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LA Sunrise

I don’t realize how much I miss the foothills until I see them again.

Also, hi, I’m in Los Angeles. I’m here for meetings and then more meetings and then just when you think the meetings are done, even more meetings! Yay! Los Angeles!

Off soon to brave the 405. Pray for me.

By John Scalzi

I enjoy pie.

51 replies on “LA Sunrise”

Once upon a time, I flew from LAX to Salt Lake City for a ski trip with some friends. I got on the plane in the afternoon wearing jeans and a sweatshirt, perfectly suited for the weather. When we left the terminal in SLC, suddenly it was nowhere near sufficient, but all of my warm clothes were packed away.

So, my question is, does the opposite happen when flying into LAX from regions with actual weather? Do people get on planes dressed for snow and windchill, then find themselves sweltering on landing? Do they shed coats and inner layers, but have no convenient way to stash them until they get to their hotels?

I’m just northwest of LA county, and it’s supposed to be in th high 70s here today.

I’ve gotten off the plane from San Antonio to SF and nearly froze to death. That was in a day in July. It was the other way around when I went during the winter.

Of course it will be around 70 something here today in SA, so if I were to go to SF today (I wish!) I’d be alright.

Happy meetings day, John.

LA Meetings. Could this be related to certain movie rights? I hope that 1) you’ll be able to share news with us and 2) the news is good, i.e. we’re headed towards actually seeing a good movie adaptation of OMW.

John: And, I presume, the wisdom to plan ahead for the situation. Which I clearly did not have at that time. It’s an open question whether I would manage it now, more than 20 years later.

At least traffic in CA is on the orderly side from my experience. In Seattle it’s chaos incarnate with drivers making up road rules as they go along. I especially hold a deep dark place in my heart for those who dictate traffic by driving too slow in the left (or only) lane. The one thing that does unnerve me in CA is the one where motorcyclists drive on the median in traffic. I consider that a slow form of suicide.

Josh: About thirty years ago, my family moved from Chicago (ORD) to Houston (IAH). We moved around Feb/March. My mother insisted I board the plane wearing heavy shoes, heavy socks, corduroys, a blouse a sweater and a blazer. I insisted just as vehemently that was a stupid idea, but since I was only 12 at the time, her “wisdom” won out. We got off the plane at IAH and it was 85 degrees outside.

On the flipside, about 15 years ago my mother and I flew from Houston to D.C. for a convention. We both watched the weather for weeks before we left, and everything we saw said that D.C. was going to be cold and rainy, emphasis on cold. We both packed warm clothes, and I boarded the plane at IAH wearing a chenille sweater. I got off the plane in D.C. and nearly melted, it was so hot! The weather was beautiful, sunny and warm, the cherry trees were in bloom, just gorgeous. The weather stayed that way for the duration of the convention. The day after we flew back to Houston, the weather dropped back to rainy and cold. We were very lucky!

If not Old Man’s War, dare we hope for news of some other movie plans? The Android’s Dream (my personal hope) or Agent to the Stars perhaps?

I have been blessed with foothills throughout my life. I grew up in Santa Cruz, CA, went to school in Santa Barbara, and then lived in the Bay Area. All of which had foothills off in the distance.

So I distinctly remember how unnerving it was the first time I went to Florida, and the land was just flat as far as the eye could see. After looking out from my hotel window all the way to Disney World (some 50 miles away) I joked that the highest point in Florida is probably a fifteen foot san berm near Tallahassee :-)

In all seriousness though, I did come back much more appreciative of West Coast geography. Enjoy it!

Ugh, the 405. I lived 30 of my 39 years in the San Fernando Valley. If I ever had to be somewhere on the westside, I would seriously consider if it was worth going at all. There are a dozen ways to get into Hollywood and the city, but fewer than half as many to get to Santa Monica, and they all suck.

Sometimes I miss LA, though. I’ve been playing LA Noir, and I’ve spent (more than) a couple hours just driving around 1940s Los Angeles. So different yet so much the same.

Cool story, bro. Tell it again.

As someone who drives the 405 daily, I can honestly say, ‘It’s really not that…’ Sorry, I can’t even finish that sentence. My average commute time is an hour and half one way. Good luck out here, John!

I second the Tommy’s suggestion!

Welcome back, Mr. Scalzi! Sorry about the 405. As I always advise people stuck there, just remember that the route you are sitting on started out as a deer path, then became a footpath for the Native population, then a horse and wagon road, and so on, all the way up to today. People have been sitting in traffic on that very same road for centuries.

Oddly enough, that advice never seems to help.

If I can just get off of this L.A. freeway without getting killed or caught,
I’ll be down the road in a cloud of smoke to some land I ain’t bought.

– Guy Clark

I think of that song whenever somebody talks about struggling with L.A. traffic.

Oh, NO – not … the 405! I can’t watch, traffic makes me squeamish.
“Now I almost had a heart attack
Looking in my rear view mirror
I saw myself the next car back
Looking in the rear view mirror
‘Bout to have a heart attack
I said

Damn this traffic jam.”

And, John, speaking of California, I spent a good part of my childhood in Orange County (Westminster). Didn’t miss it at all when I left the place at 12, but over the last decade or so I’ve come to really appreciate the middle part of California–due to road trips to see family and such. So, I guess Cali is re-growing on me, kinda-sorta. But only a little bit.

I’m fortunate enough to have a job that enables me to dodge morning traffic on most occasions–if you’re going south in the morning, the 405’s not that bad except for getting *from* the 101-N onto the 405. Eeeeeeeee.

John: Wishing you all the best in your meetings… I think there does need to be a word for “Delight at one of your favorite author’s potential successes mixed with apprehension and disappointment that they’re probably selling the thing you’d kill to adapt & direct (though you do not yet have the credits to do so)” I’m guessing one of the meetings is “Red Shirts.”

Maybe: Happygrateful-filmlustfreude?
No, that is a terrible, terrible word.

John, sorry my post was unclear. What I meant was I hope they’re making progress towards actually making the movie. I know they own the rights. I also know from so many Hollywood horror stories how hard it is to actually make a damn movie.

@thomasmhewlett “People have been sitting in traffic on that very same road for centuries.” And if you look out your windshield you can still see some of them now. [rimshot]

Sorry, John, when I saw that you were traveling this snatch of song came to mind:

A wandering minstrel I —
A thing of shreds and patches,
Of ballads, songs and snatches,
And dreamy lullaby!
My catalogue is long,
Through every passion ranging,
And to your humours changing
I tune my supple song!

Enjoy your stay in California! Here in Minnesota, we’re back to winter as usual, below 0 F at night, creeping above it in the daytime. Maybe 10ºF for a high today.

This weather is in honor of you, John. Although when the sun started going down, I was cold. It’s still in the sixties. I was still cold.

This is why, if you can, you do not live near the 405. It keeps you sane.

@Dave Thompson: Thanks for the “Get Shorty” ref. As Dennis Farina’s character observes on hearing that: What a bunch of fuckin’ bullshit.

Speaking as an Angeleno (or -a), I avoid the 405 like the plague — it’s horrible no matter what time of the day or night you get on it. It takes just as long, but with much less aggravation, to take Benedict Canyon if you absolutely have to go to the SF Valley, and ditto for taking La Cienega to LAX. (Oh no, I’ve fallen into an episode of “The Californians”!)

I drive the 405 daily on my commute from Stevenson Ranch to Century City. The trick is to get up at 4:30 a.m and be on the road no later than 5:15 a.m. Most days I’m at my desk by 6:00 a.m. The trek home is another story, however! On a good day, I can reach home in one hour twenty minutes. Once, it took me three and a half hours to get home, but it was fire season and the hills flanking the freeway were in flames that day. Only a good audiobook saves my sanity on the 405! :)

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