Monday, November 13, 2006

November 13, 2006: Exene, the Pacific Dining Car, & Howling at the Moon

Yesterday, we slept in and went for a late lunch of French dip sandwiches at Philippes, an LA Institution since my dad was a kid. It's famous for inventing the French dip, sawdust on the floor, and 9 cent coffee (it used to be a nickel).
In the evening we went to see Exene Cervenka (of the band X) and her other band, the Original Sinners at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood. On our way, we passed a priemier of some movie called Deck the Halls at the Chinese Theater and I saw Kristin Davis and Danny DeVito walk by from the car. It was amusing to have this random Hollywood moment, but not a big deal as I've seen him a number of times when I lived here.
The concert was not crowded, but Exene and her band really rocked. We were right next to the stage and I got the obligatory T-shirt as well as an X embroidered biker jacket.  It should be all the rage in Israel. We talked a bit to Exene and urged her to check out Melbourne.
We ended the evening with breakfast and martini's at the Pacific Dining Car downtown. Now that James Ellroy has moved back here - to Hancock Park, he apparently goes there all the time. Before leaving, I stood under the restaurant sign and howled at the moon.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

November 12, 2006: Me and Exene

I am definitely sleeping much better here without the day to day stress of teaching, but have to write examiners reports for several hons theses before I can begin doing my own work. I don't have any jet lag, and gradually I am working the kinks out of my back from my 3 legs of flying: Melbourne to LA, LA to Wash, DC, DC to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Tel Aviv. Wait! - that's 4 legs - no wonder my back is sore. Jerusalem is peaceful, quiet, and warm so far. My apartment is huge with a big spare room that would hold all of you if you were able to visit. You can see a picture of where I'm staying at
Everything is good with Asta in Melbourne, although it has been very hot, 2 days of 37-39 (nearly 100 degrees F) so needless to say Asta has spent plenty of time in her "private swimming pool".
I woke up yesterday morning around 6, and after coffee took a walk around the Old City. It's sunny and pleasant, and Jerusalem seems quiet at the moment. My apt is huge, with a spare room for visitors, and I have a good wireless connection. My arrival here was uneventful. I was not even questioned at the airport. My conference in DC went really well, but I was pretty tired on the flight over as the 6 hour flight to Frankfurt wasn't really long enough to get rested.
LA and X are a long way away, but I still have the jacket!

November 12, 2006: The Old Place or Steak and Clams

On Saturday, my husband Brian and I ran with the Los Angeles Hash House Harriers in the Malibu mountains near Malibou Lake and the Saddle Rock Ranch where I went on first excavation some 20 years ago. The run lasted about 2 hours with 2 beer checks. The down downs were fun - it was good to sing more than 1 song. We ended up at this little country market / deli for the On on on (eating). We had a snack and planned to have more street tacos later. I found out from Retracted (Neil) that my old 320i is still running well, but he as changed mechanics. We talked to a couple of locals at the bar. One looked like a rockabilly star and his name was Chuck. He's a horse trainer. Another hippie-like guy called Snow told us of his love of guns. People there told us to check out a restaurant called the Old Place. It doesn't really have a name, that's just what it's called. It sounded just weird enough to draw us and several other hasher's there.
The Old Place is on Mullhullond Hwy just east of Kanan Dume Road. It's kind of a shack with a Miller neon sign in the window. It's run by an old couple of 80 something's. They only open when they want to be and most of the patrons are local people: a combo of drugged out hippie bikers, artists, and rich media types. In short, our visit there was a "David Lynch Moment". They only serve two things: steak and clams. They don't start cooking the steaks until they have 4 orders in and they will only cook them medium rare. They have 5 taps in the bar - all Miller. Barbara, who works the counter said she didn't know if they had two steaks for us. She had to serve the 6 other customers and she said she would then let me know if there were steaks for us. It turns out there were and we had a steak, baked potato and bread for $16. While we were waiting and talking with various people there, the owner's son (picture) who appeared to be 60-something walked around seranading the customers with country music. My husband Brian (right) seems to be having fun, but I think he could've done without the music.
This was the type of place I'd expect to find in the middle of nowhere, not on the outskirts of a city like Los Angeles.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

November 11, 2006: Bringing the Mountain to Mohamet

I arrived in LA yesterday fairly exhausted and am staying for a few days with my friends Craig and Christine. I wasn't up for anything more than sitting, but C & C invited a bunch of my friends (L to R: Jan and Gary, Craig and Christine, Alan and Friend, Vicki) to their place where we had pizza, street tacos, chips and salsa, and martini's. It was like a really nice cocktail party despite my lack of energy. Christine always knows how to make sure everyone has a good time!