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12:05 am - Tue 10/22/02
Mark and Jane hit LA

M & J Hit LA

(I know it's officially Tuesday, since it's after midnight, but since I haven't gone to bed yet, I'm going to write as if it is in actuality still Monday evening...)

Mark and Jane are here. They arrived shortly before 6:00 this evening (Talking with Jane on Sunday, we assumed they'd get here closer to 9 or 10. But she called this afternoon to let me know they were making better time than expected. But anyway...).

I was glad they made it here without getting lost (I was a little afraid they might end up having to call me for directions. Then they would have really been screwed!).

I was a little surprised when there was a knock on my apartment door and it was Jane (It's not like I wasn't expecting them, obviously, but my initial thought was that it was the apartment manager, or someone in the building needing something. I assumed I was going to have to "buzz them in" when the time came).

I helped them bring their stuff in (A lot of which was actually my stuff, that they carted here all the way from Mich. And thanks to Kevin and M.E. for storing my crap all this time, btw), and then Mark drove around a bit to find a parking spot.

When he got back we chatted for a bit, then went to the nearby Denny's, and ate and chatted some more.

For the rest of the evening, we basically watched tv (Boston Public, the awful new David Kelley show that was on afterwards--Charlie's Angels Go To Law School, or something like that--CSI: Miami, and The Simpsons), and made small talk, while I tried to find space on my two small bookshelves for all my "new" books, and leafed through a box of old letters and assorted memorabilia (There was a painful moment at one point as I read part of a letter from Beth N., about a great weekend we'd had when she was still living in Alpena and visiting me in Lansing; Apparently, she'd really enjoyed all the lovemaking that weekend).

Then they were pretty worn-out from their trip and went to bed. They pitched their air mattress in my "dining room", which I think will work out pretty well (And they were exhausted; Mark started snoring five minutes after they settled in).

It was kind of funny; As they started getting ready for bed, Jane looked at me and laughed a little, commenting on how ordinary this all seemed. And it was; A year and a half has passed, we've been thousands of miles apart, but it felt like we might have seen each other just last week.

Between Diaryland, and all the emailing and chatting Jane and I do (Mark and I email, though not nearly so often), there really isn't any "catching up" to do, per se, which was a point of concern with me before they got here--I worried what we'd talk about all this time--but I think there'll be enough to do and enough to say that I don't need to get bunched-up about it. And I think we've known each other long enough that just "hanging out" will be fine (For the record, I'm concerned about not having anything to say pretty much any time a social situation threatens. Kind of interesting for a guy who likes to talk as much as I do. But it's also understandable; I haven't exactly logged hours of "social time" lately. And there's a big difference between this ongoing monologue in Diaryland and honest-to-goodness conversation. But anyway...).

There's no real itinerary for their time here just yet. Tomorrow we're planning to visit a friend of theirs who lives in Manhattan Beach--details are sketchy at this point, since I don't think Jane's actually been in direct contact with the guy since she left Michigan--and we want to have dinner with Cary and Kay sometime, but beyond that, things are pretty open.

Mark brought up wanting to see Auto-Focus, which is something I've been interested in seeing as well. And there's theater (Wednesday is "pay what you can nite" at the Actors Gang, Tim Robbin's theater), and maybe LACMA, if we don't get to the Getty. And they want to see the bookstore.

Shortly before this visit was supposed to happen, I started to feel nervous. Anxious.

I was cleaning house yesterday, and feeling somewhat incompetent (I've always felt I just wasn't very good at housework), but then it hit me, "Jim, they're aren't expecting 'House Beautiful'from you. They know you, and they know you're a pig, and they're going to appreciate the effort".

I don't exactly understand why I'm feeling nervous--I sort of do, but not completely--but this is a subject I can explore more fully at a later date. I hear my bed calling my name.

Sweet dreams, friends and well-wishers...


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