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05/22/01 (continued)
Back at home, reflecting on coffee beans and friends...


On Friday, Glark and I went to E3 together. It was total man-love male bonding. Glark knows as much about video and computer games than just about anyone I know, so we were able to cover tons of ground in just one day. We hit all the major booths, not really playing much, but trying to get a much of a gist of the show as we could.

"Would you please both stop patting my ass? How long were you guys out there, anyway?"

We saw the new Tony Hawk game, which looked great. I saw a short trailer for the Spider-Man movie, which was not all that inspiring. We marvelled at how crappy the newly announced computer game based on the Survivor TV show looked. When I saw crappy, I mean that as no disrespect to other crappy games.

The upshot of the Surivor game thing was that they actually had Jerri and Colby from the show on hand to sign autographs, take pictures, and put on a hokey reward challenge thing on stage. Last year, Regis was at the show. This year it was Colby, Jerri and that lady from The Weakest Link. How times change.

Glark had an inspired idea notable for its cunning and for its success. He scribbled a sign that read "I Love MightyBigTV" and had Jerri and Colby hold it up as someone took a picture. Brilliant.

I got a picture too. They honestly look exactly like they do on TV. If you'll look in the picture, you can't see that in Jerri's other hand, she's holding a huge sign that says, "PLEASE LOVE ME! GIVE ME ATTENTION! I BEG OF YOU!" She really was lapping up the attention, which isn't hard to come by at this show given that E3 is the only opportunity many of these gamers have to see actual living females.



Other L.A. stories:

Friday night, Wing Chun, Glark, some friends of theirs and the rest of us went out to dinner and saw Shrek.

There was an odd phenemenom happening to me that was partly due to being sick last week and then flying out while still congested. Several readers warned me about chewing gum on the flight and finding ways to not feel congested, but I barely made it to my flight as it was and, so, like an idiot, I ended up flying out in extreme pain as the pressure in my ears built to legendary levels.

The next day, maybe it was the altitude or allergies (does L.A. have altitude? I know it has attitude, but that's usually not enough to make your ears bleed) but for most of Friday, my hearing got progressively worse until by dinner Friday night I was practically deaf. Jokes were being told and I couldn't hear them. Every few seconds I'd be all, "Wha!?! WHO!? In the WHERE?!" It was annoying, to say the least.

Most everyone I saw Shrek with was disappointed. Someone in our group pointed out that so far it's the best-reviewed movie of the year. Don't get me wrong, I was smiling through the whole thing, but it was no Chicken Run. And I'll stand by that assessment.

I decided to forego the last day of E3, so instead I spent time with friends and socializing on Friday and Saturday, which was a nice change of pace. For maybe a three hour stretch, all I did was hang out on Pamie's patio and relax. I read magazines. I fell in love with Pamie's TiVo unit, which records programs like the wind and lets you watch them almost as quickly.

My friends Chris and Yvonne, who are getting married next week, took me out to eat and to get a short massage at a store in an outdoor mall. (The massage wasn't outdoors, but the store was and it wasn't exactly a mall and... you know what? Never mind.) I've known Chris and Yvonne since high school and they listened to all my stories and what's been going on with real interest. It's been amazing to watch what's happened because when I first knew them they started dating. Then they moved and had other relationships and moved on and then, seven years later, they found a way back to each other and toward marriage. It's a little inspiring.

By the end of the trip, when I had to get up at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m. just to make it to the airport on time, I was exhausted, but euphoric.

It was a vacation. A real one. Where I was able to see lots of friends, have a few little adventures, drink lots of Coffee Bean and completely change my view of a city I'd once considered unlivable.

There are moments in our lives where we feel zombified — like we're walking around in the rut of our routine, doing the things that have to be done to push us just a little bit forward on the treadmill of life.

This was a weekend that felt alive and fresh with possibilities. I got inspired seeing the way some of my friends are living. I felt like after months of maintaining my little nest here that I got to see another place and do some real living.

It was the most awake I've felt in quite a while.


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