Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Love, Americana Style

Anyone who knows me knows that I hate waiting. I consider myself a fairly patient person, but this doesn't mean that I'm not also secretly plotting your demise if you're taking too long in the self checkout at Jewel. But waiting, of course, is pretty much a given when you're traveling which is what I did for most of my Memorial Day weekend. The flight from O'Hare to LAX is a little over four hours which allowed me to put a serious dent in Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union - a little clunky at the outset, but it picks up the pace - and gain new insight into the secret world of the airline crew. Brian's given me all sorts of crazy/wonderful insights into modern air travel, like how the crew only gets paid once the cabin doors are closed. This explains why, if you have the pleasure of flying with an evil pilot, you'll be waiting on the tarmac for the rest of your natural born life. Then again, sometimes it's the airport's fault, and not the pilot's, so I'll try not to hate too much.

On my flight back I had this annoying flight attendant who liked to put her own unique spin on the announcements, and who woke me from my golden slumbers by gently massaging my deltoid. I was more than a little skeeved out by this and wondered if they'd soon be instituting happy endings in lieu of bags of pretzels. Or maybe they'll just charge five bucks for the service like they do for drinks... that would be interesting. But I'm not tipping.

So I got to LA in one piece and spent a rainy and cold Friday exploring my hometown's new outdoor shopping extravaganza
The Americana at Brand
. For those of you who don't know, The Americana is The Grove lite, and for those of you who've never heard of The Grove, well, here's a NY Times article that was written about it a few weeks ago. It's basically this batshit crazy outdoor mall that is part Disneyland, part high-end retailer, with a little bit of trashy consumer thrown in to boot. The Americana ups the ante by making the space mixed-use, so you can actually live on-site, or as I like to call it, Dante's sixth circle of hell.

The Americana also sits directly adjacent from one of my favorite childhood haunts, The Glendale Galleria. The Galleria is your standard behemoth of a mall except that it is entirely made of dark brown bricks, has no windows, and thus looks like a brutalist's wet dream.

Back at The Americana the inclusion of a Forever 21 and The Cheesecake Factory pretty much ensured my descent into madness, but all hope was not lost since it also has a Martin + Osa, my new favorite store for WASPy threads. And since I didn't think that spending my day walking through a visual metaphor for cultural bankruptcy was enough, I then decided to eat lunch at Pinkberry. Frankly, I don't get what all the fuss is about. It tastes like yogurt, but is not, and it tastes like standard frozen yogurt, but is not. I'd rather have real yogurt, or better yet, real fucking ice cream any day. God, I can already see the Trixies lining up around the block for this. Watch out Chicago.

Saturday was occupied by my real reason for venturing out to LA: Mike and Silvia's wedding.

What can I say? It was big, it was Catholic, it was two hours long. The bride wore white, the groom wore converse... I shit you not:

Honestly, though, it was really beautiful and I got way more emotional about it than I thought I would, as in, I almost started bawling when Silvia walked down the aisle, she just looked so beautiful and happy and Mike was just... beaming. Thanks to 27 Dresses - don't knock it til you tried it - I now know to look at the groom when the bride is walking down the aisle. This, truly, is the single most satisfying moment of any wedding.

Thank god I didn't dissolve into a big slobbery heap of crying hot mess though since I was doing my best Cary Grant by way of Jill Sander:

I wore this suit to a wedding two years ago and the only photographic evidence of that blessed event is now sitting in some shoebox at my ex-boyfriend's mother's house. I really like this suit and so that fact that I didn't have a picture of it really chapped my ass. This is also why I have a shit-eating grin on my face in this picture: I now have a personal record of the faux Jill Sander suit that I paid not even a tenth of the price for.

The weekend also saw Bonnie and myself going to watch Indiana Jones at the Archlight - bad idea, FYI - but no matter how bad the movie is, the Arclight inevitably makes up for it (see: Finding Neverland, Sweeney Todd, Rent).

There's more to the story - like how I forgot to charge my camera's battery and had to resort to a medieval hand-crank kodak - but I'll continue once I get the photos back from the developer.

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