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My Trip to La La Land (part 1)

  Note: I put a comment section at the end because some people have told me they like that part and want to see more in other areas.  I suppose the ones telling me are the same ones loud enough to leave comments so, leave a comment on anything if you'd like.  It will be there for hundreds and hundreds of years.

5:30AM!  I knew that time existed because my digital clock whizzes past it when I set my alarm, but I had never witnessed it.  Never before today; Saturday, a day I should be resting.  But rest would have to be saved for a work day.  Today I was going to La La Land.  I hit the road and headed for the Oakland airport to catch my short flight to L.A.   Driving along the freeway, I had that sense of camaraderie with my fellow drivers.    You know what I'm talking about, that knowing glance at the person next to you, that you two and that guy over there are the only 3 people in this damn city up before the sun.  A certain mutual respect if you will.  That feeling was short lived when I arrived at the airport and realized others had shared in our predawn appreciation. Alot of others! 

No sweat.  I marched to the Southwest  counter to get my ticket and found a handy dandy machine that allows you to stick in your credit card and out pops an actual ticket.  Why did it take them so long to figure this out?  I always love e-tickets.  You go to the airport, hand them your license and hope the ticket teller doesn't have that look of concern on her face or ask you 5 times how to spell your name and then says your reservation was for yesterday. 

Next stop for the herd I latched onto was a trip through security.  Security pre 9/11 was a breeze.  You leave your gun with the nice lady at the metal detector, walk through and she hands it back on the other side.  Not any more!  After having my license checked 15 times, I was ordered to remove my shoes.


 "Remove your shoes."


 "In case you have 5lbs of C12 explosives"

 "Oh, ok."

Off with the shoes, the coat, and anything else that looks remotely like a good hiding place for 5lbs of C12 explosives.  Then it hit me.  I had put my sculpting tools in my carryon bag.  Sculpting tools: small, metal, pointy objects resembling small, metal, pointy objects.  Oh no!  I had that ugly feeling in my stomach that I usually get after zipping past a cop doing 20 over as I see my bag going into the scanning machine. Try not to act nervous. 

"Hey you"

 "Who me? It's not mine.  That bag isn't mine.  I swear.  It's this kids bag.  Mine is that Mickey Mouse bag, PLEASE, GO EASY ON ME!"

"Take it easy, I just want to give you back your shoes."

"Oh, hehe, thanks.  Ignore that Mickey thing, I'll just be going now." 

Well, there you have it.  All the security measures and I whizzed through security with my bag containing 15 knives and that little tool I got that I can't for the life of me figure out how to use.  Makes me feel real safe, how about you?

The flight to L.A. was uneventful.  How do I know this?  Because I don't remember it.  I was reading a good book and I'll be damned if the flight attendant sneered at me when I suggested we circle the airport 3 or 4 times so I could finish the chapter.  Off the big ole jet airliner and on my way to the rental car place.  My intent with the first leg of my trip was to visit Jordu Schell at the world famous Schell Sculpture Studio.  I figured an hour after my flight landed, I'd be there.  I figured wrong.  LA has a way of thwarting you from getting anywhere fast.  Number 29  in line at Budget, I finally get my car 45 minutes later.  Hmmm... leaves me 15 mins to get to Van Nuys.  I suppose I could do it.  I supposed wrong.  Don't drive on the 405, 105, 505, 5150, 5, 10, 1001 or the 13562 highways anytime you want to get somewhere fast in L.A..  It won't work.  Evel Knievel would have his work cut out for him.

I got to Schell sculpture studio about an hour late.  I got out of the car and could see the golden arches, or in my case the black locked gate in front of the door.  Ahhh... maybe Jordu got tired of waiting.  I peeked in through the big black bars, but could see nothing except the reflection of big black bars.  Here's a picture of said big black bars. 


I decided lunch was in order and headed out to find my gourmet Shangri-La.  Ah... Wendy's the food of champions.  After a quick meal, I phoned up my pal Jon Fuller to see what he was up to.  Jon was working on 15 sculptures, 3 appliances and had to paint 22 masks before 2:00.  I figured he was a tad bit busy and would probably miss him on this trip.  I headed back to Jordu's and guess who was there?  If  you guessed Jordu, then you wouldn't be far off.  Yeah, happy dance, I can now get in.

Armed with my trusty, disposable Kodak Crapcam , I went in.  The things on Jordu's walls are pretty gosh darn amazing.  If I had a better camera, then the pictures would look pretty gosh darn amazing.  Jordu and I chatted about various rubber related topics and I got to check out his very cool studio.  Finally, my trip was looking up.

When it came time to leave, I told Jordu a few of us were planning a trip to see Henry Alvarez tomorrow.   Not wanting to miss an opportunity to see Henry, Jordu decided to make it a foursome, er ah fivesome, a somethingsome.  Sounds like a fun day ahead.

My next stop along the way was a trip to see Erich Lubatti out in Riverside.  You'll just have to wait for part 2 for the continuing adventures of La La Land.

  What follows may be the worst display of cameramanship by anyone older than 10.  I apologize for misframing, bad focus, poor use of light and whatever else I may have done that is making camera aficionados shriek in horror right about now.
  Please don't laugh at the bug thingy whose extra eye I totally cut off.  I'm embarrassed to show that picture because it is telling of my poor camera skill, but the creature was just so darn cool I couldn't resist.  Oh, same with the Dragon :-)
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