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12:45 am - Friday, Aug. 15, 2003
Jim's Little Tokyo Adventure (Pt I)

Jim's Little Tokyo Adventure (Part I)

Interesting evening...

(Haven't gone to bed yet, so it's still "Thursday" in Jimlandia.)

Earlier today, got an email from JS, inviting all the JS-ers to karaoke at a place in Little Tokyo called Oiwake (I've never been to Oiwake. For that matter, I've never been to Little Tokyo).

Well, my first impulse, as it often is, was not to go; I didn't want to drive (Didn't want to come back home and try to park afterwards, to be more accurate), I didn't want to ride my bike and have to leave it locked up someplace where it might get stolen, I didn't want to spend the money, blah blah blah (What it really boiled down to was "I'm afraid the other kids won't like me...").

But then my second impulse, as it often is, was to say "Jim, you can't whine about being lonely, then not go out when the opportunity presents itself...".

So I went.

First I went to the ATM and got out some money (More than I thought I'd need, just to avoid the potential social embarrassment of coming up short).

On the way back home, I stopped at the library and checked out a dvd--Italian for Beginners (Not sure why I felt the need, since I'd seen a movie yesterday--The Secret Life of Dentists, which I thought was really good--and was going to be doing karaoke later in the evening. But there it is).

Sometime after 5:00, I got a page from JS, about an audition; It's tomorrow, for AOL, at Crash Casting, which is just a couple blocks down from the bookstore.

It's at 5:30. The latest casting I think I've ever had.

I'm supposed to work at 4:30.

My first "work conflict" under the new regime...

I was hoping that wouldn't happen till sometime after I got back from Lansing, but what can you do?

I waited awhile, hoping to hear back from JS (He said he'd try to see if I could go in any earlier), then when I didn't, I figured I needed to call work sooner rather than later (Whether it registers with anyone at Borders, I feel better about myself when I'm able to say "I gave you as much notice as I could...").

I ended up talking to Brad E., who seemed to be in something of a sour mood, but didn't give me any grief about "occurences" or leaving the store short-staffed, or anything like that; He just said he'd let everyone know.

(It struck me afterwards that if they really want to start giving me "occurences" over this stuff, which has thus far come up maybe every couple months or so--or less--I can probably "take the hit". You have to get a good number of "occurences" in a fairly short period of time before things start getting ugly. And what can I say? Jim's gotta do what Jim's gotta do...)

(And just now, it's striking me that I should call work tomorrow, and see if I could just come in and take a really early dinner break; If I had my break from 5:00-6:00, I could go do my thing without much fuss or bother. I don't lose the time, I don't get an occurence, and Borders gets me for my full shift. Sounds pretty good to me, so it'll be interesting to see if they'll "flex" that way.)

But back to karaoke...

I didn't want to drive, and I didn't want to ride my bike. I kind of didn't want to go, really, but had decided I should.

So I got the address for Oiwake off the internet, then tried to "Mapquest it", but no dice; All I could do was get directions to the zip code. But it was downtown, off of Figueroa (Where I've gone to see movies at the Laemmle a few times), so I thought I could just walk in that general direction.

(In spite of my natural tendency towards worry and anxiety, sometimes I have these moments, moments where, for whatever reason, I feel very confident I can just "figure things out" on the fly. It almost always proves to be a mistake.)

So I started walking. I walked down 6th street for a couple miles (And couldn't help but notice I was the only white person I saw in those couple miles), then turned left on Figueroa...and never found the cross street I was supposed to be walking towards. The one that would theoretically take me at least as far as the Little Tokyo zip code.

I was starting to feel very tired and slightly panicky, but using the rudimentary knowledge of downtown LA I gleaned from a bike trip there some months back, I started moving towards the center of downtown; I knew that Little Tokyo wouldn't be past Wilshire Blvd going south because I'd seen that part of downtown already.

Not sure if I'm explaining this all too well, but the jist of it is that I didn't know exactly where I was going but knew enough to be going in basically the right direction; by the time I found someone and asked directions, it turned out I was only about six blocks away from my destination.

Don't know if that impresses you, but I was pretty pleased with myself.

(Fortunately for me, the downtown area of LA is surprisingly compact, and "Little Tokyo" is actually pretty "little". So when I found Little Tokyo, it wasn't too big a deal to find Oiwake).

Well, I've gotten us to Little Tokyo, but it's become very late, so I think I'll have to finish this pulse-pounding adventure story tomorrow...


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