Art, tar and Hollywood

Well shit, I dropped the writing ball the past few days. How many days behind am I? THREE?! Time to handle this scandal and get to pecking these silver keys. Like the color silver, not actual silver. That would be a baller ass keyboard. Monday night was Riquel and Ben’s four year anniversary (congrats roomies!) so as promised I made my way to Big Dean’s. Big Dean’s is one of my favorite spots out here and for good reason, great burgers, fun scenery, tall beers and wall to wall characters. I hobbled down there and it was incredibly painful one mile trek. When I don’t drink enough water or get enough exercise my hips and legs lock the fuck up. It feels like I have a broken tailbone and walking is like slow torture but I’m a warrior so I pressed on. The sun had just set so the sky was that magic bright orange color. It feels horribly cliche to describe the sky anywhere near sunset but I’ll try to put my spin on it. The sky looked like a bush covered in multicolored Christmas lights after a fresh snow. Hundreds of tiny beacons glowing softly under a thin, cold blanket. I spent way too much time trying to find a poetic way to describe a god damn sunset when I actually took a picture. I’m such a jackass sometimes.

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I made it to my seat (barely) at Big Dean’s, got a delicious burger and a tall beer. I ate pretty quick because I wasn’t really in the mood to stay there. It was incredibly windy and the heat lamps were off. Big Dean’s is an outdoor bar by the way.

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Matt! Is LA turning you soft to cold weather. No you dick, it was chilly for southern California standards. After not small Dean’s I hopped in an Uber to Sonny McLean’s but got a text from Ben in Riquel saying they wanted to hang. Met my temporary roommates and we popped in Macgruber, indulged in an edible and laughed ourselves stupid. Edibles for those folks who don’t know are candies that contain the fun parts of weed and can be a fun time. That was only my second time doing one so I didn’t feel it a ton but I still had fun.

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The next day (Tuesday), legs and hips feeling better due to the healing power of THC. Just kidding, I drank a ton of water and stretched. Tuesday was my last full day with a car in LA so I wanted to take advantage. I dicked around in the morning then headed to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). What a beautiful facility, galleries spread over four different buildings. I saw some great Warhols and Picassos which is always hard to wrap one’s mind around. These pieces of art are so iconic it almost seems impossible the actual creation exists.

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After about an hour I was getting pretty bored so I headed to the LA Brea Tar Pits. Also I don’t feel the need to defend being bored amongst countless pieces of gorgeous and priceless art. I endured 4.5 years of art school, I’ve spent more time in museums then you’ve had hot meals. That’s just fun rhetoric, I’m sure you’ve had many hot meals. Unless you’re super into sushi or some shit. The Tar Pits were kind of boring too but fun to see briefly. I pictured actual deep reservoirs of tar with large dinosaur statues sticking out, I was a little off.

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Most of the tar pits looked like mud puddles and I’ve seen loads of those. I sprung for the double museum visit and took a look at the fossils in the LA Brea Tar Pits museum. I saw loads of fossils, bones, full skeletons, a research lab, wall of wolf skulls (little creepy), I also think I saw the little person that was in “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies.

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This dude.

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They also had a tar pull station in the mu. The small handle had a smaller rod and was easier to remove from the black goo. The larger handle was attached to a large rod and was incredibly difficult to remove from the sludge but your raconteur hero (me) dug deep and yanked that bad boy out of its midnight vacuum.

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I said black, rod, goo and yank in that last couple sentences and was not describing porno, weird right? Gross Matt (my parents read this you know). On my way out of the tar pits I noticed all these yellow cones that were covered in tar throughout the park. Apparently the tar leaks out of the ground, and me being the curious kitten I am, I just had to poke it with a stick. Obviously I got some on my hand but it was totally worth it, for science. I wiped my hand on the grass, snapped some pics then headed to the Wolf.

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I made my way to the Commerce Casino in LA, my old stomping ground for one faithful summer. For those of you who know me know I lived in Huntington Beach for a summer and played poker as my job (I was a full time player for about four years). At the Commerce Casino about 7 years ago I won a bad beat jackpot for ten thousand dollars. After taxes it was about 7 grand. Tipped the dealer $500, two floor employees $100 each then kept on playing. At the end of the day I gave a security guard $20 to walk me to my car because I had over ten grand in cash on my person (those were the days).

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This money went to something really cool I bet, it’s long long gone now.

Back to the present, I played for about 4 hours and lost $200. Poker is less appealing to me than it used to be in the past. The players at the table are annoying, gambling used to be fun but now I’m not much of a fan. I’d rather just spend or save my hard earned money than risk it (look at me mom and dad, adult talk. I still need to move back in though. Thanks). After my failed poker venture, I went to meet Chris to grab all my crap out of his storage locker. Filled the car back up with my worldly possessions, thanked/apologized to Chris and Hillary then headed off into the night. The mighty Wolf is now ready to be picked up and sent back home. Wednesday morning rolled around and I was awoken by a call at 6:30am from my confused truck driver. He assured me he was out front and was sorry for being so early. I tossed on shoes and went to meet him, no truck driver to be found. I called him back and asked where he was “I’m on Lemon street” with a thick accent. I responded “well I’m on 9th street so be on 9th street” he quipped back “No. no. Lemon, L-E-M-O-N” I came back at him “spelling Lemon doesn’t change the fact that I’m on 9th street, you know 5,6,7,8, NINE” bit aggressive by me but I was tired and annoyed. Finally he realized he called the wrong customer and will be at my location in an hour. I went back inside, couldn’t sleep and watched Hulu (shoutout Ben) for 2 hours when he finally showed up. He loaded the car up and I sent my baby back to its home. Now I’m without a car for 4 days. What’s good Uber, holler at a brother.

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Bye wolf.

I know this blog is a long one but this is what happens when I fall behind, more bang for your buck (you all owe me a buck). Wednesday I had evening plans but was free most of the day. I spent the day wandering around Santa Monica then finally landing at a highly recommended spot called The Misfit (Thanks B-Butt).

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Fuckkkkkkk

The Misfit has this grand interior with a giant wall of booze bottles and books behind the bar, great art, amazing bartenders, unique architecture and the best fucking chicken sandwich on this planet. I got a cocktail and a sandwich and was not disappointed. My friend had been hyping up this place for weeks and I finally went and she was 100% right. I loved it and wish I got 3 sandwiches. It’s just a fried chicken sandwich with cole slaw, sliced apples, special sauce and possibly a magic spell or voodoo incantation? Hard to say, the dark arts are not my strong suit.

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I popped in here one more time for dessert, don’t you fucking judge me! AHHHH! Sorry, sugar high.

After my delicious and pricey lunch I hopped in an Uber to meet two of Boston’s finest, Nick and Kate. Fairly recent additions to the area and they’re bringing the heat so I had to visit them. I met Nick and Kate through my hetero life mate Ethan Norton while we worked with them at Diesel. I decided to forget all the rules of LA traffic and jump in my Uber a little before 4pm and that didn’t shake out well. I was meeting my friends at Birds in Hollywood. You guys remember Birds, I went there Sunday and ate a pile of chicken while surrounded by pictures of arguably the best director to ever live (Alfred Hitchcock, in case you didn’t read that blog post). Partway through my ride the driver was extremely apologetic and said he had to drop me off sooner because he had to pick up his wife. That was pretty annoying but I grabbed a Lyft (cheaper than Uber but not as nice) and about an hour later I was at Birds (hour and a half late, I suck).

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It was nice to see Nick and Kate, I literally always have a good time when one of them is around and both is the double up. We enjoyed some beers and whisky then headed back to their apartment. We walked by one of the Scientology buildings and made piles of derogatory comments and they were all accurate and hilarious, those guys (Scientologists) are fucked. We chilled for a bit while Nick did a good job convincing me to stay in LA but I stuck to my guns. I adore it out here but the things I love here are a little fleeting and I adore my home and family too much to want to be this far away, it’s that simple.

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Two cover variants to Joe vs. The Volcano VHS tapes SON! Also that’s Nick.

We hit the road and ended up at this awesome diner, The 101 Cafe where I tried to charm our adorable waitress into giving me her Molly Ringwald pin. It was so damn cool and I thought my smooth talking would earn me a button, wrong. I did get some delicious french toast then we got the hell out of there to watch “Days of Thunder” back at Nick and Kate’s.

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Oscar!

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Oscar on Kate’s face.

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Inception.

Nick continued his campaign for LA and again did a great job but I still stuck to my guns. I got to play with their awesome dog Oscar for almost 2 hours then crashed on the best air mattress I’ve ever seen. Before going to bed I was peer pressured (not really) into a hit of marijuana, I had to sleep because I could hear myself babbling too much. I’m not much for weed, it tastes like shit and never makes me feel great. It makes me too aware of my own existence and that is a bit too much for me. It’s now Thursday afternoon and a few fun things have happened today but I’ll save that for tomorrow. Thanks for reading folks!

Keep smiling (even when you feel torn between two lives)

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