Week 12 - 11/30/03
Well, Gabe’s workload is now decreased 50 percent – the Meatheads are being evicted due to the lobbying efforts of all the neighbors. And nobody has lost any body fluid into the furniture lately, so he’s having an easy time of it.

My one disappointment with LA so far is that of the hundred or so people I know from college and other places who live out here, only three of them live within 45 minutes. And those would be my roommates. This is partly due to the city’s aforementioned colossal size – saying you live in Los Angeles is like saying you live in New England – it doesn’t really mean anything until you get a little more specific. This means it’s not as easy as I’d hoped to get together with old friends on a regular basis - as we’ve illustrated just because two people live in Los Angeles doesn’t mean they live anywhere near each other.

That being said, my friend Sarah in Irvine and I invented a technique this week to combat this drawback. The technique doesn’t have a name yet, but it basically involves two people getting in their cars at the same time, calling each other’s cell phones and then starting their conversation as they drive towards one another to meet in the middle. Though not during rush hour, of course. Maybe we’ll call it the “Meet-Halfway Technique”. Or maybe this is why it doesn’t have a name.

This works great for a few reasons. A), it halves the distance you have to travel to see somebody, and there’s no arguing over who makes the drive. You both do, and twenty minutes is a lot better than 40 minutes. B) Talking as you drive transforms even the transit time into valuable interaction, and gets some of the small-talk/catch-up out of the way so you can get right down to it once you see each other. And everybody in LA has a cell phone. And finally C), meeting halfway typically lands you in some obscure place you never would have gone to otherwise. Sarah and I wound up in Seal Beach, a quiet little ocean community where there aren’t any seals on the beach but there are lots of huge bulldozers moving sand around for no reason. We walked on the peer and ate at a little omelet shack with a surly waitress. If we ever go back perhaps we’ll go to one of the town’s happening night spots, such as the deftly-named Club Seals.

I also went to Phoenix this week for a two-day Thanksgiving vacation binge, but I’ll leave that account next week because I have some pictures I want to use that aren’t available yet. To tease: stay tuned for a ping-pong turned banquet table and a Nazi-Volkswagen jeep called “The Thing”.

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