Tag Archives: California

Inside the Googleplex

The Googleplex feels like a cross between a college campus and a toddler’s rumpus room. You can turn a corner to find a young woman studiously tinkering on her MacBook Pro with a train set and legos scattered around her. We walked past a conference room which is actually a large white indoor tent with read more »

How to Be a BRILLIANT Television Extra

It’s recently come to my attention that several of you have been writing to the Academy Awards requesting the creation of a new “Background Actor” category in order to recognize me for my daring and original work as a television extra. I’m touched. Below are some clips and thoughts about my meteoric rise to success read more »

Chess on the Beach

Normally the best compliment I allot to the sprawling tentacles of Los Angeles is, “I suppose this area would not be improved by a cataclysmic earthquake.” But Chess Park is something else. It’s awesome. The square rests at the edge of Santa Monica, where the city’s periphery slides past joggers and sand castles into the beach and read more »

Love-Haight Relationship

For years I’ve heard people note with a certain degree of smugness that the intersection of Haight and Ashbury, once the epicenter of the hippy movement, now sports a Gap and Starbucks. Not true. Ashbury is a neighborhood, not a street, so there is no intersection to speak of. Either store would be delightfully ironic, read more »

In Which he Wears a Passport

It took us only ten seconds to realize that the Crossroads of the West Gun Show was just the excuse we needed to make a road trip to San Francisco. I tried explaining the reasoning to friends, but usually failed. “We’re visiting the most liberal city in America to attend a gun show,” I would read more »

Helluva Bridge

The technical facts about the Golden Gate Bridge read like poetry to engineers. I have inherited no useful math skills, however, so am thus left to marvel at the paint job. Originally the architect wanted to paint it gray, but denizens talked him into bright red on the grounds that it’s prettier and cargo ships read more »

Art Quirks

What I do like about LA is its high concentration of eccentricity. Quirk can pop up anywhere, of course, but the unique thing about Los Angeles is, here it has financial backing. Someone will say, “You know what we need? A restaurant that’s completely dark, with no windows whatsoever, where meals are delivered by an read more »

Andy and the Industry

The neurologist, though otherwise helpful, is reluctant to sign the physician’s statement for my application to teach English in Japan. Not that I’m unfit, it’s just that he suspects signing off on such a document would involve a prostate exam, and neither of us wants to kick up our budding professional relationship to that level. read more »

Maid in Japan

Culver City, a vestige of Los Angeles, is home to a fantastic Japanese tea café named Royal-T. Unlike the tea joints I’m familiar with (anyplace which sells anything located in the UK), Royal-T is a touch of Tokyo. The tea cups are small, glass and hollow, presumably for thermal reasons. The decor is decisively futuristic. read more »

Insights on Background Acting

My brilliant plan to enter California during a recession ended up having unforeseen consequences on my prospective job hunt. Three weeks and a trail of rejected employment applications later, I have admitted that I am professionally qualified to do very little besides standing at the back of a room in muted colors without drawing attention read more »

Deaf Festival

By far the funniest thing about the Deaf Festival was the ice cream truck which failed to get the memo. It made at least two dejected circles around the park while I was there, although judging by the driver’s broken attitude she had likely made fruitless laps around the event all day, bewildered by the read more »