Friends were in LA visiting from Canada. We drove to the Marina.
Friends from Canada: What’s that dancing guy doing over there? Is he on drugs?
Me: He’s advertising the apartments right there. He flips the sign around and throws it in the air to direct attention to the open house at the complex.
Here are three things I learned about Japan from dating a Japanese woman once or a few hundred times.
1) You can legally walk down the street with an open beer.
2) It is okay to stand and read whole books and magazines in the shop without paying.
3) Each fire department has a special machine to cut off stuck rings from your hand if you can’t get it off.
Disclaimer: I’ve never been there, so they may have been goofing with me. 🙂
If you are heading to LA for fun or business, make sure you take time to visit the booming downtown area. Here are three “insider tips” that will make your visit extra special.
Twenty-cent Ice Cream Cones
Every day at the Grand Market a guy in a green suit and top hat sells 20-cent ice cream cones. Double cones are 40 cents and triples are 60 cents. Get there early because the line goes around the block. To get this low price you are required to participate in a country line dance on Grand Avenue that takes place every hour on the hour.
Free Lakers Tickets
One hour before every Lakers home game, the coach of the moment walks out on the balcony of Staples Center and throws free tickets into the plaza below. Some nights they give away 10 tickets and other nights it could be 100 tickets. It helps to have martial arts skills because it gets very competitive. Last year three people ended up in the hospital fighting for Lakers-Celtics tickets. One guy was stabbed by another fan wielding a “Lakers 3-Peat” ball-point pen.
To promote bike riding downtown, the city gives a new bike to each visitor. You must ride the bike at least once a day during your stay. After that, you are free to take it home with you to Des Moines, Atlanta or wherever you live. Please do not remove the slogan painted on the down tube which says “LA – So Fake, So Fabulous.”
Flying is a misadventure most of the time. Still, when you compound the drudgery when you make your own mistakes. I’ve already covered three of the worst mistakes you can make when flying. Here are three more.
Hey, I know, you are cool. No suit and tie for you. But the thing is, the rest of us must look at you the whole flight every time you stand to go to the restroom eight times because you spent two hours in the airport lounge before the flight. I’m not saying you have to wear evening attire like you are going to the opera, but please ditch the Ohio State Fair ’86 T-Shirt with holes in it and the sweats you usually wear to change the oil in your car.
Booking A Seat on the Aisle
Sure, you want to make a quick getaway, so you booked a seat on the aisle. Or you have claustrophobia issues and don’t want to feel trapped by the window. But neither of those discomforts will match the searing pain you will feel when the beverage cart crashed into your knee, and you spend the next 6 months getting the insurance company to pay for your leg cast and resulting therapy bills.
Expecting Meal Service
Maybe you haven’t flown in a while. The last time you took to the friendly skies, there was always a meal. Welcome to the real world, friend. Today’s airlines MIGHT have a meal, they PROBABLY will have a meal, but there is a good chance the only thing you will be getting is a smiling nod from the flight attendant when you board, and THAT’S IT. So, pack a granola bar or your favorite cookies, because if you don’t, your stomach is going to be grumbling so loud you will be restrained as a possible terrorist threat.
I was at the LA Metro Rail Willowbrook/Rosa Parks station today waiting for the Green Line to Redondo Beach. The north side of the platform looks toward the downtown skyline with the Hollywood Hills in the background.
A guy standing near me asked, “Is that Las Vegas?”
I said, “Yes, sir, that is Las Vegas.”
He looked at me steadily, nodding his head slowly.
I couldn’t take it, so I said, “No, I’m kidding. That’s downtown Los Angeles.”
He half-smiled but kept nodding his head.
Now that I dug the hole, I tried: “LA and Vegas are similar — a lot of hopeful people gambling on a big score, but will probably crap out.”
It was all I could think to say. He continued nodding, lost in thought.
After I got fired from my last job, I got rid of my car to cut expenses.
I ride the bus all the time— here are five crazy people I see everyday.
This guy likes his music so much, he wants to share it with others. He has headphones on, but don’t worry, he’ll turn the music up so loud it feels like you are right there in the front row of the concert.
Mr. and Ms. Shuffle-Butt
Mr. and Ms. Shuffle-Butt are constantly talking to each other in some vague European accent. They shift seats constantly, unhappy with each choice they make. If one likes it, the other doesn’t, and a flurry of discussion, complaining and funny faces ensues each time. This goes on the whole hour you are on the bus.
The whole bus is empty except for you. Mr. Sit-Too-Close gets on and sits right behind you. That’s not creepy at all.
This guy is usually on his cell phone as he boards. He money or pass is not at the ready, and he takes his time finding said items, all the while talking to whomever on the phone. Take all the time you need, sir. These thirty of us already on the bus don’t have anywhere to go. We are just riding around.
She should run for Mayor of the bus, because she would win going away. She knows EVERYONE who gets on, their family and their dog. Within minutes of boarding, she and her nearby friends are shrieking with laughter about some story while your eardrums bleed.
There are lots of things to see in Wyoming if you plan to visit the state this year. Here are seven tourist attractions you should put on your list.
Candy Fizz Mountain
Since 1953, Candy Fizz Mountain has been erupting every day at noon, shooting thousands of pieces of candy into the air. At first, it was just peppermints, but the output today consists of hundreds of types of candy including candy canes, chocolate kisses and those sprinkles that you find on some donuts. Scientists cannot explain the phenomenon.
Rail Ridin’ Days
Rail Ridin’ Days is a weeklong celebration of riding the rails like a hobo. Would-be rail jumpers are allowed to jump and sleep on moving train cars leaving Casper heading toward all points of the compass.
Eye of the Tiger
Eye of the Tiger is mysterious monument left by the earliest settlers to the state. Believed to be a beacon, guiding new travelers to safe passages through the treacherous trails of the New West, it became the basis of a new religion in Wyoming called Eye of the Tiger, a curious blend of Eastern and Western beliefs. For example, in the adjacent store they sell small statues of cowboys wearing ninja outfits.
Wheelie Wagons is a museum dedicated to the illegal practice of pulling wheelies in tractors, sleds, sleighs, wagons, snowmobiles and forklifts. There has always been an underground community in the state willing to flout the law to enjoy the thrills of popping a wheelie on a tractor tilling furrows for planting season.
Just outside Elk Mountain, Wyoming, you’ll find Dinosaur Dentistry, over 200 displays of dentures, false teeth, caps and cavity fills for dinosaurs from the beginning of the Jurassic until the fading of the final years of the Cretaceous Periods.
Similar to storm chasers on the ground, Cloud Chasers are a little known group of cloud enthusiasts who ride hot air balloons into the clouds. Using kitchen knives, they cut out chunks of cumulus, stratus, cirrus and nimbus clouds and bring them back to earth. Once on the ground, they store the cloud chunks in a special museum at the University of Wyoming. You can see the displays year round, M-Th from 8am-4pm. Guided tours are available at 10am.
Grandma’s House Slipper Rock
Just south of Jackson Hole, hikers can explore Grandma’s House Slipper Rock, a famous rock formation created by the same Ice Age forces that created the Wind River and Sierra Nevada gorges in other parts of the Western United States.
Sure, you used to be able to do this stuff in Cleveland. But those days are over, cowboy. Deal with it.
Surfing Lake Erie
No more getting up at the crack of dawn to ride the 20 foot curls out on Lake Erie. Progress and pollution killed that buzz.
Hang Gliding From The Terminal Tower
Ask your parents. They did it all the time. The city stopped hang gliding from tall buildings in Cleveland around 1984.
Walking Through Drew Carey’s Childhood Home Uninvited
Lots of Clevelanders remember piling into the family station wagon and driving over to Drew Carey’s childhood home. No matter the time of day or night, you could walk through and imagine what it would be like to live there.
The Downtown Ferris Wheel
In 1989, the city dismantled the famous 2000-foot tall Cleveland Rocks Ferris Wheel. Three families were discovered living in several of the cars.
Pickled Ed’s Dart Bar
How many nights did you find yourself slinging darts at Pickled Ed’s at closing time? Forget it. Pickled Ed passed in 2005, and the family sold the bar the next year.
Cleveland Fly Swatter Museum
After church, you’d take a lazy Sunday drive to the Cleveland Fly Swatter Museum and look at all the great swatters from the 1890s through the 1930s.
Donnelly’s Disco and Scar Bar
Saturday nights in the 70s meant the whole gang would head to Donnelly’s Disco to line dance and compare scars. Those good times are over.
Take summer school classes at Hay Bail University outside Cheyenne. Choose interesting topics like “How to Hook a Bail,” “Bailin’ and Sailin’,” “Hay Yahh,” and “Hay, Hay, We’re the Monkees.”
Ghost Town Happy Hour
Ghosts have been spotted serving drinks at this long-abandoned roadside bar. Tourists belly up to the bar late at night for a chance to get a free drink and a ghost story they can tell at family gatherings. Fair warning: you are welcome to enter the haunted establishment yourself, but last year seven people on different occasions entered the bar and were never seen again.
Ride the Road to Nowhere
The Road to Nowhere is a mysterious dirt road on the High Plains that seems to appear out of thin air, moving from place to place around the state. Eyewitnesses claim you can drive down the road only to disappear in the distance. Some say the vehicles end up in heaven. Others believe they end up at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Purgatory, where they must “take a ticket” every day until Judgement Day.
Many people say they get the best sleep of their lives on a moving train. For those with a tight budget, try sleeping on the front scoop of the locomotive. You’ll sleep like a baby as the train’s hypnotic rhythms lull you to dreamland. Add in fresh air and a perfect view of vibrant stars in pitch black night skies, and you have the perfect rail travel experience.
This curious deer appears every Saturday morning on the lawn of Mr. and Mrs. JP Stareemdown from Laramie. The deer stares down anyone who dares lock eyes with him. Crowds of curious deer-staring challengers grew every week in 2015. In 2016, the State Parks department requested that would-be deer starers register online in advance at the agency’s website. Each challenger gets 5 minutes to try to make the deer look away.
Buffalo Group Therapy
Every Thursday, the Wyoming Nature and Wildlife Calming Society has a group therapy session for herds of buffalo. Herd members are encouraged to talk about their problems, from grazing to roaming where the deer and the antelope play.
Gas Pump Graveyard Rave Night
Friday night is Gas Pump Graveyard rave night. Some of the biggest names in EDM, from Skrillex to Avicii, have headlined this show. At the peak of the show, audience members twirl gas pump hoses above their heads, chanting, “Fill er up with regular, please, and check the tires while you’re at it.”