Should have gotten more sleep last night. Tried. No good. Finally fell asleep around 10. Got up at 3. Blared Nashville Pussy as I showered and prepared. Texted a bunch of people. Heard back from my supervisor, who was also up at 3. Why remains a mystery. At twenty after four I'm on the road. First song playing? Rolling Stones' “Paint it Black.” Perfect. Check in at airport. Fly out with military aboard. Land in Redding. Pick up more military and three women who sit across from me. They spend the entire trip to L.A. talking about clothes and shoes and how they fit, what the best colors are, where to get deals and so on. I now know what 9/11 was really all about. Touch down. Wait three hours at the airport and am amazed by the amount of Asian people wearing breathers. 900 good tattoos later and I'm head-first into L.A. traffic, famous worldwide for its road rage-inspiring madness. A ten mile trip takes roughly eight and a half hours. L.A. is car obsessed (Mercedes of various origins by the looks of it), but nobody seems to understand why. Billboards display the latest Hollywood crap. Later I see a sign offering “eyebrow threading,” which sounds slightly dangerous. I'm told it's natural. I also find out that I almost avoided all this traffic because my daughter and I were set to be picked up by helicopter, but those plans fell through at the last minute.
My mind is fried.
I don't spend a lot of time on the outskirts of L.A., and I'm glad. Between the plastic of the airport, the traffic, and larger than life depictions of Jack Black's face, I don't know how much my delicate sensibilities can stand. I called L.A. a whore in one of my cell phone dispatches. I mean that. It is a whore. You pay your money and you get exactly what you expect. It's cheap, tawdry and not even close to a “real” experience. When people think of CA, they think of this. Referring back to 9/11, had it happened here the reaction would have been totally different. It would have been dramatic and very Hollywood-like. Faux emotions. Crocodile tears.
I have a headache. I always get one the first day on the road. Right now I'm thinking that Japan doesn't seem like such a bad idea.