I’ll be starting a short series here on my 10-day birthday trip. Here’s Part One of my adventures while trying to have
the most kick-ass awesomely righteous too-damn-amazing-for-a-praising-superlative a great birthday.
This was a trip that was almost not to be.
I had rent to pay. I had lots of bills to pay, actually. I wasn’t as busy as I hoped I would at the spa I worked at. And the cherry on top was that my Prius of six years broke down at the worst possible time. It was a snowball of a shitstorm that just had to hit me, after all my hopes, wishes, and prayers of not wanting it to happen. I figure some butthurt leggings lover who saw my bumper sticker that read “Leggings Are Not Pants, Dammit” (yes, I have a bumper sticker that says that on my Prius) must have sent some cunt karma on me.
But the karma from that leggings lover cunt was not enough to dampen my vacation plans altogether. Listen, I worked my tail off since this Spring for this trip. Just when I thought I didn’t have to work five days a week again, summer and a sudden move-out happened and I ended up having to do that once again. Anything to ensure enough dough in my pocket for this trip. So I could not stay at the Hollywood Hills place I was at a year ago. (You may cry “irony” due to the fact that I made less a year ago and was still able to stay at that particular property, whose weekly rates were $100 less now than last year. Just blame it on ‘dem bills.) I ended up snagging a place in the same area that was just as good, and cheaper. I may not get the million-dollar views of the southland from my property this time around, but I get a swimming pool. And (as I later found out by surprise) city views of the San Fernando Valley.
My dad, being the one and only loving parent I have (more on this later), loaned me his red Camaro for the trip. Which was quite the upgrade given the car I now drive. It was a car I once drove during my senior year in high school, that got passed down to my younger brother when I got another car, and went back to my dad a couple years ago when his own car went down, and when my brother got his own car via the mom that likes spoiling him (hint-hint). The horns no longer worked, the passenger door doesn’t open automatically like it once did, and there was this awkward-looking puff from the ceiling above the rear passenger seat. But, hey, there was a new stereo system installed in the ride that can hook up my iPod. At this point, I didn’t care if I had to push an AMC Gremlin. I cared if I had my own transportation (sorry, I don’t do public transit for these kinds of trips), something that hooked up my iPod, and wasn’t too much of a gas guzzler. (And if I had to, I’d rock that Gremlin throughout posh-ass Beverly Hills if it had a pimped-out stereo system that allowed me to play my iPod.)
I loaded up my car with all the stuff I needed, and left around 3PM, only to drive back home quickly because I forgot something. I wanted to make it LA by or before midnight, but then this was the least of my concerns.
It was those damn Giants.
I was leaving the Bay Area the same day they were going to play that Game 7 of the World Series. At the home of the Royals. Shit looked bleak already. And I was leaving the Bay Area. I knew the odds against the orange-and-black weren’t good going into this Game 7, so why I was being superstitious on leaving home for this trip (given that I stayed home the past two times when they won the World Series) was beyond me. Nonetheless, being the foolish Giants fan I was at that exact time, I threw them some luck, taking my 2012 Giants WS Champions hat with me, and playing songs from 1979. Particularly Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family.” (1979 was the last time an away team won a Game 7 in the WS, and the Pittsburgh Pirates–that away team that won–adopted the “We Are Family” song as their theme song for that season.) I did my best to not give a fuck about that Game 7, because the last thing I wanted was baseball shit to ruin my birthday trip. I blasted not-gameday music such as Madonna, Bikini Kill, and even George Michael, while making plans in my head to get hella hammered at a random LA bar for my birthday the next day should the Giants lose.
Sometime around 7:45PM, I mustered up the guts to check what was going on in that Game 7. Via my phone, because I was already in the middle of the Central Valley and reception for my local sports radio station was crapping out.
No fucking way, I said to myself at a McDonalds in the middle of whatever. They were up 3-2, and were surprisingly looking good. I continued to drive after that short stop, riding the angst-ridden wails of Kathleen Hanna in hopes that I was listening to some lucky music. And at around 8:20PM, PST, right when I was able to get a tinge of reception from KNBR 680AM, it happened. Like, the most it of all it things happened.
I don’t even know where the hell I was when it happened. I only remembered a song not from Bikini Kill, but from 7 Year Bitch (that would be “Hip Like Junk”) playing the exact time history was made. I then tuned into my local news station, which can be heard from almost anywhere in the state, which confirmed everything I just couldn’t believe at the moment.
The news was like a high unlike any other. Maybe it helped that I was already dazed from driving. I still haven’t reached Bakersfield, and I still had a few more hours to LA altogether. But here I was, spiritually joining the rest of the Giants fans all over the world, experiencing a new kind of high that was unexpected, that cannot be manufactured–not even with the best drugs out there, that can probably be only achieved with some hope, good plays, and perhaps Madison Bumgarner pitching on your team. You bet your sweet ass I was on a cloud of orange-and-black happiness throughout the rest of that drive. And I guess riot grrl rock from the 90s will become part of my gameday music from now on.
About the only thing I sorta-kinda regret from all this was me not being in SF when it happened. I say “sorta-kinda” because the city is starting to become LA in championship wins–that is, there are pure morans there that will–and actually did–fuck shit up. If I wanted to be part of a raucous riot, I’ll wait until some idiot politicians take away my birth control rights.
I arrived in LA around 1:25 early Thursday morning. Los Angeles. A city I can never hate on, despite my allegiances to certain sports teams, but was prime to be trolled by a certain baseball hat that now had special meaning. (More on this later.) As I saw signs that read “Interstate 5 – Los Angeles”, “Sepulveda Blvd”, and “Hollywood,” disbelief came upon me once again. This time, of my own achievements. That the sights of palm trees, spotlights, billboards, and the LA skyline were all part of the pay-off of all my hard work massaging bodies five fucking days a week for months. And when I approached downtown, a part of me felt overjoyed. I had the right music at the right time–not riot grrl rock, but an uplifting techno track from this killer 90s dance mix (go to the 16:50 minute mark here, and you’ll see what I mean).
The other part of me, though? Hell, I was tired. It was now 1:40 in the morn. What the hell was I doing taking a joyride along the 110? And I still haven’t checked in my rental home, up in the Hollywood Hills. All I knew was that I was going to be sleeping like a baby once I got there. Yet another one of my many birthday presents I gave myself. Because if no one else was gonna treat you, you might as well treat yourself. It was October 30th when my car crossed the LA city limits. The Giants won the World Series again, its franchise now being lauded as a “dynasty,” and I had this entire city to enjoy for a full week. Happy birthday to me.
BONUS SHIT: After the jump, an unapologetic display of orange-and-black pornographic happiness that cannot be contained…