Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Life: Estimated Time Till Destination

I didn't take this picture. I did, however, drive into ( and past ) LA to talk with the fine people at a production office today. Having been liberally warned about the state of California driving, I allowed myself an hour and a half to get to my destination which was clocked at being "29 minutes" away, without traffic. I looked up the directions beforehand so I'd generally know the freeways it would suggest without solely relying on my GPS, which I wouldn't be able to see at all times without staring obsessively at my lap and, well, common sense informs me that might not be the best technique on the road.

As it turned out, I still made several wrong decisions but, since the GPS had been telling me to head towards a street labeled "Buses Only" while a cop car drove steadily behind me, I'm okay with that. I also ended up making the route easier for myself, so, more power to wrongness. Making the various twists and turns and more turns and sharp turns and mergings that were required of me, I began to get the odd sensation like John Cleese ( my GPS voice of choice ) was attempting to teach me how to lose a tail instead of arrive at a destination.

At one point, I cheered up as I neared a street with several impressively sized studios with their featured movie posters displayed all along the side in larger-than-life form... but was led right past them. I was going to take a picture of these, but even as I began to pull out my cell-phone I remembered that using it in my car in California was one of those newly prohibited things, so I tossed it away. No studio photos for you. Sorry.

Once at the building, I did the vulture-circle dance around the block to find parking - most of it was residential and therefore off-limits without a permit - and eventually realized I was going past three craftily placed meters. Two of them appeared out of order, so I took the one in the middle that was not. Go me.

After nearly getting off the elevator on the wrong floor because it didn't display any numbers that told you what floor it was on, I arrived at Suite 306. I wandered inside and was asked by a man if I was there to meet 'Mike'. Oh, yes, I was. Oh, well, what do you know, he was Mike. Okay, great. Sit here on the couch? Sure, I'll do that.

THREE HOURS LATER -- no, just kidding. But, it was, like, thirty phone calls. Following the first handful of check-ins and reroutes, I started to wonder if this was some kind of test, was I expected to behave a certain way when left alone to wait. Should I look patient? Should I be... doing something to show I'm productive? Should I-- blarrrgh! What should I do?! ... So I was very importantly jotting down a map for myself about where I'd found the available parking when one of the men from the front office went in to help a woman claiming to be doing something involving the "three-act structure". Oh ho ho. But now my writer senses are tingling!

I shamelessly eaves-dropped on their conversation - come on, the door was still open and everything - when I heard the "f" word dropped. Several times.

... A sense of comfort and belonging fell over me in that moment.

No, but, really - casual swearing makes me feel better inside. 1) You can talk like yourself there, 2) They are normal people who talk like normal people. Pleasant conversation has its place, I'm not saying that, it's just nice to be able to relax in a work environment.

Anyway, I got in to have a chat with Mike and he laid out the basics of what interning would be like, where I could find free parking, etc, etc. Those important details. I drove home after that in the lovely backed up but not unmoving LA evening traffic, where I was glad for the slow pace because it allows me to get my bearings without people honking, and turn up my music because I don't need to hear the GPS as often. And maybe it's the slowness of the traffic already, but I found people to be fairly considerate so far when it comes to merging. They are, however, less considerate when they think you had time to make your right turn and you didn't.

In celebration of driving, I present the first installment of What Does This Remind Me Of: California Rivers

I spotted these particular structures the first time my parents and I were driving to our hotel. This view isn't very beneficial to the game, but what these are is cement "rivers" moving alongside the street that collect water when it rains. However, when they are dry, they are just "V"-shaped pathways conveniently out of traffic, sometimes when provided bike paths that perhaps... a bike, or a motorcycle... or a hijacked semi might travel.

Guess away, all 4 faithful blog-followers. What do these remind me of?

1 comment:

Owen Dennis! said...