The L.A. Report Day 1



I planned to leave for Los Angeles on Friday, January 29th but I just had
too much to do to get ready so I put it off a day, and then another and
another and another . . . . .  I finally left on Monday afternoon at 3:30
p.m.  I had some problems getting my headshot copied, still had a little
work to finish up for
Dayton's, had to buy a laptop and printer and get that
all set up, etc.  I never did figure out how to copy my e-mail folders onto
a diskette to copy to my laptop.  (So to those of you on my joke e-mail
list, you will experience a four-month hiatus in getting jokes from me.
When I get back in town I'll have to catch up, though!)

The first day I drove about 10 and a half hours and managed to get all the
way to the
Oklahoma border.  It drizzled the entire way but it never got
slippery.  The weather was perfect the second day and I drove about 10 hours
Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The third day the weather was perfect again and
I drove about 11 hours the rest of the way to

I had never been to
Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico or Arizona
in my life so that was a new experience.  The desert in
New Mexico and
Arizona was absolutely gorgeous and there were other sights along the way I
really wanted to photograph but I knew I'd never get to
L.A. if I stopped.
As it was, I had to drive like a maniac to make the 3-day goal I had.  Maybe
next year, because I'll probably come back through
Utah, Colorado and
Nebraska.  I drove mostly 90 - 95 mph in the desert (in fact, I now know
that my car goes at least 110).

When I arrived in
L.A. I missed the first turn I meant to take and it took
me close to an hour to find my hotel.  You would not believe these freeways.
35W at rush hour is like a joy-ride on a parkway compared to these freeways.
Most are four or five (slightly narrower?) lanes with no shoulders and exit
and entrance ramps seemingly every quarter-mile.  At any time of day there
are cars about two or three car-lengths in front of each other on each lane
going 60 to 65 mph.  Then you exit and expect a respite from the bustle.
But the major (and some of the minor) side streets are almost the same, just
fewer lanes and slower speeds.

When I got to the Days Inn in
Glendale (a suburb next to Burbank), I
couldn't believe the size of it.  It's seven stories with about four wings
and 400 rooms.  It's bigger than most hospitals I've seen!  And there wasn't
a single place to park.  Then I saw a sign about their not being responsible
for damage, theft or vandalism and I just about started the drive back to
Minneapolis.  Finally I found a parking spot and checked in.  I expected it
to be a bit of a dive but it actually is pretty decent.  And the strangest
thing is it is SO QUIET, almost eerily so, as if there aren't many people
here.  But the parking lots are full and most of the rooms seem to have
lights on.  I expected constant commotion, people hanging around and
talking, cars in and out (maybe even sirens or gun shots!) but it's pretty
nice.  And the neighborhood is really pretty good, too.  There are a couple
of houses that aren't in the best shape but for the most part it seems like
a pretty decent middle class neighborhood.

Still, I am looking to see if I can do better - something with a kitchen,
something with free local calls (local calls are even charged by the minute
here, depending on how far you call).  I did look at one place a couple
blocks from Warner Brothers that was REALLY nice but also REALLY pricey.
I'm thinking maybe I should just splurge on it anyway, at least for a month.
It's part of a corporate housing complex up in the hills with security gate
and guard, tennis court, exercise room, pool, convenience store, etc.  I
also called a guy with a room for rent that sounds absolutely incredible,
also up in the hills with a gorgeous view of the city.  Rather eccentric
person, too, but that's a whole 'nother chapter.  So we'll see.

I did go for a run this morning along the busy streets of this neighborhood.
It was my first run in a week (too busy) and it would have felt good but my
back is killing me - the result of sleeping on cheap mattresses, sitting in
a car for 31 and a half hours and lifting something wrong when I was
unpacking my car.  If it heals the way it did the last time I did this, it
should be in good shape in 3 or 4 days.

I haven't had much chance to look into acting or programming stuff yet (just
got here last night).  I've been screwing around with Sprint PCS to get my
phone service changed to this area, too.  Supposed to get straightened out
tomorrow.  I'll let you know what the number is when I get it.  I was going
to sign up with Cenex (the company that does most of the non-union extras
casting) tomorrow but I won't have my phone number by then so I'll go in
Monday.  I have an appointment tomorrow with a company that helps actors
find an agent.  I don't know how successful that'll be but it's a start.

Sorry I didn't write to each one of you personally but I'm sending this to
51 people and there's just no way I could have sent that many e-mails.  I'll
try to catch up with each of you later.

So that's Day One (don't worry, I won't be sending out daily updates, at
least not this long!).  I'm not dead, broke or defeated.  That's somethin'.