Seattle/Los Angeles 08

(Mavs/Nash trip #5)

Seattle (Jan 10th - Jan 13th)

Day 1
This is my 5th annual Mavs/Nash trip starting out in Seattle with Gay and Alicia. Seattle is a hipsters town. Young boys wearing their skinny jeans morning, noon and night. Even the old people dress casual cool here. They were playing a remix of Feist's cover of "Sea Lion Woman" on KEXP while we were on our way to eat at Smarty Pants. Our waitress had a combination of green and black hair and had at least three facial piercings which was a little intimidating. If everyone looked like that in Seattle, I could never compete. I had an eyebrow piercing once in college that I had to take out for a job a month later, and that was the end of that. I love the architecture in Seattle . Everything is very west coast modern. The houses are all different shapes and sizes. I had some delicious crab cakes and a Mai Tai at West 5. (Okay, half a Mai Tai because of course I couldn't finish it.)

Day 2

The day started with breakfast at Easy Street Records. I had a Lil Kim (a slice of French toast, bacon and eggs). Everyone uses garage doors for windows. A brilliant idea that I wish to adapt if I ever built a dream home. The sun was out today, and everyone remarked about the lovely, but chilly weather. The people of Seattle are not exactly understated, but calm, witty and very friendly. Maybe all the different types of people make you have to have an amiable personality. I think that's a nice trait to have.

We saw the Space Needle. Very cold and windy, but nice views of the city. Went to Pike Place Market, had a tea at the original Starbucks and some mac and cheese at Beecher's. I love how they have the baseball and football stadium downtown. I'm envious because if Dallas would be like this, downtown would be vibrant.

Took the monorail to the Mavs game. Seattle was no match for the Mavericks. The Dirk finger made its triumphic return because of Gay and will now go back into retirement. Let's talk about Key Arena because of all the hub-bub about the Sonics moving to Oklahoma. The concession stand area pretty good. This ain't Reunion Arena bad by any means. However, the seats were so close together. If you're a big guy or a girl that's like 5'11 and 3/4, you're not fitting in the seats comfortably. Number 2, there's no seafood. I can get catfish and fries at the American Airlines Center. Yes, they have spring rolls, but I want fried greasy seafood. Number 3, no cotton candy! I could get ice cream in 40 degree weather, but no sugary, delightfulness of cotton candy. That's just wrong.

Some of the skits were entertaining, I was hesitant at first about the Sasquatch mascot. He turned out to be great. Seattle, Save Your Sasquatch! Kevin Durant will be very good. Get him a good point guard and design some plays for him. Don't make him work too hard. He's got great handles, Ooh, and Detlef Schrempf was at the game. One of my all-time favorite Mavs. Great shooter and defender, and he had a haircut that reminded me of Larry Mullen Jr. of U2. Still looking sehr schon. I found out Steve Nash has the flu. Very worried about Tuesday's game in Los Angeles.

Day 3
The two-hour West coast time change kills me every time. I just can't get used to it. No rest for the weary. We took a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island and back. I don't think I've been on a boat that large before. It certainly would be an interesting way to get to work every morning. It only rained 1 1/2 days out of 4 while I was here. Not too shabby. Time to 40-degree weather in for 70 degrees. Seattle has got good people. That's probably all anyone could need. Well, that and cotton candy.

Los Angeles (Jan 14th - 17th)

Day 5

I arrived in downtown Los Angeles the same day Britney Spears ran away from the court house and bought a pregnancy test. Was that a top news story in Dallas? January might have been the perfect time to visit Venice Beach. It was cool and not crowded Not a lot of muscle men out pumping iron and no sign of Wesley Snipes playing basketball, but I love looking at the beach. Thumbs up for the Green Tea Pinkberry yogurt and the In and Out cheeseburger.

The Staples Center... a bit underwhelming. Kinda like when you find out the Academy Awards is held in an outdoor shopping center. You expect something fancy, and you're just let down. The seats where I was seating were awful. they were on risers behind the basket. When someone walked by, you had to stand up and your seat would fold up like an unstable beach chair behind you. I had to lean my head out the aisle the entire game just to see in front of me. the Clippers game presentation was dull. The fan bits benefited the advertisers more than the spectators, and the dancers were so bad I had to look away. The Suns lost. It was nice not seeing Steve play the Mavericks. He had a lot of excellent assists. I wouldn't take Diana Ross for being a basketball fan, but she was there. As I left, a guy was yelling, "We'll see you on Thursday, Suns!" (The Suns would be play the Lakers a day from now at the Staples Center.) Illegal!

Dear Clippers/Lakers fan,

You can't be a Clippers and a Lakers fan. You only get to pick one, buddy. They're two completely different teams: a depleted, working-class team and an overly dramatic, upper-class team. You are not both those things. Pick the one closest to you and and stick with it. I'm not a Suns fan. I'm a Mavs fan who enjoys watching Steve Nash play. So unless you've been following Sam Cassell around the league and you're a die-hard Lakers fan, one of your alliances must be forfeited.


Day 6

I think I could live in LA withstanding the price and the traffic and the earthquakes and the forest fires. I would stay in Silverlake. It's got nice cafes and eclectic shops. (A little bit of Seattle with better weather.) I scored some nice vintage finds in Hollywood an picked up a "Thriller" LP and a David Bowie picture disc to display along with my Spanish Led Zeppelin album that I bought last time at Amoeba Records.

All in all, a fantastic trip. I have learned some things to keep in mind on the next vacations. 1. Technology and breakfast bar outweigh decor. 2. Be flexible, with others and even yourself. Whatever you want to do, will probably be there next time. Especially, if you need a nap. 3. LAX security lines suck no matter what day it is. Get there early and hope somehow your group in picked to get to moved up in line.

On iPod:

"Conquest" - Acoustic - (White Stripes)
"By the Monument" (Maximo Park)
"Bridge to Canada" (Noisettes)
"Stolen Away on 55th & 3rd" (Dave Matthews Band)
"He Can Only Hold Her" (Amy Winehouse)
"Emanuela" (Fettes Brot)
"We Were Lovers" (Bloc Party)
"Are You Experieced?" (Jimi Hendrix)
"Clumsy" (Fergie)
"Jimmy" (M.I.A.)
"Potions for Foxes" (Rilo Kiley)
"Thinking of You" (Sister Sledge)
"Pumpkin Soup" (Kate Nash)
"I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You" (Aretha Franklin)
"Parade" (Garbage)
"Anyone Else But You" (Juno Soundtrack)
"Elderly Woman Behind a Counter in a Small Town" (Pearl Jam)
"Hoy Me Voy" (Juanes)
"Play With Fire" (Rolling Stones)
"15 Steps" (Radiohead)
"A Kiss to Send Us Off" (Incubus)
"Luxurious" (Gwen Stefani)