Monday, January 14, 2008


Hidden millions in your pants

I just got back yesterday from southern California, a quick trip for a great conference. I like having a hotel room to myself (no offense to awesome roomies, such as Mr. Cupcakes) just because you can lie around and watch Law & Order and get room service and generally feel fabulous. I guess except for room service, life at home is not so different. I just really love ordering things and having them show up in your room. Perhaps I should train the cats.

In addition to my general sloth, I enjoyed getting to know the Claremont corner of southern California. Seeing things like this

on January 11 is nothing short of miraculous. Even North Carolina doesn't work that kind of magic.

On my free afternoon, I got in my super-hot rental car (well, a Kia Optima with a scrape on the side) and took some new friends out for a spin. I experienced the wonders of traveling on LA freeways. There was even a huge tire fire that shut down part of the highway. How authentically hellish! The quintessential Cali experience. After only an hour or three, we made it to Malibu.

Malibu is really pretty, with 1960s-era angular houses tumbling over the rocky cliffs. We drove through some of the little neighborhoods and everyone was, like, roller skating and washing their Lexuses (Lexi?) and generally being highly all-American. I can see why some people put up with tire fires in exchange for gorgeous sunset views and warm weather year-round. After Malibu, we drove up Sunset Boulevard (yes, THAT Sunset Boulevard) and cruised through Bel Air, Beverly Hills, and Hollywood. I saw the Hollywood sign, the Capital Records building, the Kodak Theatre, the stars on the walk of fame, the original Frederick's of Hollywood, the palm-lined boulevards of Beverly Hills (90210) and people dressed up as Jedis. It was quantitatively awesome. The only way it could have been better is if Britney herself had appeared and perhaps hit my car.

There is always a dark side, though, as all Jedis know. For example, look what I found the the ladies' room of a middle eastern restaurant:

That is appalling. And environmentally unsound. And your eyes do not deceive: a baby has been placed inside a cleaning bucket next to a bidet.

After witnessing this testament to depravity, I came back to my hotel room to discover this:

Hidden millions in your pants? I tried for, like, 3o seconds to figure out what was happening with this caption but I was scarred with images of toilet paper-wrapped babies and cash stuffed pants and had to turn on some Law & Order and unwind. And a little room service really takes the edge off, you know?

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Please tell me that that was a photograph of those kids hanging on the wall of said ladie's room and not actually that scene in the ladie's room!
And as for my pants, I'm lucky if there's hidden $2 in there. Really.
Ahh...sun and warmth. What was that like? I've forgotten...
you were in claremont? you should've swung by my parents' place! they make a mighty fine cocktail, which could be served poolside, should that strike your fancy...
That photographer obviously has not heard the PSA outlining the dangers of babies and buckets. Sad, so very sad.
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