My best go at explaining living with anxiety.
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Hollyweird. A place where people walk around dressed like movie characters in hopes of catching a few bucks for a picture with them. Odd right? There's a lot of hustle and bustle on Hollywood Blvd, but you can't hit up LA without checking out the walk of fame, right? You almost need to walk down the strip twice, once to admire what's at your feet, and another time to admire the buildings, lights, and crazy people eye-level and above. Seriously, go down and people watch in Hollywood, it's nuts. People shamelessly pose with the popular stars on the walk of fame, while the TWO Bing Crosby stars go unnoticed (I see you, Bing.) You can walk down and find Trump's star and flip it off, or kiss it. Whatever, not my business what you do! There are a billion and three tourist attractions down Hollywood Blvd/Highland Ave if people watching isn't your thing; one of which is the Museum of Broken Relationships (despite it sounding like a bad memoir of my life I didn't actually go inside and I hold a few regrets there). And with every different kind of ethnic food one person could desire, Hollyweird has a little bit for everyone!
For starters, yes. It's exactly as ritz-y as you think it is. Pulling up I noted to my Uber driver the exuberant amount of small breed dogs in Beverly Hills his response as astute as he was; "The more money you have, the smaller your dog is in LA." Duly noted. The streets were lined with foreign cars I couldn't pronounce if I tried, and the stores were minimalist and modern and entirely out of my price range. But who can turn down a stroll down Rodeo Drive serving nothing but realness?! It was another world for this bargain basement bitch. I imagine Good Charlotte was in Beverly Hills when they wrote "Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous." Regardless, Beverly Hills was gorgeous. I saw the Pretty Woman hotel and a car accident. I was surrounded by palms trees, water fountains, and whole lot of glamour. I didn't spend a lot of time here because (again) I'm broke and it was starting to sprinkle, but it was worth it to see how the other half lives so to speak.
I will be the first to say I got so incredibly lucky with my flights. The ticket was cheap AND a non-stop flight so I couldn't say no! So I wasn't too terribly upset to find out my flight was delayed an hour and a half. Whatever, gives me time to go to Anchorbar which was conveniently located across from my gate. So I find a spot at the crowded bar and ask for a margarita, I figure getting a buzz on before flying for the first time in years was a good move. Help with the nerves right? I met some interesting men at the bar and spoke of my goals and ambitions and watched this crazy older Southern man's used car sales commercial. It was odd, but pleasant! My pre-flight anxiety was at a lull now and I was just excited to start my journey. Finally it's boarding time and I am STOKED. I've got some liquid courage in me, a new travel buddy also headed to LA, and some bomb ass books for the flight. But of course it's nighttime now and I can't be that guy with their light on. So I settle and watch Bob's Burgers till I fall asleep awkwardly smooshed against a window. Everything was going swell until about 45 minutes before landing. Out of nowhere I can feel that I am absolutely going to barf and I abruptly get up apologize to the people in my aisle for needing to leave. Anxiety is great, aint she? I practically run to the bathroom and I couldn't even shut the door behind me. Turbulence kicks in at this point and let me tell you what, trying to throw up and make it into the toilet with turbulence in this space ass bathroom was NOT an easy task. So I clean up my mess and embarrassed as all hell I ask the flight attendants for some water. They ask if I'm okay because they saw me projectile and hand me a bag in case it happens again. At the time, I figured it was a one and done thing so I crumpled the bag up, downed the water, and tried to relax again. Maybe 15 minutes later, I puke again and this time the seatbelt light is on and I have to use this bag. The bag I crumpled and couldn't find the opening for...awkward. Luckily I found it and managed to only puke in this bag, but now I am mortified because I've puked in a fully crowded plane and probably given my aisle mates some sort of flying PTSD. Naturally we land and they have to keep us on the tarmac for half an hour because someone else is at our gate. At this point, I was willing to jump out of the plane and walk to the gate myself because I wanted out so bad. I puked three more times before we made it inside the airport and I had to carry my puke bag up and throw it away at the end of the flight. The embarrassment was unlike any I had ever felt. Luckily I made it to my airbnb thanks to an awesome Lyft driver who made some super cool suggestions on places to see drag queens and eat the best sushi in town. I sealed the night off by puking in front of my airbnb, really claiming my stake on Los Angeles! Leaving my mark. After a good nights sleep and a shower I am able to laugh at the madness that ensued and I am ready to take on this trip. Anxiety is a dirty bitch, but I'm dirtier!
On Monday I am headed to Los Angeles for the Independent Music Industry Conference that So What?! Music Festival founder Mike Ziemer is putting on. I haven't traveled alone in quite some time and it has inspired me to start blogging along with my website! Keep tuned for updates from my trip and all the other strange adventures I get myself into in this new year. Until then enjoy some photos I snagged today during the beginning of a snow storm today in Buffalo. (Four days till I'm in LA, four days.)