of a picnic.

• Rohan, Michael, guitars, dinner
I bused back to meet Rohan, and we went to meet a friend of a friend – Michael of Fretboard Journal – at Westwood Music. Oh my lord, the guitars. I was drooling. We went out for dinner at Jax Vegan Café, where I had delicious BBQ “Chicken” with ranch dressing. NOM NOM NOM. Michael drove us home, I packed my bags, and we hit the sack – both tired out after a long and fabulous (at least for me!) day.

But first we took the opportunity to mug for the camera.


  1. heh. awesome. sounds like fun - except for the coffee, which just sounds WEIRD! miss you too. xxxxxxxx

  2. oh, how i miss you! sounds like you're having fun. i want to be there so we can have fun TOGETHER! lovelovelovevole

  3. i am soooooo excited you saw that kara walker exhibition. it was on at the whitney in ny when we were there. i loved it to be bits and pieces....i kinda couldn't believe i was seeing such genius. i totally regret not buying the catalogue but i'm glad you did! kate found the exhibition kinda, well not confronting as such, but quite upsetting, it gave her a sick feeling, which i guess is good.

    glad you are having so much fun!


  4. the exhibition was so amaaazing!!! i think it was the best thing i did in los angeles (not including seeing people, of course). i can definitely see how it would make someone feel ill, though. there was a lot of stuff in there that could be pretty horrific.

    *hugs you all* nom nom nom!