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1:30 pm - Sat 10/26/02
Alone Again, Naturally

Alone Again, Naturally

Feeling pretty "down in the dumps" today...

Mark and Jane left yesterday morning.

I'm not sure I realized how much I was enjoying having them here until they were pulling away in the car, and I found myself fighting back tears. To be honest, I was surprised at the strength of my reaction--I felt downright bereft--which shows how little I know myself even after 22 years of keeping a journal (But I think it isn't not knowing myself as much as wanting to sometimes hide from myself. But anyway...).

Before Mark and Jane arrived, and even part of the time while they were here, I felt bad that I wasn't going to be able to be the host I'd like to have been, taking them out to dinner at the best restaurants, etc and so forth.

"I wish," I remember thinking to myself, "that I could give them the quintessential 'LA Experience'".

Be careful what you wish for...

It all started Tuesday night, when we came back from visiting Jane's cousin Bill in Manhattan Beach.

It was around 9:30 or so, which meant, of course, there was no place to park (Which lead to much joking about how I was glad this was happening, in a way, so they'd know I wasn't just whistling Dixie when complaining about the parking here). So anyway, we drove around and around, probably for longer than it had taken us to get back from Manhattan Beach, but finally found a spot around 4th and Normandie.

Now, my big thing was that we had to make sure we were on the right side of the street, out of the way of the street sweeper the next morning

(In my immediate neighborhood, the street sweeper runs on opposite sides of the street on Wednesday and Thursday mornings, from 8-10. And if you are in the way of the street sweeper, as I've been on more than one occasion, you get a nice $40 ticket).

So we checked the sign--we were on the "Thursday" side of the street--made sure we were not in front of the red part of the curb, made sure we remembered where we'd parked, and had another laugh about parking in LA.

It wasn't quite as funny the next day, when we went out to the car, or at least where we thought the car would be, and it was gone.

After a certain amount of confusion, disorientation, and disbelief, we came to the conclusion that it must have been stolen, since we thought we'd been so meticulous about obeying all the little LA Parking Gestapo's rules.

We walked around the immediate area, tried to retrace out path, debated if we had actually parked where we thought we had, the whole nine yards.

Then we re-read the sign, and there was a number to call if your car had been towed (I hadn't even noticed that on the sign--So much for "meticulous"--and Mark had seen it, but thought it referred to the penalty for parking in the red, which we hadn't). So in an effort to leave no stone unturned--and kind of hoping it had been towed, rather than stolen--Mark called the number, and after a bit of effort and some numerical confusion (for one horrifying moment, Mark thought they wanted to charge him $2400 to get the car back, but they were just giving him address to the impound lot), we found out the car had indeed been towed, and where we needed to go to get it.

So we all got in my car, and drove to the impound lot on Washington.

When we got there, we were told we couldn't get the car because there was a "hold" on it. The nice lady behind the glass didn't know why there was a "hold" on it, but we would have to go to the police department on Venice to see what the deal was.

So we all got back in the car, and drove to the police department.

Well, at the police department, the affable Officer Gordine (sp?) told us their computers were down. Then when he tried to get a fax of the report on the car, the fax came out too light to read. Then when it came out dark enough to read, there still wasn't any information on the report as to why the car had a "hold" on it. So were basically told to not worry about it, and sent on our way.

So it was back into my car, and back to the impound lot, where a few minutes and $148 later, we got the car back (Mark went to pick it up, then He and Jane followed me back to the apartment).

Just a little memento of your visit to LA...


Well, I thought I'd have to cut this short to go to work, but I have to cut it even shorter, because a load of laundry in the dryer didn't actually dry, so I've had to put it in for a second go-round, and I'm minutes away from being late (Insert weeping and wailing noises here).

Anyway, there's much more to say about Mark and Jane's visit and assorted other things, but it'll have to wait.


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