Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy!!!
So, L.A. was exactly as I remember it...and even after these weeks of cruising through the tropics, the way its palm trees loom down from the clouds overhead still strikes me as threatening and creepily primordial. I'm always sort of expecting to see some remnants from the production of Jurassic Park suddenly wake, claw their way out of Universal Studios, and lay waste to the whole, egregiously excessive region. I mean, really--French intellectuals aside, the place invented the spectacle.
Still, Clara and I had a great time knocking back shots and looking hilariously out of place at the Burgundy Room. It was sorta funny that, after all the self-consciousness some of us have felt now and then about the, er, "affordability" of our dress clothes aboard the ship, we'd end up wearing them to a dingy punk bar and...well, obviously still wind up feeling pretty out of place. Even so, our squareness didn't stop more than one guy from trying to give Clara his number. This one, overweight dude with metal spikes protruding (in a highly decorative, but equally punishing) fashion from the curvatures of his ears...he absolutely wouldn't take a hint. And shamefully, I was a little too scared to do much to end the conversation myself. Fortunately, Clara seemed to find the whole thing highly amusing. I think she eventually gave him a fake number, but we never really broke free of him until we finally called it a night. I was most entertained by the tiny confines of the bathroom; I had the most intimate encounter I've had for longer than I care to tell just trying to squeeze my way back out alongside the line of folks waiting their turn.
In other news, I've finally emerged from that awful, come-lately tourist sunburn...into the fully fledged beach-bunny tan for which my Uchicago'd body had heretofore always hopelessly longed. For the last three summers, I've pushed myself to spend more time out of doors than my attention span and appetite tended to prefer. I always achieved noticable differences, but only relative to my prior ashen pallor--the index of my hours of (sun)lightless study and/or work. But not this year! I am sunkissed and Dark! My hair's lightening, though, and I always have reservations about that. But, how I carry on!
More later, though (hopefully), about San Francisco. Seriously, I may move there. It was everything I hoped it would be, even after all our beaches and tropical trails and sunshine. Of course, once I'm back to paying my own expenses, I'll probably have to reconsider.