Monday, August 08, 2005
la, as much as I can
This is a tough one. First because whenever I take time off from posting, even a week, I fall completely out of practice and am rendered useless. I’ll bring up an empty Word document on my computer and start typing away, getting halfway down the page before realizing what I’m writing sucks. Then I’ll get up to "get some air" and get stuck watching "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" for an hour. Then I’ll come back and force myself to sit at the computer. As you might expect, three minutes later my bird is slathered in aloe vera, being yanked to and fro by my hand like a shark shaking a helpless chubby seal in its mighty jaws (only in our analogy with my tiny penis, it’d be more like a shark attacking a AA battery). Then I’ll write about four different openings to the post, each of which suck, until I give up and go with something unfunny. You know, exactly like I’m doing right now.
The second reason why this is a tough post is the nature of my trip to LA. I assure you I’m not being shady about this because I want to or am trying to be cool. It just must be this way. Like I said before, I basically went to LA to a) get people to pay me to be a fuck up, which would lead to b) fame and fortune, which would lead to c) hot black chicks having sex with me in a limo while I stuck my head out the sunroof and screamed "I am Jason Fucking Mulgrew and I am getting fellated by three hot black chicks right now! And when they’re done, I’m never going to see them again! I’ll just find three more hot black chicks to blow me tomorrow! Because I’m Jason Fucking Mulgrew! Well, maybe not tomorrow, because I haven’t had a gordita in a long time and the only reason I didn’t have one tonight is because I promised myself I’d get one for dinner tomorrow, but you get it! I am Jason Fucking Mulgrew! Somebody come over here and give me a high five! Quick – I think the light is going to change!"
But since the odds of this happening (a, b, and especially c – save for the gordita part) are very, very slim, I don’t want to get into them into detail here. Because I don’t want to get a Random Hurtful Email from one of you in three months saying:
Hey Jason,So that’s all we’ll say about the nature of the LA trip.
Remember when you went to LA to try to get famous and it failed miserably and last night I saw you in the subway having sex (or rather, trying to have sex) with a sheet of aluminum foil? And then you started sucking on your fingers and saying, "Tell me this is magical! Tell me you want me to touch you in all your secret places!" but then you suddenly stopped and started crying? Then a cop came over and you asked him to shoot you? So anyway, sucks that that LA thing didn’t work out for you.
Some douchebag who reads your site
And the third reason that this is a tough one to write is that, well, I didn’t do much while I was in LA. I had a ton of meetings, so I spent my days driving from my hotel in Beverly Hills to Burbank to LA to Universal City then back to Beverly Hills. I usually had large stretches of time between meetings, so I would spend an hour or two killing time driving around the side streets of Burbank looking for large trees to park under so I’d be in the shade. My buddy Joe joined me in LA on Tuesday night, so for more than half the week he was involved in this process and as you might imagine, he was thrilled ("You mean I get to drive you around in all this traffic, then sit in the car with you for hours between meetings, then sit in the car while you’re in your meeting, then drive you back in a bunch of traffic to another meeting? That’s great. I fucking love LA.").
Having said all this, LA was a good time. Of course, it pales in comparison to the fair city of New York, for reasons I will talk about below. Keep in mind that most of what I saw in LA involved the interior of the sweet Chrysler Seabring (sarcasm) I was driving around and the inside of my hotel room, but that won’t stop me from passing judgment and bashing LA here. Because I’m good at the whole "judgmental" thing.
And the categories are...
What I love about NYC can be summed up in one sentence: "Anything you want, 24 hours a day, is only a $10 cab ride away." If it’s Tuesday at 2am and I want dim sum, I can get dim sum in 20 minutes. If on a Thursday morning at 10am I want to see some titties, in minutes I’m drinking a $12 vodka tonic and my slimy fingers are groping a 19 year-old dancer from Yugoslavia’s boobies. If a buddy on the Upper West Side calls me and says, "Dude, I just broke into some dude’s boat and stole a bunch of pills – get over here quick!", a short ride on the 1 train and I’m in heaven. As much as I complain about it, I love the NYC subway system. And I love NYC cabs.
I can’t say the same thing about LA, mostly because there are no cabs. Ditto on a subway or decent public transit system. Also, there aren’t a lot of bars. Nor are there many 24 hour diners that deliver. Nothing much in the good strip clubs that serve alcohol department either. Basically, if you want just about anything, you have to get into your car and drive to get it. In the immediate vicinity of my hotel, there was one bar. There were, however, three sushi places. I'll take a nice cold Budweiser over a lukewarm piece of raw fish any day.
Not to mention that in NYC, I'm 1.5 hours from Philly, 3 hours from DC, 4 hours from Boston, 6 hours from London. In LA, Vegas is close, but that's about it. And I don't think I should be going to Vegas very often (gambling + no open container laws + extreme heat + "legal" prostitution + expensive strip clubs = Jason either dead or in jail 45 minutes after leaving the Vegas airport).
Advantage: NYC by a lot
It was been routinely about 90º in my living room after 10pm in NYC. It's unbearable, and human beings (especially ones that aren't poor) shouldn't have to deal with it. When I step out of my office at work to navigate the streets of downtown NYC looking for a decent slice of pizza, there is a 50% chance that I won't make it back alive, having collapsed in a pile of trash under the FDR from heat stroke. It sucks. Big time.
Of course, we all know the weather in LA is great. Not just a little great, but a lot great. There was a time - on Tuesday night, I believe - that I was standing on the little "balcony" (a ledge two feet wide and six feet long) outside my hotel room smoking a doob. There was a cool breeze in the air as I looked at the palm trees in the distance and toward the glow of the Taco Bell across the street and I swear I almost started fucking crying because it was so wonderful. This may be because the weed in LA is about ten times better than the weed in NYC, but something about the weather and how great it was just really got to me. And the drugs, too.
Having said that, I'm still not sold on the weather out there. I hate NYC in the summer and I hate it in the winter. But...I don't know. There is something about making it through the oppressive summers and the frigid winters that makes the warmth of spring and the coolness of fall all the more worth it. And what the hell is Christmas like in 75º weather? Doesn't that just seem wrong? And personally, I wouldn't be able to wear any winter clothes, which make me look "big", as opposed to summer clothes which make me look "overweight and sweaty, even possibly criminal".
It's getting to the point that going out anymore for me has to be really fun, because I'm realizing that spending $6 on a Bud Light (times 10) per night is not a good financial decision. I think it's because I'm getting old, but the point is that nightlife is getting more and more important to me, as I move from quantity to quality. I don't go out five nights a week anymore because I don't have the money and hangovers at work are becoming less and less acceptable, so when I do go out, I must choose wisely and have a good time.
In NYC, this is easily done. There are at least two bars on every street in the areas that I go out. If I'm standing in an intersection in the East Village, I can throw a tennis ball to a half-dozen bars. Well, maybe I can't throw a tennis ball to them, but someone who's good at throwing can. You get it.
In LA, um, where are the bars? Aside from the touristy/fratty ones on Sunset, where are they? As I mentioned above, there was one decent bar within walking distance from my hotel. I was informed that many people have house parties. I think I could get into house parties, but that just seems like trouble to me. One too many shots of Jameson and I'd be in the master bedroom, trying on pajamas and sticking various toiletries in my heinie.
But having said all this, I'd move to LA in a heartbeat. I don't know if I'd live out there forever, but I could see myself doing a year or two on the west coast, driving around in a piece of shit car, spending my days living in constant fear of earthquakes and my nights drunk driving. It's a different vibe out there, and I feel like I should change things up a bit, since I'm slowly and certainly becoming a "New Yorker" and I'm not sure how I feel about that. And sure, maybe I'm just writing this to appease anyone in LA who's reading this and thinking of offering me money to come and work out there, but whatever. We all knew that I'd sell out at the first possible opportunity anyway, so just wish me luck and pray that I don't hurt myself or anyone else when I never hear from anyone in LA again and I spiral into a manic depression that ends in only one way: the consumption of an exorbitant amount of sausage. Such is life.