25 THINGS I LEARNED IN CALIFORNIA – 2008 EDITION

  1. If you order a large soda from Del Taco, you will find yourself partaking of a drink 3/4 the size of your own head.
  2. A group of Asian kids, dressed in black leather complete with chains and spiky Mohawks hanging out at Del Taco at midnight have a somewhat forboding sense about them. Surely they have been out and about all night causing trouble and being just as bad as their menacing exterior projects.
  3. Seeing those same Asian kids dressed in black leather and chains in the Del Taco parking lot at 9:30 in the morning completely negates their rebellious punk look and makes them seem desperate, sad, harmless, and even a bit pathetic.
  4. I am a man of my word. Having once vowed to never drive one, I learned at the car rental company that our car would be a PT Cruiser. We were offered a smaller car that the agent claimed was actually much nicer. I agreed to take the smaller car. I do a good enough job as it is looking like a tool in my every day life. I don’t need help from the PT Cruiser.
  5. If you want to get your money’s worth in the stand-up comedy world, wait until you’re in New York City to go to a comedy club. The prices of a weekday show are about 3 times more expensive in LA and you only get to see about 1/3 of the number of comics.
  6. Every day it’s sunny and 77 degrees. The rest of the world are schmucks.
  7. The speed limit on the highway is 65 M.P.H. The flow of traffic averages 77 M.P.H. The highway drivers are actually much better than I recall. I still hate motorcyclists (if you’re stopped at a red light, why is it OK for them to cut in line and jump in front of everyone else just because they can squeeze between cars? That’s not fair. I hate, hate, HATE them).
  8. On a coast-to-coast flight if you’re taking Southwest you don’t get an in-flight movie and the only food they offer you is peanuts and Wheat Thins. Where’s my barely-recognizable Salisbury steak?
  9. People who don’t have any idea what they’re talking about are very entertaining. At the wax museum a man wrongly identified Jack Black from the recent King Kong remake as Vince Vaughn from Wedding Crashers. He did, however, get Tom Hanks from Castaway correct. Even though he told his kids the volleyball was named “Spalding” (instead of the actual name “Wilson”).
  10. If you go to the Rocky Cola Cafe in Hermosa Beach at 12:30 on a Sunday afternoon you actually have a good chance of getting a parking space.
  11. The Tonight Show host Jay Leno sells out shows at the Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach at $30.00 a seat. Ironically, tickets to see The Tonight Show are free.
  12. In-N-Out burgers are just as good as I remember.
  13. The attendants at the Dollar rental car place near the San Diego airport are energetically honest. When asked how he was doing, the young worker replied with a huge smile, “Great! I get to stand out here and look at hot girls all day.” I wished him luck.
  14. Elderly women who order a Bloody Mary on a plane that leaves at 9:30 am are making a statement about themselves that may be unintentional.
  15. If you wear a dress shirt, tie, black pants, and dress shoes to a California wedding, you will feel vastly overdressed. Especially if the groomsmen wear flip flops.
  16. The carpool lane is the coolest thing ever (I actually learned this in 1992 but had forgotten I knew it).
  17. Sarah is a natural boogie boarder.
  18. If you buy a new pair of swim trunks, don’t assume that the string tie feature is part of the apparel. Otherwise when a big ocean wave hits you from behind, you will find yourself struggling to keep them on.
  19. Sometimes the friendliest person you’ll meet is the maintenance guy at a time-share property.
  20. Wireless internet is not free at the airport.
  21. If you forgot to pack beach towels, check under the bathroom sink of your time share. Sometimes they provide them for you so you don’t have to go out and spend $40 to buy your own and then get angry when you find this out after-the-fact.
  22. It costs more for a tank of gas than it does to get your tires rotated, oil changed, and get an emissions test.
  23. Even on-duty policemen like to sneak away to the cliffs of Rancho Palos Verdes and take in the view every once in a while.
  24. Sharks still scare me. Even large paintings of them.
  25. As amazing as it is to be back in California, I wouldn’t want to be there without Sarah.
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5 comments

  1. haha …Spalding. So these are great tips Eddie! Soooo like if I would happen to have a painting of a shark in church and accidentally showed it to you that would freak out out? …interesting….

  2. Re: #7: it’s called lane-sharing, and we do it because it’s safe, and we can. motorcycles take up a smaller footprint than cars and generally, don’t get in your way. If every motorcyclist who would’ve lane-shared to the front of the pack instead waited in traffic, gridlock would be even worse for everyone. the only net negative of lane-sharing is the jealousy you 4-wheelers feel when it happens, and of course the occasional dooring incident.

    don’t like it? move to any other state than california, because it’s illegal everywhere else. have fun with the extra traffic though – california has more motorcyclists per capita by far than any other state, and that helps traffic density more than you can possibly imagine.

  3. The occasional dooring incident sounds like fun. But where in the world would I find a motorcyclist with no sense of irony and humor to try it on? Oh, wait. Got one.

  4. A. The “PT” stands for “Piece of Trash.” rented one once and it was horrendous.

    B. Yes, but Southwest is the only airline where it would be perfectly acceptable to pull a “big Mac” outta ya carry on and go to work on it.

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