The Continuing Adventures of Myself – Part The Sixth

Monday 7th December: One good thing about growing up in England is that when visiting other countries, you gain a little perspective in certain areas. Food, yes, there’s more out here than there is at home. Lifestyle, again, is something very different to what we would deem normal. Attitudes towards the weather… oh yes. You see, today, for the first time in my 6 weeks of being here (and for the first time in months and months for the people that actually reside in this state), it rained. It not only rained – it is still raining. Not only is it still raining, but it will continue to do so for a little while. But what surprised me most is how it rains – it’s not just a drizzle out here, it’s fucking Biblical!! Admittedly, this is apparently how it has been in England for a while now, with warnings of floods et al, but even with that in mind, it’s still coming down kinda hard. But even so, the way people react to this kind of weather, you’d think the fucking Apocalypse was just around the corner! But it really does live up to the old addage of “when it rains, it pours”, so this is all new to me – the concept of it actually raining in California! Anyway, no time to finish the entry last night, but we went to the house of a friend of Leigh and Marguerite’s (the people who run the company I’m interning for, so I’m their intern) and had a great meal and sung some songs, because they’re music-oriented people which was really great. We also listened to this CD of this guy called David Sedaris, who was talking about different Christmas stories but about the Dutch one in particular. Apparently, in Dutch Christmas stories, St. Nick arrives on a Steamboat and then travels by horses etc, but part of the story is that there are no elves (Elves, apparently, are just a silly concept to have at Christmas…). Instead, he is accompanied by what is only ever referred to as “six to eight black men, who are in no way slaves but in fact work for St. Nick purely voluntarily”. This made us all laugh SO hard, as it’s only EVER “six to eight black men” – never an exact head count! Anyway, you learn something new every day. Back at work today, doing more work on projects before I go (not long now. Bad times.) and quite possibly head into Santa Monica in the evening later on! Packing things into my schedule this week – should be fun!!

Tuesday 8th December: I have just come out of the tail end of what could have been the most spontaneous, emotional and generally all round baffling 4 days I’ve been through since being here. I’ve only just now gotten back to the house where I’m staying, and thus back to where my clothes are. This is mostly due to me spending the weekend at Leigh and Marguerite’s (as has already been explained), but then spontaneously spending the night round my friend Mindy’s last night. I should explain at this point that when I eventually DID decide to stay at her house, I had had NO chances to go back to my place. Which meant I was STILL wearing the clothes I set out in on Saturday at noon. ALL of the same clothes – all down to the socks. Anyway, I decided to stay as I thought it might be fun since I was being taught how to play a game called Beer Pong. Those that don’t know of it, should look it up. Those that do, will know that it is one of the BEST games around! Considering I don’t drink, it was very kind of the people there to fill my cups with water instead, and for someone to drink my “beer” for me, but the game basically consists of two teams of two players taking turns to land ping-pong balls in cups of beer at the other end of a table. You are also allowed to throw the other person off their game, so most things go – insults, random noises, various acts of nudity, you name it. Anyway, we play this game for a while, and I end up staying round the night. I wake up the next morning and realise that I don’t actually have much in the way of getting to work… After attempting the normally reliable (when I actually know where to go to get one, and which one to get) bus, I vote for the taxi option. 5 weeks of being here by myself, and this is the first time I’ve resorted to a taxi. I’d say that’s pretty good going so far! Tonight was a bit strange, things got cancelled because Jennifer suddenly got really really sick. I haven’t heard back, but hopefully she isn’t too bad. It did mean that there were no plans for this evening, so I saw Mindy again instead (No Beer Pong this time, which is probably a good thing!). Right now, however, I am shattered. I had VERY little sleep last night, I’ve been in the same clothes (minus resorting to a shirt today which WAS meant to be a present for myself at Christmas. Oh well…) for 4 whole days now, and I’m going to sleep and I don’t care what you say about it. G’night!

Wednesday 9th December: One more thing that I’m seriously going to miss about being out here is the feeling of being around like-minded, creative individuals that have stories to tell. After a regular day of interning (which, even though it was a “regular” day, it’s still great being there!) we go to a Birthday party type thing for the wife of the guy who runs the Facility where this company is, and is also in a band with the person I’m working for. I know it sounds very convoluted and round-about, but I have met them before and they’re very nice people. So we turn up and we start singing Christmas songs – accompanied by Leigh on bass, this dude on guitar and someone else on piano. By this point, we effectively have a full band backing us up in our little Christmas song singing, and it was all really cool. Then these guys had a jam session, and were just playing anything, and it was great to just sit and see these guys be creative with their music and just mesh so well that they knew exactly the time to do what thing. It was really very cool. Anyway, we then went for Italian, I ate FAR too much Gnocchi and Tiramisu and nearly slipped into a carb-coma. Spontaneity has also gotten the better of me again tonight, and I’ve ended up at a friends house once again. But at least I’m not in the office tomorrow, so there’s no worries of waking up and having no idea where to go this time! Possibly a bit of a relaxing day for tomorrow, with a chance of packing and baking in the late afternoon. Still, beats rain I suppose….

Friday 11th December: No post for yesterday as the only time I get to stop and take some time to write it, the internet is down and I have no access! BAH! Anyway, it meant that I could get a head start on packing anyway. It’s strange, the lady who I’ve rented this room from is insanely good at packing  – when I arrived I’d had to squeeze everything into my suitcase. Now I’ve actually gained items, and she helps me pack, and I end up with space left over!! HOW did that happen?? I mean, I know I went through some stuff out here, but surely not that much… Anyway, yesterday was great, I had such a relaxing day just enjoying being where I am. Mindy and I went out and I FINALLY got to try In And Out Burger, which is a burger places thats almost exclusively Californian, and everyone from around here raves about it. It’s dirt cheap ($2 for a cheeseburger? Yes please!) and it’s actually way nicer than the kind of crap you get at McDonalds or something. So we went and ate our burgers on Venice Beach, and watched the sea for a while. It’s funny, even though this is LA and there is always so much happening you can always find somewhere truly peaceful and someone really nice to share that experience with. It definitely made for a memorable last free day. Also, she did make me Christmas Cookies as well, which are amazing! There’s so many of them too, so I’m saving some for the flight home. Unfortunately, the only thing we could find to put them in was a Victoria’s Secret bag – it’s bright pink, so it’s not discreet either. So now, I get to walk around with a bright pink bag which once contained her bra’s but now contains her cookies – Epic Win! In the evening, I went over to Lora and Hans’ since they’ve been so nice in looking after me sometimes when I’m out here and it’s also Hans’ Birthday on Monday, so I had to take something for him before I leave! My second Dutch meal of the week and second making of Nutella Bread and Butter pudding later, and I am genuinely pretty beat. BUT, a-ha, whats this? More ironing to do? No no, my friend, not ironing – Steaming! This is brilliant, and I kind of want one now. A Steamer is like an iron, but you don’t damage the clothes or get a sheen on the fibres or anything. Knocks creases out of shirts like a bitch! I’m totally getting one if I can find one that can do jeans better as well… Anyway, staying at Leigh and Marguerite’s tonight, and I have bits of research now, so the final bit to this will hopefully be posted later!

* * *

Someone brought waffles to the office!! Second breakfast? Don’t mind if I do! Anyway, I’m back in Burbank now, after watching a film double-feature and having an awesome dinner and then one last hit of Pumpkin Pie before having to leave that theory to the Americans again – such a shame. Anyway, the contacts are drying out and I am tired, but I wanted to finish this off before doing any of that. I mostly wanted to put down how much I’m going to miss this place and the people I’ve met and have come to know very well and all of the stuff that is out here. This will probably get finished tomorrow, in between finishing packing and preparing and whatever, but hopefully everything will go smoothly. OR, it won’t, and I get to stay for a few more days…? 

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