June 8, 1997

Things That Make L.A. Cool

There are several things about living in Los Angeles that I like very much. Oh, sure, you can scoff, but I’m really, really enjoying this town.

Take Sunday, for instance. It was a fairly average day in that I made a trip to the driving range (got to practice that golf stroke!), went for groceries, and visited a very cool local news stand, browsing for magazines. Oh, and it should be pointed out that I did all of these things (including the golf) after 10:00 p.m. On a Sunday. Now that was cool.

Thursday I was feeling a bit bored, so I decided to jump over to Dodger Stadium, and see the Dodgers take on the Giants.

Friday, I got together with a friend down in Redondo Beach. We had a lovely dinner at The Cheesecake Factory restaurant, overlooking the waterfront.

Saturday, I bugged out after work, and hooked up with friends for a movie at the Burbank Media City Center. We saw "The Lost World: Jurassic Park," then stepped outside, and were walking around the area where they filmed a good part of the movie’s exciting conclusion. Only in Los Angeles.

Sure, there are earthquakes, and I must admit, I haven’t been through my first "big one" yet. But somehow, in my mind, the fact that I drove by the famed Dresden Room the other night makes up for the potential quake risk. And besides, the little ones haven’t been that bad.

I know I’m taunting the gods of irony to strike with some horrible event, but until they do, I will say proudly I am glad to be here.

Other Miscellaneous Thoughts:

On this year’s All-Star ballot, which I dutifully filled out Thursday night at the Stadium, I found myself reading the fine print on the back. It says, "Canadian citizens may be asked a mathematical question to be eligible …" I assume this refers to the prize sweepstakes that is run in conjunction with the balloting. Still, I couldn’t help but picture this scene in, say, suburban Toronto …

A Mountie (full RCMP garb) knocks on the door to a nice, middle-class home. Little Timmy, age seven, opens the door, wide-eyed with wonder at the resplendent figure before him.

MOUNTIE: Are you Timothy Martin, 35 Brantford Lane, Hull, Ontario?

TIMMY: Actually, it’s "Timmy…"

MOUNTIE: That’s not important now, son. I see here for National League catcher, you’ve punched out the little box for Mike Piazza.

TIMMY: He’s my favorite …

MOUNTIE: Do you know what his batting average is?

TIMMY: (Slightly bewildered) Um… five thousand?

MOUNTIE: (Become agitated) Son, do you know how to compute a batting average?

TIMMY: My mommy is here … I could go get her, if you want?

MOUNTIE: (Bellowing) Number of hits divided by times at bat! Now, you want to rethink that answer, son?

TIMMY: I’m going to go now… (slowly, he closes the door.)

Well, it could happen.

Also seen at Thursday’s Dodgers - Giants game: Not one, but two ceremonial "first pitches," a "fantasy public address announcer" who was nowhere near as good as I am (and I did submit a tape for that contest … boo-hoo!), a stirring rendition of the national anthem by five (maybe six) of the honkiest soul singers in the world, the Knudsen Brothers (pronounce it with a hard "k"), a discussion between fans and a vendor about the status of a legendary Dodger Stadium peanut vendor who had been fired two weeks earlier for buying nuts with a meal voucher and reselling them at full cost, pocketing the difference (he’s still out of a job, his seal-like bark of "NUTS! NUTS! NUTS!" still silenced), and a school of swooping sparrows who inspired me to jot down four ideas for a new series of children’s books.

I really have to go to more Dodgers games.

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Colin Campbell - jenolen@earthlink.net
Last updated June 8, 1997