Absolutely nothing going on (as far as we can see) with the adoption. Still waiting on that infamous letter from CIS giving us the go-ahead to send off our foreign dossier.
We're down in Southern California at the moment. I am not much of a fan of "SoCal," so I decided to make the most of this trip by making a list from my Lonely Planet guide book of interesting things to see and do here. I can handle the stress of this place if I see myself as a tourist.
On that note, here are some initial observations during my first 48 hours in Los Angeles. I promise that it's not all about traffic, just a little.
1. Though my flight arrived on time, it was a full hour from the time we landed until the time I had my checked bag in hand to walk out the door: the first test of patience.
2. LAX is frenzied. As we were trying to merge into the outside left lanes to get on the freeway, a taxi driver was barreling through the inside right lanes laying on his horn, despite people trying to get to their cars. Scary.
3. Many locals are aware of the constant long line of cars at the interchange of the Pasadena Freeway to Interstate 5 North. There's debate as to whether one should just patiently wait in line or rush ahead and cut in in front of someone. Ted tends to try cutting in, since the alternative means a 20-45 minute creep on the freeway. So on our way home from the airport, he tries cutting in but doesn't make it. However, a big white SUV (hopefully not O.J.'s) cut in front of us and barreled over to the I-5 , despite this being very illegal to cross over solid white lines. Several cars had to screech to avoid hitting him, and Ted got his chance to lay on the horn, for at least a full twenty seconds. As we passed the white SUV, with the horn still screaming in protest, we got the "Lord bless ya" finger. Nice. Welcome to the big city.
4. The next morning, as I sat eating breakfast, the first conversation that came up between our friend Susan and me was about traffic. And I hadn't even mentioned the previous night's event.
5. A coworker of Ted's was being accommodated at the Beverly Hills Hotel where he had a simple breakfast of bagel and coffee...for $25.
6. In Koreatown, there's a chain fast food place called Jollibee that advertises in bold yellow letters: "Crispy Chickenjoy and Juicy Yumburgers!" I'm dying to try the joyful chicken.
7. I rode in a cab to Paramount Studios with an Armenian driver who graduated in film studies at a university back home. He now works part time cab-driving and part time at J.C. Penny's Portrait Studio, though he said with a wink that he prefers taking "all sorts of pictures."
8. While sitting outside on Larchmont having lunch, a little girl no older than 4 years old, came strutting down the street pulling the front of her dress out with both hands while singing a made-up song that goes like this: "I'm poking out my boobies! Boobies, boobies, boobies! I said I'm poking out my boobies like this! Boobies, boobies, boobies!" Her cell-phone distracted mom came following her and they both walked into a yoga studio, leaving the rest of us on the sidewalk a little dazed.
9. Right in front of Urth Cafe, we saw a Bentley go by with New York plates. I didn't check the mileage, but I bet someone has some cash on hand for flying their cars cross country.
10. On the Melrose strip, while waiting at a red light, we were treated to a jogging manequin prancing by, very tan and wearing only running shoes and cut-off red sweatpants that were falling down enough to display both the top of his crack and tattoo right above it.
11. Simultaneously at one point, I was surrounded by Kermit the Frog smiling down at me from the Jim Henson Studios on my right, a topless bar on my left, and a woman with a chihuahua licking her face driving a "pimped out" black hearse.
12. In Portland when I dust the furniture, what comes up on the cloth is a light brown color. In Los Angeles, what appears on the cloth is coal black. And it's on everything. How can this be anything but toxic to our bodies? Why anyone would want to spend a lifetime in a huge city, I'm baffled by.
I forgot the cable for uploading photos to the computer, so until I get back to Portland, I can't post pictures here. Hope you enjoyed the above observations, and I'd love to hear some of your daily observations of where you currently are, especially from a couple of you who I know are in gorgeous locales like Montana and Italy!