SATURDAY: A GREAT FUCKING DAY BACK IN L.A.

I've been in Los Angeles very little this year. I'm finally back!!! For two whole weeks. Then I'm gone for two weeks. Then... I'm back again. For how long, I have no idea. I was nervous that I'd no longer like it here, but Saturday proved that notion to be an absurd one.
  1. Wake up at my folks' house. Pack up stuff I've been storing in their garage. Finally notice that my mother has dyed a streak in her hair for her birthday. "Now I truly am a blue hair," she says. My mother, ladies and gents.
  2. My mother shows me some photo albums she's unearthed. I walk down memory lane for a few. Here's a shot from the 9th grade semi-formal. I'm the child with the top hat and cane. Can you see @zoe playing the role of a child in the background?
  3. Head over to the Silverlake sublet. Roommate Angel is apologetic that the guy who's been subletting while I'm away is STILL packing up his shit. I am unperturbed. I text my bff Dan Janvey to see what his day looks like. Turns out he and his girlfriend Katherine are about to leave to try this new falafel spot downtown. They pick me up.
  4. I've heard about this place, Madcapra. It's just opened in the Grand Centeal Market. The two chefs, the Sara(h)s, used to be at Glasserie in Greenpoint, which I loved. Turns out we know one of their brothers. Here's most of the menu (not pictured: iced cardamom coffee, which was inSANE).
  5. We eat both the red and green falafel preparations (in sandwich form), the cabbage, the chips, the celery, flatbread. We're in heaven. We make our enthusiasm for this food known. Loudly. Emphatically. We decide that this is our new spot. The Sara(h)s are badasses, give us extra goodies, want to be our friends. This is Dan, studying his falafel.
  6. We pop into The Last Bookstore and promptly run into Teddy, a manager there, and the crouching child with the frosted tips in the semi-formal snapshot above.
  7. We head back to their abode. Katherine leaves for an appointment. Dan insists we watch The Comedians. He turns it on and promptly passes out. I turn the volume down and look at The List App while charging my phone. It feels good to do nothing for once. Upon waking, Dan peer pressures me into joining them on a hike. I borrow a pair of his shoes.
  8. Katherine comes back and we drive to Griffith Park. I'm an indoor kid, for the most part. Not much of a hiker. And quite physically exhausted from this tour that just ended. So I'm a little nervous about this. But after some initial struggle, adrenaline kicks in, and I quickly get into the swing of things. I love this.
  9. Possessed by nature, fueled by water and a soundtrack of Alice Coltrane in the earbuds, I become Mad Max, Mountain Warrior (or, as Dan says, Maxiko The Treasure Hiker). We arrive at the summit they often stop at. They ask if I want to go further. I consider the options. I say yes.
  10. I'm a born and raised in Angeleno, but I had never been up to the Hollywood sign. That changed yesterday. I commune with the ghosts of Hollywoodland. My city sprawls before me; home again.
  11. Dan shits in the woods.
  12. Upon completion, I'm shocked to learn that in our 2 hour 7 minute hike we covered 6.34 miles. Shocked.
  13. Catherine needs to get some work done, so she stays home. Dan and I will eat dinner and take in a film. We drive to Pasadena... to a restaurant so delicious, so unhealthy, Dan has self-imposed a "one visit per month" limit.
  14. Behold! The PANDA EXPRESS INNOVATION KITCHEN! (6.34 miles. 6.34 miles. We earned this).
  15. This is the "gourmet" test kitchen, where Pandas fuck with a Chipotle style "fast casual" situation. We are here for their mythical burritos. I get: chow mein, fried rice, hot crunchy candied walnuts, green beans, eggplant, tofu, green onion ginger sauce, pickled cucumbers, fried shallots... all inside an impermeable moo shu/scallion pancake.
  16. We beast the burritos. They are delicious. When finished, Dan assumes this position for a while.
  17. We decide that we will not have the energy to make it through the 9:50 show of Far From The Madding Crowd.
  18. Dan deposits me at my sublet. The former tenant has left, but some of his things are still in the living room. I unpack. I make my bed. I climb in. I fall asleep. I dream.