Just got back to foggy Amsterdam after a 10 day jaunt into the States. I started in the State of Illinois, ended in California, and visited Euphoria, Denial, and borderline Insanity. Wow, do I Miss America. Ok, that's enough of that. Visiting Chicago can feel a little bit like going back in time. Since I spent my first 21 years in the Windy City (and its rich neighbor, Evanston), I sometimes suffer a nauseating timesickness. This time, it was severe, since I hung out with a few old college buddies, and then missed a few more. Sorry, RageAhol -- didn't get your email till I was gone.
While there, I hit my old improv haunting ground, Improv Olympic. Ran into Mee-Ow and Boom Chicago Alum Liz Cackowski -- who had just been hired for Saturday Night Live as a writer. She graduated a year before I did, and I can't help but feel a little behind ... she's been a Second City Mainstager, Boom Actor and world-traveler since she left college, and now she's an SNL scribe. I'm two years behind her, at least. She got cast in Boom right out of NU, and I floundered in LA for 2 and a half years before picking up the torch.
Home always induces a forced introspection.
Before I left, I went to an Alex Ross exhibit at the American Academy of Art. His originals were there, hanging on the walls. At the time, it was so moving. Now, with my short-term-emotional-memory being as it is, I feel only the facts of the visit, and little of the gravity.
LA, however, was a different story. Splitting my time equally between Boom Friends and Old Friends, LA felt more like a mosaic of new experiences. Seeing Brendan and Jordan and Paige was wonderful, and my time with Josh is always the best time in the world. I got to hang with Jess and Jones and Speis and Dan ... and saw CandyBoxViolence play the Knitting Factory, Brendan do Wizard Fingers Stand Up Comedy. I talked to Ultimate Improv about Boom Chicago, and even spoke on a very human level with JD. I love LA. There's so much inspiration in Los Angeles, if you look in the right places.
I also went to the Anime Stores and spent more money than I should have -- and tried to get Fub his T-Shirt, Utena Cards, etc., but it turns out that Gamers doesn't carry the same stock on the 'net as in their store. Sorry, Fub. I tried. >_< I even wrote them an email to see if they could deliver some internet goods to the store ... but they didn't. Maybe I would have gone back another time and searched for a general gift for you ...if my car hadn't been DESTROYED on the side street while I shopped.
Tangent: While in Anime Gamers, my rental car was rendered undriveable by a delivery truck that smashed it and then from the scene. A good Samaritan chased him down and got the license plate, so he'll get his due. My first evening in LA, and I had to be at the police station.
Getting off the plane in Amsterdam, swaying with jet-lag drunkenness -- I feel like being back here is an exercise in lowered expectations. Whether the closed bank at 10:30am on a Monday morning, or the open door at breakfast blowing in freezing air while the waitress flirted, it's just about lowering my happiness limit, so that I can be grinning even when things are going wrong. But in LA, I was able to let the gates open again, and be surprised by how wonderful everything could be. I miss my home, so much.