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Last night in LA

Im finally getting around to this now, but I figured I needed to finish out the trip to LA.

I woke up in Brandon’s room (AAS wakeboarder athlete) and had to check out by 11am. From there I was in limbo for the next 6 hours. I spent those 6 hours without a car and stuck in the hotel lobby Starbucks doing homework and facilitating skateboards for Marc Jacobs. I almost went crazy under the tunes of Starbucks. Their “ecclecitc” mix of jazz, pop, jazz-pop, and everything in between pushed me closer to the edge than I have been in a long time. The fact that suicide crossed my mind as my ears bled is a testament to the horrendous sounds selection available in your local Starbucks. (mom, I didnt mean that last statement, it was for emphasis) The only reason for my being in Starbucks that long was to access the internet. I may never go into a StarF*ck again, besides to use their internet.

My friend Knockers, picked me up from my StarF*ck$ hell and flew me heaven on earth, In N Out at LAX (check out my poem derived from a previous trip to In N Out LAX). This place is literally one of my favorite spots on the planet. You may be thinking that I have horrible taste in favorite planet spots, but before you judge hear me out. One of the most memorable things about my military experience was the fact that I could watch planes take off and land all day. I loved this so much as a kid building model airplanes (“building model airplanes he says. Meanwhile there’s change missing off the dresser and your daughter’s knocked up, I’ve seen it a million times…Tommy Boy reference.) and hanging them from my ceiling. My favorite was the SR-71 Blackbird. I think that any kid airplane fanatic during my generation loved this plane.

Digression is a problem of mine in these free association writings. All this from my childhood somehow lead me to the military and here to In N Out LAX where I could stare up into the “lineup” all day as I eat my Double Double. The lineup is the flight path of all the planes that are coming in to land in an airport. At night, the lineup can be seen for miles and always intrigues me. Sitting there with Knockers, eating burgers and fries, and just absorbing the sights and sounds of these jumbo jets totally mesmerized me. I remember staring into the sky as the jet engines whined across our field of view and down onto the tarmac. I think we sat there for almost an hour, in one of my favorite spots on the planet, just watching and talking. It was a great change to my previous 6 hours of the day.

Knockers and I rolled to Dodger Stadium to meet up with Rojo Hermano (named for turning nearly a bright red in the Tucson sun) and the Little Mermaid (her name was Ariel) to watch the LA Dodgers play San Diego. We bought tickets out in right field in the ALL YOU CAN EAT section. I have only one word for this, INCREDUmazingIBLEtasticNESS. I have always wanted a Dodger Dog, so I ate four. Some nachos, sodas, and a couple beers. The ticket was $40 for this section and I definitely ate enough food to justify this purchase. I would never sit in any other section in any other stadium as long as I live if possible. It was a great game that LA won and I loved hanging with this crew. Tobi and I sat around in the parking lot after the game to enjoy the best view of LA I had been privy to yet. From this angle, LA looked amazing. It was larger than I realized. Not in span but in height. I have driven around and through LA many times, but never seen it like this. It actually made me think that I could live there…then we drove off the mountain and into the ghetto. Thanks LA, you almost had me fooled.

After the game, Knockers dropped me off at Sean’s place and we decided to head out with his lady friend into town for my last night. My last night in LA turned out to be an interesting, chill night with my high school friend and his girlfriend. To start out the night we went to a bar called Dresden, which opened its doors in 1954 and has been a Hollywood landmark since then. The Dresden is the home of Marty and Elayne, jazz musicians who have been playing the lounge since 1982. Marty and Elayne were already a Hollywood jazz, power duet through the 80s and early 1990s, but became even more famous when they were featured in the movie “Swingers” in 1996. It was great to learn the history of this iconic Hollywood spot and to sit in the same seats as many famous actors and musicians. While there I decided to go against my better judgement and have a glass of wine. (for those that havent experienced Matt on wine, it goes one of two ways; bad or zaney.) This one happened to go zaney, is that how you would spell it? I had one red and then dipped into a second. That was absolutely enough for me for the rest of the night.

I loved just sitting in those plush leather booths taking in all the lounge had to offer. Wood paneled walls, old school bar, piano as the focal point, drums to its right, mirrors and paintings all around…this place was a spectacle all in itself. We listened to some of the locals sing their hearts out and I fell in love at least twice that night under the spell of two beauties belting old tunes. The wine certainly helped that I would have to say.

We closed the Dresden down, talked to Marty and Elayne as they closed up, and walked out to an all night diner called Fred 62. This place is a crazy fusion of 50s diner and rock n roll, I loved it. The link there is to the piece of the menu that I ordered from. You can see the Bearded Mr. French and the Treasure Island French Toast which both sounded so amazing that I could not choose between the two. Instead of picking between the two, I decided to offer up my own mash up of the crunchiness of the Bearded and the carmelized mango and pineapple chutney of the Treasure Island. The cute little punk waitress (purple and black hair, pierced dimples, and green eyes. I definitely do not have a solidified type in women. Im all over the map.) said she would talk to management to name that dish after me because she had never heard that combo before. I hope that this comes true because then you could order Matt’s French Toast at Fred 62.

This french toast combo was out of sight. Huge, thick texas cut style toast grilled to perfection. Just enough butter to coat, but not soggy. The carmelized mango/pineapple chutney was an incredibly smooth mixture of the two fruits and rendered syrup obsolete. I ordered a hot green tea to top it off and my dining experience was complete, at least that’s what I thought. The food was out of sight and I would try everything on that menu as well as recommend Fred 62 to anyone that is going through Los Feliz, Hollywood, CA.

As we chatted about everything and nothing, the door pops open and in walks a freak show. I mean a legit freak show, like out of an old traveling circus. You know, those creepy ones that you see where there’s a bearded fat lady, a super bendy guy that can fit in a shoebox, and the lizard man. In walks a guy that had to be 6’6″ in stiletto heels, a cod piece, and a silver, sequins cape. His entourage was filled with wacky orange and green hair colors, skimpy clothes, tons of piercings, and more fishnet than the Deadliest Catch boats. I could not help but stare and think that this was the Hollywood that I had wanted to see. On our way out, I convinced these partygoers to step in for a couple pictures. Check out those pics, too funny.

We laughed the whole way home about the people I attract, the circus side show, and just crashed out. The couch was more comfortable than I could have hoped for. The perfect end to the night was the fact that we slept with the screen door open letting the cool cali breeze roll in. Awesome night.

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