The Book of Mormon & the start of my birthday weekend

We made it to LA around 5 pm, just beating the traffic. We found a place for me to park, then I joined Han & D in Han’s car. We drove around Hollywood. D & I got out at Grauman’s Chinese Theater and looked at the footprints. Then, we just drove around a while, Melrose, Sunset, Hollywood Blvd. It was bustling everywhere.

Then it was time to go to the theatre. The Pantages is such a cool venue. Our seats were up at the top, about 4 rows from the back wall in the top level, but they were still amazing seats with a wonderful view.

The show is good. Funny. Hilarious in places. Written by Trey Parker & Matt Stone (of South Park fame), it’s also got that ridiculous quality that works. Being born in the land of Mormons, I know surprisingly little about the religion, but what I have learned is that it’s a strange little beast. And this show reinforces that and then some. The songs are genius. Overall, it was extremely entertaining, but I didn’t leave thinking about it, like I had done when we saw “Wicked.” There weren’t any songs that stuck in my head with the exception of “Hello!” but that doesn’t mean they weren’t good (see my ‘genius’ remark above). And as much as this makes me sound prudish, I was shocked by how crude it was in places. All that said, I’m glad we saw it.

After the show, Han took off north and D & I headed back to San Diego. I was alert the whole way (didn’t have to stop for a drink or anything). D slept most of the way while I sang away with my iPod. I got D to her mom’s a little bit before 1 am. Since I had the next day off, I got some food and went home.

This morning, I went down to the courthouse to deal with some stuff, then came home and thought, “I have the day off. What do I want to do?” The answer was have some tapas and see a movie. I consider last night’s trip to LA and the show to be the start of my birthday weekend and planned to keep it going. I went to this tapas place in Pacific Beach called Costa Brava, and it was exactly what I hoped for. It’s a gorgeous space that reminds me of the bars in Playa de Aro. I had a glass of sangria, then enjoyed pan con tomate y jamon serrano. They didn’t spread the tomato on the bread, it was more of a bruschetta, but it was still yummy. I also ordered croquettas and patatas a la brava. Then bread and alioli were complimentary. YUM! The croquettas were nothing compared to my mom’s. Hers are the best. But the patatas were crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside and were all slathered in a spicy alioli. Wow. So terrifically delicious. I spent my solo lunch time reading and I couldn’t have been happier in that moment. By the way, I finished “The Round House” the same day the author, Louise Erdrich, won the National Book Award for fiction for it. Awesome. It’s a great book. So richly written. So now I’m finishing “Going in Circles” by Pamie Ribon (who, by the way, wrote one of the most uncomfortable yet hilarious blog posts ever).

After my fabulous lunch, I headed to La Jolla to take in a movie. Here’s my thought on movies. They are expensive. So when I go see one, I want it to be worth it. I tend to go for the ‘artsy-fartsy’ films when I go to the theater. There were a lot of contenders today. “This Must Be the Place,” “The Sessions,” and “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” were all in the running, but the winner today was “A Late Quartet.” I’m not ashamed to say that I think Philip Seymour Hoffman is one of my favorite actors. I haven’t seen all of his movies, but the ones I have seen are all awesome. Also, Catherine Keener. She’s great, too. This movie is about a group of musicians who have been a quartet for 25 years. Christopher Walken is also in it (great also). I will avoid any spoilers, but it was a great movie, complicated and beautiful. I liked it 🙂

I came home and played around on FB and answered some emails. Around 8 pm, I went out to get some dinner. I’ll copy here what I’d written on Facebook:
Admittedly, I was spaced out and didn’t see the SUV approaching as I made my left turn. Scared the living crap out of me. I honestly didn’t see it when I made the turn. In fact, I said out loud, “Where did they come from?” So I was shook up by that. I parked and headed into the place to get my dinner when a guy grabbed me from behind and said, “Do you know what you just did?” Then he proceeded to yell at me for not looking. From what I gathered, (I was having a hard time comprehending what was happening) was that he was in the SUV. I said something like yes, I understood what had almost happened and that I was very sorry. I was on the verge of tears. I went inside, and I could see the guy telling someone else outside what had happened. After I got my food, he was standing across the street with a girl (also in the SUV?) and they were talking and looking right at me. It looked like she was having her say at me, too, but I drove away quickly (making sure to look around carefully). I am truly sorry for almost causing an accident, but isn’t what he did afterward a little strange? I’m having a hard time knowing the correct response.

So yeah, that sucked. All the comments I got on FB were very nice and appreciated.

I’ll put that episode behind me to look forward to the rest of my birthday weekend. Tomorrow I fly away to San Francisco where Han will pick me up and then we’ll proceed to go to Fresno. It’s music season, people! On Sunday, back to SF for a gig, then on Monday (actual birthday), we’ll drive home. It will be forty-fun!

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